skin rashes

Is Dairy A Good Source Of Protein For Your Little One?

Photo credit:  Eiliv-Sonas Aceron

Photo credit: Eiliv-Sonas Aceron

Kids love dairy, and when your little one is a picky eater, it seems to be one of the few foods he will eat! This becomes a problem, especially in little ones with eczema because dairy is a common eczema trigger whether or not you have tested positive IgE or IgG reactions to it. That’s right, even if you don’t test positive, it still may be triggering skin rashes and flares.

Most of the protein in dairy products comes in the form of casein. The protein structure in the cow, goat, and sheep dairy is a bit different, however not completely different. It is the proteins in foods that cause reactions (allergic and sensitivity reactions), and when they resemble each other between foods, we can have cross-reactivity. That means you can have a reaction to foods that have similar protein structures.

Dairy protein is a natural source of essential amino acids, the ones you need to get from your diet because your body can’t make them. This does make dairy a complete protein, like other animal products. Plant proteins are not complete, they do not contain all essential amino acids. Know these essentials are just that, ESSENTIAL. Your body cannot function appropriately without them, and certainly can’t build and repair healthy skin without them.

Getting in the essential amino acids is vitally as important as getting in enough protein, and just because you’re eating enough protein doesn’t mean you are meeting amino acid requirements.

Interestingly, the less fat your milk contains, the more protein it has, although the overall difference is minimal. I certainly do not recommend lower fat dairy products (or dairy at all if you struggle with eczema), or lower fat products of any kind for that matter. Lower fat content means higher carbohydrate and sugar content, which can be problematic with a dysbiotic gut, as is the case in those with skin rashes like eczema.

Generally, for every 100g serving of cow, or goat milk you drink, you get between 3 and 4 grams of protein. Sheep milk is a little higher at almost 6 grams of protein per 100g serving. 100g is just under half a cup, or equal to about 3.5 oz. Therefore a cup of milk on average contains roughly 10g of protein, and what’s considered a serving would contain roughly 5g on average (calculations rounded UP for generosity ).

Let’s compare. One serving of broccoli (yes I’ve been asked if it’s a good source of protein, the answer is no) is 1/2 cup, and 1 cup of broccoli has 5.7g protein. For one serving of broccoli you’re getting less than 3g of protein.

A ½ cup of cooked beans is a serving size. This quantity of chickpeas contains 20g of protein, and of lentils, 9g (remember plant proteins are not complete, and you need those essential amino acids); 3oz steak has 25g; a small chicken breast 50g; and fish, around 25g in 4oz. Eggs, around 6g per egg.

You can learn more about protein serving sizes here: https://jennifercarynbrand.com/diet-tools/protein

Animal proteins clearly win over plants when it comes to protein and amino acid content, and animal proteins other than dairy clearly have superiority too. Additionally, you should not rely solely on dairy products (or plants for that matter) to meet protein needs. Dairy products are not naturally high in many of the vitamins and minerals found in other protein sources. To ensure that you get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals in addition to protein and amino acids, eat a variety of animal AND plant food sources every day.

The bottom line is that when skin rashes (and gut problems, as well as many other symptoms and health problems) are involved, dairy is definitely NOT something to rely on for protein, or nutrition in general, since it is a common, and inflammatory food trigger for symptoms.

How do you get your picky eater to eat other foods? I’m glad you asked! Here’s a resource that can help: https://jennifercarynbrand.com/nutrition-and-lifecycle-tools/tips-for-picky-eaters

Resources:


Fats And Cholesterol, Debunking the Myths, Why You Need Them, And More!

In this post, I’m debunking myths about fat and cholesterol!

Fats are important to include in your diet:

  • They are a source of energy, which your body can also store for later use

  • Essential fatty acids are dietary fats that are essential for growth, development and cell functions

    • Essential means they come from your diet, and your body can’t make them

  • Your brain contains large amounts of essential fats

    • It is very important in children as they grow and develop, to make sure their diet is rich in essential fats

  • Fats are important for maintaining healthy skin and other tissues; and 

  • They are needed for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K so you can use them

    • Vitamins A, D and E are important for healthy skin

    • Vitamin A is also important for your immune system and vision

    • Vitamin D helps just about everything including bone health, your immune system and mood, and it’s a lot more than a vitamin, it functions like a hormone

    • Vitamin E is an important antioxidant for cardiovascular health, your immune system, is anti-inflammatory, and may help lower your risk for cancer; and

    • You need vitamin K for your bones and to clot your blood

Cholesterol deserves mention here too. I know there is still a fear and confusion around cholesterol for some folks. Cholesterol is needed for:

  • The structure of your cell membranes

  • In order for your body to make vitamin D

  • It’s essential for the synthesis of hormones including cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone

  • It forms the myelin sheath that protects your nerve cells and allows them to conduct signals

  • It’s needed to make bile acids so you can digest food; and

  • Most of the cholesterol you have is made by your body (~80%). If you eat more your body will make less, of you eat less your body makes more!

I see cholesterol levels too low in so many clients. Yes, too low! If your LDL is less than 80, you’re going to have issues with all of these functions!

Here’s the deal with cholesterol. Your total cholesterol number really doesn’t mean much. If you have high LDL cholesterol, this is known as the bad cholesterol, that is a sign of underlying inflammation. And here’s where some confusion lies.

LDL cholesterol responds to inflammation in the body.

When you have inflammation, that can cause injury (tiny tears) to your blood vessels, veins and arteries. LDL cholesterol swoops in to help plug up those tears. It’s trying to protect you! And what do we do? We lower cholesterol levels. This leaves the underlying cause of inflammation active to continue to wreak havoc on your body, and what really needs to be done is identify and address why you have inflammation in the first place.

Also know that LDL cholesterol particles come in different sizes. Understanding the make up of your LDL cholesterol is important because if your particles are large fluffy ones, they are healthy. On the other hand if they are small and dense, those are the ones that are more of a concern.

The same goes for HDL cholesterol, known to be the good one. Depending on the make up of your HDL particles, higher HDL may or may not be a good thing.

There is testing that you can have done to better understand the composition of your cholesterol, and give you a better understanding of what your blood lipids mean rather than focusing on a total or LDL cholesterol number that doesn’t mean much! Ask your doctor for an expanded lipid profile.

If you do take cholesterol lowering medications like a statin, it is important that you supplement with CoQ10. Statins block a pathway that makes cholesterol, and that pathway has other roles, including making CoQ10. You need this nutrient for your body to make energy and without it, you can experience muscle, and nerve damage (among other problems) that may become permanent.

When it comes to foods that contain healthy fats, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring top the list. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help keep your skin moisturized, help maintain healthy skin, and lower inflammation (like that in eczema and psoriasis). They also are beneficial for your heart, mood, infant health and neurodevelopment, cancer prevention, Alzheimer’s, cognitive function, dementia, age related macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, ADHD, and allergies.

Omega 3s are essential, meaning you need to get them from foods you eat because your body can’t make them. Your body can then make other fatty acids from the essentials.

Fatty fish are also a good source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant for skin health, that also helps reduce inflammation.

Fatty fish are rich in protein too, and you need protein to maintain, build, and repair skin.

Zinc is another important nutrient for your skin found in fatty fish. Zinc regulates inflammation, the production of new skin cells and overall skin health. A deficiency of zinc can cause delayed healing of the skin.

Avocados are another favorite healthy fat source of mine, and they are rich in vitamin E.  Vitamin E and vitamin C work together in your body (you need vitamin C to regenerate vitamin E). Vitamin C is important for collagen production and therefore your skin health. Low levels of vitamin C can cause easy bruising, and dry, rough, scaly skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant as well, and avocados are a pretty good source of it.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant as well, and is the most abundant nutrient found in your adrenal glands. That means you need more of it when under stress. Chronic physical, chemical, and emotional stress burns through nutrients and steals them from other needs your body has.

  • Examples of physical stress include restricted diets, over exercise, physical trauma, impaired gut health, illness and disease of any kind

  • Examples of chemical stress include prescription medication use, environmental pollutants, pesticides and processed foods

  • Examples of emotional stress include personal, financial, and work related concerns 

So if you are under a lot of stress, and therefore are burning through vitamin C, you need more vitamin C to make sure you have enough vitamin E! This is an important example of how all nutrients work together in the body, and why you need to be careful when supplementing with single nutrients. Trying to correct one deficiency can cause others!

Walnuts are a great fat filled nut. They contain essential fatty acids (omega 3s and 6s), zinc, and small amounts of antioxidant nutrients including vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium. You need selenium to make your body’s master antioxidant, called glutathione, and also to make thyroid hormones. Brazil nuts are the richest food source of selenium.

Other favorite fats of mine are olives and olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, and grass fed butter. Ghee and grass fed butter are sources of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that confers overall health benefits, and specifically for your skin.

Not only do health fats have all the benefits mentioned, eating fat with each meal helps balance your blood sugar levels (along with protein), keeps you fuller longer, and prevents that HANGRY feeling!

How much fat should you eat?

A serving of fat is:

  • 1 Tbsp oil (olive or avocado, coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter)

  • 2 Tbsp nut butter 

  • 1/4 cup nuts

  • 1/4 cup olives

  • 1/4 avocado

For young kids, especially, fat and cholesterol play important roles in brain development. And for those under 2 years old, fat should not be restricted. Generally, kids should eat a varied diet with about one third of calories coming from fat.

In general my rule of thumb is to include a healthy fat source with each meal, and don’t worry about serving size. Healthy fats don’t need to be limited or restricted (you need unsaturated and saturated fats, yes saturated ones too). 

What should be avoided are trans fats, and these are processed fats found in processed junk foods.

Questions? Book your introductory consultation with me!

Thumbnail photo credit: Roberta Sorge

Therapeutic Smoothie (Gut and Skin Healing)

Photo credit:  Jose Soriano

Photo credit: Jose Soriano

This is an intervention I use often with my skin and gut clients. The recipe noted here is basic, and depending on what’s happening (determined by a detailed intake and appropriate conventional and functional testing), I customize it for each client. There is no one size fits all approach. Also remember that children are different from adults and should not take adult doses of supplements.

Add ingredients and blend well (blender, Vitamix, NutriBullet, etc.)

  1. Protein powder (Pure Paleo is very high quality and is hydrolyzed [beef] so it’s easily absorbable [even with impaired digestion] and because it’s animal protein it contains all essential amino acids)- 1 scoop/serving

  2. L-Glutamine powder – 1 tsp

  3. Collagen Peptides – 1 scoop

  4. Glycine powder - ½ tsp

  5. Turmeric powder – 1 scoop

  6. Additional Fiber - flaxseed, or acacia fiber - 1 tbsp

  7. Fruit (berries are best and low sugar) - ¼ - ½ cup

  8. Vegetables (kale and spinach, beets, carrots, dandelion greens) - add liberally

  9. FAT → choose one of the following: 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1tbsp ghee, ¼ cup raw nuts, ¼ avocado, 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil

  10. Ice if desired

  11. Chilled water or non dairy milk (coconut, rice, hemp, almond, etc.)

About the ingredients

  • Protein - We don't have stores in our body to draw from like we do fats and carbs, so we need to eat it daily, and a smoothie is a great way to get in more. We don't always get enough quality protein in. Our body builds everything from proteins, down to the cellular level. Protein with each meal (along with fat) helps to balance blood sugar levels. With chronic conditions and when on a healing journey we need more protein (70-120 grams/day) because the body needs it to build and repair (heal) tissues.

  • L-glutamine (an amino acid) - Important for the immune system, is an energy source for intestinal and immune cells, and supplementation can be helpful in times of injury and illness.

  • Glycine (an amino acid) - An amino acid that is essential for muscle, cognitive and metabolic function, and for detoxification. It aids in energy production, and supports your immune, digestive and nervous system. 

  • Collagen Peptides - Helps with gut healing and is great for hair, skin, nails and joints.

  • Fiber - Regulates digestion, feeds healthy gut bacteria (prebiotic), and is good for detoxification.

  • Fat - Adding a fat source helps balance blood sugar (along with protein), and fat is needed for your body to digest and absorb important fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K, and many others including phytonutrients (stuff from plants) like carotenoids (powerful antioxidant nutrient). 

  • Turmeric - Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Get the supplements

Click the button below to “place an order” in Fullscript. You’ll be prompted to create a free account. Then search in the catalog under the “my favorites” tab and you’ll see a category called “Therapeutic Smoothie” which is where you’ll find the supplements you’ll need for your gut and skin healing smoothie!

 
Purchase products through our Fullscript virtual dispensary.
 

5 Reasons You Should Try Intermittent Fasting And Fasting

Photo credit: rawpixel

Photo credit: rawpixel

Have you heard of intermittent fasting? Brief periods of fasting are good for your health (for some people). We’ll get into that in a minute.


Common intermittent fasts involve 12-16 hour-long fasts, or fasting for 24 hours at a time.


I prefer the 12-16 hour long fasts because they do not interfere with daily life so much. You aren’t eating while you’re sleeping basically (which is difficult to do anyway ;)). All you need to do is have an early dinner, and then a late breakfast the next day. For example, what I do is eat dinner at 5 or 6pm, and then have breakfast after 7 or 8am.

More hours of intermittent fasting doesn’t necessarily promote additional health benefits (more isn’t always better). Intermittent fasting 2-3 times a week can be beneficial.

Here’s what I love about intermittent fasting:


  1. It’s easy since you are mostly sleeping during the fasting window

  2. It has been shown in the research to have benefits for gut and skin health (two of my favorite things to help people with)

    1. Intermittent fasting and fasting has efficacy in helping with eczema, acne, psoriasis, and other skin rashes (in adults)

    2. Fasting helps rebalance the gut flora and skin conditions tend to be the result of an unhealthy gut (dysbiosis) and once the microbiome is balanced again, the skin usually gets better

  3. It has benefits on weight loss

    1. Your body adjusts levels of certain hormones to make stored fat available to burn for fuel

  4. Fasting allows your body to initiate important repair functions

  5. It leads to changes in gene expression that promote longevity and prevention from disease

About that last point and prevention from disease, here are some other benefits of fasting:


  • Reduced markers of inflammation

  • Reduction in insulin resistance

  • Lowers LDL cholesterol and therefore benefits cardiovascular health

  • Cancer prevention

  • Improved brain health

  • Anti-aging effects


Is intermittent fasting right for you? Take caution if you:


  • Are underweight

  • It may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men

  • Have disordered eating habits or an eating disorder

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Have low blood pressure

  • Have blood sugar regulation problems

  • Have hormone imbalances (sex, stress, thyroid)

  • Take medications

 

The best thing to do is to talk to a health professional to see if intermittent fasting is right for YOU. Remember, one sizes doesn’t fit all.

 

I had a client report benefits of intermittent fasting on her eczema, which is what inspired me to write about it, and record this video!

 

Don’t forget I’m here to help. Contact me with any questions you have.

If you need guidance on what to eat, The JCB Nutrition Food Pyramid and Diet Plan will help. The program will:

  • Help you understand which foods to avoid if you are embarking on an elimination diet

  • Teach you which healthy foods contain natural chemicals that can trigger symptoms including skin and gut issues, among MANY others

  • Show you what those natural food chemicals are

  • Teach you what foods are common allergens

  • Guide you in choosing what foods to eat and in what amounts