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butternut squash, spinach and black bean tacos

For a good, long while I have been on kitchen auto-pilot making mostly the same things. The time has now come to work on my menus.

I’m currently researching the best diet for me as I start treatment for breast cancer and while I have just started the process I know that increasing the most nutritious veggies, herbs and spices is as important important as drastically cutting sugar. Cutting sugar has been easier than I expected so I’m focusing on getting the good stuff in.

There are so many different theories are out there – Vegan, Keto, Mediterranean, etc. – all been recommended by various people and sources. I can see pluses and minuses to most so am taking my time and learning what will be right for my situation with my necessary restrictions like gluten free, dye free, etc. So while I continue to research I’m making lots of old favorites (especially Sri Lankan recipes with all the turmeric, ginger and spice) and some new vegan dishes.

Vegetables are a favorite, so it’s not a burden to try and reconfigure my diet but it can be a challenge to make them a main course when you love spicy flavors and strive to use only whole foods rather than processed items.

The guys are not changing their diets but are getting exposed to lots of new veggie dishes in the process. So far they are just adding them to their usual meals and it’s working out fine for everyone. Joe, especially, has surprised me with embracing arugula and watercress in his salads and trying some different roasted veggies. So in many ways this is a win win for us.

This is one dish I experimented with on our last Taco Tuesday and we liked it so much I made it all over again on Friday – doubling the recipe for leftovers. It’s super fast and easy and very satisfying.

 

 

 

I’ve tried this combination in a crispy taco shell, without tortillas in a bowl and wrapped in in collard leaves. Every version was delicious and I’ve got another two pounds of butternut squash to saute tonight.Saute in a medium sized saute pan:

1 tablespoon Coconut Oil  
1 large Onion, minced
4 large cloves Garlic, minced

In another small saucepan heat:

2 cups Black Beans (approximately, either homemade or canned)

When the onions and garlic are softened, add:

1 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne (this will be spicy – just a dash if you don’t love it hot)
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 pound Butternut Squash, cut into cubes

Continue to saute until squash is cooked through – about 15 minutes or so. I mashed a bit with the back of a spoon as I stirred.

Just before you are ready to serve, toss in:

2 cups packed and rinsed Baby Spinach which will wilt and heat through in a minute.

Serve in taco shells, as nachos, in bowls or rolled in a large steamed kale leaf and top the squash and spinach with black beans, and guacamole and any favorite salsa you like.

We love to add a mixture of cilantro (one whole large bunch), onion (one medium to large) and jalepeno (at least one large) all minced together and liberally spooned on top. I make up this mixture at least once a week and use it to top almost all Mexican and Asian foods I make. It will keep a couple of days in the fridge.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

From:  chacha’s gluten free kitchen

feingold program improves tantrums, meltdowns and aggression

We asked our members what types of improvements they noticed when starting their families on the Feingold Program.  Below are posts from moms on how the feingold program improves tantrums, meltdowns, and aggression in the first few weeks of doing the Feingold Diet.

 

Cat – Stopped chewing his clothes in the first 2 days. After one week (spring break) of following the program, my then kindergartner had the best week! Usually his behavior chart (I can’t stand those things) was all yellow and orange, with some green days of following the program, my then kindergartner had the best week! Usually his behavior chart (I can’t stand those things) was all yellow and orange, with some green days and a few reds, one week in-ONE WEEK- and it was blue, green, blue, blue, green. Most “normal” kids don’t have weeks like that. 4 years in and I’d never change a thing. Feingold for Life!!!

Alanie – While we saw changes at home, it was when we got a good report from the preschool teacher at parent/teacher conferences after 2 months on Feingold. She wasn’t ready to attribute the changes to our change in diet, but I knew it was 100% Feingold!!

Deni – After a week into phase 1 we went to families for dinner and she ate an apple. Within 15-20 minutes she was bouncing on their couch.😲

Lisa – He fell asleep in less than 10 minutes instead of one hour.

Janet – I was able to take my boy for a hair-cut.

Tangie – Tantrums were GONE. Also, we didn’t tell his teachers of the diet changes, yet within two weeks I was pulled to the side because they couldn’t get over how much calmer and attentive he was in the classroom (he was 6 at the time).

Katie – After a few days on the program, my child said, “I am just so happy”. It was as if a fogginess had been lifted from his brain.

Lisa – He gave me a hug and said “I love you” for the first time ever. He was 5 years old.

Julie – Less tantrums and less disciplinary referrals at school.

Kristin – Hi I homeschool and today they all sat down and did their work (3 adopted kiddos who have been nearly impossible to teach and was not making it in public school) with a good attitude. what??!!!! After 1 week.

Rosana – Lots of things but two that really stand out are: he didn’t yell at me as much and people asked me what I was doing that changed my child so much.

Shelley – Our 6 year old was very uncharacteristically melting down for hours a day for three straight months. It was horrible and without a doubt the hardest season of parenting so far. Two days after starting Stage One… no more meltdowns! We had our sweet little boy back. ❤️❤️❤️

Julie – He sat down in a chair at the table quietly. Normally his feet were flying up and down the slats in the back all during dinner.

Julie – My son calmed down and was able to control his emotions better. I could take him out without a meltdown. He was also a lot less violent to his brothers.

Catherine – No more meltdowns EVERY NIGHT!

Chris – When he could sit down at the dinner table with his family and have a normal conversation.

Rachael – Physical facial tics and twitching, and loud outbursts stopped when red dyes were eliminated.

Holly – Paying attention and not as aggressive.

Leslie – Joint pain went away and finally slept through the night at 5 years old when we started.

Laura – Three days into it, my youngest daughter slept through the night for the first time in her life!

Heather – After about a week, my 9yo son hugged me and told me he loved me. Unsolicited!!

Kimberly – A silent car ride home from swimming with both kids & no fighting.

Melissa –We could eat dinner at the table without screaming and meltdowns!!

Susan – My son didn’t drive me nuts with a gazillion questions about nothing.

Melissa – Decrease in emotional aggression!

Dawn –Frantz aggression stopped.

Judy –No more night terror!!!

Ruth – Within 2 weeks was sleeping 1 hour later in the mornings. AND, after 2 weeks he “wiped the icing off a cupcake at a school b-day treat” and was noticeably still wired the next morning. (We had a post-Feingold and pre-Feingold comparison).

Karen- My son slept for the first time at age 7 since 18 months after two weeks on Feingold Diet.

Jeanne –Lively, after 48 hours my toddler son stopped hitting, kicking and spitting on everyone…including me. It’s been 10 weeks and he is doing well.

Caroline – When she went to sleep quickly after being tucked in, then woke up early, got herself dressed, and came into our room ready for the day!

Michele – Being able to fall asleep after just 24 hours. Then, elimination of chronic rhinitis that often ended in bouts of asthma.

Leslie – Joint pain went away and finally slept through the night at 5 years old when we started.

Serena – Took her 10 min to do homework instead of 1 hour. & Handwriting has been a hugh change.

Amy – She picked up a book, laid on the sofa & looked at it for 10/15 min. Never read a book before. She was 4.

Patricia – She took a nap during the day and slept thru the night for the first time in 3 years!

Anna – Meltdowns disappeared within a week of starting the diet. Before my 5yo had 2/3 daily.

Nonna –Calmed down. Concentration increased.

Lisa – Her eyes quit “jumping or bouncing” around the room & she could look me in the eye.

Ellen -long screaming and crying spells over often minor frustrations went away! Either she dealt with the frustration calmly or had, at most, a self-imposed 5-minute timeout. That was huge!

Heather – My son has not had many, if any, aggressive outbursts for over a month now. He also is not complaining of stomach aches anymore, and is generally just calm.

Kathy – She actually slept all night without waking up yelling for us even once and she sat at the table to eat instead of perching on her chair or dancing around the table.

Michelle –Stopped wetting the bed and no tics.

Sabrina –They argued less, ate more and slept better.

Cindy – Slept through the night!

Alanna – Actually, it was a slip-up that made me realize it was working. Dining out, we asked to make sure a food item was prepared according to my son’s needs. Turns out unbeknownst to all that the seasoning mix contained a no-go for us. 15 minutes after eating my son experienced a full meltdown. For the first time, he asked for me to make it stop. His eyes showed the fear and pain his body was experiencing after being “Feingold Clean” for a week.

 

The Feingold Program can help you achieve the same results with your family.  Summer is a great time to start.  You can get your materials at:  http://www.fgshop.org/joinpdf.aspx   Check out personal stories from some of our Feingold kids at:  https://feingold.org/personal-stories-2/

fast food linked to lower academic performance

Do you find that friends and family just don’t “get it?”

You’ve made positive changes in the food your children are eating, but you may be running into interference from others.

fast food/lower academic performanceIt isn’t surprising so many people believe that Happy Meals and their cousins are perfectly okay for their kids since so many families live this way.  But if you try to explain that real nourishment isn’t likely to come from a drive-thru window, do you find that they don’t understand?

Here’s some information that might help.

A study published in Clinical Pediatrics found that children who eat more fast food in fifth grade tend to show lower improvements in test scores in reading, math and science years later. Kelly Purtell, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University stated, “There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there. Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom.”

The study included more than 11,700 students and used questionnaires to determine how much fast food they ate.  They were tested in reading/literacy, mathematics and science in both fifth and eighth grades. The researchers found that kids who ate the most fast food in fifth grade had significantly slower academic growth than their classmates by eighth grade. Children who reported eating fast food at least four to six times a week had 20 percent lower gains in test scores in all three subjects than kids who did not eat fast food on a regular basis. Children who reported eating fast food 1 to 3 times a week performed about as well as their peers in reading and science but had slower academic growth in math.

A happy compromise

The good news is that fast food is not necessarily junk food, and it is not off limits for Feingold families!  No doubt the children in the Clinical Pediatrics study were eating the usual burgers, fries and a Coke, but there are many other choices, and it’s possible to have what one chain calls “Real Food, Real Fast!”

The Feingold Association publishes a Fast Food Guide to help you find the best choices in major restaurant chains.  You can order a burrito at Chipotle instead of Taco Bell.  The fries at Five Guys and In ‘N Out Burger are delicious and free of petroleum preservatives.  And it’s as easy to find a Panera as it is to find a McDonald’s.  See www.feingold.org to learn how to enjoy the food you love – fast food, slow food, and all that’s in between – without paying the high price of behavior and learning problems.

crockpot mac & cheese recipe

If you love cheese, then this crockpot mac & cheese dish will be just right for you.  Very cheesy and simple to make.

 

8 ounces dry macaroni, cooked
2 cans (13 oz. each) evaporated milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Sargento is a great choice for cheese)
3 tablespoons  butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

 

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and mix throughly. Cover and cook on Low for 3-4 hours.

homemade sausage recipe

homemade sausage is a great addition to breakfast.  these patties go great with some scrambled eggs and toast.

 

 

2 pounds  raw ground pork, hamburger or turkey

4 teaspoons dried sage

1 teaspoon  black pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

 

 

Combine all ingredients and let set in the refrigerator so the flavor develop.  Form little sausage patties.  Place patties in a medium skillet and fry until golden brown on both sides.

Variations:  Instead of forming into patties, place all the ground meat into a skillet and fry up.  The crumbled sausage is great in recipes like sausage gravy. You can also triple this recipe and freeze meat patties for later meals.

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about us    
The Feingold Association is a non-for profit organization that provides the Feingold Diet Program  which is a form of elimination diet where foods containing certain harmful additives are removed and replaced with similar foods that are free of those additives. When starting the Program, certain foods and non-food items containing an aspirin-like chemical called salicylate are also eliminated, and later tested for tolerance…more


 

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