Thursday, September 21, 2017

GFCF Mexican Chicken Quinoa Salad

It is healthy, gluten and dairy free!


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix, divided
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa


  1. Bring water, quinoa, and 1/2 of the taco seasoning mix to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Mix chicken and remaining taco seasoning mix together in a bowl; let sit for chicken to season, about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir chicken until no longer pink in the center, 5 to 10 minutes. Place chicken and quinoa in a bowl and place in freezer until cooled, about 5 minutes.
  4. Combine avocado, red onion, celery, spinach, carrot, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, and jalapeno peppers in a large bowl; add chicken-quinoa mixture and salsa and mix well.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Could Autism Risk Reside in Cells’ Energy Engines?

A recent study suggests that genetic variations in the DNA of mitochondria could increase the risk of developmental disorders.

Mitochondria are the power plants of human cells, and they may also play a significant part in the risk of autism, a new study has found. They also discovered that ancient human migration patterns could also make some groups of people predisposed to a bigger risk of developmental disorders.

“Our findings show that differences in mitochondrial function are important in ASD (autism spectrum disorder),” said study leader Douglas Wallace. He directs the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “Our team demonstrates that a person's vulnerability to ASD varies according to their ancient mitochondrial lineage,” he added.

For the study, the researchers examined the genetic data of 1,624 autism patients and 2,417 healthy parents and siblings. Within a human cell, mitochondria are the structures that supply energy to the entire cell. They have their own DNA, called mtDNA. That DNA is separate from the DNA found inside the nucleus of cells, which is known as nDNA.

Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only through one parent -- the mother. By examining mtDNA variations among populations around the world, scientists have been able to reconstruct human migrations and evolution patterns over thousands of years. They've sorted these mtDNA variations in genetic subgroups, the study authors said.

The researchers found that six European subgroups had significantly higher risks of autism than the most common European group. The researchers also found that two Asian and Native American subgroups were at increased risk for autism.

Migration, changes in nutrition and other environmental influences can increase the risk for the disease even further, the researchers explained.

The researchers said their findings, which suggest that mtDNA energy could play a major role in autism risk, might lead to new treatments for this group of neurological disorders.

“There is increasing interest in developing metabolic treatments for known mtDNA diseases,” Wallace said. “If ASD has a similar etiology [set of causes], then these same therapeutic approaches may prove beneficial for ASD.”

The findings were a study published online Aug. 23 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Reference Article

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fevers and Autism?

Children whose mothers had any type of fever while pregnant may be at slightly higher risk of developing autism.  The chances of a child developing autism are highest if the fever occurs in the second trimester, but are still fairly low.  There was found to be only a 40% greater chance of the unborn child developing autism, and an even lower risk if the fever occurred during the first or third trimesters.  However, women who had three or more fevers after their twelfth week of pregnancy were about three times more likely than average to have a child with autism.   At this point, researchers are unsure if the fever itself is a cause of autism, or if there is simply a correlation between the two.  None of the women studied who took ibuprofen during pregnancy had a baby with autism; however, the number of women who took ibuprofen was so small that it may be insignificant.