Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vitamin D3 is More Potent than Vitamin D2

Here is an article from Mercola on the importance of vitamin D for vascular health and blood pressure that I thought might be of interest to readers.

The study Vitamin D3 Is More Potent Than Vitamin D2 in Humans reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism took a look at D2 versus D3 and came to the conclusion that
"Clearly, vitamin D3 is the preferable form of vitamin D."
Not only is D2 is the less absorbable form of this vitamin, but the study concluded "taking 50,000IU of D2 should be equivalent to 15,000IU of D3 and perhaps closer to 5,000IU."

I was prescribed 50,000 units of vitamin D3 by a doctor per week for a vitamin D level of 30. Although vitamin D can be toxic in high dosages and needs to be monitored if you supplement at these levels, research suggests that blood levels of people with vitamin D insufficiency taking 50,000IU of D2 for 12 weeks raise the blood level by 25 ng while taking 50,000IU of D3 raised blood levels by 47 ng. so it's something to consider with the advise of your doctor if you have chronically low levels that don't change with usual supplementation.

If you do take this supplement regularly, you should have blood levels checked whenever you get a blood test to monitor whether you are absorbing it.

There are also drops that are 1,000IU and drops that are 5,000IU that you can take once a day. Posts below have more information on vitamin D. Also there is a fascinating ongoing Q&A about Vitamin D on The Vitamin D Solution.

Related posts:
Vitamin D--The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D Drops for Infants, Kids and Adults
Vitamin D and the Flu

Friday, April 29, 2011

Gluten-Free 123 KIDS

Monday, May 9th: 7:00 pm at the Port Jefferson Village Center

Amy Deaver and Chef Christine Puleo are excited to offer a great class for parents of children with gluten intolerance and other dietary restrictions (such as dairy, egg and soy).

We will teach you how to buy and prep foods for children attending summer camps, birthday parties, and help you learn about eating foods and meals at home that are very “kid friendly.” There will also be a cooking demonstration and tasting that evening with the recipe to go along with it! All registrants will receive take-home information and resources. Learn tools, tricks and ideas that will make it easy to prepare and enjoy the foods children love and smile about! And you’ll relax knowing that it’s good for them.

to register:
Visit the ‘Classes” link, or, call 631-246-9404

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning with Less Chemicals: A Steam Cleaner

When I realized that environmental toxins might be a factor in the health of my family and that lessening my children's exposure to chemicals might help them, one of the first things we did was throw out toxic cleaning products. We went from softscrub, fantastic and bleach to vinegar, baking soda and a steam cleaner. The new products we used to clean were all so safe you could eat them--which is probably a good standard to use when you are choosing cleaning products and beauty products.

My steam cleaner broke after magically cleaning everything from tile grout to my UGG boots. As a replacement, I just ordered the Wagner Power Steamer and Cleaner from Amazon. (And with Amazon Prime, two day shipping was free.)

And, it's not just kids who are affected by these chemicals, according to Fox News, "The regular use of basic cleaning products in the home may double the risk of women developing breast cancer, a U.S. study found." You can read more HERE.

A steam cleaner is an investment, but there are also simple, less expensive ways you can switch to safer cleaning products. The easiest way is to JUST STOP BUYING TOXIC CLEANING PRODUCTS! When you use up a cleaning product just go without it. Pretend you live in the 1800's or you are on the TV show The 1900 House and use non-chemical cleaners. You actually don't need these cleaning products to live and by opting out of buying these them you are not supporting a chemical industry that produces. And there is a lot of evidence that in order to be healthy we actually need to coexist with bacteria. Sure these products make things squeaky clean, but they also make indoor air more polluted than outdoor air. If you think you can't live without this or that cleaning product just try going without it for a week or so to see if you really need that chemical in your home.

With the money you save NOT buying chemicals to clean your home you can invest in a steam cleaner!

Other posts on household cleaning:
Homemade Soft Scrub
Spring Cleaning Tip #2: Green Your Cleaning Supplies

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Problem with Tuna Oil in Gerber's Organic Baby Food

I am a huge fan of fish oil for brain development and well aware of the benefits of supplementation with omega 3's. It is because of my intense interest in omega 3s that I am shocked and appalled that Gerber would put TUNA OIL in their organic babyfood. While omega 3's do so much to help development of children, tuna oil is the LAST source I would use to increase omega 3's. All the articles I read about fish oil and all the doctors I consulted unanimously have recommended the safest place to get omega 3s from were small fish that were low in the food chain and less likely to be contaminated with mercury. High quality, safe fish oil sources routinely say they are made with fish like anchovies and sardines which would contain less mercury.

According to a 2004 report by the FDA titled What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish:

"Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of methylmercury.

According to a 2005 article in The Herald Tribune:

"Making choices about canned tuna based on mercury risk is complicated because not all tuna species contain the same amount of the toxic metal, which can harm children's developing brains and cause neurological problems in adults.

Albacore tuna is a big fish and therefore tends to have higher mercury levels. The government has warned young children and pregnant women to limit how much albacore they eat."

More recently, in January 2011, Consumer Reports warned that

"Canned tuna, especially white, tends to be high in mercury, and younger women and children should limit how much they eat. As a precaution, pregnant women should avoid tuna entirely."

Below is a list of some of the Gerber products that contain Tuna Oil. The list goes on and on! Gerber makes 37 products that contain Tuna Oil and many of these are organic products which are marketed to be high in DHA.

I would avoid these products and not be fooled by the organic label. Tuna Oil is not something you want to feed a baby. If you want to supplement with fish oil, I would choose a product like Nordic Naturals or Carlson's that is third party certified to be tested as free of mercury and that is made of smaller fish like anchovies and sardines.

Here is the list of some of the Gerber Products that contain Tuna Oil. Click on the link below and then Nutritional Info to get the ingredient list for each product.

GERBER DHA& Probiotic Cereal - Oatmeal
GERBER DHA& Probiotic Cereal -Rice
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 1st FOODS Fruits-Apples
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 1st FOODS Fruits-Bananas
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 1st FOODS Fruits-Pears
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 1st FOODS Fruits-Prunes
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 1st FOODS Vegetables-Carrots
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 1st FOODS Vegetables-Sweet Peas
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 1st FOODS Vegetables-Sweet Potatoes
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 2nd FOODS Fruit & Vegetable - Apple Sweet Potato

GERBER Organic SmartNourish 2nd Foods Fruits -Apple Strawberry
GERBER Organic SmartNourish 2nd Foods Fruits -Apple

Related posts on the importance of fish oil and healthy, safe sources...
Omega 3's in Fish Oil
The Best Fish Oil for Kids
Flavoring Fish Oil for Kids

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Implement a Dairy Free Diet for Children at Sinergia

Free NYC event on how to implement a dairy free diet at Sinergia in East Harlem from 10 am-12:30 pm tomorrow--Thursday, April 14, 2011. I am going to explain to parents the benefits of a dairy free diet for children and how to successfully and healthfully get kids on a dairy free diet. Lecture will include a demo of homemade almond milk and homemade almond chocolate milk made with alternative sweeteners. Join us tomorrow to learn more.

Alternative Nutrition Series for Children with Developmental Delays
Sinergia • 2082 Lexington Ave. - 4th Floor, New York, NY 10035, Tel 212.643.2840

Part 3: Implementing Dairy Free Diet for Kids

Thursday, April 14, 2010,
10:00 am-12:30 pm

See the Sinergia calendar of events for more info and to RSVP.

Here is a link to handouts from a previous presentation for a sample of some of what has been covered in previous lectures. Also, see Reading Labels at Sinergia for an overview of last lecture.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book and Cooking Class Recommendations for GFCF Diet

Q: I'm very nervous about my ability to provide good GFCF foods that my extra picky son will eat. Do you have a good cook book you recommend?

A: There are so many cookbooks to help parents implement these dietary changes. I have shelves full of cookbooks and science books related to healing through diet. Here are some of my favorites.

Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals by Silvana Nardone is a great cookbook for families who would like GFCF recipes that everyone can enjoy together. Silvana Nardone was editor in chief of Every Day with Rachel Ray and her recipes really work.

The Autism and ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hope and Healing and Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) and Other Interventions
comes in paperback for about $10 from Amazon and gives an overview of different dietary options. Barrie Silberberg, a parent who has healed her son using dietary intervention, simplifies the gfcf diet and the science so that parents don't get overwhelmed and can successfully implement the gfcf diet.

Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts is my most worn and loved gluten free cookbook. I haven't made all the recipes in the book, but the ones I have made work so well, I tend to make them over and over. (The cookbook is not dairy free so I use Spectrum Organic Shortening instead of butter and seltzer water or coconut milk in place of milk in her recipes.)

Gut and Psychology Syndrome
is a more complicated explanation about how gut health influences neurological problems. It is written by Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride, a neurologist who went back to school to get a second degree in nutrition so it really goes into a detailed explanation of the science by a doctor with two degrees and a huge amount of knowledge. Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) is one of my favorite books but it is definitely more of an advanced book for experienced parents or doctors who are interested in science.

Chapter on Diet from Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism 2010-2011 by Karyn Seroussi and Lisa Lewis. You can buy this book at Amazon or read the chapter at your local Barnes and Noble to get a great overview on the GFCF diet by the founders of The Autism Network for Dietary Intervention (ANDI) who also wrote the book The Encyclopedia of Dietary Interventions for the Treatment of Autism and Related Disorders.


If you are in NYC...

Join author Silvana Nardone at The Institute of Culinary Education on April 10, 2011 to prepare gluten-free versions of beloved dishes---including chocolate chip cookies and donuts---that you might have thought were now out of your repertoire for good.

Take a class at the Natural Gourmet Institute with Rebecca Reilly to learn about Gluten Free Baking!

Join our parent group All About Eating and Mealtime-- a six evening course this spring to help parents with dietary intervention and picky eaters. During the six sessions, parents will get lectures, information and support from a nutritionist, an occupational therapist and a parent/cook.

Blessing of a Skinned Knee Workshop with Patti Sayre

Patty Sayre, who ran the parenting group at the two's program my son attended, is running her Blessing of a Skinned Knee workshops based on the popular book starting the week of April 11. There are 2 spaces left in the morning workshop and 4 remaining in the evening workshop if you want to join the group. Email if you are interested in being a part of this 4 session workshop series.

Blessings of a Skinned Knee Workshop:

Morning Series: April 11, 25, May 2, 9.
9:30-10:45 am.

Evening Series: April 13, 20, 27 May 5.
7:30-8:45 pm.

Cost $240.00

Please email with any questions that I you may have or to set up a time to speak about the program.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Flawless Foundation 2011 Perfection Party: April 9, 2011

The Flawless Foundation supports programs that "discover and nurture the perfection in every child."

Join me at this unprecedentated panel discussion and cocktail party on Saturday, April 9th from 4:30-7:30 pm. to support this amazing organization that does so much to help children. To get a friends discount to attend the event (the $250 dollar ticket is now $125!) visit Friends of Flawless to reserve your ticket for the panel discussion and cocktail party. There are also a limited number of tickets available for the panel discussion, reception and dinner here.

The Flawless Foundation's mission is to help children with mental health and neurodevelopmental challenges through programs that provide education and holistic care. The unprecedented panel discussion at he the 2011 Perfection Party includes J. Stuart Ablon, the director of Think: Kids at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harold Koplewicz, the founder and president of Child Mind Institute, Shonda Schilling, the author of The Best Kind of Different, as well as Garen Staglin, the founder of International Mental Health Research Organization.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chocolate Shake

This gluten free/dairy free chocolate shake tastes like a milk shake and is a real pick me up anytime you need some energy. Cocoa powder is full of minerals and antioxidants. Sometimes I make this shake with raw cocoa nibs, which have even more antioxidants and were rated #2 in a post by Brainready called The Top 5 Brain Healthy Foods. For a while I was drinking a premade protein shake but then I decided I wanted a homemade version--which is easy to make if you have a VitaMix. If you have a child with a dairy allergy I really recommend investing in a VitaMix which will allow you to make "milk" from any nut or seeds in just a few minutes. This recipe makes one serving.

2 Tablespoons Nut Butter
1 to 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1&1/2 cups ice
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1-2 packets of nu-stevia
1 teaspoon agave
1 scoop fiber powder

Blend together in blender or VitaMix for 2 minutes until it is the texture of a milkshake. Serve with a straw. Enjoy!