Pursing a pro-biological lifestyle

Gluten-free Pierniczki December 24, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 11:03 am

pierniczki gryczane Christmas is coming, and some food ( in this case, desserts) are prepared in advance in order to mature for  the holidays. This is the case with Polish gingerbread (pierniczki) which, thanks to a beautiful blend of honey  and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg , ginger, and cloves bring out the flavor with time.

 Being on a gluten-free diet (tdue to my possible gluten intolerance and autoimmunity testing), I was  looking for different solutions to making pierniczki, which have always been  at home for the holidays –  whether  commercially made or home baked. Finally I found the solution – with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat  is not a  cereal like oats or a grass like wheat or spelt, but in the same family as sorrel and  rhubarb, and has  many  medicinal properties. The rutin in buckwheat strengthens the walls of blood  vessels,  and is  used to  treat  chronic venous insufficiency.  Buckwheat has  procyanidins – important anti-inflammatory agents that  eliminate  harmful free radicals and protect against cancer and  cardiovascular diseases. Buckwheat is also being studied as a medicine for lowering  blood glucose levels in diabetics, and also reduces high cholesterol levels and gallstone formation.

Buckwheat flour together with spices like cinnamon, which improves glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity in diabetics, as well as cholesterol and triglycerides, also has a strong anti-inflammatory action, killing colon cancer cells. Cloves, the food with the highest antioxidant value, and are very anti-inflammatory. Nutmeg kills colon cancer cells and leukemic cells, with antibacterial properties against certain strains of Streptococcus. Adding real raw honey, these cookies are truly health, anti-cancer, and (according to many) delicious.

These pierniczki can also be made by replacing the the buckwheat and potato flours with wheat flour, spelt flour, or a mixture of these two flours.

Gluten-free Pierniczki


Non-metallic bowl


Wooden spoon

Pastry board and roll



1 kg (2.2 lbs) flour – 700 g (1.5 lbs) buckwheat flour

300 g (0.7 lbs) potato flour

1 1/3 cup of milk

1 1/3 cup cane sugar

200 g (less than a 1/2 lb) of raw honey

4 teaspoons of baking soda

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon of cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon star anise

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)

Gingerbread jam for inside (optional)

fat (butter, goose/duck smalec, coconut oil, etc) to grease

flour to roll

1.Slightly heat 1/3 cup of sugar for about 20 seconds, then add the rest of the sugar, honey, milk and spices to the saucepan and heat while stirring well until everything is nicely mixed

2. Place the liquid potions into a bowl, slowly add the flour with baking soda and mix well.

3. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and put away to ferment for anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 hours ( if doing a longer ferment,  cover the bowl with a cloth or plate and mix evenly  every couple of days)

4. Roll out the dough on a pastry board, sprinkling flour on the board to prevent sticking. Roll out the gingerbread to 1-2 cm thick, and put on the greased pans. If you want to make gingerbread cookies with jam inside, make 2 slighly thinner equal sized molds, watering the cookie edges, putting 1/4 teaspoon of jam in between and sealing the cookies

5. Bake in the oven at 190 deg C for 20 minutes or until golden and grow . Depending on the molds, you can get 40-50 pierniczki, which can leave plain or put icing or chocolate frosting on top. Then place in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Enjoy – Have a Healthy and Merry Christmas!  Wesołych Świąt!


The truth about hot dogs December 11, 2013

Filed under: Anti-biological Activity — Krystyna @ 6:55 am


As a child I remember eating a hot dog (read: more than one) at a party or special occasion. This was very rare for me, since my mom almost always cooked meals from scratch (i.e. fresh soup, meat, vegetables, cereals, noodles made from flour and eggs ), although she often lacked the extra time (and sometimes money). Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced, harried world is not the quality that counts, but rather a quick, easy, cheap, and of course ” tasty ” ( most often made so by artificial ingredients and chemicals) food. This is usually not the parents of children’s fault, or consumers in general, that food contains these hazardous substances – they don’t know about it – the blame should go elsewhere. But unfortunately they are the ones who pay the cost of their health, as it turns out to be hot dogs.

Three different studies have determined that consumption of hot dogs increase the risk of cancer in children

study in Los Angeles showed that children who ate 12 or more hot dogs a month have nine times greater risk of leukemia . Strong risk for leukemia also occurs in children whose fathers consumed 12 or more hot dogs per month . Food fresh fruit reduced the risk of cancer in children.

Scientists Sarusua and Savitz studied childhood cancer cases in Denver, Colorado and found that children born to mothers who consumed one or more hot dog per week during pregnancy have about twice the risk of their child developing brain tumors. Children who ate one or more hot dogs per week were also at higher risk of brain cancer .

Bunin et al. also found that mothers who ate hot dogs during pregnancy resulted in an excessive increase of the risk of childhood brain tumors.

American Institute for Cancer Research and World Institute for Research on Cancer analized hundreds of studies from around the world and came to the conclusion that hot dogs and processed meats contribute to colon cancer.

How can sausages and processed meat can cause cancers ?

Sausages contain nitrites, which are used as preservatives, primarily to combat botulism . During cooking, nitrites combine with amines, compounds naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds . The combination of the nitrites with amines in the human stomach can also cause the formation of N- nitroso compounds. These compounds are highly carcinogenic and are linked to mouth, esophagus , bladder , stomach and brain cancers.

Some vegetables also contain nitrites, do they not cause cancer ?

Nitrites are commonly found in green vegetables, especially spinach, celery and green lettuce. However, the consumption of vegetables appears to be effective in reducing the risk of cancer. How? Nitrite in vegetables contain vitamins C and D , which are designed to prevent the formation of carcinogenic compounds N- nitroso compounds. Therefore vegetables are very healthy and safe, reducing the incidence of cancer.

Are all the hot dogs increasing the risk of cancer in children?

No, not all sausages contain nitrites . Because of modern cooling methods, nitrites are now used to keep the hot dogs red. Hot dogs without nitrites are brownish in color, therefore less popular. When cooked, nitrite free hot dogs are completely safe.

Are nitrites are present in other foods?

Most processed meats contain nitrites, also processed bacon and smoked fish.

What you can do in this situation:

1 Not buy sausages or cured meats containing nitrites. The best is to avoid processed meat as often as possible. This is especially important for children and future parents.

2 Request that stores began to sell nitrite-free hot dogs and processed meats (preferably without preservatives and flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate).

3 Check with local educational and dietary councils to find out if children are being served hot dogs with nitrites in the cafeteria. Insist that nitrite free hot dogs and meat be served instead.


Cancer Prevention Coalition, Myth or Fact: Hot Dogs Cause Cancer


Another take on saturated fat December 9, 2013

Filed under: Books and Sources — Krystyna @ 7:46 am

eggs-butter In the 22 October 2013 edition of the British Medical Journal , Dr. Aseem Malhotra ,  interventionist cardiology  specialist from Croydon University Hospital in London, wrote an  article entitled “Saturated fat is not the main issue – let’s bust the myth of  it’s role in heart disease.” He starts the article stating that scientists accept the fact that trans fats  found in  processed foods (such as sweets, cakes, cookies, chips, etc ) and margarine increase the  risk of heart disease by  inflammatory processes. He continues with denouncing the wrong  information about the saturated fat that have  misinformed the public for many decades.

 Dr. Malhotra states that saturated fats do not raise the portion of LDL cholesterol which contributes to heart disease. The fatty acids from animal fats lower triglycerides and CRP , an inflammatory marker , and the level of insulin resistance, therefore, the risk of type II diabetes. He cites new study that shows that the low- fat diet reduces the most energy resources, causing an unhealthy lipid profile, and insulin resistance (primary cause of type II diabetes), compared with a diet with a lower glycemic index ( the level of glucose in the blood 2-3 hours after eating, especially related to simple carbohydrates for example sugar, sweets, sugary drinks ). In recent decades in the U.S. the proportion of fat consupmtion in the diet decreased, but obesity has skyrocketed.

Dr. Malhotra also provides information that 75 % percent of patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction have normal cholesterol levels. The Framingham Study immortalized cholesterol as a risk factor for heart attack , helping to spread the use of statins, drugs that lower cholesterol, for hundreds of millions of patients. However, new research shows that lower cholesterol contributes to deaths from cardiac and non-cardiac reasons. Cholesterol levels do not contribute to the risk of death.

The newer credible study from 2013 shows that 20% of patients treated with statins reported unacceptable side effects – muscle pain, digestive problems, problems with sleep and memory, and sexual dysfunction – a much higher level than what the companies that manufacture these drugs showed.  Another cited study shows that the Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in fish, moderate amounts of dairy, and high fiber carbohydrates like cereals, whole grains and vegetables – a diet that permits the use of butter and lard – has a 30 % better outcome than a low-fat diet for cardiovascular disease.


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