Dietician Nashville

June GIVEAWAY Winners

24 Jun
by Kristen, posted in Giveaways   |  No Comments

 

 

I am excited to announce June’s lucky Giveaway winners! 

If you see your name below, message me your address & I’ll mail your oil to you this week. Stay tuned for our next giveaway ;)  

 

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Preventing Winter Weight Gain

17 Nov
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


First, of all I want to start off by apologizing for not posting in a long time. Free time in the 1st trimester was spent resting after work, and lately I’ve been writing at my other blog.  I’m blogging about baby over at
Baby Makes Three. If you want to see pictures from our Gender Reveal Party, check them out here.

Preventing Winter Weight Gain:
If you’re like me, the winter months may make you to want to stay inside under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa.  Now that daylight savings has hit and it gets darker earlier, I find myself coming home from work and wanting to sit on the couch with a good show/movie.  My normal (and usually easier) plan is to head to the gym for a workout class or meet a friend to go walking.  So, I completely understand how hard it is to get yourself to the gym in the winter rather than do what your body wants, which is hit the couch.  But I promise you that once you complete that workout, your body will thank you for the extra energy and the mood-lifting endorphins.

3 Tips to Prevent Weight Gain:

  1. Hit the Gym at the Right Time:  For some people, they are too exhausted after a long day at work to work out.  You know that you will not even try to force yourself to make it to the gym even though you know it will make you feel better. So, if you’re one of those people, you may benefit from an early morning workout (before you head to work). Sure, you’ll have to get up earlier, but you will get a great workout in, and you won’t feel guilty for watching your favorite TV shows after a long day on the job.  Or maybe you are someone who cannot get motivated again once you make it home from work. The best tip for you is to always keep gym clothes in your car, and make sure you head straight to the gym after work (do not go home first).  Because you know that once you make it home, you won’t be getting out in that cold weather again.  You must plan in advance to accomplish your workout goals.
  2. Get REAL FOOD Conscious: During the winter, people’s vitamin D levels drop because they are not exposed to the best source of vitamin D, which is sunlight.  This is one reason why it’s very important to get your vitamin D levels checked regularly-you probably need supplementation at least during the winter months.  Low vitamin D levels are linked to depression, and many people struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder), caused by not being exposed to as much light/sunshine.  This could lead to comfort eating during the winter blues.  Instead of turning to comfort foods turn to real foods, which will boost your mood. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, & B12 are especially important.  These include wild salmon, walnuts, eggs, dark green leafy veggies, sunflower seeds & organic/grass-fed meat products.  When you’re focused on eating foods that grow from the earth and less processed foods, the weight will naturally come off.
  3. Don’t Go Overboard at Holiday Festivities: Some people blame the winter pounds on the holidays.  And if you’re someone that has multiple Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years parties to attend, than you definitely have to work harder at preventing the weight gain than others.  But it IS possible, and you CAN do it.  The best way to not overeat at a holiday party is to eat a healthy snack right before the party.  A handful of nuts is an easy snack to keep in your purse when you’re on the go.  The healthy fats & protein in the nuts will keep your blood sugar from dipping and will give you a sense of satiety so you’re not starving at the party.  Make sure you’re eating protein at every meal/snack to keep you feeling fuller longer.  When you’re at a party, don’t feel like you have to deprive yourself.  Enjoy the food, but just make sure you limit the items that are exceptionally high in calories/fat/sugar.  Load your plate up with veggies/fruit and protein first, then have a small portion of the higher carbohydrate items.  Remember that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine is, so the more you eat it, the more your body wants it.  Focus on your veggies & protein during the winter months, and this will help you not go back for seconds and thirds on all those holiday desserts.

Enjoy this holiday season and remember the reason for it all.  Don’t stress over the little things, because we all know what stress does to our body.  Have fun with all your loved ones, and safe travels to you all!

If you ever need help with your weight or other nutrition issues in your life, feel free to schedule a private consultation with me.

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Getting Ready for Cold/Flu Season

18 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

via Blooming Natural Health

As most of you know, cold and flu season is just around the corner.  Unfortunately, it seems as if the “stomach bug” has already shown its face in many people’s homes.  I’m sure you’ve also seen all the signs for flu shots in your area.  While I won’t be getting a flu shot, I will be practicing preventative tips to protect myself from the flu.  Here are ways to keep your immune system strong this season:

Tips for Protecting Your Health During Cold/Flu Season:

  • Get plenty of Vitamin D: Most people are deficient in vitamin D.  Unfortunately, one wouldn’t know this unless they got their vitamin D levels tested. I know, I say this a lot, but it is extremely important to know your vitamin D levels.  I get mine checked at least twice a year.  Optimal vitamin D levels are: 55-65 ng/mL.  A deficiency of vitamin D triggers infections, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease), cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  Optimal vitamin D levels are known to be more effective in preventing the flu than a flu vaccine.  The best source of vitamin D: sunshine!  It’s important to get out and enjoy at least 10-15 minutes of sun per day (without sunscreen).  As winter approaches, and it becomes harder to get natural sunlight, it may be necessary to take a daily vitamin D supplement.  Many people even need a supplement during the summer; again, why it’s so important to get your levels checked! 

  • Eat Healthy: Everyone knows it’s important to eat healthy, but I think that most people underestimate the power that food has on the immune system.  If you’re eating healthy and are exposed to certain illnesses, you have a great chance of not catching it.  Foods to enjoy are:
    • Organic fruits & vegetables
    • Fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, etc.
    • Organic, pastured meats & eggs (including 100% grass-fed beef)
    • Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.
    • Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system.  If you need sweeteners, use raw honey, maple syrup, & stevia.
      • Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral properties (LOCAL raw honey is best, especially for allergies)
    • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar per day
    • Supplements: Vitamin D (depending on your levels), probiotic, elderberry, fermented cod liver oil or another purified source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Get plenty of sleep: 7-8 hours per night is ideal
  • Exercise: Increases your resistance to illness
  • Stay stress-free! Find ways to manage your stress to keep your immune system strong.  Try yoga, prayer, meditation, talking to a friend, whatever works for YOU.

Even if you still get sick doing all of these tips, your symptoms will be a lot milder than if you weren’t following these healthy guidelines.

Praying your family enjoys a sick-free fall and winter!
Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN,CLC

Nuts Over Coconuts!

17 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments


You may be wondering what’s the deal about this big coconut rave?  Are coconuts and coconut oil really that good for you?  And how can they be healthy when they are high in saturated fat?  Well, I’m here to answer those questions for you and to let you know where you can get organic coconut oil for a great price.

Not too long ago, our society was all about the low-fat, fat-free craze.  Fat was considered the “culprit” to our diets.  Thankfully, people have realized that fat is good for our bodies, and is even necessary for proper absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.  So let’s talk about coconut oil and why it’s so good for you.  Yes, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but the fat in coconuts is different & unique from all other fats & contains many health benefiting properties.  In my opinion, coconut oil is a superfood.  The difference is in the fat molecule.  Fats and oils contain fatty acids.  Approximately 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are long-chain fatty acids (LCFA).  Coconut oil is composed mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).  Our bodies metabolize each fatty acid differently, based on its size. MCFT do not have a negative effect on cholesterol like LCFA do, and they help to protect against heart disease.

Here are a few of the MANY benefits of coconuts & coconut oil:

  • Acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral.
  • Lowers cholesterol.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Increases metabolism supporting weight loss
  • Great natural skin/hair moisturizer
  • Much more!

Use coconut oil as your cooking oil of choice and/or add it in your favorite smoothies for its health benefits.  Rub it on your skin to help protect against the sun’s UV rays.

Right now Amazon has the Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 15-Ounce Tubs (Pack of 2), priced at $14.98, just $7.49 per jar. And you get free shipping.  Use the “Subscribe and Save” option to get it for this price.  Go nuts over coconuts!

Naturally Yours,
xoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

 


Easy Recipe: Sweet Potato Fries

17 Jul
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments


Sweet potato fries are a staple in our house.  They’re naturally gluten and grain-free, so anyone can eat them.  Most importantly, they are delicious!  Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate which means they digest more slowly than white potatoes and therefore will not cause your blood sugar to spike as easily.

Sweet Potato Nutrients:

  • Great source of beta-carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Fiber (More fiber than oatmeal if the skin is left on)

Sweet Potato Fries Recipe:
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • About 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (very healthy & adds flavor to recipe)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (raw cheese is always best)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut sweet potatoes into strips that are about 1/4 inch wide on each side.
  • Place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Add melted coconut oil, salt, and rosemary. Stir well to thoroughly coat the fries.
  • Stir in 2/3 of the Parmesan. Spread out onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  • Cook for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through. Fries are done when they are browned around the edges.
  • Enjoy!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

How Your Cosmetics Could Be Damaging Your Health (Part 1)

11 Jul
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

The Story of Cosmetics examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo.  This 7 minute film reveals the implications for consumer and worker health and the environment, and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives.

I consider myself a health advocate, and since we can’t always count on the FDA, I’m here to do my own research to share with you.  About a year and a half ago, I started looking at what I was putting on my body in a whole new light.  Of course I knew that what I put in my body was important, but I had no idea that what I put on my body was even more important.  Your skin is your largest organ and is highly permeable.  What you put on your body does end up in your blood stream, and will therefore be distributed throughout your body.  I love the saying, “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat if you had to…”  Dr Mercola, explains it best:

“Putting chemicals on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body. However, when you put these chemicals on your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.  Once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down. When you add up daily exposure over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to an untold amount of chemical exposures.”

While there is a long list of dangerous toxins that appear in personal care products, here are some of the most dangerous ones that you want to avoid:

  • Parabens: Found in deodorants, moisturizers & shampoos. Parabens mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
  • Phthalates: Found in, among other things, toys, food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray and shampoo.  Phthalates have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate: Found in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts. SLS is carcinogenic.
  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petroleum: They coat your skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They also slow cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging, and are a suspected cause of cancer and disruption to hormonal activity.
  • Artificial Fragrances: The use of fragrances is unregulated, and there’s no need for manufacturers to specify what type of fragrance they’re using. It could be in the form of harmful cheap synthetic chemicals (which is the rule rather than the exception these days), and all they’re required to do is put “fragrance” on the bottle as an ingredient.  Artificial fragrances can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks.
  • Toluene: Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): A chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.

While I completely understand that this can be rather overwhelming if you look at all your products and they contain almost all of these ingredients.  If you need to, take baby steps to cut back/avoid these toxic ingredients.  When you buy new products, make sure you get ones without these ingredients.  Come back tomorrow for tips on how to choose safer products and how to make your own.

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Source:
Environmental Working Group
Mercola.com

 

 

Easy Recipe: Kale Chips

30 Jun
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  6 Comments


Have you been hearing a lot more about kale lately and wondered what’s so great about it?  Well, kale is a true superfood.  The most nutrient dense foods are vegetables, not whole grains like some people think.  Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and many other nutrients that are important for optimal health. Here are a few other nutrition facts about kale:

  • Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system.
  • It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration.
  • It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer.
  • Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll.

Kale chips are a staple in our house.  They are extremely easy to make and a delicious side to your dinner.  If you don’t love them the first time (like my husband), keep trying because they will grow on you.  I absolutely love them!  Here is the recipe I use:

Kale Chips:

Ingredients:
1-2 bunches of kale
Olive oil
Sea Salt (to taste)
Cumin

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash kale and remove from stalk, leaving the greens in large pieces.
3. Put the kale pieces in a bowl, and drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the kale. Stir it together so the olive oil lightly coats all the pieces.
4. Lay the kale out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cumin & sea salt. Bake for 5 min or until kale starts to turn a bit brown. Keep an eye on the kale; it can burn quickly. Turn the kale over and bake with the other side up.
5. Remove, serve, & enjoy!

An even greater way to enjoy kale’s benefits is to eat it raw.  Here are 2 smoothie recipes that are delicious and include kale:
Kale Smoothie
Nutrient Packed Smoothie Recipe

Naturally Yours,
xoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN

Are You Stressed?

12 Apr
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  4 Comments

Image Credit

STRESS. Seeing that word even makes me feel the effect of it, and I cringe.  Sometimes I get so angry at stress because I feel as if it is controlling me, and I don’t know how to let it go.  What makes me even more frustrated is when I don’t feel like I’m stressed, but internally I am and my body gets hit with the repercussions of it.  Do you ever feel that way? You tell yourself over and over again, “I’m not stressed.  I’m fine.  Everything is good.”  Yet, deep down, you know something is going on because you’re not sleeping well, you’re moody, or your body is holding onto that extra weight even though you’ve tried so hard to be extra healthy.

Well, I’m just going to be honest with you.  I don’t have it all together, and I’m not going to pretend like I do.  Who really does?  I’ve been extremely stressed lately.  There is a lot on my plate at the moment, and I just can’t seem to find time to get it all done.  What I’m learning is that while all the good things in our lives are wonderful, too much of anything can be bad.  You’re probably thinking, “She’s just now learning this?” :)   I feel like this is something that some of us will always battle…the challenge of simplifying our lives when the world around us tells us the complete opposite.  Even though we justify our activities/commitments because they are “good,” it’s imperative for our health and our sanity to practice the magic word, “no.”

Maybe these harmful effects of stress will motivate you to find ways to de-stress:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Acne or other dermatological issues
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Insomnia
  • Back/neck problems
  • Heart disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Migraines
  • Fertility problems
  • Diabetes
  • Hair loss
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic inflammation
  • And More!

How do I deal with stress?  As I said earlier, I’m slowly learning how to say, “no.”  I also spend much time in prayer and meditation.  Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is another goal of mine.  Finally, bikram yoga has been great in helping me de-stress.  A study performed by Boston researchers concluded that people who practice yoga 3 times a week report better mood and lower anxiety compared with people who walked the same amount of time.  Of course, ANY exercise is beneficial to help you beat stress.

What about YOU? What are some things that you can cut out so that you’ll be less stressed?  And what methods do you use to de-stress?

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN