Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holistic Healing for Celiac Disease

Information gathered from one of my favorite books Prescription for Nutritional Healing (5th edition).  

Along with diet change I believe that herbs, supplements and vitamins are a necessary part of healing from illness and disease.  Celiac symptoms can be controlled by eliminating gluten.  However, there are additional elements to healing that will create a happier, healthier you.  Here I have provided some of the most beneficial holistic healing recommendations for Celiac disease from one of my favorite and trusted resources.  

Celiac Disease
Celiac disease (also called celiac sprue) is a chronic digestive disorder that is caused by a hereditary intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein component of wheat (including durum, semolina, and spelt) rye, oats, barley and related grain hybrids such as triticale and kamut.  When a person with this disease consumes gluten it causes damage to the small intestines.  It is believed the body responds to gluten as if it was an antigen, and launches an immune system attack when it is absorbed by the intestine.  This, in turn, causes the lining of the small intestine to swell.  As a result, tiny hairlike projections called villi suffer damage and destruction, which impairs the body's ability to absorb vital nutrients.  

Symptoms: The first signs of celiac disease (CD) are usually bloating, chronic diarrhea, pain, weight loss, and nutritional deficits.  Other symptoms can include: nausea, abdominal swelling, large, pale yellow colored stools that float, depression fatigue, irritability, muscle cramps, wasting and joint and bone pain.  Infants and chidlren may exhibit stunted growth, vomiting, and intense burning senstion in the skin, and a red, itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis.  A baby with CD may gain weight more slowly than typical or may lose weight.  The infant may have a poor appetite, gas, and offensive-smelling bowel movements.  The child is likely to have an anemic, undernourished appearance.  Ulcers may develop in the mouth. 

This disease is much more prevalent in the population than was once believed, affecting at least 3 million Americans.  Studies by the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program indicate that as many as 1 in 133 apparently health people is affected.  There is no known cure for CD but it can be controlled by lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet.  

*If you believe you have CD, talk with you doctor or holistic healer.  If you want to pursue a blood test panel, continue eating gluten. 

Unless otherwise specified, the dosages recommended here are for adults.  For a child between the ages of 12 - 17, reduce the dose to three-quarters of the recommended amount.  For a child between 6-12, use one-half of the recommended dose, and for a child under the age of 6, use one-quarter of the recommended amount.  

Nutrients ~ Essential 

1.  Essential Fatty Acids (dosage: as directed on label) 
Needed for the villi in the intestines.

2.  Free form Amino Acid (dosage: as directed on label) 
To supply protein in a form ready available for use by the body.

3. Glutathione (500 mg 3x daily)
As amino acid needed for repair of the intestinal tract.

4.  Kyo-Dophilus from Wakunaga (dosage: as directed on label)
A dairy-free and yeast free probiotic formula to replace the friendly bacteria. 

5.  Multi-Vitamin: (dosage: as directed on label)
All nutrients are necessary in balance: use a wheat-free, yeast-free product only. 

6.  Vitamin B complex (dosage: as directed on label)
Malabsorption of vit B12 results from celiac. 

Nutrients ~ Important 

1.  L-carnitine: (2 grams per day)
Shown to increase energy levels because it is involved with muscle energy production. 

2.  N-A-G: (dosage: as directed on label)
Forms the basis of complex molecular structures of the mucous membranes of the intestinal lining. 

3.  Vitamin K: (dosage: as directed on label)
Fat-soluble vitamins are not absorbed well in this disorder

4.  Zinc Lozenges: (1 15 mg lozenge 5x not exceed a total of 100 mg daily for all supplements).

Nutrients ~ Helpful

1.  Magnesium: (750 mg daily) with...
2.  Calcium:  (1,500 mg daily) works with magnesium
3.  Vitamin C:  (2,000 - 5,000 mg daily in divided doses)
4.  Vitamin D3: (dosage: as directed on label)
5.  Proteolytic Enzymes: (dosage: as directed on label)


1.  Eat fresh vegetables, legumes (such as lentils, beans, and peas), rice bran, nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, figs, and "seedy" fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  

2.  Be sure to chew your foods thoroughly before swallowing.  This improves the intake of nutrients. 

3.  Read all labels carefully and watch for hidden sources of gluten such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein and all derivatives of wheat, rye, oats and barely including malt, modified food starch, some soy sauces, grain vinegars  binders, fillers, inert substances, and "natural flavorings."


1.  Do not eat sugary products, processed foods, or dairy products.  It may be necessary to remove milk and milk products from the diet because of a secondary lactase deficiency. 


1.  Listen to your body - understand when your body is telling you STOP, I DON'T LIKE THIS.  

2.  Keep a record of foods that make you feel good and foods that make you feel bad.

3.  Drink lots of filtered water.

4.  Check all the fabulous blogs available for gluten-free support and recipes.

5.  Get tested for Celiac disease.  Or listen to our body and refrain from eating gluten if it makes you feel ill.  Often, this is test enough for some. 

6.  Check out The celiac disease foundation for more information.

7.  Love your body - cherish yourself and treat your body and health as you would if you were taking care of another.  Respect your body and provide nurturing, healing foods, be empathetic and refrain from directing anger and negative energy within. Seek therapeutic outlets such as hobbies, yoga, meditation, anything cathartic and healing.  Stress, anxiety and negative energy will only break down your body, destroy your healing and damage your immune system.  Work with your body, love your's the only one you've got!

Shared on: Fat Tuesdays 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool Kohlrabi Salad

If you're looking for a little something different to munch on...please look no further.  Meet kohlrabi.  It's hard to describe the texture and's like cucumber meets radish meets carrot...I don't know, that sounds like a strange combo so just try it and see what you think!  If you are familiar with this delicious (root-looking but not actually a root) vegetable than you are a lucky-duck.  I envision endless opportunities with kohlrabi.  However, I kept this recipe simple and easy.  It's a stifling 100 degrees here in Northern California and so I wanted something cool, crunchy and delicious.  Kohlrabi gets a check, check and check on that list.  

-3 to 6 kohlrabi, julienned 
-Drizzle of oil (I like walnut oil) 
-Lemon juice to taste 
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Dried or fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, dill, etc. 

How To
1.  To kohlrabi, add lemon juice, salt and oil to taste 
2.  Toss and place in fridge for 30-45 minutes
3.  When chilled garnish with favorite herb

Kohlrabi Benefits

Kohlrabi is high in bioflavonoids, plant pigments that work with vitamin C and other antioxidant to prevent the cell damage that promotes cancer.

Kohlrabi is also high in indoles, chemicals that reduces the effects of estrogen, and thus may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Kohlrabi helps stabilize blood sugar imbalances and is beneficial for hypoglycemia and diabetes.

Kohlrabi is a good source of vitamin C; a 1/2 – cup serving provides 50% of the adult RDA. This vitamin so essential for maintaining healthy skin, connective tissue, and a strong immune system.

Kohlrabi is a good Source of Potassium. Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Potassium is important for proper functioning of every cell in the body and is critical for muscle contractions and controlling the heartbeat. It also helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that a potassium rich diet can also reduce blood pressure in those who are hypertensive.

Kohlrabi is high in dietary fiber. A serving of kohlrabi provides five grams of soluble fiber – the kind that’s important for heart health.

Kohlrabi is low in calories and fat, with only 36 calories in a cup of raw kohlrabi, it’s a food you can enjoy without regret. Its little fat content is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins.

Nutrient Content 
per 1 cup (140g) raw Kohlrabi
Vitamin C: 84mg
Potassium: 472mg
Carbohydrates: 8.4g
Protein: 2.3g
Fiber: 4.9g
Calories: 36 

    Shared on: Summer Salad Sunday

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jamaican Red Bean Stew with Coconut Rice (gluten and dairy free)

Okay, I know...what am I doing with STEW when we are still burning up here in Northern California!  The fact is, this is the most delicious meal and a family favorite.  Hot weather or not, I make it and we all eat it up like maniacs! 
-1/2 red onion, diced 
-2 carrots, chopped 
-1 large sweet potato, chopped 
-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halfed
-3 cups cooked red beans 
-1 can full fat coconut milk
-1 cup water (or broth of choice)
-1 low-sodium vegetable boullion cube (optional)
-2 tablespoons green curry paste
-1/4 teaspoon Jamaican allspice 
-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
-3 tablespoons of coconut oil 
-1 1/2 tablespoons garlic granules 
-Salt for seasoning and to taste
-A few turns of the pepper grinder
-2 tablespoons tapioca starch for thickening stew (or preferred thickener) 

How To
1.  Add oil and a touch of salt to a large pot such as a dutch oven and saute onions for a few minutes.  Add carrots, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans and saute together; add a pinch more salt. 
2.  Add allspice, garlic granules, curry paste, thyme, and pepper to vegetables and combine until cozy and beautiful
3.  Add coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.  Add in vegetable bullion cube and turn to low and simmer.
4.  Cook covered for about 45 mins or until sweet potatoes are tender. 
5.  In a small bowl add 4 tablespoons of the hot liquid with 2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch.  Add back into pot and incorporate.  
6.  Turn off heat and let sit for a bit before serving

Coconut Rice:
-2 cups brown basmati rice
-2 cups full fat coconut milk
-2 cups water
-Oil of choice 
-Dash of salt  

How To
1.  Bring rice, coconut milk, water, oil and salt to a boil
2.  Turn to low and cover for 35-40 minutes

*Add red pepper flakes for additional spice
*Garnish with dried thyme 
*This meal would also taste great with a meat of choice.  If using raw meat, cook with onions.  If cooked meat, add with the other vegetable ingredients and combine with spice...add more liquid to this dish if using meat, I would add equal parts water and coconut milk


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lox of Love with Dairy Free Dill Cream Cheese

 During my weekly grocery shopping I passed some lox and started to dream about cream cheese and bagels.  I don't spend too much time in this dream world though (because there is always a tasty alternative to be had) and popped those lox into my basket with a grin along with some gluten free English muffins.  Before bed I put  1/2 cup of cashews in some water to soak until morning and breakfast was nothing short of a dream come true.  This recipe is based off THIS vegan/dairy free "sour cream."  

-These gluten-free English muffins
-1 package of wild caught Lox
-1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours (I soak mine for around 6) 
-1 teaspoon dried dill
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) 
-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more or less to your sour preference)
-3 tablespoons filtered water (or more until desired texture)

How To
1.  To make the cream cheese place soaked cashews in blender with salt, dill and add 3 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Blend.  Continue blending and adding water or lemon juice until your desired consistency is achieved.  I prefer a thicker spread and used more lemon for a sour taste.  
2.  Toast English muffins
3.  Add lox
4.  Make your favorite cup of tea and enjoy an elegant breakfast.

Shared onFresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Show Off Friday, Freaky Friday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baked Veggie Spring Rolls (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free with soy free option)

What's better than stir fry?  Stir fry wrapped up in a cute little package!  What's a good word to describe more than craving something?  I don't know, but this is how I feel about egg rolls/spring rolls, but alas my weak digestion doesn't love the trifecta factor, the deep-fried/sodium/gluten factor.  So for this month's Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free challenge hosted by the beautiful and talented chef, Iris of The Daily Dietribe, I figured why not make a healtheir and gluten-free version of my favorite Asian cuisine: spring rolls.  I nearly cried over these.  First, because they were hopelessly delicious, and two because I tripped and smashed my toe sprinting to the oven when the timer went off.  I also burned my mouth.  Yes, I'm that impatient when it comes to taste control.  The true test came at dinner.  The verdict:  Husband loved them.  Daughter loved them.  Son loved them.  Happy bellies.  Happy mommy.

I served these spring rolls with vegetarian fried rice and cold cabbage salad. 

-1 small red pepper, julienned
-2 carrots, julienned
-2 celery stalks, julienned
-1 cup shredded cabbage
-Rice noodles, about 2 cups cooked 
-2 1/2 tablespoons coconut aminos 
-1 tablespoon garlic granules
-2 teaspoons onion powder  
-Red Pepper flakes, to taste 
-Oil of your choice (GS, sesame, olive, coconut, etc)
-Rice wrappers 

How To
1.  Saute veggies (carrots, celery, pepper & cabbage) with some oil. Add the coconut aminos, garlic granules and onion powder. 
2.  Cook the rice noodles.  In a large pot, bring water to a boiland add noodles.  Drain and rinse noddles. 
3.  Add cooked rice noodles to veggies.  Cook on medium until the flavors meld (you can add red pepper flakes to taste, but I left this out for my kids)
4.  Let this mixture cool completely...nice to make this earlier in the day and have it ready to assemble the rolls, but it only takes about 20 minutes to cool

After mixture cools:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
2.  Add some filtered water to a flat wide pan or dish and soak the rice paper until pliable.  Add the filling and roll - while you are filling one, have another in the water waiting
3.  Fill rice wrappers and place on baking sheet.  I use my favorite silicone baking mat 
4.  At this point you can spray the rolls with oil if you so desire, it makes them very shinny.  Be forewarned, however, oil sprayed or not, the tips and ends of the rolls get very poky when cooked
5.  Bake for 15 minutes.  (I didn't test these any longer than 15 minutes, so I'm guessing they will become crispier if left in longer.  I happen to prefer the chewy texture at the 15 minute mark). 
6.  Walk with caution to the oven, minding chair & table legs, toys and furniture 
7.  Do not eat these right out of the oven like a wild animal (like moi)

*You can add just about anything you like to these rolls.  Other suggestions include: mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, chicken/pork, onions, cilantro, basil or fennel.  Have fun with your food! 
*Traditional spring rolls call for oyster sauce, but I couldn't find any gluten-free brands.  The rolls taste absolutely delicious with the coconut aminos. 
*I didn't bother making a dipping sauce for the rolls, they were tasty all on their own.  But see comments for suggestions. 
*These take a while to cool.  Have these out and cooling a good 15 minutes before you eat, 30 minutes if serving to children.  

Shared on: Just Another Meatless MondayMelt in your Mouth Mondays, Monday Mania, Ruth's Real Food 101 (Mondays), Whole Food Wednesdays, Lunch Box Love Friday, Allergy-Friendly Fridays

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I heart Carebags

Our produce bag evolution went something like this:
plastic bags ---> biodegradable plastic bags ---> paper bags ---> CAREBAGS!
I became fed up with the high price of those fabric produce bags at my local Coop and refused to buy them (and I needed like 20+).  I most certainly could have made my own, but I'll be honest, I didn't want to.  So hooray when I found CareBags.  I have like a hundred of these little bags (or it seems like I do) and I use them every week for my produce and other things such as my bulk shopping (perfect for beans, rice, tea, seeds, pasta, oats, etc).  They hold a TON, extremely durable and such a groovy alternative to using plastic bags or paper bags for that matter.  I estimate that since I've been using Carebags I have passed up using about 10,000 plastic bags.  And that's something.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Vegan Banana Teff Pancakes (gluten, dairy free, nut free)

When it comes to pancakes we are all about the teff in this house.  I happen to adore the flavor of teff and these pancakes are truly cake-like.  We tried for years to find a suitable dairy free, gluten free pancake and when we came across a teff recipe for pancakes we quickly made it our own through experimentation.  Believe it or not this batter contains zero egg!  We also found the flavor was best by just using water.  It's such a simple recipe, so perfect for those lazy weekend mornings, with so much wonderful flavor.  We generally make them plain, but once in a while add a banana for real knock-out flavor.  

-1 1/2 cups teff flour (do not pack down flour...unless you want a really thick pancake)
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon cream of tarter 
-1 1/2 cups filtered water 
-3 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil 
-3 tablespoons honey (we tried every alternative sweetener and honey was the best for texture and taste)
-1 ripe banana - mashed up with a fork 

How To
1.  Mix together dry ingredients 
2.  Mix together wet ingredients
3.  Add wet to dry, incorporate 
4.  Add to griddle, flip, eat, enjoy!

Teff flour is very flavorful, so we usually don't add much, just jelly or syrup, but once in a while we get fancy.  A fruit compote is a favorite and easy to create by simmering frozen or fresh fruit (such as blueberries or strawberries).  We prefer to add a touch of honey and that's it for a fresh fruit sauce.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Garden Summer Pasta (gluten free, diary free, vegan)

This dish was inspired by our summer garden harvest.  It's a simple meal that takes very little time to prepare and little time to cook.  No fuss with minimal ingredients.  You'll be back outside in no time running through the sprinklers with your kids!  Follow this meal with some refreshing strawberry coconut ice cream or fruit-full popsicles and it's a summer meal to remember! 

-Brown rice pasta (I boil up to 1 1/2 pounds at a time...I love leftovers)
-5 yellow crookneck yellow squash*, chopped 
-2 green zucchini* chopped 
-1 yellow onion* chopped
-3 cloves garlic*
-2 cups cherry tomatoes* cut in half 
-1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil  
-2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar (or to taste) 
-Salt & pepper to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon) 
-Dash of red pepper flakes (I omit for my children)

How To
1.  Bring a gallon of filtered water to a rapid boil and add pasta with a bit of oil and a dash of salt.  Stir for a bit to prevent sticking 
While the pasta is cooking...
2.  Saute onion with the olive oil for 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute for another minute  
3.  Add the squash and zucchini with a touch more oil and saute for a few more minutes
4.  Add tomatoes and stir to incorporate 
5.  Add apple cider vinegar, stir
6.  Add salt and pepper 
7.  Stir and cover...cook on low until veggies are soft and there is a nice liquidy sauce (taste and adjust seasonings as needed)
Back to the pasta...
8.  When pasta is soft, drain and rinse with clean, cool water  
9.  Add pasta to large bowl and incorporate your sauce
10.  Add dried or fresh parsley, red pepper flakes...and always adjust seasoning as needed

*All these foods are super easy to grow in any garden!  
 Shared on: Just Another Meatless Monday, Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Monday Mania, My Meatless Mondays, Mealtime Monday, Friday Food Fix, Potluck Party Friday 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cilantro Hummus

Over the years I have made many variations of hummus.  This delicious dip is a family favorite so we always have some in the fridge.  I've never thought about cilantro in hummus and I'm sorry I didn't figure this out sooner! It's delicious.  

-2 1/2 cups prepared garbanzo beans* (or two cans garbanzo beans) 
-1/4 cup tahini 
-3 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
-3/4 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1 clove) 
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
-1/2 cup of olive oil 
-3/4 cup fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
-1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
-Filtered water (to bring the hummus to a preferred consistency)

How To
1. Add beans, tahini, garlic granules, salt, cilantro and optional chili powder to a food processor and blend.  
2.  With the food processor running, drizzle in oil.  
3.  Check for texture.  Too thick?  Add in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you reach your desired texture. 

*Soak beans in filtered water for at least 8 hours, I soak mine for 24 hours and change the water 2x.  Boil in filtered water until tender and store in fresh water until ready to use. I soak & boil around 6 cups of beans at a time and freeze the leftovers for another day (they do great in the freezer!).
*A word about the beans:  I go back and forth between garbanzo beans and chana dal beans.  Chana dal yields a nice smooth hummus but with a much milder flavor so you really need to increase your ingredients.  Garbanzos are rich and flavorful with a thicker consistency.  I love them both but lately I've been using garbanzo beans for that full hummus flavor.  

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