Monday, March 14, 2011

Epigenetics and you

Ughh...iPad ate my awesome post about the epiphany I had about exercise and epigenetics. I don't feel like re-writing right now, however here is the short version.

You get handed a set of genes ( thank you mom and dad) BUT how those genes are turned on and off are affected by what we do, eat, are exposed to, etc. So, exercise actually codifies how your genes express themselves. You can't change your genes, but you can change which ones are active. I didn't learn a out this in intro to genetics at York U back in 93!

Some links:

I like this one: Reported information about the impact of a behavior (exercise), inherently involved in the daily human routine, on the epigenome opens exciting new directions and therapeutic opportunities in the war against neurological and psychiatric disorders.

More here for technical geeks:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Food, food and more food

So here's  a dilemna...

I love baking bread. I got a great book by Peter Reinhart "Baking Whole Grain Breads". The recipes are fabulous, and I have two starters in my fridges now. The cinnamon buns were to die for, and I think I'm getting closer to a good rise with the full whole grain recipes.

However, I'm flaring. My joints are unhappy joints, and my cheeks are always rosy but not in a good way (although my lovely husband thinks it's cute). I'm reading again about inflammation, and in addition to getting your Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio right (about 2:1), grains really seem like a no-go. They have a lot of components that promote inflammation and that aren't well digested, including lectins. They also promote increased insulin secretion, which is also proinflammatory.

So...I've been trying to eat mostly vegetables and healthy meats (and eggs), nuts, and some fruits. Which means not playing with my bread book. Very sad on the bread book front...

The good news is, that I get to go meat shopping more often. Sounds silly, but I'm enjoying learning to cook new meats. I've been mostly vegetarian for a lot of my life, and fully veg from time to time (although not recently, as elder son developed full blown allergies to all plant sources of protein about a decade ago --- hmmmm this maybe supports my new meat heavy diet).

Which means I have seen my friends at the Manotick Village Butcher more often (yay!). I have lamb shanks in the fridge now, and can't wait to braise them. Some chicken schnitzel transformed into chicken parmesan with some helpful advice from James earlier this week and the kids loved it. My meatballs with their ground beef are to die for.

It's strange moving from meat maybe three times a week at best to meat twice a day, everyday. However, everything I'm reading suggests that as long as I get healthy meat (read: grass fed) my essential fatty acids should rebalance, and my body should be happier.

Here are some great downloads of articles, for the evidence behind moving towards more meat and vegetables, and less grains.They are from Dr. Loren Cordain who coined the term "The Paleo Diet", and while I'm not going quite that far, there are some great pieces of evidence in there.