Welcome to the companion monthly magazine to our upcoming book “From the Titanic to the Ark – Handbook to Survive and Thrive in Epic Times” to help you plan, protect and prosper!

We share important aspects in preparing ourselves for transformation. The hardest work will be emotional as we welcome a complete shift in paradigm (our view of the world and our relationship to it) – in other words there will be no familiar frame of reference since change at this order of magnitude is not history repeating itself. What's more, nobody has been here before....which is to say we are all here on the leading edge - no followers looking for leaders, no leaders gathering followers - we do the work together shoulder to shoulder…and we’re making it up as we go!

For our well being, it is crucial that we do so consciously! Should we be asleep at the wheel, we couldn't help but waste valuable energy resisting 'ever changing form' by projecting our perspective backward in guilt or forward in anxiety – this is giving away our power. Rather, by becoming self aware and authentically present, we arouse the genius within while summoning creative intelligence to work through us – standing ever ready to anticipate and harmonize with real time events. And of course, let us look to one another side-by-each for support and encouragement. The obvious starting point is right here, right now. Surf’s up – let’s catch a wave!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Body - How To Train Your Fat Burning System To Burn Fat

Insights/Distinctions:  For our bodies, Michael Pollen says it beautifully - "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants plus moderate exercise to enjoy the 5 sense experience!" Easier said than done! Here's where I go for guidance...

Since my post about Dr. Phil Maffetone's Two Week Test and his philosophy on nutrition and exercise in the article "Resolution Revolution", friends who have read Phil's book have commented on how his approach has changed their lives.

Personal Story: Phil spoke to our team a few years ago. Many folks decided to follow his Two Week Test (used to indicate carbohydrate intolerance and help retrain eating habits instead of dieting) - I witnessed the win for several of our employees of weight loss, improved vitality and in some cases the dramatic improvement of chronic health issues that changed peoples lives immeasurably. Phil also lightheartedly warned that our company would likely experience an increase in fertility rates! Something he has come to expect after he teaches an audience about his nutrition and exercise philosophies. Sure enough, within 12 months we had what seemed a larger number of new babies and happy excited parents (including a set of twins)! Meet one of those beautiful babies - Ryah.

There are two key distinctions that Dr. Phil conveys so I have provided some visuals that I thought would be helpful along with personal examples. To burn fat, you need to train your fat burning system so....

The Fuel You Need...

...are healthy fats! And of course complex carbs found in the rainbow of vegetables and low glycemic fruits (refer to Phil's book for the list - as an example a grapefruit is preferable to an orange), plus high quality proteins such as wild salmon and grass fed beef for their healthy fat profiles rich in CLA and balance of the Omega 3's and 6's (we love buffalo for that reason - grass fed products are rich in all the fats now proven to be health-enhancing and low in the fats that have been linked with disease). And pretty much everything we eat is organic. Skip sugars, corn syrups, any flour based products and all of the ugly fats (artificial and chemically processed like hydrogenated and polyunsaturated). We generally stick to olive oil which is best, and if occasionally cooking at high heat, we use coconut oil to reduce the free radicals.

As an example, at Phil's encouragement, we make crepes from nut flour (grind whole almonds at home in the processor) instead of using wheat flour - add whipped eggs, cream and cinnamon - then fry in coconut oil! Add sour cream and berries as a topping with a drizzle of maple syrup or raw honey (live foods) for a very healthy breakfast. We eat smaller meals every couple or three hours instead of three big meals to even out blood sugars and support metabolism.

Exercise - Throw 'No Pain, No Gain' out the window!
To quote Dr. Maffetone, "Your aerobic system burns fat for energy and prevents excessive dependency on sugar, especially blood sugar. Your body is capable of obtaining as much as 80 to 90 percent of its energy from fat if you program your fat-burning mechanism."
Work aerobic (fat burning) - not anaerobic (sugar burning)! So, how does one program the fat-burning mechanism? According to Dr. Maffetone, your optimal heart rate for aerobic training is determined by the 180-Formula - subtracting your age from 180 (180-age); adjusting that by subtracting a further 5 or 10 beats per minute for recent illness or use of medications (further individualized for those over 65) or adding back 5 for active competitive athletes with no problems. You must refer to Dr. Maffetone's book to understand the cautions and specific criteria. That number is your maximum aerobic heart rate and you work within the 10 beat range below that number.
So back to me...at 53 my optimal aerobic heart rate is 180-53 = 127 so my optimal training range is between 117 to 127 beat range - I'm fit, active and no injuries. When I was building my base, Dr. Maffetone suggested that it will seem very easy at first and that with patience I should begin seeing results over the the course of a number of weeks. On my elliptical trainer, I had to start at work load setting 3 to keep from going over my aerobic heart beat range and it seemed like I was hardly exerting myself. However, I just stuck with the range on my heart rate monitor (I call it my speedometer) - it was telling me that I was getting a great aerobic work out.
At 3 weeks of regular exercise in my zone, I realized that I was moving my legs faster and had already added a level to keep my heart rate up! By the following three weeks I was continually adjusting the work load setting until I got up to 9! ...wow - to keep my heart rate up in the range. (That's when I hit the desert - 10 on the elliptical trainer was too hard for me to push the pedals!) In other words, each level on the elliptical was getting easier and easier so I had to keep increasing my work load to stay at in my optimal heart rate range! My aerobic system was getting more and more efficient so now more fun out on the desert!
Here's how it's been going hiking. First I had to take very slow steps up the mountain not to go above my maximum aerobic heart rate. People were zooming past me - it was a bit hard on my ego though I just kept checking my watch monitor. In fact, some folks noticed my repeated checking and commented at the top of the mountain curious about what I was up to. How fun to help educate people on these principals even in passing - this information was new to most folks and made perfect sense in casual conversation. Eventually, I was able to climb the mountain more quickly all the while staying below my maximum aerobic heart rate.
Over weeks I had made noticeable continual progress. On the mountain I was able to cover the same ground in less time! On the elliptical, I was able to work harder in the same amount of time! Dr. Maffetone's competitive athletes transformed their training to surpass their previous results back when they were going all out - I too like them had to invest time to build an aerobic base first - for them there was no looking back!
Thanks for taking the effort to read and understand this - it is a fantastic investment in your physical health and well being - it has been for me.  The main thing you want to know is whether you're training your body to burn more fat or more sugar!


  1. Dear Andrea,
    Beautiful blog! I'm excited for the journey you've started us on--from the Titanic to the Ark, well done. Everyday, I have to give myself a little pinch to make sure that I'm not just dreaming up this amazing life I share with Phil! Hope you have a chance to read "Healthy Brains, Healthy Children."

    I look forward to more of your writing. Cheers and many hugs.

  2. Wow, I love it!

    Great information, smaller healthier meals more often, cut the carbs and run (at your optimal heart rate) from the sugar! It works.


  3. Thank You Coralee! And I can't wait to read your book as I would like to profile our brains and mind in upcoming posts and will draw from your genius and expertise in this regard. Meanwhile, I have your book featured in my Amazon store so that others may begin enjoying right away. Anyone with children can make this a priority and a great gift to parents. May we keep pinching ourselves in living our dreams! xoxo Andrea

  4. Andrea! Great stuff! I cant wait to learn more about Phil's approach.

    You would like http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/

    Makes perfect sense and the effects are so apparent once I really went for it.

    Thanks for sharing such cutting edge info :)

  5. Thanks for checking this out Anthony! xoxo