How to have a successful Spring Break
Megan Ramos will help get you vacation-ready!
The Power of Green
Coach Larry Diamond on the benefits of Biophilia – spending time in nature
Biophilia is a term popularized by a psychoanalyst in the 1960s to describe the importance of spending time in Nature for mood and mental health. It was then further explored by the likes of evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson.
We evolved as a species that spent most of its time outside – certainly during waking hours. And this is why so many people report feeling better with camping, hiking and after dinner walks outdoors.
Florence Nightingale knew the power of biophilia. She prescribed as much outdoor time and sun as possible for her convalescing patients. At one point, hospitals were designed by her with outdoor spaces for every patient. Studies have shown that hospital rooms with windows have quicker patient recovery time, on average.
Workers report better mood and productivity with windows. Even having a picture of nature in your cubicle can make you happier. Just looking at the colour green has been shown to lower blood pressure in many studies.
One of the best ways to harness the power of biophilia is to take regular walks in nature. Try to take any work breaks and eat your lunch or other meals out of doors, if possible, weather permitting.
Time in nature bombards us with thousands of sounds and stimuli that cannot be recreated in any other way. Many long-time joggers prefer jogging outside. Walking or jogging outside combines the health benefits of both with nature exposure.
So, as the sun begins to shine more this spring, make a concerted effort to spend more time outside for a few weeks and note how you feel. I’m guessing you will love it as much as I do.
Don’t feed the Insulin Beast!
Coach Nadia Pateguana explains how to tame those spikes
Like many of you, I’m a visual person and use different forms of imagery, analogies and comparisons to help something make sense to a client.
I often use the story of “David and Goliath.” This is a Bible story, and although I am not particularly religious, it’s one I think many people know, or at least recognize the analogy. David is the “little guy” and Goliath is the “Giant,” yet David, the underdog, beats Goliath.
Sometimes on your health journey, you feel like David, and Insulin seem to be as huge as Goliath. So, how can you be like David?
One thing I always tell my client is: if you want to defeat the insulin beast, don’t feed it!
Seems simple and obvious enough, yet for some it isn’t!
Let’s think about when insulin (the hormone released when we eat that controls blood sugar) is at its highest level – also known as hyperinsulinemia (high blood insulin). There are many hyperinsulinemic states that we can recognize.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of them. Periods of elevated stress or illness can be as well. Bouts of insomnia can lead to hyperinsulinemia. Shiftwork, unfortunately, seems to raise insulin. After a vacation or big holiday season, you’re likely in a hyperinsulinemic state. The reason for this is simple: your insulin levels are high because you’ve either eaten more often, eaten more carbs, or some other physiological state has raised your insulin levels.
What happens when insulin is high? You feel bloated, sometimes feel some pain/inflammation, irritable and you crave more carbs (this is easily recognizable in PMS). It happens when you have a cold, too, and when you don’t sleep well, are stressed etc.
When you have a cold, for example, you unknowingly feed that high insulin – that “Goliath.” Some people believe that if you have a cold or sore throat they need tea with honey (all day long), cold/cough syrups and cough drops.
These have immense amounts of sugar or sweeteners, and so will raise your insulin a ton. I’m not here to give you medical advice, but I personally gargle with warm saltwater, use a good saline nose spray, eat good foods, drink lots of water and rest! (Hint, hint!)
When women go through PMS, they have more intense carb cravings (at least some do), and these women will often cave and eat all the things they are able to avoid the rest of the month. Their “willpower” seems weaker. When you’re stressed, or haven’t slept well, you notice the same sort of thing. Every time your insulin is high, you knowingly or unknowingly feed the insulin beast and it gets bigger and bigger, to the point where you feel like “David” and powerless in comparison.
When I start working with people, one of the common questions I hear is: “When I am craving sugar/carbs, what’s a good ‘substitute’? Should I have berries? Low-Carb sweeteners? Nuts and Cheese?” and this is when I tell my clients the above analogy. “When you are craving sugar/carbs, DON’T FEED THE INSULIN BEAST!”
This is probably not the time to eat the berries, nuts, cheese and sweeteners. Now that I have explained why, you might be wondering what to do instead. Well, it is very simple: you either kill or tame the beast. Those are your two choices.
You can kill the insulin beast by fasting. Just don’t eat at all. Insulin will inevitably go down and you will emerge victorious!
Personally, I find this hard to do when my insulin is very high. But many find this easier. It might be easier for you not to eat at all than choose to eat only certain foods. That would be the second option: “tame” the beast by eating only certain foods for a short period of time. We call this “fat fasting” and there are many resources on this technique. This dietary strategy would help reduce insulin, which would “tame” your insulin beast into a small “pet” that you could control. Your cravings would go away in a few days and you would be back to a place where you can control what you eat and when you eat!
The inside scoop on low-carb!
Learn Megan’s top five tips for getting started.
Time to get social!
Connect with the TFM community and get the support you need
One of the great things about becoming a TFM member is getting access to the private community. It’s a great place to get information, hear some real-world experience and just get the support you need to keep up with this healthy way of life.
But, there are also other ways you can get involved and learn more about fasting.
And you can even hear some great podcasts and get info over on Low Carb MD.
No matter where you are in your journey – from beginner to expert – we’re stronger when we join together. So, please come by and get involved. We’d love to hear from you!
Coming up at TFM!
Don’t miss these dates – put them in your calendar!
TFM ambassador Kay Lynne Diamond will be hosting a local meet-up in Austin, Texas at Bull Creek District Park on March 14 from 2 to 4 pm ET. Kay Lynne has been following a low-carb, paleo way of life for close to six years. She is passionate about sharing her healing journey and being part of the growing Fasting Method community.
Low Carb/Keto Salt Lake is on the schedule for April 17 and 18. It promises to be a great event – but be sure to check the site closer to the date for updates and restrictions due to Covid-19.
Finally, mark the next meet-up with Megan Ramos in the members community. Megan will be live March 26 from 4 to 5 PM ET.