If there was ever a call for “digestive health,” this is it!  Yes, it’s true. Your gut is considered your “second brain.” There is no denying it anymore. And because of the new scientific discoveries about the vagus nerve, the enteric nervous system, and the amazing influence your gut microbes can have, it’s no wonder what you eat feeds not only your body but can directly affect your brain. I find it amazing (but not too surprising). What exactly is the “gut-brain connection.” Well, it’s very complex, and to be honest, we’re still learning lots about it! There seem to be multiple things working together. Read More →

Yes you should (end of post). But what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best? Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out. Coconut oil is a special kind of fat Coconut oil is fat and contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats. It is extracted from the “meat” of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a hot day. The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you alreadyRead More →

You probably know the negative health effects of eating too much sugar, especially “added sugars” like in soda pop, candy, baked goods, and many commercially-available cereals, just to name a few.  Added sugar is hiding just about everywhere in the grocery store. Yes, ingesting refined sugar spikes your blood sugar and insulin, and increases your risk for a whole host of issues.  A while ago, one of the food industry’s responses to the demand for lower-calorie foods that still taste great, was artificial sweeteners. The idea behind them is that you can still get the sweetness, without the calories; like when you have a “dietRead More →

Let’s finally put an end to the debate of raw vs. cooked. Of course, in the grand scheme of a well-balanced, nutrient-dense, varied, whole foods diet, the cooked vs. raw debate isn’t that critical for most people. Where this can become a consideration is for vitamin and mineral deficiencies (or “insufficiencies”). These may be due to digestion or absorption issues, or avoidance of certain foods (due to allergies, intolerances, or choice). And I’ll tell you that the answer isn’t as simple as “raw is always better” or “cooked is always better.”  As with most nutrition science, it depends on several factors. Some vitamins are destroyedRead More →

The words “weight-loss” and “snacks” often appear in the same sentence.  But that might also bring thoughts of “tasteless,” “cardboard,” and “completely unsatisfying.” Right? Let me give you my best weight-loss friendly snacks that aren’t just nutritious but also delicious! What’s my criteria you ask? They have to be nutrient-dense whole foods where a little goes a long way;  foods that contain protein and/or fiber. 1 – Nuts It’s true – nuts contain calories and fat, but they are NOT fattening! Well, I’m not talking about the “honey roasted” ones, of course. Those probably are fattening. Studies show that people who eat nuts tend toRead More →

Dairy Intolerance (Lactose, Casein, and Whey)  Having a food intolerance is not fun. It can cause abdominal pain, discomfort, and nausea. It also causes embarrassing symptoms like flatulence and diarrhea. Other symptoms linked to food intolerances include muscle or joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, and even skin symptoms like rashes and eczema. Dairy is just one of those foods that many people seem to be intolerant of. Let’s talk about the main components of milk that people react to: lactose, casein, and whey. Milk sugar (lactose) intolerance It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the carbohydrate “milk sugar” naturally foundRead More →

Food Preservatives  A food preservative is a substance added to foods to make them last longer; to “preserve” them. Preservatives are added to foods that go bad quickly and have found themselves in all kinds of products in our grocery stores. Preservatives work to preserve food in a few different ways. Some prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Others prevent delicate fats from going rancid. There are so many preservatives out there. While preservatives added to foods should be “approved,” this doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to be safe for everyone always. And it doesn’t mean that the food is healthy. Foods with preservatives areRead More →

Haven’t Changed Anything in Your Diet But Getting Fatter? You are positive that you’re not eating more food or “junkier” food but you’re still gaining weight. Is this possible? Yes!  You are NOT crazy! And here’s why. We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight. There’s definitely more to the story than just what you’re eating, right? A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat. But, let’s go beyond the “eat less andRead More →

How to Naturally Lower Stress Hormone (Cortisol)   STRESS!!! Its causes are absolutely everywhere. Would you agree? Our natural “fight or flight” stress response can sometimes go a little overboard. It’s supposed to help us escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after we’ve fought or flew. But, that doesn’t happen too much in our society – it becomes a long-term reaction. It becomes chronic. You’ve probably heard of the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.”  It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going, and slowly fades duringRead More →

Common Weight Loss Myths Busted Weight loss advice is so common (and contentious) now. There are competing opinions everywhere. I say, forget about “who’s right” and let’s focus on “what’s right.” Because what gets results is what I’m focusing on in this post. I respect you too much to make empty promises and try to sell you on something that doesn’t work. There are too many weight loss myths out there. I’m going to tackle the top ones I come across in my practice. Myth: Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss Calories are important for weight loss. IfRead More →