16 Tips To Help You Become A Healthy, Creative and Intuitive Cook

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Learning to become a healthy, creative and intuitive cook has been an imperative part of my own healing journey. There is nothing more satisfying than preparing meals with love and knowing the food is playing a crucial role in your own healing and wellbeing.

Preparing healthy meals from scratch does not need to be complicated and can be extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Not to mention taste sensational.

Your body will LOVE YOU for it too!

Here are some tips I have compiled to help you become a healthy, creative and intuitive cook!

cookingpost4Making a green smoothie

1. Get friendly with your local organic grocer and farmers market and learn to appreciate where your food comes from. Buy closer to the source by shopping at your local farmers market. Opt for organic and bio dynamic over conventional produce which is typically grown in nutrient devoid soils with pesticides and laden with hormones and antibiotics.

2. Preparation is key, stock up on healthy whole foods. If you have junk food in your pantry, you are likely to want to eat it. It is in our primal nature to gravitate towards calorie dense, sugar and fat laden foods.

Compile a healthy shopping list:

~ Healthy oils to cook with or drizzle on food such an organic, extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil and organic, grass-fed ghee and butter.

~ Good quality unrefined salt such as Celtic or Himalayan salt and Herbamare seasoning

~ Buy up big on fresh, organic vegetables and fruits in all the colours of the rainbow. Enjoy a mixture or raw and cooked vegetables and fruits. Some heat sensitive micronutrients are only available when the food is raw. Other nutrients are more bioavailable in cooked food.

~ Fresh herbs such as turmeric, ginger, coriander, parsley, basil, dill and rosemary add instant flavour, colour and nutrition to meals.

~Garlic, garlic, garlic!! This superfood is amazing for you and tastes sensational. Onion is another wonderful flavour enhancer whether you use raw red onion in salads or stir fry, caramelise red or white onion as part of a meal. Onions and garlic are rich in sulfur which aids in detoxification, so don’t hold back! Garlic is also a potent antimicrobial, for those on a candida diet or parasite cleanse this is a must.

~ Stock up on quality nuts, seeds, legumes and grains of your liking. I use activated sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds currently. Look out for organic quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, almonds, macadamia, walnuts and brazil nuts. A few companies are producing activated nuts and seeds now by soaking and dehydrating them to make them more digestible. The soaking process tricks the nuts, seeds, legumes or grains into releasing phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors residing in their outer shell, that they use as protective mechanisms until the right conditions are present to sprout. Phytic acid binds to important minerals in the gut, chelating them out of the body before they can be absorbed, and enzyme inhibitors disrupt protein digestion by interfering with protein digesting enzymes.

~ If you eat meat buy organic, free range, grass fed meat, poultry, eggs and wild, low mercury seafood. Try kangaroo, a wild, nutritious and sustainable meat. Experiment with steaming, poaching, roasting, slow cooking and grilling.

~ Stock up on an array of dried single and mixed herbs and spices. My favourites are cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, cumin, dill, basil and rosemary and curry powder. There are also some great curry pastes available without any nasties, checkout your local health food store.

~ Condiments and baking aids such as Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut aminos, organic mustard, aluminum free bi-carb soda and vanilla powder.

~ Have flours on hand for baking, coating and thickening such as coconut flour, buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, plantain flour and rice flour.

~ Natural sweeteners such as stevia leaf, raw honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup

~ Have some raw, organic sauerkraut on hand to add to your meals for a unique flavour, texture and a hit of probiotics.

3. Learn how to master the basic cooking techniques. Do you know how to steam, poach, boil, stir fry, braise, stew, bake, grill, roast, saute, caramelise, blend, grind, process, grate, shred. Having these skills make it a bit less daunting when faced with a bunch of ingredients and intuitively choosing what to do with them. You can find plenty of instructions on the internet. Or ask a family member or friend to teach you.

4. You might want to invest in a few gadgets like a spirooli to make zucchini pasta, a blender, a food processor, quality knives and non-toxic pots and pans.

5. Google, cookbooks and magazines are your friend. Research healthy recipes on the internet, books and magazines. Using key words such as paleo, raw, primal, gluten free, dairy free, low carb, vegetarian, vegan when searching the internet will really help you find appropriate recipes. For example you want to make a healthy Apple pie. Type into google ‘paleo apple pie’ and you will get some delicious recipes made with almond meal, eggs, apples, cinnamon, coconut oil and ghee for example. If you type in ‘raw apple pie’ you will get recipes using nuts, dates, coconut syrup, honey, apples and lemon.

After testing out many recipes you will become more confident, practice makes perfect.

6. Make a conscious effort to breath, relax and be completely present when preparing food.

7. Set some intentions for the meal you are about to prepare. This food is going to nourish me, heal me, support me emotionally, physically and spiritually. Let your infinite love flow into the meal you are preparing.

8. Mix up different foods, textures, flavours and colours. Try a funky salad with organic greens, activated almonds, sauerkraut, poached fish, toasted nori, hemp seeds, red cabbage, cucumber and an olive oil, tahini and turmeric dressing.

9. Taste the food whilst you cook to suss it out (I do this probably too much!)

10. Don’t be afraid to experiment, let your creativity run wild! They don’t always work out, but you learn from your mistakes, and it is fun.

11. Don’t shy away from using your clean hands when appropriate in the cooking process, this really connect you to the food you are preparing.

12. Get creative with plating your food up. Top meals with pretty garnishes such as herbs, sprouts, toasted coconut, a drizzle of tahini, turmeric and olive oil dressing. Make a rainbow of colours!

13. Dont be afraid of fat! Fat not only makes food taste amazing but is contains essential fatty acids crucial for optimal health and fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. It also aids in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and minerals from other nutrient sources it accompanies in a meal. I always make sure I have a quality fat source with my meal. Fat is essential for our survival and is important in triggering the hormones that generate a feeling of satiety after consuming a meal. Try adding avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, tahini to a meal or sourcing wild fish, organic grass fed lamb and beef and organic, free range eggs.

14. Have fun! Don’t take the cooking process too seriously, it is ok if things do not go to plan. Quite often things do not go to plan for me but I go with it. Perfection doesn’t exist, so learn to flow with the process.

15. If you haven’t already, discover the world of raw desserts! Trust me, you will never feel the need to go back to conventional sweets made of boring refined flour, sugar and milk EVER!

16. Trust what your body is telling you nourish it with, tune into your intuition. When you feel the hunger rising, what does your body tell you it needs. This will vary from day to day and season to season. In winter your body may crave more warming, cooked, unctuous foods, soup, stews, animal proteins and roasts. In summer your body may crave more raw foods, fruits and smoothies.

rawchocpie3Raw Chocolate Pie

cookingpost3Pan fried apricots with cinnamon and fresh raspberry and coconut milk ice cream

I hope these tips will serve you well and help guide you towards unleashing your inner healthy, creative and intuitive cooking goddess! Or god!

Let go of your inhibitions, put your apron on and get into the kitchen people! Be prepared to experience increased vitality, energy, and well being when you tune in and prepare nourishing meals with LOVE!

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My Daily Healing Regimen

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The past 4 years has seen me trying every modality, vitamin, herb, healing technique, medical system, experimental drug there is to offer in order to heal from what was diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an illness that effects multiple systems of the body: the immune system, endocrine system, digestive system, liver function, hormones, mitochondrial function, methylation, brain and nervous system function. Thousands of studies have provided evidence of such dysfunctions in CFS sufferers but they are yet to discover the primary cause of the illness. Some specialists suggest auto-immunity or a hyper-reactive immune system is to blame, others believe it is caused by central nervous system abnormalities, hormones, chronic infection or mitochondrial dysfunction.

I am unsure if they will find one primary cause. This isn’t intended to be a negative statement. I just believe that sufferers are experiencing very similar core issues and symptoms, but with their own set of unique causes and triggers. Genetic predisposition is a given, as is a weak immune system and digestive system. But for some glandular fever, heavy metal toxicity, hormone disregulation and under-methlyation are core issues, for another it may be Blastocystis Hominis, HHV-6, Pyroluria, mold allergy and severe emotional stress, just as an example. It is a BIG puzzle, that needs to be put together. I believe every CFS sufferer needs to find their unique CFS FLAVOUR!

After so many years of searching for the primary cause of my health issues, I finally tested strong positive to Lyme Disease that explains the majority of my ongoing symptoms. Strong positive on relevant IgG and IgM bands.  Frankly though, I am really over these labels and diagnosis’, I am so happy to know what I need to treat: Chronic Borreliosis, Babesia, Leptospirosis, Mycoplasma, Candida, my battered immune system and heavy metal toxicity. I finally trust my body and I am able follow my intuition! I feel like I am on the right path now.

So my current healing regimen is rather involved! It is a combination of what has worked for me over the years for general detox, digestive, inflammation and immune support, plus some very potent herbal antimicrobials.

I have a great doctor and naturopath who both specialise in Lyme treating me, so my protocol includes their recommendations amalgamated. I feel well supported!

Ok, so here it goes, a very intimate look into my daily healing regimen!

Rule of thumb: If you are making an effort to kill disease causing pathogens such as Lyme and co-infections, you must make an effort to detoxify the endotoxins that are released as they die off in your body. These toxins cause a worsening of symptoms and are typically referred to as a herxheimer reaction.

My Regime

8.00 am

I wake up!

I do tongue scraping daily (an Ayurvedic detoxification method) to get rid of any toxins that have been dumped on the tongue overnight.

I begin with Byron White formula’s A-L Complex first thing in the morning. Wait 15 minutes. Then Take A-Bab.

I then wait 30 minutes.

9.00 am

I take biofilm enzymes by Kirkman labs and ascorbic acid and wait 30 minutes. I do a yoga nidra meditation in bed during this time.

I drink a lot of filtered water in the mornings with concentrated mineral drops and usually a warm water and raw organic apple cider vinegar drink. I heat up some water in a pot and lightly simmer some Extox tea to drink and to use as a base for smoothies when cool.

9.30 am

When half an hour is up since taking my enzymes I take nascent iodine and my antimicrobials: Nutramedix Samento, P73 Oreganol oregano oil, Lauricidin Monolaurin, Paradise Herbs Japanese Knotweed (also a potent antioxidant), Dr Nicola Mcfadzean’s Teasle Root tincure, Paradise Herbs Olive leaf extract, Nutri-biotic Grape Fruit seed extract, Doctors Best Artimisinin and Nature’s Way Smilax (also a potent blood cleanser.)

I buy the majority of my supplements from Iherb and Natural Health Concepts.

I then wait another 30 minutes every second day and take LivOn Liposomal Glutathione for detoxification support and to protect the liver.

I also take detox herbs Liver Life by BioRay and Detox Assist by Californian Xtracts. I take a mushroom formula by Paradise herbs to boost my immune system and stimulate NK cell production.

I then wait 15-30 minutes.

I do some oil pulling most days with coconut oil in the morning and use a netti pot with salty water to flush out my sinuses.

I do plain water, probiotic and coffee enemas (yes that is putting organic, ground, medium roast, brewed coffee up my butt) a few times a week usually in the morning. Coffee enemas are wonderful for liver detoxification, inflammation and glutathione production, the bodies master antioxidant. It is one of the few things that actually gives me an almost immediate reduction in symptoms. Find out how to do them here.

10.30 am

I have a portable infrared sauna which I use 5 times per week for 30-40 minutes for detoxification. This is another tool which helps me soo much. I either do this in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Previous to the sauna I do dry body brushing to stimulate my lymphatic system and circulation.

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I have also finally tuned in to my bodies natural rhythm for meal times. I used to feel like because it was a certain time I should have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Now I find my body really likes intermittent fasting overnight and for the majority of the morning. This is wonderful for activating autophagy, the process in which cell organelles (cell organs if you like) detoxify the cell from viruses, bacteria, old mitochondria and waste material. Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of autophagy in destroying and reducing intracellular pathogens and optimising immunity. Goodbye Lyme! The science says however that these fasts need be no longer than 16 hours to be effective. Longer fasts can actually inhibit autophagy. Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. If it feels hard then it isn’t right for you at this time. It should be easy and feel good. I have more clarity and energy in the mornings.

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11 pm

Next I break the fast usually around 11am with a detox smoothie. I take GI Encap by Thorne, Phytoprofen by Thorne for inflammation, NOW Digest Platinum digestive enzymes, coconut water kefir and a probiotic such as HealthForce Nutritionals probiotic.

Now I try to get in the sunshine, go for a swim in the ocean, ground myself to the earth.

I then try and do some art if I feel up to it.

2.00 pm

I then have lunch with digestive enzymes, Thorne Biogest, Ortho Molecular Reacted zinc, Thorne B-complex and Eclectic Institute organic freeze dried garlic.

I will continue working on my art or blog if I can.

I practice mindfulness meditation in the afternoon.

Later in the afternoon I take a Toxin mobiliser Herb Pharm Cilantro tincture and toxin binders Dr Mercola’s chlorella, HealthForce Nutritionals or Results RNA Nano Zeolite and food grade diatomaceous earth. I also take Nutri-Biotic Buffered vitamin C and Thorne Magnesium Citramate. I take my detox herbs again soon after this.

6.00 pm

Dinner time arrives and I take Biogest, digestive enzymes and garlic again with my meal.

8.30 pm

At least a couple of hours after eating I can take my Byron White formulas again 15 minutes apart.

9.00 pm

I then repeat the morning routine of enzymes and ascorbic acid, followed by antimicrobials 30 minutes later.

Before bed I use some essential oils such as oregano, clove and peppermint. I also use Ancient Minerals magnesium and MSM spray.

I then write down my daily gratitude list before going to sleep.

My Diet

My diet is very low carb to avoid feeding the spirochete bacteria fuel: sugar and starch, and fits into the paleo model. I have eaten this way for 4 years. Experimenting along the way and finding what works for me.

I strictly avoid all allergenic foods for me this is dairy, grains, legumes, and soy and all pro-inflammatory foods such as sugar.

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My diet consists of:

Organic, wild, free range beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, bacon, chicken liver, kangaroo, fish, shellfish and egg yolks

Lots of green vegetables, low starch vegetables, leafy greens, onion, garlic, tumeric, ginger

Seaweed

Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flakes, coconut butter

Avocado, Olive oil, Macadamia oil

Raw Sauerkraut

Coconut water kefir

Chia seeds, hemp seeds, activated sunflower seeds and pepitas, tahini

Herbs and spices

Apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos

I am also about to begin rifing! An experimental alternative to antibiotics.

I guess the question you are all asking is, are you getting better?

Well, yes I am. It is slow and one step forward two steps back kinda thing, but I have come so far, from bed ridden and house bound for 3 years, stuggling to have a conversation, dress myself, just do the bare necessities. To moving to Byron Bay a year ago and looking after myself without help. It has only been the past 2 months that I have began specific Lyme treatment and although in some ways I have been worse at times (herxing), I seem to be getting more energy some days! I am able to do more, slowly but surely! I have done ALOT of ground work over the past four years so I predict I will recover quickly. Basically doing all of the above but without the antimicrobial herbs, saunas, coffee enemas and toxin binding supplements.

On top of all of this I am extremely positive and optimistic. I also do visualisations of the healthy me, running, dancing, surfing, traveling, socialising, working, write down manifestations and I produced a dream board of living 100% health and vitality.

I also live a toxin free lifestyle! No chemicals in my skin care, cleaning products and make up. 

So there it is, a day in the life of me. Of course it doesn’t always run this smoothly. But I try my hardest. I am very disciplined and determined.

Lyme Disease in Australia + Symptoms and Testing

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Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi similar to the bacteria that causes Syphilis, the definition has also been expanded to include Afzelii, Andersonii, Garinii strains of Borrelia. It is transmitted from infected ticks (and possibly insects) to humans and is found worldwide. Lyme disease is named after the town of Lyme and Old Lyme in Connecticut, USA where the infection was first discovered in 1975. Lyme disease is commonly accompanied by a number of co-infections including but not limited to Babesioisis, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Rikettsia & Mycoplasma. These diseases cause their own unique symptoms on top of those commonly suffered by individuals infected with Lyme disease.

If detected early Lyme disease treatment is usually relatively simple and effective. Early Lyme disease causes symptoms such as flu like symptoms, headaches, fever, muscle soreness & unexplained fatigue. Less than 50% of those infected with Lyme Disease develop the “bulls-eye” (or erthema migrans) rash a few days or even a few weeks after their tick bite. Quite often a tick bite goes completely unnoticed because the ticks are the size of a poppy-seed and no rash is evident.

Because of the complete lack of awareness of the existence of Lyme Disease in Australia and the political climate of Lyme Disease in the US, the early symptoms are typically ignored by doctors or mistaken as a viral infection, leaving a serious infection untreated. If the infection is left untreated the long term consequences of this are serious and can cause a wide range of debilitating symptoms and occasionally death. The spirochete bacteria can spread and go into hiding in the body living in the blood, cells, tissues and organs. It is very smart and can hide from the immune system by decreasing expression of surface proteins that the immune systems usually targets with antibodies. It also forms bio-films which protect itself from attack by the immune system and antibiotics. They call Lyme disease ‘the great imitator’ because Chronic Lyme is commonly misdiagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Alzheimer’s Disease etc. Lyme Disease can affect various organs in the body including muscles & joints, the heart, gastro-intestinal system & neurological system (including the brain).

Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms may include:

Head, Face, Neck

    • Unexplained hair loss
    • Headache, mild or severe, Seizures
    • Pressure in head, white matter lesions in brain (MRI)
    • Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy, Homer’s syndrome)
    • Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
    • Stiff or painful neck
    • Twitching of facial or other muscles
    • Jaw pain or stiffness
    • Dental problems (unexplained)
    • Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm ( flem ), hoarseness, runny nose

Eyes/Vision

    • Double or blurry vision
    • Increased floating spots
    • Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes
    • Oversensitivity to light
    • Flashing lights/Peripheral waves/phantom images in corner of eyes

Ears/Hearing

    • Decreased hearing in one or both ears, plugged ears
    • Buzzing in ears
    • Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sounds
    • Ringing in one or both ears

Digestive and Excretory Systems

    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Irritable bladder (trouble starting, stopping) or Interstitial cystitis
    • Upset stomach (nausea or pain) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Musculoskeletal System

    • Bone pain, joint pain or swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Stiffness of joints, back, neck, tennis elbow
    • Muscle pain or cramps (Fibromyalgia)

Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

    • Shortness of breath, can’t get full/satisfying breath, cough
    • Chest pain or rib soreness
    • Night sweats or unexplained chills
    • Heart palpitations or extra beats
    • Endocarditis, Heart blockage

Neurologic System

    • Tremors or unexplained shaking
    • Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
    • Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, weakness, peripheral neuropathy or partial paralysis
    • Pressure in the head
    • Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
    • Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
    • Increased motion sickness
    • Lightheadedness, wooziness

Psychological well-being

    • Mood swings, irritability, bi-polar disorder
    • Unusual depression
    • Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)
    • Feeling as if you are losing your mind
    • Over-emotional reactions, crying easily
    • Too much sleep, or insomnia
    • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
    • Narcolepsy, sleep apnea
    • Panic attacks, anxiety

Mental Capability

    • Memory loss (short or long term)
    • Confusion, difficulty in thinking
    • Difficulty with concentration or reading
    • Going to the wrong place
    • Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)
    • Stammering speech
    • Forgetting how to perform simple tasks

Reproduction and Sexuality

    • Loss of sex drive
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Unexplained menstral pain, irregularity
    • Unexplained breast pain, discharge
    • Testicular or pelvic pain

General Well-being

  • Phantom smells
  • Unexplained weight gain, loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Swollen glands/lymph nodes
  • Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
  • Continual infections (sinus, kidney, eye, etc.)
  • Symptoms seem to change, come and go
  • Pain migrates (moves) to different body parts
  • Early on, experienced a “flu-like” illness, after which you have not since felt well.
  • Low body temperature
  • Allergies/Chemical sensitivities
  • Increased effect from alcohol and possible worse hangover

Symptoms are not limited to those listed however.

Symptoms are taken from the Australian Lyme Disease Association’s website here.

Currently the Australian Government fails to admit to the existence of Lyme Disease in Australia, basing their stance on a highly floored study published in 1994 that failed to find evidence of Borrelia in Australian ticks. Many other independent studies have found evidence of Lyme Disease in Australia including those listed on this page. Dr Mayne, a Lyme disease specialist from Sydney has published two studies providing evidence of Lyme Disease infections acquired in Australia here and here. Other reports can be found here and here. It is interesting to note that the Australian Veterinary industry is very open and honest about the fact that Lyme disease exists in Australia and in the animals they treat. The CSIRO even states on their website that Borreliosis is found in native Australian animals. Australia also has its own unique strain of Borrelia, Borrelia Queenslandica discovered in 1962. There is currently some serious work being done to create awareness of Lyme Disease in Australia so the suffering can be decreased. Unfortunately the government doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about admitting the pathogen exists here, likely due to the financial costs that it will incur when the truth is revealed. Currently most doctors are not trained to identify Lyme disease in Australia and there is very poor testing available. There is also no financial help for those suffering who are subject to extremely high medical costs. These problems alone will be costly to rectify when the government chooses to support the existence of Lyme Disease. Thankfully some amazing Lyme literate doctors in Australia are currently working on the Australian Lyme Disease treatment and diagnostic guidelines; awareness and support for sufferers.

Currently thousands of potential Lyme sufferers are sending their blood for testing to Lyme specialist labs in the United States and Europe. Because the bacteria is so difficult to culture the worlds top Lyme specialists currently favour the Western blot antibodies test by Igenex to test for the infection. There are other options available however. Helpful information on testing options can be found here and here.

Hopefully this post can help those suffering in the dark find answers if the above symptoms resonate with them.

Have you heard of Lyme Disease? Or know anyone with this condition?

I will follow on from this post with potential treatment options, particularly for when the illness is in the chronic stage. The majority of Lyme Disease cases in Australia are currently in the chronic stage because of misdiagnosis and ignorance.

Raw Zucchini Hummus

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This is most definitely my favourite dip right now. Maybe it is because I am currently obsessed with tahini and its deliciousness.

This version of ‘hummus’ uses raw zucchini instead of the traditional chickpea. It is certainly more digestible and in my opinion tastier too! it is really simple to make you just need a food processor or high powered bender.

Raw Zucchini Hummus

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini sliced

1/2 cup hulled tahini

1 small garlic clove if it is the potent, purple variety or half a large Russian garlic (they are more subtle in flavour.)

Juice of half a small lemon

1/4 teaspoon of himalayan or celtic sea salt

I added a small dash of extra water to make it my desired consistency. It is up to you!

Method

Add all ingredients into the food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of paprika and parsley if you desire.

Have you tried this version of hummus? Do you have any delectable dips to share with me?

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My Gut Healing and Liver Detoxifying Supplemental smoothie

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One of my favourite smoothies at the moment is my Gut Healing and Liver Detoxifying Supplemental Smoothie which incorporates slippery elm, aloe vera, water kefir probiotic, psyllium husks, l-glutamine and chia seeds to support gut health. I also add herbs that I brew as tea and leave to cool before adding to the smoothie to aid in liver detoxification. I purchase an organic loose leaf tea that includes burdock root, liquorice root, dandelion root, st mary’s thistle seed, nettle leaf, lemon peel, rhubarb root, calendula flower and lemon verbena.

The smoothie also features organic zucchini, hulled hemp seeds, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla powder and whole leaf stevia. It may not look amazing but it has a lovely flavour and creamy texture.

This smoothie is very low in sugar and starch which suits my Lyme diet protocol and would be compliant with a candida diet, GAPS and specific carbohydrate diet.

It is a great way to get some wonderful nourishing and healing foods and supplements into the body all in the one hit!

This smoothie also tastes fabulous with maca, raw cacao, acai/goji/pomegranate powder, activated sunflower seeds, tahini, frozen blueberries and raspberries.

The recipe given is the core Gut Healing and Liver Detoxifying Supplemental Smoothie. Please have a play around with it.

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Here is my recipe.

Gut Healing and Liver Detoxifying Supplemental Smoothie

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini

2 tsp psyllium husk

2 tsp chia seeds

1 tbs hulled hemp seeds

2 tbs coconut cream/milk (I used Ayam, it is quite think.)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Inner gel of one aloe vera leaf or 30 ml organic aloe vera juice

1 tsp slippery elm

1 tsp l-glutamine

2 tbs coconut water kefir or you can empty the contents of a probiotic capsule

Whole leaf stevia drops or powder. Best to experiment with your desired sweetness

1 cup of brewed liver detox tea that has cooled.

Any other additions such as maca, raw cacao, acai/goji/pomegranate powder, activated sunflower seeds, tahini, frozen blueberries and raspberries.

You may need to adjust the additional liquid content depending on your desired thickness!

Method

Simmer liver detox tea for 5 minutes in filtered water and let is steep for another 10 and cool.

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend!

Top with cinnamon, hemp seeds and activated sunflower seeds if you wish.

Enjoy!

I use a personal Tribest blender.

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My Lyme Disease Diagnosis

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Hello again, I am finally back to blogging and I am here to stay. I apologise for my absence, but I plan on sticking around this time sharing all things health, wellness, nutrition, mind, body and soul. I also want to share the next chapter of my healing journey with you, which came as a surprise this year. The past 6 months have been interesting to say the least. New challenges have emerged, as they do. Emotional and physical healing has been profound. It has been a big year of acceptance and letting go. Something that has been recurrent the past 4 years. I have the tendency to try and force things in my life to happen, being overly ambitious, optimistic and positive (which is great!) but sometimes things have to happen in divine timing. Trust the process so to speak.

I started studying nutritional medicine earlier in the year. I knew I wasn’t physically ready, but I was so caught up in my passion for nutrition, my desire to help others and keeping up with the successes of those around me that I didn’t want to get left behind. So I dove right into study, for 2 weeks, but then my health went down hill quite dramatically. I couldn’t get out of bed let alone study. I couldn’t believe this was happening and really broke down, I was a mess actually. Soon after accepting it wasn’t the right time for me to study and truly letting go of these expectations I had for myself I felt such a huge sense of relief. I needed to be gentle with myself.

Very soon after this shift I had such a huge surge in creative inspiration as an artist. And ever since I have been overflowing with creativity it has been overwhelming. My hands can’t keep up! If you would like to follow my artistic creations visit my website, my blog and my facebook page. I will be sharing updates on my work here too. I have equal passion for art as I do natural health and nutrition, I ultimately want to pursue both. I like having the balance of using my creativity and intellect interchangeably. But for now focusing on my art is more nurturing and supportive to my health and well-being whilst I heal.

Continuing on with my healing journey it has been a very turbulent year with some improvements, but also some major setbacks. After 4 years of trying basically everything I could to heal and doing every functional test available to me ie: salivary hormones, heavy metals, thyroid T3/T4/Reverse T3/antibodies/TSH, methylation nutrients, autoimmunity, immune dysfunction, chronic viral and bacterial infections, GI profile testing I was stuck on what to do next. I knew I hadn’t found the primary cause of my illness.

I had heard in recent times that some people were being misdiagnosed with CFS when in fact the cause of their health issues was Chronic Lyme disease an infection caused by the spirochete bacteria species Borrelia, similar to syphilis that is transmitted by ticks to humans. Some doctors call Lyme Disease the great mimic as it can cause such a wide range of debilitating symptoms especially when left untreated for many years. Many sufferers are misdiagnosed with CFS, Fibromyalgia, MS, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, Psychiatric disorders, Rheumatoid Arthritis and so on when the primary cause is actually Lyme and co-infections such as Bartonella, Babesia and Mycoplasma.

I decided I needed to test for Lyme, what did I have to lose. I visited a Lyme literate doctor In Mullumbimby who order a CD57 test which measures a subset of lymphocytes that are quite reliably low in Chronic Lyme Disease. I received my results promptly showing my levels were low, likely due to my immune systems chronic fight against Lyme.  I then consulted with a chronic disease and Lyme specialist in Maleny who recommended a large array of tests as well as the Igenex western blot for Lyme disease.

After a long wait I received the news that my test was a definite, strong positive for Lyme on both IgM and IgG bands. Meaning a current but long term infection. I had already received a clinical diagnosis from my VERY confident doctor using symptom assessment and my high chance of Lyme exposure. Now we were certain of the diagnosis. I was very overwhelmed with finally discovering what has been the main contributor to my ill health for so many years.  There were strong feelings of relief, but also anger towards the many doctors I had seen who completely ignored my plea for help for so long.

So where to from here? My doctor wants me to take multiple antibiotics for 12 + months. I am joining the forces of an experience LLMD Doctor and naturopath to guide me through the very time consuming and involved treatment process. My healing regime is similar to what I have been doing plus ALOT of antimicrobials, biofilm enzymes and detoxification support. I am also using some additional, quite controversial treatments which I will take you through in another post!

You know what feels so good? To actually know what I am treating. I have found the primary cause. This is what functional medicine is all about. Finding and treating the cause. It is also important with Lyme to address heavy metal toxicity, immune dysfunction, candida, detoxification, methylation, pyroluria, co-infections, viral infections, nutrient deficiencies, parasites, gut dysbiosis, allergies, food intolerance, and hormonal imbalance.

I will address Lyme Disease further in future posts including why is certainly does exist in Australia, treatment options and symptoms.

I look forward to sharing with you the next chapter of my healing journey, but also some new and exciting recipes, health and nutrition related topics.

10 Tips to Eliminate Cellulite

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There lacks definitive studies on the etiology of cellulite but what is evident is that cellulite is complex and caused by a range of factors including hormonal imbalance, toxins stored in adipose tissue, collagen and elastin breakdown, stiffening of fibrous connective tissues causing fat to bulge through creating an uneven texture, inadequate exercise, poor circulation and lymphatic drainage, and fluid retention. Eliminating or reducing cellulite is possible but requires a well-rounded approach and permanent diet and lifestyle changes. There are also more specific therapies that can be integrated into your daily routine. I have had cellulite since I was a young teenager and not surprisingly the more my health deteriorated the more severe my cellulite became, it also spread from my thighs to my stomach, lower back and upper arms. Poor detox capacity, hormonal issues, heavy metal toxicity, inability to exercise, poor circulation and protein (collagen) and elastin breakdown no doubt contributed to this. Now my cellulite is almost completely eliminated which I never thought would be possible. Admittedly many of the lifestyle and diet changes below I integrated into my life to heal myself from ME/CFS but it is those listed I believe have also had a dramatic effect on reducing cellulite. Essentially we are simply facilitating the healing, fueling the body with adequate nutrients for repair, using certain therapies, herbs and exercise to strengthen the areas prone to cellulite and improve circulation.

Here are my tips for reducing and hopefully eliminating cellulite all together!

1. Eat an organic, whole foods diet that facilitates deep cleansing of the body with adequate healthy fats and protein, reducing the burden of toxic residues found in conventional foods and foods such as processed sugars, grains, processed vegetable oils and conventional meat, poultry and dairy.

2. Dry body brushing for improved circulation, lymphatic drainage and removing dead skins cells. Great instructions are found here.

3. Exercise, particularly weight training, rebounding, squats (really noticed a difference with these), walking and yoga.

4. Adequate filtered water with mineral drops to hydrate and re-mineralise.

5. Infrared saunas to improve circulation, oxygenate the tissues and detox toxic substances residing in the tissues found underneath the skin.

6. Avoidance of Xenoestrogens that mimic estrogen in the body leading to hormonal imbalances. The best way to do this is to go all organic and ‘green’ avoiding all chemicals and avoid foods such as soy, flax seeds and conventional meat, dairy and poultry. No BPA, chemical laden body care products, toxic cleaning products and perfumes.

7. Eating gelatin (collagen) from grass fed, free ranging cows and bone broth (boiling down the bones and tissues of lamb, beef and chicken.) I use Great Lakes gelatin. This provides the body with the building blocks (amino acids) to synthesise its very own collagen which is the most abundant protein found in the body and is what connective tissues are made from.

8. Vitamin C for sufficient synthesis of collagen.

9. Lymphatic drainage massage

10. Try herbs Gotu Kula to stimulate collagen production and circulation, Liquorice root for its active compound Glycyrrhetinic acid that can reduce fat accumulation fighting the fat storage effects of cortisol and Horse Chestnut to reduce swelling, poor circulation and inflammation.

Have you had success with reducing or eliminating cellulite? What has worked for you?

Read this very well researched and referenced article by medical doctor Laurie Barclay on cellulite.

Photo credit: Helga Weber / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Recipe: Creamy Avocado Zucchini Pasta with Salmon and Dill

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Gosh I find cooking therapeutic! Not only is the act of cooking so enjoyable, it’s so empowering to know I am nourishing and healing my body each time I prepare a meal. My food is my medicine. I made this lovely zucchini pasta recipe for a friend the other day. I am going to be brutally honest I do not normally consume farmed salmon which makes up the majority of the salmon found in Australia, unless you source fresh frozen Canadian wild salmon from The Canadian Way, or purchase genuine tinned wild salmon from Vital Choice or Wild Planet wild Alaskan salmon off Iherb. Farmed salmon is marketed as a health food but it is farm from it.

Farmed salmon live in overcrowded unnatural conditions fed a diet of toxic food pellets containing refined grains, soy, seeds oils, chemicals (to colour their flesh pink) and antibiotics. A FYI fish don’t normally eat these foods. Their natural diet of krill, algae, and small amounts of other fish is what gives them such a high omega 3 content. Farmed salmon is much higher in the pro-inflammatory omega 6 and much lower in omega 3. The farming practices are also destroying the environment surrounding the farming areas. Another word of warning, look out for the proposed ‘Frankensalmon‘ a genetically modified salmon.

Now you can see how farmed salmon may need to be a ‘treat’ not an everyday kinda thing to avoid traces of antibiotics, pesticides, omega 6 excess and canthaxanthin. This recipe can be made with tinned or fresh wild salmon but for a special occasion I had some farmed smoked salmon. It would also go nicely with some activated walnuts, chicken or other wild fish instead of salmon.

Recipe: Creamy Avocado Zucchini Pasta with Salmon and Dill

Ingredients

2 large zucchinis

Dill

Capers

1/2 avocado

1 red onion

Salmon

unrefined Celtic or Himalayan salt

Method

Create zucchini pasta by peeling, using a julienne peeler or spirooli. Sprinkle with salt and let it sit to wilt.

Meanwhile caramelise the red onion with a pinch of salt in a pan.

Finely chop some dill and capers then mash them with some avocado until combined but still slightly chunky.

Add the avocado mixture to the zucchini pasta and toss through. Serve with salmon, caramelised onion and a dollop more of avocado, caper and some dill on top.

Pretty simple but yumo!

Recipe: Fermented Buckwheat Pancakes

buckpan9If there is one persudo grain I would consume it would be buckwheat. I personally do not tolerate any grains generally and completely avoid all gluten containing grains because of an intolerance to the protein. Buckwheat is technically the seed of a flower and comes from the same group of plants as rhubarb and sorrel. Buckwheat is particularly high in magnesium, fiber and manganese.

Like all nuts, seeds, grains and legumes buckwheat should be properly prepared for consumption by soaking, sprouting and/or fermenting to remove the toxins which reside in the husk. These substances protect the seed until conditions are suitable for the nut, seed, grain or legume to sprout where it discards the toxins in its outer layer. These substances include the phytate phytic acid which binds to important minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron in the intestinal tract carrying them out of the body, blocking their absorption. Enzyme inhibitors are also found in the husk which inhibit the action of enzymes. These substances destroy, interrupt or warp the action of the enzyme interfering with digestion. Tannins and saponins are also often present.

Soaking, fermenting and sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes and grains also increases their nutrient value. Digestibility is increased, enzymes are activated and nutrients are bioavailable.

This buckwheat pancakes recipe produces the most delightful, fluffy pancakes.

Recipe: Fermented Buckwheat Pancakes

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Ingredients

2 cups of raw organic buckwheat

Water to cover when soaking the buckwheat

1 cup of water

1 tsp of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar with the mother

2 x pinch of celtic sea salt

2 whole eggs

3 eggs separated

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

stevia or raw honey to taste

1/2 tsp bi carb soda

Tsp coconut oil

Method

Soak 2 cups of buckwheat in water to cover and a pinch of salt for 6 hours of overnight. Rinse the buckwheat. Place back in a large bowl with another pinch of salt, a cup of water and the raw vinegar. Using a stick blender to blend to a smooth paste. Cover and leave to ferment over night or for roughly 12 hours. After this time you can give it another blend to ensure a smooth consistency. Add the 2 whole eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, bi carb soda and honey/stevia. Separate the 3 remaining eggs. Add the egg yolks. Whip the 3 egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the egg whites to the mix, mixing roughly attempting to keep the mixture air rated.

Heat a tsp of coconut oil in a pan on a medium heat. Place a nice dollop of the mixture in the pan. The mixture goes great in small size pancakes or large. Serve with fruit, yogurt, raw honey or whatever your heart desires. You can even omit the sweet additions and create savoury buckwheat crepes and serve with bacon.

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Food reactions and a Recipe: Pumpkin & Coconut Custard

pumpkincustard2I love experimenting with new recipes that not only nourish my body and suit my complex dietary requirements but taste amazing! Food sensitivities, intolerances and what are known as IgG food allergies are becoming increasingly common. In ME/CFS food reactions effect the majority of sufferers and are inevitable when leaky gut is suffered. Leaky gut occurs when the small intestinal walls becomes damaged and permeable due to various lifestyle and dietary factors. Large undigested food particles find their way across the gut wall and activate an immune response because the immune system see these food particles as foreign. These reactions cause inflammation throughout the body and can lead to symptoms that include gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, skin eruptions, mood changes, joint and muscle pain, sinus congestion plus many more. Any food could be potentially causing an IgG reaction from nuts, meats and eggs to fruit, vegetables and grains.

Food intolerances such as gluten and dairy intolerance are extremely common but do not necessarily involve an immune response. The most common reaction to dairy is lactose intolerance where the individual lacks the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose present in the dairy product, causing gastrointestinal symptoms. Gluten intolerance tends to occur due to an individuals inability to digest the problematic proteins found in gluten containing grains. The exact etiology of gluten intolerance is not known and the reaction may vary from person to person. The immune system may still be involved but it is not the same as celiac disease where an auto-immune reaction occurs. Both gluten intolerance/sensitivity and celiac disease can lead to severe damage to small intestinal villi, hindering absorption of nutrients. Gluten intolerance can cause not only gastrointestinal symptoms but neurological symptoms, muscle and joint pain and many other symptoms. Grains, particularly modern wheat contain other problematic components that can cause issues. But that is another post in itself.

Some people also react to certain foods due to the foods manufacturing process, that leaves their chemical composition essentially damaged and nutritional factors destroyed. An example is milk. Conventional milk comes from cows that are barn raised, fed unnatural feed (grains, soy), hormones and antibiotics. The milk is then pasteurised and homogenised which destroys live enzymes including the enzyme lactase that helps digest the disaccharide lactose and lipase that digests fat. Nutrition content is also affected. Homogenisation is used to break up the fat in the milk and evenly distribute it throughout the product. This process causes fat to oxidise. Many people find that consuming conventional milk makes them feel very ill with an array of symptoms from stomach cramps, sinus congestion to fatigue. Many have observed their symptoms cease when consuming only organic, raw milk or at the very least organic, unhomogenised milk from cows (goats or sheep) roaming freely, consuming their natural feed of pesticide free grass, access to fresh air, sunshine, and no antibiotic or hormone residues.

There are also some people who may tolerate organic, raw, fermented dairy products who would not otherwise tolerate dairy because the fermentation process creates a food that is highly digestible and the lactose present is consumed by probiotic bacteria.

That’s enough for now on food reactions. The whole subject is complex and highly individual. It is well worth looking into if you have any unexplained symptoms. A warning, testing can be expensive and is never 100% accurate. The gold standard in finding out what may be causing symptoms: cut out! and observe how you feel.. It is best done under the care of a health care professional.

Thankfully eating an allergy friendly diet is NOT boring and there exists many beautiful substitutes. I will post on these next time. But for now, for those of you who cannot tolerate dairy for whatever reason or have a sweet tooth try my pumpkin, coconut custard!

This recipe uses coconut milk without any additives and without guar gum that can be potentially irritating to the gut, organic pumpkin, gelatin from grass fed humanly raised cows, organic egg yolk, stevia and spices. The custard provides a rich source of vitamin A, D, E, K, B vitamins, EFA’s, minerals, beta-carotene, medium chain triglycerides, lauric acid and gelatin providing amino acids for the building and repairing of our own proteins. It is not only nutritious but highly delish!

Recipe: Pumpkin & Coconut Custard

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Ingredients

1 can of Ayum coconut milk

1 cup of grated pumpkin

1 organic egg yolk

3 teaspoons of gelatin (I use Great Lakes brand.)

Stevia to taste or raw honey to sweeten

Cinnamon, nutmeg and or vanilla powder to taste

Method

Heat up coconut milk and pumpkin in a small pot on medium heat until simmering.

Simmer with lid on for about 5 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and use a stick blender to puree. Add in the egg yolk and continue to blend. Place back onto a low heat and continue to wisk for 5 minutes. Take the custard off the heat.

Mix the gelatin with 2 tablespoons of water. Then add a tablespoon of hot water to properly dissolve. Add the gelatin mixture to the rest of the ingredients and continue to wisk for another minute. Add the stevia and spices.

Place in a bowl or what ever you choose to serve it in. Set in the fridge or quickly in the freezer. You can eat it warm or cold. I served mine with blueberries and a dash of coconut cream.

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