If your body was smooth running factory, your thyroid would be more than just the CEO… it would be the gang leader who has pictures of that CEO with another man’s wife. If you are like, “Shannon, that metaphor doesn’t make sense”, you may be right. What I am trying to say is your thyroid controls E-VA-RY-THING.
Thyroid hormones help your body regulate a few things - not a big deal - just the metabolism of ALL cells. And this is critical for maintaining a healthy body weight and having the energy to live your life.
In fact, your thyroid might just be the BIGGEST deal.
When you don’t have enough thyroid hormone pumping out, it’s called hypothyroidism. This can result in the slowing down of your metabolism and cause difficulty with weight control. Some of the other symptoms can include fatigue, forgetfulness, dry hair and skin, constipation, muscle cramping, and feeling cold…. Now as I write this I am realizing how many of these boxes I check off.
That's because the "K" stands for "koagulation" which is the Danish spelling for "coagulation." Makes perfect sense…. Vitamin K is the vitamin that helps the blood to clot or coagulate. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of what this amazing, underappreciated vitamin does for our bodies.
It’s one of the four fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E & K.
Let me tell you about all the functions this little powerhouse does for us and which foods to devour to up your Vitamin 401K.
Once you read this post, you can consider yourself officially in the know about this little-known vitamin.
VITAMIN K’S AMAZING FUNCTIONS
As I mentioned earlier, the “K” stands for the vitamin’s ability to help clot our blood. And this is a critical life-saving measure to prevent blood loss from cuts and scrapes.
Vitamin K also works hand-in-hand with calcium in the blood. It helps to shuttle the calcium to our bones and teeth where we...
If you're reading this, you likely are or are considering going dairy-free. You may have an intolerance, have been told to eliminate dairy, or just want to have less of it.
Either way, dairy is not an essential nutrient; in fact we are the only species that regularly consumes another species milk. Isn’t that just a little weird when you think about it? And the only species that continues to regularly consume milk once we are weaned.
But great frickin’ day - there are lots of things you can have instead.
These include not just milk, but also yogurt, butter, parmesan, and even pudding and ice cream!
Dairy-free products are becoming more and more popular. Nowadays you can easily find them in the grocery store. But read your labels! Some contain way too much sugar, or other ingredients you may not want to eat or drink.
I've put together some simple recipes to make delicious dairy-free foods right in your kitchen.
Go ahead and try my dairy substitutes. And make sure you let me know...
"Leaky gut" is a popular topic in the health and wellness spheres these days. It's been blamed for many symptoms and conditions that seem to be all-too-common. Allergies, intolerances, joint pain, even autoimmune diseases can all be linked back to leaky gut.
But what exactly is leaky gut? What causes it? What kinds of issues are related to it? And most of all, what can you eat to help with leaky gut?
WHAT IS A LEAKY GUT?
Simply put, your “gut” (a.k.a. intestinal tract) is a tube that makes up part of your digestive system. It’s not as simple as a hose or pipe; it’s an amazing tube made of live cells tightly bound together. Your gut helps your body absorb fluids and nutrients, digests your food, and houses billions of friendly gut microbes.
It allows some things to move through its tightly wound barrier to be absorbed by the body and keeps other things in – passing it right through the gut to be eliminated from the body… you know – poop. It is just the smartest because it keeps many harmf...
Water is essential for life. You can only survive a few days without it. If you didn’t know that before then the movie 128 Hours sure solidified that for all of us #shudder. Being hydrated is essential for health. I could argue that water is the most essential nutrient of them all. Water is needed for every cell and function in your body.
Water is a huge part of your blood; it cushions your joints and aids digestion. It helps stabilize your blood pressure and heart beat. It helps to regulate your body temperature and maintain electrolyte (mineral) balance. And that's just a few of its roles.
Dehydration can impair mood and concentration, and contribute to headaches and dizziness. It can reduce your physical endurance, and increase the risk for kidney stones and constipation. And trust me, know body likes you when you are constipated. Extreme dehydration can even cause heat stroke.
So, water is critical for life and health.
But, just as way too little water is life-threatening, so...
Turmeric is the bright yellow spice that stains your counter tops when your making curry – but have you ever seen it in its natural form? It is a rhizome that grows under the ground and looks a lot like ginger but it usually much smaller. It has a rich, bright orange color and is used in many foods. Originally used in Southeast Asia, it’s a vital component for traditional curries. You can find dried powdered turmeric in the spice aisle of just about any grocery store. Sometimes they carry the fresh rhizome too.
Turmeric contains an amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound called "curcumin.” The amount of this bioactive compound is around 3-7% by weight of turmeric. Curcumin has been studied like crazy for its health benefits. Many of these studies test curcumin at up to 100x more than that of a traditional diet that includes turmeric.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CURCUMIN
There are dozens of clinical studies using curcumin extract (which is way more concentrated than ground turmeric).
Protein is not just for great skin, hair, and nails; it's critical for health. Without it, you wouldn't be able to repair damage, digest food, fight infections, build muscle and bone, create hormones, and even think and have good moods. Without it there would be no more “swole” and then where would all those juice monkeys the Bachelorette be?
Higher protein diets can help fight high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Not to mention protein's great benefits for metabolism boosting, keeping us feeling full, and weight management.
Protein is life giving, and this is a given.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN IS ENOUGH
There isn’t a real rule that applies equally to everyone. There are a few factors to consider when figuring out how much protein you need.
Start with the minimum recommendation of 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb) per day.
So, for a 68 kg (150 lb) healthy non-athlete adult, this is about 55 g protein/day.
Mind you, this is a minimum to prevent protein deficiency. It's not optimal for good repai...
No question that what you eat can affect how you feel, right?
Mental health and brain health are complex. So are the foods we eat, and the ways our bodies interact with those foods. While, we don't know the exact mechanisms how food and nutrition help, we know a few ways food impacts our moods.
First, “you are what you eat” isn’t just a tired old wives tale. What we eat literally becomes the raw materials for every cell in our body, including our neurotransmitters. “Neurotransmitters” are the messengers that allow our nerve to communicate (ever heard of serotonin or dopamine?). They are important not just for thinking and memory, but also for mental health. Many of these neurotransmitters are our brain’s happy juice.
Second, what we eat affects our blood sugar. And having unstable blood sugar levels can contribute to mood swings. Blood sugar is like the junior high of our mind. It can contribute to some high highs and some very low lows. If it is not controlled...
It’s official! Organizations and governments are FINALLY declaring a maximum amount of daily sugar intake. They’ve been so busy telling people that the only way to get calcium into your diet is by drinking another animals breast milk, that the sweet white powder snuck right past them.
While this is a step forward, there are still a few problems. One - they don’t all agree with each other. And, two, I don’t necessarily agree with them either.
We all know sugar is NOT a health food. It has no nutritional value, and excess consumption is associated with many health concerns.
The problem is that sugar is everywhere. It’s naturally occurring. It’s also added to just about every processed food there is. And this “added sugar” is a factor in many chronic diseases we see today. Sugar is inflammatory. Too much is associated with weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, candida and cavities. Too much sugar is a huge health risk, no matter how you look at it.
Fat is one of the three critical macronutrients; along with protein and carbohydrates. Some fats are super-health-boosting; and, others are super-health-busting.
Health-building fats support your brain, hormones, immune system, heart health, and moods. Health-busting fats pretty much bust all of these. So, this is why the information I’m sharing today is so important.
As a general rule, the fats from whole foods that are the least processed will be the healthiest for you.
Here is a definitive list of the fats to use, and the fats to ditch.
Health-boosting fats are from:
Nuts and seeds (hemp, flax, and chia)
I love “virgin” oils, and here’s why. Getting the oil out of a whole food involves some processing. Sometimes it’s by squeezing, or heating. Other times it’s by using chemical solvents. The word “virgin” is used to show minima...