May 21, 2018
Hi my loves! Today I am SO EXCITED to introduce you to our newest contributor and my boyfriend, Joe Scrofani. We have thought about introducing recipes and health/wellness tips into my blog for a long time, and I am ecstatic that the moment is finally here! In this article, you will learn about Joe and his background, the keto diet, it’s benefits, and an absolutely amazing keto waffle recipe that won’t leave you feeling like crap after you eat it. Without further ado… Joe Scrofani!
Growing up in a Southern Italian family culture in North Jersey, food has always been celebrated, and a major aspect in my life. So much so that I eventually let it get out of hand, and I lost my way with what the true meaning of food was. Staring at myself in the mirror on accepted students day at Syracuse University I saw an image of a person I knew wasn’t me. That day I made a promise to myself: Become your true self and really LIVE life. The first step in that process was to take a long hard look at my health and eating habits.
During the course of my freshman year of Sport Management courses at Syracuse, I began my quest into figuring out how my body actually worked. Lowering my intake of processed foods and sugars helped produce a major change, and weight began to fly off. By the end of my freshman year I had lost over 100 pounds since the day I stood confronting myself in the bathroom of the Sheraton Hotel on University Ave. Although I had lost a massive amount of weight (and was thrilled), I still had not really learned what proper nutrition was. Throughout the duration of my undergraduate and juris doctor studies on the Syracuse Campus, my weight and body composition was in a state of constant life sucking flux. Tie to that the bouts of inflammation, skin issues, chronic fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, and depression.
Upon finishing law school I decided that the next chapter of my life would take place in Southern California. With no job or place to live I came to Los Angeles with visions of tapping into this awesome life we have available to all of us and further hone in on my goals. It only took two weeks before I became infatuated by the lifestyle I had surrounded myself with. I had found my favorite new hobby: Living. Quickly surrounding myself in the culture, there wasn’t enough new information on health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness that could satisfy my curiosity. Becoming a self labeled “Bio-Hacker”, I had become obsessed with the rush of finding and exploring new avenues to tweak my health and lifestyle in ways I never even realized were possible.
After securing a corporate gig to help pay the bills I soon realized that my true passion was in helping others along the same journey of optimizing their lives. After almost two years in this new environment, the best thing that has ever happened in my life occurred when I met Lauren. Pushing me to do what I love and care about, she has been a beacon of inspiration to break the matrix on what I’m (and others are) “supposed to do”. Do what makes you feel energised and alive. For me, that’s learning and teaching about human optimization and complete wellness of the body, mind, and spirit. And that is why I am here. To help inform, educate, and expand your arsenal of wellness tools. Time to go & grow with Joe Scro.
As we start this series, the biggest thing in anything involved with your health is to feel what’s right for YOU. Everyone is different. Do your research and see how certain foods affect your body. Live and learn from everything you do, and most importantly you must be a LIFELONG learner. The more you know the more you grow. So we are going to start the series with an overarching nutritional protocol to help your body and mind fire on all cylinders: Nutritional Ketosis AKA Fat For Fuel.
This is something that I am genuinely passionate about. We were lied to in the 1960’s by the FDA and government about nutritional protocols (and about many other things involving our health during that decade). During this time period we were given health guidelines and the iconic food pyramid. We now know through scientific studies and research that these recommendations were misguided. The sick and disgusting part is that the sugar industry bribed scientists to hold fat (especially saturated fats) as America’s killer and major concern for heart disease. When in reality these are vital nutrients for our body/mind and the ideal fuel source to keep you satiated and buzzing with energy. A diet rich in sugar and carbs keeps you chronically fatigued, sick, and hungry. If you want to read more on this I highly recommend this great piece by The New York Times: How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat.
A diet consisting of 60-70% Healthy fats, 20-35% Quality Protein, 0-20% Carbs. By healthy fats I’m talking mainly Omega-3s/Monounsaturated fats. You want to COMPLETELY eliminate any intake of trans-fats. These are the fake altered “fats” that are used in many processed foods and restaurants. The “NO GO” list includes: Margarine, Canola Oil, Crisco, and Vegetable Oils. “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”…yea neither can I.
Some of the most pure (and our staples) include:
-Fatty Fish (Salmon/Sardines)
-Nitrate Free Organic Bacon
and my personal favorite Grass-Fed Ghee & Butter (Shouts to “Kerry Gold”)
This ratio helps get the body into a state of “Ketosis” (Can also be done by fasting [future post coming] or ingesting exogenous ketones). While in ketosis you produce Ketone bodies, which are utilized as clean and super effective fuel for your cells and mitochondria. Being in a state of ketosis allows the body to become an efficient fat burner (utilizing ketones and stored body fat as the main fuel source), instead of the westernized preprogrammed body of the sugar burner (which utilizes glucose as the main source of fuel). Besides the cognitive and body fat benefits you’ll feel less hungry, less tired, and even less depressed (KETO DIET REALLY FIGHT DEPRESSION?).
Cancer cells thrive on glucose BUT they are not able to process ketone bodies as fuel. When in a state of ketosis, damaged cells are cleaned through a state of autophagy (the turnover of old cells into new ones). Ketosis is incredibly therapeutic for a variety of metabolic mechanisms.
The biggest killers in America (Cancer/Alzheimer’s/Heart Disease/Diabetes) are caused by diseases of the metabolic system. The health of the mitochondria in our cells is the biggest factor in the aging process; as they regulate apoptosis (cell death). Mitochondria essentially rule everything when it comes to our health and well being. I’ll dig much deeper into that in a later post, but for now the main takeaway is that allowing your body to become adapted to a Ketogenic lifestyle has proven to be a great way to improve and optimize your mitochondrial health.
If you are someone that has mainly run on carbs your whole life this switch may be harder in the beginning. There is a transition phase referred to as the “Keto Flu” where your body (and mitochondria) start to learn how to utilize this new fuel source. Many toxins that are trapped in fat cells start to clear out and many compare symptoms to that of someone going through withdrawal from an addictive substance…well you are that substance is glucose/sugar. People usually will feel this for about 1-3 weeks. This is completely normal, and once you’ve taught your body to become fat adapted, cycling through periods of healthy carbs and to high fat will not have this same response as you will have become metabolically flexible. If you are looking for a more detailed approach on how to start I recommend checking out Mark Sisson’s book The Keto Reset Diet.
As an important note, one of the most vital aspects of a healthy agers diet is fiber intake. This can be easy to forget when going keto so remember to get in a good amount of organic dark leafy greens, nuts and avocados. You can also supplement with Psyllium Husk (Psyllium Husk Capsules). Aim to get in at least 30-50g a day (for reference one medium avocado has about 13g).
At a bare minimum cycling through periods of ketosis has a therapeutic healing effect on the body and helps clear up cellular damage and increase metabolic flexibility. The health of your mitochondria is the key factor in aging. Sticking to mostly whole natural and organic foods is crucial to providing quality building blocks for the body to repair itself. If you want to learn more about the power of Keto I highly recommend you check out the Netflix documentary “The Magic Pill”.
To start off, we have a super simple and delicious Keto Waffle & Bacon recipe for you to keto and go.
Makes 2 large belgian waffles
1/2 cup water
8 tbsp coconut oil
Heat the waffle maker prior to combining the ingredients.
Mix pancake mix, water, eggs, and oil until the batter is smooth and creamy, with little to no chunks.
Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the waffle maker beeps.
We hope you loved this post as much as we loved writing it! Look forward to more recipes coming your way!
Lauren & Joe