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

photo-66

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!

 

 

Advertisements

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!

 

photo-44

 

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.

 

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #3 {kicked-up guacamole}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday I shared my favorite recipe for a basic salsa, today I am introducing you to yet another dip obsession of mine…guacamole. I love anything with avocados, yes, even the raw chocolate mousse made from them. They are not only delicious but they are packed full of nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals. Take a look at how jam packed 1/5 of a avocado is with nutrients:

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 2.36.15 PM

http://www.californiaavocado.com/avocado-nutrients/

 

Guacamole is a very cheap and easy to make at home. Currently, at Publix you can get a 7oz package of Wholly Guacamole for $3.49. Now, I do think this brand is really good and if you need to have some in a pinch I would recommend it. But, there is absolutely no need to spend that amount when you could make it for a fraction of the cost at home.

Here the price break-down for my recipe, it makes roughly 2 1/2-3 cups:

  • $.96 (4) Haas avocado @ Aldi – if you do not have an Aldi near by Costco has a 6pk for $4.99 and Publix is $1 each.
  • $.46 (2) roma tomato’s @ Aldi
  • $.25 (1) lemon @ Publix
  • Spices and oils I had on hand: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt & pepper

TOTAL = $1.67 + the ingredients I had at home already.

You absolutely cannot argue with that price! It is different than your typical guacamole because I add the dressing, but I really enjoyed the extra creaminess it provided. Give it a try this weekend and tell me what you think.

photo-23

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocado
  • 4 Roma Tomato

Dressing:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping t. cumin
  • Half lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Chop the avocado and tomato and place in a medium size bowl.  Whisk dressing in separate bowl and pour over the avocado and tomato mixture. Chill and serve.

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #2 {fresh salsa}

Fresh Salsa. I can go overboard when it comes to salsa. I love the chips/dip combo and salsa is one of my favorites. This recipe is SO easy and super cheap. This is my basic salsa recipe and it can easily be jazzed up with corn, grilled peaches, mangos, etc.

I said it was cheap and I really mean it. You cannot get a fresher organic salsa in this quantity for this price. Here is what I spent to make 32 oz of salsa.

  • $.69 (6) roma tomatoes @Aldi
  • $.86 (1) medium white onion @ Publix
  • $.15 (1) large jalapeño @ Publix
  • $.79 (1) bunch cilantro @ Publix
  • $1.69 (1) can 14.5oz Muir Glen organic  fire roasted tomatoes @ Publix
  • Spices (had on hand): cumin, kosher salt, garlic powder, olive oil

TOTAL = $4.18 

Here is the recipe. Feel free to be creative, add to it and play around with your taste buds. Let me know the variations you come up with and how it turned out!

photo 2

Fresh Salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, diced finely
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (you can add less if you would like, I just love cilantro!)
  • 1 14.5oz can Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 T. olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Chop all the ingredients and mix in a large bowl. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Day Forty One. Non GMO Lifestyle.

Day Forty One.

It gets easier. Let me tell you. If you are new to the non GMO life, please do not give up! You can do it and your budget can do it too! At first I felt completely overwhelmed, I felt like I couldn’t eat anything and that everything took a million years to prepare, plus the food cost was craaaazy. You know what I am talking about, right? If you are new to my blog, I encourage you to check out the first few days of our journey and learn more about the “why’s” we chose this for our family. Here are the first few days: Day One. Day Two. Day Three.

We have had many ups and downs in the last couple of months during this journey, but I honestly can say, I feel like we are getting the hang of it. Our bodies no longer crave the processed packaged foods, we choose veggies and fruit instead of french fries if we go out to eat. I cannot say the same for my sweet tooth 🙂 I still want something sweet at night so I have had to learn a new way of baking or spend the extra $$ and buy the over-priced organic versions of my favorite baking supplies. Trust me, it IS worth the extra money, it is.

If you feel like you cannot afford to eat all organic and non GMO, you are probably right. I hate to say it, but I have to be honest, it is not cheap. For our family, we felt that by continually feeding ourselves the processed, GMO laden foods we are actually causing more damage to our bodies that we will pay for later on in life. Why not give up that Starbucks, or $10+ movie ticket and try to buy local, organic foods? Go to your local farmers market on a Saturday or find a farm share near you for your produce. If you could make just one change today what do you think would be most important for your family?

All that being said, I really just want to encourage you if you have already started trying to eliminate GMO’s or you are just thinking about it, you CAN DO IT. I would start with snack foods, things in packages. Try snacking on fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds instead. Start slow and keep making changes as you can. Even if you can only get 75% percent of your diet to organic that is still better than nothing! Right?!

Did you have the chance to guess the Know Your Ingredients from yesterday? If you missed it here are the ingredients again. Remember this is actually sold as “food”, even though I do not see one real ingredient in this list!

Know Your Ingredients. Name This Product!

Know Your Product Icon

#7

WATER, CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLABOR, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).

The answer is:

cool whip

KRAFT COOL WHIP!!

Here is my favorite recipe for homemade whipped cream. You will never want store bought again. It is SOOO easy and very versatile, which is always a huge bonus for me. I do not have a picture of my own, but next time I make it I intend to change out the picture.

whipped cream

(photo taken from: culinarymasterclass.com )

Fresh Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 8OZ Organic Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T. Powdered sugar (organic!)
  • 1 Heaping teaspoon of vanilla extract

 Preparation

  1. PLACE MIXING BOWL IN THE FREEZER FOR UP TO 30 MINUTES BEFORE YOU MAKE THIS.  YOU WANT THE BOWL TO BE VERY COLD FOR BEST RESULTS.
  2. WHIP THE CREAM IN A MIXER ON HIGH UNTIL SOFT PEAKS START FORMING.
  3. SLOWLY ADD THE POWDERED SUGAR AND VANILLA.  BE CAREFUL TO NOT OVER MIX AT THIS POINT.
  4. PLACE IN REFRIGERATOR UNTIL READY TO USE.