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 |2019-08-27T18:26:27-06:00August 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 |2019-07-28T09:41:11-06:00July 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 |2019-07-03T15:54:53-06:00June 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 |2019-06-02T10:58:08-06:00May 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 |2019-04-23T13:34:01-06:00March 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 |2019-04-06T10:58:17-06:00March 20th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

The Sugar that Never Satisfies

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

 

You most likely have heard about high fructose corn sugar (a.k.a. HFCS) which is the most processed form of fructose, a simple sugar, and the most damaging to your health. Manufacturers make HFCS with corn starch and add it to many processed foods such as fast foods, soda, ice creams and condiments like ketchup and pickle relish. On labels it may be called high fructose corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup or fructose.

This is one of the most harmful substances for human health and we encourage you to audit your pantry, refrigerator and grocery cart to ensure you and your family are not consuming it.

Here’s why:

  • Many scientists are suggesting that this processed fructose is a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic.
  • Processed fructose feeds pathogenic gut bacteria and disrupts a healthy microbial balance.
  • Fructose does not stimulate insulin production in the blood stream like other sugars, such as glucose, but goes directly to the liver for handling. As a result, leptin, an appetite suppressing hormone is never released to inform you that you are full.  As a result, you remain hungry, craving and unsatisfied.
  • The output of fructose being processed in the liver is uric acid, known to be a contributor to gout and heart disease.

Step by step, be well and stay well by choosing well.

By |2019-03-04T06:30:29-06:00February 20th, 2019|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

A Simple Thing, Profound Effects

Nutrition Nugget By Nancy Mehlert, MS

 

I wanted to remind you about a simple thing with profound effects: harmful oils in our food. In my opinion, it is one of our “big rocks” for reducing inflammation, preventing disease and improving health.  Yet you may be surprised how easily they can sneak back into your pantry, cabinets and refrigerator.  Strictly avoiding these has huge health benefits and can dramatically improve your lipid profile and reduce many factors for disease.  Watch out especially for salad dressings, hummus, mayonnaise, chips and snacks, restaurant food and fast food. Even brands that seem otherwise cleaner or healthier can have these harmful oils. If you see the words expeller pressed in front of the oil, it is slightly less refined.

 

Here’s why: These oils are highly processed and damaged. Your body has no good use for them. They interfere, obstruct and cause damage. They are often stored as garbage in your fat cells. They are well documented to cause inflammation, oxidative stress, elevation of LDL cholesterol levels, harm to endothelial cells lining your blood vessels, damage to gut bacteria, DNA damage and have glyphosate residues in them which harm your gut lining and increase permeability. [i]    You can see why we recommend total avoidance if at all possible.

Here are the oils to avoid:

  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Hydrogenated oil
  • Refined Palm oil

Healthy oils are unrefined or gently refined without harmful chemicals such as hexane.  Better choices are olive oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee, beef tallow, duck fat, cocoa butter, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, almond oil, unrefined palm oil and palm kernel oil.  Check out salad dressings and oils made by Primal Kitchen, Spectrum Brands and Chosen Foods as good examples of better choices.  Your body knows how to make good use of undamaged, natural oils.   There have been controversies and issues in the olive oil industry over the last decade, so our current recommendations are to stick with high quality olive oil made in the United States, Australia or Chile. Cobram Estate and Bragg olive oil are other reputable resources.  Mediterranean olive oils have been found to be contaminated and blended with many of the damaged oils listed above.  

Coconut Oil and Olive Oil Article

Audit your kitchen and take a simple step with profound effects for the entire family.

[i] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/01/07/replace-dangerous-oils-with-healthy-fats.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=mail&ut

 

 

By |2019-01-17T13:35:31-06:00January 17th, 2019|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Boundaries

This is a quote that I have found helpful in my journey and relationship with food and myself.  It has helped me to:

  • see boundaries as a way to love myself and know who I am and who I don’t want to be.
  • get comfortable reaching for a longer perspective, rather than be overcome with short term gratification.
  • be courageous and set some reasonable and needed boundaries for my life without concern for what others may think.

I hope you will take some time to read it a couple times, maybe even out loud.  May you find in it a nugget of encouragement or help for you or someone you love.   

 

Boundaries

“Boundaries, in a broad sense, are lines or things that mark a limit, bound, or border.  In a psychological sense, boundaries are the realization of our own person apart from others.  This sense of separateness forms the basis of personal identity.  It says what we are and what we are not, what we will choose and what we will not choose, what we will endure and what we will not endure, what we feel and what we will not feel, what we like and what we do not like, and what we want and what we do not want.  Boundaries, in short, define us.  In the same way that a physical boundary defines where a property line begins and ends, a psychological and spiritual boundary defines who we are and who we are not.”   Dr. Henry Cloud, Changes that Heal, Zondervan Publishing House, 1992.

 

May 2019 be a year of greater health, better relationships, meaningful work and daily gratitude.

Peace be with you.

 

By |2019-01-04T11:57:20-06:00January 4th, 2019|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|
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