Daily Archives: February 5, 2019

Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, LD

Welcome to BeingBrigid--my functional nutrition hub! I'm Brigid, a Functional Medicine Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a food first philosophy to treating and preventing chronic disease. I started my career as a Founding Dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and have since transitioned to building a functional nutrition consulting business. I use this site to express evidence-based nutrition recommendations and resources plus nutrient-dense, gluten-free recipes!

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  • In honor of the CrossFit Open 19.1, I’m sharing my top functional nutrition tips to help you optimize performance, decrease risk of injury and keep you feeling energized! ⁣
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Ive been thrown into the world of CrossFit through my closest friends, boyfriend, and clients and have seen that what you put into your body is a huge determinant of your functional movement! So here are my top tips:⁣
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1. Eat Enough Calories ⁣to fuel your WOD & build muscle! ⁣
2. Consider a Pegan Diet Trial. Incorporating a variety of plant-based protein & fiber like legumes & GF grains. ⁣
3. Limit Alcohol Intake. Your clean diet & workouts cannot save you from the inflammation caused by having 6 drinks on a Friday night. ⁣
4. Incorporate a Nutrient-dense & Protein Rich Smoothie ⁣with carbs from fruit, veggies, a quality protein powder like grass-fed whey & 2 tbsp of fat. ⁣
5. Replace Electrolytes. One of my favorite ways to do this is with @drinknooma an organic electrolyte drink ⁣
6. Supplement with Magnesium. ⁣You are burning through that magnesium and will most likely need a high quality supplement to relax muscles, help with sleep, etc. ⁣
7. Boost your Omega 3s. ⁣The perfect way to help bring down inflammation. @puorilife has a high quality product. ⁣
8. Get that Sunshine Vitamin. ⁣☀️
9. Prioritize Rest & Relaxation. This is so key for preventing injury, burnout and high cortisol levels. Take rest just as seriously as you do working out. ⁣

Read more in my latest article. Link in bio! #crossfit #crossfitopen #functionalnutrition #functionalmedicine #pegan #mindbodygram #glutenfree #paleo #whole30 #dairyfree #keto #healthyeating #cleaneating #organic #healthychoices #plantbased #nutrition #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #instahealth #goodmoodfood #foodinspo #nourish
  • Packing lunch doesn’t need to be overly complicated! Love this simple sandwich swap from my grad school friend Rachel @collegenutritionist who’s a PHD/RD! Open-Faced Cucumber Sammies with 4-5 Oz protein (organic turkey slices preferred), a source of fat like 2 tbsp of @kitehillfoods spread and tomato slices on each cucumber. Topped with balsamic glaze! Making this tomorrow for lunch! Who’s with me?! 📸 @collegenutritionist #healthyswap #lowcarbrecipes #collegenutritionist #lowcarbideas #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #dairyfree #functionalnutrition #nutrition #cleaneats
  • Two weeks ago I met an amazing girl at my workshop on the gut-brain axis. She recently did an elimination diet recommended by her PA (physicians assistant). After weeks of restriction she said that she currently does not know how to celebrate food. .

Wow! My eyes opened so wide and I almost started to tear up. I had the same experience as a teenager after doing an elimination diet under my doctor. Food became “medicine” & I told myself to accept that it can’t be both medicine & celebration. I’ve worked with SO many people where I’ve observed this same issue. It’s tough and not talked about NEARLY enough. Many of my clients are using food as medicine for specific conditions. The amazing thing is that food sometimes works better than drugs or works synergistically to enhance effectiveness (think type 1 or 2 diabetes, dementia, epilepsy, cancer, celiac or GI disorders). And for these people, it makes it hard to celebrate food. Because for them, there are no ‘cheat days’. .

If you find yourself in this position, you are not alone. Just know that it is absolutely possible to find the intersection of food as medicine AND celebration. Here’s what I suggest: 1) make it a priority to explore new foods & recipes that you might enjoy within your specific restrictions 2) find support either in your family/friends or outside of them 3) work with a dietitian that understands both food as medicine AND disordered eating patterns, in addition to the doctor making the recommendation 4) if a practitioner makes a dramatic dietary recommendation (gluten-free, paleo, etc) without screening your relationship with food or disordered eating history then find additional support. That is a huge red flag and it’s happening everywhere. This is why it’s nice to work with a doctor AND dietitian who is trained in this area 5) approach your plan from a place of love, compassion and patience.  Tag someone you know that may need a reminder that food can also be celebration! 
#functionalmedicine #functionalnutrition #foodismedicine #foodislove #mindfulness #mindbodysoul #mindbodygram #nutrition #orthorexia #eliminationdiet #mentalhealth
  • This is one of my favorite quotes that I’ve revisited MANY times in my life. It used to be part of my screensaver on my computer. If you are going through anything that is testing your strength, remember this week that it is nothing more than an opportunity for growth. And it doesn’t matter how it looks to other people who don’t understand that! .

This can apply to health issues, food issues, breakups, work situations, and your own personal development. So important for us to be present and patient with ourselves through the growing pains. I am feeling them too! Let that shell crack so that you can show up as a stronger, more vibrant and energetically aligned version of yourself! No shame there. .

#stressless #functionalmedicine #lifestylemedicine #functionalnutrition #nutrition #mindbodygram #namaste #yoga
  • Happy Valentine’s Day from this veggie loving pup! I’ve never been a huge animal person but when laying with Mo today, I realized that the reason people love dogs is because they are capable of giving unconditional love. Dogs don’t care if you lose your job, gain 30 lbs, show up 10 min late, or lose money. They love with no conditions. That’s the kind of love that everyone needs—not just from others or a partner but from yourself too! ❤️💐💕#loveyourself #valentines #love #bemine #dogsofinstagram #germanshepherd #husky #selflove
  • Last week, Consumer Reports published findings from their test of 45 popular fruit juices like apple, grape, pear and fruit blends, indicating that half of them were contaminated with elements that are known as heavy metals. .

Reports published in the last ten years demonstrate that heavy metals are present in many foods, with levels varying from brand to brand. In addition to toxic levels in fruit juice, there are also concerns with baby food, water, rice, plant-based protein powders, and more. .

Heavy metals that are particularly concerning for a person’s health include lead, mercury, inorganic arsenic, and cadmium. For awhile concerns about heavy metals seemed to be over exaggerated. But as more and more evidence comes out, it’s become clear that there are legitimate concerns, backed by the latest research that is being published weekly. .

Read more in my latest blog post (link in bio) and tag a friend who consumes some of these foods to make them aware of how they can decrease their exposure! .

#functionalmedicine #heavymetals #detox #healthyeating #eatfoodfeelgood #healthyswap #functionalnutrition #consumerreports
  • Interrupting the scroll of cute Valentine’s Day treats to talk about broccoli sprouts! 🙌😂❤️ These tiny sprouts are loaded with sulforophane, which is a powerful inducer of detoxing in the liver via the conjugation of glutathione. According to @functional.foods (followed by some of my own research) just 2 oz of broccoli sprouts have the same amount of sulforophane as 2.2 lbs of broccoli! Talk about loaded! 🙃 You can buy broccoli sprouts at the grocery store or make yourself and top on a salad or wrap! Tomorrow I’ll be diving into new reports on concerning levels of heavy metals (think arsenic and lead) in various food sources. So get a detox jumpstart by making moves on them broccoli 🥦 sprouts! 📸 @timfromohio #functionalmedicine #functionalfood #functionaltraining #broccoli #sprouts #glutathione #detox #heavymetals #liverdetox #nongmo #mindbodygram #foodismedicine
  • We just wrapped up the third year of the @healthyselfreset! Thank you to our amazing HSR tribe and to our team: @juliefoucher @daniurcuyomd and @patricia_urcuyo! The meal plans that I create for the HealthySelf Reset are rooted in many of the pegan philosophies-whole foods that are gluten-free, dairy-free, no added sugar. Peganism is a hybrid of the paleo diet and the vegan diet, merging the best attributes of both styles of eating to create optimal nutrition that is sustainable and is much less restrictive than paleo and veganism. This way of eating was coined by @drmarkhyman. .

I like to think of the pegan diet as a gluten-free version of the Mediterranean diet that advocates for higher quality whole foods. Learn more in Food What the Heck Should I Eat and check out the article that I wrote last year and the like to the presentation that i gave on the pegan diet at the Cleveland Clinic (link in bio). Here are the basics of the eating style: . 🥙An abundance of vegetables--as many colors as possible and mostly non-starchy like kale, spinach, celery, onions, watercress, swiss chard, and cabbage . 🍓Low glycemic fruits like berries, kiwi, pomegranate seeds, and apples . 🥑Healthy fats + oils like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, etc. . 🍣Omega 3 Rich Fish like wild salmon, herring, cod, oysters, and sardines . +Pasture raised eggs . 🍗High quality meats: grass-fed beef and organic poultry in palm size portions . 🥜Some beans + lentils like black lentils, green lentils, kidney beans, black beans and bean-based pasta . 🍚Some gluten-free grains like quinoa, black rice, brown rice, buckwheat, gluten-free oats, and amaranth . 😊Non-GMO whole soy like edamame, tofu, tempeh and miso .

#healthyselfreset #pegan #pegandiet #markhyman #functionalmedicine #functionalnutrition #paleo #vegan #plantbased #wholefoods #cleaneats #foodismedicine
  • This past week, I spoke at a fabulous company that is headquartered in Cleveland on mindfulness. I talked about the importance of being present with your meals and the eating experience. If we are distracted or multi-tasking while eating then it can be very easy to miss the beauty of something as simple as this incredible strawberry. How mind blowing is it that the earth is able to create such a beautiful thing?! .

People that are not present with their meal are 37% more likely to be overweight. So if you are looking for an easy weight loss tool, get your attention to the present moment! How you eat matters just as much as what you eat. .

If you aren’t present for your meals then it’s likely that you may not be present for your entire life! I shared during my presentation a small exercise that I’ve been doing lately to ensure that I’m more present in my life. I’d love to have you join me in it! .

Exercise: When you walk into a room or outdoors, take a deep breath and take note of five things you see whether it’s the wall color, the lights hanging from the ceiling, the cracks in a sidewalk, any detail that you would otherwise miss! This can also be practiced during your meal. Observations such as the color contrast of the food with a plate, the shape of your veggies, the size of the plate, the way that you feel before you start eating, etc. .

If you don’t make it a practice to slow down and pay attention then there’s so much to miss! You could probably spend an entire day in one room and not even be able to remember the color of the walls! Speaking from experience! 🙋‍♀️ Who’s in for trying the activity? #getpresent #slowdown #functionalmedicine #slowdown #foodismedicine #presentmoment #healthyish #mindbodygram #namaste #restanddigest #functionalnutrition #nutrition #mindbodyspirit 📸 @leighrichards
  • 60-80% of primary care visits are related to stress. For most, it’s hard to recognize that they are stressed bc they normalize it so much! .

Chronic stress causes your body to produce more cortisol, interfering with the drop in cortisol levels that naturally happens as the day goes on. You may benefit from taking more time for rest, naps, and yoga rather than approaching wellness from a ‘what can I do more?’ mentality. Once you start managing stress, you may benefit from incorporating the following foods and supplements as tools to help curb the stress response. .

These two adaptogens are top picks for stress: Ashwagandha and Rhodiola. Ashwagandha is known for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. .

Rhodiola reduces the secretion of cortisol during stressful scenarios and may also curb cravings related to stress. .

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that is present in every cell and may protect against high levels of stress and enhance mood and energy. Lots of research is also identifying a strong role in memory and brain health. .

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, meaning your body can’t synthesize this vitamin on its own. This nutrient found in strawberries, kale, and other produce can reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress. .

Magnesium is a critical mineral that the body burns when it’s stressed. When magnesium levels are low, the point at which the adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol is much lower, meaning you become biologically more sensitive to small stressors. .

Omega 3s have been shown to blunt adrenal activity during mentally stressful scenarios. The highest absorbed omega 3 fats are found in wild salmon, sardines, herring, and other fatty fish and fish oil supplements. Read more on this topic by clicking the link in my bio! 🤗

#stress #stressless #functionalmedicine #lifestylemedicine #functionalnutrition #nutrition #mindbodygram #namaste #yoga #cortisol #adrenalhealth
  • Many of us, including myself sometimes, approach wellness with this ‘what can I do MORE?’ mindset. What more can I do for my diet, supplements, exercise, etc. How can I learn MORE information about nutrition? But it may be beneficial to change around your view of ‘more’. Going from more willpower and force to more love and acceptance. Going from hating yourself into change to loving yourself into change. Not only is this key for your adrenal and thyroid health but also your mental and emotional health too! Let’s change the conversation of wellness! Tag a friend that you think can relate to this! #functionalnutrition #wellness #loveyourself #nourishment #intentionalliving #mindbodygram #functionalmedicine
  • In 2004 I was a patient in functional medicine but told by my other doctor at the Cleveland Clinic that “food has nothing to do with your condition”. Fortunately I found out otherwise. Fast forward to 2014 and everything came full circle as we opened the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. A model that uses food as the basis of health in the same exact hospital. Fast forward to 2018 and research published confirms that type 1 narcolepsy (which I have) is an autoimmune condition, meaning that food is one of the most important ways to influence outcomes (in addition to stress reduction which is a huge factor as well)! We aren’t talking “everything in moderation” either—truly personalized nutrition! I also still take some medicine but the two work together synergistically to improve my quality of life. The universe works in amazing and unpredictable ways. Honored to share my story and insight with the incredible @drmarkhyman team. They are the most professional and passionate team that I have ever worked with. Watch for the release of their latest project, the Broken Brain 2 docuseries coming this spring. They are helping improve people’s quality of life and it’s so amazing! Thank you 🙏 @ronabarona for the interview! 📸 @ayeletmenashe #brokenbrain #functionalmedicine