Does It Have to be Organic?

I am often asked the question ...Do I have to buy Organic fruits and vegetables?  

To make the best decision for my family I follow guidelines set by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

The EWG has put together a Shopper's Guide to help you make decisions on what to buy organic and where you could save your dollar.  They highlight the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally raised fruits and vegetables in two categories, “The Dirty Dozen” (highly recommended to purchase organic) and ”The Clean Fifteen” (okay to buy conventional).

Please find the link to the list attached; it will help you make better shopping decisions!

Happy shopping!

Cheers to a healthier you!

dr. ingrid

Top 10 Fruits & Vegetables Rich in Potassium

10 top Fruits rich in potassium:

  1. Dried apricots
  2. Prunes
  3. Raisins
  4. Dates
  5. Dried figs
  6. Dried unsweetened coconut
  7. Avocados
  8. Bananas
  9. Kiwi
  10. Nectarines and peaches

10 top Vegetables rich in potassium:

  1. Sundried tomatoes
  2. Spinach
  3. Swiss chard (cooked)
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Sweet potatoes
  6. Kale (raw)
  7. Brussels sprouts
  8. Zucchini
  9. Green beans (snap)
  10. Asparagus

The Healthy Eating Program that Changed Our Kids’ Behavior and Improved Their Health

About six months ago, I decided to explore a new eating program, and I encouraged my husband Tom to join me. I had been reading about the “Primal Food Movement,” which is also referred to as “Paleo” eating, and I wanted to see if it would make a difference in our energy level and our overall health.

There wasn’t that much difference between The PureBalance 80/20 Food Guidelines and the Paleo program. Our diet consisted of eating lots of green vegetables; healthy fats; grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef; free-range chicken, and wild caught fish. We also consumed limited amounts of sprouted or gluten-free grains; fruits, such as berries, and whole milk dairy products. The major change between “Paleo” and our eating program was the elimination of grains and legumes.

To tell you the truth, Tom and I already ate limited amounts of grains and legumes, so the difference we experienced wasn’t as noticeable as I had hoped. However, when I started preparing “Paleo” and gluten-free dinners for the entire family, I began to notice changes in our children’s health and behavior. And, even more important, the kids noticed the changes, too!

Since I began modifying our weeknight dinner menu, the Bayne kids have become more focused at school and more compliant at home when asked to do something. The tummy aches that used to plague them ceased. And best of all, they slept better.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids aren’t perfect and their diet isn’t “100 percent clean.” They still enjoy eating special lunches at school or eating pizza with friends on the weekends. But what I learned is that even a moderate change can make a tremendous difference in their overall health and well-being.

As a physician, I am acutely aware of the connection between diet, health and behavior. I’ve had parents seek my advice about how they can restore their child’s immune system or alleviate symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder or Hyperactivity without pharmaceutical drugs. Based on the results of my family’s experience, I am now even more firmly convinced that all health challenges begin and end with food, and even small changes can make a difference.

The Paleolithic Eating Program

There are numerous books and websites devoted to “Paleo” eating. Paleo is short for Paleolithic (as in our hunter-gatherer ancestors). The core principle of the Paleo program is eating real, whole food. This includes high-quality proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.

What I love most about preparing dinners based on this program is the simplicity. When I say it’s simple, here are the basics:

  • Eat lots of vegetables and limited amount of fruits
  • Eat grass-fed meats, free-range chicken, wild-caught fish and seafood
  • Choose healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, butter and ghee
  • Eat raw nuts and seeds
  • Avoid all processed, refined and modern foods
  • Eliminate grains and legumes, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye.
  • Avoid dairy products or only consume whole fat dairy and/or fermented form
  • Avoid all processed and refined sugars (Yes, this is difficult!)

When making Paleo eating a way of life, it also can lead to long-term health benefits for the entire family.

Why is this eating program so dramatically effective for children (and adults)?

When eating a diet high in processed foods or grains, neither the brain nor the body receive the nutrients necessary for normal function. Eating too many grains can lead to erratic spikes in blood sugar, causing a foggy brain, fatigue, and muscular weakness. Over time, this leads to inflammation (pain), and the potential to develop blood sugar imbalances, ranging from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) to hyperglycemia (diabetes). Hypoglycemic kids tend to do poorly in school; can be hyperactive; experience inordinate fatigue, and suffer from mood swings or outbursts of anger.

Are the Bayne Kids 100 percent onboard with the program? Believe me, like all children it’s hard to resist the pull of eating goodies with friends when away from home. But I have encouraged them to seek out gluten-free options whenever possible, which helps them develop responsible habits for what they’re eating, as well as become more aware of what they need to do for their own health and well-being.

A Plan of Action for Working or Busy Moms

I’m a working (and busy) mom, too. My children are involved in after-school activities and extracurricular sports. So I had to find an eating program that was going to fit my family’s lifestyle. In the beginning, the biggest challenge was what to feed them for breakfast. I decided that eating protein in the morning was essential. So breakfast in our household consists of a combination of the following options:

  • Eggs
  • Waffles or pancakes made from coconut flour or almond flour (I pre-make and freeze them)
  • Banana bread made with coconut or almond flour
  • Whole-milk or Greek yogurt with berries and nuts
  • Smoothies made with whey protein and berries (organic and frozen)

In addition, all snacks are baked with either coconut or almond flour, I have completely eliminated regular flour from my pantry.

My children still love grains. When I serve them at home, our family only eats gluten-free grains: quinoa, brown or black rice, millet, amaranth, or steel-cut oats. The grains are always soaked overnight (sprouted) before cooking.

The keys to successfully making any change are information, organization and preparation. But rather than give you a checklist, I want to demonstrate the simplicity of making this lifestyle change during a free food preparation and cooking class.

Will you be the lucky winner?

Mark your calendar today for the free Paleo Food Preparation and Cooking Class on Wednesday March 5, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at PureBalance Natural Family Healthcare Center. This free class, which I will teach, is an introduction to the Paleo eating program, and will include details about getting started; a checklist for getting organized; a shopping list of what to buy; and directions for preparing a simple breakfast, lunch and dinner for people with limited time. You’ll also get to sample the yummy results and take home a few recipes.

One cooking class participant will be eligible to win a 7-day, Paleo dinner menu, which will be designed especially for your family. You must be present to win, and you’ll get to share your family’s story in next month’s newsletter.

Because space is limited, reservations are required. Learn how the simplest of changes can yield big results for your family’s health and well-being. Sign up today: (224) 521-1212.


Lunch in a Jar

Lunch in a jar

A clever idea to a healthy lunch!

The one thing to remember about salad in a jar is that your dressing goes on the bottom so therefore, you should only use things that do well “marinating” in dressing because the 2nd layer is going to be touching the dressing. The rest is pretty easy, here is a quick guide on how to make a salad in a jar.

1. Start by putting 2 Tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of the jar (see Balsamic Dressing below).

2. Add items that will respond well to marinating in the dressing.

  • cucumbers
  • squash
  • mushrooms

3. Add your remaining veggies and greens.

  • tomatoes
  • red bell pepper
  • broccoli
  • broccoli slaw
  • avocado sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
  • spring mix (lots of this – you can really pack it in)
  • sprouts

4. Add remaining ingredients.

  • Cooked Chicken, beef, fish, or nuts and seeds

Balsamic Dressing


  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Braggs liquid aminos (or sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a blender and blend.

2. Continue to blend at a low speed as you add olive oil, until it is completely emulsified




Basic Veggie Soup

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and leek and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all the chopped up vegetables and sauté for about 5 more minutes. Add 1.5 QT of organic chicken broth, 1.5 QT water and 2 bouillon cubes. Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 20-30 minutes. Let the soup cool down and mix with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. You can add some chicken or leftover turkey and garnish with fresh herbs and cheese and have the perfect lunch!


Dr. Mom’s 10 Healthy Snack Ideas and 6 Recipes for After-School

Many patients have asked me for healthy after school snack ideas. You'll find a few of my favorites here and best of all, they’re so yummy your kids won’t realize how healthy the snacks truly are. As always, I recommend you do your best to use organic fruits and vegetables, and make sure all dairy products are from organic, grass-fed cows or goat milk whenever possible.

  1.  Kale chips (see recipe at the end of the article)
  2.  Sprouted bread toast (such as Ezekiel Bread) with almond butter and organic fruit preserves
  3.  Almond flour banana bread (see recipe)
  4.  Cottage cheese and fresh fruit
  5.  Cheese quesadillas with sprouted-grain tortillas, served with raw veggies
  6.  Avocado and Goat Cheese Dip or hummus and baked blue corn chips, and blanched vegetables. (see recipe)
  7.  Cheese with apple slices, grapes or raw veggies (peppers, cucumbers, carrots.)
  8.  Homemade tomato soup (see recipe)
  9.  Tortilla roll-up sandwich (see recipe)
  10.  Yogurt parfait (see recipe at the end of the article)

Krispy Kale Chips

This recipe is “Bayne Kids Approved!” It can be served with lunch, or make it instead of popcorn when enjoying a movie. Best of all, it’s so simple and fast!

  • 1 head of organic kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Gomasio or sea salt


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Combine the kale, olive oil and seasoning. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through; about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

 Almond Flour Banana Bread

  • 3 cups almond flour                                                     
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 350 F; grease a 1.5 quart loaf pan.

Whisk together the almond flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Using a large mixer or a hand mixer, blend the eggs, bananas, sugar, coconut oil (or butter) and vanilla using a medium speed until well-blended. Mix in the almond flour mixture a third at a time, using the mixer on low speed. Mix well; scrape down the sides after each addition. Add the walnuts.

Pour the batter in the greased loaf pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning the bread out from the loaf pan. Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and serving. Makes 12 generous servings.

Avocado and Goat Cheese Dip

  • 1 firm, but ripe avocado
  • 2oz soft goat cheese
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  •  1-3 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
  • Fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro) to taste
  • Sea salt or gomasio and pepper to taste


Add all the ingredients to a mini chop or food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth. If not serving immediately, leave the avocado seed in the dip, and press a piece of saran wrap on the surface of the dip before covering with a lid. Remove the seed and wrap before serving. Serve with vegetable tray.

How to blanch vegetables

Place raw green beans, asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower in boiling water for 2-4 minutes then transfer in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Blanched green beans, asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower work well with the avocado goat cheese dip, or you can use hummus.

 Homemade Tomato Soup                            

  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 3 sun-dried tomato slices
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • ¼ cup of fresh onion
  • 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1-2 springs of fresh basil
  • ½ of avocado
  • Add sea salt to taste


Cut the tomatoes in half and place in Vitamix or high speed blender. (If you don’t have a high speed blender, add extra to water to help blend the mixture, or you can use a food processor). Add sun dried tomatoes and blend until smooth. While the blender is still going, add the celery, sea salt, onion and garlic. Keep blending until fully mixed. Add the basil and continue to blend. Finally, add the avocado and blend for just a few seconds to combine.

Tortilla roll up sandwiches                          

  • 1 sprouted wheat tortilla (by Alvarado St.)
  • Olive & Garlic Tapenade by Cibo Naturals
  • ¼ cup of shredded chicken
  • ¼ cup of grated cheese,
  • ¼ cup of shredded carrots and lettuce


Generously spread the tapenade over the lower half of the tortilla. Place the shredded chicken and veggies in the middle and roll up the tortilla. Cut the roll-up in half and secure with a toothpick. You can also substitute the tortilla with romaine lettuce.

Peach Yogurt Parfait                                                                  

  • Unsweetened whole milk organic yogurt
  • One peach (diced) or ½ cup of fresh berries
  • ½ cup of homemade granola
  • 1TBS of raw honey


Spoon unsweetened whole milk organic yogurt into a bowl. Top with a fresh diced peach or other fresh fruit. Top with the homemade granola. Repeat layering of yogurt, fruit and granola. Top with raw honey to taste.