Foods

The Toxic Mold / Leaky Gut Connection

mold-banner.png

What to Do When Mold Is Damaging Your Gut

Awareness of toxic mold’s impact on human health has risen exponentially over the past decade. Health authorities have linked toxic mold exposure to serious health problems, including respiratory infections and neurotoxicity. However, the harmful effects of toxic mold are not limited to the lungs and brain; emerging research indicates that toxic mold also affects the gastrointestinal tract and promotes the development of leaky gut. Read on to learn about the connection between toxic mold and leaky gut and how you can restore your gut health if you’ve been exposed to mold in your living or work  environment.

What Is Toxic Mold and Where Is It Found?

Have you ever walked into a building and immediately been hit by an overwhelming “musty” odor? While most people find this smell to be disagreeable, few understand its true implications: Musty odors are a sign of water damage and indicate that a building may be harboring toxic mold.

Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid conditions and water-damaged buildings provide a perfectly hospitable living environment. Once established in water-damaged environments, molds spread and reproduce by making spores; the spores are capable of surviving harsh environmental conditions and are notoriously hard to eradicate. (1)

According to a recent report from the Federal Facilities Council, a shocking 43 percent of buildings in the U.S. have current water damage, and 85 percent have past water damage. (2) This means an overwhelming number of buildings in the U.S. potentially contain harmful molds such as Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys chartarum (aka “toxic black mold”). (3)

Unfortunately, water-damaged buildings aren’t the only places where toxic mold is found. Mold and mycotoxins also widely contaminate our food supply. Approximately 25 percent of the world’s crops, including grains, nuts, wine, spices, and coffee are contaminated by mold and mycotoxins. Mycotoxin contamination of food is caused by poor growing and harvesting practices, improper food storage, and damp conditions during food transportation and processing.

What makes these molds dangerous? The harmful effects of mold are mediated by biotoxins, including spores, cell fragments, endotoxins, beta-glucans, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and mycotoxins.

In this article, I will focus on the effects of mycotoxins, toxic metabolites produced by mold that cause a variety of adverse health effects. The most common mycotoxins found in water-damaged buildings are trichothecenes and ochratoxin, while aflatoxin and fumonisins proliferate in mold-contaminated foods.  

Some mycotoxins have beneficial properties: for example, the antibiotic Penicillin is a byproduct of the Penicillium fungus and citrinin is a mycotoxin used to produce fermented foods.

However, the mycotoxins in water-damaged buildings and food tend to be harmful to our health. They promote respiratory and neurological damage, DNA mutations and carcinogenesis, hormonal imbalances, and impair immune system, liver, and kidney function.

However, not all people become sick upon exposure to toxic mold and mycotoxins. An individual’s risk of developing toxic mold illness is influenced by several important factors, including their genetics and their gut health.  

Who Is Affected by Toxic Mold?

Given the prevalence of mold in our buildings and food supply, it is highly likely that you have been exposed to harmful molds and mycotoxins at some point in your life. Toxic mold symptoms include the following:

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Headache

  • Light sensitivity

  • Poor memory

  • Difficulty with concentration

  • Tingling and numbness in the extremities

  • Increased urinary frequency

  • Appetite swings

  • Abdominal pain and bloating

  • Sinus congestion and chronic cough

  • Static shocks

However, people are not all affected by mold equally. According to doctor and mold researcher Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, approximately 25 percent of the population is genetically prone to develop serious health problems, referred to as "Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome" (CIRS) upon exposure to toxic environmental molds. Furthermore, 2 percent of the population have genes that make them susceptible to the toxic effects of mold.

While genetics play an important role, they are not the only factor influencing an individual’s risk of developing toxic mold illness. In fact, fascinating new research indicates that the health (or lack thereof) of an individual’s gut also influences their risk of developing toxic mold illness.

How Do Mycotoxins Alter the Microbiome?

Emerging research indicates that mycotoxins induce leaky gut, one of the most common chronic health conditions affecting people today. Toxic mold exposure promotes leaky gut through a series of complex interactions between ingested mycotoxins, the gut microbiota, and cells of the gastrointestinal tract.  

In healthy individuals, one of the key roles of the gut microbiota is to detoxify harmful substances. Interestingly, researchers have found that certain beneficial bacteria in the human gut bind to and metabolize ingested mycotoxins, protecting us from their harmful effects.

However, the bad news is that, over time, mycotoxins also alter the gut microbiota; this reduces the inherent detox capacity of the gut microbiome and causes high levels of mycotoxins to accumulate in the body. The bi-directional relationship between the gut microbiota and mycotoxins means that people with pre-existing gut dysbiosis are more likely to become sick upon exposure to toxic mold than those with a healthy gut microbiome, due to their reduced ability to bind and eliminate mycotoxins. (4)

Once mycotoxins disrupt the gut microbiome, the integrity of the intestinal epithelial barrier begins to break down. Over time, this promotes the development of leaky gut.

Leaky gut is a condition in which intestinal lining becomes more permeable than normal. Enhanced permeability of the intestine allows bacteria and other toxins to leak from the gut into the systemic circulation like the blood stream. Once in the circulation, these substances provoke an inflammatory response that affects multiple body systems, including the neurological, respiratory, and hormonal systems.

Mycotoxins promote leaky gut in several ways:

  • Mycotoxins reduce beneficial bacteria and enhance the growth of pathogens. Reduced numbers of beneficial bacteria and increased numbers of pathogens alter the integrity of the intestinal barrier and increase intestinal permeability. (5)

  • Trichothecenes, fumonisins, and aflatoxin (other mold toxins) suppress the expression of tight junction proteins, the proteins that bind adjacent intestinal epithelial cells together. A lack of these proteins allows spaces to develop between epithelial cells, causing leaky gut.

  • Mycotoxins generate reactive oxygen species, which oxidatively damage intestinal cells and compromise intestinal barrier integrity.

  • Mycotoxins enhance the virulence of harmful intestinal parasites. Parasites inflame the gut, and the subsequent oxidative stress promotes leaky gut.   

To make matters even more complex, additional confounding factors can potentiate the harmful effects of mycotoxins on the gut. An inflammatory diet, exposure to environmental toxins such as BPA and heavy metals, excessive antibiotic use, and chronic stress also disrupt the microbiome and promote leaky gut.

When these factors are present along with toxic mold exposure, a vicious cycle of chronic inflammation and leaky gut is perpetuated.

To heal, steps must be taken to remove mycotoxin exposure, rebalance the gut microbiome, and repair the gut lining.  

Steps to Heal Your Gut After Mold Damage

If you’ve become sick as the result of toxic mold exposure, there are three steps you should take to address your gut health. The first step is to remove mycotoxins; this can be accomplished with the help of binding agents. The second step is the rebalance the microbiome, and the third step is to repair leaky gut.  

Remove Mycotoxins with Binding Agents

Binding agents (also referred to as "binders") bind to mycotoxins in the GI tract and prevent them from being recirculated through the liver and intestine. When taken over a period of several months, they decrease the number of mycotoxins in the gut, giving the gut a chance to heal.

Several mycotoxin binders are used in toxic mold illness, such as cholestyramine and Welchol, are available only with a doctor’s prescription.

For those who want a natural alternative, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, calcium montmorillonite clay, diatomaceous earth, and zeolite are also effective at removing mycotoxins. (6)(7)(8)(9)

While binding agents are crucial for removing mycotoxins from the body, they also bind essential minerals and fat-soluble vitamins. For this reason, always take binding agents 1 hour away from food or supplements. A nutrient-dense diet paired with vitamin and mineral supplementation is thus a crucial part of any mycotoxin detoxification protocol.

Rebalance the Gut Microbiome with Probiotics

As I mentioned earlier, a healthy gut contains microbes with the capacity to detoxify mycotoxins. But, what are you to do if your gut microbiome has been disrupted by factors such as mycotoxins and antibiotics, and doesn’t contain optimal levels of these beneficial bacteria?

Fortunately, there are several species of probiotics you can supplement with to lower your body burden of mycotoxins. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. plantarum, L. casei, and Propionibacterium freudenreichii are helpful for decreasing aflatoxin levels while Saccharomyces boulardii, a beneficial yeast, promotes the elimination of ochratoxin. (10)(11)(12)(13)

These microbes facilitate the removal of mycotoxins from the body either by directly metabolizing them or by binding them in the digestive tract so that they can’t be reabsorbed. By lowering the GI tract’s burden of mycotoxins, these probiotics reduce intestinal inflammation, and the body can prioritize repairing leaky gut.

You may also want to consider supplementing with spore-based probiotics, such as those found in MegaSporeBiotic. While spore-based probiotics don’t directly bind mycotoxins, they repair the intestinal barrier and help heal leaky gut. (14) Rebalancing the gut microbiome with these probiotics will further assist with mycotoxin elimination and speed up the gut repair process.

Repair Leaky Gut with a Low-Mold Diet

If you eat a diet centered around grains and processed foods, it is likely that your diet contains mycotoxins. A diet that reduces food source of mycotoxins – a low-mold diet – can do wonders for reducing gut inflammation while also providing the gut with the nutrients it needs to repair itself. Here are some simple guidelines for a low-mold gut-healing diet plan.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Fermented foods: Mold spores can proliferate in food during the fermentation process. Avoid fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, processed and smoked meats, and alcoholic drinks

  • Dried fruits: Raisins, cranberries, mangos, figs, prunes

  • High-sugar fruits: Pineapple, mango, banana, melons, oranges, grapes

  • Packaged and processed foods: Mold and mycotoxins may enter these foods during processing

  • Grains: Grains tend to be among the moldiest foods; small amounts of gluten-free grains may be acceptable (see recommendations below)

Foods to eat in moderation:

Grains, legumes, and starches should be eaten in moderation to avoid providing mold in the gut with a growth medium (fungi thrive on carbohydrates!).

  • Gluten-free grains: Rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, teff, gluten-free oats

  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, low-sugar fruits (apples, berries)

  • Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans

Foods to eat freely:

  • Organic and grass-fed meats and poultry

  • Wild-caught seafood

  • Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts, kale, swiss chard, spinach, bell peppers

  • Fresh soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds

  • Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, butter

  • Bone broth: Bone broth provides amino acids that help repair leaky gut.

Experts in toxic mold illness typically recommend that people follow the low-mold diet for at least a few months while undergoing treatment with probiotics and binding agents.

The combination of these strategies expedites the elimination of mycotoxins from the body, reduces intestinal inflammation, and gives the gut an opportunity to rest and repair.

Help for Detoxing and Healing Your Gut

G.I. Detox is my favorite resource for binding to and extracting mold toxins from the gut. It is carefully formulated to assist in the removal of mold toxins, heavy metals, and other intruders. To get this powerful effect, it includes a perfected combination of zeolite clay, activated charcoal, aloe vera, and other carefully-chosen detoxifiers.

Our Gut Restoration Kit includes the best ingredients to soothe and rebuild a compromised gut. It also comes with a PDF guide of simple diet and lifestyle adjustments you can make to maximize your results.

Each Gut Restoration Kit contains:

  • 1 MegasporeBiotic (soil-based bacillus probiotic)

  • 1 GI Revive (drink powder of soothing herbs and supplements)

  • 1 GI Assist (Saccharomyces boulardii, a beneficial yeast that helps the megaspore work even better)

  • 1 PDF Guide to Leaky Gut Do's and Don'ts

Is toxic mold messing up your gut? What have you tried to help you gut heal? Comment below to share your thoughts!

*Stay tuned for part 2 of the Toxic Mold / Leaky Gut Connection, where we’ll explain how to test for toxic mold in your body so you can treat it the most effectively.

Are You Dangerously Low in Magnesium?

banner-magnesium.png

Without It You Can’t Build Hormones or Clear Toxins

Magnesium deficiency is one of the most overlooked nutrient deficiencies in our modern-day world. Magnesium is not included on nutrition facts labels and is rarely tested for in routine blood work, literally leaving this important mineral “out of sight, out of mind.”

However, shocking new research indicates that up to 50 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium! (1) This has significant health implications because magnesium is needed to carry out over 300 different biochemical reactions in the body, including those involved in hormone production and detoxification. In fact, the health benefits of magnesium are endless.

Read on to learn about the importance of magnesium for managing stress, building hormones, and promoting detoxification, and which type of magnesium is the most bioavailable in the body. 

Why are We So Deficient in Magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body; without it, life would not exist!

However, magnesium deficiency currently afflicts a record number of people in our population. Why have we collectively become so deficient in this critical nutrient? There are five main reasons why many of us are suffering from magnesium deficiency nowadays.                           

  1. Stress
  2. Poor nutrition
  3. Soil depletion
  4. Chronic gut problems
  5. Medications that deplete magnesium

Stress

Our bodies rapidly use up magnesium during times of stress to rev up our nervous systems. Unfortunately, modern-day life is full of stressful activities, many of which we experience daily, such as working and commuting.

To make matters worse, drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages to help our bodies manage stress and keep up with the daily grind further depletes magnesium.

Given the amount of stress many of us face and the amount of coffee we drink as a nation, it's no wonder we are magnesium deficient!

Poor nutrition

magnesium rich foods.png

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is rich in refined flours and junk food that has had most, if not all, of their magnesium removed during processing. In fact, the three “staple foods” of the SAD diet – refined grains, vegetable oils, and sugar – typically have had between 80 and 100 percent of their magnesium removed!

This means that many people are eating a diet that is very low in magnesium. To make matters worse, very few people consume the food sources of magnesium that are naturally rich in magnesium, such as dark leafy greens, legumes, and nuts. 

Nutrient-depleted soils

Research indicates that magnesium content in vegetables has declined between 25-80% over the past 60 years due to increasing nutrient depletion of our soils.

Pesticides used in industrial agriculture kill soil organisms that provide nutrients to plants, and synthetic fertilizers diminish mineral absorption by fruits and vegetables. This leaves us with a product that may look healthy, but is quite nutrient-poor. 

Chronic gut problems

Chronic gut problems, such as small intestinal bacterial growth (SIBO) and leaky gut, compromise magnesium absorption and may lead to magnesium deficiency.

On the flip side, leaky gut can impair magnesium absorption by compromising cell membrane integrity, further exacerbating magnesium deficiency. Unfortunately, leaky gut syndrome is one of the most overlooked health problems.

Medications that deplete magnesium

Antibiotics, diuretics, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, antacids, and corticosteroids all deplete magnesium. Considering that 55 percent of Americans regularly take at least one prescription medication, it is no wonder we are magnesium-depleted! (2)

Magnesium Benefits

It is abundantly clear that Americans need more magnesium. Without adequate magnesium, the 300 biochemical processes in the body that rely on this nutrient cannot function properly.

Magnesium deficiency has especially significant implications in the management of stress, hormone production, and detoxification.

Magnesium reduces stress, improves insulin sensitivity, and balances hormones

Always rushing, stressing, and feeling overwhelmed?

Then your body may be using up magnesium at a rapid rate! When the body is under stress, cells dump magnesium into the bloodstream. Prolonged stress thus depletes magnesium, resulting in a deficiency of this critical nutrient. Maybe that’s why magnesium supplements are on demand nowadays.

Fortunately, magnesium supplementation not only replenishes magnesium stores that have been depleted by stress but also helps reduce anxiety in the first place!

Magnesium beneficially modulates a structure called the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, the body’s primary stress response system. When stress is high, the HPA axis is overactive, resulting in high cortisol and anxiety. Magnesium, on the other hand, reduces over-reactivity of the HPA axis, lowering cortisol and promoting relaxation. (3)(4)

Magnesium regulates insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance is a condition in which continuous exposure to high blood sugar causes cells to become less responsive to insulin. Magnesium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance. (5)

Magnesium supplementation, on the other hand, normalizes insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar, helping to improve insulin sensitivity. (6) Improved insulin sensitivity may, in turn, reduce food cravings and promote sustainable weight loss. In fact, magnesium is so effective at lowering blood sugar that it is often referred to as "nature's metformin!"

Without It You Can’t Build Hormones or Clear Toxins

Magnesium is essential for the production of steroid hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

It also helps prevent estrogen dominance by regulating Phase II liver detoxification, a process by which estrogen metabolites are made water-soluble so that the body can excrete them in urine or stool.

A lack of magnesium makes the liver unable to complete Phase II detox, potentially causing estrogen dominance and associated symptoms such as PMS, weight gain, and fluid retention. Magnesium deficiency is linked to PMS, and supplementation may help alleviate PMS symptoms. (7)(8)(9)

Finally, magnesium is required for the production of thyroid hormone. (10) If you are struggling with hypothyroidism despite adequate intake of iodine, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin D, it may be time to try a magnesium supplement!

Magnesium is required for detoxification

Magnesium plays a crucial role in your body's detoxification processes. It helps in the whole body detoxification that is supported through several mechanisms:

  • Magnesium is involved in the production of ATP, the cellular energy currency that fuels biochemical processes that modify and remove toxins from the body.
  • Optimal magnesium status prevents the accumulation of heavy metals in the body.
  • Magnesium is needed to produce glutathione, the body’s most powerful detoxifier. 

High levels of energy are needed for the function of sodium/potassium ATPase, an enzyme that uses ATP to pump sodium ions from cells and potassium ions into cells. This movement of sodium and potassium is coupled to the movement of nutrients, minerals, and toxins in and out of cells. A lack of magnesium inhibits ATP formation, thus reducing the activity of the ATPase and the processing and removal of toxins.

Research indicates that we are exposed to heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, in ever-increasing amounts due to industrial pollution, contaminated seafood, and dental amalgams. Due to their structural similarity to magnesium, heavy metals preferentially bind to receptors and are incorporated into tissues that generally have an affinity for magnesium.

A deficiency of magnesium leaves you susceptible to heavy metal toxicity and its associated adverse health effects, including fatigue, neurological damage, digestive problems, allergies, depression, and anxiety. This makes it all the more critical that you flood your body with magnesium! An optimal magnesium status will leave less room in your body for heavy metals and prevent the development of heavy metal toxicity. 

Finally, glutathione, the body's most potent natural detoxifier, relies on magnesium for its synthesis. A lack of magnesium lowers glutathione production and inhibits Phase II liver detoxification, the process by which toxins are made water-soluble and prepared for excretion from the body.

How do I know if I’m deficient in magnesium?

If you struggle with chronic stress, eat a diet high in processed foods, take pharmaceutical drugs, or have chronic gut issues, it is fair to say that you may suffer from magnesium deficiency.

However, the best way to clinically confirm magnesium deficiency is with a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium test. Only 1 percent of total body magnesium is extracellular, and it is tightly regulated by many factors, including parathyroid hormone.

RBC magnesium is a better index of magnesium status than serum magnesium because RBCs contain appreciable amounts of magnesium.

How much magnesium do I need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for magnesium is 320 mg per day for women; however, many women may need more magnesium, especially if they have gut health issues or are on medications that deplete magnesium. Finding the right dose of magnesium for your body may require a bit of self-experimentation.

What type of magnesium should I take?

There are many types of magnesium supplements available on the market; however, many of them are very poorly absorbed and thus ineffective for rectifying magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium citrate, commonly recommended for those with constipation, and magnesium oxide have very low bioavailability and are not suitable for correcting a deficiency.

The most bioavailable form of magnesium is magnesium bisglycinate, a chelated form that is ideal for those looking to correct a deficiency. We are very excited to offer this product in the form of a magnesium chelate powder that is highly bioavailable, tastes great, and doesn’t cause digestive upset. 

You can also boost your magnesium level by increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy), almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, dark chocolate, swiss chard, buckwheat, fish, okra, and bananas.

Chelated Magnesium Powder

Make extra magnesium a part of your daily routine.I drink mine while making dinner so that it's a habit. 

Many women need 600 mg of magnesium a day, which is more than your multivitamin contains. Magnesium helps in preventing headaches, menstrual cramps and more.

 

Reversing Chronic Disease with Paleo Habits with Lindsay Christensen

Lindsay banner.png

Lindsay Christensen is a nutritionist, health coach & health writer. She's our new staff writer at WWC. In this episode we talk about Lindsay's chronic childhood illness, diagnosis, the different treatments she's taken and how taking a paleo approach has made a difference for her.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:35 Introducing Lindsay Christensen
Min 03:55 Lindsay's health history & recovery
Min 10:35 Lyme infection
Min 14:50 The ancestral approach to healing
Min 19:45 Lindsay's diet
Min 25:05 Being diligent with your health
Min 27:20 The circadian rhythms
Min 36:35 Lindsay's favorite botanicals & binders
Min 41:20 Intermittent fasting
Min 46:00 Lindsay's resources

To learn more about Lindsay Christensen, visit her website here  and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Instagram 
Twitter 

Resources:

WWC Supplement Shop 
The Best Supplements for Leaky Gut
Gut Restoration kit

Here's the video version of the interview with Lindsay Christensen:


Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come chat with us on a free consultation to see if it’s a fit.

How Toxins Affect Your Weight with Lara Adler

Lara banner.png

Lara Adler is an environmental toxins expert who teaches practitioners very detailed information about toxins so that they can share it with their clients. In this episode we talk about how & why toxins affect our weight, ways to reduce toxins in our lives, and childhood obesity.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:30 Maintaining healthy body weight
Min 07:10 How toxins & phamaceuticals affect body weight
Min 14:50 Genetics & body weight
Min 19:30 The diet & eating healthy organic food
Min 27:50 Other ways chemicals can trigger weight gain
Min 36:40 Going organic to reduce toxin exposure
Min 39:00 Doing away with plastics & fragrances
Min 44:50 Benefits of filtrating water
Min 55:25 Lara Adler's resources

To learn more about Lara Adler, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 

Resources:

Beautycounter shop - for non-toxic line of beauty products
Tools for Teaching Toxicity
Lara Adler's PDF Guide
Get 50% off our Hormone Summit, Menopause Summit, & Perfect Periods Program by using the code rock2018

And here's the video version of the interview with Lara Adler:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

French Onion Meatball Soup by Maria Emmerich

French onion meatball soup.jpg

Maria Emmerich is a wellness expert in nutrition and exercise physiology who shares a passion for helping others reach their goals of optimal health. 

She recognized that modifying the Ketogentic diet around dietary restrictions can be challenging, so she created this book to meet the need! She includes many delicious recipes that can be enjoyed by those with or without dietary restrictions!

Here's one of Maria Emmerich's recipe from her new book  "Easy Dairy-Free Ketogenic Recipes".

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or lard 1⁄4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons beef bone broth, homemade (page 106) or store- bought
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 1 large egg

For the Soup:

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or lard
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 4 cups beef bone broth, homemade (page 106) or store- bought
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves Fine sea salt
  • For Garnish:
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Make the meatballs: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and season with the salt; sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the ground beef, broth, thyme, and egg in a large bowl. When the onion mixture is no longer hot to the touch, add it to the bowl with the meat mixture and work everything together with your hands.
  4. Shape the meat mixture into 1 1⁄4-inch balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, make the soup: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Add the broth and thyme and boil for 10 minutes or until the onions are very soft. Taste and add salt, if desired. Ladle the onion broth into bowls and add the meatballs. Garnish with fresh thyme and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. To reheat, place the soup in a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes, until warmed through.

Nutritional info (per serving):
Calories 385
Fat 31g
Protein 22g
Carbs 5g
Ber 1g

French onion meatball recipe.jpg

Found This Interesting?

Maria Emmerich is a wellness expert in nutrition and exercise physiology. She shares a passion for helping others reach their goals of optimal health. 

She struggled with her weight throughout childhood and decided enough was enough. She decided to study health and wellness so she could help others stop wasting their time being discouraged with their outward appearance and not feeling their best mentally. Maria understands the connection between food and how it makes us all feel on the inside and out.

She is a International Best Selling author of several books including “Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking” "Keto" and “The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse“
 

Nutrition for Thyroid Recovery with Caroline Stahlschmidt

Caroline banner.png

Caroline Stahlschmidt is a Certified Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner (FNLP) and is a practicing functional nutritionist at the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) Clinic. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto's but has learned to thrive with her autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle modifications. In this episode we talk about thyroid, nutrition and advanced issues about thyroid markers.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 00:40 Results of our podcast survey
Min 06:05 Introduction to Caroline Stahlschmidt & her Hashimoto's diagnosis
Min 08:15 Factors that contributed to Caroline's Hashimoto's
Min 10:00 Unhealthy guts & your poop
Min 13:30 High TSH levels
Min 19:00 The Epstein Barr virus
Min 22:00 Caroline's evolution of symptoms
Min 26:40 Getting enough sleep & rest
Min 31:55 Nutrition & diet for good health
Min 41:05 Yoga & Caroline's healing journey
Min 47:05 Caroline's resources & work

To learn more about Caroline Stahlschmidt and the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) Clinic, visit their website here and follow them on social media:
Facebook 
Pinterest 
YouTube 

 

Podcast Survey

The podcast survey prize winners are:

  1. Laura
  2. Erika
  3. Nicole

Resources:

Free ebook (Food/Mood/Poop) 
Beautycounter - non-toxic line of beauty products

Get 50% off our Hormone SummitMenopause Summit, & Perfect Periods Program by using the code rock2018

Here's the video version of the interview with Caroline:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Why Detox Beats Dieting with Robyn Openshaw

Robyn banner.png

Robyn Openshaw is a researcher and wellness author of 15 titles, including 2017’s #1 bestseller Vibe, The Green Smoothies Diet, and 12 Steps to Whole Foods. She's our first guest this year where we talk about detox, toxins, dieting and eating healthy.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:15 Introduction to Robyn Openshaw & her new book "Vibe"
Min 07:30 Toxic load in the body
Min 09:40 Robyn's health history & her grandma's fight with cancer
Min 12:25 Robyn's first detox experience
Min 18:35 The 26 Day Detox program
Min 23:05 Taking green smoothies
Min 28:45 The Ketogenic diet
Min 35:20 The Paleo diet, carbs & protein
Min 45:20 Intuitive eating & detoxing
Min 50:30 Why detox is better than dieting
Min 52:05 Fulic acid, humic acid & minerals

To learn more about Robyn Openshaw, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 
Instagram 
YouTube 
Pinterest 

Resources:

Free Detox Video Mini Masterclass 
12 Steps to Whole Foods Masterclass 
How Not to Die by Michael Greger, MD
Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD

Here's the video version of the interview with Robyn Openshaw:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Macronutrient Balance and Traditional Cooking for Weight Management with Wardee Harmon

Wardee banner.png

Wardee Harmon is the founder of Traditional Cooking School and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods. In this episode we focus on weight management, macronutrient balanced diets, traditional cooking and sourcing healthy foods.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 03:00 Introduction to Wardee Harmon
Min 06:00 Re-evaluating how we eat
Min 13:30 Eating low-carb & restricted diets
Min 16:25 Energizing vs satisfying dishes
Min 18:55 The concept of traditional cooking
Min 26:30 What foods to eat at home
Min 28:20 Learning how to cook traditional foods
Min 36:15 Wardee's programs
Min 39:30 Sourcing healthy food
Min 42:00 Wardee's menu plan & home cooking tips

To learn more about Wardee Harmon and Traditional Cooking School, visit her website here and follow her on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

YouTube

Twitter

Google+

Resources:

Sourdough bread
Wardee Harmon's FREE 1-week menu plan
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods

Take our survey here for a chance to win a price

Here's a video version of the interview with Wardee Harmon:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Take Quiz.png

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative  

Is Your Gut Messing Up Your Hormones?

Hormones can really drive you crazy.

 

You may feel you have zero no control over the headaches, bloating, exhaustion and moodiness that can come with hormonal shifts. 

You’re right; there is someone else in control of your hormones, and her name is bacteria.

There are trillions of bacteria in your gut (1) and they are busy either keeping your hormones in balance or helping your hormones fail you.

There is a lot happening in your gut.  My instructor, Reed Davis, used to say, “the gut is more like a party than a tube.” So let's learn a bit about the gut and how it's helping or harming your health as a woman.

 

What a Healthy Gut Party Looks Like

gut-party-good-v2 (1).png
  • Friendly bacteria are hanging out on healthy villi (the shag carpets that line the gut.)

  • Fresh, whole foods, including fats and fiber, are being served at the party, and your bacterial guests are loving the menu.  

  • They are snacking on your appetizers and living it up, and actually producing things like B vitamins and antioxidants as a result.  

  • They spill amino acids and fat globules onto the villi carpet, but those nutrients pass right through and your body manufactures healthy hormones out of them.

  • There are a few questionable characters at the party but the friendly bacteria are keeping an eye on them and will put them in check as needed (this is called quorum sensing.)  

  • Every morning the party room is swept clean and the guests are ready when new healthy food is served.

 

What an Unhealthy Gut Party Looks Like

gut-party-BAD (1).png
  • There are not many friendly bacteria in attendance, and instead, some thugs are dominating the show.

  • This seedy environment allows for bigger bad guys, like parasites, to feel comfortable to join in, and some low-level suck-ups by the name of Candida Albicans also take advantage.  

  • There are certainly no healthy snacks being served, and instead, the constant influx of sugar and processed foods is giving these bullies more strength.  

  • There are fewer nutrients being made, and less being absorbed because the poor shaggy carpet villi are all stepped on and flattened.  

  • The room is never swept and the rude guests never want to leave (constipation), unless the cops scare them out (diarrhea).

  • This sad situation allows toxins and estrogens to recirculate back into your body.  

  • The released toxins may be stored in your fat tissue to be dealt with later, and this increased fat tissue makes even more estrogen, leading to further imbalance.

  • With all this confusion, the brain does not know what hormones to make and ends up making less.  

Would you like a better idea of what's happening in your gut?

 

Take the first step with our free “Is a Gut Infection Causing My Hormonal Imbalance?" quiz below.

Start Healing Your Gut in 30 days

Based on my research, I've created the popular Gut Restoration Kit, which includes the best ingredients to soothe a compromised gut. It also comes with a PDF guide of simple diet and lifestyle adjustments you can make to maximize your results.

Each kit contains:

  • 1 MegasporeBiotic (soil-based bacillus probiotic)

  • 1 GI Revive (drink powder of soothing herbs and supplements)

  • 1 GI Assist (Saccharomyces boulardii)

  • 1 PDF Guide to Leaky Gut Do's and Don'ts

I'd like to offer you $15 off the Gut Restoration Kit. Simply enter the code HEALTHYGUT15 at checkout to get your special discount!

(1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991899/

Epstein Barr Virus and Wildatarian Eating with Teri Cochrane

Teri banner.png

Teri Cochrane is a certified Nutritionist and a thought leader in epigenetics and nutrigenomics who specializes in autoimmune conditions. Teri  will be sharing her groundbreaking findings as to why the Epstein Barr Virus has become an epidemic, how it can be reactivated in our bodies, how to test & treat it, its connection with other diseases and wildatarian eating.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:55 Introduction to Dr. Teri Cochrane
Min 04:50 Teri's introduction to Epstein Barr virus (EBV)
Min 10:00 Lyme disease and encapsulation
Min 12:30 What is Epstein Barr virus / Mononucleosis
Min 16:20 Wildatarian eating
Min 17:50 False positives for Lyme test
Min 20:10 Reactivating EBV
Min 27:15 Other diseases that can be connected to EBV
Min 31:15 Patterns in EBV
Min 33:30 Testing for EBV
Min 37:00 Why you have low cholesterol
Min 39:30 Treating EBV

To learn more about Teri Cochrane, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter 
Google+

Resources

Teri Cochrane's free gift - FAB FIVE

Private Coaching with Bridgit

Women's Wellness Collaborative is now offering more flexible options for private coaching. If you are interested in learning more, please fill out this form and we will get right back to you.

Apply Here.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Seafood Safety & Seafood Benefits with Randy Hartnell

Randy banner image.png

Randy Hartnell is the Founder of Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics. He's our guest this week where we talk about seafood safety & the nutritional benefits of seafood. There are a lot of questions and misinformation around seafood but Randy's going to help clear up in this episode.

Click here to download an mp3 of "Seafood Safety & Seafood Benefits with Randy Hartnell".

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:05 Introduction to Randy Hartnell
Min 04:35 How Vital Choice was born
Min 09:00 Differences between farmed & wild fish
Min 13:30 Farmed salmon & eating out
Min 16:40 Fukushima radiation & seafood safety
Min 21:20 Benefits of eating seafood
Min 31:00 Antioxidants in seafood
Min 32:55 Vital Choice supplements

To learn more about Vital Choice, visit their website here and use coupon code WWC15 for 15% off through September 2017.  

Follow them on social media:
Facebook 
Twitter
Instagram 
Pinterest 
YouTube 

Resources:

Randy's Book Recommendations

Hardwiring Happiness
When Brains Collide by Michael D. Lewis
The Queen of Fats by Susan Allport

Others:

Vital Choice Supplements
Recipes & Videos

Here's a video version of the interview I did with Randy Hartnell.

To leave a review on iTunes for our podcast, please follow the steps found here.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Cool Summer Symptoms with Seasonal Eating 

It’s summer and it’s hot! And hot weather can flame your internal heat, causing irritating symptoms. 

Sometimes just the outdoor heat alone is enough to flare your temper. Try getting stuck in a summer traffic jam with no AC in your car and two whining kids in the backseat. You have to have some serious zen to stay ‘cool’ and calm.

If you have excessive internal heat already, summertime can mean a flare up of ‘hot’ symptoms like:

  • Acne
  • Skin rash
  • Moodiness (could be anger, depression or anxiety)
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Constipation.

Things like:

  • Eating spicy foods or inflammatory foods
  • Poor detoxification
  • Poor nutrition (ie: not enough healthy fats and water)

Can cause this excess heat. 

Let’s look at how you can use the traditional wisdom of eating with the seasons to cool your heat and get your feeling more balanced this summer.

Many of us now live in heated and cooled homes, with a supermarket within short distance. But it wasn’t so long ago that we lived in caves and huts, hunting, farming and foraging for food.  

In those days, living within the natural rhythms of the season came, well, naturally.  Observing the gifts of each season was the framework in which the early traditions of medicine were born.

In Chinese medicine, five seasons were observed, and the five elements of water, earth, fire, wind and metal pair with the five seasons. 

You may be wondering, “wait, what is this other season?” It’s late summer, and it corresponds with the Earth element. This does not being until late August. As I write this in late July, we are still in ‘regular summer,’ with the element of Fire dominating.

In Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India, there are five elements as well and three seasons.  These three seasons represent harvest seasons, with Spring being a lean time without a harvest.  The three seasons also match the three doshas (constitutional types). The three seasons of Ayurveda represent two elements interacting; in the case of summer they are fire and water.

Summer, according to Ayurveda, is dominated by Pitta dosha- that hot, irritable, competitive and inflamed type. But I shouldn’t cast Pitta in too negative a light. We all need the fiery nature of Pitta to drive us forward, to digest our food, to energize us.

Ayurveda teaches that heat needs to be cooled with water, but not only plain water, also other cooling, watery things can tame heat.

Here are some foods that can cool you in summer:

  • Fresh, seasonal, organic fruit 
  • Lots of filtered water
  • Bitter greens
  • Basmati rice
  • Cucumber
  • Bok choy
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Fish and seafood
  • Aloe vera juice or gel

You’ll also want to avoid these foods:

  • Fried foods
  • Heavy, greasy meats
  • Dairy products
  • Spicy foods

Eat a lighter diet in the summer, with salads and steamed foods predominating.  Don’t overeatin the summertime, as this can lead to indigestion.

Chinese medicine has some similar ways to look at controlling heat. Again water tames fire, but note that wood feeds fire. If you have summertime symptoms, you do not want to feed your fire!

Wood has to do with spring season and the body system of your liver. 

What foods burden your liver? 

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Food Additives
  • Lack of healthy fats
  • Dehydration 
  • Xenoestrogens and other toxins 

To avoid caffeine but still have a pleasant summertime drink, try:

  • Keep a pitcher of iced lemon water in the the fridge
  • Try chrysanthemum tea, from the Chinese tradition (more information)
  • Try a Pitta balancing tea, like this one I found online, with hibiscus and shatavari (an herb that is great for women’s health too!)

We have a special podcast, courtesy of Cate Stillman from the Yoga Healer podcast, featuring Cate’s Ayurvedic expertise on summertime, as well of that of her guests Dr. John Doulliard and Kate O’Donnell. Check it out here!

Do you have any tips on keeping cool with diet in the summertime?  We’d love to hear them!

Whole Detox with Dr. Deanna Minich

Dr. Deanna Minich is a nutritionist and an author. She is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, a Certified Nutrition Specialist, a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, and a Registered Yoga Teacher. In this week's episode we talk about whole detox and restoring health.

Click here to download an mp3 of "Whole Detox with Dr. Deanna Minich"

Here's what you'll hear: 

Min 01:40 Introduction to Dr. Deanna Minich

Min 04:40 The 7 Systems of Health

Min 10:10 Colors & painting people

Min 14:00 Dr. Deanna's personal healing

Min 16:00 Healing as an art & creativity

Min 18:50 Moving & being active

Min 19:40 Women's health & creativity

Min 26:00 Balancing the 7 systems of health

Min 34:15 Dr. Deanna's detox program

To learn more about Dr. Deanna Minich, visit her website here and follow her on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Pinterest

Resources:

Whole Detox Spectrum Quiz

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Restore Your Radiance Program

Click here to learn about our Restore Your Radiance Program.

  

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Summer Eating with Ayurveda with Kate O'Donnell & John Douillard

This week's podcast is made up of 2 segments from Cate Stillman podcast show "Yoga Healer". Cate is an Ayurvedic practitioner.

This episode is about summer and seasonal eating. Our guests are Kate O'Donnell who is an Ayurvedic chef, Ashtanga Yoga teacher & cookbook writer based in Boston and Dr. John Douillard who is also an Ayurvedic practitioner.

Play this week's episode here

Click here to download an mp3 of "Summer Eating with Ayurveda with Kate O'Donnell & Dr. John Douillard"

Here's what you'll hear: 

Min 00:10 Introduction to this week's podcast

Min 04:00 Getting overheated and inflamed during summertime

Min 05:15 Effects of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco & sugar

Min 08:35 Overheating and stress

Min 10:30 Getting transparency in the body

Min 14:30 Thriving with the core of Ayurvedic wisdom

Min 17:50 Kate's Mint cilanto coconut chutney

Min 22:20 The complexity of eating & diets

Min 24:00 Introduction to Dr. John Douillard

Min 25:00 Dr. John's go-to meals in summer

Min 26:05 Bile sludge and foods to decongest the liver & gall bladder

Min 28:00 Eating diversified foods

Min 31:20 Eating wheat & hard to digest foods

Min 34:05 Toxins

Subscribe to Our Podcast

To get a new interview delivered to your phone weekly, subscribe to our podcast at iTunes or through most podcast players.

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Kate O'Donnell, visit her website here and follow her on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

To learn more about Dr. John Douillard, visit his website here and follow him on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

YouTube

Google+

These two guests were originally featured on Cate Stillman's podcast "Yoga Healer" here and here.

 

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative