VIDEO: All About Blood Sugar

VIDEO: All About Blood Sugar

Are you confused about blood sugar? Watch my 3-minute video for 3 tips to keep yours stable and your energy up!

If you’re someone who suffers from that mid-afternoon slump, this is for YOU!

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Salad Dressing (Plus, How to Make Your Own!)

Why You Shouldn't Buy Salad Dressing (Plus, How to Make Your Own!)

Think your salad doused in store-bought dressing is good for you? Think again. In this article, we’ll detail exactly why you should avoid the store-bought stuff, and learn why homemade dressings are better for you and how to make them.

Why You Should Avoid Store-Bought Salad Dressing

The oils used in salad dressings are unstable and are easily oxidized, which translates into free radicals in your body (we don’t want that!). While we often hear that saturated fat is the devil, the devil in disguise is industrial oil like canola oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oil – and these are the oils you get in your store-bought dressings.

The word polyunsaturated means that the oils have more than one (poly), double bonds (unsaturated = double bond instead of single bond). The more double bonds a fat has, the less stable is it. This means that it is more likely to become oxidized when it comes in contact with light, air, or heat. On that note, let’s think about how these oils are made, then stored:

  • First the oil is made, which is usually a pretty nasty process to begin with. Check out this video for a peek at how canola oil is made.

Enter to Win a Copy of Gather – A Beautiful Cookbook for Paleo Entertaining

One of the best ways to get someone to start eating better is to make them realize how tasty healthy food can be. So many people have the idea that healthy food equals “cardboard”, which is absolutely not true! Looking at a book like Gather, you realize how absolutely dead wrong they are. Healthy food can be amazing, and this cookbook shows it.

If you want to amaze your friends with truly fantastic food (or just make really awesome food for yourself!) this book is for you. With stunning photos and absolutely delicious recipes, this book is not only a go-to cookbook for entertaining but a coffee table masterpiece as well.

I’m excited to be able to share this book with one lucky reader! All you have to do is enter through the app below. This giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 4th.

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5 Ways to Increase Your Energy

5 Ways to Increase Your Energy

You look up at the clock from your desk, your sleepy eyes barely able to look up. 3 o’clock. Two or three more hours at work, then home to rush around and make dinner, and then finally, flop on the couch to watch TV. Suddenly, you’ll realize it’s midnight and you’re still glued to the TV with a brain racing a mile a minute. Sound familiar?

What if I told you there was a better way? What if you could sail through the day with energy and feel great? Here are my five best tips for upping your energy throughout the day:

1. Eat breakfast. I know there’s a lot of hype around intermittent fasting these days, but if you’re a stressed-out worker bee who is wired at night and fatigued during the day, I suggest you eat a proper breakfast. Fasting activates the HPA axis and raises cortisol (our stress hormone), which isn’t a great idea for someone who is stressed and already having trouble regulating their energy level. A well-balanced breakfast that includes protein, fat, and carbohydrate can set you up for sustained energy much better than fasting. Make sure you eat within 30 minutes or so of waking for the best results.

How To Heal Your Gut After Antibiotics

How To Heal Your Gut After Antibiotics

Now that you’ve learned what probiotics to take while you’re antibiotics, you’re probably concerned with what you should do after you’ve finished your course.

Antibiotics take a toll on our microbiome, destroying lots of our good bacteria and causing overgrowth of others like yeasts. This imbalance of gut bacteria is called dysbiosis. So how do we fix it?

Probiotics

I suggest taking the probiotics you started during your course for at least a month following the antibiotics. If you were taking a single strain supplement like Florastor, you might consider adding a probiotic supplement that has a couple strains like VSL #3 just to bring in some other strains. You can continue taking this supplement for a few months (consult with your practitioner for advice on this).

You’ll also want to focus on including plenty of probiotic-containing foods for the next few months (you should always include these in the diet, but it’s especially important to do so right after taking antibiotics). Here’s a list of fermented foods, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Water or Dairy kefir – fermented water (often with juices or fruit included for flavoring in a “second ferment”) or dairy with kefir “grains”.

What Probiotics to Take While You’re On Antibiotics

What Probiotics to Take While You're On Antibiotics

Chances are you’ve taken an antibiotic (or 10) in your lifetime. While antibiotics are certainly helpful in many cases, they’re also commonly overprescribed.(1) Not only can antibiotics cause some severe complications (like C.diff infections), but they generally give us some not-so-pleasant side effects like diarrhea. But what we can’t see happening is that our gut bacteria are shifting (and not in a good way).

For example, clindamycin has been shown to cause unfavorable changes in healthy gut flora even two years after treatment.(2) Clindamycin also has a lot of unpleasant side effects including gastritis, gas and bloating, diarrhea and can lead to C.diff infections.(3) For more examples of how specific antibiotics affect the gut microbiota and their related side-effects, check out this research article. Clindamycin is by far one of the worst antibiotics in terms of unfavorable bacterial changes, but it’s wise to take a look at the research on the effects of any antibiotic you’re thinking of taking.

While we know there are risks to taking antibiotics, the reality is sometimes we need them. The point of this article is not to discuss antibiotic alternatives (though that’s certainly an important discussion); rather, it is to give you advice on what probiotics are useful to reduce the side effects and consequences of antibiotic treatment.

Know It All: Adrenal Fatigue

Know It All: Adrenal Fatigue

Stress: it’s something we all deal with in one form or another, and it takes a major toll on our health. Prolonged stress (or an acute bout of major, major stress) can lead to something called hypoadrenalism or HPA axis dysfunction – more commonly referred to as “adrenal fatigue”. That term gets thrown around a lot, and there are arguments from both sides about whether it exists or not. In my opinion, it exists and it causes a lot of people to suffer. However, it can be induced by our own doing – for example, being too low carb (or being too low carb while exercising a lot) can really tax the adrenals and eventually lead to hypoadrenalism. Hypoadrenalism can also obviously be caused by excessive stress that we do nothing to combat. This article will focus on the causes of HPA axis dysfunction (adrenal fatigue), and exactly what you can do to heal.

Symptoms of Hypoadrenalism (Adrenal Fatigue):

  • Excessive fatigue.  This fatigue is usually most pronounced during the day and you may experience a “second wind” of energy later in the evening
  • In the earlier stages of adrenal fatigue, you may also have trouble sleeping at night.
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How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

Whenever I start working with a client, I always tell them to keep a food and symptom diary. It’s one of the most important tools to use when we’re trying to figure out possible food sensitivities, as well as instrumental in losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, it’s been shown that those who keep a food journal at least 6 days a week lose (on average) twice as much weight as those who don’t (1). In my experience, a combination of a paleo elimination diet with keeping a food journal provides the best results in terms of finding hidden food sensitivities. For these reasons, I think keeping track of your intake with a journal is one of the best things you can do for your health.

What App Should I Use to Keep Track of My Food?

I’m always experimenting with new phone apps for this purpose because I find that they are the easiest way to keep track of my intake. I’ve tried the usual ones like MyFitnessPal, but they are time-consuming (if you’ve ever tried this app, I’m sure you’ll say the same!) and too calorie-focused.

One app I’ve found recently is called Meal Logger,

Paleo Food Shopping at Costco

Paleo Food Shopping at Costco

Let’s face it – the paleo diet can be expensive. Though of course I prioritize food in my life, I can’t always buy grassfed meats and other big ticket paleo items. As a graduate student with a growing business, I’m on a budget and I’m sure many of you are too! I recently decided to check out my local Costco to see what they offered as I’ve heard that they carry some great paleo-friendly items. Here’s what I found:

1. Organic ground beef – not grassfed as far as I can tell, but better than conventional

2. Amylu Andouille Chicken Sausage or Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausage – no bad ingredients, and really yummy! Of course not pastured or organic chicken, but pretty good.

3. LOTS of lamb – they had lamb roasts, ribs, and lamb osso bucco (which I tried and loved!). From New Zealand. They also had whole lambs in the freezer section for 3.39/lb. I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with it, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.

4. Wild-caught fish – they definitely had salmon and cod, can’t remember now if there were others!

5.

Butter in Astoria, NY

Butter in Astoria, NY

I thought I would link to this post all about butter from weheartastoria.com (if you live in Astoria and haven’t checked out this blog – do so! They’re a great resource for the neighborhood!). You might be able to find these butters elsewhere (I know Kerrygold is sold far and wide, of course) but for those in the area, this is a great guide to finding butter locally!

Astoria is a great place for a foodie, and I’m glad to call it home. Now that I’ve tempted you, here is the link for the butter article. Enjoy!