Podcast takeaways from March 18, 2020

Anna Spark and Chrissy Barth on Mind, Money, Motion with Marie Burns

Anna Sparks, Sparks Systems (Motion)

Anna is an exercise physiologist and explained a metabolic approach to optimizing blood sugar. She helps people take a Metabolic Efficiency Test which is a breathe test used to determine your personal inefficiencies. Then her Sparks Score over time can show progress that is tailored to each person.

She finds that using our breathe can help calm the brain so deep belly breathing via mindful meditation can make a significant difference in health and performance. And exercise is another way to achieve deep belly breathing in addition to bringing blood flow throughout the body.

When fueling our bodies, we have two fuel tank choices: the small, quick to burn carbohydrate tank and the larger, longer burning fat tank. Incorporating foods that include some fat and protein, for breakfast for example, can “quiet the insulin” to smooth out the insulin spikes that can often come with carbohydrate only meals. Additionally, she talked about the benefit of intermittent fasting which could be as simple as stopping eating by 7 pm at night so it’s close to 12 hours by the time we eat some breakfast in the morning which forces the body to burn calories from the larger, fat tank.

Both guests talked about the importance of sleep as deep sleep clears the brain of plaque (aka Dementia prevention). Sleep is like the waste management system for the brain, it needs to be cleared out regularly. Getting a full cycle of sleep (REM) is like a full “dishwasher cycle” for our brain.

Better diet and exercise really allows for improved health, quality of life, and longevity, who doesn’t want that?

Learn more about the Sparks System at www.SparksSystem.net or reach her at Anna@SparksSystem.net

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Anna Spark and Chrissy Barth on Mind, Money, Motion with Marie Burns

Chrissy Barth, Nutrition Lifestyle Education (Motion)

As a Registered Dietitian, Chrissy stressed the importance of a wholistic approach to improving diet: labs, nutrition, sleep, relationships, lifestyle, gut health, brain health and real foods. She finds that an emphasis on pro-biotic rich foods (fermented) and high fiber foods (plant-based foods) can make a world of difference for many people.

Whatever the behavior change need is, her best advice is to identify no more than 3 specific actions to tackle at a time. She shared an example of a gentleman who she advised to replace soda with water daily, start eating breakfast, and work in several servings of fruits and vegetables into his diet each week. He was a totally different, happier person the very next time she saw him.

Other nutrition tips:

  • Enjoy real foods as often as possible vs processed
  • Include carbohydrates, fat and protein instead of excluding entire food groups
  • Legumes 2-3 times a week provide both protein and fiber
  • Incorporating ancient grains can also help to avoid gluten: bulgur, farro, millet, barley, oats, and quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and chia


For more great tips and a wonderfully helpful blog, visit her website at http://www.nutritionlifestyleeducation.com/ or contact her at Chrissy@LifestyleNutritionEducation.com

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