Happy Healthy Homestead

Book Review: Wired to Eat

This month I read ‘Wired to Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You’ by Robb Wolf

Favorite Quotes:

“That’s it. You should move because you like and it makes your life better…you need to do what you like to do, as (not surprisingly) that is what you are likely to stick with.”

“The problem today is that we have a near infinite variety of foods that completely bypass our neuroregulation of appetite. These foods product a degree of stimulation in the brain that leaves normal food looking and tasting awful.” (instead of following mainstream guidelines of eating less and moving more, try the 30 reset which will help to rewire your neuroregulation of appetite)

Main Takeaways:

Robb makes the point that we are biologically wired to eat. However, in today’s world with hyperpalatable foods full of sugar and empty carbs, that’s what gets us in trouble. Not all calories are made equal (so using a dieting plan that is counting calories is not effective). 500 calories of broccoli and 500 calories of donuts are going to affect you profoundly different. While he recommends doing a 30 day reset of eating clean foods, for long term success he recommends a personalized approach that you create for yourself based on what foods you react to (not only food sensitivities but insulin sensitivity as well). He suggests a personalized paleo type of diet where you cut out sugar and highly processed foods as a baseline. He suggests doing a 7 day carb test to see how insulin sensitive you are to certain carbs. The carbs you test above the normal range you should avoid, which will help to prevent diabetes. He shared various scientific studies throughout the book that I found very interesting. Good points on sleep, movement, and stress are covered as well. Overall, I enjoyed reading Wired to Eat. Robb’s humor keeps you laughing as you read about all this sciency health stuff.

My summary of notes:

Nutrition:

  • Molecules, like the family of proteins related to gluten, cause an inflammatory response in the gut.
  • Many traditional cultures will soak, sprout and ferment their grains which reduces the bad effects of consuming these foods.
  • Autoimmunity begins in the gut. Gluten is not only the trigger for Celiac disease, but also for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus (to name a few).
  • The reason is because Gluten is a tough protein for humans to digest due to its chemical structure.
  • Dr. Terry Wahls had multiple sclerosis that caused her to end up in a wheelchair. After she implemented a low inflammatory diet (customized paleo/autoimmune protocol to include 9+ cups of veggies daily and cutting out grains, sugar and other inflammatory foods), she was able to heal herself within a year and is now able to do long walks and has a much better quality of life.
  • Look up Dr. Wahls TED Talk “minding your mitochondria” for more info
  • Robb works with his local cops and firefighters. Many of them had many health conditions due to poor nutrition and loss of sleep (due to the hours they have to work). After he shifted them to a lower carb, low/no sugar customized paleo type of diet, all of their markers significantly improved and they felt great. Additionally the program saved the city of Reno $22 million in health costs.
  • Where you start and what your goals are can be very different person to person
  • Someone who is obese or who has diabetes may need to have a much lower carb intake in order to regulate insulin
  • He suggests Keto and fasting as distinct tools to be used only by certain people (not everyone)
  • He includes a lot of good simple recipes in the book

Do the 7 day carb test plan:

  • This test will help you to see how insulin sensitive you may be to certain foods. Knowing this will help you to avoid diabetes and other health conditions down the road.
  • Buy a blood glucose monitor (very inexpensive, can get many places including Amazon)
  • Track everything you eat for 7 days
  • Test your Carbs (every morning you test a specific carb at breakfast for 7 days)
  • Only test the food (wait to have coffee, tea, etc until after you test)
  • Eat one type of carb food in the amount of 50 grams (only eat this one type of food, rice for example)
  • Test your blood glucose level 2 hours after eating this one type of food
  • Ideally you will be between 90-115mg/dl. If you are higher than this range then you need to test the food again on a different morning with only eating 25 grams this next time. If you still test high 2 hours later after eating that food in 25 grams then this is a food you should avoid.
  • Test the foods that you normally eat or would want to eat. This could be: rice, gluten free bread, quinoa, lentils, beans, high carb veggie such as sweet potato, and fruits such as banana. He includes a larger list of carbs you can test in the book.

Sleep:

  • Get more daytime sun (walk outside in morning if possible, take lunch outside if possible)
  • Dark evenings (Limit technology, especially close to your face. If you must use the computer late at night use blue blocker glasses)
  • Sleep in a cool, dark room
  • Write down things on your mind before bed
  • Invest in a good mattress
  • Alternating hot/cold shower
  • Consistent bedtime schedule is important
  • Once you are getting the nutrients you need from your food and you stabilize your blood sugar, this will also help to improve sleep
  • If you still struggle with sleep after doing the above, try Dr. Parsley’s “Sleep Remedy” which is a  natural sleep aid

Movement:

  • Most days get out and move (try 10,000 steps goal per day)
  • A few days per week do some type of full body resistance training
  • Good to go hiking/jogging uphill occasionally
  • A few days a week do yoga
  • Make sure to find something you enjoy so that it becomes part of one of your hobbies instead of a chore (Robb likes brazilian jiu jitsu)

Other tidbits:

  • Lowering stress and having community is important to your health
  • Online genetics and ancestry lab: 23andMe
  • He recommends 30 day reset and has a list of foods to give you ideas on what to eat in the book
  • Check out Gretchen Rubin “better than before” book or her website regarding developing habits
  • Check out the good kitchen for ready made meals to do once in awhile

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