Oral allergy syndrome common among adults

pollenHave you found that eating certain raw fruits, vegetables or nuts make your mouth or throat itch?

I used to think I was crazy for believing that I was allergic to cantaloupe, but I couldn’t otherwise explain why I wanted to take a back scratcher to the back of my throat and lips after eating it.

Turns out that I have oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which is the most common form of food allergy in adults and usually affects people who suffer from seasonal allergies. My allergy to ragweed pollen is linked to my discomfort after eating melon.

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Mashed Buttered Turnips

beetTurnips, a relative of arugula and radishes, have always made an appearance at my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts but no other time throughout the year. For a long time, I assumed they were a rare holiday treat, like a green bean casserole or a Thanksgiving turkey.

However, turnips are too delicious and nutritious to save only for special occasions. 

Here is a super easy, yummy recipe for mashed turnips that is also appropriate on a low roughage diet.

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Embracing the artichoke


Admittedly, there are a number of healthy foods I love but had no idea how to cook to them at home. At the top of my list of intimidating foods was the artichoke.

Who can blame me when two of its anatomical parts are called the choke and the thorns?

However, I made a commitment to embrace the artichoke because it’s full of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid and other disease-fighting substances. Plus, it’s naturally low in fat and calories.
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Avocado Toast Recipe

avocadoAvocado toast is one of my favorite go-to breakfasts when I’m looking for something easy, quick, nutritious and delicious.

Avocado is a terrific source of healthy fat and fiber, both of which will help keep you full until lunch time. Despite its fiber content, avocado is generally well tolerated by people on a low roughage/low fiber diet.

Avocado is a great substitution for your standard toast toppings, like butter and cream cheese, which are high in saturated fat. Add fresh slices of tomato for additional nutrients.

This recipe makes two servings.

Choose Hass avocados with bumpy, dark green skin. Buy firm ones and allow them to ripen at room temperature. Avocados are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure.


2 slices fresh whole wheat or sourdough bread, toasted
One ripe avocado, rinsed
Slices of fresh tomato (optional)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh in one piece and then slice.

Spread avocado on bread; top with tomato slices if desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Butternut Squash Grain-Free Muffins

muffinSatisfying a food craving on a restricted diet can sometimes require quite a bit of culinary creativity. Fortunately, there are people like Lillian Mahl, who are up for the challenge. Thank you, Lillian, for sharing her easy recipe for delicious grain-free, low sugar Butternut Squash Muffins.

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30 Vegetables in 30 Days

vegout-logoYou’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: People who eat more vegetables live longer and healthier lives.  There is overwhelming data to support this fact.

Yet, the average American doesn’t eat anywhere close to the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables each day, and I would wager that the average person with inflammatory bowel disease eats even fewer vegetables.

Let’s change this.

Next month is National Nutrition Month and I’d like to invite you to join me and others across the country as we participate in the “VegOut! 30 Ways in 30 Days Challenge”.   You win by eating 30 different vegetables in 30 days.

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No time for veggies? Check out CleverFoodies Scramble

carrotOmelets, frittatas and vegetable scrambled eggs are a few of my favorite go-to weeknight meals.  I’ll usually add some fresh greens, like spinach or chard, and my husband and I have a pretty well-balanced, inexpensive, healthy dish.  When I suggest these ideas to my patients, they often grumble that the greens spoil too quickly or they’re too hungry by the time they get home to wash, dry and cook vegetables.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a new product by CleverFoodies called “Scramble” at my local grocery store.

Scramble is “an all natural mix-in of vegetables, herbs, and spices, purposely concocted so you can prepare fast and delicious scrambled eggs, omelets, and frittatas.”  They come in three flavors, including Leafy Greens which contains diced spinach, kale and broccoli rabe along with tomato, oil, herbs and spices.  I made a “Leafy Greens” frittata last week in about 10 minutes from start-to-finish (excluding the time it took for the oven to warm up), and it was pretty delicious.

Besides being healthy, tasty and easy, CleverFoodies Scramble is a great option for people who want to eat vegetables but have a tough time tolerating too much roughage.  These greens are finely chopped and soften during cooking so they should be fairly well tolerated even on lower roughage/fiber diets.

Of course my first choice for nutritious and delicious vegetables is fresh from a local farmer’s market, but I expect that I’ll purchase another container of CleverFoodies Scramble in the future when I want something healthy in a pinch.

Seriously Delicious Spinach Dip

spinach_dipHere’s a recipe for one of the best dips I’ve ever eaten and a recipe that my friends frequently request. The secret ingredient? Millet.

Registered Dietitians Tricia Thompson and Marlisa Brown were kind enough to allow me to share this delicious recipe with you. It’s from their book Easy Gluten Free.

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The Great Soy Debate

First_aid_sqUndoubtedly there is a surplus of nutrition misinformation in the media, so it’s no wonder consumers are confused about what to eat and even some health care professionals are puzzled over what to recommend. Nowhere is this more obvious than with soy.

Most of the confusion surrounding soy stems from its role in preventing or causing hormone-dependent cancers, like breast and prostate cancer. To better understand this relationship, we need to take a closer look at soy’s isoflavones.

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