Gut – Thyroid Connection

Gut-Thyroid Connection The gut-thyroid connection is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of healthy thyroid function. Did you know that many diseases can be traced to a breakdown in the gastrointestinal tract? 70 percent of your immune system resides in this area – your gut, and the GI tract has many important functions for your health including digestion, nutrient absorption, elimination, detoxification, hormone metabolism and energy production. 99% of the neurotransmitters in your body are actually created in the intestine (part of your GI tract), and every brain chemical known as a neurotransmitter is found there. This means the GI tract, or gut, plays a very important role in achieving optimal thyroid health. For proper thyroid function, your body must convert T4 into the more active T3 and 20% of this happens in your intestines. In order for this conversion to happen, healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria must be present in the GI tract. An imbalance in the bacteria ratio (of good vs. bad) in the GI tract (dysbiosis) can lead to low thyroid function. This explains why so many patients with thyroid hormone imbalance also have digestive problems but normal thyroid blood chemistry panels. Why do people get Gut Problems? One of the most important things to look at is how many rounds of antibiotics you have taken in your life. The more antibiotics you have taken, the more likely you are to have abnormal gut bacteria as well as yeast overgrowth and parasites. Antibiotics can cause an imbalance in your gut bacteria for up to 13 months after just a single round of antibiotics. Additionally,...

Fermented Foods Vs Pickling

Hello, This is Rhonda from Pure Simple Self! So some common questions that I seem to get asked often, being a Digestive Wellness Specialist are “Is the sauerkraut I buy in the store good for me?” or “Are these pickled beets healthy?” If the question is in relation to your gut health, or overall health than my first response or question would be First- ”Did you read the ingredients on the labels? and 2nd , – Are you looking for a probiotic or cultured food or just a good source to get your veggies?” Today I would like to explain what are Fermented Foods, and how it is different from Pickled Foods. Lets first start by explaining the Pickling process. Pickling is technically a method of “cooking” or breaking down food, as it is a process that can both preserve food and/or make otherwise “raw” food edible and ready for immediate consumption. This breaking down can occur two different ways: (1) pickles can be fermented, or (2) a quick vinegar or lemon juice massage will also yield the sour, pickled taste you crave. But wait- what about fermenting? Isn’t that the same thing? So here’s the story. All fermented foods are pickled, but not all pickled foods are fermented. Fermented food sits out for a substantial period of time, thereby introducing ambient bacteria that will naturally ferment the food that is undergoing the pickling process. So, the way to make a homemade pickled food into fermented food is to let it sit out for at least 10 days or longer with all the food fully submerged in the liquid...

ADHD – Autism and Gut Health

8 Things that you can Implement to Improve Your ADHD Child’s Gut Health Digestion & Enzymes How they Relate to Autism & ADHD Science is pretty clear. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees: There is a strong connection between brain function, behavior and the digestive system.  Scientists have specifically drawn a connection between gut health and many disorders, including autism and ADHD. We know that the gut – and specifically, the millions upon millions of bacteria within it – interact with the brain in multiple ways, including the immune system and the nervous system. We also know that your gut actually has its own complex network of neurons that is referred to as the Enteric Nervous System (often called our “Second Brain”). {Read more about your Second Brain & ADHD here} When they say “complex” they really mean it! Here are just a few fun facts: There are actually more neurons directly surrounding your child’s gastrointestinal tract than in their entire spinal cord! Ninety percent of your child’s serotonin levels (an essential neurotransmitter) are housed in the gut – not the brain in your head! Those food allergies so many people talk about – you know, gluten, dairy, dyes, artificial sugar, etc.? At the most basic level, allergies generate histamines. Histamines compete with dopamine, another essential neurotransmitter. More histamine means less dopamine and more mental health dysfunction. Many scientists have made the not-so-big leap to claim that food allergies can cause depressive-symptoms, brain fog, anxiety, and general irritability. Ok, now that I have Your Attention HERE are 8 Things that you can Implement to Improve Your ADHD Child’s Gut Health Below I’ve listed eight...

Top 10 Reasons To Chew Your Food

The most important aspect of nutrition is the one that most of the people do not pay attention to – chewing!  Just because it is so logical to chew food, like breathing, people seem to neglect it. Digestion initially begins in the mouth –  As you start to chew your food, digestive enzymes found in saliva begin to break down, preparing for nutrient absorption.  It’s importantly to chew your food thoroughly to achieve maximum absorption of all your vitamins and minerals. So lets do the count down for the top 10 reasons for chewing your food Reason 10 – Helps the lining of your throat and Esophagus When you eat fast and you swallow large mouthfuls you can get reflux which can damage the lining of the throat and esophagus. Did you know that around 44% of Americans experience reflux or heartburn at least once a month, 20% have it every week and 7% suffer from it daily? Now you know why. 9.  Connect with others and Receive Primary Foods When you sit down with someone and eat your meal in peace, chewing every bit of your food, you actually have time to enjoy your friend’s company. You have time to enjoy a conversation, look at them in the eye, connect with them and enrich your relationship. This is Primary Food and most of the time is far more important than nutrition. 8. Helps you Stay Active Most of the people binge on coffee, energy drinks, and sweet things because they feel powerless throughout the day. I hear people all the time complaining of having no energy. How can you change all this? By chewing your food properly! When digestion takes place how it was meant to be, your...

Are you in Chronic Pan?  Chronic Fatigue??  Do you Suffer From Fibromyalgia??

 Fibromyagia What is Fibromyagia? Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions, affecting more than 5 million people in the US. Yet, fibromyalgia can be difficult and, at times, a frustrating journey to diagnosis and to treat. Fibromyalgia pain is different than pain you may experience from a headache or sprained ankle. Fibromyalgia is a specific kind of pain that’s chronic, widespread, and often accompanied by tenderness. “Chronic” means that the pain lasts a long time—at least 3 months or longer. Many people experience fibromyalgia pain for years before being diagnosed. “Widespread” means that it is felt all over, in both the upper and lower parts of the body. However, many people with fibromyalgia feel their pain in specific areas of their body, such as in their shoulder or neck. And “Tenderness” means that even a small amount of pressure can cause a lot of pain. To most physicians the pain of Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a mystery. Its unrelenting and debilitating pain is often relegated to being of psychosomatic origin due to the fact that it does not decrease with the use of NSAID’s, opiates or psychotropics. In the present mindset of medicine if these medications do not relieve the pain then it must be all in the patients mind! Let’s use a simple example we’ve all experienced. When you were a child you likely at some time put rubber bands or string around your wrist and cut the blood supply off to your hand. At first the hand went numb. Then while turning an interesting shade of blue or purple, it began to throb. The more...

The Secret to Losing Weight

THE SECRET TO LOSING WEIGHT OK so the Holidays are behind us and it is time to get our health back on track by eating right and to lose the extra pounds we may have put on. So where do you start?  Join a new health club, take up Yoga, eat more salads, and drink protein smoothies??All of these are an excellent way to start, however I want to take this time to focus on our approach to your diet.  Drinking more water and making cleaner food choices is going to help make you feel better but sometimes the weight takes a little longer to come off than we would like it to, especially as we get older. The food we eat is our fuel for energy, it is quite simple.  However if the food we eat is not digested properly and the nutrition is not being absorbed than we run into problems of feeling sluggish, tired, even hungry.  Enzymes help with this. Enzymes Role in Weight Loss Enzymes are essential for supporting healthy weight loss. Lipase is an enzyme that is abundant in foods that are raw and since very few of us have a diet rich in raw foods we lack sufficient amounts to burn normal amounts of fat in our diets. When we eat diets rich in fat we really suffer as our body cannot burn this extra fat nor turn it to energy. When you have enough Lipase your body is able to break down and dissolve the fat stored throughout the body. Without this vital enzyme fat accumulates and is stored in your arteries, organs,...

Vitamin C – What is the Essential Function for out body?

Vitamin C – What is its essential role for our body? We all may understand that Vitamin C helps prevent us against getting a cold.  We may also know that a good source of Vitamin C comes from fresh fruit such as fresh squeezed orange juice, grapefruits and even strawberry’s.  But what is its role in our body, why does it help us prevent us from getting sick? Does it have another function? The reason I chose to write about this subject is because as a Digestive Wellness Specialist, I have found in my practice most of my clients findings in there Urinalysis (UA)  90% come back showing indications of a deficiency in Vitamin C.   Why would this be a concern?  Why is it part of the findings in the UA?  Well it got me thinking that it must be important, and if so many people are experiencing health issues maybe Vitamin C is a good place to start the healing process.Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system.  Because your body cannot make Vitamin C it must come from foods that you eat every day.You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. It also helps the body absorb iron from non-heme sources.Myself being a vegan this is especially interesting to know that vitamin C helps...

Insomnia – Why Can’t I Sleep??

Hello this is Rhonda with Pure Simple Self As a Certified Health Coach and now a  recently certified as a Digestive Wellness Specialist, I would have to say that about 90% of my clients have this same thing in common.  Sleep issues!  From not being able to fall asleep to waking up and not able to fall back asleep to waking up after sleep not feeling rested. Today I would like to address what could be the cause of your Insomnia. Let me start by stating that we are holistic beings.  There is not ONE thing that causes insomnia and there is not one thing that will fix it.  There are a combination of things that can lead the body to not function properly, which would lead to insomnia.  Here are examples of what I have found in my practice and have successfully worked with helping my clients sleep better. Types of sleep problems:  Do you experience any of the following? 1.  Can’t fall asleep 2.  Can fall asleep but wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep 3.  Wake up in the morning not feeling rested 4.  Pain – general or joint 5.  Urinary frequency challenges 6.  Restless leg syndrome What causes sleep problems?  It can be a combination of a few things for example: 1.  Sympathetic Dominance – Or Your fight or flight response is being over stimulated.  This could cause you to have a difficult time to get relaxed enough to be able to sleep.  Your thoughts keep running in your head of what happened during your day, your to...

How Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Weight

Coconut Oil is the world’s most weight loss friendly fat. It contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful effects on metabolism. Several studies show that just by adding coconut oil to your diet, you can lose fat, especially the “dangerous” fat in the abdominal cavity. Coconut Oil is High in Medium Chain Triglycerides, Fatty Acids That Boost Metabolism Coconut oil is vastly different from most other fats in the diet. Whereas most foods contain predominantly long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil consists almost entirely of Medium Chain Fatty Acids. The thing with these medium chain fatty acids, is that they are metabolized differently than the longer chain fats. They are sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are either used for energy right away or turned into ketone bodies How Coconut Oil Can Boost Metabolism, Making You Burn More Calories at Rest A calorie is not a calorie. Different foods and macronutrients go through different metabolic pathways. The different types of foods we eat can have a huge effect on our hormones and metabolic health. Some metabolic pathways are more efficient than others and some foods require more energy to digest and metabolize. One important property of coconut oil is that it is “thermogenic” – eating it tends to increase energy expenditure (fat burning) compared to the same amount of calories from other fats Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The “Dangerous” Abdominal Fat If coconut oil can boost metabolism and reduce appetite, then it should help you lose fat over the long term. In fact, there are several studies that support this. In one...

Vegan Taco Lasagna

 List of ingredients:  Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce (recipe below) Package of 10 burrito size flour tortillas (you can use corn but double the amount) 2 cans re-fried beans rinsed and drained 1 can black beans 1 cans diced tomatoes 1 medium onion chopped 1 green or red pepper chopped 1 medium zucchini chopped 1 clove garlic minced 1/2 jar of your favorite salsa vegan meat crumbles (my favorite is Gardein brand but Boca is good too) 2-3 table spoons taco seasoning 1 teaspoon ground cumin Toppings:  Chopped green onions and Romaine lettuces and vegan sour cream (follow your heart brand is my choice) In a medium sauce pan put about 1/2 inch water to cover the bottom of the pan (I choose to not use oil when I saute my veggies) over medium heat cook the chopped onion.  Once the onion is cooked add the garlic, pepper and zucchini and let cook until just about tender.  Add the tomatoes, black beans and salsa and 1 cup of the meat crumbles. (you can add more if you like it to be more of a meaty texture)  Add the taco seasoning and cumin and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Mean while lets get to the Nacho Cheese sauce, you will need the following: 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for a minimum of 20 minutes or as long as overnight 2 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes 2/3 cup diced carrots 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or grape seed oil) 3 teaspoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt 2 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar sriracha or...