Want to See What’s Inside Build Your Biome? Here’s a sneak peek!

Eeeeek! It’s so close to being ready for you!

I wanted to take a minute to show you guys what you’ll see when you join the Build Your Biome Beta. In this video, I go over the 8-week course outline. You’ll see exactly what you’ll learn in the course, plus get a sneak peek inside the website itself to see what the videos look like!

 

Want to know when you can buy Build Your Biome? Make sure you’re signed up to get notified here!

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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)

Meal LoggerWhenever 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, and it has by far surpassed all the other apps I’ve tried. Meal Logger works on your desktop, iPhone, or Android and is super easy. Instead of entering each food and portion size individually, you just snap a picture of your food and upload it to your journal. You can also put a note that corresponds with your picture (i.e. “2 scrambled eggs and sweet potato”). Keeping track of your food literally takes 30 seconds!

With Meal Logger you can also add a “Daily Note”, which patients have been using to enter some of the symptoms they had that day, keep track of blood sugar levels, or let me know that they had a stressful day. Some patients also just upload a picture and use the note that corresponds with it to enter their symptoms there. Though I wish Meal Logger included some built-in tools for symptoms, there are easy ways to include them even without that.

You can also connect with your nutritionist or other professional via Meal Logger so that they can see what you’ve been eating, which is my favorite part of the app. As a dietitian, I can send an email to a client inviting them to use the program. When they accept, they show up as one of my clients and I can see whatever they have put in their diary. It’s a super easy way for me to keep track of what’s going in everyone’s mouth! When we have follow ups, I don’t have to wade through emails upon emails looking for your journal – it’s all right at my fingertips.

I highly suggest checking out Meal Logger if you’re looking for a program that will let you easily keep track of your food intake. It doesn’t rely on calorie-counting (though there are some tools within the app if you really want to go that route), it makes it easy to see portion sizes, and you can even connect to your nutritionist or other professional through the app for easy transfer of information.

 

10 Things to Keep Track Of

When you’re keeping a food diary, you should of course make sure to put everything that crosses your lips into the journal. Though you can enter food items without pictures via Meal Logger, I highly suggest snapping some pics before entering the information, especially if you’re keeping this for your dietitian! But beyond the obvious, let’s talk about some things you should make sure to include:

  1. Spices: It’s possible to be sensitive to spices, so it’s a good idea to include these in your journal. Since we’re just taking pictures, you’ll want to make sure to include any spices beyond salt and pepper in your note that goes with the picture.
  2. Cooking Fats: It’s always useful to know what fat something was cooked in, so definitely include this information in your note, too.
  3. Hidden ingredients: This goes along with what we’ve already mentioned – make sure to write down any ingredients that aren’t obvious from your photo. For example, if you made a sauce that was on top of your chicken instead of writing “sauce”, write down exactly what you made the sauce with.
  4. If you ate out: If you ate out at a restaurant, make sure to write that in your note! Though you may know now it was a meal outside the house, you might forget later when you’re looking back or if you’re sending it into your nutritionist, he or she may not know.
  5. If you didn’t finish the meal: You’ll be taking pictures before you start your meal, so make sure to write yourself (or your nutritionist) a note that you didn’t finish your meal. If you want to be extra good, you could even take another picture of the stuff you didn’t finish. Or, just write a quick note approximating the portion that was left untouched.
  6. Bowel Movements: Yeah, maybe not the most pleasant thing to write about but it’s important! You can write this in your Daily Note or put it in your journal – either way works. And be a little specific – was it loose, formed, diarrhea, etc?
  7. Your specific symptoms: If you’re trying to get rid of reflux, hives, or whatever other symptom you may have, make sure you keep track of when these symptoms are popping up for you throughout the day. When you (or you and your nutritionist) look back at older diaries, you’ll then be able to pick up on patterns and potentially find hidden food sensitivities.
  8. Life Stress: If you had an extremely stressful day, write it down! Stress can be related to your symptoms as well as food, so don’t forget about it.
  9. Exercise: Meal Logger allows you to keep track of workouts as well – make sure to use this feature!
  10. Sleep: Meal Logger also allows you to track sleep. You can sync it with a device you use for this (like a FitBit) so that it will be done for you, or you enter it manually.

  Do you have any favorite apps for keeping track of your meals?

Sources:

1. Hollis, Jack F., et al. “Weight loss during the intensive intervention phase of the weight-loss maintenance trial.” American journal of preventive medicine35.2 (2008): 118.

Butter in Astoria, NY

Butter in Astoria, NY

IMG_1944I 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!

 

NEW: Food Log Tune-Ups

NEW: Food Log Tune-Ups

diaryDo you have some lingering symptoms that you’d like to kick? Not sure if you’re eating enough or too much carbohydrate? Think FODMAPs might be bothering your gut?

I’ve recently decided to add a new option: food log tune-ups! These are email appointments – basically, you send me your food and symptoms log, I’ll take a look and we’ll email about what might be contributing to your issues or keeping you from your goals.

First food logs are $40, and any subsequent logs are $25 each. I really hope that having this option allows us to trouble-shoot some minor issues or give you some added support and suggestions.

Food log tune-ups are for curre you’d like to make a food log appointment with me, check out my Services page.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

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You can now find me on ChrisKresser.com!

You can now find me on ChrisKresser.com!

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I am so thrilled to be a part of the Chris Kresser community! If you’re unfamiliar with Chris’ work, definitely take the time to go through some of his blog posts. He is a wonderful source of information regarding nutrition, and I recommend his work highly!

Click here for my post on his site!

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Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas

Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]Secret tip: orange juice. Seriously, it makes these carnitas to die for. Yes, you can make carnitas without it, but don’t.IMG_1489

Kitchen equipment:

  • Dutch oven or slow cooker

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder, chopped into big cubes (you can easily do a bigger roast, just add a little more of all other ingredients. Trust me, you’ll want leftovers)
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs lard
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce for wraps
  • any other toppings you’d like!

Directions:

  • If you’re starting with a full pork shoulder, trim the skin and chop the meat and fat into large cubes. 
  • Coat the bottom of the dutch oven or slow cooker with lard
  • Chop onion and poblano pepper and add to dutch oven
  • Add pork shoulder
  • Sprinkle on all the spices and toss
  • Squeeze orange juice and grate some zest into the dutch oven
  • Mix it all together
  • Let simmer on low for ~2-3 hours with cover on
  • Once the orange juice has evaporated and the fat has rendered, take off the cover and turn up the heat to let the meat crisp up in the fat
  • Put meat in a lettuce wrap and add whatever toppings you’d like!

 

Ancestral Health Symposium (a quick recap!)

Ancestral Health Symposium (a quick recap!)

IMG_1442This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Ancestral Health Symposium at Harvard University. I had a blast! It was really fantastic to meet some like-minded dietitians, physicians, and all sorts of other practitioners in this field and put our minds together.

Some highlights for me included:

1. I spoke with Dr. Eugene Fine from Albert Einstein College of Medicine about the future of therapeutic low carbohydrate diets. Let me first say that I am a huge proponent of individualized dietary therapy. For some, carbohydrates can be absolutely great and they do just fine with them. However, a lot of people have damaged metabolisms that can benefit from a carbohydrate-restricted approach. During his panel, Dr. Fine brought up a current issue that many doctors are facing – perhaps they believe a restricted carbohydrate approach could benefit their patient, but they have no dietitian to refer them out to. That’s because at the moment, dietitians do not learn about restricted carbohydrate diets in school, so any expertise is learned outside of the classroom and the hospital. This is a big problem. Dr. Fine and I have been chatting via email and my hope is to perhaps be able to take on some NYC patients who have no dietitian so they can get the support and guidance they need.
2. I briefly talked with Dr. Thomas Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. I had actually never heard of his book, but after hearing him speak at the conference, it is next on my list to read. Really, really interesting stuff. Cancer has always been something I’ve been fascinated with, and it’s a population that I would love to work with in the future. He pointed me in the direction of a dietitian using restricted ketogenic diets to help patients and told me to get in contact with her, and we’ll hopefully be speaking over the phone in the near future.

3. I met three dietetic students from the University of Connecticut, as well as a few dietitians. It truly amazes me how many like-minded professionals are out there – it’s just a matter of meeting them. It was great to talk to these students/dietitians about what it’s like to use these dietary principles in practice.

4. I met Stephanie Schilling of Living Clean, Cooking Dirty. She’s in the same Masters program as I am, and it was wonderful to meet her in person finally!

5. The food!!! I had some amazing food this weekend in Boston and at the Sustainable Dish dinner at Diana Rodger’s farm in Carlisle, MA. Here’s the Sustainable Dish dinner menu, catered by Chive Events (which, strangely enough, I found out I went to high school with one of the owners!).

I also had the amazing pork trio at the Russell House Tavern in Cambridge.

6. Spending some quality time with my mom! I took my mom with me to AHS this year because it was held in Massachusetts, near where I grew up. We had a great time together!

All in all, AHS was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend attending this symposium in the future if you haven’t been to one yet!

Dr. Lundell on Fox News

dr-lundell

dr-lundell1On our last day in Austin for PaleoFX (which, by the way was AWESOME – I recommend Nom Nom Paleo’s coverage if you missed it!) my lovely roommate (Lea of PaleoSpirit) and I had the TV on as we were getting ready to head into Austin for the day. All of a sudden we started hearing about how statins were bad and cholesterol and saturated fat weren’t the worst things in the world. Um, what?! So of course we took a seat and watched.

Of course now I can’t find a YouTube video with the interview, but I’m sure it’ll come around soon. I’ll post it as soon as I find it. In the meantime, you can check out this article in which Dr. Lundell talks about his beliefs.

Dr. Lundell, a Yale-trained thoracic surgeon talked about his “diet”, which includes:

Good quality meats (pastured, grass-fed, etc)

Vegetables/Fruits

High fat dairy/eggs

He also talked about staying away from n-6 fatty acids and focusing more on saturated fats.

No mention of grains either way, but hey – that’s pretty good for being on Fox News. This is EXACTLY what we need right now to get this movement into the eyes of the general public -a super-qualified medical doctor touting it on Fox News. Perfect.