Author Archives: Brooke Randolph

About Brooke Randolph

A private practice therapist in Indianapolis, Brooke encourages, equips, and empowers parents and individuals to make changes that strengthen their lives, their careers, and their families. She believes physical health and emotional health are interconnected. Brooke stays in shape by walking, lifting, and biking with her family, and she spends much of her free time cooking for her family.

Running for Her Life: One Woman’s Escape from Human Trafficking Made Her a Runner and Survivor

running-for-life

Megan grew up in what some might consider an idealistic environment. They were a seemingly typical middle-class, Caucasian family; mom stayed home with her and her sister, and dad made it to all of her soccer games. Megan was first chair violin and graduated from high school as part of the National Honor Society. Her parents have been married more than 30 years and the family attended church regularly. However, after an abusive five-year marriage, she was left alone to support two small children. Her naivety and vulnerability, both emotionally and financially, put her at risk for sexual trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a very complex issue, and a lot of times people think that it’s something you can just ‘get out’ of. Unfortunately, it is not always that easy because there are social and economic obstacles, as well as mental and physical safety that all must come together. It is often, as in my case, a long process to fully get away from a predator and the subculture entirely,” shared Megan. “In short, I was able to leave my pimp and move back across the country, but it took another six months until I was in a place I could leave the sex industry entirely, and it has been almost two years of intensive recovery since then.” (more…)

Rise Offers Affordable Personalized Nutrition Coaching Through your iPhone

Rise-app-review

Would you like to have a nutrition coach cheering you on toward your chosen goals with you all the time? As a busy professional and mom to an active kid, fitting in one more appointment — even social activities — isn’t very easy. I welcomed the opportunity to review the app 1:1 Nutrition Coaching by Rise.

It is a food diary app that allows you to log your meals and snacks with photos and/or descriptions, but the big difference that Rise offers is a personal nutrition coach who reviews what you are eating, asks questions, and makes suggestions to help you meet your goals. You can request a supportive coach or a tough coach, but even my tough coach was kind. No one is going to be yelling at you or even messaging you in all caps.

I chose my own goal — decrease sugar — and she offered suggestions and general tips both as feedback to my meals and in separate messages. As someone who lives with food allergies and centers my diet on vegetables and protein, I wondered what kind of advice I would be given since my diet doesn’t meet the general guidelines. When you sign up for 1:1 Nutrition Coaching by Rise, you can enter in dietary restrictions, and she must have paid attention to them because it never came up. She seemed excited by the amount of vegetables my family eats regularly and unconcerned by eggs for breakfast and steak for dinner. (more…)

Dumpster Diving for Dinner: A Mission to Save $165 Billion Worth of Edible Food

DUMPSTER-DIVING

Why would the owner of a marketing company be dumpster diving for food? You could find Rob Greenfield behind your local grocery with his bike propped against the dumpster while he looks for food. He has now completed two rides across America eating primarily from dumpsters. This isn’t a case of extreme cheapskates; Rob’s goal with these rides is to draw attention to how much food is wasted in America.

On his website, he lists these statistics:

  • We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.
  • About 50 million of our 317 million Americans are food insecure yet we produce enough food to feed over 500 million Americans.
  • Just to create just the amount of food that ends up in the landfills we waste enough water to meet the domestic water needs of every American citizen.

With as many as one in every seven American households being reported as food insecure and one in four children living in food insecure homes, the fact that we waste so much food on a daily basis is concerning. Charity Sub reports that 96 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year by restaurants, retailers, farmers, and individual households. In each major city that he visited on his ride, Greenfield created a demonstration with food collected from local dumpsters. He states that in a single night, he can collect from dumpsters enough food to feed hundreds of people in any given city. (more…)

Calf Liposuction Sought by Women to Fit in Fall Boots

liposuction-boots

“I have five pairs of boots in my closet I can’t wear. I get them out as workout motivation. I really miss wearing them. I have to say, it is one of the more depressing parts about being a plus size girl. I have one pair of wide calf boots. They work, but the others are much prettier,” one of my friends shared.

While she uses the boots as workout motivation and sought out wide-calf boots, other women are turning to liposuction for their calves. It isn’t an instant fix though; it can take ten months to recover from this trending plastic surgery procedure. It can take months for the swelling to go down after a liposuction procedure. It also isn’t something that is available for everyone. Women who work out or have muscular calves may not have the amount of fat needed for the microliposuction procedure.

“I could lose 80 pounds and I’d still have a 16” calf,” explained another friend. (more…)

I Survived a 21-Day Sugar Detox, and So Should You!

Around the holidays I found myself suffering from a cold. Since going gluten-free and dairy-free, it’s an anomaly for me to need an anti-histamine or decongestant. Knowing how sugar impacts the immune system, I assumed one of the culprits must be the holiday sweets I was consuming, even though it was in moderation. When I received the book the 21 Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo as a Christmas gift, I decided that I would give the program a try starting January 1.

Last year around this same time, I completed approximately 16 weeks of a three-level allergy-detox (stopping when I had lost too much weight). The programs did not seem all that different so I didn’t think it would be that difficult to go 21 days.

21Day sugar detox

One of the most important things I have learned about dietary change is that restriction can lead to binging. If we feel limited, desire increases and takes on more importance. During my allergy detox, while I constantly had to check my list of approved foods, I was able to eat as much steak and eggs or bacon burgers (no bun) as I needed to. While I realize not everyone agrees, I don’t have a problem with eating fats.

Pamela Reilly, ND, CNHP, MH, CWHP, is a Naturopathic Physician and speaker that I trust with my own health and wellness. She designed the allergy-detox program that I completed last year. She clarifies that “if an eating style is extremely restrictive it is not intended to be permanent.”

I do think part of the secret to success is making sure that you do not feel restricted and finding indulgences when you need them. Sometimes you really do just need to make it just a few more hours before the craving subsides. On the other hand, over indulging does not do your body any favors.

Even if the indulgence is something like grapefruit—too much of even a good thing is still too much. Reilly believes that “people who truly want to change react really well to restrictions”; however, she adds that she “always provides substitutes when telling people to remove something” because she believes “it’s a lot healthier to function from an abundance mindset and to focus on the benefits and not what you are eliminating.” (more…)

Cumin Scrambled Egg Breakfast Tacos Save Your Morning with Taco Night Leftovers

Taco night is a favorite at our house, but there is always more cilantro than we can use. While I have a few other recipes that call for it as garnish, my favorite use is adding it to cumin scrambled eggs in the morning. This breakfast recipe is great for any taco leftover you might have or just for a different take on eggs. The cumin adds a warm flavor to breakfast which is wonderful, especially on snowy winter mornings.

breakfast tacos
If you have fresh onion and garlic, cook it in a skillet with a bit of avocado oil or lard until soft; your kitchen will smell fantastic. I have used onion powder and garlic powder in the eggs as well, but nothing beats fresh if it is still on hand after your previous night’s taco dinner.

sautee-onions
Prep scrambled eggs for your family, adding a dash of paprika and approximately half a teaspoon of cumin per egg to the whisked egg and (almond) milk. If you don’t have fresh, don’t forget to add onion powder and garlic powder as well. I also enjoy a dash of red pepper, but my son finds it too spicy; I just add mine right before serving. (more…)

Raw Macaroon Fudge Bars with Skinny Coconut Oil are a Chocolate Lover’s New Guilt-Free Indulgence

Twitter Party THIS Wednesday night, sponsored by Skinny and Co. Coconut Oil!

Where: Hosted by @DietsInReview on #SkinnyCoCo

When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 8:00p CST

Who: Sponsored by @SkinnyCoco, makers of 100% natural, unrefined, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil.
Panelists: @MaryHartleyRD, @BL11Courtney, @MealandaSpiel, @BrooklynFitChik

Win: 4 winners each take home a jar of Skinny Coconut Oil + DIR T-shirts + Baker’s Dozen Cookbooks

skinny coconut oil

Need an indulgent recipe this holiday season that can be enjoyed without packing on the pounds? You’re in luck. These Raw Macaroon Fudge Bars are completely decadent, yet are filled with fat burning coconut oil* and other raw, whole foods that satiate your sweet tooth and keep holiday weight gain in check! The key is incorporating 100% natural, raw coconut oil like Skinny Coconut Oil™.

While coconut oil has only recently come to light as a “miracle oil” – these claims are not without substance. A number of studies have corroborated that coconut oil not only boosts thyroid function and, consequently, your metabolism, but it also manages insulin levels.

Both coconut oil and simple carbohydrates (like those found in “typical” holiday fare) are able to deliver quick energy to the body, yet coconut oil does so without the sharp carbohydrate spike and subsequent sugar crash. That means you can thoroughly enjoy your dessert without inducing a sugar hangover the next morning.

skinny coconut oil fudge

Not only do these Raw Macaroon Fudge Bars utilize Skinny Coconut Oil to maximize metabolism and minimize sugar spikes, they also incorporate other nutrient dense, raw ingredients to produce a dessert that is actually a nutritional powerhouse! (more…)

Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil: Which Healthy Fat Should You Cook With?

The tide seems to be slowly shifting away from demonizing fat. While my family doctor admits my cholesterol is “so good it isn’t even on [her] chart,” she still isn’t comfortable with the fact that I cook with lard. Coconut oil and olive oil, however, are much more acceptable fats for food preparation. Fat is not unhealthy; it supplies energy, helps us feel more full, balances blood sugar, promotes cell growth, decreases inflammation throughout the body, and regulates hormones.

Not all fats are equal, though. Trans fats, or “hydrogenated” fats, have been considered contraband at my house for years. In addition to lard, coconut oil and olive oil are staples in my kitchen. The question of which to use for a specific recipe is more complicated than just the ingredient list. There is a bit of a science to cooking (and shopping) that can help you ensure that the recipes you use provide the full nutritional benefit to your family and do not create unintended health consequences.

coconut oil

Why the Smoke Point is So Important

When fats or oils reach a certain temperature, they begin to break down and lose nutritional value and flavor. At this point, called the smoke point, carcinogenic oxygen radicals are also generated. Recipes need to be evaluated by comparing the oils used with the temperature at which they are prepared. (more…)

100 Ways to Boost Your Energy in Syd Hoffman’s New Book

All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now! was written by Syd Hoffman, a former elementary school principal who was fascinated by the endless energy in her students. She started making changes and found a dramatic difference in her energy to the point of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. She found that “it doesn’t take hours of exercise or spending a lot of money on special products to feel energetic. For most people, having all day energy is simply a matter of tweaking what you’re already doing.”

All-Day Energy is 100 quick tips written with a positive spin. It is a way to help you determine which of these exercises you enjoy; however, you may not know what works best for you unless you try each for a period of time. All-Day Energy is missing any plan or advice for integration; it is primarily inspirational with minimal effort at convincing readers to try each tip. While the suggestions are not in categories or any particular order, they do address all four types of energy – physical, emotional, intellectual, and existential.

I believe nearly all of the tips in All-Day Energy could be positive choices to improve energy, physical and mental health. There does seem to be some science and research missing that could explain and convince some people more. For example, there has been research that suggests visualization might actually decrease energy. I am also not sure I agree that taking vitamins is a healthy physical choice based on other things I have read. The variety of tips is interesting to me nonetheless. (more…)

When Common Life Problems Turn into Mental Health Diagnoses

I was pretty excited to watch “Diagnostic & Statistical Manual: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam,” a production of Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. Most people in the mental health field are anxiously awaiting the official reveal of the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) – the book that outlines and defines all known mental health disorders. 

There are even debates about the potential changes. Whether you love it or you hate it, this book does make a big impact on our field. As a practitioner I am not a big fan of diagnosis, but I believe insurance is to blame for this more than the DSM.

Most people want their insurance to pay for treatment, even when simply dealing with the normal grief of losing a loved one, stress regarding life changes, or marital problems. However, for insurance to fund treatment, a diagnosis is required.

These kinds of situations, in my opinion, have led to the exaggeration of common life problems into diagnoses more so than the DSM itself. Most people, even when given the choice, choose diagnosis for the benefit of insurance-funded treatment. While this might save money and stress immediately, there are many longterm consequences of mental health diagnoses. (more…)