Hearty Turkey, Vegetable, and Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup with Turkey & Veggies

This soup was created with liver health in mind. Midway through my chemotherapy treatment for Breast Cancer, my liver enzymes were too elevated to continue treatment. We had to postpone treatment for at least one week to make sure that my liver was healthy enough to process the chemotherapy. At that time I was in school to become a Nutrition Consultant and I knew there were things that I could do to “Love my Liver”, so I went home and made some BIG changes to my diet for that week and well, IT WORKED! I went back the next week and my enzyme levels were low enough to continue with chemotherapy. Here is one of the recipes that I made for the “Love my Liver” week.

 

Recipe:

1 1/2 C green lentils (soaked overnight)

1 jar diced tomatoes

24 oz. homemade bone broth (chicken or turkey)

2 T butter

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

4 small summer squash, sliced

3 small bell peppers, diced

6 carrots, sliced

6 stalks of kale, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. ground turkey

Herbs:

Bay leaf, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano

Sea salt & Pepper

Rinse lentils and let soak overnight. Next day: in a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter. Add broth, tomatoes, lentils, and veggies. Add ground turkey. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue simmering for 30-45 min.

Enjoy!

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Garlic

Well it’s hard to find folks out there that are not fans of garlic, although they do exist. I, however, am not one of them. There’s a garlic meme that I’ve seen floating out there garlicand just I had to include it for this post. It is me to a T. While garlic is not new to most any of us, there are always new and inventive ways to include this superfood in your diet. I include it in tomato sauces, in my bone broth, in stuffed peppers, Asian StyleTurkey Lettuce Wraps, and in the fresh gingered beets recipe that my husband loves (it can be found here:  Flavors of Health Cookbook), and in many, many more recipes. Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests roasting garlic because the flavor profile is more tolerable for kids. She also suggests making garlic mushroom toasts. (Again, I would opt for a gluten-free or paleo “bread” option instead of whole wheat toast. See this post for more on why.)

Food Facts:

  • Member of the lily family.
  • Because garlic has not be breed to be sweeter, larger, or milder tasting, it contains most of its “wild” nutrients.
  • All varieties of garlic are quite similar nutritionally.
  • Allicin is the active health ingredient in garlic and is a combination of alliin, the protein fragment, and alliinase, the heat-sensitive enzyme. When raw garlic is either cut, pressed, or chewed, these two ingredients are combined. It was discovered that by cooking the garlic immediately after slicing, the heat-sensitive enzyme is destroyed and no allicin is created. Allicin is the active ingredient in garlic that is revered for fighting cancer and protecting the heart. In order to get the most nutrition out of garlic, it is important that you cut/mince/slice/chop the garlic and then let it sit for TEN MINUTES before exposing it to heat.
  • A garlic press is the best tool for combining the alliin and alliinase. Jo Robinson says, “press, then rest”.
  • Many grocery stores carry garlic grown in China; check where your garlic is coming from. This is frustrating for someone that grocery shops in the same county as Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world. I am a locavore, after all.
  • There are two garlic varieties: softneck and hardneck. Hardneck garlic has a hollow stub that protrudes from the top. Softneck garlic appears to have a stem, but it is simply the papery skin that has been twisted.
  • Store garlic in the fridge (not the crisper drawer) for the longest shelf life. Until it is cut it will not leave the fridge with bad odors.
  • It is native to the Mediterranean, Syria, and China.
  • Excellent source of vitamins B6 and C, manganese, and selenium and a good source of phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron, and copper.
  • garlic-Has been demonstrated to protect against atherosclerosis, heart disease, elevated cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure.
  • Historically has been used to to fight infections because of its antimicrobial activity.
  • Can help protect against colon cancer.

 

 

From:

The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, Eating on the Wild Side, by Jo Robinson, and Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Micheal Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.

 

 

Sept. 2016 Book of the Month – Gut

September’s Clean Eating Book of the Month is Gut by Giulia Enders. After Eat Dirt, Brain Maker, and Gulp, you may begin to think that I’m obsessed with the digestive system. And well, I guess I am. I am a nutrition consultant, after all.

Enders takes a unique scientific approach to teaching us about our gut. A microbiologist by trade and currently enrolled in a gastroenterologgut-imagey PhD program, Enders infuses humor throughout her book and her sister creates simple and enlightening illustrations like this one of how to properly use the toilet to go poop (Ender, 2015, p.19).

I hear from many people that like to debate the existence of gluten intolerances. Enders does a wonderful job of clearing up the confusion for folks. Celiac disease is what Enders terms a genetic intolerance to gluten. Here is how she explains a gluten intolerance: All grains (and all plants for that matter) have a small amount of toxins in them. These toxins exist to ensure the survival of the species. Compared to other grains, wheat produces more toxins. Because of the high level of toxins in the proteins in wheat, gluten (and gliadin), can pass through the small intestines into the bloodstream, undigested. In turn, it can weaken the junctions between the cell lining the small intestines (microvilli). When those junctions are weakened, food particles (like gluten) can pass through unregulated and cause the immune system to go on overdrive. The job of the microvilli is to keep out large (undigested) food particles and toxins, so when food particles are allowed to pass through and the immune system is on overdrive, many other health problems occur, resulting in an intolerance.

In addition to clearing up confusion around food intolerances, Enders also discusses poop, acid reflux, constipation, vomiting, the brain-gut connection, the HUGE role of bacteria in our lives, and much more. This is a fascinating poop book. I actually did type poop there first, so I thought I should leave it. 😉 I highly recommend it for all homo sapiens. 5/5 Strawberries!5:5 Strawberries

 

Feb. 2014 Book of the Month -Grain Brain

February’s Clean Eating Book of the Month is Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmutter. Amazing book! I give this book 5 out of 5 strawberries!Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 5.28.40 PM

Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, is a neurologist. Most people probably think, “what does being a neurologist have to do with writing a book about diet?”. Well, just as we don’t live in a bubble, our bodies’ organs don’t exist in isolation. What we put in our bodies have an impact on how our organs function. Dr. Permutter reviews cutting edge science to demonstrate that diet does play a significant role in the health of our brain and our entire neurological system.

“Gluten is our generation’s tobacco.” This quote resonates with me because I have “heard it” all from well meaning family and friends as to why “everything in moderation” should be the mantra by which we live our lives. It also resonates with me because of the backlash the “gluten free” movement has gotten. Further, I can see so many parallels of doctors that once recommended cigarettes for “stress” and are now recommending “healthy whole grains” as a part of a “balanced diet”.

Through years and years of work with patients, Dr. Perlmutter has seen Alzheimer’s disease destroy many lives. He notes that chronic inflammation is at the root of the disease and that chronically high blood sugar is the main source of the inflammation. In Grain Brain, he calls Alzheimer’s disease Type III Diabetes for this reason.

In addition to his work with Alzheimer’s patients, he treats many patients with ADHD, Autism, MS, and more. Going grain free and refined sugar free is of great help to all of his patients.

This book is amazing and life changing. If you aren’t already gluten free, or if you are gluten free, Grain Brain restates the multitude of reasons why avoiding gluten is the way to go for a healthy body.

Turkey and Vegetable Chili

Turkey and Vegetable Chili [Paleo, 21DSD, Primal, GF]

Turkey Chili

Recipe:                                                                     Spice Blend:

24 oz. chicken bone broth                                1 t cayenne pepper

1 jar diced tomatoes                                           1 T coriander

1 can kidney beans                                             1 T chili powder

1 can pinto beans                                                1 t cumin

1 medium onion, diced                                      sea salt and pepper

4 medium carrots, diced    turkey chili

4 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 T butter, grass-fed, organic

1 lb. organic ground turkey

2 T chives, minced

sour cream, full-fat, organic, grass-fed (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter until translucent.
  2. Add bone broth, tomatoes, beans, veggies, spices, and ground turkey. (Omit beans for Paleo, Primal, and levels 2 and 3 of the 21DSD.)
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue on a low simmer for 45 min.
  4. Serve immediately. Top with sour cream and chives. (Omit sour cream for level 3 of the 21DSD).  Enjoy!

Tomatoes are rich sources of vitamins C & K, carotenes (especially lycopene), biotin and fiber. They are protective against cancer and should be eaten with an oil to improve absorption.

Celery is helpful in preventing cancer, improves white blood cell activity, and helps to lower blood pressure. It is rich in potassium and sodium. It helps the liver to detoxify as well.

Onions are a member of the allium (lily) family and are related to garlic & leeks. Alliums are known to have a cholesterol reducing effect and are known for their ability to help fight off cold and flu viruses. Onions are rich in antioxidants and biotin, manganese, copper, phosphorous, potassium, vitamins B1, B6, C, and fiber.

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole [21DSD, Paleo, Primal, GF]

While visiting my Aunt Regina and Uncle John in Austin for our trip to South by Southwest in 2010, she made us a delicious breakfast casserole. Ever since then I’ve played with the recipe and made it my own.

First, I added the veggies to the original recipe. Next, I began omitting the potatoes when we went Paleo. I’ve made it with several different meat options; just bacon, bacon and sausage, just sausage, or some leftover ham during the holidays. My latest version has no cheese since I’m avoiding most dairy. No matter which version you make, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. This is my current go-to version.

This is the perfect recipe for Sunday brunch, Christmas breakfast (our tradition), or to make ahead for quick-and-easy breakfasts for the week. While on The 21-Day Sugar Detox, this has been a great option for my husband and I. Let me know what you think!

Recipe:
1 dozen pasture-raised eggs

8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped

1 can of diced green chilies

2 bell peppers, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 t sea salt

1/2 t ground pepper

1/2 t granulated garlic

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1 T grass-fed butter

1 t coconut oil

Optional:

1 C grated cheddar cheese

1 large russet potato, grated

1/2 lb ground pork sausage

1 C ham

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan with coconut oil.
  3. Sauté the bell peppers and onions in a skillet with the butter.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble. Season with sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
  5. In the baking dish, layer the bell peppers, onions, chili peppers, bacon, and eggs.
  6. Optional: If using the optional items, layer the potatoes first and the cheese on top. Cook the pork sausage and include it in the egg mixture. If using the ham include it in the egg mixture. Feel free to include whatever meat you have on hand or you prefer.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until firm in the middle. Cool for 10 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!

Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fat; often considered a “perfect food”. They are a good source of vitamins B12, B6, and D, riboflavin, choline, phosphorous, selenium, folic acid, pantothenic acid, iron, and omega-3s. It is important to choose pasture-raised, organic eggs because they are rich in the above nutrients, while factory-farmed eggs generally are not.

Green Bell Peppers are one of the most nutrient dense foods and are a great source of fiber. They are rich in vitamins C, K, B6, thiamin, folic acid, and also beta-carotene. They are great sources of phytonutrients. Green bell peppers help prevent against cataracts, prevent blood clots, which reduces risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which all play a role in cancer prevention. Onions also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

References:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College Press.

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

Asian Style Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Asian Style Turkey Lettuce Wraps [Paleo, Primal, GF]

Ever since going paleo a few years ago, we’ve been trying to expand our repertoire of recipes. A colleague suggested lettuce wraps and boom this recipe was born. It’s been tweaked over the years, but here it is in its latest form.

Recipe:

1 lb. ground turkey (I prefer the higher fat content over the lean version)

5 medium carrots, tops trimmed

4 stalks of celery, tops and ends trimmed

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered

10-12 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and trimmed

2 T Rendered Duck Fat or Ghee

2 T Coconut Aminos or Gluten Free Tamari (if you can have soy)

2 T Coconut Vinegar or rice vinegar (if you can have rice, I prefer this one)

1 T fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 T sesame seeds

1 T sesame oil

Directions:

1.) Melt the duck fat or ghee in a skillet over medium heat. 2.) Brown the ground turkey. 3.) While the turkey is browning in the pan, grate the onion, celery, and carrots in a food processor, using the grater blade. 4.) Once turkey is nearly all browned, add the coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds and oil. Mix to combine. 5.) Add the grated vegetables and bring to a simmer until veggies are cooked. 6.) Place ground turkey mixture on the romaine lettuce leaves and enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings.

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which all play a role in cancer prevention. Onions also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Quercetin plays a large role in healing the gut.

Carrots are good sources of vitamins A, C, B6 & K, biotin, potassium, thiamine (B1), and fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants and good source of starchy carbohydrates.

Turkey is rich in glutamine, which is an important amino acid for healing the small intestines of those with leaky gut. It is also rich in vitamins B6 and B12, protein, niacin, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Ginger has long been used for gastrointestinal problems, making this an ideal food for those with leaky gut and other GI troubles. It relaxes and soothes the intestines and promotes the elimination of gas. It is also anti-inflammatory. Always choose fresh over dried, as it has higher levels of ginger’s active protease.

Nutrition Facts for one serving (this recipe yields about 4 servings)

asianstyleturkeylettucewrapslabel

Sources:

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Reinhard, T. (2014). Super Foods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books.

Robinson, J. (2013). Eating On the Wild Side. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

Is Gluten Free For Me?

Gluten is one of the proteins found in several grains including wheat, barley, rye, bulgar, sometimes oats, and possibly spelt and kamut. There are several problems when it comes to digesting this protein. First, gluten is an inflammatory that damages internal organs and tissues. When a peglutendiagramrson’s body has a negative reaction to a food, the body sends out inflammatory molecules, cytokines, to identify the food as an enemy. The immune system continues to attack the enemy, which can cause damage in the digestive system. These cytokines also cause a great deal of damage in the brain (Perlmutter, 2013).

Furthermore, gluten is one of the few foods that can cross the blood-brain barrier. This barrier exists to protect your brain from things that are foreign. Because it can cross the blood-brain barrier, it can have a negative effect on brain function. Dr. William Davis (2009) examines studies that have shown ingesting wheat has been associated with worse symptoms with those diagnosed with ADHD, schizophrenia, and the autism spectrum.

In addition, gluten also causes spikes in the blood sugar after it is consumed. The glycemic index is the extent of which a food raises a person’s blood sugar (and insulin) relative to glucose (glycemic index of 100). The glycemic index of whole wheat bread is 72, while the glycemic index of table sugar (sucrose) is 59, thus whole wheat bread raises blood sugar more than regular sugar (Davis, 2009; Pollan, 2013). Other physiological effects of gluten consumption include sleepiness after consumption and an increased appetite after consumption (Davis, 2009).

Furthermore, the wheat that we consume today is not genetically or physiologically similar to the wheat of decades ago. The first cultivated wheat, einkorn, has only 14 chromosomes and produces a less stretchy and stickier dough that rises very little (Davis, 2011; Pollan, 2013). It also has a less appealing flavor than the current wheat strains. Current wheat strains, triticum, are genetically very different, having 42 chromosomes, and it produces a much higher yieldwavesofgrain in the field, and is elastic, pliable, and rises nicely, which is ideal for baking (Davis, 2011; Pollan, 2013).

 

Additionally, wheat causes an exorphin release (similar to endorphins, but originating from a source outside of your body) in your brain, making your body crave it the more you eat it. Digestion of wheat “…yields morphine-like compounds that bind to your brain’s opiate receptors. It induces a form of reward, a mild euphoria” (Davis, p. 50, 2009). This creates an ongoing cycle of eating wheat and craving wheat that can be hard to break.

Lastly, gluten is so prevalent in foods today that many people consume wheat without even realizing it. Besides the obvious breads, cereals, pastas, cookies, and cakes, gluten is also found in soy sauce, salad dressings, spice packets, cheeses, gravies, sauces, French fries, prescription medications, cosmetics and so much more (Perlmutter, 2013). It also has many aliases as well, including names like modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, seitan, and textured vegetable protein, which are misleading and may be challenging to identify as wheat (Davis, 2009).

There is a wealth of evidence showing that gluten has many adverse effects on our health, you’ll have to decide for yourself, is gluten free for you?

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

Sources:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014). Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.

Davis, W. (2011). Wheat Belly. New York, NY: Rodale Inc.

Perlmutter, D. (2013). Grain Brain. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

Pollan, M. (2013). Cooked. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Get off Gluten blog (2014, April) Flowchart of wheat retrieved from http://getoffgluten.blogspot.com/

Mitsides Group (2014, April) Image of wheat retrieved from

http://www.mitsidesgroup.com/lang/en/about-pasta-flour/about-flour/