The 52 New Food Challenge – Peaches

Welp, I’ve fallen off the wagon. The “post a new food each week” wagon. But this week I’m getting back on the wagon. Rather than trying to play catch up for about 2-3 months worth of foods, I’m just going to start with the current food of the week: PEACHES!!

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests that you grill peaches (I’ve done this: YUM!), make peach ice cream, or try making fruit leather. Recently I made some paleo turkey meatballs with Thai chili and peach jam. Jim said, “the peaches are what make this dish!”. 

A little background: I started this challenge to encourage myself, a notoriously picky eater, to try and to LIKE more foods. This is my first post on the blog, but I’ve been posting these since December 2014 on my Facebook page and my Instagram page. I was a very picky eater as a kid, and although, I’m much less picky now, there are still more vegetables that I would like to ENJOY eating. From personal experience, I’ve found that the more often that I am exposed to a vegetable, the more I like it. This has been my experience with Kale, Beets, Tomatoes, and Cilantro.

Food Facts:

  • Peaches and nectarines are identical except for one gene – the “fuzziness” gene (it also happens to affect a couple of other minor traits)
  • Nectarines can spontaneously appear on peach trees and vice versa (WOW!)
  • Stone fruits, including peaches, are picked when unripe and continue ripening after being picked but if not kept in ideal conditions, they become mealy, brown, leathery, or dry. This is what causes most conventional grocery store peaches to leave people feeling disappointed. (read: buy your peaches at the farmers’ market)
  • White-fleshed peaches and nectarines have more antioxidants than yellow-fleshed peaches and nectarines
  • The white-fleshed fruits are also sweeter
  • Peaches and nectarines are consistently on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, so you should buy organic and eat the skins (it is the most nutritious part)
  • Peaches and nectarines are good sources of vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, niacin, and copper. Peaches are also a good source of vitamin K and manganese
  • Good source of fiber
  • High in antioxidants – especially carotenoids and flavonoids (white-fleshed have less carotenoids)
  • Peach extract has been shown to inhibit breast cancer cell growth
  • They help to protect against Heart Disease, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome

From The 52 New Food Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Super Foods by Tonia Reinhard

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

peaches - in season in august
Peaches – In season, in August

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/

In Season, in August

I LOVE eating seasonally for three main reasons. 1) Seasonal produce usually grows locally and is therefore fresher because it hasn’t traveled nearly as far as when it is not in season. 2) It promotes local jobs and boosts our local economy. 3) Seasonal produce TASTES significantly better than when it’s picked unripe in order to travel, then traveled for many days, and then gassed with ethylene gas to artificially ripen them. I make very few exceptions to my seasonal eating rule [frozen berries, bananas, plantains, and that’s pretty much it].

In Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle she discusses eating tomatoes so much while they are in season that you almost become
sick of them. You don’t crave them as much during the offseason and you’re not tempted to eat a tasteless mealy tomato in January, because your tomato craving has been satiated for the year. I love this way to view it and have tried to really adopt this mentality since reading her book in 2011.

Go to your local farmer’s market this weekend and get some local food!

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

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July 2015 Book of the Month – The Candida Cure

Hello!

On my flight to Europe this past month, I read The Candida Cure: Yeast, Fungus & Your Health – The 90-Day Program to Beat Candida & Restore Vibrant Health by Ann Boroch. Before I review the book, let me back up a little… When I was about 17, I was seeing a dermatologist for acne on my face, chest, and back. Among the things she put me on was amoxicillin. This was supposed help clear up my acne. Um, I have no idea how, and can’t remember her reasoning then, but I was 17, so I just went with it. I’m not sure that it helped much, but I was on it for 1-2 years. (I can’t really remember exactly how long). What I do know, is that ever since then, I have had a systemic candida albicans overgrowth. I know this now, but I didn’t know it then. I knew that I was prone to vaginal yeast infections (getting an infection every time I take a course of antibiotics). In recent years I would combat my post antibiotic yeast infection with a high dose of probiotics (500 billion everyday for about a week would do the trick).

It wasn’t until I was in my Bauman College nutrition classes over the past few months that I learned that I have a systemic Candida overgrowth. After taking the Candida Health Questionnaire, it was clear to me, that I needed to treat myself for a Candida overgrowth (BTW, my score is about 280!! yikes). Besides the antibiotics that I was in my late teens, I have been on a least one course of antibiotics per year, throughout my 20’s, pair that with chemotherapy and radiation, and I have no doubt that I’ve stumbled upon a major key to my road back to health.

Boroch recommends that you follow her program for 90 days, and I will. But I have concerns that since I have had this issue, untreated for at least 12 years, that I may need to continue this for up to 6 months.

REVIEW

The Candida Cure is a well-researched and thorough guide to helping yourself overcome a Candida overgrowth. Boroch states, “Conservatively speaking, one in three people suffers from yeast-related symptoms or conditions” (2009, p. 3). In the book, she explains how this has become such a pervasive problem, the symptoms that are associated with candida overgrowth, and the she provides you with a step-by-step guide on how to fix it. I asked my doctor for lab testing to identify if I have a candida overgrowth and she told me that the lab does not perform those tests, which supports Boroch’s claim that “… western medicine does not recognize intestinal and systemic candidiasis as a health condition” (Boroch, 2009, p. 15). She provides lists of the foods to eat and the foods to avoid and even provides a “slow-start” version for those people that need to make more gradual changes. Lists of supplements are provided in addition to two-week sample menus, and 40 pages of recipes and food brands to help make this as easy as possible. If you suspect you may also have a candida overgrowth, I highly recommend checking out her book.

I have not yet started the 90-day cleanse. I’ve been back from Europe for about a week now and I have ordered the supplements that she recommends, and I have been working on detoxing from the yummy vacation food (goodbye gelato, buffalo mozzarella, and rice!). We have a wine tasting trip planned for the last weekend in August (Napa Valley Wine Train here we come!) so I will start after that. It’s a family trip that we’ve been planning for about a year, so one last time to live it up! Until then, I will be phasing out dairy, sugar, forbidden fruits, and carbs. Wish me luck!!

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie