Category Archives: Health

Dear Butter,

butterrecently, I ordered a “Paleo Bowl” at a local restaurant. I was so happy they had food that I could eat without a care of what was in it. Of course I was a tad bit surprised to see just how low fat it really was. Vegetables and meat taste good. But fat? It makes it delicious.

You know, Butter, this takes me way back into my childhood. When I was a little girl, my grandma invited me to have breakfast with her on Saturday mornings. My parents had already converted to the not so good margarine, but my grandma still used good old You! She would spread a thick layer of you on a breakfast roll, then put another thick layer of raw honey on top. I know, I know, bread is not good for you. But oh, the combination of honey and butter, I will always, always love it.

Back at the local restaurant I took my Paleo Bowl to the counter and asked the young lady behind it, if it was possible to get a side of butter. You won’t believe the look she gave me, Butter. She seemed upset at even the thought that someone would voluntarily ask for butter! But she put on a smile and told me they don’t use butter… at all. That made me stare at the food, and I couldn’t help wondering if they had added any kind of fat at all in the cooking of this meal.

Anyway, I suffered through the rest of the day in class (yes, this was my finals weekend for Nutritional Therapy), knowing that my lack of fatty acids made my brain less receptive for all the information. Also, only two hours after my meal, my stomach was growling. I was so hungry for something fatty!

Butter, I’m so very sorry that so many people still think you’re the bad guy because you’re a saturated fat. They don’t understand that you are full of great fat soluble vitamins, like A, E, and K2!

And saturated fats are actually NOT bad for you. Science has finally caught up and found no link between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease!
I also learned recently, that butyrate in butter, may actually prevent people from gaining weight, and your fasting triglycerides and insulin will actually be lowered! Also, saturated fats with omega 3 and omega 6 actually helps balance inflammation in the body. Wow, Butter, I’m starting to think you’re somewhat of a…. health food!

Of course, when it comes down to it, you’re really just incredibly delicious! When I came home that night, I had a big load of leftover spaghetti sauce with a heap of butter on top. I should always eat spaghetti sauce with butter. Heck, I should put You on bacon… on eggs… on a spoon full of honey… in my tea… in baked goods… You catch my drift!

Anyway, I gotta go. Breakfast is calling. See ya in the fridge!

Love,
Grokette

 

Distance Nutritional Therapy now available at Grokette’s Primal Musings

After offering my services to locals, I would like to extend a special offer to distance clients. Nutritional Therapy can work for you, even if you can’t see me in person.

For a FREE 20 minute consultation simply call (503)877-5110. During this consultation we’ll find out if Nutritional Therapy is something you’d like to try.

I look forward to talking to you.

 

Low stomach acid and Vitamin B12 and Hypothyroidism, oh my!

1_question-markI honestly don’t even know where to start with this post, because the information is so complex. Once again, a diagnosis of my own, leads me to investigate further, and I have the desire to share my findings. I have recently been diagnosed with Vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiency, iodine deficiency, and finally hypothyroidism. I have since started taking thyroid medication (Armour, for those of you who want to know), though of course, I felt compelled to dig a little deeper.

First, I was interested in why on Earth I, of all people, might be B12 sufficient. B12 is found in animal protein. I eat meat every day. I should not be deficient in B12, right? Wrong! It appears, that you can eat as much meat and take in as much B12 as you want, without enough intrinsic factor (a substance secreted by the stomach that just so happens to bind to B12 to enable the body to absorb B12), your B12 will be flushed out unused with your feces.

Another piece of information I found is that low stomach acid is cause for B12 deficiency. Stomach acid liberates B12 from the food. In the meantime, I have also found, that there is likely a huge amount of the population with low stomach acid. Here we are, diagnosed with low stomach acid, and we take prescription drugs to lower stomach acid, when the real problem may be low stomach acid to begin with. I’ll write another post about that subject separately.

Well, guess what, iron absorption can also be decreased by low stomach acid.

And finally, did you know that B12 can make hypothyroidism worse? According to a study, about 40% of people in this study also suffered from B12 deficiency. There used to be a belief, that B12 deficiency is more common in elderly people, but the study found, that it is just as common in younger people.

Many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and B12 deficiency overlap. Some of them include: fatigue, disturbed sleep, depression, bad memory, lethargy… Of course, any and all of these symptoms could also indicate a totally different all together, which might be, why many people are never screened for B12 or hypothyroidism. All too often, your doctor will happily prescribe an antidepressant and send you on your merry way.

I am no doctor, and I am certainly not trained to make a diagnosis or treat people. But, I am also no dummy. My course in Nutritional Therapy has taught me at least one important thing, and that is to go back to the foundations of health. One should at least consider the possibility of addressing one’s digestion. Couldn’t it theoretically be possible, that my years of abusing my body with the wrong foods, diet pills, and endless cardio, have led to low stomach acid, which in turn triggered a whole chain reaction of deficiencies and finally my underactive thyroid?

If you suffer from low stomach acid, an HCL supplement may just be the way to go. Of course, I would suggest you see a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (me, once I graduate in October!), to address your issues one at a time. In Nutritional Therapy, you and your practitioner will look at your digestion as a north to south process. It will do you no good to heal your large intestine, when the stomach is in dire need of help.

More and more, I find the connections between symptoms and causes, and at least in my case, they are usually found somewhere in my digestive track. This confirms even more, what I have known for years now, which is to eat a healthy diet, consisting of whole, unprocessed foods. Sound familiar?

Dear Egg,

eggyesterday, I had to defend you once again. People are slowly starting to accept you as a health food, but there are still plenty of them out there, who just don’t know you well enough to understand what a great little powerhouse you are! And then I had this conversation yesterday, when a woman called you a “useless dairy product”. Of course, I asked her why she would think that you are a dairy product at all. And she said, it was because you were sold in the dairy section right next to the milk. Given the choice, she’d rather buy the milk, because milk is “good for your your bones. Eggs just give you high cholesterol.” Can you believe such ignorance, little Egg?

Of course, I tried telling her that you are not dairy. And I also tried telling her that, when bought from happy chickens, who get to eat grass and bugs, you are full of great nutrients like: omega 3s, choline, selenium, biotin, carotenoids, manganese, Vitamin B12, iodine, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and so much more! 

But she insisted, that your cholesterol hurts her body, and that she will not eat more eggs than absolutely necessary. I pointed out studies to her, that found no link between egg consumption and increased cholesterol. But, little Egg, at that point, I think I lost her already. I think, in her mind she had already wandered over to the cereal aisle where she would go and find enriched something or other cereal, fiber rich, and heart healthy. So, I let her go with the recommendation to research the subject a little more, so she can make an informed decision.

Dear Egg, I’m a believer! I have been eating lots and lots of your egg friends over the past three years. My cholesterol is fine, and so is my health. You are, and forever will be, my good friend. I love you hard boiled, fried, scrambled, as an omelet, quiched, or really, any way you are served.

Speaking of which, time for breakfast.

I love you,

Grokette

Those pesky old beliefs you can’t get rid of…

Chances are, if you have parents, you were told something that you cannot let go of. Parents are powerful people. Their beliefs become your beliefs. Even the most well-meaning, kind parents will send you into the world with thoughts and views on the world that may not be your own.

I have a great relationship with my parents. They are wonderful people, and I actually consider them my friends. At 40 years old I’m not holding a grudge. I am, however, becoming more aware of behaviors and beliefs that have been bestowed upon me many, many years ago.

1. “You never finish anything.”

Boy, that one was a stinger. It was dropped by my dad in a conversation, after I quit a job I hated. Apparently he felt that I started and quit too many things as a child. He was probably not wrong with this belief. Of course, my dad’s words were powerful words, and I think I was subconsciously trying to live up to those expectations. Sticking with something is still difficult for me to do, even if I love them, though I’m much better about it now. And my parents are super proud of their daughter, regardless of what’s been said so many years ago.

2. “Your ideal weight for your height is 150lbs.”

This one’s a bit tougher. I grew up with a mother who was always very conscious of her weight and any fluctuations of it. I recall her stepping on the scale every day, reducing calories, when she gained a couple of pounds, and lamenting her soft post-pregnancy belly. The message I received as a young girl was that I looked nicer when my face was thinner, and that I should always strive to be skinny. None of these things were said in a rude way. My mom did what she did, because she felt strongly about it. And I understand it! Over the decades I remember many conversations over our body weight, diets, gaining too much weight, the frustration of dieting, and for the longest time I felt I had to somehow compete with her. Not that she ever said so, but even without the exact words, I felt in my heart that she hoped I would stay skinny. She was thrilled beyond words, when I lost a lot of weight after going paleo.

The weight gain I experienced over the past year has been so frustrating to me, because all I wanted was for my mom to be proud of how skinny I was. It didn’t matter that I also got strong. It didn’t matter that my thyroid was acting up… or should I say, not acting enough. In my mind, I am not beautiful enough when I weigh “too much”. The number 150 is still calling to me, even though, after three years of CrossFit, I really shouldn’t even dream about going back to that weight. I am 6 feet tall!

Let me make it very clear once again, that this is not a Mom shaming post. I love my  mom dearly, and I lay no blame on her at all. This is about my inability to let go of old beliefs. I need to find peace once and for all. I need to let go. And yes, I need to love and appreciate my body no matter how big or small it may be. In my world that is a tall order, but I also know, it is very possible to get there.

How about you? What old beliefs and behaviors are holding you back from finding real happiness?

“Face it, Mom, I will never be paleo!”

My middle child, she is now 13 and a half, has announced this after a discussion over her food choices. But let me rewind just a bit. Neither of my younger children are terribly excited about being paleo. They eat the food I make, they like it, they also like the treats I make for them. But they will go for sugar and processed crap whenever they get a chance. My son has fewer opportunities, since he’s only 11. But my daughter has been fighting me and this way of eating since the day I introduced it.

I have never been strict about it. My rule was always, you eat what I make at home. When you go out or hang with friends, you’re free to eat what you like. And my daughter has taken this to an extreme. Almost, as if to show me, just how much she hates what I do, she demonstrates at every opportunity her power to do whatever she wants to. Additionally, she starts eating less and less meat and more and more junk that she buys with her allowance. Even after 3.5 years she still insists that what I do is not normal.

Let me make it very clear, that this child is highly intelligent, driven, passionate, and she knows the benefits of eating at least partly paleo. She is a long and lean ballet dancer. Not an ounce of fat on her body, and she is proud not to have put on the same chub that some others have put on when they entered their teens. Good genes, I guess? I was like that way back when…

In order to keep my child fed, especially in the mornings, because she absolutely refuses to eat anything paleo (forget eggs of any kind! She will NOT eat them!), I started purchasing gluten free granolas and such things. (Yes, after all these years I finally caved.)

Currently my brother and his family are visiting from Germany. Bread, candy, and soda have returned to my house, and my children are in heaven. They are gorging on junk food in the worst possible way. They act like I have been starving them for years, and they are finally getting “real” food again. No, I’m not laying any blame on anyone, least of all my brother. He eats a certain way, and he’s excited to be drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Twizzlers, all things he cannot get in Germany. Certainly, this stuff will once again disappear, when my brother leaves.

But what will not disappear is my kids’ resistance to healthy food. And I am about to throw in the towel. This is not to say, that I will stop cooking the way I have been. And when I make lunches for them, then they will be the foods I choose. However, I will bring back certain food items that make my life easier and my children happier. I know what ingredients to look for and what to stay away from. The lesser evil will have to do for a while.

Sure, I could be super strict. I could tell them to suck it up, but frankly, they’re too old for this. At this point my strategy needs to be: lead by example. Educate. Continue on the journey and hope that some day it’ll rub off on them and they will slowly start following my lead.

Do you have resistant teens at home? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Quick and easy paleo granola

granolaDo you have children? I do! Without them, I’d likely never even think about making granola. But they dig it, and they are bored with eggs. Heck, one of them doesn’t even eat eggs. A friend of mine (hi, Sharon!) shared her homemade granola with our class recently, and she mentioned ingredients like almonds, cocoa powder, and honey. I went home and forgot about it. Until about a week later, when there was drama because of a lack of “decent breakfast foods”. I checked my pantry and found some ingredients, I thought would work. And did it ever! Here’s what I did.

Ingredients:
3 cups almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup chia seeds
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup honey (warmed up)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions:

In a food processor, blend the almonds and walnuts, until you have some bigger pieces and some nut meal. Add the chia seeds and cocoa powder and stir them in until well combined. Finally add the honey and coconut oil and mix until completely combined. I did this with a spoon. You can add a little more liquid if needed. Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 200F for about 30 minutes. Set out to cool completely and fill into jars. Enjoy with yogurt, coconut milk, ice cream, or just by the handful. 🙂