On this episode of the Project Kuwait podcast, Mahdi and Liam are joined by Lulwa Alarmali, “The Functional Nutritionist.” Lulwa shares abundant insights into the impacts of food on the physiology of the body as well as gut health and inflammation. If you have ever wondered if what you are eating is beneficial for you, this episode is for you!
0:46 – Lulwa introduces herself and gives her background.
1:30 – Lulwa explains that a certain amount of protein jumpstarts muscle protein synthesis, so she has been testing out eating a high-protein breakfast.
2:10 – Mahdi says that body builders in the 1980s used to subscribe to the same logic.
2:40 – Lulwa is doing a 4-week intervention training program. She says that cholesterol is controversial for some people, but it is really just a precursor to sex hormones.
3:32 – Liam has been eating 8 eggs for breakfast and he has been noticing a big difference in his energy throughout the day.
5:36 – Lulwa says that if you cover the basics, you should be set: manage your stress, get enough sleep, and eat well.
6:24 – Mahdi shares his experience with getting plenty of sleep and being able to build muscle.
6:50 – Lulwa is intrigued by the way the body works and how nutrition can affect physiology. She talks about nutriceuticals which are supplements that can create a certain response in the body.
8:53 – Lulwa says that there is a bit of controversy in Kuwait about what works because so many things depend on the person. For people with good insulin sensitivity, carbs are no problem, but people with insulin resistance are not able to appropriately process carbs.
10:19 – Liam talks about the need for carbs when doing HIIT, sprints, and dead lifts.
10:49 – Lulwa clarifies that people can’t do “all or nothing” when it comes to manipulating glycogen stores. Even supplements depend on the person because two people could have the same symptoms with different root problems.
13:34 – Lulwa says that as a functional nutritionist, she can consider how the body works, different stimuli, and genetics for each person before advising them about what to do.
14:25 – Lulwa talks about the two different phases of detoxification: (1) taking toxins into reactive intermediate and (2) taking intermediates into a form that is excretable by the body. Some detox regimens don’t combine both phases and can be harmful.
16:52 – Lulwa explains that most nutritionists do not know how to do detox the right way because they don’t understand why the toxins are present. It is best to remove exposure to the toxins and look for someone knowledgeable to help you.
18:53 – Lulwa says that many people are afraid of metabolic damage, but it really only occurs during times of prolonged caloric restriction that damage the thyroid. A great way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by tracking what you eat.
22:49 – Lulwa talks about food being beneficial or detrimental rather than “good or bad.” Processed foods have already done the work of breaking down the nutrients for you, which is detrimental.
24:46 – Lulwa and Mahdi discuss the concepts of over-exercise and under-recovery. Lulwa says that if you do not fuel and rest well after a workout, you could put additional physiological stress on the body that can inhibit the functioning of the thyroid which will cause metabolic damage.
26:43 – Mahdi talks about certain fitness modalities that focus on 30-minute cardio sessions. This type of workout is not sustainable, and when you stop, you must then adjust your eating habits.
28:12 – Lulwa again emphasizes sticking to the basics and avoiding a negative energy balance.
29:32 – Liam mentions the prevalence of working out for a certain