In the Kitchen, Kitchen Tools

GAPS Kitchen Tools – Stock Pot

TOOL: Stock Pot
NECESSITY: 5 out of 5
COOL FACTOR: 1 out of 5
FREQUENCY OF USE: Weekly or Bi-weekly
LOOK FOR: Stainless Steel

I am starting a new series of posts. My GAPS Kitchen Tools. It was going to be one post, until my list got so long that I didn’t want to scare anyone away from changing the way you eat. A good percentage are found in almost every kitchen so you may have some already!

When we first started GAPS we went through our pantry and cleared out all of the items that were no longer allowed. We saved a small stash in an out-of-the-way place for when my stepsons are over. There’s no reason to torture them with no grains just because the rest of us are on a crazy food plan. Although, we do buy the best quality grains available for them to eat. The next thing I did was evaluate which utensils needed to go; non-stick pans, BPA filled plastic containers, etc. And I made a list of the items I needed to buy. Slowly. One at a time, because let’s face it this food plan isn’t cheap.

The very first thing I bought was a big stock pot. The amount of meat stock or bone broth we consume in a week was greater than the capacity of my largest 8 quart pot. It can be done in a smaller pot, it just has to be done more often. Bone broth stays on low heat for 12-24 hours, and there’s no way I feel comfortable leaving my gas burner on that long more than once every two weeks when I can be home the entire time and monitor it. I tried making it in a crock pot. I tried every way under the sun with the crock pot, begging and praying for a way to make it work. It kinda worked for chicken broth, but every batch had a flavor of burnt or rancid fat. No thanks! Back to the stove! Stock and broth freeze beautifully. I store it in lots of different size containers so that they are easy to pull out for drinking or for cooking. Sometimes I need 2 quarts of broth for soup, and sometimes I just need a mugful.

You’ll hear me say over and over again that the best cookware is Le Creuset. It’s the safest, it’s cast-iron, and they have enameled and anodized pots and pans meaning food won’t stick. If you check out the link you’ll see why I don’t have a Le Creuset Stock Pot…. yet. It’s a bit pricey, but it is something you will pass on to your children. It will last forever. Like Legos. The next best is All Clad. Again, a little pricey, but lower than the Le Creuset. The important thing is you want to get stainless steel. Not aluminum. Most stainless steel pots have an aluminum induction base to help heat the pot, which is fine but the part your food touches should be stainless steel. I have heard that one way to tell if your pot is stainless steel or aluminum (if it doesn’t say on the bottom) is to see if a magnet sticks to it. If it does stick than it is for sure stainless steel. However, if it doesn’t stick it does not mean that it isn’t. Some stainless is magnetic and some isn’t, but aluminum will not hold the magnet.

Ok. Here is the pot I bought. It’s 20 quarts, which means I can easily make 2-3 gallons of stock/broth at a time. Yup. Two to three GALLONS. That will last us about 2 weeks with cooking and drinking. It is lightweight, which is good, because I add a couple of gallons of water and several pounds of chicken and pouring just the broth out takes a little muscle. I don’t use the lid often, but it is nice to have when I need to divide my cooking time. (When I have to leave my house during a batch of bone broth, I stick it in the oven for quick trips, or in the fridge. When I return I bring it back to a boil, skim the scum off and reduce to a simmer for the remainder of the cooking time). I purchased this one for around $50.

Chefmate 20QT Stainless Steel Stock Pot from Target

Chefmate 20QT Stainless Steel Stock Pot from Target

Standard
In the Kitchen, Recipes

GAPS Meatloaf – Grain-free

GAPS Meatloaf

I tested this meal on a Standard American Diet friend, and he said it was really good. Of course he’s a young man, and they’ll eat just about anything. He could have just been saving my feelings. Try it for yourself and see. I think it would go nicely with Nourishing Traditions Fermented Ketchup. I haven’t made it yet myself.

I used 3 loaf pans, because I was in a hurry, and also to keep the loaves short and keep them together. If you make one big loaf the cooking time will vary. This recipe does not include garlic, but you could add garlic powder or fresh garlic with the spinach for your tastes. Printable recipe card at the bottom.

Meatloaf

2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
1 can organic tomato paste
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 pastured eggs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
4 cups organic baby spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare loaf pans with ghee or parchment paper.
  2. In a large pan cook onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper until softened.
  3. Add zucchini and spinach until wilted. 1-3 minutes. Turn off heat.
  4. In a large mixing bowl add remaining ingredients. Add vegetables. Mix gently until well combined.
  5. Divide into loaf pans and bake in oven about 30 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Print

Standard
In the Kitchen, Recipes

Chicken Piccata – Grain-free, Gluten-free, GAPS-friendly

I’ve added a new feature… printable recipes at the bottom of my food posts. Click on the picture and it should open in a new window to print or save to your desktop. 
Chicken Piccata - Grain-free, Gluten-free, GAPS-friendly

Chicken Piccata

2 chicken breasts, pounded thin (organic, free-range of course)
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
Almond flour for dredging
2 tablespoons unsalted, pastured butter
Ghee for sautéing
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season chicken with and pepper. Dredge in flour.
  2. In large skillet over med-high heat melt 2 tbsp ghee When hot, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook each side for 3 minutes. Remove to plate.
  3. Add more ghee repeat with 2 more chicken pieces.
  4. Into the pan, add lemon juice, stock & capers. Bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from pan.
  5. Check for seasoning.
  6. Return all chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 min.
  7. Remove chicken to platter.
  8. Add 2 tbsp butter to sauce and whisk vigorously.
  9. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Print

Standard
Journal, Learning Adventures

Confessions of a Health Nut

health_nut_t_shirts_and_gifts_custom_announcements-rd41380c863f74c5cb46411b027a39b3e_8dnmv_8byvr_512I have been feeling the need to tell my story. In as much as it relates to finding myself cooking liver for dinner. That’s right. LIVER!! Blobbily, slimy, bloody liver! First attempt was an utter failure by the way my friends. I couldn’t bring myself to make my family eat it. (It was saved and will be made into frozen pill shapes to swallow. So I suppose it wasn’t a complete disaster.) I wasn’t always this way. You know a crazy-crunchy-granola-health nut who has foods fermenting and cultures growing in her fridge. Seeking out organ meats from grass-fed butchers, and being upset at buying an organic chicken that doesn’t come with giblets. In fact, only 2 years ago my husband had to pull the giblet bag out of the turkey for me at christmas time.

Growing up my family ate fairly healthy. Eating out was a treat. My mom made us 3 meals a day, and we ate together as a family every day. Most of my grandparents and great-grandparents were from Oklahoma so hearty country meals were the norm. Dinner with the extended family was usually roast beef or fried chicken, 8 kinds of vegetables, bread and plenty of butter on everything. We would have mac n cheese and spaghetti often. Simple pasta dishes. I think jarred tomato sauce and kraft mac n cheese was the extent of our processed foods minus the occasional (maybe once a month) trip through a drive through. My great-grandma was our after school spot and she would make everything from scratch and canned her own peaches. Lord I miss her biscuits!

I grew into a young adult and turned into a lazy eater. There’s no other excuse. I have the skills and knowledge to prepare good meals and I choose the fast and cheap way. I was being lazy. Lucky Charms for breakfast, dollar meals at any drive thru for lunch and Hamburger Helper or other no-fuss boxed meal for dinner. I washed it all down with 6-8 Pepsi’s per day. Starting off every day with a minimum 32oz Super Big Gulp. Throw in a couple of candy bars, cookies or a piece of cake and you have a pretty good picture of my eating standards. I remember posting pictures of an Entenmann’s pound cake and a Pepsi as my “breakfast of champions.” Thanks to an auto-immune thyroid disease, that developed shortly after high school, I rarely put on weight, but I got to the point where I just didn’t feel good anymore. My teeth started sprouting cavities like weeds after a week of rain. I developed crippling IBS.. to the extent that my husband sent champagne and Immodium to me on our wedding day, because he knew the stress would cause an episode.

Within the last 5 years, I had started cooking more with my husband, but every meal still included a starch, and usually bread of some kind. Then we found Anna, our nutritionist, in our search for anything that would help with our son’s behavioral issues. When she recommended the GAPS diet she asked me to read Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride. It was an eye opener for me. Not only were my health issues related to my poor nutrient-deficient diet, but my son’s issues were because of my diet before and during my pregnancy. When we decided to try GAPS for Cullen, we decided to do it together as a family, not just because it would be cruel and unusual punishment to make a 7-year-old watch you eat the foods he loves in front of him, but also because we knew it would only improve our own health.

I tried to hold on to my Pepsi. I tried to just cut it back to one or two per day. I quickly realized that even holding on to that little bit made my cravings for sweets too strong to resist, so I slowly transferred to iced tea, making weaker and weaker batches to wean myself off caffeine. Now I might have very weak iced tea once a day, and I’m drinking my suggested daily intake of water. I have devoted hours more of my time to working in my kitchen. I make our yogurt, applesauce, salad dressings, condiments, nut butter, beef jerky, sauerkraut, ice cream and bone broth. Lots and lots of bone broth. Everything is from scratch with no additives, no preservatives and no pesticides. I’m hunting down sales and the cheapest place to find groceries. Trying to find soy-free eggs or chicken has been a battle and a half.

I was standing in front of my stove sautéing liver tonight, and I thought, “How did I get here?!?” I bought LIVER and I’m cooking it with the intent of eating it! And I am secretly hoping I will enjoy it! I have done a 180, dragging my carb-loving family with me into the world of grain-free and probiotics. I was talking to a friend today and she asked if I ever wanted to just give up. Absolutely, without a doubt there were moments I wanted to throw all of my pots out the window and never enter my kitchen again. But I kept trucking, because I truly believe in how much better I feel. Because my husband doesn’t have asthma attacks anymore. Because my son is finally making friends, and showing emotions. Because I get hugs from him at any time of day; not just when I tuck him in at night.

I went from a junk food addict to certifiable health nut. And I’m never going back.

Standard
Journal, Learning Adventures

An Interview With Our Nutritionist- Anna Hammalian

I get the opportunity to introduce you to our Nutritionist today! Anna has been a lifesaver for our family starting us on the road to better health, and keeping us on track along the way. I asked her a few questions so she can explain in her own words what she does. One of the questions is on the GAPS diet, which you can learn more about HERE.

annaPhoto by: D’Avello Photography

Anna Hammalian attended Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA where she completed rigorous training in the school of Nutrition and Dietetics. The program concentrated in the areas of nutritional science, medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, food production and administration of food service operations, chemistry, physiology, plus a variety of supporting coursework in related disciplines. She achieved her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics in June of 2009. Anna received her certification as a Board Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) from the Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc. (NTA) in 2010. This training has given her the ability and knowledge to specialize in digestive health, blood sugar management, heart health, and hormone balance using Nutritional Therapy.

Anna is also among the few health care advocates that are Certified GAPS practitioner. As a certified GAPS Practitioner, she works closely with children and adults with Autism ADD, ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, Schizophrenia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, autoimmune disorders and much more. Through Diet, Detoxification and Supplementation Anna has seen beautiful transformations in her clients while healing through the GAPS program.

Q: What exactly is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?
A: A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) addresses nutrition from a holistic perspective. An NTP offers a clear alternative to the grain-based, low-fat nightmare that is the official diet of America. NTP’s address weaknesses in the body’s physiological foundations brought on by poor nutrition.  The alternative I offer goes beyond just diet and exercise, offering customized and highly effective natural approaches to each client’s specific needs. Nutritional Therapy can be applied to all areas of health, including: weight management, constipation, IBS, gallbladder problems, acid reflux disease, hormone health, infertility support, autism, depression, mood disorders, athletic performance, allergies/asthma, endocrine support and so much more! We strive to reverse the tragic and unsuspected effect of the modern diet for our clients. We also teach the importance of properly prepared whole foods that are delicious, nourish our bodies, and restore good health.

Q: What made you become a NTP? 
A: After working as a clinical dietitian while attending Loma Linda University I saw the need for more answers. Telling my patients to eat low-fat foods, 6 servings of adulterated grains per day, soy, and sugar-free foods was making the disease process worse. I saw patients decline at even faster rates. I sought out a few of my mentors in the medical field and nutrition field who are holistic oriented; to get a clearer understanding of healing with whole foods and natural remedies as opposed to the food guide pyramid and pharmaceuticals. As soon as I completed my degree at Loma Linda University  and came out from under the food industries umbrella, I started the NTP program and not only did my life change for the better, but every client I come across has a new and clearer perspective of real nutrition and its healing benefits!

Q: What kind of services do you offer?
A: Where Western medicine focuses on treating symptoms, Nutritional Therapy stresses a root cause approach to health. As a Nutritional Therapy practitioner, there are a variety of evaluation methods and techniques used, including a complete review of a client’s health and diet history, a 3-Day Food journal, and a through evaluation of the individual’s nutritional weakness in the body, utilizing the hands-on Functional Evaluation. Each individual possess different nutrient deficiencies, different toxic burdens, different eating habits, and different physiological functions. Therefore, each person needs a customized nutrition plan that will yield quick results.  Through carefully designed bio-individual dietary, lifestyle and supplement recommendations Nutritional Therapy promotes optimal health; along with advice and tips for adequate hydration, rest, and stress management. This will effectively balance body chemistry, and reduce, or even eliminate dysfunction. I also offer group workshops and seminars on educational topics regarding real food nutrition, detoxification, healing the gut and brain through the GAPS Nutritional Program, preconception nutrition and hormone balancing.

Other services:
  • Detailed client history via written intake form and lengthy personal interview
  • Blood chemistry analysis, optional
  • Comprehensive three-day stool analysis, optional
  • Salivary hormone testing, optional
  • Hair mineral analysis, optional
  • Other specialty testing analysis available

Q: GAPS is not well-known, why did you become a GAPS Certified Practitioner?
A: We live in a world of unfolding epidemics. Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), Schizophrenia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder and other neuropsychological and psychiatric problems in children and young adults are becoming more and more common. I have been practicing the GAPS for the last 2 years, but decided to become certified so doctors don’t think I am crazy. Well, they still do; however, it enables me to work in a clinical setting guiding families through the program.

Q: What are 3 things you wish everyone would change about their nutrition?
A: 1. Eat real butter
2. Cook at home
3. Cut grain and sugar intake by half

Q: If someone wants to make a nutritional change what is the first thing they should do?
A: Look to the Weston A. Price Foundation website to help one understand the truth about whole food.

Q: What is the difference between therapeutic supplements and store-bought vitamins/supplements?
A: Pure, therapeutic remedies/supplements contain the total complex family of micronutrients (just as they are found in nature) with a potency that is highly effective. These micronutrients are indispensable for proper vitamin absorption and maximum utilization. Most stores are not allowed to carry therapeutic supplements because a health practitioner must dose them according to the bio-individuality of each person. This is to your benefit considering you might have to go through several bottles of a store-bought vitamin D vs. going through only 1 bottle of a therapeutic vitamin D given to you by your nutritionist.
Are the ingredient’s vital factors retained? The manufacturing process of store-bought products has been handled poorly and exposed to an undue amount of chemicals.  Along with the added toxic substances, supplements undergo high-heat treatment, which destroys enzymes and phytonutrients that are vital for your health; not to mention the reason you bought that particular product. Supplement manufacturers often add in a variety of fillers to their vitamin and mineral supplements for numerous reasons:
  1. Easier and faster production
  2. More appealing to the eye (colorants)
  3. Easier to swallow (coatings)

Could that supplement you bought be harmful? Don’t be fooled by “organic” or “natural.” Look at the ingredients listed on the label. Can you pronounce them and do you recognize them? Common chemicals and toxic substances found in most supplements that you can buy from health food stores, pharmacies and grocery stores are listed below:

  • FD&C Red #40 Lake, FD&C Blue #2 (links to cancer, ADD, ADHD, headaches and allergies/asthma)
  • Hydrogenated oils (encourages heart problems, strokes, nervous system problems, block the absorption of essential fatty acids, upset blood sugar regulation and more)
    • Soy (high levels of phytic acid that reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women. Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D).
    • Gluten (causes inflammation, intestinal damage, heartburn, constipation, and headaches)
    • Corn starch (headaches, gastrointestinal damage, allergies and much more)
    • Sugar (blood sugar irregularities, headaches, obesity, tooth decay and much more)

These preservatives and chemicals are stored in the liver. Your liver is your largest detoxifying organ. Keep it clean so it can do its job of detoxifying on a daily basis. Just like a recipe, the quality of the ingredients you use affects the quality of the final product. The final product being your health!

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: I have two!
1. Educating people about what real food is, and how we can find true healing and joy from eating the foods which we are designed to eat!
2. Hearing about the leaps and bounds of improvement in my client’s health. When I hear, “My doctor let me stop all my meds.” I am satisfied!

To learn even more (or to contact her) visit her website at www.selahwellness.net

Standard