Archive for Nutrition

Dairy-free living

It has been 3 months now since I’ve been dairy-free. My infant son has a cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) and because I am committed to nursing him, I have cut all dairy out of my diet. It was hard at first, but I can say that my cravings have significantly subsided now. That’s pretty amazing since I was a huge dairy consumer — milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, and hard cheeses. Yes, cheese has been the most difficult item to go without. There’s just no substitute close to smoked gouda. Mmm. At any rate, I wanted to share some dairy-free resource for anyone else who might be in the same boat. I hope you find them useful. I also plagodairyfreen to share dairy-free recipes this month. Stay tuned.

Informative Websites
Go Dairy Free
No Milk
Whole Foods Market

The Spunky Coconut
Avoiding Milk Protein
The Milk Free Life
Ashley’s Dairy-free cooking

Go Dairy Free
The Milk-Free Kitchen: Living Well Without Dairy Products
Levana Cooks Dairy-Free


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Indian Fare


I’ve discovered something delightful — Indian Fare from Trader Joe’s! The small little box contains a pouch of Indian food, in this case Punjab Choley, that serves two. You drop the foil pack into boiling water for 3 minutes, take it out, rip off the top and then dump it into a bowl. Punjab choley is well spiced with ginger, garlic, cardamom, and cloves to name just a few. A serving is 210 calories, 8g of fat (0 sat fat & 0 trans fat), 6g of dietary fiber, 0 sugar, and 7g protein and the cost per box is $2.19. For that price, great taste, and good nutritional choice, I’m sold!

Now, you’ll notice that another brand is featured in the photo. It’s Truly Indian. Our grocery store (Safeway) sells it and it is the TJ’s equivalent of Punjab choley. It, too, is tasty, but is a degree hotter and costs significantly more. Truly Indian was on sale for $3.49.

Having a newborn at home and not getting out much for some tasty treats, this is a great addition to my afternoon chicken caesar salad. On other occasions, I’ve added sauteed zucchini, tomatoes, and chicken to it for a complete meal. No matter how you prefer it, give Indian Fare a try if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby. Mmm!

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Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here’s my recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Not only do they contain significantly less sugar and fat than most recipes, but I have added a good deal of fiber. I have played around with these ingredients for a couple of years, working to perfect the recipe. Please let me know what you think.


1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. almond meal
(I grind my own with a food processor)
1/4 c. oat bran
1/4 c. flaxseed meal
1/4 c. wheat germ
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1  1/2 sticks butter
(or 3/4 c. of crisco for those with a dairy allergy)
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1/4 c. sugar substitute
2 c. chocolate chips
(Sunspire chips are dairy free)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients except the sugars. Set aside. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread onto jelly roll pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Or for cookies, drop onto pan and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

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Have you heard about Teeccino — a caffeine-free alternative to coffee? I just tried a cup of Maya Caffe and it was delicious. You might be wondering what the big deal is since coffee comes in two forms — caffeinated and decaffeinated. The problems associated with caffeine are well known. It’s the decaf that carries some concerns that aren’t as well known, in addition to the fact that decaf isn’t completely decaffeinated. For reasons why one might want to eliminate decaf, click here. pr-3-hr2

So what is Teeccino? It is a blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted to taste like coffee. You brew it in your coffee maker. No new gadgets required. Teeccino also claims health benefits. According to their website, Teeccino is

  • Naturally caffeine-free – no processing, no chemical residues
  • High in heart-healthy potassium
  • Natural energy boost – from nutrients, not stimulants
  • Alkaline – helps reduce acidity and restore alkaline balance
  • Rich in inulin, a soluble fiber in chicory root, that helps improve digestion and elimination plus increases the absorption of calcium and minerals

If you want to give Teeccino a try, you can purchase their sampler which includes all ten of their flavors, from their site. Most local health food stores carry Teeccino as well. Give it a go. What I tasted was delicious.

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Organic Strawberries

It’s strawberry season! We all love strawberries in my house which is why we recently set out to a local farm to pick our own. They were good — much better than the “woody” store bought ones. Then we ran out. The grocery store had organic strawberries on sale, so I grabbed them. (Strawberries are one of the dirty dozen, you know.) Oh my! The flavor was better than the hand picked ones from our local farm. Wow! They were gone in a day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Buying organic isn’t just to avoid pesticides and save the environment. Organic produce often tastes better. Well-balanced organic soil grows stronger, healthier plants that taste better and contain more nutrients. At any rate, this isn’t the first time organic has tasted better than conventional produce, but I was quite frankly shocked that the organic ones were better than our local farm’s strawberries, which were eaten right from the plant, rather than a few days later. So, if organic strawberries are on sale at your local supermarket, give ’em a try. Or maybe you shouldn’t — you’ll be hooked for life!

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Breakfast of Champions — Feeding My Toddler

I love to cook and come up with new recipes, especially in order to make them healthier while still maintaining taste. Cooking for my son is no exception! Because experts recommend that babies eat iron fortified cereal starting around 6 months (source) and because only 4 T. of it gives them 45% of their daily iron intake, I have felt pretty good about spending the money on those expensive little boxes of Earth’s Best Oatmeal for my son. Now that’s he’s 18 months old and he doesn’t need the consistency of the baby cereal, not to mention that he’s now eating almost everything, I make him a homemade oatmeal concoction that even Grammy loves. I still use ingredients with iron in them, but not the same amount, of course. (He likes peas and spinach and other sources of iron, so I’m not concerned about his iron intake.). And I must say, my oatmeal goodness is much cheaper than those little yellow boxes! Here it is if you’d like to try it out.

Oatmeal Goodness

1/4 c. cooked oats groats (I get it at our local co-op; contain small amt. of iron)

1/2 mashed banana

1/4 c. plain, whole milk yogurt (I use Stoneyfield Farms)

1 T. flaxseed meal

2 T. wheat germ (= 0.5 mg of iron)

1 T. cinnamon

organic whole milk to desired consistency (I use Horizon Organic Ultra-Pasteurized)

Combine and heat for 30 seconds. Serve warm.


* I cook my oats groats once a week. I use 1 c. dry oats groats to 4 c. water. Simmer on the stove for 45 minutes or until water is soaked up (just like you cook rice).

* If our bananas go bad before I can use them, I peel and halve them and freeze. They defrost easily in the microwave. That way I always have bananas nearby to use in our Oatmeal Goodness.

* I store the flaxseed meal in the freezer and the wheat germ in the fridge.

* Buy the Ultra-Pasteurized whole milk because it lasts much longer. Well, that is, unless you like drinking whole milk, too. Ew!

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The Best Breast Milk

I came across an interesting article in a current women’s magazine. According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, moms who ate more organic meat and dairy had higher levels of a fatty acid called CLA. CLA has been shown to boost immune systems in newborns and decrease the risk for eczema. You can read more about it here.

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