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Heirloom Tomato Salad
By Eula Gonzales

My brother is in town for a brief visit and of coarse Iʼm going to show him all things Moab. Yes, we have the arches, La Sal Mountains and the ALMIGHTY Colorado river, but we also have a bounty of beautiful local and regional foods that I am excited to share with him. Itʼs Thursday evening and I am perusing the spread at the Moab Farmers Market.

The question is what will I make?? What will he like?? As I approach the Castle Valley Farm booth, a beautiful array of vibrantly colored heirloom tomatoes comes into view. My mind begins to plot a dish... Local heirloom tomatoes are a rarity where my brother hails from. What will I make? A pasta sauce? No, too hot and heavy for these warm summer nights. I ask the cashier about the flavor profile of each variety.

Brandywine tomatoes can bear fruit up to 1.5 lbs and require anywhere from 80-100 days to mature. They have been described as having a “great tomatoey” flavor that is offset by a wonderful acidity.

Next, I ask about the Green Zebra tomatoes. These beautiful green tomatoes with yellow stripes average a weight of 6 oz and mature in about 78 days. The cashier describes them as being more tart, almost spicy, than regular tomatoes.

I finally ask about the Yellow Heirloom tomatoes, which remind me of an odd shaped lemon that has been brushed with light green strokes at the top of the tomato. As I cradle it in my hand, the women explains that they are less acidic and milder than the Brandywine.

Hmm... decisions, decisions. Then it hits me, a chilled heirloom tomato salad combined with Organic Valley blue cheese, fresh basil, garlic and balsamic vinegar and oil paired with bbq lamb chops. I choose 2 large Brandywine tomatoes, 3 green and 2 yellow. I pay for my selection and thank the cashier for growing such beautiful food.

At home I gently wash and dice the ripe tomatoes. I combine 8oz of Organic Valley blue cheese along with some fresh basil and the vinegar and oil. I gently toss them to coat evenly, as the tomatoes are ripe and bursting with juice.

Itʼs a warm evening up here at 7,000 feet. My brother is resting on the porch with a drink in his hand as the sun sinks into the red rocks to the west. I serve a dish for my brother and I. Itʼs a flavorful dish that deserves praise. Not for myself, but for those that dedicate their lives to tending to our nutritional needs. To the men and women who labor in the sun, with dirt embedded into their nails and in the prints of their skin. “Wow, this is really good,” said my brother. “You said these were grown down in Castle Valley?” All I can do is smile and say “Yes, welcome back to Moab brother.”

Sick? Is nothing working?
by Dr. Ray Andrew

"It's a miracle!" Joan (all names changed) exclaims. She used to have hives every night—for months. Couldn't take enough Benadryl. Gained weight. Was always hungry. Tired. Depressed. Awoke several times a night. Had bad gas and diarrhea. Headaches. After treatment, all of this is better, she has lost weight again, and her hives are gone. She can't believe how much better she is doing, “both physically and emotionally.”

Three-year-old Annie was always sick with something, whether a cold, Strep throat, or an ear infection. She took one antibiotic after another. Her speech was delayed. She was emotional. Seemed to have attention deficit. Could still fit in her infancy clothes. Annie's mother Alissa brought her to the Wellness Center and appropriate testing and treatment were initiated. "It was life-changing,” Alissa commented. “I think it saved her." Less than 4 months later, Annie has gained 5 pounds, no longer gets sick, speech has improved, emotions are stable, and she is "a lot more focused."

Alissa and her husband were so amazed by the change that they wondered if their 9-year-old daughter Abbie might have a similar problem. Within short order, Abbie no longer has all the bloating, diarrhea, and gas she has had for years.

Not one to be left out, Alissa underwent treatment, too: "I saw a huge improvement in my health." Her stomach is no longer “on fire all the time.” Cramps, diarrhea, and the “awful” headaches she had for years are all gone. Shoulders and neck no longer feel as if in a vice grip. Life is good.

What do these cases have in common? Food sensitivities. Surprised?
Everyone is aware of people who eat shellfish at a restaurant and suddenly become short of breath or develop hives. Some people experience itching in their mouths when they eat certain fresh fruits. Many more have noses that run like faucets each Spring and/or Fall.

These are examples of IgE allergies. The reaction—whether itching, congestion, scratchy eyes, hives, shortness of breath, or even shock—occurs within minutes of exposure to the offending agent by skin contact, inhalation, or swallowing.

By contrast, IgG reactions are much more difficult to identify, for a few key reasons. First, the reaction is usually delayed by 1 to 72 hours. Second, IgG reactions mimic many other conditions. The list of possible reactions is quite long. Some of the common ones include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, heartburn, cravings, coughing, headaches, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, insomnia, hyperactivity, joint pains, muscle aches, undesired weight loss or gain, irregular heartbeat, even chest pain. Third, doctors are not trained to recognize and treat food sensitivities. For all of these reasons, a surprising number of the patients who are referred to us have suffered one or more perplexing symptoms for years.

Imagine you have an IgG antibody to spinach, causing a headache three days after each exposure. Suppose you eat spinach every day, trying to be healthy. You may never be without a headache! You might think it's from dehydration or not getting enough sleep. Chances are good you'll never figure it out.

In reviewing test results with patients, often we hear protests like "But I thought I was eating healthily!" Our response? "Yes, your diet is fabulous, but not for you, not right now." A carefully-tailored diet accompanied by a gut repair regimen can usually overcome most food sensitivities. However, when a patient tests positive for specific food sensitivities, the immune system is confused and targets otherwise healthy foods as if they were dangerous foreign invaders. A comprehensive restoration program can make all the difference, both in eliminating vexing symptoms and preventing long-term complications from untreated immune dysfunction. Patients also discover that they no longer need drugs to manage their symptoms.

If you or someone you love cannot seem to find relief from any number of physical nuisances, you might just consider food sensitivities. Ask your doctor's office if they perform comprehensive IgG testing and have training in treating these abnormalities. You may just be glad you did.

Changing lives for the better,
Ray Andrew, MD, and Grand County Wellness Center 435-259-4466


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