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Immune boosting herbs and remedies for winter

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Winter

Herbs are a healing gift from Mother Nature herself, beautifully wrapped and sealed with a kiss of enduring health. Often herbs can be easily lost in the background or worse still, left to go soggy in the bottom of the crisper drawer. And then it’s hello crisper bin juice ewk!

With a bit of familiarity, you can tap into the natural goodness of herbs and incorporate them easily into many of your Supercharged meals.

Today I’d love to encourage you to put down your synthetic packets of multivitamins and supplements and forage into the world of immune-boosting herbs and foods that will supercharge your immunity.

At times when your immune system is being bombarded by foreign invaders, it might need a little kick-start to conquer compounds such as infections, inflammation, bad bacteria and toxic microbes.

Once a foreign body enters your blood stream your cells can start to ring alarm bells which are heard loud and clear by the lymphatic system, a vital system which runs across our entire body and consists of tonsils, thymus gland, spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and lymphatic vessels.

The alarm bells can signal more and more cells from around our body to produce antibodies and transport them towards unwanted guests.

Be your own health ‘influenzer’ this winter + My bestest ever vegetable broth recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter


Is it just me or does it feel like we’re never truly prepared for winter? It’s like winter arrives and we’re always so shocked that our sun-loving country has turned wintery and cold. June has barely begun but winter has well and truly arrived in Australia and it’s safe to say it's fffreeezzzing.

Apart from the nippy weather, many of us start to notice change is in the air when the local chemist has started advertising flu vaccines to prevent seasonal influenza and more throats become scratchy and noses sniffly on our morning commute.

To stay on top of things this winter and become your own health ‘influenzer’, why not look towards supercharged foods to bulletproof your immune system? Rather than relying upon regular cold and flu medication, which can weaken your immune system’s ability to respond naturally to illness, try leaning towards natural ways to boost immunity and fight of colds and flu.  

One of the first places to look when building immunity is your gut, where 70-80% of your immune tissue resides.  Because your gut is often the first entry point for pathogens, you’ll want to ensure that you have enough friendly gut flora (the good bugs that are allies for immune cells) to prevent pathogens and infections from being absorbed through the gut lining.

As well as a healthy balance of microflora, you’ll want the gut lining to be robust to assist in nutrient absorption.  The best way to ensure good gut health is to eat a diverse diet, filled with anti-inflammatory, fibre-rich, prebiotic and probiotic rich foods. Plus my Heal Your Gut powder.

This month I'd love to share some of my favourite foods that are wonderful for supercharging your winter immunity. The grocery items I’ve used are available at Sprout Market.  You can find out more about Sprout Market here

Turmeric

One of my must have natural medicine-chest items for winter immunity is turmeric.  Whenever I use turmeric, I like to think of it as nature’s golden fairy dust. It has recently gained popularity and rightly so!

Turmeric’s dazzling golden colour is derived from curcumin, a natural antioxidant that helps fight off and repair damaged cells. Turmeric is also a powerful secret weapon when it comes to good health. I love using turmeric because it’s so versatile. You can enjoy this supercharged spice in anything from drinks, bakes, smoothies, curries, stir-fries to main meals.

Turmeric not only holds an abundance of antioxidants; it also has anti-inflammatory properties. An easy way to incorporate some turmeric this winter is to add it into hot drinks. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must get into my Anti-inflammatory Toddy Drink, a wonderful warmer for boosting your immune system and best of all, it tastes super delicious! If you’re willing to give up your morning coffee, this golden goddess is a serious pick-me-up. If you’re pinched for time in the mornings, Sprout has a coconut latte version here

And you can pick up the individual ingredients for the recipe too;

During winter, the days are shorter and the nights are longer (cue guitar solo here). Cold and early nights mean we can often become more susceptible to caving into unhealthy food cravings. A fast food diet comprised of takeaway food can lead to poor digestion. This means that when food is broken down by enzymes within your stomach and pancreas, some food molecules can still remain in your small intestine.

The small intestine is the place where nutrient absorption occurs. These molecules are then able to pass through the gut wall into the bloodstream, which can result in bloating, irritation, inflammation, fatigue, aches and most importantly, low immunity to colds and flu. A good way to help maintain the integrity of the gut is to eat an easily digestible diet with non-aggravating foods that don’t damage the lining of the gut.

Gelatin is one of my winter immunity boosting ingredients and an excellent source of special proteins, which help to seal the gut wall and greatly improve the integrity of the gut lining by restoring the mucosal layer. One of gelatin’s gut healing attributes is to absorb water and retain fluid in the digestive tract, which is required to promote transportation of waste and healthy bowel movements. When you optimize your gut health, this can also help with nutrient absorption.

A simple gut healing dessert to fill up on is my Almond Milk Jelly Cup. Generic vanilla custard can have your tummy doing backflips and somersaults, because of the refined sugar and cream, so in my recipe I use powdered stevia.

Hearty Broths

Some main meals to grab hold of to boost immunity and fight off colds and flu this winter are garlic filled tummy warming broths, soups and casseroles.  These tasty recipes have become a staple in many households (mine included!) because of their numerous health boosting qualities.

At the heart of a tasty casserole is a homemade broth or stock.  Want my supercharged tip? Make lots of broth and keep leftovers in the freezer, it can supercharge any dish for that restaurant quality finish. 

Beyond adding delicious flavour and being used as the base of sauces, stocks, soups and stews, broths also act as a supercharged “tonic” and are wonderful for adding a dose of healing nutrientsperfect for empowering your health.  You’ll love my Bestest ever roasted vegetable stock recipe please try it and let me know what you think! You enjo have it as a warming drink too.

Apple Cider Vinegar is a worthwhile component to any broth recipe, known for its ability to nurture the sick and nourish the body. Fats in meat-based broths pair well with vinegar since it helps to draw out all those valuable minerals in the bones into the broth. Raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice since it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized. 

If you’re pressed for time, you can buy your own ready-made stock. Just be sure to check the ingredients list to make sure there are no hidden nasties! I’ve tried these stock mixes myself and love that they're made the traditional way, plus they’re delicious and nourishing all at once.

Pantry items to stock up on are;

Coconut is an ideal ingredient to boost the health of your digestive system. Coconut oil has wide-spreading medicinal quantities to improve immunity and it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial and has anti-bacterial properties.

The transition to winter has resulted in many simple raw meals being replaced with warmer, flavorsome comfort foods. Soups can be supercharged with a range of nutritious ingredients that’ll ensure your immune system is powered up whilst you remain cozy indoors, snuggled up on the couch.

If you haven’t had a chance to try my pumpkin and coconut soup, you should! It uses coconut oil as base along with garlic and onions, both well known for their immune boosting properties, next just add some pumpkin and coconut milk, ginger, stock and nutmeg; it’ as easy as pumpkin pie!

I’m using onion in the recipe as it contains significant amounts of quercetin – responsible for the protection and healing of damaged cells, as well as garlic which acts as a natural antibiotic.  Ginger is a great immunity-boosting tool, to help to reduce fevers, soothe sore throats, and encourage coughing to loosen mucus from the chest. The chemicals, shagaols and gingerols responsible for that ginger kick when you eat it, are what help to stimulate blood circulation and open up sinuses allowing you to breathe more clearly.

Soup ingredients to add to your trolley are;

Kombucha

Fermented foods like kombucha are another beneficial way to increase your good gut bugs when your gut is healed, primed and ready. Not only is kombucha a delicious way to introduce some cultured foods into your diet, it also easily replaces any soft drinks. 

Try my Homemade kombucha recipe.  Or if you’re worried that the fermenting process is too much like a complex lab operation rather than a kitchen recipe (it’s really easy once you get into the flow of it!) and you simply don’t have the time, kombucha is offered in plenty of flavors and readily available in stores. My personal favourite is Remedy’s Ginger and Lemon.

I’d love you to try these supercharged ingredients for boosting immunity and let me know what you make with them!

Lee xo

Gutmeal (Oatmeal with a gut-healing twist)

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, gut healing, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Spring, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

There’s something that’s just so nourishing about starting the day with a big bowl of oatmeal. A spoon of porridge on a colder morning is like a warm hug for your insides!  

Oats are amazing for lowering our overall cholesterol levels, especially the ‘bad’ cholesterol known as LDL (low-density lipoprotein). High levels of LDL raise your risk of developing blood clots which can lead to heart diseases. While not all cholesterol is bad, LDL is one we need to look out for. 

They're packed full of soluble fibre, which reduces the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the blood. This means every morning you start your day off with a bowl of porridge, you’re fighting heart and cardiovascular disease!

Oats are one of the yummiest gut-healthy foods out there.  Not only are they delicious, they boost some beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract which can provide serious relief in cases of irritable bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.

No bowl of oats is finished without beautiful berries. Berries have proven to help your brain think better and additionally, the antioxidant-rich fruits are great for maintaining control over our muscles – which is so important when it comes to ageing. If you want to get amongst the berry madness, why not try my Supercharged Summer Popsicles or Strawberry Teacakes?

I've combined the magical powers of oats with my Heal Your Gut Powder for some extra gut-boosting love. This gutmeal is such an easy way to squeeze in some gut-healing benefits first thing in the morning. My HYG powder is remarkable for detoxification, aiding nutrient absorption and improving hair, skin and nails health. You can read more about the amazing benefits of HYG powder and purchase it here!

Now that’s a winning breakfast!

Gutmeal (Oatmeal with a Gut-Healing Twist)

Ingredients: 

Method:

  1. Cook oats in water
  2. Add sea salt and cinnamon
  3. When cooked, stir in the HYG powder
  4. Add milk and remove any lumps by stirring through
  5. Top with berries and torn mint

Enjoy this tasty breakfast recipe to fill the belly and nourish the mind.

Rosemary and thyme chicken stew

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Dinner, Dairy Free, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Winter

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Winner winner chicken dinner!

Today I'm sharing one of the many fast friendly recipes from my new cook book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

Chicken is a staple in my house. I love all its parts, from the darker leg meat, a perfectly poached breast, or a slowly cooked thigh. The way it absorbs flavours and its impressive versatility means it’s always on my mind for meal ideas ranging from soups, roasts, broths and slow cooker delights.

Chicken is the most common type of poultry on the planet. It’s believed that chickens were first domesticated somewhere in India thousands of years ago, initially for cockfighting and later for meat consumption. From there, chickens spread to other parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe and eventually to the Americas; brought from Europe by the early colonists. In the U.S , we now see chicken popularized by fast food giants in the form of nuggets and fried chicken.

Salted Caramel Slice

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Flavour of the month, Gluten Free, Organic, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Vegetarian, Winter

salted caramel slice

Today I'm supercharging a classic cake stall favourite straight outta the 80's.  Back in the day when fashions and seasons were mixed; leg warmers and mini skirts, lace with acid wash jeans, now I'm combining salt and caramel!  

Say hello to my gooey and melt-in-the-mouth Salted Caramel Slice, a dessert sure to be a sell out at every school fete across the country.

These beauties are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free and full of healthy mood boosting ingredients.  I mean, what kind of person doesn’t break into a smile when they’re gobbling down a piece of chocolatey caramel slice? You’ll be surprised at how something so delicious can actually be so nutritious!

To reach their supercharged potential, I've rounded up some cashews and almonds to make the base. Cashews are great for zinc, iron and vitamins E, K and B6 and almonds are known for their fibre levels, protein, iron, magnesium and vitamin E.

These slices are full of lip-licking and tongue-tingling goodness, and satisfy your sweet cravings without adding inches to your waistline! They partner well with a pot of tea and best served chilled.

If you're looking for a healthy dessert to wow your guests or a superfood snack for afternoon tea, you've come to the right place! 

So, what are you waiting for?

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients: 

Base

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • a few cracks of sea salt

Filling: 

  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • a few cracks of sea salt 

Chocolate topping:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp cacao butter
  • 2 tsp cacao powder

Method: 

  1. For the base, combine cashews, almonds and buckwheat in a food processor
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add coconut oil, rice malt syrup and sea salt. This is best combined using hands and then pressing into a brownie tin. Leave in fridge for an hour or freezer for half an hour while preparing the filling. 
  3. To make filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl and spread on top of the base. Leave in the fridge for an hour or freezer for half an hour. 
  4. To make the topping melt coconut oil and cacao butter, add cacao powder and stir until there is no lumps... Drizzle on top of slice and set in the fridge or freezer. Top with shredded coconut and a few more cracks of sea salt!

Give them a whirl and let me know what you think in the comments section below 🙂

My Guide to Love and Self-Care this Silly Season

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, beauty, Blog, Healthy Home, Spring, Summer, Winter

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Images by Clare Elsaesser

Wow! Can you believe how quickly this year has flown by? The countdown towards Christmas is on and the New Year is closing in fast. Around this time of year, things can get a little bit crazy. So why not use this calendar month to practice the art of slowing down and getting into the moment? Maybe take a bit of time to reflect on the year that was and don’t forget to give yourself an extra pat on the back for all of your efforts.

Hey, you survived the crazy year that was 2016 and now it’s time to reward yourself in ways that show you truly love yourself from within.

Read my Guide to Love and Self-Care in the Silly Season (now try saying that five times fast)!

I encourage you to try at least one of my tips weekly and see how sparklingly good you feel afterwards. And don’t worry these are achievable tips and they all come with pleasant side effects.

My Bestest Ever Roasted Vegetable Stock

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dinner, Fasting, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Healthy Meals, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sauces, Seasonal, Shopping List, Soup, Soups & Salads, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” reads a South American proverb.

Escoffier claimed “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.” A staple and medicinal cure-all in traditional households and the prime ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from meat or vegetables is a beautiful meal-base ingredient to always have on hand in the freezer, and has been revered for generations for its ability to nurture the sick and nourish families.

For chefs, stock is the charmed elixir for making soul-warming soups and spectacular sauces.

Vegetable broths made mindfully at home are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to use up leftover veggies, making it a fabulously frugal and environmentally friendly household staple.

If you’re looking to be a more conscious consumer, a homemade stock using up all of your on-hand veggies are the perfect way to enter into the world of frugality, and can help you to justify spending a little extra on quality organic ingredients as you find use for every last skerrick of produce to create delicious meals for you and your family to enjoy.

Beyond adding delicious flavour as the bases of sauces, stocks, soups and stews, they also act as a supercharged “tonic” that are wonderful for adding a dose of healing nutrients that are empowering for health.

Many of the minerals and vital nutrients contained within vegetables are actually bound up within the cell walls of the raw product. Long, slow and gentle cooking actually allows for the breakdown of the cell walls of veggies so that your digestive system can have easy access to the uptake of nutrients.

This is an especially helpful process if you suffer from leaky gut or malabsorption.  Adding broths and stocks is an extra insurance policy to ensure that your body is being flooded with easy-to-digest nutrients and it's one of the staples in my book Heal Your Gut and Heal Your Gut online programs.

I love to experiment with different flavours of seasonal vegetables, herbs and scrap leftovers to create nourishing stocks and tasty, nutrient-rich broths that are both delicious and healing.

Supercharged Poke Bowl

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter

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Acai bowls and Buddha bowls step aside! There’s a new nourishing bowl popping up in trendy cafes, instagram feeds and mouths throughout the world – the Poke bowl; pronounced poh-keh.

What is a poke bowl?

Poke is a Hawaiian dish which also has a heavy Japanese influence, and is characterised by the use of raw, sashimi-style fish. Poke originates in Hawaii and can be translated to mean ‘cut or slice’, referring to the way the fish is prepared.

The fish is usually marinated in a variety of fresh herbs and spices, soy sauce and sesame oil, and can be served sprinkled with fresh ginger, sesame seeds and fresh chilli.

In Hawaii poke isn't generally served on top of white rice, but there are different versions of it springing up around the world mainly atop sushi rice and brown rice.   I’ve opted for quinoa in my supercharged version of this coastal dish. Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein, high in fibre and contains magnesium, vitamin B12, iron, potassium, calcium, phorphorous, vitamin E, antioxidants and essential amino acids! I’ve also swapped out soy sauce for a healthier tamari variety.

When you’re buying the tuna, remember that fresh is best! Try and purchase a cut with minimal white lines, as this is connective tissue and can make the tuna chewy. The tuna should be firm to touch, with little to no odour and it should have a deep red/purple hue. The fish offers an array of healthy amino acids and essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Modern adaptations of poke also call for salmon, crab and octopus. 

This wholesome and wholegrain dish is bursting with tangy oriental flavours and enticing aromas and can be enjoyed on a balmy summer evening or by the fireplace on a crisp winter night.

It's healthy and simple and downright supercharged!

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Recipe:


Quinoa:
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water
Few slices of ginger (optional) 
1/4 cup chopped coriander
Optional: add some sliced ginger to the pot at the beginning to infuse throughout cooking.

To cook quinoa:
Add quinoa and water to a pot. Bring to boil and let simmer until fluffy.

Sesame macadamia coconut topping:
1/2 cup macadamias, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Roast all ingredients in a pan until fragrant and set aside.

Poke:
1/3 cup tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp chopped shallots
1 clove garlic crushed
Large knob ginger grated 
Zest and juice of half a lime
1/2 - 1 long chilli 
3-4 sashimi grade tuna, cut into cubes

To make poke: 
Combine all ingredients except tuna in a bowl and stir. Add in tuna and toss to coat. Let sit in fridge for 20-30 mins to let the flavours absorb.

To assemble:
Stir coriander through quinoa before serving. Add quinoa to bowl. Add poke on top of the quinoa. Top with avocado, prepared macadamia topping and extra coriander! 

E ʻai kāua!
(Let’s eat!)

Give it a go and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Lee x

Supercharged Sweet Potato Toast

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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Gluten free foodies rejoice!

There’s a new trend dominating the foodie world; Be prepared to replace your bland, lacklustre, mundane breakfast toast for.... *drumroll* Supercharged Sweet Potato Toast! 

Sweet potatoes are very versatile vegetables, and it seems that their uses are infinite.  They can be added to baked goods, mashed and coupled with steamed vegetables, baked as a healthy alternative to fries.... and now they can even be used as a nutritious and delicious gluten free alternative to bread. 

Sweet potato is a complex carbohydrate, meaning that the natural sugars that give it that rich, sweet flavour will release a consistent flow of energy into the body all morning long. These inexpensive, orange hued root vegetables are high in fibre and overflowing with essential vitamins and minerals and, best of all, you won’t find that afternoon bloat after overindulging in bread. 

Despite being cooked in the toaster, the sweet potatoes maintain their soft and moist texture, and they can be toasted with their skin on or off depending upon your preference.

The topping opportunities are endless too, with both sweet and savoury options pairing nicely with these golden, guilt free and gluten-less slices of goodness!

I’ve featured some of my favourite toppings that will leave you lusting for sweet potato toast yearlong.

Supercharged Tip: try to buy a nice round sweet potato, as they’re easier to cut into ‘toast’ shapes.

Give them a whirl and let me know what to think in the comments section below.

Recipe

Method: 

  1. Slice sweet potato length ways into slices about 0.5-1cm thick (this will depend on how much knife control you have as well as the quality of your knifes!) 
  2. Put in toaster for between 2 to 4 rounds on high, making sure it doesn’t burn

Tip: use chopsticks to manoeuvre them out of the toaster if they get stuck!

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Topping #1: Cinnamon Swirl Nut Butter and Berry Chia Jam

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tbsp Nut butter of choice
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh Strawberries or raspberries
  • Squeeze of Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Rice malt syrup or stevia or raw honey

Method:

  1. To make the jam, mash berries with a fork for a more chunky jam, or blitz quickly in a blender. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and rice malt syrup or stevia. Stir in the chia seeds and let sit for 15 minutes. 
  2. To make the nut butter, add a good pinch of cinnamon to your favourite nut butter and swirl in
  3. To assemble the toast, spread on the nut butter, drizzle with chia jam and top with fresh berries, toasted coconut and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon

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Topping #2: Hummus and Tomato Bruschetta 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tbsp hummus 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

  1. Toss all ingredients except for hummus in a bowl 
  2. To assemble toast, spread with hummus and top with tomato and cucumber mixture

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Topping #3: Smavo and Feta 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 a small avocado OR 1/4 of a large one
  • 2 tbsp good quality feta, crumbled
  • Toasted pepitas 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Method: 

  1. Smash avo with a fork into toast
  2. Top with feta, pepitas, salt, pepper and lemon juice
  3. Optional: Add a poached egg on top!

Enjoy 🙂

Lee xo

Maca and Tahini Latte

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, drinks, Nutrient Rich, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

maca and tahini latte
I was fiddling around in the kitchen the other day and came up with a new drink that I believe should be on everybody's lips. Move over Golden Mylk (as much as I love you)!  And make way for my Maca and Tahini Latte.

This creamy and warm concoction will support your immune system and revitalise your body, both mentally and physically. It’ll get your metabolism revving first thing in the morning, providing you with more get-up-and-go, reducing fatigue and ensuring your body is functioning at it’s best.

Today’s modern, hardworking men and women can often be seen multi-tasking in the centre of busy cities, hands clutching their morning caffeinated beverage, determined looks upon their faces. For decades caffeine has been viewed as a daily necessity to get you moving in the morning and to ‘switch on’ creativity.

But for many people, caffeine may be doing more harm than good. Overdoing caffeine can cause your blood pressure to swell, burdening your already hardworking heart!

Caffeine and other energy-enhancing supplements can also overload the endocrine system in the body. Since the endocrine system and the adrenal glands are responsible for the release of important hormones into the body, too much caffeine can result in an imbalance in hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone. Plus I’m sure I don’t need to remind you about the relationship between hormone levels and mood swings. Eeek.

For someone aiming to maximise their gut health, caffeine can impede progress as it can cause indigestion and incontinence not ideal on a busy working day when you are trying your upmost to be fierce! Diuretics can hinder the absorption of vital nutrients by the gut and can lead to the unnecessary loss of healthy gut microbes.

What is maca powder?

Maca is grown in the Peruvian Andes and is packed with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and phytochemicals. It is the root of the Maca plant that is of the greatest nutritional value and it has been used by the Incas for centuries. Generally used to improve energy levels and revitalise the body it is nutrient dense and has a variety of beneficial uses. It can be ground into flour, added to smoothies and drinks and used in baking too.

What are the benefits of maca powder?

- It’s nutritious and is made up of protein, fibre, essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium and calcium – oh my!
- Helps to increase energy levels, without causing stress to the endocrine system and key organs in the body
- helps to reduce chronic fatigue
- balances hormones in men and women, as it contains amino acids which are the building blocks for hormones.
- Peps you up! Think elevated mood and a reduction in self perceived anxiety, stress and depression.

My Maca and Tahini latte contains no caffeine, no processed sugar and no pharmaceutical energy enhancers. And this frothy brew boosts energy levels in a balanced and sustainable way, with no stress on the body. Yay for that!

Recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp maca powder
1 tsp tahini sesame paste
1 tsp vanilla
To sweeten add 1 tsp rice malt syrup to taste (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir, whisking until combined and just warm then pour into a heat proof blender and blend for a few seconds until frothy. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a little cinnamon on top.

Enjoy!

Lee x

Spicy Lamb Koftas

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Dinner, Eat Right for Your Shape, Gluten Free, Healthy Meals, Kids' Recipes, Lunch, Lunch Box Ideas, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Salads, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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In need of a little umph and energy?

These Spicy Lamb Koftas from my Ayurvedic bible Eat Right For Your Shape are the perfect energy building food.

Lamb's gamey taste will remind you of the strong blood building qualities of red meat which also helps you build internal heat; a serious requirement of the flighty vata, who tends to feel the cold and become destabilised physically and emotionally. Vatas out of balance caused by a lack of warmth, grounding and digestive fire will be prone to dry skin, poor circulation, muscular aches and pains and arthritis.

Koftas are such a comfort food; even their name is filled with an ultra-cosy vibe. Their hearty nature will warm up your metabolism, so you feel warm from the inside out but can be eaten any time of the year. Rosemary & cumin highlights add to the warmth and spiciness of this rustic and sturdy dish.

Where possible, it’s important to purchase organic and 100% grass fed and finished lamb, which will contain higher amounts of healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids, bringing another level of wholesome nourishment to build energy and stamina.

Pastured meat’s EPA fatty acid components are also incredibly important for mental health, as EPA is directly linked to brain function and emotional stability.

The fat content in these lamb kofta’s will bring an increase in digestive fire, as will the inclusion of fiery spices like warming ginger and the grounding zing of fresh parsley.

Lamb's natural oily and warming qualities will make you feel capable and maybe even a little competitive. It’ll bring the bounce back to your step, and make you feel more focused and driven.

Enjoy these delightful ayurvedic kofta’s as a midweek meal that’ll be enjoyed by the whole family.

Kids will especially find them fun to eat on their little skewers, and they’re a great way to ground littlies as a trusty witching hour meal to bring them back down to earth!

For busy families, double the recipe for lunch the next day. You can even serve them minus the skewer as a great protein addition to a salad made with seasonal vegetables.

I hope you enjoy them 🙂 Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Spicy Lamb Koftas

Serves 4 makes 8 koftas

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste

Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue hotplate to medium.
  To make the koftas, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Divide the mixture into eight portions and form each into a short sausage shape. Thread each onto a bamboo skewer and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place the skewers on the prepared pan or hotplate and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Serve with a garden salad in warmer months or roasted vegetables in winter.

 

Strawberry Teacakes

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Easter, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

It’s hard to ignore the growing size of cupcakes and muffins at cafes, bakeries and supermarkets. It seems that many of us have adopted a ‘bigger is better’ attitude towards confectionary.

These monster muffins are often crammed with white flour, refined sugars and added preservatives. Processed carbohydrates and sugars are broken down quickly by the body, causing a rise and then sudden drop in sugar and insulin levels in the blood. This ultimately results in hunger pangs not too long after eating, and a massive drop in energy levels.

Let’s not forget that your gut microbiome isn’t the biggest fan of processing large amounts of sugar, and the outcome of your over-indulgence may linger with you longer than you anticipated.

Conventional sugar-laden treats are all too readily available, making it hard to avoid temptation when you’ve decided to embark on your journey to a healed gut and a zero muffin top.

So what makes my teacakes any different?

Well, I don’t want to burst your muffin bubble, but I do think it’s safe to assume that most muffin and cake recipes out there are more than likely recipes for weight gain! Think of my scrumptious teacakes as a gluten free, fructose free, tummy-loving alternative to those syrupy, lackluster store-bought muffins and ones that are gut health friendly.

Strawberry teacakes taste like the cross between a mini muffin and a scone and the strawberries give a beautiful "jammy" natural sweetness.  And just a note, as we head into berry season, I would recommend using fresh strawberries to give the teacakes a little more moisture if you can.

As a substitute for glutinous white flour, I’ve used almond meal and buckwheat flour, which are released into the blood slowly as an energy source, preventing that sudden peak and then drop in blood glucose levels. You can mix and match whatever flours you have available in this recipe but if you're subbing with coconut flour be sure to add a little more coconut milk.

To make this recipe gut friendly, I’ve popped in my special dinosaur powder, AKA Heal Your Gut powder which gently cleanses and sweeps away plaque built up in your gut over time, resulting in reduced bloating and the perfect environment for healthy microbes to flourish.

You'll notice I've included a touch of rice malt syrup as a subtle sweetener as it doesn’t have an overwhelming sugary taste, but you can omit this altogether if you prefer or just use stevia instead.

Coupled with a warm mug of tea, my teacakes are the perfect treat when you’re entertaining guests. It's time to replace stale, greasy treats from the biscuit tin with these.  I guarantee that your friends and family won’t ever taste the difference.

Recipe
Makes 8


Ingredients 

  • 50g/ 3.5 tbsp organic butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • Alcohol free vanilla 
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 TBS Heal Your Gut powder 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or any milk)
  • 1 cup Strawberries cut into quarters or eighths
  • 180c for 18-20 mins

 Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C 
  • Whisk softened butter and rice malt syrup in a large bowl 
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix well
    Add to the bowl almond meal, buckwheat flour, HYG powder, salt and baking powder and stir until just combined
  • Fold in coconut milk and strawberries, reserving some for toppings
  • Spoon into muffin pan that has been greased with butter or coconut oil, or use paper muffin liners 
  • Add extra sliced strawberries on top
  • Bake for 18-20 mins
  • Serve with nut butter/ coconut cream/ yogurt and cup or peppermint tea!

Happy gut-healing!

Lee x

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