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Recipe (Dairy-free): Chocolate Ice “Cream”

Who doesn’t love a bit of ice cream? Unfortunately, it’s loaded with sugar AND dairy, which is a problem if you’re dairy intolerant.

Here, I have for you a simple, tasty and nutrient-rich ‘ice-cream’. Cacao is raw cocoa and it’s loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants, which are great for your gut bacteria and they’re also anti-cancer.

Bananas are a versatile old fruit. Not only do I use them to make this fabulous ‘ice-cream’ but I also love them in my delicious protein pancakes.

Whilst this is miles healthier than traditional ice-cream, you should still stick to the serving size.


Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 2 tsp cacao powder, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp almond butter

Instructions

Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until smooth (a few minutes). You may have to stop a few times to scrape the sides.

Add cacao powder and almond butter and blend until mixed well.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can make this in advance and freeze in an airtight container.

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kale-crisps

Kale Crisps | Simple & Delicious Recipe

Kale crisps are quick and easy to make, pack a lot of flavour and are far superior to normal crisps.

Potato-based crisps are particularly bad for your teeth as they get stuck easily and the starches in the potato feed the plaque-causing bacteria. Potato-based crisps also do little to fill you up and spike your blood sugars. Hello carb cravings and fat storage.

Kale crisps, on the other hand, are low in starch and therefore are better for your teeth and blood sugar. Kale is rich in nutrients and antioxidants!


Kale Crisps

Serves 4

1 bunch of kale, washed and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
2 dashes salt
2 dashes garlic powder


Instructions 

Preheat oven to 150C and place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Take the washed and dried kale and rip them into “crisp” size pieces and place in a large bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. Mix until the kale pieces are evenly covered.

Place kale onto prepared sheet in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

Flip over the kale to cook the other sides of the pieces. Bake for another 10 minutes until the edges just start turning brown. Monitor them well, or you’ll have burnt kale crisps.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can use any spice, so try onion powder, paprika, or even turmeric.

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Hummus Dip

Enjoy this hummus with carrot or celery stick or any other raw vegetables that you like to dip.

Read More

Homemade Nut/Seed Milk (Dairy-Free)

Makes 3 cups

  • ½ cup raw nuts/seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Method

  1. Soak nuts/seeds for about 8 hours (optional, but recommended).
  2. Dump soaking water & rinse nuts/seeds.
  3. Add soaked nuts/seeds and 2 cups water to a high-speed blender and blend on high for about one minute until very smooth.
  4. Strain through a small mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze if necessary.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can double the recipe and store the milk in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

What’s your favourite nut or seed milk?

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Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

Upping your vegetable intake is one of the most important and impactful things you can do for your health, so squeezing another salad will be welcomed by your body. Try this delicious dressing for a new (and nutritious) flavour.

Makes about ¾ cup

  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • dash salt and/or pepper

Blend all ingredients together until creamy.

Serve on top of your favourite salad and Enjoy!

Tip: Store extra in an airtight container in the fridge.  Will keep for about a week.

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Tropical Digestive Smoothie

Pineapple and papaya are rich sources of the enzymes papain and bromelain. They support the digestion of protein. Have them as they are before a meal to prep your digestive tract for your main meal, or try this smoothie.

Serves 1

  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup papaya, diced
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 scoop of unflavoured protein
  • ice if desired

Put all ingredients(except ice) into the blender and blend. Add ice if desired.
Serve & enjoy!

Tip: The levels of enzymes in whole pineapple and papaya aren’t as concentrated as taking them in a supplement; so if you’re not allergic to these delicious fruits, you can try this smoothie.

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De-Stressing Chocolate Pudding (High fibre prebiotic)

This pudding is rich in flavour, giving you your much-needed chocolate fix. It’s a great source of prebiotic fibre. Prebiotics feed the bacteria in your gut, thereby promoting beneficial bacterial balance. The combination of fibre and fat keep your blood sugar levels balanced, preventing cravings later on.

Serves 6

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup cacao powder (unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 dash of salt

Instructions

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Try adding a pinch of cinnamon for a deeper flavour.

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improve-gut-health

How To Improve Gut Health

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, more and more research shows that our gut (digestive system) has a bigger role in many diseases than we used to think. And we’re not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS, IBD, etc. We’re talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It’s here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body. We’re just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of “the gut-brain axis”). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.

So, let’s talk about the roles that our gut and our gut microbes play in our overall health. Then I’ll give you tips to improve your gut health naturally.


Our gut’s role in our overall health

Is your gut leaky?

Our gut’s main role is as a barrier. To let things in that should get in, and to keep things out that should stay out. Think of “absorption” of nutrients as things we want to let in; and “elimination” of waste as things we want to pass right through and out.

This seemingly simple role is super-complex! And it can break down in so many places.

For one thing, our guts can “leak.” Yes, like a long tube with holes in it, it can allow things to get into our bloodstream/bodies that can wreak havoc (bacteria, undigested food, and toxins). You name it, whatever you put into your mouth can be absorbed by your gut and get into your bloodstream, even if it’s not supposed to. And when your gut wall gets irritated, it can “leak.” When this happens, you get inflammation, which is a starting point for many diseases that don’t seem linked to the gut but have a sneaky connection there.

FUN FACT: About 70% of our immune system lives in and around our gut.

A healthy gut is not a leaky gut. It maintains its barrier and shuttles things through to be eliminated. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier is the first pillar of gut health.

What’s living in your gut?

The second main part of your gut are the billions of friendly health-promoting microbes. Gut microbes help us digest and absorb nutrients. They fight off disease-causing microbes, make some vitamins for us, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilising blood sugar.

So, keeping your gut microbes happy is the second pillar of gut health!


How to improve gut health

What to Stop

There are a lot of natural ways to improve gut health. Let’s start with what to stop. It’s always best to eliminate the cause, so let’s stop giving our guts junk to deal with. How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body (and gut) feels.

You may also want to eliminate other gut irritants. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some people’s guts. Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.

What to add

By eating nutrient-dense foods, we allow ample macro- and micro-nutrients into our gut to maximise the chance for absorption. These nutrients help our bodies build and repair our gut, and every other body part as well. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include dark leafy greens, colourful fruits and veggies, liver, and fish.

The second pillar of gut health is our microbes. By ingesting probiotic-rich foods and drinks, we can help to replenish our gut microbes. These are found in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Make these a part of your daily diet.

Whole foods are full of gut-friendly fibre. Not eating enough fibre increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Fibre plays lots of roles in our gut, including whisking away some of those pesky bad bacteria and toxins so they can be eliminated. Fibre also helps to feed our friendly resident microbes that help us absorb and digest our food better. What foods have a lot of fibre? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even cacao.

Lifestyle factors

And don’t forget the uber-important lifestyle factors like getting enough sleep, stressing less, and getting the right amount (and intensity) of exercise for you. It’s easy to forget some of the simple, but key links there are between what we do with our bodies and how well they function.


Conclusion

The function of your gut is key to your overall health. There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes.

The main ways to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fibre. And eliminating common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.


Recipe (Probiotic-rich): Fermented Carrots

Serves 12

  • 1 L warm water
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 4 carrots, medium, peeled, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed (optional)

Instructions

Make a brine by dissolving the salt in water.

Place carrots into a clean canning jar, packing them in tight. Make sure to leave about 1 inch of head space at the top.

Fill the jar with brine, making sure to cover the carrots completely. Weigh the carrots down to make sure they don’t float (you can use a “fermenting weight”).

Close the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 1-4 days. The longer it sits, the more the flavor will develop. Feel free to open and taste.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Use this as a side dish, or even a snack.

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