Energy Sculpt, Best Breakfast, & A Healthy Gut

A Cardio & Scone-y Morning

Coco is here! This morning we went to my gymΒ to take a class called Energy Sculpt. I had never taken it before and had no idea what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 30 minutes cardio with a step (this was really fun – not too repetitive at all, which is what I usually dislike about step/cardio classes)
  • 20-25 minutes combo of yoga and strength training. We were surprised (and pleased) when the cardio segment ended with down dog, warriors, and fun weight routines. He did not make the sets go on forever and I really enjoyed all the exercises.
  • 5-10 minutes abs and a brief cooldown. I hate abs, but at least this part didn’t last very long! And cooldowns are my favorite part of any workout.

After the workout we enjoyed the showersΒ and headed back to my apartment for a breakfast of Whole Foods baked goods. I have a new favorite thing – the “no sugar added blueberry scone“. It doesn’t have any sweetener at all, so it is really more like a buttery blueberry biscuit. It looks like this:


Scones & Intuitive Eating

I haven’t talked much about intuitive eating lately, but I am very happy to say that it’s going well. It’s important to enjoy things like blueberry scones because by having what you really want, you stave off the cravings that usually come later.

Not to say that we should always indulge in our cravings. A balanced, healthy diet is important – so if I have too many scones I will probably balance it out with a nice salad or some fresh fruit. It’s all about balance! Moderation is hard, but worth it.

Do You Have A Healthy Gut?

Bobby sent me this great article yesterday and I just had to mention it today; normally I would have saved it for What’s Up Saturday but I want to elaborate. It’s written by Dr. Mark Hyman (author of those “Ultra” books – UltraWellness, UltraMind, UltraMetabolism, etc…).

The gist of the article is that many ailments that people suffer actually come from having a digestive issue (even if you never notice any stomach problems) – things like acne, asthma, allergies, obesity, fibromyalgia, and more. Dr. Hyman says that modern medicine defines illness based on symptoms, which can be inaccurate or incomplete. If you have a chronic problem you should check out your gut and make sure it’s healthy – you might be surprised at what you find.

He notes a few examples of people that have had long times of illness (20+ years) only to “magically” cure themselves by getting rid of a crazy bacteria living in their gut. Some of the symptoms that were cured include autism (maybe misdiagnosed, but something like it), severe behavioral problems, migraines, and sinusitis.

He goes on to talk about lots and lots of research linking gut flora and inflammation (inflammation = our body’s response to pathogens) to chronic illness. Some intriguing findings in the article.

He closes with 5 Steps to a Healthy Gut and Body:

  1. Eat a high-fiber, whole foods diet. His favorites are beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables because they support the good digestive bacteria.
  2. Avoid/limit sugar, processed foods, animal fat, and animal protein. The harmful bacteria feed on these.
  3. Avoid antibiotics, acid-blockers, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  4. Take probiotics. They improve digestive health and can help get rid of allergies and inflammation.
  5. If you still have problems (or if you’re just curious) consider getting specialized tests and working with a natural doctor to make sure your gut is functioning well.

What do you all think? Here are my thoughts…

#1: Duh. I wholeheartedly agree that these should be the bases of the human diet.

#2: Agree that sugar and processed foods are bad; I’m iffy on animal fat. I think butter is great and I have seen fabulous results from eating more butter and including minimal amounts of animal protein in my diet. The key here I think is that you shouldn’t have animal fat/protein at every meal.

#3: In general, I think that antibiotics are overused. They are a wonderful wonderful thing when used properly and in moderation. Many lives have been saved. But when we overuse and overprescribe drugs, our bodies get confused and stop working they way they should. I have taken antibiotics exactly 3 times in my life, which is very very rare nowadays.

#4: I’ve taken probiotics off and on and sometimes I think I see improvements and other times I don’t notice anything. I do think that if I want to see results I would have to be consistent. I know that Clare has had great success with probiotics.

#5: I generally avoid any medical test that is not absolutely required. Ha.

21 Replies to “Energy Sculpt, Best Breakfast, & A Healthy Gut”

  1. Glad that IE is going well!

    Haha, my problem with step is that I’m terribly coordinated, so I have problems keeping up.

    I thought the article was interesting. However, I also disagree on the animal fat/animal protein. Many butters and dairy products are cultured, after all. And fat keeps things moving!

  2. So I’ve been totally cutting out sugar (besides a little dark chocolate once a week) and my acne is clearing up and I feel like I have so much more energy! I believe that once you clean up your diet, your health problems will disappear! Being a vegan, I don’t eat animal fat but avocado, coconut, and nut butter have helped so much with my diet and skin!

  3. We are so eerily similar! haha this is like the 10th time you’ve posted about a book, article, etc. that I also had read!!

    I read this article and fwded it to some family and friends too. It resonated w/ me b/c I used to suffer from extreme headaches frequently. Since I have been using Amazing Grass they have pretty much disappeared. As I mentioned on my review – the first week of Amazing Grass was hell for me. I read that it was like detox. I totally believe now that so many of our ailments come from the gut. All of those toxins need to find their way out some how.

    1. @Christina: I have definitely had detox experiences when I start eating clean without much transition. Actually I have been eating pretty clean the last few weeks and I broke out horribly! But then it went away and now my skin is better than before.

  4. I’m with you in that I don’t believe that animal fat is bad. The same holds for animal protein, imo. Anyway, I’m still not sure about grains. I think in processed form they aren’t healthy (they’re too much like sugar and actually foster inflammations), and it whole form they have to be treated appropriately (soaked in acidic medium, or fermented) to get rid of the enzyme blockers and phytic acid. But then, whole grains are very healthy, I believe.

    I experienced that my chronic sinus infection and exhaustion got better when I reduced regular dairy (except ghee), grains, and sugar, and ate more chicken, fish, and ghee instead. (Vegetables I had eaten before as well.) My skin also got better. It’s not so dry and doesn’t tear on the knuckles anymore.

  5. Great post. I’ve been dealing with digestive problems for years. Strangely enough, once I eliminated my acid blocker (prevacid), I began to have less trouble. I also believe eating a healthy diet–including butter,dairy, “good” fats and occasionally, meat, is first and foremost in getting your gut healthy. I also give a lot of credit to acupuncture for getting me healthy and helping me maintain.

    P.s. I so miss step cardio. How fun πŸ™‚

    1. @Stephanie: I love acupuncture! I find that it only helps if I clean up my eating in conjunction with it though. If you are just getting acupuncture but still doing everything else the same it’s not that effective. Though I have thought that maybe acupuncture helps give you the peace of mind you need to clean up everything else.

  6. Hey Maggie,

    Yes yes, probiotics have helped me a lot. Especially battling back from a severe bacterial infection! I have to say though, I take really HIGH QUALITY doctor perscribed probiotics. I can’t attest to any store brand, but I do know that when it comes to supplements, quality is SUPER important, because it isn’t really regulated like drugs are. So you have to use sources you trust and trial and error and read and learn, etc.

    Bla bla bla. I generally respect Dr. Hyman, however I’m not fully supportive of his animal protein statement. Again, I think quality and source are important to consider.

    Thanks for sharing the info and your scone-age!


    1. @Clare: Such a good point about the probiotics!! I was trying to find your probiotics post but I couldn’t find it, so point me to the link if you get a chance.

      1. Hey Maggie,

        I’m not sure I specifically blogged on the probiotics, but here is what I take:

        I’ve taken “store” brands in the past and they just don’t compare, not even close, to the difference I feel. I know I sound like I’m working for this company or something, LOL! But I seriously understand the difference of quality supplements, I’ve felt it and lived it. That’s just my experience! Different strokes for different folks…I can only attest to what works for ME. πŸ™‚

  7. hey mags! O god I feel SO behind on my blog reading! I belong to equinox in LA. We have this class called tread and shred. its really awesome, its part cardio intervals on the treadmill and part weight training. I would love a play date with you AND coco!
    I think I’m gradually learning to be intuitive, but I’m still not there yet. I eat a lot of fish, but I dont think that counts as “meat”. anyhow, I think raw veggies actually are a killer for me, they make me SO bloated.

  8. First off, THANK YOU for posting a scone image–you do not know how much I adore them! πŸ˜‰ And the ones you found sound scrumptious, as I don’t like mine overly sweet, either!
    I’m into probiotics, as I do have a fair amount of anxiety-related digestive issues.
    I’m w/Eden on the raw veg–can’t do too many of them, or I end up in huge trouble!
    As far as intuitive eating goes, it is one of my biggest goals as I work toward “full” recovery from anorexia. I’m not there yet, but I hope to be within the next year or so! I think it’s incredibly important to listen to one’s body/hunger cues–or learn to do so over time. Great post, Maggie! πŸ™‚

  9. I really love your thoughts on the healthy gut – I agree with you completely.

    Scones = love!

    Must admit, abs are some of my favourite exercises. I’ll do the abs work for you πŸ˜€

  10. Yes! Intuitive at its finest is when one is willing to eat whatever it is they crave. A lot of our issues with food develop because we put restrictions on ourselves but if we would just loosen up and let ourselves enjoy our treats, things would be a whole lot easier.

    That’s a really great article! I’ve been taking a probiotic daily for about a month now and I definitely think it’s helped with my digestive issues. πŸ™‚

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