Nutritionist Nashville TN

5 New Year Health Tips from an Unconventional Dietitian

01 Jan
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  6 Comments

5HealthTips

1. Beginner’s Tip: Eat more veggies. Easiest tip of all is to incorporate more vegetables into your meals. It’s extremely easy to add spinach or kale to a smoothie. I also add a raw carrot to mine, and no you can’t taste any of these because the frozen fruit masks the taste. Find my smoothie recipes here. If you’re making spaghetti, add zucchini, carrots, peppers, and/or broccoli to your sauce. 

2. Eat more FAT. Yes, I said it…fat is good for you. And FINALLY, conventional medicine is catching up and realizing the truth behind fat. What fats do I recommend? Well, the ones you were probably told to avoid….fats that are in real butter, coconut oil, ghee, grapeseed oil, avocado, nuts, 100% grass fed beef, and the list goes on. I could write a book on all the reasons fat is good for you, but I’ll try to just focus on a few. For example, fat is essential for your brain health. Your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. Though many people are now familiar with the importance of the highly unsaturated essential fatty acids found in cold-water fish (EPA and DHA) for normal brain and nerve function, the fatty acids in the brain are actually saturated. A diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally. Fat is important for:

  • proper brain/nerve functioning
  • insulation and energy storage
  • protection for our organs
  • absorption of Vitamins D, E, A, and K
  • hormone regulation

The war on fat has been going on for at a least a decade now. Thank goodness, the fat-free craze is not as popular as it used to be. I used to fall into the fat-free trap, buying fat-free salad dressing, fat-free yogurt, fat-free everything. And you know what? I was heavier and sicker then than I am now, and I’m eating a lot more fat these days. Eating fat does NOT make you fat. Eating sugar & processed food makes you fat. And you know food companies have to replace those “fat-free” products with something else to make it taste okay. They replace the fat with sugar, which is so much worse for your health. Want to read more about how fat is good for you. I love this article by Chris Kresser, “The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy.”

3. Cut out the junk. What do I mean by junk? Processed food. As much as possible, try to stop or limit what you eat out of a box. Food companies add an insane amount of chemicals, preservatives, additives, and even sugar to their products. The easiest way to cut out the junk is to eat real food. This means eating foods that are as close to nature as possible. For example, instead of applesauce out of a container, eat an apple. If you must eat something out of a box or wrapper, try to limit the number of ingredients to 5 or less. It’s harder than you think if you’re not used to eating that way. That’s why it’s easier for me to just shop the perimeter of the grocery store (better yet, a farmer’s market) and buy fresh foods.

4. Avoid GMOs like the plague. There are many genetically modified crops, but the 4 main ones are: corn, cotton, canola, and soy. If you use/consume these 4 crops in any way, buy organic. GMOs are linked to infertility, food allergies, cancer, birth defects, and the list goes on. Go to www.GeneticRoulette.com for a full presentation. Here is a teaser of what you’ll find:

  • The only human feeding study on GMOs ever conducted showed that genes “jumped” from GM soy into the DNA of human intestinal bacteria and continued to function. That means that long after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have GM proteins produced continuously inside of you. (What if the pesticide-producing “Bt” gene found in GM corn chips were also to jump? It might transform our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories—possibly for the long term.)
  • Most offspring of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks (compared to a 10 percent death rate in the non-GM soy group). Similarly, when a lab switched to rat feed with GM soy, most of the offspring at the facility died within two weeks.
  • Studies with mice also show reproductive problems. Mice fed GM soy had altered sperm cells and the DNA of their embryos acted differently.
  • Hundreds of farm workers complain of allergic reactions when touching GM cotton.
  • After sheep grazed on GM cotton plants after harvest, about one in four died; about 10,000 deaths in one region in India.
  • Farmers on three continents say their livestock became sterile, sick or died, after eating GM corn varieties.

If you want to read more about GMOs & how they’re destroying your health, read my post on it here.

5. Find out your food sensitivities. Trying to lose weight, but it’s just not happening? Or do you have headaches frequently, digestive issues, IBS, or just tired all the time? Hidden food sensitivities could be the reason why you’re not shedding those pounds that you’re working so diligently to lose, and they could be the reason for your symptoms. Identifying food sensitivities is key to feeling better, and I truly believe you’ll see just how good your body was designed to feel if you avoid foods that you’re sensitive to. I offer skype/phone consultations if you need help in identifying your food sensitivities. I’ve seen first hand clients of mine not only lose weight, but their pain went away, their asthma went away, and their energy was back when they identified the food triggers. So just because a food seems “healthy” doesn’t mean it’s healthy for your body. That’s why I don’t believe in a one size fits all diet (technically, I hate the word diet anyway :) Every one of us reacts differently to food or environmental triggers, and we all have a different make up; therefore, what works for one person may not work for someone else so I like to work with people on a individualized plan.

Giving you just 5 health tips was hard. I think I could go on forever when talking about health and nutrition. If you need extra help with your health and nutrition goals in the new year, I would love to be your personal Dietitian. If you don’t live in the Nashville, TN area, we can work together via phone, email, or skype.

Most importantly in the new year, I want to encourage you to stay positive about your health. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or heal your own body from chronic pain, it’s essential that you focus your mind on positive things. “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” -Anthony Robbins

Happy New Year to you! May 2014 be your best year yet.
Naturally Yours,

xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC

 

Cold & Flu Prevention: 7 Ways to Keep Your Immune System Strong

25 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

Cold:FluSeasonBlogPost
It’s that time of year again. The kids went back to school, and already I’m hearing of so many people coming down with an illness. Cold and flu season is arriving, and I think we can all agree on one thing: Who has time to be sick? Not me, not you, not anyone. So I thought I would share with you some tips on keeping your immune system strong this winter.

1. Avoid sugar. This is so hard for many people because cold/flu season happens to fall at the same time as the holidays. Coincidence? Not at all. Sugar suppresses immune system function. Research shows that hours after taking sugar into the body, the immune system’s warriors slow down their responses. So they’re less able to attack invaders like bacteria and viruses. This is why people are more likely to get sick over the holidays; they’re ingesting more sugar than usual, leaving their bodies susceptible to viruses and bacteria. If you’re a sugar addict, you may have a deeper issue such as candida. This fungus causes a vicious cycle in that it feeds off sugar, but it also causes you to crave more sugar. A healthcare professional such as myself or a good integrative doctor can help you if you suspect candida. Also, this supplement can help with sugar cravings.

GlutamineAlso, I do recommend getting to the bottom of why you have sugar cravings to begin with. Is your blood sugar low? Could you have an underlying adrenal fatigue problem? I’m all about getting to the root issue of the problem.

If you must have sugar, read my post on the truth about sweeteners. One sweetener that I love is honey. Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral properties (LOCAL raw honey is best, especially for allergies).

2. Get plenty of rest. In one study done at Carnegie Mellon University, even if people said they felt well rested if they’d averaged fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night, they were almost 3 times as likely to get a cold as those who got 8 hours or more of sack time. What I’ve noticed with my own sleep patterns is that the QUALITY of your sleep is just as important as your QUANTITY. If you’re in bed for 9 hours, but you were up tossing and turning throughout the night, I wouldn’t call that good rest. There are many things that could be disrupting your quality of sleep: hormonal imbalances, food sensitivities, caffeine too late in the day, and for some people, KIDS :)

3. Vitamin D. Have you ever wondered why the winter brings on all the sickness, and during the spring/summer, everyone is so much healthier? One reason for this is SUNSHINE. People spend a lot more time outdoors during the spring and summer so they are exposed to the best source of vitamin D everyday. Their blood stores of this nutrient builds up and keeps their immune system strong. When cold temperatures come along, we stay reclused in our homes and offices, rarely getting exposed to natural Vitamin D. People’s vitamin D levels usually plummet in the winter. For this reason, I give everyone in my family a high quality vitamin D supplement everyday during the cold months. Find it here:


VitaminD

My toddler’s pediatrician recommended a few drops of this vitamin D everyday.

Many people love Fermented Cod Liver Oil for immune support. This brand is one of the best. It’s very expensive, but such good quality. The key is getting your children to consume it. Many people mix it in applesauce or other foods. I tried the chocolate cream flavor with my toddler, and he absolutely wasn’t having it. I didn’t blame him as I couldn’t stomach it either. I prefer the capsules, but you have to take a lot more of the capsules to get the same amount in a tablespoon of the liquid so it does end up costing more. Fermented Cod Liver Oil is an amazing source of natural vitamin A and D and omega 3s. Since my toddler wouldn’t take the chocolate cream flavor, and I don’t want to risk wasting even more money, he takes 1 tsp. of this fish oil everyday (or when I remember). Find it here.

CarlsonFishOilKids

4. Eat your way to better health. 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 kefir, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, or ferment your own veggies.
  • Organic, pastured meats & eggs
  • Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil (cold), grapeseed oil, avocados, nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds.
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar per day (You can make your own concoction out of this: 8 oz. water, 1 tbsp raw ACV, freshly squeezed lemon juice or lemon essential oil, and 1 tsp. raw honey. Mix together and take like a shot. This concoction is best if taken at the beginning of day before breakfast. It’s amazing for your immune system, digestion, and skin health.
  • Bone Broth. Read my post here on the health benefits of homemade bone broth (chicken broth). You can use it as a base in soups, cook your rice/quinoa/vegetables in it, or warm it up and sip it in a mug.

5. Elderberry syrup. “Modern research has identified potent flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins which may be directly related to their health promoting properties. Taken daily or on occasion to support the immune system, this concentrated syrup made from Certified Organic Black Elderberries tastes great. And it contains no artificial flavors or colors no preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup.” This is the brand I use. You can find it here.

ElderberrySyrup

6. Exercise. But It’s SO Cold Out! Many people back off on exercise during the winter because it gets darker earlier, and for those who don’t belong to a gym, they just don’t want to get out in the cold. I get it, I get it. BUT…..A study of 1,000 people found that staying active nearly halved the odds of catching cold viruses. So get out there and exercise, not just to prevent a cold, but it also helps prevent seasonal affect disorder (SAD) and depression, which happens more during the winter months.

7. Keep Calm & Carry On. Stress weakens your immune system. In the early 1980s, psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, and immunologist Ronald Glaser, PhD, of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, were intrigued by animal studies that linked stress and infection. From 1982 through 1992, these pioneer researchers studied medical students. Among other things, they found that the students’ immunity went down every year under the simple stress of the three-day exam period. Test takers had fewer natural killer cells, which fight tumors and viral infections. They almost stopped producing immunity-boosting gamma interferon and infection-fighting T-cells responded only weakly to test-tube stimulation. So whatever you need to do to keep your stress levels at a minimum, do it. A few examples would be: Prayer, yoga, journaling, walk with a friend, and don’t over commit yourself (learn to say no). The last one is something that I need to work on. Being busy is sure to suck the life out of 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.

Have a Healthy Fall & Winter!
Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC

 

How I Healed My Son’s Ear Infection Naturally

11 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

EarInfectionMy son got his first ear infection while we were at the beach in July. At 15 months old, he was at such a fun age to actually enjoy the beach this year compared to the previous year when he just laid there. So I was so upset that he got sick while we were on vacation.

Some of you may be thinking, “Get antibiotics fast.” I try to avoid antibiotics when possible because they kill not only the bad bacteria in your body, but the good bacteria in your intestines also. When you do so, you upset the delicate balance of your intestinal terrain. Yeasts grow unchecked into large colonies and take over, in a condition called dysbiosis. Antibiotics may help fungi to proliferate within your body and cause drug resistant bacteria to thrive. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, amoxicillin is not an effective treatment for otitis media (ear infection). In fact, after administration of amoxicillin, occurrence of fluid in the ear was two to six times greater. The British Medical Journal reviewed the use of antimicrobials for ear infections and published, “We conclude that existing research offers no compelling evidence that children with ear infections routinely given antimicrobials have a shorter duration of symptoms, fewer recurrences, or better long term outcomes than those who do not receive them. The authors went on to warn that, “Antimicrobial use in children with otitis media results in the emergence of resistant organisms in those children and in the community.” Most of the time, ear infections resolve on their own. And yes, you can use natural treatments to speed up this process.

If we hadn’t been at the beach, than I would have taken Owen to our chiropractor immediately. Chiropractors suggest that reduced drainage or blockage in the drainage system of the cervical (neck) lymphatic chains causes a reduction in the lymphatic outflow from the eustachian tube. This allows fluid to build up in the middle ear, making it an inviting environment for bacteria and viruses. Doctors of chiropractic focus on restoring homeostasis to the body. Several studies indicate a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and a quicker resolution of otitis media in children.

Essential Oils for Ear Infections:
What I did have on hand at the beach were my essential oils
. Thank goodness I take them with me everywhere! These are my favorite essential oils for ear infections:

Melaleuca

Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Melaleuca: Very powerful antimicrobial activity against all three of the infectious organisms: Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi. When diffused, it helps to prevent the spread of infection(URI, flu etc.). Together with its powerful immunostimulant properties, Melaleuca is a real ally in combating many illnesses and ailments. (colds, flu, URI, UTI, Cystitis) 

Basil

Basil

Basil: Basil Essential Oil tends to be one of the first oils that I select to relieve cold/infection symptoms. It is considered anti-bacterial/anti-viral, it acts as an expectorant and it also helps keep one alert. 

Oregano

Oregano

Oregano: Oregano essential oil is often called one of nature’s strongest antiseptics. Jean Valnet described Oregano oil as one of the strongest known anti-inflammatory drugs in reversing pain and inflammation with nearly the power of morphine as a painkiller. I call it “Nature’s antibiotic.”

On Guard

On Guard

On Guard: The best blend for strengthening the immune system and fighting off bacteria, infections, viruses, mold, etc. It also works great as a topical disinfectant.

I didn’t have Basil essential oil at the time (you can bet I do now), so I used Oregano, Melaleuca, and On Guard on Owen every 3-4 hours. I rubbed Melaleuca on the outside of his ears and behind the ear bone. You can also put the oil on a cotton ball and then put cotton ball inside the ear. I diluted Oregano and On Guard with coconut oil and rubbed 1-2 drops on his feet. I used Peppermint essential oil for his fever. If I would have had probiotics with me, I would have also given that to him, but thankfully he was getting plenty of vitamin D from the sunshine for extra immune system support. I did take fermented hummus to the beach with me so he was getting some probiotics. After a day or two, he was starting to feel much better; not 100% but better. He was still able to enjoy the beach as you can tell in the top picture. :)

Owen’s gut health was never compromised by giving antibiotics. And as a mom, I felt empowered knowing that I didn’t just have to sit and watch my baby live in pain and misery. I had my essential oils to not only treat his symptoms, but to work at a cellular level to fight the infection and shorten the duration of his illness. And in case you were wondering, I did call his pediatrician to let her know that he had an ear infection, and you know what she said? “90% of ear infections that are actually present clear up without antibiotic treatment. Feel free to use ibuprofen every 6 hours, and keep using your essential oils.” I love our pediatrician.

What do you use if your child gets sick? Have you ever tried essential oils?
Email me if you have questions on essential oils. I love educating others on their powerful healing effects. kristenmpardue@gmail.com

Ask me how to get essential oils at wholesale price: kristenmpardue@gmail.com
These are Retail Prices: http://www.mydoterra.com/kristenpardue/

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD

References:

Cantekin, E.I.: McGuire, T.W.; Griffith, T.L.: Antimicrobial Therapy for Otitis Media With Effusion (Secretory Otitis Media), JAMA 1991; 266: 3309-3317.

Williams,R., MD MPH; Chalmers, T.,M.D., et al; Use of antibiotics in preventing recurrent acute otitis media and in treating otitis media with effusion. JAMA, Sept. 15, 1993- Vol. 270, No.11.

Fysh, P.N.: Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1, No. 2, 1996. The author has presented a case series of five patients.

Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1985: 10(1):27-35. Musculoskeletal eustachian tube dysfunction is an important etiological factor for otitis media.

How to Buy The Right Eggs: Pastured vs. Cage-Free vs. Free-Range

08 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

Eggs

Eggs. I love them. My 16 month old and I eat them for breakfast nearly every morning. They’re full of nutrients, but make sure you eat the WHOLE egg, yes even the yolk.  Why are eggs so good for you? Well, first of all they are a protein powerhouse. One egg has 6 grams of high quality protein in it, so you if you 2 eggs every morning, you’re starting your day with a good amount of protein. Eggs also contain Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Omega 3s, cholesterol, and fat (cholesterol and fat are both good for you despite what you’ve heard).

Now, the hard part. Deciphering between all the egg lingo on the cartons at the grocery store or farmers market. “Cage Free,” “Free-Range,” “Vegetarian Fed,” and the list goes on. I used to be just as confused as you when choosing eggs. I thought that I was doing the right thing by buying “organic free range” eggs. Now that I’ve learned the difference between the labels, I want to share them with you. Here you go:

CAGE FREE: In my mind, I’m thinking chickens roaming around in the grass when I read these words. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. All “cage free” means is that the chickens are not kept in a cage. They can still be kept in tight quarters with no room to walk around. They have little to no access to outdoors, and are left standing in their own poop.

FREE RANGE: Another label that sounds really good and makes you think that the chickens are treated in a healthy manner. “Free range” means that the chickens have to have some exposure to the outdoors. There are no regulations for how long or how big the space is. (Think of a big warehouse that has a door to the outside with a small area for chickens to stand in.) Some of these spaces are so crowded full of chickens that some chickens don’t even make it to the outdoor space.

VEGETARIAN FED: We may see this label and think, “Ok, these chickens must be healthy since it sounds like they eat vegetables.” WRONG. Chickens were never intended to be vegetarians. God created them to eat bugs and insects. “Vegetarian fed” chickens were raised on industrialized, genetically modified feed. These chickens are never allowed outside.

PASTURED: **This is the GOLD STAR for eggs & what you want to look for in eggs. Your best bet is to find these eggs at a farmers market or from someone you know who raises chickens. Pastured eggs mean that the chickens are raised in the pasture, free to roam around in the grass as they please. Some farmers still feed their chickens soy, so be sure to ask questions to find eggs from chickens that were not fed soy. (Or other GMOs) Pastured eggs are much less likely to carry salmonella. Factory raised chickens’ risk of salmonella increases dramatically because the chickens are pumped full of antibiotics and GMO feed, as well as having no exposure to sunshine, thus they are sick and unhealthy.

Mother Earth News did a study in which they compared the nutrients in real pastured eggs to supermarket eggs.

Compared to supermarket eggs (from factory farms), real pastured eggs have:
5 times more vitamin D
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene
Thanks to Cheeseslave for this nutrient break down.

So yes, pastured eggs cost more…..but when you look at it from a nutrient standpoint, you’re getting more nutrients for your buck with pastured eggs compared to supermarket eggs. Pastured eggs also taste MUCH better and have more flavor. Compare them for yourself. You won’t want to go back to factory farm eggs.

This is an AMAZING video of why you want to buy pastured eggs, and why the eggs you’re buying at the grocery store are not what you think they are:

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue RD, CLC

Picture Credit: Breezy Willow Farm

My Story of Healing Revised

30 Dec
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

 

My Family: This Is What Motivates Me To Be Healthy

I decided that I needed to re-write “My Story” of how I was able to heal myself from autoimmune symptoms through real food & food based supplements.  After a few years of research and educating myself, I’ve realized many underlying factors that contributed to me getting “sick” a few years ago, and I wanted to follow up my original story with what I think really caused my illness.  I’m thankful that God has given me an inner drive to figure out things for myself & be the researcher that I am.  If I hadn’t researched, then I would be living on prescription medicine to treat symptoms that were masking the true underlying problem.  If I hadn’t done all the research, then I wouldn’t have truly understood just how powerful a role that real food plays in the body; that food truly is medicine.  Also, if I hadn’t researched so much, then who knows, I may not have been able to conceive my now 9 month old baby boy.  (Infertility can sometimes be a problem for those with autoimmune issues).  I believe with all of my heart that the Lord allowed me to become very ill in 2010 so that I could be a source of hope for others.  I wouldn’t wish the pain I went through on anyone, but looking back I’m thankful for that time of trials because since then I’ve been able to see other people find hope and healing in their own lives.

If you’ve read my original story, you know that I struggled with autoimmune type symptoms (severe joint pain/swelling), as well as nerve problems, muscle twitching, tingling in my hands, and much more. After months of visiting doctor after doctor in Nashville who had no idea what was wrong with me and whose only solution was to give more prescription drugs to treat the symptoms, I took matters into my own hands.  I decided to go gluten free and pasteurized dairy free as well.  That same week, my chiropractor referred me to a naturopathic doctor who was also a BBRE practitioner (Body Balance by Reflex Evaluation aka Applied Kinesiology).  She was able to identify imbalances in my body and heal those through food based Standard Process supplements (the brand I now sale).  I am now a certified BBRE practitioner myself as I’ve seen first hand the amazing results from it.  My N.D. also confirmed that I was sensitive to gluten and pasteurized dairy.  Many studies show that these two foods should be eliminated in people dealing with autoimmune issues.  During that same time I saw a medical doctor who is more natural minded who did a lot of blood work and even stool sampling to identify potential problems.  I’m not going to be extremely detailed here because you can read that in my original story.  To make a long story short, all of my symptoms were resolved through my diet changes; removing foods that were causing inflammation and adding important chelating foods to rid my body of toxins (mercury in particular). 

The Cause: My Silent Downward Spiral:

Now, after several years of my own research and helping my own clients get healthy, I’ve learned the toxic path that lead to my “illness.”  I never got an actual diagnosis because the blood work was inconclusive on everything the doctors tested, but all my symptoms were autoimmune in nature.  Even though going gluten free helped me to find relief in some of my symptoms, I’ve learned that gluten wasn’t the main cause of it all.

Food:  Growing up, I ate my mother’s home cooked meals, but that changed a little when I got to the age where I was eating on the run because of sporting events, practices, and my busy schedule as a high school student and later college student.  I started eating the SAD diet (Standard American diet), which included processed foods, sodas, and eating out frequently.  In college I loved diet Mt. Dew’s to keep me awake while cramming for the next organic chemistry test. I wasn’t eating enough of the good stuff that God created for us to enjoy.

Vaccines:  Some of you may know that my sister is severely mentally handicapped due to a vaccine reaction she had as an infant. (DTaP vaccine) These reactions aren’t as rare as people think-the government does its best to not tell you about them because the vaccine industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.  I’m not going to talk in depth on this issue.  All I recommend is do your own research on the safety of vaccines.  See the CDC’s Vaccine IngredientsThe Weston A. Price Foundation states, whether or not you decide to vaccinate your child, vaccinations should not be given before the age of two as the child’s immune system is still developing after birth and that’s a lot of chemicals/toxins going into a tiny baby.  Back to my story, I was fully vaccinated because my mother didn’t know she had a choice on vaccinations.  The doctors acted as if they were mandatory.  She did delay letting them give me the DTap shot by a few months-you can imagine how scared she must have been after what happened to my sister.  Unfortunately, I have had more vaccines than the average person due to all of the mission trips I have been on to third world countries.  My vaccine card would get lost, and I would get a whole new cocktail of shots that I was already up to date on.  The repetitive injections of vaccines that are full of heavy metals, neurotoxins, and other toxic substances contributed to my body’s toxic overload.  One very dangerous heavy metal that is in vaccines is mercury, which was silenty building up in my body without me even knowing.

Dental Fillings:  You may remember reading my post, “Could Those Silver Fillings In Your Mouth Be Dangerous?”  Two weeks before the severe joint pain, autoimmune type symptoms started in my body, I had my silver fillings removed at my dentist’s office.  She had recommended that they be removed and replaced with a safer substance since mercury was toxic.  Unfortunately for me, she did not follow the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology protocol on the safe removal of amalgam fillings, so my body was exposed to toxic amounts of mercury during the process.  Months later after suffering through debilitating joint pain, muscle tremors, twitching, infections, and the list goes on, I asked my doctor if all my symptoms could be related to mercury toxicity.  My doctor confirmed through a stool sample that my body had elevated amounts of several heavy metals, especially mercury.  Did you know that mercury induces autoimmune diseases in rats?  It’s extremely toxic.  I then started myself on oral chelation therapy and other regimens to detoxify my body of the mercury.

Toxicity–>Disease:  When we fill our bodies with toxic things, it’s inevitable that eventually disease will appear.  It’s only a matter of when it will appear.  While I don’t believe it was just one thing that caused my illness in 2010, I do think that the build up of mercury in my body was the main culprit.  I believe my gut health was compromised over the years with processed foods, sugar, heavy metals & other dangerous chemicals in vaccines.  And what finally caused my body to say, “I’ve had enough” was the mercury exposure at the dentist.  I’ve been working on healing my gut ever since, and I’m so passionate to help others do the same.  While you may not be able to do everything “perfectly” in regards to your health/nutrition because we are constantly surrounded by toxic things, I still believe it’s important to do our best to keep our bodies healthy. 

As 2013 is here, maybe you want to make positive changes for your health. I hear of people everyday complaining about headaches, joint pain, sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, stomach problems, infertility, bloating, and the list goes on.  I just want to tell everyone that, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THAT WAY.”  I believe that most health issues can be changed, even reversed by the foods we eat. I am looking forward to a healthy rejuvenating 2013 and I want you to be right along side with me living the pain free life you deserve.  As you make the decision to invest in your family’s health, I’ll leave you with this quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

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

Baby’s First Foods (It’s Not Rice Cereal)

19 Nov
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  8 Comments


As most of you know, I have a 7 month old baby boy whom I absolutely adore.  Owen keeps me very busy as he is crawling and pulling up on everything now.  This age is so much fun!  We also just introduced solids at 7 months old. Many people are shocked to find out that Owen’s first food wasn’t rice cereal.  I’ll tell you why in a little bit.  Something we practice with Owen is Baby Led Weaning. In a nutshell, baby led weaning just means that instead of feeding baby pureed foods from a spoon, babies feed themselves.  Baby led weaning experts state that babies have a hard time learning the swallowing/gag reflex if they are solely fed from a spoon.  They also state that feeding from a spoon can pose a risk for overeating since the baby isn’t in control.  Allowing babies to feed themselves lets them stop eating when they are full.  A quote from the book states, “spoon feeding can encourage babies to eat more quickly than they would do naturally, interfering with the sensation that tells them when they have had enough. Eating too fast is another food behavior that has been linked with obesity in adults and children.” 

Egg Yolk
I have been giving Owen infant probiotics since he was about 1 month old.  Unfortunately, we had a rough labor/delivery, so my immune system was shot when we came home from the hospital.  Owen and I battled candida/thrush for several months, which is why I started the probiotics early on.  Other than breast milk and probiotics, Owen had his 1st solid at 7 months-boiled egg yolk.  Why an egg yolk you may ask?  The yolks are a great source of choline & other brain-nourishing nutrients.  During infancy, babies’ brains are growing rapidly, so they need lots of healthy fats & foods that contain cholesterol (like egg yolk).  The best eggs to buy are from pasture raised hens.  It is best to avoid the whites of an egg until the baby turns 1 since the whites tend to cause more allergic reactions.

Owen enjoying an egg yolk

Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Owen’s 2nd “solid”
was fermented cod liver oil.  I started off with a very small amount (1/8 tsp).  Cod liver oil is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasahexaenoic acid (DHA) and has been used for centuries as it’s rich in vitamin A and D.  If there was only ONE supplement that families could afford, this is the one I highly recommend.  You get the biggest bang for your buck with fermented cod liver oil.  Make sure it’s from a reputable source!  Some people recommend rubbing fermented cod liver oil on an infant’s bottom rather than giving it to them orally.  Yes, you can absorb nutrients through your skin as well!

Owen enjoying his fermented cod liver oil

Avocado
Owen’s 3rd solid was avocado.  He actually preferred playing with it instead of eating it.  I know this goes against our society’s way of thinking, but with Baby Led Weaning the saying goes, “Solid Food Before One Is Just For Fun.”  So you don’t have to worry that your baby isn’t getting enough nutrition if he/she won’t eat a lot of solids.  Your breast milk is all they truly need.  So just continue offering nutrient-dense foods and let your baby decide when he/she is ready to eat them.  Let them explore all the tastes & textures of food on their own and they’ll become more adventurous eaters as they grow!

Bone Broth
Another great first food, which I’ll be giving Owen next is homemade bone broth.  Again, this is another food that our ancestors have been eating for centuries.  Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends it as a first food to help seal the leaky gut.

No Rice Cereal?
Why didn’t I start my baby off with rice cereal?  One reason is because it’s highly processed.  When flour is refined to make cereal, the most nutritious part of the grain is removed, so the flour essentially becomes a form of sugar.  Another reason rice cereal isn’t a good first food is because it’s a grain and infants don’t begin producing the enzyme (pancreatic amylase) needed to digest grains until around 1 year.  Babies don’t fully produce enough of this enzyme until their 2-year molars are in, so it’s best to limit grains until then.  Grains are the hardest for a baby’s body to digest.  Fats are the easiest to digest, which makes sense as breast milk is mostly fat.  This is why baby’s first foods should be those rich in healthy fats.

I am a Weston A. Price Foundation mother and am so thankful for their nutrient-dense, whole foods based philosophy of eating; the way our great ancestors ate (natural & unprocessed).  This may seem like a “new” way of eating for you, but it’s really not new; our society just needs to get back to eating the way God intended.  I’m learning & transforming my family’s health right along with you.  Join me on this journey!

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

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

 

Nutrition Makes A Difference

29 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

I got this email from one of my clients today: 

 

“This week – I planned my meals and feel really great!
My clothes are already feeling looser than before.
And I don’t have any “drops” in energy right before my workout class.
One other thing I am noticing is that my sleep is improving.
I did not notice it much before, but now feel like my sleep is deeper than it was.
Thanks for your help!
I think that focusing on more balanced meals will help instead of zoning in on calories.
Because I definitely was not getting enough protein or healthy fats!!
You have been such a great resource for me.
I have liked your Facebook page and also your blog.”  

 

This is why I love doing what I do.  I’m so passionate in helping people heal themselves so that they feel better.  I talk to so many people who struggle with weight loss, energy, sleep problems, joint pain, and the list goes on and on.  What some people don’t realize is that nutrition affects everything. You CAN feel better and you CAN improve your health. Don’t give up!  Instead of counting calories-count your nutrients.  Everything else will fall into place.  


Naturally Yours,

xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC