Some of the world’s finest discoveries have been made by accident when something went “wrong” with the original plan. This recipe is no different. 😉
One night while making sushi, I unintentionally ripped off the corner of a stack of Nori, and it wasn’t possible to create sushi rolls. My husband suggested that we just throw all of the components together to make a bowl, so that's what we did. Yum! What a great way to get protein, veggies, whole grain, and beneficial fats all in one place. I know I'm not the first to make a sushi bowl, but it's the first time I've made it at home and it's added some variety to dinner. It’s also less work than making rolls, which is kind of nice. My favorite part is the ginger and wasabi dispersed throughout the dish, with bites of Nori in between. The raw veggies add such a wonderful lightness to the dish and cut the spiciness of the wasabi. We’ve made it several times since, and it’s fun to switch up the veggies and protein a little bit each time. Enjoy!
Makes 3-4 Servings.
Concerned about too much Arsenic in rice? Soaking it overnight and cooking it with extra water can reduce the Arsenic content by up to 82%. Here’s more about that.
Instructions: Layer bowl with rice, protein, raw veggies, and fats. Top with small pieces of Nori, pickled ginger, wasabi, and tamari or liquid aminos, as desired. Stir together and enjoy!
This article can also be found on Naturopathic Pediatrics.
My baby is exclusively breastfed and has never eaten solids, but seems to react to my milk. What could be causing it?
Proteins from the foods you eat are passed to your baby through your breastmilk and may be causing an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction. The foods that most commonly cause these reactions in young children are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, gluten, soy, tree nuts, corn, fish, and shellfish. The allergies show up as digestive issues, skin rashes, and respiratory concerns, and often with multiple symptoms at once.1,2 If you or close family members have food allergies, your baby is more likely to have them as well.2
This post will provide you with resources to eliminate allergenic foods from your diet to find out if they’re causing your little one discomfort. Later you will test the foods to see if your baby has outgrown the reaction. Most babies outgrow these early food reactions somewhere between the ages of 1-3.1,2 We recommend doing the Elimination / Challenge Diet under the supervision of a Naturopathic Doctor, as we are extensively trained and experienced in the areas of diet and nutrition.
There are different types of immune reactions your baby might be having when reacting to allergenic foods. The rarest, but most serious, is a true allergy (IgE-mediated), which happens within 2 hours of eating and can result in anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition. More commonly, it is a delayed sensitivity reaction that causes Gastrointestinal symptoms like loose stools, diarrhea, bloody stools, constipation, abdominal pain (colic), vomiting, and reflux.2 Sensitivity reactions occur within a couple of hours to a couple of days of exposure to an allergenic food. While they are not life-threatening, sensitivity reactions can increase inflammation in the gut, alter the immune cells of babies, and increase Immunogloblin G (IgG) for the specific foods.2,3,4 Read our great article about the different types of allergic and sensitivity reactions for more details.
Symptoms of food allergies and sensitivities:
Why does everyone think the problem is dairy?
When you talk about your baby’s Colic, Eczema, or Ear Infections to friends and family, they might suggest that dairy is causing the issue. The reason for this is that Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA) is the most common food allergy in young children, and has been studied more than any other food allergy. Approximately 2-8% of formula-fed babies and 0.5% of breastfed babies experience Cow’s Milk Allergy.5,6,7 Since food allergies are on the rise and are believed to be under-reported and under-diagnosed, these numbers may actually be higher.1,8 In breastfed babies, the most common symptoms of a milk allergy are eczema and bloody stools.2,6,10 Removing dairy from your diet is the best way to find out if it’s causing your baby’s problem and will provide the quickest relief if it is. But more on that in a bit.
Most formulas on the market are made with dairy. Cow’s Milk Allergy is less common and less severe in breastfed babies than formula-fed babies, because they encounter fewer milk proteins in Mom’s milk than babies who drink actual cow’s milk in formula.2 Breastmilk remains the perfect and preferred food for your baby, so keep it up! Maintaining breastfeeding is the best way to prevent an allergy to cow’s milk. It also decreases the risk of developing other allergies and sensitivities by providing beneficial immune complexes and diverse gut flora.2,4
Dairy Foods: Milk, cream, ice cream, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, butter, casein or caseinate, and whey. Lactaid contains casein and whey, the allergenic proteins in milk, and should be avoided. Goat and sheep’s milk should also be avoided by a breastfeeding Mom during the elimination period.
FUN FACTOID: Cow’s Milk Allergy and Lactose Intolerance in young children are often confused, but Lactose Intolerance is extremely rare in kids under the age of 2. Young children have plenty of Lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the sugar Lactose, so that they can process all that yummy breastmilk.
What other foods could be causing it?
Other than dairy, the most common allergenic foods are eggs, peanuts, gluten, soy, tree nuts, corn, fish, and shellfish.5,6 At least 50% of kids with a milk sensitivity will react to one or more other foods in addition.9 Other foods known to aggravate babies’ sensitive tummies are onions, spicy foods, brassica vegetables, nightshades, citrus, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
What do I do now? The Elimination / Challenge Diet.
Removing potentially allergenic foods from your diet is the only way to know for sure if your baby is reacting to the foods you’re eating. It is also the quickest way to get your baby feeling well if she is indeed reacting adversely to foods. Breastfeeding Mama, I know you have lot going on right now! It pains me to think this process might add to the stress of caring for an infant. That said, it is so very important to remove all the allergenic foods at once in order to get your baby feeling better as quickly as possible. Remember that this is a temporary process that lasts about 5-8 weeks. One benefit is that once you’re done with the diet, you will know if you’re also reacting to these allergenic foods. This process might make you feel better, in addition to your baby!
If you have known food reactions but fell off the wagon with avoiding them during pregnancy, (GUILTY!) be sure to remove them from your diet even if they aren’t included on the elimination list. Since babies are exposed to Mom’s immune cells during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s possible your baby is reacting to the same foods as you.4,8
So, what is the Elimination / Challenge Diet? Our very handy e-book about the diet can be purchased here. It is meant to be used along with the guidance of a Naturopathic Doctor. The Elimination portion entails removing the most allergenic foods from your diet for at least a 2 week period. Most baby’s symptoms improve within 2 weeks, but sometimes it takes longer. If you don’t see improvement within 2-3 weeks, return to your Naturopathic Doctor to further work-up the issue and rule out causes other than a food reaction. Be VERY careful to continue to consume enough calories to maintain good breastmilk supply.
Foods to remove:
As you need sufficient fat and calories as a breastfeeding Mom, a restrictive diet like this can feel challenging. But it is doable! Check out this great article about a similar diet, which provides links to helpful recipes and pointers on getting through it. This article with Gluten Free, Dairy Free Snack Ideas is also a great resource.
Reintroducing the foods: The Challenge portion.
The Challenge part of the diet helps you figure out which food or foods are causing your baby’s symptoms and takes 3-4 weeks to complete. Look out for changes in your own body as well, as you might benefit from avoiding certain foods even when your baby outgrows his sensitivities. If your baby’s symptoms resolved within 2 weeks, you can start testing each of the allergenic foods individually. If her symptoms have improved but not resolved entirely, stick with the elimination portion for another 2 weeks.2,5 You will test one food at a time every other day until you’ve tested all of them. You will eat the allergenic food in its purest form (not mixed with any other ingredients) at all 3 meals on the day you test the food. Watch for symptoms in your baby similar to the ones you saw when she first reacted – most commonly GI, skin, and respiratory issues. If your baby reacts at the first or second meal on test day, do not eat the food again that day and remove it from your diet entirely. If your baby doesn’t react that day or the next day, add the food back into your diet. It’s helpful to keep a log about what you tested, when, and associated symptoms, as it can be a lot to keep track of.
If your baby still reacts to a food, strictly remove it from your diet for 6 months, at which point you’ll test it again.2,6 When the time comes, check with your doctor about if and when it’s appropriate to introduce an allergenic food as a solid to your child, as this varies from case to case.
Do not reintroduce foods to which your baby has a suspected or confirmed IgE allergy, as this can be dangerous. Consult with your doctor about the timing of reintroducing these foods, and if it should be done in a clinical setting.
What about Food Sensitivity Testing?
Testing for IgG sensitivities is not recommended in kids under 2.5-3 years old, as their immune systems are just too immature to produce accurate results.3 The good news is that Mom can undergo sensitivity testing, which can be very helpful in a situation like this. While it has some drawbacks, I do a lot of Food Sensitivity Testing in my practice and find it helpful in detecting reactions to foods not included in the elimination diet. The complete Elimination / Challenge diet combined with Food Sensitivity Testing provides the most information about which foods to avoid and is the ideal approach, when possible.
When will it go away?
Hang tight! Most kids outgrow their sensitivities by 3 years of age. If your child has a true allergy to a substance, it may take longer to outgrow it, but most do by age 16.2 Food allergies and sensitivities can be complicated to navigate. Find a practitioner – ideally a Naturopathic Doctor – who you trust to guide you through it. And don’t forget to check out our Elimination / Challenge guide, which includes step-by-step instructions for the diet.
It's that time of year again when patients come in STRESSED to the max. Each year, I watch as my patients - disheveled, broke, and tired - come in for help managing stress, diet, immune health, anxiety, and depression. Winter is already the perfect storm for feeling blue and getting sick; we exercise less, get less sun, less fresh air, eat poorly, and are burdened with the stress of "the most wonderful time of the year."
Each year I wonder:
I think most people would answer Yes. That it's all worth it to have that ideal holiday we've recreated from our childhood memories. Studies show that women are more likely to experience holidays blues, because we are usually the ones taking on shopping, party planning, card-writing, etc. While I remember my Mom - a single Mom - being so stressed out that we were tip-toeing around her by Christmas, I remember more just how special she made it, just how much she went out of her way to spoil us on that one day of the year. Most people consider it worth it despite the potentia l agony of the season.
So, how to buffer yourself from this crazy time of year?
Depression & Anxiety: If you are feeling blue, please know that you're not alone! And you're not a Scrooge if you don't enjoy December - you are reacting normally to societal expectations that are not normal. Thankfully, most people do not overeat, overspend, and overplan year-round, so remember that this crazy time of year is temporary. If you are having a hard time with lack of daylight, consider using a sunlamp, which studies have shown help not only with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but also with routine Depression. Recognize when your Depression or Anxiety is too much to handle alone. Psychology Today has a great search tool for finding a therapist near you and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24 / 7: 1-800-273-8255.
Diet: Eat 3 meals per day during this time to aid in balancing your blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes and crashes, such as what our bodies go through when we eat too many carbs, can contribute greatly to fatigue and mood issues. Make a game of balancing out the sweets: for every cookie, eat a handful of nuts, veggies, or protein to help prevent a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out the toxins of bad food and too much eggnog and helps in preventing colds and flus.
Exercise: Don't forget to move a bit. Walking around the mall counts! Can't afford a gym membership? Work out at home with videos on YouTube or other free sites. I love Yoga with Adriene on YouTube for short relaxing yoga videos.
Acupuncture: People who get it regularly come to crave Acupuncture for the deep relaxation it can provide. Acupuncture reduces stress and helps regulate mood and sleep. We offer Acupuncture at our office and talk more about its benefits in this article.
Finances: Consider making home-made gifts, limiting your gift-exchange to just the most important members of your family (partner, parents, kids), or bartering.
Supplements: This section could go on infinitely, but I've included just a few supplements for managing stress and mood:
Self-care is a must in this hectic whirlwind world of ours. Before our recent move, I had self-care scheduled into my days regularly. Wild that it's come to that, isn't it? We must schedule relaxation and self-care, because if we don't, it probably won't happen. But I'm okay with scheduled relaxation, because I NEED it. We all do.
I'm still on the lookout for a new Chiropractor and Acupuncturist and other supportive practitioners, and since outdoor exercise has gone to Florida with the snowbirds, I've been doing short yoga videos to break up the day and get some exercise. I'm at home with my toddler part-time right now, which is an enormous blessing, but starting up a new business, still kinda wrapping up an old one, settling into a new place, and taking care of a toddler is...er...challenging.
Most days, the practice is abandoned halfway through when my 14-month-old son leaves the room or otherwise needs my attention. Some days, he gets very excited that I'm hanging out on the floor with him doing fun stretches and he takes it as an opportunity to crawl on me or nurse or just snuggle, which is therapeutic in itself. Occasionally, I get to do the entire practice uninterrupted while he plays by himself or with the cat or his Dad. But no matter the outcome, I take comfort in the video playing in the background in the chaos of life, reminding me to breathe, sit with my body, and take a little break. Even if I only get in a few minutes, I always feel better like a better version of myself afterward.
What Do you Do for Self-Care?
PS Found this great article and picture looking for the perfect image for this post
We offer an array of Vitamin Shots to address a variety of conditions. The shots are minimally painful and are given in the gluteus or deltoid muscle. Since the nutrients are absorbed through blood vessels in your muscles, malabsorption issues in the gut can be bypassed and higher quantities of nutrients absorbed than when you take a similar product orally. This method of vitamin delivery is especially useful for people with chronic gastrointestinal conditions, people with known absorption issues, and for those with lower dietary intake of B vitamins, such as vegans and vegetarians.
Most of our shots contain vitamin B12, a nutrient that is utilized by almost every biochemical process in the body. Try a basic B12 shot or a B Ready Plus Shot, which includes B12, B Complex, and Folate. Have a Methylation issue? Don't worry, we use only the active forms of B12 (Methylcobalamin) and Folate (Methyl Folate) in our injections.
We have shots for weight loss and hormone balancing and also offer combination homeopathic formulas to enhance the immune system, aid with muscle pain, and reduce joint pain. Injections are $25 each and these appointments last just a few minutes.
Vitamin Shots Treat:
Genetic testing can be useful for identifying the root cause of certain conditions and guiding treatment choices. MTHFR Mutation is a condition where the enzyme MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase) functions at a much lower rate than normal. Without adequate functioning of this enzyme, a biochemical process called Methylation is limited and effected individuals can't make the active forms of Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid very well. Without proper forms of these vitamins in adequate doses, a vast array of conditions can manifest, including Cardiovascular Disease, Fatigue, Infertility, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, ADHD, and more. Treating the mutation is relatively straightforward. It simply requires taking the active forms of the vitamins, either through a Multivitamin or a Methyl B Complex. Conventional B complex formulas such as those found at pharmacies and health food stores do not contain the proper form of these vitamins and may worsen some conditions.
Once the nutritional deficiency is corrected, most people feel better within a few weeks and some even experience complete resolution of their symptoms. It is estimated that 40-50% of people have MTHFR and the vast majority doesn't know they have it. Testing for this condition can be ordered by your physician and is usually covered by insurance. This genetic testing is especially important for people who are at increased risk of having lower levels of B vitamins, such as vegans and vegetarians, and people taking pharmaceuticals. In the event that you haven't been tested, all the Multivitamins we carry contain the active forms of B12 (Methylcobalamin, Adenosylcobalamin, or Hydroxycobalamin) and Folate (5-MTHF). Additionally, all of our Intramuscular Vitamin Shots are made with Methylcobalamin.
I recently came upon my Grandparents' engagement announcement and noticed this paragraph below it referencing a very potent insecticide. The year was 1946 and they were likely talking about DDT
(dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), which had been released for agricultural use in 1945. DDT was first studied by the American Military in 1942 and was used during World War II to combat malaria, typhus, and other insect-borne diseases. It was first touted as a miracle chemical for its supposed public health benefits. Little did they know how long this insecticide would persist in both the environment and in human tissue and how it would later be linked to endocrine disruption, reproductive issues, immune dysfunction, neurological conditions, and cancer. DDT was later classified by the EPA as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) and was banned for use in the U.S. in 1972, although we continue to produce and sell DDT to other countries.
DDT is only one example of the hundreds of toxic chemicals we're exposed to by simply living (and living simply?) on our planet. From pesticides and antibiotics in our food, fluoride in our water, pollutants in our air to chemicals in plastics and on our furniture, the knowledge that we are literally surrounded by toxins can be very overwhelming. And scary.
So, here are a few basics for every day detoxing and living as clean a lifestyle as possible:
Not only is exercise good for your mood and physique, but sweating eliminates toxins. Saunas are amazingly effective for sweating, as well.
With every exhale you are removing toxins that have accumulated in your lungs. Whether through meditation, yoga, exercise, or daily breathing exercises, breathing it out is a good thing.
Our kidneys, liver, and intestines are the filters for toxins, so flushing them out is incredibly important. This means drinking a sufficient amount of water (1/2 of your bodyweight in ounces per day) and having as many bowel movements per day as you do meals (yes, really!).
If you can eat all organic, please do so, but at the very least, avoid the dirty dozen - the produce that is exposed to the highest levels of pesticides. The complete list can be found on the Environmental Working Group's website.
Ditch the chemicals
All of them - including cleaning products, shampoo, cosmetics, soaps, and detergents. If they're not natural, they're bombarding your home and body with toxins which confuse your endocrine system, contribute to allergies, and suppress your immune system.
Detoxing is tough work and the body can use a boost to eliminate effectively and efficiently. Many of our Naturopathic modalities can help, such as botanicals, homeopathy, and acupuncture. Since everyone is different, talk to your doctor about the right herbs or remedy for your situation.
The art and science of Acupuncture has been perfected over the last 2,000 years. Ancient Chinese texts indicate they were carving needles out of stone and placing them in very specific points on the body for therapeutic benefit, just as is done today. Thankfully, modern-day needles are made out of stainless steel and are only about as thick as a strand of hair. These fine needles are placed in points along meridians that run through our bodies. To determine what points to use, the practitioner takes the pulse and looks at the tongue to make a Chinese Medicine diagnosis and then creates a treatment protocol based on each patient's individual presentation.
What can Acupuncture treat?
Does it hurt?
Needle-phobes can rest assured that being stuck with an Acupuncture needle is far less painful than having one's blood drawn or getting an IV. In phlebotomy and IV therapy, hallow needles are used so that a specimen may be collected or administered, whereas Acupuncture needles are solid and far thinner in size. When the needle is inserted you may feel a small pinch or nothing at all. Sometimes people feel movement of energy or blood through the meridians during treatment, which is normal.
What can I expect during the treatment?
On your first visit we will conduct an intake to review your health concerns and brief medical history. Then, needles will be placed on points that run along meridians, found throughout the body. Most of the needles will be placed on your hands, arms, lower legs, and feet, so it's important to wear loose, comfortable clothes to access these areas. Some needles may also be placed in your ears and head. Once the needles are in, you may move around slightly to scratch an itch or get into a more comfortable position, but it's best to stay still and use the session as an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. This will allow the needles to have the optimal effect. Some people sleep during their treatment, while others simply relax. Treatments last anywhere from 30-60 minutes.
Dr. Michelle Haff is a Naturopathic Doctor at Lilac Natural Medicine in Manchester, New Hampshire. Her practice focuses on Pediatrics, Infertility, GI Health, and Women’s Medicine. She is a Primary Care Provider for the whole family and loves treating kids from pre-conception into their teens, as well as adults of all ages.
Schedule with Dr. Haff at Lilac Natural Medicine.