Transition Naturally

Transition Naturally

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Recently I have been working with one of my transgender clients. I am a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community and have worked with many LGB & Q but rarely any T. It occurred to me lately, that maybe the transgender community doesn’t think to seek out nutrition therapy. Now, I’m not lumping an entire group of people together, this is just my personal experience and thought. As someone who does quite well with helping others to balance hormones, I think about who I can help and how. My question here is, why don’t I get more clients looking to transition naturally?

That answer to that is, I don’t know. I think maybe since we are a culture dependent on and blinded by Big Pharma we are stuck inside a box of prescribed synthetic hormone replacement therapy. The unfortunate result of synthetic HRT can often lead to cancer and furthering hormone imbalances, as well as amplify other inflammatory conditions and gene expression (not good).

When transitioning from male to female and female to male there are medical procedures and psychological protocols that are rightfully put in place, but no emphasis on holistic nutrition or organic bio-identical hormones. As a holistic nutritionist my mind wanders and thinks of the possible inflammatory conditions that are being created by not allowing the natural suitable hormonal pathways to communicate properly.

My biggest fear is that if we are transitioning genders, that transition takes place in the core of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is not only comprised of sex hormones, it is also the house of our pituitary, hypothalamus, and adrenal glands. These glands are the epicenter of stress, adaptation, hunger, thirst, and growth.

My analogous way of describing this relationship is like thinking your endocrine system is a house and every gland and organ has its own room. Well, let’s say one of the organs decided to throw a fit and start some drama, you better believe that everyone in that house is going to feel the resistance. This is what it’s like for the endocrine system. If one organ or gland is out of sorts, they will all chime in. So my primary concern here is that the focus is entirely on the sex hormones and organs, and the adrenals, most of all, get left behind. They become an afterthought.

This is an extremely unfortunate circumstance given the adrenals have a very important job, stress and adaptation. When you put the body through a stressful event like gender transition my mind goes directly to supporting the stress response in the body. Why do I do that? Because the negative effect of stress on the body actually creates the exact hormones you are trying to transition away from. For women, when we are stressed and cortisol is on the rise we tend to lose our natural production of testosterone and increase our production of estrogen so for people looking to transition from female to male, this is not exactly the direction you are looking to go in. As for men, when cortisol is increased, natural progesterone levels decrease, therefore making it a more stressful long term transition from male to female.

The success of transition is not a question, the question is, if a holistic approach is not addressed, will there be long term issues that will take longer to heal because there was no attention paid to other equally important glands and organs…

 

 

Cited articles: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19179815

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/r?dbs+hsdb:@term+@rn+58-22-0

 

 

Lard Oatmeal Cookies

Lard Oatmeal Cookies

The first word in this title might shock people and make them think, “Why is a Nutritional Therapist recommending lard?” Well good question. Remember when I talked about healthy fats, and how animal fats are better for us? Lard is definitely one of them. Animal fats when processed and absorbed correctly help cell to cell communication, lubricate the joints, balance hormones, blood sugar, brain & eye health…. You get it, right?!  Now the type of lard is also a big deal. In today’s recipe I used Pasture Raised lard from Fat Works. Fat Works is a local company here in the Portland area and they specialize in grass fed & pasture raised rendered animal fats! http://www.fatworks.com

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So back to the lard conversation. How the heck is lard going to taste in a cookie? Well A-mazing is the answer! Have you ever heard of traditional baking recipes? Most of them preferred lard over butter, and since most of my clients are dairy free, this is a perfect integration and throw back to when our great grandmother’s used lard. Most of you that don’t know me and may be reading the blog for the first time, I am a big fan of ancestral health, clean foods, sustainability, and enjoying what life has to offer. Hence the baked goods recipe today! We can’t always deny ourselves the simple pleasures of a sweet treat, and also keep in mind, “everything in moderation.”

In my world you vote with your dollars, and the “real food movement” is a movement if we keep it moving. We can do that by buying the type of products that are better for our health. I focus primarily on nutrient density and not denaturing your foods too much. The less nutrient the less healthy you will become.

When choosing each ingredient I take extra special care to look for these words: Organic, Non-GMO, Pasture Raised, Fair Trade, Gluten Free, Dairy Free… They all seem like buzz words, but if food isn’t labeled, no one is held accountable and we end up with cardboard in our meat and metal in our pasta..

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As you can see from this photo I chose the best quality I could find! The two eggs in the picture are locally raised pastured farm eggs. I also used Real Salt brand salt and Bobs Red Mill Baking Soda. My kitchen smelled heavenly after baking these delectable treats.

People ask me from time to time how I learned how to bake. If I learned it from my mother or grandmother. My grandmother was a fabulous baker, unfortunately, it didn’t come from her- I  had to teach myself over the years. The first batch of scratch cookies I ever made was six years ago when I started dating my husband. They were awful, but I knew I loved him when he tried them anyway.

I have absolutely no formal training so I am sure I don’t do it according to the rules, but I have never in my life been accustomed to rules. I believe rules are only in place to control us, a form of slavery. I color all the way outside the lines and that’s what makes me, well, me. So if you have any rebuttal or suggestions, put them in my “I don’t give a shit box” 🙂 Because these cookies taste too damn good to be wrong!

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I started by preheating my oven to 325 degrees. I then sift 2 cups of Ottos Cassava Flour. You must remember in the middle of this when you are rolling your cookie dough- Cassava flour is a root vegetable and has no gluten in it, you need to form the dough how you want it to look, it will not naturally fall like most flours. So after you roll your dough balls, you must press them into your beautiful cookie or they will turn into cookie balls. But if you want cookie balls, do whatever you want.

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I then add 2 cups of these awesome rolled oats. You def want to try and use the rolled oats and not the instant cook oats. The rolled oats are what gives them their weight and bulk. Bobs Red Mill is the bestest not only because they deliver a rockin product, but also because they are big ancestral health peeps.

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Now that my main bulk is in I add the 1 tsp of cinnamon, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp real salt, 1 cup coconut sugar, 1 cup Chilean flame raisins, and 2 eggs. I chose the Chilean flame specifically for the size, I like bigger and thicker raisins. That is totally up to you!

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I then proceed to melt my 1 1/2 cups of Lard in my cast iron. I try not to use the microwave when using quality ingredients. I don’t want to oxidize or rancidify my fats with the manipulation of the water molecules. Once the fat is melted, go ahead and add it to the rest of the ingredients.

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You can blend the ingredients on med in your mixer if you like until everything is fully mixed. You must use an electric mixer for this type of dough.

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Now comes the fun part! Gettin Dirty!! I love using my hands! I love feeling the dough with my fingers and rolling them into cute little balls. The balls shouldn’t be too thick we are making 18 cookies of a moderate proportion. These cookies when done baking can fit in the palm of your hand. Space them evenly so that when you press them they aren’t touching.

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They should hopefully look something like this when they go into the oven. They only need 8-10 min and they will be good to go, so make sure to set a timer, you don’t want to dry them out.

Easy enough right? Ready for the final look?

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Doesn’t that look delicious! I even poured myself a glass of cashew milk to stay 100%  dairy free for today’s blog ❤

 

Recipe:

Prep time 10 min

Cook time 8-10min

You’ll need: Electric mixer, measuring spoons and cups, baking sheet

Ingredients:

2 cups Ottos Cassava Flour

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill thick cut rolled oats

1 1/2 cup of Fat works Lard

1 cup madhava coconut sugar

2 tsp organic vanilla

1 tsp organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp Real salt brand salt

1 tsp Bob’s Red Mill baking soda

2 Pasture Raised eggs

Preheat oven to 325. Sift flour. Add all ingredients. Mix. Roll into balls. Press dough into cookie shape. Bake for 8-10 min. Cool. Enjoy!

 

 

What is this Bone Broth Stuff everyone is talking about?

What is this Bone Broth Stuff everyone is talking about?

You have probably heard once or twice about bone broth recently, but what is it? And seriously, why is everyone talking about it?! Believe it or not, Bone Broth is an old world healing super food. I say “old world” because it is a remedy that has been used for ages. This is not American specific either, bone broth has been used in almost every culture around the world for centuries to heal the sick, or make people virile.

So what is bone broth besides an age old remedy? Well to be honest, it is pasture raised slow or pressure cooked, bones. If you don’t know what any of that means, don’t worry, let me break it down for you. Pasture raised stands for the feeding process of an animal in it’s natural state and living out to pasture its entire life, not in a cage or feed lot. When animals are out to pasture or in the wild, they are at their most vital state and offer the human body the nutrients it requires to heal. Slow or pressure cooked are two different ways we can cook bones. Slow cooking is longer and at a lower temperature. Pressure cooking is shorter and at a higher temp, but in a pressurized container. Neither are less effective, just different results in terms of flavor and clarity. The primary goal is to have a broth that gelatinizes at cooler temperatures. The Gelatin is the holy grail.

So beyond where the bones come from or how we cook it, why is it considered a super food?! Well to put it simply, bone broth when made properly, is dense and chalked full of nutrients. In this miraculous food you can find, collagen, proteins, healthy fats, amino acids, peptides, vitamins, minerals, and gelatin. WOW!!!

Crazy awesome right?! So the real reason everyone is talking about it is not only because it is a super food, but the amazing nutrients in it have the power to heal. The nutrient density of bone broth can heal even the most afflicted and literally bring people back to life. There are studies of people who have been hospitalized with Crohns disease and are totally emaciated to the point of no return, but were revived with bone broth. Others have had debilitating Colitis their entire life and the disease is reversed with bone broth. Yes these are both intestinal disorders, but the integrity of your entire system lives in your gut. Gut health is #1, and needs to be respected as such.

As you can see, bone broth is all the buzz right now because of its significance in healing the body. So if you are feeling sick, have food sensitivities, inflammation, nerve damage, degenerative health or wellbeing, try bone broth. It may be the answer you are looking for. Even if you don’t have an crazy health concerns, bone broth will make you look and feel better than you ever have before. The collagen is so rich that your hair, skin, and nails will be the best they have ever been!

What is the recommended amount you ask? I like to tell my clients that 6-8oz  daily is preferable. If you are looking to heal something severe, drinking 3 cups a day is extremely beneficial. You also want to make sure that you are digesting and breaking down the healthy fats properly, so feel free to add a little organic raw apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have a gallbladder, OX bile is necessary as a supplement to take with each meal and cup of bone broth.

Making bone broth is easy! Here is my favorite recipe from

NOM NOM PALEO

Michelle Tam is a health food chef that specifically cooks the PALEO style of eating. for those of you who are not familiar it is a style of eating that removes all grains and dairy. It is a great place to start if you have food sensitivities.

I am lucky enough to live in Portland Oregon where we have our very own broth bar! Check it out:

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So if you have been meaning to try bone broth or this is your first time hearing about it, don’t wait, this elixir is magic!!