International Foods – South America

In most cases now it is not necessary to travel to other countries to try the national food.  There is a problem with this though.  In many cases the so called traditional food as been modified to the local ingredients.  The greatest problem comes to flours.  Where a dish is gluten-free or dairy-free in the original country, it isn’t in North America.

This can become a huge problem for people with allergies and different conditions.  The had a certain meal in the original country and think they found heaven when they got home only to find that it is poison.

That is why I am a big a fan of making your own meals and of finding recipes.  Grant it there are still times when I have to do some modifications with the ingredients, but it is still well worth it.

Many people think that someone with allergies to gluten, dairy, eggs, sesame, artificial colourings and flavourings is missing out.  Not so. It takes some creativity and back to basics.  It is amazing how simple and quick it can be to make your own meals – even with our hectic lifestyles.

While in South America we tried the national dishes that we could. One of  dishes that was high on our list to try was ceviche (pronounced say-bee-chay). This a raw dish made with fish – not anything like sushi but just as good. For those that do not like sushi, I am pretty sure you will like it.

To explain, the fish is “cooked” with an acid. The fish does turn white as if it had been baked or fried.  The acid is the peruvian limon (not a spelling error). If you have to substitute use a lime not a lemon.

There are many advantages to this meal that is considered a lunch only but it also makes a great appetizer.  The quality of the fish will be the big issue with the state of our seas, but do your best.

We have discovered other recipes that I will share in the coming days.

1 kg soft white fish

2 large red onions, sliced

1 or 2 chillies, chopped

6 limes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh coriander or cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

Wash and cut the fish into bite-sized pieces. Place in a dish with the sliced onions. Add the chopped chilli and coriander. Make a marinade using the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over the fish and place in a cool spot until the fish is “soft cooked” (10 min – 1 hr). Serve with boiled potatoes and corn on the cob.

Enjoy and please don’t hesitate to leave your results.

I Love Brain Food.

I have always had an interest in the brain and food.  Never realizing how  closely connected they are until I started my training back in 2007, as a herbalist and a holistic nutritionist.

I have read anecdotal accounts from ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) families and knew the results these families had with their ASD children when they removed gluten and dairy from their diets – but I had never experienced it myself until 2008.

I love learning and I love food (not that I look like it :0)). I have been ridiculed for  always taking courses and being a student for the rest of my life.  Life is an education.

Needless to say considering all the brain health issues we have in the world – whether it be with our kids, our grandparents or our military – there is a direct link with the food we eat or in some cases don’t eat and how our brains run. Our brains are approximately 66% fat and we need healthy full fat in our diets for our brains health.

I help many people of all ages with the ills of their lives but I have a lean towards brain health.  I have and do help with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Depression, Anxiety etc. There is not a one cure fits all and I am not saying they are cured, but the symptoms are alleviated and in some cases go away when changes are made in their lifestyle.

There is also a direct link to the health of your brain and the health of your gut.

The following recipe is kid approved, and skeptic approved (not sure how to best describe the taste tester).  These crepes are also enjoyed just rolled up as a snack. I have made the recipe as generic as possible because we do eat a more restrictive way than most – not that we personally think that way – it is just not mainstream. For lack of a better label or descriptive words, we are gluten-free, vegan (due to allergies), stage 1 Feingold and we eat a very high raw diet.

Berries are known for their anti-oxidant qualities, blueberries and strawberries have been researched more for their benefit to the brain.  Chia is a full protein seed that binds the crepe together and can help heal issues with the gut. It also delivers a superb dose of healthy fats for the brain.

blueberry crepes

Blueberry crepes, raw and stage 1 feingold

Fruit Crepes

1 c fruit (I use blueberries)

1/2 cup ground chia

1/2 cup flour – nut, brans, protein powders ( I use rice bran with tocotrienols and oat bran)

3 Tbsp liquid sweetener (I use coconut nectar)

3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Blend until smooth.

Spread 1/8-1/4 cup of batter on a teflex sheet. Use an offset spatula to make in a thin round pancake.

Dehydrate overnight.

Chop up fruit to go on top.  Add some jam or chocolate or cream into the centers and roll them up for a surprise.  Drizzle with maple syrup or a fruit coolis on top. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder over top.

This will make enough for approx 3-4 meals at 3-4 crepes per meal.

This recipe is:

low glycemic

Stage 1 Feingold



Curcumin (Turmeric) – Brain food – Not just for Curries and Cancer

We have all seen the news about the studies done on curcumin. Curcumin is the component in the spice Turmeric and Curries that give it the yellowish colour.  It is a spice mainly used in India, Asia and the Middle East.

Spanning the centuries, this common spice has been used for pain relieve, anti-inflammatory in the skin and muscles, a treatment for jaundice, menstrual difficulties, colic and flatulence, to name a few. In recent times, research has found that curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-microbial when used for cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, treatment for the liver, cancer and for neuro-degenerative diseases.

As it turns out, curcumin has shown promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease;  the ability to reverse impaired cognition and the ability of nerve cells to change to the environment when subjected to chronic stress. Turmeric’s polyphenols, and powerful anti-oxidative actions, are showing the ability to counteract the cognitive impairment caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) or neurodegenerative disorders.

Accordingly, as part of a dietary anti-oxidative therapy, turmeric could help promote protective processes in an injured brain, whether it be a TBI or an acute neurodegenerative condition.

The following recipe is an easy to make soup that utilizes many health promoting foods, along with turmeric to help give your brain a boost.

Vegetable Lentil Soup

1 cup orange lentils

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped

1.5  cups cauliflower (including stem) coarsely chopped

1.5 cup broccoli (including stem) coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns

approx 5 cups water or vegetable stock

add at end:

1 can coconut milk

1 Tbsp  lemon juice

1 long red chili pepper (optional)

In a slow cooker add everything and cook on low for 6 hours.  Add in the coconut milk, lemon juice and chili pepper (if using). In batches puree the vegetables and stock keeping as much of the lentils whole as possible.

Serves 4.


Carrot Seaweed Salad – protects against Radiation

Antioxidant has become a buzz word these last couple years as scientists discover a greater variety and determine how they help the body. Antioxidants are compounds – not just vitamins and minerals – that help protect cells from free radical damage.

One of the biggest source of free radical damage is radiation – in any form. The thyroid gland needs iodine, which is seriously lacking in our diet – and no the table salt that is iodized is not the same. The thyroid gland needs iodine and cannot determine good iodine from bad iodine. Seaweeds provide the greatest abundance of iodine compared to any other land plant or animal.

According to Dr. Ryan Drum “Eating 3-5 grams of most dried, unrinsed seaweeds will provide the RDA of 100-150 micrograms.” To have optimum health and protection from radiation it is recommended to eat 5-15 grams of seaweed (1/2 – 1 oz) a week at a ratio of 2:1 of brown (Kelps, Kombu, Wakame, Hijiki, Arame) to red (Nori, Dulse) seaweeds.

Arame is part of the kelp family, which provides the highest amount of iodine, and is one of the easiest to incorporate into your diet as it does not have a strong taste or smell, which can turn some people off.

A great snacking seaweed is the Bull Kelp. It will satisfy and salty crispy snack craving without being over powering. Another easy one is Nori which are found in sheets used in sushi.

Most people have grown up with the classic carrot salad of shredded carrots with raisins that were soaked in orange juice. This is another simple recipe that helps incorporate seaweed that is addresses the mineral deficiencies our regular diet has.

Remember – radiation is cumulative.

Carrot Seaweed Salad

1 cup shredded organic carrots

1 cup arame seaweed, soaked 10 mins and drained

1/3 cup hemp hearts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary

Toss the shredded carrots, arame seaweed and hemp hearts together. Mix the olive oil and rosemary together and pour over mixture. Serves 2 as a side or 1 for a meal.


Recipe for Chemo-preventive Effects

Avocado with pickled Ginger Chutney for Chemopreventive Effects

Studies have shown that the phytochemicals in avocado and ginger will help stop cell growth and encourage the natural programmed cell death of pre-cancerous and cancer cells.  Ginger will also help reduce the nausea and vomiting effects of chemotherapy.

1 medium avocado

1 Tbsp pickled ginger, chopped

1 tsp pickled ginger juice

1 tsp fresh organic lemon juice

Cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove pit.  Slice the halves lengthwise and then widthwise in the skin.  Use a spoon and scoop out. You should have a clean dice of the whole avocado.  Chop the ginger into small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix up to fully coat the avocado in the juices and mix the ginger throughout.

Serves 1

Calories: 349, Calories from Fat: 247, Total Fat: 45%, Saturated Fat: 21%, Sodium: 1%, Total Carbs: 8%, Dietary Fiber: 54%, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 4g, Vit A: 6%, Vit C: 55%, Calcium: 3%, Iron: 6%



Avocado fruit (Persea americana Mill) exhibits chemo-protective potentiality against cyclophosphamide induced genotoxicity in human lymphocyte culture.

Chemopreventive characteristics of avocado fruit

Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells.

Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances.

Novel nitric oxide and superoxide generation inhibitors, persenone A and B, from avocado fruit.


Update on the chemopreventive effects of ginger and its phytochemicals.

Cancer cell signaling pathways targeted by spice-derived nutraceuticals.

Effect of Ginger on Acute and Delayed Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting: A Pilot, Randomized, Open-Label Clinical Trial.

Ginger May Reduce Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea

Digestion and Chopsticks

Digestion and Chopsticks

We all know that we need to eat our food more slowly and chew it longer. Digestion starts in the mouth and if we could master chewing our food longer we could solve a lot of digestive problems (like gas – all forms). One way to chew our food longer would be to take smaller bites. We are suppose to chew our food 20-25 times turning it to liquid before swallowing. Again, we are in a hurry and it is hard to take a small bite with a big spoon or fork.

The perfect solution – for adults and children alike – is the chopsticks. No, I do not mean the piano composition…. though I do like that too. I mean actual chopsticks. They are far more common these days, being another disposable item. Many restaurants have them and the book stores actually sell a special gadget to help learn how to use them. My little man and I started using them – we had lots of fun trying – the next thing we knew we were able to use chopsticks properly and we were eating small bites and chewing 20-25 times before swallowing the food.

For kids it could become a game to get them to eat food they are not keen on. The challenge could be picking up just one chickpea with chopsticks…not easy….trust me, but it is lots of fun trying.

Chopsticks are not expensive and I highly recommend trying it. It will be a great health investment.

LIFEBOOK Health: 1. Drink plenty of water



1. Drink plenty of water
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lun ch like a prince and dinner like a beggar
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in plants
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy
5. Make time for prayer
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did last year
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes ea ch day
9. Sleep for 7 hours
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day —- and while you walk, smile


11. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do ; keep your limits
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously ; no one else does
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone… Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present
21. No one is in ch arge of your happiness except you
22. Realize that life is a s ch ool and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


25. Call your family often
26. Ea ch day give something good to others
27. Forgive everyone for everything
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
29. Try to make at least three people smile ea ch day
30. What other people think of you is none of your business
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in tou ch .


32. Do the right things
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful
34. GOD heals everything
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will ch ange
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
37. The best is yet to come
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least :

40. Do forward this to everyone you care about.