Dairy-Free, Detox, Elimination Diet, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Uncategorized

Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili

Ingredients:
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 small yellow onion diced
  •  2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
  •  1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 small jalapeno, minced
  •  3 cups vegetable broth
  •  1 15 oz can fire roasted, diced tomatoes
  •  1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  •  1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  •  2 teaspoons chili powder
  •  2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion, sweet potato, and red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and chili has thickened.
  4. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, green onions, chips, and any other desired toppings. Serve warm.
  5. Note-this chili will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It also freezes well. Cool completely and store in a freezer container. The chili can be frozen for up to 2 months and the recipe can easily be doubled.
Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Healthy Desserts, Paleo, Recipes, Uncategorized

Chia Fruit Muffins

Photo and recipe courtesy of Leaves of Life

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Stevia to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (pea protein adds 8g protein per cup, but any milk will do)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, coconut nectar or honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fruit of choice (peach is pictured here)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another (reserve fruit for now)
  3. After thoroughly blending dry and wet ingredients in their separate bowls, add the dry to the wet slowly while stirring continuously, until thoroughly incorporated
  4. Gently stir in fruit
  5. Grease muffin pan with coconut oil
  6. Spoon in mixture to just below the top of each cup
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean

A fresh fruit garnish is the perfect complement!

Uncategorized

CBD: What Can’t it Help?

Did you know all invertebrates have a biological system named after cannabis?  Cannabinoids, active compounds found in cannabis plants, were discovered in the 1990’s when scientists were studying how cannabis works, thus the name “endocannabinoid system” (ECS).

What Is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

The ECS is a physiological system constantly working to maintain homeostasis at a cellular level. This system is made up of three parts:

  • Endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced naturally inside the body)
  • Receptors throughout the body
  • Enzymes that break down endocannabinoids and cannabinoids (from external sources)

Scientists say CBD interacts with pain, gene activation and serotonin receptors, (among several other neurotransmitter receptors), as well as enzymes and other proteins.

Because of the numerous receptors and other sites where cannabinoids interact (both exogenous, from plants such as hemp, and endogenous, from the body), elevated or depressed levels of cannabinoids can have repercussions throughout your entire body.

Studies also indicate that CBD and other cannabinoids increase your body’s own natural production of endocannabinoids. One reason is that CBD competes for binding proteins that are responsible for transporting neurotransmitters for breakdown. This means CBD is involved in reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, the same mechanism as pharmaceutical SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting anti-depressants). A balanced mood can actually increase your body’s own production of cannabinoids!

Aside from its role in elevating mood, serotonin is also used throughout your body for many purposes, including bone sythesis, cardiovascular function and digestion (95% of serotonin receptor sites are located in the GI tract). And serotonin is just ONE neurotransmitter affected by CBD!

Pain Perception, Memory and Epilepsy

CBD also interacts with and desensitizes TRPV1 (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V, member 1), receptors found in the hippocampus and throughout the body, thereby helping patients with memory loss, pain and epilepsy.

CBD’s Role in Genetic Expression

Another class of receptors CBD activates is peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARy), which is positioned on the surface of the nucleus inside immune and fat cells. When activated, PPARy changes which genes in your DNA are expressed, impacting metabolism, inflammation, antioxidant production and insulin sensitivity. among other functions.

Stimulation of PPARy by CBD provides neuroprotection when inflammation could be detrimental, such as following a stroke or other traumatic brain injury.  Researchers believe this interaction at PPARy explains CBD’s beneficial effects on inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis, immune dysregulation (think autoimmunity, MS, asthma) and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

CBD and Enzymes

CBD has been found to inhibit the enzyme that degrades the endocannabinoid anandamide, often referred to as the “bliss” molecule because it acts as a mood enhancer.

Other enzymes targeted by CBD are involved with cholesterol metabolism, mitochondrial function, melatonin synthesis, and much more!

Other Effects of CBD

Cannabidiol interacts with G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), a receptor that influences appetite, bone density, insulin secretion and cancer proliferation.  GPR55 helps cancer cells proliferate, and CBD appears to antagonize (block) the function.

In a recent study of mice being treated with chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, those given CBD survived almost three times as long as mice who received only chemotherapy. Click here for the study.

CBD also increases your body’s production of antioxidants, and is a potent antioxidant itself — why many skincare products now include CBD.

How does CBD Interact with Prescription Drugs?

CBD is metabolized by a group of enzymes in the liver that is collectively called cytochrome p450 (CYP450), specifically CYP3A4 and CYP2D6.  This accounts for many of the above-mentioned benefits, however, depending on how the drug is processed by these enzymes, CBD could elevate or decrease the concentration of medication in your bloodstream. This may necessitate decreasing or increasing your dose.  If your medication comes with a warning about grapefruit consumption, you’ll also need to also be cautious when adding CBD, since grapefruit targets the same CYP450 enzymes.

If you take blood thinners, anti-epileptics, HIV antivirals, or chemotherapy, it’s best to consult with your physician before taking CBD as you may require extra monitoring to ensure the proper level of medication in your system.

Having said all that, in the 3 years we’ve been recommending CBD for our patients, we haven’t had any reports of drug interactions in doses up to 180mg daily (most patients don’t require dosing above 30 mg daily).

While researching for this article, I found the following statement on the Project CBD website:

“Thus far, based on observations regarding the widespread use of raw cannabis flower and full-spectrum cannabis oil, it does not appear that there have been many problems because of cannabinoid-drug interactions….To the extent that there have been problematic drug interactions with cannabinoids, these have involved high doses of nearly pure CBD isolates…”

Whether or not you’re taking any pharmaceutical medications, it’s always best to start low and increase incrementally to achieve optimal dosing with CBD.  To read more about dosing CBD, click here.

Uncategorized

Balancing the Endocannabinoid System Without Cannabis

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is the body’s primary regulatory system, and is extensively and constantly involved in regulating and balancing numerous functions.  Endocannabinoid receptor sites are present in the brain, glands, organs, connective tissues, and immune system. In each tissue, the ECS works in different ways to maintain a stable internal environment (homeostasis) despite fluctuations in the external environment.

Though the ECS is named after the cannabis plant that inspired its discovery, your body continuously makes its own cannabis-like molecules called “endocannabinoids,” and you can influence and enhance this production!

Activities that Enhance Your Body’s Endocannabinoid Production

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Massage and acupuncture
  • Breathing exercises
  • Unstructured down time
  • Social interaction
  • Any enjoyable activity or exercise (animal studies show only enjoyable exercise promotes endocannabinoid production; otherwise, it’s interpreted by the body as a stressor, reducing production).

Foods that Enhance the ECS

Omega-3:6 Balance

A healthy ratio of omega 3:6 enhances ECS function, and lowers levels of inflammation in the body.  Arachidonic acid (AA), an omega-6 fatty acid, acts as a precursor to the body’s endocannabinoids, but too much AA or other omega-6’s will down-regulate endocannabinoid receptors.

Food sources of omega-3 include:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds and oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Sardines and anchovies
  • Salmon and tuna (not canned)
  • Eggs (pastured or high omega-3 only)

Foods that are Cannabinoid Helpers

Some foods contain substances that are structurally similar to cannabinoids, while some inhibit the breakdown of the body’s endocannabinoids, and others enhance endcannabinoid production or the function of the ECS.  These include:

  • Dark chocolate and raw cacao
  • Lemon balm
  • Black pepper
  • Hops
  • Oregano
  • Maca
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Kava kava
  • Truffles
  • Echinacea
  • Camelia sinensis
  • Turmeric
  • Electric daisy
  • Helichrysum

Eat Clean and Avoid Processed Foods

Certain pesticides (e.g. chlorpyrifos and piperonyl butoxide) are known to disrupt the endocannabinoid system. Always opt for organic when shopping for:

Phthalates Shmalates

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in manufacturing toys, vinyl flooring/wall coverings, lubricating oils, food packaging, plastics, medications, blood bags/tubing, detergents, and personal care products (Ex: nail polish, hair spray, lotion, soap, shampoo, perfume, other fragrances and much more).

Tips for Avoiding Phthalates:

  • Ditch plastic wherever possible, particularly with recycling codes 3 and 7, and never heat food in, or add hot food to plastic containers.
  • Eat organic whenever possible since phthalates are used in pesticides and are found in fertilizers used in conventional farming.
  • Avoid products that contain “fragrance” or “parfum” since these are likely phthalates. Instead, choose fragrance that boasts “phthalate-free” or “no synthetic fragrance.”
  • Filter your water to remove DEHP, a type of phthalate used in water pipes to prevent corrosion.

Summary

Like any of the regulatory functions and systems in the body, it all comes down to balance.  Managing stress and eating a healthy, balanced diet, while minimizing your exposure to toxins are all key to achieving and maintaining optimal function.

If you experience mood disorders, chronic inflammation or pain or other signs that your body is out of balance, addressing lifestyle factors should be first on the list.  To achieve balance more quickly, consider short-term use of full-spectrum hemp oil.  You can read about it the many varied benefits of CBD here, and find dosing tips here.

Education and Newsletters, Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Patty Shipley, RN, Naturopath, Uncategorized

Thyroid Health Lecture

On Thursday, May 30, I co-presented with Patty Shipley, our Naturopath, on the common causes of chronic fatigue.  Patty’s talk covered some of the unusual layers that patients and their doctors may be unaware of, and I took a deep dive on thyroid imbalance since that is one of the most common layers to chronic fatigue in our practice.

Our goal in lecturing was to help patients who have already addressed the more easily identified layers (such as healthy diet, exercise, sleep) to move forward with some more advanced information. Feedback on our talk ranged from “most was way over my head” to “wonderful lecture with lots of great, new info” and “please allow more time on these complex topics!”. Clearly, in future lectures, we should cover the basics before moving into the more advanced information and stick to one main topic.  We appreciate those who attended and their willingness to share input!

For those of you who wanted access to the information presented, here are links to my presentation and handouts. Patty’s presentation on Common Causes of Chronic Fatigue and her handouts can be found here.

Let us know if you have questions or additional feedback!  We’re busily planning upcoming events with all your feedback taken into consideration.

Click Here for the Thyroid Lecture Powerpoint Presentation

Handout from the lecture:

Tips for a Healthy Thyroid

Education and Newsletters, Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Patty Shipley, RN, Naturopath, Uncategorized

Common Causes of Chronic Fatigue

On Thursday, May 30, I co-presented with Kelli Cuda, our Functional Medicine Nurse Practitioner, on the common causes of chronic fatigue.  My talk covered some of the unusual layers that patients and their doctors may be unaware of, and Kelli took a deep dive on thyroid imbalance since that is one of the most common layers to chronic fatigue in our practice.

Our goal in lecturing was to help patients who have already addressed the more easily identified layers (such as healthy diet, exercise, sleep) to move forward with some more advanced information. Feedback on our talk ranged from “most was way over my head” to “wonderful lecture with lots of great, new info” and “please allow more time on these complex topics!”. Clearly, in future lectures, we should cover the basics before moving into the more advanced information and stick to one main topic.  We appreciate those who attended and their willingness to share input!

For those of you who wanted access to the information presented, here are links to my presentation and handouts. Kelli’s presentation on Thyroid Imbalance and her handouts can be found here.

Let us know if you have questions or additional feedback!  We’re busily planning upcoming events with all your feedback taken into consideration.


Click here for the Powerpoint presentation

Handouts from the lecture:

Tips for Improving Energy

What Every Patient Should Know about Lab Testing

 

 

Leaves of Life Practitioners, Uncategorized

Meet Dr. Emily Roedersheimer, DO, IFMCP

Hi. I’m Dr. Emily Roedersheimer, DO but that’s a mouthful so please call me “Dr. Emily”. I had been a board-certified family physician in the Columbus area for more than a decade when my career path took a change. Now, I am thrilled to be practicing functional medicine and helping people reverse or greatly improve their chronic medical conditions. Let me tell you a little bit about how I got where I am today.

I was originally drawn to medicine through my own life experiences. When I was 10 years old, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. After years of medications, injections and frustration, I came upon an article by Dr. Mark Hyman that discussed functional medicine and how it can reverse such conditions. The article talked about how the food we eat can either help us heal or harm us, and the impact of lifestyle choices on our health. By starting an anti-inflammatory diet and following other functional medicine principles, I was able to eliminate all of the prescription medications and am now in remission. Being a patient for many years myself, I can relate to how scary it can be to suffer from a chronic medical condition.

Discovering that it was possible to reverse an autoimmune condition in this way, I wanted to learn what other benefits functional medicine had to offer, and how I could spread this knowledge to others. I was on a mission! So, I started my training through the Institute for Functional Medicine and have received my certification (IFMCP) after years of hard work. I’m also presently in The Kalish Institute Mentorship Program with Dr. Dan Kalish to continue my learning.

Functional medicine sees the patient and provider relationship as a partnership. Much of the healing comes from lifestyle changes incorporated by the patient (with some guidance along the way) – including nutrition, stress reduction, exercise and sleep. These lifestyle habits are the foundation of health and once this foundation is strong, the body can heal and remain healthy.

Whether you have symptoms that cannot be explained after visiting multiple specialists, or have been properly diagnosed but prefer to use lifestyle changes rather than multiple medications, I applaud you for also finding your way to functional medicine.  I take immense pleasure in working to create health and wellness in the lives of my patients and want to help you as well. I will individualize your care based on your life circumstances, medical history, genetics and specialized lab test results. As your functional medicine physician, I want to collaborate with you and guide you in taking a lead role in improving your health and finding wellness again.

I’ve been blessed with an amazing husband and two wonderful boys. I love spending time with them, walking our dog, working out, traveling and reading (Harry Potter anyone?). Since discovering functional medicine my love of learning has been reinvigorated, so you can often find me listening to a podcast or reading the newest research that’s come out. And last but not least, I really enjoy clean cooking (especially if I can get my kids involved) and have been told I make a mean guacamole! I look forward to partnering with you on your path to wellness!

Education and Newsletters, Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Uncategorized

Thyroid Health Uncovered

What is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that sits just below your Adam’s apple. It is a master gland that secretes hormones and is responsible for regulation of metabolism, growth and development, and influences nearly every physiologic process in the human body. When thyroid levels are out of balance, so is our health and well-being.

How Does the Thyroid Gland Work?

In order to create balance, the thyroid communicates with two other glands in the brain, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT axis for short) aka thyroid homeostasis, is an entire neuroendocrine system responsible for the regulation of metabolism. One might imagine the hypothalamus as the person who regulates the thermostat. It releases Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and tells the pituitary gland where the thyroid should be set. The pituitary gland (the thermostat), then releases Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid gland, which acts as the furnace, producing thyroid hormones, Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). Thyroid hormones are like heat. When there is enough heat, the thermostat turns off, the room cools (thyroid hormone levels drop) and the process starts again as a negative feedback loop.

The thyroid gland itself uses iodine to produce the two main hormones, T4 and T3. The thyroid produces 80% T4 (inactive) and 20% T3(active). The body must convert the inactive hormones into an active, unbound, usable form.  Certain conditions, factors, and nutrients must be present, not only for the thyroid to produce these hormones but for this conversion to take place.

What Are Symptoms of a Malfunctioning Thyroid?

A wide array of symptoms can stem from either an under or over-functioning thyroid gland. Nearly every system in the body can be impacted so symptoms should not be ignored.

 

How to Treat a Thyroid Disorder

Often times when a thyroid condition is diagnosed, little is done to determine the underlying insult to this essential “master gland” of our body. Rather, treatment often stops at replacement hormones without determining where the imbalance has occurred. Simply replacing hormones, does not address the immune system dysregulation, which is often the root cause. Some considerations in a thorough work-up include;

  1. A FULL thyroid panel. Many times, only TSH, T3, and T4 are tested.  A full panel would include the following markers: Free T3, Free T4, Total T4, TSH, Anti-thyroglobulin Ab, Anti-TPO Ab, Thyroglobulin, Thyroxine-Binding Globulin (TBG) and Reverse T3
  2. Thyroid lab ranges vary. “Normal” can be a wide range with optimal functioning in a narrower window.
  3. Assess for specific nutrients that facilitate thyroid health
  4. Assess for potential factors (lifestyle, toxins, medications, etc.) that inhibit thyroid
  5. Heal the gut! Over 70% of the immune system originates in the gut. Gut bacteria also assist in hormone conversion
  6. Determine the most appropriate replacement hormone based on the patient’s specific needs

Want to optimize your thyroid and overall health? Kelli is currently accepting new patients. Call us to schedule! (614) 888-HERB (4372).

 

About Leaves of Life, Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Uncategorized

Meet Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner

Hi, I’m Kelli Cuda, a Family Nurse Practitioner that is beyond thrilled to begin my work at Leaves of Life, one of the most well-established healing clinics in the Columbus area. My journey all started as a student nurse at The Ohio State University Medical Center.  I quickly realized that I was on the right path when I looked forward to sitting at my patient’s bedside all day and learning more about their story. I received my BSN at OSU and worked ten years in critical care. Ten years and two kids later, I returned to graduate school to fulfill my longtime goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. In 2014, I had the pleasure of working alongside an amazing medical team at a large family practice. During this time, I cared for patients of all ages and ailments. I was pleased to have the opportunity to initiate real change using an integrative, patient-centered approach.

As much as I have gained from the immeasurable experience in healthcare, both academically and at the patient’s bedside, it is my own personal health journey that defined my path in functional medicine. During my last year of graduate school, I became ill. Suffering from a wide array of symptoms and seeing six specialists within a year, I was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease. This diagnosis however was disputed between different disciplines and I was once again, left without a clear path. This led me to search for answers in an effort to regain my health. I attended a conference through Institute of Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. I left feeling inspired and hopeful. This was the start of my journey in this field of medicine and I haven’t stopped learning since. I am currently completing my post-master’s certificate in functional medicine.

Today I hold close not only the valuable professional and life experiences I have gained over time, but my internal desire to become part of the exciting and evolutionary change in healthcare. It is my desire to sculpt the paradigm of healthcare through education, prevention, and wellness. My love for this chosen path is driven by the new-found energy and excitement patients experience when they are given the tools to heal.

I have a loving husband of almost twelve years and three beautiful kiddos. My side job is their personal uber driver and lover of all their sports and recreation. Our community is everything. I find peace in my faith and always…on the lake. My personal hobbies include working out, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.  I still love to choreograph a good dance routine, sleep in whenever I can, and belt a tune like Beyoncé (my kids think it’s hysterical). I believe balance is key and laughter IS the best medicine.

How Can I Help You?

At Leaves of Life, I’ll help you better understand your health and how to move it in the right direction. I strive to improve whole body wellness by identifying the root cause of inflammation or imbalance. Every patient is unique and biochemically diverse and therefore a comprehensive history is essential. We review symptoms, conduct a thorough medical/surgical/family history, review lab work and other diagnostics, discuss lifestyle (including nutrition, stress, sleep hygiene, toxic burden, etc.), and physical exam. I will work alongside your primary care physician and communicate identified imbalances based on my extensive work-up and make suggestions accordingly. I believe in collaboration and value the importance of integrating traditional medicine with functional medicine. It is an extension of evidenced-based practice that allows us to treat more than just the symptoms by treating our patients just as uniquely as they were created.

If you’d like to take charge and work toward your best health yet, I’d love to partner with you and your primary care physician on your journey!

Continue reading “Meet Kelli Cuda, Masters in Science, Family Nurse Practitioner”

Keto Dairy Free, Uncategorized

Salted Chocolate Macadamia Fat Bombs

Photo & recipe courtesy helloglow.com

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 2 tsp avocado oil or macadamia nut oil
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup powdered erythritol sweetener
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • Flaked sea salt, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with 10 parchment paper cupcake liners or silicone liners. Set aside 10 of the macadamia nut halves for garnish.
  2. Grind the remaining nuts in a food processor or blender until they resemble coarse crumbs. Add the avocado oil and continue to process until the mixture becomes a smooth butter.
  3. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, combine the macadamia nut butter, chocolate, and coconut oil. Stir until melted and smooth.
  4. Whisk in the sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and fine sea salt. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cups, filling each one about one-third full. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then gently press a macadamia nut half into the top of each cup. Sprinkle lightly with flaked sea salt.
  5. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tips:

If you want these fat bombs to be a little firmer and able to stay out of the fridge for a few hours, replace the coconut oil with 1/2 ounce of cacao butter. They will travel much better.

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