Category Archives: Clean Eating

Food is Medicine! How I Healed Chronic Bladder, Sinus & Yeast Infections!

Food is Medicine! How I Healed Chronic Bladder, Sinus & Yeast Infections!

By Sarah Clark (Bio Below) 

Food as Medicine!

Food as Medicine!

For five years I was suffering from chronic bladder, sinus and yeast infections.  I had frequent headaches, moodiness, brain fog and days of extreme tiredness (I kept saying if someone would roll out a cot I would go to sleep). Since I naturally have high energy, luckily, I could save my naps for the weekend.  I went into early menopause when I was 28 (both of my kids are from donor eggs through IVF), so I was on birth control and hormone replacement therapies for years.  Turns out it was probably the Candida that was the cause of my infertility.  I had signs of Candida back in my early 20’s, (I am now in my early 40’s) such as acne, dandruff, skin rashes, bloating and vaginitis.  I was seeing an urologist and gynecologist to help with my issues.  I always thought my health issues were hormone related, but it turns out I had a yeast overgrowth in my system.  After taking a food sensitivity test with my Naturopath, I learned I had Candida.  Candida is a serious overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans.  It was recommended that I eliminate sugar, gluten, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, corn and chocolate from my diet.  I knew I would need to do something, but I had no idea it would be so radical.  At that point I was desperate.  I was allergic to many different types of antibiotics, since I was taking them for my sinus and bladder infections.  At one point I thought the house was infested with fleas because I couldn’t stop itching.  I thought I saw a flea on my dog, so we fumigated the house with flea spray powder.  After spraying the house and washing the dog in a flea bath I realized I was allergic to the antibiotics.  Oops sorry Sadie (my cute little Bichon Frise), at least you got clean!

[Tweet “I just learned how to heal myself from chronic sinus, bladder & yeast infections @alergenfreegals @sesacoaching”]  Continue reading

Pillsbury Gluten Free? Not for me!

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 11.15.56 AMThis morning I saw on one of the Facebooks groups I belong to someone comment on how excited they were Pillsbury was coming out with a gluten free line.  It struck something in me that prompted me to write.  So this is my take on mainstream companies jumping on the GF bandwagon.  There are not a bunch of executives sitting around a boardroom table going, “gee what a shame there are some people that cannot enjoy one of our products because they cannot eat gluten, let’s develop a line of products for them”.  I don’t think any of us is that delusional? It is more like “look how big the GF market is, let’s jump on it and profit from it”.  The problem is this.  We can’t eat gluten because it makes us sick.  People with Celiac disease have an autoimmune disease that doesn’t just make them sick it can actually over time kill them.   People like myself who are gluten intolerant, suffer not only the GI problems but also headaches, migraines, insomnia, muscle and joint pain and on and on.

The best thing that ever happened to me was I was diagnosed as being gluten intolerant.  Why?  Well guess what?  I eat better.  No refined carbs for me, no high sugar, high fat low-nutrient foods.  Fifteen years ago when I went GF I ate mostly lean meats, vegetables and fruits.  Over the years there were more and more things like cookies, cakes, breads etc available and I thought whoo hoo, I can eat all the stuff I used to. Now I wonder about that choice.  My health started to decline when I started eating all the GF goodies that were not formerly available to me. In hind sight when faced with the same choice I think I would now say sure it’s GF and I can eat it but do I really want to? Here is the question.  Should we really get excited about a company providing us with an unhealthy GF product or should we be wary?

In the past couple of years the GF diet has come under fire as being very unhealthy.  We have substituted whole grain more nutrient dense foods containing gluten with products made from refined white rice, potato starch and sugar.  I have met more sick, over weight diabetics that are gluten free than I can count.  Back 15 years ago when I went gluten free, everyone I met that was gluten free was pretty much healthy.  I worked in an industry that kind of knew back then gluten was not that great for anyone.  But what did we have to replace the cookies and cake with?  Nothing, so we skipped the cookie with our afternoon tea and for birthdays we didn’t indulge in the high-fat sugary cake, we substituted things like fruit or other healthy options.  I remember one birthday a year after I went GF having a bowl of berries with a candle stuck in it.  We have bought into the idea that we are missing out because we didn’t have all the treats everyone else was having.  I have stopped complaining about what I am missing and I am thankful because I am forced to eat healthier and take a much better look at what I am eating.

I am not nor ever will be excited when a mainstream company jumps on the GF bandwagon because I know they don’t care a toss about my health just like they don’t care a toss about the gluten eating public, they are in it to make money at the expense of my health.  Let’s face it the company has a chubby dough boy as a mascot. Is that what we want to aspire to?

International Pancake Day is Here! Do you Like them for Breakfast or Dinner or BOTH?

 

I have such warm and fuzzy feelings around our pancakes/wafffles because my fondest memories of my 2 sons growing up were all the Saturdays, the three of us sat around the breakfast table eating our pancakes or waffles and chatting.  Then as  we discovered food sensitivities in our family there was some frustration to create a pancake we all could enjoy and maintain our health. Eventually I created our Allergic Solution Pancake/Waffle Mix  and we could once again dependably enjoy pancakes while maintaining out healthy diet. We all could eat pancakes happily without any gastro-intestional or skin flare-ups! You know what it is like. You just want to eat delicious familiar food and feel great too. Now they are teenagers and most Saturdays I would just like to wack them upside the head with the waffle iron! :)

#1 Our Favourite Dinner Pancake Recipe

Many nights in the rush of getting two teenagers off to work after school and also having to have dinner for me and my hubby, I resort to this ultra quick pancake or waffle dinner.

I generally keep a ziploc bag full of waffles or pancakes in the freezer that can be pulled out, popped in the toaster and eaten.  Even if they have to be made fresh it rarely takes more than a few minutes to get them mixed and on the waffle iron or in the pan.

Recipe

Make AS Pancake/waffle mix according to directions on bag.  While your pancakes or waffles are cooking start broiling or frying your sausage (to save time cut the sausage into bite size pieces it will save time).

Place one pancake or waffle on plate, cut two sausages into pieces cover the pancake/waffle evenly, sprinkle cheese on top and cover with another pancake or waffle.  Serve.

You can also roll the sausage (whole) and cheese in a pancake and eat like a burrito.  My kids sometimes put salsa on top of their sausage and cheese pancake sandwich and if truth be told they generally eat these in the car on the way to work.  Once hubby gets home all I do is warm the pancakes in the toaster oven with the sausage.  Once warmed I assemble and serve.

#2 Yummy Breakfast Waffles (or Pancakes)

Saturday morings are traditionally our waffle mornings.  This goes back to when my boys were little and I would be woken by two little boys jumping up and down chanting “we want waffles, we want waffles!”

We would make a batch of waffles (this also works well with pancakes) then assemble all the goodies we would put on top.  My guys like strawberries, kiwi, melon, blueberries, bananas and apples.  While the waffles cooked I would cut up all the fruit and put in small bowls, some mornings for a treat we also used chocolate chips, pecans and whipped cream.  This is great for little kids because they can choose from each bowl and create their own pancakes

#3 Recipe Adaptations

Throw in a half cup of frozen blue berries in the mix when you are finished mixing as per directions on the bag and you have instant blueberry pancakes.  Throw in half cup of chocolate chips and top with banana slices and voila banana chocolate chip pancakes.

Feel free to add your favourite recipe in the comment section.

 

The Easiest Cleanse in the World!

Just the word cleanse brings sorrow to my heart. What kit to buy, what food can’t I have and what will I cook?  My head is spinning! I dwell on how hard it will be, how it will be a struggle and to what end? Well throw all those ideas away and look how easy a cleanse can be. No kits and with a little planning you can have a successful cleanse. And with this cleanse there are no large detox reactions because it is gentle.

Here is what Sarah says she sees in her clients from cleansing:

  • I’ve seen many clients remove gluten and excel in their athletics, or remove dairy and suddenly they are no longer having chronic sinusitis or clearing their throat during the day.
  • I’ve seen chronic bloating disappear with the removal of gluten/dairy/eggs.
  • I’ve seen someone in chronic pain remove nightshades and flour and regain their movement.

Food is powerful. Food makes or breaks who you are, what you look like, and how you feel and function.-Sarah

What to do for the next 3 weeks:

Temporarily remove the top allergenic foods: gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, corn

Remove sugar from your diet.

Take a look at what you consume daily: If you drink 12 cups of coffee a day try to reduce it to half.

What You Can Eat on the Easy Cleanse

• Beans
• Lentils
• Brown Rice
• Quinoa
• Any gluten-free grain: teff, buckwheat, millet, amaranth
• Chicken, Turkey, Poultry
• All fish except shellfish
• Wild game meats or grass-fed meats
• Nuts/seeds (except peanuts or those you are allergic to)
• ALL fruits
• ALL vegetables (except tomatoes)
• Rice based protein powders

How to end your cleanse:

Slowly reintroduce each food you removed every 3 days after a minimum of 3 weeks removal. You know your body well so you’ll know if something is wrong when you reintroduce them.

How do you know if the food bothers you?

Suddenly that migraine returns, or the bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, rapid weight gain, foggy brain, joint pain is back.

 

quinoa recipe sarah

Sweet n’ Spicy Quinoa – serves 12

This just has a little bit of everything. It’s sweet, it can be spicy, there are so many different textures involved it’s like a huge party in your mouth! Everyone knows that Quinoa is higher in protein then a few other starchy counterparts. It also has a natural nutty flavour, as opposed to boring old white rice. It could be a side dish or add a good quality lean protein to it makes it a full meal.
Ingredients:
• 3 cups quinoa
• 2 cups low sodium soup stock (or fully use water)
• 2 cups water – more water if necessary
• 3 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 large onion
• 4 medium carrots
• 5 small zucchini
• 3 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• pinch cayenne – omit if avoiding nightshades
• 1 1/2 tsp dried ginger, cumin, paprika, sea salt
• 3/4 cup dried fruit juice sweetened cranberries
• For a full meal – add sunflower seeds, beans, or chicken/turkey
Directions:
1. Rinse and cook quinoa in 2 cups soup stock and 2 cups water (more water if necessary) for about 15 minutes until no longer crunchy and grains looked “popped”
2. Heat olive oil on medium in a large sauté pan or frying pan
3. Chop Onion, zucchini and carrots
4. Stir fry onion until transparent
5. Add carrots, stir fry five minutes
6. Add zucchini, stir fry one minute
7. Add the spices, except for salt, lower heat and stir until they start to brown
Combine veggies and quinoa – add cranberries and sea salt

Beets n’ Brussels Thyme

Ingredients:
• 2 medium sized beets, peeled and quartered
• 12 – 15 brussels sprouts, halved
• 1 sweet onion, peeled and quartered
• 1 – 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted or extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
• 2 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• Secret ingredient – if you have access to turkey or chicken dripping baste it with a bit of it for a nice gloss and crunch
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Lightly steam chopped vegetables and onion (about 3 – 4 min)
3. Add to casserole dish and drizzle with coconut oil, trhyme and sea salt and pepper
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired texture is reached (soft or crispy) but stir and move them around after 10 minutes.
5. Add almond slivers and roast for another 5 – 10 minutes until they are toasted and golden brown

More recipe ideas from Sarah

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto, ON and is one of few Nutritionists in Canada who is also Board Certified in Practical Holistic Nutrition™ http://www.sarahmaughan.ca/  

 

Do you want your child to make healthier food choices?

Are you wanting to get your child onside with making healthier food choices?  Here’s how!

As a parent, how do you begin to get your child onside with making healthier food choices?  I am going to share my method with you that works with children from 18 months old and up. Start by asking your child if they are experiencing any symptoms with which they are not happy?

  • Is your child getting sick frequently?
  • Do they have frequent ear infections?
  • Do the have a bowel movement each day? Are they constipated?
  • Do they have ADD?
  • Do they have asthma?
  • Do they have a skin condition? Eczema?

What we eat affects every aspect of our being!  And what we eat contributes to every symptom, condition and disease.  We eat multiple times a day but we tend to think that what we eat has no effect on how we feel or look, how much energy we have or how well our brains work.  The biggest challenge a nutritionist faces is helping others to see the link between how they are feeling and what they are eating. Now your challenge is to help your child see the link.

If your child is experiencing any of the health challenges mentioned above and is bothered enough by that symptom, he or she may be relieved to know that there is something that can be done to help them!  You could go to a naturopath or nutritionist and have food sensitivity testing done on your child or you could begin your own detective work.  The goal is to determine the food that is your child’s biggest culprit for the symptoms they are experiencing.

I’ll give you two hints on what food might be bothering your child 

  1. The food that your child cannot live without AND/OR the food your child eats the most often
  2. The two biggest culprits in North America, for all symptoms, are DAIRY and WHEAT – it is no coincidence that these are the two food groups of which we eat the most.

Great, you say.  Yes, great! Now we have have a place to begin.

Now, ideas should be forming in your head, as to which foods are the potential culprits for your child.  If you want to test that food on your child to see if it is indeed a culprit, all you need to do is completely remove the particular food(s) from their diet for one week and then reintroduce it.   Easier said than done, I know.  How badly your child’s health challenge is affecting them will determine if your child will be onside with trying this method for improving their health.  Once the week has passed, you will find that when you reintroduce the problematic food, your child will react worse than ever before to that food and you will have found your child’s first culprit food.  I invite you to embark on the journey of discovering the biggest culprit for your child’s specific health challenge and then replace that food with a healthier alternative!

Here are a couple of other articles with ideas and examples

Educating Kids To Make Healthy Food Choices

Dairy – a food we CAN live without

by Meredith Deasley from The Resourceful Mother Pediatric Nutritionist and Life Coach 

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I’d Love To Help You Eat Clean!

We invited Sarah of My Mostly Healthy Life to write a guest post for us and we are so pleased she accepted!

If you’re like any of the rest of us, every now and then you probably find it very hard to stick to a clean diet free of processed foods, fast food and/or prepackaged foods. I definitely find it hard sometimes as well. I’ve thought about ways to help make it easier for you on your clean eating journey, and what I’ve learned so far.

  • If your just starting on your clean eating journey, rid your home off ALL of the “no-no’s!”. Out of sight, out of mind.This is probably one of the hardest things people deal with when they first decide to start eating a clean and healthy diet. Yes, this is going to mean you’re probably going to throw out a bunch of food. No it is not ok for you to “just finish what you have in your pantry and not buy more after that” because this is a vicious cycle and it won’t end. I’m sure if you weigh the pros and cons, there are a lot more pros to throwing out the “franken-foods” in your home and starting your health journey right away.
  • When in the grocery store, stick to the parameter. Grocery stores are smart and know how to make you cave to the expensive, prepackaged foods that provide little to no nutrients. If you’ve never noticed, the outside of the grocery store is where all of the fresh, clean food resides, veggies and fruits, fresh meat, dairy, and frozen veggies and fruits. The only thing you should need to get in the aisle, is cooking oil, nuts, seeds and coffee/tea. Avoid the bread section (gluten does not do anybody any good!), and aim for organic, fresh veggies/fruits.
  • Only buy what you need. It’s better to go to the grocery store 2-3x/week rather than throwing away a ton of produce you didn’t eat and it went bad.
  • Avoid the liquor store! Nothing can put a halt on clean eating like alcohol. Not only is alcohol completely empty in terms of nutrients, but drinking it may make it seem like that pizza isn’t so bad after all! Wrong-o! Just avoid this all together and you’ll be doing your body a wonder of good!

I hope this helped! You can find me over at www.mymostlyhealthylife.com if you have any questions, or you want to follow my journey!
Yours in fitness & health,

Sarah