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Three savoury meals to make in a muffin pan plus my Savoury Cupcakes with Pumpkin Mash

Are you a sweet or a savoury person?

I used to be all about the sweet. I could never pass up on my gutmeal, pancakes or a smoothie bowl for breakfast. But recently, I’ve found myself craving something else. I’ve become bored of sweet foods and I’m ready to take the train to savoury station.

But, I’m not one to settle for plain old boiled eggs or a soggy piece of bread with overripe avocado. I want something bite sized that I can grab when I’m in a rush. I want decadence with a side of nutrients. 

When I hit one of these moods, I bring out the muffin pan. 

If you don’t think you can get tasty savoury muffins, you know nuffin’ about the muffin

Muffins can be savoury and exploding with nutrients. They’re a great on-the-go meal for when there’s not enough time to think. I like making a batch of muffins and freezing them for when I need a pick-me-up ASAP.  

Muffins are a great way to sneak in extra goodness. I pack them with a whole load of vegetables, protein and healthy fats to help keep me (or whoever’s lucky enough to get one from me) going until my next meal. I also add a spoon of Love Your Gut Powder for the gut health benefits! 

One of my first explorations into the world of savoury muffins were my Spinach and Carrot Muffins back in 2013. To this day, these muffins are constantly on rotation in my house. If you’re worried by the S-word in the title, don’t worry, you can’t taste the spinach. Spinach adds a plant-based source of iron that you won’t even know exists. These muffins also contain flax seeds which are rich in omega 3, making them great for helping to reduce inflammation. 

Next up are my Mini Salmon Frittatas. These cute little muffins are perfect for all age groups. I’ve kept the ingredient list simple and cooking time short to reduce your time spent in the kitchen (oh, and the mess too). They’re incredibly moist and contain a powerful nutritional hit. 

My final savoury meal to make in a muffin pan are delicious Savoury Cupcakes with Pumpkin Mash from  Supercharge Your Gut. They’re a perfectly balanced meal, containing beef or lamb for protein, and eggs and almond meal for quality fats. They’re also loaded with vegetables to ensure that breakfast fulfils its criteria of being the most important (and delicious) meal of the day.

I’ve even added my mouth-watering pumpkin and cauliflower mash to this recipe for some added sweetness. Think of it as your bonus from me. You’re welcome. If you’re following a low FODMAP approach, swap out the cauliflower for the green part of the spring onion, and two large carrots. Read more about FODMAPS here.

These muffins contain garlic and onion, two anti-microbial vegetables part of the allium family. The allium family are known to kick our immune systems into gear and help control blood pressure. 

These muffins are truly glorious and will be the envy of children and adult lunch boxes everywhere. Just be sure to keep an eye on them so no one happens to grab yours ‘accidentally’. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

These muffins are quick, simple and offer a delicious breakfast or snack. What’s my favourite way to serve them? Warm with a drizzle of tamari. 

All that stands between you and these muffins is half an hour. My work here is officially done!. Ps If you’re a busy working parent without a lot of time on your hands there are great fresh alternatives for affordable meal kits such as Hello Fresh too.

Savoury Cupcakes With Pumpkin Mash 

Makes 6 Large Cupcakes

Who says cupcakes need to be sweet? These savoury ones save the day with their deliciousness. Serve warm with a drizzle of wheat-free tamari.

Ingredients:  

  • extra virgin coconut oil, for greasing
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) beef or lamb
  • 1 onion, finely grated
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 25 g (1 oz/1/4cup) almond meal
  • 1 tbs Love Your Gut Powder 
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs of your choice, such as rosemary, sage, parsley, basil
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos.
  • 1 quantity warm Pumpkin & Cauli Rosemary Mash  (below)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a large six-hole 250 ml (9 fl oz/ 1 cup) capacity cupcake tin with coconut oil.

Place the beef, onion, eggs, almond meal, garlic, herbs and tamari in a large bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then use your hands to mix and thoroughly combine. 

Using your hands, scoop the mixture into six even portions and shape into balls. Press the balls into the cupcake holes.

Place the cupcake tin on a baking tray, transfer to the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the cupcakes are browned on top. 

Remove the cupcakes from the oven. Using a piping (icing) bag or a spoon, pipe or dollop the warm mash on top of the cupcakes. If you like a crunchy topping, place them under a hot grill (broiler) to crisp them up a bit. 

Serve warm. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2–3 days. 

Pumpkin and Cauli Rosemary Mash:

GF WF DF SF VEG 

SERVES 4

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 small jap or kent pumpkin (winter squash) 
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (For a FODMAP-friendly version, use the green part of the spring onion, and two large carrots instead of the cauliflower.)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped spring onion (scallion)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary or dried rosemary 
  • pinch of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter (optional, if tolerated)
  • nutritional yeast flakes (optional, if tolerated), for sprinkling 
  • small rosemary sprigs, to garnish 

Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut into 2–3 cm (1 inch) cubes. Steam the pumpkin and cauliflower together for 15–20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft and you can poke a fork through the cauliflower florets. While the steamed vegetables are still hot, place them in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add the coconut cream, coconut oil, mustard powder, spring onion, rosemary, salt and nut butter, if using.

Whiz together, stopping and scraping down the sides of the blender 

if necessary, until all the ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. Serve warm, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, if desired, and garnished with rosemary sprigs.

Six spices for sensational gut health plus a mango and ginger kvass cultured drink recipe

If you wanna get good gut health, you’ve gotta get with my friends. Make it last forever, digestive health never ends. 

If you’re wondering what the digestive system and the spice girls have in common, you’re in for a wild ride. 

There’s a plethora of things that affect the state of our gut microbiome, including our diet, our lifestyle, stress levels, physical activity, whether we smoke or drink, our weight, relationships and chemical exposure. When you first start looking after your gut, these factors can seem extremely overwhelming. 

The best advice I can give you is, instead of allowing yourself to get overwhelmed, start slowly. With just a sprinkle of this and a dash of that, you’ll be on your way to gut health glory. Adding in a spoon of my Love Your Gut Powder can help too 🙂 

This is where my love of the spice girls (but mostly, just my spice rack), comes into play.

While you can eat all of the fruit and vegetables in the world, there’s one simple thing that you can include every single day to take your gut health to the world stage. I’m talking about the sensational world of spices! 

If you want to up-level your spice game, you gotta have some fun with spices. Below are six of my favourite herbs and spices for digestive health, plus a cultured mango and ginger kvass recipe that’ll convert even the biggest soft drink fanatic you know. Please pass this recipe onto them.

  1. If you want to spice up your life, get a hold of fennel seeds. These carminative seeds can reduce digestive cramping, gas and bloating as they have an anti-spasmodic effect on the smooth lining of the stomach (1). Fennel seeds can be effective for treating various conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease and intestinal candidiasis. They’re also anti-viral, can protect the liver and are antimicrobial to prevent infections. To keep the spice love going, try out my Fermented Turmeric and Fennel Cauliflower recipe here

 

  1. Zingy, bold and bound to put a spring in your step, everyone loves ginger spice. The nanoparticles within ginger can prevent against alcohol-induced liver damage and create beneficial microbiome bacteria. Ginger can promote tissue repair of the gut lining to reduce symptoms of colitis, an inflammatory reaction in the colon that occurs commonly in autoimmune conditions and infections (2). Ginger is often used to reduce nausea in pregnancy as it’s safe and has minimal side effects. The gorgeous spice can be found in my magical mango and ginger kvass recipe below. 
  1. You better stop… and admit your love for this herb. Mint is widely loved and used as a digestive aid. Not only can it help relieve symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, it can also decrease digestive symptoms such as dyspepsia and nausea. Traditionally, mint was used to treat colic in infants, flatulence, diarrhoea, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and morning sickness (3). If you want a refresher, use fresh mint in my Pan-fried Pineapple with Fresh Mint and Coconut Yoghurt.

  1. Am I cheating if I include my favourite golden spice in here? Maybe, but I’m going to do it anyway. Turmeric is an active anti-inflammatory that will help keep your beautiful gut blossoming. While turmeric has a pungent taste, it actually acts as a carminative to reduce bloating and support the liver. Terrific turmeric is great for your tummy, and can be found in my Eggplant Bharta and Indian Dosas, Delicious Turmeric Seeded Loaf and my Nourishing Breakfast Bowl. If you want to get some extra tummy-loving turmeric into your life, try out my Golden Gut Blend– a delicious, gut-loving addition to any drink or meal that’s rich in iron, silica and plenty of other minerals. 

  1. I don’t want to get carried away here, but let’s talk about carraway. This savoury spice can help heal the digestive system, ease stomach cramps and safely expel gas from the bowel to prevent fermentation from occurring in the stomach. Carraway has also been found to help reduce a loss of appetite, relieve constipation and kill off negative bacteria in the body due to its antimicrobial effects.  
  1. While this herb doesn’t make a big deal of itself, I think it’s the real dill. Dill is used as a sedative, reducing flatulence, cramping and the growth of negative digestive bacteria. If you want to get the kids involved in dill-eating, try out my Cucumber Sailing Boats and my Brainy Salmon Pate

Cultivate your inner ecosystem with this friendly ferment, designed to enhance your digestion and boost immunity. My Mango and Ginger Kvass from Supercharge Your Gut  is a probiotic-rich drink that’s sweet and tart in all the right places. Move over Coca-Cola, this kvass is about to give you a run for your money!

Mango and Ginger Kvass

Makes about 500ml (17fl olz) or 2 cups 

A refreshingly nourishing blend of probiotic and enzyme-rich sweetness and tartness, kvass is a fantastic alternative to soft drinks. You can vary the flavour using different fruits, such as apples, berries and pineapples. Bottoms up! 

The culture starter is optional if using tap water and can be purchased online or from a health food store.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • culture starter (optional, if using tap water; check the packet instructions for the recommended quantity to use)
  • filtered water, to almost fill the jar 

 Method:

Place the mango and ginger in a sterilised 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) mason jar and drizzle in the honey. Add the starter culture, if using. 

Pour enough filtered water into the jar to cover the mixture, but leaving about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of breathing space at the top of the jar, to allow the pressure to build. 

Cover the jar with plastic wrap, then screw the lid on tightly. Leave to sit on the counter for 2 days, shaking the jar periodically. 

After 24–48 hours, you should notice some bubbles. After 24 hours, you can ‘burp’ your brew by opening the lid carefully and then retightening it. This will allow carbon dioxide to be released, so you don’t have an explosion! 

On day two, check your fruit to ensure it is bubbling. It should taste slightly tangy. 

Strain the fruit, pour the kvass into a sterilised glass bottle and store in the fridge. It will keep for 3–4 days. 

SUPERCHARGED TIP 

Most fruits can be left to ferment for up to 7 days, but so􏰏 fruits such as banana, mango and papaya can be ready in 2 days. It’s best not to over-ferment them, as they can become very sour. 

 

(1)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137549/

(2) https://www.the-scientist.com/the-literature/molecules-found-in-ginger-remodel-the-microbiome-65369

(3) http://www.jonnsaromatherapy.com/pdf/PeppermintOil_LongwoodHerbalTaskForce_2000.pdf

BANANA JOE Banana Chips

It’s a gorgeous sun-soaked afternoon in Thailand. You’re sitting on a beach chair in the middle of a resort reading a book when someone serves you a local banana that is bursting with flavour. Nothing could be more blissful.

Unfortunately, life in the big city usually isn’t so easeful. You’re probably late for a meeting and squished on a stinky train, attempting to ignore the gushing wind and rain of the outside world. Oh, and your umbrella just broke on the way in. You feel your stomach starts to rumble and forage through your bag, only to find half a piece of chewing gum and lonely pieces of popcorn at the bottom of your bag.

What are you to do?

We all know fresh is best, yet we can’t always get fruit and vegetables from a tree served to us on a silver platter. When that’s the case, it’s time for a more convenient snack. While regular snack foods are typically loaded with sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Now, I love dried fruit, but sadly, it’s often coated in sugar.

To hit that spot and get me through, I call on Banana Joe chips.

These chips are the perfect snack. Regular bananas are one of the most beautiful fruits out there, containing fibre, vitamin C and potassium, but these ones are a little bit more special.

Banana Joe chips are handmade from Hom Thong green bananas. They’re sustainably sourced from a small family-owned farm in Thailand. 10% of Banana Joe chips profits go towards sustainable agriculture to help improve the livelihood of the local farmers and their families. Every day at sunrise the farmers pick the bananas, cook and pack them for extra freshness. It’s a farmer-to-chip experience.

Each bag contains over two heirloom bananas which have way less sugar in them than regular bananas. I’m not sure how they’ve achieved this wizardry, but the chips have a freakishly potato-like texture and taste that is crispy and full of flavour. They’re not too salty or sweet – the obvious criteria for a good packet of chips.

But, that’s not all. They’re the first synbiotic chip on the market; each bag contains both probiotics and prebiotics. This means every chip you eat supports your digestive health, immune function and increases your protein absorption. One packet contains at least 1 billion gut-boosting cultures, and are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and NON-GMO. They’re the real deal.

Banana Joe chips are available in multiple flavours so, you can pick what tickles your taste buds. I’m a traditional girl and can’t go past regular Sea Salt because of the subtle and balanced flavours. If you like a bit of a kick, the Hickory BBQ are your go-to. They’re a bold combination of sweet and tangy and definitely provide the heat! If you have more of a sweet tooth, the Thai Sweet Chilli is certainly one to try. It has a mild sweet taste with a hint of sour and a dash of chilli for a hot finish.

If you’re ready to embrace your inner-resort king or queen amongst the hustle and bustle of busy city living, get yourself a packet of Banana Joe chips. You can learn more about Banana Joe chips here.

ACURE Radically Rejuvenating Marula & Rose Serum Stick

If you’re looking for a-cure to rejuvenate your skin, I know just the thing.

I truly believe that the skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside. If you’re experiencing acne, dryness, eczema or the emergence of one too many fine lines, it may be time to look at your diet, your gut health and your stress! That being said, what you put on your skin is extremely important too. Your skin absorbs almost everything you put on it so, be sure to choose only products you’re happy going into your body. If you wouldn’t eat parabens, petrol and formaldehyde (ingredients common in many skincare products), why would you put them on your skin?

While natural skincare can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve ever looked at my reviews before, you’ll know I love ACURE products. ACURE makes cruelty-free and natural beauty a breeze. All of their products are convenient, easy to use and free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, petrolatum and formaldehyde. Plus, they’re vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. I use many of their products daily so, when I found out about their new Radically Rejuvenating Marula & Rose Serum Stick, I was giddy like a schoolgirl talking about their new crush.

Let me tell you, the Radically Rejuvenating Marula & Rose Serum Stick lives up to its hype. And at only $32.95, it’s worth every cent. This solid serum stick perfectly rejuvenates dull skin. It uses a combination of marula, rose and avocado to help boost skin health and reduce fine lines and aging. Avocado is wonderful for skin as it’s high in vitamin E which can help reduce any oxidative damage. It’s also extremely nourishing and hydrating for the skin. Rose extract can reduce inflammation because it has antibacterial properties, making it great for oily or acne-prone skin. Rose can also stimulate collagen to keep skin moisturised. Marula oil is high in antioxidants, and is beneficial for oily, dry, acne-prone and aging skin.

The serum stick is extremely easy to use and feels silky smooth upon application. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling extremely hydrated. Adding this to my daily routine makes me feel like I’m giving myself a good ol’ pampering every day of the week, and you deserve that too. I use it after cleansing and before I apply moisturiser, sunscreen or makeup. I recommend keeping it in the fridge for a cooling blast – trust me, you won’t regret it.

The downside? The other day my dog Oscar stopped what he was doing to sniff my face because of the delightful rose smell. Looks like someone took the saying ‘stop and smell the roses’ a little too seriously!

ACURE’s whole new range is available globally and is sure to brighten and rejuvenate your skin. With only natural and cruelty-free ingredients, pampering never felt so good. You can learn more about ACURE products here.

 

NELSON NATURALS INC. Crush & Brush Toothpaste Tablets

Welcome to Who’s Toothpaste is it Anyway, with your host, Lee Holmes.

I have one question for the audience: in a world full of ingenious life-changing products, what makes one stand out from the rest?

Is it?

  1. A product that helps us perform a menial task.
  2. Products that are efficient and cost-effective.
  3.  Products that help reduce our environmental footprint.
  4. All of the above.

Ready for the answer?

Drum roll please.

The answer is D: all of the above.

When it comes to my shopping cart (whether that’s in person or online), I try to ensure that whatever I buy has a purpose, is relatively inexpensive and won’t leave a negative impact on the environment.

To give you an example, let’s start with my morning routine.

Obviously, the first thing I do when I wake up is take some of my Love Your Gut Powder, which fulfils all of these requirements ;).

What’s next?

Well, the average person spends close to 1500 hours of their lives brushing their teeth so, that sounds like a pretty good place to start.

Did you know that regular toothpaste that sits on the supermarket shelf is loaded with chemicals that may be harmful to your health? They’re typically filled with Sodium Fluoride and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate which are highly toxic. They also come in plastic tubes that aren’t great for the environment either.

If you’re ready to clear your conscience (and your teeth) with something new, come with me!

Nelson Naturals Crush & Brush Toothpaste Tablets bring eco-innovation into the bathroom. This product is perfect for the cruelty-free, vegan and gluten-free folk among us, and just about anyone else, too.

How does it work?

Nelson Naturals toxin-free toothpaste tablets are placed in a glass jar, making for a great replacement to traditional toothpaste tubes. Oh, and did I mention they’re fluoride free and made using 100% food grade ingredients? I know, crazy town. The tablets are made from an-ultra clean formula and are free from artificial colours, flavours or fillers. They use a mineral concentrate that contains over 72 naturally occurring minerals! It’s also wonderful for sensitive teeth and may even reduce sensitivity.Sounds pretty great but how do you use it?

Step 1: Place tablet in mouth.

Step 2. Crush with teeth.

Step 3. Experience effervescent fizzing and foaming.

Step 4. Wet brush and brush normally.

Step 5. Teeth twinkle town.

And there you go, your teeth are white, sparkling and picture perfect! Just make sure to re-cap the jar after use to prevent the tablets from drying.

The jar is completely mess-free, convenient and portable. The tablets are perfectly portioned for brushing at home or on-the-go. They also use less water than traditional toothpaste which is another obvious bonus for the environment.

If you’re ready to make a huge change to your oral health, you can either get the OG Crush and Brush Mint Toothpaste Tablets or, Crush and Brush Toothpaste Tablet in Mint Charcoal which is beneficial for teeth whitening. A 60g jar is available at a price of only $18.95.

Who knew you could ditch your regular chemical-filled toothpaste and care for the environment too? With only purely food-grade ingredients, oral hygiene never felt so good. You can learn more about Nelson Natural products here.

Supercharge your child’s diet + Chocolate Curly Wurlys

After being a solo mum for many years, I know just how hard it can be to serve up nutritious foods that kids will actually eat, let alone enjoy. It took me several years to master this skilful art, but I know we don’t all have that time. If you want to create wholesome and nutrient-rich recipes that your kids will devour again and again, Supercharged Food for Kids is the book for you. With advice on how to establish and maintain healthy eating habits for life, this is a fun and fresh book for both parents and kids. 

I understand that making healthy food for kids can seem like an arduous task, but there’s much more to celery snacks than meets the eye. One of the key reasons we need to be mindful of what our children eat is due to the microbial shifts that occur during early childhood. Scientific literature is indicating that the microbiome is linked to infant and childhood development and immunity. A vast number of variables influence the gut microbiome, including maternal weight status, whether or not the child is breast or bottle fed, dietary habits and antibiotic exposure (1). Avoiding antibiotics where possible, supporting microbial diversity through child-appropriate probiotics and having a well-balanced diet are the building blocks for a strong gut and immune system later in life. 

When it comes to things that can disturb the gut microbiome, be aware of sugary foods. Foods high in refined sugar can feed bad gut bacteria and cause an overgrowth, reducing our beneficial bacteria. While it’s tempting to give in and allow your kids to eat all the junk, be mindful of their intake and try to put in a few boundaries around it.

One of the most important things to remember when looking at childhood health is microbiome diversity. We want our kids to receive a plethora of nutrients to optimise their gut microbiome to keep them robust and their gut immune system strong for childhood and into later life. 

An easy way to do this is by including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and legumes. While the aim is to include five vegetables a day and two pieces of fruit, these don’t need to be boringly boiled potatoes or sad and soggy brussel sprouts. It’s all well and good to make healthy recipes but, if your kids aren’t going to eat it, don’t waste your time. 

 So, how do we take this one head on? 

If your kids are opposed to eating plain vegetables, try sneaking them into tasty recipes. I love including vegetables and fruits in baking to add flavour and texture, while including a gut-friendly hit of goodness. One recipe children don’t get sick of is my Bonkers Banana-cado Bread . I mean seriously, who can say no to banana bread? Nobody, absolutely nobody.  You could also try these scrumptious Strawberry and Chia Roll Ups

Another simple way to add in an extra portion of fruit and vegetables is to disguise them in smoothies. Sweet fruits like bananas, berries and mangoes always have a place in smoothies. For an added nutrient hit, try boiling and freezing cauliflower and zucchini to add a smooth texture to your smoothies, too. My Chocolate and Raspberry Smoothie Bowl is a Holmes Home favourite. It’s tasty, fun to eat and includes antioxidant-rich raspberries and cacao to provide an immune boost. 

If your child dreams of pizza, cookies, and spaghetti Bolognese, swap it out with a healthier, but similar, option. Try my Ham and Cheese Pizza, Golden Gut Oatmeal Cookies and  Zoodles. This way, kids can enjoy their favourite foods but not feel deprived of their cravings.

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, I love food. To me, there’s no greater gift than sharing my love of food and helping people harness their own healthy relationship with food. One of the best ways to show my appreciation for the people around me is by baking. It also connects me with my deeper purpose – to help nourish people, whether that’s on an emotional or literal sense. If your kids refuse to touch the freshly chopped celery you’ve cut them, get them involved in cooking. Cooking can be a fantastic shared activity that gives children a much deeper understanding and richer appreciation of food. 

My favourite treats to make with kids are the ones that bring me back to my own childhood. Chocolate curly wurlys do just that to me. I remember sitting on the playground, breaking off individual squiggles with my friends. Whenever I break a piece off my chocolate curls nowadays, it exudes a child-like joy within me that I can’t explain. 

My Chocolate Curly Wurlys from Supercharge Your Gut provide gut-friendly deliciousness in a nostalgic and extremely pleasurable form. 

 Chocolate Curly Wurlys

This gut-friendly treat offers so much flavour and chocolatey fun! It’s a great one to make and enjoy with kids.

Ingredients:

  • 240g (8 ½ oz/1 cup) cacao butter
  • 30g (1 oz/ ¼ cup) raw cacao powder, sifted
  • 1 heaped teaspoon maca powder 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup or raw honey, or 1 teaspoon liquid stevia
  • 25g (1 oz/ ¼ cup) desiccated coconut

Method:

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Melt the cacao butter in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring constantly.

Stir in the cacao powder, vanilla powder, maca powder and rice malt syrup or raw honey (or the stevia) until combined. Set aside until thick enough to pipe.

Pour the mixture into a piping (icing) bag and pipe it onto the baking paper, in a squiggly pattern, forming fingers about 15 cm (6 inches) long, and leaving space in between. (Alternatively, use a skewer to drag the mixture across the paper to create a pattern.) 

Top with the coconut and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to harden. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2–3 weeks. 

 

(1)  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40124-017-0140-9

My Day on a Plate + What’s in the Pantry

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is what I eat in a day. I’m usually apprehensive to share what I eat on here because it’s just so personal and it changes daily!

What works for one person may not work for someone else. But, after many a request, I’ve decided to write my day on a plate to hopefully inspire you to shake things up in the kitchen and try something new.  

Eating should never make you feel worried. If you’re living a supercharged life (which we all are here!), food should be enjoyed and savoured.

This is why I don’t follow any specific diet or way of eating. Letting go of a rule-bound approach gave me a sense of freedom and I know it’ll do the same for you. Your food choices should liberate you, and bring you vibrant health, longevity and a life fully lived. 

If I did have to put a label on the way I eat, I would call it a common-sense approach. If you feel the same, instead of being motivated by the fear of negative consequences, why not try to implement one or more of these in your life? 

To summarise, my common-sense approach includes:

★Eat mostly plants

★Avoid processed & inflammatory foods where you can

★Balance out your eating

★Look after your gut

★Take an Ayurvedic approach

★Choose quality over quantity

★Practice mindful eating

★Live by the 80:20 rule

★Make small changes everyday

★Enjoy your food

You can read about it in-depth here.

To help me live my common-sense approach, I make sure to stock my pantry, fridge and freezer appropriately. 

 Along with your spice rack, it a good idea to build up your pantry slowly and systemically, and focus on dry goods and staples. 

I make sure to always keep flavour providers on hand, including ginger, wheat-free tamari, seaweed, tahini, spices, cacao nibs and coconut flakes. Onions and garlic, both from the Allium genus of plants, are two of my favourite flavour accompaniments to use in cooking. They don’t just play an important culinary role; they also provide a plethora of health benefits. 

Another absolute staple in my pantry are grains, nuts, seeds, pepitas and seeds. Grains and seeds are among the most affordable ingredients you can add to any meals. I use brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat to create hearty and nourishing dishes. I also love using oats and buckwheat for my Gutmeal and Golden Gut Oatmeal Cookies. Each grain is versatile, budget-friendly and will last for months if it’s sealed in a jar. To bulk up a dish, add some brown rice to let it serve a larger group of people AND make it more affordable. I love repurposing last night’s roast or vegetables into a fried rice because it’s super-fast, (I’m also incredibly lazy sometimes, don’t judge me) and makes for a tasty and convenient work lunch.  

Teff and quinoa are pseudo grains that have become extremely popular over the last few years. If you want different ways to cook these guys up, my book Supercharge Your Gut, is filled with gut friendly recipes. I also love a good loaf, like a good grainy one, dark rye, sourdough or this gluten free turmeric seeded loaf

From pasta sauces to vegetable bakes and soups to casseroles, there’s no limit to what a trusty tin of tomatoes can do. They add a rich flavour to meals and are extremely versatile. When transforming a roast into a stew, or converting unused vegetables into a pasta, tinned tomatoes are your go-to. 

Let’s talk pulses… and no, I’m not talking about a Pilates class! Stocking chickpeas, cannellini beans, lentils and other pulses in your pantry is a convenient and inexpensive to jazz up any meal. One of my favourite dishes ever is my Supercharged Dahl and I mean… who can say no to hummus? Nobody, absolutely nobody.

Unopened raw pulses can last for years in the pantry, reducing waste. They’re also really simple to prepare. Once you’ve cooked up a batch of your favourite pulse, you can store any unused portion in the fridge up to five days as a quick and easy addition to your remaining week’s meals. 

When it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth, there are wonderful alternatives to sugar that won’t expand the waistline. These alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners include monk fruit, rice malt syrup, raw honey, maple syrup, stevia and fruits. 

My fridge is forever filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, tomato pastes, meat and dairy products.

When it comes to dairy, I love goats and sheep’s cheese because of their flavours and aromas. They're delicious toppers for any salad and make for a great addition to any cheese platter. Moving right along, goat, sheep or coconut yoghurt are a delightful addition to your supercharged kitchen. Use them to create a creamy yet light dressing for a salad or simply enjoy them with some berries and Golden Gut Granola Clusters on top.  

When it comes to dairy-free options, a natural nut milk, oat milk, coconut milk, rice milk or seed milk (such as hemp) is a delightful dairy-free option to add to breakfast muesli or porridge. You can even make your own if you’re feeling handy in the kitchen. When creating curries, soups, casseroles or stews or even thickening up a sauce or gravy to pour over meat, coconut milk is a close friend. Purchase non-dairy milks in the carton and store them in the pantry until you’re ready to enjoy them.  

While it may seem controversial, frozen fruits and vegetables are just as good as fresh. When there’s no fresh ingredients in the fridge and you want to eat something right away (anybody hangry here?), frozen vegetables come in to save the day. I always keep snap-frozen vegetables in my freezer such as edamame, spinach, broccoli and green beans. I love adding green leafy vegetables to my smoothie to sneak in an extra source of nutrients. 

Speaking of smoothies, my final freezer must-have is frozen berries. I know that they’re so healthy and full of antioxidants and have lots of nutrient benefits, but I just love the taste. They’re sweet, refreshing and delicious.  And I also have frozen bananas on the reg for smoothies too.

Now that the kitchen’s in order, it’s time to talk about my day on a plate! While it does change depending on my mood, what’s in season and what I have on-hand, this is an example of one of my days of eating. 

Day on a Plate

At 8am I have a glass of warm water. I’ll usually have it with my Love Your Gut Powder and a squeeze of lemon. After my morning water, I usually take a walk to the park or go to a barre, pilates or yoga class. There’s no better way to start my day!

When I get home, I’ll have an Antihistamine Smoothie.

This usually looks a bit like:

When I don’t feel like a smoothie, I’ll have porridge with berries and seeds or if I’m feeling a little fancy, I’ll have my Golden Gut Granola Clusters with milk or yoghurt. 

I’d definitely call myself a teapot. My 11am tea hit is usually a Rooibos chai with oat milk. (below is my fave recipe for home made sticky chai ) …

At around 1pm, I’ll have a chicken and veggie soup with either spelt bread, sourdough or seeded crackers. It all depends on what I have in the fridge that day.

If I feel like a veggie option, I’ll have my Asparagus, Fennel and Spinach Soup with Pepitas. If you want the recipe, you’ll can check it out over here on the Supercharge Your Gut website.

I love a good afternoon snack. At 3pm, if my sweet tooth hits, my Chocolate Truffles often make a sneaky appearance. If savoury is calling for me, I’ll have avocado and goat’s cheese on seeded crackers or a bunch of salad veggies wedged into seeded crackers. 

At 4pm, the kettle gets some more love. I love a good afternoon dandelion tea with coconut milk. Mmm mm mmmm...

Dinner is typically a serving of protein with lots of vegetables and some brown or cauliflower rice. Pan-fried salmon and green veg often feature in my weekly dinner rotation.

Otherwise, my Prebiotic Tray Bake with garlic chips and a green salad is my go-to. I’m salivating just thinking about it. 

And that’s it! 

I’d love to know – what does your day on a plate look like? 

Ps here is my S T I C K Y ☕️ C H A I recipe

  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 3 cinnamon quills
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 tbs fennel seeds
  • 1 cup rooibos tea leaves 
  • 1 tbs vanilla fresh, liquid or powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch saffron (optional) 

In a small pan toast cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon, star anise and fennel seeds

Transfer to blender or mortar and pestle and smash or whizz until pieces are chunky

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir in vanilla and honey to coat

Keep in airtight container- I usually store mine in the fridge.

Sticky Oat Milk Rooibos Chai

Serves 2

Place 3 TBS of chai and 2 cups of boiled water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer.  

Add 1/2 cup of oat milk and warm gently. 

Turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes allowing the flavours to mingle. Strain into a mug and top with ground cinnamon 💚

Foods to Boost Colon Health + Roasted Vegetable Stock


Have you been thinking about following an intensive detox or juice diet but can’t bite the bullet? Are you so close to booking your colonic but something’s holding you back?

Before you do, please know there’s a natural and maintainable way that you can look after your colon health; it’s time for a natural colonic!

I’m sharing my natural toolkit for creating a sparkling clean and shiny gut and I know you all want the inside scoop. Before I spill the beans, there are some key factors about the colon and detoxification that you need to know.

There are three critical organs that help filter and clean up the body: the liver, the kidneys and the colon. The liver is our first line of defence, the kidneys help filter our blood and the colon helps remove toxic waste.

While the colon isn’t so glamorous and isn’t usually the topic of dinner-party conversion, we can’t achieve a thrivingly healthy gut (which is why we’re all here!) without it. To help with waste removal and to ensure we have energy, we need to keep the colon in good shape!  If your colon is burdened by the junk of digestion in your trunk, you may experience symptoms of a sluggish colon including constipation, bladder infections, bad breath, body odour, digestive pain and cramping, acne, brain fog, fatigue and allergies.

If you're struggling with any of these symptoms above, eating a wholefoods diet high in lacto-fermenting bacteria and prebiotic fibre is your go-to! These foods help break through and clean out toxins, rebuild your gut flora and nourish your colon.

If you want more specifics, there are various colon-friendly foods that you can wrap your head around.

Keep this list on the fridge, or maybe on your phone, and keep your colon thriving without taking any drastic measures.

Clean up your colon with cloves and black pepper – this helps break down the biofilm that occurs in the colon and causes waste.

Apple cider vinegar helps strip out important minerals to keep the biofilm matrix surviving. I love adding Apple Cider Vinegar to stocks and soups! Try it in the recipe below.

Wholefood probiotics such as coconut yoghurt, fermented vegetables and sauerkraut can help quickly rebuild gut microbes which in turn, will resynthesise nutrients from food, degrade toxins and provide energy to the cells lining the colon. Try my Fermented Vegetables here.

Foods high in plant-based fibre such as flaxseeds or linseeds, psyllium husk and oats can help sweep out the colon, naturally aid your detoxification and increase your bowel movements. Try out my Chia and Berry Overnight Breakfast Jar and Baked Fish with a Flaxseed Crust for dinner.

We all know dark leafy greens are good for you, but why? Well, they’re rich in chlorophyll which helps heal and seel a damaged colon and draw out toxins. Just throw all your wheatgrass, spinach, sprouts and dark leafy greens in a blender, block your nose, close your eyes and pretend you’re sipping margaritas on a tropical island. Bliss. Or why not try my Greened Up Shakshuka here.

How can I speak about colon health without a little sprinkle of magic? My Love Your Gut powder, made of diatomaceous earth, naturally lessens the build-up of waste in the colon and removes heavy metals. It can also sweep out toxins, pathogenic bacteria and parasites from the body. I suggest having 1 teaspoon daily initially and working your way up. It goes great in Raw Mini Lime Tarts, my Hello Vera Smoothie and Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs. If you travel a lot or are short on time you can also try our new Love Your Gut capsules here or you may read the green detox review.

Hydration hydration hydration! It is VITAL (yes, I said vital and used capital letters, so you know it’s important!), to drink at least 2 litres of pure, filtered water every single day. Not only does drinking water help your energy levels, it also keeps your cells happy and your gut hydrated and cleansed. If you’re feeling #fancy, add a splash of lemon juice in the morning to rehydrate and kick-start detoxification for the day.

And now for a gorgeous colon friendly recipe, my Bestest Ever Roasted Vegetable Stock. Adding broths and stocks is an extra insurance policy to ensure that your body is being flooded with easy-to-digest nutrients!

You can find the recipe here.

Enjoy 🙂

Lee xo

Sustainable Halloween Tips for the Whole Family + Chunky Root Veg Mash

What do you think of when I say Halloween?

Haunted houses? Trick-or-treat? The beginning of pumpkin spice everything? 

If there’s one thing scarier than ghosts and wizards that come out on Halloween, it’s the amount of waste, money and single-use plastic people tend to go through.

While Halloween can be a time for unleashing your inner child, it’s not the time to let go of your morals and ethics. Initially, it may seem crazy to attempt to make Halloween sustainable however, there are simple things that all of us can do to transform your night from hallo-ween to hallo-green. 

Long Island Herald

If you’ve ever seen a scary movie, I’m sure you’ve come into contact with a haunted house. Call me twisted but come Halloween time, there’s something so special about creating something absolutely terrifying with your family (I’m just saying it how it is).

When it comes to decorating your house, there are easy ways to make it a more environmentally friendly process.

-      Do you have any old stockings that got runs approximately 2.6 seconds after you put them on? Don’t throw them away – old stockings are great for creating spiderwebs. 

-      Instead of purchasing plastic pumpkins, use natural pumpkins for jack o lanterns. For extra brownie points, recycle the stuffing and seeds on the inside to create delicious snacks and meals. You can bake pumpkin seeds in the oven with spices or, create pumpkin soup with the inside – get creative! Or make these scrumptious breakfast bars.

-      If you are using natural produce, it’s a great idea to ensure what you’re using is compostable. Some compostable Halloween items include pumpkins, hay leaves and branches. 

-      Once you’re finished with your decorations, be sure to stow them away for next year to help reduce your waste.

One of my favourite parts about Halloween are the costumes. If you’ve ever seen my wardrobe, you’ll know a lot of it originates from thrift stores. There’s honestly nothing more satisfying than finding amazing pre-loved clothes for a cheap price, and the same goes for costumes. Always opt for vintage and re-usable where possible. And yes, I am recycling an image from 2018 :).

Those annoying bloggers with their avocados

Those annoying bloggers with their expensive avocado recipes!

I love getting thrifty and recycling old costumes with things I already have. If you’re in need of something new, don’t underestimate the power of a white sheet for a ghost, or old grubby clothes for a zombie. Or go gender neutral as a bank robber in black pants and a black tee, it suits any boy or ghoul, just add black eye makeup as a mask because Draaama! With the right make-up or face paint, you can really take a look to the next level.

When I'm doing a wardrobe clean-out, I always ensure I keep some old clothes that can be reused for costume parties too!

If you do want to look a bit more grandeur, consider cutting the costs and renting a costume from a local party shop. Alternatively, find a friend or neighbour who’ll costume swap with you each year.  

Let’s talk trick-or-treat. If your kids are going hunting for the goods, give them reusable bags, such as canvas bags or buckets, instead of plastic pumpkins. If they come home with more candy that they can chew (sadly, this is usually impossible, but we can dream), donate it to a local kitchen. Alternatively, use it in baking – try sprinkling some on top of Golden Gut Nice Cream or adding it to my Chocolate Fudge.

If you’re the one giving out the treats, try buy locally produced candies and treats with minimal packaging. You can even make your own treats and put them in cute recyclable packages – such as my Turmeric Tummy Gummies or Strawberry and Chia Roll Ups

If you’re up for the challenge of hosting a Green Halloween dinner party, try your hand at creating a beautiful pumpkin-filled tablescape, like this one here.

Avoid disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Rather, choose biodegradable or glass. Be sure to fill the table with locally grown food that’s in season, such as the almighty Halloween pumpkin. 

If you’re in need of a brand new pumpkin-filled festive recipe, I’ve got just the one down below! Its a Fibre-rich Chunky Root Veg Mash that'll knock your stockings off.  I know it sounds super simple, but honestly this mash with ghoul busting garlic, nut butter and lemon is the yummiest mash I've ever eaten.

Not sure what to do with your left-over pumpkin? 🎃

I've put together five delicious tricks for pumpkin treats here !  Or try these tried and tested tricky treats...

My Golden Gut Pumpkin and Nut Loaf

My Raspberry Studded Pumpkin Pie  

Pumpkin Porridge

Lamb and Pumpkin Salad

Oven-Roasted Pumpkin Chips

This chunky Root Veg Mash from my gut-supercharging and life-altering book, Supercharge Your Gut, is a great side to any mains. It’s a smooth way to get your roughage in too and its loaded with fibre and prebiotics!

This delicious vegie mash is suitable for vegans, but you can also replace the vegetable broth with the Gut Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth for some extra gut love. 

Chunky Root Veg Mash 

Serves 4

  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin (squash)
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 whole leek, white part only, washed well and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 125–250 ml (4–9 fl oz/ 1/2–1 cup) Vegetable Broth or Gut Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth.
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (optional, if tolerated)

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). 

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Peel the carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and sweet potato, if you prefer, then roughly chop. Place in a large bowl with the leek and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over and rub it in with your hands, until the vegetables are well coated.

Spread the vegetables on the baking tray, add the garlic clove and bake for 35–45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are roasted and caramelised, checking now and then and removing the vegetables as they are cooked.

Leave to cool slightly.

Slip the garlic out of its skin, into a high-speed blender. Add the roasted vegetables, lemon juice, 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of the broth, and the nut butter, if using. Whiz until you achieve a mash-like consistency, adding more broth if required. (Alternatively, for a coarser texture, you can mash the mixture together with a fork.)

Transfer to bowls and enjoy. 

Debunking Popular Diets + a Prebiotic Tray Bake with Garlic Tahini

If you've wondered near and far for a suitable way of eating but you tend to find yourself swinging from one popular diet to another, then this post might help?

When there are just too many diets to choose from, it may seem like it's the time to just throw in the towel, stop trying to be healthier altogether and grab a piece of chocolate cake. I'm here to tell you that it is possible to eat a healthy balanced diet and you shouldn't throw the towel in just yet!

I'd love to de-bunk some myths about a few of the popular diets going round, so you can figure out what works best for you.

But first, in my years of studying nutrition, writing and researching books, I've personally found that the supercharged approach is simple and common sense! Basically it's all about letting let go of rules!

The everyday act of consuming food should never bring you a feeling of captivity or worry.  In a supercharged life, food is to be enjoyed and savoured.

A few of the things I’ve discovered in my journey of writing fifteen books about health and wellness is...

Eat mostly plants:

The one thing we can all agree on is that eating plant foods is really good.  I like to ensure that plant foods – such as nuts, seeds, fruits, grains, vegetables, herbs and spices – make up the majority of my diet, with the greatest emphasis on seasonal vegetables and especially greens. I still enjoy animal products but in smaller quantities. For great recipes consider reading my book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian.

Balance out your eating:

Eating is all about balance. If you’ve been out of your normal routine while at work or on holidays and found you’ve overindulged in a specific food, spend the next few days nourishing yourself back to balance with the foods you’ve been missing.

Cut down on processed and inflammatory foods where you can:

Industrially produced foods that your ancestors wouldn’t comprehend are best eaten in small amounts. Any ingredient with a number, or a name that doesn’t register as ‘food’ when you read it, probably isn’t food and may not make you feel that great. Eat Yourself Beautiful is based on an anti-inflammatory style of eating.

Look after your gut

This is the engine room. Between 70-80% of your immune system tissues and cells reside in the gut. Our bodies function best when we eat foods that support the healing of our gut lining.  Smoothies, soups and gelatinous homemade broth-based meals are wonderful. Probiotic and prebiotic foods are also important in creating the perfect environment for friendly bacteria in your micro biome to flourish.

Munch mindfully, eat slowly and think about what you are eating and how it will nourish you.  Rushing and stressing when you’re eating can interfere with digestion, and create imbalance in your gut ecosystem- this can lead to lack of energy, bloating, weight gain and digestive disturbances. Heal Your Gut or Supercharge Your Gut are great to read if you’d like to learn more about gut health or if you don't have time to read try my Love Your Gut powder or Love Your Gut Capsules.

Live by the 80:20 rule

Sticking to your nutritional values 80 per cent of the time will allow you a healthy margin where you can say yes to the chocolate cake at your friends’ birthday parties, or enjoy a big slab of pizza as you travel through Naples. Don’t be the killjoy.

Eggplant Bharta and Indian Dosas

Take an Ayurvedic approach

I’ve been deeply impacted by the ancient healing art of Ayurveda. It’s a whole-lifestyle approach that begins with determining your unique type, also known as a dosha. From there you can learn a host of lifestyle choices that best suit your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs.

In Ayurvedic philosophies, the sense of taste is a natural roadmap directing us towards good nutrition and characterised by six individual tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent.

I love this philosophy, as it recognises that no one diet is perfect for everyone, and it empowers you to be the author of your own health based on the knowledge you’ve gained about your unique self.

It’s a place where you walk to the unforced rhythms that come with a common sense attitude towards food and a balanced approach to eating. Basically, letting go of a rule- bound approach to eating will bring you a sense of freedom, but still allow you to commit to food choices that equate to vibrant health and longevity – and a life fully lived.

Eat Right for Your Shape, has all the information, tools and recipes you need to reap the benefits of an Ayurvedic lifestyle.

Practice mindful eating

Do what the French do and make an occasion of your meal, even if it’s just morning or afternoon tea. Unplug, turn off the TV, sit at the table, use proper dinnerware, eat with friends and family, and give thanks. Tune in to all your senses and pay attention to enjoying and savouring each glorious mouthful.

Food that’s considered, selected, prepared, served and enjoyed with genuine love and thankfulness will bless your body far more than you know. Eat slowly and not on the run. Taste, smell and experience all the sensations of your meals. Honour yourself by taking the time to sit down to eat. Chew your food and say thanks. Be grateful to the earth and to the divine blessing that food is.

Layered Salted Caramel Peanut Fudge

Enjoy your food

Think of pleasure and fulfilment when it comes to food. The bottom line is that every body is different and has different needs. It’s your own responsibility to listen to your heart and steward your body through your lifestyle choices, ranging from movement, sleep and food right through to the emotional and spiritual factors that enable you to best maintain your health and find fulfilment. Supercharge Your Life is the recipe book that covers this.

So anyway, back to why we are here,  when it comes to be bunking diet myths here’s what I think…

And by the way you may notice that I’m not including the Keto diet here, but you can read my thoughts on it here.

Paleo Diet

In the Stone Age, our cavemen and cavewomen ancestors would only eat what they could hunt with their bare hands. The Paleo diet mimics this hunter-gatherer lifestyle; For example, you’d never see a caveman eating a processed granola bar, so you probably shouldn’t be eating a processed granola bar either!

The Paleo Diet removes all grains, beans, soy, dairy, certain vegetable oils and refined sugar. What you’re left with is unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, certain fats, nuts and seeds. Whilst I do think removing processed foods; in particular processed meat, is helpful, by demonising food groups, such as carbohydrates or dairy, we can lose benefits of many nutrients that we need to support our gut function and immune system and start to fear food. It’s important to focus on balance – if you’re absolutely craving a block of chocolate, just eat a few pieces! You should enjoy eating, not be afraid of it.

The paleo diet is often misconstrued as just eating meat, meat and more meat. This shouldn’t be the case. By following a balanced paleo diet, you can minimise stress on the body and increase your vitality but I think its also important to eat prebiotic and fibre rich veg like sweet potato and some paleo enthusiasts don’t include them and they are an integral part of having a thriving and robust digestive system.

Probiotic Diet

Probiotics are finally experiencing the recognition they deserve and I’m loving every single minute of it! Probiotics have been used for centuries to treat a variety of bowel conditions including constipation, diarrhoea and irritable bowel disease.

Probiotics help balance and grow our gut microflora which in turn, supports positive moods, boosts energy and can help produce other essential nutrients.

The probiotic diet includes include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and various yoghurts. While consuming probiotics is great for us and our guts, some people do experience not-so-subtle effects, such as gas and bloating from these foods, so it’s important to eat them in moderation and start off slowly.

Also if you suffer from histamine intolerance, fermented foods can be aggravating. You can read my low down on histamine intolerance here.

The Clean Eating Diet

The Clean Eating Diet is a simple and maintainable approach to healthy eating. Essentially, the Clean Eating diet is exactly how it sounds – you eat a diet based on clean, real and whole foods.

Clean Eating includes some whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and oats, most vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, dairy, beans and other protein sources like meat, fish and chicken. When following the Clean Eating Diet, you remove ‘unclean’ foods such as sugar and processed foods like cakes, cookies, white breads and processed snack bars.

Clean Eating can lead to maintainable weight loss and cause increased energy, cardiovascular benefits and digestive improvements. Some may find it difficult to follow initially but it’s generally a good diet to follow all-round. However, like all diets, it’s important to not over-eat as you can still gain weight while eating ‘clean’ and really, when it comes down to it, who wants to be on a diet anyway?

Mediterranean Diet

This diet is based on, you guessed it, the Mediterranean. It’s inspired by the Greeks, Southern Italians and Spanish in the 1940’s-1950’s. It’s renowned for being one of the world’s healthiest and sustainable diets in the world. The majority of gut health specialists I've interviewed over the years have agreed that this is a favourable approach to eating.

It’s rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil and features moderate amounts of fish and poultry and the occasional glass of red wine. The diet emphasises extra-virgin olive oil over other oils and butter.

The Mediterranean diet is more than just the food on your plate, it’s also focused on lifestyle. Do like the Greeks, Italian’s and Spanish do and make your next meal a big fiesta! The Mediterranean diet doesn’t include added sugars, refined grains like white breads and pasta, trans fats like in margarines, refined oils like canola oil, processed meat like sausages and other highly processed foods.

Low Carb, High Protein Diet

While this diet may sound fantastic, carbohydrates are not the enemy. While this diet can cause short-term weight loss, it usually results in long-term weight gain due to the restrictive nature of the diet. By cutting out carbohydrates, we lose the benefits of many important nutrients that can support our gut-health and immune system.

Some foods that are excluded from the low carb, high protein diet include grains like rice and oats, potatoes, high-carb fruits like bananas and mangoes, and products heavy in gluten like bread, pasta and cakes. Foods included in this diet are meat, fish, low-carbohydrate vegetables like spinach, zucchini and some low carbohydrate fruits like berries.

Complex carbohydrates are fibre rich and help the functioning of our gut. If you eat unrefined carbohydrates, like fruit, starchy vegetables and some grains like oats, you don’t need to fear weight gain! In fact, the fibre in these foods actually help move things along!

Chia Seed Pot

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a sustainable approach to achieving longevity, improving vitality, increasing mood and shedding a few excess kilos! I cover all the different methods of intermittent fasting in Fast Your Way to Wellness.

In a nutshell the 5:2 approach to (IF) is calorie restriction on two days of the week. This means you consume a total of 600 calories (2510 kilojoules) for men and 500 calories (2090 kilojoules) for women.

In my opinion, this is a great way to rest the digestive system however, the food consumed on fasting days, should be real whole foods – not low-fat, processed junk-food, which a lot of people lean towards for convenience. By choosing sustainable, organic and real foods, you’ll get the most out of intermittent fasting practices.

If you look at (IF) as a time of cleansing and nourishing the body, and eat naturally you could benefit from this approach.  There are studies that show Intermittent fasting can improve your metabolism, revamp good gut bacteria, and improve the balance of our hormones but timing of eating is an issue.

Supercharge Your Gut Diet

Gut health is all the craze these days and it’s definitely not slowing down anytime soon. Read my Gut Health 101 here.  The Supercharge Your Gut way of eating, as seen in Supercharge Your Gut, isn’t just a diet, it’s more of a holistic lifestyle.

Unlike some popular diets out right now, Supercharge Your Gut focuses on eating a diverse range of foods, eating the rainbow and including both probiotics and prebiotics. Whilst probiotics are currently on stage getting all the fame and glory, it’s important to not forget the camera crew and production team; prebiotics!

Prebiotics help nourish the probiotics within our digestive system, and without them, our probiotics have a poor chance of survival. Some prebiotic-rich food includes dandelion greens, avocadoes, bananas, leeks and onions. I encourage you to incorporate both prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods into your diet, because once you’ve established a healthy gut, you want to maintain it.

Through consuming real, gut-friendly foods, including prebiotics, probiotics, lots of veggies, fruit and quality sources of protein and good carbs, you can achieve a fully functioning engine room.

By supercharging your gut, through consuming easily digestible and delicious foods, you can get your gut glowing, healthy and working at its prime. You can also fix your sleeping patterns, control your hormones and improve your immune system.

Just to give you a little insight into foods that'll supercharge your gut, I’m going to share my Prebiotic Tray Bake from Supercharge Your Gut.

This prebiotic bake is pimped up with a tangy garlic and tahini dressing. Roasting these prebiotic-rich veggies is a great way to cheer up any older veggies that may have been left in the refrigerator a little too long!

The vegetables all cook at different speeds – so some are crunchier than others – which really is the beauty of this dish. But don't just listen to me, try it out for yourself!

Prebiotic Tray Bake with Garlic Tahini Drizzle

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 200 g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 jicama, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 200 g parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways
  • 300 g heirloom or Dutch (baby) carrots, trimmed
  • 2 leeks cut into 2 cm rounds
  • 2 medium red (Spanish) onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 12 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Garlic tahini drizzle

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • 70 g sesame tahini
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes

Method.

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. To prepare the artichokes, scrub well but don't peel unless the skin seems too rough. Cut in half lengthwise and immediately rub the cut surface with half a lemon to stop it browning.
  3. Place all the prepared vegetables, except the asparagus, in a single layer, on a lined roasting tray (or two). You don’t want the vegetables to crowd, as they won’t roast and crisp up. Drizzle with oil and rub to coat.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes, turning the vegetables once, and then take out and add the asparagus. Roast for a further 5 minutes or until the asparagus is just cooked and all the vegetables are golden around the edges.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the garlic tahini drizzle, place the garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and mash to a purée. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the tahini. Add the lemon juice and a little bit of the water, whisking continuously, adding a little more water each time until the sauce reaches the consistency of thick cream (or runny yoghurt). Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Arrange the roasted vegetables on a serving platter and pour over garlic tahini drizzle.

Super Seeded Spring Salad

Are you ready to get a spring in your step?

It's spring time in Australia and you know what that means! The flowers are starting to bloom again, the grass looks a little bit greener, the ocean looks promising and for my Bondi folks, we're getting ready to hear someone screaming "Kalyppooo" in our ears on the beach once again.

Spring time brings with it a sense of happiness, brightness and ease.  It also brings a plethora of delicious, fresh and seasonal produce. My favourite part about spring?  The salads of course! What can I say? I’m a foodie at heart.

Making spring salads can be even easier, more affordable and tastier than buying from a salad chain. It's time to say adios to the throw-a-chunk-of-lettuce-in-a-bowl-and-call-it-a-salad salad, the boring old garden salad with a dressing that's somehow too sweet and too salty at the family Sunday BBQ and say hello to deliciously fresh spring salads. Get ready to work more vegetables into your everyday life and dig your fork into spring salads in a snap.

Before we get our hands ready for some salad tossing, it’s important to remember what food’s in season to receive maximum nutritional benefit and best possible taste.

If you’re in Australia, these fruit and vegetables are in season during Spring:

Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beans, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, leek, lettuce, potato, radish, rocket, Silverbeet, snow peas, spinach, sugar snap pears, sweet corn, tomato and zucchini

If you’re in the United Kingdom, look out for these fruit and vegetables during Spring:

Asparagus, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, garlic, kale, leek, lettuce, morel mushrooms, onions, pea, radish, rhubarb, rocket, spinach, spring greens, swede and watercress

If you’re an American follower, try including these fruit and vegetables in Spring:

Artichoke, arugula, asparagus, beets, broccoli, butter lettuce, celery, collard greens, kale, lettuce, peas, peppers, rhubarb, snow peas, spring onions, spinach, swiss chard, turnip and watercress

Now that we’ve got our produce in order, it’s time to take it home.

But, where do we put it all?

No one likes to open the fridge door and find sad-looking, old vegetables and fruit (RIP to all those juicy mangoes once bought and forgotten).

Fruit and vegetables require different storage techniques to help keep them as ripe and delicious as possible. Mainly, we’re talking about temperature and humidity. Some vegetables are high in water content so when even small percentages of water loss occurs, we can get a limp and not so appealing looking vegetable... you don't want to be the one to take the cute out of a cutecumber!

When storing vegetables, I like to think about what my future self would appreciate. Before you think I'm crazy, just think about it. When you get home late and need to prepare dinner ASAP for hangry looking kids/partners/husbands/wives/siblings/friends or even yourself, the last thing you want to do is have to wash, chop and cook EVERYTHING! It's exhausting.

Before storing your vegetables, wash and dry all your leafy greens to save you time in the future. Once you’ve washed and dried your greens, store them in the fridge wrapped in paper towels to preserve their shelf-live. Also, avoid washing mushrooms and delicate herbs like mint and basil as this can spoil them quicker and turn them sludgey (you know what I'm talking about). You’ll thank your past self.

Whenever anyone tells me they're breaking up with an ex, I tell them to remove ties and cut off loose ends. The same goes for your vegetables. Remove ties, take off bands and trim off any loose, leafy ends. It's best for both you and your vegetables (and ex). Give your vegetables some room to breathe by piercing the bag and letting them breathe a little easier (would not recommend this one for an ex but, if you do decide to pierce your ex, don't blame me ;)!).  The more crowded your produce is, the shorter it's potential shelf-life.

Now that everything's sorted, we can finally place everything in the fridge. Be sure to store your fruit and vegetables separately - there’s a reason most fridges have two compartments at the bottom. The majority of fruit emit high levels of ethylene which may prematurely ripen vegetables so be careful!

Once everything's in the fridge, it's time to take it out again to finally create our salad. That's what fridges are for after all.

If you're looking to create your very own supercharged salad, start off with a green-base like  mixed leaves, spinach, kale or rocket (argula for my American friends). Then add the essential crunch factor like beans, cauliflower, carrot, celery, cucumber, radish, sprouts or onion. Next add a good quality protein such as quinoa, buckwheat, eggs, chickpeas, fish or meat. Drop in some good fats like avocado, flaxseed oil, olive oil or tahini. Finally, sprinkle on some nuts or seeds. Green it up further by adding flavoursome herbs such as mint, basil, coriander (cilantro) or parsley.

Check out my Super Seed Spring Salad below for the ultimate salad combo and let me know what you think.

Super Seed Spring Salad

Ingredients:

  • 50 g 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 50 g 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 20 g 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 cups salad leaves, (Make up your own from rocket, spinach, butter lettuce, Romaine, Cos, kale, endive etc)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, stone removed and cubed
  • 2 tomatoes, julienned
  • 1 cup snow peas, sliced on the diagonal

Cashew Nut Mayo

  • 40 g 1/4 cup cashew nuts
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • pinch sea salt
  • ¼ of a shallot, finely diced
  • 3 drops stevia liquid
  • 4 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 TBS Love Your Gut powder

Method:

  • Dry toast the seeds in a frying pan over medium heat until brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
  • Place the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Arrange the salad ingredients in a bowl, reserving a few of the seeds to scatter on top.
  • Gently stir in the dressing to evenly coat the salad. Add the black pepper, the reserved seeds, and serve.

Eggplant Bharta and Indian Dosas and Learn How to Become an Ayurvedic Chef

November is an exciting month as I’m going to further my cooking skills and education by becoming a certified Ayurvedic chef at Hale Pule in the beautiful landscape of the North Island of New Zealand.

Many of us, myself included, are aware of the power of food and how it has the ability to heal and transform our bodies and minds. When we approach eating from its true, sacred nature, it’s like no other medicine on the planet and when we harness its goodness, it enables us to further improve our health from the inside out.

The last cooking adventure I immersed myself in was a few years ago when I travelled to Kerala in India. It’s where I cooked up the pages and recipes for my Ayurvedic cookbook Eat Right for Your Shape

This year, I’ll be packing up my bags and joining the lovely folks at Hale Pule on the North Island of New Zealand for the certified Ayurvedic Chef course which runs from November 16th – 29th 2019.

The course is a one hundred-hour program, that teaches you how to incorporate the principles of Ayurveda into personal and commercial kitchens so that you can bring health and wholeness to every body.

Ayurvedic Chef Training is run by Myra Lewin who has been studying, practicing, and teaching Ayurveda and Yoga since the late 1980s. Myra holds a Certificate of Advanced Clinical Study in Ayurveda from Vinayak Ayurveda Chikitsalaya, Nagpur, India. She was grandfathered with Yoga Alliance as one of the first ERYT500s in the US, and is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). Myra is also the host of two podcasts on holistic healing, “Everyday Ayurveda and Yoga at Hale Pule” and “Spark Your Intuition”.

If you’re considering joining the course, the certification is ideal for Ayurvedic health counselors and practitioners who want to better support clients' eating habits or for anyone looking to become a personal Ayurvedic chef, run a catering business, prepare healing food at a spa or wellness center or simply enhance your family’s or client's eating habits.

In the 100-hour certification program, you’ll learn:

  • How to apply the principles of Ayurveda, including bhutasdoshasagnidhatus, food combining, gurvadi gunas and maha gunas, to every bite.
  • The use of Ayurvedic herbs and spices to bring healing, balance and great taste.
  • How to lead cooking workshops and one-on-one training for individuals desiring a healthy relationship with what and how they eat.
  • How to prepare meals for different needs, including illness recovery, restoring balance and large group settings where people have a range of health issues.
  • How to bring sattva into meals by creating a harmonious cooking environment, managing your energy as a chef, applying sustainable cooking practices and understanding the role of prana in food.
  • In-depth instruction in meal planning, recipe development, kitchen management, cooking tools and food preparation.
  • What it takes to cook with consciousness in a commercial setting, including catering events and professional kitchens.
  • How to respond to trends in eating and work with clients based on their unique starting points.
  • The many ways you can work as an Ayurvedic chef and tips to start your own business.

For more information you can visit the website here or walk through a typical day on the program here.

And to celebrate I’m sharing my delicious Eggplant Bharta and Dosas recipe from Eat Right for Your Shape for you all to enjoy.

Eggplant Bharta 

Serves 2

This kapha-balancing shaggy mash that can be eaten cold as a dip is perfect as a side dish or entrée. I encourage you to make a few serves ahead of time and keep it in the fridge to be enjoyed as a snack with batons of raw carrot, celery and cucumber. Note: It is recommended that all doshas eat tomato in moderation.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine)
  • extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ small green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped (to yield ½ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve (optional)

Method

Cut three or four slits in the eggplant, then brush the eggplant with a little olive oil. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat, then fry the eggplant for 10 minutes, turning frequently, until it is soft and charred. Remove from the heat. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Mash the flesh and set aside.

Heat the ghee in a clean frying pan over medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Cook for 1 minute, then add the onion and cook for another minute. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli, then cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

Add the tomato and ground turmeric, coriander and cumin, then continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the mashed eggplant, garam masala and salt. Stir to combine and cook for a further
2 minutes.

Top with the coriander leaves (if using) and serve with Indian dosas.

Indian Dosas

Vata and Kapha. To balance pitta, omit the fenugreek

MAKES 10

Ingredients

  • 110 g (3 3⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) urad dal

  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 
pinch of Himalayan salt, plus extra to taste

  • 210 g (7 1⁄2 oz/1 1⁄2 cups) quinoa flour
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water,
  • plus extra for soaking ghee, for shallow-frying

Method

Soak the urad dal and fenugreek overnight in a bowl of filtered water with the salt.

Rinse the dal, place in a blender with the flour and blend to a fine paste. Add enough of the water to make a thin batter. Pour into a large heatproof bowl.

Heat the oven on 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off.

Sit the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes or until the batter is slightly bubbly and frothy (this fermenting step is optional – the taste is the same whether you do it or not). Remove from the oven and season with salt.

Heat a frying pan over high heat and add a small amount of ghee. Ladle about 80 ml (21⁄2 fl oz/13 cup) batter into the pan and quickly swirl to spread evenly over the base of the pan.

Add a few drops of ghee. When the edges are looking crisp, fold the dosa in half and remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter.

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