Laughter may be the best medicine

This article, published last month (Nov 5, 2019) indicates “laughter yoga” had better positive effects on people with IBS than anti-anxiety medication and a standard control group.

Laughter yoga is like regular yoga, but with “laughter breathing.” You laugh, intentionally, without anybody telling jokes or watching a funny skit. It might feel like fake laughing, but it really helps.

Most people know anxiety and GI symptoms can be correlated and even sometimes causative. This is why the anti-anxiety medication was the second arm of this study. But not all GI symptoms are anxiety related.

What I’d like to see as a follow up to this study is how laughter yoga compares with GI motility medications, like Imodium for those with IBS-D or Miralax or laxatives for IBS-C.

Another interesting article I recently saw was “Food we need to talk” on NPR. A bunch of different “nutrition experts” basically summed up the best 1 thing to do to be healthy. The summary was: Exercise- mostly strength training. Obviously there are other additional things to optimize your health (eat more vegetables, less sugar, etc.) but if you could only do 1 thing, that thing should be lift weights.

As the new year is upon us, what strength training are you going to do this year?


After a long hiatus- due to being too busy, and also getting hacked… the site is back. I read over my last couple posts and unfortunately, I didn’t meet my goals I had listed on my new year post. I was doing well for a little while on the meditation front, then it fell apart when we went on vacation in February. I’m lucky if I make time for 2 sessions a week now much less 4. I haven’t deadlifted in a couple weeks and the highest I had done up to that point was 250 lbs, so did eventually get to my March goal, but still slowly working on June goal, oops. And obviously, I have not been posting 2 times a month… man, I failed on all 3 goals.

Well, no one’s perfect. Hope you all did a little better with your goals than I did. I will try and get back on working towards those goals. Here’s my first post this month. I hope to have a guest poster soon too. I wonder if I should count that as my second post. 😛

Super quick recap of the year. We went to Uruguay in Feb, got a bee hive in April, have been busy with both jobs, mountain biking when I get a chance and working in the garden. Tomatoes are coming in strong now, pole beans are finishing up, spinach, kale and collards are done. Melons, sweet potatoes and butternut square are growing quickly. Okra is starting to take off. Our chickens are putting out eggs most days and we have been fighting the Japanese beetle  swarms. That’s all for now. Thanks to a long time friend for helping me get unhacked and back up on the internet.

Bacteria making fats cause heart disease

I posted this on my facebook page a little while back but forgot to post it here on the site.

Fascinating new research in the search to find the cause of heart disease. Bacteria in your mouth secrete lipids that cause plaque build up. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why more research is showing how sugar is more detrimental to your health than fats. Bacteria (usually) love sugar so the more sugar you eat, the more “bad” bacteria in your mouth which may contribute to higher bacterial lipids floating around in your arteries-> causing heart disease.



Well, not quite growing yet. We’ve prepped tested our garden beds to get ready for this years growing season. We are now erecting a fence to keep the deer out. The last thing we want is to have a bunch of well fed deer after all our hard work.

We’ve tilled clay, added countless bags of clay breaker, soil conditioner, lime, our own food compost, cow manure, peat moss and outsourced organic compost. The beds are looking fluffy and healthy, and grew a nice cover crop over the winter. We’ve tilled again to get the cover crop mixed in, added in some biotone and other natural fertilizers after sending off soil samples a few weeks ago.

We are ready to roll once the weather allows. We’ll put in some greens and pole beans in next weekend and have the fence up are ready by the time the sprouts emerge. Here are a few pics of the progress. 

Once the veggies are growing and protected, we’ll work on getting some chickens to provide us with some fresh eggs!

Vegetarians are less healthy….


First let me say, without question, vegetables in general are good. I stand behind eating vegetables. I eat veggies; I encourage others to eat them… veggies for everyone! The purpose of this post is just to reiterate the idea that we all need to take the latest headlines (whether on TV, the newspaper, Social media and Blogs, even my own) with a grain of salt. 😉

The research paper I’m using as an example here concludes, “Adults who consume a vegetarian diet are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment.”

That’s a pretty definitive statement. Most would read this summary and scoff, roll their eyes and call BS.

The point is that you can find research that will support any belief you have. There is research out there supporting everything from veganism to paleo diets, and everything in between. Even the most widely agreed upon statement of “vegetables are good” can, and is, contradicted with science. And it’s not “bad” science with tiny samples sizes, or short-term studies. The result of this study was from a survey given to 15,474 people aged 15 or older. It shows that the people who ate less saturated fat, less animal protein and more vegetables were “less healthy” by many measures of health.

An easy question to pose about how the results may have come to this conclusion is the question of why someone decided to become a vegetarian. Many people move to vegetarianism due to having a condition or disease that they believe cutting out meat will help them address, so the data becomes less easy to interpret. The vegetarian diet may not have caused their condition, but the subjects are labeled as less healthy on as they are currently on a vegetarian diet. It’s also quite possible the “meatatarians” aren’t as health conscious, and aren’t as diligent about going to the doctor, so they haven’t been formally diagnosed with any chronic conditions. None of this is spelled out in the research so it’d be short sighted to say vegetarians are less healthy due to eating more vegetables and less meat.

Be skeptical. Don’t believe everything you read. Ask questions, form your own opinion and do your own experiments. Try different foods and see what makes you feel best. People always ask, “what’s the best diet?” and the answer really is different for everyone, but as a general guideline, the simplest advice I can give is eat real food.

Random updates

A couple of random updates. First, I ordered and just received a book called “The Thyroid Connection” by Amy Myers, MD. It’s all about the thyroid, how it affects the body and how to possibly fix it, or at least how to get help and find the appropriate medication to treat it. It’s very food centric though which is the big reason I got it. Having hypothyroid myself and having been on thyroid meds for nearly 10 yrs, I wanted to get back into studying the thyroid. My thyroid condition is a big reason why I got into nutrition in the first place. I have been super strict in the past about gluten free and done lots of blood tests to try and figure out the root cause of my thyroid condition, to no avail. I’ve done most of the extensive labs including TSH, T4, freeT4, T3, freeT3, rT3, and Thyroid antibodies, most of which aren’t done unless you beg/plead/convince your MD to do. I’m currently on Levothyroxine and live pretty normally. No real complaints other than crazy dry skin in the winter. My TSH is still a little higher than I’d like though and I think my skin could be better. I’m excited to learn some new things and understand the thyroid even better. I know it will also be useful when helping clients feel and be their best in the future too.

Second, our cover crop is coming in pretty well, but a little more sparely than expected. We got a pound of cover crop seed and thought it would be plenty, but seems like we should’ve gotten more. :-/ We are really trying to help condition the soil for Spring 2017 when we’d like to really get to planting some crops. We also got a couple pear trees in the ground! We’re hoping I dug the holes deep enough to allow the trees to not drown…. darn non draining VA clay, and all the excessive rain recently! img_6260 img_6251

BMJ Open heart article

An editorial article by the British Journal of Medicine from last year about how dietary restrictions may be flawed and incorrect. This is a discussion about the research Ansel Keys did and the conclusions he came to.


Updated site


If you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t posted in a while. My website was pretty much broken. It was still up and live and accessible up until a few days ago, but I couldn’t post. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even get to the log-in page to edit/post/update.

So after a lot of work and copy and pasting I have a “new” site that I can update and post to again. It’s simpler, with less options to adapt the page to how I’d like it to look, but I can update it, which is the whole point. Moving forward…


I’m happy to say I was accepted into an internship. I am now a Dietetic Intern with Virginia State University. I finished my classes last winter and had a semester off and have now started my first rotation doing clinical work with a great group of Registered Dietitians at Regional Memorial Medical Center just north of Richmond city in VA. This is the first of many rotations and I will finish up in June 2016. I’ll try and keep you apprised of my progress throughout the year while posting (now that I’m able) new and hopefully interesting links, articles, recipes, and reviews.

Automimmune Genes

This is an interesting article about how old the genes are that play a role in Crohn’s and psoriasis.

“Both diseases are autoimmune disorders, and one can imagine that in a pathogen-rich environment, a highly active immune system may actually be a good thing even if it increases the chances of an auto-immune response.”
The question they don’t ask, and we’ll never know, is if these ancient ancestors suffered from the symptoms of these issues. Then you could ask the question, like in the book “The Epidemic of Absence”, would people who suffer from Crohn’s today, benefit from from being exposed to pathogens?