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Why do they say wine is good for you?

Resveratrol is the main health promoting property in red wine.  It is what protects the grape vine from its environment and has similar protective properties on our bodies.  It has been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure, good for the immune system, protects the brain and nervous system, improves blood vessel elasticity, and is considered an anti-aging nutrient due to its powerful antioxidant properties.  Wine and other alcohol should be consumed in moderation.  If you choose wine, it is suggested to consume no more than 5 ounces a day for women, 10 ounces a day for men.  Frequent consumption of alcohol, even in these portions may be contraindicated for various medical conditions.  It is suggested you consult with your doctor or health practitioner to see if it is right for you.

Kids in the Kitchen- Part 1

Eating healthy should be a family affair.  It is much easier to establish healthy eating habits at an earlier age then later in life.  The best way to get kids to eat healthy is to make them part of the process and most importantly, make it fun! Try any of the following ideas or be creative and make your own!


Kitchen Art

Allow them to express their creativity (i.e. picking out and decorating with healthy toppings, making fun shapes, using fun cookie cutter or molds, make fruit animals with toothpicks and fruit, etc)


Mix it up

Hand the mixing bowel to your kids and they can count spatula turns, test their strength, follow cook book instructions, race the clock to see how long it takes to make the mix smooth, etc.



Kids in the Kitchen- Part 2

In the last email we discussed getting kids to eat healthy through getting them involved in the kitchen.  There are two other methods I use to get kids to have healthy habits and ironically they are completely opposite of each other.  The first method is education.  There are great tools (games, worksheets, videos, books, etc) to teach nutrition at almost any age level.  The website www.nourishinteractive.com is a great start and FREE!  When kids have positive exposure to healthy foods through games and having fun in the kitchen, they are empowered to integrate healthy foods through their own free will instead of being told what to do.  It is important to work with flavors the child likes to transition them (i.e. start out with pasta with lots of finely chopped vegetables added to the tomato sauce, versus giving a plate of steamed broccoli)


If that doesn’t work we have “Plan B”, sneak the healthy foods in without them knowing.  I highly recommend the cookbook series “The Sneaky Chef”.

Nutritious Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the beginning of the delicious holiday season known for packing pounds and breaking healthy diet habits.    However, not all festive foods are bad for you.  Cranberries in cranberry sauce are packed with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  It is also good for the kidneys, bladder (most known in helping fight urinary tract infections), and skin.   Pumpkin is also commonly used during this holiday and is very high in carotenoids and is a good source of fiber.  Carotenoids are a class of phytochemicals that protect the eyes, heart, and have anti-cancer properties.    Try making your own pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce and reducing calories by substituting sugar for a combination of SweetLeaf stevia and raw honey.  You can also try making the pumpkin pie minus the crust and serve it like a mouse using canned coconut milk.


Don’t forget to spice up your foods!  Those spices and other potent flavor adding foods have tremendous health promoting properties.  See below to see the present your holiday spices are packing for you:

Helps digestion- cinnamon, ginger, clove, anise, fennel, oregano, rosemary

Anti-inflammatory- rosemary, tumeric, cinnamon, ginger

Anti-cancer- cayenne, turmeric, garlic, oregano

Lower blood sugar- cinnamon, clove, oregano, sage, garlic

Lower blood pressure- cinnamon, garlic, oregano, cardamom, onion

Antioxidant- clove, cinnamon, oregano, tumeric


Garlic supports the immune system and helps with bloods sugar control and cardiovascular health.  Allicin is one of the powerful phytonutrients in garlic.  In order to have the highest concentration of allicin in your food it is best to chop/crush fresh garlic and let it sit for 20-45 minutes before using.


The turkey is our middle man.   He is high in protein and will help fill us up, so instead of having three servings of stuffing we can be satisfied with just one.   Try substituting the bread in the stuffing with quinoa or wild rice to make it a good source of fiber and other nutrients.


Try and remember, there will be plenty of leftovers so you don’t have to try and get it all in at once and gorge yourself.  Eat slow and you will get full with less food.  Pack a delicious lunch of leftovers for the following day.  Fill up on salad and non-starchy veggies.  Have sensible amounts of protein.  Use coconut oil and coconut milk products for healthy fats which give flavor and fill you up.  When it comes to carbs its all about moderation.   Do your best.  Most importantly….


ENJOY! Enjoy the food!   Enjoy the time with the family!

Give THANKS for all you have, and remember to be GIVING!


Pumpkin Mouse  

This is a great substitue for pumkin pie.  It takes out the processed sugar and flour and adds good fats that fill you up.



▪                1 14 oz can pumpkin puree

▪                1/3 cup coconut milk

▪                2 tsp vanilla extract

▪                1 3/4 tsp pumpkin spice

▪                1 tsp liquid stevia*

▪                1/4 cup coconut oil or butter

Just blend and enjoy!


Cranberry Sauce

Take in less calories by substituting some of the sweetener for stevia.  Below is a great recipe!

▪                12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

▪                1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

▪                zest of 1 orange

▪                1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

▪                1 teaspoon cinnamon

▪                1/4 to 1/3 cup raw honey, to taste

▪                several drops SweetLeaf stevia

Add orange juice and honey to a saucepan, bring to a boil. Add cranberries and boil until burst, stirring often (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 m inutes. Add spices, orange zest, and drops of stevia if needed (to taste); stirring to combine. Place cranberry sauce in a heat-proof container, cover and let set for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. Place in refrigerator until chilled/ready to serve.

Adapted from: http://www.cookinggodsway.com/homemade-cranberry-sauce/


Healthy Stuffing Alternative

Using whole grains instead of flour products for your stuffing is a great way to increase fiber and other nutrients.  The fiber makes you feel fuller faster so you will be satisfied with less.

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing

Serves 8


▪                4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

▪                1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

▪                1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or other low-sodium seasoning

▪                1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

▪                dash dried cloves

▪                2 cups quinoa

▪                2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

▪                2 cloves garlic, minced

▪                1 small onion, diced

▪                1 cup celery, chopped

▪                pinch of salt, to taste, if needed


In a medium saucepan bring chicken broth and spices to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, and celery and sauté 5–10 minutes until onion is slightly browned. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is done cooking.

When quinoa has finished cooking, combine all ingredients and stir well. Add a pinch of salt if needed to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: Mushrooms, squash, and zucchini make nice vegetable additions to this stuffing. If the mixture is too dry, toss in a little olive oil before serving.

Per Serving: 213 Calories; 7g Fat; 11g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 43mg Sodium.

From: http://www.drwhitaker.com/works-for-me-quinoa-stuffing


It seems like being gluten free is the latest diet fad.  Most diets are just for losing weight, but people on this diet are claiming more than just weight loss.


The number of people on medication for mood, memory, ADD, migraines, pain, thyroid issues, autoimmune diseases, diarrhea, constipation, Irritable Bowel Disease, crohn’s, colitis, autism, arthritis, psoriasis, dermatitis, down syndrome, schizophrenia, etc has risen dramatically over the years.  What about all the people being diagnosed with chronic fatigue? Why all the sudden are people of all ages having such issues?  A magnifying glass is now being placed over food sensitivities/intolerance as the key culprit or the accomplice to these conditions and many others.  Indeed, the research has connected these conditions to gluten intolerance (1-6).


In many cases, gluten triggers inflammation which is a significant contributing factor to these conditions.  In cases where gluten is the culprit, a person will feel a major difference just removing gluten from their diet.  In cases where gluten is an accomplice, additional anti-inflammatory, immune-balancing, and gut healing support is needed to reach an individual’s goals toward optimal health.


Those with Celiac disease use to be the only known population to be gluten intolerant.  It was only in 2011 at the 14th annual Celiac disease conference they finally started talking about gluten sensitivity outside of celiac disease.  It is now just starting to be recognized by the mainstream population as a real issue.  However, integrative and holistic practitioners have been putting their patients on gluten free diets for years and seen great results.  Patients typically have more energy and disease symptoms significantly decreased or go into remission.  The most comprehensive test for gluten is done by Cyrex labs.  It is the only conclusive test that I am aware of to determine if someone is intolerant to gluten.


Most people don’t believe they are gluten intolerant. I hear it all the time, “but I feel fine when I eat wheat”.  People think if they don’t feel a reaction right away, they can tolerate the food and are not sensitive to it.  Most reactions to food sensitivities do not occur this way!  The majority of those who are intolerant are having an inflammatory response that they are unaware is connected to the food they are eating.  Remember, inflammation is the root of disease.  If you have any of the symptoms mentioned in bold, or have inflammation, the cheapest way to see if you are gluten intolerant is to try it yourself.  Just like you cannot be “mostly” pregnant, you cannot be “mostly” gluten free.  You must be strict with the diet in order to feel results and see if it helps.  Plan on doing it very strictly for 3 months to test it.  If you are serious about getting better, you need to eliminate dairy as well since gluten and casein (protein in dairy) have a similar molecular structure (epitope) that can trigger inflammation (7).  For this reason most people who need to be off gluten also need to eliminate dairy.  Some people show sensitivity to other foods as well.  In order to get results, all food sensitivities need to be eliminated.


What is causing this rise in gluten sensitivity?

Is it possible that the “breadbasket of the world” could be producing wheat products that are bad for us?  Research indicates that the way we process wheat in the United States (deamidation) actually triggers an immune response in the body thus increasing inflammation (8-11).  For this reason some people tolerate wheat products abroad, but not in the USA.  Other theories, include the integration of genetically modified food into our food supply, hybridization of grains over the years, grain storage in bins for long periods of time causing aflotoxin growth, leaky gut, chronic stress effecting immune tolerance, poor nutrition, and enzyme insufficiency.



More Research

New research shows that there are much more parts of the gluten protein that effect the immune system and are not being tested for in labs (12-13).  For this reason you may have your labs come up normal and still have a gluten intolerance.


Sound hard to believe that gluten could affect your brain?

In 2002 a published study revealed that most people with diagnosed neurological symptoms caused by gluten sensitivity had no digestive issues at all (1).  Today a lot of people are on anti-anxiety meds, take caffeine to concentrate, and other medications to relax.  While gluten may not be the “cure all” for these conditions, it can be a significant contributing factor in some individuals.


Other research has shown how transglutaminase (byproduct of gluten digestion) is involved in processes responsible for diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and other polyglutamine diseases (2).  A study published in 1995 showed elevated antigliadin antibodies in 37% of all rheumatoid arthritis patients (14).  That is huge!  What is even more alarming is that the gliadin antibodies are just a few of many different parts of the gluten that can be tested.  For example, one person might test negative for gliadin antibodies, but may test positive for antibodies against glutenin, transglutaminase, or any of the other byproducts of gluten digestion.  So the number of people with rheumatoid arthritis who are sensitive to gluten is likely much higher.  The most through test for gluten intolerance is though Cyrex labs.  To date, it is the most conclusive blood panel to see if someone has a gluten sensitivity.  The cheapest way to see if you are intolerant is just to get off gluten and dairy very strictly for 3 months and see how you feel .  In rare cases some individuals feel worse on a gluten free/dairy free diet AT FIRST, these individuals ARE gluten intolerant.  This is because you are likely in the category of people who are going through withdrawal due to one of the gluten byproducts (gluteomorphin) acting like an opiod (similar to opiod withdrawl).  This may last a few days or a few weeks.  Just stick it out.    Autoimmune conditions and/or digestive issues may need extra support in healing/repairing the damage and brining down inflammation.  There are 2 other reasons why a gluten free/dairy free diet may not give you the results you are looking for: 1. Hidden exposure, you may accidentally eat something with gluten without realizing it.  2. Peptide Cross-Reactivity- you may still be eating something in your diet that you are sensitive to.


Since non-celiac gluten sensitivity has only recently been acknowledged by the medical community, most research in this area has only been done on patients with celiac disease.  A connection has been found showing that many of those with celiac disease (an autoimmune condition), and their relatives, also have antibodies for other autoimmune conditions (3).  Conversely, it has been found that 9.71% of those with type one diabetes (autoimmune disease) also had celiac disease (4).  Again, celiac disease is just one manifestation on gluten sensitivity.  There are very good odds that a type 1 diabetic might come up positive for other antibodies associated with gluten.  Thus the number of Type 1 diabetics with an actual gluten sensitivity is likely much higher.  A documentary called “Diabetes free in 30 days” put 2 individuals on a raw vegan diet (which happens to also be gluten and dairy free).  At the end of the documentary, the newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic was totally asymptomatic and off of insulin, the other Type 1 Diabetic went from 75 units of insulin a day down to 4 units a day.  This is unheard of in the medical field!


For more information, research, and tips for getting started go to www.thepaindiet.com blog.



1. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2002 May;72(5):560-563

2. CNS Neurol Disard Drug Targets. 2008 Oct;7(4):370-375

3. Autoimmun Rev. 2007 Sep:6(8):559-565

4. Przegl Lek. 2009;66(4):170-175

5. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1995 Sep-Oct;13(5):603-607

6. GreenMedInfo PDF- Topic: Wheat, Category: Diseases and Adverse Pharmacological Action (listing of all the links to the pubmed research on topic)  THIS DOCUMENT WAS TOO LARGE TO POST ON BLOG. REQUEST THE 173 PAGE (OVER 200 STUDIES LISTED) PDF FREE BY EMAILING NUTRITION@THEPAINDIET.COM

7.  J Mol Biol. 1998;281:183-201

8. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Apr;111(4):897-899

9. European Journal of Inflammation. 2008 Jan-Apr;6(1):1721-1727

10. Clin Chem. 2001 Nov;47(11):2023-2028

11. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Apr;6(4):426-432

12. Gastroenterology. 2002;122:1729-1737

13. Eur J Immunol. 1999;29:3133-3139

14. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1995 Sep-Oct;13(5):603-607



Tips to get started:

  1. 1.    Eliminate gluten, dairy, soy, and all known food allergies

-Spelt, Wheat, Rye, Barley, and Oats (unless it says gluten free Oats) all have gluten

-Hidden sources of gluten include many soy sauces, food starches, food emulsifiers, food stabilizerss, artificial food coloring, malt extract/flavor/syrup, dextrin, etc.

-The easy way to avoid this is to limit your processed food products to ones that say Gluten Free on them.

-gluten free soy sauce and miso is fine since it is fermented and better digested

-Make sure you ask at restaurants if there is any flour, wheat, or dairy in the food you order.  Often the waiter or chef may think they know what is in the food and be wrong, so take digestive enzymes specific for gluten and diary with you when you eat out.

  1. 2.    Heal and balance digestive system

Removing Gluten and cross-reactants is not always enough.  If something is going on in the digestive tract you may have to do more than just take out the irritant for it to heal properly.

70% of your immune system is in your gut, you may have “leaky gut” and not even know it.  At Integrated Pain Solutions we use herbs and nutrients to heal, repair and bring balance to the digestive system.

  1. 3.    Bring down inflammation and support cellular healing

–       For those with autoimmune issues or other diseases, diet alone is likely not enough.  Initially, you may need extra support to control the inflammation and heal on a cellular level.

  1. 4.    Anti-inflammatory diet

–       Check out www.thepaindiet.com and go to Patient Resources.  Then click on Nutrition Tips for Pain

–       The basics are: increase fruits and non-starchy vegetables to be 50% or more of what you eat, eliminate/limit processed foods and sugar, eliminate foods you are sensitive to, use coconut oil instead of bad fats for cooking, watch portion sizes for starches and animal protein, and avoid artificial sweetener and MSG.

Dr. Saff’s article titled “Delving Into the Depths of the Pain Crisis” was featured in the July 2012 edition of Case In Point

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