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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Lasagne Dairy and Grain Free

lasagne

PALEO LASAGNE

This dairy, sugar and grain free lasagne is delicious and a brilliant way to get loads of veggies into yourself and your family.

Why go dairy, sugar and grain free?  Well these three food groups are the most inflammatory foods commonly consumed, that cause significant damage to our bodies.  Eliminating them reduces inflammation which is at the root of all illness.  You’ll feel the benefits of this way of eating after only a few days.

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  1. The meat layer is mince with 2 grated carrots (any way to up those veggies!).  Fry up mince till brown in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and add carrots to mixture.  Use this as your base, pressing into a lined baking dish.
  2. Slice Zucchini thinly and place over base. Zucchini is a wonderful pasta replacement.
  3. Cook  500 grams tomatoes with 3-5 cloves crushed garlic, 2 grated carrots and two chopped onions.  Simmer until garlic and onion is translucent. Pour over zucchini base.
  4. The green layer is silver beet (or spinach also works well), lay these leaves thickly over the tomato layer.
  5. The ‘cheese’  sauce | 1cup soaked cashews blended with handful of silver beet or half a cup of cooked pumpkin (depending on the colour you prefer)
  6. Cook in the cover at 150 degrees Celsius for 20-30 mins or until top is golden
  7. Allow to cook.  Best eaten the next day after a night in the fridge, however is still delicious on the day.

Enjoy

Linda

HEALTH COACH | BSc (PSYCH) | NUTRITIONIST

x x x

Nourish Health and Nutrition

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Sweet Slaw

Coleslaw

This delicious slaw is super filling, delicious, great on the budget and easy to make in bulk so it lasts for several meals.

Cooking once eating twice is a life saver when it comes to feeding a big family and avoiding constantly being in the kitchen!!!!

Making a big batch of this slaw means you have veggies for breakfast, snacks, lunches and dinners sorted for at least a couple of days.

I usually do a few bulk salads a week,  so there are always healthy options on offer with minimal work/mess!

It makes an excellent base that is easy to dress up with different dressings or garnishes such as nuts and seeds, raisins, oranges or grated apple

INDREDIENTS | METHOD

  • 1 medium red cabbage cut into 8th’s and fed through the food processor or sliced thinly with knife
  • 4 large carrots fed through grating blade in food processor or grated
  • 1 bunch of coriander chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped
  • Mix all indigents together in large bowel
  • Store in air tight container in the fridge

GARNISHES | DRESSINGS

  • Activated and roasted almonds/walnuts (fry activated nuts in coconut oil)
  • Activated sprouted sunflower seeds
  • Raisins
  • Grated apple (only add this to the dish your eating as it goes brown when stored in the fridge)
  • Chopped orange pieces
  • Chopped watermelon pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon juice/olive oil/salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon/1 teaspoon mustard/quarter a cup of olive oil/1 teapoon salt and pepper to taste

This slaw keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days and is delicious served on its own or with meats/eggs/nuts/seeds.

My 9, 7 and 5 year olds love helping make this slaw and are more than happy to help themselves to a bowl full from the fridge whenever they’re hungry.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd

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

Leaky Gut

Leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing condition that millions of people are struggling with and don’t even know it.  From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut syndrome only affects the digestive system but in reality it can lead to many other health conditions.

According to research, leaky gut could be the cause of your food allergies, low energy, joint pain, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions and slow metabolism.

In this article I will outline specifically how you can heal leaky gut syndrome and breakthrough the health problems you’ve been struggling with.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a net with extremely small holes in it that only allow specific substances to pass through.  Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system.


Causes-of-Leaky-Gut-Syndrome-Leaky-Gut-Progression


When someone has leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal permeability) the “net” in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now be able to.

Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like glutenbad bacteria and undigested foods particlesToxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your blood stream causing an immune reaction.1



Leaky Gut Symptoms and Progression

This leads to inflammation throughout your system and can cause symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin issues like rosacea and acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain
  • Syndrome X

 


One of the biggest warning signs that you may have leaky gut can be that you’re experiencing multiple food sensitivities. Partially digested protein and fat can seep through your intestinal lining making their way into your bloodstream which will cause an allergic response.

This allergic response doesn’t mean you’ll break out in a rash all over your body, but it can lead to one of the symptoms I’ve mentioned above.  And, if left un-repaired can lead to more severe health issues like inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, muscle pain and chronic fatigue.

According to the Journal of Diabetes there is a strong body of evidence pointing to leaky gut as a major cause of autoimmune diseases including Type 1 Diabetes.

Another problem with leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients including zinc, iron and vitamin B12


What Causes Leaky Gut?

There are 4 main causes of leaky gut which include:

  • Poor diet
  • Chronic stress
  • Toxin overload
  • Bacterial imbalance (this can be hereditary)

We’re about to cover some in-depth nutrition here.  Read carefully, and in a few sections I will outline the top 5 Foods and Supplements to heal your leaky gut…

The most common components of food that can damage your intestinal lining are the proteins found in un-sprouted grains, sugar, GMO’s, and conventional dairy.

The problem with unsprouted grains is they contain large amounts of nutrient blockers called phytates and lectins. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that act as a natural defense system for plants that protect them from outside invaders like mold and parasites.

This is good news for plants but bad news for your body.

Your digestive lining is covered with sugar containing cells that help break down your food.  Lectins gravitate toward this area and when they attach to your digestive lining it damages your gut, causing inflammation.

 

Lectins and Foods that Cause Leaky Gut

Lectins are found in many foods, not just grains, and consumed in smaller amounts your body will do just fine with them. But foods that have large amounts of lectins like wheatricespelt, and soy are more problematic.

Sprouting and fermenting grains reduces phytates and lectins, and makes these foods easier to digest.

GMO and hybridized foods tend to be the highest in lectins since they have been modified to fight off bugs.

Also, gluten containing grains will damage your intestinal lining causing leaky gut.  So while you are working to heal your system stay away from all grains especially ones that contain gluten like wheat.  Once your gut is healthy you can add back in grains that have been fermented and sprouted to eat occasionally.

Conventional cows milk is another food that can cause leaky gut. The component of dairy that will harm your gut is the protein A1 Casein.  Also, the pasteurisation  process will destroy vital enzymes making sugars like lactose very difficult to digest. For this reason, I only recommend buying dairy that is raw and from: A2 cows, goat’s, sheep, or buffalo.

Sugar is another substance that will wreak havoc on your digestive system.   Sugar will feed the growth of yeast, candida, and bad bacteria which will further damage your gut. Bad bacteria actually creates toxins called exotoxins that damage healthy cells and can eat a hole into your intestinal wall.


Other Factors that Cause Leaky Gut

Chronic stress weakens your immune system over time which cripples your ability to fight off foreign invaders like bad bacteria and viruses leading to inflammation and leaky gut.  To reduce stress I recommend getting more sleep, schedule fun into your week, rest one day a week, meditate on scripture, and hang out with positive uplifting people.

Toxins. We come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins every single year but the worst offenders for causing leaky gut include antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin, and NSAIDS.  I recommend buying a high quality water filter to eliminate chlorine and fluoride and look to natural plant based herbs to reduce inflammation in your body.

Dysbiosis. Finally, one of the leading causes of leaky gut is a condition called dysbiosis, which means an imbalance between beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in your gut. For many, this imbalance can begin at birth because of a C-section or because the mother didn’t have a healthy gut herself. The overuse of prescription antibiotic drugs, tap water with chlorine and fluoride, and the lack of probiotic rich foods contribute to this imbalance of good and bad bacteria.


Leaky Gut and the Brain

 

leaky gut and the brain

Another topic I want to quickly discuss is how leaky gut can affect the brain.  If you’ve ever seen a child with autism experience a mood swing, this can be caused by intestinal permeability. Gluten and Casein-Free Diet’s have proven effective for many children with autism because these proteins can leak through the gut and then recirculate and act on the brain similarly to an opioid drug.

This is also why leaky gut has been linked to other psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. So, in many cases, if you can heal the gut you can heal the brain.

The 4-Step Plan to Heal Leaky Gut

The good news is there’s a solution to healing leaky gut. There is a four step process that includes:

  1. REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut

  2. REPLACE with healing foods

  3. REPAIR with specific supplements

  4. REBALANCE with probiotics

Here’s the protocol I have use with my clients based on Dr Natasha Campbell Mcrbrides ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ or GAPS diet.

Remember, the top foods to remove that cause leaky gut are sugar, grains, conventional meat, conventional dairy and GMO foods.  The top toxic exposures to eliminate are tap water, pesticides, NSAIDS, and antibiotics but remember to always consult with your physician if he has prescribed these for you.


The Leaky Gut Diet and 5 Healing Foods

Bone Broth for Healing Leaky Gut

#1 Bone Broth – broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. I’ve  had many of my patients do a bone broth fast for 3 days to help rapidly repair leaky gut.

 


fermented vegetables - heal leaky gut#2 Fermented Vegetables – contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut.  Sauerkraut, Kimchi, and Kvass are excellent sources.


coconut products to heal leaky gut#3Coconut Products – all coconut products are especially good for your gut.  The MCFA’s in coconut are easier to digest than other fats so better for leaky gut.  Also, coconut kefir contains probiotics that support your digestive system.


seeds - leaky gut#4 Sprouted seeds – chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds that have been sprouted are great sources of fiber that can help support the growth of beneficial bacteria. But if you have severe leaky gut, you may need to start out getting your fiber from steamed vegetables and fruit.

Also, consuming foods that have anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats are beneficial such as grass-fed beef, lamb, and wild caught fish like salmon.


Top 5 Supplements for Healing Leaky Gut

There are many supplements that support your digestive health but I believe the most beneficial are: L-Glutamine, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Aloe Vera Juice, Quercetin, NAG and Licorice Root.

#1 Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and crowds out bad bacteria.  I recommend getting probiotics in both food and supplement form. I see people all the time only follow part of the protocol in healing their gut by removing the damaging irritants. But the part they often leave out is re-inoculating their gut with beneficial bacteria that will keep bad bacteria at bay.

So load up on BOTH probiotic rich foods and take AT LEAST 50 billion units of probiotics daily from a high quality brand.

#2 Digestive enzymes (one or two capsules at the beginning of each meal) ensure that foods are fully digested, decreasing the chance that partially digested foods particles and proteins from damaging your gut wall.

#3 L-Glutamine is critical for any program designed to heal leaky gut.  Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of your intestinal lining.  L-glutamine acts a protector and coats your cell walls, acting as a repellent to irritants. Take 2-5 grams 2x daily.6

#4 Licorice Root (DGL) is an adaptogenic herb that helps balance cortisol levels and improves acid production in the stomach. DGL supports the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum. This herb is especially beneficial if someone’s leaky gut is being caused by emotional stress. Take 500mg 2x daily.

#5 Quercetin has also been shown to improve gut barrier function by sealing the gut because it supports creation of tight junction proteins.  It also stabilizes mast cells and reduces the release of histamine which is common in food intolerance.  New studies have also shown it’s effectiveness in healing ulcerative colitis.  Take 500mg 3x daily with meals.

If you can follow the above protocol you are well on your way to healing your gut for good!

 

References:

Kiefer D, Ali-Akbarian L (2004). “A brief evidence-based review of two gastrointestinal illnesses: irritable bowel and leaky gut syndromes”. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine 10 (3): 22–30.

Pike, M. G.; Heddle, R. J.; Boulton, P.; Turner, M. W.; Atherton, D. J. (1986). “Increased Intestinal Permeability in Atopic Eczema”. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 86 (2): 101–104.

Humbert, P.; Bidet, A.; Treffel, P.; Drobacheff, C.; Agache, P. (1991). “Intestinal permeability in patients with psoriasis”. Journal of dermatological science 2(4): 324–326.

Vaarala O, Atkinson MA, Neu J (2008) ‘The “Perfect Storm” for Type 1 Diabetes The Complex Interplay Between Intestinal Microbiota, Gut Permeability, and Mucosal Immunity’, Diabetes Journal,  (57)10(2555-2562).

Z Liu, N Li, J Neu (2005) ‘Tight junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases’, Acta Paediatrica , 94(4), pp. 386-393.

Maes M, Leunis JC (2008) ‘Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria’, Journal of Neuro Endocrinology, 29(6), pp. 902-10.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar … Whats all the fuss about?

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Apple Cider Vinegar is an amazing health tonic.

A natural, inexpensive, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral, metabolism-firing, immunity-building miracle worker, apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries for its positive lifestyle effects.

But firstly what is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and why should we drink it? 

Organic raw ACV is made by fermenting organic apples.   The “mother” is the key to this fermentation process… a strand of proteins enzymes and bacteria ferments these beautiful apples into  the mighty ACV.

Fermented foods such as ACV, Kefir, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi and Yogurt (using raw milk) are super foods for providing good bacteria into our bodies.   Considering our cells are outnumbered 10 to 1 by bacteria, fermented foods are often the key element missing in so many  modern day diets and thus the key to excellent health.

By consuming fermented products such as ACV your replenishing the good bacteria that are 80% of our immunity, the key to optimal digestion and are responsible hundreds of metabolic processes in our bodies.

10 Reasons to start drinking Apple Cider Vinegar today.

1. ACV speeds up metabolism and aids weight loss.   Drink 1-3 teaspoons in a large glass of water in the morning
2. Aids digestion. Apple cider vinegar contains pectin which soothes intestinal spasms and lowers LDL cholesterol.
3. Heals a sore throats – it contain anti-viral malic acid – two tablespoons in water and gargle
4. Enhances mood and increases energy.  APC is alkaline forming, keeping our blood to optimal alkaline pH = optimal energy.
5. Improves intestinal flora. These include acetic acid and malic acid, which have antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and can help control the spread of the candida fungus in your intestines, a common debhilitating problem with many people’s high sugar diets.
6. Aids joint mobility – add 2 cups to a warm bath, ACV draws out toxins from our body that cause inflammation through our skin – drink plenty water before and after bath.
7. 1 cup apple cider vinegar in 3 pints water disinfects the home.
8. Deodorant – apple cider vinegar applied to armpits is a great natural deodorant.
9. Reduces tendinitis, gout and arthritis.  The anti-inflammatory properties of APC are amazing…. Add 1 cup to a bath and soak away your pain.  Taking 1 – 3 teaspoons in glass of water internally is also an excellent anti inflammatory by reducing effects of leaky gut.
10. Detoxing – APC provides wonderful beneficial flora to our body.  These amazing flora grab hold of and excrete toxins from our body allowing our body to work unburdened by chemicals.
What type of Apple Cider Vinegar should I buy?
100% the best available brand of ACV on the market is Braggs, its organic, raw and full of the mother culture.
How much should I have?
Start with 1 teaspoon of ACV in a large glass of water first thing in the morning.  This wakes your tummy up, tells it “It is time to start the day”,  gets your stomach acid to the right acidity for absorption of nutrients and alkalises your blood.
Slowly increase this over time to up to 3 teaspoons morning and evening (before dinner) in a glass of water.
Where do I start?
Start with 1 teaspoon APC first thing in the morning 20mins before eating, if you feel tired in the afternoons have the same recipe.   This is an excellent blood alkaliser to eliminate tiredness and allows you to grab all the nutrients on offer when eating meals.
As ACV is full of good flora, therefor you can sometimes initially get stomach pain after consuming.  Don’t worry this is the good flora from the ACV killing the bad flora that have taken up residence in your gut.  This die off of the bad flora perishing won’t last long, keep persevering for excellent health benefits.
Thanks for reading
Linda
x  x x
Linda Christianson
Health Coach
Nourish Health and Nutrition

 

 

Linda’s Gardening Tips | Starting your first vege garden – Part 3 (Spring)

seeds

Well it is nearly spring!

It is obvious when you look at the gardens around you. Plants are coming in to leaf and even the silver beet leaves have started to grow a little bigger!

Today I would like to talk about seeds.

The plants whole reason for being is to set seeds. Surprisingly the plant does not grow for us to eat it!

A good on line shop to purchase organic seeds is Kings Seeds (www.kingsseeds.co.nz).

The seed companies since the 1950’s have been manipulating seeds to make the vegetables grow bigger and better at the expense of the nutrients.

To ensure nutrient dense seeds choose organic seeds and heritage seeds and they will nourish you and your family.

seeds 2

Seeds have a dusty layer on them called phytic acid.  This acid is there to ensure that the seed grows at the right time of year and in the right circumstances. This phytic acid is an anti nutrient to humans. This means that it stops the human gut up taking nutrients such as magnesium, selenium, boron etc and these nutrients are deficient in New Zealand soils already so the little of these nutrients you do eat is being blocked.

All seeds that are consumed should be soaked prior to eating or cooking. The phytic acid then changes to phytase acid which does not inhibit the uptake if nutrients.

Seeds are a very cheap way to grow your vegetables. Another cheaper way of sowing seeds is to save your own seeds. Always let one plant go to seed. When the seed head turns brown it is ready to harvest. Put in a paper bag and store until ready. The seeds have a usable life of about a year if stored this way.

Happy Gardening

Linda x