Darlene Rose

STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!

2015-02-13-Supplements

If this much is good, more must be better.

This is the thinking of most of us. “If I take 350 mg of magnesium and feel pretty good then 700 will make me feel great!” No, it will likely become your next remedy for constipation.

Or “I took 3000 mg of vitamin c and didn’t feel any different. I’ll try 6000 mg.” You may end up calling off work that day and get someone to drive yourself to the hospital because the cramping will make you feel like you’re dying.

More is not necessarily better.

But sometimes more IS better. 400 IUs of VItamin D used to be the required daily allowance and then they raised it to 600 when they learned it was too low and most of the population was deficient. Still deficient, it was raised to 800.

But we are STILL deficient.

I recently was speaking to a women in the health food store who was very depressed and wanted something to help her out of depression. I’m not a doctor so I could not suggest anything for depression; I’m a wellness consultant who thinks in terms of nutrition. I asked her “Are you on a good multi-vitamin?” She said she was not. I led her over to our multi-vitamin section where I showed her the balance of nutrients in one brand that also included a botanical blend of herbs noted for bringing emotional balance. “Look at all those goodies in there!” I said to her and suggested she start there.

Another woman (whom I know), was standing nearby and heard me. This particular woman had her gallbladder removed and had a weaker constitution than the customer I was talking with. Upon hearing me proclaim “Look at all those goodies” she turned to me with a look of horror. That is because SHE cannot have a lot of “goodies” in her supplements. It throws her off balance, affects her adversely, and so for HER, LESS IS MORE.

The man I used to work for is a nutritional braniac and I am thankful for learning so much from him – his philosophy was “if you have a particular issue, take it all in high doses for a short while. Tell your body who is boss.” And there are many practitioners who think like that. Then there are Western herbalists who believe that you train your body by not forcing it into submission – small amounts and fewer herbs at a time. (Chinese herbalists like a lot of various combinations of herbs, however).

But then, there is homeopathy – the philosophy behind that is the more diluted a substance, the stronger it is. So, Arnica Montana diluted 6x is weaker than Arnica Montana diluted 30x.

At one point, I wanted to just scream “STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!” and sometimes I still get there, but it’s not as hard to navigate having been through this maze.

There are different philosophies because there are different goals, different issues, different values and perspectives. What you believe has much to do with what you choose, because your belief about something has a say in what you decide upon. If you have a personality that dives into everything and cleans the mess up later, you may not have a problem trying new things, and stronger medicine. If you approach life cautiously, it may take you a long time to decide on just the right multi-vitamin, and you may end up just opting out.

Is one more right than the other?

Back in the 90s, I tried a protein powder for the first time in my drink. I felt as if my body was saying “THANK YOU! I HAVE NEEDED THAT!” It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t the actual BRAND of protein powder I needed, but that my body was not breaking down protein so protein powder in general was actually being absorbed. I have learned to “hear what my body is telling me I need.”

The other day, a representative of a medicinal mushroom company was holding a sampling of products. He was explaining that the Reishi mushroom is the top sought after mushroom for a wide variety of complaints. In this particular brand, the mushrooms were formulated into a tincture. He gave me a few drops in water. I wasn’t feeling it. I told him I wanted to try some of the others. He then gave me Chaga. I immediately felt it resonate in my body. There was that “Thank you” again. It had nothing to do with the taste of either mushroom. It was what my body needed. I learned AFTERWARD that Chaga was helpful for the immune system support, what I needed.

Another thing I hear a lot is “I used that and it worked great but after 2 months it stopped working.” THat is because your body no longer needs it. The body is fearfully and wonderfully made. If you need something today, you may not need it in 3 months from now. Your body knows it no longer has need for it. In fact if you try to force your body to take it when it no longer has need, you my be overwhelming your system.

I don’t advocate this way for beginner’s. It’s a place to arrive at, but definitely needs to be kept in mind as you start out learning what your body needs. In fact, if your only desire is to get yourself out of crisis, you may be constantly craving what ISN’T good for you, thinking your body needs that.

If you are a Christian, you understand that repentance must be a part of your life so that you are able to discern the Holy Spirit speaking to you; leading you, guiding you. That path may lead you all of a sudden out in front, as the leading expert in a certain field. That path may lead you behind the scenes not being seen at all. But you will know because you have learned to listen, and put down the things that are not good for you, and put away things you no longer need (“childish things”).

In navigating your way through all the information and confusion surrounding what your body needs, it is uniquely your own journey, but you have people you trust along the way. Stick with this people, let the ones who have gone before you help you along. Gather information but don’t adopt it as being right for you until you have that peace in your heart that it’s time, but every day, start removing what you know to be hindering your health. From processed foods, to refined sugars, or maybe its grains. Or maybe its chemicals in your cupboard. Whatever you need to remove, remove one thing daily. Then, you will hear clearly what your body is telling you it needs.

MCT Oil

Benefits and Uses of MCT Oils

Fad foods come and go, but one substance that continues to gain traction is MCT oil. Look around in health stores today, and you’re likely to see multiple products raving that they contain this metabolism-boosting superfood.

But what is MCT oil, and will it make a difference for your health? Here are the things you need to know about MCT oil to decide whether you should add some to your diet.

What is MCT Oil?

More than just a buzzword in the health world, MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil is one of the most bioavailable forms of energy in the world today. These natural fat sources create ketones that generate thermogenic effects for your body.

The majority of oils come in three sizes of fatty acid chains: short, medium, and long. Medium chain fatty acids typically contain between 6 and 12 carbon chains. These oils are composed of fatty acids naturally contained within coconut and palm oils. However, coconut and palm oils also include longer chain triglycerides that aren’t considered to be as healthy because the molecules are often stored as fat because they take longer for your system to metabolize.

Most of us are familiar with thinking about saturated fats as forbidden foods. However, their bad rap isn’t entirely earned because saturated fats like MCTs have incredible benefits for your health. Thanks to how quickly they can be digested, MCT oils are almost immediately metabolized into energy.

Longer chain fats like butter, beef fat, olive oil, and unprocessed forms of palm oil and coconut oil are burned more slowly and typically stored as fat instead. For this reason, most MCT products in stores are purified extractions of one or both of these oils, ensuring that they contain only MCTs.

Thanks to its energy-boosting abilities, MCT oil is most typically used by those who want to lose weight or improve their athletic performance.

How MCTs Work

In many ways, MCTs act like carbohydrates because they provide with a quick energy source. Unlike carbs though, MCTs won’t raise your blood sugar or increase insulin levels.

The mitochondria might not get much attention, but this small cell part is responsible for producing all the energy needed for your tissues to function. MCTs are one of the most efficient ways to fuel the mitochondria because they can quickly cross through the double mitochondrial membrane without L-carnitine, an enzyme necessary for LCT absorption.

This process produces acetyl-coA, which breaks down into ketones within your body.

About Ketones

Your body fuels itself with two primary energy sources: glucose and ketones. Glucose comes from sugars, starches, and proteins that are metabolically processed into blood sugar. Most people predominately burn this fuel type because of how common carbs are in their diet.

In contrast, ketones are substances produced by the liver when it breaks down fat, and they are uniquely suited to fueling the brain. You are more likely to rely on ketones if you fast, go on a low-carb diet, or follow a moderate protein, high-fat diet.

The body can make ketones from its stored fat or from digesting MCTs, which is why this oil chain is considered so valuable.

Dietary Fat and Your Health

If you follow a standard western diet, you probably aren’t getting an adequate amount of MCTs in your diet. This is because health nutritionists have long lead the public to believe that saturated fats should be avoided. However, recent research continues to reveal that these fats are far healthier than previously thought. Today, many nutritionists believe that saturated fats have benefits for your heart, brain, and waistline, especially if you eat them daily.

These substances both stabilize blood pressure and enhance your body’s energy production capabilities, making them a proven way to improve your metabolism, enhance cognitive function, and reduce inflammation.

Natural Sources of MCTs

Coconut oil and palm oil contain some of the best natural sources of MCTs, but you can find small amounts of this critical compound in a variety of foods, including goat’s milk, grass-fed butter or yogurt, and ghee.

Roughly 65 percent of the fats in coconut oil are MCTs, including concentrated caprylic, capric, lauric, and caproic acid with all the longer chain fatty acids removed.

Caproic Acid: As the smallest chain of MCT with just six carbon chains, caproic acid is only found in trace amounts of most food. This is a good thing, as too much can lead to digestive problems.

Caprylic Acid: Found in a 6% concentration is coconut oil, caprylic acid has 8 carbon chains and contains the most potent anti-microbial properties of MCTs.

Capric Acid: This 10-carbon chain MCT has potent anti-inflammatory properties and provides quick energy for cell mitochondria.

Lauric Acid: Making up roughly 50% of coconut oil fatty acids, lauric acid behaves similar to long-chain fatty acids and requires liver bile to be metabolized efficiently. Research shows that it acts as an anti-microbial, though capric and caprylic acid are more effective.

One fundamental difference between the functionality of coconut oil and concentrated MCT oil is that MCT oil has proportionally less lauric acid. This is because some of the compound are extracted out with MCT oils.

5 Things You Need to Know About MCT Oil

High-quality MCT oil has many unique features that are worth knowing about before you decide to use the compound for cooking or other uses.

  • No Taste: Because all flavors and scents are removed from MCT during processing, the oil is entirely tasteless.
  • Liquid at Room Temperature: Unlike the oils it is derived from, MCT oil has a lower smoking point than coconut oil and will be liquid at room temperature.
  • Easy to Absorb: High-quality MCT oils can be quickly converted into energy in your body, but cheaper generic brands are often blended with other fats to cut costs, making them less useful for absorption.
  • Highly Soluble: The size of the carbon molecules in MCT oil increases their solubility in water and fluids like blood.
  • Processed Efficiently: MCTs reach the liver quickly because they don’t have to go through peripheral tissues as LCTs do. Likewise, the medium chain acids don’t need to be broken down before your body can absorb them.

7 Uses of MCT Oil

Knowing that MCT oil is beneficial for your health and understanding the best way to take it are different matters. What are the best ways to take this clear, flavorless liquid? Here are things you need to know about MCT oil to ensure you’re using it right.

Thanks to its lack of flavor, MCT oil is impressively versatile in a variety of dishes, including the following.

  • Cooking Oil: Concentrated MCT oil is excellent for cooking because it has a high smoke point and doesn’t add unwanted coconut flavor to the meal.
  • Salad Dressing: Combine a tablespoon of MCT oil with herbs and vinegar for an extra healthy afternoon salad.
  • Homemade Mayonnaise: Mix a tablespoon of MCT oil into your favorite mayonnaise recipe, and you won’t notice any difference in the overall taste or texture.
  • Coffee & Tea: If you want to give your brain a boost first thing in the morning, add a teaspoon of MCT oil to your daily source of caffeine.
  • Baked Goods: You can use MCT oil as a coconut oil substitute in baking recipes to boost the ketone production potential.
  • Smoothies: For smoothie fans who want to stay full longer, you can add 2 tbsps. of MCT oil into the mix to curb hunger throughout the day.
  • Straight off the Spoon: There’s no need to dress MCT oil up if you merely want to take it as a supplement for its health benefits. It’s best to start slowly with half a teaspoon a day and work your way up to one tablespoon over time.

Beyond consumption, there are plenty of other ways to take in the benefits of MCT oil. You can use the oil however coconut oil can be used, meaning that it can be a stellar ingredient in homemade lip balms, shaving creams, teeth whitening treatments, facial masks, and more.

Buying MCT Oil

Because commercially available MCT oils are often made from blends of both coconut and palm oils, they qualify as proprietary blends, meaning that the company doesn’t need to disclose the exact ratio of fats it contains. This makes it difficult to know precisely what MCTs are within your oil, and the proportions can vary considerably between brands. For this reason, the best strategy for you might be to experiment with several oil brands and try small samples until you find one that your body responds well to.

Using MCT Oil for Health and Wellness

Don’t worry about believing the hype about MCT oil- this product really does have the potential to make a difference in your health and energy levels.

To get the best benefits for your body, seek out ways to add some MCT fatty acids to your diet each day. Whether that’s from adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your morning coffee or taking a teaspoon of concentrated MCT oil straight from the bottle, your brain will appreciate the quick, high-quality energy supply.

This article is not my own but from
https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/things-you-need-to-know-about-mct-oil?utm_campaign=SmartBug%202016&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=62781268&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9Dm6YVqd7BfgW7vo-GIp9d7G4S1oGJ1bQVLD38xv9WGDVAb4PqVE6Kh2aYStrSJ3L4gVLzd1akKEuKT1X19YXztZHD6g&_hsmi=62781268

Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

A question was asked yesterday by a man with atrial fibrillation, if he could take fish oil while he is on blood thinners.  My response was “yes” but with caution.

From Livestrong:  Fish oil does thin the blood in similar ways to blood thinners, notes leading health and medical writer Jack Challem in his book, “The Inflammation Syndrome.” This effect happens through the prevention of the platelets found in blood from sticking together and forming clots. Challem adds that the blood-thinning effects may be magnified if you are taking natural blood-thinners, such as vitamin E or gingko. Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctor if you are taking fish oil.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/467353-can-you-take-fish-oil-with-blood-thinners/

From Heart MD:  Modest amounts of fish oil, say 1–2 grams daily, generally can be tolerated even if you are taking prescription blood thinners. However, doing this is not without some risk—so it’s absolutely essential that you be up front with your doctor about the fish oil products you’re taking and how much, to avoid unsafe drug interactions. I cannot emphasize this enough. You must work collaboratively with your physician and regularly monitor the clotting agents in your blood.

Is It Safe to Mix Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

Can You Take Fish Oil With Blood Thinners?

Flax Seeds for Hot Flashes

Yesterday in the store it was a typical scenario; a woman experiencing hot flashes walked up to the women’s section and browsed all the supplements for menopause.   Then she asked me “What is good for hot flashes?  I sweat when it’s hot.”

I replied most people do, but after a bit more dialogue we got right to the main issue.  She is 64 and has been sweating like this since she was 50.

I asked her if she knew what her hormone levels were and she said she did not.

I thought she needed to put the supplements down since she did not know if her irregular temperature was due to insufficient or elevated progesterone, insufficient or elevated estrogen, insufficient or elevated DHEA, cortisol, TSH, etc.   A saliva test by a qualified health professional can determine this though insurance does not cover it.  Generally it is $125 to $200.

I believe that if you don’t know what is causing hot flashes, start with food first.  It is often more helpful and is cheaper than experimenting with pricey supplements for menopause control (although many are very beneficial when you know what hormone you are supporting).

When you think of inflammation, think “heat”.  When you think of hot flashes, think “the body is trying to cool the heat”.    When you think of foods to cool the body, think “Omega 3s”, such as salmon or fish oil and flax seed or flax seed oil.

Start with flax seed and grind what you need when ready for use.   Use only 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed daily as it may cause bloating.   Flax seed contains omega 3 fatty acids.    These omega 3’s “put out the fire”

At the store, we sell whole flax seed for $1.99 for 13 ounces.   Start there.  You might even find your cholesterol levels have improved.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/284290-flaxseed-flaxseed-oil-for-hot-flashes/

 

Keto (High-Fat, Low-Carb) Thin Mint Bark

This, by far, has got to be my best keto treat yet.  And it is so easy to make!

IMG_0367

2 Heaping Tablespoons Extra Virgin, Cold-Pressed Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Scoop (about 2 Heaping Tablespoons) Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (Pea Protein, Egg-White Protein or other Protein Powder of your choice is also good but I like the vanilla or you may choose chocolate)
1-2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (dark)
2 Tablespoons Grade B Pure Maple Syrup (Grade B is more expensive but has high nutritive value.  Grade A is good for taste alone, but I want to make sure that whatever I do is high in nutrition.)
1 capful Chocolate Peppermint Extract
Crushed Walnuts
Chia Seed
Sunflower Seeds (unsalted)
Himalayah Salt

Let the coconut oil sit at room temperature until soft.  If it is not soft and you don’t mind using a microwave for 10 seconds, that is fine as well.

Add the next four ingredients to the coconut oil and blend well, using a spoon, until it forms a thick paste.

Spread the mixture onto a paper plate (or flat plate with parchment paper) until thinly spread to cover as much area as you can, being careful to not spread so thinly you can see the plate. IMG_0365

Sprinkle with walnuts, chia seed, sunflower seeds and salt to lightly cover.  There is no set amount but a guideline might be a tablespoon for nuts and seeds and 1/2 teaspoon for the salt.

Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer and cut like a tic-tac-toe board.

Enjoy!

Keto Chocolate Cardamom Fudge

I learned about cardamom when a new Indian restaurant opened up in the neighborhood, and we had to check it out.  Prior to that, I had not had Indian food (“I had been deprived of many cuisines growing up in an Italian household” she said, tongue-in-cheek).
When I first bit into my food, I tasted a burst of perfume on my tongue;  I wasn’t loving it.  After a few visits, the flavor of cardamom started to intrigue me but I wasn’t yet ready to experiment with it in any of my dishes I prepared at home.

I loved its fragrance in my nose but not on my tongue, so I experimented with perfume making and massage oils.  After awhile, I was ready to try it in my own foods.  The key to keeping from biting into the enormous burst of perfume taste in your mouth is to use very few pods at a time (unless you are a cardamom pro and have developed a taste already.)  This is not a spice that requires several pods.

I recently learned that cardamom was more than just a fragrant spice.  It has some nutritional benefits, quite a few in fact.

So, what is it?  Cardamom is a spice that is in the Zingiberacaea family (the same family as ginger), and is found in hard-shelled pods.  It is often called The Queen of Spices, and ranks as the third most expensive spice in the world, following saffron and vanilla pods.  However, you can buy it in small quantities and use just a little at a time.

Cardamom, as previously stated, is a burst of perfume in your mouth, however, in small doses, the taste is hardly noticed.  It is the aroma in the nose that compliments, but it is more than a fragrant spice used in Indian dishes.  Its health benefits include preventing colorectal cancer,  improvement of cardiovascular health, prevention of gastrointestinal disorders, as an anti-depressant, and has antispasmodic and antibacterial properties as well.
cardamominfo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For all its benefits, including its wonderful aroma, I wanted to experiment on my own with this intriguing herb.Because I am on the keto diet (High fat – moderate protein – low carb), I often experiment with various good Omega-3 or 6 fats in various dishes.  This morning,  I made

Keto Chocolate Cardamom Fudge 

2 Tablespoons Unrefined, Extra Virgin Cold-pressed Coconut Oil (left at room temperature so it mixes well but you can pop in microwave for 10 seconds if you like)
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter (without added sugar or salt)
2 Tablespoons Almond Flour (meal is okay)
2 Tablespoons Vegan Cream Cheese (I used this brand).
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
2 Packets of Pure Stevia (or erythritol)
4 Cardamom pods
Chopped Walnuts

Blend first seven ingredients by hand, using a fork or spoon.  Stir until well-blended.   Break open the 4 pods and sprinkle in your mixture.  Stir throughout.

Scoop out 1 teaspoon of the mixture at a time, roll into balls and put on a dish.  Flatten with two fingers if you like, or just leave in a ball.  Or, if you want to get fancy, you can put in a candy mold.  (I didn’t get fancy this morning).

This mixture should give you about 10 balls/bars.

Add about 2 chopped walnuts to each bar (or you can grind your walnuts and sprinkle on top).

Pop in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Enjoy.  (This is not a low-calorie food, however, because of its high fat content, one or two should satisfy you.)

While this looks like dessert, on a keto diet, you actually eat these first.  One should fill you so you don’t overdo your regular meal.   I can eat 2-3 for breakfast alone.

chocolate cardamom keto fudge
Inline image

I love what the cardamom adds to this.  If you are not sure about cardamom just yet, no worries, it isn’t essential to making keto fudge.  You can leave it out but I’m an herbalist!  I need herbs and love what they add to my creations.

Play around with it.  Instead of chocolate powder, add a teaspoon of Golden Milk powder if you have it.  Or you can add unsweetened coconut flakes instead of walnuts.

But if you do use cardamom, I’d love to know your thoughts.   Please leave a comment.

Keto Cream Cheese Cupcakes

I am new to the ketogenic diet so I’m having a lot of fun reading on it and experimenting with new ways to bake.  Oh my goodness! Cream cheese is in so many recipes – it is becoming a staple.

The ketogenic diet is designed to help you burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Our bodies will burn carbs before they burn fat but fat is what we want to burn!   When you eat carbohydrates, it triggers your pancreas to produce insulin in order to allow for glucose metabolism.  When too much insulin is triggered, the body resists the insulin and insulin is then stored as fat while the carbs spill over into the urine and the bloodstream, not entering your cells to provide any nutrition.    Fat does not trigger the pancreas so there is no insulin secreted; therefore the insulin cannot be stored as fat, and fat is used as the primary fuel source.

This is virtually a guilt-free plan and I can eat these cupcakes for lunch!

This recipe was tweaked just slightly to suit my taste and it came out delicious!  cream cheese cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup almond flour

¾ cup sugar substitute ( I used a stevia/erythritol blend)

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

4 eggs

3 ½ ounces cream cheese

1 tbsp creamy almond butter (no sugar added)

1 tbsp maple syrup grade B

1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon (optional)

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl beat on high the butter and stevia or other sweetener until well blended.

Add cream cheese, vanilla and maple syrup and mix well.  Then add the eggs.   It is best to add one egg at a time then mix after each addition to make sure they are incorporated well.

Add the dry ingredients until well blended.

I used muffin cups but if you don’t have muffin cups be sure to grease your muffin pan well.   Fill muffin cups almost to the top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Pop out of the muffin pan when cooled – OR – if you used muffin cups – pop out of the pan and place in refrigerator to cool.  These are best when cooled.

After 30 minutes take out of refrigerator and add a spoon of cream cheese to the top.  (or  use your favorite topping – whipped cream, preserves, yogurt and fruit, crushed walnuts, etc.)      You can even substitute the vanilla for almond extract and add crushed nuts to the top instead of cream cheese.