Cooking Italian Senza Gluten

Italian food is the first thing I turn to as my comfort food of choice. One thing that I missed the most when making the gluten free lifestyle change was Italian food! It is my mission to be able to introduce you to healthy substitutions that will help you stay on this new found pathway to a healthier you. This recipe is a fun way to try new things and realize how delicious spaghetti squash is and how having such a versatile substitution for gluten-laced pasta can change your outlook!

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The REAL Breakfast of Champions!

Today is a brand new day! I know we have all heard this before and yet we often keep repeating the same way of doing our life including what we eat. In order to feel our BEST I believe alternating what we eat makes a huge difference in not only how we feel internally but in how our bodies PERFORM.  If we eat the same thing, day in day out we will often find it to be boring and more often than not our body will eventually build up a bit of an intolerance for the same thing. This is especially true with wheat and gluten products. Introducing new foods to rotate in is a very good way to take notice of how your food makes you feel.

So to start my week of with a new twist, and I highly recommend you give this a try,  I dressed up my gluten free oatmeal a bit differently. Not only is it DELISH, it is soothing and loaded with lots of minerals and nutrients your body needs to perform well.

Gluten Free Oatmeal cooked with organic raisins, organic cranberries and organic cherries. I then add some organic almond milk and a very small amount of raw organic honey after it is cooked but while still on the stove to warm the milk and make it creamy. Also while still on the stove I put in a teaspoon of organic raw unprocessed coconut oil, sprinkle liberally with organic cinnamon and today I am trying a new super food product by Spectrum Essentials called Decadent Blend! This has Flax and Chia seeds ground together with coconut and cocoa. OMG off the charts wonderful and this should keep me satisfied until well, I am hungry again.  Image

Cherries and Antioxidants:

Did you know that cherries rank among the top 20 foods with the highest concentration of antioxidants. In fact, the standard one-cup serving of cherries has the capacity to carry 4,873 antioxidants!

  • Antioxidants are substances found in foods that may protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules, known as free radicals.
  • Cherries are especially rich in a phytochemical called anthocyanin which may reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanins give cherries their deep red color and also protect cells from damage during an interaction with oxygen. This important process also serves to protect the heart and surrounding tissue, inhibit plaque formation and reduce inflammation. Research also suggests that the anthocyanins found in cherries further protect neural cells and promote brain health .
  • They also contain melatonin which is an important antioxidant that helps maintain optimum brain functioning and may deter the onset of age-related chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Raisins

  • Raisins also contain quercetin a type of polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant that protects the cells in your body from free radical damage. raisins also contain phytochemical compound resveratrol. Resveratrol, a polyphenol anti-oxidant, has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, blood cholesterol lowering activities.
  • Studies suggest that resveratrol has been found to have protective action against cancers like melanoma, colon and prostate, and diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/ fungal infections.

Cinnamon

  • The active principles in the cinnamon spice are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

  • Cinnamon has the highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature.

Oatmeal

  • Oatmeal is appealing to health experts because it actually reduces your craving for foods that are not good for you. oatmeal provides you with high levels of fiber and very low levels of fat.
  • A fiber known as beta-glucan seems to be the all-star compound in oatmeal. There have been hundreds of studies published on beta-glucan.One study published in Vascular Health Risk Management concluded, “Dietary intake of beta-glucans has been shown to reduce risk factors to benefit the treatment of diabetes and associated complications. In addition, beta-glucans also promote wound healing and alleviate ischemic heart injury.
  • There is absolutely no cholesterol in oatmeal, so you will never have to worry about it clogging your arteries.
  • The minerals that you absorb from oatmeal make this a more healthy option than taking them in supplement form.
  • A word of caution, Oatmeal is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids, containing almost 2 grams per half-cup serving. Omega-6s seem to be a mixed bag, providing some health benefits, yet too much of them — combined with too little omega-3 fatty acid sources — can cause inflammation and other problems.

 

I hope this will give you some inspiration for switching your breakfast foods to help change your outcome for the day!

As with all days EAT, HEAL and LIVE!!!!

Healing my husband from C Difficile

Each day before 6:30 a.m. I have already cooked breakfast and lunch for my husband Michael to take to work. As he leaves each morning loaded with a smoothie full of super foods to sip on as he drives to work; breakfast with some form of gluten-free cereal with fruit and almond milk or a brown rice breakfast quesadilla and a lunch with an amazing salad loaded with new exciting and alive foods; I thank my lucky stars he looks so good and has a smile on his face.

You see in January 2011 when Michael was walking out the door to work I turned around to say goodbye and the next second he was down on the floor in extreme pain with a ruptured colon. We did not know it at the time but had I not gotten him to the hospital right away he would have died from this. Michael had some serious life threatening health issues ahead of him that we could never have foreseen and looking back now I have learned and grown so much but as we were in the middle of such a catastrophic health issue I was foggy, scared, looking for answers and found very few from the medical community. What I really needed was someone to help me sort through finding alternative options for healing.  I believe there is always a way to change the outcome and I was not ready to have my husband end up with a permanent colostomy without searching high and low and scouring the internet for answers. To this day he is here because we changed our diet, our lifestyle choices and became consistent with very supportive supplements.

I won’t go into the gruesome details of the next 6 months but they were the scariest times in both our lives and are still fresh enough that we check in with each other many times throughout the day and give thanks for being alive! So with a ruptured colon comes infection in your sterile abdominal cavity. The only way to get rid of infection is with mass doses of hard-core antibiotics. Mass doses of antibiotics for extended periods of time can lead to a host of new problems and within 3 months he endured 3 surgeries with 3 hospital stints each visit lead to more antibiotics……his system was shocked and completely void of any good bacteria that could help him heal and left him open to contracting a host of new problems. This lead to contracting the nasty and antibiotic resistant super bacteria called C Difficile

Now put yourself in a hospital where C Difficile is commonplace, it is easily spread from one patient to the next by the nursing staff or from simply touching a counter top or door knob with the bacteria and your immune system is compromised you are at great risk for contracting different strains of this antibiotic resistant beast and they can take over your body quickly. A new report from the CDC (Center for Disease Control)  shows that the rates of infection for this bacteria are at historic highs.

Almost all C Difficile infections are connected to getting medical care! GASP!! Can you believe that!

Its a very lonely and scary place to be because the doctors have limited tools and many of those tools are what lead to this problem in the first place. I think that most of our physicians thought we would sue them and they backed away from us as soon as we were released from the hospital. I’m writing this because as we were going through our battle I could not find any information to help us and I felt like it was Michael and me against the world huddled in our little house trying to find something that would fix him.

There is GREAT news out there and on the other side of our struggle we found success!!!!! We changed our diet immediately once we knew what could help, became a totally bonded couple and found a new way to live our life with products that help your body battle this monster. We also found an environmental physician who I call our Goddess Doctor. She was instrumental in our healing and recover process and is our primary physician for ever more.

Here are links to the products that had a significant impact with combating C Difficile that helped us along with completely removing all gluten, sugar, dairy, most grains even the non gluten ones and paying attention to and removing  anything that caused discomfort after eating.

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics

Saccharomyces-Boulardii-MOS

EcoNugenics Digestive Enzymes 

Biocidin

On Guard from dōTERRA®

There is so much more to this story. Part two will be our diet shift and foods that help you heal as you go through this journey. You should know that Michael is doing much better a year and 1 month off all antibiotics and he is still healing. This is some pretty tough stuff to battle and had I known how many people die from this annually I think I would have been more scared. The good news is that we are proof of going against the grain and working outside of your “primary care physician” with new ways of healing really has its benefits.

As with all posts be well and if this strikes a chord within and you have issues please send me a message I am here to help. Jennifer

Eat….Heal…..Live!

Quick Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza

This is a quick and easy way to make use of what you have in your garden or your fridge. Pizzas are the most forgiving thing because most things taste great heated together with a bit of cheese (Diaya not dairy) and bread! When I’m in a pinch and do not feel like making everything from scratch I use Almond Glory pizza crust. They are in the frozen gluten-free section at my local whole foods. What I like most about these crusts they can handle some serious weight and you cook them in the little black plates they come in so clean up is very easy.

On this pizza I put a bit of organic marinara sauce and then two flavors of Diaya Cheese (Mozzarella and Pepper-jack shreds) Then from my garden I cut up a sweet onion and a hippy looking heirloom roma tomato that is green and red and from my fridge some crimini mushrooms. That’s all! Prep time 5 minutes 10 if you have to pick your veggies from out back.

Toss this little baby in the oven at 425 for 20 – 30 minutes depending how crispy you like your crust and viola gluten-free vegan goodness! While in the oven you have time to whip up a little salad and dinner is delish, healthy and no animals products were used!As with all things in life go easy on yourself, the planet and don’t forget my mantra

Eat, Heal, Live!

Scrummy Organic Quinoa Burgers

Healthy and awesome lunch

 

This recipe can definitely make most people re-think vegan burgers because it is really satisfying and has so many delicious things you don’t miss the meat! Great for entertaining and you can cook a big batch and eat them cold the next day too.

Organic Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa= extra quinoa for salad tomorrow, bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork )
  • 2 large sweet potatoes or yams cubed and cooked ( 3 cups cooked is what you want)
  • 1 can no salt added black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 (heaping) cup quinoa flour or other gluten-free flour like garbanzo bean or almond
  • 1 ear of fresh corn cut from cob
  • 1/2 large red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne (or more if you like it hot!)
  • Salt and Pepper to your liking

Preparation:

  1. Peel and cube your sweet potatoes or yams and place gently in large pot of boiling water. Cook until tender (about 20 minutes) Drain and put in a bowl to let cool.
  2. Cook your quinoa next so they can cool together.
  3. While those are cooking preheat your over to 400 – 425 (adjust according to your oven) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. ( I used oil and they do stick so choose your non stick weapon of choice)
  4. In a large bowl put 1/2 can of beans and mash those puppies with a fork.
  5. When the potatoes have cooled, roughly mash them with a fork.
  6. Add potatoes, quinoa, corn, the rest of the beans, flour, onion and spices. Stir together until just combined. (If your mixture seems too moist I adjust with a little more flour)
  7. This mixture makes between 10 – 14 burgers depending on the size you make. Gather handfuls of the “burger” mix and shape into patties. Place directly on baking sheet.
  8. Cook each side for 20-25 minutes. They can be tricky to turn because they do not have gluten (glue) to hold them together, do not let this discourage you! If they are too squishy leave them in for another 10 minutes per side.
  9. I broil mine for the last few minutes to give them a little crispy edge on both sides and find this really helps with the end result.

Notes:

These burgers are wonderful on gluten-free buns with lettuce, red onion and a bit of veganaise/aioli and mustard! They are also great cold the next day with a salad and no bun.

Gluten free cooking is tricky and often frustrating. You are not alone when you go to flip the burgers and they are mushy and lose their shape! Don’t worry they are completely re-shape-able and the longer they cook, the more manageable they become and you will have a quinoa burger that you can proudly serve to your friends and family!

Hope you enjoy them and remember…….EAT…..HEAL…..LIVE