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Bacon-Chicken Liver Pate (better than it sounds!)

by Holly C. Berman, EAMP, MSOM

recipe adapted from Mickey Trescott

Ingredients:

6 pieces uncured bacon

1 small onion (replace with 2 stalks of celery for low FODMAP)

4 cloves garlic (omit or reduce for low FODMAP)

1 lb grass fed chicken or beef livers (beef is stronger tasting)

3 T each (choose 2-3): fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, marjoram

1/2 C bacon grease

1/2 t salt

Slices of fresh carrot or cucumber

Cook the bacon in large cast iron pan until crispy. Set aside to cool, reserving the grease in the pan to cook the liver.

Add the onion or celery and cook for 2 mins on med-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more min. Add the liver, resting it in the middle of the pan and sprinkle with the fresh herbs. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until no longer pink in the center.  Careful not to overcook the liver, mix everything up when it is done. 

Turn off the heat, place contents into a blender or food processor with the bacon, bacon fat and sea salt. Process until it forms a thick paste, adding more bacon fat if too thick.

Serve with carrot and/or cucumber slices or crackers. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week and freeze in small batches for future consumption.

From Mickey Trescott: "Liver is the most potent superfood, containing B12, iron, amino acids and vitamin A. It has a lower toxicity than fatty meat from a conventional animal. Eating liver regularly is on of the most helpful foods. Chicken liver has more iron than beef liver. Consume 1 ounce/day, early in the day, for 3 days then none for 1 week."  

 

Chicken livers cooking with lots of herbs, celery and a little garlic

Pate ready for freezing

Paleo/Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl combine:

2 Cups almond meal or flour or paleo baking flour blend
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

To this mixture add:
1/4 Cup coconut oil, softened
1/3 Cup maple syrup
2 t vanilla
1/2 Cup chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life Foods allergen free chips)

Mix well. Place by rounded teaspoons on parchment paper lined or coconut oil greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees approximately 10 mins or until edges are golden brown.

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Tarts

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:
2 pints of fresh strawberries hulled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 to 3 large stalks of rhubarb chopped.
1/3 Cup Coconut flour.
1/4 Cup Coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp Chia seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp cold water

Tart Crust:
1 Cup Coconut Flour.
2/3 Cup melted Coconut oil
2 Eggs
2 tsp Coconut sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat Oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl, mix the 1/3 cup coconut flour with the 1/4 cup coconut sugar. Toss strawberry pieces and chopped rhubarb with the flour/coconut sugar. Let fruit and flour/ sweetener mix sit in bowl for 30 minutes.

In small bowl, mix 1 1/2 tsp chia seeds and 1 1/2 Tbsp water and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.

While waiting for seeds to set, make tart crust.
Mix in large bowl: 1 cup coconut flour, 2/3 cup melted coconut oil, 2 eggs and 2 tsp coconut sugar. Mix until pie dough forms (looks like play dough).

Grease muffin tin or pie pan with coconut oil. Press small balls of dough into a muffin pan for mini tarts, or whole dough ball into a pie tin for whole tart.

Take chia seed mix out of fridge and add to fruit mixture, and stir into fruit. Add spoonfuls of fruit mixture to fill the crusts in muffin pan or the crust in pie tin.

Bake in oven for 13 to 16 minutes for mini tarts or 20 to 25 minutes for whole pie. Make sure to check at shortest time to see if edges of crust are browned.
Let cool completely and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight to let filling set. Do not cut into before refrigerated, as it won't be firm and set. Makes 16 small tarts or 1 pie.

PALEO DONUT RECIPES! yummy!!

We don't have to be deprived to eat healthy! The secret to really good paleo donuts is to bake them first, then fry. These recipes are for plain donuts; sweeten them up with a glaze made of coconut oil and coconut sugar or maple syrup; add cacao or cocoa powder and vanilla for chocolate glaze .

CHOCOLATE

Ingredients:
4 room temperature eggs
2/3 cup coconut oil, softened
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 t pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 T coconut flour
2 T tapioca flour
2/3 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl beat eggs with a fork or whisk.  Add maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and beat with whisk or with an electric hand mixer.  In a smaller bowl, combine coconut and tapioca flours, cacao powder, baking soda and salt, sifting with a fork.  Whisk the dry mixture into the wet until fully combined and a thick batter forms.  Grease donut pan with coconut oil and fill molds 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool 5 minutes in molds, then remove carefully onto wire rack to fully cool.  Heat 1/2" deep coconut oil in deep fry pan to 360-375 degrees.  Place donuts in oil and fry 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping and removing with a "spider" utensil or tongs to remove excess oil. Allow to cool on wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch excess oil.  Enjoy hot out of the oil, within 3-5 days or allow to cool and freeze for future consumption.

CHAI SPICE

5 room temperature eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 t baking soda
2 t Chai spice mix: cardamom, cinnamon, dried ginger, black pepper, cloves. Vary amounts according to your taste preference, I prefer more cardamom, less black pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine spices in small bowl to create Chai mix. Beat eggs in a medium-sized bowl; add coconut oil and maple syrup. Sift coconut flour, baking soda and Chai spice with a fork. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Grease donut pan with coconut oil and spoon batter into molds 2/3 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes in molds, then remove carefully onto wire rack to fully cool. Heat 1/2" deep coconut oil in deep fry pan to 360-375 degrees. Place donuts in oil and fry 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping and removing with a "spider" utensil or tongs to remove excess oil. Allow to cool on wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch excess oil. Enjoy hot out of the oil, within 3-5 days or allow to cool and freeze for future consumption.

MATCHA GREEN TEA

Ingredients:
4 room temperature eggs
2/3 cup coconut oil, softened
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 t pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 T coconut flour
2 T tapioca flour
2/3 cup matcha green tea powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl beat eggs with a fork or whisk. Add maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and beat with whisk or with an electric hand mixer. In a smaller bowl, combine coconut and tapioca flours, matcha green tea powder, baking soda and salt, sifting with a fork. Whisk or blend the dry mixture into the wet until fully combined and a thick batter forms. Grease donut pan with coconut oil and fill molds 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes in molds, then remove carefully onto wire rack to fully cool. Heat 1/2" deep coconut oil in deep fry pan to 360-375 degrees. Place donuts in oil and fry 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping and removing with a "spider" utensil or tongs to remove excess oil. Allow to cool on wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch excess oil. Enjoy hot out of the oil, within 3-5 days or allow to cool and freeze for future consumption.

 

Chocolate and Chai Spice

Meatloaf Muffins

by Holly C. Berman, EAMP, MSOM

(meatloaf in muffin tins for quick cooking and easy freezing)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl combine:

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 Cup non dairy milk, (I prefer plain rice or almond)

2/3 Cup "breadcrumbs" (I recently toasted some old gluten free brown rice bread, can also use ground almonds or crushed gluten free crackers)

1/2 Cup chopped onion (onions are high FODMAP, if any digestive inflammation replace with celery)

1 t salt

a dash of black pepper

To this mixture add 1.5 lbs ground meat (beef, lamb, turkey; I recently used 1/2 lamb, 1/2 turkey). Place in ungreased muffin tins, 3/4 full.

In a small bowl combine:

1 Cup ketchup (check ingredients, I prefer naturally sweetened or unsweetened)

1/2 Cup coconut sugar

1 t Worcestershire sauce (check ingredients and make your own if necessary, see below)

Set aside 1/2 Cup for sauce, spread remaining over tops of meat muffins.  Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 mins, depending on your oven and muffin tin size.  Enjoy 1 serving and freeze the rest.

Homemade Worcestershire sauce

In a small bowl, mix together:

1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar

1 T each water and gluten free soy sauce (I prefer coconut aminos)

1.5 t coconut sugar

1/2 t mustard powder

1/8 t each garlic, onion powder and cinnamon, (garlic and onion are high FODMAP and can be skipped)

Autoimmune Disorders part 2

by Holly C. Berman, EAMP, MSOM

According to the latest research, 3 factors must be present for autoimmune disease to occur:

1. Genetic inheritance

2. Intestinal permeability

3. Trigger factor or precipitating event or illness

The meaning of genetic inheritance is obvious and I want to mention some very new, emerging science in this field called epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. This brings up the age old question of nature vs. nurture.  Nature being genetics and nurture being the environment.  According to epigenetics, nurture would be more vital when in comes to gene expression.  Several interesting books have been written on this subject, including Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton and Super Genes by Deepak Chopra, among many others. According to epigenetics, it is the environment that determines gene expression. We can manipulate this environment, with diet, lifestyle, even our thoughts and emotional environment.

We seemingly have the most control over the second factor, intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome. Intestinal permeability can include and/or cause SIBO, Candida, IBS, gastritis, H Pylori and/or other digestive issues. In 2009, Dr. Alessio Fasano, a researcher, published an article linking leaky gut to autoimmune disease and in 2014, Izabella Wentz, PharmD, published a terrific book about Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which lays out Fasano's 3 factors that must be present for autoimmune disease to develop in detail. She gives very helpful guidelines on how to diagnose and treat as well. I found her book very thorough on the physical side of autoimmune disorders, but lacking in the emotional component. I have added a fourth factor, the emotional component and will talk about it in depth later in this article.

There are many potentially helpful diets for leaky guy or intestinal permeability and for autoimmune disease. I have found it most effective to suit the diet to exactly what digestive issues are going on. Subtle differences in these diets can make a huge difference in a person's symptoms. SIBO, (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), responds best to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS). Candida requires an anti-candida diet. IBS, (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Chron's, respond best to a low FODMAP diet.

I have found that Fibromyalgia responds well to the removal of dairy products and sugar and that upper gastro-intestinal symptoms respond best to removal of dairy products. Some pain and arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis respond well to the removal of nightshades, (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, tobacco and even goji berries), and to the inclusion of high dose anti inflammatory enzymes. I have also had a few patients whose illness was rooted in an emotional trauma and have seen them make thriving recovery with little or no dietary changes at all, but with deep work on an emotional level.

In general for autoimmune disorders, Wentz and the many practitioners in her circle advocate the Paleo diet, specifically the autoimmune paleo diet, which is paleo, (no grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugars, modern vegetable oils or processed food chemicals), with the addition of no eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades, no more than 20 g fructose/day, no alcohol, NSAIDs, non nutritive sweeteners, including stevia, emulsifiers, thickeners and other food additives. I have tried the Paleo diet briefly several times and did not do well. I do not enjoy so much animal protein and gain weight when I eat too much and I do well with whole gluten free grains like rice, quinoa and oats.

Myself and everyone in the alternative autoimmune disease world seems to agree that the complete and permanent removal of gluten is absolutely necessary. Gluten is a protein found in some grains, (wheat, spelt, kamut, rye and barley). It is often used as a stabilizing agent in processed foods, mayonnaise, salad dressings, beauty products, medications & supplements. The immune system is rooted in the gut, within our GALT, or gut associated lymphoid tissue. This GALT reviews the proteins like gluten as they move through the digestive system for potentially harmful substances. In people with gluten sensitivity, the GALT identifies it, (gluten), as dangerous and produces antibodies to attack both it and the enzyme that breaks it down. Gluten causes gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that breaks apart the tight junctions holding the intestines together. This leads to leaky gut. Leaky gut allows toxins, microbes, undigested food particles and antibodies to escape the intestines and travel thru the body via the blood stream and attack other organs and/or body systems from the skin to the thyroid to the brain. This is why gluten is associated with autoimmune diseases and why celiac sufferers are at risk for developing them. I have seen patients who have no digestive symptoms associated with eating gluten, but who feel better, (ie...have more energy), when they avoid it.

Other commonly allergenic and/or trigger foods include corn, dairy, soy, eggs and sugar. Some of these go with particular disorders (ie...soy affects the thyroid). Water quality is vitally important as well: drink and bathe in only chlorine and fluoride free water, (Brita filtering pitchers DO NOT remove fluoride). I help patients find the diet that is appropriate for them and encourage them to stick to it as best they can, even while traveling or dining out. Eating disorders are commonly, especially with special diets, so please, just do the best you can and don't beat yourself up for not being perfect. I am serious about this.

There are many delicious gluten free alternatives on the market nowadays and fresh especially here in Seattle, (eateries include Flying Apron, Nuflours, Great Harvest, Capitol Cider, etc...). Check them for other ingredients you are trying to avoid, (ie...corn, soy, etc...), and for vegan dairy alternatives. Go into social settings prepared, (eat before at home and/or bring your own treats, snacks, etc...), and don't be shy about asking questions when dining out, (even vegan milk in coffee shops can be an issue due to carageenan, which aggravates IBS).

Autoimmune Disorders part 1

We are seeing growing epidemics of stress, lifestyle and autoimmune diseases, which western medicine cannot explain or treat effectively. In 2005, 24 million Americans were diagnosed with an Autoimmune disease. Women make up 75% of the cases. These statistics are based on 24 diseases listed by the National Institute of Health, (NIH). However, the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association, (AARDA), puts that number at 50 million and research has identified 80-100 AI diseases and suspect 40+ more. Some comparisons: 9 million Americans diagnosed with cancer and 22 million with heart disease.

An “autoimmune disorder” is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a normal body part, whereby the immune system attacks another part of the body. For example, the thyroid in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, smaller joints in Rheumatoid Arthritis, larger joints such as the hips and the spine in Ankylosing Spondilitis, the myelin sheath or protective covering over the nerves in Multiple Sclerosis, the skin in vitiligo, scleroderma and psoriasis, the muscles in Fibromyalgia and the organs in Lupus. Other autoimmune disorders include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Celiac disease, Type 1 Diabetes, Pernicious Anemia, Inflammatory bowel diseases, (Crohns, Colitis, IBS), Addison's, Grave's and Sjogren's diseases, other skin disorders (eczema).

Symptoms of autoimmune disorders usually include fatigue, pain, fever and malaise. Autoimmune diseases are considered chronic and incurable. Sufferers usually appear normal and healthy, showing no obvious symptoms and are often considered hypochondriacs. They are commonly told their symptoms are “all in their head” and/or a result of anxiety or depression, until they are properly diagnosed. And many of these diagnoses are new.

In my clinical experience, some other disorders behave much like autoimmune disease and are controlled with similar treatments. These include: Interstitial Cystitis, ADHD, autism, some eating disorders, chronic Lyme disease and narcolepsy. These disorders are very susceptible to improper diet, (although not necessarily gluten, like traditional autoimmune disorders), stress and adrenal fatigue and they have similar Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnoses.