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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.

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Introducing Our New Two Day Gut Healing Program

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, healthy gut. digestive health, micro flora, microbiome, mindfulness

Market Fresh Vegetable Soup

Lights, camera, action...I'm so happy to announce my brand new 2-Day Heal Your Gut Maintenance program is now live.

If you're thinking about joining, I want to give you some information to help you decide whether it's right for you.  I've designed this program specifically for you. I want to make it as uncomplicated and achievable as possible.

You'll enjoy simple yet delicious recipes, get help every step of the way and have access to a team of experts as well as information, videos and daily emails to educate and motivate you. 

If you've been suffering with low energy, fatigue, gut issues, weight issues, auto-immune problems, or any condition aggravated by a poorly functioning digestive system this program will really help you to get back on track.

Or if you've already completed our four-week Heal Your Gut eCourse and want to maintain good gut health long term and looking to continue gut maintenance two days a week, this is the perfect way to do it.  

Think of it as 5/2 fasting with a gut healing twist!

The great part about joining is that it's affordable and you only need to commit two days a week to create and maintain a healthy gut and still enjoy a balanced lifestyle.

You'll also wave goodbye to any existing tummy troubles, pain and bloating forever and learn ways to never feel weighed down or uncomfortable again!

Read some of our current testimonials from happy HYGr's here.

WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN THE 2-DAY HEAL YOUR GUT MAINTENANCE PROGRAM?

  • It’s not time consuming and is easy to implement into your normal daily routine.
  • You only need to do it two days a week to maintain great gut health. It really couldn't be any easier!
  • It’s not difficult to maintain each week and doesn't require major changes to your life.
  • I know that it will inspire you, motivate you and bring about a sense of true vitality and energy to your body and you'll feel like a new person.
  • It will help with weight reduction and balance if that's an issue for you.
  • You’ll be provided with step-by-step guidance on how to heal and maintain a healthy gut with food to achieve optimum and enduring health.
  • You can enjoy gut healing recipes which are nourishing, tasty, simple to make and easily digestible. All recipes are gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar free and include wholefood ingredients that can be found in your local supermarket or healthy grocer.

INDIVIDUALISED CARE

  • The program takes you into account as an individual and we help and guide you every step of the way so that you can achieve your goals.  We also have a team of gut health experts  to call upon with any of your individual concerns. 
  • It's suitable for vegetarians and if you're following a FODMAP diet.
  • You'll learn how to set yourself up for a good gut healing day and how to rectify symptoms quickly if you've eaten something that has troubled you.
  • It's not a strict or restrictive plan and takes into your account your daily nutritional needs.
  • You'll enjoy delicious and nutritious gut healing or gut maintenance recipes tailored to your needs and depending upon the level of improvements you are looking for.

WHAT YOU'LL RECEIVE WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO THE PROGRAM

  • Welcome pack
  • Two days of recipes, meal ideas delivered to your inbox
  • Additional gut healing recipes adapted to meet your specific needs
  • Web videos, informative guides and the latest gut health information
  • Unique guided audio meditations to nurture you through the process
  • Daily expert advice and encouragement to keep you on track
  • 24/7 support to answer all of your questions from a team of experts

Make a two day commitment to the health of your gut and you'll be surprised at how good you can feel and the improvements you'll experience in your overall health. 

I hope you'll join me in making your gut healthy and happy today.

Join me in healing your gut and look forward to better health and vitality.

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Homemade Kombucha

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Digestion, Drinks, drinks, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Winter

kombucha

Fermented foods are a beautiful way to increase gut health when your gut is strong and ready.

If you’re familiar with my four week online Heal Your Gut program, (the next round kicks off soon), you'll know that after giving your digestive system a rest and healing the gut lining, when your gut is feeling stronger you can start adding fermented foods to your diet to boost beneficial gut flora. Go gently and see how your gut reacts – try small amounts each day and see how you feel.

Kombucha is one of the most enjoyable and delicious ways to introduce the world of cultured foods into your life, as it basically replaces the need for soft drink, providing a mildly sweet, slightly sour and naturally fizzy beverage that is enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

Kombucha begins life as an ordinary sugary tea, but the addition of a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) transforms it into a fermented drink. The SCOBY bacteria and yeast eat most of the sugar, yielding a drink full of natural probiotics that will dance around happily in your intestines. A small amount enjoyed daily has many gut-healing properties.

Aside from colonising the gut with probiotic bacteria that are wonderful for your immune system, this delicious fermeted tea holds an impressive collection of health promoting properties that have been enjoyed in Russia, Japan, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Manchuria and Indonesia for generations. According to the Weston A Price Foundation:

Kombucha is rich in B vitamins and a substance called glucuronic acid which binds up environmental and metabolic toxins so that they can be excreted through the kidneys. Glucuronic acid is a natural acid that is produced by the liver. Kombucha simply supplies the body with more and boosts the natural detoxification process.

Glucuronic acid is also the building block of a group of important polysaccharides that include hyaluronic acid (a basic component of connective tissue), chondroitin sulfate (a basic component of cartilage) and mucoitinsulfuric acid (a building block of the stomach lining and the vitreous humor of the eye).

Kombucha has also been linked to a myriad of other benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. It truly is a tonic rather than simply a yummy beverage.

Don’t be afraid of the fermenting process which can seem like a complex lab operation rather than a kitchen recipe. Honestly, you just have to take the plunge and enter into the world of fermentation to realise that with some basic knowledge of the way bacteria feed on a constant supply of sugars, the process of keeping your culture alive and enjoying it’s wonderful and delicious creations is actually a very straightforward, common sense process that will become part of your daily rhythm.

Once you get the hang of making it, you can flavour it up with ginger and turmeric or even berries. Purchase a SCOBY online or, if you’re very lucky, a friend might give you one. You can buy kombucha online or at a health food store, although once you’ve made your first batch, you won’t need to buy it any more.

You’ll also need a breathable cloth such as muslin (I use a nut bag), a rubber band, and one sterilised wide-mouthed, 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) capacity glass jar with a lid (Mason jar).

Homemade Kombucha

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water
  • 2 organic black tea bags
  • 55 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) organic sugar
  • 1 SCOBY (see above)
  • 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) homemade or store-bought kombucha (see above)

Method:

Put the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Pour the tea into the sterilised jar, then add the SCOBY and the kombucha. Cover with muslin, secure with a rubber band and write the date on the jar.

Store undisturbed in a cool, dark, dry place for 7 days, then test it to see if it’s ready. It should be fizzy and slightly sour/vinegary. If it’s still sweet, let it ferment for a day or so longer (usually up to 10 days).

Once the kombucha is ready, carefully remove the SCOBY using a clean long-handled spoon and place it on a plate with a little of the liquid to stop it drying out (then use it to make another batch straight away). Pour out 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) of the kombucha and keep aside to make another batch, then pour the remaining liquid into a jug through a sieve and then into a clean glass bottle with a lid. Secure the lid tightly and make a note on the bottle of the date. The kombucha will keep in the fridge for 2–4 weeks.

Yum! 

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Fighting the family worm disaster with Diatomaceous Earth

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, healthy gut. digestive health, Healthy Home, Herbal Medicine, Kids, Learn, Spotlight On

d earth worms shutter

Worms. I’m sorry, this isn’t the most enjoyable subject material, but if you’re a mum or dad with  school aged children, you may already be familiar with this unsavoury situation. If you haven’t experienced it in your family yet, it’s time to get informed so that when the problem rears its ugly head you know exactly how to tackle it. I also have some great news on a natural way you can rid your body of these pesky critters before resorting to drugs.

Pinworms, also known as threadworms are the a parasitic worm and the most common worm infection in Australia, the UK and the USA.  Kids are more likely to pick up an infection than an adult, probably because of children’s tendency to put their fingers in their mouths, and you may notice worms emerging in your family when your littlies begin day care and school. An annoying truth of the childhood worms experience is that once a child is infected, other members of their household are also likely to get pinworms unless strict hygiene practices are observed.

Threadworms are spread by children scratching their bottom and carrying the worm eggs back to their mouth with their hands. They can also be spread indirectly through food and dust. The eggs can survive up to two weeks outside the body, and once these eggs are swallowed, they hatch in the small intestine and travel down.

Despite the ugly reputation, a pinworm infection is relatively harmless and can be easily treated.

What to look out for

Signs of a pinworm in children include

  • Tiredness, or generally feeling “out of sorts”
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Lowered appetite
  • Itchy bottom, especially at night
  • Small white worms appearing around the anus
  • White worms in stools

Home care practices

When you notice an infection of worms, you can help reduce the spread to family members through

  • Discouraging scratching the bottom
  • Keeping everyone’s fingernails trimmed and clean. A nail scrubber is a good option.
  • Washing hands with warm soapy water after the toilet
  • Laundering bedding in hot water
  • Vacuuming the house often to remove eggs

Ridding the body of worms naturally

Diatomaceous Earth is a brilliant first step alternative to over the counter drugs and is something that I personally consume regularly to rid my body of parasites, especially during travel overseas or if I suspect an infection. It’s been very effective in gently cleansing my digestive system. And a clean digestive system is the starting point for overall body and mind health. It’s also a beautiful all-rounder for family gut health and cleansing and because it is a food not a supplement, it's safe for adults and children.

Diatomaceous earth is one of the best natural, food based anti-parasitic medications. It works by attracting bacteria, fungi, viruses, pesticides, drug residues etc to absorb them. The hollow cylinder structure allows pathogenic bacteria to become trapped and passed through the body. Larger parasites found in the stomach are actually cut up and killed by the Diatomaceous Earth particles!

Heal_Pack-370x470

My naturopathic grade, Diatomaceous Earth, also known as organic fossil shell flour or as I like to call it Dinosaur powder, also contains 15 minerals that are beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. With its detoxifying properties, you and your children will be able to absorb these minerals much more effectively!  Being high in silica it has the added benefits of better hair, skin and nails too.

One tablespoon of diatomaceous earth taken by an adult, once a day for seven days, can be extremely effective for killing parasites. When used on children, bear in mind that height is a better indicator of the size of their G.I. tracts than their weights. Thus, a child who is 4 feet tall should take 2 teaspoons, and a child who is 2 feet tall should take 1 teaspoon.

You can simply add your appropriate dose to water or juice twice a day, preferably before meals. You can even add it to smoothies or sprinkle it on top of your children’s cereal as it’s completely free of additives, fillers, sugars, artificial sweeteners or preservatives!

Heal Your Gut, Diatomaceous Earth is a safe food grade product and of the highest D Earth grade. When using it, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and always consult your health care practitioner when treating children.

Find out more about my Heal Your Gut Powder here.

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Watercress Leek and Coconut Soup for Good Gut Health

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

watercress and coconut soup

Hello microbes.

I was actually going to say hello humans but considering we’re only ten percent human, as ninety percent of our body’s cells are non-human microbial cells, the human element to us all, is well, not so much.

There’s no doubt that eating a healthy diet can influence and feed our good microbes and as digestive worries are becoming more central to many health concerns and symptoms, eating delicious food to keep your gut happy is the key to less discomfort, a flatter belly, more energy and less internal disruption.

Did you know that cultivating a new gut microbiota, can be achieved in a short amount of time with the right food and drinks? Eating certain foods which help your good gut bugs to flourish will change the balance in your gut and help you to absorb nutrients from your meals more effectively.

By the way if you’re not keen on sport please keep scrolling…I am just about to make my very first sporting analogy.

So if you’re still reading, and you were to compare your gut to a rugby match and the microbiome are the two opposing teams, imagine your good and bad gut bacteria team players all having their own unique job to do and positioning within your intestines.

Now think about what the players are doing. Perhaps they’re a forward or a halfback; maybe they’re needed to attack, defend, stay back or are ready to go in for a tackle.

When it comes to being a good gut player, good bacteria are the heroes on the field. They act as halfbacks in our intestinal tracts, calling the shots and controlling the tempo of the game. Good gut bacteria rally together to help your body digest and absorb your food more effectively and unite against opposing forces. The good gut bacteria team as a whole can help boost your entire immune system and send messages to your brain to help regulate metabolism.

Not that we have the sporting talk out of the way, I’d love to introduce you to my good-gut microbe boosting and flavoursome watercress soup from my new book Heal Your Gut. It features two ingredients which turbo charge the anti-microbial action in the gut and are heavily loaded with beneficial fibre, in particular inulin, a fibre source that feeds the good guys inhabiting our digestive system.

This recipe screams springtime slurping, and strikes the perfect balance between being refreshing and light, yet creamy and decadent enough to leave you feeling fully satisfied. It features a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and fortunately doesn’t taste like you’re mowing into a freshly cut lawn.

A dark, leafy green grown in natural spring water, watercress is the star ingredient in this dish. Gone are the days where watercress was used solely as a plate garnish.

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How Gut Bacteria Affects the Brain and Body

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Vegetarian

2015_GutBacteriaA-700x1264 

Don’t you just love a good infographic?

This one shows the mounting research that suggests the bacteria living in our gut can play a significant role in our overall health.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go beyond the infographic though?

That's exactly what happened to me when I donned my special research specs and did a "Sherlock Holmes" into some of the research currently out there in cyberspace.  

I've looked into each area of the brain and body on the graphic to see how gut bacteria may exert an influence over almost every aspect of our health.

Did you know that it’s estimated that our bodies are composed of ten times more bacteria than human cells, with the gut being home to the largest number of bacteria in the body?

It seems that each day there’s a new study emerging showing just how crucial a role the bacteria living in our digestive tract has on influencing our overall health and wellbeing.

Several not only physical, but also psychological, conditions have been linked to an imbalance in our gut flora, with many of our diets comprising of processed, high-sugar and nutrient-poor foods, it’s not hard to see why.  

Anxiety & Depression

In 2014, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health spent over $1 million on new research aimed at better understanding the gut bacteria-brain link. Recently, evidence has mounted from studies in mice that the gut micro biome can influence neural development, brain chemistry and a wide range of behaviors, including emotional behavior, pain perception and how the stress system responds.

Mice found to be lacking a certain bacteria in their gut were actually found to be more anxious and less animated, exhibiting depressive-like symptoms.

Diet also plays an important part. Some foods make us feel calmer while other foods can act as stimulants. Tryptophan can have a positive effect on stress and depression because this amino acid helps your brain produce feel-good chemicals (such as the neurotransmitter Serotonin), making you feel calmer and improving mood levels.

Tryptophan-rich foods may also improve sleep, thereby promoting overall mental wellbeing. Some tryptophan-rich foods include: turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds. Click here to get the recipe for my tryptophan-rich Garlic & Rosemary Chicken

Parkinson’s

Many neurologists now believe that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut.

Specifically, untreated Helicobacter Pylori (a type of bacteria that, if left untreated, can live in the gut and cause a range of complications such as ulcers in the stomach lining) has been linked to later development of Parkinson’s disease, although conclusive evidence is lacking.

Helicobacter Pylori may also affect the absorption of Parkinson’s disease medications, and consequently affect the overall response to treatment.

There are also many gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation that occur as prominent features of Parkinson’s disease. Including foods high in dietary fibre, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important in the overall treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

As medications for Parkinson’s often cause nausea, it may also be wise to incorporate foods known to reduce symptoms of nausea, such as ginger, tonic water and high protein snacks before bedtime. Try my high protein, Baked Salmon with Garlic and Ginger recipe. It’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for brain health too.

Obesity

New evidence exists suggesting that gut bacteria alter the way we store fat, and how we respond to hormones that make us feel full or hungry. It appears that the wrong mix of microbes may set the stage for obesity and diabetes from birth.

Researchers are now investigating ways in which they may create baby formulas and/or supplements that will promote virtuous microbes while suppressing the harmful types.

When promoting healthy gut bacteria, it’s important to eat a clean diet that includes minimal amounts of processed foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods such as kim chi, tamari, tempeh, yoghurt and sauerkraut.

Drinking plenty of water and remaining hydrated is also important; as this helps the body flush out any toxins. Green Juices are an excellent way to detox while hydrating the body, and ensuring you are still getting plenty of nutrients.

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Gut Healing Salmon Chowder

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Digestion, Dinner, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Lunch, micro flora, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Soup, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

salmon chowder

 photo by a happy HYG'er

The votes are in, the #HYGers have had their say and Salmon Chowder has come out on top for the most popular gut healing recipe from my four week Heal Your Gut program!

It’s also a great way to up the anti-(inflammatories) on your Omega 3 quota too.

If time is of the essence you can make it ahead and enjoy the next day, giving a chance for the flavours to meld together even further.  It’s a hearty, comforting and satisfying bowl of deliciousness featuring beautiful pieces of salmon floating across a sea of creamy broth. It’s an ideal meal for the whole family too so you don’t have to just cook for one.

Why is gut health so important?

The gut is the gateway to your body and not only significantly influences your physical health, but it has a major impact on your mental health.  The stomach or gut is one of the key connections to your brain and emotional health and the health of your immune system.

The world within your gut is multifaceted and involves an interdependent relationship between living organisms called micro flora.  Micro flora is the complex, diverse microorganism species that live in your digestive tract. These organisms are also referred to as gut flora and are most easily understood as fitting into the categories of either "good bacteria" or "bad bacteria."

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