Category Archives: Nutrition And Health

Can L-Glutamine Cause Brain Fog? {Monday Musings}

Welcome to Monday Musings! I don’t expect this to be a weekly thing, but I wanted a nifty little label to slap on posts where I’m basically just thinking out loud. Wouldn’t want to delude anyone into thinking I have all the answers, now would I?
Thanks for being here!

L-glutamine, once a lowly amino acid vying for attention among 19 siblings, has become a darling of functional medicine for its role in gut health and intestinal permeability. L-glutamine is an important fuel source for enterocytes, which are the cells lining the intestines, and there’s pretty solid evidence that L-glutamine can help strengthen the intestinal barrier.

That all sounds fantastic, right? I sure thought so, and I supplemented accordingly, on and off, for several years. But recently, some self-experimentation has led me to suspect L-glutamine of being a contributor to some pretty intense brain fog and other mental symptoms I’ve been experiencing. L-glutamine was low on my list of suspects, because I had such positive expectations of it, so it took me a while to notice an association. But the timing was there, so I decided to investigate. Read more →

Getting Enough Carbs on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)


The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (or AIP) has become extremely popular recently as a dietary approach to manage autoimmune disease. I’ve been aware of the AIP for quite some time, but have been pretty turned off of very restrictive diets for the past few years based on my experiences with GAPS/SCD (and for other reasons as well). But after dealing with several back-to-back flare-ups related to recent treatments I’ve been exploring, I decided to give it a shot.

However, I was a little worried about getting enough carbs on the diet. Most common starchy foods (including potatoes and white rice, two of my staples) are on the “no” list, and AIP proponents usually recommend limiting fruit and sweeteners. That leaves sweet potatoes and plantains as the only familiar sources of dense carbohydrate, with things like squash and parsnips providing lesser (but respectable) amounts of non-starchy carbs. Read more →

What is a “whole food” diet, really?

Inigo Montoya

I started thinking about this question yesterday (in response to something I’ll share below) and had a bit of a “woah – paradigm shift!” moment, so I thought I’d share with you all! (Also, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to have a picture of Inigo Montoya on my blog.)

In the realm of nutrition, the “whole food” diet reigns supreme. From the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans to your neighborhood Paleo blogger, almost everyone agrees that a healthy diet is a diet based on “whole foods.”

It’s quite interesting, then, that some of these “whole food” diets have very little in common with each other. It’s even more interesting that some of these “whole food” diets include recommendations to eat things that are definitely not “whole foods.”  Read more →

5 Reasons You Should Eat Oysters

Last week, my family and I went on vacation to a beach in Connecticut where my grandparents have a cottage. I had two goals for myself during the trip: 1) to learn how to juggle, and 2) to try raw oysters. I still can’t juggle very well, but I did try raw oysters. And I liked them. And here are 5 reasons you should eat them too. Read more →

Is it Possible to be Healthy on a Vegan Diet? [Part Two]

Food or Supplements?

In part one, I discussed whether it’s possible to get enough vitamin D, calcium and vitamin K2 – three nutrients that are vital to bone health – on a vegan diet, without using supplements. We discovered that it is possible, but only if you get lots of sunlight, eat plenty of greens, properly prepare your nuts and seeds, and eat natto. In this post I’ll wrap it up by looking at iron, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. Then we can finally answer the question: Is it possible to be healthy on a vegan diet without the use of supplements? Read more →

Is it Possible to be Healthy on a Vegan Diet? [Part One]


In my last post in this series on veganism, I looked at anthropological evidence to establish that as a species in our natural habitats, humans are omnivores, and we thrive on an omnivorous diet. But although we are still humans (most of us, anyways), we don’t quite live in our natural habitats anymore, so what applied to the natives that Weston Price studied doesn’t necessarilyapply to us. In a modern-day setting with greater access to a variety of foods, can humans thrive on a vegan diet without needing to supplement? Is it biologically possible for humans to get what they need on a diet devoid of animal products?

In this two-part post, I’ll try to answer that question by looking at some of the nutrients that are hardest to come by on a vegan diet. In part one, we’ll look at three nutrients that are vital to bone health: vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin K2. Read more →

Are Humans Herbivores?

Are Humans Herbivores?

This is part three of my series on veganism. Follow the links to read part one and part two!

One source of disagreement between vegans and meat eaters is the question of what humans are supposed to eat. Many vegans claim humans are herbivores, while meat-eaters assert that humans are omnivores. So what are we, anyways? Herbivores? Carnivores? Omnivores? Most of you probably know the answer to this already, but it doesn’t hurt to look at the evidence. To answer this question, it makes sense to start with what humans eat in their ‘natural habitat,’ when they’re completely undisturbed by modern civilization. As such, this post will look at what traditional hunter-gatherer cultures ate! Read more →

Plant-Based Diet or Plant-Based Diet?

Plant-based diet?

This is part two of a series on vegan diets. If you haven’t read part one, you can read it here!

Before diving into the meat main part of this series, I think some clarification is necessary. Not all vegan diets are created equal, and the type of vegan diet in question is going to have a huge impact on every topic I want to discuss: nutrition, sustainability, anthropology, and ethics, to name a few. Other than the fact that all vegan diets are devoid of animal products, they can be as different and varied as the people who choose to eat them. As with anything, it’s a sliding scale, but for my purposes I’ve split them into three main categories. I’ve also tried to give them names that will make it easier for me to reference that particular type in the future (: Read more →

Veg*n is Not a Curse Word

Food Love

Yesterday, Alex Jamieson told the world that she is no longer a vegan. If you don’t know who she is and really don’t care, just bear with me for a minute. Alex is best known from the documentary Super Size Me, where her then-boyfriend Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. Alex used a vegan approach to get Morgan’s health back on track after his 30 day McDiet, and she has since been a leading voice for health and nutrition in the vegan community. I would encourage you to read her post, but here’s the gist: Alex discovered that at this point in her life, her body needs some animal products to be healthy. Her post yesterday was the first time she’d publicly announced her decision to incorporate some animal products into her diet. Read more →

Look Out, World! Sweden’s Going Low-Carb

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that when it comes to nutrition, the United States is missing something. I’ve already written about why the Dietary Guidelines are wrong about cholesterol, but it’s especially interesting to note that Australia, Europe, Canada, India, and Korea do not support upper limits on cholesterol intake in their national dietary recommendations [1]. They still believe that saturated fat should be severely limited, so I’m not sure they quite have the whole picture, but at least they recognize that limiting cholesterol intake does nothing to reduce rates of heart disease. Why is the US missing it?

But here’s one country that isn’t missing it: Sweden. Sweden is going low carb. Read more →