Dec 14, 2011

A Little Less Fruity

It's been a little longer than I had hoped since my last post to you guys however my grandmother who I spoke of in my last post, passed away a week ago and her funeral was yesterday, so it's been a very emotionally draining and upsetting week, and blogging has obviously not been up there on the priorities list.

However, I did promise you a run-down on what I thought of Gabriel Cousins's lecture in Sydney a couple of weeks ago now, and I will deliver, largely in part due to the extensive variety of things spoken about and the fascinating things I learnt that I really want to share with you guys.
I was so excited to go and hear Gabriel speak; I had my paper and pen packed in my bag with a smoothie for brekkie, snacks to nibble on, my water bottle and more, and was ready like a new kid on their first day of school! I saw a few familiar faces as I had expected, but had a few wonderful conversations with people I had never met before as well, which I always love (shout out to Alex!!). A great day all up.

I wanted to sum up everything I took away from his talk (and will later on) but right now there's one big thing that seems to have influenced my eating habits since the talk which i thought would be good to discuss in detail (and I can get to the big summary another time).

How do you burn energy?

This question is the sole reason my eating has taken a drastic turn since hearing Gabriel speak. And it's not something that was directly asked, but it has had me thinking (and in turn trying something new).
According to Gabriel (and many others I'm sure; I've heard the terms used in Metabolic Typing principles),  in terms of energy, and how your body uses it, we're all either a fast-oxidiser or a slow-oxidser.
Some people are fast oxidizers, because they rapidly convert food into energy. In order to balance their systems, fast oxidizers need to eat heavier proteins and fats to that burn slowly. In contrast, slow oxidizers convert food into energy at a slow rate. In order to balance their systems, it's recommended that they eat mainly carbohydrates rather than protein and fat.
Fast-oxidisers typically eat every couple of hours. "Oh I'm definitley a fast oxidiser then" I thought... but then fast-oxidisers function better on a higher protein/lower carb diet. HUH?!?! I thought I functioned best on high carbs! Apparently more of us are better off on a higher protein/lower carb diet, or at least 50/50. And very few (5% infact) are slow-oxidisers whose bodies function and work best on high carbs/low protein. If you're one of those few, then by all means, eat fruit til ur little hearts content! But due to recent happenings in my diet and health, I'm questioning whether that's me or not.

I have thought for a long time that my body functioned much better on a high carb diet; I eat a truckload of fruit after all and feel great for it! I'll eat fruit for brekkie, fruit for snacks, fruit for lunch, and then look forward to a big green salad for dinner, usually followed by a few oranges or a handful of dates (ie more fruit). I have loads of energy, I'm at the gym every second day and doing my own workouts the days I'm not there. I love my workouts and need the sugars to fuel me through. My head feels clear, my body feels clean, and I feel great! Usually...

I used to be able to eat 10-20 dates quite easily.I would have an abundance of energy after that and not need to eat for a few hours. But now... I can barely get through 4 without my head pounding. I have felt this reaction before but little by little it's gotten worse the more I eat. And my intuition is very strong in telling me it's the glucose. Glucose is pure brain food; its the only fuel our brains use. So of course it is needed, but I can understand it's not needed in such high doses over a long period of time. It has felt like total glucose-brain-sugar-overload-inflammatory-pounding! Yep. Not nice. Then I began to feel the same thing after a banana smoothie (in which I'd typically put 6 or 7 bananas in the blender). Hmmm... I thought bananas were mainly fructose, not glucose (the main brain sugar), until I researched it and found that bananas too do infact contain glucose. Ok then. What was I to do? My two diet staples are no longer agreeing with me?!?!

- fructose causes brain cell inflammation
- fructose also increases diabetes, and decreases brain function (shown 20mins after eating)
- glucose increases brain activity (shown 20mins after eating)
- insulin stores excess sugars as triglycerides (which is fat) ; this was an AHA moment for me as my last blood test showed elevated triglycerides and eating a largely fruit based diet, I wondered how that could be so. Now I know.
- cancer cells need fructose to survive (and that's why any alternative cancer treatment will not include any fruits whatsoever)

Those are just a few of the tid-bits Gabriel has come across in his research and studies and made big impacts on me. Be it coincidental or divine timing, this information couldn't have come at a better time. So I decided I had to lay off the fruit a bit, and have been doing so ever since the lecture. Gabriel recommends 15-25g of fructose per day (which I gasped at as this is only 2 bananas), but I thought I'd see how I would go on that. And I've surprised myself!

Since the talk I have decreased my fruit intake considerably; if not almost totally in comparison! That delicious zucchini pasta has featured quite a bit this week in my kitchen. From having 6 bananas and a few dates in a smoothie for brekkie, more dates for morning tea perhaps, or a couple of oranges, more fruit at lunch, mid-afternoon and then some... yesterday my only fruit intake was one small mango and one small banana. Today I've had one banana. Who would have thought! Not me that's for sure. And on Sunday I still went for a morning run after the markets, did 4 hours at work, then 90minutes of hot yoga, and hasve done all my usual gym session this week. No signs of flaking energy as yet.

So what am I having instead? More of everything I used to eat very little of:

- more seeds and a few more nuts
- coconut flesh
- more avocado (almost daily I'm loving it)
- more greens and veggies
- more sprouts
- more coconut oil
- and my home made flax crackers are hitting the spot quite a bit... and these have featured pretty much everyday this week whereas they used to be scattered around a typical week few and far between.

What have I noticed?

- Well the glucose hit to the brain is no longer there.
- I still have loads of energy but I feel a little calmer.
- I'm not hungry as much (I suppose eating carbs every couple of hours had to be done as it's not particularly long lasting energy) .
- I'm eating alot smaller portions (8-banana smoothie would fill me up as much as a handful of nuts is doing now).
- I'm noticing a huge decline in bloating and abdominal upsets, although my bowel motions are a little less than I'd like (working on that whilst allowing it to do it's own thing and catch up)
- No abdominal weight gain (like my thoughts were persuading me would happen if I ate more fat foods and less fruit), and perhaps even a slight shaping up around my mid-section (which if my body is one that functions better with more protein foods and less carbs, would make sense)

But before you jump to conclusions that I'm a recent Gabriel-groupie, I'm the first to admit I get hooked in easily to 'marketing' and other people's opinions if they sound plausible and excited to present their knowledge and experience, so maybe this is just a trial phase for me and I'll find I do function better on carbs (just not such highly concentrated doses - of dates). But at the same time I'm always up for experimentation and trying something new to see what works best for me, and so I can then pass my knowledge and experience on to others. To do as they wish with it.

If you're interested and want more info about Gabriel, what he does, what he's into, and all that jazz, I'd recommend looking into all his work and research yourself. Be warned though - you might get sucked into reading and researching all afternoon and get nothing else done! Ask me how I know...

His website is here -loaded with info and tonnes of stuff to read.
And alot of great YouTube videos of his can be found her.

I will write more about what he spoke about, but for now I'm off to make Xmas Cakes! Thankyou to all who placed their orders in time! Ive got truckloads to make this week and can't wait to get in my kitchen with some Chrissie tunes on!!



  1. Hi,

    What would you have for breakfast now then?

  2. Hi Sophie,
    Great question! For the most part I've been having vegie juice for brekkie. More often than not it's straight carrot, but has been a combination of carrot, beets, silverbeet, ginger, parsley, celery, zucchini... However this morning I had a mix of sprouted buckwheat, millet and quinoa I have pre-done at home, with seeds, bee pollen, acai and a few other bits with chia gel and/or coconut yoghurt! But had a juice a efw hours later coz I was craving it! Interesting :) Hope this helps

  3. Thank you :) I've never tried just juice for breakfast? Would it hold you for a cardio-weights workout?

    Thanks so much!