Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Purpose of Protein

We will begin our discussion of the macronutrients with protein.


What do proteins do in the body? Why are they so important?

Protein provides the structural basis for our body: building and repairing our muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, blood, hormones, neurotransmitters, cell receptor sites, antibodies, and enzymes.

As you read and learn about what protein does in your body, please consider this question – are you eating enough protein?

Let’s take a closer look at the functions of protein:

Building and repairing muscles, ligaments, and tendons – this is obviously an extremely important function. Building and repairing is a continuous process. One example is exercise. Exercise breaks down muscle and then the body builds newer, bigger, and stronger muscle in its place via the repair process. Protein is essential for a strong body. If you have had a recent injury or are recovering from an injury protein is even more important.

Organs and glands – these are at the basic operating systems of your body. The heart and lungs for breathing and circulation; the stomach, small intestines, large intestines, and pancreas for digestion; the liver for hundreds of functions including keeping the blood clean; the endocrine glands for producing the hormones that regulate and monitor how your body functions. Protein keeps these systems up and running!

Nails and hair – for beautiful glowing hair and robust nails protein is an important ingredient.

Hormones – regulating and controlling all the key processes of your body. This includes blood sugar control, stress response, metabolism, and the menstrual cycle to name a few. Along with neurotransmitters the hormones determine how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally at any given moment.

Neurotransmitters – neurotransmitters are very important as they keep us mentally sharp and decisive. Quite simply – neurotransmitters give us the ability to be happy, alert, remember, and focus. There are two types of neurotransmitters. Excitatory neurotransmitters energize, excite, stimulate, focus, learn, and remember. Inhibitory neurotransmitters keep us happy, relaxed, and peaceful. As with most areas of life, it is all about balance.

Antibodies – a critical part of our immune system to keep us healthy.

Enzymes – the catalyst to all the chemical reactions in our bodies.

Where does protein come from?

Proteins come from both animal (meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, eggs) and plant sources (whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds). When we eat protein we are actually consuming amino acids. Different proteins have different amino acid compositions.

Among the amino acids there are nine that are considered “essential.” Anytime you hear the word “essential” in nutrition it means we need to eat that specific nutrient because our body does not manufacture it. Other “essentials” are some fatty acids, Vitamin C, and minerals.

Since our body is constantly building and repairing itself, it requires a constant supply of protein. Therefore I recommend protein be consumed with each meal.

What proteins should I eat?

MEATS: Beef, bison, lamb, veal, lean pork
POULTRY: Chicken, turkey, duck
SEAFOOD: Any fish or shellfish, fresh or frozen
OTHER PROTEINS: Legumes (beans and peas)
NUTS & SEEDS: Nuts and seeds such as: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw or dehydrated. Natural nut butters where oil rises to the top – avoid commercial brands (containing hydrogenated oils and sugar).
DAIRY: Eggs, Butter, Cheese, Cottage cheese, Yogurt without added sugar
GRAINS:

· Sprouted grain bread

· Whole grain breads/crackers

· Whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, millet, wild rice

· Whole grain cereals, pastas – i.e. oatmeal, health store cereals

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.

We Are What We Eat

Every now and then it is important to return to the fundamentals. Whether we are hearing something for the first time or it is a familiar concept, each time we engage it supports our understanding. With that in mind the next few articles will review the fundamentals of nutrition. We will look at the big picture, then break it down into its components, and take a closer look at how our body works and how we nourish it.

This article looks at the big picture. I like the bank account analogy. There are deposits and withdrawals. We want to build our deposits so we have a surplus of nutrition which translates into good health. When our withdrawals are greater than our deposits we will have nutritional deficits leading to poor health and disease.

The human body is amazing. There are thousands of chemical reactions happening simultaneously, every second. That is life! For life to exist the body requires energy and building materials. This comes from what enters our body in one form or another, mainly from the food we eat and the air we breathe. Without these the body cannot continue to function.

But, there is an important difference between basic functioning and thriving.

Our diet is critical to our health. We are what we eat. What we put into our body is what it has to work with. And remember – this is a volunteer activity. We choose what we put into our body.

We classify “food” into three broad categories called the macronutrients – protein, fat, and carbohydrate. “Macro” because we need these foods in relatively large amounts. We also have the micronutrients – vitamins and minerals. “Micro” because we need these nutrients in relatively smaller amounts. The last of the “big six” nutrients is water. Over the next several articles we will explore these macronutrients.

This classification system generates some questions right away. Exactly what is larger, what is smaller, and how much of each? We will explore these questions in subsequent articles. In addition, virtually all foods are a combination of these nutrients, so it is somewhat difficult to completely isolate these components.

Real foods in nature appear in combination. Think of the first food for humans – mother’s milk – it contains all of the nutrients.


What do these nutrients do?

Protein provides the building blocks, while fats and carbohydrates provide energy. Protein can be broken down into carbohydrate to provide energy upon demand. Vitamins and minerals support the biological processes that occur in our body. Without their support our body will not function optimally. Most disease stems from deficiencies of various nutrients.

When it comes to providing energy fats and carbohydrates do it differently. Think of a fire. A carbohydrate is like a piece of paper. You put it in the paper and it burns up quickly and to keep the fire burning more paper is needed quickly. Fat is like a log. It burns smoothly, steady, and for a much longer period of time. Vitamins and minerals provide the sparks for the fire.

We will be discussing protein, carbohydrates, and fats in more detail. At this point I’ll keep it real simple about vitamins and minerals. In short, they are found in real foods. These are the foods that are listed in all the sections on what to eat. Eat the recommended foods and your diet will be filled with all the vitamins and minerals that you need.

In the next article we will explore protein.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.

October 2012 Newsletter – What’s Your Blood Telling You?

Fall Greetings! The Fall is here and Winter is just around the corner. As we look outside we see how nature is preparing for the coming changes. Whether or not we think about it, our body is getting ready for the changes also. Here are a few suggestions on supporting our body for the new season: http://brwellness.blogspot.com/2010/09/foods-for-autumn-nutrition-ideas-for.html

This year’s fall is special for me as I open my new office in Mequon. I have consolidated into one space so I can more efficiently (and less stressfully) serve my clients. I am excited to share space with wonderful practitioners and healers. Meet them here http://www.brwellness.com/contact.htm.

I also want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge those who joined me this month doing the purification program. Great job! I heard many wonderful stories of success and “not having felt this great for years!”


What’s Your Blood Telling You?

Not that I like to brag or anything, but I recently had my blood work done and the results were fantastic. Despite eating all those eggs, red meat, and butter my cholesterol and triglycerides were all at excellent levels along with everything else. Not only were the levels “normal” but the vast majority of them met the more important criteria of being “optimal.” If you remember from past discussions – optimal is what we want.

The typical scenario I encounter is a client who does not feel quite right, goes to the doctor for a blood test, and then is told everything is “normal.” This is because according to the lab it is. However, there is a significant difference between “normal” and “optimal.” The lab range tells you results for that lab and if you are in range it means you are within the normal curve of 95% of that lab’s population. This does not mean you are healthy or optimal, just within the 95% confidence interval (remember Statistics class!) and termed “normal.” By the way, who generally gets their blood tested? Yes, people who think there is something wrong!

As a Certified Technician in Whole Foods Nutrition, I am trained to analyze basic blood test results, interpret nutritional status, and identify areas where supplementation may be helpful. Rather than looking at the blood test results in terms of being outside or inside of a pathological range, we look at optimal ranges. If you are not optimal – either excess or deficient – that implies a specific nutritional status that should be addressed. With the results from these tests we are able to design a food plan and a nutritional support program specifically for you.


October Special – Free Blood Chemistry Analysis

Do you want to be optimal? As an October Move-In Special I am offering a free blood chemistry analysis. All you need is a recent (within 1-2 months) blood chemistry report from your doctor.

If you do not have one you have two options – request one through your doctor or what I would recommend as it is likely more cost effective is to use DirectLabs.com. That is who I used. It is not covered by insurance but for those of you with high deductible policies it is a great deal. I had several tests done that cost around $250 that would have been over $800 had I gone to the lab my doctor recommended.

From DirectLabs I recommend the Comprehensive Wellness Panel which was under $100. If you add in Vitamin D it was around $140. You can check them out at www.directlabs.com.

Here’s a testimonial of how helpful this can be:

“After a routine blood screening ordered by my Internist, I learned that I was anemic and that some of my other counts were off. I was sent to a Hematologist and a GI doctor. Eight vials of blood, an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and small intestine camera study later, it was determined that I had no blood or GI cancer, and that I should go to Walgreens, buy some iron pills, and come back in 2 months to be retested. Instead of going to Walgreens and taking the over the counter, highly constipating, stomach upsetting synthetic iron pills, I went to Bernie. He reviewed my numbers, gave me iron capsules that didn’t cause any ill side effects, and several other supplements as well.

When I went back to the Hematologist today to get my results he couldn’t believe the improvement and asked me what I was taking. He had NEVER seen such a dramatic improvement in such a short time. He even asked for Bernie’s contact information he was so impressed. When I asked him if I should continue taking the iron supplements (you can have too much iron) he told me to “ask Bernie, and follow his advice.” I am obviously thrilled, relieved, and VERY grateful to Bernie!”


Reminder My New Location is Open – One New Location to Better Serve You

My new space is now open. The address is 10040 N. Port Washington Road with easy access off both the Port Washington Road and Mequon Road exits off I-43. Phone numbers and e-mails will remain the same.

I am part of the Well Body Wellness Center sharing office space with several fantastic practitioners. We have acupuncture, massage, skin care, and life coaching.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.