Tag Archives: Lectin

Staying Balanced

Are you feeling like you need to come up for air? Gasping and gulping in fresh air before taking another dive? That’s me, too! Taking vacations can definitely help, but we need to “breathe” more often than that.

I am already seeing some leaves changing color. Yesterday, a couple yellow leaves skittered across the still verdant and rapidly growing lawn. A quick look around at some sassafras saplings showed speckles of orange leaves.

Where’s the ‘pause’ button? Summer’s half over and there are already signs of fall in mid-July! Yikes!

One thing I’ve gleaned from our daughter’s successful completion of residency in family medicine – is how to survive and thrive. She had, very carefully, selected a residency program that ensured plenty of coping skills with all of its residents including:

  • Weekly group, how-are-you-doing, sessions of sharing the good/bad/ugly happenings, which became spring boards for processing their intense experiences.
  • Every-other-week meditative sessions with the entire group of residents took mental processing into the physical and spiritual realm.
  • Naturally, there was regular exercise emphasizing outdoor experiences … often in groups.
  • Frequent and spontaneous group meals, featuring nutritious whole food.
  • Their group was ever-vigilant to ‘pick up a brother’ when they fell into difficult times.
  • Lots of hugs. The real ones that last for at least three breaths. The healing kind.

What’s the ‘take away’ from all of this?

We cope and heal on so many levels, that a multifaceted approach is best.

In my case as a 24/7 caregiver, just getting away several times a week has helped – but only so much. Solo trips to the gym or walks around the waterfront answered only a part of my needs.

A quiet lunch with a friend or two is helpful; but sharing a meal with several friends meets needs you might not know were there.

What is the dynamic of a larger group?

Perhaps it’s because the conversation is not just about us.

We pour our hearts out to a friend — and that has its place.  Usually in group conversation, however, the talk bounces around; others throw thoughts into the mix, and more diverse news is shared.

There is so much more inner balance to be experienced when we participate in groups of 5-6 or more. Our perspective broadens and, quite frankly, it is so refreshing to have the focus on someone else for a bit. Additionally, we may be just who someone else needs to provide a different thought or a helping hand.

I am seeing that the scope of my ‘balancing needs’ is much broader than I had thought.

  • Improved nutrition- check
  • Time away from responsibilities- check
  • Gym 2-3 times a week-check
  • Meals with a friend or two- check
  • Personal meditation and prayer- check
  • Small group activities — need to do this more

Life is like a multifaceted gem. We need to move it around to let the light shine into all of its angles in order to appreciate its full brilliance.

Coping and balancing are the same. Are you shining light into all of your facets to achieve that inner balance?

I’m still learning … and that’s the best part!

Always learning.








Hmmm! Scones That Love You Back

Chef vs. Baker

Which are you? Pinch of “this,” and a dash of “that”?  Or, “one level cup of sifted flour”? Chef or baker?

It’s just that I’m more of the chef type; but sharing recipes requires more refined explanations of measurements for predictable outcomes. Thus, MANY batches of scones have been prepared, photographed, recorded … and eaten. *burp*

Pardon me!

I know, I know. Tough job but somebody has to do it.

Foodtalk4you has been ever so quiet lately due to my caregiving ministrations, which are always a priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding concerning my unpredictability. My dear husband continues to be under hospice care and my care at home. Still confined to bed, his uncomplaining and appreciative attitude is sprinkled with humor, insight, and love.

The kitchen “laboratory” however, has seen a lot of activity as I tried to optimize my favorite scone recipe to give you consistently wonderful results.

With a Valentine’s Day post in mind, I kept making these little darlings in heart shapes. Needless to say, I missed that deadline; but a heart-shaped scone is so precious any time of year! A good way to say, “I love you!” don’t you think?

You can make the typical scone shape which is achieved by rolling the dough into a circle, slicing into wedges, separating the wedges, and baking.

The heart-shaped scones require a bit more effort using a cookie cutter; and can be problematic if the walnuts are not finely chopped. A secret method? I ended up actually filling the heart shape, pressing the dough down to reach the edges and height of the cookie cutter exactly. Consistent results and portion control.

Long time readers of Foodtalk4you and Toolkit for Wellness know that, just because a recipe is gluten-free, does not make it healthy. I am always trying to pack in extra good-for-you ingredients and to dial back added sugars. This recipe for scones that love you back does that with:

Quinoa Flakes- a rare source of plant-based essential amino acids. Those are the amino acids our body does not make by itself, thus we must get them from our diet. Amino acids are the “building blocks” of proteins. Just 1/3 cup of quinoa flakes contains 4 grams of protein.

Collagen Hydrolysate – unlike gelatin, this powder does not congeal. It is a power house of satisfying, satiating, healing protein that is packed with 20 amino acids! Two rounded tablespoons of collagen hydrolysate yields 11 grams of protein.

Walnuts- a great source of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and an amino acid l-arginine which is heart healthy. Walnuts have been shown to help with brain function, suppression of tumor growth, weight control through increased satiety, as well as improved blood sugar levels. Experts say that even a quarter of a cup of walnuts a day can positively impact our health.

Regarding all nuts: Please buy raw, organic nuts for maximum benefit. But wait! You’re not done! Remember to soak your raw walnuts overnight in salted water; rinse and drain; then dehydrate at a low temperature (110-118 degrees) until light and crispy. The results are crunchy and much more digestible. As always, refer to your copy of Toolkit for Wellness for the full scoop on the whys and wherefores of sprouting all of your nuts to ease their digestion.

Another plus to this recipe is it requires a minimal number preparation tools and little clean up. Check out my new cool stirring device.

Instead of using a floured surface to roll out the dough, I just use the same parchment paper sheet used for the baking. Easy-peasy clean up!

So, that’s the back ground material on “Scones that love you back.” Let’s get to the recipe.


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa Flakes (I use Ancient Harvest brand)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup collagen hydrolysate (I use Great Lakes brand)
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Rind of one orange, zested
  • ¼ dried cranberries, chopped
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Have on stand-by: 1 or more Tablespoons of ground flax seed if dough is too wet

Wet Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, melted (I use Kerrygold brand – from “happy” grass fed Irish cows)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice with pulp
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • 1 egg, beaten


  • Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar Crystals to sprinkle on top before baking


Put all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

Add wet ingredients, stirring well to combine and create dough. If the dough seems too wet or sticky to a light touch of finger tips, add one tablespoon of ground flax, stirring well. Flax absorbs moisture. Wait a minute to test dough again before adding another tablespoon of it, if needed.

Turn dough out onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Form into a smooth ball and press down to a circle with ½ inch thickness.

For traditional scones: cut into 8 wedges using a knife or pizza cutter; separate slices on baking sheet; follow baking instructions.

For heart-shaped scones: use a cookie cutter to press out shapes, reforming scrap dough into another ½ thick layer until all dough is used. OR use my secret method of filling each heart-shaped scone, hand pressing the dough into the shape, and level with the top of the cutter. Separate scones on baking sheet.

Apply egg wash using a brush.

Sprinkle just a dab of Turbinado crystals on top of each scone, if desired. It looks nice but is not intended to become a sugar-bomb coating.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. My heart-shaped 2 ½ inch across scones take 18 minutes. Scones should be golden brown when done.

Cool on wire rack.

Enjoy these healthy scones for a delightful start to your day.

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In health-












Free Affirmations Flash Cards!

As a National Board Certified Teacher, I was well acquainted with affirmationsflash cards. The students loved them. A flash card is the only way to learn facts, in my opinion. I have also used them to benefit my meditative time. Positive messages, or affirmations, are also a hot topic for: stress reduction, calming down before bed to get better sleep, mindfully starting the day, and putting your consciousness and faith in the right place.

These flash cards are near and dear to my heart. They came about as a result of reading Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking. His up-lifting Bible quotes and affirmations that he penned or quoted from others so moved me that I wrote them down on pretty square sheets of paper.

A medical team performing an operation
A medical team performing an operation

Around the time of my retirement in 2012, I felt a need to shore my spirit up with affirmations that would sustain me through a waiting period before some much needed major surgery. Contrary to what I thought, I was not going to just ‘have my usual care-free summer’ then have my surgery in late August. No. My physical activity ground to a near halt. My spirit wanted me to hustle around walking along the beach, straightening up the house in anticipation of a post-surgical healing period, and tucking away teaching mementos.


It seems that patience is a life lesson that I keep having to work on. It’s a recurring personal theme. Anyway, to get myself in the right frame of mind, going through these affirmations waaffirmation2s pure gold. After using these precious squares of wisdom and calm on a daily basis, somehow they got shuffled off into a drawer.

Recently, a friend of mine was facing some major surgery herself, and was a bit tearful about the whole thing. This had been something she had vowed she did not want to do, but do she must. When trying to console her and give her my prayers for peace and a successful outcome, I remembered these gems. How I wished I could have handed them to her!

I had needed my surgery badly, too, and was happily anticipating the day of its arrival. After a recovery period of several months, I was going to be and feel so much better. When waking up from the anesthetic, the first thing I said was, “I’m so happy!” I was so happy for the waiting to be over and so happy to start my recovery, but still in need of my affirmations! Recovery can be maddeningly slow.

There is that lesson in patience, again. Without these little gems, I would have gone out of my mind before and/or after my surgery.
We do not need to be getting ready for surgery, though, to benefit from daily affirmations. They are a great way to start, finish, or revive during the day.

These affirmatioCosmetic-Surgery-recoveryns would be best printed by you on some pretty paper. Choose your favorite color or find a great floral print or gentle pattern that would not take away from the message on them. So, print your set; there are 8 pages. Each page has lines for you to cut them out. I do keep mine in a certain order because the flow of thought works well for me. You’ll notice there are some blanks on page 8 and a full blank page for 9 so you can add your own.

How to use your affirmations:

The whole idea behind putting these on ‘cards’ and not just printing them out as a list is to give us an opportunity to mindfully read and reflect on each one; taking time to consider, ponder, and apply its truth.I-believe

Many of these are Bible quotes that may appear to repeat, but the message is from a different source. Sometime we need repetition. The one about the ‘rough being a state of mind’ is in reference to golfing. When the ball lands in the rough, it is our mindset that controls how “doomed” we feel. It’s not being Pollyanna, it’s being optimistic and embracing a can-do spirit. Mindset is everything.

CLICK BELOW FOR FREE AFFIRMATION FLASH CARDS!!  (.pdf format). You can download and print them off!

Affirmation Flash Cards   

So, let’s continue with the positive flow of the New Year.

Gosh, we have tackled: 1) Stress, 2) Kale, and 3) Water intake already! Now we can continue with positive thoughts each day.

It has been a personal pleasure to share these Affirmation Flash Cards  with you! Please share with me any of your own that I could pass on to others!

In health-






Follow Your Bliss!

Mentally, physically, spiritually – love yourself

Being “Designed for Health” means more than learning how to return to eating nutrient-dense foods; it means creating and maintaining that healthy balance in all areas of our life: mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Stress-related insomnia

“Fixing” the food part to meet physical needs is just one part of that healthy triad. Many of us are spinning so many stress-filled plates, the mental and spiritual part of ourselves is going lacking…which then circles back to an unhappy body. Stress hormones play into poor sleep which plays into moreStress filled merry-go-roundstress hormones which play into hormones designed to push us to more starch and sugar which plays into…… well, it’s a mess!

Did you ever say “Stop this stress-go-round, I want to get off!”?

Are you experiencing a dark existential ennui?

Pretty young woman enjoying sunshine and fresh air in a flowering field.
Just breathe….

If there is a sunbeam shining right now, make sure to head for it! Take a 20 minute walk in the sunshine every day that you possibly can. Breathe in that fresh air. Look for things you have not noticed before. Something seen. Something heard. Something felt. Something smelled. Even this most basic exercise helps on all aspects of the health triad.

Pet a puppy. Who doesn't love a puppy?
Pet a puppy. Who doesn’t love a puppy?

Breathing helps, too! Not the everyday kind. The stop for a minute and take slow breaths kind. See, our over-active minds are hard to shut off even during a walk – hence the idea of noticing new things – so five methodical breaths are a great way to cleanse the mind, stop the stress-go-round, and lower the anxiety level.

You know the drill:

1. Stop everything

2. Close eyes

3. Drop shoulders

4. Inhale slowly for a count of five

5. Let the air circulate inside of you for a count of five

6. Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of five

7. Repeat four more times


Concentrate ONLY on this procedure; if another thought drifts in then gently release it. Concentrate on the feel of the air coming into your body. Imagine it swirling around inside you. Feel the release while you exhale. Mindful breathing can be a beautiful, life-saving thing. Try it right now. Whew…I just did, and the release is just amazing!

Another way to shift our mental and spiritual focus away from the negative can be through being a part of what I have named a Tapestry Group. I am facilitating a food-talk-4-u-tapestry-of-lifeTapestry Group at our church. It is an easily replicated concept you may want to try yourself. The name of this group reflects the thought that each one of us is a part of the larger Tapestry of Life; that each one of us provides a meaningful thread to this tapestry; that the color of our thread may change over time; and that the threads of others are woven along with our own to create the rich and beautiful food-talk-4-u-rules-of-happinesstapestry we call Life.

Our purpose is the sharing of experiences, reflecting on matters or topics of the day, expanding or clarifying our view points, learning from others, and supporting others and ourselves through the exchange of ideas and thoughts.

At our last monthly meeting, I shared four talking points taken from a book by Karl Moore entitled, “The 18 Rules of Happiness: How to be Happy.” His first four “rules” provided a great resource for reflection and sharing. To paraphrase his book:

1. Stop the pity party; self-pity eats up everything around, except for itself. Elsewhere, I recently read that we have 60-70,000 thoughts each day; while some are not that significant, others may color our whole day. So, stop the negative thoughts and go to rule #2:


2. Be grateful. Well, sure, we’re thankful that semi-tractor trailer food-talk-4-u-grateful-heartmissed hitting us on the interstate, but on a daily level—moment-to-moment—we need to be grateful. I have heard of people keeping a gratitude journal whereby they make daily entries, morning or evening, for their items of gratitude. You’ve heard of that old hymn that goes, “count your blessings, name them one by one”? There’s a lot of truth in this process as counting our blessings— mindfully reviewing the positive in our lives—can create a mind-set shift, a general re-focusing on what is important, and a re-framing of how we view what’s on our personal plates.

keep-calm-and-just-say-yes3. Open yourself to selectively saying “Yes” more. I know, I know; aren’t we supposed to learn to say “No” more….I mean, we are being stretched too thin, right? Well, sure, but some of us have gotten too good at saying “no” and have shut too many doors, shut out light, shut out life. There are random twists in life and unexpected opportunities that come knocking that we need to seize. Sometimes it’s even easier to say “yes” because you participate in a positive flowing forward instead of saying “no” which goes against the flow of life. You be the judge; say “yes” to good things that may be unexpected and that can open up a positive flow in your life.

bliss24. Follow your bliss. This is an idea originally from Joseph Campbell. I remember an example of bliss in my students as they practiced what they learned in the classroom and became hands on caregivers to real patients. Their eyes lit up! They couldn’t start their clinical rotations soon enough! The joy poured out of their very beings and flowed around and caressed their patients! Time flew by! Bliss is something money can’t buy. What is your bliss? Probably everyone knows what needs to be done to be happy, but few are brave enough to take the steps to do it. Follow your bliss.

Get a room full of people to reflect and talk about the first four rules 4e6eb68f-63e2-45f6-a6f4-be2b8fc8a6ef-visionof happiness, and you will have a room full of refreshed folks who have a new perspective on life; who have shared and received inspiration; and who have said “Yes” to an opportunity to get outside of themselves, engage with others, and who shared their bliss!
Consider being a part of or forming a Tapestry Group. We were designed for health, and we were designed to be social beings.

There’s a reason for all of it!



At the Starting Gate!

Getting so ready for The Plan that I’ve practically started it already! food-talk-4-u-mint-waterI almost reached for a beverage tonight that would only have added sugar to my blood stream, so I grabbed the big pitcher full of mint water instead! That was a major victory for me!

So, what’s for breakfast tomorrow?

There are two approaches:

Something with eggs or a smoothie.

Food-Talk-4-U-eggsMy personal favorite is a Big Scramble: Two eggs whipped up with salt, pepper, and a splash of unsweetened coconut milk, (So Delicious is the brand I use) poured into the pan in which I have already re-heated some left-over zoodles or cooked some minimally-processed sausage, along with some sautéed mushrooms. Basically, any non-starchy vegetable will Food-Talk-4-U-salmondo. That’s where variety comes in. Sometimes I will reheat some left-over salmon along with some leafy greens before adding the egg mixture. Other times, I will pan fry some okra first as a side dish to the eggs. As long as there is a veggie in there somewhere. Spices also create variety. Penzy’s spices has a Bavarian Seasoning that I just love to add to eggs. Sometimes it’s their Mural of Flavor seasoning. Any way you cut it, that’s a nutrient-dense meal that will last for hours and not cause blood sugar spikes.

Food-Talk-4-U-beet-smoothieSmoothies are perfect for breakfast or lunch. My previous article on smoothies will give you a start. If you are blessed with the mother-of-all-blenders: the Vita-Mix (oooo-ahhhh), then the sky is the limit! My daughter has access to one and she is whipping up smoothies with beets and carrots; but a good quality, general kind of blender (like mine……) will probably do best with ½ cup of fruit, a couple handfuls of greens, whey protein, some fluid, ice, and sweet spices.

Note to self: Ask Santa for a Vita-Mix!

What’s for lunch?

Smoothies are transportable in wide-mouth mason jars which can be taken to work, kept in the refrigerator, shaken up, and enjoyed at any time.

Food-Talk-4-U-salad-carrots-gingerLunch can also be a giant salad. My favorite greens actually come from Sam’s and are Taylor Farms Organic Power Greens Kale Medley of baby spinach, kale, chard, and carrots. Cooked, served raw in a salad, or blended in a smoothie, these greens really do the job! So tasty!

What goes into the salad needs to be nutrient-dense and hage-avocado-vrijstnon-starchy. We are not talking pasta salad here! Good fats are essential for a better balance of omega 3s to omega 6s. (We generally get way too many omega 6s in the Standard American Diet.) Avocado is stellar in that department along with olives, olive oil, and crunchy nuts.

Food-talk-4-u-tunaSo what else? We need some protein! I usually grab whatever left-over meat I have and add that sliced or chopped to my salad, or use some canned tuna. After that, you can add salt, pepper, and avocado oil to call it done, or you can expand with carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, and perhaps a small handful of berries…. Go for the colors; the more, the better! The dressing can be as simple as avocado oil only, or balsamic vinegar only, or olive oil and vinegar. Just none of that creamy stuff from a bottle made from who-knows-what and has a highly processed “Frankenoil” at its heart.

The basic rule?

full-bellyEat until you are full! Personally, two eggs are fine for me at breakfast, but some people need more. Do not leave a meal hungry. When I make a smoothie, I usually have leftovers that will be my go-to snack later in the day. Eat enough protein and non-starchy veggies at dinner to fill you up!

What’s for dinner?

Protein, non-starchy veggies, and good fat. Nothing is breaded—we will learn about gluten-free breading later. Just wonderful meat, poultry, fish, or seafood. Grill something; so easy to do this time of year!

Stir up some zoodles with pesto, steam some broccoli. How about some Food-talk-4-u-sesame-oilbaby greens in olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil?  Sauté some Brussels sprouts in olive or avocado oil, season, then finish cooking by steaming on low with a lid on the pan. For a special treat, finish your veggies with some toasted sesame oil! Yum…I could drink that stuff!

chinese-herbal-teaSpeaking of which, what’s to drink?

During the initial ten-day detox phase of The Plan: Anything with no caffeine, alcohol, or added sugar. That’s why the post on flavored water the other day. Herbal teas make delightful hot or cold beverages, as well.


Is it possible to be hungry between these meals? Well, once in a while I am, so here are some options that work for me:

– Left-over smoothie
– Hard-boiled egg
– Small handful of crunchy nuts
– Sliced avocado with lemon pepper
– Spoonful of almond butter

After the 10-day detox period, a piece of 70% or greater dark chocolate! Oh, yeah!

Tomorrow, I will describe how to turn an average nut into something that is easier to digest and allows for better absorption of nutrients: Crunchy Nuts.

Here’s to giving our bodies a rest from the constant assault of artificial ingredients. A time to re-set our metabolism and digestion. A time to heal from inflammation-causing foods.

Talk to you tomorrow!


Counting Down to “The Plan” – With Oodles of Zoodles!

Hand Grater

Eating well does not require all kinds of gadgetry so don’t let a limited supply of “things” hold you back from enjoying the wonders of non-packaged foods.

I will be frequently referring to “zoodles”—my “go-to” for non-starchy noodles, and they can be created many ways. Please see my previous post here to learn more about using zoodles. With farmer’s markets brimming at the seams with all kinds of summer squash, what better time to make zoodles?

A simple hand grater will not give you luscious long strands of zoodles but most people have one in their kitchen supplies and will give them some semblance of a short noodle.

Micro Planer

Using a micro-planer will result in zoodles; but using one really scares me even with using the vegetable gripper provided—which is lost somewhere in my kitchen.


Julienne Peeler

A safer approach is the julienne peeler which is easy to use and makes nice zoodles. It is one piece and easy to clean up.


Spiral Peeler



My favorite tool, however, is my spiral cutter which results in fun-to-make, fabulous zoodles. Get the kids involved and you’ll be sure to have little zoodle eaters who won’t even mind eating veggies!



So, figure out how to make “zoodles” for there will be many opportunities to do so in The Plan!


Getting Started: Putting It All Together


Okay, here’s where we put it all together! In the coming weeks, I will roll out 1) The Plan, 2) The Move, and 3) The Life.

Many people have expressed wanting something they can sort of wrap their hands around; something more than general guidelines about eating for health and more like, “Today, eat this and exercise like that.”

I am hearing you! Mark your calendars for Monday, July 7th as our official START DATE for The Plan!Food-talk-4-u-calendar

So, to start off, The Plan will give you details on how you can conduct your own ‘cleanse’ or detox to reset your metabolism, get your body back to basics, and allow your body to ‘rest’ from the constant barrage from the Standard American Diet. The Plan will keep you satisfied and full, and will assist your body in ridding itself of some of the toxins and ‘sludge’ that have been clogging up the works and making you feel sub-par.

Food-talk-4-u-superfoodsThe Plan will focus on: 5 ‘Superfoods’ for all ages in your family; being adequately hydrated in more creative ways than just plain water; enjoying food preparation with simple recipes that maximize flavors; how to incorporate simple additions to your food to strengthen bones; how to easily add fiber to your diet, and much more! The Plan will start with a 10-day detox period, followed by gradual unique-to-you additions over time, all within the definition of clean, gluten-free eating.

The Move will help you discover how to get more out of exercise byfood-talk-4-u-Exercise-Group doing less—just in a different way. Exercise can be the more difficult change for me to make, so I will be sharing what I have learned from various sources that all advise a different approach from the sweaty, gym-oriented, chronic cardio that this lady is just never going to do anyway! No more expensive gym memberships! Yay!

The Life will open up easily sustainable goals for a life-style that will help you rebalance your mind, body, and spirit, for a more natural rhythm of eating, moving, and being. Too often, today’s world pushes us to physical and mental extremes that are out-of-sync with our natural rhythms. Once you have made the decision to re-connect with your own pace, the daily ebb and flow of life will not feel so much like an artillery bombardment. Learn how to continually implement your new-found food and healthy life-style habits.

Health is a process. Each of us has a unique set of “issues,” but we all can travel the path to improved health together – One step at a time. Everything I will be describing in The Plan, The Move, and The Life, I will be doing, too.

Food-talk-4-u-detoxBefore starting the The Plan, we should go through a period of tapering now. The detox phase will be caffeine-free, sugar-free, grain, dairy, and alcohol-free, so we need to get ready.

Food-Talk-4-U-cold-turkeyIt’s certainly not a good idea to go “cold turkey” in regard to caffeine because of the resultant headaches; thus, the tapering off is needed. Even the moderate amount of caffeine I consume has to be tapered. I resist doing this! I love that little dab of caffeine; but I have learned that caffeine can adversely affect our hormonal balances, in addition to the usual ‘jitters’ and irregular heartbeats that come with ‘over-doing’ my favorite morning brew. So, ‘a tapering we will go!’

Decreasing the amount of caffeine we consume will also include Food-Talk-4-U-chocolatereducing caffeinated beverages of all kind (tea and colas) as well as chocolate. Pout! But abstaining from chocolate will not be forever
Other tapering involves sugar. That usually means colas. Oh, you use diet sodas? That can be exceedingly bad for normal hunger-influencing hormone functions as well. We’ll discuss creative water flavoring techniques in the very next post, but the colas just have to go. Again, this should be a gradual process as most colas involve caffeine. This is supposed to be a user-friendly experience, so ‘gradual’ is the best bet throughout this tapering process.

Alcohol. What is it but liquid sugar? Granted, there are many heavily cited health benefits to moderate wine drinking, but sugar is sugar. Additionally, just this week I learned that one alcoholic beverage can lower a woman’s metabolic rate the next day by up to 70%! Wow! Definitely not the drink for getting into shape!

Let me know if you are ‘IN!’ We will be doing this together! During the countdown to The Plan, I will be giving you tips on tapering and getting prepared. Join us as we commit to a 10-day detox and 20-day follow-up to reset our health – one meal at a time!

In health –



Starting Food Changes

Did you know that the mental approach we take when starting a change can actually predict our level of success? Food-talk-4-u-negativeA wise proverb that is proven time after time: “If you think you can you can; if you think you can’t you can’t.” Shut out the negative voices by understanding that YOU ARE in control of what you eat. YOU have total control of what food you put into your mouth! The past is the past. You are learning about an eating lifestyle that will leave you satisfied day in and day out. Stoke yourself with positive testimonials of others (Check out Marksdailyapple.com for the testimonials of those who have totally changed their lives through changing food choices). Learn more about the advantages of certain foods over others, and how some foods could be derailing your health by reading posts in this blog and the others that I share with you.

Food-talk-4-u-man-eatingBe kind to yourself! Dumping negative self-talk into your head is not what is needed. Rome was not built in a day, and the re-creative process happens one mouthful of delicious, healthy food at a time! Did you guzzle a glass of sweet iced tea? Don’t beat yourself up about it! Make sure you are prepared with other choices next time and, by all means, share your successes with others. Be joyful for yourself; you are doing a good job!

Now, how hard would it be to stop eating say, ice cream, when you Food-talk-4-u-candystill had a freezer full of your favorite Homemade Turtle Sundae, and everyone in your family was in the habit of having a nighttime bowl full AND you were the one dishing it up? Or how hard would it be to change from junk food snacks to eating healthier snacks such as avocado, nuts, veggies, or a handful of blueberries when every cupboard in your kitchen was bursting with chips, dips, pretzels, candy, pop tarts, sweetened popcorn, pizza bites, and the like?

Food-talk-4-u-lunch-crowdStudies have proven that changing behavior is easier and more successful if our environment reinforces our goals. The idea of controlling environment for success is not new. Parents always tell their children to associate with “good” kids; when those children get into trouble with their friends, parents insist they hang out with a “better” crowd. Similarly, do you want to be more positive about your job? If everyone in the lunch room spends most of their time bashing the boss or complaining about the customers, find somewhere else to eat lunch; seek those who are positive and who try to solve problems rather than just complain! So, to re-create your health, you will need to first re-create your food preparation environment.

If you are serious about ridding your body of gluten, clean out your Food-Talk-4-U-fridge-cleaningkitchen! Clue your family and friends into your reasons and goals for changing what you eat. Maybe they will join you! At least they should support your efforts if they truly care about you. Connect with others doing the same. Follow this and other blogs that support and edify your choice for change.

When I switched over to being gluten free, I gathered up a lot of pasta (whole wheat, mind you, because I was good—not!), flour, Food-talk-4-u-giveawayand various mixes for a donation to the local food bank. There were definitely mixed feelings about doing that—giving others what I considered poison—so you may struggle with that as well. The more I learn about gluten, I can definitely see how disadvantaged individuals are especially vulnerable as they fill their hungry bellies with cheap starchy products and end up smack in the middle of the “Diabesity” explosion. Thoughts for a different post….

Then to further control your food environment, plan for being away from home: bring your own snacks, order only the part of a restaurant meal that aligns with the changes you have made, eat before leaving home, or plan to eat when you get back.

So, you have cleaned out the kitchen from the offending products and have stocked your shelves with real food that is as close to its original form as possible (not highly processed). You have the support of family and friends who accept your choices and do not try to dissuade you from your goal. Best case scenario, you family joins you! Things have gone great for a whole week. You feel better, have a brighter outlook, and have even lost a couple of pounds.

Congratulations! Time to celebrate! Food-talk-4-u-celebration

Time for “an indulgence?” Time to go off your “diet?” First of all, what I have been describing in these posts is not a temporary “diet,” it’s a way of life. Does a former addict celebrate being clean with just a little “hit?” Certainly not! With food, this is especially true with gluten. I learned just yesterday so much more about gluten that I am wanting to share with you in a future post, but one thing I can share now is that if you are sensitive to gluten, the smallest exposure (a few crumbs) can set you back with reactions not just 10-14 days as I thought, but a full 3-6 months! This is very serious stuff!

Food-talk-4-u-pamperSo plan ahead for your well-deserved celebrations! Plan for a trip to the beach, picnic in the park, a massage, a mani-pedi, a movie, a bubble bath, a good book, or a new item of clothing that better fits your new, smaller self! But “rewarding” your sugar-free self with an ice cream sundae every “cheat day” is just re-creating the environment that made your body so unhappy in the first place! Keep to an environment that will support your continued success and reward your efforts without undermining your progress.

Eating smarter should in no way leave you feeling hungry or deprived. We have all experienced going on a temporary diet, we keep an eye on the end for a return to “normal.” In the meantime, we are always anxious for the next “allowable” food. Normal should always be good for you. Normal should always be bolstering your health: body and mind. This is a grand adventure in getting more out of life by eliminating foods that were never designed for our health!

To summarize:

  • Stay positive!
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Learn more about your food changes
  • Create the environment that will support your change. Clean out the kitchen and garner support from family and friends
  • Plan for when you are away from home
  • Plan rewards that reflect and support your change
  • Surround your mind with success stories and share your successes with others!
  • I love your comments! Please share your thoughts and suggestions; this will always be a work in progress to better serve you!

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Until next time-

Can’t vs. Don’t

As we learn about the health benefits and detractors of certain food options, and as we begin to apply new food choices to our eating patterns, the semantics  we use to express our preferences can actually sabotage our successful eating practices.

Food Talk 4 YouFor example, you just attended one of my “Designed for Health” classes and your eyes have been opened to the effects of gluten and lectin on the digestive system and overall body functioning.  You have followed up with recommended readings which I gave you, and you have determined that there seems to be a clear link with your health issues and some level of gluten sensitivity.  You remember hearing that a single exposure of gluten can adversely effect your body for up to two weeks, so you are determined not to eat any.  Your family and friends are told you ‘can’t’ eat gluten.

Fair enough.  Then you go to your sister-in-law’s for a birthday dinner and when the cake is offered you say, “I can’t eat gluten.”

There is something about the word “can’t.”  It implies an outward force or idea is being applied to you.  Maybe you agree with this restriction and maybe you don’t.  Outward forces can be applied or withdrawn.  “I can’t eat chocolate; it’s Lent.”  “I’m on a diet; I can’t eat ice cream.”  “The doctor said I can’t eat fried food.”  ‘Can’t’ just  screams: “buuuuuut, welllllll, maaaaybeeee just this time!”  It also opens the door for others to try to twist your arm.  “It’s Henry’s birthday; I made your favorite recipe!”  Will you eat the cake?  Probably.OldDesignShop_ChocolateLayerCake

But if you were to embrace the term ‘don’t’ or ‘do not,’ you would be telling others, and yourself, that the decision comes from within you.  It is your choice made for you and by you.  You have reasoned over this and have made a conscious decision to do something for your health.  Period.  It is done.  “I do not eat gluten; but thanks, anyway!”

Our choice for improved health is personal and comes from within.  There is no arbitrary force being exerted upon as the advertisers of the Standard American Diet put upon us in the media.  No, we are thinking for ourselves, and we don’t eat gluten.

And for my friends in New Bern, North Carolina:

“Designed for Health” classes, led by Deidre Edwards, will provide participants with an opportunity to discover ways to reclaim their health, one meal at a time. God’s spirit dwells within us and we are His temple. Let’s take a look at how we are maintaining His temple! If you desire to improve your energy levels and the functioning of your body, join us as we explore various sources of nutrition and health information. Plus we will prepare some delicious food and eat it!

First Baptist Church in New Bern  First Baptist Church in New Bern

Two FREE introductory classes are being offered at First Baptist Church the next two Wednesdays:  April 30th and May 7th at 6 pm in the Youth Lounge in the basement of the Education Building.

We will be learning what Hippocrates meant when he wisely said,  “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”





The information being discussed in these blogs is NOT intended to replace a relationship with a qualified health care professional. Foodtalk4you blogs endeavor to empower people through the exploration of publicly available resources of information about human anatomy and physiology, and how different foods affect the human body.  Readers should seek the advice of their qualified health care providers with any questions about their medical conditions or health status before attempting any dietary, exercise, or lifestyle changes.