Nutritional Consulting for a Hypothetical Client with GI Issues

Nutritional Consulting for a Hypothetical Client with GI Issues

By Laura Sheehan

March 19, 2018
My client Mrs. Green has come to me for help with her GI issues. Her symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and recent unintended weight loss. She works full-time as a social worker and is also working on her master’s degree. She and her husband cook some of their meals and she also buys ready-made food at a gourmet shop.
Mrs. Green is wondering whether she might have IBS but based on her food record it appears she has already determined that she has it. Her consumption of fiber is very high. Fiber is a commonly recommended treatment for IBS by physicians1. But Mrs. Green may be consuming too much, or the wrong types of fiber2. I would suggest that she start to limit all types of fiber in her diet (i.e. beans, wheat berries), at least until her symptoms improve. I would also have her examine her continuing consumption of Metamucil and Colace, especially since she is currently not constipated. If she would agree to cutting them out or at least reducing them, we could see how that would affect her symptoms.
Another possible cause of her bowel issues is Lexapro. I do not know how long she has been taking it and I would attempt to get this information from her, especially because both diarrhea and constipation are listed as “common side-effects” of the drug3. If the bowel issues seem to have begun relatively concurrent or subsequent to her taking Lexapro, I would suggest that she talk to her doctor about potentially switching medications for her depression and anxiety.
My biggest concern about Mrs. Green is that she might be gluten-intolerant. Her reliance on gluten-containing foods is evident from her Food Frequency Questionnaire and 24 Hour Recall. Considering that cutting out gluten could help her IBS symptoms4, I will focus on this in the next section.
Mrs. Green appears to be an overall health-conscious eater. Among her favorite foods, she lists fish, salads, vegetables and fruits. Most of her foods appear to be fresh and not processed. Even the foods she buys pre-prepared at the gourmet shop look like they are made from scratch. This is good.
I am recommending that Mrs. Green do a trial of a gluten-free diet. I do not think this will be difficult for her as she will not have to change her current food selection habits very much. She will need to learn to replace gluten-containing foods in her diet with gluten-free options. It is likely that her gourmet food shop has gluten-free food selections that are prepared fresh and not processed. For example, instead of buying wheatberry salad, she could buy quinoa or buckwheat salad (although it would be better to buy tuna salad since I would like her to cut back on the fiber). Gluten-free foods are usually more expensive but this will likely not be an issue for her considering her demographic.
In order to increase the chance of compliance, I will try to transition Mrs. Green slowly to gluten-free. From her 24 Hour Recall, it looks like she consumes a gluten-containing food three times daily. I will work with her over time to reduce this to two servings a day and then gradually to zero servings. This should be relatively easy to do since she is motivated to make the necessary changes, and will be especially motivating for her if she sees changes in her symptoms.
The seed pizza is a favorite of Mrs. Green’s and for this reason I will provide an alternative gluten-free recipe for her. Here is the original recipe:
Seed Pizza
Ingredients:
1 13- to 14-oz. pkg. refrigerated whole-wheat pizza dough
2 Tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds, plain sesame seeds, and black sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 cloves of roasted garlic
3 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cubed
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. olive oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, shape dough into a 12×9-inch rectangle. Brush the pizza dough with the roasted garlic. Sprinkle with seeds and pine nuts and lightly sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle cubed mozzarella evenly over pizza. Drizzle olive oil over pizza. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Cut and serve.
Gluten-free modification:
Substitute a pre-packaged gluten-free pizza dough for the whole-wheat pizza dough in the recipe.
The gluten-free pizza dough should taste similar to the whole wheat pizza dough. In keeping with my philosophy of not changing too many things at once, I am making a relatively simple change in the recipe. I love the idea of a homemade cauliflower crust, but that would be a lot more work and Mrs. Green is already busy and stressed. Keeping the changes simple and straightforward will increase compliance. Plus Mrs. Green will get to keep the “crunch” she enjoys in her pizza.
Nutritionally, the whole-wheat and gluten-free pizza crusts are quite similar, at least from a macro-nutrient perspective5,6. According to the nutrition information supplied by the manufacturer5,6, each crust has about 150 kcal per serving and comparable amounts of carbohydrate (about 31 g/serving). Both recipes are low in fat and protein. There is only a small amount of fiber (2g) in each pizza crust.
Once I’ve made headway with Mrs. Green in cutting out dietary gluten, I would then assist her in eliminating refined sugars from her diet in the context of her overall carbohydrate consumption7. The degree to which I would eliminate the sugars depends on her response to the changes she will have made thus far.
In conclusion, I will work with Mrs. Green over a series of consultations to systematically identify and alter potential issues with her diet that are contributing to her symptoms. I will help her transition to a gluten-free diet and rule out issues with her fiber and laxative intake. I will also encourage her to examine potential unwanted side-effects of the Lexapro she is taking with her doctor.
References
1. El-Salhy M, Ystad SO, Mazzawi T, Gundersen D. Dietary fiber in irritable bowel syndrome (Review). International Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2017;40(3):607-613. doi:10.3892/ijmm.2017.3072.
2. Talley N. Soluble or insoluble fibre in irritable bowel syndrome in primary care? Randomised placebo controlled trial. Yearbook of Gastroenterology. 2010;2010:46-47. doi:10.1016/s0739-5930(10)79444-7.
3. Lexapro Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity. WebMD Web Site. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63990/lexapro-oral/details/list-sideeffects Accessed March 18, 2018
4. Vazquez–Roque MI, Camilleri M, Smyrk T, Murray JA, Marietta E, Oneill J, Carlson P, Lamsam J, Janzow D, Eckert D, Burton D, Zinsmeister AR. A Controlled Trial of Gluten-Free Diet in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Diarrhea: Effects on Bowel Frequency and Intestinal Function. Gastroenterology. 2013;144(5). doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2013.01.049.
5. Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Amazon.com Web Site. https://www.amazon.com/Rossi-Pasta-Whole-Wheat-Pizza/dp/B002R6X1K6/ref=sr_1_4_a_it/144-8432636-3933151?ie=UTF8&qid=1521421843&sr=8-4&keywords=whole+wheat+pizza+crust
Accessed March 18, 2018.

6. Schar Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts. Thrive Market Web Site. https://thrivemarket.com/p/schar-gluten-free-pizza-crusts?utm_source=connexity&utm_medium=pla Accessed March 18, 2018.
7. Goldstein R, Braverman D, Stankiewicz H. Carbohydrate malabsorption and the effect of dietary restriction on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and functional bowel complaints. IMAJ. 2000; 2(8): 583-587. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/10979349

I hate vegetables. Help!

What do I do if I hate vegetables?  I know I have to eat them for better health, but they don’t taste that great, and boring!

Listen, I know what it’s like to know that I need to eat more veggies, but I don’t have the time to cook them, or even eat them in the quantities they’re needed in.  So I found this great tip by Dr. Eric Berg.  Basically, you make your veggies into a smoothie.  I thought it sounded pretty gross when I first heard of it, but I’ve got to say, I drink them just about every day now!  It’s all about how you prepare them. Here’s the ingredients list:

  1. 1-2 cups Berries (you should stick to lower sugar berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  2. Kale-the amount can vary. I use 4-6 cups of kale and squish it down, but it you’re giving this to a child, they may insist on a little less.  Go with however much you want.  I like to use kale, because overall, it’s one of the highest nutrient vegetables, but you can use another veggie or veggies if you like.
  3. Protein powder-this is totally optional. I use it because it makes my shakes taste good, and I exercise every day.  As a shameless self-promo, I use my own protein powder I designed because it has no sugar, has all natural flavors and sweeteners, and kids love it!
  4. Sweetener-you can add a little stevia if you like, but it’s totally up to you.
  5. Some coconut milk or an avocado-1/4 cup of coconut milk (the type that comes in the can), or a cup of coconut milk from the carton, or an avocado go a long way in making it much creamier and palatable. As an added bonus, they also add fat to help balance your blood sugar and hormones, and if you add avocado, you’ll get a ton of potassium-win!

Now here’s the trick.  You blend it for a couple of minutes, usually 2 minutes will do. If you don’t blend it well enough, it’s all chunky and nasty.  Drink a portion of it when you blend it, and you can save the rest for later.

There you go, that’s it!  A quick way to get in a day’s vegetables, which even kids will love!  Feel free to check out our Pinterest page: we try to pin a lot of smoothie recipes there that we’ve found.

 

 

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Turkey Pot Pie

This turkey pot pie is an interesting concoction I made this morning for breakfast. I have been wanting to get more organ meats into my diet, except that I actively dislike most organ meats. So I saved some beef heart broth (yes, I cooked a beef heart in the crock pot last week for Dr. Sheehan) in hopes that I could add it secretly to some other recipe. So here’s what I made this morning for breakfast (the recipe is loosely adapted from Elana Amsterdam’s Cookbook The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook which, by the way, I highly recommend).

Ingredients:

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch long pieces

1 monster sized carrot, sliced

1 lb. organic ground turkey

1 cup or so beef heart broth

2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup or so fresh tarragon, chopped

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Sautee the onion, celery and carrot in butter (or coconut oil or lard), over medium heat until slightly soft, about 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey and mix well. Cover and cook a few more minutes. Meanwhile, mix the beef heart broth and the arrowroot and whisk until the arrowroot is thoroughly combined. Add to the turkey mixture, lower the heat slightly, and cook until the turkey is fully cooked through, about 5-10 more minutes. Add the sea salt and fresh tarragon and remove from the heat. Add the freshly ground black pepper.

It’s delicious! Hitting the spot for breakfast on this 18 degree morning. The heart broth actually tastes delicious with the tarragon. Honestly it’s the fresh tarragon and black pepper that made this dish.

I hope you try it and enjoy!

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The Best Breakfast for Health and Weight Loss

A holistic approach to weight loss

As a holistic doctor, one of the most common questions I get from people about diet is “what do I eat for breakfast?” About 4 years ago, I learned from a world famous trainer named Charles Poliquin, that you should basically be eating meat and nuts for breakfast.  This is the best breakfast for weight loss and to feel better. The reasons for this are very basic-it will:

  1. lower blood sugar fluctuations, and
  2. subsequent insulin surges.

This is important for five reasons. Lowering blood sugar fluctuations and insulin surges will help:

  1. Lower cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone)
  2. Lower inflammation (the primary factor in most chronic diseases)
  3. Reduce food cravings
  4. Strengthen the immune system
  5. Build muscle and lose fat
  6. Balance hormones (including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormones)
  7. Help you lose weight

So, basically, you need to cut your carbs, ESPECIALLY in the morning, in order to be healthy. The problem is, most people don’t want a piece of fish or a hamburger for breakfast. But there are other solutions. What I tell people to eat is protein and nuts, not necessarily meat and nuts, for breakfast. If you absolutely CANNOT eat in the morning, you can substitute a low carb protein shake (recipe below). The reason I say this is that back in the day, I took a whole lot of body fat measurements on my patients (I would still do it, but it took too much time, and I had to charge accordingly). People consistently lost a lot more fat if they ate protein rather than drank it. So that’s why drinking your protein is a distant second. Here’s some choices of what to have for breakfast:

  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Burgers
  • Fish

Feel free to mix and match these, don’t eat the same thing every day. Along with your protein, eat a handful of nuts. I recommend going easy on the peanuts, though, because they’re actually a legume, and some people don’t handle them well. Also, it goes without saying, that organic, local sausage, bacon, and eggs are much better than commercial. But like the saying goes, get the quality of food up after you’ve cut down the quantity of poison you put into your body (sugars and refined carbs).

If you must, must have a protein shake, here’s what I recommend. One, use my protein, Sheehan Whey, and/or Standard Process SP Complete. These proteins are the best ones I’ve come across, have no artificial sweeteners, and have no sugar. Two, mix these with water, sugar free coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, cashew milk. NO soy milk, as soy is a major food allergen, may be a hormonal disruptor, amongst other problems. There are better options, so use them instead. Three, if you like your shake creamier, add ½ to 1 avocado. If you must put a fruit in there, you can add berries, just not cherries, as they are high in sugar. Four, if you’re feeling really adventurous and healthy, add some greens, in the form of baby spinach, kale, whatever. It’s actually not bad. So here’s a shake synopsis:

  • Liquid (water, sugar free coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, cashew milk)
  • Sheehan Whey and/or SP Complete
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Greens (kale, baby spinach-just add a little, don’t want to overpower the rest of the shake)
  • Berries (raspberries, red or black, blueberries, etc.)
  • Essential Balance Oil (a properly balanced oil that has omega 3, 6, and 9 in the right proportions). You should definitely add this for the healthy fat; protein by itself won’t hold you.
  • Other spices of you like-like organic cocoa, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, stevia, you can get creative here.

Use these guidelines to create your own unique shake. Just make sure that it has protein, fat, and low carb. Go crazy!

So there you have it, what to eat for breakfast. This should satisfy everyone. And remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! So let’s get healthy with a healthy breakfast each and every day!

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Protein Shakes Recipes

ShakesBanana Split 1 Serving chocolate or vanilla protein powder 8 oz. raw milk, almond or coconut milk, or water ½ ripe banana ½ cup chopped pineapple 4 frozen strawberries 1 tbsp. Essential Balance Oil 3 ice cubes Blend on high for 45 seconds and serve

PB & J Shake 1 serving vanilla protein powder 8 oz. raw milk, almond or coconut milk, or water 1 heaping tbsp. all natural peanut butter 4 frozen strawberries 1 tbsp. Essential Balance Oil Blend on high for 45 seconds and serve

Protein Power “Juice” 2 servings any flavor protein powder 8 oz. raw milk, almond or coconut milk, or water 1 tbsp. Essential Balance Oil 3 ice cubes Blend on high for 45 seconds and serve

Cookies & Cream 1 serving chocolate or vanilla protein powder 8 oz. raw milk, almond or coconut milk, or water 4 drops peppermint extract 3 ice cubes 1 tbsp. Essential Balance Oil Blend on high for 45 seconds Add 4 gluten-free chocolate wafers Blend at low speed for 10 seconds and serve

Cinnamon Roll Supreme 1 serving vanilla protein powder 8 oz. raw milk, coconut or almond milk, or water ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tbsp. Essential Balance Oil 3 ice cubes Blend on high for 45 seconds and serve

Blueberry Banana Bonanza 1 serving vanilla protein powder 8 oz. raw milk, almond or coconut milk, or water 1 tbsp. Essential Balance Oil ½ cup frozen blueberries ½ banana 3 ice cubes Blend on high for 45 seconds and serve

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup 1 serving chocolate protein powder 8 oz. raw milk, almond or coconut milk or water 1 heaping tbsp. all natural peanut (or almond) butter 1 tbsp. Essential Balance Oil 3 ice cubes (optional: ½ ripe banana) Blend on high for 45 seconds and serve

All recipes make one serving. You could substitute SP Complete for the Sheehan Chiropractic protein powder (or you could have them both). You could also substitute cashew or hemp milk for the almond, coconut, or raw milk.

Dr. Keith Sheehan is a Chiropractor and Holistic Practitioner practicing at 1301 East King Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sheehan has had 12 years experience helping his clients with a wide variety of physical and biochemical conditions, using an individually tailored wellness approach and natural therapies. His clients appreciate his caring and direct approach his helpful, knowledgeable staff. To schedule a nutritional or chiropractic assessment, or for more information, please contact Dr. Sheehan at (717) 392-6606.

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Tomatoes!

It’s Tomato Time!

Thanks to M,. who came to see us recently, we had 3 big bags of tomatoes this past weekend. I woke up Sunday in a fit of tomato obsession and just had to cook them. I made 2 qts of tomato sauce, 2 qts of gazpacho, and 2 qts of pico de gallo. It’s the pico recipe I will share with you now. It is divine and it makes most everything taste better this time of year! I put it on salmon, chili, and eggs so far. Here it is (2015 version:)

  • 5 medium tomatoes, preferably fresh off the vine, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 medium semi-hot peppers (you pick, I used a long, light green one I don’t know what it’s called)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate.

Ours would have been improved with the addition of some fresh cilantro but we didn’t have any. Alas. Nevertheless, amazing!

Here is my food diary from the last couple of days:

Wednesday, August 26

7 am: coffee with co

8 am: 2 sausages, not sure the variety, Dr Sheehan served them up

12:30 pm: 1 piece of marzipan from Germany, stew (homemade tomato sauce, ground beef, zucchini, eggplant, garlic)

4:00 pm: peanuts

8 pm: wing night at DipCo, 12 Jamaican jerk wings, 1/2 Greek salad, 1 beer

Thursday, August 27

6:30 am: coffee black

8 am: leftover stew

11am: mixed nuts, cocoa cherry bar

2 pm: turkey chili from California tortilla (no cheese no tortilla strips)

5:30 pm: another piece of marzipan from Germany, 1 glass cherry wine

7:30 pm: leftover chili with greens and pico de gallo, glass red wine

(Note to self: that was too much wine! Next time, skip the cherry wine, it’s not worth it.)

Simple Steps for Self-Care

Taking Care of Yourself Can Be a BreezeI have been studying the principles of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and they contain some very elegant and easy tips to bring balance to your life. Personally, I have been tapping into my inner type “A” recently (and seriously, what’s with all the type A bashing? I’ve learned from experience it’s best to face what must be done in life head-on; it definitely saves one from future problems and helps one to build and create one’s own life and happiness). Vital aspects of my type A lifestyle include: taking my supplements–they help me feel and perform my best, when my life demands that I be “on” much of the time; eating clean–keeps me feeling light and flexible, so that my food does not end up being an obstacle to reaching my goals in life; exercising regularly – for the same reasons I just mentioned.

A life full of activity requires some mindful rest. Here is where I have learned much from the principles of acupuncture. Mindful rest is not merely zoning out or indulging in escape behaviors. From experience I know distraction or escape behaviors cause stress to build up. Even though it may be just out of conscious awareness, a feeling of unease creeps up, and pressure builds from suppressed and repressed emotions, which then tends to be projected outward onto others (who in general do not deserve it) or expressed in other inappropriate ways. So by mindful rest I mean when you are consciously engaging in an activity to renew. Mindful rest activities include: prayer, surrender, meditation, getting a massage, playing with your dog, spending quality time with your loved ones, reading an interesting book or otherwise feeding the mind, listening to uplifting music, spending time in nature or making yourself a healing tea.

If it seems like I am biased toward the principles of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, I am. Now that I am supporting my body’s healing process through Nutrition Response Testing, I feel that Dr. Sheehan and I can begin to benefit from some of the more subtle effects of the acupressure and acupuncture. An now, with an acupuncturist on staff, Guinevere, we are ready to take our healing process to the next level. The journey of healing of self and others is such an exciting and scintillating journey!

I made just such a tea this morning. It was one extra simple step at breakfast time. Here is the recipe:

1 small piece of fresh ginger, sliced

Peel from 1/3 of a large lemon, cut up into large pieces

3 sticks of cinnamon

1 quart of water

I simmered this until the water was reduced by 1/3, about an hour. It make the entire second floor smell heavenly!

So, to recap, here are the simple steps for self-care: take your supplements, eat clean in general, exercise, and engage in mindfully restful activities. You can start now by making this delicious tea 🙂

Here is my beginning-of-the week diet log. So I have been on my good behavior for the last couple of days.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Breakfast: 2 chicken sausages, almonds, coffee with butter and coconut oil

Lunch: Turkey Chili (from California Tortilla, they make a mean chili), spinach

Afternoon Snack: CC Meal Bar

Dinner: piece of salmon, avocado, and baby carrots

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Breakfast: a piece of salmon, avocado, almonds, coffee with butter and coconut oil

Lunch: Leftover chili, purslane from the yard mixed in, avocado

Afternoon Snack: celery and peanut butter

Dinner: 3 organic hot dogs with spinach, baby carrots, blue cheese dressing, and mustard

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Breakfast: salmon, avocado, almonds, coffee with coconut oil

After breakfast: delicious cinnamon-lemon peel-ginger tea

Lunch: 1 burger, sauteed beet greens, 1 hot dog, mustard, black coffee

Afternoon snack: we’ll see

Dinner: I am planning on going to DipCo and getting a dozen wings, a Greek salad, and a beer.

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Dr. Sheehan’s Veggie Shake

A Great Way to Get Your Veggies In!

A couple of months ago, I read an article researching the benefits of the Paleo diet in pigs. In this study, pigs decreased their body fat, increased their muscle, lowered their blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Basically, they fared very well. One thing that struck me, though, was the preponderance of vegetables in their diet. I can’t find the exact article, but I seem to remember that these pigs ate about 1 pound of meat, and 14 pounds of veggies per day! This got me thinking: should we be eating more like this? I mean, I’m not going to eat 14 pounds of veggies per day (it would break the bank, and I would do nothing but eat all day long!), but should I make a concentrated effort to eat more? I decided that yes, I really should. So I thought, “how could I get in a ton of veggies that supported all of my body’s detoxification systems? And not taste like dirt?” So I decided to make a veggie shake every day. I’ll have to tell you, it’s really helped. I sleep better, and overall, feel better. Many studies point out that we don’t eat enough veggies, and that they help prevent every disease known to man. I promised a lot of patients my shake recipe, so here it is:

  • 1 beet with the greens
  • 2-4 carrots (no greens, they taste gross), depending on their size
  • 1 cup cut up zucchini
  • 1 cup cut up cucumber
  • 2 handfulls of greens (you can use spinach, kale, whatever)
  • 1-2 cups berries (I use a berry mix of blackberries, cherries, strawberries, and raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoon Essential Balance Oil (I carry it here at the office, the essential fatty acids help with nutrient absorbtion)
  • 1 serving SP Complete
  • ½ can of coconut milk
  • Water as needed

I blend this up in my vitamix for about 1 minute on high. It makes 2-32 oz servings. If you want to try this, you might have to split this up over 2 days. That’s fine. Some people think it has to be fresh, but I say whatever is easiest for you is best. Try out this shake for a week, and let me know what you think!

Here’s Laura’s Diet Record from Sunday (kitchen day!–made homemade pico de gallo, tomato sauce, and spaghetti squash, yum!)

9:00 AM: coffee with coconut oil

11:30 AM: baby pattypan squash with onions, beet greens, black olives, sardines, and homemade pico de gallo

5:00 PM: (after walking over 7.5 miles…) 1.5 beers, greek salad with gyro meat, fries and ketchup, and greek coffee

8:00 PM: celery with peanut butter

Conquering the Lunchtime Dilemma

A Necessary Step to Health And Happiness!

Lunch is my least favorite meal. Right smack dab in the middle of my work day, when the last thing I want to do is take a break and prepare something to eat. I have often wished for a microwave during these times so I can buy a frozen dinner, but that will be the topic of another post. However if I do not eat lunch my head starts to swim and I begin to have trouble stringing words together coherently. So this past Sunday Dr. Sheehan and I worked out our lunchtime solution: stew. Isn’t stew the solution most of the time, no matter what the problem is? We purchased veg at a farmer’s stand at Eastern Market at Musser Park and meat at CostCo. Lunchtime stew, prepared in a quantity large enough to eat throughout the week. It was delicious! And requiring only reheating for a few minutes on the stovetop, it provided an excellent solution to my lunchtime food grouchies. That is, my need for healthy food but my lack of desire to prepare it, specifically at lunchtime.

So here is my recipe for chicken and corn stew, Sheehan style:

1 head of cabbage, chopped

2 bunches garlic scapes, cut into small pieces

1 whole head of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 very large zucchini

3.5 lbs. of chicken thighs (thank you, Costco), cut with kitchen scissors into bite-sized pieces

2 pints of orange cherry tomatoes, halved

1 lb. spicy chicken sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large bunch of fresh basil

Corn cut off 7 fresh ears (this is optional, if you do not tolerate grains or starches at all, skip this)

Coconut Oil, lots

About 1 Tablespoon Himalayan salt, to taste

Just cook up the veg in the coconut oil until it softens slightly. Add the meat and basil and then simmer over low heat for about 40 minutes to an hour. Add the salt near the end of cooking. Allow to cool, portion into single-serving containers. We got about 10 servings (about 2 cups per serving).

So here is my food diary for the last several days:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

9:15 AM: coffee with butter and coconut oil, homemade protein bar (almonds, whey protein, stevia, coconut sugar, shredded coconut, cocoa powder)

12:00 PM: My seasonal stew (see above)

4:00 PM: protein shake: cashew milk, mixed berries, SP Complete, strawberry whey

8:00 PM: Texas Road House take-out: salmon, broccoli, green beans, 1 beer

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

7:00 AM coffee with coconut oil, cucumber

12:00 PM: 1.5 chicken sausages

2:00 PM: peanuts, chicken veg & corn stew

8:00 PM: more salmon, cucumber and hummus, 1 beer

Thursday, July 16, 2015

7:00 AM: coffee with coconut oil

9:00 AM: 1.5 pork sausages, peanuts

12:00 PM: seasonal stew, 1 diet Monster energy drink Ultra red

6:00 PM: gluten free pizza (cheese, sausage, pepperoni and mushroom) Thanks Mom :), more cucumber

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water

Drink More Water

The cheapest, easiest cure—try it!

Could it be that the cures that work best are the simplest and cheapest? This is definitely true when it comes to water. Talk to almost anyone, and they will say they are not drinking enough. I have heard Dr. Sheehan say that 80% of the low back pain cases he sees in the office are dehydrated, and drinking water will help reduce the pain. EIGHTY PERCENT!! Dr. Sheehan said of another patient, what tipped him off that he was dehydrated, was that his body and muscle aches increased. Other symptoms of chronic dehydration include blood pressure disturbances, headaches, tiredness, allergies, digestive problems, depression, irritability, and brain fog. Any of these sound familiar?

There is an easy fix to this…just drink more water! Ask either me or Dr. Sheehan to test how much water you should be drinking a day. And then try it for two weeks…that will give your body enough time to normalize and handle the symptoms. It’s worth a shot, right? I can’t think of an easier or cheaper way to fix a health problem. So try it!

Sources:

http://www.rodalenews.com/chronic-dehydration

http://symptomsofdehydration.net/chronic_dehydration/chronic_dehydration.html

Unfortunately, I have still been slacking on my diet log. I am continuing to avoid sugar and fruit, and bread 95% of the time. And I try to eat vegetables three times per day, and in between meals I snack on nuts. To make up for my lack of diet log, here is what I had for breakfast:

Sausage and veggie frittata (using leftovers)

4 chicken sausages, cooked and sliced

1/2 onion

8 mushrooms

2 handfuls baby spinach

5 eggs, whisked

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a cast-iron skillet, saute the onion and mushroom in olive oil or butter until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken sausage and heat. Add the eggs and mix well.

Let it cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes until the outside of the frittata starts to firm up. Then transfer to the oven and bake 10-15 minutes until the frittata is firm all the way through. Enjoy!

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