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Six ways to improve your gut health + Vegetable Marrakesh Casserole

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Flavour of the month, Golden Gut Blend, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Learn, microbiome, Seasonal, Vegetarian

You know that old saying: ‘happy life, happy wife’? If you want my personal opinion, I think it should be changed to ‘happy tummy, happy mummy’.  As many of you know, the gut is the cornerstone to health and linked to many other bodily systems and parts. It can affect your hormones, immune system, your emotions and mental capacity and of course the way that you absorb and digest food. If your gut isn’t happy, there’s a fairly good chance that you won’t be happy either.

Today I’m sharing six of my favourite tips to improve your gut health, so you can get on with life!

Include Fibre

When considering the health of your gut, consider fibre! Getting the right type of fibre into your diet will help you to create a healthy and diverse community of gut bacteria and regulate your digestion. There are two types of fibre. Insoluble fibre this is the one that doesn’t dissolve in water and helps speed up the passage of food and keep you regular, like some grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruit and vegetables. The other type of fibre, soluble fibre, dissolves in water and helps form a gel in the body. Foods rich in soluble fibre include oatmeal, psyllium husks, berries, lentils, fruit and vegetables. Insoluble fibres are wonderful for flushing out the body but an excess of these fibres can be irritating. Soluble fibres on the other hand, are the ones you can also focus on for improved gut health.

When you eat the soluble fibres from whole plant foods, your gut bacteria ferment these fibres into short chain fatty acids which act as prebiotics to feed the good bacteria in your gut. When you eat adequate levels of soluble fibre, they pass through the stomach and small intestine and land up in the large intestine where they help grow your probiotic bacteria.  This helps maintain the lining of the gut, improves digestion, increases absorption of minerals and can even increase immune system function.  You can read more about probiotics and prebiotics here or learn abut it in my new book Supercharge Your Gut.

Some foods rich in soluble-fibre include sweet potatoes, carrots and root vegetables, green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts and seedsgrass fed, organic butter and ghee. Some of these delicious prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods can be found in my Marrakesh Casserole below!

Glowing skin is an inside (and outside) job

The skin is the largest and arguably, one of the most important organs in your body, it’s the barometer to measure and notice what is really going on inside. Dry skin brushing is an easy and calming technique that looks after your skin, stimulates the digestive and lymphatic systems, liver and adrenal glands, and assists these organs in decongesting. It also helps to give the body a gentle internal massage to stimulate circulation. Whenever I suggest dry skin brushing to someone when they’re suffering from gut health issues, they often look at me as if I’m crazy – how does brushing my skin make my stomach work properly? Well, by performing this technique you’ll actually be assisting the gut, by stimulating the digestive system, nutrient absorption and detoxification!

All you need to do is invest in a long-handled bath brush which contains natural bristles. Use long strokes, in a circular motion towards the heart. Before you dive straight in to brushing, ensure both your skin and your brush are dry. Begin with the soles of your feet and continue brushing upwards on both sides of your legs, then move to your back, then around to your abdomen where you can work in a clockwise direction following the direction of your colon and then head up towards your heart being careful with the chest region. Then, have a shower to remove debris and dead skin cells. Turns out you CAN brush your way to good gut health – who knew? 

Keeping stress levels at bay

Coming into one of the most frantic seasons this time of year, stress can be at a high. Long-term stress lingers for weeks and can be incredibly damaging to the gut. Evidence shows that our gut bacteria respond in a damaging way to negative emotions and stress out our bodies! When you’re stressed, your body produces hormones that can contribute to the proliferation of bad bacteria in the gut, sending it off kilter and this can lead to cravings, skin disruptions, fatigue and weight gain. In order to keep our guts happy and humming, keeping stress at bay is key. Obviously, decreasing stress can look a little bit different to everybody, so find out what works best for you. A few good stress-busting techniques include calming yoga, walks, ocean swims, meditation, spending time out in the sun, good talks with friends and connecting with nature. I guess it’s time to get your ‘om’ on!

Goodbye sugar-free sweeteners

Of course, there’s more to gut health than the practices we do – it’s also important to look at what you’re feeding your gut. Unfortunately for some of you, this may mean saying sayonara to sugar-free sweeteners. Sugar-free sweets, snacks and diet soft drinks can aggravate the gut and cause bloating because of all the artificial chemicals they contain. These chemicals, that our DNA doesn’t recognise or can’t digest properly, get completely swept up in the digestive tract and end-up in the colon, which is not what you want to happen when healing the gut! Large amounts of these additives can also cause flatulence; definitely another reason to stay away. There are far better ways to blow someone away.

Hydration

I know what you’re thinking, if I hear another nutritionist talk about hydration being the key to good health, I’ll roll my eyes so far backwards they won’t come back to place! But, the simple technique of staying hydrated helps flush out negative bacteria within the gut and balance out the digestive system. This helps your body undergo all the complicated biochemical mechanisms to keep your gut happy and functioning. So yes, drinking water may be simple, but it does remarkable things for your gut health.  I usually stir a tablespoon of my Love Your Gut powder in the mornings into a cup of warm water.  It helps to clean the debris and keep my insides happy.  If you want to stay hydrated throughout the day, my Golden Gut Blend is a great way to mix it up- just add a tablespoon to warm milk of choice; it makes a gorgeous and tasty golden latte!

Stop gulping!

Eating is not a race. And yet, we all tend to scoff down our food so quickly you’d think we were going for gold at the Olympics! Our modern lack of mindful, slow eating and our forever on-the-go approach has a definite link to our gut heath issues. Gulping down food, guzzling down drinks and moving while eating inhibits your body’s ability to digest nutrients properly. Chewing more thoroughly while sitting down to a meal mindfully helps you tune into your body more and send your body into rest and digest mode. You’ll be less likely to overeat when you know you’re full! Plus, when you chew properly, your food is able to mix with saliva and increase the ease of digestibility before it reaches the stomach. This means it’s less hard work for your gut and less chance of that food-baby feeling. 

Getting hungry? Enjoy this prebiotic-rich Marrakesh Casserole, from my book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, slowly and mindfully. If done correctly, it'll nourish your gut, your body and your soul! 

Marrakesh Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cm (3/4 inch) piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 2–3 teaspoons dried harissa
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 small pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces 
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 1 zucchini (courgette), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin chickpeas
  • cooked quinoa, to serve
  • coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to serve
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, to serve
  • mint leaves, to serve
  • 80 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) almonds, to serve

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a flame-proof tagine pot or casserole dish over medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and spices and stir well to combine.
  • Add the harissa, tomatoes, rice malt syrup, lemon juice, coriander and mint, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat.
  • Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and zucchini, stir well so they are all well covered in the sauce and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  • Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve on a bed of quinoa topped with the coriander, lemon zest, mint and roasted almonds.

My Bestest Ever Roasted Vegetable Stock

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

roasted-veg-stock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introducing Our 2-Day Supercharge Your Gut Program

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

Market Fresh Vegetable Soup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INDIVIDUALISED CARE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strawberry Teacakes

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

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

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

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

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

So what makes my teacakes any different?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe
Makes 8


Ingredients 

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

 Method

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

Happy gut-healing!

Lee x

Lemon and Blueberry Ice Cream

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Desserts, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Recipe Book, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Videos, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

lemon-and-blueberry-icecream

The world is a sweeter place with ice cream in it. I must admit I find it very hard to say no to a bowl of that kind of deliciousness when I’m offered it, but a little scratch beneath the surface of what we currently accept as ice cream has turned the traditional version of this gorgeous treat into a colossal turn-off.

Ice cream originated back as far as the second century B.C, with speculation that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavoured with honey and nectar. The bible speaks of King Solomon being a fan of iced drinks during harvesting. During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) would send runners into the mountains to collect snow, which he would enjoy flavoured with fruits.

Historians estimate that the recipe evolved into the ice cream we understand today sometime in the 16th century. The Brits and the Italians seem to have discovered ice cream at around the same time. "Cream Ice," as it was called, would appear regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century, but it wasn't until 1660 that ice cream was made available to the general public, when the Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe blending milk, cream, butter and eggs at Café Procope, the first café in Paris.

Until 1800, ice cream was a rare and exotic dessert only accessed by the elite classes. Around 1800, insulated ice houses were invented and the ice cream industry emerged in America where it was enjoyed by the masses and increased because of technological innovations, including steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, electric power and motors, packing machines, and new freezing processes and equipment.

After WW2, ice cream became a national symbol for the Americans, and the end to the war was celebrated with ice creams all around. As food technology increased and the supermarket emerged, more pre-packaged ice cream was sold through supermarkets after the 1970’s, and traditional ice cream parlours started to disappear.

These days, rather than the traditional use of cream, whole milk, sugar and egg yolks; ice cream has an ingredients list from another planet. Last time I checked in supermarket freezer section, here are some of the additives I discovered:

A popular vanilla ice cream ingredients label:

Reconstituted Low Fat Milk (56%), Glucose Syrup (Wheat), Sugar, Water, Milk Solids, Cream, Maltodextrin, Vegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Vegetable Gum (412), Flavours, Colour (160b).

And a “raspberry” flavoured ice cream creation contained:

Reconstituted Low Fat Milk (53%), Glucose Syrup (Wheat), Water, Sugar, Milk Solids, Cream, Maltodextrin, Raspberry Juice (0.8%), Vegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Vegetable Gums (412, 415, 440), Food Acids (330, 334, 331, 327, 260), Flavours, Colours (163, 120, 160b).

Is it just me or is there something seriously wrong with this picture? What have we done to this beloved sweet treat? With fandangle marketing suggesting green fields with cows, and “traditional” “pure” farm motifs, a quick look at an ingredients list on the current top selling supermarket ice creams show that they’re nothing more than a mix of trimmed, skimmed and adulterated ingredients and numbers formed in a chemical laboratory, not a kitchen!

With many people in the modern age struggling with wheat and even dairy intolerances, I’ve made it a bit of a mission to formulate a super speedy but delicious ice cream substitute that’s made from wholesome ingredients, and this is the next best thing to real ice cream prepared the traditional way with cream and full cream milk.

This is a family friendly ice cream recipe that all ages will adore, and is full of antioxidant rich blueberries, gut flora loving coconut milk and delectable creamy avocado which is high in lovely monounsaturated fats that will make your hair shine and your skin glow. It’s also free from sugar, making it a completely guilt free treat at the end of the night that won’t have any negative effects on your blood sugars, or cause any digestive troubles. You’ll just love its creamy sweetness, and trips to the supermarket for a quick sweet-tooth fix will be a thing of the past with this baby up your sleeve!

Here's a little video about how to make it and the recipe is below.

                             

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS Love Your Gut Powder (optional)
  • 155 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) frozen blueberries

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup) coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 
1/2 medium avocado, pitted and peeled

Method

Purée all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. 

Enjoy! 

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! 

Watercress Leek and Coconut Soup for Good Gut Health

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

watercress and coconut soup

Hello microbes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Ways to Spring Clean and Heal Your Gut

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Blog, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

happy girlIf the words internal spring clean have you anticipating a week of ingesting bottles of cayenne pepper, lemon and maple syrup and it gives you the dreads then read on.
There are less gentler expungement methods of releasing the sluggishness of winter and enjoying an internal spring clean than dramatic master cleanses.  You don’t need to live off roughage and rabbit food or partake in faddish five day juice detoxes and down slippery elm to enjoy the benefits of healing your gut simply and in your own time.
Here are five simple and effective ways to gently give your gut a good seasonal clean and alleviate gastrointestinal anguish.
Maintain a healthy balance of gut flora
A healthy gut flora balance should include approximately eighty five percent good bacteria to around fifteen percent bad bacteria. However the modern diet that is high in sugar, carbohydrates, preservatives and additives is the perfect breeding ground for promoting an overgrowth of bad bacteria that will kill off your healthy gut flora very quickly.
Other causes of this imbalance include the intake of modern medicines such as antibiotics, or drinking tap water; which contains chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine. If you suffer from acne, low energy, digestive problems, or low immunity; chances are that you have an imbalance in your gut flora that needs to be rectified.
Cutting down on sugar, increasing your intake of dietary fibre, anti-inflammatory healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and avocadoes, and increasing antioxidant rich foods will help to eliminate bad bacteria. Probiotic and fibre rich foods and an abundance of fresh vegetables including leafy greens will sweep out bad bacteria from your system and have an alkalizing effect on the magical universe within, promoting a healthy gut flora balance.
Rest your tummy twice a week
It’s not difficult to plant your gut in repair mode pronto.  Giving the digestive system a rest a couple of times a week is not rocket science and it will help to fast track your gut lining rebuilding.  Evidence is stacking up towards the benefits of intermittent fasting.
I don’t agree that you need to “fad fast” with no food at all to promote great gut healing.  On your fasting days you can consume a delicious array of health promoting soups that not only fill you up but provide you with beneficial vitamins and minerals.  It’s important not to fast in an extreme way whereby you fall into the trap of not eating at all and then having free reign the following day to gorge out on too much food.  It will become a counterproductive mind trip and will set you up for failure.

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