Nourish: Eat for Vitality

root cause healing, Functional Medicine, Heal chronic fatigue with Functional Medicine

A slogan boldly displayed on the entry wall of Evolve Juicery and Kitchen, our new healthy meal service and fresh smoothie/juice kitchen in Iowa City.

And I love it! It’s perfect.

“Eat like you love yourself.”

Because it ALL comes down to self-love, doesn’t it? Every single choice we make, at every moment in time, forever.

And it’s where all the rest begins.

Our clear, vibrant,…

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Basic Kitchen Equipment for Executing the FINE and GRIN Food Plans

These are the basics, beyond what I expect are in most peoples’ kitchens already. They’ll make your food prep so much smoother and easier.

  • A good all-purpose food processor, like Cuisinart.
  • A Vitamix or similar high speed blender.
  • Excellent set of chef knives (I prefer Wusthof): you’ll need a chef’s knife and paring knife…

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strong, protein, optimal protein requirements, muscle protein synthesis, strong, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, nine domains of healing

What Are Our Daily Protein Requirements?

I look at the food diaries of my clients every day in my office and almost no one consumes enough protein to meet their basic needs. Protein runs all of the major business of the body. Without enough we are left vulnerable and at risk for illness, loss of muscle mass, injury, and loss of vital energy. Optimizing daily protein intake is a crucial aspect…

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food as medicine, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, food addiction, food heals, nutritional healing

We all know food is medicine by now. We know food has the molecular power to change our genetic expression, physiology, and function in infinite and profound ways. We know food is us at the most foundational level.

It works both ways. Food hurts. Food heals.

It’s easy to turn to foods that taste good, make us feel better, give us a “high,” a hit of pleasure to help us numb the suffering…

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FINE food plan, energy nutrition, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, food as medicine, energy healing,

The Foundational Intensive Nutrition Energy Food Plan (FINE)—a Real Food Plan for Energy Nutrition

This is your foundational energy nutrition healing food plan.

In some ways this food plan is about going back to our roots. To eating real food, grown in favorable conditions, prepared simply and deliciously, shared with those we love, eaten slowly, and just enough to meet our needs.

But its also…

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dark chocolate, power of chocolate, chocolate-avocado pudding, functional nutrition, ketogenic diet, ketogenic diet recipes

Yep. That’s me—a chocolate maniac. My favorite food, drug, and best friend (sorry pooches!) all rolled up into one freakish substance!

Check out what I concocted today that knocked my socks off and rocked my world…

Divine Cocoa-Blueberry Pudding

Place in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 5-6 ounces coconut yogurt (CoYo brand)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened…

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weight loss, functional nutrition, Functional Medicine, Nutritional weight loss, optimal diet, optimal food plan, intensive nutrition, optimal body composition,

How many of us have gone on diets to lose weight? Only to fail, gain it all back, or, worse, lose the weight but feel worse (remember the low fat diets of the last century? Yah, that happened to me!)…

Ultimately it’s all about optimizing body composition—the inevitable loss of fat that occurs when we live our lives in ways that best suit our unique genetics.

That’s right—the road to optimal…

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pasture-raised meat, grass-fed beef, health benefits of eating grass-fed beef, liver, functional medicine, food as medicine,

Benefitting from the nutrition of healthy, pasture-raised meat is part of our genetic legacy. There are key nutrients that we can only get from consuming animal-derived food. But how do we do it safely? Without cruelty? In a way that’s safe and sustainable for our environment?

There are some who advocate not eating meat at all, not distinguishing pasture-raised meat from its less healthy…

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healing foods: tumeric Dr. karyn shanks md

I’ve long loved the comfort and deliciousness of my favorite Golden Milk recipe, but a friend helped me take it to a whole new level of ecstasy!

Coffee.

You heard me right—how delightfully naughty is that?

First, here’s my Golden Milk recipe. In addition to it’s yummy-ness, I love that its ingredients support my energy and reduce inflammation. I drink it warm—so soothing in the months of…

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nutritional ketosis, ketogenic diet, brain food, ketogenic-brain food diet, functional medicine, functional nutrition, functional medicine nutrition, fat is good, healthy fats, ketosis,

Nutritional Ketosis: yikes–that sounds foreign and scary–and hard! But it’s not. In fact, nutritional ketosis is a powerful food strategy that supports energy and brain health, and is quite simple (though not easy–it requires, like all new habits, that thing we’re really afraid of: change).

After many years of experimentation (food is one of my favorite playgrounds), I’ve figured it out,…

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brain food, brain nutrition, food as medicine, nutritional healing, functional medicine,

Brain Food: We can eat our way to better brains–and protect the vibrant minds we cherish–regardless of a devastating family history like mine.

I am especially concerned about my brain as I age. My Dad started showing signs of cognitive decline in his 60s and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease with rapidly progressive dementia in his 70s. We’ve watched his deterioration with horror. He…

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nutrition, nutrition testing, nutritional supplements, vitamins, healthy supplements, best supplements, functional medicine

We all know that excellent nutrition is foundational to our energy, strength, and wellbeing, and it begins with eating healthy food suited to our unique needs. High quality nutritional supplements can support what we do with food and solve urgent problems that we can’t correct with food alone. Food and nutritional supplements are powerful medicine–helping us make needed corrections in our…

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detoxification, cruciferous vegetables, healing foods, energizing foods, functional medicine, nutritional healing

The cruciferous family of vegetables–your favorites like cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli–are so special in their deliciousness, but also possess magical chemistry that supports many key dimensions of our health, like detoxification, antioxidant protection, and control of inflammation. Through their detoxification attributes, they help us neutralize and eliminate…

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anti-inflammatory supplements, ginger, turmeric, green tea, fish oil, healing foods, functional medicine, food as medicine, self-healing

Don’t just supplement to treat inflammation–get to the root cause!

Consider the root causes of your inflammation symptoms before reaching for another supplement. No matter how natural or powerful your favorite supplements are, if you don’t consider why you are hurting, aching, and tired you’re missing an opportunity to discover deep sustainable ways to improve your health.

I routinely…

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This has become my all time favorite pumpkin pie recipe. Not only does the flavor and texture absolutely rock, but it meets my high nutritional standards. It is grain-, cow’s milk-, egg-, and legume-free, lower in sugar-content than other pumpkin pie recipes, and is utterly creamy and delicious. It’s robustness and depth of flavor is reminiscent of a cheese cake.

I believe my first rendition of…

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Dear eggs, I owe you the biggest apology for the years of questioning your virtue and beauty. You see, my culture taught me some things about you that eventually were proven to be all wrong. They told me that your cholesterol and fat were bad for me, that you would give me a heart attack or stroke, and that I should never eat you. I missed you and thought of you often (and even snuck you in a…

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Those of you who know me are aware that I’m not a fan of using “paleo” to describe twenty-first century food. I mean, it’s like saying “human” to describe a very nuanced and sophisticated way of eating and taking care of ourselves. My soapbox aside, to pay homage to the many authors out there in virtual paleo-land, who have influenced the many iterations of my brownie recipe, I am calling them…

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