I had a few conversations this week that led me to my place of rage against the man. Most people know that there are egregious toxins in our environment and we should avoid them at all costs; radiation, asbestos, carbon monoxide, heavy metal exposure, the list goes on. Coming in contact with these toxins can cause serious health complications, including death. Toxins are bad! However, when the unpronounceable compound is on a food ingredient label, many people assume that it's fine to consume. What?! That's the LAST place you want these compounds. THE LAST. I won't bash the FDA, the governing agency for food, drugs and cosmetics. They do the best they can to regulate and oversee a load beyond their workday, and the legislation in place often times does not entirely protect consumers. This system is not entirely functionally, but it's also not entirely to blame. Back to why the hell is this poison in our food, and why is everyone so OK with it....
Yesterday, my iPhone TouchID was able to recognize my thumb print for the first time in a long time. My skin had been so inflamed that my fingertips and toes were unrecognizable. I lost the feeling of touch 6 months ago. You don't realize how important the sense of touch is until it is lost.
Any new symptom that could be related to my lupus or MS forces me to pivot with my plan, while remaining focused on the ultimate goal. I also schedule an appointment with my rheumatologist and neurologist when I start to notice new symptoms. Food is my medicine, exercise is my therapy, restoration is my cure. I implement lifestyle modifications while I wait for the appointment.
I consider myself a healthy person, but it is hard for anyone to be perfect all the time. My body speaks volumes and I adjust. I am the most important member of my healthcare team.
Before I met with my team of doctors:
I recognized any new or old stressors and either cut the stressor...
Between lactose intolerance, dairy protein allergies and anti inflammatory diets, dairy is slowly being consumed less and less.
Our nutrition programs begin, in part, by eliminating dairy and gluten. Some folks choose to put it back in their life, while others feel so good they can't imagine returning to either on a regular basis.
Most often, people accept no gluten. Our cultural norm accepts that gluten is bad for you, and I don't get too many questions about why we should avoid gluten (although a few). Dairy, on the other hand, gets people fired up. Why no dairy? I don't have lactose issues. Where will I get my calcium?? All good questions and points.
As we age, we produce less of the necessary enzyme, lactase, that will break the lactose. This can result in bigger particles moving through your digestive tract resulting in gas, bloating, cramps or diarrhea. Not pleasant. Dairy products contain varying amounts of lactose and so some people...
Snacks, in general, leave people struggling. Eating frequently through the day is a great way to keep your metabolism moving and keep blood sugars stable, but finding a healthy snack can be overwhelming. Just because we call it a snack, doesn't mean it comes in a wrapper. A snack is a smaller meal, and might consist of anything - even a leftover bit of your lunch! Don't let the word snack (or your hanger!) stress you out when it's time for some nutrition!
Kids usually like hand to mouth food, especially after school when appetites are occasionally out of control. Unfortunately, that makes chips, cookies and candy a go-to for many. The other day I thought I would try to throw down some snow peas for a snack. I wasn't sure if anyone would bite. They did. Flavorful, crunchy and a hand to mouth food, the snow peas worked. The main complaint was that hands were greasy, and that was an easy fix.
Everyone is always looking for new recipes, and the change of season can be helpful, naturally. Eating foods in their natural season is optimal, although sometimes not always possible. I like to add some recipes that reflect the season, in addition to some staple dishes that my family and I enjoy.
As we move into spring, asparagus shoots up, from the ground and all over the markets! Boston can still be a little chilly in the early spring, so I like this combo of savory compote with light asparagus. (see below for recipe)
Asparagus had been thrown under the internet bus awhile back with claims that asparagus caused cancer. Certainly, when I hear these claims, I'm enraged because our culture is surrounded by harmful, toxic compounds daily, and I'll tell you that asparagus is not anywhere near the top of the list, if at all really on the list. I can't imagine why someone would even get involved with an asparagus causing cancer article, unless they were really trying to b...
I try to be careful when discussing my journey with MS. MS has a different plan for each person and the healthiest path is not determined by the patient with the strongest will. This disease is not something you can see with the naked eye, but it is real and the pain and symptoms are concrete. When my path was altered three years ago, I looked at my life and reassessed my relationship with mind, body and spirit.
Spiritually, I learned that for me God’s will, or the power of prayer, is not my private genie in a bottle. I can not believe there was once a time in my life when I wasted a prayer on helping my children do well in team tryouts. Sorry girls, you are on your own at tryouts, both God and I have a previous commitment. I also vividly remember a tearful conversation with my dad regarding my relationship with God. I struggle with that conversation on a daily basis. One of the things I miss most about my dad was being around his faith and his connection to th...
A few extra pounds, overweight or obesity is a sign from your body that something is not balanced. Culminating a perfect storm of a culture that needs to constantly produce, keep up with Jones's, compete often unhealthily, never show fatigue combined with a food supply that is quick and convenient, laden with misleading labels, sugars, unhealthy fats, additives, preservatives and other harmful chemical, our health is imploding and we aren't listening.
(NO TIME TO READ THE FULL BLOG NOW? Skip to the bullet points for advice on healthier lifestyle choices.)
2003 Obesity Trend Map
2017 Obesity Trend Map
I was recently surprised while researching some basic statistics for our upcoming TV show, embody The Lifestyle. In my first year of grad school, 2003, we studied US health trends with simple maps that colored in states with high rates of whatever health issue you were interested in. The top map is similar to that I would have looked at then. The 2017 map brought tear...
My middle daughter tells me that my lifestyle tastes like sadness. I always eat well but was going all in on the AIP Protocol. Currently, I don't eat dairy, nuts, grains, nightshades, processed foods, alcohol, butter, eggs, caffeine, or gluten. I am sure there is more but I forget all my restrictions. I like to focus on the things I do eat and on new palate goals. I eat a lot of breakfast hash, sausage kale soup, fresh fruit and vegetables, and grass fed turkey burgers. I am trying to incorporate seafood but it is a challenge for me. I am working on some new recipes to help me train for a half marathon.
On Sunday morning when I was preparing for my long run I had no regrets with my nutrition. I felt strong and fit. My legs were performing at their best at the age of 46 and living with lupus and MS. I didn't miss my Friday cheat night on Sunday morning. Instead of my usual burger, I enjoyed a grass fed steak with broccoli and my favorite sal...
Gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat grain, has caused quite a stir in the health and food industries. Gluten free is now more mainstream than ever, but not many understand why gluten causes problems, or what those problems are, and research sound bytes can be convoluted and confusing.
Most grains are eaten refined without the bran and hulls (think white flour – a pulverized and sifted powder product from wheat). This fine flour, while delicious, breaks down quite easily to sugar (glucose) and contributes very little vitamins and minerals. I call this a low nutrient dense food. If you think of calories as dollars, you do not get a good value when buying wheat flour.
In fact, I think this of most grains and generally eliminate grains from my regular routine. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a great piece of bread or fresh pasta, but I do so sparingly, and well informed. Many wheat crops are currently genetically modified, and if yo...