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The January 2016 newsletter is out - Dietary Guidelines for America

January 1st, 2016 at 9:35 AM

Hello from Reston,

Happy New Year! So what are your resolutions for 2016? If you have been reading these newsletters for the past few years, you may recall that I’m not big into New Year’s resolutions. I believe that for the most part they are empty promises we make to ourselves, such as saying you want to lose 15 pounds or exercise more. In case you want facts, only 4% of people that go on diets and lose weight, actually keep that weight off when surveyed three years later. That’s only 1 in 25 people. Calorie restriction diets don’t work long term. The one resolution I do think will work is when you commit to change your lifestyle. There is no need to wait for January 1st to do so, but hey it’s here. Why not change your lifestyle to improve your health for good now. If you need help getting started, please feel free to reach out to me.

The first link I’ll share today involves some interesting research about soy protein. For vegetarians and vegans, soy protein is often used as a “suitable” substitute to protein from animal products. What the study showed is that taking soy protein was not any more effective than water in increasing muscle. Yes you read that right. Soy protein wasn’t any better than plain, old water for muscle synthesis. Even if you are not a vegan or vegetarian, you may be consuming soy protein, if you like to eat protein bars. Most protein bars will use soy protein versus whey protein. Be careful and read labels when buying protein bars. As the article mentions, the best sources of protein are whey (preferably from milk from grass fed cows), eggs (best from pastured hens), red meat (choose grass fed), poultry (pastured is best) and fish (wild caught is best). Even before reading this article, I was not a fan of soy and avoid it as much as possible. The article mentions that soy can lower testosterone in men. Soy is also potentially linked to increased cancer in women. Most (~90%) of the soy grown comes from GMO seeds and is sprayed with Roundup, which is also shown to increase cancer risk.


One suggestion I have for you is to try to drink bone broth more this year. The next link lists several benefits of drinking bone broth. These benefits include gut healing, less wrinkles, better joint health and it will even help you lose weight. If you want to try to make bone broth, there is a recipe link within the link below. Note that it is strongly recommended that you use bones from grass fed cows when making beef bone broth. You may need to check out local farmers to get grass fed bones.


OK, onto this month’s topic. This month, the US government is set to release the next version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Initially released in 1980, the guidelines are updated every five years. So what has happened to the American people since the first 1980 release? Obesity in America has gone from about 10% to 35%. Some members of Congress have finally stepped up and are willing to admit that the process for establishing and updating these guidelines was totally flawed. They have been based on politics, big business and bad science.


Last fall, Congress passed a bill that included money to review the process of developing the Dietary guidelines. “Questions have been raised about the scientific integrity of the process in developing the dietary guidelines and whether balanced nutritional information is reaching the public,” according to language that accompanying the bill. “The entire process used to formulate and establish the guidelines needs to be reviewed before future guidelines are issued.” "I hope this will make sure that the Dietary Guidelines are science-based," said Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, one of the committees overseeing the Dietary Guidelines.

Traditionally Americans have looked to these guidelines to seek advice on a variety of foods including meat, salt, saturated fat, milk and even coffee. Nutritional guidance can be very confusing and we know now that the advice from the Food Pyramid was terribly wrong. Although the Food Pyramid was abandoned a few years ago, it’s replacement the Food Plate, is not really any better.

Before the next version of the US Dietary guidelines are released, I’ll give you Mike D’s simple dietary guidelines:

  • Eat as clean as possible. Eating clean means avoiding processed foods as much as you can.
  • Avoid wheat/gluten. I have extensively covered in the past how bad wheat’s protein (gluten) is for your health. Give up wheat for 21 days and you’ll see for yourself.
  • Eat healthy fats including grass fed butter, coconut, avocados, olive oil and nuts. Healthy fats satiate you.
  • Watch your carbs. If trying to lose weight, limit yourself to 100 grams per day. Don’t overdo it on fruit. 1-2 servings per day is plenty.
  • Eat your veggies including plenty of green and colored veggies.
  • Eat protein from animal products mentioned above. Unless you are looking to put on mass, 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day is about right. For me (180 pounds) that would be 125 grams of protein daily. 1 egg or 1 ounce of nuts has 7 grams of protein. 3 ounces of red meat has 25 grams. 3 ounces of fish or chicken has 20 grams.

Fitness tip of the month:  Grab a cup of coffee before you exercise

Want to get a bit more out of your workout? Simply have a cup of coffee beforehand. Per the studies referenced in the article below, having caffeine before exercising will boost your performance. There is no need to invest in expensive pre workout supplements, when a cup of coffee will do the trick. I believe the ideal time to start your workout is between 3-6pm. Consume the coffee 30 minute prior to starting exercise. If you work out after dinner time, I would advise against having caffeine, as it may hamper a good night’s sleep.


Recipe of the month:  Paleo Breakfast Burger

Probably the most frequently asked question I get is, “what should I eat for breakfast?”. If you take away sugary cereals, bagels, muffins, pancakes and waffles, it may seem that there are limited choices. I contend that you should think out of the box. It is OK to have dinner leftovers for breakfast. Or you can make yourself a great burger. The recipe in the link below is pretty over-the-top when it comes to making a burger with fabulous seasonings, so feel free to modify it as you want. Enjoy


I wish you all the healthiest and happiest 2016.

Be well,



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