Nuts and seeds…Too much of a good thing?

Nuts and seeds…Too much of a good thing? For years, nuts and seeds were a BIG part of my diet.  Nuts, seeds, nut and seed bars, and nut butters were staples when it came to my everyday food plan.   I ate almond butter in my oatmeal in the morning, a bag of nuts for a snack, a few nuts on my salad for lunch and a scoop of peanut butter in my protein shake later on in the day.  Nuts and seeds, seeds and nuts…how could you lose with such a tasty nutritious snack? The only problem, were some digestive issues: stomach bloating and seeing the undigested nuts and seeds in my stool (I know…too much information).  Quite honestly, I didn’t think much about any of these things because I knew how healthy they were for me. I thought of nuts and seeds as a good source of protein, filled with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals…plus they were convenient and tasted great… right? These days, almost every-health conscious person loves their nuts and seeds.   Almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts… these crunchy, tasty snacks go great with any salad, casserole or just eaten by themselves as a snack.  Eating nuts and seeds has become a staple for individuals who want a healthy snack, that’s easy and taste great. BUT — (you knew there was going to be a BUT)—have any of you, like me, ever had digestive upset, bloating or undigested nuts and seeds in your stool?  I’ll guess most of you will say “yes,” and for those of you that said “no”, you may...

Leafy Greens or Toxic Food? The Other Side of Eating Vegetables

Leafy greens or toxic food? The other side of eating vegetables Here I go again…are you ready? I am about to question one of the most widely promoted health recommendations in the U.S. What is it? I’m challenging the recommendation to “eat more vegetables”. This is an interesting topic since most of us have been told all our lives that we need to eat more vegetables. Right? For most of my life, I have been a huge advocate of eating tons of vegetables including kale, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Personally, I would eat at least 8 to 9 servings of vegetables a day — mostly raw. We have all been told vegetables are good for us because they contain loads of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidant properties. And this is true — vegetables are filled with all these health-promoting properties. However, does this mean that all vegetables are good for us? Or is there another side of the story we’re missing? As many of you know, about three years ago, I went through a massive transformation in my beliefs about health and nutrition. At the time my diet consisted of organic vegetables, gluten free grains, lots of organic chicken and meats, protein shakes, some fruits, and tons of water. My diet included no dairy, little fat, and no fruit juice. Sounds pretty healthy, right? The problem was, my body started to break down, I started to feel like crap, and I had no idea what was going on quite honestly, because I thought I was eating the perfect diet. Over the next year, through trial-and-error and lots of...

Polyunsaturated fats: Essential or toxic?

Polyunsaturated fats: Essential or toxic? Yes, I’m back—back with even more mind-twisting information that will make you question, once again, the foods you are feeding your body. Today’s topic — Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids — also known as PUFAs. Now, before you stop reading because you have no idea what the heck PUFAs are, and you are not interested in all this science jargon — I beg you to continue. Why? Because you are probably consuming PUFAs everyday! The problem is, you are most likely thinking you are doing something healthful for yourself. When in fact, you may be causing your body to age faster, slowing your metabolic rate, which is making you fatter, and increasing your chances of disease. Do I have your attention now? Good! Let’s continue. First, what are polyunsaturated fats? Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are fatty acids with many double bonds. All polyunsaturated fatty acids lack several hydrogen atoms. This makes them far less stable than a fully saturated fatty acid. This instability produces a molecule that is more susceptible to being attacked and damaged by free radicals. Free radical damage can cause accelerated aging, hormone imbalance, cancer, and immune disorders. Yikes! So what oils contain polyunsaturated fats? Well, to be honest ALL oils contain some amount of PUFAs. Here is a list of oils that have the highest concentration and can be the most harmful: Soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, sesame seed, nut oils (peanut, walnut, almond, etc), flaxseed, fish oil, cod liver oil, evening primrose, borage oils, and yes, this even includes Omega-3 and Omega-6 (also known as the “essential fatty acids”)....

What is up with Vitamin D?

What is Up With Vitamin D? The other day I was consulting with a new client (I’ll refer to her as Julie) about her recent lab work. One thing Julie had a concern about was her Vitamin D level…which was considerably low. Julie wondered how these levels could be so low since she played hours of tennis outside every day. She explained how she was out in the sun daily with only SPF 15 sunscreen. She thought she was getting enough sun…yet was she? It seems in today’s world that everyone is deficient in Vitamin D. I live in the sunniest place on earth, San Diego, and everyone I speak with has some level of Vitamin D deficiency. Knowing we can synthesis our own Vitamin D from the sun, why are we all so deficient? Who or what is to blame about this? Is it too much sunscreen? Poor diet? Liver problems? Kidney issues? Some combination of all four factors? Let’s go deeper so we can see…What is up with Vitamin D? What is Vitamin D? Vitamin D is an essential nutrient obtained from food or sunlight. Vitamin D can be attained by plant sources as ergocaliciferol (D2) and animal sources as cholecalciferol (D3). Its main function is to regulate calcium and phosphorous in the bloodstream and to promote healthy bone formation. With adequate amounts of sunlight, the body can synthesize Vitamin D. By definition vitamins must be obtained by the diet since they cannot be synthesized in sufficient amounts by the organism. This makes Vitamin D unique, since it can be obtained from a source outside of food...

Is Your Metabolism Broken?

Is Your Metabolism Broken? Is your metabolism working at an optimal level? Do you know? Lately, It has come to my attention that most people’s metabolisms are operating at a below optimal level of function. They’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, while their body’s internal system for weight loss is… well… broken. Trying to lose weight with a low metabolism or broken system is like trying to run a race with a broken leg. You could do — but it will be much harder, and in the end you will most likely do more harm than good. Therefore, wouldn’t it make more sense to heal the leg first, and THEN run the race? I think so. The problem is most people don’t go through this healing process when trying to lose weight. They try running the race (try losing weight) with the broken leg (low functioning metabolism). And yes, with a lot of persistence, willpower, and food deprivation, some end up losing a little weight — only to find in time that they cannot live with this deprived lifestyle for long. So they put all the original weight back on — and then some. I think Diane Schwarzbein, MD (author of The Schwarzbein Principle) said it best: “You have to get healthy to lose weight — not lose weight to get healthy.” Health is not defined by weight loss, how lean you are, or how fast you can run. True heath is defined as being free of illness, injury, pain, a warm body, good sleep, happiness, good digestion, and an ability to stay lean without countless hours...