nourish newsletter

Hello Friends!
Welcome to Nourish and the first Nourish Newsletter.

The Nourish Newsletter is like a great big warm hug in your inbox each month, bringing you:

Tempting Tidbits: A simply delicious, healthy recipe for you to try.

What The...?: Learn with me! I'll cut through the chaos here and bring some clarity to the nutrition and wellness "rules" that we are bombarded with. Each month's topic will be inspired by whatever sparks my interest - from current news, to client questions, to my book of the moment, to overheard conversations... Have any requests? Just email me!

Simply Inspired: Words of wisdom or anecdotes that inspire thought, freedom, love, and a peaceful mind.

All to support you in living a more full, happy, and healthy life.

Realize your fullest potential - take a look at the Nourish website to learn more about how I can help you conquer your health and wellness goals, and simplify your meal planning from market to table.

Ready to make a change, recharge, re-energize, kick cravings, be happy? Email me to schedule your complimentary Nutritional Power Session.

Live abundantly!
marissa signature
Marissa Dana

In This Issue
Simply Inspired
Tempting Tidbits
What The...?
Simply Inspired

"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along."
-Napoleon Hill

Interestingly, a friend recently mentioned Napoleon Hill to me - noting he was a precursur to many of the inspirational and motivational works that are so popular today, noting that I might enjoy reading some of his work. As I was reading through some of the inspirational tidbits I gather, I found this Napolein Hill quote.

is a sentiment that bears repeating - for me, more than once!! I can get stalled in searching for the perfect moment to charge out of the starting gate. But perfection can truly be found in every moment - where you are is the perfect starting point. This journey we are on is, in fact, our life, for better or for worse.

 So what are you waiting for? Each moment is a step towards your goals, your dreams, your happiness. Embrace and enjoy every breath, every step.

Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links
Nourish Website

Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Email Marissa

Tempting Tidbits
crunchy quinoa
Crunchy Quinoa

(serve warm or cold)

1 Shallot, chopped
2 small Zucchini, diced
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1 dry cup Quinoa
2 cups water
olive oil
optional: chopped fresh basil or other favorite fresh herbs

Cook quinoa per instructions on the package, or: Rinse quinoa. Bring water and quinoa to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed, and grains are soft and fluffy.

Saute chopped shallot in olive oil until translucent. Add zucchini and saute until just soft.

Add shallot/zucchini mixture to the quinoa. Add sunflower seeds and mix it all together. Add additional drizzle of olive oil and/or seasonings to taste.

What The...?

Omegas have been a nutritional buzz-word for a while now, prompting us to snap up supplements and check labels for their presence in our favorite foods, but all omega fatty acids are not created equal.

Omega-3 and omega-6 are types of essential fatty acids (EFAs). What makes them "essential" is that we cannot make them on our own and have to obtain them from our diet. Both are polyunsaturated fatty acids.

EFAs are converted into other molecules that perform vital roles in regulating, mediating, inducing and countering myriad body functions. They are vital in the structure of all cell membranes, making the membranes flexible and able to allow nutrients into, and toxins out of, cells so body process can function correctly. They also play roles in cardiovascular health, immunity, and nervous system functions, and are important to normal brain and behavioral function. Some studies also suggest increased levels of calcium and bone strength.

It's not so much that one omega is bad and another good, but rather that we need them in the right proportions - something that is not commonly found in the modern American diet. The ratio of omega-6's to 3's should be around 2:1. Instead, most of us are getting somewhere between 10:1 and 50:1!

The ratio of omega-6's to -3's is an important consideration for your health because the EFA in 6's tend to gear up the inflammatory process- which is crucial to suromega-3svival and an important component of the immune response but inflammation can become chronic and problematic, leading to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's - to name a few.
This dietary imbalance may explain the rise of such diseases as asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body. The imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may also contribute to obesity, depression, dyslexia, hyperactivity and even a tendency toward violence. Bringing the fats into proper proportion may actually relieve those conditions.

So, what's the difference?

The "parent" molecule for omega-3 fatty acids is alpha linoleic acid (ALA or LNA) - this is what our bodies do not make on their own.  In addition, ALA isn't all that readily converted to its "offspring" eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), yet they are two of the most beneficial fatty acids with powerful anti-inflammatory effects, along with playing a range of other crucial roles in the body. While ALA has good anti-inflammatory effects, it simply does not work the same way in the body as EPA and DHA. They may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, and are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.  EPA and DHA are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function, blood clotting, and cell growth as well as components of cell membranes.

Omega-3 Sources:
EPA and DHA are mainly found in the fat of cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, anchovies, and bluefish. Plant-based sources, such as dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, hempseed oil, walnuts and canola oil contain ALA that the body must convert to EPA and DHA. However, microalgae and seaweed do contain DHA.

Omega 3s can readily be obtained through high-quality omega-3 supplements. Be sure to look for quality, purity, and the amount of EPA and DHA they contain. Vegetarians can look for microalgae DHA supplements. Supplements that don't use gelatin are harder to find, but they are out there.

If relying on plant based supplements only, you may need more as they are sources of ALA and, as noted, we are not as efficient at converting ALA to the crucial EPA and DHA our bodies need.

The "parent" EFA in omega-6 is Linoleic acid (LA) It is found in so many foods in our regular diet. Most of us get plenty, in fact, in our modern American diet, many of us get too much. Omega-6s can be found abundantly in meat and many vegetable cooking oils: soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and corn oil. They're also common ingredients in many of the processed foods we consume, which is why most of us have a heavily imbalanced ratio of omega-6's to 3's.

Omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. They help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system. The body also constructs hormones from omega-6 fatty acids.

LA is converted to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the body. It is then further broken down to arachidonic acid (AA). GLA can be found directly from several plant-based oils including evening primrose oil (EPO), borage oil, and black currant seed oil. GLA may actually reduce inflammation. Much of the GLA taken as a supplement is converted to a substance called DGLA that fights inflammation. Having enough of certain nutrients in the body (including magnesium, zinc, and vitamins C, B3, and B6) helps promote the conversion of GLA to DGLA.

Omega-9 fatty acid is a monounsaturated fat that is also known as oleic acid. They are the most abundant fatty acids of all in nature, and they are not in short supply in our diets. They are also not considered essential because our bodies can make omega-9's from unsaturated fat in our bodies. Omega-9 fatty acids can be used by the body as a substitute for omega-3's or 6's if these essential fats are not present. However, omega-9's really aren't an ideal replacement for 3's and 6's, and the body will eventually suffer from this.

Omega-9's are found in animal fats and vegetable oils, most notably olive oil. In fact, the oil made by our skin glands is the same omega-9 fatty acid found abundantly in olive oil: oleic acid.

Olive oil is the best source of omega 9, but omega 9 can also be found in Olives, Avocados, Almonds, Peanuts, Sesame oil, Pecans, Pistachio nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts.

Some important side notes:
  • There is no magic answer - we are all unique individuals - so what works for one does not work for all. Listen to your body, eat mindfully, and no matter how good something is for you, more of a good thing is not always better and better for you - remember moderation and balance.
  • Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should consult with your health care provider when taking dietary supplements.
  • Fish oil can cause gas, bloating, belching, and diarrhea. Time-release preparations may reduce these side effects.
  • Special conditions to be particularly mindful of - based on scientific studies:
    • Omega-3  and omega-6 fatty acids should be used cautiously by people who bruise easily, have a bleeding disorder, or take blood-thinning medications. High doses may increase the risk of bleeding.
    • People with type 2 diabetes may experience increases in fasting blood sugar levels while taking fish oil supplements. If you have type 2 diabetes, use fish oil supplements under the supervision of a health care provider.