Shannon presented a fantastic talk last night at our Health School that allowed us to bust some myths about weight management. Shannon explained to us that the underlying key to attaining and maintaining your ideal weight is the health of your liver. We need to get our livers HAPPY! This will ensure we become FAT BURNERS rather than SUGAR BURNERS.
Do you wake up feeling sluggish?
This could be an indicator of a SAD liver. Shannon described the liver as a processing factory in our body, things are made there, like cholesterol and things are converted to then be safely dumped out into our bowels so that our body can excrete them. There are particular things that are LIVER LOADERS which put extra stress on the liver and create congestion.
The main liver loaders are;
• Heavy metals/pollutants
Shannon gave us some tips to optimise your liver function;
• Lemon juice in warm water in the mornings (high in vitamin C, stimulates bile function/digestive fire and initiates the thirst mechanism).
• Dandelion tea
• Eat anything green your helping your liver clean – green leafy vegetables
• St Mary’s Thistle, which is a herb often prescribed by practitioners (stimulates antioxidants in the liver, particularly glutathione)
• Vitamin C
It was explained that there are two phases to liver detoxification.
Phase 1 requires B Vitamins and Zinc which you can get from WHOLE grains. eg. brown rice, quinoa, oats......unprocessed grains. Breads using wholemeal flours or spelt, kamut, rice flours.
Phase 2 requires protein eg. Nuts, seeds, beans, meats, legumes.
Optimal liver function puts us in the FAT BRUNING zone.
Shannon talked about how a lot of us experience large fluctuations in our blood sugar levels throughout the day. When we eat something with a high glycaemic load, our blood sugar levels increase rapidly making us feel “up”. Our insulin is then stimulated and takes the sugars from the blood stream into our cells. This brings our blood sugar levels down and creates that “down” feeling and we often feel irritable. Insulin also creates fat storage. To stop the peaks and troughs of our blood sugar levels and move us into a fat burning zone, Shannon recommended that every meal should contain a carbohydrate, protein and fat. This will increase your satiety and maintain your energy levels.
So every meal should include one thing from each of these groups;
Whole grains only – wholemeal toast, spelt bread, brown rice, quinoa, muesli. Remove the “whites” like white bread, pastas, and anything processed, biscuits, processed breakfast cereals (Special K, Nutri grain etc)
Grain fed meats, legumes (adzuki beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans), nuts, seeds, seafood.
Nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds, macadamia oil.
Avoid synthetic/trans fats (margarine, high fructose corn syrup – which is in most processed foods!) and hydronated oils (processed vegetable oils)
An example of a breakfast is;
• Whole meal toast (Carb), egg (protein), avocado (fat)
• Rolled oats (carb), sunflower seeds (protein), rice milk and flaxseeds (fat)
• Muesli (carb and fat) with yoghurt (protein) (whole milk yoghurt not low fat)
Shannon gave us lots of other tips and suggestions to help with weight management. She is available for consultations at Health Central to help you with more personalised advice.