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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!

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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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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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8 simple ways to improve digestion and absorption

Written by lee on . Posted in Detox, Learn, News

Le-cycle-de-la-digestion--illus.-Osterwalder-(Le-Livre-de-Sante--v.6--1967)

 

Le-cycle-de-la-digestion--illus.-Osterwalder-(Le-Livre-de-Sante--v.6--1967)

I have a new theory.  You are NOT what you eat.  I know that sounds a bit random, but essentially, you are NOT what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb.

Have you ever eaten food which is perfectly healthy and nutrient rich only to discover the after affects of pain and bloating and wishing that particular food had never been on the guest list?

If you suffer from any kind of digestion stress and feel sleepy and sluggish after meals, you may need a digestive tune-up.

Follow these tips to get yourself on the right road to maintaining a healthy digestion. 

Use more coconut products

Coconut oil contains lauric acid - a proven antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal agent that is easily digested and absorbed.  The anti-fungal aspect helps kill candida in the gut, which is a common problem for people with digestive stress. Plus, coconut  helps absorb beneficial nutrients from our food.

Take probiotics

Probiotics are a live microorganism that improve the balance of flora in the digestive system. For a healthy digestion these friendly bacteria are essential. They help prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria and are often depleted if you've been taking antibiotics or if you've had gastro. Probiotics can be found in some yogurts or taken as supplements.

Soak your nuts and grains

When you soak your nuts and grains you are reducing toxic substances and inhibitors that occur naturally within the grain.  For example, phytic acid which is found in most nuts, seeds and grains, will combine with minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium and prevent them from being absorbed during digestion. Soaking neutralises this natural inhibitor.

Do an elimination diet

If you find you experience adverse affects after eating a particular food, it might be worthwhile trying an elimination diet. Remove the suspected food or food group from your diet for anywhere between two weeks and a month and see if symptoms resolve.

Try bone broth

Your digestive lining is supposed to be permeable to absorb nutrients. But for some people it can become too porous and let too much "leak" through without absorbing it properly. When this happens, your body can react, attacking the foods you eat. This can create IBS and other gut problems, even some autoimmune disorders. Bone broth contains gelatin which helps reinforce the lining of the gut and soothe digestive distress.

Drink less with meals

Drinking a lot of fluid (even water) while you eat can dilute the level of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. This acid is needed to help kill bacteria and digest your foods. It's best to minimise the fluid you drink while eat and for at least an hour after you finish your meal.

Drink warm water and lemon

Along with a delicious breakfast, it's a good idea to get into the habit of starting the day with a cup of warm water with lemon. This alkaline drink will help jump start your metabolism and get your digestion moving.

Chew your food

If you're a mum, you probably tell your kids this all the time: chew your food! Chewing is the first step in food digestion. Try not to rush through your meal, but allow yourself plenty of time to chew, chew, chew before you swallow. 

Let me know how you go with these tips.

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Detoxing Enemas & Royal Flush

Written by lee on . Posted in Detox

The use of enemas and flushes for detoxification purposes is well known. It is a common remedy that has been suggested by holistic and alternative medicine professionals for many years. The benefits of coffee enemas for detoxification are great. Coffee enemas decongest and flush the liver and the adrenals and help the entire body detoxify.

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Vitamin Rich

Written by lee on . Posted in Super Foods

Eggs

Eggs were given a really hard time in the eighties but now they are back and more super than ever and that is great news for egg lovers. It has been proven that eating eggs will not give you high cholesterol as originally reported. In fact, eggs are full of high-quality proteins, vitamins and minerals and should be a part of any healthy diet.  An egg is a compact package of nutrition which provides every vitamin except vitamin C and a host of essential minerals as well as vitamin B12, and folate. Eggs are also a rich source of vitamin K and just one egg contains one-third of the daily recommended amount for women.  I 

recommend two or three servings of eggs per week.

 

Spinach

Spinach is my favourite super food and I am saving the best for last!. It contains a cross section of phytonutrients and antioxidants including vitamin K, coenzyme Q10, folate, iron, and the carotenoids - lutein, zeaxanthin. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E. An average serve of natures finest super food provides 5 mg of vitamin C, which is an eighth of the recommended daily intake. It is also full of antioxidants.

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Natural Probiotics

Written by lee on . Posted in Super Foods

Garlic

Garlic has been proven to slow the growth of harmful bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Fresh garlic is always the best choice if you are seeking its anti-bacterial or anti-viral qualities a good alternative to antibiotics.  Both fresh and dried garlic have been shown to lower LDL-cholesterol and lower high blood pressure.

 

Kefir

Kefir whilst most yogurts contain one to three types of probiotics, which are fantastic at aiding digestion and providing us with beneficial internal flora, kefir has a whopping ten and the great thing about it is that it also contains prebiotics, which help probiotics do their job and become more effective. High in vitamin D, essential for bone growth and development kefir helps the immune system and protects against tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension and some forms of cancer. For people who are lactose-intolerant it is a much easier form of dairy to digest.

 

Ginger

Ginger has been around for centuries as a medicinal aid and today ginger's medical uses include the treatment of nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy, motion sickness, indigestion, and bloating.  Ginger is also used to help reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis by taking a daily dose of ginger extract sufferers have seen fantastic results.

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Good Fats

Written by lee on . Posted in Super Foods

Nuts

Nuts are not only yummy but also contain healthy oils, fibre, vitamins and minerals, potent phytochemicals and the amino acid arginine. Nuts are very beneficial for heart health and if you add a handful of nuts, five times a week to your diet it will decrease your risk of coronary heart disease.  Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fibre, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.  If you are concerned about mould and myco-toxins in nuts be sure to soak them in sea salt and filtered water overnight and then dry in the oven at 50 degrees Celsius for a yummy crispy snack. I love to make sea salt and apple cider vinegar crispy almonds they are divine.

 

Wild Salmon

Wild Salmon is high in protein and minerals such as iodine, potassium and zinc. Salmon contains omega-3 fats which are the ultimate anti-aging nutrient. They are also a large part of the structure of your brain and nerve tissues.  Omega 3 fats are beneficial for good eyesight. The best kind of salmon to eat is Wild Salmon as it contains lots of vitamin D and selenium for healthy hair, skin, nails and bones. For optimum health benefits salmon should be consumed at least three times a week.

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Immune Boosters

Written by lee on . Posted in Super Foods

Kale

Kale is a dark green leafy vegetable which looks similar to spinach and it is also jam-packed full of essential vitamins and minerals.  The other great thing about Kale is that it contains heaps of beneficial fibre.  The Vitamin A and C in kale is fantastic for your skin and actually has been known to slow down premature aging.  Lutein is a nutrient in Kale which is beneficial for the body and also your complexion and it also brightens the whites of the eyes. Making you look healthy and well.  Eating one serving of cooked kale daily provides more than half the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. I like to eat Kale crisped in the oven with sea salt. It is a very nutritious snack for in between meals.

 

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Super Foods

Written by lee on . Posted in Super Foods

If you’re looking to boost your energy and improve your health and general wellbeing snacking on a few nuts and eating some greens for dinner is a great start but it will not provide you with overall optimum health.

The nutrients in foods are synergistic and work together in benefiting your entire body.  Consuming a varied diet with a variety of wholefoods and fresh produce is the best way to obtain your daily requirements along with additional key vitamins and mineral supplements such as Calcium and Magnesium, Vitamin A, B, C, D and E which are all included in the Supercharged Foods Super Shake.

Look at food simply and try and choose things that are as close to their natural state as possible.  Avoid processed and artificial foods that are taxing to the immune system and include as many as the following immune-boosting foods as possible.

 

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Dry Skin Brushing

Written by lee on . Posted in Detox

The skin is the largest most important eliminative organ in the body and is responsible for one quarter of the bodys detoxification each day.  Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, liver and adrenal glands, and assists these organs in decongesting and dumping out their toxins as well as giving the body a gentle internal massage. 

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Detox Baths

Written by lee on . Posted in Detox

When you have a bath with Epsom salts, the magnesium sulphate is absorbed through the skin, and draws toxins from the body.  It also sedates the nervous system to relax you completely, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, relieves muscular aches and pains and is also a natural emollient and exfoliator.

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