2,880Registered Dietitian Specializing in Functional Nutrition
Kylene Bogden Expert
Hi! I'm Kylene Bogden.
I am a registered dietitian specializing in functional nutrition. By creating individualized nutrition protocols I have helped thousands of women improve fatigue & reverse chronic health issues. I've also been quoted as an expert source in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, O Magazine, Time, Prevention, and The Huffington Post.
Please note that this should not be considered as medical advice and that you should consult with your doctor.
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This recipe is one of my all-time favorites for the summer. It’s easy to make, tastes great hot or cold, and is a crowd pleaser when we receive a last minute BBQ invite. This recipe is so versatile. You can serve in sandwich form, as the protein for an entree, or even chop into cubes and stick on skewers. Give it a try and see for yourself!
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless pasture raised chicken breasts
- ¼ cup olive oil (or avocado oil)
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 TBSP local honey
- 1 TBSP fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Place chicken breasts in a glass bowl.
- Mix together all remaining ingredients until evenly mixed. This is the marinade which will be poured over the chicken.
- Pour over chicken in a glass bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. (I usually let it sit overnight when possible.)
- Grill to perfection. Usually 15-20 min depending on the grill, flip halfway through.
Dreaming of luscious skin this summer? Look no further than your gut microbiota!
Research tells us that better balanced bugs in our intestines can lead to a stronger skin barrier, thus resulting in more protected, nourished and clear skin.
While skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, hives and eczema are typically treated at the surface, this does not provide for a long term solution. Instead, we want to focus on regulating our gut microbiome. After all, skin conditions often develop as a result of a poorly balanced microbiome.
While the exact mechanism is not clearly understood, we think that the connection between dermatological conditions and the gut is likely due to a combination of immunologic and neurologic changes as a result of our environment - AKA what we eat and what we are exposed to!
Eating fresh, colorful produce and drinking lots of filtered water is a great start, but here are three more advanced tips to really start improving the health of your skin from the inside out.
- Make an effort to consume pre AND probiotics consistently. Sometimes we are only eating one of the two categories and sometimes if we are consuming both, it's not consistent. This summer, try to include a pre and probiotic rich food at one or two meals each day. It feels like a lot of work up front, but once you get the hang of it, it just becomes routine! Great combos include: Garlic + miso in soup. Saute onions + tempeh. Bananas or apples + kefir in a smoothie (another prebiotic bonus if you blend oats too). Black beans + sauerkraut on your salad. For an extra boost of bugs, try taking Clear Skin Probiotic with one of these meals!
- Consider advanced stool testing. While a little weird, working with a practitioner and collecting a small sample of your stool may provide you with in depth clues to help recalibrate your gut microbiome. A lack of digestive enzymes, overgrowth of bad bacteria, undergrowth of good bacteria and parasites are all very common issues when it comes to chronic skin conditions.
- Tackle your stress more directly. Stress alone can cause inflammation throughout the entire body, especially on your skin. If you are someone who doesn't love the idea of prayer, deep breathing or meditation, consider a totally different, and more hands-on approach such as Cove. Cove is a device that I use with my clients who just can’t seem to break out of their cycle of stress. This is a small device that is worn for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night. Cove provides gentle vibrations that train our brain to feel safe in order to gently take us out of that constant fight or flight mode, a “hug for your mind” as they say. This practice takes zero additional time out of your day as it can be worn during any activity- like checking emails, going for a walk, watching TV or brushing teeth. Most individuals report deeper sleep and less of a major alarm response to stressful situations within 10-14 days of use.
Have you been battling skin issues? Have any insider tips to share?
I don’t know about you, but anytime I can save money effortlessly, my happiness instantly increases and stress instantly declines! Check out my top 3 money saving hacks in the kitchen this month:
- Bluapple Produce Freshness Saver Balls: These little guys are non toxic and they absorb ethylene gas from produce, making fresh produce last significantly longer. It is incredible how many fruits and veggies I have NOT had to throw out since I began keeping these in my produce drawers in the fridge. For example, a container of salad alone this week was still fresh 7 days past the Use By date!!! Overtime, this has saved our family a large chunk of cash.
- Skip the Dry Cycle on your Dishwasher. Convenient, yes, but if you find yourself running through dish cycles like wildfire, you may be surprised at the decrease in your electric bill. No time to hand dry? Run the cycle before you are getting ready to leave the house and pull out for a nice little air dry as you run errands.
- Prolong the Power in Your Fridge. Reducing the amount of power your fridge has to use is a great way to save a little extra cash. When possible, try to be more conscious of storing hot food in your fridge as it takes extra power to maintain cool temps. Try not to store items all the way towards the back of your fridge- leaving a little space improves circulation. Lastly, be sure to keep an eye on fridge and freezer temps. The most cost effective temps are around 2-5C for your fridge and -18C for your freezer.
Let me know if you have any favorite tips in the comments!
Water weight is extra weight that the body can quickly accumulate for a number of reasons. It typically results in bloating and swelling in areas such as the face, stomach, legs and ankles. Our bodies are comprised of roughly 60% water, so when that fluid balance is thrown off by something such as a shift in hormones or too much sodium intake, one might experience an increase in water weight. The average person can experience a fluctuation of 2-5 lbs in one day from a shift in water. The best ways to combat water weight gain are as follows.
- Try to keep sodium intake in check. Aim for ~2,500 mg sodium or less/day.
- Schedule a yearly physical with your doctor. If left unaddressed and undiagnosed, health issues such as heart failure, poor kidney function, infections and poor lymphatic drainage can result in major water retention.
- Establish yourself with a registered dietitian who can perform nutrient deficiencies testing. A lack of certain nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and B6 can increase your risk for water weight gain.
- Monitor your Intake of Refined Carbohydrates. Even if your overall calorie intake is low for your size and activity level, it is still possible to consume too much of the macronutrient carbohydrate, proportionately speaking. Water weight accumulates more rapidly with excess carbohydrate intake because for every gram of carbohydrate consumed, your body stores it with an additional 3g of water. It’s also worth noting that high insulin levels (from excess carbohydrate intake) can cause our body to retain more sodium.
Kefir is a delicious and fun way to add a probiotic punch to your smoothies and salad dressings. Some even get creative and create creamy popsicles and sandwich spreads!
- 1 liter non-dairy milk of your choice: Major bonus if homemade! (almond, flax, cashew, hemp, walnut, coconut etc.)
- 6 TBSP. kefir grains
- 1 tsp. Date paste
- 1 quart-sized mason jar
- Place grains in a mason jar.
- Warm non-dairy milk until lukewarm (should not burn your finger)
- Pour non-dairy milk into jar and stir with a wooden or plastic object.
- Add lid and screw cap on loosely. Leave to ferment in a warm area of your kitchen for approximately 24-48 hours.
- Pour non-dairy milk through a nut milk bag.
- Blend with date paste if you prefer a little sweetness, and enjoy!
- Store any extra in the fridge.
PS: You can reuse the kefir grains to make up to 5-6 more batches of kefir.
Tis the season of seasonal allergies!!
While many just pop an antihistamine and go, few take a step back to recognize that chronic allergies, even if mostly triggered by weather, is one of the most classic signs of inflammation.
As odd as it may sound, sinus health is fundamental to both the neuro-respiratory and gut-brain axis. The sinuses actually have their own microbiome and that little microbiome is the frontline of defense against respiratory infections. A healthy microbiome supports the epithelial barrier in the sinuses and gut, operating as a foundational element of the innate immune system. Simply put, the sinuses’ microbiome dictates our respiratory health and is fundamental to the metabolic and immune function of the gut. If we can lower the inflammation in our gut, our sinuses will reap the benefits.
Sure, there are a number of ways to help the sinuses like breathing clean air and using a nasal rinse. However, those actions act more like a tourist, they come in for a bit but then are gone shortly after their stay. If the root issue (inflammation) is not addressed, we will continue to experience symptoms.
In a world where inflammation-causing obstacles seem to be everywhere we turn, the one thing that remains constant for survival is our nutrition intake- thus making food the most powerful combat weapon of all. Lucky for us, it also happens to be the tool that we have the most control over!
Now that many of us are in the trenches, battling seasonal allergies, there is no better time to fight inflammation. Let’s start by making a few tweaks at the kitchen table.
Here are the top 7 food categories to limit or avoid when it comes to inflammation:
- Processed/Refined Sugar like High Fructose Corn Syrup- Why? Digests quickly leading to blood sugar spikes. Also contains high fructose to glucose ratio which can contribute to inflammation-based conditions like fatty liver.
- Processed Soy- Why? While non-processed, organic soy can be very beneficial to human health, overly processed soy tends to be much higher in sodium and less in vitamins and minerals. A few studies on rats suggest the processed form of soy can hinder thyroid and hormone function.
- Vegetable Oil like Sunflower and Canola Oil- Why? Vegetable oils (especially those that are hydrogenated = trans fat) cause inflammation in the body, particularly when heated. Heating causes oxidation and oxidation can damage our cells.
- Artificial Sweeteners- Why? Our body struggles to digest artificial ingredients. The body sees these particles as foreign and begins to attack. This results in inflammation.
- Food Dye- Why? Artificial dyes contain small molecules that are able to attach to proteins in our body which can trigger the inflammatory cascade.
- Gluten- Why? While each individual is biologically unique, many struggle to tolerate gluten without even realizing that it is a problem. The gluten content in basic foods today like bread and pasta is significantly higher than it was years ago. Additionally, chemicals such as glyphosate are sprayed in abundance on wheat.
- Dairy- Why? As mentioned, it is always best to listen to your body. However, for many of us, when genetics and gut health are combined with the poor quality living conditions of feedlot cows, and the processing of their milk, we may experience an immune reaction to cow's milk-based products, thus encouraging inflammation in the body.
If you're looking to decrease inflammation or avoid causing inflammation, these are 5 foods that you should avoid:
- Agave: This might crush a few souls, however, agave should not be used daily. While all-natural, agave lags behind options like pure maple or honey because it is mostly comprised of fructose - roughly 85%!! Fructose can only be metabolized by our liver cells. Glucose on the other hand (most prominently found in other natural sweeteners) can be broken down by every cell in the body. When agave is consumed routinely, it causes our liver to work harder than it needs to. This accumulation of fat in the liver can lead to inflammation which eventually impairs liver function.
- Margarine. Certain companies are still touting that their margarine is “healthier” than butter when in reality, the trans fat used to make margarine is significantly more inflammatory in the long run. Trans fat is strongly linked to a decline in brain, heart and cardiovascular health.
- Fatty, Feed-Lot Red Meat. If red meat is something you enjoy, it is no problem to consume in moderation alongside a plant-based diet. High quality, grass-fed, red meat is a nice source of protein and iron. However, cows that were not raised and fed humanely will produce meat that is highly inflammatory. You will find less omega 3 healthy fats and more saturated fat in this meat. This is what we mean when we say “know your farmer, know your food!” If you do not live in an area where local farm fresh meat is available, there are a variety of reputable stores online now like Butcher Box or Thrive Market. Pro Tip: If red meat or other similar food items make you feel ill after consumption, yet it is something that you would like to eat, it is best to work to improve gut health and function instead of removing large amounts of food/food groups from your diet.
- Common Vegetable Oils. Many of us assume we are doing ourselves a favor when we see “vegetable” and “oil” in the same sentence. However in reality, many of these oils contain an inflammatory ratio of higher omega 6 fatty acids to lower omega 3 fatty acids. Repeat consumption of this unbalanced ratio can greatly increase our risk for disease. Avoid corn oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed and standard vegetable oil when possible.
- Dairy/Cheese. Multiple studies suggest that dairy rapidly alters the microorganisms residing in the gut which thereby can increase inflammation in the gastrointestinal lining. One study from the University College London states that 60% of the world’s population is unable to digest cow’s milk. Some of us struggle more with the lactose (sugar) in cow’s milk and others tend to see more of an issue with the casein and or whey (protein) in cow’s milk. If you suspect your skin issues, sinus trouble or gut disturbances may be related to dairy intake, consider strict removal for 7-10 days and monitor symptoms.
Feeling sluggish? Struggling to maintain lean muscle mass? Constantly sick? Experiencing brittle hair and nails? Low protein intake may be to blame!
Adequate protein intake is critical for overall health, especially when it comes to energy, metabolism and injury prevention, yet many of us women still fall short.
Let’s jump back to human physiology 101. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are responsible for building every cell in our body from enzymes to antibodies. When our intake of protein is chronically low, our body gradually stops running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, research tells us that inadequate protein in women can contribute to everything from increased risk for swelling, bone fractures, insatiable appetite, and infections.
Aiming for a palm full of protein- plant or animal based- at each meal is a great start. Here are 5 unique ideas to help add extra protein to your diet:
- Cook an egg into your oatmeal while it is simmering on the stove. (Great trick for kids as well as it is not noticeable, especially once you add toppings!
- Try adding ¼-½ cup soft or silken tofu to your smoothie.
- Add a packet of Call Me Collagen to your green juice
- Dip apple slices in pumpkin seed butter for a snack. (One of the highest protein contents of all nut and seed butters!)
- Bread your chicken or fish with crushed almonds instead of bread crumbs.
Love yourself a little extra this month by making this delicious recipe. These freeze well, so if you find that you just can’t stop at one…or two, freeze and pull them out one at a time when you crave a treat!
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed, about 2/3 cup
- 1 egg
- 3 TBSP pure maple syrup
- 1.5 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and mash bananas in a bowl until creamy. Add in egg and pure maple syrup. Whisk well.
- Add almond flour, cinnamon, sea salt and stir until the mixture is combined. It should be fairly wet and sticky.
- Drop ~2 tablespoons of the cookie dough on the baking sheet and form it into a cookie shape. Repeat until all batter is gone.
- Bake on the center rack of the oven until the cookies are golden-brown around the edges. Depending on your oven, this will range from 20-28 minutes.
- Let cool/set for a couple minutes and enjoy!