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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Blog from fellow B Schooler Heather Carey- Move Over Flax! Introducing The New Seeds

Ten weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a scholarship to Marie Forleo's B School.

We are coming to the end of our B school and I for one have learned so much my brain is about to explode. But slowly I am putting everything into place and will continue to learn as I go.

Marie has such a great way of explaining things and she engages you so much in all of her modules and videos. I recommend B- school to anyone who is thinking of enrolling and wanting to learn more about online business and marketing.

The one thing that I did not expect from B school was that the interaction of the B schoolers on the Facebook page was amazing. You could learn just from the questions, feedback and helpful hints everyone posted online.

I happen to post the other night if anyone was interested in doing a guest blog on my website or Facebook page. I was happy to link back to their website. Well I think I had over 50 people respond to my request, wow, it was amazing.

I am happy to share with you my first guest blog experience.

This article is written by Heather Carey, who is a culinary nutritionist. She helps empower women to improve their health through the power of food. What a great fit for Finally... Food I Can Eat! For more information or her wonderful tips or recipes please visit her website

Here is her wonderful article.

For years flax had been the golden child of the seed world: rich in omega-3's and lignans (a powerful phytonutrient) we were told to grind them up, sprinkle them on oatmeal, bake them into muffins and even add them to meatloaf. Studies even showed that flax could help ward off heart disease, ease depression and add the beneficial components to our diet that our own bodies cannot make itself.

But flax was never alone. Very little attention had been paid to some other seeds, such as chia and hemp, that are actually higher in nutrients and just as beneficial.

It could be due to their odd reputations.

The tiny chia seeds earned their claim to fame as the famous house pet of the seventies (remember Chia Pets?). Even though most people back then never considered actually eating the seeds, chia has been grown and harvested for centuries. Compared to the nutty taste of flax seeds, chia has a very mild flavor and becomes very gelatinous when mixed with liquids, making them a perfect addition to smoothies and puddings. Chia is a true power food, complete with 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and 2 grams of omega-3's in only one tablespoon.

Now, let's get one thing straight about hemp seeds. Hemp is not the same as marijuana seeds. Hemp has been grown around the world for its high fiber, protein and fat benefits, marijuana for its..well you know the rest. Hemp has the lowest ratio of omega 3's to omega 6's, 3:1 to be exact, a ratio of these two types of fats we should all be striving for. Hemp has a nutty, sunflower like taste and is delicious added to salads, ground into nut butters or even eaten raw.

Curious to try the new seeds? Check out my recipe for Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding then let me know what you think about using these powerhouse foods.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A light Bulb Moment- what you need to know about compact fluorescent lighting

Earth day is celebrated around the world on April 22. A day when we are asked to appreciate our environment, become aware of the issues that threaten it and its survival.
Ways to celebrate and protect our earth are often planned in cities and small towns around the globe. Some turn off their lights for an hour in the evening so to conserve energy. Others go around their neighbourhoods and pick up garbage.
I for one will be doing both of these, but what I have learned in the past few months about light bulbs has given me pause and question my decision to help conserve energy.
A few years ago it was advertised that the new compact fluorescent bulbs were the most energy efficient blubs and would last 10 times longer than the older incandescent bulbs. Compared to incandescent, the compact fluorescent bulbs stayed cooler and used one- fifth the power than incandescent bulbs did.
Over the years I have changed most of my light bulbs to compact fluorescent, despite the higher price point, as I thought I was saving energy and helping the planet.
What I have since learned is that compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) come with a host of health issues that many consumers are not aware of.
Firstly, they contain mercury, so if the bulb breaks, be careful not to inhale the mercury fumes and take care when disposing of the broken pieces. I was unaware that these bulbs require special disposal and cannot be thrown out with your regular trash.
Both ultra violet radiation and electromagnetic radiation comes from these bulbs and many can suffer ill health from their light bulbs and not even know it.
Common symptoms such as blurred vision, headaches, migraines, memory loss, heart- rate changes, skin rashes, auto immune conditions and even cancer can be caused by the type of light bulb you are using in your home.
Epileptics have reported increased seizures from radio waves and since all CFL’s produce radio waves it is important for people to be informed of these issues.
Perhaps the compact fluorescent light bulbs should come with a warning on their label just as cigarettes do?
So this earth day I will certainly turn off my lights and read by candle light for an hour or so, but when I turn back on my lights I will be sure that all my lamps have the old fashioned incandescent bulbs in them.

Happy Earth Day!
If you enjoyed this article please share it with friends and family and come join me on twitter or Facebook
Shirley Plant is the author of Finally... Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies. Shirley also offers dietary consulting and menu planning via Delicious Alternatives
twitter @sherrecipes

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is Gluten a Q & A Session with Shirley Plant- Author of Finally ... Food I Can Eat!

1)    What is gluten? – Gluten is a protein found in certain grains like wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut.

2)    Who needs to avoid gluten in their diet? -Those who are Celiac or those who have a gluten intolerance.
3)    What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
 So those who have celiac disease cannot have any gluten in their diet.,
 Gluten is a protein in certain cereal grains like wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut. According to the Canadian Celiac Association, about one in 133 Canadians suffers from celiac disease.
Celiac disease is genetic and is sometimes triggered — or becomes active for the first time — after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infections or severe emotional stress. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi, the tiny protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food they eat.

If you are suspicious that you have celiac disease, talk to your doctor, who will likely order a simple blood test which can detect high levels of certain antibodies found in people with the disease. It's possible that your doctor will also need to examine a part of your intestine using a thin tube called an endoscope that is inserted through your mouth down to your stomach, to see if the villi have been damaged.
 There is no cure for celiac disease and the only treatment is a gluten-free diet for life.

4)    So what does a gluten free diet look like? What do you EAT?! There is lots to eat, foods like quinoa, teff, millet, rice, corn, and of course foods like beans, lentils, meats, fish, vegetables are all fine

5)     Can you suggest some gluten free foods for people to try? Quinoa, millet, teff, arrowroot, tapioca, amaranth, hempseed, coconut, avocadoes, legumes, vegetables and the list goes on.

6)     Is it important to have allergy testing done before adapting your diet?  YES
7)    What are some symptoms of gluten intolerance or Celiac disease? Common symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, cramping, bloating and irritability. 

8)    Are oats gluten free?
Oats are gluten free but they are often milled on production lines which also handle gluten containing cereals like barley, malt or wheat. 
This can cause cross contamination which is why there is a lot of debate around the topic of oats being gluten free.

9)    You have written a dietary guide and cookbook called Finally...Food I Can Eat, can you tell us about that and how it came about?
-Well I have had food allergies for a long time and I got tired of eating the same old rice cakes. I love to cook so when I had the time and energy I would make up recipes and try them out.  I have to admit that lots of the recipes ended up in the garbage , but over time I came up with some really good recipes. I wanted to share them with others who like me were struggling with what to eat.

10)           How do you come up with recipes? I like to convert old stanby  recipes, I look at magazines and cookbooks for ideas.

11)           What is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

An allergy refers to a response of the immune system.
A food allergy is an adverse immune response to a food protein
A protein in the food is the most common allergic component. These kinds of allergies occur when the body's immune system mistakenly identifies a protein as harmful.
Some people have anaphylactic allergies, which are very serious and life threatening.

A food intolerance is a reaction that does not involve the immune system. It is caused by a problem in the way the body processes the food or food additive we have just eaten

I think what a lot of people don’t know is that a food allergy or intolerance can be delayed and is not always immediate. So you may find that you get a headache a day after you eat a certain food, not 10 minutes after you eat it.

12)           You are a dietary consultant, what does that entail? -I help people who are newly diagnosed with food allergies come up with menu ideas and customize recipes for those with dietary intolerance.

13)           What advice can you give someone who has just been diagnosed with gluten intolerance or food allergies? Take it slowly, go into a health food store and ask questions, ask for help. Look on the internet.  Don’t worry you will find foods to eat.

14)           I get asked this question all the time, what is quinoa and how do I cook it?-  Quinoa is a wonderful food. It hails back to the Incas. It is a teeny tiny seed actually, not a grain.  It is high in protein and vitamins and is very versatile. It can be used in soups, salads, stews, ground into flour to use in baking.You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and have muffins and cookies made with quinoa flour.

15)           Any last thoughts to share with our audience?-
If you have just found out that you have food allergies or need to go gluten free, don’t fret, there are lots of foods and recipes to make. Many restaurants and food chains are offering gluten free options. It is much easier these days to find gluten free foods than is was 10 years ago.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Contest with FlyerFlo and Whole Foods

Share FlyerFlo, win a copy of "Finally... Food I Can Eat" & $50 Whole Foods Market GC!

Ah, the joy of social media - who knows what it’s going to bring to your life.
Recently I hooked up with an old school friend who I went to public and high school with. We were best buds in grade school and it has been such fun to re
connect with her. I quickly learned that she has amazing talents in PR and was a social media whiz and so I hired her on the spot, well not on the spot, but that is a whole other story. Not only does she write a fantastic blog @momwhoruns, but she has t
ught me so much about facebook and twitter.
A few weeks ago she mentioned to me that she had downloaded this amazing new
pp onto her i
hone .
It's called FlyerFlo and it
to your fingertips
on your mobile devices
. Wow, what a concept, a green way of
consumers with
all of
their favourite stores, literally at a touch of a button. Walk into the store, pull up FlyerFlo and voila, you know what is on special
She said to me why not see if they want to run a contest with your cookbook and again, I said
Fast forward to today and I am thrilled to share this contest with all of you.
As a nutritionist and dietary consultant, I help people to menu plan within the confines of food allergies and dietary restrictions. Getting back to healthy, wholesome cooking is where it starts. Whether you are trying to lose weight, manage diabetes or have food allergies, it begins with what you are putting in your mouth.
I am passionate about sharing recipes with others and helping those who are struggling with meal preparation. Having had food allergies most of my life as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I know only too well how difficult it can be to plan healthy, easy recipes within the confines of dietary restrictions. This was how my cookbook, Finally… Food I Can Eat came about, as friends, family and co workers kept asking me for my recipes.
The key is fresh ingredients, those which Mother nature intended us to eat.
Whole Foods offers such an amazing selection of top quality organic produce and allerg
free items. I am thrilled they are offering a $50 gift card to go along with my cookbook, Finally... Food I Can Eat for this contest. What could be better than wi
ning a cookbook that offers healthy, tasty, allergy free recipes? A gift card from Whole Foods where you can buy
healthy ingredients you need
, and the free FlyerFlo app to figure out when they go on sale!