The Gluten Free Weekly Menu Nov. 9 #menuplanning

 Persian Kabobs

Hi everyone! So this has been a very exciting week. I interviewed for a job as a data curation scientist a few months ago and did not get the job. I could not pass the test. But I’m glad that I went through the process because it showed me that although I am somewhat qualified, I just don’t have the computer skills to do it. And it wasn’t something that I could learn on my own. So I looked for an online certificate to give me the skills to join this fast-paced and exciting field of gene annotation, genomics, bioinformatics, personalized medicine, gene counseling… Basically, to expand on my PhD in Biochemistry without having to work in a laboratory.

I applied to earn a Post Master’s Certificate in Sequence Analysis and Genomics from Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Advanced Academic Programs. The prerequisites were a 3.0 in all degrees and a background in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/PhD in Biochem… so I was extremely excited to qualify and be accepted into the program. I’m still so thankful that although my mom and grandma died while I was in college and it was so crazy – I managed to work hard enough to graduate with a 3.082!

And this week I registered for my first two classes: Intro to Bioinformatics and Practical Computer Concepts for Bioinformatics. It’s very expensive. But there are federal loans. We’ve been paying off my law school debt for years and we are basically adding that money back to the debt. But it is worth it because I believe in myself and so does my husband. My brain finally works again so it is time to make a better contribution to society.

I’ve started a patterned and disciplined approach to refresh my background knowledge and get used to studying again. It’s like academic training. At first it was a little rough because I’m rusty, but it gets easier every day. Daily exercise helps clear the head so I’m walking or rowing mid-day now instead of at night. And it doesn’t hurt that I just love science so much!

At the same time, we are really trying to clean up everything we eat. I’ve noticed a real difference now that we are pretty much eating only organic and mostly non-GMO (to avoid glyphosate in the food) and other chemicals. Meaning that my extremely sensitive digestive system works a little better for now until something else triggers a reaction.

A couple days ago, I read about a biotoxin pathway that occurs in certain individuals who lack the immune response to normally rid the body of the biotoxin after exposure. Dr. Richie Shoemaker has shown that about 24% of the population have an immune system that doesn’t remove biotoxins (from certain molds, ticks carrying Lyme, spider bites, blue-green algae…) properly from the body. In my opinion, this is a huge revelation with wide ranging impact!

On a personal note, it might be why after my toxic black mold exposure my immune system just kept getting worse (it’s been 10 years since the toxic mold exposure and a battle every day). Also, apparently non-celiac gluten intolerance is part of the cascade reaction and Dr. Fasano’s lab (the celiac disease experts) is looking into the research, too.

At some point I’m going to have my DNA analysis run and work with a knowledgeable doctor to figure this out. Meanwhile, I’m making a list of gene mutations and markers:

  • celiac disease: HLA-DQ8, HLA-DQ8
  • can’t eliminate biotoxins: HLA-DR (various mutations)
  • MTHFR

or perhaps it’s a microbiome imbalance in the gut, or some other crazy thing… we shall see. You can find the articles I think are interesting posted on Twitter and The Weekly Menu Facebook Page dispersed between food safety articles, weekly menus and recipes. Anyway, wish me luck on this exciting new adventure into the world of bioinformatics! #BackToSchool #Spring2016

Here is the organic, casein free, gluten free weekly menu for November 9:

Black Bean Soup

Meatless MondayBlack Bean Soup/Chili (I found dried organic black beans at Wheatsville and cooked up a huge batch to store in the freezer)

Cajun Chicken & Creamed Corn

TuesdayRoasted Chicken (using my new favorite spice blend of seasoned salt with turmeric and paprika, sumac, cayenne, oregano, chili powder and garlic powder – it’s amazing!); Jalapeno Creamed Corn (made with homemade coconut milk – recipe in The Weekly Menu Cookbook – on sale now, too); Avocado

PF Chang-y Lettuce WrapsWednesdayPF Chang-y Lettuce Wraps (we’re using Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce and wildflower local honey in the recipe for homemade hoisin sauce)

Asian Chicken SaladThursdayAsian Chicken Salad (using #glutenfree #nonGMO liquid aminos instead of soy sauce and organic edamame if we can find it or substitute organic snow peas)

Friday – Persian Kabobs with Basmati Rice (using grass-fed beef & lamb – recipe and tutorial from Persian Mama – I broil mine in the oven instead of grilling)

Chicken StewSaturday – ? Chicken Stew & Mashies

Salad NiçoiseSunday – Salad Niçoise with Deli Turkey; Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Deana Larkin Evans

Hi! I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I also create weekly menus to save time and money while reducing stress and food waste. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010 and dairy/casein-free (except for the occasional Parmesan or goat cheese) in 2014. I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course.

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1 Response

  1. That's so exciting!!! It's great how much you love science and learning!!