Why am I so TIRED all the time?

It’s 3 o’clock pm.  Your burger and fries (and Frosty 😯) for lunch just deposited into your intestines, and now you’re ready for a nap.  The best thing to do is to grab a coffee, or that Snickers bar you were going to eat for that mid-morning snack—SO GLAD YOU SAVED IT NOW! WOO-HOO!

There are many reasons why our energy levels aren’t what they were in our youth. It could be poor diet, such as the example above (sugary foods wreak havoc on blood sugar, plummeting our energy levels). It could also be due to a food sensitivity. When I eat foods not “designed” for my body, my energy will diminish, mostly because when I reenter my “healthy” diet the next day, I enter a state of detox, which can cause low energy levels—almost like a hangover.

But, what if your diet IS on track, and you have a stomach of iron? There are a number of OTHER reasons why energy levels are waning, such as:  an under active thyroid, not enough fasting during the evening hours, or weak/tight muscles. What? How do weak or tight muscles make me tired? I work out several days a week; surely, this doesn’t apply to me?!

Your muscles, when not used, or stretched, enough (i.e., avid gym buffs), could begin to atrophy.  Muscles and joints are meant to move in every direction—EVERY DAY—which usually doesn’t occur in a body building state. (I know; I used to train like one!)  The muscle cells would not receive enough nutrients (due to insufficient circulation), such that they would starve and shrivel up (like raisins), compressing all of the muscles into a tighter and tighter mass, compressing the joints. Then, the connective tissue around the muscle, or fascia (think Saran Wrap), has to shrink down to fit around the shrunken muscle.

So imagine, if you will, a 4 year-old hanging onto your leg as you try to walk (which frequently happens to me, by the way). It’s possible to walk, but it’s much harder, and I have to exert much more effort to do so, making me tired. When your muscles and joints are compressed by a tight band around them (the fascia), and it is not lubricated as it should be, it’s harder to move, so it takes a lot more energy! Do that all day long, everyday, and you will be dragging A**!!

Have you ever heard of mitochondria?  The mitochondria are the little “power houses” of our muscle cells. If you discover one day that you just “aren’t moving as you did in your 20’s,” or your energy just “wasn’t what it used to be,” it could be a lack of mitochondria DUE to the lack of functioning muscle cells from atrophy.

So, what’s the solution? Movement, movement, movement! And, I’m not just talking about a walk around the block; I am talking about movement of EVERY muscle, EVERY joint, EVERY bone, EVERY DAY!

So here is the formula:

MORE MOVEMENT =

More CIRCULATION/LUBRICATION of joints and connective tissue =

More HEALING to every cell =

An INCREASE in functioning muscle cells =

More functioning POWER HOUSES (mitochondria) =

Yep, you guessed it:

MORE ENERGY!! (As well as much more fat burning, even at rest—BONUS!)

“So, Jill, I’m in pain when I move!”  

The solution? Unless you are having knife-like pains that are absolutely debilitating, or you are under doctor’s orders, you NEED to MOVE to solve the pain problem! As we go through our days and “baby” our aches and pains, we continue to stiffen the connective tissue, muscle tissue, and joints. Each and every day we don’t move, it becomes worse because there is no healing blood flowing to these areas.

“When you have an injury, you want to make those muscles move and have the blood circulating to help heal the injury.”

—Anik Bissonnette in Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White

It may be difficult at first, but the more you do it, the better you will feel. And, the better you feel, the more you will do!

I am happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding any, and all of my topics. I love feedback!

Be WELL today!

Jill

Reference:  Forever Painless, Miranda-Esmonde White.

Disclaimer:  This blog is not a replacement for medical treatment. Please consult a medical professional.

Posture-Why is it so Important?

When I was a young girl I was told constantly by my Mom to “put your shoulders back.” Does this sound familiar? I would roll my eyes and sigh; move on until she would say it again…(Maybe this sounds familiar, too??)

What I realized, as an adult, is that it’s not just as simple as telling someone to do it.  I know now why she told me to do it and I have to bite my tongue when I see my husband or kids slouching!

There is an abundance of muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments at play when it comes to holding your torso upright.  The erector spinae group is one of the most stabilizing, containing muscles that run the length of the spine, some from the back of the head, all the way down to either side of the spine.  Other larger muscles most familiar to us include: trapezius (traps), latissimus dorsi (lats), rhomboids, the abdominals, obliques (side of the body) and of course the gluteals, just to name a few.

IMG_4654
Courtesy of “Wall Chart of Human Anatomy” by Thomas McCracken and Martin Griffiths.

These muscles, along with some others, help to support our spine from top to bottom in all positions, including holding our spines in the correct, upright posture.  If the spine is not held in the correct position because of weak or atrophied (non-vital muscle tissue) muscles, this can lead to many issues such as imbalances in the muscular/skeletal system, which in turn could lead to higher risk of injury, acute and chronic pain.

If our muscles are weak around our shoulders and upper back, the back will curve outward   and the chin will jut forward out of alignment.  Kyphosis (hunchback) is a degenerative condition, but for most of us we have what is called postural kyphosis due to slouching.  Most of the time this change happens gradually and goes unnoticed until one day you look at yourself sideways in a mirror and are shocked!

So what’s the big deal about slouching-it’s just so comfortable!  Well, besides looking like cavemen, it can lead to a number of health issues: imbalanced musculature that can lead to pain or injury, surgery and even digestive issues from protuberance of the digestive organs.

IMG_4656
Improper Posture-notice how the head juts forward. Courtesy of Essentrics®

Also, when you are leaning over all the time your lung space collapses, which leads to less air, less circulation and less blood detox.

Have you ever felt anxiety?  Sometimes it can be simply that our lungs are compressed, not allowing maximum space for oxygen.  Stand up straight, raise your arms up in the air, take a deep breath, hold it and feel the stretch in the intercostal (rib) muscles then exhale slowly.  Do that 3 times and I promise your situational anxiety will be alleviated!

Daily habits can also cause bad posture.  In our modern society we sit constantly in front of computers, TVs, in our car, and in front of an IPad and IPhone that are all putting our bodies at risk for muscular imbalances and therefore incorrect spinal alignment.  Even our children are following in our footsteps in this digital world and will be the next generation of terrible posture, poor spinal alignment and chronic neck and back pain.

So what can we do about it?

  1. Body Awareness.  This is the most vital component to having healthy posture. Body awareness means consciously being aware of the postures you hold yourself in on a daily basis. How is your posture when you are eating,  working, or standing? Learning to be conscious of  body posturing will make you better at recognizing when you are not in correct alignment.  According to Miranda Esmonde-White, the creator Essentrics®, most people have such poor body awareness that slouching feels correct and standing up straight feels wrong.  That used to be me!  Now that I have learned how to tone and stretch my back and torso properly it feels so wrong to slouch!
  2. Strength Training.  We can only do what our bodies are capable of doing. If we have weak or atrophied muscles it will be almost impossible to have correct alignment and therefore correct posture. Strength training the muscles in your upper back and neck are necessary in order to hold your head in the correct alignment.  (One example of a back strengthening workout done without weights:  Take both arms up straight above your head so that your arms are next to your ears.  Pull your arms up to the sky and keep pulling to stretch the vertebra apart-imagine a slinky being pulled apart, allowing space in between the coils.  Keep arms up then push one arm to the back wall, engaging shoulder blade. Repeat the other side.  Do both arms together, pushing to the back wall.  Make sure you keep your torso from twisting and do not lean into your lower back.  Next, take arms out to the sides, elbows bent, palms up toward sky and push down toward the floor-opening up the shoulders and chest breathing out deeply. Repeat 4-5 times for a great upper back workout! See diagrams below. This routine and other similar routines are courtesy of Essentrics.com)
  3. Stretching. Along with strength training you should have loose, not tight, musculature.   If muscles are too tight that can also cause imbalances.  Try  gently rolling your head down your chest from one shoulder to the other to loosen up and de-stress.  Just move daily!

Now you have the knowledge and tools to improve your posture starting with the habit of body awareness!  With body awareness you are well on your way to looking and feeling younger and more confident!

Have a happy and healthy day!

Jill

References: Essentrics®Level 1 Manual-Miranda Esmonde-White

Let’s talk about POOP, Baby…

 Let’s talk about poop, baby

Let’s talk about you and me

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be

Let’s talk about poop, let’s talk about poop!

 

Ok, maybe Salt-N-Pepa didn’t sing it quite like that but you get the idea (And now that song is stuck in my head!!) As uncomfortable (or funny) a subject this may be, it’s also a pretty serious one as well.  So today, let’s talk about poop!

If I were to show you a chart on poop consistency could you pick the one that yours looks like most of the time?  This chart is called a Bristol  Stool Chart and if you’ve never seen one click on the website linked here. (By Cabot Health, Bristol Stool Chart – http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/46082.pdf, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41761316.)

Gross, you say? Of course!  But it’s necessary that you know what a healthy *#!% looks like.  After all, it ultimately determines the health of your gut.  So, with that being said, where are YOU on the scale?  The consistency of your BM should be loose enough to come out easily without straining. Too much straining can cause another list of problems including hemorrhoids or a prolapsed rectum.  Too loose and well, you will have a sore bum from toilet paper rash and maybe a few skid marks in the ol’ undies, how fun!!

And how often are you going? Is that daily, once a week or is it several times/day?  A healthy gut eliminates a few times per day but everyone’s systems are different. Also, elimination and frequency can be determined by your diet.  Are you eating things that are constipating frequently such as cheese, bread and milk?  Are you intaking too much caffeine, which can increase bowel movements? And then finally, do you have gut and bowel conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s disease or colitis for example that could increase or decrease your frequency and the consistency?

So how do we “fix” this?  The key is to get a diagnosis, if needed, and to know your body.  Know which foods trigger constipation or diarrhea with you and use them less frequently or eliminate them.

For me, having IBS can determine the consistency and frequency of my BM’s really stemming back to my most recent diet and supplementation. I take supplements that can help me on a regular basis, based on how my diet was that day (if I had a lot of constipating foods.) Once I began these supplements and eliminated on a regular basis I felt calmer, less anxious and I had far less distention in my gut (a common symptom of IBS).  These supplements include magnesium citrate, Milk of Magnesia and Oxy-Powder  by Global HealingCenter http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/ which oxygenates the gut, cleaning it out. I rotate through these supplements each night but take all of them with a tablespoon of Braggs apple cider vinegar in a full glass of water.  I also keep water by my bedside at night to stay hydrated.  In the morning I begin my day with several glasses of warm water with lemon essential oil.

If my gut seems very off and I am not going as I should or I am type I or II of the Bristol scale I may include Ginger and Fennel essential oils into my diet (I am partial to doTerra essential oils.)

So, I know today’s topic may have been unpleasant, and now you have a poop song stuck in your head to boot, but I wanted to emphasize how pooping on a regular basis with a good consistency can make you really feel on top of your game-mentally and physically!

Good luck and happy elimination!!

Jill

See!  Everyone poops!

Stress and Your Gut

I never feel like myself when I am stressed.  I am exhausted mentally and physically. I don’t digest properly, either.  A lot of times you hear people say when they are stressed they get an upset stomach or diarrhea.  The mind controls more of our gut and, visa versa, our gut controls more of our mind than we think it does.

As a dental hygienist, I remind my patients all the time that just because you go to an MD for your body and a DDS for your mouth doesn’t mean those 2 areas of the body are disconnected. Resent research has proven that the bacteria in the mouth has been linked to illnesses in the body-so why wouldn’t our minds have some sort of control over our digestion?

For example, when you have the flu, do you feel like working or studying and performing at peak?  No, your body is in a state of illness and is using all it’s energy to fuel our immune system to bring ourselves back to a state of health. Our mental energy is zapped and we cannot function optimally.

Experts say this is linked to something called the gut-brain axis.  According to Annals of Gastroenterology (Ann Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr-Jun; 28(2): 203–209.) it says that the “The gut-brain axis (GBA) consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions. Recent advances in research have described the importance of gut microbiota in influencing these interactions.”

So my question is: is it our minds affecting our guts or the microbiota and gut environment affecting our minds?  In other words, what came first, the chicken or the egg?

I find that when I have more stress and anxiety, my stomach becomes upset. I have to be careful of what I eat and how I eat it. If I am in a good mood and relaxed I process things differently.  I don’t want to say that gut distress is all in our minds but it does have a lot to do with it.  The better outlook about what I put into my body, BEFORE I put it into my body, the better I will feel; a little like mind-over-matter.

So how do I destress?  Decompression time at the beginning and end of my day is key for me.  Exercise for me is one of the most important ways I prepare my body for the day. Circulating the blood and oxygen in the body helps to “detox” my organs, including the adrenals, which, when fatigued, can causes us to become tired, snappy, and grumpy, which in my case is true.  And at the end of my day I usually like to spend time with my husband, to watch a favorite show for 1 hour or read.

If it is hard for you to find a specific time during the day, find just a couple of minutes to just sit, without sound if possible, and take deep cleansing breaths, rolling your head down toward your chest slowly, stretching your limbs in all directions, including your hands and feet.  This short but cleansing movement and breath is great to rejuvenate mind and body and release stress. I would even suggest doing this prior to your meal before digging right in.  Also, eat slowly and enjoy each bite as you eat, allowing some digestion to happen first in the mouth so your gut doesn’t have to work so hard!

Wishing you a heathy and STRESS-FREE day!!

Jill

IMG_2192

Taken from Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

Traveling with IBS

 

Last week I spent 4 days in New York City-fun, yes! but unfortunately my stomach had to go with me.  It can be more of a challenge for an IBS sufferer to travel.  At home it’s easy toIMG_1267 control your meals but traveling presents a lot of different challenges-not to mention changes in regularity.

My advice is to plan ahead as much as possible.  Find the supplements and foods that travel well. Be creative:  hard boiled eggs, homemade trail mix, veggies and fruits. I have even traveled with squash and salads on the airplane, not only does it save money but it travels well with little refrigeration.  Find out what you will have available at and near your accommodations: a mini-fridge, a kitchenette; nearby grocery stores? Does the hotel provide breakfast and what kind-full service or bread and jelly?

I may also loosen the rules to give more variety and purchase pre-made snacks such as KIND low-glycemic bars .  I usually tolerate them well even though they do have chocolate.  It’s the fact that they are only 5g of sugar, which is what I like as opposed to most “health” food bars with upwards of 30g of sugar per serving, no-no for someone with fermentation issues!  I also take with me plenty of protein powder.  I use RAW MEAL, which only has 1g of sugar per serving and is vegan.  It is loaded with lots of great veggies and sprouted grains, which are easier to digest.

So breakfast was covered.  The Airbnb I stayed in provided fruit, which I sprinkled with my “Nut-ola” (see last post for recipe!)  and a protein shake. It was great tasting, balanced and nutritious.  It even tided me over till lunch, which is great when fasting in between meals is best for digestion.

Lunch and dinner in NYC may be a little more expensive than your local fare but at least there are plenty of choices for eating healthy!  Organic food, salad cafes, vegetarian, vegan, meat eaters, whatever, it’s there!  But what about those places not as full of variety? That’s where you need to ask a lot of questions.  It’s in the restaurant’s best interest to provide and accommodate the best they can for their customer and it’s YOUR job to function and feel the best YOU can, especially while traveling.

And if things don’t work out as they do at home in a controlled environment, try not to stress!  Stressing can make digestion worse.  Try to remember to always take your digestive enzymes, just in case!  I always keep them in my purse for instances where I can’t control the menu.

And lastly, have fun!  Traveling can be stressful, especially for those of us with digestive issues but don’t let that take away from the wonderful and exciting experiences that come with traveling.  And for goodness sakes, when traveling to France, try that freshly baked croissant! Just make sure your digestive enzymes are in tow!

 

Have a happy and healthy day (and travels)!!

Jill

 

“Nut-ola” Recipe

I miss cereal.  There, I said it.  I miss the crunchy, sweet texture with milk.  I used to make my own granola but now that I can no longer eat oats, those are out of the question.  So what’s a girl to do?? Then a friend of mine told me about LARABAR brand of “Renola” IMG_1097which is like granola but only nuts ,seeds, raisins, etc. However, it has tapioca syrup on the ingredients list which can be a no-no for the likes of us.  Then I thought, “Hey, how hard can it be to make my own??”  Based on my previous experience making granola and granola bars I improvised.  Since it turned out really well (if you ask me 😉 ) I thought I would share my recipe.

Ingredients needed (what I used): 

  • 1 c. each walnuts, pecans ( chopped) and almonds (I like sliced), shredded coconut, raisins (optional).  You can add in any type of nuts or seeds you would like.
  • 1/2 c. cocoa nibs (since cocoa is not on our acceptable list use in moderation and omit if you have problems.)IMG_1080
  •  1/4 c. melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. ground almond flour or coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp stevia

Directions:

Set the oven to 325 degrees. Put the walnuts into a medium sized bowl and crush (I like to crush manually to get size differentiation), then add the chopped pecans, almonds, coconut, raisins and cocoa nibs (I also a few banana chips for more texture-watch sugar content.) Mix together thoroughly.  Add cinnamon and nutmeg and mix.IMG_1081

Melt the coconut oil on low heat. Once melted add the honey and vanilla and melt together.

IMG_1090

Once the oil has cooled slightly, pour a little at a time into the nut mixture while stirring until it is completely coated.IMG_1092

Place evenly on a cookie sheet and bake on top rack for 15 mins, turing mixture over every 5 mins. so that it browns evenly.  This can burn quickly so be sure you aren’t busy with 10 other things at the same time like I usually am. (Burned my first attempt-No Way, Jill!!) It is done when it is a toasted, golden brown.

IMG_1094

While the “Nut-ola” is in the oven, grind up almonds into almond meal and place into bowl.  Mix with stevia; a little more cinnamon and nutmeg. (You can always use coconut flour if you don’t have almonds.)  Cool the “Nut-ola” for a while then coat with the almond meal, stevia mixture so that it doesn’t clump together in storage.  I put mine into a glass jar on the counter for storage.  It usually goes fast in our house, however!

IMG_1099

Top your favorite grass-fed yogurt, lactose-free milk (mine is Fairlife!) or salad.  Or just grab handfuls for “dessert” after dinner.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post.  Please let me know what you think of my recipe!

(Disclaimer: I usually “wing” my recipes so measurement may not be exact.)

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Jill

 

Yes, It’s Mother’s Day!

I can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to spend Mother’s Day with my 3 boys and nothing makes me happier (or drives me crazier 😉 ) than that!  And as I am fulfilling my motherly duties by holding on to my 3-year-old as he “tries” to go “poopie on the potty,” without success, ONCE AGAIN,  I am reminded, how our bodies work (or don’t work in this case) and it fascinates me that they even work at all!

As he struggles to clean out his system but maybe twice a week, despite our best efforts as parents, I can’t help to wonder, why is he constipated?  Is it psychological, physiological, or just normal for him?  In other words, is he constipated because he keeps holding it in when he should really go and this will pass as he gets older? Or is there an underlying issue here, such as a gluten allergy? After all, he is related to me!  It’s crazy that I have to keep track of my OWN issues, let alone my children’s.  In fact the common phrase around here is: “When was the last time you pooped?”

I apologize that in this blog I am getting “down and dirty” but it’s an important thing to discuss.  When people like me suffer with IBS with a symptoms such as constipation it can really mess with with you mentally as well as physically.  By about the 3rd day of no elimination, my son is easily prone to melt-downs and has very little appetite.  Does this sound familiar with you or someone you love?

With all the cells, muscles, neurons, organs and their functions, the body truly is a medical miracle and it makes me wonder how we don’t have more issues than we do.  But what makes it work optimally?  We have all been around others who’s bodies fail them time and time again.  Why does this happen?  Genetics, poor diet or lifestyle, or just dumb luck?  Maybe it’s a little bit of everything.

So, I was thinking as I was in the bathroom with my son  (it’s where I do all my best thinking!) that we always complain when our bodies don’t work as they should. We moan and groan about those aches and pains and injuries and illness, but do we ever stop to appreciate those times when our bodies DO work?  Are we remembering to be truly grateful for that symptom free day when we have mental clarity and our guts aren’t bogged down pain and heaviness?

Rejoice in the days when you feel great and don’t worry about what tomorrow may bring. Remember that if you praise that wonderful feeling, it will continue!

Have a happy and healthy (Mother’s) day!!

Love,

Jill

IMG_0652

 

 

 

My Diet Diary

If you are on this SIBO journey like myself, you know that your relationship with food with probably never be the same.  You will be restricted to a diet that will get not only boring but downright intolerable sometimes.  There are some days my mind can’t understand why I simply CANNOT eat certain foods.  “But there’s nothing wrong with oats, right? At least in a fundamental way…”  I will look at cereal on the shelf and long for it’s taste and texture and say to myself-“Maybe just one box…”  But then I get it home and I just can’t do it!

I can’t say I don’t like the way I eat-I do!  All the yummy veggies and fruits and nuts and meat!  But it can get boring, you know…  I think I even bore the people around me with my food.  “You’re eating THAT again??” or my husband will say “Ooo, salad with veggies and meat-but you never have that!?”  Ha, ha!  (And HE can eat ANYTHING he wants and feel just fine-bah! Makes you just sick now doesn’t it! More on that topic later;)

So since our diets are limited, at least maybe for a while, how do we keep it original?

  1. The internet is a wealth of information-especially yummy recipes!
  2. Purchase a  GAPS, FODMAP or Breaking the Vicious Cycle book by: Elaine Gottschall for ways to prepare food and recipes.
  3. Keep reading my blog for periodic recipes…

So what is my diet like on a daily basis?? I try to stay as close to the FODMAP list as possible-straying only on an irregular basis and taking digestive enzymes if I do.

Here is my typical day, but keep in mind I usually only eat 3 times/day so I like larger portions when I eat!

IMG_0749Breakfast-My breakfast ALWAYS includes veggies!  If you expect to get enough of your servings of veggies in a day you better start eating them for breakfast!  Have a salad with over easy eggs like this. I cheated and added a smidge of avocado to the eggs. (A girl’s gotta have a little fun!!)  If I want something a little more sweet then I will put a whole, ripe banana  and one egg into the blender (Nutribullet, in my case. And by the way if you don’t have this or something similar-GET ONE! It is so great for this diet!)  Then I will take the mixture and put it into a frying pan with ghee or coconut oil and you have FODMAP approved pancakes!  Add some pecans and a slight bit of honey and you are in business!

Lunch and Dinner-These meals are essentially the same: Greens with cooked veggies on top, some sort of meat and maybe some nuts for texture.  I also like to add raisins or berries for sweetness. ( I have a thing for sweet and salty!!)  Top the lot with olive oil-I like flavored oils from the local olive oil shop- and I will use spicy mustard to give it a little zing! (Watch ingredients in processed food and make sure they are on approved list.)

Here I made a salmon burger  with wild caught deboned salmon from a can mixing it with 1 egg, almond flour, salt, spicy mustard and lemon.IMG_0810 On the top I shredded just a little parmesan cheese for taste (and appeal).  Then I added on the veggies I had made previously-taking care to heat them on the stovetop and NOT the microwave!

So the key to all of this wonderful food is PREPARATION AHEAD OF TIME!  It is IMPERATIVE  to the success of ANY diet to make sure your fridge is well stocked with lots of prepared foods.  We live in a “grab-n-go” culture where convenience is key.  If we are busy and STARVING and can’t find something good to eat-we will cheat and most likely pay for it afterwards.  That’s why I spend a couple of hours per week cooking and preparing veggies.

Since being diagnosed with SIBO, I learned it is best to cook down the foods for a while so the body can process them more efficiently.  I will buy and cut up most of the approved veggies and cook them in a pot with a little water on the bottom and a lid, or a steamer basket and pot, depending on the type of veggie.

And don’t forget squash! My favorite is butternut!  I will peel the outer skin, slice into cubes and place in a glass baking dish, setting the oven at 350 degrees.  I will then dress the squash with flavored olive oil, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing thoroughly.  If you would like the pieces more tender and mushy cover the dish with foil and if you like them with more texture, leave the foil off.  They will most likely cook for about 40 mins. or so. (They will be done when you can pierce it with a fork.)  For the last 5 mins I will throw some crushed pecans on for even more texture! Yummy!  Then, when you get home from work and are REALLY starving-grab a few cubes of squash and pop them into your mouth instead of a handful of M&M’s!

 

IMG_0847IMG_0845

Until we meet again!  Please give me your questions and comments!  I LOVE to hear from you!!

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Love,

Jill

Bone Broth Recipe

Hello All!

In past blogs I make reference to bone broth as a “healing” agent to our gut.  It has helped me tremendously in the fight over toxicity, bacterial imbalance and leaky gut.  Bone broth is very valuable, giving you necessary collagen to make beautiful hair, nails and skin, but it also does the same for the intestinal lining of the gut, healing the “wound” from the nastiness in all those processed foods and pesticides.  Even New Yorkers are getting into the “fad”, as take out places are showing up to sell the a broth in a coffee cup.  Is that Starbucks in there?  No, it’s bone broth, my friend!

So, you don’t live in NY but would still like the benefits of bone broth?  Besides ordering it online, which can get very expensive, you can make it yourself!  And bonus is: it’s super EASY!

What you will need:IMG_0781 

1)Large crockpot

2) Bones from a chicken, cow or any other creature of your choice. I usually stick to cow since I have access to 100% grass-fed, organic bones (which is the best way to go!)  If you are not sure where to get the bones, call some health food stores to see if they sell any or ask where their supply comes from.  I have purchased some at Earth Fare for about $2.50/ lb but I couldn’t get a straight answer if they were organic or 100% grass-fed.  Just do the best you can…

3) Apple cider vinegar.   I never usually measure my ingredients-just pour a little into the water.  It is used to release the marrow and collagen from the bones. (Side note: if you were making stock instead of broth-no apple cider vinegar is necessary.)

4) Iodized or Sea Salt.  Again, I just throw some in for flavor-up to you.

5)Purified Water.

Directions:

Place the bones in the crock pot.  For those of us with SIBO or other intestinal healing purposes, make sure there is no cartilage.  IMG_0786

Next, add purified water to fill to the top of the pot.

Pour in a little apple cider vinegar and salt, set the crockpot to LOW and let simmer for at least 24 hours. (I usually try not to go much longer than that or the bones will break down too much and put a sand-like sediment into the broth.)

After 24 hours, remove all the bones, meat and  fat from the pot. It will like this. IMG_0802 IMG_0806

Wait for the remnants to cool ,separate the meat from everything else and put back into pot to give the broth some more substance.  May not be too much left but that’s okay. Discard whatever is NOT meat or give the bones to your dog to enjoy:)

Finally, if on a broth fast, drink approximately 10-8oz cups/day dipping out the next cup after each time you drink, to allow it to cool sufficiently before needing to drink again.  If this is not for a fast, you may add approved veggies and spices (from SIBO diet or FODMAP)  into the pot to simmer longer.  I will then keep the broth on warm for days (until I get sick of the smell in my house) and just eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  It’s wonderful and already made.  OR I will freeze it into containers to take to work.

IMG_0809

This is an awesome thing to do once in a while to heal the gut but it is important to lay-low on the food that assaults the system like sugar, grains, potatoes, etc. for the duration.

I hope this helps take the intimidation out of this healthful project! Good luck and happy healing!

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Jill

Not my best week…

IMG_0729

Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate a new beginning; to gather with family friends and celebrate with food and libation.  And as unbelievable it may be to some of you, it wasn’t the family that was offensive, it was the food…Now don’t get me wrong-I LOVED the food- Homemade cabbage rolls (cabbage, sourkraut, rice, meat), baked beans, fresh veggies, cheese and maybe a few dark chocolates thrown in for good measure. But the food, as I always learn the next day, did NOT love me. UGGG!  And I tell myself every time-it’s only one time (or twice in my case…) it should be fine!  I won’t be that affected! I was SO wrong.

It began in the middle of the night with the persistent grumbling in my gut, that noisy nawing and uncomfortable flip-flopping of the intestines that never allows me to get restful sleep.  Then the morning brings the all too familiar (and mostly emergent) frequent trips to the bathroom and the never ending (loud!) gurgling in the abdomen. I begin cursing myself for overindulging on the wrong foods like the cabbage, sourkraut, rice grains and chocolate, as I sat on the porcelain thrown for the 5th time before work began at 8am! Oh, no! I have to go to work like this!!

Now really, I should have known better!  This is not my first time sitting around the table of temptation and paying the price for it!  There was my 3 year old’s birthday party…but the cake WAS gluten free! oh, yeah, the homemade icing, however, wasn’t sugar free:(  And the potato chips WERE cooked with coconut oil! But the potates, Jill! Those aren’t going to bode well with you! And the foods fried at high temperatures-making it hard for the stomach to break down? What was I thinking!

Cheating is okay for me if it is done in a reserved fashion.  Risotto at a restaurant with the meal-sans the bread they bring before-eaten one time (and not taken home as leftovers and eaten again the next day) is usually okay with me.  I am able to bounce back easily if I get back to my lifestyle of eating.  Or if I treat myself to ice cream at a local store once a month whom offers low-glycemic (low sugar) options, I am usually fine!

But indulging in TOO many “wrong” foods at once, or several days in a row, can be “toxic” to my body-especially when I am not used to it!  (Even when I take the digestive enzymes!) The bacteria from the offending foods accumulates in great numbers and I feel defeated again as my gut distends, I feel overly full, I get heart burn or sharp gas pain, not to mention mentally and physically exhausted.  And if it’s really bad my body and joints will ache and I will get a headache, to boot, which tells me there is too much INFLAMMATION! NOT GOOD!

So what do I do, you ask??  Time for what I call a “reboot!” I go back to a strick no grain, sugar, all veggies, meat, nuts and eggs regime, eating between my  4-5 hours and taking my supplements:Motilpro(pureencapsulations.com),doTERRA Essential Oils Digest Zen products such as GX Assist (see my website mydoterra.com/jillroth for information) or Candibactin AR and BR (metagenics.com) .  I will also make bone broth (see next post) and drink it for a day or make soup out of it with veggies and meat and eat it during the week to help kill the bacterial and heal the gut. If I stick to the foods that ususally make me feel really good, physically and mentally, then I know I will be on my way to recovery.  It will take about 3 days to finally find relief, but it will work-I promise!!

Now, here I am, a week later feeling lighter and more “regular” but never forgetting how I felt during those days.  This is a journey I am on with my health and I know I will function whole mind and whole body if I put into it the fuel that will enable it to go longer and without pain.  And after going to a post-Easter celebration yesterday, I can say I didn’t even want the desserts and chips and pretzels and cheeseball!  (Well…maybe a little…) But I made my choice: to feel GREAT!

Are you ready to join me?

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Day!  See you at my next post!

Jill