Meet Karlene Karst

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My Story

As a nutritionist, I have seen many concepts about food and nutrition come and go. Above all, fats have been the most misunderstood, criticized, and challenged. When I was studying nutrition in the mid-1990s, fat was evil: saturated fat caused heart disease, coconut oil would increase your cholesterol, and butter would clog your arteries. As a young, and inexperienced student of nutrition, I followed this diet trend quite seriously, eating low-fat or fat-free everything, but instead a plethora of carbohydrates; I can honestly say I was never more unhealthy than I was at that time in my life.

In my early twenties I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called mixed connective tissue disease that presents as a combination of lupus-like and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, which left me fatigued and feeling pretty awful. The rheumatologist’s prescription was a drug called Plaquenil, and I spent more time visiting specialists in an effort to be proactive and avoid all the negative side-effects from the drug, such as lung, kidney, and vision problems.I was also an avid Advil user, but the side effects are varied and can be quite serious.

The gift from the pain was that my autoimmune disease led me down a phenomenal path of healing with nature and food. I started to research natural anti-inflammatory ingredients and came across some amazing research on borage oil, which is rich in GLA, an anti-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid.

This was the first dietary supplement I ever used, and almost fifteen years later, I am still using it daily. I also include 3,000 mg of omega-3 from Sea-licious fish oil, probiotics, vitamin D, B vitamins, curcumin, and greens. All of these nutrients, along with regular physical activity, have greatly helped manage the pain and inflammation that comes with an autoimmune disease, not to mention numerous other benefits for my skin, hair, nails, and hormones.

My journey has also been one of many food and lifestyle changes over the years, from decreasing sugar in my diet and focusing on more fiber and whole foods to increasing protein and omega-3s from fish. I believe all of these changes together allow me to be the person of health that I am today.

I have experience firsthand, what an incredible turn around in healing, my body experienced as a result of incorporating healthy fats from fish and plant oils. My love for healthy omega oils has continued to grow and lead me to researching, studying, writing, formulating and developing Sea-licious and other omega oils.

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April 4, 2016

Omega-3s for your little one’s immune system

There are three groups of nutrients that are believed to be critical for the development of a healthy immune system in your baby. First of all, breast-feeding (albeit challenging at first, but so important) gives your baby valuable colostrum (especially during the first few days), which research proves is full of healthful antibodies needed by the…

April 3, 2016

Increase your “Happy Cholesterol”: HDL

Research shows that HDL cholesterol tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver for disposal. HDL acts like a bottom-feeder in a fish tank. It cleans off the walls of the blood vessels, thus removing excess LDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol because a high level of…

April 2, 2016

Nutrition Can help your Kids Stress Less

It is estimated that the rates of anxiety and depression in children have risen between five and seven times over the past 70 years. The world our children live in is vastly different from the one I lived in. As a mom, I want to protect my kids from all of it! As we know…

April 1, 2016

Big Food for Little Brains

As a dietitian, I naturally have a food-first approach to nutrition. I take great pleasure in preparing and eating home-cooked meals. I want to encourage and empower other people to experience the taste and nutritional satisfaction that come with eating healthy whole foods. But my food-first philosophy always hits a snag on the subject of…

March 31, 2016

Balancing Act: Be Good to Your Children and Good to You

Prior to having babies, I didn’t give too much thought to a flight attendant’s safety instructions. “Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting someone else,” you’re always told during the emergency demonstration. When I became a mother, however, I bristled at the idea. My first instinct would be to immediately help my children before helping…