"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but we can nevertheless eat to become much more than what we are."
~Adelle Davis

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kale Detox Smoothie

In gearing up for my Detox 4 Real workshop tomorrow here in Albuquerque, I feel inspired to share a little food as medicine tip. Kale, a part of the cruciferous or brassica family of veggies, is particularly great for detoxification. Why, because it contains compounds which upregulate the production of liver detoxification enzymes. It's also chock full of antioxidants, which the liver must have in order to carry out detoxification processes. The lemon in the smoothie acts to further aid in alkalinization of your body tissues, reducing inflammation (an antioxidant sucker). Limonene, an antioxidant found in lemon and lemon peel, as well as lemon essential oil, acts to increase bile production. Bile carries toxins away from the liver for excretion, so it's important to be making enough! The fiber in the smoothie works to absorb the bile (and toxins) when they reach the colon, and move them on out. Give your liver and your taste buds a treat with this simple, but ingeniously healthy kale smoothie, courtesy of Dr. Michael Stone. Dr. Stone is one of the fabulous instructors of the Institute for Functional Medicine's Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice course, as well as their Functional Nutrition Course. I have taken both, and I'm so excited to share what I have learned with YOU!

Papa's Kale Smoothie, by Dr. Michael Stone

6+ Kale leaves, chopped

½ - 1 Avocado
Avocados contain: Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate, Dietary Fiber, B6 and Copper!

½ -1 Banana
Bananas not only help your smoothie have a deliciously creamy texture, but they contain only 109 calories per medium ripe banana. They are also rich in: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Dietary Fiber and Manganese

1 Whole lemon (juice)
Lemons are such a fantastic source of vitamin C. They also help absorb the iron found in other foods, like kale!

Water to desired thickness: Add crushed ice if you wish

Blend it up for a tasty and nutrient dense treat!

Monday, February 24, 2014

5R Gut Restoration: The Key to Success in Healing

I often hear from people who have a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, who after going gluten-free, do not feel better. Even when a person has multiple food sensitivities, identified via testing, simply avoiding those reactive foods may not be enough. While important, an oligoantigenic diet should be accompanied by efforts to restore optimal gut health. This is why I do a 5R Gut Restoration Program, from the Institute for Functional Medicine, with nearly all of my clients, including my LEAP clients. Also, we know that most "dis-ease" is connected to altered gut health, so it's imperative to think about gut-healing no matter what kind of disorder is being dealt with. This goes beyond digestive issues and extends even to disorders such as autism, diabetes, migraines, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, heart disease, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and on and on.

Have you received a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and don't feel better off of gluten? Have you had food sensitivity testing and don't feel better or completely better off of all of your reactive foods?  Chances are good that you need to address gut healing. Chances are even better that your doctor, or even your nutritionist, is not aware of and/or has not been trained in the proper way to address gut restoration. Until you heal your gut, you can be certain that you will not achieve the health and quality of life that you are so desperately after and deserve. I would love to help you get your life back!

All of the Best,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Traditional (and Optimal!) First Foods

We just started solids with our little guy, Issa, about 2 weeks ago, on his 6 month birthday. Up until then, he was (of course!) exclusively breastfed. His first food was not what you may imagine. Most babies these days start out on rice cereal. Being  a nutritionist--a Real Food kind of nutritionist--that was not on our list. At all. Ever. Rice cereal is really just starch and synthetic nutrients. In other words, they are a refined grain and are in essence, just sugar. Iron from iron-fortified cereal has only about a 4% absorption rate, and the synthetic form of iron used makes zinc absorption poor. Whole grain baby cereals aren't much better. They contain anti-nutrients which not only make them difficult to digest (and therefore more allergenic), but also block nutrient absorption. Not what you're going for, right? In addition, did you know that babies don't even make amylase, the digestive enzyme that breaks down starch, until closer to 1 year of age, and that they do not have a full set of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes until about age 3? I didn't either until recently. I had never learned this, and I have a Master's Degree in nutrition. Go figure! We are not taught these things by conventional medicine and nutrition--public and professionals alike (I'm so glad I found Integrative and Functional Medicine/Nutrition!!).
So, what did we start him on?
Only the most nutrient-rich foods we could possibly feed him, besides mama's milk: soft-boiled egg yolk first, and then small amounts of frozen grated grass-fed beef liver added to yolk after 4 days on the just the egg. I also am adding just a few granules of Real Salt for trace minerals. The boy laps it up. I had read that babies love the taste of liver in the book, Super Nutrition for Babies, but didn't fully believe it until my own experience with Issa.
Why egg yolk?
To start, eggs are brain food! They contain saturated fat and cholesterol, which babies need a lot of for brain development. In fact, mom's milk is about 50-60% fat, over half of which is saturated, accompanied by sizable doses of brain-healthy cholesterol (yes, healthy!). Eggs also contain choline, which is needed for both brain and eye development/health. Pastured egg yolks are also rich in Vitamin A and D, Omega 3 fats, B vitamins and contain some iron.
Why liver?
Liver is one of the most nutrient-rich foods you can find. We're taught that veggies are where the nutrients are, but animal foods are far superior in both nutrient content and bioavailability (our bodies' ability to use a nutrient). Babies' iron stores from in-utero are running out at about 6 months, and liver has lots of iron, not to mention B-Vitamins, Vitamins A, D, E and K, folate and more. It is very rich, so just a little each day is all that is needed--up to 1 chicken liver or 1 oz of beef/calf liver every other day; or up to 1/3-1/2 oz per day. I am taking cod liver oil, which he gets via breast milk, so I do not plan to exceed this.
You may be wondering about food safety.
We use only organic pastured eggs (lowest salmonella risk and best nutrient profile) and grass-fed liver that has been frozen for a minimum of two weeks to kill any pathogens. Soft-boiling protects the heat-sensitive enzymes, fats and cholesterol in the egg yolk. Destroying the enzymes by over-cooking the yolk, makes it hard to digest and therefore allergenic. Plus, a runny yolk is safer texture-wise for young babies. It's very important to omit the white of the egg completely, as the white is allergenic. I recommend practicing your technique and perfecting it before actual introduction.
What's the trick with the egg?
Here in Albuquerque, we are at 5,000 ft, so the time it takes to soft-boil an egg is twice and long as sea level cooking. I boil my egg for 6 min, 45 sec, rinse it with cold water and then peel it. I take a smooth-edge paring knife and gently cut around the egg about 1/4 of the way down, so that when I remove the top, I can see the top of the yolk. I then take a different clean knife and pierce the yolk, then turn the egg so that the yolk contents pour into my small glass serving bowl. Then I add my grated liver and sea salt (this can be done while the egg is boiling to save time). All the while Issa is watching me impatiently, and is only happy when he is finally able to devour his favorite meal!
Next Up:
After two weeks, we began offering him a solid in the afternoon. First, mashed banana, because raw bananas actually contain amylase to assist babies' digestion of the starch. He is also now eating mashed avocado, which he enjoys more when he is very hungry. Raw avocado is also teeming with enzymes that aid its digestion (particularly lipase, which breaks down its fat as it ripens) and rich in monunsaturated fat, folate and the antioxidant glutathione (much-need for liver detoxification!). Tonight, I will be roasting a grass-fed beef marrow bone and scooping out the marrow for him.  Remember that babies need lots of fat, and marrow from grass-fed cows is a great source. Long-forgotten with the onslaught of commercially prepared baby foods, marrow was once a common staple in babies' diets. I can't wait to see how Issa likes it!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Detox 4 Real Workshop

So you flaked on your January detox plan? Or maybe you did a detox-in-a-box. Either way, you're better off attending my Detox 4 Real workshop, which is an evidence-based, Functional Medicine approach to supporting detoxification. Like the title implies, I am going to be teaching you how to truly help your body do the heavy duty task of clearing the bombardment of toxins you are exposed to every day. As an added benefit, I'll be sprinkling anti-aging and anti-cancer tips throughout the workshop!
We'll be covering the following:
1. How to reduce everyday toxin exposure.
2. Better personal care and cleaning products.
3. How to sequence and prepare your body (an often neglected MUST!) for a 10-day medical detox program.
4. The best tool to help you assess your level of toxicity.
5. Best foods and supplements for supporting detoxification.
6. Detox-Focused Core Food Plan with 7 full days worth of recipes!
7. Little-known, SIMPLE dietary changes that will halt the clock and cut your cancer risk!
8. Certified Therapeutic Grade essential oils to enhance detoxification and slow the aging process!

When: Sundays, from 2-4 pm (Minimum RSVP required)
Next Workshop: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Where: International Indoor Soccer Arena, Baillo's Meeting Room
1311 Cuesta Arriba Ct NE Albuquerque, NM 87113
Cost: $29.00 via PayPal
Contact: gourmethealer@gmail.com

RSVP and pre-payment of $29 are required!  If you're ready to Detox 4 Real, I will see you soon! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Savory Layered Paleo Pie (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free)

Just in time for the holidays! This truly healthy layered quiche is easy on your blood sugar, rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Research tells us that no human can digest gluten or grains, and these cause varying degrees of inflammation in every individual. Enjoy this dish, knowing that you are truly nourishing yourself and your family! For those on a low-FODMAP plan, replace the kale with spinach, use garlic infused oil and use green onion blades instead of chopped onion. Voila! 
It is always preferable to use local, organic ingredients! 
1 cup almond meal
1 halved and seeded butternut squash
1 bunch kale
1 large zucchini
1 small-medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch parsley leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1-2 chunked avocados, marinated in 2-3 TBSP lemon juice
Start by cooking the butternut squash, flat side down on a cookie sheet, with water covering the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes, until outside softens. Meanwhile, chop the onion and saute until soft, over medium heat with coconut oil, ghee or quality bacon drippings. While onion is cooking, grate the zucchini in your food processor and add to onions. Evenly distribute and continue cooking. Gradually add coarsely chopped kale, garlic and parsley to the processor with the chopping blade in. Add a little water if needed. Drain kale mixture with a sieve over a large bowl to get excess liquid out. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of the kale mixture with 5 whole free-range eggs, sea salt and pepper. Reserve the rest of the kale mixture for later use in soups, stir fries (or another one of these!).
Over medium heat, coat a 10-in cast iron skillet with your choice of oil from above and gradually add almond meal, evenly covering the bottom of the pan and packing the meal down. Sprinkle with sea salt and turn heat off. Spread an even 1/2-1 inch layer of mashed butternut squash over the almond meal and gently pack. Add kale-egg mixture to the top. Cover and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until the top is fully-, but not over-cooked. It should be firm, but springy. You may want to uncover it for the last few minutes of cooking. Carefully serve with a thin metal spatula. Garnish with avocado chunks. Serve with a salad or other veggie of your choice. Devour and thank me later!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Immune Boosting Pumpkin Spice Smoothie (with Essential Oil!)

Try my dairy-free, gluten-free, immune-boosting smoothie, made with doTERRA OnGuard Certified Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) Essential Oil. This is the perfect warming fall/winter smoothie, both flavor-and health-wise. On Guard is a blend of 5 powerful oils: rosemary, eucalyptus, cinnamon, wild orange and clove. Together, these oils cover the spectrum of bacteria and viruses (even antibiotic-resistant strains such as MRSA), and fight pain, inflammation, coughing, colds/flu, digestive illness and more, as well as support detoxification and blood purification. 
View more information on how to use OnGuard. 
To get On Guard and other doTERRA essential oils, please visit my doTERRA website: www.mydoterra.com/gourmethealer. For discounted pricing options, please email me, at gourmethealer@gmail.com. Enjoy the smoothie and the oils!

1/2 cup pumpkin
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup-3/4 cup strongly brewed Rooibos tea
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin spice blend
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp almond butter
Pinch of sea salt
2-3 drops of doTERRA On Guard Essential Oil 

Blend well and devour!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Beef Pho with Essential Oils

I have been very inspired by dōTERRA essential oils lately. They have helped me in so many ways, and I have been able to help others tremendously by sharing my knowledge of them. Two of the best examples of people I've helped lately are a friend's baby who couldn't breath/sleep at night due to severe congestion, and a friend with a severe dental infection and excruciating pain. I am also incorporating essential oils into my gut-healing protocol for my private clients with candida and bacterial overgrowth, otherwise known as dysbiosis. This is a crucial step in the healing process for many, and it can be executed with essential oils! I've never cooked with the oils before, but I saw some recipes from others and decided to try my hand at it. Not only was my Asian-inspired EO (as in Essential Oils) Beef Pho a hit with my family, it also cut down on our grocery bill, chopping and dishes. For instance, I would have had to go to a specialty store to get lemongrass for my soup, had I not had the  dōTERRA Lemongrass Essential Oil on hand, and I didn't have limes or lemons when the inspiration hit, either. I did, however, have the oils! Here is my mouthwatering EO Beef Pho recipe. Please let me know if you have questions about how to access and use dōTERRA Essential Oils. For more information on these oils, please visit my dōTERRA website.

Why I specifically love dōTERRA Essential Oils:
dōTERRA (CPTG) Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils represent the safest, purest, and most beneficial essential oils available today. They are gently and skillfully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy. Experienced essential oil users will immediately recognize dōTERRA's superior quality standard for naturally safe, purely effective therapeutic-grade essential oils.

1 pound preferably organic, grass-fed beef stew meat, cut into tiny slices.
1.5 cups of uncooked Organic Brown or White rice, ideally cooked in homemade bone broth
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
6 cups homemade bone broth, organic store-bought stock or filtered water
1 pound of peeled, seeded and chunked, organic Delicata squash (may also use any other winter squash, such as butternut or acorn, or even sliced sweet potatoes)
1 medium to large onion, coarsely choppe
1 pound of greens, such as spinach, argula, or Asian greens, such as Tot soi or Bok choi (I used spinach here, and I didn’t need to chop it!)
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1 dried bay leaf
Organic rice vinegar, 1-2 TBSP (use this to adjust the flavor when pho is done)
½ tsp sea salt, such as Real Salt

Rice (optional):
Start your rice first. Use twice the amount of liquid as rice. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to the lowest heat. Time will vary, depending on what type of rice you are using. White rice will take about 20 minutes, and brown rice will take 30-40 minutes. When the rice is cooked, add 2-3 TBSP of, real grass-fed butter or ghee, or organic virgin unrefined coconut oil (I used the latter here). Coat the rice well with your fat/oil of choice and then add 4 drops of dōTERRA Lemon Essential Oil, plus some salt. Mix well. Let sit, covered, until you are ready to serve. If you are on a grain-free eating plan, you may skip the rice and add 1 drop of the Lemon Essential Oil to your marinade. Consider doubling your squash.
Put beef in a flat-bottom glass dish and salt. Add marinade (see below) and mix well. If you are making this right away, let the beef marinate, covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Otherwise, refrigerate it until 30 min before you are ready to cook it.

Beef Marinade:
1/8 cup organic unrefined expeller-pressed sesame oil
2 TBSP organic expeller-pressed, toasted sesame oil
3 TBSP organic rice vinegar
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 drop  dōTERRA Ginger Essential Oil
1 drop dōTERRA Lime Essential Oil
1 drop  dōTERRA Lemongrass Essential Oil
¼ tsp sea salt, such as Real Salt
1 small onion, finely chopped (add to beef, separate from the liquid marinade)
Soy sauce is optional. I did not use it, because my husband  is soy-intolerant. If you do use it, I would recommend 2 TBSP organic soy sauce, and organic wheat-free tamari, for those who avoid gluten.Organic is crucial with soy, as most conventional soy is genetically modified. 

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, except the onions. Mix the onions into your sliced stew meat, and then add the marinade. Mix well.

Put the onion, squash, garlic, bay leaf and broth/ liquid into a soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for at least 30 minutes to allow ingredients to soften and flavors to marry.

When you are ready to cook your beef, pre-heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet to med-high heat. When hot, add the beef and marinade. Stir/turn frequently, for 5 min. When the beef is mostly brown, but you can still see some pink in the mixture, turn off the heat.  

Add beef to the pot, as well as all juices and let simmer for 5 minutes. You may need to add additional rice vinegar and salt to tweak the flavor to your liking. Serve pho over rice, and garnish with fresh, torn cilantro pieces. Devour!