Archive for Food

I’m Back!

// August 1st, 2010 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cooking, Drinking Fluids, Food

A long hiatus and much work on other projects has brought me full circle and back to Crohnies.net! I have only posted on this site 3 times in the last 14ish months, and with a new found energy, focus, and time, I plan to change that by posting weekly (at the least).

My health has continued to remain steady over the past year+ with only one prominent change to me/my diet and two news updates to discuss which I will briefly explain:

#1. I passed the two year mark of not taking any Crohn’s medication! (To be exact, at this point I have actually gone 2 years and 4.5 months without it). Crohn’s is now so far removed from my daily life that I go weeks without even remembering that I had it. Crohn’s changed the way I live today, but its presence is no longer a daily influencer of my mood, health or diet and I couldn’t be happier.

#2. We now own Crohnies.com! When I first set out to create this site I wanted it to be “Crohnies.com”. However, at the time the domain was registered so the I made the decision to build this site on Crohnies.net. I am very pleased to say that after much effort we have acquired the dot-com domain! Now, if you type in Crohnies.com in your web browser, you will find this site. In the future I plan to change the entire location of the site to Crohnies.com as originally planned, but for now the originally desired domain will stay on a forward command that sends searches here – to the dot-net.

#3. My diet has changed substantially in the past 3 months! Due to recent ideas and the strong influence of friends, my diet now includes a much larger variety of fruits and vegetables amongst other recent changes such as a cutback in grain and meat consumption. I’ll be posting more about the specifics of my diet here in the coming days, so for now I’ll give you a few pictures of what my usual meals look like:

(Click for larger images)

Resist and You Will Prevail

// March 7th, 2009 // Comments Off // Exercise, Food

The hardest part I have found in sticking to a healthy diet is avoiding the “bad” food. Healthy food tastes good enough that I LOVE eating it and don’t mind having it compose 100% of my diet. However, it is when I actually have the opportunity to eat junk food, or any food that is less than ideal for my body, that the difficulty in maintaining my diet begins.

Keeping yourself from eating unhealthy food is hardest when you actually have the opportunity to eat unhealthy food. Last night I was at a benefit auction put on by the gym I train at called ADAPT. The auction was hosted at a restaurant and the restaurant prepared a wonderful spread of food including horderves, dinner, and cakes for desert. This was the first time I had been in the presence of “forbidden” food for so long that I had forgotten how hard it was to resist the temptation to eat non-healthy food! This night was especially hard to resist eating because of a two factors:

#1. I was sooooo hungry! I ate breakfast yesterday morning at 10am, after which my day consisted of going out with a photographer to shoot some Parkour after which I trained downtown (doing more Parkour) for a couple hours with a bunch of my students. By the time I arrived at the event it was 7:30 and not only had I been running, jumping and climbing since noon, I had only eaten a banana and an apple since breakfast! To say I was hungry was an understatement.

#2. One of my favorite dishes was served for dinner! The restaurant served spaghetti for dinner with penne noodles (my favorite kind of noodles by the way) with the option of a very thick and delicious looking meaty red sauce or a very elegant and enticing white alfredo sauce. When I am hungry just about everything looks delicious. But in this case, serving one my favorite foods (which I was not allowed to eat*) made my hunger increase ever more! It was practically torture to sit there and not dish myself up.

If I hadn’t stuck to my diet I probably would have had two whooping plate-fulls of the noodles, one with each type of sauce. In the end, though, I stayed true and only ate what I knew my diet allowed; in this case it was fruit and vegetables. Boring I know, but well wroth it in comparison to the context of suffering daily from Crohn’s. To be honest I don’t know how I actually succeeded and refrained from eating the noodles, but I did. And when I got home I felt great about myself.

In order to stay on a healthy, intestinally supportive diet I have found that the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay as far away from non-ideal foods as possible! If you don’t have the opportunity to eat them there is no temptation to begin with and no way for you to slip up. But if you do happen to be in the presence of food that you know you should not eat, you have to stay strong, stick to your guns and avoid it no matter how hungry you are and no matter how much you like the food. When you succeed in resisting you will feel great about yourself, and you will be one step closer to not only better health, but more importantly to conquering your battle with intestinal disorders.

*In case you were wondering, I did not allow myself to eat this food because the noodles (just like every noodle I have EVER seen served in a public setting) were made with enriched bleached flour. Surly the sauces were made of ingredients that are not allowed on my diet as well such as possibly brown sugar, white flour, and non-organic butter. But in this case since I didn’t “know” for sure what the ingredients in the sauces were I probably would have let it slide if the noodles had been sprouted wheat noodles. The only company I know of that produces sprouted wheat noodles is Food For Life.

Peanut Butter

// January 31st, 2009 // Comments Off // Food

Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods. Inspired by the most recent salmonella outbreak believed to be caused by contaminated peanuts, I thought I would write about how much I love peanut butter and what type I eat. Ironic? Maybe a little. But luckily for me, the peanut butter brand I consume has not been contaminated :)

I love peanut butter! In fact, I love it so much that I am almost positive that I eat too much of it. Jordan Rubin advises eating peanut butter in moderation in his book The Maker’s Diet. Based on his advice if I am ever having Crohn’s like symptoms I always immediately reduce my intake of peanut butter.

With that said peanut butter is a healthy food when you eat it in moderation and when you eat the healthy brands. The only brand of peanut butter I eat is the All Natural Crunchy Adam’s Peanut Butter produced by Smuckers. In fact, since I was a kid this is the only peanut butter I have ever eaten (with rare exception). When I was young I even used to call it, “my” peanut butter because, after all, it does have the same name as me.

Now that I know the difference between healthy foods and unhealthy foods I am glad that my parents raised me with Adam’s Peanut Butter because it is one of the few healthy peanut butter choices. While other popular and widely advertised peanut butter brands (Jif and Skippy for example) contain lots sugar and processed ingredients Adam’s Peanut Butter only has two ingredients; peanuts and salt. They even make a non-salt variety which only contains peanuts. It doesn’t get much more natural and healthy than that!

The thing I like most about peanut butter is its versatility. First of all it makes a great substitute for common the common lunch meat sandwiches. I sometimes just spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread and eat it like a tostada. But even better than that is if you combine the peanut butter with two slices of bread and honey. The result is one of my favorite lunch entrées; a peanut butter and honey sandwich. In addition to common lunch peanut butter sandwich entrées which most people grew up eating, you can also eat peanut butter as a snack with fruits and vegetables. I especially like dipping carrots, apples, and celery in peanut butter with apples being my most common choice. Peanut butter for me is especially versatile as a food because it is also one of the only foods that satisfies my hearty cravings that usually only meat can quench. I still haven’t figure out if peanut butter has this effect with me because of its density of peanut butter or what, but since it does indeed quench my hearty cravings that is a good enough explanation for me.

I love peanut butter. Because it can be eaten as the main ingredient in common lunch entrées or as part of a snack, peanut butter is also just about as versatile a food as you can get. And when you purchase a healthy variety such as Adam’s Peanut Butter, you get the best of both worlds; a great tasting food that is healthy for you too.

Whole-Grain Waffles

// January 25th, 2009 // Comments Off // Food, Recipes

Here is a fantastic recipe from The Maker’s Diet by Jordan S. Rubin. This recipe is for another delicious breakfast favorite; waffles (as opposed to Blueberry Pecan Pancakes which I wrote about two weeks ago).

Take it from me this recipe will make you some of the best waffles you have ever eaten. They aren’t as fluffy as traditional waffles, but since when did great tasting healthy food have to fit into non-healthy food stereotypes?

I prefer this traditional morning meal topped with organic butter and pure 100% maple syrup. But that’s one of the great things about a food like waffles. You can ordain them with whatever food toppings you like. Just make sure that whatever you do put on top of your your waffles is as healthy as the waffles themselves ;)

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups whole-grain flour (spelt, kamut)
  • ¾ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. unheated honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 eggs, separated

Directions

Soak the flour in water with 2 Tbsp. yogurt for at least 7 hours. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks and add the yogurt and butter. Combine salt, honey, and flour; add this to the first mixture. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks; fold them into the mix. Mix in the baking powder quickly. Cook in your waffle iron. Serves 6.

Blueberry pancakes

// January 11th, 2009 // Comments Off // Food, Recipes

In order to continue my theme of “Healthy Food Tastes Better” I wanted to post a few of my favorite 100% healthy recipes. Here is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts; blueberry pancakes. I personally ate these exact pancakes last week and I can promise you that they are as delicious as any high-fructose-corn-syrup-filled-frosting-laded-bleached-flour-creation you can imagine (the key is in adding extra blueberries).

I prefer to eat these flat and fluffy cakes with organic butter and pure 100% maple syrup, but the topping options are up to you and are really only limited by your  imagination (peanut butter, yogurt, and/or other berries are also very good choices if you ask me :) I have taken this recipe from the book The Maker’s Diet which I give my highest recommendation to anyone with a desire to start eating healthy and/or with a goal of taking charge of his/her intestinal circumstances.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups freshly ground or soaked spelt, kamut, or whole-what flour
  • ¾ cup water mixed with 1 Tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1.2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1.2 cup cripy pecans
  • 1.4 tsp. fine Celtic sea salt
  • 1.2 cup extra-virgin coconutt oil
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

Mix flour with water and yogurt and let stand overnight. Defrost blueberries in refrigerator if frozen. Mix ingredients into a bowl. Heat extra-virgin coconut oil in a skillet or pan over low heat. Increase temperature to moderate heat. Use about 3 Tbsp. of batter for each pancake. Serve with honey, maple syrup, or butter.

Makes about 12

Variations: Use different kinds of fruit

Healthy Foods Taste Better (Part 2 of 2)

// January 10th, 2009 // Comments Off // Food

#2. The prevalence of sugars and fats in our diets and the overexposure our taste buds receive from these ingredients has basically desensitized our taste buds and convinced them that healthy foods are tasteless. The only things I can think to compare this to is drugs. When you do/take a drug for the first time whether it be cigarettes or much harder illegal drugs, you receive a certain buzz/high from that drug (or so I hear). The longer you use that drug though, the harder it becomes to get that same high so you have to keep taking/using more and more of it to get the same buzz/high you had the first time. It is the same with the foods we eat. After someone eats two packs of Sour Skittles and their tongue goes numb for 3 days because of the amount of acid and sugar in the candy, regular fruits and vegetables just do not taste as sweet anymore. Here are a few more examples from my own life that support this principle.

I remember the very first time I ever had a sour warhead. My aunt gave me one when I was on the beach at the Oregon coast. I was probably 10 years old. I put it in my mouth not knowing exactly what to expect, and before I knew it the sourness had overtaken me to the point that I was running around and jumping up and down in the sand in an effort to do everything I could to resist the temptation to spit it out! It was that sour! After about 15 seconds I think I did in fact spit the warhead out because I could not take it anymore. But then later that day I had another one and it was not as bad. Suffice to say that a few years later sour warheads were nothing to me. I could put them in my mouth and suck on them without flinching until all the sourness had subsided. (100% true story by the way.)

I remember when I changed my diet and stopped eating high fructose corn syrup. One day a few months after I had made this change I was eating plain lettuce. After eating a few leafs I paused and almost in astonishment exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! How can this lettuce be so sweet?!” The lettuce did indeed actually taste sweet, and since I had never tasted lettuce that was sweet I was utterly amazed. This lettuce was the same commercially produced Trader Joe’s lettuce I had eaten for years, but since I had allowed my tastes buds to rehab from their dependency on sugar highs, my tongue was able to, once again, function as it was designed to and absorb the subtle flavors of foods such as the lettuce. (and this was a commercially grown lettuce so you can see how far my tastes buds had really come :).

Many commercial food production methods rob foods of their natural flavors, and because modern diets frequently expose people to incredibly high amounts of sugars and fats, many people do not realize, or have the chance to experience, that healthy foods are incredibly taste-stimulatingly delicious. Because of this, sometimes it is difficult to successfully encourage others to eat healthy and/or to maintain a healthy diet yourself. But if you start cutting out sugar and fat filled foods from your diet and start eating “real” food, and by “real” I mean organic and/or not processed to the extent of normal commercial agricultural practices, this will give your taste buds time to rehab so to speak. And once this happens you will be able to experience how delicious healthy foods really are. Furthermore, once you are able to enjoy the abundant flavor of healthy foods it will be that much easier for you to stay committed to a strong intestinally supportive diet. So why delay?! Start making changes today. Delicious healthy food awaits you!

Healthy Foods Taste Better (Part 1 of 2)

// January 9th, 2009 // Comments Off // Food

If anyone thinks that eating healthy is anything less than absolutely delicious he/she is unequivocally mistaken. Healthy food is not only better for you from a health perspective, obviously, but contrary to popular comprehension it tastes way better than unhealthy food too! From personal experience I believe there are two primary reasons why people do not understand this principle and/or have not had the chance to experience this for themselves.

#1. Traditional commercial production methods of fruits, vegetables, meats, and breads etc. rob food of much of its natural and delicious taste. These methods include the use of chemicals, like pesticides for fruits and vegetables, and the use of antibiotics on stock animals (not to mention other methods used to raise mass amounts of cattle such as now allowing free range). The time factor that is required to bring commercial food to market is also responsible for the lack of flavor in healthy foods. For example, freezing foods like meats and picking fruits and vegetables before they are ripe (so they will be ripe when they finally reach the shelves) causes the food to loose flavor.

The most obvious way to see for yourself the difference in taste between commercially cultivated foods and non-commercial grown foods is to cultivate your own garden. Plant your favorite or most commonly consumed fruits, berries, and vegetables and grown them yourself. When the plants mature and you can eat the fruits of your labor the vibrancy of flavor in your home grown foods will blow you away. For example, have you ever eaten a tomato? Not one of the commercial grown store bought varieties, but a real organic home grown tomato? If you have not then you probably think that tomatoes are for the most part bland and tasteless. That is what I used to think until I ate a home grown tomato from my mom’s garden. When you eat a “real” tomato for the first time, and by “real” I mean organic and/or not processed to the extent of most commercially grown foods, one of your first thoughts will probably be, “No wonder tomatoes are actually classified as fruits!!! They are so sweet!” Vine ripened cherry tomatoes are, in fact, probably one of the sweetest foods I have ever eaten. As demonstrated in this tomato example, this principle of ‘commercial flavor vs. real flavor’ is one that extends to all foods groups, and the majority of food you see on the shelves in your local grocery store.

To be continued…

Crohn’s for Christmas (Part 4 of 4)

// January 3rd, 2009 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Food, Other

It is eye-opening for me to look back on this holiday season and see how applicable to Crohn’s everything was. The foods I ate, the memories I made, the reasons why I did thing and did not do things all related back to my experience with Crohn’s and my history with the disorder. Even the presents others gave me for Christmas were not able to escape the influence of my past intestinal anarchy. I can now see that everything in my life is and always will be inevitably linked to Crohn’s. With the right outlook though, I think this can be a good thing.

I do not mind that Crohn’s will always possess a very significant presence in my life. I think it makes me stronger. It makes me healthier. It forces me to work harder than others to attain the same state of health, and that builds character. It also keeps me humble and reminds me of others that are still suffering like I was, and this compels me to my obligation to help them find a way as I did.

I am convinced that everyone is given challenges in life that are meant to build their character in accordance with their unique God given purpose. Some people are challenged with poverty. Others are challenged by growing up without parents, or growing up in a rough neighborhood, or growing up without an education. Believe it or not still others are challenged with coping with wealth and fame. We were challenged with less than optimum health. Just like being born poor, or not having a supportive family, or not being taught how to read and write, the first thing we must do if we wish to escape these circumstances is to learn from them. We must not shy from our intestinal problems, but rather use them to learn, and grow, and better ourselves.

Even though I no longer suffer daily from Crohn’s, saying these things is not an easy thing to do. It reminds me how bad I used to hurt and this is humbling. But I am thankful for those experiences because it is as a result of them that I now unequivocally believe that optimism is the attitude that we must possess. Not matter how bad our health becomes we must cling to an outlook of acceptance and even gratefulness, and most importantly we must maintain a hopeful and ceaseless determination to not let our situation deter us from pursuing our passions up to and including living a long, healthy, and vibrant life. To do anything else is to secede from hope.

In our case our optimism cannot merely exist as an attitude. We must accompany this ever forward looking gaze with action; a personal confrontation of our health that manifests itself in us taking charge of our lifestyles and doing everything we can to combat the disorder we have. Depending on your circumstances this may be a challenge so daunting that it may seem insurmountable at times. But it is never without hope. If nothing else, hope will keep you going. And when you do finally triumph, all the pain and hardships you suffered along the way will make the victory that much sweeter.

For me, literally being diagnosed with Crohn’s was a great Christmas present because it gave me an answer to my pain. But the greatest gift came from what I learned over the next three years through overcoming Crohn’s. My Christmas wish is that you too find the determination and passion to conquer Crohn’s as I did.  If you do then I can assure you, you will not be disappointed. And possibly, just possibly, you will also come to find as I have, that even something as painful and debilitating as Crohn’s can become a Christmas present to remember and be thankful for.

Cranberry Pecan Brown Rice Stuffing

// December 17th, 2008 // Comments Off // Food, Recipes

I ate the following dish at a friend’s house last week, and it was off the charts awesome! If you have about an hour of free time and you feel like cooking, definitely use the time to learn how to make this entrée. One recommendation: make a lot of it because you will love it! The dish is sort of spicy but it is also sweet, and this combination in addition to the cranberries gives this entrée a fitting holiday taste. The dish is called Cranberry Pecan Brown Rice Stuffing.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup brown rice cooked according to package directions
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbls butter or olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tbls finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In small saucepan over medium high heat, mix cranberries, orange zest and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sauté celery, shallots and poultry seasoning for 3 minutes. Stir in cranberry mixture, pecans, parsley and rice and cook over medium heat for 3 more minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Makes 8 servings

Even though this dish was served as an entrée with the main meal it was so good I felt like I was eating desert! And in the same sentiment, even though it says “Makes 8 servings” this entrée is so good that I think two hungry people could easily devour the whole thing. Just a warning :)

Adam’s Hamburger Special

// November 30th, 2008 // Comments Off // Adam Dunlap, Cooking, Food, Recipes

One of my new favorite meals is my own personal hamburger recipe. I eat the meal about 2 to 3 time a week now, so I figured it takes a prominent enough role in my life that I should write about it. In addition to being extremely delicious, the meal is also a great example of a meal that is completely nutritious not to mention very simple to prepare.

Ingredients (in order of preparation)

Coconut Oil
One Large Onion (optional)
Hamburger (1 lb)
Salt and Pepper –or other assorted spices- (Optional)
Peas (2 cups)
Cheese –Mozzarella or Asiago- (Optional)
Salsa or Ketchup (optional)

Directions

#1. Saute one large onion with coconut oil.
#2. In a separate pan brown one pound of hamburger with spices of your choosing.
#3. Steam two cups of peas in the microwave for 4:30 minutes.
#4. When the hamburger is sufficiently cooked, use a strainer to drain the oil from hamburger.
#5. Mix the hamburger, onions, and peas.
#6. When all is sufficiently mixed and heated to the same temperature sprinkle Mozzarella or Asiago cheese over the top of the dish.
#7. When the cheese is melted serve dish with condiments of your choice (I like using salsa or ketchup)

As you can see, the dish is super simple to prepare, and it just so happens to be my current favorite home made meal. And because the only ingredients are coconut oil, onions, hamburger, peas, spices, hard cheese, and salsa, the dish is completely healthy and conforms to the strict standards of the Maker’s Diet.

A few notes:

  • The proportions of every ingredient is up to personal preference and discretion.
  • It can take 20 minutes or more to adequately sauté onions. If I’m in a hurry, or if I simply don’t want to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen I skip this vegetable and stick with peas only. On the other hand, if I really feel like eating onions I might sauté two large onions for the dish.
  • The spices, vegetables, and condiments are really up to your choosing so you can feel free to experiment with different kinds and combinations. I personally use salt, pepper, and salsa, because they are simple additions. And with the vegetables I stick with peas because they are easy to steam and they taste great. Sometimes, though, I will mix in other vegetables too like snow peas or sugar snap peas.
  • I especially like serving this meal with toast.