Making the Most of Your Tomato Harvest

As I have mentioned before, this year was my first year growing vegetables and I am learning new strategies along the way.  I have had more success with some vegetables than with others, but I am still surprised with the amount that my gardens have produced.  Early this summer, I was worried that my tomato plants were not going to make it through the early summer months.  Luckily, I had several crops that rebounded and have started producing an abundance of tomatoes.  I love tomatoes and want to utilize every last cherry tomato if possible. Nothing is more frustrating than harvesting vegetables from your own garden and having them spoil because you waited too long to use them.  If you have an abundance of tomatoes...

When to Buy Organic

After my last post on organic vegetable gardening, I had some questions from readers about when to buy organic.  Choosing whether or not to buy organic fruits and vegetables can be overwhelming. Purchasing organic produce is often more expensive, but there are certain fruits and vegetables that are not worth the extra cost.  The question is, how do you know which foods to buy organic? You're in luck! Today I am going to give you a list of fruits and vegetables that are known to be significantly higher in pesticides that are worth the organic price tag and a list of foods are not worth buying organic. 16 Foods to Buy Organic: Strawberries Apples Nectarines Peaches Celery Grapes Cherries Spinach Tomatoes Bell Peppers Cherry Tomatoes Cucumbers Leafy...

Growing Organic Vegetables

I apologize for my time away and lack of posts over the last two weeks.  My husband Andrew and I have been very busy with two things: preparing for our puppy and working in the garden.  Here is a sneak peak of our golden retriever puppy:  We pick him up on Saturday and have been busy getting everything ready for his arrival.  The second thing that has been keeping me busy is the garden.  Over the last few months, we have put in a patio, two raised vegetable beds, and about 48 sq feet of regular garden beds.  Last week, we finished everything off with window boxes.  Needless to say, we have been very busy. After spending this morning walking around my vegetable gardens and seeing how...

The Sources of Folate

This week, we have been focusing on folate (vitamin B9) and the important role it plays in ADHD. Today we will continue to focus on folate and learn more about the sources of folate.  Vitamin B9 is needed to synthesize amino acids that are the building blocks for DNA, and neurotransmitters.  Individuals with ADHD have lower levels of dopamine to begin with, which is why it is critical to increase the production of these neurotransmitters as much as possible. The amount of folate that you need depends on your age and your gender. Women who are at a child bearing age or are trying to become pregnant should increase their folate intake. In addition, women who are lactating also have increased folate needs.   Here is the breakdown: Infants...

A Smart Recipe for ADHD

Today I want to share with you one last item I learned about at the seminar I attended by Dr. Michael Lara called "A Pharmacy in Your Kitchen".  One topic he spent a significant time discussing was cognition, which plays a major role in ADHD symptoms.  The main focus of the cognition discussion was Alzheimers, but a lot of this information can be applied to ADHD.  Improved cognition is something everyone can benefit from. As you may recall from my previous posts from this seminar, Dr. Lara's presentation focused on medical foods and specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.  Another nutrient he focused on was medium chain triglycerides, also known as MCTs.  Medium chain triglycerides are saturated fatty acids that contain 6-12 carbon atoms. MCTs...

An Update on Probiotics!

If you have been reading this blog for a couple weeks, you may recall that we focused on probiotics as a key nutrient to include in your diet to help ADHD symptoms. Probiotics are the good bacteria that our microbiomes need.  Individuals with ADHD are more susceptible to overgrowth for various reasons, which is why including probiotics in your diet is key.  Probiotics were one of the topics discussed at the seminar I attended last week.  The following video was shown at the seminar because Dr. Mara felt it was the best explanation of the human microbiome that he had come across.  Here is the human microbiome explained through an animated video. [embed][/embed] Obviously, there is still a lot to learn and understand about the human microbiome...

10 Protein Packed Breakfast Ideas

This week we have discussed the importance of eating a balanced breakfast. As you may remember, protein has the potential to improve ADHD symptoms because it is needed to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Breakfast is important for individuals with and without ADHD.  Individuals with ADHD benefit from a a high protein breakfast that will prevent an unwanted mid-morning crash due to blood sugar levels. 10 Protein Packed Breakfast Ideas Overnight Oats: This is a new trend that I absolutely love. Take ½ cup of oats and add ½ cup of milk, ¼ cup of plain non-fat or low fat greek yogurt (for a dairy free option, try silk soy), and 1 tsp of chia seeds. This will be your base for the overnight oats. ...


The Keys to a Balanced Breakfast

Everyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for individuals with ADHD, it is especially important. I personally struggle in the morning to eat a breakfast that will keep me full until lunch. If I don’t have a breakfast plan for the week, I end up picking something up or grabbing something quick at home. Whether you have ADHD or not, you should do whatever it takes to eat a balanced breakfast.  By eating breakfast in the morning, you jump start your metabolism and break your night long fast (break-fast).  What you chose to eat for breakfast can impact the rest of your day. A research study published by Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that children who routinely ate breakfast had decreased hyperactivity, fewer behavior problems, lower levels of anxiety and depression, and improved attention span.

Research shows that children with ADHD can’t afford to skip breakfast. For children and adults, it is important to choose a balanced breakfast, rich in key nutrients to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the morning.  If you are wondering how to start your day with a balanced breakfast, here are five tips to help you get started.

5 Keys to a Balanced Breakfast

Slow Cooker Sunday Recipe: BBQ Chicken

As the weather starts to get warmer, I tend to move away from using the crockpot. This spring I am going to try something new and continue to use the slow cooker to make more seasonal dishes.  The bottom line is that the slow cooker makes life easier and allows me to do yard work all day and still have a delicious meal on the table for dinner.  This week's slow cooker recipe is Succulent BBQ Chicken. This recipe can be rich in vitamin B6 and zinc, which can improve ADHD symptoms, if you choose a combination of light and dark meat. Chicken is also a great source of protein, which is also important for individuals with ADHD.   The trick to this recipe is...

Nutrient to Focus On: Vitamin B6

Over the last few weeks, we have discussed the importance of dopamine and how individuals with ADHD have lower levels of dopamine in their brains. We have discovered that increased levels of dopamine lead to improved ADHD symptoms.  At this point, we know that protein, zinc, iron and magnesium impact dopamine levels.  Dopamine is formed through amino acid metabolism, which requires certain coenzymes. One of these coenzymes is Vitamin B6 (also known as Pyridoxine), which is this week’s nutrient to focus on.

Last week, we investigated the role that magnesium can play in ADHD, but the key to absorbing magnesium is having adequate levels of vitamin B6.  Although more research is needed, one study found that symptoms of ADHD improved in children during an 8-week trial of magnesium and vitamin B6 supplementation.  After the trial concluded and the supplements were discontinued, the ADHD symptoms returned.  The study determined that magnesium cannot be absorbed into blood cells if vitamin B6 is not readily available. The active form of this vitamin (pyridoxine) is pyridoxal phosphate. This active form is involved in almost all reactions of amino acid metabolism in the body. One major role of the active form of B6 is in the production of neurotransmitters, which play a role in the behaviors associated with ADHD. Vitamin B6 leads to increased levels of dopamine, which causes increased alertness. This evidence shows that B6 must be included in treating ADHD symptoms. Meeting your vitamin B6 needs can easily be accomplished by including the right food sources in your diet, specifically: