Search results for fatty liver

Sluggish or Fatty Liver? Could Be Why You Can’t Lose Weight or Feel Energetic. Recipes For Detoxing and Renewing Your Liver.

20150627_172301If you struggle with weight loss, bad skin, lack of energy, pain, and everything from headaches to chronic disease, but can’t understand why, this Post is for you. Medications that you’re currently on, or have been on, could very well be the culprit.  Medications have consequences, always, despite being FDA approved and Doctor prescribed.    (Pictures of Healing Foods are sprinkled through-out. Recipes at the end. This pic to the left is Chipotle Sweet Potato-Zucchini pizza – DELICIOUS!!).

Did you know that the biggest portion of health care costs – 88% – are spent on Life Style Conditions.  That means that the majority of our symptoms are brought on from our foods, medications, actions, sleep, and thoughts.  All of which we have control over.

Food is Medicine or Food is Poison, that’s one of my favorite sayings.  Pharmaceutical drugs are Poison too, and I don’t say that enough.  Drugs are expensive (and getting more-so), loaded with side effects, and often prescribed unnecessarily or excessively.  ****

There’s a good chance that if you’re on any prescription or OTC drug, it could be interfering with your metabolism through either liver or gut disturbances, or nutrient depletion, or both.

Did you know that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in the US?  Unfortunately, before the death happens, there’s weeks, months, or years of adverse reactions chalked up to age, circumstance, or un-luckiness.

Everything we put in our mouth has profound effects on our health, our energy, our looks, and our weight.  Food affects our mood, our sleep, and our personality.  So do drugs.

Let’s focus on the Liver.

OUR LIVER BURNS MORE CALORIES THAN OUR MUSCLE TISSUE.  A LOT MORE.  Our liver performs hundreds of functions every day, and thru the night too. It’s important that we not over stress the liver with chemicals, toxins, alcohol, or sugar/flour. A toxic liver is a sluggish liver, and a sluggish liver is compromised in it’s ability to do all it’s jobs/do it’s jobs fully.

20150217_172852 (1)Fatty liver disease has become such a problem that it now affects 1 out of 3 people – 1 out of 3!!!

We need to keep our liver humming, so here’s some suggestions.

1) Access your meds, even innocent seeming meds like TYLENOL.  Tylenol, which we give to our children without a second thought, is the #1 cause of acute liver failure in the world!  Not alcohol, but TYLENOL.

Statins absolutely cause liver damage.  Anti-depressants, auto immune and cancer drugs, and pain killers/narcotics cause liver damage.

Alcohol causes fatty liver disease and sluggish liver function.

For a very large percentage of people on prescription drugs, a change in Life Style, could get you OFF your prescription drugs.  Get in touch with me.

2) Processed Sugars and Grains are tough on our liver.  Our liver is highly involved in blood sugar regulation.  Processed foods, like bread, pasta, cookies, cake, that kind of junk, send the blood sugar skyrocketing.  The liver has to go into overdrive dealing with all the extra glucose.

What does the liver do with the extra glucose?  IT CONVERTS IT TO FAT/TRIGLYCERIDES, and directs them to be stored in our fat cells. Look straight down and do a gut check to see if this is happening to you.

Another job hampered by a slow or fatty liver?  Estrogen detox, or removal.  Our liver is supposed to get rid of/eliminate, old, used estrogens.  Whether those estrogens came from our own glands, or foods like soy (huge ingredient in most processed foods) or chemicals ( personal care products, cleaning products, plastics, etc.), the liver is supposed to break them down from a fatty molecule to a water-based molecule, and then send them on their way out.  Toxic, slow livers don’t do this well, estrogens stay in the body – stored in fatty tissue, and we become “estrogen dominant”.

Men, this happens to you too.  No man should be estrogen dominant.  Look at your boobs and belly to see if you are.

3) Become a Liver-Loving-Fool!

I tell my clients what I tell myself:  think of ways to help and nurture your liver every. single. day.  Seriously.

Even if we try hard to eat clean, our world is full of toxins:  all municipal water is loaded with chemicals,  our air is polluted, there’s carcinogenic chemicals in dry cleaning solvents, make up, body care products, baby wipes, plastics, artificial sweeteners, pesticides and fungicides on fruits and vegetables, and I could go on and on.  The point is, our liver is responsible for dealing with and eliminating all this.  It needs our help.

4) Eat Liver-Loving-Foods every day:  beets, lemons, asparagus, olive oil, good whey protein, leafy and bitter greens, garlic, milk thistle, cilantro, parsley, cucumbers, ….  basically, Real Whole Foods. Vegetables, herbs and spices, healthy fats, and clean proteins, all contain thousands of nutrients that nourish, cleanse, rebuild, and help the liver do it’s many, many jobs.

Remember earlier when I said that our liver burns more calories in a day than our muscles?  If we’re debating about how to spend any extra time we have, shopping, chopping, and cooking is just as important, as exercising.  Don’t negate one for the other. Schedule in both.

5) Try these No Recipe Paleo Meals to load your body with nutrients that make your liver20150603_072541 function well and your metabolism hummm:)

Eggs and Leftovers

This is left-over vegetables ( zucs, yellow squash, onions, and purple cauliflower) mixed with kerry gold butter and 3 eggs.  EASY no brainer.


(from the picture at the top)

1 lg sweet potato
1 large green zuc, ring out water by twisting in a towel
1 heaping tbsp chipotle powder
3 eggs, beaten
5 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and pat onto a pizza pan.  Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.  Top with tomato sauce and cheese.

I’m making this again tonight and adding sausage, corn sliced off the cob, and cilantro, with shredded swiss.  THIS IS DELICIOUS!!


(from middle picture)

Ground sausage
Swiss Chard
1/2 an Onion and 3 Garlic cloves
coconut oil

Mix and saute in one pan, add the swiss chard last since it doesn’t need to cook as long.

Plantains:  slice, and saute in a pan with Kerrygold Butter, salt, and then put in a 250 oven for 20-30 minutes.

**** I’m not totally anti-drug; but I think it’s irrefutable that most drugs are prescribed or taken for conditions that could be fixed or managed with LIFE STYLE changes.  No one has high cholesterol from lack of a statin.  No one has a headache from a lack of Advil.  No one has high blood pressure from a lack of Lasix.  No one has diabetes from a lack of Metformin.  No one has depression from a lack of Prozac.  These are symptoms that happen from the actions we choose every day.

Weight Loss Class; and Fatty Liver Disease

high metabolismThe Weight Loss Strategy Class is almost written in stone, I still have to finalize the dates with the Big Kahuna, who’s out of town.  It’s looking like the the first 3 Mondays in October, 6pm, and the first 3 Wednesdays in October, 1pm.  The Monday and Wednesday classes will be interchangeable, so you can attend either or both.  Skype and Phone options are available if you’re from out of town.

Why attend?  Because I can give you the Biological Facts and the Mental Strategies that will lead you to permanent weight loss and improved health – I promise!!  How do I know?  I’ve got a history of success at this, with clients and with myself:  I’m a 48 year old mother of 4, and this is how I live.

We’ll cover gut health, digestion, blood sugar, thyroid, hormones, the Paleo Diet, ketosis, eating plans, power cooking,  and more.  Once you understand how your body works and how this is all inter-related, you can’t help but be successful.  Email me if you’re interested.

On a different subject, I’ve had some questions about Fatty Liver in the past couple of weeks, specifically, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which considering that about 1/3 of ALL Americans have now, seems like a good topic to cover.  If you’re overweight, there’s an 80% chance you have some stage of this condition, but even if you’re not overweight, you just eat a lot of processed, refined foods, you could also have this condition.

Up until 1980, the only “fatty liver” disease was encountered by alcoholics.  Alcohol metabolizes to about 20% ethanol, which is metabolized (broken down) in your brain, organs, stomach, and intestine.  The 80% alcohol left is metabolized by the liver.  The liver reduces alcohol to glucose, fatty acids, VLDL (the BAD, small, dense LDL cholesterol), and triglycerides.  The VLDL transports the triglycerides to your fat cells for deposit, wrecking havoc both in the liver and along the way.  These newly made fat globules accumulate in the liver (Fatty Liver, and eventually Cirrhosis);  they also cause Insulin Resistance in your muscle cells.  Not good.  It used to be you only needed to worry about this if you were a drinker.  Not anymore.

Like I said above, about 33% of All Americans now have Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, this stat includes children.  Your liver is supposed to perform several hundred functions every single day.  It’s vital that it’s running in tip-top shape.  What’s going on here?  Fructose, and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is metabolized EXACTLY LIKE ALCOHOL.  100% of fructose is metabolized in the liver.  Your muscle cells, your brain cells, your organs, they can’t use fructose for energy, they can’t break it down.

Remember what you just read about alcohol metabolism?  Here’s what happens with fructose:  the liver immediately converts Fructose to F1P (Fructose 1 phosphate),  the F1P produces Uric Acid (goodbye Nitric Oxide, Hello high blood pressure and sore soft tissues.)  F1P is turned into “pyruvate” , which in turn creates Free Fatty Acids, VLDLs, and Triglycerides (just like alcohol).  Fructose also stimulates “activated glycerol”, which causes increased fat deposition into fat cells.    Free Fatty Acids wreck havoc by accumulating in the liver ( Fatty Liver), and causing muscle cells to become Insulin Resistant.

What’s going on that this has become epidemic?  It’s the Standard American Diet:  70% processed, refined foods LOADED with fructose and HFCS.  It’s in everything: diet products, baby formulas, condiments, breads, sweets, chips, cereals, etc etc etc. If it’s premade, it probably contains it.

There’s a few leading authorities on NAFLD, especially Dr. Robert Lustig.  He has a YouTube called Sugar the Bitter Truth that describes the Smart Version of what happens in your liver.  It’s a great watch if you’re interested.  Dr. Mercola and Dr. Richard Johnson also have a LOT to say about Fructose/HFCS, and NAFLD.

go ahead honeyFor now though, this is one more reason to eat Real Whole Food, and to feed your family RWF.  It matters.  Every bite matters. The condition of our livers has an enormous impact on our health and weight.   That said, PLEASE eat your fruits and vegetables, which do contain a little bit of fructose.  They also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.  NO ONE IS SICK OR FAT FROM FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.

Let me know about the Weight Loss Strategies Class via email-

Weight Loss, Food Cravings, Leptin Resistance, Insulin Resistance – What Applies To You?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis post is about Weight Loss, Food Cravings, Leptin Resistance, Insulin Resistance, and Being A FAT BURNER OR A SUGAR BURNER;  it’s all coming together!

Here’s some biology to explain how a VERY high fat, low carb diet eliminates cravings, despite:

bad sleep/fatigue( situational);  stress;  actual hunger;  worry over kids;  fights with the hubs;  over-exercise;  hanging around the house. ( do they sound like typical excuses to you?)

I always say a Calories In/Calories Out model doesn’t work because we’re NOT a math problem, we’re a CHEMISTRY SET.  Our HORMONES RULE, and a low fat, low calorie, high carb diet RUINS OUR HORMONES.  It also causes a condition of Metabolic Damage that takes a period of serious consistency to reverse and fix.  Anyone can lose weight by starving themselves, but that causes a lot of damage to our metabolism, hormones, and cells. To be a healthy Fat Burner, you need to have cells and hormones that work correctly.

I’ve been mostly Ketogenic, and consistently High Fat Low Carb for a few months now, after years of what I considered HFLC diet;  with the addition of a LOT of fat ( up to 5 tablespoons at dinner ALONE ), really positive changes have happened, and it’s inspired some research.  Why?

Because after a few months of VERY HIGH FAT/low carb,.. my brain has changed!  Thoughts of food, of eating, have STOPPED.   Seriously, I have to remind myself to eat lunch and dinner (sometimes) because I’m not really hungry.  And sometimes when I am actually hungry, i.e., I feel a lot of hunger in my stomach, I oddly am not rushing to eat food.  I’m okay.  I didn’t realize this until the other day when I’d had no sleep and felt no desire to comfort myself with food.  Not even a second of a thought about it!

What’s happening?  It’s so interesting!

In addition to a High Fat diet’s role in building and nourishing the brain, which is 60 to 70% fat, a HFLC diet repairs and reverses LEPTIN Resistance.  If you’re overweight, or normal weight but struggle with food cravings, or either normal or overweight and exercise but don’t use your fat stores for fuel, you’re probably Leptin Resistant.  Let me back up.

You know that Insulin Resistance  (IR) plays a key role in cravings; IR is a result of the high blood sugar and corresponding high Insulin levels necessary to reduce the blood sugar.  Insulin is a “Master Hormone”, and other hormones are released – or NOT – in response to Insulin being present in the blood.

Remember, as long as Insulin is in the blood, FAT WON’T BE BURNED FOR FUEL.  Fat will just be stored.  When Insulin is in the blood, a lot of our excess Carb/glucose is converted to TRIGLYCERIDES. 

Leptin.  Leptin regulates ALL the hormones of the body:  Insulin, thyroid, sex hormones, all of them.

Leptin Resistance means the cells don’t accept Leptin inside; the cell doors are shut.  If the cells don’t get leptin INSIDE, correct messages don’t get sent out.

Which messages?  After we eat, our fat cells should spit out leptin and that leptin should go to our hypothalamus and deliver the signal that we’ve had enough to eat and it’s time to turn off the hunger.  Excessive simple sugars ( from carbs) destroy the cells ability to “receive” leptin, because INSULIN blocks the Leptin receptor.  Remember: high carbs ALWAYS mean high Insulin. Always.

Triglycerides, made from EXCESS CARBS, also block leptin receptors!!!

When the leptin can’t get INSIDE the cell, the signal to shut off hunger doesn’t happen.  Another link in the cravings chain: when we eat food, the neurotransmitter DOPAMINE is released, and dopamine makes us feel pleasure when eating.  Leptin, when it gets inside our brain cells, stops the release of dopamine, which stops the pleasurable feelings associated with eating.  If the cells are Leptin Resistant, the dopamine keeps flowing, the good feeling/desire to eat overrides a full stomach, and we eat too much.

What else?

Leptin INSIDE our brain cells UP-REGULATES the thyroid; that means metabolism turns UP.  Leptin RESISTANT cells DOWN-REGULATE thyroid, that means a slower metabolism.

More?  Our MUSCLE CELLS HAVE LEPTIN RECEPTORS TOO.  When there’s leptin resistance in MUSCLE CELLS, fat is not burned in those cells, fat is stored in fat tissue instead.  Sugar/Glucose is the only fuel left for the muscles to burn.  A damaged/closed cell can’t even do that.  CHRONIC FATIGUE sets in due to lack of actual “energy”.  This happens EVEN IF YOU RUN MARATHONS but live on a HIGH CARB diet.  Sound familiar?  You exercise a ton but can’t lose weight?  You don’t have correct cell function, all over your body.  You MUST have CORRECT CELL FUNCTION TO BURN FAT.
More?  Insulin Resistance and Leptin Resistance are a guarantee you have a FATTY LIVER.     Our LIVER controls what fuels get burned; our LIVER is the LARGEST SOURCE OF CALORIE BURN IN OUR BODY, our heart and brain are next, and then our muscles.  You want a perfectly functioning liver.  Trust me.

How does a HIGH FAT LOW CARB diet – with a TON of vegetables, some fruit ( maybe, depends on your blood sugar), healthy proteins, some nuts and seeds, and maybe some high fat dairy ( blood sugar/allergy) affect these conditions?

First, Insulin is immediately lowered, because there’s less SUGAR in the blood.   Less Insulin means less TRIGLYCERIDES, LESS INFLAMMATION, LESS CELL DAMAGE (from the insulin and glucose), and less sugar turning into fat(triglycerides), and stored in the liver or fat cells.

Less Insulin and less sugar mean the LEPTIN RECEPTORS in the BRAIN will become NORMAL and accept the Leptin.  Dopamine production and use will REGULATE, and be NORMAL.  You’ll – eventually – start to feel NORMALLY satisfied after a meal.  The NORMAL amounts of dopamine will also mean you’re not constantly searching for “more pleasure” from your food, which causes you to eat when you shouldn’t.

A HFLC diet means that Insulin Receptors and Leptin Receptors will – eventually – return to NORMAL, and functioning.

The high fat, and the anti-oxidants, the vitamins the minerals the phytonutrients ( from cholesterol – which IS an anti-oxidant, and the protein/vegetables/fruits/nuts/seeds) will eventually repair damaged cells ( 100% of EVERY CELL MEMBRANE IN OUR BODY IS MADE FROM FAT AND CHOLESTEROL), and reduce and eliminate INFLAMMATION.

We don’t burn fat calories, lose weight, build muscle and GET HEALTHY until we have NORMAL, HEALTHY, CELL FUNCTION.

How?  A Real Whole Food diet that’s high in fat, low in carbs, and high in nutrients; good exercise, stress management, and sleep.  Lack of sleep creates a hormonal situation, as does stress, that also block Insulin and Leptin Receptors. Oh, and you must be CONSISTENT in your efforts.  Too many people I talk to are so on and off the Healthy Train that results are small or non-existent.

Time and consistency matter, because it takes LONGER for our muscle cells to be leptin sensitive – and use fat for fuel – than for our brain to become leptin sensitive. Isn’t that interesting??

Want to learn more?  Invest yourself!!  I’m attaching some links to articles written by a brilliant Neurosurgeon who’s done a TON of research on leptin, and an Endocrinologist who’s also done a ton of research on leptin, and a podcast by a leader in the Leptin field.

Read, listen, and learn.  Apply what you hear to yourself.  Take notes, think about it, if you’re a client, let’s talk about it.  If you’re not a client yet, and want to be, get in touch with me.  You can change your body, you can lose weight, get healthy, and become NORMAL; sometimes this happens easily, and sometimes you’re so metabolically damaged, that it takes a while, but it will happen, I promise.

Here’s the Resources:


Keto Diet Going Strong Update, and Fructose/Leptin/Insulin Facts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Keto Diet has been easy!  I haven’t missed my roasted potatoes, or the banana in my smoothie, or carrots or peas or corn – yet.  I’ve been tempted by my Mom’s Famous Paleo Cookies twice, and resisted because I knew I had cream cheese bites, which I love.  I’m astonished at my energy levels, which weren’t even bad to begin with; my sleep is HEAVY, and my stomach looks tighter.  I haven’t lost anymore weight, but that’s okay.  I’m staying steady at 129.  Body fat testing today at 10am, and then again in a couple months.   Which means I’ve decided to stay on this for a while.   Remember to look at my What I Eat page to check out my meals.

My ketosis sticks are showing a darker color!!  I’ve moved up the Ketone Production Chain a little:)

I’ve had company twice this past week; I cook dinner every night for the family, and catering to the Keto Diet’s really not very different from the Real Whole Food/Paleo Diet.  My family’s already used to a bunch of meat and vegetables, and no bread or pasta on the table, it’s the norm here.  Everyone likes vegetables cooked in butter and topped with cheese, and I still serve watermelon, corn, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables I don’t eat.

I’ve had 2 questions on both Fruit, and Fructose this week, and I wanted to give a little info and a resource for you to follow if you’re interested.

Leptin is a hormone, made by our Fat Cells, that’s supposed to signal our brains when the stomach is full.  Just like Insulin Resistance, many overweight people have developed “Leptin Resistance”.  This means the fat cells are producing plenty of leptin, but the cells that are supposed to receive it have become “numb/non-responsive” to the message.  Instead, the message to Keep Eating is received, and a vicious cycle is set in place.

Fructose is a simple sugar that’s in Fruit, and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).    HFCS is in most processed and packaged foods, Moms, take note for your kids.  This stuff is NEVER good. The simple sugar Glucose CAN be used by our muscle cells and brain cells for ENERGY;  Fructose can NEVER EVER EVER be used by a cell for energy, EVER.  Ever.   (****Important, we don’t need that much glucose – excess gets converted to fat.)

Fructose always goes right to the liver, where it’s converted to fat.  Often, this fat is actually stored in the liver.  HFCS is one of the main reason Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is so prevalent right now.  If you’re overweight, there’s a good chance you have some degree of this condition, learn what it means here.

Here’s something that’s surprising about Fructose; DIABETICS and PRE-DIABETICS, TAKE NOTE:  No, fructose doesn’t raise blood sugar.  BUT it DOES make the Insulin Receptors on the muscle cells and kidney cells LESS RESPONSIVE TO INSULIN.   This means that Fructose Contributes To Insulin Resistance and Diabetes and various Metabolic Conditions.

All fruit has Fructose in it.  Fructose from fruit is metabolized EXACTLY the same way HFCS is, by the liver.  ***Studies show that excess glucose consumption can actually be converted to fructose ( and fat).  Remember, a carb is a carb is a carb.  Carbs from grains are reduced to glucose.  If you’ve been eating the Standard American Diet, or on a high-carb, low fat diet, you’ve probably had way too much Fructose in your life.  Look down at your stomach – Insulin Resistance, Leptin Resistance, too much Fructose – are the signs there?

This is where a High Fat/Low Carb diet, or a Ketogenic Diet ( they’re slightly different), can come in.  Study after study shows that they can reverse the damage from years of High Blood Sugar, High Insulin, and Leptin Resistance.

Here’s a great article from Dr. Mercola on Leptin and Fructose.  The more you know, the easier it becomes to make good choices for your body.  When choices are easier, there’s less stress.  When there’s less stress, your brain is more compliant with your long term goals.  Sound good?


Tough Mudder, Here We Come; Do You Have Low Thyroid?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh Yea, my sweet husband has “won” us a position in the Richmond Tough Mudder, in 7 days.  We just “won” this a few days ago, so training and preparing for this is going to be…… minimal?

Here’s a link to the course,   I’m a little scared of the Arctic Enema, and the ElectroShocks,  they sound dangerous and unpleasant.

If anyone has ANY advice as to what to do, what to wear, or how to conquer an obstacle, I’ll listen:)  I’m all ears!

Has anyone been listening to the Thyroid Summit this week with Dr. Brownstein and Susie Cohen?  It’s FREE, it goes through June 9, and it’s loaded with Doctors and Scientists giving us the latest Thyroid info.  Considering how many Americans have low thyroid function or a full disorder, this is invaluable information.  And most likely much more information than you’d ever hear in a 10 minute appointment with your regular doctor.

For instance, the standard test any of us would be given to determine the health of our thyroid is called the TSH, that’s Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  Here’s the problems with just looking at TSH:  1) our pituitary makes TSH, not the thyroid.  2) our Thyroid actually makes a host of other hormones, the primary ones are called T4 and a little T3; and these often aren’t tested. Or if they are tested, the “Free/Unbound/Useable T3 isn’t tested.

T3 is THE ONLY HORMONE THAT ACTUALLY GETS USED IN OUR CELLS.  Our T4 is SUPPOSED to be converted to T3 in our liver, kidneys, and heart.  It takes many different nutrients and enzymes to make this conversion, it also takes perfectly functioning organs.  What if you’re missing those nutrients or enzymes, or you have fatty liver or poorly functioning kidneys?  That conversion could be compromised.

Thyroid hormone ( T 4 and T3) are made from the minerals Iodine and Selenium, and the amino acid Tyrosine.  What if you don’t eat enough of the foods that contain those nutrients, or you don’t have great gut function and you don’t ABSORB those nutrients?  ( do you really think you get enough Iodine? That’s a tough one!)

Do you see where I’m going with this?  Our thyroid function is far more than taking a pill, whether it’s a synthetic, like Synthroid, or a desiccated natural thyroid like Armor.   That said, I take a supplement by Biotics called GTA FORTE II.  It’s desiccated thyroid with no T4 or T3, and it’s worked wonders for me.

Statistically, it’s pretty “normal” for a woman my age to have hypothyroid.  I’ve had my TSH, T3, T4 and RT3 tested, plus an antibody test,  and it’s confirmed: low thyroid function.  I started supplements last year, and saw a big difference in my energy levels.  That said, I also pay very close attention to my nutrients and digestion.  It matters that I give my body what it needs to MAKE and ABSORB the hormones.

Here’s another important issue to keep in mind:  thyroid function will ALWAYS come in second to ADRENAL function.  In Nutritional Therapy school, they constantly repeated ” the adrenals pull on the thyroid”.  It’s true.  When we’re under a lot of stress, both mental and physical, our adrenal glands are making extra adrenal hormones.  Hormones get made from nutrients;  limited nutrient resources are always going to go to the Adrenal glands first.  After all, our body can EASILY slow down the thyroid if it needs to, to show more support to the adrenals.  Adrenal hormones are our Fight and Flight hormones, and our body prioritizes them over just about everything else.  You can ask for a Saliva test to see what your Cortisol levels are, but you’re probably going to need to see an Integrative or Alternative doctor to get one.

What’s one sure-fire way to slow down your Thyroid?  Go on a Diet and Reduce Your Calories.  Your body will slow down your metabolism Every Single Time you do this.

Looking for a doctor who’s tuned into how important good thyroid function is to overall health, and willing to do all the right tests?  Try here and here.

I thought this was interesting:  one of the doctors on the Thyroid Summit said when she started doing Cortisol Testing in 1999, 17% of her patients had abnormal cortisol levels; in 2014, almost 99% of her patients have abnormal cortisol levels! Wow! That’s pretty shocking!  I’ve talked about the dangers of excess cortisol before, it’s scary. That’s probably the result of us rarely ever unplugging anymore, right?

What’s my end advice?  Eat Real Whole Foods, and take action steps to manage your Stress.  Iodine, selenium, tyrosine, and all the other nutrients we need to make and rebuild our body don’t come from crappy, processed foods, which often are COMPLETELY devoid of any nutrients ( how many vitamins or minerals do you think are in a box of Fat Free Cereal or Crackers?); or have “nutrients” added, as in vitamins and minerals made in China?  It matters what we put in our mouth.

Decide today that you’re going to take control of your health, your energy, and your food.  Make a plan, write it down, shop, chop, pack.  Stick to your plan.  If this isn’t your norm, work on making it your norm!  You can do this, other people have. If you want to learn more about your thyroid, listen to the summit while you drive/workout/clean/cook/ etc; or read this post from Dr. Mercola, it’s really good!

Do You Need To “Cleanse”? and Brownie Truffle Recipe

liver detoxI get asked about “cleanses” and “detoxes” all the time.  Are they necessary?  I think so.  Our liver, which burns more calories and fat than our muscles, our brain, or any other part of our body, ( it’s about 60% of our total metabolism), is responsible for constantly cleaning our blood.  It’s supposed to clean 2 Quarts of blood EVERY MINUTE.  Imagine that.  Now imagine these numbers:

Liver disease in the form of Non-Alcoholic Fatty liver disease, liver cancer, hepatitis, and pediatric liver disease is affecting 1 out of 10 Americans.  That’s manifested conditions; the liver is struggling for YEARS before an actual diagnosis.  Liver disease completely compromises the livers ability to do it’s jobs.  What happens then?  A lot, because the liver is involved in just about every function in the body.  Here’s a list of symptoms:

acid reflux
gall stones
alcohol intolerance
nausea or vomiting attacks
mood disorders
poor concentration
overheating of the body
recurrent headaches (migraines)
sugar cravings
onset of type 2 diabetes
heart disease
clogged arteries
high blood cholesterol levels
high blood pressure
fatty organs, including fatty liver
fatty tumors
weight gain
inability to lose weight
slow metabolism
pot belly
weakened bones
sensitivity to chemicals and food additives

Thanks to a Standard American Diet, and tens of thousands of chemicals in our food, water, and air, a good liver cleanse is a good idea.  How to do it?

Quit eating and drinking toxins!!  This is the number one, most important step you can take.  There’s no pill, no program, no magic anything that will replace that step.  Honest.  Let step 2 be eating and drinking Liver Loving Foods:  lemons, parsley, cilantro, garlic, sulfur/cruciferous vegetables(brussels, cabbage, onions, kale..), TONS OF WATER, fermented vegetables, keifer, and kombucha.  Want to get really special?  Eat liver, real or freeze dried, take milk thistle, get Vitamin D from the detox 21sun( that’s easier on your liver than supplement form),  and use turmeric and curcumin when you cook.  Want to really get in there and make things happen?  Get in touch with me.  Detoxing is an old and complex art, a good one can make a big difference in how well your body works.

Will you lose massive weight if you do a Cleanse?  No! That’s just savvy marketing, appealing to dreams of fast, easy, effortless weight loss.  There are Cleanse/Detox products that will make you poop; No Amount Of Pooping Pulls Fat Out Of Your Fat Cells.  Ever.  Will you be healthier? YES, absolutely!

trufflesLet me leave you with a dessert my daughter Meg made the other night, Paleo Brownie Truffles – DELICIOUS, and liver friendly! (Thank goodness, because I ate them all in 2 days!)

1) In a bowl, mix w spoon:  3 tbs melted coconut butter, 2 tbs melted coconut oil, 1 tbs Swerve, 1/2tsp vanilla, 1 tbs protein powder, 1/4 – 1/2 cup carob powder, add gradually and stop when mixture becomes cookie dough like.

2) roll mixture into small little balls

3) heat slowly: 1/4 c coconut butter, 2 tbs coconut oil, 1 tbs Swerve

4) dip balls in chocolate and refrigerate until shell hardens


Bad Eating on a Snow Day; and Insulin Resistance

snow hereOh man I love snow days!! The house is decorated, we watched a movie with Shelby, the horses got their blankets on, and Mark put together his annual yearly picture collage with a couple hundred photos.  It feels good to get things done:)  You know what didn’t happen?  Bad eating, and that feels great!  When we ate munchie foods and snacks, we always kept them in the house;  now that we don’t snack between meals, there’s nothing calling us from the Pantry or Fridge!  No markcrackers, no chips, no cookies, nothing.  Between not having the junk in the house, and eating our high fat meals, Cravings Are Gone.   I know from my emails, and I remember myself, how loudly food can call to you;  change your thoughts, change your kitchen, change the way you cook, and those food voices get softer and softer until they disappear.  Honest.  You don’t have to Change Everything All At Once; just have a plan.  Make one small change every week.  Write it out.  Stick to it, be determined even in the face of set backs.  It’ll happen, I promise.


shelby mad

The picture on the right is Mark making the collage.  The picture on the left is Shelby pouting because we have no junk food; she had to cook up a snack of chicken sausage and was wishing she’d spent the snow day at a friends house.  Kids….

That leads to the Change your Mind / Change your Body plan.  The mantra for this week is “I think Long Term.”    So often we just think with a little spot in the brain that’s full of  “addicted neurons”; think Long Term and you’re using consequences to guide your behavior instead of momentary desires.  Your body and  your health will permanently change when your thinking does, so solidify in your mind why food matters.  Here’s some fodder:

I got another good question this weekend,  “what exactly is Insulin Resistance?”.  One of my nutrition clients is trying to figure this out, but we all need to know the answer because according to pubmed, at least 25% of the US population is Insulin Resistant.  Tests are showing that some babies are actually born insulin resistant (moms- cigarettes and alcohol aren’t the only thing you should avoid when pregnant, grains and sugar do damage too.).

Insulin Resistance is the condition before full blown Diabetes Type 2; here’s what happens (the short answer):  When  you eat carbohydrates (any and all) they break down to Glucose.  The Pancreas releases Insulin to shuttle the Glucose out of the blood.  It takes it to the muscle cells for fuel, the liver for storage, and then takes it to a different part of the liver where all the leftover glucose gets converted to triglycerides/fat, and stores it.

Go back to the muscle cells:  Insulin is a Caustic, Irritating, Damaging hormone.  (It wrecks havoc on our arteries as it courses through our veins).  When there’s not too much of it, the muscle cell doors “open” to let the insulin carry the glucose, and other nutrients, in.  When there’s too much insulin, from eating carbs all day and keeping blood sugars high, the cell doors “close”.  They say “NO” to the insulin.  Glucose and nutrients can’t get in.  That’s Insulin Resistance.

When the Glucose can’t get in the cells, the Pancreas gets a signal that blood sugar is high, and makes more Insulin.  More Insulin courses through our body, causing more damage.  More Glucose is converted to Fat, since the muscle cells can’t use it.  The excess glucose and insulin stay in the blood stream too long, causing free radicals, and damaging the cells on the back of the eyes, the kidney, and the extremities – these cells can’t resist.  ( a condition Diabetics are all too familiar with).

What else happens during Insulin Resistance?   It’s not a good list:  nerve damage, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high LDL, coronary artery disease, fatty liver, wrinkles and age spots, impotence, polycystic ovary disease, and I could go on and on and on.  Insulin Resistance can last for years before full Type 2 develops.

High blood sugar and high circulating Insulin are really really bad for you. What we eat matters!  What we eat determines our weight, our moods, our skin, our energy levels, our health.  Insulin Resistance is reversible, and preventable.  Choose wisely, choose Real Whole Food.  Check my What I Eat Page for Ideas, and if you’re in the area, drop in this Friday, December 13, between 12 and 2, for my Paleo Christmas Party!  Taste delicious Paleo foods without causing the blood sugar and insulin spikes:)

Ancestral Health 2013 Wrap-Up

WORKSHOP REMINDER:  I’ve got 2 workshops/talks planned on Blood Sugar, and it’s relationship and effect on Weight, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Thyroid, and Mood.  The dates are Friday, August 23, 12-2, and Wednesday, August 28, 6-8pm,  the charge is $30/person, and the venue is the Marshall Community Center, 4133A Rectortown Rd, Marshall, Va.  This is literally right off Rt 66, and very easy to find.  There’s plenty of parking and the room is big, so bring a friend or a family member if you’d like.  You can pay at the door. 

ahs 2013Wow, that was the best conference I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of conferences.  Here’s a few bullet points of “What I Learned” from yesterdays lectures:

*Insulin Resistance is so high in some people right now because Glucose (from any starch or sugar) SOMETIMES causes a positive feedback loop that results in Excess insulin being released back into the bloodstream.  What’s worse?  INFLAMMATION can cause the same positive feedback of excess Insulin being released into the blood.

*Best way to lower Insulin Resistance:  Remove Omega 6 oils(that’s all your vegetable oils), Sugar, and Refined Carbs from your diet.  (he went thru several studies to give us that answer…..)

*I got a picture with Jimmy Moore of www.livinlavidalowcarb:)jimmy moore

*Some people worry about Arachidonic Acid from Saturated Fats causing inflammation; apparently we need to worry about the AA from Omega 6 vegetable oils instead, because it’s already in it’s “usable” form, which contributes to inflammation.  The AA in saturated fats get converted to AA if we need it – big difference.

*OMGosh the Eye Dr. was Fantastic.  A Paleo Eye Dr – wow.  Anyway, she said that 4 of the top 5 reasons for blindness have preventable components thru diet, nutrition, and lifestyle.  For instance, Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) causes bleeding and vessel changes in the eye.  High and low blood pressure are detrimental to the eyes.  Glaucoma, Myopia, Cataracts, Macular Degeneration:  in short, control blood sugar because BLOOD GLUCOSE AND INSULIN are TOXIC to the eye!!  Inflammation is detrimental to the eyes.    Insufficient Vit D, lutein, and zeaxanthin are very detrimental to the eyes, (eat your egg yolks and get some sun!!).    She also makes the connection that DIGESTION MATTERS.  You can have the best diet in the world, but if you don’t have sufficient stomach acid or enzymes to break down your food, or you have leaky gut or poor microbiota, you’re not going to be able to harvest the nutrients your food supplies.  This is an EASY fix!!   BTW, Dr. Shilpi Mehta is the head of the Paleo Meetup Group in Boston, in case you’re from Boston and interested.

mark and carrie*I got a picture with Mark Sisson and his beautiful wife Carrie.  He writes

*Fatty Liver Disease:  this was great, and relevant.  So many people have Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease now, between 33-40% of the population, including about 10% of all American children.  This Is Serious.  Our liver has at least 500 jobs to do.  Fatty Liver inhibits MANY of those jobs.  This condition can linger for yyeeaarrss before it’s identified via ultrasound.  How does fat accumulate, especially in the absence of alcohol (which for years was the only reason for Fatty Liver):  Fructose, Glucose, Omega 6 oils, Nutrient Deficiencies, Inflammation.  This is fixable and preventable!!!  The next step after Fatty Liver is Cirrhosis – which there isn’t much coming back from.  What about the 10% children statistic??  Moms – you have power here – use it!  Oh, and have you all looked at the ingredients on your Baby Formula???  Vegetable oils (omega 6), fructose, and glucose –  AHHHH!  We’re poisoning babies right off the bat!  Afraid of Fatty Liver?  Eat Medium Chain Triglycerides – coconut oil is the best source.  It not only prevents fatty liver in decades of studies, but it can REVERSE fatty liver.  More Study Results:  PUFAs/Omega 6 /vegetable oils lead to MORE cirrhosis;  Saturated Fats lead to LESS cirrhosis.    NonAlcoholicFattyLiver Disease is about to become the #1 reason for Liver Transplants in the US.

*ron rosedaleEver heard of Dr. Ron Rosedale?  He has some great books out – wow, he’s a powerhouse.  He thinks optimal Total Cholesterol is 250.  He thinks the Pharmaceutical Industry is NOT out to make you better.  Increased Calcium from supplements is consistently linked with an Increase in Mortality.  Calcium DOESN’T make bones strong – PROTEIN makes bones strong and flexible, calcium makes them rigid.  Leptin is a hormone that’s just as important as Insulin, and we can become Leptin Resistant just like we can become Insulin Resistant – and then we’re in trouble.  Leptin controls the Hypothalamus, our master gland.  Imagine if it’s not working right.

*Sun Worshipping and Cancer:  We produce Vit D from the interaction of UVB rays and Cholesterol ON OUR SKIN.  This is the most USABLE form of Vit D.  People who work inside get more Melanoma than people who work outside.  Despite several decades of more sunscreen, more hats, more clothes in the sun,  skin cancer and Melanoma continue to increase.  DIET AFFECTS MELANOMA AND SKIN CANCER, and several sunscreens contain cancerous ingredients!!  Don’t eat refined sugars and flours, don’t eat vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils, DO eat lots of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, healthy proteins, some nuts and some seeds.  Real Whole Foods.  Check for their ratings of sunscreen products.  Why slather cancer chemicals all over you or your kids in an effort to prevent cancer?

*Finally, I started the day off with a Combat class taught by Kyle Maynard. kyle The guy has no arms or legs.  I will never whine another day in my life; he kicked our butts.  To all the people who take my classes – Thank Goodness We Do Tabatas – because we did them with him and I hung in there, but it was HARD.  Of course, there’s no whimping out, because he did the whole thing.

You all, eat Real Whole Foods.  Shop, cook, plan, pack.  It matters.

Day 3 Ancestral Health Symposium

Ancestral Health 2013 is fantastic!  I still can’t believe I’m here around all these people I’ve known for years through the internet.  They are real!  I’ve been pretty bold about going up to meet these stranger/mentors, introducing myself and telling them how much they’ve helped me, but I’m still feeling shy around Mark Sisson.  Not Today Though!  Today’s the day I get over that and meet him:)

Here’s some bullet points of what I learned yesterday:

* darker skinned people have less serum (blood) Vit D than lighter skinned people, but darker skinned people have better bones  (hmmm..  so massive doses of D aren’t the answer???)

*you must have adequate Vit A and Vit K to to utilize vit D.  These are all fat soluble vitamins (which means fat is necessary for our body to assimilate them), and they’re mostly found in the usable form in meat.

*increasing supplemental Vit D without adequate fat, A, and K can lead to kidney stones and other soft tissue calcifications  (vitamin A’s in liver, we make the best D from the sun, and  K2 is from grassfed animal products)

*great lecture from the MD for Reno Police Department who was hired to improve the really, really horrible health of the entire department.  Initially, he put them all on the Food Pyramid/American Heart Association diet – low fat, high carb, lots of exercise.  Conditions worsened.  Two years ago, Robb Wolf moved to Reno, joined up/led the program, converted it to a Paleo Diet and Exercise program, and improvement has been fast and vast and easy to track as all the officers get full blood workups and physicals every year.

*Martha Herbert is an autism/neurology dr.  Her site is  She feels that autism is due to todays diet, toxins, and world, and that it’s treatable.  She says that in the last 6 years the advances in brain knowledge have been huge.

*the next lecture was disturbing as it was all about environmental toxicity.  here’s a quote from “Scientists estimate that everyone alive today carries within her or his body at least 700 contaminants, most of which have not been well studied (Onstot and others).”  Ugh.  In the past 100 years, we have about 100,000 NEW chemicals in our environment.  Who knows the extent of the damage they’re causing.

* the next lecture was from Sarah Ballentyne at – I love her!!  Little background:  she’s a PhD scientist who was struck with I think 2 autoimmune diseases and now devotes her life to figuring out A I conditions.  She said there’s at least 140 know AI diseases that affect about 50 million americans.  They’re very difficult to diagnose and many people are tested for years and years before they get a diagnosis.  All AI diseases are increasing – a lot, in the past 50 years.  Of course she’s linking this rise to diet and the environment (lack of nutrition and too many toxins, stress, etc).  She has a book coming out very soon (sept,) and I think it will probably be one of the best books on AI disease ever.  She’s super smart but able to talk to the masses.  If you’re affected by AI, you should buy this book.   Anyway,  everyone with AI also has Leaky Gut and disrupted gut flora.  Lack of iron and zinc are also common demonimators.   These are fixable, although the damage often isnt’.  If you’re interested in some answers to those now, email me for some simple solutions.  Or wait til the book comes out bc I know it will be fantastic.

* Georgia Edes MD talked about mental disorders and diet;  you can probably guess by now where all these doctors are going with this.  Diet and environment diet and environment diet and environment.   Studies show that the Western Diet (high refined carbs, processed foods, vegetable oils/Omega 6, hydrogenated oils, almost 200 pounds of sugar/person, etc) is contributing to ADHD, depression, anxiety, and on and on.  These foods cause inflammation – of the brain.  MOMS,  IT MATTERS WHAT WE FEED OUR KIDS.  PLEASE DON’T FOOL YOURSELF THAT A LITTLE JUNK HERE AND THERE, OR PASTA EVERY NIGHT, DOESN’T MATTER – IT DOES.  She also has a website and you might be interested as she’s also following the KETOGENIC DIET for quite sometime now:

* Omega 3 and Inflammation:  this was by the actual researcher (Jeff Leighton PhD)  who studied the Inuits in 1973 and why they didn’t have any Cardiovascular Disease or Plaque despite an almost all fat diet.  He said that he’s from the 19th century:)  He was a great speaker and since his field of study (he conducts the research as opposed to just gathering and studying it) is Omega 3 and “uptake”, he answered some questions I’ve had forever, here’s the answers:   it doesn’t matter it you take your fish oil in one big dose or split it up;  people who exercise regularly absorb more O3 than those who don’t;  women absorb more than men;  inflammation does NOT affect O3 absorption; no, there is no laboratory proven perfect dose, heavier people do NOT absorb O3 as well as leaner people.

And that was it for the day.  Actually, I took one more lecture called Hypothalamic Inflammation that was so over my head I have NOTHING to say about it!

What I ate yesterday:  Paul Newman coffee w raw cream, coconut butter mixed with chocolate protein, and a banana for breakfast.  Lunch was buffalo meatloaf, cooked squash, salad, and dark chocolate;  dinner was beef jerky from US Wellness Meats, fresh vegetables from home, and more dark chocolate.  Oh, I sampled lots of different jerkies, cheeses, and chocolates from the Expo hall again.  I’ve spent all my money, so no more expo-fun today:(

My Hotel Workout was just 30 minutes of squats and leg presses, shoulder presses, and push-ups.  I also did 8- 1 minute jump rope intervals.  We’ve also taken an hour walk about Atlanta for the past two nights – sorry Atlanta, but you’re not that pretty of a city.  DC has spoiled me.

This morning I/we have a Combat workout with Kyle Maynard – where I’ll “practice skills that will make an assailant 3x my size whimper.”;   then Diet, Inflammation and Depression or the Physiology and Biochemistry of the Paleolithic Diet for Weight Reduction (decisions decisions); then Nutrition for the Eyes, Brain, and Heart ( Shilpi Metha MA, OD); then Carbs as a Hormetic Stressor, by Mike Nelson MS PhD;  Heat and Health by Ron Rosedale MD (who’s read the Rosedale Diet??  he’s all about Leptin!);  Circadian Rhythhms by Paul Jaminet, PhD (the Perfect Health Diet book);  Fatty Liver, by Victoria Prince  MD/PhD;  Is SunWhorshipping Increasing Your Risk of Melanoma by Anastasia Boulais, MBBS, BMedSc (what does all that mean?), and then I’ll need to choose between a lecture on Sleep Apnea/ADD/Malocclusion and Dry Eyes and Inflammation.  Decisions, decisions.

No time for pictures – I need to lift for a few minutes before my class.  xoxo



Do You Suffer With Headaches or Migraines? Here’s Some Tips:)

st thomasConfession: Headaches and Migraines aren’t an issue I’ve struggled with very much.  Until 3 years ago, I’d only had 2 migraines, and a handful of headaches.  Then Menopause hit, or rather the tail end of Peri Menopause, and wow, I got a serious taste of some serious headaches.

For me, it was a matter of getting my hormones tested, and getting on some bio-identical estrogen and progesterone for a year. The headaches stopped immediately.  After a year, I went off both because subsequent testing showed that my hormones levels had gone from way too low to way too high.  I went cold turkey on the hormones out of fear, got on some great herbs, and all was well,…for a while.  Then the headaches came back.

A hormone test (January 2015) showed that my high levels had plummeted way back down to those of old Mother Hubbard, so this time I went on a natural progesterone cream(February, 2015), and added flax (oil and seed) very consistently to my diet to up my estrogen level naturally.  I’m due for another test soon, and I’ll let you know what my results are, but I haven’t had a headache since February.

Point of my story:  my headaches were hormone related.

What causes yours and what can you do about them?  You’re gonna need to put on your detective hat, because this is a condition that has so many causes and triggers.  Drugs are a bandaid at best, as they often don’t even work well with migraines; they don’t eliminate the cause of the pain, and they come with too many side effects to ignore.

Those side effects are real and scary. It’s worth the time and effort to figure out your migraine and headache causes, and then experiment with different solutions.

You already have my hormone/headache story. If your headaches are completely centered around your cycle, no matter your age, then you can assume it has something to do with your hormones.  This doesn’t mean – at all – that you need to start taking hormones!  That’s something for you and your doctor to figure out.

There’s other responses that could be triggering the headache (and cravings and PMS too):  low B vitamins, and low magnesium.  Both of which get depleted during our period. (or I should say, your period) B6 and B12 are the most commonly sited Bs when it comes to our hormones shifting and symptoms, but I recommend a good B Complex to every woman I work with.  Magnesium too; as a matter of fact, Magnesium deficiency is very common.  Studies show that at least 56% of our population is Magnesium deficient,  but my point with Magnesium and female cycles, is that it’s easy to become deficient right before your period, even if you aren’t usually.

So B vitamins and Magnesium, recommendations 1 and 2.  (These are the 2 supplements I have my girls on.)

Next, look at your life style patterns.  Do you sleep enough?  Do you drink alcohol?  What drugs are you on? Trigger, trigger, trigger.

Here’s a biggie:  do you eat gluten, or a high refined carbohydrate diet? Both can be HUGE headache/migraine triggers. For a one stop shop on this, check out the Wheat Belly blog.

MSG, artificial colors, flavor enhancers, histamine containing foods, artificial sweeteners, these can all be triggers.

Even healthy foods can trigger headaches for certain people; foods like eggs, dairy, nuts, …..pretty common allergens, and allergens can cause headaches.

One of my favorite go-to’s is America’s Pharmacist, Suzy Cohen.  That woman’s awesome, and prolific with both her free advice and books, so let’s start there.

Resources:  Her book, called Headache Free.  A podcast where she dispenses all sorts of great advice, here.   Her response to a question about tension headaches, here.  Her blog, here. And finally, a great article kind of wrapping up a whole bunch of her advice on headaches, here.

One last trick to try when it comes to headaches, a Liver Detox.  If you work with me, you know that I believe in always “loving my liver”.  I’m constantly taking dandelion or milk thistle, or doing a Biotics liver detox or taking Herb Pharm Liver tincture.  I also make sure to eat plenty of liver loving foods every single day.

If our liver is so overwhelmed with chemicals and toxins and sludge from high fructose corn syrup or trans fats or SUGAR, then of course it’s unable to perform perfectly.  One of the results from that would be toxins circulating through our brain and causing headaches.

If you think this might be your problem, get in touch with me.

You don’t have to suffer!  What I said in the beginning is true:  become a detective.  Headache meds are band aides with side effects.  Figure out your causes, and then work on natural and healthy ways to eliminate them.

86% of our health care expenses are spent on Life Style Diseases, like headaches and migraines.  That’s actually great news, because we can fix our life style and positively effect our health.

Have a wonderful day!