How to Get Your Eating Back on Track

August 30, 2020

In a chaotic word (to say the least) many are struggling with keeping a healthy, balanced diet. Two nutritionists weigh in to share how to finally unlock your real motivation for health, and how success often follows that decision.

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LEAH: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I am Leah Kleinschrodt. I am a registered and licensed dietitian. And this morning I am here in studio with my colleague Shelby Olson, who is a licensed nutritionist. Today, we're going to share some ideas and thoughts about how you can get your eating back on track. It's a little bit different of a show than we usually talk about... it's not going to be so much about protein, carb, fat and those building blocks and things like that. It's going to be somewhat of like the mindset of how do we get our eating back on track, or how do we support our brains and support ourselves in making those healthy decisions long term. Perhaps you ARE on track and perhaps you are perfectly happy with how you're feeling and that is great. Unfortunately, for Shelby and I, those typically tend not to be the clients we're seeing a lot in our offices.

SHELBY: Right. Yup.

LEAH: So unfortunately many of you may be struggling and it could be for a variety of reasons. It could be the added stress from the pandemic or from all the social unrest or maybe you're having to make some hard decisions about the upcoming school year. So this morning we want to help you think about eating healthy, but in a different way. So Shelby, how about you start just delving into that idea... start picking that apart for us. Like what do we mean by healthy eating, but in a different way.

SHELBY: Leah, that is such a good place to start because I think for so many people, when they think healthy eating, they have visions of, you know, celery and broccoli and like that's the only sort of thing they eat. Or they're looking at a low calorie, low fat approach. And for most people there is that mindset of well, I'm going to be eating healthy and that means that I'm not going to have fat. You know, I'm not going to have any animal products. You know, people have a little bit of a misbelief around what healthy eating really is. And so Leah, you and I are really wanting to help the listeners understand that we are not asking for a short term fix. We are not advocating for a diet or even something that leaves you feeling deprived. And this was really fun... just Thursday evening, my last clients for the week... we were on a zoom call and I had a husband and a wife that are taking Nutrition 4 Weight Loss together. And the husband's in the background making dinner and the wife... I can see her and all of a sudden husband comes back around and he's got all of these questions. He's in front of the, the zoom call now. And he's thinking, but healthy eating... is this the sort of thing that can translate? You know, my wife and I are wanting to have better energy and lose weight. That's why they were taking Nutrition 4 Weight Loss, but they have two young kids. So they're trying to tweeze apart the details of what they learned as quote unquote, healthy eating in terms of low fat, low calorie. And they're trying to make these shifts for their family. And I think that's a really interesting place for a lot of people to start seeing that you can eat protein, you can eat eggs, you can eat meat, you can eat fish, you can eat beneficial fats. Like you can put butter on your vegetables. It's not just feeling like you're deprived or feeling like you have to, you know, sometimes people call it rabbit food. We're here just eating vegetables. But you know, as you, as you think about healthy eating in a different way, I think we definitely want to follow that up with what that looks like for us. And so maybe later in the show, we can give listeners a clear sense of what does healthy eating look like for real food nutritionists and dietitians? And how can we start to shift that for everyone regardless of what their goal may be.

LEAH: Yeah, absolutely. I think it always helps to hear just from other people's perspective or other people's own experiences. And so I think that would be a helpful thing to, like you said, follow up with towards the end of the show and knowing, I know for you, whenever I've seen your schedule, Shelby, it is jam packed all the time with clients and most of us and Nutritional Weight & Wellness are also very busy with clients. This is a busy time of year right now. But for us that means we need to prioritize that real food nutrition even more. So we try to focus on our own health goals and try not to let some of that busyness of life and some of the chaos that comes along with that, but that distract us too much. So today we want to discuss some of those important health goals of why we, and maybe some of you listeners, want to stay on a real food eating plan and not choose the easy route, the more processed food route. So, I want to just pose that question to the listeners really quick. Why do we personally choose to cook and stick with what we think of as an easy and quick approach to eating? And so, Shelby, why don't you tell me yours take on that.

SHELBY: Right. Right. So when I hear that, why do we personally choose to cook real food? I think that choice could be different for everyone listening. For you, I'm sure your motivation is really strong with your son and with you wanting to make sure you have enough energy to keep up with a sassy two year old.

LEAH: Yes, absolutely! Haha!

SHELBY: But I personally... I talk about my personal reasons... I eat real food because I grew up and I was a sick kid a lot. So I've kind of figured out that magic combination that doesn't contribute to recurrent sinus infections. That doesn't contribute to, you know, feeling like I'm always catching cold or flu. So Leah and I choose grass fed meat or wild caught fish, a variety of those vegetables cooked in healthy, natural fat. You know, it's simple. Eating meat, vegetables, good fat, best quality you can find. It sounds really simple, but don't let us fool you. It takes some planning, right? We've gotta be prepared.

LEAH: Yup. Absolutely. It's it's simple. And yet can be complex at the same time. It means that it does take effort to live in this healthy way.

SHELBY: Yep. And I tell, sorry to interrupt you, but I tell my clients, especially when this is a new approach for them, when eating real food is very new and maybe they don't have a lot of kitchen skills. I tell them, keep it simple.

LEAH: Yes.

SHELBY: You do not have to have a gourmet meal for it to be nutrient dense and nourishing.

LEAH: Yep. Nope. I love that. I tell my clients the same thing, like you said, when you're in the beginning and learning something new, it does take up like more of that brain real estate. It takes more effort. It's that learning curve right in the beginning and things do get smoother. It gets better the longer you practice it, but it still does...It takes more effort in the beginning. It gets better as the time goes by.

SHELBY: Like any skill. You have to learn a little bit, implement, learn a little bit more, and then kind of work it, make sure it fits YOUR lifestyle and your approach.

LEAH: Yep, absolutely. So Shelby, you alluded to just one of the reasons why I really prioritize and continue to eat real food year after year is that they're full of key nutrients that MY body needs, but they're also... it's also full of key nutrients that my son really needs. So I have a two year old at home. He just turned two the other week. And so the health of my baby and now toddler was a very motivating factor for me... I was already eating real food, but it gave me that extra leg up saying like, okay, I want to create a healthy human out of real food. So I really need to make this a huge priority for me. And I've read the research and the takeaway message for eating real food that's high in nutrients during pregnancy. I mean, those nutrients are linked to good brain development and a healthy birth weight in that infant and reduced risk of many different birth defects. A healthy, real food eating plan during pregnancy also reduces the risk of anemia for mom and also those rather unpleasant symptoms of really being very fatigued in that morning sickness for the mother to be in that first trimester time. So, and I am happy to say that I saw clients the day I went into labor. So like you can do, you can really use this real food eating and you can feel great. I mean, I was big and I felt it because I was pregnant at the end of August.

SHELBY: Right.

LEAH: But I was still feeling good overall and was still able to see my clients and do the counseling and teach classes right up until the end of my pregnancy.

SHELBY: You had the energy to do that, which to me says that you were eating right to think right. You were eating right to kind of get the things done in your day that you wanted to do.

LEAH: Yup.

SHELBY: Well and as long as we're talking about pregnancy, let me share a statement from Dr. Christiane Northrup's book, *Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom*. She wrote, "The common pathway that leads to nearly all pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, low birth weight, and prematurity is cellular inflammation." She went on to say that eating a low glycemic index diet, aka vegetables and real fats, that keeps blood sugar stable and insulin low, and it actually contains the protein, the essential fats, and the micronutrients in a plan that increases your chances of having a healthy pregnancy, which I think is so interesting. She also found that many women cannot tolerate the processed foods like gluten grains, the processed soy, the corn. And for some people... some women in particular, they cannot tolerate dairy.

LEAH: Well, so why don't you put a pin in that really quick, Shelby, we do have to take our first break and we'll come back circle back around to the whole pregnancy stuff. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Here's a bit of interesting news about the pandemic and people's stress levels. The prescriptions filled for anti-anxiety medication has increased more than 34% and antidepressant prescriptions increased by 18% in the past six months. New prescriptions filled for drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan while people were under COVID-19 stay at home orders went even higher to 38%. So when we come back from break, Shelby will share some supplements to help with anxiety that are natural and not addicting. And we'll be right back.

SHELBY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are experiencing high anxiety at this time, I would like to take a moment to offer up some natural anti-anxiety supplements and some lifestyle habits that can help reduce your anxiety. First, increase the amount of water you drink daily. I know it is not the most exciting habit, but when you think about how much of your brain, you know, 70 to 80% of your brain is made up of water. So it's pretty clear that we need water. We need to stay hydrated to keep that brain function up, right? Now another lifestyle habit that I know some of you are going to moan and groan about is sleeping at least seven and a half hours most nights. Although I'll have to be honest Leah, I feel so much better when I'm sleeping like eight to nine hours most nights.

LEAH: Yup, I'm right in the same boat with you.

SHELBY: Yes, yes. So, if you are having trouble sleeping, we've got lots of resources about that. Another thing that Leah and I would recommend would be avoiding sugar and even alcohol. I know alcohol is one of those things.... sometimes people are using as a pacifier to get them to sleep or to kind of bring that anxiety down. But what can happen is it can actually bite us a little bit later. Once that alcohol has kind of dropped our blood sugar too low, then we have more anxiety. Now there are some helpful supplements that I want to share with you this morning. But again, if you are someone who is dealing with anxiety, you're not going to have one tool in your tool belt that is always going to work for you. So just remember that we have lots of these ideas around anxiety and low moods, because we may need to use tools in different situations. So one supplement or one tool that I offer up to many of my clients is magnesium glycinate. Magnesium is that relaxation mineral, not only for the muscles, but also for the brain. So taking 600 to 800 milligrams of magnesium glycinate can help to relax your body and your brain. Now I personally take magnesium every night. My husband takes magnesium. We feel like everyone would benefit from taking magnesium.

LEAH: Yep. We're a magnesium household also.

SHELBY: You are, yeah!

LEAH: Yup.

SHELBY: Now the other one, Leah, and I know we've talked about l-theanine before. L-theanine is a supplement that's made from green tea. It can actually help to relax you and you won't feel kind of that fuzz or you won't feel that sense that you're medicated, you know, because l-theanine is naturally occurring, it works with your body. And I personally love l-theanine if I'm going into a situation where I may be more prone to kind of that social anxiety or, for example, if you're teaching a zoom class to 80 people and you're hoping technology goes correctly, then I'll take l-theanine. Just remember that's only going to stay in your system for about three hours. So you can safely take that and not feel like you're going to be addicted.

LEAH: Yup, I love l-theanine for when, if I'm doing, like, if I'm doing the radio show at 8:00 AM on Saturday mornings, or like you said, teaching classes... just those... the presentation stuff for me has always given me more anxiety and gets me all tight. So the l-theanine is super helpful for those situations and just getting you a little more relaxed and it lets your brain just kind of take a breath too. And then you can deliver that performance a little better.

SHELBY: Yeah, I actually had a client when I was first starting out. She said l-theanine was like magic for her because it totally... she would say it brought that elevator of anxiety down. And I thought that was really…

LEAH: Oh I love that!

SHELBY: Yeah, I thought that was a really powerful way to think about... we just got to bring that anxiety down so that we can function. Now, the last supplement that I'm going to speak about... this is actually called 5-HTP. 5-HTP is the building block for serotonin, right? Serotonin is our calming brain chemical. Our calming neurotransmitter. But I would just kind of throw in here, if you're someone who is already on a medication for anxiety or depression, you know, maybe you're taking an SSRI. If you're thinking about adding in 5-HTP, I would have you work with your doctor and/or your nutritionist just to kind of see if that's the best balance for you. Again, these are all tools and, you know, an SSRI is one tool that some people use. Understand that these are some of the ideas and places to start, but you may find that working directly with a nutritionist or a dietitian can help you with some other supplements or techniques. Really find the thing that is going to work best for you. That combination. Now, if you guys have any questions about any of the supplements that I just mentioned, feel free to give our offices a call (651) 699-3438 and we will happily get you some answers to your questions.

LEAH: Yeah. The front desk staff is always so helpful, so any questions whatsoever, give them a call this morning. So Shelby, before we went to break, you were just talking about some information from Dr. Christiane Northrup and how her ideas were that cellular inflammation was really at the root of a lot of pregnancy and birth related complications. And her recommendations were to keep a low glycemic index diet, which you mentioned like vegetables with those good fats. Those are really healthy and balance our blood sugars really well. And they also contain the essential fats, lots of micronutrients. These are the things that give you the best chance for having a healthy pregnancy. And I think I love what were saying there. And I really think just that pregnancy or the thought, or getting prepared for pregnancy is a wonderful time to really upgrade your nutrition. All things considered pregnancy or even thinking about becoming pregnant. So in those couple of months, leading up to pregnancy, that may be your motivation to get your nutrition on track.

SHELBY: What a powerful motivator.

LEAH: Yep. Absolutely. Creating, like I said, for me, just creating a baby made from real food, basically that was a huge motivator for me. So to make changes and to stick to a plan, we all need our own personal motivating factor. And it doesn't even have to be just one thing. You can have many different factors that really work together to give you that leg up or to give you that boost to say, "I want to make these changes to eat real food". And from working with hundreds of clients, just weight loss, what we tend to see is just weight loss alone as a goal is typically not strong enough by itself. And I find this so interesting because so often people are told that everything will get better if they just lost the weight.

SHELBY: Right. Right. And they use that terminology. "I need to lose THE weight."

LEAH: Yep.

SHELBY: So when you say a weight loss goal on its own is typically not strong enough, what would be some of the other personal motivating factors besides pregnancy, besides cooking real foods for your family? Some of the personal motivating factors that are really strong for my clients: getting out of pain.

LEAH: Yes. Pain is huge.

SHELBY: Pain is a huge motivator. Another big one is having enough energy to do the things that we want to do. And I think as, as we're kind of talking about getting back on track, I think we definitely want to look more at what these motivating factors are.

LEAH: Yup, absolutely. So let's talk about that On the other side of break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you have not yet taken advantage of our special $10 for each online class, you may want to do it before the end of August, which is in about two days. Any individual online class is available for you for just $10.

SHELBY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before I forget, I want to bring your attention to next week's Dishing Up Nutrition show and podcast. We have a star studded lineup with special guest Greg Peterson, who I always love to hear talking about real food nutrition. And we have our very own Cassie Weness and Darlene Kvist. They will be sharing important information about prostate health and prostate cancer. I also want to encourage you to sign up for one or several of the online classes that Leah had mentioned before break. As she had mentioned, those are individual classes and they are currently discounted to $10 through the end of August. So you've got a few days to get those. You don't have to watch them by the end of August, but you know, actually....

LEAH: Purchase them.

SHELBY: Yeah, give the office a call or go online. You know, some of the classes that you may be interested in: *Getting a Good Night's Sleep*. That would be a really fabulous one. I am a little biased about the immune booty, excuse me, *Immune Building Foods and Nutrients* because I teach that online class.

LEAH: Oh awesome!

SHELBY: So I personally think it's great, but you let us know what you think. The other one that you might be interested in is *Good Foods for Good Moods*. All of these classes are important right now when you're going through stress. If you want to check those out, we've got some other class topics at or you can call the office at (651) 699-3438. I think this is a really great way, Leah, for our podcast listeners to get a sense of what it's like to work with real food nutritionist. Get some of these ideas that we elaborate on in our online classes.

LEAH: Yep. Well, like you mentioned before, shall be it's that learning process is you learn a little bit, then you put that into practice, so maybe listeners have taken some things away from the podcast. They're implementing them. Now this is another step they can take to learn a little more, implement that, and just continue that learning process.

SHELBY: Exactly. Now, before we went to break, we were talking about what that personal motivating factor could be. And you know, some people, they really think they, they want to lose weight, but we want to dig a little bit deeper. And often I ask people the question, "what needs to change for you to feel like these changes to your nutrition, your lifestyle is worth it?" And sometimes that's energy. Sometimes that's, you know, getting rid of aches and pains. Sometimes that's having better digestion, but for those of you who feel like you need to lose weight, or maybe you've been told by your doctor that you need to lose weight, it seems like the emphasis on losing weight kind of clouds our judgment. And what I mean by that is it's almost like we've been programmed to think that that diets are a short term solution. And so we get really excited about maybe a 30 day diet or, you know, maybe doing something for a couple of weeks and that's maybe enough to help us make some short term changes. But what we are talking about this morning is really shifting that mindset to be able to make these changes stick.

LEAH: Yes.

SHELBY: And interestingly enough, Leah, I don't know if you experienced that or this same thing in counseling, but for the women that I've worked with that have been chronic dieters, they're always kind of looking at where they can push the envelope. And what I mean by that is they say, "well, Shelby, can I eat this? Am I allowed to eat this?" And I kind of, I challenge them on this because I sometimes say, well, you know, this isn't a diet. You get to make these choices, but it's almost like they want to know where the line is so that they can almost, I'm doing air quotes kind of cheat. Or sometimes they say, well, I do really well Monday through Saturday, but then Sunday I have a cheat day where I eat whatever I want, but what does that do to us mentally? When we say that we're quote unquote cheating, like who are we cheating? We're not cheating anyone but ourselves.

LEAH: Correct.

SHELBY: And we're really creating more of that stress on our immune system. So, you know, as we kind of work backwards here, one of the things that I would encourage you listeners to think about, and maybe you even write this down, but what is your motivating factor for making changes? And when we're talking about making changes to your nutrition, what would you be willing to change to see that shift in how you feel? Maybe you're someone who's dealing with a lot of cravings: intense sugar cravings or cravings for soda. Having a cheat day is only going to make those cravings more challenging to deal with Monday through Saturday. And so I bring that up and I'm sure you've had similar experiences, Leah, when working with people. But I bring that up because I want listeners to be thinking about: how can I be making shifts that last? Not just this week, this month, this year, but how can I have that lifestyle shift, not only for losing weight, but for feeling good, for having energy, for getting rid of aches and pains, for sleeping well, for keeping your immune system strong. Those are really motivating things. Before we move on to another motivating reason to eat a real food eating plan, I want to share what many studies have shown. Women who at the time of conception had the lowest levels of vitamin B12 had up to a five times greater risk of having a child with a neural tube defect compared to women with the highest levels of vitamin B12. Now, neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain, the spine, or the spinal cord, and a common neural tube defect that you may have heard of is called spina bifida. So when we look at foods that are high in vitamin B12, we are focusing on meat. And really nutrient dense animal proteins. Things like beef, liver, chicken. We actually need to eat a sufficient amount of animal protein, like the grass fed beef or the organic chicken to have sufficient B12. Now, of course, supplementation with B12 could be a helpful option for those of you who are wanting to become pregnant, or maybe you are already pregnant, that's often found in those prenatal supplements.

LEAH: Yep, absolutely. But yes, always food first focusing on those animal proteins: liver, like you said is such a powerhouse food for so many different nutrients. So anyway, if you are willing to get in some of those organ meets also is awesome.

SHELBY: So Leah, just before we move on, I want to give listeners one of my tips tricks. My husband has actually what time....Yeah, he is probably picking up our, our meat from the farm. And one of the things that I ordered this week from our farmer is organic chicken livers. And I just want to tell listeners, if you're kind of scared of liver, grind it up when you're making meatloaf or breakfast sausage patties or meatballs or something like that. That's actually.. I mix chicken livers with beef, ground beef, or ground chicken when I'm making one of those meals and it doesn't even taste scary. It doesn't even taste like I'm, I'm eating liver. But that's the tip.

LEAH: Yup. And that's what I do too. It's it's, for me, it is a taste thing, so mixing it in and it doesn't even have to be a large amount. You can put in however much you're willing to, because it is so nutrient dense, you get a big bang for your buck there. Yeah. So when my clients who have health problems and they start switching over to eating that real food plan, I find that those clients, the ones who do have some of those underlying health problems, chronic conditions, tend to stick with it much better than those who again they come in and, to no fault of their own, want to lose just a few pounds and get into that special dress, get ready for that reunion, whatever the case may be. But what we are seeing in our clients more and more are serious inflammation problems. So basically like your little cells, all those little cells in your body are just kind of on fire. Oftentimes this generalized inflammation, it's hard to see, but it starts showing up with some of these symptoms that a lot of us attribute to the aging process or old injuries cropping up and things like that. So like Shelby has mentioned a few times now, if you have some of that joint or muscle pain or you're always tired or maybe you have some kind of digestion problems, so this could be cramping, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, reflux, indigestion, any of those things, you have generalized inflammation. Now generalized inflammation is different than if you were to sprain your ankle or whack your thumb with a hammer. That ankle or that thumb, it swells up. That is inflammation, but that's inflammation just localized to one area, to that injured body part. When we're talking about inflammation or generalized inflammation, we're talking the fancy term is systemic inflammation. And that just means system wide. It means that whole system has a lot of inflammation going on. And when it's system-wide, that means that then it can touch any part of your body from your brain to your joints to your digestion all the way down to your toes.

SHELBY: Right. Right. And that's interesting because when we think of inflammation and I asked that question: "do you have inflammation in your body?" I don't think people are always making that connection to system-wide inflammation. Now, if weight loss IS something that you're focusing on, I want to bring you some more information about inflammation and its connection to weight. Now, this study was published in the Journal of Obesity in June of 2017. And this... the information may surprise you. It found that an inflammatory diet, something that would be processed foods, high in those refined grains, high in those vegetable oils like corn or soybean or cotton seed oil or even canola oil, that inflammatory diet was directly associated with carrying excess weight and even becoming overweight or obese. And they were looking at subjects that came into the study with a normal or a healthy weight. And they found that the higher the inflammatory diet, the more they gained weight, which really goes to show when you're eating inflammatory foods, that could be the root cause of you gaining more weight. It's not eating more calories. It's, you know, you, you're not going to change that by exercising more. We want to focus on reducing that inflammation. So, tell us more about inflammation, Leah.

LEAH: Yeah. Well, and I think I will...let's bring that back that point on the other side of break.

SHELBY: Oh, here we are.

LEAH: Yeah, here we are, again. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And if you live in our state of Minnesota or maybe you live in Oregon, Utah, New York, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, or South Africa, in any state or any country around the globe, you can still work with one of us at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, either by phone or zoom video appointments. All of our appointments are currently scheduled as a phone or a zoom video appointment in light of COVID. Even if you only live two blocks away from one of our offices, we're still doing all of our appointments virtually. And also check with your health insurance company because your appointments may be covered as more and more insurance companies are covering a number of appointments for health related concerns. So if you have questions about that, you can call our office at (651)-699-3438 to learn more about maybe some of the insurance stuff or to schedule your appointment with one of our dietitians or nutritionists. You can also go to

SHELBY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm going to share another reason you may want to get back on track with healthy eating: diabetes or high blood sugar levels have been found to be a risk factor tied to COVID-19, according to a report from John Hopkins University. Now they reported that people with obesity or with a BMI, which is body mass index, of 30 or more are at a greater risk for COVID-19. Now this may be the push as you're thinking about that motivation. This may be that push to help you lower your blood sugar numbers. And when you lower your blood sugar numbers and get that insulin down, guess what, you can start to lose weight.

LEAH: Funny how that works.

SHELBY: Yes! So if you need help getting your blood sugar under control, give us a call at (651) 699-3438 to set up an appointment and we can help you get back on track with your eating. Now, Leah, before we get back into some of our topic, I just wanted to share. There's an article that I read that I had sent to you actually that I think we're not going to have time to talk about it today, but listeners, I want you to check it out. It is an article from Don Layman who is a really well known researcher at the University of Illinois. He is actually a professor of food science and human nutrition. And his article is titled *How Defeating Coronavirus Starts at the Dinner Table*.

LEAH: I love that title.

SHELBY: I do too! So it's a really good read, you know, it's a few few pages, but check it out. Listeners, Don Layman, *How Defeating Coronavirus Starts at the Dinner Table*. Spoiler alert: he talks about how important real food like protein, vegetables, good fat. So it's nice when other professionals... Their ideas are aligning with what we're talking about on Dishing Up Nutrition.

LEAH: Absolutely.

SHELBY: Protecting your immune system.

LEAH: Yup, absolutely. Yeah. Great, great article. Thanks for bringing that up, Shelby. And so as we're diving into the last segment of our show here, even before break Shelby, I thought really made a very interesting point and one that I don't think gets a lot of attention in that an inflammatory diet, and really it's that inflammation process, is a big driver in weight gain for most people. It's not usually the other way around, like what most people think of like, oh, I put on weight NOW I have a lot of inflammation. It's really weight is a symptom of this already ongoing inflammation that's already going on in our body. So it's just another symptom, just like things like tense and painful muscles or achy joints. All of these are signs that you no doubt have inflammation going on. And I say most of our clients come in already knowing that exercising more and eating less in the short term and what really in the long term just does not work out. So perhaps your motivation for following a real food anti-inflammatory diet is that you are tired of being tired and you have brain fog just like your brain is moving through quicksand all the time.

LEAH: Right! Or perhaps that motivation to follow a real food anti-inflammatory diet is you are experiencing those painful muscles and joints.

LEAH: Or perhaps your motivation to follow a real food plan is to help with your memory and your moods.

SHELBY: That's another symptom. That's another sign that you have inflammation in your body. Or perhaps another sign of inflammation, you know, one of those motivating factors for eating real food that maybe that body sign is acne or eczema or a blotchy red face. That's motivating when you start to think about eating an antiinflammatory real food diet... bringing that inflammation of the skin down.

LEAH: Yeah. So each person has their own unique reason to follow a real food anti-inflammatory diet. I'll say to my clients inflammation shows up differently for everybody. So, you know paying attention to your body, how that inflammation shows up for you. Another example of inflammation that can affect your health, thinking about brain health especially, the World Health Organization indicated that depression is the leading cause of disability. They also reported, I thought this was really interesting, that 30 to 60% of patients are NOT benefiting from antidepressant medications. An interesting study from 2015 found that markers of inflammation are elevated in people who suffer from depression compared to those who are not depressed or to who do not have depression. And there was a study, oh, just a while back about twins. So human twins also found that the twin who had a higher CRP, which that's C-Reactive Protein, it's a blood test that you can get at your doctor's office. It's a measure of inflammation in the body. So the twin who had higher CRP levels were more likely to develop depression five years down the road.

SHELBY: Right. So as we think about inflammation, listeners, I want you to be thinking about where inflammation is showing up for you. Are there any indications that your body is giving you? Do you lack energy? Do you fatigued all the time? Do you have trouble with memories, moods? Even some digestive complaints can be linked to inflammation. So I just want to give you a snapshot of how a nutritionist or dietitian would look at those causes of higher levels of inflammation in the body. Maybe you're short on time, you zip through fast food, or maybe you stop the deli and pick up dinner. Those oils that they're using, the refined vegetable oils, corn soybean, cotton seed, canola, those oils are inflammatory. They block the anti-inflammatory message coming to your cells. So it's kind of like those fats. If you could actively avoid those processed vegetable oils, that would be one action step to be able to bring down that inflammation. Now, if you eat fast food once a month or once a year, probably not a big contributor, but as you start to look at those behaviors over time, we see fast food and processed foods are a huge driver of inflammation in our food system. So eating real food is very important. Now, for many people, we've got to dig a little bit deeper and look at some of the action steps. Look at some of those motivation or some of the motivation that people have to follow through on these ideas, right? Knowledge is great, but knowledge has to be implemented. So for most people, sugar increases those cravings and inflammation. Gluten grains increases cravings and inflammation. I had mentioned those manufactured, refined vegetable oils, those increase cravings and inflammation. Really hard to lose weight, it's really hard to feel good throughout the day, if you're craving processed foods and sugar and you have more inflammation. For most people, that extra weight that they are carrying is because they have too much inflammation in their body. So important. So stay on track by eating real food. Things that you buy at the grocery store, that is your answer to less inflammation, better health, and that enhanced quality of life.

LEAH: Absolutely.

SHELBY: So important.

LEAH: All great points. And those are great action steps, Shelby, that people can start taking away and practicing today. So our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message that eating real food is life changing. So thank you for joining us today. Be well and be safe.

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