All posts filed under: Wellness

Abuse has many faces…

I hated tickling.  As a kid both my sister and I were tickled by my father whenever he wanted to do it.  And as small children, we realized we HAD NO CONTROL.  At first, for maybe 10 seconds, it was funny, then it became either terrifying or painful. And we had no say.  And here’s the important thing:  Our father, ANY father or grandfather can read our signals.  He could clearly see we were uncomfortable, but he ignored that. Intentionally. And we forget that these fathers and grandfathers need to understand (and be called out) that this is ABUSIVE. And like this young mother, we need to get strong in the face of family “oh it’s no big deal” and stand our ground. Doing something to another person’s body against their will is NOT OKAY.  This young mother and writer does an amazing job here of articulating this boundary.  I only wish I had had a mother who would have stood up for me this way.  Sadly, my mother was much like hers.  Complicit in …

Why you should know your reverse T3

Read this and ensure your thyroid function get evaluated properly.

Organic on the Cheap

So, a lot of people say to me “I just can’t afford organic”.  Besides the rationale I’ve already given in prior posts, (how much do you spend to go out to dinner?  movies? take out?  Why would you balk at spending that same amount on your food, the one thing that can energize and heal you?) here’s a source where you can get stock pantry items CHEAP, shipped right to your house, and save $$ in the process.  Thrive Market is the organic version of Amazon Pantry, and there are lots of other reasons to support it, and no relation to my blog, btw… (already a member?  see bottom of page to get a free maple syrup!) Thrive Market is the first socially conscious online marketplace offering natural/organic products at wholesale prices. For less than $5 a month ($59.95 annually), members can shop 4,000 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products from more than 400 of the best brands on the market, all delivered straight to their doors at 25-50% …

Update on Fats: 2017

Since I first posted this in 2013, we’ve gotten even more research, especially about saturated fats, and the news is good:  they help decrease heart disease and they truly help inflammation. Here is the latest: You need fats.  Do NOT try and lose weight by turning to low fat options.  Guess what they trade for fat so that the product tastes ok?  SUGAR = CARBS.  The trade off is that you’re hungry in an hour!  Why?  Your insulin just spiked.   How many times have you eaten a meal only to feel hungry in an hour or two?  Fat gives us satiety, the feeling of “I’ve had enought to eat”.  So, fat is your FRIEND, especially if you want to lose weight.  Here’s simple guidelines for fat consumption.  Did you know you don’t absorb certain vitamins without fat?  Vitamins A, D, E and K are considered “fat soluble” and are absorbed MUCH better when paired with fat. List of “Good” Fats: vary where they come from, add them to your meals, and find you’ll stay …

The Essence of Functional Medicine

Because I am a nurse, I know a lot of people in the medical community and as they learn my story and I get healthier, I’ve often been asked what functional medicine is. This image below sums up completely what a patient’s experience with functional medicine is like: Patients have evolved since the 1950s and they’re much more informed and want to participate in their care compared to decades ago. They often want to know why they have whatever illness it is they have. Unfortunately  during those same decades, conventional medicine became more specialized, and, at least where primary care is concerned, it took a turn away from what was important: seeing the entire person and trying to figure out how the symptoms come together and solve a puzzle. Don’t misunderstand me — patients are being treated more efficiently and quicker than ever before, the problem is that chronic illness is exploding in a way that we’ve never seen in history.  So, despite having better drugs and more efficient technology, we are getting sicker faster …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 8

Condiment Caution! It may seem negligible, but ketchup can sabotage you!  Hiding behind it’s pretty red “I’m a vegetable” mask is actually a food that has a fair number of carbs.  Let’s look at condiments, some of the common ones.  Everybody knows jam and jelly have sugar, so I won’t address those.  Just the usual common condiments we eat every day with food. I did NOT use the same measurement for each one, for obvious reasons.  You would probably not eat 3 TBS. of mustard, but you could easily have that much mayo with tuna salad, or dipping french fries in either ketchup or mayo (yes, some people prefer mayo to ketchup on fries!). So, here they are.  Now, the calories are important, but not NEARLY as important as what happens to your blood sugar and insulin levels after you eat anything.  Yes, calories matter, but carbs are the driver behind the steering wheel of your insulin response.  More carbs, more insulin.  More insulin, more fat storage, more hunger.  In order to break the cycle, …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 6

T2T Restaurant Carb Hacks. It’s not as hard as you think to go low carb at a restaurant.  Here are some of my favorite tricks to stay low carb and still enjoy yourself: I want to say something first.  If you eat out once a year, or it’s your birthday, use the 90/10 rule:  decide when you’re going to have that 10% “blow my rules” meal, and then ENJOY it!  If you order something and then feel guilty about eating it, what’s the point?  For the rest of the time, use these hacks: Look for entrees that offer a simple fish, meat, or poultry option.  Stay away from pasta and things with sauces that may contain cornstarch, flour, sugar, or other thickening agents. When rice or potatoes are served, ask for two servings of the vegetable instead. Order a salad with dinner, and specify you want a dressing without sugar.  Oil and vinegar are usually available, and many restaurants make their own vinaigrettes, you just have to be assertive and ask what is in it.  …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 5

Today is a very important one.  I’m not posting these in order, and maybe this should be considered #1.  EAT MORE FIBER.  Sounds simple, but here’s a trick that can help you get healthier, thinner, and lower your cancer risk.  A win/win! The Role of Fiber in Weight Loss, Heart Disease and Diabetes: Dr. Dennis Burkitt, an English physician, studied the differences between indigenous African bushmen and western people like you and me.  The bushmen seemed to be free of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.  They ate a ton of fiber every single day.  In fact, the bushman had a stool weight of 2 pounds and the westernized men had a stool weight of only 4 ounces (yes, 87.5% smaller!).  Today, the average American eats about 8 grams of fiber a day. But the average hunter and gatherer ate 100 grams from a raw whole foods diet (roots, berries, leaves and plant foods). And the fiber is what helped them stay much healthier than the average American today. Why is fiber so great? Fiber …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 4

This one is simple once you see it in facts.  Stop drinking ALL juice.  Here’s why: Let’s take something you’d never eat on a diet.  How about a “fun size” snickers bar?  That’s clearly in the “no-no” zone, right?  Well, what if I told you that when it comes to blood sugar, insulin, and weight gain, orange juice is worse?  Would you be incredulous?  Here are the facts, based on TWO tiny snickers vs. 1 cup of OJ: So, the calories are a bit higher in the snickers bars.  But, although nutrient devoid (and that’s another post), they have less sugars than the OJ!  Now, this does not mean I want you to go out and eat snickers, but it does mean your use of juice should be negligible to NONE.  These calories go straight into your bloodstream, as there is no fiber in the juice to slow digestion.  Juice is not an item you want in your food plan at all.  In case you’d like more information, all the juices are listed here.  I …

The Right Receipt!

Last week we were in Denver to see my son.  My son and husband had lunch together, and our son wanted to take him to a local restaurant that he liked.  I loved his choice for so many reasons:  1. It was a great restaurant that cooked local, often organic food. (they do pay attention when I talk!!!)  2. It provided them with low carb options for a lunch  3.  It gave me an idea for a post.  WIN-WIN-WIN!   Here’s what amazed me today as I scanned in receipts.  THEIR RECEIPT GAVE THEM THE NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR THEIR MEALS!  Why doesn’t every restaurant do this?  How cool is this?   My only comment is most people probably don’t want a 2,500/day calorie intake — but in Denver, which is one of the healthiest cities, it may be accurate due to the amount of biking/hiking/exercise most people get. But in all other regards, this is an awesome idea more restaurants need to follow! Tell your favorite local restaurant to try doing this, it appears that this …

The Anatomy of Trust

Brené Brown, who is a researcher and best selling author whom I greatly admire, recently offered a free course called “The Anatomy of Trust”.  I decided to “take” it (it is online, link at bottom).  I found out some things about myself, and realized I have areas to work on, and areas to pat myself on the back.  But she breaks trust down using this definition, which I find really helpful: “Trust is choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.”  (Charles Feltman) This is important, as we should give our complete trust to people who we feel can honor our vulnerability.  I only have a few friends and a husband who I can say fit all these criteria. And that is true of most people as you look at the acronym and think about who in your life you trust.  Do they meet these criteria? Here is how she breaks it down, using the acronym of BRAVING to define the components of when to trust someone and also …

Fat Shaming Never Works

In fact, as you read this excellent article from Kris Gunners, who authors the website Authority Nutrition, you will see that shaming never works —  it does the exact opposite. If you know someone who is frustrated with a family member or a friend’s weight and you see them shaming that person or dictating what they should eat, show them this article and ask them to really think about what it is they’re doing to that person emotionally. I would like to thank Kris for letting me re-post this here. I have given a lot of links to his website in the past, and I would encourage you to routinely check it out. Science Confirms: “Fat Shaming” Just Makes Things Worse By Kris Gunnars, BSc | September, 2015 | There has been a lot of talk about “fat shaming” on the internet in the past few weeks. This was sparked by a couple of viral videos, one serious and the other a (bad) joke, that harshly criticized overweight people. Some believe that making overweight people feel …