Archive of ‘TRENDS’ category

Nutrition Trend: Bone Broth


Coming to a health food store near you…Mark my words, this trend is soon to take over your green smoothie. Marketed as the health and beauty end-all, bone broth is now being sold in uber chic urban burrows by way of way-too-cool-for-me broth bars and pubs in most major cities. Served in paper to go cups or coffee mugs, this glorified soup has hit its stride.

So what is it? Bone broth is basically stock made from the bones of any animal. The bones should be from organic, free range birds, and grass-fed beef with no added hormones. The bones are boiled with the usual soup veggies (give or take one or two): onions, carrots and celery. The boiling process may go on for 12-18 hours, thus leaching out many nutrients from the bones. The soup is then strained, and you are left with a rich liquid broth. (more…)

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Top 5 Posts of 2014

Best of 2014 with words resized

Happy New Year! As we waltz in to 2015, I wanted to take one last look back at last year and consolidate the top 5 most popular posts of 2014. It was a year filled with tons of new research, great learning, and a continuation of the growing health movement in this country. The following posts have been shared hundreds of times, and truly earned their keep on the Top 5 list. Now is a good time to catch up if you’ve missed out! Enjoy! (more…)

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Girl Talk – The Strength of a Woman

Girl Ginngerbread

Girl Ginngerbread

This life is short…but it is too long to dislike every inch of our bodies. As women, we strive for more…to be everything to everyone. Be the best at work, the beauty at home, the best ear for friends’ calamities, and the knower of all things…and if you are a mom, forget it! This list goes on for days. When the dust settles and the noise quiets, what is left? Do you have an ounce of existence left for yourself? Often the little sanity that is left in our day is spent on self improvement strategies to be more, do more, and look better. Maybe if I start to make lists, or use that calendar in my iPhone, I will find 3 extra minutes in my day to tone those pesky inner thighs…and then I can fit into that dress I wore freshman year of college…I won’t look ridiculous…

Maybe a little farfetched, maybe not. The point I want to get across is that we as beings are never satisfied. In some ways that is a good thing, we can always be more, and why settle!? I get it, but are we happy? I certainly do not think that I can conquer the daily dilemma of being more and doing more, but I want to touch on the constant self improvement strategies that we all face. First of all…we will never measure up to perfection. Think about it. Let it swirl around for a moment. We undoubtedly compare ourselves to…perfect…so of course we do nothing less than fall short. We are human, and where is the beauty in that? I will tell you, there is a surplus of beauty to be found.

It is the smile of a woman that can radiate through the ground we stand upon and touch all others. It is the womb of a woman that nourishes life to an unborn child. It is the woman that can single-handedly hold a family together. It is a woman that can show love like no other. As we strive to eradicate our fat cells… It is those very fat cells that aid in estrogen production so that we may give life to another human being. Maybe it is those fat cells that are remaining from already giving life to another human being. Yet we beat ourselves up!? This makes no sense.

I certainly don’t want to promote excess weight as that is simply unhealthy, I just want our sex to begin to see all that we bring to the table naturally. We should do our best every day, and we do. When it comes to food choices I am sure we can always do a little bit better. Therein lies my philosophy. We do so much on a daily basis for everyone else and then we beat ourselves up at the end of the day for what we haven’t given to ourselves. I know that it is difficult when we are in the throes of chaos to consider our immortality but realistically we must. We cannot do everything for everyone when we have not done for ourselves. I am not talking about manicures and pedicures and massages on a weekly basis. We all know that this is precisely the definition of “unrealistic.” What we can do, is make the best choices for ourselves on a constant, regular, and consistent basis.

This means, make our food choices wisely. We have become masters of thinking before we speak, but let’s learn to think before we eat. Choose vegetables instead of dough and cheese. Choose light instead of heavy options that will only weigh us down. Choose rich, decadent creations only after we have made the best choices that will bring life to our beings…and let that decadence resonate through our bones. Enjoy the simple pleasures with every breath in your body and if it’s not worth it- simply pass it up. Life is not about diets and fitting into “those” jeans, it is about living each day enough to remember why you are here. We want to stay on this earth with a good quality of life for as long as possible. That is why we must redirect our attention from complaining about what we don’t have, to preserving what we do. This includes weekly exercise. Unless you are already a gym minded person, you won’t like to hear this…but again, just do the best you can on a daily basis. If you have a 1 hour lunch break, walk for 15-30 minutes outside. Find 10 minutes, 2-3 times a day, to get your heart pumping. Jumping jacks, marching in place, brisk walking, and dancing to some upbeat tunage are all ways to add some exercise to your day in short bursts.

If I haven’t lost you after reading the exercise recommendation, than you are most likely comprehending the underlying message of this article: Do a little everyday to avoid becoming overwhelmed, and if you are already overwhelmed, start doing a little every day! Be patient, be kind and love yourself, and never forget to take pride in the strength of a woman – starting with each imperfection. Woman Symbol

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To Be, or Not to Be Gluten-Free


Glutin Gremlin

Unless you have spent the past three years vacationing out of the galaxy, you have heard about the gluten-free diet. Maybe you’ve tried it, maybe you’re even on it. It seems like everyone is “going gluten free” these days….but why? Well, there are a variety of likely reasons. For starters, the increase in testing and diagnosing of celiac disease (a gluten intolerance) as well as increased data proving the validity of removing gluten from the diet in certain disease states. There is growing research suggesting there may be improvement in symptoms of certain autoimmune disorders such as lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis when gluten is taken out of the diet. The release of popular books such as “Wheat Belly” written by William Davis in which he claims you will lose weight by removing gluten from your diet has given people reason to think twice about ingesting this demon in the bread basket. As a professional, I must evaluate all claims by turning to science, research, and evidence. I will scour medical and nutritional journals reading the latest research and scientific studies proving or disproving claims. In some cases, like coconut oil for instance, the body of evidence is simply too small to make a true conclusion as to the benefits. However, it is pretty clear the role of gluten and our health. I will explain later. gliadin glutenin gluten

For those of us who aren’t familiar with gluten, think BROW- Barley, Rye, Oats, and Wheat. These are the four grains that should be avoided on this diet. Now what exactly is gluten? It is a protein comprised of glutenin and gliadin found in the endosperm of the grain. In most plants, the endosperm supplies protein and nutrients for the plant to grow and thrive. This is essentially gluten’s job for these grains. In baking and bread making, gluten provides elasticity and structure. It gives bread its shape and assists in the rising of dough. If the gluten is overworked, it will give cakes and bread and a tougher texture. For a chewy piece of French bread, this is perfect, but you certainly don’t want a tough and chewy cupcake. Bakers are very much aware of gluten’s role and adjust their recipes accordingly. Seems reasonable and pretty innocent, right? Well, there lies the controversy.

For patients with celiac disease, gluten ingestion can be debilitating. It shortens the microvilli in the small intestine. In a normal small bowel, these finger-like projections stand tall and collect and absorb nutrients passing through. If the microvilli are shortened, many nutrients cannot be absorbed. An otherwise healthy person may end up extremely malnourished due to this disease. Doctors check for celiac disease by first taking a blood sample and testing for certain antibodies that will be present in celiac disease. Because this is not a 100% reliable method, an intestinal biopsy is needed to confirm the findings. There is also evidence of gluten sensitivity in people that experience negative symptoms when ingesting gluten, yet do not have celiac disease. By removing gluten from the diet, their overall health status is much improved.

Given the popularity of the gluten-free diet, and the controversy that it brings, much research has been conducted on this topic- here is that whole evidenced-based practice thing I mentioned earlier. Without a doubt, it is more than clear that those suffering from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should remove gluten from their diet…But what about the rest of us? Gluten-free items are popping up in mainstream stores and selling like hotcakes. Claims of weight loss scream from the headlines. So does it work? ….Sorry peeps, but judging from scientific literature, the answer is NO. For those of us without gluten sensitivity, there is little research demonstrating that going gluten-free will improve our lifestyle or allow for weight loss. In fact, there is some evidence pointing to an increase in weight when gluten is removed from the diet. This is due to one of two possibilities. First, if the individual truly has gluten sensitivity, removing gluten from their diet allows for increased absorption of nutrients and thus increased calorie intake. The second possible reason for weight gain is the increase in consumption of gluten-free products like baked goods, cake and cookie mixes, and frozen meals that are growing in the marketplace now. When you look closely at the ingredient lists and nutrition labels, most of the time you will see these products are actually much higher in calories, fat, and/or sodium when compared to their gluteny counterparts. Many are not aware of this and have a free-for-all in the gluten-free aisle, chowing down like these baked goods are going out of style.

Now what about those that actually do lose weight? These individuals may have a sensitivity that they are not aware of or has not been diagnosed. This weight loss may be caused by a decrease in the inflammation that the individual is carrying around due to an immune response. The second possibility is that if on a gluten-free diet, he or she may simply be paying more attention to what they are eating. Sure you will lose weight if you are scarfing bagels, pancakes, French baguettes, scones and muffins for breakfast and then decide change to a slice of rice bread toast and fruit. I have found that many eat more healthfully, adding in more fruit and vegetables to their diets and less bread and baked goods when on a gluten-free diet.

The bottom line – current research demonstrates there is no reason to remove gluten from your diet if you do not have an autoimmune disease, celiac disease, gluten or wheat sensitivity. Will it hurt you to try out the gluten-free diet, just for fun? No, as long as you don’t take in more than you burn off, as that will result in weight gain.  Will you lose weight by going gluten-free? Not by that alone. You will lose weight by decreasing the smorgasbord of pastries and increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. So put down the cupcake and pick up the carrot!

For questions or to request a blog topic, please email me at

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Exercise – A Dirty Word

Bulldog relaxing

I don’t know about you, but after the holidays I can’t seem to get motivated at the gym! I drag myself there and aimlessly walk on the treadmill or attempt the stair climber, all while counting down the seconds in which I will be buckling that seatbelt and heading home. I have never been one of those people that can’t wait to get to the gym, or go on a run just to “let off some steam.” No thank you. Reading a good book in my PJ’s is plenty of stress relief for me. Let’s face it, for most of us there are much more exciting things to do than break a sweat. Unfortunately, the benefits of exercise are so immense, it is truly imperative that we do it.

Maybe you are in a slump like me, or maybe you have never actually set out to begin an exercise regimen. Regardless of the reason, the most important question to ask yourself is: “WHY?” Why do you want to begin a regimen or yank yourself out of that slump? WHY = MOTIVATION. Although it may be a short term goal such as a wedding, vacation, or reunion, I would like to you think more long-term. Regular exercise as a lifestyle has enormous benefits, and maybe one of them can be your “why.”

Exercise promotes: funny gym

  • Long-term weight management
  • An increase in HDL (good) cholesterol and a decrease in triglycerides
  • Improved overall mood
  • Boosted energy levels (Really, it’s true!)
  • Disease prevention, such as: heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and arthritis

My “why” is the naughty BIG 3-0 that I will be facing come November. I truly want to be in the best cardiovascular shape of my life for that milestone of a birthday. I have also always wanted to be a runner. It just sounds so cool, “Oh yeah, I’m a runner, no big deal.” My endurance has never improved enough to where I could actually say that. The truth is, I have never tried hard enough to make it happen. So starting Monday, January 20th, I will begin following an app for my iPhone that should have me running a 10K in 14 weeks. I am committed and determined, and I am saying it out loud so that I will be held accountable for this one.

I can rattle off a bunch of unoriginal tips to you like, get an exercise group together, or announce your plan out loud to friends and family so that you will be held accountable (like I just did)…but you don’t need that. You don’t need a 1, 2, 3 tip list. What you do need, is to find your WHY. Set a date to start, and make it happen!! We can do this in 2014!

Tell me your WHY below, and share it with the world.

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