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Gerry, a character in the movie Remember the Titans said, “When something unexpected comes, you gotta pick up and run with it.” I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in January 2010 and Gastritis in November 2009, all in the midst of a very important year in school. I continued to finish that year of school, and succeeded without many people knowing the poor state of my health. In 2010-2011, took a medical leave from school to plan my lifestyle for the rest of my life. My roommate suggested I start a blog to share my story. It didn’t take much thought to decide to make this blog a reality. I want this blog to be a written record of what I’ve been through – the pain, suffering, healing – everything that has happened to me over the years in my life. People daily share stories with me of how their stomachs are making them suffer. I want my story to inspire you and your loved ones to believe that healing is possible, and you can recover and find wellness in your life just like I have. I want to know your story – please post comments or email me and I will respond to you. Please join me in my journey towards a healthy, Crohn’s free, “wellness for life” Jen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beans, Beans Are Good For the Heart, the More You Eat the LESS you Fart?

Every time I go home I discover something new in my parents’ fridge that looks amazing, but contains a forbidden ingredient, implying that I cannot eat the food. This weekend, I found a spicy eggplant hummus. I thought to myself, I make a mean hummus. I can easily re-create this store-bought hummus. And that’s just what I did!

Jen’s Roasted Eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper Spicy Hummus

2 cups chickpeas
3 tbsp tahini
¼ cup liquid (you choose - water, olive oil, liquid from cooking chickpeas if you soaked the chickpeas overnight and then cooked them)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 red pepper
1 small eggplant
1 jalapeno pepper

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F. Poke holes in eggplant. Cut red pepper in half. Place both eggplant and red pepper on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until roasted. Red peppers should have skin side up.
2.     Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Add more liquid until desired consistency is reached.

I like to use beans that I soak overnight and then cook. A large bag of beans is around $2, and supplies enough beans for many, many meals (or in this case many, many batches of hummus)! People seem hesitant to eat a lot of beans because beans are known to produce gas. This will not happen if you cook them properly!

To prepare dried beans into gas-free, easily digestible, edible beans, follow these instructions*:

1.     Measure the amount of beans (peas/legumes) required and sort through them and remove any misshapen, discoloured or damaged beans. Also remove any dirt balls, gravel, or other foreign objects and discard them.
2.     Soak 1 cup of dry beans in 3 to 4 cups of cool or room temperature water and let the beans soak 8 hours or more uncovered. (12 hours for chickpeas (garbanzos) and 24 hours for soybeans). Avoid using soybeans as they usually require a pressure cooker.
3.     Throw away the water the beans soaked in (very important!).
4.     Rinse the beans several times with fresh water.
5.     Put the beans in a large pot so that beans fill only ¼ of the pot and add fresh water until the beans are covered by 1 inch, or so of water.
6.     Bring the beans and water, uncovered, to a boil on high heat.
7.     When the beans are boiling, a white foam or froth will generally form on top. Scoop this off and discard it. This is part of what contributes to gas.
8.     Add extra water if needed so the beans are still at least 1 inch under water and turn the heat down to very low. Just low enough so the beans are barely bubbling. They cook best at this temperature.
9.     Add 1 tsp. ground fennel or preferably 1 tsp. savory to the beans. This also improves their digestibility. (Optional)
10. Cook for 1 ¼ hours or more until the beans are very tender and a bean can easily be mashed with the tongue on the roof of the mouth.
11. Always chew beans slowly, never eat them fast or when under excessive stress or tiredness.
12. Have some raw foods first in a meal before eating the beans to aid in their digestion.

Yes, this method of cooking beans takes time, but in my opinion, the benefits outweigh the costs. You can also cook more beans than you need and freeze the leftover beans. Then you can use them for a last-minute meal!

*Instructions are taken directly from the book Eating Alive by Dr. Jonn Matsen N.D., published in 1987


  1. this sounds great! i'm going to have to try it out this summer :)

  2. When you do, please tell me how it turns out!

  3. sounds yummy. love this!! very healthy.

  4. I absolutely LOVE this! Masterfully written.Sample Requisition Form