Category Archives: Whole Food

Why You Must Understand Epigenetics

SUMMARY:  Why Must You Understand Epigenetics?  Because  epigenetics is the real driver of your health status, and diet plays a major role in gene expression (aka epigenetics), at least in this post’s animal study!  Mention this fun fact at holiday gatherings as others notice and comment — good and bad — about your favor of healthy whole foods with resist of the nutritionally empty and microbiome harming options!  Epigenetics is a big word but it simply means the process by which your genes are turned on or off (aka expressed) in good or bad ways.  You already know, diet pre-selects “who” comprises the gut microbiome.  This post shares the University of Wisconsin-Madison mouse study which found that the molecules produced by the microbiome (aka metabolites) tells our genes what to do (turn on or off).  This study looked at two diets: a carbohydrate rich diet (one rich in plant carbohydrates similar to fruits and vegetables humans consume) and pitted it against the Western, Standard American Diet (SAD) (think high in simple refined carbs, added sugars,  and unhealthy fats — this is found in most all home cooked, grocery prepared, and restaurant meals as they use convenient processed ingredients).  Their results showed the plant based diet yielded a more rich microbiome which in turn, produced metabolites that seemed to favor host-microbe communication as they chemically communicated with cells, including cells FAR beyond the colon (the liver and white fat tissue), to dictate gene expression and health (metabolic  — insulin, lipid to name a few) in its host.  In contrast, the metabolites of the SAD did not provide this communication likely because it was MISSING the necessary metabolites to do so!  If you think this is awkward party talk, what is even MORE AWKWARD is feeling others watch what you eat so that they can learn what foods express their genes best!  You’ve worked hard to learn microbiome.  I am  in awe and proud of you.  Now it’s your turn to pay it forward and teach others by doing!  

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My Healing Diet Holiday Appetizers, a Roundup!

SUMMARY:   Openers Thanksgiving Day are actually all day long in our home.  Friends and family stop in knowing a culinary taste dream awaits them.  Incredibly though, my openers are simple with many made way ahead of time and pulled from the freezer a day or two ahead.   That is the only way to go because, well… it is too much fun celebrating with my guests then being creative in the kitchen!  Here’s my roundup!  You will find the recipe links below, or if the recipes have not yet posted, I printed the instructions below.  The Holiday Board on my Pinterest has these plus even more greats if you want other variety!  Hoping you enjoy My Healing Diet Holiday Appetizers Roundup!   Happy holidays!

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Defy Autoimmune Psoriasis: Green Tea, Black Tea, Lemon Juice Antioxidant

SUMMARY:  Plenty of studies find anti-inflammatory effects of dietary antioxidants such as green tea for chronic disease.  Even in IBD patients, who have a very messed up microbiome (a finding of the American Gut data), the  benefits of antioxidant therapy is well documented (see below studies).  Read here about a simple EASY N=1 hack for one IBD patient that shut down a mild psoriasis skin flare that began two years ago.  They flared psoriasis, but not the autoimmune IBD, eating strict healing diet Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) probably due to a gluten/sugar airborne exposure.  The hack that worked for stopping psoriasis: Green Tea, Black Tea with Lemon Juice antioxidant blend!  I share their recipe here!   It is simple enough that you may want to add it to your immune calming anti-inflammatory arsenal too!  Make sure to see below for why it is important to NOT drink Green Tea for antioxidant benefit along with Iron.  

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How & Why Properly prepare SOAK Quinoa

SUMMARY:   Quinoa is a whole grain substitute that is gluten-free though it actually is a seed, commonly termed pseudograin.  Most simply rinse, drain, then toss quinoa into a pot and simmer for 12 minutes calling that cooked.  Though cooked, it may not be very digestible, and this method may be downright harmful to your gut.  So how do you properly prepare soak quinoa?  Learn here that quinoa is super easy to properly prepare although it does require, as a minimum to reduce anti-nutrients, a 12 to 24 hour acid soak prior to cooking.  I’d do the quinoa soak purely for the culinary taste improvement truth be known as it removes bitterness from quinoa’s anti-nutrients in addition to making it easier on your gut!  For more science, see below the recipe for quinoa’s:  Impact to the microbiome, nutrient (including protein) punch, anti-nutrients and impact on those due to quinoa processing, and label de-coding for a Kind bar containing quinoa! 

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Mini Loaf Pancakes: SCD/GAPS/UMass IBD-AID

Summary:   Serve these Mini Loaf Pancakes to your Valentine on Valentine’s Day, or anytime actually!  These pancakes use almond flour, SCD lactose free yogurt or coconut milk, eggs and honey.  When in a pinch for yogurt, I’ve even used thawed frozen SCD banana yogurt, and it worked great!  What I most like about this recipe is that you can bake these in bulk, even doubling the recipe.  They freeze well and make scrambling for breakfast a no brainer.  These pancakes are also great travel and on the run food.

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Costco EVOO and Berries Organic Feb Sale

SUMMARY:  Here is a heads up on an upcoming Costco EVOO and Berries Organic Feb Sale! And of course.. there’s other things listed but those caught my eye as they are staples in my kitchen and should be in yours too.  The EVOO isn’t adulterated and the berries…. learn here why you want to eat some daily for your heart, brain, and anti-cancer!
Specifics:  My local Costco has a Save on Organic at your local Costco” deal going on Feb 1-21, 2016. Check if yours does… The kitchen staples I’ll be stocking up on are:
  1. Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. One word: Unadulterated with other oils that are associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Ok… lied; that was a dozen words. Sale is $1.50 off, limit 2.
  2. Mayorga whole bean coffee Seriously spoiled on this. —See product information here. Sale is $3 off, no limit, and
  3. Sunrise Growers Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries — See product information here. Sale is $2.20 off, no limit.
Costco EVOO and Berries

Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  This Kirkland Organic EVOO isn’t adulterated by rancid industrial seed oils. See UC DAvis pdf. That is a big deal. Those oils that adulterate tons of other olive oils are usually those that are associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Use unadulterated EVOO to make salad dressings so you can absorb the micronutrients in those salads.  NOTE:  Lowfat salad dressings won’t absorb those micronutrients. See the posts here, MEET THE FATS & BEST SALAD DRESSING OIL, PART1 and here, SOYBEAN OIL, CORN OIL, DIABETES, AND METABOLIC SYNDROME for specifics and great dressing recipes.

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Healing diet holiday recipes (AIP, PALEO, SCD, GAPS)

Summary:  Most everyone wonders what are the ingredients that make up healing diet holiday recipes and that create nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, low toxin great tasting traditional food that even folks not on any dietary restrictions will enjoy.  Seems impossible, but it is absolutely possible.  I do it all of the time; guests are amazed and hosts welcome such!  

I’m sharing four of my family’s and guests favorite holiday recipes (and my Pinterest Holiday board shares more) for our Butternut Squash Soup opener and incredible Whole Beef Tenderloin recipe which literally melts in your mouth and is great topped with  Alton Brown’s Horseradish Cream Sauce or our fav Mushroom Sauce. The Horseradish Cream Sauce uses SCD 24 hour dripped yogurt (or Greek yogurt), and it is also a great salad dressing!  We’ve tested lots of recipes but these stand the test of time and remain our holiday tradition first course and main entree.   It is interesting that long before I even knew what a healing diet truly was, the soup, tenderoin, and mushroom sauce recipes are coincidentally also autoimmune-protocol (AIP) compliant as well as PALEO, SCD, AND GAPS compliant.  The Horseradish Cream Sauce is PALEO, SCD, AND GAPS compliant, but not AIP compliant due to the dairy.  AIP is explained further below, but suffice it to say AIP is perhaps the most challenging of the healing diets due to the vast amount of foods eliminated, albeit this is temporary.  I bet some of your own family favorites are AIP compliant!

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Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, PALEO/FODMAP/UMassIBD-AID

SUMMARY:  This… Thanksgiving morning! Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.  Actually, don’t save this for only one day; we certainly don’t!  Easily make this in bulk and freeze.

Ingredients and Processing I Prefer to Use

The nut ingredients in this recipe make these bars an advanced food for those on healing diets such as SCD, UMass IBD-AID, GAPS, or PALEO.  For this very reason, I recommend using these instructions to properly prepare nut and seed ingredients  whenever possible to make such more easily digestible.  But if you don’t do this step, no worries since the notes section of the recipe provides alternate instructions for toasting those nuts!  The recipe is not SCD/GAPS legal due to the cocoa, but it is in accordance with UMass version of SCD which is called IBD-AID, PALEO and also FODMAP friendly if maple syrup is substituted for the dates; details are broken out below the recipe for those interested.

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So Simple Birthday Chocolate Cake and healing diets

Summary:  I subscribe to the Julia Child philosophy of

“I’d rather eat an occasional little piece of the real thing than a giant bowl of the imitation!”

November… two Scorpios living under the same roof, celebrate lit candles on this So Simple Chocolate Birthday Cake.   FODMAP friendly, and within limits of UMass modified SCD named IBD-AID.  This coconut flour and maple syrup based seven ingredient cake was actually preferred in its taste trial test compared to the traditional iced cookie cake.  That is reason enough to not relegate this dessert to a once a year show, rather keep it in your families rotation.  We certainly do.

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Why eat the beets, cabbage, red colors

Summary:  This post nails the need for increased variety of vegetables for chronic disease prevention and management and addresses quantities.  It includes a delicious, phytonutrient rich, and quick recipe for eating the beets, cabbage, red colors; this subcategory of vegetables can be a hard sale to your family but you’ll learn in this post why you want to include such.  It is especially timely given the fall seasonal foods now available and your requests for more vegetable recipes.

This recipe is PALEO, SCD, GAPS, AIP, and NIGHTSHADE friendly fare, but not FODMAP friendly unless within your unique re-intro tolerance limits.  Cabbage, beets and onions are fructans, one food compound eliminated on FODMAP unless you’ve reintroduced these vegetables and you know your tolerance quantities.  Keep in mind that FODMAP loads are cumulative, and this recipe contains three fructan foods which bumps up it’s fructan total load.  One family’s tip for integrating cabbage back into their low FODMAP   lifestyle is detailed immediately below the recipe, and perhaps this preparation technique can work for you too.

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