Sunburn home remedy that really works!

Sunburn Formula

sunburn remedy

My 19 year old son came home from a day of working outside in full sun on a day that was over 90 degrees.  He is fair and red headed.  The back of his arms and neck were that bright red to the point of a purple look. Not good. You could also see very tiny blisters starting on the back of his arms.

Here is what I did.

Sunburn home remedy #1

  1. I used Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.  You don’t need to use Bragg’s but make sure you do use unfiltered, raw ACV.  I got a piece of cotton and really soaked it in the vinegar and got his arms very wet with the ACV.  We let it dry for a couple of minutes
  2. Then I mixed about 5 drops of lavender essential oil with about a tablespoon of coconut oil.  (You don’t have to be exact with this.). I rubbed this mixture all over the sunburned area of his arms.  We did not use anything on his sunburned neck.  (If you are sunburned on the majority of your body, then use 20 drops of lavender EO and mix with enough coconut oil to cover all areas.)

He went to bed a couple hours later.  When he woke the next morning for work he said he was amazed at how the burn on his arms did not hurt but the burn on his neck still did.  Even better, the burn on his arms did not reach full blister and did not peel. 

I am not only happy that it worked but now maybe my adult kids will actually take my home remedies and natural/alternative remedies seriously! 

Many say this method usually does not prevent the peeling but does downgrade the pain quite a bit. In my son’s case it worked for both.  I have included another sunburn option below. 


Sunburn home Remedy #2

  • 1 c. pure Aloe Vera juice (make sure it is pure, not that fake bright green stuff that you see in your local drugstore.) You can find pure aloe at your local health store. 
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil  (it should be an essential oil brand such as Doterra or from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 oz. trauma oil or jojoba oil (trauma oil is a blend of calendula and arnica flowers and St. John’s Wort flowering tops infused in olive oil.  You can make your own but it’s easier to buy it. Herb Pharm is a reputable brand that I like.  Trauma oil is good to have on hand also for muscle and joint pain, injuries, wounds, sprains and inflammation).
  • Mix this blend and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 
  • Shake before use.  Spray on sunburn.

Share your story! Did you try these home remedies for sunburn? Did it help you?  I would love to know. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate) and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC believes in addressing root causes for your health conditions with diet, supplement and herbal therapy as opposed to symptom management.  If you would like to learn more about her services, visit her site at

This information is for educational purposes only.  Karen is a nutrition professional and as such does not diagnose, cure or treat. 


Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Statins and the Depression connection

Statins and the Depression Connection: Were you depressed before you went on a Statin Drug?

pills in hand

Stains appear to be correlated with the onset of depressive symptoms along with hostility, rage, suicidal ideation, suicide, and combativeness.
Dr. Graveline from states that statins interfere with the biochemistry of the dolichols which are metabolic pathways that are necessary to form our neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are considered messenger molecules that are the basis for our thoughts and emotions. Since statins inhibit dolichols, cell communication is also inhibited as well as neuro-hormone production.
There are numerous individual reports of those who experienced depressive symptoms once starting on a statin. For those wanting to report their symptoms a good place to do so is at in which all person reports are collected on not just depressive symptoms but any symptoms from statin usage.
If you are thinking of going on a statin (or any other medication for that matter) visit and here you will find people noting there symptoms from various drugs (you click on the drug you want to see symptoms for). On this site there are numerous negative reports of statin side effects.
Upon research, it has been reported that total cholesterol (TC) levels are consistently lower in more severely depressed and aggressive people. So is it the statin that is causing the depressive side effects or is it because the statin is bringing the TC levels too low? (Below 160 is when symptoms have been noted. I prefer to not have clients TC go below 180).
Other studies show that the type of statin you use may also impact what symptoms are expressed.
As a result, both may have an impact. There are numerous reports of those on statins and having cholesterol in the 200’s and reporting depressive symptoms while others have lower TC. Could the nutrient deficiencies that statins cause also have an impact on depression symptoms? Many factors related to the medication use may be creating the symptoms. The bottom line? Why are you on a statin medication and do you really need to be on this medication?
Yet on the other end of the spectrum, while all these people are reporting the symptoms they experience while on statins a study in 2014 from the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology reported that only a small minority of people report side effects and that just as many in the statin group as in the placebo group reported side effects.
In the end research does not support the advice that a low cholesterol level will prevent heart disease. Heart disease is a disease of systemic inflammation. We need to realize that cholesterol is not the enemy-we need cholesterol! It is a very critical biochemical needed for proper brain function along with sex hormone and vitamin D production.
If you are on a statin also be aware of the nutrient deficiencies it may create. Your omega 3 fatty acids, ubiquinol, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium levels may be impacted as well.
If you want to prevent heart disease you need to change your diet and lifestyle to reduce inflammation. Avoid sugar, refined and processed foods and eat whole foods as much as possible. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Make vegetables and salads the biggest portion of your meals with moderate amounts of protein and only small amounts of starches. Pass up the French fries and deep fried foods and opt for your starchy carbs in the form of beets, carrots, sweet potato , small amounts of beans and legumes or non- gluten whole grains.
Supplements and herbs can be supportive as well, however making diet and a lifestyle change for heart health needs to come first. As I often say to my clients, you can take all high quality, expensive supplements in the world, but if you still eat “like crap” you will still feel like crap.
Bowden, J. & Sinatra, S. (2012) The Great cholesterol Myth. MA: Fair Wind Press.
Fingold, J. et. al. (3/18/14) What Proportion of Symptomatic side effects in patients taking statins are
genuinely caused by the drug? Systemic review of randomized, placebo controlled trials to aid individual patient choice. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Graveline, D. (11/10) Depression and Statin Drug Use.
Kaplan, A. (11/30/10) Statins, cholesterol depletion-and mood disorders-what’s the missing link?

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate) and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC believes in addressing root causes of your health condition instead of symptom management. If you would like to learn more about her services visit or email Karen at
The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure as Karen is a nutritionist not a doctor. This article is for educational purposes only. I encourage you to do your own research if you are on a statin medication and to take control of your own health instead of leaving it in the hands of others.

Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Brownies made with Black Beans

Black Bean Brownies

Gluten free, dairy free, soy free

A low sugar treat to take to summer picnics.  No one will ever know that you used black beans!

black bean brownie


  • 1 c. canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • ¼.c coconut oil
  • ¼ c. cacao powder
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 3 T. honey
  • sea salt (dash)
  • 3 pasture raised eggs
  • ½ c. dark chocolate (I like Enjoy life brand)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper
  2. Put all ingredients except the dark chocolate into a blender or food processor
  3. Blend in the dark chocolate
  4. Spread into the pan.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition, LLC believes in addressing root causes of health conditions with diet, supplements and herbs rather than symptom management.  To learn more about her services visit

Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Medication Side Effects That Can Cause Depression and Anxiety

Medication Side Effects

That Can Cause Depression or Anxiety


This is the third time I have updated this list and unfortunately it continues to grow.  

I suggest saving and printing this post to use as a reference for when you or a family member take a new medication. 

I remember in the past when I  would use antibiotics (its been a long time since I have used them, but I used them quite often actually in my younger and “ignorant” years), I would always feel melancholy while I was on them and couldn’t wait to stop and often wouldn’t finish the prescription because of how I felt. It always happened when I went on an antibiotic and it took about 2 weeks afterwards for me to feel like my old self.  Looking back, it was probably minor depression caused by the drug.  I still often wonder if the medication is what caused me to feel that way, or is it because it destroys all your good bacteria that we now know is so vital for our mental well-being.  


Most people don’t know the cause of their depression or anxiety.  While medications may help wouldn’t it be better to know the cause and address it?  If your depression or anxiety got worse after a new medication or came on suddenly after you were placed on a drug, check the list below to see if any of these drugs are a factor. 

Your doctor may not even be aware that the medication he placed you on may be causing your mood issues.  It is important to rule out medications you are on, before digging deeper into other root causes for your mood issue.  Save the package insert and read the small print for list of side effects.  

This list is not exhaustive as it seems to be more medications that we are finding can contribute to anxiety and depression. In addition to this, some literature states there is not enough evideince as of yet on some of these medicaitons and findinds are inconlclusive.  

In the end, you know your body best.  Pay attention to how you feel before and during medication use.  If you think that the medication may be contributing to your depression or anxiety, speak with your health care provider who prescribed the medicaiotn.  If he or she refuses to listen to you, find a qualitfied health care person who will before you stop taking your medication.  Sometines the rapid withdrawl side effects can be much worse, depending on the medication you are taking or can be dangerous if you stop taking it.  

If you have had a mood reaction to a drug not listed here, please share and I can pass the information along and update my list.  

Drugs That Can Cause Depression

  • Accutane (for acne)
  • alcohol
  • anticonvulsants (used for seizures/ meds such as Celontin, Zarontin)
  • barbiturates (such as Phenobarbital/used for seizures and anxiety)
  • Benzodiapines (used for anxiety and insomnia/meds such as Ativan, Xanax, and valium)
  • Beta Blockers (used for heart health, HTN, migraines/meds such as Lopressor or Tenormin)
  • Calcium channel blockers (used for slowing heart rate, HTN, CHF/meds such as Cardizem, Tiazac, Procardia)
  • Interferon (For some cancers, hepatitis B and C)
  • Norplant (For birth control)
  • Opioids (used for pain/meds such as codeine, morphine, Demerol, OxyContin) Along with depression, these can cause hallucinations, nightmares, poor memory and tremors. 
  • Statins (used to lower cholesterol, CAD, heart attacks/meds such as Mevacor, Zocor, Lipitor)
  • Varenicline (used for smoking cessation)
  • Zovirax (used for shingles and herpes)
  • Heart burn medication called metoclopramide (Reglan).  Can cause depression along with confusion, hallucinations and anxiety
  • Antibiotics with the word flox in it (Ofloxacin), Floxin.  Used for routine infections such as UTI or upper respiratory infection.  Can cause depression, anxiety, paranoid thoughts, and hallucinations.  Causes toxic psychosis. 
  • Prednisone and other corticosteroids (for allergies, sinusitis,) For example, someone may be prescribed prednisone for a bad reaction to poison ivy.  Even short term dose (i.e.: a few days) can trigger anxiety, irritability, insomnia, depression, agitation, memory impairment and auditory and visual hallucinations.  It is called steroid psychosis. 
  • Anticholinergic drugs (i.e.: oxybutynin/Ditropan) used for bladder issues.  Can cause depression and cognitive loss.
  • Lariam used to treat malaria (can also induce psychosis and violence) 
  • Chantix used to stop smoking 
  • Other oral contraceptives in addition to Norplant.  This can include patches, IUD and birth control pills. 
  • Tamiflu (used for the flu) can induce psychosis and delirium which can lead to suicide (i.e.: jumping out a window during psychosis) 

Drugs That Can Cause Anxiety

  • asthma medication, albuterol
  • blood pressure  medication methyldopa
  • oral contraceptives
  • amphetamines (Ritalin)
  • Steroids (cortisone, prednisone)
  • thyroid medicines
  • some antidepressants
  • caffeine
  • Excedrin
  • No Doz
  • Cough meds, decongestants such as Sudafed
  • Illegal drugs such as cocaine, crack, speed (amphetamine)
  • antibiotics (with the word flox in it-see more information under depression above)
  • Some heartburn medications (see depression list above for more information)
  • Lariam used to treat malaria 
  • Chantix used to stop smoking
  • Tamiflu (used for flu) can induce psychosis, erratic behavior in children such as constant slapping (which can look like anxiety in a child) 


Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014) Therapeutic Nutrition. CA: Bauman College




Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Sourdough bread and a live starter: why this bread is good for your health

Sourdough bread made with live starter

Why this is the only bread I will eat!

sourdough bread



Loving my Sourdough starter

sourgo with bubbles


I received a sourdough starter from my teacher at Sage Herbal School in Colorado Springs and I made my first loaf of bread.  I normally do not eat bread but I had to try this. Research shows that even those with celiac disease can eat bread made with gluten containing flour and sourdough starter with no damage to their microvilli. See the study here. What they found is that fermentation of the wheat flour with the sourdough lactobacilli and fugal proteases decreases the concentration of gluten in the bread here

My son has a delayed gluten allergy.  So naturally I am excited to see if this bread works for him. Typically his response to ingesting gluten is acid reflux and a burn in his throat, along with excess mucus production.  I just gave the first loaf to him so now we wait and see the results.  I will update this when we find out if he can tolerate the sourdough bread or not.  (You can use a whole wheat flour-actually any flour as long as it is not a sprouted grain. ) I also have made pizza dough using the recipe below. 

What I like also about the bread is that is does not have an overly sour taste as some sourdough breads do that you buy in the grocery store. 

Keep in mind that this homemade bread made with the starter is not the same as the bread you purchase in your local grocery store. I am also not saying all of those with celiac can eat this bread but instead you should do some research and decide for yourself to try it or not and see how you feel.  You know your body best. 

Benefits to eating bread made with a live sourdough starter

When you bake the bread with a living starter it will continue to provide you with probiotics in a nutritious and digestible form.  Look to get a starter from someone you know.  Then you can share your starter with others too. 

I currently have one starter that I am giving away but should have more to give away within a week or two.  If you want a sourdough starter you will need to email me and arrange for time to pick it up along with directions for bread that I will email to you.  This will be on a first come/first serve basis. 



Sour dough Bread Recipe Using a live starter


Your Sourdough starter


Feeding: you need to always use equal portions in a 1:1:1 ratio.  You can use less sourdough starter but no more than a ½ c. as it gets too active and will eat all the food and will not be bubbly.  Do not use more starter than ingredients.   

To your sourdough starter, add ½ c. flour and ½ c. water. Stir until well combined and seal with a lid.  Let it sit on your counter for 8-12 hours or until bubbly.  This can take a day or two.  If you are not using it to bake with right away, you can then place it in the fridge and feed it once per week. (if you have a cup of sourdough starter then add one cup flour and one cup water to it-always same amount or more flour and water than starter when “feeding” it)

The starter that is left in your jar should be fed once per week.  Even if you have only a few spoonful’s left of starter in your jar, still add ½ flour and ½ water to it each week, let it ferment on counter and then put back in your fridge. 

When it sits in your fridge and you are not using it-still feed it once per week.  Add in flour and water (always same amount or more flour and water than the starter) 

When in your fridge the alcohol may separate and come to the surface.  This is called hooch and can be dark in color.  It is harmless and you can either discard it or blend it back in.  This hooch is a by -product of the starter eating all the food. 



  • 1 c. of starter
  • 1 c. warm water
  • ¼ c. oil
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 4 c. flour
  • 2 t. salt (don’t add right away)


  1. If using mixer, process until all ingredients, except the salt, are mixed together.  If mixing by hand, stir until just mixed. 
  2. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  This resting allows the gluten strands to absorb the water and start to develop. It is a very important step for the right consistency for your dough.
  3. After the ten minutes are up, sprinkle in the salt.  Then turn on your mixer or mix by hand for 3 minutes. 
  4. Leave the dough in the mixing machine or bowl and put a cover on it. Let the dough sit in the bowl for 5 hours at room temperature (70 degrees)
  5. After the 5 hours, the dough should have doubled and is moist and sticky.  Stir the dough a couple times.  Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. 
  6. Fold the edges to the middle all around. This helps to shape the dough.  Knead the dough into a ball shape.
  7. Put your dough into a glass or ceramic baking dish or pie dish and sprinkle with a bit of flour then cover with a damp cloth. 
  8. Allow the dough to proof for 2.5 hours or until doubled. 
  9. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut some slits into the dough and bake at 450 for 5 minutes.  After the five minutes, turn the oven to 425 and bake for 25 more minutes. 
  10. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

If you want a starter and live in the Castle Rock, CO area and want to pick one up for free then contact Karen, Tru Foods at 303-522-0381. 

Karen with Tru Foods Nutrition is a certified nutrition consultant who gets to the  root causes of your health conditions with nutrition, herbs and supplements.  Visit her website for more information. 

Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Tru Foods Nutrition Granola is for sale under Cottage Law!


Tru Foods Granola

(Castle Rock, CO)
Raw, Paleo, gluten, soy and dairy free
11 oz. bags $8.50 (plus tax)

1 oz. single serving bag $1.00 (plus tax)

I will do customized orders (i.e.: almonds for walnuts, no dried fruit, etc..) for $2 extra per bag and 2 bag minimum order. 






Our Tru Foods Granola is finally ready to sell under the Cottage Law from Castle Rock, Colorado! I cannot sell it online as under the Cottage law it does need to be sold directly. If you would like purchase Tru Foods Granola, email or text the amount of bags you would like to purchase from us. I accept checks or cash for the Granola.

Check out my main page for places I will be speaking or will have a booth. I will have sample bags of Tru Foods Granola there!

Text/call: 303-522-0381
Send Tru Foods a picture of where you take your Tru Foods Granola and we will post it on our site. Do you take it on hiking or camping trips? Biking or endurance running? Or in your yogurt for breakfast? Let us know and send us a picture of you, your activity and the Tru Foods Granola.


“OMG…this stuff is amazing!”

“I am not going to share this”

“This is addictive”

“This is really good….Can I have 2 more bags?”

“I’m surprised I like this…usually I don’t like all your “health” food.  I shared this at work and everyone there liked it too.”  (that last comment was from my son.)

About Tru Foods Nutrition Granola

granola in hand


There are so many different granola brands on the market. Why is yours any better and why should I purchase yours?
I created my own granola after looking at all the brands in the stores, even in the health stores, and not being able to find one that met my criteria. The majority of these other brands are loaded with processed sugar and often in more than one form. I have not been able to find one that is raw and also Paleo friendly (meaning it does not contain oats.) As a result my granola meets the needs of the raw community, the Paleo community and those who are gluten, soy and dairy free.

Why do you purchase your nuts and seeds at Natural Grocers only?

I purchase the nuts and seeds in the refrigerator section of Natural Grocers. Storing them in the refrigerator extends their shelf life. Due to their high oil content, these fats can break down rather quickly. This is important because if nuts and seeds sit out too long the oils in them can go rancid. While turnover in large bins may be quick, I still don’t know how long those nuts and seeds have been sitting out exposed to the heat.

Why is it important to soak nuts and seeds?

Nuts contain anti-nutrients which are there so that they do not sprout too early. It is a natural mechanism so that they may survive until proper growing conditions are present. However, when we consume nuts and seeds that have not been soaked and dehydrated, it makes them difficult for us to digest and difficult for us to absorb the beneficial nutrients that they contain. By soaking our nuts and seeds we are removing phytic acid, tannins, neutralizing enzyme inhibitors, encouraging the production of beneficial enzymes, and increasing the amount of vitamins that are available, thus making them easier to digest. So ask yourself, are the nuts and seeds in the products you eat soaked?

Why is it better to dehydrate nuts and seeds at a low temperature?

Dehydrating foods below 115 degrees allows the food to retain its nutrients and digestive enzymes. I dehydrate my nuts and seeds at 113 degrees. When baking granola (and other foods) in the oven at high temperatures, they lose some of these nutrients and the digestive enzymes are destroyed.

Why do you use honey instead of other forms of sugar?

While honey is still a sugar, it does have some benefits over other forms such as white sugar, brown sugar or agave syrup. Raw honey (heated above 115 degrees will destroy these beneficial properties) contains antioxidants, enzymes, minerals and vitamins. You can’t say that about white processed sugar. Agave syrup raises blood sugar more rapidly than people once thought and so does brown rice syrup. Brown Rice syrup also contains arsenic. As a result, there are numerous reasons for choosing honey as the sweetener of choice in this granola.

Why does it matter that this is a raw product?

When we cook our food we lose 30% of the nutrients and 100% of the enzymes in the food. Having a balance of raw foods in your diet (mixed in with cooked foods) can help to support the body with nutrient dense food that is not destroyed by high cooking temperatures.

Tru Foods Granola 11oz. $8.50 per bag
All nuts and seeds have been soaked and dehydrated.
Ingredients: raw cashews, raw walnuts, raw pumpkin seeds, organic shredded coconut, organic raisins, raw honey, extra virgin organic coconut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, Celtic sea salt, filtered water.
Serving size: 1/3 cup
Calories: 254
Protein: 6 g.
Fat: 19 g.
Carbs: 17 g.
Sugar: 9 g.


Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Tru Foods E book Guide: 21 day Depression Free meal and supplement plan: sneak peek!

Sneak Peek at my E book: Tru Foods Nutrition 21 day Depression Free guide, meal and supplement plan. 

woman reading pic

I  have been working on a book on addressing root causes but it has been taking longer than expected and is ending up much longer than I ever imagined!

During this time my son lost another friend to suicide and I felt like I needed to do something-to get something out there to help others.  So while I am still working on the book I put this diet plan together for those that just want to do something to feel better instead of reading and understanding all the “whys”. 

The E book is almost completed but I am waiting for my web designer to be available so that I can put it up for sale on my website.  My weakness is my lack of computer skills!  I would much rather a professional set it up for sale on my site rather than me make a mess of it!  It will cost somewhere around $12.99 and has a lot of useful information and resources.  Here is a peak.  More sneak peaks to come so keep checking back to my blog!

Who this plan is for:

  • Anyone suffering with depression who is ready to make some dietary changes to feel better
  • For parents and families that are looking for die plan that can help their child/loved one. 
  • Anyone with depression related to known cause (i.e.: bullying, death of loved one, divorce, traumatic event, etc.….) you will learn how these types of known causes of your depression impact your body and what to do to support it nutritionally.  This does not mean to stop your therapy sessions that can help you address your exogenous causes of your depression. 
  • Anyone suffering from depression with no known cause (i.e.: life is good but you still feel depressed)
  • Anyone who also has ADD/ADHD, anxiety, racing mind, insomnia, fatigue or negative thought patterns
  • Anyone who also has some digestive and gut issues such as acid reflux, GERD, and asthma that is triggered by the acid reflux
  • Anyone who also has skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis or acne
  • Families looking to help their child/teenager living with them who has depression

What this plan is:

  • A healthy plan to get you feeling better with more energy, improved moods, less depression or none at all, anxiety reduction and overall positive sense of well-being.
  • A nutrient dense meal plan with supplement/herbal recommendations that are supportive for one with depression
  • Recipes provided that are nutrient dense and taste good too/even additional recipes so that you can make tweaks to the meal plan and adjust based on foods you like. 
  • Anti-inflammatory dietary plan
  • Blood sugar balancing dietary plan
  • Thyroid supportive
  • Anti-candida diet plan
  • Immune supportive
  • Microbiome supportive
  • low sugar, balanced macronutrients, micronutrient dense
  • Supports healthy cortisol levels
  • A dietary plan that eliminates the most common delayed food allergens and food sensitivity foods that can cause mental health issues. 
  • A 21 day plan that does not allow cheat days. (We will discuss when to add those in.  It is critical that you follow the plan for 21 days if you want to see improvements in your mental health. )

Who this plan may pose a challenge for:

  • This meal plan does contain red meats and poultry:  I will provide alternatives in this menu plan for those of you who do not eat meat.  If you are a vegetarian, you may want to try adding in humanely raised meat (or wild caught fish) at least a couple of times per week (see sources for humanely raised grass fed meats at the end).  If not, you will need to focus more on making sure your protein needs are met with legumes/beans and non- gluten grains.  If you eat eggs, add those in.  If your major protein source is from dairy you will need to avoid dairy for the 21 days for this plan to be effective with the exception of whey protein powder and heavy cream and grass fed butter.   A  B12 supplement will be necessary for you while on this 21 day depression free diet plan if avoiding meat/poultry.
  • Nut allergy: this meal plan does include nuts, nut flours, and recipes with nuts.  I do offer alternatives in some places but if you have an allergy to nuts (other than the legume peanut) this may be a challenging meal plan for you. If you have only a peanut allergy, then you are fine as there are neither peanuts nor peanut butter in this plan. 
  • Anyone who does not think they can stick to the plan for 21 days –if this sounds like you but you really want to start feeling better, please enlist someone that can help you to stick to this plan.  Is there someone that can motivate you to shop for ingredients, or to help you prep meals and so forth?  It is always good to have support.  Please ask- often times we don’t want to bother anyone with our problems but you will be surprised how people may jump to help you for the next 21 days.  
  • Families who are looking to change their child/teens diet for depression but not their own.  If you are looking to help your child who is suffering and you think that you only need to change his or her diet but not the one for the household then don’t do this diet plan. For this to work for a young family member the family must commit when in the house or out and about with your child or teen.  They will need all the support they can get.  You cannot expect her to follow this plan for 21 days while you sit next to her eating pizza and a diet coke. 
  • A whole foods, balanced meal plan to support neurotransmitter production. 

What this plan is not:

  • This is not a weight loss plan-although some may lose weight on it.  I do not include amounts of foods in most places in this plan. I cannot do so as I do not know your age, activity level and so forth.  Listen to your body and let it be the guide-it will tell you how much enough is. 
  • It is not meant as a replacement for your medical care. Rather share this information with your doctor and hopefully your medical provider will be supportive of the dietary changes that you are making to improve your health. 
  • This is not a cure: rather this is a way to bring back balance to your body. I am nutrition professional-as such I do not diagnose, cure or treat.   I cannot guarantee success since this plan does not address individual, biochemical individuality.  However, if you do follow this plan I do feel that since it addresses many underlying root causes of depression, positive results will be seen. 
  • Not an 80/20 plan. This is not a plan that you can go on for a day or two, then off for a few days and then back on or follow for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner and late night snacks.  If you choose to do so, you won’t get the desired results. Stick with it; you can do it-keep telling yourself it is only for 21 days!
  • It is not a cleanse or detox plan
  • It does not address Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO) or Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD). This plan may help with your symptoms but often there are other supplements/herbs and other dietary needs for those with these conditions.  If you have depression and IBS, SIBO or IBD please contact me and we can create a tailored plan to meet both of your conditions. 
  • This is not a low carb plan. This is a moderate carb plan.  Going too low carb can deplete serotonin.
Keep checking back for more sneak peaks and alerts as to when the E book is available. 
Karen Brennan, MSW, NC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate) and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC believes in addressing root causes not symptom management with diet and supplement support. For more information, visit her website at
Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Beet, Watercress and Walnut salad. Paleo and vegetarian friendly

Beet Salad with Walnuts and Watercress

Gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, Paleo

Serves 4 to 6



  • 3 to 4 beets peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 bunch watercress chopped (can substitute kale or spinach)
  • 1 c. raw walnuts
  • 3 T. EVOO
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. local honey
  • 2 T. chopped basil
  • ¼ t. sea salt


  1. Place cubed beets into a steamer basket.  Steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.  Place in bowl to cool.
  2. Place watercress into steamer basket and steam for about 5 minutes.  Place in bowl with beets
  3. Place walnuts into a small glass dish and roast in over at 350 for 10 minutes.  Don’t let them burn.  Place into same bowl.
  4. In small bowl whisk the EVOO through sea salt together.  Top w/ground pepper if desired. 


Karen Brennan of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC believes in addressing root causes through diet, lifestyle and supplements.  To learn more, visit her website at  







Share this:Share on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on VKShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page