Life Check Yourself Episode 371 How to Hack Your Metabolism And Feel Better at Any Age with Carolyn Williams
Marni welcomes award-winning food and health journalist Carolyn Williams in the Life Check Yourself studio, to discuss a topic that has long plagued women (and men): our bodies. The author, dietician and mother of two, shares her own journey with food and discusses the culprit behind many of our physical ailments. Marni and Carolyn delve into what a healthy diet actually means and how to get on the right track when it comes to eating clean. And good news is that restriction isn’t, contrary to popular belief, not the way to go. Winner of the 2017 James Beard Foundation Award, Carolyn traces much of today’s health issues back to low-grade chronic inflammation. The journalist breaks down what inflammation actually is and how it contributes to conditions like diabetes.
Takeaways from this episode:
- Forget the diet mentality
- How you can cure bloating
- Throw out the stereotypes associated with food
- Our eating habits are part of our identity
- What exactly is inflammation and why should you care?
- Be conscious of how food makes you feel
Carbs Aren’t The Enemy [04:31]
Carbs aren’t actually bad for you; what is bad is the way you consume them. According to Carolyn, we tend to overdo carbs and ignore a lot of the foods that have the nutrients we need. These foods include beans, fruits and vegetables. However, the dietician explains that rather than paint carbs as the villain, it’s more about changing our mindset and re-shifting the way we look at carbs. That being said, deprivation isn’t the answer to our diet.
To change our mindset, we need to take notice of what we eat and how it makes us feel. If there are certain foods that make us feel heavy or lethargic, then we take note of that. Once we’re conscious of the way in which our body interacts with certain foods, it becomes easier to leave behind the bad diet rules. And each person, each body is different.
If you’re going to be who you really are in the world, and be really present for you, then why would you not fill the container in a way that allows you to express who you are?
Chronic Inflammation is Always Running in the Background [07:18]
Carolyn’s own journey with food is what led to her discovery and subsequent deep-dive into the subject of inflammation. By exploring and asking the right questions, the journalist studied how inflammation actually affects our body (and inevitably our mind) and to what extent. While low-grade chronic inflammation might not be the cause of auto-immune diseases, diabetes and a myriad of other conditions, it is a contributor to the development of these ailments. Carolyn likens it to a silent motor constantly running in the background. And the food we eat is what contributes to inflammation.
Inflammation is Actually a Reaction of Your Immune System [13:28]
At its core, inflammation is designed to protect us; it’s not technically bad. When we run a fever (inflammation), for example, it’s our body’s way of defending itself. But inflammation is meant to be acute and short-acting – once the job is done, it bids our body farewell. However, with chronic inflammation it’s constant and subtle. And that’s where the issue is.
A little bit of low-grade chronic inflammation is a small contained fire. And maybe it looks like you haven’t been able to exercise, or you’re more sedentary, that kind of thing.
Carolyn explains that chronic inflammation is a result of our modern lifestyle, the way we ingest food and the type of food we ingest. Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation won’t disappear unless you actively take the steps necessary to eliminate it. It’s constantly there wreaking havoc on our bodies, slowly, silently and stealthily. Unless you make active changes to your diet, it’ll continue on. That’s not to say that we need to cut out everything labeled “bad” or deprive ourselves. But rather, to make a conscious effort to get in the nutrients that we need.