10 Doubts You May Have About Seeking Holistic Help For Your Depression

Are You Still on the Fence About Using Holistic Nutrition For Your Depression?

10 Reasons Why You Need to Reconsider

  

Busting the Myths

Myth: You Should Wait as Long as Possible Until Your Health Gets Really Bad

The longer you wait, the longer you suffer.  The longer you wait, the more burden you place on your body and the more damage that can occur and thus the longer the healing process.  Take care of the problem now before it spirals out of control. 

Myth: The Only Reason to See a Holistic Professional Is to Address the Symptoms That You Are Having.

If you want to address only your myriad of symptoms, then see your western taught, traditional MD.  My philosophy is that these symptoms are shout outs from your body trying to get you to see the root cause.  The symptoms are not the issue, it’s what is beneath them that is the problem. I don’t believe in symptom management as a solution.  And what may seem like a different way of looking at things: I believe that depression is a symptom not the root cause.

Myth: One Holistic Professional Is as Good as Another

No, not really.  Here is where you will need to do some homework.  Staying up to date requires not only our original schooling and training but constantly staying aware of the new research and findings.  Also, does the person you are going to work with continue to get CEU’s, attend course work and seminars?  Do they offer a variety of testing instead of a one size fits all?  Do they focus on one area of health or do they focus on a laundry list of conditions? 

For instance, beyond my schooling I maintain CEU’s for my board certification and additional CEU’s for my nutritional professional membership.  I focus my seminars and training on depression because it really is difficult to know everything there is to know about nutrition.  Selecting a focus area allows me to have the resources and knowledge that you need to get better. 

If you see someone that “specializes” in depression and also 10 other conditions, how can they really know everything there is to know about each of these conditions. They can’t.  If you have depression, do you want to see someone who specializes in depression or specializes in many health conditions? 

Myth: Having the Right Labs Is All I need

I know I stated above about offering a variety of lab work, but you are more than just numbers on a sheet of paper. Yes, labs can offer us clues and tell us a lot about what is going on.  But I need to also hear from you what is going on.  Ask what kind of assessment the person does.  How long is the first appointment typically?  If it is short, then they cannot get the information they need from you.  Sometimes I don’t even need to do testing because I asked the right questions and got all the information I needed to see the whole picture, the whole process clearly. Other times, it is not so cut and dry and testing can be useful. Testing is just one piece not the whole piece!  Also, knowing which tests that you need can only happen after I listen to you and ask the right questions.  I don’t believe in having everyone go through the same testing process. It just is not necessary.  Your situation is unique, so why should you all get the same tests done?

I’ll Go See Whoever is The Cheapest or One That is Covered by My Insurance.

Cheap and quality often do not go hand in hand. If you have been suffering with depression, do you want the cheapest or someone who can help you get better? If a friend recommended someone one to you to help you with your depression would you want them to recommend the best to you or the cheapest?  

Cheap also may be a way to get you in the door and then you find out there are all these extra fees attached. 

As for insurance, holistic professionals most often are not covered by insurance.  Typically, those that are covered by insurance are part of western medicine and are not going to be addressing root causes and instead will do symptom management. 

As for me, I charge by the hour.  Testing is extra, and supplements are extra, but I always discuss it with you first. Every test has a different price and it just depends of what testing that you need (I don’t make profit from the tests so this way I’m not inclined to “push you” towards one test more than another).

Myth: I Have Tried Everything. You Cannot Help Me.

Don’t think you have run out of options and that nothing can be done. I understand where you are coming from.  I cannot tell you how many specialists I dragged my son to and I know, it wears you down when you don’t get results.  

Have the past health processionals looked at toxins, done lab testing, GI panels, asked you the right questions and really listened to you? Was the protocol tailored to you or just the same one that they give everybody? 

I learned a lot along the way, and continue to learn to help you so don’t give up.  

Myth: If Nutrition Could Help, My Doctor Would Have Told Me.

Your doctor is trained in medicine not in nutrition. She may have received one class (not one course) in nutrition, maybe!  Your doctor is not trained to look at root causes and probably is not even aware of the impact that root causes can have and how we can address this through food and supplements and herbs.  He is taught about medication, not food, herbs and supplements.  This is not an area your doctor is familiar with so no I would not expect him or her to tell about nutrition.

Myth: I Don’t Have Time to See You

Think about all the time you have waited in the doctor or therapist’s office. All the drive time to see them.  I schedule a certain way so that you never wait. I only see a few clients each day, I’m not rushing you out the door so I can see the next person.  You come see me and I am ready!  If it is a phone or online consult, I call you right at the time I said I would.  I understand your time is valuable and I do my very best to not keep you waiting.  Even many of my local clients prefer phone or online consults as this saves them more time and they don’t have to make the drive to see me.  I try to make it as convenient as possible for you.

Myth: It Is Expensive

That depends. By this time, if you were like me when my son had depression, you have already spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars trying to feel better.  I don’t offer packages like many others do, say at $5000 to $7000 a pop.  My goal is to see you short term, give you the tools to feel better. I don’t want you to purchase a package and be with me for the next several years. You probably already do that with a therapist. You don’t need to be doing that with me too.

Myth: I Can Figure This Out on My Own, Online.

I know there is plenty of information online. Trust me, I know. This is the route I went with my son when no one could get him better. I don’t recommend it. My son was a guinea pig. Everything I read about depression and what could help him, I tried. Once I went back to school, his depression became so clear to me. It was upsetting to me, that I wasted so much time.  Had I known what I know now, he could have felt better quicker and avoided so much of what I had tried.

There is also a great deal of conflicting information on the web and it can be difficult to separate the fact from fiction and know what information you need and what you don’t need. 

I took a leave of absence from work and literally poured over information for hours and hours every day. I was lucky to have this time, but do you?  And if you are depressed you can’t do this. There is no way my son would have been able to pour through all the information and process it when he was that depressed, let alone put it into action. 

I stream line the process and we do it in steps. The steps we take all depend on you, your commitment and what you can handle at the time. 

Navigating through all that information online is not only going to take up all your time but it will also cost you a lot of money and plenty of money you did not need to spend.  I’m talking from experience here. 

Bottom Line: Don’t try to go this alone.  If you still are on the fence about this, give me a call for a free 15 minute phone consult and I can tell you two basic, simple steps you can take right away.  co

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Are You Ready To Get Rid Of Your Depression Once And For All?

Are You Ready to Start Feeling Better?

Answering these questions below can help you to decide if the time is right for you to seek holistic nutrition therapy to get rid of your depression once and for all.

  1. Do other professionals tell you everything looks normal on your lab work and the depression must be all in your head?
  2. Is your depression preventing you from doing what you enjoy doing?
  3. Are you wondering what is causing your depression?
  4. Are you looking for a more comprehensive approach (not just looking at your head, but taking the “whole” you into consideration)?
  5. Are you looking for someone who will guide you and support you along the way towards getting better?
  6. Are you ready to take responsibility for your own health?

If you said yes, then you are ready to use holistic nutritional therapy to get to the root of your problem and start to feel better.

Lets work together to create an individualized plan to get you enjoying life again.  I will get to the root causes of your depression and help you to feel better.  My goal is to help you, guide you and provide you with the skills so that you can stay healthy.  I want you to be independently healthy, not need me long term. You may have been seeing your therapist for years, but that is not my goal. I hope to have you only need my services short term.  

 

Sign up at Tru Foods Nutrition Services LLC   for the first two chapters of my book on “If Life Is So Good, Then Why Am I Still Depressed?” along with additional information to help you get started.  Then give me a call/text 303-522-0381, or email me karen@trufoodsnutrition.com

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Green Smoothie for Energy and Brain Support

Energizing and Brain Supportive Green Smoothie

This Smoothie recipe is shared by Sarah S, a Cross Fit Coach and Elementary School Teacher.  I like this smoothie recipe for several reasons (see below).

Smoothies are a great way to start the day to boost your nutrients and they are quick and simple (and not just for breakfast!)

This Recipe is gluten, soy and dairy free with a nut free option

Ingredients

  • 1 c. of unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ c. filtered water
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 T. homemade walnut butter or nut butter of choice (see note below)
  • 1 scoop Bulletproof Collagen Protein Powder, chocolate flavor. Get one type here and here
  • 1 tsp. Four Stigmatic Matcha and Lions Mane Powder. Get it here
  • 2 c. organic raw spinach

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and serve.
  2. Makes two servings

Tip: If you don’t have time in the morning to put a smoothie together, put everything into the blender right before bed. Place in fridge. Put the base on the counter with your smoothie cup.  In the morning turn it on, go and do something for a minute, come back and there you have it.  Let the blender soak in water in the sink while you head out the door. When you get home, just rinse it out and make a fresh smoothie for the next day. 

For Homemade Walnut Butter: Soak walnuts for 2 hours, then roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Puree in food processor or blender with an added a pinch of cinnamon and coconut oil and puree until smooth. 

Quicker Option: There are many health stores that now carry freshly ground nut butters.  Look at the container for the date they processed it and try to find one ideally on the day of or day before your purchase for freshness. Store in fridge

Allergies: Sunflower seed butter makes a great alternate option if you cannot eat tree nuts. 

Almond Milk: You can make your own too.  Many boxed milk alternatives have added ingredients.  But they are super convenient.

If you want to make your own almond milk: Soak raw almonds overnight in filtered water.  Drain the water and rinse the almonds.  Combine almonds and fresh filtered water in a blender.  Blend at high speed for 2 minutes.  Line a strainer with cheese cloth (or like I do, buy paint strainer bags and use as nut milk bags), and after the milk has been poured through, twist the bag and squeeze out as much as possible.  Add a little honey or monk fruit to sweeten if need be. 

The longer you soak the almonds, say even for 2 days, the creamier the milk will be.  Almond milk only lasts about 2 days in the fridge so only make as much as you will need.  Use a ratio of 1 cup almonds to 2 cups of water.  

Collagen Protein Powder Benefits: Collagen protein powder is good for your joints, bones, skin, hair and nails. 

Matcha Benefits: Matcha is the young green tea leaves that have been steamed, dried, and ground into a fine powder. One cup of Matchan green tea can have the antioxidant benefit for 10 cups of regular tea.  It is not only antioxidant rich, but also boosts metabolism, can aid with anxiety, and can enhance mood and concentration. 

Lions Mane Mushroom Benefits: Lions Mane is considered a medicinal mushroom and for good reason.  It is knowns as being supportive for brain function and improving mental health and overall feelings of well-being. It also, it antioxidant rich and can reduce systemic inflammation. 

The Four Sigmatic Matcha Lions Mane powder (this brand has become of my new favorite product lines) also contains ginger and Astragalus.  Ginger has many benefits, everything from helping digestive issues to easing pain and inflammation to sea sickness and fungal infections. Astragalus is a powerful plant for its immune boosting properties.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a cold and flu remedy.  I also like from Four Sigmatic this one that my son drinks and this one I add to my tea and to foods  

Collagen Walnut Green Smoothie
Serves 2
This green smoothie has matcha for an antioxidant energizing lift, lions mane mushrooms for immune, mental health and brain support and collagen for bone, joint, hair, nails and skin support. The walnut butter provides healthy fats and additional protein.
Write a review
Print
366 calories
26 g
6 g
25 g
12 g
7 g
348 g
80 g
13 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
348g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 366
Calories from Fat 208
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g
39%
Saturated Fat 7g
33%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 6mg
2%
Sodium 80mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 9g
35%
Sugars 13g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
69%
Vitamin C
40%
Calcium
46%
Iron
21%
* 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. of unsweetened almond milk
  2. • ½ c. filtered water
  3. • ½ avocado
  4. • 1 T. homemade walnut butter or nut butter of choice (see note below)
  5. • 1 scoop Bulletproof Collagen Protein Powder, chocolate flavor.
  6. • 1 tsp. Four Sigmatic Matcha and Lions Mane Powder.
  7. • 2 c. organic raw spinach
Instructions
  1. 1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and serve.
  2. 2. Makes two servings
Notes
  1. Tip: If you don’t have time in the morning to put a smoothie together, put everything into the blender right before bed. Place in fridge. Put the base on the counter with your smoothie cup. In the morning turn it on, go and do something for a minute, come back and there you have it. Let the blender soak in water in the sink while you head out the door. When you get home, just rinse it out and make a fresh smoothie for the next day.
  2. For Homemade Walnut Butter: Soak walnuts for 2 hours, then roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Puree in food processor or blender with an added a pinch of cinnamon and coconut oil and puree until smooth.
  3. Quicker Option: There are many health stores that now carry freshly ground nut butters. Look at the container for the date they processed it and try to find one ideally on the day of or day before your purchase for freshness. Store in fridge
  4. Allergies: Sunflower seed butter makes a great alternate option if you cannot eat tree nuts.
  5. Almond Milk: You can make your own too. Many boxed milk alternatives have added ingredients. But they are super convenient.
  6. If you want to make your own almond milk: Soak raw almonds overnight in filtered water. Drain the water and rinse the almonds. Combine almonds and fresh filtered water in a blender. Blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Line a strainer with cheese cloth (or like I do, buy paint strainer bags and use as nut milk bags), and after the milk has been poured through, twist the bag and squeeze out as much as possible. Add a little honey or monk fruit to sweeten
beta
calories
366
fat
25g
protein
12g
carbs
26g
more
TruFoods Nutrition http://trufoodsnutrition.com/
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Sport Products: What to Avoid and What to Use for Improving Energy, and Endurance

Sport Fuel Products: What to Use, What to Avoid

My son is playing hockey at college and I just learned that he gets pre-workout (energy) drinks and electrolyte drinks for free via a company that sells to athletes.

Once he said the name I remembered that when he was younger the coaches were “pushing” these MLM (multi- level marketing) products on all the parents and players to use.

What upsets me is that many believe that these products are of high quality. They are not unfortunately. There are many healthier products out there that can give you the same or better results without the negative consequences from added ingredients that these products have.

Without naming the brand or company, I am going to share what should not be in the sport products you are your child, teen or young adult athlete uses and why and what to use instead. I’ll tell you what I sent to my son to use in place of this MLM Sport Brand.

Workout Products:

What You Should Be Looking at On the Label

Bad Product 1: The Pre-Workout Product

This one has two significant downsides: 

1. Caffeine and its effect on adolescents, teens and college students:
We all know caffeine can help athletic performance and this has been shown in numerous studies. Heck, I’m sure you even need your daily dose of caffeine and that’s just to get your day started! This product has caffeine at 120 mg. per serving. One cup of coffee can contain in the range of 144 mg. to 333 mg. of caffeine. So not bad, in and of itself.

I even like some caffeine before a long run and it does have a positive effect on athletic performance. But we need to consider a couple things: how much caffeine is the person getting in their day in addition to the caffeine in this product and the form of caffeine. (read below, yes, the form matters greatly)

If you consume 300 mg. or more of caffeine per day it may be disturbing your sleep, contributing to anxiety and may increase your risk for heart disease. Since we are all biochemically different your detox of caffeine will differ from someone else’s ability to detox caffeine.

The odds are that this is not their only source of caffeine for the day. You would be surprised to know how many of these kids, teens and young adults consume energy drinks, caffeinated soda and energy shots on a regular basis. Studies on children who consume caffeine showed that the rate of depression and anxiety coincided with frequent caffeine consumption. I’m not even sure why children with endless amounts of energy even need caffeine.

Studies also show that taking as little as 100 mg. of caffeine can cause a significant decline in recall and reasoning, so while many high school and college students think it helps them during studying and test taking, research shows that it lowers academic performance.  Simple tasks such as assembly work may be enhanced but complex reasoning skills are decreased.

Bottom Line: When adding in a pre-workout sport drink, read the back label and note how much caffeine it contains and how much caffeine you are consuming outside of this drink. The 120 mg. provided in this product is not necessarily bad if you are not consuming a lot of caffeine outside of this product, but I still don’t approve this product because of the form of caffeine (read below).

If you are consuming a lot of caffeine in your day, you need to start asking why because if you NEED caffeine to get through the day, you have other issues and your body needs nutritional support.

If you have your 23 and me raw data, your CYP1A2 can tell you if genetically are a fast, slow or moderate metabolizer of caffeine. For instance, I am a fast metabolizer of caffeine and thus have high activity of this enzyme.  

2. It is synthetic caffeine and yes, this is VERY important!

 

Not all caffeine is the same. There is natural caffeine and synthetic caffeine. Synthetic caffeine is the cheapest form and therefore you see it in energy drinks, soda and sport drinks.

It is absorbed much faster through your digestive tract and therefore you get a quick spike in energy which may seem like a plus when you are ready to go play a sport,
BUT the downside is….
that you feel the crash all that much faster and harder too.

Caffeine in a natural state, such as in yerba mate or green tea, provides a balanced caffeine lift due to the presence of naturally occurring nutrients in the plant. Coffee and other teas will also provide this type of energy lift versus the high energy and then crash and fatigue feeling from a synthetic form.

In the synthetic form, you are more likely to notice negative side effects, such as difficulty sleeping, nervousness and heart palpations. Do you want that for your child?

Synthetic caffeine is not the same as caffeine from coffee beans or from herbs for another reason. It is typically exposed to harsh chemicals during production which means you, in the end, consume these chemicals unknowingly. Synthetic caffeine can also be produced in unregulated foreign labs and factories that do not keep record of handling procedures which means you may be getting more chemicals in that drink than you realize.

Natural caffeine such as in tea or organic coffee (don’t buy non-organic coffee as it is heavily sprayed crop) also contains antioxidants which has many health benefits.

The caffeine that is found in synthetic form can provide a much more potent caffeine isolate compared to the caffeine found in a whole plant.

Think this: You want long lasting, sustained and focused energy. Choose caffeine from a natural source.

Bottom line: If you don’t mind chemicals and a crash of fatigue once the synthetic caffeine wears off than I guess go for it, but if you do, you have better, healthier and safer options out there. Remember when the ingredient label says “caffeine” without saying the source, know that it is cheap and synthetic.

3. Sucralose: No one needs or should consume artificial sweeteners and here is why:

Honestly this makes my blood boil. Why do we need these artificial sweeteners in our foods and why in products for athletes? Because they are trying to make it taste really, really sweet without adding more sugar!

This problem we have that everything must taste super sweet I am not even going to go into. Instead let’s focus on why your child, teen or young adult should avoid artificial sweetener like the plague.

The concerns with sucralose use include toxicity, DNA damage, gut damage, destroys beneficial bacteria, alters glucose and insulin and can lead to type 2 diabetes, and carcinogenic potential (when used in cooking such as with Splenda).

You have got to read labels. I cannot tell you how many people tell me what they are using is a healthy product and then I read the label and lo and behold, there is sucralose on the label. And yes, it is in your child’s sport drink. In fact, it is in thousands of products and therefore label reading is so important!

You probably know by now that drinking or eating something with sucralose is not going to help you lose weight. Most likely your athlete is not concerned with losing weight so probably doesn’t care one way or another that it is in his or her sport drink. But you should care!

While destroying gut health may not seem like a big deal to you, it should be. Sucralose has been found to kill as much as 50% of your microbiome. This opens you up to a world of problems; everything from intestinal permeability, autoimmune disease, poor immune function and mental health issue. Yes, all that can happen from not having a healthy gut.

You may have heard that sucralose passes through the digestive tract unchanged and therefore is safe to consume. New research has shown that it is metabolized in your gut. It works in the same manner as would hydrogenated oils.

By this I mean both are synthetic foods created in labs. Without going into the science, there is no enzyme to break down this sugar. That is because it is not a food provided by natural means. Our body doesn’t have an enzyme to break it down. Your body doesn’t even recognize it and doesn’t even know what to do with it!

Thus, they once thought it just passes through the digestive tract, but much like hydrogenated oil (we don’t have an enzyme to break down this synthetic fat) we can’t break it down. It doesn’t just pass through the body but instead circulates creating havoc in the body.

Research indicates that about 15% of the sucralose gets stored in the body. What happens when it gets stored in the body? Makers of Splenda and these products I’m sure would assure you that nothing happens. But you are smarter than that. Nothing synthetic just sits there and is safe.

What I prefer: I sent my son a product from Hammer Nutrition that I like (I don’t sell it, have no affiliation). It is called Fully Charged. It has very little caffeine at 15 milligrams and contains a blend of fruit, vegetables and herbs and beet juice powder. This product would be taken like this MLM product, adding a scoop to water about 15-20 minutes before the game or workout.

I also like, if the person still needs a little more energy support, is Energy by Now brand. (Again, no affiliation and I could sell this, but I do not). This has some natural caffeine from Guarana extract, green tea extract and yerba mate. It comes out to about 60 mg. of natural sourced caffeine.  

Thus, the two products used together before a game would come out to about 75 mg. of natural caffeine. This would 50 mg. less than what the other product has and also note that it is naturally sourced!

What I also like about the Energy by Now is that it has added adaptogens that help the body adapt to the stress of exercise.

A Red Bull will have 80 mg. of caffeine and a Rock Star will have 75 mg. of caffeine. While the differences in caffeine are not much I would not recommend these products.  I went looking on the web and on the Red Bull site to see the actual label on the can and it sent me in circles on their site and never gave me a breakdown of all the ingredients.  I don’t trust products like that as it has something to hide, in my opinion.  Plus, energy drinks are usually loaded with sugar and don’t contain the benefit of Adaptogenic herbs in the right forms and amounts since these products typically use cheap ingredients.  

If you want to know more about Energy Drinks and Guarana, read this article http://trufoodsnutrition.com/4446-2

 

 

Bottom Line: Without going into detail on each of the dangers of sucralose consumption, it is best just to know it is not good for your health and should be avoided. Don’t go to a product that has a different artificial sweetener such as with Acesulfame potassium or aspartame. Use sport products that are naturally sweetened with monk fruit, stevia or fruits. Be mindful of the amount of caffeine in your day.

Bad Product #2: The Electrolyte Drink

It is a powder product that provides electrolytes for hydration after sports and during and after heavy sweating. This is a good thing.
Unfortunately, it also contains sucralose. In fact, all the powder products by this company contain sucralose even the  protein powders. I just don’t get it.

But if that wasn’t reason enough to avoid it, here is another one…
Sugars:

Maltodextrin, dextrose and fructose are the first three ingredients on the label and all are sugars. Yes, many athletes need to fuel and having some sugars after a sport is not necessarily a bad thing in small doses.

Dextrose and Maltodextrin have higher glycemic indexes than sucrose and while it can provide a quick energy boost during or after the game, it can result in low blood sugar.

What I prefer: I love Ultima. I have sent this product to my son and I use this on runs on hot days in the summer. It is a powder product just like this other brand and it is super easy to just add some to water.

I like this product because it lists the amount of all the electrolytes you are getting in the product. This other one only the amounts for sodium and potassium. Why?  

Ultima comes in several flavors, tastes good and has added nutrients. It is naturally sweet and there are no artificial sweeteners. Yeah!
It does not contain any sucrose, dextrose fructose or Maltodextrin. Need a little natural sugar with your electrolyte drink after a sport? Have a banana or orange slices.

Remember when your kids were young and parents bought fruit for the kids to have after their soccer games? Yup, that’s all you still really need; none of this added “crap”.

An alternative, are electrolyte tablets. They will dissolve if you keep them in your pocket while working out and you get sweaty so don’t do that. I put them in a small baggie and then put in my pocket. These are easy and great to take with water. There are several good brands out there.

Bottom Line: When buying an electrolyte drink to replace lost electrolytes after a sport or working out, choose products that list the amount of each electrolyte and one that does not contain added sugar or artificial sugar.

You must read labels. Get past the hype on the front of the package or what the “rep” is telling you. For instance, this product has many professional athletes on their website saying how great these products are. I really don’t care. They aren’t nutritionists, nor do they do the research, so they also don’t realize the damage that some of the ingredients in the products can do.

Just because a professional athlete is taking it, does not mean your child should. Do your own homework and research or ask a nutrition professional what they think of the product.

I’d love to hear what you or your youth, teen or adult athlete uses.  

Sources
Cherniske, S. (1998) Caffeine Blues. NY: Grand Central Publishing
Haas, E. (2006) Staying Healthy with Nutrition. The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine.
CA: Celestial Arts:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22339647
https://examine.com/supplements/caffeine/
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/18/sucralose-side-effects.aspx
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/26/cspi-downgrades-splenda.aspx

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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.

 

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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!

That being said, I will use tea bags when I am out and when I am traveling.  Try to stick with the brands down below that I suggest.  If you are not sure a place will carry the tea brand you like, there is nothing wrong with bringing your own.  I often will just ask for a cup of hot water.  

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 to choose from and thankfully as interest in tea grows, more high quality brands are popping up.

These include:

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 as I mentioned above. If you are using a specific herb or herbal blend for therapeutic reasons, you should consume the tea 2-4 times per day, depending on the herbs used and reasons for use.  

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!

If you want to know which herbs and herbal blends would be best, call me for a consult. 

 

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

 

 

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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

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.

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Your Liver and Detoxification What You Need to Know

Liver Detox: What You Need to Know 

 

The liver is the largest organ in your body.  A healthy liver can neutralize 99% of toxins on the first pass through. Yes, toxins can pass through the liver more than once.  If your liver becomes damaged the toxin levels can increase x10!

Your liver goes to work detoxing when you are asleep. If you have difficulty sleeping and wake up always around the same time at night it could mean that your liver is working harder than it should.  

Everyone talks about “doing a detox” or a “liver cleanse”.  Once you read this article you will realize that doing a short- term detox for the liver probably isn’t going to be very effective in the long run. Dietary changes and key nutrients are critical daily.  Your liver filters toxins that will end up as waste via the bowels or the urine but you also have other detox pathways that should be supported as well.  You need all of them to function properly. 

The Two Phases

A toxin is anything that creates harmful effects to your body.  Your liver disassembles toxins and does this in a two- stage process.  Most toxins are fat soluble and they need to be in a water- soluble state to be eliminated from the body.  It is important that both detox phases are working.  For instance, phase 1 may break these toxins down but if phase 2 cannot bind these toxins to other things to make then inert and then eliminate them then these broken-down toxins can be harmful. 

 Your liver’s two phases of detox can detox chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals, food additives, toxins from the GI tract, drugs/medications, metabolic waste products and used hormones and neurotransmitters. As you can see some of these toxins are endogenous and others are exogenous.

What Can Impact the Liver Detox Pathways

  • Stress! This alone can shut down detoxification
  • Aging: Decreases detox enzymes
  • Meds such as benzodiazepines, antihistamines and stomach acid secretion blocking drugs inhibit phase 1.
  • Grapefruit juice inhibits phase 1. (some medications should not be taken with grapefruit juice for this reason)
  • Heavy alcohol use/abuse
  • Long term medication use
  • Standard American Diet-a diet filled with hormones, antibiotics, rancid oils, excess sugar etc..
  • toxins from water, cleaning products, skin care products, plastics 
  • lack of fiber in the diet 

Signs Your Liver Isn’t Working the Way It Should

 

  • Sensitivity to chemicals, tobacco smoke, perfume, cleaning products
  • Pain between shoulder blades
  • Stomach upsets when eat greasy foods
  • Greasy, shiny stool or see oily droplets with stool
  • Motion sickness, morning sickness
  • Light or pale colored stools
  • Headaches over the eyes
  • Gallbladder attacks
  • Bitter taste in mouth after meals
  • Sick easily after drinking wine
  • Easily hung over
  • Pain under right side of rib cage
  • Varicose veins, hemorrhoids
  • Artificial sugar consumption esp. NutraSweet/aspartame
  • Chronic Fatigue or fibromyalgia

Phase 1 of Liver Detoxification

  • Phase 1 is called the Cytochrome P450 pathway. This is made up of a group of over 50 detox enzymes that are induced when there is exposure to a toxin.
  • These enzymes will then convert these toxins from fat soluble to water soluble.
  • Issues can arise if you have either an over active or under active phase 1.
  • If your phase 1 is underactive, your risk of liver disease increases
  • Phase 1 will always create some free radicals.

Signs You Have an Under Active Phase 1

You have an intolerance to caffeine, perfumes or environmental chemicals. For instance, you can’t tolerate more than a cup of coffee or you feel jittery. You are sensitive to chemical and perfume smells and they may give you a headache, skin rash or affect your breathing.  Some people who smoke may not be as affected as those with an underactive phase 1. These people who smoke may have lung issues much sooner than those with a healthy phase 1. Part of this is due to genetics, but diet and lifestyle also play a large role.

These are signs that you may have a weak phase 1, meaning that you are not fully breaking down your toxins.  Those with an underactive phase 1 may also have issues detoxifying alcohol. 

Signs You Have an Over Active Phase 1

These are the people that tell you they can drink caffeine all day and are not affected. They may even have coffee right before bed and can still go right to sleep.  These people tend to have an over active phase 1 and an underactive phase 2.

 

Foods to Eat to Get a Sluggish Phase 1 Moving

  • Cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and cabbage.
  • Oranges, tangerines
  • Dill seed and caraway seed
  • Foods that contain B vitamins (or take a B complex), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron and magnesium
  • glutathione (best source is grass fed why protein powder) which is a potent antioxidant
  • SOD (Superoxide dismutase) an antioxidant enzyme in the body but you can also consume foods rich in copper, zinc, and manganese to help boost SOD. These foods include crimini mushrooms, steel cut oats, green beans, white basmati rice, asparagus, sesame seeds, strawberries, and pineapple.
  • Flavonoids-think eat a rainbow of colorful fruit and veggies

If your phase 1 is over active, you can use calendula and turmeric to slow it down. 

Phase 2 of Liver Detoxification

This phase joins the toxins into pairs with a compound for it to be excreted by the body.  What it joins with depends on the pathway of which there are 6.  The methylation pathway, sulfation pathway, glucuronidation pathway, glutathione pathway, acetylation pathway and the amino acid pathway. 

Typically when problems occur in phase 2, it is underactive and it is not common for this phase to be overactive.

1. Methylation Pathway

This pathway detoxes estrogens, some neurotransmitters, histamine and some toxic metals. 

To support this pathway, opt of a methylated B complex product, along with foods such as eggs, beans, fish, onions, garlic, grass fed dairy and grass fed organic meat, leafy greens.  Also include adequate amounts of protein and magnesium.  (Majority of people will need to supplement with magnesium)

Having a poor functioning methylation pathway can lead to degenerative diseases such as dementia, cancer and CVD.

2. Sulfation Pathway

This pathway detoxes bile acids, some neurotransmitters, some medications and chemicals and some hormones such as estrogens, testosterone, and thyroid hormone. 

To support this pathway, consume egg yolks, onions, garlic, cruciferous vegetables and grass fed, organic dairy

3. Glucuronidation Pathway

This pathway detoxifies some common medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), morphine and diazepam (Valium) as well as food additives and some hormones.  Fluoride, aspirin and a medication called Probenecid (used for Gout) can suppress this pathway.

Support this pathway by adding in SAMe and calcium D-Glucarate

4. Glutathione Pathway (GSH)

GSH is a powerful antioxidant found in the mitochondria of every cell and is a powerful detox agent.  In the liver it conjugates up to 60% of the toxins in the bile. High toxin levels and/or extensive fasting can deplete your GSH levels.  If you are deficient in zinc, selenium, B2 or B6, this can inhibit this pathway.

GSH will help to detoxify the body from some medications, nicotine, bacterial toxins, toxic metals, ethyl alcohol and more. 

Add in grass fed whey protein powder, sulfur rich foods such as egg yolks, onion, garlic and cruciferous vegetables, and vitamin C rich foods such as peppers and citrus.     

5. Amino Acid Conjugation

This pathway detoxes aspirin, nicotinic acid, plant fatty acids and Benzoate.  This pathway can be inhibited by a low protein diet.  This pathway may function poorly if you have alcohol related liver issues, hypothyroidism, chronic arthritis, excessive chemical exposure, hepatitis, or carcinomas. 

Support this pathway by increasing the amount of protein you consume. Ideally sources that contain glycine, taurine, glutamate and arginine. Grass fed Whey or bone broth are good options to add in. 

6. Acetylation Pathway

This pathway detoxes sulfa drugs, other medications, serotonin, histamine, choline, caffeine and tyramine. 

This pathway is dependent upon Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B5.

 

How do you know which pathway you should address?  The odds are you may have more than one pathway that is being inhibited. It is important to add in the needed supplements and consume a whole food, healthy diet.  There are supplements that contain herbs, vitamins and minerals that support both phase 1 and phase 2. 

Why Detoxification is So Important

Your body is constantly detoxifying and ridding itself of harmful substances.  Your health is so dependent upon the effectiveness of these detox pathways. Just one phase or one pathway not functioning properly can lead to health issues. 

And it can lead to not only physical health issues but mental health ones as well. Your body can accumulate toxins in your fatty tissues for years. This isn’t just that belly or hip fat, but also the fat in your brain and endocrine glands.  Toxin accumulation can lead to brain dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, exhausted adrenal glands, early menopause and premature aging. 

While the body is a detox machine with its various pathways, modern life can place a burden on these pathways causing a toxic overload where the body cannot keep up.  Our bodies were not made to handle the constant attack of toxins coming at us daily from our food, water, air, soil, body and household products. 

The liver is a very important detoxification organ, but remember that it is not the only detox system that you have.  Other pathways include the respiratory system, gastrointestinal systems, urinary, skin and lymphatic system. 

Try to reduce the burden placed upon your liver (and other detox pathways for that matter)d.  Avoid eating and drinking out of plastics and don’t ever microwave food in plastic. Also, don’t put plastic containers in the dishwasher, and instead wash these by hand.  Switch over to a filtration water system for your home and take water with you when you are out and about.  Read labels so that you can avoid many food additives, chemicals, dyes and artificial sugars.  Purchase organic as much as you can and opt for grass fed meats and dairy.  Reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol. 

Because it can be expensive and difficult to know what supplements you need, I like a product called Detoxification Factors Phase 1 and Phase 2 by Integrative Therapeutics and this can be purchased via my online apothecary fullscript.com 

Bottom Line: You cannot avoid all the toxins that you are exposed to unless you want to live life  in a bubble, but you can reduce exposure by addressing the toxins you have control of. By getting adequate amounts of exercise and movement into your life, using relaxation and stress techniques, choosing safe products and eating a whole foods diet along with targeted supplementation, you will be supporting all your pathways by limiting the toxic burden placed upon them. 

Sources

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

http://www.gilbertssyndrome.com/detoxification.php

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2015/760689/

 

 

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.

 

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5 Ways to Achieve Weight Loss

5 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing the Weight

overweight-people

While I do not specialize in weight loss, I find that weight loss is still one of my client’s top goals.  I’m all about root causes. There is no one right diet for everyone and no one right diet for your entire life time.  I see people that are eating healthy, or eating very little yet they are still struggling to drop weight. Here are some things that could be hindering your weight loss from a root cause perspective

Undiagnosed Subclinical Hypothyroidism or Using Synthetic Thyroid Medication

You can be struggling with thyroid issues for years before your doctor finally diagnosis it.  And that is if she will do the correct thyroid testing.  The thyroid controls metabolism and hence when the thyroid function slows down so does the number of calories you burn up. 

Once you know that your thyroid is not functioning properly, and this includes the autoimmune condition, Hashimotos, work with someone to address your root causes so that you can support proper thyroid functioning and autoimmunity too if need be. While medications may help you, they do not help everyone and some need extra nutritional support.  In addition to that, while medication may be needed, it still does not address the root cause for your hypothyroidism.

Many also don’t get the results they hope for by using synthetic medication since it is made up of T4 which needs to convert into the active form, T3, for your thyroid to function optimally.  Seek out a health professional who supports using natural desiccated thyroid which has some T3, the active hormone in it.  (you may need to call around until you find an MD who has a more holistic view or opt for seeing a naturopath for your thyroid medication). One way to find the right doctor is to call the compounding pharmacy in your area and ask if they will give you the names of local doctors that prescribe natural desiccated thyroid hormone replacement.

Systemic Inflammation

Obesity has inflammation as a root cause.  What can trigger inflammation in the body includes your diet, toxins and food sensitivities to name several.  But let’s focus on how your diet can cause inflammation. 

A diet high in refined and processed foods such as sugar, flour, oxidized oils, and heavy on the starches such as from a diet of pasta and bread can all cause inflammation and lead to weight gain.  Ever see someone with a “puffy” face?  That is usually a sign of inflammation. 

Many people think that because they are “paleo” or “vegan” or “vegetarian” that they must be eating a healthy diet.  This is not always the case.  A paleo diet too high in meats (and not grass fed or organic), a vegan diet high in grains and a vegetarian diet high in dairy can all cause inflammation. 

Any diet, whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a meat eater, should be plant based.  Think 70-80% of your meals should be leafy greens, herbs, spices and crunchy vegetables.  Then you can add in your beans or your grass- fed meat along with healthy fats from avocado, EVOO or coconut.  If you want to reduce inflammation and lose weight, these changes need to be made. 

Avoid oils such as canola, soy bean and vegetable oil.  These are high in omega 6’s. While we need some omega 6’s in our diet, we are getting too much, and this leads to inflammation.  On top of that, by the time you use these oils, they are rancid, which contributes to free radical damage in the body (and again leads to inflammation).  Choose healthier options such as coconut, avocado or “real” extra virgin olive oil (avoid the fakes which are blends of olive oil mixed with cheaper oils such as canola). 

Hormone Imbalances

Having too much estrogen is more common today than people realize and if there is an imbalance of estrogen with your other sex hormones, this can cause weight issues.  This is not only an issue in women but is occurring in men with more frequency (i.e.: “man boobs”).

 

 Too much estrogen can be caused by our diet and lifestyle.  Too much sugar and excess alcohol

can lead to estrogen dominance.  Xenoestrogens, which come from plastics, are also hormone disruptors, and can create unbalance.  Foods sprayed with chemicals (GMO crops) are also a contributing factor.  If your weight gain is caused by excess estrogen, you will typically have the weight gain in the hips, thighs and upper arms.

 

A low- fat diet, which I think more people are now realizing, is not the healthiest diet, can reduce your cholesterol levels into the “too low range”. While western medicine may tell you that the lower your cholesterol, the better for you, studies indicate this is not true and in fact, cholesterol at 160 and below is linked to mental health issues and an increase in suicidal ideation.  We need cholesterol. In addition to this, having cholesterol that is too low can contribute to low testosterone.  Men and women both need testosterone (just in different amounts).  For women, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which is associated with insulin resistance and elevated testosterone, can also lead to weight gain.  This weight is typically around your middle as belly fat. 

 

Constipation can also lead to hormone imbalances. My mantra is “you are what you do not eliminate”.  This is so important, because excess estrogen gets eliminated via the bowels. If you do not eliminate, it recirculates and makes its way to fatty areas of the body. 

 

Balance your hormones if you want to lose weight. Get rid of the plastics (and do not microwave plastic containers), eat plenty of fiber rich foods such as fruit and vegetables and reduce the alcohol and refined foods in your diet.  Avoid foods that contain added hormones such as beef and dairy that is injected with growth hormones (chose grass fed). Avoid GMO’s and sprayed foods as much as possible and include healthy fats in the diet. 

Poor Gut Health

asparagus

 

Studies have shown that those with specific strains of good bacteria in their gut are able to maintain a healthy weight. They also found that those who are missing these healthy strains and have more “bad” bacteria in the gut, tend to be overweight.  Thus, having good bacteria can aid in weight loss and having more bad bacteria and less diversity in the gut can lead to weight gain.  Some bacteria can cause inflammation while others can reduce inflammation. 

Think of your microbiome as a garden. Does your garden have a lot of plants, or just one type or is it filled with weeds?  You want diversity and more plants and fewer weeds!  Add in probiotic rich foods such as kefir, kimchee, kombucha and fermented vegetable. Add in prebiotic rich foods too. Think of this as the rich soil to help your plants grown.  Prebiotics are the food for your probiotics. These foods include asparagus (raw), onion, garlic (raw) and not too ripe bananas. 

In addition to this, food sensitivities that are undiagnosed, can lead to intestinal permeability and this can lead to weight gain.  You can do a trial elimination diet or you can get tested. 

Too Much Stress!

person holding binders stressed

Yes, just by being stressed, you can hinder weight loss.  When you are stressed, the adrenals increase cortisol production to help you manage the extra stress. This is a good thing, in the short term. The problem is that you may have chronic stress.  This leads to constant cortisol production. 

Think about it.  Synthetic cortisol such as prednisone is known for causing weight gain and diabetes.  This is an example of what high cortisol production caused by chronic stress can do to our bodies. 

While we all have stress in our lives, knowing how to control it can help reduce belly fat and elevated cortisol levels and other health conditions associated with stress such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. 

To help manage stress you can add in meditation, yoga, deep breathing, emotional freedom technique (also called tapping), or just setting aside some time for yourself daily. 

Support your body when under stress with nutritionally dense foods (stress uses up nutrients such as your vitamin B’s, magnesium and vitamin C) and Adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic herbs help us to adapt to the stress in our lives.  My favorites are Ashwagandha and Rhodiola. 

 

Bottom Line: If you feel like you have tried every diet out there and still cannot keep the weight off and don’t want to spend more money on another diet book, diet plan and another exercise program, then work with someone who can address your root causes to weight loss and help you with an individualized plan to help you succeed.

Sources

Hoffman, R. 10 Reasons Why It’s Not Your Fault You’re Fat. Health E Times, Issue 2, 2017.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3313629/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364157

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25538312

 

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.

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Garden Herbed Crust-less Quiche

Garden Herbed Crust-less Quiche

I used what vegetables and herbs that I had on hand. Feel free to use the ones you prefer in this recipe as it is very versatile.

This makes a great make-ahead recipe to use for weekday morning breakfast or take to work for lunch.

Gluten, soy and dairy free

crustless quiche 2

Ingredients

  • 1 t. avocado oil and 1 T. avocado oil separated
  • 1 onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cups greens of your choice. (kale in spinach work well but I have made this with mixed dark greens and came out great)
  • Other veggies: here is what I used but play around with this: 1 c. sliced mushrooms, 4 mini bell peppers chopped, 4 broccolini stalks chopped.
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast (optional but gives it a protein and nutrient boost and has a cheesy taste)
  • Mixed Herbs: I used what I had in my garden and did not measure. Here is what I used.  Rosemary, basil, green onion, chives.  Feel free to use fresh or dried and add according to your taste.
  • s/p to taste.
  • ¾ c. milk alternative (I like pure coconut milk as most of the boxed milk alternatives on the store shelves are filled with so much added “stuff”. I don’t use cow dairy as large organic farms have been getting through loop holes and these big dairy organizations have found to not be following true organic practices.) 
  • 5 pasture raised eggs
  • Organic cheese (optional) I did not add any

Directions

  1. Grease a 9- inch pie dish with the 1 t. avocado oil. Set this aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the 1 T. avocado oil in a large skillet. Add in the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in the peppers, mushrooms, broccolini and the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.  Add in the leafy greens and sauté until they have wilted. 
  3. Add in the s/p and the fresh or dried herbs of choice
  4. Whisk the milk and the eggs together and cheese if using. Add in the nutritional yeast and stir. 
  5. Blend the veggie mixture with the milk and pour into the pie dish (to save one step, I measured out the milk in a large measuring cup and added in the eggs and yeast. Then I poured this and the veggie blend right into the pie dish and give it a good stir in the dish.)
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes (mine in a convection oven took 45) until top is lightly browned.
  7. Serve hot or cold.

 

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.

 

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