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!

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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.