Gluten Free Nashville TN

The Health Benefits of Homemade Chicken Broth & How To Make It

15 Jul
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

When someone’s sick, the first food that pops into your head to feed them is usually chicken soup. Why? Because it’s medicinal of course. Or is it? Well, it turns out that our grandmothers were wiser than we probably give them credit for.  Their chicken soup was medicinal because it was homemade. Chicken soup that you buy from most restaurants or make from a can/carton of chicken broth does not have the health benefits that homemade chicken soup has. One great benefit of making your own bone broth is that you know exactly what is going into it. Below is a picture of the ingredients in a leading store bought chicken broth. It doesn’t look like real food to me. Buying store bought broth may seem more convenient than making your own, but I try to keep my freezer stocked full of homemade chicken broth so I can just thaw some out when I need it. The nutrient density and flavor of store bought chicken broth doesn’t even compare to the homemade version.


Health Benefits:

Homemade bone broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other minerals that are easier for the body to absorb. It also contains gelatin, which promotes healthy cartilage and can help fight degenerative joint disease. Gelatin supports the connective tissue in your body and also helps your fingernails and hair to grow. 

One of my favorite health benefits of bone broth is that it aids digestion. The SAD (Standard American Diet) that our culture has adopted has wreaked havoc on our digestive systems aka our gut. All disease begins in the gut. And as we all know, disease rates have skyrocketed, so this tells us that we could all use a little gut healing. Even skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis, etc are all outward examples that something needs healing on the inside. So what easier food to implement into our diets than homemade chicken broth. No wonder chicken broth is a vital part of gut healing diets such as the GAPS diet.  The broth assists in the healing of many chronic intestinal disorders such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, leaky gut, and many others.  Homemade bone broth helps to protect the body from gastrointestinal illness as the gelatin in it acts as a neutralizer of intestinal poisons helping to relieve diarrhea.

Now that we know how amazing homemade broth is for the immune system, I’ll tell you how to make it. It’s pretty easy! There are several variations in how people make it, but this is the way I make mine.

How To Make Homemade Chicken Bone Broth:

What You’ll Need:


  1. Roast your chicken as usual and remove all meat for your family’s consumption.
  2. Put the remaining chicken carcass (bones and skin) in the crock pot.
  3. Add carrots, celery, onion, & garlic to the crock pot and cover with filtered water (Fill to the top).
  4. Add 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar to water. (ACV helps to pull out the beneficial minerals from the bones).
  5. Cover and cook on low for 12-24 hours or until the bones fall apart easily when you apply pressure to them. I put my chicken broth on before bed and let it simmer overnight.
  6. When finished, strain the broth through a fine metal sieve, and throw away the bones, skin, and any other large particles.
  7. Enjoy the medicinal effects of the broth!

Storage Options:

  • Store the broth in the fridge up to 5-7 days.
  • Freezer: I pour extra broth in mason jars (cooled broth) and store in my freezer for future times when I need broth fast.

How to Enjoy The Benefits:

  • Drink warm broth in a mug everyday.
  • Use as the base in soups or sauces.
  • Cook with broth instead of water for rice and quinoa for extra flavor.

Naturally Yours,
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC


My Story With Essential Oils

02 Jul
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments

DoTerraPic Last February I went to my first DoTERRA essential oils class at Mary Crimmins’ house. The topic of this specific class was “Essential Oils for Babies & Children.” At the time, my son was 10 months old, and I’m always looking for more natural ways to keep our family healthy. Most of you know that I started my journey of natural health 3.5 years ago when I got really sick with autoimmune type symptoms and doctor after doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, but I was able to heal myself through natural methods and God-given foods. (My story here.)  Since then, I’m extremely passionate about natural healthcare; treating the root cause of problems, not merely treating the symptoms. I’ve also been a lot more careful not to just take medicine every time I have an ailment; rather I seek to find out what could be causing the pain, and I look for ways to boost my immune system. At the essential oils class, I learned that anytime my baby experienced teething, sleep problems, colds/flu, gas, constipation, fever, skin problems, or any issue, that there was an essential oil I could use on him. For someone who HATED giving my little one tylenol, this was the best news ever for me. I loved learning that my family had the option of turning to something natural anytime we were sick; not only sick, but anytime we needed more energy, struggled with insomnia, needed more focus, or needed help with anxiety.

Growing up, my mom would always tell me to smell lavender before bed to help me sleep. She would also send me to school on test days with peppermint for focus and concentration. I would also catch my mom putting tea tree oil on different parts of her body. Back then, I thought she was so weird for this but she was obviously onto something-smart woman! I guess it took me having my own family and seeing my own child sick to realize that I wanted to have something to turn to in times of need.

During the class I put a drop of Elevation (The Joyful Blend) in my hands and inhaled the amazing aroma of this oil. I couldn’t believe how good I felt within minutes. I came home from the class in the best mood and so energized after experiencing the benefits from Elevation. Since I was a little girl, I have unfortunately struggled with anxiety and worried way too much. I never got on drugs for this, but just did my best to manage it with prayer, reading scripture, exercise, and then by changing my diet a few years ago. (How your gut health affects your mental health will be discussed in a future post). Thankfully, through all the changes I made, it was gone….until I had Owen. My health was thrown off after delivering a baby-between all the medicine they gave me which damages your gut health, lack of sleep which hurts your immune system, and overall stress of having a newborn, my anxiety came back probably the worst it had ever been. For about a month, I wouldn’t even drive my car with Owen in the backseat for fear that I would get in a wreck and hurt him. At night, I couldn’t sleep because I was so fearful of someone breaking into our home. Looking back, I’m shocked that I even went through that as it seems so silly now, but obviously something was off in my body.  Between supplementing with specific nutrients I was missing and using Balance, Serenity, and Elevation, I became a new woman. These 3 oils have truly changed my life. Anytime I’m anxious or have a lot going on, I use these essential oils and the anxiety/heart pounding disappears. I feel so much more motivated and less fearful in life.

DoTERRA essential oils have been such a blessing to my family. I’m so thankful for these God-given oils that have powerful healing properties and that have been around for ages. Essential oils are mentioned over 1000 times in the Bible. I think He had something better in mind for us than the current state of our nation’s health problems.

If you want to learn more about essential oils and why it’s extremely important to get the most pure oils, you can read about it here.

How to buy, or email me if you would like to get essential oils at wholesale prices:

Happy Healing!
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC

Scientific research on essential oils can be found here.

The Gluten Problem

06 Jun
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments


Gluten free. It’s everywhere now. Many think it’s the latest fad out there. Fad or not, gluten is a problem for so many people. Gluten sensitivity is the most under-recognized, undiagnosed medical condition of our time. Many people out there who are gluten sensitive don’t even know it and they could cure their ailments without the use of drugs by solely by removing gluten from their diets.

Undigested gluten lingering around in your body causes inflammation, which in turn can cause disease as well as weight gain. In a sensitive individual, gluten also causes poor absorption of nutrients which can lead to anemia, hormonal imbalance, and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, many people think that the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are solely in the digestive tract (bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramps). Gluten sensitivity can manifest in any system in your body and symptoms are variable depending on the person: migraines, joint pain, digestive issues, fatigue, exhaustion, brain fog, and the list goes on.

I’m not saying going gluten free is the answer to everything as I did several things to heal my body on my journey to healing, but going gluten free definitely helped me tremendously. And the past few weekends when I accidentally ingested some gluten while at weddings and eating random things at restaurants, my body can feel it. I’m extremely tired, sluggish, and unmotivated all of a sudden, as well as swollen joints.

Here are two posts that I wrote below that go into more depth about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease and how to recognize the symptoms and what to do about it:

Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Sensitivity (Part 1)
Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Sensitivity (Part 2)


Getting Healthy in the New Year

01 Jan
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

Happy New Year to all of my amazing followers! My wish for each and every one of you in 2013 is health and healing, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional
, or spiritual healing that you need (or all of these).  If one of your goals for the new year is to lose weight or make healthier changes for your family, know that all things are possible.  You CAN do this. Your health and your family’s health is worth it.  You can take steps to prevent cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and other chronic conditions. By making lifestyle changes through the foods that you eat, you can have energy, sleep better, feel better, improve your fertility, and so much more!

I would love to help you on your journey to optimum health!  Most people don’t know just how good their bodies were made to feel.  Let’s get back to the basics of life.  There is healing power in the foundational foods that God created for us to eat.

As an Integrative Dietitian, I will not only teach you the benefits of eating nutrient-dense foods, I will show you how to do it (even with a busy schedule).  I will be a source of support and hope for you during your journey.  Whether you want to lose weight or you have a chronic health condition, you don’t have to continue living this way.  You deserve to feel good again! 

Happy New Year! May 2013 be your best year yet!

Naturally Yours,
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC
*Mention this post & receive 25% off your initial consultation.


13 Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil

03 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

Awhile back I wrote a post about the amazing benefits of coconut oil titled
“Nuts Over Coconuts.” I wanted to share with you more research I read this morning about just how good coconut oil is for your health.  This information is from Green Med Info.

13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil:

  1. Fat-Burning: There are 2 studies showing that 2 tbsp. a day of coconut oil can reduce belly fat in 1-3 months.
  2. Brain-Boosting: Cognitive improvement has been shown in studies of alzheimer’s disease patients
  3. Clearing Head Lice: Coconut oil + anise spray works better than the insecticide permethrin
  4. Healing Wounds: Coconut oil has been used as a healing agent for centuries
  5. NSAID Alternative: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and fever-reducing properties
  6. Anti-Ulcer Activity: Coconut oil has been shown to be as effective as the conventional drug sucralfate as an NSAID-associated anti-ulcer agent.
  7. Anti-Fungal: Coconut oil is natures anti-fungal.  It especially works against drug-resistant Candida species.
  8. Testosterone-Booster: It reduces oxidative stress in the testes of rats, which increases testosterone levels.  Low testosterone has become a big problem over the years.  Most people don’t realize that theirs is low.
  9. Reducing Swollen Prostate: Coconut oil lowers testosterone-induced benign prostate growth in rats.
  10. Improving Blood Lipids: Improves cholesterol (LDL:HDL ratio).  Coconut oil is a saturated fat that unclogs arteries.
  11. Fat Soluble Nutrient Absorption: Improves tomato carotenoid absoption
  12. Bone Health: Lowers oxidative stress inside the bone, which can possibly reduce structural damage in osteoporotic bone.
  13. Sunscreen: Blocks out UV rays by 30%; Coconut oil is great to use for short-term sun exposure (just enough to get your vitamin D but not get burnt).

I even rub coconut oil all over my baby after his baths.  It’s a great moisturizer and great for his immune system.

For the full article, including all the links to the research behind all of this, go here.

If you need help choosing the right coconut oil (and at the cheapest price), click here.

Enjoy this God-given miracle food!

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


Homemade, Nontoxic Cleaning Products

12 Mar
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

I’ve gone “green” and “natural” on almost all cleaning and beauty products in my house.  However, I happened to find a small amount of Pledge dusting spray left in a cabinet a few weeks ago.  I didn’t even know I had it until my mom came over to clean my house for me (since I’m 38 weeks pregnant) and started using it.  She mentioned that I needed to get more Pledge since I was almost out, but I of course don’t want toxic chemicals in my home (especially with a newborn coming soon) so I wanted to make my own dusting spray.  You can buy the high-priced “green” cleaning products at the store, which I definitely do most of the time since I’m so busy, but my goal is to start making my own cleaning/laundry products more often so I can save money and cut back on plastic waste. Another reason to make your own laundry detergent is so that you know every single ingredient going on your family’s skin. Here are a few recipes you’ll want to try:

Dusting Spray:

Ingre­di­ents you need:

  • 2 Tsp. Light Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup White Vine­gar
  • 20 drops Lemon-Essential Oil
  • Warm Water (fill the rest of bottle)
  • 16 oz Spray bottle

Shake well before using. It’s probably beneficial to use a damp cloth so you don’t just move the dust around.

For General Cleaning Around the House:
Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar for every quart of water. Wipe down all surfaces.

Laundry Detergent (The most basic one out there)

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Soap: Fels-Naptha is the most popular soap used. You could also just use Ivory soap.
  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: NOT baking soda.
  • Grater
  • Lavender or Orange Essential Oil (Optional)

Directions: Remember this Ratio: 1:1:1

  1. Grate your bar of soap (as finely as possible).
  2. Mix it with 1 cup of Borax & 1 cup of Washing Soda
  3. Stir together for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Optional: Add 1/2-1oz of your favorite essential oil & stir.
  5. Use about 2 Tbsp. per load of laundry.

This is a dry laundry detergent recipe but there are recipes out there for liquid ones. Good luck & enjoy that extra money you save!

Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC


Carbs-As Addictive As Cocaine?

01 Feb
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments

Could carbs be as addictive as cocaine? Yes!

Do you find yourself craving refined carbs in the morning? Do you have a hard time cutting back on the amount of carbs you eat?  Do you feel awful if you go a day without refined carbs?  You might be addicted to carbs.  Before you beat yourself up, remember that carbohydrates are just as addictive as cocaine. So it’s not going to be easy to be free from this addiction. But you CAN do it!

How It Works:
Carbohydrates release serotonin in the brain.  They are very sedating.  Especially highly refined carbohydrates (e.g. white bread, pastas, bagels, cookies, etc).  “Heavily processed carbohydrates quickly raise the amount of sugar in your blood,” said Dr. Simon Thornily, a registrar with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, whose report appeared in the journal Medical Hypotheses. “This rush of sugar stimulates the same areas of the brain that are involved with addiction to nicotine and other drugs.”  Scientists at Princeton University have also been studying Thornley’s thesis. The American scientists have turned rats into sugar addicts and then suffered cravings when the sugar was taken away. When the scientists gave the rats sugar again, the rats binged on it.

Having a craving every once in awhile is normal, but having to eat carbs to feel good is an addiction.  Carbs and cocaine have the same effect on the pleasure center in the brain.  Like all other addictions, you become immune to small doses; therefore, it takes more and more carbs to get the same fix.

Too much carbohydrates will dangerously affect your health.  Not only could you gain weight, but you’re putting your body at risk for diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and you’re completely throwing off your hormones.  You’re probably asking yourself, “How do I change?”  First of all, when you’re weaning yourself from anything, it’s not always good to go cold turkey.  Instead of focusing on what you “can’t have,” focus on what you can eat.  Focus on a plant-based diet. Numerous studies show that this type of eating is healthiest in many ways.  You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and most importantly prevent a variety of diseases.  Make sure that the meat you eat is organic (free of hormones, antibiotics, etc) and 100% grass-fed. (More on this topic in another post).  Start adding seeds & nuts to your meals for extra nutrients and healthy fats.  At first it may be difficult to get out of the habit of thinking that you need grains at every meal.  You definitely don’t need them because most grains are extremely processed so aren’t even good for you.  If you’re going to enjoy whole grains, make sure they’re soaked or sprouted when possible.

What’s Causing You to Overeat on Carbs?
Many people overeat on carbs because they release serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone.  They solution to this problem is pin-pointing the reason you’re turning to carbs for comfort.  Are you stressed?  Are you down about something?  Do you have unresolved conflict that needs to be addressed?  Instead of turning to food, try going for a walk or talking to a friend about how you’re feeling.  Yoga or any other type of exercise is a great way to feel good without turning to food. 

Could you be addicted to carbs?  What steps will you start taking today to free yourself from this?  It will be difficult, but so worth the freedom.  Good luck in taking charge of your health!

Naturally Yours,
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN