Most people probably don’t spend much time thinking about their gastrointestinal tract (GI), but I am obsessed with it. It does phenomenal work, mostly unnoticed, until something goes wrong. Common GI complaints include gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, undigested food in the stool, incomplete evacuation, belching, heart burn, and upper or lower GI pain. These symptoms are not normal and are all indications of a breakdown in the system.
The GI system is an unbelievably efficient machine allowing you to turn the food you eat into usable units for building, repairing, and maintaining your body. The large intestine is also the home to a vast array of bacteria to help you maintain a strong immune system, create vitamins, hormones and neurotransmitters. In other words, a healthy gut is central to your overall health. If there is an imbalance in the digestive process, all other body systems suffer.
We had some leftover turkey again this year, thankfully not nearly as much as last year though! I wrote an article in 2018 about my 3 favorite leftover turkey recipes and you can find that here, but I've created a new favorite! I love creating healthy dinner bowls - they can be modified based on what you have in the fridge or pantry and combinations are endless! This turkey black bean bowl is full of protein, fiber, and healthy fat. And did I mention the burst of flavor from the dairy-free dressing is unbelievable???
Turkey Black Bean Bowl with Dairy-Free Avocado Ranch Dressing:
To make the turkey and beans:
1 pound leftover turkey, chunked or ground
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Homemade taco seasoning: (chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin, salt and pepper)
1. Brown the turkey in a medium skillet, sprinkle half the taco seasoning to season the...
Coffee isn't just a pick-me-up morning beverage! While I love drinking my iced decaf Purity coffee every day, there are so many other ways to incorporate coffee into your daily routine to gain the health benefits of the coffee bean. If you don't already know, coffee provides a wonderful health boost! Check out this post on how coffee can improve your overall health along with some non-traditional recipes using coffee.
I love Purity coffee because it's high in antioxidants and free of the impurities often found in the average coffee. From the high quality beans to the special smokeless roasting process that preserves all the health benefits of the coffee bean, Purity coffee has you covered!
November is National Diabetes Month and with one-third of Americans having diabetes or pre-diabetes, we've got some work to do. Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to many complications including blindness, amputation, kidney failure, dementia, stroke, heart disease and death. We've been under the impression that diabetes is just something you will automatically develop if you have a genetic pre-disposition and that once you develop diabetes, you'll be on medication for the rest of your life. The truth is this: most cases of type 2 diabetes are completely avoidable and even if you already have type 2 diabetes, chances are it's reversible with personalized lifestyle and nutrition-related changes. [Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune process and is a different story, but lifestyle and nutrition still remain very important in its treatment].
Type 2 diabetes prevention and reversal requires change, which is hard....
If you know me at all, you know I spend a lot of time thinking about food, talking about food, cooking food, and trying new foods! But, not in the traditional sense. All my food fantasies are centered around how to use food to create health. So, when the opportunity comes up to create a recipe that's delicious and also helps me on my overall mission to improve health, I'm up for the challenge! For this Metagenics recipe challenge I incorporated the gut healing properties of the Ketogenic Collagen and UltraGI Replenish with the powerhouse nutrition found in avocados and cacao powder to create a heavenly pudding that can also be frozen and enjoyed as an "ice cream."
Metagenics Ketogenic Collagen is a sugar-free formula also without dairy, lactose, soy, wheat, and gluten, making it keto-and paleo-friendly. The collagen peptides are from grass-fed, pasture-raised sources and help support healthy skin, nails, bones and joints. In addition, collagen can be used...
October 6-12, 2019 is National Mental Illness Awareness Week. Hippocrates said, “it is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.” In other words, we have to look at everyone as a unique individual and provide care that is specific to that person and their own set of symptoms. It is not enough to just know that someone has symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, adhd, anxiety, or bipolar disorder; we have to get to know the root causes of those symptoms and adjust our treatment based on what will help that specific individual manage their symptoms and have an awesome quality of life.
One in five adults will experience mental illness this year and unfortunately there is not a one size fits all model when it comes to managing mental health disorders. The main dysfunction in mental illness is miscommunication at some level in the body. For example, there may be a nutrient deficiency, food intolerance or a...
I don't eat many desserts. For one, I have an autoimmune disease and excess sugar is the perfect way to bring about some negative symptoms. And two, I don't tolerate dairy or gluten, so that cuts out most pre-packaged desserts. If I want a treat, I generally have to make it from scratch. Every now and then when I have time, I'll get in the kitchen and experiment. One of those days happened yesterday and it was heavenly! Here is the most wonderful dessert, especially if you have dietary restrictions.
I had a bunch of very ripe bananas, so it was either cut them up to freeze for smoothies, or put them to use in a delicious bread. I made my own banana bread recipe and have to say it turned out fantastically! This bread is NOT sweet, so if you prefer a more sweet version, this is not the one for you. It's only slightly sweet, so this is where the avocado icecream comes in!
Coffee is one of those foods the media seems to go back and forth on. One day you read that drinking 25 cups of coffee is fine, the next day coffee is something to avoid. How you do decide what to believe? Can you boost your health with coffee? Is it a guilty pleasure or a natural superfood? Taking nutrition advice from the media can be tricky, so I thought I would try to shed some light on the science-based health benefits of quality coffee.
Now, I love coffee: the aroma, the taste, the ritual. I prefer my coffee iced with a few drops of liquid stevia and a touch of coconut milk. It's a delight I enjoy on most mornings. My clients frequently ask if coffee is good or bad? My answer is always "it depends." It certainly depends on how coffee affects you personally. I along with some of my clients can't tolerate the caffeine, so I recommend choosing decaf. But my number one "it depends" stipulation is on quality!...
September is Self-Care Awareness month and also happens to be my FAVORITE month of the year! Here in West Virginia, the sky is a certain kind of blue and the weather seems perfect. When I sit in the warm air and see that perfect September sky, I feel a sense of peace and calm like no other. I look forward to September every year, but am always sad to see it go. With self-care, I’m finally learning how to experience that September feeling all throughout the year.
Self-care can be anything that nurtures your mind, body, and soul. It’s vital to your overall health and practicing self-care can improve your quality of life beyond anything you can imagine. I'm a perfect example of the power of self-care. I battled autoimmune disease for my entire life with no real acceptable solution from conventional medicine. Once I found functional medicine, I learned my increased level of stress (likely due to worrying about my troublesome symptoms and trying to keep up with d...
Are you just exhausted? There was a time in my life when I had to take naps in my car on my lunch break because I felt like I couldn't keep my eyes open, the fatigue was just overwhelming. I have been able to reverse my own symptoms, but I come into contact every day with people who report at least one of the these symptoms:
4. Digestive Distress
5. Mood Changes
6. Stubborn Weight Gain
7. Unexplained anxiety
We've all probably experienced some or all of these symptoms at some point, but if they're a chronic, daily experience, there is likely something going on in your body that needs to be addressed. I know many people, myself included, who have visited their doctor with the above symptoms only to be told there's really nothing wrong. Your doctor may order some blood testing, but if common causes of the above symptoms are ruled out, there's really nothing offered to help you feel better. It ca...