Crown Point, IN

May 25, 2023

Raw Honey is Good

I’m with Winnie the Pooh when it comes to honey. Although, I don’t recommend eating pawfuls of it from a honey pot. To get honey’s natural healt

May 17, 2023

Savor the Season

Here in the Midwest, it’s finally safe to plant flowers and vegetables without fear of frost. We hope. I’m going to risk it. The daffodils and tul

May 11, 2023

A Simple Morning Ritual

If you’ve watched television recently, perhaps you’ve noticed that not a commercial segment passes without the mention of a prescription drug. Or

May 4, 2023

Baby Angelos Turns Two!

For those of you who have been following my blog for the past 2 ½ years, you may recall my weekly posts about the size of my friend’s baby in utero

April 27, 2023

Tomatoes and Acidity

This week I was asked, “My young son gets some red irritation around his mouth when he eats lots of tomatoes. Why does this happen?” The answer: a

April 20, 2023

Better than a Chia Pet

Lately I’ve been honoring my addiction to chia pudding. While not everyone is a fan, you may like to give it a try if you: like pudding don’t have

April 20, 2023

No longer limited to ‘the pottery that grows,’ chia seeds add fiber, antioxidant oomph to your diet

(The following article was written for the March 2022 issue of Get Healthy magazine, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Chia seeds have be

April 13, 2023

The Scoop on Avocados

The avocado can sometimes be a heartbreaker. If you’re a fan, you know what I’m referring to. You buy what appears to be a beautiful avocado. You

April 6, 2023

Time for a Reset

Spring. The time of year when we think of new life, cleaning, outdoors, daffodils—and rain. Lots of rain. Winter was mild here in the Region. Thankf

March 30, 2023

Foods for Healthy Skin

Here’s a big surprise (not): your diet influences the health of your skin. Besides the natural aging process, other factors that affect our skin inc

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 2

How do you know if you have a gluten issue?

It’s possible that you may eat foods containing gluten and not experience any significant digestive issues. However, if you have any of the symptoms that were listed last week, it’s possible that gluten is at the root of the problem.

To know for certain, you could do an at-home gluten sensitivity test. While there are numerous ways of getting tested, the best seems to be a combination of stool and saliva testing through a company called EnteroLab (www.enterolab.com).

I can hear you hollering “NO WAY!” about a stool test. If you feel bad enough…

The tricky part is deciphering the gene information once you have it. You can get assistance from someone at the lab, or work with a functional or integrative medical practitioner who understands that language. 

Another way to determine if gluten is the culprit is to completely avoid it and see how you feel. If your symptoms improve, then you don’t need to bother with a test unless you’d like to know exactly which gene(s) you have that may also affect your children.

What other foods contain gluten?

The obvious: breads, pastas, baked goods, crackers, and anything with the gluten grains added.

The list of foods that often contain gluten is fairly lengthy and unbelievable. Here are some of them:

  • Beer, wine coolers, various alcohols
  • Condiments, salad dressings, marinades
  • Soups, bouillons, broths (commercially prepared)
  • Gravy
  • Communion wafers
  • Energy bars
  • Cereals
  • Hot dogs, cold cuts, blue cheeses
  • Soy sauce and teriyaki sauces
  • Wheatgrass
  • Veggie burgers
  • Oats (unless certified gluten-free, since they are often contaminated from wheat products)

This is not a complete list. It gives you an idea of the extent to which gluten has taken over our food supply. It really is everywhere!

In the book Grain Brain, Dr. Perlmutter explains that although our ancestors had similar genetic makeup, modern food manufacturing has allowed us to grow structurally modified grains that contain gluten that’s less tolerable than the gluten found in grains cultivated just a few decades ago.

In simple terms, we are now eating gluten on steroids.

For Seinfeld Fans

Do you remember the episode where George’s fiancé, Susan, had to lick all the wedding invitation envelopes? They were supposedly made with low quality, poisonous glue, and she died.

Perhaps she had an extreme gluten issue. Non-adhesive stamps and envelopes may contain GLUTEN!

I’m not even kidding.

SOOOO, what CAN you eat?

These grains and starches are gluten-free: amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat (there’s no wheat in it, honest), corn, millet, potato, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy (although I’m not a fan), tapioca, teff   

A few more ideas: eggs and other protein (wild fish, meat, poultry, pork), healthy fats (nuts and nut butters, avocados, cheeses, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil), fruits and vegetables.

Be sure to read anything with a label. Many of them now state: contains wheat.

Next week I’ll fill you in on some other ingredients that are code for gluten and share some of my tips to help you.

In the meantime, beware of those wicked stamps and envelopes.

Much love,

“Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else — not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.” — Mark Hyman

Veggie Stuffed Turkey Burgers

(The following recipe first appeared in the September 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.)

1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms or 4-ounce can of mushrooms, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups fresh spinach
1 small tomato, diced (liquids drained) or 1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
16 ounces ground turkey (can substitute ground grass-fed beef or bison)
8 outer leaves of romaine lettuce

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in mushrooms.
2. Add balsamic vinegar and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add spinach and tomatoes and cook for another minute. Stir in mustard and turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper. Place spinach mixture in the refrigerator and cool for 15 minutes.
4. Form turkey into 4 equally sized balls. With your fingers, make a well in the center of each ball. Stuff about 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture inside each ball. Seal the top and flatten to form a patty. Reserve any leftover spinach mixture to serve on the side.
5. Pan-fry or broil your burgers:
• To pan-fry: Heat a pan and add a little oil. Add the patties and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness is reached.
• To broil: Set oven broiler to “high.” Place patties on a foil–lined baking sheet on top oven rack. Broil for about 3 minutes, flip patties over, and broil for about another 2 to 3 minutes or until burgers reach desired doneness.
6. Let the burgers rest for a couple of minutes.
7. To serve, take 2 romaine leaves and sandwich burger between them.

Notes: Tomato paste is available in a tube, and is great when you only need a small amount. The tube of paste stays fresh for months in the refrigerator. If you don’t care for the vegetables used to stuff the burgers, use what you like and they’ll be delicious.

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 1

What are your thoughts on gluten? Do you eat it, or not? Why are so many people talking about it these days?

Just this week I received a call from a friend who was in tears. She had just been diagnosed with a severe gluten allergy—AND she’s Italian. Horrors.

Sometimes before we can move forward, we need to have a good cry. 

I get it. I’m right there with her, even though I’m not Italian. It’s tough, yet it really is manageable.

In today’s blog I’ll discuss what gluten is, why it’s in our food, and how it may be affecting your health.

Gluten is a protein composite that’s found in wheat and other grains and starches: barley, bulger, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale, semolina, farina, wheat germ, matzo, graham flour, couscous.

Gluten is Latin for “glue” and acts as an adhesive that holds flour together to make food products. It makes pizza dough stretchy, breads and bagels chewy, and pasta noodles elastic.

It is a common additive that’s found in processed foods, cosmetics, personal care products, and even medications. It keeps sauces and gravies from curdling, as well as volumizing your mascara.

Celiac disease refers to an autoimmune condition that affects numerous systems in the body. Its primary target is the intestinal tract and affects approximately 1% of Americans.

Gluten sensitivity implies that there is some type of immune reaction occurring due to gluten in the diet. 35-40% of the population cannot tolerate gluten.

Gluten sensitivity is very real and causing major health issues for a growing number of people, even if they don’t have symptoms – yet.

Health conditions that may be linked to gluten sensitivity:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Autoimmune disorders (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, etc.)
  • Bone pain/osteopenia/osteoporosis
  • Dairy intolerance
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Infertility
  • Hives/rashes
  • Migraines
  • Food malabsorption
  • Neurological disorders (dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, etc.)
  • Seizures/epilepsy

This is not a complete list. A delicious piece of bread can sure wreak havoc on a body. 

Remember, I’m merely the messenger and am continually putting the pieces of my own puzzle of health together. It’s a process.

Next week I’ll address more on this topic: How do you know if you have a gluten issue? What other foods contain gluten? What CAN I eat?

In the meantime, if you’d like more detailed information, check out the book Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MD.

If you should find yourself in the 35-40% or wish to eliminate a food group from your diet, I’ve had LOTS of practice.

Finding ways to eat deliciously without gluten and dairy are my specialty. Contact me today and I’ll help you live healthier with food.

Much love,

“People are getting to this place of understanding that their lifestyle choices actually do matter a whole lot as opposed to this notion that you live your life, come what may, and hope for a pill.”—David Perlmutter

Anchor Habits, Being Still, and My Resident Rabbit

It almost feels as though our world is sort of opening up again. For now.

How very indefinite.

At any rate, prior to everything shutting down, perhaps you had some great pro-health habits in place to keep you feeling energized and happy. Or perhaps not.

While motivation can certainly get you started, the best way to stick with your habits is by having systems in place. The past year may have wiped out your anchor habits—those things you do without having to think about them. 

Like making coffee first thing when you get out of bed, reading the newspaper, then showering to get ready to go to work.

Because maybe you had to stop GOING to work.

Here’s another example of an anchor habit in action: On the days you plan to work out, you have your gym bag by the front door, ready to go with you. By doing this, you can go straight from work to the gym without stopping at home. (Stopping at home could mean you don’t leave the building again.)

If you now work from home, or your gym has been closed—well, so much for that anchor.

For some, a new anchor habit has been created that includes a little too much wine, or too little home cooking.

Now is a great time to review your priorities and see what’s different for you. As you go through your day, are you engaging in the activities that are truly important? Don’t be surprised if things have shifted a bit.

Once you complete your review, look at how your old systems might work and if necessary, create new ones that support your life today.

If you need help creating a new plan, let’s talk.

On Being Still

In order to review your priorities, you’ll need to find time to be still. I understand what a challenge this can be.

This is important. A year ago, we were forced to be still. If you find yourself back on the merry-go-round, feeling as though you have no time, then you really need to do this. 

Take 10 quiet minutes and simply BE. You might like it. You might gain some insights. You may hate it. Just try.

My Resident Rabbit

This furry little guy/gal (I wouldn’t know even if I could get a hold of it) has beheaded 4 of my tulips and demolished 2 strawberry plants. The fact that I have a dog doesn’t faze this wascally wabbit. 

The Animal Stopper I use probably couldn’t endure all the rain. I’ve since reapplied.

While many flowers are safe for human consumptionnasturtiums, lavender, pansies, zucchini squash blossoms—bunny goes for my tulips every spring. Guess bunny knows I won’t be eating those.

Rabbit stew, anyone? Just kidding.

Much love,

“The world’s just spinning
A little too fast
If things don’t slow down soon we might not last.
So just for the moment, let’s be still.”—The Head and the Heart, “Let’s Be Still”