Summary: I don’t write a lot about toxin loads but should. They affect all of us and this study by UC Davis [Vogt et al, 2008] found that for children, the cumulative toxin load in all 364 children evaluated for 11 food based toxins in 44 foods, exceeded cancer benchmark levels for arsenic, dieldrin, DDE (a DDT metabolite), and dioxins, AND 10% exceeded mercury levels! In addition, for preschool aged children 2-4 years, OVER 95% exceeded cancer benchmark levels for acrylamide and they fared worse than the 5—7 yr age group. Acrylamide is a cooking byproduct found in processed foods like potato, tortilla chip and processed grains). So… while I don’t write often about toxins, going into the holiday season when we likely are eating even more of the foods contributing to the toxin burden, I wanted to remind all of the reality of these loads particularly in our children. So here is a Roundup of Healthy Holiday Trays ALL kids will luv! Try them since ALL 364 kids exceeded cancer benchmark levels of toxins in this UC Davis study! Instead of the processed foods and chips, these gems (anytime of the year really) will draw your children to less toxin loaded foods. Be sure to use EWG Dirty Dozen lists! I also like the UC Davis researcher recommendations to reduce these toxin loads: Vary diet to help protect us from accumulating too much of any one toxin since different toxins are applied to different fruit and vegetables. Acrylamides are relatively easy to remove from the diet. They form in chips and processed grains. Also reduce consumption of animal meat and fats, which may contain high levels of pesticide DDE and other persistent organic pollutants, and switch to organic milk. Eat smaller fish, lower on the food chain, which generally have lower mercury levels. Good SMASH fish are: Salmon, mackerel, anchovy, sardine, and herring.
SUMMARY: This post explains the disease epigenetics process because most think your genes are your destiny. That is actually not true. You are more than the genes you inherit from your parents! Genes predispose you to the disease (~66% of “you” is determined by your genetics), but the remaining 33% is influenced by epigenetic changes to the genes, and that is one mechanism through which disease is triggered, [Mellor, 2015 University of Oxford Podcasts]. That is why they study DNA identical twins having discordance for the same disease — they find epigenetic differences [Insights from Identical Twins] [NovaScienceNow, Epigenetics] While it is often unknown if epigenetic differences are a cause or a consequence of disease, many studies are providing evidence suggesting a potential role for epigenetic alterations in the pathophysiology (e.g. Type 2 Diabetes, asthma, brain disorders and neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s, autism, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, colon and other cancers, Parkinson’s, ALS…). The bottom line: Even though you might be “predisposed” to disease (e.g. you have a genetic pre-disposition tendency to Alzheimer’s, anxiety, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and cancer — any disease with epigenetic involvement which seems to be all of them) you can STOP and REVERSE the epigenetic changes that trigger disease by modifying factors that affect epigenetics such as nutrition, stress, toxicity, exercise and drugs. [Mellor, 2015 University of Oxford Podcasts] [NIH, NICHD] [Moosav et al 2016] [Szarc vel Szic et al 2015] [Wopereis et al 2014] [Hartzell et al 2012] [University of Utah, Nutrition & Epigenetics] One whopping impact of these factors is to pierce the disease epigenetic process by altering the microbiome. The microbiome is what makes identical twins, not identical! And it’s the microbiome consequent metabolites (which is where over 70% of our immunity resides) that can change epigenetic mechanisms (like methylation and histone modification — NOTE: I won’t be “teaching” these mechanisms, I will however explain enough that you can EASILY understand the concept) which have onward effects including triggering or reversing disease in those predisposed. What this means is that you actually have a say in if you turn on or off genes with consequent trigger (or reversal) of disease. The recognition that environment, not genetics, is the primary driver of health and disease carries a strong message of personal empowerment and responsibility. Thus, included is a special section — EPIGENETIC EXPERT SUGGESTIONS FOR EATING FOR YOUR EPIGENOME! BAM — they sound a lot like those therapeutic diets I teach and blog about! Don’t be duped. A lot of disease is preventable — [WHO] says over 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes AND over 40% of cancer! From the grim stats below, if you don’t already have disease you likely will and sooner than you expect! A balanced lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, exercise, & avoiding exposure to contaminants, may in the long run create a healthy epigenome. [TedED, What is Epgenetics? -Carlos Guerrero Bosagna.] Time to empower yourself to use epigenetics modifications to keep or move yourself off diseasespan!
Summary: These Coconut Flour Salmon Cakes Gluten free SCD PALEO are a game changer! These gems are way better then traditional restaurant versions AND they eliminate all those filler ingredients like breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and Worcestershire; see below for why I never use those ingredients! When you open my fridge you’ll often find these salmon cakes for quick grab, but they are totally EASY, eloquent, and redic delic as an appetizer or entree for guests and at holiday celebrations. This recipe uses coconut flour and eggs as binder, and they hold their shape beautifully! They are PALEO, SCD, GAPs, and UMass IBD-AID legal. They are FODMAP and AIP legal with the garlic and onion HACK and other modifications detailed below. Truth be told, we often snack these at the end of the night, with a glass of red wine (a great anti-inflammatory — see here), candle light, and a drizzle of real fermented SCD Dijon Mustard — recipe is on my Pinterest Condiment Board. This is the lifestyle pillar I talk about so often! Hitting your body with safety signals from as many different directions as possible truly FEELS and tastes great!
SUMMARY: What do I feed 4000 pounds of twenty-four men the night before the big game? SCD PALEO Pot Roast with Orange and Dates redic EASY and delic! This dish has graced our table repeatedly over the years. In fact, my boys request this dish when we feed their basketball team the night before big games. Bonus: Double it always. This is an EASY make Ahead and Freeze. I send it to school so my kidos slurp in extra immune boosting bone broth. It travels over twenty-four hours as the ice in my cooler and feeds my ever expanding clan at the beach. The secret ingredients: Dates, apples, pineapple, allspice, red wine vinegar, OJ, and parsley (still coming out from under our garden’s blanket of snow) combine with the tenderness of a Dutch Oven. Credit for this culinary redic delic creation goes back years to Mara from the SCD Breaking the Vicious Cycle yahoo blog. It is without a doubt my favorite amazing healing diet recipe. Add it to your arsenal!
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!
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!
SUMMARY: This is not a 1950s sci-fi movie. This is what is likely happening now in your gut according to an amazing study just now publishing in Cell. If you are eating the Standard American Diet, the normal, helpful bacteria in your gut are not getting natural whole food fiber. Instead they are being fed fiber additives supplemented in processed foods, or isolated fiber supplements you are buying. Surprisingly, both the fiber additives and the supplements FAIL to feed your microbiome, and instead, they CANNIBALIZE the mucus lining for fuel, at least for mice, according to this study. Repeat: Fiber Additives Starve Gut Microbes. They Eat Mucus Lining. That compromises the intestinal barrier role in preventing pathogen infection. Bottom line: EAT WHOLE FOOD BASED FIBER to feed your microbiome, AND DON’T COUNT ON THE FIBER ADDED IN PROCESSED FOODS OR THE SUPPLEMENTS YOU TAKE FOR THAT FIBER. No wonder so many are sick.
SUMMARY: Hey… listen up! You want to get SCD Cheese right because it is loaded with Nutrients & Beneficial Bacteria! ALL healing diets (SCD, GAPS, PALEO, AIP, FODMAP…) eliminate lactose because most inflamed guts can not digest lactose! Actually, the lactase enzyme in our gut (which breaks down lactose) is the last to return to normal after the gut has healed (see page 25, Breaking the Vicious Cycle (BTVC), Edition 13, 2010). Further, certain diseases (like 65% of autism have a lactase deficiency) are associated with lactose intolerance, and some diseases (like IBS which afffects ten to fifteen percent of the population) may have an intolerance to the quantity of lactose consumed in the diet. For IBS sufferers, 3 out of 4 are helped with the FODMAP diet which figures out if foods we all digest poorly (which includes lactose) are even tolerated and if so, in what amount! And the British Dietetic Association 2016 update for IBS recommends a trial period of a low lactose diet where sensitivity to milk is suspected and a lactose hydrogen breath test is not available or appropriate. So many people are benefited by reducing or eliminating lactose in their diet! This post explains how to do that deliciously using the SCD tenets, and it explains why eating lactose-free cheese is important (if you tolerate the casein protein) sharing 7 SCD cheese requirments to consider in selecting cheeses! Bottom Line: Everyone wants to get cheese right because it contains a whopping 10,000,000,000 or 10 billion MICROBES, and it seems they survive the gut transit ride and beneficially impact your microbiome diversity + richness… all good immune boosting stuff!
Summary: Seems everyone enjoys this staple gracing holiday tables going back generations! It was my Dad’s favorite and for good reason. Broccoli smothered in butter, cheese, and breadcrumbs. What’s not to LOVE about that? Wait tho — What to do if gluten-free? Toss the tenets of healing diets to the holiday wind? NO! Here’s my holiday gift to you — use SCD Seasoned Almond Flour ‘Bread’ Crumbs! Find the How-to in this post’s recipe: Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cheddar Cheese, with Seasoned Almond Flour ‘Bread’ Crumbs. Don’t know how it never made it on my Holiday Pinterest Board, but it’s there now! HAPPY THANKSGIVING and early MERRY CHRISTMAS! Last, read my special note for thyroid patients. It’s crazy how so many of you don’t know this but, the cruciferous vegetables are on the goitrogenic foods list. That doesn’t mean they are off limits. What that means is they need steamed or cooked and that is what this recipe requires. You should be free to enjoy this recipe without worry of kicking up thyroid antibodies, but always check with your doctor! This recipe meets PALEO/SCD/GAPS/UMASS IBD-AID/Mediterranean too!
Summary: SCD Chicken Tortilla Soup is an EASY and nutritious family favorite that my kidos ask me to make! We have this soup year round, not just on cold Fall and winter nights. It’s a great way to increase your children’s vegetable and bone broth consumption, And if you must have ‘tortilla chips’, try the below substitute! Tip: Grill twice as many chicken breasts as you need for the week and make this soup in bulk. Often I quadruple this recipe and freeze portions. My kidos always take it back to college, and often, I use frozen soups as my “ice” for travel! If you happen to have a lot of leftover chicken or turkey (think Thanksgiving), this recipe makes great use of it! The “hot” seasonings — simply adjust to your family’s preference. Last, I’m sharing for the first time, my real thoughts on our pre-SCD meals (in hindsight) along with where the healing recipes that I post are really rooted. Clue: “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” ― Aldo Leopold,