Feb 13

Vegan Nacho “Cheese” Dip

Vegan Nacho “Cheese” Dip

Free of Gluten/Wheat, Casein/Dairy, Soy, Eggs, Nuts, Tree Nuts, Corn, and Coconut 

Can be made WITHOUT Potatoes**

IT TASTES AMAZING!!! I’ve fed this dip to “regular” people (my family and friends without allergies) who unknowingly devoured it thinking it was normal Cheese Dip!

Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip
1 1/2 cups peeled, boiled, and mashed potatoes (about 2 small-medium sized potatoes)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes (NOT active yeast)
1/3 cup of oil
2/3 cup water
1/4-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

*For a more traditional spicy flavor add Sriracha Hot Sauce to taste!

**Can’t have potatoes? Or would like to sneak in some other veggies?! This can be made with just Yucca Root (peel and boil just like potatoes). You can also make this with Cauliflower or add in Cauliflower with the Potatoes/Yuca!

***For lowest natural glutamate content I purchase Frontier Brand Nutritional Yeast Flakes from Amazon.com

1. Boil your potatoes until they are fork tender
2. Place all ingredients in your blender.
3. Blend on high until mixture is completely smooth.
4. Serve with chips/crackers/bread or add to tacos, or pour on pasta!

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Original Recipe here: http://veganyumminess.com/vegan-nacho-cheese/

May 20

It Almost Killed Me

it almost killed meSeveral months ago I was out grocery shopping with my two kids, my husband and his parents. My husband was pushing a cart with my daughter in it and I was walking behind next to my mother-in-law who was pushing a cart with my son in the front. Just behind me was my father-in-law and thank goodness he was there.

As we walked toward the end of an isle my husband quickly turned and put his hand up to stop me from walking any further, but he was too late, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I was on my way down before I even realized what was happening.  I felt as if I was falling very far away inside of my body and looking through my eyes was like looking through the distant ends of dark tunnels. My father in law caught me before I hit the floor. Time slowed and everything went dark. The next thing I knew I was lying on the floor and someone was yelling at me. As my mind came to I realized it was my husband. He had just shoved 3 Benadryl pills into my mouth and was trying to get me to chew. Even though my consciousness had begun to return my body was still reacting. My husband held me as my body convulsed on the floor. Passersby were yelled at to get away as many tried to scoot in and have a look at what was going on. A store employee brought us a wheelchair. I was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, unable to move my legs. My husband and father-in-law picked me up and sat me in the chair, then they wheeled me out to the car while my mother-in-law quickly grabbed our kids and groceries.


In the car I burst into tears as emotions of fear and frustration came over me. The left side of my mouth and tongue were numb and burning where the Benadryl pills had sat and absorbed into my cheek and gums. I felt so scared and upset, but I tried to hold it together as my in-laws put my kids into the back of our van. My son wouldn’t look at me. He was scared. I reached my hand back and touched his knee and told him I was okay and that he didn’t have to worry. He hesitantly turned and looked up at me, then looked down in his lap. He swallowed hard and shifted his body nervously, then he lifted his eyes to mine and again I reassured him that I was okay. But deep down I think we both knew we weren’t okay because we both knew it was still out there.

IT is a mysterious thing and you may be wondering what IT is and I will tell you. But first I’d like to give you some perspective on how damaging IT can be. Because IT may be after you… After all,  IT almost killed me, and then IT came after my children…

The experiences my family have endured are extreme, and although the specific causes behind our reactions are considered rare, it is not uncommon for many to suffer similar, yet less severe reactions on a daily basis.  People are discovering that certain chemicals, foods, products, and more are so negatively effecting their well being that they’d like to do with out them. And they are met with resistance. It is our nature to label and categorize – everything must fit into a box with a clear definition. And these reactions don’t yet fit into a socially acceptable or medically acceptable box. If our doctors cannot readily identify the cause of our ailments then it must be all in our minds – we are stressed, anxious and depressed. But what if simply changing what we put in and on our bodies would heal us? Our minds can’t handle this uncertainty. We fear letting go of what we know, we fear the change, we fear it could actually work. So we wait. We say we are living, indulging, enjoying the little bit of time we have here on earth, but we are not. We have an instinct to survive so we grasp each moment onto something that instantly gratifies us, but surviving isn’t living, it’s just not dying.

It matters what you put in and on your body. And what you eat and what you wear effects everyone around you, directly and indirectly. If you are like me and have an allergy or sensitivity to fragrances you know how difficult it is to go in public places. The woman who wore the perfume that almost killed me that day in the grocery store has no idea how deadly her choice to spray that chemical concoction on her body was that morning. Everyday men and women everywhere are dousing themselves in synthetic scents that are potentially dangerous, not only to me, but to everyone, even themselves. And it is not just perfumes, but everything artificially scented. Fragrances are not the only thing that hurts our family. We have several food allergies and food sensitivities. The purpose of this video was not to convince you to follow a certain diet, or remove a certain food or chemical from your life, but to encourage you to be cognizant of your everyday choices, because as we all know – it’s the little things in life that matter.

food zebra


Oct 13

Do you avoid GMOs?

Do you avoid GMOs?

If yes, why?

What does GMO stand for?

Don’t know? – the people in this video don’t either!

Did you know that GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food!

So what’s the big deal? If everyone has been eating GMOs since 1996 why now in 2014 are we making such a big deal about it.

Well here’s the thing: There have been NO long-term studies conducted on the safety of GMO foods on humans. 

And because of that Japan, all 27 countries in the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and other countries all require mandatory labeling of GMOs.


But in the United States we DON’T require labeling of GMOs AND the companies producing the majority of our conventional foods are spending MILLIONS of dollars to keep it that way!


companies agaisnt gmo labeling

So what exactly is a GMO?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism.

A genetically modified organism is a plant or animal that has been engineered in a laboratory. Basically scientists have taken DNA from one species and forced it into the DNA of another species creating something that has never existed in nature and never would have naturally occurred in nature.

For a more thorough, yet still very easy to understand explanation – check out this video:

So now you know that GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism and you know that a GMO is engineered in a lab by forcing DNA from one species into the DNA of another species.

Since there is no labeling of GMO foods in the United States you might think it would be difficult to avoid these foods, but there is a fantastic non-profit organization committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply called The NON-GMO Project


You can look for their label on thousands of products! The verification seal indicates that the product bearing the seal has gone through their verification process.






The easiest way to avoid GMO foods when grocery shopping is to buy Organic. And when you can’t buy organic look for the Non-GMO Project Seal and avoid these top 10 most common genetically engineered foods:









1. Soy

2. Corn

3. Canola

4. Cotton

5. Milk

6. Sugar from Sugar Beets

7. Aspartame

8. Zucchini

9. Yellow Squash

10. Papaya

Lastly to get a bigger picture of the ill effects our genetically engineered and additive filled food is having on our health check out Robyn O’Brien’s book, ‘The Unhealthy Truth

unhealthy truth


Aug 24


TONIGHT SUNDAY AUGUST 24th 8:00 PM (Central Time) – Free Online Presentation: Register Here

Free Online Presentation Behaving Badly


You only need your name and email to Register – click here


Jul 25

Behaving Badly: The Secret Effects of Food

A week ago I gave a presentation about food and behavior – I’d like to share it with more people – would you be interested in a free online presentation? Date is TBA.

If so will you comment below? And if you know of someone who would be interested share this with them! Thank You!

Free Online Presentation Behaving Badly

Jul 16

This Friday Food Zebra Presents:

Behaving Badly: The Secret Effects of Food

Food is essential: from the time you’re born to the time you die, every cell in your body will have been replaced. All those new cells are created with the food you take into your body.

Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to eat the food available to us. While our technological innovation has exploded over the last several hundred years, our DNA is still stuck in the ice age. In fact, we are 99% genetically identical to the Neanderthals of 250,000 years ago.

Given these 2 facts, we need to feed our body according to what it needs, and it is critical that we do so because we literally “are what we eat.”

So what are we eating?

Currently up to 15 million Americans have food allergies; 1 in every 13 children. The number of those with food intolerance or sensitivities is even greater.

Come out this Friday July 18th to hear how food influences behavior and what you can do to make your life healthier and easier!



Please share!


Apr 06

Sunday Square Share

Sunday Square Share

Where I Share something to TRY, something to AVOID,

something to READ, and something to WATCH

Sunday Square Share April

unrealCandy1. TRY THIS: UNREAL Candy

The morning after a night of trick-or-treating, Nicky woke up to find that his dad had confiscated most of his candy. Angry, Nicky set out to do some research and prove to his dad that candy isn’t so bad for you. Nicky knew, of course, that candy wasn’t good for you, but he didn’t know just how bad most candy is. Nicky learned that the worst parts of candy, stuff like partially hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, chemical preservatives and loads of sugar (“the junk”) aren’t there to make it taste better. They’re there to make candy cheaper to produce and last longer on shelves.”  Read here: http://getunreal.com/our-story to see how Nicky, at 13 years of age, was able to inspire a master chef in Spain to help create safe – un-junked – candy and start a mission to “unjunk the world”.

Ready to indulge? You can find UNREAL Candy at Target on Amazon or search for a store here: http://getunreal.com/find-unreal

filled-easter-candy-basket-for-girls-42. AVOID THIS: Petroleum & Chemical Candy

I wish this was a joke! But sadly it is not funny at ALL. Most (if not all) of your favorite candies are packed with synthetic colors derived from petroleum, artificial flavors created in a lab, oils that are from genetically modified plants, and other foreign ingredients that do not belong in our bodies.

Did you know by avoiding chemicals like food dyes, flavorings, and preservatives you can improve behavior problems such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, compulsive actions, and over-reactive emotions; learning problems such as short attention span, neuro-muscular
and cognitive
and perceptual disturbances
; and heath problems such as ear infections, bed wetting, stomach aches, headaches, hives, eczema, leg pain, and even sleep problems! Wondering if you or your child might feel better without the junk? Check out this list of symptoms helped by removing these artificial ingredients per the Feingold Program here: http://www.feingold.org/symptoms.php#.U0IR5qIVB7g

Cure your child with food and whats eating your child3. READ THIS: Cure Your Child with Food

Book description:

Why treat your child with drugs when you can cure your child with nutrition? Grounded in cutting-edge science and filled with case studies that read like medical thrillers, this is a book for every parent whose child suffers from mood swings, stomachaches, ear infections, eczema, anxiety, tantrums, ADD/ADHD, picky eating, asthma, lack of growth, and a host of other physical, behavioral, and developmental problems.

Previously published as What’s Eating Your Child? and now with a new chapter on the unexpected connection between gluten and insatiable appetite, Cure Your Child with Food shows parents how to uncover the clues behind their children’s surprisingly nutrition-based health issues and implement simple treatments—immediately.
You’ll discover how zinc deficiency can cause picky eating and affect growth. The panoply of problems caused by gluten and dairy. How ear infections and mood disorders, such as anxiety and bipolar disorder, can be a sign of food intolerance. Plus, how to get your child to sleep, soothe hyperactivity, and deal with reflux using simple nutritional strategies.

I own this book and have lent it to a few friends – it reads easy and is full of great information that is applicable and helpful now. Check it out from your local library or you can buy it here on Amazon.com!



Ok now it’s YOUR turn to share! What’s new that you’ve tried? What types of foods or ingredients do you avoid? What are you reading? What are you watching? Leave your answers in a comment!

Mar 16

Sunday Square Share

Sunday Square Share

Where I Share something to TRY, something to AVOID,

something to READ, and something to WATCH

Sunday Square Share March 16 14Spirulina Powder1. TRY THIS Spirulina Powder

Spirulina is a blue green micro-algae that grows in alkaline water. It is the world healthiest food rich in beta carotene (10 times more concentrated than carrots) and phytonutrients. This tiny aquatic plant offers 60% all-vegetable protein (with all the essential amino acids), essential vitamins (high in Vit-B12 and Vit-B complex) and phytonutrients such as the antioxidant beta carotene, the rare essential fatty acid GLA, sulfolipids, glycolipids and polysaccharides.

  • General use: To take 3 to 10 grams (1 to 2 teaspoons) a day, will provide significant health benefits.
  • Spirulina is easily to be digested, so nutrients are absorbed quickly.
  • Spirulina is the most extensively researched food microalgae, well documented in numerous books, journal articles, and periodicals.
  • Many people use Spirulina in their own self-care strategy for more energy, nutritional insurance, weight control and cleansing.
  • Athletes discover more endurance and strength.
  • Mix Spirulina powder in fruit juice or cool water. For cooking, add to soups, pastas, etc.. Preferably between or before meals for good nutrition without the heaviness of bulky food.
  • FOOD COLORING!! Spirulina makes an excellent food coloring. I’ve used spirulina to color frosting, syrup, sugar, and more!  Check out my Facebook page to see the GREEN foods I made for St. Patty’s Day!

McD's Shamrock Shake NO2. AVOID THIS McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

There’s really no need to list all the reason’s NOT to consume a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake (because there are 54 of them right here: HuffPost: What’s Really in McD’s St. Paddy Shake). The average person knows that anything from McDonald’s is far from good for you, but what exactly makes the shakes (yes all of them) so bad? Well let’s first take a deep breath and remember the whole reason we put food and drink into our body… NOURISHMENT!

To nourish is to provide substance necessary for growth, health, and good condition. But some might say, “What’s wrong with a little treat now and then?”

Well of course we all need a treat now and then! BUT our treats should not do the exact opposite of nourish! CANCER, Obesity, ADD/ADHD, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and so many other diseases and health concerns are directly caused by the un-nourishing “food” we put in our bodies. Check out my shamrock-shake-01-1024x585earlier post for more about the connections between food and diet here: Diet and Health BEFORE 1984.  So instead of putting a TON of empty calories (820 to be exact) and foreign chemicals into your body  take some genuine me-time to prepare yourself a treat that’s not only good tasting but good for you too! Here’s a Healthy Shamrock Shake you can whip up by Health Starts in the Kitchen!


In Defense of Food3. READ THIS: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Food. There’s plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?

Because most of what we’re consuming today is not food, and how we’re consuming it — in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone — is not really eating. Instead of food, we’re consuming “edible foodlike substances” — no longer the products of nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be our first clue they are anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.

But if real food — the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize as food — stands in need of defense, from whom does it need defending? From the food industry on one side and nutritional science on the other. Both stand to gain much from widespread confusion about what to eat, a question that for most of human history people have been able to answer without expert help. Yet the professionalization of eating has failed to make Americans healthier. Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter while ruining countless numbers of meals.

Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words….  read the rest here: http://michaelpollan.com/books/in-defense-of-food/


Truth about Food4. WATCH THIS: The Truth About Food by BBC

Every day we are bombarded with messages about food. What to eat and what not to eat, but what can science tell us? To test the effects of food in our bodies BBC commissioned top scientists from around the world. Want to know what food really does to your body? Forget the headlines, watch our intriguing investigations with 500 volunteers as we expose the real science behind the food we eat.

Watch this documentary for free online at Top Documentary Films: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/truth-about-food/


Ok now it’s YOUR turn to share! What’s new that you’ve tried? What types of foods or ingredients do you avoid? What are you reading? What are you watching? Leave your answers in a comment!



**Post contains affiliate links

Mar 02

Sunday Square Share

Sunday Square Share

Where I Share something to TRY, something to AVOID,

something to READ, and something to WATCH

Sunday Square Share March 2 14
1. Try This: Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops
2. Avoid This: Artificial Food Coloring
3. Read This: Why Can’t my Child Behave by Jane Hersey
4. Watch This: How to Make Natural Food Coloring by Dulce Delight

Try these Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops – the flavors are intense and delightfully sweet!  By flavor alone they far surpass any artificial lollipops – add the fact that they are Certified Organic, free of top allergens, and don’t contain any HFCS or artificial dyes or flavors – you can indulge in an ultimate safe sweet treat!

  • Certified Organic; gluten-free; egg-free; soy-free; nut-free; peanut-free; casein-free; dairy-free
  • 100% Vitamin C; All Natural Fruit Extracts; No Artificial Dyes or Flavors






 artificial color cross outAvoid These Artificial Food Colorings – because they are derived from petroleum and add nothing to the nutritional value of food. Plus they can cause hyperactivity in children as well as many other issues.

Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food has a wonderful blog post called: Real Food Tips: 7 Reasons I Hate Artificial Food Dyes




Read This ‘Why Can’t My Child Behave’ by Jane Hersey.

“Techniques that were successful with most of the children I had taught rolled off my daughter as though she was coated with Teflon. Laura was bright and precocious, possessing a great vocabulary and normal hearing, but my attempts to communicate with her were like reasoning with a rock. When I tried to make eye contact, her glances darted all over the room. When I asked her a question, her response — at those times when she responded at all — was very good, but had no relation to the question I had asked. At times I felt as though I had fallen down a rabbit hole and now lived in Wonderland. Of all the sadness such a child brings into your life, I think the worst is that it’s so hard to like them. It isn’t hard to love them; that’s part of the job description. But what saddened me most of all was that I found it so difficult to like this little girl I had wanted so much. Laura was not always distracted and difficult. There were times when she was fine. When she was impossible, I never knew what I had done wrong, and when she was good, it was equally puzzling what I had done right!”

This book has changed the lives of skeptical parents and their challenging kids all around the world! If you are an avid reader of parenting books and you don’t have this one on your shelf – you’d better go get it! And if you are not a reader, yet you have kids, you’d better go get it! Check it out from your local library, search local bookstores, or easily download to your kindle! Read Part 1 here:  “Why Can’t My Child Behave”

 Watch This How to Make Natural Food Coloring

Learn step by step how to make natural food coloring using fruits and vegetables. This technique can be used on both dry and wet recipes. These colors are made with common ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. Make red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple!

If making natural food coloring seems a bit overwhelming to you, there are alternatives! Check out these naturally colored food dyes from India Tree: Decorating Colors

Ok now it’s YOUR turn to share! What’s new that you’ve tried? What types of foods or ingredients do you avoid? What are you reading? What are you watching? Leave your answers in a comment!



**Post contains affiliate links

Feb 01

Diet and Health BEFORE 1984

before 1984This information about diet and health was published and/or presented BEFORE the year 1984!!

  • Aspartame stimulates cravings for calorie-laden carbohydrates which in turn may increase body weight (1983 – Neuroscientist writing in The New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Half of all cancers are caused by diet (1976 – Arthur Upton, director of the National Cancer Institute)
  • Food additives account for half of all the hyperactivity cases among children and these children improve dramatically when they no longer consume foods with synthetic colorings, flavors, or preservatives (1973 – Pediatric allergist tells a conference of the American Medical Association)
  • Trans fats in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are linked to cardiovascular disease (1956 – Ancel Keys, medical researcher)
  • Refined carbohydrates in Western diets contribute to diabetes and heart disease (1974 – T.L. Cleave, British physician concludes this in his book ‘The Saccharine Disease’)
  • Scholastic aptitude scores for U.S. High school students begin plummeting year after year, link is drawn to consumption of food additives and synthetic chemicals (1963)
  • Most major health problems are attributed to nutritional deficiencies found in modern diet (1971 – publication prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture called ‘An Evaluation of Research in the United States on Human Nutrition; Report No. 2, Benefits from Nutrition Research’)
  • Animals fed aspartame developed seizures and tumors (1974 – G.D. Searle & Company, manufacturer of aspartame, submitted safety study to FDA with falsified information to hide these results)
  • MSG is fed to laboratory mice which causes widespread brain damage especially in immature and newborn animals (1968 – scientist at Washington University in Saint Louis)
  • The National Institute of Health warns that an epidemic of obesity is looming in the U.S. (1977)
  • Three quarters of U.S. cattle spend most of their lives in crowded feedlots, being injected with antibiotics and hormones, and being fed a diet that includes processed sewage, poultry litter, shredded newspaper, sawdust laced with ammonia, tallow, and grease. (1950)
  • Type 2 Diabetes is becoming an epidemic in the United States (1933 – American Journal of Medicine paper identifies this new type of diabetes resistant to insulin)

This information was taken from the book ‘The Hundred-Year Lie’ by Randall Fitzgerald

This list is not exhaustive of all the links between diet and health. There is more research that was done before 1984 and even more research that has been done since 1984 that proves what we eat directly affects how our bodies function.

This information was shocking to me because I didn’t know about these connections until recently and the only reason I know about them now is because I went looking for the information. It took me close to 30 years of living life before I discovered this information that was available before I was born. Why?

I could speculate, but for now I just want to share my mission which is to educate you on food allergies/intolerance, elimination diets, food additives, food labeling, food manufacturing, and more. My hope is that with more awareness about this information that more people will be helped and healed.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read the ‘about me’ section please do here.

I’m still in the process of moving information from my Facebook Page: Food Zebra to this website, in the meantime feel free to check out my information for Going Gluten Free, Going Dairy Free, and Recipes!

Keep yourself in the loop and sign up to receive email notifications of my posts!


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