Personalizing the Keto Diet Based on Your Genetics | Sarah Morgan “The Gene Queen”

Personalizing the Keto Diet Based on Your Genetics | Sarah Morgan “The Gene Queen”

Have you tried the keto diet and struggled with getting your ketones high enough? Did you feel terrible eating a lot of fats, or tired and sluggish? Did you suffer from hypoglycemia, while trying to fix your high blood sugar problems?  Or just feel like your body needed more vegetables? These are all common issues that can be avoided by understanding nutrigenomics and how your body responds to different foods. Grab your Nutrition Genome (or another genetic SNP test) results and follow along as Sarah Morgan takes you through the top 11 SNPs you’ll want to know about for personalizing the keto diet based on your genes.

Pairing Nutrition Genome testing with functional lab bio-marker testing and tracking it all within Heads Up Health, can help you monitor your health and see how your diet is working for you or against you. It’s true, your genes don’t change, but don’t assume there’s nothing you can do to avoid disease. How you live your life and what you eat is directly responsible for switching your genes for a disease on or off. 

Dave Korsunsky, Founder of Heads Up Health interviews Sarah Morgan, aka “The Gene Queen”, on the top 11 genetic SNP’s that affect how you may react to a ketogenic diet, and what to do if you do have those SNP’s.

This episode is packed full of useful information, especially for those of you who have not achieved the results you wanted with a ketogenic diet.  It may just need a bit more personalization for you, which is where genome testing for nutrition comes in.

Make sure to check out our podcast with Alex Swanson of Nutrition Genome on how to obtain your own test kit and what information you’ll find within the results.

Sarah Morgan, aka “The Gene Queen” has worked in the field of genetics for the last 13 years, connecting the dots on how your genes interact with your diet and lifestyle. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She holds a Master of Science in Functional Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. Currently, she runs several companies after taking a step back from her clinical practice. Her new company Even Health (coming soon) creates supplements to help replenish the nutritional cost of the medications you may have to take, such as birth control pills, and even statins. She has also written a children’s book Buddies in My Belly to help kids understand the importance of a healthy gut microbiome.

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In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • When the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003 we thought we’d find at least 50,000 genes but we found only 20,000-25,000 [2:40]
  • That the microbiome has genes also and can impact our human genome expression [3:10]
  • SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphisms) sometimes don’t do anything, but other times they affect things like detox, how we handle inflammation and what types of diets we tolerate best. These are not inborn errors that children are sometimes born with [4:30]
  • Your genes and genome are always going to be the same, but your genetic expression is changing all the time based on the inputs you give your body – diet, stress, water, sleep etc. [6:25]
  • How tracking your data through HUH you can figure out what inputs (diet, stress, sleep) are connected to health for you [8:20]

  • #1 – PEMT gene (located in the methylation section) allows you to make choline which is crucial for liver function. The liver converts your fats to ketones, so this is important for a ketogenic diet [12:40]
    • Normal- usual presentation, heterozygous – one copy of the gene, homozygous – two copies of the gene [14:50]
    • Choline is really important for gallbladder function which helps break down fats for our body to use them [15:20 ]
  • # 2 – FADS-2 (located in the digestion section) [20:35]
    • Has to do with metabolic or neurologic issues on a keto diet. These are omega 3 status indicators.
    • This gene has to do with taking shorter chain omega 3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) like flaxseed and walnuts and converting it to the longer chain fatty acids like EPA and DHA which are found in higher amounts in fish.
    • You can check your blood levels of EPA and DHA levels and cross-reference how these genes are working for you in your body [23:15]
  • # 3 – FUT2 (located in the digestion section) How well you feed your microbiome [23:35]
    • The microbiome plays a part in how well you absorb your fats based on the type of bacteria living in your small intestines.
    • The more dysbiosis (bad bugs) bacteria you have living in your gut, you can have more of an inflammatory response to an increase in fats.
    • If you have heterozygous or homozygous, you should emphasize your prebiotics (food for gut bugs) because if you have changes in this gene you’re not actually feeding your microbiome as well and can have more issues with lower levels of bifidobacteria (anti-inflammatory bacteria that also makes B vitamins like B12 and folate).
    • Needs a good variety of diverse plant fibers in the diet. 25 different plant species per week (this can be hard in a traditional keto diet -carnivore would not be a good option for someone with this gene).
    • CAUTION- very extreme restricted diets can be detrimental so use caution if you don’t have all of the information on how it will affect you before beginning a very restricted diet if you don’t know what you’re doing. Test, don’t guess. 
  •  #4 – ACAT (located in the digestion section) How your body converts protein and fat to cellular energy [30:04]
    • We make our body weight in ATP (cellular energy) every day! We want to make sure someone has the ability to get good energy from protein and fat and has to do with cholesterol balance in the cell if eating a high fat/protein diet.
    • Example of symptoms:
      • Someone who is homozygous may go on a higher fat diet and consume more protein and have their cholesterol go up.
      • Eating more fat and you feel exhausted. You never feel good, because it’s lowering your ability to make energy due to your lack of ability to properly use fat and protein for fuel
      • Watch your cholesterol and liver enzymes when doing a high-fat diet as they can go up if your liver can’t handle all the fat processing (see PEMT gene info).
  • #5 -ADIPOQ The Red Meat Gene – Adiponectin (located in the digestion section) [33:50]
    • This is a hormone released in the intestinal tract when we eat foods and it has to do with how much insulin is secreted- affecting blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, etc. These are people that are predisposed to metabolic disease.
    • Things that help this function better
      • Exercise
      • Intermittent Fasting
      • Omega 3’s to increase adiponectin secretion
      • Turmeric
      • Berries
      • Ginger
    • People that are low secreters are at a higher risk for insulin resistance, heart disease, and colon cancer – especially important to know before doing a high meat keto diet with a lot of red meats
    • Homozygous- make sure you exercise and check body composition. Insulin resistance starts in the muscle -so get your muscles moving and lift some heavy stuff!
  •   #6 – SLC22A5 Fat Taxi Cab Gene – (located in the digestion section) [40:20]
    • Picks up our fats and shuttles them to mitochondria to be burned as an energy source. Fat goes through the digestive tract and is absorbed across the gut barrier and then L-carnitine shuttles to the mitochondria.
    • Low levels of L-carnitine could compromise your ability to shuttle fat to your mitochondria and contribute to lowered energy in your mitochondria which can have neurological implications.
    • You can consume L-carnitine in red meat, but your body also makes it.
    • Vitamin C is very helpful and making sure you’re methylating well as L-carnitine is a byproduct of methylation.
  • #7 PPAR Alpha – Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Alpha (located in the digestion section) [42:20]
    • This is the “ketone gene” – especially if homozygous this can make it difficult to get into ketosis.
    • This plays a role in fatty acid metabolism – how our fats are actually utilized in ketosis.
    • Symptoms:
      • Changes in cholesterol panel like triglycerides, HDL, LDL in people that are poor responders.
      • May not feel as well when trying to go into ketosis and feel poorly on a keto diet.
      • They could potentially have ketogenic hypoglycemia because their ketone production is low and they’re not bringing in enough carbs to keep blood sugar normal – they essentially have no fuel to run on.  
    • Needs exogenous ketones to stay keto since your body can’t make them well.
    • If you’re homozygous and taking exogenous ketones, you need to really watch your cholesterol well.
  • #8 – ACSL1– How well you metabolize saturated fats from animals – bacon, fat bombs from dairy, etc. (located in the digestion section) [44:25]
    • These people will have higher issues with higher fasting glucose and insulin resistance. If homozygous or even heterozygous -focus from getting your fats from plant sources rather than animal sources. More Mediterranean keto diet. Coconut is okay.
  • #9 – APOA2– Eat fat, get fat gene (located in the digestion section) [44:25]
    • An enzyme that regulates appetite. People who eat more fat tend to be more hungry and tend to consume more calories in a day. You can mitigate this through movement. Don’t have a desk job where you sit 8 hours a day, especially if you eat a lot of fat.
  • #10 FTO – The Hangry Gene (newly added to report in last 6 months or so -located in the digestion section) [47:00]
    • Has to do with the hunger hormone ghrelin.
    • People who have this, especially homozygous, are the people that are just hungry all the time.
    • Balance blood sugars.  Don’t consume high glycemic foods (you’re already doing that if on keto).
    • Pay attention to hunger signals as well even if not eating high glycemic foods regularly.
  • # 11 TCF7L2 – The carb Gene (located in the digestion section) [49:40]
    • Incretin hormone that has to do with insulin sensitivity.  
    • The biggest indicator of type 2 diabetes, across the board in terms of studies.
    • If heterozygous – be careful with your carbs, homozygous be REALLY careful with your carbs.  
      • Symptoms:
        • weight gain
        • dysregulated insulin
        • carb cravings
    • Wild type can have more metabolic flexibility of being able to use carbohydrates and not have negative consequences. Beta cells in pancreas very sensitive for these people. Ancestrally they probably ate more carbs and are more efficient at it.  

References

EVEN Health Supplement Company
Buddies In My Belly
Gene Queen
Nutrition Genome

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

 

Episode 32 – EndoCanna Health – Personalizing Medicinal Cannabis with DNA testing

Episode 32 – EndoCanna Health – Personalizing Medicinal Cannabis with DNA testing

Have you ever tried medicinal cannabis for your anxiety, pain, achy joints or other condition, experienced cannabis side effects and written it off as a natural medicine that won’t work for you?  Were you aware that cannabis works on the endocannabinoid system within the body, and with some personalization, through genome testing, you can have help finding cannabis that works for you? EndoCanna Health uses your genes to determine ways in which your system interacts with cannabis.

Personalized genomics in the context of medicinal cannabis can help you to understand which cannabis is right for you. We know that certain strains or terpenes are better for particular ailments, however, if you’re a slow metabolizer, or if you have a predisposition to anxiety, for example, you may have a different experience than your friend or even family member using the same amount/strain of medicinal cannabis.

Listen to Dave Korsunsky of Heads Up Health interview Len May, Co-Founder of EndoCanna Health about genetic testing for cannabis. Learn more about the endocannabinoid system and how your genetics can help you to find the right cannabis for you, to help with things like anxiety, mood, sleep, pain, and more. EndoCanna takes its privacy very seriously, so if you’re not happy running a 23 and Me for genetic information, you can order a kit directly from EndoCanna Health who can run your results on their own secure system(no sharing of genetic data and they are HIPAA compliant).

Click here to learn more about testing with EndoCanna Health.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About Len May’s history of involvement in the medical cannabis regulations and acceptance as a medical treatment since the early 1990s [4:10]
  • About Elvy Musikka who is legally blind due to glaucoma – a participant in the NIDA program that allowed the federal government to cultivate cannabis in the University of Mississippi and send to a location to roll into cigarettes that even comes in a tin with a USDA label. She could light up in front of Federal rangers…in the 1990s! [4:25]
  • Len started in California in a dispensary where patients were using medical cannabis for various reasons and his experience was that while they recommended certain strains for certain conditions, he began to see that within those ailments people would have wildly different experiences of the same strain/profile [7:20]
  • Your DNA dictates your personal experience.  Len and his team spent 2 years to evaluate every gene that has a direct or indirect connection with the endocannabinoid system, knowing that it’s an ongoing thing due to emerging science – they continue to study genetic info as it comes out in relation to how it affects the endocannabinoid system [8:55]
  • EndoCanna Health has developed a direct to consumer kit ($199) similar to a 23 and Me, with a simple mouth swab that they genetically sequence that to find out which cannabis would work best for you and help regulate the entire endocannabinoid system. You can also bring your own raw data over to run through their system for $49 [10:00]
  • Genetic conditions that are affected by a gene expression help them learn what the optimal ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes for their particular genetic expression of symptoms [12:20]
    • The 8 genetic expression symptoms that are affected by which are:
      • Anxiety
      • Pain
      • Metabolism
      • Psychosis
      • Sleep
      • Cognition
      • Dependence
      • Depression
  • While they can use 23 and Me or other data that you have already their interpretation is only as good as the array that the original test included. (23 and Me provided more genetic data prior to August 2017, so older tests may offer more info) The more genes tested will give a better interpretation to give better suggestions based on your genes. They do not make recommendations but instead provide suggestions of what may be beneficial to you [13:50]
  • That the endocannabinoid system is a regulatory system that supports digestion, immune, hormones, and more.  We are all born with this system and the ability to produce our own endogenous endocannabinoids within our bodies, and it regulates based on our body needs. Lifestyle, stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition can create deficiencies in our own endocannabinoid system and our immune system responds because we don’t have enough of our own endocannabinoids to support everything it needs to, which is how cannabis can support the endocannabinoid system [15:10]
  • There are receptor cites built into our bodies which turn on in response to the cannabis plant. CB1 effects the central nervous system and THC.  CB2 is activated by enzymes through CBD and has a lot to do with immune and digestive systems [16:55]
  • Info about how to look for a cannabis medicine from a dispensary- from state to state it can be different in what information they publish on terpenes. EndoCanna Health gives you the profile that you’ll want to look for, and then you’ll need to locate the product within your state. You can also take the profile to your local dispensary and ask them to help you find what you’re looking for [17:55]
  • About why some people have a great experience, while others taking the same amount and strain of cannabis can have completely different experiences [21:20]
  • Have you ever tried medicinal cannabis and gotten anxiety?  If you have a predisposition of anxiety due to your genes (FAAH), then you are more likely to experience anxiety in a threatening situation.  Because anandamide is lower and cortisol higher, giving that fight or flight feeling, THC exacerbates that. There are terpene profiles like limonene that are dominant in Savita hybrids that can trigger that gene to express itself. If you know this ahead of time, lower your THC, increase your CBD and modify your terpene profile to decrease chances of having an issue with anxiety, for example, include linalool instead of limonene for a more calming effect [22:16]
  • People call up or go to the ER, and think they’re dying, but you cannot have a toxic overdose of cannabis. What often happens with edibles that rely on the liver to convert the THC is that it actually becomes more potent, and due to the delayed impact, people often eat more and then end up with way more than they need. They could use less or take it sublingually and have a much better experience [25:15]
  • Len talks about how individuals can empower themselves with these reports and take them to their doctors to support them with this wealth of info. He mentions that if you have a doctor who doesn’t support the use of cannabis for treatment, there are other doctors out there with this cutting edge information that will [28:30]
  • EndoCanna Health takes its security and how they handle it very seriously.  Their DNA is in one server and the reports are in another server, and an encoded keycode associated with each.  They are HIPAA compliant so they can’t show a sample report due to their high level of security [29:30]
  • Using Heads Up Health with a service like EndoCanna Health reports can help you track to see whether your inflammation is coming down or other markers you may be interested in following [31:00]
  • EndoCanna Health is in a partnership with a company in Australia called WARD Management and is in 6 clinical trials to track data markers that show the effectiveness of your treatment with cannabis [31:40]
  • About drug to drug interaction with cannabis, and how things like CBD can be an uptake inhibitor which can reduce the effectiveness of your prescription depression medications. It’s important to know how one affects the other [32:50]
  • How using their service is like GPS in guiding you to know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there using cannabis [34:00]
  • Dave mentions research that’s coming out on how cannabis can be used with opioid addiction because it can bind to some of those opioid receptors and help you titrate off of medications. Make sure you understand interactions if you’re on meds [35:20]
  • Opioids bind to those CB1 receptors for pain as an analgesic and their test can tell you if you have a predisposed dependence to opioids and if you’re likely to have more unfavorable results to opioids than most people SUPER USEFUL to know beforehand [35:45]
  • How understanding how your genes work with opioids and cannabis can affect how you live your life and even potentially prevent you from traveling down a road you never want to go down with addiction as well [38:00]

References

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

Episode 31 – The Top Functional Tests: What to Look For (Pt. 1) | Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Episode 31 – The Top Functional Tests: What to Look For (Pt. 1) | Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani is a licensed Chiropractor in the state of Texas, with postgraduate studies in the area of clinical nutrition, rehabilitative exercise, and functional medicine. With a holistic approach, Dr. Justin Marchegiani offers testing options such as the urine heavy metals test to help his patients improve their health, and prevent future issues by taking a proactive approach.

This is the first in a series of interviews with Dave Korsunsky, founder of Heads Up Health, where they’ll dive into the specific lab testing used in functional medicine: ex. the testing of heavy metals, organic acids and/or IgG antibodies.

In this episode, Dr. Justin Marchegiani reviews Dave’s heavy metals test (watch the forthcoming YouTube video) and talks about the dangers of mercury in our environment and how it can have detrimental effects when it builds up in our bodies. Though each person will need a customized approach to safely remove the heavy metals from the body, which can take some time, it is well worth the investment in your healthy future.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • Dr. Justin Marchegiani’s introduction of why and how he uses functional tests to evaluate symptoms, systems and underlying stressors [1:50]
  • How Dr. Marchegiani helped inspire Dave to develop the Heads Up Health app [4:30]
  • About some of the tests that are very useful but not offered as standard labs by most doctors [6:00]
  • About the Doctors Data test for heavy metals, which is used to tell the tissue burden of heavy metals.This test uses DMPS to pull metals into the urine for testing, showing a better representation of what is stored in the body’s tissues, rather than a blood metals test that shows only for acute exposure to metals. The reason for running this for Dave was lowered WBC and lowered platelet counts, which could mean either an underlying viral infection or mercury being burdensome on the immune system [6:40]
  • Hear what Dr. Marchegiani recommended for Dave to address the things that came up on his Doctors Data heavy metals test [8:15]
  • How people get exposed to heavy metals, like bomb-making for example…or, more realistically dental amalgam fillings, thermometers, barometers, batteries, some Ayurvedic herbs (the cheap ones), fluoride, pesticides, fungicides, old coal burning methods that have gotten into fish, flu vaccines that are high in Thimerosal [8:56]
  • That Dr. Marchegiani doesn’t recommend heavy metal testing until the gut has really been cleaned up and supported because a large part of detox happens in the hepatobiliary system (liver-gallbladder), and GI tract. You don’t want to re-toxify yourself [11:05]
  • Why binders are important with heavy metal detox [11:45]
  • Why Dr. Marchegiani recommends doing the heavy metal testing for monitoring annually, especially if you’re on municipal water supply, and why you shouldn’t trust the water supply [11:55]
  • Top three things to help prevent heavy metal issues
    • #1 – “The solution to pollution is dilution!” [12:45]
    • #2 – Good access to an infrared sauna [13:06]
    • #3 – Really good access to, and digestion of, sulfur amino acids — animal proteins are the richest source, whey protein, organic green vegetables
  • Don’t expose yourself to the heavier sprayed pesticide-laden crops, and avoid mercury fillings and Thimerosal in the flu vaccine [13:25]
  • That having low glutathione levels makes it harder to excrete mercury, which can be tested for in an RBC glutathione test or an organic acids test, and can also inactivate lymphocytes or be immunosuppressive (Dave’s low WBC could be from this) [14:05]
  • How proactive Dr. Marchegiani is in running tests that might be helpful in uncovering potential issues [15:15]
  • That we want to look at the levels of mercury in the test, but also we have to look for the exposure or source of where it came from. We don’t always find an answer, but it could be from inorganic foods, for example [16:15]
  • Tips to reduce accumulation of mercury: [16:20]
    • Sweat a lot
    • Drink plenty of filtered, healthy, mineral-rich water
    • Eat organic foods
  • Consider lead-based paints as a factor in homes built before 1976 [16:55]
  • What symptoms people might see or diseases that might occur over years of exposure or burden in the body that haven’t actively been trying to reduce it [17:10]
    • An increased stimulator in autoimmune conditions
    • Neurological issues
    • Lack of physical endurance (mitochondrial suppressor)
    • Activation of the sympathetic nervous system – overtaxing the adrenals
    • Thyroid issues and other system dysfunction
  • The lethal dose of one for mercury, or the lethal dose of one for lead is the amount of that metal that is required to kill the first rat out of 100 fed the metal. If you combine the lethal dose for one of mercury with the lethal dose of one for lead, ZERO rats will survive. Metals have synergistic effects making them even more toxic when combined [18:30]
  • How to get this heavy metal test, which is around $150 with the DMPS, which Dr. Marchegiani recommends annually. If you know you’re exposed to these metals, then test more frequently or if you have a high level on your first test you’d want to test more frequently to monitor the progress of the protocol. You can order a test at www.justinhealth.com [19:45]
  • You can schedule a consult via Dr. Justin Marchegiani on his website from anywhere in the world. Or ask your own doctor about the functional tests [20:40]
  • IgG antibodies, and organic acids functional tests coming soon on the Heads Up Health podcast with Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Dave [21:00]

References

Topo Chico water

Heavy Metal test with DMPS

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

Episode 30 – Spreading Low Carb Keto Awareness to Asia & Beyond | Kelly Tan Peterson of KETO EAST

Episode 30 – Spreading Low Carb Keto Awareness to Asia & Beyond | Kelly Tan Peterson of KETO EAST

Tired of your everyday keto recipes?  Kelly Tan Peterson is lighting the low carb keto world on fire with her new book KETO EAST, co-written with her husband Dr. Dan Peterson. Kelly shares low carb keto Asian recipes that “turn Asian classics into ketogenic favorites,” as Maria Emmerich noted in the blurb of Kelly’s cookbook. Give your taste buds a kick in the pants with all the flavor that Kelly brings to the table with low carb keto Asian food recipes that are not just delicious, but healthy too!

Originally from Singapore, Kelly Tan Peterson moved to the United States after meeting her husband Dr. Dan Peterson. She began eating a keto diet after seeing how he ate. She watched her own metabolic and weight issues resolve, quickly rebalancing her body and maintaining it while eating keto. What she missed, though, was her traditional diet from back home.

Deciding that she did not have to choose one type of food over the other, she found a way to bring her Asian culture into the keto world. This was a challenge she wanted to take on, not only to be able to eat her favorite meals, but also to bring the benefits of ketogenic eating to her friends and family back in Singapore. This began her journey into low-carb advocacy in the spirit of love to inspire those metabolically damaged in Asia to improve their health eating familiar food they loved. 

What began as a blog and recipe sharing has become a series of books – KETO EAST (already published) and two more to follow: KETO BAKED and KETO WEST. Keep your eye out for Kelly Tan Peterson — she’s spreading low carb keto awareness and delicious recipes — to Asia and beyond!

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • How Kelly Tan Peterson struggled with cholesterol, acidic stomach, and blood glucose before meeting her husband [3:15]
  • Why Kelly wondered how her husband, a doctor, could be eating such a high fat and low carb diet, let alone recommending it to his patients [3:30]
  • As she began eating a LCHF diet along with her husband, she realized that just by changing the way she eats, her symptoms improved. Now she has no weight issues at all as long as she avoids starch and sugar [4:05]
  • Why certain foods in her culture were problematic for her and how awareness is slowly growing in Singapore [5:15]
  • How she used social media to post what she ate and her new lifestyle, drawing curiosity from her friends [6:45]
  • Why it’s easy to eat out in Singapore, even if you’re eating low carb keto Asian food, simply by making swaps for carbs/starches [7:45]
  • How food in the Asian culture, like roast duck, crispy pork belly, roast chicken and plenty of vegetables, can fit within a low carb keto diet, just watch for hidden carbs like a glaze on meat [9:30]
  • Why it’s not hard to eat anywhere in the world and find something that would qualify as low carb/high fat [11:00]
  • How after spending the last six weeks traveling throughout Asia she realized that there was much less obesity when she was a child. Now, on yearly visits to Singapore, her observation is that even children are getting bigger, requiring larger uniforms [11:30]
  • How food in Singapore is getting sweeter now, seeing with each visit, more fast food and western food chains in Asian countries [13:10]
  • Why eating all of the typical popular foods can hijack your brain, perpetuating the problem of cravings, leading to food addictions [14:20]
  • Kelly realizes now that the longer she is off of carbs and sweets, she tastes so much more flavor in natural foods, while friends who eat a Standard American Diet cannot taste [16:00]
  • Why even after 9 years of eating keto, if hidden carbs are eaten, she’ll notice cravings for snacks and other foods due to the brain changes that occur [16:45]
  • About Kelly’s approach to keto Asian recipes and her cookbooks which are written in both English and Mandarin [18:20]
  • Kelly talks about how she’s adapted the low carb keto diet to her ethnic diet of noodles and rice dishes with shirataki noodles or cauliflower rice but using the same traditional methods of cooking those dishes to retain their flavor and depth [19:30]
  • Kelly gives an example of how she adapts Young Chow fried rice to keto while keeping the flavor people don’t want to lose [22:20]
  • Her book contains her personal story of her cultural background and how she was able to bring that into keto and adapt it, rather than give up all the foods she loves [24:30]
  • How she tests all the recipes with her blood glucose to make sure it doesn’t spike [25:30]
  • Why Kelly still occasionally tests her ketones and glucose. She tested more frequently when she first began the keto diet. Now she does it so she could relate how she feels to what her glucose levels are (e.g., water retention in her ankles)  [26:15]
  • How KETO BAKED will be her next book to release, which was born from watching her mom go through cancer while navigating a culture that is rich in higher carbs and how socializing always involves sharing foods [28:10]
  • How Kelly hopes that if she can interest people with a keto baking book, they can cut their carbs in half while still eating tasty food/treats, making the transition easier later if they want to do keto [30:15]
  • How her third book will be called KETO WEST: bringing in American and French meals with a touch of Asian flavor [32:00]
  • About the response she’s getting in Asia by sharing her story of how she feeds herself and her family [33:40]

References

KETO EAST Cookbook by Kelly Tan Peterson

Kelly Tan Peterson website: Cooking Inspired By Love

Kelly Tan Peterson YouTube Channel

Keto East West Facebook group

Keto BAKED Facebook group

Keto MARKET Facebook group

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

Episode 29 – More Than a Calorie Counter: How Cronometer is Transforming Health

Episode 29 – More Than a Calorie Counter: How Cronometer is Transforming Health

If you’re trying to accomplish anything significant with your diet, using a nutrient tracker app is definitely helpful. But what’s the point of doing all that tracking if you’re not even sure if the info is accurate? Aaron Davidson, founder of Cronometer, the best nutrient tracker app out there for accuracy, has taken a part-time hobby and turned it into a full-time business. Now he’s transforming the health of those using his app, regardless of what diet they’re following. Not only does this nutrient tracker app track macros, but it also tracks micronutrients — all of those trace nutrients that can set you up for illness if not met long term!

Tracking with Cronometer can help you meet your dietary goals. Whether you’re a new keto dieter trying to make sure your carbs are low enough, or a vegetarian wanting to prove to your family that you’re getting enough protein in your diet.

What makes Cronometer stand out as a nutrient tracker app from all the others is that Aaron Davidson and his team spend a lot of time, money and effort on making sure their database is accurate. They do this by having professionals enter data to check for accuracy rather than relying on users to populate data. They also enter all of the data for the micronutrients for those of you on a therapeutic diet needing more specific details like zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, and more.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • That the trick to caloric restriction over the long term, while still getting good nutrients, is to track what you’re eating with a nutrient tracker app [6:20]
  • How what Aaron Davidson started as an offline standalone product (built in a weekend out of personal necessity, and initially given away for years) turned into the Cronometer so many love and use today [7:00]
  • Where the name Cronometer came from. (CRONometer = Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition + meter to indicate nutrient density in your diet!)  [8:10]
  • More on the origin of Cronometer and Aaron Davidson’s story from Ireland to Canada. When the free use version of Cronometer started feeling like a job (people were emailing daily with questions), Aaron turned it into a full-time business, making his nutrient tracker app web-based and mobile [8:30]
  • The parallels between Dave Korsunksy’s story of building Heads Up Health and Aaron Davidson’s build of Cronometer [10:15]
  • How Dave had a difficult time getting his ketones above 0.5 mmol/L without tracking his data, and the reasons why he built Heads Up Health for others to track their health — to see what inputs made a difference for them [12:15]
  • If you want to build something for a unique audience like Dave and Aaron have done with their health apps, DO IT!  There are other weirdos out there like you that will want it too! (Find your weirdos!) [12:55]
  • Though Cronometer has grown a lot in the last couple of years, initially Aaron still had to take another day job [15:30]
  • In 2016 Aaron hired his first employees; by 2017 he went full time himself. Now he has about 17 employees and 11 in the office (who have chair lift meetings in their ski town of Revelstoke!) [17:30]
  • Why Cronometer is considered a best nutrient tracker app above others. Their high standards and commitment to making sure their nutrient database is the best, keeping up on the nutrition data, having larger amounts of micronutrients than any other nutrient tracker app. [19:50]
  • How the Cronometer database is put together by experts, not entered by users. (This means it may get entered a little slower, but it’s going to be more accurate and reliable. In fact, there’s a whole team around data curation staying on top of the database.) [20:40]
  • A little about micronutrients and reasons why you would want to track them to transform your health: [23:00]
    • You’re taking supplements and want to know if you’re getting enough in your diet. Or maybe you don’t need a supplement anymore?
    • You’re a cancer patient (or caring for one) wanting to know you’re getting what you need at therapeutic levels
    • Mental health
    • Keto dieters tracking electrolytes
    • Vegans making sure they’re getting their protein
    • Vegetarians making sure they’re getting their B12
    • Genetic mutations that cause you to not absorb typical micronutrients and you need to take in more
    • And many more reasons…
  • How Cronometer and Heads Up Health have integrated and now synchronize between the two apps [26:00]
  • Learn how a two-way sync with blood sugar and ketones may be in the future between Heads Up Health and Cronometer! [26:50]
  • How you can input blood test info in Cronometer, which is useful to see how your nutrient intake is affecting your lab values over time [27:30]
  • Why even though the biggest users of Cronometer are those following a keto, vegan, or raw food diet, as well those using it for weight loss, any dietary approach works with this nutrient tracker app  [30:00]
  • How researchers are utilizing Cronometer for diet research [31:10]
  • Why Dr. Mercola prefers Cronometer as a nutrient tracker app and how the Cronometer team customized it for him [32:45]

References

Cronometer

The Methuselah Foundation

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

Episode 28 – Vivica Menegaz on Keto Paleo, Carnivore, Fried Brains, and How to Test Blood Sugar

Episode 28 – Vivica Menegaz on Keto Paleo, Carnivore, Fried Brains, and How to Test Blood Sugar

The creator of “The Healing Foods Method,” Vivica Menegaz of The Nourished Caveman is a keto paleo nutritionist, cookbook author, and blogger. Originally a native of Italy, she grew up eating a nutrient-dense and local diet full of wonderful healing foods like organ meats in her keto or carnivore diet.  After spending years as a food photographer for magazines such as Bon Appetit and Vanity Fair, Vivica was given an opportunity to train with Dr. Deborah Penner from Chico, California in nutrition clinical practice. 

After working with Dr. Penner, Vivica branched out on her own and was eating a paleo type diet until she suddenly began gaining extra weight that seemed unusual. Upon further investigation, she realized she was pre-diabetic. This led her to blending the paleo diet with a ketogenic approach that brought about great results in her weight, blood sugar and more.

Vivica now works with women to help them reverse their own metabolic issues, lose weight and balance their hormones with her program: “The Healing Foods Method.” As Vivica provides custom instruction and one-on-one attention, only five women are accepted per month, where they can begin learning how to test their blood sugar and ketones, and more, to see their progress.

You can find Vivica on her website The Nourished Caveman and blog which combines ancestral diets with the wisdom of nutrition pioneers: Weston A Price, Dr. Royal Lee, Dr. Pottenger and more. She can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and on her YouTube Channel.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About Vivica’s past work in photography after attending The Center for Design in Pasadena and how she got into food photography [4:10]
  • That she grew up in Italy, eating locally, and later traveled to Japan just to enjoy the food [5:40]
  • That she never had a metabolic issue until recently and was never drawn to the starchy carbs or sweets, but rather preferred meats, veggies and organ meats like fried brains and liver [6:30]
  • How she views nutrient-dense organ meats like fried brains — the taste of childhood! [7:15]
  • That she started cooking at age 7 [8:00]
  • Born and raised in Italy, she moved to the United States at age 23 and has been here for more than 25 years [8:30]
  • About her transition to working with individuals in clinical practice, starting with raw food [9.10]
  • How she had major gallbladder attacks at age 27 but didn’t have it removed. She was having attacks 1-2 times a week and both her mom and grandma had theirs removed, but she refused to let them take hers [9:45]
  • How her chiropractor helped her with food and nutrition, supplements and adjustments to overcome the gallbladder issues [10:05]
  • How Vivica began working for Dr. Deborah Penner, her chiropractor in Chico, who later became her friend and mentor, pushing her to begin studying nutrition, working together for four years in clinical practice [10:35]
  • How she branched out on her own and now takes a keto paleo approach, blending the two diets together. Although the paleo diet supported her gallbladder, the discovery of pre-diabetes and sudden 30 lb weight gain led her to finding keto. [12:10]
  • About how monitoring your blood glucose can prevent a diagnosis of diabetes by just being aware of how foods are affecting your blood sugar [14:15]
  • That graphing your blood sugar readings show you a whole different perspective than a single fasting blood draw [16:45]
  • That she asks her clients to test 7 times a day and keep a food journal to see real-time feedback on their food and what it’s doing in their bodies as they learn how to test blood sugar [17:00]
  • That testing and macros are training wheels for understanding how to eat, but you will eventually understand when you’re in ketosis by how you feel [21:00]
  • About keto-adaptation, testing for ketosis with both blood sugar and ketones to keep you on track, and why avoiding cheat days is important for becoming really keto-adapted [22:30]
  • Are they food sensitivities or are they just foods that aren’t paleo? [26:30]
  • Dave compares white bread to cocaine in its addictiveness [27:00]
  • That carbs ups aren’t necessarily bad, but you don’t have to eat a donut to do one or stop eating the high-quality foods either! [30:00]
  • About food shaming and peer pressure and how we navigate it [31:40] 
  • About the layers and steps to healing based on where you are and what you want to do. This can be based on your family situation, psychology etc. [35:10]
  • About her experiment with going carnivore for a week and how she was in the highest ketosis she’s ever been in [36:23]
  • How she had cravings for some things come up while doing carnivore and attributes it to another layer of keto-adaptation and gut microbiome recalibration [41:00]
  • That she gained weight and then when she started working out she lost 5 lbs without trying [44:40]
  • “If you don’t take time for your health today, you’ll have to take time for your illness tomorrow.” — Dr. Bruce Bond [48:00]

References

Dr. Deborah Penner

Zsófia Clemens, PhD

Food Shaming Blog Post by Vivica Menegaz

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!