Monday afternoon the FedEx guy knocked on my door and delivered the ultimate holiday gift.
No, this gift wasn’t something I’d use once or twice and then put up on a shelf. In fact, I can use it every single day – sometimes twice. Depends on what I eat.
A couple years ago, I posted my most popular video Poopin’ 2.0 in which I explained the importance of going number two with proper form. The design of our modern toilet is actually not so physiologically-friendly, leading to many potential problems including incomplete elimination, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis.
Since I uploaded Poopin’ 2.0 I have heard from literally hundreds of people – both men and women – who have thanked me (sometimes with very graphic stories) for altering their daily trip to the john.
Saves paper. (Squatting is eco-friendly, too!)
As I state in the video below, I get a lot of free stuff from companies hoping that I’d help them market their products. Ninety-nine percent of the time I decline.
But when Mr. FedEx dropped off The Squatty Potty the other day, I could not wait to share it with you.
This thing is super cool! It’s stylish. You can stow it away by sliding it under your toilet bowl. And it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb in your bathroom like the old plastic box I used to use.
I’m so pumped about The Squatty Potty that we’re giving away TWO of them!
You know the drill. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below about why you want a Squatty Potty. I’ll draw 2 names out of a bag on Monday morning and announce the winners by video.
Contest ends Friday, December 9 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.
It’s definitely not as easy as calorie-in/calories-out. That seldom works from anyone in the long term!
Why? Well, because your body is super smart and wants nothing more than to ensure your survival in times of famine (either real or self-induced).
Since it’s the giving season (isn’t it always?), here’s a section on the forgotten fat loss hormone leptin from my ebook The Dark Side of Fat Loss. The only thing you’re missing are the really cool graphics that go with the text.
If you’re not much of a reader, you can watch the video instead.
Chapter 2: It’s All About the Hormones
The Dark Side knows that dieting makes you fat.
It knows that every time you go on a diet, you end up heavier than you were when you started. This is no coincidence. It’s just basic human physiology with a dash of logic.
Your weight gain is not a simple matter of overindulgence and indolence, but of survival and miscommunication. You are NOT a gluttonous sloth with a predisposition for stuffing your face all hours of the day while planted firmly on your backside. There is a perfectly good answer as to WHY you eat too much and move too little. It’s just that no one bothered to tell you until now.
The answer is not one of psychological defect — you just want to be fat — or thermodynamics, but of hormonal imbalance.
Getting All Hormonal
Hormones are the chemical messengers that tell your cells what do. Since your body is made up of 50-75 trillion of these cells, you certainly want to be sure that they get the right messages and do the right things. Your health depends upon it.
Hormones do it all. They are what make you a man or woman. They put you to bed at night and wake you in the morning. They govern your heart rate and blood pressure. They calm down your anxieties and relieve depression. They help you digest your meals. They control your sex drive. They fight stress and infections. They regulate your blood sugar. And they are also responsible for the burning and storage of fat. Any and all attempts to lose fat without first restoring the proper function of the fat-burning and fat-storing hormones will be in vain. Hunger and hardwiring trump willpower every time.
Many volumes and literally hundreds of thousands of pages have been written on how hormones impact human physiology, function, and fat storage. In fact, the human body contains more than 100 different hormones. This stuff can get pretty darn complicated! So in this chapter, we will cover the basics. If you wish to go deeper down the hormonal rabbit hole, please refer to the recommended materials and scientific references at the end of this chapter to further your understanding.
While we’ll keep it rather simple here, I guarantee these fairly basic concepts will go well above and beyond anything you’ve ever heard or read before regarding how your body burns and stores fat. I even recommend you break out a pencil and paper for note-taking. As you take notes you’ll likely end up with a messy sheet of paper with arrows pointing from each hormone to several others, demonstrating their interdependency. This hormonal interplay exemplifies the extraordinary balancing act your endocrine (hormonal) system must perform in order to keep your body’s fat burning furnace fired up.
The interdependency among hormones is both a gift and a curse. Like dominoes, when one hormone falls out of balance, others soon follow. Imbalances can be a matter of excess or deficiency. In other words, you don’t want too much of a hormone and you don’t want too little.
To illustrate this concept of too much or too little, let’s consider the amount of water you drink. If you drink too little, you become dehydrated and your body begins to shut down. If you drink too much, you can throw off your electrolyte balance – a condition called hyponatremia – and end up in the ER. Neither situation will lead anyone to believe that water is bad for us. The problem resides in its excess or deficiency.
Check out this clip from last week’s UW Radio show with Dr. Daniel Kalish. In this segment, the doc explains how the use of antidepressant medications can deplete serotonin levels in the brain over time.
He also talks about why the medication Abilify is needed when serotonin levels drop too low from use of SSRIs.
Please note that Dr. Kalish is not against the use of antidepressant medications when used properly.
To learn more about how you can boost neurotransmitter levels naturally with amino acids, click HERE to listen to the entire show.
I know you want to watch today’s video, but last night’s radio show was an Instant Classic that you must listen to NOW. And when you’re done, please send it to as many friends as you can.
Dr. Dan Kalish rocked the UW Radio house, as we discussed neurotransmitter deficiencies and how they related to weight gain, cravings, depression, anxiety, and more. It was certainly one of my favorite shows ever.
As I was getting prepared for our show, I decided to go to Whole Foods and pick up a few of the supplements he recommends. I feel amazing! I guess I had a dopamine deficiency going on. A little 5-HTP, tyrosine, and B6 has me happy as a lark today (and super productive, too!).
Several weeks ago, as I scrolled through my Facebook news feed, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a cartoon of a young woman holding a ginormous plate of veggies – carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, and all. Beside her read these words:
Try Organic Food…or as your grandparents called it, “Food”.
Thoroughly impressed with the impact of such a simple statement and illustration, I immediately shared it with my friends. From there, it spread like wildfire. All day long, my cell phone lit up as fellow real foodists posted hundreds of comments in support of all things organic.
For that one day, the organic movement owned social media. You can only imagine the sense of delight this gave me. Yet, at some point my fervor happened upon a tinge of melancholy.
I felt shame, as if I could just as well have responded to the cartoon with an SMH comment (that’s social media-speak for Shaking My Head). No, this shame was not for anything I had done, but rather an empathetic shame for those who have created what I call our fool’s gold food supply.
Only in our modern food system must we choose between foods sprayed with poisonous chemicals and those that are not, while the powers-that-be go to great lengths to convince us that these items are one and the same.
Personally, I like my food poison-free.
While we butt heads debating over the nutritional superiority of one category of food over the other, many of us tune out the environmental impact of our egregious conventional farming practices and supermarket purchases. Pesticides in our water supply. Dead zones in our oceans. Reduced carbon sequestration in our soils. Nutrition aside, we should be eating with our environment in mind.
As I write this, I am reminded of these compelling words written by Eric Schlosser in the foreword to Maria Rodale’s Organic Manifesto,
“Pesticides are poisons. They are manufactured to kill insects, rodents, fungi, and weeds. Organophosphates—one of the most common types of pesticides—were developed in Nazi Germany to be used as chemical weapons. It was later recognized that the same sort of nerve gases formulates to attack soldiers and civilians would be used against agricultural pests.”
More people need to know this.
I long for the day when organic rules social media once again. But what I long for even more is the day when a cartoon like the one that sparked that memorable day is no longer necessary, a time when organic owns the consciousness of not only the fellow real food enthusiast but the average person, farmer, and legislator.