Q&A with Cam #1 : 20 Questions
This whopper of a 20-question e-mail was the first inbox I received from the Becoming Fully Human Q&A box! So I thought I better tackle it right of the bat. Thank you for all the questions Kate :) I hope some of the answers resonate with you. ♡
1. What meats can you eat raw and what meats are better for you raw than cooked?
Technically you can eat any meat raw, if it is of utmost highest quality. Organic, grass-fed, pasture raised... all the things. When meat is over-cooked it denatures the amino-acid profile of the meat and when it is charred it becomes a carcinogen. You don’t however want to consume poor-quality meat raw because you run the risk of parasites, and other problems. Basically you’re cooking away the risk of bacterial contamination, which is the kind of meat I wouldn’t want to consume in the first place. To be honest, it’s hard for me to truly trust the meat I buy in the shops/ butcher to the degrees of consuming it raw. At the moment, I do occasionally consume raw beef liver in my morning smoothies, because I do trust the quality, but more importantly it was previously frozen. Because it was frozen, it eliminates the chances of parasite contamination. I also only sear my grass-fed steaks, and consume the inside “blue” (raw). But for all other meat, at the moment (despite it being best quality I can get in Toronto), I do cook fully through (like chicken, turkey, ground beef, etc).
Seafood is getting a seriously bad rap these days because of all the parasites and toxic load. At the moment I only consume wild salmon that was previously frozen, and then stick to smaller fish to minimize toxic load (anchovies, sardines, mackerel). I would not consume sushi again in this lifetime TBH.
Basically, if you can source straight from a farm you trust, channel your inner cannibal! Otherwise, play it safe.
2. What are your thoughts on the ketogenic approach? I saw you eat sweet potatoes every day.
The keto diet is tricky, because like anything else it has pros and cons. I did follow a keto diet for nearly a year mid 2016-2017, but honestly I’m not a fan for multiple reasons. First of all, most people do keto wrong. A ketogenic diet is high in fat, low-moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. The paleo world/ protein obsessed society we lives in conflates high protein with keto which is actually puts a lot of pressure on the organs and protein can convert to glucose.. but anyways I digress. The biggest reason I don’t vibe keto is that it leaves basically no room for vegetables. Vegetables, all vegetables, are carbohydrates. Any diet that limits veggie consumption is a hard NO in my books. My diet focuses on nutrition, and maximizing vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Personally, micronutrients are more important than macronutrients.
One of the main benefits of keto is that it creates metabolic flexibility, where basically your body has a better response to glucose. So when you do have those sweet potatoes, your sugar response is more stable and you remain relatively good at burning fat as the main source for your body's energy... which is great! This concept of being “fat adapted” is truly awesome, because you have more energy, your brain is clearer, and your hormones are communicating with one another properly. That being said, you can achieve the same metabolic flexibility by intermittent fasting, or block water fasting. I’ve been intermittent fasting for years, and it really is such a powerful tool for reclaiming your health. If you’re called to “go keto” I would include a 1-day “re-feed” where you consume high amounts of healthy carbs (get that sweet potato inya), and its actually been proven that those re-feeds are what develops the metabolic flexibility. But honestly, I feel much better intermittent fasting on a healthy diet void of processed foods, and full of veggies.
3. How do you do a 7 day fast without collapsing or being hungry!!
Hahaha, oh man... the body is so incredible! This is actually super related to your last question. I’ve been intermittent fasting for years, and my body is incredibly fat adapted/ metabolically flexible. Because I eat in a restricted time window (nothing too crazy, at least 12 hours, usually more like 15 or 16) my body is extremely used to having periods of digest, and periods of rest. Also, I eat very mindfully in avoidance of spiking my blood sugar. Because of my PCOS diagnosis (which is a metabolic syndrome), my body is extremely sensitive to spikes in glucose (blood sugar) and crashes in energy that ensue from that. Although I am not keto, my carbs are low glycemic index (and never refined). So I consume a tonne of veggies, but they're always with lots of healthy fat and some high quality protein. “Hunger” generally is a response to a spike in blood sugar, and your body craving that glucose when your blood sugar drops. Also, I had a hard workout on Day 1 of my water fast to really deplete my glycogen and propel me into ketosis quickly, which helped a lot.
4. Do you have any smoothie recommendations as I struggle to come up with sugar free smoothies?
Oh hell yas I do! First of all, the less sweet things you consume, the more your taste buds adapt. So stick with a low sugar diet and watch your preferences actually shift. Nix bananas and high glycemic fruit from your smoothies, not only are they way too high in sugar, but they'll leave you feeling hungry after an hour. In terms of fruit, opt for berries (low GI), or *drum roll* sweet potato/ delicata squash! I roast them chopped up in small pieces and then freeze them. They make your smoothie creamy, sweet, but high in fibre and low GI. I also steam and freeze cauliflower and zucchini for my smoothies, so the bulk of the smoothie is actually vegetables. Then I add some berries, and also powders like carob and maca are naturally sweet. So is coconut butter. Using (unsweetened) coconut milk adds creamy texture (so does frozen avocado!) and when your smoothie is full of healthy fats, it is satiating, nutritious, and still delicious.. without all the sugar.
5. Alternative to bulletproof coffee for a fasted style breakfast as my digestion is weak in morning?
Just a note that anything except for plain water technically breaks a fast. Dr. Rhonda patrick debunked this recently, and thank goodness, because they Bulletproof cronies are perpetuating adrenal exhaustion by cutting food and replacing it with caffeine.
A few things you can do to boost digestive fire: raw ginger, AVC in water, lemon in water, or take some digestive enzymes, or HCL+ pepsin.
And alternatives to coffee for easy AM digestion would be bone broth blended with adaptogens (i like pine pollen, rhodiola, reishi, and sometimes some cacao), or you could make my chaga decaf cold-brew and blend that with some healthy fats (its in my recipes under drinks/ tonics). Also, coconut yogurt or coconut kefir yogurt is awesome because its full of probiotics and easy to digest. I like to add some collagen, adaptogens, some coconut and bee pollen.
6. How often do you recommend consuming meat (poultry and red), seafood or having vegetarian meals?
I truly believe that vegetables should be the bulk of every meal, no matter what your diet proclivities are. People are so obsessed with protein, and the reality is we all need way less than is being perpetuated by the masses at the moment (actually, I’ve been meaning to cut back too). High quality meat is the foremost important thing, so if budget is an issue- you’re better to buy WAY less, of the best stuff, than to eat more of the cheaper low-quality meat. If you’re going to “go organic” (+ pasture raised, etc) with only one thing, make it animal products. Follow your gut in terms of quantity, listen to your intuition, and what your body is craving. Aim on the lower side, but personally I just listen to what my body is asking for. Read meat, fish, game meat or organ meat- it knows what it needs. Also wild game/ organ meat is INCREDIBLY more nutrient dense than conventional cuts.
Sea food is a bit dodgy these days in my opinion. I stick to small fish (mackerel, sardines, anchovies) and occasionally frozen wild caught salmon. And i do take daily E3 Live Brain ON and a full dropper of SOD Marine Phytoplankton.
7. Thoughts on hemp protein and hemp hearts?
Hemp is awesome, just be mindful of the quality. Avoid anything from China (their organic labeling is a joke), and ensure the company has quality control testing. A popular brand in Australia (where I was living for nearly 3 years) had consecutive salmonella outbreaks in their hemp seeds. Also note that although hemp is a source of omega 3’s, the type of fatty acid is ALA- which has an extremely low bioavailability. The type of omega-3's humans need is in the form of DHA and EPA, and is found in fish/ fish oil. Conversion rates for ALA (in hemp, chia seeds, and other vegetarian omega-3 sources) converts at a rate like 1%.
8. Thoughts on fruits?
Fruits are life force energy, they are amazing- just be mindful of sugar. Some fruits are serious sugar bombs, and should be used intelligently depending on how much energy expenditure you’re having. If you're hyper active, having a banana or dates after a workout won’t destroy you. But personally I can’t handle high GI fruits without having an energy crash and literally needing a nap in the afternoon. Listen to your body, and moderation is key- like anything else. I find if people are too restrictive in their diet (i.e. NO SUGAR AT ALL! NO FRUIT EVER!) they are more likely to rebound and reach for refined sugars and foods. Find balance that works for you.
9. Do you recommend consuming bone broth daily especially with muscle meats?
I consume ir pretty much daily, and feel amazing doing it. I make my own, so I know the quality- which is SO important, if your boiling out the minerals of bones you absolutely want to make sure the animal was eating a natural organic diet, otherwise you will be boiling out toxins. Mammals store heavy metals in their bones.
When I’m on the bone broth wagon my nails are strongAF, and also its a great way to bomb yourself with nutrition and gut supporting collagen first thing in the morning. Check out my drinks/ tonics section in recipes to learn how to make your own bone broth. It's so cheap, and so easy, and you know it'll be of best quality.
10. What sweeteners do you recommend as I Quit Sugar recommends rice malt but no carob, maple syrup or honey as too much fructose ...so confused!
Sorry (not sorry) but FUCK I QUIT SUGAR. That movement is the biggest joke ever.. well until the flat earth movement came along. Rice malt is 100% glucose with a glycemic index of 98%. Count me the fuck out. Also, its a concentration of rice, and are notoriously tainted with arsenic. A study showed rice malt syrup contained 20 times (thats 2000%) the amount of arsenic than other sweeteners. Also just taste the stuff, it just feels SO wrong.
When it comes to sweeteners, my foremost rule is limit them all together. Train your tastebuds to appreciate the natural sugars in fruit, and minimally processed foods. If you need to sweeten things, I vote as natural as possible. Raw, unpasteurized honey is medicinal. Stick to honey, or some maple, and try to use it sparingly because it does create an insulin spike, and they key to happy hormones and sustained energy is controlling blood sugar.
11. Thoughts on monk fruit, xylitol, erythitol, lakanto and stevia
Honestly, I don’t consume any of them. Stevia is definitely a no-no, its been linked to infertility. I do have close friends who make these incredible handmade raw chocolates using that monk fruit/ eryth combo, and I wholeheartedly trust they’ve done their research, and I was consuming their chocolate on the reg when I was living in Australia- but at the moment I just don’t sweeten anything. The get hell-a creative in the kitchen and use only sweet potato as a means to sweeten things like cookies or brownies.
12. Fermented foods and how to incorporate it more
Omg, all the yes. I consume something fermented with pretty much every meal. My go-to’s are coconut yogurt/ coconut kefir yogurt (best in the morning I find, just take a spoonful, or make a bowl of it). With lunch/ dinner I love sauerkraut- there are so many varieties, OG cabbage, beetroot ginger, carrot ginger, kimchi… find a few you like, keep different flavours in your fridge, and have a big forkful with your meal. Also pickles. Beetroot kvass (is the EASIEST thing to make- I’m going to post a recipe next week) you can just have a shot of that. I try to avoid kombucha because I find almost every brand is way too sugary and I think I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about sugar hahah ;)
*NOTE: Make sure you are only buying UN-PASTEURIZED (aka raw) fermented products. If the fermented product is heated, it has no probiotic value. *throws money out the window*
13. Thoughts on dairy and Sourdough?
I am genuinely lactose intolerant so dairy is a massive no for me. I can handle a little bit of ghee, but if I have it too often I feel like dog shit, so I currently consume zero dairy. But each person is different, and actually the biggest problem with dairy isn't the dairy, its the fact that these pasteurized, homogenized dairy products contain no enzymes because they've been heated, PLUS they're often low fat- and fat is what helps the body digest the lactose (along with enzymes). It’s currently illegal to buy raw milk in Canada + many other countries, but raw, un-pasteurized, grass-fed milk is one of the more nutrient dense things to consume. Even better is goat, sheep, or buffalo because of the naturally lower lactose content.
My best advice for sourdough (and dairy), like all foods, is to check in with yourself after you eat it. How you do feel? If you feel amazing, then dope- keep going. Personally I feel better off all bread. It’s not even a temptation- I get way more pleasure from a big bowl of homemade sweet potato fries. If you're having bread, just ask for the ingredients- you want minimal ingredients, and bread thats been fermented for as long as possible.
14. How do you ferment things? I saw on your instagram you fermented chia pudding with a probiotic cap...can you get any probiotic capsule and just open it and poor it in?
YAS! Im going to post the recipe for homemade coconut yogurt this week. It’s SO insanely easy, you just have to be mindful of a few things. I won’t get into it now cause it’s coming soon. But yes basically the probiotic is a live culture, and when introduced into certain environments, it proliferates and eats the sugars in its environment (aka ferments) and the probiotic content goes off the charts.
15. Thoughts on snacking? Do you recommend leaving time to digest and avoid snacking if possible?
I 100% recommend leaving time to digest between meals. I used to be more of a grazer, but since really diving deep into the world of intermittent fasting and fasting, I’m learning more and more about the impacts of blood sugar spikes and the reality is anytime you eat anything- it creates an insulin response. So personally yes, I limit snacking. But also I’m human and sometimes I have days where I’m a bottomless pit and I snack all day long. Have a general framework for what works for you, and occasionally be more flexible/ easy on yourself and just listen to what your body is asking for.
16. Any tips, tricks and foods to stimulate hair growth and the do's and dont's to make periods more regular?
Hot damn, this is a massive question. I’m definitely going to get DEEP on these topics in the near future (especially regulating your menstrual cycle) but I’ll keep is short and sweet for now. For hair, and general gut/ skin/ nail health: collagen is fire. Get it in bone broth, as a supplement, or check out my lunch/ dinner recipes on how to make collagen veggies (by roasting your chicken in the same tray as your vegetables). A massive thing for hair as well is stress management. Hair is SUCH a superficial characteristic of the body that is your body is under chronic low levels of stress, it wont prioritize hair growth. This ties in perfectly with irregular cycles. You need to manage stress first and foremost. Sleep is integral to stress management- making sure you have a regular circadian rhythm (avoid exposing yourself to artificial light after sun down, avoid screens/ wear blue blocking glasses after sundown if you're going to be around lights- check out my “products” page for a link to the blue blockers I use). Balancing blood sugar is also up there for managing stress on the body (avoiding big insulin spikes as much as possible). A whole food diet, tonnes of veggies, fiber, and fermented foods. Enough exercise (but not going overboard!). Avoiding all toxic body products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothpaste), opt natural ingredients. Also our hormones run on fat, make sure you have enough high quality fats (like avocado, fatty animal cuts, olive oil, coconut products, etc). And for your cycle, if your lifestyle is spot on and you still feel off, there could be something else going on. Either way I recommend charting your menstrual cycle using the Justisse method. Books to get you started would be Toni Welscher’s “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” - it’s a bible. And also check out THIS LINK for more info on the method, and how to get in contact with a certified HRHP for a 1-on-1 session. I’m currently studying at the Justisse college, and learning to chart your cycle is INVALUABLE for understanding your body, your hormones, and reclaiming a healthy period.
17. How to avoid over eating at dinner
To achieve any goal have to Truly understand why you’re doing it, and develop enough self-love and self-respect to know you are worthy of the goal. Read the literature in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine teachings on why not to eat too close to bed time; fill yourself up with knowledge on intermittent fasting, and how your body heals/ undergoes authophagy when you’re not digesting. Once you have enough knowledge to know you 100% should be doing the behaviour, then comes time to cultivate enough self-love to engage in a practice even though it’s not easy, because you know you owe it to yourself to do it. People self-sabotage their wellbeing because fundamentally there is a lack of love towards the Self, the kind of love you would give to your child. We say crueler things to our Selves than we would ever say to a stranger. People generally hate their bodies and genuinely don’t like what they see in the mirror, and this perpetuates a belief that they aren't worthy of taking charge of their life, their health, and of their happiness- so they don’t strive to excel. If you know something is good for you (like not eating after dinner), you need to gift that behaviour to your Self, as if you were responsible for looking after your Body. Develop the knowledge, and develop the self-respect to know you are worthy of achieving the goal.
18. Can too much meat make you gassy and cause tummy aches?
Absolutely. Too much protein puts a burden on the kidneys. Too much of anything can make you bloated/ gassy.
19. Take on big fasting and intermittent fasting and is it as beneficial as its said to be? If so how often would you recommend to do both big fasts and intermittent?
Hells yes dude. I couldn't be a bigger fan of fasting if i tried. Intermittent fasting is like the regular day-to-day house cleaning chores (like putting away the dishes, wiping the counter, washing your sheets). Block (big) fasts is like a spring deep clean (mopping under the fridge, getting all the cob webs, throwing out old clothes). They are both absolutely incredible for the body, the mind, and the soul- I highly recommend. Start with IF, and once you've got at least 12 hour eating window under your belt, opt for a 24hour fast a week. It so much easier than you think, and so beneficial. I’m going to do a 5-day fast in May if you want to join, click HERE and join the Facebook BFH water fasting crew.
20. How to best support physical activity such as HIIT workouts and vinyasa flow yoga upon waking
I’m not 100% sure what you’re asking, but when it comes to exercise all I can really say is do what you love, and push yourself. Natural movement is powerful, but anything that is going to challenge you, break a sweat, and get you moving, gets my thumbs up. You want to enjoy what you do for it to be sustainable, and so the best exercise is one you’re going to want to keep doing. Mix it up, listen to what your body wants. And always exercise from a place of self-love. Movement is a gift you give to your Body, and an incredible way to appreciate how amazing the human body truly is. If your engaging in exercise from a place of self-hat (i.e. simply to change the way you look), it's coming from a negative place and you will make negative associations with exercise and with your Body. No bueno.
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