Is Your Heartburn Back?

December 25, 2023

Have you been finding yourself reaching for the Tums or the Prilosec more often lately? Are you starting to feel those familiar, dreaded sensations again: the burning or aches in your chest or throat, the sour or acidic taste in your mouth? Do you think twice about laying down on the couch or trying to go to bed early because you’re just not sure how your stomach and throat are going to feel? In this show, our dietitians will be putting on their detective hats to help you figure out why your heartburn may be back and give you some options for finding relief.

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TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. We are a company specializing in life changing nutrition education, and counseling. I am Teresa Wagner, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and I'm here in studio today with my cohost, Leah Kleinschrodt, who is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian.

It's hard to believe, but we've been on myTalk every Saturday morning for the last 20 years bringing life changing real food nutrition. That's a long time, and we have loved the ride. As we continue to celebrate our 20-year anniversary of Dishing Up Nutrition, we have an announcement to share with you, our valued listeners.

Starting in January, Dishing Up Nutrition will no longer be aired live on myTalk. However, you still can hear the same life changing nutrition through our podcast, like we've done the last 15 years. You can find Dishing Up Nutrition wherever you listen to podcasts, or right from our website, If you go to the landing page, there is a link in the banner and it is labeled as blog, podcasts and recipes.

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LEAH: So yeah, exciting things are happening at Dishing Up Nutrition and just as our show continues to grow and evolve, we are excited to just see what these next steps hold. And as we approach another major holiday, we've got Christmas just a few days away and then we have the end of another calendar year, we at Nutritional Weight and Wellness just wanted to take a moment and thank you, the listeners, for making Dishing Up Nutrition a part of your personal mission for better health through eating real food.

TERESA: Some of you may have been a part of the Dishing Up Nutrition family since the first show aired 20 years ago, or perhaps this is the first episode you've tuned into. Maybe you're listening to this show live on Saturday morning, or maybe you're hearing this show in May of 2025. Wherever you happen to fall in the time continuum, we appreciate you taking the time to listen, to learn, and to practice your real food skills. We recognize that it's not always easy, but good health is worth it.

LEAH: Yes, if it was that easy, we might've ended the show after the first year, right?

TERESA: That's right.

LEAH: We wouldn't have anything else to talk about.

TERESA: They would've all been fixed.

Accomplishing homeostatic resilience

LEAH: Yep. Absolutely. And speaking of good health, so Teresa, I want to bounce off of what you were just saying. I wanted to start our conversation today talking a little bit about a research paper I was reading recently. And this paper is called “Hallmarks of Health”, which was published in late 2020 in the journal, Cell. And I want to tie this into the topic of our show today, “Is your heartburn back?”

Now the authors of this paper begin by saying that we often define health in a negative way, meaning we often think of health as the lack of disease. So these authors put forward this paper, and they wanted to pose a new way of thinking about health with a more positive spin to define health. They wanted to really look at what health includes instead of what health lacks. So in short, they really wanted to answer the question, what does a healthy system or what does a healthy body look like?

TERESA: One tenant or hallmark of a healthy system that they proposed was something called homeostatic resilience. It's a bit of a mouthful, but if we break that term down, we have homeostasis, which is the tendency to stay in equilibrium or to stay in balance. And then we have resilience, which is the ability to withstand or recover quickly from challenges or difficulties.

So homeostatic resilience means that our body works hard to keep us performing well and feeling well. And that it also has a lot of capacity to deal with different stressors so that we stay in balance. Good health doesn't mean we never run into stressors or challenges or things that push us out of balance. It means that a healthy system will have a great ability to compensate or rebound from those stressors.

LEAH: I really love this concept of resilience especially and when I work with clients I've always found it helpful to work from the standpoint that our bodies truly want health and balance. This is what they strive for. It's just that we sometimes as human beings living in the real world that we just have things that get in the way of that balance.

So then I think we can kind of take that next leap and say that when we have these stressors and it becomes too much, and then our system is not able to compensate or rebound like it normally would, that's when we maybe start to develop symptoms.

This could be any kind of symptom, so think body wide. Maybe this is weekly headaches or migraines. Maybe this is your knee pain or your back pain that just seems to get a little worse as the months go on. This could be anxiety or depression. This could be PMS or menstrual issues, diarrhea, constipation. Or, to the point of our topic today, you can have heartburn that starts to rear its ugly head.

TERESA: Ah, yes: heartburn. That's a symptom that comes up a lot when I'm counseling clients one on one and when I'm leading classes. I think our show title, “Is Your Heart Burn Back?”, is an interesting choice. When I hear this title, to me it says that you had heartburn at one point, but then it disappeared for a while.

Maybe it was gone for a few weeks. Maybe it was even gone for a few months, or even a few years. But now you're starting to feel those familiar dreaded sensations again: the burning or aches in your chest and in your throat, the sour or acidic taste in your mouth, the added discomfort or pressure in your belly when you bend over or lay down, or maybe you're finding yourself coughing a lot, even having a little regurgitation after a meal.

Does that ring a bell for anyone? Have you been finding yourself reaching for the Tums or the Prilosec more often lately? Do you think twice about laying down on the couch or trying to get out of bed early because you're just not sure how your stomach and throat are going to feel?

LEAH: All great questions and I definitely run into this scenario also when I see clients. They'll be on a really good path with their digestion for a while and then something changes and now their heartburn is back. So when I'm working one on one with clients, I'll say, okay, we need to put our detective hats on. And try to figure out why your heartburn is back. So we start asking questions about what those stressors are that could be throwing their digestive system off balance.

So, Teresa, when you work with clients on this and you have someone sitting down in front of you saying, “Oh, I'm in a lot of pain right now. My heartburn is back. I just can't figure this out,” what are some of the things you think about?

TERESA: Well, I think for me as a dietitian, you're probably like this too, we always look at things through a food lens, right? Like our glasses are very much food, food, food.

LEAH: Yep. Yep. Absolutely.

Sugar & refined, ultra processed carbohydrates can cause heartburn

TERESA: So naturally, I want to start asking questions about what might have changed in their diet during that timeframe. One of the main culprits I'm looking for are added sugars and refined or ultra processed carbohydrates. Eating and drinking a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates in general can be so irritating for the digestive tract.

LEAH: Yeah. Absolutely. That's a big one. And that's another one too that I feel like people don't necessarily connect sugar and those carbs to their heartburn.

TERESA: No. Very often people are surprised when you say sugar could be the culprit.

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. We'll hear tomatoes, chili or spicy foods, things like that, or maybe they hear Dishing Up Nutrition and finally kind of think about that and what that role might play.

TERESA: People are really stuck on the tomatoes, right?

LEAH: Yeah.

TERESA: Like, well, what are your tomatoes on? Is it, are you going out to the garden and picking a tomato and eating a tomato and getting heartburn? Or is it tomatoes on pasta? Tomatoes on pizza. Usually it's on something.

LEAH: Yup. Exactly. Well, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I am Teresa Wagner, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in studio today with Leah Kleinschrodt, also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian.

Our show topic today is all about what may be causing resurgence in your heartburn and what you can do about it. Stay tuned for more information so that you can enjoy a comfortable and pain free wrap up to the holiday season.


LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We are heading into the final week of our December product bundles that are on sale for 15% off. There are several themes to choose from radiant skin to bone health to winter wellness and more. So head over to and click on products to learn a little bit more.

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Before we went to break, we were just starting to dive into the topic of what causes people's heartburn to come back, especially when we're thinking around this time of year, right, Teresa? We've got a lot of holidays that we've already been through and a couple more that are still on the way. And just what gets people into trouble around this time.

And so we were just starting to talk a little bit about higher sugar foods, higher carbohydrate, more processed types of foods. And when I'm working with clients, especially around this time of year, and we're looking back at what's been their patterns these last few months, we might start looking back, often I'll go back to Halloween with people, and did your heartburn start with the Swedish Fish and the M&M’s at Halloween?

Does it continue on through this time of year? Does it continue on through pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving? Does it continue on through Christmas? And then we top off the year with champagne toasts on New Year's Eve. So, really, at this time of year, we see that there's no shortage of sugar that can be found pretty much at every turn until we get to that first week in January.

TERESA: That's for sure.

LEAH: Yeah. And I recently saw a post on social media and it just kind of stuck in my brain because it made it simple. I think it says, in the U.S., at the end of the year, we partake in a candy holiday followed by a pie holiday followed by a cookies and candy holiday, followed by a booze holiday.

So when you put it that way, is it any wonder that some of us are just left struggling? Whether it's with that heartburn or maybe it's the extra two to five pounds that's now sitting on our waistline or again, you name it, by the time that first week in January rolls around.

TERESA: Yeah, absolutely. And so when I'm working with clients, we really have to dig in and see where some of these sugars come in. Sometimes it's obvious, like you were saying. This time of year…

LEAH: Yep.

TERESA: It can be a little bit more obvious. We might find that, you know, maybe we started treating ourselves with fun holiday coffee drinks because they're only around…

LEAH: ‘Tis the season.

TERESA: Right. It's a limited time offering. So we've got to take advantage.

LEAH: That's great marketing, isn't it?

TERESA: Or maybe we're not even getting coffee. Maybe it's a hot chocolate. A tall peppermint hot chocolate from a coffee place has 41 grams of added sugar and 10, or I should say 10, so that 41 grams of added sugar converts to, in teaspoons, 10 and a quarter teaspoons of added sugar.

It might be the dinner rolls and the piece of dessert that look too good to pass up on a work party. One dinner roll could be 20 grams of carbohydrates, which is about 5 teaspoons of sugar. Or maybe it's the sampling of the muffins, the scones, the bread, the cookies we've all been baking with grandkids or with our own kids. The extra sugar can add up fast this time of year.

LEAH: Yeah. Plenty of opportunities to be festive, but for some of these things to add up over time. And these, those are all certainly suspects to watch for, and I know, Teresa, you and I, these are things that we work with our clients on and try to find out where are those trigger things; where are those carbs hiding?

Gluten can cause inflammation/heartburn

And another thing that I do tend to think about, like, almost all of those foods that you listed contain gluten because most of them are made from wheat flour, right? They're a processed grain product. And gluten is just another aspect to these foods that can cause inflammation in the digestive tract and just create those symptoms of heartburn. Not necessarily for everybody, but definitely for some people.

TERESA: And that's another one. Like we were saying with the sugar, it's another one where people don't put that together with heartburn easily.

LEAH: Yep.

TERESA: I have a quick story I wanted to share at this point from one of our colleagues, Kara, who is also a long time nutritionist at Nutritional Weight and Wellness and a familiar voice on Dishing Up Nutrition. She calls it her chili story. Chili is a common food that people suspect causes their heartburn, mainly from the tomatoes or maybe from the level of spiciness.

Kara had eaten some homemade chili one evening for dinner and had these terrible chest pains a few hours later. Her husband, of course, wanted to help out, and he suggested that perhaps it was the chili that she ate that was causing these pains.

But she said she's made the chili many times before, and she's eaten it many times, and never had a problem. But in looking back at that evening, she remembered also eating some cornbread with the chili. I mean, that's a great combo, right; chili and cornbread. And a little later, she had a few cookies, a little later, a piece of cake and a glass of wine. Now, this is probably very unusual for Kara.

LEAH: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

TERESA: So she knew that for her, it was overdoing it on the sugar and the gluten all in that one evening that gave her the heartburn. And for Kara, heartburn is not something that she struggles with normally. So I remember her saying that this was a really big eye opener for her and made her much more empathetic for people who deal with heartburn regularly.

LEAH: Right.

TERESA: It's just so painful.

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And you're right. It's like you and I, we both know Kara. We know this is not a typical scenario for her, but I think this is great too just to show guess what? Us dietitians, we don't always get it right either. We have our things. We have sometimes things get away from us and we sometimes can pay the consequences just like our clients.

But I think it helps us help our clients better as well. And so there might be other people out there listening. They can relate to that kind of scenario. You're nodding your head along with us. And it could be that one night of just all the things, all the indulgences, and in other cases for some other people, it could be that it's a few sugary treats that are just coming in over the course of a few weeks that starts to kick up those heartburn symptoms again.

And just depending on the person, once that inflammation response starts, it can take a few days or sometimes even a few weeks for things to just start to get back to a baseline or for things to simmer down again.

TERESA: Yeah, I agree. That's been my experience too, that for some people, things heal up pretty quickly. For others, it takes a bit of time and that's pretty common with all things in health. You know, there's no specific timeline. Our bodies are all on their own and they'll heal as they choose.

LEAH: Mm hmm.

TERESA: You know, and what we're saying here too, it's not that you can't enjoy any tasty treats or special foods during the holiday or any time of the year. But what I will say to clients that I work with is that we are going to be working on having a plan, and being intentional about when we're going to eat those indulgences, maybe where we're going to eat those indulgences that may flare their heartburn symptoms. There's a big difference between mindfully enjoying a special dessert that your sister-in-law makes once a year; versus diving headfirst into the dessert bar at every social function between Thanksgiving and New Year's just because it's there.

Additionally, we can also make a plan for what to do if heartburn does make an appearance so that we can handle the inflammation quickly and not let it get out of hand.

LEAH: Yeah, I love that piece of advice. It's have a plan for those special treats, know when they're going to happen, and then we can focus on great, balanced, nourishing foods drinks at every opportunity. And it's in those times where we're building up that body's resilience again, just like we talked about at the top of the show. The goal is to have that resilience so even when we are faced with some treats or some challenges that our bodies can recover fairly quickly or that we know what to do after the fact.

Tip to getting back on track: eat a protein rich breakfast

And so one of my favorite strategies for my clients to focus on during the holidays and really at any time if we're just trying to course correct and get back on track with our eating, is making sure to get a protein forward or a protein rich breakfast every single day.

So we think about eggs with some onions and peppers, maybe a little spinach mixed in, or maybe it's a couple of turkey sausage patties on a plate and you have some cherry tomatoes on the side, some blueberries on the side, and you put some avocado slices on there as well. I mean, there, there's so many options for a great balanced breakfast. And we'll talk some more about this when we come back from break.

TERESA: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Just to let listeners know, our offices are closed this holiday weekend, December 23rd, 24th, and 25th. We will be back to seeing clients, helping students register for classes, and planning new podcast topics for 2024 on Tuesday, December 26th.


LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before break, Teresa mentioned we are hard at work planning new podcasts for the new year and brainstorming topics. I saw the lineup coming for January, and I'm really excited for all the topics that we have coming up. It's so good. And I don't want to give it all away, but the two topics that I was really curious about, and I'll be really interested to hear how these play out is “Protein Power for Weight Loss” and “All About Fat”.

So as a reminder, if you didn't catch it at the top of the show, you won't find these January topics aired on 107.1, but you will find these shows aired on your favorite podcast app like iTunes or Spotify and on our website, which is

Search Our Podcasts Here!

So before we went to break, I was giving a tip that I often will talk with clients about. One thing that I like to really work on with people is getting a good solid breakfast into them and making sure that there's a good whack of protein in that morning meal. Because I find people just do a lot better then through the rest of the day when we have a great anchor in the beginning of the day. And eggs with some veggies, that's a common recommendation that we've given over the years.

TERESA: Yeah, because it's so good.

LEAH: It's so good. Yes, absolutely. And some people like myself, I could eat eggs every day and be completely happy and fine with it. And I could live off of eggs. But I actually, I just had a client the other day who, she was like, I am burned out on eggs. What can I do besides eggs for my protein? And this is where I'll recommend, I love our turkey breakfast sausage recipe. So that's a nice alternative if people just need something different than eggs.

TERESA: That is a good one. I like to add a little ground pork to that one too because I like to have a little extra fat in it because it makes the spices I think stick a little better. I don't know what the right word is. We'll have to ask Marianne what that means, what that, what's happening there.

LEAH: What the official culinary term for that is.

TERESA: Yeah. But I really like doing about half and half of the turkey and ground pork and it's so good.

LEAH: Yeah. And whenever I make the turkey sausages, I, I roast them on a sheet pan instead of doing it on the stovetop just because I can get more bang for my buck, I feel like. You get it all done in one fell swoop in the oven versus probably having to do a couple of rounds on a pan on the stovetop.

TERESA: How long does that take in the oven?

LEAH: I usually bake, it depends on how big I make them. If I'm getting probably 12 to maybe 14, 15 sausages out of two pounds of meat, I roast it in the oven for 20, if I lose track of time, maybe 25 minutes, somewhere in that range and that's usually pretty good.

TERESA: At 350? Or what's your secret? Cause I haven’t done that.

LEAH: Yeah. 350 to 400.


LEAH: Yeah. Exactly. Yes. And I'm sure, again, like Marianne would have her say in it as well, but that's how I like to do it in my house. My husband eats it. I eat it. Sometimes my kids eat it too. So everyone's lived through the experience so far. So the turkey breakfast sausages are a great option if you're burned out on eggs.

For people who do okay with dairy, things like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese can also be other great protein options at breakfast.

TERESA: I like to stir in protein powder if I'm doing a yogurt because it just bumps up the protein amount. Because it's hard. You have to eat so much yogurt to get the amount of protein.

LEAH: Yup.

TERESA: And so I think adding protein to the protein to the protein.

LEAH: Yup. Yeah. And if we're, if people aren't quite used to like plain flavored yogurt, adding a little protein powder, like vanilla protein powder can be a nice gateway into just transitioning over to that more full fat, plain flavored yogurt, but you get that little bit of sweetness usually from a protein powder.

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TERESA: Yeah. Yup.

LEAH: Yeah. So say, yeah, we take some Greek yogurt or some regular full fat yogurt, plain flavored and mix some berries into that, maybe a little vanilla protein powder and top it with some pumpkin seeds. You have your protein, you have some carbs, you have some great fats. And so just starting that day off with that combination, that balance, and especially having that protein in there, it starts our blood sugar off on a good foot.

And I was reading a research article a little while ago. This was in the journal, Nutrients. It was published in December of 2020. And it showed that a high protein breakfast kept blood sugars more steady throughout the rest of the day. And it reduced cravings later in the day compared to the higher carb breakfast.

So it's not just even that one meal that it sets you up for, it's like a good balanced breakfast with lots of protein and it actually has ripple effects through the rest of your day.

TERESA: Yeah, that's so important and it is such a great tip to start your day with a protein forward breakfast. A really good breakfast can certainly set the tone for a day. And I can also see where if somebody is coming off of a night where their heartburn was really bothering them, that they may not want to eat right away in the morning. Their stomach may still feel a little upset and they may feel the urge to skip over breakfast and just wait until maybe their stomach feels a little better and then have lunch.

For someone like this, I would suggest trying a protein shake. It's cold and smooth and it's soothing and it'll give you some of the nourishment and fuel to start your day that we were talking about with those other breakfasts. One of my favorite protein shake combinations is the protein powder. I like to use the vanilla flavored and then I like to use frozen cherries as the carb.

I have frozen zucchini in my freezer that I grew in the garden that is all chunked up and ready to go. So that goes in frozen as well with the frozen cherries. And then sometimes I use heavy cream. Sometimes I use coconut milk with that, with the dark cherries. It really is a nice combination with that.

So we've got our protein, we've got our fat, we've got our carbohydrates with the cherries, and we've also got some vegetables with the zucchini. And I love it. And you can actually find frozen zucchini at the grocery store too. I mean, it's not like you've missed out if you didn't grow any this last summer in your garden.

LEAH: Yeah. And I love that. I hadn't even thought about zucchini before, because that's a pretty mild flavor in general, right?

TERESA: Yeah. The only way you know it's there is that you can see a little flecks of green from the, because the inside of the zucchini obviously doesn't have much color at all. So it's just the skin that…

LEAH: Yeah.

TERESA: And I do leave the skin on. I've gotten that question a lot. Do you leave the skin on? Yep. I sure do. And it's not cooked. It's raw. Raw, frozen. And then it goes right in. And it's great.

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. That's super, that's super great. I love that idea. I have never tried the zucchini, but I will, I make a protein shake most days of the week for my kids. And so we do strawberries as the base, as your carb, protein powder, like you said, a good whey vanilla protein powder is great. I will do frozen riced cauliflower. I think I learned that one from Britni at one point. So I do try to sneak in the veggies in for them as well. So I count that there for the veggies. And it's just a couple of tablespoons. It's nothing much, but it's something.

TERESA: It all adds up, right?

LEAH: Yeah. It all adds up, and I top it off, yeah, I usually use coconut milk for the fat, and then I usually do put at least a little sprinkle of our strawberry kiwi Key Greens in there just to give it a little extra flavor and some extra antioxidants.

TERESA: Yeah. It really intensifies that flavor, the Key Greens do.

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Especially with strawberries, because strawberries have a little bit more mild of a flavor.

LEAH: Yep. Yep.

TERESA: Yes. Well, and we do really recommend having a quality protein powder like a grass fed whey protein powder or a Paleo protein powder that's from grass fed cows to get that protein in.

So if you tolerate dairy well, using some full fat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is much higher in protein, so that is also a way to get some additional protein, but give some thickness and smooth creaminess and then some probiotics, right? Because it's fermented.

Probiotics: help calm an inflamed digestive tract

LEAH: Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Good points there. And, and I want to actually jump on that probiotic topic for a minute because probiotics, whether we're talking from food or from a quality supplement can be immensely helpful when we're working with someone who has this inflamed digestive tract and it just helps them get over that hump and start to feel better again.

So, as a refresher, again, maybe for newer listeners, probiotics are that beneficial, the good bacteria that live in our gut, in our digestive tract, and they can live in other places in the body as well, but mostly we think about them living in the gut. And plain yogurt is certainly one way that you can get probiotics in through food, but there are others.

I've had a few clients over the years who say if they start to get that little bit of burning in their chest or they start to feel that heartburn coming on, they'll drink a few tablespoons of pickle juice or sauerkraut juice just even straight from the jar to help that sensation go away. Or they may eat a few tablespoons of sauerkraut or eat a few pickles every day as just part of that prevention plan they have for themselves to prevent that heartburn from becoming a problem.

TERESA: Well, that's really interesting. And when we come back, I think we'll get into why that works.

LEAH: Yeah.

TERESA: You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Many of us look forward to the natural refresh that comes with the beginning of January. It's a nice clean slate. And this includes us at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. We often see new, excited, fresh faces come in through our doors and log in to our virtual platforms. These people are ready to make changes and take control of their health. If you're ready to join them and us, Leah will give you some ideas as to where to start after the break.


LEAH: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you're ready for a change but don't know what that looks like yet, let me offer just a few suggestions. So think about for yourself, if you do well with group support and kind of a weekly focus, I recommend looking at our refreshed Nutrition for Weight Loss Foundation's 12-week series, which starts the week of January 9th.

Sign Up for Nutrition 4 Weight Loss Foundations

And this is where you lay a solid groundwork for making the switch to eating real food, eating in balance and, and just tackling all aspects of your health. And then for those who have already taken the foundation series but want to continue being part of a supportive and uplifting community of people who just have their health at the forefront of their mind, our Ongoing Support and Education sessions, which start the week of January 22nd, those may be your ticket.

Sign Up for Ongoing Support & Education

These sessions run for 8 weeks at a time, and each week has a specific theme, but there's also lots of time for open ended discussions, which is great. But if you are the person who's a little more shy or intimidated or you just have some very specific health concerns, then maybe you would best be served by meeting with just one on one with one of our amazing counselors.

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And it's always a bonus, I feel, for clients too when it's covered by insurance. And if you have insurance questions, you can give our offices a call. The front desk ladies are great.

And if you're just looking to dip your toe just a little further into the nutrition water, we do have some great information packed one time classes that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Check Out Our Classes!

So I do like to think that there's a little something for everyone. And as people are looking forward into the new year and looking to just kind of hit that refresh button, there's a lot of options to fit a lot of different people and their personalities. And if you want to learn a little bit more, our website is super helpful,, or you can give us a call at 651 699 3438.

So before we went to break, we were just starting to dive into the topic of probiotics, the good bacteria that live in our gut. And I was talking about some food sources where we might find those probiotics. Yogurt is a common one that most people are willing to eat.

I've had some clients over the years who will drink a little pickle juice or sauerkraut juice to get some of those probiotics, but also it's one of those kind of old folk or wives tales that people will do, but it actually works really well for some people just to help calm those heartburn symptoms down. And then, Teresa, you were about to also expand on those ideas.

TERESA: It might not sound so great, but it actually does make some sense from a few angles. Both pickles and sauerkraut and kimchi are fermented vegetables. So when we're talking about this too, we're talking about the pickles that are in the refrigerated section. On the labels, it'll say live and active cultures.

We're not talking about the ones like your standard, probably not your standard pickle nor sauerkraut that comes in a can or is on a shelf like that. We're talking about the ones with the live and active cultures.

LEAH: Yep. Great point.

TERESA: But they're these fermented vegetables and their juices will contain good bacteria or probiotics that our digestive tracts need. Those juices will also be a little bit more on the acidic side from the fermentation process. Although it may seem counterintuitive, a little extra acid in the stomach is actually helpful for preventing and managing heartburn symptoms. The extra acidity in the stomach helps to close that lower esophageal sphincter, which is the doorway between the throat and the stomach. So the stomach acid and the food cannot come back up the esophagus.

LEAH: Mm hmm. Yeah. And that I would say is a very common misconception or just like in our brains, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense because we think, well, we have heartburn because we have too much acid.

TERESA: Right.

LEAH: But most of the time, that is not the case. It's actually because that little doorway gets propped open. It doesn't close all the way and that's where we get the stuff that can come up from the stomach up the esophagus. And actually the acid, the extra acid helps to close that doorway. So again, it just, you kind of have to unravel it in your brain a little bit, but once you kind of think through it, it's like, oh, okay, I think I got this.

TERESA: And it's amazing how many people that when you start to add acid, that they feel better.

LEAH: That their digestion just improves so much. Yeah. Yeah, and we were talking about this a little earlier, Teresa, like I'm personally not much of a pickle fan, but I will happily do sauerkraut or kimchi. I like to pair it with meat.

I think there's just something about meat and these fermented veggies that there's something about it that goes well. So, like, if I have a burger, I'll throw some sauerkraut on a burger, or with a sausage, or if I shred up some, like a pot roast, a beef pot roast, throw some kimchi on that, and there's just something about that, like, I feel like that's really satisfying. One of our other counselors, Elizabeth, I know she's mentioned before about, like, throwing kimchi in with her eggs, and she likes to do that.

TERESA: I actually, being that it was just Thanksgiving, it's one of my favorite times because the leftover turkey was sauerkraut and then I make my own Thousand Island dressings so that it doesn't have the refined oils that we've, in other shows, have talked about how we want to avoid, which are in our standard Thousand Island dressings. But I love to have turkey with sauerkraut, Thousand Island.

LEAH: Yum.

TERESA: So good. It's so good. And it's such a simple, I mean, making Thousand Island dressing is very easy. I mean, it really is just find a quality mayo. I use an avocado oil mayo, squeeze in a sugar free ketchup, and I just do it to the color. Just get it to the color that you want your Thousand Island dressing. I'm not making a big batch. I'm just making a single serve.

LEAH: Sure.

TERESA: A little bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper. That's it. That's all I put in it.

LEAH: Simple.

TERESA: And it's simple and it's so good. I don't usually have Swiss cheese at home, but if I had Swiss cheese, I would put that on so it's a little bit more like a Rachel, right?

LEAH: Yep.

TERESA: So, so good. That's my favorite way to use sauerkraut.

Supplementation with probiotics is sometimes necessary

LEAH: Perfect. Yeah. I love that idea. And I think, yeah, when we can use food for our advantage in that sense, getting into those probiotics and that little extra bit of acid, it's great. But oftentimes, if I have someone sitting in front of me and they're in a lot of pain or we're really down, far down that rabbit hole of having a lot of heartburn or we're in a really bad flare, I will often recommend that we jump straight to an acidophilus probiotic.

Acidophilus is a specific probiotic strain that works wonders for most heartburn cases. And acidophilus works to restore proper acidity in the stomach. That's where the magic happens there. So in turn, it just works really well to calm down that churning, burning sensation that happens in the stomach.

TERESA: I do the same thing and I tell my clients, it's easy to remember because acid is right in the name.

LEAH: Yeah.

TERESA: Acidophilus is a great tool for heartburn and reflux. And I usually recommend to clients and students to take two capsules of our Nutrikey Acidophilus at bedtime or a half a teaspoon of the Dophilus Powder mixed in some water at bedtime. This usually does the trick for most people to keep them comfortable that night and throughout the following day.

If we're dealing with a more severe case of heartburn, we may increase the dose to three to four capsules or maybe a full teaspoon of powder at bedtime. Or we may choose to add a dose or two of acidophilus during the day in addition to the bedtime dose. I've even had clients add a little Dophilus Powder to each bottle of water they drink throughout the day so that they are sipping on that probiotic all day long.

LEAH: Mm hmm. Yeah. Lots of different ways to use Acidophilus and that Dophilus Powder, so it just is kind of depending on how bad is the heartburn for this person and what can we do nutrition wise, food wise to also attack the symptoms from that angle as well. Yeah, and those are great strategies. Even like the smoothies that we talked about earlier, that might be another place where we could add some Dophilus Powder in, mix it in there, and down the hatch it goes.

And yes, acidophilus alone often provides the relief people need just to give them that leg up on their heartburn. Occasionally, I do find that some, adding in a little L-Glutamine can also be helpful for clients and that helps soothe the lining of both the esophagus and the stomach just and in addition to getting that good bacteria into their system.

We have acidophilus. We might do that once a day or maybe a few times throughout the day. And then same thing with L-Glutamine. I'll have them take a few capsules or half a scoop of L-Glutamine with the Acidophilus or we may add some L-Glutamine before a few meals of the day also.

TERESA: Yup. Those are great strategies to use, but we always like to remind people that that is not the solve, right? It's in addition to making those food changes that those probiotics and the glutamine, the things can, are the most beneficial. I'm not going to say that they don't work, but yes, most beneficial in combination with the diet.

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.

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