Posted in Corrective Exercise, Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Colder Temperatures Positively Affect Your Metabolism

Have you ever heard of BAT? Brown adipose tissue?

There exists two forms of fat in the human body: white fat and brown fat. The Scientific American shares that white fat cells store energy in the form of a single large, oily droplet that is otherwise relatively immobile. On the other hand, brown fat cells contain many smaller droplets, as well as energy machines known as mitochondria. Only in recent years have researchers found ways to convert white fat to brown fat. Having more active brown fat present can improve insulin sensitivity to help banish type 2 diabetes and heighten the body’s metabolism to reduce body weight.

Amongst multiple research studies, it is unanimous that lower temperatures force the body to induce thermogenesis, the heat generation that increases your body’s core temperature in order to bring it to homeostasis. When this takes place, white fat can then act like brown fat, otherwise called “beige” fat.

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Luckily, these temperatures do not have to be low enough to cause muscle quivering. In 2013, Japanese researchers had 12 young men with lower than average brown fat amounts to sit in a 63 degree Fairenheit room for two hours a day for six weeks. After six weeks, those 12 men were burning an extra 289 calories and PET-CT scans verified the heightened quantity of brown fat cells. They believe that exposure to these colder temperatures over six weeks increased the activity of a gene named UCP1, which seems to guide the conversion of white fat into beige fat. They also understand that exercise helps to increase UCP1 in conjunction with a hormone called irisin that helps convert white fat to beige fat.

A study supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2014 had 5 healthy men reside in a clinical research unit for 4 months. They would do their normal daily activities during get day then return to their private room for at least 10 hours each night. The temperature of the room was set to 24 °C (75 °F) during the first month, 19 °C (66 °F) the second month, 24 °C again for the third month, and 27 °C (81 °F) the fourth and last month. Each month, the men underwent extensive evaluation, including energy expenditure testing, muscle and fat biopsies, and PET/CT scanning of an area of the neck and upper back region to measure brown fat volume and activity.

After a month of exposure to 19 °C (66 °F), the participants showed a 42% increase in brown fat volume and a 10% increase in fat metabolic activity. During the following month of neutral temperature, these alterations returned to near baseline, and then completely reversed during the month of exposure to 27 °C (81 °F). All the changes occurred independently of seasonal changes.The increase in brown fat following cold exposure was accompanied by improved insulin sensitivity after a meal during which volunteers were exposed to mild cold. The extended exposure to mild cold also resulted in significant changes in metabolic hormones such as leptin and adiponectin.

Yu Hua Tseng, Ph.D., the Principal Investigator in the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at Joslin Diabetes Center, says that “brown fat is a natural defense system for obesity, diabetes and related diseases or conditions.” Because of the supporting research, the idea of activating brown fat as a way to combust this excess energy is now an attractive area of research for developing new treatments to help combat obesity and various metabolic diseases. Increasing your metabolic baseline by activating brown fat could be the key to combating such diseases or conditions.

Imagine this: exercise while being exposed to colder temperatures. George King, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, recommend combining these known brown-fat activators by working out in the cold to get the maximum benefit. By doing so, you’d be revving up your conversion of white to beige fat, in turn burning more calories and improving insulin sensitivity!

Season’s Greetings,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Of Heart and Mind

Your Brain on Gratitude

‘Tis the season. Thanksgiving is here, and soon, Christmas will be, too. Today, in church service, we discovered how our body and mind respond to experiencing gratitude on a regular basis. This is what we will be discussing today.

An individual is positively affected neurologically, physically and emotionally when they experience gratitude regularly. The Huffington Post wrote an article called “The Neuroscience of Gratitude” which shares the following implications of gratitude:

  • production of dopamine and serotonin increases
  • it can be a natural antidepressant
  • the more these neural pathways are fired, the more automatic it becomes
  • encourages the search for constructive themes, rather than destructive ones

A study conducted in 2015 by four researchers created a four-condition experiment (stimulus, reflection, probe and rest) where participants read an excerpt telling of one of four phases of the Holocaust: 1. The rise of Nazism and Persecution, 2. Internment, 3. The Final Solution, 4. Final Months and Liberation. After reading the excerpt, they were instructed to reflect and feel, as much as possible, how it would feel to experience what they had just read, and create a deep, personal, realistic reaction. Then, they had to rate how much gratitude they felt on a scale from 1 to 4. A black screen would then be presented, as they were instructed to rest and release their mind of all thoughts for a 12-16 second period, acting as a baseline prior to the next phase. The four conditions of the experiment are shown in the figure below. The hypothesis? “That gratitude ratings would correlate with activity in brain regions associated with moral cognition, value judgment and theory of mind.”

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Experiment Protocol

The results? “Ratings of gratitude correlated with brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex, in support of our hypotheses. The results provide a window into the brain circuitry for moral cognition and positive emotion that accompanies the experience of benefitting from the goodwill of others.”

How awesome! When we feel grateful, we begin to elicit the positive emotion that comes from experiencing the benefit of a gift from someone. Even amidst tragedy and shortfall, simply “thinking” gratitude into existence will rewire the neural pathways to make it a habit for emotional well-being.

Here are four ways that you can practice gratitude:

  1. Write it down. On a daily basis, write down at least 5 things you are grateful for.
  2. Get into a routine of gratitude. You can have an accountability partner; you can write it every morning before you start your day; you can keep a list posted to be reminded daily. Whatever works for you.
  3. Meditate. You can do so sitting quietly or during your favorite exercise activity, such as yoga, pilates or even running.
  4. Surround yourself with people who share gratitude, too. These people might be family, co-workers or your church friends. Make sure you are not exposed to complaints every day. Be grateful and help others do the same.

Best Wishes,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Exogenous vs. Endogenous Ketones

The empirical research and powerful testimonials concerning ketosis are of abundance.

You might have had this question run across your mind, like many people looking for health optimization: what is the difference between taking exogenous ketones and following a ketogenic diet?

Either way, the body will benefit. Let’s talk about this difference.

Simply put, “exogenous” refers to something that is sourced from outside of the body. All supplements are therefore considered exogenous because they are ingested rather than created by the body. “Endogenous” refers to something created within the body.

Is that simplified enough? I hope so.

Now the question becomes what are the implications of that exogenous vs. endogenous? Are there any specific differences between taking exogenous ketones and producing endogenous ketones? This video from Michael Rutherford clearly explains the difference; don’t let it be too complicated.

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Alchemy Athletics provides this incredible insight to the community. Endogenous “ketosis can be unsustainable in the long-term considering that just a small amount of carbohydrates or excess protein can kick you out of ketosis.” This is very true. And this is why exogenous ketone use can be so handy in long-term health and wellness. Learn more about the benefits of exogenous ketone supplementation in Alchemy Athletics’ Ketones 101 and read through the resources listed at the bottom of the article!

Onward and Upward,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Intermittent Fasting

Let’s talk about how intermittent fasting will revolutionize your brain and metabolism.

The benefits are numerous, yet the most important is a simpler and longer life. I imagine you’ve seen people meal prepping, packing 6 meals a day to eat every two hours on the hour like clockwork. Doing so makes your body dependent on the incoming food. Your brain counts down the minutes, your insulin spikes and crashes and your hormones make you hangry if you are a few minutes late. Intermittent fasting is the opposite!

Intermittent fasting (IF) means that you will consume fewer meals and practice  more periods of fasting. There are multiple schedules you can follow. The easiest to follow, and the one I recommend beginners do to start, is to wake up, drink their ketones and wait to have their first meal until they are truly hungry. This will help the body relearn the signals for hunger rather than just following culture and time patterns. For many, that time comes around 12-1pm. They then use an 8 hour feeding window, so their last meal of the day should be consumed before 8-9pm.

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As I discussed last week, your body might reach a plateau when following any routine for an extended period of time. When your body is ready for a new routine, you can implement one of the other intermittent fasting schedule options outlined by Intermittent Fasting 101 from Keto Kookie. As your body gets more accustomed to this new way of eating, you might implement a full 24- or 48-hour fast. Doing so regularly will dramatically help with cell regeneration, ridding your body of toxins, allowing it to recover from the abundance of tasks it has daily. Intermittent Fasting can also help in chronic disease prevention as The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discusses here.

*Note: While Intermittent Fasting is widely regarded as the optimal way to eat, you should always talk to a doctor before making dietary decisions.

Challenge yourself to start Intermittent Fasting beginning with dinner this Sunday night.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

To health and happiness,

Coral Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Break Through KETO Weight-Loss Plateaus

I’ve had a few people this month ask me how they can break through the weight loss plateau they are experiencing after months of being on a ketogenic diet and taking exogenous ketones. First, props to them for keeping up with the ketogenic lifestyle for months! Many people can’t find the desire or discipline to stick with it for more than a couple weeks; so way to go! Second, it is PERFECTLY normal to experience a plateau in your weight loss goal; the trick is to not let it defeat you. If you’ve been at this plateau for more than three weeks, today’s message will help you learn how to break through it!

In this interview on Cut the Killer Carbs, Dr. Justin Anderson discusses a few of the challenges his clients are experiencing during their metabolic coaching programs. He says about 10% of metabolic coaching clients experience these plateaus.  The Whoosh Effect is the collection of instances when your body can go a certain period of time with no movement in the weight, then all of a sudden drop a couple pounds and go right back to no movement. Here a few tricks to break your plateau:

  1. Count your carbs, religiously, for three days. After awhile, you become lax on your carb consumption. Put yourself back in check.
  2. Take a look at current medications, as some are associated with weight gain.
  3. Check your axial temperature in the morning to see if you have inadequate thyroid function.
  4. Take omega 3 fatty acids!
  5. Consider a light exercise regimen.
  6. Try two weeks of dairy to see if your body is sensitive to it.
  7. If you’re on current thyroid meds, switch from generic to name brand for more bioavailability.
  8. Watch out for farm-raised fish; get wild caught only.
  9. Remove diet sodas and artificial sweeteners.
  10. Don’t let your “cheats” go too far.
  11. Utilize intermittent fasting.

Here is another great resource for even more tips on how to break through your plateau, including eating too much or too little!

My personal recommendation for my clients is to change your daily routine. If you’ve been following the same regimen for more than six months, give your body something new to work with. Do high intensity movement for 5 minutes before you start your day. Use intermittent fasting at a different 8 hour time slot in the day. Up your exogenous ketone consumption a little! If you’ve been using 1/2 packet twice a day for months, try using 1/2 packet three times a day for a bit. If you haven’t implement the use of exogenous ketones in your weight loss journey, start now and see if that brings your cellular regeneration to a new level!

I hope this will help you get where you’re looking to go. As always, if these tips aren’t helping you break through, consult a medical professional to address your body’s needs.

Best of Luck,

Coral Jinright-Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Increase Your Lifespan With Ketosis

What would you do if I told you I had the key to adding more happy years to your life?

Would you jump for joy knowing you’ll have more time to travel the world? Would you wake up every morning knowing you’ve got more time to spend with your children? Would you stop stressing the small stuff? Would guilt and remorse leave your heart?

It is my goal to help you grasp the fact that you are currently in the only body you will ever receive. You’ve got an incredibly smart body that deserves your respect. The energy you put into your body is exactly what you will get out of it. From a psychological point of view, that means living with gratitude, compassion, love and an open mind. From a physical point of view, that means doing uplifting activities like walking, yoga, hiking, kayaking and even sleep! With that said, let’s dive into how ketone bodies present life span extending properties by reducing oxidative stress and being an effective tool for combating free radical damage.

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Above, you see the  molecular structure of three ketone bodies. These three ketones are the subject of a critical review from IUBMB Life titled Ketone Bodies Mimic The Lifespan Extending Properties of Calorie Restriction. It’s fascinating really. This critical review discusses the genetic mechanisms of life expansion, the antioxidant system, the indications of your telomere length, and other anti-aging mechanisms, ALL of which can be optimized with the presence of ketone bodies.

The ketogenic diet is a wonderful way to nutritionally get into ketosis. Furthermore, in the above review, their results showed that consuming exogenous (sourced outside the body) ketone esters showed a two-fold decrease of glucose and a three-fold decrease of insulin in rats. What profound results!

“Aging in man is accompanied by the deterioration of a number of systems.”

We know that.

What you might not know is that “the unique ability of ketone bodies to supply energy to the brain during periods of impairment of glucose metabolism” is what make ketosis a highly effective treatment against neurological diseases that are currently untreatable with traditional medicine.

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The take away: get ketones in your body and ENJOY LIVING LONGER!!

Get exogenous ketones in your body TODAY with this Ketone Operating System.

Posted in Of Heart and Mind

Depression, PTSD and Other Mental Illnesses

Every week, we come into contact with new people that enter our lives. These people can be introduced into your life as clients, friends, customers, co-workers, love interests, and even family you’ve never met before. One thing that we all possess is a real self, which is the person that we are currently living as. However, we all also possess an ideal self, that person we wish or aim to become. This is something I studied in great detail my junior year at Hendrix College in Dr. Dana Leighton’s Social Cognition course when I wrote this research paper discussing The Salience of Guilt, Self-Blame and Hopelessness.

fully functioning person, according to Carl Rogers, a humanistic psychologist, is one who is possesss these five characteristics:

  1. Open to experience: both positive and negative emotions accepted. Negative feelings are not denied, but worked through.
  2. Existential living: being able to live and fully appreciate the present, allowing themselves to experience life, not always looking back to the past or forward to the future.
  3. Trust feelings: decisions made ourselves due to feeling, instincts and gut-reactions are paid attention to and trusted.
  4. Creativity: not playing safe all the time, taking risks and thinking creatively, including the ability to adjust and change and seek new experiences.
  5. Fulfilled life: happy and satisfied with one’s life, yet looking for new challenges and experiences.

Such a person also exists when the individual is able to accept that our selves are not in congruent (the real self is not full equivalent to the the ideal self), and is patient and understanding with themselves in working towards becoming as such. But what happens when the individuals does not accept the gap between the real self and the ideal self is most frequently mental illness, such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. This is something that I dedicated a significant amount of my time to research. In fact, I intend to continue to pursue research and turn my paper (referred to at the top of the page) into a fully comprehensible book on what this all means. It’s something that I am very passionate about.

Please take the 30 minutes it may require to really read through this information and digest it. Something as fundamental as this is a big reason why there is disconnect in our society. So many people don’t believe they are capable of ever becoming their ideal self, and therefore revoke their ability to be fully functioning people contributing to society. Similarly, most people witness the impediments faced by such a person and are unable to put their egos aside. They can’t understand that the person they see can’t just set aside their concerns and instantaneously become the person they wish to be. The concept of patience is simple, but hardly practiced.

Just a tidbit to take with you as you embark on new journeys. Have a marvelous weekend!

Ever so graciously,

Coral Jinright

Resources:

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

What Do I Eat to Flourish?

So you’ve read through all of the posts about the ketogenic diet and its application in helping to resolve different health conditions. Whether you think you just need a little energy and productivity boost throughout or work or school day, or if you are ready to lower your triglyceride levels, stop taking your medicine for high blood pressure and lose 15 pounds, I’ve got you covered. Pruvit’s KETO//OS is an incredible addition to your daily routine to help you achieve your mental and physical goals you have set for yourself. This can be added to your current diet as you continue to adapt to become a fat-burning furnace, but is also the perfect complement to a ketogenic diet.

By implementing the ketogenic diet, we will transform your body into the optimal fat-burning machine it was meant to be. Though the Standard American Diet has made us believe oatmeal with bananas and orange juice is a perfect breakfast, the Low Carb High Fat Diet (LCHF) makes your body burn FAT and form KETONES right from the get-go.

The first step of this ketogenic diet is to limit your carb intake. Remove your pantry of the pastas, rice, oatmeal, bread, cereal, donuts, beans and set your eye on fats. Granted, ONE cheat meal a week is acceptable, but really try to stay motivated on your goal and stick with only that one cheat meal. Keep the fats high, proteins moderate, and carbs less than 20 g. If you are an athlete, try to do less than 50 g, but make the majority of your carbs immediately post workout. The second step is to work in intermittent fasting. Try to consume your exogenous ketones from Pruvit first thing when you wake up, or your coffee with some coconut oil and heavy whipping cream. This will feed your body some fat to get the oven burning. Now LISTEN to your body, and do not eat again until you are actually HUNGRY. That does not mean “wait until you smell your co-worker’s lunch” to go eat.

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The problem with our society right now is that we always eat when we feel we are supposed to, not when our bodies NEED to. Try to wait and eat your first meal of the day about 5 hours after you wake up (or whenever you’re actually hungry). Keep the fat content high and protein moderate. Doing this will help you tune into the chemical communication between your brain and your stomach. If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled to not eat half the peanut butter jar the second you open it to mix it up before storing it. Sometimes scents will DRAG you into consuming food, but RESIST the temptation. During your first two week so of the LCHF Diet, be patient with yourself. As your body goes through the keto-adaptation phase, you might feel a little sluggish, but push through because your body is about to make itself an incredible fat-burning machine. After you’ve become keto-adapted, the world is at your fingertips, and your body will start to reap all the benefits! If you are a pescatarian or vegetarian, please ensure you look to other sources, such as eggs and cheese, for your protein. Focus on making 80% of your intake FATS and keep your protein moderate (between 10 and 15%) and carbs minimal (5-10%).

Starting a new nutrition lifestyle is always a challenge. To help you make better decisions at the grocery store, I’ve compiled a grocery list made by Jimmy Moore in his book “KETO Clarity” written with Dr. Eric Westman.

Download and print your ketogenic grocery list here: KetogenicDietGroceryList

Keep posted for a more in-depth analysis of your macronutrient (fat, carb, protein) ratios in the coming week. Like always, if you have any questions or concerns, please comment below or contact me via Facebook.

Sincerely,

Coral J.