Category Archives: On My Plate

The Anti-Inflammatory Context

Context vs. Strategy

For years now I’ve called myself a “contextualist”.

I claimed the name far before doing the work I do now.

What I learned for myself early on was this: Context matters.

Without context and the understanding of why, why wouldn’t a million other things get in the way of me making change and moving forward? And why would I ever venture to make dietary alterations or stick to them?

You likely can relate. . . The strategy for upgrading your diet and supporting your health may have been laid out before you by numerous books, articles, even health care practitioners. You know something’s gotta shift.

Yet you’re stalled. There’s something that prevents you from taking action. This happens time and time again. The evasion itself has become exhausting!

And I’d like to propose why. . .

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notebooks, lunches, snacks and sacks (get prepping!)

And I’ve got some tips to help your transition that I don’t want you to miss!

My boy, Gilbert, still has a few more weeks before he loads up his backpack and heads off to his first day of high school (yes, high school!).

Yet my mind is already on his long days away and lunch sacks to pack, and I know many of my clients and friends have already heard the first-day-of-school bell ring.

It can be hard when the lazy days of summer give way to the mad rush of getting everyone out the door on time with a nourishing breakfast in their belly and a healthy lunch in tow. I get it!

And then there’s the end-of-day challenge of having dinner on the table when your crew convenes for the family meal.

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Navigating birthdays from “the bubble”

When you look at the list below, you may be wondering why I’m detailing the dietary guidelines of my clients. But these are not my clients.

This is the list of attendees at my son, Gilbert’s, 14th birthday party this weekend.

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▪ one gluten-free (GF), dairy-free (DF), mostly refined sugar-free (SF), peanut-free
▪ one GF, SF, salicylate-free (no peppers, almonds, berries. . . )
▪ one GF, potato allergy
▪ two pesca-vegetarian (one whom avoids kiwi)
▪ one GF, DF, SF, egg-free (EF)
▪ two anything goes
▪ one GAPs, low FODMAP (ie. only meats, eggs, certain vegetables and select fruits)

▪ and of course no GMOs, though whether or not to label GMOs was up for discussion around the breakfast table after talk of some other, perhaps more usual, teen boy conversations that I didn’t track or understand

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Welcome to my bubble!

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My gun is already loaded (so is yours)

it’s not me, it’s my genes!

You’ve got ’em. I’ve got ’em. We’ve all got genes.

By now most of us are aware that the genes we have don’t dictate our health or lack thereof. Most of us are also familiar with the saying “genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger”.

Last week I explored the role of triggers, like pregnancy, in understanding the onset of autoimmune conditions, such as Hashimoto’s. I interviewed my very pregnant lead nutritionist, Megan Liebmann, who shared great tactics and recipes for preparing for birth (or any endurance event), so as not to tip the scales and trigger any predisposing conditions, brewing under the surface, in those unexpressed genes, the loaded gun.

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Hello Hashimoto’s

What’s Hashimoto’s?

I can guarantee you that it’s different for you than it is for me.

Last year, right around this time, I told the story of how I had gotten a good taste of why babies scream inconsolably. (At least the babies who have ear infections.)

While on vacation with my son in Hawaii, I contracted an ear infection that made the sides of my head hot, swollen and pierced with excruciating pain; pain that reverberated from deep within my inner ear canal to my dangling lobe and kept me up through the night, wanting to wail at the top of my lungs like a crying baby. My ears were crying tears of their own. By the time the Kauai roosters crowed with the early morning sun, my jaw was clenched tight. I’d barely slept a wink.

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the raw and the cooked of it

Sometimes the nutrition world feels like a land of controversy.

I bet you know what I mean, and often find yourself wondering just who to pay attention to.

There are hundreds of “nutrition experts” (all with conflicting advice), new books each week offering the best diet ever, and friends or family claiming they’ve found the holy grail (and you should try it too).

~ 3 square meals only vs. 6 snacks each day
~ vegan vs. paleo
~ gluten-free vs. grain-based
~ low-carb vs. low-fat
~ raw vs. cooked

And that’s just the tip of the nutritional iceberg!

There’s an abundance of healing protocols claiming to cure a long list of ailments. This one? That one? What’s an informed eater to do?

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Dishing up my daily dose

Sometimes your daily dose is a lot to swallow.

I don’t mean all that’s on your plate ~ work, family, health and more.

And I’m not even referring to the vitamin C, vitamin D, CoQ10, etc. etc. that you may choose to wash down each day.

It’s your fruits and veggie intake that I’m thinking about.

And mine too!

That’s why I’ve been spending the past week dipping into the crisper, getting ready for the Refresh Cleanse.

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Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Have we reached our dietary goal?

Is this the stopping point?

Is it all better now?

But for some of us, there is an elusive place that’s as hard to reach as OZ during waking moments. It’s not that we can’t (and don’t!) achieve our goal weight, energy and physical stride. It’s that it can be challenging to stay there. . . forever.

I’m not talking about the difficulty of Sticking With It!, of learning how to heed your prescribed dietary plan or known parameters for optimal health. Instead I’m referring to the changes that occur within our bodies themselves.

As your body changes, so does its dietary needs.

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when the shoe fits. . .

It started when you were very little. Someone slipped a shoe on your pudgy foot to see if it fit.

And maybe it did and maybe it didn’t.

Depending on the fit and your temperament, you may have ended up screaming and crying with the constrained and disappointing feeling of the miss-match.

Thus started a journey through life. . . of finding the right shoes, the right jeans, the right partner, the right mentor, the right diet, the right foods.

Life has become a never-ending process of “trying on” one thing, then another, like Goldilocks wandering through the bears’ house while they’re out picking berries for their porridge. (And maybe porridge doesn’t fit with your dietary and digestive parameters and maybe it does. . .)

Throughout the month of March I’ve been thinking about when the shoe fits (and when it doesn’t), quite a bit. In my own life, I’ve been trying to fit eggs back into my diet.

Eggs. . . the near perfect food. (swoon)

An ancient food!

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Our Stories, Ourselves

When I was a kid, we all read the book Our Bodies, Ourselves, the pivotal book on women’s health and sexuality. Do you remember it?

The book spoke openly about subjects that were formerly, publicly, taboo ~ subjects such as why we bleed and get cramps, how to protect ourselves during sex and where our sexuality may be seated inside of our bodies. Women, young and old, were hungry for this information about ourselves.

Our Bodies, Ourselves sold over 250,000 copies as a hand-made pamphlet, without any advertising, and has gone on to sell over four million copies world-wide.

It’s interesting that over forty years later, we still need to fight to uncover the information that speaks to what’s going on in there.

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