Amanda: Hey, this is Amanda, women’s health dietitian.
Emily: And I’m Emily, nutritional therapy practitioner.
Amanda: And this is the Are You Menstrual? podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones and teach you how to have healthy periods.
Emily: Each week we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology, and metabolic health.
Amanda: Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey.
Emily: We hope you enjoy it.
Emily: Now that we've covered the basics of hair mineral testing, including the metabolic types, the main minerals, and ratios, and the importance of copper and iron…we thought that the obvious next step would be learning how to replenish your minerals. So this is probably the episode you've all been waiting for. We're gonna dive into the best foods, the best nutrient-dense foods that we eat on a regular basis and that we recommend to our clients. So this episode is really for everyone, whether you've had the chance to test your minerals or not, these mineral-rich foods and beverages we're going to talk about today are going to be really helpful for everyone regardless of mineral status.
So as you remember, we've talked about this previously, but when we are stressed we use up more minerals like magnesium, sodium and potassium directly. But you may not know that the stress response also indirectly impacts other minerals like copper, for example. And since we use copper to make energy or ATP in the body, this is extremely important to keep our energy up. So as stress goes up, energy needs do as well. So we like to say that minimizing stress is always essential, there are things that you can do to bring your stress levels down, of course, but I think it's even making our bodies more resilient to stress that is more critical. And we can do that by regularly eating throughout the day, combining protein and carbs to support blood sugar balance, and then of course, adding in as many minerals as we can. So let's dive into the best foods that we love for supporting mineral balance. And Amanda is going to get us started with the adrenal cocktail.
Amanda: Yes, I feel like we've mentioned this in, like, four or five episodes already, and this is episode seven that we're doing. So we know that this has been a long awaited discussion around the adrenal cocktail. Basically, it is a drink. And there's a bunch of different ways to make it that we're going to go through. But the premise behind it is that it's a combination of potassium, sodium, and vitamin C. So…and they're ideally from whole food type sources. So it's about 375 milligrams of potassium, 60 milligrams of vitamin C, and 460 milligrams of sodium. So the whole concept was created by a naturopathic doctor, Susan Blackard, where she, she also likes to add other things in there. But she kind of came up with the concept of the adrenal cocktail. The idea is that it's supporting your adrenals, right. If we remember when we were going through the macro minerals, kind of minerals 101 podcast, we talked a lot about how sodium and potassium are depleted during that stress response. And if when we went through the metabolic type podcast, we talked a lot about how people like slow metabolic types need a lot more sodium and potassium. I mean, I think everyone does, but there are electrolytes that are, I think, are hard to replenish.
A lot of us are drinking a ton of water that doesn't have anything added in it. And it leaves very little room for getting adequate sodium and potassium. So not only is the adrenal cocktail going to support your adrenals and help your body have a healthy stress response, but it's also going to help with the different functions that sodium and potassium have in the body. Right? Potassium is super important for thyroid hormone, getting that inside the cell. It also has an insulin-like effect on our cells. So it helps us get glucose inside better. And it's great for balancing your blood sugar. And then sodium is important for the stress response. But it's also important for making things like stomach acid and digestion. So very, very essential nutrients, and it's really simple. I think this is one of the easiest things that you can start with. So if we want to go through some of the different ways to make it. Just don't get, don't get obsessed over the numbers. I only share those with you because the…that's the concept that it was based off of.
Emily: Right, and the most common, or I guess, original recipe that I started out with was a cup of orange juice or you can even go lower than that. How much is it of orange juice?
Amanda: It's 4 ounces.
Emily: Four ounces, okay, so half a cup of orange juice, and then a fourth a teaspoon of cream of tartar and then a fourth a teaspoon of sea salt. So that's what I started out doing. And you get the potassium in the cream of tartar, the sodium in the sea salt and the vitamin C in the orange juice. But I got lazy and didn't feel like measuring things out. So the good thing about this whole adrenal cocktail concept is that you don't have to measure things out. You literally can just throw things into a glass and drink it. So these are some alternative recipes that make it easier to do that. If you're not. if you're like, yeah, I'm not gonna buy cream of tartar, which it is really easy to find. But I totally understand if that's not your thing.
So things like orange juice with coconut water and sea salt, that's an options. Probably the easiest one—just throw it in a glass and drink and it tastes delicious. But you can also mix up the juices. So for example, I just bought grapefruit juice, and I mixed it with aloe vera juice with sea salt. So you have the potassium in the aloe vera juice, the vitamin C in the grapefruit juice, and then the sodium in the sea salt. But again, there's, there's more variation. So, like, if you just want to squeeze a lemon and a lime into a glass, add your coconut water for potassium and then your sea salt, that's perfectly fine as well. So really play with it, it does not have to be these perfect ratios. It's really just a refreshing beverage to make sure that you're getting these good minerals in.
Amanda: And I think the other thing is with this is just seeing what you tolerate best. Like so often…and we share it, we have a post on this with the different recipes on Instagram, we also have a blog post that we’ll include in the show notes. And so many people ask like, well, I did the four ounces of orange juice, four ounces of coconut water and sea salt. And I didn't feel good after maybe it was a blood sugar thing. And I'm like, okay, why don't you try doing less orange juice and more coconut water. And they're like, oh, I didn't realize it was that simple to kind of make that adjustment. If you haven't drank juice in a long time… Like I know when Emily first started doing these, we were like, let's do like two ounces of orange juice and more coconut water, you know?
Emily: I was scared of juices.
Amanda: Yeah, a lot of us are scared of juices. There's also potassium in the juices too. So you're not just getting it from like the coconut water, aloe vera juice, but there's so many different combinations. We were just talking before we started recording. And I'm like, I feel like I make a different adrenal cocktail every day. I'm like, also very big on pineapple juice. I know I have the pineapple gummies. But I just love pineapple juice. It's also great for your digestion. So I've been doing four ounces of pineapple juice, four ounces of aloe vera juice, and then sea salt. But sometimes I want like a spritzer and I'll do two ounces of a juice could be like grapefruit, it could be pineapple orange juice. And then I do four ounces of aloe vera juice and more sparkling water with sea salt. And it's, it's so good. And again, are the ratios perfect? Probably not, it could be a little bit less vitamin C. But it's…I'm having it consistently, right. So ideally you're going to start adding in one of these a day. See how you feel. And as far as timing goes, you can do it with a meal if you're worried about your blood sugar, you could definitely do that. Ideally, you're doing these like an hour after a meal or between meals or with a snack. There's no perfect way everyone is different. You just want to experiment.
Emily: And I will say the sparkling water definitely elevates it. You feel fancy when you're drinking that. When I first started out and I was a little bit worried about my blood sugar response to the juice. What I found that really helps, and as Amanda mentioned, you could always drink it with a meal. But for me if I just wanted to have it as a snack, I would add some collagen peptides to it like a scoop or two. And I think my collagen peptides flavor was like vanilla. And then I would also add some coconut milk, some full fat canned coconut milk. Which you guys…it tastes like you're sitting on a beach drinking some fancy drink. It's so delicious. I called it the orange creamsicle drink, because that's what it tastes like to me. And so, it's so good. And there are ways to make it to your liking and to make it better for your own blood sugar needs.
Amanda: Or if you're like I just want to make this into a snack. I don't want to have to eat this with a snack. It's so easy to do. I have a few clients that use, like, raw milk. And they love it like they're like it literally tastes like a creamsicle. The coconut cream obviously is delicious, too. But yeah, that's a great way to balance it out. And you could use collagen. We like Great Lakes collagen. You can use Paleovalley bone broth protein…getting some sort of protein source in there. That's going to help balance the protein, fat, and carbs and keep your blood sugar stable. But you'll still get all the benefits of the adrenal cocktail, right.
Emily: So that's something everyone can do. It adds just a nice refreshing beverage to your days, something to look forward to. But the next one we're going to talk about we've talked about before as well. This is the beef liver, and just more broadly organ meats in general. So this is probably one of the most nutrient-dense food options that you can eat. It provides us with an array of minerals like B vitamins, vitamin A, and copper. And if you remember from last episode, we need copper and vitamin A to transport and use iron in the body. So they're very important minerals. But also worth noting here is that when I say it's these minerals are in an easily absorbable form, we need to remember that absorption is the key. Okay, so we could eat the most mineral, nutrient-rich foods on the planet. But if they are not easily broken down and digested, it's not going to matter, right? So, not only does beef liver and organ meats contain this abundance of vitamins and minerals, but they are in forms that are easy for us to absorb and break down. And this is just not seen as often in maybe some plant foods that are harder to break down. So again, beef liver, so good, and you can always…if you cannot tolerate beef liver, organ meats, that's okay. I personally take a desiccated liver supplement. It's by Paleovalley and I take it every single day. And I just find it that's what works for me.
Amanda: It's actually an organ complex from Paleovalley. So if you're, if you go on their website, I always call it beef liver, because that's the main reason why you take it, but theirs also has kidney and heart in it, which is cool—great, great supplement. I also love that company. I used to work for them. I love Autumn and Chaz. They're just, like, truly amazing people. And yeah, that's a great way to take it. You can also make your own. We have a video on how to do this inside our Master Your Minerals course. It is so easy. I mean, you just get beef liver, chop it up into tiny pieces. I have like a silicone tray that I put it in so that it doesn't stick and it's not difficult to get out. It looks like it's like a honeycomb shape silicone tray. It's interesting.
I think my friend Kiara has a video, @kiaramariewellness on Instagram. If you go to her reels, she has a video showing you how to do it too. And it's super easy. You put it…you throw it in the freezer…if you're getting the beef liver raw, and it's not previously been frozen, then you would want to freeze it for two weeks. And that's going to kill any pathogenic bacteria. I actually get the duck liver from White Oak Pastures—great company. It's the only liver I can, like, eat so I can make a pate out of it and not die because I'm a child when it comes to eating liver. And yeah, it's…duck liver has all the same benefits. A lot of people are like, does it have to be beef liver? Chicken liver has less copper, but it still has a lot of vitamin A. And also, if that's the one that you can tolerate or eat, or if there is a religious…I…plenty of people cannot do the beef liver for religious reasons. Do the chicken liver, right? It's better than nothing. And it's still going to be very nutrient-dense. You could easily get copper from other foods. The vitamin A I feel like is the hardest one to get in high amounts.
Emily: And I have a quick question, not to put you on the spot, Amanda, but you mentioned the raw liver…freezing it for two weeks. And then you know taking a little bit of time as your, kind of, supplement. Is this also okay for pregnant women to do?
Amanda: So I think that is up to you. And you have to do your own research and make your own educated choice. I will be doing this when I'm pregnant. I have lots of clients that do this when they're pregnant. And they actually do better often with the raw frozen versus the capsules. For some people, it's just more powerful. For some people, it's the opposite. The capsules are almost too powerful, and they can't do them so they do the frozen. But either way, they're, they're very easy to add in. And one other thing, like ways for eating it, like yes, you could eat beef liver a couple times a week if you wanted. I think if you don't like it…like, I just forced myself to swallow the little frozen pieces or do pate. Raw also has different nutritional benefits than cooked. You know we lose some nutrients through cooking. So I'm, like, try to do a mix of both. If you can, you could just take the supplement if you want. We have a lot of clients that open them up and put them in smoothies or put the frozen pieces in smoothies. I wouldn't do a ton because you then you'll start to taste it, but even if you do a couple of capsules or the frozen ones, it's usually fine. I did that a few times. And if I waited too long drink the smoothie, I could taste it. So if you do it, drink it right away and you won't taste it and it's a great way to cover it up.
Emily: Okay, thanks for answering that because I've only done the capsules, but I think I'm going to try to do the frozen raw liver if I can handle it.
Amanda: It's a lot cheaper…
Emily: I believe that.
Amanda: to get your own. I would just…it's, like, just get a high-quality one. I get the duck liver from White Oak Pastures because I usually don't make the frozen capsules out of all of it. I'll use like half for pate, and I just…I don't know, I just can't do...can't do the beef liver.
Emily: I get it.
Amanda: I'm a baby. So that is a great one to add in. I will say I would add in adrenal cocktails first, because you want to get your body used to replenishing minerals. Sodium and potassium are also, they're just so important to start with, right? If we think about our main minerals—calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium—we want to boost those first before we go too crazy with adding, like, beef liver and certain foods and stuff in. So start with your adrenal cocktail, then start experimenting with beef liver and just go really slow. Some people are totally fine. Having like half an ounce to an ounce in supplement or frozen form every day. Some people need to go slower. You might feel a little stimulated because it's very nutrient-dense. And if you are really depleted and then you add in all those nutrients, you could feel a little bit of, like, a wired, like, buzz feeling from it. But beef liver is a…and duck liver, chicken liver, all the different kinds of organ meats…they're a very, very nutrient-dense food and what we like to call nature's multivitamin, definitely.
Emily: Definitely. So now that we've talked about organ meats, let's talk a little bit more about the seafood that are very nutrient-dense. And we're going to cover three right now: it's cod—or pretty much any white fish—shrimp, and oysters. These are your big hitters. And the reason we like these are one: iodine. Okay, so iodine is a very important mineral. And I didn't know this before, but cod actually, like a three-ounce serving of baked cod, provides about 158 mcg of iodine. Which…more is better, but that's already 100% of your daily value of iodine right there. So just having, you know, baked cod for dinner can help you get in that iodine. And if you don't know why iodine is so important—it's actually really helpful for thyroid function, which a lot of our listeners are probably going to be struggling with a little bit. And so that is something that you want to make sure that you are staying sufficient in is your iodine. It's absolutely crucial to make thyroid hormone. You know, if you're someone that necessarily doesn't have hypothyroidism or a diagnosed thyroid problem, but you are experiencing those periods symptoms or symptoms like fatigue, cold hands and feet, hair loss, weight gain, decreased libido, dry skin, sluggish digestion, any of those slow metabolic symptoms…iodine may be what's lacking.
Amanda: It just makes me think of that question we got in our membership earlier this week. And we had someone asking about iodine and, like, doing patch, the patch, like, skin test for iodine, you know, they're just asking about…we know, iodine is very controversial, like, what are your thoughts on supplementing with it? And we have responded and said, you know, iodine, just like any other mineral, doesn't work on its own. Right? They all work together. And so if you think about getting iodine from food, I mean, I'm like, how do you? Yes, like, sometimes we need more. But even if you just ate a little more seafood, you would greatly increase iodine. And it's balanced. Because I think that's the big thing that's controversial with iodine. It's, it's controversial in supplement form, or even overdoing food forms. Because you need other nutrients with it. Like, you need enough selenium, so, so important. You need enough magnesium. And to be in…make sure you're not in a depleted state, and that selenium is in the iodine-rich foods. So when we do whole food recommendations, the main reason is because they contain other cofactors that that nutrient needs to do its job in the body. So if you have iodine, but you don't have selenium…not going to go well.
Iodine is also very detoxifying. If you're, like, increasing your intake from supplement form, it's…one: it's hard to titrate. Like, you can get liquid iodine, but, like, you should always be under the care of a doctor or practitioner when doing this. And you should definitely do a hair test so you know where your other minerals stand. But it's, it's difficult to get all the right things in. And then if you're deficient in magnesium, and you're taking this really detoxifying iodine supplement, you might not be able to handle that detox. So there's, there's a lot of pieces with iodine, but it is really important. I just think about pregnancy, you know, your needs increase a lot because your thyroid is working so hard. So making sure you're getting cod, shrimp, oysters, and on a regular basis. They're all great sources of iodine, selenium, zinc. There's a ton of zinc in oysters and copper. So they're all really balanced. And it's just one of the…I definitely would consider iodine like a food to have at least, you know, the cod, shrimp, and oysters to have at least like a few times a week. and last episode, we did talk about how we ate our oysters.
Emily: And last episode we did talk about how we ate our oysters, and so if someone that's like oysters…no thanks—try the canned ones. As we said last week, they're amazing on toast—sourdough toast is great. So there are ways to incorporate these foods even if you're not a huge fish or seafood person. Just add it with something you really love. Throw a lot of ghee on it or you did sourdough crackers. Is that right?
Amanda: Yeah. Or like Siete Foods chips like a good…or plantain chips. I'm on a cassava chip kick right now. Or I'm just like deeply obsessed with them. But anything like that, and I usually put hot sauce or mustard on it and it’s just delicious.
Emily: Yeah the hot sauce really adds that, that that good level of spice.
Amanda: And if oysters freak you out, like, don't start with oysters. Start with cod, you know, or shrimp. Like, we make so many shrimp stir fries. And it's, it's become a staple. And for getting quality sources…like, we typically just get the frozen ones, the wild-caught frozen ones at the local grocery store. I know there's places you can order from online as well. I don't ever get fresh seafood because I just I can never find, like, really great sources that aren't super expensive. But the frozen one works and it doesn't have to be fancy.
Emily: Right? I was gonna say sometimes it can be hard to find, like, the wild-caught. There are good ones on the internet that you can find that'll be shipped to you that are sustainable, high quality, all that good stuff. So just got to look for it.
Amanda: I find them at every grocery store…
Amanda: And I've lived in like four states. Yeah.
Emily: See, I have a hard time finding like wild-caught salmon a lot of times, but I guess the white fish and…
Amanda: They're frozen, though.
Amanda: Do you look in the frozen…
Emily: Every once in a while I'll buy frozen. I just…my husband's very particular, he likes fresh.
Amanda: So, so maybe that's, that's probably…
Emily: Yeah, we kind of compromise sometimes. I know shrimp is easy to find, wild-caught shrimp is very easy to find. And then I eat canned oysters.
Amanda: Yeah. So I think if you can't, I would just like at least experiment with the frozen. Especially for something like cod. I don't know that I would do frozen salmon, but I feel like that wouldn't be amazing. But like we get frozen cod—that's literally what I'm going to have for lunch day. And I just put a bunch of like Cajun spice, smoked paprika, and then I do like a blackened cod and it takes like 10 minutes or less to make. And it's super nourishing and tasty.
Emily: Wow that sounds delicious. You're making me hungry. Okay, do you want to move on to the next one, Amanda?
Amanda: Yeah, let's go into the next one. The fourth kind of item is bone broth, collagen and gelatin. So we get a lot of questions around this. The difference, we're going to go through all of that. But this is one of the most mineral-rich foods, and I would say just, like, gut-supportive, overall digestive supportive foods, because it's got a ton of minerals in it, right. Even if we just think of like calcium, right, from the bones. There's already trace amounts of like magnesium, potassium, sodium, all your main minerals you're going to find in bone broth. And then you can easily add in your own ingredients. This is what I always do. And we have a blog post on this and an Instagram post. And I always add greens, potatoes, carrots, ginger—it also makes it taste way better, in my opinion. So you can add a ton more minerals in there just by adding some starchy and non-starchy veggies. And then that's only going to boost the mineral content. There's also protein in bone broth, though, so it makes it a really great snack addition. And there's anti-inflammatory amino acids. So if we think of like bone broth, collagen, gelatin versus muscle meats, that's the main difference is the amino acid breakdown. And so they have certain ones like alanine, hydroxyproline, proline, and glycine that are especially anti-inflammatory. It's also going to balance out your calcium and phosphorus kind of ratio. A lot of us are mostly eating muscle meats. That's why we always recommend getting some bone broth and dairy in there, because that's going to help keep your minerals balanced as well.
Emily: Bone broth is probably one of my favorite snacks to combine with the raw carrot a day. So I have the carbs and the protein. It's like the perfect easy snack. So I just heat myself up a cup of bone broth, have my raw carrot for estrogen detox, and it's so filling and delicious.
So I'm going to talk quickly about gelatin. And if you're not sure what the difference between gelatin and collagen are…I'm sure you probably heard both terms. Gelatin is just the cooked form of collagen. So it's still protein from, you know, bone broth, but it's the cooked form, and collagen and gelatin contain the same nutrients. But gelatin is just in a different form that allows you to use it in things like baked goods and different recipes. So something that we use and love our gelatin for is the pineapple gummies that Amanda mentioned earlier. It's what helps keep that gummy shape. And I wouldn't necessarily put gelatin in like your coffee because it might have this weird consistency. But you can definitely use it in smoothies, baked goods, and then those gummies. So to talk a little bit about why gelatin is really good for you. It increases your metabolism by improving thyroid function. So the amino acid glycine, which you've probably heard of, it favors progesterone production and opposes estrogen, which is really helpful for all of us that are kind of low in progesterone and we may have some of that more estrogen-dominant symptoms going on. But again, as Amanda said, gelatin is also very helpful for digestion. It just helps in easing that digestive tract and kind of sealing it and healing it. And then it definitely helps in things like joint inflammation, it supports good sleep, increases insulin sensitivity, and then improves digestive capacity…so how well we break down our foods.
Amanda: I think one of the coolest things about gelatin is how it can it can help grab your digestive juices. And so it's great for people that have low stomach acid especially. That's why it's, I think, it's helpful for thyroid issues is because it's, like, it's…it can actually help speed up that digestive process that usually gets slowed down when your metabolism or thyroid is sluggish. But yeah, it's really helpful for people that struggle with digestion. And that's why it's one of those foods that we're like try to have on a daily basis…some sort of gelatin collagen or bone broth. And obviously, the time of year is going to impact which one you're preferring. But the gelatin gummies…I'm, like, do those like first thing in the morning if you can, or snacks…like, I always have them first thing or before bed. I'm doing them a lot at nighttime now. But they're just they're just, like, so refreshing and, like, the perfect kind of balanced snack. And they have a pretty good balance of protein, fat and carb. I've been adding the coconut milk in them lately.
Emily: I do that as well.
Amanda: So I…yeah, it's the same recipe as the one that we're going to share in the blog post. But instead of like the two cups of pineapple juice and then two tablespoons of gelatin, it's two cups of pineapple juice, one cup of coconut milk. So I'll take like a quarter cup of cream and then fill the rest of the cup with water or maybe even like half a cup of cream and fill the rest with water. And then I add, because I'm adding an extra cup, I just add an extra tablespoon of gelatin and they're just so, so good. They really are
Emily: They really are, and I gave one to my toddler just to see if he would like them. And he is like in love with them. He thinks they're he's literally eating, like, gummy bears.
Amanda: And we have so many clients that their kids…like, they have to hide the gummies
Emily: Because they're so good for you. And so I want them all to myself, but I was, like, oh shoot, I created a monster because now he wants one every single morning.
Amanda: Have you made marshmallows for him yet?
Emily: I have not and I really want to make Fallon's marshmallows.
Amanda: Yeah, if you guys don't follow Fallon…I think it's just @fallondanae on her Instagram, but she has these metabolic meal plans. So all the things we've been talking about—she has amazing recipes—but her marshmallow recipe is just, it's so good. And it's really easy to make. But I just have so many clients that their kids just go crazy. They eat a marshmallow like every day. And I'm like that's so good for their gut.
Emily: Right? I mean, in what world are marshmallows good for you? And in the pro-metabolic world they totally are as long as you make them yourself. But yeah, so I want to try those. And then I'm going to definitely keep doing the gummies for him too just to help with his digestive health. But yeah, so if you're someone that's like, it's the middle of summer, I don't want to drink bone broth. Like, that does not sound appealing to me right now. Definitely experiment with gelatin. You're going to be getting so many benefits, and there are so many ways to add it into things. So it's a good one. And just to throw this out there too, as Amanda was talking about the amino acids in collagen and bone broth, gelatin is actually low in the amino acids that trigger inflammatory responses. That's a good thing too. You're only getting the good, healthy beneficial amino acids.
Amanda: It’s a good way to balance out the animal proteins. I feel like, you know, even for both of us, like, we came from a world where we weren't really eating dairy, you know, we're mostly eating muscle meats…it just, like, it really helps to balance them out. The other really common question we get is, like, what's the difference between drinking bone broth and taking a collagen supplement, or gel or like having the gelatin gummies The biggest difference is that bone broth is very mineral-rich and vitamin-rich, right. We talked about how it's got sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and then also has vitamins K2, vitamin A…just like, very, like, well-rounded food. And collagen is just the protein from bone broth, it doesn't have gelatin. So that's kind of the big difference, is like bone broth is completely well-rounded nutrient-wise. It also has gelatin, so it's great for gut health and digestion. And collagen is just the protein. They're both great, right? Even though collagen is mostly just made from the hide and it doesn't have the other kind of nutrients in there. They're both still great proteins and they're still going to be very nourishing. I would say if you, if you can do a mix of both that would be ideal. Or maybe even if you don't like bone broth, you could do like collagen powder but then maybe you make gummies or something like that, then that's going to help balance it out a bit. I find most people, like, they do more collagen and gummies in the warmer months, more bone broth in the winter. That's totally fine.
Emily: Yeah, I love rotating all three. I feel like, I have a container of all three in my pantry, like, the bone broth protein, the collagen peptides, and then the gelatin, and I just kind of mix and match. So you can definitely just play with it, whatever works for you. But okay, now we're going to talk about…probably this is probably my fave on the list, because Amanda, when we were spending a weekend together made me this recipe. And you guys, I drank both hers and mine.
Amanda: We made so many smoothies because we were doing videos for the Master Your Minerals course. And then we were also trying to make reels, which we still have not released yet, but I promise we'll eventually put them on the screen.
Emily: So this is the mineral-rich smoothie. And I don't know how Amanda came up with this, but it is pure genius. It is so good. It is chock full of so many different superfoods. And I don't use that term lightly. But for real, these are so mineral-dense. So we're going to go through the foods that are in this mineral smoothie. But I will just first say that if you're someone who's super busy, and you don't have time to cook, you don't want to get in the kitchen, you know, everyday for lunch or whatever it may be. Have a mineral smoothie. I do it honestly as an afternoon snack. So it's not even a meal. For me, it's just a snack, but it can basically feel like a meal because it's so satiating. So that's what I love. And anytime you're stressed, this is going to be the perfect supplementation or addition to your regular three meals a day.
So let's walk through a few of the ingredients that are in this smoothie because they're all so amazing. But the first one is the fruit base. So you can really do anything here...sky's the limit. But some of my favorites are mango, pineapple, papaya, banana, like those tropical fruits. But I actually have been turned on to cherries lately, because that's what Amanda made. And it's so good. It tastes like a cherry chocolate milkshake, honestly. But what's great about those tropical fruits is that those are going to be the, those whole food carbs that are very rich in potassium. So we've talked about how important potassium is for thyroid health, for blood sugar, for so many different functions in the body. And so that's going to be what provides that potassium, if you would like to do something like cherries that's also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. And then if I ever do the mineral smoothie at night, I make sure to do cherries, because that can also help aid in sleep. And Amanda do you have something to say about that?
Amanda: I just wanted to say that it's usually like one banana and then half a cup of frozen fruit. Or like you could do one whole cup of frozen fruit just for like serving size wise.
Emily: Thank you for pointing that out. I'm terrible, as I said earlier, I'm terrible at measuring. So I literally just like pour it in. But yeah.
Amanda: I don't measure, but people always ask. I'm like this is about what you should be putting in there.
Emily: Right, right, people need to know. So that's your fruit base. So getting into the more like the nitty gritty superfood ingredients. We both use brewer’s yeast, which may be a new one for you. But it is…I don't even know how to describe it. It's a yeast that contains potassium, calcium, B vitamins, and I think it even has a little bit of copper in there. But Amanda can you…
Amanda: And magnesium. It's got like everything, I swear.
Emily: It really is a superfood. I mean, I don't even know…how would you describe brewer’s yeast? It's like a powder…
Amanda: It’s just a powder. Yeah, it's a not savory version of nutritional yeast. So people are always like, can I sub nutritional yeast. I’m like your smoothie will be cheesy. And I don't think that it has as much of the minerals in there. It's just like a lot of B12. But there's a ton of B6 in brewer’s yeast, which is great for hormone production. And that's why it's also so good for breast milk.
Emily: Right, and that's something I was going to mention too, is if you are breastfeeding, it is so good for boosting your supply. So just something to be aware of. But we just add, I would say add about half a tablespoon, you can do less or more. There are versions that are less bitter. Do you remember the word for that?
Amanda: Yes, it's called debittered, which I'm like, is that a word? But yeah, that's what it says on the label. Solgar is a great brand. I don't know if I'm saying that right. But that's the one that I can typically find at, like, Natural Grocers or Sprouts or like a local Whole Foods.
Emily: Right, it can be a little bit much if you don't find the debittered, so we recommend starting just add, you know, half a teaspoon and go from there but that's one. And then the next one is pretty common. We like to add cacao powder. So like a tablespoon or a little…I add a little bit more because I love chocolate. But this is rich in magnesium and copper. Another one is the backstrap molasses, so that's going to…if you want, like, a little more sweetness, you can add that. That'll help with potassium as well. And I do bee pollen. You can either do bee pollen or royal jelly but those are both rich in B vitamins and copper. So I do, like, I would say probably a fourth a teaspoon to a half a teaspoon of bee pollen and not a ton because it is pretty nutrient-dense so you don't need a ton. And then sea salt, so we have that sodium and other trace minerals in there. Just add a pinch of sea salt. Amanda, can you talk more about your Dr. Cowan's powders that you add?
Amanda: Yeah, I love Dr. Cowan’s powders he makes. They're all, like, organic, bio-dynamically grown from farms in the US. Like, it's really…you can even, like, find out where the farm is—very cool small company. I don't know if it's that small, but it's a, it's a really great company and they started off as, like, a small business and they've kind of like steadily grown over time, but they do not compromise on quality. It reminds me of Paleovalley, like, nothing slides, right. The, from the, from the growth of the foods to the processing to the packaging, it's all great. I love their three-beet powder. I add that to yogurt and it makes it pink, which is…My husband, he's so mad because I took it with me to North Carolina, and he's like, where's my beet powder. But the three-beet powder is great, great for your liver and gallbladder. I also love his low oxalate greens powder—you only need a teaspoon of these. So you don't need a lot. It's, it's a very fine powder. So I think they're great to add to smoothies. He has like a burdock root one which is great if you deal with, like, PMS symptoms or bloating and that sort of thing is great during your luteal phase, but we'll link to the powders in the show notes. And then the only other kind of thing that we didn't mention is, like, coconut water or coconut water powder, as a source of potassium. And so adding, like, a tablespoon or two of the powder, or like four to eight ounces of coconut water. I love using coconut water as the liquid to make it, kind of get it to the consistency that you want. And it's going to have a ton of potassium as well.
Emily: Right. And I was going to kind of group that into, like, the liquids. So your choice of liquids—there's so many choices, but coconut water being one of them. You could also…I like to do coconut milk, like full fat coconut milk with some water, just to thin it out a little bit. Or of course, there's always whole milk, which adds your protein and fat. Or I've actually heard of people using aloe vera juice as well for extra potassium. So that's another option. Like I said, the options are endless.
Amanda: Yeah, like just try to experiment…the base of what…and you need a protein source. We'll talk about that too. But the base is like half a cup of frozen fruit and one banana or a whole cup of frozen fruit. That's your carbohydrate and potassium source and adding some sort of protein in there. It could be like the bone broth powder or the collagen that we mentioned. It could also be casein or whey protein. Casein is a much slower digesting protein. Whey is a much faster digesting protein. I find that most people do way better with casein, especially if you have challenged digestion whey just breaks down so rapidly that for some people, it's way too much. And it leads to lots of bloating and gas and stuff. But casein is a pretty, pretty easily digested. You can also do Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese, right? There's so many other options for protein in there as well. So you'll have your carbohydrate, your protein. The fat is very easy, that could be coming from the coconut milk you're using. It could be coming from…there's some fat in the cacao. A lot of times you can add things like avocado. I love adding avocado to the smoothies, it makes them like so creamy. And yeah, you can't really can't really go wrong. We should make a handout for these now that I'm thinking about this. Maybe we'll make a free handout for you guys. If we do, we'll put it in the show notes.
Emily: I was just about to say if you're, like, okay, how do I remember all this. All this…she has a recipe on her blog, which will be in the show notes. Same with the bone broth recipe. So we will definitely include those. You can go and check it out and make this because I think you're gonna love it. You can definitely make it taste like ice cream or a milkshake. It's so good, depending on what thickness you like. But I think that's a good segue to talking about the different proteins to add, like, the casein, the whey…that's a good segue into our next mineral-rich food, which is grass-fed dairy.
We have talked about dairy a lot. So we're not going to dive too much into it, because you can go back to episode three, and listen to us just, like, rave about the benefits of dairy. But I personally find dairy really, really delicious. But it's also packed with those fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and K2. And it also contains essential minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. So I always opt for grass-fed, you can find that so easily now. I buy the Maple Valley brand, I believe.
Amanda: Is it Maple Hill?
Emily: Something like that it's…with maple in the title, but it's at my local Sprouts. It's grass-fed, it's not raw. I do have the option to get raw from a farmer nearby, but it's about 30 to 45 minutes away. So I don't always do that. But that's okay. Even if you can't find raw or the best quality, we still think that it's worth having some dairy in your diet just for the mineral density. And I will say, like, as someone who has been pregnant twice, there is nothing I crave more in pregnancy than whole milk.
Amanda: I feel like it's some sort of dairy. So all my friends or clients that have been pregnant, it's starch that they crave mixed with a dairy. So like my younger sister was I think it was, like, nachos or queso and nachos, like, any sort of like nacho thing. And one of my really good friends, Kim, she's @rootandbranchnutrition, she's also a women's health nutritionist on Instagram. We used to have a podcast together. Hers was croissants, like cheese croissants. It's, like, everyone has like, a like starch and a cheese, or and a dairy that they like, because they're so nutrient-dense and you get so…like, there's a ton of calcium and your calcium needs are higher in pregnancy. Lots of vitamin A, like, I know vitamin A is controversial. We'll definitely do a podcast on prenatal stuff, but I think that there's a reason people crave dairy and it's probably when they're pregnant. And a lot of it's probably related to vitamin A.
Emily: Yeah, I completely agree. Because that is just something…I don't even need, like, anything with—it's just the glass of milk. I'm, I'm a happy camper, I could probably drink, like, five glasses a day. I don't, just you know, for the sake of my digestion that might, you know, be a little bit much for me, but I definitely crave it and I love it. And I do really just enjoy all sorts of dairy too. Like cheese, milk, yogurt is a big one too. So yeah, so don't feel bad when you're eating dairy. I feel like, you know, the mainstream advice is to get rid of it and to ditch it because it's an inflammatory food. But as we said, go back to episode three if you have any questions about it, because it's a good one.
Amanda: Do you put sea salt in your milk?
Emily: I have started doing that. Yeah, from your recommendation.
Amanda: It’s the best thing ever. It's like the actual best thing ever.
Emily: It’s really good. It just quenches your thirst so well.
Amanda: Yeah, it's like my favorite bedtime snack is like milk with sea salt, and like a piece of fruit or gummies or something. So funny. Alright, so the last, the last big mineral rich food kind of category is whole food based carbs, right. So starchy veggies and fruit. Prioritizing these in your diet, I feel like it's really easy when you're focusing on adding them in versus taking things out. And it's the best way to help get more potassium in your diet, when we're trying to increase potassium levels are just a stain like healthy levels, we really want to be eating close to like 4600 milligrams to 5000 milligrams a day, kind of depending on the person. Some people need more, some people do fine with a little bit less. But when in doubt, eat potassium-rich foods. And those are going to be things like potatoes, plantains, yuca, butternut squash, any fruit is going to have potassium. And then of course, things we mentioned, those other sources like coconut water, aloe vera juice, that sort of thing. There are, there is some potassium in meat as well. Like, red meat has a good amount of potassium, and there's definitely some in, like, cooked veggies. But I would say focusing on adding in starchy veggies and fruit as your carb source. And trying to do that more often than you're doing things like grains, that's really going to help balance things out.
And especially if you have blood sugar problems, I think people are so afraid to add in carbohydrates when they struggle with blood sugar balance or insulin resistance. And the key there is that adding in more potassium is going to be better for that insulin-like effect on the cells—it's gonna help you use glucose better. The biggest thing that we see with clients that were previously really low-carb, is that they're eating a lot of fat and they're trying to add more carbs on top of the same amount of fat. And then they wonder why they don't feel better. If you have a lot of fat that you're eating in your diet, that's going into the blood. And then you also have glucose going into the blood…your body is not going to use that glucose as efficiently. So if you do struggle with blood sugar imbalances or insulin resistance, then you would actually want to intentionally focus more on protein and carb and lower your fat intake a bit, especially if you were doing low-carb previously. And then that's going to help you overtime use the carbohydrates better
Emily: That goes against so much mainstream advice. It's like the exact opposite of what I've learned from different people and doctors. And I'm so glad that you're talking about that, Amanda, because that definitely was the case for me. I was eating so much fat, so little carb. And adding in…I probably eat at least a serving of fruit with every meal. And just by adding in that fruit, and then of course those potassium-rich squashes and root veggies, my blood sugar issues have completely disappeared. And I think, too, it's because of lowering my fat a little bit as well and concentrating on protein. So just the combination of those changes. I am like a completely new person in terms of blood sugar than I was a year ago. So take it from me, you guys. If blood sugar is your issue or your worry, these foods are not going to make it worse. They can only make it better.
Amanda: But you know, keeping in mind that you will have to adjust other macronutrients, you know. And I think we get so many questions from our membership, from our group coaching clients, from women in our Instagram community, always about, like, the fear, the worry of adding carbs in or how much carbs should I add in? I'm like, how much protein are you eating? You know, we can't just focus on the carbs, especially for blood sugar. And if you have that history with blood sugar stuff, it's like, you really want to make sure you're getting enough protein in to balance out those carbohydrates. And then being mindful of, am I eating way more fat than I maybe think that I am? And could that be inhibiting how my body's using the carbs. And it's so funny how you were saying how, like, this is not…it's, like, the opposite of what you learn from mainstream media. This is what we learn in school as a dietitian—how your human physiology works. And if we go back to, I think it was episode two, and when we're thinking through those three filters—of how we're filtering through nutrition information. Female physiology is one of the filters. And that's where this comes from, right? Females do so much better getting adequate carbs in their diet along with adequate protein. And that's going to help you better utilize that glucose, have a better metabolism, and make enough progesterone and have balanced hormones.
Emily: Love it. Okay, well those are our big heavy hitters. I would say it's time to reflect a little bit. Have you been keeping a mental note of how many of these foods you're getting in? So are you including some of these mineral-rich foods into your diet already? Or could you add all of them, one, or two? That's something just to think about. And I would say, too, if you are someone who has done a HTMA, and you have certain high minerals, like, maybe your calcium is high or your sodium is high…something to keep in mind is that eating these mineral-rich foods will not push you further into imbalance—only stress will do that. So never be afraid of eating more calcium-rich foods or sodium-rich foods—it all helps balance out your minerals in your body. So just something to remember that you cannot go wrong with these, these foods.
Amanda: Yeah, so if we're going to give you one thing to do, it would just be to pick one of these things. If you're not doing adrenal cocktails, start experimenting, do the adrenal cocktail. If you're already doing that, maybe you focus on adding in some seafood next. But one thing we can't end this episode without mentioning is that you can eat all the mineral-rich foods you want. But if you are living in a state of fight or flight, and you're super stressed…it's gonna catch up with you. Right? There's a great quote that Emily had Voxered me, I think it was last week. And it was like, really did, like, stick with both of us. And it's: “There's more to health than food, there's more to life than health.” So we're not recommending that you obsess over these recommendations or foods or stop eating everything that you're currently eating. The goal is just to focus on adding things in to help reduce your stress, make you more resilient, but then also not ignore that other part of the healing journey, which is how am I doing mentally? Am I filling up my cup? Or am I running on empty? You know, what kind of attitude do I have every day? How am I talking to myself throughout the day—all of these things are going to impact your metabolism and your overall health. And no amount of healthy eating is going to outweigh that negative headspace or mindset.
Emily: I completely agree. I think attitude and headspace comes first for sure. Mental health is so much more important than a lot of us give it credit for, so agreed, Amanda, I don't think I have anything to add to that, I think you, you hit the nail on the head.
Amanda: Alright, so don't forget if you're, like, so into all this mineral stuff, and really wanting to dive in more to your own hair mineral test results, then you can join the Master Your Minerals course. Once you purchase the course, when you're checking out, you'll have the option to add on a hair mineral test. And then that's going to allow you to get the test sent to your home. You send it into the lab and then we email you your results. Once you get those results, you can walk through the course, which is going to take you through each step of reviewing your hair mineral test and then talk about building a protocol. A lot of things we mentioned in this episode, and so much more. So make sure you go to the show notes and get that link.
Emily: Okay. Thanks, ladies for joining us. Next week, you won't want to miss it. We'll be talking about these supplements that are possibly doing more harm than good. And these actually may surprise you. But as always we like to keep the focus on whole foods. And that's what we chatted about today. So thank you so much for joining and we hope you have a great week.
Amanda: Thank you for listening to the Are You Menstrual? podcast. If you want to stay connected with us, I highly recommend joining our Feminine Periodical newsletter. It is a weekly newsletter that goes out on Sunday evenings. And we share tons of information there. We go in depth on one specific topic each week, and it allows us to go into more detail, we share the latest podcast episode, and then we also share an obsession of the week something that we've just really been loving lately. So definitely connect with us there. The link for that is in our show notes and then of course follow us on Instagram, @hormonehealingrd and you can find all of our available courses on our website, hormonehealingrd.com. Thank you and we will see you next episode.