recipes to heal your thyroid

Want to Lose 5 pounds easily? Get started with this 1 quick (thyroid) tip

Let’s not beat around the bush.

The number one complaint that women with a low-functioning thyroid complain about is: weight gain.

It’s a controversial topic that no one really wants to talk about it. Aren’t we supposed to love ourselves through and through even with those extra lbs?

Surely, “it’s not about the weight”. Feeling good isn’t about the numbers on the scale. Feeling good certainly comes from the inside out.

Aaand…… most of us start to cringe when we’re 5 to 10 pounds above our normal because it just. doesn’t. feel. good.

If you’re like the women that I see in my practice, likely you wouldn’t mind losing a couple of pounds. Keep reading and check out this thyroid tip to lose a few pounds (quick!).

5 pound weight loss
5 pound weight loss

Hormones and Weight Gain

Oh hormones.

They are beautiful and threatening all in the same sentence.

On one hand, they grace us with the ability to have children, give us energy and spark our creative cycles.

On the other, hormones drive us up-the-wall emotionally and have the ability to bring us to our knees within minutes.

There are 4 glands at work that balance our your hormones; pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and ovaries (pancreas in menopausal women). Granted all 4 work together, but two tend to get the spotlight (especially when we’re talking LBs): adrenals and thyroid.

These two glands, the adrenals and thyroid, are all about energy production and metabolism. The adrenals make the energy for your body and your thyroid doles it out.

To keep it simple, think of your adrenals as the energy producer and your thyroid as the energy manager. If either of these glands is on the down low, then energy tends to sag and pounds can add on quite easily.

A Little More Specifics For You

Your amazing human body has two adrenal glands located at the top of each kidney. Each adrenal gland is composed of two parts: the outer part called the adrenal cortex and the inner adrenal medulla. Both areas of the adrenals secrete specific hormones to affect many different bodily functions.

Cortisol is a glucocorticoid that is secreted by the adrenal cortex.

Cortisol is involved in our body’s stress response and helps regulate metabolism.

When stress goes up, cortisol levels rise too. Higher cortisol levels in the blood make us feel more hungry and increases cravings for “comfort” foods.

Cortisol also has a sweet relationship with the thyroid. The thyroid gland needs just the right amount of cortisol to function properly.

Too much cortisol (cause by a stress response of the adrenal glands), causes your body cell’s to no longer respond to the thyroid hormone signal.

Whew…..that’s a big deal.

In essence, your adrenals are making energy, but your body can’t respond to it. And sooner than later, your system needs more and more thyroid hormone to get the same metabolic effect.

If your system can’t provide the thyroid hormone, weight gain is sure to follow suite (whether we like it or not).

The Not-So-Crazy-Works-For-Everyone Secret to Weight Loss

Are you ready?

Listen closely.

Eat. More. Veggies.

I know most of us think that we eat enough veggies, but honestly you can never have enough. 

Let's make sure that we've got this straight. I’m not suggesting that we become vegetarians. It’s really important to get a balance of proteins, fats, and carbs. Yet, most of us can benefit from the idea of being a “vege-phile” [a person who loves veggies, grabs veggies and goes for more veggies]. We don't need to eat like monks, but eating more veggies fuels our system and helps our thyroid in ways that we can not even imagine.

Vegetables are your power-packed, guilt-free, I-love-me food. Because they are so loaded with all the good stuff and easy to digest, you can virtually eat as much as you want without putting a drag on your metabolism. In fact, the more veggies you eat, the more you’ll rev up your metabolism.

Sneak in More Veggies with these EZ Tips

1. Chop Ahead: For some reason, veggies just aren’t as easy to reach for as cheese and crackers. Here’s what one client did when she heard the eat-more-veggies tip; she cut veggies on Sunday and put them in a clear Tupperware container for the week. That way she could see them and grab ‘em easily. [By the way- she’s dropped 8 pounds in a 4 week time period….not bad, ‘eh].

2. Have Veggie Snacks: Research shows that it’s hard to get enough veggies in at meals alone. Go ahead and beat the research by having veggies when you’re hankering for a snack. Here’s the good news: veggies are guilt-free foods so go ahead and munch away on as many as you want.

3. Go for Ferments: Veggie ferments are power packed for two reasons. #1: They are ready to go. Just add as a side condiment to your meal. #2: They are loaded with good probiotics for digestion. It’s like getting a bonus with your veggie package.

4. Veggies After Dinner: It can be easy to munch away on any old thing after dinner. Eventually one snack turns into another and suddenly we’re four snacks down the road. Think veggies after dinner and get the munchies out while you’re crunching on red peppers, carrots, or cucumbers.

If You Care, Make Sure to Share

If you’re digging the eat-more-veggie idea and thinking that it just might help you shed a couple pounds, then pass this post along to a friend or two.

Click on your fave social share button, or forward this post along in an e-mail. 

Here's to fresh veggies and a healthy thyroid

~ Kristin

Go Ahead: Eat Your Brassica's

Why cruciferous veggies should be included in a hypothyroid diet.

Brassica’s [informerly known as cruciferous vegetables: as in the likes of cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and more] are often admonished in the hypothyroid community.

First, comes the hypothyroid diagnosis.

Second, comes the list of veggies (mostly of the cruciferous type) to avoid.

Why?

Because Brassica’s are known to be high in naturally-occurring goitrogens and are often encouraged to be avoided.

In this post, I’m going to tell you why it’s important for you [even if you’re hypothyroid] to include Brassica’s in your food choices and why you might even want to eat lot’s of ‘em.

brussel sprouts pic
brussel sprouts pic

First, What the hay are Goitrogens?

Goitrogens are known to be substances that suppress the function of the thyroid gland by getting in the way of iodine uptake. Eventually, this suppression can be so great that it can cause swelling around the thyroid (also known as a goiter).

Your thyroid gland needs iodine to be able to make it’s thyroid hormones {T3,T4 and calcitonin}. Decreased iodine absorption equals less thyroid hormone.

Now, goitrogenic substances are most often found in drugs and chemicals, but they can also be found in food.

Here’s a partial list of some foods that contain goitrogenic compounds:

Soybeans, pine nuts, peanuts, flax seed, millet, strawberries, pears, peaches, spinach, sweet potatoes, bok choy, broccoli , Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, turnips.

It’s a long list of foods {mostly of the Brassica type} and it doesn’t even cover the gamut. Nixing out all these foods seems like a shame. After all, most of ‘em are vegetables that we’re talking about.

Unfortunately, most practitioners forget to tell mention that lightly steaming or cooking brassica’s is enough to neutralize goitrogenic compounds. Cooking is all you need to do so that you can have your brassica’s and eat ‘em too.

Second, what’s so great about Brassica’s

Ounce for ounce, brassica’s are some of the most loaded veggies out there. They’re loaded with conventional nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, as well as folic acid and fiber. Brassica’s even have a significant amount of protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids. For a full brassica nutrient profile: click here.

Brassica’s are helpful for hypothyroid women for 3 reasons:

1. Crazy high in Fiber: Brassica’s are known to be unusually high in fiber. All this fiber helps with digestion and elimination. This is critical for hypothyroid women as we generally tend towards slow digestion which can build a higher toxic load in our system. Keeping our systems flowin’ with high fiber foods works in our favor.

2. Detoxify the Liver: Brassica’s are known to be potent detoxifiers for the liver. See #1. Because our digestion and absorption is a little on the slow side, detoxifiers become significant. Anything that can lower the toxic load on our system is going to help in the long run. Keeping the liver free and clear, will help our liver be the smooth hormonal regulator that it wants to be.

3. Anti-inflammatory: There is loads of research out there on Brassica’s and their amazing anti-inflammatory capabilities. Researchers are not sure why {maybe because Brassica’s are high in vitamin K or because they tend to be blood sugar stabilizers}, but paper after paper confirms that these veggies reduce inflammation and thereby help nearly every dis-ease in the human body- including a low-functioning thyroid.

Third, My Favorite Brassica Recipe

I love brassica’s in all shapes and sizes, but I will admit- Brussel sprouts have a fond place in my heart. I’ll cook ‘em up any which way and my kiddos are right there chomping at the bit. Sometimes I sauté them in butter, often I’ll cook ‘em in bacon grease, and every now and then I’ll roast ‘em in the oven.

Make Sure to Pass the Brassica's

Hey....can you pass the brassica's, please? If you love your brassica's as much as I do, share this post with your friends with your fav social share link below OR send 'em a "Savory" treat via e-mail. Thanks for spreading the word and sharing the love.

Here's to healthy hormones and brassica's for all!

~ Kristin

Fire Cider Kristin-style

Need an extra kick to get you through the season?

It’s that time of year when most of us are nursing our second or

maybe even third winter cold (or dare I say flu).

We’re sick, we’re tired, and we’re kinda done with this

whole thing of being sick and tired.

I’ve shared my all-time favorite cold buster here before.

And, it works like a charm. [Get it right here.]

But, if you’re really feeling run down and you need a little more zing to get you

through a cold (or even just the day), then I’ve got a two-word secret for you.

It begins with “F” and ends with “-ider.”

And, it’s one of my favorite drinks.

It’s…Fire Cider.

kick winter in the tush
kick winter in the tush

What the hay is Fire Cider?

Fire Cider is one of those magical tonics handed down over the course of time.

Your grandma might have made it because her grandma swore by it. It’s a decongesting,

immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral, apple cider vinegar infusion

that simple kicks major booty in the infection department.

Here’s the Best Part

Fire Cider is one of the easiest tonics to make. Simply:

1. Get the ingredients

2. Chop the ingredients

3. Put the ingredients in a jar and let them soak in apple cider vinegar for a week (or longer).

There’s no baking, no broiling. There’s no fancy mixing or mashing.

We’re talking chopping and soaking. That’s it.

How Should I Use It?

Fire cider sounds like it’s going to be a hot and spicy number.

Sure, it has a kick. But, I’ll be the first to tell you- good fire cider is mostly sweet

and spicy thanks to the cider soaked onions.

This sweet and sour special sauce is good in so many ways,

but here are a few of my go-to ways to use it:

1. A Splash in Water: Take is as a tonic any old day and put a splash of fire cider in water.

2. Spike Your Tea: If there’s a bug in the house and you’re feeling a little vulnerable,

a dash of fire cider in some garlic tea is the answer. This anti-microbial concoction is just the thing

to boost immunity and keep you hummin’ along.

3. Over Greens: Don’t let Fire Cider fool you. It’s not just an immune booster,

it’s a special sauce. Saute your favorite greens in butter and add a TBSP of fire cider

with a pinch of salt and you will be in heaven….guaranteed.

4. Cough Syrup for Kiddos: Just add 1Tbsp honey to 1-2 Tbsp fire cider.

Stir and serve on a spoon. The honey totally works to tone down the fire cider

spice so that your little one’s can go cough free.

Pass the Cider, Please

Holy canoli, I absolutely love sharing these health secrets with you.

It feels so good to give you the concrete steps so that you can take fabulous care of yourself.

Go ahead and pass this recipe on to a good friend or two, because everyone deserves to feel their best.

Here's to being sniffle-free any old time of the year!

~ Kristin

Boost Digestion: Better Your Thyroid {and my favorite Chickpea Veggie Cakes}

chickpea cakes
chickpea cakes

One of the biggest brew ha-ha-ha’s for those of us with a low functioning thyroid is our digestion.

On one hand, it can be a big, ole pain in the tush.

And, on the other hand, it can be our brightest guiding light.

Pain in the Tush

I’m going to tell ‘ya from experience; a low-functioning thyroid tends to lend itself to a sensitive digestive tract.

We’re sensitive creatures. Eat the wrong thing and our tummies hurt,

our digestion slows and our energy tanks.

Sure, at times it can be a BIG pain in the rear.

Brightest Guiding Light

On the other hand, having a sensitive system can be a major plus.

Our bodies are great communicators. Unfortunately, they don’t talk using fancy words and philosophical phrases.

Our bodies communicate by how we feel.

Listening is the key to a long, healthy relationship with your thyroid and your body.

Give Your Belly A Boost

There’s three ways to dance around these types of sensitivities.

1. Food Fear. Simply avoiding the offending food. It works in the short term, but it doesn’t heal the underlying problem.

2. Strengthen the system. Bring on digestive aids like hydrochloric acid, fermented foods, and digestive enzymes. (Smart thinking.)

3. Make foods more digestible. Putting in a little prep time can make all the difference in your digestion.

Keep reading and I'll show you how.

Why Soak Beans

Beans are one of those tricky foods for low thyroid folks. They’re a great protein source,

and they’re also a digestive nightmare for tender tummies.

The Good Side: Beans are loaded with all sorts of nutrients from protein and fiber to

vitamins and minerals [like calcium, manganese and potassium].

The Other Side: Beans are loaded with anti-nutrients. These anti-nutrients found in the outer 

seed coat help protect the bean from the sun, insects, and predators. But the also make the nutrient loaded bean

difficult to digest and interfere with the absorption of nutrients.

The Good News: Soaking beans eliminates those anti-nutrients. In some ways, soaking mimics the

germination process that takes place in nature. It neutralizes the anti-nutrients while unlocking

precious nutrients and enzymes.

How to Soak Beans

Soaking beans is way easier than it sounds.

1. Cover the beans with more than enough water and a tablespoon of sea salt. Set on the counter overnight.

2. Rinse and strain. Add more water.

3. Pop ‘em in the crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours until beans are soft.

Now What Do You Do With Those Beans?

Add beans to soups and stews, toss ‘em in a salad OR make Chickpea Veggie Cakes! If you do prep your beans, make sure to stash some in the freezer.

You can pull them out when you're in a rush and wow your family with a quickie meal any time.

Recipes Taste Better when Shared

When it comes down to it, I sooooo believe that recipes are meant to be shared.

Go ahead, invite some friends over and share the love with these Chickpea Veggie CakesOR give your friends a

virtual hug and share these cakes in digi-form (just hit your favorite social share button below the recipe.)

To Chickpea Veggie Cakes and happy tummies!

~ Kristin

Your Thyroid and Your Immune System: {plus, FIVE tricks to get you through cold and flu season}

This time of year is a challenging on the thyroid. Oh, yes it is.

Nothing like flip-flopping temperatures to put a big, strain on your thyroid and put a damper on your immune system.

sniffle free
sniffle free

Tidbits About Your Thyroid [that you might not know]

Your thyroid is that sweet, butterfly shaped gland just below your Adam’s apple.

It’s got four lobes that mirror each other and it’s extremely sensitive to internal and external stressors.

To keep it simple, you can think of your thyroid as a control tower of sorts,

constantly adjusting and reacting to different input.

Internally, your thyroid is sensitive to stress that comes from within us.

It reacts to things like amount of sleep, thought patterns, nutritional status, and infections.

Externally, your thyroid will be affected by factors outside of us.

Environmental toxins, relationship stress, even parental stress can be a contributing factor.

Fall’s fluctuating temps challenge your thyroid and can be a just one more reason why up-and-down weather brings on nasty bugs.

Your Thyroid and Your Immune System

There’s a lot of talk about your thyroid being important for immunity, but do you know why?

1. It’s all about calcium.

Now I’m guessing that this might be a new consideration for a lot of folks.

When there’s talk about boosting the immune system, most people give a big shout out to remedies like Echinacea or zinc. And while there’s nothing wrong with those immune builders, they’re not the “King Pin.”

Calcium (and how it’s transported in the body) is the real deal.

Calcium- the most abundant mineral in your bod- tags germs so that your immune system knows what to attack.

In fact, tissue calcium saturation is the sole determining factor whether an acutely ill person will get better. Poor calcium levels equals poor prognosis. Here’s the study so you can take a look.

Your thyroid and parathyroid are big players in calcium metabolism and regulation. If they’re not functioning up to par, then you’ll have a harder time metabolizing calcium, and your immune system will have a harder time tagging germs.

Improve your calcium metabolism, and you’ll ace cold and flu season.

2. Your blood circulates through your thyroid every 7 minutes.

In Folk Medicine, DC. Jarvis writes about the connection between your thyroid, iodine and immunity.

He notes that all the blood in your body circulates through your thyroid every 7 minutes.

Your thyroid is soaking up iodine so that it can make hormones, and it also uses iodine as a handy antiseptic “wash”.

The iodine in your thyroid literally sterilizes your blood.

Boost your iodine status and you’ll be more likely to fend off any old bug.

What Can You Do About It?

Taking a little bit of time and effort during the fall to support your thyroid is so worth it.

I like to say, “less sneezing is more pleasing.” Here’s what YOU can do:

1. Get more rest: Nothing helps your thyroid more than rest.

I wrote about the thyroid-adrenal connection in my most popular post yet.

Click here and check out the ONE habit can help your hormones for good (and put it into action).

2. Eat your sea veggies: Iodine is 100% essential for your thyroid to be able to make

hormones (T3, T4, and calcitonin). Boost your “antiseptic” status by loading up on sea veggies.

Sprinkle a “sea veggie shake” like gomasio over eggs, soup or salad. Or, go for the gusto with this simple seaweed salad.

3. Dress for the season {not for the weather}: It can be tricky dressing for fall.

Mornings are chilly, afternoons are hot and all too often you can get caught in a brief sprinkle of rain.

Layer up and make sure that you’re dressing for the season and not for the weather. A light scarf around

your neck will help take a chill off your thyroid and keep your body temps more stable.

4. Consider taking calcium. It’s not called the “King Pin” for nothing, and not all forms of calcium are made the same.

Bottom line: Calcium lactate (made from beets) takes only 1 biochemical step to be usable for your body.

~ Kristin

Carbonates take a dozen steps. Ditch the carbonate, reach for calcium lactate, and you’ll be good to go.

5. Drink garlic tea: When worse comes to worse and you feel like you’re coming

down with something, garlic tea is your go-to remedy. It works like a charm- Every. Single. Time.

Just add a couple of cloves of chopped garlic to your favorite tea and sip on it throughout the day.

Sharing is Caring

Let’s face it, no one likes being sick. So, make sure to take a second and click on the social share buttons to the bottom left.

Your support is so important to me and I bet your friends will thank you for helping them go bug-free this season.

Aaand...I'd love to hear some of your favorite cold and flu remedies in the comments section. What do you go tucked up your sleeve?

Now, let’s get out there and be in the magic of this season (without all the sniffles and sneezes).

Wishing you a Kleenex-free Fall~

kristinsavory_signature
kristinsavory_signature

Too Busy for Breakfast? [my latest hormone balancing quick start: Gluten Free Quiche Muffins]

So long late summer nights and lazy mornings, it’s B2S (or “Back to School”) in our house.

My very veggie quiche muffins just waiting to be gobbled up!
My very veggie quiche muffins just waiting to be gobbled up!

The good: my house is cleaner than it’s been in a loooong time.

The bad: my house is quieter than it’s been in a long time.

The upside: with both of my kiddos in school, I now have a lot more time to create new recipes

and dream up even more ways to help you get ahead in your hormonal health.

They say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

I was definitely in need.

(Picture waking up the kiddos and rolling them into the car by 7:45am- not always a pretty site.)

In case you’re new to my little corner of the internet- I’m a big believer that you can improve your hormones

and get ahead in your health with one magical ingredient: food.

Now, we’ve all been told to eat our fruits and veggies,

but the magic doesn’t always happen there. No way.

To really get ahead in your hormonal health, you have got to balance

your blood sugar from the get go (aka breakfast).

Here’s how it works:

Every time blood sugar levels spike, your pancreas swings into gear.

It produces a hormone called insulin to get the sugar out of the blood and

into the cells where it can do some work.

Eat too much sugar and your pancreas will make too much insulin.

Too much insulin in the blood will lower your blood sugar….fast.

Suddenly, that manic sugar-high feeling turns into a big. ‘ol. CRASH.

Once you crash, your adrenals have to get in the game and produce cortisol to get your blood sugar levels up again.

Do this day in and day out, and you are beating up your pancreas and killing your adrenals.

Keep in mind that once your adrenals are toast, your entire endocrine system starts to go downhill.

Over time, whipped adrenals drag down the pituitary gland and make their mark on thyroid function.

One of the first steps in taking care of your thyroid is learning how to regulate your blood sugar levels

(by cutting out sugar, my friends, ‘cause that’s where it all starts.)

That’s why I had to share my latest Gluten Free Veggie Quiche Muffin cause-I’m- running-out-the-door b’fast.

I needed a quick start to my day that would curb the sugar and up the protein all while wiping the sleepers out of my eyes.

I can’t wait to give you the recipe, but before I do, I’ve got a quickie homework assignment just for you.

Step 1. Scroll to the end of the recipe and hit the social share button of your choice.

Spread the love with your friends on facebook, pinterest, or google-plus. I really, really, really appreciate it.

It gets the word out and you might help a friends’ morning go a little smoother.

Step 2. Leave a note in the comments section and let me know what you think about this very-veggie-quiche-muffin-on-the-go.

Are you going to make ‘em? Who are you going to have them with? Sounds a silly, but this is the stuff I love to know.

With every little tweak that we make, we’re one step closer to better health. Gotta love it!

Now...here's your recipe!

~ Kristin

How to Turn Wild Cherries into a Hormonal Win{recipe: Special, Cherry Oatcake}

Down the street is our neighborhood’s giving tree.

Cherry oatcake is a hormonal win any day.
Cherry oatcake is a hormonal win any day.

In the fall, her leaves turn golden. In the winter,

she’s our gathering place. By spring, she smells of flowers.

And every single summer, she bears loads of sweet and tart cherries.

This year was no exception. We lucked out with a “bumper crop”.

Her branches were literally loaded with beautiful, red cherries.

If you’ve been a fan of my work, then you know that maintaining even blood sugar levels

throughout the day is vital to hormonal freedom. Often I encourage clients to cut down

on sweets and even limit their fruits to one piece a day.

Yes, we’ve been told to “eat your fruits and vegetables”, but I’d like to switch that moniker on it’s heels. I think it should read a bit more like this:

“Eat your veggies and savor your fruits.”

Fruits do contain vitamins, minerals and fiber that slow the absorption of sugar,

but in the end, fructose is fructose. Too much fructose in any one setting can throw

your pancreas into a tailspin and kick your adrenals into overdrive.

High levels of cortisol caused by stress (from blood sugar swings or life circumstances)

decreases thyroid function and TSH production.

So, what’s a mom to do when her kids are whooping and hollering

about cherries in the heat of the summer sun?

I say, “Pick’ em and have yourself some fun.”

I made this Special Cherry Oatcake a hormonal winner by switching things up

with these four steps to minimize a blood sugar conundrum.

1. Soak grains in yogurt.

Soaking grains helps to breakdown any anti-nutrients and hard-to-digest parts of the grain. 

Soaking may seem time consuming at first glance, but it’s really more about thinking ahead.

And soaking  grains has another hormonal benefit. Often, low thyroid equals poor digestion.

When grains are easier to digest, there’s a lot less drag on your thyroid.

2. 50-50 steel cut oats and rolled oats.

Steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, and both are less processed than quick oats.

With more of it’s natural juju intact, steel cut oats won’t sway blood sugar like the others.

You can up your hormonal mastery here and play with the percentage of steel cut vs. rolled oats in this recipe.

I ended up going 50/50 but I bet 75/25 (favoring steel cut oats) would work well too.

3. It’s got protein.

4 eggs and ½ cup of nuts are added to up the protein and slow down the glycemic response

of the fruit and the tiny bit of honey.

Balanced hormones start with balanced blood sugar levels. It’s not that we can’t enjoy sweetness in our life,

but those sweet flavors are best when tempered with proper ratios of fat and protein.

4. It's made in a pan.

Maybe the best part of this special Cherry Oatcake is that it’s made in a pan.

If you’re in a hormonal slump, then you know that you don’t have a whole lot of energy

to waste nor time to spare. There’s nothing like having something on hand that you can serve to

your kids or enjoy for yourself that hits the spot without throwing you into a blood sugar tizzy.

So without further adieu, here she is, my special Cherry Oatcake recipe.

Check it out and tell me what you think of my sweet-and-sour snack in the comment section.

As always, I love hearing from you.

~ Kristin

Why your thyroid wants you to eat more seaweed [and a salad recipe you'll love]

Arame Seaweed Salad: loaded with iodine and a great lunch addition
Arame Seaweed Salad: loaded with iodine and a great lunch addition

If you knew that there was a food that was loaded with valuable nutrition 

for your thyroid, would you run out and grab some?

Sea vegetables (with exotic names like kombu, nori, and arame)

are a hot ticket to hormonal success.

Ounce for ounce, seaweeds are chock full of nutrition, including calcium, iron and B-vitamins that can help rev up metabolism. But the best part about seaweed is that they’re mineral dense, with 10 to 20 times the minerals of land plants.

Although they may not sound as warm and fuzzy as vitamins, minerals perform critical functions, acting as spark plugs for your body.

In fact, all nutrients—vitamins, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, carbs, fats—need minerals to help them do their jobs inside the body.

Minerals are necessary to build healthy bones, produce hormones, and transfer nutrients across cell membranes. Enzymes just won’t work without the presence of key minerals.

Minerals are not something that your body can make, so you have to get them in your food grown in proper soils. Essentially, minerals come from the earth.

Healthy soil is about 45% mineral rich.

Unfortunately, our modern farming practices have taken a toll. Based on a study done in 1992, U.S. soils contain 86% less minerals than they did 100 years ago.

Even if you’re eating a well balanced diet, your body could probably use a mineral boost.

Seaweeds are the answer. They’re loaded with iodine (aka, the thyroid mineral), calcium, magnesium and iron.

In Chinese Medicine and other natural healing modalities, there’s a very cool theory called the Doctrine of Signatures, which states that an herb or a plant serves the body in much the same way that the plant acts in its natural environment.

Here’s what I mean: Seaweeds are transformers. They are the magical plants of the ocean.

In Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford writes, “wherever seaweeds grow, they do not simply absorb and concentrate toxins. Rather they detoxify and transform a certain amount of toxic metals, converting them to harmless salts, which the body excretes through the intestines.”

This is exactly what seaweeds do in our bodies.

Seaweed consumption is known to soften hardened areas and masses (think fibroids, nodules or cystic tissues), and detoxify the body. Most likely due to their high mineral content, eating seaweed tends to get things moving in your body and kick biochemical reactions into gear.

Your thyroid needs iodine to be able to make thyroid hormone. So if your hair is getting a little thin, or you’d like to slim down just a bit, it’s a great idea to add foods like my favorite Arame Seaweed Salad (recipe below).

Arame has a subtle, semi-sweet flavor and firm texture. Most people find it to be quite tasty and easy to work with. This salad is a snap to make and it gets even better the next day. If you’re not a fan of the seaweed flavor, you can always tone it down a bit by serving it over a light bed of greens, such as Romaine leaves.

Now, I love hearing from you, seaweed fan or not. Tell me in the comments below, do you mix sea veggies into your cooking? If so, what’s your favorite veggie of the sea and how do you prefer to prepare it? And, if you haven’t dipped into seaweeds yet, what sort of recipe would you like to try?

~ Kristin

The #1 Secret to Easy Family Dinners—and Why Slow is the New Quick

Crockpot chicken~ super simple, super easy, and seriously yummy.
Crockpot chicken~ super simple, super easy, and seriously yummy.

If you’ve got low thyroid, you know there’s just not a whole bunch

of energy leftover—especially toward the end of a long day.

Often, the last thing that you want to do is cook dinner.

You know the drill.

Everyone is hungry.

Your house is a mess.

Kids are climbing up your legs.

Don’t you wish you had a kitchen helper?

Likely, you do, lurking somewhere in a cabinet: a slow cooker, or crockpot. To me, using a crockpot is almost like having dinner out, but you’re eating in the comfort of your own home. You know the ingredients are good and the flavors are going to be just how you like them. But you barely had to lift a finger.

Here’s my “little secret” when it comes to the crockpot: Don’t bother with special “slow cooker” recipes; use it as the world’s easiest way to cook your protein.

For me, it’s usually beef, bison, chicken, or turkey. Yes, it’s that simple!

Then, I use the meat in any which way I like. I can make tacos, Indian curry, Thai stir-fry, or plain old roast chicken, just by placing my meat and a few simple spices into my trusty crocker.

Here is one of my family’s all-time favorites. Honestly, it can’t get any easier. To sweeten the crock just a bit, it’s a two-for-one deal: Roast the chicken on day one, and make a no-work bone broth on day two.

Now it’s your turn. Do you love your crockpot, or is she just sitting there in the back of your cabinet? I’d LOVE to learn about your favorite crockpot recipes. Leave a comment below and while you’re at it, tell us a little story about how you manage to feed your family well with all the hustle and bustle of life.

~ Kristin