Dain and Allison Hendrickson with sons, Dylan, 8, and Jaxon, now 8 months.
Dain and Allison Hendrickson with sons, Dylan, 8, and Jaxon, now 8 months.
Monday, July 11, 2011

Allison (Miller) Hendrickson, a 1995 Carroll High graduate, living in Davenport, and her family are living life to the max.

She and her husband of two years, Dain, is currently in his third trimester, out of 10, at Palmer College of Chiropractic, and sons, Dylan, 8, and Jaxon, 8 months, follow the principles of the Maximized Living health care delivery system founded by a group of chiropractors. This lifestyle focuses on a positive mindset, quality nutrition, maximized nerve supply and oxygen, and minimizing toxins. At Palmer, Dain is a member of the Maximized Living Club and has attended a few of the national conferences.

A few years ago, Allison was showing signs of gastrointestinal issues and had not been feeling well for months, but a test for celiac disease came back negative. At the time, Dain was already eating a gluten-free, mainly organic diet so Allison decided to follow his lead and eat gluten-free for about a month. She noticed a significant change in the way she felt, so she decided to stick with the diet.

Dain’s family, including his father, Gerald, and younger brother, Seth, who are Maximized Living chiropractors in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, follow the beliefs of the Maximized Living Foundation, including quality nutrition. Allison’s brother-in-law, Seth Hendrickson, explains, “Our body needs fuel to run and the food we eat is that fuel.”

Allison admits it was difficult at first switching to a gluten-free diet. She says it was hard to figure out what to eat at each meal so she began to transform one meal at a time, starting with breakfast and then the rest of her meals and snacks. Initially her mom, Diane Miller, bought her a variety of gluten-free products for her to try. Also her mother-law, Judy Hendrickson, shared a lot of gluten-free recipes with her. Looking back, Allison is amazed at the massive amounts of pasta and bread she used to eat, so making the switch was challenging. Allison is very glad she made the transition. She says feels a whole lot better and no longer has GI issues.

Whether visiting her parents, Terri and Diane Miller, formerly of Carroll, now living in Janesville, Wisconsin, or her older sister, Gretchen Wagner and her family, in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Allison finds it fairly easy to eat with her family. For instance, if they are grilling burgers, she buys gluten-free hamburger buns. Allison and Dain stick to healthier options like meat and veggies and skip the bread and sometimes they bring along their own snacks. Or the family opts to eat out and everyone can order what they please.

Allison is very grateful her family and Dain’s family are so considerate of her diet. Sometimes her mom makes her special gluten-free treats like Scotch-a-roos or a flourless cake and Dain’s mom often buys her rice bread and gluten-free snacks.

Allison has attempted to introduce gluten back into her diet a few times with poor results. The same symptoms returned so she has not tried again. She has been gluten-free for about two years. She says her new nutrition plan has been a blessing because it has meant a lot less processed foods and more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Allison, Dain, and both boys are accustomed to the Maximized Living lifestyle. Allison estimates they eat healthy 99% of the time. She admits she and Dain have their weaknesses, mainly at holidays when they allow themselves to splurge just a little.

Dylan will be in third grade this fall, jumped on board with healthy eating. His favorite snacks are cheese sticks, unsweetened applesauce, and berries. However, he does take advantage of trips to his grandparents’ where he can indulge in frozen waffles and Sprite. Even Jaxon at only 8 months is off to a healthy start. Organic formula, homemade baby food, organic baby products, and cloth diapers are the norm for him.

Allison and her family enjoy spending time together in the kitchen, trying new, healthy recipes. The four also love to read, watch movies, play games and attend Dylan’s Cub Scout events.

Pumpkin Blueberry Pancakes

These pancakes are from Dr. Josh Axe’s “The Real Food Diet.” The family loves to makes these pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning or for a healthy dinner.

1 c. gluten-free pancake mix (We use Red Mill brand)
2 eggs
1/2 c. coconut milk
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter (we use coconut oil)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Heat butter or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop a scant 1/4 c. of batter into pan. Cook until golden on each side, flipping once. We top the pancakes with butter and a mixture of blueberries and 100% organic maple syrup heated on low.

Spinach (or Broccoli) Pie

The recipe for this hearty main dish was given to Allison by her mother-in-law, Judy Hendrickson, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Allison says broccoli is a great variation of this dish. She uses fresh or frozen broccoli (thawed and drained) in place of the spinach.

3 eggs beaten
16 oz. carton of cottage cheese
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
10 oz. box of chopped frozen spinach-defrosted & squeezed dry
3 Tbsp. coconut flour
6-8 organic mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. melted butter
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch deep dish pie pan with butter. Combine all ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour mixture into the pie pan. Place a cookie sheet under the pie pan to catch any drips. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.

Green Bean Almondine

Allison found the recipe for this side dish in “Maximized Living Nutrition Plans” written by chiropractors, Dr. Ben Lerner, Dr. B.J. Hardick & Kimberly Roberto. It is fancy enough for the holidays, but simple enough for a weeknight meal. It is gluten-free, but doesn’t contain any special ingredients.

3 Tbsp. lemon juice
8 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. onion, minced (I use dried onion)
1/2 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 c. French cut green beans
2 c. mushrooms, wiped & sliced
1 c. almonds
Combine ingredients for marinade and pour over green beans, mushrooms, and almonds. Toss well. Allow to marinate for 2+ hours or overnight. Slightly steam before serving.

Mashed No-tatoes

Allison says this is a great alternative to mashed potatoes, which are high in carbohydrates. The recipe comes from “Heal Recipes for Life” by Dr. Joel Bohemier. Allison serves this side dish as a nutritious alternative in place of potatoes or rice.

1 head of cauliflower
sea salt & black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
1-2 cloves of garlic
grated parmesan cheese, optional
Steam cauliflower until very soft (you can also boil it, but more nutrients are lost). Chop up cauliflower and put in a food processor or blender with butter, salt, pepper, & garlic. Blend to desired consistency. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

*Sometimes I bake the cauliflower for 10-15 minutes in the oven to melt the cheese and make the top crusty like a twice-baked potato.

Dylan’s Favorite Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Allison bought the cookbook, “Fun Food Kids’ Cookbook,” from Williams-Sonoma after Jaxon was born so she and Dylan had something special to do together.

4 baking potatoes
1 c. frozen veggie mix (carrots, corn, green beans, etc.)
2-3 slices of ham or smoked turkey, optional
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. whole milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Wash, poke, & bake the potatoes for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees. While the potatoes are cooking, steam the frozen veggies according to the package. Set aside to cool. Chop up any large veggies & meat. When the potatoes are done baking cool until you are able to handle them. Cut open the potato and scoop out the flesh being careful not to break the skin. Put the flesh into a bowl and mix with the sour cream and milk until it is smooth. Stir in the veggies, meat, & 3/4 c. of cheese. Scoop the potato mixture back into the potato skins. Add salt & pepper to taste & top with remaining cheese. Bake again until the cheese is bubbly & the potato is heated through, about 15 minutes.

Raw Chocolate Mousse

Typically chocolate mousse is never healthy, but Allison discovered this recipe in “The Real Food Diet” by Dr. Josh Axe. It contains some slightly unusual ingredients and creates a unique and healthy dessert.

1/2 c. medjool dates, soaked
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 c. mashed avocado (approx. 3 avocados)
3/4 c. organic cocoa or carob powder
1/2 c. water
Blend or process dates, maple syrup and vanilla until smooth. Add mashed avocado & cocoa powder. Add water and process until smooth. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

*You can also use this recipe to make fudgesicles or chocolate fondue sauce (increase water to 1 c.).