Monthly Archives: May 2017

May 31

Stop Avoiding Fat!

There is a huge misconception that has swept across the nation. This isn’t something that has just appeared out of nowhere either. It’s a movement that has been been around for years. We have been taught that fat is bad. For some reason most people associate being fat with eating fat. That just isn’t the case. Fat is NOT bad! Well, some of it is, but we have to start changing our mindsets to understand that there are good fats as well. Part of the blame goes to all the fad diets that popped up over the years. There have been quite a few that have preached that high protein, low fat, and low carb is the way to go. All that does is lead to a lot of pissed off, irritable, hangry people, which I will get to in a bit. But good fat serves an important purpose for our health. It’s time to put our negatively influenced views to the side and stop avoiding fat!

How did I get on the fat train? Back in 2015 when I discovered I had Lyme Disease, I started digging into natural treatment methods. Because Lyme causes a lot of inflammation in the body, I had to consume foods that would help battle that inflammation. That’s when I discovered that healthy fat sources, such as avocado, fish oil, and coconut oil play a major role in reducing inflammation. Before I made the changes to my nutrition plan, my macros consisted of about 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat. Those macros came from healthy foods, of course, but I would go through most days feeling drained. Like most people, I never fully understood the purpose that healthy fat plays in our health so I avoided it like the plague. I then shifted from a 50/30/20 ratio to 30/20/50, meaning most of my calories throughout the day came from healthy fats. This was well before I understand the energizing effects that healthy fat has on our systems as well. Once I made that shift, the pain I was feeling slowly became less intense and eventually disappeared. I’m 100% sure that the increase in healthy fat played an important role in that happening.

Fast forward a few years, I began to hear a lot about a ketogenic nutrition plan. I heard about it in the past, but I always thought it was one of those fads that I mentioned above so I always quickly dismissed it. However, after learning about the anti-inflammatory effects that healthy fat has on our bodies, I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what else a plan high in healthy fat could do for me. After quite a bit of research, I was surprised to find out all the additional benefits. They include raising the level of good cholesterol (yes, there is such a thing), lowering bad cholesterol, improving brain function, improving skin health, promoting heart health, reducing arthritis, and improving energy. Not to mention that they contain many minerals and vitamins.

The “improving energy” part is the one I want to focus on now. Just about anyone I’ve ever talked to, besides health professionals, have the “holy shit are you serious?” look on their face when I tell them that fat can be used as a fuel source rather than carbs. This is something that nobody is taught. Since we were little we have correlated carbohydrates with increased energy. Hello candy and the sugar rush! Basically this is the process. You eat carbs. Carbs are converted to glucose. The body releases insulin, allowing the glucose to enter the cells for energy. What people don’t know is that healthy fat consumption can give you energy as well. When you stop eating so many carbs and increase healthy fat intake, the body will automatically shift from using carbs for fuel to using fat for fuel. Interestingly enough, carbs aren’t even the preferred fuel source, fatty acids are. Is your mind blown yet? Don’t worry, mine was too when I discovered all of this. I subsequently shifted to a plan that consisted of 10% carbs, 60% fat, and 30% protein, sometimes increasing that 60% to 70%. Initially when I made the change my body didn’t really like it. I felt sluggish and completely exhausted for the first 3-4 days and then experienced an immediate change once my body got used to using fat for energy. Not only did I start having a lot more energy and felt great, I started really leaning out as well. The problem that most people have is that they lower the carbs AND the fat, therefore consuming a ton of protein. I’ve done this in the past and it leads to a very sluggish, exhausted feeling. The body just has nothing to use for fuel, so it eventually starts burning muscle. Not only that, but the cravings are usually out of control. With a high fat plan, because good fats are so nutrient and calorie dense, normally there aren’t any cravings. I’ve been following a high fat low carb plan for a while now and love how I look and feel. Plus, even though only 20-30% of my calories are coming from protein, I’m still maintaining strength and mass.

Healthy Fat Foods

Most people then ask me, “What foods contain healthy fats?” I’m going to list them below.

(1) Avocado. They are loaded with monounsaturated fats (the good fat). I eat a half an avocado every single day.

(2) Coconut Oil. These contain medium chain fatty acids (another good type of fat). I usually have about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily.

(3) Almonds. Contain monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber. I usually have 2 tablespoons of almond butter daily.

(4) Butter. I’m not talking about margarine or fake butter, I’m talking about REAL, grass fed, organic butter. Contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which help improve brain function and skin health. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of butter per day. I usually cook it with my eggs and vegetables.

(5) Salmon. Contains loads of Omega 3’s. It’s important that you stay away from any fish that is farm raised and go with wild caught.

(6) Olive Oil. Contains high levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil per day.

(7) Eggs. The best is organic pastured eggs. I have 4 whole eggs (cooked) daily.

Fat Bomb Recipe

The last thing I want to do is give you a recipe for something we like to call a “Fat Bomb.” Basically it’s a snack that is extremely high in healthy fat. Goes great with high fat low carb nutrition plans.

  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp organic grass fed butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 drops stevia
  • Melt oil and butter, add all ingredients and mix well. Pour into small cup mold with paper lining and freeze. Makes 4 servings.

Questions? Email Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. Don’t forget to head on over to my LIKE PAGE and follow me there! You can message me there as well. From this point on, I hope you start incorporating healthy fat into your nutrition plan.

May 17

Toxic Dyes in Your Food and Supplements

The other day I was browsing my news feed and came across someone that was recommending a certain supplement. Because of all the knowledge I’ve gained about the toxicity of our food and supplements, my curiosity got the best of me and I did a brief Google search for the ingredient list. There isn’t much that pisses me off more than someone who knowingly recommends something to others that could be potentially harmful to them. Notice I said “knowingly.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of supplement reps that unknowingly recommend a toxic supplement. They just don’t know better. Maybe they weren’t taught or didn’t do enough research into what they were selling in the first place. This rep didn’t know better. Anyways, in that specific supplement not only did I find artificial flavoring, but food dyes as well. He praised how his clients were losing weight with it, but didn’t take into factor what it’s actually doing to the inside of those people’s bodies. It’s not good. That’s why I figured I would shed some light on the true toxicity of food dyes and why you should avoid them.

Why use food dyes?

Because it makes the food and supplements look better. Yes, you heard that right. Companies are more focused on appearance than the actual quality of the product. The company shares part of the blame, but not all of it. Consumers share the other half of the blame. Interestingly enough, I just watched a video yesterday about the process fast food companies go through to make their products look especially appetizing in advertisements. It’s all about appearance. We just don’t spend any time looking into what we are eating. If it looks and tastes good, we eat it. It’s a major reason why obesity, diseases, and cancer are out of control. We don’t pay any attention to what we are putting into our bodies. A good habit to get into from now is checking out the ingredient list of everything that you consume and doing just a little bit of research to see if it’s good for you or not. Over time you will get familiar with toxic ingredients and can quickly make a judgement on the product on the spot without doing research. That’s the point where I’m at now. If I’m about to purchase a new supplement, for example, I instantly flip it over, look at the ingredient list, and search for specific ingredients. One type of ingredient that I avoid at all costs are food dyes, sometimes labeled “artificial coloring.” Organic products don’t contain dyes, so always purchase organic when you can, but sometimes that’s just not an option. Food dyes are just one of many toxic ingredients, but it’s what I’m focusing on specifically in this post.

What are some common foods (and products) you will find dyes in?

Here’s a list. It’s most certainly not just limited to these, though.

  • Cereal
  • Soda
  • Fruit Juice
  • Salad Dressings
  • Ice Cream
  • Cosmetics
  • Processed Meat
  • Desserts
  • Yogurt
  • Fish (salmon)
  • Salsa
  • Pickles
  • Most Supplements

Surprising? Most people believe that salmon is very healthy and it is, just as long as it’s wild caught and purchased at an organic grocery store. If you purchase it at a restaurant, more than likely that beautiful, pinkish color that you see isn’t what it actually looks like. Most of the salmon you find in restaurants are farm raised and dyed to look better. Farm raised salmon is gray. With ice cream, not only is it normally loaded with chemicals and sugar, it contains dyes to make it more appealing, especially to young children. Hell, as a kid I normally chose the one that looked the best. Remember “Superman” ice cream? Those colors aren’t natural. That’s the food companies hard at work attempting to manipulate people to purchasing their product. I’ve said this before, the food industry is a crooked, money-hungry, unethical industry.

How are food dyes labeled?

Usually in the “other ingredients” section you will see something like Blue #1, Red #40, Green #3, or Yellow #6. Those are all food dyes. Basically, if you see anything with a color and a number beside it, put in back on the shelf.

Why are food dyes toxic?

Believe it or not, there have been a lot of studies on the effects of food dyes. Most of those studies were done on mice and rats, though, but regardless, there were some pretty awful after effects. Red #40 and Yellow #5 are known to cause hyperactivity in children. Blue #1, Blue #2, Citrus Red #2, and Yellow #6 are known to cause cancer and tumors in mice and rats. Red #3 has actually been labeled as a carcinogen. Many of the dyes are contaminated with cancer causing chemicals. Basically, what it all comes down to is that food dyes are highly toxic and should be avoided completely.

As I say all of the time, what you consume has a drastic effect on your health. As a man who consumes a lot of supplements, I am around other guys who do the same. Most of them pay no attention to what is actually in the supplements they are buying. They believe that just because it’s labeled as a “supplement” that it’s healthy. That’s most certainly not the case. In fact, there are barely any regulations in the supplement market. Some supplements may be just as bad for you as hot dogs. That’s why I always recommend that people do their research and only consume ones that are of high quality. If you’re using supplements for the color or the flavor in the first place, you’re using them for the wrong reason. Again, this isn’t just for supplements either. It goes for anything that you’re consuming or putting on your body. In the end, you need to avoid any type of artificial coloring at all costs.

Questions? I’ve got a lot of knowledge in this area. Feel free to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com or message me over on my Facebook page.