Nutrition and Exercise: What Works For Me
All right, behind the curtain we go! I started in psychology, where I loved to discover the reason why behind peoples’ actions. Why does a specific factor drive them/scare them/influence them/interfere with their goals? Next, I focused on nutrition and exercise physiology where I learned what could influence a person’s body. Things like hormones, neurotransmitters, muscular inflammatory molecules, and genetic predispositions all play an inextricable part. Lastly, in integrative and functional medicine, I get to delve into the why behind people’s signs and symptoms. All together, I aim to figure our how to create change for the better in a highly personalized and practical way. Genetic Garden does this by fostering relationships based on trust, empathy, and partnership.
In this post I want to show you how simple my daily routine is while still negating things like harmful genetics and family history predispositions. I included strategies for my mental and physical health like diet, exercise, and other behaviors that balance stress.
Quick recap: Genetic Garden looks at:
Your current diet, exercise, family history
Your goals and motivations (ie. weight loss, improve skin, fertility)
These are used to create a personalized plan including diet, exercise and other behavior modifications.
A full-length analysis and plan from GG is much more extensive, but this will help to paint a picture.
What Goes Into My Plan?
Focus on healthy aging, the brain, and clear skin.
My current issues
-Skin issues: inflammation on/around eyes
-Family history of Alzheimer’s, Macular Degeneration, skin cancer
-Stress levels apparent through tension in wrist and toe
-Mental health: teaching Pilates, play with Moose and Willow (pets) boosts my pleasure endorphins and promotes relaxation
-Social connections: strong family and friends
-Exercise: 4-5 days a week; 3 days of Pilates, 1-2 days of HIIT
BCMO1- leads to an inability to convert beta-carotene to retinoids. Associated with: Macular degeneration, varicose veins
APOE- One of many genes associated with Alzheimer’s
MTHFR- a decreased ability to convert forms of dietary folate to a bioavailable form that is used in innumerable physiological functions.
VDR- vitamin D receptor gene that impacts calcium absorption and gene expression. Associated with many issues like osteoporosis and heart health.
Plus many others that a full-sized plan would expand upon.
What My Daily Routine Looks Like
My recipes and the science-y portion of why I eat what I eat is below.
Smoothie + chia on top
OR hard boiled eggs on mashed avocado + pico de gallo on crispbread
Water + Ritual supplement
Think about my day, visualize my plan
Coffee + cinnamon
Walk dog, Work out/Pilates
Snack: Apple + nut butter + cinnamon OR perfect bar OR hard-boiled egg
PooPoo platter: crispbread, turkey, tomato, avo, eggplant hummus, pickled peppers and everything else but the kitchen sink
OR Homemade Caesar salad + chicken breast
Tea Ginger/turmeric/Adaptogen + ACV
Bike ride if I have time
Lentil pasta with spicy tomato “vodka" sauce + broccoli + pecorino romano
OR Skin on salmon with roasted peppers + asparagus
Eating without distraction
TRF window is 10 hours
Shower scrub- to detox skin; with left hand for bonus brain health
Bedtime: Oil diffuser/noise machine, guided meditation
Decrease phone time- my eyes are very sensitive to blue light
Why My 8 Daily Habits Work For Me
1. It is gut-focused with probiotics 2x/day of 2 different sources (keffir + ACV) to relieve inflammation and antibodies produced in gut that create poor skin barrier and lead to irritation. I'll include before-after pics in a future post.
2. I eat for my hormones: fat, protein and fiber EVERY meal. All three components are needed to tell your brain that you are full. Without any one of them your brain will remain in hunger mode (read: store calories), while not allowing you to burn calories. Food--> hormones--> physiology & mood--> dictates my mental and physical day (read: happy and productive or sad and slow!)
3. I begin with a large glass of water by my bed- one of the few non-negotiable parts of my day. It refuels each and every cell of my body lifting me back up like a flower after rain, figuratively and physically. Next, I have my first cup of coffee with cinnamon, which regulates cortisol spike that can come from straight caffeine.
4. Tea everyday! The easiest way to hit your daily antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and herbs for detox and brain health. Adaptogen tea helps my stress hormones (who doesn’t need this??). Having a small herb garden also ensures my daily dose!
5. High intensity and aerobic exercise every week: Both forms of exercise aid in improving memory as well as growing new brain cells.
6. Cruciferous veggies everyday to help my body boost its natural detox pathways. I bike around town unavoidably inhaling many dangerous environmental toxins.
7. My window for eating is usually less than 10 hours to adhere to time restricted feeding (TRF)- a practice that boosts metabolism, weight management, all while maintaining muscle growth.
8. I try my best to eat without distraction. Meaning, no phone, no TV, not while driving or doing other chores. This simple task of focusing on my meal helps drive satisfaction and digestion all while eliminating my innate desire (and ability due to working from home!) for mindless eating that only satisfies nerves or boredom.
My Recipes and Why Their Nutrition Work For Me
Smoothie- spinach + ginger + lemon + Nuttzo + goat milk keffir + berries
One of the easiest way to get folate is frozen spinach. Plus, it begins my day with hormone regulating components. I top with chia so that my digestive enzymes are stimulated through chewing. I always use nut butter, preferably Nuttzo, because it has Brazil nuts- an incredible source of selenium
(read: produces glutathione, the bodies most powerful antioxidant).
This is a great psychological treat as well- knowing you’ve checked off a large nutritional box before work!
Eggs- they contain compounds otherwise hard to get like: retinoids and choline, integral to brain and eye health. The good stuff is golden, don't throw out the yolk!!
Pasta sauce- tomato sauce + tahini +avocado + lemon +chili + fresh basil
Did you know you could absorb a higher quantity of vitamin A when the source (tomato) is mashed and coupled with a fat? Tomatoes contain two specific phytochemicals required for eye health: lutein, zeaxanthin.
I stick to goat and sheep cheese vs. conventional cow cheese for ease of digestion.
Caesar dressing- anchovies + EVOO + lemon + garlic + egg + vinegar + SP + chili
I know I probably lost you at anchovies but trust me, mashed into dressing or even into a pasta sauce they are an awesome umami flavor bomb!! Not to mention, pound for pound, the best source of many nutrients we all lack!
Did you know the vast majority of women do not get the recommended calcium that’s essential for aging? Also, raw garlic is one of the most potent protectors of your immune system!
These simple recipes make up my genetic deficits for vitamin A, calcium, folate, vitamin D and O-3 specific for: brain, women’s, and aging health. Check, check, check!!