Chocolate Chip Flax Gluten Free Muffins

gluten free muffins

Have you ever made chocolate chip flax gluten free muffins? If not you are in for a delicious treat. These are so yummy. I copied the recipe based on the ingredients from the flax 4 life muffins from Flax 4 Life. Since I don’t have the exact recipe I wrote down the ingredients list from the package and then tried to figure out how much of each ingredient to use. I also used cane sugar instead of cane juice and eggs instead of frozen egg whites. I’ve only made these gluten free muffins once. I think the next time I will try melting the chocolate chips before I stir them in. That is really the only thing I would change.

Chocolate and Flax Gluten Free Muffins
Serves 8
Gluten free muffins with flax, gluten free oats and chocolate chips.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups ground flax seeds or flax meal
  2. 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  3. 1 tbsp of baking powder
  4. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1/4 cup cane sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1/2 cup water
  9. 1 tbsp. oil
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix dry ingredients in 1 bowl and wet in another bowl. Combine the two bowls and stir throughly. You can also try melting the chocolate chips first before stirring them in. Then spray a muffin pan and put in equal amounts of the batter. This recipe made 8 regular size muffins. You could also use a loaf pan and make some bread instead of the muffins.
Notes
  1. You can use a little more cane sugar if you want them sweeter or a little less for less sweetness. Anywhere between 1/5 a cup and 1/3 a cup. Flax 4 life also sells carrot and blueberry versions so you would probably add in 1/2 cup of graded carrots and blueberries. You could also try strawberries or apples just to name a few variations.
Adapted from from the flax muffins by Flax 4 Life
Health coach for allergies, sensory issues and autism http://annalaurabrown.com/

What is nutritional yeast and how do you use it?

nutritional yeast

Have you ever heard of nutritional yeast? If you are like most people, you may have seen it on the grocery store shelf, or heard about it but never actually tried it. In fact, you probably are wondering what exactly is nutritional yeast, and how do you use it? Why should you use nutritional yeast?

In this post I will answer all three of these questions.

1. What on earth is nutritional yeast? Well the short definition direct from the bottle is: Provides great-taste and nutrition when added to a wide variety of foods and recipes. Makes a delicious seasoning when sprinkled on most foods, especially salads, vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta and even popcorn! Add to soups, dips, spreads, cereals, juices and smoothies for added flavor and nutrition. It’s ‘cheese-like’ flavor makes it a great low-sodium, cholesterol-free, addition to recipes and foods. Despite the word “yeast” in it’s name, nutritional yeast does not contain yeast, so no it won’t make bread rise and yes you can still have it even if you can’t have other kinds of “yeast”. It also will not cause candida, other yeast induced problems. It is also a great source of B12, so if you are like me and you don’t eat red meat, then cooking with nutritional yeast, can be one way to up your B12 intake. In someways nutritional yeast, is both a supplement and a spice you can cook with.

2. How do you use nutritional yeast? Personally I like to use it in recipes as a replacement for cheese or a similar sauce or flavoring. I use it as main ingredient in my gluten free and dairy free macaroni and cheese as well as in several other recipes. I’ve found that it ads a nice “cheesy” flavor to soups and egg omelets as well. Any recipe where you might use cheese, you can use nutritional yeast instead. It’s funny because even though it has no milk in it, it still has a cheese like taste and because it’s orange, you can trick children into thinking there is cheese in something, when there isn’t. It’s only nutritional yeast. Warning: Don’t use it with anything cold like smoothies, salads, cereals, or other similar items. It’s gross that way. Even though you may want the nutritional benefits, it really only tastes good, when used with hot recipes and food that you cook.

3. Why should you use nutritional yeast? Well I touched on one reason in number 1, because it has a lot of vitamin B12 and can help with a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, there are several other good reasons to use this awesome powder. First, you can use it has a replacement for cheese and this is great when cooking for children who are used to cheese but have to give up dairy. Second, it’s an inexpensive way to add favoring without salt, sugar or fat. Third, it is good for you.

What other comments or questions do you have about nutritional yeast? Post them below.

How to Follow the Autism ADHD Diet on a Budget

autism adhd diet

Have you ever considered following the autism adhd diet? Otherwise known as the gluten free casein free diet with your child? If so you are probably aware of the challenges it can be to follow the autism adhd diet on a budget as it can get expensive if you aren’t careful. Personally I was on this diet for a few years as a child, and now I’ve been on it again as an adult for the past 2 years. While it’s true that following the autism adhd diet on a budget can be challenging, I know it can be done. Here are some tips to help you avoid breaking the bank, while on this diet.

1. Plan ahead and then plan ahead again. I have a kindle ebook that I have put together that can help you. Advance preparation is a must for making the autism adhd diet work for you while on a budget. If you fail to plan, then you will plan to fail not only in sticking with it, but you also will overspend. Spending a lot of money while on this diet is usually because you didn’t prepare, and ended up overspending on fast food or other quick food items.

2. Cook most if not all of your food yourself. Packaged food that is gluten free and casein free and therefore, okay with this diet, costs at least double if not triple the cost of food that you make at home.

3. Buy gluten free grains, nuts and seeds and anything else you can in bulk. This will save you a lot of money.

4. Take advantage of store sales. Many stores have sales where you can buy canned goods, or gluten free items, or other things on sale for 1-2 weeks. Usually these sales only happen 1-2 times per year so you need to plan in advance and budget for when these sales happen.

5. Grow your own garden so that you can get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of the autism adhd diet on a budget anyway. If you can’t have a garden at your house, see if you can participate in a community garden, or grow a garden indoors. You can use boxes, pots and more. See my post How to pretty up your space with a healing herb garden.

6. Invest in some quality spices when they are on sale. Spices last a long time and can help add flavor without a lot of cost.

7. Take advantage of discount stores like Aldi, Sprouts and Winco if you have them in your area. Sometimes target and walmart can have inexpensive and high quality food as well.

What if your biggest challenge when it comes to following the autism adhd diet on a budget? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

10 Simple Healthy and Delicious Gluten Free Recipes with Essential Oils

gluten free recipes with essential oils

Have you ever tried cooking with essential oils? I had never heard of it until a few years ago yet people have been using essential oils in cooking just like you would with herbs for years. Here are ten simple healthy and delicious gluten free recipes with essential oils.

1. Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa This is a yummy and delicious dish for the summer or fall or whenever you can find some salmon and mangos on sale. I think it would go great with some broccoli and rice or potatoes.

2. Quinoa Salad . I love quinoa salads and this is another great option. If you can’t have cheese, you could add in some avocado or Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast 4.5oz 2 Pack for extra flavor.

3. Carrot and Ginger Rice with Mint While I personally really love carrots and ginger, it had never occurred to me to cook them together with mint. I still haven’t tried this yet but look forward to giving these gluten free recipe with essential oils a try.

4. Coconut and Lemongrass Red Lentil Soup . I love lentil soups and coconut so this recipe offers a combination of two of my favorite flavors. This recipe reminds me of many Indian or Thai dishes.

5. Glazed Spicy Sweet Potatoes . I love sweet potatoes but they can be bitter tasting. This gluten free with essential oils recipe offers sweet potatoes with a nice twist.

6. Ginger Shrimp and Mango Skewers If you like shrimp and mango, this makes for a great recipe for a summer barbecue.

7. Costa Rican Black Bean Soup If you like black beans, then you will love this recipe. I really like black beans and I have made a similar soup many times without the essential oils. Using the oregano and thyme essential oils adds a nice flavor. Be careful though. Both of these essential oils are very hot. I recommend using a tooth pick to make sure you don’t put in too much.

8. Zucchini Tomato Basil Salad This is a nice refreshing summer salad and a great way to use up any extra basil and tomatoes from your garden.

9. Rosemary Mashed Potatoes. I love potatoes and I love the flavor or rosemary so this is a no brainer. You can also use coconut or almond milk with some olive oil or ghee if you can’t have dairy milk products. This recipe would be really yummy with the blacked salmon and mango salsa from recipe number 1.

10. Sweet Potato Fries with Avocado Lime Dip I love sweet potato fries and avocado so this is a must on my list of delicious gluten free recipes with essential oils. It may be last, but it certainly isn’t least.

Which one of these recipes seems the most appealing to you?

How to Pretty Up Your Space with a Healing Herb Garden

healing herb garden

Have you ever considered growing a healing herb garden at home? Many people grow smaller gardens or pots with herbs in their kitchens, or in a small outside area, however, you can grow a healing herb garden of many sizes at home. Having a healing herb garden can help with improving indoor air quality and therefore reduce allergies and seasonal threats. An herb garden can also be a convenient way for you to have herbs on hand for cooking, using to help with burns, skin irritations and other common household needs.

Furthermore you can easily grow herbs in pots whereas you can’t as easily grow vegetables and fruits. You can also inexpensively purchase starter plants and herbs in pots that have already started growing. For example, when I was younger we almost always had an aloe vera plant by the kitchen sink for handy use. I remember touching something hot for example and grabbing a piece of aloe vera to soothe my burn. You can also easily purchase starter plants with basil, peppermint, rosemary and cilantro just to name a few of the healing herb garden plants that are sold at most garden stores.

If you want to get more heavily involved with healing herb gardens, here are two kindle ebooks that I’ve found helpful.

Herb Gardening for Beginners: Quick Guide to Beginning your Herb Garden Today

Herb gardening for beginners offers a great overview for people who have never done it before. From choosing a site for your herb garden to growing herbs in window boxes, hanging baskets, or pots to common mistakes to avoid, this ebook has it all. Learn all about the basics of growing and prettying up a space with a healing herb garden with this helpful guide.

and A Beginner’s Guide to Patio and Kitchen Herb Gardens: 21 Herbs You Can Grow at Home (Gardening Quick Start Guides Book 5)

This book offers a more in depth look at various common herbs and why you might want to grow them. It also talks about how to conserve and save space and how to maximize light. There is also information on how to avoid problems as well as seed and supply vendors.

Have you tried growing herbs or having a healing herb garden? Share your experience with me in the comments.

Emotional wellness with essential oils for autism

emotional wellness with essential oils

Have you ever considered how to use essential oils for emotional wellness for autism? If not, you are not alone. This is not something that many people are even aware is possible. Yet emotional wellness with essential oils is not only possible but is one of the best ways to use essential oils. What happens in your brain when you smell your favorite cookies? What about the smells of fall? What about the smell of your favorite perfume? Something happens in your brain that creates a certain mood or feeling. The same thing happens with essential oils only they are much more powerful than many other smells. Have you ever tried cutting open an orange and smelling it? What about the smell of lemon in a clean kitchen? These smells have a tendency to make us feel happy and uplifted. Essential oils work in the same way. If you are feeling a bit gloomy, or sad, then there are essential oils that can help. People with autism often struggle with their emotional wellness more than those who are not on the autism spectrum. Emotional wellness with essential oils can help to provide a natural and healthy solution instead of turning to chemicals. To get a better idea of how essential oils can help with emotional wellness, watch the following video.

One of the main things that essential oils can help with is to help reduce meltdowns and temper tantrums. As any parent of a child with autism knows, these are one of if not the biggest problems that parents experience. It can also be difficult for people on the autism spectrum of manage and control their emotions. Personally before I used essential oils, I used to struggle with temporary bursts of crying over silly and petty things or I would get moody without any real reason. Using essential oils for my emotional wellness has mostly eliminated this problem. While there are lots of ways to control emotions, smells are one of the most powerful and essential oils have strong and powerful smells.

How have you used essential oils to help with emotional wellness? Share with me in the comments below. If you haven’t tried them yet and want to, contact me and let’s chat.

Gluten Free Cooking for Kids

gluten free cooking for kids

It’s one thing to have to cook gluten free as an adult but what about gluten free cooking for kids? Gluten free cooking for kids can be a challenge however, the book gluten free cooking for kids by Phil Vickery is here to help. I found this book for $3 on the specials table at Barnes and Noble and picked it up and I’m really glad I did. Gluten Frook Cooking for Kids is an extremely well written book chock full of information, step by step instructions and nice full color photos.

At the beginning of the book there is a list of gluten free alternatives to those foods that do contain gluten as well as comprehensive explanation of which foods have gluten. He has also included basic recipes for chicken stock, vegetable stock, a short pastry and two different gluten free flour mixes.

There is a nice variety of recipes for all ocasions including gluten free homemade baby food, popsicles, crunchy chicken mcnuggets, quiche, pizzas, and more. The only downside to this book is that it is called Gluten Free Cooking for Kids and there are definately some recipes in this book for things that are more adult oriented and that leave me wondering if a child would ever really want to eat that. For example, roasted chickpea, tomato, pepper and taleggio pasta, chicken pot roast with cider and apples, and spicy sausage pilaf sound yummy to me but I know a lot of kids who wouldn’t ever touch those things.

Another nice feature of his book is that it tells you how many servings, as well as the preparation and cooking times for each recipe. The majority of the recipes are also dairy free although a few do have cheese or other milk ingrienents.

Purchase the book from Amazon at: Gluten-Free Cooking for Kids

Why Doctors are Missing the Boat on Allergies and What You Can Do About It: My Story

allergies

For as long as I can remember I have had allergies. Sometimes they were minor and I could live with them, othertimes they were so bad I thought I was going to die and sometimes my allergies seemed like a never ending cold. Between the sniffles, sore throats, clogged up nose, cough and runny eyes I seemed to always be sick.

So what did I do? In a word- everything. I’m not kidding. You name it I tried it. I tried every drug on the market for allergies and asthma, both over the counter and prescription. I used neti pots. I used saline solutions and nose drops. I used a variety of herbs. I used various vitamins and supplements. I tried cleaning out my ears. I went to one doctor and then I went to another one and another and in all I probably went to at least 10 different doctors and health care specialists of one kind or another over the course of about 20 years. While some of these things helped a little, nothing ever really cleared up my allergies. In short, I was still miserable. Then I discovered essential oils in 2007 and while those worked better than most things I had tried, I felt like I was still covering up my allergies rather than getting to the root cause and I was still sick.

In all, I took over the counter allergy drugs every day for over 20 years. It didn’t mater what they weather was like, the ground could be covered in snow and I was still sneezing like I had hayfever even with no trees or leaves in sight.

At a couple of my doctors appointments I suggested to my doctors that I might have a food allergy but was told that I was fine. “It’s not food, it’s just environmental, it’s the bad air in Utah, everyone has allergies.” I was told.

So I believe them, kind of. However, in the back of my mind, I still continued to wonder if certain foods weren’t at the root cause. At that time I was a broke college student and my insurance wouldn’t cover any functional medicine testing, so I just continued to use the remedies I had without the kind of relief I was hoping for.

Then in 2005 I left to go to school in Indiana for two years. At last I was out of the muck and dirty air and the trees and plants that bloom each Spring and Fall and leave their pollen everywhere. Now maybe I would finally get some relief. With some excitment and some skepticism, I looked forward to finding out if I would finally be allergy free.

However, within a few weeks of my arrival in Indiana, I was left yet again with allergies and more allergies. In fact, not only did they not improve, but they seemed at times to be worse.

Ugh. I was really getting frustrated now.
Fastforward to 2007 and I was back in Utah and still suffering. I’d always had a hard time blowing my nose since I was younger and my dad had had surgery for a diviated septum in the nose. I had a new job with insurance and so I make an appointment with an ENT to see if surgery would help. He said it would and so I had the surgery. While it did help some and I was able to blow my nose more, I still continuted to struggle wtih allergies, frequent sinus infections and my nose still didn’t seem as clear as it should be for someone who had had the surgery I had had.

Fast forward four more years and I began to break out all over with rashes. These rashes seemed to come from no where and at this point, I really began to question what I had been told during the past 30 years about food allergies. I had better health insurance and more income and so I booked an appointment at an integrative medicine clinic that also offered acupuncture and eastern medicine. They specialized in food allergies and autoimmune conditions.

The first thing they recommended was a food allergy and food sensitvities panel. I did the blood test and when the results came back I was shocked. Severe allergies to wheat and milk and varying degrees of food sensitivites to about 40 other foods. Many of these were things I was eating on a regular basis and had no idea. While I was shocked, I was also rather upset and annoyed. How come after all these years, no one ever told me, that the foods I was eating were at the cause of many of my allergies?

At the direction of my new doctors’ office, I did an elimination diet with all the foods on my list and I gave up wheat and milk. I also did 6 months of extensive acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments.

Fast forward to almost 4 years later and my allergies are almost 90% gone. Yep, that’s right, after almost 30 years of non-stop allergies, I almost never get them anymore and if I do, I know it’s because I’ve eaten too much of something that I have a sensitivity to and I know how to fix it.

Why and How did this happen? Why did I suffer for all these years and try all these allergy mediciations and remedies with little to no relief, only to find out that I had food allergies and food sensitivities?

There are a variety of reasons but they really boil down to these:

Doctors have little to no training in nutrition. While the amount of training in nutrition doctors get varies, the average is only about three hours. Because of this lack of training, we have a healthcare system full of doctors and medical professionals who know next to nothing about nutrition and how the food you eat impacts your health and wellbeing.

Food sensitivites vs Food allergies are not well understood by most doctors including even many holsitic providers. So just because you don’t have an “allergy” as determined by a traditional allergy test, does not mean that the food in question, isn’t bothering you. Any food can cause problems at any time and yes the symptoms can be similar to those caused by seasonal allergies and or hay fever.
Food allergies and or food sensitivites can make seasonal allergies worse.

While I’m not happy about what happened to me and I’m frusterated by all the years of allergies, pill popping and still not feeling well, my hope is that at least my story can help others to avoid years of suffering and hassles.

Need help? Schedule a time to chat with me.

How Food Impacts Mental Wellness

Has it ever occurred to you that your mental wellness is impacted by the food you eat? While it makes sense if you really think about it, too often people don’t think about the impact of food and mental wellness. One simple way to think about it, is to think about how you feel after eating a something with a lot of sugar and processed white flour. Do you feel good? Do you feel like your memory and brain power is increased after eating junk food? Most people will say no and in fact, brain fog after eating is one of the symptoms that the food you have eaten isn’t good for your mental wellness.

Watch my interview below with Dee Doanes where we chat in detail about food, nutrition and supplements and the impact they have on your mental wellness.

Want to improve your memory? Watch the food you eat.

Feeling sluggish and tired all the time. What are you eating?

and so on and so on.

How health coaching can help people with food sensitivities

When I first found out how bad my food allergies and food sensitvities are I was overwhelmed. I really wish that I would have hired a health coach. My experience with the ALCAT test

Here are some of the ways a health coach can help children and adults with food allergies and or food senstivities:

1. Help with finding recipes for foods you can eat. While there are recipes everywhere at the same time, if you have more than one food sensitivity and in some cases maybe even lots of them, then recipes will be harder to find than you think. A health coach can help you find recipes you can actually eat and enjoy.

2. Help with accountability. Health coaching can help you stay accountable and actually achieve your health goals.

3. Help you create a well balanced diet and menu. When you have food sensitivities and even worse when you have multiple food sensitivities, then health coaching can help you to eat a balanced diet rather than only eating the 10 foods you know are safe and enjoy eating.

4. Help you overcome cravings. When you first start eating according to a new way of life, it can be tough. Health coaching can help you succeed and avoid giving in to your cravings.

5. Help you deal with people in your life who don’t understand why you are avoiding certain foods. This is a big one and it’s a much bigger deal than many people think or realize. Often the people closest to you won’t support you like you had hoped and health coaching with a trained health coach can help you help them to understand your new way of eating.

6. Help you with reading food labels and help you to understand how to really avoid things like gluten and dairy. It’s much harder than you might think.

7. Help you to not go crazy while avoiding certain foods. This is a bigger problem than you might think and a health coach can help you stay sane.

Want me to help you? Schedule a time to talk with me