Archive for April, 2013

Who Should Avoid Gluten?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Pizza, cookies, cakes and pasta all contain one common ingredient – gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that helps to bind breads, pasta and desserts to create a denser product. Gluten is a common additive to processed foods, and has been linked to weight gain, allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and is the cause of the serious condition, Celiac Disease.

Gluten-sensitivity can be difficult to diagnose. Elimination diets and food journaling can determine whether such a sensitivity exists. What is an elimination diet? Removing common allergens (wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, corn) from your diet for a period of time and reintroducing those foods one at a time to determine any reaction.

Celiac Disease
In the past few decades, more people have begun to notice that consuming bread products which contain gluten have been related to gastrointestinal issues, like nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea, and in severe cases – vomiting and weight loss. Sometimes this is due to an autoimmune condition known as celiac disease. Celiac disease is a progressive deterioration of the villi, or hair-like projections, within the small intestine, caused by a reaction to gluten. Villi absorb vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to sustain energy. When these villi begin to flatten as a result of gluten consumption, malabsorption can occur – causing anemia, irritability, weight loss, stomach pains and other gastrointestinal complications. Although there is no cure for celiac disease, a gluten-free diet can slowly reverse damage to the small intestine. A gluten-free diet eliminates all forms of barley, wheat and rye – even in the smallest amounts.

Have you ever considered an elimination diet to test whether you have food sensitivities? Learning the basics of raw foods can help you do it, deliciously! Click “here” for more information on the May 9th and May 13th classes.

 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
There are other digestive problems associated with gluten that are not Celiac Disease. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has some of the same symptoms as Celiac disease, but gluten has not been directly linked as a cause. However, those suffering from IBS often find relief from their symptoms by following a gluten free diet.


Why I’m still going to run in the Nashville Marathon

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Monday’s tragic events at the Boston marathon left me, and most Americans, stunned and horrified. Even after 911, Columbine, and Sandy Hook, senseless and random violence still affects me, leaving me shocked, wondering what is wrong with society and the human race?
But I had another reason for feeling fearful and anxious after learning about the bombs in Boston. I started training in early February to run in the Nashville Rock-n-Roll Marathon on April 27th.

I am not a runner. The most running I’d ever done was an occasional 5K or the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot! But in celebration of my sister’s 50th birthday, Heidi and I decided to run a half marathon, 13.1 miles. We picked Nashville because it’s relatively flat and there is a live band every mile. I’ve been running 4 times a week, getting up at 5 a.m. and never missing a run. I started out running 3 miles, slogging through some runs when I really just wanted to sit down! Last Sunday I ran 9 miles, my longest run yet, and logged 22 miles for the week.

Sunday was the first time I really believed that I could run the entire 13 miles, and even finish with a respectable time, when the news about Boston took the wind right out of my sails. It frightened me, thinking about those innocent people, injured, dead, or emotionally scarred from witnessing such violence. Could it happen in Nashville? Should I cancel my plans, and let go of 10 weeks of early mornings and sore muscles? Should I alter my life in response to some twisted person’s version of right and wrong?

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

After sleeping on it, and talking with my husband, I decided not to cancel my plans. The point of terrorism is to terrify us into giving up what we cherish: our freedom, our liberty, and our pursuit of happiness. To me, these last few months have been about chasing the vision of running across the finish line, and accomplishing a goal that I wasn’t at all confident I could reach.

In response to this kind of senselessness, we can pray for the victims in Boston, for the police and the investigators, for the staff at the hospitals, and all those affected by violence. We can also live our lives in the light, take care of ourselves, our families and our community. And most importantly, never give up our freedom to dream.

Wish me luck in Nashville!

Peace & Raw,
Jennifer


Zippy Tortilla Chips

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Delicious corn chips to eat alone or with a Mexican Raw Foods spread!

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3 cups frozen, organic corn, thawed

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

½ small yellow onion

1 cup ground flax seeds

½ cup hulled hemp seeds

2 Tbsp lime juice

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

½ tsp ground chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp sea salt

 

In a food processor, combine the first three ingredients until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until just combined.

Spread the dough equally onto two Teflex lined dehydrator sheets.  Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8-10 hours.  Flip the sheets over, and peel away teflex sheets.  Score the corn chips into pieces and return to dehydrator for an additional 4 to 6 hours or until crisp.  Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.