Eat This: Q&A

One day a long time ago… ok about 12 years ago, a registered nutritionist first appeared on a local breakfast TV show, whizzing up homemade baby food live on air. It wasn’t a fluke to be there, it was a publicist who came up with the idea, pitched it and secured the spot. This publicist just so happened to have a beautiful baby boy, who was about to start eating solids, and his mom needed to learn how exactly to make healthy food for him. Hearing about these Mommy Chef cooking classes, she came through a friend of a friend who had attended my classes, and insisted that she join the other 7 moms and dads, who every week for six weeks would schlep down to a basement kitchen studio, and make batches of organic puree and take that stash home to the freezer every week. She wanted to feed him super tasty, freshly and lovingly made food while gaining confidence of how to do it all. Well, her son just turned 13 and is about 5′ 5″, excelling in school and is a really happy lad. 

Do you believe in synchronicity? That was my first one in business. A publicist was in my cooking class who had been let go from her job, and was looking for clients to represent and work with. I can still remember standing in the basement of my home, where I held 8 cooking classes a week, and agreed to be her first client. That was my first experience of a publicist, and wow did she help take what I was doing to the next level. Going from teaching in my basement, to becoming an expert on TV to start, to years later, writing my first book – that’s a story I’ll circle back to – then moving onto weekly radio segments for over 5 years. Pretty cool when I look back at all that. One day, I decided that I’d inquire about having my own radio show. I thought that if I could talk for half an hour on radio, I could share a lot more with an hour long show, right? Well that never came off, it wasn’t meant to be, but what did come from asking for that, was this podcast.  This EAT THIS with Lianne podcast, produced by my rock star and wizard producer Chris Kant. 

Maybe this is the first time that you’re tuning in, so welcome. If you’ve heard any of the past 32 episodes, then welcome back. I realize that yes, my bio says what I do, where I did my training and all that important background, I know that you hear Chris and I interacting every week, laughing hysterically and sometimes being very serious, but maybe you don’t know us… the people behind the podcast… What makes us tick, what got us here, and a whole bunch of fun stuff that could make you laugh out loud as you hear the answers to your questions that I have from you, our loyal listeners. I asked what you want to know about us, and if you have any specific nutrition related questions. 

So today on EAT THIS with Lianne, the A’s to your Q’s  – some of a more personal nature than our usual.

This episode is dedicated to you, but it’s a bit more about us. Relating to and knowing others on a deeper level, helps us to feel more connected. And while we are living this distanced life, we need more connection. I know I do. I often get stuck on making sure that I provide you with all the right tid-bits of information, what I want you to know about how you can make better choices, and realize that I all too often leave myself out of the equation. My thoughts, my feelings and my vulnerabilities. Of late, I’ve been working on being more open, sharing more of myself, not just the expert and information side of me, but me, the person. The woman, the mother, the person who does a really bad job of be-ing because I find myself constantly working because I think it’s what fuels my soul. I’m still in contemplation on picking that one apart. I’m a work in progress! 

Ok so let’s have some fun and get to some of these questions… 

“How do I know if my supplements are actually working?” Especially probiotics.

There are so many supplements out there and it’s hard to know what will show up in how you’re feeling. Let me run down a few… but I’ll say that there’s a lot going on in your body that you aren’t aware of. You don’t know when your arteries are blocked, you don’t know when a muscle is about to cramp because of the internal workings of your body and you don’t know when your stomach creates an ulcer. So the internal workings of your body aren’t always felt or make you aware of what’s going on. 

I’m going to tell you a bit about these vitamins and minerals and explain what you might feel from them as you take them. 


B vitamins – they are essential for energy; growth; a bunch of other functions in your body including healthy nerves, skin, hair, and eyes; as well as food digestion and metabolism. You’ll often see bright yellow or fluorescent pee when you take a multivitamin or a B complex and that comes from the B2. It’s normal. 

Vitamin C – well this one is the unsung hero of all the vitamins I think. Listen to all that it does… it’s a powerful antioxidant, helps to maintain your skin tissue, aids iron absorption and the use of folic acid, important in wound healing, provides immune support, builds healthy bones and teeth, promotes collagen production, supports artery repair, and reduces cholesterol levels. So for pretty much everything you need to take this every day. Especially now. This is a water soluble vitamin like B vitamins, so when you take it, it does what it can then you pee out the rest. Take too much and you can get loose stools or diarrhea. 

Vitamin D has to be assessed by a blood test and some of my colleagues say that it’s one of the tests that don’t really show up deficiencies. So because of all that it supports, take it daily too. It’s fat soluble so you can take it twice a week at a higher dose if you don’t remember to take it daily. 

Iron is one that you need to have a blood test to see your levels. It’s needed for healthy red blood cells (hemoglobin production), energy, good mood, attention, high IQ, and proper immune function, so it’s something that you don’t want to be deficient in. Some people don’t absorb it well, so need to have regular checks. If you have a situation of anemia, then you need to supplement and I usually recommend adding in a tissue salt called Ferrum Phos to get your levels up faster. Ferrum Phos can be taken without a blood test so I recommend it to many new parents for their babies. 


When it comes to minerals, it can be a bit different. Tests that you can have done would show a lack of calcium for instance, but that would also show as low bone density and issues with your heart. Or if there’s too much calcium that can show up as kidney or gallbladder stones, for instance. The way that I look at something like this is that you need the co-factors to absorb calcium like magnesium, vitamin D and K. So while you don’t know that it’s working you know when it’s not. 

You know when you have enough magnesium because your muscles are happy, not crampy or hurt, you sleep well, the stress you’re under isn’t crippling you and you have energy. Not that it’s all to do with magnesium, but again these are signs that even if you’re taking it, it maybe a form that’s not absorbable and/or you’re not taking enough. 


As for probiotics, I’d like to see symptoms like gassiness, smelly farts, stinking up the bathroom after a bowel movement, diarrhea, constipation, IBS, general discomfort, oh and you suffer with athletes foot, yeast infections, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, colds, flus, and the plethora of mental health issues like depression, well they improve. Even if it’s a bit. All of these symptoms can be connected to your microbiome not being strong enough, colonized with enough good bacteria. You’ll know if they are working in most cases, not all when you don’t notice any of these anymore. And know that there’s more research and connection made to the microbiome all the time. So things like allergies, hives, eczema, and asthma are also connected to the microbiome. 

Probiotics are fascinating to me, always have been. Taking a probiotic is my number one recommendation no matter the age. I’ll recommend my Bio Boost 99% of the time, and then sometimes there are other strains that are needed. It’s complex but what I want to see is improvement. Sure you can have a stool analysis done to know more, you can have other tests to know, but that’s only after your symptoms don’t change. 

Andi Huntley is from the UK and their recommendation for daily intake of fruit and veg is 7 portions. What is a portion? 

According to an NHS paper, a portion is 3 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as carrots, peas or sweetcorn, or 8 cauliflower florets. Now I don’t find that so and pretty general so I’m not surprised about the question. Another source said an 80g weight of fruit or vegetable is a portion. 

Australia gets into cups with ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin) ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt) 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables. ½ cup sweet corn. 

In Canada, the heart and stroke foundation says similar ½ cup of fresh frozen or canned vegetables • ½ cup cooked leafy vegetables • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables • 1 fruit (banana, apple, orange) • ½ cup frozen or canned fruit • ½ cup 100% juice which I totally disagree with. 

Valerie: When is the best time to take different supplements/vitamins, and why? Also, are there some supplements/vitamins which should not be taken together, close to food, with food….?

Some need food and some don’t. Sometimes when you take your morning vitamins, and haven’t eaten enough, then you can end up feeling nauseous. 

Vitamins that may be better when taken in the morning because they give you more energy:

  • Certain B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D

Vitamins and supplements that may be better when taken in the evening, close to bedtime, include:

  • Magnesium, calcium which are both calming minerals. 

Vitamin B-3 (niacin) because it may help you fall asleep easier. Anecdotal evidence indicates that taking a high dose helps some people fall asleep more easily.

Some vitamins need food in your belly to best absorb them. Like fish oils or omegas are best taken with food because your digestive enzymes need to be present, and lipase will be there when you eat food, especially fat. So vitamin A, D E and K are all fat soluble. My Sunshine D3 K2 is a liposome spray so it absorbs more in the mouth, which is why I prefer it, not relying on when people have eaten. 

Most probiotics are best taken with food, but it depends on the strain. 

Also worth noting…. There is a huge synergy to vitamins and minerals for instance, both copper and zinc are imperative for optimal immune health, including internal and external healing. They work closely together to improve scar and wound elasticity and resistance. But, zinc can interfere with copper absorption. Furthermore, high supplemental doses of zinc (≥ 50 mg/d) over the long term can cause copper deficiency. Although uncommon, copper deficiency isn’t good and so they need to be in balance.

Andi again with a great question… What are your top 5 highest protein foods?

Meat, like a whole chicken leg is the best of all poultry,  fish and tuna in particular, eggs,  dairy and cottage cheese being the best. Tempeh is higher than tofu and ricotta cheese is the highest of all dairy. 

I promised you one last story about how my first book came together so I don’t want to leave that out. I was approached by my managing editor at Penguin…. 

(Tune into the podcast for this story!)

So there you have it folks, the A’s to your Q’s. I loved doing this episode and hope that you enjoyed it too. Reach out with your Q’s and maybe we will do this again. 

Take the info, let it land, and of course EAT THIS one mouthful at a time.

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