Physician Advises: Skip the Grains But Not the Treats This Holiday Season
Nov 27, 2014 | 100 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Cardiologist, Best-Selling Author Shares
 2 Grain-Free Recipes

At a time when we most want to look and feel our best, we seem to do everything possible to ensure we don’t, says cardiologist Dr. William Davis.

“The weather starts to change and we reach for the pumpkin-spice cookies, cider doughnuts and beer, which launches us into processed carbohydrates season,” says Dr. Davis, author of “Wheat Belly Total Health,” (, the latest in his bestselling “Wheat Belly” series.

“They make us tired and sluggish when we especially need energy as we prepare for all the fun stuff and preparation that lead up to Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah, and they cause us to gain weight, which we immediately pledge to shed come New Year’s.”  

People have been taught that the refined, processed carbohydrates in foods like white rice, white bread and traditionally baked goods are “bad carbs.” We’re told we’ll be healthier, happier and slimmer if we get stick to the “good carbs” in fruits, nuts and whole grains.

Not true, Dr. Davis says – at least in the case of grains.

“Grasses and grains like wheat are a great food source for goats, cows and the like,” he says. “But humans have a different digestive process and different nutritional needs. Grasses are not only responsible for unwanted weight gain, but also more serious conditions, including Crohn’s disease and other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. We just weren’t meant to eat them.”

That doesn’t mean you have to do without your favorite treats during the holidays. Just make them a different way.

He offers these recipes:

•  Pumpkin Spice Muffins (makes 12): 
 2 cups ground almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed
 Sweetener such as Truvia or stevia extract equivalent to 3/4 cup sucrose
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of fine sea salt
1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream or canned coconut milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup walnut oil
melted coconut oil or extra-light olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Stir together the almond meal, walnuts, flaxseed, sweetener, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir together the pumpkin, sour cream or coconut milk, eggs, and oil in another large bowl. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the almond meal mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about half full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out dry, about 45 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pans 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

•  Wheat-free Cauliflower Mushroom Dressing:
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 pound loose ground pork sausage
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 head cauliflower
1 green pepper, chopped
4-ounce can/jar roasted red peppers
8 ounces Portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons ground golden flaxseed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground tarragon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring approximately 12 ounces water to a boil in sauce pan. Toss in porcini mushrooms and turn heat down to maintain below boiling. Stir every couple of minutes for 20 minutes. In deep sauce pan, sauté sausage in 1 tablespoon olive oil, along with celery and onions, until sausage is cooked. Drain excess oil. Place saucepan back on low heat. Break cauliflower into small florets and add to sausage mix. Toss in drained porcini mushrooms along with approximately 4 ounces of the porcini broth, remainder of olive oil, green pepper, roasted red peppers, Portabella mushrooms and flaxseed. Add onion powder, sage, thyme, tarragon, salt and black pepper and stir. Transfer to baking dish and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes.

About Dr. William Davis

William Davis, MD is a cardiologist and author of several books that have sold more than 2 million copies, including the No.1 New York Times bestseller “Wheat Belly.” He has appeared on major national media including the Dr. Oz Show, CBS This Morning, National Public Radio, and Live! with Kelly.. Davis has built a substantial online presence on his Wheat Belly Blog, (, with more than 300,000 visits per month. He is a graduate of the St. Louis University School of Medicine, with training in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease at the Ohio State University Hospitals. A Case Western Reserve University Hospitals, he served as Director of the Cardiovascular Fellowship and Assistant Professor of Medicine.  

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Home of Richard and Janice Gage to be featured on tour
Nov 27, 2014 | 147 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby<br>
JANICE GAGE adds one more red ball to the decorations on her Christmas tree in the dining room of her home off Texas Highway 155 South. The home she and Richard Gage moved into May 6, 2013 will be on the Twentieth Century Club Tour of Homes Thursday, Dec. 4.
Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
JANICE GAGE adds one more red ball to the decorations on her Christmas tree in the dining room of her home off Texas Highway 155 South. The home she and Richard Gage moved into May 6, 2013 will be on the Twentieth Century Club Tour of Homes Thursday, Dec. 4.
It is said a man’s home is his castle. For Richard and Janice Gage, the house they constructed of brick and stone with a copper roof is the castle for a growing family who live in the woods just to the east of the Church of the Nazarene on Texas Hwy. 154 S. “I wanted to have enough space for the children and the grandchildren to visit,” Richard Gage told The Mirror as he worked on preparations for the visit of dozens of persons during the Twentieth Century Club’s Tour of Homes. Tickets are on sale through members or can be bought at the door of each home on Thursday, Dec. 4. The home of Rolinda and Ricky Shipp and the Starry Night Art Studio and Vintage Rose Venue of Kelly Laminack will follow in the Saturday, Nov. 29, and Wednesday, Dec. 3, issues of The Mirror. In the days leading up to the tour, Richard and friends were busy putting finishing touches on the swimming pool in back and the decorations on the porch in front. The swimming pool has a building to house the equipment which has the stone face of a waterfall on the pool side, jets of water spraying in the air to cool and refresh, and a hot tub where the water also overflows into the pool. By the pool is a covered patio area with a grill and television where the whole family can enjoy both food and fellowship as they lounge by the pool. Entering by the front door, the visitor is immediately struck by the spiraling staircase with its iron banister curving under a domed ceiling. The crystal chandelier hangs from a flagstone dome which required a special order “mud” to adhere the stones together. From the entrance way, the guest may turn right toward the dining room, go upstairs or straight to the living room/family room, or right off the family room to the master suite. In the dining room and the family room, each has a nine foot Christmas tree. While many consider Poinsettias the flower of Christmas, Janice Gage does not care for this native of Mexico. Instead the living room tree and the balustrade to the second floor are decorated with magnolias and dogwoods. By contrast, in the dining room and the kitchen, decorated artificial fruit is the ornament of choice on the nine foot trees. A dominant feature of the kitchen besides the built in appliances is the large central island with a granite countertop. A Snowman cookie jar awaits a load of holiday cookies. In the dining room, the breakfront, the tree, and the décor on the dining room table all repeat the fresh fruit theme with burgundy and crème in the ribbon cascading down the tree and on the wreaths on the two doors leading out by the pool. In the living room which is dominated by a cozy, roaring fire in the fireplace, two large wreaths are on the matching doors leading outside and to the pool. Santa Claus is reaching out to a snowman on the cabinet behind the sofa, and the nine foot tree has a stream of unending gold and burgundy ribbon tying all the separate parts together. Red Christmas balls join golden magnolia blossoms and other ornaments on the tree. Upstairs, at the head of the stairs, is the family room where all the children and their friends can gather to watch television or have other fun. The seven-and-a-half foot tree follows a peppermint candy theme with ornaments of red and white or green and white, and cascades of red and white ribbons. A bright red Christmas tree skirt encircles the tree, and a set of red and green boxes with interior lighting rest beside. On the game table in the back of the room, a collection of three gingerbread houses surround a centerpiece of holly and red Christmas balls. The son, Austin Gage, has a blend of University of Texas and Big Sandy Wildcats on his bed, while sister Mia has a pink girl’s bedroom. In the guest room, Mardi Gras colors of green, gold, and purple with an explosive spray of color top the tree as strands of beads form garlands about the green branches. Deep couches and a recliner line the wall opposite the entertainment system in the media room. This tree is accented with champagne and cream garlands and ornaments. With a nod toward improving the quality of the picture, the room is the darkest in the house with black walls and ceiling, punctuated with white crown molding and baseboards. Lighting is recessed in the ceiling, in three separate levels, creating its own fascinating patterns. With room for guests or an expanding family in future years, the Gage house is a place for play, work, and togetherness. The years the master of the house has spent in construction shows at every turn, even in the garage where he stores the six vehicles the family owns, three for day-to-day work, and three for fun.
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JAY ROOT, The Texas Tribune



GOP Leaders Divided on Immigration Crackdown in Texas
by JAY ROOT, The Texas Tribune
Nov 27, 2014 | 228 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print

GOP Leaders Divided on Immigration Crackdown in Texas

Though they appear to be universally outraged by President Obama’s executive order affecting millions of undocumented immigrants, Texas Republican leaders are far from united on how to use their own power to police unauthorized workers and the employers who hire them.

An estimated 1.5 million undocumented immigrants in Texas find plentiful work in the state’s booming economy, from manufacturing and retail to construction, landscaping, agriculture and janitorial services. They are often paid less and have fewer workplace protections than their authorized counterparts.

While several other states require private employers to confirm a job applicant's legal status using the federal E-Verify program, that idea has been a non-starter in pro-business Texas. The business lobby staunchly opposes the idea, and bills requiring it have never gotten off first base in past legislative sessions.

But with Republican Dan Patrick's election as lieutenant governor, and fellow immigration hardliners preparing to take their seats in the GOP-led Legislature, Republicans will face tough decisions about how — or whether — they will hit the employers hiring all those undocumented immigrants.

In 2009, Patrick sponsored a bill aimed at denying business licenses to certain employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers, and last year he authored legislation that would prohibit the hiring of undocumented immigrants as a matter of state law, while providing incentives for widespread use of the E-Verify system.

“For whatever reason — cheaper labor, a bigger workforce, less accountability or an unfair advantage to their competitors, some employers in Texas choose to operate outside [immigration and labor] laws,” Patrick said in 2009. “Federal immigration laws allow for the state government to address the employment of illegal aliens in relation to licensing laws.”

Patrick’s spokesman, Alejandro Garcia, said he saw no reason why Patrick would change his tune as presiding officer of the Senate, but did not respond to questions about specific immigration or labor law proposals Patrick might pursue in the 2015 Legislature

Already, though, Patrick’s past views put him at odds with Republican Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, who gives the federal E-Verify program high marks for accuracy, but opposes immediately requiring its use in the private sector.

Abbott said in February that he favors requiring state government to use E-Verify first.

“Texas should establish the leadership position by employing this first as a state body, show that it works, set the standard for what it should be, before the state goes about the process of imposing more mandates on private employers,” he said.

The E-Verify system has been in place since the mid-1990s, after it became clear that undocumented immigrants were flourishing in the workplace despite the 1986 federal law making it a crime to knowingly hire them. Almost 500,000 employers enrolled in the program by the end of the 2013 fiscal year, and millions of work authorization cases have been processed.

The electronic system allows employers to match the work authorization paperwork, located on an I-9 form, with records from the U.S. Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Detractors have complained about bureaucratic hassles and inaccuracies, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports on its website that in fiscal year 2013, work authorizations for 99 percent of the employees processed by system were confirmed within 24 hours.

Of the approximately 1 percent of cases in which a worker was not immediately authorized, a tiny fraction remained unresolved.

Uncle Sam requires federal contractors to use E-Verify on their employees, and at least 20 states impose it on various sectors of the economy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Last year, a Bloomberg Government study of several states with policies impacting the private sector provided evidence that E-Verify has been effective in deterring the hiring of undocumented workers.

“Soon after E-Verify laws were signed in Arizona, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina, unauthorized workers in specific industries appeared to drop off employer payrolls,” the study found. “This prompted employers in many cases to fill positions with authorized workers.”

The issue is likely to get some attention in the 2015 Legislature. Two Republican state representatives, James White of Woodville and Tony Dale of Cedar Park, have filed limited E-Verify bills, but neither is yet willing to reach into the vast areas of the private sector where most undocumented immigrants work.

White, tearing a page from the federal policy manual, would require state government contractors to process their employees through E-Verify. 

“If the Obama-led administration can do E-Verify, I don’t see why the state of Texas can’t impose that on their state government and their contractors,” he said.

White said he supports extending the plan to the private sector in concept, but wants to ensure the regulation of small business doesn’t “get out of hand." Dale said it’s “a good idea” for companies to use E-Verify but would want to see the details of any legislation requiring that before he could commit to supporting it. 

Whether the new governor would allow such a bill to become law isn’t clear. Spokesman Matt Hirsch said Abbott would “consider any legislation that reaches his desk in the purpose of making Texas better.” 

If efforts to extend E-Verify beyond state government start gaining traction in the Legislature, lawmakers can expect to hear from the business lobby.

Bill Hammond, CEO of the influential Texas Association of Business and a former Republican legislator, said his group supports comprehensive immigration reform but would vigorously oppose state legislation requiring Texas employers to use the E-Verify system. 

“We would definitely be against that,” he said. “We don’t believe that’s the role of the state.”

Disclosure: The Texas Association of Business is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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TBOGG, The Raw Story