Saturday, June 30, 2012

Monthly Round-Up: June 2012 (Backyard BBQ Foods )

Summer is here!  At least it is in Northern California.  We've been enjoying all the wonderful seasonal food summer has to offer.  Ah, nothing beats summer fruits (fresh berries are like candy, no).  I thought it would be fun to share some BBQ food ideas, with the 4th of July right around the corner and all (the biggest BBQ day of the year).  As always, everything is gluten free, dairy free, cane sugar free, and allergy-free.  
Happy summer everyone.  

Raspberry Lemonade (refined sugar free)
From: Laura @ Laura's Gluten Free Pantry 

Honey Lemon Refrigerator Pickles
From: Nancy @ Real Food, Allergy Free 

Omega 3 White Bean Dip
From: Maggie @ She Let Them Eat Cake 

Beet Chips 
From: Jenni @ The Urban Poser 

Fruit Salsa with Feijoa Blossoms 
From: Susan @ Rawmazing 

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Sweet Cilantro Honey Dressing
From: Heather @ Gluten Free Cat 

Kale Salad: Fully Loaded
From Ricki @ Diet, Dessert and Dogs 

Sesame Broccoli Slaw
From: Dawn @ Cuter than Gluten 

Red Slaw
From: Vicky @ Gluten Free, SCD and Veggie 

Grilled Asparagus
From Tessa @ Tessa the Domestic Diva 

Allergen-free, Gluten-free Pasta with Roast Cherry Tomatoes,
Grilled Chicken and Nut-Free Pesto
From: Cybele @ Cybele The Allergy-Friendly Cook 

Green Chili Turkey Burgers 
From: Elana @ Elana's Pantry 

Baked Beans
From the book: Healing Foods via Go Dairy Free
No picture provided 

Ginger Biscuts with Peaches and Cream 
From: Michelle @ The Willing Cook 

Fresh Strawberry Pie
From: Cassidy @ Cooking Gluten & Dairy Free

Blueberry Honey Pie 
From: Shirley @ Gluten Free Easily 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Steamed Baby Broccoli with Lemon and Sautéed Garlic (SCD Friendly)

We eat broccoli a couple times each week.  I prefer baby broccoli because it's soft, buttery and just plain delicious (and it has very sweet flavor all on its own).  We all enjoy our little green trees, but lately I've been bored with the same old steamed dish (what's new), so I jazzed it up with a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt, fresh lemon and my favorite, sautéed garlic.  I thought this made a lovely presentation.  And what a perfect side for lasagna night!  

-2 bunches of baby broccoli
-One lemon
-1/2 cup fresh garlic cloves 
-Garlic granules 
-Celtic sea salt (or whatever salt you have on hand) 

How To:
1.  Wash and trim broccoli and steam in filtered water until just slightly tender (or however you like your steamed broccoli).  
2.  While the broccoli is steaming, saute the garlic.  To a small pan add a touch of oil, pinch of salt, and dash of garlic granules (how's that for a recipe).  Saute on med/low heat, taking care to not burn the cloves.  You'll know they are done when they are no longer spicy.  They will be soft, slightly brown, sweet and delicious.
3.  To finish, squeeze some lemon over broccoli, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and garnish with lemon and that lovely garlic.  

Shared on: Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Tastetastic Thursdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Frugal Food Thursdays, Wellness Weekend, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food,  Show Off Friday, Potluck Party Friday,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Herbs and Spices Summer Series Day 4: Child Friendly Herbs and Holistic Healing for the Common Cold Virus

After I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, I immersed myself deeply in the study of holistic healing.  I don't have any professional training in this area, but I diligently researched (and read the research) on herbal healing regimens.  At first it was focused on Crohn's, then it lead to other things and everyday ailments such as stress, anxiety, pain, inflammation, digestion, focus, and sleep.  I found that for every ailment, there was a natural remedy.  And I firmly believe that because of the powerful healing properties of herbs and supplements, I was able to live drug free for nearly 8 years; and I've allowed my body to heal even further by not pumping it with over-the-counter remedies often full of toxins and chemicals.  My research on holistic healing lead to many other forms of natural healing, including meditation, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, oils, and different forms of yoga.  I found a deep love and appreciation for the healing properties of herbs and foods.  When I became a mommy I carried this love for alternative healing (always with great caution) into my childrens' healing regimens.  I remember when my daughter caught her first cold at 18 months.  Her cough was relentless and she couldn't sleep.  So lead by my research, I sliced up some onion, put them in the toaster oven for a bit and placed them on her chest with an ace bandage...and she slept peacefully through the night.  From that moment on, I knew I would always look to natural remedies before anything else.  This sort of healing isn't for everyone, and I can appreciate that.  You must truly believe in it and have knowledge of the powerful properties of herbs and often their harmful side effects.  I treat herbs with respect and always with caution.  They are our family's medicine and I administer it responsibly.  Today I'm sharing some of my absolute favorite child friendly herbs for the common cold (including fever, upper respiratory congestion, lower respiratory congestion, and body aches).  

The following herbs bring relief from the congestion, fever, and achiness of a cold - many are also immune boosting.  I've given my children all these herbs, I also use them myself.  I find them in bulk at my local Natural Foods Coop.  

This is my superstar for fighting viruses (cold and flu).  It makes a wonderful tasting tea.  It's extremely powerful, and can shorten both the duration and severity of viruses.  Boosts immune funtion.   

Peppermint makes a wonderful healing, calming tea.  But specifically for cold it helps loosen phlegm and sooth coughs.  My daughter will ask me to make her some peppermint tea when she's not feeling well.  

Yarrow has been around for a long time and there are no known side effects.  Yarrow can help break a fever and an excellent herb for congestion and cough.  Yarrow has a calming effect, much like chamomile.  

Hyssop is my power herb for congestion.  It's amazing.  I immediately make hyssop tea for my children when they are congested.  I also use this for us when suffering from allergies.  Take caution in  using Hyssop if you suffer from epilepsy. 

Thyme is another herb I use every time my kiddos get a cold.  It's an amazing remedy for congestion in the lungs.  I use for those super wet persistent coughs.  It helps loosen phlegm and soothes the cough.  Thyme also helps fight the infection.  

Mullein is my next superstar herb for colds.  Another must have herb for congestion, sore throats, and coughs.  I recommended mullein to my friend who was super congested and she was shocked at how effective it was, it worked the same or better than any store bought remedy without any crazy side effects.  (Mullein is also great for earaches).  It also helps with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia and allergies.  

This is a child safe herb known for it's immune boosting properties.  Don't take for more than 8 weeks in a row.  It's best to always rotate herbs anyhow.

Chamomile is very near and dear to my heart.  It helped me through years of flares before I started medication.  I like chamomile during colds for my kids because it calms their nerves and helps them sleep.  But chamomile is great for so many other things too.  It's antispasmodic and an anti-inflammatory (so it helps with those irritated mucus membranes).  

Licorice Root
Licorice is a powerful anti-viral herb.  It soothes a sore throat, helps relieve fevers and the pain of headaches.  This is the first herb I make into a tea when my kiddos are sick - it's a super immune booster.     

How to prepare medicinal tea

*As a general rule, pour one cup boiled water over one teaspoon herb.  I usually mix up to 3 herbs at a time, and herbs that target different ailments.  So, for example, I'll do some echinacea for immune system, thyme and mullein for congestion together in the 1 cup of water.  

*Cover, and steep for 15 - 30 minutes, or until cool.  Strain before serving

*I add a few drops of stevia to the tea for my children, and give it to them up to three time per day.

Homemade Remedies 

Elderberry Syrup
-1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries 
-3 cups water
-1 cup honey

Place the berries in a saucepan and cover with water.  Simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes.  Smash berries.  Strain all through a fine mesh strainer and add 1 cup honey or adjust to taste.  Bottle and store in the refrigerator.  Will last 2-3 months when refrigerated. 

Chest rub for cough and congestion
-20 drops of essential oil
(eucalyptus, hyssop, thyme, peppermint, or basil)
-2 ounces almond oil or other oil

Herbal Candy
-Grind dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, apricots) with nuts, shredded coconut, carob, and a sweetener of choice (honey, brown rice syrup, agave, stevia).
-Add in your choice of ground herbs.
-Make little ball and serve

Favorite store bought herbal tinctures.  
(These can be found at any health food store or natural foods Coop).  

  Immune Boosting:
Children's Winter Health 
Wellness Herbal Kids

Loquat Respiratory Syrup for Kids
Children's Cough and Bronchial Syrup

(my favorite, go-to books)

An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants 
-Mary Bove, N.D.

Gentle Healing or Baby and Child 
-Andrea Candee and David Andrusia

Herbal Remedies for Children's Health
-Rosemany Gladstar

Prescription for Nutritional Healing (5th ed.)
-Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

*Information found in this post was derived from different sections in the three first books.  
Shared on: Whole Food Fridays, 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Macadamia Nut Milk (dairy free, SCD, Paleo)

You may notice a few things about my nut milks.  First, I use a lot of water.  Why you ask?  Well, I guess the obvious reason is it saves money but I also like the way it tastes, so why not.  Another thing I do is scoop off the foam that forms from blending.  I do this because I don't like straining the foam through the nut milk bag.  And lastly, I generally add just a teaspoon of vanilla for a little favor and a little sweet.  I keep things pretty simple.  I happen to love my nut milks, but I suggest you experiment with different water ratios and sweeteners.  Macadamia nut milk is another family favorite.  I used to buy store bought nut milks, then started making them in my Ninja blender years ago before I purchased my Vitamix.  Making nut milk is so easy, and so satisfying.  There are so many additives found in store bought.  For example, many brands add what's called carrageenan.  Studies reveal that carrageenan can exacerbate IBD symptoms and flares.  And I found this thread discussing the issue.  So to make nut milks, you don't NEED a high speed blender.  I used my Ninja for years and it worked fine.  Check out my other nut (and seed) milks that you can make in any regular blender (high speed just works the best at crushing and blending the nuts/seeds):
Almond, Walnut, Hazelnut, & Hemp.     

-1 cup raw, organic macadamia nuts 
-7 cups filtered water 
-1 teaspoon vanilla  

How To:
1.  Soak macadamia nuts in filtered water for 5 hours.   
2.  Drain and rinse nuts with filtered water
3.  To your high speed blender add nuts, 7 cups water and vanilla*
4.  Blend on high for 90 seconds 
5.  Here's a step in the process that might be different from most:  
*After blending I let the milk sit in the blender for about 10 minutes.  This gives the milk time to settle and the foam to gather on the top.  After the 10 minutes I scoop off all the foam.  After removing the foam my original 7 cups remain.  I dislike straining foamy milk through the nut milk bag.  
6.  After you scoop off the foam (and discard into the sink), strain the milk through nut milk bag.  I strain the milk into an 8 cup glass Pyrex
7. Transfer to glass pitcher with lid and store in the fridge for up to four days

*If using a "regular" blender (not high-speed), start with 4 or 5 cups of water and blend on high for up to 2 minutes.  Add more water in future batches if you'd like.

What to do with that macadamia nut pulp?  How about make a raw hummus dip!

Shared on: Fat Tuesday,  Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays Whole Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Fresh Food Wednesday, Tastetastic Thursdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Frugal Food Thursdays, Wellness Weekend, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Show Off Friday, Potluck Party Friday, Healthy Vegan Fridays 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Allergy-Free Wednesdays Week 23: June 27, 2012

Hello and welcome to Allergy-Free Wednesdays (AFW).
  AFW is a weekly blog hop where folks can share their allergy-free cuisine, gain knowledge about allergy-related topics/issues, and connect with others living or caring for someone with food allergies.

This is a weekly blog hop hosted by myself and six other fabulous allergy-free bloggers.  Your weekly submissions will be shared on all 7 blogs!  Check back each week for reader favorites and recipe highlights.  

Before linking up - PLEASE click HERE to review rules, guidelines, and legal information.  Thank you!  
Featured Recipes & Highlights

Each week AFW features the three most popular recipes from the previous week, and the six AFW hostesses will highlight their favorites.  Please note that your submission must contain a link back to our Allergy-Free Wednesday's Blog Hop in order to be featured.  Click HERE for last week's entries and the appropriate back link.  

So without further ado...

May I present you with the three most popular submissions:

Honey Chicken Nuggets
   From:  Yummy Inspirations 

Chocolate Coconut Bites
From:  Good Girl Gone Green

Popcorn and Peanut Butter Cupcakes
From:  Yummy Inspirations

And here are the three fabulous recipes/posts I chose to highlight:

  Summer Salad: Berry Walnut Salad with a Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette
 From: The Not So Super Mama

Savory: Gourmet Pate Plate
  From: Veggie V

Drink: Chai Tea Frappe
 From: Fox in the Kitchen 

Thanks for visiting Allergy-Free Wednesdays!
And thanks for being awesome and reading through our guidelines before linking up!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Roasted New Potato Salad (vegan)

When I think of summer, I think potato salad.  It's the perfect addition to any BBQ and wonderful alongside my favorites: grilled chicken and baked beans.  Although I love potato salad, I cannot eat it.  Potatoes hurt my digestion and aggravate inflammation.  Moreover, potatoes are not allowed on the SCD, so a big no-no food.  But I do make this dish for my family and summer gatherings...and it's always a hit.  The roasted potatoes create a wonderful flavor and a fabulous texture.  You could also make this dish with roasted parsnips (if potatoes aren't your thing). If you do make with potatoes, I recommend new potatoes (my Gramie's favorite).  I hope you enjoy my tasty alternative on a summer favorite.  

-3 1/2 lbs red new potatoes, or any new potatoes (oil and garlic granules for roasting)
-1/2 cup diced red onion 
-10 small dill pickles (4.5 oz), small chop
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granuels 
-1/2 teaspoon onion granules
-2 tablespoons oil
-1/2 cup soy-free Vegenaise mayo or homemade vegan 
 -1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
-2 tablespoons pickle juice

How To:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1.  Wash, dry and chop potatoes.  Toss potatoes with 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon garlic granuels.  Roast for 40 minutes (or until golden and slightly crispy).  When done, remove from baking dish and place in a bowl.  Allow to cool before adding other topping
2.  When potatoes are cool, toss with above ingredients.  
3.  Garnish with paprika (smoked is quite tasty).   

Shared on: Just Another Meatless Monday, Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Monday Mania, My Meatless Mondays, Mealtime MondayFat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent, Traditional Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Whole Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Tastetastic Thursdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Frugal Food Thursdays, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Show Off Friday, Potluck Party Friday, Allergy-Friendly Fridays, Summer Salad Sundays 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Herbs and Spices Summer Series, Day 2: Herbs and Holistic Healing for Crohn's Disease

Information gathered from one of my favorite books Prescription for Nutritional Healing (5th edition).  
Hello Friends,
I am not medical doctor, nor do I hold a medical license.  Please consult with a holistic healer or medical practitioner before making any changes to your diet/lifestyle and before adding herbs/supplements to your healing regimen.  Thank you

Crohn's disease (CD) is an inflammatory bowel disorder of unknown origin.  Also called ileitis or enteritis, it usually affects the lowest portion of the small intestine, but it can occur in other parts of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus.  Crohn's causes inflammation that extends deep into the lining of the intestinal wall, frequently causing significant abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Crohn's affects men and women equally and tends to run in families.  According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), people who have a relative with the disease have at least ten times the risk of developing Crohn's compared to the general population. 

Since there is no cure for Crohn's, the goals of treatment are to control inflammation, relieve symptoms, and correct nutritional deficiencies - all of which can help keep Crohn's disease in remission.

Unless otherwise specified, the dosages recommended here are for adults.  For a child between the ages of 12 and 17, reduce the dose to 3/4 or the recommended amount.  For a child between 6 and 12, use 1/2 of the recommended dose. 

~Essential Nutrients~ 
(Below I've provided links to the products I use or have used.
I don't purchase any of these products online,
as I'm able to find them locally at my Natural Foods Coop).  

(500 mg twice daily on empty stomach.  Take with water or juice.  Do not take with milk.  Take with 50 mg vitamin B6 and 100 mg vitamin C for better absorption).
Benefits: A major metabolic fuel of the intestinal cells; maintains the villi.

Vitamin B Complex 
(100 mg 3 times daily)
Benefits: Important for proper digestion and to prevent anemia.  Needed for constant supply of new cells.  

N-Acetylglucosamine: N-A-G.
(Use as directed on label)
Benefits: A major constituent of the barrier layer that protects the intestinal lining from digestive enzymes and other potentially damaging intestinal contents.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids 
(Use as directed on label)
Benefits: Needed for repair of the digestive tract; reduces inflammatory processes.  Studies show fatty acids may reduce Crohn's symptoms and aid in maintaining remission.

Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids 
(1,000 mg 3 times daily)
Benefits: prevents inflammation and improves immunity - use a buffered type 

Taurine Plus 
(500 mg daily on empty stomach.  Take with 50 mg vitamin B6 and 100 mg vitamin C for better absorption)
Benefits: An important antioxidant and immune regulator. 

 (this brand contains potato starch)
(50 mg daily.  Do no exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements)
Benefits: Needed for the immune system and for healing.   

Vitamin K
(use as directed on label)
Benefits: Vital to colon health  Deficiency is common in people with this disorder due to malabsorption and diarrhea. 

Probiotics this one or this one
(use as directed on label)
Benefits: Aids in digestion.  Use a nondairy formula.  And a product containing both L. acidophilus and L. bifidus is best.  

Garlic Supplements 
(2 or 3 capsules daily with meals)
Benefits: Combats free radicals in Crohn's.  Aids healing. 

~Herbs for Crohn's Disease~
Please review and study each herb carefully before taking and be mindful of side effects.  Never take herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding, unless directed by your holistic healer or medical practitioner!
 (click on each herb for more information) 

Burdock Root




Licorice Root

Marshmallow Root

Pau d' arco

Enteric-Coated Peppermint
(do not use any other form)

Yerba Mate 

*Cautions: Do not take echinacea for longer than three months.  It should not be used by people who are allergic to ragweed.  Do not take goldenseal internally on a daily basis for more than a week at a time.  Do not use it during pregnancy or if you are breast-feeding, and use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.  If you have a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or glaucoma, use it only under a doctor's supervision.  Licorice root should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.  It also should not be used by persons with diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, or history of stroke. 

~Healing Recommendations~

1.  Drink plenty of liquids, such as filtered water, herbal teas, and fresh juices.  Fresh cabbage juice is very beneficial.  

2.  Add papaya to your diet.  Chew a couple of the seeds to aid in digestion.  

3.  To reestablish a proper healing environment, it is necessary to maintain a generally alkaline (greater than 7.0 bodily pH).  See my post here for more information on pH and how to test yourself at home. 

4.  As much as possible, avoid stress.  Our thoughts, nervous systems, and bodily functions are deeply interconnected.  Our thoughts and mood affect our bodies.  During an attack, it's important to rest.

5.  Use a heating pad to reduce abdominal pain

6.  During an acute attack, eat organic baby food (if following the SCD, make sure it's legal), eat steamed vegetables, and other soft, easy to digest foods such as carrot soup, avocado, and well ripened bananas.  

7.  The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a food based healing regimen.  The book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, is a recommended read before starting the diet.  And here is a list of all the legal and illegal foods on the SCD.  

8.  Another food-based healing regimen is The GAPS diet, which is based on the SCD.  This post by The Liberated Kitchen is a fabulous introduction to GAPS and discusses all the stages and legal foods at each stage.  See here for GAPS resources. 

~Information About Diet and Prescription 
Medication for Crohn's Disease~ 

1.  It is important that nutritional deficiencies be corrected for healing.  Persons with inflammatory bowel disorders require as much as 30 percent more protein than normal.  If chronic diarrhea is present, electrolyte and trace mineral deficiencies should be considered.  Chronic steatorrhea (fatty stools resulting from improper digestion of fats) may result in deficiencies of calcium and magnesium.

2.  Drugs such as corticosteriods and sulfasalazine (Alsulfidine). which are prescribed for inflammatory bowel diseases, and cholestyramine (Questran), which is prescribed to bind bile in the gastrointestinal tract to prevent its reabsorption in people who had part of their intestine removed, increase the need for nutritional supplements.  Corticosteroids depress protein synthesis and inhibit normal calcium absorption by increasing excretion of vitamin C in the urine.  Sulfasalazine inhibits the transport of folic acid and iron, causing anemia.   
Thank you for joining me today for day 2 of our Herbs and Spices Summer Series! Stay tuned for Tessa's post, on June 25th, about how to grow herbs.
Shared on: Traditional Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, 

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