Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Carb-Appropriate Podcast episode 5. featuring Lara Briden ND

The Carb-Appropriate Podcast show notes
Episode 5. Feat. Lara Briden ND
Lara is ‘The Period Revolutionary’, a naturopathic physician and world-leader in women’s hormonal health.

5:00 – Lara outlines her early studies and research in evolutionary biology and her background in science as a biologist 25-odd years ago.
6:47 – Women need to ovulate to be healthy!
Most doctors are not thinking about ovulation and health…
7:45 – Is a lot of the blame for poor appreciation of women’s health due to the use of birth control? “[Birth control pills] are castrating women!”
13:00 – Lara discusses possible links between depression and birth control pills.
14:50 – Why was Cliff called ‘the menopause guy’ in the early 2000s (!)
17:00 – How do you approach coming off the pill?
20:00 – Is there a role for the microbiome in the causation and treatment of endometriosis?
21:00 – Cliff and Lara recap some of their debates on the importance or lack thereof for starch in preserving women’s health
25:00 – Cliff agrees that there isn’t ‘one size fits all’ for diet [however he still thinks for most people ‘total fuel availability’ is more important for the preservation of ovulation than the carb content of the diet]
29:20 – Cliff and Lara discuss how to test for insulin resistance as a practitioner
32:30 – How does feeding affect the HPTA axis and hormonal signalling in women’s health
37:00 – Sometimes there can be a disconnect between how you feel and how you’re ovulating…
44:00 – What’s the most important blood measure for health? (Maybe….)
45:00 – Are we just serving the ‘worried well’…and do you need expensive (unvalidated testing)?
47:00 – Lara’s ‘go to’ resources are mostly scientific resources [to read full-text scientific papers for less than $10 a month check out http://www.holisticperformance.ac.nz/join-hpi.html ]
49:00 – “I AM opposed to a vegan diet” – Lara Briden (!!!) 😉
“As a biologist, the vegan diet is not a diet for humans”
[Sorry vegans!]
54:00 – Lara’s tips for staying balanced [Lara is a very busy person and she outlines some of her tips for staying in balance. Tip: a big part of this is to limit social media exposure…]
57:00 – The importance of stepping away from the negativity of social media
58:00 – For our Spanish speaking listeners Lara will be releasing her book in Spanish soon! Stay tuned!

Next up, Lara Briden is one of the featured speakers at HPN 2018 Conference “Innovation and Health and Fitness”
Check out Lara at HPN 2018 along with other speakers Sol Orwell, Julia Rucklidge PhD, Eric Helms PhD, Mikki Williden PhD, Mike Hutcheson PhD (c), Cliff Harvey PhD (c), and Kirsten Beynon MSc. http://www.holisticperformancenutrition.com/hpn-2018-conference.html

Check out Lara’s work and coaching
Lara’s latest book The Period Repair Manual: https://amzn.to/2CuO45f

insta: @larabriden
twitter: @LaraBriden

Remember, Patrons get LIVE access to the Podcast recordings. To become a Patron go to www.patreon.com/cliffharvey

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Monday, October 08, 2018

We're all just a bit f&*%ed up...and that's OK. #MHAW

It's mental health awareness week between Oct 8 - 14, a great time to refocus on what's most important, and what's not. 

A few years back, a client said to me "How do you manage to stay so 'together'?"

I told her that I don't. That I'm a fuck up just like everyone else. And anyone who claims to have their shit 100% together is just trying to sell you something...

I'm smart enough to know that I am good at getting shit done. I am pretty good at what I do (I think) and I think I have a pretty good talent for studying and teaching concepts of health, nutrition, and mind-body medicine.

BUT, the dude that you see giving a talk to a crowd, comfortable, and at ease, funny and jovial, relaxed...is only part of the picture.
The guy you don't see is the person who becomes so nervous about talking to people that he can't pick up the phone when it rings. You don't see the guy who sometimes doesn't leave the house for days on end because he can't face seeing anyone or talking with anyone. You don't see the guy who riddled with self-doubt, obsessed by minutiae to the point of distraction.

You see, I'm good at some things and I work really hard to strive to be even better. But I get messed up from time to time. And that is OK. 
I have bipolar disorder and while I don't want to create a treasured wound, or pathologise myself, or worse, to use it as a means of self-martyrisation, it's important too that more people stand up and proudly acknowledge the totality of who they are, not just the finely curated facade that people create for Instagram and Facebook.

The duality of life is that you can be brilliant at a bunch of things and also be a bit screwed up.
You can be brilliant, but in order to be so, in a way that serves your highest good, you can't do it for anyone else, only for you. For that to occur you have to be honest and humble, you have to respect and honour not just yourself and your journey but others, and the battles they face.
You need to do all of this with the courage to stand up for what is right. But above all, you need to be gentle with yourself. Relax dude, the shit we worry about isn't that important.
Just be kind, to yourself and to the people you see day-by-day, and it'll work out just fine.

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Friday, September 07, 2018

Do you need to have carbs before training?

Many of my clients are confused about whether they ‘need’ to take carbohydrate before training and events.

So, what’s the deal? Is carbohydrate beneficial, neutral, or detrimental when taken before training?

TL;DR – I think that on balance, for many people, carbohydrate is simply not necessary immediately before training and events. My clinical experience has been that many people either a) don’t require additional carbohydrate to ‘boost’ their glycogen stores before training and b) many suffer adverse effects like energy ‘crashes’ during activity if they have large or even moderate amounts of carbohydrate immediately before training.

Key points:
  • Carbs before training inhibit fat usage
  • Carbs before training don’t offer a benefit to training and events < 90 min
  • Low-carb meals previous to training result in longer times to exhaustion (better endurance)
  • Lower-carb, ‘carb-appropriate’ strategies are likely to result in better preservation of glycogen and improved cardiometabolic health and improved fuel usage

Carbohydrate ingestion before exertion is generally associated with improvements in performance for bouts of relatively intensive activity > 90 min but it reduces lipolysis and can lead to hypoglycaemia which can negatively affect performance in some individuals.1-3 It’s also generally unnecessary for bouts of exercise under 90 minutes.
It has been demonstrated that a low-glycaemic index (GI) meal, more akin to one based on a normal, whole-food meal, as compared to highly refined processed carbohydrate foods (which typically have more rapid digestion and assimilation rates) result in lower respiratory exchange ratios and greater fat utilisation. Lower-GI pre-exertion meals result in a 59% longer time to exhaustion, faster performance times, and reduced rates of perceived exertion.4-6 It has similarly been demonstrated that a lower-carbohydrate meal of 30% CHO, 55% fat, and 15% protein is superior for enhancing endurance performance (time to exhaustion) than a high-carbohydrate meal of 71% CHO, 20% fat, and 9% protein.7
At low intensities < 70% of VO2max for relatively short periods (20-50 min), there is no significant effect on performance from lower- vs higher-glycaemic feedings but there is improved fat utilisation and reduced carbohydrate oxidation,8, 9 which provides a likely benefit to the preservation of glycogen, a finite fuel resource when compared to the relative abundance of fuel in adipose (fat) tissue. This has been further demonstrated in work by Achten and Jeukendrup. Both maximal fat oxidation and the intensity at which maximal fat utilisation was achieved, were reduced by the provision of 75 g of glucose in a graded exercise test.10 A systematic review of these effects concluded that a lower glucose load is superior to a higher glucose load pre-exercise.

Overall, for most athletes, especially recreational ones, gym goers, and bodybuilders, there is no benefit to performance from high-carb meals before training and events and there are likely to be reductions in fat-adaptation and fuel efficiency which could hinder longer term fat loss and impair metabolic health. A better option is to simply stick to a ‘carb-appropriate’ diet that provides sufficient fuel overall, sufficient protein and is nutrient-dense. Pre-workout meals featuring protein can provide some benefit to lean body mass and recovery and post-workout protein supplementation and possibly carbohydrate (depending on nutrition strategy, goals, and metabolic tolerance to carbohydrate) can also be of benefit.

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1.            Hargreaves M, Hawley JA, Jeukendrup A. Pre-exercise carbohydrate and fat ingestion: effects on metabolism and performance. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2004;22(1):31-8.
2.            Kuipers H, Fransen EJ, Keizer HA. Pre-Exercise Ingestion of Carbohydrate and Transient Hypoglycemia During Exercise. Int J Sports Med. 1999;20(04):227-31.
3.            Jeukendrup AE, Killer SC. The Myths Surrounding Pre-Exercise Carbohydrate Feeding. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2010;57(suppl 2)(Suppl. 2):18-25.
4.            DeMarco HM, Sucher KP, Cisar CJ, Butterfield GE. Pre-exercise carbohydrate meals: application of glycemic index. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1999;31(1):164-70.
5.            Wong SHS, Siu PM, Lok A, Chen YJ, Morris J, Lam CW. Effect of the glycaemic index of pre-exercise carbohydrate meals on running performance. European Journal of Sport Science. 2008;8(1):23-33.
6.            Salarkia N, Azar KS, Taleban FA, Golestan B. The Effect of Pre-Exercise Carbohydrate Feeding with Different Glycemic Index on Endurance Exercise Capacity. Scientific Journal of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences. 2004;11(1):31-6.
7.            Murakami I, Sakuragi T, Uemura H, Menda H, Shindo M, Tanaka H. Significant Effect of a Pre-Exercise High-Fat Meal after a 3-Day High-Carbohydrate Diet on Endurance Performance. Nutrients. 2012;4(7).
8.            Sparks MJ, Selig SS, Febbraio MA. Pre-exercise carbohydrate ingestion: effect of the glycemic index on endurance exercise performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 1998;30(6):844-9.
9.            Jentjens R, Cale C, Gutch C, Jeukendrup A. Effects of pre-exercise ingestion of differing amounts of carbohydrate on subsequent metabolism and cycling performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2003;88(4):444-52.
10.         Achten J, Jeukendrup AE. The effect of pre-exercise carbohydrate feedings on the intensity that elicits maximal fat oxidation. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2003;21(12):1017-25.