Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vertigo, are you feeling dizzy?

Vertigo- is a sensation of dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness that results from an impaired sense of balance and equilibrium; it is usually due to an inner ear problem.

Dietary and Overall Recommendations:

  • Limit your total sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams (2 grams) per day. Aim for eating foods that are less than 150 mg sodium per serving. Excess sodium can disrupt the inner ear's functioning power.
  • Try to stay clear from alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and all fried foods.

  • To subdue dizziness, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and stare at a fixed object for a few minutes.

  • If you begin to experience dizziness soon after taking new medication, assume that the problem is drug related, speak to your Physician or Pharmacist.
  • If vertigo is a problem that keeps coming, consult your health care provider. It may be a sign of an underlying concern that requires treatment.
  • Air contains less oxygen at altitudes high above sea level. Lower oxygen levels can cause mild, temporary dizziness or lightheadedness - so increasing your water intake is key overall to help increase your oxygenation no matter what altitude you are at.
Also, to increase your oxygenation vascularly which will help prevent dizziness, drink alkalanized water, which increases your oxygen count and increases your overall immunity. To purchase: Contact Dr. Daniel Rude, (310) 867-3923 or 1-866-261-9500 mention Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD referred you, for a water filter to increase your oxygenation and alkalinity.

Health and happiness to you.

Your Livitician,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Having trouble getting your veggies in?

Here's a quick way to get your veggies in. Put them in your smoothie, make it the night before, keep the blender in the refrigerator and just press whip before you leave the house, and you have a quick on-the-go shake full of antioxidants. In a Vitamixer (the best powerful blender available on the products tab of, select the vitamix link) place all these ingredients in and blend: Ingredients: 1/2 cup of frozen chopped spinach (pesticide free or organic-just throw it in frozen, no pre-cooking needed), 3/4 cup frozen organic strawberries, 1 cup organic frozen wild blueberries, 1/2 cup organic vanilla yogurt, 3 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk, 1 Tbsp. Bob's Red Mill All Natural Powdered Egg whites, 1 banana. Enjoy 1 cup to 12 ounces as a snack full of calcium, vitamin C, potassium, iron, high fiber carbohydrates to fuel/energize you, and high biological value protein to sustain you optimally for 3 to 4 hours.

Also, disguise your veggies in some brownies (blend some spinach or zucchini in your chocolate brownie mix, it sounds bizarre but it does work, anything tastes good with chocolate)! Have one indulgence a day is part of the Livit plan, if you desire it, the best way to fit desserts in is as part of a meal, or eaten within 2 hours after a meal, by decreasing some of your carbs. For example, replace 1 cup of pasta with 1/2 cup of dessert or a 4 inch brownie. Enjoy LIVITING!!!

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Monday, April 7, 2008

Artificial Sweeteners: Not as sweet as you think!

A common question that my patients ask me relates to what artificial sweetener is ok to use, "Is sucralose ok..., is splenda ok..., aspartame, sorbitol..?" Here's the quick bottom line on my recommendations relating to what the best sweetener is: Choose the sweetener that is in it's natural state. Agave Nectar is my top choice recommendation. It's the sap from the Agave cactus plant, you know what they make tequilla from. Agave sweetener is naturally extracted from the pineapple-shaped core of the Agave, a cactus-like plant native to Mexico. With a 90% fruit sugar content, it absorbs slowly into the body, decreasing the highs and lows associated with sucrose (table sugar) intake. Agave nectar, "Sweet Cactus Farms" is my favorite brand, available at Whole Foods, or Agave nectar is at least 35% sweeter than sugar, so you can use less and save on calories. When baking with Agave Nectar: Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees, replace 1 cup sugar with 3/4 cup Agave. Reduce recipe liquids by 1/3.

Great news for people with diabetes, Agave nectar is a suitable sweetener for you. Since, agave is more slowly absorbed, it will not stimulate overproduction of insulin, thus it won't overwork the pancreas. A little squirt of agave is all you need, and 1 tsp. of agave is only 4 grams of carbs, thus a diabetic exchange free food. It's great in tea, or your 1 cup of coffee, or on whole grain waffles.
The next best sweeteners to agave is raw sugar, "Sucanat", natural sugar cane, very vitamin and mineral rich, thus more slowly absorbed, and organic maple syrup, and raw honey, specifically manuka honey is good.

Bottom line: stay alla naturalle when it comes to all your food choices as much as you can. I do not recommend artificial sweeteners, they have been linked with the obesity epidemic because they are so sweet, they make people hungrier and they are not food, they are synthetic, splenda by the way, what a lot of people think is natural is derived from sugar and chlorinated-thus can be carcinogenic.

Enjoy your food naturally, the real stuff tastes better.

Health and happiness to you,
Your livitician,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Higher belly fat increases risk for dementia!

Belly fat is toxic fat! When the fat is in your stomach it is in your organs, it's visceral fat, when it's in the hip area it's not a big deal in terms of your health, because it's subcutaneous (just under the skin). Research has shown that having more fat in your abdominal area, increases your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and this week a study published in the journal Neurology showed that it is also associated with declining brain function as well.

Using medical records, researchers examined the belly size of 6,583 middle-age people between 1964 and 1973 and then looked to see whether they were diagnosed with dementia an average of 36 years later. THE RESULTS: Just being overweight or obese nearly doubled one's risk of dementia in old age. Having high levels of central-body (tummy) fat increases the risk more, boosting an obese person's risk 3.6 times higher than a normal-weight individual with low belly fat. And, even people who were at a normal weight with high levels of belly fat showed an elevated risk of dementia. WHAT'S THE CAUSE for this association? Fat is known to produce a variety of potentially harmful substances that cause inflammation, disrupting blood flow to the heart and possibly the brain, which could be the link to dementia, but we don't know for sure.

Bottom Line: Focus on decreasing that belly fat, by moving more (aim for 6 times a week of 45 minutes of cardio (can break it up 15 minutes up and down some stairs, 15 minutes walking and 15 minutes dancing) and eating when you are hungry, smaller meals every 4 hours including high fiber carbohydrates (e.g., fruit, whole grains, starchy vegetables-yams, peas, butternut squash) and low fat protein (e.g., low fat organic dairy, fish, chicken/turkey breast, egg whites with 1 yolk, beans with some guacamole for good fat) at each eating time. Bring that glass (rather than plastic leaching) water bottle around with you wherever you go, keep sipping all day, a lot of times we think we are hungry, we may really be dehydrated. Enjoy LIVITING!

Your Livitician,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD