Tag Archives: nutrition

Curing peanut allergy

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A melbourne outfit led by Mimi Tang recently cured some kiddies of their peanut allergy combining a probiotic and a kind of homeopathic therapy – escalating doses of peanut allergen ( in homeopathy the sicker you are the LOWER the dose ) It is a double blind study, the kids are  photogenic so everyone is happy, especially Prof Tang (who is crowing about being the first to do this though I she isn’t. US and UK doctors have done it before without the probiotics – http://homeopathyplus.com.au/peanut.html )

Abstract of the research ( done with Murdoch money ) : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25592987?log$=activity and an earlier review of the topic by Mimi Tang here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448073/

So being nut allergic and having an allergic kid I immediately went hunting and fortunately the probiotic is common – Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. It’s in vaalia yoghurt. Plan – do the math and then go buy a straight probiotic dose of L actobacillus GG from Ethical Nutrients ( who can label it as helpful for eczema) – “100 grams of Vaalia Yoghurt contains a minimum of 100,000,000 colony forming units of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG or LGG®. ” “Vaalia Innergy for immunity contains 10 times the amount of Lactobacillus GG compared to Vaalia probiotic yoghurt.” http://www.vaalia.com.au/products/product-faqs/

Yoghurt is interesting – it will often make allergies WORSE because it’s a high histamine food ( all fermentations produce histamine ). Certainly I personally found eating kefir was a problem. I was most dismayed to find my allergies worsening because I loooved the stuff although it wasn’t until I read the Low Histamine chef’s articles and found out a large fresh juice ( its the oranges) and leftover prawn pizza = instant sneezing that the penny dropped. Certain strains of lactobacillus make histamine – others don’t. A common one L. casei is a culprit. The Bulletproof Executive has a fully referenced write up of the topic www.bulletproofexec.com/why-yogurt-and-probiotics-make-you-fat-and-foggy/

Histamine Intolerance and Which Bacteria to Avoid

Disturbance in gut biome also plays a significant role in creating the recent rise in histamine intolerance. Histamine intolerance is the result of an imbalance between the breakdown of histamine and its buildup in the gut. This is generally caused by a deficiency in the DAO enzymes (found in intestinal mucosa) that helps metabolize and breakdown dietary sources of histamine.

A histamine overload leads to increased inflammation and many other symptoms including: skin irritation, hives, throat tightening, increased heart rate, nasal congestion, migraines, fatigue, heartburn, reflux, and weight gain.4 Unlike other food allergies and sensitivities, the response from histamine intolerance is cumulative and not always immediate, so it is harder to pin point right away.

Another excellent review is ” Helpful Bacteria – Should you take probiotics” by David Schardt, Centre for Science in the Public Interest ( US based http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/nah_probiotics.pdf ).

Should You take Probiotics?

Caveat: – an intact mucosal barrier of the skin both outside and inside is likely needed as it is part of the initiating problem. I will have to ask if kids with eczema were screened out of the peanut trial.

“Animal experiments have confirmed that repeated topical contact with allergens through skin whose barrier function is disrupted could promote allergic sensitization and airway hypersensitivity and prevent oral tolerance induction (6–13)” In fact the peanut patch is another way of inducing immune tolerance ( i guess it’s bit like those expensive injections )

Reccomendations from scientific experts these days are changed more often than I repaint the house. Time magazine reports experts are now backpedalling on avoiding nuts to prevent later allergies “Based on recent findings, the AAP in 2008 changed its advice and now does not say parents should avoid feeding their babies peanuts.” http://time.com/3719341/peanut-allergy-cure-treatment/

and whyeee is modern medicine putting the boot into homeopathy when the underlying tenet ‘like cures like’ in teensy doses obviously works wonders applied to the immune system? There has been a recent escalation of  attempts to discredit this therapy and ban it in the UK, USA and Australia. I am sure they will just have to backpedal on that too as the scientific (versus the much older observational and intuitive) understanding of the immune system increases. Current state of play in Australia here: NHMRC Statement on Homeopathy and NHMRC Information Paper – Evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating health conditions – https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-topics/complementary-medicines/homeopathy-review

homeopathy

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Fart Free Jerusalem Artichokes

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Ok well maybe not exactly guaranteed fart free but we can make it safer to eat near a naked flame. At the one meeting Rodger brought jerusalem artichokes from his garden to share. This is an easy root crop, grows like the weed it is on marginal land but has a reputation for causing intestinal gas like no other. He forgot to mention their other name is ‘Jerusalem fartichokes’. This is because it stores energy mostly as inulin – a starch that human can’t digest although other bacteria in our colon can, which is a bit of a two edged sword.
There are simple ways to make Jerusalem artichokes more digestible. Firstly cold shock will cause breakdown of inulin to fructose which can be absorbed in the small intestine, so digging up the artichokes after a few frosts will yield sweeter, more digestible tubers, as will storage. Prolonged cooking is another way. Traditional cooking in a firepit for over 12 hours, or in a low oven 100 Celcius for 24 hours as per Stefano’s recipe 24 Hour Cooked Jerusalem Artichoke, Mushrooms, Scorzonera, Hazelnuts, Garlic “completely negates” the infamous gas producing after effects.
( athough of course this also means the whole ‘low GI’ thing for diabetics is also undone )

If you fancy the taste of fresh artichokes just eat a smaller amount. Inulin has been studied as a prebiotic as it particularly increases bifidobacteria species which are associated with good health – so as a supplement it’s useful for restoring the microbe balance after antibiotics.

An inulin dose of 5–8 g/d should be sufficient to elicit a positive effect on the gut microbiota. One possible side effect of prebiotic intake is intestinal discomfort from gas production. However, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli cannot produce gas as part of their metabolic process. Therefore, at a rational dose of up to 20 g/d, gas distension should not occur. If gas is being generated, then the carbohydrate is not acting as an authentic prebiotic”
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/11/2503S.full

Jerusalem artichokes contain about 16g of inulin per 100g weight. A little experimentation should yield a Goldilocks dose that’s right for you – enough inulin to encourage the good bifidobacteria, and not too much which causes overgrowth of other gas producing bacteria.

Fermentation and pickling will remove the inulin as well. There are a couple of methods. A recipe for jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes pickled with sugar, turmeric and chiles. http://agardenerstable.com/2014/02/24/taking-the-wind-out-of-jerusalem-artichokes/

Gluten and Thyroid – Dr Tom O’Bryan

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Gluten and Thyroid – Dr Tom O’Bryan

quiche1YAY! Bernice’s GF Feta, Pea and Dill Quiche with Lentil and Sweet Potato Pastry recipe won the Canadian Lentil Challenge! Thanks to anyone who voted for it.

Second Opinion Series – the thyroid sessions
Yo! Wassup yall! – my teenage son just thought this was so funny when we were listening to an Underground Wellness podcast – till I did point out Sean is actually entitled to talk like a bro. Dr Tom OBryan will be talking about the gluten and thyroid connection on tuesday/wed USA which is wed/thursday australian time. Watch all of the sessions while it’s free ( just click the banner below; you still have 24 hours or so to catch up on the opening presentations too) or grab the complete sessions as a paid download – I’ve previewed this and watched the first couple completely and they are great. Sean Croxton always does a super job of asking the right questions, keeping it fun, relevant and intelligible for the average person. Plus he’s so genuinely supportive of his viewers, be they paying customers or just along for the ride.
TomOBryan1_Live

The original Gluten Summit with Dr Tom is still available to download for USD $67 and it too was amazing – I learnt so much. ( Any commissions from sales go to Astrotas of course! )

Feta, Pea and Dill Quiche with Lentil and Sweet Potato ‘Pastry’

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Feta, Pea and Dill Quiche with Lentil and Sweet Potato ‘Pastry’

Confession – after watching the movie based on preparing a dish from Julia Child’s classic cookbook every day, my teenage son and i decided it would be a good idea to bake our way through a cookbook. Only we chose Womens Weekly Cakes Biscuits and Desserts! After only a week we realised this would kill us, and I was running out of people to foist the leftovers onto. So I started baking cakes for Astro as a monthly treat.

Our speaker for April is Anita Rossiter who is talking on the gut brain connection. Her healthy diet is not as omnivorous as the standard food pyramid or plate or whatever shape the gov is pushing now. No sugar, no gluten – So I”ll have to lift the bar on Astro $1 a head catering beyond ‘mystery dip’ and the staple packet mix glutenfree choc brownies 🙂 Granted they have no e numbers on the mix and i make it with fresh nuts, freerange eggs and great butter, but i can’t help feeling a wee bit guilty when they are complimented.
I’ve been feeling somewhat intimidated by this. My canadian friend Bernice’s food blog to the rescue! Her sister follows a similar diet to Anita and she’s entering this unique vegetarian quiche with a gluten free lentil and sweet potato crust and these hors d’oevre sized morsels Shrimp Lentil and Turmeric Dumplings in a contest and i think they will please both Anita and our often vegetarian members. Leave a nice comment on her blog if you want to help it win.

Gluten Free Baking Class

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Gluten Free Baking Class

10-1 Sat October 12th Penguin Highschool with Robin Ellenberger from Skyranch. Due to insurance woes we have had to move this back to Robin’s Bakehouse in Travellers Rest near Launceston. The venue is much smaller so only two at a time max. but then you have more attention from Robin so that’s better eh? You will arrange a time thats mutually suitable.

Learn to make three of her breads perfectly, and see demos of pastry and a delicious shortbread. Also previewing her new pumpernikel bread recipe! Each person will bake and take home three products of their choice.

Cost $75 members ( parent/child couple or lone adult ) Child must be primary school aged 8-13 and fully supervised. Only six places available! Non Members $10 surcharge.Payable at time of booking.

Please email your details including phone number when enquiring.  Bring Apron teatowels notebook pen and  containers for your goodies.

Astro GF Brownies

A jar of homemade gluten-free brownie mix makes a perfect gift for gluten-free family and friends. This recipe is easy to make and the brownies are soft and delicious!

from http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/dessertsandsweets/r/Gluten-Free-Brownie-Mix-Recipe.htm

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 -16 brownies

Ingredients:

  • Dry Mix: (Makes enough to fill 500ml jar and prepared, fills one 8×8 inch pan)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free SR flour blend (woolworth’s Macro brand)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( Loving Earth Raw Cacao )
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raw cane sugar ( for stickier brownies add 2 more tablespoons of sugar )
  • Add to dry mix:
  • 80 g (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts (or nuts of your choice) soaked overnight and chopped coarsely – optional

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 180° C

Grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper.

To prepare dry mix:Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

To prepare brownie batter: Butter must be very soft – place in the oven briefly in an oven proof jug, or use the microwave (med 30 secs does a good job for me). Mix soft butter with vanilla essence and eggs with a metal fork.
Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Watch cooking time carefully. When a toothpick inserted into center of baking dish comes out clean brownies are done. Don’t overbake or brownies will be hard! Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 mins before running a knife around the edge to loosen from the sides of the pan. Wait 10 minutes more before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting (3×4 for 12 oblong brownies or 4×4 for 16 squares).

Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.