Author: KM Foodservice

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Natural Tips for Healthy Hormone Balance ✍🏼

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Many people in our modern society struggle with hormonal imbalances, which can manifest in numerous ways:  Weight imbalances, anxiety, depression, mood swings, low libido, fatigue, infertility, female health concerns, and insomnia—just to name a few.  In this post, we discussed tips for female hormonal health (much of which can also be applied to males).  To continue the discussion on hormonal imbalance, here are a few more ways to ensure healthy hormone balance: Control Stress:  The human body was not designed to be subjected to the amount of chronic stressors present in our modern society.  The master stress hormone, cortisol, affects every single system in the body.  As part of its role in the fight-or-flight response, cortisol helps to redirect fuel to the body’s organs that need it the most in a situation that the body perceives to be an emergency.  This results in an increase in blood sugar levels and a suppression of the body’s systems and functions that are considered nonessential for immediate survival, including the reproductive, digestive, and immune …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Getting Started on the Autoimmune Protocol: Part 2 ✍🏼

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Getting Started on the Autoimmune Protocol: Part 2 In Part 1 of this series, we introduced the Autoimmune Protocol, a real food elimination diet that focuses on healing the gut and reducing inflammation in the body to improve symptoms of autoimmunity, digestive disorders, or other health concerns. Let’s continue to explore why the Autoimmune Protocol is effective. Why the Autoimmune Protocol Works The intestinal lining is one of the immune system’s major lines of defense against infections, toxins, and other threats that are introduced into the body through food and drink.  Normally, the intestinal epithelial cells sit together closely and are joined by tight junctions that form a barrier to prevent unwanted substances from passing through into the bloodstream.  The lining of the small intestine can become damaged due to a variety of factors, leading to what is referred to as a leaky gut.  The leaky gut will allow undesirable substances to pass directly from the gut to the bloodstream.  The body recognizes these substances as foreign invaders and mounts an immune …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Getting Started on the Autoimmune Protocol: Part 1

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Getting Started on the Autoimmune Protocol: Part 1 The Autoimmune Protocol is a real food elimination diet that focuses on healing the gut and reducing inflammation in the body to improve symptoms of autoimmunity, digestive disorders, or other health concerns.  In addition to eliminating the foods that are restricted in a general real nutrition template, the Autoimmune Protocol takes it a step further by temporarily removing certain foods, gut irritants, and environmental factors that are known to have a negative impact on gut health.  The foods that are restricted on the Autoimmune Protocol include: All Processed Foods Refined Fats & Oils Refined Sugars Processed Dairy Grains Eggs Legumes All Dairy (Including Grassfed Butter) Nuts Seeds (Including Cocoa and Coffee) Seed-based Spices (Dill, Fennel, Sesame Seed, etc.) Nightshade Vegetables (Including Tomatoes, Eggplants, Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatillos, Spices Derived from Peppers, etc.) Alcohol Other Factors to Consider Stress reduction and adequate sleep are both key elements to implementing the Autoimmune Protocol, as well as restricting high intensity and chronic endurance exercise.  The body’s overall …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Role of Essential Gut Flora Part 2

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Role of Essential Gut Flora (continued) In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the various types of gut flora and began to explore the varied roles of essential gut flora.  In the healthy individual, the essential gut flora forms a bacterial layer that covers the entire digestive track.  This bacterial layer acts as a physical barrier to protect against transitional flora, viruses, parasites, toxins, and undigested food particles.  The gut flora produces acids that lower the pH of the gut wall and make it undesirable for microbes that cause disease.  The essential flora also has the ability to neutralize many toxins and inactivate carcinogens, or substances known to cause cancer.  It also plays a direct role in suppressing the processes by which cancer cells are known to develop and grow. The essential flora has a direct effect on important immune functions because it is responsible for stimulating the tissues of the lymph system that are located in the gut wall to produce lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights infections.  The lymphocytes then produce immunoglobulins, which are antibodies formed in response to contact with foreign substances (viruses, bacteria, fungi, …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: The Role of Gut Flora in Health Part 1

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates. Over 2,400 years after the father of modern medicine made this claim, we are now re-discovering the role of gut flora, and just how true that statement was.  The digestive tract is home to 100 trillion microorganisms, known as the gut flora.  The majority of these microorganisms are bacteria, with a small percentage consisting of fungi and protozoa.  The functions of the gut flora are complex enough to resemble those of an organ, leading some researchers to refer to the gut flora as a “forgotten organ”.  Indeed, the gut flora plays a number of roles so vital to the human body that if the gut were to be sterilized, long-term survival would be unlikely. Types of Gut Flora There are three main categories of microorganisms found in the gut: 1.) Essential Flora:  This is the “friendly” bacteria that is found in the gut.  In the healthy individual, essential flora dominates and controls other types of less desirable microorganisms.  When functioning normally, this type of flora is responsible for conducting numerous roles that keep the body healthy. 2.) Opportunistic Flora:  …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Top Natural Cold and Flu Remedies: Part II

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Top Natural Cold and Flu Remedies: Part II Part 1 of this series discussed several holistic remedies that can help you to recover more quickly from the cold or flu. Find the remaining top remedies below: 7) Nasal Irrigation If you have a runny or stuffy nose that is accompanying a cold or flu, nasal irrigation can help.  The use of a neti pot for nasal irrigation comes from the ancient practice of Ayurveda and it involves using a small ceramic pot filled with a salt water solution in conjunction with head positioning and gravity to flush the sinus cavities (this is easier and much less traumatizing than it may sound).  You can find a neti pot in most health food stores or online.  If the thought of a neti pot intimidates you, most pharmacies carry nasal irrigation devices that some people may find easier to use.  Some studies have found that nasal irrigation can shorten the duration of a cold and prevent complications. 8) Vitamin D Vitamin D is a hormone precursor …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Is Low Stomach Acid Bad For Your Health? Part 2

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN   In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed why stomach acid is important and what happens when stomach acid is low. Now that you know how critical adequate stomach acid is to overall health, how can you recognize the signs and symptoms of stomach acid that is too low?   Prevalence and symptoms of low stomach acid   Low stomach acid is a common problem in developed nations.  According to Jonathon Wright, MD (author of “Why Stomach Acid is Good for You“), approximately 90% of Americans produce too little stomach acid.  He arrived at this conclusion after measuring the stomach pH of thousands of patients in his clinic.  While conventional medical doctors sometimes measure esophageal pH levels in particularly difficult cases of acid reflux, they never measure stomach pH levels.  As mentioned above, any amount of acid in the esophagus is abnormal and will cause symptoms. Because low stomach acid has such a profound impact on overall health, symptoms may affect a variety of body systems and result in conditions that include: Heartburn GERD Indigestion and bloating Burping or …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Is Low Stomach Acid Bad For Your Health? Part 1

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN   If you have ever watched television during the weeknight evening hours or had your regular radio programming interrupted by some messages from the sponsors, it is likely that you have been inundated with a slew of advertisements for antacids and acid-suppressing drugs, including the “purple pill” (Nexium), Prilosec, Prevacid, Pepcid AC, Zantac, and numerous other medications that lower stomach acid. Understandably, you may be under the impression that the symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, and gastrointestinal acid reflux disease (GERD) are caused by too much stomach acid. As acid-suppressing drugs are among the most commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications, the pharmaceutical companies are banking on acceptance of the idea that stomach acid is something that needs to be kept in check. However, in reality, stomach acid is necessary for digestion to work properly and it is not something to be feared! It is much more likely that your symptoms are being caused by low stomach acid, instead of an overproduction of stomach acid.   Why stomach acid is important   …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Top Natural Cold and Flu Remedies: Part I

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN   Top Natural Cold and Flu Remedies: Part I A healthy, real food lifestyle can go a long way in helping to boost your immune system and prevent you from getting a cold or flu virus. But sometimes, no matter how squeaky clean your diet is or how well you are taking care of yourself, you may find that you have succumbed to the latest virus that is making its rounds in your community.  If you do find yourself under the weather during this cold and flu season, these holistic remedies can help you to recover faster while maintaining an all-natural approach. 1) Sleep & Rest Getting extra sleep and rest is probably the most important thing that you can do to strengthen and support your immune system as it is actively fighting an infection.  There is a complex relationship between sleep and the immune system, with certain disease-fighting substances being created or released only during sleep.  Most people feel a greater need to sleep during times of illness, but taking non-drowsy, …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Vitamin D Supplementation: What You Need to Know

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN   Vitamin D Supplementation: What You Need to Know What is vitamin D? Vitamin D is a hormone precursor that has a primary function of promoting healthy bone formation by regulating calcium absorption in the gut and maintaining adequate calcium and phosphorus levels in the bloodstream.  Vitamin D also plays a number of other critical roles in the body, including modulation of the immune system, cell growth, the inflammatory response, and neuromuscular function.  It has been associated with health benefits in the prevention and treatment of many different chronic disease. Is it necessary to supplement with vitamin D? While it has become increasingly common for conventional and functional medicine practitioners alike to recommend vitamin D supplementation, there is still quite a bit that modern science does not fully understand about vitamin D, including what constitutes an adequate vitamin D level and if it is necessary for everyone to supplement with it.  It is certainly clear that vitamin D plays a vital role in health, but the evidence is building to suggest that low vitamin D …