My favorite gluten free chocolate chip cookies

cookies1smphoto credit Scott HerschDecember 31, 2020
Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

New Years Resolution: Try New Things

One of my new years resolutions is to have new experiences and try new things. Throughout my lifetime, people have told me that I am not a good cook, and I internalized and believed this negative message about myself. Yes, I do have tragedy in the kitchen: burned pans and smoke alarms blaring. I don't invest in high quality kitchen items because there is a strong chance I will ruin them---but I truly believed that I was defective or incapable of baking.

Challenging Negative Beliefs About Myself

Part of my challenge in the kitchen is due to my limited ingredient diet, which is suitable for Crohn's disease. Until I discovered Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free One-To-One baking flour, baking easily frustrated me because I had to research substitutions for all the ingredients with which I was allergic or intolerant. However, I decided to challenge my beliefs that "I am the worst person in the kitchen," and I took a risk and tried a new experience. I baked my first gluten free chocolate chip cookies and.....VOILA THEY WORKED! The cookies are tasty and I am encouraged to try more recipes from Bob's Red Mill. I substituted spectrum shortening for the butter, left out the nuts, and used Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Bob's Red Mill certainly has the ingredients and combinations down to a science, so even with my lack of experience in the kitchen and my substitutions, I still proved I am a success!

What will you try this New Year? 

<Get the Free Recipe Here>

Everyone Can Benefit from The Book Of Joy

Casey reading Book of Joy 1smphoto credit Scott HerschDecember 31, 2020
Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

A few years ago when I was going through a difficult time with Crohn's disease, a friend gave me The Book Of Joy. Initially, I didn't think this was "my type" of book---but the story is so much more than a memoir. The pages are filled with self-help wisdom and ways to inspire and build resilience. I marked pages in bright colors according to various topics that I felt were areas for growth in my life. When I need a dose of strength or my thoughts get the best of me, I turn to those pages and immediately get a boost of energy and perspective. Here are some of my favorite take-aways.

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Giants (Made of Light) Inspirational Song

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
December 19, 2020

The holidays can be difficult. Many of us live with loss, illness, and don't have a conventional family that is associated with all the merry and cheer of the season. For as long as I can remember, my holidays were bitter sweet. I enjoyed the holiday shows, music, and decorations, but I felt a deep sadness because I didn't have a Mom AND Dad, I couldn't afford the gifts I really wanted, and for many years I didn't have a loving life partner. Through the years I have learned that the best gift I have in this life is the relationship I cultivate with myself. I don't always treat myself kind, and sometimes I wish I were someone that I am not when I compare myself to others. But at the end of the day, I am learning to love myself and to lean on my memories, my body intelligence, and the light that shines bright in my soul to comfort me and remind me of my purpose.  This song by Eric Lumiere inspires me and speaks a strong message that all of us should listen to. 


Break Out of the Anxiety Loop

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW TFL Coping with Anxiety
December 2020 issue

Published at Taste for Life Magazine

This story originally appeared on Taste for Life

Pay Attention To Your Body's Signals

With the holiday season upon us, we need to be mindful of our anxiety levels and incorporate ways to alleviate stress. Conventional anti-anxiety plans often focus on our thoughts, supplements, and pharmaceuticals, missing the relationship between the body and anxiety.

Pat Ogden, PhD, founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, describes the body’s crucial influence on anxiety like this: “Everything lives in the body, including anxiety.... If I imagine being anxious, my shoulders go up a little bit, my breathing gets more tight, and I feel a little bit of tension in my stomach. Everybody’s body is different, of course, so anxiety would live in each person in a different way. But I think the problem with working only cognitively is that it doesn’t typically address physiology, tension patterns, posture patterns, movement patterns that go along with the anxiety.”

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Make Your Holiday Bright with Gluten Free Bread

plain bread medical medium1Written by Casey Hersch, LCSW
December 15, 2020

My diet has been gluten-free for as long as I can remember. Living Gluten-free has been essential to addressing my symptoms of Crohn's disease and also for my overall health. Until this year, I have not been able to eat a sandwich on a piece of bread. I cannot eat yeast, soy, corn, dairy, and many other ingredients so finding a bread recipe that includes the foods I can tolerate, tastes good, and that can actually hold a sandwich together has been challenging to say the least. 

Fortunately, I stumbled upon a recipe that changed my life. As of this week, I am eating sandwiches!!! I am thrilled. This recipe is a life changer--so versatile and tasty. Also, the bread is loaded with nutrition and gives me the energy I need to cope with my general fatigue and anemia. See recipe link below for a yeast-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and corn-free recipe! Enjoy!


Natural Practitioner Magazine: Diagnostics and prevention during a pandemic

Casey Alfa Report 1Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
November 17, 2020

I am so excited to be quoted in Natural Practitioner Magazine along with some of my colleagues, mentors, and icons. In the November 2020 issue of Natural Practitioner Magazine, editor Lisa Schofield, in an article titled Testing Methods, interviews clinicians, researchers, and physicians on trending diagnostics and screening tools. The article sheds light on the importance of diagnostics and preventive services amid the pandemic, and the new terrain of healthcare as we move forward.

Dr Dan Beilin, founder of Alfa Thermodiagnostics, is featured in the article. The AlfaSight 9000 is a noninvasive, FDA approved, and affordable method of screening for weaknesses in body systems, the immune system, and whole body health. I have personally used the AlfaSight and am grateful for a way to "look inside" my body as an alternative to routine colonoscopies, mammograms, and other invasive procedures. In less than 30 minutes I have information about my whole body, which can then be used to determine if other conventional diagnostics are necessary. 

In my quote in Natural Practitioner Magazine, I comment on my observations of the AlfaSight:

"Casey Hersch, clinical social worker and founder of added, “Alfa Thermometry gives patients a MAP of their own bodies. It serves as an adjunct to other treatments. By providing immediate feedback on the interconnectedness of every organ and body system, it is easy to track and respond to changes. This empowers patients by allowing them to consider treatment options that were otherwise unexplored and are now brought into awareness.”

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Coping with anxiety: Dr Pat Ogden and body centered approaches

In this interview, I speak with Dr. Pat Ogden, one of my icons. We discuss ways to manage anxiety in the midst of the pandemic, holiday stress, and ways to break arousal patterns. 

Dr Pat Ogden is a pioneer in somatic psychology and the founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. Her work addresses the very important link between the body and psychological issues, which I have found is often overlooked in treatment and unfortunately not yet mainstream. Her work focuses on how to heal the disconnect between the body and mind as a result of traumatic events and stressors

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