Don’t get tricked by these scary oils

Don’t get tricked by these scary oils

Cardiovascular disease. Obesity. Diabetes. Cancer. Autoimmune diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases. Psychiatric illnesses. What do all of these chronic diseases seem to have in common? Inflammation! Let’s discuss how an anti inflammatory diet can play a big role in managing inflammation.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is an important bodily process in the short term. Acute inflammation can help us fight off infections, heal from an injury, or recover from a burn. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is what contributes to the chronic diseases mentioned above.

Our modern environment exposes us to inflammatory substances often.  While there is multiple offending factors, one that has become more prevalent in the past several decades is the substitution of inflammatory oils in our food supply overriding the benefits of an anti inflammatory diet.

Inflammatory Oils 

Over the past century, omega 6 fatty acids has dramatically increased, while omega 3 fatty acids (which are considered a big part of an anti inflammatory diet) has decreased.

Omega 6s in “whole foods” are not the concern. The main offender is the addition and substitution of inflammatory oils in our food system. These show up as cooking oils in restaurants and homes, as well as the packaged products that line the supermarket.

Omega 6s are very unstable fats when exposed to heat. This leads to oxidation of these fats, which can have damaging effects on the body. One may think “just don’t heat these oils”, however the process needed to make these oils involves heating at extremely high temperatures, chemical solvents, deodorizers, bleaching agents, and many other steps that result in nutrient poor, oxidized, and rancid oils that are not favorable for our health.

Originally these were added to reduce cost, extend the shelf life, and be “heart healthy”, however, they have replaced seemingly healthy fats and left us with nutrient-poor, oxidized oils that are causing more harm than good. Now, this isn’t meant to instill fear in going to a restaurant or buying food at the grocery store. Rather, I want to help people become more aware of what they are putting into their body to optimize their health and have an anti inflammatory diet

Steps to reduce inflammatory oils:

1. Read your food labels at home for inflammatory oils.
2. Become aware of the common foods with inflammatory oils.
3. When you run out of a food with these oils, consider swapping it out for a product with a more stable oil.
4. Swap your cooking oils for more “traditional” fats – butter, ghee, animal fat, coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil.
5. Don’t overwhelm yourself with everything at once. Inflammatory oils are just 1 piece of the puzzle. Replacing a few products a month is a great step!

Inflammatory Swaps

If you find reading a food label overwhelming or navigating the grocery store in general, know we are here to help you! If you are interested in getting more inflammatory oils out of your diet, let us help you meal plan or book a 1-1 session! 

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Magnesium for Digestion

Magnesium for Digestion

Beet Hummus
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep? Painful menstrual cramps? Eye or Muscle Twitching? Diarrhea? Constipation? Headaches?
Any of these sounds like you? You may be one of the 70% of Americans who have less than optimal magnesium status. Let’s talk about how magnesium can help your health and in particular magnesium for digestion.

 

Why you should care about magnesium?

 
Magnesium is a mineral that is used in over 300 processes in our body most importantly to combat stress in our system. As stress happens we pull calcium in to contract our muscles and without magnesium they will stay in this contracted state. Contracted muscles can make you feel extra stressed, raise your heart rate, and pull calcium away from your bones.
 

Magnesium can help with:

  •  Migraines
  •  Menstrual Cramps
  •  Constipation 
  •  Regulating blood pressure
  •  Muscle spasms (eye twitching is a common a symptom of less than optimal magnesium)
  •  Bone development
  • Sleep

It’s important to note that Magnesium is filtered through the kidneys, therefore individuals with kidney issues should not take magnesium supplements.

Magnesium for digestion:

Magnesium is a relaxant for muscles which can include your digestive tract.  When the body is stressed the muscles contract. This is good, unless it is a chronic state that many find themselves in.  When your digestive tract is contracted it might cause symptoms like diarrhea or constipation.  Stress also diverts attention away from digestion. This is a protective measure, but when there is chronic stress it can cause digestive distress. Magnesium can help to balance this stress response. That means that individuals who find themselves chronically stressed may be using their magnesium more rapidly and need additional intake through food or supplements.

Some of the foods highest in magnesium are also foods that many people with IBS and other digestive symptoms avoid like leafy greens (raw veggies can be hard to digest), beans, and chocolate (often a reflux trigger).

Magnesium Supplements

If you already have digestive issues, supplementing magnesium may be a good choice while you gradually work on gut healing. Let’s talk through a few supplement options:
  • Magnesium citrate helps to pull extra water into the intestines which may help with constipation. However, magnesium citrate is poorly absorbed so it is not great at replenishing magnesium stores.
  • Magnesium glycinate and malate are both good options for replenishing stores as they are among the best absorbed. These would be good for muscle cramps, menstrual cramps, relaxation, eye twitching and headaches.
  • Magnesium threonate is well researched for it’s neurological benefits which may include depression and age-related memory loss.
  • Other popular Magnesium supplements include oxide and hydroxide which are both poorly absorbed but then to be rather inexpensive. Hydroxide is best know as milk of magnesia. It is a laxative so it can be habit forming for your bowel and should only be used short term.

Food as Medicine

I am always going to suggest focusing first on the magnesium that you get in your diet before you experiment with supplementation.  Getting enough Magnesium doesn’t have to be difficult or anything less than delicious. Mint chocolate chip smoothies are the perfect way to get a hefty dose of magnesium. It provides almost 200 mg of magnesium which is about half your daily needs! Blended ingredients are also easier to digestion for those with digestive issues. Brownie Batter hummus is another tasty option that provides about half of your daily magnesium needs per serving (about 1/4 of the recipe). 

 

Brownie Batter Hummus
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Ingredients

  • 1- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients together except the milk and chocolate chips. Gradually add in the milk until desired texture is reached. Fold in chocolate chips. Serve with fruit or graham crackers.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2022/03/magnesium-for-digestion/

Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

Loving veggies in the summer is easy, anyone can do it.  But helping you love veggies in the dreary winter is an art and needs bold flavors and colors. In the winter I love to turn to recipes like my sweet potato and butternut squash soup and  roasted Brussels sprouts. February is heart health month and the color of the month is pink and red. The best way to celebrate is with some vibrant beet recipes. We are thinking beyond the basic beet recipes with this roasted beet hummus. The vibrant color is so irresistible that even my littles love to dip.

 

 

Easiest Way to Prepare Beets

beet recipes

Peeling beets can be intimidating! Skip the peeler and use a paper towel to peel your roasted beets. The beet skin will just peel right off. Use this tip for all your favorite beet recipes. 

Roasted Beet Hummus
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Ingredients

  • 2 medium beets
  • 1/4 cup Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Scrub beets clean and remove leafy tops. Lightly rub beets with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place onto foil, folding sides up to make a pouch. Roast beets for 45 minutes or until easily penetrated with a fork. Allow to cool. Once beets are cool enough to handle, peel, skin, and dice them.
  2. Place garlic, onion, and 1 T olive oil in a medium skilled and sauté until onions become translucent and tender.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Set aside.
  4. Add beets, chickpeas (drained), onion, and garlic to a food processor and beat until smooth.
  5. Scrape down sides and add tahini, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Slowly process in the olive oil and lemon juice mixture until desired consistency is reached. Add black pepper to taste.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2022/02/roasted-beet-hummus/

Spooky Protein Waffles

Spooky Protein Waffles

This Protein Waffles recipe was developed in partnership with Midwest Dairy.

Farm to Plate

I love cooking and always want to get my kids busy in the kitchen, but so far their love for cooking is not quite as enthusiastic as mine.  That doesn’t mean that I stop trying, it just means that I have to get more creative.   I want my children to build their love of cooking and food from the ground up; to have a true farm to plate understanding. We had a great opportunity to do this during our recent visit to Wonderscope.  If you haven’t been to Wonderscope, it is an interactive children’s museum in Kansas City. 

 

Among the activities that Wonderscope offers is the interactive dairy exhibit.  While visiting we learned the process that my kids’ favorite dairy products go through to get from farm to plate.  The dairy that we love only takes about 48 hours to get from the farm to our fridge, that means that almost all of our dairy products are from local farms. 95% of dairy farms are also family owned. I love supporting local family-owned businesses and dairy is a great way to do that. 

 

 

protein waffles

Remember I said farm to plate? We learned about the farm side and took it back home to create a recipe featuring my kids’ favorite dairy product, cottage cheese. We created protein waffles with a halloween flare. 

 

Typically waffles are not very filling because they lack protein. We solved this problem by making them protein waffles with cottage cheese and adding some healthy fat and fiber too with ground flaxseed.  

My kids are cautious eaters so getting good sources of protein at regular mealtimes can be a challenge. Making food fun like these spooky protein waffles is a great way for my kids to have fun while eating a filling meal. Bone – Appetite!

 

protein waffles

Spooky Gluten-Free Protein Waffles
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tablespoon milk or water (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add milk or water to reach desired consistency.
  2. Place 1/4 cup mix in small waffler maker.
  3. Add your favorite toppings
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2021/10/spooky-protein-waffles/

How to Use Fresh Herbs: Gut healthy Pesto

How to Use Fresh Herbs: Gut healthy Pesto

Gluten fre

We’ve all been there.

You buy cilantro for one recipe, then you are stuck with an entire bunch. Or maybe you got the itch to grow a basil plant this summer, and now you’ve tried everything to use it up. Don’t throw the extra out!

I’ve definitely made the mistake before of thinking that I can skip out on using fresh herbs in a recipe. The end product always seems to be missing something. It might be missing something more than just flavor.  These little plants are packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients!  One tablespoon of Oregano has 4x more antioxidants than blueberries. Antioxidants destroy free radicals helping prevent damage caused by chronic diseases like heart disease.  Herbs are a concentrated way to add extra nutrients to any dish. Thyme and Cilantro have more immune boosting Vitamin C than our favorite citrus fruits.

You don’t have to be a culinary expert to add herbs. If you’re like us, you’ve bought something like parsley or thyme for one recipe, and after that tasty meal- you were left with a bunch of leaves and wondering how to use fresh herbs. Or maybe you’ve got a thriving basil plant in your home or some ever-spreading mint in your garden that keeps on giving! We’ve done some gathering and put together some great ideas for your leftover herbs and listed them below. Putting them to use is a great way to add some more micronutrients to your diet, and cut back on food waste too. 

Here are a few of our favorite Pesto recipes: 

The Best Pesto
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Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Cup Basil
  • 3/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor, add remaining ingredients except olive oil. Add olive oil until desired consistency is achieved.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2021/07/how-to-use-fresh-herbs-and-a-low-fodmap-pesto/

 

 

Looking for a Low FODMAP Alternative?

Check out our Low FODMAP Pesto