Which foods are likely to be most troublesome?

Every one of the following food groups harbors substances that can be fermented by the bacteria in your digestive tract, causing gas. If you have trouble digesting them, consider cooking them thoroughly first.

Also, if your system isn’t used to these food groups, but you really want to enjoy the healthy benefits of these foods, just add them to your nutrition program a little more slowly, and give your gorgeous body a chance to catch up with you. Smaller servings will help.

Cruciferous vegetables: Higher fiber contents causes gassiness after ingestion of broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts.

Legumes: There are ways to tame the magical fruit. If you are preparing them from scratch, soak beans well, discard the soaking water, cook them thoroughly, then rinse them again. Some people also add kombu (a sea vegetable) or baking soda to the cooking water.

Gluten: Only 1 in 200 people is diagnosed with celiac disease. In the US, grains are often processed with yeast and sugar. Sourdough grains that are broken down with a fermenting process are easier to tolerate. They also reduce the insulin surges usually associated with consumption of carbohydrates.

Sugar: Natural fruit sugars are great energy sources. But the amount of sugar in sodas and juices can exceed what your digestive tract can absorb. For example, a banana has 14 grams natural sugar; a 20-ounce soda has 4.5 times that amount. The extra sugar ferments, producing gas.

Dairy: Most people do not digest the milk sugar, lactose, after they are beyond their toddler years. Dairy is made for infant digestion.

Eggs: Egg protein seems particularly difficult to digest, and you may find that removing whole eggs and limiting your exposure to pastas that are high in eggs will help you be more comfortable.

Public Health Nutrition: 7(1), 77–86, Nutrition and lifestyle in relation to bowel movement frequency: a cross-sectional study of 20 630 men and women in EPIC–Oxford, Miguel A Sanjoaquin*, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer and Timothy J KeyCancer Research UK, Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Gibson Building, The Radcliffe Infirmary,Oxford OX26HE, UK

BMJ2011;343doi: 19 July 2011)


The Dish on Grains

Eat 1-2 Cups of Whole Grains Each Day

During high school and college, I worked as a hostess at the finest restaurant in my little town in Michigan.

When I wasn’t seating people and arranging the schedule, I was in charge of setting up the cheese table by cutting a slice of cheese in anticipation of someone taking a piece after their trip to our salad bar. You can imagine that I ate many slices of cheese as I circled the table during the dinner hour. After the guests left and everything was cleaned up, all the staff could have soup, salad or a cheeseburger. Every night, after work, I ate a cheeseburger. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I suffered from severe menstrual cramps and also had recurrent kidney stones during this time in my life.

I stood next to the chef one night after work, watching my hamburger sizzle on her grill, and listening to her complain about barley. She particularly was aggravated with barley added to soups. “What good is it anyway? Barley is just a cheap filler.” I thought exactly the same thing at the time. Whenever I ordered Asian takeout, I ate the meat out and threw out the veggies and rice.

How wrong we both turned out to be.

Grains remain the staff of life, the basis of every major successful civilization’s growth and prosperity. They are nourishing and filling.

At the University of Minnesota, epidemiologist David R. Jacobs has found that people who ate whole-grain products daily had about a 15 percent to 25 percent reduction in death from all causes, including heart disease and cancer (The Washington Post: 8-4-99).

This finding is in keeping with guidelines by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, who would all like to see an increased consumption of whole-grain foods to at least three servings per day. And whole-grain foods contain higher amounts of fiber, which is beneficial for digestion.

Most Americans fall short of those goals, with only 7 percent eating three or more whole-grain foods daily, according to the latest USDA consumption figures. Choosing a variety of grains sounds complex in a world full of processed wheat. But research suggests that it’s the whole grain itself that delivers abundant amounts of antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals that appear to act together to provide protective effects.

90 percent of the world’s food supply comes from approximately 17 plant species. The top 10 are: wheat, maize, rice, barley, soybean, cane sugar, sorghum, potato, oats, and cassava. Without these plants there is no way that the world could support the existing 6 billion people and the anticipated 12 to 15 billion people expected during the next century. If agriculture gave us anything, it was an easily grown mass diet, calorically dense, that could be stored, shipped, and processed in hundreds of different ways.

Cereal grains are good sources of phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, fiber and iron. However, the high phytate content of whole grain cereals forms insoluble complexes with calcium, and other minerals, decreasing their absorption. There is a theoretical possibility that people consuming a diet high in grains are at risk for mineral deficiencies. The content of iron, calcium and other minerals in whole grains is overly abundant, and the phytate levels vary in different grains. This high content of minerals in grains makes up for the insoluble complexes that form, so that people consuming grains still get more vitamins and minerals in their diet than people who avoid grains.

The absorption of manganese, chromium, and selenium does not seem impaired. Zinc absorption is also limited by the phytates in grain, but an overabundance of zinc is available in beans and nuts. The bioavailability of zinc from meat is four times higher than that from cereals, but the content of zinc in beans and nuts is sufficient to prevent deficiency in healthy eaters.

Cereal grains are low in fats, with a ratio of unhealthy omega-6 fats to healthy 0mega-3 fats of 10:1 in most grains. An average American diet is 25, so whole grains contribute to healthy fat ratios. Eating your grains with beans or other vegetables further enhances the healthy fats in the meal.

Grains are a bit more inflammatory than vegetables and fruit, but they are far less inflammatory than meats and dairy. As a source of concentrated calories in your diet, grains are a great addition to beans and nuts. The best way to bring out all the goodness of grains is to choose a variety of whole grains and eat them daily.

RECIPES from Dr. Mary



Farro is nutty and chewy. If you don’t want to try farro, just substitute brown rice in these recipes!

*Cook one part whole grain farro with five parts salted water for an hour. Use your rice cooker to make the long cooking time a breeze.

Now, here’s the fun part:

Add any nut: cashew, pecans or walnuts.

Add any dried fruit: raisins, cranberries or cherries

Add any green: kale, spinach, chard

Squeeze the juice of one lemon

Salt and Pepper


Quinoa Salad with Citrus and Nuts

Quinoa is high in protein and cooks quickly.

*Cook one part quinoa to two parts salted water for fifteen to twenty minutes

Mix 1/2 tsp orange zest, the juice of one orange, 2 tbsp of your favorite oil, 1 tbsp of your favorite vinegar, add salt and pepper. You’ve made the vinagrette! Saute broccoli and red bell peppers and drizzle with soy sauce. Add the sections from the orange you’ve juiced and 1/4 cup of chopped nuts or preferably sesame seeds. Toss with the vinagrette.

Both salads are delicious and nutritious as a meal, all on their own.

You’ll know you’re in the Revolution when you serve it on a bed of leafy greens.


Nine Reasons to Keep Cooked Brown Rice on Hand

Yeah, so this is pretty much my new thing. I am so in love with opening up my fridge when I’m crunched for time and seeing comforting, nutritious, versatile brown rice all ready to become lunch! It’s such a time saver and it ensures I’ll be eating well for the week. To keep rice on hand, simply cook up either short grain or long grain brown rice and then store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for about a week.

Here are my top ten ways to use leftover rice:

  1. Put some brown rice alongside your beans and veggies for a quick, filling, nutrient-dense burrito. Top with guacamole for extra healthy fat and be in the Reset Revolution!
  2. Make veggie fried rice. My favorite ingredients for this quick dish include onions, sliced mushrooms, carrots, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and garlic. Simply stir-fry the vegetables and garlic in a wok or large skillet and add the rice and soy sauce after the veggies are cooked. Then, top with sesame oil and a bit more soy sauce, maybe just a hint of vinegar too. You’ll have a low-inflammatory, alkalinizing dinner in five minutes. YUM.
  3. Yummy bean fritters! My new delight is cajun chickpea fritters. I just mash up chickpeas and add cooked brown rice, cajun seasoning, garlic, minced onions, lemon, and sea salt. Healthy, snacky heaven.
  4. You can make a soothing hot cinnamon raisin breakfast with brown rice – simply warm the rice with raisins, almond milk, cinnamon, and a bit of natural sweetener if desired. Ahhhh….
  5. Make soup into a hearty meal by pouring it over warmed brown rice. I like to do the same thing with spinach leaves or frozen peas, to cool a soup that’s too hot and give it added nutrition. Now, my daughter does this trick for her son! Heartwarming!
  6. Make a delish cold rice salad! You can do a southwestern version (black beans, cumin, garlic, onions, corn, etc.), a Japanese version (umeboshi plum paste, ginger, carrots, scallions, red cabbage, etc.), or an Asian version (toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, brown rice vinegar, veggies, etc.). You get the idea – lots of fun options!
  7. Make a yummy, hearty rice bowl. I like to top brown rice with pan-fried tofu, fresh and also sauteed veggies, then top with salad dressing like Goddess or Balsamic Vinaigrette
  8. Pair warmed leftover rice with a quick stir-fry for a healthy, veggie-packed meal that will leave you feeling great! For satiating alkalinizing fats, drizzle with Peanut Sauce
  9. Bragging rights – who doesn’t want to say they have brown rice on hand at all times? Trust me, you want to look this cool!

So, those are my top nine rice reasons…what do YOU like to use your leftover brown rice for??


Why not bake some bread this weekend?

Eating more whole grains may help you live longer!

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data from over 110,000 adults. The scientists found that for every one-ounce serving of whole grains a person ate daily, there was associated with a 5% lower total risk of death, or a 9% lower risk of death from heart disease. (JAMA Internal Medicine 2015 Jan 5)

Part of the benefit to whole grain consumption probably results from the fiber naturally present in grains. But is the source of fiber important? Absolutely. Korean scientists analyzed studies following over 900,000 people to determine the relationship between fiber intake and mortality. Not surprisingly, those with the highest fiber intake (about 27g/day) had a 23% lower risk of death than those with the lowest fiber intake (about 15g/day). However, upon closer inspection, the researchers found that these results were largely dependent on the foods eaten.

As fiber from grains increased, mortality significantly decreased.

A similar, although much weaker, relationship was observed for fiber from beans and vegetables, while no association was observed for fruit fiber. (American Journal of Epidemiology. 2014 Sep 15)

Choosing fruits and vegetables as sources of healthy antioxidants and phenolic compounds is a good idea, but research increasingly shows that whole grains contain them too. In this review, researchers analyzed the total phenolic contents, phenolic acid profile and antioxidant activity of several whole grains, including wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, rye, oat and millet. The review shows that whole grains contain a number of phytochemicals (including antioxidants) and significantly exhibit antioxidant activity. (Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2014 July 30)

You don’t need to eat them raw or sprouted to get the benefits. Scientists at the University of Maryland measured phenolic acid (antioxidant) content in flour, dough, and bread fractions from three whole and refined wheat varieties. As expected, “all phenolic acids measured were more abundant in whole wheat than refined samples.”

The researchers also found no significant change in antioxidant levels after the breads were baked!

(Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2014 Oct 20)

You don’t have to go broke adding all of this great nutrition to your pantry. Research analyzing the cost of healthy eating suggests that money spent on whole grains is money well spent. In a recent study, scientists collected 3-day food records from 252 youth with type 1 diabetes, then graded them for diet quality and nutrient density. The researchers then calculated the food costs for each participant. The scientists found that higher quality diets came in at a comparable cost to lower quality diets (only $0.68 more per day).

Diabetics with the healthiest diets allocated more of their money to whole grains, produce, lean meat, and low-fat dairy, while spending less money on high-fat meat and high-fat dairy. ( Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2014 September 26

Don’t worry about whole grains being inflammatory to your system and speeding osteoporosis – quite the contrary: researchers analyzed the food intakes and bone mineral density of over 1800 Korean adults. Two dietary patterns linked to higher bone density: rice and kimchi; fruit, milk and whole grains. Not surprisingly, the other dietary patterns were linked to lower bone density: eggs, meat and flour; fast food and soda. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014 Nov 5).

What whole grains will you begin eating more of?






Posted on by Mary Clifton, MD

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