Cooked vs Raw

Cooked vs Raw Foods – Why we test for both?

When cooked tomatoes showed up on my intolerance test results, panic crossed my mind. My immediate thoughts were, no more spaghetti sauce, no more chili…but wait, how can it be?  I thought to myself, aren’t all tomatoes created equal? Before taking my intolerance test, I never knew it made such a difference.

After some research, I found that when adding heat to any food product, the chemical makeup changes. While cooking vegetables may cause the loss of some valuable nutrients, like vitamin C, there are some vegetables which offer useful health benefits when they’re cooked. Cooking vegetables can make the cell walls less rigid, which helps your body absorb more nutrients and digest food better.

According to Food Chemist Rui Hail Liu, “research demonstrates that heat processing actually enhanced the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the lycopene content that can be absorbed by the body, as well as the total antioxidant activity.”

There are a couple of popular notions that Affordable Testing helps dispel; that cooked vegetables have a lower nutritional value than fresh produce, and that it’s beneficial to eat your veggies no matter how they’re prepared. Our testing shows that it indeed does make a difference! It is now easy to see why our test results provide individualized details regarding cooked versus raw for various items, i.e. does not just list “tomatoes”.

Granted, it is frustrating to think of cutting cooked tomatoes out of my diet, but luckily I found some fantastic recipes to try, such as The Ultimate Nomato Sauce Recipe, which is featured below (courtesy of

The Ultimate Nomato Sauce Recipe

A tomato-free tomato sauce alternative for those with nightshade or tomato intolerances low fat, gluten free, clean eating friendly, sugar-free, vegan option

  • 2 small onions or one large onion*
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed*
  • 1 tbsp butter or oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 3/4 cup butternut pumpkin/squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium beetroot or 4 small beetroot, peeled** (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock***

Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Finely dice your onion and crush your garlic.
  • In a large non-stick saucepan, saute your onions and garlic in your butter/oil until soft and translucent, adding a splash of water if needed to stop them sticking.
  • Add in all of your other ingredients and the mix to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking until your carrots and pumpkin are soft.
  • Once your veggies are soft, blend them until your nomato sauce reaches your desired consistency, seasoning to taste.
  • Use immediately or allow to cool before storing in a glass jar in the fridge (this prevents staining) or freezing portions in zip lock bags to use later. The nomato sauce will keep for around a week in the fridge.


  • *If you also can’t have onion or garlic, you can leave this out, however, I’d suggest adding in some celery instead for that savoury flavour. I can’t eat celery, however, I did try another version with around 1 cup of celery instead of the onion and garlic and whilst it was different, it was still a hit with our testers!
    If you can’t tolerate onion but can have leek or shallots, use them instead!
  • **We find you get the best taste and texture using pre-cooked beets (like lovebeets) and it saves the cooking and peeling. If using raw beetroot, steam or bake your beets prior to adding to the rest of the ingredients.
  • ***You can use water instead of stock, we just find the taste is better with chicken stock.

Happiness is a Pet Friendly Workplace…

Happiness is a Pet Friendly Workplace……

Not all companies are created equal when it comes to the acceptance of dogs in the workplace. Some readily welcome your best friend while others have not yet realized the benefits of allowing dogs. The majority of companies that allow dogs are small start-up companies who realize the need for a flexible work environment or large high tech firms that allow dogs in order to capture the interest of a prospective employee or to retain their current employees.

According to a 2016 report from the Society for Human Resource Management, only 7% of offices in the U.S. allow pets in the workplace. It’s a pretty unusual employee perk.

Let’s take a look at the factors that benefit the employees:

Increased Morale-Dogs lift employee morale, improve happiness, reduce stress, increase productivity and increase camaraderie. Pets are natural conversation starters. Everyone likes to talk about their dogs!

Increase Exercise-The best part of taking a work break is taking your dog for a walk outside. It gets you out of the chair!

Financial Benefit-The employee saves on Doggie Day Care and/or Pet Sitters. Helps with more Flexible hours.

For the company, it lowers absenteeism. The employee can spend more time at work and does not have to rush home to let the dog out.

Some of the companies that have already adopted the pet friendly workplace are as follows:

Atlantic Health: They are a New Jersey hospital chain that has a pet therapy program names “Soothing Paws”. The program is run by volunteers that bring the pets to the patients in their hospital rooms.

Anchor Free: The 25 person company lets a variety of pets roam free throughout the office. The pets include dogs, cats, and even a domesticated wolf!

Replacements: Based out of Greensboro, NC, this China shop allows employees to bring pets to work. In addition, they also encourage their customers to shop with their pets too.

Here at Affordable Testing- we are a very pet friendly workplace. Everyone that owns a dog, typically brings the dog to work with them. Sometimes we have up to 7 dogs in the office at once! No need to worry though….we have our own “dog whisperer” here. His name is Robert. He is really great at dog training and has officially been nominated to train the new office puppy Buddy! Buddy is absolutely adorable but is a bit unruly since he is the only “puppy” in the office.(Side note-the team brought him back from Super Zoo in Las Vegas). Be sure to follow our Instagram account since we often post pictures of our dogs there.

There is no stress here and even if there was, all we have to do is pick up a dog and gets some poochie smooches!

Affordable what! Affordable Allergy Test.

Detoxing The Natural Way

When people hear the word detox, they think of a specific process over a period where one abstains from or rids the body of unhealthy substances. Typically, this is done through eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the liver or colon. While there is not enough research to say that a “detox diet” can eliminate toxins from the body, your best bet is to try to help your body detox naturally every day.

Our body will naturally detox every day by drinking an abundant amount of water, eating enough organic fruits and vegetables, eating foods rich in fiber to help with the daily cleanse of your digestive tract, you can fast, exercise, use an infra-red sauna, or do massage therapy.

Avoiding certain foods will also help in the daily detox protocol. The following foods should be avoidedwhen trying to detox: dairy products-including milk and eggs, corn, peanuts, shellfish, soda, coffee, alcohol, white bread, wheat, soy, artificial sweeteners, condiments, and any processed foods.

Foods that you should be including in your daily diet: DRINK more fluids, increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, increase your intake of pro-biotic rich foods, increase fiber intake with fiber rich whole grains, and incorporate flaxseed into your diet.

The following is a list of recommended foods:

  • Onions  Apples  Almonds  Chlorella  Chickpeas  Kuas
  • Beets  Pears  Coconut  Spirulina  Sauerkraut  Carrots
  • Cauliflower  Watermelon  Olive Oil  Dandelion  Kimchi  Cherries
  • Cabbage  Raspberries  Avocado Oil  Burdock Root  Keffer Herbal Teas
  • Brussel Sprouts  Blueberries  Green Tea  Milk Thistle  Yogurt  Lentils