How do you know you have a food allergy?

Which is it??

Food allergies are all around us. Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, meat free…

I’m only half kidding on the meat free one.

Food allergies are real; 15 million Americans have food allergies. While there is no denying the validity of food allergies, there is some misused labeling happening across the nation.

Some people are claiming to have “food allergies” when that’s not the case. What they could have is an intolerance or a sensitivity.

Food Allergies (1)

Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a food allergy is based on a reaction from the body’s immune system. This means that the body does not recognize an ingredient in the food, which is usually a protein, and the body attacks it, thus affecting organs and potentially creating serious reactions.

An intolerance to a particular type of food is a based on a reaction from the body’s digestive system. Upset stomachs, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea are common symptoms of a food intolerance.

*Food allergies are more serious and severe than a food intolerance*

Food Sensitivity

Going even further, there’s what is called a food sensitivity. Not many studies have been done on food sensitivities, but there is a main difference between a sensitivity, a food allergy, and an intolerance.

A food sensitivity is not an immune reaction, so it’s not an allergy. With most food sensitivities, the body has unpleasant reactions, including nausea or acid reflex, which is similar to a food intolerance.

 

greasy_food

Photo from: www.two-views.com

However, with a food intolerance, the reactions typically happen the same way every time after eating the food, not periodically or every once in a while, like it does with a sensitivity.

Now, that’s not to say that you have an intolerance to greasy food because it gives you heartburn. It’s because of the greasy food.

This is an area I’ll be learning a lot more about with first hand experience. I believe I have a food intolerance, but am not sure. I plan on getting it checked out within the next week. I’ll keep you all posted.

In the meantime….

Let’s get energized! 🙂

31 ways to use chia seeds in recipes

31 ways to use chia seeds in recipes

BuzzFeed is amazing. I’m sure many of you are over the whole Facebook quizzes fad (guilty of loving those), but I promise this is not a quiz.

The link I’m sharing with you will change your life. Okay, I’m being dramatic. My day was made when I stumbled upon this wonderful find though.

Check out 31 Healthy and Delicious Ways to Cook with Chia Seeds. There really are some great recipes in the list. I HAVE to try number 11.

Thanks, BuzzFeed, for making my day, yet again. If only you knew how much I enjoy thee…

 

Let’s get energized!

Chia pudding

I finally bought some chia seeds while in Florida, and, since they leave a dent in the wallet, I wanted to make use of them.

Chia seeds are the epitome of versatile (awesome Pinterest board!). You’ll spend hours searching the infinite recipes online. I found one that I thought was great, so I want to share it with you.

Let me introduce you to what’s bound to be your new go-to breakfast item: chia pudding.

It’s simple. It’s painless. It’s delicious. What’s better than that for breakfast?

The recipe, which I found on the lovely Domesticate Me, calls for ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen right now:

  • chia seeds
  • almond milk
  • yogurt
  • vanilla extract
  • maple syrup
  • kosher salt
  • fruit (optional)
  • granola (optional)
  • nuts (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)

My spin

I followed the directions for the most part. I used greek yogurt (Fage) and honey instead of maple syrup.

Here’s how it turned out…

 

Chia PuddingThis was before it was refrigerated over night.
Chia pudding with fruitThis was before I smashed it!

I ran out of time (and embarrassingly ingredients) to really go all out on toppings. It definitely could have used a crunch, but other than that it was extremely good. I’ll be making this again. And again. And again.

Let’s get energized! 🙂

“Nature’s Perfect Food”

Hemp seeds are called “nature’s perfect food.” Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or whatever diet is out there, you should be eating hemp seeds. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Hemp seeds contain all amino acids, even the essential amino acids our bodies need
  2. The ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 is 3:1, a great balance for optimal health
  3. There are 5 grams of protein in two tablespoons
  4. It is one of the most easily digestible form of protein
  5. Contains vitamin E and many minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous

 

pile of hemp seeds

photo credit: www.trulyorganicfoods.com

Isn’t hemp marijuana?

If marijuana came across your mind while reading this, you’re not the first one. When I saw hemp seeds in a recipe I was appalled.

Hemp is of a different species than marijuana. Most importantly, hemp contains very little of THC, the active ingredient that marijuana is known for.

No need to worry about drug tests. Eat up those hemp seeds!

Let’s get energized!

Coconut Pancakes

Last time I said I would try a coconut flour recipe and share how I did. Surprisingly, I’d say I did all right! 🙂

Since I was craving pancakes, this world wouldn’t be right if I didn’t make pancakes. So, to keep this world in proper balance, I made coconut pancakes. You’re welcome.

I found a recipe for coconut pancakes on the every famous and popular Nom Nom Paleo. My main reason using this recipe was its simplicity. Only 4 ingredients? SOLD!

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour (yes, that’s plenty!)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter

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It can’t get more simple than that!

Step 1: Measure out the flour, add the eggs and beat!

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Step 2: Add salt

Step 3: Melt tablespoon butter in pan

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I cooked my first pancake in butter, and my second pancake in coconut oil. There was a difference in taste. I’ll explain later.
Step 4: Pour in half the batter. Cook 2 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 minute

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The batter looks clumpy, see!^

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But they turned out fine, promise.

Step 5: Enjoy!

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This recipe makes 2 medium sized pancakes.

I suggest experimenting with different toppings for your pancakes. I had strawberries, obviously, and then I played with peanut butter and honey. Yummy.

The verdict

The pancakes turned out just fine, but I wasn’t completely impressed with the taste. They tasted bland and were a little dry.

The first pancake I made in butter tasted  like eggs and had more flavor. My second pancake was bland and dry. I suggest using butter, but play around and have fun.

Since I bought some coconut flour, I’m going to be making some more recipes. I don’t want this one to go to waste.

I’m not crafty or inventive enough to make my own recipes. Just to reiterate, this recipe was from Nom Nom Paleo. If you have any coconut flour recipes, please send them my way. I would love to try them!

Give this recipe a try and tell me what you think. I’m curious to know what other people think. Have fun!

Let’s go get energized!!!

Coconut flour

I was craving pancakes this past weekend. My only problem was that I wanted healthy… pancakes. Crazy, I know. Especially when I could have ate these lovely stacks a week ago (but I hate chocolate)!

made by a chef at the University of Akron

Made by a chef from Rob’s Cafe at The University of Akron

But, my craving for pancakes led my brain to inquire about the different types of flour possibilities to make those “healthy” pancakes. Of course I had absolutely none of them. (Typical, right?). Then I remembered I had coconut flour in my refrigerator…from a year ago…used once.

Now, before you judge me, let me explain myself. I was wanting to learn how to use coconut flour so I bought some. I made one recipe and then that was that!  Ha, so much for explaining myself…

I’ve talked about coconut oil and even pointed to a video about the many uses for coconut oil. So I knew I had to look into coconut flour.

Benefits:

  • Lots of fiber! 5 grams per 2 tablespoons to be exact*
  • Less fat than nut flours**

*based on Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
**I do not want this to come across that fats are bad. They’re not. They’re part of our daily macros.

Draw backs:

  • Not that much protein; 2 grams per serving.*
  • Tricky to substitute

*based on Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour

Quick tips on using coconut flour:

photo credit: healthyhomeschool.wordpress.com

photo credit: healthyhomeschool.wordpress.com

I’m going to try a recipe this weekend, and I will post on Sunday how it went. I can just predict your excitement and enthusiasm already- calm down! But I want to know, have you used coconut flour? If so, how did it turn out? What did you make? Tell me! 🙂

Also, I found these interesting and insightful pages on gluten-free flours. You should check them out!

Let’s get coconutty and get energized!