Wellness Beets – Episode 3: Body Alignment, Natural Movement, Changing Food Preferences, and Going Nutty Over Nuts

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Alignment and Natural Movement:

Hear about how we set up our home offices: Brittany does more standing, Alex changes up ways to sit on the floor.

Movement throughout the day: incorporating movement into breaks, our take on treadmill desks, functional movements and varied positions, setting timers, and the importance of being outside.

Grounding mats: read more about them on wellnessmama.com

Get your free Daily Movement Reminder Cheat Sheet! You can post it up in your work station or at home in order to remind you to incorporate more of these techniques in your life.


Changing Food Preferences:

Making changes from breakfast can be the most challenging thing.  Here are our oatmeal-type alternatives:

►9 Paleo Oatmeal Alternatives up on sparklekitchen.com 

►Paleo Pumpkin Mash

►Cranberry and Spaghetti Squash Mash

Alex’s experience with Paleo Baked Goods when first starting Paleo and how Brittany went way too low carb: feeling satiated from good carbs and fat sources (sweet potatoes, ghee, coconut oil) can set up a better baseline for making new, positive food choices.

Changing food preferences in family: exposure, hiding things appropriately, no pressure, and trying a bite.

How to make changes slowly.

Nutty Over Nuts

►Nuts are designed by nature to protect themselves; because of this, they are quite difficult to digest.  This difficulty in digesting stems from phytic acids, missing enzymes, and how minerals are bound.

►Other nut considerations: omega 6s and inflammation, as well as co-processing with unstable oils.

►How to prepare nuts in a more digest-friendly way: soaking (for about 8 hours), sprouting, dehydrating, and roasting.  More on how to sprout buckwheat.

►Almond flour vs Nut Butters

►Fun cashew fact!

►Nut recommendations: use an elimination diet to find your perfect balance, as well as sourcing and preparing as needed.

►Alex’s favorite use for nuts: homemade Larabars!

►Important legume considerations and comparison to nuts.

►Find the helpful guide on Brittany’s blog, Not Going Nutty Over Nuts.


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Not Going Nutty Over Nuts

Nuts generally fall under the health food category, touted for their healthy fat content and as a good source of protein. Then why do they make me feel bloated, gassy and sometimes itchy? Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and all other nuts may just be all hype.

Why to not to go nutty over nuts
Nuts are designed by nature to protect themselves, their function is to reproduce and keep their species alive. In certain animals nuts can even pass whole through their bodies to ensure reproduction. Because of this, they are quite difficult to digest.

What makes them so difficult to digest is their high levels of phytic acid and this leads to those uncomfortable gassy, bloated effects. Phytic acid is an antinutrient that interferes with enzymes we need to digest our food. Human’s lack the enzyme, called phytase, needed to break it down.  It binds to minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium in food and prevents us from absorbing them. It has also been shown that diets high in phytate actually cause mineral deficiencies.

1. Nuts are often as high or even higher in phytic acid than grains.

2. Nuts decrease iron absorption even more than wheat bread.

3. Nuts are high in omega 6, which causes inflammation in the body when not balanced properly with omega 3.

4. Phytic acid in nuts can impair digestion causing stomach upset.

5. Commercially packaged nuts are most often roasted in unhealthy oils like soybean, increasing the amount of omega 6 fats.

Preparing Nuts
It is possible to prepare nuts so that they’re easier to digest. Soaking, sprouting, dehydrating and roasting help to break down the phytic acid making their minerals more available to our bodies. You can soak them in water for about 8 hours and the nuts will actually begin to germinate. These may not be enough for some people with more sensitive digestive systems. Test yourself with a few at a time and take notice of how your body responds.

Nut Flours
Often used in grain free and paleo baked treats, nut flours do not contain as much phytic acid as raw or roasted nuts. Flours are made from blanched nuts, where the skin has been removed and phytic acid is found mostly in the skin. Because of the multiple stages of processing, the micronutrients are more easily absorbed.

Nut Butters
Commercially sold nut butters are made with un-soaked nuts. Alternatively, you can make nut butter at home. Soak the nuts overnight in salt water and then allow them to thoroughly dry by roasting at your lowest oven temperature or use a dehydrator. Once dry, process until smooth and creamy.

Limiting Nuts
Nuts are calorie dense and before you know it you’ve eaten an entire jar. At least that was my story… a little goes a long way so watch your intake. Another option is to limit their use as a garnish. For those with digestive issues it’s best to enjoy in small amounts and listen to how your body reacts.


Bioavailability of minerals in legumes., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12498628

Zn and Fe biofortification: the right chemical environment for human bioavailability., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25017159

Why Eating Nuts Upsets Your Stomach, http://pilatesnutritionist.com/why-eating-nuts-upsets-your-stomach/

Another Reason you Shouldn’t go Nuts on Nuts, http://chriskresser.com/another-reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-on-nuts

Six Reasons I Don’t Eat Nuts, http://paleoforwomen.com/six-reasons-i-dont-eat-nuts/