First Blog Post – Hello from Rooted in Nutrition

This is the post excerpt.


I’m so glad you found me and Rooted in Nutrition by Marcie blog.

I’m going to keep this post simple – just let you know that I’m here, ready to blog about holistic nutrition.  I define holistic nutrition as “individualized nutrition, specific to your needs, to bring the body into balance”.

I’ll be blogging over the next few weeks about what I call “The Four Pillars of Health”, including:

  1. Diet (of course)
  2. Exercise
  3. Sleep
  4. Stress Reduction.

Check in regularly for some good info on these and many more topics related to health and nutrition; each will be geared toward holistic nutrition.

I welcome your comments and will be back soon with my first official blog post.

I’m looking forward to our chats – bye for now.




Welcome to the First Day of Summer


What are your summer traditions?  Do you travel?  Are you outside more – swimming, lounging, working out, cycling or hiking?

A few of mine are hiking, now that I’m in Austin, I’ve been able to hike great places close to where I live.  There are some magnificent hikes in the hill country, west of the city.

Swimming.  I’m planning a trip to Barton Springs tomorrow – I’ll let you know how great it is, that is if my memories from college serve me well – I should have a fantastic day.  But that’s for a future blog.

However, my daily habit is eating great vegetables.  Summer is the season for eating veg., jewels straight from the garden are nature’s delightful bounty; fantastic to eat raw, stir-fried, juiced or in smoothies.  How do you like to eat your veggies?

Lately, I’ve gotten into to a eating a combination of:

  1. 2-3 C shredded Napa cabbage
  2. 1 1/2 C.  shredded red cabbage
  3. 10-12 sliced grape tomatoes
  4. 2 minced green onions
  5. 1-2 Tbs. minced cilantro
  6. Dressed with 1/3 C olive oil, 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice, salt and pepper to taste

Leave in the fridge for at least an hour.

Enjoy this mixture of nature’s goodness that provide us vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber.

Let me know your summer traditions.  Oh yeah, and sitting by the pool with a glass of wine is still a favorite.


Turn Off the TV and Move

What would you be doing if you could add 5 hours to your life on a daily basis?

Ask yourself, why do I turn on the TV and when and why do I turn it off?  Several reasons come to mind as to why we turn the TV on:



Avoiding your own thoughts

Need for constant noise or sound

Avoiding the dreaded “to do” list; starting or completing projects

Watching a favorite program (which turns into programs)

Watching news/weather/sports

Whatever the reason, Americans in general, watch way too much television.  In fact the average American watches approximately 5 hours of television per day.  Television watching between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am, account for 50 percent of all media usage.  TV viewing peaks at 9 pm, accounting for a whopping two-thirds share of all devices during that time, according to Timing Is Everything: When It Comes To Connecting To Content, The Time of Day Means A Lot.  Media, 9/21/15.

Why should I as a Functional Nutritionist be blogging about too much TV watching?  It’s because Sitting Has Become the New Smoking.

Researchers have found evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer including colon cancer and endometrial cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity which is a predictor for cancer and type 2 diabetes, muscular issues such as stiffness, inability to run, jump and sometimes even stand, and depression due to the lack of exercise.

Other reasons to turn the TV off and do something – What about all of the advertising you’re hit with?  It’s pervasive in our culture and you may think you are immune to it but are you really?  How about that commercial for a gooey, cheesy piece of pizza and an ice-cold soda?  Does that make you want to order one?  Maybe not nightly but yes, you know it will be available when you are ready to order one.  Oh, and don’t forget to order a soda with it.

How about all of those cereal commercials that claim cereal is good for us when the nutrients are stripped out during processing just to be brought back via synthetic vitamins and labeled as “fortified”.

All of this brought to you by happy, hip, healthy-looking people, who aren’t watching 5 hours of TV per night.  Add in the catchy music which is meant to put you in the buying mood and yup you’re are lulled into buying whatever “the most interesting man in the world” is selling.

Advertisers know what the American public is watching, and they have altered our preferences toward quick, high-calorie foods without any nutritional value.  They know what we like because they have generous dollars researching how to keep us coming back for more.

If you use the TV to go to sleep, you are interrupting your sleep cycle by allowing the blue light from the screen to disturb your circadian rhythm which undermines the hormone melatonin.  It is melatonin that is responsible for putting you to sleep, allowing for a deep, and restorative sleep.  The melatonin you produce in your brain is sensitive to the light emitted by televisions and devices such as tablets and smartphones.  It is best to keep these out of the bedroom and to shut down your wifi router while sleeping to avoid electromagnetic fields.  Who needs wifi when you’re sleeping anyway?

Besides, watching television is a time waster.  Many activities aside from watching TV can be accomplished rather than sitting down to your nightly 5 hour TV watching habit.

Use your extra 5 hours to prepare a healthy and satisfying meal, energize the right-side of your brain by creating art or playing an instrument, complete a project, play with your kids or pets, do chores that have been left undone, go for a walk which may lead to talking with neighbors, exercise, try new activities such as dancing, bowling, or softball, hiking, swimming, or paddle boarding.  Join a new group, start a new group.  You get the picture, the options are endless.

All of these activities will leave you satisfied, re-charged and happy with your life while proud of your accomplishments.  And really, what will you be missing if you don’t watch TV?  However, if you turn off the TV, you may find that you were in fact missing your life.

Liver Love


The liver is the Rodney Dangerfield of organs – it doesn’t get no respect.  As a holistic nutritionist, I value the liver and want you to know and understand what our largest internal organ does and why we should all love our liver.

If you don’t know much about the liver it could be because it silently goes through its over 500 functions day-in and day-out, serving without complaint.  Unfortunately, liver problems do not present themselves until irreparable damage has already occurred.

The liver is the recipient of every substance we ingest, from cigarette smoke to toothpaste to apple pie, even materials we take in through the skin, including pollution and sunscreen.

Among its other functions, the liver serves as a storage depot for vitamins A, B12, D, E and K as well as the minerals copper and iron.  Because we have stores of these vitamins and minerals normally, it is relatively easy to overload the liver with them, causing liver damage.

Without a properly functioning liver:

  • Our blood would be clogged with fats, glucose and amino acids
  • Our bodies would have no defense against infections
  • There would be no way to eliminate the drugs and toxins we consume
  • No mechanism for processing digested food from the intestine

Our livers:

  • Make bile
  • Produce enzymes and proteins that heal wounds and clot blood
  • Break down food and turn it into energy
  • Produce and regulate many of our hormones

When the liver isn’t functioning well, it isn’t efficient at regulating blood glucose levels, energy levels plummet as glycogen, the stored form of glucose, is not easily converted to glucose.

The liver also affects our mental sharpness.  When we eat animal proteins the small intestine produces harmful ammonia during digestion and the liver is responsible for converting that ammonia into urea which is then sent to the kidneys for elimination.  When the liver is diseased, the ammonia can’t converted properly and builds up in the blood and brain causing a form of mental confusion called encephalopathy.

The first indications of liver problems are pain or distention in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen.  This can be linked to a number of ailments but it often signals inflammation or distention of the liver.  An accumulation of fluid in the abdomen known as ascites is associated with advanced liver disease.  Pruritus, or severe itching is another symptom that can be present due to blockage of bile flow or cholestasis.

Blood tests of liver enzymes, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) will often be markedly elevated as a result of massive liver cell death that can cause hepatic failure.  Aminotransferases are enzymes that facilitate certain chemical reactions within cells.  Elevation of ALT and AST into the bloodstream indicates a leak from dead or damaged cells, suggesting hepatic death.

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

It should come as no surprise that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), most often found in people who are overweight or obese, is the most common liver disease in the U.S., with an estimated 10 to 40 percent of the general global population affected.  Up to 75 percent of obese persons, 50 percent of people with diabetes and 90 percent of morbidly obese people or those weighing more than 200 percent of their ideal body weight are thought to have NAFLD.  According to the American Liver Foundation, it is estimated that approximately 25 percent of Americans have NAFLD.  It has also been estimated that some 53 percent of obese children have fatty liver disease.

NAFLD develops in two stages.  The first, a simple fatty liver, is relatively harmless and reversible and need not ever lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.   Once it progresses as in stage two, the liver becomes inflamed and then scarred and at this point the disease has reached a more dangerous level leading to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.

NAFLD can be found in every demographic group though it’s primarily found in women in their middle years who carry too much weight and who also have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  Technically, a liver is found to be “fatty” when fat makes up at least 10 percent of the liver by weight.

Obesity is the major cause of fatty liver because obese people store fat in every area of their bodies, including the liver.  Ironically, fatty liver may also occur in people who lose weight too quickly.  The liver may not be able to handle the huge task of breaking down all that fat in the tissues, so it simply accumulates, which is an argument for a more measured approach to weight reduction.

Insulin resistance and the other risk factors for metabolic syndrome (High Triglycerides, Obesity, Low HDL, Hypertension, and Diabetes) significantly increase an individual’s chance of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Managing Fatty Liver Disease

Trim down with diet and exercise.  The most effective treatment for fatty liver and the most reliable way to avoid future liver disease is from weight loss and exercise.  People with a BMI above 25 can reduce the amount of fat stored in their liver with a diet that is high in fiber and low in starchy carbohydrates with minimal sugar intake.  Elimination of trans-fats is also required.

Control diabetes.  Strict management of diabetes to prevent further damage and possibly reduce the liver’s store of fat.

Avoid toxic substances.  All patients with NAFLD should avoid alcohol, exposure to chemicals that cause liver damage, and cigarette smoke.

Effects of Alcohol on Metabolism by the Liver

Excessive alcohol consumption effects its own metabolism plus that of other drugs by the liver.  In most people, alcohol is primarily broken down by enzymes known as alcohol dehydrogenases.  These enzymes speed up the chemical reaction that converts ethyl alcohol to its metabolite acetaldehyde.  Alcohol dehydrogenases enzymes primarily work in the stomach and the liver.  Hydrogen is released when alcohol dehydrogenase turns alcohol into acetaldehyde.

Acetaldehyde is an important metabolite of alcohol because it is associated with the unpleasant effects such a flushing, nausea and vomiting.  It may also play a role in long-term liver damage caused by alcohol.  In the body acetaldehyde is metabolized to acetic acid or vinegar, by a chemical reaction enhanced by the enzyme known as aldehyde dehydrogenase.

Liver Regeneration

The liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself.   In fact, if less than 60 percent of the liver has been removed, the remaining organ can expand, filling its former space until it reaches its original weight and the entire liver can function normally, provided that the remaining 40 percent was not heavily scarred.

How can you not fall in love with an organ like this?

Of all the organs in the body, the liver is truly the strong, silent type.  Whether it’s fighting a viral infection or struggling under the burden of excess scar tissue, the liver rarely complains.  That is why liver disease can progress for years before it’s noticed.  In fact, in most cases of liver disease, the first clues that something is wrong are virtually imperceptible.  It is often when the liver is on the verge of collapse and can no longer perform its duties that its deterioration becomes apparent.

Holistic Therapy

Milk Thistle

This well-known plant has been used for more than 2,000 years to cleanse and support the liver.  Its active substance is called silymarin, which is found in the seeds of the plant.  Milk thistle not only supports the liver but actually rejuvenates it.  It’s a potent antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory properties and has been proven to repair and grow new liver cells.

European clinical studies have found that milk thistle helps in treating alcoholic cirrhosis and aid recovery from hepatitis.


Chlorella is a blue-green algae that has been around at least 530 million years.  Its single-celled structure and high content of chlorophyll give it unique abilities to nourish the body while also absorbing small particles.  Chlorella can bind heavy metals, toxins, and pesticides and carry them out of the body.


Glutathione is made of three amino acids, cysteine, glycine and glutamine, along with a sulfur group that enables it to bind to free radicals and toxins.  A potent antioxidant produced by the body to aid in the liver detoxification process, glutathione can become depleted due to an overwhelming toxic burden.  The supplement, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid precursor that can stimulate glutathione synthesis.

 Siberian Ginseng

Also known as eleuthero.  Is said to stimulate the immune system and boost energy as a general tonic.  Its benefits to the liver derive chiefly from the polysaccharides that reduce enzyme levels.

 Green Tea

Contains large concentrations of catechins, an antioxidant substance that helps to protect cell membranes making it similar to milk thistle.


Curcumin, one of turmeric’s active ingredients, it is believed to be effective in fighting liver toxins.

 Move Lymphatic Fluid

The lymphatic system is a network of 6000 nodes and glands that help remove toxins and waste.  Common lymph soothing herbs include cleavers, red clover, burdock root and calendula.  Dry skin brushing can also help to stimulate the lymphatic system while also improving circulation.

 Eat Detoxifying Foods

Artichoke is a tasty vegetable that contains a phytonutrient called cynarin, which stimulates the production of bile improving digestion.  Artichoke is loaded with antioxidants including liver-supportive silymarin, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and rich in fiber that helps in moving chyme through the digestive tract.

Other detoxifying vegetables are broccoli, onions, beets and cabbage, also add garlic, cilantro, and parsley.

I hope by now, you have come to appreciate your hard working liver.  Give your liver some love and it will work quietly as it loves you back.

Can a Holistic Nutritionist Sell Maple Syrup Without Selling Out Her Ideals?

After recently moving from Denver to Austin, I needed a job and quick.  I, however, didn’t want to take just any job because I’ve had the corporate career, having worked my way up from the bottom to achieve a middle management position as a well-paid director in clinical research.  I moved to Austin to start my own holistic nutrition business and therefore don’t want to be bogged down by a full-time, nine to five position unless it’s of my own making.

Right away, I answered an ad placed in the non-traditional job hunting space for the NextDoor app in my new neighborhood.  The ad was for a Farmers Market Manager, handling maple syrup.  You might ask, “maple syrup in Austin, TX?”, as many customers do and yes, the product is collected and processed in Michigan, shipped to Austin where it is then packaged.

I decided rather quickly that this would be a fine opportunity to work outdoors, meet loads of people and perhaps even get a few clients by handing out my business card while they are slurping the sweet, sticky maple syrup samples that I’m beckoning them to try.

As a nutritionist, how can I stand behind a product that is high in simple sugars, something I recommend most people to stay away from?  It is a naturally occurring sugar similar to honey and it does have some nutrients and antioxidants.  Manganese is one mineral that is found rather abundantly in maple syrup.  In the human body, manganese is needed for healthy nerves, a healthy immune system and blood sugar regulation.  Did you get that?  Blood sugar regulation by a product that raises blood sugar.  Now that’s what I call nature’s balancing act.  After all holistic nutrition is about balance.

Those in the Paleo Diet world recommend maple syrup to sweeten a variety of foods.  Many Paleo recipes call for maple syrup which I dutifully bring to my customers’ attention.  Salmon sweetened with maple syrup or what about sweet potatoes?  Carrots?  Bacon or sausage.  Oh, yes, and coffee.

I have to admit oatmeal with maple syrup sounds so yummy and cozy though not very Paleo.  But then again I live in Austin and not in Denver anymore, so get real, cozy isn’t something I’m looking for on most of our spring days while eating breakfast.

So there you have it.  I’ve reconciled the fact that maple syrup is a natural sweetener, when used sparingly, can be a part of a healthy, holistic diet.