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“How did this happen?” A grandmother wakes up to food and loses 60 pounds

August 20, 2011 •  7 comments.

 •  Blog, News, Uncategorized

I looked down at the scale and it said 250 lbs. I couldn’t believe it. How did that happen?

I thought about all the diets I had been on over the years. Each one promising, each one failing. Atkins helped me lose 60 lbs. then after a year, I gained it and 50 lbs. more back. I tried liquid and eating pre-made meals (gross) of what I thought was healthy. I’d lose 20 lbs. then stop and gain it right back. Enough was enough.

I love food so I decided I’m going to learn everything about it.

What is real healthy food?

I first gave up sugar. Then it was white flour. My sons were both doing the Paleo diet so I learned from them about eating lean meats, vegetable and fruits nuts and seeds. The first month was horrible. The cravings for sugar were endless. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and likened it to a drug addict. Was I really this addicted to sugar? I started looking at all the foods in my cabinets. Canned foods with corn syrup added, salad dressings w/ corn syrup, whole grain cereals, there’s the corn syrup again! Products I thought were healthy choices were full of corn syrup and chemicals I couldn’t pronounce.

What is going on?!

I began dumping everything that was processed and wasn’t a whole food that was in my kitchen. My cupboards were bare.

I then began watching documentaries to get educated on where our food comes from. King Corn, Food Inc., everything netflix had to offer on food documentaries. My favorites was to market to market to buy a fat pig which was about Farmers Markets and where their food comes from… Wow, what a difference and that’s when I really started getting mad.

It’s also when I noticed children holding large red dye slurpys and I wanted to cry for them! I researched every farmers market in our area and began to learn more about Organic food.

I started talking more and more to my girlfriend Ellen who was concerned about the genetic Alzheimer’s in her family and was researching food right along with me to learn more about fighting disease. My mother passed away of Cancer just two years ago. So cancer is another disease I want to fight off now by making my body as healthy as I can.

Ellen and I got together for lunches weekly to go over what we had learned. I was thankful for this because many people just don’t want to know and we needed to vent about GMO, Pesticides, Processed Food, Corn Syrup and our poor American farmers, seed companies and drug companies and giant food corps. Are they all working hand in hand making our families over weight, allergic, sick and dieing.

How did this happen? And what can we do to make it stop!?

Youtube had an amazing amount of wonderful recipes from our Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw foodies and Paleo friends. I have learned to make my own almond bread. I make zucchini pasta my husband and I love. Together we juice in the morning fresh Organic vegetables and fruit. I still eat meat but it has to be grass fed, pasture finished, eggs too. I can’t believe how wonderful this whole Organic food tastes! Were my taste buds numb before?

It’s been five months. And people started noticing the weight loss.

I’ve lost 45lbs. on this journey so far and I call it a journey because its not a diet. I’ve completely changed what I eat for life. It’s not something I will stop once I lose the weight. I have to much information now to ever go back.

My hope is to continue to lose at least another 6o lbs. but more importantly to get healthy and detoxify my body. My husband has lost 35lbs. and just got back from the doctors. The doctors told him keep doing whatever your doing, you’ve lost weight and your cholesterol went from 246 to 161and everything is within the normal ranges.

And this is a man who never ate veggies.

Learning how to make great organic food has made all the difference.(Thank you Youtube!) I’ve also begun gardening, so often in the afternoon I am tending to our organic tomatoes, zucchini lettuce and bell pepper. Watching the garden grow is an awesome reminder of how its really supposed to be.

I have an 8 month old grandson and two more on the way that I want to inspire and be a part of. I feel like I have a whole new wonderful life awaiting me by discovering whole foods. More then anything, I want everyone to have this gift. Just know that it all started with one change. The rest just kept coming.

~Lisa S.

Cooking with Food Allergies

August 11, 2011 •  no comments.

 •  Blog, News

At AllergyKids, we are thankful for the countless individuals, families and organizations that are doing everything that they can to help protect the health of the 1 in 3 American children that now has allergies, autism, asthma and ADHD.

We know that managing these conditions can often be an enormous labor of love, so we’re always on the lookout for ways to help support those who are doing such a remarkable job caring for these children. And when we learned about the work of Carmel Nelson, co-author of The Food Allergy Cookbook, we asked if she would share a few thoughts about what inspired her. So with no further ado, here’s Carmel, in her own words.

Written by Carmel Nelson

I was diagnosed with my first food allergy in the winter of 2001, about a year after my co-author and friend, Amra Ibrisimovic discovered her food allergies. She offered me solace and comfort as I learned that I was not only allergic to dairy but also other foods. As we continued to explore our common food allergies and compare notes on how little information there was available on the web and in bookstores, we also began to share our successes in the kitchen with recipes. I first had the idea of writing The Food Allergy Cookbook and Amra was excited by the idea.

What both of us had noticed is that cookbooks focusing on food allergies tended to address only one food allergy and none of them remotely acknowledged how to handle food allergies in social situations. After all, who likes to be relegated to munching on raw carrot sticks in a corner at a party simply because they can’t eat anything else? We were inspired to do more. We wrote recipes and holiday menus for our book so families and friends could gather, not worrying about having to fix a separate plate for Cousin Sue with multiple food allergies. Or, if Uncle Mac was cooking and he was the one with the food allergies, he could show others how easy it was to entertain without missing all the trimmings at a Thanksgiving meal.

Amra and I also travel frequently, and this is a big deal if you have food allergies. All airports, train stations, and the like, are filled with fast food joints, and are not exactly food allergy friendly; the TSA isn’t much friendlier. We included tips in our book for handling travel with families, international travel (particularly if you don’t speak the language), and ideas for making travel safer with food allergies. We included a full guide for stocking the pantry as well as a guide for reading food labels for the most common food allergens.

Probably, what’s most important in our book, is that we’ve tried to bring food back from a place of fear into a place of play and enjoyment for those with food allergies. No more does the individual with food allergies have to forgo the fulfilling meals, luscious cinnamon rolls, chocolate cake or mousse, or decadent desserts. We have tested our foods on the normal palates of people used to “regular” food (e.g. not the gluten/dairy free foods) and the food has passed with raging success! We certainly didn’t skimp on chocolate in this book, and if you enjoy cooking and playing in the kitchen, you’ll be having a blast rediscovering foods and learning to entertain once again!

The Food Allergy Cookbook: A Guide to Living with Allergies and Entertaining with Healthy, Delicious Meals focuses on foods that are dairy, gluten, soy, corn, nut and shellfish free. It is available in all bookstores as well as on amazon.com and Carmel has graciously shared a recipe with our readers which can be found on our Recipe Page.

To become part of The Food Allergy Cookbook team, please visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Food-Allergy-Cookbook-A-Guide-for-Living-with-Allergies/220720771272899

Tahini Lime Dressing

 •  6 comments.

 •  Getting Started, Recipe

Tahini Lime Dressing

¼ c Tahini

1 t Fresh grated ginger

1 t Fresh chopped mint

2 T Lime juice

2 T Maple syrup

¼ c water

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more water to make salad dressing; add less water if using as a dressing for meat.

From The Food Allergy Cookbook: A Guide to Living with Allergies and Entertaining with Healthy, Delicious Mealsfocuses on foods that are dairy, gluten, soy, corn, nut and shellfish free. It is available in all bookstores as well as on amazon.com and Carmel has graciously shared a recipe with our readers which can be found on our Recipe Page.

To become part of The Food Allergy Cookbook team, please visit their Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Food-Allergy-Cookbook-A-Guide-for-Living-with-Allergies/220720771272899

Spice Up Veggies with Cabbage Pico De Gallo

August 8, 2011 •  one comment.

 •  Blog, Getting Started, News, Recipes

Written by Robyn O’Brien

Growing up in the South, I loved all things hot and spicy, from huevos rancheros in the morning to fajitas at night. The spicier the better.

But when we moved to Colorado twelve years ago, I realized (much to my dismay) that I was doing a pretty dismal job of getting fresh veggies into our diet. So we started trying to incorporate a few more greens.

And this weekend, while at a BBQ, these two worlds combined when a friend from New Orleans who was visiting Colorado introduced me to this Pico de Gallo recipe. It’s hot, spicy and loaded with…cabbage! Who knew that eating your veggies could be so easy?

So have it, it’ll feel good, taste good and it goes well with everything from grilled veggies to burgers…..but it may just be best as a stand-alone salad.

Cabbage Pico De Gallo

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 or 5 roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 or 4 limes
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos with 2 or 3 TBSP. juice.
  • 2 or 3 TBSP. red wine vinegar.
  • 1/4 teasp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teasp. chili powder
  • 1/4 teasp pepper
  • 1/4 teasp salt (note: last 5 ingredients can be adjusted to taste)

To Prepare:

Shred cabbage and red onion with a food processor and put into large bowl. Add: chopped tomatoes, juice of limes and chopped up leaves from cilantro. Add remaining ingredients to taste and stir.

Great (seriously great!) for several days stored in refrigerator. Stir before serving with chips, fajitas, salad, eggs, grilled veggies…or just by itself!

As originally seen on Better Recipes: Mexican

Food Safety and Autism

August 6, 2011 •  no comments.

 •  Blog, News

Written by Susan Moffit for Autism Key

In my opinion, the search for “the cause” of autism is a misnomer, because in our modern world there is no single cause, but a complex of environmental factors that trigger a genetic predisposition. While our technological advances have aided us, they have also hurt us in terms of the air we breathe, the food we eat and the stress we absorb on a daily basis.

In the last twenty years, America as seen a 400 percent increase in allergies and ADHD, a 300 percent spike in asthma and skyrocketing cases of autism. Obesity is a national health crisis and we have the highest cancer rate on the planet. Those two decades correspond to at least three trends: an intensified childhood vaccination schedule, increased births by c-section and the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) into our food supply.

Driven by profitability, genetically modified foods now account for as much as 80% of our food supply. GMOs have yet to be tested as safe for human or animal consumption and represent a perpetual criss-cross of bacteria and virus contamination from a myriad of genetic versions of multiple crops and animals.

American GMO crops are subsidized and deregulated. If a bio-tech company merely says its products are safe, that is currently sufficient for approval. While over 40 nations have either banned genetically engineered (GE) food or required labeling of it, the United States has not joined their ranks. Prolific use of pesticides compound our food safety hazards.

So what can you do on a personal level to address the sorry state of our food sourcing for you and your family?

Certified organic food is a good path to take, but outrageously expensive. But you need not forego safety entirely for cost. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) points out that while commercially-farmed fruits and vegetables vary in their levels of pesticide residue, vegetables like broccoli, asparagus and onions, as well as foods with peels such as avocados, bananas and oranges, have relatively low levels compared to other fruits and vegetables.

Here are five strategic organic foods that Dr. Alan Greene, author of “Raising Baby Green,” has identified as making the biggest impact on the family diet:

1. Milk: “When you choose a glass of conventional milk, you are buying into a whole chemical system of agriculture,” says Dr. Greene. People who switch to organic milk typically do so because they are concerned about the antibiotics, artificial hormones and pesticides used in the commercial dairy industry. One recent United States Department of Agriculture survey found certain pesticides in about 30 percent of conventional milk samples and low levels in only one organic sample. The level is relatively low compared to some other foods, but many kids consume milk in large quantities.

2. Potatoes: Potatoes are a staple of the American diet. A simple switch to organic potatoes has the potential to have a big impact because commercially-farmed potatoes are some of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables. A 2006 U.S.D.A. test found 81 percent of potatoes tested still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled, and the potato has one of the the highest pesticide contents of 43 fruits and vegetables tested, according to the EWG.

3. Peanut butter: More acres are devoted to growing peanuts than any other fruits, vegetable or nut, according to the U.S.D.A. More than 99 percent of peanut farms use conventional farming practices, including the use of fungicide to treat mold, a common problem in peanut crops. Given that some kids eat peanut butter almost every day, this seems like a simple and practical switch.

4. Ketchup: For some families, ketchup accounts for a large part of the household vegetable intake. About 75 percent of tomato consumption is in the form of processed tomatoes, including juice, tomato paste and ketchup. Notably, recent research has shown organic ketchup has about double the antioxidants of conventional ketchup.

5. Apples: Apples are the second most commonly eaten fresh fruit, after bananas, and they are also used in the second most popular juice, after oranges, according to Dr. Greene. But apples are also one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables. The good news is that organic apples are easy to find in regular grocery stores.

A complete list of Dr. Greene’s organic choices is available at Organic Rx on his website. Another simple guideline proffered by Dr. Mark Hyman is to never eat anything that has ingredients you can’t pronounce and nothing with more than five ingredients.

As parents of children with autism, we are especially mindful of our children’s dietary needs, knowing that it lays the foundation for their health and well-being. It’s heartening that we can find ways to balance our awareness of the importance of pure food and our family budget.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Moffitt is the mother of high functioning twin sons with autism. When not advocating for them, she pursues her multiple creative passions of fine art, piano composition and writing. She is the author of “Upstream,” a compilation of poetry, fiction and anecdotal tales that deal with raising twins with autism. For more information, visit
http://SusanMoffitt.com