GFree Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Here is a recipe from my friend Peggy Alberda:

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Ingredients:
1 ½ c. Chocolate Chips
2 c. Organic Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (1 15 oz can)
4 Organic eggs
1/3 cup Organic sugar & 1/3 cup agave nectar (or ¾ -1 cup sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla & 1 tsp. Almond ext.
½ tsp baking powder
Topping,
1/3 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. Chopped tart dried red cherries
1/3 c. chopped walnuts

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl melt carob chips in microwave for 2 minutes.
In blender or food processor, combine beans and eggs, till smooth.
Add sugar, baking powder, and chocolate, vanilla and almond ext.
Process until smooth.
Pour batter into a 9” or 8X8” greased non-stick pan, sprinkle with topping, press into
Batter slightly.
Bake for 25- 45 minutes depending on pan size. Test with wooden pick.

I bake mine in a 10” tart pan with removable bottom, bake for 25 min.
After cooled remove sides

Gluten Free Baking Flour

Here is a recipe I have begun using for Gluten Free Baking Flour:
2 c Brown Rice Flour

2/3 c Potato Starch

1/3 c tapioca Flour

1 t Xanthan Gum
Mix all together. Store in an airtight container until use.
Most of the above ingredients are available from multiple companies, and can be found in the Gluten Free section of your grocery store. I like Bob’s Red Mill http://www.bobsredmill.com/ products, which cn be purchased at most groceries, or purchased online.
xanthan gum is an expensive product, and as you can see, it is used in small quantities, so you may want to purchase it from a bulk foods department where you can buy just a little at a time. If you live in the Fort Wayne area, you can purchase it at the Three Rivers Natural Grocery http://www.3riversfood.coop/. It’s on Sherman Avenue a few blocks south of the zoo. If you live out of the Fort Wayne area, try your local health food shop.

Move it!

Move it

Remember Sargent Carter on Gomer Pyle? He was forever yelling, “Move it! Move it! Move it!”
Well, it turns out, he had the right idea! Physical activity is important for more reasons than we previously realized. We have known for years that exercise builds muscle, helps circulation, lowers cholesterol, lubricates arthritic joints, lowers blood sugar levels, and a host of other benefits…
BUT did you know that when you move, your muscles actually produce chemicals called myokines that are released into your bloodstream to lower inflammation throughout your body? Doesn’t this sound better than taking medication?  And you don’t have to exercise vigorously to receive some benefits!  We were created to move, and we maintain our bodies when we do just that!
Brad Stockert, a fellow physical therapist, put it well in his article on Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Noncommunicable Disease:  “Chronic physical training is known to be associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality independent of any change in BMI (body mass index http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ ) . Physical inactivity is now considered to be a stronger predictor than hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and obesity for all-cause mortality.
Cross-sectional studies have shown a strong association between the level of physical inactivity and the amount of low-grade chronic inflammation found in young and elderly subjects.”
In other words: MOVE IT to lower inflammation, and your chances of chronic disease

Sunshine!

Photo courtesy of Tami Werling

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy!

Research the last few years has been proving that Vitamin D, produced in our bodies by sunshine, is an excellent help to our  immune system.  But the benefits of sunshine don’t stop there!  Sunshine is also directly related to how much melatonin and serotonin are present in our brains.  Melatonin affects our sleep, and serotonin affects our mood, so lack of both makes us tired and grumpy! serotonin also helps to decrease inflammation in the brain, keeping it healthy.  The amount of sunshine a person is exposed to during a given day is directly related to a feeling of well-being due to rising serotonin levels.  Sunshine is also known to be an appetite suppressant!

Sunshine carried a bad wrap for many years as people overexposed themselves and caused skin cancers to soar.  Now we are realizing we also need the sun to be healthy.

Everything in moderation, friends!

poem: home

This has nothing to do with my site, really, but I took on a challenge to write about what “Home” means to me, and I wrote my first poem!  Here it is!:

“Home”

A homemade bouquet of pink simplicity roses

Puppies sniffing with little wet noses

Corn husking, boiling, buttering, eating

Family round the table greeting

The mud ‘tween my toes, the baa in the barn

Dew covered foreheads, the afghan yarn

The clothes on the line, Grandma baking

Hoeing, raking, noodle making

Poppies bursting, salvia springing

Putt, putt, Grandpa’s tractor singing

Sleigh bells clang on the kitchen door

Announce Dad’s return from doing the chores

Hummingbirds buzzing flower to flower

Entertaining us evenings, hour by hour

Thunderclouds form in the western sky

We in our lawn chairs, watch till they’re nigh

Cousins just drop in to visit a spell

Scolding wren playing her part so well

Sunshine that warms my head and my heart

Autumn colors, God’s wonderful art

Observing each tiny bee and each bug

Little arms stretched for an afternoon hug

Bushels of love, and chats on the swing

Bluebirds returning to homes every spring

Playing with kittens, hiking the creek

Sunday afternoon with friends at the lake

Tightrope walking on an old log

Lively days catching turtles and frogs

Sorting potatoes from common field rocks

Tall trees shading, and doors without locks

Long drives with ice cream to look at the crops

Fences with blooms from bottoms to tops

Spring peepers calling their song from the hollow

My Bible with pages that beckon me, “follow”

A stroll in the woods, praises ringing

Enjoy God’s creation, even birds singing

Dutchman’s Britches abloom in the woods

Mom showing off her garden goods

Hayrides, four wheelers, John Deere green

Help to set my favorite scenes

Swingin, bangin, screen doors slammin

Apple picking, campfires cracklin

Carving a pumpkin, and climbing a tree

That’s what “home” means to me!

Our Diabetes Story

My daughter Katy was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in April 2011.

This was huge adjustment to us as we learned how to dose insulin, count carbohydrates, and accept what we were told, which was that my daughter would take insulin injections, or wear an insulin pump for the rest of her life.
No one wants to hear such news, especially not about her 15 year old daughter. Naturally we began to learn all we could. On the advice of a friend, I immediately began reading about GLYCEMIC INDEX vales of foods, and changing our diet to foods with lower glycemic index values (more about that another time).
Because a strong faith in God leads my decisions, a Bible verse from the Book of James was also on my mind: “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up…James 5:13-15.” [I want to take a minute to clarify that I do not believe that the people with ‘the most’ faith are the only ones healed, nor do I believe that prayer is a ticket to whatever we want. Rather, I believe that God’s will is to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ, and if something in my life, or the life of my family can be used to glorify Christ, we should offer it to Him to use. If He uses our lives to glorify His Son, then we are blessed!]  And so I prayed like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup (diabetes) from me (my daughter); yet not my will, but Yours be done.”
My daughter began to improve over the next few months, and I was regularly on the phone with the doctor’s office asking to decrease her insulin doses. The office was hesitant to let us decrease her insulin, rather wanting her to eat more to cover the insulin they wanted her to take. But, over time it became clear that she no longer needed the insulin, and in October 2011, she was allowed to give up insulin altogether! One doctor said that she was in remission, and another said that it was a miracle!!! ~I believe that!

So the question remained: What set this off? How do we prevent another occurrence like this? There were a few other medical questions unanswered.
Enter Dr. LaSalle:   DR. ANGELA LASALLE is a physician practicing in an up-and-coming specialty area: Integrative Medicine. I heard Dr. LaSalle speak on the radio about how food intolerances can trigger or fuel autoimmune disease. They do so because they contribute greatly to an ENVIRONMENT OF INFLAMMATION within the body. When the body is in a state of inflammation, it begins to destroy itself!  Wow! the natural thing to do then, is to find out what is irritating it, and get rid of it!

So where do we start, and what do we eliminate? Do we have to give up our favorite foods?  Long story short, we found that my daughter does not tolerate GLUTEN. That’s a common problem these days, so I will talk about it more in another post. But Katy is now eating gluten free, and is feeling better than ever!  I have adjusted to cooking gluten free, and it is no longer stressful. In fact, we are experimenting with all kinds of new recipes, and I will plan to post some on this site.
I am so thankful for all the knowledge we have gained on this subject over the last year, and I cannot help sharing this story with others!

Leaving you with a paraphrase of the scripture I shared above:
Spread out your petition before God, and then say, “Thy will, not mine, be done.” The sweetest lesson I have learned in God’s school is to let the Lord choose for me.” –D.L. Moody

Diabetes Types

There are two types of Diabetes, Type I and Type 2.
 
Type 2 Diabetes, or Insulin Resistant Diabetes Mellitus, is the Diabetes that is epidemic in America. It is characterized by a pancreas that makes insulin, but the body cannot use the insulin as it needs to because the cells RESIST the insulin (insulin resistance). While a person may be predisposed to Type 2 through his or her family tree, most can prevent it from occurring by managing diet, weight, and by exercising regularly.
 
Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, quite a different bird. An autoimmune disease is one where a person’s own body is destroying itself. In Type I diabetes (formerly known s Juvenile Diabetes), a portion of the person’s pancreas that makes insulin is destroyed, and no the person no longer makes his/her own insulin. As a result, blood sugar levels skyrocket, and the person’s body begins to starve because cells need insulin to receive their nourishment.
 
As of my writing this post, The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF, is funding research on the complex causes of Type I Diabetes, but the official position of most doctors on the subject is that “We don’t know” what sets it off. Certain substances in the blood called auto-antibodies are found to be the agents that destroy the area of the pancreas that makes insulin, but no one has nailed down how these autoantibodies get started working. One thing that is known is that once the insulin-secreting cells have been destroyed, The Type I diabetic will have to take artificial insulin for the rest of his/her life. Or will she??? Please read our Diabetes Story