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Archive for the ‘digestive health’ Category

My Favourite Gluten Free Recipes to help you create your Menu

Posted on: July 6th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Going Gluten-free (GF) can be intimidating and many people don’t know where to start.  Whether you’re trying it out to see how you feel, needing to do so for health reasons or trying to cook/bake for someone who is GF…it can feel overwhelming.

Here is a list of some tried and true recipe ideas that I have enjoyed.  If you know me, you know I’m not a great cook…I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time in the kitchen and the last thing I want is needing to go to various stores to get different ingredients.  These recipes are generally – easy to make and you can buy most ingredients from either your local grocery store (Zehrs health section is usually the best match for me) and Bulk Barn.

See what you think and I hope these recipe ideas taste great for you too. (And most of these recipes are dairy free as well or allow for dairy-free substitutions.)

Breakfast Ideas

Grain-free Berry Granola – Healthful Pursuit

Banana Oat Blender Pancakes – Kitchen Treaty

Coconut Flour Chocolate Crepes – Healthful Pursuit

Sweet Potato Hash – Healthful Pursuit

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal – Oh She Glows

Soft and Chewy Sugar Free Granola Bars – Oh She Glows

Almond Flour Pancakes – Comfy Belly

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes – Comfy Belly

Quinoa Granola – Comfy Belly

Blueberry Syrup – Nourishing Meals

Gluten Free Raspberry Scones – The Roasted Root

Mochaccino Chia Breakfast Pudding – Joyous Health

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread – My New Roots

SMOOTHIES – here are Greatist’s 54 Top Smoothie Recipes

SMOOTHIE BOWLS – here are Greatist’s Top Smoothie Bowl Recipes  and some more that are Dairy Free Top Smoothie Bowl Recipes

Lunch Ideas

Spiralized Thai Salad Recipe – Against All Grain

Sea Salt Rosemary Zucchini Chips – Joyous Health

 My Favourite Detox Salad – Eat Yourself Skinny

Veggie Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce – Avocado Pesto

Soft Gluten Free Sandwich Bread – A Little Insanity

10 Minute Grain Free Paleo Bread – Shiny Happy Food

Dinner Ideas

Coconut Cauliflower Rice – Healthful Pursuit

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl – Minimalist Baker 

Spicy Buddha Bowl – Crazy Vegan Kitchen

Sweet Potato Pizza Crust – Blissful Basil

Cauliflower Pizza Crust – Detoxinista

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto- Eat Yourself Skinny

Curried Cauliflower Soup – Cookie and Kate

Dessert Ideas

Black Bean Chia Brownies – Joyous Health

One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Oh She Glows

Fudge-tastic Brownies – Healthful Pursuit

Grain-free and Vegan Flourless Fudge Cookies – Healthful Pursuit

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake – Comfy Belly

Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Against All Grain

Fudgy Chocolate Tarts – Against All Grain

Banana Bread – Comfy Belly

Flourless Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins – Running with Spoons

Flourless Banana Bread Muffins – Running with Spoons

Fudgy Paleo Beetroot Brownies – The Roasted Root

Chocolate Avocado Pudding – Pop Sugar

Snacks

Chocolate Gelatin Bars – The Healthy You Project

Power Protein Balls – Caveman Strong

Crunch Raw Protein Balls – The Healthy Family and Home

Homemade Gummy Candies – Healthful Pursuit – Use a juice of your choice

Date Energy Balls – Detoxinista

Mint Chocolate Truffle Bites – A Virtual Vegan

Classic Almond and Cacao Energy Balls – Deliciously Ella

Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

Food Sensitivities…what are the really?

Posted on: May 3rd, 2014 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

One of the most common problems I see in my office is digestive concerns.  Whether that be gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation or heartburn, one of the first areas to address are the foods we eat.

90% of all food allergies come from 8 different foods.

  • milk
  • eggs
  • wheat
  • soy
  • fish
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc)
  • shellfish

What is most difficult about this list is the frequency that we eat these foods.  Dairy, wheat and eggs are a staple in our North American diets.  How do we find out if one of these foods is an allergy or sensitivity or if it’s another food entirely?

There has been some controversy around testing food allergies versus food sensitivities…let’s explore that a bit further.

A true allergy is an anaphylactic allergy that is an IgE reaction in the body.  The immune system reacts immediately to the offending food causing mucous membranes (inside of mouth and lips) to swell.  We often think of this with peanuts and the growing amount of children who are allergic to them.

But many of us have food reactions of are own, that are are not anaphylactic, but take away from our day, causing pain, discomfort and annoyance.  Many of these reactions are due to food sensitivities or intolerances and this is done via a different set of immune reactions, the IgG antibodies.  What is tricky about identifying these, is that we don’t often see symptoms developing immediately.  We can react up to 72 hours after foods are eaten, making it very difficult to know what food is the culprit.

You have many options when trying to address food sensitivities.  You can do an elimination diet, which is my favourite way to uncover foods.  I love this approach, as you give your body a chance to chill out during a 2-3 week elimination and then systematically bring each food back in to determine what food is causing what reaction.  This is time and effort intensive, as it usually takes 6-8 weeks to fully complete, but the results are worthwhile.  This approach is not for everyone though, so testing is also available.   TouchStone Health offers a wide selection of food panels to be tested to help uncover if your body is indeed sensitive to specific foods.

There are many options to get you feeling better.  Whether it’s digestive health, weight loss,  mental clarity, congestion, skin health or energy that you want to improve, addressing underlying food sensitivities may be helpful in getting you there.

 

 

JUICING vs. BLENDING: The Juicy Facts on Which is Better for your Health

Posted on: March 20th, 2014 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Greensmoothie2
Written by: Dr. Melanie Reidl, ND

You’ve probably heard about the ongoing dual between the benefits of juicing versus blending your drinks.Both of these stellar kitchen habits have their benefits, but is one really better than the other? Will you feel better drinking a smoothie over a juice, or the other way around? It’s a confusing topic, so today I’d like to provide you with the facts so that you make the best choice for your health!

Blending is the act of pureeing whole foods (ex. bananas and hemp seeds) with liquids (ie. almond milk and water), thereby retaining all portions of the initial ingredients. Nothing is discarded, the fiber is left in the drink, and your finished product can be a thick or thin consistency.

Juicing, on the other hand, separates the fiber from the liquid in fruits and vegetables by processing them through a juicing machine. What’s left over (and usually discarded) is the pulp of your produce, and you’re left with a nutrient-rich, concentrated vegetable/fruit drink. So as you can see, both blending and juicing are delicious forms of liquid nutrition.

In order to create these nutrition powerhouse beverages, you’ll need to invest in a good blender or juicer. I’ve done some research on the pros and cons of each option to make your purchasing decision a bit easier.

Blenders come in all shapes, sizes, powers and prices. I can speak from experience that investing in a good blender that does the job right the first time is a GREAT decision. Blenders range from $99 basic Magic Bullets, to $500 Vitamix high powered blenders. Basically, the more you spend, the greater capabilities and power your blender will have. I HIGHLY recommend the top of the line Vitamix if you’re looking for a kitchen appliance upgrade. This highly powered machine can blend hard produce like apples and beets into a liquid juice, almonds into almond flour or almond butter, or act like a food processor for bean dips and homemade salad dressings. I promise you won’t regret buying a Vitamix!

Smoothies are the most common use for blenders, since they are a quick, nutrient-rich, and refreshing meal or snack at any time of the day. Your options for smoothie ingredients are virtually endless, and you can create a fully balanced meal in one drink. A smoothie is also easily digested in the body since it has already been broken down into smaller parts, and the nutrients are also readily absorbed. I recommend keeping your smoothies on the ‘green side’ by loading them up with veggies first, and then adding in some fruit for sweetness. This is a wonderfully simple way to ensure that you’re getting enough greens into your diet each day.

Juicing machines can run you anywhere from $50 to $500 dollars. A cheaper juicer will likely operate with centrifugal force and the teeth will shred the ingredients through a fine mesh filter. These juicers do not work well for leafy greens, and are best suited for hard or juicy produce such as cucumbers and apples. A centrifugal juicer operates with more power and tends to heat things up as they pass through, causing some destruction of natural enzymes in your foods. The alternative is a masticating juicer, which slowly crushes and squeezes more liquid out of your ingredients. This type of juicer is generally a bit more expensive, but it is capable of juicing your greens such as kale and wheatgrass. Because this type of juicer works at a slower speed and does not heat the produce, the enzymes stay intact and the juice will stay fresh for longer.

There’s no doubt that juicing is a wonderful means to consuming more fruits and vegetables in a day, especially if you can afford it. I generally recommend that you keep your juices at 70% vegetables and 30% fruits so as not to spike your blood sugar from all of the natural sugars. Pure fruit juices should be avoided as they can pack in enough carbs and sugars for an entire day. It is also important to choose organic produce if finances permit, otherwise you are drinking up a whole lot of conventional pesticide-laden food.

So now for the verdict; is juicing or blending a better choice as part of a healthy lifestyle?

The answer is both. Different habits seem to work better for different people, and a machine that collects dust is no good in any diet. The optimal choice comes down to which method you will be able to incorporate into your lifestyle, and which one you’ll enjoy drinking on a day to day basis. If your blender makes a mean kale, banana and avocado protein smoothie – get blending!  And if your juicer makes a potent immune elixir of ginger, pear and lemon – keep on pressing!

**Check out my Pinterest Recipes board for more information on how to make a super-healthy, detoxifying greens drink!

Image courtesy of : [gameanna] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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