Posted in Food, Health

Guest Post: Raw, Cooked or Modified: Could You Be Feeding Your Autoimmune Disease by Eating Foods in a Harmful Form?

THIS ARTICLE WAS PROVIDED IN FULL BY: Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories

In recent years, we’ve learned a lot about the harms of eating genetically modified foods (GMOs). There are, however, conflicting opinions on whether whole foods offer greater benefit when consumed in raw or cooked form. It’s not enough that we have to be thoughtful about which foods we put into our bodies. Now, we are being told that we have to consider how to eat them. For those who have or are at risk for autoimmune disease, this consideration can be even more critical.
Scientific studies show a link between GMOs and health problems, inflammation, a higher risk of disease, intestinal damage and—in extreme cases—death. Dr. Amy Myers, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Thyroid Connection, best explains why. First, GMOs contain more pesticides and toxins than non-GMOs. Overexposure to pesticides and environmental toxins can trigger autoimmune disease and worsen a preexisting condition. Second, GMOs can cause leaky gut, which in turn can lead to autoimmune disease, and inflammation, which aggravates the condition. Finally, GMOs can disrupt your gut microbial balance by decreasing the good bacteria and increasing the bad bacteria. In a nutshell, there is a lot of downside to making modified foods a part of your diet—especially if you suffer from autoimmune disease.
It is widely known that for optimal health we simply must eat whole foods. But what a lot of people fail to understand is that GMOs are not limited to processed foods in a box. Even whole foods can be modified. In fact, an estimated 92 percent of corn and 94 percent of soy grown in the U.S. are genetically modified! The best way to avoid modified whole foods is to buy organic fruits and vegetables and eat meat from cows that are grass fed and poultry from free-range organic chickens (though keep in mind that meat and dairy—even grass fed or free-range—can also be trigger for inflammation in some individuals).
With GMOs settled, we move on to the next question: Raw or cooked? Some believe that fruits and vegetables should be eaten in raw form for the highest nutrients and that cooking them destroys some of the enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Others maintain that cooked foods are easier to digest and allow for better absorption of nutrients. The truth is that yes, cooking veggies can eliminate some of the nutrients. But different foods have different reactions, with some producing more minerals through the cooking process. For example, cooking vegetables can increase the amount of calcium they provide. Ultimately, for the average healthy individual, eating a balanced diet of both raw and cooked vegetables and fruits will provide the best intake of nutrients.
For those with autoimmune disease, an altered diet might be necessary. Just as foods react differently to the cooking process, so do our bodies. It is important to remember that everybody (and every body) is different. Our systems, although similar in function, are made up of different genes, unique chemistries, varying levels of digestive enzymes, different absorption rates and so on. There are many foods that are known to be inflammatory in general, but it varies from one person to the next, especially based on whether the food is consumed in raw or cooked form.
Taking stock of how your individual system functions best, which foods best fuel you (and in what form) and those that lead to negative reactions, is your best path forward for a healthy lifestyle, particularly if you have an autoimmune condition. An elimination diet can be helpful in determining foods that are problematic for you; however, this can be a timely, frustrating and inconclusive process. For those seeking more efficient answers, Cyrex Laboratories, a clinical immunology laboratory specializing in functional immunology and autoimmunity, offers multi-tissue antibody testing for the early detection and monitoring of today’s complex autoimmune conditions. The Array 10C – Comprehensive Food Immune Reactivity Screen – assesses the most advanced array of wheat/gluten, dairy proteins and food proteins in raw, cooked and modified forms.
Proper diet and nutrition are essential for optimal health, fighting disease and feeling our best. While we should follow scientific evidence as a guide, our individual chemistry and function must also be taken into account. If you suspect you have hyperimmune reactivity to foods, seek the advice of a doctor and inquire about whether testing might be a good option for you.

Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on the Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories. Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He particularly pursues advanced developments in the fields of endocrinology, orthopedics, sports medicine and environmentally-induced chronic disease.

Posted in Food, Product Reviews

Farmer’s Pantry: American Farm Grown Snacks

When we’re hungry, the very last thing we want to do is have to search for food or launch into some major league preparations. Let’s be honest. Most of us grab the closest food source, be it a donut or an apple. Hunger takes over & we throw nutrition out the window. Only after the hunger subsides do we realize that we’ve scarfed down 12 cookies or a container of gummy worms.
What we all need is a handy snack that is filling, nutritious, AND convenient.Farmer’s Pantry has just the snack we need. Their Cornbread Crisps are simply amazing. Three different flavors for every palate: Original, Honey Butter, & Jalapeno.

Now, Cornbread may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when the word ‘Snack’ is used. In fact, cornbread reminds me of those big, Sunday dinners with family. But, Farmer’s Pantry has found a way to take this dinnertime staple and make it into a fantastic snack.

Unlike so make snacks in our homes, these crisps are baked (not fried). Want some more good news? They are made from REAL corn. 100% of their ingredients are grown on American farms. Americans feeding Americans! I love that! It’s good for our country and good for our bodies. Where would America be without our farms/farmers? Farmer’s Pantry thanks them properly by incorporating the food they grow and by giving back to charities affiliated with America’s farms.

Three of us sampled the three varieties of crisps. I took Honey Butter, my husband took Original, and my youngest took the Jalapeno. After tasting, each of us declared our flavor as the best! Then we each tried a different flavor. Same result. So, the bottom line is that all 3 flavors are phenomenal!

Very rarely can we honestly say that a product delivers exactly as promised. Farmer’s Pantry delivers in a big way. Taste, nutrition, and a great business- that’s the perfect combo. Cornbread Crisps are the ultimate go-to munchie.

Visit their website for full product details as well as where to buy.

Find them at the following social medias:

We received the aforementioned products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone.

Posted in Food

My Breakfast Creation

After realizing that I had a lack of breakfast convenience foods in the house & the fact that I was feeling pretty decent yesterday, I experimented with some ingredients & came up with this dish. Is it a pie? A Quiche? It is whatever it is, but it was definitely tasty!
8 Grands biscuits
2 or 3 pieces of Ready Bacon
1 Yellow pepper
1 red pepper
salt & pepper (a bit)
6 eggs
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350. Grease a pie pan. Line pan with biscuits by pushing them into what resembles a pie crust.
img_0624 Personally, I ripped the biscuits in half to make a thinner crust. Grands biscuits are layered so it’s easy to do. You may have to rip the halves in half to go up the pan sides.
img_0625Push biscuits down to make sure there won’t be any cracks in the ‘crust. In a bowl, beat eggs & cheeses with an immersion blender. Rip bacon into small pieces. Cut peppers into small pieces. Add to egg mix then blend once more. Pour mixture over biscuits in pan.
img_0626 Add extra cheese ,if you’re a fan of cheese, on top of mixture. Bake until the eggs are set- maybe 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting.


Posted in Food, Pets, Product Reviews

Pup-Peroni: A Winning Treat For Your Dog

img_0304-2My Buster loves his snacks. I’ll admit I can be a bit of a helicopter mom about what he eats. All his snacks need to be quality and from a brand I trust. I won’t except less for him. As my best friend and constant companion, I want him to have ‘goodies’ that taste good while still maintaining a healthy eating plan.

He’s an active little bugger and likes to take his snacks on the go. Pup-Peroni sticks are perfect for that. The fall season is as busy for us as it is for most families. While we aren’t really a sports-oriented family, we do have a lot of tasks outdoors that have to be completed before bad weather hits. Whether it’s ‘helping’ Dad with winterizing or following our boys around while they’re doing chores, Buster seldom sits still. Youth groups, school, work- we’re often on the go, too. 54

My guys need fuel for all they do and so does Buster. So, when I make everyone lunch, Buster stops to eat with us, too. One of his favorite foods (and a word he truly knows!), is bacon. Pup-Peroni’s new Filet Mignon & Bacon Flavors is a winner! From the first taste, I knew he was hooked! Plus, because it’s made with real angus steak and bacon flavors, I’m comfortable with him eating them. Pup-Peroni is a well known, well respected brand. I appreciate that, too.

Buster loves the taste. Trust me, they disappear quicker than you can say ‘Filet Mignon’! Their bag  packaging makes them a convenient way take them on the go. The resealable bag delivers a fresh snack every time. Eventhough Buster adores his Milk Bones, I’m pretty sure that these are now his new favorite. As you can see in the picture, he was so happy when he got the first Pup-Peroni that he jumped into Dad’s arms!

With all he does for us, it’s nice to be able to give him a little thank you. We can’t remember life with out him and we wouldn’t want to. For all those special pups in your life, you’ve got to try the new Filet Mignon & Bacon Pup-Peronis.

Posted in Food, Product Reviews

Thanksgiving in a Potato Chip From Boulder Canyon

*Pic belongs ONLY to Boulder Canyon

When you hear the words ‘Potato Chip’, Thanksgiving probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Perhaps you think of potato chips as an unhealthy, salty snack. Boulder Canyon Foods is about to change your perception of this go-to food.

Right in time for the customary feast, ‘Thanksgiving-meal flavored potato chips’ are back. ‘Pumpkin Pie’ & ‘Turkey & Gravy’ flavors are anything but ordinary! If you are thinking that they sound too odd to be good, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’ll admit it: I doubted that either one, in chip form, was a good idea. For once, I was happy to be wrong, too!

I recruited our 13-year-old & my husband to assist in a taste test. Without telling either of them, I had them try a chip from each bag. Immediately, they recognized the flavors. My husband has an amazing taste palate & he was THRILLED with the turkey & gravy chips. He noted immediately that he could taste rosemary. As for me, with a bit of a sweet tooth, the pumpkin pie was my favorite. You can absolutely taste the pie spices, especially the cinnamon. Now, our teen, he loved both! After the initial taste testing, he disappeared with both bags. Needless to say, I’ll be adding these to our shopping list.

Normally, I’d be bothered by our son snacking on chips. We’ve made a conscious decision to eat better. Thanks to Boulder Canyon, I learned that kettle-cooked chips have a 30% reduction in fat than other cooking methods. 30%!!??
That’s quite a bit! Plus, with Boulder Canyon, there is no trans fat or cholesterol. I can be confident that when my son eats these snacks, we’ve made a better nutritional choice. It also shows that Boulder Canyon cares about its food and its customers.

As parents, we can’t always stop our kids from eating less than stellar options when they snack. But, we can provide better, more nutritionally sound options. This time of year can be especially hectic so these chips (which come in a 5 ounce bag for $2.99 MSRP) are the perfect snack to keep handy. Don’t forget to buy some for yourself too! They’ll keep you fueled during the day so you’re less likely to hit the vending machine. (We all do that!)

Get in the Thanksgiving mood a little early. Pick up some Boulder Canyon chips. Surprise your guests for that upcoming football gathering. These chips are ideal for any gathering and you won’t have to cook or bake.
Visit &/or for full product info.

*We received the aforementioned product(s) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Posted in Food

Healthy Snacking with Hope Hummus

How much do you know about hummus? It may not be the first item that you think of when someone mentions snack food. But, if you’ve never tried hummus or it’s been awhile since you’ve had it, you may want to give Hope Foods a try. With their variety of flavors, there’s basically a flavor to appeal to every taste.
We sampled 4 different flavors- Thai Coconut Curry, Original, Dark Chocolate, & Spicy Avocado. For the sampling, we tried each with pretzels and with pita chips. Only my husband had eaten hummus prior. I’ve always encouraged our boys to try new foods. Whether at home or at restaurants, I love for them to leave their food comfort zones & expand their palates. After trying all 4, we decided as a group that Dark Chocolate got our vote as family favorite.

All Hope Foods Hummus is vegan & gluten-free so even with the word chocolate in its name, you can be confident in what the kiddos are eating. You’ll notice on the labels that the word ‘organic’ appears often. With parental fears about pesticides and other not-good-for-you plant treatments, organic is always the best choice for ingredients.

Now, if you have picky eaters or they balk at the consistency of hummus, all is not lost. On, there are a host of great recipes & snack ideas. Personally, I was shocked at the number of dessert recipes. Who knew that hummus could be added to a cake recipe? Original and The Thai Coconut Curry can be used to make a unique dressing.

WIth a little imagination, hummus can be easily integrated into your snacking routine. Visit for full product info, recipes, and store locator.
*We received the aforementioned products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. Pics belong to Hope Foods ONLY.hope-singles

Posted in Food, Giveaways

Country Bob’s End-Of-Summer Sauce Giveaway

This giveaway will be valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.

Start Time/Date: 12:00 AM (EST) 9/05/16

End Time/Date : 12:00 AM (EST) 9/26/16

Continue reading “Country Bob’s End-Of-Summer Sauce Giveaway”

Posted in Food, Health, Pets

Join the ASPCA in Their #ShopWithYourHeart Initiative

SWYH-Shareable_square_062916_cow-decideDo you worry about where your food comes from & how it’s obtained? If not, then  we should. Join in the Shop With Your Heart Initiative. The ASPCA is shining a light on inhumane practices within the food industry. Most of the facts will alarm you. Hopefully, they will also change the way you view your food.

Visit their site and see how many people have decided that enough is enough. Watch the Video here. Make your own decision to avoid food brought to you in an unethical fashion. Take to social media & join the movement. It’s simple and completely free.

We all love taking selfies, so take one with your hands in the heart-shape. Add the hashtag #shopwithyourheart and @ASPCA. Sign the pledge as an educated consumer & tell your kids about it. After all, for things to have a lasting impact, our next generation has to pick up the torch, too. Once you sign the pledge on their website, you’ll have access to “an exclusive Shop With Your Heart Grocery List, including welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands.”

We may not all be able to travel, donate, or hold elaborate fundraisers. But, we can all do something! This is simple & quick. I know you love sharing on you Social Medias so go for it! Spread the pledge!SWYH-Shareable_square_062916_chicken_factory-farms


Posted in Food

Another Great Burger Recipe

One of the greatest compliments that my husband paid to me was saying that my burger recipe beat a well-known burger chain’s recipe. Although the internet is inundated with burger ideas, I’m still going to throw mine into the ring. It’s simple and, because I wasn’t simply blessed with great cooking skills, it developed via trial & error. I hope it works for you as well!























1-2 lbs. ground beef

a squeeze barbeque sauce

a squeeze Ketchup

a squeeze Mustard

Salt & pepper

Onion Powder

To make 4 burgers:

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix until the seasonings & condiments are all mixed in & no longer visible. Heat skillet on medium heat. Roll meat into 4 separate equally-sized meatballs. Squash them into burger form. Place in skillet. Using a utensil or your finger, poke 4 holes in the burger. Cook to desired level of ‘doneness’. Eat.

A few quick notes:

We used 90/10 meet. For my husband, it’s non-negotiable. He won’t eat any other burger meat percentage. After having used just about every other percentage over the years, he’s convinced, rightly so, that it put ALOT of weight on us. Also, I use the sea salt pictured. It’s a preference. Use whatever salt you want. The same goes for all the other brands pictured. We poke holes in the burgers to prevent them from swelling in the middle and shrinking.