Friday, October 21, 2016

Roasted Butternut Squash with Onions & Goat Cheese

We all know that eating right is important. But what if you're doing everything "right" and something still seems off? Food intolerance could be the culprit. Learn more about this increasingly hot topic from Dr. Sarah Weber, Chiropractor and Loomis Digestive Health Specialist - plus enjoy a scrumptiously seasonal recipe!

Over the last few years, food intolerance has garnered quite the spotlight in today’s mainstream society - and for good reason. More and more, parents have taken a personal responsibility to educate themselves on how what we eat and feed our children may affect them at school, on the playground and at bedtime. “You are what you eat” is a time-tested truth, and with that knowledge we strive to make sure to get our fruits, veggies, fiber, protein and essential fatty acids on a daily basis.

In spite of these excellent decisions, sometimes obvious symptoms of food intolerance - like indigestion and cramping - may still inexplicably remain. Beyond digestive-related symptoms, you may be surprised to learn that symptoms like anxiety and insomnia have been linked to hidden food intolerances.

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance: What’s the Difference?

It has become commonplace to miscategorize a food intolerance as a food allergy; there is an important distinction to be made and not knowing the difference can be serious.

A food allergy is something that causes an immune system response. When we eat something to which our bodies are allergic, it produces an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) which causes an allergic reaction. Known reactions include hives, itchiness, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and - in serious instances - anaphylaxis. An undiagnosed food allergy can be serious, so taking proper precaution by visiting an allergist is recommended. At your allergist’s office, you can expect a basic exam for your child and tests to discover what foods may cause this immune system reaction.

A food intolerance, without antibodies to measure, can be difficult to diagnose. However, there are common symptoms that may be a clue that you or a loved one might be battling a hidden food intolerance. A common list of symptoms includes (but is not limited to): headaches, heartburn, indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

How do I identify a food intolerance? Can it be treated?

To identify a food intolerance, consider keeping a food log of what your child eats. This may reveal a traceable pattern in how diet relates to digestive troubles, sleep problems and mood irritability, for instance. A strategic food elimination diet (removing foods that are identified as key offenders, then reintroducing the food and taking note of the response) can do more to reveal what foods may top the list as intolerances in your family.

One of the most important reasons to know the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance, is that a food intolerance may be treatable. A digestive health specialist can perform testing to identify an enzyme deficiency that may be causing these reactions and provide supplements that can heal the body and reduce or even eliminate symptoms.*

Roasted Squash with Onions & Goat Cheese

1 butternut squash, cut in half and seeded
1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt / pepper to taste
1 - 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled (more if desired)

Preheat oven to 400F. On a flat baking sheet with parchment, lay the squash halves cut side down and roast for 30 minutes, or until a fork inserted goes through with some effort. Remove butternut squash from oven, let rest until cool enough to handle.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until shimmering. While oil is heating, finely chop the onion. Cook onion over medium heat until translucent, 3-5 minutes.

While onion is cooking, use a small knife to cut away the skin of the squash. Cube cooked squash until 1/2 inch pieces, and add to pan with onion. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Turn pan on high and stir every 1-2 minutes until heated through and squash has developed a little color, about 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and spoon crumbles of goat cheese into pan. Stir to slightly melt the goat cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings
Recipe courtesy of Sarah Fiorello, Office Manager of Total Balance Chiropractic

What Kids Can Do (with appropriate tools & adult supervision)
*Scoop out squash seeds
*Finely chop onion (these wavy choppers work great!)
*Chop squash
*Pinch salt & pepper
*Crumble goat cheese
*Taste for seasoning

Photo courtesy of Dr. Sarah
Thanks to Dr. Sarah Weber for this great glimpse into the world of food intolerances. Dr. Sarah is a Chiropractor (with pediatric certification) and Loomis Digestive Health Specialist, as well as the owner of Total Balance Chiropractic in Lakeview. She is passionate about helping her patients, who range from infants to the elderly, reach and maintain their optimal health potential. Her goal is to find the source of the problem and restore balance to the body, rather than solely addressing symptoms.
If you have questions about food intolerance or would like to learn more, please feel free to contact Total Balance Chiropractic at (773) 348-6908 to book a consultation with Dr. Sarah.


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