CHICKEN AND VEGGIE CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

·      1 tbsp. coconut oil (or oil of choice)

·      1 kg chicken thighs

·      1 brown onion, chopped

·      3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

·      2 carrots, halved lengthways and cut into discs

·      2 potatoes, peeled and diced.

·      1 cup frozen peas

·      2 Roma tomatoes, diced

·      2 tablespoons flour of choice

·      400 ml (2 cups) chicken bone broth/stock

·      Sea salt and black pepper

·      ½ tbsp. fresh thyme

·      ½ tbsp. fresh oregano

·      1 zucchini, diced

·      1/2 a small broccoli head, cut into small pieces

·      2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a large, flameproof casserole dish or large frying pan to medium heat. Season chicken thighs and brown and seal on both sides for few minutes each. Remove and set aside. Preheat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan oven).

2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, oregano, thyme and potatoes to the pan, and cook, stirring, for around 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for further 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the vegetables are cooking, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.

  1. Stir in the flour, cook for 2min, then pour in the stock.
  2.  Season to taste, then return the browned chicken to the casserole dish and pour over the vegetable/broth mixture. Add zucchini, pea’s and broccoli.
  3. Cover and cook in the oven 30min (or if cooking in saucepan – cook on low on stove top) until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is piping hot and thickened. Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste

 

Vitamin C Flush

Vitamin C  – How to dose to match your bodies needs.

 

As Naturopath it is common practice to dose vitamin C until bowel tolerance, a nicer way to describe it is the Vitamin C flush. This involves taking as much Vitamin C as your gut can tolerate in order to saturate your cells. Once you hit the point at which you can no longer absorb vitamin C from your gut, you will experience an enema like evacuation, like diarrhoea, from your bowel.

There is some evidence to show that the amount of vitamin C which can be tolerated orally, without producing loose stools, increases in correlation to how unwell you are. (2,4)
Most people reach bowel tolerance at around 10-15g, but in an acute illness like a cold that tolerance can increase up to 50g within 24 hours. A bad cold can increase tolerance to 100g, the flu up to 150g and viral pneumonia to as much as 200g within 24 hours.(4)
Large doses of vitamin C should always be given in divided doses and consultation with your health practitioner is always best.

  

What you need:

       A buffered Vitamin C powder that includes Calcium ascorbate or potassium ascorbate. Best to avoid the ascorbic acid as can cause irritation in such high dose.

How to do it:

-Choose a day when you are at home or close to a toilet you feel comfortable using.

-Start by taking 1000mg of vitamin C in a glass of water

-Repeat this every hour, on the hour, recording each time you take a dose

-Continue taking 1000mg hourly until you go to the toilet with loose stool – a watery stool. Once this occurs you can stop taking the vitamin C. Take note of how much you took in total before hitting bowel tolerance. i.e.: every hour for 6 hours = 6,000mg.

– Continue to drink water throughout the day, you may notice some continued loose stool.

– The following day take 75% of the total amount in 3 divided doses i.e. 75% of 6,000 = 4,500mg which would be 3 divided doses of 1,500mg.

– Each day reduce the total amount you are taking by 1000mg. i.e. The next day take total of 3,500 in 2-3 divided doses until you are down to 500-1000mg daily.

 

Who shouldn’t do this? Although vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and your cant actually overdose I would advise against people with the following conditions to avoid.

       Irritable bowel or inflammatory bowel disease

       Gilbert’s disease

       Haemochromatosis

– Preconception, Pregnancy or breast feeding

Reference:

1.Cathcart RF. Clinical trial of vitamin C. Letter to the editor. Med Tribune 1975. [Link]
 

2.Cathcart RF. The method of determining proper doses of vitamin C for the treatment of disease by titrating to bowel tolerance. J Orthomolecular Psychiatry 1981;10:125-132. [Full Text]
 

3.Cathcart RF. Vitamin C: titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses 1981;7(11):1359-1376. [Full Text]
 

4.Megascorbate therapies: vitamin C in medicine. The Vitamin C Foundation 1997 [Link]

 

Healing the gut with food as medicine.

GUT BUILDERS Food that supports and encourages a healthy and diverse gut population

Prebiotics encourage fermentation to happen inside your gut and can have a greater impact on the gut microbiome than probiotics. Super important!!

o   Vegetables: cruciferous veg, Jerusalem artichokes, radish, onions, shallots, beets, leek and garlic, leaky greens like dandelion greens, burdock and chicory root, kale, collards, asparagus, fennel.

o   Starches, beans, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes cooked and cooled white potato, green bananas and sweet potato.

o   Nuts and seeds – chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans almonds, cashews and pistachio. Sunflower, pumpkin, LSA mix, Flaxseed meal, black tahini

o   Fruits – black elderberries, black currants, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, black berries, plums, raspberries, apples (red), black grapes.

o   Partially hydrolysed guar gum (PHGG). This can be purchased from health food shop and is a great prebiotic to add to smoothies or cooking.

Fibre is our friend: Beneficial metabolites in the form of short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) are produced when fibre is broken down by the gut bacteria. We know that these SCFA’s nourish the gut barrier, increase immune function and reduce inflammation.

One of the most important SCFA’s is Butyrate. It is shown to reduces mucosal inflammation and oxidative stress, reinforces the gut defence barrier, and modulates intestinal sensitivity and intestinal motility. All important!  A growing number of studies have stressed the role of butyrate in the prevention and inhibition of colorectal cancer. Outside the intestine, butyrate exerts potentially useful effects on many conditions, including genetic metabolic diseases, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, ischemic stroke and hemoglobinopathies.

 

How to increase butyrate producing bacteria

Include: Psyllium husks and ground flaxseeds, PHGG, Inulin-FOS as supplement, and different types of resistant starch.

 

Resistant starch can be found in:

o   Whole grains, seeds and legumes –  buckwheat, sorghum.

o   Potato starch (must be eaten unheated) raw potato, green bananas, legumes.

o   Root veg cooked then cooled -e.g. cooked potato or sweet potato eaten in salad, legumes.

 

Probiotics supply active bacteria cultures as a result of fermentation that happens outside the gut. When food is fermented, its digestibility is enhanced and its nutrient levels are increased.

o Cultured dairy – fermenting dairy digests the milk sugars that may otherwise cause digestive issues. Yoghurt, butter milk, crème fraiche and some cheese. Non-dairy milks can also be fermented.

o Fermented soy – the best type of soy as the fermenting introduces beneficial bacteria and improves the digestibility. Tempeh, miso, soy, sauce and fermented bean curd.

o Fermented foods and beverages – kefir, kombucha, kvass, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi. Any fermented veggies really.

Healing foods that are healing to the gut

o Bone broths

o Gelatine and collagen

o Good quality fats – olive oil, coconut oil, meat

o Herbs & spices – basil, cilantro, caraway, cinnamon, garlic, thyme, turmeric.

SHEPHERD’S PIE

LCH SHEPHERD’S PIE

6-8 servings 

1.5hours

 

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams Extra Lean Minced Chicken, Lamb or Beef
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Yellow Onion (chopped)
  • 3 Carrot (diced)
  • 3 Garlic (cloves, minced)
  • 1 cup Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 tbsps Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Organic Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (divided)
  • 1/2 tspvBlack Pepper (divided)
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 4 Sweet Potato (peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks)
  • 1 head Cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 2/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsps Coconut Oil

 

  1. Cook your minced meat in a fry pan over medium heat. Stir every minute until cooked through. Drain liquid and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place the skillet back over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until carrot starts to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer your cooked meat back into the skillet. Add the flour and stir until well mixed. Add the vegetable broth and stir in half the salt and half the black pepper. Bring to a simmer stirring frequently. Once simmering, add the peas and stir well to evenly mix. Now transfer the mixture into a casserole dish and spread evenly across the bottom. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  5. Steam your sweet potato chunks and cauliflower florets together in a large steaming basket. Once they are tender (about 10 to 15 minutes), transfer to your food processor. Add the almond milk, coconut oil and remaining sea salt and black pepper. Process until smooth and creamy.
  6. Transfer the potato mix to the casserole dish and spread it evenly so it covers the meat and vegetable mix. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes (or longer if you like the edges crispy).
  7. Remove from oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Cut into slices and lift onto plates with a spatula. Enjoy!

PMS – A Natural Solution

PMS is so common and many women just accept that it’s a normal part of their monthly cycle.

Up to 80% of women experience some level of PMS.

The symptoms can vary from women to women. From irritability, anxiety, depression and rage to mood swings, bloating, fluid retention, breast tenderness, back pain and food cravings. It is though that there are up to 150 symptoms that fall under the classification of PMS and the symptoms may start up to 2 weeks before bleeding.

 

It is my pleasure to let you know that in a healthy female with optimal hormonal health there will be little to no PMS symptoms at all.

There is a natural approach that can help you eliminate PMS symptoms and claim back your quality of life in that part of every month.

 

What is playing an underlying part of PMS?

 

       Hormonal imbalance – estrogen dominance either alone or relative to progesterone.

 

This imbalance in hormones is most commonly reduced or even resolved by addressing these contributing factors.

 

       High stress that goes unmanaged has an effect on hormonal health and this certainly includes PMS.

       Diets rich in sugar, refined foods, non-organic dairy and meat will promote hormonal imbalance.

       Diets low in veggies, good quality fat, protein and fibre will disrupt hormones.

       Constipation and sluggish digestion will inhibit your elimination of estrogen from the body and tip the balance of hormones.

       Environmental pollutants and hormone disrupting chemicals in the environment will drive estrogen up further and disrupt the balance of hormones.

       Excess alcohol will place a burden on the liver which is responsible for processing estrogen. This can lead to further estrogen dominance.

 

A great first step is to addressed these contributing factors for 2-3 cycles (months) and you should start to see improvement or resolve in your PMS symptoms.  Hooray!!

 

There are certainly times where the hormonal imbalance requires herbal medicine or nutritional supplements to help bring the hormones further back into balance and support estrogen metabolism.

 

Supplements I commonly consider, depending on the client’s presentation and history:

       Magnesium – its involved in hundreds of processes in the body including the metabolism of estrogen. This mineral can do all sorts of wonders for hormones.

       Vitex – The herb I most commonly call on for hormonal balance.

       Herbs for HPA axis regulation – supports healthy endocrine system, happy stress hormones = happy sex hormones.

       Fibre – helps to efficiently metabolise and excrete excess hormones. Get’s you pooing daily!!

       Essential fatty acids –Good quality omega oils can help form the building blocks for hormones. They also help lower inflammation that may be contributing to PMS symptoms.

       Calcium d-glucarate – supports the liver and helps remove the harmful type of estrogens.

       Cruciferous veggies, DIM or Broccoli seed extract – supports estrogen metabolism

       Anti – inflammatory diet – keeps hormones in check.

 

When you address the underlying contributing factors mentioned above together with utilising specific remedies you can balance and support healthy hormones and you will be PMS free in no time.

 

For further guidance with getting on top of your PMS book a Naturopathy session here.

The Defender – My Immune Shot for Winter

This shot of fiery goodness helps defend against any sickness, supporting your immune system by dampening inflammation. This recipe is for 2 or 3 shots but I usually make a big batch for the week and have a shot most mornings through the winter months. You can alter recipe slightly to accomodate your preference. I LOVE the heat so always go heavy on the ginger. I hope you enjoy it. 

Ingredients: Makes approx. 2 x shot 

½ thumb turmeric

½ thumb of ginger

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8tsp pepper

1 x lemon

½ orange

1 x shot of water, add more as needed 

Method:

o Cut lemon and orange.
o Using a knife peel off skin of lemon and orange
o Add to blender
o Add water and cayenne pepper, blend on high
o Cut ginger and turmeric into slices
o Add to blender with pepper and blend
o Can strain the juice into a cup and remove the excess pulp or go for a thicker vibe with pulp remaining.

You can make recipe X 7 and have a shot (for 2) every day of the week. Store in air tight jar in fridge or can freeze in ice trays to have on call

If you notice first sign of getting sick, have a shot in the AM and PM before bed. You can make a diluted version for kids, add more water or more orange.

Cacao, Cashew and Date Truffles

Cacao, Cashew and Date Truffles – makes 12 

These Cacao, Cashew and Date Truffle are my kind of easter egg and the perfect little easter gift for your neighbour.

Ingredients
·       150g cashew nuts
·       150g dates
·       1 tbsp. coconut oil
·       2 tbsp. rice malt syrup or honey
·       ½ tsp sea salt
·       1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
·       70g cacao powder (extra for dusting)
 
Recipe
1.     Soak the cashews and dates in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain the water off and place them in a food processor. Blitz them together until both are finely chopped.

2.     Add the coconut oil, honey, salt and vanilla and blitz until you form a smooth paste. It should be quite loose and smooth. Then add the cacao powder and blitz again until completely smooth and blended through.

3.     Tip the mixture into a bowl and leave to completely chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

4.     Dust a surface with cacao powder. Take the mixture from the fridge and using a teaspoon, scoop a small amount onto your hands, roll into a ball and then roll through the cacao powder so that it is completely covered. Use all the mixture to make around 12 truffles.

5.     Enjoy straight away or leave in the fridge to chill and harden a little more.
 
 
 

Beef and Turmeric Stew

Beef and Turmeric Stew – Serves 4

This is an invitation to use food as medicine to support your immune system. Grass fed beef is a great source of zinc and turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
 
Zinc is an essential mineral critical for immune function. Even mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair immune function and increase risk of respiratory infections, so adequate dietary zinc should be prioritised for anyone looking to protect their immune system. Other natural sources of zinc are oysters and pumpkin and sesame seeds.

Ingredients

o  450 grams Top Sirloin Steak (grass fed, organic)

o   1 tbsp Tapioca Flour

o   1 tsp Sea Salt

o   1/2 tsp Black Pepper

o   1 1/2 tbsp  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

o   2 Carrot (medium, chopped)

o   1 sweet Potato (large, chopped)

o   1 tsp Turmeric (ground)

o   1 tsp Coriander (ground)

o   1 tsp Cumin (ground)

o   1 tsp Ground Ginger

o   2 cups Beef Broth (bone broth if you have it)

o   4 stalks spring Onion (green parts only, chopped)

o   1/2 cup Cilantro (chopped)

 

Method

Cut steak into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a mixing bowl with tapioca flour, salt and pepper. Toss until the steak is well coated.

o   Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside. (Adjust the heat as necessary when browning the steak to prevent the bottom of the pot from burning. You may need to do the browning in batches.)

o   Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot along with the turmeric, coriander, cumin and ginger. Stir frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. If the spices start sticking to the bottom of the pot add two tablespoons of water to help them along. Add the browned beef back to the pan.

o   Add the broth to the pot, being sure to scrape the browned bits off the bottom. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

o   Remove the lid and stir in the green onions and cilantro. Continue to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

o   Divide into bowls and enjoy!

 

 

Digital Detox

Whether it’s a 24/7 email connection, an unhealthy social media habit, maybe your sleep quality is poor or you can’t seem to concentrate quite the same these days.

Here are some practical tips and tricks to help reduce the time you’re using screens and limit the impact they may be having on your quality of life.

It’s all about setting boundaries.

                                                     

  1. Out of the bedroom: for many people the phone is the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you look at in the evening. We know the blue light from devices can suppress melatonin – the hormone that helps us sleep. It is also such a precious time in our day (pre and post sleep) to allow our nervous system to balance and our hearts and minds to be with conscious intention for the day or night ahead. So get yourself an alarm clock, get the phone out of the bedroom and free up this time and space.
  2. 1 on 1: Make yourself a personal boundary that no phone will be in sight when you are 1 on 1 with another person. This allows you’re the opportunity to strengthen your real world connection and savour that quality time. There is no greater gift than presence, for you and your friends and family.
  3. Food for thought: Make your meal time a mini moment of digital detox. Take the time out to be mindful as your eat, enjoying every mouthful.
  4. Phone free toilet time: When you think about it, isn’t it hilarious how these days it is common practice for people to head for the toilet with their phone in hand. I know you do it! Banning the phone in the bathroom can be a great way to allow yourself a break from the constant input of information and bring your daily tech time down.
  5. Flex your phone free muscle: Take a trip out of the house and leave your phone behind. Start small like you would when returning to weights training and gradually build your phone free time to allow yourself the chance to adapt.
  6. Screen schedule: Establish some super clear boundaries for yourself. This can be trickier than it sounds as we have come to expect each other to on call 24/7. Consider what works best for you. No screens after 7pm, phone free Sunday (my personal fav), no phones before 9am or maybe a block of phone free days over your next holiday break.
  7. Track your tech time: Commit to bring awareness (or use the app ‘checky’) to really get to the bottom of how much you are reaching for and using your phone every day. It may come as quite a shock when you start to really shine a light on it.

Swiss Chard, Lentils and Brown Rice

SWISS CHARD, LENTILS AND BROWN RICE

Ingredients:

1/4 cup brown Rice (uncooked)

1/3  cup Water

1 1/2 tsp Coconut Oil

4 cups Swiss Chard (washed, stems removed and chopped)

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Garlic (clove, minced)

1 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup Lentils (cooked, drained and rinsed)

Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)

Options:

  • Use quinoa or brown rice pasta instead of brown rice.
  • No Swiss Chard – Use kale, spinach or collard greens instead.
  • More Protein – Top with a poached egg.

Method:

  1. Combine the rice and water in a medium sized pot and lightly salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and let cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until rice is tender.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Add the swiss chard and saute just until wilted. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cumin, paprika, olive oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar and lentils. Stir well until everything is well mixed. Add in the rice once it is cooked, and continue to saute. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Divide into bowls and enjoy!

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