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Braised Asparagus (That Your Family Will Actually Eat)

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I am on a mission to get my kids to like asparagus. You see, I planted my very first asparagus patch, and when I can finally harvest the spears next season (you have to wait for 1 to 2 years for the plant to get established first), they will definitely be making a regular appearance on our spring dinner table!

Asparagus in Garden on 100 Days of Real FoodI am very excited about my new asparagus plant!

Now, similar to homegrown tomatoes, homegrown asparagus is light years above the store-bought stuff. However, even if you can’t grow your own, you’ll still love any asparagus you can get in this new braised asparagus recipe…and so will your family!

Since my 12-year-old is especially disgusted by asparagus, my goal here was to completely disguise it so that it did not look at all like typical spears, and to also include some flavors that she could not resist. So, I sliced them thin (in my food processor) and added one of her favorites…bacon! Bacon makes everything better, right? And, while I’d like to say she scarfed this one down with a smile on her face, she did at least eat three bites without totally gagging—that is progress, and I will take it, people! The rest of my family loved it though, so this one is a keeper in my book.

Braised Asparagus (that your family will actually eat) on 100 Days of Real Food

A Tactic for Picky Eaters

One of my favorite tactics with picky eaters is to make new foods in different ways until you find a winner. That was precisely what I was hoping to do with this dish, and I was happy about the tiny bit of progress! In fact, I think I’ll try this one again soon and add some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top (another favorite of hers). One thing that is for sure, I will not give up easily on my younger daughter and asparagus anytime soon—poor thing, LOL.


  • 1 bunch asparagustrimmed
  • 1 large shallotor 2 small, trimmed and peeled
  • 2 slices bacondiced, plus extra for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • saltto taste
  • black pepperto taste


  1. Fit a food processor with a slicing blade and feed the asparagus and shallot through the feed tube until they are thinly sliced.

  2. Heat a skillet (with a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat and add the bacon pieces. Cook until brown and crispy, while stirring, 4 to 5 minutes. 

  3. Add the asparagus and shallot to the skillet, cook for another minute while stirring, and then pour in the water and balsamic vinegar. Cover with the lid and let steam for about 2 minutes. Take off the cover and let cook for another minute until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Braised Asparagus

Amount Per Serving

Calories 76 Calories from Fat 36

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 4g 6%

Saturated Fat 1g 5%

Cholesterol 7mg 2%

Sodium 87mg 4%

Potassium 269mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%

Dietary Fiber 2g 8%

Sugars 3g

Protein 4g 8%

Vitamin A 17%

Vitamin C 8.2%

Calcium 2.7%

Iron 13.8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

PS – Want free bacon? We’ve been getting our meats (including bacon!) from Butcher Box, who offers 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, and organic free-range chicken. Right now if you try it out, you can get $15 off and free bacon with your order. Why wait?!

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Lisa is a wife, mother, foodie, blogger, and New York Times Best-selling author who is on a mission to cut out processed food.

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Why science is failing

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After my fellow dietitian Abby Langer wrote this article for Self, which I personally felt was quite considered and rather generous to the carnivore movement, I noticed a commonality among many of the people spewing abuse and vitriol (does an all-meat diet make you exceptionally angry?) toward her, and RDs in general. Any guesses? It was that many of them were engineers. I’m not sure what’s up with that. However, I can tell you that they are far more confident in their belief in the magic of the carnivore diet than I am in probably anything.

Then I was listening to StartUp podcast and something clicked. This season they’re following what’s called a “church plant” which is people trying to start new churches. On the last episode they were talking to a researcher who said that membership in all Christian churches in North America is declining, except for at evangelical churches. The reason for that? The certainty the evangelical church provides. Unlike other churches where there may be grey areas, things left up to interpretation, the evangelical church has definitive answers. And people like certainty. In religion and in nutrition.

You’ve probably heard the comparison of certain dietary beliefs to religious beliefs before. It’s nothing new. People attach their sense of self to a religious or dietary belief. They’re vegan, paleo, vegetarian, carnivore, catholic, or muslim. In the realm of diets, dietitians are agnostic. In the realm of medicine, Western doctors are agnostic. A great deal of the time, science is agnostic. We constantly question our beliefs and change them as new evidence comes to light. When someone asks is corn good for me we inwardly cringe because there are so many ways to answer that question and they all start with “it depends”. The carnivores are the evangelicals of the dietary world. They have all the answers with the utmost certainty. And how can someone who’s desperate to find a diet that will cure what ails them not be enticed by that confidence when faced with dietitians and doctors who are saying “let’s try this first and if that doesn’t work then we’ll try this” and on and on. We don’t offer a one-size-fits-all approach. We offer tailoring to help individuals find the way of eating that fits them best.

If you want certainty without evidence then you can find all the advice you want, and then some, from carnivorous engineers on twitter. If you’d rather have uncertainty and a little variety in your diet then find yourself a dietitian.

Tags: carnivore, carnivorous, diet, dietary dogma, engineer, healthy eating, nutrition, religion, Self magazine, StartUp | Permalink.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.


How much EPA + DHA omega-3 do you need for a desirable Omega-3 Index score?

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The Omega-3 Index measures the level of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA+DHA, in red blood cell membranes expressed as a percent of total fatty acids.

An Omega-3 Index in the range of 8-12% is one indicator of better overall health. As a part of an overall healthy lifestyle, an Omega-3 Index in the 8-12% range may help to maintain heart, brain, eye and joint health. 

Data from two cross-sectional studies comparing EPA plus DHA and fish intakes with the Omega-3 Index (O3I) found that, to achieve an O3I of 8%, intakes of fish and/ or dietary supplements would have to significantly exceed current recommendation from the American Heart Association, which recently downgraded its advice on seafood intake to “…1 to 2 seafood meals per week”​.

“The current fish intake recommendations (1–2 servings of seafood per week) are unlikely to produce a cardioprotective O3I level, but consuming primarily oily fish 3 times or more per week and supplementation may,”​ wrote the authors of the new study, led by Dr Kristina Jackson from OmegaQuant in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.

Omega-3 Index

The Omega-3 Index test was invented by Dr William Harris, PhD, of the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota, along with a collaborator. Dr Harris is also the president of OmegaQuant, the company he founded to manufacture and market the test kits. The minimally invasive test, which has been on the market for several years, easily measures  omega-3 levels in the blood.

The new paper looks at data from 3,458 people who submitted dried blood spot samples for O3I testing at OmegaQuant. They also answered questions about their fish intake and supplement use.

The results indicated that, for those people who reported taking no omega-3 supplements and consuming no fish, the average O3I was about 4.1%.

On the other hand, people taking omega-3 supplements and consuming three fish meals a week had an average O3I of 8.1%.

“These results, in addition to results from recent RCTs, certainly give us pause to rethink the optimal amount of fatty fish to consume and/or EPA/DHA supplements to take.”

-   Harry Rice, PhD, VP of regulatory & scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED)

“Therefore, there is a discrepancy between the amount of EPA+DHA provided by current fish intake recommendations (250–500 mg/d) vs. the amount needed by most Americans to reach an O3I of 8% (> 800 mg/d, according to our calculations),” ​wrote Dr Jackson and her co-authors.

Even if the recommendations were “at least two to three servings of oily fish per week” (and not “1–2 servings of seafood”), individuals would not get to an O3I of greater than 8%.

“To achieve that, either adding an EPA+DHA supplement or increasing to 4–5 servings of oily fish per week would be necessary,” ​they wrote.

‘A more effective approach to reducing the risk of heart disease’

“The AHA currently recommends one to two fish meals per week and it does not recommend supplementation for the general population. In light of our findings, this regimen is unlikely to produce a cardioprotective Omega-3 Index of 8%,”​ explained Dr. Jackson in a press release.

“Having dietary recommendations that aim to achieve a target blood level would likely be more effective at reducing the risk for heart disease.”

The O3I calculator

OmegaQuant released a calculator last year to help people estimate their omega-3 needs, and how to tailor their diets and supplement regimen to achieve a target Omega-3 Index.

According to the tool, which can be accessed HERE​, a man with an O3I of, for example, 4.5%, would need about 950 mg of EPA plus DHA daily to get to the 8% O3I level. To achieve this, three servings of wild sockeye salmon per week would give him about 410 mg of EPA plus DHA per day, meaning he’d need to add dietary supplements providing 500 mg per day to this.

Or, he could just consume omega-3 supplements providing the full 900 mg EPA+DHA dose every day. Whatever the approach, it would need to be consistent for at least 4 months in order to reach a new steady state O3I

Source: Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
March 2019, Volume 142, Pages 4-10, doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2019.01.002
“Association of reported fish intake and supplementation status with the omega-3 index”
Authors: K.H. Jackson et al.


Council for Responsible Nutrition Creates Retailer Relations Forum

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A new initiative—The Retailer Relations Forum—is designed to educate and enable Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) member companies to protect and grow their business with retailers. The forum will be composed of senior sales and customer officers at CRN member companies who market finished dietary supplements and functional food. Both marketers of branded products and contract manufacturers who manufacture store brand products are invited to participate.
“In today’s climate, senior sales executives need to stay up-to-speed on regulatory and sector developments that could impact business. CRN’s Retailer Relations Forum is yet another channel for our members to be in-the-know when it comes to retailers’ priorities, initiatives and expectations for the dietary supplement and functional food categories,” said Steve Mister, president & CEO, CRN.
At least once a year, the Retail Relations Forum will offer an “engagement” experience, during which a retailer will host the forum at its facilities. The in-person meeting will present an exclusive opportunity for retailers to network with CRN member companies’ representatives to the retail trade. The visit might also include a tour of a model store or offer insights into the retailer’s planogram for the future of the supplement “aisle.”
“Consumer safety relies heavily on a strong relationship between our industry and the retail industry, which is why CRN has spearheaded, and participated in, various retailer initiatives over the years,” said Mister. “By showcasing CRN-led retailer initiatives, especially in the context of our members’ own brands, the forum will reinforce our commitment to collaborating with retailers; generating new and growing existing business; and helping consumers safely and smartly achieve optimal health and wellness through the use of our products.”
Jennifer Foley, divisional vice president, U.S. Consumer Sales, Abbott Nutrition will chair the forum in its first year. The invitation to participate in the Retailer Relations Forum will be delivered to CRN members with the first meeting via conference call to occur in July. Details pertaining to the first “engagement” to be held this fall will be announced in the coming months.


DuPont Microbiome Venture Partners on ‘Smart Capsule’ Innovation

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The DuPont Microbiome Venture has entered a strategic investment and partnership with BioMe Oxford Ltd, an early-stage, U.K.-based startup that is developing BioCapture, a “smart, orally delivered capsule that can sample gut microbiota in both humans and animals,” according to the company.
DuPont will partner with BioMe Oxford and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to further the development of BioCapture. This technology would allow unique insights into the impact that live microbes and other microbiome modulators have on the gut microbiota in various sections of the gastrointestinal tract.
“We are delighted to partner with BioMe Oxford to develop the next generation of tools to accelerate innovation in the field of the microbiome. When ready, BioCapture will allow us to deepen our understanding of the impact our probiotics and other ingredients have on the microbiome in parts of the GI tract that are very difficult to access today other than through endoscopy procedures. Additionally, we will be able to support our customers and academic partners in accelerating insights gathered into the microbiome and how it can be modulated to improve health,” said DuPont Microbiome Venture Leader Sebastien Guery.
BioMe Oxford is developing a simple, robust and innovative way to sample the gut microbiota in both humans and animals that will provide new insights on how diets, ingredients, and probiotics influence the gut microbiota.
“The microbial community inhabiting our gut is known to vary significantly in terms of abundance, composition, and function between different segments. Targeted and minimally invasive sampling using BioCapture has the potential to open up new areas of microbiome research by enabling routine access to previously unchartered territories. DuPont is a global leader in the nutrition and microbiome field, and we are excited to be working with their team of expert scientists to accelerate the development of BioCapture,” said BioMe Oxford Co-Founder and CEO Soren Krogsgaard Thomsen, PhD.
DuPont established the Microbiome Venture to accelerate microbiome science-based solution development through a combination of selected strategic partnerships with microbiome science leaders and internal investments. The Microbiome Venture is an entrepreneurial team established in 2017 with a strong connection to the larger DuPont organization, tapping into capabilities including R&D, manufacturing, regulatory, legal and marketing. The Microbiome Venture investment will complement DuPont’s existing product portfolio, especially in the areas of probiotics and prebiotics, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), and enable precision nutrition to prevent and potentially treat chronic illnesses and various other health conditions, the company said.


Olympic Hopeful Sues Cooper Clinic over Multivitamin with Banned Substance - D Healthcare Daily

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Former University of Texas All-American swimmer Madisyn Cox is suing a company connected to Cooper Clinic after a banned substance was found in her system, resulting in her suspension by the Olympic affiliate for water sports, Dallas Morning News reports.

Cox says the multi-vitamin contained trimetazidine, a banned substance that is not approved for sale in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration, DMN reports. A lab accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency found the substance in the vitamin she was taking.

Though she was cleared to swim in 2018, Cox says the damage was done in the two year ban, as the world-class swimmer was unable to participate in olympic qualifying competitions or obtain sponsorships, DMN reports. Cooper Concepts Inc., part of the business operations of Cooper Clinic, stopped using the manufacturer for the vitamin when they found out about the substance. “We carefully formulated the ingredients to be included in our products and we relied on our manufacturer to produce products accordingly,” Cooper Concepts told DMN.

“We are evaluating the allegations and claims in the lawsuit. In September 2018, Cooper Concepts learned of Madisyn Cox’s complaint about the Cooper vitamin supplement she had been using and immediately removed it from its product line. We are saddened and disappointed for Madisyn Cox and any competitions she missed.” Cooper Concepts said in a statement. “We carefully formulate ingredients to be included in our products and expect adherence to all appropriate standards.”

Cooper Clinic was founded by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, whose work has spanned decades and helped establish modern thought around aerobics and heart health, and launched a nutritional supplements brand over 20 years ago.

Read the entire Dallas Morning News story here.


Despite debate, don't toss your vitamin D supplements just yet - The Keene Sentinel

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Better than milk thistle seeds? Researchers say white water lily protects your liver

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Image: Better than milk thistle seeds? Researchers say white water lily protects your liver

(Natural News) Maintaining a healthy liver is one of the best ways to achieve optimal health. One way to keep it healthy is to supplement your diet with natural compounds that protect the liver from damage. A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine examines the European white water lily (Nymphaea alba L.) and its merit as a natural source of hepatoprotective compounds.

Your liver performs many functions, many of which put it at the receiving end of harmful substances or bad habits. Whether it’s indulging in too much fat and sugar, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or not drinking enough water, such stimuli can impair liver function and result in one condition or another.

The European white water lily is known to contain compounds and natural chemicals that are good for the liver. Its flowers and rhizomes have antioxidants and hepatoprotective properties, as well as cytotoxic effects that are effective against liver cell carcinoma.

Its leaves, however, have not been looked into. The researchers in the study above collected aqueous ethanolic extracts from the leaves. They put these through several tests to determine factors such as polyphenolic content. They tested the extracts’ hepatoprotective activity on Wistar rats with CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity. The researchers compared two doses (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg) with silymarin, a natural treatment for liver conditions, over five days. They employed a series of tests meant to gauge various aspects of liver functionality.

They found that the leaf extracts contained 53 compounds, including nine hydrocarbons, two sterols, and 11 fatty acids. The extracts were found to have improved liver function by a considerable degree. Other signs of reduced liver damage were also noted.

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Because of their findings, the researchers concluded that the European white water lily has hepatoprotective properties that are comparable with silymarin. In addition to these, white water lily extract also had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it even more effective in treating liver concerns.

Taking care of your liver begins with eating the right food. Here are some food items you can include in your diet if you want a healthy liver:

  • Coffee – This beverage will not just brighten your morning, it will also make your liver much healthier. Studies suggest that drinking coffee reduces the incidence of liver conditions, such as cirrhosis. It also promotes healing in those who already have a liver condition. Coffee has potent anti-inflammatory properties and helps increase the levels of the antioxidant glutathione, which protects the liver from damage.
  • Grapefruit – This citrus fruit contains two liver-friendly antioxidants: naringenin and naringin. They lower the risk of hepatic fibrosis and decreases the amount of fat in the liver, all while promoting the faster burning of fat. Too much fat leads to a number of liver conditions, so this effect helps keep your liver free from disease.
  • Grapes – Whether in fruit or juice form, grapes offers many benefits for your liver. They contain several plant compounds, such as resveratrol. Grapes decrease inflammation, protect from damage, and boost antioxidant levels to promote liver health.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, among others, contain plenty of fiber and antioxidants that protect the liver from damage. Studies suggest that consuming these vegetables can reduce oxidative stress and help prevent liver failure.
  • Nuts – These are rich in antioxidants – vitamin E, for example – and other plant compounds. Studies indicate that people who ate fewer nuts had a higher chance of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
  • Fatty fish – These are excellent protein sources because they also contain omega 3-fatty acids that are great for liver function. However, you need to be careful about your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio as too much of the latter may lead to liver disease. It is essential that you consume more of the former.

Find natural remedies for liver disease at

Sources include:


Vitamin D Workshop Posters - June 2013

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Update: International Congress on Vitamin D (VitaminD Workshop) – NY May 2019 has links to many previous workshops

Only 33 of the Workshop Posters

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“Can you get type 2 diabetes again once you’ve reversed it?”

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Ask Dr. Jason Fung

Can high levels of B12 be a sign of kidney failure? What effect can fasting have on autoimmune disease? What is the best way to break a fast? And, is it possible to ever really cure type 2 diabetes?

It’s time for this week’s Q&A about intermittent fasting and low carb with Dr. Jason Fung:

Could you talk about high vitamin B12?

Can abnormally high B12 levels be a sign of kidney failure if diabetic and doing intermittent fasting?


B12 levels are not a sign of kidney failure. Mostly we worry about low vitamin B12, especially in vegans.

Dr. Jason Fung

Impact of fasting on autoimmune disease

I read your response about autoimmune disease and fasting and you stated autoimmune disease has little to do with diet.

Are you familiar with Dr. V. Longo’s studies regarding fasting? He is doing research that is starting to show that fasting and autophagy can be very effective in improving various autoimmune disease.


We don’t know what causes most autoimmune diseases. However, fasting may potentially improve them by regeneration of the immune system. Dr. Longo’s studies suggest this is possible, but there are several caveats. This research is done in animals, and it may or may not apply to humans. Second, autoimmune diseases are all different and we don’t know if some of them are more responsive or not. Third, you generally need longer fasts going out to about 7 days. Fourth, we don’t know how often you would need to repeat these fasts.

In medicine, it is all about risk versus reward. The reward is theoretical but potentially important. The risk is minimal, although 7 days of fasting is generally not fun. My own advice is that everybody should give it a try, under proper supervision, since there is little risk. I would repeat a 7 day fast in about a month or 6 weeks as it may not respond to immediately. If you notice a significant improvement, then I would consider using it on a regular basis. If you notice no change, then I would not continue.

Dr. Jason Fung

Breaking a fast

Good day Dr. Fung,

Firstly I want to thank you for writing your book, The Obesity Code. I received it for a Christmas present and I will be reading it in 2019.

I have two questions:

  1. What is the correct way to break a 16-8 fast while on a ketogenic diet? A normal LCHF meal or drink a bullet proof coffee?
  2. Can I IF on a 16-8 window every day or must is it better to fast one day and eat normally the next day?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Ben de Swardt

  1. There is no ‘correct’ way. General principles would be that longer fasts need to be broken more gently. 16:8 is fairly short so it likely doesn’t matter much. Also, a second general principle is to eat natural foods. I would prefer an LCHF meal rather than a bulletproof coffee for that reason.
  2. Yes, many people (myself included) use a 16:8 schedule daily. Skipping breakfast becomes quite easy after a while, so I fall into a 16:8 rhythm quite naturally. For other reasons, I think that eating earlier in the day is better than late, so skipping dinner is probably better than skipping breakfast, but for social/work reasons, skipping dinner regularly is difficult for many people.

Dr. Jason Fung

What does reversing type 2 diabetes mean to you?

When doing LCHF and IF with awesome results (A1C around 5.6, down from a high of 9.0) it looks like reversion of diabetes. If symptoms (ie high glucose) are all normal, does it mean one has to maintain this lifestyle forever? People without diabetes can have all the pizza and beer they want with little effect on blood sugars. While one who has reversed diabetes can never be truly cured. Is this correct?


If you had type 2 diabetes (T2D) and then you get your A1C under 6.0 without medications, then you are defined (in Canada) as non-diabetic. In other words, your T2D reversed. But if you return to the diet that gave you T2D, you will get it again. Think of your body like a sugar bowl. If you eat lots of sugar and glucose, the bowl fills up. If you eat more glucose, then it overflows and spills into the blood. That’s T2D. If you empty the sugar bowl, then you won’t have T2D, but it doesn’t mean that you will never get it again.

Dr. Jason Fung