Category Archives: Nutrition

Gluten Freedom — An Essential Guide to Gluten Issues, with Recipes!

glufreeDuring the writing of my own book on cooking to nourish your archetypes, I read Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, Founder and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Given that many of my own recipes feature gluten-free alternatives, I was eager to read an expert’s version of the history of gluten-related illnesses and to learn more about the current state of treatment. Dr. Fasano’s book did not disappoint. The book contains a comprehensive review of the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, and also includes chapters on discussing leaky gut (you’ll get introduced to zonulin) as well as gluten’s influence on brain chemistry. Gluten Freedom also discusses new treatments and therapies, including enzyme therapy, a “celiac pill” treatment, and the possible development of a therapeutic vaccine. The book also talks about methods for prevention including delaying gluten introduction until one year of age, which is now being studied.

Taking the subject to a richer level of detail and creativity, Gluten Freedom also offers several recipes to remove gluten from the menu including all-time favorites like chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free scones. There is a charming chapter called “Dinner with Dr. Fasano” where we learn about the region, Campania, where Dr. Fasano spent his childhood. He then offers what sounds like a heavenly five-course meal of gluten-free specialties including Capri Salad featuring Mozzarella di bufala di Campania — the soft mozzarella cheese from the Dr.’s home region.

I like how this book provides comprehensive information on gluten issues including an appendix of apps for mobile phones as well as an extensive list for recommended reading. There are also some excellent practical features like a “Wheat Alert” table of menu items that contain wheat, and a stage-by-stage life guide for how to avoid gluten from cradle to grave.

After finishing the book, I was still left with a question, which I posed to the authors: “Is there any value in a low-gluten diet even if you don’t have gluten sensitivity? Does it help to diversify the grains we eat? If gluten calories are substituted with more fruits and vegetables, would that be better for overall health?”

Pam Cureton, one of the contributing writers for the book and a registered dietitian at the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment, responded:

“No, there is no advantage to following a low-gluten diet for those who tolerate gluten. There is, however, an advantage to eating more whole, natural foods and reducing the amount of processed foods to reduce unwanted levels of sodium, sugar, fats and extra calories. For people who tolerate gluten, these are the problem ingredients, not the wheat, rye or barley. Including these as whole grains along with other ancient grains, amaranth, millet, sorghum and others, would benefit everyone.”

I’m glad my own oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie recipe contains sorghum! Thanks, Pam! And thanks to Dr. Fasano and all the contributors to Gluten Freedom — helping us navigate this difficult health and dietary issue.

Link to Gluten Freedom on Amazon

Cooking for Emotional Wellness by Kiersten Marek Now Available

My new book is now available! Please visit the link below to learn more!

Cooking for Emotional Wellness by Kiersten Marek eBook – Lulu.

What Paleo Means to Me a non-dogmatic view – They Call Me Oystergirl

I may be more Paleo than I realized, based on this definition! Thanks to Rhode Island’s one and only Oystergirl, Vanessa Query.

What Paleo Means to Me a non-dogmatic view – They Call Me Oystergirl.

FRAT BOY and NUTS at the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market

From Steve Stycos:

 

Bob Fratanuono, that is! Rocky Ledge Farm (formerly Moosup River Farm) returns to the market this Saturday. After graduating from URI last year, Bob has more time to devote to the farm and so we will be seeing him for more of the season. This week he’ll be bringing greens and snap peas. Welcome back, Bob!

The Market Table will be offering samples of various nuts from the Virginia and Spanish Peanut Company. Stop by and take a taste.

Bernie will not be here this Saturday, but the market table will have his honey and honey sticks so you can stay locally sweet.

All our other usual vendors will be in attendance: Pak Express, Presto Strange O Coffee Truck, PV Farmstand, LeFavorite Bakery, Blue Skys Farm, The Local Catch, the Market Table (with products from Rhody Fresh, Terry’s Tasty Treasures and Virginia & Spanish Peanut Company), gC Farms, Beltane Farms, Baffoni Poultry Farm, Wedgewood Flowers and now Rocky Ledge Farm.

See you at the market.

Memorial Day Weekend at Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market

From Steve Stycos:

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, with its picnics, parades and the official opening of many summer recreational areas. Right here in Pawtuxet Village, we have the kick-off of the Gaspee Days celebrations with the Arts and Crafts Festival. But it is also a time to remember the all-too-many wars our nation has waged over the years, and especially the men and women who have died in those conflagrations. Many of them were farmers and small food producers who went to war to defend their way of life. We can honor their sacrifice by doing what we can to support those who carry on that heritage.

We’ve had a wonderful start to our outdoor season, with Baffoni Chicken joining our line-up as well as Terry’s Tasty Treasures. We now have a full complement of vendors to make our market a place where you can fill almost all your food needs:

Presto Strange O Coffee Truck: hot and cold beverages of the finest sort, bagged fair-trade coffee
Pak Express: Veggies. veggie starts, nime chow, eggs
PV Farmstand: Meats, especially boar, but also beef, lamb and poultry
LeFavorite Bakery: Breads, cookies, pies, pizza strips and other baked goods
Bernie B’s Honey
Blue Skys Farm: Greens, veggie and herb starts
The Local Catch: Fresh fish and shellfish, smoked fish
gC Farms: Veggie and flower starts, eggs
Beltane Farm: Goat cheeses and yogurt, goat milk
Baffoni Poultry: Fresh chicken
Wedgewood Flowers: Plants, veggie starts, eggs

Also, the Market Table has many local products to fill the gaps: Peanut butters, nuts and popcorn kernels from the Virginia and Spanish Peanuts Company, jams from Terry’s Tasty Treasures, and cheese and butter from Rhody Fresh. All the Rhody Fresh products are from RI dairy farms, whose cows are not treated with hormones. Special price on butter this week!

The Edgewood Community Garden at Cherry Woods (next to Edgewood Highlands School) still has plots available for this season. The fee is $20; gardeners are also expected to participate in communal work days twice a year. Contact Lisa Gibb at lisagibb2@verizon.net for further information.

See you at the market.

Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market Reopens This Saturday, May 10

From Steve Stycos:

Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market begins its 12th season this Saturday from 9 AM to 12 noon, at Rhodes-on-thePawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place (just off Broad St) in Cranston.

Just in time for Mothers Day, you will find all kinds of local goodies: veggie and herb starts, fish, spring greens, goat cheese, meat, nuts and peanut butter. We’ll also have market gift certificates available.

And NEW this year: Blue Skys Farm will be offering Small State Seeds, locally grown and packaged seeds from Scratch Farm in Cranston. They are chemical free and suited perfectly to our Rhode Island climate.

Our beginning line up of vendors includes:

Pak Express (produce, eggs, vegetable and herb starts)
PV Farmstand (meat)(Chuck roast London broil shoulder steak and eye of the round steaks all 1/2 price if pre ordered Chicken is frozen. Prices: pvfarmstand.com)
Bernie B’s Honey
LeFavorite Bakery (breads, pastries, cookies and other baked goods)
Blue Skys Farm (produce, herb and veggie starts, seeds and herbal products)
The Local Catch (fresh-caught and smoked seafood)
Beltane Farm (goat cheese, yogurt and milk)
gC Farms (produce and eggs)

Coming in the next few weeks:

Presto Strange O Coffee Truck (coffee, tea, and many other beverages, bagged fair trade coffee)

Terry’s Tasty Treasures (pepper jellies and salsas)

Wedgewood Flowers (plants and produce, eggs)

And returning later in the season, when their crops come in:

Rocky Ledge Farm aka Moosup River (blueberries, produce)

Long Entry Farm (produce, artisan breads)

Barden Orchards (peaches, apples, produce)

Returning this season also is an expanded Market Table. This booth is run by the market to bring artisan food products to our customers from local producers. We continue to offer nuts, peanut butter and popcorn from the Virginia and Spanish Peanut Company of Providence, and Rhody Fresh butter and cheese from the RI Dairy Farms Cooperative. We will also be carrying Terry’s Tasty Treasures on the days she is not at the market. Money raised from the market table goes to support this and other efforts to increase our offerings.

Our market accepts credit, debit, EBT/SNAP, WIC and Senior Coupons.

News from the Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market

From Steve Stycos:

There are 2 more weeks of the winter market! Thursdays from 4:30 to 7 PM at the Edgewood Congregational Church on Broad St.

 

Add some local flavor to your Lenten, Easter and Passover favorites: fish, bitter greens, potatoes, honey and, of course, eggs are all available from our vendors.

Plus bread, soup, scones, little pizzas, and more.

 

Blue Skys Farm is featuring “Small State Seeds”, chemical-free and locally grown seeds from Scratch Farm in Cranston. Tried and true veggie varieties for the Rhode Island climate.

Friends of the Pawtuxet River and the West Bay Land Trust will be holding an Earth Day clean up and tree planting on Saturday April 26 from 9 AM to noon at the former DEM depot on Warwick Ave.(just before the bridge, across from the Stop and Shop). Bring clippers, rakes, gloves or just yourself, for an hour or as long as you can spare. Help keep our riverbank and trail clear and trash-free.

 

Our regular market opens on May 10 (the Saturday before Mother’s Day) at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. We welcome back our summer vendors, such as Beltane Farm and LeFavorite Bakery and Rocky Ledge (formerly Moosup River) Farm. Stay tuned for more.

 

See you at the market.

The Co-Villains Behind Obesity’s Rise – NYTimes.com

…and we’re back to gut bacteria as playing a central role in health….

The Co-Villains Behind Obesity’s Rise – NYTimes.com.

In Gut Research’s Latest Advance, Bacteria From Thin Humans Can Slim Mice Down – NYTimes.com

I am loving all the gut bacteria research!

In Gut Research’s Latest Advance, Bacteria From Thin Humans Can Slim Mice Down – NYTimes.com.

Largest fast food strike ever today: 58 cities will be affected – Salon.com

This is a strike I can easily support since I rarely eat fast food anyway!

Largest fast food strike ever today: 58 cities will be affected – Salon.com.

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