Monday, May 31, 2010

May Is Ending, Where Do We Go From Here?

Greetings and Salutations this final day of May 2010, or as I like to think of it, 31 days of thousands of people from all over the world ‘Painting May Lyme Green’. I felt it was important to write a follow up to the Paint May Lyme Green Campaign from my point of view, as someone who was very involved in the campaign from it’s early stages, and who put a lot of time and effort into it along with countless others here on the New York team, including your very own Alyssa Knapp. This campaign was not my idea, it was not my doing. The credit remains with my partner in Lyme, Ashley van Tol. But soon after she began her vision of an awareness campaign, she let me know about it and asked if I would take part. How could I say no, as I was laying there suffering, 10 months into my own less than pleasant journey with Lyme disease, when more than anything I wished someone had given me the information I would have needed to avoid getting that sick. At the same time Ashley was beginning to gather some of the greatest minds in the Lyme disease community, and from there her vision for Paint May Lyme Green became a reality.

The month is over now, and I hope you’ve been following us on all our journey’s of the past month, as well as in sharing the success of so many people all over the world as they too painted May Lyme green. But now that it’s over, I know people are wondering what the outcome of this month has been. Ashley and I are both working on some specific examples, as well a general overview of what we consider the success of this past month’s campaign and a way to showcase all of the hard work that everyone put into it. We’ll be posting that in the next couple of days.

First I have to say that the campaign has been a huge success. For those who don’t know, Ashley received quite a bit of opposition to this campaign in the beginning. As more people got involved, they too began to face some opposition, including some of us here in New York, including Alyssa. The great thing is that we just had a simple message to share, to Learn About Lyme!!! That’s it…learn about it, so you can protect yourself from it, and not get as sick as the thousands of us trying to spread awareness right now. We are here to simply spread awareness, and it’s hard to stop something with so much support and so many people willing to help stop others from getting as sick as we are. What a heart warming realization it became for us as the month progressed to see how much people were reaching out to others in so many ways. Like I said there is an article coming up with more info as to the success of the campaign, but first I just want to talk about some things as the month comes to an end.

The Paint May Lyme Green campaign is yes, ending. Because May has to come to an end. But the awareness campaign is not ending. Beginning now we are transitioning to the ’Lymenaide Awareness Campaign’. Ashley and I have both committed to finding a way to make this a year long thing, not just for Lyme disease awareness month.

So maybe some things haven’t happened yet that you had hoped would take place in the month of May, have no fear…there is still lots of time for us to spread awareness. Ashley and I are working hard on some thoughts and ideas as we move forward, as well as using the momentum for the things already set in motion.

This is important because recently we were discussing the Lyme disease awareness month and we came to the conclusion that what has happened is that we have become a snowball, slowly gaining speed, numbers and strength. So have no fear, this amazing month of Painting May Lyme Green has just propelled our growing snowball into the rest of the year, for a campaign that will help so many.

On a daily basis I am hearing from people who have stories about how our work this month has effected them or their loved ones. I can’t tell you how many people have gone on to get diagnoses of Lyme disease because of the information we have been sharing with them. I know people are more aware of the horrors of this disease, parents who have followed us and heard us are worried for their children, so they will be more attentive to looking for ticks. We are literally saving lives here. Do you realize the impact of that? Saving lives…it’s not every day you get the opportunity to do that (unless you’re a Dr, a cop, a firefighter, an EMS worker etc.). Really sit and think about that, you have been a part of saving lives. Amazing!

I am thrilled and honored to officially partner with Ashley in this endeavor, all of you know she is an amazing support to our cause, and asset to our community. For those who don’t know her or her website, please check her out at Ashley\’s Lymenaide Website.

So get ready, because we are just getting started. Think of what we did with less than 3 months to plan, and hardly any budget, relying on the generosity of those who are sick and their families to donate funds to get the campaign started. It’s a pretty powerful way to get started I must say.

I hate having to be sick, but I can’t think of a better time in the history of Lyme to be sick because we are becoming a powerful force with one simple goal – helping others to Learn About Lyme. That is how we spead awareness of this disease.

Congrats to all who have worked so hard this month…and for those of us suffering with Lyme sometimes just dedicating an hour of energy to something is hard work, and it means a lot to us that everyone was willing to rise above being sick to make sure word got out. And we invite you to continue to help us to spread the word that Lyme diseae is real, it’s here, it’s everywhere, and it’s after each of us…and it is going to try to completely destroy each of us. We can’t let that happen. Together, we won’t.

Cheers to all for such an outpouring of hard work and dedication this Paint May Lyme Green month. And a very special thank you to Ashley van Tol of Lymenaide, without whom none of this would have happened…it was her vision that was turned into a reality.

Health and happiness to all.

(Originally Ashley and I were working on writing something together to end out this amazing month of Lyme disease awareness. However, as we were working on things we realized we had two different stories to tell, and therefore decided to each write our own post to wrap up the Paint May Lyme Green month. If you have not yet read her end of May post, please go there now at and read her thoughts on this month’s campaign. In addition, another of our team members and huge contributors to the campaign, Alyssa Knapp (of, also has written her thoughts on this month as it comes to a close. She is now a guest author on LymeBites and you will be able to read what she has to say later today.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Final Wish for May

My Final Wish for May

As May comes to an end, so does the official end of Lyme Disease Awareness Month. I have seen some very powerful things happen this month. Three years ago I was wandering out in left field wondering if I were the only person in the world with this awful illness….feeling so alone. I have met so many amazing “Lymies” this month. Thanks to everyone’s efforts to change their FB profile pics…for once I could see who was there with me. It has been truly overwhelming. I feel as though I no longer walk alone and that I can stand a little taller. I am proud to be standing side by side with each and every single one of you. Such strong, powerful people you all are. Thank you for the gift of your presence in my life.

I have three final wishes for the end of May and I hope you can accommodate.

1. If you do not have Lyme….please I ask one last time….educate yourself. Learn about Lyme. I do not want you to walk in my shoes….for this is not a journey for the weak. Just take 20 or 30 minutes and go to some of the Lyme blogs, websites or various other sources so you can educate yourself and protect those you love.

2. If someone you know has Lyme and is suffering I ask that you take the time to remember them. It is so easy to get caught up in your life and forget those at home dealing with a chronic illness. A phone call goes a long way. It’s easy to please a Lymie….I bet your friend or loved one would appreciate a walk, an afternoon cup of tea….or if you want to help and don’t know how….ask. Sometimes something as simple as a home cooked meal or an offer to do the vacuuming can make a world of difference. Just knowing that someone still cares and remembers you can be the difference between a good day and a bad day.

3. Lastly….and this is not so much a wish but my own personal thoughts….but I dedicate these last few days of May to all of you suffering with Lyme. You deserve these days…you deserve this month. I want you to know you are not alone…that if even if you feel that way….I am here for you. I give you my hope, I pray for you and I truly believe you will get better and stronger. You do not suffer alone and no longer shall we suffer in silence.

Rely on Rosemary

In 1881 a book called J.M. Nickell’s Botanical Ready Reference especially designed for Druggists and Physicians stated various uses for Rosemary.

Rosmarinus Officinalis - (Rosemary)
     Leaves and Flowers - aro. Bit. Cep. Sti. Emm.
    Aro - Aromatic - Odoriferous, Stimulant, Spicy
    Bit - Bitter - Having a Tonic Effect
    Cephalic - Relating to Diseases of the Head
    Stimulant - Exciting or inducing organic action of the animal economy
    Emm. - Emmenagogue - Promoting menstruation

I believe that often times looking back to our ancestors often holds clean and simple solutions for things we can do for ourselves now. Rosemary is good for everyone but for those with Lyme this another great herb to use in cooking.

Rosemary can be used as an antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic and fungicidal. It can lessen the effects of Alzheimer's disease by promoting circulation to the brain and preventing the breakdown of the chemical which promote memory. I am pretty confident that most Lyme patients have memory issues…why not help get the brain circulation going and help boost the memory.

Rosemary also protects DNA from cancerous-causing chemicals that would normally bind to and mutate strands of DNA. It can also protect the body from certain carcinogens such as alfatoxin and help defuse carcinogens through the liver. With all of the medications we are on we need to constantly be aware of out liver. We also have to detox as much as possible to help eliminate die off….another helpful quality as far as I am concerned.

Rosemary increases the condition of the skin by promoting blood flow, and through its properties as an antibacterial. It has been proven to lessen patches of visible cancerous skin. I love anything that is antibacterial. I will go to great lengths to ensure the spirochetes don’t stand a chance.

Not only does rosemary aid the circulatory system, but it aids the digestive system as well. It does this by causing the gallbladder to produce greater quantities of bile and suppresses symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) such as flatulence, intestinal cramping and feelings of being bloated. Those on IV antibiotics, especially, need to be aware of the effects on their gallbladder.

Also, yeast infections do not stand a chance against rosemary for several reasons. Rosemary (through its property of being a diuretic) flushes out any yeast-causing bacteria before the bacteria can cause any infections. It acts as a fungicidal by killing candida yeast and destroying any yeast-infected cells. Again….if adding Rosemary to your diet will in any way help with Candida then it is time to get to the grocery store. Candida (yeast) is something all of us need to be aware of. It’s symptoms can mimic many of the Lyme symptoms and a systemic yeast infection can make you feel truly awful.

Rosemary sounds like a wonder herb…and while I am confident it alone will not make all of the problems related to Lyme go away I believe it can only be beneficial to add to you diet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken and Snow Peas

Chicken and Snow Peas

For sauce:
1 ½ cups gluten free soy sauce
1 or 2 scallions finely chopped
1 or cloves of garlic minced
Ginger finely chopped
A sprinkle of sugar (optional)

Mix all of the above ingredients together and set aside

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
4 chicken breasts cut into small chunks
3 cups of snow peas

Heat Olive Oil on Medium to High heat. Brown and cook chicken pieces. Add snow peas and stir together. Cover or Dress with Soy Sauce mixture. Cover and let heat for 5 minutes or so….you don’t want to overcook the snow peas. Serve over Brown or White Rice.

This is another quick and easy to make meal. When making the Soy Sauce mixture you can add more or less of any of the ingredients and make to your personal taste. I add a little sugar to cut the saltiness but you can skip…It will still taste good. This is a variation of one of Chance’s recipes that he shared with me a while back and now I use it all the time. Also…I just do make with snow peas but you can add any other veggies you would like. This is totally versatile!

Earth's Balance

Last year we realized that dairy was triggering my allergies…in a very dangerous way.  I had gone dairy-free for quite some time for my Lyme diet and when I reintroduced it back into my life my body had decided it just wasn’t interested. On so many levels this was a blow for me….especially because I love to bake. How can you bake without butter??? Impossible!!!

I finally found a worthy substitute!!! So…for anyone in need of a dairy free butter or just a healthier alternative, I use Earth’s Balance. It’s a bit more heart healthy as well as it is an olive oil base. It comes in sticks for baking and cooking….or you can buy a whipped version for eating on toast, etc.

I am able to buy the Earth’s Balance in pretty much any grocery store or health food store. It’s not hard to find and no one as of yet has been able to tell the difference in my baking or cooking

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Banana Bread

Banana Bread


1 ¾ cups flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1/3 cup organic natural sugar (not refined)
1/3 cup Earth’s Balance butter (this is a non-dairy butter)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons rice milk
2 bananas mashed up
½ cup unsweetened natural applesauce
1/3 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven at 350 degrees
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside

In a bowl mix together sugar and Earth’s Balance butter. Add eggs and rice milk and mix until smooth.  Add flour mixture and bananas, alternating a little of each at a time until smooth and creamy. Add Applesauce and mix. Fold in pecans.

Fold batter into a pre-greased loaf pan (I use an organic olive oil spray). Sprinkle top with some Pecans if desired. Bake at 350 for one hour. I always check it at the 45-50 minute mark so as not to overcook and dry out. Remove from oven and cool

*This is a family favorite. Served warm from the oven or sliced and toasted for breakfast. I think you can slice and freeze if desired but have never done that as it has never lasted long enough. This does have sugar but I have always felt that in the grand scheme of things….this is better than most cakes or breads. (Good for those cheat days)

How I eat

I love food…I love really good food. Eating out at great restaurants with friends, baking for my family and all the good social stuff with eating. Before Lyme…I ate what I wanted and when I wanted never thinking about how what I put in my body affects me. It was pure pleasure. I was an emotional eater and to a certain extent still am.

So…along comes Lyme and my visit with my LLMD and my world came crashing down. I was put on a very strict no sugar, no dairy, no yeast diet. I sat dazed and confused….what was I supposed to eat?? Shortly thereafter I was told my son had Celiac’s…so let’s add no Gluten to the list. I am happy to say…he does not have Celiac’s but, surprise, he too was diagnosed 4 month’s later with Chronic Lyme also. Oh…it gets better….my mother is a diabetic and now has to eat a heart healthy diet.

After 3 years of riding a food roller coaster…of hearing eat this and don’t touch that… is where we are now.

We stick to a strict no dairy diet as I have a severe dairy allergy that has landed me in the hospital a number of times….yup…it causes an anaphylactic reaction for me. The doctor thinks that I may outgrow this though as my treatment continues (fingers crossed…I would love a piece of cheese!!).  We can eat gluten again….my sons intolerance and sensitivity to that dissipated as his treatment progressed….So now we try to eat a low sugar diet and as healthy as possible. I can not eat processed foods as they still make me sick but that’s ok….our bodies do not need them anyhow. I don’t eat lots of yeast products but will eat a slice of bread (always fresh made bread) when I feel like it. I have learned moderation. A little here and there is ok for us now. I cook from scratch…which I find has become a lost art form to so many. I buy fresh wholesome ingredients and organic whenever possible….I stay away from fillers, pesky preservatives, dyes and additives….we don’t need it ever. Whether we are sick or not. I do believe what you put into your body affects it tremendously.

As you see recipes posted they may or may not fit your Lyme diet. Often times they can be changed to suit yours….so if you are unsure how to adjust please ask.  Also know that maybe this month something is not ok to eat but maybe soon you will be able to indulge a little as your body heals. I hope you are able to find something yummy that fits your diet….and if it doesn’t today….it may tomorrow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sweet Organic Sausage and Peppers

Sweet Organic Sausage and Peppers


5 link Organic Sweet Pork Sausage (you can use spicey if you like a little more kick and flavor)
1 Green Pepper sliced
1 Onion sliced
apx 2 cups chicken broth (I use homemade chicken broth)
Tablespoon of Olive Oil


Heat olive oil in pan on medium to high heat. Add Sausage links and brown evenly on all sides. Once browned add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add Peppers and onions, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes (the onions and peppers with be soft).

Serve on Gluten free rolls or over Gluten free pasta...

I like making this because it is quick and easy...and boy friendly. The guys never complain when I serve this for lunch!! Also...I prefer to use organic sausages so as not to worry about added fillers that may not be good for the Lyme diet.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasted Garlic Hummus


1 (20 ounce) can chick peas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons sesame tahini
 juice from a small lemon
1 whole bulb of roasted garlic (or 2 if you really want some garlic flavor)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin. In the bowl of the food processor, add the beans, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt, and garlic. Process for a few seconds to get the mixture started. While the processor runs, begin drizzling in the olive oil, starting with 2 tablespoons, adding more as necessary to create a smooth consistency. Add more salt, lemon juice or garlic to can't really mess this up! If I have parsley around I'll throw some of that in as well.

This is a quick and easy to make snack to have on hand....throw it on a pita or dip your veggies.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Farm fresh cheese with added probiotics!!! - Updated!!

I headed up to the farmers market today in Rhinebeck. My first stop was the most amazing falefel stand...I couldn't get over my luck!! Needless to say, I was completely involved in my falafel and breezed through the rest of the market with most everything going unnoticed. Much to my disappointment...I realized I missed something really cool!! Guess that means another trip up next Sunday because I want to find The Amazing Real Live Food Co.

So check this out!!! Right here in the Hudson Valley are two local guys making farm fresh cheese. It's called The Amazing Real Live Food Co. and even though I can not eat cheese anymore...many of you can. They are making cheese and ice cream with live probiotics added!!!! I can't get over my excitement!! This is a great product for all the "Lymies" trying to keep their bodies balanced and well maintained while on heavy antibiotic therapy.

From article in Rural Intelligence:
“Probiotics are good live bacteria, like acidophilus in yogurt,” he says enthusiastically. “They work with the enzymes in your body. They’re good for your digestion and immune system. Hence our name: The Amazing Real Live Food Company.”

 I send a thank you to The Real Live Food Company!! You are providing something yummy AND useful!

 Check these guys out and see if they are carrying products near you....and if not...I would contact them to find out how to get your hands on that cheese!


May 23, 2010

 I headed back up to the market today, not only for my falafel, but to check out The Real Live Food Company and their cheese. So...based on my personal taste testers response....this is a must buy! All the cheese looked delicious and I can't personally say which you would like the next week, I will buy one of each :)

I also had a chance to meet Peter, one of the owners of the company. He was busy bringing customers up to speed on probiotics and acydophilus and all of their glorious benefits. He was informed, friendly and really seemed to know what he was talking about. I asked if they ship...YES!!!They do!! If interested send them an email through their webpage and they will contact you. are buying something good for you and supporting smart food and farmers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen

For the last few years I have tried to go “clean” with my food. I choose to buy organic foods whenever possible. I don’t eat 100 percent organic but it is a goal of mine….I always say the first thing I will do when I win the lotto is fill my pantry with the cleanest best food I can possibly find.  Processed meats, for me, are the worst….I can taste the funk in chicken…you can smell the stuff they add to ground turkey and well, quite frankly, I think grass fed beef is delicious. So…for health benefits and for flavor I make these changes. 

Here’s one of the problems….It is expensive. When trying to feed a family on an organic diet the grocery bill goes sky high. For my family…it is worth it and we slowly make these changes. I started with milk…we only have organic milk in the house and for those who say there is no difference has never done a taste test.,,,,from there it was the eggs and so on.  Small changes are good for you and not as big of a hit to the wallet all at once.

We all feel better. Both myself and my mother really notice this with meat. Cheap poultry crammed with growth hormones and antibiotics makes me feel ill. Normally my mother can not eat beef…it gives her terrible stomach aches…but not grass fed beef. Some people do not believe that there is a difference…I beg to differ.  While I love to eat for pleasure….due to my illness it is a fundamental necessity for me to eat for my health.

That said…there is a list of the “Dirty Dozen”  which has been in circulation for quite some time but I wanted to reprint for you. It serves as a good reference when hitting the grocery store….so that even if you can only begin making small changes this dirty dozen is a good place to start.

Bell peppers

The above fruits and vegetables are considered the "Dirty Dozen" because they have the tendency to retain a higher level of pesticides and herbicides used by farmers than other types of produce.

"Dirty Dozen" organic foods lists often vary to include the following:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Treat Day

Or perhaps after Alyssa's earlier post it should be 'Cheat Day'.

I remember reading a quote from my Lyme doctor saying that when people are put under such strict dietary guidelines (which let's face it, those of us who have Lyme and have learned about the disease either on our own, or from a Lyme literate doctor know there are certain no-no's with Lyme) need to be able to allow themselves times to "cheat" otherwise it's just something else that can add to anxiety and depression over your illness. Now how often you can allow that happen is individual, some people may have such reactions they can't cheat but once a year on their birthday, for example. Then there's me, who insists I get one day a week to's the only thing that keeps me from completely losing my mind 6 days a week.

So here's the lowdown of all I can't have:

Gluten...that's been a major no-no even before I knew I had Lyme. I saw a nutritionist who was able to pinpoint a reaction to wheat in my system. Soon after that I found out I had Lyme and that gluten is one of the things Lymie's should avoid. I am not 11 months into treatment, and no longer have a physical reaction to gluten, so I am a bit more lax with this than I was a year ago. That doesn't change the fact that a gluten free diet is just a good idea, with or without Lyme.

Sugar...I've known all along this was bad, but paid no heed to it. Because honestly, after being on different forms of antibiotics now for 11 months, there are days I cannot stomach or tolerate any normal food. But I can almost always make room for S-U-G-A-R!!! (In my mind I spelled that out to the tune of the commercial for J-E-L-L-O, I hope you picked up the musical inflection in my writing.)

And Yeast. Apparently I was begining to show signs of a yeast infection (did I happen to mention I've been on antibiotics for 11 months???) This was a slap in the face. I didn't think it would be too hard, but as it turns out I really dig food that rises on it's own. And I want my food fluffy like bread, not flat and stick-to-your-teeth-like which is the case with tortillas.

So here I stand (technically I'm half laying down because I had too much sugar today) with my dietary restrictions, and today is my "happy day". Not only did I have something for dinner that included bread, I followed it up with a chocolate ice cream from my favorite little ice cream stand in the world. I'm finishing my Gatorade (I happen to have a secret love affair with high fructose corn syrup also, but we won't even begin to disect that issue until I get through the inability to eat toast and jam, together or by themselves). I'm ready to get back on the sugar and yeast free horse for another week, until my next cheat day comes along. Wait, I mean treat day...whatever, the day I get to eat (bread), drink (gatorade) and be merry (ICE CREAM!!!!)

So in response to Alyssa's earlier post and the question 'do you cheat?' I proudly answer yes, yes I do cheat. Do I feel good afterwards? No...but Lyme takes so much from you, you have to find a balance to not lose everything that is important to you in addition to the things you love. And I think that's what it comes down to, balance. We are not perfect, we are sick people who want to eat the same things the rest of the world, but we can't because those things can slow down our recovery. But we are human, and therefore I think I'm not the only one who can admit that yes, they do cheat.

Eric Rutulante

Roasted Garlic Italian San Marzano Tomato Sauce with shredded Turkey:

Hi, this is Chance ( still having issues logging in as myself ), and here is a flavorful recipe for you all to try.

Roasted Garlic Italian San Marzano Tomato Sauce with shredded Turkey:

*Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
* Garlic, 10 cloves
* Onions, raw, 1 cup, chopped
* Turkey Breast, 93% lean, 24 oz
* Fresh Oregano, chopped, 3 tbsp
* Fresh Basil, 2 tbsp
* Bay leaf, whole (remove before serving)
* Parsley, dried, 1 tbsp
*Hunt's Tomato Sauce, no salt added, 2 cup
*Cento canned San Marzano whole Tomatoes 1 / 24 oz. can

First cover the 10 cloves of garlic with EVOO in a pot and place in oven until golden color (remove garlic from oil, save the oil, you can use this to cook something else or dip gluten free bread in, roasted garlic oil)
Cook turkey breast through, not too long it will dry out. After turkey is cooked, shred it.

heat onion in extra virgin olive oil until onions are nearly translucent.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan with the onions cook sauce thoroughly, the longer it simmers, the more flavor it will emit. If too thick add some water.

Serve over gluten free pasta.

I often add more italian seasoning, or more tomato sauce or paste. It just depends on taste.

I you?

Several months ago I was out to dinner with friends and ate something that was off my “Lyme Diet”. A person, who will remain nameless…sarcastically commented…”Oh, you’re going to eat that? I thought you were perfect?” I was so taken back by their attitude and was not quite sure how to respond. I try really hard to eat a low to no sugar, dairy free, low or no yeast diet. I put a tremendous effort into eating clean and wholesome….because that is what my body needs. On top of that, I try to eat farm fresh or organic fruits and vegetables, organic eggs and meats, grass fed beef….you get the idea.

I am not perfect. I make lots of mistakes…and I cheat. I get cravings and have moments when I crumble and I eat sugar…I am only human. Sometimes I feel physically sick when I do but most often I just feel guilty. That’s when I remind myself….the last four years have been one giant learning curve. If I need comfort food one day because that’s what I need….then so be it. We should not feel bad when we make small mistakes or fall off the “food wagon”. So much in our lives are taken away from us when going through Lyme that it is only natural to want to revert to something comforting…mom’s homemade cookies, the coffee that we probably shouldn’t be drinking, a piece of cake.

My advice to you….the next time you cheat….don’t beat yourself up. It happens, Savor your few seconds of naughtiness and then move on. We all know its not good for us….but always cut yourself some slack. You are working hard on getting better, taking your pills, changing your diet. Remember to be kind to yourself in your moments of weakness.

Nope...I am not perfect and I cheat....guess what? Thats ok.

Roasted Garlic

I was browsing some recipe sites and it occurred to me....I have never roasted garlic. It seems so darn easy...I feel silly that I have never done this before. So, I just pulled this recipe and added the necessary ingredients to my shopping list. It looks simple and I bet it tastes good. It calls for butter...which I really can not have thanks to my all new dairy allergy but I will replace that with my Earth's Balance "butter". So here goes....I'll swing in later tonight and let you know how it tastes and try to post a picture for you. Do you have a tried and true recipe for roasting garlic? How do you serve it up?


Roasted Garlic ingredients list:

4 heads of garlic.
½ cup of chicken broth.
2 tablespoons of butter.
½ teaspoon of dried leaf thyme.
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
¼ teaspoon of salt.

Instructions for Roasted Garlic:

Remove the outer peel from the garlic and slice the top off  (see picture)

Place the garlic cloves in a baking dish.

Dab each clove with butter.

Sprinkle the garlic cloves with thyme, pepper and salt.

Pour the chicken broth into the dish.

Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) for one hour, basting frequently.

Uncover the dish and bake at the same temperature for another 15 minutes.

Serve as you wish.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Special Guest Writer - Chance Coluccio

I want to introduce a very special guest writer for Food for Lyme. Chance Coluccio has thoughtfully agreed to help FB fans and blog followers with food tips, ideas and recipes. He is a wealth of information….and able to do everything from fine tune a recipe to suit your diet needs for your particular Lyme diet to sourcing great food products. Can’t have dairy but want a suitable substitute? I bet Chance can find something for you. Gluten free? No problem! Don’t be shy….feel free to ask questions with whatever you may need help with. Please see below a brief time line of his experience….

We are fortunate to have Chance on board and I know I am looking forward to Chance’s recipe postings!!!

Name: Chance L. Coluccio
Age: 31
DOB : 12/31/1978
Title : Culinary Buyer/Manager

1978 to 1994 - Worked in Italian kitchen under Mother and Grandmother
Nothing better than getting your experience from 2 old school Italian women.

1994 to 1999 - Short order cook at Rhinebeck Bagels
Helped bring this local eatery into it's hay day. Myself and Culinary alumn Nick Monaco ran the kitchen and the counter, brought a city deli feel to this small town shop.

1999 to 2005 - Sous Chef for 40 West Rhinebeck New York
Worked my way up from a lowly dishwasher to sous Chef. 6 year apprenticeship under Culinary alumn Wes Dier. I took over managing the 5 star restaurant ( poughkeepsie journal ) when they bought El Toro Guapo. We went on to win 1st place at the Taste of the Hudson Valley 3 years in a row ( never been done before, and still hasn't ).

2005 to Present - Food Buyer/ Manager The Culinary Institute of America
After my apprenticeship I hooked up with the CIA. Started working as a Senior Stock Keeper in the Meat Room, 2 years later a buyer position opened, I volunteered and ran with it. And now here I am sitting at a desk, instead of behind a line.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Allicin vs Spirochete

Folklore concerning garlic has been documented in many ancient books and inscriptions. Koreans ate garlic before passing through the mountains because it was believed  to keep the tigers away and Central Europeans used garlic to ward off vampires and evil spirits. I don’t know about you….but I am inclined to think of Spirochetes as demons or evil spirits so it should not be a surprise to hear that garlic is bad for the bugs!

Garlic is a source of all sorts of good things that our bodies need…..Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Selenium, Manganese to name a few. All of those things help to make our bodies immune system stronger and our cardiovascular systems more effective. It gets better though…..


Those are three of my favorite antis!! Garlic contains a natural antibiotic called allicin. And this is where my  Food for Lyme tip comes in…..

*Allicin starts to degrade immediately after it is produced, so its medical effectiveness decreases over time. Cooking speeds up this degradation and microwaving appears to destroy allicin totally and eliminate any health benefits.
So for the most powerful medicinal effect, crush a little raw garlic and combine with the cooked food shortly before serving. A little goes a long way!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beans, Greens and Garlic Soup

Happy Mother's Day! I woke up this morning thinking the dinner I had planned for Mother's Day may not work after all! I had thought of putting together a spring time picnic...with lots of cold finger foods. Guess what? It is freezing!!!! I turned the heat on and thought to myself....I need a big bowl of something warm...ASAP!!! This afternoon I plan to make the Beans, Greens and Garlic Soup and maybe serve up with some homemade biscuits and a salad!! Enjoy!!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onions; cook and stir until the onions are transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Stir in the beans and pasta; lower heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, or 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spinach and stir just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Radio and Garlic!

Yesterday, from 5-6pm, myself and Eric Rutalante of were at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY for a radio interview with Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner. Much to our surprise, the whole hour was devoted to letting us speak about Lyme Disease, The Paint May Lyme Green Initiative and promoting the upcoming screening of Under Our Skin. After we caught our breath from running up many flights of stairs...we settled right in and much to my surprise....I loved it! I had a great time!

During the radio show, food, diet and nutrition were briefly discussed. It was mentioned to us....that should maybe people eat lots and lots of garlic? The answer to that is Yes!! I try to have fresh garlic as a daily part of my diet. This week I will help explain the benefits of garlic and share some recipes that have large quantities of garlic to help you incorporate more into your diet in a Lyme friendly way. Do you have a favorite recipe laden with garlic? Why don't you share it with us all!

Under Our Skin
Free Screening
Rhinebeck NY
May 12,2010
5:30 pm at the Rhinebeck Town Hall
with Guest Speakers:
Dr. Steven Bock of the Rhinebeck Health Center
Dr. Horowitz of Hyde Park
and Others!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What's Your Lyme Diet??

The past few years have been confusing enough....I have had to learn about Lyme, Babesiosis, Bartonella, Erlichiosis...and just when I had reached the point of overwhelmed, my doctor informs me I will need to go on a Lyme friendly diet. My personal "diet" consisted of no sugar, no yeast, no dairy. Shortly after, my son became Gluten intolerant. I was left dazed and confused. What could we eat? How do I cook now? Will life with food ever be the same....How will I give up strawberry shortcake?? What I found is over these past years....our symptoms have changed, we are in various states of wellness...and our diets are always in flux.

What does "Lyme Diet" mean to you? What food regiment do you follow?? I think we may find that many of us have overlapping needs but also are able to tolerate some foods that others can not. What do you miss the most?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Lyme Squeeze

Warm spring breezes call for a cool and refreshing drink. This May, For Lyme Disease Awareness Month....why don't you treat yourself to a Lyme Squeeze

The Lyme Squeeze

1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 limes, juiced
1 bottle of chilled carbonated water

In a pitcher, combine lime zest, lime juice, and carbonated water.
Pour into glasses over ice.
Garnish with a Twist of Lyme!


May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

As many already know May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and Lymies all over the world are working hard! Two people in particular, I personally know, and are doing the work of many! I am so proud of my Lyme friends! Ashley van Tol of is on the West Coast creating Public Service Announcements that are being sent to television companies all over the United States. Her tireless efforts have affected all of us and she is making a very huge, very positive impact in the Lyme community. Eric Rutalante has a site as well.... and he is here on the East Coast. Eric is going on air with a number of radio stations, organizing free community screenings of the Lyme Disease Film "Under Our Skin", and filming videos for the Lymenaide's youtube channel. Phew....It exhausts me just thinking about it.....and that is not even all that they are doing. Somewhere in the midst of that I am doing a few things as well but we can save that for another day. To Eric and Ashley....daily you inspire me and I thank you for all that you do for the Lyme Community!

My story for Paint May Lyme Green

I have sat down and started typing this many times but usually end up deleting after the first few sentences. I have a hard time opening up and sharing my story…so, please, be kind if I make a few mistakes. I am 35 and I have Lyme.

I always have known something was a bit off. Through my twenties I struggled with many emotional difficulties..meaning my emotions were a bit all over the place. I figured I was just young and had always been told I was over-emotional and too sensitive. I drank too much at times because I couldn’t keep my head clear…I did things that never settled well with me-seemed out of character-but I couldn’t remember who I was exactly. I slowly was losing touch with me. In my late twenties the migraines began. These blinding, pulsating migraines…so I started taking pills to help with the pain. The allergy problems started to creep in….so they gave me more pills for that. There was a bad bought of knee pain…so I was sent to the orthopedist. They couldn’t find anything so gave me some steroids and suggested exploratory surgery. I declined… finally went away. My knees would grind when I walked up the stairs, I would get tired after putting in too many work hours. I figured I was getting older…I just was slowing down…at 29.

At 31, things started happening fast. There were days I would cry…for no reason what-so-ever. I called the doctor and asked if my tear ducts could be broken….she laughed and said I was suffering from depression. After repeated attempts to explain I was not depressed, that something was wrong, she handed me a script for an anti-depressent. I didn’t take that. I went on a date and thought to myself, “I am all tingly and dizzy….I must really like this guy”. We went out a few more times….One night after a drink I was walking down the path and my legs crumpled beneath me. I shrugged it off thinking maybe I had just tripped on something. The allergies were getting worse. The doctor visits more frequent. I was coming apart at the seams and my doctor wouldn’t listen. My mother knew something was wrong.

Then the petite seizures started. I didn’t fall to the floor and shake….no….that would have been recognizable. I would get this strange sensation through my body and the world would start going gray. My hands would tremble and I wouldn’t be able to speak. I could hear people calling my name but I couldn’t respond. I would come out of it and gasp for air and heave giant sobs begging my mother to help me. She went with me to the doctors….again…are you depressed? Pregnant perhaps? Mom stepped in and they refered me to a neurologist. In the mean time….I was losing my strength. I needed my mother to help me walk to the car, my right leg was dragging, my hands were curled in fists that I couldn’t open. My vision was declining daily, I was hunched and unable to sit up, I had sharp electrical pains shooting down my legs. The simplest tasks of washing my hair or pouring a drink were unmanageable. I had difficulty chewing and swallowing my food-to the point that sometimes I would have to take the food back out of my mouth so I wouldn’t choke. My body was shutting down.
My neurologist order an MRI and a spinal tap-ASAP! Someone finally was taking this seriously. He recoginzed that my slurred speech , gray skin tone, and extreme muscle weakness was a problem. I slowly and painfully got through the test. The nerves along my spine had swelled out around my spinal column…making my Spinal Tap dangerous and painful. He called within 2 hours of the Tap…I needed to come back to his office right away. The MRI was in too. The MRI showed multiple white spots on my brain and my Cerebral Spinal Fluid had a very high white cell count. The next day my life was changed forever….I was diagnosed with Late Stage Central Nervous System Lyme with Brain Infection (Meningits/Encephalytis). I was relieved to have an answer and my doctor was afraid for my life. There was nothing humorous when I said I feel my body dying….it was.

I was then referred to an Infectious Disease doctor…I was told he was very good, “Head of the hospital”. H e saw me right away, took one look at me and replied “There is no way Lyme can make you this sick. We need to test for HIV and various other diseases.” The blood was drawn, my IV was started, round the clock care was decided upon. Keep me home and comfortable with my family. The blood tests came back….and wouldn’t you know. Clean as a whistle. The good doctor shrugged, said one month of IV antibiotics will cure me and that I would just be sick for a few years. There was nothing they could do.

We found my LLMD days later. I spent 2 ½ years being treated for Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, and Ehrichliosis. It has been a long, torturous journey….and I do believe that hell lives right here on earth with us.

Today, I have been antibiotic free for 6 months. I still get sick. I still have some funky days. I have my life though….and I have found new friends to replace the ones that walked away from me. I have my family, my sense of humor…I can walk, talk and work from home. I still have to pace myself but I am working on that. I go to Physical Therapy for full body reconditioning…and I am getting stronger. I talk to a therapist who gently guides me away from my fear of death and illness. Who helps me understand that I will not be forever broken…that I will get to live and maybe even love again. I am learning to forgive myself and my body.

Special Thanks to my dream team: Mom, Wynn, Dr. Bock, my IV nurses, my massage therapist, Toni, Dr. Ng, my girl Cindy….and a bunch of others who helped make a miracle happen!

Update: May 6, 2010-

As many already know, I fell flat on my face. I am sick once again. I started treatment (zithro/malarone) a week ago. While I am so sadden by this....I am hopeful. I think we caught it quick and am responding really well to my medications.