Category: Microbiome & Science

This category contains posts that talk about science as related to food as well as the gut microbiome and it’s importance in our health as well as food choices.

“Healthified” Taco Night | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Gluten-free Taco Night! I really love using ground bison more than ground beef in recipes.  It’s leaner and doesn’t contain added hormones or antibiotics.  I talk a little more about red meat and our gut bacteria below. We’ve made shepherd’s pie with it, bison enchilada soup, and even Cajun dirty rice.   And love it on taco night! So even though tacos are a pretty simple thing to make – I wanted to share some of the gluten-free taco products I’ve come to love over the years, too.   And how we’ve “cleaned up” this Tex-Mex favorite. So here is basically what we need to make a taco gluten-free and a little bit healthier.   Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Taco Shells So not all taco shells...

Yogurt-Milk-Vegetables-Fruits-Plants-Flora

Weekly Menu High in Dietary Fiber #glutenfree #feedthegutbugs

A Weekly Menu High in Dietary Fiber I wanted to put together a weekly menu high in dietary fiber that is also gluten-free.  But still using our favorite comfort food recipes. Just made a little healthier and cleaner.   First, I want to sum up some of the research and information I’ve been studying while reading The Good Gut by the Drs. Sonnenburg.   They are a husband and wife team at Stanford that have researched gut microbiota for years.  They share so much information and research about our gut microbiota in this book.   It is crazy how important gut microbiota are and how intricately they are linked to our immune system and brain. We need to feed them lots of dietary fiber (much more...

“Healthified” Fried Chicken Salad | Gluten-Free, Goat’s Milk

This is a healthier version of fried chicken on a salad with veggies and lots of dietary fiber. The dressing is made from goat’s milk yogurt and organic Ranch seasonings. Fried Chicken Salad with Ranch Dressing I think it might be one of my very favorite things. Fried chicken on a salad with ranch dressing was one of my go-to orders at Whataburger. I don’t know if they even serve them anymore. But we make them at home now – just a much healthier gluten-free version with our super tasty fried chicken tenders. We use goat’s milk yogurt and a ranch spice blend to make the dressing instead of bottled ranch because it is better for our gut health.   I love using goat’s milk...

Healthified Stuffed Peppers | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Healthifying A Classic Comfort Food – Stuffed Peppers Today’s recipe is a healthier version of a classic comfort food staple – stuffed peppers.   Along with details of the things we change to clean it up.  Where the food comes from and what may be lurking along plays a role.   But first, let’s talk about the gut microbiome and lentils.  Because we are adding lentils to everything now! We add a lentils to our Healthified fried chicken salad or use them in a batch of home cooked black beans. As you know, I’m obsessed with the gut microbiome and how it is linked to the immune system.   Read more and dietary fiber, prebiotics and probiotics in my post here. I’m reading The Good Gut...

Leftover Pork Tenderloin Salad | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

I love to mix up textures in salads but also get as much color as I can for the variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber.  Eat the rainbow indeed! Leftover Pork Tenderloin Salad One of my favorite dinners is Apple Cider Brined Pork Tenderloin.  It is so lean and clean and flavorful.   I make an apple cider from organic apple juice then create a brine to marinate two large pork tenderloins overnight.   We’ll have one for dinner with roasted organic apples and carrots and some kind of greens.  Then I save the other one to use in a leftover pork tenderloin salad the next day. The pork has such a delicious wonderful apple flavor that I love to add fruit...

MTHFR & The Weekly Menu Sept. 18, 2017

MTHFR! Hi all!  Well as it turns out I have a few gene variants that would account for why I am so sensitive to chemicals, why I have been driven to eat so clean, and why changing so many things over the years has helped my health improve (filtered water, no chemical cleaners, concrete floors, using glass instead of plastic, and all the food stuff…).   As it turns out I am heterozygous for both MTHFR C677T and A1298C.  I also have several genotypes predisposing me to Celiac disease.  And several other variants affecting my metabolism.  And I’m positive for Factor V Leiden. The only thing I can’t identify with my SNP information are the HLA markers associated with mold/lyme biotoxin CIRS per Dr. Shoemaker.  I’ll need...

Glyphosate & The Weekly Menu Sept. 11, 2017

Let’s Talk About Glyphosate This week I want to talk a little more about glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Round-Up) and GMOs. Glyphosate is designed to kill weeds and normally sprayed on genetically modified  organisms (GMOs) who are modified to be resistant to it.  In this case plants like corn, soy, and beet sugar. Glyphosate targets and blocks an essential pathway in plants, fungi and bacteria (but not mammals) leading to the eventual death of those organisms.    Specifically, it inhibits the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthetase (EPSPS). This enzyme plays a critical role in the Shikimate pathway.  That pathway synthesizes the amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan.  When EPSPS is inhibited by glyphosate, these amino acids are no longer made available for biological function....

The Weekly Menu Sept. 4, 2017

Menu Planning Based on My Genetic Variants Well friends, we now have our genetic test results from 23andMe. And I do have two gene variants that are linked to Celiac disease.   I’m not at all surprised that I also have the MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) C677T genetic variation on one of my chromosomes (heterozygous). My initial understanding of this MTHFR variant is that it prevents the body from flushing toxins well.  Perhaps this is why I am so sensitive to chemicals, pesticides, environmental exposures, and processed food.   Why I have to eat so clean to feel okay. This week I plan to refine my diet and start menu planning for better health goals based on my genetic variants and metabolic function. I ran a program from...

Thanksgiving Weekly Menu 2016 | Gluten-Free

Hi all!  How is it already time for Thanksgiving again?  Wow!   We haven’t cooked a turkey the last few years but I’m actually looking forward to doing it again this year.   One of the things my mom taught me before she died was how to cook an entire Thanksgiving feast.  We do it a little different now because of my dietary restrictions and sensitivities, but I’m excited to feel good enough to cook a big meal again.   Then enjoy the leftovers for a few days!  And watch some football. One of the positives for me this year, for which I am very grateful, is the overall improvement in my health – especially my gut health.   We’ve recently started drinking Kombucha for...

The Weekly Menu May 23, 2016

Weekly Menu Time + Some GMO Stuff Summer time is here and I’m looking forward to all that wonderful summer fruit!  This is my last week off before starting back at JHU.  This session I’ll be taking Protein Bioinformatics and Molecular Phylogenetic Techniques.   I love science so much and I’m honestly very excited.  I’ve been cooking up a storm during my break and restocking the freezer and pantry. Eating well and exercising. So we’ve been avoiding food likely to be sprayed with glyphosate, like corn and soy products.   But now it is also being sprayed on non-GMO foods such as wheat and apparently some oats.   Quaker oats is getting sued for the “all natural” label on the packaging because it contains trace amounts of...