Smoked Salmon and Egg on Rye

Rye?! Did you say bread?  Bread with gluten?!  Yes. Let me fill you in.  I have lived in other countries that eat grains regularly.  I have studied cultures of people that consume bread and are still healthy.  I am not anti-bread.  I am anti-bad preparation of bread.  There are a couple key differences between American food and traditional cultural foods:
1. We cut quality corners to make things quick and cheap, which means we often eat pesticide, GMO versions of grains
2. We don’t prepare many foods in a way that render nutrients available or toxins predigested
We have the luxury of getting our nutrients from any foods we choose; therefore, we do not NEED to consume grain products like bread to survive.  However, let’s say we did…or maybe just wanted to do so in a healthy way.  Grains need to be soaked, sprouted or fermented in order to be safely consumed and have nutrient availability.  Other cultures do this very thing when they prepare their grain products like pasta, bread, or pastries.  These processes can take DAYS for something to be ready to consume.  Americans ain’t got time for that.  We are about instant gratification and if we need to think days ahead of time in order to have food ready, we’d rather just not eat it.  On top of that, women in other cultures cook ALL DANG DAY!  We have many women in our society working all day and having time to prepare grains appropriately usually isn’t on the agenda after a full day at the office.
This brings me to the rye bread that is so graciously acting as the foundation for my grassfed butter, smoked salmon, and fried egg.  I often have patients from other countries that tell me they miss the food from back home.  They will tell you “The bread just isn’t the same.”  Every. Single. Time.  I am working with a woman from Finland who goes out of her way to order this traditional rye bread from the east coast, and she sent me the website and ingredients.  This stuff is legit.  Bread done the right way.  Whole ingredients prepared for human consumption, so we can actually have access to the nutrients grains can provide.  The company makes the bread one time a week because it takes that long to ferment before they can ship it out!  This is what the real deal looks like.  If you want to consume bread products and have them be healthy for you, this is what you are looking for.  Let me tell you: THIS IS HARD TO FIND!
So, she told me exactly how delicious this would be if I ate this combo, and boy was she right.  It was delicious.  I would eat it again on occasion, but I am probably not going to go out of my way to get my nutrients from bread that I have to have shipped from another state!  If this was something I grew up on and missed it that much, then maybe I would reconsider.  However, bread is not typically a healthy food for us because of our lack of quality and knowledge of preparation (not to mention the carbohydrate content is way too high for most).  When you travel to other countries, these things are often prepared just as they should be, so eat up!  When you get back to the states, just remember that not all bread is created equal and if we looked at ingredient lists and nutrient availability only, you wouldn’t even know they were the same product in the comparison.IMG_4553

Macros vs. Micros: Why One Matters More

I’ve been trying to avoid writing this post because I don’t want anyone to think that I am anti-macros.  I am very rarely anti-anything.  However, I think sometimes it gets confusing to the average public what they should be doing to gain health when most of the people they are following on social media don’t fit their demographic.  I have been seeing tons of buzz lately from the fitness community about tweaking their diets to fit macros.  I have been doing health talks for so many years now, that I almost busted out my very first powerpoint where I talk about macros!  Macros just stands for macronutrients.  When you hear this term, think carbs, protien, and fat.  Athletes of all kinds have been using these macros in certain ratios to reach their goals for so many years that I can’t even count.  This is not new territory.  It’s where the concepts of carb-loading for endurance races, protein shakes after lifting, making weight for a fight, or even leaning down before a figure competition come from.  Athletes are REALLY GOOD at manipulating macros in order to acheive certain performance results or certain aesthetic results.  However, if you only think about macros, you miss an entire piece of the health equation that makes me nervous.
I live in the world of micros.  When you hear the word micros, think nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.  This is where a huge majority of health really lives.  When you are eating for micros, you are creating sufficiency in the building blocks that your body needs to function, express health, and keep bad genes from turning on.  You can still have a few extra pounds and eat beautifully from a micro perspective…just like you can have a six pack and still get cancer. This is where confusion sets in….
Average Joe follows superstar athlete on social media and sees a ripped lean machine and tries to follow the superstar macros.  Problem #1, superstar athlete has a training schedule that demands a lot more carbohydrates than average Joe will ever expend.  So, average Joe could STILL be fat trying to follow someone else’s macros.  Problem #2, lets say average Joe has his macros tailored to his own unique situation, he is led to believe that as long as he is following those set macros, everything that fits that protein/carb/fat ratio is fair game.  All of a sudden, we have average Joe AND superstar athlete putting themselves at risk for nutrient deficiency and therefore diseases like cancer, heart attacks, autoimmune diseases, etc.  (Side note: a very well known TV personality that makes a living off looking the way she does just shared she found out she has an autoimmune disease and the doctors are changing everything about her diet….which was geared toward macros.  Not because the macros weren’t on point with how she wanted to look, but because they were off point in terms of nutrient supply.)  We have all heard of the marathon runner or the health nut that drops dead of a heart attack and everyone thinks “how could that be?!  He/she was so healthy!”  If you look at the diet, it was most likely tailored just for macros and not for micros.
If you see someone on social media with a six pack eating twinkies and ho-hos because they “fit their macros,” turn the other way.  These foods do not fit into micros, and that is where your health lives.  Micros determine your health, not your physique.  So, it becomes ultra tempting to want to follow along with someone eating certain ratios if you can still have fast food, cakes, and the like as long as it fits your macros.  Don’t be fooled.  If you are an athlete that wants to focus on tweaking your diet to the point of weighing your food, measuring everything, timing everything, etc to enhance performance or aesthetics, then please do it with the right foods.  The foods that still cover your micro bases.  If you are an average Joe, worry about eating healthy, nutrient dense foods first, then after a year of that, consider tweaking your macros for performance or looks.  Until you’ve covered your micro bases, your health is still at risk no matter how amazing your butt and abs look or how fast or strong you prove to be.