Stomach Acid Test

Hydrochloric Acid Testing (Baking soda test)

Do this test once to see your approximate level of stomach acid:


1/3 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

4 ounces water

Take on empty stomach first thing in the morning



Burp immediately……………………………….. excessive amounts of acid

1-2 small burps within 5 minutes…………. average

No burp…………………………………………….. low acid


Gaseous carbon dioxide is generated by adding sodium bicarbonate to stomach acid.

Alternatives to sugar

The Refining Process…

Sugar is derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. When the sugar cane plant is pressed it produces cane juice which contains water, sucrose, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and impurities such as dirt. This juice is filtered to clean out the impurities and then boiled to form syrup. The syrup is then boiled a second time to remove excess water at which point crystals precipitate out of the “mother liquor”. To separate the crystals from the “mother liquor” the mixture is spun at high speeds. The “mother liquor” what we refer to as molasses, is drained off and the raw sugar stays inside the spinner. The raw sugar is then dried. However, Raw sugar cannot be sold as such, because it may contain mould, bacteria, and other impurities, therefore it goes through further refinement in order to be processed into many different types of sugar (eg. table sugar is decolorized to give it a nice “pure” appearance).

What is a Sugar?

Sugars are referred to as simple carbohydrates because they are composed of monosaccharides, the simplest form of carbohydrate which can not be broken down into smaller units. They proved quick energy to the body in a readily digestible form. The most abundant monosaccharide in nature and the most important nutritionally, is glucose. Sucrose, maltose and lactose are considered disaccharides, which are two monosaccharide units joined together. Disaccharides are the most common forms of sugar in our food and the major energy supplying molecules. Polysaccharides are long chains of monosaccharide units that may number in the hundreds or thousands. These sugar chain links provide a sustained and consistent release of energy. Foods that are rich in polysaccharides are referred to as complex carbohydrates (eg. whole grains, bans, vegetables, starches, fruits).

In what form should I eat sugar?

A healthy diet should consist of approx. 60% complex carbohydrates and no more than 10% of simple carbohydrates. However, in today’s world many commercial products contain large amounts of sugar, which is usually refined. Refined sugar is devoid of vitamins and minerals (eg. table sugar) therefore providing “empty calories”. Therefore, check your labels on the foods that you purchase for the % of sugar per serving and also for the form of sugar used, is it refined or not? Please refer to table for a list of alternative sweeteners.


Foods labels that read “low in sugar” contain no more than 2g of sugar per serving. “No added sugar” or “unsweetened” has no sugar added, although it may contain naturally present sugar. “Sugar-free” products contain no more than 0.25g of sugar per 100g and no more than one calorie per 100g.


Sweetener Comments Nutritional Qualities
Amasake Popular Japanese sweetener/beverage, thick liquid made from sweet brown rice
Barbados Molasses Initial “mother liquor” after sugar cane refining process, not a refined as blackstrap molasses Good source of iron, calcium and chromium, small amounts of B vitamins, 40-70% sucrose, lighter and sweeter than blackstrap molasses because it contains more sucrose
Barley Malt Syrup Unrefined, available in liquid or powder High potassium with small amounts of calcium, 77% maltose 15% glucose 7% sucrose
Blackstrap Molasses Final product from sugar refining process No sucrose, rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron (3mg iron/tbsp)
Brown Rice Syrup Unrefined polished brown rice cultured with enzymes to break down the starch, liquid formed is strained off and cooked to form the syrup, useful for those with allergies High potassium with small amounts of calcium, 35% maltose, enters bloodstream slowly
Brown Sugar Less refined than white sugar, no animal products used to refine, color comes from spraying white sugar with molasses or caramel colour Very poor, pure carbohydrate, 96% sucrose
Concentrated Fruit Juices Highly refined fruit becomes concentrated fruit juice therefore lacks nutrients that original fruit had, better to use whole fruit juice Vitamin & mineral content depends on type of fruit used, 31% sucrose 31% fructose 31% glucose,
Corn Syrup Cornstarch chemically purified, remove everything except the starch therefore highly refined Half as sweet as white sugar, therefore more sugar is added to it
Date Sugar Powdered or dried ground dates, does not dissolve well Contains fiber, some B vitamins, still a simple sugar therefore enters bloodstream very quickly
Demerara Whole cane sugar sprayed with molasses Good source of minerals, esp. calcium and potassium
Fructose Naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, however, it is often highly refined from cornstarch, maximum sweetness in cold & acidic food enters bloodstream at a slower rate than white sugar
FruitSource available in liquid or granular form Blend of brown rice and grape juice, enters bloodstream slowly
Honey Raw is unrefined, darker honey has more nutrients Raw honey contains B vitamins, vitamin C, D, and E, trace minerals, pollen, propolis, and small amounts of beeswax, 50% fructose 50% glucose
Maple Syrup Less sweet than sugar or honey, formaldehyde often used in obtaining sap Good source of calcium and magnesium, 66% sucrose with trace minerals, contains complex carbohydrates, grades B & C are higher in nutrients but less sweet
Maple Sugar Crystallized maple syrup
Stevia Native to Paraguay, a small green plant bearing leaves; 30 times sweeter than sugar; regulates blood sugar, therefore good for diabetes and hypoglycemia; inhibits the growth and reproduction of some bacteria and other infectious organisms, including the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease Contain proteins, fibers, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, rutin (a flavionoid), vitamin A, and vitamin C
Sucanat/Whole Cane Sugar Unrefined whole cane sugar, water is removed Good source of minerals, esp. calcium and potassium
Sugar Alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol) Used mostly in low calories, low sugar candies and sweets Absorbed into bloodstream slower than glucose or sucrose, may cause diarrhea if eaten in excess, no nutritional value
Turbinado Less refined than white/brown sugar, no animal products used to refine. Trace of minerals, roughly equivalent to white sugar
Unrefined Cane Juice/Evaporated Cane Juice/Rapadura Dark-brown colour, made by boiling pure cane juice to remove water, in Brazil known as Rapadura, in South & Central America known as Panela, in India known as Gur/Jaggery High in sucrose, contains chromium, enters bloodstream slower than white sugar
White Sugar Highly refined sugar cane, may not be vegetarian (beef bone is used in some refineries) Very poor, pure carbohydrate, 99% sucrose


Sweetener Equivalent to 1 cup sugar (brown or white)


Sweetener Amount Liquid Reduction
Barley malt syrup 1-1 ¼ cup ¼ cup
Brown rice syrup 1-1 1/3 cup ¼ cup
Concentrated fruit juice 1 cup 1/3 cup
Date sugar 2/3 cup None
Dried fruit chopped ½ cup chopped and simmered in 2/3 – 1 cup water, use fruit only , if recipe does not call for liquid use fruit water
Fructose ½ -2/3 cup None
Honey ½-2/3 cup ¼ cup
Maple sugar ½-1/3 cup none
Maple syrup ½-3/4 cup ¼ cup
Molasses ½ cup ¼ cup
Stevia 1 tsp/cup of water 1 cup



Handout on Alternatives to Refined Sugar from Choices Market, Vancouver BC

McLaren, Tannis. Simply Healthy Cookbook. UofT Press Inc. Toronto. 2002.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar comes in 2 forms. Store-bought, pasteurized and culinary, or organic, raw (unpasteurized), unfiltered; “with the mother” meaning it has sediment on the bottom that looks unappealing but is in fact what gives it medicinal properties as well as culinary functionality. The following information implies to the latter.

Orally, apple cider vinegar alone or with honey has been used for weight loss, leg cramps and pain, queasy stomach, sore throat, sinus problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, detoxification to stimulate thinking and to slow aging, to fight infections and to fight osteoporosis. In addition, it is a great digestive aid and improves circulation; it also supplies the body with amino acids, minerals and vitamins. It is the only vinegar that is safe with candida and yeast issues and is often used in baths for vaginitis.

Topically it is used for acne (as a skin toner), as a hair rinse and to soothe: Sunburns, shingles, insect bites, and to prevent dandruff, baldness and itchy scalp.

Note: Overuse (~1 cup/day, long term) of apple cider vinegar has been linked with depletion of potassium when used in combination with insulin, laxative herbs and potassium depleting diuretics. Aloe, cascara sagrada, senna (Senakot), rhubarb, castor oil, licorice and horsetail fall under that category.

Substitute any of your recipes for this versatile and medicinal vinegar!

Kale Chips

Tear kale in to bite size pieces and discard stem. Massage with oil (canola or olive)

Sprinkle nutritional yeast, salt, sesame seeds and crushed sunflower seeds, then hand toss.

Lay flat on baking sheet or dehydrator tray.

Bake in oven at 300°F for 10-15 min or until crispy, or in the dehydrator 2-6 hrs, depending on type.


Kombucha is made from sweetened tea (green or black) that’s been fermented by a colony of bacteria and yeast. A “SCOBY”, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or is often referred to as a “mushroom” because of its appearance). Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently even though it has been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting degenerative diseases.

One of the main ingredients found in all fermented foods and beverages are probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria necessary for adequate digestion and absorption of nutrients. Probiotics are viable microorganisms that improve gut microflora by secreting enzymes, organic acids, vitamins, and nontoxic anti-bacterial substances once ingested. Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants, which also helps to strengthen your immunity and enzymes that promote detoxification. Most of us don’t get enough enzymes these days because we don’t eat enough raw food. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. The vitamins produced by probiotics are: many B vitamins, biotin, inositol and choline and vitamin K, to list a few. Kombucha tea can contain up to 1.5% alcohol (1/3 of what beer contains), vinegar, and some caffeine, which explains the increased energy reported by consumers.

Non-GMO Project

The NON-GMO project

For those of you new to this debate, GMO’s (Genetically modified organisms) have come under scrutiny as being a current culprit of chronic diseases, from cancer and infertility to diabetes and allergies to name a few.

In Canada the main GMO crops are: Soy, corn, wheat, sugar, canola and cotton seed (used to feed livestock). One of the issues is that the label “certified organic” does not guarantee the product to be “GMO free”.

One of the arguments is that current product labeling is not sufficient to give Canadian consumers the informed choice in selecting what to feed themselves and their families.

On this website: you can find a complete list of the hundreds of products that have been verified to be free of genetically modified organisms.

It is easy to become incapacitated by the overwhelming task of confronting multi national corporations, but what you can do is speak with your purchasing power by selecting products labeled with the NON-GMO project designation.


Our hope is that you become empowered to embrace the changes you CAN make instead of becoming overwhelmed by the ones you can’t.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a nutrient powerhouse.

  • It is your B Complex in a food source
  • It is a complete protein (providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce)
  • It contains selenium, iron, and potassium
  • And it is a good source of fiber


In 2 Tbsp, you get 60 calories, 4g of fiber and 1g of sugar, 9g of protein and 35-100% of all the B vitamins, except B12. One tablespoon will provide an adult with a full day’s supply of B-12, if it has been added and is labeled “B12 fortified”. Fortified nutritional yeast adds 150 percent of vitamin B12 and 720 percent of B2.

Additionally, iron fortified nutritional yeast can provide 20 percent of the recommended daily value, while unfortified yeast provides only 5 percent. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. Sold in powder or flakes, bulk or pre-packaged.

A container providing 180grams flaked nutritional yeast (and the size of a large yogurt tub) is $9 at The Health Hub.

Nutritional yeast has a cheesy, nutty flavor (similar to parmesan), is easy to use in cooking and can be used as a topping for salad, kale chips, popcorn, soup, pizza, mashed potatoes, scrambled tofu or eggs, etc.


Gluten-Free Bread

Jillee’s Gluten-Free Bread That Doesn’t Suck

Brown Rice Flour Blend


1? cups brown rice flour

1? cups tapioca flour/starch

1? cups cornstarch

1 tablespoon potato flour


4 cups Brown Rice Flour Blend (see above recipe)

1 tablespoon xanthan gum

1 tablespoon gluten-free egg replacer

2 teaspoons salt

½ cup powdered milk

3 large eggs at room temperature

¼ cup butter at room temperature

2 teaspoons cider vinegar (Bragg’s)

? cup honey

1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast (not INSTANT dry yeast)

2 cups warm water



Grease two 8-inch bread pans.

Add the yeast to the 2 cups of warm water and stir until mixed. Set this aside to activate while you mix the rest of the ingredients.

Mix the flour blend, xanthum gum, gluten-free egg replacer, salt, and powdered milk together in a medium-size bowl and set aside.

Put eggs, butter, vinegar, and honey in the bowl of your mixer.  Mix together for about 30 seconds. The butter will be chunky, that’s OK.

Add half the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the mixer. Mix just until blended, and then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix for another 30 seconds, until blended.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the warm water and yeast mixture, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 4 minutes

After the 4 minutes your bread dough should resemble thick cake batter.

Spoon the dough into your greased bread pans. Dip your fingers in water to smooth the top of the dough, if desired. Set aside in a warm place to rise for approximately about 50 to 60 minutes. While dough rises, preheat oven to 375F degrees.

When the dough has risen to about an inch above the top of the pans, place the pans in your preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the bread’s internal temperature reaches 200 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. (This is very helpful! It’s hard to tell when gluten-free bread is done. But if you don’t have an instant read thermometer you’re going to have to use your best guess based on your particular oven.)

Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove loaves from pans and place on a rack to cool.

After allowing it to cool COMPLETELY (this is important! Don’t rush it and cut into it while it’s still warm or you will flatten it.) Very, VERY carefully start cutting it into slices. This is ALSO very important…let your bread knife do the cutting for you!

Quinoa Granola Bars

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup oats(GF)

1/2 cups coconut

1 cup combination of nuts and dried fruit

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup honey

1 TBL canola oil

3 TBL Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a ceramic or glass 9X13 inch baking dish.  Spread oats and quinoa on a cookie sheet and toast in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Return mixture to a large bowl and add coconut, nuts, and dried fruit.  In a medium saucepan, combine salt, peanut butter, honey, oil, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and immediately remove from heat. Pour over oats mixture and combine until dry ingredients are evenly coated. Pour into baking dish. Press mixture down into pan.Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for up to 2 hours and then cut and serve.


For a tastier treat, we took:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 TBSP oil

Melted in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring until melted.  Cut the granola bars, and dipped each one in the chocolate, and let sit on a piece of parchment paper until it hardened.

Chocolate Fiber Balls

Mill all of the seeds first in a magic bullet…you want them to be quite fine

2.5 Tbsp flax

2.5 Tbsp sesame seeds

1.5 Tbsp hemp hearts

1.5 Tbsp chia seeds


4 Tbsp dates or prunes -(warm them for 30 seconds in the microwave)

2.5 Tbsp dried cranberries (optional)

2 Tbsp honey

1.5-2 Tbsp cocoa

3.5 Tbsp mini chocolate chips

1 cup of nut or seed butter.

1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients and make them

Into balls…store in fridge

You can also add a whey isolate powder if you’re looking for added protein.

Ensure plenty of water intake when eating high fiber foods.