Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vitamins-An Overview

Everyone should take a multivitamin. I like Rainbow Light's Nutristart Multivitamin for infants and young children because it is so complete.

I haven't found one that works for older kids--we get ours compounded by the nutritionist. But, any good multivitamin will contain D3 instead of vitamin D.

A probiotic we love is: GI FLORA. Here is the link to the product we use. Here is a post.

Enzymes allow your body to focus on other things besides breaking down food. Houston Neutraceuticals makes enzymes for both kids and adults have used with great success. Because enzymes are plant based and natural, if your body doesn't need them, they will just pass through you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

SUPERBOWL SUNDAY RECIPES: Cuban Chicken & Spring Rolls

I am not a football fan. I have watched the superbowl only once, when I was visiting my sister. My brother-in-law is a huge sports fan and it was impossible to not watch. Anyway, it's hard being gluten and dairy free when everyone else in indulging. I would make this cuban chicken if I were headed to a superbowl party and didn't want to feel deprived. Some spring rolls with a spicy peanut dip are also a satisfying treat to serve. You can also put the peanut dip on rice noodles for spicy Szechuan noodles.

Cuban Chicken
Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Yet Another Reason to Examine Processed Food Before You Eat It...Mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup and Processed Foods

It's time that we as caring parents start to seriously examine the question as to whether or not increasing amounts of processed food that the current generation of children are consuming is playing a role in the increased prevalence of childhood developmental disorders. Evidence is mounting that while not always the case, often times, processed foods contain a number of dangerous substances (often not fully disclosed to consumers). While skeptics will doubt that increased consumption of processed food is playing a role in higher incidences of disorders that range from asthma to autism, one thing that has certainly changed over the past 25 years is the increased amount of processed foods (high fructose corn syrup is an excellent indicator of this) that are now being consumed. The processed food our kids consume which contain many chemicals--and even mercury, according to two recent studies-- may be the elephant in the room playing a huge, unacknowledged role in the increasing health issues that are afflicting our kids today.

Two new studies came out which have found mercury in processed food. One scientific study Not So Sweet Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup published in Environmental Health found mercury, a known dangerous neurotoxin, in nine of 20 samples of high fructose corn syrup. The second study Mercury from Chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar looked at foods which had high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient. It discovered the presence of mercury in one-third of 55 products tested. Here is the list of the foods in which mercury was found:

Product Name
• Total mercury detected (ppt) • Laboratory detection limit (ppt)

Quaker Oatmeal to Go
• 350 • 80
Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce (Heinz) • 300 • 100
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup • 257 • 50
Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce • 200 • 100
Nutri‐Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars • 180 • 80
Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe • 150 • 80
Market Pantry Grape Jelly • 130 • 80
Smucker's Strawberry Jelly • 100 • 80
Pop‐Tarts Frosted Blueberry • 100 • 80
Hunt's Tomato Ketchup • 87 • 50
Wish‐Bone Western Sweet & Smooth • 72 • 50
Coca‐Cola Classic • 62 • 50
Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt • 60 • 20
Minute Maid Berry Punch • 40 • 30
Yoo‐hoo Chocolate Drink • 30 • 20
Nesquik Chocolate Milk • 30 • 20
Kemps Fat Free Chocolate Milk • 30 • 20

Dr. David Walligs, Director of food and health at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, who is a co-author of the mercury in high fructose corn syrup study, spoke on Democracy Now saying:
"Really at the core of it is that there are large chemical plants, chlorine alkali plants worldwide, that make a variety of chemicals, and many of them are used commonly in food production, including in the production of high-fructose corn syrup and some other things."
He continues saying:
"The caustic soda, for example, is integral to the production of high-fructose corn syrup. You can make caustic soda using mercury, or you can make it without using mercury. Unfortunately, we still have plants in the US, and even more abroad, that continue to use this outdated mercury technology that can contaminate the caustic soda with mercury. And that's what, in turn, we think, may be contaminating the high-fructose corn syrup. So, then-Senator Obama actually was a co-sponsor of Senate legislation in 2007 that would have phased out the use of mercury in making caustic soda in these plants, but theLink legislation never passed."

Mercury is used in the production of not only high fructose corn syrup but citric acid and sodium benzoate. Link

WHAT TO DO: Avoid products that contain high fructose corn syrup. Especially if high fructose corn syrup is the first or second ingredient. Limit processed foods and try to choose foods that have ingredients that your grandmother would recognize as food and you would use in your kitchen at home. If you do have food that contains chemicals try to have some fresh food with it.

Related posts:
Processed Food Versus Homemade Food
Fresh, Raw Food: An Important source of GLUTATHIONE

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NutriStart Multivitamin Powder

Here is the vitamin that I used for my son when he was 18 months old. It is a mainstream multivitamin with minerals that I stumbled upon at Whole Foods. Nutristart Multivitamin Powder is a product I have stuck with because it contains a very complete and balanced formula. It is a powder flavored with apple and banana and you can mix it in with a drink, applesauce or ice cream. There are other products that are made for kids who have specific issues, but because of our many sensitivities we never found one that worked for us. I highly recommend this and fish oil to parents who want some insurance that there kids are getting necessary nutrients. I can't guarantee that it is the answer for everyone and just because you are giving a child a vitamin doesn't mean that they are absorbing it, but Nutristart worked for us. Feel free to comment on your favorite multi vitamin.

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffin Recipe (gluten free, casein free, sugar free etc.)

These carrot cake muffins are gluten free, casein free, corn free, potato free, egg yolk free, sugar free...well, you get the idea. I actually made them for a friend who is pregnant who was looking for a healthy muffin recipe. Since my son is pretty much the picture of health I thought these would work. Of course, everyone has different ideas of what healthy is--and my idea of what is healthy keeps on changing. But they definitely LOOK healthy!

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffin Recipe

2 cups gluten free flour (1 cup chestnut flour/1 cup finely ground cashews)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup coconut oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten (6 egg whites*)
1 cup agave
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1&1/3 cups pureed cooked carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup crushed pineapple (drain canned or use pureed frozen)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use palm shortening or coconut oil to grease muffin pans.
2. Cut carrots in small dice size pieces and steam until soft.
3. Combine the dry ingredients.
4. Puree the steamed carrots in food processor, add oil, eggs, vanilla and agave.
4. Then fold in the carrots, walnuts, coconut and pineapple.
5. Pour batter into prepared muffin pans.
6. Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 20 minutes for small muffins and 30 minutes for large muffins.)
7. Cool in muffin tray for 10 minutes then remove and let cool on rack.

Makes 12 large muffins or 24 small ones.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (gluten free, casein free, SUGAR FREE!)

These chocolate chip cookies, made with chestnut flour, ground cashews and maple syrup, are my latest gluten free creation! I was pretty happy how they came out considering how many substitutions I made from the original recipe. The cashews give them a buttery taste. I buy raw cashews at Whole Foods and grind them in the cuisinart, then use a coffee grinder  to finely grind them. Shaking the coffee grinder while it is on seems to work best. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for three days or frozen for one month. A family friend, A., liked the cookies and had several. Her brother, G., liked the chocolate chips! 

1 cup Spectrum shortening
1&1/4 maple syrup
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup chestnut flour
1& 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups of finely ground cashews
12 ounces Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Beat shortening with maple syrup until combined with electric mixture. Add eggs and vanilla until mixed well. Add chestnut flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Then add 1.5 cups of finely ground cashews. Mix until well blended. Mix in chocolate chip cookies. 

Drop 1 inch cookies onto cooking try 1 inch apart. Bake in center of oven for 8-10 minutes watching closely to make sure they are light brown. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vitamin D and the Flu???

It could be that if you have enough Vitamin D then you can fight off the flu and other viruses. In fact, according to an article published in Cambridge University Press Journal titled Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D, getting the flu might be SYMPTOMATIC of low vitamin D levels. The Vitamin D theory comes from the fact that flu season comes in the winter when vitamin D levels are lowest, medical records show flu epidemics occurring simultaneously in places of similar latitudes before people could travel from place to place to spread the germs and new scientific reports out of UCLA. One medical doctor wrote about how he noticed non of his patients who were taking 2,000 units of vitamin D contracted the flu during an outbreak, despite many patients around contracting the virus. You can read the entire story at He discovered the connection after reading a paper in Nature in which a group of scientists at UCLA described how Vitamin D was "in effect, a potent antibiotic" which contained antimicrobial peptides which destroyed "the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the influenza virus, and play a key role in keeping the lungs free of infection."1

It seems our family's recent experience with the flu supports the vitamin D theory. My son came down with the flu last week. He was sick for six days with a fever. It was the first time he had been seriously sick in almost two years. He must have caught it in his preschool class because some of his classmates were sick at the same time. After six days of fever and him getting very, very sick, I started to do research on vitamins and that is when I stumbled on the vitamin D theory. I woke Alex up in the middle of the night to give him a drink with a drop of the vitamin D. Perhaps it is coincidence the next day he woke up almost better, and the next day completely better after a second dose. For many reasons having to do with food intolerances he had developed, I had stopped giving him his multivitamin or his rice milk which is fortified with vitamin D about a month ago. The next day, I resumed his Multistart vitamin which contains 400IU, which is the suggested daily allowance for his age group. Last year, one member of our family with low vitamin D levels was constantly sick...a year later they are not sick at all--and they managed to avoid the flu this year despite no flu shot and close contact with my son.

I hadn't come down with the flu but I was feeling like I might so I took 2,000 IU (which is two drops) hoping to fight it off. We will never know if it is the Vitamin D or the Diet Pepsi a dear friend of mine gave me when I was feeling almost fluish that prevented my from getting it. There are a thousand other reasons I might not have gotten it. And there are equal number or reasons I should have gotten it (sharing a bed with my son when he was sick, lack of sleep from too many late nights etc.) But isn't it interesting that the very young and the very old are most suseptible to getting the flu--and they are the ones least likely to be exposed to the sun during cold whether.

WHAT TO DO: Make sure your kids are getting the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended daily allowance of vitamin D of 400 IU. of D3 which is found in quality multivitamins, Vitamin D drops or cod liver oil. Also, people with fat malabsorption syndromes, like celiac, can sometimes poorly absorb vitamin D because it is a fat soluble vitamin. If you have celiac or if you are constantly sick, you might want to check vitamin D levels before beginning supplementation so that you can make sure the recommended daily allowance is enough. Of course, if you take a vacation to a sunny place, you won't need the extra vitamin D. If the

1. Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D

Related Posts:
Vitamin D Drops for Infants, Kids and Adult

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FUN Birthday Ideas (gluten free & casein free)

A reader asked me about easy gluten free/casein free birthday ideas. Although I love to make everything from scratch--not everyone has time--so I included some packaged mixes for those who need things to be easy.

Here are some posts on birthdays:

Fun Birthday Cupcakes
Birthday Cake Sugar Cookies
Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

If you want an easy boxed cookie or cupcake:
I would use MS. Robens or Cherrybrook Farms GLUTEN FREE MIXES

and use this Spectrum shortening.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

BOOK REVIEW--Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children

I sent Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children to my Dad and he sent this email to me. I thought is was a great overview of Phil Shabecoff's outstanding book which describes how the government is not protecting us from the dangerous chemicals that are being produced by American corporations.

By W.B.

This is a really sad tale isn't it? It certainly reinforces my view that most cancers are environmental. And the disasterous effect on young children--something I had been previously unaware of--is absolutely tragic. And I now see what you are talking about: the explosion of new chemicals and compounds means that the problems are growing worse at an increasing rate. The damage being done to children is horrific.
I tried to back off and look at the larger picture. The main problem seems to be the average persons inability to comprehend cause and effect relationships unless they are immediate and direct. Like a simple two car collision. But, most cause and effect relationships in the chemical world are subtle and at the microscopic level and involve other agents like genes, etc. Even though modern statistical techniques have been developed that are up to the task, they are not comprehended by the general public. Add to this the fact that many scientists will violate their stated "quest for the truth" to misuse and abuse the statistical techniques to earn sizeable amounts of money and you have a recipe for disaster. The willingness of scientists to "sell themselves" is really sad isn't it? The government officials and elected representatives and public at large are confused when some scientists take positions that are simply a result of their being "bought off". And it is partly that some (I hate to use the word "many") scientists are not really that smart, even though they have higher degrees. Some of my friends who barely graduated from high school are smarter in the true sense of the word than Ph.Ds I know. The outgoing President Bush is pretty scientific illiterate so he tended to not see the problem at all. Scientific illiteracy is a real problem. Especially in a democracy.
Interestingly, economists have known about the general problem for years. Back in the 1600s and 1700s in England there was a category of grazing land called the "commons". There was unrestricted grazing on the commons. The villiage people viewed it as a free resource and overgrazing resulted in the total destruction of the commons. The commons became hoof-pounded grassless dirt. So, the nobility claimed title to the commons,fenced it off and with the newly introduced practice of "rotational grazing" the FORMER commons land became extremely productive. The general principle is that whenever a resource is owned jointly it will be abused and destroyed. Now, air, flowing water and large bodies of water and ground water are always jointly owned. Nobody for example has figured out how to allow an individual to claim ownership to "his own air" like the nobles in England who fenced off the commons and claimed title ownership to it. The result is that EVERYBODY AND ANYBODY owns the air and water and everybody has a tendency to use it as their "garbage dump." Therefore, while many economists favor capitalism as an economic system (INCLUDING ME), they carefully exempt air, water and ground water from the rules of capitalism. These truly joint resources have to be managed for the common good--BY GOVERNMENT. This is generally referred to as the "commons problem" in economics. So, the discipline of economics should not be an obstacle to the solution of the problem. In fact economics should be staunchly behind government devised regulations to solve the problem. This is one of the many areas where government is the only solver of the problem.
But, the power of big corporations and their use of their power to continue to pollute and confuse the public with phony research--this is really a huge problem.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rethinking Canola Oil--A Healthy Oil or Just Good PR?

Canola oil was created in 1978 from rapeseed that was bred to be fit for human consumption. Traditional rapeseed oil contains toxic levels of glucosin and high levels of erucic acid. Canola stands for "CANadian Oil, Low Acid" The name change from rapeseed to "canola" was a marketing technique to distinguish it from regular rapeseed oil and to make it a more marketable product. Rape comes from the latin word "rapum" which means turnip and the rapeseed plant is the same family as the turnip, brussel sprout, cabbage, kale and mustard seed plants. According to Wikipedia, 80% of canola is produced from genetically modified canola that is resistant to herbicide. Which means they can spray the crop with herbicide to kill the weeds and the canola plant will not be affected. You can read more about Round Up Ready Canola HERE. Which is wonderful for the farmers, but not so great for consumers of canola oil.

According to Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on our Children, chemicals are tested alone and not in combination and "The pesticide Roundup, for instance, is more dangerous in its finished formulation than its active ingredients." 1 Yikes. Plus canola oil has to be highly refined to get the oil and can be a source of trans fatty acids, according to Dr. Mary Enig, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Maryland, who has brought public awareness to the dangers of trans fats. It is, as promised, low in saturated fat. But too low in saturated fat to be used exclusively in the diet--as we need some saturated fat to function and "Cholesterol is vital for the development and function of the brain."2

WHAT TO DO: Choose a healthier oil: coconut oil or olive oil are both good choices. Coconut oil is great to use in fried and baked goods because it has a higher smoke point and healthy, saturated fat is important for children's brain development. Olive oil is better for things that are lightly cooked at lower temperatures or added for flavor after cooking.

2. Poisoned Profits p. 54

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Books to Read: Optimum Nutrition for Your Child's Brain

I picked up this book, Optimum Nutrition for your Child's Mind at the library in the "new books" section. It is a fascinating book with a ton of scientific and practical information on why kids need healthy food for their brain to develop and function. It also discusses how allergies can factor into the equation. According to the book:
"As many as one in five adults and children, and probably one in three with behavioral problems are sensitive or have an allergic reaction to common foods such as milk, wheat, yeast, and eggs."1
Optimum Nutrition also explains why healthy fats are so important and how to deal with everything from sleep, anorexia, autism, ADHD to aggression through nutritional intervention. When I started reading this, it was so comprehensive, I thought to myself: "Oh, good! I don't have to write a book. It's already been written." It is well researched and full of graphs and charts and journal citations and it covers so much it can be that "go to" parent book when your child has issues.
1. E. Young et. al, "A Population Study of Food Intolerance," Lancet 343 (1994): 1127-29: British Society for Allergy and Environmental Medicine, Effective Allergy Practice (1984).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Grinding Fresh Flour Using A Vita-mix Blender

My friend, Jill, told me "You NEED a Vita-Mix" a few months ago. She told me the Vita-Mix could make soft serve ice cream from frozen ingredients and make a nutritious warm soup in minutes--and grind grains!

The Vita-Mix is expensive, and it was definitely a last holiday hurrah for us. But it has a 7 year warranty and it look like people end up using it everyday. Because it finely grinds fruits and vegetables (even avocado pits!) more of the nutrients are available for absorption--which is good if you have any type of malabsorption issue. Kids who are picky eaters and finicky about textures would love the super smooth texture of the soups and smoothies and milks--these are
the same blenders they use in Starbucks. Even the seeds in strawberries are ground up so you can absorb the nutrition. The Good Eatah's post: A Few of My Favorite Things has additional info on the Vitamix.

Related posts:
Fresh, Raw Food--An Important Source of GLUTATHIONE
Smoothies and Popsicles

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun Things To Do

This was such a cute idea I had to link to it. I will be putting it on my list of things to do tomorrow.

New Year's Interview for Kids

Vitamin D Drops for Infants, Kids and Adults

Vitamin D is more and more in the news as research reveals just how important it is--and how little we get of it. You can see my post on Vitamin D-The Sunshine Vitamin for more information on a few reasons why vitamin D levels are critical to being healthy. In the winter when the days are shorter and we are inside Vitamin D supplements are necessary for many people. Kelly Dorfman told me about Vitamin D Drops--which I love because they make getting Vitamin D so easy. You just put a drop in a drink or your mouth. Carlson makes three vitamin D drops--one is 400 IU, one is 1,000 IU and the other is 2,000 IU. I found the drops easily at the Vitamin Shoppe.

The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D keeps going up as research is done. Since 2003, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended 200 IU for all breastfed infants from birth onward but in October of 2008 they changed their recommendation to 400 IUs for all children. Adults can take 1,000 IU or 2,000 IU if you have low blood levels. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin but according to current research toxic levels begin at 10,000IU a day--so supplementation is safe. My 7 year old is supposed to get 600 IUs. A tsp of cod liver oil will provide 400IUs of Vitamin D, which can be a good food source for kids. And one packet of Rainbow Light Nutristart Multivitamin Powder (for infants & Children from 6 months to 4 years) also provides 400IU. (Also, the Rainbow Light Multivitamin has been tested by my way too sensitive 3 year old and it definitely is gluten free/dairy free!)

HealtheSavers will email you a $2.00 coupon to use for the Carlson drops between now and January 31, 2009.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Homemade Salsa Recipe

I received my Vita-Mix in the mail and was inspired to make homemade salsa from the cook book they sent with it. But I had already put the kiddies to bed and didn't want to wake them so I sharpened up my knives and made this salsa the old fashioned way--by hand. It was pretty tasty. I didn't use a recipe so I wanted to post how I made it before it gets lost in the shuffle of my way to busy life. I served the salsa with rice and shrimp which I sauteed with garlic.

2 tomatoes-chopped finely
3/4 bunch of cilantro-chopped finely
2 T. onion--chopped finely
1 clove of garlic--well you get the idea...chopped finely
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/4 jalepeno--finely chopped
4 splashes of tabasco

Chop all ingredients finely. Mix together. Season to taste. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

In the News: Not So Gluten-Free Products at Whole Foods

Whole Foods pulled 'gluten-free' products after an article in The Chicago Tribune revealed that three Wellshire Kids brand "gluten free" products sold exclusively at Whole Foods contained between 116 and 2,200 parts per million of gluten. This is way above the 20 parts per million that most experts in the US consider "gluten free." Whole foods said it will try to come up with some guidelines which will allow it to begin monitoring gluten free products so this type of problem doesn't happen again. The products sold were: Dinosaur Shaped Chicken Bites, Chicken Corn Dogs and Beef Corn Dogs.

What to Do: Live and learn that "gluten free" is a vague term and doesn't mean zero gluten.

Orgran All Purpose Flour - The Best Gluten Free Flour

My son's preschool asked where they could find this terrific gluten free flour by Orgran. They make playdough out of it and cook with it in several classes that have kids with gluten and wheat allergies. You can find this flour mix at Fairway on the Upper West Side in NYC or online at www.Inspired

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beneficial Bacteria in the Gut: Crowding out Bad Bacteria with Probiotics

There are many different bacteria in the gut, in fact beneficial bacteria is so important to health that according to a blog on WebMD it is often thought of as another organ! Beneficial and pathogenic bacteria always co-exist inside our gut, but the ratio between them is crucial to having a well functioning gut. Sometimes the balance is upset by antibiotics (which kill the good when they go after the bad), a modern diet or poor digestion. If you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria you can have gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea. Also, the tip of the villi is where the enzymes to break down the food are made. When your villi are shot, you don't make the enzymes to break down the food. Then the bad bacteria have a field day with the undigested food. There are several things you can do to reset the balance of your intestinal flora. One thing you can do is to starve the bad bacteria by not eating food that it needs to survive by implementing a special diet like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or Body Ecology Diet.

The easiest way to increase the good bacteria and they can "crowd out" the bad bacteria is to use probiotics. Before preservatives and pasteurization, we had a lot more good bacteria in our food supply as fermented food (yogurt, pickles,etc.) which added beneficial bacteria to food was a way of preservation. But now, according to the Journal of Nutrition, "In the U.S., yogurt is not required to contain any viable cultures" so only yogurt labeled "Live Active Culture Seal" will contain live cultures. But there are so many strains of bacteria, this doesn't tell you the level of beneficial bacteria or the strains. So if you don't make your own yogurt, I would recommend a quality probiotic as the most efficient way to increase good bacteria.

Also, a double blind study cited in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition showed a better antibody response to typhoid vaccine in adults who received the probiotic strain Lactobacillus GG than placebo. Which doesn't mean run out and get lactobacillus before your next vaccine--it just suggests that good bacteria help the immune system to function well.

Another thing you can do to help restore the good bacteria is to take plant based digestive enzymes which will break down the food better. Because the bad bacteria feast on undigested food, breaking down the food can be another way to discourage bad bacteria.

When it comes to restoring beneficial bacteria in the gut, it is truly a situation where "it isn't a sprint--it's a marathon."

1. Jung LK. Lactobacillus GG augments the immune response to typhoid vaccination: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. FASEB J 1999;13:A872 (abstr).

Related posts:

Why Alkaline Foods Might Keep You Healthy
SCD and Why Grain Free is Healing for the Gut

Monday, January 5, 2009

Black Beans & Rice

This is an easy, inexpensive meal to make weekly. You can serve it
with condiments (cheese, guacamole, scallions, tomatoes, or
cilantro.)You can also puree the beans in a food processor and add
some olive oil for a delicious bean dip or soup.

Cover a pound of black beans in water. Soak overnight. Drain and
rinse. Saute 1 chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves in 2 Tablespoons of
Olive Oil. Add black beans, salt, pepper and half a jalapeno
pepper(optional) and cook on low until beans are well cooked. You can
cook these quickly (1 hour) or slowly (4 hours) depending on how much
time you have. Serve with rice and toppings.

Barbeque Pork Chops

This is a super easy recipe to make if you have a crock-pot or slow cooker. I am not a huge fan of pork, but my husband found these in the frozen section of our health food store and they are organic.

4 organic pork chops
1 bottle gf barbeque sauce (we use Bone Suckin' Sauce)

Pour a small amount of barbeque sauce in the bottom of the crock pot. Add pork chops and cover with remaining sauce. Cook on HIGH setting for 3 to 4 hours or all day on the LOW setting.

If you don't have crock pot, you can bake these in the oven in a covered pot called a dutch oven. Cook in a 325 degree oven for 1.5 to 3 hours. Check out Cooking In Cast Iron for more on conversion from crockpot times to dutch oven.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's Resolutions Wish List

I spent a lifetime making resolutions and one day I woke up happy and content with my self and gave up making resolutions. But I do try to have a New Year's resolution for fun. Last year I tried to give up plastic which you can read about on my post Resolutions: Doing Better . I like to pick something specific and something health related. Something impossible but totally do able at the same time--if that makes any sense. Although it is already January 3rd, I don't have an official New Year's resolution. Instead I have a long list of things I would like to do in the coming year that might be of interest to other parents and people interested in cleaner living WITHOUT chemistry. There are several that I would love to make resolutions, except I think they are so hard for me that I am sure to fail! If I stick them on my wish list, maybe they will happen. Sometimes resolutions backfire but wishful thinking makes things come true. I guess, like my seven year old, I do better with less pressure.

-Make a weekly menu plan (This is so hard for me--maybe more realistic would be "make a menu plan one week a month")
-Switch to an organic dry cleaner (This one will happen sooner rather than later.)
-Take my own vitamins (fish oil, D, calcium/mag) when I give my kids theirs!
-Upholster (i.e. staple) a cover on the bench at the bottom of my bed.
-Give some of the stuff we don't need to charity on semi regular basis.
-Switch away from Murphy's Oil Soap--the last mainstream cleaning product to a homemade version (sorry to my DH--mom knows best ;) right?)

Please let me know what your New Year's Resolution is or what is on your 2009 wish list! I will update you on my progress as the year goes by and see if any of these things on my wish list get done. I will also post on some of these to generate some momentum. Research always motivates me to change.