GMO’s and Gluten Intolerance. Our Journey Of Healing.

I has been 3 long months of being absent from the blogging world. I am now more than half way through my pregnancy with our fourth baby (it’s another girl!) and feeling a tad bit more energy. I have been anxious to share our health update with you for a while now, but having the time amidst pregnancy, homeschooling and 3 children has left little time for blogging.

 

Our journey started in February, you can read about that here. I was on a quest to heal my then 3-year-old sons gut naturally. He was displaying  reactions to something he was eating and I needed to figure it out. We totally re-vamped our diet, eliminated GMO’s and gluten and started our healing process. We spent 60 days on a very strict, organic, non GMO, gluten free diet. I will be the first to admit it was extremely difficult at first, but after a few months it became habit and we were used to it.

 

Fast forward to 9 months later, how are we now? Well, for one, I am pregnant. Something that was not supposed to happen again (according to Doctors). But, to me, the biggest change we have seen from our lifestyle change is in our son. He is now four and has never been healthier or happier. We were able to introduce gluten back into his diet 2 months ago…I think I can hear angels rejoicing! Before I start getting emails about how horrible gluten is and how I should keep him away from it, hear me out.  At first I got so excited and started baking up a storm, a gluten wonder world….it tasted soooo good after months of gluten free. We quickly realized that his body was going into gluten “overload” and it needed to be in small amounts and less frequently. We have now figured out a good balance. We eat a gluten free diet during the week and then on the weekend we allow him to “cheat”. The nice part with this is we can go out to eat, over to friends or church without having to be a gluten-nazi about it. It has been so freeing! His sleep has drastically changed. He finally sleeps through the night, no more bed wetting! The dark circles under his eyes are gone, his poop is normal and he is getting taller and gaining weight at a normal rate. Looking back, I am so glad we made this change, my only regret is we did not do it sooner!

 

For those of you considering a diet change, gluten free or non GMO, my best advice for you is to start slow. Unless you have severe problems like my son, then I would go cold turkey. You can do it, you will feel a difference and be grateful you made the choice in the long run. I would love to hear your stories and support you through your journey.

 

I have not had much time for cooking up new recipes these days, but the colder weather has inspired some new soups. Here is one we had most recently and it was so good I had to share it. It is also a Paleo dish, double bonus.

 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into but sized chunks
  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1-1/2 lbs sausage (Applegate Farms makes good ones!)
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped and stems removed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 5 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 t. fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spread sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet and cover with coconut oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until tender, but not falling a part, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. In a large pot brown sausage (I removed it from the casing or you could slice them)
  5. Drain off excess fat and add onions, sauté until translucent. Add more coconut oil if needed.
  6. Add garlic, sage, nutmeg and red pepper and cook an addition 1-2 minutes.
  7. Pour in coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Add in kale in batches. You could lightly sauté it first in a separate pan or just add it directly to the soup. It’s up to you!
  10. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes to cook down the kale and then add in the sweet potatoes.
  11. The long the soup simmers, the better the taste!
  12. Add salt and pepper and serve hot!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know we have MUCH to be thankful for in our home this year.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

 

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Summer Eats. Poor Man’s Crab Cake {Tuna Cakes}

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My Husband and I absolutely love a good crab cake. You know, the kind that has huge chunks of meat and is not overloaded with breading or overpowering flavors. It is simple, fresh and full of natural flavors. Ah, so good. Well, unfortunately we cannot afford to eat them all that often because a good crab meat is so expensive. I was craving crab cakes on our tuna budget the other day so I had to come up with something to satisfy that craving. This is how my “Poor Man’s Crab Cake” came to be…I hope you try it and are just as pleasantly surprised by it’s flavor. My husband even made the comment that these could fool you to thinking you are really biting into a crab cake!

 

The most important ingredient in this is getting the right tuna. The tuna I used is from Costco, if you have a Costco near you please go by yourself this little treasure. The brand is Wild Planet. It is 100% pole and troll caught wild albacore tuna. It is NOT in water or oil, just the natural tuna juices, which is one reason this tuna is so good. The label reads perfectly so I will just quote it for you:

You’ve never tasted tuna like this before! We hand-cut and pack delicious, premium tuna steaks in a micro-cannery process. All the Omega 3 oils are retained and no liquid is added; please don’t drain. We selected smaller albacore which accumulate less mercury than the larger albacore typically used by conventional tuna companies. Wild Plant packs 100% pure tuna! No water, oil or fillers added. No BPA used in can lining.”

The label is not misleading by any means, what they say is what you get with this little can. It truly is a tuna “steak” and comes in one nice big piece, this makes it perfect for cutting bigger chunks for the tuna cake recipe. It is around $10.00-$11.00 for 6/5oz cans. Although when I bought it Costco had a coupon making them only $9.00! Gotta love Costco.

Here is what the packaging looks like:

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Poor Man’s Crab Cake {Tuna Cakes}

Makes 6-8 cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans 10oz Wild Planet tuna (not drained)
  • 1/2 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. mayonaise (*see note at bottom on organic mayo tips)
  • 2 T. parsley, chopped
  • 1 sprig green onion, chopped
  • 1 t. old bay
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • organic olive or grape seed oil, for frying
  • 1 lemon, for squeezing on cakes after they are finished
  • Tomato, lettuce and raw cheddar cheese for the toppings

Preparation:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Form the cakes to your desired size
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium/high heat
  4. Add your cakes to the pan, I fit 8 in a pan
  5. Sprinkle more old bay on them before flipping
  6. Fry until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes each side
  7. Serve warm on a toasted bun, I found some really yummy cheddar buns at the store

**Tips for buying mayo:

Your typical store bought, white and creamy mayo is full of GMO’s. I have to admit, it is really yummy and finding a good alternative won’t happen. Although there are some options out there. You can find this brand:

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Spectrum Organic Olive Oil Mayonnaise at most health food stores and it is a decent alternative.

 

 

Or I have found some recipes for making your own. Here is one that I have not tried, but it looks pretty good! Here is a video tutorial on the recipe via Girl Meets Nourishmenthttp://girlmeetsnourishment.com/gmnwordpress1/how-to-make-lacto-fermented-mayo/

 

 

 

Tell Kroger You Do Not Want GMO Salmon!

I received this tonight in my email and wanted to share it with you. Please take the few seconds it takes to sign this petition! Thank you!

 

Tell Kroger to take the lead and sign the Pledge for Genetically Engineered-Free Seafood today!


In March, Institute for Responsible Technology Food Fund Policy, worked with Friends of the Earth and other partners to launch the Campaign for Genetically Engineered-Free Seafood, and we hit the ground running!

Now Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery store chain, has made a statement too — they told consumers they have “no intention” of selling genetically engineered salmon, but also left the door open to sell it if it’s approved by FDA.

Take action today and let Kroger know you do not want to see genetically engineered seafood in its stores and demand that it sign the Pledge for GE-Free Seafood?

We know Kroger can and should do better and follow the lead of its major competitors with a FIRM commitment to not sell genetically engineered seafood in its 3,500 grocery stores across the U.S., including Ralphs, Fred Meyer, GFC and Food 4 Less. As we all know, “intentions” can change and we need strong company policies to protect our oceans from the risks of genetically engineered fish.

We’re so close to stopping genetically engineered fish and we need your help today to push America’s #1 conventional grocery store to make a solid public commitment to keep it off their shelves.

The Food and Drug Administration has stated that it won’t likely require companies to label genetically engineered seafood, leaving consumers no way of avoiding it at the market. By signing the Pledge for GE-Free Seafood, grocery stores, restaurants, chefs and other food companies make it clear that they will not knowingly purchase or sell genetically engineered salmon or other genetically engineered seafood.

By agreeing not to sell genetically engineered seafood, Kroger and its banner stores could go a long way toward making sure genetically engineered seafood is dead in the water in the United States and would signal a huge victory for consumer rights.

Take action to tell Kroger to protect consumer rights and sign the Pledge for GE-Free Seafood!

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #5 {Organic Margarita}

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I am ending today with a classic Cinco de Mayo favorite, margarita’s. Did you know there are organic tequilas out there? I was pleasantly surprised. The unfortunate thing is they are not sold everywhere. If you cannot find one near you I would suggest getting the highest quality tequila you can find. Here is a list of all the organic tequila’s I could find: 

  1. Republic Tequila 
  2. 123 Certified Organic Tequila 
  3. Tequila Alquimia – Añejo
  4. Tequila Tierras – Añejo
  5. Artá – Reposado
  6. Casa Noble

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Photo Credit: www.examiner.com

This margarita is simple and refreshing:

  • 2-parts organic tequila
  • 2-parts agave nectar
  • 1-part fresh lime juice
  • 8oz ice
  • shaker

Serve it blended for a frozen drink or on the rocks, my personal favorite. Drink responsibly and Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

 

In case you missed the 5-days of healthy Cinco de Mayo recipes here they are again:

photo-43 Recipe #1 – Homemade taco seasoning 

photo 2 Recipe #2 – Fresh Salsa 

photo-23 Recipe #3 – Kicked-up Guacamole 

photo-44 Recipe #4 – Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup 

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #4 {Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup)

I absolutely love using the slow-cooker. The only down side is most recipes are gross. They turn out mushy and just taste bleh. However, there are a couple recipes I have done recently that utilize the slow-cooker and happen to taste wonderful. This soup recipe being one of them. You can double the recipe, eat half and freeze half. It holds up well in the freezer and does not taste watered down when thawed.

 

Why don’t you throw this soup in the slow-cooker tomorrow morning? You can enjoy your Cinco de Mayo festivities, maybe even have a nice cold margarita, while your dinner cooks for you!

 

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic whole chicken, meat removed from bone and shredded 
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 can organic kidney beans
  • 1 can organic diced tomato’s
  • 1 can organic corn kernels
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium orange pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 handfuls cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (seeds removed if you do not like spicy)
  • 2 c. organic chicken stock
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. paprika

Preparation:

  1. Throw everything into your slow cooker and turn on low. Let it cook for 6-8 hours.
  2. Serve topped with shredded cheese, fresh cilantro and a dab of organic sour cream.