Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Treat Them to a Time-Honored Tradition

During the holidays, kiddos on restricted diets are surrounded by more than the normal amount of treats they can’t eat. 

The Christmas treat that will ease any feeling of deprivation is a batch of traditional sugar cookies that can be yummy, even without gluten, casein (GF/CF) or other common allergens.

Here is a wonderful recipe for GF/CF sugar cookies that you can make quickly and easily, even if you’re stretched for time with other holiday activities.  Give the job of decorating the cookies up to the kids to involve them in a time-honored tradition.  The trick is to give them lots of allergen free fixings to create cookie masterpieces like GF/CF sprinkles (for shiny stars), GF/CF pretzels (for trees and antlers), Paskesz Real Chocolate Chips (for faces) and GF/CF frostings that can be thinned with water to use as icing.

GF/CFG Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Ingredients                                                                     

2 ½ cups GF/CF flour mix

2 tsps. Xanthan Gum

1 cup sugar or ½ cup No Sugar

1 egg or egg substitute

1 tsp. GF/CF baking powder

2 tsps. fruit juice (pear or apple)

1 tbsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat until well mixed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm. Roll the dough out onto a GF/CF flour or rice flour surface. Use the Chrismas tree or other holiday cookie cutter shapes of your choice. Place the cut-out dough at least 1” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6-10 minutes at 425°F or until nicely browned around the edges. Decorate

Posted in All, Allergies & Allergens, Gluten Free / Casein Free, recipe | Leave a comment

Staff Picks . . . Kirkman’s Employees Share Their Favorite Supplements

Some of our best customers are our own staff members.  We recently asked staff members who many of our Kirkman Family members know, what’s their favorite Kirkman® product.  Here are our staff’s picks:

 

David Humphrey, President, CEO

Super Nu-Thera® was created by Kirkman® and Dr. Bernard Rimland, who was respected and loved by the special needs community.  We offer more than 350+ products now, but Super Nu-Thera® was our first product and it is still a favorite.

Larry Newman, Chief Operating Officer

One of my favorites is Thera Response (0300-180).  It is high potency, contains all “Daily Value” nutrients plus a small amount of P-5-P, choline and lithium plus 40% of the vitamin A comes from beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that’s safe for everyone.

Kulani Mahikoa, Executive Vice President

My favorite is Super Pro-Bio™ 75 Billion (0345-060).  I feel I need the high strength 75 billion CFUs that this product provides, plus it has a prebiotic that adds effectiveness. 

Rhonda Mulford, Vice President, Intl. Sales and Special Projects

My current favorite is our Inositol Pure Soluble Powder – Hypoallergenic (0329-454).  I’ve given it to our staff members because it calms us down and helps our stress, especially the week before Christmas. 

Amy Starke, Customer Service, Department Head

I love Kirkman’s Magnesium Sulfate Cream (0225-004).  It relaxes my muscles and helps me have a restful sleep.

Lisa Castro, Customer Service Representative

The supplement I look forward to taking each day and talk about the most with friends and family is Kirkman’s Methylcobalamin Concentrated Powder (0292-002).  Consuming the powder is very easy and tasty!  It is a bonus that our great tasting powder also provides a good amount of vitamin B-12 in a small serving and I notice its benefits immediately.

Juli Fair, Customer Service Representative

I have a lot of favorites, but right now I would say the d-Biotin 1000 mcg (0382-120).  Winter time always makes my nails super brittle and they break often.  Since taking the d-Biotin my nails are stronger and healthier than ever and break far less often.  The small capsule size also makes them really easy to take. 

Posted in All, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

Tis the Season to Be Healthy! The Importance of Nutritional Supplements For Good Health

By Larry Newman
Chief Operating Officer
Kirkman Group, Inc. 
 

December and the holiday season are once again upon us.  During this time of the year, it becomes very easy to forget to take our dietary supplements because we are “too busy.”  The irony of this is that this holiday time is one of the most important periods for us to remember to take dietary supplements for several compelling reasons.

The holiday season is concurrent with the winter cold and flu season.  It is important for our immune system to be strong at this time to help ward off the flu bug and the other viruses and infections that seem to be prevalent in the winter months.  Each year the flu strains circulating can change making it imperative to keep up your immunity at a high level.  Family get-togethers, dinners, and holiday parties lead to perfect close-contact situations for spreading these nasty germs and illnesses.  Having a strong, uncompromised immune response can keep us healthy and help us maintain maximum resistance to these “bugs.”

Dietary supplement ingredients that aid in supporting our immune response include vitamins ACD and E, plus the minerals zinc and selenium.  Recent clinical studies are showing that having adequate vitamin D levels in our body can greatly enhance the immune system response to viral, bacterial or cell invaders.  Sufficient vitamin D can be difficult to get from our diet, and our main source of vitamin D, sunlight, is not around much during this time of the year.  Other immune-enhancing dietary ingredients include beta glucan, astragalus root, elderberry extract and echinacea.  Kirkman® offers these ingredients alone or in various combinations.  An excellent product incorporating many of these nutrients into one formula is our Immuno-Aid™.  Colostrum is another dietary supplement that supports immune health, and this is available in both flavored and hypoallergenic versions.

Our diets change during the holidays.  For one, we generally eat more and consume additional calories.  Two, we may overindulge in the types of foods that are not particularly healthy, such as more fats and proteins, more sugars, and more alcoholic beverages.  Our digestive systems will be taxed to properly digest these. Digestive enzymes can help to achieve proper digestion during these periods. Consuming more fats and proteins may require added lipase and/or protease for proper digestion while consuming extra sugars and starches may require additional amylase and carbohydrase enzymes.By supplementing with a multi-spectrum digestive enzyme that digests all of the food groups, adequate digestive enzyme activity to compensate for these additional food intakes can be assured. 

Kirkman’s Enzym-Complete/DPP-IV™ II with Isogest® is an excellent multi-purpose enzyme supplying enzymes that aid the digestion of any food group consumed.  Only Kirkman® enzymes contain Isogest®, a specialty enzyme with isomaltase activity, which helps digest isomaltose and palatinose present in some complex starches such as in potatoes.  Kirkman’s Maximum Spectrum Enzym-Complete/DPP-IV™ Fruit Free w/Isogest® formulation is another version of a multi-purpose enzyme with Isogest® that contains no fruit-based enzymes for those individuals sensitive to fruit-based ingredients.

 

Many individuals are on special diets such as the gluten-free/casein-free or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Digestive enzymes taken during the holidays can help compensate for inadvertent dietary infractions that may occur over the holidays. Traces of casein, gluten or monosaccharides may be consumed unknowingly (or intentionally) causing sensitivity reactions. Digestive enzymes may help minimize the reactions to these infractions provided that the quantity consumed is not too large.  Sensitive individuals often may “sneak” a taste of some enticing holiday treat. Digestive enzymes can be a good safety net. Kirkman®, of course, recommends that these infractions be kept to a minimum. 

The extra food we eat during the holidays, especially the sugars and carbohydrates we over consume, can upset the balance of good flora needed for a healthy gastrointestinal tract.  Taking probiotics during this period can help to keep the good flora in balance, which in turn helps to crowd out the undesirable bacteria or yeast which thrive on the sugars and carbohydrates consumed.  Multi-strain probiotics such as Kirkman’s Pro-Bio Gold™, Multi-Flora Spectrum™ and Super Pro-Bio™ 75 Billion would be excellent choices for helping to maintain that good flora balance.  All Kirkman® probiotics are casein and gluten free, verified by independent third party laboratory testing.

Often during the holidays, individuals consume lots of treats, cookies, candy, desserts and other foods that lack proper nutritional balance.  It is easy to be lacking in proper vitamin and mineral intake to assure balanced nutrition.  Consuming a comprehensive multiple vitamin and mineral will help guard against nutritional deficiencies during this period.  Kirkman® has many multiple vitamin and mineral combinations for children including Super Nu-Thera®, Spectrum Complete™, Thera Response and three versions of children’s multiple vitamin and mineral formulas.  Kirkman® now also has a great adult product called Advanced Adult Multi-Vitamin/Mineral that contains high levels of vitamins C and D and zinc, as well as coenzyme Q-10 and resveratrol.

As the holiday season winds down, individuals frequently start to feel drained because of reduced energy levels.  This can be due to nutritional deficiencies.  A good dietary supplement regimen during this period can help maintain your normal, healthy energy levels.  So enjoy your holiday festivities, but don’t forget your supplements.

Posted in All, Allergies & Allergens, Gastrointestinal Health, Gluten Free / Casein Free, Immune System, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

Game Changer . . . Role of the Environment in Children’s Health Recognized

By Kulani Mahikoa
Executive Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.

 

At the end of a challenging year for children’s health, the government has issued a landmark report that has the potential to be a game changer.

The report, a summary from scientists working under the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program from 24 Children’s Centers funded by the National Institute of Health Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency, connects the increase in chronic children’s health issues to environmental factors – even more than previously thought.
 
Much of the information summarized in the report has been previously published, however, the statistics, reiterated, make a strong case for considering environmental factors as a key contributor to children’s health. Here are some of the statistics cited in the report:
  • “Children in the U.S. are at high risk for chronic disease.  This may be a result of increasing exposures to environmental toxicants.
  • Approximately 16,000 premature births per year in the U.S. are attributable to air pollution.
  • Children in 4 million U.S. households may be exposed to high levels of lead.
  • In the U.S. more than 1 in 10 babies are born preterm.
  • 60% of acute respiratory infections in children worldwide are related to environmental conditions.
  • Air pollution contributes to 600,000 deaths worldwide in children under five years old.
  • $76.6 billion is the annual cost of environmentally related diseases in U.S. children.”
 
 
 
Some specific childhood conditions, many of which are on the rise in the U.S., are specifically attributable to environmental factors, STAR scientists have documented.  Here is a link to the report, NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers Impact Report, to read more about the science behind these claims. Research has also been prolific regarding specific toxicants that affect children and contribute to chronic health conditions.  There is a long list of research reports in the “Reference” section of the report.
Posted in All, Environmental Health & Toxicity | Leave a comment

Recipe Alternatives for Traditional Gluten/Casein Thanksgiving Dishes

By Sonnie Sei
Staff Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc.
 
 
It is November already!  November is the beginning of the holiday season, which means family gatherings, holiday parties, and an overall feeling of gratefulness and joy!  With all of the gatherings and fun, there is usually one main focal point: FOOD!  For families with individuals that have special dietary requirements – you don’t have to miss out on the the traditional Thanksgiving dishes that are gluten/casein based. 

Here are recipies that offer great alternatives if you are GF or GF/CF.  They are also vegan in honor of November being World Vegan Month.

Tasty Vegan Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2-cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 ¼-tablespoon baking powder
  • ½-teaspoon salt
  • ¼ -cup cold, non-dairy butter
  • 1-cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Use a pastry cutter or forks to cut the butter into the flour until all of the butter is mixed and the flour looks like fine crumbs.
  4. Pour in milk and stir until the dough just holds together, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit of flour and then very gently turn the dough over on itself about 5-6 times – hardly kneading.
  6. Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible.
  7. Place biscuits on a baking sheet in two rows, making sure they just touch – this will help them rise uniformly. Gently reform the dough and cut out one or two more biscuits – you should have 7-8.
  8. Next brush the tops with a bit more of melted non-dairy butter and gently press a small divot in the center using two fingers. This will also help them rise evenly, so the middle won’t form a dome.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden brown. Serve immediately. Let remaining biscuits cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or bag.


 

Savory Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 1 large loaf gluten-free bread, cubed & set out to dry overnight
  • ¾-cup uncooked green lentils
  • 3-tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter (you can use a mix of both)
  • ½-cup white onions, diced
  • ¾-cup celery, diced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3 ½-cups vegetable broth
  • 1 flax egg (1-tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2 ½-tablespoon water)
  • ¾-teaspoon dried sage

Instructions

  1. The night before, cube your bread and set it in a large bowl to dry out – you want it to be the texture of day old bread – noticeably dry but not rock hard.
  2. The day of, if you haven’t already cooked your lentils, do so now by thoroughly rinsing ¾-cup lentils in cold water, then adding to a small saucepan with 1 ½-cups vegetable broth or water.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat until a low boil is achieved, and then lower to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Prepare flax egg and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9×13 pan (or comparable sized dish) with foil or spray with nonstick spray.
  6. Sauté onion and celery in the olive oil or vegan butter and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  7. To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (sage, cooked vegetables, flax egg, and lentils) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf. If it’s too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread.
  8. Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

What better way to end a holiday meal than with fresh, homemade, Vegan Pumpkin Pie!  

Ingredients

  • ½-tsp. Ginger, ground
  • 2-cups pumpkin puree
  • 1-cup coconut milk from the can
  • ¼ -cup maple syrup
  • ½ -tsp. all spice
  • ½ -cup Kirkman’s No Sugar – Sugar Substitute or coconut sugar
  • ½ -tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛- cup arrowroot
  • ½ -tsp. sea salt
  • 1 pie crust, gluten-free, vegan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pre-bake piecrust for 10 minutes. Set aside
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into the piecrust.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes in the oven on the lower shelf or highest shelf depending on your oven (furthest away from heat).
  6. Remove from oven and let set and cool completely.
  7. Cover with saran wrap or foil and set in the fridge for at least 4 to 6 hours, ideally overnight.
  8. Remove and cut the pie and serve. 

Homemade Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼-cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • ½-teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½-tablespoons of organic stevia
  • ½-cup coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
  • 6-8-tablespoons of ice water

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor (or a large bowl), add in the flour, salt, and sugar. Process for a few seconds to combine.
  3. Add in the coconut oil and process for about 30 seconds or until it is well combined and no visible chunks are left.
  4. Starting with 4-tablespoons, add in the ice water and process to combine. Add in 1-2 more tablespoons at a time until the dough gently sticks together when bunched up in your hand. At no point should the dough be sticky!
  5. Separate the dough into 2 balls.
  6. On a well-floured surface with floured hands and a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a disk large enough to fit your pie pan.
  7. Fill your crust and bake for 5 minutes with tin foil around the edges of the crust. Take the tin foil off and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes.
  8. Try topping it with coconut whipped cream from your local health food store!  Delicious!
Posted in All, Allergies & Allergens, Gluten Free / Casein Free, recipe | Leave a comment

Glutathione – It’s An Unheralded, Powerful Nutrient

By David Humphrey
President & CEO
Kirkman Group, Inc.

 

Many leading medical doctors are beginning to talk about the benefits of proper levels of glutathione.

  • Mark Hyman, M.D., one of the influential doctors in functional medicine calls glutathione the “mother” of all antioxidants1. He says he takes it every day.
  • Dr. Joe Mercola, with 4 million registered internet followers says, “Glutathione is your body’s most powerful antioxidant and has even been called “the master antioxidant.” 2
  • Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, Dr. Katz MD recently came on the popular Dr. Oz Show on television to talk about this mysterious antioxidant.  Dr. Katz says “it is one that our body makes itself, to help clean itself of toxins. It attaches itself to bad cells that have been oxidized by free radicals or something, and removes them. If we don’t have enough glutathione, then our bodies can’t be as healthy,”3 she said.

What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is technically a tripeptide, which can be thought of as being like a very small protein, as it is made up of only three amino acids (while proteins are made up of many more). It is present naturally in every cell of the body, as well as in the blood, the bile and the fluid lining the lungs.

The liver is normally the main producer of glutathione in the body4. Glutathione is capable of stopping damage caused by reactive oxygen species to important cellular components such as free radicalsperoxideslipid peroxides, and heavy metals.5

Good News!  We Make Glutathione

The good news is that your body makes glutathione on its own.6 You can boost your own production with a few fixes.

Your body creates glutathione inside your cells. It uses three other amino acids as building blocks. Those amino acids are cysteine, glycine, and glutamine7. Out of the three, cysteine is usually in the shortest supply in your body.  

Cysteine by itself works as a supplement. Cysteine helps you quickly restore your levels of glutathione. Look for the form N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) and alpha lipoic acid8. Make sure you take it with plenty of vitamin C to prevent kidney stones.

Nutrients Can Help Glutathione Production

There are also other nutrients that are vital to boosting your levels, especially seleniumvitamin D-3, and B-vitamins. Look for folate (as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate),vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 (methylcobalamin).[iv]These are very important in helping you create your master antioxidant9

The foods you eat are important, too. Sulphur-rich foods boost your levels. Try kale, onions, garlic, cauliflower, and broccoli. Asparagus, peppers, grapefruit, grass-fed beef, and avocados are good choices, too10. Raw, fresh vegetables and fruits have much higher amounts than cooked ones.

Increasing your glutathione levels is critical. If you don’t have enough glutathione, your liver will lose against free radicals and heavy metals11. Protecting our body’s cells from environmental toxicity must be an ongoing commitment. Unfortunately parents, especially mothers, pass their toxic load onto their children. 

Supporting detoxification pathways with increased levels of glutathione, minimizing toxic exposure and healthy diet protects fetuses as they develop. It is also an important strategy to continue into adolescence because the brain continues to develop throughout children’s lives. 

References

1Essential Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants – Dr. Mark Hyman. (2010, May 19). Retrieved from http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/19/glutathione-the-mother-of-all-antioxidants/

2Glutathione in Whey Protein By Dr. Mercola & Ori Hofmekler. (2010, April 10). Retrieved from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/10/can-you-use-food-to-increase-glutathione-instead-of-supplements.aspx

3Dr. Oz Reveals Glutathione Is A Secret SuperHero of Antioxidants. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.current-movie-reviews.com/22352/dr-oz-reveals-glutathione-is-a-secret-superhero-of-antioxidants

4 Glutathione Information: What is GSH, Biochemistry, Metabolism, and Mechanism of Action. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.essentialgsh.com/glutathione.html

5Pompella A, Visvikis A, Paolicchi A, De Tata V, Casini AF (October 2003). “The changing faces of glutathione, a cellular protagonist”. Biochemical Pharmacology. 66 (8): 1499–503

6What is Glutathione and How Do I Get More of It? – Dr. Mark Hyman. (2010, May 12). Retrieved from http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/12/what-is-glutathione-and-how-do-i-get-more-of-it/

7 White CC, Viernes H, Krejsa CM, Botta D, Kavanagh TJ (July 2003). “Fluorescence-based microtiter plate assay for glutamate-cysteine ligase activity”. Analytical Biochemistry.

8Zhang J, Zhou X, Wu W, Wang J, Xie H, Wu Z (2017). “Regeneration of glutathione by α-lipoic acid via Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway alleviates cadmium-induced HepG2 cell toxicity”. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 51: 30–37

9Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants. (2010, June 10). Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/glutathione-the-mother-of_b_530494.html

10 Boost Glutathione and Optimize Life. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://netnutritionist.com/boost-glutathione-and-optimize-life/

11 Zhang J, Zhou X, Wu W, Wang J, Xie H, Wu Z (2017). “Regeneration of glutathione by α-lipoic acid via Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway alleviates cadmium-induced HepG2 cell toxicity”. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol51: 30–37.

Posted in All, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

Environmental Pollution Kills 1 in 6 People Each Year

By Kulani Mahikoa
Executive Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.
 

One in six people will die from environmental pollution, according to a report published last month in Lancet by top scientists in environmental health. This is startling news in the health industry.

The results of the study even surprised the researchers that conducted the study, Dr. Philip Landrigan, dean of global health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and co-chair of the commission behind the report, told the Washington Post1.

“Going into this, my colleagues and I knew that pollution killed a lot of people. But we certainly did not have any idea of the total magnitude of the problem,” Landrigan added.

In the report, scientists concluded that pollution was the largest cause of disease and premature death in the world today. “Diseases caused by pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015 – 16% of all deaths worldwide – three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence2,” they said.    

The commission found that pollution disproportionately affects the poor with 92% of pollution-related deaths occurring in low-income and middle-income countries. China and India led the pack of countries with environmental pollution related diseases.  The highest population-based estimates of premature death and disease due to pollution was seen in the low-income countries of sub Saharran Africa.

The scientists also found that although health effects of most forms of soil, heavy metal and chemical pollution have not yet been published – lead was the exception.  Large-scale epidemiological studies have confirmed the causal relationship between lead exposure and hypertension and mortality from cardiovascular disease at even low blood lead concentrations, they reported.

For children, neurodevelopmental toxicity is the biggest consequence of lead exposure.  According to the report, the effects of lead poisoning on children are linked to juvenile delinquency, violent crime in adulthood and lifelong reduction in economic productivity.

Environmental Pollution and Supplements

Nutritional supplements, like food, can be affected by environmental pollutants.  Ingredients for nutritional supplements can come from the earth, such as minerals and herbs or from animals that may be carriers of pesticides and other contaminants.  The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat can all provide environmental contamination to nutritional supplements.

In 2005, Kirkman® began a rigorous program of 

laboratory testing our supplements to ensure that every ingredient we use in the manufacturing of our supplements is free from environmental contaminants that could cause health issues.  As a result, we test every product we manufacture for more than 950 environmental contaminants.  No other nutraceutical company in the world matches our dedication to deliver you contaminant-free nutritional supplements.

Read More

References

1Pollution kills 9 million people each year new study finds

2Lancet Commission on pollution and health

Posted in All, Environmental Health & Toxicity, Ultra Tested | Leave a comment