Originally published in her weekly column in Bradford Today, in this post licensed nutritionist Nonie De Long shares some easy self-quarantine recipes that will help you stay healthy and stretch your dollar in these difficult times ...
Thank you for the readiness tips you gave last week. Also, I saw you offering to help those in need in the community on the Neighborhood app and wanted to say thank you for that! I wasn’t prepared for how big this coronavirus thing has gotten and I appreciate the information about what I can do to strengthen my immune system. I have two questions for you. First, can I get the supplements on Amazon that you recommended? Second, do you have any easy recipes that can help stretch the food supply and meet nutritional needs?
Thank you for your questions and feedback. I’m happy you found last week’s article useful!
Regarding supplements, I can’t recommend ordering off Amazon even though I know they carry a lot of vitamins, because I can’t vouch for the quality/ content of those products, the handling of the vendors, nor the validity of the expiry date. This is not to say anything negative about Amazon. But there are too many factors outside of my control for me to trust it with supplements as a first or second or even third choice.
Much like mechanics will only recommend certain suppliers of parts for your car, or hair stylists will only recommend certain product lines for your hair, I only recommend professional grade supplements, sourced from professional vendors. Why? The companies that create these products are known by health professionals to create products that meet the most rigorous quality standards. We use companies that provide us with data on their products, with education on how to effectively use them, and with information on known contraindications that make their products the wrong choice for a particular condition because consumer safety is imperative to any company that wants to build a strong brand name.
These products are usually available through professionals only, who are expected as part of their licensing to oversee their use. Think about it. If indeed these products are able to make a difference in your health they can make a difference for good or for bad. They can balance you or imbalance you. It’s popular to think that just because something is natural it’s safe, but that’s not always true when a product is taken in large enough doses to be therapeutic. Over time a therapeutic dose of one nutrient can imbalance others.
Although these imbalances haven’t caused deaths like overdose (and even prescribed use) of pharmaceutical medications does, it’s not beneficial and can cause uncomfortable symptoms. For example, too much vitamin C or magnesium can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can inflame hemorrhoids and cause dehydration and displacement of electrolytes, and electrolytes are essential for many aspects of health. Certain herbs typically recommended for sleep can cause wakefulness and even agitation in certain individuals. Herbs oft recommended for constipation can be habit forming and rather than strengthening the body’s innate capacity to expel waste, they can simply prolong the underlying problem. In short, purchasing through a licensed practitioner ensures you have access to a professional who knows what to look out for and how to advise you if unwanted symptoms occur.
As such, reputable companies make sure their natural supplements/ products are being recommended by licensed professionals only. This is why I use a professional online dispensary. I have opened this to anyone who wants my list of immunity boosting supplements (with doses) if they email me, free of charge during the COVID-19 situation. When products can not be gotten there, I prefer Well.ca over Amazon. I also use The Vitamin Shop in BC but they are closed right now due to too many orders to fill. I also use Swanson in the U.S. and iHerb, although they are now limiting orders to four products. Of course, your local store is always the best way to keep your dollars circulating in your own community. Quality vitamins often cost more than poor quality ones, but expensive doesn’t always mean better. For example, cheap niacin is the same as expensive niacin, in my experience. In fact, sustained release, which is usually more expensive, is more dangerous. Of course, some cheaper products contain a lot of fillers or do not offer the same health benefit as pricier formulas, because of the cost of superior production or raw ingredients. For example, there is a big difference between cheap and expensive B complex and fish oil supplements in terms of absorption and quality of ingredients, not to mention sustainability. There are a lot of factors to consider that professionals are taught to study and keep abreast of as the industry changes.
Be aware that vitamins may be difficult to get right now. This is not me promoting hoarding. I am simply stating a fact. As such, your question regarding healthy and accessible foods is particularly relevant.
The most nutritious foods you can consume on a budget, hands down, are homemade soups. I teach people how to make them from scratch in my sensational soups class. Send me an email if you’d like your name on the list for when classes run again.
Second to soups I recommend slow cooked meat on the bone and meals that focus on protein and veggies. These foods will help you to be satiated for longer, with less hunger and fewer cravings in as little as a week. If you want to take the time now to learn more about this and do something that will make a spectacular difference in your health, I recommend you sign up for my six week nutrition education program, which includes recipes, menu ideas, and everything you need to know about how to eat to reduce weight, cravings, and inflammation while balancing mood and hormones. Unlike other diets, the foods I recommend will help you lose fat weight if you need it, but that’s actually a side effect of eating right, not the primary goal! The primary goal is optimal health, free of disease and inflammation, free of constant cravings and mood swings, with robust energy, a strong nervous system, a sharp mind, and properly working parts! Losing weight is just an added bonus when you learn to eat foods that are optimal for health! The program is delivered completely online, so you can study at home. It contains video and downloadable materials, to help you USE the information and incorporate it into your life.
Now on to our recipes!
These three recipes require little prep and deliver big in terms of nutrition. They are budget friendly and use foods we can typically access easily. They also deliver big in terms of taste, so you won’t feel like you’re dieting. That’s essential if you want success in following any eating plan in the long run! Ask anyone in my euchre group and they will tell you I enjoy a great number of munchies people bring, to incessant teasing. Yet I stay slim with low body fat and have healed myself over the years of severe rheumatoid arthritis, a weak immune system, chronic candida, cystic acne, horrible mood swings, chronic migraines, and intense anxiety. The secret is in knowing what to eat and how to cheat, and I share it all in my online nutrition education course.
Today’s recipes are focused on big bang for your buck. I’ll leave the soups for the ebook. We’ll make a salad nicoise, my high protein, kitchen sink potato salad, and a super easy, slow cooker, pulled pork that everyone raves about.
Before you start having seizures because I - the Queen of low-carb - just recommended potatoes, let me share a little known fact about this super cheap, oft Canadian grown, easy to store, pantry staple: it’s full of resistant starch when you prepare it right. And resistant starch has a number of health benefits! Yes, it’s best to consume it in moderation, and best to avoid it if you’re clearly insulin resistant (diabetes or pre-diabetes) until that’s under control - or better, reversed. But it is a healthy food for the rest of us and super accessible and inexpensive. Let me share the secret: cook the potatoes then cool them in the fridge overnight. That seriously changes everything, nutritionally speaking. But we’ll dive into that another day. For now, let’s get on to our recipes! For those of you who don’t know me personally, I don’t measure, so any measurements given are just guidelines. It’s a kitchen, not a chem lab. Add things then taste. That’s how you make it your own!
Kitchen Sink Potato Salad:
This salad is chock full of veggies and different flavours and textures. It’s ancestral and high protein, owing to the eggs. As always, get free run eggs if you can for the superior nutritional content, which you can see in the darker yolks.
Potatoes: reds, Yukon golds, and fingerlings work best
Eggs: the same number as potatoes, hard boiled and peeled
Red Radish: sliced
Baby tomatoes: cut in half
Green onion: diced
Sweet pepper: diced
Fresh or dried dill: washed, diced fine
Mustard powder: to taste
Raw apple cider vinegar: to taste
Mayonnaise: to taste
Sea Salt and black pepper: to taste
Cube and boil potatoes, I prefer skin washed and left on but you can peel them. Chill in the fridge at least a couple hours or overnight.
Dice boiled eggs.
Add all veggies and eggs in a bowl and mix.
To a mixing bowl add mayo, dill, salt, pepper, mustard powder and a bit of apple cider vinegar. Whisk well and taste. Do this until it’s sufficiently creamy with a bit of zip. Make enough to coat and cover all the veg and eggs.
Mix mayo into veggies and eggs, then fold in the potatoes and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve chilled. Will last a week in the fridge.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:
You will need something to distract yourself while this is cooking because it smells so heavenly. Also, be aware that dogs are drawn to it. If you put it where they can get it, you’re asking for trouble. You’ve been warned! For those who don’t eat pork, I am very sorry. There is no real substitute, but slow cooked lamb shoulder in a spicy tomato based curry might be a close second.
1 pork shoulder, bone in
1 can apple juice, unsweetened
Place pork shoulder fat side up in a large crock pot.
Cover with apple juice. Add water if necessary so that it’s about 2 inches from the top.
Add the lid and cook on medium.
After four hours or so, cut the roast in thirds or quarters in the bowl to ensure the inside gets seasoned and continue to cook on medium for four to eight more hours.
It’s ready when it's soft and falling off the bone.
Remove meat to eat.
Keep the fat, liquid and bone. Continue to cook it another night or 2, with added veggies you need to use up, water to bring it to 2” from top and ⅛ cup apple cider vinegar. This broth can then be cooled and even frozen to use as a base for soups, stews and gravies.
The pork is best served with dijon mustard or mustard horseradish blend and some nice, fresh salad and roasted root veggies like turnip or carrots. Any you don’t eat can be frozen to enjoy later. It goes really well with the potato salad! Enjoy!
This can be a fussy salad, but I hack it because I hate fuss. Try this simple, high protein variation and let me know what you think! The dressing can be made ahead and kept for long periods in the fridge in an airtight container.
Head of lettuce, rinsed, spun, and chopped
1 can of tuna in water, drained
Green beans blanched in heavily salted water, or better, home fermented green beans, rinsed
Baby potatoes covered in olive oil and herbs de Provence, roasted until tender and brown skinned, then cooled overnight (resistant starch, remember! You can heat them before you use them if you like!)
Hard boiled eggs, sliced
Black olives (kalmatta are my fave) heated
Zesty Italian Dressing:
1 cup of half apple cider half balsamic vinegar
1 1/3 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Put the lettuce on a plate with the tuna on top
Encircle with the other ingredients in groups
Drizzle with the dressing over everything but the potatoes.
If you can’t get lettuce, this recipe can still work. Try it and see for yourself! This is a salad even kids enjoy!
As always, if readers have their own health questions, I welcome them. Just send me an email. And if you’re looking for more specific health information check out my website and sign up for my free newsletter at nonienutritionista.com. I also offer 1:1 health coaching and several group classes, including a weekend KETO workshop, a hands-on fermenting class, and a six week sugar detox. Upcoming events are posted in the newsletter, as well as delicious recipes that are guaranteed to be guilt and gluten-free!
Nonie De Long is a registered orthomolecular nutritionist with a clinic in Bradford West Gwillimbury, where she offers holistic, integrative health care for physical and mental health issues. Check out her website here.
Do you have a question about health and wellness? Email firstname.lastname@example.org