Rewriting the Rules of Nutrition

A blank notebook on a rustic table surrounded by fruits and vegetables.

For the last three decades, I have found myself rewriting the rules of nutrition—and now, with my new book, Radical Metabolism ($36.50, Lifelong Books, 2018), I’m at it again.

Why Rewrite the Rules of Nutrition?

I am well past 50 and, in moving through that transition, I was challenged by a metabolic slowdown. The plan in this book evolved from my discovery of what worked for myself and others. I happily report that my tummy pooch has finally disappeared!

Our Modern Toxic Nightmare

We are living a modern toxic nightmare, and the old remedies don’t work. Every day, we face an invisible war deep within our body as hormone-disrupting environmental pollutants contaminate, and progressively erode, our cellular defenses.

Petrochemicals, plastics, heavy metals, fake hormones, radiation, microbes, and other toxic agents all wreak hormone havoc on our biology. Most of these toxins are hidden, lurking in our food, air, and water, as well as body care, household, and cleaning products, and even technology. This is not your parents’ or grandparents’ world anymore.

Once enough of your cells become compromised, then tissue and organ function will follow. Healthy cells begin with healthy cell membranes. Without them, your body stands defenseless against toxic assaults, which results in hormone disruption and inflammation. Inflammation is the number one factor driving nearly every chronic disease today.

Healing at the Cellular Level

In 1858, physician Rudolf Virchow, the father of modern pathology, said, “All diseases are disturbances at the cellular level.” He argued that to treat a disease, we must first understand the cause—and the cause is always found at the level of the cell. There are many examples. Cancer occurs when cells develop aberrant growth patterns, and autoimmune diseases arise when cellular communication runs amok. And so it is with metabolism.

After I worked with thousands of “fat, 40, and fatigued” females, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. One reason many diets fail is they don’t correct the shutdown of key fat-burning tissues in the body. You have three important metabolically active tissues: brown fat, muscle, and your microbiome—that vast community of microorganisms inhabiting your gut. Each of these prefers a specific type of food for its optimal function. If you don’t properly fuel these fat-burning tissues, they aren’t going to give you a radical metabolism and a healthy weight.

The Missing Link: Essential Fats

Another critical missing link concerns the role of the much-maligned omega-6 fats—the pariah of both conventional and alternative health experts. We hear so much these days about ditching omega 6s for omega-3 fats, but high-quality omega-6 fats are the most critical fuel for reigniting sluggish mitochondria—the energy engines in your cells.

Essential fats and certain essential amino acids fast-track your metabolism for lasting weight loss, as well as being vital to the nourishment of your cell membranes that surround and protect the mitochondria. The mitochondria are linked to the metabolically active “brown fat” that eats up heavy-duty amounts of glucose and fat for dramatic weight loss and fat loss, and decreased risk of insulin resistance.

In addition, no disease can be healed if your cell membranes—which direct nutrients in and poisons out—are weak and unstable. Radical Metabolism is about what to eat to rebuild and fortify those lipid (fat)-based cell membranes. This is also where omega-6 fats shine. Finally, breakthrough research reveals how putting back the missing omega 6s can boost cellular energy to gain vitality and accelerate fat burn.

Improving Bile Health

Reinstating omega 6s is just one aspect of Radical Metabolism. Eating “good fats” does you no good if you can’t properly digest them.

This program introduces the powerful role bile plays in the body’s slimming systems. Bile is stored in the gallbladder to break down dietary fat and remove toxins from the body. Harvard Medical School research has revealed that subjects with improved bile health showed a 53 percent spike in metabolism. Even more fascinating is a study out of Finland finding that people with decreased bile production are nearly 10 times more apt to experience hypothyroidism. With low thyroid on the rise, this provides hope to the millions of hypothyroid sufferers who experience metabolic slowdown as well as fatigue, dry skin, and constipation. Besides hypothyroidism, studies have also connected poor quality bile with chronic fatigue, migraines, depression, and autoimmune disorders.

What if You Have No Gallbladder?

If you no longer have your gallbladder, no problem! Unlike other diets, this plan helps you compensate to ensure you can fully utilize and digest good and essential fats. This is a key difference between Radical Metabolism and paleo, paleo plus, and/or ketogenic diets. I don’t want you overloading on fats if you don’t have a gallbladder or suffer from poor bile quality (as most weight-loss resistant individuals do) without nutritional backup, as this can result in weight gain—as well as decreased energy, gastrointestinal problems, stress on the kidneys, and other issues.

Radical Metabolism Strategies

Radical Metabolism will probably shake up your long-held beliefs and assumptions about what is healthy, especially when it comes to diet. I hope so!

I’m not just talking about weight loss—I’m talking about staying energized for life.

Let’s put the brakes on aging—I’m talking about gaining the tools necessary for dodging age-related illnesses so you won’t spend years stuck in the hospital revolving door.

If you find the word radical a bit intimidating, rest assured that its strategies are simple and straightforward, designed for easy integration into today’s busy lifestyle. However, these simple strategies produce radical results!

What You Will Learn From Radical Metabolism

  • How to harness the power of high-quality omega 6 oils to fuel brown fat to stoke your fat-burning fires, fortify your cell membranes, and rid your body of toxins.
  • Why bitter foods are key to metabolic healing and digestion. These support your gallbladder health, bile flow, fat breakdown, and better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins for immunity and skin health.
  • The foods (herbs, veggies, bitters, berries, and supplements) that will kick your metabolism into overdrive, reboot your gallbladder (or replace what’s needed in the form of bile salts if you no longer have your gallbladder), and heal your gut.

A Sample of Radical Metabolism

Here is a sample of what you’ll learn in the book:

  • How to optimize protein and amino acid intake to prevent muscle loss, boost mitochondria, and reset “metabolic thermostat”.
  • How to reduce exposure to toxins that may contaminate some of the foods you love, such as bone broth, chocolate, and green tea.
  • How to modify your kitchen to steer clear of common food contaminants, such as aluminum and Teflon.
  • How soups and juices can be combined into a powerful cleanse that rejuvenates and resets your system.
  • How cleansing beverages, such as hibiscus and dandelion teas, help clear toxins.
  • How prebiotic and probiotic foods (jicama, miso, sauerkraut, yogurt) can optimize immunity.
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Excerpted from Radical Metabolism: A Powerful New Plan to Blast Fat and Reignite Your Energy in Just 21 Days by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. Copyright © 2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.


Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., C.N.S.

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, is a New York Times award-winning author of 30 books on detox, health, and healing, including the international bestselling Fat Flush Plan and Zapped! Visit her blog and join her online Fat Flush Community.