When Chronic Illness Comes Knocking…


When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, life can feel really uncertain for a while. Sometimes you can’t do things you used to be able to do, and it can feel like your entire world has turned upside down. You have to slow down; realize that life is a little different.

It’s frustrating. It sucks.

I was recently diagnosed with a condition called Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST for short). Essentially, it means that my heart beats faster than most people. This doesn’t sound too bad until you start to realize that even standing can be uncomfortable and difficult sometimes. Intense cardiovascular exercise? Forget it. And when you’re a business owner whose business is all about promoting health, being sick almost feels like an identity crisis.

Then we found out our apartment had mold. This makes sense, since problems with the autonomic nervous system (the system that controls things that happen automatically like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, etc) seem to be connected to mold exposure. We’ve been in our apartment for 5 years, so I’ve likely had five years of mold exposure unbeknownst to me.

So now not only am I dealing with a chronic illness,

Want to Study Nutrition and Integrative and Functional Medicine? Here are 4 Graduate Degree Options

Want to Study Nutrition and Integrative and Functional Medicine Here are 4 Graduate Degree Options

Lately I’ve been looking for Ph.D or DCN (doctor of clinical nutrition) programs, because…well, I guess I am a glutton for punishment. I haven’t applied to any yet, and I’m still very much in the consideration phase of planning, but in my search I found a few graduate programs that looked very promising so I wanted to share!

I get emails pretty much daily asking how to pursue integrative and functional medicine especially from a nutrition perspective, and many ask about my experience at the University of Western States. I’ve talked about it a bit on The Ancestral RDs podcast in Episode 7, so if you haven’t listened to that, I highly recommend doing so.

I’ll add some information here about my experience as well, and introduce you to a few other programs that sound very exciting.

Master’s Degrees:
University of Western States M.S. in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

I believe UWS was one of the first schools to offer any sort of graduate degree in functional medicine, which is why I was very excited to learn more when I first heard about it. My experience there was overall a good one, and I definitely learned a lot that I use in my practice to this day.

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gelatin Gut Gummies

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gelatin Gut Gummies

This is a guest post by my intern Lisa Hansen, an RD-to-be! Note: this recipe uses my lemon-ginger soda from the Eat The Good Bugs eBook that you can get for free by subscribing to my newsletter.

Who would have thought that “nourishing” and “gummy bears” could be paired in the same sentence? Definitely not me, but I’m here to change that. To throw a twist on the traditional gummy bear, add some good gut bacteria, grass-fed gelatin and you get a guiltless mid-day pick me up when you’re craving those sugar bomb gummy worms from the store. You could almost say these gummies have super powers, especially when made in dinosaur molds.

If you’ve been around the Healthy Gut Healthy Life website then you know how beneficial bacteria can be essential in maintaining your good gut health. Most of these foods revolve around fermented foods with a saltier flavor, so this recipe adds a little sweetness to the mix.

If you’re not sold on these quite yet, all you need is 6 ingredients and 15 minutes once you’ve made the lemon ginger soda.

Lemon-Cherry-Ginger Gut Gummies


  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup lemon ginger soda (you can get the recipe for that in the Eat The Good Bugs eBook here)
  • 1 cup frozen organic cherries
  • 2 tablespoon raw organic honey
  • ¼ cup grass-fed gelatin


  1. Blend cherries and lemon juice on high until smooth.

Enter to win TONS of fermented foods!

Enter to win TONS of fermented foods!

I’m so excited for this giveaway! If you’ve recently signed up for the Fermented for 14 Challenge, you’ll notice that many of the brands I mention in the eBook are offering amazing gift packs for winners. Here’s what is available:

BAO Food and Drink:

  • A $75 gift certificate for anything on their site – choose from fermented slaw and even things like fermented ketchup and BBQ sauce!
  • They are also offering a %15 off code to anyone who would like to use it – just enter code (Fermented For 14) at checkout!

Vital Choice:

  • Gift Basket full of non-perishable items (a $150 value!)
  • A $100 gift card for anything on their site (plenty of fermented foods to choose from!)

Fab Ferments:

  • A Fab Four Fun Pack – includes 2 raw cultured veggies and 2 beet kvass (a $56 value!)

The Brinery:

  • Assorted Food Pack – Aura Solanales (hot sauce), “Up North” kraut, Seasonal Pickle (a $28 value!)

Rejuvenative Foods:

  • Assorted Fermented Food Pack (a $50 value!)

Straus Family Creamery:

  • 15 Free Product Coupons

Maple Hill Creamery:

  • OG (Original Grassfed) T-Shirt (Mens or Womens)
  • 5 Free cup coupons
  • Cooler bag
  • Bumper sticker

Firefly Kitchens:

  • Fresh and Fermented Cookbook

Kelsey Marksteiner (that’s me!):

  • Lactobacillus plushie
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Sign up for the Fermented for 14 Challenge 2015!

Sign up for the Fermented for 14 Challenge 2015!

Are you ready to get your gut bugs in good shape?

Here’s the challenge: 1 serving (1/2 cup) of fermented foods every day for 14 days. 

Trust me, I know it can be hard to get in the habit of eating fermented foods. You might know that they’re great for you and that you should be eating them – but you just don’t do it. I think adding a fermented food a day is an easy change that could improve pretty much everyone’s health, but the fact is so many of us don’t do it on a regular basis (I’m guilty here, too!).

Our gut bacteria are the foundation of our health, and it’s our job to nourish them. From weight loss to eczema, fibromyalgia to chronic fatigue, fermented foods can help just about any health condition. It’s time to start eating them!  Join me in the Fermented for 14 Challenge to give those gut bugs some lovin’.

You can buy your fermented foods for the challenge or make your own (don’t worry, I’ve got recipes for you!). Or, buy some and make some – it all counts! What really matters is that your gut is getting fermented foods every day of the challenge.

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Got Anxiety? Here’s How Your Gut Microbiome Plays a Part

Got Anxiety Here's How Your Gut Microbiome Plays a Part

Anxiety is the most prevalent mental illness affecting those living in the United States with about 40 million sufferers. (1) If you deal with this condition, you know that anxiety can be debilitating and affect your quality of life. But did you also know that the trillions of microbes living in your gut can play a part in your condition and potentially help you heal?

These microbes living in us are often referred to as the “forgotten organ” because they play such a large role in our well-being, but it is only recently that we’ve started to realize the impact this organ has on the body. (2) Unfortunately, the Western lifestyle takes a significant toll on the health of our microbiome with constant stress, unhealthy diets, lack of sleep, and more leading to a condition called dysbiosis.

Dysbiosis, the imbalance of gut bacteria, has been associated with a variety of mental disorders including anxiety. (3) While there aren’t many studies done on humans, we have seen mice exhibit increased anxious behavior when exposed to pathogenic bacteria in the gut. (4) It’s probably no surprise, then, that those with anxiety are also likely to suffer from a digestive disorder associated with imbalanced gut bacterial as well like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).


Jaw Pain: The Multifactorial Nature of TMJ


For years doctors and dentists believed that malocclusion (teeth that don’t line up correctly) cause pain in the TMJ. However, newer research shows that while structural abnormalities may be part of the picture, this disorder is also associated with biological, behavioral and cognitive factors.

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) cause pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and those with TMD usually have difficulty opening their mouths widely and may experience clicking or popping of the joint. TMD is also associated with neck and tooth pain, as well as dizziness and tinnitus.

In my most recent guest post on ChrisKresser.com, I talk about the three little known factors that play a part in developing TMD and what you can do about them. Click here to read the full article!


Stay Hydrated With The Cranberry Lemon Refresher

Stay Hydrated With The Cranberry Lemon Refresher

It’s getting awfully hot in New York these days, and if you’re like me and try not to blast your AC all day long, you know you need to be drinking more water than usual.

I’m one of those people who tends to forget to drink – I can literally make it to the end of the workday having barely had anything to drink. Not good! While there’s some debate over the “correct” amount of water to drink, I certainly don’t think it’s a good idea to be going that long without water.

To trick myself into drinking more, I’ve been making this yummy concoction that I like to call the Cranberry Lemon Refresher. It’s super easy to make and it looks appealing and refreshing, so I’m more likely to drink it!

To make the Cranberry Lemon Refresher, all you need is water, a half a lemon, and 100% cranberry juice (not the cranberry juice “drink” that includes sugar or other juices). I like the cranberry juice from Trader Joe’s – it’s affordable and delicious!

To begin, simply put a splash of the cranberry juice in your cup or jar (I love using a quart-sized mason jar for this!).

How Your Experiences (Not Your Possessions) Make You Happier and Healthier

Ever heard that you should spend your money on experiences and not material goods? It’s good advice.

When you live in a consumerist society, it’s easy to get caught up in all the *stuff*. A better phone, a faster car, the newest model laptop, the biggest house… But did you know that spending your money on experiences can actually bring you greater happiness?

I recently did the first of my major experiences of the summer and went to Iceland with my family. It got me thinking about all the ways that experiences can make us happier and I wanted to learn more about the ways experiences make us happier and healthier.

4 Ways Experiences Trump Possessions
1. The Lead-Up Is Exciting

Ugh, waiting for your new laptop to arrive in the mail?! You’re going to be impatient. Sure, you’re excited, but you’re way more impatient than excited. (This hit a bit too close to home as a new laptop is making its way to me… sometimes you do need to buy *things*, especially when your business runs from it!)

Researchers have found that the waiting period for an experience, on the other hand,

Paleo Rehab: Adrenal Fatigue Enrollment Is Now Open!


I can’t even tell you how excited I am to open up the Paleo Rehab: Adrenal Fatigue program today! Laura and I have been slaving away for months and months to make this an absolutely amazing program for you.

There are lots of online programs out there, but Laura and I noticed that there was one in particular that was missing… one about adrenal fatigue! There is so much you can do to heal from adrenal fatigue, and we though it was unfortunate that no one had made a program that we could refer our clients to.

Well… you guessed it – we decided to make one! And I am so incredibly thrilled to open enrollment for you today after testing the program with our beta groups for the last 5 weeks.

Want in? Just click below to learn more about the program and sign up. Can’t wait to see you inside!