Eat your breakfast like this to feel better all day!

Today I want to challenge you to do one simple thing every morning for the next week.  And it’s not simply “eat breakfast”, though I am an advocate for eating a good breakfast!  Beyond just making sure you eat breakfast, and even beyond discussing WHAT you eat for breakfast (which does matter too), a key factor that’s often missed is WHEN you eat your breakfast.

 

If we’ve worked together one-on-one, I have likely asked you to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up.  This is something I ask all of my clients to try.  That’s because eating within an hour of waking up is critical for your blood sugar balance.  That might not sound like something that applies to you, but if you’re struggling with low energy levels or fatigue, cravings, anxiety, or any type of hormonal imbalance, making sure your blood sugar is balanced is absolutely key to helping you feel better.

 

In this week’s video I talk more about what you may experience if you eat breakfast too late.  I also address what to do if you’re not used to eating breakfast very early or you feel like you can’t eat a lot in the morning.

 

Click here to find all of my articles about why blood sugar balance matters for you along with additional strategies for bringing your blood sugar into balance.

A Functional Nutrition Approach to Supplements

Today I want to share my stance on supplements.  Some people believe we should be able to get everything we need from food, and others rush to supplements before ever considering food.  My perspective is somewhere in the middle and I share my thoughts on supplement use in today’s video:

 

Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Supplements can help to correct deficiencies and provide extra support that the body needs.
  2. Therapeutic doses of many nutrients aren’t found in normal portions of food and supplements can be considered in these cases.
  3. Supplements aren’t a cure-all for your symptoms – they can’t outweigh the negative effects of an inflammatory diet.  So before considering supplements, make sure there aren’t other obstacles to healing in your way (like eating inflammatory foods or getting poor sleep, etc).
  4. The quality and form of nutrients in your supplements matter!  The website I mentioned in the video for finding high quality supplements is www.pureformulas.com.

Why digestion is the key to health, even if you don’t have digestive symptoms

I know you’ve heard the phrase, “you are what you eat” but is that really true?

 

Can we assume that if we eat healthy foods we reap all of the purported benefits?

 

If you read a nutrition label for the amount of protein, vitamins and other nutrients in that food – how do you know if those things are actually getting to your cells, where they’re needed most?

 

The answer lies in your digestive system. 

 

The food that you eat doesn’t become part of you unless your digestive system can break it down and absorb its nutrients into your bloodstream for delivery to your cells.

 

So even if you aren’t experiencing digestive symptoms, like heartburn, low appetite, getting full really quickly, bloating, constipation, etc (and especially if you are), it’s important to consider whether your digestion could be functioning, and therefore serving you, even better.

 

Watch today’s video to hear more!

 

And if you’re curious to learn more about what ideal bowel movements are like (and how to get there if yours aren’t ideal), here’s that video.

How what you eat can help you take back your life

As much as I love shopping at the health food store (or on the Thrive Market website), and spending time cooking in my kitchen, the REAL reason I love Functional Nutrition so much comes down to this:

 

Changing what you eat changes how your body works which changes how you feel.

 

If you’re dealing with symptoms that are getting in the way of your daily life (like headaches, bloating, joint pain, other chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or any number of other symptoms), don’t lose hope!  You likely have more control over your health and how you feel then you realize – and it all starts with what you eat.

 

Watch today’s video to hear more about how what you eat can help you take back your life.

 

 

As Dr. Mark Hyman says, food really is information for your cells, telling your body what to do and how to operate.  It really is amazing how much we can influence our health with what we eat!

 

What’s your take on this?  Have you experienced a change in your symptoms based on what you eat?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments!

Are you playing target practice with your symptoms?

Do you ever feel like the world of health and medicine is too compartmentalized?  You have to find a specialized practitioner for every symptom you experience.  Or maybe you try to address things on your own, managing your bloating one way and your fatigue in another, and doing something else for your joint pain.  This can all add up to a laundry list of food rules, supplements to try, and even medications to take.

 

In today’s video, I talk about how to find a better approach that will help you feel better in more ways than one:

 

 

If you’re anything like me, you have more than one thing going on with your health at any given time and it all gets to be too much!  Trying to address each symptom you experience individually is like playing target practice, and it can be overwhelming, time consuming and exhausting especially when the things you try or the practitioners you see aren’t helping you feel that much better.

 

I don’t claim to have the answer for every ailment under the sun, but I have found an approach that is more effective than this endless, and many time futile, target practice.  Read more »

My Christmas Dinner Menu and Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

christmas dinnerWith just over a week until Christmas, I thought I would share my menu plan for Christmas Dinner, plus a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets in case you still need some last minute gift ideas for the cooks and healthy eaters in your life.

 

Last year I made Short Ribs for Christmas dinner and it turned out to be so delicious that I’m doing the same thing this year!  The best part is, you make them in the crockpot ahead of time so the prep is really easy on Christmas day.  There is a bit of effort involved when it comes to separating the meat from the bone and fat but it’s well worth it!

 

Here are the recipes I’ll be using this year.  I hope they inspire you!

Read more »

Sausage Cabbage Soup Recipe

If you’re in need of a simple, delicious, quick dinner recipe this week, then I’ve got just the thing!  I created this soup recipe last week based on what we had on hand and it was especially comforting while we were all recovering from colds.

 

Simple Sausage and Cabbage Soup

makes about 2 quarts of soup

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled, sliced into rounds
  • 6 cups stock, water, or a combination
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste (up to 1/2 lemon)
  • Cooked grain like rice for serving, if desired

 

Preparation
Brown sausage in a soup pot.  Meanwhile, prepare vegetables (peel and chop carrots, slice cabbage, chop cauliflower).  Add vegetables to pot with sausage.  Add stock/water to cover the vegetables and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add lemon juice and salt to taste.  Serve over cooked rice or other grain if desired.  Enjoy!

3 Tips for sticking to your healing diet on Thanksgiving

Today, as promised, I’m sharing my strategies for sticking with your healing diet over Thanksgiving.  I recorded the video below live on Facebook yesterday (hence the quality issues!) and I hope these ideas help you as you prepare for tomorrow’s festivities!

 

 

To recap, here are some things to consider before you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Have a clear understanding of which foods you can definitely eat, which foods you definitely can’t eat, and which are ok on occasion (your “bike lane” foods)
  • Recommit yourself to why you are eating this way and the benefits it brings you

 
Once you have given that some thought, you can use these strategies for managing the holiday meal:

  1. Be prepared with alternatives!
    • Make sure you don’t feel deprived by having alternatives to your favorite dishes.  For example, since I don’t eat refined sugar, eggs, etc, I make my own pies with “Melanie-approved” ingredients!  If you’re in a pinch, take a trip to a health food store this afternoon and see what you can find there.
  2. Allow yourself to enjoy the foods on your “yes” and “sometimes” lists!
    • Again, I’m all for holiday meal enjoyment with no guilt or deprivation.  A holiday meal is definitely the perfect time to indulge in those “bike-lane” foods!
  3. Don’t get too hungry!
    • You should still eat a good breakfast and remember to stop eating when you are 80% full to avoid getting uncomfortable or having regrets about what you ate.

I hope you savor the meal and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Remember this when you get overwhelmed!

This time of year can be overwhelming as the holiday season starts to approach. I also see a lot of overwhelm when it comes to sorting through the limitless amount of information that’s available these days regarding health, food, and nutrition. So today I’m sharing a quick, simple reminder to help you move out of overwhelm by moving into action! And I also mention the cringe-worthy breakfast I used to eat 8 years ago! Hey, we all have to start somewhere!

 

And since it’s less than 1 week until Thanksgiving, I’ve also included the pumpkin pie recipe I’ll be making below the video, so be sure to check that out!

 

This is the gluten-free, grain-free, refined-sugar-free, dairy-free and egg-free pumpkin pie recipe I’ve been using for the past few years.  I do make some adjustments to the recipe:

  • I use walnuts for the crust
  • I use 1tbsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices.
  • Instead of agar I use 2tbsp gelatin whisked into 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. I add the gelatin mixture to the pot after everything else has simmered.

 

I love this recipe because it doesn’t require baking – just press the crust into your pie plate, mix up the filling on the stove, pour it into the crust and chill!  If you can’t do nuts, you can substitute any other pie crust you like, or simply make a crustless pie!

 

 

I hope these ideas were helpful for you, and next week I’ll be sharing some more tips on how to stick to your healing diet (if you’re on one) over Thanksgiving.

Your lab results are true, but…

Have you ever gotten some lab results and thought, “Yes, I finally have my answer!”.  As much as we all would love to have an easy solution to our chronic symptoms, I find that it’s rarely that simple.

 

A phrase I like to keep in mind as I’m gathering data about myself or my clients is “True, but partial”.  In this week’s short video, I explain how adopting this perspective can help you continue to move forward as you uncover what’s going on in your body and how you can best support yourself.

 

I’m also sharing an example from my own food allergy results below the video!

 

Here’s a “true, but partial” example:

 

I decided to get a food sensitivity test 4 years ago, and here’s a snapshot of part of my results, showing IgA and IgG antibodies to certain foods: Read more »

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