When to Implement a Low FODMAP Diet

Low FODMAP

Are you suffering from any of these symptoms?  Diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal distention or stomach pain?  Were you told by your doctor that you have Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?  If so, you may want to seriously think about following the low FODMAP Diet.  This diet was developed at Monash University in Australia and is specifically designed for people that have gut disorders.

The word FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.  They are short chain carbohydrates that are not absorbed and consequently, begin to ferment in the colon and are consumed by bacteria.  The waste products produced by the bacteria cause the above mentioned symptoms and if not corrected, can lead to other complications.

The diet, when first used, is considered a type of elimination diet that helps heal the gut.  It is advisable to follow the diet for about 6-8 weeks being sure to drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day to help flush out toxins.  After the 6-8 week cleansing period, one nutritious ingredient that is not Low FODMAP, can be consumed.  It is pertinent to take notice of any negative occurrence that take place by maintaining a log or diary and jotting down any symptoms experienced.

It is highly recommended that you do not follow this diet on your own.  It is best to work with a qualified health care practitioner such as a functional medicine doctor, naturopath and/or nutritionist who can run a series of tests to determine if this is the best diet to follow.

Once you get the “food as medicine” prescription to implement the diet and feel overwhelmed, you can contact me, Ilia, the healing through food specialist/chef/teacher who can work with you to design customized menu plans or offer you a series of cooking lessons specifically tailored for the Low FODMAP Diet or have the customized meals prepared for you in your kitchen by my company, Healthy Nourished Body.

In the next post, I will be discussing which foods you can consume and which ones to steer clear of for the Low FODMAP Diet.

Ilia Regini is a nutritional healing through food specialist, chef, teacher, writer, blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers complete chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers (including best equipment needed to prepare wholesome meals, evaluation of fridge and pantry) and customized menu planning for healing through food specialized dietary protocols.  Visit the website:  http://www.healthynourishedbody.com. http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 or email me at:  healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

7 Foods That Can Interfere with Your Meds

Most of us who take medication do so without giving a second thought as to with which ingredients it is taken.  We pop a pill, gulp down some water and we are off.  I would like to inform you of some foods that may cause havoc if taken in conjunction with various medicines.

The first one I would like to point out is the grapefruit.  It negatively interferes with a number of prescription drugs.  The medicine winds up remaining in the body too long or for too short a time and consequently, can cause a host of side effects.  An example is Lipitor, the cholesterol lowering statin which so many are on these days.

Another food to be on the lookout for is milk.  The combination of the minerals, calcium and magnesium as well as the protein, casein, make it much more difficult for the body to break down the antibiotic.

A third food to be aware of is licorice.  It contains a chemical that disrupts the potency of the drug, making it less effective.

The fourth food (oh no, everyone’s favorite treat) is chocolate.  Believe it or not, dark chocolate is the worst and will have a weakening effect on a drug like Ambien meant to help you relax and fall asleep.  In addition, for patients on Ritalin, the stimulant drug will increase in potency and for people taking an MAO inhibitor, it makes your blood pressure sky high.

Number five is alcohol which negatively interfere’s with almost all meds by making them either ineffective, completely useless, too strong or presenting horrible side effects.

The number six food is, yeah, you guessed it, coffee which weakens the effect of the drug and interferes with how your body uses iron.

The final food is the vitamin K rich category of cruciferous vegetables which consists of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, etc.  These vegetables need to be limited if taken warfarin to prevent blood clots.  Contrary to one’s beliefs, it can thin the blood and make you susceptible to a blood clot.

So there you have it!  These foods do not work synergistically with meds in the body. Make a note of it and be aware!

Ilia Regini is a nutritional healing through food specialist/chef/teacher/writer/blogger and speaker. Healthy Nourished Body offers complete chef service, cooking lessons, complete kitchen makeovers including best equipment needed to prepare wholesome meals (including evaluation of pantry/fridge) and menu planning for healing through food specialized dietary protocols.  Visit the website:  http://www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 or email me at:  healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

 

A Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie

Tigernut-Breakfast-CookiesDoes your mouth water and an immediate craving sets in upon the mention of homemade chocolate chip cookies?  I know this happens to me!  These delectable morsels were often times a treat that I would come home to from school on numerous occasions.

Now, 40 years later, we have come to realize that the ingredients that make up the traditional cookie are not that good for us from a nutritional perspective.  The time has come for a chocolate chip cookie makeover.

Try substituting tiger nut flour for the traditional white flour.  It is antioxidant rich and despite its name, it is nut free and gluten free.  It derives from a wild tuber which, by the way, is a good source of fiber which keeps you full and eliminates over indulging.

Try adding some tahini (ground sesame seeds) which are high in healthy fats and amino acids (protein).  The white sugar can be swapped out for maple sugar which is derived from the sap of the maple tree and is rich in minerals.

Try using chocolate chips which are sweetened with a little stevia or monk fruit in place of sugar.  This is a great choice for individuals with diabetes.  If you are vegan, try swapping out the egg for ground flax and filtered water.  (ratio:  3 tablespoons water to 1 tablespoon ground flax meal).   Both tiger nut flour and tiger nuts can be purchased at quality health food stores.  The simple recipe is on the back of the package.  Feel free to add some walnuts or unsweetened coconut flakes.  Enjoy!

Ilia Regini is a nutritional healing through foods specialist,  chef, teacher and wellness advisor, writer, blogger and lecturer.  My company offers complete chef services, cooking lessons, small luncheons and dinner parties.  For additional information, visit the website:  http://www.healthynourishedbody.com or email me at:  healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

Lemon Curd Parfait

With the heat of the summer and the abundance of fresh berries on hand, this is the perfect dessert to satisfy

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your sweet tooth.  Although it really isn’t all that sweet, it is very gratifying.  It is tangy and creamy and has a pudding like consistency.  Imagine taking a spoonful and being delighted with  the creaminess of the pudding enveloped in a sea of fresh berries that seem to explode on your taste buds. I chose blueberries and raspberries but you could use any other berry of choice.

This dessert uses an alternative sweetener called monk fruit which ironically is 300-400 times sweeter that sugar with no calories and zero effect on blood sugar.  It contains antioxidants known as mogrosides which are metabolized differently than traditional sugars.  It has been in use for centuries and now can be found in health food stores in the United States.  It helps fight free radicals in the body and helps lower the risk of obesity and diabetes among other benefits.

Recipe:  (Yield 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup monk fruit sweetener
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 4 large eggs or medium
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups berries of choice
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced mint

Procedure:

In a medium pot, whisk the sweetener, lemon and egg.  Add coconut oil and place on medium heat.  Once the oil is melted, constantly whisk until mixture thickens.  Pour the mixture through a strainer with small holes.  Let the curd cool completely.

When cool, in a parfait glass, layer the berries and pudding.  Top with grated lemon zest and mint.

Ilia Regini is a nutritional healing foods specialist, chef, teacher, health and wellness advisor, writer, blogger and lecturer.  My company offers complete chef service, cooking lessons, small luncheons and dinner parties.  For additional information, visit the website:  http://www.healthynourishedbody.com or email me at healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

Quinoa Spaghetti with Olives and Basil

Have you ever come home from work and had a craving for a traditional Italian old time favorite like spaghetti with a tangy marinara sauce but then realized that you could not consume gluten?  Well, don’t despair!  There are a number of great and tasty gluten free pasta products on the market.  I chose a spaghetti made with quinoa flour.  Luckily for me, when this craving occurs, I usually have all the necessary ingredients on hand to whip up a gourmet meal in minutes.

This recipe is appropriate for those of you who are following the Candida Elimination Diet, the low FODMAPS Diet, the Gluten-free Diet as well as the Vegan and Vegetarian Diets.  The only change is to eliminate the garlic and onion in the tomato marinara sauce for those of you following the low FODMAPS Diet.

Here is the recipe:

Quinoa Spaghetti with Olives and Basil  (Serves 2)

Ingredients: 

(For the sauce)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 small onion diced small
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 3-4 basil leaves thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup castelvetrano olives sliced
  • 1/2 (24 ounce) jar of strained tomatoes (I use the brand Bionaturae)
  • Sea salt to taste

(For the pasta)

  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 4-5 ounces quinoa spaghetti
  • Pinch of salt

Procedure:

(For the sauce)  In a medium pot on simmer, add the oil and garlic and cover. When golden, add the onion and mix well.  When translucent, add the tomatoes and remainder of the ingredients.  Mix well and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Quinoa Spaghetti with Olives and Basil

(For the pasta)  In a large pot, add the water and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil on high heat.  When the water is boiling, add the spaghetti, turn down the heat to medium and mix constantly so strands do not stick together.  After about 5 minutes, test a strand of spaghetti.  If it is hard, continue cooking until it is soft with a slight chew.  Once this occurs, take it off the heat, strain and put the pasta in a large bowl.  Add the tomato sauce and mix well.

Vegetable Soup for Breakfast?

20170703_143424Cereal, bread, muffins, pastries, pancakes and omelettes are fine choices if you are well and don’t need to boost your nutrition.  However, if you are like most people, you will do anything to rake in more nutrients.  If you have an autoimmune disease, it is important to consume a nutrient dense breakfast free of grain.

Many Asian countries begin their breaking of the nightly fast with a steamy bowl of soup rich in vitamins and minerals.

In this day and age, so many people are suffering from a myriad of mysterious chronic health problems that include auto-immune illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Lupus, Hashimotos’s as well as Candidiasis, Diabetes, Cancer and the Neurological illnesses that include MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to name a few.

Many of the specialized healing food diets that are being prescribed by Integrative Health Practitioners, Functional Medicine and Naturopathic Doctors exclude the consumption of sugar and starches due to its breaking down into simple sugar in the body.  This leaves us with the question, “What is one to consume for breakfast?”  Good question.  Why not a healthy vegetable soup that is chock full of vegetables super rich in nutrients? If that is not filling enough, add some kelp noodles which are grain free and some chicken chunks for protein.

The main reason that most people cannot seem to adjust to this idea is simply because certain foods are associated with breakfast and soup is not one of them.  You need to break out of this way of thinking.  There are many people in various countries around the world that do not eat the standard American breakfast and many of them are quite healthy.

I am including a simple recipe for a healing soup that includes what I call the magic healing trio of garlic, ginger and turmeric as well as burdock root, shiitakes, bok choy, watercress and kelp noodles which are not made of starch and are a good source of iodine.  This soup is a rich potpourri of nutrients.  It is easy to assemble.  If you cannot commit to having it every day, at least try consuming it 2-3 times per week.

Let’s get serious about healing our illnesses and enjoy a healthy body once again!

Healing Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced turmeric
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium burdock root peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitakes sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups bok choy chopped (whites and greens)
  • 1 cup watercress
  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 8 ounce bag kelp noodles (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1-3 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 pound chicken cubed (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste

Procedure:

In a large pot, add the oil, garlic, ginger and turmeric and let it cook on medium heat until slightly golden in color.  Add the onions, followed by the vegetables and filtered water and the optional kelp noodles and chicken, if using.  If you desire a thicker soup, add less water and if you want a thinner one, add more.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Ilia Regini is a healing through foods specialist/chef and teacher.  She can be reached at healthynourishedbody@gmail.com or by phone at:  914-714-9773.

The Magic of Garlic, Ginger and Turmeric – A Culinary Trio

Recently, I posted an article on the medicinal healing benefits derived from the Magi’s three gifts brought to the Christ child.  Although the three kings brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, there appears to be a parallel to  garlic, ginger and turmeric.  The biblical gold, it has been determined, could actually refer to the gold colored fresh turmeric that is known for its compound curcumin which has amazing healing abilities in the body.  In addition, since I am doing a webinar on Culinary Nutrigenomics, it is recommended that curcumin be added to a meal along with some form of fat or phospholipid so it gets emulsified and absorbed into the body.

I am not familiar from a culinary perspective with the benefits of frankencense and myrrh, however, I find that by incorporating fresh garlic, ginger and turmeric into my clients’ dishes, it helps to keep the immune system strong and by having a strong immune system, the body is better able to fight off illness.

I frequently combine these three ingredients so they have a positive synergistic healing effect in the body.  Garlic and ginger also are known for their amazing healing abilities. They are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial.  A little bit goes along way!  You do not need to gorge yourself in order to reap the benefits.  The digested particles will find their way to the billions of cells and start to do their magic.

I believe there is a reason that these culinary herbs have been around for millennia and have been incorporated all over the world in numerous tasty dishes.  With the technological advancements coupled with the influx of people from all over the globe, we are starting to see these 3 culinary agents appear at quality food stores, health food stores and farmer’s markets.

Start using them yourself and enjoy the rich, robust flavor that they add to your favorite dishes and get a free boost of health as well!

Ilia Regini is a nutritional healing foods specialist, chef, teacher health and wellness advisor, writer, blogger and lecturer.  My company offers complete chef service, cooking lessons, small luncheons and dinner parties.  For additional information, visit the website http://www.healthynourishedbody.com or email me at healthynourishedbody@gmail.com