A QUICK n EASY SUMMERTIME RECIPE FOR FISH-PHOBES

Please note. This post is not a paid post although Milk & Eggs provides me with gift cards so that I can present my personal healthy selections and recipes to you. I do not however get paid by Milk & Eggs, so the opinions and thoughts expressed here are entirely my own. If you’re inspired by this post, use my discount code JKCOACH for $10 off of your orders over $35 and you will also get FREE delivery! I do not make commissions on your orders or get paid by Milk & Eggs, I just love this service and hope you do too!

Photo: Reformation Health

Photo: Reformation Health

So not all of you know this, but I’m actually not a full time Health Coach. Well, in a way I am in I am ALWAYS thinking about health, nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and what kind of information to present to all of you. But if you want to get technical, my full-time job is actually at a creative services firm.

While paid professional food bloggers have the time to concept, create, shoot and post recipes full-time, a majority of my week is spent at one job, and then my spare hours before work, after work, and on weekends are dedicated to providing you all with health and wellness information.

My point? Two-fold. One I have NO time to run around to multiple grocery stores every week. And two, you can bet all of the meals and recipes that I share with you are time-efficient. Usually about 20 minutes from start to finish to prep and execute!

That’s why discovering Milk & Eggs back in April was a GOD-SEND! I used to have to source my food from multiple locations. Running to a farmers market for fresh organic produce that would last for more than a couple of days, to Whole Foods for specialty items (like filler-free nut mylks), and then clicking around on Amazon for cheap pantry items (like raw cashews and my favorite nut butter). This with a full-time job and a Health Coaching practice! I was basically out of my mind.

Photo: Reformation Health

Photo: Reformation Health

Milk & Eggs changed all of that with their innovative business model, providing farm fresh organic produce AND all of my favorite obscure grocery items like Barely Bread, Farmhouse Culture krauts, Forager nut mylks, Health-Ade kombuchas, 4th & Heart Ghee Butter, pesto, and even fish, directly to my front door! No running around like a psychomaniac any more! I get a bag by 7:00am the morning of my delivery, I throw the bag in the fridge before work, and then after work I come home and organize my delivery as needed.

I am usually strategic about what I order. I know that in all deliveries I’ll want nut mylk and organic cauliflower to steam and freeze for smoothies, fermented vegetables and kombucha for probiotic benefits, greens for salads and breakfast tacos, some of my favorite vegetables like broccolini and spinach and some fish for quick dinners, and then I’ll add some fun things like a pasta, fruit-free green juice, or non-dairy cheese to try, some of them becoming regulars in my orders. And then usually I’ll think of a specific recipe or two that I want to test and post for you guys, and I’ll order what I need for that. 

Photo: Reformation Health

Photo: Reformation Health

Like this super summery Spiralized Zoodles and Pesto with Swordfish. Nothing is more summery than basil pesto, and this light, grilled fish is the perfect compliment. Swordfish is the perfect fish, IMHO, for non-fish eaters who want to dive into eating fish (pun intended). It’s got a flakey, meaty texture, almost like grilled chicken and no fishy taste or odor. This was the first fish I ate as a fish-hating kid and even though I've since expanded my repertoire and love fish, it's still one of my absolute favorites for its mild taste.

Make sure to spend the extra money to order all organic if your budget allows.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

serves two

- 2 large or 4 small organic zucchini, spiralized (this is the spiralizer I own)

- 1/4C basil pesto (or prepared pesto of your choice)

- 1 large handful of arugula

- 1 piece of wild-caught swordfish, sliced in half lengthwise (for bigger appetites or for leftovers, order and grill two pieces)

- Sun-dried tomatoes

- Avocado oil (this is my favorite for the quality and best flavor)

- Optional lemon and rosemary for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

- Spiralize the zucchini and set aside.

- Heat an indoor grill like this one and spray with ghee to make sure the fish doesn’t stick (or you can grill outside if you have an outdoor grill).

- Place the fish on the grill and don’t touch it until it’s grilled almost all of the way through.

- Once the fish is almost cooked through on one side, heat 1tsp of avocado oil in a large skillet.

- Flip the fish, then heat the zoodles in the skillet adding the arugula once the noodles soften slightly. Remove from heat and toss with the 1/4C of pesto (you don’t want to overcook zoodles or they can get mushy).

- Plate the zoodles first, add some sun-dried tomatoes to garnish, then rest the fish on top, garnishing with lemon and rosemary to make it look purty. 

- Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with pink Himalayan sea salt prior to serving.

Photo: Reformation Health

Photo: Reformation Health

REAL WEIGHT LOSS & WEIGHT MANAGEMENT WITH DR. LEO TREYZON

In Part One of my interview with Dr. Treyzon, we explored gut health and chronic stomach conditions. Fortunately for us, Dr. Treyzon is an expert in nutrition, weight loss and weight management, and he's giving us the skinny (pun intended) on living a life in balance, and how to maintain a healthy weight for the long haul.

I've done my best to avoid ED triggers such as specific foods and calorie counts in our interview but if you are sensitive to ED triggers and/or early on in your recovery, please read with discretion.

Eat fiber-filled WHOLE FOODS like organic apples and raw sprouted almonds to keep you full and to keep blood sugar even between meals!

Eat fiber-filled WHOLE FOODS like organic apples and raw sprouted almonds to keep you full and to keep blood sugar even between meals!

Let’s talk a little bit about weight management. Because I know that’s part of your practice and that you refer out to nutritionists. What would you say in your experience – if people want to lose weight or just not gain weight as they go along in life and get older – what would you say are the top things that people can do for weight management?

That’s a really good question. I think most weight management is about discipline, and regimen, and staying consistent. So things that are proven to work are:

1.     Chronicling, and

2.     Self monitoring of food intake

Having some sort of system of awareness of how much you should take, and writing that down (food journaling), tends to be the #1 determinent of peoples’ overall health. It’s not about as much what you eat, it’s about setting a goal, and maintaining that goal and being accountable. It’s incredibly powerful. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that without self-journaling, your likelihood of success is diminished significantly.

The second thing has to do with activity, and staying active. That’s not about food right there. It’s about movement and staying active. And it’s not so much about exercise either. It’s about how you live your life. If you walk vs drive. Take breaks, dance, engage in activities that are physically oriented. So we know that exercise doesn’t really make the biggest difference in acute weight loss, but it makes all of the difference in maintaining a healthy weight. And for someone who has lost weight, it’s probable that weight regain will occur without some sort of change in physical activity. And for some people that may be changing walking patterns, keeping track of how many steps they do per day, or maybe integrating exercise at the gym as part of their daily routine, or regularly dancing, or regularly taking breaks to do stuff.

The other thing that tends to be important is having a partner who is committed to their success with them. Someone they can check in with when things go awry, almost like a sponsor if you will.

For some people that’s a doctor and for some people that’s a Weight Watchers group for example, or it might be a friend, or it might be a spouse. Just someone who will realize when you’ve gone awry, and it’s a resource you can check in with.

So it sounds like accountability is a big part of it. One, the food journaling, and two having a community that can support you along the way if losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is one of your goals.

And this isn’t just a thing in weight management. We know that people who have community around them tend to do better in all categories, whether it’s overall happiness, satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment with their life goals. People in communities versus independent people tend to do better.

But getting back to the other detriments to long-term, successful weight loss. HYDRATION. We know that it’s harder to lose weight when you’re dehydrated. So that’s an easy fix. Meaning getting 64oz of water ingested per day, or liquid in per day through water, soup, drinks, things like that, is very important, and it’s an easy intervention. And it’s common reason why people don’t hit their goals. 

If you don't like being in the gym, try hiking with friends as a way to bond. Keep water handy at all times with an insulated bottle like this one!

If you don't like being in the gym, try hiking with friends as a way to bond. Keep water handy at all times with an insulated bottle like this one!

That’s so interesting. Is there a scientifically proven reason behind this?

Yah. We know that metabolic rates are different when you’re dehydrated. We know that metabolic rates are different when you’re dehydrated. When we’ve run experiments on people, what their total body expenditure is, it’s much higher when you’re well hydrated than when you’re poorly hydrated.

Think about it intuitively. If you’re dehydrated you’re in a stress state. That’s an insult to your body. So your body goes into emergency mode, and it will not release energy. It will keep you cold as opposed to hot, it will keep your muscles not firing as opposed to firing, because it’s as if you’re in a war. That’s it’s natural reaction.

So, we know that staying hydrated is key.

The other relatively simple thing is staying well rested. So some people say that staying within 7-8 hours of restful sleep is also very important towards overall weight management.

So to recap, what we see is that regular activity, self monitoring, having a sponsor or partner invested in your health, adequate hydration, adequate sleep, and then having a balanced diet that’s sensible, these are the keys to weight management.

Also as you know, in order to lose weight, you have to cut calories. But it doesn’t have to be a drastic weight loss. In general, small base hits do better overall than big home runs. So that’s why THE BIGGEST LOSER doesn’t really work in real life. The key is small little adjustments in life, and maintaining consistency, and implement the strategies to maintain them. These people to best when trying to lose weight and them maintain a healthy weight.

And weight management is a long term issue. It’s sort of like earthquake insurance. You might have a great policy for one year, but it doesn’t really suit you well if that earthquake is five years from now. You want something that’s oriented towards long-term health. Similar for cholesterol management in a young person. You might lower your cholesterol significantly by doing some crazy diet that drops your cholesterol so well for you, but if a diet is not sustainable, it’s not pragmatic because we’re talking about a 20 or 30 year issue. So you really have to choose a plan that’s doable, realistic, and easily sustainable in one’s lifestyle.

So when you are dispensing these steps to a patient, do you have the conversation yourself, do you outsource to a nutritionist, and are either you or the nutritionist – when dispensing directives to a client such as “get more sleep”, are you breaking down for them how to actually get more sleep? Or drink more water for example.

The answer is yes. There’s usually a reason why these people are on a diet, and it’s not educational for most people. It’s hard. It’s hard in a busy life, when you’re a busy mom or dad to get 8 hours of sleep. So it’s about setting priorities. And helping them to realize the importance of implementing these steps in their life. That takes skill. That takes education. That takes awareness of where people falter too. I think that those things are THE most important aspects of weight management. Is helping people understand how to problem-solve.

The other really important thing is motivating people. Because I could spend all of this time teaching what’s important and giving the perfect solution to your problem, but assessing motivation is where a skilled dietician, nutritionist, doctor, healer, health care partner will excel. Because weight management – if you’re not motivated – you will fail. It’s just inevitable. In general 19 out of 20 people will fail in weight management unless they have a system in place that is proven to work, and that will work long-term.

These Chocolate Sea Salt Energy Bites are low in sugar and high in protein, providing satiety between meals while getting to eat a treat!

These Chocolate Sea Salt Energy Bites are low in sugar and high in protein, providing satiety between meals while getting to eat a treat!

So how do you motivate an unmotivated individual?

I think the key is helping them understand why they are there to see you in the first place. If their motivation is their partner in life saying “you have to go see so and so because so and so will change your life.” Well, advising to see that person is a really easy intervention. And it might solve someone else’s happiness, but it doesn’t really solve the problem.

Some people are motivated by fear – as in “I’m scared of getting cancer” or “my dad just had a heart attack” - and that kind of thing tends to wear off when the initial insult of that event wears off. Time heals wounds, and peoples’ motivation goes away. A frequent thing that we see is people coming in for colon cancer screening after the death of someone they know from colon cancer. They want to take care of it right away, but then may forget their 5-year follow up.

So it’s an opportunity and a liability. It’s a nice point in time to capture people’s attention and motivation and use that to help, but at the same time you have to recognize as a health care provider that they may not be this motivated long-term.

So what do we do? We are trained in motivational interviewing. We understand what people are good at and not good at. In general, men don’t really cook that well and prepare meals for their family as well as women do. It’s not an absolute rule, but it tends to be a pattern. So, recognizing that You can’t really give a man as much nutritional detail as you would for a woman, who tend to grasp these things better. So, a suggestion for the same amount of weight loss in a man or woman might be a totally different method.

Working around their busy life. Helping them find opportunities for fitness, mindfulness, awareness, setting up sponsorships, making sure that they follow up. One of the biggest things that we do in our important doctor-patientmeetings, as our first step, is determine when the next follow-up is, before we get caught up in all of the details of this food vs that food.

It’s the big picture goals have to be recognized. Follow up, movement, motivation, not giving up. Assessing peoples’ ability to persevere is really really important. It’s important in a lot of different conditions. I call it “What are you going to do when you have your fat attack?” What does that fat attack look like? Is it when you’ve had a heart attack? Is it when you’ve developed arthritis and need surgery? And I tend to pose to people that a fat attack is sort of like an asthma attack. Just like you have your inhaler when you start getting short of breath in asthma, your partner for a fat attack might be your Weight Watchers sponsor or your spouse that knows that you need to eliminate x food and will lock up the refrigerator.

Basically the pattern that I recommend to patients is, when you hit a 5% regain, it means you are calling for an appointment that week. When you have a 10% regain, you are walk into the office because you’re “having a severe flare of obesity”. So when you don’t fit into THAT pair of jeans, that means you call today. Sort of like how Amazon has those buttons you can click when it’s time to re-order Tide, I wish I could have a button in peoples’ button or something.

Let’s go back a little bit, I want to backtrack back to gut health. I would love to know, what are the key things – in your opinion – that patients’ need to implement for gut health.

I’m a big fan of probiotics. They have an important role in a lot of things. I think the concept that taking a probiotic or prebiotic as a daily supplement in order to ensure or protect for gut health has not been proven. AndI think that although we WANT to believe in something that simple, it isn’t that simple. And most diseases – and any disease to my knowledge – I don’t think that there’s any single disease that can be prevented by taking a probiotic.

Drink one half of a low-sugar kombucha (like GTS) daily for tremendous probiotic benefits!

Drink one half of a low-sugar kombucha (like GTS) daily for tremendous probiotic benefits!

I don’t think in 2017 consumption of probiotics will prevent any particular condition that I’m aware of.

With that said, there’s a tremendously important role for probiotics in non-wellness states.

Examples of which are chronic diarrhea , history of infectious colitis, and prevention of infectious colitis later, and there’s an evolving roll for them in lactose intolerance, there’s a role for them in irritable bowel syndrome, there’s a roll for them in inflammatory bowel disease, and there’s a role for probiotics and prebiotics in vaginal, reproductive health – aka gynecological health - and probably others too.

Thank you for all of this. I’d like to wrap this up with just one more question. I’ve always admired your dedication to fitness, you are very motivated, I’d love to know a little about your daily routine. Can you walk us through this? What daily steps do you take to feel your best self?

So first of all, I’m constantly learning about myself and what makes my body feel good. And I’ve definitely noticed changes in my tolerance of certain things later in life. Although I’m a believer that coffee is an addictive substance, I do start my day with coffee, and it gives me the energy to focus in the morning, and that’s the most important part of my day. So I start off with a cup of coffee – plain black coffee. Every once in a while, I’ll try a different diet, something that’s totally different than the way I’m eating and I’ll give it a shot just to see what I can lean from it and what I can learn about my body. And one thing I learned when I was alcohol-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free for one month, and I found that I actually don’t need the milk and I don’t need the sugar or the Splenda in my coffee for me to maximally benefit from the experience as I’m drinking the coffee. What I really want is the buzz and the clarity and the mental help that coffee gives me. So I was able to take the sugar and Splenda and milk out of that, and I have instituted that as a daily routine – whereas I would have never agreed that that was how I would prefer it. But it’s a small sacrifice for me.

I also noticed that I need carbs in the morning out of all meals. So that’s my opportunity to have my carbs for the day. So I’ll have a Thomas’s English muffin, toasted, I like it because it’s portion controlled, and that’s a good example. I try to leave my own influence out of it. Because if I’m given the ability to choose, I’ll choose big servings as opposed to small servings. So portion control for me is very valuable. So I pick a product where I know exactly how much it’s going to be.

Do you food journal and do you log your calories?

I realized that I’m not good at that. And I had to sacrifice on that part. There’s other things that I journal in terms of the fitness, and I do have other strategies that I have set up for emergency control for that but one thing I don’t do is journal.

So I have the English muffin with a little bit of cream cheese and salmon. So I like smoked salmon because it keeps well (doesn’t expire), it’s tasty, and it gives me the protein and omegas I like to have in my diet. And I love the carb of the English muffin, and it’s grab n go. It’s quick, I don’t need to cook things up, and that’s really important for me because I tend to get going early.

Sometimes I exercise before I start my day, like at 5:00 I’lll get up and do a class for example. And then I will tend to not be hungry if I’ve eaten that first meal of the day.

My second meal is around 12:00. And it’s usually catered food at my office, and I feel I’m extremely vulnerable to the ill effects of catered food. I actually consider it a liability to have those meals even though they’re extremely tasty and the best quality foods. They are not portion-controlled and when I’m distracted I notice that I tend to overeat. So what I will do now is I will deliberately avoid those meetings, I’ll eat in my own office where I have the power to determine my food choice. When I’m lucky I’ll bring food with me from home, and I have experimented with having a chef helping prepare foods, but the foods were so tasty I tended to over-eat in that situation too.

So now what I’m doing is I’m having a salad or soup for lunch and that’s pretty good for me. I’ll have a protein bar of some sort. I would love to shakes but it requires a blender and it’s hard for me to clean at work.

And then dinner meal is usually after a workout or with friends I’ll go out, and that’s typically where I’ll mess up. Is that meal  But I’ll try to do carbohydrate-restricted. I’ve noticed that if I drink alcohol I’ll tend to make poor nutritional choices, so when it’s really important for me to stay lean, to eat healthy, I’ll deliberately select to not hang out with certain people. People that are prone to have drinks, or an event where I know drinks will come, and I’ll deliberately stay away because I know my will power is limited to a certain degree in that setting.

So that’s sort of how I live my life. I could do better in terms of not eating late at night. I could do better in portion control. And that’s it!

If you enjoyed this interview with Dr. Treyzon, please let me know by leaving a comment. And if you have any additional questions about weight loss, weight management, and/or gut health, I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

 

DR. LEO TREYZON AND THE TRUTH ABOUT GUT HEALTH

In the Reformation Health "ASK AN M.D." series, we interview specialists in the areas of medicine, health and nutrition to get to the bottom of all of your most burning questions.

This is Part One of a two-part interview with Dr. Leo Treyzon - Clinical Chief of Gastroenterology at Cedars Sinai, in which we get to the root of all things gut health, nutrition and weight loss. In Part One, we discuss gluten intolerance, leaky gut, why to not skip breakfast, and the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle habits early on in life.

And it wouldn’t be a converstion with Dr. Treyzon without multiple mentions of BGDC (bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation).

If you have any additional questions for Dr. Treyzon, make sure to leave a comment, or email info@reformationhealth.com.

Dr. Treyzon in his home office. Brentwood, CA

Dr. Treyzon in his home office. Brentwood, CA

Thank you so much for speaking with me today. Let’s start with a little bit of information about your career history. What made you decide to become a Dr, and more specifically, go into the field of Gastroenterology?

 I’ve always been interested in medical science, and in particular medial science, and my experience in medical school was very fulfilling and eventually I found this pathway to gastroenterology through mentors. I was intrigued by the conditions they were seeing. I got a chance to shadow them and participate in their research, and that too for me was very interesting. Eventually I found my way into how nutrition and food and lifestyle make an impact on gastrointestinal health and disease processes, and I went into nutrition as a separate pathway.

So, while we’re on that subject, tell me what your findings are of late around nutrition, and how that impacts gut health, and maybe some things people can do to avoid some of the more complicated gastrointestinal issues they might face if they aren’t integrating proper nutrition into their daily lifestyle. 

What I’ve observed in the past two years in particular, is how powerful diet is in the treatment of functional bowel diseases. Functional bowel diseases – as opposed to inflammatory or obstructive diseases, or cancerous sydromes causing gut health disruption – are interesting because people suffer quite a bit, but we can’t exactly pinpoint what the problem is. That’s what a functional bowel disease is. It means you can’t point your finger to it and say “this is the disruption going on”, and often what happens is we either try medication, supplements, or dietary intervention. And to my surprise, nutirional interventions have been quite potent and powerful in alleviating in not altogether curing patients’ problems. And that’s contrary to my experience in traditional Western medicine where we always give medications or supplements or something along those lines to cure patients’ illnesses.

Examples of which would be asking people to restrict gluten in their diet, and their headaches go away. Other things would be eating non spicy foods, or avoiding citrus products if they experience heartburn and acid regurgitation. And perhaps minimizing special types of fiber if they have gas and bloating. So those are simple interventions for functional conditions. Ive been surprised by how many people and how much they are helped in their conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, by simple dietary interventions.

If you do experience irritability when consuming dairy, gluten or both, a dairy-free smoothie bowl with grain-free granola is a great breakfast option. 

If you do experience irritability when consuming dairy, gluten or both, a dairy-free smoothie bowl with grain-free granola is a great breakfast option. 

So you mentioned that there are also obstructive and inflammatory conditions. Can those be avoided or minimized by dietary changes, or are those more of a genetic issue or medical malfunction that occurs that can’t be treated or prevented with diet?

Obstruction is a relatively rare process in most people’s health. Of 1,000 people with abdominal discomfort, maybe one will have true obstruction of some sort. Such as lacerations from Crohn’s flares. In this case, a low fiber, lower fiber, lower roughage diet would actually be recommended. Conversely, high-fiber, high-roughage foods would be indicated for someone who has, for example, chronic constipation, gas or bloating. They just need bulk foods. And we know that fiber is good for heart health too. So sometimes we combine these interventions depending on what kind of constellation of conditions they have. So someone who is a fast-food eater tends to have heart disease and they get constipated or bowel discomfort. We ask them

To try a high-fiber diet, either with supplements or with food, and they would feel better and perhaps also, their heart condition would get a little bit better. So that’s an example of that.

But getting back to your other question, inflammatory, so one interesting observation is that I feel like a lot of people that don’t feel well in their bowels , feel like the bowels are “inflamed”.  Like they feel like they’re not digesting well and they feel like their condition is inflammatory in some nature.

Is that where maybe they would experience visual bloating, or is this INTERIOR inflammation that’s not visual?

That’s actually a really good question. Absolutely not. I don’t think that bloating, distention, discomfort, maldigestion, are inflammatory conditions. In my experience they are non-inflammatory sensitivity syndromes. So an example is lactose intolerance. If you’re lactose intolerant like most of the people in my family are, and you try to drink a glass of milk, and you get severely distended and bloated, maybe even diarrhea or constipation, some people might say “I feel like my belly is inflamed”, but that’s not the case. They’re just intolerant of the sugar that’s in milk called “lactose”. And what happens when we do that is we can’t digest it, the bacteria can do things with it, and the byproduct of that malabsorptive process is gas and bloating, which manifests as pain and discomfort.

And when there’s so much gas, you feel distended. But most people commonly mistake distention and discomfort with inflammation, and that’s not the case. In general there’s not that many inflammatory conditions of the bowels.

And we don’t consider Irritable Bowel to be an “inflammatory condition”. It’s an irritability condition. A sensitivity thing. So is gluten intolerance. Of 20 people who are gluten intolerant, maybe 1 or 2 will actually have Celiac Disease. But 18 or 20 have no inflammatory condition. They just can’t tolerate it, they don’t feel good when they eat it. That not feeling good might manifest as severe diarrhea or sever abdominal pain, nausea, even vomiting, but it doesn’t mean that they are really “inflamed”.

Like our markers of inflammation which are evolving every year, they just don’t detect any true inflammation in patient’s systems. A common term that’s being floated around is the concept of “leaky gut”. And what that is is some extrapolation of inflammatory conditions where patients feel “messed up” or “toxic” from eating certain foods or something. And we deduce that something is wrong and something is systemic because we extrapolate that something is leaking into the intestines and causing issues.

Now while we’re on the subject of leaky gut, this is definitely a buzz word these days, and it seems like there’s a strong focus on this and treating this in the wellness and holistic communities. Are you seeing more patients in your practice looking to alleviate the symptoms of leaky gut?

Right. Absolutely. So I consider “leaky gut” to be one of many different terms that people use synonymously with irritable bowel. Some practitioners may refer to it as bacterial overgrowth. Some practitioners may refer to it as fungal overgrowth or candida syndrome. For the most part I feel like this is semantic. But yes, I definitely see an increase in patients coming in to treat these conditions in my practice. But I think this is referral bias. In other words, because our practice addresses and treats these things successfully, more people walk in to be treated for this since someone who has referred them has been treated successfully. Other practitioners may want to focus on more life threatening conditions like cancers, so they don’t want to talk to patients about nutritional conditions.  They only want to see patients who have super serious life-threatening conditions. So I don’t know if there is actually an increase in “leaky gut” conditions.

However, the data seems to suggest that there is. Meaning when we survey people across the country and include ALL patients, not just the ones walking through my door, we do seem to see increases in irritable bowel syndrome. Whether that’s due to processed foods, whether that’s due to genetically modified foods, whether that’s due to other things…but yes there appears to be a statistical increase.

So as a Gastroenterologist what would you recommend to prevent leaky gut, and to treat it if someone is experiencing symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome?

OK. So for the most part I would say, it’s important to realize which symptom is predominant. For some patients that might be diarrhea. For some patients that might be constipation. For some patients that’s bloating. For some patients that’s abnormal weight gain despite normal nutrient intake and normal energy expenditure. So I tend to focus on the symptom complex that’s most prominent. And in terms of recommendations to treat or prevent some complication of whatever they are suffering from, we tend to focus on those kinds of things.

So as a general rule, bloaters tend to not do well on a fibrous diet. So restricting the amount of fiber in one’s diet for a bloater would be important.

If grains make you bloat, try cauliflower rice as an alternative.

If grains make you bloat, try cauliflower rice as an alternative.

Is there a finite amount of time someone would want to eat a low-fiber diet knowing that in the long run, low-fiber diets are linked to an increase in cancers and heart disease?

So I think that this like life in general. What’s most important to you? If you’re magnitude of suffering or your level of suffering from bloating is an 8 our ot 10 and you have this distant goal of eventual heart health and cancer prevention through diet of all things, then you’re going to have to balance your priorities. In other words, why suffer through bloating on a daily basis for this theoretical downstream 20 year event by which time we’ll probably have better cures for in the near future. So it’s sort of like figuring out your priorities. And I would say that eating a LOWER fiber diet is not really going to put you in a bad state for heart health. The magnitude of risk is incredibly low. Whereas the magnitude of harm and discomfort from eating the wrong foods for the way you need to feel is a guaranteed universal.

So if you know that you feel bad when you eat salads, you don’t need to eat the salad, you’re going to do ok.

That makes perfect sense. Thank you.

Let’s talk a little bit about your personal theories around healthy gut flora, prebiotics, probiotics, making sure you have a healthy gut and this whole mind-body connection between the gut and the brain. I would love your personal input on this as a doctor in this field. Do you think people need to cut out packaged and processed food? Should they avoid fast food? Or do you think a lot of this is crack science and in general people can consume these foods and products without detriment to their gut health? 

So gut health and overall health are measured in different factors. Gut health is the way you feel and also possibly the development of severe conditions. We know that severe conditions of the gut such as liver cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, colon cancer, stomach cancer, a lot of these conditions can be prevented by means other than diet. So I’m not too concerned about detriment to gut health as I am to other kinds of health outcomes such as heart health. Heart health sounds more important to me than gut health. Because I know we can prevent serious gut problems through our cameras and other things.

I recommend LoveBug to those in need of probiotics. You can use the Reformation Health discount code - REFORMATION10 - for $10 off, and your first month is FREE.

I recommend LoveBug to those in need of probiotics. You can use the Reformation Health discount code - REFORMATION10 - for $10 off, and your first month is FREE.

With that said, I think that in general, preservative foods are dangerous. And I think they tend to be high calorie, and if they aren’t high calorie, they’re often loaded with artificial sugars which I find to be disruptive to overall health. We haven’t really found major health problems as a result of artificial sugars like Splenda, or Equal and Sweet n Low, we just don’t see that much attributable risk from those things, like we do from smoking for example. But I would say that symptom-wise, people don’t feel good when they are eating foods that are preservative-rich or ultra low calorie yet extra tasty. There’s usually a trick behind it. So there’s a reason why natural foods are more expensive and regarded as important, because they have healthy components in them that make people feel good and prevent diseases. So it’s kind of hard through nutritional science and observational science to prove that something that you’re eating is making you unwell. But as a whole we see that people who don’t eat natural foods and who don’t take time to prepare their foods, they tend to do worse.

We’ve also seen that meal skippers tend to do worse. It might have to do with insulin surges and things along those lines. You would think that depriving yourself of excess calories would probably be a good thing overall. In general less calories less to be good because we tend to run heavy in this country. But there’s overwhelming observation that people who skip meals – particularly breakfast- don’t do that well. And the reasons behind it are unclear, but it may be attributed to hormonal disruptions – homestatis of insulin and things like that.

Interesting. So do you think it’s actually better to eat a breakfast that’s maybe not super nutritious but you’re still eating breakfast, versus skipping breakfast entirely? Is it better to have a bowl of corn flakes rather than not eat anything in the morning? This is of course excluding intentional intermittent fasting.

That hasn’t been tested, and it would be hard to get at and the answer is no. I think you should try to eat healthy throughout the day. There’s a lot of debate on whether it’s better to be a grazer, or to eat 3 meals per day, or perhaps more like a caveman, you two calorie-dense meals. But what I’ve observed to be healthy in general would be three sensible meals per day, not over-doing it at those three meals, and not eating late at night. Not because it’s dangerous per se, but late-night eaters tend to get irritability conditions like reflux.

When we’re young and healthy perhaps we’ve gotten away with these habits and we still look good and feel okay, but later in life things change. Hormones change. Your genes tend to catch up with you. There may be some gene nutrient interactions that are signaled later in life, so just because we got away with it for so long, doesn’t mean that we’re in a good spot. I find that in our community here in Los Angeles, people are very cognizant of that, and even if they are looking great and feeling well, they are mindful of the fact that these kinds of investments that they make in their food choices might impact them later in life, so they are making smarter choices early in life.

An example would be getting adequate calcium intake as a young woman to prevent osteoporosis later in life. We find that the imprinting to your genes and to your bone health is determined more as a young woman than it is as an older woman, when you may already be suffering the consequences of poor nutritional habits earlier on. That’s why nutritionally vulnerable people – it may be a young person who is eating processed foods with her friends after school or something like that. So it’s really important for kids to have access to nutritionally valuable foods in adequate amounts.

Lactose intolerance can onset in adulthood, and is more common than most people realize. Try dairy-free yogurts like CoYo Coconut Yogurt pictured here as an alternative to dairy products. 

Lactose intolerance can onset in adulthood, and is more common than most people realize. Try dairy-free yogurts like CoYo Coconut Yogurt pictured here as an alternative to dairy products. 

So speaking of things like calcium, let’s talk a little bit about dairy, and meat and gluten if you don’t mind. Because a lot of what I learned during my certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, you are encouraged to avoid those things because they are inflammatory to the system. So dairy, meat, wheat especially – there’s a lot of controversy around consumption of what and gluten – I’d love to know your professional input on all of that.

So dairy, meat and gluten. First of all, I should state that I consume all three of those, and I feel quite well. And I believe them to be important parts of most peoples’ diets. So I don’t advise anyone to eliminate dairy, meat or gluten when they are doing okay consuming these. I don’t see them as potentially harmful. Now there is a right balance in how much to eat. I think there’s certain amounts we could have a debate on and certain types of all of these things, but for the most part, I do think that they are important.

Like you shouldn’t over-eat any one of these in particular. I find that wheat products in particular tend to lead to being overweight, and feeling bloated.

What about just general gut health. What are three or five takeaways that a reader of this blog entry could turn to to – if not ensure – at least maximize gut health?

I think eating a calorically appropriate diet is very important. I think a diet rich in vegetables and fruit of various colors is important because it’s most likely to lead to a diversity of nutrients. I think that being aware of the impact that foods have on energy, on digestion, overall gut symptoms is incredibly important.

Don’t eat things that people tell you are healthy if they don’t agree with your body and the way that you feel.

If they cause flatulence, heartburn, constipation, pain, bloating, there’s probably not agreement with YOUR particular body, and just because something is “healthy”, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you.

For prevention of disease. There’s probably a synergistic role between food intake and exercise. Staying physically active and also emotionally well will probably have some synergistic benefit more than the individual contributions of these healthy things. So simple things done well – daily – make a big difference.

Please check back for the 2nd half of this interview, where Dr Treyzon and I discuss weight management, and we learn about Dr. Treyzon’s personal approach to health and wellness!

 

DON'T TAKE SUPPLEMENTS UNTIL YOU READ THIS

Remember when you were a kid and taking supplements was as easy as chewing on a Flintstone's vitamin with your cornflakes before school? I liked orange best, anyone else?

In my early adulthood I think I would buy the occasional bottle of Centrum or some other multi and then it would sit and collect dust for 3 years until I had to move from one apartment to the other and I would toss it in the trash, only to eventually purchase a similar low-grade multi a month later.

Needless to say, my supplement regimen has come a long way since then. But there was actually a time when I was taking too many supplements because I thought that was the "healthy" thing to do. Turns out, taking excessive amounts of supplements can lead to a toxic load on your liver, so it's important to find a healthy balance and take the most minimal amount of supplements while also filling in any gaps in your diet. The regimen below may not seem streamlined to some people, but it's where I've netted out after years of researching my own body's needs, and then also getting the results of my Caligenix DNA test.

This is what my supplements look like now. Not a Flintstones vitamin in sight!

This is what my supplements look like now. Not a Flintstones vitamin in sight!

I decided to undergo the Caligenix DNA test - and when I say "undergo" this was hardly arduous, I spit in a tube and then had results mailed to me hahaha - because I wanted to make sure that I was maximizing the information available to me to steer my supplement regimen. It was not cheap (it's a few hundred dollars), but since Caligenix keeps your DNA stored indefinitely and updates your report as the technology continues to develop, it seemed like a smart long-term health investment to me! (And as my readers, you'll actually pay less than I did if you use the code 'RHDNA' which gives you 10% off!). Also, I always say I'd rather spend money on PREVENTATIVE health now instead of getting a $200k hospital bill later!

There are some supplements that I recommend universally (probiotics, Vitamin D), and then others that I take specifically because the Caligenix test results verified a deficiency (Vitamin A for example). The Caligenix DNA test also revealed that while in general I have excellent genes, I am prone to weight gain if I consume excess saturated fat, and I also have a caffeine sensitive. So I've modified my diet accordingly (replacing coconut oil with avocado oil for example, with some exceptions like for baking). I had also always felt like I gained weight so much more easily than my peers once adulthood set in (vs being underweight throughout childhood and adolescence), and the Caligenix results revealed that I have to eat about 650 calories less PER DAY than my peers to maintain a healthy weight, so again, VERY happy I paid a few hundred dollars for this test.

So back to supplements. Here is a list of supplements, and why I take them. If you have any questions about which supplements to take, I highly recommend the Caligenix DNA test (they can mail the test to you), or have your MD run a micronutrient test which won't reveal specifics around your DNA (like caffeine sensitivity), but which will reveal deficiencies that should be addressed.

MORNING SUPPLEMENTS ROUTINE:

1. PROBIOTICS

The first thing that I do when I wake up is take two Love Bug Probiotics. Here's The Skinny, and also Yeast Is a Beast. I have found that Here's the Skinny has helped to curb sugar and carbohydrate cravings, and I take Yeast is a Beast to keep Candida at bay since I have suffered from recurring (and stubborn) yeast infections. Ick! Probiotics are essential for maintaining healthy gut flora, and healthy gut flora is linked to consistently good digestion, immunity, and mood! So I tell my clients, if you take nothing else, take a high-quality probiotic. Love Bug's proprietary formula is designed to survive the entire trip through your digestive tract, which means you'll actually experience probiotic benefits unlike with some other lower-quality probiotics. Also, you can use my code REFORMATION10 for $10 off per month, and your 1st month is free!

 

2. MUSHROOMS

  • Mushroom extracts have been shown to stimulate immune function in cancer patients as well as lead to complete tumor regression in animal studies
  • Unextracted whole mushroom products have been shown to improve immune status in immunocompromised breast cancer patients following standard primary oncologic treatment
  • Compounds from mushrooms such as shitake, maitake and reishi may have anti-cancer effects and may increase survival rates of cancer patients
  • Mushrooms are powerful immune boosters and are also excellent sources of antioxidants, including ergothioneine, which scientists are now beginning to recognize as a 'master antioxidant'
  • When consuming whole mushrooms or mushroom supplements, make sure they’re organic in order to avoid harmful contaminants that mushrooms absorb and concentrate from soil, air and water

Every morning I take this mushroom blend from Dragon Herbs, and I typically work in at least 2 of the following powders from Root & Bones into a potion, tonic, smoothie, or Teechino herbal coffee substitute. If you have any questions about how to use these, I encourage you to check out the recipes on my Instagram page.

Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi, He Shou Wu

Readers can get 15% of site wide at Root &  Bones by using my code, 'RH15'

3. SPIRULINA

Oh Spirulina. How I love  you. Let me count the ways! Can I run off and marry you? One of nature’s most perfect forms of nutrition, Spirulina is an amazing superfood sourced from blue-green algae. Spirulina is a great source of vitamin A (perfect since I'm deficient!), vitamin K and other potent phytonutrients that help to aid in the body’s ability to naturally detoxify while giving our overall energy levels a huge boost. A 100% vegan product, Spirulina is a great source of nutrition anyone can benefit from.

I've done all of the legwork here for you, and the best one that I've tried is Vital Proteins Spirulina. You can find my other blog post about Vital Proteins here as well as several recipes if you search 'Vital Proteins' on the blog. They are so dedicated to ensuring their products are of the highest quality, and taking theirs in the morning makes me feel clear-headed and energized. Brain fog be-gone!

4. VITAMIN D

So for starters, I used to take this at night, and I was tossing and turning all night for YEARS, even when using my favorite blend of Reishi and CALM to help me sleep! Turns out Vitamin D inhibits production of melatonin, the body's natural sleep hormone. So if you take this, make sure to take it in the morning! 

Adequate Vitamin D intake is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and is suggested to supply a protective effect against multiple diseases and conditions such as cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. 

Ever since a micronutrient test administered by my Doctor revealed a deficiency a while back, I've been taking this one ever since, and it brought my levels to normal.

EVENING SUPPLEMENTS ROUTINE:

As you read above, I end-cap my bedtime ritual with a warm tonic of Reishi and CALM to help me sleep. But right after dinner I take two supplements that are - in my opinion - crucial for optimum health, and that also help you sleep!

Teechino with Root & Bones He Shou Wu and Moondeli Bliss Booster (RHMOON15 gets you 15% off!)

Teechino with Root & Bones He Shou Wu and Moondeli Bliss Booster (RHMOON15 gets you 15% off!)

1. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the "good" types of fat. They may help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. Your body can't make them. You have to eat them or take supplements. 

How They Help Your Health

  • Blood fat (triglycerides). Fish oil supplements can lower elevated triglyceride levels.  
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil supplements (EPA+DHA) can curb stiffness and joint pain. 
  • Manage Depression
  • Assist fetal development
  • Manage Asthma
  • Manage ADHD
  • Stave off Alzheimer's disease and dementia

This one from Nordic Naturals is the highest quality, and you only have to take 1 gel capsule.

2. ZINC

Zinc, which is actually a type of metal, is an essential trace element. When you hear zinc in regards to your health, you probably think of it as one of the many effective natural cold remedies. In other words, only really necessary once in a great while.

However, zinc is needed in small amounts every day in order to maintain health and perform important functions each day. Zinc benefits the body in many ways: helps with hormone production, growth and repairment; improves immunity and facilitates digestion. Zinc benefits also include its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, therefore zinc may have significant therapeutic benefits for several common, chronic diseases like fighting cancer or reversing heart disease.

Zinc is actually present within all bodily tissue and needed for healthy cell division. It acts like an antioxidant within the body,  fighting free-radical damage and slow the aging process. Zinc also has a big impact on hormonal balance, so for this reason, even a small zinc deficiency can result in an increased risk for infertility or diabetes (insert horrified emoji here!)

I started taking this very high-quality Zinc this year (aren't you glad I did your homework FOR you!) and noticed almost immediately that injuries and even red marks left behind by monthly cycle blemishes started healing much more quickly!

AFTERNOON SUPPLEMENT:

Ormus is an exciting subject, but no aspect of this astonishing material even begins to approach the amazing health benefits it brings when added even in small doses to a person's health and diet program. In this area Ormus is nothing short of completely revolutionary in all the best ways.

Researchers, natural health and Ormus experts all agree Ormus minerals are a vital and essential part of the human body. Everything from our hair, skin and nails to our muscle tissue and even DNA contain the Ormus minerals and elements.

When we are low in this material, like nearly everyone following a "modern" diet and being exposed to everyday environmental chemicals and stresses, our health suffers and suffers badly. Optimal health is impossible without this problem being addressed.

When supplemental Ormus is taken and our levels are high these are just some of the benefits many people are commonly seeing...

  • Increased Rate of Healing
  • Slowing and Partial Reversing of the Aging Process (WHAAAAT?!?!)
  • Mood Enhancing and Anti-Depressant:
  • Improved Sleep
  • Heightened Energy and Awareness
I take 3 droppers of this one every day in the afternoon

I take 3 droppers of this one every day in the afternoon

After interviewing Archer Love, the Founder and Alchemist behind Now Alchemy (blog post pending soon!), there was no question for me that this supplement has value. I take 3 droppers of this one every day in the afternoon and the way you feel when you consume this is astounding. Archer game me a discount code for you all! 'REFORMATION HEALTH' gives you 11% off of any product on the Now Alchemy site! This one is particularly good if you experience inflammation and/or sleep issues.

If you have a question about this post or any other health-related questions, I encourage you to reach out to me. Leave a comment here on the blog, or email me at jamie@reformationhealth.com

I look forward to your comments!

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/15/mushrooms-cancer-treatment.aspx

https://www.vitalproteins.com/products/spirulina-capsules

http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d#overview1

https://authoritynutrition.com/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3/

https://draxe.com/zinc-benefits/

http://whatisormus.com/Health-Benefits-of-Ormus-Minerals.html

PLANT-BASED RECIPES FOR A COOL SUMMER

After lots of "May gray" and "June gloom", summer is official ON here in L.A. I love waking up to sunny skies, talking warm lunch-break walks during the day, and enjoying dinners out with friends without a jacket. But you know what I don't like? A hot as hailllllllll apartment after a day of oven-based food prep! That's why I have 3 recipes here for a full day of meals that you can prep all with just barely using your oven! In fact, if you want to cook the cauliflower in the Rainbow Cauliflower Salad below stovetop, you can certainly cut it into pieces and cook stovetop. But I find that standing over a stove for long duration of times is more uncomfortable in the summer, and if you roast this cauli in the morning and then keep the oven off the remainder of the day, your residence should stay cool.

For the last 3 months, I have been ordering all of my produce from Milk & Eggs, a game-changing service that delivers farm-fresh organic produce and all of your favorite brands straight from the farm to your front door with NO delivery charge! And if you're inspired to try them out, they are offering my readers $10 off using the code 'JKCOACH'! Milk & Eggs has changed my life, by cutting out trips to the farmers market and grocery store, especially since they offer all of my favorite brands like Forager Project nut milks, Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs, Farmhouse Culture fermented veggies, and much more! So make sure to check them out!

Biodiversity in soil and nutrient diversity by ingesting produce from a variety of different environments (aka different farms) is a huge part of boosting immunity. The more biodiversity in your gut, the stronger your immune system. And farm-fresh produce is higher in quality and nutrient value than big agra produce. Even if you don't or can't use Milk & Eggs, I always recommend to my clients that they purchase produce, cheese, eggs, and meat at farmers markets to support local farmers and also to diversify gut flora and boost immunity.

I hope you are inspired by the recipes below. Feel free to play around with the vegetables in this salad. And I always love seeing your photos, so if you order from Milk & Eggs, send me photos of your beautiful creations! info@reformationhealth.com

BREAKFAST

QUICK AND EASY ANTIOXIDANT BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

This smoothie is high in fiber, protein, fat and greens which means an even blood sugar curve and sustained energy and fullness all morning. I love superfoods and adaptogen add-ins in my smoothies because, nutritionally speaking, it's a fast and easy way to get lots of bang for your breakfast buck! Mornings are hectic so to help make this a consistent routine, prep dry ingredients by placing in the blender the night before, then in the morning all you have to add is the vegetables and milk!

- 1/2C unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like The New Barn, Forager Project, and MALK)

- 2 handfuls of organic greens (try kale, spinach or other greens to see what you like best)

- 1/2C frozen organic steamed cauliflower (I buy riced cauliflower at TJs and freeze it)

- 1 scoop low-sugar plant based protein powder (I love Lyfe Fuel and both the chocolate and vanilla-chai work great here)

- 1T no-sugar nut butter (I love Nutzo since they incorporate seeds for more omega 3s)

- 1T cacao nibs (I love Navitas and Trader Joes)

- 2T organic psyllium husk

- 1T Natural Force Vanilla MCT Oil

- 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens

- Water as needed

- (optional) 1T Maca powder

- (optional) 1/2tsp Ashwaganda

- (optional) 1/2tsp He Shou Wu

IMG_3664.JPG

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender like this one or this one until smooth and creamy. Invest in stainless steel straws and a large cup (I use the one that comes with the Lyfe Fuel protein powder) that you can transport your smoothie in if you take breakfast on the go!

LUNCH

COOLING CUCUMBER GAZPACHO

This recipe is an adaptation of Curtis Stone's Cucumber Gazpacho which I found in People Magazine. I modified the recipe eliminating the raw onions (feel free to include, but I just don't like the strong flavor), and also eliminating the dairy and gluten. I also replaced the grapes with figs because that's what I had on hand, and I find grapes very sugary. This makes a huge batch that you can eat off of all week!

- 3oz gluten-free bread (I used 1/2 loaf of Bread SRSLY sourdough). I also like Little Northern Bakehouse
- 1½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like The New Barn, Forager Project, and MALK)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt (I always use CoYo but I think that the SoDelicious brand is more widely available)
- 3 large organic cucumbers, peeled and diced
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh organic cilantro (from 1 bunch), plus more for garnish
- 1 cup organic green seedless grapes
- ½ cup toasted almonds, chopped (toast for 4 minutes in a toaster oven)
¼ cup fresh organic lemon juice, plus more for garnish
½ tsp. sea salt
3 small organic radishes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. avocado oil

1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high. Place the bread in skillet, and cook until charred, 6 minutes. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Don't be afraid to get a really good char on the bread!

2. Stir together milk and yogurt in a large bowl. Place bread pieces in milk mixture, and let stand 15 minutes.

3. Reserve ¾ cup diced cucumber for garnish. Add remaining diced cucumber, cilantro, grapes, almonds, lemon juice and salt to bread-and-milk mixture. Cover and let stand until bread softens, about 25 minutes.

4. Add mixture to a blender in batches, and process until smooth and velvety. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with reserved diced cucumber, cilantro and radish slices. Drizzle evenly with avocado oil and additional lemon juice, if desired.

DINNER

RAINBOW CAULIFLOWER SALAD WITH CILANTRO-CURRY DRESSING

FOR THE DRESSING

- 1/2C organic cilantro, rinsed

- 1/4C organic lemon juice (2-3 lemons)

- 1/3C avocado oil

- 1.5T curry powder

- sea salt

FOR THE SALAD

- 6C washed organic arugula

- 2 heads cauliflower (I mixed purple and yellow. Nutritionally there is no difference between all cauliflower colors. You can even use white, but bright colors are more appealing!)

- 1 tetra pack of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, and then set on paper towels to absorb the water. Look for tetra packs at Whole Foods, the linings used in canned foods contain BPAs.

- 1T curry powder

- 1T smoked paprika

- 1/2C or more of sun-dried tomatoes 

- Avocado oil

- 1T curry powder

- 1T dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the cauliflower, remove leaves, and trim stems so that the cauliflower can sit flush with the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven. Don't remove the core though or it will fall apart. Place both heads of cauliflower in a large pot (I have had this one for years and it's a cooking ESSENTIAL!). Rub generously with avocado oil and then with the seasonings. Place in the oven on the 2nd to top rack with the lid on for 40 minutes or until fork tender.

Put the chickpeas on a clean baking sheet and toss with 1T avocado oil. Place in over on the 3rd rack from the top and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, pull them out and toss with 1T curry powder, and 1T smoked paprika. Put back in the oven until the cauliflower is done, or until the chickpeas are golden brown.

Once the cauliflower is fork tender (after about 40 minutes) set the oven to broil and broil until the tops brown (about 5 minutes). Turn off oven, remove the cauliflower and set aside to cool. Once cool, chop into small florets.

In a blender or Nutribullet, combine the avocado oil, lemon juice, cilantro, curry powder, and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Blend until combined. Taste and add more lemon juice, curry powder and/or salt to taste as needed. 

To serve, arrange arugula on a larger platter as the base and toss with 1/4C dressing. Then layer with cauliflower, and then the sundried tomatoes, and then the chickpeas. Lastly pour about 1/2 of the remaining dressing over the salad. Taste the salad and add more dressing as needed, and also sea salt and pepper to taste. This makes a huge salad that you can eat all week! I like to serve it with some salmon baked in the toaster oven (30 min at 275 degrees) so that I'm not turning on the stove or oven to make fish.

 

OODLES OF TURMERIC-PEANUT KELP NOODLES

And I do mean OODLES. One of my long-time personal cookies philosophies (and on that was reinforced during my IIN certification) is to 'cook once, eat twice'. Unless you're totally leftovers-averse/phobic, it just doesn't make sense to cook every single meal fresh! Meal prepping and batch cooking is more time-efficient and guarantees that you won't make unhealthy food choices because you already have a healthy meal to pull out of the fridge when the hangries hit.

IMG_2992.JPG

I made these turmeric-peanut kelp noodles in one go and it lasted for several meals and small snacks. Turmeric in general is widely used as an anti-inflammatory in the cuisines of many cultures, and when combined with ginger such as in the Moondeli Golden Turmeric that I use in this recipe, they work with each other as an anti-inflammatory power couple (like the Beyoncé and Jay-Z of superfoods). You can use my code RHMOON15 for 15% off site-wide at Moondeli.

IMG_3005.JPG
IMG_2988.JPG

Inflammation in the body manifests in many ways - joint pain, digestive issues, acne, even Alzheimer's and dementia - so it's important to utilize mealtimes as opportunities to combat inflammation by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Baseline you want organic produce (the pesticides in conventionally-grown produce are known to cause inflammation and weight gain), vegan proteins (like the tempeh used here which is both probiotic and a 'safe' form of soy to consume), and small amounts of mono unsaturated vegetable-based fats (olive oil, avocado, etc...). Then work in anti-inflammatory superfoods like ginger, turmeric, chia seeds, kimchi, coconut oil, and kale to 'power up' your meals.

I had never worked with kelp noodles before making this dish, but heard they were high in nutrients and minerals (cause duh, it's kelp!), and they're also raw, vegan and gluten-free which also makes them non-inflammatory (dairy, meat and gluten all cause inflammation). I hope you like them as much as I do now and look forward to your comments if you try them out!

IMG_2989.JPG

Have you ever worked with kelp noodles? If so, what are your go-to recipes? I'd love to know!

NOTE: These are best made 1 day ahead so that the sauce can absorb into the noodles. It softens them and makes them more flavorful.

IMG_2991.JPG

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Makes 4-6 servings depending on portion size. 

 - 1 bag of kelp noodles (I purchased these off of Amazon)

- 1 medium organic sweet potato 

 - 1 bunch organic broccolini (or 2C regular florettes)

- 1T avocado oil (you can use coconut oil, but I like avocado oil since it's monounsaturated)

- 1 package of tempeh (I buy from Trader Joe's, but you can find this at Whole Foods, Sprouts or any health food store)

 - 1/3C no sugar peanut butter (I like Justin's)

 - 2T Moondeli Golden Turmeric (use the code RHMOON15 for 15% off). Or combine 1T ground turmeric with 1/2T ground ginger and 1/4tsp cayenne pepper.

 - 1.5T gluten-free tamari

- 1T sesame oil

- 1tsp coconut sugar

 - 1T hemp hearts (optional but recommended)

- avocado slices (optional) 

DIRECTIONS:

Set a large pot of water on high heat to bring to a boil. 

Open the package of tempeh and slice the tempeh into 1/2" cubes.

Whisk together the peanut butter, Golden Turmeric, tamari, sesame oil, and coconut sugar, then set aside.

Wash the sweet potato and cut into 1/2" chunks.

Wash the broccolini and cut into 1/2" pieces.

Rinse the kelp noodles in a colander under cold water, drain, chop into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.

When the water comes to a boil, add the sweet potatoes and set a timer for 5 minutes.   Once the timer pings, add the broccolini and boil the vegetables together for an additional 3 minutes. 

Drain the vegetables and set aside.

Heat 1T of avocado oil (or coconut oil) in a medium sized skillet. Once that's heated, toss the tempeh in the oil and cook on medium-high stirring frequently until the tempeh is browned a bit and warmed through.

Once the tempeh is heated through, combine the tempeh, kelp noodles, vegetables, and sauce in a large bowl and toss thoroughly until the noodles and sauce are evenly coated with the sauce. You can eat immediately but their best when refrigerated overnight. Serve sprinkled with 1T of hemp hearts and some sliced avocado ( both optional). 

*NOTE: This post is not sponsored by Moondeli. The opinions expressed in this blog post are purely my own.

ADDICTIVE GLUTEN-FREE CINNAMON FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

NOTES: You will need to start this recipe at least 1 day in advance because the bread cubes need to sit out for several hours (ideally a full day) to get a bit hard and stale. This helps them keep their form once you add the egg custard mixture. I like to cube the bread and then let the cubes sit in a single layer on a baking sheet on the counter. You will also want to let the casserole sit in the refrigerator overnight (or at least for several hours) before topping with the crumb mixture and baking. I usually prep the bread cubes in the morning the day before brunch and let them sit out to harden, then prep the casserole the evening before the brunch, and then top & bake the morning of the brunch!

Do you need an idea for a Father’s Day brunch that feeds a crowd and delights everyone? Look no further!

Mmmmmm. Drooling. 

Mmmmmm. Drooling. 

For many years for family gatherings, I was making this Cinnamon Baked French Toast on the Pioneer Woman blog and honestly, it’s amaaaaazing. BUT if you look at the recipe, you’ll see that it’s loaded with gluten, dairy, and so much sugar! (A full cup of sugar just in the egg custard alone)

My philosophy used to be that it’s okay to eat things like this once in a while (and that’s still my philosophy, especially when it comes to REAL ice cream). But living in the same city as family, “once in a while” is actually “all of the time” between all of our birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations, so I wanted to surprise my family members with this much healthier anti-inflammatory version of our favorite breakfast casserole. 

IMG_3083.JPG

This casserole has a custardy base, almost like a bread pudding, and the top is a sweet, buttery, cinnamony crumb topping that just takes the whole thing over the edge.

There are still real eggs because the omega 3-s in pasture-raised eggs are fantastic for combating inflammation  (big agriculture eggs are not fed organic feed, and are high in inflammatory omega 6-s), but standard French bread is swapped here for Bread SRSLY’s millet-based gluten-free sourdough, granulated and brown sugar is replaced with Lakanto monk fruit sweetener and coconut sugar, dairy milk and heavy cream is swapped out for a no-filler cashew milk by the folks at Forager Project, and regular butter is swapped out for lactose-free, gut-healing ghee. There is still loads of anti-inflammatory anti-cancer cinnamon just like in the original recipe :-)

I wish you could have been in my kitchen when this was baking off because it smells so decadent and delicious with wafts of cinnamon and butter. I think my next step will be to make this into a candle! Mmmmmm!

FullSizeRender.jpg

ope your dad and the rest of your family love this gluten-free french toast casserole as much as our family does!

NOTES: If you can’t find a whole unsliced loaf of good GF bread, last least make sure your bread is organic. Same goes for the eggs. If pasture-raised is out of budget or not easily available, just make sure you’re using organic eggs. Lakanto sweetener is available on Amazon, but if you need immediately, I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and Sprouts. Also if you have a pastry cutter, making the crumb topping is much easier, and I highly recommend using it here. Place in the freezer before use to keep the blades cold.

Coconut sugar IS sugar, but it has minerals that standard granulated sugar does not, and it’s less sweet than granulated and brown sugar which means your palate won’t crave super sweet foods.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE:

8-10 servings

Custard

- 1lb loaf of unsliced gluten-free bread (ideally sourdough like Bread SRSLY), cut into 1” cubes

- 6 pasture-raised eggs (Vital Farms is my go-to)

- 1-3/4C unsweetened non-dairy milk (make sure to use a brand with no fillers, like Forager Project or MALK Organics)

- 1/3C Lakanto monkfruit granulated sweetener

- 2tsp vanilla bean paste (I’ve been using this one for years. OK sub vanilla extract)

Cinnamon Crumb Topping:

- 1C 4th & Heart ghee (or other ghee brand if not available), cut into small pieces and frozen for a few minutes.

- 1/2C coconut sugar

- 1/2 fine almond flour

- 2T ceylon cinnamon (or use what you have in your pantry, but ceylon cinnamon is best for cancer prevention)

Fruit:

I like to add distribute 2 cups of fruit under the crumb mixture before baking. I find that berries like blueberries and raspberries work particularly well here. Feel free to experiment with apples, peaches, cherries…the options are endless! Frozen fruit works fine. I used frozen wild organic blueberries in these photos. Chopped roasted nuts also work really well here.

DIRECTIONS:

Prep a 9x13” pyrex or ceramic baking dish with coconut oil spray and distribute the bread cubes evenly in the dis. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, monk fruit sweetener, and vanilla bean paste until well-blended. 

IMG_3035.JPG

Pour the custard mixture over the bread cubes and push down on the bread cubes so that the mixture covers as much of the bread cubes as possible.

IMG_3039.JPG
IMG_3041.JPG
IMG_3043.JPG

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, ideally overnight.

In the meantime, you will prep the cinnamon crumb mixture which will also sit in the refrigerator overnight in a ziplock bag.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the coconut sugar, almond flour and cinnamon until evenly mixed. Add the chilled butter and cut the butter into the flour mixture using a chilled pastry cutter (or fork if you don’t have a pastry cutter). The mixture should resemble small pebbles. The goal during this process is to keep the butter as cold as possible. If it starts softening, pop the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes, and then resume.

IMG_3045.JPG
IMG_3046.JPG
IMG_3049.JPG

Once the mixture is blended and looks like pebbles, put in a ziplock bag, and lay flat in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350, remove the plastic wrap from the casserole, evenly distribute a layer of fruit (if you’re adding fruit), and then evenly distribute the crumb mixture. Bake for 45 minutes for a looser custard, and bake for an hour if you want a firmer custard with brown edges. You can also par-bake the casserole the night before and pop it in to the oven again in the morning for 15 minutes. Another option is to make it the night before and then let it stand at room temperature for an hour before serving. It’s a very forgiving casserole.

IMG_3056.JPG
IMG_3057.JPG
IMG_3058.JPG

My favorite way to serve the casserole is a dollop of CoYo coconut yogurt (shown in photos) which is low in sugar and very creamy, and I find the tang is the best counterbalance to the sweet crumb topping. You can serve this casserole with fresh whipped coconut cream, Lakanto maple syrup, more fruit, there are so many options, get creative! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I hope you enjoy this recipe post and would love to hear your comments! What is your favorite healthy recipe to make for family gatherings?

RESTAURANT-STYLE VEGAN GRAIN-FREE TACOS & RICE

*NOTE: This post is not sponsored by Uptons Naturals or Primal Blueprint. The opinions expressed in this blog post are purely my own.

Me gusto mucho a vegan, grain-free, organic, Taco Tuesday that’s full of fiber. Y tu?

I love tacos. No, like I LOVE tacos. I could eat them every day of the week for every meal. I love the endless options for toppings and flavor combinations. As you know from reading my blog, I stress the importance of eating intuitively, and tacos are one of the best intuitive eating foods because you can ask your body “what do I feel like eating” and then create your perfect taco from there!

When developing this meal, I wanted a taco nomination plate that anyone on any diet could eat. De nada.

I also like to keep things low-sugar, and this entire plate of food is only 2G of sugar from a small amount of evaporated cane juice found in the Uptons Naturals carnitas. I am a huge fan of Uptons Naturals BBQ and Carnitas jackfruit. It’s delicious and makes quick dinners beyond easy, but the best part is the meaty texture of jackfruit which means even die-hard carnivores won’t miss the meat!

The cauliflower rice is Mexican in flavor and anti-inflammatory with lots of anti-inflammatory tumeric and other aromatic spices.

And since it’s summer, I topped these tacos with a nectarine salsa, but if you don’t have time to dice nectarines,  you can just use store-bought salsa of your choice.

I recommend adding a portion of black or pinto beans on the side to get protein, and that will also increase the amount of fiber. The more fiber you eat, the more cancer you prevent. Boom!

I used Primal Kitchen Foods avocado oil in this recipe which is my favorite since it doesn't become carcinogenic at high heat. Use the code GROK15 for 15% off!

FOR VEGAN GRAIN-FREE TACOS AND MEXICAN CAULI RICE YOU WILL NEED:

serves 2

For the Tacos:

- 4-6 butter lettuce leaves (ok sub romaine leaves or tortillas)

- 1T avocado oil (ok sub coconut oil)

- 1 package of Uptons Naturals jackfruit carnitas

- 1 nectarine

- 3T chopped cilantro

- 1/2 of a diced jalapeño (optional)

- juice from 1/2 lime

- 1/4C grape or cherry tomatoes

For the Mexican Cauliflower Rice:

- 16oz riced cauliflower (I save myself a headache and buy this bagged at TJs)

- 1T avocado oil (ok sub coconut oil)

- 1T tumeric

- 1/2T smoked paprika

- 1tsp onion powder

- 1tsp garlic powder

- 1tsp ground cumin

- 1tsp pink himalayan sea salt (or celtic sea salt, just no iodized salt)

- Kite Hill vegan ricotta (optional)

- 1 avocado (optional)

Directions:

Combine all of your spices for the Mexican cauliflower rice in a small prep bowl.

Wash and dry your lettuce leaves and set aside. Cut your avocado in half lengthwise, then score into slices and scoop out with a spoon. Set aside.

Dice the nectarine, quarter the tomatoes, dice the 1/2 jalepeno (optional), and then toss in a bowl with the lime juice and set aside.

Heat 1T avocado oil (or coconut oil) on medium heat in the large skillet. Once the oil is warm, add the 16oz of cauliflower rice to the skillet and stir to coat with the oil. Add spices and stir to coat. Once the cauliflower rice is heated through and starting to soften, heat 1T of oil in the medium sized skillet.

Set the cauli rice on the lowest setting on  your stove.

Once the oil in the medium skillet is warm, add the Uptons Naturals jackfruit carnitas, breaking them up with a spatula as they cook. They should only take a few minutes to heat through. Remove the jackfruit from the skillet and transfer to a cutting board. Chop into small pieces, like carne asada.

Now prep on all of your ingredients is done, and all you have to do is plate as shown! I did the carnitas underneath the salsa, and then toped the cauliflower rice with Kite Hill ricotta and avocado.

If you need to add more salt to taste, do, but always try to eat your food without salting it to adjust your palate. Our palettes have been trained by years of eating processed foods and eating out to want more salt, and re-setting your palate to not need salt is one of the best things you can do for your health! When I eat out, I always ask the restaurants to not salt my food, and then I add a tiny bit only if needed (and 99% percent of the time I don’t).

WHY YOU NEED CALI'FLOUR PIZZA CRUST IN YOUR MOUTH

*NOTE: This post is not sponsored by Cali'flour Foods and I am not affiliated with Cali'flour Foods. The opinions expressed in this blog post are purely my own.

Can we just talk about this Cali'flour Foods cauliflower pizza crust please?

IMG_2686.JPG

As a Holistic Health Coach, I am trying new food products on a weekly basis on recommendations from friends, or from independent research, and this is the first product in months that has has made me jump up and down with joy.

Let’s start at the beginning. After Amy Lacey, founder of Cali'flour Foods, was diagnosed with Lupus, she realized that she needed to change her dietary habits (haven’t we all been there?). She quickly realized that if she was going to have long-term health and success, she would need to make food that was both healthy and tasty! Can I get an amen!? With that in mind, she set out to create food that could be enjoyed by all, creating this cauliflower-based pizza crust alternative that has minimal ingredients and that takes the guesswork, headache, and mess out of creating a cauliflower pizza crust at home.

I was seeing well-regarded nutritionists post very enticing Cali’flour Foods pizza crusts all over Instagram, and after drooling on my keyboard several dozen times, I finally placed an order for my own (the vegan version since dairy is inflammatory for me).

What I can tell you is that this crust not only didn’t disappoint, it exceeded my expectations. The flavor is delicious and if you follow the packaging instructions to pre-bake,  you get a flavorful crust that is both crispy and chewy just like a white flour pizza crust would be. Also like a white flour crust, you can top this cauliflower crust with anything and it will taste amazing. But unlike a white flour crust, this crust won’t cause inflammation or digestive issues!

I played around with a few different crusts before settling on a personal favorite which includes a vegan cashew cheese sauce that is TDF. I suggest that you make 2 crusts at at time because you won’t want to share a pizza LOL. Trust me on this. You can also increase the quantity as needed to serve a crowd. The Cali’flour pizza crusts can be stored unopened in the freezer (they come vacuum-sealed) for up to 9 months!

IMG_2849.JPG

When making the recipe below, you’ll have some leftover cashew cheese sauce. I recommend that you make an entire baking sheet of roasted cubed sweet potatoes, and then when you need a snack, drizzle the cashew cheese sauce on roasted sweet potatoes. It’s an insanely delicious combination and similar to the version at Cafe Gratitude but for a fraction of the cost. Actually the cheese sauce tastes amazing on EVERYTHING. You may opt to bathe in it. You do you.

FOR 2 VEGAN PIZZAS YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING (serves 2):

- 2 Cali’flour Foods vegan pizza crusts

- 1/2C vegan cashew cheese sauce (recipe follows)

- 2C spicy organic greens (such as arugula or a mix), washed and then dried

- 1C cubed and then roasted sweet potatoes (roast cubes in coconut oil at 415 degrees for about 30-40 minutes until tender)

- Store-bought vegan pesto (optional)

- Red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once all of your ingredients are prepped, remove the two crusts from their interior packaging, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or a pizza stone if you have one which is ideal).

Pre-bake the crusts for 10 minutes and remove them from the oven.

Top each crust with 1/4C cashew cheese sauce , then 1C greens, and 1/2C sweet potatoes. Make sure to extend the cheese sauce all of the way to the edge of the crust because it will shrink back some during the final back.

Place the topped crusts back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and then top with (optional) hot pepper flakes and (optional) dabs of pesto. These are amazing without the pesto, but the pesto really just takes it over the edge.

FOR VEGAN CASHEW CHEESE SAUCE YOU WILL NEED:

Note: To ensure smooth consistency and no nut chunks, I recommend use of a high-powered blender like this one.

- 1C raw cashews soaked in water overnight

- 1/4C nutritional yeast flakes

- 1/2T garlic powder

- 1/2T onion powder

- 1/2tsp. apple cider vinegar

- 1tsp salt (add more to taste as desired)

- 1/4tsp cayenne pepper (totally optional, I like a little kick!)

- Water (I recommend to start with 2T and go from there until you get a desired consistency)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a blender (you can use a NutriBullet). Blend until smooth. Taste and add salt as desired. You can also add a bit more water if you want a runnier sauce, but the thicker the sauce, the more of that real cheese mouth-feel you’ll get.

Eat up! Enjoy! And please leave your comments if you try this product as I would love to know if you love it is as much as I do!