Mineral Deficiency

     Often when we think about a balanced diet we focus primarily on macros, calories, and portion size. Mineral intake is not necessarily something that everyone considers. Minerals play an essential role in all of our bodily functions, so its worth keeping in mind! Mineral deficiencies can lead to a variety of health concerns such as nerve damage, skin problems, lowered immunity, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, and more. While mineral deficiencies are not a huge concern for most people, it is something to be aware of if you have any of these symptoms. Often people will seek medical treatment because they think it is a more serious health issue, instead of analyzing their diet and making proper adjustments there first. Many health-related issues can be resolved easily with simple dietary and lifestyle changes. There are a few main minerals that we are often lacking in, so to help, here are some tips to make sure you get enough of each.


Zinc can be found in many beans, legumes, and whole grains. But it is important to note that phytic acid found in these plants can hinder zinc absorption. By soaking or sprouting grains and beans before cooking, the phytic acid is reduced.


You can find iron in leafy green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, lentils, peas, and dried fruits. Adding foods rich in vitamin C will also help iron absorption.


Iodine is primarily found in the ocean, so sea vegetables are an excellent source of this mineral. Most table salt has iodine added to it, but if you are watching your sodium intake you may be at risk of a deficiency.


Dark green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, bok choy, broccoli, as well as fortified plant milks are great sources of calcium.


Dietary sources of magnesium include; whole grains, nuts, dark chocolate, and spinach.

     Please note that anyone can be deficient in any vitamin or mineral, these are just the most common. The easiest way to prevent a nutrient deficiency is to eat a variety of fresh, whole foods. Most of us can get more than enough minerals from a balanced diet, but if you are struggling with keeping track of it all then taking a supplement is a good option. There are a multitude of supplement options on the market, but I prefer the Vega brand simply because they are a widely respected brand that uses quality plant-based ingredients and values environmental sustainability. All of their products are certified vegan and they have a huge variety to fit each persons needs. I would warn against supplementing for iron and calcium however as it is best to get these minerals from dietary sources.

More about mineral deficiency here:

Vega brand vitamins and supplements:

Feeding Our Children Right

     Everyone wants their kids to be healthy. With childhood diabetes and obesity on the rise, the consequences of bad dietary choices can be devastating. Obviously, it is best to start making health a priority at a young age, but how?

     First of all, no one is too young to be eating healthy. Balanced nutrition is just as important to a breastfed baby than a teenager. Studies show that breastfeeding moms who eat fast food 5 times a week or more had much higher saturated fat content in their breastmilk than moms who didn’t eat fast food. Make nutrition a family priority and everyone will benefit.

     When the time comes to put your child on solid foods there are numerous opinions on the "best way". Ultimately it is up to you and your baby on what works best for you. But don’t buy into the hype that you have to buy all of the packaged "snacks" like cheese puffs and crackers. It is just as easy to steam a carrot and mash it up as it is to go to the supermarket and buy a puree that likely has added sugar or preservatives. Often the babies fed these food products from infancy become picky eaters because they were not exposed to a variety of textures and flavors early. If you are super constrained on time a good option is the website You can also find great baby food recipes here.

     The number one tip for helping your kids make better food choices is to avoid "kid foods". Have you noticed that these "kid foods" are the most processed, colorful, sugary, and preserved foods in the grocery store? Why are fruit rollups and lunchables targeted at children who are likely not going to be able to pronounce most of the ingredients? The food companies rely on the parents to give in to their childs pleading and buy them these "foods" that have little nutritional value and lots of scary additives. A good rule is to only buy items if the child can identify all the ingredients.

     How about if you already have a picky eater? We all have foods we don’t really like, and that’s ok, but if your childs list of foods they wont eat is longer than the list of foods they will then you might have a problem. The number one thing to do is KEEP TRYING. Every few years our tastebuds change, maybe the child needs to try the food in a new setting or prepared differently.

     Another suggestion is to get your child involved with the growing, buying, and preparing of foods. Fruits and veggies always taste better when you grow it yourself. Especially if it is a food that looks a little funny (like broccoli), it might help for the child to see the growing process and how the plant grows to look like what we find in the grocery store. There are a ton of community classes and activities at community centers where kids can become "junior chefs" like the top chefs they see on TV. A subscription service I recommend is KIDSTIR which sends meal kits to your home that helps teach your child about culinary arts and makes cooking a fun family activity.

What is a "diet"? And why does it matter?

You really ARE what you eat!


We have all heard this old saying before- “you are what you eat”, but how true is it? When one talks about their “diet” they are usually referring to a temporarily restricted eating pattern. There are more fad diets out there to count and there always seems to be a new trendy diet that all the celebrities swear is the secret to losing those last few pounds. The truth is there is no miracle diet. Furthermore, your “diet” is not something you are temporarily practicing, but rather the food patterns you practice over time.

By definition, a diet is “the kinds of food a person habitually eats”, and the original Greek translation literally means “a way of life”. If you look at it this way your “diet” is not just what you eat, but encompasses your entire lifestyle. This includes everything you consume, not just food. It is the TV shows you watch, the conversations and company you keep, what you read, the things you buy, the music you listen to, and so much more!

In this sense you are not just what you eat, you are also what you buy, watch, work with, discuss, listen to, and encourage. As consumers and global citizens we tend to identify ourselves as individuals by our social engagements and belongings. We become aligned with the values of the things we support and become a reflection of everything we consume and surround ourselves with.

If you look at your “diet” in this way you can see that you are really doing yourself a disservice by adopting trendy fad diets or being overly restrictive or indulgent in certain aspects of life. It is all of our personal responsibilities as global citizens to be aware of our influence and strive to reach our full potential. The things you fill your body, mind, soul, home, and time with is what is what you will have to give back to the world. Be mindful of how you feed yourself- body, mind, and spirit.