Must Have Healthy Travel Products

Must Have Travel Products For Your Next Trip

 

I admit it, I am not a good traveler. I am not a very flexible person when it comes to eating differently, using different body care products, being out of my routine, etc.  And my body lets me know it!  Here are some things that I take with me on trips so that I can stay as healthy as possible. 

Swedish Bitters: I do not use these normally, but these are good to take with you on a trip to help you digest unfamiliar foods and to help you stay regular.  Follow the directions on the bottle.  I put a smaller amount into a travel size bottle.  You can get Swedish bitters here

On a trip over to Europe I did not have these, and I was having a lot of stomach pain from eating out for every meal and was constipated.  Because of this my skin also broke out in a terrible way.  I finally stopped in an Apothecary in Germany and was able to pick up some bitters which helped my digestion a great deal! 

Allicin: This is a compound from raw chopped garlic.  It has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.  The bottle is very small and travel size friendly. If I feel a bladder infection coming on (I have to really focus on drinking plenty of water when traveling), I will start to take this, about 10-20 drops 3x per day.  I will also use this if I feel a virus coming on while traveling. Get Allicin here in capsule form. Check out your local health store for liquid form-either form is great.  

Tea Tree Oil: This also comes in a small travel friendly sized container.  This is great for topical (not internal) use.  I use this if I break out.  It can also be used on boils and other skin flare ups such as psoriasis. I use this brand

Master Tonic: I made a batch and it is ready to go for the trip. This is another cold and flu remedy to take as soon as you feel the bug coming on. You need to make this.  I am holding a Master Tonic/Immune Support Workshop in Feb. Details can be found at Master Tonic Workshop

Vitamins in Mini Packs: The mini bags can be found at natural health stores. This is the one I use  .  I pack my vitamins for each day so that I can stay on track with my supplements which includes a spore probiotic, Megaspore, that does not have to be refrigerated

Echinacea in Tincture: I do not take this for colds and flu, rather I bring this along for cuts and wounds.  If we are out and about and someone gets cut, just squirt a few dropper amounts of Echinacea on the open cut to clean it out and disinfect it. I like this brand

Chaparral and Comfrey Salve: I make my own salve and use this all the time. The chaparral is antibacterial/antifungal and the comfrey is healing. After the wound or cut is cleaned, I then put this salve on to avoid infection and to speed up the healing process. 

Manuka honey: I put a small amount into a mini size container. Manuka also has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. I had some with me on a trip when I had a bad bladder infection and ate the whole jar up.  It can be used on burns, scrapes, cuts, boils and any other skin issue.  Manuka honey can be found at your local health food store or here is the one I use

Yarrow or Cayenne Pepper: Either one is good to slow down bleeding if you get cut and are bleeding a lot.  Cayenne pepper is probably in your spice cabinet.  For loose herbs check out your local herb shop or health store in the bulk section.  For large amounts of loose organic herbs I prefer to use www.mountainroseherbs.com 

Electrolytes: With running around while traveling or out in the heat and not drinking enough fluids, I always have some on hand and take as needed.  I would much rather avoid the electrolyte drinks that are filled with colors, dyes and artificial ingredients.  You can find these in your local running or bike shop or health store.  

Restore: This is a product that can help with gut damage. I take this with me since I know I am not going to be able to avoid rancid oils, GMO’s and more.  I will take sips whenever I remember. Find it here, If you are not sure what this product is or does, do a google search and there are many videos about it with the founder.  It is a product that I love for gut health, gut protection, intestinal permeability and digestive issues. 

Tea and Tea Cup Strainer: I like to have my loose tea with me. I keep it in a baggie and have my tea cup strainer so that I can make tea in the Hotel coffee pot in the morning.  (I do not drink my tea on planes any longer as I read too much about the water on the planes)

Berkey Filtered Water Bottle: The downside is that it is plastic but for travel it comes in handy. I fill up in the airport and when on the plane I ask for water and then I put it into my Berkey to filter it.  We were recently in a place where the water had a very strong odor of chlorine to the point of making me feel sick and I couldn’t even drink it.  The next time I had my Berkey and this made a huge difference!  The big test will be on our next trip to a country where you should only drink bottled water. I am going to try the tap water in my Berkey.  I will keep you updated! Get it here

Food/Snacks: I pack enough mini sized baggies of nuts and seeds and various protein bars to be able to have two bags and two bars per day if I run into a jam and don’t want to eat the food provided.  At times we have travels from plane to train to bus and I was glad to have some healthy blood sugar balancing food choices on me.  Other good travel options include beef jerky and beef sticks.  You may also want to pack baggies of protein powder.  

Activate Charcoal: I keep this on hand in case anyone gets sick from the food they eat.  Activated charcoal will help to remove the toxins from the body. Take two capsules.  Otherwise I can brush my teeth with it as a tooth whitener if I want.  This is the one I use

Coconut Oil: I take this but typically don’t use it because I have other antibacterial and antiviral products with me, but I can use it as a night time face cream if I forget my own. I can also use it up for one oil pulling on the trip for oral health. 

Soap: I use Dr. Bronner’s Tea tree soap and do not like all the perfume soaked bars in hotels. I cut it into small pieces, so I only need to take one piece out for my shower. This makes it easier when traveling from one hotel to another.   I use this type of soap

Some other things to consider-products for travel anxiety (Gaba, Kava) and products for jet lag (melatonin). What is your main issue when you travel? Mine tends to be a weaker immune system and skin and digestive issues but your issues may be different.  

What are your must haves when you travel?

Did you enjoy this list, was it helpful for your next trip?

Let me know!

 

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

 

Should You Go “Gluten Free” If You Feel Fine

Should you go Gluten Free or Is It a Fad?

I have read many articles stating why we need to eat whole grains and then these articles go on to say we need to be eating wheat unless you are celiac or have a gluten sensitivity. They state that we miss out on vital nutrients if we don’t eat wheat and other gluten containing grains such as rye, barley and spelt.  

These articles are misleading and don’t do you any favors.

Should you go gluten free if you do not have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity?  Read on and I will let you decide the answer to that question. 

Gluten, Wheat, Your Body

Nutrient Deficient and Processed

When articles supporting gluten and wheat talk about why you should consume it, they always say “Whole grains”. This is important.  Yes, whole grains contain important nutrients such as iron, B-6, folate, and magnesium. 

Who reading this eats wheat as a whole grain, that you can actually see?  Didn’t think so? 

No, you eat wheat and other gluten containing products in a highly refined and processed form. When you consume it in this form, such as in your bread, bagels, pizza and pasta, you are consuming the starchy part of the grain. The nutrient dense portion along with the protein and the fiber have been removed. 

What you are left with is a nutrient deficient starchy product that raises your blood sugar rapidly since now it does not have the fiber, nutrients and protein to slow down the process when it enters the blood stream. 

But wait, the package mentions all these vitamins!  Read the label closely. It will say “enriched with” or “fortified with”. To be clear, enrichment means that nutrients that have been lost in processing have been added back in.  Fortified means added nutrients that the food never contained in the first place. 

Why would they need to add these nutrients into the product if it is such a healthy product to begin with?  They add it back in(enrichment) because the product is so refined that is has been stripped of all its original nutrients.  And do you think they are adding nutrients back in, in a high quality and absorbable form?  No, they add back synthetic forms of these nutrients. For instance, they may add back in folic acid. This is the synthetic form of folate and not as absorbable. 

The argument that you need whole grains to reap the benefit of vital nutrients is false.  Instead, eliminate these processed, packaged foods from the diet (even GF options) and instead add in more whole foods. 

Whole grains are not the only source of B-6, magnesium, iron and folate to name a few.  You can get these mineral and vitamins from other, much healthier sources, such as fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, beans, legumes, quinoa, teff, steel cut oats, nuts and seeds and grass fed, organic or wild caught meats, poultry and fish. 

Nutrients found in its whole food form is the way mother nature intended us to absorb and utilize our nutrients.  For instance, in an apple you have vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, fiber and phytonutrients in this perfect form. You don’t get that from a processed and packaged product. 

 Trust me, your diet is not going to be deficient if you skip the bagels, donuts, crackers, pasta and bread! In fact, your body is going to thank you once that blood sugar stabilizes, and you replace the nutrient deficient, highly empty caloric foods with healthier options. 

Chemicals/Heavily Sprayed Crop

Wheat is not a GMO crop. Many people will state that wheat is a GMO crop, and this is not true. However, wheat, along with barley, oats and edible beans, is a heavily sprayed crop right before harvest.  Many of you avoid GMO foods because they are heavily sprayed, wheat does fall into this category. 

What you don’t see can still hurt you.  The glyphosate that is spayed on the wheat crop is now classified as a probable carcinogen according to the World Health Organization.  California also classifies glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. 

If that is not reason enough to avoid wheat, then also know that research is showing that glyphosate can act as an endocrine disruptor and it can kill gut bacteria and lead to leaky gut syndrome. 

While the glyphosate residue in your bread may be small, think of the toxic load on your body over time when you consume wheat daily for years and years.  Add on top of that all the other ways that you are exposed to toxins daily. Your body and your liver may have a difficult time keeping up to remove these toxins from your body.  You are going to read elsewhere that the amount of glyphosate residue in your food is safe, but they never look at this in addition to the other toxins you are exposed to such as from water, soil, air and other foods.  Studies only look at the burden of one product, one chemical.

Chlorpyrifos is a organophosphate insecticide that can disrupt brain development and cause brain damage, reduced IQ, neurological issues and aggressiveness in children. This chemical is used in crops such as wheat and corn and non-organic fruits and vegetables.  

For this reason, I think everyone should at the very least, reduce the amount of gluten containing foods they consume to reduce this toxin overload.   Not every farm sprays wheat and barley right before harvest. If you order flour from a direct source, ask them.

 

Blood Sugar Disruptor

Gluten containing products can cause your blood sugar to soar and then crash.  Gluten Free foods can be just as bad for your blood sugar as they are also made from refined carbohydrates.  To support a balanced blood sugar, minimize or greatly reduce the amount of processed and refined products that you eat.  When you eat foods or meals that are high in simple and refined carbs with little to none protein or healthy fats in the mix, then your blood sugar can surge from these carbs that convert to sugar once they enter the bloodstream.  Eat carbs in the form of whole beans and legumes, vegetables and fruit. 

Wheat contains amylopectin A, a complex carb.  Having two slices of bread can increase your blood sugar higher than it would if you ingested 6 tablespoons of sugar.  At the very least, take off the top of bottom to your sandwich or have one half a bagel rather than a whole one. 

 

Addictive and Increases Your Appetite

Yes, gluten containing products (mostly from wheat) are highly addictive!  It is right up there with processed sugar. Every time you consume gluten containing foods such as a bagel it lights up your dopamine receptor just like sugar and cocaine does. When you come down from your processed grain rush, guess what, yup, just like cocaine or sugar, you want more to get that dopamine rush again.

Obviously, you don’t get the same high as you see in a heroin or cocaine addict. The addiction is instead that it makes you hungry and hungry for more wheat, starchy refined gluten containing foods. This is due to a protein in wheat called gliadin (an opioid). It was altered back in the 1970’s to increase yield.  This shift in amino acids produced not only high yield but also a food that can increase your appetite!

If you” have to have” white flour products on a regular daily basis, consider the fact that you may be addicted to these foods. 

Are There Health Reasons Other for Avoiding Gluten?

Just because you do not have stomach issues, does not mean you do not have a reaction to gluten. Look at the list below to see some more common conditions that can be caused or exacerbated by gluten. 

Testing is available for gluten sensitivity. But doing a trial elimination of gluten for 30 days can help to see if any of your health issues improve. 

Going Gluten Free may help with the following conditions

  • Autism
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Skin Issues
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • IBS
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Joint Pain/arthritis
  • Fatigue

 

What To Do If You Don’t Want To Give Up Gluten.  The 80/20 Rule

It is not easy to give up entirely for most people as gluten is in everything now.  If you are traveling, out to eat or at someone else’s house, it can be difficult to avoid it.  Therefore the 80/20 rule works best.

For instance, Monday through Friday you avoid gluten and on Saturday night you have pizza and on Sunday night you have pasta, or you only have one piece of toast at breakfast and no gluten the rest of the day. 

Once you stick with the 80/20 rule long enough, you will start to notice that when you avoid the refined processed foods you don’t feel as bloated or you notice you have more energy.  For many, you just “feel better” but can’t really pinpoint why.  Being prepared always helps. Keep gluten free snacks,such as nuts and seeds and whole foods protein bars in the car, in your purse, in your desk at work.  Travel with your own snacks such as protein bar options and bags of nuts and seeds.  When ordering your sandwich or burger, ask for a lettuce wrap. 

Don’t Replace with Gluten Free Products

When you take out the gluten containing processed foods, replace them with whole foods that will fill you up, give you energy and balance your blood sugar. These foods include more protein and fats and whole food carbs. 

Do not replace your gluten containing bread, pasta, bagels and cookies with gluten free options.  Yes, there are many gluten free options out there and they can be useful for on occasion but don’t make these a daily habit. These products contain a high amount of sugar and non- gluten starches, so they will raise your blood sugar just as much and leave you to crave more.  Reserve these for treats as part of your 80/20 rule. 

Bottom Line

If you consume wheat based refined products or even gluten free processed products such as cookies, donuts, bread, pasta and pastries, you are not eating them for their health benefits but for pure pleasure or because you are addicted. 

There is nothing wrong with that, but minimize this to 20% of your diet.  If you are not able to reduce the amount because it is so addictive for you, then you may need to remove processed gluten products long term until you break the vicious cycle. 

If you want to consume whole grains, then do so. This means the grain you can see such as in rice, quinoa, millet and teff.

Going off the gluten is not easy since it can be so addictive.  Seek the help of a holistic nutrition professional who can guide you and who knows some tricks in how to reduce cravings and the “flu like” symptoms when you remove it. 

 

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257612/

https://www.ecowatch.com/why-is-glyphosate-sprayed-on-crops-right-before-harvest-1882187755.html

http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/nature.2015.17181

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/11/21/chlorpyrifos-found-in-newborns.aspx

 

 

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

Three Homemade Salad Dressing That Are Quick, Easy and Healthy

Quick, Easy, Healthy and Tasty Salad Dressings

Below are three different salad dressing to bring life back into your salads.  Home-made dressings are easy and quick and much healthier. Even the healthy store- bought versions contain processed sugar and soy or canola oil which are inflammatory processed oils. 

For any homemade salad dressing, a high quality EVOO makes all the difference. I splurge on my EVOO because I use it only on raw dishes and use it almost every day.  I have tried store bought EVOO and they just don’t compare in taste.  Beware of many fake EVOO’s on the market.  In this case it is very true, you get what you pay for. 

A serving of dressing is 2 tablespoons.

 

Asian Style Salad Dressing

Ingredients (for one cup)

  • 1/3 c. EVOO
  • 2 T. sesame seed oil
  • ¼ c. rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 T. coconut aminos
  • 1 T. raw local honey
  • 2 T. grated and peeled fresh ginger

Directions

Combine all in a mason jar. Seal with lid and shake to blend.  Store in fridge and wait at least 30 minutes until use so that flavors can combine. 

Asian Style Salad Dressing
Serves 8
A nice change of pace from Italian dressing all the time
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91 calories
1 g
0 g
9 g
0 g
1 g
19 g
2 g
1 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
19g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91
Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
15%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 1g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. • 1/3 c. EVOO
  2. • 2 T. sesame seed oil
  3. • ¼ c. rice vinegar
  4. • 1 clove garlic minced
  5. • 2 T. coconut aminos
  6. • 1 T. raw local honey
  7. • 2 T. grated and peeled fresh ginger
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake well to blend. Store in fridge. Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to use.
Notes
  1. use a high quality EVOO for superior taste
beta
calories
91
fat
9g
protein
0g
carbs
1g
more
TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/

Italian Salad Dressing

Store bought ones have extra sugar, and refined oils. This one is so easy and still taste good with dried herbs if you do not have fresh ones on hand. 

Ingredients (for one cup)

  • 2/3 c. EVOO
  • ¼ c. red wine vinegar
  • 3 T. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 T. dried parsley
  • ¼ a medium red onion diced
  • 2 T. pure lemon juice
  • 2 T. dried basil
  • 2 T. dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 t. raw local honey (optional)
  • s/p to taste

Directions

Blend all in a mason jar and shake until well combined. Store in fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to use.

Note: if using fresh herbs, reduce amount to 1 T.

Italian Salad Dressing
Serves 8
Store bought Italian dressing is filled with refined, processed oils and sugar and lots of extra stuff that you do not need
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171 calories
2 g
1 g
18 g
1 g
3 g
33 g
14 g
1 g
0 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
33g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 171
Calories from Fat 161
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
28%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 1mg
0%
Sodium 14mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 2g
1%
Dietary Fiber 0g
2%
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2/3 c. EVOO
  2. ¼ c. red wine vinegar
  3. 3 T. grated parmesan cheese
  4. 1 T. dried parsley
  5. ¼ a medium red onion diced
  6. 2 T. pure lemon juice
  7. 2 T. dried basil
  8. 2 T. dried oregano
  9. 1 clove garlic minced
  10. 1 t. raw local honey (optional)
  11. s/p to taste
Instructions
  1. Blend all in a mason jar and shake until well combined. Store in fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to use.
Notes
  1. if using fresh herbs, reduce amount to 1 T.
beta
calories
171
fat
18g
protein
1g
carbs
2g
more
TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/

Garlicky Mustard Salad Dressing

Ingredients (for one serving)

  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ t. cumin
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • s/p to taste
  • 1 T. EVOO

Directions: mix everything in a mason jar and shake to blend.  Store in fridge. 

Garlicky Mustard Salad Dressing
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51 calories
2 g
0 g
5 g
0 g
1 g
29 g
62 g
0 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
29g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 51
Calories from Fat 42
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 62mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 2g
1%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. small clove garlic minced
  2. 1 t. Dijon mustard
  3. 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  4. ¼ t. cumin
  5. 2 t. lemon juice
  6. s/p to taste
  7. 1 T. EVOO
Instructions
  1. mix everything in a mason jar and shake to blend. Store in fridge.
Notes
  1. Choose a high quality EVOO for your raw dishes and dressings
beta
calories
51
fat
5g
protein
0g
carbs
2g
more
TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

 

Creamy Garlic Cauliflower (low carb, paleo, gluten and soy free)

Creamy Garlic Cauliflower

This is adapted from Cleanplates.com

Gluten, soy free and Paleo friendly, Keto friendly

I do not like mashed potatoes so this is a great substitute at the holiday table for me

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cloves garlic not peeled
  • 1 T. avocado oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • ¼ c. organic chicken broth
  • 2 ½ T. grass fed butter melted (I like Kerry Gold brand)
  • Dash sea salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Place the garlic in a heat proof pan, drizzle with the oil and cover and roast for 15 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
  3. While the garlic is roasting, put the cauliflower into a steamer pot with ½ inch water on bottom. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and then place in the food processor.
  4. Process the cauliflower until smooth. Add in the broth, melted butter, s/p and garlic with skins removed.  Process again until garlic is incorporated and not in chunks. 
  5. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with fresh herbs.

Note: I liked this with 4 cloves, but my husband thought it was too garlicy so adjust according to your taste.  You can also use less butter.

Creamy Garlic Cauliflower
Serves 4
A great keto/low carb and paleo substitute for mashed potatoes
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65 calories
9 g
6 g
3 g
3 g
2 g
169 g
118 g
3 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
169g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 65
Calories from Fat 26
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 2g
8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 6mg
2%
Sodium 118mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
120%
Calcium
4%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. • 3-4 cloves garlic not peeled
  2. • 1 T. avocado oil
  3. • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  4. • ¼ c. organic chicken broth
  5. • 2 ½ T. grass fed butter melted (I like Kerry Gold brand)
  6. • Dash sea salt and pepper
  7. • Chopped fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. 2. Place the garlic in a heat proof pan, drizzle with the oil and cover and roast for 15 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
  3. 3. While the garlic is roasting, put the cauliflower into a steamer pot with ½ inch water on bottom. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and then place in the food processor.
  4. 4. Process the cauliflower until smooth. Add in the broth, melted butter, s/p and garlic with skins removed. Process again until garlic is incorporated and not in chunks.
  5. 5. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with fresh herbs.
Notes
  1. I liked this with 4 cloves, but my husband thought it was too garlicy so adjust according to your taste. You can also use less butter.
Adapted from cleanplates.com
beta
calories
65
fat
3g
protein
3g
carbs
9g
more
Adapted from cleanplates.com
TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

 

Almond Butter Brownies (gluten, soy and dairy free, Paleo Friendly)

Chunky Almond Butter Brownies

Gluten, dairy and soy Free, Paleo Friendly

You can use creamy almond butter, but I like that added crunch

 

Ingredients

  • 1 c. almond butter (creamy or chunky)
  • ¼ c. plus 2 T. cacao (you can sub in cocoa powder)
  • 1 pasture raised egg
  • ½ c. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 T. coconut oil melted
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ t. Baking soda
  • ¼ t. sea salt
  • ¼ c. chopped nuts (optional)
  • ½ c. dark chocolate baking chips

Directions

  1. Line a 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes

 

Almond Butter Brownies
Serves 12
A healthier version of a brownie with added protein
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Print
263 calories
23 g
16 g
18 g
6 g
4 g
55 g
111 g
16 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
55g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 263
Calories from Fat 155
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
28%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 16mg
5%
Sodium 111mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 16g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
9%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. • 1 c. almond butter (creamy or chunky)
  2. • ¼ c. plus 2 T. cacao (you can sub in cocoa powder)
  3. • 1 pasture raised egg
  4. • ½ c. honey or maple syrup
  5. • 2 T. coconut oil melted
  6. • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  7. • ½ t. Baking soda
  8. • ¼ t. sea salt
  9. • ¼ c. chopped nuts (optional)
  10. • ½ c. dark chocolate baking chips
Instructions
  1. Line a 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. 2. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the pan.
  3. 3. Bake for 30 minutes
beta
calories
263
fat
18g
protein
6g
carbs
23g
more
TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/
If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

Cheesy Garbanzo Bean Stir Fry

Cheesy Garbanzo Stir Fry

Gluten, soy, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan

This is a good recipe to make a large batch of and use for lunches for the next few days. It is also good cold!  Whether you are a vegetarian or not, it is good to have some meatless meals on occasion.  

Ingredients

  • 2 T. avocado oil
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large zucchini chopped
  • ½ c. mushrooms sliced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast

Directions.

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet and add in the garlic and oregano and sauté for a minute. Add in the zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms and the beans.  Cook on medium heat for around 10 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. 
  2. Add in the tomato and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. At the end, add in the yeast and blend in.
  4. Serve and enjoy! This dish would be good with cauliflower rice. 
Cheesy Garbanzo Bean Stir Fry
Serves 2
A vegan/vegetarian dish that is gluten, soy and dairy free. A good source of protein, complex carbs, fiber, and healthy fats along with several vegetables
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262 calories
44 g
0 g
5 g
14 g
1 g
438 g
333 g
9 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
438g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262
Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 333mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 44g
15%
Dietary Fiber 6g
22%
Sugars 9g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
55%
Vitamin C
192%
Calcium
11%
Iron
16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. • 2 T. avocado oil
  2. • 1 t. dried oregano
  3. • 2 cloves garlic minced
  4. • 1 large zucchini chopped
  5. • ½ c. mushrooms sliced
  6. • 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  7. • 1 tomato chopped
  8. • 1 bell pepper chopped
  9. • 2 T. nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat the oil in a skillet and add in the garlic and oregano and sauté for a minute. Add in the zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms and the beans. Cook on medium heat for around 10 minutes until vegetables are cooked through.
  2. 2. Add in the tomato and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. 3. At the end, add in the yeast and blend in.
  4. 4. Serve and enjoy! This dish would be good with cauliflower rice.
Notes
  1. If you are a vegan/vegetarian, nutritional yeast can be a good source of B12.
beta
calories
262
fat
5g
protein
14g
carbs
44g
more
TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

 

Shrimp and Scallops in A Lemon, Garlic and Honey Sauce

Shrimp and Scallops in Honey, Garlic and Lemon Marinade

This is a very simple and fast dinner to make.  Serve with rice and a vegetable on the side such as green beans.  This was good but a tad too sweet for my liking. You may want to reduce the amount of honey to ¼ of a cup if you are like me.  The rest of those who ate this really enjoyed it. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp wild caught (not farm raised)
  • 1/2 pound scallops wild caught
  • ½ c. honey
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
    Shirmp and Scallops in honey, garlic and lemon sauce
    Serves 4
    This is an easy week night meal. Serve with rice.
    Write a review
    Print
    261 calories
    43 g
    90 g
    4 g
    15 g
    3 g
    192 g
    565 g
    37 g
    0 g
    1 g
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size
    192g
    Servings
    4
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 261
    Calories from Fat 37
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 4g
    7%
    Saturated Fat 3g
    14%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g
    Cholesterol 90mg
    30%
    Sodium 565mg
    24%
    Total Carbohydrates 43g
    14%
    Dietary Fiber 1g
    5%
    Sugars 37g
    Protein 15g
    Vitamin A
    8%
    Vitamin C
    10%
    Calcium
    6%
    Iron
    6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Ingredients
    1. • 1/2-pound raw shrimp wild caught (not farm raised)
    2. • 1/2-pound scallops wild caught
    3. • ½ c. honey (try only ¼ cup first)
    4. • 3 cloves garlic minced
    5. • ¼ c. coconut aminos
    6. • 1 ½ T. pure lemon juice
    7. • 2 T. grass fed butter (for the pan)
    8. • Green onion for garnish (optional)
    Instructions
    1. 1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Set half the amount aside and to the rest, add the scallops and shrimp and toss to coat with the marinade. Set it fridge for at least 30 minutes
    2. 2. Butter the pan and add the shrimp and the scallops. Discard the marinade that the seafood was in. Season with s/p.
    3. 3. Cook for roughly 2 minutes per side. Add in the reserved marinade and cook another minute.
    4. 4. Remove the shrimp and scallops with a slotted spoon and transfer to a dish. Let the marinade cook longer so that it thickens.
    5. 5. Once it has thickened, spoon the marinade over the scallops and shrimp and top with the green onion and serve. (goes well over wild rice or white basmati rice)
    Notes
    1. The original recipe calls for 1/2 c. honey. I used this amount but felt it was too sweet. Next time I will use only 1/4th a cup.
    Adapted from I modified the original recipe but cannot recall where I got this!
    beta
    calories
    261
    fat
    4g
    protein
    15g
    carbs
    43g
    more
    Adapted from I modified the original recipe but cannot recall where I got this!
    TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/
  • ¼ c. coconut aminos
  • 1 ½ T. pure lemon juice
  • 2 T. grass fed butter (for the pan)
  • Green onion for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Set half the amount aside and to the rest, add the scallops and shrimp and toss to coat with the marinade. Set it fridge for at least 30 minutes
  2. Butter the pan and add the shrimp and the scallops. Discard the marinade that the seafood was in. Season with s/p.
  3. Cook for roughly 2 minutes per side. Add in the reserved marinade and cook another minute. 
  4. Remove the shrimp and scallops with a slotted spoon and transfer to a dish. Let the marinade cook longer so that it thickens.
  5. Once it has thickened, spoon the marinade over the scallops and shrimp and top with the green onion and serve. (goes well over wild rice or white basmati rice)
  6. Note: if you double the amount of seafood, do not double the marinade amount-it comes out too sweet.  I think next time I would cut back on the honey-and use only 1/4 cup.  

 

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

 

Choosing the Right Herbs and Brands For Your Tea, And How to Make the Best Cup of Tea

Choosing the Right Herbal Tea Brands and Loose Herbs

And How to Make the Best Cup of Tea

If you use loose herbs to make your tea, which is the way I prefer, over using a tea bag, and you want to get as much of the health benefit from your herbs, then follow these simple steps. 

If you prefer tea bags, you should know what your tea bag may contain and find the safest options

What Not to Use

Tea Balls: While these metal and stainless-steel tea balls are very handy they are too small. They compact your herbs in a very small space and thus the herb compounds have difficulty getting released and circulated into your tea water. You will not reap the full benefits of the herbs when you use this. 

Non-Organic Herbs: These can contain pesticides and herbicides and fluoride. They can absorb the fluoride from the soil. Cheaper tea brands will use older tea leaves and thus will contain more fluoride since the older the tea leave, the more time it has had to absorb fluoride from the soil.  Fluoride is not healthy for you even though it is purposely added to many cities drinking water.  For more information on fluoride go to this link http://trufoodsnutrition.com/fluorides-impact-on-your-health/ 

Tea Bags: While these are convenient and are good to use when you travel, some tea bags are better to use than others. 

  • Paper tea bags contain a compound that are used as a pesticide and become activated when it touches hot water. But you won’t know this by reading the ingredients label on the tea box. 
  • Plastic tea pouches are just as bad, as they will release toxins from the plastic into the hot tea water.
  • Most tea bags are not biodegradable so they are not good for the environment.
  • If you ever opened a tea bag, it is mostly “tea dust”. When you use herbs to make your own, you can see the leaves, roots, flowers and buds that you are getting in your tea!  
  • A tea bag, just like the tea ball, leaves no room for the herbs to spread out and circulate to release its full flavor and compounds.
  • Tea bags can be expensive! Buying loose herbs to make your own not only taste much better but is cheaper!

Tea Brands to Avoid: These brands contain the most toxins according to a Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2008 and in 2011.  The brands included:

  • Tetley Tea
  • Lipton
  • Twinning’s
  • No Name
  • Uncle Lee’s Legend of China
  • King Cole
  • Signal

 

What to Use

Loose Herbs: If you are purchasing your own herbs, choose organic. There are more local herb shops popping up and they are more than happy to help you decide which herbs to purchase.  Often, they can make a custom blend for you.

 If you buy herbs online I like http://www.mountainroseherbs.com as they have organic herbs in bulk at very affordable prices.   They also have herbal blends. Other herbal sites that are also reputable include Frontier Co-op, Pacific Botanicals, and Oregon’s Wild Harvest.   

Organic Herbs/ Non-GMO herb: These tend to be younger plants and they will not contain the pesticides and herbicides that non-organic plants will have. 

Tea Strainer: These are very handy. The tea strainer fits right on the mouth of your tea cup.  I like to use this when I am in more of a rush, or when traveling.  It is wide enough to give the herbs room to breathe and circulate.  Herb Affair www.herbaffair.com sells bamboo tea cup strainers and I like this one because it is stainless steel and also has a stainless steel lid so that you can steep your herbs properly.  

Safe Herbal Tea Bag Brands: There are several others to choose from. These include:

  • Numi Tea
  • Rishi Tea
  • EDEN Organic
  • Organic Stash
  • Choice Organic Teas
  • Organic Tazo
  • Organic Traditional Medicinals
  • Organic Yogi Teas
  • Red Rose

Preferred Herbal Tea Method

Pot, lid, filtered water, strainer: This is the preferred method. 

  1. Heat up the amount of water that you need in a pot on the stove.
  2. Once the water is hot, turn off the heat and add in the herbs. (for one cup of tea you can use 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of herbs). 
  3. Cover the pot with a lid or a plate. This is important for very aromatic herbs. The more they smell, the more important it is to keep the lid on while they sit in the hot water. These aromatic compounds will be released into the air instead of the tea if you keep the lid off. Let it sit about 5-7 minutes, (roots tend to need longer and up to 10 minutes). 
  4. Once your tea is ready, pour the water through a strainer into your tea cup so that the strainer can catch all the herbs. You can reuse these herbs for another cup of tea.  

 

If you like to have tea when you are out to eat. Bring tea bags that you know are safer options and just ask for a cup of hot water. 

Bottom Line: Herbs, when chosen properly and when used right, can not only be used in tea for enjoyment but also for therapeutic reasons as well. To get the benefits from your herbs, choose wisely!

 

Sources

https://www.scribd.com/doc/211287855/Tea-Test-Results

http://www.cleanplates.com/eat/tips-eat/these-teas-are-toxin-free/

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/24/tea-bags.aspx

 

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

 

What to Look For In A Protein Powder

Choosing a Protein Powder

 

There are so many protein powders on the market that it can be confusing as to which one is best for you.  I have created a list of what to avoid and what you want in a protein powder along with some of my brands to choose from.

What to Avoid in a Protein Powder

I am glad when clients bring their products in with them so that I can see and read the label or if not, I ask them to take a picture of it and send it to me so I can look it up. You might be very surprised to find out that your protein powder has some hidden ingredients that are not good for you! Many of us make our purchase based off the front of the label. It is always important to read the back too!

Artificial Sugar: This is a big one.  Many people swear their protein powder is very healthy and yet I see sucralose on the label. Avoid artificial sugar at all costs. There is nothing good about it. It can lead to elevated blood sugar, sugar cravings, weight gain and much more.   But more importantly, is disrupts the gut microbiota!

Soy: ugh! Processed soy is not healthy for you.  Fermented soy is healthy if you can tolerate soy.  Many people unknowingly have a soy protein sensitivity. It is best to avoid it. There are many other healthier vegetarian options to meet your protein needs.  It can have estrogen mimicking properties and it can suppress thyroid function.  For more information on soy go to http://trufoodsnutrition.com/consuming-soy-and-its-dangers/

Casein: For many, just like soy, they have a casein sensitivity and are not aware of it. Also, many casein protein powders can contain toxic residue due to the extraction process. While many may disagree since casein is known to boost muscle growth in those who are working out.  Read Dr. Mercola’s article for more information on why he does not recommend a casein protein powder https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2016/09/30/casein-protein-supplements.aspx

If you really want casein for muscle building, I suggest find a place to purchase raw milk shares instead. 

What to Look for in Your Protein Powder

Natural Sugars: most protein powders will have something added to sweeten it up. Choose products that have monk fruit or stevia used as the sweetener. 

Grass fed/organic/pasture raised: if you are choosing a whey or bone broth protein powder, you want the label to say this.  You are what your food eats.  If you want chemicals and GMO’s, hormones and antibiotics in your protein powder than you can disregard this. 

Undenatured Whey: this means that the protein powder was not processed at a high heat. This is important because when it is processed at high heat, the bioactive compounds are destroyed.  Undenatured whey protein powder contains cysteine’s that will form glutathione, which is your master antioxidant and a powerful detoxifying agent in the body.  These cysteine’s are fragile so high heat can destroy them.  (Goat milk whey protein powder is a good option for those who are lactose intolerant) 

Non-GMO Verified for Plant based protein powders and/or Organic: Avoid plant based protein powders that do not have the Non- GMO seal on the package or ones that are not organic. Otherwise you will also be consuming all the pesticides and herbicides that have been sprayed on these plants as well. 

Brands to Choose

This is by no means a complete list as there are many high- quality brands on the market.  Just be sure to read the ingredients label. 

Whey Protein Powders

  • Raw Organic Whey buy it here
  • ReserveAge Grass-Fed Whey Protein (this is my favorite for taste and quality) buy it here
  • Naked Whey (nkdnutrition.com) or buy here
  • Garden of Life Sport Certified Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder buy it here
  • Vital Proteins non- GMO collagen whey protein powder buy it here
  • Tera’s Whey grass fed organic whey protein powder buy it here

 

Bone Broth Protein Powders/ Collagen Protein Powders

  • Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Powder buy it here
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Protein Powder (vitalproteins.com) 

Plant Based Blends

If you use a plant based protein powder, avoid soy and limit the amount of brown rice powders

  • Vega One Plant blends buy it here
  • Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein buy it here
  • Whole Foods 365 Brand Organic Pea Protein Powder
  • Garden of Life brand (they have many types and raw protein powders). The one caveat I have, is that many of their plant based products contain brown rice. Brown rice is high in arsenic.  Having some brown rice is not an issue but if you consume a vegetarian/vegan diet, your diet may be high in brown rice already.  (also, if you are gluten free and consume GF products you may also be consuming a high amount of arsenic) Read more on arsenic in your diet at http://trufoodsnutrition.com/increase-arsenic-gluten-free-diet/
  • Body Ecology Immune Protein powder (boydecology.com) Bonus: also fermented!

If you have a favorite healthy protein brand that is not on the list, please share as I will update the list!

 

 

Sources

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/10/do-you-secretly-suspect-that-something-is-wrong-with-your-protein-supplement.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1782728

 

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

Want more information, like her fb page here

As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.

Have You Tried “Everything” For Your Autoimmune Disease and Still No Results. Then Read This!

Autoimmune Disease and Your Immune System:

This is Important to Know if You Have an AI Condition

Why You Should Know About T Helper Cells if You Have an Autoimmune Condition

T helper cells are part of your immune system.  These cells are lymphocytes and lymphocytes are part of your white blood cells.  Their job is to recognize foreign invaders or as in the case of an autoimmune condition they mistakenly see self as the invader.  They respond to this invader by producing cytokines which are hormonal proteins that are responsible for the biological effects of the immune system.  Think of cytokines as chemical messengers that “make things happen”. 

You have two groups of T helper cells but both groups should work together in harmony.  It is normal for one side to become more active to eliminate a threat, but then should return to a balanced state once the threat is gone. This issue arises when one side remains more active than the other. 

In the case of an autoimmune condition, there is always a genetic component. However, just because you have the gene for a specific autoimmune condition, does not mean you will get it. The gene needs to be “turned on” by something, whether it is a food sensitivity, stress or other dietary factors, for example.

There are varying opinions as to if you can turn the gene off once it is turned on.  My own opinion is that I think in some cases the gene can be turned back off but in most cases, it is critical to support the immune system, restore balance and reduce inflammation so that you can put the AI disease into “remission”. 

Th 1 Pathway

This is your immediate response pathway. This is your body’s firsts line of defense against a pathogen.

If you are Th 1 dominant, this means that you are producing too many natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells.  The cytotoxic T cells are also called killer T cells and can kill body cells that are infected with a virus or other agent. 

Typically, Th 1 cells are more active when there is a virus, bacteria or other microbe that is the invader.  Your Th1 cells should be more active during an acute illness and when there is acute inflammation.  However, when Th1 cells are in excess, they can give way to AI conditions and can create low Th2 levels. 

Some AI conditions that are associated with an overactive TH1 pathway include Type 1 diabetes, MS, Hashimotos, Grave’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Psoriasis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Lichen Panus and RA. Please note that while an overactive TH1 pathway is more common in these conditions, it is not always the case and may not be for you! 

Th 2 Pathway

If you are producing too many B cells, the ones in charge of tagging the intruder so that it can be identified, then you are Th 2 dominant. 

Typically, you will see Th2 cells produced in excess in conditions such as asthma, eczema, rhinitis, allergies and in chronic inflammation.  Other conditions that are most often associated with an overactive Th 2 pathway include Lupus, Scleroderma, IBD, cancer, Ulcerative Colitis, and multiple chemical sensitivity.

When you have one pathway dominant, it means that the immune system is out of balance and this can lead to an AI condition if it has not done so already.  In the case of thyroid disease, Th1 and Th2 cytokines can affect thyroid function and not just the AI portion of the disease.  They can block the thyroid receptor sites and this will prevent the hormone from getting into the cells where you need it to start feeling better. 

It can be tricky to deduce which helper cells you have an issue with as both can be overactive or you can have both underactive as well. 

What Can Cause Your Immune System to Become Unbalanced

  • A diet of excessive refined carbs and sugar
  • An unknown food sensitivity
  • Excessive, ongoing stress (too much cortisol production suppressed the immune system)
  • Having a digestive disorder
  • Alcoholism
  • Exposed to heavy toxic metals (these suppress antibody production)
  • Pesticides and other toxic chemical ongoing exposure
  • Over use of NSAIDS
  • Too much exercise
  • Gut imbalances (poor microbiome health)
  • Too much fish oil supplementation-best to stay at 5 grams or below (depending on the health condition some people may need 2 grams to 4 grams per day)
  • Chronic Antibiotics
  • Cancer

 

Balancing Your T Helper Cells

The first step, according to Dr. Kharrazian in “Why do I still have thyroid symptoms when my lab tests are normal” is to support the T regulatory cells.  It is believed that the T regulatory cells may help to keep the other T cells under control, but it is not very clear how they do this.  T regulatory cells are thought to monitor the situation but can start behaving erratically and when this happens they may command the production of too many T helper cells and this process can ultimately destroy body tissue. 

The goal is to bring balance back to the T regulatory cells since their function is to maintain homeostasis of the immune system. 

Support Your T Regulatory Cells

Start here before moving on to addressing either pathway 1 or 2!

  • Vitamin D: work with a health professional to determine the best dose for your AI condition and based on your blood work D levels. (My favorite brand is Bio Tech.
  • DHA/EPA: Higher than average doses may be warranted but not above 5 grams total. (for instance, high doses have been shown to be needed to optimize thyroid function within the cells) (My favorite brands are Nordic Naturals and Xymogen).
  • Glutathione: this is considered your “master antioxidant”
  • SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) which is an antioxidant

There are nutrients that can stimulate each pathway. It is best to get tested to know which pathway you have an issue with, but I know some people are willing to use trial and error. Be aware that if you end up over stimulating the wrong pathway, your symptoms of your health issue may flair up and this is an indication that you need to discontinue use of these nutrients. 

Dr. Kharrazian states, that while not always the most accurate tool, you can use coffee as a guide.  If drinking coffee or caffeine causes a flair up of your health condition, then you may be Th 2 dominant since coffee stimulates the Th 2 pathway, thus you need to support Th 1.  If coffee/caffeine makes you feel better and lessens your symptoms then you may be TH1 dominant and will need to support your Th 2 pathway. 

Below is a list of what to use to support your pathways. Always work with your health professional when adding these in and work with them to find the rights amounts for you. 

Try only one supplement at a time to know what is and isn’t working for you. 

Support Th 1 Pathway

(You want to stimulate this side if Th 2 is dominant)

  • Astragalus
  • Echinacea
  • Beta-glucan mushrooms
  • Maitake mushrooms
  • Glycyrrhiza from licorice (Avoid if you have high BP)
  • Lemon Balm
  • Ginseng

 

Support Th 2 Pathway

 (You want to stimulate this side if Th 1 is dominant)

  • Caffeine
  • Green Tea extract
  • Grape Seed extract
  • Pine Bark Extract
  • White Willow Bark
  • Lycopene
  • Resveratrol
  • Pycnogenol
  • Curcumin

Th1 and Th2 Modulating Compounds

These can be used if you are not sure which pathway needs to be addressed and like mentioned above, both pathways can be dominant or under active.  Use these to help balance Th1 and Th2. 

  • Probiotics (my favorite is Mega Spore)
  • Vitamin A (get from foods such as butter and eggs-pasture raised)
  • Vitamin E (look for mixed tocopherols or get from egg yolks, avocado, nuts and seeds)
  • Colostrum (this the mother’s first milk). It can be difficult to find a good quality brand for Colostrum but I like synertekcolustrum.com

Testing

If you have been working with your health professional and have not gotten results for your AI and are still suffering from symptoms then you may want to ask for the TH1 and TH2 Cytokine Test.  The other option is you can order this yourself (although pricey at $499) from truehealthlabs.com. 

 

This is a blood draw and results may take up to 6-8 weeks.  But it may be worth it if you have not achieved resolution for your autoimmune condition. 

Bottom Line

If you have changed your diet, know what foods you are sensitive to, have addressed various organ dysfunction such as the liver and the gut (organ’s targeted is based on individual assessment) and are still not seeing results or only minimal results, then it is time to start looking deeper.  It can get really confusion, such as which products are best to use, how often to take and how much-work with someone who can guide you so you don’t have to continue to suffer.  Most people can put their AI disorder into remission. 

Sources

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

Kharrazian, D.  (2010) Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My lab Tests Are Normal.  CA:

   Elephant Press.

Sompayrae, L. Immunology: How the Immune System Works.  2nd Edition. CO: Blackwell Publishing.

http://hypothyroidmom.com/autoimmune-patients-have-you-heard-of-th1-and-th2-dominance/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19415997

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15952931

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick, tired, fatigued, depressed, anxious and more and have given up hope then Karen’s simple, effective, individualized and sustainable approach may be what you need. 

Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC. 

For more information visit  www.trufoodsnutrition.com

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As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.