What is Nutritional Therapy?

Good question!  One form I will have you fill out is a questionnaire that evaluates your answers to point out possible areas of nutritional deficits and body imbalances pointing towards affected organs/body systems allowing me to give you nutritional recommendations to bring back balance.

The philosophy behind Nutritional Therapy is that our health is based on 5 body systems:

Digestion, Blood Sugar Regulation, Fatty Acid Balance, Mineral Balance, and Hydration. Ideally, we need to eat a properly prepared nutrient dense diet, digest and absorb it, to provide our bodies the nutrients they need. In addition to the nutrition, there are lifestyle aspects such as proper sleep, stress management, exercise, and connection that also should be well managed. 

So, the simple answer to the question of defining nutritional therapy is finding the right nutrition and lifestyle plan for you based on your body’s unique needs. Contactme today to help you create your plan!

Book Review: Why Stomach Acid is Good For You

In the book, Why Stomach Acid is Good for You, Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux and GERD by Jonathan V. Wright, MD and Lane Lenard, Ph.D., the authors discuss just how important the role of having a sufficient amount of stomach acid plays in preventing many common ailments. Often these ailments are treated with prescriptions or over the counter medications that further reduce stomach acid that makes the conditions even worse or possibly keeping the problem in a constant state instead of working towards improvement. Stomach acid is necessary for good digestion and nutrient absorption.

The concept of “bowel breath” was revelatory to me. I’ve known people who have the condition who go through breath mints and brush their teeth using tubes of toothpaste weekly making no dent in their mouth odor. I have even advised them that it was likely more than “bad breath” and to seek further guidance. The natural asthma relief section was also revelatory to me. While I was aware of removing dairy products, the link to stomach acid, pepsin, B12 and intrinsic factor, and the ability to possibly provide permanent relief naturally without steroids is a truly preferable therapeutic protocol in my opinion. Reading about the link between Rheumatoid Arthritis and low levels of stomach acid expanding it to other autoimmune diseases as well as other illnesses as a result of being immunocompromised was enlightening. 

In the Rheumatoid Arthritis section it’s noted that there was research done by Dr. Roger Wyburn-Mason on amoeba being found in the joints of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Nothing was found beyond the scope of his study other than the general principle of normal stomach acid being able to kill such organisms such as amoeba, and this is an example of very individualized research.

This book was filled with a lot of helpful information beyond “don’t take antacids.” The links to so many health issues and keeping stomach acid at the proper level provided a lot of new informatio. Leaky gut has been such a hot topic and the stomach comes before that so this book was very informative in providing insight into more natural therapies.

Whole Foods

More than a store :), whole foods are foods in their simplest form and free of additives or preservatives. For example the carrots pictured to the left are an example of whole foods. Eating a diet based on a variety of properly prepared whole foods is a good starting point for providing us with the nutrients our bodies need to thrive.

Book Review: The Big Fat Truth

In the book, The Big Fat Truthby Nina Teicholz, the main idea is that there is no reason to fear fat in our diets. The author sums it up as saying that eating a diet high in fat, low in carbohydrates is preferable to eating a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. In evaluating more than a century of studies and interviewing many people (doctors, RD’s, public health officials and more) she states that eating a diet that contains eggs, whole fat dairy, and meat has been shown to fight heart disease, cancer and diabetes. This contrast the low-fat, high carbohydrate diet that has been recommended due to politics, media and other pressures that has caused rates of obesity and diabetes to rise and heart disease to continue.

One nutrition point I found alarming was the discussion of putting four-year olds on cholesterol lowering diets and the drug, cholestyramine. I didn’t realize that Dr. Ornish’s study was based on only 22 subjects. That’s not so much a nutrition point, but certainly a scary point about how much influence someone can have with the power of misinformation. Case in point, when my husband will order an egg white only omelet because he “heard that was healthier.” The discussion on toxic heated oils and the thick gunk that they produce in fast food and mom and pop restaurants was beyond disturbing to me. I knew about the heating of the oils, but not this shellac factor and how it gets on walls and clothes and needs to be chemically dissolved because of the gunk it produces. It is beyond disturbing to think of the affects this is having due to ingestion, let alone on the skin of anyone working with it, or inhaling it. 

The author provides a compelling read on the subject of fat and how it relates to disease history in the United States. Knowing that it was so thoroughly researched over a nine-year period and done so with an investigative, unbiased approach makes the conclusions an even more credible and invaluable tool for personal benefit. It is a book I’d recommend to a nutrition enthusiast or knowledge seeker, not a casual reader. I personally enjoyed it and appreciate the efforts of the author to produce such a phenomenal book.

Book Review: Nourishing Traditions

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. is a cookbook that goes beyond providing delicious recipes. It provides the reader with an education on the foundations of nutrition. It also provides a framework to guide the cook reading along the opportunity to make informed choices in food selection and preparation to maximize the nutritional value from foods.

A new point about nutrition to me that I learned from reading this cookbook was that there are no pure forms or starch or protein including the fact that sugar can be found in meat, and not in a Maple Bacon recipe, but a natural state. Lard being an excellent source of Vitamin D was new information to me as it is not a source I see commonly cited. Another concept I learned about nutrition from reading this cookbook is that consuming a lot of protein without adequate fat can result in rapid growth as well as a depletion in reserves of Vitamins A and D. 

The cookbook points out the research findings of Dr. Weston A. Price as well as much other research to highlight the issues with the politics behind many current governmental regulations. 

I purchased this book well over 5 years ago after learning about it from a trusted source. It was the first source to introduce me to the concept of proper soaking and fermenting food. It also discusses the benefits of drinking raw milk. I grew up drinking raw milk on visits to my grandmother's cousin's dairy farm. It was my favorite childhood place to visit! Drinking the cream that settled to the top of the freshly collected milk was considered a treat and often the source of sibling discord ;) 

This book introduced me to the findings of Dr. Weston A. Price and his fascinating findings from his world travels in the early 1900's. I found it to be a hugely helpful resource and continue to recommend it to people since my original purchase.

Salt Your Water

Water is the most important nutrient for our body and it makes up more than half of our body mass. It is very important that we drink plenty of water every day in order to survive. We can go weeks without food. We can only go days without water. 

Water has many important roles in our body some of which include:

  • transporting nutrients
  • flushing toxins
  • removing wastes

Adding a pinch of sea salt (Himalayan, Celtic, or RealSalt) to every glass of water that you consume can aid in hydration and the replenishment of electrolytes.  Doing this will also support the adrenal glands. The natural minerals contained in sea salt including potassium and magnesium along with over 60 others are responsible for improving hydration. It is important not to use regular table salt that has been highly processed. Two books I can suggest to read more on this subject are Dr. David Brownstein’s Salt Your Way To Healthand Your Body’s Many Cries for Water by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj. 

Digestion and Fats

Digestion occurs in a “north to south” process beginning when the brain sends signals when food first enters your mouth. Undigested fats can become an assault on the immune system because they are meant to be digested and processed by the body (as are all foods that we consume).

Digestive dysfunction follows the same “north to south” pathway. In the case of fats not being properly broken down, the fats rancidify.  The undigested fats pass through the lining of the small intestine, sort of like a hose springing leaks, and that action causes the immune system to be overwhelmed. These fats that should be broken down through proper digestion travel to the ileocecal valve at the large intestine and can cause a blockage or get clogged. Picture a clogged drain, and in this case as the fats sit there, the healthy environment in the intestines breaks down causing the potential for inflammation, diverticula, and loss of tone leading to diseases such as Crohn’s, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, and Celiac Disease.

Whole 30 Blog Inspiration

Whole30 Inspiration

Considering the popularity of following a Whole30and the many health benefits of this health reset program, here are a few sites with plans and recipes for inspiration for you if you’re considering a Whole30. I think it a tremendous tool for many people, as the elimination of many common allergens gives your body a 30-day break followed by the careful reintroduction of foods that gives you the knowledge of knowing what foods might be causing your body any issues. Elimination diets are considered a “gold standard” by doctors for investigating health issues such as migraines, digestive disorders, joint pain, skin rashes, and more. The Whole30 has an extensive social media community that lends itself to providing a ton of support while going through any difficulty giving up corn chips? cookies? cheese? I thought I’d introduce you to some of my favorite food blogs that have great free meal plans available. These are all whole food-based recipes.  When you’re done with your Whole30, I highly suggest reading Diane Sanfilippo's "Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition" or any of Lisa Leake's 100 Days of Real Foodcookbooks to continue on your real food eating journey. Be sure to check out my Favorite Websites resource for more inspiration. 

So Many Recipes!

Amy from Wholesomelicious  teamed up with Jessica from Jay’s Baking Me Crazy and Michele from Paleo Running Momma to provide a“30 Days of Whole 30 Eating Plan.” There are so many great recipes in this roundup! Some of my personal favorites are the Thai Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballsand Paleo Barbecue Chicken Casserole.Michele has another great roundup “70 Whole30 Recipes {Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sides}that has plenty more inspiration from many bloggers.

Budget Minded

If you think that there is no way that you can do a Whole30 on your income, then please head over to meet Tiffany at Don’t Waste the Crumbs site check out her postabout how to afford it on a budget. She also has a Budget-Friendly Whole30 Meal Planavailable.

Jessica over at Good Cheap Eats has quite a few posts from her experiences with following the Whole30. One is a freezermeal plan and another is a meal plan for the week. She also logged one of her Whole30s if you want to seewhat she ate. One of my favorite recipes is the super easy Monkey Salad.

Another budget friendly source to check out is from Erin Chase of $5 Dinners fame who has a 31 Days of Budget Friendly Paleo Recipespost that are mostly Whole30. Erin’s recipes usually list how to make them dairy and gluten free. In order to be Whole30 compliant be sure to check for soy, corn, and any sweeteners.

Slow Cooking and More

Kelly at New Leaf Wellnesshas several Whole30 crockpot meal plans as well as oneto purchase. Head here to check out31 Paleo Crockpot Freezer Meals(including a grocery list!), 7 Whole30 Instant Pot Meals in 70 MinutesThe Ultimate Whole30 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plan,  7 Whole30 Crockpot Freezer Meals in 1 Hour, and 10 Whole30 Crockpot Freezer Meals in 90 Minutes.  A particular gem of a post on her site that I love, love, love is this collection of spice mixes and sauces commonly used in recipes - so helpful when replacing processed foods. Another post to check out if you are cooking for a smaller crew (1-2 people or 1 with leftovers) is herewhere she discusses dividing her recipes in half along with the information for which smaller sized crockpots she used. Her recipes include ones for the oven, grill, skillet and Instant Pot so there are a variety of cooking methods.

Veggies Don’t Have to Be Boring

Carmen from Every Last Bite has a way of making cabbage, zucchini and more look beautiful and taste full of flavor! Check out her Asian Cabbage Rollsif you are missing your Chinese Egg Rolls and you can be proud of yourself for making them and happy if you have leftovers! And Chicken Enchiladas can be on the menu with Zucchini Wrapped Chicken Enchiladas. She has so many creative recipes to explore and fortunately she has multiple Top 10 Whole30 lists to make that easier for you.

Freezing Time

Meal planning can be time saving as well as environmental - when you buy what you need, you tend to waste less food. Taking that a step further is freezing food for meals. I first learned about freezer meals when I was pregnant with our first child who is now 22 years old. There were no blogs back then and very few books even on the subject. I saw a segment on the original Home & Family show when it was on the The Family Channel (with Cristina Ferrare) with Nanci Slagle and Tara Wohlenhaus demonstrating recipes from their cookbook 30daygourmet. I was hooked! I was eventually featuredin their newsletter (along with a future paleo blogger some of you might be familiar with, our daughter @paleocrumbs) and had one of my recipes published in one of their ebooks (no longer in publication.) I learned so much about freezer cooking from them and have relied on the principles since that time. As a mom of 4, it has helped me save time SO much over the years!

I love the idea that I can freeze foods for every type of meal (even mixes and cookie dough!) to free up my time. As our dietary needs have changed it has come in handy as well to be able to freeze a variety of foods to have on hand. Two great freezer cooking sites that largely involve crockpot and instant pot cooking are from busy moms who want to feed their family well without spending a fortune. For gluten and dairy free needs, both of these sites have either dietary recommendations for the recipes or dietary specific recipes. 

New Leaf Wellness is a freezer cooking site created by Dr. Kelly McNelis. The "Dr." refers to her Ph.D in Psychology that she used to apply to health research for the government before she quit in 2012 to stay home full time after her 2nd child to pursue her creative passion that is her blog (she now has 5 children I have to add). Her site has hundreds of recipes for free!!!! She has chicken recipes, ground beef recipes, meatless recipes, even recipes for 2. There are grocery store specific plans such as for shopping from Costco or at Aldi. She has a great post for making your own spice mixes. She also has multiple e-books for purchase and if you sign up for her newsletter, she sends coupons periodically.

MyFreezEasyis a site from Erin Chase, the creative dynamo behind $5 Dinners and $5 meal plans who's been writing cookbooks, creating recipes and meal plans for years. These plans are designed to be prepared in less than an hour to save you time and money. They are fee based, however, they do include videos showing you assembly how-to, grocery lists,  grocery labels, recipes, and she even has a sample recipe on the site for you to try before you buy :) A great benefit of these plans is there are ones such as "All Chicken Recipes Plan" or "All Ground Beef Recipes Plan" so if you happen upon a great sale on marked down grass-fed beef like I did last week, you could prep these meals and in less than an hour have 10 meals put away in the freezer (and feel quite accomplished!) She has a plan that is "All Grill Recipes Plan" that will be great to have on hand for the summer. For those with gluten or dairy free allergies, every recipe includes substitutions if the recipe isn't already gluten or dairy free. A great benefit of her included videos is that you could enlist anyone in your household to help with this task (especially kids, teens) as a cooking class in a way. If you have several willing participants, perhaps purchase a few plans and have a challenge to see who can finish the assembly first and pass out a prize to the winner. I'm not an affiliate, just a fan and sharing how to make it easier to get whole food on the table. What you see pictured is the Chicken No-Tortilla Soup. This recipe calls for several spices including Granulated Garlic and Onion.  I purchase mine from PrimalPalate, online organic spices based in Pittsburgh (my husband's hometown - go Steelers!). These spices are organic, fresh and I love supporting a small company that believes in bringing a quality product to add great flavor to kitchens everywhere!

Whether you think you can or can't cook, whether you like to or don't like to cook - I think these sites provide a wealth of information for all of us from planning to variety, all while giving us that element we seek more of . . . time. 

Recipe: French Mushroom Soup

I created this recipe for inclusion in a fundraiser cookbook for the Academy of Culinary Nutrition's "From Scratch Cookbook 2015." I am a proud alumni of the Culinary Nutrition Expert program and was thrilled to have this recipe included in the collection of creative culinary recipes.

French Mushroom Soup

Recipe Type: Soup

Cuisine: French

Author: Theresa Diulus

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 35 mins

Serves: 10 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small cauliflower, rough chopped
  • 8 cups water (can also use broth)
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence
  • Handful of fresh parsley or thyme

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, brown mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a 5-qt. soup pan. Once browned, remove from pan and set aside.
  2. To the pan, add chopped onions, salt, 1 Tbsp. oil and allow the onions to cook for a few minutes until translucent.
  3. Add cauliflower, Herbes de Provence and water to the pan. Bring to boil, and then simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Save a few mushrooms for garnish if desired, otherwise add them all to the soup mixture and either transfer the soup to a blender, or use an immersion blender to purée.
  5. Garnish with reserved mushrooms, if using, chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.