All posts filed under: Blog

Rob Hill Presents: Tips for a Delicious—and Healthy—Hanukkah ✡️

By: Rob Hill Tips for a Delicious—and Healthy—Hanukkah It’s Hanukkah time and that means eight days of food, friends, and parties. Traditionally, the holiday is marked with generous heapings of mouth-savory fried foods like latkes, elaborate pastries, doughnuts and, of course, all things cheese. But there are ways to still enjoy the festive gluttony without overtaxing your body. One simple way to start is to jettison dairy products for plant-based alternatives. The dairy-free sector has come a long way in creating healthier and delicious alternatives to the devilish dairy items we most love. From tasty vegan sour creams to brilliantly flavored soy cheese to almond milk, you don’t have to sacrifice taste for health anymore. You can ditch the eggs too. Eggs are easily replaced  in many recipes without losing flavor or consistency. For example, you can use silken tofu, flax seed or chia seeds doused in tepid water. Another option is simply using unsweetened fruit puree topped with baking powder. The same goes for frying everything. Look to pan-fry instead of deep-frying, and always …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Do Shakes and Smoothies Belong in a Nutrient-Dense, Real Food Template? – Part 2 ✍🏼

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Part 1 in this series reviewed some of the reasons why shakes and smoothies are so popular in modern society, and shared concerning findings regarding some protein powders.  Let’s continue the discussion on shakes and smoothies!   Many people drink shakes or smoothies because they believe for one reason or another that they need to include more protein in their diet.  In industrialized countries, protein deficiency is exceedingly rare.  The evidencesuggests that protein intake is homeostatically regulated by the body.  In other words, if your body requires more protein, there are complex processes that occur that will lead you to crave and eat more protein.  If your body needs less protein, you will be averse to it and you will naturally eat less protein.  A good example of this is during pregnancy in which many women become noticeably averse to various types of proteins.  There is some thought that protein aversions during pregnancy may be an attempt by the body to limit protein intake as too much protein could be harmful …

True Stories From Our Readers presents: Marco’s Story – Part 2

My name is Marco Klaassen and I live in The Netherlands. Next month, it will be 3 years since I suffered a near fatal heart attack which was unrecognized at first. Please see my previous blog on this site for the prelude to this post. Although I lost 44 lbs and changed my lifestyle, improper medical treatment caused permanent damage to my heart. I immediately took to action and did a lot of research about food and exercise. I am a firm believer that nature provides us everything we need: shelter, clothing, food and even naturally derived medications. Food is the primary source of our wellness. After my health issues, despite beliefs that meat is bad for you, now my diet is mainly based on meat, fish and of course, fresh vegetables and fruits. My recovery was “amazing” and “the success story of the cardio ward” according to my cardiologist. My anemia, obesity, cholesterol (and many more issues) were all solved by changing my diet. When you take your pet to the vet for help, a good veterinarian will ask …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Do Shakes and Smoothies Belong in a Nutrient-Dense, Real Food Template? – Part 1 ✍🏼

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Shakes and smoothies are growing in popularity within the real food community. Protein shakes are all the rage among Crossfitters and other athletes that are concerned with post-workout nutrition, but also among busy professionals and parents, individuals with either weight loss or weight gain as a goal, pregnant and nursing women, those struggling with autoimmune disease, and the average person searching for optimal health.  One of the most frequent questions that I receive in my work as a nutritional therapist is, “What kind of protein powder do you recommend?”  The appeal of shakes and smoothies lies in their convenience and presumed fit with our modern, hectic lifestyles.  It doesn’t take much time or preparation to throw together a shake or smoothie and drink it.  The convenience factor aside, most of us have been subjected to the influence of heavy marketing efforts that have convinced us that not only do we need more protein in our diet, but the addition of a protein shake can do amazing things for us: gain muscle, lose …

The Paleo Nurse ✚ Presents: Finding Balance through Primal Movement

by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN Fitness has always been an important part of my life.  Growing up, my parents owned a martial arts academy and I practiced martial arts from the time that I was a toddler.  Although I didn’t participate in organized sports, I was an avid figure skater and I started weight lifting, practicing yoga, and running in high school.  During college, I became even more serious about fitness and what started as a healthy habit eventually morphed into somewhat of a warped obsession and addiction (although I didn’t recognize it as such until much later).  I didn’t have a body image disorder, but I used my love of fitness as a crutch in a lot of ways.  I worked out 6-7 days per week, rarely allowing myself a true rest day.  I would feel guilty and uneasy if I did miss a day at the gym. When I was first diagnosed with autoimmune disease, I was in the midst of training for a marathon.  I was running daily, followed by additional cardio classes …

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:  …