BarbetteSpitler.com

Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

ARE YOU FULL?

hqdefaultMany people are surprised to learn the human stomach is supposed to be the size of a human fist. Not just any fist, though. That particular human’s fist. Regardless of age, height, or bone structure, the human stomach is designed to be only as large as the size of a gently closed fist.

Ever wonder why a newborn is only able to take in 2 ounces at a time? Gently close up their hand and notice… that is the size of their stomach. They simply cannot hold much volume. Thus, they take in a few ounces at a time and when the body has properly digested and used or stored the calories taken in, the body will signal it’s need for more when its ready. That signal is… hunger. When an infant has taken in more volume than the stomach can hold, the body will expel the excess. It’s simple and it’s logical (and messy).

Are you full?” is a question many parents ask their children before they allow them to leave the dinner table. “Finish your food”, is a statement that teaches them to finish a volume of food regardless if they are satiated or not. The parents are unwittingly teaching the children to eat because it is there and they are expected to clean their plate. But what if they are no longer hungry? Why would we encourage them to eat more than they need or want? Why?? From this moment forward, let them leave food on their plate! Next time, give them smaller portions. And if they want another serving later, make it a half serving! And you serve it up for them  Don’t rely on their ability to judge proper portions.

Let’s talk about… portion size.  A dinner plate for a child should be much smaller than that of an adult. So use a smaller plate for children! Control the portions of the food going on that plate and do not be distracted by their cries for more or their wails of  how unfair you are to them. If they are still hungry, then can have more later. But when we know the size of their stomach, we also know they are not physically hungry after they have eaten – they are deceived by the visual effects of the portions or the sight and scent of the food. It is much easier to give the children a few extra bites later, than it is to take away food once they have been condition to larger portion sizes. When I see parents giving their children plates of food the same size as their adult dinner plate, I am horrified. We are setting these children up for a lifetime of overeating.

I understand some parents become weary of their children have 6-8 mini-meals throughout the day. However, that is exactly how the human body was designed to eat. Only when hungry and only enough to satiate the hunger. Many people do not even know what true hunger signals are anymore because they eat for emotional reasons or because the food is readily available and they are enticed by the sights or smells of the food.  If adults ate frequent small meals like little children, there would be happier, healthier people in our culture.

I also understand there are also children who have learned the pattern of saying, “I’m finished” at the dinner table (because that food doesn’t excite them) only to cry “I’m hungry” an hour later in order to have a favored snack. That pattern is more about parental manipulation by a bright child and less about their physical hunger and need to eat for fuel. I do not encourage big meals and snacking. I do however encourage small meals and snacking, if the snack standard in the household is limited to fruits and vegetables.

When we eat more volume than our stomach can hold, the stomach has to stretch to accommodate the volume. An occasional overeating episode will stretch the stomach and we are temporarily uncomfortable (Thanksgiving Dinner perhaps). However, as the food is digested and moved out of the stomach, the stomach will return to its proper size. This process can be slowed significantly when there is a combination of foods that digest at different rates and in different ways. The slower the process of digesting the food, the longer we are uncomfortable, have heartburn or feel bloated.

Chronic overeating (over-stretching) causes the stomach to remain stretched out – similar to over stretched elastic bands. It takes more volume of food to fill a stretched out stomach. More volume means more calories are taken in than the person can utilize thus the body stores the fuel as fat for the famine that never comes. This is the process of gaining weight and it happens fast! For many in our culture, this process leads to obesity, diabetes, and a whole host of illnesses and dis-ease.

It’s simple. Eat too much volume for several meals, the body will adapt by stretching the stomach to accommodate the additional volume. Eat too much volume over a period of time and that stretch will not easily bounce back. That adaptability by the stomach can actually become a problem for us humans. It would be much easier if our adult body would expel the excess like an infant instead of stretching to adapt.

During an episode of “My 600lb Life”, the gastric surgery showed the size of the person’s stomach. It was larger than a football. Imagine trying to keep up with the volume needed for her to feel “full”. She simply couldn’t eat enough! She ate as much volume in one day that a normal sized stomach would have in a week. After speaking with others who have been morbidly obese and lost weight without bypass surgery, they tell me it takes weeks for the stomach to return to it’s normal size. Weeks of portion control – meaning they returned to eating the volume of their gently closed fist rather than trying to get to “full”. When their body realized they were not starving (no famine here), the body began properly adapting again to their new normal. They lost the excess weight and the discomfort and the chronic health conditions!

What about you?  Do you eat to the point of being “full”. Do you encourage family to “fill up”. Can you leave food on your plate? Have you ever tried having smaller meals more frequently? I’d love to hear your experiences.

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THE TASTE OF THE TONGUE

images-9The human body is designed to digest the foods of the planet and use that energy for fuel. The foods of the planet are easily digested, absorbed, and converted to energy. It is not designed to use the body’s energy to digest processed foods. It’s just that simple! Yet, it is processed foods that tickle the taste buds. It is the sweet. It’s the sweet and salty combined. It’s the hidden sugars that tantalize the tongue and leave us wanting more and more. Whether it’s healthy or not doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is the taste on the tongue!

The human body is designed to use food as fuel. Imagine eating as the input valve for the body’s energy source. (Like the gas tank for a car.) We take in food, covert it to energy for immediate use or store it up for later use. The tongue helps us to move the food in our mouth for more efficient chewing and it aides in the process of swallowing. It also has taste buds that help us to discern the basic nature of the food including salty, sour, bitter, spicy, and sweet. In our culture, the sweet has won us over.

The human body is designed to eat only when hungry and only enough to stop the hunger. We were not designed to eat until we are “full”. We have done ourselves a terrible disservice by teaching ourselves and our children to eat until we are full. Maybe that was a condition of centuries ago when famines were feared. But that is no longer a threat for our culture. The illusion that we must eat until we are full has caused an entire population of people to over eat. Over eating stretches the size of the stomach and we have to intake more food quantity to reach “full”. The cycle continues until we have a morbidly obese human with a stomach organ the size of a football instead of the size it was designed to be – the size of our fist. Regardless of your age, height, or bone structure, the size of your stomach is supposed to remain the approximate size of your closed fist.

The human body is designed to eat the foods of the planet. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds all have enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are far more complex than we can fully understand. They work in synchronicity with each other in such a way we cannot duplicate with scientific measures. The foods of the planet were created/designed to fuel the body with energy for activities and to sustain life. Although scientists try to fractionate the elements out of the whole foods to design specialty vitamins or try to genetically alter natures bounty in order to make it “better” – there is nothing better than the whole foods… as nature intended for us.

The human body is designed to digest minimal amounts of meat. Fresh meat that was caught or killed and shared with others… fresh off the bones. If cooked, it was added to vegetables for a stew like meal or eaten by itself in small amounts. The human body was designed to eat more foods from plants and less food from animals. Meat as the main event in our meals does more harm to our bodies than good. We were not designed to handle the processing of meats (or any foods) like we eat today. And it’s literally killing us. Our culture has more dis-ease and chronic illness than any other. The dietary intake of our culture is the primary culprit.

When I think of how our body is designed to eat healthy foods of the planet, I am continually amazed at how often we choose to eat based on taste and taste alone. We live by the taste on the tongue! We will eat with no hunger noted but anticipating the taste of the food in front of us. We have become so addicted to sweet and the need for sugar on our tongue that we are as addicted as any cocaine, heroin, or meth user! The research has shown sugar to be that addictive! And, we allow it to be the front runner in our dietary choices. From coffee based sugary beverages and so-called sports drinks to breakfast cereals and other highly processed products we call “food”… sugar is added! I believe if sugar were discovered today it would be FDA regulated. We know it is a primary factor in deteriorating health conditions like diabetes and all inflammatory diseases. Sugar feeds bacteria, viruses, fungus and cancer cells. Yet, we still choose high sugar foods admitting, “it tastes soooooo good!” It is literally the taste on the tongue… a muscle in the body less than 2x4in.

Take a look at your own food choices. Does the taste of the tongue guide your food choices? Do you follow the SAD diet (Standard American Diet)? Do you seek healthier food choices? Do you recognize food is fuel not just a tantalizing treat for the tongue? Or are you way too fond of the sugary, sweet desserts and snacks? Do you think you might be addicted to sugar? Ponder your food choices this week and then revisit this blog and comment below!

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Change My Friends!?!?

84633959afc236bcad8429b8235015adChange My Friends??  But ONE friendship can change your whole world!

This weekend I heard a quote that caused me to pause a moment.  I wrote it down.  It was thought provoking.  I’ve been pondering it all weekend.  “If you can’t change your friends, it’s time to change your friends.”

I am an RN of 25 years who shifted to health & wellness advocate.  My career is health promotion and disease prevention.  I encourage people to take action to clean up their diets and learn to fuel their bodies with quality nutrition.  I educate people about nature and nurture.  I introduce people to holistic and complimentary supplements and modalities which will enhance their health and wellness.  My wish for everyone is the best physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health possible.  Yet, I recognize I am considered an odd ball in my circle of friends and family.  I am often teased and many poke fun at me for my beliefs, my suggestions and my lifestyle.  I am sometimes disappointed when I cannot affect change with/for them.  I am aware some of my friends and family ignore me,  thinking I am just sharing my opinions.  However… I am schooled in nutrition.  I have researched nutritional supplements and holistic methods.  Thirty years ago my opinion was that food only needed to taste good!  Fast forward through degree programs and research and I KNOW for certain, food is fuel!  It is the major ingredient in our physical performance, our mental capabilities and our emotional balance.  No Oreo or Dorito can provide that fuel and we are silly if we think it can or will!

I know people in my circle who don’t want to believe that food is the major player in allowing dis-ease or  promoting good health.  But change friends just because they don’t think the same as I?  Change friends because they smoke or drink or carry around an extra 50 pounds?  Change friends because I can’t influence them enough to want to enhance or improve their health?

Twice I was over 200#.  Once was while pregnant with twins.  I have carried extra weight and yo-yo dieted most of my life.  I understand the addiction to sugar because I lived it.  I attended Carbohydrates Anonymous (which I think is now known as Food Addicts Anonymous).  I was addicted to Diet Pepsi.  I totally understand the issues!  AND…I am a nurse with over 25 years experience in ER, ICU, Home Care and Hospice.  I have seen the affects of drug interactions, recreational drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and poor food choices.  We humans want to think food is about “tastes good” rather than “fuels well”.  We want to ignore the connection to what we put in our physical gas tank affects our physical, mental and emotional performance.  Egads… how do we not SEE the connection??  For a long time, I didn’t!  Yet, change my friends because they see things differently?  Wouldn’t that be like changing my friends because they have different religious or political beliefs?  I’m still pondering this….

I asked Damn-Near-Perfect (my husband of nearly 32 years) for his thoughts.  His words of wisdom….”When you surround yourself with people who don’t believe you, don’t “get” you, and don’t want to hear what you have to offer, it hurts your heart and makes you doubt your place on the planet.  When you surround yourself with people who think like you do, you will never again doubt yourself and what you do.  ”   WOW.  WOW.  WOW.

Deep Breath.  A few tears.  And now…..

Changes Ahead!!

Changes next exit

 

 

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Drinking cows milk? Why?

My family was raised on a small 30 acre farm in Ohio.  We milked cows, made our own butter, had a HUGE garden, baled our own hay, butchered our own pigs, cows and chickens and we canned the vegetables we grew.  We drank milk every day.  It was fresh, raw, organic, grass fed, hormone free and healthy!  

     dairy_cow_with_calves  Back then, all cows were grass fed.  That’s what they are supposed to eat – GRASS.  They have a complicated digestive system designed to eat grass.  NOT CORN or grain!  So, feed a cow mostly corn and guess what?  You have a sick cow.  Sick cows don’t grow well.  So guess what?  They receive antibiotics to keep them fighting off the infections AND hormones to make them grow despite their illnesses.  ICK!  And then….  milk the cow and serve up that antibiotic and hormone laden stuff and call it healthy.  Well, it’s not! 

       After the cow has released its milk, the milk is now pasteurized.  That process alone changes the proteins in the milk and makes them non digestible for humans.  Did I mention yet that cow’s milk is made for baby cows.  Consider this… Feed a baby cow the milk sold to humans and they won’t live long enough to reach the age of butchering.  Moreover, calf’s fed pasteurized milk will be underweight, low energy, and have poor quality skin and fur, which cannot be used for leather.   

       Furthermore, if you are drinking milk because it’s “does a body good” or “builds strong bones” consider this:  The calcium that WAS in cows milk is attached to those proteins which were denatured in the pasteurization process and guess what?  We don’t get the calcium from the milk! 

       If you are drinking cows milk, organic or not, if it’s pasteurized (and you have to work really hard to find a farm willing to sell it to you raw), you have to ask yourself   WHY?   Like the taste and have no expectations of health?  Think moderation  < 1 glass/day.  If you are looking for calcium – get it where the cows used to….   Green Leafy Veggies!

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