Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do I Have to Gain Weight to Get the Nutrition I Need?

Question (edited to abbreviate): "I am nutritionally frustrated, and you are someone who will understand. In investigating my sudden onset joint pain, I found that I am anemic. I have never been anemic, and am guessing it may be due to my reduced calorie/reduced red meat diet that allowed me to lose 35 lbs. So today for breakfast I had a bowl of cereal with 5 g fiber and 4 mg iron, prune juice with 2 g fiber and 3.5 mg iron. I added a glass of grapefruit juice with vit C because prune juice has no vit C, and had a strawberry smoothie. This provides 7.5 mg of iron, toward a daily goal of 18, and 10 g fiber toward a daily goal of 25g. It also adds up to 13 Weight Watcher's points, and my daily total is 20 points. Am I going to have to re-gain 35 lbs in order to each enough food to correct my anemia and get enough fiber to avoid getting constipated? I see no option other than to take supplements, and that should not be the way this works. Am I wrong?" - B

Dear B,

This is a great question and a place where herbs are the perfect solution! There are so many herbs that are high in iron and herbal teas have no calories! Some ideas are below:

ROOT TEAS (Make as decoctions)
Choose one or mix together in portions
Yellow Dock
Don Quai
Oregon Grape Root
Pau d'arco

LEAFY TEAS (make as infusions or eat as foods)
Raspberry leaf tea

There are also many dietary solutions to your problem - eating patterns and various foods you can focus on, as well as other therapies you may want to explore. If you would like a full consultation I offer consultations at

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Monday, June 15, 2009

Carrots and Chlorine

For years I thought I was allergic to carrots. I ate from a variety of sources so I am sure there were a few times I didn't react to them. However, the majority of times I did. I had horrible reactions to them - a catch in the throat and a general feeling of being choked. However, I enjoyed the taste of carrots and for some reason carrot juice never seemed to give me the same problem. Years passed and finally I decided to get new allergy tests. Nothing showed up new - I had the same allergies I had when I was two years old (although interestingly enough many of them don't bother me anymore. I have four cats, for example, and don't have any reaction to them anymore). My favorite carrots were the little mini carrots that were pre-cut. They just seemed so easy. The other place I ate a lot of carrots was when I lived overseas. I ate them fresh from the market.

Have you figured out the mystery yet?

I didn't either. It took me years and years to figure it out until one day I read an article about how packaged carrots are treated with chlorine bleach before going to market. In Egypt, where I was living for a time, it was common for people to soak their vegetables in a weak bleach solution to kill parasites and other contaminants. In both cases I was getting from minute to large doses of bleach - something I am severely allergic to.

I am sharing this story because this happens, not only with carrots but with many food items. You may feel miserable after eating certain foods, but it may not be the food itself - it may be the way it is processed or what is added to it.

Did you know that boxed orange juice most often contains at least a little moldy fruit? This is bad news for people allergic to mold but not allergic to oranges.

Did you know nuts have high mold counts too?

Many salads contain sulfites?

Salad dressings in most restaurants contain MSG?

Some processed meats, chips and canned soups contain gluten?

The list could go on for pages.

So if you are having a reaction to one of your favorite foods it may be helpful to do some research into how it is harvested, stores, transported, processed and displayed. It could be at one of these points that the irritating substance is added and not the food itself. And keep in mind - purchasing organic and/or at the farmer's market will reduce your chances of having a reaction but won't eliminate the chances all together.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reduce Caffeine in Tea Naturally

This is now located at the new BLOG at: