Posted by: seattledizzygroup | February 6, 2014

Nutrition Fundamentals

Marley Braun food photo from blog

Nutrition Fundamentals

by Marley Braun, MS, RD, CD

Founder of Beauty Brains & Braun Nutrition

(Presented to Seattle Dizzy Group on 11/03/12)

Learn about the benefits of whole foods, ideas for easy nutritious meals, and tips on supplement use.

Health Implications

Chronic Disease

Predispositions for certain diseases may be inherited.  The presence (or lack) of nutrients in the diet can act like a switch – preventing or promoting gene expression.  (Nian et al., 2009)

Aging & Neurology

High fat & sugar/glycemic index diet led to increases in biomarkers – beta amyloid proteins in the brain – and cognitive impairments characteristic of dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease.  (Craft et al., 2011)


Processed foods increased anxiety, while better quality diets were associated with less depression.  (Jacka et al., 2011)


Caffeine & alcohol may impair mechanisms in the inner ear that maintain balance.  (Brookler et al., 1995)

Migraines & Vertigo

Elimination of foods and additives substantially improved symptoms.  (Johnson, 1998)

Diet & Nutrition Tips

Minimize Processed Food/Packaging

•  Adulterated to increase shelf life

•  High in fat, salt, and sugar

• Articial flavors/colors to increase consumption (“The Flavorists” 60 Minutes)

•  Obesogens:  BPA, High Fructose Corn Syrup, pesticides, PFOA (“What’s Making Us Fat” The Atlantic)

Focus on Real Food

•  One ingredient – itself

•  Minimally processed – resembles how it was grown or raised

•  General Rule:  Less than 5 ingredients

•  Ingredients are pronounceable & identifiable

Load up on Vegetables

•  7-10 servings recommended (serving = 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked)

•  Whole form provides increased fiber

•  Aim for variety – colors have different roles:  red heart health, orange/yellow – eyesight, white –immune system, blue/purple & green – cancer prevention

Choose Whole Grains Over Refined

Whole wheat flour is refined into allpurpose flour and brown rice is polished into white rice.

Refining removes fiber and nutrients as well as fat – preventing rancidity (so store whole grains in the freezer!).

Complex Carbohydrates

•  Whole grains, nuts & seeds, vegetables

•  Digested slowly

•  Provides sustained energy

Refined Carbohydrates

•  Pastries, anything made with white flour, candy, pasta, soda, alcohol

•  Digested quickly

•  Provides surge of energy & then crash later

Know Your Fats

Fat makes up 2/3 of the human brain & promotes cell communication.

Trans fats = hard, stiff cells, impaired brain function (they also decrease HDL & increase LDL).

A product that has LESS THAN 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can advertise “No Trans Fats” & 0.0 grams.

Check the ingredient list for “hydrogenated” – this means the product has TRANS FATS.

Healthy fats:

•  Positively affect lipids (for example, raise HDL)

•  Promote emotional balance (ω3)

•  Are not oxidized (left out to go rancid or heated at too high of a temperature)

Sources: avocado, olives, coconut, cold-water fatty fish, flax seed, walnuts, olive oil

Don’t Forget Protein

•  Supports stable mood & promotes satiety

•  At breakfast, it prevents overeating later in the day

•  Go for leaner cuts:  poultry, pork, salmon, beef – flant steak, tenderloin, sirloin, round roast

•  Make use of vegetarian sources:  nuts & nut butters, beans, quinoa

Breakfast: It’s the most important meal – why?

Cells receive important information from food and fasting (overnight) or starving (prolonged fasting):

•  Increase the hormone called cortisol, which leads to STRESS

•  Increase the body’s insulin response, which leads to FAT STORAGE

Research suggests that people who skip breakfast are overweight, stressed out, lack energy & have poor sleep.

A balanced breakfast reduced total amount of food eaten in a day, decreased snacking & increased metabolism.

Balance Blood Sugar

Balanced meals (refer to Healthy Eating Plate below)

Eat at regular intervals – every 3-4 hours – don’t skip meals

Reduce overall sugar & refined CHO intake

Choose foods that have “no added sugar”

Drink water, not soda and stop juice abuse

Is Diet Soda OK?  1 diet soda/day increases likeliness of having a vascular event by 43% (Gardener et al., 2012); Calorie free items confuse the brain into craving more sugar (Senay et al., 2009); Potentially damages gut flora (Pepino & Bourne, 2011).

Marley Braun presentation Healthy Eating Plate

Sleep, Hormones & Weight Management

Low–calorie diet with restricted sleep (5.5 hours) resulted in 55% less fat loss and more hunger than low-calorie diet with sufficient sleep (8.5 hours).  (Nedeltcheva et al., 2010)

Sleep deprivation:

•  Lowers leptin, a hormone released from fat cells that signals the brain to turn off hunger; this influences thyroid function, reducing metabolism

•  Increases ghelin, a hormone produced by the stomach lining that stimulates appetite

•  Increases cortisol, increasing carbohydrate/sugar craving and upsetting insulin production, which can promote weight gain

Quick & Healthy Meals

Shop and prepare meals for the week on days you are feeling good and you have time – make a large pot of oatmeal, brown rice or quinoa, pre-cook meat, wash & cut vegetables and make soup, stew, meatloaf and casseroles.

Use a crock pot or slow cooker to cook meat and vegetables to develop flavor without hassle.

Try frozen entrees – they prevent overeating because they provide a boundary – they tend to be high in sodium and fat so check labels – Amy’s is one of the better brands.

Meal Ideas


Real food is the best way to reach your nutrition goals, but sometimes a little extra help is needed. These supplements may be beneficial for some individuals:

Vitamin D3 promotes bone health

Fish Oil – may promote heart health and emotional balance

Probiotics – may improve digestion, enhance immunity & promote weight management

Digestive Enzymes – facilitate absorption of macro and micronutrients

Save money on supplements & other health/wellness products

Marley offers her patients and friends a 10% discount at Emerson Ecologics on any and all orders.  Visit & click on LINKS.  Click on the logo and enter patient access code diet4u and postal code 98107 for access.

Download Presentation PDF (includes additional graphics):

(Join the Seattle Dizzy Group closed/secret Facebook group to download the presentation.  Send us your email address for invitation to join our Facebook group).

Marley Braun picture

Marley Braun, MS, RD, CD

of Beauty Brains & Braun Nutrition

Registered Dietitian, Marley Braun, obtained a Master of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and completed dietetic rotations through Sea Mar Community Health Centers, where she counseled patients with conditions including irritable bowel disease, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer and metabolic syndrome. Marley founded Beauty Brains & Braun Nutrition, where she promotes overall health and wellness with natural whole foods, culinary techniques and mindful eating.



Facebook Page:


Pesto & Zucchini Pasta Photo from: 


Presentation information is not meant to be taken as medical advice.

Presentations posted online may include discussion notes, links, and other information added by Seattle Dizzy Group.

Download Presentation Handout PDF (original without notes):

(Join the Seattle Dizzy Group closed/secret Facebook group to download the presentation.  Send us your email address for invitation to join our Facebook group).



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