Category: Broke Ass Health Hacks

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Plastic

Life Without A Microwave

One of my first moves in becoming a true Holistic A-Hole was to rid my life of my microwave.


This was 6 years ago and I haven’t looked back.


Before this transformational moment I couldn’t imagine my life without a microwave.


The microwave was as much apart of my young life as a pair of dirty basketball shoes or sleeveless shirts.


Very few things I ate didn’t see the inside of a microwave.


Pizza, leftover spaghetti, popcorn, frozen dinners all kept me well fed and undernourished.

And all needed less than 2 minutes to make thanks to my handy 20th century miracle kitchen appliance.

A lot of times, I’d take leftovers and put them in the microwave along with the plastic container I kept them in.

The thought of this being a problem never crossed my mind. I was just hungry and the shortest path between the food and my belly was the microwave.

Taking the food out of the plastic and putting it on a plate or a glass bowl seemed like a waste of time.


Little did I know that the plastic I was heating was literally driving me crazy.

Added Toxic Ingredients

Any time you subject plastic to heat there will be melting and leaching.


I remember countless work lunches, heating up a Lean Cuisine thinking I was doing something good for my body.


Sure, there was less than 300 calories in that fettucini alfredo and guaranteed 6-pack abs.


But thanks to the small tray the food was in, I was unknowingly dosing myself with a helping of toxic chemicals.


Let’s not forget the plastic wrap that I was supposed to cut holes in to form a state of the art ventilation system… to give it that authentic Italian kitchen touch.


Every day, unknowingly, my $2 lunch included an extra helping of xenobiotic chemicals.


Mama Mia!

Meet The Chemicals

The most written about plastic chemical in circulation today is bisphenol A, aka BPA.


The purpose of BPA is to harden the plastics.


BPA is a xenoestrogen that exhibits estrogen-mimicking properties.

Xenoestrogens can be problematic for men and women.

For men, they have been tied to testicular cancer and reproductive problems.

In women, they can be attributed to breast cancer, PCOS, miscarriages and thyroid disorders.


Plastics will also give you a dose of Phthalates which are used to make the plastics more flexible.


Phthalates lead to testosterone problems and have been tied to male penis problems, allergies and eczema.

BPA-Free Plastic

But of course industry has your back and wants you to feel safe.


This is why they ditched the BPA (which makes you wonder why it was in there in the first place).


Now you can buy BPA-free plastics made from acrylic, polystyrene, polyethersulfone, and Tritan™.


Well, at least those chemicals are safe and aren’t used in infant products.
Oh, wait… Turns out those BPA-free chemicals also exhibit estrogen activity and are found in infant products.


There are however other BPA-free ingredients that don’t leach estrogen activity inducing chemicals.


These include glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate, cyclic olefin polymer or co-polymer resins.

If you are purchasing any plastics, especially for your baby, make sure they include the more harmless ones.

Consequences In The Body

Sure these leaching plastics wont kill you on the spot.


They are making a gradual withdraw from your overall health status.


You want to do everything you can to protect your hormones and organs.


Hormonal health can be visceral and when it’s not working right you can feel the disturbance.


Especially in your mental health.


Why do you feel so overly emotional? Does life feel too stressful sometimes? Do you have a hard time just feeling happy?


This roller coaster of emotions is a reflection of the dysregulation in your hormones.


If you’re doing everything you can to live and eat healthily but still feel like a wreck, maybe your problem is simply the container your healthy food is in.


Before you nuke that kale burrito, be responsible and put it on a plate and hit the popcorn button.

Avoid Carbs In The Morning

Carbs In The Morning

As a dude who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s I was witness to countless television commercials telling me that (enter sugary cereal) was part of a complete breakfast.


Eggs, bacon, sausage, toast with a pad of butter, yogurt with berries, bananas, orange juice, tea, and oh ya.. the fucking cereal the ad was for in the first place!


I still remember looking at those images of the complete breakfast and thinking, “who eats that?”


I couldn’t even imagine some kid somewhere eating a meal fit for a king within an hour of waking up.


For me, breakfast was nothing more than a bowl of that sugary cereal with some cow jizz, pasteurized milk.


Even back then I was enough of a little A-hole to know that something wasn’t right with that much food first thing in the morning.


Now that I’m a fully-grown A-Hole I cringe at the thought that someone ate like that.

But for me it’s not the amount of food that makes me uncomfortable, but the amount of sugar and carbs.

Carbs

While I have many critiques of carbs, including the blanket label of carbs, they do have their place.


I don’t believe that carbs are neccessarily the problem in the SAD American diet.

But the wrong types of carbs certainly are.
There are plenty of carbs that are harmful to your health.

Breads, pastas, cakes, candy, and pastries are all terrible.


But other carbs like fruits, starchy vegetables, and legumes definitely have their place in a healthy diet.


When people get fanatical about this low carb craze, they throw the fiber and vitamin-rich baby out with the sugary bath water.


Cut out your daily bagel, but don’t avoid oranges.
Stiff arm the office birthday cake, but definitely add in sweet potatoes.


But no matter what you do with your carbs, even if you go with the healthy ones, avoid them first thing in the morning.

Carbs And Cortisol

The morning is no doubt the worst time to put any type of carbohydrate in your body.


The main reason is because first thing in the morning is when your body is making the most amount of cortisol.


The term “cortisol” is hot right now because everyone knows it as the stress hormone.


That is very true.

We should all be trying to lower our stress as it is the number one cause of chronic disease.


The problem with a blanket demonization of cortisol is that it’s not all bad.

Cortisol Our Protector

Cortisol has a purpose in your body.. that’s why it’s there.


Side note- most functions in your body, be they good or bad, are there for a reason. This includes all the organs your doctor wants to cut out of you. Your appendix, gallbladder, tonsils, all serve a very specific purpose.


Cortisol is no different.


It’s an ancient mechanism that took millions to evolve for survival purposes.


When we were savage cave-bros out there in the wild cortisol is what helped us run from predators.


Our eyes would identify danger, send a signal to our hypothalamus, who sent a signal to the pituitary gland which sent a hormone called ACTH to our adrenal glands that shit was about to get real!


The adrenal glands would get the ACTH and know that it was now time to pump cortisol into the blood stream.


Cortisol made our body’s autonomic nervous system switch from parasympathetic to sympathetic.

It’s like an alarm that tells your body, “wake up bitch! We gotta survive!”


It’s in this sympathetic nervous that our instincts take over and we become survivors.


In this example, savage cave-bro would make a split second decision.

I’m either gonna run from this lion, or I’m going to punch it right in the face.

Morning Cortisol

The other important thing to know about cortisol is that it’s highest in the morning.


The beauty of cortisol is that evolved to coincide with our body’s circadian rhythm.


Somehow, our brains realized that we need to be ready to survive the most first thing in the morning.


We need to get up, find food and start the day.


So cortisol comes in like your roommate’s annoying alarm clock and gets you up and ready to survive.


Then throughout the day it gradually lowers so that come night time it’s the lowest so you can fall asleep.

What Cortisol Does In Your Body

The biological purpose of cortisol is to make glucose available in your body.


Cortisol frees up stored glycogen in your liver and gets it into the blood stream.


Once glucose is in your blood stream, your pancreas secretes insulin to get it into your cells.

Glucose is basically sugar.


Glucose is the most fast-acting form of nutrition our cells use to make ATP.. which is a fancy way of saying energy.


This would make sense since you’re about to drop kick a lion, you need something that gives you an immediate jolt.

Cortisol And Breakfast

Nowadays, unless you’re living in one of the few hunter-gatherer tribes in the world… and if you are thank you for somehow connecting to the internet to read this… you’re not using cortisol to submit an AM predator.


The problem is that it’s still there in the morning.. and it’s going to effect how your body metabolizes the food you eat for breakfast.


If you eat carbs in the morning, even the good ones, you’re adding an extra burden of glucose to your body.


Remember how cortisol is making glucose available anyways?


It does this to put glucose back into your blood after insulin has come and cleared it out of your blood.


You always have about a teaspoon of glucose in your blood which is your fasting blood glucose.


Some people have more and some people have less. The more you have the more at risk for diabetes you are.


Because cortisol is highest in the morning, you will get a higher dose of glucose in your blood after you eat a carb-rich breakfast.


This is where the problems come in.


Your muscle cells and liver have reached their capacity to store the glucose from the food you ate.


The excess glucose is sent to the liver where it’s turned into triglycerides and then stored as fat.


This happens in conjunction with your muscle cells resisting the insulin and glucose like you pretending to not be home when Jehovah Witnesses knock on your door.


In other words, you’ve created insulin resistance and now more easily stor the glucose in your blood as fat.


And because cortisol is most powerful in the morning, sugar and carbs for breakfast will create fat and insulin resistance more than any other meal.

What To Eat For Breakfast

On top of all the other problems with the SAD American diet, it’s become normal to eat carbs for breakfast.


And by carbs I mean, the most sugary, starchy, addicting foods available.


Sugary cereals, croissants, donuts, bagels, muffins, Gogurt, granola, toast, waffles, pancakes, french toast.. my blood sugar is crashing just thinking about these treats.


If you want to lose weight your best bet is to avoid each of the above items first thing in the day.


Especially if your diabetic or pre-diabetic.


Instead, opt for high fat and protein.


This will help you stabilize your cortisol and blood sugar.


Protein shakes are my personal number one go-to.


Add a scoop of whey or veggie protein to water with some coconut oil or even grass-fed butter.


Spice it up with other ingredients of your choosing.

Add veggies, nuts, seeds, maca powder, spirulina.. you can really be as creative as you’d like.


Even adding a little fruit is ok, but keep it minimal. A handful of berries, a half banana, a tiny slice of papaya won’t do a lot of damage and can give you plenty of good nutrition.


Eggs and bacon are great. Just make sure they meet all the hippie-dippy standards of pasture raised and nitrite free. Sustainable, well-raised food is always better and create less toxicity in your body.

Plain yogurt with some protein powder mixed in is good too.


No matter what you choose make sure it is free from sugar and processed ingredients.

Feel Better Throughout The Day

Avoiding sugar and stabilizing cortisol in the morning will not only help you feel better in the morning, but even throughout the day.


Cortisol is a hormone. So is insulin.

Along with their physical implications, they also affect your mental health.


Those feelings of depression and anxiety can be supercharged with cortisol dysregulation.


By using fat and protein in the morning, you can stabilize those hormones and your emotions.


When your blood sugar goes on a cortisol roller coaster so does your brain..

Take control of your mind and your body by simply staying away from carbs in the morning.

Even if they part of the SAD American diet’s complete breakfast.

Why You Should Rethink Your Calcium Supplements

If there’s one supplement to quit taking its definitely calcium. The story of calcium is mostly fake news.

Do we need calcium? Absolutely.

The number one misunderstanding about taking calcium is that we need to take more of it.

The problems w. Calcium in your body come from the mobility not the amount.

Adding more calcium doesn’t make your bones stronger.

There’s only so much calcium that can be retained by the bone.

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) regulates the balance of calcium in your bones and in your blood.

PTH is affected by the PH of your blood. Are you alkaline or acidic? Many factors affect your blood PH but the biggest is diet.

If you’re eating a well balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables than you’re probably getting enough calcium.

Even a little dairy like whole fat milk, cheese, and butter can give you enough calcium.

When you have too much calcium, like more than your body needs, than the excess ends up in your blood. This excess calcium causes inflammation.

If your taking calcium supplements and are dealing with inflammation, pain, depression, etc than you may have too much calcium.

Too much calcium ends up in your arteries, lungs, gut, kidneys, and in your brain.

For those of you who are wondering, “what’s wrong with that?”, than this is gonna be a huge spoiler alert… but calcium isn’t supposed to be in any of those places.

If you have high serum calcium you are on track for a cardiac event.

This is why coronary artery calcium is one of the biggest indicators of heart attacks.

Your heart uses calcium to force contractions, but too much stymies the whole process.

A lot of it will end up in your kidneys and you’ll just piss it out. There is no bigger checking account to urine pipeline than calcium supplements.

When put to the test, calcium supplements don’t even keep little old ladies from breaking their hips. In fact, more studies show increased hip fractures with calcium supplementation than with no supplementation.

If you’re concerned about your calcium or bone health I’d recommend Magnesium.

Magnesium is a calcium antagonizer and will help balance the calcium to the right ratios.

It works well with PTH to shuttle the right amount of calcium between your bones and blood.

If your doctor has you on calcium then ask them about this.

If you have weak bones and are taking calcium supplements than it’s not a bad idea to switch to magnesium or end up like the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” lady.

High Protein And B-Vitamins

If you eat a high protein diet than you need to make sure you’re also taking B-vitamins. The metabolism of protein, esp animal protein, can result in elevated levels of homocysteine. While people are looking at cholesterol as the cause of heart disease, homocysteine lurks in the shadows leaving plaque in your arteries, leading to Alzheimer’s, stroke, and heart disease. Methylated B-vitamins help to eliminate homocysteine out of your body. If your eating high protein make sure you’re adding the methylated versions of B-Vitamins.. specifically: B-12 (methylcobalamin), B-6 (Pyridoxal phosphate P5P), and folate.