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!

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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!

NEW: Food Log Tune-Ups

NEW: Food Log Tune-Ups

Do 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!

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.

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,

Ancestral Health Symposium (a quick recap!)

Ancestral Health Symposium (a quick recap!)

This 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.

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Spaghetti Squash with Chicken in a Creamy Tomato and Mushroom Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken in a Creamy Tomato and Mushroom Sauce

[ultimate-recipe id=1276]

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Recipe: Kimchi!

Recipe: Kimchi!

Fermented foods are a wonderful addition to any diet. They are teeming with healthy, beneficial bacteria (more commonly referred to as “probiotics”) that aid digestion and help regulate the immune system. Fermented foods are perfect for keeping our gut happy and healthy. Eating just a small amount of fermented vegetables daily will help you on your way to having a healthy gut.

One of my favorite fermented foods is a Korean dish called kimchi. It is traditionally made from Napa cabbage, which is what this recipe will use, but you can substitute other vegetables such as bok choy, cucumbers, and many other vegetables – get creative!

Kimchi is a great food to eat before a meal, or to throw into a stir fry (just don’t cook it otherwise you’ll harm those wonderful little bacteria – you’ll want to add the kimchi after the stir fry has cooled slightly).

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or more depending on your taste – this isn’t something I usually measure, I just go by how it smells!)
  • 2 large cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/8 –