Category Archives: Kids

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

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23240604

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047325

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19640963

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22569815

 

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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.

Sources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21520701

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19540859

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16364299

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21343524

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.

Radiation, Thyroid and Seaweed

Given what is happening within the world today, I wanted to make sure as many people as possible knew this and would like you to pass it on.

Radiation is always around us now. Whether it is from cell phones, wireless phones,computers, light bulbs, anything that is plugged in. We are also exposed to radiation from the sun, more so when we fly during the day. And now, as the earth breaksdown, our nuclear plants, with their dirty energy, leaks into the atmosphere and our water systems. We are being bombarded. Quartz stones on your person and around your home, along with grounding to the earth, will help lessen the exposure.

The thyroid is the considered the shield of the body. In the US alone, approximately 27 million people of some sort of thyroid condition. These people are approximately 3/4 women to 1/4 men. It does affect children too. Why? We have a very stressful world, at all ages, and we do not eat food that nourishes and protects the body.

Seaweed is very high in minerals, which we dearly lack. Seaweed, especially kelp (also known as bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus)) is very beneficial for the thyroid, among other things. Kelp is the highest in iodine and phenolic compounds. It is important to eat a minimum of 2 oz of seaweed a week. Seaweed, especially kelp, helps protect against radiation and helps heal and protect the thyroid.

When the atomic bombs fell on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, it was devestating. The foods that helped with the Japanese peoples’ recovery was there consumption of seaweed and miso soup. It has been showned that the polysaccharides in various seaweeds actually hinder the growth of cancer cells.

The benefit of miso soup is the fermentation. Fermented foods along with seaweed is very beneficial and supportive and protective to the body as a whole.

If you would like more information, recipes on how to incorporate seaweed into your diet, or help with how to test for thyroid conditions, please email me rhoni@foodandyou.ca

The beauty of the sun – Vitamin D

With summer trying to break upon us, people are starting to turn to their sunscreens again. It has been noted that two-thirds of Canadians are Vitamin D deficient. Why? Well… approximately 30 years ago, give or take, the world was worried about the ozone layer having a hole in it. This meant we had greater exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. It became so ingrained in us to never go outside without putting on the sunscreen.  We were inadvertently preventing the production of vitamin D. It is now known that vitamin D is needed for the prevention of many different illnesses, not just bone health.

The research that has been done on Vitamin D is amazing.  Our bodies can produce 10,000 IU’s of vitamin d is as little as 20-30 mins of exposure.  The higher the latitude the less effective the sun rays are in producing vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which means our bodies can store excess for a rainy day.

With everything in nature, vitamin D needs co-factors in order to work properly. We can take all the vitamin D in the world, but if we do not have the proper co-factors of:

  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • vitamin K2
  • boron
  • genestein
  • a tiny amount of vitamin A

it means nothing.  The other issue that has to be looked at is how well your digestive system is working. If your digestive system is presenting with lots of gas or bloating (to name a few), it may not be absorbing the vitamins properly either.

Through a plethora of peer reviewed research, vitamin D has been determined to be a very important factor in our lives.

We still have to be concerned about burning, but it is important not to reach for the sunscreen for every minute we are outside.  When our skin is starting to take a pink hue that is time to come in. If you know you are going to be out during the heat of the sun, then by all means put the sunscreen on.  If you know you are only going to be out for an hour, leave it off, it will do your body good.

The sun is our friend, enjoy it well! :0)

all the best

R

P.S. A great resource for more information is the Vitamin D Council.

Happy Easter

How do you deal with Easter when your child has major allergies?

It is possible, although it may not be easy in that you cannot buy it at the supermarket…..yet.  Chocolate bought in the stores today, have many top allergens in it, including dairy, sugar cane, food additives, to name a few.  I work on the basis that what can be bought in stores can be created at home, in a much healthier, allergen-free version.

I made, for the first time, raw chocolate easter bunnies.  I  used raw cacao powder, cacao butter, maple syrup and vanilla.  As you can see, simple ingredients with none of the top allergens. If someone is allergic to cacao they can definitely use carob.

Needless to say, if you have any recipes that you love or would like to try, but they have ingredients that you or family cannot eat, contact me at http://www.foodandyou.ca/contact.html.  I have not been stumped yet!

all the best

R