I’ve written about how iodine is necessary for your thyroid to function, but I may have missed mentioning another important nutrient. Selenium.  Selenium is necessary mineral, in trace amounts, to facilitate the uptake of iodine into your cells.  I used to worry that I wasn’t getting enough of this mineral to assist my iodine uptake, but as it turns out, I was probably getting enough of it, as the foods which are high in selenium content are frequently in my cupboards, and on my snacking list.

I’ve known since I was a child that parsley and Brazil nuts were suppliers of selenium (Yes. You Should eat the parsley garnish!) but I wasn’t sure about any other foods. As it turns out, other nuts that also make it into the list of good selenium suppliers are: black walnuts (which my daughter doesn’t like, but I do),cashews (which my Grandson can’t eat) tuna fish, which, as far as I can tell, we all can, and will eat, and some other fish (which may or may not be eaten by various members of the family), including: Halibut, Rockfish (Sea Bass), Tilapia, Mackerel, Swordfish (which I don’t see any of us eating, any time soon), and Snapper (Thanks Game Cube, and Animal Crossing for letting me know what that looks like 😉 .

Most of the Shellfish are also good sources of selenium (always cook those).  Octopus, and Squid also make it onto the list of selenium suppliers, but again, I don’t see any of us eating that anytime soon.  We are mostly land locked, and not too adventurous with marine life.  Fortunately, or  unfortunately, depending on how you view it, Wheat is a good source of selenium.  In my case, I may have to pass on it, as the gluten it supplies has a tendency to put me to sleep for excessive amounts of time. Fortunately, I can still get selenium from other grains as well, such as:  Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Rye, and Pearl Barley.

My frequent snack list has some good selenium suppliers on it. It turns out that the salted and roasted pumpkin seeds I like are a good source, and so are the sunflower seeds.  I could expand my snack sources to include squash seeds, if I remember to roast and salt them when I have a squash, and I could add flaxseed  (which I understand has several other health benefits as well), if I could figure out how to incorporate it into my meals…  I don’t see using that one as a “snack” item.  On the plus side, Sesame seeds, which I love in Thai cooking, are also good suppliers of selenium…. So,  I may get enough of this source of nutrient, after all.

In case these sources aren’t enough, you can also get selenium out of many of your meats, such as: chicken, pork, lamb, turkey, and venison.  If these suppliers of protein aren’t sufficient, or convenient, you can also get selenium in the more commonly eaten mushrooms, like Crimini, Portabella, and Shiitake.

If you combine these selenium rich foods with the iodine rich foods, Seaweed, whole dairy, whole eggs, whole potatoes, cranberries, any dark berry jams, you’ll get a pretty balanced diet.  ……I’m going to have sign off now…  I’ve been eating some wheat products because I sometimes can’t resist it…:(  and now.. I’m excessively sleepy…..  Catch you on the flip side;)

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2016.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Selenium Benefits, Signs of Deficiency, & Foods

Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium




Mmmmmmmm….  the delicious smells of holiday baking.

Is there anything better?

I’ve been wanting to work on a healthy holiday cracker recipe for a while now,and I think I may just have come up with one.

It Isn’t Gluten free, though it can be dairy free if you use the coconut oil instead of butter or margarine.

If you  need a gluten free recipe, stay tuned, I’ll have one of those in here later, so check back.


Non-food items you will need include:

A one quart sauce pan

A three quart mixing bowl

Big wooden mixing spoon or a mixer with bread hooks.

Wax paper* ( to line a bread pan with And to line the baking sheet)

A bread pan

A baking sheet


Wet Ingredients to be combined in a saucepan on Low heat.

1/2 cup of butter, margarine or coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger**

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (a pinch)

1/2 teaspoon finely ground cinnamon***

1   1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup water


3/4  cup chopped pecans, or hazelnuts, or coconut flakes

Dry ingredients:

2  3/4  cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4  teaspoon salt

Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly in the three quart mixing bowl and make a well in the middle of the ingredients.


Combine the wet ingredients, minus the chopped nuts, into a small sauce pan on a low heat setting and slowly heat the ingredients together until the butter or the coconut oil is just melted and the sugar dissolves into the mixture.  (Don’t boil it)

Add the 1/3 cup chopped pecans, or hazelnuts at the very end and set aside to cool to luke-warm (if you put a drop of the liquid on the inside of your wrist it won’t be hot, just warm) might be anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on how hot you got the mix.

Make sure the liquid mixture is thoroughly mixed and dissolved when you take it up to pour into the well you made in the dry ingredients in the three quart bowl.

Mix rapidly and thoroughly until it’s a smooth cohesive lump. If you are using a wooden spoon, make sure that either the handle of the spoon is really thick or that you are holding the spoon handle down near the spoon head, as this mixture gets really heavy and thick.

Once you have achieved the desired consistency ( I knew when it was done when I wanted to eat the dough before cooking it) press the dough evenly into the wax paper lined bread pan and cover with the wax paper.  This can be a little tricky as the dough is sticky.  Refrigerate or freeze until stiff but not frozen.

Take out one of the oven racks.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare to use the lower part of the oven.

The baking pan will not be  on the very bottom rack, but the one just up from that when it’s time to bake the crackers.

When the dough is stiff, take it out of the pan and place it on a clean cutting board.  Slice the frozen dough lengthwise with a serrated bread knife.    If you like your crackers larger, slice it in half, if you like them smaller, slice it twice in thirds. Lay the sliced dough halves down on the cutting board and thinly slice the dough into individual cracker pieces and place on the wax paper in the baking pan about 1/4 inch apart from each other. If you want to save time and slice larger crackers, you can easily halve your crackers by using a fork to poke holes across the middle of each larger cracker shape. You can make the cracker pieces any size you want. The thicker crackers are more chewy and the thinner ones are crispier.  For a sweeter sparkly cracker, sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar over the crackers before they go into the oven.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking rack or on the other oven rack that you took out and placed on the counter before you baked the crackers.  When the crackers are thoroughly cooled, lift them from the wax paper and place in a tin for crackers, or seal-able sandwich bags.

These are sturdy crackers and are a pure luxury for having a small nibble between meals or when you’re on the go and can’t stop for a whole meal and need something to tide you over.  It makes a pretty good dessert substitute for school lunches as well, as they aren’t as sugary as cupcakes or brownies but they are still a small sweet treat.  They aren’t bad for dunking either, as they don’t fall apart easily in your milk or coffee or tea.


*  If you don’t have wax paper, you can use oil or butter to grease the baking pan so the cracker dough will come off the pan easily.

**  If you are pregnant and nausea is a problem, the ginger in this recipe may help settle your stomach.  Ginger helps settle upset stomachs.

*** If you don’t have these three spices separately, you can use 3/4 teaspoon of pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice instead.  This will be adding a little of the spice ingredient Ground Cloves to your mixture.


© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


English: Tornado Fries

English: Tornado Fries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thyroid Surgery Round 2

Thyroid Surgery Round 2 (Photo credit: grrrrr123)

BioCamp participants getting insights into the...

BioCamp participants getting insights into the pharmaceutical industry (Photo credit: Novartis AG)

I know that we can get what we need nutritionally from our foods, but sometimes when we look at all the things the “Health” industry has been telling us about what to eat and what Not to eat, it Seems like there has been a Conscious effort to limit our use of the foods that provide iodine, which is essential for the proper function of the thyroid gland (whew- talk about a run on sentence).

Some will say, how can you say that?  Dr’s and Drug companies are all about helping us feel better.  Yes. I would agree with that statement. They are all about helping us “Feel” better, but not necessarily about helping us to actually be healthy.  Nutritionists have been totally sidelined by the American Medical Association. You are Not encouraged to eat what is actually good for you.  If you did, the Dr’s would be largely out of business.

Let’s look at a short list of things we are not supposed to eat due to some possible link to something unhealthy.  Fats from red meat (possible link to an increased risk of heart disease), eggs, butter, fat from milk (possibly leads to an increased risk of extra weight), salt (retains water and possibly increases blood pressure), potatoes (fried), cheese (high in sodium), fish (possible risk of mercury contamination), baked beans (supposedly too much sugar), and the list goes on.

So how does this stack up to a conspiracy to limit our iodine intake?  To answer that, let’s look at a list of foods that are natural sources of iodine and compare the two lists. Eggs, whole milk (with the fat IN) yogurt, butter, cheese (especially mozzarella)  potatoes, Navy Beans (that’s what  baked beans are made with),   fish, shellfish, Himalayan salt, iodized table salt, strawberries, cranberries, and all the edible seaweeds.

If that’s not enough to alarm you, let’s look at other things that interfere with the proper use of the iodine you Do get.  And I’ll Quote another author

“Two groups of substances found in food – isoflavones, most commonly found in soy foods, and thiocyanates, most commonly produced in the body from glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli – have been shown to interfere with iodine utilization by the thyroid gland, but only under very specific circumstances. These circumstances involve simultaneous dietary deficiency of iodine or selenium (or both) and imbalanced overall dietary intake. We’re not aware of any evidence showing problems with iodine metabolism by the thyroid gland when either soy foods or cruciferous vegetables are eaten in moderate amounts in an overall balanced diet that also contains appropriate amounts of iodine and selenium. “

Soy foods and broccoli have both had a huge surge in use as food sources in this country in the last couple of decades.   Our non-dairy coffee creamers are soy based and mock crab is soy based, and many fillers added to meats are soy based, as are many vegetarian meat substitutes.  In China, where soy foods have been a large part of the diet for centuries, they Also have a larger percentage of  sea food and sea weed foods and brown rice which help to balance the effects of their soy intake.

So let’s look at some other vitamins and minerals that would be beneficial to your overall health through their support of the proper uptake of iodine and it’s proper interaction with the other glands.  Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, all the B vitamins, and Salt.  Selenium is necessary for the uptake of iodine into the system as is the naturally occurring cortisol in your body.   Vitamin D, which is naturally supplied by the exposure of your skin to the suns rays is essential.  Magnesium is also necessary as a pre-cursor to the proper functioning of all your glands.  Brown rice is a natural source of selenium, and magnesium, but how often do we see that in our daily menus?  White rice has none of that in it.   Salt supports your adrenals, among other things, so that is necessary to your overall health too.

All these things we’ve been told to avoid because they might harm us, in fact could have been doing us a lot of good, instead.  Let’s look at how that would have worked out.

If you had been eating all these foods all along, you might have had enough iodine in your system to keep your overall body temperature up to the normal level.  Why is this important?  Because when your overall body temperature (not just your head) is at 98.2 (the correct temperature for your body as taken under the armpit) the fats in your system are all liquified and will not build up in your arteries and you won’t have arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Additionally, with the proper levels of iodine in your system, the thyroids proper interaction with both the pancreas and the pituitary gland will keep both of those in better shape, thus reducing, if not eliminating altogether, the incidence of Hypo and Hyperglycemia (diabetes).  Also eliminating much of depression and anxiety symptoms.  When all these glands function normally, the stresses of life are easier to handle.

Unfortunately, we have been led to believe as a society, through vast amounts of money spent on advertising, and through articles written by pharmaceutical companies which stand to gain by our acceptance of their word on the effectiveness of their drugs. And all this is exacerbated by the acceptance of those articles by scholarly medical journals. We’ve been taught very carefully, that we should look to the pharmaceutical companies to relieve all our suffering.

This path leads only to the enrichment of the investors in pharmaceutical stocks and the makers of hospital equipment (dialysis machines, robotic heart surgeries, synthetic thyroid medications, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics).    Having our glands work effectively would also reduce many of the vast numbers of cancers, and their attendant cancer treatments.   These would all be unnecessary if our bodies had their proper allotment of nutrients in the proper time and form.

So I am not going to say that there Has been a conspiracy, per se, but the overall effect of our believing things written by those who stand to gain the most from it, has led us all down a very rosy path into a stinking quagmire of unhealthy intentions.  Our politicians, even now, are crafting legislation which adds to the burden of our unhealth.

The FDA has also played a roll in our overall unhealth, though it is their stated intention to do otherwise.  Recently, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer got arrested for selling Raw Milk, (which is decidedly healthier for us), because people in D.C wanted to purchase his milk.  The Interstate Commerce Department got involved in that one too.

Perhaps it’s time we let our congressmen and women know how we feel about their ignorance of our health concerns.  Perhaps it’s time that we demand our legislators not allow the various Departments, to impose restrictions on the population without the properly informed consent of the population on which they are imposing these restrictions.


© Ellen M Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC 2012

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Maria Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

a baked potato with butter

a baked potato with butter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Muenster (cheese)

Muenster (cheese) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

various potato dishes: potato chips, hashbrown...

various potato dishes: potato chips, hashbrowns, tater tots, baked potato, and mashed potatoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m sure you’ve all heard of twice baked potatoes and stuffed baked potatoes, so this will be no surprise. What may surprise some of you is that Potatoes are a natural source of Iodine.  Iodine supports your thyroid function  (as does Butter  and eggs).

I’m just re-iterating how to make them fast and easy.

You’ll need:

Large baking potatoes (as many as you have people)

1 lb. of your choice of Cheese ( I prefer Muenster – but Colby is good too)

Butter (to taste – I personally like a lot of it)

Bacon bits (or crumbled real bacon)

Chopped green onions

Powdered Summer Savory

Powdered Thyme (or if you have fresh thyme, chopped)

Iodized table salt.


Wash the potatoes and pierce several times with a fork (or it will explode from the heat)

Place in the microwave and bake for several minutes.  One average potato will take about five minutes; two will take about 9, and three will take about 12 minutes.  Different microwaves have different strengths so check them a little before the time is up.  Don’t overcook them. It’s better to interrupt the cooking a few times to check their condition than to overcook them.

If you don’t have a microwave, all the potatoes can be cooked in the oven for an hour.  Or in a fire pit with aluminum foil wrapped a couple of times around them for about an hour as well. Potatoes are done when they are soft and poking them with your finger results in a dent that stays put.

While the potatoes are cooking, grate the cheese and chop the green onions (and fry the bacon if you are going to use real bacon).

Once the potatoes are finished, pull them out and break open down the middle long-wise.  Place each one on it’s own plate.  Use a fork to flake the soft middle into a mound between the halves of the skin.  Put the amount of butter you like on top to melt first. Add salt (to taste), then stir in half the green onions and bacon bits,  top with the grated cheese and add a dash of summer savory and thyme, then add the rest of the green onions and bacon bits over the top.

Serve at once with your choice of beverages (lemonade is nice in summer).

This makes a delicious summer meal all by itself and it’s good for your thyroid.

In the winter, you can add Chili con Carne‘ to the mix and substitute Paprika for the herbs.  A good winter beverage is Mulled Apple cider.  Yummmmm!

And as an added bonus, this is a gluten free meal as well.



© Ellen M Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC, 2012

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M. Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I love Spaghetti Squash.  It’s easy to cook in a micro-wave, and it tastes delicious, and it takes all kinds of things on it and makes them taste better too.

One of my favorites is a Stroganoff meat sauce;

and since I am going gluten free, this recipe will too.

You’ll Need:

One micro-wave for twenty minutes,

and plastic wrap, or wet paper towels for

covering the squash in the micro-wave.

Or one oven at 350 for an hour,

and aluminum foil for covering.

One large spaghetti squash – slice it longwise in half and remove the seeds (save them for roasting with salt)

Put butter or margarine inside the raw squash and salt it.

Cover the squash and bake for the required time.

In the frying pan:

1/2 teaspoon iodized table salt or sea salt

I teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 crushed garlic clove

1/2 a medium sized onion, white or yellow, according to personal taste or availability

Add these ingredients to:

One pound of 80% lean Hamburger –  scrambled, and fried on a medium heat

When it’s fried, add into the pan with the meat

1 tablespoon of corn starch and

1/2  cup of milk

1/2 cup of water

2 oz. butter or margarine if you like it (optional).

1/2 cup of mushrooms if you like them (optional).

Stir as it combines and thickens.

Let simmer for a few minutes until it has a thicker gravy consistency.

When the gravy is ready, if you cooked the squash in the micro-wave,

it will be ready to  serve.  Scrape the cooked spaghetti squash out

onto a plate and spoon some of the meat gravy over it.

Serve with a side of celery sticks or another green veggie…

This recipe serves three of four people,

depending on the size of the squash and your appetites.

This is a very filling meal and delicious. Enjoy!


© Ellen M Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC, 2012

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M. Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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