Food isn’t the boss of me anymore!
Food used to basically rule my life in so many ways, but it doesn’t anymore and I want to fill you in on my secret as to why, so you can find your food freedom too.
First, let me rewind for a minute and tell you where this all started…
In 2001 I went off to college, pursuing a career in Sport Psychology. About halfway through my undergraduate I decided the Athletic Trainer to Sport Psychology route wasn’t for me, so I changed my major to an emphasis in fitness, nutrition and I landed my first job as a personal trainer right after graduating.
All throughout college, everything I learned about health centered around diet and exercise. And even to this day the old paradigm of calories in versus calories out is still considered the equation for weight loss and good health.
I was also taught how eating small meals every two hours fueled the body and fat loss, and how many servings of each food group should be consumed based upon government recommended guidelines (aka the food guide pyramid now known as My Plate).
So as a personal trainer straight out of college, of course I thought I knew all there was to know about diet, exercise, weight loss and health, and I followed what I had been taught.
And all of a sudden food became the boss of me.
I planned my personal training client schedule around having to eat every two hours, not just because I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing but also because I found myself hungry every two hours. If I didn’t eat on time I would become hangry.
As a result, my whole life started to revolve around food preparation. I spent hours going to the grocery store, cooking meals for the week, and portioning out my meals and snacks for the week on Sundays. I basically would devote almost half the weekend to food prep.
It was exhausting, monotonous and time consuming, to say the least.
Fast forward to about 7 years after college. I was still personal training but had moved into a career in the corporate wellness field. Food was still the boss of me and I started to develop some health issues such as fatigue, headaches and worsening allergies which lead me to do some research about holistic (aka functional) health practices.
I became a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and started to learn more about what was going on with my body.
I discovered that my tenacious hunger every two hours was partially because I had:
- Adrenal/cortisol hormone dysfunction
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Various nutrient deficiencies
- And bacteria and yeast overgrowth in my gut, causing cravings and inflammation
But my hunger was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t eating the right foods for my body, which in turn contributed to not only being hungry all the time, but also all of the health issues I was experiencing.
In this week’s video and blog, I share a recent Facebook Live video I did with more info about how food was the boss of me, why it’s not anymore and what you can do to find your food freedom, too!
A Metabolic Typing test was one of the initial tests that put me on the path to figuring out what foods were right for my body (and it’s one that I have all of my clients do, too). This test showed me what types of food and what combinations of foods would support my body best.
Prior to the test, boneless skinless chicken breast was a staple in my diet, but as it turned out that’s not an ideal protein source for me. I do better with dark meat such as chicken thighs. I was also eating fruit and foods higher carbs quite frequently, but the test revealed that my body would perform better on a higher protein/fat and lower carb diet.
This bit of knowledge was life changing and I immediately felt more satisfied and energized from eating the right foods for my body.
Upon changing my diet, I started to regain control. I could go 3-5 hours, or more, without feeling hungry and as a result I gained back time in my life by not having to food prep so much! All was well in my world with food.
Fast forward again to about 2 years ago.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) in the fall of 2016, and food resumed its role as the boss for a little while, but for a whole different reason.
Various food sensitivity tests showed certain foods were fueling the inflammatory fire in my body and aggravating the autoimmune response.
This time I made a choice and let food resume it’s boss role because I wanted to heal Hashimoto’s naturally, which meant abiding by a more restrictive diet for a while.
I still ate according to my Metabolic Type (high protein/fat and low carb) to keep my blood sugar and energy balanced, but I also cut out a number of inflammatory foods to give my body the break and space it needed to heal.
For over 6 months, I strictly practiced a modified Autoimmune Paleo diet (AIP) and food ruled my life once more – I had to plan ahead, learn a new way of cooking and eating, and I had to be more conscious about my food choices. It felt like I was thinking about food all the time again.
Eventually eating a modified AIP diet became a no brainer once I got pass the learning curve. It was just something I did. I didn’t have to think much about it and my health was being restored as a result.
Once my Hashimoto’s was in remission and my hormones were back in balance, I set out to find true food freedom once again, and this time in a whole new way.
Over the last 4 months I’ve been playing with a modified keto-style diet, one higher in fat with moderate protein and lower in carbs, and it has been so freeing!
A word of caution here before I move on.
A keto-style diet is NOT for everyone. If you have underlying hormone imbalances, sleep disturbances or other health issues, going keto could make it worse. So make sure to run some functional lab test such as a cortisol, melatonin and complete sex hormone profile for insights about your circadian rhythm, thyroid and overall hormone balance before drastically changing your eating habits.
Before going keto, I made sure my hormones, energy and sleep were in check.
Eating a higher fat and lower carb diet has unleashed a food freedom that I’ve never experienced before. Food doesn’t even matter to me really anymore. I don’t think about it all the time as I used to.
Although I had found a level of freedom with food before, it still would take over my mind at times. I always would wonder about what my next meal would be. I would pack snacks when I traveled for fear of going hungry or not having options.
Now that my body is fat adapted (meaning it burns fat as its primary fuel source instead of being reliant on carbs and protein) as a result of eating a keto-style diet, I always have the energy I need. I can go for longer periods of time without eating or feeling hungry, making food less of a priority.
I’m also more confident about finding foods to fit my needs in almost any situation by simply focusing on high fat choices – a meal can be as simple as eating an avocado or a fatty cut of steak (no sides needed that might be full of inflammatory effects or carbs that cause crashes in my blood sugar and energy).
This might sound boring to you, but I’m a foodie at heart so trust me, it’s not. I’ve eaten some of the most glorious meals recently.
My path to food freedom may not be the same for you. You are unique and, therefore, your food needs will be, too. But I can tell you that there is a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body. Eating right for your body will include healthy foods but not every healthy food is right for your body.
Case in point, white meat chicken is healthy but it wasn’t right for my body.
Moral of the story is… don’t let food be the boss of you and test don’t guess.
With a little investigation, you too can figure out what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential – freeing you from hunger and the obsession so you can live your life to the fullest!
If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to find your food freedom, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!
It’s time for another Throwback Thursday blog!
But before you jump into the blog, I wanted to remind you about my Tackle the Toxins Challenge!
The challenge is going on now through September 30th, to encourage you to swap out some of your potentially toxic personal care products for non-toxic health-friendly ones to promote hormone balance, a healthy gut and liver, and to prevent future diseases such as cancer.
Here’s how the challenge works…
For each non-toxic BeautyCounter product you purchase (to replace something toxic that you’re using) through September 30th, you will receive one entry into a raffle to win a DUTCH Complete Hormone Test, plus a 90-minute results review and recommendation session with me ($750+ value).
Buy one product = 1 raffle entry
Buy three products = 3 raffle entries
Buy five products = 5 raffle entries!
To participate and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.
The challenge is directly related to what I talk about in this week’s #TBT blog 🙂
Ok now onto the most important thing I want you to know in order to achieve or support your ideal health and weight…
You hear me cover a lot of different types of topics in my weekly emails and blog – everything from the latest science about hormone testing and diet, to sleep, exercise, meditation and spirituality.
It may not always seem as if these topics have anything in common, but they do. They are all addressing different types of stress that we encounter throughout our day and how to combat it.
Stress isn’t just the mental or emotional stress that we initially think of in relation to work, relationships or traumatic events. Stress is much more than that.
Stress is anything that places a burden on the body.
Whether it’s inflammatory foods such as gluten, not getting adequate rest or sleep, under exercising or over exercising when your body is already fatigued, toxins in your environment, or physical ailments from misalignments in bones and muscles – it all equates to stress on the body.
When I went through my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition training program we were taught to identify H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors, or malfunctions in the…
- Energy Production
- Nervous System
Looking at these different systems of the body and recognizing malfunction helps me to also identify healing opportunities.
But in order to help someone heal and restore health to these systems of the body, I have to know what is causing the malfunction in the first place – stress.
To alleviate stress, I guide my clients in “coaching down contributors to stress, and coaching up function of the body” as my mentor Reed Davis says.
In all of the blogging and work that I do, my one big message for you is…
“I want you to be able to recognize the burden of stress on your body at any point in time and to know what to do about it in order to achieve your ideal health.”
Having a better understanding of what is contributing to a stress burden on your body leading to dysfunction, and taking action to minimize the stress is the secret to optimal health that we are all looking for.
In this week’s video and blog, I talk more about the different types of stressors, how to coach down the contributors and coach up function.
Our bodies are a miracle in and of themselves if you think about all that they do for us on a daily basis with little to no effort on our part: pumping blood and oxygen, breaking down and rebuilding cells, breathing, and giving us the ability to be mobile.
What we don’t realize is that those daily functions require a lot of work and energy from our body already, so we tend to pile on additionals tasks, toxins and responsibilities that force our body to work harder.
Our body will essentially do anything we ask it to, but that doesn’t mean we should.
It’s rare that your body will tell you ‘no.’ It will climb to the peak of mountain tops, work through the night to meet a deadline for us and eat almost anything we feed it. But that doesn’t mean we should ask it do those things, especially if it’s already burdened with H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors that we can’t see or aren’t aware of.
Know that stress can be…
- The inflammatory or pesticide laden foods in our diet
- Eating foods that are not in alignment with our nutritional needs
- Staying up late at night consistently or not getting enough sleep
- Exercising at a high intensity or for long durations when the body is tired
- Perceived mental or emotional stress from work, relationships and traumatic events
- Lack of nutrients in the body for functions to actually take place
- Toxins in our environment which burden the liver, alter cells and disrupt hormones
- And there are many more
For the longest time, exercise was actually one of my biggest stressors. As a naturally active individual with a personal training background, exercising was not only a passion but something I was intrinsically driven to do. I was constantly pushing my body to do more, get stronger or go longer.
A huge turning point leading to my remission with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) was turning down the volume on my workout routine a lot, to relieve an unnecessary stress I was placing on my body and allow it to heal. As soon as I cut back on lifting weights and running, and focused more on walking and yoga, my body started to heal more rapidly.
I look back now and I can see many points in my life where I pushed way too hard when it came to exercise. I vividly remember running my first marathon and at mile 22 my body simply refused to keep running, but I kept pushing- an obvious moment in time when the burden of stress on my body was high and likely contributed to dysfunction that I probably never fully recovered from. Now I know better and I would never put my body in that position again.
If I go to bed late, get a crappy night of sleep, cheat on my diet, am traveling or doing anything else that might create extra stress on my body, I’m very mindful about striking a balance by doing things such as skipping my usual workout for something that is more restorative, going to bed early the next day and taking a full weekend to eat healthy and rest.
Using functional lab testing, I’m able to help clients see where dysfunction exists in the hormone, immune, digestive, detoxification, energy production and nervous system BUT the bigger question is what do you do about it.
The secret to restoring balance and health is working towards eliminating the things that are causing stress on the body and giving it the support it needs to function at a higher level.
Just fixing your diet won’t do it. It’s one aspect of healing but not the catch-all solution most hope it would be.
Coaching up function in the body and achieving optimal health requires a multifaceted approach, one that involves:
- Stress Reduction (of all kinds)
- And Supplementation to support and restore bodily functions while you eliminate the stressors
I have found in my many years of doing this work that the mindset and spirituality components are just as critical as any of the physiological and science aspects. One will only be able reach a limited level of optimal health without incorporating both and addressing all the burdens of potential stress.
Rebuilding the relationship with your body, taking responsibility and treating it with respect will help you forge forward in optimizing your health. If you don’t change your mindset and the relationship with your body, you’ll continue to beat it down and run into a wall with your health.
So I’ll leave you with this… think about how much stress is on your body at this moment in time as you are reading this blog…
Are there toxins in your environment that you can’t see, hear or feel?
Did you get a crappy night’s sleep?
What was the last thing you ate and was it nutritious or not?
Did your force yourself to work out today or push too hard?
Are you stressed at work or in your relationships?
What else might be contributing to a burden of stress in your life?
Remember to weigh your stress burden regularly and then you can quickly take action to reduce it before it reduces your health.
The average adult uses 9 or more personal care products each day, exposing themselves to over 126 unique chemical ingredients – that’s a huge burden of daily stress on the body!
Reduce your body’s daily burden by swapping out your toxic personal care products and participating in my Tackle the Toxins Challenge!
To participate and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.
P.S. To access the Activate And Upgrade Your Autoimmune Healing webinar replay that I mention in the video go here
Regardless of whether you have an autoimmune issue or not, this webinar replay can help you to up-level your health. In the webinar, Molly Hamill and I will shared best practices that we use on ourselves and with our clients to identify stress on the body, how to take responsibility for it, and how to take action to promote healing.
Did you know that average adult uses 9 or more personal care products each day, exposing themselves to over 126 unique chemical ingredients?
Have you ever checked your personal care products to see how many chemicals you might be exposing yourself to on a daily basis?
Even small doses of chemical exposures can cause symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, light sensitivity, hormone imbalances and fatigue.
Many of the chemicals found in personal care products have been classified as carcinogens, meaning they cause cancer, or as endocrine disruptors, meaning they disrupt hormones and can lead to infertility issues (in both men and women), painful or irregular periods, more intense PMS symptoms, acne, headaches, night sweats, low energy, insomnia, hyper or hypothyroidism, autoimmunity and much more.
I know it can be tough to give up your old reliable personal care products. Once upon a time I decided to break up with my M.A.C. cosmetics, Aveda hair care and big brand labels, too, in order to support my health on a greater level.
It took time to find the right replacements and alternative brands that I could trust. Now, I have a completely non-toxic line of beauty, skin and hair products that I love.
This is why I’m challenging you to “Tackle the Toxins” in your personal care products and incentivizing you to do it!
By transitioning your personal care products to non-toxic brands and minimizing the toxic load on your body, you can start to reverse any existing health issues and promote preventing them in the future.
Here’s how the challenge works…
For each non-toxic BeautyCounter product you purchase (to replace something toxic that you’re using) through September 30th, you will receive one entry into a raffle to win a DUTCH Complete Hormone Test, plus a 90-minute results review and recommendation session with me ($750+ value).
Buy one product = 1 raffle entry
Buy three products = 3 raffle entries
Buy five products = 5 raffle entries!
It’s that simple!
I selected BeautyCounter’s products as part of this Tackle the Toxins Challenge for a number of reasons…
- Out of all the non-toxic brands I’ve tried, I love the quality and consistency of BeautyCounter’s the most.
- From an ethical standpoint, they are a brand I can get behind; they advocate for stricter product guidelines, give back to the community and are a certified B-Corp.
- Their ingredient list is the strictest one in the industry and they are fully transparent about it.
- They require certificates of purity from their partners and require them to use non-GMO and non-toxic materials.
- Every product is tested every 3 months at a minimum and every single batch of color cosmetics is tested for hidden heavy metals
Some of my personal favorite BeautyCounter products include:
- No. 1 Brightening Facial (and the balancing one)
- Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation Linen
- All eye shadows and powder blushes
- Touch Up Skin Concealer Pen
- Nourishing Cream Cleanser
- Rejuvenating Face Cleanser
- Nourishing Day Cream
- Charcoal Face Mask
- Eye Liner Pencil
- And Bronzer
They have a ton of great kid’s and men’s products too!
Now, you might be wondering, what is so great about the DUTCH Complete Hormone Test giveaway?
The DUTCH test is one of the most comprehensive sex hormone and adrenal test on the market for understanding what is happening in the body as it relates to hormone balance.
This test has all of the critical markers to truly evaluate your adrenal function and hormone balance including:
- DHEA-S, Daily Free Cortisol and Cortisone Patterns
- Testosterone, DHT, DHEA (PLUS their androgens and metabolites)
- Estrogen and Progesterone (PLUS their metabolites and pathways)
- Melatonin, Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepi/Epinephrine and Oxidative Stress
- And nutritional elements related to hormones such as Glutathione, B12 and B6
Along with the test, you’ll also get to meet with me via phone or video call for an in-depth 90-minute results review session to go over your results and my personalized recommendations for you in regards to diet, sleep, exercise, stress reduction and supplements to improve or maintain your cortisol and hormone health!
All you have to do to win is Tackle the Toxins in your personal care products!
The more non-toxic BeautyCounter products you purchase to replace your old and toxic ones, the greater your chances of winning!
To participate in the challenge and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.
To learn more about the toxins that might be lurking your personal care products, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database…
Let me know if you have questions about what toxins might be lurking in your products and which alternative non-toxic ones you might want to try!
Glyphosate was recently found guilty by a California jury for causing cancer in a school groundskeeper, who was repeatedly exposed to it in his line of work.
Glyphosate is the primary ingredient found in a pesticide known as Roundup, made by Monsanto, and it’s the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S.
The good news is…
This verdict was a big win in relation to raising awareness around how pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals deemed to be “safe” are actually harmful to our health.
The bad news is…
Every year more than 250 millions pounds of Roundup are used on conventionally grown U.S. crops and in other places around the world. As a result, Glyphosate has been found in all levels of the food chain including water, plants, animals and even in humans.
It has even been found in some organic foods due to water run off and cross contamination.
As a chemical, Glyphosate has been classified as a carcinogen, meaning it causes cancer, and as an endocrine disruptor, meaning is disrupts the glands that produce hormones, that convert hormones and keep them in balance.
Glyphosate was introduced back in the 1970’s and it’s just one of over 120,000+ chemicals that have been introduced in our environment since World War II, most of which haven’t been studied long enough to even know what the long-term impacts are on our health.
In this modern day world, our bodies are facing the largest toxic burden ever known to humankind. Before now, there has never been a time in human existence when so many chemicals existed.
As chemical production and use has increased over the years, we have also seen a steady rise in chemical related health disorders such as:
Seasonal allergies, colds and flus
Brain fog and dementia-like conditions
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and general digestive upset
Everywhere you turn, toxins and chemicals are lurking. In your water, food, air, furniture, personal care and cleaning products.
But we can’t live in a bubble, so what can we do to support our body during these burdensome times?
In this week’s video, I break down exactly what the toxins are doing to your body and how you can offset your exposure to them.
Let’s first explore exactly what toxic chemicals can do to your body using Glyphosate as an example…
It can immobilize certain nutrients and alter the nutritional makeup of the treated crop, meaning you won’t really get any vitamins, minerals or other nutrients from food exposed to Glyphosate.
It decreases the availability of essential amino acids (aka protein building blocks) needed to maintain muscle mass and rebuild cells that the body can only get from food sources.
It contributes to imbalances with good and bad gut bacteria leading to leaky gut, various food allergies or sensitivities.
It increases inflammation, which overloads the immune system rendering it too weak to fight off the common allergies, cold and flu viruses.
It shuts down detoxifying enzymes in the body, and therefore enhances the damaging impacts of other food-borne chemical residues or environmental toxins, and burdens the liver.
It promotes the creation of ammonia in the body which can lead to brain inflammation which has been associated with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and other cognitive impairments.
And some studies have also shown how Glyphosate disrupts progesterone production, negatively impacts female egg availability and development, alters estrogen levels promoting breast cancer, and disturbs overall steroid hormone balance.
Ugh. It seems overwhelmingly bad, I know, but there is hope. There is a lot you can do to reduce the impacts that Glyphosate and other chemicals have on your body.
To reduce exposure and the damaging effects of Glyphosate (and other pesticides or herbicides) you can:
Eat organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible
Drink and cook with only filtered water
Take a daily liver support supplement
Avoid food crops most commonly contaminated with glyphosate (even if organic) such as corn, soybean, wheat, barley, rye and beans
Even small exposures to toxins and chemicals have a large impact on your overall health and can contribute to weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, digestive upset, autoimmune issues, hormone imbalances and much more.
Taking action to reduce toxic exposures as much as possible will result in long-lasting positive effects on your health and wellbeing.
If you’ve been eating healthy, exercising and “doing all of the right things” will little to no weight loss or health improvements, then toxins such as Glyphosate might be tripping you up, causing hormone imbalances, leaky gut and overwhelming the immune system, keeping you from getting results.
To help more people like you get to the bottom of underlying toxic burdens in your body so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, I’ve opened up my schedule to help 5 new clients!
And if you have a friend or family member in your life who wants to solve their health problems once and for all, share info to help them finally get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!).
It’s time for another installment of Throwback Thursday (#TBT)!
I chose this week’s #TBT blog because what I share in it has been an integral part of healing my leaky gut, adrenal dysfunction and Hashimoto’s so I could get get my energy back, drop the weight and think clearly again.
And it’s a big part of what I teach my clients about so they, too, can get back to feeling like themselves again, or for the very first time.
This blog is all about a sneaky little ingredient that shows up in some of the most unexpected places, but has some of the biggest negative impacts on your health.
If you’ve tried a gluten free diet and felt like it “didn’t work” then this blog will explain exactly why that might have happened for you.
If you suffer from anxiety, eczema or psoriasis then this sneaky little ingredient is one you’ll certainly want to watch out for.
It hides in places you wouldn’t even dream it would be. In your shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, medications and even coffee. Slowly but surely, it inflicts inflammation and turmoil in your body.
That sneaky little toxic ingredient known as gluten.
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, gluten became my number one enemy. Gluten is a trigger for autoimmune disease: signaling the body to attack itself, causing elevation in antibodies, contributing to leaky gut and overwhelming the immune system with inflammation and its toxic properties.
The gluten molecule also resembles thyroid tissue. This molecular mimicry causes the body to attack thyroid tissue even more in people who have thyroid autoimmune disorders, such as myself.
In order to reverse my autoimmune condition and be in remission, gluten had to go for good.
Prior to my diagnosis I was mostly gluten free. My household food products were gluten free and I ordered from the gluten free menu when eating out. But I wasn’t paying close attention to the sneaky or less obvious places where gluten was hiding.
I would order fries made in the same fryer as other gluten-laden foods, such as chicken strips. I would assume that foods on the menu were gluten free if they appeared to be, and hesitated to ask my server to make sure they were. And I certainly wasn’t checking any products outside of food items for hidden gluten.
All of that changed when my health was put on the line and I had to make a choice about what was more important to me…
Did I want to live a life battling symptoms of Hashimoto’s, struggling with my weight, my mood and hormones?
Or was giving up gluten worth being able to resume a normal, happy and healthy life?
For me, my health and happiness was worth more than the occasional slice of bread, pizza, pasta dish or cupcake.
It doesn’t matter if it’s one bite or one slice; It’s still toxic.
A gluten exposure is a gluten exposure. The smaller the size or amount doesn’t make the damage any less. People often think one little bite won’t hurt, but the reality is that it does.
The tricky thing about gluten is that it doesn’t just exist in the form of bread or pasta. It’s also found in hundreds of different foods and personal care products.
The body doesn’t just absorb gluten through food, it’s also absorbed through skin and in more severe reactivity cases even gluten that becomes airborne from the use of products such as wheat flour can pose an issue for some people. It can become embedded in porous surfaces, such as wood cutting boards. I’ve seen cases where gluten eating family members are contaminating gluten free family members by using the same cutting boards and cooking tools.
This is why some people may not see an improvement when they go “gluten free” with food.
They may have cleaned up gluten from their diet, but they are being exposed to it in some other way.
When gluten enters the body, it increases intestinal permeability, meaning it opens up the gates of the intestinal barrier, allowing toxins and food particles to freely flow into the bloodstream. The body then sounds the alarm that foreign invaders have entered the bloodstream. It enlists an immune system response and sends inflammation out to fight off the bad guys and to repair the damage.
Overworking the immune system in this way adds insult to injury for those who have an autoimmune disorder. It can be the tipping point for those at risk for autoimmunity or it can depress the immune system in “healthy” individuals.
Repairing the intestinal lining after an exposure to gluten, and therefore other toxins that have now free flowed into the body, is very complex. And compounding factors such as food sensitivities, existing hormone imbalances, insulin resistance, IBS, stress, infections and an already existing state of leaky gut can slow the healing process even more. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have single compounding factor who could swiftly recuperate from a gluten exposure, because at the very least all of us have stress.
One exposure to gluten can cause damage to the gut for as little as 3 weeks and up to 6 months.
In this week’s video and blog, I reveal the sneaky little places where gluten might be hiding and how you can support your body after an exposure.
First, let’s define what gluten is – it’s part of the grain structure found in wheat, barley and rye. It’s what makes bread-like products or pasta sticky and doughy. Therefore, it’s also used to thicken sauces and products such as shampoos, conditioners and lotions. It’s also very cheap to produce, so it’s used as a filling agent in other foods to create the illusion of bigger bulk for less cost.
Here are just some of the most common sneaky little places that gluten likes to hide:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Body or face lotion
- Body wash and soap
- Makeup and deodorant
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Supplements – yep even the “natural” and organic ones
- Sauces, marinades and other condiments
- Potato products – chips, instant or restaurant made mash
- Meatballs and processed meats
- Flavored or instant coffee and tea
Gluten isn’t always listed as “gluten” either. So when you’re reading a menu or an ingredients list, here are the words you want to look for:
- Wheat, barley or rye
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Crusted, crispy or fried
As I mentioned earlier, I used to make the mistake of assuming things were gluten free just because they appeared to be or because they were considered all natural or healthy. I had to give up my beloved Aveda hair care products, a line that is touted by professional hair stylist for being “natural”, because it contained hydrolyzed-wheat protein. Now I always ask for gluten clarity on menu items and make sure my server lets the kitchen know about my dietary needs even if I ordered something that was gluten free.
As much as we can try to control what goes in and on our bodies, that doesn’t always guarantee a gluten free experience. For example, just a few weeks ago I clearly ordered a dairy free matcha latte with coconut milk and that’s not what I received. Although it wasn’t gluten, it just goes to show mistakes can still happen. After all, all of us are only human.
So to safeguard myself against getting unexpectedly glutened, here’s what I do:
- Bring my own soap, shampoo, conditioner and other body products when traveling
- Make sure my server knows I’m gluten free
- When eating out, I take a gluten destroying digestive enzyme such as NuMedica’s Glutenza, Allergy Research Group’s Gluten-Gest or Pure Encapsulations Gluten/Dairy Digest
Just think… if you have some kind of glutenous food for breakfast, followed by gluten in the body lotion you apply after a shower, gluten in the makeup you put on your face and later in your lunch or dinner, the war against gluten goes on all day in your body.
Getting rid of gluten for good played a HUGE role in my body’s ability to recover from toxic mold exposure, hormone imbalances and it was a key factor in my quick road to remission with Hashimoto’s.
Whether you have an autoimmune disorder or not, or a noticeable reaction to gluten or not, this ongoing war will eventually bring your body down. Making a conscious effort to reduce your gluten exposure or minimize it altogether will have a significant and positive impact on your health and your body.
If you have a friend or family member in your life who wants to solve their health problems once and for all, share this to help them finally get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!).
And…to help more people get to the bottom of their so-called thyroid problems and resolve them for good, I’ve opened up my schedule to help 5 new clients!
If you haven’t been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder yet, the chances that you will be at some point in your life are pretty high.
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition sometime during their life.
The ATA also says:
- An estimated 20 million Americans have some type of thyroid disorder
- Up to 60 percent with a disorder are unaware of their condition
- Women are 5-8 times more likely than men to have thyroid issues
- One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime
- Undiagnosed thyroid disorders may increase risks for certain conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility
- Women with inadequately addressed hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and severe developmental problems in their children.
This is more than just a U.S. population problem. A recent study out of India showed that 10.95% of the study group suffered from a hypothyroidism, in which 7.48% were aware of it and 3.47% were not.
In my functional health coaching practice, I have personally seen a rise in people coming to me with either known or unknown thyroid conditions. Heck, I was even diagnosed in 2016 with a thyroid disorder myself!
But what if you’ve have been misled to believe that your weight woes, low energy, fatigue, cold hands and feet, hair loss and other “thyroid-like” symptoms were all your thyroid’s fault?
With thyroid conditions on the rise, we have to ask the question- why?
The thyroid certainly doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to stop working.
So what changed? Why are there so many people knowingly, and unknowingly, suffering from thyroid disorders around the world?
Some might say it’s because doctor’s are getting better at diagnosing thyroid disorders or because there is more awareness being created about thyroid conditions, both of which probably hold some truth.
But what about the people who have been diagnosed, prescribed thyroid medication and still suffer from thyroid symptoms?
Or what about all the people who are estimated to unknowingly suffer from a thyroid condition and are yet to be diagnosed?
There’s simply has to be more to the thyroid disorder story.
What if it’s not a thyroid problem at all?
In this week’s video I break down the most common contributing factors to thyroid disorders and reveal why thyroid issues really aren’t the thyroid’s fault at all.
Let’s zoom out and look at the big picture for a moment to really grasp how a thyroid problem could come to be.
The thyroid is a gland and is part of what is called the Endocrine system, a network of glands within the body which produce hormones. Within the Endocrine system there is also the Hypothalamus, which I like to refer to as the Endocrine CEO because it basically runs the show, and then there is the Pituitary gland which I like to refer to as the President of Operations because it takes direct orders from the Hypothalamus.
As the CEO, the Hypothalamus is constantly observing the marketplace, aka the body. And based on the signals and feedback it’s getting, it will give its directives to the Pituitary gland who then tells the Thyroid what to do. Inversely, the Pituitary also receives signals from the Thyroid about how much hormone is being produced.
By simply understanding the chain of command within the Endocrine system, you can start to see how a thyroid problem could simply be a miss in communication coming downstream from the Hypothalamus and Pituitary gland.
Misfirings in communication by the Hypothalamus or Pituitary gland are just one example of why a thyroid condition may not be your thyroid’s fault.
Even then, we want to ask “what causes these miscommunications amongst the glands?”
So what sparks these mixed signals within the Endocrine system and its glands?
The answers are somewhat simple and in most cases the causes are within your control.
Here are the top 3 contributing factors to thyroid disorders and what you can do about them…
#1 – Chronic Stress & Dysfunctional Adrenals
When you experience any kind of stress, whether it’s emotional, mental or physical, our Hypothalamus signals the Pituitary to tell the Adrenal glands to release your stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol is released, it redirects your body’s resources and deprioritizes anything that is not absolutely necessary in order to deal with the stressor, such as digestion and thyroid hormone production. In this modern day world, we encounter stress on the regular and if we don’t take action to destress, our thyroid hormone will tank.
The reality is, we can’t always avoid stress. Crappy co-workers and unexpected traffic are bound to happen, but we can offset the impacts of stress by taking a proactive approach and having tools in place for when we do encounter it.
Any time you adopt the deep rhythmic breathing patterns of a relaxed person it automatically flips the switch in the brain and the Hypothalamus, and it reduces cortisol levels,allowing the thyroid to return to work. You can proactively support your thyroid by incorporating a deep breathing or meditation practice into your daily routine.
#2- Environmental Agents & Exposures
With over 120,000 toxic chemicals swirling around in our environment, their effects were bound to catch up to us, and according to the climb in thyroid disorders it’s certainly showing. Some of these chemicals have been classified as endocrine disruptors, meaning they directly negatively impact our glands and hormones. Endocrine disrupting chemicals include agents such as chlorine found in our shower and drinking water, BPA found in plastic or canned goods, phthalates found in lotions and personal care products and even fire retardants that coat our walls and furniture.
We can’t always see, hear or feel these chemicals, but they are all around us. You can proactively support your thyroid by minimizing the chemical exposures you are aware of by filtering your shower and drinking water, using glass or stainless steel instead of plastic, buying non-toxic and eco-friendly personal care and home products, installing a HEPA air filter and getting out in nature as much as possible for fresh air and sunlight.
Additionally, you can eat foods and take daily supplements to support your body’s natural detoxification capacity.
#3- Leaky Gut & Sluggish Liver
Your liver and gut convert the largest majority of your T4 to T3 thyroid hormone, hence another reason why a thyroid disorder may not be your thyroid’s fault but actually the result of a faulty liver or leaky gut! The liver can get bogged down and the gut can become leaky due to toxins, excess hormones, medications, inflammatory foods, poor sleep habits and/or lack of nutrients.
The keys for supporting the liver and gut for optimal thyroid function is to address the stress and reduce your toxic load as already discussed, in addition to eating an anti-inflammatory diet, getting adequate sleep from 10pm-2am most nights of the week, moving your body daily to boost its detox capacity and taking supplements for any possible nutrient deficiencies.
When my clients focus on these 3 areas, they frequently see a reduction in their so-called thyroid symptoms and in some cases are able to come off their thyroid medication, never to return to it.
By taking action in these 3 areas, I’ve also been able to manage my thyroid better, get off thyroid medication, and reach remission with Hashimoto’s.
Don’t let the thyroid statistics scare you, or blame your thyroid for not doing its job when it may not be its fault. Take control of your health and take action to support your thyroid in the ways it needs most!
To help more people get to the bottom of their so-called thyroid problems and resolve them for good, I’ve opened up my schedule to help 5 new clients!
P.S. If you have a friend or family member in your life who wants to solve their thyroid problems once and for all, share this to help them finally get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!).
It’s time for a new health story when it comes to healthcare…and it all starts with you!
I got into the functional health coaching business because of people like me and you.
Because we are busy professionals, yet health-minded.
Because we have been told we look perfect on paper by our doctors, but didn’t feel like our former energetic healthy self that we once knew, and struggle to find the reason why.
Because we’ve been given this pill for that and it never ultimately solved our health issue. It only provided a bandaid for it.
Because we wanted to find the missing pieces to our health so we could finally get back to feeling like ourselves again (or for the very first time!).
In these ways, you and I are not alone.
Every single client I have worked with, or person I’ve had a consultation with, has felt this in some way or experienced this, too.
Often times we find ourselves stuck in the “cycle of trial and error,” as my mentor and the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, Reed Davis says.
The cycle of trial and error is when we go from one doctor, specialist or practitioner to another, spending lumps of money, looking for a complete solution to our biggest health complaints only to get one disconnected piece of information at a time that leaves us feeling confused, exhausted or financially drained with little to no actual relief.
It’s easy to wind up stuck in the cycle of trial and error when…
- You solely rely on resources only provided by health insurance
- You don’t take a stand for your health and demand better
- You’re in denial about the lifestyle changes that potentially need to be made to improve your health
It’s time to write a new story about your health and healthcare.
One that includes feeling educated and empowered to ask your doctor the right questions to get the answers you are looking for.
One that includes acknowledging the changes that might need to be made to support your health, and taking responsibility for yourself and your health.
One that includes health insurance coverage or reimbursements for unconventional types of testing, treatments and therapies that actually help to prevent or reverse disease.
In this week’s video and blog I share with you how we can come together to write a new story for the future of our health and healthcare.
In the book Unconventional Medicine, Chris Kresser outlines some of the major shortcomings in our current approach to health and healthcare. When it comes to healthcare some of the biggest shortcomings include:
- Misaligned incentives between insurance companies and patient needs
- Big Pharma’s influences on the types of healthcare solutions being provided
- Bias in medical research sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and conflicts of interest
- Broken payment models based on treatments that are not necessarily the most effective or supported by current evidence based research
When it comes to health, Kresser points out three deeper reasons why healthcare in many parts of the world is doomed to fail eventually…
- The modern day diet and lifestyle are not aligned with our genes and biology
- The modern medical approach is not designed to address chronic disease
- The current medical model doesn’t support interventions that would have the biggest impact on prevent or reversing disease, and lowering overall cost long-term
The simple fact is that our healthcare system is designed to address acute ailments and emergency situations, not to prevent chronic disease which continues to be on the rise and the leading causes of death.
We have to demand change for our health, for ourselves and future generations.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the KNEW Health Vision Tour in San Diego, where a group of functional medicine doctors, naturopaths, health coaches and health-minded individuals gathered to help spark the change and create a movement.
Each and every one of us at that event was initially inspired to get involved in functional medicine in some way because we had either experienced or witnessed a transformational health story.
A transformational health story which involved…
- Thinking unconventionally to find health solutions
- Taking a stand for adequate healthcare and not settling for less
- Focusing on improving diet and lifestyle to promote better health
- Tapping into community, spirituality and a team of health professionals for support
- And having to pay cash to access the right lab tests and resources to find the missing pieces to the health puzzle
The first moment I knew I needed a new health story was when I was diagnosed with skin cancer, which wasn’t hereditary, at the early age of 25 and my doctor didn’t have a good explanation as to why.
I changed my story by doing my own research, seeking out alternative testing and resources, and changing my lifestyle, and now I’ve been skin cancer free for 10 years.
My health story had to change once again a little over 3 years ago when my weight got out of control, my hormones went on the fritz, and all doctors or specialists could tell me was that I was getting older, maybe I had gained muscle or to “keep an eye on it.”
I changed my health story again by becoming my own health detective, running functional lab testing, connecting with others who had experienced this too, and by investigating environmental factors such as toxic mold which were creating chaos inside my body. As a result, I’ve lost weight, I have zero hormonal issues and I’m in remission for Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder).
Today I encourage you to start writing a new health story for yourself.
One that tells the tale of your journey, how you’ve overcome obstacles, and one that portrays the health you desire to have.
You can share your story and join the movement for better health and healthcare that Knew Health has created by:
- Recording a 60 second video on your smartphone starting with “the moment I knew…”
- Share it along with me on social media with hashtag #KNEWSTORY
- Pass it on or help a friend share their #KNEWSTORY too
For ideas on what to share…
The moment I knew…
… health doesn’t come from a pill
… my doctor wasn’t listening
… I needed to take a different path
… that my food impacts my health
… I couldn’t get well alone
… my thoughts affect my health
Always remember you are not alone, even though it might feel like it. Your current health story or situation is like so many others. You always have a choice or chance to change it.
P.S. If you need help getting your hands on the right lab tests and resources to find the missing pieces to your health puzzle so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!
Have you been spinning your wheels trying to reach your ideal health and weight loss goals with little to no success?
Have you been working out more and eating less, eating clean and lifting weights like a machine, but your body just won’t budge?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just sleep the weight off and reach your health goals overnight?
Sleep is the best-kept secret to unleashing your health potential and weight loss.
Sleep is 100 times more influential for weight loss than any diet or workout routine, yet it’s the number one most neglected aspect of most health improvement and weight loss programs.
Getting adequate and restful sleep contributes to improved health and weight loss by:
- Promoting natural cortisol and other hormone patterns which dictate health and weight
- Turning off the “fight or flight” stress response so the body can rest and digest
- Allowing the body to repair damaged cells and dysfunctional systems
- Letting the liver ramp up at night up to get rid of fat inducing toxins
- Curbing cravings for less healthy foods, especially for carbs
- Supporting normal insulin and blood sugar levels
Ten out of ten times I will tell my clients to choose sleep over exercise any day of the week. Especially if they are feeling tired, stressed or having to drag themselves out of bed.
Research shows that just ONE NIGHT of partial sleep deprivation induces insulin resistance in even healthy individuals. Insulin resistance leads directly to carb cravings, feelings of fatigue, irritability, weight gain, hormone imbalances and eventually serious health conditions, such as Type II Diabetes.
Other studies such as this one also show how sleep loss or poor sleep results in elevated cortisol levels, which lowers your ability to handle stress, has a direct domino effect on thyroid and other hormones, and particularly contributes to weight gain around the middle.
Staying up late watching TV or burning the midnight oil to meet work deadlines is likely one of the biggest reasons you’re not reaching your health and weight goals, regardless of what you eat or how much you exercise.
Sleep is not just about quantity, it’s about quality.
Your body has an internal timer set by the cycles of the sun and moon known as the circadian rhythm. When the sun sets, it signals your body to lower cortisol and release melatonin in preparation for sleep. And when the sun rises, it triggers the reverse: cortisol to go up for energy and melatonin to go down.
This internal timer and cycle of hormones tells your body when to conduct specific actions throughout the day, when to repair systems and when to replenish cells during your sleep.
In this week’s video and blog, I’ll shed more light on why sleep is the best kept secret for health and weight loss, and how you can ensure satisfying sleep to support your health goals.
Critical sleep time is from 10pm-2am and ideal sleep time is from is 10pm-6am.
Essential sleep time kicks off a few hours after sun down, around 10pm. According to your circadian rhythm, this is when your body starts to release hormones such as HGH (Human Growth Hormone) to help replenish your adrenal glands which regulate primarily cortisol hormone but also assist in the production of other hormones. Balanced cortisol levels are necessary for stable energy, weight loss, regulating blood sugar and inflammation, and striking a balance with the rest of your hormones, such as thyroid.
As an added bonus, your body also uses HGH as an anti-aging hormone, tool!
If you miss the critical sleep time from 10pm-2am, there’s NO getting it back.
No matter how much you sleep, you’ll never be able to make up for the time lost with your internal clock.
Remember, your internal clock is determined by the sun and moon cycles, according to your circadian rhythm. There is no such thing as body daylight savings, and your body won’t change its clock just because you choose to stay up late.
So your first goal is to BE ASLEEP by 10pm as many nights per week as possible.
Not just in bed, but actually asleep by 10pm. Once you get into this routine, you’ll surely notice a difference. Once on this ideal sleep schedule, I’ve had clients report that they feel “hungover” if they are asleep at 10:15pm versus full of energy when they are asleep by 10pm.
To help you hit critical sleep time and ensure satisfying sleep to support your health and weight loss goals, here are 3 quick tips…
#1 – Unplug.
Exposure to bright lights from devices (computers, phones, tablets, etc.) can trick our body into thinking it is still daylight outside and alter your body’s signaling to lower cortisol and release melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep. Even the lights in your house can do this. Plan to unplug from all your devices and dim the lights at 9pm. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to unplug in preparation for a good night’s rest.
#2 – Minerals Over Melatonin.
Most people are deficient in minerals due to toxic exposures that strip the body of minerals and our food supply which is just less nutrient dense, even when it’s organic. Minerals are a key ingredient needed to help us sleep, to replenish hormones and support our adrenals which also help to regulate our sleep cycles. Too much melatonin can leave you drowsy or eventually negatively impact your circadian rhythm, and is sometimes just a band-aid for a mineral deficiency or poor sleep habits.
My husband as well as my clients adoringly call this mineral supplement the “nightmare pills” because of the vivid dreams experienced upon introducing them. But these vivid dreams are a good sign! Dreams indicate REM cycles are being hit throughout the night and deeper, more satisfying and nourishing sleep is happening.
#3 – Nighttime Snack.
Yes, it’s ok to eat before bed as needed. If you find yourself feeling “wired but tired” or frequently waking up between 2am-4am, then this could indicate that your blood sugar has dropped resulting in a release of cortisol and jolt of energy. A high fat and/or protein dinner or snack approximately 1 hour before bedtime will help keep your blood sugar balanced and cortisol in check through the night.
A post dinner high fat and/or protein snack could be as simple as protein bar, scoop of organic nut butter, handful of nuts or my recent personal favorite homemade avocado chocolate ice cream that can also be eaten as pudding!
If you still have trouble falling or staying asleep after trying these 3 things, there could be a deeper problem to investigate, such as parasites, bacteria or yeast overgrowth in your gut spiking cortisol levels at night, an underlying thyroid condition, an imbalance between progesterone and estrogen or deep rooted insulin resistance that needs reversing.
If you’re not sure about the quality of your sleep there are a lot of great devices and apps to help you track it such as FitBit, Spire, Oura, and the Sleepscore Labs and Sleep Time app.
If you really want to put your sleep issues to rest and support your body in achieving your ideal health and weight, then let me help you get your hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can find the missing pieces and get back to feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time!)
Does tonight’s full moon have you feeling kind of funny?
Do you feel more bloated, lethargic, constipated, an increase in anxiety or digestive upset?
It’s time for another #throwbackthursday blog to explain why!
P.S. I’m going straight old school here, this blog was before I re-branded as (W)holistic Health Boss, so don’t get confused when I say TravelFit, LOL. The info is still completely relevant and this has been one of my most popular and commented on blogs ever over the years!
You might think this is a little superstitious, but there is something real about how the full moon impacts people, animals and the things around us.
You can call me crazy, but just hang in here with me for a minute…
Have you ever noticed with yourself or others that there seems to be something cyclical when it comes to being moody and irritable (and I’m not talking about PMS)? A fluctuation in mood that only lasts for a few days for some reason and is unexplainable?
Or what about sleep disturbances- going through periods of time when you have trouble falling asleep or tossing and turning that only last for a few days or a week at a time?
How about your digestion? Do you experience phases of really great bowel movements and then all of a sudden they seem to go on the fritz?
And then there’s stuff such as skin rashes or breakouts, teeth grinding, and joint aches and pains. Do those come and go every few weeks, too?
Looking back now, were any of these things, or other ailments that you might suffer from worse this past week or so leading up to the recent full moon?
It’s not a coincidence, it’s science.
In this week’s video and blog I talk more about the scientific connection with the full moon cycles, your gut and what to be on the lookout for.
During a full moon, ocean tides are higher than usual from an increase in the gravitational pull from the moon and sun. Considering that the body is 80% water, scientist and astrologers have often thought that similar effects happen in the body creating almost a “human tidal pull” that can affect brain function.
But PARASITES are likely the real thing driving you crazy or causing suffering during a full moon.
The gravitational pull on water balance in the kidneys causes a shift of movement or an “awakening”, making these little buggers more active during the full moon cycle, wreaking havoc on your gut, digestion and hormone balance. Overgrowth of gut bacteria and/or yeast can also have similar effects during a full moon.
Textbook symptoms of parasites can include:
- Bloating, gas, fatigue or flu-like symptoms
- Low immune function (get sick or allergies often)
- Excessive hunger, constipation or diarrhea
- Teeth grinding, especially at night, and other sleep disturbances
- Hives, irritability, rashes or headaches
- Changes in weight and increases in joint pain
The most common parasites in my health coaching practice is Blastocystis Hominis.
Blasto can be persistent and it likes to hang out with another gut offender, H. Pylori bacteria. H. Pylori’s classic symptoms include: heartburn/acid reflux, ulcers, migraines and mid-back pain.
But there are a bunch of different gut bug species that could be disrupting you. We come across them all the time, and if the gut is already compromised they can move in quick and take over.
So here’s what I want you to do.
Now that the full moon has officially risen and we’re moving into a new moon cycle, I want you to jot down any symptoms, aches, pains, ailments or health complaints that you’ve been experiencing this past week.
Then you’ll start tracking the progress of those things. You’re looking to see if they improve and/or go away in the coming weeks, especially leading up to the next new moon in a few weeks when these gut infestations are mostly dormant.
If you suspect you have a gut bug now or after tracking, then feel free to schedule a FREE Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me to chat about the right plan of attack for you.
P.S. If you want to learn more about gut bugs and all things gut related then check out my Leaky Gut: The Missing Link to Better Health, Hormones & Happiness webinar replay here.
Do you ever wonder if what you’re eating is actually healthy for you?
Or are you curious to know what other healthy people are eating?
Sometimes you can put yourself in a box when it comes to food choices because you just don’t know what else to eat, maybe you don’t feel creative in the kitchen or simply because you’ve become accustomed to your routine.
This can leave you feeling deprived and down right unsatisfied.
Many of my clients feel this way about food when we start working together, but over time as they learn what foods are right for their body and they start thinking outside of the box, trying new foods, they ultimately find their food freedom for life!
The truth is, there are hundreds and thousands of different healthy foods out there for you to try.
As my health journey started to evolve years ago, one of my favorite hobbies was going to Whole Foods at night so that I could leisurely walk through the aisles and find new healthy food goodies after the crowds had left and without any pressure.
I tried a lot of good tasting stuff, some not so good tasting stuff, and I learned more about what to look for.
Now with the rising popularity of online shopping with companies such as Thrive Market, it has become even easier to access healthy AND good tasting foods right at your doorstep.
But that doesn’t mean you know what to buy.
In this week’s video and blog I share with you what I look for in a “healthy” food and my top 10 favorite foods in my pantry.
When I first switched to eating an anti-inflammatory, more organic and whole foods based diet I remember feeling lost about what to eat and what to look for.
Food labeling and marketing isn’t exactly the easiest thing you’ll ever read.
When I look at food labels for any boxed, bag or canned food items, I’m primarily looking for 5 things in this priority of importance as it relates to my health…
- Gluten free
- Organic and NON-GMO
- Dairy free
- No added or artificial sugar
- Soy free
The tricky part is that these ingredients aren’t always listed in plain english. They can show up as whey (dairy), barley or rye (gluten), soy lecithin (soy) or as something such as sucralose (Splenda).
So I simply default to the list of allergens on the food label, where by law a food manufacturer at least has to list in plain english if a food contains any of the 8 major allergens.
If the allergens section of the food label says “contains” wheat, dairy or soy, I avoid it. If there sugar is listed in the nutrition facts or it’s a sweet treat, I look for fruit in the ingredients and if I can’t find them, that’s a pretty good sign there’s either added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
The shorter the list of ingredients, the better.
My next level of priority is food packaging to minimize my toxin exposure. If I can get foods in a glass jar, paper or cardboard packaging, that’s ideal. And canned goods that are BPA free will do if there are no other options.
For any meats, poultry, fish or eggs I want them to be grass fed, free range or wild caught and hormone free.
And, of course, I aim to get all of my fruits and vegetables organic and pesticide free as much as possible.
So where does that leave me? With a ton of options, actually.
But I get it, sometimes you just want someone to tell you want to eat or to give you some ideas to get started.
That’s why I’m sharing with you my top 10 favorite foods that are in my pantry right now.
These 10 foods include some of my favorite snacks and staples that are clean, wholesome, and packed with healthy fats and nutrients to keep you feeling satisfied.
- Pitted Botija Olives by Essential Living Foods from Thrive Market
- Homemade Taco Seasoning – recipe from Paleo Leap
- Matcha Collagen by Vital Proteins
- Ghee by 4th & Heart from Thrive Market
- 85% Dark Chocolate bars by Theo
- Paleo Protein bars by Julian Bakery
- Pork Rinds by 4505 and Epic from Thrive Market
- 100% Coconut Milk by Chaokoh
- Coconut Wraps (turmeric + original) by Nuco from Thrive Market
- Bison Bites from Roam Free
If you feel like you’ve been stuck in a rut when it comes to figuring out what to eat, then check out some of these Wholistic Health Boss approved foods and start thinking outside the box!