Donation Class on June 8th @ 6:30PM All Levels Flow followed by Shopping! Check out the inventory of discounted artisan handicrafts from Ecuador. All proceeds go toward Mission INTO. <3
Foodie Friday Talk...
Immune Boosting Foods and a Focus on Vitamin D:
Schools are already combating the flu and a variety of version of the common cold. Minimize your risks of suffering this season or at least the duration of sufferage by heading to your local farmers market and then grocery store for the rest. Aim FIRST to the foods that supply your body with the most potent supply of immunity boosting agents then to supplements.
As a dietitian, I recommend these foods, fresh or frozen and as local as possible:
*Citrus fruits & Red bell peppers for your Vitamin C (Red Peppers have double the vitamin C of Oranges)
*Mango and sweet potatoes for big punches of Vitamin A
*Broccoli for A, E and C and as well as other antioxidants
*Garlic and Ginger for their specific antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties
*Shellfish for their aid in white cell production, The also contain selenium and zinc which function as great antioxidants
*Berries for their flavanoids (having antioxidant functions)
*Yogurt, krauts, kefir and other fermented foods and drinks to keep the gut producing good bacteria. This bacteria helps us fight infection as well as breakdown and absorb what we need from the foods we eat
*Seasonings! Cinnamon, cayenne and turmeric are packed full of immune protecting agents. If you're already suffering from cold symptoms, stir a pinch of all three into a hot, steam cup of honey water and sip. Keep tissues handing and enjoy the clearing out of your airways!
*Vitamin D3- Us adults are often diagnosed deficient in Vitamin D and begin supplementing with doctors orders but our children are RARELY screened. Often the screening is prompted when an adolescent has one or more stress fractures, at which point damage to the immune system, skeletal system as well as nervous system has already been occurring.
Vitamin D is the backbone of many systems of the body but one regularly overlooked is our immune system. Ensuring you get enough Vitamin D can be tricky because if levels in the body are already low, we often need to supplement in large doses to get back to a healthy/functional level of vitamin D.
What to do: GET SCREENED FOR VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY and discuss with your doctor or dietitian how to get your levels ABOVE 50-60ng/mL. Follow up with your Primary Care Physician to manage your levels and ensure they respond appropriately to supplementation.
For those parents of children that regularly suffer with asthma induced complications of the flu check out this study on Vitamin D from 2010:
"In children with a previous diagnosis of asthma, asthma attacks as a secondary outcome occurred in 2 children receiving vitamin D3 compared with 12 children receiving placebo"
Threads partnered with Elite Wellness Group in June to provide a nutritional workshop. Dr Beth Laffay shared with us her knowledge on the supplement industry and helped our attendees understand the importance of quality, research and sound nutrition.
Below is a simple "rule of thumb" by Elite Wellness. Applying this rule is an excellent way to rule out brands of supplements that do NOT put the consumer's health and wellness first.
Look for more events next month geared toward Junior High and High School athletes. Elite Wellness Group and Threads of Wellness will continue to partner together in wellness workshop offerings throughout the fall.
The last 6 months have provided an opportunity of growth. I've gone from "I'm a dietitian... I-shouldn't-require-anything-more-than-a-multi-vitamin ignorant" to "Omigosh, I had no idea I idea I was so deficient"
You have to understand that as a Dietitian, one of my responsibilities to my community is to de-bunk the health industry boasting of it's benefits of supplementation. You're kid hates leafy greens? Take a gummy multi-vitamin. You're family refuses fish? Take fish oil. Meanwhile, what we actually ingest daily hardly passes for food --but it's okay-- we take supplements to get what we need.
Without getting started on how the bulk of pre-made foods reduces our health regardless of supplementing, you can see how our country has begun to look at supplements as a way to literally "have our cake and eat it too"...all the time...every day...sometimes twice.
Well,as a dietitian, I beat to the "crunchy" drum and make all of our meals "from scratch". Although the kids often have prepackaged snack foods for grabbing on the go, I cannot eat of those as I have celiac disease and they are forbidden by my healthy gut. One would think I would have super power strength, run faster, jump higher and be a whiz at long division for how healthfully I have fed our home. The truth is, my family HAS been healthy, however I have not.
Having celiac and eating strictly gluten free for 7 years has created several nutritional deficits that wiped out my immune system as well as my energy level for the previous two years. Although heavy doses of fruits, veggies and variety has been practiced in my home for close to two decades, my body has continued to suffer.
Since learning of these deficiencies several months ago I've made sure to get consistent amounts of everything I need each day (in a form my body can absorb WHICH IS KEY). I've begun taking supplements that actually set the bar of the best standard available as well as modified my diet slightly to incorporate more of the foods that happen to be rich in those things I lack. (Which was done by adding consistent servings of chickpeas to my diet each week and 2 meat servings).
With just those changes, my life is totally different compared to before*.
-I sleep about 7 hours/night and feel rested when I wake up (compared to 12-14 hours and NOT feeling rested.
-I haven't had a cold since I began supplementing...no joke.
-My weight is up but clothing sizes have not changed, largely due to the fact I'm building muscle mass and slowly losing body fat ---not having changed my level of physical activity at all. (I probably couldn't if I tried. VERY active.)
-A stress fracture of two years that just wouldn't heal is NOW finally healing! My skin heals from wounds more quickly and I'm bruising less as well.
-My skin around my eyes as well as my eyes appear healthier and more vibrant. (evidenced by my forgetting concealer often and nobody asking me "is everything okay?)
All of that said... I've had to get used to swallowing a lot of pills each day. I have no desire to spend my life taking supplements and have begun looking at gardening options, composting etc etc. to get more nutrition into fruits and veggies. I have a long road ahead of me there...considering 3 years ago I talked my husband into planing grass over our gardens because life was too hectic to tend to those responsibilities. As he reads this I can assure you he is looking at me with the 'one eyebrow'...
So, until gardening again comes to fruition, I will continue to utilize my morning system. I throw a healthy plant based fat, organic sources of soy and whey protein as well as gluten free fiber from a grain, fruits and veggies into a smoothie with my supplements. The result is a creamy, delicious smoothie that keeps me satisfied between meals, in place of meals some days and invests in my health tomorrow and the next day.
On that note...if you ever have questions regarding whether or not you need to be on supplements, I'm thankful that I can be better equipped to help guide and answer with the months of research and understanding that I've gained through this process. I'm thankful, overwhelmed and want to help anyone else that has felt helpless regarding their state of wellness or energy. Where there is a will...there is ALWAYS a way.
* Lab wise, my vitamin D climbed from 20's to >50 within just 3 months, my B vitamins are at rockstar levels and minerals like copper and zinc are finally at the boarder of healthy.
Happy first day of Soups-Stews-and-Casserole-Season!
That's right. We kicked our heat on in the house yesterday for the first time since spring. It's official.
In attempting these combo dishes in a healthful manner, I've typically learned to season with herbs and flavorful peppers, onions, garlic, celery, etc... but I will often finish my seasoning habits with a sprinkle of bouillon. The guilt of this (as a dietitian) is that I know those jars pack in a years worth of a sodium allowance. 2300 mg of sodium/day is the regular "allowance" IF you do not have heart disease, kidney issue of any kind or diabetes. And just for perspective sake, one tsp of salt = 2300 mg of sodium.
Because the majority of our sodium intake comes from baked goods, processed foods and other ready to eat items, we HAVE to be careful how we use salt in the kitchen.
It seriously never needs to be added until food is on the table. If you add it during the cooking process, it soaks into the starch or veggie and the full flavor never registers on our taste buds. Adding it at the very end or when on the table provides ample flavor, more delight on our tongue and we will typically use LESS salt over all.
But, seriously, back to this soup, stew, delicious brothiness...
We need to be honest, pre-made broth has oodles of sodium. That said, we should be making our own broth from scratch if we would like to eliminate sodium as much as possible.
-Insert snarky cackles of laughter-
Making our own broth MIX is where we need to keep our heads, y'alls. No-ones-got-time/dollars/gumption-for-that simmer a pile of business all day.
In playing with a plant based diet I found a GEM of a resource, an amazing wife, mom, cook of all things healthful. She makes her own low sodium Vegetable Broth Mix! I've cut and pasted her recipe and directions below. Follow her, love her, leave her a blip of thanks and go play in your kitchen!
Veggie Broth Mix
3 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1 cup nutritional yeast
Mix all ingredients together, adjusting for your taste preferences. (If you hate once of these spices simply omit it.)
Store in an air tight container.
Use this broth mix by adding 1 Tbsp of mix to warm water. I like to add extra salt to the finished product. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of dry veggie broth mix, that’s 24 cups of broth. I haven’t added up the cost but I think it is a much better value that all of the veggie broth I’d been buying.
Use this veggie broth in any recipe. Some of my favorites include Chickpea Noodle Soup, Minestrone Soup, Potato and Kale Soup but it is also incredible mixed in warm noodles, rice or watch it take your favorite casseroles to the next level. For more ideas check out my Recipe Page!