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There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

How to Find Joy in Nourishing Your Body

There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I’ve experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I’m so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

“You have to be healthy to eat healthy.”

It’s something I often say to people frustrated with trying to eat the “right way” but still not feeling great. There are so many diets that promote real food and healing. They all have merit, but that doesn’t mean they work for everyone.

I know this because I’ve tried them (read some of my thoughts HERE). And the only thing I got was severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, more food intolerances and infertility. But no healing.

The real problem is they all include rules. Specific diets place restrictions on what you can eat and categorize food as good or bad. When a food is deemed bad or forbidden guess what happens? You want it! You are left with this constant decision making between doing the right thing or the wrong thing. And feeling guilty if you choose wrong. Or worse food starts to cause anxiety.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

It took me the last twenty years to move past feeling like food is either good or bad. But I did it.  And I love it! It is so freeing to finally enjoy food.

Sound Familiar? There’s help!

Are you hung up on trying to find the right diet for you? Are you wondering if low carb or grain free or high fat is right for you? Does it make you stressed just thinking about it? Here are some simple tips to get past the fear and back to joy.

  1. Start listening to your body.
    Take note of how you feel when you eat certain foods. Keep a food journal for a week or two if need be. If nuts bother your stomach, take a break from them. If you feel better eating more carbohydrates and less fat then go for it. Eat what makes YOU feel good, not what helps your neighbor or your favorite blogger. If you are dealing with an autoimmune disease or allergies that will impact what foods hurt or help.
  2. Get rid of the rules.
    Stop viewing food as good or bad. As long as it’s real food it’s ok. Enjoy a piece of homemade chocolate cake and ice cream. Make a big stack of pancakes with butter and real maple syrup for breakfast. When you restrict foods because you think you shouldn’t eat them (instead of restricting because they actually make you feel bad) they create more stress. Ditch the diet and rigid rules.
  3. Start focusing on nourishment.
    This is where the fun begins. When you let go of unnecessary rules and you’re not constantly debating between eating a salad and digging into a container of ice cream you can focus on really taking care of your body.

Finding Joy

I spent far too many years trying to eat the perfect diet. Only to feel stressed, anxious and deprived. Then I had to go the other direction of eating anything and everything to try to restore metabolic health (you can read about my journey HERE and HERE). All to find a place of balance. Now I find great joy in nourishing my body. Not because a diet tells me to. Because I want to.

I heard someone recently say that happiness is external and joy is internal. Being happy comes from your circumstances, but joy is a state of being that comes from within. And it’s true. Good food does make me happy. But it’s the joy and peace I have inside that motivates me to make healthy choices every day.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Balance is Key

Today eating is like an exciting adventure for me. I try to pack as many nutrients into my food as possible. I add desiccated liver and fermented kale to smoothies and salads. I eat sardines and anchovies a couple times a week. I eat pastured meats and eggs regularly. I aim for a rainbow of vegetables and plenty of healthy fats daily. I drink herbal teas for added minerals and to support my body and get my hormones back in balance. It’s almost like a fun game to see how many vitamins and minerals I can get each day. I feel good and the joy comes pouring out.

But I also enjoy a dish of ice cream when I want it. Sometimes I eat a bowl of mashed avocado and tortilla chips for breakfast (quick and delicious…and it’s easy to add liver to avocado!). I like to bake with my kids and make special sweet treats together (like gluten free Oreos® and salted honey chocolates). It’s even rare that I go a day without at least a little bit of chocolate.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

There is no more should or shouldn’t with food. There are no rules. There is no restriction. Which in turn eliminates cravings (imagine that!).

Now I love to fuel my body, and I love how it makes me feel. That does not mean my diet is perfect. Not every single bite of food has to be nutrient packed. And less healthy foods here and there don’t negate all the good stuff I put in my body every day.

Let go of the Guilt

There is no guilt or feeling of reward for eating a certain way. I just truly love to eat nutrient dense food. No rules or special diets. I don’t eat GAPS or Paleo or AIP or low carb or any other specialized diet. I just eat real food that makes me feel good and that I know is helping me take care of my body. One day I might eat grain free while the next I might need some extra starch. And they are both just fine!

It’s very freeing to let go and find joy in nourishment. And it’s the healthiest I’ve ever been!

I am very blessed that I do not have an autoimmune condition or severe allergies. But I do have some sensitivities and health issues I’m still working through. But I try not to let them get me down. I nourish my body as best I can with my limitations and keep striving for full healing.

Eating real food is easy. There are limitless options. Eating real food that meets your needs can be hard. But once you figure out how to do it you’ll love how you feel.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Foods That Nourish

Some of my favorite nutrient dense foods are ferments. They are packed with natural probiotics. What I really love is how easy they are (take a big scoop and enjoy!) and how much my kids like them. My toddler can’t get enough sauerkraut. While we do make our own sometimes, I don’t always have time to pound cabbage.

I recently got the chance to try sauerkraut and fermented pickles from Cultured Guru.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Both the kraut and pickles have just a few simple ingredients and taste amazing! Using traditional fermentation these products are teaming with probiotics. They make great additions to a meal or are the perfect quick snack.

My oldest can’t get enough of the pickles. She has oral SPD and doesn’t tolerate any amount of spice. So even though she likes pickles it’s rare we can find any she’ll eat. But she loves the Cultured Guru pickles! She loves the sauerkraut too. Another rarity for her.

If you want to try some Cultured Guru ferments you’re in luck! You can get 25% off off using coupon code PROBIO.

I’ll be stocking up too. My kids and I can’t get enough!! Such a blessing when working on healing allergies!There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Super Charged Bites

Another super food that tops my list is a traditional staple – organ meats. I get mine by adding Perfect Supplements desiccated liver to just about everything. I even make caramel with it! I also love the fermented kale, collagen and aquatic greens from Perfect Supplements. I add them to most of our smoothies.

You can get 10% off any of these Perfect Supplements products with the coupon code TAKE10.

Some of my other favorite foods include sardines, salmon, eggs, raw milk, butter, lard, tallow, pastured meats and a rainbow of vegetables. They all make my body smile.

You have to be healthy to eat healthy.

I’m so excited to finally be healthy so I can enjoy eating well and nourishing my body every day.

Are you ready to let go of rules and enjoy eating again? Ditch the diets and find joy in nourishing your body.

Today is my birthday, and I’m starting it with pure joy. Joy that I’m taking care of myself and this beautiful body God gave me.

Want to see what I eat for my #nourishingbreakfast #nourishinglunch and #nourishingdinner? Follow me on Instagram! It may inspire you…or it might gross you out. In my husband’s words, “You eat that for breakfast?!”There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Disclaimer: I am working with Cultured Guru for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Does a Negative Allergy Test Put You In The Clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Allergy tests are great for pinpointing food reactions. All three of my kids have had multiple rounds of testing done.

Sometimes the test confirms a suspicion I have about a trigger food. Sometimes it helps me figure out a random allergy that I never would have guessed.

Not Always Accurate

But allergy tests are not 100% accurate. An IgE skin prick allergy test only checks for a reaction to the protein in the food. You could have a strong reaction to the sugar in a food (lactose intolerance is a great example) and test negative for an allergy.

An IgE blood test is even less accurate. It checks for antibodies in the blood to a specific food. It can help confirm a diagnosis after a skin prick test is positive. But it is not a very good diagnostic alone.

Food Sensitivities

IgG blood tests are a bit controversial. Some say they are great for detecting food “sensitivities”…actually called latent allergies. Others say this test can give different results every time. You could draw blood three times in the same day and get varying results.

I have done an IgG blood test for myself before. I had mixed feelings about its accuracy. So I’ve never done it for my kids.

All this to say that allergy tests absolutely have their place. And they are quite helpful for diagnosing allergies that range anywhere from mild to severe and life-threatening.

But just because an allergy test is negative does not mean you can throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want.

My Son

My son has been dealing with various degrees of allergies for many years. It started from birth with some reflux. Then at age two he developed bad eczema on his legs. Thus started our journey with allergy testing and food elimination.

Every time he is tested a slew of foods shows up. We cut them out, work on healing for a while and retest. 

But every time this has happened things have gotten a little more challenging. For example, rice showed up on his first allergy test. We cut it out. Six months later when he was retested the rice allergy was gone. Yet three years later he still can not eat rice without noticeable reactions.

Making Progress

In spite of some foods still causing problems we were making progress narrowing his list of reactive foods. Then in early 2016 after the onset of stomach aches and an inability to eat much he was retested.

To our shock he had a back full of welts. We were given a prescription for an epi-pen. And he was diagnosed with potentially anaphylactic allergies to nuts, dairy and a few other foods.

Wait, what happened over the last year that made his allergies go from mild and healing to life threatening??

Even though we didn’t have an answer to that question we moved forward, removing the necessary foods, always carrying an epi-pen, doing our best to keep him safe.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Not Fixxed

He had some reprieve for a bit. We were so happy to see him get an appetite back and really start growing.

But before too long he started having a lot of stomach aches again. Gradually they started to become more frequent. They prevented him from sleeping. They stopped him from eating well.

More Testing

It was back to the drawing board. We started by going to the pediatrician. We did a CBC and metabolic panel. We did urine and stool tests. All normal.

So it was back to the allergist for another round of testing, fearing another laundry list of foods to avoid.

And we got a huge shock!

Every single skin prick was negative. Not even a tiny bit of reaction. So we did the blood test. Again, all negative.

Nuts, dairy, wheat…everything…negative.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Although it was good news I was more confused than ever! The allergist (a new one) said his old test was likely inaccurate because foods were tested at the same time as airborne/environmental allergies.

Now what?

Do I just throw out his allergy list and let him eat whatever he wants? Do I trust the tests?

My husband and I both see glaring evidence of food reactions.

Digging Deeper

Well, I did what I do best. I observed, experimented and researched.

The thing is food reactions are a sign of a deeper issue.

Just because an allergy test is negative does NOT mean you can eat a particular food.

This is something I am very passionate about and believe so many parents could benefit from.

Behavior, digestion, skin, emotions…they are all impacted by the food you eat. Even healthy, nourishing food can create a negative reaction.

Case in point – my whole family (you can read more about it in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!).

Experimenting

We gradually let my son try a few foods he’d been avoiding. His stomach aches increased in frequency. His mood declined. He started wetting the bed. He developed bad breath.

Then we let him try some goat’s milk. Wow.

The result was horrific meltdowns, almost as if he was a psychiatric patient. Anything and everything caused him to scream, cry, hit himself and berate himself. It’s a parent’s nightmare.

No amount of comforting him and trying to talk through his feelings helped. If his big sister wouldn’t play with him – meltdown. If I told him I was reading a book his little sister picked out before the book he picked out – meltdown. If he wasn’t crazy about some of the food on his plate – meltdown.

This list could go on and on.

After some charcoal and a few days off of dairy he returned to a more stable state.

Sadly it’s not just dairy that does this to him. There are quite a few foods, all with varying degrees of reactions.

I could also go through our entire family listing foods and reactions. Yet we all test negative for food allergies.

So now what?

What do you do if allergy tests are negative but food reactions are present?

You get help from others who have been there. You find doctors and practitioners who are willing to dig deeper and find a cure instead of simply avoiding certain foods.

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Healthy Kids

In my book I teach you how to observe your child and not just accept the poor behavior. Find a root cause and fix it. Say goodbye to picky eating and temper tantrums.

Beyond Allergy Testing

If allergy testing isn’t giving you answers, here are some other conditions to consider.

  1. Overall gut dysfunction/leaky gut.
  2. Parasites – they are more common than you think. They tend to really act up around a full moon, so if your child is worse during that time it is something to consider.
  3. Slow metabolism.
  4. Thyroid disorders.
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Mineral imbalance/nutritional deficiency

And here are some potential treatments.

  1. GAPS diet (Gut And Psychology Syndrome)
  2. Parasite cleanse
  3. Probiotics
  4. Digestive Enzymes
  5. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

 

You can also treat food reactions from a more neurological and physical perspective. This includes:

  1. Functional neurology
  2. Chiropractic care
  3. Craniosacral therapy
  4. Osteopathic manipulation therapy
  5. Energy healing
  6. Muscle response testing

Baby Steps

I don’t have all of the answers for you. We are still in the trenches with my son’s reactions, trying to find the correct path forward. 

I know we will keep digging until we find the problem and the solution. We will restore my son to full health. We will find health for our whole family!

A negative allergy test does not give you free reign on food.

You have to dig a little deeper. It’s more work, but so worth it! In the end you will be able to eat more of the nutritious food your body needs.

Have you or your children been tested for allergies? Was it helpful or confusing?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Food Allergies | Just Take A Bite

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies

I’m so excited to finally share my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!. I’ll tell you our story and give lots of tips for feeding children. One of the most important things to understand is how a rotation diet helps with allergies.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Food Allergies | Just Take A Bite

“You should try a rotation diet.”

I first heard those words when I went through a whole assortment of tests a few years ago and the results showed a lot of latent food allergies.

My first thought: “You want me to not eat the same foods two days in a row?”

I love leftovers.

I am a creature of habit and the queen of repetition. I could eat the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for a week and not mind one bit. And if I really like something I often do eat it every day. Plus I LOVE leftovers. I’m odd but I like cold leftovers better than freshly made food. So the idea of not eating things two days in a row was crazy to me.

My second thought: “How is that going to help?”

Turns out it helps a lot. Though I didn’t fully realize it at the time.

why won't my child eat 728x90

Let’s get started!

I went home, did more research and got started. I only had one child eating solids at the time. So it wasn’t that tough to modify meals for the family and work around my new diet. I stuck with it for a while and had fun experimenting with new recipes.

Then life got busy. I gradually fell back into old habits. I had a one year old that was always on the move. And a very smart four year old that needed lots of stimulation and always wanted to learn something new. Plus I was tired and struggling with adrenal fatigue. Back to eating the same foods all the time and feeding my kids the same foods.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies | Just Take A Bite

Time to get serious.

Fast forward a year and my son was diagnosed with lots of food allergies. All the allergist told us to do was avoid the worst offenders. That was it for advice.

Ok. We can do that. No dairy, eggs, rice, beans, peas, grapes, pears and a few other foods. Not fun. But we’ll manage.

Six months later we went for a retest. The allergies were worse and new ones had popped up.

It was then that I learned how a rotation diet can help with allergies and just how important it is.

Can you guess what foods my son now reacted strongly to?

All the foods he ate frequently and foods we used to replace his allergens. Oops. Mom fail. Lesson learned. Sort of.

Why Won't My Child Eat Banner Image 400x335

Too many slip-ups.

We’ve gone through this up and down cycle of sticking to food rotation and then getting busy and slipping back into old habits many times. And almost every time we pay for it by adding new allergies.

Knowing just how important rotation is, I’ve been pretty strict about enforcing it with my youngest from the start. You can see how I plan meals around her allergies in our weekly meal plans.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies | Just Take A Bite

Back to that rotation thing.

That’s a little background. I hope I didn’t lose you at the mention of a rotation diet.

It’s kind of a strange concept. Basically you eat foods on a four day rotation. So if you eat an apple on Monday you can’t eat an apple again until Friday.

How does that help? And why four days?

Allergies can start or worsen with repeated exposure, especially in allergy-prone people and those with leaky guts (which includes many of us). So if you are consuming the same food day after day any reaction to that food will gradually intensify. It’s kind of like picking at a cut. The more you pick at it the worse it will get.

When you eat a problem food your body produces “masking” antibodies. After four days those antibodies are gone (if you aren’t eating the food). So you can better assess if a particular food was bothering you. If you eat the same food every day those antibodies do not clear out and you’re left guessing and having reaction upon reaction. Been there, done that.

Tailor your rotation.

Ideally you should rotate food families. But this is not always possible. My youngest does not even have enough safe foods to span four days with rotating families. So we stick with rotating individual foods and try not to have food families span more than two days. You have to do what works for you.

An added bonus of rotation is that it forces you to have variety in your diet, which leads to a broader spectrum of vitamins and minerals. This is beneficial for the whole family, not just those with allergies. So get everyone on board!

I can’t do that.

Sound like a good theory but impossible to implement? It’s not. I promise. It just takes some planning.

Here are a few simple steps:

  1. Make a list of all of the foods you can eat. You can do this for the whole family or just for the individuals with allergies.
  2. Group the safe foods into food families.
  3. Now start filling in four days, including foods from each food group (fruits, vegetables, grains/starches, fats, proteins) in each day.

I also like to group foods that we commonly eat together. For example, beef and tomatoes are good on the same day for making spaghetti with meat sauce or tacos with salsa. I include peppers and onions on those days too. Rice tends to go well with chicken or pork. I put lettuce and a few favorite salad toppings on the same day.

How A Rotation Diet Helps With Allergies | Just Take A Bite

Making life easier.

Play around with it until you find a rotation that works for your family. Then start planning! Oddly enough a rotation diet can actually make meal planning easier. A lot of the decisions are made for you. The other day I was planning a meal for a day with pumpkin, rice, lettuce and cucumbers. So we had pumpkin pasta (rice noodles) and salads. Perfect!

I even manage to use leftovers by making my “day” go from dinner one day to lunch the next. So dinner leftovers can still be eaten for easy lunches. Then we start our next day with dinner again.

One down side to a rotation diet is that it can be hard to eat seasonally. It just depends on how restricted your diet is. We’ve been eating asparagus all year because my daughter likes it and tolerates it. Normally we only eat it in the spring when it’s growing in our garden. But having food options wins over eating seasonally. Not to mention on a rotation diet you can’t eat cherries every day for two weeks straight while they are fresh. The rotation is more important.

The results.

Since starting a rotation diet with my kids it is a lot easier to keep new allergies to a minimum and to spot an offending food right away. Sometimes people think I’m crazy when I say I can pinpoint food reactions in a couple days. But I can. It is because we use a rotation diet. This is also very helpful when re-introducing foods. It easy to tell right away if my child is still reacting or not. So we can try one new food a week when I think they are ready.

Before dealing with allergies my diet was about the farthest thing from rotated. I ate the same foods day after day after day. And I paid the price with a long list of latent allergies now. And I have seen firsthand how not rotating foods has negatively impacted my children.

Top priority.

Using a rotation diet is one of the most important things you can do for someone with allergies. And it is just one of the many topics I cover in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!. I’ve got tips on how to observe your child for food reactions and how to deal with picky eating. I’ve even got a tried and true method for feeding a child that refuses to eat anything (I’ve been there…for months). Plus lots more.

Get your copy of Why Won’t My Child Eat?! so you can take the guess work out of behavior issues and picky eating and start enjoying meal times again.

>>  Order your copy of Why Won’t My Child Eat?!  <<

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

And don’t forget to download your FREE guide to meal planning and picky eating with two weeks of rotated meals laid out for you! It’s a great way to get started and learn more about how a rotation diet helps with allergies.

>>>>  Get your free guide here.  <<<<

Meal Planning, Picky Eating and Travel Guide Cover

Do you have kids with allergies? Do you use a rotation diet or are you stuck in a rut with a handful of safe foods?

Get out of the rut and get on the road to healing with a rotation diet. Then take the next steps to having great eaters with the tips I share in Why Won’t My Child Eat?!.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

Simple Honey Oat Bars

When little tummies are recovering from illness it’s best to keep food simple and skip a lot of fat and sugar. These honey oat bars come together easily and are gentle on the tummy.

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

Did I mention my son was sick? That seems to be an ongoing battle this winter. My poor boy that has such a sensitive digestive system.

He had the recent stomach virus that went around. But unlike most people that were over it in a day or two he struggled with it for a week. And he could hardly eat that whole time. He spent his days either on the couch or in the bathroom.

BRAT diet doesn’t exist here.

Add all of his allergies on top of trying to keep his diet bland and starchy and you’ve got a real challenge. No gluten, rice, corn, potatoes or bananas.

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

We decided to try oats. He basically lived on oatmeal for a week. And just when he thought he couldn’t handle another bowl of oatmeal I came up with these simple honey oat bars!

I wanted to keep them very low in fat to keep his tummy settled. So I used grass-fed gelatin in place of eggs. I also kept the sweetness low with just a touch of cane sugar and honey.

The combination of whole oats and ground oats helps the bars bind together.

Oats to the rescue.

My son loved them! And they kept him going. There was starch but also protein. Not to mention the gelatin was helpful for healing his upset tummy.

My daughter tried them too and thinks they’re great…even if she’s not sick. They make an easy, low sugar breakfast to keep stashed in the freezer for busy week days.

Get your oats soaking and whip up a batch or two of these simple honey oat bars. Always have some on hand to put upset bellies at ease.

Don’t forget to add activated charcoal to the diet as well to really stop the stomach upset.

What is your go-to food when recovering from a stomach virus?

Simple Honey Oat Bars | Just Take A Bite

Simple Honey Oat Bars
Yields 10
A simple, low fat oat bar that is perfect for settling little tummies after illness.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats in a blender)
  2. 1 cup rolled oats
  3. 1 cup warm water
  4. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin (NOT collagen)
  6. 1/4 cup hot water
  7. 1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
  8. 3 Tbsp. honey
  9. 2 Tbsp. melted butter, coconut oil, lard or tallow
  10. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  11. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the oat flour, oats, warm water and lemon juice. Cover and let sit for 7-24 hours (24 hours is best for oats).
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line with parchment paper an 8" square baking pan.
  3. Add the gelatin to the hot water and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add all of the ingredients to the soaked oats. Mix well.
  5. Spread in the prepared pan.
  6. Bake 35 minutes.
  7. Cool and cut into bars.
  8. Store in a covered container for up to a week at room temperature, two weeks in the refrigerator or one year in the freezer.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Zebra Striped Yogurt For Sensitive Tummies

When your child is recovering from a stomach bug or an allergy flair give them a special treat that is both delicious and calming. Zebra striped yogurt combines cultured dairy and charcoal to ease the pain.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

There are two tricks I have learned in the last year to help get a little tummy back on track after a stomach bug or an allergy flair.

  1. Yogurt
  2. Activated charcoal

Sensitive Tummies

Last year my son had a really bad stomach bug with constant vomiting. Once that part ended he refused to eat. As parents my husband and I were very concerned. We let our fear turn to frustration.

We would try to force him to eat. And it would all come back up. After days of this process we took him to the doctor who suggested yogurt.

My son was having reflux from such an empty stomach and all of the vomiting. He finally got back on track by taking a couple bites of yogurt every 30-60 minutes to ease the pain. Eventually he could tolerate more and more.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Since then yogurt has been my go-to when he has tummy troubles. Whether it be after an allergy flair (which gives him a stomach ache and keeps him from eating) or after a stomach bug (once any kind of vomiting or diarrhea has subsided).

If your child is allergic to dairy you can try coconut yogurt. I have not personally tried to see if it has the same effect.

Allergy Relief

During the last year we have also dealt with allergy flairs over and over and over as we tried to figure out what was bothering my youngest. A friend suggested activated charcoal. It has been a life saver!

It helps absorb any toxins or allergens and flush them out. It also helps stop vomiting and diarrhea.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Every time my daughter was screaming from an allergic reaction I would take charcoal. It was like magic. The next time she nursed my milk was safe again.

Today I’m sharing a fun way to combine these two secret weapons. Zebra striped yogurt looks cool, tastes great and is very calming to the tummy. In fact, I made the dish of yogurt I photographed the day my son had a stomach bug. He was definitely happy to be my taste tester (even if he does look a bit worn out).

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Depending on your child’s age, tastes and severity of reaction you can keep the yogurt plain or add a bit of sweetener. I use maple syrup in the black yogurt and organic cane sugar in the white yogurt.

The next time your child is recovering from a stomach upset of some kind whip up a zebra striped yogurt to ease the pain and get them back to full health quickly.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Zebra Striped Yogurt
Serves 1
A black and white striped yogurt for settling tummies.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt, divided
  2. 1 - 2 tsp. maple syrup
  3. 1 - 2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  4. 1 capsule activated charcoal
  5. pinch unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a small dish combine half of the yogurt, cane sugar and a pinch of salt.
  2. In another small dish combine the other half of the yogurt, maple syrup, charcoal (emptied from capsule) and a pinch of salt.
  3. Layer the white and black yogurts in a dish.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
  1. If you are short on time you can just make the "black" yogurt or you can add all of the ingredients to a blender and make a smoothie.
  2. Maple syrup can be used in place of the cane sugar, but it may give the yogurt a little color.
  3. You can adjust the dose of charcoal based on your child's age/serving size.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work?

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work? I’m sharing my story about HTMA and whether or not it worked for me.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

As a continuation of health updates and yesterday’s post on why I stopped eating gluten free, I’m talking about my experience with hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA).

This is actually my second HTMA. I did my first with my local NP a few years ago. But this post is about my most recent HTMA.

I had intended to write about it much sooner since I did my HTMA in May! But I really didn’t have anything to write about for a long time. This has been such a slow process for me. And discouraging at times when I hear of other people that see improvement in a matter of weeks.

Here we are six months later…and not a whole lot has changed.

What is HTMA?

But before I get into the details of my story I just wanted to quickly mention what HTMA is.

According to Dr. Wilson,

“Hair tissue mineral analysis…is a soft tissue mineral biopsy that uses hair as the sampling tissue.

The test measures the levels of 20 or more minerals in the hair with an accuracy of plus or minus about 3%.  This is about the same level of accuracy as most blood tests, or a little better.”

“Minerals are sometimes called the ‘sparkplugs’ of the body.  They are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, facilitators, inhibitors and as part of the enzymes themselves.  As a result, they have a great deal to do with the health of our bodies.  By analyzing mineral imbalances in the body, one can learn a lot about the causes and correction of hundreds of common physical and mental health conditions.

A specific class of minerals, the toxic metals, are also extremely important today due to a nutritionally depleted food supply and the presence of environmental toxicity almost everywhere on planet earth.  Studying toxic metals is thus very important today to monitor their spread and learn about their many damaging effects upon the bodies of human beings, animals, plants and other organisms.

Even more can be learned about human and animal health by studying the ratios of the major minerals in the body.  This is a more complex area, but a very important and fruitful one.  Finally, by studying more complex patterns of minerals in the body, one can learn even more about human health and disease.”

Basically HTMA gives a window into your body, your mineral levels and how they all interact with each other. This information can help you supplement (without guessing) to get things in balance.

My results.

I did my HTMA in May with Lydia from Divine Health From the Inside Out. I was not the least bit surprised when the results came back that nothing was in the normal/ideal range for me.Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work? | Just Take A Bite

Just about everything was low…except the two things I thought would be low. Calcium and magnesium were high!

Having all of these lows and highs creates major imbalances and my mineral ratios were way off.

I got a whole write up and game plan to address these imbalances. Great! I’m on my way to better health.

But things are never that easy for me.

Have I mentioned before how abnormal my body is? I never follow the norm or what is “supposed” to work (i.e tolerating gluten and corn but not rice or quinoa).

My dilemma.

I wanted to get my vitamin and mineral levels up because I am breastfeeding. But my daughter’s allergies made that more of a challenge than I had hoped. It’s a double problem…I’m deficient partly because of her…and I can’t do anything about it because of her. When I want to do something about it FOR her!

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

All of this was happening at the same time my daughter had just developed a new round of allergies and wouldn’t eat and it seemed like I was cutting things out left and right. My poor baby was literally starving.

(It’s actually hard for me to even look at this picture because I know she was so hungry and in pain. This was about our lowest point.)

I couldn’t tell what was bothering her. And adding supplements on top of that did not help.

I started a special multivitamin…only to realize it had Vitamin A PALMitate. Not so great for a baby with a palm allergy. She was screaming in pain after I took that.

I started a new hcl supplement to help digestion. Again, major issues. I stopped taking them and after more research discovered the betaine comes from beets. My daughter can’t handle any kind of root.

I was supposed to take a vitamin A supplement but never even got started because it too was from palm.

I started a new probiotic and had severe die off reactions and had to take a break and start MUCH slower on the dose.

Basically nothing was working. I couldn’t take any of the supplements. Plus I just didn’t have the time or energy to focus on myself when my daughter was in such rough shape. She was barely eating and I had to put all of my time and energy into her health. And I couldn’t risk trying anything else new.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

A new start.

Here I am, six months later. I’m no longer in a daze from being up all night with an infant and under constant stress and worry about a baby that is undernourished and unhealthy.

It is finally time to give my own health some attention.

I have gone over my HTMA game plan quite a few times. Most recently I made my own chart of how all of the different minerals and ratios relate and what health issues they contribute to.

What I learned.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned both from Lydia and from my own research.

  1. I am a slow oxidizer. This means my body requires a lot more oxygen and energy to digest food. Basically I have a slow metabolism. So I need roughly 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 15% fat in my diet. This is HARD for me since I love healthy fats and know just how beneficial they are. Not to mention I think breastfeeding moms need plenty of fat.
  2. It doesn’t matter how healthy a food is – if you can’t digest it, it doesn’t do you any good. For a slow oxidizer like me this relates to fats and protein. Both are full of vitamins and minerals. But they are so hard for me to digest. Until I improve digestion I need to keep my intake of both on the lower side.
  3. The first step in my healing journey is to improve digestion through betaine + hcl and probiotics. I have started the probiotics. I need to find a betaine supplement not made from roots.
  4. With such a high tissue calcium level I can’t take any vitamin D. That means NO cod liver oil! Instead I need to really increase vitamin A to assist this. And since most vitamin A supplements are from palm that means I need to eat more liver!
  5. I also need to get sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, chromium, phosphorus and selenium levels up. This would be so much easier if I could eat any food I wanted.

What I didn’t like.

Here are a few things that I didn’t completely agree with.

  1. One size fits all diets don’t usually work for me. While the slow oxidizer diet is pretty broad, it still is too restrictive for my current required diet. I wish I could eat according to the suggested diet. But for now I have to do the best I can with the options I have. Which includes eating gluten.
  2. The diet recommends a little too much water and fiber in my opinion. For someone with a slow metabolism (i.e. a slow oxidizer) water intake should be quite low. And any liquids should be salted. Also, my body can’t handle much fiber at all. I can’t do any kind of whole nut/seed/grain. The bran must be removed or I am in a lot of pain. Yes, we do need some fiber. But I don’t think we need large quantities. It can aggravate an already inflamed digestive tract.
  3. Although slow oxidizers need a lot of carbohydrates, the diet suggests mostly low starch carbohydrates. I need a lot of starch in my diet else my body temperature will plummet and I’ll have no energy. That is why I need plenty of grains in my diet. Along the same lines the diet says that if you feel  hungry after a meal you ate too much starch. That seems kind of silly to me. If you are hungry after a meal it means you need more food! It doesn’t mean you ate too much. I almost always keep munching while I’m cleaning up dinner. And I don’t gain an ounce. I just needed more food. I actually tried cutting back on starch a few days ago to see how it would go. I could barely walk up the stairs to put my kids to bed in the evening because I had no energy. It felt like I was climbing a mountain and my legs couldn’t go any farther. I’m not a fan of the low starch idea.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

The verdict.

If you are looking to improve your health, I definitely recommend trying HTMA. It will give you a good picture of what is going on in your body and where you are lacking.

Here are a few tips that just about everyone can use to improve vitamin and mineral levels and digestion.

  1. Chew each bite of food very thoroughly, at least 15 – 20 times, before swallowing.
  2. Eat in a relaxed environment. Sit down and take your time. Sitting on the floor to eat can help.
  3. These are easy sources of lots of vitamins and minerals. Include the ones you tolerate in your diet weekly.

My take away.

So here I am with pretty much the same health status I had six months ago when I did my HTMA. Does that mean it didn’t work? No. I just couldn’t do much to change my health.

I know I haven’t made much progress due to dietary and supplemental restrictions. But I’m doing what I can. I am trying to move forward right now by increasing my liver consumption to get more vitamin A. I continue to increase my probiotic dose. I take molasses daily for potassium. I use Natural Calm for magnesium. I try to eat plenty of vegetables and carbohydrates.

I know I could use more sleep. Hopefully that will improve as my little one gets older.

I would love to do a retest at some point. I would also love to get all of my family members tested. I’m sure my kids have some imbalances.

It is nice to finally focus on my health now that my daughter’s allergies are under control and she is thriving.

All of the information I’ve been given makes more sense now that I’m not in a fog from an infant and constant stress. So I can start making progress with healing.

I’ll end the way I started.

Does hair tissue mineral analysis really work?

Absolutely!

Does it mean you’ll be feeling great in a few weeks?

Probably not. Especially if you are like me and have multiple set backs.

But it is definitely worth it to assess your health!

Have you ever done HTMA?

I’d love to hear your story!

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

(My heart overflows with joy and gratitude looking at this picture of my happy, healthy, little fighter. She is a true gift and a miracle.)

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic

In need of a warm drink that not only tastes good but is packed with essential minerals? Molasses tonic is the perfect warm up and pick-me-up drink for cold weather.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like warm drinks. Do you?

Even on the hottest summer days I still start the day with a warm drink. It has a calming effect on my mind and body. In fact I’m sipping on one right now while I write this post!

I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I usually go for tea.

But these days I pretty much drink one of two things. Either healing hot chocolate or molasses tonic. Both provide minerals in a great tasting, soothing beverage.

You may be wondering, what’s so great about molasses? Isn’t that just sugar?

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.

It contains:

  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • iron
  • vitamin B6
  • niacin
  • pantothenic acid
  • choline
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • copper
  • selenium
  • chromium
  • cobalt
  • sodium

It has also been shown to be helpful with a variety of health issues from PMS, headaches and acne to bone health and constipation.

What’s not to love?

Well, maybe the flavor.

Molasses is an acquired taste.

At least for me. If you are not a fan just start with a small amount and work your way up to a full tablespoon.

You can even do half molasses and half maple syrup to start. Maple syrup has minerals too!

As you can see molasses is very nutritious. You could just take a big spoonful once or twice a day.

Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

I like to combine it with some other nutrients in a hot drink to really give my body a boost.

So you can add any or all of the following to create a molasses tonic:

  • stinging nettle (allergy relief, reduce inflammation)
  • grass-fed collagen (easy-to-digest protein, gut healing)
  • unrefined sea salt (trace minerals, hydration/electrolyte balance)
  • cocoa powder (magnesium, iron, fiber, manganese, zinc, flavonoids)
  • carob powder (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium)
  • maple syrup (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, zinc)
  • butter and/or coconut oil (healthy saturated fat, helps balance the protein and carbohydrates)

When you put all of these together molasses tonic can practically be a meal replacement! And if you have a super busy morning here and there it could be. I drink it after a meal. Though it is best to wait an hour after eating to let your food settle/start digesting first.

If you don’t have time or all of the ingredients to make the full molasses tonic you can simply add molasses and sea salt to hot water. You’ll still get a big nutritional boost and feel hydrated.

The next time you need a hot beverage skip the coffee. Instead whip up a power packed molasses tonic.

This is great for kids too. Add some whole milk or coconut milk to their molasses tonic for a creamy drink.

Do you consume molasses regularly? What is your favorite way to use it? 
Molasses Tonic | Just Take A Bite

Molasses Tonic
Serves 1
A warm drink packed with vitamins and minerals
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 - 2 cups boiling water
  2. 1/2 - 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  3. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
optional
  1. 1 tsp. nettle leaf
  2. 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
  3. 1 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic carob powder
  5. 2 tsp. grade B maple syrup
  6. 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  7. 2-4 Tbsp. whole milk or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. If using nettle leaf, use a tea strainer or cheesecloth to steep nettle leaves in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves.
  2. Add the remaining boiling water and ingredients.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Allow to cool enough to drink or add ice cubes or milk.
Notes
  1. This can be served warm or cold (iced molasses tonic).
  2. This can be placed in a water bottle and packed for school lunch.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Cherry Rhubarb Jello

Cherry rhubarb jello is the perfect kid-friendly way to use fresh produce and welcome summer weather.

Cherry Rhubarb Jello | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

We have two rhubarb plants in our garden.  Most years we get a few decent stalks from them that I use to make a special dessert like crisp, ice cream, cake or even cheesecake!

This year our rhubarb plants were huge!  After making three strawberry rhubarb crisps there was still plenty left. That means it is time to experiment with new ways to use rhubarb.

I came up with cherry rhubarb jello.  This is the perfect, nutritious way to use fresh, spring produce in combination with last year’s freezer stash (we still have a couple gallons of sweet cherries left!).

The cherries give sweetness and a deep maroon color while the rhubarb gives a hint of tartness.  It’s the perfect combination.

Cherry Rhubarb Jello | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Cherry rhubarb jello makes a great finger food lunch addition or snack for kids.  The fruit provides vitamins while the gelatin provides easy-to-digest protein.

An added bonus is that cherry rhubarb jello is very allergen friendly.  Not to mention there is no food coloring or artificial flavor.  So it makes a unique and healthy treat for everyone.

Are you looking for a dish to pass at your next potluck or picnic?  Cherry rhubarb jello is just the thing.  You can make it in advance and both kids and adults will enjoy it.

Sometimes I even serve this for breakfast.  My oldest can take her time eating in the morning.  If we need to get out the door on time jello is great.  It is soft and easy to chew.

Don’t forget the really important part – cherry rhubarb jello is so easy to make!  Just cook, puree, add the gelatin and chill.  It takes about five minutes of hands on time.  Who doesn’t love that?!

Before rhubarb season ends grab a few stalks and make this fun treat to celebrate the end of the school year and welcome summer.

Cherry Rhubarb Jello | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Cherry Rhubarb Jello
Serves 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups sweet cherries (fresh or frozen)
  2. 2 cups rhubarb, peeled and chopped
  3. 3/4 cups organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 2 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. Combine the cherries, rhubarb, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
  5. Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. Let sit 1 minute.
  6. whisk the gelatin water into the hot puree until dissolved, about 1 minute.
  7. Pour the mixture into an 8" square pan or a bowl.
  8. Refrigerate until firm.
  9. Scoop or cut into squares to serve.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

The Hows and Whys of Preparing Grains

The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple PieOne of my goals this year is to get back on track with properly preparing my grains.  I’ve been doing it for years now, but got off track with pregnancy and a new baby.

Some may say to just avoid grains.  But I tried that and learned that my body needs them!  The most unhealthy I’ve ever been was when I went grain free.  Grains can be a very healthy part of a real food, traditional diet.  Even Nourishing Traditions and GAPS mention the benefit of properly prepared grains.

So to help us all get to where we need to be I’m sharing some information about why you need to treat your grains in a special way if you are going to consume them and how it’s done.  I actually wrote most of this a couple years ago!  But never shared it here.  It’s a good reminder for myself.  Hopefully it’s a great starting point or reminder for you as well.

In the weeks following this introduction I’ve got some basics and some fun recipes coming that all involve properly prepared grains.  I hope you enjoy!

One of the oddest and most confusing aspects of real food is the idea of soaking grains.  Switching to butter instead of margarine?  No problem.  Drinking raw milk instead of pasteurized?  You bet.  Using honey instead of corn syrup?  Done.  Get your flour wet before using it?  Say that again?  Wet flour?  How could that work?  And why would you want to?  But if you understand why you might find yourself turning your favorite baked goods into healthier soaked versions. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It turns out there is actually a good reason to soak grains. Little things called phytates. Grains contain anti-nutrients as a protective mechanism.  This protects them from weather and animals.  But it also makes them difficult to digest.  Your digestive juices are enemies of the grains just like any external enemy.  Grains also have compounds that prevent active enzyme activity in your digestive system. This puts stress on your pancreas. 

In the unsoaked state grains contain phytates, which makes the minerals in the grains unavailable to you.  This can lead to mineral deficiencies and poor bone density (one more thing I learned the hard way when I found out I have seven cavities!). Both enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid can be mostly neutralized by soaking the grains. This makes them easier to digest and makes the nutrients available to your body. This process also begins to pre-digest the grains, breaking down complex starches and tannins that can irritate your stomach, as well as beginning to break down proteins like gluten.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

So without soaking the grains they are very difficult to digest and are actually harmful to your body.  This holds true for gluten-containing grains like wheat and rye but also for alternative grains like oats, amaranth and teff.  In fact oats, such a dietary staple for so many, has the highest phytate content of any grains!

Grains that are not properly prepared are harmful.  So how do you make them healthy? It’s not as hard as you might think. And, honestly, soaking often makes baking easier! It breaks up the process into very short steps that only take a few minutes here and there. The main thing you have to be willing to do is plan ahead. Soaking does take time. So if you want soaked pancakes in the morning, you have to plan and get them started the day before.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The basic idea is that you use cultured dairy or another acid medium like lemon juice to soak the grains for at least 7 hours (ideally 24 hours) before using them.  The length of time required will depend on the grain.

The easiest way to start is by using recipes that give exact instructions on what ingredients to use, how much and how long. Once you get the hang of it you can start experimenting.  Simply replace the liquid in the recipe with a cultured/acidic medium (kefir, buttermilk, yogurt or warm water mixed with lemon juice), mix it with the grains, cover the bowl and let it sit.  Then proceed with the recipe after the grains have soaked.  You can also add the fat/oil during the soaking step.

Soaking can be used on all kinds of grains…wheat, oats, rice, etc. It is also used for lentils, beans and nuts.  There are a few exceptions to the rule.  Coconut flour, white rice, millet and flax seed are relatively low in phytic acid.  Although soaking them will still be beneficial it is not as critical.

Although millet is low in phytic acid, it is goitrogenic.  So limit your  millet intake if you have thyroid problems.

So what do you do if you don’t have time to soak your flour before baking, or what if you forgot to plan ahead? An alternative is to sprout the grains.  This is helpful for those times you have to do some last minute baking. Simply sprout the grains, dry them and grind them into flour. Then the phytates are already neutralized and you don’t have to soak it.  You can buy sprouted grains if you do not want to make your own.The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

A third option for dealing with phytates is sourdough. Sourdough also breaks down the phytates and makes the grains easier to digest. Sourdough can be used for all kinds of baked goods.  If you want bread, sourdough is the way to go.

Soaking grains is a critical step in the baking process if you are not using sprouted grains or a sourdough starter.  It is important for aiding digestion for everyone.  It is especially crucial for anyone with a leaky gut, food allergies or food intolerances.  Even if you avoid some of the common grains like wheat and corn, you still have to properly prepare your food.  If you have cut gluten out of your diet but have not noticed any improvement, try soaking the gluten free grains you eat. 

Some alternative grains and flours are teff, amaranth, tapicoa, millet, rice (white and brown), quinoa, coconut, hemp and garbanzo bean.  These can be prepared in the same manner as their traditional counterparts. The Hows and Whys of Grains | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The next time you start baking ask yourself one question: “Is my flour wet?”  If it is you’re on your way to a tasty treat that will be easier on your gut and provide your body with important vitamins and minerals.

Do you consume grains?  What is your favorite way to prepare them?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Crockpot Sweet And Sour Chicken Stir Fry Soup

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken Stiry Fry Soup || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 I love stir fry.  But with little kids and a busy schedule I don’t always have time to stand at the stove and cook.

So I came up with a new way to eat stir fry – as a soup!  Throw all of the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning.  Dinner will be ready whenever you need it.

You get the rich, nutrient dense broth plus the sweet and sour flavors of stir fry.

This soup is great because you can add whatever vegetables you like/what you tolerate.  It can be served plain or over rice or quinoa.  You can even add the starch right into the crockpot to really make it a one pot meal.

If you don’t have any chicken on hand beef will work as well.  A beef and broccoli stir fry soup is just as great as chicken and vegetables.  The base is the same, just swap the meat and vegetables.

If you have very small children or kids with food texture issues you can just cook the vegetables to start.  Then puree the soup.  Then add the chicken and let it cook the rest of the way.  You’ll still have the sweet and sour flavor, but in pureed form.

This makes a great light and simple meal after all of the holiday gatherings.  Plus it will be great for your immune system after parties, traveling and not so healthy foods.

Sweet and sour chicken stir fry soup is a great weeknight meal that you can prepare in just a few minutes.  Then you’ll have a nutritious and delicious dinner ready in the evening.

Do you like stir fry?  Why not try it as a soup! 

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken Stiry Fry Soup || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry Soup
Serves 4
A simple soup with the sweet and sour flavors of stir fry.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups chicken broth
  2. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
  3. 3 cups vegetables, cut in bite size pieces
  4. 1/3 cup honey
  5. 2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  7. optional: 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup quinoa, 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Combine the broth, chicken, vegetables, honey, salt and garlic powder (and coconut oil) in a crockpot.
  2. Cook on high 4-8 hours or low 6-12 hours.
  3. If desired add rice or quinoa during the last hour of cooking and turn to high.
Notes
  1. You can add coconut oil to the crockpot or to individual bowls to balance the fat/protein/starch of the soup.
  2. Beef broth and cut up beef can be substituted for the chicken broth and chicken.
  3. You can serve the soup over rice instead of adding rice to the crockpot.
  4. For a pureed version cook just the broth, vegetables, honey and seasoning until vegetables are tender (about 3 hours). Then add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked (about 4 hours).
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