Day 3 - Dr. Mark Lucas Explains His Food Plan and My Gut Already Feels Better
These are notes I transcribed from the talk I had with Dr. Mark Lucas yesterday about his eating plan.
This is the fundamental food plan. This is based on macro thought. Macro is basically proteins, carbs, and fats. You want to try to eat 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, 30 perfect fat. Don’t worry about the 30 percent—just try to get a little bit of fat in every time you eat, whether it’s a capsule, olive oil, butter, etc. Maybe buy some flax oil. Take a half a teaspoon or a teaspoon.
Essentially you can eat anywhere from 3-5 small meals a day. Essentially this is to get you out of the habit of snacking on crap between meals and from eating big meals. We’re just going to graze. Make sure you have protein with each meal. Vegetables.
If you can, try to do lentils, brown rice or wild rice as a staple.
As far as portion size of protein—it’s not a lot—anywhere from three – four ounces. It’s not very much. It fits into the palm of your hand.
Cut out all caffeine at least for a couple of weeks. If you can go a month without caffeine, that’s good. You can do teas—you don’t get that big hit—more natural.
A typical day of eating is very simple. The creativity comes in with what kind of veggies you’ll use. Always have brown or wild rice and lentils prepared and in the frig—you can prepare enough for four or five days. Chop up veggies as soon as you buy them and store them in Tupperware in the frig so they are always on hand.
There are lentil kits in the stores now that come with spices. We’ll chop celery, eggplant, and/or bell peppers in there to make it heartier. It’s a quick meal.
One day in the week buy the protein you’re going to eat and either chop it or slice it and put in Tupperware so you’ll have it right there when it’s time to eat. If you do this initial prep, it doesn’t take any time to eat. For lunch I had arugula, some mixed greens, some chicken, some beef. I had chopped red bell peppers, celery, radishes, and I poured olive oil and vinegar on it and it took me about three minutes to prepare, and only a few minutes to eat.
So boom. Done. It’s lunch. It’s light. It covers all the bases, and it’s easy on the system and you’re not loading it down with lots of other crap. Sodas are crap. Get in the habit of drinking water.
Eating is the time to rest and digest. Digestion is parasympathetic. That’s the calming part of your nervous system. You want to be in that mode so that you are actually digesting. If you do stimulants while you eat, you are completely throwing your digestion out of sync with what you’re asking it to do. That leads to distress.
With all that said, what you’ll probably notice is that the first week you might crash and burn fifteen or twenty minutes after eating. Either nap or go for a nice easy walk until it breaks. We think our body releases insulin based on what we eat, but your brain programs based on your habits. So if you’ve been eating a certain way and then all of a sudden you change it, your body doesn’t automatically adjust the amount of insulin it releases. So if your old habit was to eat a lot of sugar, your body’s going to produce a lot of insulin probably for the first week. The first week you might go hypoglycemic after you eat because your body is reacting to what your brain was anticipating. So just go to sleep. The first week follow what your body is asking you to do.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. Every meal doesn’t have to be amazing. You can make it what you want. Food can be an incredible experience or it can be what it is: fuel to give you energy for what you want to do during the day.
The twenty most common foods that people eat as identified by the Foundation of Nutritional Health are
In comparison, the top twenty-one antioxidant foods listed in descending order are
Raw sunflower seeds
Soy bean (watch out for processed soy)
Raw oats (not preflavored)
Dark wheat bread (feels heavy, solid)
Pizza (veggie, thin crust)
Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus, spinach
Beans—pinto, lentil garbanzo
The first list is inflammation producing. The second list is anti-inflammatory. We want to get in the habit of a paradigm shift so our habits look more like the second list than the first. It’s not that everything on the first list is bad, it’s the combination of all of them, as the list is high glycemic. Very acid forming.
Learn what fruits are low glycemic—aim for about 40 or under. Fresh raspberries/strawberries, for example, score about 32/40. Blueberries are actually pretty high. Cherries are pretty low.
It’s all about how fast they impact your blood sugar. Peaches are right on the cusp. It depends on what kind of apple you choose, so check them individually.
When we eat this way, instead of relying on the sugars we ate to give us energy, these low glycemic foods let the body convert fat into fuel. If our blood sugar spikes, our body isn’t going to use fat for energy, it’s going to deal with the energy you just put into it. It wants to get that sugar burned out. The low glycemic concept is really about keeping the blood sugar stable. The body then starts to convert fats into energy—the body likes to be stable. From a fuel source, fat is very slow burning and very stabilizing. Your body is designed to control blood sugar on its own, but you have to feed it the right foods.
If we’re eating foods that dictate what our blood sugar is doing, then we are in trouble because that’s dictating my energy swings and my moods. Then my brain programs to, Oh, I always feel happy when I eat a Ding Dong, so I’m crashing, I need a Ding Dong. The paradigm shift you’ll experience in a month or so is that you’ll start to crash and you’ll crave slices of chicken or red pepper. You’ll crave a bowl of lentil because your brain is adjusting to the new food sources. It’s practice. It doesn’t happen overnight, which is why the first year is probably the hardest. You like to eat the ice cream. You like to eat the pasta. You like all that stuff that you’ve always eaten.
I’ve been into green beans lately. I quick saute them with some olive oil and soy sauce so you cook them hot and fast. They cook but they’re still crunchy, and the soy sauce burns a little bit so you get that sweet crunch and salty flavor. We keep them in the frig for snacks. I have a little bowl, maybe five or six spoonfuls, and I’m good. It’s a different flavor that helps you break the crap, the bag of chips you might be craving. Olives and pickles are also really good for this. That surprise of flavor. They are taste explosions and really healthy.
You have 3’s, 6’s, and 9’s. Nines are primarily from fish, but they’re not from the fish themselves. The omegas come from what the fish eat—the algea. The 6’s are from plant sources, and the 9’s are from olive oil, and so it’s universal structurally. Your body will break it into 3’s and 6’s. No one knew why olive oil was so important, why wars were fought over it, but now they know: it’s a universal fat. Olive oil, put a little bit in everything. Even smoothies.
It’s okay to be hungry. You want to get into your body. Be hungry. Being hungry is getting onto your body. It’s a natural response. Being full and bloated and stretched out on the recliner is not a natural response. You want to practice getting into your body, get hungry once a day. Experience what that feels like in your body. There is some research that suggests if you get hungry your body secretes more growth hormones. So, what’s wrong with that? It’s a healthy natural response.
Here’s a trick, a get into your body trick. Find a song that resonates with you, and listen to it, and listen to it over over and start to hum with it. Feel the vibrations in your body. Sing the song. Feel the vibration of the song you are singing in your body. I do this all the time, and I notice that I’m always happy. I’m in a good place.
(End of transcript)
So I’m nearing the end of day 3. I have followed this plan and my stomach is calm. I did wake up in the middle of the night with a stomach that was hurting a little, and I’m pretty sure it was because I shoveled a lotof greens into my gut the night before.
I am still working on the idea of moderation when it comes to portion size. I’ll be writing about this soon.
My poop was good today. It wasn’t epic, but it was…contained. Thank you for asking.
The very best part though, was last night. I was on the phone and I was talking my head off and I realized the fog I am often talking through was not there. My eyes and head felt clear. It was marvelous.
It’s hard for me to comprehend how just a muffin in the afternoon can derail my whole system from butt to brain, but it’s becoming clear to me. I never, ever pour orange juice or canola oil into the gas tank of my car. Why? Well, I know those things will muck up the system and I’ll create all kinds of damage and then not be able to go where I had intended. And yet I can pour almost anything into my system and I expect a smooth ride.
I’m going to decide what kind of car I am. I love the door handles on the Teslas. I gotta look around and think about this.
See you tomorrow.
Dr. Mark Lucas. Proactive Healthcare. San Jose.