When it comes to chronic problems, everyone agrees that diet plays a role... yet its often the last thing we turn to for treatment. Why is that?
Well, because its REALLY HARD to figure out exactly what is causing you problems. There are three main reasons for this...
These food sensitivities cause inflammation in our body and lead to bothersome and painful symptoms including IBS, migraines and other headaches, fibromyalgia, hives/eczema, fatigue, depression, weight problems, ADHD, joint/muscle pain and many more problems.
So then what do you do? You can tediously record all your food intake and try your best to connect the dots (but because of the 3 points above you may not come to any conclusions). You can try taking various foods out of your diet. You can take medications and supplements to dull or mask your symptoms. And you may feel a little better. Maybe.
I've spent the last several months studying food sensitivities and I'm finally ready to share with you what I've learned.
Get started on the road to recovery with MRT+LEAP!
You can also email me or call me at (206) 799-7010.
Do your kids (or you) eat a lot of peanut butter? Switch it up a bit with this tasty alternative. If you're craving something sweet, this is a great choice that packs in 4 grams of protein per cookie and heart healthy oil to balance out the sugar. Without any flour, these cookies have the added perk of being gluten-free! Also, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, as well as magnesium.
1 16-oz jar Sunflower Butter (about 1 3/4 cups) at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
Makes 30 cookies
Per cookie: 116 calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 4g protein, 10g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 65mg sodium
Recipe from Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook
These are my favorite pancakes! They are light and soft and can be dressed up in a hundred different ways, sweet or savory. I love rolling these up Swiss Blintz style and having breakfast for dinner.
3/4 cup Milk
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Flour of Choice (all-purpose, whole wheat, gluten-free blend, etc)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
Makes ~6 pancakes
The possibilities are endless, but here are a few of my favorites.
Serving size: 1 pancake (1/6 recipe)
Calories 118, Fat 7g, Carbohydrate 9g, Fiber <1g, Sugar 1.5g, Protein 4.5g
Sodium 280mg, Potassium 72mg, Calcium 66mg
Probiotics "For Life"
The literal Greek definition for probiotic is "for life", which explains why they are so important after taking antibiotics that kill both the bad and good bacteria in our bodies. But did you know that probiotics also influence how we experience life? Mood isn't all in our heads, its also in our guts. Think about all the gut-brain connections... anxiety and "butterflies" in our stomachs, depression and over- or undereating, migraine headaches and nausea, and the list goes on and on. Bacteria in our gut plays a crucial role in immunity, metabolism and even mood.
Get probiotics from:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. Since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3's are necessary for normal body function and are well known for their ability to protect against many diseases, including heart disease and cancer. They also have shown to be effective in preventing depression and managing depressive symptoms. You should aim to get at least one rich source of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet each day. This could be through a serving of fatty fish, a handful of walnuts, a tablespoon of canola or soybean oil in salad dressing or in cooking, or a tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed into your morning oatmeal. For more intensive support, you can take a fish oil supplement. Nordic Naturals and Barlean's brands are top quality and readily available at drugstores. For personalized recommendations, consult your doctor or registered dietitian.
Get omega-3 fatty acids from:
Most of you probably know that vitamin D is good for our bones. But you may not realize the many other ways vitamin D affects us, such as the important role it plays in mental health and depression. Research has shown a link between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and symptoms of depression. The connection isn't fully understood at this point so we can't say whether a low vitamin D increases risk for depression or if being depressed leads to vitamin D deficiency.
Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunshine. Living far from the equator (like in Seattle), combined with less daylight hours in the winter time means vitamin D deficiency is very common, especially in the winter months. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is generally a good idea for most people and you may experience some mood-improving benefits. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level. If your blood level is low (below 30), you'll need a high dosage for a while to rebuild your body's stores of vitamin D.
Get Vitamin D from:
Start the day out right by waking up after a restful sleep and restarting your system with an energy-packed breakfast meal. Breakfast has shown to be the most beneficial meal for staying alert, maintaining concentration and supporting learning throughout the day. Eating a good breakfast with plenty of protein also ensures our brains are adequately supplied with essential nutrients for making neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals play an important role in regulating mood, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory and more. Research indicates that low levels of these substances is associated with increased incidence of depression.
To make sure you're getting a good breakfast, be sure to include a combination of at least 3 foods, including complex carbohydrates, protein and fruit or veggie. Examples include:
Selenium is an essential trace element, meaning our bodies require it in small amounts from food. Increasing selenium, especially in people with deficiency, has shown to improve mood. Some people at increased risk of selenium deficiency include vegetarians, people with gastrointestinal problems and alcoholics.
Get selenium from:
Try these easy tips to keep you and your family eating healthy throughout the holiday season.
Try this delicious dish in place of mashed potatoes. Good all year round but especially satisfying during the holidays.
2 lbs Cauliflower florettes
3 oz Milk
4 Tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper, finely ground
How did you get your name, Swiss?
Swiss cheese is the American generic name used to describe me since I resemble a cheese from Switzerland called Emmental or Emmentaler.
How would you describe yourself?
I am pale yellow in color, nutty in flavor, and have a medium-hard texture. Most people know me for my big “eyes”, more commonly referred to as holes.
You do have very pretty eyes, Swiss. How did you get them?
My eyes were formed by bacteria and gas while I was being fermented. There are three types of bacteria that are used in the production of Swiss cheese. During production, one of these bacteria consumes the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria and produces bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. When the milk solidifies into cheese, these bubbles form the holes that are my eyes.
Some say that eyes can tell you a lot about a cheese. What do you think about that?
It’s true, the larger the eyes in a Swiss cheese, the stronger it’s flavor. It all goes back to fermentation – longer fermentation time means more gas is produced (hence bigger holes) and the stronger the flavor. You might notice that pre-sliced Swiss cheese has smaller holes than non-sliced versions. This is because the large holes make it hard for mechanical slicers to cut through.
Can you be incorporated into a nutritious and delicious diet?
Absolutely! The USDA recommends that all Americans 9 years and older consume 3 cups of milk per day. 2 slices of me (1 ½ ounces) counts as 1 cup of milk and provides a whopping 12 grams of protein. I am also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. However, I do have a considerable amount of saturated fat and cholesterol so I should be eaten in moderation.
Marlene Maltby is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Seattle, WA where she specializes in pediatric & adolescent nutrition, food sensitivities, vegetarian/vegan diets and enteral tube feeding.. Prior to becoming a RDN, she completed professional training in culinary arts.