My summer vacation was packed with days of blissful nothingness. I did nothing on the couch, on my friends couch, the beach, and of course at the pool. Any place that nothing needed to be done, I was there to do it. It was wonderful.
Part of my nothing time included reading a highly recommended book called Wired To Eat. Author Robb Wolf is most famously know from his first New York Selling/WSJ book The Paleo Solution. Wolf is biochemist researcher turned health coach and believes strongly in following a paleo diet.
This book goes beyond the average carbs are bad and protein is good spew that we’ve all heard. He has used biochemistry to explain how carbohydrates affect human physiology. Wolf became an advocate of the paleo diet after he used it to turn around his own health. He also explains how he’s been able to help many of his clients do the same.
There are many ailments that Wolf speaks of in his book with the main topic being type 2 diabetes. He gives a brief but thorough review of endocrinology and explains how our hormones are regulated. Luckily for me, I was able to follow his explanations because I just studied insulin, glucagon, and other hormones in biochemistry and endocrinology.
Wired to Eat & Sleep
He makes a strong case on how sleep affects hormone regulation. Which, I knew but just never really connected the dots quite like he did. Sleep is definitely something I lack, especially being in medical school.
Don’t mess with cortisol!
Everyone knows sleep is important but sometimes we need reminder. Certain hormones spike at certain times during the day while others are regulated by our circadian rhythm. For example, cortisol typically spikes earlier in the morning around the time we wake up and tapers off during the day right before bed. It’s easy to piece together how irregular sleep could disrupt this cycle.
Check out the graph from my physiology text-book below.
Melatonin is also another important hormone that regulates our sleeping pattern. I recently purchased some melatonin supplements to help me regulate my sleep. Fingers crossed. I present these two graphs just hammer in the importance of regular sleep. Irregular sleep will disrupt your mood, stress level, appetite, and more.
Wolf also dives into other important related health issues such as stress (related to excess cortisol), mental issues, and personal relationships. Many people have an unhealthy relationship with food with me probably being at the front of the line.
In my family, food is always at the center of family gatherings. And, we didn’t celebrate with a veggie tray and green smoothies. Growing up we didn’t know the standard American diet was the root cause for so many chronic diseases. Had we of known, I’m sure many of my deceased family members would still be here today.
The health community however has so many different ideologies of what they consider healthy that it’s hard for the average person to discern what is real versus what is propaganda. The one thing I can I think that most of us can agree on is that eating processed and fast food is not healthy.
7 Day Carb Test
I’ve always said that certain foods will react differently in each person. This is one idea that I completely agree with Wolf about. I’ve always wanted to do an elimination diet and then slowly reintroduce food one by one to see how my body reacts.
The idea is to figure out which foods don’t agree with my digestive system. Wolf recommends doing this and testing your blood sugar 2 hours after each new carb source. The idea is to find which sources of carbs work for you. Since I’ve always wanted to do it, I’m going to give it a shot.
I’ll devise a plan and share my experiences. The goal is for me to drop some weight, get rid of my brain fog, and figure out which foods cause me to bloat and make me sluggish.
If you’ve read Wired to Eat, tried his plan, or have completed an elimination diet tell me about your experiences.
Striving to make practical changes for healthier lifestyle.