Alternative options for Carbohydrates….

How in the world do you replace high-carb foods with carb-friendly food ?

Here are some great substitutes for some of our favorite foods.

  • Pasta – Zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, shirataki (konjac) noodles
  • Rice- cauliflower rice
  • Apples, Bananas, Oranges- Berries
  • Potatoes- Mashed Cauliflower
  • Milk and Soy milk – unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
  • Pizza – Fat head Pizza ( recipe below)
  • Bread- Lettuce wraps, Low- carb cassanava tortillas
  • Chips – Pork rinds, cheese whips carb free chips
  • Candy bars- Chocolate sweetened with stevia or monk fruit
  • Peanuts- Macadamia nuts or almonds
  • All -purpose and whole wheat flour- Almond flour, coconut flour, hazelnut flour
  • Sugar- stevia, xylitol (from birchwood), erythritol, monk fruit
  • cornstarch – arrowroot powder or xanthin gum
  • yogurt – coconut milk or almond milk unsweetened.

FAT HEAD DOUGH

This type of dough is often referred to as a “fat head” dough, as the concept was invented by the creators of the documentary “Fat Head”

Heat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a sauce-pan or toaster oven add mozzarella cheese. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the cheese is very melty and stretchy.

Add the almond flour, baking powder, xanthin gum, and salt to the cheese. Fold into the cheese with the wooden spoon. Once the almond flour is completely incorporated, add the egg and mix until the dough is formed.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Wet your hands with water and knead the dough until it is uniform in color. You should not see white or yellow spots throughout. Continue wetting your hands, as needed, to prevent sticking. the more you knead the dough, the easier it should be to manipulate.

Cut the dough into four parts. Roll the dough out on the parchment paper to your desired thickness and shape ( round for sandwich and long for breadstick. I think you get the idea. Put the dough onto a baking sheet. Bake until the tops are golden brown which is about 10-15 minutes.

1.5 cups shredded mozeralla

1 cup of almond flour

1.5 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 sea salt

1 beaten egg.

HEALTHIEST KIDS MEAL WHEN YOU JUST DO NOT HAVE TIME!!

So we all have those days where we just can’t manage to cook a nice dinner or lunch for our little ones. We just wish we had some healthy options in the freezer we can pop in the toaster oven. Well I have done some research on which frozen foods for kids are the most well balanced and cleanest. I wanted to find some that include veggies and protein. I looked to avoid products with soy, artificial ingredients and sugar the best I could. I know for Jaxson he loves a lot of the Earth’s Best products and Vans. He will gobble up the gluten free vans waffles and they have no sugar. Make sure you read the label because some of them do contain sugar. I love the Kidfresh products and there is a wide variety of main meals and sides all free of artificial products and most free of sugar. I have posted some products below with direct links to order so you can save time running to grocery stores all over town!

Chicken Hash with Butternut Squash and Kale

Here’s a new way to serve up nutritious veggies with protein-packed chicken. It’s tender, flavorful and simple to make. Basically a perfect meal!

This dish is great for meal prep, as it holds up well for several days

Chicken Hash with Butternut Squash and Kalein the fridge and can be easily packed in Tupperware to eat on-the-go. Enjoy!

 

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2” pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid stevia
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the butternut squash pieces and blanch for 3 minutes, until almost cooked through.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped kale. Let stand, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Drain the pot and set the veggies aside.
  3. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Return the emptied pot to medium-high heat and sauté the chicken with the olive oil, until browned on all sides.
  4. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Mix in the butternut squash and kale mixture and sage. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl combine the broth, stevia and Dijon. Pour over the hash and simmer until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

217 calories, 2g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 208mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 24g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

xoxoxo 🙂

Castor Oil pack for the bowels and liver.

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Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs have been said to help improve liver detoxification naturally, support uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation and reduce inflammation.

The idea is to keep castor oil on a piece of cloth on the skin for at least an hour with a heat source to stimulate lymph and liver function. Unlike some “detox” methods, this is not said to have any negative side effects and the there are many accounts of people who noticed immediate better sleep, more energy and clearing of skin symptoms.

There aren’t any conclusive studies on the use of castor oil packs externally, but a long history of traditional use in many cultures. There is some evidence that it can have a suppressive effect on tumors and a positive effect on arthritis when used externally. Castor oil packs also provide time of quiet relaxation, which also has health benefits, so I thought they were worth a try.

Castor oil packs have traditionally been used on various body parts:

  • On the right side of the abdomen or the whole abdomen, which is thought to help support the liver and digestive system
  • On strained joints or muscles (not as a substitute for medical care but to speed healing of minor injuries that don’t need medical attention)
  • On the lower abdomen to help with menstrual pain and difficulties

Even for external use, I’d consult with a doctor or naturopath to make sure that this natural remedy is ok for you.  It should not be used if pregnant or struggling with a medical condition. I also test any new oil (or any substance) on a small part of my arm before using on a larger area of the body.

How to Do a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are simple to do at home and I like them because they require me to be still and relax and read a book for at least an hour. They can be messy, but with proper preparation are not.

Needed Supplies

  • High-quality castor oil (hexane free) – I’ve gotten from Radiant life catalogs and if you search on Amazon you should be able to find it.
  • Unbleached and dye free wool or cotton flannel – can be reused up to 30 times
  • Wrap around pack (plastic free) or plastic wrap but not my favorite.
  • Heating pad
  • Glass container with lid – I use a quart size mason jar (for storing the oil soaked flannel between uses)
  • FYI castor oil does stain

You can also find castor oil pack kits online that will include everything you need.

How to Do A Castor Oil Pack

Before Beginning:

  • Cut a large piece of cotton flannel and fold into thirds to make three layers. My original piece was 20 inches by 10 inches and when folded it was roughly 7×10 but yours could be larger or smaller, depending on where you are planning to place it.
  • Thoroughly soak (but not completely saturate) the flannel in castor oil. The easies way I found to do this was to carefully fold the flannel and place in a quart size mason jar. I then added castor oil about a tablespoon at a time (every 20 minutes or so) to give it time to saturate. I also gently shook the jar between adding more oil so that the oil could reach all parts of the cloth. Ideally, this should be done the day before to give it time to evenly soak. I save the jar since this is where I keep the flannel between uses (it can be used about 30 times).

Using a Castor Oil Pack:

  1. Carefully remove and unfold the castor oil soaked cloth.
  2. While lying on an old towel or sheet, place the cloth on the desired body part.
  3. Cover with plastic (like a plastic trash bag), and place the heating pack on top of this. A hot water bottle, electric heating pad can be used, but hot water bottles and rice packs may need to be reheated several times.
  4. Lie on back with feet elevated (I typically lie on the floor and rest my feet on the couch), and relax for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use this time to practice deep breathing, read a book, meditate or pray (or whatever you find relaxing).
  6. After the desired time, remove the pack and return the flannel to the glass container. Store in fridge.
  7. Use a natural soap or a mix of baking soda and water to remove any castor oil left on the skin.
  8. Relax and rest. Make sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated after doing this.

Other ways to use castor oil:

From Japanese Healing Arts:

Castor oil is used externally in three ways. First, castor oil may be applied directly to the skin for dryness, rashes, hives, fungus, infections, boils, furuncles, liver spots (age spots), warts, benign skin cancers, etc. Also for infection or fungus in the finger or toe nails. Apply castor oil directly and gently rub into the area for a minute or two. Repeat this application 2 or 3 times a day for a few weeks or up to two months in the case of stubborn warts.

Second, the application of castor oil packs can bring significant relief for any kind of trauma, sprain or degenerative joint disorder. In the case of a painful joint, apply a pack and secure it with an ace bandage. Keep the pack on the body continuously and reapply castor oil every 24 hours. For back pain, lay on a castor oil pack for 90 minutes every day for 5 days. (See instructions below.) In severe cases, you may have to repeat this course 3 times over a period of 3 weeks.

Third, castor oil packs are used for cleansing and regulating the internal organs. For disorders relating to the digestion, intestines, liver, lungs or reproductive organs a series of castor oil packs on the abdomen for 90 minutes a day can have remarkable effects.

Have you ever used Castor oil? I’ll be sharing some of my other favorite uses soon, but please share yours below!

Healthy Kit Kat Bar Recipe

With a buttery, coconut-based crust reminiscent of a shortbread cookie, a sweet, gooey caramel sauce in the middle and rich dark chocolate on top, these magical bars come together in one delicious crunch!
IngredientsFor the crust layer:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 T honey

For the caramel sauce layer:

  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked in water
  • 1 T unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T coconut oil, melted

For the chocolate layer:

  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • ½ t coconut oil, melted
Instructions

  • Place dates in a large bowl and fill with water to soften 1-2 hours.
  • Drain water from dates, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, honey and coconut flour until it becomes a gooey mixture.
  • Place the dough in plastic wrap 20 minutes to set. Do not place in the refrigerator or the coconut oil will harden and separate from the dough.
  • While the dough settles, preheat oven to 350oF. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges for easy removal.
  • Transfer the crust mixture to the pan and spread into an even layer into the corners of the pan.
  • Place crust in the oven to bake 10 minutes until slightly raised and browned. Cool crust 30 minutes before proceeding.
  • While the crust bakes, place the dates in the microwave to warm 1-2 minutes. Then add all ingredients for the caramel layer in a blender, placing the dates in first.
  • Blend on high until the ingredients are broken down and becomes a sticky, smooth mixture.
  • Spread the caramel sauce into an even layer over the crust. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Once set, make the chocolate layer by melting chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Spread the chocolate into an even layer over the bars. Place back in the refrigerator to set 1 hour.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and gently lift the bar out of the pan with the parchment paper and place on a hard surface. Slice into 12 bars using a large knife.

Chopped Chicken Salad with Creamy Almond butter Dressing

It takes a lot to get most people excited about a salad. Run of the mill salads don’t even stand a chance. Until now. I can’t believe how flavorful this Chopped Chicken Salad with Creamy Peanut Dressing is!

Maybe it’s the bite-sized nature of a chopped salad. Or maybe it was the flavors of the vibrant, fresh produce. Or perhaps it is the creamy peanut dressing that covered every bite with comfort and love. Who knows. All I can say is that this salad is worth trying!

 

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

For the Chopped Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups roasted chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 small head Green Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Asian Pear, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup jicama, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup almonds, salted, and chopped

For the Creamy Peanut Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, chopped
  • 3 Anaheim chili peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce— do not use if sensitive to sodium
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine all of the salad ingredients.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until well combined. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

367 calories, 24g fat, 19g carbohydrate, 10g sugar, 177mg sodium, 6g fiber, and 23g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

enjoy

Samantha

seefitpt@aol.com

314.724.5040

Meal Prep 101

Meal prep made easy

It’s no secret that the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts partake in the

c700x420.jpg world of meal prepping, and many confess that this is the secret weapon behind

their jaw-d

ropping body transformations. Meal prep is without a doubt one of the most reliable ways to consistently shed pounds, week after week.

What is meal prep? It is a method of batch cooking your meals once or twice a week, portioning meals into Tupperware and stacking it all conveniently in your fridge. Every meal and snack is pre-planned, pre-packed, and ready to be eaten on-the-go.

This method works for delivering major fat loss results for a multitude of reasons:

  • It eliminates mindless eating.
  • It ensures that every bite is approved.
  • It controls calorie and nutritional counts.
  • It plans when the nutrients will be consumed.

In other words, every single factor is taken into consideration to produce optimal levels of fat burning and muscle toning. If results slow or reverse in a given week then the plan is reevaluated and tweaked until progress resumes.

How to get started… The thought of cooking all of your meals ahead of time probably sounds a little intimidating, but don’t worry, let’s break it down into 7 simple, doable steps:

Meal Prep Step #1: Outline a Plan

Before you ever step foot in the kitchen to start the process of cooking and packing your meals, it is important to get an overview plan of your needs. Having a professional help you with this portion of the process is key to making sure that you pack and eat exactly the nutrients and in the portions that will get you to your fat goals. Outline these key parts of your plan:

  1. How many meals will you eat each day? Most plans will include three main meals and three smaller snack meals.
  2. What key nutrients will be included in each meal? For a program focused on losing fat and toning muscle, you will need each meal to be largely protein, with complex carbohydrates in the first three meals of the day and fiber included in the final 4 meals of the day.
  3. What size will your meals be? This is where it’s important to have a professional help you outline the parameters of each meal to ensure that you are eating enough protein, fiber, fat and complex carbs. You should know in ounces how much protein to consume in each meal as well as a physical measurement for the complex carbs, fiber and fat.

Meal Prep Step #2: Find Pre-Made Options

Let’s be honest, even if you love spending time in the kitchen, it’s not practical to expect that you will make every component of your meal prep meals from scratch at home. This is where having a great deli in your local supermarket or having a couple of restaurants nearby to pick up some of your meal list from will mak

e a huge time saving difference in your meal prep experience. Look for these:

  1. Roasted Chicken, Turkey or Pork
  2. Cooked Brown Rice
  3. Steamed Veggies

Meal Prep Step #3: Create a List of Recipes

After you’ve crossed some of your food requirements off due to the convenience of your local deli or supermarket, it’s time to make a list of the items left to make. Find simple, wholesome recipes that will fill in the remaining gaps in your meal prep meals. Make a list of all the ingredients needed to make the recipes. Recipes like:

  1. Sautéed Veggies
  2. Slow Cooker Lean Beef
  3. Slow Cooker Chicken
  4. Baked Sweet Potato
  5. Rolled Oats
  6. Baked Fish (see recipe below)
  7. Egg Muffins
  8. Hard Boiled Eggs

Meal Prep Step #4: Go Shopping

Take your list of ingredients and your list of pre-made foods and get shopping! It can be very helpful to do a quick cleaning out of your fridge before your shopping trip, in order to free up room for the fresh items you’ll be purchasing. Also be sure to pick up containers for your prepped meals as well as cold packs and an insulated lunch bag if you don’t already have these items.

Meal Prep Step #5: Start Cooking

Take a couple of hours to cook the recipes on your list, as well as chopping any veggies for salads. Allow everything to cool before moving onto the next step.

Meal Prep Step #6: Measure and Pack Your Meals

It’s time to create your daily meals assembly line! Line up your containers, pull out your food scale and find your measuring cups. Weigh, measure, and season each meal before stacking and placing in the fridge. You may find it helpful to group a day of meals together, in the order that you will eat them.

Meal Prep Step #7: Grab-N-Go

This may be the easiest step, in meal prep success, but it is the most important.

Remember to grab your meals at the start of your day and to pack with plenty of cold packs. If you fail to bring your meals with you then you won’t reap the benefit of all that effort that you put into creating the meals. A plastic fork and a stack of napkins is also good to remember!

There you have it, a comprehensive guide to making meal prep happen! If you would like more assistance with your specific meal plan creation, or if you would like to join my results driven fitness program, then feel free to reach out to me now over email or phone.

I look forward to working with you!

 

Samantha Adams

See Fit and Catalyst Functional Strength and Nutrition

314.724.5040

seefitpt@aol.com

Sometimes you feel worse before you feel better. What to expect with probiotics.

Probiotics: Who Shouldn’t Take Them?

Some people find that taking probiotics causes them to have gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. For most people, these symptoms are temporary; however, side effects are more likely in those who are very young or elderly and those who have less robust immune systems or a damaged immune system, such as those with HIV or a terminal illness. Indeed, probiotics might not be good for people who are already extremely ill.

A general concern is that probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Instead, they are classified as a food supplement, so consumers are at the mercy of manufacturers and their health claims.

Keep in mind that the effects of one strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for other strains or even for different preparations of the same species or strain. If you do experience gas and bloating from one type of probiotic, you can try switching to a different kind to see whether it agrees more with your digestive system.

“Because the quality and quantity of probiotics is not regulated by the FDA, it is difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of one formulation against another,” Lucak says.

Expert Tips for Choosing Probiotics

Probiotics come in two forms: live cultures — such as in probiotic yogurt — or in a dormant (but still living) form, such as those found in capsules. If you want to try probiotics, here are tips to help you choose.

Decide on food or supplements. One advantage to probiotics in food is that they may also contain other beneficial ingredients, such as dietary fiber,  which also promotes digestive health. But most experts agree that it’s a matter of preference whether you consume probiotics in your diet or as supplements. I find that supplements tend to be more effective, as long as the probiotics are good quality.

Watch the expiration date. Because probiotics are living organisms, the amount placed in the container or capsule when it was manufactured may not be the same as when you consume the product. You must use these products before the expiration date to be sure the probiotic is still effective.

Play detective. If your doctor recommends a specific species and strain of probiotic, be aware that you may have a difficult time finding it. Many manufacturers don’t tell you exactly which strain is in their product; they only list the species (e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium lactis). If you’re looking for a specific strain of probiotic and it’s not listed on the label, call the manufacturer and ask. This information might also be on the company’s website.

Buyer beware. To avoid being scammed, don’t order products over the Internet unless you know and can trust the site. Keep in mind that the price of probiotics can vary tremendously, and a higher cost doesn’t mean the products are of higher quality.

If you decide to try probiotics, make sure you store them according to the directions on the package; some must be kept in the refrigerator.

Sometimes when you start a probiotic you will experience some dye-off as your body begins to rebalance the good bacteria. Give it a week or two and see how you feel before you throw in the towel. If things aren’t getting better try a new brand. The one I have found to be the most effective with all of my clients is the Orthomolecular Biotic. Take one Am and one PM.

http://www.seefitpt.com

Samantha Lander seefitpt@gmail.com

Chicken Nuggets for the healthy folks….

Nope, that was not a typo. Your favorite fitness personality is indeed sending you a recipe for Chicken Nuggets! However, these are not your typical nuggets…

Most chicken nuggets are less about chicken and more about fillers, additives and artificial ingredients. Add to that the cooking method of choice is most often a vat of frying oil, and you can see why nuggets aren’t often classified as healthy!

This recipe is a complete departure from commercial nuggets. Made simply using real chicken breast, ground almonds and fresh seasonings, these tasty nuggets are then baked to perfection in the oven. So you can feel free to serve this recipe to your family as a part of a balanced meal with zero guilt and 100% enjoyment.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need

  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse the raw almonds in a food processor until fine. (Alternately feel free to use sun flower seeds.)
  3. Combine the ground almonds, salt, pepper and paprika in a shallow bowl.
  4. Whisk the egg in another shallow bowl.
  5. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, and then coat in the almond mixture. Place on the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

152 calories, 5g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 338mg sodium, 1g fiber, and 25g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

Samantha Lander

Seefitpt@aol.com

314.724.5040

http://www.seefitpt.com

Critters in your Gut: Are Parasites making you Fat?

parasites

A parasite is any organism that lives and feeds off of another organism. Most common that I deal with are tiny organisms, usually worms, that feed off of your nutrition.

An example of parasites include roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, whipworms, hookworms, and more. Parasites come in so many different shapes and sizes. They also have their fair share of symptoms. Some feed off your meals, making you unable to gain weight. Others feed off of your red blood cells, causing anemia. Some lay eggs that can cause itching, irritability, and even insomnia. Many times I work with people who have tried a variety of approaches to feel better and nothing works. I like to dig a little deeper and see if there could be an underlying stressor such as a parasite. I also find that many times people end up band-aiding the symptoms instead of discovering the root cause.

How do you get parasites?

There are a many of ways to contract a parasite. The first and most common way is through contaminated food and water. Undercooked meat is a common place for parasites to hide, which is why it is best to buy clean, organic and grass fed meat. Another common way is contaminated water especially from underdeveloped countries, lakes, ponds, or creeks. Always make sure you clean your fruits and vegetables; they can also harbor parasites. Some parasites can even enter the body by traveling through the bottom of your foot, YUM.

Once a person is infected with a parasite, it’s very easy to pass it along. I have a lot of couples where one person has a parasite or h pylori, and you must treat both of them especially if they are sexually active. The area you want to be super careful is bathrooms, even your own. Any place where stool is exposed is high risk for a contracting a parasite. So wash your hands after using the bathroom. Close the toilet lid before you flush so the water can’t splash out.  If you have a parasite and don’t wash your hands after using the restroom, you can easily pass microscopic parasite eggs onto anything you touch — the door handle, the salt shaker, your phone, or anyone you touch. I highly recommend taking anti-parasitic supplements when traveling out of the country just to be safe.

10 Signs You May Have a Parasite

  • You have an explained constipation, diarrhea, gas, or other symptoms of IBS
  • You traveled internationally and remember getting traveler’s diarrhea while abroad
  • You have a history of food poisoning and your digestion has not been the same since.
  • You have trouble falling asleep, or you wake up multiple times during the night.
  • You get skin irritations or unexplained rashes, hives, rosacea or eczema.
  • You grind your teeth in your sleep.
  • You have pain or aching in your muscles or joints.
  • You experience fatigue, exhaustion, depression, or frequent feelings of apathy.
  • You never feel satisfied or full after your meals.
  • You’ve been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia.

The signs of a parasite can often appear unrelated and unexplained. As I mentioned previously, there are MANY different types of parasites that we are exposed to in our environments. I typically see parasites causing more constipation in patients than diarrhea, but some parasites are capable of changing the fluid balance in your gut and causing diarrhea. Trouble sleeping, skin irritations, mood changes, and muscle pain can all be caused by the toxins that parasites release into the bloodstream. These toxins often cause anxiety, which can manifest itself in different ways. For instance, waking up in the middle of the night or grinding your teeth in your sleep are signs that your body is experiencing anxiety while you rest. When these toxins interact with your neurotransmitters or blood cells, they can cause mood swings or skin irritation.

Testing for Parasites

The best way to test for a parasite is to get a stool test. Most doctors will run a conventional stool test if they suspect a parasite, however these are not as accurate as the comprehensive stool tests that we use in functional medicine.  When doing a test you want to make sure you haven’t taken any probiotics or antibiotics for two weeks prior and have broken down your biofilm to get the most accurate results. I also recommend people get a minimum of 5 days of samples for one test. A lot of the one-day tests will not come up with anything.

Conventional stool tests can identify parasites or parasite eggs in your stool, yet this test comes with many limitations. The problem with this test is that it is only conditionally successful. This test requires three separate stool samples that must be sent to the lab for a pathologist to view under a microscope. Parasites have a very unique life cycle that allows them to rotate between dormant and alive. In order to identify them in this conventional test, the stool sample must contain a live parasite, the parasite must remain alive as the sample ships to the lab, and the pathologist must be able to see the live parasite swimming across the slide. While these can certainly be useful tests for some people, they are unable to identify dormant parasites, and therefore I often see a high number of false negatives with this type of stool test.

Functional Medicine Comprehensive Stool Test

I use a comprehensive stool test on all of my patients. I have worked with several companies but I have found the Parasitology Full GI panel is the most comprehensive, reliable, accurate and the most bang of your buck.

The Full GI Panel consists of our Comprehensive Stool Analysis (CSA) and our Swab Culture. The combination of these two tests provides a full coverage screening of all intestinal pathogens and is recommended for anyone experiencing GI symptoms. The CSA provides a detailed analysis of all intestinal parasites (Protozoa, Trematodes, Tapeworms, Nematodes) from all 7 continents as well as other intestinal organisms including Candida, yeast, and other fungi. Analysis of bio-indicators such as red and white blood cells, mucus, fatty acid crystals, starch granules, undigested tissue, beneficial bacteria, epithelial cells, pollen, and charcot-leyden crystals is also included. Swabs are taken for culturing and analysis of bacterial and fungal infections. Sensitivity and resistance results as well as quantification of positive findings indicating intensity of infection are also included. The Swab Culture can be used for culturing stool, skin, urine, or any other body parts or secretions. This test is highly recommended for patients with GI symptoms who have had negative stool tests for parasites, as the symptoms for pathogenic bacteria are very similar to those of parasitic infections. I also add in a test for Pylori.

Treating Parasites

The comprehensive stool test is able to identify what specific parasites and/or bacteria so that I know how to treat the infection. I usually use a blend of herbal supplements to kill the parasite, yeast, candida, SIBO and or Pylori. Before starting an anti-parasite herbal supplement, I highly recommend that you consult with your practitioner before starting and make sure you have the right herbs for what specifically you have going on in your gut.

It all starts in your gut and your gut is the gateway to health. Your Gut is your second brain.

Common Symptoms:

  • Chronic fatigue for no apparent reason
  • Swollen or achy joints
  • Increased appetite, hungry after meals
  • Eat out at restaurants
  • Nervous or irritable
  • Restless sleep/teeth grinding while asleep
  • Night sweats
  • Blurry, unclear vision
  • Fevers of unknown origin
  • Frequent colds, flu, sore throats
  • Recurrent feelings of unwellness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea alternating with constipation
  • Thinning or loss of hair
  • Allergies, food sensitivities
  • Irritable bowel, irregular bowel
  • Rectal, anal itching
  • Bloating or gas
  • Abdominal or liver pain/cramps
  • Mucus in nose that is moist or encrusted
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Bowel urgency
  • Skin problems, rashes, hives, itchy skin
  • Vertical wrinkles around mouth
  • Kiss pets, allow pets to lick your face
  • Go barefoot outside the home
  • Travel in 3rd world countries
  • Eat lightly cooked pork/salmon products
  • East sushi/sashimi
  • Swim in creeks, rivers, lakes
  • History of parasitic infection
  • Loose stools or diarrhea
  • Pale, anemic or yellowish skin
  • Foul-smelling stools
  • Low back or kidney pain
  • Indigestion, malabsorption

For more information contact Samantha at seefitpt@aol.com