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Last year, most of us missed out on Halloween. It may make a comeback in a bigger way this year in 2021, and so it’s time to be prepared! Finding that perfect treat for the little ones, and some adults too, can be a little challenging.
Some of my friends and family LOVE Halloween, and some go with the flow. Halloween, for me, is a difficult time. I cannot help but look at any holiday from a health perspective, and gathering loads of candy is not my idea of healthy, but I do enjoy the incredible fun of dressing up in Halloween costumes.
I always encourage my patients to think ahead, and make healthy choices. This allows their experience of this festive time to be so much easier — and healthier. For those who love Halloween and see it as a really fun day, I encourage them to choose this day as an all bets are off day. Keep in mind that the body can handle brief inflammation, it’s the chronic inflammation that’s dangerous. Have some fun foods, and don’t worry about it. Still, I have heard my share of the cry, “Oh mommy, my tummy hurts.” “Well,” I ask, “Is that because you ate 12 candy bars, 4 pieces of pizza and 2 sodas. That would cause anyone’s tummy to hurt!”
So it’s best to exercise a little caution, remembering that if you have not been eating an inflammatory diet, your body may not tolerate all that junk! You could choose the half way path, and eat some treat foods. Perhaps a pizza made with no cheese, but with lots of vegetables and maybe some shitake mushrooms, complemented by a nice green salad. Top it off with some of your favorite dark chocolate — cocoa content over 72%; and a small favorite drink. This way you are having some treats, but without the heavy collateral damage. Many friends and patients love this option, which they consider a very reasonable compromise.
I hope you’ll try the recipe below for the Apo E Gene Pizza, and enjoy Halloween. I’m including my favorite pumpkin carrot soup, as well. Perhaps you can get your little people to have a mug of this before they head out the door!
If it is your favorite fun holiday, go for it, but pace yourself. If you end up with a tummy ache remember you chose this, and the this is your body wisely telling you how it feels about your choice.
Again, have fun. Celebrations, gatherings with friends and family, laughter and play are vitally important for good health. And share your favorite costume. That’s the fun part for me!
Rustic Tuscany Pizza
- 1 1⁄4 cups lukewarm water, 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 cup organic white flour (gluten free if needed)
- 1⁄2 cup organic whole-wheat flour (gluten free if needed)
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup fresh tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp. fresh sweet basil
- 1 tbsp. each fresh cilantro and parsley
- 1 tsp. fresh sage
- 1 tbsp. fresh marjoram
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
- 4 oz. soy cheese, shredded,
- 1 thinly sliced tomato
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1⁄2 cup shiitake mushrooms
- 1⁄4 cup kalamata olives
- 1 small roasted garlic clove
- basil for garnish
For the pizza dough, pour lukewarm water into a large bowl. Stir honey through the water. Whisk the yeast through, and set the mixture aside until a “sponge” forms on top of the mixture. This usually takes 5–10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix flours and salt together, and make a “well” in the center. Pour the yeast mixture into the “well,” and work the flour in gradually until a ball of soft dough is formed.
Rub the inside of a large, clean bowl with olive oil, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the dough with a clean, damp cloth; and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.
After dough has risen, knead again and roll out on a clean, dry, floured surface. Divide into two equal portions and roll each piece into a ball. Place the dough, covered, in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour.
Bring the dough to room temperature before preparing to use. Preheat oven to 450°F.
Coat pizza pan with a little olive oil. Roll dough portions to fit pizza pan, and place in the pan to form the pizza crust. Combine tomato sauce and herbs, spread over the dough, and add organic soy cheese evenly over the surface. Top with vegetables, spreading them evenly over the cheese.
Bake for 10–14 minutes or until crust is cooked to a light brown. 4 servings.
carbohydrate—vegetable 1⁄2 carbohydrate—grain/starch 3 protein 1 fat 1⁄4
Pumpkin Carrot Soup
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- 2 sticks astragalus root
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped fresh pumpkin
- 1 1⁄2 cups lentils
- 1 large potato, chopped
- 2 tbsp. whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp. flaxseed
- 1⁄4 tsp. ginger
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups spinach
- 2 cups soymilk
- 1⁄2 cup additional vegetable broth or water if needed
- 1 sprig cilantro or parsley, white pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a medium-size skillet. Add shallots, leeks, astragalus root, and garlic. Add lentils, potato, and carrots and cook for 5–7 minutes until they begin to soften. Gradually add the wheat flour, flaxseed, and ginger; and stir well. Gradually add 1 cup of vegetable stock.
Transfer all ingredients to a larger saucepan for further cooking. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining 3 cups of stock, then add the spinach. Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 20–30 minutes.
Add the soymilk and any additional water (if needed). Simmer 7–10 minutes. Liquidize in a blender for 1 minute.
Serve hot in a china bowl, with cilantro or parsley to garnish. Add white pepper to taste.
8 servings. Nutritional information/serving:
carbohydrate—vegetable 1 1⁄2 carbohydrate—grain/starch 1⁄2 protein 1