Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Yam Frosting (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)



I thought these healthy gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with bright orange frosting looked quite festive for halloween. You could even offer them to your children in exchange for their candy loot! My children normally go trick-or-treating and then come back home and give most of their candy away to the last of the trick-or-treaters. Oh what joy they have in doing this! Then they put whatever remaining candy they have next to their bed and in the middle of the night the hungry candy gnome comes to take it away. In exchange he leaves them some healthy treats like pomegranates, herbal tea bags, and oranges. Seriously, my children think pomegranates ARE candy and are absolutely thrilled to each have their own left by a mysterious candy gnome! If you plan on using this tradition with your children, it is best to start when they are young.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creamy Almond Kale Smoothie



If there was one thing you could do right now to improve your health would you do it? Eating raw cruciferous vegetables daily might be our saving grace in this increasingly toxic world. Cruciferous vegetables will upregulate or "produce" the enzymes your body needs to eliminate environmental toxins and properly metabolize estrogen. They also provide the sulfur, folic acid, and magnesium these enzymes need to function optimally. Worried about cruciferous vegetables causing thyroid problems? If you closely examine the scientific literature, you will see that people who have thyroid issues after eating cruciferous vegetables are iodine insufficient. Eating nori, cooking your beans with kombu, and eating wild caught Alaskan salmon are ways to increase your iodine intake. We (including our children) also take a kelp extract supplement daily. Researchers are now finding that environmental toxicants have a major role in the rise of thyroid related disorders.....so eating raw cruciferous vegetables protects your health on many levels.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Simple Slow-Cooked Chicken Curry


The days are getting shorter, colder, and busier! Having simple, nourishing meals ready to eat when you get home from work or school is so important. Now that the weather has changed, I've been using my slow cooker more often. This chicken curry recipe is so simple that I almost didn't post it! I've made it a number of times in the last few weeks. Too many actually, because now my children are starting to complain!

Today I forgot to add the tomatoes which caused the stew to lack some flavor and "oomph!" Adding something acidic, like tomatoes, helps to balance flavors. A little freshly squeezed lime juice can remedy a lack of tomatoes though!

You can add different vegetables to the pot if desired, just make sure to cut them large enough so they maintain their shape and don't turn to mush during the long cooking time. Try sweet potatoes, rutabagas, potatoes, or chunks of peeled and cubed pie pumpkin! If you want to add zucchini or red bell pepper then add them in during the last 30 to 60 minutes of cooking (less time if you have your slow cooker set on high, more if it is set on low).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Are GMOs Increasing the Incidence of Gluten Sensitivities?


Jeffrey Smith and Tom Malterre, MS, CN Discuss GMOs and Gluten from Whole Life Nutrition on Vimeo.

I had the honor of interviewing author and GMO expert, Jeffrey Smith, at the recent Seeds of Doubt Conference in LA. We had a lively discussion on how the consumption of genetically engineered foods may be contributing to the rise in gluten sensitivities. Jeffrey shared some amazing facts on how GM foods increase leaky gut, decrease nutrient content, cause bacterial imbalances, interfere with normal digestion, and increase allergenic response.

Topics of discussion included:

1. Bt toxin found in GM Bt Corn (non-organic corn chips, tortillas, cornstarch, etc.) and Cotton (cottonseed oil in processed foods) crops can poke holes in the intestines of animals and humans leading to a leaky gut. Bt Toxin has now been found in the blood of 93% of pregnant women and 80% of their offspring in a recent study in Quebec.

2. Roundup use has increased 527 million pounds since 1996 mainly due to the introduction of Roundup-ready GM crops (soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, corn). Roundup is a potent mineral chelator and antibiotic. Mineral deficiencies such as manganese, zinc, iron, magnesium, iodine, cobalt (think vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin) have been found in plants and the animals who eat them. The use of Roundup contributes to intestinal imbalances of bacterium in animals and in the soil leading to an increased susceptibility to disease for both animals and plants. Recent research is pointing to bacterial imbalances in people with Celiac Disease; and mineral insufficiencies are commonly associated with immune imbalances.

3. An increase in allergies and allergenic reactions have been documented with the use of GM crops.

For more information on genetically modified foods and your health please watch Jeffrey's latest movie, Genetic Roulette (available online), or visit his site, The Institute for Responsible Technology.

If you are interested in understanding more of the underlying factors associated with this explosion of food sensitivities and allergies we're seeing then check out our new book, Nourishing Meals. We cover everything from GMOs to environmental toxicity and leaky gut syndrome.

You might also like:
Preserving the Genius of Life ~ A Call to Action
The Elimination and Detoxification Diet
How to Make Lacto-Fermented Vegetables



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Butternut Squash, Kale, & White Bean Soup



There is nothing more nourishing than a bowl of warm vegetable bean soup on a chilly autumn evening! This simple soup can be made in about 30 minutes, perfect if you are crunched for time on a busy weeknight. I like to keep small containers of cooked beans in my freezer so I can pull them out and whip something up in a hurry! You could of course use canned beans, and if you do, the best brand to buy is Eden Organic. They use BPA-free cans and also cook kombu seaweed in with their beans, which helps to make them more digestible.

If you are not yet in the habit of cooking beans from scratch, here is what I do: after the kids go to bed I will sort through a couple of cups of dry beans (usually about 4 cups) and pick out any rocks or clumps of dirt, then rinse the beans in a colander. Then I place them into a large glass bowl and cover them with a few inches of warm water. Be sure to add enough water! Whenever I ask Tom to soak beans or nuts, he never adds enough water and in the morning they will have all expanded and be exposed to air. He's learning, slowly. ;-)