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You Really Are What You Eat

I do love my vitamins, especially when they come from nothing but whole foods! Recent dietary research has uncovered 14 different nutrient-dense foods that time and again promote good overall health.  Coined “superfoods,” they tend to have fewer calories, higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and many disease-fighting antioxidants.



Beans (legumes), berries (especially blueberries), broccoli, green tea, nuts (especially walnuts), oranges, pumpkin, sea vegetables. cold-washed non-gmo soy, spinach, tomatoes, gluten-free oats, and fermented non-dairy products can all help stop and even reverse symptoms that so many of us are dealing with. And where one might have an effect on a certain part of the body, it can also affect the health of other body functions and performance, since the whole body is connected.  With these simple whole foods as the base of a balanced, solid diet, weight loss gimmicks and other fly-by-night programs can become a thing of the past in your life.

Conversely, the ill-effects of an unbalanced diet are several and varied. Low energy levels, mood swings, tired all the time, weight change, uncomfortable with body are just a few signs that your diet is unbalanced.  An unbalanced diet can cause problems with maintenance of body tissues, growth and development, brain and nervous system function, as well as problems with bone and muscle systems.

Symptoms of malnutrition include lack of energy, irritability, a weakened immune system leading to frequent colds or allergies, and mineral depletion that can trigger a variety of health concerns including anemia.

And since the body is connected, realizing that an unhealthy body will result in an unhealthy spirit only makes sense.  When we nourish our body with these superfoods and complement them with other nutrient-dense and healthy fresh foods, our spirit will be vitalized and healthy as a direct result.

Many modern diets based on prepackaged convenience foods are sorely lacking in many vitamins and minerals, which can affect our mental capacities as well, and cause irritability, confusion, and the feeling of ‘being in a fog’ all the time.



Superfoods can be the basis of a sound, healthy, nutritious solution to curing many of these ailments and more.

30 Day Paleo Nutritional Truth Vegan (or Vegeo) Challenge

If you are doing a Paleo Vegan or Vegetarian or even Pescatarian based Challenge with your gym, this is what should be on your menu:

  • fish = wild caught
  • all fruit is ok
  • all vegetables aside from starchy root vegetables are ok
  • local, raw honey is the only sweetener used (aside from fruit)
  • nuts and seeds are ok (soaked preferably)
  • pastured eggs are ok
  • no dairy
  • no processed gmo-soy
  • no grains or grain-like seeds (that means no quinoa, millet, amaranth, & buckwheat during the challenge phase)
  • no legumes
  • no alcohol

This can be hard to go through, but it’s something that is going to really help you in the end. I end up turning to things like hemp protein smoothies, and sacha inchi seeds to keep me going because I don’t want to eat too much fish and I don’t eat eggs during the induction phase. This is because eggs are a top allergen, and you want to allow your body to heal up as much as possible during that 30 day Paleo challenge.

What about going through a more traditional clean up? Maybe you still eat gluten-free grains? Maybe you are vegan and you have organic non-gmo soy on your meal plan? Maybe you have some autoimmune issues or you have histamine running crazy in your body?  That’s where you move into finding your own nutritional truth.

What Can You Eat during my program:
  • Protein:  pastured eggs, pastured + organic, full fat, fermented coconut yogurt/kefir, organic tempeh, natto, edamame, organic eggs, Complete protein, organic tofu (extra-firm), soaked lentils and various soaked and rinsed beans, hemp and/or pea protein powder
  • Vegetables:  Acorn, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Bell Peppers, Bok Choy, Broccoli/Broccolini, Brussel Sprouts, Buttercup Squash, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collard Greens, Delicata Squash, Garlic, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Shallots, Rutabaga, Spinach, Summer Squash, Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard, Tomato, Turnip, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini … If you deal with autoimmune issues or are trying to lose weight go gentle with Artichoke, Broccoli Rabe, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Fennel Root, Green Beans, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Mushrooms, Okra, Parsnips, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Snow Peas, Spaghetti Squash. Sprouts, Sugar Snap Peas
  • Fruit: Love yourself some Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Melon, Plum, Raspberries, Strawberries and again if you trying to lose weight go gently into Apples, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Lemon, Lime, Mango, Nectarines, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Tangerines, Watermelon
  • Fats:  MCT oil, Coconut Butter, Coconut Oil, EVOO, Avocado, Cashews, Coconut Flakes, Coconut Milk, Macadamia Nuts, Macadamia Butter, Hazelnuts, Olives… if you have PCOS then be gentle with Almonds, Almond Butter, Brazil Nuts, Pecans, Pistachio, Flax Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Pine nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sunbutter, Walnuts

So what can I eat during the Challenge?

I like to eat a lot of greens. I generally have greens in a big green smoothie for breakfast with some fruit, my Complete and some flaxseed/chia. I also have a nice big tea with some EVOO in it after my lemon water. For lunch you’ll find me with lots of salads, braised greens, and and another smoothie almost every day. And then of course if I miss me some yummy starchy potatoes… I really do eat them. One challenge comfort food for me is mashed carrots and rutabagas, yum!

Mashed Carrots and Rutabaga (from Eat, Live, Grow, Paleo with my change ups)

Ingredients :
– carrots
– rutabaga
– coconut milk
– Earth balance soy-free vegan butter or coconut oil
– Himilayan salt and pepper
– Garlic (crushed) – to your taste
– Handful of basil leaves, shredded and diced

 Directions :
1. Peel and cut carrots and rutabaga into small pieces.
2. Steam until very tender (about 10 to 15 minutes)
3. In your Vitamix or food processor (or with an immersion blender) puree the vegetables together adding coconut oil and seasonings to taste. Add just a small amount of coconut milk so it adds to the creamy taste but doesn’t turn your vegetable into a sauce. Add in the garlic and basil and let it mix in.

Add this with some sauteed greens and you will have found my heaven. There are tricks to making it through a 30 Day Paleo Vegeo Challenge, and this for me is one of the best, challenge yourself to find subs for the items you crave. Everyone has a nutritional truth… find yours.

carrots

If you worry about histamines, there’s a great Food Matters article that I often refer to that you should bookmark. http://www.foodsmatter.com/allergy_intolerance/histamine/articles/histamine_joneja.html z

Paleo Vegetarian, What?

I have a million allergies… corn, soy, nuts, seeds, bananas, kiwi, avocado, lemon, orange… and on and on. So it’s only reasonable that I would be very interested in food and how that food can change your health. Don’t look at this site and hate right off the bat. Just because I don’t eat a cow doesn’t mean I’m not hitting the mark on nutrition.

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When I grew up we had a huge, beautiful garden, that is until my mom went back to work in my early teens. That is when the processed foods and my allergies and health issues (IBS) started. I did the Zone diet once in my late twenties, but still was eating a lot of processed foods. My IBS got so bad at one point that I couldn’t work a 4 hour shift without ending up on the floor curled up in agony.

My first big food change was to organics after my daughter was born. She was 18 months old and I found myself over 70 pounds heavier than I had been before I had gotten pregnant, miscarried, gotten pregnant again and had my daughter. I was probably as round as I was tall… which is easy to do when you are just five feet tall.

The next was a conversion in my life was to pastured foods along side the organics. My friend and I would hit the local farms in the afternoon or on a Saturday morning, buying our whole chickens, eggs, and beef. But I wasn’t really losing much weight it seemed. Of course every Saturday (and a lot of the days in between) I was enjoying a big Venti Skim Milk Matcha Green Tea Latte {sugar full} at Starbucks after doing an hour of cardio at the gym. I was eating clean, so I thought. But I was still using a lot of products full of sugars, full of garbage and my system was going through overkill on inflammation due to allergies and the problems that milk {no raw local dairy} was having on my body.

Coach Barbara Christensen the Paleo Vegeo Ocean Avenue Beachbody Reset guruIn January of 2010 I did the 21 Day Kickstart program and went completely Vegan. I felt great. I was a cardio TurboKick girl and the weight started to drop. In June of 2011 we moved to Washington and had a horrible experience, and ended up looking for another house the second day we were here. With no fridge, and starving I had some eggs at Whole Foods that morning and it was not bad. Over that first couple of months I added back in pastured eggs and wild caught salmon. But a few months later I was back to a strict vegan diet.

Then I started Les Mills Pump. It’s still very cardio based, but it builds muscle. By the time I got into lifting weights 45 – 55 minutes 3 times a week I was one tired girl. I thought it was B12, even though I was getting 100% of my B12 with coconut milk and Shakeology. So it must be iron. I started taking iron. I was still tired. I finished Pump, but only dropped 3 pounds. {Although I did drop 10 inches} Something didn’t fit. Weights + Veganism wasn’t working for my body.

Next was my 21 days cleanse. 1 week of fish, dairy {couldn’t do it} and chicken {also couldn’t do it}. Then two weeks of vegan eating. Not bad. I lost a few more inches, and felt good. But then I kept getting tired. Tired, tired, tired. When I started Body Beast I decided the game plan had to change. I read up a lot about glutathione, and proteins, and paleo athletes. I knew that I couldn’t go back to cows, chickens, turkeys… sorry folks it’s true. So I decided to add back in the pastured eggs, but they seem to cause inflammation with me a lot of the time. Then comes phase two I added back in the wild caught fish. Still tired so I added in iron… Guess what, with the iron I actually did better with the wild caught fish, and without the wild caught fish…  and seemed to get more from vegetables than I had ever done before. Turns out that I was really really low in my iron stores, and lifting doesn’t help that at all. So this is my journey. You may call me more of a ” Pescetarian” but I like to call it Paleo Vegeo, or a paleo vegetarian. You may not agree, but that’s what living is about… choices. I am still looking at choices, and still making changes. The biggest change was adding the Juice Plus into my life, and I will only keep learning and sharing for all of us.

XOXO,
Barbara

Coach Barbara Christensen the Paleo Vegeo Ocean Avenue Beachbody Reset guru

Your Harshing On My Legumes I Why Paleo Is So Quick To Jump On Vegans

Always drama over legumes

The other day I shared this amazing broccoli and oregano hummus recipe from The Flexitarian on my Facebook page, knowing that the first comment I would get would be that “chickpeas aren’t Paleo”. I get this all the time in my large nutrition group as well. And my standard answer is from the “authorities” in nutrition because of course myself with a nutrition diploma and a lifetime of ingredient research cannot be the common sense for many of these folks. The people that hate on these sorts of posts are those that are very traditional in the defined roles of Paleo Vegan (Pegan as Dr. Mark calls it) as you can see the traditional below.

What I tell them is this:

It depends on where you get your information, ____. If you look at the Whole 30 Vegan/Vegetarian shopping list Tofu, lentils, and properly prepared beans are all acceptable paleo foods. Paleo Leap says, “Legumes and pseudograins (which include vegetarian staples like buckwheat and quinoa) are both promising solutions to this puzzle – as long as they’re prepared correctly.” 

And if you have read my basics you know that this Paleo Vegeo lifestyle is all about finding YOUR nutritional truth. That means for some people chickpeas would be fine, lentils would be fine, kidney beans would be fine, and GASP … organic tofu would be fine if it works for you. It doesn’t work for me, and I am not fond of soy in general personally. But it’s your personal truth not mine. I like the TEMPT Hemp Tofu… so yummy. But even some Paleo folks would want to toss me to the timbers for saying hemp is okay if you are paleo. The truth is as you know that you have to get to know yourself and that generally means doing at least 30 days elimination from all of these foods and then reintroducing one at a time to see how your body reacts to them.

It’s hard to be vegan. Don’t you agree? Especially if you have food allergies. Even harder to be paleo and on top of it vegan. And so for us we have to be aware of genetics, digestion, micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients even more so than your average Paleo off the street. Although many of those that are Paleo should be genetically tested ans see if there are any gene mutations first. If you have the right gene mutation you should be low protein, high fat. If you are eating bacon and ribeye at every meal you could be doing serious damage to your brain and not know it otherwise. That foggy feeling may not be overwhelming life after all.

And there are very few vegan protein powders for paleo folks to choose from. There is the Warrior Blend and Non-GMO Pea Protein, Hemp Protein, Sacha Inchi Protein… and I am just going to say it… there is also those with rice protein.

Yes I said it. I know that Paleo and Rice are not often said in the same sentence because it’s not generally allowed. But rice in the right form can provide you with a good resistant starch. The best sources of resistant starch is going to be from those supplementary isolated starch sources, and rice protein is a better option than cold cooked rice. So I don’t look at it in the same tones as I do eating rice.

But if you don’t react to a little rice or tofu you may have been looking at complet protein shake. However I would not recommend it for B12 MTRR clients because it does show in the ingredient panel b12 and I have been totally informed on it. And if that is the case, please let me know so that I can share some alternatives to throw into your mix.

Nourished In 30 – Finally On Kindle

The Nourished In 30 Finally On Kindle 

I have been teaching others through my Nourished In 30 program for the last year – and I have met some amazing people that live their own nutritional “paleo” truth. And so I was so excited to finally have my program on Kindle. YAY!!

I feel like there are enough “recipers” out there that this isn’t a recipe book, although I do include a few very simple recipes. This is an information book. It’s exactly what I teach my clients about nutrition and how it impact their wellness. It is meant to be both physically healing and emotionally healing because if you’ve ever done a program like this you know that you are going to be pulling up emotions. They go hand in hand. It is why there are so many emotional eaters. We too often connect our food to our souls. And unless you are creating amazing recipes and open fantastic restaurants, connecting food to your soul is a very bad thing.

So what I wanted to do was share something that would educate, give you some good cleansing results, and also help you come out the other side feeling like you’ve learned something amazing that you will take into the rest of your life. I want to make sure you read labels, and think about epigenetics, and I also want it to be easy. So I hope that I created all of those things. Please feel free to share your testimonial below, and let me know what you think the best part of the program was for you.

You can order your Nourished In 30 for your Kindle on Amazon – http://amzn.to/1yrXi9K

Barbara Christensen VlogCast I Paleo Vegeo I Vacation Post, Vegan Creatine and Brain Shrinkage Diseases

Barbara Christensen VlogCast Vacation Post

So while I’m enjoying the holiday with family I wanted to share more “genetic” intriging information for all of you to enjoy.

Vegan Creatine and Brain Shrinkage Diseases

I found an amazing Vegan source of creatine! I’m so excited. And remember that creatine isn’t just important for those trying to build muscles. Dr. Terry Wahls, who’ve I’m enjoying listening to on TED today, believes that creatine and carnitine are 2 extremely important nutrients for healing the mitochondria. The data suggest that creatine may enhance survival signaling via activation of the Ras/NF-kappaB system. MS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, MS… all have the similar brain shrinkage which Dr. Wahls believes is linked to poorly functioning mitochondria.

Dr. Wahls said she first started to see changes in her own medical condition after adding omega-3 fats, creatine and Coenzyme Q10 into her daily routine. She then changed her diet to include the building blocks of nutrition which for her she determined were roots, seeds, nuts, oily fish, grass-fed meats, organ meats and natural iodine from sea weeds.

I love seaweed and those sea vegetables I often get from the Emerald Sea supplement because it has been tested heavy metal and toxin free which is so important. Seaweed is great for iodine because of the use in our myelin repair. Myelin is a fatty substance that forms a sheath for nerve fibers According to an amazing naturopathic physician, Dr. Linda Page, all neurological disorders must be comprehensively addressed, and so I agree because when you add into the issues things like the severe copper deficiency in MS, and we’ve talked recently about copper and dopamine, etc, then you can’t just say you have a genetic defect and leave it at that because it comes back to the nutrition. Genetics and nutrition, and nutrition and genetics. I still believe that our answers have to start with the questions there. In MS, T cells from the body’s immune system attack and destroy the myelin sheath and leave the nerve cell fibers unprotected. The reason the iodine is important to the myelin sheath has to do with it’s role in our synthesis of the thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help your cells activate genes which triggers the production of specific proteins. One of those proteins is the myelin basic protein (MBP) which is an essential component of the myelin sheath. Something interesting for those with Hashimoto’s to consider as well.

Now Dr. Wahl also ate 9 cups of non-starchy vegetables and berries each day. For her 3 cups of that were greens, and 3 cups were sulphur-containing vegetables –  kale, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garlic, onions, chives, leeks, mushrooms, asparagus, and colorful vegetables. She believed anything inflammatory and processed must be removed – so no sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, allergens, dairy (including raw dairy), grains, or legumes, including soy beans.  Sound familiar? Dairy, grains and legumes, especially, are implicated in auto-immune reactions which is what brings many of us to both veganism and paleolithic diets.

Yet Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurologist, has suggested that while “no one has adequately tested a specific diet and mix of supplements as a treatment for Huntington’s, based on the best scientific evidence it makes sense to follow a mostly vegetarian diet, avoid fluoride and mercury-containing seafoods, foods containing omega-6 (vegetable oils), and high-sugar foods and drinks.”

I personally have to wonder, was it the bioactive iron and amino acids that she was getting from the grass-fed and organ meats  just something she was greatly lacking due to her genetic makeup and perhaps digestive issues?

I would be personally worried about offering up too much meat to anyone with Huntington’s not knowing enough about the proteins, but of course I am not a doctor or dietitian. But just like what I’ve talked about with MTHFR defects and our genetics being a key to what we should be eating and supplementing with, those with Huntington’s have the HTT genetic defect. John Hopkins has been doing some amino acid based clinical studies that seem to point in this direction. Interesting read over here.

Also think about the fact that the oily fish would have contained a combination of algae DHA combined with the omega3’s. And what a great combination for both detox support and brain health, right?

Barbara Christensen VlogCast I Paleo Vegeo I Vacation Post, Vegan Creatine and Brain Shrinkage DiseasesNow also going into paleo she would have then removed the gluten (specifically wheat) proteins. As I’ve read about the HD patient in S. California who was a member of a local CrossFit Gym, and who had been diagnosed with HD by a group of University neurologists employing MRI technology to detect the characteristic brain lesions. After approximately 8 months following adoption of a Paleo Diet (Gliadin free), she experienced a dramatic reduction in disease symptoms and subsequent MRI evaluation indicated a reduction in lesion volume. My uncle has celiac and so he is living Gliadin free and is quite healthy even though he is almost 90 years old, which is really quite an interesting bit I’d love to study more one day.

Dr. Wahl also recommended for diet to eat organic, free-range, antibiotic-free eggs (if tolerated), because they contain choline – which together with inositol – is critical for myelin sheath repair. I’ve discussed myelin sheath repair on my blog a long time ago in connection with curcumin extract. Turmeric is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory as you know. So when it comes to these sorts of nuero diseases, curcumin has been seen as a way to free up the traffic in your nerves and repair that myelin sheath damage. In fact they have found MS to be very rare in India where Turmeric is a part of the daily nutrition.

Back to choline, however, your collard greens, swiss chard and cauliflower, sesame and those beloved flax seeds all contain lessor levels of choline and if you are eating the 3 cups were sulphur-containing vegetables daily you would imagine you are getting enough choline. Also grapefruits, oranges, mandarin oranges, cantaloupe, rutabaga, blackberries, artichokes all have great amounts of inositol. So I don’t think that it really comes down to the meat and that is why we are seeing vegan paleo as being so healthy. Just making sure you are getting those highly bioavaiable nutrients that you need daily is what is important, not the specific food product.

I want to emphasize that I am not a doctor, and I can’t provide personal medical advice. Any decisions about treatment of a disease or symptoms from an illness should be pursued in consultation with your primary physician.Consider this some useful items to discuss at your next appointment if you are looking to dramatically change your diet.

Eating a Modified Paleo Diet Or Suffering From a GI Disorder Could Cause You Zinc Deficiencies

Those Eating a Modified Paleo Diet Or Suffering From a GI Disorder Could Be Zinc Deficient

You are vegan or vegetarian and you don’t eat grains or meat…. could be that you are zinc deficient. People at risk of zinc deficiency or inadequacy need to include good sources of zinc in their daily diets. Supplemental zinc might also be appropriate in certain situations.  Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in almost every cell!!

Eating a Modified Paleo Diet Or Suffering From a GI Disorder Could Cause You Zinc Deficiencies I Paleo Vegeo I Barbara ChristensenThose with GI issues, or who have had GI surgery or IBD, UC, Chrohn’s disease, etc, can see a decreased zinc absorption and increase endogenous zinc losses primarily from the gastrointestinal tract and, to a lesser extent, from the kidney

Vegans and vegetarians get zinc through plants, and the bioavailability of zinc from vegetarian diets is lower than from non-vegetarian diets because  of this. Meat is high in bioavailable zinc and may enhance zinc absorption. Legumes and whole grains, which contain phytates that bind zinc and inhibit its absorption, so if you are vegan or vegetarian then that lends a better reason for why you may be looking at the paleo diet. For those that still use some grains, legumes or other iffy foods, you really need to make certain that you reduce the binding of zinc by phytates and increase its bioavailability through soaking beans, grains, and seeds in water for several hours before cooking them and allowing them to sit after soaking until sprouts form. I found this really great soaking and sprouting image that I think many of us could use from Vidya Cleanse – here on Facebook. Unless you consume reasonable quantities of assorted soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds and raw peas, mushrooms and broccoli your diet most likely contains inadequate zinc levels. Soybeans have the highest levels of phytic acid of any legume and this chelates (binds with) zinc and makes it unable to be absorbed, one more reason to dump the soy from your life completely.

There is a fact that obese individuals have low zinc and poor leptin regulation. This decrease in zinc leads to a leptin issue that can cause the body to build more ‘fat body mass’ as opposed to lean body mass. And zinc deficiency has been linked to various chronic ailments including infertility. Zinc deficiency also inhibits TSH release in the anterior hypophysis and brings about a decrease in thyroid hormone levels and is involved in the structure of 1,5-deiodinase enzyme which transforms T4 to T3. If you have any sort of thyroid and infertility struggles you know what all of that means to your health. For men a little zinc supplements may actually help raise your testosterone levels, as will adding in that all needed weight training.

I can tell you that from all of my research I’ve seen that both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics tend to be deficient in zinc. Zinc deficiency affects the ability of the pancreatic beta cells to respond to the body’s call to produce and secrete insulin. If that cute little pancreas does not produce and secrete enough insulin , your levels of glucose in the blood stay high.

Zinc is required for the synthesis of serotonin, which stimulates the sensation of satiety and reduces food intake. Now dopamine activation decreases food intake and high-dose zinc administration was shown to inhibit the binding of dopamine to D 1 and D 2 receptors, which are important in dopamine’s food intake-inhibiting effect. So you need to make sure you do not take too much zinc if you find to be deficient.

And guess what, zinc is known as a copper ‘antagonist’ or ‘competitor’… so low zinc almost always means high copper. So you need one to balance the other. Zinc has a big impact on our other nutrients. In fact, zinc deficiency is thought to interfere with vitamin A metabolism, and vitamin A deficiency may exacerbate iron-deficiency anemia. Makes me wonder what my daughter’s real internal issues are because she eats meat, but has been tested low iron. Could it be that she is not absorbing zinc, among other nutrients, and that it’s just this cascading waterfall of issues? I also have low iron, and a condition called xerophthalmia (dry eye), which can be caused by low vitamin A….ah the brain is spinning thinking about all of this.

Now keep in mind that thiazide diuretics such as chlorthalidone (Hygroton®) and hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix® and HydroDIURIL®) increase urinary zinc excretion by as much as 60%, and antibiotics and zinc supplements should be taken four hours apart. So don’t just go starting supplementation without talking to your doctor and/or pharmacist.

You can try the Optimal Zinc Lozenge (http://bit.ly/OptimalZinc) for supplementation because it’s a really good bioavailable supplement, and is good dosage that can be cut in half for a lower dosage as well. It is free of magnesium stearate, milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat/gluten, corn, yeast and soybeans and contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

An adult needs 40 mg of zinc a day, and if you think about the fact that you’re only getting about 1 mg in an oz of almonds. Here’s an article with vegan zinc sources which may give you an idea on why so many of us are zinc deficient. http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/zinc Unfortunately zinc is hard to test for… so good luck to us all. 😉