Monday, November 30, 2009

BPA Was First Used As a Synthetic Estrogen...

This is from a 2008 Scientific American Article "Just How Harmful Are Bisphenol-A Plastics?"

"First synthesized in 1891, bisphenol-A came into use as a synthetic estrogen in the 1930s. Later, chemists discovered that, combined with phosgene (used during World War I as a toxic gas) and other compounds, BPA yielded the clear, polycarbonate plastic of shatter-resistant headlights, eyeglass lenses, DVDs and baby bottles."

It is interesting to note how the powerful, acidic cleaners the janitor used are what enabled the bisphenol-A to to leach out of the plastic cages and water bottles and caused 40% of the mice to have defective eggs. It should make everyone think twice about plastic, as well as our fascination with surfaces being sparkling clean. The harmful effects of BPA were stumbled upon. While other plastics were not initially created as a synthetic estrogen, the harmful effects might not be known yet.

What to Do: Go to LIFE WITHOUT PLASTIC to replace your plastic drinking cups with stainless steel, your tupperware with glass and your plastic bowls with stainless steel ones. We use these stainless steel tumblers instead of plastic cups.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why Did the CDC Recommend the States to STOP testing for Swine Flu/H1N1?

August 30th, the CDC told states to stop testing for Swine Flu. A CBS reporter tried to get to the bottom of why the CDC told the states to stop testing. Sharly Attkinson, a CBS reporter, couldn't figure out why they decided to stop testing for swine flu, so she decided to look into it. It is worth listening to if you are concerned about H1N1. Here is a fascinating interview that Dr. Mercola did with Sharly Attkisson about H1N1 testing.



Here is Sharly Attkinsson's CBS news blog with a post on Freedom of Information: Stalled at CDC and D.C. Government which gives more information on the story.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Sides...Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe















I made a wild rice stuffing this year. It seems as though the only things at this Thanksgiving feast that are not full of sugar are this dish (dried cranberries and raisins aside) and the turkey. Both also happen to be beautiful to look at.

2 cups of wild rice
8 cups of water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onion, finely diced
1 shallot, finely diced
3 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 cup pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins.
2 tsp salt & fresh pepper

Soak wild rice in warm water for 2 hours.

Roast pecans in 400º oven for 8 minutes. Chop pecans into fine pieces. Chop raisins finely.

Saute onions in olive oil. Drain rice. Add to onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add water. Cook for 40 minutes. Drain rice in a colander if there is extra water. Saute shallots for 2 minutes. Add celery and cook 4 more minutes. Add shallots and celery to rice. Add chopped pecans, cranberries and raisins. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ginger Pear Cranberry Sauce

This is a recipe sent to me from my friend Teresa for cranberry sauce that can be used on Thanksgiving or as breakfast side dish with pancakes or waffles all winter long.

Mix in saucepan:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
piece of ginger peeled

Boil for 5 minutes or longer for a stronger ginger flavor.
Add peeled chopped hard pear for 3 minutes.
Add two cups of cranberries or more.
Cook until the cranberries pop
When cool add the juice and rind of one lemon

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gluten Free Custom Choice Cereal


Custom Choice Cereal invited me to make a sample bag of their gluten free cereal. You choose a base: cinnamon granola, corn flakes or morning flakes. Then you select your your favorite dried fruit or nuts. My "What To Feed Your Kids" mix included cinnamon granola as the base cereal with cherries, coconut and almonds mixed in. It was super fun to make a custom blend mix and I can't wait to order a bag for each of my kids. Actually, my favorite part was being able to name my cereal and the great labeling of my custom mix. I imagine it would make bringing along your own gluten free cereal super fun and easy if it is so clearly labeled.

The granola was more chewy than crunchy and full of cinnamon--as promised. It was perfect with the crunchy almonds. This cereal would be great for a gluten free snack assortment if you are traveling or for a gift basket for someone who is gluten free.

It went pretty fast in my house. By the time I went to get a picture for this post it was almost gone! You can order cereal just the way you like it at Custom Choice Cereal.

What To Feed Your Kids received one bag of cereal courtesy of Custom Choice Cereal.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quote of the Week

While discussing how difficult it is to get gluten free food in restaurants, my friend Jill, told me the following story...She asked a waiter at Josie's, which is a pretty health conscious place if the soup had gluten in it he replied:

"Google it...I guess you could google it."

Often, at a restaurant, I will have a long discussion with a waiter about how I can't have any gluten and I will carefully order a salad without croutons and then the salad arrives with a large piece of toasted bread on it! Now, I always ask to speak to the manager or the chef. I am thinking of trying these Celiac Gluten Free Restaurant Cards to see if that works any better.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beyond What To Expect When You Are Expecting: Green Books for Pregnancy and Parenthood

A writer friend of mine who just gave birth to two beautiful twins recommended these books for parents to be and current parents who want . These books are light years beyond What To Expect When You Are Expecting. I am reading Healthy Child, Healthy World now. It's a comprehensive overview of how to raise healthy children in the modern (and often too toxic) world and a must read for all parents. Even if you have no intentions of greening your home, it is good to have an awareness of the implications for not taking measures to protect your children from the chemical soup they have been born into.

Healthy Child Healthy World by Cavigan
Disease-Proof Your Child by Joel Fuhrman
The Complete Organic Pregnancy
How to Make A Pregnant Woman Healthy by Reiss
Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Weissblum
12 Hours in 12 Weeks
Teach Your Child to Be More Physically Superb by Glenn dkdjfDoman

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Betty Crocker "Fruit" Snack Review and Contest














Betty Crocker sent me a "Simple Joys" prize package which included Create-A-Bug Fruit Flavor Shapes, Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit By The Foot, a frisbee, pic up sticks and a light up yo-yo. I have to admit I have turned away other offers for "fruit" snacks because they haven't been organic, but I cut Betty Crocker some slack--I owe them one for creating mainstream gluten free baking mixes.

Anyway, my kids were pretty psyched, because they haven't seen that kind of junk food in our house since last Halloween. I have to say, it is nice to have a little junk food every now and then so no one feels like it is actually off limits or forbidden. I try to be under the radar about unhealthy food--I just don't buy it. So, here is my take on these Betty Crocker "Fruit" snacks...

Pros:
-It is really helpful to have mainstream snacks that are labeled gluten free.
-These snacks contain pears (not apples.) Pears are the least allergic fruit there is, while apples contain salicylates which some people are very sensitive to. Most "fruit" snacks contain apples. If your child reacts to other dried "fruit" snacks, they might do better with these Betty Crocker "fruit" snacks. If they react to these as well, it might be the dye or the corn syrup.
-The Fruit Roll ups are only 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar, which means it's not a ridiculous amount of corn syrup and sugar. Some kids are sensitive to the amount of sugar in a snack and most other brands contain more sugar.
-My kids loved them and I think I could have gotten them to do anything for a Fruit Roll Up!
-They are a mainstream product that friends and family might have in their house or find in the regular grocery store.

Cons:
-They turned my daughters tongue bright blue, which was a little scary. Ideally, I would like NO dye, but could they scale back on the dye so her tongue wasn't quite so blue? See my post on Lose the Dye for more info.
- They contain cottonseed oil--which is a "byproduct of an industry that has a surplus of seeds and it is one of the most pro-inflammatory oils."
-They aren't organic, so they might contain up to 28 pesticides that are found on pears according to What's On My Food.
-Almost anything could be in "Natural and Artificial Flavors"

I was thrilled that everyone is healthy enough now that they don't get thrown off by a little junk food. In addition, my kids are enjoying the light up yo-you (even though it is plastic.) I would like to request that Betty Crocker consider taking the dye out of their fruit roll ups. Food companies took the dye out of many drinks and they are now clear. They took the dye out of gum. Why not consider taking the dye out of these "fruit" snacks at some point? We just don't need bright blue food. I asked Betty Crocker which of the snacks had the least dye. They told me to check the packaging as formulas change. I am guessing from my kids mouth that the fruit gushers have the least dye and the fruit roll ups have the most dye. Hopefully Betty Crocker will consider taking the dyes out of products marketed to children, as they have in England where "Food manufacturers, including Mars and McDonald's, have agreed to replace artificial dyes with natural alternatives, but only in their UK products." 1

If you want your own "Simple Joys" prize package from Betty Crocker, leave a comment with your email by 11:59 pm on December 1st (or leave a comment AND send your email to my email separately by clicking on the @gmail.com on the right.) You can get an extra entry by blogging or tweeting this and leaving a link to your post/tweet in your comment.

1. http://adhd-add-treatments.suite101.com/article.cfm/food_colorings_and_adhd_in_children

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Soaking Brown Rice

Everyone knows that brown rice is healthier than white rice, but often kids prefer white food and white rice. My kids never ate brown rice until I started soaking the brown rice before cooking. You can soak ordinary brown rice for 30 minutes in hot water or up to 8 hours overnight to soften the bran layer which takes longer to cook. Brown Basmati rice can be soaked for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Just put it in a bowl on the kitchen. It is not rocket science-- just put some rice in a bowl and fill the bowl with twice as much water as rice and leave at room temperature. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse under running water.

Related posts:
Easy Fried Rice
Shrimp Risotto
Black Beans and Rice
Gluten Free Cuban Chicken Recipe

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Betty Crocker "Fruit" Snack Review and Contest














Betty Crocker sent me a prize package give away which included Create-A-Bug Fruit Flavor Shapes, Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit By The Foot, a frisbee, pic up sticks and a light up yo-yo. I have to admit I have turned away other offers for "fruit" snacks because they haven't been organic, but I cut Betty Crocker some slack--I owe them one for creating mainstream gluten free baking mixes.

Anyway, my kids were pretty psyched, because they haven't seen that kind of junk food in our house since last Halloween. I have to say, it is nice to have a little junk food every now and then so no one feels like it is actually off limits or forbidden. I try to be under the radar about unhealthy food--I just don't buy it. So, here is my take on these Betty Crocker "Fruit" snacks...

Pros:
-It is really helpful to have mainstream snacks that are labeled gluten free.
-These snacks contain pears (not apples.) Pears are the least allergic fruit there is, while apples contain salicylates which some people are very sensitive to. Most "fruit" snacks contain apples. If your child reacts to other dried "fruit" snacks, they might do better with these Betty Crocker "fruit" snacks. If they react to these as well, it might be the dye or the corn syrup.
-The Fruit Roll ups are only 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar, which means it's not a ridiculous amount of corn syrup and sugar. Some kids are sensitive to the amount of sugar in a snack and most other brands contain more sugar.
-My kids loved them and I think I could have gotten them to do anything for a Fruit Roll Up!
-They are a mainstream product that friends and family might have in their house or find in the regular grocery store.

Cons:
-They turned my daughters tongue bright blue, which was a little scary. Ideally, I would like NO dye, but could they scale back on the dye so her tongue wasn't quite so blue? See my post on Lose the Dye for more info.
- They contain cottonseed oil--which is a "byproduct of an industry that has a surplus of seeds and it is one of the most pro-inflammatory oils."
-They aren't organic, so they might contain up to 28 pesticides that are found on pears according to What's On My Food.
-Almost anything could be in "Natural and Artificial Flavors"

I was thrilled that everyone is healthy enough now that they don't get thrown off by a little junk food. In addition, my kids are enjoying the light up yo-you (even though it is plastic.) I would like to request that Betty Crocker consider taking the dye out of their fruit roll ups. Food companies took the dye out of many drinks and they are now clear. They took the dye out of gum. Why not consider taking the dye out of these "fruit" snacks at some point? We just don't need bright blue food. I asked Betty Crocker which of the snacks had the least dye. They told me to check the packaging as formulas change. I am guessing from my kids mouth that the fruit gushers have the least dye and the fruit roll ups have the most dye. Hopefully Betty Crocker will consider taking the dyes out of products marketed to children, as they have in England where "Food manufacturers, including Mars and McDonald's, have agreed to replace artificial dyes with natural alternatives, but only in their UK products." 1

If you want your own "Simple Joys" prize package from Betty Crocker, leave a comment with your email by December 1st (or leave a comment AND send your email to my email separately by clicking on the @gmail.com on the right.) You can get an extra entry by blogging or tweeting this and leaving a link to your post/tweet in your comment.

1. Food Colorings and ADHD in Children

NYT reports "U.S. Guidelines Urge Mammograms at 50. not 40"

The New York Times' article "In Reversal, U.S. Guidlines Urge Mammograms at 50, not 40" explains how the new recommendations reverse long standing recommendation for routine, yearly mammograms at 40. If you read the complex Journal article "Effects of Mammography Screening Under Different Screening Schedules: Model Estimates of Potential Benefits and Harms" you will get idea of the intense number crunching that went into this decision. But, in the words of two painter friends I went to graduate school with: "Theory is one thing--reality is another." The reality is, if you talk to someone who was diagnosed with early breast cancer through a routine mammogram, these early screenings are lifesaving.

Once again, the discussion of well documented environmental causes of breast cancer are not part of the story. According to a 2009 press release by Dr. Samuel Epstein, professor emeritus Environmental & Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition there is "well documented evidence on a wide range of avoidable causes of breast cancer" including

• The Pill
• Estrogen replacement therapy
• Eating meat contaminated with sex hormones following their implantation in cattle prior to entry to feedlots
• Drinking genetically engineered (rBGH) milk
• Proximity of residence to hazardous waste sites and nuclear plants
• Exposure to chlorinated organic pesticides
• Occupational exposures in petrochemical plants.

The 2009 press release goes on to state:

"The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, Drs. Epstein and Bertell warn. Each rad exposure increases cancer risk by about 1%, with a cumulative 5% increased risk for each breast over a decade’s screening...Not surprisingly, he says, premenopausal mammography screening is practiced by no nation other than the United States...Radiation risks are further increased by fourfold for the 1% to 2% of women who may be unknowing and silent carriers of the A-T (ataxia-telangiectasia) gene, and thus highly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation. By some estimates, this accounts for up to 20% of all breast cancers diagnosed annually...Compounding these concerns, missed cancers are common in premenopausal women due to the density of their breasts. Additionally, mammography entails tight and often painful breast compression, particularly in premenopausal women. Dr. Epstein warns that, "This may lead to the rupture of small blood vessels in or around small undetected breast cancers, and the lethal distant spread of malignant cells."

I haven't had to deal with cancer in my immediate family (yet--knock on wood), so I am sure there are others, who are more informed on the subject. I am grateful for the routine mammograms that have saved the lives of several people I know, but I also believe there is evidence that there is overlooked risk of undergoing routine, yearly mammograms for premenopausal women--which is just beginning to be acknowledged by the mainstream medical community.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Apple Stackers











Getting your kids to eat a fresh, whole food with each meal or snack isn't easy. These days, it's constant work to make sure children get a balanced diet. I have found a little creativity works better than nagging and pleading. Instead of asking if anyone wants apples, I put some apple stackers on a plate and ask in my most enthusiastic voice "Who wants apple stackers?" For hard core junk food kids, I would say nothing and just put a plate out stacked as high as I can get. I like this presentation as a side with lunch or a snack or on its own after school or before dinner when everyone is hungry. If you have a kid who likes to build, they often will enjoy helping to make the stacks themselves.

Other creative ways to get kids to eat their veggies...and a little info about WHY it's so important...
Snack Trays
A Vegetable Plate and Veggie Sandwiches
FUN FRIDAYS: A Fruit Plate
"Homemade" Pickles
Fresh, Raw Food--An Important Source of Glutathione

To make these apple stackers, cut off a side of an apple just to the side of the core to make a round circle shape. Then cut off the opposite side so you have two circles. Next, cut off the smaller sides which make two small rectangles. Place the flat, flesh, non skin side side down on a cutting board and cut the apples into 1/4 inch slices. Put two apples parallel on the plate. Then place two apples the opposite directions like you are building lincoln logs. It is easier to do than it is to explain. I like to put the largest pieces down first and end with the smallest pieces so it resembles the apple shape. You can even fill the stackers with berries or another fun fruit.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mini Cakes with GF/CF Lemon Frosting















I made these mini cakes with a cupcake mix that I made with too much lemon juice, which caused the "cupcakes" to be too dense--they didn't rise. But since they tasted okay, I layered them with some lemon frosting and decorated them like mini cakes with a basketweave pattern and ruffles around the edge. They actually looked better without the blue swirl, but like a painter who doesn't know when to stop, I went too far. My son liked the cupcakes when they were fresh out of the oven and the frosting was just whipped, but he didn't care for them at the party. My daughter loved them. I thought they were worth posting.

Lemon Frosting

1 cup spectrum palm shortening
3.5 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon rind

Combine palm shortening and a third of the sugar in a mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add a third more of the confectioners sugar, lemon juice and rind. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until creamy. Layer away.

Hard Core Medical Info on Celiac/Autism versus Cupcakes

I couldn't help reprinting this hilarious email I got from my brother-in-law. I thought some of my readers could give me some additional feedback on which which camp they fall into. I am following this post with a cupcake post, as I feel I might have neglected the bakers lately.

"I have been reading your blog and I was thinking it might make sense to expand to two blogs - one devoted to gluten free cupcakes and one to autism/celiac disease. You clearly have enough materials for both, but I would think for the hard core medical types the cupcakes are a disconnect and for the bakers the medical documents are confusing. Just a marketing thought."

Related Links...
A Loyal Fan (My Dad) Weighs in On Cupcake Content

MyCeliacID Genetic Testing Coupon for November


Get $80 off MyCeliacID, from Prometheus, a saliva based genetic test for celiac disease through the end of November with coupon "NovemberSpecial" (Expires 12/31/09. Restrictions apply. Can't be combined with other offers.)

Prometheus is the lab that the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia uses. The report tells you your increased risk over the general population as well as your relative risk for developing celiac disease. For instance, if you are DQ2/DQ8 positive with two genes for celiac you would have a "very high" relative risk of developing celiac which was 14x increased over the general population. If you think you have celiac, but are on a gluten free or low gluten diet, this is also an excellent test to consider.

Gluten Free Pizza in a Box on the Upper East Side at CafeSol















We were so excited to find ANOTHER gluten free pizza on the upper east side, but the most exciting place thing about the still riding pizza from Cafesol at the 92nd Street Y was the pizza box. My son has never had pizza from a box, and I can't remember the last time I walked home with a pizza box in my hand. "Guess what I have?" I said excitedly as I walked in, "Pizza IN A BOX!"

The crust of the Still Riding Pizza is a soft bread crust, but the best thing is that the crust is also dairy free. For my son, I ordered a pizza without cheese--just with sauce. When I got home I put cut up pieces of applegate farms pepperoni. It actually tastes like pepperoni pizza.

Still Riding Pizza is a pizza company that provides gluten free pizza crusts to local pizza places so, with a little training, they can provide gluten free pizzas to customers. Go to the Still Riding Pizza website to search for a location near you. Of course, if you are near Cafesol they deliver...

Cafesol at the 92nd St. Y
1395 Lexington Avenue
New York , NY 10128
212-415-5796
www.cafesolnyc.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

Licorice, Adrenal Fatigue and Allergies

I took my son to Dr. Morton Teich last week to ask about his thyroid medication and the chronic rash on face to the right of his mouth. From photos, it looks like it began last February. He had the rash from February to June, when school ended. Then it began two weeks after school started this year. Geri Brewster, our nutritionist, suggested it might be gluten that he is coming into contact with. I also consulted a mainstream dermatologist. I wasn't really impressed by the dermatologist's diagnosis (eczema) or his treatment recommendation (cortisol.) But, so far we haven't really gotten a handle on the cause or the cure.

For some reason, the rash really bothers me. It is a constant reminder that he isn't 100% healthy. It comes and goes depending on what he eats. Everything else is going well and it is the only indication that something is wrong. I know I should be thankful that a small rash is his major symptom, but instead it makes me want answers.

Dr. Teich suggested it might be adrenal fatigue and said we could try some licorice extract. I found this licorice extract online. Researching licorice extract it looks like a wonder drug--only it's herbal. It is good for way too many things for me to list here so I will provide a link to Licorice Root Benefits and Information. Here is what herbs2000 says about licorice:
"Licorice has an anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and antiarthritic effect similar to that of cortisone but without its side effects. This is because of glycyrrhizin which has a structure similar to hormones produced by the adrenal glands."


I have been thinking about adrenal fatigue for a while now ever since a mother of a child mentioned it in the office of the doctor who was doing thyroid testing. Although unrecognized by most mainstream doctors because testing for this condition is difficult, the condition is a major problem for many people. According to James Wilson's adrenalfatigue.org:
"Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a "syndrome", that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level."
According to the adrenal fatigue site's page on allergies:
"When the adrenals are fatigued they are less likely to produce enough cortisol to adequately counteract the inflammatory reactions, allowing allergic symptoms to continue unchecked.* People going through times of adrenal fatigue may notice that they seem to have more allergies or their allergies seem to get worse."


Signs of adrenal fatigue are: tiredness, allergies, arthritis, anxiety, depression and an inability to loose weight. Although my sons allergies are better on thyroid medication, it made sense that his adrenals were shot from the years of stress and inflammation. Dr. Teich based his diagnosis on decades of experience healing patients--not lab result--and recommended my son start with 100 mg of licorice extract and work his way up to 500 mg. Of course, I have started to take licorice extract too. It's not magic, but I feel better. Or it could be the nightly potato I have been eating trying to cure my sugar addiction. As I heard Dr. Hallowell say to a parent who was asking whether unusual behavior might have been a side effect from medication "Anything could be anything." That is what is so tricky about life.

For additional information on how to support the adrenals see Who Else Wants Help For Adrenal Exhaustion? Adrenal Support for Adrenal Stress.

Cholesterol: Not What You Think

Cholesterol is not the dangerous enemy that drug companies make it out to be. In fact, it is a critical, necessary component of every cell, necessary for producing hormones, fighting infections, and for brain development. High levels can signal that your body is fighting something and trying to heal. According to Natasha Cambell McBrides's in her article, Cholesterol: Friend Or Foe:

"When the body has some healing jobs to do, it produces cholesterol and sends it to the site of the damage."

Read more on this important, vital molecule HERE.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Canker Sores and Children: It Might Be Celiac or Gluten

My daughter and husband both had canker sores inside their mouths before going gluten free. When I read the book Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic by Dr. Peter Green I discovered this is a common reoccurring symptom of celiac.

Dr. Green's book says that many people with celiac have had frequent canker sores as a child. Often it is a vivid, early memory that people with celiac have from childhood. My daughter, when she was a toddler, used to call them "cold cuts." We thought it was a tendency she inherited, because her father had them too. They disappeared on a gluten free diet for both my husband and daughter.

Interestingly, according to an article in the journal BMC Gastroenterology by Dr. Farhad Shahram, a researcher at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran "It has been reported that in five percent of celiac disease patients, aphthous stomatitis [persistent canker sores or open ulcers] may be the sole manifestation of the disease."

If a child or adult has chronic canker sores in his or her mouth, I would recommend a test for celiac disease be done before trying a gluten free diet. Ideally, genetic tests would also be done, which would indicate whether celiac disease is a possibility. Once testing has been completed, it might be useful to try a gluten free diet to see if the canker sores clear up. If they clear up on a gluten free diet, but reappear upon introduction of gluten then gluten intolerance might be a factor.

Canker sores in someone who is already on a gluten free diet might indicate they are being exposed to gluten. Alternatively, sores might indicate vitamin deficiencies.

The mouth is the beginning of the digestive tract so problems in the mouth can sometimes be an indication of more serious problems inside the gastrointestinal tract. If your child has other developmental issues in addition to canker sores, paying attention to this small symptom as a possible sign of celiac or gluten intolerance might shed some light on what is driving the developmental problems.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bent On Learning is Hosting a Workshop: Yoga For Special Needs








Join Bent On Learning for a workshop on Yoga for Special Needs This Tuesday

Eric Chessen, founder of Autism Fitness has created a 3-hour workshop especially geared toward teaching yoga to kids with developmental delays. Although Eric's specialty is working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), this workshop will focus more on the "higher functioning ASD" student with some cognitive delays, grossand/or fine motor delays, auditory processing delays, and social skills delays.

The skills you will learn in this workshop are helpful when working with ALL kids.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
THE SHALA
815 Broadway, Floor 2 • Btwn 11th & 12th Streets
Cost: $75 Per person
Deposit: $20 (Full payment due on Nov 10; check or cash-no credit cards)

To register now click HERE.


Questions? courtney@bentonlearning.org

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fun Friday: Glazed Baby Back Ribs

I love this recipe for gluten free baby back ribs which is an adaptation of a recipe I found in A New Way To Cook By Sally Schneider. Not only are these ribs easy to cook, but the meat falls off the bone and has hardly any fat on it by the time they are done Even if you have never cooked (or thought about cooking!) ribs, these are do able--and delicious. I am making them to kick off a cold weekend.

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons wheat free tamari sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 racks baby back pork ribs (20 ribs total about 3.5-4 pounds)

In a bowl or blender combine all the ingredients. Pulse the blender to make a sauce or stir together to mix well. Cut the ribs into 8 inch sections. Either put the ribs in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over the ribs to cover them OR divide ribs into two and put in two plastic ziplock bags with half the marinade on each one. Cover and marinate for 2.5 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.

Preheat oven to 325˚ F.

Remove the ribs from the marinade and put each 8 inch section on a large piece of foil. Save the marinade for basting. Tightly seal the foil around the ribs folding edges 2 or 3 times to create a seal.

Roast the ribs for 1&1/2 hours. Meanwhile bring the marinade to a boil over moderate heat. Boil for 30 seconds. Set aside to use for basting. I mix a cup of gluten free store bought barbecue sauce into the marinade. (We use bone sucking sauce)

Remove the ribs from the foil and discard the oil. Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Barbecue the ribs on a grill or in a 350˚ oven for 30 minutes. Turn and baste the ribs with the marinade/barbecue sauce at the beginning and every 10 minutes until they are browned and glazed.

Cut the ribs apart half way between the bones at the joint and serve with extra sauce.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Celiac Disease Presenting as Autism

The Journal of Child Neurology published an article called "Celiac Disease Presenting as Autism." Julie Matthews has a synopsis on the article on her website Nourishing Hope for Autism. A five year old who was diagnosed with severe autism was later was diagnosed with celiac. It was discovered he had severe nutrient deficiencies of vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E as well as fatty acids (omega 3, 6 and 9.) In addition he had low Coenzyme Q10 and folate.

According to the abstract:
"This case is an example of a common malabsorption syndrome associated with central nervous system dysfunction and suggests that in some contexts, nutritional deficiency may be a determinant of developmental delay. It is recommended that all children with neurodevelopmental problems be assessed for nutritional deficiency and malabsorption syndromes."

With a gluten free diet, vitamins, fatty acids (omega 3,6 and 9) and fresh juice which made vitamins easier to absorb...
"The patient's gastrointestinal symptoms rapidly resolved, and signs and symptoms suggestive of autism progressively abated."

Other research reports: