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Coconut Banana Bread

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Fasting, Gluten Free, Recipe Book, supercharged food, Vegetarian

banana breadNever ever think that just because you’re sticking to an eating protocol that you have to be a victim of restriction. I’m not a believer in hard core dietary limitation, however I do believe you can achieve detoxification, cleansing, and give your gut a rest from everyday stressors whilst still indulging in pleasure. All it takes is some creativity and an open mind.

In fact, fasting as a spiritual practice is a way to experience the pleasure of a higher conscious state, mindfully detaching from mealtimes as a way to re-focus. During my fasting protocol, which isn’t a complete abstinence of eating all together, you do have the opportunity to truly savor simple elemental flavours. By the end of a fast, you may actually find that your taste buds have re-wired to find even vegetables bursting with sweetness.

Ritual is something of a lost art in our society, and sitting down to food with a mindful, conscious approach is somewhat of a shock to the system in our fast paced world. How often do you sit down, breathe, indulge, and bask your senses in the still quiet of a meal? This approach can act as a mini health retreat, a minor meditation that will re-set your mind on the goodness and beauty of life.

While I’m fasting, I love to sit down in the afternoon to take a pause between ticking tasks off my to-do list, to have some time for myself; refueling for the afternoon. I’ll light myself a candle, prepare myself a pot of herbal tea in a nice tea-pot, and sit down to a snack. My strawberry teacakes are a true delight for afternoon tea, and my lime and blueberry muffins are a sweet treat that will never disappoint.

While I’m fasting, I still want to enjoy a treat that is generous in flavor, and I’d have to say this coconut and banana bread from my new book Fast Your Way to Wellness is an utterly gorgeous indulgence, with a tropical twist on the classic flavours of everyday banana bread, which is usually loaded with wheat and white sugar.

This beauty is free from gluten, low in fructose and uses coconut flour, which imparts the flavour of a Maldivian island, yet offers a range of health benefits. Coconut supplies energy building medium chain fatty acids, micro-flora support and defence against parasites and pathogens thanks to lauric acid and monolaurin. Studies have also shown the fatty acids in coconut help you to eat less, and this is believed to be the result of the way these fats are metabolized.

Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6, immune boosting vitamin C, and also contain nutrients that moderate blood sugar levels; helping you to avoid blood sugar plummets during periods of fasting. Bananas are also quite rich in fibre and resistant starch, which are loved by your gut microbes, keeping all those friendly bacteria happy, healthy and fed. Look after these guys and they will look after you! You can read more about the importance about gut health in my popular e-Book Heal Your Gut.

I use a few eggs in this recipe, which adds a good hit of protein to keep you fuller for longer. Honestly, I’m not sure I can find another ingredient that quite matches the nutritional generosity and convenience of the mighty egg. These guys are the perfect portion of fats, proteins and nutrients to aid in body building and all round nourishment. They’re an inexpensive, high quality source of protein, which is found mostly in the whites.  Egg whites contain rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B12, B6 and minerals such as iron, zinc and copper. Egg yolks contain fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and lecithin. If you buy high quality free range eggs that have come from hens who have pecked around happily in green pastures, they’ll also contain a nice dose of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, so be sure to know you’re eggs.

Aside from binding this bread nicely, eggs are intentionally part of the recipe to ensure you are gaining nutrient density and protein to keep you happy during a fast. But you’ll barely notice you’re fasting when ritually enjoying a slice of this luscious loaf, and with an open and conscious mind, every mouthful will bless your tastebuds.

Take the time to bake and enjoy this gift to yourself with a cup of herbal tea such as this lavender tea with almond milk, or a cleansing and anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger tea.

Coconut banana bread

Makes 8 slices

119 calories per slice (498kJs)

 Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe small bananas
  • 3 medium eggs, lightly whisked
  • 90 g (31/4oz/1/4 cup) rice malt (brown rice) syrup  
  • a few drops alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/4cup) coconut flour
  • 3/4teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • fruit, to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a 21 x 9 cm (81/4x 31/2 in) loaf (bar) tin.
  2. Peel and mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, rice malt syrup, stevia and vanilla, thenmix well. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean. Completely cool in the tin on a wire rack, then slice and serve with fruit (if using).

Teacup Watermelon Salad 🍉

Written by lee on . Posted in Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Eat Right for Your Shape, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, gut healing, gut health, intermittent fasting, Organic, Salads, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

watermelon saladSeasons are one of life’s most beautiful designs. I love that as the earth turns and seasons change, there is a completely unique expression of foods and patterns that cause culture and behaviour to shift. In the depths of winter, the earth provides the perfect earthy foods that beckon to be served hot, whilst in the height of summer, there’s the miraculous provision of hydrating fruits that are the perfect solution to a searing heatwave. As a cook, I find it extremely joyous to work with what each season provides me, forming recipes that celebrate and compliment our needs and desires that change at different times of the year. This salad is from my new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

In following an Ayurvedic philosophy, summertime can cause an overabundance of the fire element within our constitution, which explains why we can get so angry and irritable during a hot day. However nature has its wonderful way of providing the exact kinds of foods that calm this fire; balancing us out and bringing our mind and body back into a happy, ‘cooled down’ state.

The hot months can very easily cause dehydration within our bodies as we sweat more. Apart from keeping on top of our water intake, we can also work with the seasons and capitalise on some of the hydrating and cooling foods that are growing at this time of year, and base our meal planning around these foods. In summer, juicy hydrating foods like berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, mangoes and watermelons are in abundance, and for this reason they’re also really cheap to buy!

We are having an extended Indian summer in Sydney this year, yesterday we spent the day at Bondi Beach to soak up the last rays of the east coast sunshine. To me, summer just screams the name WATERMELON. I love the sound of a knife cutting wedges of juicy watermelon, and the sensation of an icy cold piece of its watery sweetness is something of pure bliss on a day of sweltering heat. Enjoying it straight up is a joy on its own, but I’m definitely a fan of a good watermelon salad! If you haven’t tried watermelon in a salad before, you’re going to be in for a treat with this recipe!

Sautéed Scallops with Mushrooms and Spinach

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Dinner, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, Heal Your Gut, Lunch, Organic, Recipe Book, Seasonal, Supercharged Food Menu

sauteed scallops picture

For many people, seafood is a restaurant food. Few people know how to prepare it at home, hands up if thats you! As for me, I used to be one of them. But I promise you- with an open mind, you too can create restaurant quality seafood meals in the comfort of your own home. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and if you have a good connection to your local fish monger, you can capitalize on the freshest ocean catch available.

You really can’t beat the light oceanic flavours of top quality, fresh seafood. The warmer weather beckons for feasts of seafood with friends and family.  It’s also a guilt free celebratory food- it’s seriously nutrient dense, and the perfect light meal option during periods of intermittent fasting. This gorgeous and light recipe is from my new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

Seafood is the ultimate health food.  Dr Weston A Price, a dentist and researcher who travelled the globe studying traditional and native diets in the 1930’s and 40’s,  discovered that those who ate seafood had thriving health and wellbeing; thicker bones and better skeletal structure than traditional groups who just ate red meat.

It’s hardly surprising that seafood is one of my top supercharged ingredients. There are plenty of studies that link fish consumption, particularly oily fish to a reduction in cardiovascular disease. Foods from the ocean are wonderful sources of macro and trace minerals, and especially high in fat soluble vitamins A & D.

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

rosemary-and-thyme-chicken_sml

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.

Apple Pancakes Y’all

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Fasting, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, intermittent fasting, Kids, Lunch Box Ideas, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, supercharged food, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

appleThe humble apple is one of my greatly adored kitchen staples and today I'm sharing an apple recipe from my brand new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

Affordable, nutritious and versatile, they’re a scrumptious fruity must-have that I love to continually replenish within my kitchen. Whether sliced thinly and thrown into salads, baked and stuffed with nuts and oats, stewed and made into apple sauce, or lovingly formed into a classic crumble, apples are the jack of all trades and a loyal friend that awaits transformation into all kinds of delectable creations.

Apples are nutritional ninjas, boasting loads of wellness boosting properties. Did you know that apples are a wonderful ingredient for regulating blood sugar? Recent studies have shown that the polyphenols contained within apples can help to prevent rollercoaster blood sugar spikes. Particular flavonoids like quercetin have the effect of inhibiting enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase which normally break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. Therefore when you eat apples, your body deals with less simple sugars and releases you from spikes in blood sugar.

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

roasted-veg-stock

“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.

Intermittent Fasting and My Day on a Plate

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Fasting, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Image from Gourmet Traveller

Image from Gourmet Traveller

As many of you are probably already aware, I’m all about gut health. One of the most important steps in my personal recovery was healing my digestive system and as my gut lining started repairing itself and my gut flora became balanced, every aspect of my health dramatically improved.

It’s fascinating what an astoundingly accurate reflection of our emotional state our gut is. Conversely, if we take care of our digestive system, our emotions and mood will be affected in a positive way.

So if you want to feel great physically and emotionally, your best bet is to look after your gut to ensure that it is performing optimally. This means nourishing it with organic, natural, wholefoods, hydrating it with pure, filtered water and green juices, giving it a little boost with some probiotics and fermented foods and supporting it by eating slowly and mindfully, chewing thoroughly and keeping stress and negative emotions at bay.

However, your digestive system, the same as you, sometimes needs a little rest to be able to function at its best. That’s when intermittent fasting (or IF) can be really helpful.

Twice a week, I do IF to give my digestive system some well-needed restorative time. IF doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating altogether and starve yourself for the entire day. You can simply eat less and focus on nutrient-rich and easy to digest foods.

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