Grain Free Apple Muffins

apple muffins
I love these apple muffins, they are delicious and my kids adore them.  They freeze well, so double or triple the batch, they are great for lunch boxes or snacks on the go straight out of the freezer.
This is a great replacement for a sandwich in the lunch box or to settle sweet cravings in the afternoon with a cup of herbal tea.

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup homemade stewed apples
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2-3 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 T honey (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil.
  3. Put all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix with immersion blender or whisk until well mixed.
  4. Let sit 5 minutes.
  5. Use ⅓ cup measure to spoon into muffin tins.
  6. Bake 12-15 minutes until starting to brown and not soft when lightly touched on the top.
  7. Let cool 2 minutes, drizzle with honey (if desired) and serve.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x  x

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

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Healthy Halloween

halloween-popsicle-recipe-490x329

With three little boys I know how much kids ADORE halloween and who wouldn’t! Dressing up in scary costumes, trick or treating and seeing all the other kids in the neighbourhood doing the same is a super fun.

Because our family eats such a nutrient dense diet with only natural sugars from honey and fruit my kids feel quite horrible when they do eat sugar.  The colours, flavours, high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar puts too much toxicity into their little systems and they know this makes them feel horrible.

Often we think lollies as treats occasionally are ok and generally that is true, if 90% of what you eat is really healthy then your body can usually cope with 10% of your diet that isn’t.  However with my work as a nurse and a health coach I see time and time again the impact that even ‘treat’ foods have on our health.   The toxins from the lollies don’t just go in  and come out.  Our bodies are bombarded with so much toxicity these days, from the water we drink to the sprays on our food and in the environment, that our bodies have a hard time keeping up and getting them out.    These toxins congest our brains and organs and get stuck in our fat cells often staying in our bodies for years.

healthy-halloween-treats

So what can we do to protect our kids health and still enjoy festivals like Halloween?

  1. I make sure everyone is really well feed before trick or treating.   When your hungry its impossible to resist eating the junk!
  2. If they have healthy sweet things to munch on along the way they won’t feel like they are missing out. So arm them with plenty of real food options such as…
    • annies fruit strips
    • ceres seaweed sheets
    • ceres raw bars
    • bliss balls
    • organic chocolate
    • kombucha or pure fruit juice drinks

    These are definitely not every day foods for my boys so they adore them when they’re on offer.

  3. We don’t eat the lollies we trick or treat for but we have another use for them.  My boys trick or treat and collect all the lollies as usual, but instead of eating them they cash them in to me for
    • money
    • raisins
    • toys
    • or a special trip like going to the movies

    They think this is really cool, they still get to have fun, eat heaps and be with their friends but instead of a headache and a sore tummy they get to trade their lollies for a bounty of cash or an exciting trip out instead!!!

This may sound hard out but it works well for my family and you might find it works for yours.

halloween-apple-bites-6998

Yes as a parent this is a lot more work and more expensive but when you’ve had sick kids and they become well again you never want to go back there so your willing to go the extra mile!

I often throw a little halloween party with lots of fun games that don’t revolve around food and the kids have an absolute blast.

Summary of surviving a healthy Halloween!

  • Feed them up with a good dinner before going trick or treating
  • Negotiate to cash in their lollies for something else such as money, a trip to the movies or toys
  • Give them refined sugar free treats so they can still feel like they’re having fun and are not being deprived of the sweetness (refined sugar free means natural sugars such as fruit or honey, NOT sugar free sweeteners!)
  • Make it a great social night with likeminded friends

So there you go…a few tips to make your Halloween a little bit healthier

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

32864-Healthy-Halloween-Treats

Paleo Honey Cakes

honey cakes

These lovely honey cakes are a big hit with my tribe, they’re sweet but oh so good for you.

INDREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of cooked pumpkin (I cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and place face down in a roasting dish half filled with water.   I cook the pumpkin until soft…around 45mins at 150 degrees celsius.)
  • 1 cup of almond butter or other nut/seed butter ( I use 2 cups of almonds that have been soaked for at least six hours, dehydrated and then blended to make almond butter, this is because I always like to eat activated nuts…however the recipe works just as well with store bought nut butter)
  • 5 organic eggs (If you have an egg allergy you could try this with a chia egg. One chia egg = 1 tablespoon off chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water, mix well and allow to gel for about 1 hour)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil or ghee ( I prefer ghee for the lovely flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey

METHOD

  • Add pumpkin, nut butter, eggs, ghee and honey together in a bowl
  • Use mixer to blend all ingredients together
  • Pour or spoon mixture into muffin tray lined with baking cups
  • Cook at 180 for approx 20mins or until knife comes out clean

These little honey cakes are a lovely grain free recipe that you and your kids will love.  They are gentle and nourishing on the tummy and provide a lovely sweet flavour without spiking blood sugar levels.

They taste lovely with or without honey so if your trying to go fructose free add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and some cinnamon instead.

Enjoy

x x x

Gorgeous green smoothie (nut free)

green smoothie

This green smoothie is wonderful for those that are sensitive to nuts or want to find a way to get beautiful pumpkin seeds into your diet.

Pumpkin seeds are full of zinc so they’re amazing for our skin, immune system and our tolerance levels (yip this smoothie will make you and your kids happier!!)

Kale packs a wonderful antioxidant punch containing the cancer fighting sulforaphane, so is wonderful for prevention of disease and boosting immunity.   Its also a great green to have in smoothies as it has minimal taste so doesn’t take away from the sweetness of the banana and dates.

  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight)
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 4 organic dates
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 4 cups of water
  • Blend and serve
  • Makes 4

Tip: For getting your kids to drink smoothies, get them to help you make it and enthuse how delicious it is.  Add a straw to drink from and they won’t look back

Enjoy

x xx

Ear infections and Glue Ear what is the root cause?

glueear   Ear infections account for more than a third of all visits to GP’s.  Around two thirds of all children in the Western World have ear infections at some time every year, with one third having more than four ear infections a year. Why do we have this epidemic? Why do so many children end up with grommets after endless courses of antibiotics for acute ear infections? To understand this phenomenon we have to look at the structure of the ear (see above).

Ear infections happen in the middle ear, which is quite a small closed space. Its main function is to pass the sound from your eardrum to the inner ear, which it does every efficiently with the interconnected tiny bones called the hammer, anvil and stirrup.   Your middle ear is filled with air and is separated from the outer ear canal by the eardrum.  However it is connected to the outside world with a tube call the eustachian tube.  This tube is the most important player in ear infections and glue ear. The major function of this tube is to equalise pressure in the middle ear with the atmospheric pressure. The body guards the eustachian tube in several ways

  • The eustachian tube is guarded by the tube tonsils, they are part of the immune system and their function is to prevent infectious agents from the nose and throat entering the the eustachian tubes and your middle ear.
  • The mucus membranes of the eustachian tubes are covered with tiny hairs pointing away from the middle ear towards the nose to direct food debris or air trying to get into the middle ear away thus protecting it.
  • The mucus producing cells in the mucosa of the eustachian tubes are constantly cleaning the tubes with their secretions down into the back of your nose.
  • The lymphatic follicles of in the walls of the eustachian tube launch attack on any invaders which are able to penetrate the mucus

This combination of factors provides a pretty formidable defence for the middle ear.   In healthy children it works very well indeed.  Why don’t these defences work in so many children?  How does the infection get through all these barriers? Why do we have an epidemic of ear infections and glue ear? Here we come to a very important point.  The mouth, nose, throat, eustachian tubes and middle ear of a new born baby are sterile.  Soon after birth, they get populated by a varied mixture of microbes coming from the environment, Mum, Dad and anybody else who is in contact with the child.  Just as it happens with the gut many develop abnormal flora in this area. This will cause two things

  1. First the epithelium of the eustachian tubes will start producing too much mucus in order to protect and clean itself.
  2. Second the tube tonsils will be in a chronic state of inflammation, blocking the entrance into the tubes and not allowing the mucus to drain out.

Fairly quickly the middle ear fills up with mucus.  this situation is called glue ear.  The mucus which fills their middle ear would provide a good growing environment for any infection which may come along front he back of the nose .  When that happens the child gets typical symptoms of ear infection.  Pain and fever and antibiotics are usually prescribed.  Antibiotics clear away the infectious agent, but do not remove the glue ear. In fact, in the long run, they make the situation worse by altering the bacteria flora in the nose and throat even further.  So the middle ear still filled with mucus, predictably the ear infection happens again  and again. Having suffered many infections children finish up with little pipes called grommets, put through their ear drum in order to provide another channel for draining the mucus form the middle ear.  This operation treats the symptoms only, but usually resolves the problem of glue ear and stops the chain of constant ear infections.  So the epithelium of the middle ear and eustachian tube will still be producing a lot of mucus and the natural channel for draining this mucus will still be blocked, but the mucus will now drain through an artificial pipe – grommet – into the outside.  Grommets are a symptomatic measure and do not remove the real problem.  The real problem is the abnormal flow that has developed in the mouth, nose and throat. Practise shows that when the flora is normalised, the glue ear and the ear infections disappear. Two things have to be done to normalise bacterial flora in that area

  1. The diet should not provide food that abnormal bacteria can feed on i.e. sugars, milk and processed carbohydrates.  Its amazing how quickly glue ear resolves, when these foods are taken out
  2. Second a strong therapeutic probiotic should be added to the child’s regime.  The beneficial bacteria in the probiotic help to crowd out pathogenic flora and re-establish normal healthy flora in the mouth, nose and throat, which will keep the child clear from ear infections.

Putting probiotic powder on the child’s tongue last thing at night before bed, after the child has clean teeth and is not going to eat or drink anymore.  This way the probiotic bacteria will have a chance to reach the back of nose and throat where the tube tonsils are and deal with any pathogenic bacteria in that area.  As a result the inflammation will subside and the tube tonsils will resume their normal size and not block the eustachian tubes anymore, allowing mucus to drain from the middle ear.  This will resolve glue ear and the constant chain of ear infections.

Another common contributing factor to ear infections is food allergies, particularly allergy to milk.  It is helpful to remove cows milk as another measure to reduce inflammation. It takes time to change a child’s diet and to establish normal bacterial flora in the throat.  What do we do as an immediate response to an ear infection?

Natural remedies

  • Keep your child indoors and warm when they have an ear infection.     Put a knitted woollen hat on your child and a warm jumper, even whilst inside.
  • Give your child plenty of hot drinks.  Hot water with a slice of lemon and a spoon of honey.  Give probiotics after wards.  Remember probiotics contain live bacteria, which are damaged by heat.
  • Take 1-2 tablespoons of cold pressed olive oil and add in a crushed clove of garlic.  Leave it for 30mins, strain trough a sieve.  Put a few drops of this oil into your children ear every hour, particularly before bed.   Keep oil at room temp and warm it slightly before putting in ear (by warming a spoon in hot water then adding oil onto the warm spoon, test oil to ensure it is not too hot before applying to the ear).
  • The old onion remedy! Take a large white onion, chop it up finely and warp it in a piece of cotton cloth.  Put it into  the oven an warm it up to fairly hot but tolerable to touch.  Put it on your child’s ear and securely cover with a a warm hat. Keep it on until its starts cooling down.  Warm it up again and repeat the application.  This procedure is relaxing for the child and very good to do at bedtime.  Its a bit messy and makes your child smell of onion but it works amazingly!!!

All these measures should be applied as early as possible.  If after 2-3 days the pain and fever are not getting any better you have have to resort to antibiotics.  However in majority of cases these natural treatments work very well and the child recovers without medical help.   In the meantime it it is a good idea to start the long term intervention (diet and probiotics) as soon as possible. to prevent any further infections.

Sick Kids | Getting them back on track

LOW IMMUNITY?

Little ones recurrently unwell?  Feel like they just get over a bug and then they’re sick again?

Knowledge is power, so when you understand how the immune system works, what compromises and optimises it, then you have more control over your health.

THE FIRST ARM OF OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS HOUSED IN THE GUT.  THE GOOD BACTERIA LOCATED IN THE GUT AND ALL MUCUS MEMBRANES ARE OUR ARMY.  IT IS THIS ARMY THAT PROTECT US FROM GETTING UNWELL.

The Gut is said to be the root of all illness, in fact 85 % of our immunity is housed here as good bacteria, therefore if our gut is not functioning optimally then neither is our immunity!!

Our digestive lining is covered with billions and billions of friendly bacteria, these bacteria grab hold of toxins, bacteria, viruses etc and excrete them in the form of our stools!    Gut bacteria is depleted by stress, antibiotics, chemicals (i.e. cleaning products, chlorine, fly sprays etc) and processed food/drinks.  When our good bacteria is weakened our ‘army’ becomes weak too…our body then struggles to protect us from invaders.     The flow on effect is that these bad bacteria and viruses can then take over our bodies and make us sick.

So how do we strengthen our kids immune system (and our own) to be resilient to illness or recover from it???

SUPER IMMUNITY

1. Eat whole foods from nature, avoiding processed or packaged food wherever possible (these foods damage our bodies rather than nourish it).  Eat real nutrient dense food that our body can use for fuel. i.e veggies, greens, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and wholegrains (non glutenous are best i.e. Millet, Rice, Buckwheat, Corn on the cob)

2. Double your Greens……Green leafy vegetables are an absolute super food when it comes to immunity.  They feed the good bacteria.  Greens feed our army making them strong! Try to  include greens at every meal.  The easiest way to get greens into kids is through smoothies, so add a green smoothie in every day and notice the benefits. (See previous posts on how to get your kids to eat their greens)

Green Goddess
  • 1 lemon (optional)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 teaspoon of spirulina
  • 3 dates
  • 2 bananas
  • 750mls of water
  • 1 handful of ice
  • Blend and Serve
  • Makes 4 smoothies

3. Eat mushrooms.  Mushrooms have profound medicinal properties, they alert our immune system to invasion from parasites, bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells (cancer).  Eat raw or cooked either one is fine, just get them in!!!

4.  Bone broths are traditional broths/soups made from slow cooking bones/joints etc of animal bones (chicken, fish, beef, lamb) This process extracts minerals, collagen and gelation from the joints and bones into the broth.  Mineral salt is also added.  Bone broths help to heal our gut lining so good bacteria can grow and thrive in our digestive tract.  Broths also help to heal leaky gut syndrome, stopping toxins leaching into our blood stream (causing allergies and autoimmune conditions)

5. Have fermented food daily….now that the gut lining is strengthened with the broth and you have nutrient dense whole foods in place,  introduce fermented foods such as coconut kefir, coconut yogurt, kombucha and sauerkraut.  These foods bring the good bacteria (our army) back in to repopulate the digestive tract so it can once again function optimally and protect our bodies. Remember the more good bacteria you have the stronger your Army/immune system will be.

6. Take good quality supplements.  It is important to have a good multivitamin to bridge the gap between the nutrition coming in and the actual nutrition required by our bodies.  Also take a course of probiotics to really strengthen the good bacteria.  Cod-liver oil for  vitamin D and A as they are essential for immunity (make sure it is tested and proven to be clear of mercury) and Organic Flaxseed oil .  Taking vitamin C is also very helpful at really knocking down those horrible bugs once they have entered our blood stream.

  • If your child is sick its important to support their bodies with fluids and cooling measures and rest.
  • Allow them time to recuperate, don’t send them back to school/kindy straight away, let them have a day or two to regain their strength otherwise their immunity will again be faced with an onslaught of bugs when its at its lowest.
  • Rest and nourishing food is essential to rebuilding our bodies to optimal wellness.

Good luck for the rest of winter and let me know how you get on

x x x x

 

 

IMMUNE BOOSTING POACHED CHICKEN STOCK
  • 1 Whole Organic Chicken
  • 6 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • A few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, or other herbs (remove after cooking)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • Place Chicken in large pot, add all ingredients.  Cover with filtered water (around 4 – 5 litres)  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer for about and hour and 20 mins.
  • Remove chicken, allow to cool and shred meat.
  • Place shredded meat back with soup .
  • Eat soup at least regularly when unwell and several times a week when well to keep immunity high

 

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd
4735311 | 0272766268 | www.nourishhealth.co.nz |