Episode 2: Barriers to Health + Healing

Episode 2: Barriers to Health + Healing
Nutritional Connections PodcastEpisode 2: Barriers to Health + Healing

The never-ending debate about what diet plan you should be following is...well, never-ending. Perhaps, the focus could be shifted to simply understanding where our food comes from and why the growth, harvest, and manufacturing of some well-loved foods can either support health and healing, or prevent it.  What we fuel our body with is all our body has to work with to make new cells. We literally are what we eat. So, let's talk about what we eat. The 3 staple ingredients in the U.S. diet: wheat, dairy, and sugar. It may surprise you, but I'm not going to tell you that everyone should cut these three foods out of their diets forever. 

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Peach Freezer Jam {No refined sugar & No pectin)

Peach Freezer Jam {No refined sugar & No pectin)

Where I live there isn't a whole lot of agriculture left. That isn't just due to expansive population or the withdrawal from living off the land. It also has lot to do with the desert climate. However, what is left are small family owned peach and pecan orchards and a few other similar farms. So, at the end of every summer I have my eyes and ears peeled for any news of local, organic surplus produce from these local mini farms. Lucky for me, the last couple years the peaches have been plentiful.

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Frozen Yogurt Slushy

Frozen Yogurt Slushy

 

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Double Chocolate Cake {Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Refined Sugar}

Double Chocolate Cake {Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Refined Sugar}

Birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, Wednesdays... there are so many good reasons to eat chocolate cake. In fact, this recipe came to be this week as we were celebrating my birthday. Earlier this week I had hastily jotted down a recipe for chocolate cake to bring for me and my sister's double birthday party happening later that evening. I love it when it turns out alright on the first try, but love it even more that my family is so patient with my cooking experiments. It still needed a little tweaking.

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Orange Marmalade - Sweetened with Honey

Orange Marmalade - Sweetened with Honey

Remember the Paddington books? Well, orange marmalade may be all the vitamins and minerals a bear needs, but it happens to be pretty good for people too - that is, when you swap out all that sugar for some local, raw, unfiltered honey. We all know oranges are full of vitamin C, but they also boast other essential vitamins and flavonoids (antioxidants).Most people love to eat oranges or drink the juice, but we're missing some serious health benefits that are only found in the peels. I'm talking calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, folate and other B vitamins. Not to mention a good source of dietary fiber. And guess what? Orange marmalade incorporates those beautiful orange peels.All this healthy goodness is so lovely that we don't want to mess it up by dumping mounds of refined sugar on it. Instead, I used some locally harvested raw, unfiltered honey. Using honey from local bees may help to reduce seasonal pollen allergies and boost your immune system.So, now you can enjoy some very tasty, very powerful natural immune supporting vitamins on a sandwich and keep it in your hat if you like...in case of emergency. ;) Although, my favorite is to add about a tablespoon of marmalade to my morning bowl of cooked rolled oats, and top it all with fresh blueberries, pecan halves, and almond milk.

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Spring Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette

Spring Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette
Thanks to some spring rain and mild temperatures my little garden is already starting to produce spinach and green onions. Yay! I've been working on finishing my bachelors degree in nutrition and with a busy family I'm so glad my garden has been able to handle some neglect - I mean just look at this beautiful salad it helped make! Thanks to some homemade strawberry jam with no refined sugar it made the Strawberry Vinaigrette so simple and healthy. Strawberries and spinach are both full of vitamin C and B6, folate, magnesium, fiber, and a handful of other vitamins and essential minerals.Overnight Strawberry Jam 4 cups crushed strawberries 1/2 - 3/4 cups honey or 1 - 2 tsp. stevia powder or liquid 1/4 cup lemon juice 4 tbsp. chia seeds Combine all the ingredients, pour into jars or freezer containers, and place in the fridge overnight. The chia seeds will cause the jam to thicken. Store jam in the freezer until ready to use.

 

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Honey Caramel Hard Candy

Honey Caramel Hard Candy

Honey caramel hard candies remind me of simpler days: horse drawn carriages, petticoats, and books that were only read on paper - never on a screen. You may decide to go a little Down Town Abby with your Halloween costume after making a batch. Whatever they remind you of they'll take care of your sweet tooth without any refined sugars, preservatives, fool coloring, or other complicated, unpronounceable ingredients.Speaking of sweets, the holidays are always adorned, sprinkled, and caked in sugar aren't they? It can certainly make it hard to stay true to any kind of healthy, clean diet. This old-school candy is made of good old honey, or for a vegan version you could use pure maple syrup."Well, it's still technically sugar isn't it?" you may be thinking.Yes, chemically honey and cane sugar are both glucose, but honey is also fructose. Fructose is the form of sugar found in fruit and honey in a natural unprocessed state. Besides, you won't find vitamins and minerals in table sugar like you will in the former. The same is true for pure maple syrup as well (not the corn syrup imitation stuff). I figure, if I'm going to have some "sugar" I'd rather have it be as natural as possible.

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Grain Free Apple Crisp

Grain Free Apple Crisp

 

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Homemade Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

Homemade Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

 

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Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

May I just say for my fellow mothers-of-children-with-special-diets: irately glaring at the snack aisle of the grocery store does nothing but add wrinkles to your forehead.

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{Dairy Free} Chocolate Banana Creamies

{Dairy Free} Chocolate Banana Creamies

Summer showed up out of nowhere! The kids and I have been cooling off by playing in water wherever we can get it along with snacking on some cool treats. As a kid, a special treat in the summer was a Creamy. Have you ever had a Creamy? The originals are made of milk, some sugar and corn syrup, with flavors like chocolate, banana, and orange. Now of course there are probably a few more flavors added to the list, but my favorites were always the originals. My normal homemade popsicle recipe usually is just some blended fresh fruit and/or juice in a popsicle mold, but sometimes I like to go all out. With the strict diet we follow thanks to my youngest daughter, coming up with clean eating, gluten free, dairy free, simple, and yummy substitutes can be tricky. I was so excited when I came up with the recipe for Dairy Free Orange Creamsicles, but I still wanted chocolate or banana Creamies too!  Which got me thinking...why not Chocolate Banana Creamies!? No stove top prep time with these either. Just a blender, some popsicle molds, and a freezer.

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Grain-Free Banana Muffins & Pancakes

Grain-Free Banana Muffins & Pancakes

  The kids are home for the summer (sigh of relief and dread). Now the fun begins with playing outside all day, staying up late, sleeping in, playing in water wherever you can find it, camping, barbecues, vacations....and everyone's always hungry!

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Chia Seed Fruit Leather: Energy Snack

Chia Seed Fruit Leather: Energy Snack

  

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Healthy Grape Lime Rickey

Healthy Grape Lime Rickey

A cool drink on a hot day doesn't have to come from a can of carbonated corn syrup or a soda fountain. There has been so much already said about the health benefits of reducing or eliminating carbonated and sugary beverages from our diets that I don't really feel like I could say more to add to the conversation. I will simply say this - I have never been a soda drinker. I was raised on water or at the very worst Kool-Aid. The only reason my mom kept a few cans of Sprite or Coke around was for medicinal purposes (settling an upset stomach). I realize though that for some the love of soda is real! However, I will also say as a young teen I remember going to Warren's Burger Bar just to order a Grape Lime Rickey. The original Lime Rickey usually consists of soda water or a lemon lime or grape soda with a syrupy flavoring added in. But I didn't know or care what was in it then. It just tasted good. So, this Healthy Lime Rickey was a treat for my kids and brought back some good memories for me too. I'll show you guys the shortcut version and the slightly more labor intensive, yet healthiest version. Both ways taste great and is a huge step up health wise compared to the original.

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Frozen Blueberry Tart

Frozen Blueberry Tart

Remember those delicious Orange Creamsicles I made a while ago? I shared them with my friends on Good Things Utah. Well, when Miah asked me for a "Frozen" cake for her birthday those creamsicles sounded like they might, with a little tweaking, make an easy and yummy (and literal) frozen cake. It would need a crust on the bottom, so I guess it's more of a frozen tart than a cake.

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Clean Eating Teriyaki Salmon

Clean Eating Teriyaki Salmon

If I'm ever feeling run down, the best pick me up isn't a kick of sugar or caffeine (although the sugar is definitely a temptation!) It's a meal that makes me feel like I'm indulging. Fish can make a meal fancy! While I feel like I'm indulging in fine dining, what I'm really doing is indulging on omega-3s, zinc, iron, selenium, vitamin D, and the natural anti-inflammatory characteristics of fish oil. *Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your body. 

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Homemade Protein Powder {Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free}

Homemade Protein Powder {Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free}

 

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Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies

Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies

  Valentines was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. I loved making secret gifts for everyone, getting love notes from mom, flowers from dad, and little special things from my friends. Inevitably, as you get older some valentines celebrations won't be as sweet- not every valentines, but at least one just to chalk up to experience. Not as a kid though! As a kid valentines is about sweets, heart shaped construction paper cut-outs, kindergarten crushes, and love notes. Here's a little something sweet to send to school in their lunch box along with that love note or to enjoy with whomever you love.

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Grain-Free Cutout Cookies

Grain-Free Cutout Cookies

 

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Soft Grain-Free Gingersnap Cookies

Soft Grain-Free Gingersnap Cookies

Run, run as fast as you can...to eat some soft gingersnap cookies that are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, super healthy, and delicious! Hmm, that doesn't quite have the same ring to it as the original.

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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