Friday, February 20, 2009

Heart Healthy February

Share it Please
      Happy February everyone! I hope the chill of winter is beginning to lift for most of you. I know the weather here has been gorgeous the past several weeks with only one or two days of dreariness. February always seems to be a busy month with people buzzing with the knowledge of spring just around the corner start escaping from the closed doors of winter. Many new developments have already happened this month - I have been doing more research on the link between Dermatitis Herpetiformis and iodine and have found some interesting things to share about that. Also, I just got in the mail my first shipment from an awesome online grocery store and things in the kitchen have been going well, too. I have been testing out new recipes and trying to do some sort of meal planning to make things a little easier on me when I get home at 2AM from work. I have been working on a few things for the Etsy shop, too when I get some down time (haha).

Goats to the Rescue?

      Recently on the internet I have been hearing some buzz about genetically modified goats that are producing human proteins in their milk so that medicines can be made from these collected proteins. Poking around a bit, I found that there are several different places around the globe that are using goats for this purpose. An ABC news article explains how at the UC Davis campus researchers have been able to make goats produce lysozyme, a protein that fights bacteria, in their milk. They never actually state the purpose of the drug they are making, but they do reference third world childhood disease in the article. This same article also references, but does not name, other drugs that are being made from a different set of goats that prevents clotting of the blood. This anti-clotting drug is being made for patients who lack antithrombin due to a genetic condition according to this article from the Washington Post.

      By far the most interesting article I found on this topic must be this one from the Telegraph. The article tells of a similar goat farm outside of Moscow that is trying to get a high level of a protein found in human milk, lactoferrin, from goat milk. The benefits of this would be broad – from helping women who have difficulty breastfeeding to treating cancers and digestive disorders. The last paragraph was what I found particularly interesting - the author casually mentions how similar studies are going on in China and Netherlands. I suppose it just strikes me as odd that the food industry is making a big deal about not having ingredients made with GMO (non-Genetically Modified Organisms), but the drug industry is promoting genetically modifying goats to make drugs. While I realize there is a potential good side to all of this testing and experimenting, it does leave me wondering why one side says go for it and the other says stay far away?

Dermatitis Herpetiformis and Salt

      I've read several forum posts at the boards relating salt and iodine intake to dermatitis herpetiformis or DH. Iodine is needed to produce the actual skin reaction of DH and the theory is that the less iodine you consume the less outbreaks of DH you will have. This sounded crazy at first but the more I researched it and the more I found that supports this idea, the more convinced I became. I've been using less salt for about a week now and I must say that I do notice a difference. I'm not itching everyday like I was and when I do it seems much less intense than before. I'm hoping to continue to see improvements in this area. I've been dealing with fairly constant DH outbreaks for the last two years as I'm incredibly sensitive to gluten and casein. (The carpet shampoo in my new apartment actually set off DH on my feet for the first few days we were here!) I've gone to no dairy even after losing my first loves, cheese and ice cream, so what should be so hard about cutting out the salt? I
do not really loose anything from cutting it out other than the pleasure of the taste. There are plenty of salt substitutes out there and the good news is that I've just recently fallen in love with one of them. Bragg's Liquid Aminos is a natural salt replacement and tastes wonderful to boot! I've been going a little nuts with it and using it in nearly everything. This will certainly be a challenge, though – much more so than going gluten and dairy free has been. I thought gluten was in everything, but salt really is in almost everything. I will be sure to keep updates on things that do give any sort of relief to DH – I know the nightmare it can be! For some good tips, check the forums for DH at!

Online Grocery Store (that is actually worth it!)

      A few days ago, the boyfriend and I got in our first order from, an online grocery store based out of Tuscon, AZ. We ordered right around $100 worth of groceries and got over 15 pounds of dry goods including nuts, cereal, quinoa, black and anasazi beans. We also purchased regular groceries such as apple sauce, gluten free bread and pasta, pudding mixes, a few canned goods and various glutenous items for the boyfriend. I was impressed with the quality and the wide selection they offer for the gluten-free diet. The site even offers cleaning products with labels you can read making it less likely to get glutened from your cleaning supplies.
      What I'm hoping to accomplish with these online orders is to purchase primarily bulk items as needed and visit the grocery store only for the produce we need. Hopefully some of this will be supplemented by the farm subscription and any patio gardening we do.

Glutened From Tea!

      Scouring the vending machine at work while famished the other day, I paid $1.70 (!) for a bottle of Lipton's White Tea with Raspberry to try out. Bad idea. Less than half way through the bottle I was light headed with a horrible headach
e and the beginning of hives. I contacted the company when I got home that night and they responded with the following email:

“Hello Patricia,

Thanks for stopping by!

Gluten is found in wheat rye, barley, and oats.

Because our products are formulated for use by the majority of our consumers, and not specifically for those on restricted diets, it is possible our product formulations may change at any time. As a result, we cannot provide a list due to several factors:

- Lists of this type reflect products as formulated at a specific time
- Possible that more products/varieties may have been added
- More important, changes in existing products may have occurred

Therefore, we suggest reading all ingredient labels carefully.

We hope this information is helpful.
Your friends at Lipton”

Thanks for nothing, Lipton. Too bad I'll never buy another Lipton product with 'natural flavors' on the label.

A Recipe or Two

      First off, I wanted to s
hare where I found the Mung Bean Flatbread recipe I posted earlier on the site. I could not find the source at the time of posting and had just gone from memory. I had suggested the recipe to a coworker and she reported the recipe I gave her came out a little wet, a problem that I have since ran into a couple times. This has led me to track that recipe down and share it with you so that you can enjoy it.
      Valentine's weekend I made a pot of white bean chili that lasted until noon the next day. The boyfriend and I ate and nearly all the company we had ate some, too. It went pretty fast and being it was such a hit, I wanted to share the recipe.

White Bean Chili

1 c Dried White Beans, soaked overnight or all day
1 chopped onion
3 stalks celery sliced finely
3 medium carrots chopped
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 stock cube
3 cloves garlic minced
oil for frying

Boil white beans for around 45 minutes with stock cube before starting pan for frying vegetables. Heat large frying pan with oil over medium high heat and add onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables become tender and slightly browned. Transfer vegetable mixture, garlic and tomatoes to beans and continue to boil another 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot with favorite gluten free crackers or toast.

1 comment :

  1. Hmm... so Lipton isn't all "natural" like they say on the label? Screw 'em. I would prefer to know exactly what I'm buying before I've already bought the darn thing only to find out that it's filled with a bunch of buffers and fillers. Can't say I like the taste of their products anyway.



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