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Kim Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist

Kim Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist

Kimberly Stoeger, MS, is the clinical nutritionist and owner of Nutritional Healing, LLC. Her passion lies in supporting people’s health through evidence-based medicine (risks versus benefits of medications) and healing therapies through nutrition. Kimberly has her masters of science in human nutrition degree, and experience working with clients regarding weight and fatigue issues, sports nutrition, food sensitivities and allergies, and general health concerns such as high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high cholesterol/triglycerides, migraines, thyroid conditions and gut dysfunction. To learn more, call 920-358-5764 or email [email protected]

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 19:25

Breaking your relationship with sugar

Have you ever tried to break a sweet tooth addiction only to find yourself still craving cookies, soda or other refined carbohydrates? Do you want to know why it is hard to break your sweet tooth addiction? The answer is simple: because it is a real addiction.

So while you might beat yourself up inside for not being strong enough to fight your sweet tooth, you should cut yourself some slack because it is not “a piece of cake.” Research shows that sugar is a highly refined substance that actually acts a lot like heroin when it hits the brain. Although the idea that sugar is addictive was controversial among scientists for years, studies have shown that sugar affects the brain chemistry and thus might be expected to cause addictive behavior. Sugar has also been shown to cause withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The behavioral effects are similar to the neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur with addictive drugs. Both sugar and the taste of sweet activate beta endorphin receptor sites in the brain, the same receptor sites that are activated by heroin and morphine.

Needless to say, sugar is usually found as simple carbohydrates, which are not exactly “healthy” foods. They are considered high glycemic index (GI) foods, which produce high levels of blood sugar. A diet that consists primarily of high GI foods can lead to carbohydrate cravings and an overall increase in appetite — potentially resulting in unwanted weight gain. These foods can cause large fluctuations of both blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to a vicious cycle of overeating (even overeating foods that are good for us). And studies have shown that each time you give into this cycle, “the chronic consumption of a diet with a high glycemic load is independently associated with an increased risk of obesity, developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.”

As far as choosing products without refined sugar goes, unfortunately, so many of these “better alternatives” contain artificial sweeteners, which studies have shown do not ultimately control your cravings for sweets. Some people do use these to bridge a gap here and there, but never should be used long term. Reason being is that they are unnatural, and hundreds of times sweeter, tricking your body into thinking it craves even more of that sweet flavor. So replacing things with sugar-free and diet beverages will definitely not break the sugar addiction. The body sees sugar as sugar, and you would just end up compensating by taking in more calories later on.

To break your sweet tooth addiction, focus on products that contain natural forms of sweeteners (i.e. stevia) in small amounts. Also slowly replace one unhealthy sweet food (i.e. cookies) with another food that is naturally sweet like fresh fruits, small portions of dried fruits, Greek yogurt and unsweetened dairy alternatives, etc. Even adding things like a little honey, cinnamon or cocoa powder could be helpful in satisfying a sweet tooth in a healthy way.

Be creative! Break the cookie cycle!


“Sugar and Fat Bingeing Have Notable Differences in Addictive-Like Behavior.” Journal of Nutrition. 2009.

“The role of glycemic index concept in carbohydrate metabolism.” J. Ciok et al. 2006.

Friday, 29 December 2017 02:56

When food causes you pain

With the holidays now over, everyone can relate to the feeling of a “food hangover,” or the agony of overeating. But could what you eat really be the culprit of arthritis, muscle pain, asthma, digestive and skin disorders as well? Yes, in fact it can be to blame. Scientists are making a strong link between our food choices and pain. About 70 percent of our immune cells are in our digestive system, making direct contact with the food we enjoy every day. If the immune system is triggered by bacteria in food, or flags a food as an allergen, or has an imbalance of important hormones such as insulin, it can set off the red alert of inflammation.

Inflammation is a major underlying factor in chronic conditions such as arthritis or poor digestive health, resulting in serious discomfort and a limited lifestyle. In other instances, inflammation is a periodic byproduct of stress and the proverbial wear-and-tear of living. At times we tax our bodies excessively, causing joint pain and decreased mobility. And yet, there are occasions where the stressful demands of work and family — the unexpected obstacles that are symptoms of financial and personal hardship, unhealthy diet, and too little sleep — manifest themselves through inflammation.

Persistent, systemic inflammation also increases a person’s risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and an assortment of other problems that become more likely as we age. More disturbing is the rise in the use of prescription drugs — many of which have serious long-term side effects — as a response to the growing threat of inflammation. Bottom line? Inflammation is the root of all chronic disease. How inflammation becomes visible in our own health will depend on the person.

There are immediate steps we can all take to reduce inflammation, starting with improved eating habits. Sufficient rest, moderate activity and a strong immune system also complement our dietary choices so that we can better control inflammation when it strikes.

Diet is critical! Amidst the far-too-numerous types of processed foods, sugary drinks and oversized meals, we must seize any chance to embrace the benefits of sound nutrition. When you eat foods you’re sensitive to (especially over and over each day or week), it causes an inflammatory reaction in your body and your health declines. And the important fact to note is that healthy foods such as squash, turkey, beans and apples, for example, may be your “personal poison” foods causing the inflammation.

The easiest way to discover your food sensitivities is a food sensitivity lab test. It’s a blood test that challenges the part of your immune system responsible for food sensitivities against different foods to determine your immune response. The strength of the response tells if you have a severe, moderate or mild sensitivity or none at all. You can choose to test up to 200 different foods, with results listing all your sensitive foods, the degree of sensitivity and your safe foods. It’s that simple. Imagine how long it would take to test that many foods on an elimination diet!

It is not a matter of whether a person “has” food sensitivities. In my experience, “how many,” and “which foods,” are what the blood test results show. The solution to pain is choosing to support your immune system with your next meal. We eat numerous times throughout the day, every day. Your next bite of food has the power to help or the power to heal. Which would you prefer? 

Thursday, 30 November 2017 21:13

Healthy Strawberry Santas

Ingredients

Strawberries

A banana

Cottage cheese

A black gel icing pen

Directions

  1. Take the top off a strawberry (i.e. the leaves)
  2. Slice a second slice from the top of the strawberry
  3. Slice a disc from a banana
  4. Spread one side of the banana with cottage cheese (relatively thick, as this will become the beard)
  5. Place the strawberry slice on a serving plate
  6. Add the slice of the banana on top, cottage cheese side down
  7. Take the gel icing pen and add 2 dots on the edge of the banana slice to look like eyes
  8. Place the remaining part of the strawberry on top as Santa’s hat
  9. Repeat for as many Santas you wish to make! 
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 16:36

Turkey Taco Burritos

Ingredients

Serves: 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 ounces of 93 percent lean ground turkey breast

1 cup pre-chopped onion

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup unsalted chicken stock

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

11/2 ounces Beanitos chips, coarsely crumbled

4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup shredded cheese

1/2 cup chopped tomato

4 lime wedges

Directions

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add turkey; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add onion and next four ingredients; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in stock and juice; bring to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chips.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Place tortillas on a work surface; spread one tablespoon Greek yogurt over each tortilla. Divide turkey mixture evenly among tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheese and tomato. Roll burritos tightly to close. Serve with lime wedges. 

 

Thursday, 28 September 2017 02:44

Cauliflower Curry Salad

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped

½ red onion, sliced

1 cup sweet potato, cubed

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped pecans

Sea salt and pepper to taste

4-6 cups leafy greens of your choice

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the cauliflower, onion and sweet potato on a baking sheet and toss with coconut oil.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and add the cooked cauliflower mix. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve over leafy greens and enjoy! 
Monday, 31 July 2017 18:28

Pan-seared Salmon and Veggies

Ingredients

Servings: One

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 cup red and yellow cherry (or grape) tomatoes, some halved, some left whole

1 fresh salmon fillet

1 tablespoon fresh herbs (I use thyme and oregano)

1 teaspoon capers

Juice from half a lemon

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Melt the butter and 1 teaspoon oil in a cast iron skillet. Once the foaming starts to subside, add the tomatoes and cook for about a minute. Add the salmon fillet, season with salt and pepper and sear on one side for three minutes. Carefully flip with a fish spatula and sear another two to the three minutes. Add the herbs and toss the tomatoes around a bit. They’ll be getting some nice brown marks by now and breaking down a bit.
  2. In the meantime, heat the remaining teaspoon oil in another small skillet. Add the spinach and wilt for about two minutes. Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Serve salmon and tomatoes over the wilted spinach and garnish with the capers and a huge squeeze of lemon. Enjoy! 
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:08

Lemon Garlic Grilled Zucchini

Ingredients

2 large zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and oregano)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Place everything in a large zip-close bag and shake it all together so the zucchini gets coated in seasoning and lemon juice.
  2. For best flavor, let zucchini marinate in fridge for at least 15 minutes or more. (The more you marinate the zucchini the more flavor the zucchini will absorb.)
  3. Before grilling the zucchini, preheat grill over medium low heat.
  4. Place zucchini on heated grill and grill 2-3 minutes on each side, or until zucchini is tender to your liking and has grill marks. Enjoy! 

Vegetarian, Gluten free - Serves 4

Ingredients

½ cup pre-rinsed quinoa

1 cup water

3 cups (15 ounces) watermelon, diced in ½ inch cubes

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cucumber, weighing 5 ounces

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

¼ cup avocado oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place the quinoa in a small saucepan and pour the water over it. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the water has absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature (you can place it in the fridge to speed things up a bit).
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.
  3. Add the diced watermelon and crumbled feta cheese to your serving bowl.
  4. Cut off the end of the cucumber and slice it lengthwise into eighths. Then cut the slices crosswise into a small dice, and add them to the serving bowl.
  5. Add all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend on low speed until thoroughly combined with small bits of cilantro remaining.
  6. When the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, add it to the serving bowl with the prepared watermelon, cucumber and feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the top and mix thoroughly.
  7. Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours (after that the watermelon and cucumber start to become a bit soggy). Enjoy! 
Sunday, 30 April 2017 23:35

Avocado Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish

3/4 to 1 pound seedless cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks

2 thin scallions, or 1 regular scallion, thinly sliced

1 large avocado, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Juice of half a lime, plus more to taste

Salt and hot sauce (we used Sriracha) to taste

Chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Directions

  1. Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together Greek yogurt, lime and seasonings, adjusting levels to taste.
  3. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with cilantro or parsley. Enjoy! 

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower

1 egg white

1/4 cup shredded skim mozzarella

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Directions

  1. Boil cauliflower until soft, process/mash until it becomes rice-like. Squeeze liquid out.
  2. Add salt, pepper, egg white.
  3. Add shredded mozzarella.
  4. On a baking sheet, spread olive oil to coat pan.
  5. Mold cauliflower mixture into bread shape.
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 450 degrees until golden brown.
  7. Heat non-stick skillet, pan fry slices.
  8. Add cheese in between. Grill! Enjoy! 
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