A Book Review: The Naked Foods Cookbook – The Whole-Foods, Healthy-Fats, Gluten-Free Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great by Margaret Floyd and James Barry

If you are like me, you have read and heard much about eating healthy, non-processed foods. I have read many good books and websites. Frankly, most of the time I am overwhelmed with the task. Like many, my family has budget and time constraints that add to the difficulty of the task. While looking for a different book, in fact, I came across this tile and decided to check it out.

There are many recipes in this book, but before we discuss those, I want to talk about the first part, “Let’s Talk Shop.” In this part, Floyd and Barry present four key principles to introduce “Eating Naked.”

  • The closer it originated to you, the more naked it is.
  • The more it was grown in harmony with its natural environment, the more naked it is.”
  • The closer it is to its original state, the more naked it is.
  • The less we do to it, the more naked it is.

They further explain naked foods in Appendix B with a chart giving the good, better and best choices for each food type as well as “okay” and “steer clear.”

I especially like the next part – “In the Naked Kitchen” – where they describe the different parts of the kitchen, the appliances and equipment with their recommendations. Next, they discuss “Naked Cooking Techniques” such as sautéing, steaming, boiling, grilling, broiling, baking and roasting. They briefly discuss food-preparation techniques that make foods “Better Than Naked”: soaking, sprouting and culturing or fermenting.

Reading this part was very encouraging, as they explained everything well and let us know that it was okay to go as fast or as slowly as we can.

Finally in part two there are recipes. First, they have recipes for the basics to be used in other recipes in the book. This includes making soup stock from different kinds of bones. Next, they have a section for “Better Than Naked” covering whey and cultured cottage cheese, yogurt, condiments and more.

In the next section, I found the first recipe that we tried –“Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash” –which was a hit at my house. I am looking forward to trying some of the gluten-free pancakes. Other sections include; Salads and Sides; Sauces, Dressings and Dips; Soups and Stews; Main Dishes; Sweet and Savory Snacks; and last, but not least, Desserts. Each recipe has categories at the top: in a rush, vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, or pescatarian; Make it Once, use it lots, Better Than Naked, raw, everyday or impress the neighbor, In the Appendix A, they have provided two, one-week of menus for “best case scenarios” and “in a hurry.”

While there is much that I can use in the book, I was also happy to see that some of the suggestions are things that we are already doing.

A Book Review: Why Can’t My Child Behave? Why Can’t She Cope? Why Can’t He Learn?

By Jane Hersey
Introduction by Jay Freed, MD
Dr. Benjamin Feingold, an allergist with Kaiser-Permanente, developed the K-P Diet that eliminated food additives and artificial flavors in the 1960s. While Dr. Feingold passed away in 1982, the program is carried on by volunteers who are members of the Feingold Association. http://www.feingold.org

To give families an overview of the program, I will give highlights of the above named book. This book has many testimonials that I will not try to reproduce. Families will benefit from reading the book, but because of lack of time may want to get started before they have time to read the whole book. There have been some studies done that address some of the pieces of the Feingold Diet, but no one has studied the pure program. (Scientific Studies p. 363-380)

Symptoms that Feingold families testify to having seen improvement:
(This is not to say that everyone with these symptoms will see improvement. It depends on the underlying cause.)

  •  Easily upset, incessant crying, temper tantrum
  •  Not hearing what is being said
  •  Motor stuck on fast forward
  • Repeated behavior even after apparent understanding of reason
  • You sense that behavior cannot be controlled
  • Other children avoid playing with your child
  •  Difficulty interacting
  •  Fine one minute, next minute out of control
  • Demands his way and rules for a game
  •  Off in own world
  • Always losing things
  •  Homework lost, forgotten or mutilated regularly
  • Hard time understanding subtle cues, facial expressions
  • Laugh too loud or inappropriately
  • Has lots of labels
  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention problems
  • Screaming after eating
  • Handling home environment, but school is too much
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Fine Motor difficulties
  •  Thyroid problems and mood swings
  • Asthma and Allergies
  • Hives
  • Arthritis
  • Social Skills
  • Asperger
  • Autism
  • Headaches
  • Sleep issues
  • Nail biting
  • Workaholic
  • Earaches and ear infections
  • Digestion problems
  • Bedwetting
  • Depression
  • Developmental Delays
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Vision Problems
  • Seizures
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Tics

What is the Feingold Program?
1. A test – “for several weeks, you use only foods that are free of synthetic dyes, artificial flavors and three preservatives, as well as a group of foods know as ‘natural salicilates.’” p. 16 It is good to keep a diary. P. 55
2. All of the remaining foods are usually well tolerated. “If this trial results in an improvement in your child’s behavior, or in other target symptoms, then the test becomes a treatment.” P. 16
3. “After a few weeks of success you can gradually expand the food choices, adding back natural salicylates one at a time, and watching for any return of old behaviors.” P. 16
How to begin….Becoming a member of the Feingold Association is essential because they are continually researching the ingredients in a wide range of products and keep the members up to date on changes from the Foodlist that comes in the packet. Membership Packet includes:

  • Foodlist & Shopping Guide
  • The Feingold Handbook
  • Medication List
  • Recipes & Two-Week Menu Plan
  • Pure Facts – 10 issues of newsletter
  • FAUS Counseling Line
  • Salicylate/Aspirin Senstitivity program
  • Gluten/Casein-free diet information and resources
  • List of mail order resources for hard-to-find products

For more information and current membership fee: http://www.feingold.org or call 1 800 321-3287 Common Additives and Sources of Vitamin C (p. 381-386) These lists include all common additives and Sources of Vitamin C. The list also marks items to which Feingold members may be sensitive.

Eliminated on Feingold Program:
Artificial Flavorings
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal –trademarks)
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) – antioxidant preservative
BHT (buytlated hydroxytoluene) – antioxidant preservative
Citrus Red # 2 – synthetic coloring
Cyclamate – synthetic sweetner
Ethyl vanillin – synthetic (artificial) flavoring
FD&C colors – synthetic (artificial) coloring
MSG (monosodium glutamate)
Saccharin – synthetic (artificial) sweetner
Tartrazine – FD&C Yellow # 5, synthetic (artificial) coloring
TBHQ – (tertiary butyl hydroquinone) antioxidant
Vanillin – artificial flavoring
Other food dyes.
Natural Salycilates
Almonds, oranges, all berries, tangerine, cherries, nectarine, peach, apricot, apple, plum, prunes, grapes, raisins, cranberry sauce, juices from these fruits, peppers (bell and chili and red), tomato, cucumber or pickles, cloves, currants, coffee, tea, aspirin, oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate).
PART TWO p. 56-109 introduces additives and gives a history of FDA approval of many of these.
PART THREE beginning on p. 110-addresses issues like those who hate to cook, doing the Feingold Program on a budget, combining with other nutritional plans and dealing with well-meaning family members or friends who sabotage the process. Other difficulties addressed include: Parenting a Feingold Teen, holidays, traveling, at church and school etc.

Reviewed by:
Maggie Dail, MA
Certified Neurodevelopmentalist
Special Helps@
Center For Neuro Development


Home Schooling in High School: Planning A Course

You have done your overall planning for the four years and you know which classes your student needs for this year. Now what? There are a number of alternatives for teaching the different subjects.

1.         Many purchase textbooks for each class and have the student work through the texts, answering the questions and taking the tests. This can be an easy way with at least some assurance that you are covering all the bases. For a student who works well independently, this could work. It would give that student a starting and finishing point. Skills developed using this method may include reading comprehension, some writing skills and some time management skills. On the other hand, for a student who struggles with reading and writing, or needs more interaction with others, it may not be the best way. Also, it may be boring for some students. While those unfamiliar with the subject matter, using a textbook can help, but remember that no textbook perfectly covers every aspect of the topic that you may consider important for your child to learn.

2.         Others choose to delegate one or more of the courses to specialists in those fields. This can be in the form of a local class (home school co-op, community college classes, enrollment in a private school that works with home schoolers) or online.

3.         Perhaps you grew to enjoy unit studies in the earlier grades or your student gets bored with the textbook / class choice. You can integrate different subjects into a unit study or just apply the unit study approach to individual classes. At the high school level, you can actually get much more input from your children and allow them to do much more of the planning.    Here are some possible steps:

  • Find a scope and sequence online for the subject or a grade level textbook (borrow or find at Goodwill or library sale). Using a scope and sequence or table of contents in a book provides an outline or list of concepts usually covered for that subject. You have the option of excluding or including different parts, but this provides a guide.
  • Brainstorm – make a Mind Map of all the ideas that come to mind. To make a mind map, begin by writing the large topic in the center of a blank sheet of paper. Branch out adding more to this web of ideas and groups of ideas.  Write anything that comes to mind. Later you can rewrite using only the ideas that you want to use.
  • Brainstorm or make additional entries for each of the ideas on your mind map.
  • Enter the activities and resources on the course plan in your planner where they can be checked off as completed.

4.         With a little more planning, you can combine subjects like History and English. As you brainstorm you would use the scope and sequences for both of these subjects. By doing this, you can include a number of types of assignments that develop a wide variety of skills including research, hands-on-projects as well as reading and writing. I am not suggesting you double count work done in an integrated class. This can allow for more in-depth coverage of an area.

If the unit study approach sounds interesting, but hard to implement, try it first with one class. As you become more experienced, you can expand to other courses. You may also benefit from working with a home school consultant in this area. As a homeschooling parent, you are in the driver’s seat of your child’s education, and you have many choices.

The Brain That Changes Itself – Dr. Norman Doidge Chapter 6 “Brain Lock Unlocked – Using Plasticity to Stop Worries, Obsessions, Compulsions, and Bad Habits”

In this chapter, Doidge introduces us to the work of Jeffrey M. Schwartz:

OCD – obsessive, compulsive disorder plagues individuals in many ways. For example:

  • Terrified at what has happened or will happen to themselves or their loved ones.
  • Reacting to an emotional trigger – hearing of a traumatic experience of another, reading about a chemical in the food supply, or seeing a gruesome image.
  • Suffering obsessions like fears of contracting a serious, terminal illness, or by being contaminated by germs or radiation, or demanding that something be kept in a perfect order that you only know about.
  • Obsession – a thud while driving had to be a person you ran over – you go back and check it numerous times.
  • Washing over and over because of perceived contamination.
  • A mother who fears she will hurt her own baby may wrap a butcher knife up in a towel and lock it in a “safe” place. P. 164-168

Treatment for OCDvery difficult: Medication and behavioral therapy are only partially effective for some people.  Jeffrey M. Schwartz developed “an effective, plasticity-based treatment. Other ways this treatment can help: nasty habits (nail biting, hair pulling, shopping, gambling, eating, jealousy, substance abuse, compulsive sexual behavior). Schwartz has compared the brain scans of typical individuals and those with OCD. By doing before and after scans, he documents effectiveness of his treatment.  For most of us when we make a mistake, we are aware of the mistake, worry about it and then correct it. Once we correct it we can move on while the individual with OCD cannot move on…  The orbital frontal cortex (just behind our eyes) is where we detect mistakes. The cingulate gyrus (deepest part of cortex) triggers anxiety. Then our “automatic gearshift” (caudate nucleus – deep in the center of the brain) allows us to move on unless it “sticks” or we experience “brain lock.” P. 169-170

Causes of “brain lock” vary – may be genetic, may be infections that swell the caudate. “Learning may also play a role in its development.” P. 170 Schwartz wondered if those with OCD could “manually” shift the gear – by “paying constant, effortful attention and actively focusing on something besides the worry, such as a new pleasurable activity.” In the process they would be growing a new brain circuit. “With this treatment we don’t so much ‘break’ the bad habits as replace the bad behaviors with better ones.” P. 170

Schwartz’ therapy has two basic steps:

  1. Recognize the problem and relabel it – not a germ problem, but OCD.
  2. Replace thoughts with a positive.  “Schwartz has found it essential to understand that it is not what you feel while applying the technique that counts, it is what you do.” P. 173

In chapter 3, “Redesigning the Brain” Doidge gave us two key laws of plasticity:

  1. “Neurons that fire together wire together.”
  2. “Neurons that fire apart wire apart.” P. 174

The more one is able to avoid acting on the compulsion, the weaker the bad connection becomes.

Typical medication: Anafranil or a Prozac-type drug complements the therapy.

I would recommend working with a naturopath along with the two steps Schwartz developed before using the traditional medication. Further, working with a neurodevelopmentalist will help you to get to the underlying causes.