We eat A LOT of eggs! In fact, we now have chickens, 13 to be exact, and we were so afraid we would be overrun with eggs. It is actually just the right amount for our family of 4 and our egg usage. Eggs are one of my foundation breakfast items...I typically eat one every morning.
Many of you grew up thinking that only the whites were good for you and that you should limit your yolk quantity (based on horribly performed research....long story). Please eat the yolks, that is where the nutrition is, and the egg supplies almost everything you need nutritionally, except for the minerals found in the shell.
Is it Healthy to Give my Children That Much Cholesterol?
The answer in simple terms is, YES! It is very healthy, and almost essential to your growing child's needs. Children NEED dietary cholesterol and actually quite a bit of it.
Oh, that poor nutritional myth that dietary cholesterol increases heart disease. If you are still living this lie, change now. In fact, research, and dietary common sense, point to the opposite. In fact, having too little dietary cholesterol can cause an increase in LDL back cholesterol...okay, I am getting way off track here...children Sarah, we are talking children's diets (more on this at some other point, cause it is important for us grown ups).
So, back to children and dietary cholesterol! I want to talk specifically about this! There are so many other nutrients in eggs that are important for your child's health: 13 different vitamins and minerals, choline for brain health, protien for growing muscles, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. But, today our focus is on the cholesterol, which many of you will be amazed to know is essential for your growing child.
Cholesterol for Learning and Memory
The brains of our children are growing like crazy! They are learning new things every single days, whether it is learning to walk, or learning Calculus. With each new thing that our children learn, new nerves must be formed, and multiple neurological functions must occur to store memories, and hold onto this knowledge.
This is where cholesterol comes in. The brain NEEDS cholesterol to work properly. The process of developing neurons for learning and memory is called synaptogenesis. Synaptogenesis requires cholesterol. The synapses between nerve cells in the brain is how they communicate. The more you have the quicker your brain can make connects, and the more effectively you can learn. This is important for our children who are making new connections every day. In an in vitro experiment done in Europe, external cholesterol was added to neuron, in culture. With this cholesterol exposure, neuron formation multiplied, leading scientists to conclude that cholesterol was vital to the formation of healthy nerve connections.
The understanding of cholesterol is complicated and involves many different parts of the body at different times, for different reasons. LDL and HDL bound cholesterols cannot cross the blood brain barrier, but the Liver has this really cool ability to convert cholesterol in the body (diet) into a form of cholesterol that CAN cross the blood brain barrier, and affect different receptors that contribute to brain neuron health. And this is why studies show that dietary cholesterol positively influences learning tasks.
Cholesterol and Hormones
Even if you're not dealing with a tween, whose hormones are raging, your child's hormone development and health is important.
Next to the brain, the biggest user of cholesterol is the endocrine (hormone) systems. Cholesterol is the foundation of our steroid hormones (DHEA, testosterone, estrone, estradiol, pregnenolone, progesterone, cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, and others). Without dietary cholesterol, these hormones don't exist.
Sex hormone imbalances in adolescence (especially young women) are become all too common. These hormones do more in the body than work on reproduction. Estradiol is necessary for the process we discussed above, the conversion of body cholesterol into a form that can pass through the blood brain barrier.
Testosterone is responsible for the growth of muscles and bone. Typically there is a burst of testosterone with each growth spurt.
Proper cortisol levels help your child navigate new experiences, and regulate their fight or flight response.
Many neurotransmitters needed for brain health, learning, memory, and attentiveness (Dopamine, GABA, Serotonin, Melatonin, Acetylcholine) are regulated by steroid hormones. Children who struggle with attentiveness often have lowered levels of steroid hormones. In fact the drug Ritalin is used to stimulate the production of a specific steroid hormone found low in ADHD children, DHEA. It is hypothesised that ADHD children need more cholesterol and fat than those without ADHD, because they need more steroid hormone.
Cholesterol and Vitamin D
The new pediatric guidelines recommend supplementing ALL children with Vitamin D3. Why? Because Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic.
Do you know how Vitamin D is made?
Cholesterol, yes cholesterol, is the foundation of Vitamin D. UVB rays from the sun that enter the tissues come into contact with circulating cholesterol. With the help of zinc, UVB radiation changes cholesterol into Vitamin D.
Now, here is the kicker...why is everyone deficient. How, I have no way of researching, but I have my theories (and many scientists and research share the same view). My theory combines several different issues into one big problem.
So, based on this, my theory goes: Because we are nutritionally deficiency, and/or blocking the UVB rays needed, we are limiting our ability to process Vitamin D and thus becoming deficient.
Cholesterol and Zinc, almost, like an internal sunblock, grabbing the sun's rays and converting them into a needed hormone (yes Vitamin D is a steroid hormone).
Other Cholesterol Functions
There are many other functions of cholesterol, that for time, I want to quickly highlight.
Breakfast of Champions:
2 cups shredded Brussels
1 medium Orange Flesh Sweet Potato, baked and diced
1 medium Purple Flesh Sweet Potato, baked and diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Thyme
1 Carrot, shredded
1/2 Onion, diced
1 Celery Rib, diced
1/8 cup Grass-Fed Butter
In a Cast Iron Skillet add butter, and melt. Add Onion and Garlic, cook till fragrant, add Brussels, Carrot, Celery and Sweet Potato, stir to coat. Season with S/P/Thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth if it looks dry. Cook until all vegetables are soft and browning.
Makes 4 servings of hash
In a separate cast iron skillet, heat 1/2 tsp grass-fed butter, add egg and cook until desired doneness.
Lunch #3: Turkey, Hummus, Veggie Lettuce Wrap; Vitamin Water
Snack #1: Fresh Strawberries with Coconut Cream; Vitamin Water
Dinner #3: Dijon Herb Pistachio Crusted Salmon; Wild Rice; Steamed Broccoli; More Vitamin Water…it's that good!
1 pound Salmon Fillet's
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Lemon, 1/2 juiced 1/2 sliced
1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
1/8 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Parsley, minced
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/4 cup Pistachios, chopped
Preheat Oven to 400
Make a paste with Dijon, Lemon Juice, Parsely, Green Onions, and Garlic.
In an oven safe dish coat salmon with oil, and season with S/P. Top each salmon fillet with dijon mixture, and sprinkle with pistachios. Bake for 20 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.
In a sauce pot, cook Wild Rice as directed with Chicken Stock.
Anti-inflammatory Diet: Cleaning Up Your Diet + Day 2 Menu Plan
Anti-inflammatory Diet: Sugar and Chronic Inflammation + Day 4 Menu Plan
Anti-inflammatory Diet: Sugar as a Drug + Day 5 Menu Plan
Anti-inflammatory Diet: Natural Sugar Options + Day 6 Menu Plan
Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Learning to Love Fats + Day 7 Menu Plan
Anti-inflammatory Diet: Fat Soluble Vitamins + Day 8 Menu Plan
Anti-inflammatory Diet: Food Allergies and Environmental Toxins + Day 9 Menu Plan
Anti-inflammatory Diet: Tips to Implement the Anti-Inflammatory Principles + Day 10 Menu Plan
I feel I need to redeem myself a bit with you all. I KNOW this sounds like there is just nothing in the world you can eat. I promise you, there is a world of delicious foods out there for you. It may take some experimenting and time to get use to them and how to cook them, but it is worth it.
Here are the TOP TEN foods that I think every women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) should eat regularly.
1. Green Vegetables
- Spinach: One of the most nutritious leafy greens, it does need to be cooked because of it's high Oxalic Acid content, but it is super easy to wilt. A quick toss in a skillet and you are good to go. It is also a source of phytonutrients that reduce inflammation in the body.
- 1 cup cooked spinach = 987% Vitamin K1, 105% Vitamin A, 66% Folate, 39% Magnesium, 36% Iron, 34% Copper, 32% B2, 26% B6
- Romain Lettuce: Surprised that this lettuce is on my list? It's one of the few that doesn't need to be cooked (leafy greens) and is rich in plant based fat-soluble vitamins. Do add a oil based salad dressing to it for vitamin absorption
- 2 cups raw lettuce = 107% Vitamin K1, 45% Vitamin A, 32% Folate
- Kale: Full of great Vitamin K, it is a wonderful vegetable to use in natural fermentation as well (to really get the full K2 benefit). There are phytochemicals in Kale that aid in regulated Gallbladder Bile. Remember the whole thing about excess bile becoming excess cholesterol during uptake, well, these chemicals in Kale regulate the production of bile and in turn reduces excess bile re-uptake as cholesterol.
- 1 cup cooked = 1180% Vitamin K2, 98% Vitamin A, 71% Vitamin
- Broccoli: Just like Kale, Broccoli has the same affects on the bile, and cholesterol levels. It also has phytochemicals that aid in detoxification of our cells, and reduce inflammation.
- 1 cup chopped, and cooked = 245% Vitamin K, 135% Vitamin C, 53% Chromium, 42% Folate, 21% Fiber, 18% Vitamin B6, 15% Vitamin
- Chard: I always describe Chard as Spinach on Steroids. It is like a bigger version of spinach, with a similar flavor. It is a very nice source of Vitamin E, which is often hard to get enough of in the diet. Chard has a very special super power for those with glucose issues. It contains it contains a chemical that inhibits the actions of an enzyme used to breakdown carbohydrates into glucose, decreasing the amount that is turned into glucose, thus lowering the amount of glucose absorbed.
- 1 cup cooked = 636% Vitamin K, 60% Vitamin A, 42% Vitamin C, 38% Magnesium, 27% Potassium, 22% Vitamin E, 22% Iro
- Cabbages: There are several varieties and they each of their own special benefits, but in general cabbages are good. Like Kale and Broccoli (which are members of the cabbage family), they have the same cholesterol and bile connection.
- 1 cup red cabbage, cooked = 79% Vitamin K, 69% Vitamin C, 20% B6, 16% Fiber
Most Green Vegetables, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, work to cleanse the Liver. They are also used to Nourish the Yin (cooling aspect and fluids) and Blood (well, blood).
There many others, but these are common, easy to cook with, and taste great. Get creative, and go GREEN.
- Parsley: Not only is it the most used, and most popular herb in the WORLD, but it is also a BAM of Vitamin K…more than any other green vegetable. Great added to soups, with grains (like today's tabbouleh, or as an edible garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped = 554% Vitamin K, 54% Vitamin C, 14% Vitamin
Herbs, as medicine, are a big part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Parsley works similar to other leafy greens being good for the liver, yin and blood. Herbs are often used in TCM cooking to create a stronger medicinal effect on the dishes.
There are definitely others, but Parsley is the King.
- Cinnamaldehyde works to stop excessive blood clotting by inhibiting Arachadonic Acid, and inflammatory fatty-acid.
- Cinnamon helps slow the rise of blood sugar.
- Research shows Cinnamon has benefits of helping the body regulate insulin production.
- Research shows Cinnamon helps regulate Fructose metabolism
Known as Rou Gui and Gui Zhi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cinnamon is warming. It is good for helping to regulate the digestion and body temperature. It is a common remedy for alternating fever and chills, or hot flashes followed by chills. It warms the Spleen and Stomach
- Black Beans: 64% Folate, 60% Fiber, 30% Magnesium, 20% Iron
- Lentils: 90% Folate, 63% Fiber, 37% Iron, 36% Protein, 23% ZInc, 21% B6
- Garbanzo Beans: 71% Folate, 50% Fiber, 29% Protein, 26% Iron, 23% Zinc
- Kidney Beans: 58% Folate, 45% Fiber, 31% Protein, 22% Iron, 20% Potassium, 20% Magnesium
- 42% Pantothenic Acid, 40% Fiber, 35% Vitamin K, 30% Folate, 30% Copper, 23% B6, 21% Vitamin E, 21% Potassium, 20% Vitamin C
Read my article on differentiating Dietary Fats for more on these fats.
- They are easy to use, inexpensive (for nuts), and can be used to make Almond Milk, Almond Flour, and much more.
- The Fats in nuts work well for regulating the absorption and production of bile, and thus limiting the re-uptake as cholesterol, lowering cholesterol levels.
- Almonds are also great of glucose metabolism, limiting after meal glucose surges…the fats help to regulate the uptake of glucose, it slows it down.
- Almonds lower the Glycemic Index of the food it is combines with, in human trial. The more almonds added, the lower the glycemic index.
- When one-ounce of almonds was eaten along with white bread, the GI of the meal (105.8) was comparable to eating white bread alone, but when two ounces of almonds were consumed with the white bread, the GI dropped to 63, and when 3 ounces of almonds were eaten, the GI was only 45.2—less than half the GI of the white bread only meal. Subjects' blood sugar rose 2.8 mmol/L after eating only white bread. When one ounce of almonds was eaten with the bread, blood sugar rose 2.2 mmol/L. Eating two ounces of almonds with the bread resulted in a rise in blood sugar of 2.0 mmol/L, and eating three ounces of almonds caused blood sugar to rise only 1.6 mmol/L—less than half the rise seen after eating white bread alone.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, nuts (in general) warm the essence, the internal energy, of the body. Almonds in particular, are good for the intestines.
7. Primitive and Wild Grains
When you are choosing grains, always choose WHOLE GRAINS. This means in their natural form and fully enact with bran.
- Quinoa: 30% Magnesium, 21% Fiber, 19% Folate, 18% Zinc
- Wild Rice: 70% Magnesium, 30% B6, 17% Iron
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Grains are good for nourishing the Spleen and Stomach, and nourish the blood.
Caution when choosing fish sources. Choose sources that are low in mercury. If you do consume mercury rich sources, limit.
Most seafood, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is Yin nourishing.
Egg are made to grow and sustain life. They provide almost every nutrient, in high amounts, needed for reproduction, pregnancy, and breast-feeding.
There is a difference in quality though, not all eggs are created the same. Commercial chicken eggs are often very devoid of the nutrition that should be there. BECAUSE these chickens are missing out essential foods (insects), as well as sunshine (poor caged chickens.) When choosing eggs, go with pasture-raised (not just cage free), they are worth the price!
Pasture Raised eggs have twice as much Vitamin E, twice as much Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and a Third more Vitamin A. They also contain Vitamin D, and B vitamins.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eggs nourish and tonify the Kidneys (the main organ responsible for reproduction in TCM)
Look my previous post on CHOOSING COOKING OILS, for more information...
Breakfast #9 "Paleo" Biscuit Sandwiches with Berries
- 1/3 cup Almond Flour
- 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
- 4 Eggs
- 4 Tbsp Rendered Fat, or Coconut Oil (but it gives it a really coconutty taste, which gets old)
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3/4 pound Breakfast Sausage
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 pound Strawberries
- 6oz. Raspberries
Makes 4 servings
For Biscuits: Preheat to 350
In a bowl add Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt. Combine with a whisk. Add in one egg at a time and incorporate smoothly. Fold in cooled Fat (should be somewhat solid, but not hard). GENTLY roll into 4 equally sized biscuits. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Let cook 10 minutes before slicing.
In a skillet add sausage patties and cook through, set a side. In same skillet fry eggs.
To assemble: slice biscuits in half, add sausage, egg, and top with other biscuit half. Serve with 1/2 cup berries.
Dinner #9 Mediterranean One Skillet Chicken; Quinoa Tabbouleh
Mediterranean One Skillet Chicken
Makes 4-8 6oz servings (depending on chicken size)
In a dish coat chicken generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Rub in Oregano.
In a bowl add sundries tomatoes, cover with water. Drain when rehydrated.
Preheat oven to 450
In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot add chicken skin side down. Cook until crisp and brown, flip, cook until browning.
Arrange tomatoes, olives and artichokes around chicken. Squeeze lemon, and add chicken broth and vinegar. Place in oven an cook until chicken is cooked through.
Makes 12 servings
Soak Quinoa overnight and rinse to remove the bitter Saponins (Natural pesticides) Cook the Quinoa as directed and let cool.
Place the cooked and cooled Quinoa in a large bowl. Add Cucumber, Parsley, Tomatoes, and Onions and mix.
In a separate bowl mix Chopped Garlic, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad and mix.
Cover and let chill for at least 1 hour, but the longer the better to develop flavor.
PCOS Nutrition Part 2: Avoiding Dairy
PCOS Nutrition Part 3: Sugar
PCOS Nutrition Part 4: Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load
PCOS Nutrition Part 5: Building Your Meal
PCOS Nutrition Part 6: Understanding Hormones
PCOS Nutrition Part 7: Fat Soluble Vitamins
PCOS Nutrition Part 8: Increasing Dietary Fats
PCOS Nutrition Part 10: Tips for Implementing the PCOS Diet
Allergies And Asthma
Follow My Diet
Group B Strep
Labor And Delivery
Nuts And Seeds
Type 2 Diabetes