Tag Archives: smoothie recipes

Can You Hear Me Now?

Your body knows best.  Are you listening?

Many of us have bodies that are screaming at us; but we aren’t listening. Instead, we grab another Tylenol and hope for different results. Right?

How’s that working for you? Doing the same things and hoping for different result.

Come on, folks!

Case in point is my Great Oatmeal Experiment.

For many years, I have followed the anti-inflammatory style of eating as described in my book, Toolkit for Wellness. The part I was particularly careful about was no gluten-containing grains; no wheat, barley, or rye grains. But other grains such as corn, rice, oats, and others could be problematic because of their lectin and phytate components.

Lectins can mess with the hormone that tells us we are full and satisfied. Phytates can make the minerals we eat bio-unavailable for proper absorption and use by our body.

Each of us has different levels of tolerance.  We won’t know what our tolerance levels are unless we LISTEN.

Listen to what?

Our body talking to us! Do we feel energized? How are those muscles and joints feeling? Headaches again? Unhappy belly? More bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea?

Once your body is “cleansed” for a while by removing inflammatory foods, reintroducing potential offenders has to be handled very carefully.

Just like introducing one new food at a time, not unlike that of a baby learning to eat foods, we have to be careful to reintroduce only one new previously eliminated food at a time, to identify something that is going to cause a bad reaction.

I have corn-based food every once in a while. When corn-on-the-cob “comes in” during the summer, I do indulge. Corn tortillas for tacos? Sure.

Still steering away from gluten.

Enter “Gluten Free Oatmeal.”

I needed to shake up my husband’s breakfast menu a bit; provide more fiber – you know – good for you oatmeal?

I even posted on Foodtalk4you’s Facebook feed about how I had ramped up oatmeal’s “goodness” factor by adding chia seeds and coconut oil. I created another oatmeal recipe by adding collagen hydrolysate and coconut oil. Ramped-up protein and brain healthy fat! What could be better?

I was pleased as punch in making double recipe “vats” of this so I could easily nuke a bowl of goodness for EACH of us in the morning.

Or so I thought.

There are so many factors affecting how we feel. Sometimes it’s hard to tease out the one offending element.

I was still sitting way too much at home while I spent time in my husband’s room (he is confined to a hospital bed at home). On top of that, I am currently writing another book, “Caregiver’s Handbook for Caring for the Bedridden,” which requires more sitting at the computer. Efforts to go to the gym once or twice a week are being met, along with home stretches to break up sitting sessions, and almost daily planks.

But something was WRONG.

Everything from my waist down hurt. Heels first. Then hips. Then legs. Is it possible to get that old so fast? Is this my life forever?

Didn’t seem natural. Certainly, I am living under unusual and stressful circumstances – but, I was falling apart. Grabbing two Ibuprofen, for heaven’s sakes.

We are “Designed for Health”. That’s my mantra. Geez! That’s the name of the classes I teach!

“Can you hear me, now?”

Could it be my “super-healthy-ramped-up-gluten-free-oatmeal?

Only one way to find out.

Stop the oatmeal.

Well, I did.

After just seven days with no more oatmeal, I can get up and start walking with feet and hips that are not screaming.

I listened, and I did something about it.

Yes, I miss my hot, steaming bowl of healthy comfort food, but I LOVE not hurting.

Goodbye oatmeal. Hello happy body!

It’s a choice.

Are you listening? Your body will love you for it.

In health-

Deidre

 

 

Lessons From a Gardener’s Promise

If by recent post we have inspired you to take in the “pulse of life” at a local nursery, maybe you are wondering how so many people are gushing with optimism and hopefulness? How can holding a little six-pack of plants instill such anticipation and confidence? Are there bigger lessons for us to absorb and to apply in other aspects of our lives?

How does the gardener approach … well, gardening?

Soil prep. This step is essential for a plant to thrive. Can’t grow in rocks. Think about it. Are we expecting our bodies to thrive while we ‘plant’ them in rocky soil filled with added sugars, unpronounceable chemicals, or ingredients that are incompatible with digestion?

Plant selection. What’s the goal for the plant? Beauty, crop yield, or an attractiveness to butterflies, bees, or hummingbirds? What are our goals? What is the effect of our actions today? Are we being true to ourselves? Are we adding beauty, yield, and attractiveness to the world around us?

Care. This is where the “Gardener’s Promise” comes in. The gardener knows, by doing the right things consistently, the results will come … in time. Water. Pull a few weeds. Prune as needed. Fertilize regularly. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Will the desired results come in a day… a week … or even a month? Often not! Why do we expect instant results for ourselves?

One kind word to an unfriendly acquaintance will not yield a bosom buddy. Relationships are built over time. Generally, a consistent effort to reach out in friendship will break down barriers.

Launching any self-improvement program will need careful and patient tending as well.

Case in point. I wanted to build upon my at-home exercise efforts which always include 2 minutes of daily planks and Super Brain Yoga with Power Poses. I started going to a gym in January that features a 30-minute circuit, along with its other activities. Twice a week. Like clockwork. Hadn’t gotten a swimsuit look; but if I skipped, I could tell a difference.

I wanted more. More results. Is it possible to really have a tighter tummy? I’ve seen videos about grannies who have turned things around. Why not me?

Time to apply the “Gardener’s Promise.” More sunshine (more effort and a wider variety of exercises), fewer weeds (sugar and carbs), better fertilizer (fortified protein shake for lunch), and patience. If you are doing the right things, keep at it day-by-day, and the results will come.

My morning plank routine is now twice a day. I have added 15 minutes of cardio before hitting the machines and doing other exercises. Still not ready for that swimsuit quite yet.

But I am standing taller. I am stronger. When my abs hurt a bit the next day, I know that I am making a difference. Some recently acquired winter bulges are disappearing.

I am remembering the “Gardener’s Promise.”

Happy “gardening”-

Deidre

PS- Cardio exercise today will be 5 minutes longer. Smoothie already enjoyed for lunch. (Primal Protein, frozen cantaloupe, frozen banana, ground flax seed, collagen hydrolysate).

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Cranberry Commotion!

Are you like me? I simply crave seasonal offerings, and right now… it’s ALL things CRANBERRY!

Long-time readers of this blog know I am a strong believer in seasonal fruits and vegetables. Sure, we can get most every fruit and vegetable year round, but it’s “fresh” from the opposite side of the world. certainly not “fresh” from our area – and NOT meeting our unique cyclic nutritional needs of the season.

My visions are not of sugar plums, but of cranberries. Their tartness compliments turkey, chicken, and pork based protein dishes, as well as a green vegetable that’s oven roasted in the second recipe below.

As we weigh each food choice with the question, “Will this do my body good?” Cranberries are a seasonal choice that sing the reply, “Yes! This will do my body good!”

Remember the mantra frequently heard: “Go for the color!” Rather than lists of “eat this and not that,” just heading for the seasonal colorful fruits and vegetables, will ultimately steer us on a path of exceptional nutrition.

With holiday meals abound, cranberries will add, not only a divine color, but also an abundance of great nutrition and health benefits.

Long touted for ingredients that prevent urinary tract infections, cranberry PILLS are best suited for medicinal levels of such ingredients rather than just cranberry juice.

But the nutritional profile of EDIBLE cranberries WILL deliver powerful levels of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytonutrients

Consult your health care provider if you take warfarin (blood thinner) or have a history of kidney stones, as cranberries may aggravate your condition or alter the effects of your medication.

So let’s dive into two of my favorite cranberry recipes.

CRANBERRY SAUCE

This is not your normal Ocean Spray cranberry sauce which uses a full cup of sugar. This uses half that and yet maintains sweetness levels through the addition of other healthy fruits.

I actually recommend doubling this recipe – trust me, you’ll want to – in which case, in addition to doubling most ingredients, still use just the one orange but use the rind from half of it.

Ingredients

12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed and culled of soft berries

½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or one whole cup if not using grated fresh apple)

½ apple, peeled, grated

1 orange – cut rind off top and bottom, quarter, and peel three of the sections and slice cross ways; thinly slice the remaining section with the peel remaining (see photo)

 

Secret ingredient: 1 cup of raspberries or 2-3 Tbs. of Penzey’s Spices Raspberry Enlightenment

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

Whole cloves – about 10 buds removed from cloves

1 cinnamon stick

Dash of nutmeg

Method

I actually precooked my raspberries using half of the sugar and then pressed them through a sieve to yield a perfect seedless raspberry essence! Ummm!

 

Using a large sauce or soup pot, add all ingredients and cook over medium heat. As the berries heat up, they will pop. Stir occasionally. As things heat up, you can lower the temperature a bit and “smush” the berries against the pan to assist in “popping.” Continue to cook until ingredients meld into a thick sauce.

Transfer into a serving or storage dish, remove cinnamon stick, and cool. The resulting sauce more closely resembles a jam.

In addition to being offered as a colorful relish to accompany turkey, chicken, or pork, this sauce/jam can be spread on top of nut butters (almond is my favorite) as a twist on PB and J.

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Next, I pair cranberries with Brussels sprouts. If you are one of those who is not “in love” with this awesome mini cabbage unless it’s hidden in a vat of melted Velveeta (a nonfood for sure), try this!

If there ever was a vegetable “candy” this recipe is it, and it “will do my body good!”

Take a quick check on the benefits of Brussels sprouts and you will be inundated by page after page of information about phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory factors, antioxidant support, detox support, anti-cancer factors, heart health, digestive health – you name it.

Definitely worth a second look to those who have been leery of these little jewels.

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CRANBERRIES AND PECANS

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

Optional: 1-2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (see the recipe chapter of my book Toolkit for Wellness to learn how to make all nuts more digestible and better for you)

½ – 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped or cut in half

 

4 Tbs. olive oil (use more if also adding broccoli florets to the recipe)

1-2 shallots, thinly sliced

3-5 cloves of garlic, minced or put through a garlic press

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

METHOD

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a large baking pan or baking sheet, toss all ingredients until mixed, evenly distributed, and are covered with oil. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut side down. Roast for 25 minutes or until edges of sprouts start to turn golden and crispy. Serve.

Wishing all of my readers the happiest of holidays, the merriest of Christmases, and the happiest and healthiest of New Years!

We can celebrate and STILL have food that will, “Do my body good!”

‘Til next year-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Incredible, Edible Egg Can Do That?

Calm a burn, of course!

Knowing that you can’t believe everything you read in Facebook, I just filed away a bit of information I read a couple years ago about a seemingly ‘magic’ treatment for burns.

Until recently, I had been getting relief from minor cooking and baking burns to the hands by grabbing a freshly cut onion and rubbing on the onion juice. Worked for me … sort of … until last time or two when … dang! The fire was still in my burn … and there was a scar to show for it later on.kettle on stove

Enter the amazing EGG WHITE MIRACLE ‘CURE’! First time I used egg white on a burn, I gladly sacrificed a whole egg to get to the white; but then I managed to find what I needed by rummaging through the shells from the eggs I had just used for breakfast. There is ALWAYS egg white left in the broken shells! See photo.

14463272_1762295754009120_3026853588516095306_nThe small amount left in the shell was just enough to drip onto my burned knuckle to get immediate relief. Just let the egg white dry for a while, approximately 15 minutes, and gently rinse off with cool water. Voila! No more burn and no scar!

The original article I had seen touted someone with major burns being initially treated on site with egg white and was spared from burns-4all the usual horrors of burn treatments and scarring. However, I cannot promote this “homemade remedy” without telling you, this information is given only to share what happened to me. By no means is this an expert’s method of treating a burn. As always, see your doctor for professional advice!

Just wanted to throw this ‘out there’ as my own personal testimony. With more baking and cooking going on in the approaching months, I’m sure someone might appreciate this tip.

-Deidre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paradigm Shift

Hello readers! As most of you may have realized, (and by the amount keep-calm-this-requires-a-paradigm-shift-1of email I’ve gotten, you have), I have been absent for a short while. This is an attempt to explain my absence. In the same way people can tell a train is headed their way by putting an ear to the rails of the tracks to listen for the vibrations created even miles away, I knew our family focus was moving in this direction. It was just a matter of time. Unfortunately, that time has come.

I felt compelled to publish and market my book, Toolkit for Wellness, over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season just because those rail “vibrations” were getting stronger.  “Hurry up!” it said.

Not knowing what my life would look like, I still mapped out a creative pattern for future foodtalk4you postings; and to introduce the concept of a virtual Book Fair that I hoped would become a popular and regular thing. Those plans are still ongoing, just a little slower than expected.

In February and early March, I hesitated to book speaking or book signing dates because “the train” was getting closer. Fortunately, I was able to do a few of those things before everything changed.

Deidre and Virgil Edwards
Deidre and Virgil Edwards

On March 21st, I had to summon the Rescue Squad to transport my dear husband of 39 years to the emergency department of our local hospital because he couldn’t breathe – even while on oxygen. An 11-day hospitalization ensued, and we prepared for his return home to a bedroom now equipped with a hospital bed. Twelve days later he was put under hospice care where he remains today.

paradigm-shiftThe “train” is definitely traveling through our lives right now. We don’t know how long this train is, we only know that we will be walking through each train car in succession until it passes completely by.

There are so many helping us through this journey. Your thoughts, prayers, visits, and hugs are evidence of God’s sustaining love. Hospice and home-help aides are making our struggles and burdens lighter.

We have learned not to fret about decisions anymore because each decision that troubled us in advance was answered by the gradual unfolding of events.

In so doing, we are seeing everything happening in its natural order. 463483-beautiful-flowers-spring-flowers-bloomingUnfortunate and sad, to be sure, but I am comforted by keeping the image of a beautiful flower as it gradually opens up, petal by petal, revealing a glorious creation in full bloom.

As the declines come, my beloved is being supported by the sunshine and fresh air of love, gentleness, and kind, compassionate care.

Strangely enough, I have been able to share the message of foodtalk4you and Toolkit for Wellness to many of the health care providers who have come our way. Even my tax accountant was glad to hear of a gluten free/anti-inflammatory diet that would help eliminate his psoriasis like it has done for another friend of mine.

8165cabcada4018b0ee1cf450f214791Thank you, readers, for your patience and understanding. I am so grateful I have family and friends who are helping us through this difficult time of transition and grief.  As you can see, all priorities have shifted, so things will remain quieter from my little corner of the world. Hopefully, we will continue to post new articles that you will find helpful and interesting.  We are  lining up a few guest writers who have some very good information for you. Our plan, at this point, is to carry on as well as we can. Thank you so much for your understanding.

As with any new post, if you are signed up as a subscriber, (Put your dogemail address in the box on our front page-left side,) you will get an alert telling you we have a new post, just like before. As I’ve said in the past, we NEVER sell or even let anyone see your email address except Sheree or myself. So please don’t worry you’ll be spammed. You can also cancel at any time, whenever you wish. We can still be friends!

God bless all of you who seek out better standards for yourselves and a healthier lifestyle. We’re gonna get through this!

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Deidre

 

Food for Thought – The Anti-Inflammation Diet

We’ve all seen the headlines, “Local man loses 22 pounds in three weeks by not eating one kind of thing!”  My chiropractor was almost  giddy as she shared the news with me that one of her patients had lost 22 pounds in just three weeks by following her advice – and mine, too, by the way – by not eating just one kind of food. He wasn’t that interested in losing weight, he just wanted to feel better. Weight loss was just an added bonus. Do you want to “just feel better”?

When my readers do this, they notice improvements in how they feel within the first week. The added bonus? My chiropractor thinks that, in no way, was that fat loss. What was lost was inflammation.

Pus, perhaps? Ewwwww!

Certainly fluid. Inflammation goes hand-in-hand with fluid rushing to the site of the “igluten-free-foodsnjury.” What if that injury is body-wide? No wonder joints are swollen, hurt, and have limited range of motion.

So what did this man and my readers try? They cut out gluten.

I’ll never forget one of my Designed for Health students who pulled me aside to show how she was able to once again put on her rings. She didn’t have to tell me she had lost weight, her slender face and trimmer figure spoke for itself. Her painful, swollen joints were gone. Her Multiple Sclerosis symptoms were far diminished. Life was good!

She felt better!

She cut out gluten. What-is-gluten

The following excerpts from my book, Toolkit for Wellness, should help you understand the mechanics behind going gluten-free and why the benefits can be so far-reaching for you. These excerpts are regarding gluten only; the lectin and phytates parts have been omitted to save space.

Glutens, and Lectins, and Phytates, Oh My!

dark forestTo quote Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz, “I don’t like this forest—it’s dark and creepy!” “Do you suppose we might meet any wild animals?” To which the Tin Man replies, “Mostly lions and tigers and bears!”

“Lion, and tigers, and bears, oh my!”

When you delve into the forest of so-called whole grain goodness, it’s a clear case of: “Glutens, and lectins, and phytates, oh my!”

While Judy and the gang became fast friends with the bashful lion, we are in no way friends with glutens, lectins, and phytates. Why? What are they anyway? ‘Johnson-Gluten-Graphic-2-1024x680

Well, going back to a better understanding how things work, let’s look at the nature of what we eat.

All living things work very hard to protect their own life. Animals run, jump, fly away, and if caught, claw, squirt toxins, sting, and bite to stay alive.

grainsWhat’s a plant going to do? Clearly not jump out of the ground and run!  Plants protect their precious seeds with coverings that are hard to penetrate, like nuts and their shells. Some fruits have noxious skin such as mangoes. Grains protect their seeds with toxic anti-nutrients: glutens, lectins, and phytates.

Briefly, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye grains. Gluten, the lectins, and phytates found in other grains, can affect a couple factors in the integrity of the structure and proper functioning of the lining of the small intestine.

Remember Dr. O’Bryan’s analogy of the fuzzy, shag carpet structure of the small intestine lining? The shag carpet structuleakygutcureres need to be maintained for proper absorption of nutrients. They can become damaged, bent, crushed even, which renders them useless in nutrient absorption. To keep his carpet analogy going, in the presence of glutens, we now have Berber carpet.

If that’s not disastrous enough, the integrity of the junctions holding the individual cells of the small intestine lining together is compromised and the intestine becomes “leaky”—also known as intestinal permeability. This is where systemic inflammation and autoimmune issues start.

Inflammatory processes are good if we have cut our finger. Temporary inflammation helps witglutenh healing the cut; but body-wide, chronic inflammation leads to auto-immune issues and disease.

All humans produce a protein called zonulin when gluten is consumed. People with Celiac Disease produce way too much. The excess zonulin causes the junctions between the cells lining the small intestine to open up, allowing toxins, and clumps of gluten molecules to get through which are then absorbed into the blood stream.

Imagine molecules of protein escaping from being absorbed for use sickerand instead, are floating around and being seen as foreign invaders. Our bodies will naturally mount an immune response which is what starts the inflammatory process I have outlined previously. Where ever this immune response happens is where trouble happens, pick an organ, any organ; pick a body system, any body system.

Researchers are saying more and more, the bedrock of most all disease is auto-immune in nature. The gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye (and the lectins and phytates in other grains and nuts) are what serve as a launching pad for auto-immune and inflammatory diseases. This is why the signs and symptoms of any level of gluten sensitivity are so broad.

gluten2To summarize an article of Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s, “The Gut-Disease Connection,” from May 8, 2014, the first step in the development of autoimmune disease is leaky gut. In the event we can reverse the leaky gut, the possibility of shutting off the autoimmune response becomes real.

Is that dark, creepy forest of whole gain goodness looking even creepier yet? Can you connect these dots to the ills we see all around us?

Why are we becoming a nation of people who are obese, diabetic, weak boned, anemic, tired, and head-achy, with ADHD in our children, and victim to mounting auto-immune diseases and Alzheimer’s? Has our DNA broken down?

Science is getting smarter but we are getting sicker! What’s wrong Abstract cells in mitosiswith this picture?

1% of us are allergic to gluten in a drastic way and symptoms of Celiac Disease, as it is called, can manifest fairly early in life. There are Celiacs who have no digestive issues; and there are non-Celiacs who are gluten intolerant with plenty of digestive issues. I have read recent articles stating there are some people on the gluten sensitivity spectrum who are only reactive to wheat. But sometimes it can take decades before the relenting damage reaches the threshold of causing life-altering disability. In fact, I want to share Bob’s story with you right now so you can appreciate what gluten overload, good stress, and bad stress can do to an adult body.

Bob’s Story:

After coming to America at age 17 from Asia, Bob enjoyed a totally American life, immersed in its culture, including the Standard American Diet. Fast forward to Bob at age 70, as he and his wife enjoy a summer trip to Germany and Austria. The good stress of a vacation in Europe is easily off-set by enjoying the cuisine-du-jour, which certainly includes fabulous German and Austrian pastries, breads, and bakery goodies three times a day. Ah! Very exciting times! Maybe not enough sleep, but plenty of pictures and good memories.

 Before they returned home that same month, Bob was experiencing symptoms of a cold, some diarrhea (traveler’s diarrhea?), and decreased appetite. Had Bob picked up some kind of virus? Okay, many travelers pick something up, nothing serious. By July, they were home; but Bob became very, very sick with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea every day. Needless to say this trim man of 125 pounds was rapidly losing weight. The doctors ordered a host of tests, especially for cancer; but they all came back clear. One doctor called this “mysterious” and wondered if he had, indeed, picked up something exotic in Europe.

Add to this mix the stress of moving to another state to be closer to family, leaving behind fabulous friends and a strong church community. Needless to say, Bob got worse. By March the following mysterious illnessyear, Bob and his doctors were convinced he was going to die. He was down to 79 pounds. In a last ditch effort, his test results were forwarded to Massachusetts’ General Hospital for further analysis.

Finally an answer was coming!

Bob had become so allergic to gluten, he was “one notch away” from being a person with full blown Celiac Disease. He had become gluten intolerant. It took eight months to finally get a diagnosis. Eight months of suffering.

 Four months later, still on a gluten-free diet, Bob is now back up to 112 pounds and feeling better each day. It took a couple weeks for him to see any changes for the better, but improvements are happening all along as his body heals.

None of us are immune to the onslaught of forces that create some degree of gluten sensitivity.

Nearly 30% of us are non-Celiac, but test positive for antibodies that indicate the body is at war with itself in some way or the other when gluten is ingested.

In all of my readings, I have never heard of a single person who has not felt better after they stopped eating all forms of gluten. They felt better, they often lost weight, their brains were clearer thinking, their aches and pains lessened, their arthritis improved, their energy levels improved, and their bellies were happy. Truly the list goes on and on.

But your grandma lived to be 102 and she ate bread all of the time? Well, Grandma’s wheat was not the wheat we are eating today. The dwarf wheat grown now is especially high in gluten.

What is one to do? Give gluten-free a real try for 30-60 days; and if  your symptoms improve, great! If you improve somewhat, but still have some level of dis-ease, then expand your eliminations to include all grains (rice, corn, oats, etc.). Once you are normalized, try reintroducing non-wheat grains, one at a time, and note your body’s response. Everyone is unique. Maybe you can eat a bowl of oatmeal or a serving of rice.

Take Away Thoughts:

• Aside from adding to a starchy carbohydrate-laden diet, which causes great swings in blood sugar levels and promotes fat storage, grain consumption presents other problems that contribute to destruction of the small intestine lining and can lead to systemic and chronic inflammation.

Take Away Actions:

• Give healing a chance! For just thirty days, eliminate all gluten and just see how improved you feel. I predict you will start feeling better after just 7 days.

 There you have the low-down on gluten. All of the recipes featured on this website and in my book are gluten-free and non-inflammatory.

Put the bounce back into your step by going gluten-free.

Click on the link here to check out Toolkit for Wellness!

In health-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

February Book Fair!

Welcome to the first Foodtalk4you Book Fair!

Since becoming an author, I haveWriter_banner-630x630 been blessed to discover a vast array of new releases that cover a broad range of topics about health, life, self-improvement, and even business. My reading list is growing each week, and contains books that I want to share with my readers.

So, the idea of a monthly Book Fair just came to me. If you like this, plans are set to do a weekly Book Fair during July so you will have extra titles to peruse while on vacation at the beach or in the mountains!
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My Story of Survival, by Mimi Emmanuel, is an inspiring story that takes my message of anti-inflammatory eating another step. Read my review:

5.0 out of 5 starsStory of My Survival

This is a God-send read for those with mysterious food intolerance.

By Deidre J. Edwards on December 6, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

At the end of your digestive rope? Hang on, you are not alone and I have a friend who can help! This is an honest-to-goodness real story of one woman’s grit and self-determination when faced with an overwhelming medical conundrum as to why her body was on revolt.

You can’t be the master of a sinking ship without becoming a master builder – becoming a student on how to patch and rebuild. Mimi Emmanuel learned how to craft her own survival diet out of just a very few ingredients. While she hopes that none of her readers would ever have to follow her diet, she shares this journey to show that there are answers to be found. There are times when the standard elimination diet is far too broad for those suffering from a fried immune and digestive system.

She shares the Spartan but nourishing diet she had to follow for FIVE years as well as how she has tippy-toed into a more varied Phase 2. I especially like her “useful facts” she places throughout the book to not only make her case as to nutritional needs, but also spark a deeper interest for further study and personal application. I will most definitely recommend this book to those I teach about diet and nutrition.

Now let’s hear from Mimi herself:

“Why did I write this book? I wrote this book because I know that many people suffer because of all kinds of health problems and often these problems are diet related. Obviously, not always. But I wrote this book for those people who suffer from health problems due to diet related issues. My diet may be suitable for anyone who suffers from gut problems, food allergies, food intolerance and chemical sensitivities.

In addition, many conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Lupus, Lyme, diverticulitis, and various other health problems and even menopausal symptoms are relieved when all allergens are taken out of the diet or minimized as much as possible.

I hope that my low reactive diet will give my readers the inspiration, in collaboration with their health professionals, to come up with their own variation suited to their situation.”

Here’s the link to Mimi’s book. CLICK
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5.0 out of 5 stars I’m ready to put my spare room up for rent!

Our daughter has happily used Airbnb accommodations for years, so I was interested in the behind-the-scenes story on how someone becomes an Airbnb host.

AirbnbRead my review here:

I’m ready to put my spare room up for rent!

By Deidre J. Edwards on November 3, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Sally takes the reader on the journey she and her husband took–all of the thinking, emotions, planning, and how to avoid any pitfalls in this delightful, easy-to-read guide to all things Airbnb!

So many people are downsized out of a job, or long for a form of self-employment that will actually PAY for something. You can succeed with your dream of adding extra income to the family coffers with this guide by your side! She has already done all of the leg work and research for the reader–she has done all of the heavy lifting–all the reader has to do is follow her lead and profit!

From an exploration of different motivators for Airbnb hosts, to an understanding who the ideal client would be for your location, this guide leaves nothing out from the process. There’s how to communicate with clients, how to prepare the home/room, safety tips, legal issues, problem solving tips, and worthy resources for further study. Rest assured, by reading this book, you will be well-prepared on all aspects of launching your own Airbnb career with your eyes wide open!

Here’s what Sally has to say:

After my daughter was born, I left Corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom. We took a drop in family income. We no longer had a cushion to pay for the “luxuries.” Things like a family vacation, a new car, or home improvements. Saving for retirement was completely off our radar. I also missed the freedom and success that came from earning an income of my own. Yet, I knew I wanted to be a full-time mom to my kids. So I made a decision: I’d be a stay-at-home mom and earn a side income.

Since then, I’ve started a local business, built affiliate websites, created an online course, conducted user testing, sold used items, offered freelance services, and more. All in my “spare” time. Some of these things worked out… and some didn’t. In my book, Make Money On Airbnb, I share one of my most successful ventures. I teach you exactly how we earn $2,500 a month renting out our home on Airbnb.

Here is the link to Sally’s book. CLICK

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I am sharing another medically-related book with you because so many are searching for answers outside of a doctor’s office. Irene’s book underscores and amplifies everything I have written.

Read my review:

How to be your own patient advocate!Power of Ed. Pt.

By Deidre J. Edwards on November 12, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

No one should EVER go into a doctor’s office without some kind of education about health; and especially, how different diseases can be treated by alternative methods. If getting educated about self-care is something new for you, Irene’s book is a great start!

From my own experience with a daughter who was an undiagnosed celiac for a decade, I knew immediately from reading about the author’s daughter what the problem was. Anytime you can learn something new about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it’s a great thing; and I encourage potential readers to learn from this easy-to-read resource!

Irene follows many different patients as they bounce around the medical system looking for answers when the answers were in plain sight. Just look at the table of contents which covers most of today’s prevalent conditions and buy this book immediately! Really, I just kept nodding my head in agreement as I read case-after-case; and how in each one, a treatment was found – often from outside of the mainstream medical community – and patients’ lives were changed for the better.

If you are dealing with any of the diseases mentioned in this book, please read! As a retired RN, I have seen similar things many times. We as patients MUST come to the doctor’s office with a knowledge base, and you can get that here!

Irene shares her thoughts:

This information-packed reference book offers the wisdom, strategies, and stories of over 20 health experts who started their professional paths after overcoming their own health challenges. Unable to find solutions within the conventional medical system, my storytellers embarked on their own health journeys and discovered alternative healing strategies that allowed them to heal. These people share their proven tactics and fundamental principles that guided them to recovery, they empower us by illuminating the path they took, so we can apply what they learned to our own health and well-being.

This book is designed to educate and empower the reader as a patient.

As an empowered patient we become our own best health advocates!

As our own health advocates – we determine and choose what works best for us from both alternative and conventional medicine, and propel our road to recovery, vibrant health and joyful life!

The book has been endorsed by such gurus in the health and wellness world, as Bernie Siegel (a great surgeon, and NY bestselling author recognized as one of the Top 20 Spiritually Influential Living People on the Planet), Jamie Reno (author, award-winning investigative reporter, global patient advocate, and three-time cancer survivor), Burton Goldberg (publisher, producer, and author of 18 books on alternative health), Kenneth R. Blanchard (an exceptional MD and author), and a number of other outstanding authors and health practitioners.

Here’s the link to Irene’s book. CLICK

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I love children’s books that have built in value and life lessons!

Read my review for Sheree Alderman’s book:

GeorgiChristmas Classic in the making that can be read all year long.

By Deidre J. Edwards on February 28, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Her first book is a new Christmas Classic to be enjoyed all year round! This mindful tale of Georgi, a camel, helps children identify with growing up, lasting friendships, and finding one’s calling. Families should read this aloud every Christmas, right next to, Twas the Night Before Christmas! Discovering one’s destiny, having faith to step forward, and the sweet reward of having done a job well, are but a few of the life lessons Alderman helps children discover. Well written, great story line, and easy to read, with a rich vocabulary to stretch young minds.

Let’s hear from Sheree:

Georgi Who Saw the Angel is not just a holiday story… It is a rainy day… snowy day… grandparent’s day… mom and dad day…stay in bed day…any kind of day… journey where you will meet the most unloved, unwanted, and unimportant little camel named Georgi, and see how he becomes the priceless servant of a very high-ranking king. Georgi is blessed by God to lead the smallest parade of believers to the biggest event in human history.

Here is the link to Sheree’s book. CLICK

Hope you have found our first Foodtalk4you Book Fair to be interesting and that you have found some titles you would like to read or pass along to a friend.

Definitely food for thought and food for action!

-Deidre

 

 

 

 

Classical Gas Blues

Has gastric reflux set up house in you? This goes beyond the 7-Tips-to-Reduce-Belching-or-Burpingoccasional heartburn. This kind of reflux can help you identify the location of your esophagus…when you’d just as soon not know. Then there’s the stealth version, too. No uncomfortable sensations in the gullet, but unexplained hoarseness or inability to sing as smoothly as you usually do.

gastroesophageal_refluxThere are other symptoms as well, including: regurgitation of a bitter tasting and burning fluid into the throat, burping, and recurring hiccups, just to name a few. Reflux or GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), as it is known, can tear up a perfectly good esophagus and ruin singing careers. There is also increased risk for esophageal cancer if left untreated over time.

While the reflux was just a nuisance thing when I bent over, (which is Learn-to-Sing-Nowa lot as a caregiver), then I started having trouble singing…Well, that was too much!

There is definitely a stress factor, as well. Truly, I can have just one negative thought and bring on the reflux. Who says the mind isn’t powerful?

So, one prong of my anti-reflux campaign is stress management. Affirmations. Check. Coloring. Check. More sunshine. Check – when the sun shines. More walking. Check. Talking with friends. Check. But, I was still clinging to what also needed to be addressed.

There, again, our health is our choice.

The turning point forhow-proton-pump-inhibitors-work me came with viewing NBC Nightly News the other night, as they featured a story about the bad side effects of many common drugs given to combat reflux. In addition to the already known side effects of proton pump inhibitors being increased risk of fractures and infection (due to the drug blocking mineral absorption), the folks at Johns Hopkins discovered there is also an increased risk for kidney disease.

A 20-50% increase risk for kidney disease, in fact!

One female patient was profiled having normal kidney function in March but only 30% function by August, while taking a proton pump inhibitor. She was instructed to stop taking the over the counter medication and her kidney function increased.

Yet, drug manufacturers claim that following the recommended dosage on the label is safe. Today we’re hearing that the top medications for treating heartburn/reflux also cdoctor-bannerauses dementia!

The story concluded with a doctor from Johns Hopkins saying reflux can totally be addressed by food. He said eliminating berries, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol for 28 days will help heal the body. That was it. He was speaking to me. There was my choice for the second prong of my defense attack.

Was I going to choose health? Health without drugs?

Yes.

Caffeine consumption is going down – gradually – a cold turkey approach is not kind to the head. No more chocolate…Hey, Valentine’s Day is over! A choice is a choice. So long berries…See the recipe that follows using baked apples. No more alcohol…well, that SP_WINEisn’t hard, but my half glass of wine will just have to wait another day.

It’s day five as I write this and guess what? No reflux. Even with just half-caffeine coffee! Twenty-eight days total for healing.

Twenty-three more to go! When I get there, moderation will be my middle name.

So, with no more chocolate, what kind of treat can I devise? I return to an updated version of my Baked Fruit with Benefits. This may be the best baked apples I have ever created, and they are chock full of extra goodness (that’s the benefits part).

As a lead-up to the recipe, however, let me summarize a recent post on MarksDailyApple.com that reminded me of somcollagenething I needed to be doing: adding collagen to my diet where ever possible.

Here’s why. The amino acid glycine is the main amino acid in collagen. We make about 3 grams of this a day ourselves (so it’s considered non-essential) BUT we need a minimum of 10 grams a day – more if we are healing from injury or recovering from intense exercise. Thus, it could be categorized as a conditionally essential amino acid– meaning we need to supplement it in our diets.

pastured-cowThe big flap about not eating so much meat, apparently, can be erased by ramping up our intake of collagen – if the animal studies translate to human results. Meat-eating animals’ longevity was increased with the addition of glycine/collagen to their diets. He cited another study in which low levels of glycine predicted diabetes risk.

Glycine/collagen will also: improve quality of sleep, reduce the amount of muscle meat needed to be eaten to maintaisleepn muscle mass, is great for healthy joints, improve appearance and elasticity of skin , assist in healing of wounds, and is a key ingredient in cooking rich sauces.

Aside from eating bony cuts of meat: ribs, oxtails, necks, and the like, which all take extra time to slow cook, and from drinking collagen-rich bone broth, I add bone and body building collagen with the products pictured here.

IMG_1871The collagen hydrolysate on the left is not a thickener, and it can be stirred into liquids of any temperature. That’s the kind I used in the recipe below by mixing this collagen powder into the arrowroot/brown sugar mixture used to dust the apple bits before baking.

The powered gelatin on the right can be added to any hot liquid as a thickener. My no-bake Fruit with Benefits recipe in Toolkit for Wellness uses this to thicken the fruit juices as they cook in the pan. I add this to my home-cooked bone broths, as well. With this, you could make your own jello or fruit rolls ups!

Now to the recipe. You will notice that I crammed in every good thing I could find for this baked apple dish. Fresh fruit, gelatin, minimal sugar, and cinnamon topped with activated nuts, hemp, ground flax seed, minimal sugar, cinnamon, and coconut oil.

Baked Apples/Pears with Benefits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease 8 x 8 inch glass dish with coconut oil

Prepare mixture used to “dust” the cut fruit. Any extra may be stored in air-tight container for next time. Quantities may vary as you may even need to mix up just a bit more if you run out.

Stir together:

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup arrowroot

¼ cup collagen hydrolysateFullSizeRender(1)

1 tsp. cinnamon/apple pie spice, or to taste

Prepare fruit by peeling, coring, slicing apples and possibly pears.

Today I used:

3 Golden Delicious apples and
1 Anjou pear

Gradually add sliced fruit to bowl and sprinkle with dusting mixture, stirring to coat after each addition.

When all fruit is prepared, transfer into prepared glass dish.apples-in-dish

Topping:
Into large fry pan on medium heat put:

2 Tbs. coconut oil

1 cup chopped activated nuts (I used the last of my walnuts, some pecans, and almonds)

¼ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup ground flax seedsFullSizeRender(2)

1/3 cup hemp seeds

2-3 tsp. cinnamon/apple pie spice

Pinch of salt, if desired

Stir to combine, and continue to stir occasionally as the topping heats and browns – about five minutes. Do not let this burn. When browned and warm, spread on top of apple mixture.

Cover dish with foil and bake foFullSizeRender(4)r 40-45 minutes until bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is delish! You can easily change-up the fruits; a handful of blueberries is awesome. A scoop of this is a great way to flavor my nightly chia seeds stirred into hot water, too! Keeps the insides humming!

Here’s to no more reflux and happy faces enjoying a healthy dessert!

Deidre

Food That Says, “I Love You”

Times have changed in some respects; and in others, not at all. I IMG_1791remember reading aloud the Laura Ingalls Wilder series of Little House on the Prairie to our children every night as we all learned of Laura and Almanzo’s adventures. Today, our grandchildren listen to The Adventures of Harry Potter. I don’t know what the children eat at the Hogwarts School, but Almanzo’s favorite repast had to include fried apples ‘n’ onions.

Being more of a city girl transplanted to small town North Carolina, this notion of apples ‘n’ onions did not beckon to my palate or culinary desires. Too bad.

First of all, they aren’t fried- as in deep fried. I don’t deep fry anything. In country jarIMG_1790gon, frying apples implies sauteing and browning until tender and even possibly cooked down to a mush.

But apples ‘n’ onions? Really?

Well, this is the month of love. If you fix apples ‘n’ onions you will LOVE the flavor of this impossibly delicious side dish that happily occupies its spot in the perfect plate fruit/fat component and part of the veggie area. Pair this side with any kind of dark-green lea fy veggie, along with lean chicken or pork protein, and you will have a meal that says, “I love you”!

With just three ingredients, this is a cinch to do, and quantities vary according to what’s on hand.

Apples ‘n’ Onions Recipe

Apples – 3-4 apples

Onion (I used a Vidalia onion) – one medium-sized onion

Coconut oil- 1-2 Tbs. of coconut oil to coat the pan wellIMG_1779

Method:

In order to activate the beneficial anti-inflammatory enzyme, allicin, slice up the onion first so it has 10 minutes to rest before heating.
Peel, slice, and core the apples into desired shape. I use an old-fashioned hand crank apple peeler/slicer/corer and just cut the slices into sI love foodmaller pieces.

Melt 1-2 Tbs. coconut oil into large sauté pan on medium heat and add prepared apple and onion slices. You may want to add a pinch of salt.

Stir occasionally and gently cook until browned and tender. Serve warm.

Recipe number two involves an oft’ forgotten little green nugget that used to be buried under an avalanche of melted Velveeta. Boy, once you stop eating “food-like substances,” as found in dairy “products” such as Velveeta, the very thought of returning to them sends chills down the spine. Ick!

IMG_1853-1
Raw Brussels sprouts and cranberries

So, what to do with that bag of Brussels sprouts? This latest recipe supersedes any I have tried thus far! My book contains a great pan-cooked version of Brussels sprouts that’s really fine and has similar ingredients, but these roasted sprouts are the BEST!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half8

1 cup activated pecans*, coarsely chopped

½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, (not dried and sweetened), coarsely chopped

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. finely chopped shallots

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

IMG_1862-1
Roasting!

1 tsp. Kosher or sea salt

½ tsp. ground pepper

Optional: 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar to toss in after roasting

Method:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a large baking pan, toss all ingredients together except balsamic vinegar. When all ingredients are mixed and coated with oil, arrange Brussels sprouts so the cut side faces down in baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes or untiToolkitforWellnessBolder(1)l golden brown on the edges.

Optional: Toss with balsamic vinegar when roasting is complete. These smelled so good and tasted so good right out of the oven; I forgot the vinegar and never missed it.

*Activated Pecans: Soak raw pecans in salted water 24 hours; drain; dehydrate 105 degrees in dehydrator 14 hours or bake at lowest oven temperature until crispy. This process is explained in my book, Toolkit for Wellness, and makes the nuts way more digestible and yummy.

So, there youKeep-Calm-Valentines have it! Healthy anti-inflammatory eating at its very best. Some old-school goodness from the past and some modern farm-to-table style of today!

Say, “I love you” with some good eatin’!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Deidre

 

 

 

 

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.

Nope.

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-

Deidre