Monday, September 29, 2014

Can Hookworm Cure Celiac Disease?

For those of us suffering from digestive issues such as Celiac disease, colitis and Crohns disease, and leaky gut, we are always hoping for new medical breakthroughs .The question is how far are we willing to go to try a new "cure". 

Twelve people in Australia were willing to go very far to help in the search for answers to Celiac Disease.  They allowed researchers from John's Cook University to be "experimentally infected with 20 Necator americanus (hookworm) larvae."  You read that right, Hookworm!
Surprisingly, the experiment appears to have been successful. 

Hookworm (see photo credit below)

On September 25, 2014, Science Daily published an article,  Celiac disease: A wriggly solution to an inflammatory condition.

 "Groundbreaking results were achieved in a clinical trial using hookworms to reduce the symptoms of celiac disease. The results are good news for sufferers of other inflammatory conditions such as asthma and Crohn's disease. In the small trial run over a year, 12 participants were each experimentally infected with 20 Necator americanus (hookworm) larvae. They were then given gradually increasing doses of gluten, with their daily dose in the final stage being equivalent to a medium-sized bowl of spaghetti."
The results as stated in the article: 
 "The potential of helminths (parasitic worms) in treating inflammatory diseases lies in their ability to dial back the human immune response -- a skill that enables them to survive, and thrive, in the human gut, without compromising their host's ability to fight off other infectious diseases."
 " A collaboration between JCU scientists in Cairns and gastroenterologist Dr John Croese at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane, this study investigated the mechanism by which hookworms reduce the inflammatory response. "In gut biopsies collected before, during and at the end of the trial, we identified specific cells of the immune system, known as T cells, that we suspected were targeted by hookworm proteins," Dr Giacomin said. "We found that over the duration of the trial the T cells within the intestine changed from being pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory."
So, if I understand this article and the others I read about this topic, then my question is what about the medical complications from having hookworm disease. 

According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, (NIH)  hookworms is no longer a major disease in the United States and other developed countries because the living conditions are excellent. Conversely, hookworm effects over 600 million people in the world, mainly in undeveloped countries. 
Hookworm lives in the small intestine. Hookworm can cause gastrointestinal issues. It can also create blood loss causing anemia and possible protein loss. 

What are you willing to do,in order to feel better? 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Morning Glory Muffins

I found a GF High Fiber Morning Glory Muffin recipe on a package of The Pure Pantry Buckwheat Flax Baking Mix, several years ago. After I have tried an original recipe, I often tweak it. This recipe is no different. I have reinvented the recipe to eliminate the buckwheat mix, which is not my favorite. I added almond flour and flax meal to add nutritional value and fiber. 

These muffins have passed the taste test of my 14 year old niece as well as my 4 year old neighbor. Neither of them are gluten-free, so I take their comments seriously. They both loved the muffins.

GF & DF Morning Glory Muffin

Gluten- Free High Fiber Morning Glory Muffins
     Flour Mix :     1 cup of GF flour mix such as Trader Joes or King Arthur
                              ¾ cup almond flour
                              ¼ cup of flax meal
                             1 ½ tsps of baking powder 
                              ½ tsp baking soda
                              ½ tsp guar gum
                              1/3 coconut oil
     Additional Ingredients
  1/3 cup of apple sauce
  1/2 cup  honey
  1/4 cup natural brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  2 eggs
  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  1 cup finely grated carrots (2 small carrots)
  1 cup finely grated zucchini (about 1/2 a zucchini)(optional)
  1 tart red apple, unpeeled, cored, and finely grated
1/2 cup seedless raisins
  1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (optional)
  1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Blend oil, apples sauce, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs into a large bowl for about 1 minute to incorporate.  Add flour mix, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Add carrots, zucchini, nuts, raisins, coconut, orange zest, and apples to the sugar mixture and stir well.  Scoop batter into 12 paper-lined muffin tins and bake 25 minutes.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

McDonald's For Breakfast, Really!

I accept that my family and I do not eat like most of the families in America. 
BUT McDonald's for breakfast, really.

I want to start with part of McDonald's Mission & Value statement . 
McDonald's brand mission is to be our customers' favorite place and way to eat and drink...
"By have way things looked the other day at McDonald's in Fullerton, CA  they fulfilled their goals. In the hour I was there, I am guessing over 80 people came and went.

 Why was I at McDonald's in the first place, you may ask. In my defense, my husband hurt his hand and could not drive to meet a client, so I drove. The client had asked him to met her at the McDonald's in Fullerton at 8:30a.m.  I had not interest in going inside, so I waited outside while they met. It was an eye opening experience. Wow do I live in a food bubble.

McDonald's in Fullerton, CA
People really do go to McDonald's for breakfast and not just for their morning cup of coffee. The place was so busy that they had a person stationed outside by the drive thru to take orders so that the line would not end up in the street. Half the tables were filled inside and many people came and went with bags of food. 

A Person Taking Orders Outside McDonald's
I am left bewildered at this phenomenon.  How long does it take to fry up an egg and make some toast at home. No longer then the time it took those people the other day to park the car, go in and order and wait for their food,. And as for the drive thru, there was a very long continuous line.  

My point is rather simple, the fact people put food in their stomachs so that they do not feel hungry is not the same as putting nutritional rich food into their bodies. Foods filled with useless calories and fats, may taste good to some people but it is in no way healthy or good for you. 

A very short history of McDonald's:
In 1940, Dick and Mac McDonald's opened a car hop style Bar-BQ restaurant in San Bernardino, CA. Eight years later they converted this restaurant to a Fast Food hamburger joint, featuring .15 cent hamburgers. The menu had only 9 items on it. In 1955, the now famous french fries were added to replace the potato chips that were being served.In 1953, the Golden Arches were designed by Stanley Meston and the rest is history.  

Photos: Marian Z Geringer

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Know Your Enemy: Palm Oil

I decided it was time for me to get to know the culprit that is increasingly causing me pain. I found out a lot about where and how the fruit is grown. I could not find much on adverse effects from eating it except for reference to its high saturated fat content. 

Palm oil comes from the fruit of an oil palm tree. This fruit is mainly grown in Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil is said to have medicinal properties. It is being used in baked goods and food products,  often as a replacement for dairy such as butter. It can be found in make-up, toothpaste and variety of other personal care products. 
Palm Fruit Oil
Celeste Robb-Nicholson states:
Palm oil, made from the fruit of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis), is one of the most widely produced edible fats in the world. The oil palm yields two types of oil: One is extracted from the flesh of the fruit (palm oil), and the other from the seed, or kernel (palm kernel oil). Palm oil is consumed in many countries in vegetable oil, shortening, and margarine. has a list all the various names used for Palm Oil:
Aceite de Palma, African Palm Oil, Crude Palm Oil, Elaeis guineensis, Elaeis melanococca, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Huile de Palme, Huile de Palme Brute, Huile de Palme Rouge, Huile de Palmiste, Main Ja, Oil Palm Tree, Palm, Palm Fruit Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Oil Carotene, Palmier à Huile, Red Palm Oil.

According to, palm oil can cause low grade inflammation of the "plasma and adipose tissues:. The article by Jeff Leach in 2013 stated; " We can now add another certainty to that: palm oil causes low-grade inflammation that is linked to insulin resistance, obesity and other metabolic diseases that are partially mediated by our resident gut microbes."  Jeff also mentioned that Orangutans will not eat palm fruit.

For those people that want to know the environment impact of the mass use of palm fruit oil go to :   and

Photos and References:

It is Official - I am a Food Wimp!

It is official. I am a food wimp! I have been sensitive to Palm Oil for awhile and have been cautious when buying products made with it. The other day I bought Pamela's Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies, which I have had many times before and guess what. I have had intestinal problems ever since. I actual thought I had a stomach flu until I decided to read the label.

I am starting to believe I can only eat what I cook and bake. Yeks.

Do any of you have trouble with palm oil?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Product Alert: Zing Bars

The last couple of times I had a Zing Bar, I noticed I had intestinal discomfort. I had never had trouble with them before and was curious about the change. Yesterday, I discovered that some of the once vegan (dairy-free)  flavors now contain milk. 

These flavors used to be labeled vegan but are no longer vegan therefore contain dairy.
3 Flavors of Zing Bars Are No Longer Vegan

 Dark Chocolate Hazelnut
 Dark Chocolate Coconut
 Dark Chocolate Sunflower Mint:   


These are the vegan and non vegan flavors, I found on the Zing website today, September 5, 2104.

Vegan Line:     
                      Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
                      Double Nut Brownie
                      Cashew Cranberry Orange
                      Coconut Cashew Crisp

Contains Whey Protein:                                                                                   

                      Dark Chocolate Hazelnut
                      Dark Chocolate Coconut
                      Dark Chocolate Sunflower Mint:                                                                                                            Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
                      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip      
                      Almond Blueberry  

Sweet Potato Hash Recipe by eZG

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Hash by eZG


Olive oil
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in small cubes
1 medium onion (red or yellow) diced in small pieces
1 garlic clove crushed or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
raisins optional


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
2. Place onions in heated skillet, cook until they start to caramelize.
3. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
4. Add sweet potatoes and saute until tender. This takes approximately 30 minutes. 
5. Stir occasionally so that the mixture cooks evenly. 

The smaller the sweet potatoes cubes, the faster this will cook. 
My husband added golden raisins to the last batch and it worked very well. 
This can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week, so you can cook it ahead of time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Can We Transfer Our Emotional Pain Into Food Allergies?

Just when I thought I had dealt with all the emotional reasons for having food allergies, I go out to a GF bakery/ eatery and have an allergic reaction. I did all my usual barge of questions before  ordering. I was given the go ahead for the meal I was ordering. The food was delicious.

About an hour after eating, I was talking with friends and noticed I was scratching the palms of my hands - a lot. For me, this is usually the first sign that an anaphylaxis reaction is right around the corner. I calmly went to the ladies room and washed my hands to be sure it was not something I touched. I took a homeopathic remedy which can stop or slow down the reaction depending on how serious it is. Then I excused myself and went home. 
Epi Pen and Apis Homeopathic Remedy

I took another natural remedy and tried to relax and see if the worst of it would pass. IT DID! I had almost immediate cold like symptoms and woke up with swollen glands and a stuffy nose. The digestive discomfort followed. These symptoms have lasted 8 days. I woke up this morning and appear to be better.

I am clear this was not a diary or gluten reaction but a food allergy. For those who are new to this blog- I have many anaphylaxis food allergies.Lucky it has 20 years since I had a full blown anaphylaxis reaction due to my neurotic questions and caution. 

I recently started a conversation about how we put pain in our bodies and I brought up the question of self healing in a previous blog. I feel it was only fair to say; I tried and this time I had to ride it out. I mediated, tried the Sedona method, and anything else I could think of. I tried raw garlic and many other remedies but true to my allergy reactions - I had to wait it out.

Yesterday my friend gave me a "cough" type drop with On Guard essential oils from Do-Terra. I have to say it could be a coincidence but I believe it stopped the reaction and for the first time in days I am feeling good. 

I truly believe that some food allergies are due to serious emotional damage done in the past. Why am I the only sibling who suffers from serious food allergies? I think I transferred my emotional pain into food issues. I pray that I find a way to resolve this. 

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on the subject>