Real Food Blood-Sugar Friendly Muffins

Please note, the information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, circumstances or adverse effects. if you also have type 1 diabetes, understand the research on resistant starch can lower blood sugars (while improving gut health, weight loss, and more). If chosen to consume muffins like this or resistant starch in general, it is a good idea to monitor blood sugars more than normal initially and know that potato starch carbohydrates are not absorbed. Please consult your physician as well.

Flax Muffins

Flax Muffins

Low carb, high fiber muffins that are gentle on blood sugars. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: High fiber, Low carb, Low sugar
Servings: 12
Author: Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roughly ground flaxseed
  • 15-20 drops of liquid stevia
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup water room temperature
  • cup MCT oil or melted coconut oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and prep a cupcake tray.
  • Combine flax meal with sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine fully and set aside.
  • Add eggs, water and MCT oil to a high-powered blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds, until foamy.
  • Transfer liquid mixture to the bowl with the flax mixture. Stir with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pan, 3/4 full.

Blueberry Muffins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a regular size muffin tin or line with paper liners. (You can also use silicone cupcake liners for better “non-stick” results)
  3. Mix (or sift) the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  4. Whisk the “eggs”, honey, oil and vanilla in another bowl.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  6. Gently stir the blueberries into the batter.
  7. Spoon into 12-14 muffin tins. (They will be fairly full)
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden on top.
  9. Serve warm

Pumpkin Chia Muffins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder and then mix the chia with the water.
  3. Add pumpkin, honey, vanilla, coconut oil, lemon, then mix well.
  4. Sift in the coconut flour and baking soda
  5. Add spices
  6. Grease a regular size muffin tin or line with paper liners. (You can also use silicone cupcake liners for better “non-stick” results)
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the dough, is set.

Candida – Yeast Overgrowth

With many of my clients, I use food sensitivity testing to uncover food sensitivities and to help put a plan together of what foods work best for each individual. And I am being honest, out of the last 10 tests I have done, every test has come back, showing my clients have an overgrowth of candida.

Yet, what is Candida?

Candida is yeast commonly present in the gastrointestinal tract with no ill effects, but when it becomes invasive it can cause a host of issues. And, of course, yeast infections can occur in various parts of the body.

Symptoms:

  • Anxiety, depression and mood swings
  • Nail or skin fungus, athlete’s foot, or vaginal yeast infection
  • Chronic sinus or ear infections
  • Sore muscles and joints
  • Food sensitivities
  • Feeling chronically fatigued
  • Poor memory and brain fog
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Frequent bloating and gas
  • Environmental sensitivities
  • Feeling worse on damp or humid days
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood sugar
  • PMS
  • Endometriosis
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivities to strong chemical smells
  • Cravings for bread, cookies, sugar, other carbohydrates, or alcohol

How to starve candida?

Candida feeds on glycogen in membranes and sugar in foods and your bloodstream. The only way to starve candida is to avoid sugars. An anti-candida diet should be an extremely low carbohydrate diet. Once the candida has been sufficiently killed off and carbohydrates will be reintroduced to feed the beneficial bacteria (gut flora).

Avoid:

  • Added Sugars – Like honey, agave, sugar, coconut sugar, etc.
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts – Especially avoid high mold nuts like peanuts and cashews. Safer/better nuts include: almonds, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts
  • Dairy Products – (unless Ghee or is fermented and dairy is tolerated)
  • Junk food
  • Glutinous Grains – (wheat, barley, rye, non-certified gf oats) – seek gluten free
  • Starchy vegetables – (potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, peas and parsnips)
  • High sugar fruits – (like dried fruit and fruit juice)
  • Alcohol
  • Minimize caffeine

Enjoy:

  • Small amounts of low-sugar fruits – Cranberry, raspberry, strawberry and kiwi fruit
  • High-quality animal protein – Eggs and seafood
  • Healthy fats and oils – Olive oil, linseed (flax) oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, coconut milk and cream (full fat NOT light), coconut Homemade mayonnaise, aioli.
  • Non-starchy vegetables – Olives, Garlic, onion, capsicum, zucchini, chilli, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red radish, daikon radish, carrots, etc.
  • Fermented Foods
  • Chicory coffee and herbal teas (make sure the tea does not have gluten in it)
  • Stevia
  • Herbs – Parsley, lettuce, rocket, sage, mint, thyme*, oregano*, Vietnamese mint*, Dorrigo pepper*, mountain pepper*, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, radishes*

Recovery:

Once a healthy balance of gut flora has been established we need to feed the healthy microbes by reintroducing carbs. Continue to avoid or restrict refined sugars, sweets, and sugary drinks, white bread, white rice, white pasta, yams, big starchy potato and sweet potato. Reintroduce healthy cereals and grains including millet, buckwheat, rye, oats and barley, if tolerated. Legumes are better tolerated and easier to digest if they are sprouted.

Click here to download a Candida Diet Printable!

Have more questions? Send me an email ([email protected]) or comment below.

Gut Health + Multiple Autoimmune Diseases

Just recently, I had an “ah-ha” moment when tuning-in to a podcast hearing Dr. Sarah Ballantyne discusses the risk of getting additional autoimmune diseases for those who already have an existing one. As if 1 disease wasn’t enough, right?! Thankfully, there is something we can do to halt this from happening, but a little information first.

Autoimmune disease affects over 50 million Americans, and if you have an autoimmune disease, you have genetic predisposition to have an overactive immune system. With this, the risk of getting an additional autoimmune disease, according to Sarah Ballantyne’s literature review, is 1 every decade.

Hitting close to home, I felt it in my gut when I read how type 1 diabetes (T1D) is associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (AIT), celiac disease (CD), Addison’s disease (AD), and other autoimmune diseases.

Looking back on my 26+ years of having type 1 diabetes I sense a relationship with this research. In 2009, my life changed when I did a gluten-free experiment. Multiple endocrinologists thought I was wasting my time, as I had proved multiple celiac disease tests negative. Yet, my A1C and blood sugar control were immediately improved and continue to be more predictable and better than ever. Not to mention, my eczema, insomnia and female hormones are better off. Just last July I did a food sensitivity test on myself, and my reaction to wheat was off the charts, followed by gluten. An allergy (celiac) is very different than a sensitivity, and taking my food sensitivity results seriously is improving my overall well-being and are helping to reduce my risk of acquiring more diagnoses. In the last 2 years, I’ve experimented more with my diet, and am now working to wean down or off my thyroid medication (my thyroid tanked with the onset of pregnancy with my second child). It will be a slow process, but things are moving in the right direction. No doubt, food is powerful. Slower than medicine, but powerful.

In the least, it’s a good thing the progression of an autoimmune disease is not entirely determined by genetics. Reseach concludes there are 3 parts:

  1. genetics,
  2. environmental factors (from everything from a heavy metal toxicity, to a stressful emotional event), and
  3. a leaky gut. (Here Dr. Axe does a good job defining Leaky Gut, and below I highlight how to take care of your gut).

It’s valuable to understand that an autoimmune disease can sit brewing in the body for years before a diagnosis occurs and the great news is we can do a lot to prevent the last “straw” from reaching the camels back.

While there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, the best way to be your healthiest and prevent any further autoimmune diseases from occurring or progressing is to focus on 1) what we eat, 2) what we absorb and 3) how we take care of our body/lifestyle. 

Diet/What We Eat:

  1. The AIP is a good starting point for anyone dealing with one or more autoimmune diseases. Not only does it exclude grains, dairy, and legumes like the basic paleo template, it also eliminates nightshades, nuts, seeds, eggs, alcohol, and sugar, leaving a pure and basic diet of meats, seafood, certain vegetables, certain fruits, healthy fats and spices that help to promote anti-inflammatory reactions within the body. Upfront, I want to highlight that while this diet can be a very low-carb diet, it can also be a high carb diet sourcing healthy foods including plantains, sweet potatoes, yams, fruit, yucca, taro, etc. This approach can be tough. Thankfully there are great resources, from books to websites and podcasts. Pheonix Helix is a leader in communicating effective ways of living this lifestyle. Her website is a wealth of information as is her podcasts and guests.
  2. A few other paths to take to make sure someone is eating the right things for their gut is they can do an elimination diet, removing the biggest offenders: gluten, wheat, sugar, eggs, soy, dairy, seed/man-made oils (think corn, canola, soy, safflower seed oils) and corn. Like I did in 2009, begin avoiding one or all of these food groups and take notes on how you feel.
  3. Increasing vegetables and fruit in the diet,
  4. Diversify meals,
  5. Incorporate good spices and herbs,

Gut/What We Absorb:

  1. First REMOVE inflammatory foods and chronic stressors, REPLACE the problem foods with healing foods, such as items listed below, REPAIR the gut with specific supplements, and REBALANCE and nurture the gut, ongoing with probiotics. This is known as the 4 R Protocol.
  2. Research suggests the gut can take on average 2-12 weeks to heal, and likely longer for this of us with an autoimmune disease. For anyone with an autoimmune disease who is also sensitive to gluten and consuming it, it can take closer to 6 months for the gut to heal. And there is little benefit in a “gluten-light” diet. A fraction of a crumb can inflame the body, and I know this first handed when the cook in a cafe I used to work in, would cut my chicken breast with the same knife he was cutting chicken sandwiches with, I’d get ill. I also think of my mother who has osteoporosis, Hashimoto’s and rheumatoid arthritis, but still gets non-gluten free communion at church every weekend. Bottom line, it’s important to be 100% gluten-free when experimenting and if implementing when results are positive.
  3. Increase fermented foods in the diet along with coconut products, bone broth, and collagen,
  4. Avoid food sensitivities – do an elimination diet, tracking your intake and symptoms, or do a blood test to cut to the chase. Feel free to email me if you want help doing a blood test like this.
  5. Moderate saturated fat as it can impair the microbiota,
  6. Replenish nutrient stores with potent supplements, and ask for advice from a health professional to find a high-quality product and the right product for your needs and background.

Lifestyle/How We Take Care of Ourselves:

  1. Prioritize sleep, both quantity, and quality, Did you know in 1965 we got on average of an hour and a half more of sleep per night than compared to today? That’s a big difference, and females need more sleep than males. Here is a list of how to tweak your environment to improve the quality
  2. Engage in adventure and hobbies. If you don’t have the time, shift things around so you do.
  3. Not that you don’t know already, but prioritize blood sugar control. The swings cause inflammation and disturb the peace in our gut.
  4. React better to stress. It’s common to say,  “Reduce stress,” but that thought only makes me a little more strung out. Instead, I put my energy on my response to challenges and tough tasks.
  5. Work on communication so you can be heard and respected.

 

Resources/References:

  • 5 At Home Test Gut: https://www.thepaleomom.com/5-gut-health-tests-you-can-do-at-home/
  • https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/91/4/1210/2843240
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4971288/
  • https://www.healthcentral.com/article/type-1-diabetes-and-autoimmune-diseases
  • https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28154/what-to-eat-to-have-a-great-poop.html

Fermented Foods – Probiotics – Immunity

I help many educated people with their diets, yet, very few of my clients come to me already taking probiotics. The awareness on the importance of taking probiotics or eating a diet including fermented foods is low. More than half of our immune system is in our digestive (GI) tract, which encompasses healthy bugs preventing the overgrowth of bacteria and yeasts. So what does this mean, and who should be intrigued by this information?

Everyone.

For most of us, our diets are low in foods with live and active cultures (yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut) and these foods help to maintain optimal levels of beneficial bacteria in our digestive system. If the levels of good bacteria drop, so does our immune system and we are more likely to get sick. Besides the fact we can become more susceptible to a cold/flu, an optimal level of healthy bugs in our gut also allow us to be our healthiest person.

Circa 1990s, research established probiotics can help treat several gastrointestinal illnesses, delay the development of allergies in children, and help women treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections.

Enhancing diets with fermented foods/probiotic supplements clients can:

  • aid digestion
  • strengthen immunity
  • fight obesity (in post-par-tam women and patients who went through a weight loss surgery)
  • treat diarrhea in infants and children, specifically antibiotic associated diarrhea (please note, you never want to take a probiotic while taking an antibiotic. You want to take a probiotic immediately after the antibiotic is finished)
  • treat Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • enhance nutrient absorption
  • manage allergies. One study, specifically, found a relationship that when pregnant women took an probiitoc their child was less likely to have ezcema by 30%.

A physician at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Mullin, suggests the future may lie in concocting specific probiotics for people based upon their individual needs and microbiomes.

Recommendations for maintaining a healthy gut:

  • Avoid situations and events that are mentally stressful and overtly physically stressful
  • Avoid the need for antibiotics, the best you can
  • Maintain a healthy diet, and avoid irritant foods (for many this includes gluten containing grains, dairy and/or legumes)
  • Take a daily probiotic (I recommend products from Standard Process including ProSynbiotic. I have been taking their supplements including ProSynbiotic and have noticed a remarkable difference. I overall feel better, sense more ease controlling my blood sugars and have more energy)

Overall, if you are interested in adding a probiotic to your diet, understand not all supplements are equal, including probiotics. Contact a health professional to understand what supplements are most appropriate for you.

Small changes to diet and lifestyle can completely change our quality of life. Advocate for your health and seek for results. It takes 66 days for something to become a habit and 100 days to sense the results. Be patient and enjoy the journey.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

 

Sources:

The Harvard Medical School Family Guide

Dotterud K, et al. Probiotics to prevent allergic disease. Brit J Dermatol, 2010

Bailey M, Dowd S. Stressor Exposure Disrupts Commensal Microbial Populations. Inf and Immun April 2010; 78(4): 1509-19

Holdeman L. Good I. Human Fecal Flora: Variation and Possible Effect of Emotional Stress. App Env Microbiol Mar 1976;21(3):369-75.