Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!! Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes a perfect storm of Read more
If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet. Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet; the mineral content of the soil Read more
Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid? Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats. I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more
Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp local honey
1/3 cup blackberries
Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt
The beauty of this recipe Read more
This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil. Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more
Sherry has a great story. She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!
"I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan. When I started this journey Read more
When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more
Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back. Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey into natural medicine around the same time. As we both Read more
Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid? Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats. I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the importance of magnesium. Magnesium is the Rodney Dangerfield of the mineral world. It gets “No Respect” I have been so remiss in not learning the importance of this underutilized mineral. Magnesium is a mineral found in oysters, must, seeds, almonds, cashews, pumpkin, pistachios, kelp and organ meats. You can also get it from wheat grass. The strange thing about magnesium is that nobody really talks about its importance. We speak ad nauseam about calcium and vitamin D–but magnesium is the missing component in this triad. It turns out that we may be enduring an epidemic of magnesium deficiency.
First a little history, our ancestors lived in a very magnesium rich environment. It was in the water, food, root vegetables and organ meats that we consumed. Around 100 years ago, the environment flipped. It became a calcium rich, magnesium poor environment. It became much more acidic with toxins. We started refining salt from its natural form (sea salt) which contained a natural balance of magnesium and sodium. Sugar cane started being refined which removes all the magnesium. So now, living in a calcium rich environment we have developed problems lack of the stabilizing magnesium particle. Calcium that isn’t regulated by magnesium causes massive inflammation. Hence (spoiler alert) the inflammation forms free radicals and oxidative stress which progresses to chronic disease states –with heart disease being very significant due to calcium deposits on the arteries.
Uses of magnesium:
Stabilization of bones–magnesium gives bones resilience
Regulates calcium in the body
Vital for support for muscles in body (remember the heart is a muscle)
Here is a link to a great tutorial on how to make magnesium lotion—check it out!
One year ago on Ash Wednesday, I vowed to officially go gluten and dairy free and finally practice what I was preaching. I had been limiting gluten and dairy for years before but would ultimately end up cheating every 3-4 weeks with occasional pizza/cake/ nachos etc. So last year I gave it the 40day test and I was amazed at how great I felt. I lost weight, my energy and brain fog improved, my skin cleared up and my mood seemed great! Mind you , I wasn’t grain free all together and was still eating some brown rice and corn. I also wasn’t completely cognizant of all the hidden doses of gluten were stashed in food. Overall, I felt pretty proud of kicking diet cola, gluten and dairy. I would do it all over again in an instant. But, I got weak and lazy after Easter and gradually added back the dreaded cheese. I’m talking the factory farmed stuff too–not the organic goat stuff. However, when I did add the dairy —the weight came back instantly (proving to myself that I am one of those victims of molecular mimicry) that can’t tolerate casein.
The year was successful and I was able to kick gluten for good (I only cheated once with Coors Light at the Dave Matthews concert).
I was still doing some grain and dairy.
So today I am starting the official grain free/dairy free diet again and am anxious to keep you updated on the results —
So far for breakfast I’ve had a spinach/mushroom/pepper/onion omelette with NO CHEESE and iced tea–lunch was a salad with only veggies/chicken and NO RANCH DRESSING.
I’m still alive!
I’ll keep you posted!
Our spirits dwell in a beautiful vessel that should be treated well -So it’s about time I get over myself and start relishing my health.
–What are you going to give up that isn’t serving you??? Leave your thoughts in the comments below
How many of us struggle with addiction? I will be bold and say the number must be 90% or above. I refer to addiction as anything that we can’t live without or obsess over–including tobacco, caffeine, sugar, drugs, alcohol, sex, bad relationships, negative thinking, impulsive behavior etc—I personally have kicked my diet mountain dew habit (it only took about a year) and like everyone else, I struggle daily with overcoming more unhealthy habits. It certainly isn’t easy! I am honored that my cohort addiction specialist, the infamous Mr. Jim Ryser, has privileged us with his own story to help us understand how diet, nutrition, thoughts, and mindset can heal addictive behaviors.
First-Here is a little background on Jim Ryser:
Jim Ryser began his music career at the tender age of 5 years old, learning to play violin to ease long hours spent in the hospital. Born with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele and expected to live a poor quality and short life, Jim beat the odds due to a loving and caring family combined with an Irish tenacity that continues to this day.
Jim honed his musical skills during the recovery from over 50 surgeries he has had to correct problems associated with the original corrective procedure on his spinal cord when he was 9 days old.
He played Madison Square Garden as a solo violinist when he was 9, but it was picking up the guitar at 14 that took him down the music path of rock and roll dreams. “I played a lot of Rush and Pink Floyd, but I loved Fleetwood Mac and other more mellow rockers as well,” he says, “and I think that combined with my classical background made for some interesting stuff over the years!”
He signed his first record deal with Arista Records in 1990. Music legend Clive Davis was heading up the label at the time and told Jim – then known as Jimmy – that he had hit songs and wanted Jim on the roster. “Same Old Look,” the first single released in 1990, reached #6 on the Billboard chart and sent he and his band on a wild summer tour with The Moody Blues, Henry Lee Summer, REO Speedwagon, and John Mellencamp. He has played on some wonderful albums with John Mellencamp, Hall and Oates, and Tracy Chapman. He has guested with James McMurtry, Henry Lee Summer, and Bob and Tom over the years.
His health issues forced him to find another path; he had become addicted to his pain killers to combat the daily chronic pain associated with his spina bifida and related kidney, back, and orthopedic issues. Jim went through a pain program at the Cleveland Clinic and was able to learn new ways to deal with pain, such that he was inspired to acquire his college degree. His addiction, however, lay hidden and by the time he graduated Indiana University Summa Cum Laude, he was on some of the same drugs that led to Michael Jackson’s demise, using up to 500 mg of IV Demerol and taking 10-20 percocet pills a day. He hit bottom when he started drinking.
He went back to Cleveland and got sober in the summer of 1999, which led him to his graduate degree and an internship with addiction and pain. His specialty is rare in that he knows both chronic pain and addiction personally and professionally, and this combination led him to his current position as the program manager for pain services at Indiana University Health Methodist Hosptial in Indianapolis, Indiana. He runs a pain rehabilitation program there and he also helps people with acute pain issues while further helping others who have become iatrogenically addicted.
He got back into music quite by accident, and he says, “I got into hunting with my son-in-law Troy, getting a turkey on my very first day in the woods – an hour after he got his. I found that hunting did more for my pain management than anything else I ever did, so I spent time learning about deer hunting as well.” This journey led him to Bill Winke, one of the best known hunter-writers in the business. “I sent Bill a CD of my music in appreciation for the amazing work he does, and he asked if he could use some songs for his show, Midwest Whitetail. I told him I would go one better and write some songs…Now I am the principal writer for most of Bill’s projects!
This match created a great relationship with the entire staff and lots of new songs, which then led to Jim updating his recording studio and investing in some more gear to custom design songs for Bill’s shows exclusively. These songs hatched more ideas, and a new CD was born. The new disc highlighted on this website is a culmination of Jim’s musical life, and he says, “Having many years of sobriety now, a deep love for both work and my hunting/music passion, gave me something that very few folks get – and I wasn’t even supposed to live. I have remained on an incredible journey that makes me grateful for my pain and addiction, because they made me who I am today.”
Jim Ryser is a nationally recognized performer and speaker for both his musical and personal journey, and his expertise in managing pain for those who desire education about it. He has spoken all over the country and has consulted with several health care systems on various ways to manage pain without the use of mood altering drugs.
Here is Jim’s personal story that he chose to share with our followers that are empowering themselves to overcome disease–
“I wish I could say I “beat” addiction, but I can no more do that than stand on my toes unaided today. I have myelomeningocele. Long story short, I have damage to my spinal cord that resulted in neural connections being cut due to the original birth defect. There ARE no connections so it is physiologically impossible for me to stand on my toes unaided!
As to my addiction, we have assumed in society that we can change unaided too; telling a drug addict not to use is the same thing as saying “Just don’t breathe!” The addict has a compulsion to use and a craving once started that makes it impossible to stop on the basis of self-will. There is no connection just like with the nerves!
I have been fortunate to have stopped using drugs aberrantly. The thought process of the disease never goes away, but it can be managed. I found that out after I got sober and gained 50 pounds. My addiction switched seats on the titanic in many ways. So – for me, addiction is less about substance and more about the thoughts and the spiritual malady that goes with it. Moderation is not part of the addict’s vocabulary. With help, however, I have been able to stay sober for the past 14 years. I have also lost the weight and am continuing, a day at a time, to manage the unmanageable. Having a proper diet helps keep me on task with my pain pill addiction and chronic pain because I learned in proper eating habits I might sacrifice a “feel good” with food (sugar) that results in a crash that makes me feel bad in the long run. Today I have learned to slow down, do the RIGHT thing, and be rewarded over the long haul (and more consistent haul) with good health and overall good feeling.”
You may want to purchase a copy of his latest release “Lubricate my MoJo”
His next performance will be:
June 29, 2013
I can’t thank Jim enough for his honesty and committment to helping others in similar situations. I have come across a few other different resources for anyone who would like to learn more on the topic.
This video by Paul Chek is helpful in learning why we become addicted to things—
It’s a bit long but helpful to anyone wanting to learn more about the etiology of addiction.
Also, a great resource is well-known psychiatrist’s Dr Hyla Cass’s book—
Dr Hyla Cass—Overcome Addiction, Fatigue, Anxiety, and Depression Naturally
So I have been doing the Paleo diet successfully, but have struggled with eliminating corn and wheat tortillas for wraps! I have been searching for an alternative other than just using lettuce. I stumbled upon this recipe and am planning to try it out this week —-I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. You may remember what plantains are from the infamous episode of “Little Bill”–Season 4, episode 2—Little Bill learns about trying new foods!!! Maybe we could all use a lesson in that!!! YES—it is gluten-free!
3 large or 4 small yellow plantains, about 2-2.5 pounds
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350.
Peel and chop your plantains and place in a food processor.
Puree until somewhat pureed, and then add the melted coconut oil or lard, egg whites, salt and lime juice.
Puree until smooth.
Drop about 2 tablespoons at a time onto a baking sheet lined with a lightly greased sheet of parchment paper
Smooth into a circle with the bottom of a ladle, getting as thin as possible
Bake for 15 minutes, until dry to the touch, and just starting to brown on the edges.
For more great recipes using plantains—like a great one for grilled plantains:
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the product of a lab process that takes genes from on species and inserts them into another species to attain a desired trait. Viruses or bacteria are used to infect animal or plant cells with the new DNA. The DNA is coated with tiny metal pellets and shot into the cells. Then, the new DNA is injected into fertilized eggs and electric shocks create holes in the membranes of sperm forcing the new DNA into the holes. Although, no research on humans has shown detrimental effects from eating GMO foods, numerous studies on animals have shown immune damage, pre-cancerous cell growth and many unexplained anomalies.
4 Tips to avoiding GMO
1. Buy organic–labels saying 100% organic or made with organic ingredients
2. Buy Non GMO–labels saying “artificial hormone free”
I give props to my friend for introducing me to the GPS4Soul app! This smart phone app helps track your stress level at anytime. I admit that I thought she had gone to the “alternative” side and was suspicious about accuracy until I tested it with our office pulse oximeter ( Eek–it was dead on every time!). This smart phone app measures your heart rate over a period of 75 seconds to check for its variability. The Institute of Heart Math has published many peer-reviewed articles (IE: The American Journal of Cardiology, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine–they are all on their website) that support research concluding that stress levels can be monitored by heart rate variability. It really works! I have used the app the last few weeks and found that my stress levels are high in the afternoon (usually 3-4 pm). I’ve tried breathing exercises and mantras to de-stress before making the trip home from the office . It’s helping! I also turned off the radio in the car and turned my phone on silent to minimize distractions. The best thing is that the gps4soul (type this in your search mechanism to download) app is free and requires no additional attachments or fees. You don’t have much to lose by trying it out.
So here’s my version of the physiology extensively simplified–
1. The heart and the brain influence each other’s functions.
2. The signals that the heart sends to the brain influence cognitive function and emotional processing.
3. Stress and negative emotions will influence your heart rate which can be monitored closely.
4. Monitoring your heart rate will help you access your level of stress throughout the day.
5. This app gives you some deep breathing exercises, mantras, and affirmations that will help you calm your mood within minutes at any time of the day.
Sorry Bobby Knight—“The Power of Negative Thinking” may work for team sports. However, when it comes to daily living–Positive thinking is the key to health and vitality.
Check out http://www.heartmath.org for more details. This site explains all the science.
Comment or email me if you try this–I’m dying to hear what you think!
Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
makes 7-8 large patties
2 cans cannellini white beans, drained
1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp maple or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
1/4 cup almond flour
optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand – I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast)
salt to taste if needed
1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs – or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp safflower oil in a pan over high heat.
5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.
7. Serve on toasted bun with lotsa toppings