Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Fifteen year olds don't have the the same drive as an adult may have when learning a certain type of food is what ails them. Of course, many adults would rather deal with the pain and disease than give up bread, cheese or ice cream...as examples. It is tough for sure!
During this teenage effort in going gluten free, he asked for recipes so he could have some tasty alternatives. (Did I mention this boy bakes, cooks, and cleans... and reads his bible every day? Just saying...he has no intentions of getting married. He IS fifteen - plenty of time for that 10 years from now.) Kyle baked up some delicious muffins from a recipe I downloaded from www.nourishingmeals.com - I tweaked the recipe just a little, to make them a bit more clean in regards to sugars.
We absolutely loved the baked results...so much so that I decided to order a silicone muffin pan as our old, and very little used rusty pan should be retired. For the sake of the environment we don't want to buy paper liners each time Kyle wants to make muffins. The recipe is so simple and quick I suspect, and hope!, he will be baking these often.
For your delight...enjoy this recipe. The texture and flavor of these muffins is best once they have completely cooled. Whole LIfe Nutrition recommends serving with a dollop of honey, but I don't find it necessary. Since we do not have a large food processor, we found that pulsing the ingredients in our Ninja Professional blender worked well.
Paleo Friendly Almond Banana Muffins
1 cup organic roasted almond butter
4 large organic eggs
2 medium ripe bananas
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 tablespoons coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners, or use a preseasoned silicone muffin pan.
Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade and process until smooth. Scoop batter into muffin cups.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Eating healthy does not mean you must live a life of food goodness deprevation. It is about learning to make choices that improve your body's movement and physical well being. And yes, it may require a few experiments in the kitchen ....as an example, as I finish up this post I am enjoying a piece of almond cake made with almond flour (my very favorite gluten free flour), eggs and raw stevia. It's good, but not perfected. I will be tweaking and sharing that as well in the future.
My wish for you is that you feel great, look great and live great!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
"Our genes load the gun; lifestyle pulls the trigger."How true! Many of us may be pre-disposed to this or that, but that doesn't mean we accept it as a deck of cards dealt to us. It is how we play the game that, in the end, determines who wins - our health or not.
Our 15 year old has been dealing with sinus issues. His allergies have been pretty non existent for the past couple years since we started him on a high quality, pure and artificial free vegan vitamin supplement. We also made some eating changes, or perhaps better said, a lot. Speaking of lots, type II diabetes could be mine. Both parents, a brother borderline, and I was about there myself. But I made the decision change the game, change my lifestyle and product choices and bring it under control. No smoking gun here!
In the fall a doctor informed our son his nasal cavity is inflamed (as his mother said) and that allergies/pollen were particularly bad because of the drought. Well, now it is winter, so what's the excuse. Not pollen! I had mentioned two things that are likely inflaming his passageways, that being dairy and gluten. Indeed, as soon as our son finishes a bowl of ice cream he notices his sinuses worsen. Not surprising, but not bothersome enough for him to give it up.
But now it's a couple months later and he is getting tired of sinus issues. Some people eating clean have said that their sinuses cleared up while on the 30 day detox program. I don't expect a 15 yr old boy to give up the top 7 allergen foods at once, but he did decide to give up gluten this past weekend. Thus more time that I have spent in the kitchen experimenting with gluten free baked foods.
One food we had given up some time back is oatmeal. It's one of those foods that we, as a general public, have been made to believe is a healthy choice. Most oatmeal, unless specified, contains gluten. Also, most oatmeals are heavily refined and processed. Per Dr. Russell Blaylock one of the greatest deceptions in "healthy eating" is the consumption of Quaker Oatmeal - after all, it is endorsed by the American Heart Association so it must be good, right? If you can cook it in 5 minutes - leave it at the store. Processed and refined foods contribute to high cholesterol. That's the bottom line -although it may be a better choice than "heart healthy" Cheerios. If you want to eat oatmeal for breakfast, buy organic, gluten-free rolled oats and DON'T cook it in the microwave.
Recently I thought about all the money we save as a family when we don't buy the processed cereals, which are expensive! Eating healthy costs much less.
Likely worthy of its very own post - microwaving foods. Microwaves change the molecular structure of foods and we are basically consuming "franken-foods" when nuked. I am actually surprised when someone buys organic and then they microwave their food. Seems like it is equivalent to throwing away money, in my opinion. At work I have no other choice, which is why I prefer salads. But I did take leftover turkey chili the other day and it is not something I can eat cold. I cringe when I have to nuke my lunch, and of course stand back or leave the room so I am not exposed to the leaking emissions.
Back to gluten free...I know when I am eating a GF lifestyle my joints no longer ache or make noise. Gluten is very very inflammatory. I can't help but wonder if we could avoid all the hip and knee surgeries in this country if we simply became a gluten free nation. (gasp!!)
It will be interesting to see if this testing of the gluten free waters will help alleviate Kyle's sinus problems, which by the way, does run in my family. He is predisposed...poor young man. He had increased his bread intake considerably, hence pulling the trigger, since I had gone gluten free on January 2. He figured he had to eat my share of whole grain goodness. Subsequently, the sinuses worsened. I will be sure to share if this gluten free living choice helps him or not.
Fortunately for my family, we use skin care and hygiene products that are made with zero gluten...not even a trace. I wonder how many Celiacs realize, or don't, that many lotions, hair care products, and more contain wheat glutens....
In the meantime, keep on checking back for more gluten-free recipe ideas. And I would love to give credit to that quote starting this post today...but unfortunately I don't recall the author. It wasn't me, although I find it very inspiring in helping me make healthy choices.
May you feel great, look great and live great!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I made two changes to the original recipe, which originates from my favorite detox friendly recipe site: www.NourishingMeals.com I used plain almond milk and we didn't have applesauce. I don;t recall that I substituted additional moisture for the missing applesauce, but perhaps I did add a squirt of water. I will pay more attention next time. I also used agave nectar - 1T. in place of the high glycemic maple syrup.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Have I mentioned how bad my heartburn used to be? Gave up milk, cut back on gluten - used Arbonne Digestion Plus (formulated with probiotics, prebiotics and ELEVEN digestive enzymes that our bodies cannot manufacture for the breakdown of specific foods) for a month straight to restablish my good gut flora, and haven't had heartburn in nearly two years.
As the daughter of a dairy farmer, it seemed wrong to give up on milk, but the improvement in my health was so great that I would put up with any flak from my family. As it turns out, my dad is reading health news as well and he had read the same thing about dairy and heartburn - so my news was not a shock.
Previously I used to wake up in the middle of the night with that burn and awful taste in the back of my throat. I now sleep really well, even if I enjoy salsa after 8 pm. (which I know I shouldn't do.)
Nor do I have to worry about developing leaky gut syndrome from the acid-reducing meds, and we save lots of money considering the cost of OTC drugs! I was a Zantac popping fool - and the generic version wasn't cheap either!
Know that if you suspect you already have LGS you can repair your stomach lining. It doesn't require surgery - but does require a commitment to food lifestyle changes.
Symptoms of LGS:
- loose stools, chronic diarhehea
- constipation to the point of constantly requiring laxatives
- cramping every time you eat
- terrible gas
Just to name a few... There are several good books and resources available on GI issues and disease and how you can help your body heal naturally. One book is called "Breaking the Viscous Cycle" was written by biochemist and cell biologist Elaine Gottschall, who cured her daughters ulcerative colitis.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The original recipe called for butter vs. EVOO and if I were not going dairy free this month I certainly would have used butter! Next time....
I admit, I had never had turnips before. We all agreed that they reminded us of kolarabi, which we have only eaten raw. I will tell you right now the family opinion of this recipe. I thought they were good. My husband said it was VERY good. Our 15 year old son, who eats more healthy than any teenage boy I know, said they were alright, but he wouldn't beg me to make them again. Our 10 year, more picky child, gave the turnips 2 thumbs down and would not any more after one bite. I will say that she says this about a lot of things first time through, and as we give her the same thing to try another day - in all likelihood she will eat it. When we first gave her the children's AB chewable vitamins she didn't want anything to do with them. Afterall, she had been accustomed to the toxic gummy vitamins - made with real juice (of course), and a whole lotta other things I would never serve my children now. I offered the all natural kid's chew again - flavored with real cherries, nothing artificial and not loaded with sugar or fructose or high fructose corn syrup, and she decided they were okay. Months later she commented that the vitamins were the best vitamins ever. It is all a matter of tastebuds adapting to new flavors - and it is especially difficult if our tastebuds are addicted to sugar. Maybe one day she will not turn up her nose at my glazed turnips!
Celtic sea salt, medium coarse grind
Freshly ground black pepper
In a medium cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, warm oil over medium heat and sprinkle with turmeric spice to prevent the EVOO from oxidizing. This also releases the anti-oxidant cumin and makes the cumin bio-available for your body. Add turnips and season with salt and pepper. Saute over medium low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occassionally until turnips just start to caramelize. Add ginger and garlic, and saute for another cuople of minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile use a lemon juicer to sqeeze your mandarin oranges! The original recipe called for oranges, but seeing as we had a bag of mandarins I discovered how easily they juiced in my lemon press - walah!!!! Juice in seconds! Add orange juice and increase heat to medium. Cook until liquid is evaporated to a glaze, another 3-4 minutes. Stir in orange zest, test for salt and pepper, and serve.
From a dietary standpoint, turnips turn out less starch than a potato, and I found they have a lower glycemic index than many root vegetables. On that note - not all potatoes are alike, with fingerling potatoes having less starch and a less GI than their Yukon Gold cousins. Who knew?!
So if you are looking for an alternative to potatoes or you want to try a new vegetable - give turnips a try! If you can find them with the greens still on you can juice the greens for a nutritious dose of energy.
To your health,
Sunday, January 6, 2013
An article on Dr. Joe Mercola's website today is QUITE the eye opener - and I feel very important, possibly life saving and a must to share. It almost makes me want to become completely vegetarian, and never eat cooked meat again. I am glad we have reduced our meat consumption, and I now realize the importance of COLD-PROCESSED protein powders as well as consuming the required daily minimum of fiber each day. We're told 25 mg., but for colon cancer prevention 30-50 is a greater preventative measure. A year or so ago I created a post specifically geared towards colon cancer prevention and need for much fiber in the diet, of which most Americans do not intake.
The main focus of the article below talks about what happens to proteins when exposed to heat. My particular interest was regarding protein isolates found in protein shakes - as the majority of brands found in the market are heat processed. Proteins that are already an acidic base become even more so when exposed to heat in processing.
Article: The Innocent Cooking Mistake that Could Cause Cancer
Excerpted conclusions from the article are below (link is below the points for the entire article)
-Avoid eating roasted or fried proteins and melted cheese – yes, this includes grilled meat or fish, fried chicken, roast beef, barbeque, and pizza. To be on the safe side, avoid all kinds of carmelized sugar, toasted starch and roasted nuts.
-If you still choose to eat grilled, roasted or fried food, try cutting off the burned or browned outer layer part.
-Time under heat is a crucial factor. Short pasteurization is safer than long pasteurization – the longer a protein is heated the more degraded and toxic it gets.
-Make sure your protein product does not include thermolyzed casein – which has shown to be the most carcinogenic among all other thermolyzed food.
-You can still enjoy eating most of your protein foods warm if you cook them in a broth. This will limit the cooking temperature to a 100º Celsius threshold, which has shown to be quite safe and presents minimum health risk. Cooking, stewing or poaching fish, meat or eggs in a broth can be your alternative to frying, grilling or roasting. But note that cheese must be eaten raw. Heating destroys fragile peptides and amino acids in cheese so to be on the safe side, avoid all kinds of pizzas and melted cheese treats.
-Avoid protein powders which are exposed to ultra heat or heat/acid treatment. These often include protein isolates such as casein and whey isolates as well as soy, hemp and rice protein isolates.
-Avoid whey proteins derived from ultra pasteurized milk. If the whey manufacturer fails to provide you with a certificate of conformity (CoC) which clearly declares that their whey is manufactured from raw milk, then most likely the product is ultra pasteurized.
-Increase your fiber consumption particularly in your protein meals. Note that protein supplements formulated with digestive resistant fiber are more digestible, and safer.
This entire article can be found here. If colon cancer in particular is of concern in your family - it is very important to read. I feel strongly that we can only make better choices for our health when we read and educate ourselves, as this is not information the "meat industry", for example, is going to publicize.
I have to admit, for quite some time, having friends who are paleo eaters, I have wondered how much meat is comprised in the paleo diet versus vegetables and fruits. Is it 20% protein, 75% produce and 5% fats (random figures thrown out), or is the meat protein to vegetables and fruit ratio more like 50/50?
I wonder about this primarily out of concern, since it is becoming well known that cancer thrives in an acidic body, and cannot survive in a body that is properly pH balanced. Meat is low on the pH scale, meaning it is acidic. Whereas vegetables are alkaline based, with a pH higher than the neutral point of +/-7.
Processed meats, in particular, are unhealthy. Certainly a steak from a grass-fed beef animal or free-range chickens should be the meat of choice if one is concerned for cancer prevention or wish for aging in good health.
Dr. Russel Blaylock devoted two consecutive newsletters to the link between "iron toxicity" and cancer - which is becoming more evident. As Americans, in particular, he states we eat too much meat. As an example, we should consume no more than 8 OUNCES of red meat per week. The week I read that two days later we were out for dinner, and I was having a 12 oz organic rib-eye. Glad for it to be from grass-fed animal, but it was more than my entire week's allowance at one setting, per Blaylock. Of course, I split it and took home a box of food as I always split my meals when we eat out at the start of the meal, so I am not tempted to overeat. Ever since learning of iron toxicity it has caused me to be concerned about those important to me, that seem to really enjoy an abundance of meat consumption.
Vegetable protein is much easier to digest than animal meat, and therefore does not tax our body's proper functioning in the same manner. As I alluded to at the start of today's post - I am not a vegetarian, although my lifestyle food choices probably includes about 15% meat, 50% vegetables, 10% fruits, 15% gluten-free grains such as brown rice and quinoa, and the balance in good fats such as coconut oil and Extra Virgin Olive oil and nuts.
I'm not going to invest in a paleo cookbook - so for those of you who have and are - please do comment and clue me in on your diet and the meat to vegetable/fruit ratio. I have concern, but perhaps it is unfounded. My perception may be more of what I feel I am seeing at a gathering vs. what the true paleo enthusiast consumes on a daily basis.
To your health,
Saturday, January 5, 2013
(Use organic/fresh ingredients when available.)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup organic white corn (can be frozen, thawed)
4 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 bunch green onions, greens only (use scissors to snip 1/8-1/4" pieces
Chipotle Seasoning by Pampered Chef
Detox Friendly Italian Dressing
Rinse and drain the black beans, and corn if needed. Add to a large bowl. Dice the tomatoes, pepper, making sure the seeds and insides are removed. You want to do this to make sure that there isn’t too much liquid. Add the diced tomatoes and cilantro to the bowl. Slice the green onions finely (or use purple onion as a substitute) and add to the bowl. Tip: use a scissors.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Ok, they didn't say please, but their enthusiasm over my latest gluten-free baking accomplishment was please enough!
The recipe starts with the one found on the backside of a package of Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour. However, I have been having success in substituting half of what is asked for with almond flour, which in my opinion results in a better tasting baked product.
Granted, I haven't been doing 100s of recipes with this substitution, as overall I bake very little, but I do know that Bob's GF Baking Flour has a bean base and too much of it makes your baked goods taste a little beany, and some what strange.
If you are doing the 30 Day Elimination plan to kick off your new year - this is a great alternative when you are giving up gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, etc. Our children loved it so much that all I managed to get were two slices shortly after it came out of the oven, and my husband didn't get a single nibble. Did I mention we have a teenage boy in the house?
Below are links to the products in my gluten-free pantry below. An asterisk in the recipe above means that you can find these products at Willy Street Co-op if you are local to Madison, Wisconsin. Almond flour can be purchased in bulk, so you can take as much or little as you want. Amazon offers a few products individually packaged, but where you have to buy four of one item you may want to split with a friend, depending upon how much you bake.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Using only a few ingredients, all are detox friendly and perfect for the 30 Day Healthy Living Challenge that begins on January 2.
What you'll need:
1/4 c. extra virgin organic olive oil
1/2 c. Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. frozen or fresh raspberries, pureed
1 T. organic agave nectar (optional)
1/2 t. Herbamare original spice mix, or other organic spice blend free of artificial ingredients/MSG
When we are eating clean for the challenge, vinegars are eliminated, with the exception of Bragg's. Indeed, a year ago when I detoxed I cut out everything EXCEPT for my balsamic vinegar homemade dressings. I continued to have some issues with bloating and such. I was eating clean, so I was confused as to why I was having issues. Then I read the program booklet for the 30 day plan and realized I had not cut vinegar. So I did. and guess what? The difference was immediate.
If you do have issues with vinegar, even Bragg's, substitute with freshly squeezed lemon juice instead.
I hope you will try this delicious homemade dressing. It would also be good as a chicken marinade, I suspect.
To your health!