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Posted by Jerelyn

Food Bites with Dr. Hyman – What Kind of Protein Powder Do You Recommend?

Mark Hyman, MD


In general, most protein powders readily available to consumers are filled with unnecessary sugars and even artificial sweeteners.   Essentially, most are packaged foods and contain a lot of junk – including ingredients that you wouldn’t find in your grandmother’s pantry, can’t pronounce and wouldn’t grow in your own garden.

Ultimately, I suggest using protein powders made from whole food sources of protein, such as raw and soaked nuts or seeds (such as hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin or sunflower).  These provide the protein, the bulk/texture and satisfy without unnecessary additives.

If you must use a protein powder, then I suggest you consume in moderation and look for the following qualities in your protein powder:

Opt for plant-based protein powders made with hypoallergenic ingredients such as hemp, rice or pea (or even a combo). Specifically, avoid whey protein (a common ingredient in many health store protein powders) unless you are certain that you tolerate dairy.  Most whey protein is denatured and sweetened and thus, biologically ineffective.  If a product has whey in it, be sure to look for “whey protein concentrate” and avoid whey in its isolate form.

Low toxicity. Ensure your protein powder is third party certified stating the product is low in heavy metals and toxic residue.  You can verify your protein powder is high quality by looking for a GMP label certifying that the product was manufactured in a facility adhering to proper industry production standards.  The protein powders that I provide my community all have paper trails declaring their purity and that high quality standards were used in the manufacturing process.

Pure and Simple. Protein powder doesn’t have to come all dazzled up with extra reinforcements such as probiotics, green or red plant powders, vitamins, fats or super nutrients.  Often, product manufacturers make the consumer feel like they are getting greater value by listing a whole bunch of additives.  The truth is that the minute amount and the quality of these added ingredients render them therapeutically ineffectual.  So keep it simple and pure – just buy the simplest protein and save the other stuff for your REAL food.

There should be only one ingredient in your protein powder – the source of protein.  There should be no additional sweeteners or flavorings.  This is easier said than done.  My team and I spend a lot of time seeking out the best products to recommend and provide our community.  Yet even we are challenged with finding completely unsweetened options.  If all you can find is sweetened powders, then look for one that uses REAL sugar as the sweetener.  When reading the label, look for these ingredients:  real vanilla (or chocolate), and real cane sugar.  Avoid products that list “natural flavoring,” high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or sucralose.  Additionally, avoid any ingredient that ends in “ol” such as –  sorbitol, maltitol, erythritol or xylitol.  Bottom line – a little added sugar is fine but again – keep it real!

alternate textMark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality—and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. He is a practicing family physician, an eight-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine and a medical editor of The Huffington Post.

Posted by Jerelyn


Renewing Your Mind
(from The Daniel Plan – 40 Days to a Healthier Life)

Philippians 4:8 is one of the most powerful, emotionally healing verses in the Bible. One of the cornerstones to success on The Daniel Plan is to reign over your moment-by-moment thoughts, so that with God’s help you can stay in control of your behavior.

Neuroscience teaches us that every time you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel good or bad. Thoughts exert a powerful influence over your life and body. Whenever you have a happy, hopeful, or optimistic thought, your brain releases chemicals that raise your spirits and encourage you to feel good. Positive thoughts exert a physical response and have the power to immediately relax and soothe your body. They tend to warm your hands, relax your muscles, calm and soothe your breathing, and help your heart beat in a healthier rhythm.

Try this exercise now: Take a minute, close your eyes, and think of the last time you felt truly loved. When most people do this exercise, they feel a deep sense of happiness and physical relaxation.

The opposite is also true. When you have an angry, anxious, hopeless, or helpless thought, your brain releases chemicals that stress your body and disrupt how you feel both physically and emotionally. Take a minute, close your eyes, and think of the last time you felt really angry. How did that make you feel? Most people feel tense, their breathing becomes shallower, their hands become colder, and they feel angry and unhappy. Now go back to the first exercise before you continue reading!

Thoughts are automatic. They just happen. They are based on complex chemical reactions and information from the past. And what most people don’t know is that thoughts are sneaky and they lie. They lie a lot. It is often these uninvestigated thoughts that provide the emotional fuel for anger, anxiety, depression, and unhealthy behaviors such as overeating.

Plus, if you never question your erroneous, negative thoughts, you believe them 100 percent and then you act as if the lies in your head are true. For example, if you think your husband never listens to you, even though he has on many occasions, you act as if he doesn’t, and you feel justified in yelling at him. If you think you are a failure, even though you have had many successes, you are more likely to give up easily.

Over the last forty years, mental health practitioners have developed cognitive behavioral therapy to help people rein in and control their erroneous thought patterns. When you correct negative thought patterns, it is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, depression, relationship problems, and even overeating. Researchers from Sweden found that people who were trained to talk back to their negative thoughts lost seventeen pounds in ten weeks and continued to lose weight over eighteen months, proving this technique works long term.

 To get and stay healthy, start by noticing your thoughts and questioning them. Whenever you feel sad, mad, nervous, or out of control, ask yourself if they are really true. It is often the little lies we tell ourselves that keep us fat, depressed, and feeble minded. Being overweight or unhappy is as much a “thinking disorder” as it is an eating or mood disorder.

Is it true?
 “Is it true?” Carry these three words with you everywhere you go. They can interrupt your thoughts and short circuit an episode of bingeing, depression, or even panic. One of our participants weighed 425 pounds when he first joined The Daniel Plan. When one of the doctors asked him about his weight, he said that he had no control over his appetite. That was his automatic response, “I have no control.”
“Is it true?” the doctor asked. “You really have NO control over your eating?”

The man paused then said, “No. That really isn’t true, I do have some control.”

“But just by thinking that you have no control, you have just given yourself permission to eat anything you want at any time you want,” the doctor replied. It is the little lies that you tell yourself—such as “I have no control” or “It is my genetics”—that steal your health.

One of the most important steps in getting healthy in a lasting way is to get control of your mind. Whenever you feel anxious, sad, obsessive, or out of control, write down the thoughts that are going through your head. Recording thoughts helps to get them out of your head. Then ask yourself if the thoughts make sense or are really true. For example, if you hear yourself thinking, I have no control, write that down. Then ask yourself, “Is it true? Is that thought really true?” If not, replace that negative, false thought with correct information.

When you stop believing these lies and replace them with accurate thinking and God’s truth and promises, your response to life events will shift, and you will feel less stressed and more hopeful. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, you can linger on truths such as Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

For more information on renewing your mind and getting rid of negative thoughts – check out The Daniel Plan – 40 Days to a Healthier Life

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DR. DANIEL AMEN is a physician, double board certified psychiatrist, teacher, and nine-time New York Times best selling author.  He is the founder and medical director of Amen Clinics in Newport Beach and San Francisco, CA; Bellevue, WA; Reston, VA; Atlanta, GA; and New York City, NY.  Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling more than 90,000 scans on patients from 111 countries. 

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