AZ Spine Disc And Sport Chiropractic Medical Blog
My blog posts have been fewer recently because I have had almost no free time. It's amazing the things that change when you start to feel good. The combination of a high energy level and an uninterrupted night’s sleep has energized me. I have always been a light sleeper and since taking the SHAPE ReClaimed drops I have slept through each night like a baby. I am going to the gym regularly now. No longer in my baggy clothes, always in form-fitting clothes, sometimes even shorts. Four weeks ago there is no way you would have caught me out of my house in shorts. I didn't even like to wear them inside in case that pesky mirror caught me off guard.
Even more important than the weight loss is something I have talked very little about in my blogs. One of the reasons I chose this anti-inflammatory program was because I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis over 15 years ago. I have been 100% asymptotic while on this program. I don't remember any one week period where I have been 100% asymptotic in the past 15 years much less four weeks! This is also exciting and allows me to get out of the house more.
I will admit, I have had some small “cheats” over the past two weeks. I don't recommend you do this, but I want to be honest about my experience. As a large doctor’s office, we have patients bring us treats often, and drug reps bring us meals often. I have avoided the large majority. There have been a couple of occasions in which I chose to try “a little” of something. We have a patient who brought big boxes of dark chocolate candies mixed with fruits. My entire staff thought they were terrible, so I wanted to try it and see how it could be THAT bad. I loved them. Now we have had these boxes of uneaten candies sitting around and on three different occasions. Have eaten a small package. Last night I hosted a party for my women's marketing group, and I decided to have two small glasses of wine, a small bowl of enchiladas from a local caterer that I have heard good things about for ages, and two mini cupcakes. Every other thing I ate this week was part of my planning and prepared by me. Although I made these decisions and it wasn't the best idea, I have still moved forward this week.
Because of the changes I made this week, my weight loss has been a bit slower, but steady. I am completely fine with this because I feel good. I don’t feel deprived in any way. I enjoy this program and although I initially told myself that I was going to commit to 6 weeks of the fast track program. I now know that I want to do this program longer. I will most likely continue the fast track program until the holidays.
This past week has been a mind-battle for me. As a practitioner, I should know better than most that the number on the scale isn’t what matters and that if you do this program correctly, the results will be achieved and will last. But like any human, especially any woman, I want to see that number on the scale drop every day. The reality of this is, if we are doing this correctly, the weight isn't going to drop every day. We have fluctuations in our hormones and other body systems that cause changes.
There are positives and negatives to stepping on a scale daily. The main positive is the accountability. Of course, the motivation that comes along with stepping on the scale and seeing the number drop helps a lot also. Sometimes when you don’t see that number drop you think you are failing, or even worse, if the number increases.
As I neared the start of my 3rd week on the SHAPE ReClaimed program, my scale decided to play tricks on me. I have seen it go up 2lbs and then down .5 and then up .2 and then down 1. For the first five days of this week my scale fluctuated, but my weight essentially stayed the same. Over the past three days, I have dropped another 2lbs. I am now down 16lbs total in 2.5 weeks.
What has changed? For me, several things and it is important to take this into account. Last week my Urinalysis findings showed that I was in large ketosis. The great thing about this program is that we can make changes to stop this before it becomes a problem. For me, that meant adding more fruits, and I hadn’t been eating rice crackers previously but added them this week. It was also the week of my cycle that my body is naturally going to store more water. I have also gotten back into great exercise habits. My energy level has been so high that I am doing two workouts a day at times. I’m still not super aggressive, just because I’m not conditioned, but I am working my way back to it. I know that I am adding lean mass and dropping fat mass and if you look at the picture from my last blog it's a great reminder that muscle truly weights more than fat.
There are so many great foods that can be eaten on the SHAPE Reclaimed diet program. My absolute favorite is cauliflower rice with stir fry. I have made several versions, but this is my favorite so far:
-Use a couple sprays of organic coconut oil nonstick spray in the pan
-Sautee 1 large yellow onion (chopped) and a cup of fresh jalapeños (chopped) for about 2 minutes until lightly browned
-Stir in 2 bags of pre-chopped fresh cauliflower pearls
(If you can't find, use a food processor to create the same from 2 heads of cauliflower)
-Cook over a medium heat until browned (about 8 minutes)
-In the same pan used for the cauliflower rice spray a couple more sprays of organic nonstick coconut oil spray
-Add in I package of organic chicken breast stops, cut in half.
-Add in a few tablespoons of organic Worcestershire sauce, black pepper to taste and garlic and pepper Mrs. Dash seasoning to taste
-Add in 1 red onion (chopped), cook until both the chicken and onion brown
-Add in 2 heads of chopped broccoli until it starts to soften
-Finish with 4 cups of organic baby spinach until leaves soften.
This will make enough for a large family or many servings to eat throughout the week
Here I am posting sooner than expected about my SHAPE reclaimed experience because I find the whole process very fascinating. It’s only 3.5 days since my last entry, but they have been eventful days. I decided to add exercise in this week. The first day I decided to go on a hike. It's still summer in AZ, and my body didn’t much appreciate starting at 10 am. I have done this moderate hike many times in the past, but not for many months. It was 110F by the time I finished my 4-mile hike, and I felt like I was close to heat exhaustion. I assume that the low calorie and carbohydrate intake was also a factor. The next morning I had lost 3lbs.
The following day I was much more hungry than I had been so far. I was craving eggs and salsa and literally at eggs and salsa all day, as well as a little fruit. The following day I had gained 3lbs, very likely from the salt intake and recovering from the lost water the day before. Yesterday I went to the gym and decided to do 50 minutes of exercise on the elliptical and some TRX work. My energy was surprisingly high, and that indoor workout felt great. I was also happy to wake up this morning having lost another 2lbs. I ate a much more balanced meals yesterday, high protein, lots of veggies and a few fruits. I was busy earlier in the week and ended up putting off my progress urinalysis.
I did a urinalysis on myself today (this is something the doctor monitoring your program will do on a weekly basis). A significant finding on my UA was a large amount of ketones found in my urine. It is typical to have some ketones in the urine while on this program, but large ketosis is something I need to get my body out of quickly. Being in large ketosis means my body thinks I’m starving, even though I am keeping my calorie intake around 1200/day. As a side note, I also want to point out that there is no “one size fits all” on this program and typically we don't count calories. I like to use the “my fitness pal” app to look at the ratios of my macros and for easy tracking of my progress. Knowing that my body is in large ketosis early on makes it very easy to change with simple dietary modifications. I need to increase the fruit in my diet and take another sample in a few days. It is essential to get out of large ketosis quickly so that the body doesn’t start learning to store extra fat. This is a problem I have with other popular diets, without the monitoring it can be easy to get into ketosis and lose weight, but as soon as the person comes off of the diet and out of ketosis, their bodies want to hold on to everything put into it. Trace proteins were also found in the urine and isn't a worrisome finding. This could be as simple as having some muscle breakdown from exercise, but I do want to monitor this because ideally I want to be in the best state to recruit my fat stores as energy and not my muscle.
My PH also went from alkaline to acidic. This is also common early on in the program. Ideally, I would be somewhere in the middle, I added the SHAPE Reclaimed mineral PH drops to my water after starting and I may be using too much. I plan to start using the product just a couple times a day rather than with all of my water. The final finding was that my specific gravity decreased significantly. This indicates that my salt intake is too low compared to my water intake. While learning about this diet, one of the facts I learned is that typical Mortons table salt has only about 5% mineral content, other content being high in aluminum (also related to dementia in several peers reviewed studies). Himalayan Salt contains only 18%, Redmond sea salt 34%, and Celtic Sea salt 85% (more than ocean water, which is 70%). This is going to be a necessary modification for me going forward, and I plan to purchase extra Celtic Sea salt to keep on my shelf for patients who need it during this program (and in general as it is a much better source of salt). What an important part of this program to do the weekly urinalysis!
The drops and the urinalysis are such important components in the success of this program. I will be making the modifications and will be interested in seeing what changes in next week’s UA. Even though I am still trying to get into my groove, this journey has been very productive. Ten days into the diet program I am down 12 lbs, I am not hungry, don’t have cravings and (other than the overheated hike) I feel like my energy level is better than it was before I started.
I’m Dr. Angela Christopher, a chiropractor and the owner of AZ Spine Disc and Sport. Most of my life I have had the body I wanted from lots of exercise and a well-balanced diet. I have always been interested and enjoyed fitness and nutrition, and then three years ago my life changed. I embarked on a very stressful expansion of my business and my waistline. I competed in Ironman Arizona 11/2013 and slowly went from exercising 40 hours a week to ZERO. Recently I have found that aside from my scrubs and “work out clothes” nothing in my closet fits. Like many, I have gone through some many diet plans like the HCG diet and calculating macros and have fought through bouts of training for a few months with CrossFit or hiking, but nothing has lasted. I have recently felt so uncomfortable with the way I look, that I don’t even feel comfortable putting on gym clothes and going to the gym. It has made me not want to go out with my husband or friends in public or be in any pictures or face time, even with my young nieces. When I think about how much this has changed my life for the negative, I realized it was time to do something about it.
You want the secrets? You want the plan laid out for you? Well then here we go:
With people becoming more conscious of what they’re eating, where their food is coming from and how their food is raised/produced/farmed, there has been a positive shift in consumption of healthy foods. Wooo! More and more people consuming fruits, veggies, and nutritionally dense foods SHOULD be a great thing…..right? For the vast majority of people that are not prone to over consumption or taking things to the extreme, it’s a really good thing. But every coin has two sides. Let me try to explain.
Most people know that going out in the sun is a good thing right? Little bit of UV rays helps with Vitamin D production, increases mood, and a sun kissed glow because who doesn’t like a nice tan. But what happens when you stay out a little bit too long? For us pale skinned night walkers, an immediate burn. For the slightly more resilient of skin maybe a slight irritation. Stay out longer still and the situation gets worse for both sides of the spectrum. Keep in mind that what I’m referring to is just one session in the sun. Now imagine that you have over exposure to the sun chronically. What happens then? Permanent skin damage that probably looks like a tanned hide of a wildebeest at best case scenario and full blown skin cancer worst case scenario.
But that’s a common situation that most people have heard of before right? Too much sun is no bueno. But what if we look at something a little less innocuous, say staying hydrated. “What could possibly be wrong with drinking water” you ask? Well when you consume an average amount of water, NOTHING. It’s actually really good for you. Adequate water consumption helps with digestion, skin health, muscle function, and on and on. We are mostly water as I’m sure you’re aware. But let’s say we start upping the good ol’ H20 intake. Let’s say that you are just CONSTANTLY drinking water throughout the day. And I’m not talking about 12 oz water bottle. I’m talking about multiple jugs a day (sounds extreme I know but I’m getting to a point I promise). What happens then? The answer: hyponatremia. To put it plainly, hyponatremia is when you have a significant decrease in sodium levels in the body which result in nausea, headaches, dizziness, confusion and over all fatigue. Keep in mind that I’m talking about A LOT of water consumption over time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink water!!!! Drink it! Drink it often! It’s good for you. And realize that it’s hard and unlikely to get yourself to the point of hyponatremia from excessive water consumption.
So let’s go back to the food point that was made in the beginning. I’m sure a lot of my health and wellness compadres out there can attest that they’ve been seeing more and more people are juicing, eating more fruit for breakfast, using it as snacks throughout the day, and adding flavor to the more bland foods that they don’t particularly like. I’m willing to bet that most of these people are having a hard time keeping their weight down and blood sugar levels in check. “But it’s FRUIT!!!! You can’t seriously be telling me fruit is BAD?!” I’m not. I’m saying that eating TOO MUCH fruit is bad. Let’s break it down.
You wake up in the morning and head over to your blender in the kitchen to make your breakfast shake or your breakfast go juice, or whatever you want to call it. Let’s assume that you throw in a scoop of your favorite protein powder for a little more substance. And then you begin to throw in the fruit: frozen banana, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and a kiwi for good measure (an actual recipe that I’ve heard numerous times when working with people). The thing that people don’t realize is that ALL of those listed ingredients are LOADED with sugar. A quick search of macro nutrient break down (assuming 1 cup serving size) of each fruit gets us:
Banana 105 27 g 14 g .4 g 1.3 g
1 cup Raspberries 65 15 g 5 g .8 g 1.5 g
1 cup Blueberries 85 21 g 15 g .5 g 1.1 g
1 cup Blackberries 62 14 g 7 g .7 g 2.0 g
1 cup Strawberries 47 11 g 7 g .4 g 1.0 g
1 Kiwi 42 10 g 6 g .4 g 0.8 g
Total 406 98 g 54 g 3.2 g 7.7 g
Assume ½ Cup Servings 203 49 g 27 g 1.6 g 3.85 g
Although fruit in moderation is actually good for you (loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients), too much leads to a sugar overload. Keep the sugar intake high for too long of a time and you end up with insulin insensitivity and ultimately type II diabetes. So can too much of a good thing be a bad thing? For sure. Be smart about what you put in your body, how you train and how you recover. Not sure how to do it all, meet up with a professional and let them show you the way.