Create and Curate

What’s The Deal With Supplements?

June 26, 2018

How do you sort through all the conflicting and confusing information about taking supplements, and figure out what might be helpful for you? Vitamins and supplements are big business. Every day there is something new being splashed across media channels promising to keep us young and cure what ails us; while, at the same time, talking heads are urging caution and citing concerns.

 

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a contributing factor in creating a diet that does not meet all of the body’s needs. Americans are the most overfed and undernourished people on the planet. Shockingly, in the next 18 minutes, four American’s will die from illnesses related to the food they eat! Foods that are processed, homogenized, pasteurized, contain genetically modified ingredients or artificial ingredients are killing more people than terrorism, war, murder, accidents and all other diseases combined. 

 

If you want to maintain optimum health, it is vital to understand the importance of diet and supplementation in an ever-changing nutritional landscape. Vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way as pharmaceuticals; so it is important to understand why some brands are superior to others. You should also speak with your physician before starting a supplement program.

 

I am a huge fan of David Perlmutter, MD, the author of Grain Brain, Brain Maker and The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan. If you have not read at least one of these books, I highly recommend that you order a copy and read it as soon as possible. Dr. Perlmutter has a simple guide for supplements that focuses on gut and brain health. It is worth considering if you want to add supplements to your diet.

 

I have long been a fan of adding natural supplements of nutrients that are hard for the body to obtain through a normal diet. In addition to what Dr. Perlmutter suggests, I  take a whole food compounded Activated C Food Complex, a Stress B-Complex and Magnesium with B6.

 

Supplement Guidelines:

 

Buy whole food compounded supplements and vitamins. Whole food means the nutrients are derived from food sources and are not made from chemicals.

  1. Purchase probiotics in small quantities and rotate brands. You want to look for at least 10 billion strains of beneficial bacteria and 10 billion CFU count. I always have 2 brands in my refrigerator at a time.
  2. Prebiotic fiber is essential for gut health and serves as the food for probiotic bacteria. When supplementing with acacia gum, be sure to buy USDA organic, Non-GMO Project verified, vegan, gluten free labeling. Make sure it’s free of psyllium, sugar, soy or artificial ingredients.
  3. Take your supplements at the same time daily with filtered water.

Supplements:

 

DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that makes up more than 90 percent of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. 1,000 mg daily.

 

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), reduces inflammation, and is a super fuel for the brain. 1-2 tsp daily  used in cooking, or consumed in a warm beverage.

 

Turmeric: Well studied for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties. It is a member of the ginger family and is the seasoning that gives curry its bright yellow color. 500 mg twice daily.

 

ALA: Alpha-Lipoid acid is a fatty acid that is found inside every cell in the body where it helps produce energy for the functions of the body. ALA also crosses the blood-brain barrier acting as a powerful antioxidant in the brain. 300-500mg daily.

 

Vitamin D3: Have your doctor check and monitor your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D3 is technically a hormone, not a vitamin and has far-reaching beneficial effects on the body and brain. 5,000 IU daily.

 

Prebiotic Fiber:  Key for optimized gut health, nutrient absorption, and maintaining healthy body weight. 1-2 tbs. acacia gum with water daily. Start with 1 tablespoon in water 20 minutes before the evening meal.

 

Probiotic: Look for a probiotic with at least 10 strains of beneficial bacteria and 10 billion CFU. Take on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

 

In an ideal world, we would get all of our nutrients from the food we eat. In today’s world, we have to be more vigilant and proactive to make sure we are giving our bodies what they need to stay healthy. 

Eating a largely plant based organic diet, filled with a colorful variety of foods, will nourish you with micronutrients and fiber. Embracing healthy fats like organic coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, avocados and fatty fish will help maintain a healthy weight and support brain function. Avoiding artificial ingredients, processed carbohydrates, sugar and artificial sweeteners, GMO’s, gluten and too much protein can reduce inflammation in the body. You can control how you spend your consumer dollars — decide what you want to put into your body and take charge of the future of your health by being proactive; start with nutrition.


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Four Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Health

May 11, 2018

Four years ago I hosted “GOT WELLNESS?”; a wellness event for women at the Old Town Theater in Alexandria, Virginia. The event was born from what I saw as a need to provide women, typically the wellness decision makers for their homes, with vital information about improving their health, and the health of their families. 

 

I have long been encouraging my friends and family to take control of their health through knowledge of alternative health practices and the power at the end of their forks. Despite my passion about the topic, my practice and coaching others to wellness, I am not a doctor.  As such, I wasn't always able to get everyone to pay attention. So, I set about assembling a team with impeccable integrative-medical credentials to explain the importance of using EVERY available resource, from traditional medicines and medicinal lifestyle practices to modern medicine, as a way to achieve optimum wellness. 

 

I convinced the accomplished Integrative Doctor Marie Steinmetz to participate as the keynote speaker. Dr. Steinmetz’s Family Practice was well respected long before she became one of the first Integrative physicians in the D.C area to have graduated from the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Her practice was built on integrative wellness and functional medicine; taking a whole patient approach to creating optimum health and wellness. The event sold out quickly, and it was clear that women wanted more information about the best choices for themselves and their families when it came to preventive wellness.

 

Be your own best health advocate through knowledge and the practice of creating your own wellness micro-climate.

 

The statistics are dire. Half of all adults in the US have one or more chronic diseases. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, obesity, and cancer comprise six of the ten leading causes of death. These are modern diseases have flourished amidst sedentary lifestyles and the Standard American Diet (SAD).

 

The stakes have never been higher for being proactive and taking control of your health.

 

The good news is there are many things in our personal environments that are a good starting point for taking control of future wellness — little everyday things that can have a big impact over time, because they are cumulative. It is important to remember that there are very few neutral things in our environment; most things have a positive or negative effect on our bodies. The goal is to minimize the negative and maximize the positive, putting the health odds ever in your favor.

 

4 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Wellness Microclimate

 

Take Off Your Shoes When You Come Inside.

Fecal matter, fungal spores, human skin flakes, hair, animal dander, dust mites, pollen, pesticides, lead dust and insect fragments are a few of the harmful toxins that are currently present in your home. According to a research, about 40% of these contaminants are brought in your household from the outside. These get stuck on your pets, clothing, and especially shoes. Create a place to leave shoes at the door and have house shoes for family and friends.

 

2.   Toss The Teflon Cookware

Fluropolymers such as polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE) and substances containing polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAs) are commonly used to create conventional, non-stick cooking surfaces. These materials are toxic and highly resilient, with both the human body and also the wider environment. When exposed to heat, most non-stick cookware becomes a source of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is a long-chain chemical compound that has been linked to a frightening range of health problems including thyroid disease, infertility in women, organ damage and developmental and reproductive problems. Instead, purchase a safe non-stick pan like Greenpan, Mercola or Scanpan brands. 

 

3.   Ditch The Flouride Toothpaste And Mouthwash

Over 95% of the toothpaste sold in the U.S. contains fluoride; with many stores carrying few, if any, non-fluoridated brands. The use of fluoride in dental products, particularly during early childhood, presents health risks. This is why the FDA requires a poison warning on every tube of fluoride toothpaste now sold in the US.

Risks from ingesting fluoride toothpaste include permanent tooth discoloration (dental fluorosis), stomach ailments, acute toxicity, skin rashes (perioral dermatitis), and impairment in glucose metabolism. Fluoride is also a known neurotoxin and impairs thyroid function. Switch to an organic brand of toothpaste that uses minimal chemicals to get the job done. Tom’s Of Maine, Primal Life Organics and Earthpaste are all acceptable.

 

4.   Filter Your Water

“Clean” drinking water from your kitchen tap has come from an exterior water source that has been potentially subject to pesticides and industrial run-off.  It then travels through miles of pipeline, picking up contaminants along the way. It’s been disinfected with potential carcinogens like chlorine, ammonia and or chloramines; then “fortified” with fluoride. Drinking, showering and bathing every day with this chemical mix affects your health. The environmental organization The Environmental Working Group spent three years investigating America’s drinking water and the results were shocking. They found that roughly 85% of the population was using tap water laced with over 300 contaminants, many with unknown, long-term effects, and more than half of which aren’t even regulated by the EPA. The best option is buy a whole-house filtration system; but you can start with a counter-top filter drinking pitcher like Aquasana or Britta and start drinking safer water today.

 

These 4 actionable tips are easy, affordable, and will positively impact your health.

 

Visit me at The Culinary Cure to learn more about how you can “live like you mean it and age like you want to.”

 

 

 

 

 


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Do You Need a Kitchen Intervention?

April 12, 2018

Diets don’t work, willpower eludes you, and behavior patterns related to food do not support the life you want to live.

 

Sound familiar? You are not alone. The kitchen is the most important room in your home. You have to eat to live; and, in order to live well, you have to eat well. This should be a simple process learned as a child and practiced every single day until your last meal. Unfortunately, the landscape of nutrition has become increasingly complicated, and sorting through overwhelming volumes of conflicting information leaves most people confused. 

 

To make matters more challenging, the American medical system only provides minimal nutritional education in medical school. Most doctors still recommend outdated diets, or worse, use the food pyramid. New science is emerging about the importance of diet in preventing disease — especially the value of maintaining a healthy gut biome for optimum health.

 

The Standard American Diet (SAD) can be linked to diet-related diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dental disease, strokes, neurological diseases, and many types of cancer. Diet-related diseases kill more people than murder, war, terrorism, accidents, and all other diseases combined. Scary stuff, but you do not have to be a statistic; you can decide right now to improve your health one bite at a time.

 

No one is forcing you to eat food that is full of chemicals, sugar, and genetically modified ingredients.

 

The journey to optimum health is like Dorothy following the yellow brick road — know the route and stick to it. The way to create health and happiness can be found by taking control of what happens in you own kitchen. 

I love demystifying how simple it can be to harness the cumulative power of little everyday habits to significantly improve health over time. When I complete a Kitchen Intervention, someone develops a new relationship with food that it is not difficult or expensive, is filled with delicious things to eat, and can be done immediately.  Click your heels, wake up in your kitchen, and get excited to reboot your life starting at the end of your fork.

 

What is wrong with your kitchen, and how can it become the starting point to help you live your best life?

 

Most people’s kitchens are overflowing with things they think they need, but actually don’t. When was the last time you used a waffle maker or panini press? Drawers and cabinets get cluttered with items that do not serve your wellness goals, turning healthy meal prep into a dreaded task. This is a fancy way of saying, there is probably too much sh*t in your kitchen. 

 

A Kitchen Intervention is a transformative process that addresses the root cause of diet-related health problems. The biology of your health begins in your kitchen.

 

Making lifestyle changes, even little bitty ones, can become an internal battle of epic proportions. The very habits you have created over decades literally hold you hostage to behaviors that keep you in a health rut, or worse, can lead to disease. Diets don’t work because they are not sustainable, and restricting caloric intake is unpleasant. When optimum health becomes the goal, sleep improves, the body assumes a healthy weight, stress becomes manageable, and we feel better.

 

What creates lasting change is developing new patterns of behavior and structuring your environment to put health supporting habits on auto-pilot.

 

By eliminating ingredients that trigger food cravings, create inflammation in the body and cause disease, the body can begin to recalibrate by signaling its own natural appetite-control systems. The body knows how to self-regulate, but artificial, processed, GMO, sugary foods interfere with the way our gut works, sending thousands of confusing messages throughout the body and wreaking havoc on our health.

 

You can create a health supporting micro-climate in your own kitchen to help prevent lifestyle diseases.

 

 A Kitchen Intervention is the starting point for understanding the cost-benefit analysis of the food you eat and the habits that run your life. Your health the single biggest asset you have. If you want to eliminate avoidable life-style diseases, have abundant health and energy, and put more life into your years…start in your kitchen.

 

Mini Kitchen Intervention

Toss the toxic teflon pan and invest in a green, non-stick pan. 

Get rid of plastic containers, save glass bottles and jars to reuse, invest in glass storage containers. Plastics are bad for you and the planet.

Double down on removing expired foods from your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Toss what is expired - no exceptions.

Check the expiration date and sniff your spices. If the spice has no smell, it has no medicinal benefit. Toss and replace.

Use up your chemical cleaning sprays and replace with natural non-toxic ones.

Buy less, buy organic, and use all the fresh food you buy each week.

 

 A Kitchen Intervention is a simple solution to a complex problem. Health is big business, but your health is your business, so take control of your kitchen today.

 

More information about Kitchen Interventions and creating a healthy life can be found at The Culinary Cure

You can always reach out me at kristen.coffield@theculinarycure.com


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