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Knowing Botanical Food Families for Cross-Reactivity Allergies

If you have any food sensitivities, intolerances or allergies, then it’s definitely important to check this Botanical Food Family list. When you have a sensitivity to one food, you may also have a “cross-reactivity” or sensitivity to other foods within the same botanical family. A cross-reactivity can occur when the proteins in one allergen food are like the proteins in another. Foods within the same botanical family often contain similar proteins. If you are sensitive to one particular food within a botanical family, you may also be sensitive to other foods within the same family of foods.

Check the Botanical Food Family List against your allergies

Testing for food allergies can also become tricky due to the occurrence of cross-reactivity. You may get a positive test for a food that has the same protein as another food, and it’s the other food that you are more sensitive or allergic too. For that reason, it’s always important to check the Botanical Food Family list for any sensitivity or allergy that you may think you have. Then, be on the lookout for other foods within the same botanical family. Note that tree nut allergies are especially prone to cross-reactivity sensitivities.

The 8 most common food allergies (also known as “the Big 8”) include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybean

Food Allergy

The “Big 8” account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States. However, most people don’t have a true allergy to a food. A true food allergy occurs when the immune system makes a type of antibody (called IgE) to proteins in a particular food. The antibody is created because the body looks at that protein as an invader or a toxin and tried to eradicate it. This IgE reaction can be tested in a food allergy test. Usually with a food allergy, the reaction occurs very quickly and is severe. Often times there is a feeling of throat tightness. Anaphylaxis and loss of consciousness can also occur. If you have are having an allergic reaction, you should always seek medical attention immediately.

Food Intolerance

Most people do not have a true “IgE reaction” to a food. Rather, they fall within the grey area of food intolerance. A food intolerance can still make you feel miserable, and cause reactions such as skin rashes, itching, hives, urticaria, swelling of the skin, nausea, stomach cramps, headaches, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty (wheezing, repeated throat clearing, cough) and even pain in the joints. But, you can’t get a positive IgE test result. The best way to identify a food intolerance is to eliminate that food, and then re-assess your symptoms. To learn more about the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance, go here. In some cases, we need to develop a clear outline for an elimination diet where we eliminate foods in an ordered approach. In these cases, we also need to be on the lookout for any cross-reactivity within the same botanical family of foods.

Food Additive Intolerance

In addition to having food intolerances or allergies, I find that a lot of people are sensitive to certain additives in foods. This is something we always need to consider when anyone is having a chronic condition. Even 100% certified organic products can contain certain problematic food additives. The categories I work mostly with include flavor enhancers, colorings, preservatives and stabilizers/emulsifiers. This is an area that many nutritionists and health practitioners are not aware of, and many of my clients have gone through several healers with no avail before finding me. Their first comments are usually in the realm of, “Wow, I’m not crazy after all!” and “I wish I had found you sooner!” Food additives are often hidden under other terms. There are many legal loopholes that food companies use to “hide” the additives in “so-called healthy” foods.

Botanical Families of Foods

Use the list below as a reference for better understanding your food allergy or intolerance. Note that fish and shellfish are also included below, even though they’re not in a plant kingdom family. What’s most important is to get to know your body and how it’s reacting to certain proteins in foods. Long-term, working on improving your gut health will also help to lessen the chance of developing more allergies. The importance of digestive health and bacterial balance is not to be underestimated. In fact, a recent study from Australia just proved that 2/3 of peanut allergies were reversed after giving the patients specific probiotics (source: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute).

Check this list for Cross Reactivity!

Botanical Food Family List

Apple Family (Rose Family): Apple, Apple Cider, Apple Vinegar, Apple Pectin, Quince, Pear (The apple family is part of the bigger rose family)

Arrowroot: Arrowroot

Arum Family: Dasheen, Poi, Taro

Banana: Banana, Plantain

Birch: Filbert, Hazelnut

Brazil Nut: Brazil Nut

Buckwheat: Buckwheat, Garden Sorrel, Rhubarb

Cactus: Cactus, Prickly Pear, Tequila

Capers: Capers Cashew: Cashew, Mango, Pistachio

Cereals: Bamboo Shoots; Barley; Barley, Malt; Bran (wheat); Cane sugar; Cane Molasses; Chestnut, Water; Chestnut, Ling nut; Chestnut, Singhara nut; Corn ; Corn Meal ; Corn Starch ; Corn Oil ; Corn Sugar; Corn syrup; Corn dextrose; Corn glucose ; Corn cerelose; Farina (wheat); Graham flour (wheat) ; Gluten flour (wheat) ; Millet; Patent Flour (wheat); Oats; Rice; Rye; Sorghum; Wheat; Wheat flour; Wheat Germ; Wheat (whole) flour; Wild Rice.

Citrus: Angostura; Citrange; Citron; Grapefruit; Kumquat; Lemon; Lime; Orange; Tangerine

Cochliospermum Family: Karaya Gum, Guaiac Gum

Composite Family (Aster): Absinthe; Artichoke; Artichoke, Jerusalem; Calomel; Celtuse; Chicory; Dandelion; Endive; Escarole; Head Lettuce; Lettuce, Leaf ; Lettuce; Oyster Plant, Salsify; Sesame Seeds/ Oil; Sunflower/ Oil/ Seeds; Vermouth; Vermouth (Ragweed); Vermouth (Pyrethrum); Yarrow.

Crustaceans: Crab; Crayfish; Lobster; Prawns; Shrimp.

Cyperaceae Family (a Sedge): Chinese Waterchestnut

Curry Powder: not a single food but a blend of spices.

Ebony: Persimmon Flax – Linseed oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil

Fresh Water Fish: Bass, Catfish, Croaker, Perch, Pike, Salmon, Smelt, Trout, Whitefish.

Fungus: Mushroom, Yeast/Antibiotics.

Ginger: Arrowroot, Cardamon, Ginger, Turmeric

Gooseberry: Currant, Gooseberry

Goosefoot (Beet): Beet, Sugar; Chard, Kochia, Lambs Quarters, Spinach, Thistle.

Gourd (Melon): Casaba; Cantaloupe; Cucumber; Honey Dew; Muskmelon; Persian Melon; Pumpkin; Squash; Vegetable Marrow; Water Melon. Grape: Brandy; Champagne; Crème of Tartar; Grape; Raisin; Wine; Wine Vinegar.

Heath: Cranberry, Blueberry, Huckleberry, Wintergreen.

Holly: Mate.

Honeysuckle: Elderberry.

Iris: Saffron. Laurel: Avocado, Bay Leaves, Camphor, Cinnamon, Laurel, Sassafras.

Legume: Acacia; Acacia Gum; Alfalfa; Arabic; Black-eyed pea; Carob; Carob (St. John’s Bread); Cassia; Chick Pea; Field Pea; Green Bean; Green Pea; Guar gum; Jack bean; Karaya Gum; Kidney bean; Lentil; Licorice; Lima bean; Locust Bean Gum; Mungo Bean; Navy Bean; Peanut; Peanut oil; Pinto Bean; Soybean; Soybean oil/flour/lecithin; Split Pea; String Bean; Talca Gum; Tamarind; Tonka bean; Tragancanth Gum; Urd Flour.

Lily: Asparagus, Chives, Garlic, Leek, Onion, Sparsparilla.

Litchi: Litchi Nut.

Mallow: Cottonseed meal, Cottonseed oil, Okra.

Maple: Maple syrup and maple sugar.

Miscellaneous: Honey (watch if you are allergic to bee venom).

Mint: Basil, Horehound, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Savoury, Spearmint, Thyme.

Mussels: Abalone, Clam, Mussel, Oyster, Scallop, Squid.

Morning Glory: Jicama, Sweet Potato, Yam.

Mulberry: Breadfruit, Fig, Hops, Mulberry.

Mustard: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Collard, Colza Shoots, Kale, Kohlrabi, Kraut, Horse Radish, Mustard, Mustard Greens, Radish, Rutabaga, Turnips, Watercress.

Myrtle: Allspice, Cloves, Eucalyptus, Guava, Paprika, Pimento.

Nightshade: Brinjal, Cayenne, Capsicum, Eggplant, Ground Cherry, Banana Pepper, Bell Pepper, Chili Pepper, Green Pepper, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Paprika, Pimento, Potato, Tabasco, Thorn Apple, Tobacco, Tomato.

Nutmeg: Mace, Nutmeg.

Olive: Olive, olive oil.

Orchid: Vanilla

Palm: Coconut, Date, Palm Cabbage, Sago.

Parsley: Angelica, Anise, Carrots, Celery, Celeriac, Caraway, Celery Seed, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnips, Sweet Cicily, Water Celery.

Pawpaw: Pawpaw, papaya, papain.

Pepper: Black pepper, white pepper.

Pine: Juniper, Pinion nut.

Pineapple: Pineapple.

Plum: Almond, Apricot, Cherry, Nectarine, Peach, Plum, Prune Plum.

Pomegranate: Pomegranate.

Poppy: Poppy seed.

Rose: Blackberry, Boysenberry, Dewberry, Loganberry, Strawberry, Youngberry. (see also Apple family).

Salt Water Fish: Bass, Cod, Flounder, Herring, Mackerel, Mullet, Salmon.

Spurge: Tapioca.

Stercula: Cocoa, Cola Bean, Chocolate (Cocoa).

Tea: Tea.

Walnut: Butternut, Hickory nut, Pecan, Black Walnut, English Walnut.

This list is from http://www.foodallergygourmet.com/


How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Food Allergies:

SaveSave

Knowing Botanical Food Families for Cross-Reactivity Allergies

If you have any food sensitivities, intolerances or allergies, then it’s definitely important to check this Botanical Food Family list. When you have a sensitivity to one food, you may also have a “cross-reactivity” or sensitivity to other foods within the same botanical family. A cross-reactivity can occur when the proteins in one allergen food are like the proteins in another. Foods within the same botanical family often contain similar proteins. If you are sensitive to one particular food within a botanical family, you may also be sensitive to other foods within the same family of foods.

Check the Botanical Food Family List against your allergies

Testing for food allergies can also become tricky due to the occurrence of cross-reactivity. You may get a positive test for a food that has the same protein as another food, and it’s the other food that you are more sensitive or allergic too. For that reason, it’s always important to check the Botanical Food Family list for any sensitivity or allergy that you may think you have. Then, be on the lookout for other foods within the same botanical family. Note that tree nut allergies are especially prone to cross-reactivity sensitivities.

The 8 most common food allergies (also known as “the Big 8”) include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybean

Food Allergy

The “Big 8” account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States. However, most people don’t have a true allergy to a food. A true food allergy occurs when the immune system makes a type of antibody (called IgE) to proteins in a particular food. The antibody is created because the body looks at that protein as an invader or a toxin and tried to eradicate it. This IgE reaction can be tested in a food allergy test. Usually with a food allergy, the reaction occurs very quickly and is severe. Often times there is a feeling of throat tightness. Anaphylaxis and loss of consciousness can also occur. If you have are having an allergic reaction, you should always seek medical attention immediately.

Food Intolerance

Most people do not have a true “IgE reaction” to a food. Rather, they fall within the grey area of food intolerance. A food intolerance can still make you feel miserable, and cause reactions such as skin rashes, itching, hives, urticaria, swelling of the skin, nausea, stomach cramps, headaches, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty (wheezing, repeated throat clearing, cough) and even pain in the joints. But, you can’t get a positive IgE test result. The best way to identify a food intolerance is to eliminate that food, and then re-assess your symptoms. To learn more about the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance, go here. In some cases, we need to develop a clear outline for an elimination diet where we eliminate foods in an ordered approach. In these cases, we also need to be on the lookout for any cross-reactivity within the same botanical family of foods.

Food Additive Intolerance

In addition to having food intolerances or allergies, I find that a lot of people are sensitive to certain additives in foods. This is something we always need to consider when anyone is having a chronic condition. Even 100% certified organic products can contain certain problematic food additives. The categories I work mostly with include flavor enhancers, colorings, preservatives and stabilizers/emulsifiers. This is an area that many nutritionists and health practitioners are not aware of, and many of my clients have gone through several healers with no avail before finding me. Their first comments are usually in the realm of, “Wow, I’m not crazy after all!” and “I wish I had found you sooner!” Food additives are often hidden under other terms. There are many legal loopholes that food companies use to “hide” the additives in “so-called healthy” foods.

Botanical Families of Foods

Use the list below as a reference for better understanding your food allergy or intolerance. Note that fish and shellfish are also included below, even though they’re not in a plant kingdom family. What’s most important is to get to know your body and how it’s reacting to certain proteins in foods. Long-term, working on improving your gut health will also help to lessen the chance of developing more allergies. The importance of digestive health and bacterial balance is not to be underestimated. In fact, a recent study from Australia just proved that 2/3 of peanut allergies were reversed after giving the patients specific probiotics (source: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute).

Check this list for Cross Reactivity!

Botanical Food Family List

Apple Family (Rose Family): Apple, Apple Cider, Apple Vinegar, Apple Pectin, Quince, Pear (The apple family is part of the bigger rose family)

Arrowroot: Arrowroot

Arum Family: Dasheen, Poi, Taro

Banana: Banana, Plantain

Birch: Filbert, Hazelnut

Brazil Nut: Brazil Nut

Buckwheat: Buckwheat, Garden Sorrel, Rhubarb

Cactus: Cactus, Prickly Pear, Tequila

Capers: Capers Cashew: Cashew, Mango, Pistachio

Cereals: Bamboo Shoots; Barley; Barley, Malt; Bran (wheat); Cane sugar; Cane Molasses; Chestnut, Water; Chestnut, Ling nut; Chestnut, Singhara nut; Corn ; Corn Meal ; Corn Starch ; Corn Oil ; Corn Sugar; Corn syrup; Corn dextrose; Corn glucose ; Corn cerelose; Farina (wheat); Graham flour (wheat) ; Gluten flour (wheat) ; Millet; Patent Flour (wheat); Oats; Rice; Rye; Sorghum; Wheat; Wheat flour; Wheat Germ; Wheat (whole) flour; Wild Rice.

Citrus: Angostura; Citrange; Citron; Grapefruit; Kumquat; Lemon; Lime; Orange; Tangerine

Cochliospermum Family: Karaya Gum, Guaiac Gum

Composite Family (Aster): Absinthe; Artichoke; Artichoke, Jerusalem; Calomel; Celtuse; Chicory; Dandelion; Endive; Escarole; Head Lettuce; Lettuce, Leaf ; Lettuce; Oyster Plant, Salsify; Sesame Seeds/ Oil; Sunflower/ Oil/ Seeds; Vermouth; Vermouth (Ragweed); Vermouth (Pyrethrum); Yarrow.

Crustaceans: Crab; Crayfish; Lobster; Prawns; Shrimp.

Cyperaceae Family (a Sedge): Chinese Waterchestnut

Curry Powder: not a single food but a blend of spices.

Ebony: Persimmon Flax – Linseed oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil

Fresh Water Fish: Bass, Catfish, Croaker, Perch, Pike, Salmon, Smelt, Trout, Whitefish.

Fungus: Mushroom, Yeast/Antibiotics.

Ginger: Arrowroot, Cardamon, Ginger, Turmeric

Gooseberry: Currant, Gooseberry

Goosefoot (Beet): Beet, Sugar; Chard, Kochia, Lambs Quarters, Spinach, Thistle.

Gourd (Melon): Casaba; Cantaloupe; Cucumber; Honey Dew; Muskmelon; Persian Melon; Pumpkin; Squash; Vegetable Marrow; Water Melon. Grape: Brandy; Champagne; Crème of Tartar; Grape; Raisin; Wine; Wine Vinegar.

Heath: Cranberry, Blueberry, Huckleberry, Wintergreen.

Holly: Mate.

Honeysuckle: Elderberry.

Iris: Saffron. Laurel: Avocado, Bay Leaves, Camphor, Cinnamon, Laurel, Sassafras.

Legume: Acacia; Acacia Gum; Alfalfa; Arabic; Black-eyed pea; Carob; Carob (St. John’s Bread); Cassia; Chick Pea; Field Pea; Green Bean; Green Pea; Guar gum; Jack bean; Karaya Gum; Kidney bean; Lentil; Licorice; Lima bean; Locust Bean Gum; Mungo Bean; Navy Bean; Peanut; Peanut oil; Pinto Bean; Soybean; Soybean oil/flour/lecithin; Split Pea; String Bean; Talca Gum; Tamarind; Tonka bean; Tragancanth Gum; Urd Flour.

Lily: Asparagus, Chives, Garlic, Leek, Onion, Sparsparilla.

Litchi: Litchi Nut.

Mallow: Cottonseed meal, Cottonseed oil, Okra.

Maple: Maple syrup and maple sugar.

Miscellaneous: Honey (watch if you are allergic to bee venom).

Mint: Basil, Horehound, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Savoury, Spearmint, Thyme.

Mussels: Abalone, Clam, Mussel, Oyster, Scallop, Squid.

Morning Glory: Jicama, Sweet Potato, Yam.

Mulberry: Breadfruit, Fig, Hops, Mulberry.

Mustard: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Collard, Colza Shoots, Kale, Kohlrabi, Kraut, Horse Radish, Mustard, Mustard Greens, Radish, Rutabaga, Turnips, Watercress.

Myrtle: Allspice, Cloves, Eucalyptus, Guava, Paprika, Pimento.

Nightshade: Brinjal, Cayenne, Capsicum, Eggplant, Ground Cherry, Banana Pepper, Bell Pepper, Chili Pepper, Green Pepper, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Paprika, Pimento, Potato, Tabasco, Thorn Apple, Tobacco, Tomato.

Nutmeg: Mace, Nutmeg.

Olive: Olive, olive oil.

Orchid: Vanilla

Palm: Coconut, Date, Palm Cabbage, Sago.

Parsley: Angelica, Anise, Carrots, Celery, Celeriac, Caraway, Celery Seed, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnips, Sweet Cicily, Water Celery.

Pawpaw: Pawpaw, papaya, papain.

Pepper: Black pepper, white pepper.

Pine: Juniper, Pinion nut.

Pineapple: Pineapple.

Plum: Almond, Apricot, Cherry, Nectarine, Peach, Plum, Prune Plum.

Pomegranate: Pomegranate.

Poppy: Poppy seed.

Rose: Blackberry, Boysenberry, Dewberry, Loganberry, Strawberry, Youngberry. (see also Apple family).

Salt Water Fish: Bass, Cod, Flounder, Herring, Mackerel, Mullet, Salmon.

Spurge: Tapioca.

Stercula: Cocoa, Cola Bean, Chocolate (Cocoa).

Tea: Tea.

Walnut: Butternut, Hickory nut, Pecan, Black Walnut, English Walnut.

This list is from http://www.foodallergygourmet.com/


How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Food Allergies:

SaveSave

Is your Olive Oil fake or “cut” with inferior oils? Check this list!

Quality of food is one of the the most important factors in determining the quality of your health. If you’re using extra virgin olive oil for better heart health, clear skin, healthy gallbladder & liver and to avoid genetically modified oils such as canola oil or high heated rancid vegetable oils, that’s great! But, what if your olive oil really isn’t olive oil at all?! What is the brand you buy has unbeknownst to you been “cut” with sunflower, safflower or canola oil, then mixed with perfumes and green dye to look and taste like olive oil? Your liver/gallbladder flush detox will absolutely not work if your extra virgin olive oil wasn’t actually olive oil. Also, for anyone with food allergies, and especially anyone with sunflower seed or sesame seed allergies, it’s absolutely critical to not eat an adulterated olive oil. If you have irritable bowel syndrome or any type of inflammatory bowel disease, then you definitely want to avoid fake olive oils, especially since other cheap oils can create more inflammation in the gut (and the rest of the body too, including arthritis and gout). Not to mention trigger major brain fog too! Scroll down to check the list of unsafe olive oils vs. safe brands you can trust.

Learn how to make sure what you are buying is what you are getting with your olive oil!

More than 2/3 of olive oil imported into the USA is NOT olive oil!

A University of California Davis (UCD) study found that most olive oil imported into the United States fails to meet the international criteria for “extra virgin.”

The study found that 73 percent of 134 samples of the five top selling imported extra virgin olive oil brands failed the International Olive Council (IOC) sensory standards based on the results of two IOC-accredited sensory panels.

Sensory defects are signs that the oil samples were oxidized, of poor quality or adulterated with cheaper refined olive oil.

An earlier UCD study released in 2010 found that 69 percent of samples of imported olive oils labeled as extra virgin and sold in California failed to meet international extra virgin standards since the oils were too old, poorly made and/or adulterated.

How can you know if your olive oil is REAL or FAKE?

Don’t be a victim to the olive oil fraud. Check your brand against the UC Davis study results below:

These brands FAILED THE TEST to meet extra-virgin olive oil standards:

  • Bertolli
  • Whole Foods
  • Felippo Berio
  • Carapelli
  • Mezzetta
  • Pompeian
  • Mazola
  • Primadonna
  • Colavita
  • Sasso
  • Antica Badia
  • Star
  • Safeway
  • Coricelli

These brands PASSED THE TEST and met the standards for extra virgin olive oil:

  • Lucero
  • McEvoy Ranch Organic
  • Corto Olive
  • Omaggio
  • Bariani Olive Oil
  • California Olive Ranch
  • Lucini
  • Ottavio
  • Cobram Estate
  • Olea Estates
  • Kirkland Organic

Did you notice that the beloved Whole Foods brand FAILED the test? This is just to emphasize that you cannot simply trust in a company with good branding and nice advertising and believe that what they are selling is ok. (For more on this read my article called Why I don’t buy 90% of the “food” at Whole Foods.)

Personally, I buy California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This brand, while not organic, does not give me any of the side effects that I can feel when being “hit” with canola oil (extreme fatigue, bloating/gas, brain fog for 4-6 hours after), it tastes good, smells good and it’s in the Passed the Test list. While not organic, it’s at least what I call a “safe” food. They also have the Non-GMO project verified logo on the label which I always look for when buying a non-organic food. I can find this brand at most normal supermarkets where I live in North Carolina.

Why would companies sell cheap alternatives that are dyed and perfumed to taste like olive oil?

The olive oil industry is BOOMING. We’re talking billions of dollars every year. And there just aren’t enough olives grown to keep up with demand. In fact, tampering with olive oil to make more money is not a new scam. Even the Romans were known to have done it!

How else can you check your olive oil to know if it’s safe?

In his book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller, there is one thing he wrote that really stuck with me. He said: If you are paying LESS than $10 a liter for your extra virgin olive oil, then it’s not olive oil. That book was published in 2012 so I could reasonably estimate the number to be even higher today! In short, you get what you pay for with olive oil. Don’t settle for less, because your health is so much more valuable and important than anything else!

How to choose good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Here are a few more tips from Tom Mueller’s book Extra Virginity that can help you navigate the deceptive olive oil market:

  1. Look for olive oil with a “best by” date, or better yet..a date of harvest. Try to buy oils from this year’s harvest. “Best by” date is usually 2 years after an oil was bottled, so if you see a date that is 2 years away, the oil in more likely to be fresh.
  2. Phrases like “packed in Italy” or “bottled” in Italy do not mean that an oil was made in Italy, or even made with Italian olives. Generally speaking, avoid oils where a precise point of production – a specific mill – is not specified on the label.
  3. Don’t pay attention to the color of an oil. Good oils come in all shades, from vivid green to gold to pale straw. Both in flavor and aroma, genuine extra virgin olive oils have a marked fruitiness reminiscent of fresh olives, and typically some level of bitterness and pepperiness.
  4. Choose dark glass bottles over other containers that protect against light, and buy a quantity that you will use fairly quickly. Even an excellent oil can rapidly go rancid when left sitting under a half-bottle or air.
  5. Make sure that your oil is labeled “extra virgin,” since other categories – “pure” or “light” oil, “olive oil,” not to mention “olive pomace oil” – have undergone chemical refinement which strips away olive flavors and many of the oil’s health benefits.
  6. Finally, remember: If you are paying LESS than $10 a liter for your extra virgin olive oil, then it’s NOT olive oil.

How to Eat Clean: Start with Green Smoothies!

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens and many delicious combos without any chemical additives, flavorings or refined sugar. It’s so easy!

Clean your body from the inside out and watch your skin improve, your hair and nails get stronger, your eyes look brighter and your waistline slim down….all naturally and effortlessly! It’s simply amazing and your only regret will be that you didn’t start drinking green smoothies sooner.

When you take care of your whole body, you get whole body health.

When you let your food be your medicine, you are always moving towards better health.

Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!


For more on how to achieve your health goals and actually start feeling great, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a smart phone or digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval for Iridology Analysis.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!


More on Food Labels:

More on Food Additives and Food Allergies:

More on Genetically Engineering Foods:

Restaurant Cards for Celiac, Gluten-Free & MSG-Free

The best part of world travel is the excitement and adventure of exploring new places, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. The worst part if you are sensitive to gluten or Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) can be the food. While most people dream of eating exotic foods from around the globe, food allergy sufferers see it as a minefield, one which is even harder to negotiate a language barrier. And yes, this applies even to raw foodists! It can be very difficult in foreign countries to explain that you don’t want bread with your salad or croutons or crostini or some other fried breaded condiment on top. It can be even more difficult to ask for a salad dressing with no MSG and sauces with no MSG. Even if you do order something fresh like homemade salsa or guacamole, there can be hidden added ingredients like chili sauce which will inevitably contain MSG. The result? Spending your perfect dream vacation night at home in bed with a migraine, itchy rash, puffy face or rapid heartbeat wondering why you can’t seem to relax on your holiday! No way, we don’t want that!

Actually, these recommendations apply to any high-raw food people eating out, even in their own country…and you will soon see why.

A connection between Gluten Foods and MSG/Ribonucleotide Intolerance?

On thing that I have found in my experience is that the majority of foods that contain MSG also contain gluten. I discovered this in my own health journey when trying to determine the cause of an unbearably itchy rash that I suffered with for 2 years while living in Australia. After finally going on an elimination diet and taking all wheat and gluten out of my diet, my rash improved by about 85%. But, I was still occasionally eating flavored rice crackers, dried seaweed and flavored tofu products which have no gluten but do contain ribonucleotide, the food additive that I now know was the cause of my ‘ribo rash’.

After I removed all ribonucleotide-containing foods out of my diet, the rash cleared entirely, 100% without any reoccurrence! And, I went back to eating plain wheat and gluten products with no problem (this was about 1 year before I went on a raw food diet). What I discovered is that most snack foods, soups, sauces dressings, and flavored foods that contain MSG and/or ribonucleotide, also contain gluten.

It is my opinion that some people are in fact misdiagnosed with a gluten intolerance when actually they have an intolerance to MSG and ribonucleotide but are ‘labeled’ with a gluten allergy because it’s an easy and obvious label to put on a patient with the ‘typical’ gluten intolerant complaints. (Note: Gluten intolerance is different to a full gluten allergy (Celiac Disease) and most people fall into the intolerant category, one which is not able to be tested for definitively). When you look at the reactions that people get from gluten vs. MSG and ribonucleotide (itchy rash, migraine headache, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, puffiness, bloating, etc.), you will see that they are nearly identical reactions.

I’ve even seen many raw food clients who still complain of itchy rashes because, for example, they may be eating Vegenaise as a treat or they complain of headaches from drinking high-protein shakes with pea protein (another form of MSG in disguise). Even nutritionists and raw food chefs come to me for an Iridology session and we identify offending food additives in their diet which are making them sick. My point is: people don’t know about food additives and they are not taught about them in school!

Well, if the ‘experts’ don’t know how to eat clean food themselves, then how can one possibly eat gluten and additive-free food while traveling?

How to Order ‘Clean’ Food on the Road

First, order salads with no salad dressing. Ask for plain fresh lemon on the side. If you like, you can also ask for some extra-virgin olive oil. I personally bring my own organic cayenne pepper, cumin and paprika to add to all of my salads in restaurants.

Stay away from sauces, even if they look fresh and smell yummy. Yes, a little bit can do a lot of harm (think migraine on the beach under the moonlight, not good!).

MSG is a flavor enhancer and excito-toxin that overstimulates the brain

In Asia, you will always have to be careful with MSG, because in addition to the sauces, they love to add MSG in powder form to food. Take the gluten-free restaurant card that I suggest you travel with below and add “NO MSG” in the language that you need. You can use Google Translate for this. Take care of the details before you leave for your trip.

In South America, if you are sensitive to food additives, you will most likely have a problem with their salt which has a non-caking agent in it called Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS), a derivative of arsenic. This has proved to be a huge problem for me on my travels in Central America and South America, but luckily I figured out the problem pretty quickly. Bring your own Himalayan Salt. Add the words “No SALT” in Spanish “Sin Sal” to the bottom of your gluten-free restaurant card.

Do NOT trust what the waitstaff tell you.

That applies to all countries, everywhere, all the time. People who are not sensitive to gluten or MSG have no idea what’s in a chipotle sauce or a aioli sauce or a soup stock cube. They are thinking, ok this person can’t eat bread or Chinese food. I have had some of the best restaurants (and raw food restaurants) serve me food containing MSG or ribonucleotide when they swore there was none. I’m sure that has happened to many others too! Be sure your card gets to the chef.

Plan B

If unsure, don’t eat it! Why take the chance? It’s simply not worth it. In a bind, I have ordered plain rice or a plain baked potato or plain steamed veggies because that was the only uncontaminated food I could order. This will happen on occasion if you are traveling in different countries. I would rather lose 1% of my ‘perfect rawness’ and eat clean, safe food than eat some crazy raw food chipotle taco that is going to make me sick for 2 days. Every time I’ve had to do that, I have been so happy with my decision!

Use Restaurant Cards for Celiac and Gluten-Free

In addition to what I recommended above, definitely consider using the awesome restaurant cards for Celiac and Gluten-Free. These are available for free from celiactravel.com and are available in 54 languages. If you combine using these cards with a little bit of know-how, you are much more likely to get a clean, safe meal. Remember, most foods that contain gluten also contain MSG. In many countries, it will be difficult (or even impossible) to explain what MSG and ribonucleotide are (hey, it’s difficult even in the USA!). By using the card, you are explaining in a concise, easy way that will less stressful for you and there is a much better chance that the chef will understand your request. In my case, I simply cross out the part about milk, eggs, cheese, meat and fish being ok for me to eat.

It’s a good idea to laminate your card to keep it clean and readable during your travels.

Here are some example of the Celiac & Gluten Restaurant cards:

English Gluten-Free card (from celiactravel.com)

Spanish Gluten-Free Card (from celiactravel.com)

French Gluten-Free Card (from celiactravel.com)

Thai Gluten-Free Card (from celiactravel.com)

Even a Mongolia Gluten-Free Card! (from celiactravel.com)

Don’t forget, It’s a good idea to laminate your card to keep it clean and readable during your travels. Enjoy your trip, and enjoy health travels!

If you liked this article, check out my post on Why I don’t buy 90% of the ‘food’ at WholeFoods.

More on Traveling Raw:

Sea Salt with Chemical Additives?! Check for E535 & E536 Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS)

A food additive to AVOID: Yellow Prussiate of Soda

Just when you think you are eating a natural, whole and pure diet, think again. It’s crazy that we now have to even check the label of the salt we buy, but it’s a true sign of the times. Can food manufacturers save money but ‘cutting’ their food the same way drug dealers ‘cut’ their drugs with fillers? You bet! And can the fillers be dangerous, the same way they can be in drugs? Absolutely!

It’s an interesting story how I discovered the latest culprit in my food additive most ‘unwanted’ list.

E535 or Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS) as a Non-caking Agent in Salt…What is it??

A client of mine recently completed a 10-day green juice fast and colon detox cleanse under my care. He broke the fast by eating only fresh raw fruits for 2 days and he felt amazing. On the third day of eating, he ate only fruits in the morning and the went to a friend’s house and ate a plain organic baked potato with salt (no butter, no margarine, no herbs or seasonings). That night, he suffered terribly with hot flashes, restless sleep (insomnia), headaches, irritability and general unease. At no point during or after the detox did he feel this way so it was a real surprise to him and he contacted me first thing in the morning.

When we spoke, I was sure he had ‘snuck’ something else into his diet. He was adamant that he only had a baked potato and salt. To be clear, I asked about any allergies or intolerances and he confirmed that he has never previously had any problems at all. Finally, I said, “Ok, let’s find about more about the salt.” He want back to the friend’s house and found a Morton Sea Salt with the following ingredients: Sea Salt, Yellow Prussiate of Soda. What is Yellow Prussiate of Soda and why is it in salt? I thought salt was just salt?! Not anymore.

It only took a fast bit of google research to realize that the Yellow Prussiate of Soda was what affected him.

Just an additive in salt? Yes! (What we should really be asking is Why does even plain salt need an additive now too??) Well, remember what I said about ‘cutting the drug’ with cheap fillers to make more money? Yep, it’s a sad, sick reality that the food industry is in the business of making money (NOT food).

First, I checked on Wikipedia to understand what the heck this stuff is. Here is what I found:

What is Sodium Ferrocyanide (Yellow Prussiate of Soda)?

Yellow Prussiate of Soda is Sodium ferrocyanide in its hydrous form (which means Sodium ferrocyanide with water). This is how Wikipedia describes Sodium ferrocyanide: “Sodium ferrocyanide is a chemical additive known as E 535 in the EU. It is added to road and food grade salt as an anticaking agent. When combined with iron, it converts to a deep blue pigment called Prussian blue. In photography, it is used for bleaching, toning, and fixing. It is used as a stabilizer for the coating on welding rods. In the petroleum industry, it is used for removal of mercaptans. Sodium ferrocyanide is produced industrially from hydrogen cyanide.

I don’t know about you, but to me, that definitely doesn’t sounds like something that is safe for human consumption!

So I decided to search a bit further and look for the MSDS for Sodium ferrocyanide. Every chemical made by man has what’s called a Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) which by law has to list what the chemical is and what type of harm can be experienced if ingested, if inhaled or in exposed to on the skin. On sciencelab.com, I found this:

Morton Salt MSDS

“Potential Acute Health Effects: Extremely hazardous in case of ingestion. Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation.” Scrolling down a bit, I read this: “Ingestion: Do not induce vomiting. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt or waistband. If the victim is not breathing, perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Seek immediate medical attention.

Just to be sure, I checked the Morton’s Sea Salt label again. I didn’t see anything about any warning of ingestion.

Instead, the label claims, “Morton has selected a sea salt perfect for all types of cooking and seasoning.”

Well, it seemed pretty clear to me that my client suffered a serious side effect from the additive in this sea salt. Since he had just fasted for 10 days on juice, his body was even cleaner than most and I’m sure that’s why his body reacted. But how many people are reacting to this additive every day and have no idea that the cause of their troubles was in their sea salt? And how many children are affected, their bodies being so much smaller than an adult and therefore having the potential of a more serious reaction? I mean, a chemical additive made from cyanide?!?!

I had to do something. So I went to the Morton website and filled out their contact form. This was my comment:

As a consumer, I am asking you to reconsider your choice of toxic ingredients in your salt. Have you looked at the MSDS for Yellow Prussiate of Soda? I would not even take a bath in your salt for fear that the toxins would enter my skin (would you take a bath in arsenic???) Seriously, there is simply no need to add a chemical to salt. Salt is salt. This country needs more natural whole and pure and less poison. My client was awake all night last night with hot flashes, restless sleep and a headache after having potatoes with nothing but potato and your Morton Fine Sea Salt. I am so sad to see what so-called food companies are peddling as food.

I was so angry and I felt betrayed, because my client had trusted me, and I did not even think to warn him about eating salt!! It was an immediate reaction to the feeling that I want to protect people from this crap, and I didn’t expect a response. But, to my surprise, they responded immediately. They asked if I still had the sea salt and would I be willing to send it in for testing. A spark of hope entered my mind…maybe these food companies aren’t that bad, maybe they had a bad batch with too much of the Yellow Prussiate of Soda and maybe they are doing their best to resolve the issue. I really felt hopeful that somehow Morton was going to ‘fix’ this problem. I instantly replied, offering the sample and asking how it should be sent. They responded by asking for my address saying they would send a mail packet for me to return the sample to them at no cost. I was actually excited!

Days passed and I did not receive the mailer. 2 weeks passed. 3 weeks passed. I thought, hmmm..this is strange. So I emailed Morton again asking for an update on the mailer. And guess what?

They never replied. And they never sent a mailer. In short, they didn’t do anything.

Should I have been surprised? Not really. All of this only confirms and reaffirms what I have been saying all along: The food industry is in the business of making money (NOT food).

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in table salt in Bali

Even with ‘normal’ salt, you have to check the label. Look at this container of table salt I found in Bali, Indonesia at many ‘so-called’ health food and even raw food restaurants…yes the second ingredient on the list is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), and it’s right there in the label for the world to see. The third ingredient is a new way of listing Ribonucleotideas ‘Ribotide,’ another excito-toxin food additive and flavor enhancer that can give you the same reaction as MSG and an uncontrollably itchy rash to boot.

So if you got a screaming migraine headache after eating your hippie raw food salad next to the rice fields in Ubud, it was probably not from the spirits or the full moon.

Do you see Anticompactante YPS on this list of ingredients?

Here is yet another offending salt I saw when I was recently in Costa Rica. Do you see the ‘Anticompactante YPS‘ on this label? That sure sounds like Yellow Prussiate of Soda to me! Luckily I found this on my first morning in Costa Rica, and I avoided adding any salt to my salads for the remainder of my stay.

People think I am crazy for pointing this stuff out, but do you know how many people suffer from headaches, anxiety and insomnia and are on medications for it? What’s crazy to me is that I am the only one talking about this!!

For anyone who has done a detox, juice fast, colon cleanse, liver flush or raw food diet, please be aware that when your body is cleaner, you will most definitely be more sensitive to these types of chemical additives, and you may find yourself reacting to a food that previously you were able to eat with seemingly no problem.

Get into the habit of reading all of your food labels, including salt!

Ferrocianuro de sodio [E-535]: Yellow Prussiate of Soda

And again, another salt I found, this time in Colombia (and also Ecuador). In this salt there is added fluoride, which most expats in South America know is bad so many already don’t buy it. But, no one seems to be talking about the obvious offender.

Do you see ‘Ferrocianuro de sodio [E-535]‘ on this 130g. container of Refisal brand Sal? In Spanish, you may also see it listed as ‘amarillo prusiato de soda (YPS)’ on a label. Both of these are, yep you guessed it….Yellow Prussiate of Soda. E-535 is the universal food additive number for this chemical additive.

In some countries, the additive name – Yellow Prussiate of Soda – will be listed on the food label, and in other countries you will see the chemical additive number. As a number, Yellow Prussiate of Soda can be listed as E535, E-535 or 535. In the above example, they’ve listed both.

Yet another example is this so-called “heart healthy” salt sold in Israel. As you can see, it contains E535 right there on the label. (By the way, the “normal” unhealthy salt in Israel also contains Yellow Prussiate of Soda too!).

This “healthy” salt in Israel contains E535 or Yellow Prussiate of Soda!

Since I’ve been made aware of this additive, I have noted people’s reactions to it, anything from hot flashes, itchy rashes, red bumps on the skin, cracked skin rashes, irritability, increased heart rate, achy joints and insomnia to general malaise.

When removing the chemically-infected salt from their diet and replacing it with a Himalayan or pure sea salt with no additives, all symptoms disappeared, permanently.

Be sure to watch out for other derivatives of cyanide also used in salt: E536 Potassium ferrocyanide and E538 Calcium ferrocyanide. The most common one used is E535 Sodium ferrocyanide. In Europe, I’ve noticed that you will see E536 as an additive in the sea salt you find there. Below is an example of a sea salt purchased at a health food store in Holland. Yes, even in the European Union (EU), you will find additives in your food! (This salt also has added fluoride, another reason to avoid!)

Here is an example of a sea salt from Holland containing  E536 or Potassium ferrocyanide. (This salt also has added fluoride, another reason to avoid!)

Sea salt from Holland containing E536 or Potassium ferrocyanide.
(This salt also has added fluoride, another reason to avoid!)

I personally use medium/coarse Himalayan salt crystals in a grinder. The brand I recommend is called Sherpa Pink Himalayan salt, available for sale in 5-pound bags on amazon HERE.

As Dr. Fred Bisci, a 80-year old 100% raw food vegan wisely says, “When in doubt, leave it out!”

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