Saturday, February 19, 2011


Thanks to my son's grade six teacher and her creative ways of teaching Native Studies, I'm now including bannock on our most basic list of recipes for getting started.

This recipe is not SCD friendly but the egg can be substituted or omitted as can just about everything else except the flour.  Since it's very much like the yeast free, sugar free, flatbreads I've been making for years, of course I had to add it to our list of basics.

I've read that bannock is the native bread of the North American continent.  I have a little trouble with believing it entirely just because I've also read that wheat was not a part of the Native diet until Europeans introduced it.

The fact that celiac disease was considered a Caucasian disease until the intake of of wheat increased enough in native and Asian cultures (a fairly recent occurrence) makes me believe that indeed, native culture did not include wheat in their diet.

So I started looking around and this man agrees with me.  It was Europeans who introduced bannock to the North American native population. He believes it to have originated in Scotland.

Most gluten free breads are more like muffin mixes.  This one, however, you actually can shape into a snake and then roll onto a stick and cook over a fire... just the way it used to be done originally.   We used amaranth for the flour in our first try and it turned out beautifully.  Then we added raisins to the second half of our recipe and that was equally wonderful but in a different way.


2 1/2 cups flour (We used amaranth and it was wonderful!)
5 tbspn baking powder (We used 3 tbspn baking soda; 2 tbspn cream of tartar.)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbspn sugar (optional)
3 tbpn lard (see lard recipe for chemical free lard)
1 egg (many recipes I found around the internet do not list any egg at all)
1 cup water (Really, just enough water to make a dough that can still be molded into rough shapes.)


Mix the dry ingredients well.
Put in the lard and use fingers and thumbs to mix it in as one does with pastry dough.
Mix egg and water (if using an egg).
Add wet mix to dry mix and combine it all roughly and quickly.

Second part of the batch we made smaller disks with raisins.
This is a great recipe to do with kids because you actually don't want to over mix it or it will turn out tougher than it needs to be.  Of course a gluten grain is more at risk than a non gluten grain.  Nevertheless, this is not a super picky kind of recipe, so relax and don't worry.  As long as you don't end up with lumps of salt or baking soda (which you shouldn't since your dry mix were well combined), you'll be fine.

Heat a skillet (I love my cast iron skillet) to about medium.  Or if you're like me, impatient, turn it on high and later turn it down, risking the possibility of burning your bannock.  Paint the skillet with thin coat of lard, dust with flour.  It always surprises me as to how nicely this stops breads from sticking.  Pat out your bannock into a couple of giant disks, or several smaller disks and place them in the skillet to cook until browned on the bottom.  Flip and cook until browned on the top side.

If you want to pack it warm for lunch, don't put it in plastic or the condensation will kill it and you may risk developing a new mould that might not be so nice to ingest.  Instead, wrap it in newspaper and then tie it with jute or throw an elastic around it.  It will keep all day just beautifully.  In fact, I send a large disk with my son to school and the portion that he brought home, still wrapped in the newspaper, made a wonderful after school snack dipped in honey.

If it goes stale, blend it up and use it as breadcrumbs for a fish fry or part of your next batch of gluten free granola mix.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Food Toxins I: The Lily Family

I just try to balance the common message to make sure people get a balanced message and then have a better ability to make up their own minds as to what's best for themselves (since everyone's different).

I don't write this stuff to make people afraid. I write it so they can have a balanced quantity of information, think critically and make personal decisions.

The health food industry is a tricky beast. Money matters and so the messages get really skewed one way or the other. The people putting out the books are the money makers and they're out to sell their own product... so it would be unwise and unproductive for them to point out their product flaws. These are also the books that tend to make it into conventional schooling systems. It just makes good business sense. As consumers, we need to think critically about what's on our informational plate, so to speak.

With the years I've put in researching both sides of many different foods/families/groups, there are two definites I've found.

There is no magic pill.
There is no perfect food. (Don't even get me started on how sick I am of hearing about the lycopene in tomatoes!)

All foods contain toxins. It part of the theory about self-protection and not being eaten to the point of annihilation.

The human body has an amazing capacity to detoxify itself - if given the chance. Common food poisoning and surviving it, is a fairly extreme example of how efficiently our bodies can work to stay not only alive, but well.

This is a big factor in the rotation diet theory (don't eat the same within three days of itself). And it kind of makes sense, the same way you don't workout arms every day (because too many toxins will build up in the muscle if not given enough time to purge the toxins).

Rotating also helps clarify which toxins are 'more toxic for you as an individual' because it allows time for delayed reactions to show themselves.

The lily family (very broad definition) seems to be a fairly reactive family of foods. We know this because we use much of it for healing. Strong healing properties often mean strong toxic properties also. This family (or kissing cousins) include onions, garlic, asparagus, agave, etc...

These foods, in high enough quantities, are used to kill worms, bacteria, etc. It's really hard to kill those things, so this gives you an idea of how potent (toxic) they can be.

Onions have been used to predict weather. (There is some scientific basis to be found, even in old wives' tales - if you read my soup overview and the reference material I listed with it, it show how the old wive's tale re: soup actually works on a science level).

Garlic is used to kill lots of stuff and deter even things as large as vampires. Sorry, couldn't resist that one. Just checking to see if you were still paying attention. ;D

Asparagus is a diuretic. Diuretics help flush toxins out of a system.

The body seems to need to consume these things (unless they're highly reactive, and the lily family is VERY reactive for some people - and to be avoided) to help keep bacteria, worms, etc., under control. However, the body itself seems to need a break from a buildup of these toxins.

Again, the theory behind rotation dieting is that your body will react to food toxins. But we all have to eat. Just try not to expose it to the same toxins every day.

Meekly dismounting my soapbox and shaking my head a myself for getting carried away once again. Passion does that to a person doesn't it? Takes away all semblance of any kind of self-control.

I'll try to post references later. They're all on the net, as usual, for those who are less patient. ;)

Sugar Review


Is predigested by bees and therefore a simple sugar, as opposed to complex (more than two molecules). This is a preferred sweetener for people who are on diets due to sensitivities re: complex sugars. Not all people tolerate honey well.

Honey also, when mixed with water (sweat, etc.) creates a very mild hydrogen peroxide solution. It is believed that this is why Manuka honey, in many cases, works better on diabetic lesions than antibiotics.

I have alternated honey and epsom salts and oregano/garlic tea on a staph infection on my daughter's face (rather than going right to a cortisone cream which is hard on the skin) and had success with it.


Plant extract. Not much is really known about it at this point. It does have some hormonal questions surrounding it. Diabetics have little choice. So, if you don't absolutely HAVE to use it... use it once a week. This way, if there are hormonal toxic factors, your body will have rebound time before the next use.

Maple syrup:

Plant origin. And of course being Canadians, we're very pro-maple syrup. emoticon

Still, it is a complex sugar and not allowed on diets like SCD, etc. Also, it is considered illegal on a raw food diet because, of course, it's boiled tree sap.

Agave nectar:

Again, complex sugar.

It's also part of the asparagus family which can be fairly reactive for some people. Hint: If asparagus makes you nauseas or throw up (whether you like the taste or not), this would be your last choice for a sweetener.

Dried fruits:

raisins, dates, nuts, apples, apricots, etc.

If you can afford a dehydrator, you will avoid the chemicals that factories use to dry foods. (Sulphite sensitivities come into play here.) Then you can either cut up the dried fruit and add it to cereal, muffins or whatever.

Date sugar:

See above.

Frozen fruits:

strawberries, grapes and apples

Think ice wine. These foods get incredible sweet when they've been frozen. You can even freeze apple cider... the water will freeze and the cider part becomes thicker... almost syrupy. Puree them up in nutmilk and you'll have a great sweetened, flavoured, cereal milk.

Pureed fruits:

Bananas, etc.

Bananas should have brown spots on them though. The brown spots indicate that the complex sugars are being broken down to simple sugars. That's a good thing.

Can't think of anything more right now. Rotation is best. There are enough sugars out there that you can have a different one for every day of the week. This way also, if you fell crumby on your 'apple days', then odds are, your body doesn't like apples. Apple sensitivity (caucasian cultures) is more common that people realize. Papaya sensitivity is more common in East Indian cultures. Keep this in mind and don't keep eating stuff that makes you feel bad.

Also keep in mind, too much concentrated sugar (dried/powdered is the easiest to overdo for most people) is not going to help you get that 'ripped' look.

As always, if I've written something that seems contradictory, ask me about it. What I can review quickly is only an extremely minute portion of information. I'll come back and edit as questions are asked for the sake of immediate clarification for new readers.

I'm done now. I think. ;)

Seeds & Beans: Flax, Sesame, Poppy, Kidney

A lot of people have been talking about beans and seeds lately. Whether it's to approach better health, consume higher protein or cut a food budget, there are things to know that will help make the most of your latest culinary acquisitions.


Most seeds must be ground first in order to make the nutrients bio-available. If you don't grind them, you will see that they come out the other end looking pretty much the same as they went into the top. (Oh c'mon... like you've never looked!)

I get lots of people asking how to use these things. Here are a few ideas along with some of my usual chemistry nonsense after that. Of course, I think the chemistry nonsense is the most important part!

1. bread
Note: Breads don't always have to be a yeast bread. Yeast is not good for some people.
They can be flat bread, like a focaccia, which can be frozen and used as a pizza base.

2. muffins

3. cereal sprinkles

4. snack bars

5. granola ingredient

6. yoghurt or custard topping

7. salad sprinkles

I'm still thinking... I'm sure I can come up with 100 if I try hard enough. ;)

As I always say though, rotation, rotation, rotation. This gives the body a break from getting 'build-ups' from eating the same foods all the time.

All foods contain toxins (theoretically, to prevent consumption to annihilation). Flax and other seeds are no exception.

As usual, I'm not really into denoting how great these foods are. Yes they are great!

It's just that all the information about how great they are is so prevalent in common health literature that we're all practically choking on it. I'm just trying to balance the information out there.

Flax seeds:

Flax contains cyanide.

But don't get all freaked out about it. Cyanide is used as a cancer preventative. Nonetheless, you still don't want to build up enormous amounts of it in your body. So give it a break and stick to rotating flax into your diet every three or four days.

Sesame seeds:

Great for calcium, magnesium and zinc. Seems like a good ingredient for non-dairy people who can tolerate them. However, there is some argument about the particular form of calcium (oxalate) actually becoming toxic if it builds up too much in the body. Is it true? I don't really know. However, most seeds seem to be very strong (in nutrients and therefore toxins), so I tend to treat them more like an herb or powdered herb, where less is generally more. ;) Again... rotation.

Poppy seeds:

Of course we all know what's in poppy seeds, right? Opiates.

Science currently says that poppy seeds will not skew blood results. Frankly though, I don't buy it . And I've seen science disprove itself enough that that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

As a person who loves lemon poppyseed muffins and ate them a few times a week, about 15 years ago, every morning, at work. I can tell you that I missed them when they were no longer available but did not seem to suffer from withdrawal.


Again, rotate and don't overdo it. When the opiate-related synapses in the brain get filled up with this kind of stuff, it makes us feel good. That's not always a bad thing. But it's not always a good thing either as it can develop into an addiction if not careful.

Dairy (casein molecules) and bread (gluten molecules) do the same thing (fill opiate spaces in our brains), which is theorized to be part of the difficulty for people to stay away from bread and dairy.

So, limit use, rotate and don't overdo it. (And don't make tea out of it because that's definitely overdoing it, can lead quickly to addiction and has been suggested to cause death in some who are tea addicts.)

Kidney Beans:

Yes, beans are seeds. ;)

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that this particular seed is a real pet peeve of mine and opened up a whole can of worms (or lectins) when I first studied them years ago. And yes, that can of worms (called lectins) are still sitting on my kitchen counter.

Nevertheless, a quick review for anyone new to my work...

If not cooked properly, 4 or 5 kidney beans can put you in the hospital in a matter of hours.

Our grandmothers knew this and knew how to cook them. However, with the advent of factory processed, canned goods, microwaves (don't even get me started), etcetera, we have lost important knowledge about how to harvest and cook our foods that are gifts from the earth.

The particular lectins in kidney beans are called Phytohaemagglutnin. No, you don't have to know how to say it. Lectins is a pretty general term but easier to say, so we'll stick to that.

Lectins are the part of a seed/bean that give it the energy it needs to produce a plant. From my understanding, once a seed becomes a plant the lectins have been used up.

Should you be afraid to eat them? No, of course not. Just prepare them properly and don't take any shortcuts.

So, with dried kidney beans, it's essential first to soak them for a day or two, changing the water fairly frequently. That water may contain lectins so pour it in the garden or somewhere else. Don't drink it.

Then all kidney beans MUST be BOILED for a fairly long time. I boil them for about 1/2 an hour. (Canned kidney beans have already been superheated in the factory during the canning process but should still be thoroughly rinsed as a precautionary measure.)

Crock pots are NOT ACCEPTABLE. Cooking them at low temperatures (like a crockpot) may actually intensify the toxic properties.

Even if you want to put them in a salad, you must cook them properly first and then chill them before adding them to the salad.

So, eat, be well, be smart.

Flax Seed Toxins

Cyanide and Cancer Prevention
Sesame Seeds - Calcium Oxalate
Great Claims about Sesame Oil
I don't know if the above-mentioned link is accurate but it sure made for a good read.
Some of it I buy... some of it I don't.
Poppy Seed Tea Can Kill You
Poppy Seed Addicts discussing how to kick the habit
Kidney Bean Toxins

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

I won't call it a recovery drink but we've been using them as such and doing smoothies for years.

I usually do one of these in my blender:

If I can get organic, that's what I use:

2 bananas
nut milk (to spin)
2 or 3 tbspns frozen orange juice
2 tblspns cocoa (if I want chocolate - not for SCD though)
sea salt (pinch or two)
honey (on days that I need it to be sweeter)

My boys like to add a tbpn or two of nut butter to theirs.

I might add some protein powder if I think it's required.

I might add an avocado if I do the chocolate one. (Not for people who are sensitive to the lily family though.)

If I'm feeling really challenged, I add vitamins etc. Over the years, I've figured out which ones I need for me. Again, I don't do multies because many of them have sugar replacers in them, fructose or something else that causes minor gut pain for me.

I don't do any of these everyday but the ones that can build, I do even less.

These are therapeutic levels, so are too high for people doing pre-mixed drinks, etc.

Biotin 300 mcg
Folic Acid 2mg (folic acid/B12 have to go together)
B12 (meth version) 10000mcg
Magnesium Citrate150mg
Glucosamine/Chond. 900-1800mg
COQ10 240mg
Silica 10 mg
5 strain dopholous
epo 1000 mg (evening primrose oil)

My husband adds selenium to his (men need more) and MSM because he tends toward more joint issues than I do. But the selenium, only occasionally as this can build up in the system too and cause health problems the same as zinc and some others.

Maybe only once a week I add these (I will probably do this after the push up/sit up routine I did on day 1 because it's the most challenging for me and pushes me the hardest):

Vitamin C 6000mg (not everyday or you can set yourself up for scurvy which is generally unrecognized in North America)
Zinc 25 mg (not everyday, it can build up)
Milk Thistle 4500 mg

I would do an epsom salt bath every day if I could but don't have the time. I do try to make sure I do a 20 minute soak at least once a week.(Best way to supp. magnesium)

I've been thinking about adding creatine for a long time. My one child tends to be short in it and I strongly suspect that may come from both sides of his genetic background. I started doing some research on it some years ago but never gathered enough info. to be comfortable adding it. Starting this program makes creatine come back up front and centre for me. I'll probably add it by the time I'm in week 3 of this P90X routine.

I never add this stuff unless I really do lots of research first. You really have to know your reactions/science before playing with some of these supplements. For me, I've been mixing my own stuff for 6/7 years and I've tweaked just to suit my own, personal, physical needs and done the years of research in order to do it.

I've also made some mistakes over the years of experimenting and paid for them. A niacin flush has to be one of the most uncomfortable things that can happen to a person. It feels like you're going through internal combustion. I've done that to myself a couple of times, actually. Luckily, that's the highest price I've paid so far (knock on wood).

There are supplement powders and drinks that take the brainwork out and make supplementing easy. If I didn't have so many sensitivities, I'd go with their mix. From my vantage point, the P90X stuff looks really good but I don't do gluten (at all), fructose and a couple of other things. I limit my soy and severely limit my dairy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sprouting - Steps 1 and 2

The first time I tried this I was so successful I could have cried. Somewhere along the line though, I forgot about sprouting.

Then just before Christmas I started looking up raw food practises, since my one child is craving raw veggies and refusing cooked ones, I thought I would take up sprouting again and take it to the next level by learning how to make bread from the sprouted items.

I bought some organic mung beans, kidney beans, navy beans, buckwheat and millet. I was so excited I was beside myself. Just thinking about the wonderful things I would soon be making made my insides quiver with delight.

Well, the only thing I succeeded in growing was mould.

I was bereft.

Then Christmas came and I was just too busy to sit down and figure out where I went wrong.

This morning, a friend e-mailed me to ask if I had baked with cooked grain, indeed I had. Then she e-mailed me to ask if I had baked with sprouted grain. And so I was inspired to try again. It turns out that my possible errors were:

1) soaking for too long
2) rinsing and draining only once a day when twice may be required

So, here I will start again and post photos after I find the camera that I think my three year old hid somewhere:

1. Soak the grain or seed for 24 hours. Rinse and refill with fresh water morning and night.

2. Rinse, drain, spread evenly on a pie dish. Cover with a kitchen towel. Do this morning and night.

If you don't rinse and drain morning and night, you have a good chance of growing mold.

Kidney beans should never be eaten raw, unboiled or undercooked. There is a chemical in them that has killed people.

Kidney beans (sprouted or not) need to be:
1) soaked for at least 8 hours
2) brought to a full boil for 15 minutes
3) simmered until they are fully soft and creamy throughout (approx. 1 hour)

Kidney beans should never be eaten 'al dente' or with any firmness in their meat.

Slow cookers will not achieve a high enough temperature to render kidney beans safe to eat. However, after boiling the beans, they can be simmered in a slow cooker.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Articles of Honour

Articles that are just so good, I want to send you directly to the source.

Magnesium: The Lamp of Life
If you've read my writings on magnesium, you'll know immediately that this article would be quick to make it to the list. It explains the links between magnesium deficiency, insulin and muscle tension.

There's an ah-ha moment when the reader realizes... of course this explains the link between diabetes and celiac, which commonly occur concurrently. It also explains why so many of us gluten sensitive people (perhaps people who malabsorb due to gluten) have chronic muscle tension and type-A personality headaches that magically disappear when we get rid of gluten.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Perfect Pie Crust

Sorghum and Vanilla Potato Vodka

I must admit that usually I like to write something nice and long... and maybe add a few photos... definitely quoting a bunch of science abstracts.

Today, however, I defer to The Smitten Kitchen (link below). Though not necessarily gluten free, this article brings a great deal of good advice to the table.

One of the pie crust tips I will definitely be using is the vodka tip.

Every year, I buy a fair-sized bottle of potato vodka and drop a few vanilla beans in it. This is my own version of 'vanilla extract' for baking days. It is this vanilla flavoured vodka that I will be using to make my pie crusts this Christmas.

For the flour, I must admit to getting tired of using rice flour. My daughter has decided that she doesn't like the flavour of quinoa... and so I will defer to a mix of sorghum, amaranth and arrowroot.

Also, I'll defer to lard for my crust and save any of our dairy splurges for the fillings... like in a pecan pie, for instance.

2 cups sorghum
1/4 cup amaranth
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons powdered demerara sugar (yes I buy full sugar and powder it myself with a coffee grinder)
(I'd use date sugar instead if I could get my hands on some.)
3/4 cup cold organic lard
1/4 cup cold vanilla potato vodka
1/4 cup cold water

Mix dry stuff all together.
Add half of the dry mix to the lard.
Cut the lard into half the dry mix.
Add the rest of the dry mix and continue cutting the lard.
After the mix is very well crumbled, shape into two balls and refrigerate until firm.
Roll between rolls of plastic and place into pie dish.
Sandwich this dough between two pie dishes (must be clear or light - not dark dishes).
Place pie dishes upside down in oven and bake at 200 F until done (check every 10 minutes).

I'll try for the photos later today... if I can find my camera.

Smitten Kitchen - Pie Crust 101
Fermented Sorghum: gluten free bread
Is Sorghum Safe for Celiacs?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Soup Broth

Soup broth is an absolute staple in any home. No matter where you are in the world, you will find soup broth in all diets and all cultures.

Once you learn how to use it, an art that is largely forgotten in today's world of packaged foods, one realizes that it is, by far, the most flexible, nutritious, and all encompassing ingredient in the kitchen!

Read here about vitamins and minerals regarding soup broth and why the timing of this recipe is so crucial: Soup Broth: Basic Science Things and Thinks

In all recipes, we are simply dumping everything into a pot, bones MUST be included.

The pot must be simmered for 3 hours.

I prefer to keep a crock pot plugged in and every Wednesday in our house, right now, is pork roast night. I salt and pepper the roast and drop in some sage leaves from my garden. Then we eat a fair bit of the meat off the roast that night for dinner. What is left over, gets covered with water and has 1/2 a head of cabbage added to it. Crock Pot Heaven

Chicken Broth: Plain

1 small chicken
1/2 head of cabbage
water: enough to cover the chicken

Chicken Broth: Lemon (preferred when making Aveglemono)

1 small chicken
4 lemons
water: enough to cover the chicken

Beef or Pork Broth: plain

1 small bone-in roast
1/2 head cabbage
water to cover the roast

Fish Broth: plain

1/2 pot of fish (bones and all)
1/2 head cabbage
water to cover

Simmer for 3 hours either in a pot or a crockpot.

Strain and store. (I use large glass canning jars, filled about an inch from the top and then placed in my freezer.


gravy base
rice cooking liquid (instead of plain water)
reduced and mixed with balsamic vinegar for meat rubs or salad dressings
much, much more...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Smoothie

The story behind the development and how we use our smoothies is here.

Banana Orange Smoothie: feeds 3 children

1 large banana
10 frozen grapes
1/4 cup nut milk
4 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons raspberry jam (no refined sugar - sweetened with pear juice)
pinch of sea salt

Pop it all right into the blender until well blended.


strawberries instead of o.j. concentrate (awesome vitamin C source)
coconut milk (metabisulphite free if you're not on SCD and want to use a canned version)
mango instead of raspberry jam
date sugar instead of honey and/or frozen grapes

There are other inumerable substitutions that I've made over the years depending upon what I thought the children needed. For example, if they haven't been eating enough carrots, I might add some carrot juice into the mix in place of some of the milk of choice. If I felt they hadn't had enough sea food to keep their iodine levels up and healing levels at their best, I might add some pureed sea veggies (arame is the mildest).

Six years into our special diet, we've done a lot of work establishing which vitamins help us get better after being glutened (which doesn't happen often anymore but does still happen).

So at this point I know what we need, crush them with a mortar and pestle and add them in. Our vitamin regimen might not be good for others, so be aware that my vitamin regimen is not for other people to use but to give an idea of what happens in other homes.

Please also be aware that we do these only occasionally now, for one or two days. This is not an every day thing or it could be harmful:

50mg B vitamins
25 mg zinc
150 mg mag. citrate
1000 mg evening primrose oil
3000 mcg B12 methylcobalamin

Please note, once again, that these amounts are not my suggestion for anyone. They are high, therapeutic doses that we do only occasionally and when our systems are particularly stressed.

I suggest that other people consult with their doctors about what they should be taking. As with all vitamins, there are risks for overdosing that are not to be overlooked. Please see the sources I've listed below.


Liver Damage Caused by Drugs (Niacin)
Zinc Overdose (this also refers back to how important your phils are)
Magnesium Overdose
Vitamin C
Vitamin C Overdose
Epsom Salt Baths as Cerebral Palsy Therapy

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Plant Oils Versus Lard

Notes and references

I bought a large bag of pork fat from my organic farmer so that I could have chemical free lard for my family. What will I use it for? Easy... stir fries, pan seasoning, deep frying and old-fashioned icing for my cakes and tea breads. (Is that last one a surprise? Well, true enough... it keeps better and hold better than a dairy based icing recipe will.)

The bag of fat pieces was about a foot in circumference and stood almost as high as my waist.

I got a big pot out, cut the pieces so that I could fit as much as possible into the pot, set the heat to medium and let it boil/simmer for a whole day. (Make sure there is no water content left or it might not set properly and will have a shorter shelf life.)

I used an old pillowcase to remove the chunks that would not boil out and any sediment.

(I bleached this pillowcase and keep it in my kitchen drawer under my cotton dish towels, using it for straining almost anything, deep frying lard, jellies, juices, etcetera. When done, I just throw it into my bin of cloths that need to be washed and/or sanitized - yes, I do use bleach for this - and then pop it right back into my dishtowel drawer.)

After pouring the hot lard (be careful!) into several glass casserole dishes with lids, I placed it outside on my back deck in the freezing cold temperature. I read that the faster it cools, the creamier the consistency. Truth be told though, I did wait for it to cool for a while before pouring. I thought that I'd be willing to risk less creaminess for safety (in case of spillage).

What I ended up with was smooth, beautiful, creamy lard, free of bht and any other toxins that are in store-bought, non-organic lard.

I sliced it into one pound blocks, keep one in the fridge and store the rest in the freezer. I'm good for the rest of the year now!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bread: Yeast

I don't promote yeast bread consumption too much because I've seen it cause issues too many times.

However, after some healing has taken place, some people who really miss yeast bread like to re-include it in their diets.

We made both mistakes of including yeast bread too early, and suffered some minor, yet aggravating setbacks and then later added it back in successfully but too often.

Now, we have yeast bread only on special occasions and try to stick to flatbread the rest of the time.

The last experiment will be to add yeast bread back in once a week (as a weekend treat) and see how that goes.

One quick note about selenium supplements. I was reacting negatively (getting very *itchy) when I began supplementing selenium, so I stopped taking it but kept the bottle. I was completely convinced that though the bottle said 'gf', it must have still had trace amounts.

About a year later I was looking at the bottle, in puzzlement, once again... when I finally saw the very small words, "derived from yeast".

So, I went out and bought a bottle of 'yeast free' selenium. I took it 3 days per week for 3 weeks (same as the last bottle) and did not notice any negative symptoms.

So, when I make bread, I will eat one piece and not more... and I only eat it about twice a year. Yeast is just not good for me. Perhaps this is why I seem to naturally prefer flatbread (both taste-wise and texture-wise).

Nevertheless, because we still do enjoy the odd meal with 'regular' bread and I am a lazy cook, I lean toward the easiest, least time-consumptive, most forgiving recipes.

As usual, I have switched up ingredients many times and this yeast bread still comes out beautifully. It is like a very thick muffin batter which bread-makers of old (like me) find unsettling because we like to need to knead our dough. However, I must implore everyone to give in to the promotion of laziness that this recipe entails... A lot of elbow grease really is not required for a nice, whole-grain-like, loaf of bread (Actually, the texture reminds me a lot of the pumpernickel bread I used to make pre-gf).

As a matter of fact, every gf bread recipe that can be molded into the shape of bread, generally turns out to have a hard shell and crumbly interior (in my experience) whereas this 'batter bread' comes out every bit as good as a heavier multi-grain or gluten free yeast bread that is bought at the grocery store... but costs half the price!

As usual, with any muffin-type mix, you need one large bowl and one small. Mix the dry in the large, mix the wet in the small, dump the wet into the dry and pour into your baking container (in this case, a bread form - clear glass or gf stone is preferable).

If using a glass dish, do not grease it. Do give it a good stir. Unlike muffin mixes, I find that it's nicer if all the lumps are removed and it's nice and smooth. Other than that though, remember, carelessness and laziness are key to this recipe. :D

This mix takes 5 to 10 minutes to get together. The rest of the two hours is all 'wait time'. So, let it rise while you eat dinner. Cook it while you clean up and get ready for bed. Put it in the fridge to cool overnight. Cut it into slices, throw in a bag and throw into the freezer in the morning.

Green/Eco/Time Saving Hint: Bake four loaves at once. If you're going to turn that big oven on at all... make the very most of your energy consumption!

1 cup rice flour
1 cup quinoa flour (or buckwheat, or bean, or millet)
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup flax seed meal
3 teaspoons active dry yeast (store the jar in your fridge)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon guar gum

3 eggs (I have used gelled flax seed meal in place of egg during our egg-trial days.)
1 cup water (sometimes I'll exchange a bit with coconut milk but not necessarily as I'm often too cheap for that or just don't have the coconut milk on hand)
2 tablespoons honey (to feed the yeast)
2 tablespoons oil or fat
2 teaspoons vinegar

Place in warm oven to rise. Depending on your yeast, this can take from one hour to several hours. If you need bread in two hours, make sure you've got good, new yeast.

I have had some really old yeast in my fridge that I needed/wanted to use up, so I would make my batter before bed, place it in the warmed (but turned off oven) with the light on and leave it overnight.

Then in the morning, I just had to turn the oven to 350F for one hour and we'd have fresh bread for breakfast! There you go, I bet you've never had anyone promote old, stubborn yeast before! :D

I'll never throw anything out!
There's a use on this planet for everything!
I'll never be old and useless. I'll be old, slow and valuable in a different way!

Now I'll need to get those fruit sauces posted... there's nothing like hot fruit sauce on fresh toast. It beats putting cold, sugar-full store-bought jams and jellies on your hot toast.... hands down!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Custard (DF; NG; SF; SCD; V)

This recipe makes a fair amount. I bought small canning jars so that I could make this once a week, divide it up into the small jars and have enough for two breakfasts for the whole family all ready to go.

Mix all together in pot (not on a stove).

8 medium eggs
2 cups milk (or 1 cup coconut milk; 1 cup water or 2 cups water)
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons arrowroot (omit for SCD and remove 2 egg whites)
1 tablespoon vanilla (not necessary)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Mix this all very well so that there are no lumps.

Place on a medium burner and stir constantly. It should take about ten minutes. Be patient! Or you will end up with scrambled eggs.

If you do end up with a light scramble, you can re-smooth your custard with a decent stick blender (immersion blender) fairly easily.

(Can you tell I'm not the most patient cook on the planet?:D )

Once it begins to bubble, remove from heat and continue to stir for a couple of minutes until the bottom of the pot cools a little.

Divide into bowl/jars. Eat or put lids in place and refrigerate immediately.

Awesome variations are:

Eating it like yoghurt with nuts or granola on top. (Homemade gf granola of course!) Hemp seeds are a *fabulous* choice for this and my very favourite thing to do.

Place it over top of stewed apples, other fruit or angelfood cake.

Make it different flavours by stewing fruit, pureed with a stick blender and mixing into your custard. This can be done before placing lids on jars and refrigerating.

Lemon is awesome but you need to avoid all metal or you will end up with an awful metal after-taste as the acid will leach metal molecules into your custard.

I bought a glass double boiler at a second-hand store for $8 (when the Can. $ really was worth nothing) and use it a lot more than I ever thought I would! I use a wisk to mix everything but the lemon (before putting my pot on the heat), and then add the lemon juice with a wooden spoon and throughout the rest of the recipe.

Bananas going bad? Throw them in the freezer and they will mash easily for throwing into your custard and making a heavenly banana pudding that can also be poured and set into a pie crust for a fabulous Banana Cream Fool's Pie.

As always, if it's still too lumpy, get out your trusty stick blender to blend out those lumps!

Cocoa, of course, gives a chocolate flavour.

It can also be frozen in a paper cup with a popsicle stick. It's quite nice and rich if all the water is replace with coconut milk or other fatty replacement. (Fats are not bad... I'll get to that rant eventually.) Another thing is replacing all the egg whites with egg yolks. (You can always make macaroon cookies with the whites and freeze them for when someone drops by for a visit - or the kids need a couple of cookies with their bagged lunch.)

I especially like the fudgsicles that they make when I add some cocoa powder because it tastes like the 'real fudgesicles' I used to buy from the ice cream guy on the 'bicycle' that roamed my neighbourhood in the summer when I was a kid.

In winter, one of my favourite breakfasts is stewed apples topped with warm custard. It makes my tummy really happy! :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Great Blogs of Gluten... and more

Of course with my passion for collecting information on the evils of gluten and other foods, I always enjoy a good read. I'd like to share some of them with you that I thought were particularly exceptional either because of the wit, the content, the argument... or just because it has a catchy title.


Nov 2008

GFCF Poop by Tori

Great site! Long time in coming. I've often thought of doing this same exact blog but could never figure out how to do so in a tasteful, yet informative matter.

Tori has done what I could not. Very well done!

Feb 2008

Five Minds by Julie Meyer

I love this article about non-being (wu) and gluten intolerance. I've had many of the same thoughts myself regarding how it might be related on a more global level.

And what she says about yu and wu have been very true in my life. I'm constantly talking about what I'm working through. Once I've worked through it and feel like I have attained an excellent understanding, it becomes passe, something taken for granted... and in a way, I lose interest.

Fortunately, since trying to help people with gluten intolerance (and other food issues) is a constantly evolving project with new things to learn all the time, I've no worries about losing interest due to lack of new knowledge that I'd like to acquire. (Isn't that why we've all been to at least five medical specialists... often more... and take an average of 11 years to get a diagnosis?)

Cosmetic Gluten Ingredient List

Erika has compiled a great list of ingredients to watch out for in personal care products. I've noticed recently that some companies have come out with organic lines of makeup (read: easy to understand ingredient lists... as well as being organic). I passed on the note and look forward to seeing what she ends up finding.

Up to the end of 2007

Jeena's Kitchen

Love the look of her buckwheat pastry!

Brian's Place

Wonderful information in general, Brian was around when I first came to the gluten free world. I'm not sure if he was new too or had been around for a while. Great info. about the Toronto area and he posts at the Toronto Celiac blog when he travels. He keeps great notes and the gluten free community would suffer a great loss if he was suddenly able to consume gluten!

Cindalous Kitchen

Beautiful recipes, beautiful layout, beautiful photos... catering to multiple sensitivities.

Obviously we were sisters in another life... but *she* was the beautiful one who did everything perfectly! :)

Cosmetics Blog: Gluten Free Cosmetic Counter

My latest find... and I'm thrilled that someone out there is thinking the same way I am! (As I continue to work on my lip balm recipes and deoderants for people who cannot tolerate petroleum products or gluten.)

She's just starting out so give her some time to build. My hat's off to her though. - It really is a daunting task!

For those who want a wee bit of a start on cosmetics, I've found that mineral makeup (make sure there's no talc in them - in the high end ones there usually isn't) is a great starting place.

Clinique has gf mascara, lipstick and eyeliner - again - you're paying top dollar but it's worth it not to become ill (or have a loved one become ill) because you want to be 'pretty'. They will call their headoffice right from the makeup counter at Sears. This has been the most helpful company I've found so far.

MAC also has some gluten free lipsticks but you have to know which colour you want them to give you feedback on first (at least that's how they used to operate).

I have found the cheaper makeup companies to be fairly useless about giving out information. Revlon, Maybelline, etc. give no answers at all - IF you can get hold of them. Mind you, I haven't tried to contact them for a few years because I just eventually gave up. But I still miss my Great Lash! (I wonder, is it still in that green and pink container?)

Burt's Bees will tell you that they're gluten free but can't seem to tell you what the source of their vitamin E is - so we steer clear until they can answer the question. At this point I've given up calling them. I like their line but I have to be able to be sure about sources!

Gluten Free Goodness by Lizzie Vegas

This is a photo group with discussion. Here you can see other photos and post your own.

She's also listed a thread where you can post a link to your blog.


Karina - The Gluten Free Goddess

I'm sure that on some other realm this lady and I are somehow related. When we first met it was unbelievable how our lives parallelled eachother. We were both rather amazed.

That's where the similarities end though... perhaps in a decade we will be able to re-examine things and see if we continued on in similar patterns. For now though, suffice it to say that if you want a new recipe every day - and I *mean* e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y... her blog is the place to go. Even with a broken hip, she's going strong!

Things that we do not share in common: She is a vegan. I am a *big* meat eater. She eats nightshades. I try and avoid them.

So, she fills an important informational gap in my blog. She covers the vegan aspect of a gf diet and for people who love tomatoes and potatoes, she's the queen.

Laura's Blog

I love her blog because Laura is a force of nature who is determined to make the gf life work... not just for her own family but for everyone else's family... and she's trying to do it and not sound crazy when she does... right...

She also has an awesome lunch kit section to show what kids can go to school with... something that I, as a homeschool Mom, don't have to think about but is still enormously applicable and helpful to the majority of Moms and kids in our gf land.

Med Nauseum - Alix's Blog

Love her site. Never met her but we obviously come from the same planet.

Shannon and Laura's Site

I love this site because these two fabulous ladies share their very personal stories and together, they really illustrate the fact that symptoms can really look so very different from one child to the next.

They've got some great lunch box menus and mix reviews that are extremely helpful for people who don't want to make up their own gf flour mixes.


You have to know that this is my favourite section! I am continually learning new tricks for cooking better, more nutritious meals. Some, I learn on my own and try to pass on to others. Some, I learn from others who have the same passion as I do. So, when that happens, not only do I feel a certain amount of cooking freedom that comes with the new knowledge but I also feel connected within a community that is as passionate as I am about getting 'the word' out to everyone who will take the time to listen or read... and continue learning.

The first is a blog that I came across completely by mistake and made a favourite during the 2007 winter holidays. I have placed the connection at their science of sauces article because I could never have said it as well as is done there.

Since sauce lends tremendous flexibility to every recipe in your repetoire (you can make ten different sauces for the same recipe and it will seem a whole new 'kettle of fish' simply because you're putting a different sauce on your 'fish'.)

I'm often telling people who e-mail me about sauce trouble, that they are boiling their starches. Straight starches (arrowroot, tapioca, etc.) go gummy (or snotty - sorry) when they are boiled and this article explains why:

Food Lorists


Kalle Reichelt, M.D.


Dr. Davis


The Food Doc Blog - Scott Lewey


Renegade Neurologist: David Perlmutter, MD, FACN

I don't know what the letters behind his name mean, but I do know someone who writes important information down for others to read is worth following. This is one of the few doctors that I've actually seen put in writing that seizures can be related to food ingestion (gluten).

Waffles and Pancakes (DF; SF; V)

People really seem to miss this when they first go gluten and (in some cases) dairy free. I know that when we first started our journey, it took me *weeks* of trial and error before I got a decent recipe together. And that was using dairy. Several years later I realized that my family needed to be dairy free and I felt like I was starting all over again... Well, no worries... I like to share... :)

Once that was accomplished, waffles became our staple bread for a long time. After about a year or so we added in store-bought corn tortilla chips which has really given me a big break which is nice... but the waffles and pancakes are still big sellers on the brunch list in our house.

One place that I learned a lot about how to properly deal with eggs was at Baking . It's still one of my favourite places to brush up or renew my food physics knowledge: The Science Behind the Best Egg Whites and Some Egg Safety Too
(my title not theirs)

And so we begin:

I put my pan or waffle on to heat up to the proper temperature while I get everything else together.

Then I whip up the egg whites until they're fairly stiff. After that I quickly add in the cream of tartar and honey give them another quick whip for the honey to help the whites set and stay.

6 eggs whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (not absolutely necessary)
1 tablespoon honey

While the whites are whipping up (before I put the honey in them) I start dumping everything else into my food processor:

1 cup rice flour (I use white because I react to brown.)
1 cup other flour (I alternate between buckwheat and quinoa .)
1 cup nuts (I alternate nuts too.)
1 carrot (Not necessary but a nice nutritional boost.)

Give a spin to get the nuts finely chopped here. (I go over to the egg whites and add the honey while this spins.)

Then I come back to my food processor and finish mixing my batter by adding to the flour:

2 cups water (sometimes I put in some coconut milk in place of the water to add fat and nutrition.)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Next, I pour the batter from the food processor over the fluffy, almost stiff, egg whites, and fold it into the egg whites as quickly as I feel I can.

Bake in on a medium hot skillet or your favourite waffle iron.

Toppings and Variances:

For breakfast:
maple syrup
fruit syrup
poached eggs for those who don't care for sweet stuff in the morning
stewed fruit

There's not enough honey in these to make them sweet so you can top them with almost anything. So try a savoury waffle for dinner:

spaghetti sauce
chicken stew
beef stew
shredded beef (like a hot beef sandwich)
and more

The only limitation is a lack of imagination.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pecking Apart Chicken Soup: Part 1: Use D'em Bones!!

(As always, if you have a food sensitivity, think about what you could substitute: chicken? beef? sheep? fish? Go with it...)

Anyone who has known me for any length of time, knows that I am a *huge* advocate of chicken soup and chicken soup fasting a couple of times a year (or when the immune system is obviously being challenged - like with what appears to be a cold or allergy attack).

As most of my food studies, this one was motivated primarily because I began noticing a difference when I played with our diet. This one is, perhaps, my first discovery because it was our 'start up' food for our Total Elimination Diet (TED), over five years ago.

We experienced such vastly improved health (all four of us, who are, health-wise, fairly different pictures) that I have kept this soup as my main dish in our 'healing protocol' and use it regularly, whether it be a 'recovery protocol' or a 'prep protocol' for something like surgery.

How did it pay off for us in our healing protocol? Well, one example would be two years ago:

I had a c-section and was ready to go home the next day. This astounded all the hospital staff. They didn't let me go because it was unheard of but even the doctor said she had never seen anyone sail through such major surgery the way I did. As most women in their 3rd labour experience, I knew about 24 hours beforehand that my time was coming and began replacing my heavy food with nutrient rich but easily processed chicken soup. My main staple in the hospital was chicken soup that I brought from home. Though I did also eat some steamed fish, eggs, rice biscuits and tea (I'm always starving after delivering a baby.), I tried to put about 8 hours between those heavy foods and fill up on the soup in between.

I don't suggest this for other people as a healing protocol because it's just not my place. But people often ask me what I do and why I do it, so I thought I'd finally get to writing it down and figuring out the science behind it. So, I've been collecting for a while... such a long while that I've lost a fair bit and will have to come back in to add my references as I find them... but here are a few for starters:

First of all, back in the beginning when I was first figuring out how to grow a hesitantly growing boy, I began to research bones and what makes them grow. Calcium is of course first on the list. So, everyone thinks 'dairy' right away, of course. The problem was, I needed calcium right away and dairy was not included in the first four days of our TED.


Being completely panicked about four days of soup for my son, I reassured myself with an article I read about North Americans, for all the dairy they eat, being severely deficient (generally speaking - considering how much dairy they consume) as compared to Asians who consume little dairy but seem to have better bone health.

So, I began looking at international diets, trying to discover what the differences were. How, do people in 'starving' countries even survive? How do people with severe dairy allergies survive and grow?... etcetera...

One thing I found out was that, historically speaking, we used to make much better use of the bones and skin of our food, than we do now. Now we either buy it boneless and skinless or we throw those 'useless things' in the garbage. However, I found out that they are far from useless.

Bones have quite a lot of calcium in them. Other cultures are still boiling them and using them, though North American culture seems to have lost this vital health practise. So, I checked out some studies and found that using *all* of your *kill* is essential to good/great health of both ourselves and our planet.

According to a Pubmed abstract (1994) I found, calcium content of chicken soup increases with duration of cooking. So simmering your bones for 3 hours will leach the most calcium into the soup (with acid!).

***Edit (091116)  I went and checked my reference today and the wording has changed to say 24 hours with only mention of the water added being acidic... but it doesn't say how to make it so.  I specifically remember wording about 3 hours and cabbage from years ago so will now try to find my printout from back then.  Until I can find it though, I'll be telling people 24 hours from now on.  Kind regards,


Note: a beef bone was used in this particular experiment but common sense would say that any bones would be helpful. Also, the study was performed in mind of people who could not use dairy for a calcium source. The leaching of calcium from the bones into the soup maxed out at three hours. There was no improvement in calcium content of the soup after three hours of simmering.

There are caveats though, the broth needs to be acidic. That means plenty of acidic vegetables need to be in there with the bones and water. So, if you don't add the cabbage, you will never get the same leaching of calcium, no matter how long you boil those bones. Grandpa was right, it's just not the same without the cabbage.

A crock pot is perfect for this: Just throw in the bones, throw in half a head of chopped cabbage and simmer it. (I have also used lemon, to make avgolemono - Greek, chicken rice soup, or lime for a broth to cook rice in that will be served with fish.) Put it through a strainer, into glass canning jars (not too full) and throw it in the freezer for multiple uses.

I am often asked about using vinegar as the acid. Some people seem to do this effectively. However, I suggest that there is more room for error and the ruination of a perfectly good broth (not to mention that many candida diets don't allow for vinegar). It's hard to over-lemon or over-cabbage your broth.


On to other bone issues that are often forgotten about, magnesium and vitamin C.

Magnesium is very important, not just to bones but to health in general, especially for someone who is going to be confined. Even cows who are raised in a confined environment have to have specially supplemented diets or the possibility of death from hypomagnesemia lurks. These same results were reflected when looking at older, homebound women.

According to NIH (National Institute of Health in the U.S.):

(bolding is mine)

....Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant [1]....

Magnesium and osteoporosis
Bone health is supported by many factors, most notably calcium and vitamin D. However, some evidence suggests that magnesium deficiency may be an additional risk factor for postmenopausal osteoporosis [4]. This may be due to the fact that magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium (20).
Several human studies have suggested that magnesium supplementation may improve bone mineral density [4]. In a study of older adults, a greater magnesium intake maintained bone mineral density to a greater degree than a lower magnesium intake [56]. Diets that provide recommended levels of magnesium are beneficial for bone health, but further investigation on the role of magnesium in bone metabolism and osteoporosis is needed.

I read these kinds of things about magnesium again and again (there are loads of case studies about bone density and magnesium management) and wonder why everyone in North America seems to be so 'stuck' on calcium when it comes to bone health. The bottom line is that without sufficient magnesium, no amount of calcium is going to help you!

As an additional benefit, magnesium has been shown to aid asthmatics... so pump up the magnesium in that chicken soup!

In my case, I know when I'm magnesium low, especially after drinking coffee, because I will get chilled and (if I drink coffee for long enough through the day) sometimes my heart starts doing funny things and my breathing becomes a little laboured.

If I supplement my magnesium citrate (and stop ingesting the coffee), I can clear these issues usually in about an hour. Again, I do not suggest that anyone else try these 'experiments'. I tell my stories only as a matter of interest because they are usually blind reactions with solutions that I happen upon by chance. As an after-thought, I go and try to find out if I'm some type of medical oddity. Usually though, I can find something scientific that backs my 'blind findings'. Like anything though, too much of anything isn't good either, so I don't supplement every day (generally only on my coffee days) but I do try to maximize it in my diet by not consuming coffee every day and boiling my bones and using that broth as general cooking water rather than throwing out the skin and bones and receiving no benefit.

As far as food sources go, it really aggravates me to always see 'wholegrains' near the top of the list for magnesium.

Wholegrains make me malabsorb... whether they're gluten or not. Again, how can I tell? After eating a plate of wholegrains (especially if I add cheese sauce), I get all headachey, low in energy, cold and shivery and my heart/lungs start doing funny things. So, I have found that *I* do better to minimize my grains and keep them white but cook them in a well-rounded soup broth.

My reactions are pretty much non-existent if I do it this way. I've been practising this new way of eating for about a year now and have, again, experienced a general increase in my overall health and quality of life.

So, though I cannot find any broth abstracts to back up my personal findings or instincts, because calcium and magnesium are both alkaline earth metals (according to the periodic table) there's no reason to think that I'm not getting as much magnesium benefit from my bone and cabbage soup broth as I am getting calcium benefit.

Aside from my bone broth being a major source of magnesium, I began looking for other sources of magnesium to grow my boy. Aside from eliminating foods that were harming his gut (gluten, refined sugar, nightshades and lily families), I began searching for magnesium superfoods.

Another abstract about Arctic Canadian Indigenous adults and children and their cultural diet seems to reflect my finding that magnesium levels can be optimized easily via the implementation of animal meat, bones and organs in our diets. (I have more about organs and iron and soup but this is already getting too long, so I will have to save that for another day.)

Almonds were at the top of the list with a mere ounce providing 20% of the dv% for adults. The problem was, my son's gut was pretty messed up when we first started and nuts were just too hard for him to digest. Eventually, after some healing, he seemed to tolerate a very well ground almond flour that was cooked into the Squashbread Tea Cake recipe.

He loved raisins though and would 'fast' with them when he had a sore tummy before we knew what was creating his ill health. So, though he's now doing well five years later, I still buy raisins in bulk and let him have at it.... and of course we have lots of soup broth foods (rice, grain-free-gravy, etc.) throughout the week.

Early on in our tailored diet plan, the result of this practise was that his bones grew one year's worth in sixteen weeks. At this point in time I was not supplementing him at all because I was too afraid of a negative reaction to unknowns (as I was coming to realized that I truly knew nothing about the food we ate or biological vitamin and mineral impacts).

I maintain this 'broth' schedule because it continues to work well for him and I feel that it maximizes his nutrient levels. Also, when I become lax in this practise - as parents sometimes do tend to let things go sometimes, he seems to complain more about his tummy, which then spurs me back to making sure the broth is once again resumes a bigger role in our diet.

Another supportive abstract about the mechanisms involved in healing canine bones shows that serum calcium levels were reduced suggesting that the calcium may have been pulled from the blood to be delivered to the bone for healing. Calcium regulating hormones also changed (Remember the NIH quote above? Magnesium is required for this process.) in response to bone injury.

My conclusions:

As usual, my conclusions are mine, and mine alone... but they do dictate some of the more 'particular' instructions for some recipes. The pickiest recipe by far (according to length of time and ingredients), so far, is chicken soup. But the reasoning is clear, it is the most heavily depended upon recipe for healing the gut, the body and the mind in our household.

Kind regards to all as always,


See you next time for Part II of the benefits of chicken soup.

Vitamin C, cabbage details and making the most of oregano to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Presently considering Part III covering fasting with chicken soup, why, why not, how, how not and other pontifications of mine that are backed up with scientific references.


Chicken soup revisited: calcium content of soup increases with duration of cooking.
Calcif Tissue Int. 1994 Jun;54(6):486-8.

Severe bone deformities in young children from vitamin D deficiency and flourosis in Bihar-India.

Calcif Tissue Int. 2005 Jun;76(6):412-8. Epub 2005 May 19

Hypomagnesemia among cows in a confinement-housed dairy herd.

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Jan 1;224(1):96-9, 54.

Complementary therapies in the treatment of bronchial asthma.
Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2005 Jul-Sep;109(3):478-82.

Risk and presence of food insufficiency are associated with low nutrient intakes and multimorbidity among homebound older women who receive home-delivered meals.
J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3485-91

Local cultural animal food contributes high levels of nutrients for Arctic Canadian Indigenous adults and children.
J Nutr. 2007 Apr;137(4):1110-4

Mineral and endocrine metabolism during fracture healing in dogs.
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1984 Jul-Aug;(187):289-95



Friday, August 31, 2007

Restaurant Review: Il Fornello's - Oakville

My children are extremely sensitive to gluten. It took the first few years of being gluten free to realize that we just couldn't risk going to restaurants anymore because the odds of the children becoming ill seemed to be 50/50 or greater.

Then we discovered Il Fornello's. They have multiple restaurants in Toronto and one in Oakville.

Right up front you need to know that it'll be a fairly pricey event. Worth it if you save your 'restaurant dollars' for a once or twice a year family event like we do.

They have gluten free pizza, pasta and a couple of desserts.

The pizza dough, though not as good as my homemade dough (in the eyes of my family) is still very good and often sold out. If you want to make sure you can get pizza, you're best to call ahead and book your pizza order before they're sold out.

Another trick we discovered this year is to go for lunch rather than dinner. The last three times we went for dinner, there wasn't any pizza dough left. But this year we went for lunch and they had plenty of pizza dough.

They open around 11 or 11:30 a.m. So, if you show up right away, you'll get the cleanest kitchen and better chance of pizza for lunch (if you forgot to call ahead).

The pasta dishes are *all* fabulous! Those who enjoy cheese will love the Alfredo sauce. Those who love a rich beef and tomato topping will not be disappointed. My children surprised me one time when they ordered the seafood pasta and *loved* the octopus! Then I tried it and surprised myself by loving it too. It was not substandard, chewy stuff. It was firm and tasty. Rare in even the best restaurants.

Now, I know many are thinking, "But I live two (or three) hours away from Toronto. I'm not getting there too often." Well, we don't either. Once or twice a year, as a matter of fact. But those are the only two times a year we get to a restaurant because so far, it's the only restaurant we've found that we can be safe at.

Oh, and if you can tolerate dairy, the Creme Fraiche dessert is just to die for!

Alternative Menu

Location Listings

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Squashbread Tea Cake

This one will surprise you!

This is an excellent recipe that fills the tummy. It warms you up on cool days and cools you down on warm days. An especially good breakfast for those just starting a special diet and used to eating grain at breakfast time.

It also takes substitutions very well and is very forgiving that way.

The trick to making it easy to make, is to bake a whole tray of squash for an hour first, then scoop out flesh, put it in canning jars and then store it in the fridge or freezer. That way, whenever you need a cup or two for anything (bread, gravy thickener, smoothie thickener, custard/pudding flavouring), it's ready to go!

2 cups cooked squash (any orange or yellow squash will end up tasting pumpkin...ish)
1 cup nut butter (unsalted)
1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (if nut butter is salted you may not need this)

Puree for a smoother texture. Mash and mix with a fork for a chunkier texture.

Put into an ungreased glass baking dish (glass prevents the bottom from getting too dark). Don't spread it all the way to the sides so that it will remain easy to cut out of the pan later.

Bake for 1 hour at 300F.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Meat and Dairy Issues: 1

For the child/person who won't eat meat, I would not suggest hiding meat product in their food.

Some people do not have the proper enzymes to digest meat. Therefore, it ferments in their gut, rather than being digested, and leaves them feeling unwell.

Young children who are not eating meat, tend to do so because they don't like it and are acting on instinct about how the food makes them feel. There are many wonderful foods besides meat to feed her. Long time vegans, who are healthy, are usually happy to offer lots of help here. (Unfortunately that would not be me as I eat loads of meat.)

For toast/bread toppings, instead of margerine, try and oil, like grapeseed which is light in flavour and won't overpower a young palate (like olive oil sometimes does). Don't start with canola, soy or safflower as those oil can cause issues in children/people with guts that need to heal.

Of course, you can always skip the oils and load it up with other stuff too.

You can check all this stuff out at for science abstracts on both general and case studies.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Breakfast Bar - Hazelnut Fig

Level Three

Breakfast Bar – Hazelnut Fig

For years, I have struggled with breakfast, as many people on a low grain or gluten free diet may do.

Finally, I decided that a breakfast bar was the way to go.

After many trials and errors, this was my first true success.


1 cup coconut

1 cup figs, whole

1 cup hazelnuts

½ cup honey

¼ teaspoon sea salt


1) Process/chop coconut (if not already shredded), figs and hazelnuts in food processor until finely chopped.

2) Add sea salt.

3) Mix well.

4) Add honey.

5) Mix well.

6) Press into glass dish. (approximately 9”x7”)

7) Bake at 300F for approximately one hour.

8) Flip over and bake for another hour.

9) Cut, package, refrigerate or freeze.

Makes approximately 10 bars.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Food Studies

Updated: 09/06/22

I am asked, with increasing frequency, why I post so much negative information about food.

No, I am not trying to make people afraid to eat.

Every story has two sides. Well, so does food.

Without examining both sides, you cannot get a clear view of what the story really looks like. It aggravates me to only be privy to part of a story. People are more likely to make bad personal decisions when they don't get the whole picture.

So, I am trying to present the other side... the side that common nutritional enthusiasts tend to ignore.

Therefore, you will not find me gushing over the lycopene in tomatoes. And you may find me quashing any regard for calcium tablets and dairy.

Why? Because all the lycopene in the world is not going to improve the quality of your life if the other elements of the tomato are overwhelming your joints to the point of hardly being able to move!

And the calcium in dairy isn't going to make your life better if, as a result of consumption, you are suffering night time leg pain and therefore not getting enough sleep. Let's not even get into the links with enuresis (night wetting) and how it aggravates me to hear about parents making their children go to bed without a drink of water because they don't know it's the MILK that's affecting their bladder control, NOT the amount of liquid in their bladders!... Or its links with diabetes... or possible negative impacts for people with autistic issues.

So, welcome to my blog.
Be warned, it's not going to be pretty.


You are welcome to ask questions here or via e-mail. Anything I write is to be questioned. Anything you read, here, or anywhere else for that matter, about food SHOULD be questioned.

In the years I have been doing this research, I have come to three conclusions:

1. There is no perfect food.
2. There is no magic pill.
3. All foods contain toxins.

So don't be scared. Be smart.


Here's some really old stuff from my early days:

Cancel That Gluten Order

Here is a list of what you will find there:


You can also go to NeuroTalk to see some of what I've done in the past and ask for food study help there. I'm the nut who felt the need to collect 'food study threads'. If you do a search there for 'food study' you should get a bunch of hits that I collected while I was hanging out over there.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Menu for the Month: Autumn


Poached Egg w/ Leftover Roast Beef
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Honeydew Melon

Burgers/Sausages (ground meat w/ shredded cabbage, zucchini and carrot, sage -if pork or oregano - if beef or rosemary - if chicken or turkey)
Steamed or sauteed onions
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

Baked Potato Fries
Steamed or sauteed onions
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper


Cream of Rice Cereal (sweet rice) with Fruit and Maple Syrup

Burgers and Salad Greens

Baked Turkey
Basmati Rice with Red Peppers and Celery
Salad Greens (Grapeseed Oil, Oregano, Sea Salt and Pepper)


Strawberry Coconut Smoothie

Tomato/Meat Sauce (filled with all kinds of leftover, pureed veggies in the fridge, lots of parsley)

Tomato/Meat Sauce
Salad (Romaine Lettuce, Purple Onion, Black Olives, Tomato, Basil, Sea Salt, Freshly Ground Pepper)

Thursday: (this is our day out of the house and so we pack something quick for lunch)

Banana/Apple Smoothie

Pillars Turkey Bites
PC Organic Blue Corn Chips

Crock PotDinner (Roast Pork, Eggplant, Carrots and Cabbage, Sage, Sea Salt, Pepper)



Tuna Pockets

Steamed Halibut
Boiled Potatoes
Cabbage and Carrot Coleslaw


Coffee (organic; fair trade)

Baked Chicken (ginger; sea salt; freshly ground pepper)
Roasted Vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, beets)

Chicken Stirfry (basmati rice, sweet red peppers, spring onions, parsnips, basmati rice, sea salt, freshly ground pepper)


Coffee (organic; fair trade)

Chicken Soup (chicken stock from yesterday; carrots; cabbage; oregano; sea salt; pepper)

Crock Pot Dinner (Roast Beef; cabbage; carrots; mushrooms)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cheese Spread Replacement

I wanted to come up with a smart name for this 'spread' but decided it would serve others better to know how I use it.

We enjoy this on crackers and celery sticks. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to try it this weekend on pizza as I've recently given up all dairy for the sake of my youngest child who is still nursing and appears to spit up and get rashy on days that I consume dairy.

Honestly, I seem to be feeling a little more energetic myself but am missing cheese more than milk.

1 cup water
1 cup cashew nuts (I used salted because it was all I could find)
4 tablespoons arrowroot OR 8 tblspns baked, heavy/dry squash SCD
2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon green onion (the white part)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 clove garlic (finely chopped - if desired)
1 pinch dill weed (I used dried)

Put everything into the food processor and let really get all chopped up and mixed well.

Put into a pot and turn on low. Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes, (until desired spreading consistency is achieved) stirring occassionally.

Place in a canning jar and keep in the fridge.