First Protect, Fight If You Must

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Photo Courtesy of I Had Cancer .Com

That “C” word still tends to infuse fear into our hearts when we, or someone we hold dear, is diagnosed with cancer.  Unfortunately, we live in a time where cancer is pervasive and common. There are many good reasons to believe that food has played a large role in the increase of cancer today.  That can be good news in the sense that lifestyle changes can help to prevent cancer or to tackle cancer cells if you already have it. Here are the top three anti-cancer nutrition strategies.

ONE:   Glucose feeds many cancers – Every carbohydrate is formed by glucose and fiber molecules.  Vegetables are more fiber, very little glucose.  Fruits have increasing amounts of glucose but some fiber.  Grains (e.g. wheat, rice, corn, oats…) are primarily glucose and little or no fiber. Obviously, sugars of every kind in candy or any other food turn to glucose. Minimizing glucose intake by reducing sugar and excess carbohydrates (grains, potato, sweets) is foundational in any anti-cancer strategy.

TWO:  Avoid Food Chemicals –  Eat real food.  Most chemicals at a minimum are toxic and inflammatory to the body and many are proven carcinogens.  There are very few laws in place preventing food producers from using them.  They are most pervasive in packaged, fast, and restaurant foods.

THREE: Eat plenty of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy, undamaged fats.  These are the foods that provide the anti-cancer effects, boost micro-nutrients and provide major vitamins that guard against cancer.  They also ward off inflammation, a precursor to most lifestyle diseases, cancer included.

Need help with your diet?  Meet with our staff nutritionist today!  

By |2020-01-25T02:31:11-06:00February 2nd, 2020|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Regarding The Game Changers Documentary

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Recently, there has been an uptick of interest in the 2018 documentary film called The Game Changers, available on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and Netflix. The documentary is about the benefits of a plant-based diet for athletes.  It is a flashy, male-oriented film with all the bells and whistles Hollywood has to offer, thanks to the producers, an A-list of professional athletes including James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, and Chris Paul.  The documentary talks about multiple success stories of athletes who consumed a vegan diet for athletic prowess while referencing scientific studies. The film also raises other arguments for plant-based diets such as humane animal treatment and environmental concerns. The documentary is very well done and very persuasive!

We encourage you to not fall prey to the shiny persuasiveness of this documentary and jump headfirst into a vegan diet. One way to keep a balanced perspective is to listen carefully to a response to the film by Joe Rogan and Chris Kresser here.

We are not suggesting that a vegan diet is not a good choice for some people, some of the time. However, it is very important to make clear that a vegan diet can be grossly lacking in some critical and required nutrients the human body must have to function.  Also, done incorrectly, and without proper education, a vegan diet can be extremely high in carbohydrates and genetically modified foods, leading to chronically destabilized blood sugar, inflammation, weight gain, and disease. It is the most difficult diet to follow because it requires monitoring and education to avoid serious medical issues.  So if you decide to give veganism a try, be sure to get a solid education about it, and consult with a functional health practitioner to monitor your health. Supplementation and routine testing will be essential.  Remember, too, we are each biologically and physiologically unique. You should seek to find a nutritional plan that optimizes your own health status.

By |2019-12-24T10:13:44-06:00December 20th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

One Easy Step – Eliminate Aluminum Foil

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

We often talk about taking baby steps in a longer journey to good health.  One easy and important step is to reduce or eliminate the use of aluminum foil in cooking. Aluminum foil is used by many to wrap breads for heating, cook foods in the oven or on the grill and to cover dishes while baking.  Researchers found that any food in contact with aluminum foil while cooking leaches surprising large amounts of aluminum directly into the food.  Acid foods such as tomato and lemons result in even greater leaching.

Aluminum serves no biological function in the body and is neurotoxic to human health.  Many health experts link aluminum use to Alzheimer’s, brain inflammation, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and impairment of iron metabolism. Early symptoms of aluminum exposure include depression, headaches, abnormal heartbeat, dry skin, gastrointestinal complaints, and frequent infections.  Aluminum toxicity includes more severe symptoms of paralytic muscular conditions, memory loss, and confusion. 

Routine usage over time results in aluminum accumulating in the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, and thyroid. As it accumulates, it causes oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation. Chronically, this can lead to disease. 

Reduce exposure by eliminating aluminum foil and aluminum cans from your kitchen. Cook in glass, stainless steel or ceramic cookware and storage containers.

Look for aluminum in body products such as deodorant and antacids and switch to aluminum free options.

Filter your water to ensure removal of aluminum and fluoride.

Natural detoxifiers for aluminum include cilantro, cruciferous vegetables, onion, and garlic.

High dose Vitamins C, N-acetyl-cysteine, and turmeric are also excellent at detoxifying and alleviating the adverse effects of aluminum.

Sources:

https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-foil-brain-health-2882.html

By |2019-12-04T12:38:22-06:00November 21st, 2019|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Seasonal Considerations

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Fall is here, the weather is changing, and the holiday season is quickly approaching.

We wish each of you a wonderful season celebrating with family and friends.  I hope you can find many things and people for which to be thankful.  Know that all of us at TWIHW are thankful for you!

Early November is a good time to make a few plans that can make your holidays healthier.  Today we are providing two low carb, yet delicious recipes for holiday enjoyment that will delight both family and friends.  They are so good, no one will know they are actually healthy for you!  There are many more holiday recipes on our Resources/Recipes tab at TWIHW.com and in our Health Reset Protocol Cookbook, which was newly revised and expanded this year.  If you don’t have a copy, be sure to get one!

When seasons change, the human body seeks change also.

Listen to your body and nourish it well.  Consider incorporating warmer foods such as soups and stews and winter squash.

As sunlight diminishes, you may feel better if you get into the sunshine during the warmer parts of the day to increase your Vitamin D level and maintain a brighter mood.  If that is not possible, you may want to increase your vitamin D3 intake.  This helps to boost your immune function for the flu/cold season and keep your spirits bright.

If your activity level increases or decreases as a result of the changing seasons, then adjust your food intake accordingly.  Some are very active during summer months but less so in the winter and visa versa.  Making dietary adjustments can prevent weight fluctuations and give you a better sense of balance and energy.

I like this Julia Child quote: “This is my invariable advice to people:  Learn how to cook. Try new recipes.  Learn from your mistakes. Be fearless.  And above all, have fun!”

Best wishes for a delightful and fun holiday season.  Eat well.  Be well.

By |2019-11-05T06:27:30-06:00October 24th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Nuts! I Didn’t Know That

By Nancy Melhert, MS

We are always encouraging you to include a variety of nuts and seeds in your diet.  It’s because they are deeply nutritious sources of fat, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – all packed into convenient little packages.  However, there can be pitfalls when it comes to making your selections, so here are a few tips to making the best choices!

How Much to Eat:

Nuts and seeds have considerable Omega 6 fats, which can be inflammatory.  And though it is important to get Omega 6 fats, it is mission critical that they be properly balanced with Omega 3 fats (anti-inflammatory). The truth is, we need very little Omega 6 fats in our diet, yet the Standard American Diet has an abundance of Omega 6 fats in it.  And the important anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fats are harder to find in foods and more difficult to get adequate amounts in the diet.  As a result, you will want to make ideal choices (see below)  and then carefully limit your overall intake of them to a few ounces a day for nuts, and a few tablespoons a day for seeds.

How To Buy Them:

First of all, choose nuts that are organic, raw and not irradiated, roasted in oil, pasteurized, or coated in sugar or flavorings.  Organic nuts and seeds are also free of antimicrobials and pesticides.   Nuts and seeds should smell fresh, not musty, stale or rancid.  Old nuts can have mold and mycotoxins present on them, which are harmful to your liver.  Roasted nuts are usually made at higher temperatures resulting in degradation of the Omega oils, damaging them.  If you prefer roasted, roast them yourself at low  temperatures, no more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven or on the stovetop for 15-20 minutes, which should  minimize any heat-related damage.

Always Rotate

Avoid eating the same nuts over and over and over.  This can result in food sensitivities and food allergies.  Besides, you need the wide variety of nutrition offered across the entire gamut of nuts.  So, rotate them often, and when you rotate, be sure to rotate nut milks and nut flours as well. Try new nuts and broaden your palate by including such choices as Brazil nuts, Cacao Nibs, Hazelnuts and Hemp seeds.     

From Best to Worst:

Ideal Choices: Black Sesame seeds, Chia seeds, Flax seeds (must be fresh, and please buy whole. You can grind them just prior to eating, and best to keep refrigerated) Pecans, Pumpkin seeds, Cacao Nibs, Coconuts,

Macadamia nuts (Toxic to dogs!! so don’t share with your furry friends) , psyllium seed husks and walnuts.

Good Choices: Almonds, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, Hemp seeds, Pine nuts and Pistachios

Limit:  Nuts mixed with dried fruits, dry roasted nuts, cashews, peanuts and sunflower seeds

Avoid: All nuts roasted in oils of any kind, all nuts coated in sugar or other sweeteners, any nuts mixed with candy, and peanut butter with partially hydrogenated oil.

That’s it in a nutshell. Enjoy.

By |2019-08-27T18:26:27-05:00August 27th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

The Salad Dressing Nightmare

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Unfortunately, virtually every salad dressing on a salad bar, on a menu, and on the salad dressing aisle of the grocery store, is a nightmare when it comes to ingredients.   Damaged oils, specifically soybean, canola and olive oil, and others that are not listed but present, are commonly used by most large producers.  None of these can provide nourishment for your cellular make up, and what they do instead is create inflammation and toxicity.

The second issue is that many of the other ingredients are genetically modified, chemicals and/or highly allergenic such as, corn starch, gluten, yeast extract, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG), natamycin (mold inhibitor), Polysorbate 60, Calcium Disodium EDTA, and high fructose corn sugar.  These too create inflammation, are toxic to the body, and in some cases are damaging to the gut.

On your journey to improved health, you may be choosing to eat more salads, yet your salad dressing choices may be contributing to poor health.  Thankfully, there is hope on the horizon as a couple of companies have come out with some cleaner dressings that taste good!

Here are two company brands you might want to look for and give a try.

Primal Kitchen Salad Dressings and Mayonnaise – This brand used avocado oil and is certified gluten free and certified non-GMO. Great start.  Additionally, they do NOT use dairy, gluten, soy, refined sugar or grains in their dressings.  These are available at HEB, Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, Walmart, Amazon.com and ThriveMarket.com.

Tessemae’s Salad Dressings – Always organic and Non-GMO, this company offers a wide range of good choices.  This will be in a refrigerated section, usually in produce.  Many non-dairy options are available, and they use undamaged oils. Available at Whole Foods, HEB, Target, ThriveMarket.com, Amazon.com.

Now, go and enjoy a fresh salad!

By |2019-07-28T09:41:11-05:00July 25th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Why Which Salt You Use Matters

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

Salt is a flavor most of us really enjoy. It is an essential mineral in just about everything that has life.  It is found in the Himalayan mountains, the depths of the ocean floor and salt lakes.  It is life-giving.  Every cell in your body relies on salt for regulation of body fluids, bone density, blood sugar stabilization, good circulation and muscle and nerve function.

As with so much of our food supply, it is important to choose real salt from a safe source.  Sad that the distinction must be made since manufacturing has once again gotten in between the real thing and us, producing a less than healthy processed food product which merely mimics the taste of salt’s natural elements.

Here’s the  dirt on Table Salt:

  • Much of table salt today is a manufactured form of sodium called sodium chloride created from natural salts occurring in rock, crystal or sea salt.
  • Natural salts are heated up and cooked at 1200°F.  At this extremely high temperature, the salt loses the more than eighty important alkaline elements that occur naturally in it, including natural iodine and leaving just sodium chloride.
  • Then it is bleached to make it white.
  • Other chemicals often added in table salt (with or without iodide) include manufactured forms of sodium solo-co-aluminate, iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, anti-caking agents and toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminum derivates, as well as white sugar and mono-sodium-glutamate (MSG). As a result, sometimes table salt can be literally toxic to the human body.
  • Table salt is not just on your table.  It is found in virtually every processed and fast food in the marketplace today from bread to frozen meals.

Table salt wreaks havoc in the human body, especially over time. Here’s how:

  • Causes a rapid rise in blood pressure as the body attempts to move the toxic elements away from the heart.
  • Causes water and fluid retention.
  • Contributes to and/or worsens chronic imbalances such as diabetes, gout, and obesity.
  • Additives in salt can cause major kidney, thyroid and liver problems, goiter, hypertension, heart disease, strained elimination systems, muscle cramps, water retention, edema, stroke, heart failure, PMS and major nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression.
  • Table salt is hard on the circulatory and nervous system and disturbs the balance of the lymph system as well.
  • It is highly addictive as the chemical additives are designed to stimulate pleasure centers of the brain, in the same way sugar does.

So what’s your best option?  Surprisingly, sea salt may not be the answer either.  As a result of ocean pollution, specifically with microplastic pollution, sea salt has been found to contain microplastic particles.This leaves the optimal choice to be Himalayan salt, which is mined from salt beds created long before plastic and other toxic chemicals were manufactured.  When the Himalayan Mountains were formed by rising from the ocean beds, they were later protected by lava and covered in snow and ice for thousands of years.  The balance of sodium and chloride with the added natural minerals your body requires, contribute to its pink color.  Himalayan salt contains at least 80 naturally occurring trace elements which are beneficial to our health. Be cautious when you make your purchase as there are cheap knock offs. Three brands that appear to be authentic and pure are Evolution Salt Company, Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan salt and Redmond’s Real Salt (sea salt harvested from a pristine ancient sea near Redmond, Utah).

Resources:

Group, Edward.,(2017). The Health Dangers of Table Salt. Global Healing Center. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-salt/

Mercola, Joseph., (2018). Ninety Percent of Sea Salt Contains Plastic. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/10/31/sea-salt-plastic.aspx

www.realsalt.com/Ingredients

By |2019-07-03T15:54:53-05:00June 12th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Learning a New Nutrition Lifestyle

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Your current nutrition lifestyle is a deeply ingrained habit.  You are good at it.  You do it without thinking.  It’s second nature.

Learning anything new takes learning and practice.  To learn a new language, sport, or to drive a car requires that you learn it and then practice it, over and over again.  Practice will involve mistakes, discovering techniques, recognizing pit falls, learning lessons from mistakes and repetition, until overtime, you become proficient.  With even more practice, you will become a pro.   Your future Nutrition Lifestyle requires the same effort.

It is unrealistic to expect a 28 day diet or a 40 day program to result in lasting change.  Most of us don’t obtain a degree, learn to speak a foreign language or get highly proficient at a new job in 28-40 days.

We become highly proficient at something when we accumulate experiences and then become wise and proficient because we have had those experiences.  

Experience is what makes children into adults.

Experience is what makes the amateur into a pro.

Thus, changing your nutrition lifestyle will involve a process that ebbs and flows.  It will involve good days and bad, wise choices and poor ones, periods of time where you are mentally strong and other times when you feel drained and unable to control anything.  It will involve practicing new foods to eat, new thoughts to think, new ways to plan and shop, new ideas and new concepts.  It will involve getting educated, exploring your own body, emotions and experience.

Learning and practice require one more thing…. TIME.   Part of the commitment involved when we take a new job or become new parents is the commitment of time.  When we decide to make something important, something else may have to take a back seat for a while until we learn proficiency.  When we focus on something intently, and make it a priority, we will see learning, growth and change.  Learning a new Nutrition Lifestyle will require this kind of dedication until your new lifestyle becomes second nature. It is an endeavor well worth pursuing. When we have our health, we can live fully.

By |2019-06-02T10:58:08-05:00May 23rd, 2019|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Truth In Labeling: You Just Never Know

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Here is a great example of the uncertainty of ingredient labels and the fact that manufacturers have a great deal of leeway regarding what they put on the label.

In March 2016, I spotted this product (Left) and while “ Made in China” gave me pause, my confidence was regained when I saw the Non GMO Project Certification, USDA Organic Certification and the Certification as a Gluten Free Product.

The label read, Ingredients: Organic Black Beans. Manufactured on shared equipment and may contain trace soy. (Right)

That did not surprise me since their other products on the same shelf included soy pasta, specifically an edamame pasta.  Nevertheless, I was aware of the many health benefits of black beans including the obvious high fiber content and the protein was surprisingly good (this should have been my first clue!), so I gave it a try.  It was very good, and the texture was very much like wheat pasta. We decided to recommend it to our patients and, while not everyone loved it, many did.

Last week, (February 28, 2019), I picked up another box and noticed (since I’m always looking) there has been an interesting change on the package ingredients.

Now it reads, Ingredients: Organic black beans (black soybeans).  Contains soybeans. (Left)

It tastes the same and looks the same. Price is the same.  What I suspect now is that it has ALWAYS been soybeans. Who knew there were black soybeans? And why didn’t the manufacturer say that in the first place? Soy is a highly allergenic food for many people. I wonder if they had a few complaints?  Who knows what else we don’t know about this food product?

It is in a box.  It is a processed food product.  And it was not what we thought it was.  I’m glad lettuce is lettuce and an apple is an apple.  I’m sticking with real, whole food. Let’s all do that, shall we?

Be well. Choose well. Eat well.

By |2019-04-23T13:34:01-05:00March 21st, 2019|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Food Gums in “Healthy” Foods

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Gums are common food additives used to add stickiness, thicken, prevent separation of ingredients, and improve texture.  In a small amount, they are generally considered safe.

When larger quantities are consumed, there can be reason for concern.  You may be surprised how easy it is to be eating a lot of them!  They are common in many organic, non-diary, non-GMO, certified gluten free foods, and are often chosen with the belief that these foods are cleaner. Look for them in nut milks, gluten free foods, salad dressings, protein powders, mayonnaise, non-dairy products, soups, and sauces.

Here are the ones I see most often: carrageenan, xanthan gum, gellan gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, and acacia gum ( a.k.a. arabic gum).  Only one of them, acacia gum, stands out with some favorable benefits and has the least negative impact when used in small amounts.  It is considered a pre-biotic, which means that it can actually feed the healthy bacteria in the gut.

Here are reasons to limit or remove the rest of them from your diet:

  • Multiple studies have shown that many gums create GI inflammation, especially carrageenan, which is believed to have the highest potential for harm, especially for those already suffering with gastrointestinal issues.
  • Many gums are very difficult to digest and cause diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and stomach pain. It is also common to experience symptoms unrelated to digestion such as a runny nose, congestion, hives or body pain.
  • Those with gluten intolerance, gluten allergy, or celiac disease should avoid xantham gum as it is produced by bacterial fermentation of corn, wheat and other grain based sugars.
  • Many gums can alter healthy levels of intestinal bacteria in some people. This happens by disrupting the normal mucous layer that lines the gut and contributes to chronic, low-level inflammation promoting changes to cells in the digestive tract, including the colon.
  • Agar gum, karaya gum, and konjac gum (a.k.a. glucomannan) can expand in the gut and, without adequate fluids, can cause esophageal and bowel obstruction.

If you already know your gastrointestinal health is compromised in any way, you may want to eliminate these gums entirely.  For most people, simply limiting their use to infrequent and small quantities would be wise.  Check all your packaged and bottled foods – you may be surprised!

Choose well, be well!

https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/toxic-food-additives-common-gluten

https://civileats.com/2015/02/25/how-emulsifiers-are-messing-with-our-guts-and-making-us-fat/

https://draxe.com/gum-arabic

https://draxe.com/gellan-gum/

https://draxe.com/locust-bean-gum/

By |2019-04-06T10:58:17-05:00March 20th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|
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