The KB Wellness Blog

Delve into our KBW Blog, offering expert insights from your trusted Integrative Nutritionist Kristen on gut health, mold toxins, and more. Discover transformative tips, in-depth articles, and a wealth of resources for achieving holistic well-being.

KBW | Are Foods With MSG Bad For You?

What is MSG? 

MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. Glutamate is actually an amino acid naturally present in the body, but MSG is a man-made chemical compound designed to give food an umami flavor. 


Is MSG Dangerous?

Some of the negative symptoms of MSG ingestion that have been reported are: Hives, rashes, irritability, seizures, forgetfulness with simple words, mood swings, achy joints, pain, headaches, and migraines have been associated with MSG consumption. 


So what does the science say? 

flasks and test tubes

We know that MSG acts on the glutamate receptors in the brain and releases neurotransmitters that play a vital role in normal physiological as well as pathological processes. Glutamate receptors have receptor types that are present across the central nervous system. They are especially numerous in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala, where they control autonomic and metabolic activities. 

Now here’s the deal: Results from both animal and human...

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KBW | My Top 5 Foods That Fight Inflammation Naturally

Do you have stiff joints, muscle pain, soreness, headaches, or migraines? These are all signs of inflammation in the body. Read on to check out my top 5 anti-inflammatory foods you can add to your diet to help fight inflammation naturally. 

 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

#1: Fatty fish

Fatty fish are a great source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Your body metabolizes these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which have anti-inflammatory effects. EPA and DHA reduce inflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. In fact, studies have found that people consuming salmon or EPA and DHA supplements experienced reductions in the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). (Setty et al., 2019) 

 How to increase your Omega 3’s: 

Although all types of fish contain some omega-3 fatty acids, these fatty fish are among the best sources:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • herring
  • mackerel
  • anchovy
  • ...
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KBW | Castor Oil Packs for Liver, Detox, and More!

What are castor oil packs?

Castor oil packs involve saturating a cloth with castor oil and placing it over the area intended to treat with the addition of heat to help drive the oil deeper into the skin. Castor oil is a very thick high molecular density vegetable oil that’s been used for centuries as a natural home remedy for a huge variety of ailments because it can work on so many different systems of the body, from the immune system to the lymphatic to the liver and more. Castor oil has the ability to penetrate through all the layers of the skin so it can come into contact with the organs you are trying to target. 

castor oil packs


Benefits of castor oil packs

Castor oil packs are one of the most versatile home remedies you can have. Here are some of the different ways castor oil packs have been used: 

 1. Liver health

  • Castor oil has been used to help reduce the incidence of fatty liver (or NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), to lower elevated liver enzymes...
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KBW | Do You Know How to Test for Mold in Your Body and Your Home?

 Mold is more prevalent than you may think

 It’s estimated that over 50% of the buildings in the US have mold. Yet it’s often “hidden,” inside of walls, under the rooftop, so you can’t see it... but it can still make you sick. 

I have an entire Youtube Playlist worth of videos on Mold! Use this link to begin watching.

 Symptoms Caused By Mold

woman blowing her nose

Some common symptoms of mold illness are chronic sinus infections, eczema, asthma, chronic upper respiratory infections, suppressed immune system, extreme fatigue, headaches, migraines, pain in the head and behind your eyes, and allergies.  

This is often misdiagnosed by physicians and missed by home inspectors, and sadly there are a lot of people out there that are sick because of this. So let’s discuss what to do about it. 

 The difference between indoor and outdoor mold 

There are many different types of molds. We can put them into two broad categories, outdoor mold...

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KBW | What Causes Brain Fog

I bet you’ve been told your brain fog and fatigue are normal. Instead of telling you what causes brain fog and fatigue and how to fix it, you’re told it’s fine. Maybe you’re a mom, and you’ve been told it’s “mom-brain,” or maybe you're 40 or over, and you’re told it’s “aging.” 


Guess what? It’s not normal.

None of this is normal. You should not have brain fog or fatigue. You should be able to finish your sentence, every single time. You should know where you last put your keys, easily. You should be able to follow your child’s entire line of thought, no matter how all over the place it may be. If not, there is something wrong with your brain. 

 Usually, it’s a sign of inflammation in the brain. But what causes this inflammation?

 7 Common Causes of Brain Fog

Reason #1 for brain fog: Mold. 

 mold growing in a corner

50% of buildings in the world are water damaged, and 25% of the...

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KBW | Healthy Holiday Eating

Do you have health goals or weight goals you want to maintain during the holidays? Do you want to avoid holiday weight gain WITHOUT feeling deprived?  

It can be really tough to do if you don’t have a plan, but with a few simple tips and tricks, you can breeze through the holidays and maintain your health goals WITHOUT feeling deprived.  

 The Mindset Shift

family eating a holiday meal at the table

My goal around the holidays is to enjoy the friends and family I’m around and enjoy the food, but to do it in a way that makes me feel good...and overeating until I feel like I’m going to throw up and feeling so bloated I can’t button my pants, does NOT make me feel good, and I’m guessing it doesn’t make you feel good either. So let’s flip the script for a minute. It’s easy to get so focused on what we can eat and what we can’t eat that we completely lose track of what’s most important: family, friends, and connections. Going into the holidays...

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KBW | How to Avoid That Afternoon Slump

Far too many people get a complete energy crash in the middle of the day, and this is terrible because this is when we all need to have our best energy! The good news is there are ways to avoid this mid-day crash, and I’m going to share them with you here, but make sure you read all the way to the end because there might be a few surprises in here!  

The blood sugar roller coaster 

roller coaster ride

One of the biggest keys to avoiding a mid-day slump is going to be what you eat. If you are putting the right types of balanced meals together, you’re going to be able to have sustained energy without any crashes.  

To have balanced blood sugar, you need to make sure your carbohydrate load isn’t too high at any given meal or snack. If you have a meal that’s pure carbs (think a giant bowl of oatmeal with bananas, donuts, or bagels) without any fat or protein to slow that absorption, it’s just going to spike your blood sugar really high, which is then...

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KBW | How to Start Your Day Off Right

We’ve all had days where it feels like we woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and then the whole day goes downhill from there. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

There are a few simple things I do each day to start the day off RIGHT and avoid one of those days where everything seems to go wrong.

 Tips for Starting Your Day Right 

STEP ONE: when you wake up, don’t go straight to your phone.  

Going straight to your phone will elevate your cortisol (the stress hormone) right out of the gate. 

I put my phone in airplane mode when I go to sleep at night, and I don’t turn it back on until I’m ready to deal with my day!  

woman looking at her phone in the bed



I like to drink a Keto coffee because it gives me nice steady energy with no crash and lets me stay in fat-burning mode too. Click here for my full recipe! 

If it’s not too cold out, I like to take my coffee outside and get some fresh air and...

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KBW | How To Relieve Constipation Naturally

If you are not going to the bathroom between one and three times a day every single day, you are constipated.

And if your stool is not easy to pass and passes in one soft piece, you are constipated. And if you’re’re not going to be able to eliminate the waste products you need to eliminate to stay healthy.  

This failure to properly eliminate waste products can result in estrogen dominance, colon cancer, high toxic body burden, and more. So fixing your constipation is an important first step towards improving your health! 

7 Tips to Help You Relieve Constipation Naturally  

#1 Magnesium

magnesium-rich foods

Magnesium is an enzymatic cofactor to over 300 reactions in the body and has been shown to help relieve anxiety, relax your muscles, help you poop, and so much more! The main mechanism of action for magnesium’s constipation-relieving properties is its osmotic effect. What that means is that it draws water into the stool, which allows it...

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KBW | Kristen’s Favorite Things - Holiday Edition

To say 2020 has been rough is an understatement, so let’s get cheery for a min, k? 

I love to give gifts and I bet you do too. 

But here’s the deal….. 


Choosing Purposeful Holiday Gifts

I LOVE gifting my friends and family with presents that will make their lives BETTER and enrich them in some way. I don’t love the idea of buying something random...just because you saw it while you were wandering through the mall. I like my gifts to feel PURPOSEFUL! 

 One year some family members were doing Paleo for the first time, so I got them a subscription box to Paleo foods that delivered cool new Paleo eats every single month. 

Another year I got everyone I love Beauty Counter makeup and skincare (yup, hubby included - they have a men’s line!) so they could STOP slathering toxic chemicals all over themselves every day and improve their health and wellness. Then there are teachers' gifts. I usually do fancy essential oil...

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