Best of Smyrna Nutritionist Award

It’s been awhile since I have posted on here. Between my work and taking care of my 19 month old son, there is not a ton of down time! I am sure you all can relate that the days just seem to pass so quickly, especially when you have kids.

On another note, something that I have not yet shared was the honor that True Food and Wellness, LLC received in 2018: the 2018 Best of Smyrna Award in the Nutritionist category. What a surprise and honor this was! I want to thank all my clients who have given me their trust in getting them to a better state of health. Thanks for making each day fun and enjoyable! I am thankful to have a profession that I love. I get to help others and talk about food all day! What could be better? :) Here is the press release from the end of 2018:

Press Release


True Food and Wellness Receives 2018 Best of Smyrna Award

Smyrna Award Program Honors the Achievement

SMYRNA December 6, 2018 -- True Food and Wellness has been selected for the 2018 Best of Smyrna Award in the Nutritionist category by the Smyrna Award Program.

Each year, the Smyrna Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Smyrna area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Smyrna Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Smyrna Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Smyrna Award Program

The Smyrna Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Smyrna area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Smyrna Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Smyrna Award Program

Smyrna Award Program

Henri's Birth Story

If someone you know is looking for a birth photographer, send them over to Elizabeth Buergler! We are so happy with how she captured the beautiful birth of our son. :)

I am way overdue to post on here, and what better story to share than the birth of my son?!

Our sweet baby boy, Henri Albert Samson, was born on 9/19/17 at 9:28pm. He weighed 9 lbs. and was 19 inches long. At 7am that morning I had felt some menstrual-like cramps and think I was having some mild ones all night long but was able to sleep through them. I had a feeling that day could be the day!

We had an appointment at 10:30am to do another biophysical exam (ultrasound, fluid and placenta check, as well as baby’s movement) to be sure everything still looked ok with our baby (I was past-due at this point: 42 weeks and 3 days). The next day I was scheduled to have an induction, which I was a little apprehensive about, so I was thrilled that things were happening on their own! We got through the exam and everything looked great.

My husband and I stopped at Whole Foods to get something to bring home for lunch. I started to get uncomfortable on the car ride home. We had planned to have a home birth, and I was so ready to be at home.

I got home, ate some lunch, and we started timing the contractions in an app so we could send the report over to our team: our midwife, doula, and birth photographer. By 2pm, the contractions were lasting more than a minute, less than 4 minutes apart and this was happening for over an hour. This was what we were told would be the sign that active labor had begun. I was surprised at how little time I had in between them already. I had heard stories of women laughing and taking walks in between contractions, and I thought that would be me. Instead I just wanted to lie on the bed and relax. 


Our midwife was on her way and told the rest of the team to head over. I took a quick shower, which seemed to help ease up the contractions a bit. By the time our midwife got there and checked me, I was 8-9 cm dilated. She said, “you can get in the water anytime you would like.” It felt awesome to be in the pool.


Our doula, who was our instructor for the Hypnobabies class we took, got to the house and helped me through the contractions with the techniques we learned. She helped remind me to relax, which was so helpful to reserve my energy. I stayed in the water for awhile and then used the restroom. They had me stay there for several contractions before getting back in the water. After some time, they had me go back to the bathroom and our midwife wanted me to sit on the toilet for 20-30 minutes. I had a feeling this would be intense. It was, but it was a pivotal moment for me. I remember thinking, “I just want a break and I want to lie in my bed and sleep for awhile.” Since this would not be happening, I told myself I needed to go with the process and surrender to it. I was not scared because I knew my body was doing what it needed to do. Once I surrendered, things moved forward and I felt the need to push.


They had me get back into the pool and after about 1 hour of pushing our baby boy was born in the water!! It was so peaceful. Our baby boy transitioned so well from the womb. He was just looking around and started to cry a little when he got cold. I am so thankful we took the Hypnobabies class to give me the tools to have a relaxed birth in the comfort of our home.

We had some bumps in the road with our pregnancy (minor, I know, compared to what some others deal with): needing the external cephalic version to turn our breech baby and almost needing an induction. But, we made it through and have such a healthy, content baby boy! We could not be happier!!



Starting 2017 off with some serious meal prep!

I have always admired those who prep all their meals for the week on Sunday. My normal routine is to pick out the meals I plan on making for the week, make my grocery list, and pick up the ingredients I need to be sure I have them on hand. Then, usually I am racing to get the meal prepared on the evening during the week.

I decided to try something new for 2017. I planned my 4 dinner meals for the week, as I normally do, but decided to get everything chopped for these recipes on Sunday so everything is ready to be cooked. You do lose some nutritional value when you chop vegetables this far in advance, but sometimes you have to do what is convenient. Here is the step-by-step process I followed:

  • Purchased 4 storage bins from the Dollar Tree, as well as some gallon and sandwich size plastic storage bags
  • Printed out my 4 recipes
  • Starting with recipe 1, I went through and chopped the exact amount of vegetables I needed. I packaged them up in the plastic bags and placed them in the bin with the printed recipe. I had some small plastic containers on hand to put the oils in. Yes, I even measured out the amount of coconut or olive oil I needed. I also put the herbs and spices in small plastic bags.

Cooking dinner tonight was so quick. My brother said, "Whoa how did you make that chili so fast?!" 

This meal prep may just be what you need to help save you time during your weeks. We are all feeling pressed for time and this is a great way to let you enjoy your evening without spending all night in the kitchen while still having a healthy meal.

The meals I planned this week were:

  • Paleo Egg Roll in a Bowl (
  • Paleo Shrimp Fried "Rice" (
  • Buckwheat Burgers (this recipe will be in my upcoming book on an anti-inflammatory diet for those with rheumatoid arthritis; it's due to come out in April so stay tuned!)
  • Chili (you can find any chili recipe you like)

Happy meal prepping!

Lessons on Life and Nutrition from my Uber Drivers

I promise this is not an endorsement for Uber. It's just that I have used their service lately and have learned some great lessons from their drivers that come from different cultures. They have taught me some valuable lessons that I would love to share with you.

Bulgarian Breakfast

Bulgarian Breakfast

One of my Uber drivers was from Bulgaria. He was a thin guy who looked very healthy. Being a nutritionist, I could not help but ask him about the food he grew up on and what type of foods he eats in the U.S. He told me that he and his wife buy their food from the market and cook their food at home.

Another driver was from Ghana. He too looked like a healthy man and seemed to have a lot of peace about him. When I asked him about his nutrition, he told me that he cooks his food at home. I asked if this was challenging for him to keep up with, and he replied no. He grew up eating home cooked food, and this is what he knows.

Ghanian "Red Red" with fish

Ghanian "Red Red" with fish

A poor woman who cooks at home is healthier than a rich woman who doesn’t.
— Michael Pollan

I also met a woman from Ethiopia. She mentioned that when she goes home to Ethiopia she eats a larger quantity of food than she does in the U.S. but loses weight! All the food is cooked at home. Her family lived in the U.S. for a period of time but decided to return home to Ethiopia. I asked her why this was and she told me that they did not feel they saw her much; all she did was work and did not take any time to relax and enjoy life. In Ethiopia, she said, everyone sits down for meals together and takes their time to eat and enjoy the company. 

Ethiopian dish

Ethiopian dish

My top take-homes from these experiences were: 1) cooking at home is essential, and 2) in a world that is so fast-paced we need to take some time to enjoy our meals, the company around us, and life in general! I do not think it is too late to implement these concepts in the homes of Americans today. Where there is a will, there is a way!

Why I Follow a Low-grain Diet

I get asked all the time, "Should I go gluten-free?" First, let me say that gluten-free does not automatically mean healthy. There are some very wrong ways to do a gluten-free diet, which is by consuming a lot of the processed, gluten-free items that are on the market today. Each case is different so some patients may need to start improving their diet by working on other things than removing gluten. It really depends, but I will tell you why I choose to personally keep the grains low in my diet and especially avoid consuming wheat: 

  1. I get plenty of fiber and healthy carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. My Fitness Pal is a popular way to food track and when I use this app, I see that I get in plenty of carbs and fiber for the day without having one serving of a grain! 
  2. My anxiety improved once I removed wheat from my diet. My health dramatically turned around once I broke my sugar addiction, but one thing I still had in my diet was quite a few sprouted grain products that contain wheat. Even though these are fairly healthy grains, my nutritionist recommended that I reduce these. I ended up replacing them for other great quality whole foods and noticed that my anxiety was much better and I no longer had "brain fog." 
  3. My digestive issues improved. Once I removed the commercial dairy, sugar, and grains in my diet, I no longer had to run to the bathroom. I am no longer afraid to travel and go out to eat because I know what to eat and not to eat for my body. For me, giving up some of these foods was not a sacrifice. I just wanted to feel better and would do anything to make that happen! 
  4. Grains can contribute to intestinal permeability, otherwise known as "leaky gut." Here's how (it goes beyond gluten!): Gluten is composed of two type of proteins called gliadin and gluten. Gliadin stimulates the release of a molecule called zonulin. Zonulin is a protein that causes the rearrangement of the tight junctions between the cells of the intestinal wall. In other words, it opens up the spaces between the intestinal cells, which leads to intestinal permeability. This becomes a problem because then foreign particles can get into the bloodstream and initiate an immune system reaction. To make matters worse, gliadin can also disrupt insulin function and thus contribute to insulin resistance.
  5. Grains contain lectins, which are proteins that attach themselves to carbohydrates. They are very resistant to digestion and start an inflammatory reaction in the gut. Lectins can bind to the cells of the intestinal wall and increase intestinal permeability. Lectins can also affect the balance of gut flora and the absorption of nutrients. Lectins are in a lot of foods, but by keeping the grains to a minimum we can reduce some of them. 
  6. Grains contain phytic acid, which binds to minerals in the body potentially making us nutrient deficient. Nuts, seeds and beans also contain phytic acid, but we can prepare these correctly to neutralize the phytic acid content. Here is a great article from the Weston A. Price Foundation in regards to this.

Give Thanks!

It seems like just yesterday it was Halloween, and here it is Thanksgiving already! I am sure we can all name several things we are thankful for: friends, family, good health, work, etc. I am especially thankful for being able to do what I love--helping people improve their health through nutrition. My own health struggles were a blessing in disguise to help me truly relate to the challenges my patients have gone/are going through.

Life is good! Let's give thanks every day not just today!

When it comes to making a dish for the Thanksgiving celebration (or any celebration for that matter), I just cannot bring myself to make junk! I like using wholesome ingredients that have some nutritional value. Here are two recipes I made for this holiday celebration.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad (, serves 4

  • 3 cups of pumpkin (or other winter squash), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 12 shallots or 3 medium red onions (peeled and quartered)
  • 2 cup cooked wild rice


  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the pumpkin in a generous splash of olive oil with a couple pinches of salt. Spread out on a baking sheet. Toss the shallots with a bit of olive oil, pinches of salt, and spread out on to a separate baking sheet. Roast both for 45 minutes or until squash is brown and caramelized. Flip them once or twice along the way.

In the meantime, make the dressing. Puree the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and honey in a blender or food processor until creamy. You may need to add a few tablespoons of warm water to thin the dressing a bit. Stir in the cilantro, saving just a bit to garnish the final plate later. Add a touch of salt, to taste. 

In a large bowl, toss the wild rice with a large dollop of the dressing. Add the onions. Gently toss once or twice. Turn the rice and onions out on to a platter and top with the roasted squash. Finish with another drizzle of dressing and top with remaining cilantro. 

3-Ingredient Paleo Cranberry Sauce, (, serves 4-6

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  •  ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  •  ½ cup honey

Combine cranberries, orange juice, and honey in sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat, until berries pop and sauce thickens, about 10 - 15 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

"What Should I Eat?" Seminar

We had a great time last Thursday discussing several nutrition tips to eating well. Thank you to those who attended, and for those of you who could not be there, here are a couple of the take homes:

  • Eat real food! Not all calories are created equal. 
  • Be aware of your added sugar intake. 
  • Look first at the ingredient list on a food label. See what is really in there! Does it offer any nutritional value?
  • Consider food sensitivities. This is something I work with my patients on because food sensitivities can be a contributing factor to a health/weight issue.
  • I shared a shopping list example for grocery stores in the area.
  • Finally, start somewhere! It has taken me years to get to the point I am with my nutrition, and I am still making improvements! It is never too late to start making some changes.

Our next seminar will be on "Surviving Holiday Eating." Stay tuned for the date and time, which will be announced soon!

Are you a Sugar Addict?

Who doesn't love the taste of that delicious sweet stuff? I will admit I was a huge sugar addict. I thought it was ok to eat 10 Oreos after dinner because I ran 6 miles that day! Exercise helps us burn off some of those excess calories, but it does not undo the damaging effects sugar has on the body. I NEVER thought I would be able to give up sugar, but once I started to see results from giving up even a little to start (weight loss, clearer skin, more energy, improved mood, less anxiety, and clearer thinking), I was motivated to continue. I had no idea what a hold this one substance had on me! 

If you are wondering where to even begin to reduce your sugar intake, check out these tips to see if any resonate with you. 

Tips to help with sugar cravings:

  • Suppress sugar cravings before they start. Drink a glass of luke-warm water with lemon 30 minutes before your breakfast each morning. This will prepare the stomach for digestion and help control that sweet urge.
  • Maintain blood sugar levels. Have a regular eating schedule and eat 3 real, well-balanced meals. What I have found is that many people skip meals throughout the day. If you go past the point of hunger, your body is naturally going to want sugar/high carbohydrate foods. Keep snacks with you for emergencies (e.g., almonds, almond/sunflower butter, fruit, celery and carrot sticks, Epic bars, etc.). 
  • Replace sugars with filling proteins and healthy fats like lean meats, nuts, and seeds. Yes, fat is good for you! We just want it to be healthy fats.
  • Swap sugary cereal or flavored oatmeal, which both have added sugar, for plain oats, quinoa flakes or buckwheat and add fresh fruit, nuts/seeds, cinnamon, and unsweetened almond milk.
  • Swap a granola bar or protein bar for real, TRUE food like an apple, pear, banana, or celery with sunflower butter.
  • Buy plain, unsweetened yogurt instead of one that has added sugar and fruit. Add fresh fruit and Stevia or raw honey if you need to sweeten.
  • Make your own FULL-FAT salad dressing (avoid fat-free and low-fat store bought ones because these are made with unhealthy, inflammatory oils and typically have added sugar): mix virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs.
  • Add orange, lemon or lime slices (and some mint if you would like) to water as an alternative to sugary juices or soda.
  • Clean out your kitchen! Read the ingredient list to see what items (even "healthy" items) you have in your home that have sugar added to them. Kashi cereal is a great example of a product marketed as "healthy" that has sugar or corn syrup added. Remember, out of sight, out of mind!
  • Craving chocolate? Aim for a high % of cocoa. For example, start with 70% cocoa and work your way towards 90%, which has a lot less sugar. You will be surprised at how your taste buds change over time.
  • If the sugar urge comes on, have a spoonful or two of almond or sunflower butter or make a homemade smoothie (e.g., unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 avocado, Stevia/raw honey/dates, ice, and vanilla extract).
  • Craving ice cream? Try some almond butter-banana “ice cream:” blend 1/2 frozen banana with 1-2 Tbsp. almond butter, and a dash of unsweetened almond milk. If you need to sweeten more, add a date or a little Stevia.
  • Craving a soda? Try some flavored Sweet Leaf drops in carbonated water for a healthier alternative. For a list of flavors, click here. 
  • Going to a party? Make and bring a healthier dessert with you. Google search “Paleo ___” (e.g., Paleo chocolate chip cookies) to get recipes that use more wholesome sweeteners and healthier flours.
  • Set small goals for yourself. For week one, work on not having sugar up until 10am. For week two, extend this to 12pm and so on. You will feel more accomplished by hitting these small goals.

Trust me, you can break free from your sugar addiction, and you will be so thankful you did!!

Heal Your Teeth Naturally!

“Store food has given us store teeth.”-Ramiel Nagel


Tooth decay is very common with approximately 92% of adults (ages 20-64) having had dental cavities, and it seems like we hear more and more about children undergoing dental procedures. What if there was something more we could do besides brushing and flossing to prevent this? Would you like to avoid those extra trips to the dentist and the pain that often comes with teeth issues? Well, then check out these 3 nutrition tips to heal your teeth naturally!

1) Eat to balance your hormones

More specifically limit your sugar intake! When we consume too much sugar, the hormones that control teeth mineralization get out of whack. The parotid glands are located in our jaw, and these glands are in charge of tooth remineralization. They release a hormone that stimulates the movement of mineral rich fluid through our teeth to clean and remineralize them. The parotid glands receive communication from the hypothalamus gland (located in the brain), and this communication gets disrupted when a poor diet is consumed. If the fluid is not moving as it should, food debris and other matter gets pulled into the tooth and tooth decay can spread to the enamel.

Another reason to limit the sugar in your diet is to avoid the blood sugar spikes that lead to minerals, like calcium and phosphorus, getting pulled from the bones. We can think of sugar as an “anti-nutrient” because we actually use up minerals to digest it!

I often get asked the question, “Should I avoid fruit?” Fruit has a lot of great nutrients, however, for someone with bad cavities, it would be best to avoid fruits, especially those higher in sugar like pineapple and bananas, and all sweets completely. Once the tooth decay has healed, some fruit can be reintroduced.

For all you sugar lovers out there work on breaking the sugar habit by including healthy fat into your diet. Many of us are still following the “low-fat” model, which has caused us to remove healthy fats from our diets and replace them with sugar and starches.

2) Eat nutrient dense foods

Key nutrients are needed in our diets to prevent tooth decay. These include calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Food based forms of these nutrients is best since that is what the body recognizes.

One great way to get in bone building minerals to your diet is through bone broth. This can be a base for a soup or you can drink it plain (1-2 cups per day). Organ meats are another great source of nutrients. These are not included in many people’s diets for various reasons such as having an aversion to the taste or believing these are not healthy to eat.

Liver is one example of an organ meat packed with nutrition including vitamins A and D. Vitamin A helps the body use calcium, and vitamin D helps balance the ratio of calcium to phosphorus to stop tooth decay. Vitamins A and D also produce osteocalcin, which deposits calcium and phosphorus into our bones.

My two tips for consuming liver: 1) find a local farm that has pasture raised animals to ensure the liver comes from a healthy animal, and 2) to remove some of the strong liver taste, soak the liver in milk for at least 1 hour before cooking. Since I started doing this, I am able to enjoy liver much more frequently in my diet. You can also sneak organ meats into dishes such as meatloaf.

Cod liver oil and good quality butter also provide excellent nutrients to support the health of your teeth. Many people have had success consuming raw milk to help reverse tooth decay. Milk contains calcium and phosphorus, and the fat portion (the cream) has vitamins A and D. Please note, the pasteurization process kills the enzyme phosphatase, which is needed to absorb the calcium from the milk, which is why many people trying to cure tooth decay choose raw milk over pasteurized. Tip: If you decide to look into the raw milk, find a local farmer with pasture raised animals.

Lastly, we need good gut health to absorb the nutrient dense foods we eat. This includes having sufficient stomach acid as well as good bacteria in our gut. Apple cider vinegar is something that can be added to the diet to help your stomach produce acid, and fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut or kimchi, are probiotic-rich foods that help supply the body with good bacteria.

3) Soak grains and legumes to reduce phytic acid content

For bad cavities, I recommend removing grains completely from the diet or keeping them to a minimum due to the phytic acid they contain and their effect on blood sugar. Phytic acid limits mineral absorption and that is the last thing we want to do when trying to rebuild bone! When you do have grains in your diet, soak them to reduce some of the phytic acid content.

For example, it is easy to prepare oats: soak them in filtered water overnight along with some fresh lemon juice. Then, cook them up in the morning. Some other foods you can soak overnight to reduce phytic acid content include nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils.

For the full article about this topic, click here. Remember, the key to good dental health is to eat a nutrient dense, hormone balancing diet!


Nagel Ramiel. Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition. Ashland, OR: Golden Child Publishing; 2012.
Fallon S. Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing; 2001.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Adults (Age 20 to 64). September 5, 2014. Accessed July 11, 2015.

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

photo: standardprocess(dot)com

photo: standardprocess(dot)com

There are chemicals in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Our body has a magnificent system designed to help us rid itself of toxins. The liver, lungs, kidneys, intestines and skin help us eliminate toxins from the body. However, if we don’t help them by eating like we should, exercising and avoiding chemicals in our environment (e.g., household cleaning products, beauty products), these systems get overburdened and we get sick and tired. This is a sign that we need to give the body what it needs to help it cleanse. Many people feel that cleanses and detox programs are not useful because we already have this system in place. We hear the word “detox” and automatically think of an intense period of cleansing. I like to think of this term more loosely.  Eating a healthy, whole foods based diet and getting in some exercise are great ways to help your body detox, but what if we still need something more? We make our liver work hard enough to clear out the toxins...what if we could do something to help our body function better and promote the elimination of the toxins? 

My husband and I traveled to see his family in Mexico City for Christmas 2014. We ate a lot of good food! The holiday goodies sneaked in here and there and our bodies were desperately in need of a reboot when we returned home. We already eat “real food” but were looking for something more. I had wanted to do the 21-Day Purification Program for a couple years, but this time I was really serious about starting it. I got our plan together and away we went. Within two days of being on the program, my energy greatly improved, skin was clearer, and my sugar cravings subsided. Overall, I just felt better! What I love about this program is:

  • It is NOT a restrictive, intense detox. Many cleanses can be intense and push along the detox process too fast so that you do not feel well. The program does not involve fasting or juicing only. You actually eat a lot of food and don’t go hungry.

  • It is easy to maintain the healthy habits after the 21 days. This actually is a program you can incorporate into your lifestyle. The Purification recipes are awesome. I still make the lentil hummus recipe weekly. It is delicious! My husband loved the shakes, and we have continued with several of them.

So here we are after Easter and this is another perfect time of the year for a reboot. It is time to get the Easter candy out of the house and start your journey to feeling better. You will not be alone! Come join a group of us (me included!) for our introductory meeting at Michael Family Chiropractic in Smyrna, GA on April 20th from 6pm-7pm. We will cover the in’s and out’s of the Purification Program and if this program could benefit you. Call Michael Family Chiropractic to reserve your spot: 678-424-8501, click below or sign up here now. Space is limited.

Looking forward to helping you get well and stay well!

Caitlin with True Food and Wellness

Do you get in enough magnesium to your diet?

About 40% of all Americans get less than optimal amounts of magnesium in their diets. Magnesium activates over 300 enzymes in our bodies, which means that is required for nearly every function in the body! Magnesium also helps break down fats, protein, and carbohydrates, regulates nerve transmission, plays a role in the action of insulin, and is important for the structure of our bones and teeth.

Signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps and trembling, impaired insulin secretion (especially in diabetics), personality changes (e.g., depression, irritability, difficult concentrating), and increased triglycerides and cholesterol. 

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400-420 mg for adult men and 310-320 mg for adult women. Needs are increased during pregnancy and lactation, as well as during periods of rapid growth, strenuous exercise, and malabsorption (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome).

Some excellent sources of magnesium include:

  • Pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup=190 mg)
  • Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup=114 mg)
  • Sunflower seed butter (2 Tbsp=100 mg)
  • Almond butter (2 Tbsp=89 mg)

My two favorite sources of magnesium are:

  • Cacao nibs (1/4 cup= 160 mg)
  • Chia seeds (2 Tbsp=95 mg)

You can easily add both of these to smoothies or yogurt. Other nuts and seeds, brown rice, and quinoa are good sources of magnesium. Vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, and kale contain some magnesium (20-30mg), and fruits do as well (e.g., 1 cup of strawberries=19 mg).

Focus on a whole foods based diet to get in your magnesium! :) 

Dinner for Breakfast!

I have found that most people do pretty well with their lunch and dinner meals, but it is breakfast that is lacking in wholesome, real food. We get used to having our cereal, bagel, or muffin for breakfast, but this is not the best way to start our day. We need real nourishment from TRUE food. Think of having dinner for breakfast for a well-balanced meal. Read here for 5 nutritious, breakfast ideas to add to your menu. 

Got Reflux?

Do you have acid reflux or digestion problems? Your underlying issue could be low stomach acid. 

Why is stomach acid important? Stomach acid is often viewed as a bad thing, but it is actually critical to digesting and absorbing your food. Stomach acid helps:

  • Digest and absorb carbohydrates, fat, and protein. 

  • Digest and absorb vitamins and minerals, such as zinc. Zinc is found in all of our tissues in the body and is fundamental to life processes (e.g., metabolizing fat and protein, immune system health, fertility and reproduction). Imagine if you are not able to absorb this critical nutrient because of low stomach acid!

  • Inhibit bacterial overgrowth, such as H. pylori.

  • Stimulate the release of enzymes from the pancreas into the small intestine, which are needed to help digest and absorb your food.

Some common signs/symptoms of low stomach acid include bloating, belching, trouble taking supplements, acid reflux, desire to skip breakfast, sleepy after meals, sense of fullness after meals, weak finger nails, feel better if you do not eat, undigested food in stool, stool difficult to pass, mucus in stool, excessive foul smelling gas, and/or stomach pain. Low stomach acid can even be related to distant signs/symptoms like sinus congestion, asthma, dark circles under eyes, and bad breath/body odors.

Many Americans are prescribed antacids, which further deplete stomach acid. This leads to nutrient deficiencies and thus health issues. Want to get off that antacid in a safe and effective way without having the rebound effect? Schedule a consultation with True Food and Wellness today to find out how and get started on your path to optimal health.

Thyroid and Adrenals: How are they Connected?

Are you tired all the time? Trouble tolerating the cold? Menstrual irregularities or PCOS? Do your symptoms come from an under active thyroid or from worn out adrenal glands (the walnut-shaped glands that sit on top of the kidneys)? Many people have a combination of adrenal and thyroid issues not just one or the other. The underlying cause of your symptoms may even be due to a dysregulation upstream from the thyroid and adrenals. The glands at the front of the line, the hypothalamus and pituitary, regulate the adrenals and thyroid. It is imperative to provide support to the hypothalamus and pituitary when working with someone who has a thyroid and/or adrenal issue.

With all the stress we experience in today’s world, it is no wonder that our adrenal glands are taking a beating and there are so many people with thyroid issues. The stress we experience day in and day out dictates the cortisol we produce from the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a very important hormone; it has anti-inflammatory actions and prevents cell damage and death. However, when there is an excess of cortisol, this can have negative effects (e.g., breakdown of protein, increased blood sugar, and fat buildup around the belly). The effects of chronic cortisol seretion does not stop there. It can also affect the functioning of the thyroid gland, which I have demonstrated in this diagram. Simply put, cortisol can inhibit the conversion to the active thyroid hormone (T3), and it can also inhibit the production of TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, which is secreted from the pituitary. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce T4 (inactive form) to T3 (active thyroid hormone). Why do we need the active form of thyroid hormone? This is the form that can be picked up by the tissues of our body to elicit a healthy response. If T4 is not converted to T3, an unhealthy biological response can occur (e.g., weight gain, menstrual irregularities, memory loss, depression, cold intolerance, etc.).

Additionally, the trace minerals are very important to thyroid and adrenal health. These include selenium and zinc. Iodine is also an important mineral needed for thyroid health. The Standard American Diet lacks these critical minerals. Healthy nutrition comes down to so much more than just calories in, calories out. WHAT we eat matters, as well as how well we absorb it.