In this Encore show, I’ll reintroduce you to episode #38 When Plants meet Fats.
This show is a great support in helping you understand the value of increasing plant-based foods in your diet and how healthy fats can add to the deliciousness of plants while supporting your health.
This is also a great opportunity to jump into my Plant Based Bingo Challenge and see how you can learn to love plants without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
Referred to in this show:
Read Full Transcript Below:
This is Laura Lummer, the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm a healthy lifestyle coach, a clinical Ayurveda specialist, a personal trainer, and I'm also a breast cancer survivor. In this podcast, we talk about healthy thinking and mindfulness practices, eating well, moving your body for health and longevity. And we'll also hear from other breast cancer survivors who have reengaged with life, and have incredible stories to share. This podcast is your go-to resource for getting back to life after breast cancer.
Hello, Hello, Welcome friends to episode number 144 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I am thrilled as always to be here today with you. And for you to be here downloading listening to this show.
So thank you, if you are a repeat listener, thank you. Thank you, thank you so much for continuing to come back to the show time after time. I'm so happy and hopeful that you get something out of it each time.
And if you are a brand new listener, thank you for listening to the show. And for checking it out today, I really hope you get something out of it.
And this show is a little bit special tell you why. Because I am going to be traveling in the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland when this show airs. And as I was getting ready to take this trip to Iceland, which is something I am so incredibly excited about, I'm taking it with my sisters, with my daughter, and with my niece.
I am just so excited about the adventure we're going to have, it's going to be amazing!
But while I'm wrapping everything up and getting ready to go on this trip, it's really important to me that I also practice what I preach, and that I honor my own limits, that I honor the amount of energy I actually have, and the amount of tasks that I need to get done in, you know, dotting all the i's and crossing all the T's in my life and, and packing getting ready for a trip.
So I decided that I would do an encore show this time. And I went and I looked back through the episodes of the podcast. And I thought you know, there's one, Episode Number 38. It's called when plants meet fats. And it's a great show because it supports what a lot of what I've been doing with the members of the breast cancer recovery group, and with the members of my Revived Membership Experience and Empower Membership Experience this month.
So in the Revived Membership Experience, we have been working on whole health.
And that means everything that impacts our health. The way that we think about the relationships that we're in the environment that we surround ourselves with, and of course, the things we eat and put in our body, on our skin, and the way we move our body, all those things.
So I looked back through the previous podcasts that I've done. And when plants meat fat, when plants meat, fats really stood out, because I think it supports a lot of the work that these amazing women are doing right now. And it helps us to get an understanding, there's some great information in here about plants, and why it's important to increase our consumption of plant based foods in our diet. Now when I talk about plant based eating, and we have the the plant based bingo challenge, a lot of people think oh, that means I have to be a vegan or that means I have to be a vegetarian.
And so and some people use that terminology for that reason, and I get it, it's totally cool, I understand.
But what I'm trying to promote is just getting more plant foods into your diet, because they're so good for you. So anti-inflammatory, so healthy, so many phytonutrients. And I'm not even going to go into it in great depth, because I talked about it in the podcast.
So I want you to enjoy this podcast, listen, get a lot of great information. And I think it will really help support those of you who are doing the plant based bingo challenge. And for those of you who are not or this is the first time you're hearing about it, you might want to if you're not already in the breast cancer recovery group, which is my free Facebook group, you might want to pop in there and join and see all the amazing posts that are going to be going around that these women are doing to help get a better understanding and have fun incorporating more plant foods into their diet.
Alright, so one caveat that I have to say here because I almost didn't post this podcast. I don't ever go back and listen to previous shows unless I'm specifically going to be doing something with the content in them. And I gotta tell you, one of the best things I ever did as a podcaster was invest in the podcast microphone I use now. So when you listen to this show, it was number 38. It was old days podcasting. I think at that time I was still sitting on the floor in my closet and recording right into the computer. So the quality is not as clear as the introduction or listening to now, but I still think it's, it's fine.
And hopefully, you'll just focus on the great content that's in it, and how that information can support you in creating a healthy diet or a healthier diet for yourself after breast cancer. Because I know this is a huge challenge.
You know, it's creating a healthy diet and incorporating lots of plant foods in our diet is a challenge for everyone anyway, but it's especially we kind of pile the concern on top of it after breast cancer when we have so much fear of what should I eat.. what is safe to eat.. what or even rebellion against what to eat.
...And, you know, I had cancer, screw it, I'm going to indulge in eating, I have everything I want to eat and live life to the fullest with all the indulgences.
So I get that too.
So I hope you check out the show and enjoy this encore presentation of when plants meet fats. And that if you are partaking in the plant based bingo challenge that it supports you and helps you get some more ideas or a clearer understanding of why you're doing something great for yourself.
And I will talk to you again next week.
Welcome to Episode 38 of the breast cancer recovery coach. I am Laura Lummer. And you are listening to the breast cancer recovery coach.
Today's show is when plants need fats, and we're going to talk about two of the most popular theories of eating that are out there right now.
Plant based eating, which does not necessarily mean vegetarian or vegan, and we'll talk more about that later.
And the ketogenic diet.
We'll talk about the science behind both of these diets and why they're recommended for keeping cancer away and for supporting people that are currently in treatment for cancer.
If you've never heard of the ketogenic diet, please check out episode #8: five facts you need to know about the ketogenic diet and breast cancer.
That show will fill you in on the basics of the ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, and the science behind why it's touted as an effective nutrition plan for weight loss and cancer protection.
So March is international Nutrition Month. And I love to talk about nutrition. I'm fascinated not only by how what we eat influence, how our bodies work, but on how the one thing that is so impactful on how we feel, how we think about how our skin looks, how we celebrate traditions, how we remember special occasions, how we plan a romantic evening, or a birthday celebration, or how we recover from an illness is so controversial, so confusing, and has so many different perspectives.
I mean, what is one other health topic that is more overwhelming and more controversial than nutrition?
Isn't it kind of weird?
I mean, the one thing besides drinking water that we have to do to live, and we literally can't decide the right way to do it.
What the heck is up with that?
How is it even possible?
If you're confused by this to know that you are not alone?
In the 2018 food and health survey conducted by the International Food information council Foundation, that's a long title. they surveyed 1009 Americans aged 18 to 80. And they did all the math, and all the waiting that statisticians have to do to make sure that the survey was representative of the 328ish million people in the United States.
And what they found was that 59% of people doubt the nutrition choices they make. Not only did they find that people weren't sure what to buy to feed themselves or their families. But they also experienced higher levels of stress when they were shopping for food because of the sense of uncertainty.
So here's a few interesting findings from the survey.
We are more likely to buy foods that are familiar to us regardless of their helpfulness.
And I love this one, there was a 50% increase in interest in purchasing sustainable, pesticide free foods from just one year ago from 2017.
Seven in 10. consumers would be willing to give up a familiar favorite product for one that did not contain artificial ingredients.
60% of people surveyed drank water, rather than caloric beverages to cut down on sugar consumption because 83% of people believed that sugar was the most likely type of nutrient to cause weight gain.
Yes, and 59% of respondents had at least a somewhat negative perspective of added sugars.
That is great news because according to oncology, nutrition, and I quote, "all carbohydrates you eat are broken down to simple sugars in the intestine, where they're absorbed into the blood, increasing blood sugar levels, the pancreas releases insulin in response. And many types of cancer cells have plenty of insulin receptors, making them respond more than normal cells to insulin's ability to promote growth," unquote.
So this leads to our main topic, eating more plants, and more fats, for lack of a better word eating ketoterian.
So the basics of a standard ketogenic diet are to consume 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 75% healthy fats.
Now, at first, that sounds pretty cool, right? I could eat 75% fat.
...bacon, butter cheese, heck, yeah, I'm all in all over that right?
Well, first of all, those aren't healthy fats. So slow your roll when it comes to bacon, butter, and cheese train.
Also, eating a high fat diet can be very flavorful and satisfying at first, but then what happens when you wake up one day and you're craving a flour tortilla because you've restricted so many carbohydrates?
You know what I'm saying, sustainability.
It's a big part of any nutrition plan. And what I found when I checked out the ketogenic diet was that I started to get grossed out by all the cheese and cream and animal proteins, I really felt like I was missing fresh food. And I didn't feel like I was eating in alignment with either my consciousness or my preferred tastes.
Now, I love to read cookbooks, as I've said before on this show, and vegetarian and vegan cookbooks are among some of my favorites. Because when I cook with more plant based ingredients, it just feels right to me. I love the colors, the fragrances, and the textures of vegetables, and I was really missing them. And this doesn't mean that I don't eat meat. And I especially love to eat seafood. And I love cheese. But I don't need them in every meal. And I feel better when my diet has more veggies in it.
So I think this is an important thing to point out. Just because you go to Barnes and Noble and pick up a vegan cookbook doesn't mean that you're committed to labeling yourself as a vegan, you're just learning to cook with more variety. And I think one of the biggest downfalls or misunderstood aspects of low carb, high fat dieting, is grouping fruits and vegetables in with the dreaded carbohydrate.
Now, vegetables are carbohydrates, we have three macronutrient groups and vegetables fall under carbohydrates, right? They're not fats, they're not proteins, but they're also filled with fiber and water and vitamins and minerals. And the barely newly and fantastically understood phytonutrients that we know are so beneficial for our health, we're just even beginning to figure out what all these phytonutrients do.
So the whole idea of eating low carb is to avoid spikes in or consistently high levels of blood sugar. And this is important for overall health, maintaining a healthy weight preventing the onset of diabetes in preventing cancer.
According to the May 2018 Harvard health letter, every 10% increase in consumption of ultra processed foods was associated with a 12% higher risk for cancer in general, and an 11% increased risk for breast cancer. So in order to prevent consistently high levels, or spikes in blood sugar, ketogenic and plant based eating steer you away from eating these ultra processed foods.
One of the guidelines for weighing the impact of carbohydrate containing foods on your blood sugar levels is called the glycemic index or gi. The glycemic index is a scale that rates carbohydrate containing foods on a scale from zero to 100. And it's measured by eating a food on its own on an empty stomach and then watching the rise in blood sugar over the next two hours.
So foods that score 55 or less are considered to have a low glycemic index, a score of 56 to 59 is considered medium, and a score of 70 or higher is high glycemic index foods.
However, like many clinical observations, they can be useful guidelines but you really have to put them in the context of real life. So the GI score is based strictly on the carbohydrate in the food with any fiber or water anything else being removed from it. So it's a little skewed because we don't typically eat foods on their own and we don't extract the carbohydrate and eat it on its own unless we're eating with super high ultra processed food and ultra processed diet.
So this led to the development of a more realistic scale called the glycemic load.
And this measurement takes into consideration the amount of carbohydrate just in a serving of food.
So here's an example of how much the score can change when we measure it against the glycemic index versus glycemic load.
So on the GI scale, watermelon receives a score of 80, which makes it a high gi food. But on the glycemic load the GL scale, that's a tongue twister where a score of 10 or less is considered low, watermelon scores a five.
This is because the GL scale looks at the actual serving of the food with all of its parts intact. And as you know, watermelon is mostly water, I mean, it's in the name. So serving a watermelon eaten in its whole form doesn't have the blood sugar spiking effect, that the GI scale might lead you to think.
And the reason that I want you to understand this is to alleviate this carb phobia when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables.
So here I am, I was thinking I prefer more of a plant based diet, I also want to eat in a way that gives me the best chances of preventing a cancer recurrence, as I'm sure you all do, and also preventing me from developing type two diabetes, because diabetes is something that has run in my family. And diabetes has also been established as an independent risk factor for breast cancer, increasing the risk in postmenopausal women from 16 to 27%. And that is a lot of risks.
Now I personally know women who've taken tamoxifen or other aromatase inhibitors for years to combat a risk of cancer recurrence that's even lower than that amount. And the great thing here that is changing your diet to lower that risk has the side effects of weight loss, reduced fatigue, and more energy, which are much easier to tolerate than the ones that I remember dealing with when I was taking tamoxifen.
Finally, I also want to eat in a way that protects my heart because there's quite a bit of heart disease in my family. So this sent me on the path of searching for the best of both worlds. I wanted to find a plant based diet that was dairy free, grain free, but still full of healthy fats and offered flexibility within the eating plan. So it didn't cut out animal products entirely. Because I believe in intuitive eating. And I want to be able to select what I eat, based on how I feel, based on what I noticed my body needing, and based on foods that are in season.
So within the parameters of what science has demonstrated is best for preventing disease. I want the freedom to eat consciously, intuitively, and deliciously, and with a little indulgence peppered in here and there.
So let me just emphasize that deliciousness is a key factor for me.
I am not the health minded person that eats kale chips, just because someone said the good for me. If I don't like a food or feel satisfied eating a meal, I'm out. And now that doesn't mean that I'll turn around and eat crappy food or junk food. It just means I know there are good healthy foods and ways to prepare them so that they're delicious. You should never feel deprived, following a healthy nutrition plan.
I don't know if I've ever shared the story on the show. But I was a fan for a long time of the biggest loser. I just found that show fascinating. And I love Jillian Michaels.
But one of the things that really upset me was when they would take the contestants who were doing the best or earned this reward. And they'd bring them back to their family for say, a weekend away from the ranch. If you ever watched the show, they kept them on a ranch. And they'd come back to their families and their families would be ready with this feast, this wonderful celebration of all the foods that they normally would eat when the family gathered and got together for special occasions. And then on the far end of the table or the counter, there would be this veggie tray that someone picked up at Costco. And the biggest loser contestants would be like, wah wah wah...I get to eat the veggie tray.
And I thought that's just such a shame to give the impression that following a healthy lifestyle is mandatory that deprivation is included in that because that's not the case.
Why would we not have gone and said hey, look at all these fabulous foods that you eat as a family and that are part of your tradition? And let's rework these foods so that they're still delicious, but they're a little healthier for you, and you still all enjoy them because you'd be amazed at how much flavor can stay in them?
Okay, deliciousness mandatory component of eating!
So in my research, I came across several plant based keto cookbooks, but they were filled with tofu and other weird ingredients that I could barely pronounce, let alone figure out where to buy. And so those books just didn't make the cut. Not that I have anything against tofu because I don't and I enjoy preparing it. But I want variety and I don't want tofu to be the stand in oftentimes people think if meat isn't included in a meal, you gotta throw some tofu in there.
And I don't believe that that's the case.
So I kept looking, I came across a wonderful resource, and that was Maria Emmerich's easy, dairy free ketogenic recipes. Maria Emmerich is a woman who's published dozens of ketogenic books, and every recipe that I've tried has been delicious. One of my favorites, absolute favorites is the seafood bisque from her keto comfort foods book.
Oh my gosh, it's absolutely delicious!
But I wanted more than just dairy free. I wanted more plant based in addition to being dairy free. So I kept looking until I came across my holy grail. So this book is called ketoterian.
It's the name of the show.
The full title is ketoterian, the mostly plant based plan to burn fat, boost energy, and crush your cravings, and calm inflammation.
Now this book is not only very informative, but it's easy to read., I contain a four-week meal plan. It's totally spelled out for you. And there's even a chapter with recipes on seafood, which I love and a sprinkling of instant pot recipes., so if you're in the whole Instant Pot fan group like I am, you'll love those as well.
Some of my favorite recipes from this book are the berry cream parfaits with toasted coconut, the mushroom red wine ragu with brussel sprouts, olives, and herbs. And the amazing probably one of the top five favorite dishes I ever, ever have had poached eggs over tomato Olive caper sauce with fresh oregano.
I mean, that dish is fantastic!
Dr. Will Cole is the author of this book, and he's a functional medicine practitioner, which means his practice is to use food, herbs, and lifestyle to support and heal his patients.
I also love that he designed this book with an understanding of the importance of intuitive eating. And if you're not familiar with intuitive eating, it's something I'll talk a lot about in other shows and work within nutrition programs and with Ayurveda.
It's this Ayurvedic concept that's been translated now into our Western culture. But it's really tuning into your body and noticing what your body needs not just eating out of habit, not just eating out of instruction because someone else told you to do it.
But noticing what do I need right now?
And that's why having flexibility within a diet is so important. Noticing if maybe today you need a little more carbohydrate, noticing if you're really needing some fruit in your diet, increasing fruit in your diet, but just paying attention and trusting your intuition to know what's best for you.
So let me address some of the most obvious questions about plant based ketogenic eating.
Number one, if you're not eating dairy, how do you get enough fat? Because what's one of the first things we turn to with fat?
Dairy, right cheese... cream... butter.
So there are so many wonderful healthy fats sources, like coconut oil, avocado oil, macadamia... sesame... peanut. And if you have nut allergies, of course, there's always olive oil as well. Other sources of fat include avocados, nuts, seeds, ghee, which is clarified butter, coconut milk, and non dairy yogurts that are made with either coconut or almond milk.
The great thing about nuts and seeds in the ketogenic plant based diet is that they're both sources of fat and protein. Even eggs have five grams of fat, basically in each egg.
Number two, if you're not eating meat, how do you get enough protein?
I was a vegetarian for many years, and I remember people just being baffled at that. We'd sit down to dinner and especially my family members would say, What do you eat? If you're not asking me what do you eat? And I would say, Well, what do you eat mean you don't just sit down to a chunk of meat on your plate, right? You always have other things that go with your meat.
That being said, I want to remind you that being an advocate of intuitive eating, I'm not saying that you have to eliminate meat. I'm just suggesting that you find as many ways to incorporate plant based dishes into your nutrition plan. But if you're an avid carnivore and that speaks to you, and it makes your body feel good. serve these dishes alongside your favorite meats or incorporate them right into the dish. Aside from animal proteins, plants provide more protein than you might think. And you can get plenty of protein from a well balanced and I am going to emphasize well balanced, completely vegetarian diet.
And the reason I want to emphasize that is that I have known more than one vegetarian or vegan who consumes french fries multiple times a day on a regular basis. and that's not the kind of plant based diet I'm talking about.
Dr. Cole and this book provides charts with the protein content of various veggies and seeds. And you can also google it right on your phone easy to find out how the protein content in any plant or plant based food and easy to find out anything with Google, right?
I use personally a protein powder every morning in my smoothie, and we're talking about plant based protein powder is not plant based. Again, just saying that this is the one protein powder that's actually the smoothest you know, it's not clunky. It's the best tasting. It doesn't have an aftertaste. And so it's my go-to every morning in my smoothie before I go to the gym, I put this protein powder in its called pure paleo protein and its base is hydrolyzed Beef.
I know that sounds really gross, but it doesn't taste like a hamburger. When my trainer first told me about I thought, are you kidding me, I'm going to put meat-flavored protein in my smoothie.
But that's not what this is at all.
This protein goes through a process that extracts the peptides and collagen so it's very bioavailable. And it really is the only protein powder I've ever used, that doesn't have that funky aftertaste. It's just good. It's smooth, and it goes down really easy.
So again, if you're not interested or committed to having a fully plant based nutrition plan, you can incorporate things like this as well.
Number three, why is it important if I have or have had breast cancer to follow this kind of diet?
Well for details again, go back and listen to episode eight, where I talk in great detail about this way of eating about the ketogenic diet and all of the science behind it. But the cliff notes version is that both plant based and ketogenic diets have been shown to reduce inflammation, which is a root cause of cancer and many other diseases. They've been shown to regulate blood sugar, which as I said earlier, also regulates insulin response, which is important in keeping hormones that stimulate growth away from cancer cells.
And according to the theory of the Warburg effect, which I talked about in great detail in episode eight, keeping carbohydrates to a minimum starves cancer cells of the glucose that is a significant contributor to their growth and to their multiplication.
So if you have questions or if you have ideas or comments regarding eating a plant based ketogenic diet, I would love to hear from you. And I invite you to find me on Facebook and post your feedback. I love hearing from you. And if you enjoy listening to the breast cancer recovery coach, please take a moment to leave a positive comment or some stars on a review on the iTunes Store.
The more interaction the show gets from you, the easier it is for other survivors to find it.
So thank you so much for your continued support. And as always, I will post links to the resources I talked about in this show on the show notes page of my website.
I'll talk with you again in two weeks and until then, let your lifestyle be your medicine along with some really good food.