Inflammation: What You Can Do About It

autoimmune inflammation Oct 01, 2021

Inflammation is a normal, healthy response to an injury suffered by the body.  For example, when there is a cut in your skin, white blood cells rush to the rescue and macrophages get rid of any foreign invaders to avoid causing an infection. The outward appearance is redness swelling at the site of injury.  Beneath the surface, there is a flurry of activity for the body’s protection.

Chronic inflammation is another story. When our bodies are constantly bombarded with stress, poor diet, illness, and medications, our basic survival instinct, inflammation, becomes chronic which is now thought to be linked with developing dozens of diseases often associated with aging. These include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.

Because the inflammatory response to things our bodies encounter aren’t always really specific, it can persist and sometimes overreact to things that are mostly harmless – one being our own bodies. This is called...

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Healing Effects of Bone Broth

Remember the good old home remedy of chicken soup for healing the worst of colds and flu (and your soul)? There have even been books written about it!  I learned in Pathogenic Microbiology class that one reason for this medicinal use of Chicken soup was that it warmed up the mucous membranes and therefore didn’t allow the cold virus to attach to those areas lining your respiratory tract. It turns out that’s not the only healing benefit you get from chicken soup.

Scientists have now learned that your overall health is largely dependent on the health of your gut.  Bone broth, stock, or chicken broth can do much for maintaining a healthy gut.  So what do I mean by the gut? I’m referring to your digestive tract where a delicate balance of microorganisms and enzymes live in order to properly digest your food, break it down and transfer the nutrients into the bloodstream. When you have poor gut health, you more than likely have food sensitivities and...

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Are You Gluten Sensitive?

diet glutenfree Sep 10, 2021

You might think that eating a gluten-free diet is the latest fad when it comes to trying to eat healthily. Well, it may seem faddish but there are many reasons you may want to consider eating gluten-free.

The most obvious one is a diagnosis of Celiac Disease (CD).  People with CD have an autoimmune response when eating gluten – meaning specific antibodies attack the tissues (in this case, the gut) – and cause damage to the intestinal tract.  Others without that autoimmune response may have similar and/or non-GI symptoms.

Do you suffer from any or many of these?

  • Joint pain
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Digestive issues/”bad stomach”
  • Foggy brain, headaches
  • Depression, anxiety, irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Attention-deficit
  • Skin rashes – keratosis pilaris (chicken skin) or dermatitis herpetiformis, eczema, psoriasis, or chronic hives
  • Infertility
  • Have autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Thyroiditis

Testing for gluten sensitivity or CD can...

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Animal Protein & Our Health

The consumption of animal protein and eating the vegan or vegetarian way is controversial among nutrition scientists as well as the layperson. It appears that many studies on the consumption of animal protein are missing some information that may affect the outcome of the study.  Many vegetarians/vegans find when they add animal protein to their diets while consuming fresh, whole foods they begin to feel better and more energized.

While some people choose not to eat meat from animals or animal-derived products for spiritual or moral beliefs, others choose not to for health reasons.  It is believed that one can consume a combination of foods in order to get a complete protein usable by the body.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Often, people combine proteins from grains and beans.  The belief is the lack of lysine in grains and the lack of methionine in beans are good combinations to get that complete protein – one with all the necessary amino...

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DIY Seasonings

seasoning spices Aug 27, 2021

I know the convenience of spice packets such as taco seasoning, onion soup mix, and ranch spices for making dressings and dip is very appealing. But do you know what's in those seasoning packets?  For example, Taco Seasoning includes the following:  yellow corn flour, salt, maltodextrin, paprika, spices, modified cornstarch, sugar, garlic powder, citric acid, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavor, caramel color.

The items italicized are ingredients that are less than desirable.  Maltodextrin is made from grain starch such as corn or rice and in other countries more commonly wheat or potato.  It is highly processed by the heating and adding of enzymes and the result is basically corn syrup solids. It is cheap to make.

This product is less than 20% sugar but it has a Glycemic Index of 130!! That means it raises your blood sugar a lot - table sugar's glycemic index is 65.  Funny what an impact this makes on your health - and it doesn't even taste...

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What's In a Calorie?

calories diets exercise Aug 13, 2021

I'm sure the idea of "calories in/calories out" is nothing new to anyone reading this. It's not so straightforward, however. In the case of burning excess calories, it is not simple math.

So, what's in a calorie? A calorie is a unit of energy that comes from food broken down by the body by a series of chemical reactions. These reactions supply energy for movement, warmth, metabolism, for breathing, among many other important bodily functions.  It is commonly understood that a pound of body fat equals 3500 stored calories - in other words, fat.

Many popular diets would have you believe that if you cut back 500 calories per day for a week, you could lose one pound. Burn another 500 calories per day through exercise and that would equal another pound loss at the end of the week. In the same way, reversing the process would add on those 2 pounds. This may work sometimes but it doesn't happen that way consistently or long term.

If this process were as cut and dry as doing this...

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Creamy Cajun Chicken

chicken food Aug 06, 2021

I decided to go back to some old, favorite recipes to spice up the menu at home.  I came across an oldie but a goodie is given to me by a friend who also likes to cook.  I used to only make this on occasion because it was "fattening" and it induced major feelings of guilt whenever I succumbed to the temptation of this rich and creamy dish. 

After a drastic change in my thoughts against fattening foods and a "conscious uncoupling" from fat-free food products, I have learned to embrace the so-called fattening foods.  In addition, as I have to eat a gluten-free diet, I have found ways to make these pre-gluten-free recipes OK for me to enjoy.

The protein from the chicken and fat from the cream will help balance out that blood sugar so doesn't undo that with a heaping mound of pasta, even if it is whole grain.  Keep the pasta serving to a 1/2 cup. 

Here is a variation of the recipe given to me by Patti.  I hope you enjoy it!

4 boneless chicken breasts,...

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SUPPLEMENTS: What you need to know!

supplements Jul 30, 2021

There seems to be a lot of information out there regarding supplements. In addition, most people are very confused about whether they need them or not. People hear things on the radio, the TV, or from well-meaning friends about how a certain something can make you feel better or cure what ails you. For example, raspberry ketones, green tea, Vitamin D, CoQ10, and fish oil are very much brought to our attention by people like Dr. Oz. If you catch a few episodes, you’ll be overwhelmed with what and how to take supplements!

The much more important factor to consider when supplementing is the quality. People tend to believe that all supplements are created equal and that is so NOT true. Adding to the confusion, companies and/or distributors tout their brands are the best. But did you know supplement companies are an unregulated industry? Because of this, you need to do your research to find out which ones are of the highest quality. In order to do this, you need to know which form...

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Vitamin D: What's the BIG Deal?

vitamin d Jul 16, 2021

Vitamin D’s importance has been understood since the 1930s since its association with a disease called Rickets was discovered. Rickets is something not seen much in this day and age but results in the softening of bones and teeth. “The symptoms of rickets include bowed legs, bone pain, dental problems, a widening of the wrists, frequent bone fractures and skull deformities” (www.naturalnews.com/045528).

Even with enough calcium intake, we may not be getting adequate D to provide the health benefits to not only our bones but to other aspects of our health. The following are some serious medical conditions associated with Vitamin D deficiency: asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or diabetes. Common symptoms to watch out for are depression, muscle pain or weakness, inability to concentrate, bladder problems, and constipation/diarrhea.

All this is info IS THE BIG DEAL. My 12-year-old daughter was tested and was found...

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Weight Loss Struggles, Conclusion

weightloss Jul 02, 2021

In Part 1, I discussed the struggle with weight loss regarding what we are eating. Part 2 focused on the behavior. In this conclusion on Weight Loss Struggles, I dive into a few of the biochemical and physiological reasons weight loss may be a struggle for you.

10) You have food intolerance/allergies/sensitivities. Oftentimes, we associate a food allergy only with the most extreme reaction called anaphylaxis. This is characterized by swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat as well as hives and other symptoms. It is oftentimes fatal and requires a trip to the ER. I used to have this allergic relationship with strawberries and my allergist claims that I walk a fine line between being able to consume them and a trip to the ER. When most docs speak of an allergy to food, this is the kind they are referring to but there are other immune responses that aren’t quite as severe but can still wreak havoc with our efforts to lose weight and/or just to feel good. Common allergies such as...

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