Mixed Bag: Update, GMOs, apps…

Tell me again, how beautiful I am :)

Tell me again, how beautiful I am 🙂

Sorry I’ve been so silent in posting. My husband lost his job and we are living with my son–Thank you, Ted & Dana!
I’ve been trying to organize recipes and GF baking substitutions which include milk, butter, eggs, sugar and GF flour mixes. There is soooo much information out there and I’ve decided to pull it all together in one wonderful place for you to use as a reference.
What’s funny, as I’ve used this blog as my own reference. Especially looking back at the apps I reviewed earlier. I have an opinion on those apps: pay as little as possible for a GMO/GF app. You won’t use it much after you have chosen your favorite products and know where to find them.

There is a new app tho. It’s SHOPNOGMO iTunes. And, here’s a shopping guide ShopNoGMO. Its a big help choosing non-GMO products. Fooducate also finds GMOs in products and that app will alert you when you walk into stores you’ve chosen. NOTE: the app has to be open to work. I wondered why it didn’t alert me the other day. That’s why!

I learned another thing the other day. ORGANIC products can be grown from GMO seeds 😦 and pesticides can be used on non-GMO products. So it seems to me, you need to find products that are organic and non-GMO to cover all your bases.

Boars Head produces turkey lunchmeat that is ALL NATURAL. I haven’t found it yet in my area. I’m thinking it’ll be at Whole Foods, but there isn’t one near me and the local FRESH MARKET doesn’t have Boars Head. I’m also afraid it will be $15-20 per pound 😦 Some day, organic/non-GMO products will be the norm instead of the exception.

Have an outrageously awesome day 🙂

Primal Blueprint Cookbook – a review

primal blueprint cookbook

UPDATE: September 2practical paleo

I’ve “looked through” Practical Paleo (pictured below). I LOVE this book. The resource lists are amazing. While writing my notes I wished that some of the information sheets were “pull-outs”. Guess what, this book has them. There in the back and completely perforated. You will not be disappointed in this book and will probably learn a thing or two.

In fact, I’m looking into FODMAPs and this book shows which foods in their recipes include FODMAPs!

Practical Paleo includes 30-day meal plans designed to support…
* autoimmune conditions
* digestive health
* blood-sugar regulation
* thyroid health,
* cancer recover
* heart health
* parkinson’s ^ alzheimer’s”
* fat loss
* athletic performance and
* general health & more…

———— NOW, getting on with the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Review———–

From the inside Practical Paleo cookbook

The popularity of the low carb/paleo/Primal lifestyles has exploded as people discover an appealing and sustainable alternative to the restrictive diets and flawed conventional wisdom that lead to burnout and failed weight loss efforts.

I am not investigating this way of eating to lose weight…I’m trying to eat healthier…especially in light of my intestinal distress and chronic fatigue. Primal Blueprint seems to be part of a reasonable solution for me.

I really like this cookbook. It has lots of pictures and doesn’t put on “aires”. There are several recipes I cannot make for myself because of my IBS-restricted guidelines. But looking at all the little slips of paper sticking out of the book (marking recipes I want to make) tells me that this book is a keeper. It even has sauce recipes like ranch dressing, mayonnaise, ketchup and BBQ sauce!

I just looked through the Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals cookbook. You’re supposed to be able to make these recipes in under 30 minutes. This cookbook doesn’t make my mouth water like the Primal Blueprint Blueprint did. I scanned this book in a flash, marking very few recipes. Who knows, you might feel differently. Just because I’m a meat and potatoes kinda gal, doesn’t mean you are.

primal cravingspractical paleoI am so glad I can “preview” cookbooks by getting them through my local library. I also go into Barnes & Noble and look at their books if I cannot get them through the library. That’s how I found two cookbooks I cannot wait to open up and cook from. They are Primal Cravings: Your favorite foods made paleo by Keatley (approved by Sisson Publishing! and Practical Paleo by Sanfilippo (Nutritionist).

Some may believe these cookbooks are better than the Primal Blueprint Cookbook. That’s okay. You’re entitled to be wrong 🙂

Happy cooking :0

Primal Blueprint In-Depth Review

primal blueprint

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with Mark Sisson and his Primal Blueprint philosophy about diet, exercise and lifestyle. I don’t buy into everything, but he makes a very strong case.

“We offer a progressive, free-thinking, grass roots movement that has become a true community. Besides the numerous products, services and events you see on this site, MarksDailyApple.com has hundreds of thousands of active followers who enjoy free daily health articles, a weekly newsletter, and a thriving forum.”

Mark Sisson is not a doctor like other authors I’ve reviewed. Mark was a competitive running athlete.

I excelled at cross-country and distance track events in high school and at Williams College, where I was a pre-med candidate and received my degree in Biology.

“In fact, the running was going so well after college that I decided to forgo medical school for a few years (it’s at 31 years now) and concentrate on a running career. I trained seriously as a marathoner for another five years, racking up well over 100 miles each week in training. The effort culminated in a top 5 finish in the 1980 US National Marathon Championships and a qualifying spot for the 1980 US Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, by then the inhuman amount of training and weekly racing was taking its toll and I found myself constantly sick or injured. (Note to self: too much exercise is not a good thing). In fact, in my last year of competition, as a world class, extremely “fit” athlete, I experienced eight upper respiratory infections! Clearly I was ruining my immune system and my joints doing too much exercise. That’s when I started exploring nutrition and supplementation as a way to enhance my performance and to support my damaged body and bolster my immune system.” Read More…

Mark does have his na-sayers, as does everyone (mostly). Several reviewers believe his book is too long, too repetative and is not based on solid scientific research. One reviewer, Paul Skavland (Seattle, WA USA), stated: If anyone is curious what *I* think is “real” science-based information, I’d suggest you search the web for authors such as Alan Aragon, Lyle McDonald, Leigh Peele, Martin Berkhan and others. I’m not affiliated with any author or website. Best of luck to everyone seeking to improve their health and fitness.

I have to agree that the book seems to parallel the Paleo lifestyle, and it bothers me that he isn’t a doctor. But, I really like the way Mark writes. Every fad diet that comes down the road seems to have their success stories and failures. Some stick around and become the gold-standard like Atkins, South Beach just to name two. With all the talk about how the FDA is allowing pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, ect. into our died and people flocking like rats leaving a sinking ship to organics and non-GMOs, I think Primal/Paleo diet philosophies will be around for quite a while.

So, now that we got the introduction of Mark’s philosophy and who he is, let’s talk about his book, Primal Blueprint. The subtitle is “reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy. Oh man, I sure could use some more energy since I have Chronic Fatigue. In fact, since starting a wheat free diet and now, being convinced that grains are pretty bad for us, I do have more energy, sleep better and wake up earlier than ever before.

When Mark first began his search for a publishing company to produce his book, he was told, “Ditching grains? Eating more fat? Making workouts slower or shorter? This stuff will never fly with today’s readers.” Man, were those publishers wrong. Mark has 450+ reviews on his book that came out January 2012.

Mark’s beliefs:
eating grains…”Worse mistake in the history of the human race.” He purports that grains increase insulin production, fat storage and heart disease.
animal fat… promotes efficient fat metabolism, weight control and stable energy levels.
eggs… no correlation with high cholesterol levels. Yolks are among the earth’s most nutritious food.

Central premise of Primal Blueprint:

1) Eat plants & animals
2) Avoid poisonous things – duh 🙂
3) Move frequently at a slow pace
4) Lift heavy things (he must think I’m superman!)
5) Sprint once in a while
6) Get adequate sleep
7) Play
8) Get adequate sunlight (Vit. D)
9) Avoid stupid mistakes) – look both ways before crossing the road?
10) Use your brain

Chapter 3 covers blood glucose levels, insulin and Type 2 diabetes and how your body reacts to high carbmeals, gaining fat cells and how your body becomes insulin-resistant and the unpleasant consequences such as:
1)  fat cells can’t release their stored energy into the bloodstream
2)  fat cells get bigger and fatter, hence you gain weight
3)  more glucose stays in your bloodstream longer. This can cause inflammation risk of heart attack as well as circulation problems.

Mark says, “my foolproof prevention plan–or, dare I say, cure–for those with Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease, no matter how overwhelming their genetic predisposition is to these conditions, is to exercise according to the Primal Blueprint laws and to moderate dietary insulin production.”

So, get off the couch or push away from the computer, eat some road kill and veggies then chase your dog down the street or go take a tango lesson!

The next part goes into great detail on insulin production and cholesterol. Mark hates statin drugs. He believes statins reduce CoQ10, which reduces energy levels.

Next, macro nutrients: Protein, carbs & fats. Once again, Mark gets in-depth. After reading Primal Blueprint I came across Dr. Fuhrman’s, Eat to Live. He created a list of nutrient dense foods. My next review will be a review of his beliefs regarding food and healthy eating. He’s totally on the other end of the spectrum from Primal Blueprint! Should be interesting.

Talk about TMI! Mark goes so far as to have you figure out how much protein your body needs per day by multiplying your weight by percentage of body fat….

The Primal Blueprint lifesytle is not a low-carb diet as much as it is an elimination of bad carbs diet.

Quick Primer on nutritional values of plants and fruits:

Red Plants: (pomegranates, cherries, watermelon) help reduce the risk of prostate cancer as well as some tumors.

Green Fruit & Veggies: (avocados, limes, bell peppers, zucchini) have powerful anti-aging effects and are helpful for vision.

Yellow & Orange Fruits & Veggies: (bananas, papayas, carrots, butternut squash, pineapple) offer immune support, aid in digestion, joint health and reduce inflammation. (This is MY category!)

Cruciferous Veggies: (broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, arugala, turnips, bok choy, horseradish & cauliflower) have demonstrated anti-cancer, anti-aging and anti-microbial properties. OH NO, not an IBS-c friendly category.

Mark’s next chapter discusses grains in your diet. I will not comment on this chapter, because I already covered this topic in my blog about Dangerous Grains by Dr. Braly.

Ahhhhhh, I did learn one thing in this chapter 🙂  Lightbulb time!
The bad molecules along with the elevated glucose/insulin levels in your bloodstream over a long-term period leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Now I understand why my husband was losing weight and his glucose numbers were back in the pre-diabetes range when he wasn’t eating wheat. This makes total sense.

Comic relief!!!!!

Beans, Beans, the musical fruit.
The more you eat–the more you toot.

The more you toot, the better you feel.
So eat your beans at every meal.

I am really curious why legumes are a no-no in Primal Blueprint. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) doesn’t allow them either at the beginning, but they can be eaten in moderation once you are symptom free for three months. Are they in Paleo?

The Big Deal (from www.paleoplan.com)
Phytates actually bind to the magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron in your intestines and take them OUT of our bodies.  We do not want that to happen.  Cordain and others believe that this alone is greatly contributing to the worldwide epidemic of iron-deficiency anemia.  It could be part of the reason many people are deficient in magnesium as well, which can contribute to everything from muscle cramping to PMS.  And zinc?  Well, it’s just SUPER important to our immune systems and for our reproductive abilities, so we wouldn’t want to lose any of that.  And the fact that phytates are chelating calcium out of our bodies means that we have less access to that bone-building and nerve-transmitting mineral we’re all so fond of. Read more…

Well, my curiosity is satisfied in one big NO! And, peas and peanuts are considered legumes 😦

BUT…if you just have to have chili or beanie-weinies, de-gas your beans. Here’s how, ripped from Mayo Clinic.
Plase one pound of beans in 10+ cups of boiling water. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then cover and set aside overnight. Here’s the part I didn’t know–The next day 75-90% of the indigestible sugars that cause gas will have dissolved into the soaking water 🙂

Mark’s reason for not eating beans is because they contain high levels of mild, natural plant toxins known as lectins. Researchers have found that lectins can inhibit healthy GI function by damaging the delicate microvilli that line your intestines.
The damaged microvilli allows larger, undigested protein molecules to get into the bloodstream. Since the unfamiliar protein molecules can resemble molecules that live on the outside of healthy cells,your immune system gets confused and doesn’t know who the real enemy is. The autoimmune system kicks in which experts believe is the root cause for rhumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis and a host of others.

“High insulin levels promote fat storage and disease.
Moderated insulin levels
(typical of Primal Blueprint lifestyle)
stimulates fat burning and good health.
It’s that simple.

Everyone’s favorite topic is next — exercising. Mark gives his reasons against cardio and for walking. Apparently there are hundreds of interesting and challenging resistance workout ideas at www.marksdailyapple.com. I have my own personal favorite ideas: grab some friends and go play dodgeball, kickball, tag, kick the can, capture the flag….

The last chapter goes deeply into Primal weight loss. Mark has a step-by-step process for losing one to two pounds of body fat per week. It consists of minimizing carbs, maximizing protein and fat intake, intermittent fasting and exercise Primally.

Mark provides a couple days of food journal entries, pulls out his calculator to determine amounts of protein carbs and fats to consume, provides weight loss exercise plan and weight loss trouble-shooting.

The Primal Blueprint “seems” to cover just about everything. In my opinion, I believe Mark is highly knowledgeable and his Primal Blueprint has a lot of success and followers. I am becoming more and more convinced to remove as much grain from my diet as possible, but I have no intention of totally removing rice and oats from my diet.

My recommendation is to get the book for yourself to determine how much of what Mark espouses will be incorporated into your life.

Mark is very convincing. I believe the cultural swing toward organic foods and non-GMOs is here to stay. I hear people think the hubbub about dangerous grains and wheat bellies is a fad that will fade away. I’m not so sure. I agree there are people who cannot tolerate wheat/gluten and other grains;either because of allergies or mal-absorption issues.But I also believe that God gave us grains as well as legumes, meat, fruits and vegetables to eat for nourishment. We have to decide for ourselves which foods we choose to eat and which we reject. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

testing for celiac disease…

normandy 0 honor mntn

Did you know that…

It is important that people being checked for coeliac disease need to still be eating gluten in their diet. If they cut gluten out of their diet (eg. trial a gluten free diet) before being properly diagnosed, they can reduce their chances of being diagnosed, as the villi/lining can start to repair. If the camera is then inserted to take the samples for biopsy, but the person has already started the diet, the biopsies might show to be normal – but this may not be an accurate result – it could be false as it may be repaired.  Therefore, all people who look suspicious for coeliac disease (eg. have symptoms, etc) should still be eating gluten whilst being investigated by their doctor(s).

GI care 4 kidsAll people diagnosed with coeliac disease are encouraged to join an association or society or support group. A couple I found are: Coeliac Sprue Association or Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, GI Care for Kids, to name a few. They are a valuable source of support and new food product information. Members receive a quarterly magazine, handbook and ingredients book. Events such as cooking demonstrations, group dietitian sessions, children’s camps, and social evenings are regularly offered. As information about the gluten-free diet can change over time, maintaining membership of the Coeliac Society should be for the long-term, to ensure ongoing access to up-to-date information.

The above information came from the shepherdworks.com website. There’s a LOT more information there to read.

Ever Heard of the FODMAP Elim. Diet?


The FODMAP elimination diet seems like it goes hand-in-hand with Specific Carbohydrate Diet protocol. It’s probably very obvious because of my last two posts that I am seeking relief from my IBS symptoms that are not fully under control even on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet.

The FODMAP theory holds that consuming foods high in FODMAPs results in increased volume of liquid and gas in the small and large intestine, resulting in distention and symptoms such as abdominal pain and gas and bloating. The theory proposes that following a low FODMAP diet should result in a decrease in digestive symptoms. The theory further holds that there is a cumulative effect of these foods on symptoms. In other words, eating foods with varying FODMAP values at the same time will add up, resulting in symptoms that you might not experience if you ate the food in isolation. This might explain the mixed results of studies that have evaluated the effects of fructose and lactose, two types of carbohydrates, on IBS. Ongoing research is being conducted as to the accuracy of the FODMAP theory and the effectiveness of the diet for IBS. Read More

If you are interested in following a low FODMAP diet, it is essential to work individually with a licensed nutritionist (See: Finding a FODMAP Dietician)

WebMD weighs in with their article on Finding the Right Diet for IBS
The goal is to find the most liberal and varied diet possible that still keeps symptoms under control. Most people find they can still include their favorite foods if they exercise care. For example, a person who discovers that fructans (found in wheat) cause a lot of distress might find they can’t tolerate wheat at every meal, but may be able to tolerate one portion of wheat without a problem.

Is FODMAP the right diet? Specific Carbohydrate Diet? Paleo Diet? Gluten-Free Diet? I just don’t know. I do know I’m reading a lot. Making the move to organic products, juicing, eating gluten free and attempting to move away from eating a lot of grains. I do know that stress plays a big role in digestive upsets and I’ve had enough stress this summer to last a lifetime and it’s not over. I am desperately looking for ways to not be so gassy that no one wants to be around me. I am so embarrassed by passing gas when I’m out in public, especially talking to an acquaintance or at the chiropractor’s office getting adjusted. I’m always apologizing. I’ve had enough. Looking for relief, constantly assessing if I should eat this or that and searching books and the internet for answers is causing it’s own stress. Hopefully in my quest to find answers, I can help those who reads my blog posts.

Several web sites I came across while researching the FODMAP diet. They seem VERY informative:
IBS Group
IBS Free
ibs at About.com
IBS Group/todaysdietitian – this article is not about FODMAPs but IBS in general. Good article:  Still a misunderstood disease and often treated as a psychological condition, IBS is a real condition that can be debilitating to a person’s life. IBS statistics are sobering: An estimated 35 million Americans have the disease. It ranks second only to the common cold as a cause of lost work time and accounts for approximately 3 million physician visits in the United States every year.1 The path to an accurate diagnosis of IBS is often a confusing, complex, and emotional process. However, family members, physicians, dietitians, and support groups can provide IBS sufferers instant information and relief. Read More…

I pray this information helps anyone suffering with IBS. I believe newly diagnosed IBSers and “old hats” can benefit from these articles and web sites.

Web Site – Gluten Doctor in ATLANTA!

I came across this web site while googling for gluten free mall. I cannot wait to delve into this web site!

It’s Atlanta Gluten Doctor!

Here’s the first paragraph on his web site:

The evils of GLUTEN!

What if your path to a better quality life is avoiding food that is killing you and your family?

Gluten is one of the biggest culprits in causing chronic health issues such as fibromyalgia, thyroid issues, chronic fatigue, and Irritable Bowel that I see in my office.  Therefore, it is EXTREMELY important to be tested properly for gluten sensitivity.  People who have chronic health issues may have already been tested for gluten and the results may have came back negative;  the problem is that most methods of testing for gluten traditionally done from saliva or stool may only test for alpha gliadin and 1 isomer of transglutaminase, but many people can react to any of the 10 other particles of the breakdown of gluten, including wheat germ agglutinin. In our office, we run a food sensitivity test from a lab called Cyrex Labs which tests all components of wheat and gluten as well as 24 other foods that may be cross-reactive.

Store Apps Update – Yeah!


okay, it only took me several weeks to finally update my opinions on GF, allergy, GMO…
apps available through iTunes and Android 🙂

Here’s the link to my original post: GF Apps – Who Knew!


Almond, Hazelnut and Raspberry Muffins

rasp muffins


Ripped from the pages of The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking.

So, here I go with my personal opinion. I rate them 7.5 stars out of 10. Why? you ask. Because when I first took a bite I did not respond with, “Oh my stars, these are AWESOME!”

BUT the more I ate the more I appreciated the subtle sweetness allowing the flavor of the fresh raspberries to shine through. (I’m a sugar-holic and it’s kinda hard to give up all that sweetness) 🙂

Do I feel good about eating the muffins because they are so healthy and really do taste good? 10 out of 10 stars! Hopefully, my diabetic husband won’t finish them off before they get to their hiding place in the freezer. For my husband, out of sight–out of mind 🙂

These muffins are not the cheapest things to bake (at least the first time). They require stevia/spenda–that’s not too bad, until you get to the almond and hazelnut flour and the liquid stevia ($13); then you’re talking money if you don’t have a grinder to turn the nuts into flour. Oh, yeah, I substituted chestnut flour (real Italian) for the hazelnut flour. Hazelnut’s coming from Bob’s Red Mill on Monday 🙂

So, my first foray into baking from The Joy…. is a hit! I’m going to have to get myself a grinder. Can anyone suggest one that they believe is very good.


10 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

Thank you, Taylor, from Gluten Away for posting this article, ripped from the annals of http://eatlocalgrown.com!

I was surprised when the author, Dr. Amy Myers stated, tn_11266_10-symptoms-of-gluteran-intolerance-1365372514

I have found the single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.

Drats, once again a great doctor who believes in IBS, etc. and she’s in Austen, TX. I guess doctors are getting closer. The last one I found was in Seattle, Washington!

Tyson Chicken Nuggets and Tenders

Yippee! TysonGluten Free Nuggets is making GF products!

Ripped from their web site:

It’s a fact:  Kids love Chicken Nuggets and Crispy Chicken Strips.  Now every kid can love them with new Tyson Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets and Gluten Free Crispy Chicken Strips.  They’re still crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, with the same great taste that kids love.  And they’re made with all white meat chicken and 100% all natural ingredients* so there’s plenty for moms to love, too.

Can’t wait to try them out!

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: