Episode 113. Breaking Vegan: Client Edition

Episode 113. Breaking Vegan: Client Edition

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Straight from the Inbox, Scott shares emails from clients around the world, received during only a two-day period, raving about their own “breaking vegan” experiences and success stories.

 

Even Better for Us Than We Thought

  • It can be tricky to switch to a healthier diet without unintended consequences, underscoring the value of coaching.
  • “Food is very personal. People have memories tied to food,”…”heavily restrictive diets can lead to disordered eating that can lead to eating disorders.”1
  • Scott made his decision to “break vegan” only after considering the mountains of research suggesting it’s the healthiest diet strategy.
  • When Scott uses the term “vegan”, he refers to whole food-plant based. Not processed foods [that don’t use animal products].
  • Clients report being able to eat more on a vegan version of the Cycle Diet. They say they’re feeling better and stronger and leaning out.
  • The amount of food that can be consumed surprises people who don’t understand how the Cycle Diet works, particularly the plant-based version. What appears like bulking is what revs metabolism and maintains leanness.
  • Scott’s vegan version of the Cycle Diet prevents deprivation.
  • Not all Scott’s clients are vegan. Some of them aren’t ready for a vegan diet because they struggle maintaining an omnivorous diet.
  • None of the clients count calories or keep track of macros. They report the diet is easy to follow.
Highlights from client emails

 

“I feel leaner.”

“…now I don’t have the cravings to eat anything and everything.”

“I never binge anymore!!  I could follow this easily forever.”

“I tell everyone what I am doing!! I see so many people who have rebounded badly from deprivation diets.”

“…my muscles and body just feel “better” since I started this vegan thing.”

“I just had my 4th meal today and I think I will have some oatmeal before bed as my system is in overdrive again.”

“…it’s so easy to eat very very healthy food.”

“…the fat seems to have dropped off me this last two weeks.”

“Feeling amazing – it keeps getting better!”

“Really starting to see and feel fat loss, especially around my waist.”

“The amazing thing is it’s so easy and simple …. If you are too hungry or starving just up portions.”

 

  • Scott’s personal results combined with those of his clients are giving him even more reasons to be passionate about the completely plant-based approach to eating.

[Reference]

  1. Melissa Halas-Liang, a dietitian and spokeswoman for the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as quoted in healthline.com.

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Episode 112. Let’s Talk About SEX

Episode 112. Let’s Talk About SEX

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Research shows that diet affects reproductive health. Scott references more than a dozen published clinical studies whose results support plant-based solutions to sexual health issues faced by both men and women.

 

“There are foods that can harm and foods that can heal”

  • Studies looked at diet and its effect on male and female sex hormones, PMS, endometriosis, erectile dysfunction.
  • Vegans have higher testosterone levels than vegetarians or meat-eaters, according to a paper published in the British Journal of Cancer.
  • One of Scott’s vegan clients writes to report recent lab tests he’d received, showing his base testosterone went from low 700s to the low 900s and free testosterone being in optimal range without any change in hormone replacement dosage.
  • A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine demonstrated that women with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) had lower sexual function indexes than similar aged women with lower cholesterol.
  • Another study showed a low-fat vegetarian diet was associated with reductions in body weight, dysmenorrhea duration and PMS symptom duration.
  • Some vegan women lose their periods from simply eating too little, not from the vegan diet itself. Scott often saw this when he was coaching female physique competitors.
  • Diet may contribute to endometriosis. A 2004 study in the journal Human Reproduction showed women who consumed more green vegetables and fruit were at reduced risk. Red meat increases the risk.
  • Milk consumption, researchers found, increased blood levels of the harmful type of estrogens in both sexes: a 25% spike in estrogen and reduced testosterone levels in men.
  • ED (erectile dysfunction) can be a predictor for cardiovascular risk. Men with serious ED, according to the Mayo Proceedings, should be considered cardiac patients until proven otherwise.
  • In one study, pistachios were shown to improve erectile dysfunction while improving lipid parameters.
  • High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia, female’s version of ED) also affects women’s sexual experience.
  • Small amounts of ginger helped relieve PMS as well as ibuprofen in a 2009 study published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
  • Food can harm and food can heal. Foods that help or heal tend to come from plants.

[References & Links]

Allen NE, et al. “Hormones and diet: low insulin-like growth factor-I but normal bioavailable androgens in vegan men.” Br J Cancer. 2000 Jul; 83(1): 95–97

Key TJ, et al. “Testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, calculated free testosterone, and oestradiol in male vegans and omnivores.” Br J Nutrition. 1990 Jul. Vol 64: 1110119

Barnard ND, et al. “Diet and sex hormone-binding globulin, dysmenorrhea and premenstrual symptoms.” Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Feb;95(2):245-50

Parazzini F, et al. “Selected food intake and risk of endometriosis.” Hum Reprod 2004 Aug;19(8):1755-9. Epub 2004 Jul 14.

Maruyama K, Oshima T, Ohyama K. “Exposure to exogenous estrogen through intake of commercial milk produced from pregnant cows.” Pediatric Int. 2010 Feb;52(1):33-8.

Inman BA, et al. “A population-based, longitudinal study of erectile dysfunction and future coronary artery disease.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2009 Feb;84(2),108-113.

Aldemir M, et al. “Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction.” Int J Impot Res. Jan-Feb;23(1):32-8. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2010.33. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Esposito K, et al. “Hyperlipidemia and sexual dysfunction in premenopausal women.” J Sex Med. 2009 Jun;6(6):1696-1703. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01284.x. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Ozgoli G, Goli M, Moattar F. “Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea.” J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Feb;15(2):129-32.

Kashefi F, “Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on heavy menstrual bleeding: a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.” Phytother Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):114-9.

Rahnama P, et al. “Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial.” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jul 10;12:92.

Khayat S, et al. “Effect of treatment with ginger on the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms.” ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2014 May 4;2014:792708.

Kashefi F, et al. “Comparison of the effect of ginger and zinc sulfate on primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo-controlled randomized trial.” Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Dec;15(4):826-33.

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Episode 111. Cravings are a Head Game

Episode 111. Cravings are a Head Game

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Show Notes

A client writes Scott, asking for advice to deal with food cravings. Are they physiological or psychological, or something else? How to successfully overcome them? Scott and Andy discuss the letter and offer practical, everyday ways to beat cravings.

 

Self-discipline over self-indulgence

  • Defensive dieting creates strain, thus, the “head game” comes into place.
  • Cravings that create stress result from the wrong mindset. Accept that cravings will come and go, and focus instead on the goal.
  • As the Anti-Diet Approach book explains: Cravings come and go. There’s a difference between hunger and craving.
  • Don’t devote energy toward thinking about a craving. Don’t fear a craving that may occur later.
    “Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself.” – Albert Ellis
  • Hunger is general, while cravings are specific. –i.e. wanting a particular food, not just any food.–
  • What you resist, persist; what you focus on, expands. Practice self-discipline over self-indulgence.
  • Sound diet strategies take decision-making out of the picture. Having too many decisions to make creates decision fatigue.
    Einstein dressed the same each day to decrease the number of decisions made during his day. Other famously successful people have done (or do) the same.
  • Eliminating choice is empowering and liberating, another reason the Cycle Diet works so well.
  • Proactive is better than reactive. Preparing meals ahead of time, maintaining a set routine. These keep the mind focused on what to do instead of what not to do.
  • Progress does not require perfection. You don’t need to be perfect to be magnificent.
  • With the right focus, you can be around food and appreciate it without indulging. As with sexual fidelity, there’s a big difference between just observing, and taking it further to “I want.”
  • When you choose a goal or lifestyle, you need to be all-in. You must accept and make peace with sacrifices, because being at war with them often results in never attaining, or maintaining, the rewards.

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Episode 110. How to Lose More than 70 lbs.!

Episode 110. How to Lose More than 70 lbs.!

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Show Notes

Scott’s clients JP and Byron—who have lost a combined 170 lbs.—join the show, talking about how they’ve used The Cycle Diet, intelligent workout routines and internal discipline to transform their physiques.

 

Real people, Real lives, Unreal results!

  • Scott starts the show by sharing a testimonial from a client who reports improved lab results after following a Scott Abel Fitness custom vegan diet plan.
  • Making a firm commitment is the first step toward transformation.
  • Client Byron has lost nearly 75 lbs. since he began working with Scott January 1st.
  • Client JP lost 100 lbs. and has kept it off for four years while his physique continues to improve.
  • People continue to be amazed that Scott’s clients can transform their physiques without counting calories or macros, etc.
  • The ability to read one’s own biofeedback, not external cues, is what differentiates a sustainable diet strategy from an unsustainable one.
  • Gauging one’s own fullness following a meal (biofeedback) guides portion sizes for subsequent meals.
  • Good coaching isn’t giving someone a hand-out, it’s giving them a hand up.
  • A skilled coach can read cues from a client to determine if they will be a weight loss “tourist” or “permanent resident.”
  • A productive coach-client relationship demands the client be vulnerable and open to feedback.
  • Before-and-after coaching is easy. Coaching for long-term transformation requires the coach to critique the client honestly, and the client must be willing to receive the feedback.
  • The guys discuss refeeds and how to prepare for the first refeed after starting the Cycle Diet. Enjoying food is a good thing; it shouldn’t be feared.
  • Preparation is key to maintaining a diet plan. For instance, Byron prepared meals in advance for a camping trip.
  • After four successful years on the Cycle Diet, JP has transitioned to completely whole food plant-based. He recently dropped all animal products from his diet.
  • Being [truly] informed differs from being imprinted with dogma. Research makes good decision-making easy.
  • Decision fatigue exhausts the ability to make good choices. A good diet strategy that is based on principles removes the need to make decisions about eating.
  • Being a balanced, strong, healthy individual requires a strong body, mind and spirit. If all three are strong, the whole person is strong.
  • Committing to diet won’t work. The commitment must be to something bigger.

 

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Episode 109. Diet, Training, and Life Lessons from Aruba

Episode 109. Diet, Training, and Life Lessons from Aruba

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Show Notes

Scott shares observations and useful lessons learned about diet, training, and life in general, during his annual vacation to Aruba… lessons that can be leveraged for personal transformation.

 

“At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

  • Scott and Ange traveled to Aruba for a two-week “vegan vacation,” yet weren’t 100% sure how many vegan options would materialize.
  • In addition to his weekly Cycle Diet refeed, Scott uses his Aruba vacation for an annual two-week refeed. He wasn’t sure how successful he’d be at staying on his vegan diet protocol during travel.
  • Traveling isn’t an excuse to break from an eating strategy.
  • What you focus on, expands. Pretty much everywhere Scott and Ange went, they found vegan options, even in the airport. Scott noticed that options just seemed to appear.
  • Using searching services such as Google or Yelp and typing in keywords like “vegetarian” or “vegan”, works well to find stores and restaurants that serve those foods.
  • Vegan options often cost less due to fewer ingredients that often add to their price tag. However, not every vegan option is tasty or inexpensive, but that’s not a reason to give up the eating strategy!
  • There’s a big difference between an enjoyable refeed and binge eating. Consider that binge eating is often a consequence of absolute calorie deficit.
  • Avoiding food, traps a person inside the “thin cage.” Proactive, wise food choices are liberating. Scott will be releasing a Food Freedom course within the next few weeks.
  • If you want to be lean and stay lean, surround yourself with others who are lean.
  • Scott contrasts two gyms where he trained in Aruba. The attitude of the people mirrored the condition of the gyms.
  • Learn to be present and in the moment wherever you are. It’s easy to take your stress with you on vacation.
  • Overdependence to technology contributes and detracts from daily life. Yes, technology allowed Scott and Ange to share their vacation as it unfolded, but in contrast, there were people sitting in a group interacting ONLY with their smart phones.
  • Scott cites three examples of people he observed in Aruba, who were surrounded with sand, sea and sun of the Caribbean, but taking in none of it because -among other limiting reasons- of the overdependence to their phones.
  • Consequences of lifestyle impact people in ways they may be completely unaware of.

 

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Episode 108. Women, Food and Breast Cancer

Episode 108. Women, Food and Breast Cancer

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Show Notes

Dietary fiber appears to be the star of the show when it comes to reducing risk of breast cancer. Scott cites scholarly articles from reputable scientific journals that emphasize the importance of whole food fiber, and soy.

 

The more fiber and soy, the less risk

  • Advocates of high protein-low carb diets are reacting strongly to research showing vegetarian and vegan diets. Scott observed that these individuals don’t provide any exchange to rebut research into high carb and high fiber diets.
  • A study (Vertanen et al) has just been released. It documents heart failure risks associated with high protein diets.
  • Crowding out meat from a diet is shown to be important.
  • Eating a vegan diet reduces risk of all causes of [disease related] mortality.

About Fiber

  • Fiber consumption is directly related to lower risks of breast cancer. At least one study showed an “inverse association” between fiber intake and breast cancer risk.
  • The more fiber, the less risk, and vice versa. The results from this study in the European Journal of Nutrition show that dietary soluble fiber intake is associated with a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer among pre-menopausal women.
  • The average woman in the US eats too little fiber.
  • Eating high-fiber foods is superior to taking fiber supplements. 25g a day is a minimum fiber recommendation. Conscious vegetarians take in about 37g per day, and vegans consume more than that.
  • If you’re going to measure anything in a diet, better make it be fiber.

About Soy

  • Soy appears to be another nutritional “angel” in the fight to prevent breast cancer. Its phytoestrogens have protective effects against this form of cancer.
  • Soy also has protective effects against ovarian cancer, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.
  • Best soy sources (unprocessed of course) are soybeans, soy nuts, edamame, tofu, miso, and soy milk.
  • Dairy is the bigger risk factor in suppressing male hormones.

[References and Citations]

Vertanen et al. (2018). Intake of Different Dietary Proteins and Risk of Heart Failure in Men.” The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Circulation: Heart Failure. Vol 11, Issue 6.

Li Q, et al. (2013). Dietary fiber intake and risk of breast cancer by menopausal and estrogen receptor status.” European Journal of Nutrition. 51(1):217-23.

Dong, Jia-Yi, et al. (2011). “Dietary fiber intake and risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 900–905.

Clemens, R, et al. (2012). “Filling America’s fiber intake gap: summary of a roundtable to probe realistic solutions with a focus on grain-based foods.” Journal of Nutrition, 142(7)

Lee, SA, et al. (2009). Adolescent and adult soy food intake and breast cancer risk: results from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jun;89(6).

Wu, AH, et al. (2000). Effects of soy foods on ovarian function in premenopausal women.” British Journal of Cancer, Jun;82(11).

 

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