Monthly Archives: November 2013

Gluten Related Disorders

There seems to be some confusion in regards to gluten sensitivity versus celiac disease.

Gliadins (contained within gluten) are the proteins found in  wheat, barely, and rye. We (at least for some of us) have really not been exposed long enough to evolutionarily adapt to ingesting gluten as the age of agriculture introduced it to us only 10,000 years ago (I know that seems like a really long time but evolution is a SLOW process).

Celiac Disease is when your immune system thinks gliadin is a foreign substance and starts destroying the gastrointestinal lining.  However, individuals can present with skin rashes, migraines, poor hair and nail growth, poor balance, fatigue, nutrient deficiencies such as iron deficiency, and even other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease.

Gluten sensitivity is when your immune system (and maybe other systems) reacts to gluten but does not destroy the gut.  It can cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, but it can also cause inflammation in other areas of the body. Most people who are gluten sensitive may feel joint pain, commonly in the lower back just above the hips (called the sacroiliac joints).  Others may get migraines or headaches and fatigue especially a few hours after ingesting gluten.

I’m also finding that when individuals go on a gluten-free diet but reintroduce it at some point, they have extreme mood swings and behavioral changes that they can’t explain.

There are some great websites for review:



Cooking Classes for Teens: Encourage Healthy Lifestyles

cropped-picture-of-kitchen.jpgCooking seems to be a lost art as our lives are becoming too filled with activities: taking the kids to karate practice or dance recitals, home projects, and finishing up last minute-to-dos for work.  We reach for more convenient foods like picking up dinner from restaurants or buying it pre-packaged and frozen.  In order to get back to our food source, we need to start learning how to cook simple and quick wholesome meals without the extra additives and junk that are not natural for our bodies.

New research has shown that healthy cooking has shown that it improves healthy habits and lifestyle changes (Hartman, C et al. “Importance of Cooking Skills for Balanced Food Choices” Appetite 2013. 65: 125-131).

KU Integrative Medicine “Healing Foods Kitchen” hosts cooking classes several times monthly for adults and we will now be hosting cooking classes for teens:

Our first class will be on November 21st, 2013 from 4 pm to 5 pm and we’ll be making simple, healthy and quick smoothies so teens can make them on their own:

Chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie

Choco Berry Green Smoothie

Choco raspberry avocado smoothie

Mango Vanilla Smoothie

Pumpkin Orange Chai Smoothie

So please call 913-588-6208 or e-mail: for registration or more information.  Cost for smoothie class is $20.






Stuffed Acorn Squash with Lamb

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Lamb

Yield:  6 stuffed acorn squash halves


3 Acorn squash

1 small yellow onion (half large onion)

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 lb ground lamb

1/2 lb carrots

1/2 lb potatoes

stalk of collard greens

1 quart (32 oz) of vegetable broth (chicken broth or beef broth works too!)

1/2 tsp cumin

1tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 cayenne pepper

1-2 tsp salt


1. Roast acorn squash halves in 375 deg Temperature in oven for 30 minutes until cooked.

2. Saute onion in 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large stainless steel pot or ceramic pot

3. add ground lamb and spices and salt until cooked

4. Add vegetable, beef, or chicken stock

5. Add chopped vegetables (carrots, potatoes, collard greens)

6. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, and then simmer to low-medium heat for 30 minutes

7. Pour lamb and vegetables soup in food processor and pulse until half pureed, then add to acorn squash halves and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes at 350 deg F.

Pureed Beet Soup

Pureed Roasted Beet Soup

Yield:  6-8 cups

1 small yellow onion (or half a large onion)

2-3 tbsp coconut oil

1 lb red or gold beets (washed, roasted, and peeled)

1/2 pound potatoes (use variety: red, golden, purple)

1 lb carrots (Rainbow carrots are always fun for kids to chop with their sunburst array of color!)

1 stalk celery or 1/2 lb brussel sprouts (You choose, or better yet have your child choose)

1 quart (32 oz) of vegetable broth (or chicken broth)

1-2 tsp herbamare

sprigs of cilantro or parsley

Protein options:  1 cup hempseed protein, 1/2 pound chicken or lamb



1. Wash beets, carrots, potatoes, celery  and/or brussel sprouts and then roast in oven up to 375 deg F.  Smaller beets take about 30 minutes, but larger beets may take an hour.  I usually roast everything together to make the soup quicker.

2.  Saute onions in a large stainless steel or ceramic pot with the coconut oil. If adding chicken or lamb, then sauté with onions for approximately 8 minutes.

3. then add beets, carrots, potatoes, celery and/or brussel sprouts and vegetable broth for 30 -40 minutes.  Add 1-2 tsp herbamare to taste.

3. Once finished, put your “beet stew” in a food processor and puree.  If not using chicken or lamb, then add hempseed protein into food processor with “beet stew” to mix in for pureed texture.

4. After serving in bowls, you may add coconut milk  as garnish with a sprig of cilantro or parsley


Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Yield: 4 cups


  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1.5-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • coconut whipped cream, for garnish

1. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the milk, oats, and chia seeds. Place in fridge for 1 hour or preferably overnight.

2. Add soaked oat mixture to blender along with the pumpkin, molasses, frozen banana, and spices. Blend until smooth. Add about 5 ice cubes and blend until ice cold.

3. Add maple syrup to taste. I found 1.5 tbsp was perfect for me.

4. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding


Chocolate Avocado Pudding:


1 ripe avocado

1/2 frozen banana (fun tip:  peel the banana, slice up, and throw into freezer container)

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp stevia powder

1/3 – 1/2 cup coconut milk (fun fact: the less milk the thicker the pudding)


Place avocado, banana, cocoa powder, stevia powder, and milk into blender and VOILA!  Yummy delicious chocolate avocado pudding.

Tip: You can add protein powder or other powdered and liquid supplements to the chocolate avocado pudding and it’ll mask the taste!!!

Making a lifestyle change for the whole family

Often, I see families who need to make a dietary change for the child. However, it becomes difficult if the child is diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Trying to cook different meals for the family and the child can become cumbersome and lead to burn out quickly.

To avoid this is simple: Make the change for the whole family. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely avoid the food in your home, but cook meals that doesn’t single your child out (especially when they have a sibling that doesn’t have any food allergies or sensitivites). This will make the transition easier on the child.

So please check out the recipes page of this blog. The recipes posted are meant to be quick and easy, as well as kid-proof!

If need more help, there is a great blog article on tips and suggestions: