Gut healing

Prebiotics - Probiotics less famous but equally as cool cousin

So here we are, mid winter in Wanaka NEW ZEALAND (other end of the earth) and everyone is going down with colds and flus (even with the flu jab, who would believe it!).

Probiotic talk is willy nilly.

Even your most MEDICAL DOCTOR who doesn’t believe in all this hocus-pocus-new-age-natural-self-healing-nonsense agrees that probioitics COULD be important to your gut health. The Swiss put you onto them every time they prescribe antibiotics. AND I did see an article recently in The Independent stating that ‘Probiotics hold the key not just for better health and a stronger immune system, but also for supporting digestive health, mental health and neurological health.” WHOLEY MOLEY stop the bus, this is going mainstream!

But prebiotics are still the cooler, lesser talked about younger cousin who you REALLY want in your life.

Whilst they are similar to probiotics, prebiotics and probiotics are not the same. Prebiotics are actually, in simple terms, the foods that probiotics consume for energy. They’re referred to as fermentable fibre. Prebiotics are non-digestible foods that help the healthy bacteria already living in the gut to grow and flourish. Mixed together, probiotics and prebiotics form something called synbiotics.

Prebiotic foods are:

-Artichokes

-Barley

-Berries

-Bananas

-Flaxseeds

-Garlic

-Honey

-Dandelion Greens

-Kale

-Chard

-Leeks

-Legumes

Because 80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract you NEED to let “food be thy medicine”. In addition to the impact on our immune system, our digestive system is the second largest part of our neurological system. It’s called our enteric nervous system and is located in our gut.

This is why it is called our second brain!

In the past 3 years I have worked with people with health issues such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue, joint pain, psoriasis, diverticulitis, insomnia, sleep apnea, autism, arthritis, hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue (and many other conditions) and they are astounded when they start to understand that these issues can originate from a dicky gut. One of my questions I ask in initial consultation is ‘when did you last have antibiotics?’, and ‘how is your immune system in general?’ Sure we all catch stuff, but ‘how quickly can you move through it?’ AND (most importantly “WHAT DO YOU EAT EVERY DAY?”

The secret to maintaining digestive health is all about balancing out the good (85%) and bad (15%) bacteria in your gut. If you’re going to be healthy, you must consider consuming both prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods.

When I first started working with Gut healing 10 years ago on my own son because of his excruciatingly painful eczema (with him for life we were told) and allergies it was virtually impossible to find products in the health food stores, let alone the supermarkets. When I then worked on my own gut intensively for 2 whole years (yup, it takes that long to undo a lifetime of damage!) and Suki’s gut after she had to have a huge amount of antibiotics for a bacterium that had lodged inside, we followed the GAPS diet to basically rebuild and re-populate our guts. In New Zealand we are SO lucky we can buy high quality versions of foods in the supermarket, whereas in Switzerland I was having to make it all from scratch which was incredibly time consuming, (but very rewarding when it worked)!! So what I’m saying is there’s no excuse not to introduce these healing foods into your diet TODAY.

Thus, todays gift to you; If you are battling never ending colds and flus, digestive issues, low energy, bad breath (I know right!), weight retention, leaky gut, IBS etc etc introduce some of the prebiotic foods AND the following TODAY!

-Kombucha

-Kefir (coconut and milk)

-Sauerkraut

-Kimchi

-Nato

-Yoghurt

-Raw Cheese

-Miso

-Tempeh

-Brine-cured Olives

-Apple Cider Vinegar

And what to avoid?

-Prescription antibiotics

-Sugar

-Tap Water in a city

-Grains

-Emotional Stress (a shitty job)

-GM foods

-Chemicals and over the counter medication

There you have it my friends, “Almost nothing influences our gut bacteria as much as the food we eat. Preboiotics are the most powerful tool at our disposal if we want to support our good bacteria - that is, those that are already there and are there to stay.”
Giulia Enders, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ

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Not-so-shit paleo bread recipe

Let's be honest here, bread without gluten is pretty average.  I recently was so excited to share the local GF pizza with my parents.  To my deprived pallet it was the best thing since sliced bread (see what I did there).  They dip in and out of gluten, it's not their best friend, but it doesn't affect them in the same way as me so they can have the occasional real pizza.  They broke it to me that in a blind taste test they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the box it was packaged in and the crust itself.   My point here is that once you have been without a certain food for a long period of time your tastebuds change.  My client this morning was so excited to tell me that a peppermint tea satiated her post dinner sweet craving now, and that's only 4 months into working with me.   SO! For all you gluten eaters out there, don't expect this to taste like your freshly baked loaf from the local patisserie, but for anyone who has been deprived for a fair while, you'll love this, topped with Anita's Pate (recipe to come) and a bit of Ed's Salsa (recipe to come).  And it's full of protein and fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.   So there baguette. 

Seed and Nut bread 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons activated sunflower seeds chopped plus extra for sprinkling

3 tablespoons activated pumpkin seeds chopped plus extra for sprinkling

1 tablespoon black or white chia plus 1 tablespoon extra for sprinkling

1/3 cup activated almonds chopped 

1.5 cups almond meal

3 tablespoons LSA

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons coconut flour

6 eggs

1 tablespoon apple cider vinega

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon salt 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Greace a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Mix the sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds in a large bowl.  Stir through the almonds, almond meal, LSA, baking soda, and coconut flour.  Add the eggs, vinegar, coconut oil and salt and mix well to combine.  The mixture will resemble a batter rather than a dough.

Pour the dough into the prepared loaf tin and smooth out evenly with a spatula.  Sprinkle the extra seeds on totp. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  (You will need to do a skewer test because this bread is much denser than regular bread and won't sound hollow when you tap it) Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out. 

I usually slice this up and freeze half of it so I can grab a piece out each day for toast.   Now I didn't invent this recipe, I stole it from somewhere but have no idea where, if it's yours please let me know and I'll credit you! 

Cutting down on Sugar (with the help of a Winning Cookie Recipe)

Oh that beast, processed SUGAR - responsible for everything bad that is happening in your life.   Honestly, it is.   Anyway, you all know you shouldn't be eating it so I'm not going to preach to you any more about it, there's a million articles out there about how it destroys every cell in your body (and brain) and causes cancer, I'll leave you to do the research.  Today, I am going to offer you two of my many sneaky tricks when it comes to getting it out of your life.

The first,  lie down.  When you crave sugar it is very often because you are tired.  So take 10 minutes to put your feet up, get a herb tea and one of the delicious treats I'm sharing with you below.  I hear you shouting silently at me 'I don't have time to lie down'.  Make time.  It will change your life.  Turn off facebook and you'll have more time.  

So, my 2nd sneaky trick.  Before you crave it,  replace it.  If you know you are going to crave it around 3pm, make sure you have sweet veggies for lunch, carrots and sweet potato, and then, be ready with some dark chocolate, full fat yoghurt with banana and nuts, or chia seed pudding (recipe to come) or these cookies.  LET YOURSELF HAVE A TREAT.  Your body is talking to you so don't ignore it.  And then you won't be trying to push that annoying voice out of your head that is screaming at you to eat sugar.   

So I stole this recipe from The Real Food Forager, so good.  

GF,DF Killer Cookies (even the kids love them)    

Here we use shredded coconut to give the texture and softness of an oatmeal cookie. We add the raisins to give the sweetness and they come out chewy, moist and delicious.  

Raisins Add Sweetness and Nutrients

Raisins add sweetness and nutrients. They are a concentrated source of energy, vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals. In addition, they are packed with polyphenols, anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, and other phyto-nutrients. They are high in minerals, particularly iron and potassium.

Raisins also contain resveratrol, which is an anti-oxidant, that has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Studies suggest that resveratrol has been found to have protective action against cancers like melanoma, colon and prostate, and diseases such as coronary heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/ fungal infections.

If the cookies are too sweet, next time you make them use less honey — but keep the raisins as they pack a good nutrient punch! They are very sweet, but paired with the coconut fat from the shredded coconut, they will be balanced.

Ingredients

  • 1 organic apple cored and peeled 
  • 2 eggs, pastured if possible
  • 3 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (wean yourself off adding this in as you kill the baddies making you crave sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins (use organic raisins as grapes are heavily sprayed)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoon coconut flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour 
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Equipment

  • Food processor 
  • Cookie sheet with parchment paper

Instructions

  1. In the food processor process the apple until it is pureed with some small chunks
  2. Add the eggs, honey, coconut sugar and vanilla and mix
  3. Add the almond flour, shredded coconut, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and mix until just combined (not processed)
  4. Add the coconut flour in small increments until you get a firm batter (you may not need it all)
  5. Mix in the raisins
  6. Place a tablespoon of the batter onto the cookie sheet
  7. Fill the cookie sheet
  8. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cookies and with a spatula flatten the cookies so that they are all even
  9. Bake at 180 degrees for 14 to 18 minutes until they are golden on top
  10. Cool on a rack
  11. These freeze well if you have any left over

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
For 15 – 17 cookies

OK so they may look like squashed dried up old dog turd but they taste bloody good 

OK so they may look like squashed dried up old dog turd but they taste bloody good 

Bananarama Bread

I am a rubbish baker.  I like to blame it on the fact I lost my glasses toboggoning home drunk on my birthday last season.  Well not blame it on that, but because it's too expensive for me to buy new ones here in Swiss,  I can't see the ingredients properly.  But if I'm 100% honest with you it's because I hate following recipes.  When I'm cooking it's a meditative process for me, I like imagining a taste in my head and then thinking what ingredients will make it taste like that.   I usually win on the cooking front, but very rarely when baking.    That is why this GF DF Banana Bread is a winner every time. (That said not even this filter can hide the fact I may have left it in slightly too long.)  It is SO resilient, last time I substituted one of the cups of almond meal with coconut flour AND  dropped it as I took it out of the oven, and still managed to get those little folk in the house to eat it.  How rad is that!    Another reason I love it is because Oscar has a mad sweet tooth and this helps satiate that, if I can get a piece of this into him he forgets he asked me for an ice cream (every day) when he gets off the school bus.   I also really love it because my best friend Senka gave it to me, my Nana always made me banana loaf (old school styles) and I gave this recipe to my mum (she uses half carrots, half bananas) so I think of them when I bake.  Which makes me feel good.  

So here you go, here is the worlds easiest banana bread recipe stolen from Senka, god knows where she stole if from so sorry if it's yours and we stole it.  But we love it so you should be stoked! 

Mix in one bowl

4 eggs

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup honey 

1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk 

1 T vanilla (I just hurl a pile in)

Mix in other bowl

2 1/4 cup Almond Flour

1/2 t sea salt

1/2 t cinnamon 

2 t baking soda

Combine and bake for 35 - 50min on whatever heat you normally bake for (about 175 maybe? Don't ask me I burned it last time...maybe you could let me know.) 

 

Best ever easiest ever banana bread

Best ever easiest ever banana bread