Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Proposed Legislation to Create a Dietitian Monopoly In Colorado

Dietitians are introducing laws into various states attempting to control who is able to dispense nutritional education to consumers. I am concerned about this development for many reasons. One, America is not a place that favors monopolies in any shape or form. Colorado house bill 1060, will prevent physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners (of which I am one), physician assistants, nutritionists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and acupuncture/Chinese medicine doctors will not be able to educate their patients despite their experience or education level. This is despite the fact that in many of these other professions, the professional has more education than the dietitian. Nurse and doctors have bedside experience with those who are suffering and dying. They will also be prevented from dispensing advice on supplements. If they do so, a $500 fine will be instituted. A worse outcome, is that patients will suffer and not be told advice that could potentially save their lives or improve their current health situation .

Two, practitioners who invest their lives into their practice and patients have the right to treat, educate and work in a cooperative fashion with their patients, health care consumers that works for both of them.

Three, dietitians and their corresponding association, The American Dietetic Association, now known as The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has been sponsored by Coca Cola and Pepsi touting soda pop as an appropriate beverage for hydration. They are also sponsored by Mars Candy, touting sugar as part of a nutritional plan for anyone is foolish if not borderline patient abuse. Many other large, processed food manufacturers support this organization.

Dietitians are in charge of diets in most institutions, such as public schools and colleges, long term care facilities, hospitals, the military and prisons. I used to work in the prison and it is quite difficult for a practitioner to control the blood sugar of a diabetic inmate after they have had the bare minimum RDA (recommended daily allowance) white meal. A white, dietitian approved meals consists of white bread, pasta or rice, cheap meat and dessert. Pop and Kool-aid are available to the inmates even in the infirmary. In the hospital, cancer patients are fed pop, pancake syrup and all other available carbohydrate, sugar laden, nutrient depleted foods all the while feeding their cancer. Dietitians assist physicians in making TPN, total parental nutrition for patients who are fed intravenously and it usually consists of bare minimum vitamins and minerals (not enough for a chronically ill person) and at least 45-50% sugar. Sugar does feed cancer. Cancer cells have multiple insulin receptor sites. PET scans that are done to evaluate the spread of cancer by intravenously putting in a sugar/dextrose solution that lights up cancer cells. Yet, conventional medicine will routinely tell patients what they eat is of no consequence to their disease.

Fourth, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics does not condone anyone who has a diverse viewpoint on what is good nutrition. On their website they point out what programs are not accredited, which is their prerogative. But at the same time, they should not propose to tell other practitioners how to practice or shut them out of a vital part of their profession. The reason they do not support these other schools is that they differ from the low fat, high grain/carbohydrate diets that are contributing to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Here is a New York Times article questioning the wisdom of dietitian sponsored advice.

Lastly, I have a bachelor and masters degrees and I have earned the right to practice medicine in the way I am educated, by school and self-education in conjunction with my successful patient experiences to treat each person in a holistic fashion. I do not want my practice impacted by regulatory legislation that has no defined benefit for consumers or practitioners.

As a person who has a few chronic illnesses, I have been able to improve my pain and fatigue with nutrition and supplementation, which I would not have if this bill was enacted.

If you want to take action, hit this website, https://secure3.convio.net/aahf/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1003.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Gluten Gouge, Part Two

Last week, we discussed how restaurants take advantage of us food challenged folks. This occurs by overcharging, having very scant knowledge about gluten, having a paltry GF menu or 2-3 options.

Another way we are gouged, is by the myriad of GF products that are available. Many taste  like cardboard or have a gritty texture boasting an exorbitant price tag. The other thing that is torturing me is the use of agave. If you don't know that it isn't good for you please read my article on agave. Most GF/CF products are using agave as a sweetener making them GF junk foods. Most of these products do not want you to evaluate the label. The carbohydrate content is extremely high which contributes to inflammation especially for those who are new to GF diet. This high content also contributes to weight gain as well as expanding the budget.You can find out more on why you should avoid processed, GF food items in a previous blog post.

Favorite GF Restaurants, continued:
Boa, a fab place that fuses Mexican and Asian cuisines beautifully
Namaste, staff is knowledgeable about GF offerings, lunch buffet is affordable and offers many GF/CF options
Beau Joe"s,  uses soy cheese on pizza, some items seem over priced
Mad greens, has GF soups, salad dressing and is very helpful in making sure your lunch doesn't bite you later!
Tokyo Joe's, always check on what is GF
Chipotle, also uses organic meats, watch the calories, a burrito bowl with toppings can easily exceed 1000 calories
Ras Kassas, a great Ethiopian restaurant with many naturally GF options and staff is knowledgeable, lunch buffet is a well spent $10 and get the naturally sweetened spiced ice tea
Tasty Harmony, a Ft Collins vegetarian restaurant also has raw food options! The cashew cheese nachos are fabulous! Several GF/DF shakes and desserts are available.
http://watercoursefoods.com/Watercourse, a vegetarian Denver restaurant that offers GF desserts sans dairy and eggs, but soy may be prevalent, always check! Their sister location, City O City, offers coffee/tea and bar with GF desserts and pastries as well as  entrees items.
Cafe de Paris, a quaint coffee shop that offers many GF items including soup, paninis, salads and desserts. It is located n Louisville, CO. There are a few other restaurants in this small town that offer GF items. 
The Twisted Cork Cafe, located in Salida, CO, is a favorite when we travel to Pagosa Springs. There is GF menu, wine tasting in the wine room and a wonderful patio with the river running right next to it. The tranquil sounds of running water with a good meal, ahhhhhhhh. This is a pricey restaurant so be prepared.

A few places to avoid.

Panera, consistently puts gluten or other items that I requested not to be on my food, I have been told a certain soup is GF and other times I am told it isn't. They are frequently "put out" in any requests that take more time than they are used to. Their staff doesn't understand gluten and they will not take the time to ensure your meal won't bite you later.

Noodles, a place I used to eat since they had a GF menu, but now I am told certain items I was eating were never gluten free. Not a safe place to eat.
Pei Wei, is owned by PF Chang's, it has marginal service and only a few GF items. Since they do not use GF soy sauce, many items are not on the menu for us. If you do eat there, tell them you need GF so they use separate cook ware.
Black Eyed  Pea, this is one of those places that over the phone says they have GF, but really don't.

If you hit Boulder, it is quite easy to eat almost any where since so many GF options area available.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite salads, lettuce doesn't always have to be the base of a salad.
This salad is mango, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions tossed with salt and pepper. Sometimes I have just mango, avocado and cucumber, all these combos are delicious and so easy to whip together.

Raw Chocolate Pudding

Creaminess and dairy substitute comes in the form of a green fruit, avocado.

1 ripe avocado
2 Tbsp soaked raisins, save soak water
2 Tbsp cocoa (raw if you are keeping raw)
1 Tbsp honey
nut milk as needed to blend

Blend all ingredients in a blender using soak liquid and or nut milk to keep blades moving, do not add too much or it will be runny. Don't over blend.

Use some soaked dates to achieve a caramel flavor.

Serves 1

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Gluten Gouge, Part One

I am sure many of you who are coping with food intolerances/allergies/celiac have run into what I am calling the gluten gouge. It is an amalgam of being raked through the coals by vendors, restaurants and stores. We are raked through the coals by prices, dishonesty, failure to provide full disclosure and failure to be really educated about gluten and dairy.This results in a disappointing, overpriced experience and makes us want to stay home.

Here's an example: restaurant X (will remain nameless) tells me when I call, that they have a gluten free menu. When I arrived, the menu consisted of 3-4 items, mostly salad. Then when dairy free was added, my menu items were reduced to salad. This occurs because most of their food is not made fresh by their staff, it is purchased frozen or already prepared and resold at a higher price. A paltry offering of GF salads doesn't make a meal. When I spend hard earned money on going out, I want an entire meal with a salad. Restaurant X couldn't even provide salad dressing.

Another example, restaurant Z, has some GF items, and their staff pretends to be knowledgeable in GF dining so that you will stay when you walk in after initial inquiry. When I order a salad with the GF menu item they suggest, the taco salad comes in a fried tortilla bowl---NOT GF!!! The menu made no mention of salad being served in gluten laden bowl, how would I know this? The server failed to ensure the meal was GF. Then you are made to feel like you are such an inconvenience that sometimes I think I will be fine if I just scrape it off. Wrong, I paid for it the next day.

Then there is the restaurant who is genuinely trying to accommodate us, but it is hard to justify paying double, $12 for a sandwich on GF bread (usually smaller in size than gluten bread) and the gluten laden sandwich costs $6.00. I know how much they can purchase this loaf of bread at retail and it is just difficult to understand why I am being charged so much.

I have a list of favorite gf places to go. Currently, ModMarket, located in Denver and Boulder has killer GF pizza with vegan cheese, that is my guilty pleasure every week. They also have wonderful salads, dressings and GF soups including green chili!
Some of my other favorites are:
Udi’s (quite expensive though and I have had some soggy sandwiches)
Root Down (expensive, but worth the splurge, monthly raw food dinner available)
Le central (makes their own GF bread, but does contain milk)

Blue Sky Café and Yoga Bar is one of my favorite places that is consistently good about keeping my food real!! That is GLUTEN FREE!!! They have Vita Mixes and super juicers so you can enjoy fresh fruit and/or veggie juices before breakfast or with breakfast.  During the day until 2pm they are a café and at night the tables and chairs are put away for yoga! I was inspired by their drink menu to make my own version of their Screaming Banshee shake. I am not a fan of the highly processed and phyto (plant) estrogen laden soy milk, and I am also casein (dairy) free and I was inspired to make a version that met the criteria.

Chocolate Covered Monkey Shake
If you don't want chocolate, omit it, makes a killer Monkey shake!  Pictured.  NO MONKEYS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS SHAKE! :)

2 c. almond milk
2 Tbsp  Cocoa
2 ripe, sliced frozen banana or a fresh one (if you want it cold, add a few ice cubs)
2 pitted Medjool date
2 tbsp. peanut butter no sugar added, free of hydrogenated oils
1 scoop of protein powder (optional) of your choice, I used Garden of Life Raw Protein

If you have a Vitamix, place all ingredients in the order listed. If you have a bullet or normal speed blender, use half of the liquid and add more until it is blended smooth, then add remaining liquid.


Serves 2

Next week, The Gluten Gouge, Part Two, more restaurants and a recipe for Mango Salad and Chocolate Pudding!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free Pancake Recipes

I realized it has been a long time since I updated my blogs, I apologize. Of course, most of us are making New Year's Resolutions and I hope to keep this site and my other, Lulu's Gluten Free, updated more frequently.

Unfortunately, I have many health challenges. I am having difficulty pushing through low energy coupled with working more as well as raising my son and running a household.

The recipe below was one I had hoped to post in the fall, but apples are still plentiful even though my favorite, Jonathan apples are gone. There are many others that are tasty.

If you are looking to reduce carbohydrates, use Granny Smith, these tart apples have the least amount of sugar. Use cooked applesauce if making these for someone below the age of two or peel your raw apples.

I was inspired to make pancakes using fall apples. I also wanted pancakes to be egg free as well. Gluten free pancake mixes tend to be quite expensive although they are easy to use. I enjoy Arrowhead's GF Pancake and Waffle Mix. The addition of corn flour gives a delicious crisp to the finished product.

This recipe is easy to make and surprisingly requires no syrup. We did enjoy them with applesauce from last week's post.

There are two recipes with variations that can apply to either. I find the oatmeal pancakes are easier for me to digest as they contain less sugar than gluten free mixes and I don't get tired as easliy after eating them. I have stopped using maple syrup as well for the same reason. I don't want to eat a breakfast that has be nodding off half an hour to an hour after eating. Unsweetened applesauce is a delicious topper with pancakes. I used to give my kids this to avoid them having too much sugar in morning.


Spiced Apple Pancakes

1 c. unsweetened organic applesauce or you can puree two apples with the peel (unless you are feeding a little person under the age of 2) in a food processor use a little water until you get consistency of applesauce
1 c. almond milk (easy almond milk 1 Tbsp. raw almond butter with 1 c. water, blend)
1 tsp. flax meal
2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. brown rice flour
pinch of ginger and nutmeg
1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Combine flax meal to cornstarch in a bowl, mix well and make a well in the center. Combine almond milk and applesauce, add to well and stir until mixed. Let rest for 5 minutes. Cook 1/3 c. of batter in oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat and flip when pancake looks dry. Continue until all batter is gone. Can be stored in refrigerator in storage baggie or container for a 3-4 days.
Serve plain or with unsweetened applesauce. Try one without any condiments, they are delicious as is!

Approximately 4-6 pancakes

Another Pancake recipe

1. almond milk
2 Tsp of flaxseeds
1 c. oatmeal
2 Tbsp of GF oats
1 Tbsp liquid coconut oil or light olive oil
1 Tbsp of vanilla extra

Place ingredients in order listed in a blender. Blend well. Over medium heat, heat your skilled and lightly oil using coconut oil. When hot place 1/3 c. of batter in pan, flip when top appears dry and I usually like to use my spatula to poke it and make sure it is cooked.
Repeat until batter is gone, this batter will keep in fridge for a few days.

Apple Oatmeal Pancakes
Place same spices in apple pancakes in your blender and blend well. Use unsweetened applesauce instead of syrup. I like using applesauce like this and I find I don't have any carb crash later since I avoided the syrup, even using real maple syrup.

Blueberry Pancakes:
Place blueberries frozen or fresh on top of batter after you pour it, I strategically place them, but you can add as many or little as you like!

Chai Spiced:
1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, cloves, and 3/4 tsp. cardamon, add to blender and blend well.

Banana pancakes:
Use applesauce pancake recipe above but substitute 2 bananas that are ripe and mashed and add 1/2 tsp of nutmeg to spices listed. Or use oatmeal recipe (also add 1/2 tsp of nutmeg) and place small pieces of banana on top of batter in pan, chopped walnuts could also be added.

Chocolate Chip:
Dot batter with a few dark chocolate chips that are gluten and dairy free, mini chips can also be used.

Almond Cakes:
Use 2 tsp of almond extract instead of vanilla. Blanched, slivered almonds can add a nice crunch and texture. Sprinkle them on top of pancake batter in pan.

I usually make some pancakes and keep them in the fridge for a week. I usually eat two small ones for breakfast. They could also be frozen, just use parchment or wax paper between each pancake prior to freezing. Wrap well or use a sealed plastic bag. Warm in toaster oven. Avoid use of microwave, if it can kill your germs on a kitchen sponge what is it doing to the nutrients in your food?

Enjoy and Happy New Year!!