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Bulletproof coffee has taken the paleo world by storm. Not me, though.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for people dropping grass-fed butter and coconut/MCT oil into their high-quality coffee, blending it all up into a high-octane mug of frothiness, but I just can’t get into it. If we’re talking coffee additives, I prefer my butter in the form of cream. That’s me. I definitely see the appeal of it, though, and I’m sold on the merits of the drink and its components. It’s just not for me.
However, the idea of adding non-traditional fatty food items to coffee intrigued me, so I decided to explore other options. Eventually, I landed on eggs.
Egg yolks are excellent emulsifiers. There’s the egg yolk lecithin, a famous emulsifier, plus several different egg yolk proteins with emulsification properties. Good yolks are prized by top chefs around the world primarily for their emulsifying ability. Egg yolks smooth out sauces, salad dressings, and relations between bitter enemies like oil and water. That’s right: egg yolks are the great unifiers of the food world. Throw some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a bowl, whisk it all together, and you’ll have a lovely stratified bowl of fluids of different shades. Oh, they might appear to blend together into a dressing for a second or two, but once you look away, the old immutable divisions will rear their heads and the dressing will disappear. Add an egg yolk or two, though? You’ll get a silky smooth salad dressing that remains so for time immemorial.
If you don’t have a blender but still want a smooth, creamy coffee drink, hand-frothing an egg yolk with a fork or whisk will get you there. Hand-frothing butter and coconut oil requires vigorous labor and may not even achieve full emulsification.
Eggs are incredible sources of micronutrients. While I love grass-fed butter, cream, and coconut oil, they aren’t exactly micronutrient-dense. The best butter contains beneficial nutrients like vitamin A, omega-3s, vitamin K2, and butyric acid, while coconut oil is a unique source of medium chain triglycerides, but for the most part we eat those foods because they are sources of stable, healthful saturated fats. They provide energy. Egg yolks, on the other hand, are baby bird building blocks. They contain everything you need to build an entire working animal from scratch – all the vitamins, minerals, protein, and fatty acids that make life work. And, if you get a pastured egg – which you should if you know what’s good for (and your omelets) – your yolk will be supercharged, with extra choline, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3 fats, vitamin D, and beta-carotene from all the bugs and greens the chickens ate.
I love eggs, particularly the yolks, and enjoy adding them to everything. They’re a solid, dependable, go-to breakfast item, they’re good for you, and they taste great. What more can you want? That’s why they ended up on my list of foods I couldn’t live without, and that’s why they ended up in my coffee. In the end, I just love eggs, and since I already add them to just about everything, I figured “why not coffee?”
Are there any potential problems with adding eggs to coffee?
Oxidation springs to mind. Not only are you subjecting egg yolks to heat, you’re also whipping oxygen into them. It seems like the perfect storm of lipid oxidation, no?
I’m actually not too worried. First of all, the coffee really isn’t very hot. It’s well under boiling.
Second, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants – you know, those things whose primary job is to prevent oxidation. Whereas bathing fragile fats in a boiling bath of water might promote oxidation, coffee is essentially an antioxidant-rich broth. Marinating meats in herbs, wine, and citrus juice seems to prevent oxidation, and I’d bet that coffee can have similarly protective effects. Drinking coffee sure protects LDL particles from oxidation via incorporation of coffee polyphenols into said LDL particles; why wouldn’t coffee polyphenols frothed up with egg yolk offer similar protections to egg phospholipids?
Third, the actual blending/frothing only takes place for a few seconds. It’s relatively short-lived, probably not long enough to be a problem.
Fourth, the vitamin E in egg yolks is there to prevent oxidation. It’s quite good at it. Coincidentally, this is why you should get pastured eggs if possible. The yolks of pastured eggs contain upwards of four times the vitamin E found in standard battery egg yolks.
What about raw egg white’s tendency to bind biotin? Raw egg whites have the well-publicized ability to bind biotin (found in the yolk) and prevent its absorption. Luckily, the binding ability of avidin begins to break down at 158 ºF (70 ºC) and is almost completely degraded at 185 ºF (85 ºC). Since coffee is ideally brewed with water running between 190 and 200 ºF, the finished product should be able to keep avidin from binding your biotin.
But why eggs and coffee?
I stumbled upon something I had never heard of until recently – Vietnamese Egg Coffee – and decided to experiment in the kitchen.
Now, let’s get right to the recipes themselves. As you’ll see, they’re not all that complex. You’re basically just adding eggs or egg yolks to coffee. Still, though, read on to see exactly how I did it.
Primal Egg Yolk Coffee
I did a little playing around with this and tried several different recipes. In the end, I think I came up with a solid recipe.
1 1/2 cup (350 ml) coffee
3 pastured egg yolks
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
First, I brewed the coffee (35 grams of coffee beans – I used a light roast, single-origin bean) in a French press. Dumped the grinds in, added about 350 ml of water, gave it a quick stir, covered it, and let it sit for three minutes. Meanwhile, I separated the yolks from the whites. Once the coffee was ready, I dumped it in a blender, set it to “low,” and dropped in the yolks. After a few seconds, I added a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt (around a quarter teaspoon) and let it blend a bit more. Then, I poured it, admired the head of foam, and got to drinking.
I tried fewer yolks and found the brew too thin. I tried more yolks and found it to be unnecessary. Three yolks was perfect. If you want to switch things up, you can add something a little sweet like I did. I added my usual teaspoon of sugar, plus a quarter teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt. Honey, maple syrup, or stevia should all work well, too. The salt may sound odd, but trust me: it just works as long as you use a little sweetness to counterbalance it.
Primal Whole Egg Coffee
Think of this as a whole foods-based protein shake.
1 cup (240 ml) coffee
2 pastured eggs
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
I started by beating the eggs together, whole, as if you were making scrambled eggs. You could also blend them. For a 1 cup dose of coffee, I did two whole eggs. Once the eggs are beaten or blended, slowly drizzle in the coffee. You don’t want to cook the eggs. You want them to stay creamy. If you’re really concerned about the avidin in the raw white, dump the coffee in to ensure maximal heat exposure. Otherwise, just drizzle.
I think a higher egg:coffee ratio (using a large shot of espresso, for example) for a stronger coffee flavor would work really well. Also, two eggs in this recipe created a nice and creamy concoction. I suspect three eggs might even be better.
Again, I added a little sweetener plus some salt. It made the coffee taste a bit like a liquified custard. Really, really tasty.
Adding Other Ingredients
I also tried out a few other additions to the brews, to see how they meshed with the eggs. Consider adding these:
Cinnamon – Goes great with coffee, provides insulin sensitizing benefits.
Turmeric – Anti-inflammatory spice, works well with cinnamon.
Vanilla – Tastes good, smells better. May have anti-inflammatory effects. Also works well with cinnamon (but not so much with turmeric).
Butter and coconut oil – If you dig Bulletproof coffee, adding egg yolks makes it even better.
In the course of research for this post, I ingested five eggs plus five extra yolks along with several cups of moderately strong coffee. I don’t know if it was just an excessive amount of coffee or if the caffeine was potentiated by the phospholipids in the yolks, but I felt like I was under the influence of… something. Although it was a good feeling, a productive feeling, to be sure, I could see it getting out of hand if taken too far. This is potent stuff. A cup or two is probably ideal, at least for me.
“Sugar – really?”
Don’t worry about a little sugar, even the white stuff. The amount I added, a teaspoon, is just four grams of sucrose. And, if you use an actual food like honey or maple syrup, which have different (improved) metabolic effects compared to plain white sugar, the potential downsides of ingesting sugar are lessened even more. Besides, you can always use a non-caloric sweetener like stevia, which has its own set of benefits.
Since writing this article a few weeks back, I’ve begun rotating egg yolk coffee into my morning routine. I don’t have it every day, but do have it several times a week, particularly if I have a busy day ahead of me where optimal productivity is required. Whole egg coffee seems to work well pre-workout, boosting energy, motivation, and providing a nice source of branched-chain amino acids for the training ahead.
What about you, folks? Want to give this a shot? Ever tried this yourself? Got any tips to improve my recipes? If you do try it, let me know in the comment section how it works out!
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Dr. Galland was recently quoted in seven articles on ScarySymptoms.com , a website created to provide answers to symptom questions on the Internet. Dr. Galland discusses a number of topics on the website, including knee arthroscopy, causes of sharp, stabbing pain in the knee when walking, questions to ask a surgeon prior to knee arthroscopy, shoulder blade pain coming from the neck, causes for pain in the collar bone and whether or not deep squats can hurt the knee.
To view the articles, visit:
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RALEIGH, N.C. – Dr. Mark Galland, M.D., a physician at Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina (www.orthonc.com), has announced the release of a podcast in which he discusses the differences between arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and traditional rotator cuff repair. In the podcast, Dr. Galland describes the size of incision that is required for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair as well as its advantages compared to traditional rotator cuff repair.
Traditionally, surgeons have performed open rotator cuff repair when a patient suffers from a tear that requires surgery. In this procedure, an incision is made over the outside of the shoulder, usually about 6-10 centimeters in length, and the muscle beneath the skin is separated to expose the rotator cuff, which is then inspected and repaired.
To prevent significant pain and leave a much smaller incision, orthopaedic surgeons have begun performing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, which leaves a much smaller incision through the use of small instruments to perform the procedure.
To listen to the podcast, visit: http://drmarkgalland.com/arthroscopic-rotator-cuff-repair-vs-traditional-rotator-cuff-repair/.
“Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is performed through multiple small incisions, usually a centimeter in size,” said Galland. “It is an outpatient procedure, so patients can expect to return home to the comforts of their own surroundings and sleep in their own bed the very same day of the procedure.”
ABOUT DR. MARK GALLAND:
Mark Galland, M.D. is an orthopaedic surgeon, sports medicine specialist and physician at Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina. Dr. Galland received his medical degree from Tulane University’s School of Medicine and completed his residency in the university’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He began his career in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine while serving in the United States Navy at a naval hospital at Camp Lejeune, N.C. There, he served as chief of orthopaedic surgery and was the recipient of numerous awards for both leadership and excellence in treating injuries common to sailors and marines. Since beginning with Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina, Galland has continued to treat injured athletes. He currently serves as a team physician and orthopaedic consultant to the Carolina Mudcats, the advanced A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, medical director and orthopaedic consultant to the Louisburg College Athletic Program, medical director of the Barton College athletic program, adjunct clinical professor at Marietta College and team physician and Orthopaedic consultant to several area high schools.
MMI Public Relations
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Dr. Mark Galland, M.D., has announced the release of a podcast in which he discusses the differences between arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and traditional rotator cuff repair. In the podcast, Galland describes the size of incision that is required for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair as well as its advantages compared to traditional rotator cuff repair.
To listen to the podcast, visit: Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair (final)
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For many of us, wearing the proper protective equipment for sports is a no brainer. Helmet? Check. Mouthguard? Check. Elbow pads? Double check. It only takes one errant kick during a soccer game before that bruise reminds you never to forget to wear your shinguards again. But how many times have you squinted your way through a softball match and thought the only consequence might be losing a ball in the sun? If it’s even once, research has shown your eyes may have been harmed by ultraviolet (UV) rays.
We know that UV exposure is dangerous for our skin, but many of us often neglect to protect our eyes from the sun. Did you know it is even possible to sunburn your eyes? It’s a condition known as photokeratitis–you may have heard of it referred to as ’snow blindness’ which is related to the temporary decrease in vision that comes from the bright sunlight reflecting off the snow. Research has shown that an accumulation of UV damage over time can lead to increased risk of certain health problems such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and even cancer. Some studies also suggest that people with blue eyes are at higher risk for incurring UV damage to the cornea and lens than those with brown eyes. While those that participate in work or leisure activities based on highly reflective surfaces such as pavement, water, and sand should be especially careful, everyone can benefit from sporting a pair of shades. Consistent, year-round use when spending time outdoors can go a long way towards safeguarding the health of your eyes.
Consider sunglasses as just another piece of protective equipment that you shouldn’t leave home without. You don’t need to shell out big bucks in order to find a good pair, either. Look for those that offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays and have a label denoting ANSI (American National Standards Institute) approval. With summer in full tilt, there’s no better time to make a habit of wearing a pair. Don’t forget to outfit the kids, too!
The Vision Council released a research report providing a more comprehensive look at this topic that can be found here.
For more information about picking out a good pair of sunglasses, including what lenses are best for driving and other activities, check out this page.
Alex Vitek is a nationally Certified, state Licensed Athletic Trainer and post-graduate Resident in training at The Galland Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Athletic Training Residency– a 12 month immersional program allowing ATCs to maintain and hone clinical skills while developing those talents necessary to be effective in the clinical setting as an ATC/physician extender. Find out more at www.atcfellowship.com. You can reach Alex at AVitek@orthonc.com
Tags: Eyes, health, Sunglasses
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The following revised Statement on Firearm Injuries was approved in January 2013 by the Officers of the American College of Surgeons and its Board of Regents. It replaces the February 2000 statement that was developed by the Committee on Trauma and approved by the College’s Board of Regents—that statement replaced an initial statement addressing firearm injuries developed in 1991.
Because violence inflicted by guns continues to be a daily event in the United States and mass casualties involving firearms threaten the health and safety of the public, the American College of Surgeons supports:
1.Legislation banning civilian access to assault weapons, large ammunition clips, and munitions designed for military and law enforcement agencies.
2.Enhancing mandatory background checks for the purchase of firearms to include gun shows and auctions.
3.Ensuring that health care professionals can fulfill their role in preventing firearm injuries by health screening, patient counseling, and referral to mental health services for those with behavioral medical conditions.
4.Developing and promoting proactive programs directed at improving safe gun storage and the teaching of non-violent conflict resolution for a culture that often glorifies guns and violence in media and gaming.
5.Evidence-based research on firearm injury and the creation of a national firearm injury database to inform federal health policy.
Tags: American College of Surgeons, firearm ban, Firearm Injuries, non-violent conflict resolution, safe gun storage, violent gaming, violent media
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“This article summarizes the scientific literature on the health risks and benefits of having a gun in the home for the gun owner and his/her family. For most contemporary Americans, scientific studies indicate that the health risk of a gun in the home is greater than the benefit. The evidence is overwhelming for the fact that a gun in the home is a risk factor for completed suicide…”
Tags: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
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Graston Technique® is an advanced form of soft tissue mobilization that utilizes stainless steel instruments to both detect and release scar tissue, adhesions, and fascial restrictions that occur in the body due to trauma or overuse. Originally developed in the 1990s, the Graston Technique® has become a tool for a wide variety of clinical and institutional settings including college and professional athletics.
During the healing process, our body attempts to repair damaged areas by creating scar tissue. Over time, this fibrous scar tissue builds up and can ultimately lead to pain and dysfunction because this replacement tissue is not as strong or flexible as healthy tissues. The Graston Technique® is designed to detect the build up of scar tissue, or adhesions. The instruments allow both the clinician and patient to find the areas of restriction and essentially “break up” those restrictive tissues. Most patients will receive a positive outcome within two to three treatments.
The Graston Technique® has been effective in a wide variety of conditions including but not limited to carpal tunnel syndrome, medial and lateral epicondylitis, IT band syndrome, back pain, muscle strains, and de Quervain’s syndrome. Most patients will feel better within two to three treatment sessions. A typical treatment session will consist of the following:
2. Graston Technique® Instrument-assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
3. Stretching exercises
4. Strengthening exercises
5. Cryotherapy (cold pack)
The Graston Technique® is a manipulative treatment that utilizes significant force and pressure applied to the soft tissues, and as a result, possible side effects are likely to occur. Bruising is fairly common as the treatments will increase blood flow to the area. Soreness is common and develops within 24-72 hours after the treatment. The stretching exercises prescribed by the clinician will help decrease this soreness in the days after treatment. It is very important for the patient to maintain an adequate water intake. Appropriate hydration is essential in order to promote proper healing.
It is important to note that the Graston Technique® is just one part of the rehabilitation and treatment process. Successful outcomes will not be achieved with the instruments alone. Patient compliance with the necessary strengthening and stretching exercises is essential for positive outcomes.
Matt Rongstad is an Certified Athletic Trainer, Licensed in the state of NC. Matt is currently training in the GOSM Fellowship.
Dr. Galland is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in sports medicine practicing in Raleigh, NC. He serves as the team physician and orthopaedic consultant to the Carolina Mudcats, Cleveland Indians Single-A affiliate as well as many other local high schools and colleges. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervain’s syndrome, Graston Technique, IT band syndrome, medial/ lateral epicondylitis, muscle strains, scar tissue/ adhesion treatment, soft tissue mobilization, stainless steel instruments
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Have you ever suffered night pain? Have you ever wondered why? Check out Joint Pain at Night: 6 Possible Causes for more information.
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When hearing of a blood clot, one typically considers a person who recently had major surgery, for example, a knee replacement, or a traveler after a long plane ride. While these assumptions may be accurate, many are surprised to learn that athletes can develop blood clots as well. Serena Williams (Tennis) and Phil Dalhausser (beach volleyball) are two examples.
Blood clots are also referred to as a DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis. They are most common in the legs, causing extreme calf pain, swelling and tightness, but also can occur in the upper extremity where they cause similar symptoms. DVT results from: diminished flow of blood through the veins, injury to the veins and hypercoagulability (“thickening” of the blood). Typically after surgery, patients are less able to move the lower extremities and joints due to pain and swelling. Since the flow of blood in the veins is dependent upon movement and contraction of muscles, this lack of mobility results in a decrease in blood circulation and increased viscosity (or thickness) of the blood. Both factors predispose to developing a clot. Upper extremity DVT is much less common, comprising only 10% of all cases of DVT. The typical cause of an upper extremity DVT in an athlete is repetitive micro-trauma of the subclavian or axillary veins (as is typical of a high level overhead athlete: tennis, volleyball, or baseball).
Signs and symptoms of an upper extremity DVT are similar to those seen in the lower extremity: pain, swelling and tightness of the affected arm/shoulder region.
DVT is a serious medical condition and can progress into an even more serious complication–pulmonary embolism. PE occurs when the blood clot or portion thereof, dislodges itself and travels into the lungs, causing shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and rapid pulse. PE can be fatal, and immediate medical attention must be sought if these symptoms occur.
Months before the London Olympics, Phil Dalhausser experienced significant swelling in his left arm. He was admitted to the hospital, diagnosed with DVT and treated with blood thinners (anti-coagulants and thrombolytic agents) to dissolve the clot. It was determined that the DVT was precipitated by scar tissue in his subclavian vein which resulted from being pinched between his first rib, collar bone and the surrounding muscles each time he struck the ball or reached for a block. Since his DVT, Dalhausser has successfully competed in the London Olympics representing the United States in men’s beach volleyball.
Serena Williams’ case, while much different was more typical. After sustaining a laceration in her foot, she first developed a hematoma in the wound. They are a local collection of blood but not related to DVT, nor can they ever become DVT or lead to PE. Hematomas result from blunt force trauma or within a healing wound. She subsequently developed a DVT in the same leg. Presumably this was the result of the immobilization required to allow the injury to heal. The pulmonary embolism occurred months after she cut her foot, and required immediate hospitalization. She recovered fully and won the 2012 US Open and gold medals in the London Olympics.
Associated Press. (2011, March 02). Serena Williams hospitalized after suffering blood clot in lungs. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/03/02/serena-williams-hospitalized-suffering-blood-clot-lungs/
Joffe, H. (2012). Upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis. Retrieved from http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/14/1874.full
Vein Specialists of the South. (2012). Olympic beach volleyball star develops blood clot in subclavian vein. Retrieved from http://varicoseveintreatmentga.com/wpi/deep-vein-thromobosis/olympic-beach-volleyball-star-develops-blood-clot-in-subclavian-vein/
Dr. Mark Galland is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in sports medicine, practicing in Wake Forest and North Raleigh. He serves as team physician and Orthopaedic consultant to the Carolina Mudcats, High-A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball, as well as several area high schools and colleges. Dr. Galland can be reached at (919) 562-9410 or by visiting www.orthonc.com or www.drmarkgalland.com or you can follow him on twitter: @drmarkgalland.
Kate Anderson, ATC/LAT is a post-graduate fellow at GOSM, Galland Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine. Follow her on twitter @kattethegreatt.
Tags: blood clots, Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT, Phil Dalhausser, post-op complication, Serena Williams
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