Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gluten Free Pie Crust

This yummy, rich crust is perfect for a pumpkin pie.

Makes a 9 Inch Pie
  •  1 cup GF certified rolled oats, processed into a fine flour OR 1 cup GF oat flour
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (acts as the binder, honey may work if you prefer that)
  • 1 tbsp Butter of Earth Balance, melted
  • Grease a 9-inch pie dish very well and preheat the oven to 350 F. In a blender, process your oats into a very fine flour. If you don’t think your machine can get the oats fine enough, then I suggest buying oat flour from. The oat flour needs to be very fine in this crust, not flaky or chunky.
  • In a food processor, add 2 cups pecans and process until it starts to clump and oils start to release (about 35 secs), but don’t make pecan butter either. You should be able to make a ball with the pecan dough
  • Melt earth balance with brown rice syrup for about 30 secs in microwave. Stir. Transfer clumpy pecan mixture into a large bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Using your hands, squeeze the dough over and over to combine very well. You should be able to form a ball with it. If it's too dry add a bit more oil.
  • Spoon the pecan dough onto pie dish and smooth out evenly. Press down firmly with fingers to form a crust, bringing it up along the sides. Press as firmly as you can. Prick base with fork 12-13 times. Prebake at 350F for 9-12 minutes, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Remove and cool for 10 mins.
  • This recipe comes from a great blog by Angela Liddon @  I recommend visiting this site for some more wonderful recipes that are gluten and diary free.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Are Your Skin Problems Actually Gut Problems?

As winter arrives and the air is drier and colder, I am seeing more clients with skin, that is dry, itchy, red, scaly, and sometimes oozing and often diagnosed as Eczema or Psoriasis.   For immediate relief I will often suggest  B-12 Cream and will sometimes even suggest that they get some topical cortisol cream. I know that these are remedies that only treat the symptoms and bring temporary relief but  they are not going to the root cause of why the skin is looking and feeling so very angry. The creams will do nothing to heal the source of the inflammation so that the irritation will not come back.  

Eczema, much like asthma, is an allergic reaction to something or to many things.  After trying to bring initial relief to my patients, the next step, is for me to become a detective to figure out where the source of the allergic reaction is coming from. I have to admit that this is one of my favorite roles that I get to take on.

Surprisingly, eczema is often a symptom indicating that the gut is out of balance and inflamed. It is quite amazing and rewarding to watch the healing that can occur when things like intestinal bad bacteria, yeast, parasites, and bacterial infections are identified and then eliminated from the gut .

Leaky Gut and Allergies & Eczema: The lining of your intestinal wall is only one cell layer thick and if this barrier is breached by continued inflammation from any of the things mentioned above, or a poor diet, or food sensitivities, it can cause the gut to work inefficiently leading to poor digestion and absorption and elimination and sometimes even to something that is referred to as a leaky gut. A leaky gut causes what is known as IgG food allergies.  This type of food allergy is not the type that will cause your throat to close or go into  anaphylactic shock but they will make digestion often feel very unpleasant and cause things that seem to be totally unrelated to the gut to manifest such as eczema or psoriasis.

How does a leaky gut happen?  It can often stem from or be initiated by long term or repeated use of antibiotics, taking birth control pills or HRT.  Parasite or bugs picked up while traveling or camping, stress, a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, the SAD (Standard American Diet) can also contribute to making the gut very unhappy and to having a leaky gut. An inflamed gut can cause necessary nutrients that can support your body and brain to be unavailable which can contribute to many other imbalances.

Steps to Optimal Digestive Health:

1. Remove any infections or overgrowth of bugs, bacteria or yeast:

2. Let the digestive system calm down- Eliminate foods that often cause food allergies.  Remove gluten, dairy, yeast, corn, soy and eggs, alcohol, and caffeine for 1-2 weeks and see what happens to your symptoms.

3.Heal your gut lining with nutrients such as glutamine and zinc so that it can resume it's normal function.

4.Use digestive enzymes while your gut is healing to help your body to break down and convert the foods that you eat into nutrients necessary to run your body and brain.

5. Re-innoculate your gut with the good bacteria that it needs to keep it happy and working efficiently.  That means take probiotic supplements.

6. Get Good Fat:  Cool inflammation by taking extra Omega -3-supplements.  Sometimes Borage oil is also good to reduce inflammation.

7. Eat as your grandparents ate...Eat whole unprocessed living foods.  Include plenty of vegetables, nuts, seeds, fiber and good fats.  Try to prepare as many meals from home.

8. Reduce stress by meditating, yoga, taking walks, getting physical activity at least 5 days a week.  Hitting the pause button daily, even if it is just taking 5-10 minutes each day to notice what you are appreciative of or are grateful for.  Find a community that supports you and that you can be a part of.

In Health,