Sunday, January 30, 2011

chocolate cookies

My mom came to visit last week and bought me a copy of Living Without magazine. I have always wanted a copy, but could never rationalize spending six dollars on a magazine. I've changed my mind. It is a wealth of information/recipes and I will be a loyal subscriber from here on out. All of the recipes are gluten/dairy-free and sweetened naturally. I tried out the vegan chocolate cookies today, and they were amazing. My family ate the whole pan before I could take a picture. Here is the recipe...

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup palm, turbinado, or sucanat sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (i used 1/4 cup white bean, 1/4 cup tapioca, 1/4 cup sorghum)
1/4 cup flax meal
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine coconut oil, sugar, applesauce, cocoa powder, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, flax meal, xanthan gum, baking soda, cloves, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Place heaping tablespoons of batter on greased cookie sheet (i didn't grease mine and they came off just fine) about two inches apart, pressing down gently on each with the palm of your hand. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate cookies sheet 180 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool before removing from sheet.

Other articles I found very interesting in the current issue were about hidden corn allergies (symptoms most often include headaches, fatigue, irritability, joint pain, IBS), gluten ataxia, and the latest research on food allergies/intolerances.

Monday, January 17, 2011


If you or someone you know suffers from autism spectrum disorder, ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any neurological or psychiatric disorder, then THIS article is a must read. It is about the Gut And Psychology Syndrome. So fascinating.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

got clay?

My mother and sister-in-law recently did a candida cleanse. I wanted my husband to do it (I can't while nursing), so I had her send me the list of ingredients. One of the ingredients was bentonite. After buying it at the health food store, I quickly realized that is was liquid clay. The side of the bottle touted it's ability to detox harmful substances in the body. Skeptical, but intrigued, I began my internet investigation.

Clay, it turns out, has been used for medicinal purposes since prehistoric times. Read what wikipedia has to offer here. The Egyptians used it for intestinal problems. It was used for menstrual problems and snake bites in classical antiquity. The British army used it in the early 20th century to treat bacterial food poisoning in India, and cholera in China. Women in indigenous cultures consume clay during pregnancy to help with nausea. Scientific analysis of clays used during pregnancy in Nigeria show that eating as little as 500 mg can satisfy nearly 80 percent of a pregnant woman's calcium needs. In studies conducted by NASA, clay provided the most absorbable form of calcium to prevent bone depletion in space. Indigenous groups in Peru dip their potatoes in clay water before consumption to prevent "souring of the stomach".

What I found most interesting were the modern day claims. It has been used to treat skin disorders, digestive disorders, insect bites, candida, parasites, chronic pain, and more. Studies at the University of Arizona state that some forms of clay can kill salmonella, e. coli, and MRSA. Many people claim that clay is very beneficial in the healing of autism. Miriam Jang, M.D., says "I have put a large number of patients on these clay baths and the levels of heavy metals--mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium have come down dramatically..." (read here)

I have read pages of testimonials on different websites about how clay has cured eczema, acne, inflammatory bowel disease, severe back pain, brown recluse spider bites, bad breath, burns, candida, and much more. At the time I read about this I had three excruciating ant bites on my leg. I usually suffer for at least a week when I get them, and steroid/benadryl/itch creams never help much. I dabbed some liquid bentonite on them and after a minute the itch was gone. After two days of applying the clay I can't even feel them anyone. Which I find amazing.

Since "healing clay" is usually extremely expensive, I contacted a ceramic supply store in Phoenix. I drove out there yesterday and picked up a 50 lb bag of 325 mesh bentonite and gave my children their first clay bath. From what I have read, the 325 mesh bentonite from american colloid company has been tested and is good for baths. I will keep you posted if I notice any positive effects of our "clay detox".

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wheat-free diet cures dyslexia?

Maybe. Here is an article about a school in Great Brittain that had amazing results.

Are food allergies making you fat?

Here is an excellent article about delayed (IgG) food allergies. These are the allergies that don't cause hives, lip swelling, and anaphylaxis, yet cause other serious issues such as digestive problems, weight gain, insulin resistance, fatigue, acne, water retention, anxiety, and more.

My sister-in-law was recently tested for IgG food allergies. She has dealt with things like IBS, eczema, acne, yeast infections, fatigue, and more and wanted answers. She got them today. Read her story here. I wanted to post it in case it could help anyone else in the blogosphere.

And while I am posting personal stories, I thought I would post these links detailing personal accounts from some favorite bloggers about how they discovered they had celiac disease (it takes an average of 11 years to finally be diagnosed).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mast Cells

I first came across the term "mast cell" when I read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine linking mast cell production to pancreatic cancer. My husband lost his father to pancreatic cancer, and I have tried to read as much as possible about it since it is a genetic cancer. Interestingly enough, mast cells are the cells responsible for causing allergic reactions/anaphylaxis. They also cause inflammation. According to all of the scientists' blogs I read, inflammation is bad news. Really bad. Inflammation= autism, digestive diseases (celiac, crohn's, etc), autoimmune disease, infertility, food allergies, Alzheimer's, cancer, etc.

I recently stumbled upon the website of the smartest man in the world. This guy is a genius. He has published a whole stockpile of research linking mast cell production/inflammation to diseases like M.S., cancer, arthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, and autism. His research on autism is brilliant. It should be on the front page of newspapers. I highly recommend sifting through his research. It is separated into categories on his site.

What I found particularly interesting about his research is that quercetin (a bioflavonoid found in skins of apples and red onions) has been found to inhibit the production of mast cells and reduce systemic inflammation. I have long known that quercetin is a natural antihistamine. Many people take it to reduce allergy symptoms. I ran to the store to buy quercetin after reading this study from Iran that claims quercetin effectively quells peanut-induced anaphylaxis in rats. I often give it to my food-allergic four-year-old (along with bromelain for absorption) and have seen pretty dramatic improvements in his behavior.

It makes sense that quercetin can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, and help reduce the symptoms of other diseases rooted in inflammation. If you want to read more about inflammation, here are links to a few of my favorite sites:

cooling inflammation (use the labels to search articles)
dr. sears (the scientist, not the pediatrician)