Sunday, January 30, 2011
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce (wheat free tamari)
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
optional: some finely grated ginger or finely chopped scallions
3 Tablespoons gluten free soy sauce (wheat free tamari)
6 Tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoons sugar
1&1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1&1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
optional: some finely grated ginger or finely chopped scallions
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Researching B12 I found some fascinating info...
According to a 1988 paper in the America Journal of Clinical Nutrition "There is no active vitamin B-12 in anything that grows out of the ground; storage vitamin B12 is found only in animal products where it is ubiquitous and where it is ultimately derived from bacteria." Also, according to the paper, it was found that Iranian vegans who were strict vegetarians (vegans) for religious reasons did not get vitamin B-12 deficiency. The scientist "went to Iran and found that they grew vegetables in night soil (human manure)" and "the vegetables were not carefully washed so they retained B-12 from the manure rich soil which was adequate to prevent B-12 deficiency."
Doing some research, it looks like there are some nutritional sources of B12 that vegans can use. Yeast, while not an animal, is alive and can be grown to be rich in B12 and incorporated in the diets of vegans. Red Star T-6635 is a nutritional yeast that is grown on a B12 enriched medium and has a cheesy taste and texture of parmesan cheese. Further research suggests it is supplemented with B12 and it is risky to rely on these for supplementation for many reasons. But, there are many sources which advocate that all vegetarians monitor their B12 status and consider supplementation. You can read more on B12 Analogues and Deficiency which suggests all vegetarians get their B12, methylmalonic acid and homocysteine checked to be sure.
But, it's not only vegans and vegetarians who are at risk for low B12 levels. Because ourGFfamily can't eat gluten, meat is a staple in our house--which anyone who knows me well is probably aware of. Despite the fact we all eat meat, 3 out of 4 in our family have been low in B12, which is why I am so interested in this vitamin. It turns out, we just don't absorb the vitamin well and need supplementation. Many people with gut issues and digestive disorders like celiac do not absorb B12 well. Could it Be B12: An Epidemic of Misdiagnosis is a fascinating book with an overview of the many conditions associated with low B12.
Interestingly, according to the paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, because of reabsorption it takes about 20 years to run out of B12 if you stop consuming B-12 but "only 3 years to run out and get vitamin B-12 deficiency if one stops absorbing the vitamin." So people who have digestive problems are at the most risk.
Earthsave Canada has this recommendation for pregnant women and children:
"Pregnant and nursing women need to make sure that both they and their newborns get a reliable source of B12 in their diets every day. Babies need it every day because they don't yet have the stores of the vitamin to draw on like adults do. B12 needs to be in the mother's diet every day during pregnancy and lactation to allow for the child's growth and development."
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
You can get more information on how to spot celiac from dental damage here:
Spotting Celiac from Dental Damage
Dental Enamel Defects in Children Strong Indicator of Celiac Disease
Monday, January 24, 2011
Of course, kale "pasta" doesn't taste like pasta. But for people who are avoiding carbs or grains or gluten, putting spaghetti and meatballs or their favorite pasta sauce on a bed of kale, actually makes for quite a tasty and satisfying (and healthy!) dinner.
I actually cook a few bunches of kale once a week to have on hand throughout the week and use in omelets, as a side with dinner or lunch or even as a bed of greens for a pasta sauce. This is also a great pasta substitute for people who are on the Atkins diet.
Kale "Pasta" Recipe
Fill large pot of water 1/2 full of water and bring to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt or however much salt you would add to cook pasta.
Wash 1 or 2 bunches of kale in water. Kale is actually not that dirty, but it is good to rinse it or submerge it in a sink full of water.
Pile 3 leaves on top of one another and then roll them into a cylinder. This way you are cutting a tube of kale. It makes it a little easier than cutting the flat leaves. But you can also leave the leaves flat if that is easier.
Cut leaves into 1/4 inch strips. Place into bowl after cutting if you need to so that you have more room for cutting. Continue cutting until all the kale is in 1/4 inch strips.
Cook the strips of kale in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then drain and use as a base for tomato sauce as you would regular pasta.
This boiled kale is also amazing as a pizza "crust." I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes I don't have enough Udi's gluten free pizza crusts for everyone, so I let the kids have the pizza and I use kale as my "pizza" base and top with daiya cheese and turkey pepperoni and serve with oregano, red pepper flakes and garlic salt.
(Disclaimer: My kids don't eat boiled kale--although my five year old will eat kale chips. This is more WhatToFeedYourSelf than WhatToFeedYourKids!)
A Celebratory Bowl of Kale
Pasta with Kale, Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts
Friday, January 21, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
My inspiration for my chickpea salad?
Well, I was watching Dr. Oz on Super Value Super Foods and eggs and chickpeas were at the top of the list so I decided ourGlutenFree family would have to keep both on hand to eat as snacks. And there they were in the fridge next to each other--chickpeas and easy green dip. Two great tastes that taste great together, I think they say.
Here is a list of all the $5 Friday Superfoods that were both healthy and affordable:
Chickpeas from a bag are really a value superfood. The canned chickpeas are not as much of a value and they don't taste as good but they are convenient. But, as I said before, if you served them with easy green dip they would be a surprisingly delicious treat.
Popping Popcorn--A Naturally Gluten Free Snack
Potatoes, Green Beans, Olives and Hard Boiled Eggs: Composed Salad for Kids
Last year I was diagnosed with B12 deficiency after months of complaining to doctors about my failing memory and tingling in my arms and feet. Several doctors as well as a nutritionist all thought it was just too much sugar and maybe an age related decline in memory. Then I started having burning pain in my feet and a new doctor finally ran some tests trying to get to the bottom of my crazy symptoms which revealed low B12 levels. Once I knew I was low in B12, it seemed really obvious to me, because it was a vitamin my son had also been low in and he started speaking after supplementation with sublingual B12.
If you have any type of neurological problems or age related decline, you should look into getting B12, methylmalonic acid and homocysteine levels checked. All three tests are needed to accurately determine B12 status. High levels of B12 when you are not taking supplements can also indicate problems with B12--sometimes it can pool in the blood and not be getting into the tissues. This was seen in some studies where the blood levels were high but the cerebral spinal levels were low.
Also, there are four different forms of B12--methyl B12 is supposed to be the best form. Sublingual forms of B12 are supposed to be better than the oral forms because they bypass the digestive system which needs intrinsic factor to be absorbed. Best to get a blood level and know your B12 status before supplementing with B12--it's of great importance to know your level. Read the Wall Street Journal Article on Tired And Confused? Vitamin B12 May Be Low for an overview of low B12 levels.
Monday, January 17, 2011
The Erythritol worked very well for the poptarts but the peanut butter cookie bites weren't as popular. We made a bunch of different flavor poptarts--chocolate, strawberry jam, blueberry jam, and raspberries crushed up with a little erythritol. Everyone's favorite was the fresh raspberry with the erythritol filling because the tartness of raspberries really complemented the flaky almond pastry. It's not raspberry season, but the raspberries were so good I went and bought three more half pints of raspberries for the week. Below is a link to another cookie recipe on the blog Healthy Indulgences for Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Erythritol.
To make the sugar free pop tarts, substitute 1/4 cup erythritol (or sugar substitute of choice) in original pop tart recipe and use the raspberry filling below.
Raspberry Filling (for 6 pop tarts):
2 cups washed raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar substitute
Crush raspberries with a fork and mix in the sugar substitute. Use as a filling for poptarts.
Everyone liked the frosted poptarts the best. For the frosting I used confectioner's sugar with water and made a glaze. We also tried the sugar free raspberry poptart without the glaze but our favorite was the sugar free raspberry pop tart with the sugar glaze.
Gluten Free Pop Tart Recipe
Apple Pie Filling for Pop Tarts
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Here are some highlight from the lecture:
- On statins (cholesterol lowering medications) and antidepressants, the insert of these medications suggest that thyroid evaluation should be done before taking medication. Although doctors routinely treat high cholesterol and depression with these cholesterol lowering medications and antidepressants a thorough thyroid evaluation should be done first.
- TSH- level should be between .3 and 3.0
- Free T4-storage thyroid hormone (the "cake mix"--needs to be activated or baked ie turned into T3) level should be ABOVE the 50% of normal (if range is 1-10 level should be 5)
- Free T3- actual thyroid hormone that can be used by body. Level should be ABOVE 75% of normal range (if normal is 1-10 then you should be 7.5 or above)
- Thyroid Antibodies - proteins that attack the thyroid gland
- Reverse T3 - measuring sidelined T3 that is unavailable to body
- Ferritin - stored form of iron (normal range is 20-100 but optimal is 60 or 80 if you need to lose weight)
- Vitamin D - normal range is 20-100 but want to see 60 0r 80 for women who want to lose weight. Get blood level to determine supplementation for this critical hormone. Some doctors suggest 5,000 a day for people whose blood levels are low. There is a once a week prescription for people who levels don't respond to daily supplementation of 50,000 iu per week. Ask your doctor about this. Watch CBS News Watch about the importance of vitamin D.
For perimenopause/menopause symptoms:
- Synthetic hormones should be avoided.
- Bio-identical hormones should be LAST RESORT and transdermal are safest.
- ALL HORMONE SUPPLEMENTATION has risks associated with it.
- Royal Maca root from Whole World Botanicals which is a whole food supplement. <--only use Maca from this company because it needs to be cooked and processed properly.
- 3 mg of Pierpaoli melatonin at 11 pm (can start with health food dosage of .5 mg and build up to make sure that you tolerate melatonin before you invest in this supplement.)
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Also, here are the other guests I met at the tweet up...
Lauren who vlogs at The Celiac Diva (@TheCeliacDiva)
Jill who can be found at Glow Gluten Free (@glowglutenfree)
Erin who writes Gluten-Free Fun (@gfreefun)
Kristen who writes Pasta's Kitchen (@PastasKitchen)
Susan Cohen who directed Generation Gluten Free (@susanecohen)
1/4 Cup “buttery spread” - I use Earth Balance
1 cup avocado puree – 2 avocados in food processor with about a TBSP of water to get a creamy consistency
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup confectioners sugar OR if you prefer to go light on the sugar sub the 1 cup for 1/3 cup agave, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup water, whisked together – still working out these measurements, sometimes the texture is a little off, but I try to go easy on the sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch OR 2 TBSP Arrowroot for a corn-free version
Melt buttery spread over low heat. Stir in the avocado puree, sugar, cocoa powder, & vanilla (or agave mixture). Cook until the mixture thickens (about 5-7 min). Off heat, add cornstarch or arrowroot gradually until mixture thickens. Very creamy when served warm.
Dust with confectioners sugar & enjoy!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sinergia • 2082 Lexington Ave. - 4th Floor, New York, NY 10035, Tel 212.643.2840
Part 1: The Gluten Free Diet and all about alternative flours
Lecture will cover...
Thursday, January , 2011 <--LECTURE HAS BEEN POSTPONED due to snowstorm! New date will be posted in a few days
- How to get started on a gluten free diet.
- Overview of gluten free products that taste good.
- Which flours and grains are acceptable and which are nutritious.
- Products you can find in the regular grocery store.
- Cooking demo on how to make gluten free chocolate chip cookies using garbanzo bean and fava been flour.
- Instructions on how to make gluten free chicken nuggets using bread crumbs made from rice cakes.
- Interactive discussion as well as Q&A for parents.
This lecture is free thanks to the generous support of the Autism Initiative at Sinergia. To register for the FREE workshop, please call Gina Peña-Campodonico at 212 643-2840, ext. 305 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Sunday, January 9, 2011
2 cups gluten free flour blend
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water plus 2 Tablespoons added in slowly
Mix gluten free flour, xanthum gum and salt in a medium sized bowl.
Form a well in the center.
Whisk together 1 egg plus 1/2 cup water.
Pour egg mixture into center of flour.
Using hands or fork, combine until forms a dough you can kneed.
Kneed dough adding more water if necessary.
Form a ball and cut off thin slices (about the size of a piece of salami) to roll in between two pieces of parchment paper or two pieces of plastic wrap.
Roll until thin as possible.
Cut into 3 inch square.
Dust with cornstarch if you need to while rolling (I used parchment and I didn't need to do this step)
Reserve won-ton wrapper for soup.
Homemade Chicken Broth or Chicken Broth with a splash of sesame oil and a few scallions sprinkled on top.
Dumpling Filling: 1/2 pound beef or pork, 2 scallion2, 1 teaspoon sherry or plum vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pinch of white pepper. Combine filling ingredients in cuisinart until forms a paste. Or chop finely by hand and mix together.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
4 apples diced finely
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch (or potato starch or tapioca flour)
1/2-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
nutmeg to taste-small pinch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 batch gluten free pop tart crust
1.Finely dice apples.
2.Add the sugar, starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice.
3. Use as a filling for apple pie pop tarts--or use the pop tart crust to make mini apple pies.
More thoughts...I used 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, but if you prefer more apple pie flavor, then you can use a 1/4 teaspoon more cinnamon. They were quite sweet, so I might use a little less sugar next time.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
I guess I will begin with lentils, which I am told also bring prosperity if eaten in the new year and are eaten daily in India. At least in Italy, lentils symbolize money and are considered a lucky food if eaten during the new year. If you know me, you know it is not a surprise that I am choosing food as my first step in Project India. And if Project India doesn't work perhaps prosperity will be insured.
The simplicity of the five weeks I spent in India traveling by myself would be hard to duplicate now that I have a husband, two kids, a dog, a cat--but I am going to try. Unfortunately, I think it is more the collective spirit of India that infused my trip with a depth and sacredness. The simplicity of my traveling in Rajastan by train with a backpack is unknown in my too busy, too cluttered life and the collective spirit that filled the towns and cities I traveled to are probably impossible to find in NYC.
But, I will try each week to find a way to get closer to the life I experienced-- beginning with lentils and rice. It is a superficial, small step toward something impossible to duplicate.
Looking up inspirational quotes to inspire Project India, I found this one at thinkexist.com:
“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”
Buddha quotes (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)
Not quite a resolution--more of a hope and a dream for a simpler, more fulfilling life. Let Project India begin--with lemon lentils.
Goldfingers - Applegate Farms Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
Pizza Bites - Udi's Pizza Crust with Tomato Sauce and Hormel Bite Size mini pepperoni cut with a biscuit cutter into rounds
French Fries - Potato Poppers
Cake - Foods by George Single Serving Brownie with Chocolate Frosting or French Meadow Bakery Gluten-Free Yellow Cupcakes