Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, paleo)


Spring is finally here! I just want to soak up each and every moment of sunshine we have, as it's been a particularly dark and rainy last couple of months. This healthy gluten-free lemon poppy seed cake will surely brighten any day! Serve it for Easter brunch or as part of a Mother's day breakfast. It's not particularly sweet, but definitely bursting with lemon flavor. It's quite easy to make and free of many of the common allergens, except eggs. The lemon-honey glaze on top seals in moisture and adds even more lemony flavor. I think you and your family will enjoy it. My children just love this cake!

This grain-free, paleo cake recipe is actually an adaption of the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin recipe from my new Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. A few years ago (in 2014) I was asked by the Institute for Functional Medicine to create a Lemon Poppy Seed Cake recipe for a special banquet dinner event held during the their annual conference that year. This is the recipe that I created and that was served to hundreds of IFM members that evening (in individual miniature bundt cake form with fresh berries on top)! My friends and family have been making this recipe since....and now I'm finally sharing it with you. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spicy Slow Cooked Beef Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado-Cilantro Cream



I really love being able to toss ingredients into my slow cooker in the morning in order to have a meal ready to go later in the day, don't you? There's just so much less stress, and I feel so organized, with a clean kitchen going into dinnertime! This recipe for tomato-free, paleo slow cooked beef can be used in a multitude of ways. If you don't want to stuff it into baked sweet potatoes then you could use it as a taco filling for corn tortillas, Brown Rice Flour Tortillas, or simply served with sautéed kale and cabbage! If you or some of your family members eat dairy you could put the beef into the sweet potatoes and then top with shredded raw cheese and place in your oven under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese (some of my children like this)!

I first made this with some of my lacto-fermented hot sauce (yes, I cooked my precious sauce)! After that I wanted to recreate it using some of the same ingredients from my sauce that everyone could find and use. This recipe contains bell peppers and hot peppers, but no tomatoes, and it's not too spicy (my children eat this). If you are following our Elimination Diet and have tested out ok for peppers and beef then you can enjoy this during the rest of Phase 3. In fact, you could even use this recipe for testing beef in Phase 3! I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Gluten-Free Bagel Recipe (vegan, xanthan gum-free)



I have a very fun recipe for you today. One that your children will love to participate in making......gluten-free bagels! I've been making these ever since my oldest daughter asked me to create a gluten-free bagel recipe about four years ago. I had just published the first edition of Nourishing Meals, which contained plenty of amazing gluten-free, vegan bread recipes, but no bagel recipe! She encouraged me to test out my breadstick and bread recipes in bagel form and they worked great. We've had fun making these together to send on her school camping trips throughout the years.

The big difference between bagels and a roll or a breadstick is that the dough is boiled after rising. This creates the chewy bagel texture that we all know and love. I've created a photo tutorial for you below to help make the bagel-making process very easy to understand.

There are so many variations to this recipe! Cinnamon-Raisin (my Buckwheat Cinnamon-Raisin variation will be posted soon), Garlic-Herb, Sesame, Poppy Seed-Sea Salt (pictured here), and more! Please let me know in the comments what types of flavor variations you created using my recipe.

This gluten-free bagel recipe is nearly identical to the Rosemary-Sea Salt Breadstick recipe on page 121 in my Nourishing Meals book. I've just changed the way in which they are made, and switched out one of the flours for another. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Healing Turmeric-Ginger Broth


Learn how to make the most delicious, anti-inflammatory turmeric-ginger broth! I love adding chopped fresh turmeric to chicken soup, but this recipe takes the turmeric content and bioavailability to a whole new level. I've created a broth that uses both fresh turmeric and dried, powdered turmeric in combination with other ingredients to get the maximum amount of nutrients into the broth.

Curcuminoids are beneficial polyphenol chemicals found in turmeric. They shut down, or dampen, the primary inflammatory switch in the body, which is a very important step in healing many health issues including cancers, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and food allergies & sensitivities.

Disease is caused by getting too many things that you don't need (inflammation, stress, toxins, infections, allergens), and too little of the things that you do need (antioxidants, relaxation, exercise, healthy foods, proper nutrients).

The magic of curcumin is that it is a master-balancer (an adaptogen). Cancer research has shown that curcumin can shut off the master switch of inflammation called nuclear factor kappa beta (NFκB) better than almost anything else, making it one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatory substances. At the same time, research has also demonstrated that curucmin can help to combat various infections (yeast, bacterial, and viral) that can lead to the inflammation in the first place. Curucmin also activates our genes (via a gene transcription factor call Nrf2) to signal our cells to make more antioxidants, which lowers inflammatory damage. But there is more! When this Nrf2 is activated, we also start to make hundreds of beneficial detoxification proteins to remove harmful toxins from our cells.

Turmeric is amazing, isn't it?

The polyphenols (which include the curcuminoids) in turmeric are lipophilic, which means turmeric is best mixed or cooked with fat so you can get the full benefit of this food! This is one of the ways turmeric has been traditionally used in India. Spices are always sautéed first in fat (often ghee) before being used in recipes. This not only allows for the absorption of the beneficial polyphenols, but it also brings out the flavors in the spices.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Green Kale Detox Soup


This flavorful green soup uses simple ingredients to create a nourishing meal that can help support natural detoxification. It is designed for Phase 1 of our Elimination Diet, but of course is a wonderful addition to your weekly meal planning even if you are not on the elimination diet! I chose ingredients for this recipe that are easy to digest and are naturally anti-inflammatory. Perfect if you feel that your body needs a break from some of the heavier foods of winter.

As we turn the corner into a new year, new resolutions, new diets, and new commitments to health inevitably echo around the blogosphere. While I believe it is a wonderful thing to try something new, I think it is only helpful if you enter into your diet or exercise regimen with the goal of learning more about yourself. This is because nobody is more of a guru on your own health than you! I know this might sound hypocritical in a blog post about a Green Kale Detox Soup recipe for the Elimination Diet so let me explain.

The Elimination Diet is not a diet that tells you what is good for you and what is not. It is a process that helps you discover what foods work best for you. We are all unique. There is no one way of eating or one perfect diet that is right for everyone. Even Hippocrates noticed this well over 2000 years ago.

He said: “For cheese does not prove equally injurious to all men, for there are some who can take it to satiety, without being hurt by it in the least, but, on the contrary, it is wonderful what strength it imparts to those it agrees with; but there are some who do not bear it well, their constitutions are different, they differ in this respect, that what in their body is incompatible with cheese, is roused and put in commotion by such a thing; and those in whose bodies such a humor happens to prevail in greater quantity and intensity, are likely to suffer the more from it. But if the thing had been pernicious to the whole nature of man, it would have hurt all.” 

What he meant by this is that some foods can make people strong and healthy while the same foods could make others weak and sick. This is as true today as it was then.

There really are no bad foods. Only foods that work well with your body and those that don't. Finding the foods that satisfy your body, soul, and taste buds is part of deepening the connection with yourself. It is part of listening to your inner wisdom. You can do this through the process of the elimination diet. And you can do this through the process of asking questions. Or both.

What can I do to have more energy? Clearer thinking? A strong digestive system? What can I do to heal my health condition? If you listen—really listen—the answers will come to you. This takes getting into a parasympathetic state. A state where your nervous system is not in flight or fight, but rest and digest. The answers will come to you when you are most relaxed. Maybe on a hike, in the shower, as you are going to bed, or breastfeeding your baby.

Sometimes it can be hard to access that all-knowing part of you. Sometimes your body is out of balance and you might be listening only to what your brain is telling you. "Give me a donut!" "Give me a grilled cheese sandwich" "I'm craving pizza!" "I can't go an evening without a drink [of alcohol]!" If you are on the carb/junk food roller coaster then it can be very difficult to access the voices of your body and gut....your innate gut wisdom that tells you what you can do to supercharge your body. This is where detoxes and elimination diets come in. They remove the clutter so you can have a clear signal to your inner wisdom. You'll know when the path is clear when you start craving a plate of sautéed kale, or the thought of a small steak and a large fennel-cabbage salad sounds grounding and energizing, or perhaps when a simple bowl of brown rice, beans, and avocado sounds comforting and nourishing.

This is deep listening. It is a process of nurturing ourselves that is constantly growing and evolving.

If you feel like the Elimination Diet resonates with you then I'd love for you to join Tom and I online. We host a wonderful and informative online support program so you can let go of the foods that don't serve you, and so you learn more about your health and the foods that make your body sing. The elimination diet is not just about eliminating and reintroducing foods, it is about ramping up detoxification so your body can work more efficiently. It is about getting your digestive system back into tip-top shape. Let's make sure you have enough stomach acid so you are breaking down your food, signaling your body to absorb key nutrients, and triggering your pancreas to release digestive enzymes. Let's make sure you are deeply nourishing yourself with the foods rich in nutrients that calm down inflammation so your immune system is not overreacting. It's a functional medicine 101 training course!

We also have an Elimination Diet book and some online resources for you if you would like to dive deeper. If not, then you always have the all-knowing part of yourself that you can talk with daily. Just ask a question and listen for the answer. Maybe this nourishing green detox soup recipe will resonate with you.