Active Care Rehab

Holiday Treats

Does your gluten-free or dairy free diet and lifestyle make you miss out on your favorite holiday treats? In my Eastern European decedent family holiday get togethers, Povatica or Croatian Nut Roll Bread is always present. I set out to make a gluten & diary free recipe this year and it turned out pretty good. Try this gluten-free and dairy free recipe!!

Nut filling:

  • 3 ounces ground walnuts w/ 1 once lightly chopped
  • 1/8 cup and 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter/substitute or coconut oil
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste

Wet Dough Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free yogurt or Greek if not sensitive
  • 1 tablespoons butter/substitute or coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup suger
  • 1/2 packet yeast from Bobs Red Mill Pizza Dough Mix

Dry Dough

  • Half packet of Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Dough Mix

Preparing Filling

  1. Grind 3 oz of nuts into saw dust
  2. Place all nuts, milk, sugar, egg, butter and spices in sauce pan
  3. Cook over medium heat until it begins to bubble, stir constantly to not burn
  4. Lower heat and stir for 2-3 minutes
  5. Cool for at least 30 minutes

Preparing Dough

  1. Separate egg whites and yolks. Place one yolk in a sauce pan and the other aside for egg wash
  2. Add milk, yogurt, butter, and sugar to 1 egg yolk in sauce pan
  3. Cook over medium heat and stir until it begins to boil
  4. Remove from heat until lukewarm and add yeast.
  5. Still and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Beat egg whites until frothy not stiff
  7. Add Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Dough dry mix
  8. Add wet mixture and mix for 3-4 minutes until sticky ball is formable


  1. Spray/grease surface to roll dough on
  2. Wet hands and roller and roll dough into square/rectangle sheet about 1/4 inch thick
  3. Spread nut mixture over dough leaving 1/2 inch on all sides.
  4. Slowly and gently roll up the dough starting at long end
  5. When finished rolling pinch/seal the seam
  6. Let rise for 60-90 minutes covered with plastic wrap in a warm location


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Transfer roll to silicone baking mat or non-stick sheet
  3. Add 1 tablespoon warm water to left over egg yolk, whisk and brush over roll
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and re-egg wash
  5. Bake for 15-20 more minutes until golden brown
  6. Cut into 1/2 inch to inch strips

Dietary Crackhead

I recently read an article about “Dietary Crackheads and Obesity” and was very interested.  Although the term “crackhead” maybe extreme, I believe the effects of sugar, flour, and refined grains have on the brain maybe surprising to you.  The problem with these carbohydrates is that when we eat them they induce addiction cgrainschemistry in the brain, which makes us want them more.

Through the fall and winter we indulge ourselves with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter treats and foods. These extremely pleasant, grand meals and treats may fill us with great memories and happiness but they also trigger the reward system of our brains limbic system.  Fulfilling the reward gives us pleasure so we continuously seek this pleasure with sugar and refined grains.

How many of us have to have bread with a meal, a sugary drink throughout the day, or something sweet in the evening? These cravings are not just your specific taste in foods but your brain seeking its daily or hourly fix.  Whenever we are craving for these foods the addiction chemistry is working overtime in the brain.

Trust me, you are not alone when it comes to eating with your brain. After long days at work or stressful weeks, I feel my limbic system craving brainchocolate and sweets. Many nights I sit and eat M&M after M&M without contempt. When this happens to you there are a few tricks that can calm our cravings.

If you are like me, I do my cleaning, housework, and chores on the weekend.  I also do not indulge in sweet delights as frequently on my days off as I do during the fast passed, stressful week days. Our brain and  also responds to physical activity and completing goals. Doing yard work or housework has an appetite suppressing quality and produces a reward much like snacking on high carbohydrate foods.

Next time you feel your reward center telling you to eat that candy bar or have another piece of bread try going for a walk or performing a small task that you are putting off until the weekend.  Also, remember you are not alone nor should you feel guilty for giving in to your cravings. The first step is admitting and then working towards replacing the cravings with activity.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand