Mar. 2017 Book of the Month – Eat the Yolks

On my first day of nutrition consultant classes at Bauman College, as we were going around and introducing ourselves, one of my classmates had mentioned that Diane Sanfilippo had attended Bauman College and wrote the forward to the book Eat the Yolks. I was still a bit of a newbie in the Paleo/ Nutrition world, at least when it came to “celebrities”, so I hadn’t heard of the book yet, but I added it to my ever growing “to read” list on Goodreads. At some point, I was able to find enough time to read Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe, and boy was I glad that I did!

First, Liz is funny! No seriously funny! She has a section titled, “Let’s talk about fat, baby!”. I mean talk about a girl after my own heart. How wouldn’t I love a book with references to 90’s R&B culture!?!? Liz does an amazing job of breaking down the complicated science of nutrition into easy to understand chunks and incorporating humor into it all the while.

She goes over the three macronutrients in DETAIL, dedicating a chapter to each. In the chapter on fat (and therefore cholesterol), she states, “This is me beating a dead horse: Lower cholesterol doesn’t prevent heart disease, because cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease (Wolfe, 2013, p. 59)”. Wolfe debunks the myth that animal proteins are bad for us in the chapter on protein. She refutes The China Study,  that is often used to argue against the consumption of animal foods.

Then, Wolfe details important nutrients that we can only get from animals. If you’re a vegan, she gets it. I get it. But the science of why we need animals in our diets for optimal nutrition is clear. She goes on to illustrate many of the lies of the nutrition industrial complex. Wolfe teaches that Vitamin A can only be obtained from animals. I know, you’re thinking, wait what?? Hello, um, carrots??  The thing is that plants contain beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. As Wolfe explains, “…it can, in some circumstances, through a series of chemical conversions within the human body, be converted into true vitamin A (Wolfe, 2013, p.202)”. There are many more mind-blowing gems like this one throughout this book.

Needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It’s actually one of the the few books that I recommend to nearly all my private nutrition clients. It’s just THAT GOOD. Oh and it’s on Audible. 😉

 

 

 


Jan. 2017 – Book of the Month – The Great Cholesterol Myth

I first heard of The Great Cholesterol Myth when I was attending Bauman College. A fellow student had read the book when she was diagnosed with high cholesterol in her mid-20’s. She wasn’t satisfied with the idea of being on statins for the rest of her life. This peaked my interest and so when it was time to do research on a topic relating to heart health, I read the book. Several months after reading the book, I went to the Paleo F(x) conference and saw Jonny Bowden speak.

If you’ve ever been concerned about your cholesterol levels or if high cholesterol runs in your family, this is a must read. It was a fascinating read and paradigm-shifting book. And yet, the authors are able to break down this very complicated topic so that even the non-health nut, non-science-y folks can learn a great deal.

SPOILER ALERT: Rather than animal foods that are rich in cholesterol and saturated fats, the authors build a very strong case that processed foods, sugar, soda, trans fats, and vegetable oils are the main culprits in our SAD diet (Standard American Diet). They also suggest that lifestyle factors, like STRESS, need to be dealt with in order to keep cholesterol levels in healthy ranges. Another SPOILER ALERT: Bowden and Sinatra demonstrate what the pharmaceutical companies don’t want us to know: “…[c]holesterol is a relatively minor player in heart disease and a poor predictor of heart attacks” (p.31, Bowden & Sinatra, 2012).

I’ll leave you with these facts about cholesterol:

  • Cholesterol is a waxy steroid that is found in every cell membrane in your body.
  • Without sufficient levels of cholesterol in your diet, your body will make it (in the liver) because it is essential.
  • It is a building block for important structures such as sex hormones, bile, vitamin D, and it supports brain function, serotonin production, and it acts as an antioxidant.
  • It also helps to digest fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), insulates the nerves, and aids in fighting infection.

In the wise words of LeVar Burton, “of course, you don’t have to take *my* word for it.”


Oct. 2016 Book of the Month – Practical Paleo 2nd Edition

This month’s Clean Eating Book of the Month is a little different than usual. Typically I read and review informational health books, not usually cookbooks. BUT Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition is actually both. It’s chock full of recipes, but it’s also a huge resource for health information. It’s almost like a BOGO. 🙂

For me, the great thing about all of Diane’s work is that we both went to the same nutrition school – Bauman College, so I know that we are coming from the same background.

First, let me say that this book is HUGE. And by huge I mean filled to the brim with tasty recipes. You will not feel deprived when cooking recipes from Practical Paleo. And the photography is beautiful, as always! I can’t tell you how much I hate a cookbook without pictures! The great thing about her recipe section is that each recipe has easy-to-understand icons indicating if foods have eggs, nightshades, are slow cooker friendly, 21 DSD compliant, or can easily be frozen. Her recipe icon list includes many more options. Diane’s recipes are also straightforward, easy to follow, and delicious.

In addition to the amazing recipes, there are about 90 pages of meal plans that can support many different health conditions. She details 14 different health conditions/targeted meal plans, and includes information about the health condition, things to add, things to avoid, some possible supplements to consider, and a 30 day meal plan. Wow! And the second addition has three new meal plans.

The other major section of the book is about food and your body. In typical Diane fashion, she breaks down the nutritional biochemistry of how food works in your body. She spends time explaining paleo and helps folks transition into a paleo lifestyle. There are several handy one-page guides that explain about healthy fats, sweeteners, carbs, paleo foods, and more. She uses the latest scientific information to debunk myths. There is a section that details how digestion works and how to repair it when it’s not working. Diane details autoimmune conditions and balancing blood sugar. And let’s not forget the Poop Pageant!

5:5 StrawberriesThis book has been dubbed the Paleo bible for a good reason. It really has everything you need to understand about a whole-food based diet. Naturally, this book gets…. 5 Strawberries! I highly recommend going out and getting yourself a copy.

 

Here is a picture of me with Diane and my new book at the book tour in San Francisco.

 


The 52 New Foods Challenge – Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are up next and I’m happy to report that I like flax seeds and I eat them regularly. They have a host of health benefits , but most people do not properly prepare them, and therefore do not get to capitalize on their health benefits. Read on for how to properly prepare flax. Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends adding ground flaxseeds to homemade granola bars or to strawberry-banana smoothies. In the food facts, I’ll add some precautions about using ground flaxseeds in these manners.
Food Facts:

  • Flax seeds are a good source of fiber.
  • High in vitamin B6, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper.
  • They are also a good source of alpha-linolenic acid and phytoestrogens known as lignans. These have been shown to help prevent cancer and heart disease.
  • Flax have been shown to protect against prostate cancer.
  • Highest plant sources of omega-3 oils
  • Benefits heart, arteries, skin, hair, & brain
  • Great for your gut & constipation
  • Antioxidant rich 
  • Protects against breast & colon cancers
  • Create a mucilage when soaked in liquids (similar to chia seeds)
  • Their densely packed nutrition cannot be accessed if not properly prepared. The body simply cannot digest, and therefore take advantage of, the nutrients housed in whole flaxseeds.
    • You can grind them yourself if you have a Vitamix 32-ounce Dry Grains Container  for a Vitamix Blender, or something similar. You can also buy them already ground, BUT the container should be opaque and there should be an expiration date that is fairly soon (a couple of months). They should be stored in the fridge (as with all raw nuts and seeds).
    • You can also soak whole flaxseeds in liquid. This will increase their absorption. If you plan to add them to your yogurt, I suggest that you add them the night before. If you plan to add them to a smoothie, add them to whatever liquid you use in the smoothie the night before and allow them to soak overnight.
    • I’m still on the fence about baking with them. Because Omega-3s are a fragile fat (heat-sensitive) I worry about baking with them. But I also know that while the oven gets fairly warm, the internal temperatures of baked goods doesn’t necessarily get to the oven temp. My current opinion is: if you bake with them, the oven temp should be 325-350 maximum and don’t eat them in baked goods all that often.
  • Flaxseed oils should always be cold pressed, purchased in opaque bottles, and should be refrigerated.
  • Be sure to never heat flax oil to avoid oxidation!
  • Flaxseeds contain a moderate amount of oxalate, so those with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones should watch their consumption.

From Bauman College lecture notes, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes, by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet, by Tonia Reinhard, and Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.

Photo Cred: Luv Kreativ Photography


10 Free Things to Improve Your Health

Ten Free Things to Improve Your Health

  1. Chew Well! – This is like pre-digestion. Your digestive system will be able to absorb more nutrients and work more efficiently with well-chewed food.
  2. Sit & Relax During Meals – When you are eating while standing, driving, sitting at your desk, or eating while stressed, your brain is in “fight or flight” mode and that’s all your body can do. When you eat, in order to truly digest food and absorb nutrients, your brain and your body need to be in “rest, digest, feed, and breed” mode. Take the extra time during each meal to sit, relax, and enjoy your food.
  3. Meal Planning – Planning your weekly meals at the beginning of the week and before heading to the store can help lower your grocery bill and help you stick to your eating plan.
  4. Drink more Water – Are you drinking 64 oz. of water each day? Try keeping track of your fluid intake to see how much water you drink.
  5. Exercise Each Day – Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Nearly every health condition can be helped with physical activity.
  6. Sleep – Try making your bedroom as dark as a cave. Using technology (especially tablets and smartphones) before bed is not recommended. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is recommended. Your organs repair and regenerate while you sleep, not enough sleep means much more than just feeling tired.
  7. Elimination – How often are you having a bowel movement? What is the consistency like? Everyone is different, but adults should be having at least one to two bowel movements each day (should be semi-firm).
  8. Relaxation – Find some way to relieve stress and relax each day. Exercise and/or prayer/meditation are good ways to relieve stress.working in my garden
  9. Socialization/Connectedness – This is another way to help relieve stress. Humans are naturally social beings and today we are often very isolated from others. Joining a club or organization is a great way to get connected.
  10. Go Outside! – Get some sunlight and vitamin D and connect with nature. Try “Earthing” by walking barefoot and absorbing the Earth’s energy and negative ions.

Health & Hugs <3

Katie


Ditch the Diet (And Other Sodas too)!

Why You Should Ditch the Diet Sodadiet soda

  • Diet sodas usually contain aspartame, which is a potential neurotoxin (Bauman, 2014) meaning it can change the chemicals in the brain
  • Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than regular sugar
  • It can be addictive
  • Can contribute to the decline in kidney function
  • Can contribute to weight gain – the body is unable to recognize the difference between real and artificial sweeteners
  • Excess body aches and pains have been tied to aspartame in the diet
  • Monsanto (large pesticide and GMO conglomerate) owns aspartame
  • Aspartame was discovered when Monsanto was investigating new pesticides (NutraSweet)
  • Can possibly turn into methanol in the digestive tract
  • Aspartame is linked to brain tumors, headaches/migraines, seizures/epilepsy, autoimmune conditions, and depression
  • Diet Pepsi also contains Acesulfame Potassium which is 200 times sweeter than sugar

Soda’s Hidden Dangers

  • Hi-Fructose Corn Syrup is damaging to the liver and causes huge spikes in the blood sugar
  • Sugars are more addictive than cocaine
  • To process sugars, vitamins and minerals must be taken from the tissues, therefore repeated exposure can lead to nutrient deficiencies
  • Can contribute to candida (yeast) overgrowth
  • High blood sugar, as a result of sugar ingestion, is linked to an increased risk of cancer
  • Soda leaves an acidic residue in the body – an acidic environment is a contributing factor in many health problems
  • Splenda isn’t any better – a chlorine molecule is added when they make this low calorie sweetener
  • Sugary drinks actually change the taste buds to crave more sugar (Axe, 2015)

    Soda Alternatives

    • Teas – iced or hot, herbal, green, black, or white, sweetened with a little honey (if needed)
    • Coconut water – look for raw coconut water (processed without heat)
    • Water – sparkling or still – try adding fresh fruit, lemon juice, or cucumber and mint to water or try Stevia Drops to add a little flavor and sweetness
    • Fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices
    • Chia seed drinks
    • Nut milks (almond, coconut, hemp, etc.)

Health & Hugs <3

Katie

References:

Axe, J. (2015). Step away from the diet coke. Retrieved from http://draxe.com/step-away-from-the-diet-coke/

Bauman, E. (2014) Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman Press.


Is Gluten Free For Me?

Gluten is one of the proteins found in several grains including wheat, barley, rye, bulgar, sometimes oats, and possibly spelt and kamut. There are several problems when it comes to digesting this protein. First, gluten is an inflammatory that damages internal organs and tissues. When a peglutendiagramrson’s body has a negative reaction to a food, the body sends out inflammatory molecules, cytokines, to identify the food as an enemy. The immune system continues to attack the enemy, which can cause damage in the digestive system. These cytokines also cause a great deal of damage in the brain (Perlmutter, 2013).

Furthermore, gluten is one of the few foods that can cross the blood-brain barrier. This barrier exists to protect your brain from things that are foreign. Because it can cross the blood-brain barrier, it can have a negative effect on brain function. Dr. William Davis (2009) examines studies that have shown ingesting wheat has been associated with worse symptoms with those diagnosed with ADHD, schizophrenia, and the autism spectrum.

In addition, gluten also causes spikes in the blood sugar after it is consumed. The glycemic index is the extent of which a food raises a person’s blood sugar (and insulin) relative to glucose (glycemic index of 100). The glycemic index of whole wheat bread is 72, while the glycemic index of table sugar (sucrose) is 59, thus whole wheat bread raises blood sugar more than regular sugar (Davis, 2009; Pollan, 2013). Other physiological effects of gluten consumption include sleepiness after consumption and an increased appetite after consumption (Davis, 2009).

Furthermore, the wheat that we consume today is not genetically or physiologically similar to the wheat of decades ago. The first cultivated wheat, einkorn, has only 14 chromosomes and produces a less stretchy and stickier dough that rises very little (Davis, 2011; Pollan, 2013). It also has a less appealing flavor than the current wheat strains. Current wheat strains, triticum, are genetically very different, having 42 chromosomes, and it produces a much higher yieldwavesofgrain in the field, and is elastic, pliable, and rises nicely, which is ideal for baking (Davis, 2011; Pollan, 2013).

 

Additionally, wheat causes an exorphin release (similar to endorphins, but originating from a source outside of your body) in your brain, making your body crave it the more you eat it. Digestion of wheat “…yields morphine-like compounds that bind to your brain’s opiate receptors. It induces a form of reward, a mild euphoria” (Davis, p. 50, 2009). This creates an ongoing cycle of eating wheat and craving wheat that can be hard to break.

Lastly, gluten is so prevalent in foods today that many people consume wheat without even realizing it. Besides the obvious breads, cereals, pastas, cookies, and cakes, gluten is also found in soy sauce, salad dressings, spice packets, cheeses, gravies, sauces, French fries, prescription medications, cosmetics and so much more (Perlmutter, 2013). It also has many aliases as well, including names like modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, seitan, and textured vegetable protein, which are misleading and may be challenging to identify as wheat (Davis, 2009).

There is a wealth of evidence showing that gluten has many adverse effects on our health, you’ll have to decide for yourself, is gluten free for you?

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

Sources:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014). Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.

Davis, W. (2011). Wheat Belly. New York, NY: Rodale Inc.

Perlmutter, D. (2013). Grain Brain. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

Pollan, M. (2013). Cooked. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Get off Gluten blog (2014, April) Flowchart of wheat retrieved from http://getoffgluten.blogspot.com/

Mitsides Group (2014, April) Image of wheat retrieved from

http://www.mitsidesgroup.com/lang/en/about-pasta-flour/about-flour/


July 2015 Book of the Month – The Candida Cure

Hello!

On my flight to Europe this past month, I read The Candida Cure: Yeast, Fungus & Your Health – The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida & Restore Vibrant Health by Ann Boroch. Before I review the book, let me back up a little… When I was about 17, I was seeing a dermatologist for acne on my face, chest, and back. Among the things she put me on was amoxicillin. This was supposed help clear up my acne. Um, I have no idea how, and can’t remember her reasoning then, but I was 17, so I just went with it. I’m not sure that it helped much, but I was on it for 1-2 years. (I can’t really remember exactly how long). What I do know, is that ever since then, I have had a systemic candida albicans overgrowth. I know this now, but I didn’t know it then. I knew that I was prone to vaginal yeast infections (getting an infection every time I take a course of antibiotics). In recent years I would combat my post antibiotic yeast infection with a high dose of probiotics (500 billion everyday for about a week would do the trick).

It wasn’t until I was in my Bauman College nutrition classes over the past few months that I learned that I have a systemic Candida overgrowth. After taking the Candida Health Questionnaire, it was clear to me, that I needed to treat myself for a Candida overgrowth (BTW, my score is about 280!! yikes). Besides the antibiotics that I was in my late teens, I have been on a least one course of antibiotics per year, throughout my 20’s, pair that with chemotherapy and radiation, and I have no doubt that I’ve stumbled upon a major key to my road back to health.

Boroch recommends that you follow her program for 90 days, and I will. But I have concerns that since I have had this issue, untreated for at least 12 years, that I may need to continue this for up to 6 months.

REVIEW

The Candida Cure is a well-researched and thorough guide to helping yourself overcome a Candida overgrowth. Boroch states, “Conservatively speaking, one in three people suffers from yeast-related symptoms or conditions” (2009, p. 3). In the book, she explains how this has become such a pervasive problem, the symptoms that are associated with candida overgrowth, and the she provides you with a step-by-step guide on how to fix it. I asked my doctor for lab testing to identify if I have a candida overgrowth and she told me that the lab does not perform those tests, which supports Boroch’s claim that “… western medicine does not recognize intestinal and systemic candidiasis as a health condition” (Boroch, 2009, p. 15). She provides lists of the foods to eat and the foods to avoid and even provides a “slow-start” version for those people that need to make more gradual changes. Lists of supplements are provided in addition to two-week sample menus, and 40 pages of recipes and food brands to help make this as easy as possible. If you suspect you may also have a candida overgrowth, I highly recommend checking out her book.

I have not yet started the 90-day cleanse. I’ve been back from Europe for about a week now and I have ordered the supplements that she recommends, and I have been working on detoxing from the yummy vacation food (goodbye gelato, buffalo mozzarella, and rice!). We have a wine tasting trip planned for the last weekend in August (Napa Valley Wine Train here we come!) so I will start after that. It’s a family trip that we’ve been planning for about a year, so one last time to live it up! Until then, I will be phasing out dairy, sugar, forbidden fruits, and carbs. Wish me luck!!

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie