I so have to try this with my CSA left overs!!!!
The tradition in our house is that Friday is pizza night! I’ve always wanted to add almond meal to our pizza crust and replace it with some of the conventional flours. That way a little more protein and wholesome goodness is added back in. I have been playing around with this recipe and I think I finally have it nailed. When the kids eat the crust, it must be pretty darn good. You should be able to find all these ingredients organic.
Whole Grain Dough w/Flax:
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/4 cup of flax seeds (pre milled in coffee grinder)
- 1/2 cups of TJ Almond Meal.
- 2 1/2 cups of Bread Flour
- OPTIONAL but super yummy: 1 Tbs dried basil, oregano, thyme and/or Italian seasoning with the flour. (I tend to do garlic and/or oregano)
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 l/2 teaspoons regular active dry yeast OR 2 l/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast or quick-acting active dry yeast
I ran into this article last night that had some great GMO research information – or lack there of – and quotes. I always love a good quote so lets start there.
“Today the vast majority of foods in supermarkets contain genetically modified substances whose effects on our health are unknown. As a medical doctor, I can assure you that no one in the medical profession would attempt to perform experiments on human subjects without their consent. Such conduct is illegal and unethical. Yet manufacturers of genetically altered foods are exposing us to one of the largest uncontrolled experiments in modern history.“
Martha Herbert, MD, Harvard University School of Medicine.
I could not agree more and honestly feel that the food industry is morally bankrupt. These products are just fast tracked to market with a complacent FDA for nothing more than profit thru patent protection. Plus selling tons of pesticide is also very convenient. Another great example from this piece is that independent research showed that rats started to shows negative affects after 4 months of GMO exposure. The GMO industry stopped their research after 3 months of exposure. This is straight from Monsanto’s website.
In addition to the growth and development testing in the broiler chicken study, the team also conducts a 90-day rat feeding study with most products, which is a toxicology study.
I just love how this is considered extensive. It will be interesting to see if a whistle blower steps up in upcoming years similar to what happened in the tobacco industry. I guess only time will tell.
To read more, here is the link to the full article: http://prn.fm/2012/12/17/gary-null-seeds-of-death/#ixzz2FPVNcG4O
One of my favorite things to cook when it gets cold is Potato Leek soup. This past Sunday I finally made it this season. This time I was going to make a healthy version of it. Now doing the soup dairy and gluten free, is quite the challenge. But, I’m always up for a good challenge and getting my cook on. I planned on using homemade almond milk instead of cream base. To give it that big body and keeping it off mine, I used a roux to get me there. Instead of using butter as my fat, I used hemp oil. I have been trying to use it for something and this seems like a good fit.
- 3 Tbs Almond Flour
- 3 Tbs Hemp Oil
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- 2 Tbs Hemp OIl
- 2 Large Leeks – White and Light Green sections Diced
- 1 Sweet Onion – Diced
- 4 Garlic Cloves – Minced
- 8 Small Potatoes – Diced
- 4 Cups Veggie Stock
- 3 Cups Almond Milk
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tbs Parsley
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
In a large stock pot, saute the onions in 2 Tbs of oil for 2 minutes. Add in leeks and garlic. Saute until soft. Remove and set aside. Add 3 Tbs of hemp oil and flour. Season with salt and pepper to taste to make the roux. Keep stirring until with wooden spoon until mixed for about 3-4 minutes. It should be a thick mixture. You can cook longer until a light brown color. There is a whole art to making a roux that I will go into another time. Add back the leeks, onions, and garlic to the pot. Then add the almond milk, veggie stock and stir. I use homemade veggie stock with very little salt. If your using store bought stock, you might have enough salt to taste already. Add in remaining spices and potatoes. Simmer on low for approx. 1 hour. Adjust spices to taste.
Prop 37 might not have been passed but it might have just gotten the anti-GMO ball rolling in corporate America. Well, I certainly would not have expected it to come from a heavy weight like Kaiser, but I will take it. Kaiser is advising members to go Organic solely to avoid GMO’s. Here is what Kaiser advises:
Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. Independent research has found that several varieties of GMO cord caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that GMOs may lead to an inability in animals to reproduce.
Now if I were a betting man, I would bet that Monsanto is going to be cranking up the spin engine and start a smear campaign even though they do not have long-term science to defend their products or position. I applaud Kaiser for sending this.
The US diet is flooded with processed foods. Just look at your average grocery store. The edge of the grocery store is lined with whole foods for the most part. You have a wide array of fruits and veggies, the meat / seafood sections, the dairy case, etc. as you walk around the edge. Relatively speaking, a very small foot print when compared to the overall size of the store. When you look towards the center of the store and what takes up most of the floor space are boxes. Boxes, boxes, and more boxes of processed food. As food gets processed, more and more is taken from it and the food needs to be enriched with additives to bring back flavor. Even though they might be “Natural”, does not mean they are healthy. Mono sodium glutamate (MSG) is naturally occurring but so it cyanide and hydrochloric acid. MSG is one of those additives that is so pervasive in our food supply and controversial.
MSG has been such a hot button for years, if the box says MSG, people will most likely switch brands. Now the food industry with help from the FDA has alternative ways to hide MSG. Here is a list of MSG like products according to truthinlabeling.org.
|Almost Always||Often Included||Suspected|
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Bouillon and broth
Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Soy sauce extract
Anything “protein fortified”
Modified food starch
Lipolyzed butter fat
Brown rice syrup
Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
most things low fat or no fat
anything Vitamin enriched
Ok, time to get a little clinical so bear with me. Glutamic acid is in a class of chemicals known as excitotoxins, high levels of which have been shown in animal studies to cause damage to areas of the brain unprotected by the blood–brain barrier and that a variety of chronic diseases can arise out of this neurotoxicity. An excitotoxin is a chemical that causes a brain cell to become overexcited and fire uncontrollably, leading to cell death. MSG (and other excitotoxins like asparatame) has the potential for inflicting permanent damage to the brain and nervous system. Because glutamate is absorbed very quickly in the gastrointestinal tract (unlike glutamic acid-containing proteins in foods), glutamate could spike blood plasma levels of glutamate. A neurotoxin can also shrivel and kill brain cells in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a portion of the brain, located just above the brain stem, roughly the size of an almond. Though small, it’s incredibly important as it is responsible for certain metabolic processes and other activities of the autonomic nervous system. One of the most important functions of the hypothalamus is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep, and circadian cycles. Let’s not forget, that the pituitary gland controls our metabolism. These are all vital to be operating efficiently for endurance racing.
MSG has also been linked with obesity. According to a Reuters article:
The flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), most often associated with Chinese food and after-dinner headaches, may also be enhancing waistlines, a new study finds. Researchers found that people who eat more MSG are more likely to be overweight or obese. And the increased risk wasn’t simply because people were stuffing themselves with MSG-rich foods. The link between high MSG intake and being overweight held even after accounting for the total number of calories people ate.
The food industry has a vested interest for you to eat more. In a stagnant market, if you grow the waist line and calories consumed, that means more corporate profits to chase. It’s no wonder why it’s so prevalent in our food supply.
Here are some symptoms linked to MSG according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Headaches and Migraines
- Chest pain
So why does this matter?
The one item that really struck me in the table above was Maltodextrin. My original concern with Maltodextrin was that it is typically made from rice or corn and they are mainly commercially grown as GMO these days. My effort last year was trying to get organic or non-GMO varieties. I went with Hammer products because they were pretty transparent about their product sourcing and quite refreshing. You look at all the major suppliers of sports powders that people train with, the first ingredient is Maltodextrin. Advocates say it’s a great complex carb and that’s what is needed for sustained energy. Look at the ingredients from their nutrition labels (the bold added for emphasis):
|Cytomax Energy||CytoSport’s unique complex carbohydrate blend including amylopectin starches and maltodextrins from corn hybrids, Alpha-L-polylactate™ (our patented L-lactate formulation containing non-acidic L-lactate ionically bound to L-arginine, fructose, glycine, L-histidine and L-alanine, sodium L-lactate, potassium L-lactate, L-pyruvate), fructose, glucose, potassium succinate, L-glutamic acid, inosine, magnesium succinate, calcium succinate, citric acid, malic acid, natural flavors, ascorbic acid, L-alanine, L-glutamine, food gum, chromium polynicotinate (ChromeMate GTF™).|
|Gu Electrolyte Brew||Maltodextrin, Fructose, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Turmeric (as color)|
|GU Roctane||Maltodextrin, Fructose, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Taurine, Histidine, Natural Flavors, Leucine, Valine, Carnosyn® Beta-Alanine, Potassium Citrate, White Tea Caffeine, Isoleucine, Turmeric (As Color).|
|Hammer HEED*||Maltodextrin, Xylitol, Natural Flavor, Calcium Chelate, Salt, L-Carnosine, Stevia, Glycine, Magnesium Chelate, Potassium Chelate, Tyrosine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Chelate, Chromium Polynicotinate.|
|Hammer Perpetuem*||Maltodextrin, Soy Protein Isolates, Energy Smart® (fruit juice, natural grain dextrin), Soy Lecithin, Coffee Powder, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Trisodium Phosphate, L-Carnosine, L-Carnitine (as Carnipure™), Choline Bitartrate, Caffeine, Stevia, Chromium Polynicotinate.|
|Infinit||Not posted on website. I’m guessing this is due to the customization.|
|Ironman Perform||C2 MAX CARBOHYDRATE BLEND (MALTODEXTRIN, FRUCTOSE, DEXTROSE), CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, CALCIUM SILICATE, MAGNESIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, TURMERIC COLOR|
* Site indicates “No MSG”
So what now?
I certainly face nausea and headaches while on the bike racing and taking these products. Am I saying that this is the sole cause – no. Not at all. I’m just trying to reduce the number of variables that would limit personal performance. Experiencing these symptoms on the bike is my body telling me there is something that it does not like. Granted I’m putting a ton of stress it would like to stop. I just do not need to compound that stress with additives or highly processed foods that are not natural to my body. My goal for 2013 is to get away from these mainstream processed products and switch to whole food based nutrition. After seeing some of these connections, even if they have not been fully clinically researched, I’m not waiting around for that data to confirm it with absolute certainty.
Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life by Dr. Russell Blaylock
Truth In Labeling
During the holidays, a staple is green bean casarole. That calls for cream of mushroom soup. Instead of reaching for the dreaded can soup, here is a simple recipe to make your own that has so much more flavor. It all starts with a good roux. Then you can go from there for the flavorings.
- 3 Tbs flour
- 3 Tbs organic grass-fed butter
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Cream of Chicken
- 1 Cup organic chicken stock
- 1 Tsp thyme
Melt butter on medium heat. Add flour, salt & pepper to make a roux. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and whisk until thick. Once thick remove heat to get your cream of chicken stock. Casserole
Cream of Celery
Change chicken stock with veggie stock and follow directions above. In separate pan, saute petite diced celery (1/4 cup) with a 1 Tbs of butter until tender. Add to finished base stock.
Cream of Mushroom
Change chicken stock with veggie stock and follow directions above. In separate pan, saute petite diced mushrooms (1/4 cup) with a 1 Tbs of butter until tender. Add to finished base stock.
I make my own veggie stock. That said, it has really little sodium in it. So I tend to add a bit more salt to the dish. I also use Celtic Sea or Himalayan Sea salt.
Being frustrated with the whole nut recall, I finally said enough and made my own nut butter. I have to say, it’s pretty easy and yummy! I just love putting this on an english muffin with some local honey.
- 1 lb – Raw Almonds
- 1/3 cup – Flax Seeds
- Himalayan Sea Salt to taste.
I roasted the flax in the preheated oven at 350 for 8 minutes. Once done, add to Vitamix plus the almonds and sea salt until smooth (approx 10 minutes). The aroma was so strong and fresh, I thought it was my blender “roasting”. It took maybe 20 minutes total to make.
I really like Dr. Weil’s approach. He is a bit more mainstream and tries to cover a pretty wide brush of dietary preferences. Plus he promotes concepts that get people focused on optimum wellness. Today he published a video that talks about anti-inflammatory foods. Endurance athletes in particular need to be concerned with keeping a neutral to alkaline bias and anti-inflammatory body. I know post-race favorite meals are soda/beers, big red meat meals, etc. This is the last thing your body needs to recover. Sure it needs protein, but it does not need all the acid rich environment that these selections create. With the level of stress and training volume we put on our bodies and endure all racing season, keeping a diet of both alkaline and anti-inflammatory rich whole foods keeps the body going and speeds recovery. This 8 minute video that is a nice summary of how to maintain this balance. Just wish Flax and Chia were also shown with Fish/Seafood since they are plant based rich with Omega 3’s. These are so easy to add in your diet. Add them to smoothies, salads, and sauces.
I also love his concept to eat across the color spectrum. It’s a wonderful visual to help get a wide array of foods that go across macro and micro nutrients. More importantly, it’s simple to remember.
As for the soy products, I prefer to use organic fermented soy to help prevent it from being perceived as estrogen. This is based on numerous research I have read that recommend limits to products like Soy Milk (I prefer Almond Milk) and tofu. This is certainly key in my house with my young daughter and wife since it affects their estrogen levels to a greater degree. We just love using Tempeh in stir-fry and even with pesto. Keep in mind, soy is also one of the most heavily GMO crop grown, so stick with organic or non-GMO certified.
If you want to research anti-inflammatory foods, a great resource is inflammationfactor.com. It’s nice to look up values if you have ingredient choices in a recipe. That way you can avoid more acidic ones. One of the highest anti-inflammatory are spicy peppers. That fits right on top of the pyramid above. I have been trying to sneak in pepper and required my taste for spicy foods. Extra hot salsa here, red chilies there.
And of course, organic where possible to prevent GMO’s from sneaking in the food supply.
Here is the video:
How to Eat: the Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Dr. Weil.