1. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
2. Silicon Mat
3. Immersion Blender
4. Food Processor/Blender combo
Products we use:
What’s your favorite kitchen appliance?
Products we use:
What’s your favorite kitchen appliance?
This family of vegetables is the Brassica family and has very potent health benefits and mustard has been one of favorites to focus on lately. I have been finding places to put ground mustard, mustard greens, and even yellow mustard on foods whenever I can. Let me tell you why!
Mustard greens appear in the top four vegetables that are especially high in phenols. Phenols are chemical compounds that have strong inhibitory effects against the mutation of cells and formation of cancer. Other cancer fighting compounds in mustard greens are antioxidants. These substances prevent cell damage that leads to mutations in DNA and can be very dangerous to the body.
Mustard greens also has benefits directly in your liver and your blood. They are potent detoxifiers and can cleanse the liver and the blood by pulling environmental toxins from the blood stream, neutralize heavy metals and help eliminate pesticides from your body.
NOTE: If you are taking a blood thinner (warfarin/coumadin) talk with your doctor before consuming foods high in vitamin K.
Mustard seed is used as whole seeds or ground up into a fine powder, which is what gives the mustard condiment its spicy taste.
Mustard seed, like other vegetables in the Brassica family, contain a phytonutrient called glucosinolates as well as an enzyme called myrosinase. When this phytonutrient and enzyme come together during the chopping, chewing, or grinding process they form another phytonutrient called isothiocyanates.
Eating high amounts of these phytonutrients have been shown in animal studies to inhibit the growth of cancer calls and protect against the formation of new cells.
This benefit only applies in the raw vegetable/spice. When heated, the myrosinase enzyme is denatured (killed off) and the vegetable does not have a chance to create isothiocyanates. For this reason, anytime I cook a vegetable in the Brassica family, I have been adding mustard powder after cooking. This readds the myrosinase enzyme back into the food so that it can work with the glucosinolates to create isothiocyanates.
Mustard seeds are also a great source of other nutrients:
Sprinkle mustard seed on your cooked Brassica vegetables: cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale.
Add whole mustard seed to a coleslaw recipe.
Add some Dijon mustard to your favorite vinaigrette dressing.
Use Rachel Schultz’ recipe and mix Dijon mustard with maple syrup for a marinade on chicken
Marinade salmon fillets in Dijon mustard and white wine.
Eggs can be a delicious and nutritious part of a healthy diet. In fact, if your diet allows, I would argue that they should be a regular part of your healthy diet. In moderation, of course.
Let’s talk about eggs as a functional food. A functional food is a food that has positive effects on health beyond basic nutrition.
Eggs are in expensive and a moderate source of calories that provide significant nutrition. Here’s the breakdown for 1 large egg (or about 50g).
This nutrition label shows that eggs are a good source of protein and unsaturated fat and contain no carbohydrates. Despite this facts, eggs get a lot of grief for their high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. We used to think there was a link between egg consumption and increased risk of heart disease, now it appears that research is unclear but that eggs can be part of a healthy diet.
Now we know, for most of the population, dietary cholesterol, like in eggs, has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. When buying eggs, we now can buy omega-3 enriched eggs from chickens that have been fed a diet high in flax seed. One omega-3 enriched egg has the equivalent of about 400-450mg of omega-3 fats (a combination of DHA and EPA). The correct dose for you is dependent on your age, size, and health status but this is a good place to start.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids have great anti-inflammatory capabilities which is important because so many of today’s diseases are rooted in inflammation. Omega-3’s can reduce the risk and symptoms of diseases like heart attack, stroke, several forms of cancer and various autoimmune diseases.
Some of the important components found in eggs are zinc, biotin, carotenoids, lecithin and choline many of which are deficient in our SAD diet (standard American diet). Let’s break these down to understand their roles in preventing chronic and infectious diseases through their antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-hypertensive properties.
Lecithin is an important component of the cells in our body. It plays a direct role in antioxidant activity by decreasing damage to our cell membranes by reactive oxygen species, like free radicals, which are responsible for many diseases including cancer, inflammatory joint diseases (arthritis), diabetes, and most degenerative diseases.
Eggs are one of few food sources that contain high concentrations of choline. This vitamin-like nutrient is important for chemical messengers in our brain, called neurotransmitters, and plays an essential role in normal brain development. They are important for far more than just our brain. Choline also plays a role in fat metabolism could lead to fatty liver in someone who is choline deficient. The American Medical Association has recently voted to include choline in prenatal vitamins to reduce the risk of birth defects.
Carotenoids are pigments that give egg yolk its natural yellow color. Your body cannot make the carotenoids in eggs and relies on dietary intake. Other places to get carotenoids are vegetables. This makes egg consumption especially important for those people who consume low amounts of vegetables. Carotenoids help improve vision and reduce the risk of macular degeneration and age-related cataracts. I always remember my grandpa telling me to eat carrots if I wanted to keep my eye sight 😊. I guess I could have also eaten more eggs!
Over 300 different enzymes in the body rely on zinc to complete their chemical reactions. It is also very important in the structure of proteins and cell walls. If zinc is deficient, these processes can’t take place. It is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide have a milder zinc deficiency. This is also important because zinc interacts with many other nutrients like copper, calcium, folate and iron.
Don’t eat your eggs raw. Eggs are a great source of biotin – they provide approx. ¼ of the recommended intake for the day. There is an enzyme in egg whites, avidin, that binds to the biotin in eggs and does not allow your body to absorb it. Trust me, you want to reach your biotin intake because they play an important role in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. It also plays a major role in the health of our hair, skin and nails.
Now that its summer we all want ice cream, right?
I always thought I hated chocolate ice cream but one thing I love is fudgesicles in the summer time! Who am I kidding, how could I hate chocolate ice cream?
Brandon and I keep hearing the ice cream truck pass by our house but I swear it makes sure that we are not outside because we are usually outside most days of the week and he never drives by when we want him too!
This weekend I got creative and tailored a standard fudgesicle recipe to my food sensitivity results and then I got to thinking. How can I make this even more customize-able!? I want everyone to be able to eat fudgesicles if their heart desires.
But I guess, I do like other desserts too – like this sorbet 🙂
Milk: whole fat coconut milk or 2% or whole cow’s milk – you need some fat!
Granulated sweetener: cane sugar, blonde coconut sugar, beet sugar
Liquid sweetener: corn syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, cassava syrup, coconut nectar, homemade simple syrup – I use this recipe to make my simple syrup
Chocolate: you can also use carob powder for a caffeine free version!
Flavor Extract: vanilla, almond, mint would all be great flavors – I would use ½ tsp if you use mint because it is strong.
June is national dairy month so in the spirit of this month let’s take a look at the different milk options that are available. This is a big conversation with my food sensitivity clients and we really try to make milk out of pretty much anything! Even if you are not a milk drinker per say (like me) it is always nice to have a type of milk around for smoothies, baking and cereals.
Before we started getting creative and blending up everything into milks we only had cow’s milk, well I guess goats milk too but that is not very common.
Cow’s milk comes in many varieties: whole, 2%, 1%, skim (fat-free) and lactose-free. The component that makes each of them different is their fat content and therefore the calories as well.
Each type of cow’s milk has the same protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals however, choosing fat-free milk will affect the absorption of some of the vitamins that require fat (vitamins A, D, E and K).
Lactose-free milk is processed in a way that breaks down the lactose sugar that is found naturally in milk. It still has all of the nutrients listed above. About 65% of the population is lactose intolerant, meaning they do not make adequate amounts of the enzyme, lactase, to break down the milk sugar. Symptoms of a lactose intolerance include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming a lactose-containing product. For these people, lactose-free milk would be a great option.
Soy milk is made from soybeans and water. It is a plant-based milk and therefore it is free of cholesterol and very low in saturated fat. It is naturally lactose free.
Soy is a controversial topic because of its estrogenic effects but the current thought is that it is still ok in moderate doses. I would limit to 1 serving of non-GMO organic soy per day but I have heard others say 2-3 servings per day.
Too much soy can be a problem for those with thyroid conditions and may prove harmful for women with a history of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Other than that, moderate consumption of soy products are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and can be part of a heart healthy diet.
There is a great recipe from Rasa Malaysia (hint: its only soybeans + water)
Don’t have time to make your own? Here are a couple brands that I recommend to make your lives easier 😊. They are all made from whole, organic non-gmo soybeans and water.
Almond milk made from almonds and water. It is lower in calories than most other milks and also free of saturated fat. It is naturally lactose free.
Even though whole almonds are a good source of protein, almond milk is not a good source of protein or calcium.
Store bought almond milk often contains carrageenan, a thickener and emulsifier. Some studies have linked carrageenan to increased inflammation in the body and often stomach problems.
Since it is not recommended to buy the cartons of almond milk at the store, here is a very simple recipe from Danette May to make your own!
Coconut milk is made from unsulfured, unsweetened coconut meat and water. It is a plant-based milk however, it does contain more fat than other milk alternatives. It is naturally lactose free.
The type of fat found in coconut milk is medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have gained in popularity over the past several years.
Just like other store bought milk alternatives, coconut milk often contains added thickeners and other ingredients like carrageenan which has its negative effects.
Making your own coconut milk is as easy as 1-2… that’s it! Wellness Mama has a great recipe that I use!
If you choose to skim off the fat from your coconut milk you can make it into a wonderful coconut whipped cream for dessert.
Rice milk is made from rice and water. It has very little protein and fat but is higher in carbohydrates than the milk alternatives discussed above.
This is a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant and/or have allergies to milk, soy, or nuts.
Rice does contain higher levels of arsenic that is taken up from the soil while it is growing. Because of this it is not recommended to rely on only rice and rice products. Be sure to focus on consuming a variety of other grains throughout your day.
As with other store bought milks, you can expect to see added thickeners and preservatives to improve shelf life and consistency. For this reason it is best to make your own and it is very easy!
Money Saving Mom has a great recipe that helps you plan ahead so that you don’t have to cook rice every time you want to make your milk!
If none of those sounds appetizing or work with your food sensitivities here are 9 other milks that you can make at home!
My dietetic degree
Isn’t it pretty!
Allowed liquid sweetener – honey, maple syrup, rice bran syrup, tapioca syrup, corn syrup
Almond flour – try cassava flour or make your own sunflower seed flour
What is your favorite sensitivity-friendly cookie recipe?
Are you getting ready to travel soon or do you spend a lot of time on the road? When I went through my food sensitivity diet it was my biggest struggle. I was on the road ALL THE TIME and had to pack every little thing that I was going to eat. Then, I’ll admit, I got lazy so the question was: what were food sensitivity safe snacks for my road trips??
Brandon and I were on a road trip and my first thought was to pack any food that I had an interest in eating so that we didn’t have to stop at a grocery store. On our way home I had already eaten everything so now I was stuck. I was back to thinking… what were food sensitivity safe snacks for my road trips??
Sometimes we want to be like everyone else and buy food at the gas station or convenient store and forget about our food sensitivities (IBS in my case). Am I right?!
During this trip I spent some time looking around the gas station and taking pictures of every food that I could find that had minimal ingredients. The other criteria was that the ingredients were on the MRT Food Sensitivity blood test.
I’m going to warn you now…
But hear me out… on a road trip I would rather eat unhealthy food (like fritos) and not deal with a stomach ache, feel like I need to rush to the bathroom, etc. I would make that choice any day rather than eat the healthy food that makes me feel miserable!
Below I listed all the foods that I found on my search and their ingredients so you don’t think I’m crazy 😊. They have no preservatives or additives.
Fritos Original – Ingredients: corn, corn oil, salt. No preservatives.
Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds – Ingredients: almonds
David Original Sunflower Seeds – Ingredients: sunflower seeds, salt
Banana – Ingredients: banana (obviously!)
Orange – Ingredients: orange (again, duh!)
Wonderful Roasted and Salted Pistachios – Ingredients: pistachios, salt
Original Skinny Pop Popcorn – Ingredients: popcorn, sunflower oil, salt
Corn Nuts – Ingredients: corn, corn oil, salt
If your friends/family like to stop at Starbucks on your road trips you can still get a snack there too!
That’s it Bar – Ingredients: apple, blueberry. These bars come in a ton of flavors that are all just apple + another fruit so if blueberries don’t work for you then maybe another bar will.
Moon cheese – Ingredients: cheddar cheese. These come in 2 other flavors but cheddar is the only flavor that we test for on the MRT food sensitivity test.
Never buy something with an additional flavor because it will most likely have additional preservatives for anti-caking and possibly food dyes to make them visually appealing.
I hope this little list helps you on your next road trip! If you find any other foods I would love to hear about them. I am always looking for new recommendations for clients to make their lives easier and as normal as possible while still feeling their best!
What is your favorite road trip snack?
Until now I didn’t know National Pizza Week existed but I can’t say I’m sad about it! This gave me an excuse to create a new healthy “pizza”-like recipe. So below I bring you ~ Zucchini Pizza Bites with Sauteed Onion Puree and Goat Cheese
Throughout the years I have experimented with different carriers (crusts) for pizza and different sauces – some have been better than others. I’ve made my own pizza dough, eggplant pizza, zucchini pizza, cauliflower pizza, quinoa pizza bites, pesto pizza, bbq chicken pizza – ya dah ya dah ya dah. I love pizza because there are endless possibilities. No matter what your food restrictions are I’m confident that we can find a pizza that works for you!
My zucchini pizza bites are a take on the standard zucchini pizza but with my food-sensitivity-accommodating twist!
Here are some of the food sensitivities I avoid when attempting to make pizza:
I made a New Years Resolution to myself to pay close attention to my food sensitivities because my symptoms of IBS are getting worse again – which happens when you get careless – oops! The worst thing about it is that I have total control over it but for several months had chosen to ignore it – I blame the holidays. Being able to control my symptoms and feeling good everyday makes it all worth it!
Carrier – I bet this would taste AH-mazing on a wheat or gluten free traditional pizza crust, eggplant rounds, yellow squash slices, or cauliflower crust
Toppings – you can use any variety of cheese like gruyere. Pair it with sauteed mushrooms!
What’s your favorite kind of pizza?
Well as much as I tried I couldn’t hold on to fall very long. Leaves are covering the street and its been nasty cold lately (like 60’s and rainy cold)! Being in Chicago it will only get worse but I was enjoying the nice summer we had. Come Fall I always think of hot beverages (I mostly drink hot water… I know, weird.) I do have a weakness for fudge – the nerd in me wants to call it my kryptonite – but maybe that’s because I just finished binge watching Supergirl on Netflix.
Anyhow, I came across a fudge recipe the other day and just had to make it! This fudge recipe called for coconut oil, cashew butter and honey which sounded amazing but because of my sensitivity to fructose that was not going to happen. Honey is 100% fructose! So, I modified it! I love having an understanding of food and being comfortable changing ingredients because it opens up the world of food! You can make pretty much anything you want 🙂
Well, through my modifications I came up with Maple Almond Fudge – yumm!
Nut butter – any allowed nut butter can be used!
Sweetener – maple syrup, honey, or brown rice syrup can be used to sweeten these babies 🙂
**Coconut oil is an important ingredient – this is what keeps the fudge solid. You can use coconut butter in its place if you have it on hand!
Did you make any variations? We would love to know what you tried!
Sheryl is a 45 year old school teacher and single mother of two girls. She just wanted to be a good role model for her kids but didn’t know where to begin. She did not have the energy to workout and had a hard time losing weight. Sheryl suffered from IBS, acid reflux and chronic brain fog. When she came to me she was nervous because she didn’t cook much and didn’t know much about food. After we received her results we looked through some cookbooks and discussed how to modify recipes so that they worked for her. Sheryl cut out wheat from her diet – probably the hardest thing anyone has to to because it is so prominent in our lives. But she found that by doing this she had more energy. She enjoyed cooking with her girls and teaching them about food and recipes and even started taking her girls to the gym!
Look for more to come!
Interested in my story? I too suffered from IBS and used LEAP to help me find symptom relief and allow me to live my life! Read my story here.