health

Pea and Basil Pesto with Rice Noodles and Zucchini

It has been quite a crazy few weeks! I am happy to be back to recipe creation mode after a great trip to California. I love making different pestos since it provides so much flavor and is a great way to concentrate some really healthy anti-inflammatory foods! This latest variation was my attempt to boost some protein in my pesto sauce. Peas are a great source of protein, providing 8g in 1C. Peas are also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1 and some vitamin C and also available at almost any grocery store.

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Pesto is so versatile. You can use any blend of nuts or seeds, add in many different veggies and other herbs. Try adding in kale or Swiss chard for another hidden veggie boost. Try this for your next quick dinner. This recipe from start to finish is only 20 minutes.

Pea and Basil Pesto

Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1C cooked peas (can be from frozen)

1/3C extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1/4C pumpkin seeds, cashews or sunflower seeds

2 Tbs water (if needed to thin out the sauce)

pinch of salt

1C fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well combined and smooth.

  2. Meanwhile cook gluten free noodles according to package directions and sautée or steam zucchini, broccoli, or asparagus.

  3. Serve sauce over veggies and gluten free pasta.

Variation: Try using this pesto spread on bread or in a wrap instead of hummus for a vegetarian sandwich! Load up the wrap with grilled veggies and micro greens to make a filling anti-inflammatory lunch!

Eat for your Health!

Safe, Quick and Easy Travel Foods


Do you want some low-histamine, anti-inflammatory hot foods to eat when traveling or a healthy anti-inflammatory staple option to grab on the go? I will be traveling to the Natural Products Expo West this March so while I was deciding what travel foods to bring I thought you would enjoy a post about safe travel foods that actually give you some nutrients and keep you full.  Travel food is such a hard thing not only for someone following a low-histamine diet (when everything should be mostly fresh) but for everyone! 

Here are a few staple snacks that I love!!

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Favorite Snacks

Freeze dried fruit from Trader Joe’s, dehydrated beets from Trader Joe’s (yes I am a fan) and I love these Mary’s Gone Crackers the Real Thin Crackers. Other freeze dried fruits and crackers or sweet potato chips will also be good light staples for snacking on the plane. You still get all of your vitamins and minerals from freeze dried fruits so this is a better choice than dried. Beets are one of the most concentrated antioxidant sources so these are super for boosting your antioxidants when on the go. The Terra chips that have root vegetables and beets are great too!

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Ramen

I was so excited to find these millet and brown rice ramen noodles by Lotus Foods that provide 8g of protein and are gluten free and the best part is there is no high histamine seasoning included. This is so exciting since you just have to get boiling water which is available everywhere and a medium-large coffee cup or large bowl to make your own low-histamine, anti-inflammatory ramen for on the go.

I like to use a freeze dried vegetable like peas (which has some protein!!) and add some dried minced garlic and onion for flavor and a pinch or salt. Voila a filling delicious anti-inflammatory meal on the go!

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Don’t waste money on instant oatmeal packets, make your own! This staple is for anyone traveling (or even just rushing to work in the morning) that’s ready quickly and easy to make.  Combine freeze dried fruit, I usually pick blueberries, chia seeds, a pinch of sugar in the raw, maple sugar or coconut sugar, oats (all purpose) and boiling hot water for an amazing morning oatmeal which can travel. 

Hopefully these quick to prep, healthy foods will help you on your next busy day or trip!

If you are looking for more ideas pre-order a copy of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook today! Coming out 2.5.2019.

Eat for your health!

Resolution #1: Eat More Plants & A Mediterranean diet Base


Big News! The Mediterranean Diet was named the top diet for 2019 by the US World News and World Report. Need help following A Mediterranean Diet?

The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook can help! The Book is based on foods commonly found in the Mediterranean Diet, which are also low in histamine and anti-inflammatory.

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January is the season for resolutions and is a nice time to start new healthy habits. The goal is to find some healthy habits that you can maintain throughout the year. One of my favorite resolutions is to Eat More Plants. We know that fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plants are the basis for an anti-inflammatory diet because the phytonutrients in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains decrease inflammation in the body. Plant rich diets have been shown to decrease inflammation, reduce high blood pressure, and reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Along with phytonutrients, plants give you a healthy dose of fiber to help reduce cholesterol and keep your colon healthy.

So how can we make and keep our resolution to eat more plants? Below is a sample meal plan to help you on your way! The plan below will get you 10-11 servings of veggies and/or fruits in a day!

Goal: Eat 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables per day

(A serving size equals - 1/2 cup cooked vegetables, or 1 cup raw vegetables, or 2 cups of leafy greens)

Breakfast:

Choose a smoothie! Use 2C of fruit and 1/2C veggies like spinach or even carrots. Use a plant based milk and protein powder or add chia seed and flax seed for protein and good fats and fiber. (2.5 servings fruits/veggies)

1C Sweet potato hash with eggs (2 servings veggies)

Egg sandwich with arugula, sautéed onions and avocado + 1 apple (2 servings fruit/veggies)

Lunch:

4C salad with greens and chopped veggies and 4oz lean protein + 1C berries (4 servings fruit/veggies)

Vegetable soup with beans (2C) + 1 serving whole grain crackers + 1 mango (3 servings fruits/veggies)

Rice noodles with veggies (1C) + pesto + 1 apple (3 servings fruits/veggies)

Snack: (1-2 servings fruit/veggies per choice below)

Veggies and hummus

Freeze dried fruit

Fruit with nut/seed butter

Sweet potato chips (a bit of a cheat I know!)

Dinner:

1C roasted brussel sprouts, 4oz salmon, 1C cauliflower rice (4 servings veggies)

Turkey meatballs with 2C spaghetti squash and sauce (4 servings veggies)

Chicken and veggie stirfry (2C veggies) over brown rice (4 servings veggie)

Tip: use starchy veggie replacements like spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead of pasta or riced cauliflower instead of rice to help boost your veggie servings even more!

Hopefully this plan helps to give you some ideas of how to get more plant foods in your day! Pre-order a copy of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook today!

Eat for your health!

Sources:

1) Anti-inflammatory effects of plant-based foods and of their constituents. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19685439

2) A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466941/

3)https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/02/health/mediterranean-best-diet-2019/index.html

Immune Boosting Foods

It is that time of year. The sniffles, coughs and fevers from getting the cold or flu. The body is designed to fight off infections by our powerful immune system. Stress, lack of sleep, poor food choices and certain medical conditions can make our immune systems not work as well so we will discuss some foods that can help your body fight off the next infection.

Ingredients for Immune Health this Winter

Eat foods with Probiotics which are found in yogurt, keifer and kimchi. It has been found that probiotics may boost your immune system. A large part of our immune system is housed in our gut so take care of it! Eat a probiotic rich food daily. For those of you with histamine issues probiotic foods are usually off the menu! You can use a probiotic supplement instead. Choose a supplement with bifidobacterium infantis which doesn’t promote histamine production in the gut. Eat foods with good prebiotic fibers to take care of your gut as well like asparagus, oats, beans & sweet potatoes.

Eat foods with Zinc which is found in chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and dark meats. Zinc has been shown to reduce cold duration and is important for keeping your immune system in top shape.

Eat foods with Vitamin C which is important for keeping your immune system strong and may help decrease the duration of your cold. Use peppers for a  lower sugar option which actually provides more vitamin C per cup than oranges.

Eat foods with Flavonoids which are the phytochemicals found in berries, tea and even dark chocolate. These flavonoids keep the immune system strong and may even reduce the risk of getting a cold or other upper respiratory infections.

Eat functional foods like elderberry syrup and honey. Elderberry syrup has been shown to prevent flu infection and can reduce flu duration. Honey is a natural immune system booster and a natural antibacterial food.

For the whole video clip and more info click the link below!


https://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/local-news/keeping-your-immune-system-healthy/1668573023

Immune Boosting Mocktail

 

Makes 4 servings

 

1C V8 fusion blueberry pomegranate juice or another berry juice

1 orange cut into slices

1 liter of club soda

 

1.     Freeze the juice into ice cubes (at least 2 hours or overnight)

2.     In glasses place juice cubes, top off with club soda and garnish with oranges.

 

Histamine Intolerance & DAO Enzyme

DAO Boosting Salad

DAO Boosting Salad

Do you get headaches, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, acid reflux, a runny nose or flushing after eating aged meats, cheeses, barbecue sauce, balsamic vinaigrettes, wine, soy sauce or even avocados? If so you could be someone with histamine intolerance. Histamine intolerance is condition where individuals most commonly have a decrease in the enzymes DAO (Diamine Oxidase) and HMNT (Histamine N-methyl transferase). If these enzymes do not work properly the body cannot break down histamine as efficiently and the body can get overloaded with histamine which leads to a variety of symptoms.

Research has recorded the effects of histamine intolerance for years. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that approximately one percent of the population has some degree of histamine intolerance. The full roster of symptoms includes: acid reflux, allergic reaction, arrhythmia, asthma, brain fog, congestion, diarrhea, joint pain, flushing of the skin, headache, hives, and hypotension.  That’s not a large percentage, but it still adds up to a lot of people. Many more people have a histamine related condition such as allergies, migraines, asthma, chronic hives, IBS, and interstitial cystitis. Changing the diet may also help in these conditions.

Studies also show us that a low-histamine, anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce many symptoms of histamine intolerance in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (a condition where there are too many overactive mast cells in the body that release too much histamine).

Researchers have found that patients with migraines, eczema and hives, have lower DAO enzyme levels. Studies found that following a low-histamine diet for 6 to 12 months, helped to increase patients DAO levels and decrease histamine related symptoms. Medical research indicates that the most effective ongoing therapy for histamine intolerance is the limitation of histamine-rich foods.

Histamine is also only one side of the story. When histamine is released in the body it is joined by many inflammatory molecules that increase systemic inflammation in the body. Using our super anti-inflammatory foods are just as important as avoiding histamine to help reduce symptoms.

So how can we improve our DAO enzyme levels and reduce inflammation?

Give your body the RIGHT nutrients:

  • Vitamin C (good sources are red peppers, most fruits, and veggies)

  • Vitamin B6 (good sources are turkey, banana, chickpeas, salmon and other meats)

  • Magnesium (good sources are swiss chard, black beans, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds

EAT a low histamine and anti-inflammatory diet to decrease your circulating histamine and inflammatory molecule levels and improve your DAO enzyme levels.

The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook will go in detail on the research of how the low-histamine & anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance, mast cell activation syndrome, allergies/asthma, eczema & atopic dermatitis, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The book will provide a roadmap to following the diet and yummy irresistible recipes. Here is a DAO Boosting Salad recipe to get you started!

DAO Boosting Salad

Rich in the right blend of nutrients to support your body’s breakdown of histamine. Tons of vitamin C, antioxidants, magnesium and B6.

Makes 4 servings

Salad Ingredients:

4C mixed greens

1 head of broccoli chopped into small pieces

1 sliced red pepper

1C chickpeas

2 scallions diced

1 carrot shredded

1/4 C pumpkin seeds

Dressing:

1 tsp ginger freshly grated

1 clove garlic

1 Tbs coconut or brown sugar

1/4C sesame oil

1 Tbs chia seeds

1/2 tsp salt

  1. Chop and combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing separately and toss well with salad. Enjoy right away.

Resources:

Izquierdo-Casas J, et al. Low serum diamine oxidase (DAO) activity levels in patients with migraine. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry. 2018; 74 (1): 93–99.

Kovacova-Hanuskova, E, et al. Histamine, histamine intoxication and intolerance. Allergologia et Immunopathologia (Madrid). 2015; 43 (5): 498–506.

Magerl, M, Pisarevskaja, D, et al. Effects of a pseudoallergen-free diet on chronic spon- taneous urticaria: A prospective trial. Allergy. 2010; 65 (1): 78–83.

Maintz, L, Novak, N. Histamine and histamine intolerance. American Journal of Clini- cal Nutrition 2007; 85 (5): 1185–1196.

Maintz, L, Bieber, N, Novak, N. Histamine intolerance in clinical practice. Deutsches Ärzteblatt. 2006; 103 (51–52): 3477–3483.

Maintz, L, Benfadal, S, et al. Evidence for a reduced histamine degradation capacity in a subgroup of patients with atopic eczema. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2006; 117 (5): 1106–1112.

Music, E, Korosec, P, et al. Serum diamine oxidase activity as a diagnostic test for hista- mine intolerance. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2013; 125 (9–10): 239–243. http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23579881

Wantke, F, Gotz, M, et al. Histamine-free diet: treatment of choice for histamine-in- duced food intolerance and supporting treatment for chronic headaches. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 1993; 23 (12): 982–985. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/ doi/10.1111/j.1365-2222.1993.tb00287.x/full

Crunchy Coconut Granola

Crunchy, a little sweet and super nutritious. Homemade granola is simple to make and super delicious! This is one of my favorite things to make on the weekend. Here is the recipe for crunchy coconut granola. Loaded with chia seeds, coconut, extra light olive oil to provide a hefty dose of healthy fats and fiber to keep you full all morning. Try mixing in different fruits for different flavors. I used a few dates this time but using freeze dried fruit to mix in at the end is also a great way to add flavor and be histamine friendly.

Crunchy Coconut Granola

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

4C rolled oats

1/4C chia seeds

1C shredded coconut (no sugar or preservatives)

1/3C extra light olive oil

1/3C maple syrup

pinch of salt

1C dates chopped small or 1C freeze dried fruit

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl except the fruit.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  3. Put granola on parchment in an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes stirring halfway through baking. Then add the fruit, mix in and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the granola is golden. Serve with your milk of choice!

    Store in airtight containers for up to 1 week or freeze in containers.

Looking for more anti-inflammatory, low histamine, healthy and quick recipes?

Pre-order now!

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Lighten Up the Holidays!

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad (Recipe Below)

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad (Recipe Below)

Do you ever worry about weight gain during the holidays? Not only is it a busy time of year but food tends to be everywhere. Parties, holiday meals and food gifts can make it challenging. I have a few tips that can be helpful for managing this holiday season while eating great and taking care of your body too.

  1. Eat Mindfully

    This means you can have bites of some treat foods, just don’t go overboard. Don’t munch on snacks at a party if you are not hungry, but if you are hungry have a sensible portion.

  2. Walk More

    Many of us overeat when we have a holiday meal or party. The food is just so good! Walking helps to reduce blood sugar levels and improves digestion.

  3. Change up the Meal

    Many holiday foods are healthy, some others just need to be tweaked! Check out the recipe for mushroom and onion green beans a mock up of green bean casserole that is only 75 calories per serving vs. the traditional 200 calories per serving. Using mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes can also save you over 100 calories per 1 cup serving. We know that plant foods are better for us so load up on the veggie sides!

  4. Go Easy on the Carbs

    It is so easy to load up on potatoes, rolls, stuffing and then 1-2 pieces of pie. Try picking fewer carby sides with your turkey and veggies, so you can save more carb room in your day for a good slice of pie! Aim for 1/4 plate of starchy sides to save room for pie. Moderation never tasted so good. Try the winter cabbage cranberry salad (recipe below) as another veggie side that provides a nice crunchy bite and cranberry flavor.

  5. Eat Pie

    Treat foods are soul foods in my mind. They are delicious make us happy and are an important part of the holiday season. Eat mindfully, a reasonable portion and enjoy without guilt.

Enjoy these recipes on your holiday table this year!

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Mushroom and Onion Green Beans

Makes 6, 1 cup servings

Ingredients:

4C fresh or frozen green beans prepared

1 large onion sliced

1 clove minced garlic

1C sliced white mushrooms

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 Tbs butter or vegan butter spread

1 Tbs olive oil

 

1.    Combine olive oil, green beans, onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee until onions are golden, green beans and mushrooms are cooked. In the last few minutes of cooking add butter to create a creamy sauce and serve.

 

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad

 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small head of shredded green cabbage

1C dried cranberries

1 small head of shredded purple cabbage

1/2C slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds

 

Dressing:

2 Tbs maple syrup

1/4C olive oil

Pinch of salt

2 Tbs cranberry juice (unsweetened)

 

1.Add all salad ingredients into a bowl.

2. Toss dressing in a separate bowl and toss to coat salad. Serve immediately.

5 Foods to Eat Every Day

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Let’s aim to eat well every day. There are a few foods that if you can get in daily you will be able to give your body a mega antioxidant boost. The foods below will boost your antioxidant and vitamin intake while reducing your inflammation. These foods are affordable, and good to stock up so you can encourage healthy eating without requiring that extra grocery store or specialty shop trip. Try the prep ahead smoothie kits below!

Berries & Cherries

These fruits are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. They are also rich in fiber and spike your blood sugar less than other fruits.

Tip: Try frozen berries in smoothies or overnight oats if fresh berries are too expensive or are not in season. Also try picking a bunch of berries next berry season and freeze to use throughout the year!

Leafy Greens Like Kale, Mixed Greens & Chard

Deep dark greens are high in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.

Tip: Chop up any green and sautée to reduce down. Add reduced greens to meatballs or meatloaf to hide some more greens (from your kids) and add some more greens to your day. Add a handful of greens to your morning smoothie for an extra morning boost.

Complex Carbs: Oats, Brown rice & Quinoa

These whole grains are rich in soluble fiber, complex carbohydrates and B vitamins. Don’t be afraid of good carbs!

Tip: Cook up a large batch of quinoa or brown rice and freeze in single serve 1 cup portions. This is a mega time saver and can be the base for many dishes.

Root Veggies: Sweet potatoes, carrots & winter squash

Deep orange foods give us huge boosts of vitamin A, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

Tip: Keep these veggies on hand, they don’t rot quickly like lettuce and cucumbers so you can always have one of these staples available even when your pantry is bare.

Ginger

This root is a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent and can be eaten in many forms. Try in tea, shredded into vegetable dishes, rice dishes or even egg dishes.

Tip: Pre-grate some ginger and keep it in a closed container in the refrigerator. Use a microplane grater to break up the tough root.

Prep Your Own Breakfast Smoothie Kits!

Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 C greens

1C frozen berries

1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 Tbs chia seed

1C milk of choices or water

1/4C oats

Add greens, berries, ginger, oats, chia seed to freezer safe bags. Make 3-4 of these if desired to keep in the freezer. Simply add to a blender with 1C milk of choice in the morning for a quick breakfast on the go with some serious anti-inflammatory power.