0

Maple syrup & cinnamon spiced grain free muesli

Paleo friendly, gluten free, grain free muesli.
Paleo friendly, gluten free, grain free muesl

Coeliac, gluten intolerant, paleo, avoiding grains or eating less carbs but still enjoy cereal for breakfast then this one is for you.  So satisying you won’t need much.Ingredients

2 cups of almonds (with skin on)

1 cup of macadamia nuts

1 cup Brazil nuts

1 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup of almond or hazlenut meal

1/2 cup flaxseeds (linseeds)

2 cups of shredded or coconut flakes (or 1 cup of each)

1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ cup organic maple syrup (or less)

225g of butter or expeller pressed coconut oil if dairy free

Directions:

Roughly chop all nuts

Mix dry ingredients together

Melt butter (or oil) with maple syrup

Mix liquid with dry ingredients

Spread evenly across a baking tray and bake at 180oC for approximately 30mins stirring every 10mins.

When evenly browned remove from oven and allow to cool.

Keep an eye on mixture so that it doesn’t burn.

Poached pears with sheep's yoghurt grain free crunchy granola & blueberries
Poached pears with sheep’s yoghurt grain free crunchy granola & blueberries

Serving Suggestion

As this dish is high in protein, fibre & good fats you will only need a tablespoon of this muesli sprinkled over some yoghurt and some fresh or poached fruit to zoom through your day.  Stewed apples are a great prebiotic to boost your healthy gut bacteria too.

Variations

Try a variety of nuts & seeds each time you make it.

Treat the kids or yourself and add a tablespoon or two of raw cacao powder, it’s packed with antioxidants.

Nutrient boosting tip

Soak nuts & seeds in filtered water overnight for 24hrs. Drain & allow to dry slowly in very low heat oven.  Soaking breaks down the phytic acid allowing more of the mineral content of the nuts and seeds to be absorbed. Just 3-4 brazil nuts per day will give you your daily allowance of selenium a powerful antioxidant and vital nutrient for thyroid health.

0

Beating the afternoon energy slump

 

Beating the Afternoon Energy Slumplife saver

Craving caffeine, biscuits or choclate as a life saver to get you through the mid afternoon slump?

It may be something you are eating (or not) at lunch that is causing you to run out of steam.

You choose a salad for lunch, trying to keep your weight under control and to be healthy but it’s not enough.

So you revert back to a salad sandwich, pasta or rice with veges to boost you up.

You get a lift but then find yourself barely able to keep your eyes open in that dreary boardroom meeting.

If you’re lunch has high GI carbs in it (think white bread, rice, pasta) or even large amounts of low GI carbs (wholegrain types) your blood sugar levels may be spiking too high and then dropping too low mid afternoon causing you to run out of energy.

Too many carbs also helps increase serotonin production, your chill out hormone that ‘s more likely to make you want to nap rather than negotiate contracts.  Keep these for a good night’s sleep instead.

What to do?

Eat lunch.  Many people skip lunch because they are too busy but you will be more productive if you give yourself time to refuel.

Combine a balance of  low GI carbs (think high fibre, high water carbs i.e. non startchy veges) with protein and good fats to stabilise blood sugar levels & limit the starchy carbs.

Include enough protein to maintain energy levels.   It also keeps you fuller for longer and provides nutrients to increase hormones that keep you focused and alert.

Lunch IdeasSlamon gravalax salad

Salmon or chickpea vegetable salad.

Prawn & vegetable stirfry – Skip (or reduce) rice & noodles

Chicken & salad wholemeal wrap (ditch the extra carbs you get in a sandwich or a roll).

If you workout at lunch time or have a high metabolism include a little starchy carbs like sweet potato or beans or lentils.

Still slumping?

Some people need to eat more often than three meals to keep energy stable.  If that’s you top up with a protein snack about 15minutes before you start dreaming of your pillow to keep you going until dinner time.

Some nuts & seedsMixed raw nuts

Yogurt with some berries

A hard boiled egg

Piece of cheese

Small tin of tuna

Hummous (made with protein rich chickpeas & tahini) with some vege snacks.

0

Reducing Muscle Cramps

Suffering from muscle cramps? IMG_2827

Dehydration and nutrient deficiencies are common reasons for cramps to develop.  Medical conditions, such as kidney, liver and heart failure, diabetes & hypothyroidism and cortisol deficiency may all contribute.  Eating nutrient meals reduces risk of cramps.

Enjoy our shitake mushroom and ocean trout recipe or legumes served with spinach, tomato & avocado salad toppped with some nuts & seeds.

Magnesium, an important mineral for regulation of muscles including the heart can become depleted unless there is abundant leafy green vegetables and other high fibre foods,  nuts and seeds.  Studies have shown that many people have a low dietary intake.  Magnesium relaxes contraction of muscles.  Another magnesium source is Epsom Salts.  Added to a bath, it’s a great way to soothe tired muscles and your body absorbs some of the magnesium through the skin.

Potassium, an electrolyte involved in muscle contraction can also be reduced when magnesium levels are low.  Certain medications can also reduce potassium levels including diuretics, prednisone and some others  Medical conditions affecting kidney function cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea also reduces levels.  Bananas are a rich and convenient source of both potassium & vitamin B6.  Other potassium rich foods include potato, pumpkin, pineapple, spinach, custard apples, nectarines, almonds, legumes and tomato.

B vitamins may also be useful in reducing cramping.  Vitamin B6 is also abundant in nuts & seeds, fish, pork, chicken, dried fruit, avocado  and spinach.

Ever noticed cramps after a big night or week-end of alcohol consumption?  That’s because alcohol depletes your bodies of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B1 and also magnesium.  B1 rich foods include fish, pork, wholegrains, greenpeas, asparagus and legumes

Stressed?  There goes your reserves of vitamin B5.  Shitake mushrooms, oily fish eggs, pork, chicken, seeds and avocado boost vitamin B5 levels.

High physical activity levels?  Sodium depletion another electrolyte involved in fluid regulation can occur through excessive sweating and drinking excessive fluids without electrolytes, vomiting and diarhhoea. If severe hyponatraemia (low blood sodium) may result causing coma and death. Kidney and congestive heart failure   Symptoms include muscle cramping, headaches, dizziness, vomiting. Exercising for more than an hour in conditions that make you sweat profusely, ensure you replace both water and electrolytes. 

0

Meat Free Monday (MFM) Minted Pea and Spinach Soup

Minted pea and spinach soup 

A light and delicious vegetable soup packed full of vitamins and minerals including vit A, K, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, iodine, B & C vitamins. Iodine is critical for a healthy thyroid & metabolism.  Magnesium relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and improves nerve transmission and heart health.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 cups or vegetable stock or  filtered water with low salt vegetable stock cube

1 large brown onion

2 cloves garlic

3 cups frozen green peas

3 cups baby spinach

1 stick dried kombu seaweed

½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

Vegetable salt or celtic sea salt

½ cup of almond, soy or low fat milk

½ lemon – juiced

Method

Bring stock to the boil.

Add chopped onion and garlic. Simmer for 5 mins

Add peas, roughly chopped spinach, kombu (cut into small pieces with scissors), mint, and himalayan or celtic sea salt to taste.

Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 mins.

Allow to cool a little then blend together until combined well.Minted pea & spinach soup

Add milk and lemon juice and warm gently so milk doesn’t separate

Garnish with mint leaves and add ground black pepper to taste

Delicious served with walnut sourdough bread or if gluten free top with chopped walnuts
.

0

Hangover Recovery Cure

Hangover Recovery JuiceIMG_4807

Feel better now by enjoying this delicious nutrient rich blend.

(It’s high in fibre too!)

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 Banana – Vit B6, potassium & magnesium

1/2 cup of blueberries – Rich in antioxidants

1 orange peeled and chopped – Vit C

½ cup pineapple juice – Vit C

½ cup filtered water – Rehydration

1 teaspoon Cod Liver  oil (mint flavoured) – Vit A

1 sprig mint – Sweeten the breath

Method

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth.

Rehydrate yourself, replace your electrolytes like potassium and those lost nutrients particularly vitamins A, B6 & C.  Magnesium helps to reduce your throbbing head and aching muscles and the fish oils will also reduce the inflammation caused by alcohol.

0

Wellness 104 Headaches – A right pain in the head


Are Headaches driving you crazy?  

Check out the Common Causes list to work

out what may be contributing to your headaches.

Then check out the What to do list.


It may not be all in your head.  It may in fact be in your gut.  The brain gut axis is very powerful and may contribute to numerous conditions if dysfunctional.

If your headaches are chronic, preventing sleep or you are waking up with them please consult a professional as they may be symptomatic of other conditions.

Some Common Causes

  1. Dehydration – This is one of the most common reasons for suffering from headaches.  Culprits include lack of drinking fluids, too much tea, coffee or alcohol, exercising intensely and not drinking enough fluids to compensate loss through perspiration.  Over exertion can also lead to headaches developing.
  2. Food allergies and intolerances – Undiagnosed foods sensitivities are quite a common cause of headaches.
  3. Gut dysbiosis/overgrowth – An overgrowth of  “bad” intestinal bacteria can also contribute to this problem as they release endotoxins.
  4. Hormonal imbalances – As one of my clients recently identified hormones can trigger headaches and migraines.  This is usually due to an excess of oestrogen relative to progesterone levels.
  5. Stress – Can cause headaches through tension and can also reduce your progesterone levels as cortisol levels(your stress hormone)  increase.
  6.  Hypoglycaemia – This is a drop in blood sugar levels, which can cause rebound blood vessel dilation.
  7.  Tension headaches – often due to too much time spent in one position, e.g. in front of the computer and being stressed.
  8.  Eye strain – Another overuse issue or may be due to an undiagnosed eye sight concerns.
  9.  Spinal issues – if your vertebrae are not aligned correctly it can reduce blood flow to the brain.  Flat feet or wearing high heels regularly can cause issues.
  10.  Raised body temperature – Dilates blood vessels can contribute to cluster headaches.
  11.  High blood pressure – Throbbing hypertension headaches.
  12.  Caffeine, sugar or alcohol withdrawal – Any substance you have in excess or are addicted to whether you know it or not can cause headaches when stopped.  Alcohol is dehydrating, dilates blood vessels and dampens down pain receptors so that you become more sensitive to pain when it is cleared from the body, thus the hangover headache.

 

What to do

  1. Dehydration – Ensure adequate intake of fluids.  Generally 1.5-2 litres of filtered water or caffeine free herbal tea is sufficient.  More if you are exercising but don’t over hydrate as this may cause hyponatraemia if you are involved in endurance sports.
  2. Food allergies and intolerances – Keeping a food diary is a good way to help identify any offending foods.
  3. Imbalanced Gut Bacteria – remove bad bacteria and replenish with good bacteria.  Make sure you also include lots of prebiotic foods to support the good bacteria to flourish.
  4. Hormonal imbalances – Reduce exposure to xenooestrogens (more information on this to come in the next blog) as they mimic the actions of oestrogen in the body, e.g parabens & phtalates.  These substances are found in some cosmetics, processed foods, plastics, paints products, etc.  Generally reduce exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.  Ensure your liver is detoxifying well to clear exposure to pollutants and other toxins and to clear and balance hormones.  Cruciferous vegetables, e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc help clear oestrogen. x  Reduce excess weight particularly if it’s around the abdomen.  Manage stress as raised cortisol levels will lower your progesterone levelsThe oral contraceptive pill (OCP) may also causes nutrient deficiencies, e.g. vitamin B6 amongst others that may cause headaches.
  5.  Stress – Adopt lifestyle strategies to counter stress, what ever works for you.  Also eating nutritionally dense healthy foods adjusts and balances moods and help you manage the stressors in your life better.
  6.  Hypoglycaemia – Eat regular smaller meals with low GI carbs (whole foods not white or sugary) and some protein.  Avoid high GI foods and long intervals between meals.
  7. Tension headaches  – Regular exercise and moving around every 20mins or so when seated for long periods may help.  Regular massages to ease tension held in muscles.  Ensuring correct posture.
  8. Eye Strain – Give your eyes a rest from staring at a computer screen every 20minutes or more, focusing on something in your mid and long vision range.  If it persists, see an ophthalmologist and have your eyes tested.
  9. Spinal issues – Refer to a good chiropractor or osteopath.  Alternate wearing high heels with flat heels.   Get support for flat feet.
  10. Raised body temperature  – Cool the temperature in your environment, particularly at night when sleeping.  Remove excess bedding.
  11.  High Blood pressure – Reduce weight if overweight.  Change diet including anti-inflammatory foods.  Take hypertension medication if required particularly if genetic predisposition.
  12.  Withdrawal headaches – Gradually reduce and omit substance for at least 2 weeks, ideally 6 weeks to break cycle.  Small amounts may be tolerated.  Test yourself after you have had a purge to check

 

2

Energy Lifters – Broccoli & Kombu

Broccoli is a great source of B vitamins including  folate, and magnesium which are vital for good energy production.

It is also a very good source of vItamins A,C, E and K, so packs a punch with antioxidants to help protect against cancer.  One item that is not so helpful in broccoli are goitrogens, which can inhibit thyroid function, causing decreased metabolism and energy levels.

Other goitrogenic foods include

Bok Choy & other chinese greens

Cassava

Cauliflower

Cabbages & Brussels Sprouts

Kale

Millet

Mustard Greens

Peaches

Soy based products

Radishes

Spinach

Strawberries

Turnips

However, by including iodine rich foods in your meals, you can ensure there is sufficient availble to keep your thyroid function working well.  Iodine can be found in land based food but it depends on how much is available in the soil.  Unfortunately, in countries like Australia the soil is very deficient in minerals.  Food sourced from the sea however, are a reliable and good source of iodine. Kombu, a seaweed, like all seafoods is an excellent source of iodine.

They don’t need to be in the same meal but here’s a recipe for you that combines both of these fabulous foods.  It is also a great meal for weight loss and if you are detoxifying, just skip the dairy.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 cups of fresh vegetable stock or

(4 cups of hot water & 1 cube of vegetable swiss nature stock cubes)

2 large leeks cut in half washed of dirt & sand and chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed

2 heads broccoli chopped  including florets and stem

½ tspn thyme

1/4tspn nutmeg

1 stick of Kombu (seaweed)

Milk – soy or dairy (optional)

½ cup whole almonds with skin on

Method

Add kombu into stock and bring to the boil.

Add vegetables and herbs into a pot, put lid back on and bring back to boil.

Cook for about 4-5 mins or until vegetables are just tender but not over cooked.

Drain off vegetables reserving cooking liquid

Set aside 6 florets

Whilst soup is cooking dry roast almonds  in oven until just brown.  Allow to cool a little and chop roughly.

Place vegetables in blender and ½ fill with liquid, ½ cooking liquid and ½ milk  or just use cooking liquid. Pulse blend soup a few times to mix ingredients before fully blending until smooth.  Add sufficient liquid to achieve desired consistency.

Serve in wide bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and/or with grated parmesan.

This recipe can be made without milk, just use more of the cooking liquid to thin to desired consistency.  Adding a can of cannellini beans (drained) into the soup whilst cooking will increase the protein content of the soup.

0

Wellbeing 101 – Sleep

Sound Sleep Strategies

 Why do we need to sleep?

Primary time when your body detoxifies and renergises for the next day allowing it to function properly.

What happens if I don’t get enough sleep?

Increased risk of

Insulin resistance and diabetes

Heart disease and stroke

Depression and other psychiatric conditions

Weight Gain

Accidents

Poor concentration and memory recall

How much sleep do I need?

7-8 hours is required for most people.
Not making the distance?  Try napping. Even 10 minutes at lunchtime can help.

Why?

The Southern European countries  were on to a good strategy with siesta time. Studies have shown that people who nap after lunch have better concentration and memory recall  than those that don’t.

 Why can some people function on four hours sleep?

Researchers say that people like Margaret Thatcher may have a mutation on the gene  hDEC2, that regulates their sleep-wake cycle.

Simple Strategies for Sound Sleep

  •  Nap even for 10 minutes if sleeping less than 7 hours.
  •  Keep a regular routine  going to bed and waking at the same time
  •  No caffeine or other stimulants after after 3pm
  •  Limit alcohol intake – affects the balance of your REM & non REM sleep.
  •  Avoid foods intolerances
  •  Avoid exposure to heavy metal toxicity
  • Have a small snack at night with carbohydrates and some protein to increase   tryptophan, your chill out and relaxation neurotransmitter.
  • Limit fluid intake at night if you have to get up to urinate during the night.
  • Wear ear plugs if in a noisy environment.
  • Exercise in morning – helps to wake you up and balance your cortisol
  • Have a cool bath – lowering your body temperature aids sleep.
  • Gentle stretches or calming yoga poses to relax body
  • Relaxing teas – chamomile, St Johns Wort, Sleepy time
  • Keep bed for sex & sleep
  • Get the electronics out of the bedroom
  • Stop working on the computer or watching television at least 1 hour before bed time. The blue light emitted confuses the brain interfering with your body releasing Melatonin, the hormone that aids sleep.  (One client remarked that as soon as he replaced his alarm clock that had blue illuminated numbers his sleep improved.)
  • Don’t toss & turn if awake – get up & sit quietly in dim lighting elsewhere so you don’t associate wakefulness with your bed.
  • Learn to meditate – It may help you get to sleep but even if you don’t is a  more restful state to reduce stress levels.
  • Brain going at 100kms/hr? – Try emptying your mind by writing down your thoughts, You may even find a creative solution to.  Don’t view it negatively but Change your focus and view this as quiet undisturbed time where you can be creative to find solutions.  This may only take 15mins to half an hour but once your thoughts are out of your head and on paper go back to bed and you may find it easy to drift off.
0

Uplift your mood with fish oils

EPA & DHA the omega 3 essential fatty acids found in oily fish have many health benefits including improving your mood.  Along with healthy eating and exercise, fish oils help to regulate your feel good hormones Serotonin and Dopamine.  These neurotransmitters also help you to chill when you get stressed.  They also help to preserve the function of your nerve and brain cells and nerve transmission.
If you don’t like the “fishy” taste of oily fish, why not try this recipe for Ocean Trout with shitake mushrooms.  These mushrooms have fantastic immune boosting properties too and you only need a couple to enhance the flavour of a meal.  If you can’t find them fresh, you can buy them dried from Asian stores and good delis.  Salmon fillets, which are even higher in omega 3 oils can be used instead of the Ocean Trout.  I like to serve a variety of greens with it too and often sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over them.  Let me know if you enjoy it.

  Ocean trout with shitake mushroomsOcean trout with stirfired chinese greens

   Serves 2

Here is an Asian influenced way to cook ocean trout, a great source of omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Works well with Salmon too.

Ingredients

2 x 150g Ocean trout fillets

½ tspn extra virgin olive oil

4 shitake mushrooms sliced

1 eschallot sliced on the diagonal

1 tspn tamari

1 tspn freshly chopped coriander leaves

½ red chilli finely chopped (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180oC

Place the fish fillets skin side down In a shallow ovenproof dish that has a lid.

Lightly coat/spray the fillet with oil .

Layer the mushroom slices, eschallots over the fillets

Sprinkle the ginger, coriander & chilli over the top

Drizzle on the tamari

Place lid over.  I use a glass pyrex bakng dish so that I can view the fish.

The fish will steam cook, which gently cooks the flesh.

Cook for 20-30mins depending on the thickness of the fish until flesh is just cooked on.  The flesh should gently separate.

Lift out of dish with a spatula and the skin will peel away from flesh.

Serving suggestion

Place fish on brown rice and steamed Chinese greens, e.g. bok choy, Chinese broccoli, snow peas.  Spoon juices from pan over fish and veges.

0

Autumn Check up Time



How often do you get your car serviced?

Just like your car,  your body also needs regular servicing.

Timing a checkup with the change of seasons is a good way to remember when it’s time for your “body service”.


It’s Time to Detox!

The chill of Autumn has slipped back into the air over the last couple of nights so I thought I would contact you and check in to see how you are feeling.

The changes of the seasons are a perfect time to cleanse the system and to adjust your eating habits to nourish your body with food for the upcoming weather.

The cold and flu season is also just around the corner and it is now that you need to be building up your immune system to ward off the winter bugs that are approaching.

Your gut health plays a key role in supporting your immune system.

Have you slipped back into making poor food choices?

Are you feeling tired, sluggish or stressed?

Experiencing headaches?

Bloating and discomfort?

Skin breakouts?

What you decide to eat can enhance or severely impact health.

Contact us now

Whether you feel you just need an “Autumn Clean” or if you would like to get winter ready or to discuss any health or weight issues you may be experiencing.

Likewise, if you know anyone who could benefit from having a chat with me please send through a link to this website.