Saturday, August 31, 2013

Better Baby Book Review

First stop after landing in Anaheim
August was one busy month.  We were gone the first three weekends traveling to Quincy to visit my 93yr old grandma, then to Anaheim to give a presentation at APCO, and then to Chicago so Ryan could hang out with his meatball (Greg, my brother-in-law) at the Midwest Brewers Fest.  While I could write about all the delicious and naughty things I ate during these travels, I'll write instead about the book I read.  

I'm semi-hooked on Dave Asprey's podcast, the bulletproof exec. This past year he and his wife Lana released The Better Baby Book.  No, I'm not planning on getting pregnant anytime soon, but the other NWW nutritionists and myself are seeing an influx of expecting moms with gestational
Breakfast at Early Bird 
diabetes, severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), and other complications.  So I figured it would be good to read a book on pregnancy.  From what I've gathered, this probably isn't like many other pregnancy books that simply tell you to eat healthy, avoid deli meat, and get lots of sleep.  Nope, Dave and Lana tell you WHY.  Their point is to help you create the healthiest, smartest, most bulletproof baby around, so their recommendations can sometimes be more than what a person is willing or able to do. Thankfully, they do say several times to do the best you can, and even if you do  nothing, the chances of having a healthy baby are still pretty high.

First Beer Sample
 Main points:
1. Avoid toxins-particularly micotoxins (mold)
2. Eat lots of healthy fats
3. Eat lots of organic vegetables
4. Get adequate amounts of sleep/rest in a very dark room
5. Be at peace and think happy thoughts.
6. Have the father help with 1-5.

What I didn't like:
1. Information overload!
2. Several times he refers you to the webpage for products and more info, but it seems like there is a lot of missing info on the web page.
3. No references to the over 1000 sources he 'cites' in his book.  Dude, it's called a bibliography.
4. There are parts of the book written in 3rd person when it should be in 1st person. I know the book was a joint venture, but when they all of a sudden say "Lana ate 3 egg yolks every day" the transition is a little weird.  I thought Lana wrote the book.
5. He references 2 smart drugs that have not been approved for use in pregnant why mention them at all then?

Several chapters are dedicated to nutrients/supplements needed by women, and again, they say they have a link on their webpage to all these great brands of supplements, but I found the information and links there, lacking.  Also, it really bothers me when multiple supplements are suggested, but unlike Julia Ross in her books 'The Mood Cure' and 'The Diet Cure,' the Asprey's did not feel it necessary to give concise supplementation protocol. So I did it for you!  I made sure the multi meets the requirements for Folic Acid and other B-vitamins, unfortunately most supplements do not use folate or folinic acid, instead they use folic acid, the less desirable form.  Depending upon the mulit, someone may want to take extra calcium.

Multi Vitamin
NutriKey Twice A Day (Folic Acid not Folinic, high in other B-vitamins, selenium, zinc, iodine)
Vitamin Code Prenatal (Folinic Acid-but lower in other B-vitamins, selenium, zinc, iron, iodine)
Metagenics Fem-Prenatal (Folic Acid, higher in Iron, Iodine, and zinc, and selenium)

Vitamin D
NutriKey 5000IU  (1 per day)

Metagenics Cal Apatite  (1 per day)
Ortho Molecular Reacted Calcium  (2-4 per day)

Glycinate (4-8 per day)
Citrate-good for treating constipation (3-4tsp)

DHA (I disagree with his whole Krill oil being better than Fish oil, instead I typically recommend straight DHA during pregnancy)
NutriKey 200mg (3 per day)
Nordic Naturals DHA (3-4 per day)

Cod Liver oil
3 Care Therapeutics-unfermented (1-2 tsp per day)
Green Pasture-Fermented (1-2 tsp or 2-4 capsules per day)

NutriKey Bifido Balance (3-6 capsules per day)

Bulletproof Upgraded (1 pump per day)
Metagenics GlutaClear (2 per day)

Nutrikey Powder (1-1.5 tsp per day)
Nutrikey Capsules (3-6 capsules per day)

Sunflower Lecithin
Love Raw Foods (1-2 Tbs per day)

What I've taken away and am doing, it's never to early to prepare for pregnancy:
1. Eating more raw egg yolks.
2. Clearing out some of my toxic beauty products including hair-spray and leave-in conditioner.
3. Continuing to work on stress management.
4. Detoxing my body using Dynamic Greens, maybe someday I'll buy some activated charcoal. 
5. Attempting to reduce my exposure to EMFs

I'll probably do another post on this book discussing the bulletproof baby diet.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cooking up a Paleo Storm

In between work and class projects I've some how found the time to read a few paleo books.  While I don't follow the paleo diet 100%, and Ryan certainly doesn't; most of our meals are fairly compliant.  As an NWW dietitian the diet we recommend is relatively close to paleo, but for many clients we still allow them to eat some bread or crackers, whole grains, beans, and dairy  if we feel their body/metabolism can handle it.  This is in contrast to people following a strict paleo diet who forgo all grains (except the occasional rice), beans and lentils, and dairy (except butter and cream).  One thing NWW and paleo have in common 100% is NO SUGAR!  Or at least keeping it very minimal.

Back to what I've read.  First up was It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  This was a great book.  They did a fantastic job describing insulin resistance and leaky gut in terms anyone can understand.  Their Whole30 diet challenge is a great way to get people to make changes and feel the difference.  Plus you can log onto their whole9life web page for more support and reading.  The writing style is inspiring, and keeps the reader engaged. But my favorite part are the meal planners.  Instead of several recipes, they provide a basic skill such as browning ground meat, and then give different veggie and spice options to add variety.  I've actually made copies of these for a couple of clients who were overwhelmed with cooking and getting bored with the few things they know how to cook.  While I have not made any of their one skillet meals yet, I was inspired to make picadillo for the first time in a long time.

Next up was Practical Paleo by   This is a big book.  Similar to ISWF, Practical Paleo starts out with an explanation of gut health, and hormone balance, and a few other topics.  What I like about PP over ISWF are the pictures, especially the one about Poop.  Yes, she covers why poop looks the way it does, what is normal and why abnormal poop happens.  Speaking of poop... lets talk about fermentation and how I love to make kraut.  Maybe the connection isn't obvious to you yet, but fermented food introduce good bacteria into our digestive system.  We've been joking at work about setting up a sauerkraut station in the back room, maybe not the best idea.  But one of the opening recipes in the book is for homemade sauerkraut, I couldn't pass it up.  In another week or two, we will have spicy purple kraut!

After flipping through the recipes Ryan really wanted to make the jalapeno burgers with sweet potato buns.  But before that I made a couple of the seasoning blends and ferment some purple cabbage.  I used the cooling blend on chicken legs and threw a little of the chorizo blend in our morning eggs.  The burgers were tasty, a neat combination between the savory meat and the sweet "buns"; which are really just potato pancakes.  I ate mine open face, while Ryan went burger style.  He pulled stumps in the backyard for 3 hours, so he could use the extra carbs.  Next up from this book, Apple Egg Muffins!

Roasted zucchini to go with our burgers topped with avocado and a little cheddar.

That's a tasty burger.

For the novice home cook the recipe section of this book starts out with a how-to guide on cutting and chopping.  This is a very smart move on her part since many people do not even know basic cooking skills such as chopping an onion.

On the side I've also been reading the Civilized Caveman blog.  From his recipes I made the Sweet Potato Ginger brownies, and a couple days later used the leftovers to make french toast for sunday breakfast.  Mmm Mmm Mmm.  However, I'm coming to the realization that I don't really like the texture of bake goods that only use coconut flour.  His banana bread is supposed to be amazing, so when I get a chance (and some ripe bananas) that will definitely be in my oven.

Last but not least, cucumbers.  We picked up a giant bag of pickling cucumbers from the farmers market yesterday, they are super tasty.  I knew I would make a cucumber-dill-tomato salad for the Night to Unite block party, but what else?  Then I thought...duh...make pickles.  I've never made pickles before but I know how it's done.  Of course knowing me I didn't want to make them the quick refrigerator way, nope, I want to ferment mine!  So thanks to Mark Sisson, it was easy to pull p a recipe on making fermented pickles.  I got to try these just this morning.  They are delicious and crunchy, and super salty.

Ok everybody, get out there read, cook, and ferment!