Understanding Your Thyroid

May 31, 2021

What is a thyroid? What does a thyroid do? How can I support my thyroid? Listen in as two nutritionists talk about the function of the thyroid in our bodies and what you can do to take care of it. You'll also hear from a chef who has some great recipe ideas that support your thyroid function.

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TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I am Teresa Wagner. I am a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And today our topic is about the thyroid. Did you know that three quarters or 75% of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese? And with those statistics, it makes sense that I have many clients with a goal to lose weight. And of course they want to lose it fast. When weight loss is slow, we want a reason. Oftentimes in counseling, questions about the thyroid come up. They may ask, “Do I have a thyroid problem?” Or “Is my weight loss slow because of my thyroid?” Today, we want to address how a dysfunctional thyroid can be the cause of a slow metabolism and why it seems impossible to lose weight. However, what if it isn't all about your thyroid? What are other reasons for slow weight loss? You may have a number of questions and we may have answers for you. Joining me is Elizabeth Leppart, who is a Licensed Nutritionist with a master's degree in clinical nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. You may have already met Elizabeth hosting our Nutrition for Weight Loss Facebook community discussion page, where she shares recipes. She answers questions, and she helps keep people motivated. I love watching her lives. They're filled with great ideas. I think people that think that we as nutritionists and dietitians, that this is all easy for us, but we look to each other and we look to our clients, actually, for motivation and inspiration to keep us on track as well. So welcome to the show, Elizabeth.


ELIZABETH: Thanks Teresa, and good morning to all of our listeners this morning. Looking at the thyroid in depth is not new to me or Teresa. We've actually both spent a lot of time researching and writing out information about the thyroid for our clients and actually made a new handout for our fellow Nutritional Weight and Wellness dietitians and nutritionists. And this explains key points about what the thyroid needs nutritionally to function well, and what happens when your thyroid lacks nutrients.


TERESA: Yes. And if we think about it, your brain needs key nutrients to maintain your memory. Your heart needs key nutrients to function well. And your thyroid, it also needs nutrients to support your energy and metabolism. We need to feed our brain. We need to feed our heart and we need to feed our thyroid key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Elizabeth and I will dive into that a little more later. And we have also asked Marianne, our culinary nutrition educator to stop by the show today to share a recipe that can help feed your thyroid. But before we do that, Elizabeth and I want to talk about everyday habits that can slow down weight loss.


ELIZABETH: That's right. Actually processed food companies add salt and sugar to their food products and remove the fiber and nutrients. So this way we'll keep eating more because without the fiber and nutrients, we're never really satisfied. Later, Marianne will share a real food recipe of grilled steak with chimichurri sauce. Would you have ever thought that steak would be supportive to the thyroid?


TERESA: Well, I think you and I would think that, but I don't know that in general, that's what the thought is that “Well, I'm having this lovely steak. It's supporting my thyroid.” I want to share some other possible reasons why we're just finding it so difficult to lose the weight. Did you know that when rabbits are fed food with sugar or salt, they often eat twice as much food than if there wasn't sugar or salt added? Most processed foods have either sugar or salt or maybe even both added to the food. Here's a “Did you know?” from Dr. Johanna Budwig, a famous nutritionist. She found that when they added partially hydrogenated oil to food, both humans and animals ate up to six times more food. Thank goodness that those partially hydrogenated oils were banned from our food use in 2018. And while those are banned, I am sure that you have noticed that most processed foods contain refined, damaged man-made fats. Many of these processed foods have soybean oil listed as one of the first ingredients on the label, which is one of those refined damaged fats. And when you eat damaged fats, they damage you.


ELIZABETH: So what you're saying is that perhaps the high rate of obesity in the U.S. relates maybe not so much to low thyroid function as it does to all the damaged refined fats, excess salt, excess sugar, excess additives, such as MSG. Okay, I have one more “Did you know”? Animals which are fed foods containing MSG when they're young grow up to become obese animals, and they're fed this on purpose to plump them up.


TERESA: Yeah. It's so interesting that, you know, MSG, it just kind of tickles the brain in the right way in order to make you want to eat more. There's a certain brand of pretzels that is hot right now. And I had to take a look at the label after one of my friends told me that she was addicted to them. Sure enough, what gives that pretzel that addictive quality? MSG. So we also know, and we understand that low thyroid function can play a role in having difficulties in losing weight. You know, our thyroid really is our metabolism regulator. And as dietitians and nutritionists, we not only look at your thyroid function, but at all aspects of your eating and health to find a plan to help you lose weight. Now let's move on to knowing and understanding the role that the thyroid plays in your health and metabolism.


ELIZABETH: Right. So we might think of an underactive thyroid as causing low energy. And that's because the thyroid does play a large part in the amount of energy we have. So getting back to some anatomy here. The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland in the front of the neck and can become inflamed and swell in size. The swelling of the thyroid can have several different reasons, including most commonly Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also Graves' disease, even iodine deficiency, which can lead to a goiter. So in centuries, past, we might've heard of goiters more often. So what might've caused that back then? Well, an iodine deficiency is the common cause of development of a goiter. So when iodine was added to our salt, fewer people then developed goiters. The thyroid hormone, thyroxine, is actually made up of 64% iodine. So we need that iodine in our foods, thus the need for that iodized salt. However, there are certain foods that increase the risk of developing goiters, resulting in poor functioning thyroid. And these foods are actually some of our favorite health foods, mostly in the cruciferous veggie family. So think cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale. So these nutrient powerhouse foods that we often encourage for a healthy diet can actually, if eaten in excessive amounts, cause harm for some people. Another food that's linked to thyroid dysfunction and is a food, we strongly encourage people to avoid as much as possible is soy. If you have a family history of thyroid problems and are concerned about your thyroid health, we recommend that you shy away from using these soy products like soy milk, soy burgers, soy protein isolate in protein powders and protein bars, or really any food containing soy. So soy also has been found to be estrogenic and has the potential to even increase cancer risk.


TERESA: Yeah, so it doesn't sound like soy is something that we should be eating too often, right? And we often caution people away from using soy. And we also say, let's just look at how much iodine is in some of the supplements that you're taking. So oftentimes when people have a thyroid issue, they look to the nutrients that are thyroid supportive and decide to start supplementing with iodine. That can cause a problem with the thyroid. So what we want to do is really look more towards natural food sources of iodine, such as iodized salt. When I have clients that come in and they have a thyroid issue, that is one of the questions that I ask them too, is are you using sea salt? And if they are, I ask them, is your salt iodized? Because unknowingly, they might not be, they might not be getting enough iodine in their diet because really salt is probably the number one place that we get iodine in our diet. Another place that we can get some natural iodine is from kelp or from eating seafood. And those are great places to get your iodine. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today, we are sharing some basic information about keeping your thyroid healthy.




ELIZABETH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you think about it, practicing good nutrition, so taking time to eat, shopping for real food, preparing and cooking at home, these are all habits of self care. So how are you doing with your self-care? We can help you develop habits of self-care and actually practice them so you can overcome your health challenges. To set up an appointment, call (651) 699-3438, or go online to weightandwellness.com to make your appointment.


TERESA: You know, before we were, we went to break here, we were talking about cruciferous vegetables and how they have an effect on our thyroid. Well, that's eating too many of those cruciferous vegetables, which can be a problem. I want to share a client story with you about Brussels sprouts. One of my past clients who was trying to control her diet and weight, she decided that she would eat Brussels sprouts for dinner most nights, because well, Brussels sprouts are high in fiber and low in calories. It just makes sense. Right? And I thought that she was just eating, you know, a cup of Brussels sprouts, but then she started having thyroid issues. When I questioned her about the amount of Brussels sprouts she was actually eating, I discovered that she was eating two bags of Brussels sprouts every night, the equivalent of over six cups, every single night. After a few months, she developed a deficiency of iodine from eating that excessive amount of Brussels sprouts day after day. You know, cruciferous vegetables, they contain compounds called goitrogens, which they can disrupt the uptake of iodine to the thyroid. So with this client, it taught me an important lesson. I needed to learn to ask my clients the quantity of foods that they are eating. Now for you, if cruciferous vegetables, aren't your favorite, this is not to discourage you from eating these veggies. Rather, include them along with a variety of other types of vegetables. It's not an excuse to skip them, because problems with cruciferous vegetables in the thyroid are relatively rare. So we just want to keep that in mind that cruciferous vegetables are good. We are not discouraging you from having them, but eating, you know, six cups with a meal or even, you know, juicing is really popular too. And if we're juicing lots and lots of kale, because it's really easy to juice down, that can cause a problem with a thyroid. So have some with your meals, but not be excessive, just like lots of things in life, right? I mean, too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing.


ELIZABETH: Right; right. Well, and most often we're encouraging people to eat more veggies. So we don't want to discourage you by, by not eating your Brussels sprouts. So this was kind of a rare case, but now let's dive deeper into the understanding how low thyroid function, which is often called hypothyroidism. 90% of all hypothyroidism or low functioning thyroid problems is caused by an autoimmune disorder. So Hashimoto's thyroiditis is what we see most often with this. This might be new information, but Hashimoto's is actually the most common out of all autoimmune diseases. The thyroid gland becomes inflamed and dysfunctional. So it's helpful to be tested for thyroid antibodies to determine the level of inflammation of your thyroid. So we encourage clients if we suspect that their symptoms might be caused by an underactive thyroid to ask for a thyroid antibody test.


TERESA: Right. We do that. And you know, sometimes you're like, well, “What specifically do I ask for?” Certainly your, your doctor will likely know that when you asked for thyroid antibody tests, what to run, but if you want the specific name, thyroid peroxidase is one of the tests. And so is the TgAb test. So those both tests for the thyroid antibodies. Well, you might be wondering “How does the thyroid become inflamed anyway?” Certain foods, environmental toxins, can cause the thyroid gland to become inflamed. Foods containing gluten and certain food additives can cause inflammation. Other inflammatory sources are environmental toxins. These environmental toxins can be chemicals such as BPA found in plastics. It can be glyphosate, a chemical found in pesticides. Another way that your, your thyroid can become inflamed is with ongoing infections, such as Lyme disease, which can result in an inflamed thyroid that no longer supports that metabolism and then can cause weight gain. As you just heard, as I was just talking about, there are many different reasons for a low functioning thyroid.


ELIZABETH: So what are some other determinants that can interfere with a good thyroid health? As a nutritionist, I want to share some nutritional factors that can influence thyroid. Some of these include a poor diet, so that low fat starvation type diet, man-made fats, sugar, processed carbs, all part of the standard American diet or what we call the SAD diet. Other causes might be eating inflammatory foods, especially gluten grains. And we so often see that correlation to hypothyroidism and a gluten sensitivity. Sugar; being exposed to environmental toxins. Additionally, lifestyle factors like long-term chronic stress, lack of sleep, excess estrogen from hormone replacement therapy or hormone birth control for long periods of time. These can all interfere with good thyroid health. So the truth of the matter is all these can be damaging to the thyroid.


TERESA: Right. And when people want to lose weight, too often they cut calories and they cut out eating good fats, which results in having an incomplete diet. To have a well-functioning thyroid, it is necessary to fuel the thyroid with key nutrients from a real food diet. You cannot out supplement or out medicate a poor diet. And sometimes we forget that good nutrition helps our medications work better.


ELIZABETH: What does the thyroid actually need to function well? Well, it's necessary to eat animal protein, 10 to 14 ounces of meat or fish to be exact. You also need four to six cups of vegetables each day, and about seven tablespoons of natural fat like butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil. And don't forget that eight to 10 glasses of filtered water as well.


TERESA: Yeah. So, okay. All those numbers sound great, but what does that actually look like in a day? So what do you do for say, breakfast? How can we start to get that protein in, in the morning?


ELIZABETH: Right. So one of the recipes I like to make from our website is called the Fast Frittata. So of course it's got eggs. You can throw in a nitrate-free sausage for extra protein. The healthy fat is heavy cream or for dairy sensitive people like me, you can use coconut milk. And then lots of veggies. So this recipe calls for greens, but honestly, I like to use up whatever veggies are going bad in my fridge. It's a great way to use up those excess veggies and not waste them like we often tend to do. So that would be an example for my breakfast.


TERESA: Yeah. That sounds great. And I love, yeah, use that stuff up, right? Cause we spent so much money on our food. Right? Especially when you buy those organic. Yeah. It's just a shame to throw them away. Yeah. And then as I'm thinking of lunch, you know, we really want to continue with getting that protein, that fat and those vegetables at lunch. So one of the recipes that I really like and have been experimenting or playing around with lately is the mango chicken salad. I love the regular chicken salad with the grapes, but the Mango Chicken Salad is just a fun spin on our chicken salad recipe. So you're getting good quality protein in that chicken in that salad. And then there's mango salsa in it. And I really just like to with everything I do, I try to make it fast. And so I like to buy the mango salsa that you can find in the produce section that's pre-made for you. So you can just mix that mango salsa in with the chicken. And then we have our healthy fat as the mayo. And we really recommend people buy mayos that use healthy oils in them. And my favorite healthy mayo are basically the ones that use avocado oil as the only oil for that, for the, for the oil in that mayo. So we have our chicken, we have the mango, we have some red bell pepper that comes a lot of times in those, in those salsas. We have mayo for the fat. I don't know if I already said that. And then I like to put it on a bed of greens and just that really ups the nutrient profile by having that bed of greens rather than putting it on a piece of bread. And it's just a really lovely filling light and fresh lunch.


ELIZABETH: Yeah. I've made it before too. And it, it not only tastes great, but it looks really pretty too with all those different bright colors. So it's really fun. So for dinner, I like to kind of make things easy, and I'm a big fan of a one sheet meals. So kind of tossing on maybe a filet of salmon, some roasted asparagus or, you know, bell peppers, onions, whatever kind of veggies you prefer, throw that all on one sheet pan and dinner really couldn't be easier than that. So there's my protein, my veggie, and for the healthy fat, I love to roast my veggies in avocado’s probably my favorite; avocado oil, or you could use butter as well, kind of whatever natural oil you prefer. So that's kind of my dinner go-to.


TERESA: Well, that sounds great.




TERESA: You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and we are discussing the health of your thyroid. I thought I would share some symptoms of low thyroid function. Constipation is one symptom. Depression is another as well as hair loss and thin brittle nails; elevated cholesterol numbers are also signs of low thyroid function. Some of you may not know this, but your thyroid influences your metabolism and weight control. To function properly your thyroid needs to have a wide range of key nutrients. Stay tuned as we will be sharing what important nutrients you should include in your diet.




ELIZABETH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Perhaps you suspect your thyroid needs more nutritional support because you're cold all the time. You're gaining unexplained weight. You're having memory issues; feeling tired all the time. Your hair is falling out. You have brain fog or maybe all of the above. Maybe you're even on a thyroid medication, but you're still having many symptoms. Is it time to set up an appointment with a Nutritional Weight and Wellness dietitian or nutritionist to have an eating plan that supports your thyroid health? Appointments are available either by phone or via Zoom format. Give us a call at (651) 699-3438, and we will gladly set up an appointment for you. We've asked Marianne, our culinary nutrition expert, to share some kitchen tips that would give your thyroid the nutrients it requires to function well.


MARIANNE: Well, thanks ladies. Thanks for inviting me today. And since the weather is warming up, I like to fire up the grill. But certainly you can do the recipes we're going to talk about on a hot skillet, like cast iron, if you have one. So I'm going to talk about our Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, which you can find on the website, weightandwellness.com. And we'll talk about some simple grilled vegetables. So I try and buy 100% grass fed beef, hopefully from a local farmer. You can go to the farmer's market and you can usually find some good meat there. It contains more omega-3 fatty acids and the animal is able to take in all of those micronutrients, the sunshine kissed grass, which of course we humans cannot eat, and they convert it into meat.


TERESA: You paint such a lovely picture, Marianne. I just love listening to you talk about food. Ah, well you might be thinking, why is steak in this recipe good for the thyroid? Well, this protein is broken down or digested into amino acids and it is very high in the amino acid, tyrosine. Tyrosine is the building block of thyroxine. Thyroxine is your T4 hormone. And it is made in our thyroid gland. Meat or the amino acids are the building blocks of T4. So it's important that we have good sources of protein in our diet.


MARIANNE: Fantastic. Well, yeah, so I'm going to be using flank steak in this recipe, and you could also use skirt steak. But both are sort of a thinner cut of meat. And it's going to take a little bit of the flavor from our simple marinade of garlic, avocado oil, some balsamic vinegar, and a little Dijon mustard. And Elizabeth, what are the other nutrients in steak that are important for thyroid health?


ELIZABETH: Right. If you were to look up what's in beef, you might be surprised that it contains many nutrients our thyroid needs. So it contains vitamin B12 or our energy vitamin. It's also a great source of B6 or niacin, which is yet another B vitamin. But our thyroid also needs minerals that beef provides such as zinc, selenium, phosphorus, and iron.


MARIANNE: Yummy. Well, along with our steak, I like to grill some zucchini and onions. So grilling brings out the sweetness of those onions and it's a nice counterbalance to the acidity of that chimichurri sauce. And of course the humble onion also contains key nutrients for our thyroid. There's vitamin C, vitamin B9, B6 and potassium.


TERESA: Yeah, it's just, it's just sounds lovely. And when you have hypothyroid, it is recommended to have more fiber in your diet, because if we think about some of the symptoms of thyroid, one of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism is constipation. Because when your thyroid isn't working correctly, everything slows down. And digestion is a part of that slowing down. And when our digestion slows down, constipation can happen. And so we want to have good sources of fiber like zucchini to, to offset maybe some of that. And zucchini is also packed with key nutrients for the thyroid.


MARIANNE: Perfect; all those great nutrients. Well, here's what I like to do with my zucchini. So I cut it long ways, sort of in half inch strips because there is nothing worse than losing some vegetables between the grades of that grill. So you're going to have nice, long, thick pieces that you save from that fate. And then they're going to be nice and crisp tender. And I'm excited to hear about all those thyroid nutrients in zucchini, because it is one of my favorites and it's fantastic in the summer. And you can also make them into “zoodles”. You can peel them into ribbons. I like to add them to salads. So they're an incredibly versatile vegetable.


ELIZABETH: Mmhm. And another nutrition pointer: this recipe also has both garlic and onions, which contain sulfur compounds. These are important for thyroid hormone production because it supports the liver and the liver is where most of our T4 in the body is converted to the usable T3.


MARIANNE: Absolutely. And the garlic is in both the marinade and the chimichurri, which is a tangy herbaceous steak sauce that originates from Argentina. And it's packed with lots of really fresh, lovely green parsley and will be delicious spooned over the vegetables and the steak. And if you'd like more fun cooking tips, I hope you're going to join me for the Weight and Wellness cooking classes, right in my kitchen. We feature different themes each month and we do seasonal cooking for lots of variety. And these classes are available to you in the comfort of your very own home, via Zoom, so making it easy to try all those new recipes. And you can sign up for the cooking classes online at weightandwellness.com or call our office at (651) 699-3438.


TERESA: You know, and I think people are going to love your classes too, because you have all these helpful hints that, you know, oftentimes we don't know. So as nutritionists and dietitians, we know some of the nutrients in food and we know some of the science behind food, but we don't know the culinary aspects of different things. And I remember so vividly when I was on a walk, listening to one of the shows that you did with Dar, and you talked about how, when you mince garlic or you need it for a recipe that you should mince it ahead of time so it has time to breathe or something. And what was it that, that was important for? What happens to the garlic when you give it time?


MARIANNE: So it actually releases, you, you need, there's an enzymatic process where it releases a compound called allicin. And you have to give your garlic just a little bit of time, so about 10 minutes before you add it to the heat. And that way you will allow that compound to be bioavailable and you'll have all that, that heart healthy compound ready and waiting for you to take in with your food.


TERESA: Yeah and that allicin, I'm pretty sure that that allicin, that that's the, that's the thing in garlic that's, you know, health promoting. Right?


MARIANNE: Exactly. Yeah.


TERESA: So that's the thing that we, we need to give it some time. So now you're always in my head when I'm cooking, because last night I made something with garlic and I was like, oh, I got to get my garlic press. I got to get the garlic first. I got to let it set first. So those are the kinds of tips that you'll get from Marianne that you may not get from your nutritionist or from a dietitian. So those classes are awesome. You know, another thing that's in that recipe that she talked about was parsley. And parsley is actually great for digestion. That's why it's set on your plate I believe. And Marianne, you can verify that if this is true too, that parsley is great for helping you break down your foods. So that little sprig of parsley that you get on your plate when you're at the restaurant can help with being a part of that digestive process. Do you know any more about why that's there? Is it more of a bitter and stimulating bile production? Is that what it does?


MARIANNE: I believe it is. And it's usually, usually it's with curly leaf parsley, but I believe you can do Italian flat leaf parsley as well. So that does, the bitter compounds start to get your, your juices flowing, so to speak and it helps with digestion.


TERESA: Yeah. So either eat that first to stimulate digestion or eat it at the end to freshen your breath. Yeah. But don't leave it; don't leave it on the plate.


ELIZABETH: It’s not just to look pretty like we always thought.


TERESA: Yeah, that's right. It has a purpose. And parsley, actually, if you eat it in a higher quantity, it's got great detoxification properties to it too. And foods that have detoxification properties to them, they are great for your liver. And like Elizabeth had said earlier, that's where T4 is converted into T3. So having a really good functioning liver by eating, you know, foods that are naturally detoxifying of the liver like parsley, we are eating foods that are thyroid supportive. All right, so it is time for our third break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Here is a quick recap of what could be interfering with your thyroid health. First of all, a poor diet. Maybe it's a low fat, low calorie starvation type diet. Could it be lack of protein in your diet? Or maybe it's eating refined man-made fats. It could be over-consumption of sugar or eating too many processed carbohydrates, or maybe it's eating inflammatory foods or being exposed to environmental toxins. Maybe it's something like long-term stress or lack of sleep. Perhaps it's excess estrogen from hormone replacement therapy or from hormonal birth control. Food makes a difference with your thyroid health.




ELIZABETH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we're offering all our classes online or in a Zoom format. We have a number of class series available that you meet once a week. And we have even one hour topic type classes too if you don't want to commit to the full 12 week classes. We also have new cooking classes available to you with our chef, Marianne. Nutrition really does affect every part of our body. And today we learned that that's no exception to maintaining a well-functioning thyroid.


TERESA: You know, before break, we had talked about different things that affect the thyroid gland, different factors that interfere with that. And one of the things that we, we mentioned, but we really didn't go into was how gluten can affect the thyroid. And I know Elizabeth, you've done some research into this. So can you talk a little bit about why something from our food supply would affect a gland in our neck?


ELIZABETH: Right. So I have clients saying, “Why would I have to go gluten free because I have an underactive thyroid? How does that make sense?” So I have to explain to them, our, our intestinal lining is really only one cell thick. So it's very easy to get gaps in, you know, the cellular structure of our intestines, often referred to as leaky gut might be a term that you've heard before. So what can happen then is food particles can enter through our bloodstream through those holes in the, in the intestines. So when gluten enters the bloodstream, the, the proteins in gluten are so molecularly similar to the proteins in our thyroid. So it's a term we coin as a molecular mimicry is something you might have heard before. So basically our immune system starts attacking these foreign particles that, you know, slip through the holes in our intestine. And since it's attacking gluten, it gets confused and starts attacking the thyroid since the molecules are so similar. So that way, when gluten's really entering the bloodstream, our immune system's really attacking not only the gluten as foreign particles, but it's attacking the thyroid as well. So when we really remove the gluten from that, it can calm down our immune system and kind of take away that attack on our thyroid.


TERESA: Yeah. Yeah. It's all interconnected; our bodies. The foods that we eat affect our intestinal track. When our intestinal track is compromised, things get out into our bloodstream and then they get out systemically and they start affecting the thyroid or wherever else it can affect. So, okay. So we'll, since we have a chef here, I think maybe we should take advantage of it. And okay, so a lot of times, we were talking about launch before and how we put our chicken salad over a bed of greens. But many people are always like, “Well, if I'm not having gluten, if I'm not having that bread, I'm not having pasta, what do I do instead? How do I, how do I, how do I make my meals work?” Marianne, do you have any suggestions for people?


MARIANNE: I do. So, so especially in with bread, you know, people have to sort of break their sandwich habit. And a good way to do that, that I've found is I switch my bread out for some collard greens. So you can take the, the stem and the center rib out of the collard green. And you could put some of that chicken salad and just sort of roll it up kind of burrito style. That's delicious. You can also use nori rolls. And obviously we all know, we all know about nori from sushi. So it's that green sheet around the outside of your sushi.


TERESA: Okay, so I just learned that. I'll just let you all know that when we were talking about this, I was like, Marianne, what is nori again? I've had sushi. I'm familiar with what she's talking about, but I didn't know that it was nori.


MARIANNE: Yeah, you can buy it in, in sheets and you find it sort of in the international, down the international aisle of your grocery store. And it's actually high in iodine.




MARIANNE: And so you can, you could put that chicken salad and roll that up in your nori roll. It is fabulous. It's really a great way to get rid of that, that bread habit. Oh, nice.


TERESA: That has a really good tip. I think I might have to try that because they do. I mean, really, for me, as I'm looking at the different iodine sources, I don't eat seafood that often. I love it, but I don't make crab and lobster very often. I rarely have shrimp. And I don't really eat a lot of seaweed. So this would be a way to expand out of my iodized sea salt into something else that has some iodine in it naturally. So…



ELIZABETH: You can get nori flakes too, can't you?


MARIANNE: Yes, you can.


ELIZABETH: Nori flakes; just sprinkle like salt.


MARIANNE: As a spice mixture; you can do that. It's fantastic.




TERESA: So what would you put it on?


MARIANNE: So, oh my gosh, you could put it on rice. It could be sort of in your, your, your, at the end of your stir fry. It's sort of at the top, you sort of mix that in and it gives you that little, it's a little briny and salty. It's delicious and it's, I think it's a nice finishing touch to a stir fry, for sure.


TERESA: Yeah. Okay. Well, interesting; all these good ideas here. I'm learning so much today. And here, I was just thinking, you know, when we were talking earlier about zucchini, about spiralized zucchini, but apparently I'm just really stuck in the past with my gluten-free alternatives. And they're really not gluten-free, you know, when we, Elizabeth had mentioned, you know, when we talk about going gluten free, we're not talking about buying gluten-free products.




TERESA: When you eat a real food diet, it just really is pretty naturally gluten-free. You know, there are some real foods that contain gluten, but generally speaking, we just want to make substitutions with things like the zucchini noodles instead of pasta maybe up that up the nutrient content, you know, more fiber, more vitamins, more minerals. You can throw on some of your regular pasta sauce, whatever you like, whether it's a meat sauce, or maybe you have the pasta sauce and then meatballs. Really there's so many alternatives that it's just a matter of thinking outside of the sandwich box and, and, and, and thinking about other ways of doing it.


ELIZABETH: Right; right.


MARIANNE: Exactly. Another good thing is, if you don't want to say dredge your fish filets in flour, you can use almond flour is a great way to, to pan sear your fish and have a little bit of a crispness on the outside. So if we, you know, a lot of people are eating fish. So I think it's a good way to do that instead of using a glutinous flour.


TERESA: Yeah. And then you kind of get that idea, that feeling of having that kind of fried crispy fish, that sometimes we miss when we're not having, you know, our traditional fish fry. Right? But you can still have, you know, with almond flour and you can use coconut oil or avocado oil, or do, is there a better oil to use Marianne?


MARIANNE: You can use either of those because they're very high heat oil, which you want when you're searing. You can use ghee, which is clarified butter. That's also a good choice and it tastes delicious. It really is. You can barely tell the difference. It really is yummy.


ELIZABETH: It's good for kids too. And making chicken nuggets, if you're wanting a better alternative for kid’s chicken nuggets using that almond flour.


TERESA: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you use a high heat oil. And so that works, that works out well. Well, and you know, a lot of my clients, they just can't even imagine what breakfast would look like without, you know, maybe an English muffin or a piece of toast. Often I hear, “I just don't feel done with my breakfast unless I have that piece of toast or that piece of bread or something that just helps me feel fuller longer.” And, you know, I like to give suggestions, you know, we often talk about sweet potatoes as, as an alternative to bread, but Marianne, I know you have some ideas as far as that's concerned or some thoughts on it anyway.


MARIANNE: Yeah. You know what? It is interesting how the United States in particular has really created a culture around breakfast. And it so often contains glutinous foods with pancakes and, toast and bread. And we really need to, to sort of get out of that habit and out of that culture and, and rethink breakfast as, as eating leftovers from the night before. Cook a soft egg and put it over some roasted vegetables or, think of that breakfast meal just like you do lunch and dinner, and not specifically as breakfast. There's so many things that we can, we can put into our breakfast that you don't typically think of as a breakfast food, and it's delicious, and it will keep you satisfied all the way through lunch.


TERESA: Yeah. And also, you know, it saves you a little bit of work if you're using your leftovers for breakfast.


MARIANNE: Absolutely. Yeah. Why, why, why start over when you can use something from the night before, which is fantastic.


ELIZABETH: Yeah. I feel like a lot of other cultures actually do that. And I think it's more of kind of, again, with that standard American diet, how we came up with this breakfast culture. And probably a lot of it's marketing to what the cereals and frozen waffles and things like that, but it's really not a real food breakfast when you lean towards those boxed and packaged foods. So…


TERESA: Yeah. Yeah. I feel like we're conditioned for breakfast or dessert for breakfast.




TERESA: Well, over 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition. A primary cause of a thyroid problem is eating a poor diet. This is a simple recommendation to everyone: eat real food each and every day. Eat real animal protein. Eat real organically grown vegetables and real natural fats and oils. Your thyroid is a small gland that requires so many different nutrients. The thyroid gland plays a major role in metabolism and energy and your weight. So it's important to take care of your thyroid through eating real food. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us today and have a wonderful day.

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