Eating for Energy:

A Balancing Act…

Ok—so the bigger picture with choosing the best Whole Foods (and ditching as may Processed Foods as possible) to both burn fat & feel energized…

involves 3 goals that you have to go for at the same time:

  • Eating Whole Foods that give you the “perfect amount” of the Macronutrients you need, for your current GOALS/DESIRES…
  • Plus strategically getting in key Micronutrients too…
  • While simultaneously cutting out foods that your body treats as Toxins!

Plus additional goals would definitely be--taking steps to optimize your Circadian Rhythms--to help you burn fat, get good sleep and have good adrenal health & energy (I'll show you how to do this with FOOD timing!!)

Plus reducing endocrine-disrupting toxins as much as you can (step-by-step) with your personal care products, cooking tools, cleaning products, ect...AND, getting into a FLOW with movement that you enjoy.

Let's dive into these goals with this Action Guide…

Ok—so Module 2 here has two sections—an overview of these “perfect nutrients” and an overview of these toxins, when it comes to WHOLE FOODS.

Let’s dive in!

A Balancing Act…

Eating for Energy:

Goal #1 & #2—Getting the “perfect amount” of the Macro & Micronutrients you need

All right—so the simplest way to think about this and getting the perfect amount of Macro (protein, carb & fat) nutrients and Micro (like magnesium, sodium, potassium, ect…) nutrients…is that you’re going to want to focus on Making Your Own Food.

And taking a few supplements to get in some micro-nutrients that have been depleted from the soil, thanks to recent agricultural practices like mono-cropping…OR to fill-in certain foods that you may not want to eat. Anywho…

You want to Make Your Own Food…because processed & pre-made food is unfortunately NOT convenient for your health or Weightloss.

And I want to put a *giant asterisk* next to Making your Own Food—the big picture thing that you DO want to focus on…

I would add that asterisk because it doesn’t mean making any 'ol food—you actually want to think about Making Food that satisfies THESE REQUIREMENTS:

Going for eating a solid amount of Macronutrients (protein, carbs & fat) in each meal is an important strategy to feeling FULL, energized, and part of being able to feel upbeat & sleep well, too!

if you want to  experience the *easiest* & most sustainable way to lose weight...sleep deeply...potentially get rid of depression & anxiety...and improve your energy



And, certain foods give you more MICRONUTRIENTS...and certain foods also allow you to absorb, instead of block, more Micronutrients—

And so I recommend those—since optimal Micronutrients are so important!

Rocking It with Whole Foods

So that means we’re going to be getting into the pleasure of cooking, making simple & yummy foods…and focusing on 

eating Whole Foods.

Any 'ol Whole Foods?

No, not exactly.

So we’re going to be filling in the specific ways to think about making your own food...

with some first direction from the book and popular blog called The Perfect Health Diet by the husband & wife team of researchers that I've been singing the praises of, Drs. Paul & Shou-Ching Jaminet.

And they’re not saying these words “perfect health diet” with any lightness—they’re credited with doing the best job of summarizing what we ate ancestrally (what our bodies need & crave..based on the speed of evolution/genetic mutation)…

And cross-referencing that with some really cool math body equations that share what's a toxic (too much) or depleting (too little) dose of each Macro & Micro-nutrient…

In order to thrive, feel good…and have a slim, trim body.

Their book is the most recommended, without reservation, nutrition book in the field of what’s called Functional Medicine…a prevention-focused field of medicine that asserts that the first line of defense against righting imbalances and preventing chronic disease is addressing what you eat...and to a degree, how you move, too.

I am so excited to delve into this Eating for Energy challenge—that’s based on The Perfect Health Diet with you!

I will also bring in some extra practical application tips from naturopathic doctor, adrenal health expert and author Dr. Alan Christianson…Inflammation reduction strategies from Dr. Catherine Shanahan, MD (and author of Deep Nutrition)...As well as Micronutrient fabulousness with researcher Dr. Chris Masterjohn

Plus my curated research on eating for your Gut & Brain health, woot.

THE Key to rocking it:

Lose weight with the “perfect” balance of nutrients

The "Perfect Health" Diet?

Ok, so this “Perfect Health Diet” is quite aptly named…it’s all about a fascinating and very common sense idea that when your body has the nutrients it needs—the *perfect* amount of each macro & micronutrient, vitamin and mineral…

Not too much (a toxic dose) or too little (a depleting dose) of each nutrient…but the best, most research-proven dose to give your body what it needs to thrive:

You can both burn fat & have excellent energy.

AND--eliminate feeling hungry between meals (woot!).

I will lightly dive into how the research authors Dr. Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet and Dr. Paul Jaminet came to these *perfect* recommendations…

And basically each Macronutrient (like Protein, Carbs & Fat) each has a U-shaped curve—where there can be too much or too little of a good thing.

How a "PERFECT AMOUNT" of Nutrients allows you to Burn Fat! (And not feel hungry (!!) & have fabulous energy)

And, this is an idea that had captivated me in my own nutrition study and personal investigation over the years—which for me began in 2010 when I started working with a clinical nutritionist to resolve anemia and adrenal fatigue after retiring from the stress of directing a non-profit organization for 11 years, and eating way too much take-out food…

I should also mention that I had been a Vegetarian for much of my teen and adult life too. That has caused me quite a few health problems. Soooo…I don’t want to bum out my vegetarian and vegan movers and shakers here—I do have some solid recommendations for you—but this way of eating, and the way they came about these conclusions is based on a Paleo omnivore style of eating.

Anyways—back to the idea that your body can heal and thrive…feel energized and be able to get into a FLOW with exercise…and feel pleasantly FULL in-between meals...when you have the IDEAL amount of nutrients coming in is something so radical and fascinating…

And there are several substantial clinical trials to prove this as true (Iowa Women’s Health Study, large vitamin study in Chinaa 10 year study in the US)...all evidence that getting the optimal levels of all nutrients not only allows for Weightloss, but also reduces appetite and makes fasting more comfortable...

And as I mentioned before—the Jaminets have accrued a large volume of super-inspiring reader results from this idea as well—as they are now on the second edition of their book and curate an active blog.

(although currently they're focused on cancer research--in space!)

And I would add too, that the idea of *burning fat* is helped by being able to get into a consistent FLOW with movement. When you have energy from food--it allows you to move--and truly tutti e due ("both" in Italian) is what creates the best fat-burning results.

Why is nutrient balance perfect for Weightloss?

(and NOT feeling HUNGRY at the same time??)

Are you intrigued yet??...

“Healthy Weightloss occurs with minimal hunger.”

Dr. Jaminet asserts that the brain evolved to be able to send signals of *feeling hungry* when there are NOT enough nutrients present.

And what we want to go for is a "Perfect Diet" where there's the peak range of each nutrient required by the body....hence eliminating "feeling hungry" between meals.

When you get these nutrients, it satisfies hunger in your brain…and you won’t keep eating macronutrients, which causes fat storage and fun stuff like that....

And you won't be lacking key micronutrients either, which may have been sneakily sabotaging your best efforts so far.

As in one example study (done on rats--but I can humanely attest to this result myself too :)), when it comes to Macronutrients (protein, carbs & fat), and arriving at this "perfect" amount...when the optimal amount of safe starches and protein was consumed…Hunger went away.

And while getting the satisfying ratio of protein & carbs is important…there's substantial research that shows that ANY nutrient deficiency can cause Hunger. And if you're malnourished, the more likely you are to gain weight. The Drs. Jaminets share several studies that substantiate this (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

And summarize that if when your body is literally hungry for nutrients, this creates both the desire to eat more & subsequent weight gain...

Then, Dr. Paul Jaminet writes:

“the recipe for the perfect weight loss diet is going to be the same as…the Perfect Health Diet: get every nutrient into it’s peak health range simultaneously, so that none is deficient and none is consumed in excess.

This will eliminate hunger at the lowest possible intake.”

Hunger goes "poof" with perfect nutrients

Feel FULL & Burn Bodyfat more ease-fully

Ok, so hopefully this idea of eliminating HUNGER (and it’s friends Over-Eating, Grumpiness & Weight Gain)…with going for a “perfect” amount of macro & micro nutrients sounds fascinating!

Plus, this process happens more readily when you're able to "fill up your tank" with feeling energized & solid from your food...and being able to get into a FLOW with weekly movement.

I’m here to tell you the results are real—and it’s not hard or unpleasurable to do too.

Paleo nutrition researcher & physician, Dr. Catherine Shanahan in her book Deep Nutrition also describes how when you meet your body’s needs…it sets off a powerful *snowball effect* in your body (solid nutrients + movement). 

The "compound interest" benefits of Eating for Energy

And again, it’s 80% what you eat & 20% how you move.

That 20% of movement IS important though!

A Balancing Act…

Eating for Energy:

Goal #3: Pleasurably "sub out" plant TOXINS

Why “Calorie Counting” ALONE doesn't work...


Ok so--while eating a "certain amount" of calories is part of being able to burn fat & feel energized...the thing is, if you try to rely on *JUST* counting calories, it's very difficult to get sustainable results...

This is because the QUALITY of calories that you’re eating is very important. Because the way this food interacts with your body is KEY to whether your body can easily use it for energy--or instead, it has to divert energy away from digestion to deal with the inflammatory response it can cause instead.

And in reality—most processed & pre-made salad bar items, convenience food & packaged food…plus almost ALL restaurant food (most unfortunately)—comes made with Processed Fats, and not the good kind like coconut oil or grass-fed butter…

It’s the “silent” condiment to almost every pre-made food (even Whole Foods salad bar items are chock-full of it)…and that’s Vegetable Oils. And quite simply, they’re Toxic:

They cause a free-radical cascade in your body…increase small, hard LDL cholesterol particles, skewering healthy cholesterol ratios…and because they ARE so calorie-dense and they’re virtually hidden & invisible in pre-made & restaurant food…

They can add up to almost 30 - 60% of “hidden” calories in a standard American diet. And barring their inflammatory effect in your body—there’s just straight up too much of the stuff virtually HIDDEN in pre-made foods.

Eating for Energy is all about shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store

#1 Plant TOXIN??

Too much Damaged Fat makes you Fat

Too much of these Heat-Processed Fats? Your body stores them in fat cells. And fat cells themselves create an inflammatory response in your body…making you feel tired and not motivated to exercise…which continues to contribute to the problem of gaining fat.

Our consumption of Soy Oil in particular has increased over a 1,000-fold since the early 1900’s. Soy Oil is indeed a toxic saturated fat…and it’s literally in most processed/pre-made food (along with it’s buddy Canola Oil).

Dr. Catherine Shanahan calls Soy & Canola Oil “dark calories” though—because when you go out to eat, most all restaurants don’t say what kind of oil they use for cooking…(and they mainly use the cheapest oils available)…although they may share in the menu if an entree is gluten-free.

I like Whole Foods’ (the grocery store’s) salad bar—but even these guys are making almost everything in Canola Oil (you have to read the ingredients list on the cards--there are some items without it).

I'll share more about how it doesn't matter if it's Organic or cold-pressed Canola Oil in just a bit...but take my summary at face value here for a moment, that's it's just Canola Oil (and soy oil) themselves, organic or not...that are really gumming up the energy & fat-loss works.

Getting Salad Dressing with that healthy salad of yours? It’s most likely made with Soy Oil or Canola Oil (and not freshly pressed olive oil)…so the pre-made dressing is basically killing the healthiness of that salad...

It’s these hidden Vegetable Oils that are really sabotaging people’s best efforts to exercise and lose weight.

The good news is—with a little prep work and creativity—you can ditch these fattening toxic foods by making your own food & using Good Fats that HELP you lose weight, instead of block your body’s ability to do that.

So besides the fact that if you eat convenience foods—they have a lot of these hidden, toxic “dark calories” in them from Vegetable Oils like Canola & Soy Oil…

These oils also cause an inflammatory response in your body…by causing Oxidative Stress...

So trying to “count calories” with them will get you nowhere pretty fast—as they aren’t just any ol’ type of calories—they actually cause an Inflammatory response in your body…which takes energy away from normal digestion & weakens your immune system…


Soy Oil calories more fattening than Coconut Oil calories

Dr. Cate describes an experiment that UC Riverside professor Frances Sladek was inspired to conduct when she read about the dramatic rise in soy oil consumption. She decided to investigate if soy oil could account for the dramatic rise in obesity that’s happened since manufactured vegetable oil has been popularized.

She did an experiment where she added soy linoleic acid in a comparative amount that humans eat to the diet of rats, and compared that to a bunch of other diets, and a normal rat chow diet, and a diet where the other fat was coconut oil. The rats that ate the soy oil gained weight faster, twice as fast as the rats eating the regular rat chow, and they didn’t eat any more calories.

Soybean oil (and other inflammatory vegetable oils) essentially instruct your body to make more fat cells…because it triggers this inflammation, or oxidative stress, in your body. 🙁

Toxic Fats get stored in fat cells--because they trigger Oxidative Stress

All right, so Dr. Cate, researcher & author of Deep Nutrition...summarizes the results of Frances Sladek’s experiment…and shares why the QUALITY of your Good Fats (and the good fats found in protein, too) is way more important than counting calories:

Soy contains a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Coconut oil contains a lot of saturated fatty acids, and almost no PUFAs. PUFAs react easily with oxygen. The names for these chemical reactions are lipid oxidation and lipid peroxidation. In the factory, these reactions lead to lowered content of antioxidants and vitamins as well as production of break down products of the PUFA fats that are very toxic. In the body, these reactions promote oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is a biochemical process that leads to a cellular response called inflammation. Inflammation makes you pack on the pounds faster than what you’d predict from simply calorie counting because it tells your body to make more fat cells. The more fat cells you have, the more easily you store fat and gain weight. Essentially, oxidative stress brainwashes your body into growing more fat cells, and vegetable oil is oxidative stress in a bottle.

This process of cellular brainwashing that alters your body composition goes a long way towards explaining how certain foods can cause us to gain weight beyond their caloric content. I write about how this works at a cellular level in Deep Nutrition, Chapter 11 entitled “Beyond Calories.”

Bottom line? All fat has lots of calories. But this study suggests fats that promote oxidative stress make us store fat faster than those that don’t.


So, if you’re wanting to get a flat belly…it’s not about trying to "just calorie count" your way to eating LESS of these foods that contain processed, damaged, toxic fats (because they just simply GUM UP THE WORKS)…instead, it’s about eating FOR your belly, instead. (How to do this with Protein is up next!)

Trying to “calorie count” with toxic fats does NOT work

#2 Plant TOXIN??


And then the second types of Food Toxins I'm going to invite you to eat dramatically less of--are foods that contain substances like Phytates that actually bind up important micronutrients like Calcium, Zinc & Iron...

If you're eating a super micronutrient dense diet (and a pretty good volume of total food to achieve this too)...and/or you have a health condition like a predisposition to iron overload...than these phytate-rich foods will be less of a concern for you.

But for most people who have been short-changing themselves on MICROnutrients over the years--I think it's really important to try to get as many Micronutrients from your food as possible:

--And that essentially means choosing foods that are full of 'em...

--And also choosing those foods that are NOT full of that anti-nutrient PHYTATE (that blocks your body from absorbing key micronutrients).

For example, root vegetables & white rice are going to be your yummy Safe Carb friends--because they have good Micros (especially root veggies) AND they allow your body to fully absorb these micros, too.

Way more about ditching Phytate-rich foods as much as possible when you Eat for Energy, here as we go here!

Set your body's natural *Snowball Effect* in motion?

The fabulous thing is is that if you spend 80% of your time/energy getting into this way of eating whole foods (and eating Good Fat/Protein & Safe Carb sources)…you will get results! Because bad fats, and to an extent grains too, cause oxidative stress—which actually *instructs your body to make more fat cells*…as I previously mentioned.

So if you’re eating these toxic foods that tell your body to make fat cells

Or you're eating foods that bind up & block key Micronutrients like Iron, Calcium & Zinc--

you can see how "just adding in exercise" on top of this is NOT going to allow you to burn fat/lose weight.

It’s key to eat foods that give you all the Macros & Micros you need & don’t cause an Inflammatory (or fat-cell-creation instruction) response in your body. And at the same time—if you want to lose weight/burn fat—you do want to add in that other 20%—some "metabolic movement"/exercise! 🙂


Exercise essentially creates a hormonal chain reaction that INSTRUCTS your body with how best to use food! So adding in movement is one of the best ways to direct the use of Whole Foods in your body to building muscle, providing energy & allowing you to burn fat.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn explains that:

“Nutrient partitioning is affected by Protein and Exercise, in a way that says, for any given caloric balance, how much goes into fat storage, how much goes into muscle-building.”

I’ll share how creating a daily Macro Plan (that allows you to get in essential Micronutrients too) not only allows you to feel energized & able to get into a consistent FLOW with exercise that you enjoy…but also allows you to build muscle & burn fat, too.

And it is important to get in some daily movement—preferably for an hour total (and ideally add in Strength Training several times a week too)—while reducing the amount of time you spend sitting…if you want to lose weight/burn fat.

The good news is that brisk walking & doing chores can make this really do-able—and especially if you’re looking to feel more energized—then taking “movement breaks” (see my favorite Nitric Oxide Dump movement break here)…and walking on a treadmill, or even better—outside—is a very effective way to move!

When you feel more energized with this way of eating—and by getting in some gentle & effective daily "metabolic movement"—then I recommend adding in some strength training to build muscle and feel (and look) GOOD in your body! Lifting weights doesn’t have to be about “no pain, no gain” at all in order to get sculpting & trimming results you love. More soon from me about this! 🙂

For now I just want to share that adding in Movement—reducing stress & getting good sleep as well—in combination with strategically eating nourishing foods, eliminating food & body toxins as much as you can—is what will allow you to lose weight/burn fat and feel great.

Can I get a woo-hoo? 

And it doesn't have to be as difficult...It's mostly about “getting in” these Perfect Health Foods (+ moving) while ditching foods that your body treats as "Toxic"...

I've seen my own body respond very quickly to this...once I started clearing out the initial inflammation...and I am excited for you to experience this too!! 

And yes, so you may have heard that "Abs are made in the Kitchen"...meaning that by changing your diet/what you eat ALONE will allow you to lose weight/bodyfat....and that's true to an extent...HOWEVER:

When you add movement/exercise to this:

  • you can allow your body to use food more efficiently...
  • it clears the communication channels, as exercise tells your hormones how to direct the use of this food...(And not to make more fat cells)...
  • you have bigger muscles that use more energy...your body uses energy to build/repair muscle as you Lift Weights...
  • and feeling joyful & releasing stress with walking in nature, dancing, gardening, cleaning or other movement that you enjoy is very powerful too!

Eliminate HUNGER & set your body's natural *snowball effect* in motion

So Toxic Fats that cause oxidative stress in your body—like canola oil & soy oil—can be relatively easy toxins to kick to the curb…so that you can burn fat.

The easiest way to kick ‘em to the curb?

Make almost all of our your own food with Whole Foods (shopping on the outside aisles of the grocery store) & single ingredient pre-made foods (like apple cider vinegar or jarred whole olives)…with some good timing & portions that I will share.


Ok, so onto another "diving deeper" question: what's up with "plant toxins"??...