Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Creamy Shrimp Risotto
1 large onions minced
1 garlic clove, chopped
7 large shrimp chopped finely
1/2 cup dry white wine (or 1 lemon with 1/2 cup stock)
1 cup arborio rice
4-5 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Chop onion finely and cook for 10-15 minutes until golden and sweet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 3 more minutes.
2. Add the chopped shrimp and cook a minute more until well blended.
3. Heat up the vegetable stock in a separate pot.
4. Add the arborio rice to the onions/rice/shrimp and cook for several minutes on medium then turn up the pan for a minute to high.
4. Deglaze the pan by adding the wine (or lemon water) to a hot pan. Any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan will lift off.
5. Turn the pan down a little and begin adding the stock a cup or two at a time and stirring constantly. Wait for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. It should take about 25-30 minutes for the risotto to cook.
6. Garnish with chives or leave plain for kids who prefer ungarnished dishes.
Makes 2/3 servings for dinner or 4 servings for appetizer.
But, we just went four days without TV and everyone was totally fine. There were a few "But MOM, no one ELSE at my school doesn't get TV" moments. To which I said "No one else at your school treats their parents the way you treat me." That quieted her up pretty quickly. I can't say it was a miraculous transformation, but it was miraculous that it happened at all. This Friday night at 7 pm I said they could watch for an hour. They turned it on to watch and then turned it off themselves after 45 minutes when I asked if they wanted to see a picture of their cousin that I had gotten in an email. Several days without TV has left them more flexible and more interested in the real world, it seems.
All this week my kids climbed into bed with me in the morning and fought over who was going to be in the middle instead of heading for the couch in the living room. Plus, I didn't have Trading Spaces blaring loudly from the next room while I was trying to sleep. Life without TV is good. It even makes life WITH TV a little more special.
WHAT TO FEED YOUR KIDS: Try having a few TV free days if your kids are addicted or if you need a serious punishment for atrocious behavior. Years ago, Sharon Herzfeld, an NYU trained neurologist turned homeopath, suggested I read THE PLUG IN DRUG, a book about how everyone focuses on the content of TV being important when actually the harm in watching TV is that it displaces other activities completely. There is an interesting excerpt on Marie Winn's website.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Starbucks has finally gotten on the gluten free bandwagon. They have a delicious Valencia Orange Cake that is made from whole eggs, valencia orange pulp, almonds, sugar, orange peel, gluten-free baking powder and orange oil. I love the short list of ingredients which are similar to ingredients you might use at home. With 9 grams of protein from the almond and eggs it is super satisfying and almost a quick meal on the run. After eating the moist cake, a delicious orange flavor lingered in my mouth and I was full. The best part is that it is also casein (dairy) free and soy free so everyone in my family can enjoy it. And it is only $1.95--which seems like an amazing price for a gluten free product.
WHAT TO FEED YOUR KIDS: Choose snack food that has minimal additives and preservatives whenever possible. This Valencia Orange Cake, which contains seven ingredients, is a good example of a ready made sweet treat that doesn't have a long list of chemicals in it.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
•black bean soup (also GFCFvegan)
•curried rice and lentil soup (also GFCF/vegan)
•french moroccan tomato lentil soup (also GFCF/vegan)
•garden vegetable soup and gazpacho
•portuguese kale soup
•southwest tortilla soup
•tomato rice soup
•vegetarian black bean soup (also GFCF/vegan)
•vegetarian chili (also GFCF/vegan)
•vegetarian lentil soup (also GFCF/vegan)
When I spoke to the manager at the Au Bon Pain at Laguardia airport in New York City, she showed me the new labels which show whether the soups contained certain allergens. The new labels contain icons for major allergens like the one shown in the picture. Not all the soups were labeled because she said they were new signs and she hadn't received them all. Looking at the ingredient list in her binder she said the only soup they carried that didn't have gluten was the minestrone--but actually the minestrone contained durum semolina--so it isn't gluten free. It was nice that she looked it up, but I took a picture of the ingredient list and found the durum semolina buried deep in the middle of the ingredient list. But the newly labeled soups do match up to the ones that are listed on the Au Bon Pain website so I would think in the coming months as they move toward their new menu you will be able to find some gluten free soups at more Au Bon Pain restaurants. They icons they list on their website are: soy, eggs, shellfish, wheat, tree nuts, peanut, sesame, fish, milk, sulfites as well as vegetarian.
Regardless of how fast the change comes, moving to the new labeling is huge for everyone with allergies and intolerances. I love, love, love the cool icons with the allergens underneath. Since processed food served in these settings is such a streamlined chain and the products are made in factories and shipped ready made to these chains there is an opportunity to provide customers with food free of allergens. I am happy that Au Bon Pain is recognizing this opportunity to give their customers more information about their products.
I wasn't planning on actually eating soup--it was 8:30 in the morning and I was at the airport surprisingly early so I was interested in what might be gluten free for another time. I got a fresh squeezed orange juice. It was delicious.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The secret to these waffles is using a good flour mix. My favorite flour mix recipe is the one in Gluten-Free Baking Classics. But equally important is the brand of flour. Unlike wheat flour which is pretty standard, gluten free flours each have their own consistency and flavor. See my post on the gluten free flour mix to see the flours I have found work best.
2 cups gluten free flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
3 egg whites (use the yolks for another recipe)
1/4 cup coconut oil (or your favorite oil)
1 cup rice or Silk almond milk (or seltzer)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk together the gluten free flour, salt and baking powder. Separate
the 3 eggs. In a mixing bowl, stir together maple syrup, yolks, 1 egg,
rice milk, coconut milk and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until
blended. In separate large bowl or with an electric mixer beat the 3
eggwhites until they form soft peaks that hold their shape. Then fold the
egg whites into the other ingredients. Cook in waffle iron. Enjoy with
maple syrup or jam.
Makes 7 waffles.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Well, yesterday I had a perfectly hellish evening with my seven year old. I know she is addicted to TV, but I have ignored it for a while. TV wasn't always the problem it is today. She didn't watch any TV until she turned three. Then she watched Sesame Street, Caillou and Blues Clues. When she went gluten free at five and a half I wanted her to feel like a regular kid and I loosened up on the TV watching. Because of the type of kid she is and in order to compensate for the fact that she had to be gluten free, I didn't put any huge limits on her TV watching over the last two years. I figured there were a ton of limits on what she could eat, so I would put less limits on her TV watching.
At the beginning of the school year she got an alarm clock as a gift and began setting her alarm clock so she could wake up at 5:30 and do her homework and watch TV. Because I am not a morning person, I thought it was not such a terrible quality that she could actually wake herself up, do her homework and then plant herself in front of the TV before I even opened my eyes. But as the school year has progressed the TV watching became a problem and yesterday after a screaming fight I took away the TV.
Well, it certainly is amazing how much you can get done when you turn off the TV. We made lemon squares and painted this morning before I took her to school at 8 am and had more quality time together than I can remember. I am planning on turning TV off for a month. (I did say she could watch while her grandparents took care of her this weekend-- which has kept her from losing her mind.) Maybe after a month of no TV she can watch on weekends. But really, life is too short and why not take one more step toward having a healthier family.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
14 Smith Avenue
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
tel: (914) 864-1976
Honey Maid Grahams Honey contains partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil.
Utz Potato Chips are fried in cottonseed oil.
Pringles Super Stack Potato Crisps, Original
TGI Friday's Potato Skins Snack Chips
A: Most soy sauce is prepared with wheat, so we use Organic Wheat Free Tamari Soy Sauce made by San-J. You can find it in most health food stores or in Whole Foods. We like the Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips which are free of many common allergens and made in a gluten free and peanut free bakery. You can order them from The Gluten-Free Mall.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The SmartMama.com on Simple Steps to Non-Toxic Kids has a great response to the companies who are trying to dismiss the concerns of mom bloggers who are trying to raise awareness about this issue. It is called: Oh, don't worry, you're just a mommy blogger & just a little bit of carcinogen is okay. I know this post is about cosmetics...but how cool is the SmartMama.com's handheld x-ray device to test for lead, cadmium, chromium and more?
Chemical's in Common Children's Products
Spring Cleaning: Greening Your Cleaning Supplies
Friday, May 15, 2009
3 cups almonds-soaked overnight and finely ground
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cups dates pureed in food processor
2 cups carrots
14 ounces crushed pineapple-drained well
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350° F and prepare a muffin pan with liners. In one
bowl mix the almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a second
bowl, mix carrot, apple sauce and vinegar. Add dry ingredients and
then stir in pecans. Evenly fill 12 muffin cups and bake for 30-40
I use homemade chicken stock, but the bay leaf gives the readymade
chicken stock a homemade flavor if you don't have homemade chicken
stock. Seasoning with salt and lemon at the end is the secret to a
delicious sauce. You can also add a pat of butter --if you use butter--
to finish the sauce.
Pan Roasted Chicken with Bay Leaf Sauce
4 Chicken Breasts
1-2 Tablespoons Oil-coconut, macadamia or olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Potato Starch. Corn Starch or Tapioca Starch
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 tsp+1/8 tsp salt
fresh pepper to taste
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter (optional)
Rinse chicken breasts off under cold running water. Salt and pepper
pieces well. Add oil to a large pan with a flat bottom over medium
heat. When pan is hot and oil is turns liquidy but NOT smoking, add
two chicken breasts. Cook in the pan until the skin is nicely brown--
about 5 minutes. When the skin is crispy and has a nice color,
transfer to a plate and turn over so colored side is facing up. Add
two more chicken breasts to hot pan to brown skin. When all the
chicken is seared well, turn the pieces over and cook in a 350 degree
oven for 35 minutes. Check to see if the pieces are cooked by cutting
open the biggest piece. Remove pan from oven and place chicken pieces
browned side up on a plate. Covered with aluminum foil and a cloth to
let rest. This allows the juices to be reabsorbed into the chicken.
Use the juices in the cooking pan to make the sauce.
Sauce: Remove the oil from the cooking pan by draining it off
carefully. Keep the browned bits to make the sauce. Mix 1 cup cold
chicken broth with potato starch together in bowl. Heat up pan. Then
add liquid to the hot pan stirring with a whisk so the brown bits
stuck to the pan lift up from the pan and get reabsorbed into the
gravy. Add 1 bay leaf. Whisk the sauce while it cooks so it doesn't
get lumpy. When it comes to a boil the potato starch is cooked and the
sauce is done. Add water if it is too thick. Season with salt, pepper
and lemon juice or another acidic liquid to balance the flavor.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"Some parents have used diets that remove all known phenol components (such as Sara's Diet ) to take the pressure off the PST-P system. While sometimes helpful, these diets are extraordinarily difficult to implement long-term, as naturally occurring phenols are in every food with color. Except in extreme cases, a diet reducing toxic load from the most concentrated sources...appears to be the best. That is...reduce juices (or limit to pear juice) and eliminate all artificial colors and flavors.Unfortunately, no amount of intervention...can totally unburden the PST-P enzymes....That is why it is critically important to improve the efficiency of the faulty enzyme system while attempting to lessen the load. Several nutrients may help. They include Vitamin C, reduced L- glutathione and N-acetylcysteine. All of the antioxidants (including selenium and bioflavanoids) are valuable for detoxification in general."
--Kelly Dorfman, Developmental Delay Registry founder, in New Developments, Winter 96-97, a DDR publication.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Some people have a difficult time breaking down phenols. Studies show that people with ADD and autism have low levels of an enzyme Phenol Sulfotransferase (PST.) Both the gut and the brain need this enzyme to metabolize high phenolic compounds A person who has a hard time breaking down phenols needs to reduce their phenol intake so they don't build up in their bodies and cause problems. Salicylates, which are a type of phenol, suppress this enzyme even more. Symptoms which may indicate a problem breaking down phenols include: red ears and cheeks, hyperactivity, aggression, headaches, head banging, inappropriate laughter, sleep problems, poor toxin removal, a bloated stomach and rashes. The Feingold diet is a way of eating that restricts the amount of phenols in the diet. No Phenol is an enzyme made by Houston Nutraceuticals which helps the body break down these phenolic compounds. Some parents report that using the enzymes allows their children to reintroduce these foods to their diet without complications.
Dana's view has a comprehensive page on phenols which includes a short list of phenolic food from Karen Seroussi's book . High phenolic foods include: food dyes, tomatoes, apples, peanuts, bananas, oranges, cocoa, red grapes, colored fruits and milk.
Enzyme Stuff has a wonderful explanation of how epsom salts can provide sulfate which can get this key detoxification pathway up and running. According to the website: "The PST sulfation pathway is necessary for the breakdown and removal of certain toxins in the body...If the sulfation pathway is not functioning well, a person may not be able to process out he phenolic compounds as fast as they consume them. There is a cumulative effect. When the phenols start backing up in the system, it can cause a myriad of negative reactions. Symptoms of phenol intolerance include night waking, night sweats, irritability, eczema, and other skin conditions.
Vitamin A palmitate is a phenolic based preservative that is added to dairy that some people can react to. It seems like they are reacting to milk, but really they are reacting to the preservative and they don't have a problem with dairy when it doesn't contain this phenolic preservative.
According to Healthy Awareness.com :
"Phenols are present in food dyes, in highly colored fruits and vegetables, in bioflavonoids, and in cartenoids (carotene, lutein, lycopene, xanthophylls, and zeaxanthin). Eliminating the yeast overgrowth may also reduce the burden of phenolics on the body. Yeasts and fungi in the intestines can produce phenolics."Recently, my son had a crazy reaction to a homemade bread that was gluten, casein and soy free. I was wondering why two slices of a homemade gfcfsf bread set off a cascade of problems for him. We don't eat much bread at my house but I made some sourdough bread recently for my Dad. I knew intuitively my son shouldn't have any, but because I didn't know ALL the science behind my intuition I gave him two super thin slices at lunch one day. Live and learn, right? My friend Tia wrote about his food reaction on her new Steps2Wellness blog.
I have a feeling he has had an issue with yeast building up in him for a while because his perfect complexion has been gone for months. He has had these strange sores at the corners of his mouth called angular cheilitis and eczema on his cheek that won't go away. But it was his bizarre behavior last week which completely resolved when I gave him the anti yeast medication, Nystatin, that has been in my fridge since last summer that really made me realize it was a yeast issue. Then he freaked out after eating 3 tiny gfcfsf chocolate chips which suggested a problem with phenols. This explanation of how a yeast overgrowth can produce phenols explains why yeast and phenols became a problem at the same time.
I am headed back to Dr. Pescatore tomorrow with my son to get another ALCAT test done. I find the more specific information I have about his sensitivities, the easier it is for me to lighten his load and for him to heal. And the more information I have about the underlying biochemistry of his issue, the easier it is for me to see my way.
I discovered these delicious chocolate chip cookies by GLOW gluten free at a celiac event last year. For a long time they were the only cookies that my kids could eat that weren't baked in my own kitchen. This is because Jill Brack, the creator, uses recipes created in her own kitchen for her gluten free family and supervises the whole production process. All GLOW cookies are gluten free, casein free, transfat free and preservative free. In addition the first ingredient in the cookies is garbanzo & fava bean flour. These melt in your mouth cookies are remarkably different from most gluten free cookies. Instead of sugar being the first ingredient, this protein packed flour comes first. But you would never know it because of her secret recipe. GLOW cookies also have more brown sugar than white sugar. (Surprisingly, my kids seem to do better with the brown sugar because it is less refined.)
My seven year old often requests GLOW cookies as they are identical to the chocolate chip cookies she remembers eating and they come in the cute retro packaging which includes a mad libs style back which make them super fun for kids. They are a perfect balance of a melt in your mouth store bought cookie like Tate's or Mrs. Fields with ingredients you would find in homemade cookies. There are four delicious flavors: Double Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip and Gingersnap. The Snickerdoodle and Gingersnap are also soy free. Go to the Glow Gluten Free website to read about these delicious cookies and to find out where GLOW cookies are sold.
Monday, May 11, 2009
P.S. It's the fish oil!
By: (my seven year old)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Another great resource is an audio program by Kelly Dorfman which is on the Developmental Delay Resources. Click Kelly Dorfman to download the file and listen on your computer. Kelly is a nutritionist who gives an excellent explanation of how ear infections can be triggered by food intolerances.
Rethinking Ear Infections
Thursday, May 7, 2009
My husband always jokes about my reading yet another "biomedical page turner" because I like nothing better than to curl up with a good book on the science of healing. I love hearing stories of people who overcome chronic illness by simply changing their diet. But it is the science behind the stories that really fascinates me. Which is why I am so excited to go read Robyn O'Brien's first book The Unhealthy Truth which reveals just how dangerous today's processed food is for our children--and how the corruption in our government is protecting corporations instead of our children. But most important for parents is Robyn's message that parents can take small steps to change--and heal--their kids.
WHAT TO FEED YOUR KIDS: Inform yourself about the dangers of processed food. Read The Unhealthy Truth. Visit Robyn O'Brien's blog Allergykids.com or her new website robynobrien.com for information. Join the movement of parents around the world who have gotten these companies to remove these toxins from food marketed to kids.
* The Dangers of Processed Food
Fresh Raw Food--An Important Source of Glutathione
Genetically Modified Soy
Genetically Modified Milk and the rBGH vaccine
More Milk Info
Spring Cleaning Tip #3: Make Little Changes
a few frozen dinners for when baby arrives. The things I usually make
are chili, lasagna or shepherd's pie, but those are so heavy. Any
ideas for lighter things?
A:Hmm...GREAT question about light frozen dinners!
How about a chicken paillard? Here is a link to a chicken paillard by
Also, you could do something asian but healthy. Maybe a chicken
curry with coconut milk and some separate frozen rice.
How about some soft chicken tacos that would be like enchiladas. I
also have a beef taco recipe that is super easy. And you could serve
over rice with salsa and some cilantro. I also have a great recipe for
chicken fingers that are baked which you could have on hand to use as
"chicken fingers" or as breaded chicken cutlets over an arugula salad.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Mung Dal Kitchari
1 cup mung dal (whole or split)
1 cup basmati rice
1 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
2 Tbs. unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
½ cup water
3 Tbs. clarified butter (ghee)
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. salt
6 cups water
Wash the mung beans and rice two times. Soak the mung beans for a few hours, then drain.
Put the ginger, coconut, cilantro and ½ cup water into a blender and blend until liquefied.
Heat the ghee on medium heat in a large saucepan and add the blended items, turmeric and salt. Stir well. Next mix in the rice, mung beans, and the 6 cups of water.
Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered for 5 minutes. Then cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until beans and rice are tender.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
When I figured out that I was sensitive to dairy, drinking coffee became less fun. What I really loved about drinking coffee was the milky sweetness that accompanied the coffee. I didn't give up drinking coffee at first. Initially, I gave up the cow's milk and drank it with soy milk. Then I realized how bad soy was and I drank it with just sugar--the soy wasn't that great tasting anyway. Next, I switched to black tea with sugar. As I counseled people to make healthier choices I decided I, too, could make healthier choices and I switched to herbal tea. Then when I met with Geri Brewster, a nutritionist, who recommended I have a big glass of water with half a lemon each morning, I gave up the tea completely. I didn't go from drinking coffee to drinking water with lemon overnight. It must have taken a year for me to make the switch--but I love my new even healthier ritual.
Little changes in a healthy direction can eventually lead to a big change.