Posts

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.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only. 
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition. 

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.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only. 
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition. 

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

Easy Recipe: Make organic pickles at home!

Are you ready to make your own fermented foods at home? (Answer: Yes!) Pickling cucumbers is a great start to build up your confidence with fermentation. And who doesn’t love a crisp tasty pickle on a hot summer day? You can have your pickles ready to eat in as little as 7 days with the easy recipe below.

Use this fast and easy recipe to make delicious pickles at home

Health benefits of Fermented Foods

For optimal digestive health, we need to get good bacteria in the gut on a regular basis. Antibiotics destroy all the bacteria in our system, both good and bad. Over time, this can lead to more imbalance in digestion function, absorption and elimination. Some experts even say that food allergies, autism and ADHD may be related to an imbalance of bacteria in the colon. Certainly many digestive diseases like colitis, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease are caused in part by lack of good bacteria in the gut. Having the right balance of good bacteria helps to strengthen immune system, improve digestive health and long-term, can even prevent dis-ease. Probiotic, or good bacteria, literally means “for life.”

You may think that fermented foods are only made with yeast (like beer or wine), but there are other cultures used for fermentation. Other types of natural bacteria are used as well as SCOBY’s (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). With pickles, the natural bacteria on the skin of the cucumber itself is what’s used to start the “lacto fermentation” process.

Pickles are perfect to try if you’ve never done any type of fermentation before. You get relatively fast results (in 7 days), unlike kombucha, for example, that can take a few weeks. And there isn’t a lot of hard work involved or checking required, like in making raw sauerkraut. You should see bubbles rising in the pickle jars when you flip them every day, and when you eventually open the jar to eat them, the jar should make a “pop.” Then you know you’ve done everything correctly and can enjoy the fruits of your fermentation labor. Scroll down to get the recipe below.

Homemade pickles have no food additives!

There are other great reasons to eat homemade pickles instead of store-bought, besides the obvious better taste. Commercially sold pickles are pasteurized, which means all those beneficial natural probiotics are destroyed. Homemade pickles keep all the good bacteria intact, making for good gut health when eaten. A healthy microbiome is the basis for a strong and healthy immune system.

Store-bought pickles can also contain nasty food additives, the worst offender being Yellow #5. Banned in many countries (including all of Europe) since it was shown to be a carcinogen, Yellow #5, or tartrazine, is a coal-tar derivative. It is currently still allowed in foods in the USA. Yellow #5 is frequently used in your favorite brands of pickles for added color to make the pickles look brighter and fresher. Most store-bought pickles also contain preservatives, the most common one being sodium benzoate (not good).

Examples of Yellow #5 in pickles:

Vlasic: Hamburger Dill Chips Pickles – Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Calcium Chloride, Natural Flavor, Polysorbate 80, Yellow 5. “Great taste & crunch. Classic dill taste.” (No thanks!)

Vlasic Bread & Butter Spears No Sugar Added Pickles – Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Spice, Calcium Chloride, Sucralose, Yellow 5. “No sugar added!” (But you kept the carcinogens, great work.)

Mt. Olive Sweet Gherkins No Sugar Added Pickles – Cucumbers, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Calcium Chloride, 0.1% Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Alum, Sucralose (Splenda Brand), Natural Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 80, & Yellow 5. “Mt. Olive Pickles are Picklicious!” (Don’t think so…)

Heinz Dill Spear Pickles – Fresh cucumbers, water, distilled white vinegar, salt, sodium benzoate, garlic extract, gum acacia, calcium chloride, natural flavoring, polysorbate 80, fd&c yellow 5. “Classic dill taste and crunch Heinz pickles are 100% fat free, Gluten free.” (But they contain chemical crap, hmmm…)

Organic brands of pickles are often no better. I’ve seen xantham gum, natural flavors, spices and agave syrup…all of which are suspect ingredients that I avoid as much as possible.

The bottom line is this: YOU deserve the very best in life and you are worth having only the very best ingredients in your food. Taking the time to make your own food is one of the best investments in yourself, your health and your family’s health.

High-five some hashtags to health!! #homemade #homegrown #farmtotable #organic #cleanfood #cleaneating

Choosing organic ingredients

The best part about making cucumbers at home is that you can use all 100% certified organic and whole food ingredients. Look for smaller sized pickling cucumbers at your local farmer’s market. You can also grow your own pickling cucumbers in your backyard garden at home – they’re actually very easy to grow! Choose fresh organic dill. And definitely use organic garlic. (Non-organic garlic is mostly all grown in China, so the quality is a big unknown. But I find that non-organic garlic has a too strong and overpowering taste; whereas organic garlic has a soft yet flavorful and more delicate taste. Organic garlic also doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth or a bad smell on your skin.)

The water you add to your pickle jars should not contain any chlorine, because chlorine can stop the natural fermentation process. The best option is to use natural spring water or clean well water. If you are using tap water, then be sure to pour your water into a big pot or glass bowl and let it sit out on the counter overnight before using. This should off-gas the chlorine so it’s no longer in the water by the next morning. (If you’ve ever had pet fish, then you’re familiar with doing this when changing their tank water.)

Remember to cut off the blossom ends!

When you’re pickling cucumbers yourself, you must cut off the blossom ends. There’s an enzyme in the blossom that can make the pickle soft and unsafe to eat. The blossom end also tastes bitter when you eat a raw cucumber. That bitter taste can make an entire juice or smoothie taste bitter too, so it’s generally just a good practice to always cut off about 1/16-inch on the blossom end of all your cucumbers. In fermentation, cutting the blossom ends will help your pickles get more crisp and crunchy.

Every cucumber has 2 ends: A Blossom end and a Stem end

The blossom end of the cucumber is the end that grew the flower. The opposite side is where you will find the stem that connected the cucumber to the vine. Sometimes it’s easier to identify the stem end first. Then, you know that the other side is the blossom end.

Which end is the blossom end of the cucumber? To identify the blossom end, check both sides of your cucumber.

The picture below shows the stem end of the cucumbers. Do you see the smooth, indented dot? That’s where the cucumber was picked off the stem.

The stem end has a smooth, indented dot

The next picture shows the blossom end of the cucumbers. Even though the flower is gone, you can see that there is no indentation. This is the side that you want to cut about 1/16-inch off.

Note there is no indentation in the Blossom end of the cucumber

Don’t forget to cut those blossom ends for a crunchy, crispy pickle

Recipe for Organic Pickles

With this recipe, the pickles take 7 days to ferment and then you’ve got the best tastiest pickles ever! No sugar, no honey, no preservatives and no cancer-causing Yellow #5. Oh yeah, and these are 100% organic farm-to-table and made with love!

Pickling Ingredients

  • Pickling cucumbers (approx. 6-8 small cucumbers needed for each jar)
  • 1 1/2 cups (or 360ml) filtered water
  • 1/2 cup (or 120ml) organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. fine Himalayan salt (as desired)
  • 1/2 tsp. organic crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. organic mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. organic back peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh organic dill
  • 2 organic garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 2 organic fresh grape leaves* (optional)
    You can buy the organic dried ingredients listed above on iherb.comAlso will need:- Wide mouth clean Mason jars with canning lids
    – 1 permanent marker
    You can buy Mason jars plus organic raw apple cider vinegar on amazon.com

Pickling Instructions

1. In a glass bowl, mix 1/2 cup organic raw apple cider vinegar + 1.5 cups water.
Add peppercorns, red pepper flakes, mustard seed, and up to 1T Himalayan salt.

2. Rinse your cucumbers but don’t scrub them. You want them to ferment from natural bacteria in the skins. Make sure you cut 1/16-inch from the blossom ends of each cucumber, then slice the cucumbers in spears. You want to keep the skins intact (do NOT peel the cucumbers), so the good bacteria in the skins can kick off the lacto-fermentation process.

3. Add 2 organic garlic cloves, fresh dill, and 1 grape leaf to the bottom of the Mason jar. Stack in chopped cucs and pack tightly. Add liquid and spices. Add another grape leaf to the top before closing. Secure the lid tight by hand. Write the date on the lid with a permanent marker.

4. Place the jar on a tray or plate on a shelf or counter-top. Flip the jar once daily for 7 days. Sometimes liquid may seep out of the jar, which is why having a tray or plate underneath is a good idea. You should see small bubbles rising in the pickle juice when you flip the jar. And that’s the fermentation happening right there!

5. After one week, put the jar in the fridge. Now, you can open, eat and enjoy!

Store pickles in a tray or glass container to prevent spillage during 7 days of flipping once daily

*Fresh grapes leaves are recommended because they’re supposed to help keep the pickles more crisp and crunchy. I don’t know if they are totally necessary or not, but because we have plenty of wild organic muscadine grape vines growing all over our land, it’s no problem for me to pick a few leaves and add them to each jar. Sometimes in summer, you can find fresh grapes leaves for sale at local farmer markets. If you don’t have access to fresh grape leaves, don’t be discouraged. You can still make this recipe without them!

Homemade Pickle Eat-by Date

Using the above recipe, there is no canning or heating required. That’s nice because it keeps the cucs as a raw food, with all the enzymes intact. But, because they are not totally sealed the way canning or heating will do, these pickles should be eaten with 3 months of making them. Just keep that in mind if you give them to family or friends. After 3 months the pickles may turn soft or watery. If you see that, then it’s best to toss them in the compost bin. Writing the date on the lid of each jar helps to know how long to keep them.

My Pickle Detox/Cleanse

Last summer, we had so many cucumbers from our organic veggie garden that I was making 2 jars of pickles per day! By mid-August, we were up to our ears in pickles and the fridge was almost full. I had been planning to do a 7-10 day green juice fast as a nice transition from the end of summer into fall. But when I looked at all the pickles, I said to my husband, “Why don’t we just do a pickle detox and eat only organic pickles for 10 days?” So we did!

On average, we each ate about 1.5 jars of pickles per day and we drank all the pickle juice too. We also drank plenty of water in between. It was totally unplanned and un-researched. But it turned out great. We both felt energized. Our guts got a major boost of probiotics from the lacto fermentation and the organic raw apple cider vinegar. We had a mini-parasite cleanse from eating so many fermented garlic cloves. The pickles were cold and refreshing during the hot summer days. We had high energy and slept great. The was no juicer to clean! And we used organic clean food fresh from our garden. This year, we may do a 3-day pickle cleanse and go into green juices after that. I’ve got plenty of organic dandelion, celery and parsley that I’d love to use in juices or smoothies so we’ll see….!


For more on how to do a detox at home or how to navigate through your detox symptoms and start feeling great, book a personalized health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Consultation:

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

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!

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

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: