Super 6 Lifestyle Pillars – Revised

These Super 6 Lifestyle Pillars are critical in the prevention and reversal of chronic disease. Typically one of these 6 areas or more need some nurturing. We encourage you to be and stay curious about these areas and what you feel would be a practical next step towards wellness for you to make.  For more information/resources for transformation go to drkyle.com or follow me on Facebook Dr Kyle Homertgen or drkyledo on Instagram.

Get whole with awareness of Forks, Feet, Fingers, Stress, Sleep & Love

1. FORKS:
It is a myth that we need to give up our joy of eating to be healthy
I look forward to my overnight oats soaked in homemade hemp seed milk sweetened with dates and vanilla extract with berries, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger, cacao nibs for breakfast. I absolutely love my breakfast! I look forward to our curry potato, brown rice or quinoa vegetables stews for lunch and dinner or burrito bowls with pumpkin seeds, whole grains, beans and hot sauce. I do not feel deprived. I feel light and energized in my body. I am eating for optimal blood flow and loving every bite. With every meal I know I am repairing damaged blood vessels and healing my body.
Eat whole nutrient dense fiber foods!
Shift your plant to animal ratio, your whole to processed ratio
Perfection is impossible, to be whole is the goal!
Whole foods with fiber: Vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, seeds
Avoid or keep to 2 servings or less a week “meats and treats” which are foods WITHOUT fiber
Foods without fiber = meat, eggs, dairy, cheese, oils, white flour, sugar
Eat oatmeal with 1-2 tablespoons fresh ground flaxseed with berries and plant milk
Try “overnight oats” for breakfast:
Soak 1/2 cup of steel cut oats after rinsing before bed, soak in plant milk overnight in the fridge.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh ground organic flaxseeds, berries, cinnamon
We encourage a large salad with beans, whole grains for one meal a day.
Hemp milk recipe:
Blend ¼ cup raw shelled hemp seeds with 2 cups water for 40 seconds
Add a few pitted dates and vanilla extract to taste
Read to serve, no need to filter.
Try burrito bowls for lunch and dinner. Google: whole food plant based burrito bowel recipes
Try living on sweet potatoes and kale with fruit for snacks and dessert for a few days.
Consider watching: Forks Over Knives
Consider reading:
How Not To Diet by Michael Greger, MD
Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD
The Pleasure Trap by Doug Lisle, PhD

2. FEET: Move your body a little bit every day as tolerated
ie mini squats in your home, walking in the house or outside, stationary cycling, gentle yoga stretches
Goal to increase exercise to 30-40 minutes a day
Consider reading Finding Ultra by Rich Roll or listening to the Rich Roll Podcast
If you are a runner or want to start, read The Running Revolution by Dr Nicholas Romanov
Watch the film The Game Changers on Netflix
Check out Zach Bush, MDs 4 minute work out on YouTube
Reclaim your squat to make up for the lost time due to the Western toilet seat
Add hanging time daily and advance slowly as tolerated
Rewild your feet by slowly advancing time in a barefoot style shoe (wide toe gap, zero drop) Brands I use are Vivobarefoot and Lems

3. FINGERS: Avoid tobacco use, if you smoke stay curious about quitting, practice posture and breath awareness, do body scans when reaching and commit to this practice if you still decide to have a cigarette. Increase fruits and vegetables and you will naturally smoke less. Stay curious about screen time. Reactive addictive patterns, food as therapy rather than food as medicine. Consider reading The Realm of the Hungry Ghost by Gabor Mate, MD or watch his You Tube videos.

4. STRESS: To balance your nervous system, relax the body and prevent compression pain we need to recruit back your parasympathetic nervous system.
To do this:
Practice soft belly breathing and posture awareness
The belly should rise on inhalation and fall on exhalation
Allow shoulders to rest on top of the rib cage avoiding ‘ear muffs’
Minimize slouching, goal for a straight spine and strong core
Add the free app  Insight Timer to your phone for guided meditation and sleep support
Use slow exhalation breaths for resistance, feeling belly drawn in and up. On inhalation, the belly rises. This is a way of supporting strength and resilience of the pelvic floor. An alternative or addition to kegal exercise. Add high lunges.
Can add square breathing and count 4 count on inhale, hold for 4 count, then exhale 4-6 count.
Consider reading Mindsight by Dan Siegel, MD
Ground to nature!
Add humming, chanting, singing, speak your truth!

5. SLEEP:
Prioritize adequate sleep, create a new ritual around sleep. Stay curious about barriers.
Avoid caffeine after Noon, stay curious about your total use of stimulants and need for ‘downers’ at night ie alcohol or cannabis or sleep medications.
Minimize screen time 2-3 hours before bed or use special glasses the block light frequencies that keep your melatonin levels inappropriately low when you need to sleep.
Read a real book before bed
Consider lemon balm, passion flower, valerian root supportive herbs. Ie Relaxing Sleep tincture by Herb Pharm
See my sleep hygiene handout at drkyle.com for more ideas

6. LOVE:
Are you isolated?
Are your relationships nourishing?
Connect with yourself, go inward
Choose a few minutes every day for silent contemplation, prayer
Practice gratitude: Place hands on chest and feel one thing you are grateful for for 1-3 minutes before getting out of bed in the AM each day.
Connect with other sentient beings, the earth, our shared home, volunteer?
Be curious about grudges, need for forgiveness, adequate grief work, find a depth therapist or counselor for support. We all need support!
Consider reading Lost Connections by Johann Hari, Grounded Spirituality by Jeff Brown

Super 6 Lifestyle Pillars – Revised

Super 6 Word Doc

These Super 6 Lifestyle Pillars are critical in the prevention and reversal of chronic disease. Typically one of these 6 areas or more need some nurturing. We encourage you to be curious about these areas and what you feel would be a practical next step towards wellness for you to make. Get whole with awareness of Forks, Feet, Fingers, Stress, Sleep & Love 

1. FORKS:

It is a myth that we need to give up our joy of eating to be healthy 

I look forward to my overnight oats soaked in homemade hemp seed milk sweetened with dates and vanilla extract with berries, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger, cacao nibs for breakfast. I absolutely love my breakfast! I look forward to our curry potato, brown rice or quinoa vegetables stews for lunch and dinner or burrito bowls with pumpkin seeds, whole grains, beans and hot sauce. I do not feel deprived. I feel light and energized in my body. I am eating for optimal blood flow and loving every bite. With every meal I know I am repairing damaged blood vessels and healing my body. 

Eat whole nutrient dense fiber foods!

Shift your plant to animal ratio, your whole to processed ratio

Perfection is impossible, to be whole is the goal! 

Whole foods with fiber: Vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, seeds

Avoid or limit to 2 servings or less a week “meats and treats” which are foods without fiber

Foods without fiber = meat, eggs, dairy, cheese, oils, white flour, sugar 

Eat oatmeal with 1-2 tablespoons fresh ground flaxseed with berries and plant milk 

Try “overnight oats” for breakfast:

  • -Soak 1/2 cup of organic steel cut oats after rinsing before bed, soak in plant milk overnight in the fridge.
  • -Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh ground organic flaxseeds, berries, cinnamon 

We encourage a large salad with beans, seeds, whole grains for one meal a day. 

Hemp milk recipe:

  • -Blend ¼ cup raw shelled hemp seeds with 2 cups water for 40 seconds
  • -Add a few pitted dates and vanilla extract to taste

Read to serve, no need to filter.

Try burrito bowls for lunch and dinner. Google: whole food plant based burrito bowel recipes 

Try living on sweet potatoes and kale with fruit for snacks and dessert for a few days. 

Consider watching: Forks Over Knives 

Consider reading: 

How Not To Diet by Michael Greger, MD 

Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD 

The Pleasure Trap by Doug Lisle, PhD 

2. FEET: 

Move your body a little bit every day as tolerated 

ie mini squats in your home, walking in the house or outside, stationary cycling, gentle yoga stretches

Goal to increase exercise to 30-40 minutes a day 

Check out the 4 minute work out by Zach Bush, MD on YouTube 

Consider reading Finding Ultra by Rich Roll 

Look for the film, The Game Changers out in theaters in a few months 

3. FINGERS: Avoid tobacco use, if you smoke stay curious about quitting, practice posture and breath awareness, do body scans when reaching and commit to this practice if you still decide to have a cigarette. Increase fruits and vegetables and you will naturally smoke less.

4. STRESS: 

To balance your nervous system, relax the body and prevent compression pain we need to recruit back your parasympathetic nervous system.

To do this: 

Practice soft belly breathing and posture awareness

The belly should rise on inhalation and fall on exhalation 

Allow shoulders to rest on top of the rib cage avoiding ‘ear muffs’

Minimize slouching, goal for a straight spine and strong core

Consider reading Mindsight by Dan Siegel, MD 

5. SLEEP: 

Prioritize adequate sleep

Avoid caffeine after Noon 

Minimize screen time 2-3 hours before bed or use special glasses the block light frequencies that keep your melatonin levels inappropriately low when you need to sleep. 

Read a real book before bed 

Consider melatonin assist, take 1-3 mg after dinner 

Minimize lighting in home in evening 

See my sleep hygiene handout  Suggestions for Better Sleep

6. LOVE:

Are you isolated?

Are your relationships nourishing?  

Connect with yourself, go inward

Choose a few minutes every day for silent contemplation, prayer

Practice gratitude: Place hands on chest and feel one thing you are grateful for for 1-3 minutes before getting out of bed in the AM each day. 

Connect with other sentient beings, volunteer? 

Be curious about grudges, need for forgiveness, adequate grief work

Consider reading :

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

Grounded Spirituality by Jeff Brown 

Forks Feet Fingers Stress Sleep & Love

Forks / Feet / Fingers / Stress / Sleep / Love

Water (example of serving =  8 oz)         

How many servings daily?     0     1     2     3     4     5     more than 5

Beans (examples of servings =  ¼ cup hummus / ½ cup beans / 1 cup fresh peas)

How many servings daily?     0     1     2     3     more than 3

Cruciferous Vegetables like arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens or kale (examples of servings =  ½ cup / ¼ cup sprouts)

How many servings daily?     0     1     2     more than 2

Greens like lettuce or spinach (examples of servings =  1 cup raw / ½ cup cooked)

How many servings daily?     0     1     2     more than 2

Other Vegetables like mushrooms, sweet potatoes or tomatoes (examples of servings =  ½ cup cooked / 1 cup raw)

How many servings daily?     0     1     2     more than 2

Whole Grains like oatmeal, brown rice, bread (examples of servings =  ½ cup oatmeal / 1 cup cold cereal / 1 tortilla or slice of bread / half a bagel / 3 cups popcorn)

How many servings daily?     0     1     2     3     more than 3

Berries (examples of servings =  ½ cup frozen or fresh / ¼ cup dried)

How many servings daily?     0     1     more than 1

Other Fruit like avocados, bananas or apples (examples of servings =  1 medium / 1 cup /  ¼ cup dried) 

How many servings daily?     0     1     2     3     more than 3

Flaxseed, Chia Seed, or Hemp Seed (serving size 1 tablespoon)

How many servings daily?     0     1     more than 1

Nuts & Seeds (examples of servings =  ¼ cup nuts or seeds / 2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter)

How many servings daily?     0     1     more than 1

Herb & Spices (example of serving =  ¼ teaspoon dried)

How many servings daily?     0     1     more than 1

How many days a week do you exercise?     0     1     2     3     4     5     more than 5

For how long do you exercise?     15     30     45     more than 45 minutes 

Do you spend time outdoors?     Daily     Sometimes     Not often

Tobacco use     Never     Sometimes     Daily     type  ______________

How long do you sleep at night?     less than 5hrs     5     6     7     8     more than 8hrs

How often to you meditate or contemplate or pray?     Daily     Sometimes     Not often     Never

For how long?     15     30     45     more than 45 minutes

Do you have a creative outlet?     Art     Craft     Writing     Music     Other Passion

How often do you find time to be creative?     Daily     Sometimes     Not often     Never

What are your connections?     Friends     Family     Nature     Spiritual

How do you manage your stress?

____________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Word Document of this handout

Dietary Guidelines for Atherosclerosis Prevention from the International Conference on Nutrition and Medicine (ICNM) for Cardiovascular Disease

To fast track your diet for optimal heart health, here are five guidelines to follow:

Dietary Guidelines for Atherosclerosis Prevention

The Dietary Guidelines for Atherosclerosis Prevention were released at the International Conference on Nutrition and Medicine (ICNM) for Cardiovascular Disease at 2 p.m. EST on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015.

The dietary guidelines are as follows:

  1. Choose plant-based foods: vegetables, beans, whole grains, and fruit.
  2. Minimize refined grains, added salt, and sweeteners.
  3. Include some nuts and seeds; avoid oils.
  4. Avoid foods containing saturated and trans fats.5. Have a reliable source of vitamin B12.

Discussion

  1. Choose plant-based foods: vegetables, beans, whole grains, and fruit.

The average adult at risk for cardiovascular disease who adopts plant-based diet, coupled with weekly nutrition education classes, can expect to lose 10 pounds,16 reduce blood pressure by 7/5 mm Hg,17 lower LDL cholesterol levels by 13 mg/dL,18 improve blood sugar, or A1c, by 1.2 percentage points, and even see gains in productivity, in just five months.19-20 Children who struggle with obesity and follow a plant-based diet show similar results—while also improving insulin resistance, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and myeloperoxidase, emerging risk factors for inflammation and heart disease.21

Plant-based vegan diets also provide participants of all ages with the largest net weight loss, an advantage for those—75 percent of men, 67 percent of women, and 31 percent of children—struggling with excess body weight.22-24

By centering meals around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, individuals can expect to see a high return on their health investment, as studies show this approach reduces the risk of an early death, certain forms of cancer, and dementia.25-27

  1. Minimize refined grains, added salt, and sweeteners.

In addition to increasing consumption of plant-based foods, which helps boost intake of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber—nutrients under-consumed in the American diet—it’s best to limit or avoid refined grains, added salt, and sweeteners.13

Refined Grains

Refined grains are starches that have been stripped of nutrients by food processing techniques and include white rice, white flour, and products made from other starches. You’ll find refined grains lurking in the cereal aisle and snack food section at your local grocery store. Opt instead for intact whole grains, which include wheat berries, brown rice, barley, oats, and quinoa, which provide insoluble fiber that helps remove excess cholesterol from your body.

Sodium

Target sodium levels vary based on age, co-existing health conditions, ethnicity, and gender. Consult with a health care provider to find an ideal target, which may range from 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams each day.28 Ninety percent of the population overconsumes sodium, with an average intake of 3,592 milligrams each day.29 For individuals struggling with hypertension, high amounts of sodium contribute to excess fluid in the body and makes it harder for the heart to maintain optimal blood flow—increasing the risk for cardiovascular problems.

Added Sweeteners

Added sweeteners are added to foods as they are processed and include sugar-sweetened beverages, sodas, candy, grain- and dairy-based desserts, sugary breakfast cereals, and yogurt. A diet rich in these additives increases the risk for cardiovascular disease by 38 to 50 percent, based on daily consumption patterns.30

Swapping added sugars for fruit that’s packed with vitamin C into one’s diet offers protective benefits, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by 15 percent and the risk of an early death by 20 percent.31 Try a cup of oranges, strawberries, red pepper sticks, pineapple, cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts, which provides close to 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin C for men, women, and children.32

  1. Include some nuts and seeds; avoid oils.

Nuts and seeds—particularly almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, and flaxseeds—offer heart-healthful benefits, thanks to their nutrient density: They provide fiber, vitamin E, plant sterols, L-arginine, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and omega-3-fatty acids. These vitamins, nutrients, and minerals team up to lower LDL cholesterol levels, attack plaque formation, and provide flexible support for the arterial walls, reducing the likelihood of blood clots.33-35

Use just a small amount a few times each week since nuts are a high-calorie food. One to 1.5 ounces, the size of your palm, provides roughly 250 calories and is all you’ll need to reap the heart-healthful benefits.36-37 Try crushing a handful of nuts or seeds in your palm and use to top salads, soups, breakfast bowls, or to add to sauces or stews.

With nuts and seeds it’s best to go straight to the source and skip oils, their processed counterparts. When oil is extracted from its original source—sunflower seeds, olives, walnuts, etc.—the fiber is removed and calories start to add up fast, nullifying the health and weight-loss benefits a plant-based diet has to offer.38

  1. Avoid foods containing trans and saturated fats.

Trans Fats

The Food and Drug Administration is phasing out trans fatty acids, fats that remain solid at room temperature, which you’ll find in margarine, coffee creamers, chicken wings, pastries, crackers, chips, and most packaged and prepared food items. Trans fats manipulate cholesterol, increasing the bad, LDL levels, while decreasing the good, HDL levels. In addition to altering cholesterol ratios, trans fats cause damage to cells that line arterial walls and increase inflammation, a precursor for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and stroke.39

The Nurse’s Health Study, a Harvard review of 166 women who developed coronary artery disease, finds study participants who consumed the most trans fats, an average of 3.6 grams per day (the equivalent of a double quarter-pounder with cheese with a small vanilla milkshake) tripled their risk for an immediate heart attack.40-41 The Harvard School of Public Health estimates we can prevent a quarter of a million heart attacks each year simply by eliminating trans fats from our diets.42

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats, which you’ll find in animal products and oils, pose significant heart-health risks, too: For every 1 percent increase in energy from saturated fat intake, LDL cholesterol concentration increases by about 2 percentage points.43 Similar patterns emerge with dietary cholesterol; for every 100 milligrams consumed, the equivalent of half an egg, total cholesterol increases by about two to 10 points.44 The leading sources of saturated fat in the American diet, which often come prepackaged with dietary cholesterol, are cheese, pizza, dairy- and grain-based desserts, and chicken, followed by processed meats, including sausage, franks, bacon, ribs, burgers, and Mexican mixed dishes.45 Recent statistics show more than 70 percent of children and teens and more than 50 percent of U.S. adults exceed saturated fat recommendations.13 Diets rich in saturated and trans fats cost consumers years from their life, compared to counterparts who opt for healthful plant-based fare.46

  1. Supplement with vitamin B12.

Adults and children over the age of 14 should consume 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 each day, through supplements or multivitamins without added aluminum, copper, or iron. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consume 2.6 and 2.8 mcg, respectively.47

Resources for Cardiovascular Health

Download heart-healthful educational tools, pasted below, at PhysiciansCommittee.org/HeartHealth.

Metabolic Risk Factors

In addition to knowing what foods to favor, it’s good to know which metabolic risk factors to assess for optimal cardiovascular health: body mass index, waist circumference, glycemic control, blood pressure, and cholesterol.48-54

Heart-Healthful Biometric Targets

BMI (kg/m2) Waist Circumference (inches) Glycemic Control Blood Pressure (mmHg) Chollesterol (mg/dL)
< 25 ≤ 23 for Asian Americans Men ≤ 40 Women ≤ 35 A1c < 5.7 % *Pre-diabetes starts at 5.7% *Diabetes starts at 6.5% Fasting blood glucose < 100 mg/dL < 120/80 mmHg Total Cholesterol <180 to 200 HDL > 40 (Strive for >60) LDL<100 Triglycerides <150 Total cholesterol = HDL + LDL + .20 (Triglyceride Level)