There is a lot of information going around about the Ketogenic diet. I myself am a culprit, having recently published two previous articles on the topic, explaining what happens to your body when you go into ketosis, similar to this one but a little different, you can read those here and here. It’s no doubt interesting when one comes across information and evidence that contradicts what we once, or do, completely and unquestionably consider to be fact.
What I want to be clear on today is, I’m not talking about a specific diet, but rather techniques which can be used to get your body to produce ketones, and it’s quite simple. You don’t have to follow a ‘low carb high fat’ diet, and to be honest, following that diet might not be the healthiest thing. A lot of proponents of this diet also avoid several fruits and vegetables, which, in my opinion, is not good.
A hight carb low fat diet might neglect certain nutrients in the body, there is also a great risk of over-protein consumption and, from fasting studies, we know that puts a lot of stress on some of our organs and also speeds up the process of aging, more on that below.
Low protein also reduces your IGF-1 growth hormone levels, fasting does this as well. This is associated with a longer life span, and a far less greater risk of contracting multiple diseases, especially age related diseases.
If you’re going to do the Ketogenic diet, you might want to look into the risks or better yet, as we get into below, try other methods where you don’t really have to alter your diet if you already eat a variety of healthy foods.
The two main fuel sources from food that the body uses are glucose and fat. Ketones (or ketone bodies) are produced in the blood as a result of your body burning fat. How do you burn fat? To do that, your body has to expend its glucose reserves. This is done by not eating (fasting), or by exercising on a regular basis. Why? Because when you exercise, your body is going to burn its energy reserves much faster, and it speeds up the process of the body using its glucose reserves for energy and, eventually runs out, possibly even during the workout depending on what and how many hours prior you ate.
Fasting, in my opinion, is the best way to produce and increase the amount of ketones that are being produced, because when you don’t eat, you are not taking in glucose from food. When we eat, that food is taken and converted into and stored as glucose and fat for energy.When in a fasting state, your body doesn’t have any glucose left, so it switches to using fat for energy, and thus ketones are produced.
How long can you fast for? How should you do it? We will soon be released an online book that goes into more detail, but there are also some articles linked below, and more of a discussion of what I personally do later in the article.
Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people? – Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging
You can view his TED talk explaining how fasting is extremely healthy for the brain, and why, here.
We’ve been taught that our bodies are only efficient in burning glucose, and if you think about it, the way we are taught to eat, since the industrial revolution, is three square meals a day plus snacks. As a result of this, the human body is in a constant glucose burning modes, and never really experiences the benefits of burning fat or using ketones for energy.
The science is pointing to one thing, and that’s the fact that we are eating too much, or more than we need to.
What Happens To Our Body When We Are Burning Fat
There are multiple benefits. For example, it creates a protective barrier around the brain, this is why a ketogenic diet and fasting are actually used to treat patients with epilepsy.
A few years ago, scientists discovered the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. The study was published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. The study outlines how, during periods of fasting, the body repairs damaged DNA and helps to starve cancer.
If we take a look at a recent study from 2014, published in the journal Trends In Molecular Medicine, it outlines and confirms what several studies before it have already done:
- Caloric restriction (diet high in nutrients but low in calories) and its mimetics (CR) improve lifespan and reduce cancer incidence
- CR and CR mimetics sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy
- CR and CR mimetics combined with chemotherapy enhance anticancer immune responses
We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system. . . . When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. – Valter Longo, corresponding author (source)
According to the study:
“Caloric restriction (CR) is currently the most robust environmental intervention known to increase healthy life and prolong lifespan in several models, from yeast to mice. Although the protective effect of CR on the incidence of cancer is well established, its impact on tumor cell responses to chemotherapeutic treatment is currently being investigated. Interestingly, the molecular mechanisms required to extend lifespan upon reduced food intake are being evaluated, and these mechanisms may offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. In addition, new findings suggest a beneficial effect of CR in enhancing the efficiency of tumor cell killing by chemotherapeutic drugs and inducing an anticancer immune response.”
By fasting, you’re literally cutting off the energy source for cancer cells, and at the same time, while in ketosis, your body is experiencing a wide range of other health benefits.
The first publication tested on a case by case basis in this area was done in 1995, when two young patients received ketogenic diet therapy for their brain tumours. They were unresponsive to standard treatments, yet with this new therapy, both patients’ tumours began consuming less glucose and shrinking in size.
In 2010, a case report was conducted on a 65-year-old woman who had a brain tumour causing numerous neurological deficits. In addition to standard care, she was put on a ketogenic diet. After two months, she experienced a complete remission of her tumour, yet when the diet was suspended, the tumour returned.
Here is another study showing the benefits the diet can have on cancer cells.
A study titled “The Ketogenic Diet & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer” explains how it’s already known that the ketogenic diet elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in both animals and humans. The study also revealed that the ketogenic diet “significantly decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor growth, and increased mean survival time by 56.8 percent in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.”
You will also lower your IGF1 growth hormone. Which is ideal to do in order to build muscle, and revere age related diseases.
So, What Do You Eat? How Do You Do It?
Well, the standard and commonly taught ketogenic diet consists of eating low carbs and high fat. If you want to maintain your ketogenic state, this is suitable, but it’s not needed. You can eat a wide variety of healthy foods, and still experience ketosis. Some people who have a high carb intake can deplete their glucose reserves much faster than others, so they are experiencing ketosis more often than not. This is especially true for extreme athletes, which is why they have to eat so much food. It all depends on the body type, for the average person it takes about 15 hours of fasting to completely expend your glucose reserves and transition into burning fat.
Generally speaking, if you fast for a couple of days two times a month, you will experience this state. If you fast two every five days during a 20 hour window, you will also experience it. You don’t necessarily have to eat a high fat low carb diet to experience ketosis. That being said, if you are already in a state of ketosis, and want to continue it but desire to eat, low carbs and high fat is where you want to go.
But how long should we be in ketosis? There are still many unanswered questions.
The effects of fasting are better maintained with a plant-based diet. Personally, I eat a plant-based diet, but also enjoy putting my body in the Ketogenic state. I’ve incorporated fasting into my lifestyle, so it’s no problem for me.
Ideally, I enjoy fasting for a period of about 16-17 hours after a big healthy meal. At about the 18 hour mark, I’ll hit the gym because at this point, my IGF-1 growth hormone levels are very low, which is an optimum time for muscle growth. After my workout, I like to have another big healthy meal. Throughout the day I consume predominately raw full of juices, fruits and vegetables. But that’s just me.
I also go on 2-7 day fasts once every couple of months to experience the benefits.
Are you going to lose muscle by fasting? No, your body goes through its glucose, and before it starts taking protein and content from your muscle, it has to go through all of its fat. As explained here by a Toronto based nephrologists. Theoretically, an obese person of 300 pounds could fast for a year without loosing muscle.
You can find out the ketone levels by a simple blood test. If you go to your local drug store, or check out Amazon you’ll be able to find a ketone measurement meter. At the end of the day, there is a lot of information out there that you should go through to get a clear picture, but one thing is certain, you don’t have to follow the ketogenic diet to experience ketosis, a lifestyle which incorporates fasting is very efficient, and the benefits that are seen from fasting are clear, even with a low carb high fat diet. So, if you use fasting to experience ketosis, you’re also getting the full benefits of fasting as well that would otherwise be cancelled with food intake.
For example, when we fast, we go into ‘Autophagy,’ which means “self” eating, and it’s a process where your body cleans out various toxins and recycles damaged cell components.
Dr. Colin Champ, a board-certified radiation oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explains it well:
“Think of it as our body’s innate recycling program. Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty parts, stop cancerous growths, and stop metabolic dysfunction like obesity and diabetes.” (source)
One of the best ways to detoxify your system, and slow the aging process (thus greatly reducing the risk of various age-related diseases) is to assist your body in the process of autophagy. Protein actually speeds up the aging process, and too much of it is very detrimental to health, as is too little.
As far as eating a plant-based diet, I explain in the articles linked below why it resonates with me, apart from just feeling natural and right:
As far as fasting goes, we’re going to be released an E-Book about it, protocols, and more, very soon.
Other related CE Articles:
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression
- The Facts:
Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.
- Reflect On:
The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.
The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.
There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.
This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.
Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.
Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”
The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.
Why Does This Work?
Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.
According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.
The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.
We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old
- The Facts:
The struggle against vaccination, especially compulsory vaccination mandated by a government/industry coalition, was met with fierce resistance from people during the early history of vaccination over a century ago.
- Reflect On:
What does the pictorial evidence of opposition to vaccines from early in the previous century tell us about today's vaccine industry?
In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled ‘Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,’ Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine ‘landscape’ that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:
Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as “unscientific.”
It was a received “article of faith” for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so on, for which there are no vaccines at the time, diminished both in incidence and mortality (ability to kill) due to better social conditions.
You would think–as medical students who are supposed to be moderately intelligent–that some of us would have asked, “But if deaths from these diseases decreased due to improved social conditions, mightn’t the ones for which there are vaccines also have decreased at the same time for the same reason?” But we didn’t.
The medical curriculum is so overloaded with information that you just have to learn what you hear, as you hear it: nonvaccinatable diseases into the social conditions box and vaccinatable diseases into the vaccines box and then onto the next subject.
What this book especially brought to light for me was not just that open ‘debate’ on vaccination is systematically stifled, but the gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. For me, just knowing the early history of vaccination has been enough for me to see that all along this phenomena has fundamentally been about power and money, in complete and abject disregard for human health. I believe an open-minded reading of the book mentioned above will lead you to the same conclusions.
Early Resistance Against Vaccines
The early history of vaccines is fraught with egregious trial-and-error ‘science’ on humans treated as guinea pigs matched with strong-arm tactics at compulsory vaccination. But even though they were dealing with human populations that were not as educated as we may be today, the illness and deaths of children resulting from vaccination were not lost on parents–and in some cases, before the medical establishment had full control over their doctors’ muzzles, were admitted to by doctors. Here are a few among many pictorial examples and their heart-breaking stories:
At a time when mainstream media, government, and the medical establishment were not the well-oiled machine of elite propaganda they are today, public outrage and attempts to mobilize against compulsory vaccination were squarely in the public eye:
Anti-Vaccine Literature And Images
Like today, there were professionals and researchers speaking out against the dangers of vaccination, and probably suffered from the same lack of funding to proliferate their message.
Comparisons With Today
One would imagine that if the early vaccine industry actually cared about public health, that even the death or crippling of ONE CHILD that occurred directly after vaccination would cause them to shut down operations until they could verify that this death was not caused by vaccines. Alas, these pictures demonstrate otherwise. And if it did not happen then, it certainly is not happening now.
The outright lie found on government medical websites that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’ belies the fact that a special fund and a special court was set up by the government to issue compensation to sufferers of vaccine injury that has already paid out over $3.7 billion dollars. The fact is that this court was set up to prevent people from being able to sue vaccine companies directly, because it was forecast that all the vaccine manufacturers would go bankrupt if they were not protected from being sued. That’s how ‘safe and effective’ vaccines have proven to be.
Sure, today there is less of a push towards compulsory vaccination–but that is in part due to the awesome and tireless work of enraged citizens at the turn of the century as evidenced in these pictures! All that happened was that the vaccine industry realized that they could better ply their trade by focusing not on forced vaccination and the obvious resistance it generates, but rather by controlling the narrative with well-funded propaganda through coordinated efforts of the medical establishment, government, and the media. Part of this effort is hiding the history from us that we see in the pictures featured here.
If we are to become clear as a collective about the big picture of what is going on behind government and industry policy today, sometimes a brief look at history is all it takes.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
10 Ways To Boost Serotonin Levels Without Medication
- The Facts:
Millions are diagnosed with depression every year, and people can begin feeling better without medication by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Some lifestyle changes and food adjustments can help solve this.
- Reflect On:
Is your diet truly helping you feel good? We sometimes think 'we only live once, I should eat what I want!' but how do you want to feel while you're alive: Vital or foggy?
As defined by psychologists, a person has a major depressive episode when he or she has symptoms of major depressive disorder, including depressed mood or feelings of emptiness, hopelessness or irritability, that last for two weeks or more. And, according to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), the number of people diagnosed with depression has increased by 450% since 1987.
It is often recommended that we start taking a medication to reduce symptoms. However, medication often comes with sometimes dangerous side-effects. Here are some simple ways to feel happier without needing to take a pill.
1. Get Enough Vitamin B6
Foods like spinach, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, and non-factory farmed fish (especially tuna, halibut, salmon, cod and snapper) can be great sources.
2. Eat Brain Boosting Seed Grains Instead of Wheat
This includes: Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa are seeds with grain-like taste and properties. These are healthy, high-protein carbohydrates and small amounts of the right carbohydrates are critical to boosting serotonin.
Not only will you improve your mood, you will Sleep better too. A nice dose of serotonin in the early evening will help you sleep better at night.
These grain-like seeds also provide important B vitamins. As just mentioned B vitamins play a critical role in brain health and in the manufacture of all your neurotransmitters including serotonin. Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B6 (pyridoxine) as well as vitamin D, folic acid and selenium plus calcium, and magnesium are needed to make serotonin.
For protein meals: focus on digestion and food combining – Eating foods that are high in protein – and specifically have a higher percentage of tryptophan (like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), will provide much-needed tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin. But beware: because research shows that eating protein with carbohydrates actually works against your ability to make serotonin.
Good to know: Plant-based protein helps to create more serotonin than animal protein does.
To boost your mood and immunity naturally, protein and probiotics – is the delicious natural answer!
3. Include Fermented Food & Drinks In Your Diet
Fermented foods and drinks greatly assist in digestion and assimilation of all the important nutrients you need for serotonin. Additionally, they boost the nutrients in your food by at least a hundredfold.
4. Get Massages & Other Forms of Body Work
We’ve heard about the healing power of touch, but now research backs it up! A study conducted by the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that massage increases serotonin by 28% and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) by 31%.
5. Have Fun in the Sun
Early morning sunlight is more intense and this can boost your body’s production of melatonin in the evening. Serotonin converts to melatonin for a great night’s sleep. Getting outside for a 20-minute walk in the early morning sunlight can boost your mood and improve your sleep!
6. Remove Toxins From Your Health That Interfere With Brain Health
Eat foods like dandelion and citrus fruit to help detox daily. Detoxing is about increasing the effectiveness of your detox pathways so unnecessary toxins don’t get stuck in your body. Although the medical field keeps saying detoxing is a myth, lack of proper detoxing is a common challenge.
7. Reduce Stress
Prolonged physical or emotional stress produce adrenaline and cortisol, which interfere with serotonin. Shifting your lifestyle and adding more relaxation into your week can make a huge difference. Focus on Emotional Healing – Reducing stress and focusing on spending more time relaxing is a first step to boosting serotonin. You can take this even further by taking action in key areas to remove negative emotions like fear, guilt and anger. Meditate & do yoga!
A comprehensive review of the relation between exercise and mood concluded that antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been clearly demonstrated. In the United Kingdom the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which works on behalf of the National Health Service and makes recommendations on treatments according to the best available evidence, has published a guide on the treatment of depression.
9. Eliminate Processed Sugar (or at least drastically reduce it)
If you have low serotonin, you may have intense cravings for sugar. This is your body’s way of trying to increase serotonin because eating sugar produces insulin, which helps tryptophan go into your brain. However, too much sugar can eventually cause addiction to sugar, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes.
Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or pure honey.
10. Give More Hugs, Love More & Fear Less
Human connection, living in the heart, being connected to self. All of these things are natural to us and yet we have become quite disconnected from it all in our modern world.
Listen to CE Podcast episode Treating Autism Naturally w/ Jennifer Kozek
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
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