Supplements: Healthy or Harmful?

supplements

“I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

“In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.”

-Excerpts from the Hippocratic Oathe

There is a lot of hype regarding vitamin and mineral supplementation these days, whether it be the next key to longevity multivitamin marketed to you by various supplement manufacturers, or arm-flailing, attention-grabbing warnings found in the media via various editorials often interviewing concerned scientists and medical professionals.  Unfortunately neither side does a very good job at properly informing the public on how to make wise choices for their individual circumstance regarding this matter (because nutrition, as with all forms of science and art alike, is complex). Thus, the outcome inevitably is confusion and frustration.  One week, vitamins are good, life-saving in fact, and the next week they have brought you ever-so-closer to the grave.  Which one is it?? Continue reading

Roasted Butternut Squash/Sweet Potato Soup (Paleo and Vegan Options)

Roasted Butternut squash/sweet potato soup (Paleo and Vegan options):

 

What you will need:image

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet potato (I like Jewell sweet potatoes personally)
  • 1 apple, sliced and cored
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) of full-fat or light coconut milk (I like Native Forest brand, it’s organic and BPA free).
  • 2 cups bone broth (or vegetable stock if vegan/vegetarian)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • Sea salt to taste (I like Himalayan sea salt or Redman brand ‘Real Salt’)
  • 4-5 sage leaves, chopped

Continue reading

Probiotics: Healthy or hyped?

“All diseases begin in the gut”   -Hippocrates, 460-370 BC

Bacteria

The human body is similar to the planet Earth in that it is inhabited by extremely large numbers of various organisms.  There is a symbiotic relationship between the Earth and its micro-organisms (plants, insects, animals, and people) and the same goes for humans and our little micro-ecosystem composed not only of organs, cells and various biochemical compounds, but colonies of bacteria, yeasts and viruses as well.  Today I want to focus on bacteria: beneficial bacteria strains, specifically.

The largest colonies of microbes live in our digestive tract.  A healthy adult, on average, carries 4-5 lbs. of bacteria in their gut!  This equates to around one hundred trillion microorganisms from a thousand different species, just within the gut alone!  (1) These species collectively have one hundred times more genes than the human genome does.  (2)  In fact, when the Human Genome Project mapped Continue reading

Are overlooked thyroid issues keeping you from obtaining optimum health?

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease.”  -Voltaire

Are you someone who is consistently fatigued, depressed, losing your hair, gains weight even after adhering to a low-calorie diet, has cold hands and feet, suffers from constipation or often has trouble getting out of bed in the morning, even after eight or more hours of sleep?  This post will explain how thyroid disease relates to all of these symptoms and more, as well as provide you with information on which tests are more informative and useful in evaluating your thyroid overall.

thyroid gland Continue reading

Dietary Dogma: Has America’s dietary advice been successful? A review of USDA guidelines:

 

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“Thus we should beware of clinging to vulgar opinions, and judge things by reason’s way, not by popular say.”   -Montaigne  (1533-1592)

It wouldn’t be very uncommon to immediately and even subconsciously correlate issues such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes whenever we hear the word ‘fat’. Diabetes being a bit of head scratcher considering it is a blood sugar disorder biochemically, but occasionally incorporated none the less.  In fact,  this is such a well-known and indisputable subject, that questioning it seems aimless. After all, if fat doesn’t make you fat, than what the heck possibly could, right?  It’s portrayed as so elementary, and has been for years-all the way back to the 1950s when a researcher by the name of Ancel Keys found a relationship between the amount of saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet and incidence of heart disease. (1) This theory-known as the diet-heart hypothesis-would soon set the stage for numerous margarine, vegetable oil, and various mono-culturing practices to take on the task of making our food supply both healthy and safe.  Continue reading

Sugar: How to tell “good” carbs from “carbage”

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“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”  – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In my last post I discussed the importance of calories from foods and why they are important to maintain a steady metabolism and how low-calorie diets can be detrimental to health as well as promote weight gain, rather than weight loss.  I also pointed out that calories differ depending on where you obtain them from.  A calorie from fat is different than a calorie from carbohydrates, etc.  They are different because each macronutrient- fat, carbohydrates, and protein- all have different metabolic pathways and all have numerous factors that affect how well they are metabolized.  Today I’m going to focus on carbohydrates; which happens to be the macronutrient with the most variables involved in how it gets broken down and used for energy.  Just like a calorie is not just a calorie, the same holds true for carbohydrates.  A carb is not just a carb. Continue reading