CNBC: Allergies & Gluten

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We recently had the pleasure of educating the public about the top food allergies as well as the difference between gluten intolerance or sensitivity and celiac disease in a segment this past weekend.

The segment aired on Saturday, October 26th on CNBC but you can watch them on the Advancements website and Vimeo. Learn more about this important topic with these additional questions and answers:

Q: How are food allergies and food sensitivities becoming a growing public health concern?

A: Food allergies and food sensitivities are becoming a growing public health concern because of how it affects us in healthcare expenditures, our communities, schools and even in our own homes if a family member or friend has food allergies and sensitivities.

Food allergies can cause anaphylactic shock and are a huge concern. The ‘big 8’ allergens in the U.S. are milk and eggs, fish and shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts, wheat and soy. In other countries, including the United Kingdom, they have even more common allergies including lupin, sulfites, and celery.

Q: How does gluten affect a person with celiac disease versus one with a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten?

A: In someone with celiac disease, eating gluten causes the body to attack and destroy the villi in the small intestine, causing nutrient deficiencies and gastrointestinal issues including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and weight loss. Even skin rashes, lactose intolerance, infertility and bone loss can be symptoms.

For a person with gluten sensitivity, the symptoms can be similar to the ones present with celiac disease minus the damage to the villi of the small intestine.

Q: What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet to those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivities?

A: Following a lifelong gluten-free diet is imperative and the only treatment (thus far), for those with celiac disease. The good news is that the villi of the small intestine can heal and one can absorb more nutrients, have a decrease or elimination of symptoms, and have a reduced risk for colon cancer.

The benefit of a gluten-free diet to those with gluten sensitivity can be a lessening or even elimination of symptoms including skin rashes, headaches and migraines, bloating, stomach pains, and fatigue.

Q: Who else can benefit from following a gluten-free diet?

A: Some people with autism, eczema, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome report feeling better when eliminating gluten from their diets. It is possible that they could have a gluten sensitivity and this may help explain why their symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet.

Also, some people have gone on a gluten-free diet as a means for weight loss, but it is not necessary nor recommended.

 

8 Tips to Shake the Salt

shake off the salt

The American diet is rich in high-sodium foods and, between processed foods and eating out, we are often getting much more than we need. Some say salt is a substitute for the flavor that used to exist when we consumed fresh, locally-grown produce. Though an easy way to flavor food, salt is a cheap and rather pedestrian flavoring agent.

Excess salt is a danger to the body and the brain. It can raise blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke, put a strain on your kidneys, and more. Did you know it can also lead to over-eating and cause weight gain?

Here are some tips to enjoy satisfying flavor in our foods, without added salt.

  1. Huddle up with herbs. What cuisines do you enjoy – Italian, Mexican, French, Indian? Choose some herbs that fit the flavor profiles and add them to your dish. For example, oregano, rosemary, and basil are go-to Italian herbs for elevating your pasta dish.
  2. Citrus zest and juices. Grate the skin of organic lemons, limes, or oranges for sweet and/or savory meals. Spritz fresh lime onto your tacos or lemon into a lentil soup.
  3. Roasted root vegetables. Lightly toss your favorite root vegetables (such as beets, parsnips, etc) in melted coconut oil and roast at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tender, turning over once halfway through roasting.
  4. Eat slowly. Chewing your food well breaks down the carbohydrates, making it taste sweeter. Slowing down while eating introduces your tastebuds to the complex flavors in your food and makes for a more pleasurable meal experience.
  5. Caramelized onions. Sauté diced onions in some olive oil, stirring frequently until browned (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Use in a French onion soup or on rice dishes, burgers or veggie burgers, omelets, and more!
  6. Organic food can be more flavorful. Try some organic strawberries or eggs and see if you can tell a difference between them and their conventional counterparts.
  7. De-glaze the pan. By simply using some balsamic vinegar, which combines with those sticky brown bits in your cooking pan, you can make a delicious sauce.
  8. Spice it up. Cumin adds a depth of flavor to a number of dishes, as does adobo, curry powder and even nutmeg.

Evaluate your salt consumption and then challenge yourself to incorporate one or more of these ideas. Your tastebuds and body will appreciate it.

 

Recipe: Cherry Almond Pancakes

cherry almond pancakes

Waking up and enjoying a fresh stack of cherry almond pancakes is both a joyful and nutritious way to start the day. May it be the same for you!

Serves 4 (or two hungry people)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups almond flour
2.5 tbsp coconut oil (1/2 tbsp used in saute pan when cooking pancakes)
1/2 cup almond milk (try DIY almond milk)
4 eggs
1.5 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 oz Morello cherries
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions
Melt coconut oil in small saucepan (you can use this same pan for the cherry topping) . In a medium bowl combine eggs, almond milk, raw honey, and melted coconut oil. Add almond flour, sea salt, and cinnamon; mix well. Heat saute pan with 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and ladle 1/4 cup pancake batter into pan. When pancake edge brown and/or bubbles form in batter, use spatula to flip over pancake. They are done when cooked thoroughly and browned to your liking.

Between the few minutes of waiting for pancakes to cook, you’ll likely want to start on cherry topping. Add the Morello cherries, pecans or walnuts, and maple syrup to high-speed blender. After blended, heat in saucepan to be ready to serve once pancakes are done.

Consider adding some fresh fruit and more pecans or walnuts as a topping. Bon appetit!

Recipe: Celebrity Couple! Choco-cado Cookies

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When celebrities get together, the press loves to dub them with a cute and catchy portmanteau; Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s ‘Brangelina’ being one of the most well-known. Well they need to move over because chocolate and avocado or ‘Choco-cado’ have once again proven themselves a yummy pairing, deserving of the spotlight. We’ve already seen them come together for a delectable pudding and we’re starting to think these two are suited for a long-term, possibly exclusive, relationship.

Do you know what this means? In less than 15 minutes, this recipe makes it possible to fully enjoy some dark, rich cacao along with some creamy, (healthy) fatty avocado in a fudgy cookie form. It doesn’t even have flour!

“Incroyable!” say the French readers. “Ausgezeichnet!” say the Germans. And you? Well, you may have your mouth too full of cookies to exclaim anything. That’s okay, we can all envision the look of bliss crossing your face.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Prep time: < 5 minutes
Baking time: about 8-10 minutes
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark cacao or cocoa powder (we used Nativas Naturals cacao powder)
  • 2/3 cup ripened avocado flesh, mashed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut sugar, depending on your desired sweetness
  • 2/3 of bar dark chocolate, cut into small chunks (we used a chocolate bar with 88% cocoa content)
  • 1 egg (or 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and 2.5 tbsp water mixed together as vegan egg-less option)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°. With a hand mixer/food processor/vivacious Vitamix blend avocado and coconut sugar, then egg. Add cacao powder and baking soda to mix and then stir in dark chocolate chunks. Try not to salivate over the bowl. Use coconut oil to grease baking pan; dollop cookie dough mix on pan and flatten with spoon. Bake for 8-10 minutes and then cool them down; unlike most cookies, these taste better after 30 minutes or so in the fridge. Makes 10-12 cookies.

P.S. Not gonna lie, we made these babies into ice cream (dairy-free) sandwiches. More on that later 🙂

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Southwestern Skillet

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Smoothie. Oatmeal. Rinse & repeat. We know that breakfasts can get a bit repetitive and unimaginative so we’re going to shake it up with this inspired southwestern dish.

Whether you’re looking to fuel up for a busy day of hiking or for back-to-back meetings, this dish is a delicious & satisfying breakfast with great macronutrient content. Let the culinary adventure begin!

Servings: 2-4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
1 can black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp cumin
olive oil
sea salt & black pepper to taste

Instructions
Cut sweet potatoes in 1/4 inch pieces. Chop red pepper and rinse canned black beans. Drizzle olive oil in a large pan and heat sweet potatoes on medium for 3-5 minutes, then add black beans, red pepper, and cumin. Add water to cover bottom of pan and cover to cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often.

We topped the skillet with a cooked egg and a few slices of avocado. Add fresh lime juice, hot sauce, or salsa for a unique meal that fits your needs.

Recipe: Ultimate Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Kids (and adults) love these brownies; many times they are surprised to find that black beans could be used to make a dessert. Next time you have a bit of a sweet tooth, give these chocolate-y brownies a go!

Keeping with the theme of these recent blog posts, see how many of these ingredients you can make organic (and/or free-range, in the case of the eggs).

Ingredients:

1-15oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa/cacao powder
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips or 3 oz dark chocolate bar, in pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and use liners to fill in muffin tin or spray with cooking oil. Add all ingredients to a large food processor or mixing bowl (except the chocolate chips/ pieces of dark chocolate). Process for 2 minutes or until batter is smooth, then stir in chocolate chips/pieces. Pour batter into muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring brownies to wire rack.

Eye Health & Nutrition

Fruits and vegetables

A tremendous connection exists between eating healthier and weight loss, cardiovascular health, managing blood sugar, and even eye health. Many people wait until their eyesight deteriorates in order to start making changes, but nutrition is a powerful form of preventative medicine which can help protect the eyes from disease and age-related vision loss.

By adding vital nutrients into the diet, you can start fighting the effects of aging and oxidation in the body – including the eyes. Start building up the nutrient supply by focusing on fulfilling the daily fruit and vegetable requirements of five to nine servings per day. Green leafy vegetables are an important food source for a wide array of nutrients that can improve eye health, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. In addition to turnip greens, kale, and collards, another good source of lutein is found in eggs. According to the Journal of Nutrition, eating an egg a day can boost both lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the bloodstream.

  • Vitamin C can help keep eyes healthy by providing protection from the UV-damage of sun exposure. Good sources of vitamin C include strawberries, raspberries, mango, apples, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Vitamin E helps with scavenging the free radicals and can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Sunflower oil, wheat germ, and almond butter are some beneficial foods with this vitamin.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the entire body and the eyes need this anti-inflammatory nutrient as well. Eating omega-3s from wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, or supplements can help.
  • In general, avoiding processed, sugary foods, unhealthy fat sources, while maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar levels (diabetes have a higher risk of blindness), will also help prevent eye disease.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the developed countries. Macular degeneration is linked to free radicals and homocysteine levels. The passionate work of One Bite Wellness revolves around identifying genetic markers, creating a customized nutrition plan, including more antioxidants and regulating homocysteine levels, and deep-cleaning diets in a way that allows clients to experience a delicious and sustainable manner of eating.

The bottom line is to remember that the foods that are beneficial to the body are also good for the eyes. Quality water, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy protein sources, and fiber are all important for maintaining overall health.

Top 4 Food Safety Tips

Wash Your Hands

  • Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds (sing the happy birthday song or the alphabet!)
    Potentially can saver more lives than any vaccine or intervention

Use a Food Thermometer

  • Cook food to a safe food temperature and use thermometer to check if food is fully cooked

Keep The Kitchen Clean

  • Use hot, soapy water to wash counter tops and surfaces, cutting boards, rand refrigerator doors and handles.
  • Avoid cross contamination
  • Wash hands as described previously after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs
  • Use separate cutting board for all meats, produce, and bread
  • Store raw meat and poultry in sealed containers or plastic Ziploc bags

Store Leftovers Safely

  • Do not leave perishable food items out for more than 2 hours
    Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of serving them

Source: EatRight.org