Ballard Naturopathic Blog | diet

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Stone Turtle Health Blog

Challah back girl!

August 25, 2013

Here is a nice, nourishing recipe for a nice family Sunday brunch, using local ingredients. I love locally-made Essential Baking Company breads

Essential Baking Company Challah- sliced to 1 1/2 inch thickness

2-4 local cage-free eggs

1-2 tbsp of organic cows milk or almond milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 stick of butter

Combine eggs and milk (1/2 tbsp milk to each egg). Whisk until fully combined. Add spices. Pour into flat dish or plate.

In frying pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter for each slice of bread.

Dip slices of challah in egg mixture (both sides). 

Add bread to frying pan, allow to saute in butter until toasted, then flip and toast on the other side.

Serve with syrup (I love a gift that I got- Brandy Infused Vanilla-Hickory Syrup) or jam (homemade blueberry jam is my current go-to for my jam needs). 

Food Revolution Day 2013

May 9, 2013

You all should know by now how much I love Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution, promoting healthy foods in schools and communities. May 17th is the date for his Second Annual Food Revolution Day, a worldwide grassroots effort to provide fun and education experiences around food to local communities. I love what he is doing for so many reasons: healthy kids are better learners, healthy families can work together to make changes in their communities, and healthy communities can provide better support for those who need it most. I strongly encourage my readers to attentd or even host a Food Revolution Day activity in their neighborhood, even if it's as simple as hosting a vegetarian potluck or barbecue for their friends and neighbors. Check out a book about food from the library and read it to your children. Reach out to the local food bank and donate or volunteer to provide more healthy food to their customers. Visit your children's school to see what their school lunch program offers. Try a healthy new dish from a cuisine you aren't familiar with. There are TONS of ways we can improve our diets and our family's lifestyle, from meatless Fridays to making sure we "eat a rainbow" every day. We have the tools within our reach to fight the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that are distinctly related to our lifestyles. This is one thing that we can do something about. Viva La Revolution!


Winter Comfort Foods- Lightened Up!

January 21, 2013

This great post on HuffPo shows you ways to lighten up those lovely, tasty, heavy winter comfort foods. 

Some other great ways to make your favorite foods healthier:

1. For breads, like banana bread or pumpkin bread, try adding apple sauce or smashed banana in place of oil.

2. Use this list for sugar substitutes in baking: zylitol, honey, agave nectar, succanat/rapadura, barley malt, brown rice syrup, corn syrup (NOT HFCS), sorghum, blackstrap molasses, stevia. For many of these, you can find conversion charts online as they don't always translate directly to an equal amount of granulated (white) sugar. With liquid sweeteners, you may need to compensate by lowering the amount of liquid or increasing the total amount of solids in a recipe.

3. To thicken soups or sauce, add cooked, pureed califlower, potato, or zucchini

4. Lots of dairy in the fridge from the holidays or parties? Add it to soups for more flavor and to minimize the amount you'll get in each serving. I did that last weekend and came up with Baked Potato Soup, Split Pea & Bacon Soup, and Broccoli Cheese Soup. While butter, bacon, heavy cream and cream cheese don't need to be in your diet on a daily basis, this is a great way to use them up if you already have them and don't want to waste money by throwing them al out. Plus, adding a small amount of fat can increase satiety, making you more full from eating less.

5. Avoid dairy (if you don't have the problem in #4) by using stocks and broths for liquids instead of milk or cream. 

6: For richness in vegetarian dishes without adding meat, use 1 tsp of miso paste instead. It contains glutamate, which triggers the "umami" tastebuds that tell us when something tastes rich or full (which usually requires meat or butter).

Guest Blog: Exploring Best Practices for a Healthy Pregnancy by Katie Moore

June 14, 2012

Today, I'm excited to share this guest post from Katie Moore. She is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things "Mommy". She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

(When Katie Moore came to me with the idea to write a guest post on my blog, I was thrilled. This post is timely because of my recent decision to start a family. The preparation and planning that have gone into this decision mean that it will be some time before we're joined by a little one, but all signs seem to be reassuring me that the best time to start is coming soon. Without further ado, here's a wonderful post on improving your chances for a healthy pregnancy.- Dr. Katie)


Exploring Best Practices for a Healthy Pregnancy


Pregnancy is an exciting time full of planning and joy for many women, but others will feel the burdens of stress and worry. Hormone changes and the symptoms common to each trimester can add to the stress. Researchers have found that stress during pregnancy is a major contributing factor to complications, and this means that every mom will benefit from learning ways to reduce worry and conquer stress. 

For the best chance at a healthy pregnancy and delivery, it is worthwhile to learn a variety of coping techniques. Several resources are available for gaining an introduction to the techniques of stress management, including books and videos, pregnancy and birthing classes, and other expecting mothers. All these resources will be useful in exploring the following relaxation techniques


Before starting any new exercise or diet routine, it is important for a woman to sit down with her doctor and discuss her desired changes. A doctor’s knowledge will be invaluable during pregnancy, from planning what prenatal classes to take all the way to planning whether or not to utilize umbilical cord blood banking, a doctor is the best person for all of these questions.

Guided Meditation
One of the most useful skills for any new mom, meditation is a component of most alternative pain management courses, including Lamaze and the Bradley Method. Clinical research has proven numerous physiological benefits accrue through the practice. Some of these benefits will help in maintaining overall health, and others provide particular benefits during pregnancy and birth. 

Meditation is a skill, however, much like exercise. Practice will make it more effective, and a guide will be extremely beneficial at the beginning. The guide or teacher will help by taking the student along an internal journey that increases awareness of the body and aids in relaxation of the nervous system. Like other skills, it becomes easy to meditate alone after practicing with a teacher.

It was once thought that exercise increased the risk of miscarriage and pregnancy complications, but research has proven this assumption to be false. In fact, responsible use of exercise can significantly reduce the risk of many complications and help in overcoming symptoms. A teacher can help by introducing exercises that can reduce the duration of labor and allow faster recovery from delivery.

Most low-impact, moderate-intensity forms of exercise will be appropriate throughout pregnancy, including walking, swimming and cycling. Weight training can be beneficial as well. 
One analysis of the literature showed that strength training reduces severity of maternal hypertension and post-partum depression while also reducing the risk of gestational diabetes. As great as exercise is, all expectant mothers should consult with a doctor and either a trainer or other fitness expert with experience in pregnancy exercise.

Though it is often overlooked, the modern diet is full of artificial ingredients, unhealthy fats and simple sugars that contribute to the body's stress load. Healthy food choices at the grocery store are generally more expensive, but eating healthy at home is actually cheaper than most people realize. A diet with a lot of 
variation is best, but there are some foods that should always be avoided. 

Enrolling in classes early is a great way to get a head start on a healthy pregnancy, and more learning is always better. If local resources are lacking, multimedia sources can help any mom get the knowledge she needs to get baby off to a good start.





Winning by losing

May 7, 2012

A new article on Newsweek's website: Why The Campaign to Stop America's Obesity Crisis is Failing talks about the same things that our friends over at The Metabolic Effect have been talking about for years! Namely, all calories are not created equal. Calories affect insulin levels differently. Insulin unlocks the door to fat cells, allowing them to uptake blood sugar and store it, making themselves (and the humans who have them) larger over time. 

This is why the basic principles of the Metabolic Effect diet (eating whole foods that do not significantly spike your blood sugar, and therefore your insulin) are sound principles to live by. Eating lean proteins and complex carbohydrates from fruits & vegetables are two very good ways to do this. The low glycemic index food, as they're called, are much preferable to the empty calories of refined and processed sugars and carbohydrates.

Another point to make is to look at "real" foods versus low-calorie or low-fat foods. Our bodies know how to process the proteins, fats and sugars found in whipped cream, for example, including our satiety sensors, which tell us when we're full. But what does our body do with the list of water, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, sodium caseinate, natural and artificial flavors, modified food starch, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sodium monostearate, sodium polyphosphates, and beta-carotene. Many of these are naturally-derived ingredients, like guar gum and beta-carotene, but what the heck is a polysorbate 60? And how does it affect insulin and our fat cells.

My first rule of food is: If I can't picture it growing, I don't want to eat it. Now, I know there are no marshmallow bushes, but I've made marshmallows myself and, as long as the ingredient list only has ingredients I used at home, I'm fine eating it. No, I ENJOY it. 

Jamie Oliver is my hero

June 7, 2011

"Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. " This quote from Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine is one of my favorites. The Hippocratic Oath, "First Do No Harm" is commonly used in medical and naturopathic oaths taken by doctors and is the first tenet of naturopathic medicine. Personally, I just love food so much- the tast, the texture, the smell, the sight and sound of cooking and eating freshly prepared meals, the joy of sharing food, drink, and laughter with those closest to me- that it's a natural part of treatment plans that my patients and I create together.

That's why this blog post is a plug for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Whether you watch the show on ABC or go to the Jamie Oliver Foundation website to see what the Food Revolution is all about: check it out one way or another. See, Jamie's a chef from the UK who decided he was disgusted by what local kids were getting in their school lunches. He launched a program that changed the way school lunches were made in the UK and now he's come across the pond to help US schoolchildren and their families get educated about what goes into their bodies, how they can make healthier choices, and how they can make changes happen locally and nationally surrounding the food that we grow, process, distribute, and ultimately buy and feed to our families. The TV show is incredibly touching and enlightening in many ways as it shows kids the difference between real vegetables and what they're being served, empowers families to start cooking for themselves, and addresses institutional problems inherent in the school lunch and fast-food systems.

When I was in school, I worked on a project with a grandiose vision: in-school public health clinics (naturopathic, of course) that provided health care, vaccinations, exercise and weight-loss programs, nutrition education, school gardens, worked with the cafeterias on improving school lunch options, and served as hubs for family and community health. Although we would have been the only clinical provider in the city, we met roadblock after roadblock- parents concerned that their children might receive healthcare without their knowledge, shrinking budgets and fewer opportunities (plus stiffer competition) for grants, and other issues. Eventually, the project went on hiatus, but not before our collaborators, who were simultaneously working on a similar project elsewhere offered me a job as the lead physician. Three weeks after graduation, that project folded due to lack of funds. Maybe we were reaching too far, too fast, but a large part of my dream of becoming a naturopathic physician was to work with kids to introduce healthy lifestyle options and prevent many of the chronic illnesses that are epidemic in American culture, like obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and ADHD. To teach them the joy of healthy, fresh food.

If the thought of what we put in our kids' bodies concerns you at all, if you worry that your child doesn't know what vegetables look like, if you just want to know how, what, or IF anything can be done to stop this downward spiral into poor health at a younger and younger age, please do yourself 2 favors: 1) Don't buy it if you don't know what's in it (tetrasodium phosphate? YUMMY!), and 2) Check out what other people (including some in your community) are doing to make a difference at Jamie Oliver's website. Many hands make light work.