Sep 25, 2014 by


What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too little of the thyroid hormone. As the purpose of the thyroid is to keep your body’s metabolism running, people with Hypothyroidism have a slower metabolism.

What are the symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

Symptoms may include any of the following: feeling run down, slow, depressed, sluggish, cold, tired, having dry skin and hair, constipation, muscle cramps, or weight gain.

What causes Hypothyroidism?

In the United States, most cases of hypothyroidism are caused by a condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, in which a patient’s immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid.  Worldwide, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is lack of iodine in the diet.  Hypothyroidism can also be caused by certain medications, be present from birth, occur during or after pregnancy or even from inflammation during a viral infection.

How is the diagnosis made?

A history of symptoms, a physical examination and laboratory tests that measure the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood are the first steps.  Taking a measurement of thyroid hormone (thyroxine,or T4) and the detection of antithyroid antibodies that attack the thyroid may help in diagnosing the cause of Hypothyroidism.

How is Hypothyroidism treated?

Synthetic thyroxine:  Thyroxine (T4) is the major hormone produced by the thyroid gland and pure synthetic T4, taken once daily by mouth, successfully treats the symptoms of hypothyroidism in most patients.  For the few patients who do not feel completely normal taking T4 alone, the combination of synthetic T4 and T3 (Cytomel®) may be of benefit.

Desiccated (dried and powdered) animal thyroid:  now mainly obtained from pigs,was the most common form of thyroid therapy 40 years ago before T4 was able to be synthesized in a pure form.


Long-term follow-up and family members at risk.  If you have Hypothyroidism, you need to see your doctor for follow-up at least once a year so that your hormone levels can be checked and your dose adjusted.  Because hypothyroidism often runs in families, examinations of your family members may reveal other individuals with thyroid problems.

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Gluten Free: What NOT to Eat

Sep 2, 2014 by

label-gluten-free*Gluten Free Diet:
Beyond the Basics of What NOT to Eat:


  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce
  • Oats (unless specifically labeled gluten-free)
  • Food additives
  • Malt
  • Malt flavoring
  • Malt vinegar
  • Modified food starch
  • Medications that use gluten as a binding agent
  • Vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent


Watch for cross-contamination:

Cross-contamination occurs when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten.  Using a common toaster for gluten-free bread and regular bread is a major source of contamination.

Following a gluten-free diet may result in low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients if not carefully balanced.
Vitamin B12
Folic Acid
Vitamin D3


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Of Sound Mind and Body

May 8, 2014 by

I originally wrote this blog post a few days past the start of the New Year.  January is long gone but these “resolutions” still hold up for anyone seeking to start anew and put some sound mind and body changes into practice.

Get Physical

Get yourself into the gym, on the street or into a Pilates studio. Whatever activity you choose, make sure you schedule the time right into your Smart Phone. Make it fun and sociable to make it stick. Grab a few like-minded gal pals and vow to go to that high-energy Pure Barre class with the bumpin’ tunes every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night.   After keeping your deal for 3 straight weeks, head straight to Lulelemon to buy some cute new yoga pants. Schedule a hike or dog run followed by lunch with your significant other on Saturday or Sunday mornings.

Practical tip:  Make sure you have a plan at least 5 days a week and then keep a bag with your sneakers and lulus in your car (or at your office if you commute).  This way you never have an excuse to say no when one of your friends calls for a last-minute aerobics class.


This is the most important meal of the day. I know you’ve heard this all of your life, but still you don’t listen.  All the reasons you’ve heard are true. It gets your metabolism started, it gives your body fuel and it gets your digestive system moving. But it’s also an important habit to keep you on track.

Practical tip:  If you start your day with a green juice or a brown rice protein smoothie before you leave the house, you’ll be much less likely to buy anything other than black coffee or tea at Starbucks.  Studies show that starting the day with a healthy breakfast finds you to be less likely to make poor eating decisions the rest of the day.


Keep snacks in your bag. Nuts, granola bars, a piece of fruit—all of these will keep you from making bad decisions on the run. If you’re really serious about staying on track for the rest of 2013, pack your lunch and all of your snacks. If you avoid the heavy lunches and mid-afternoon treat, you have more leeway at dinner.

Practical tip: Plan out your “menu” for the week on Sundays and hit the store to buy what you need to prep lunches for the whole week. It’s easy to pack some hummus and veggies, an apple and almond butter, and a salad or veggie wrap for lunch.  Look to Pintrest for inspiration for “Mason Jar” Salad recipes.  Homemade jarred salads stay fresher longer and are fun to look at and feast on.


Start your day with a glass of water with fresh lemon, and carry a bottle of water with you all day. Not only will your skin and body thank you for it, you’ll stay more full and satiated all day long.

Practical tip: These Camelbak bottles with the bite valve and straw have been proven in studies to help you actually drink more. Keep one at your desk, one in your car, one by your bedside, etc., so you’re always stocked and don’t have to lug one bottle around.


It’s not cool anymore to be sleep deprived.  It does not mean you’re busier, more successful or more hard-working than other people if you’re pulling an all-nighter and buzzing into work the next morning jacked up on caffeine.  It just means you’re stupid.

Practical tip: Eat and booze well before bedtime to avoid interrupted sleep patterns. Hit the sack progressively 10-15 minutes earlier each night until you’re clocking in an extra hour or so of sleep.

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NOT HEALTHY, but delicious in moderation

Apr 14, 2014 by


Gluten Free / Sulfite Free Vegan Chocolate-Banana Cupcakes & Peanut Butter Frosting
Yields 2 dozen
For Cupcakes:


  • 1 1/2 cups vegan sugar
  • 1/2 cup SF vegan margarine (or 1/2C organic apple sauce; 1/4C organic coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 overripe large organic bananas, mashed well
  • 2 cups all-purpose GF Baking flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vegan cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened Flax milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Using a hand-held mixer, combine sugar, margarine, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  4. Add the bananas, stirring well to combine.In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with whisk.

    Alternating with the Flax milk, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture a little bit at a time, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition.
    Spoon into the paper liners.
    Bake for 20 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back easily when touched lightly in center.
    Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For Peanut Butter Frosting:


  • 2 1/2 cups chunky Organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered Vegan sugar
  • Dash of pure vanilla extract


  1. Using a hand-held mixer, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Spread onto the cooled cupcakes.


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