• Celiac/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Hot Cross Buns & Chocolate Brownie Gluten Free/Dairy Free

    Hot Cross buns and Chocolate Brownie GF

    No need to go without Easter Treats – here are my favourite recipes that are full of nutritional goodness – Hot Cross Buns & Chocolate Brownies Gluten Free/Dairy Free.

    Both recipes contain some sugar, honey or maple syrup which I only use very rarely but I personally can’t stand artificial sweeteners of any kind. The high protein, good fat content help to keep your blood sugar on an even keel – as long as you don’t eat the whole tray! I have been experimenting with coconut nectar but it is not as sweet. Use whatever you prefer.

    Hot Cross Buns with Cinnamon Crosses

    2 Tablespoons Gluten free flour

    60g Coconut flour

    30g Psylliumhusks

    2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

    2 tsp Mixed Spice

    2 tsp Cinnamon

    3 tbsp raisins/sultanas/mixed peel

    1-2 tbsp of Honey, Maple syrup or Coconut Nectar

    4 Large Eggs beaten

    Just mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl then add dried fruit,  sugar substitute and mix in eggs until well combined. Mixture can then be spooned into large cup cake or muffin tin and will be enough for 8-10.

    Bake 180C/350F for 20-30mins.

    When cool you could ice a Cross on top with cinnamon flavoured icing.

    Chocolate Brownies

    Put 5-6 ozs dairy free chocolate in small bowl over a pan of warm water to melt

    In a large bowl place

    2 ozs olive oil Margarine or Ghee

    2 ozs Coconut Oil

    3-4 ozs soft brown sugar or a sugar substitute

    1-2 ripe bananas

    beat all the above ingredients with an electric whisk or by hand

    add 4 ozs Gluten Free Self Raising Flour plus

    2 dsp coco powder  alternating while adding 3 eggs so that the mixture doesn’t curdle.

    Then stir in the melted chocolate until all combined.

    At this stage you could add some nuts – flaked almonds, walnuts or pecans are especially good.

    Pour into a deep oblong baking dish or tin and bake at 160C fan oven for  about 30mins until centre bounces back when touched. Do not overcook  as you will loose that nice moist middle. 😋

    Happy Easter Holidays!



  • Autoimmune diseases/ Exclusion diet/ Food intolerance/ Glutamine/ Health/ Immune System/ Immune system - healing/ Inflammation/ Ketogenic diet/ Leaky Gut/ Mineral Depletion/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity/ Nutrition and Cancer/ Nutritional Medicine/ Paleo Diet/ Probiotics/ Sizzling Minerals/ Sugar Detox/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

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    There are so many ‘diets’ out there, so many weight loss supplements and we go through life trying them all. Often starting in our teens or early 20’s we follow the fads, low carb, high protein, low fat – we might try pills to curb our appetite,  block fat absorption, make us poop more but none of this has a lasting effect. I have never been really overweight, probably 14-20 lbs at certain times in my life and I have tried –

    The Mars Bar diet –

    The low fat yogurt and  black coffee diet

    The Cabbage Diet,

    The F Plan Diet – OMG! that was the start to many of my problems!

    The South Beach Diet……..

    It is possible to initially lose weight doing all of these but it is not sustainable and ultimately not healthy. As a Nutritionist I now know how damaging some of these dietary changes are with many of them slowing your metabolism and depriving your body of vital nutrients. The decades long Low Fat eating advice – even for those not over-weight, has been the most damaging and has resulted in an epidemic of chronic disease, insulin resistance and obesity. The move to convenience foods and fast food results in us eating highly processed foods that are actually nutrient deficient and if we are nutritionally deficient we get food cravings, hormone imbalance and lowered immunity. Many of these highly processed foods cause inflammation in the body. This might become evident by pains in joints, eczema, heartburn, IBS, fatigue, high Blood pressure, weight gain, Diabetes.

    Modern Lifestyle also adds to the problem with more stress, exposure to many toxins, drinking more alcohol, more snacking, less quality rest and sleep. Our immune systems suffer and we end up taking more antibiotics and all of these things can damage our digestive tract and cause even more long-term problems.

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  • Exclusion diet/ Food intolerance/ Health/ Immune system - healing/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

    Food Intolerance in Your Children stats reveal all


    Food intolerance and Autoimmunity are epidemic but are harder to spot in children and yet this younger generation are likely to be much more affected than their parents. So how do you deal with food intolerance in your children?

    10 Signs Your Child Has a Food Sensitivity and What to Do About It

    If your child has a food allergy, you are probably already aware if, for example, he gets hives after he eats strawberries, or he can’t breathe around peanuts. Because of this immediate immune response or IgE reaction, food allergies are typically very easy to determine.  Harder to pinpoint however are food sensitivities, which are IgG or delayed immune reactions.  These IgG reactions can be very difficult to recognize because of the vague and often wide range of symptoms that may take up to 72 hours to display themselves.

    Food sensitivities can develop over time, often because of over consumption of these foods and imbalances in the gut microbiome.  The top five food sensitivities I see in children are: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs.  The potential consequences of consuming these foods if your child has a sensitivity to one of them are inflammation which can lead to a leaky gut and chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases in the future.

    So what are the signs of food sensitivities in your child and how do you test for them?

    10 Signs Your Child Has a Food Sensitivity

    1. Stomach aches

    2. Constipation and diarrhea

    3. Fatigue, joint pain, and muscle pain

    4. Frequent infections, especially of the ears and throat

    5. Skin irritation and rashes

    6. Behavioral issues

    7. ADD/ADHD or other problems with concentration

    8. Unexplained weight gain or loss

    9. Frequent bed wetting

    10. Autism Spectrum Disorder

    via 10 Signs Your Child Has a Food Sensitivity and What to Do About It – Amy Myers MD

    If you are concerned then the way forward is to do an elimination diet for at least two weeks. During this time it is important to leave out all traces of the suspect foods – do not believe that you can get away with ‘just a little’ as this will trigger an immune response that can last quite awhile.

    I will not pretend that it is easy to do this with a child, especially if they are not with you all the time. Maybe starting during a school holiday could make it easier and being prepared before starting is very important. Plan meals and ideas, shop in advance and put all eliminated foods out of sight. The good news is that your child might start to feel and react better within just a few days and therefore they won’t necessarily want those foods.

    Children react better when they know why they are doing something therefore, depending on age, explain that you want them to feel better so you would like to try some different meals and maybe do some prep or cooking together. Try not to get into a situation where they want something and you haven’t got a good substitute on hand!

    If avoiding wheat and gluten then there are good pastas made from brown rice, gluten free breads, and gluten free cakes – but these can be high in sugar and it is cheaper and safer to make your own.

    If avoiding Dairy there are several milk alternatives – coconut, almond, rice milk, dairy free spreads, dairy free cheeses etc. There is dairy and soy free chocolate and there are recipes for easy desserts using these.

    Gelatin is a substance that helps heal the gut lining, so if your child likes jelly this is good addition to their diet.

    The symptoms listed above are all symptoms that the gut and maybe the brain’s natural barriers have become damaged and foreign proteins are getting into places they shouldn’t normally. This causes inflammation and poor communication between cells. One of the foods that can add to this reaction is sugar and processed flours and cereals. In adults I always advise cutting these out of the diet while doing an elimination but in children I would normally say just to cut it down as much as possible. One thing that helps stabilise the blood sugar is to eat fat and protein at the same time therefore to have a little something sweet with a meal is much better than having it between meals. My son doesn’t like eggs so for breakfast he would have a rice cereal with coconut milk and then a slice of ham.

    Healthy fats like olive oil, olives, coconut oil, avocado, nut butter (pref. not peanut initially), eggs, fatty meat and oily fish are very beneficial. If you have read some of my other articles you will see that we are moving more to a LCHF diet (Low Carbohydrate High Fat diet) and this is very beneficial for children. The brain is made of mainly fat and it burns fat very well for energy. Breast milk is 25% saturated fat and that is what a fast growing body needs. if a child has enough fat in their diet they will have much more sustained energy.

    After an elimination diet you may decide to leave some of the foods off permanently or some you may find you can reintroduce one at a time with no ill effect.

    Their Health, and yours, will definitely improve if you can maintain a more LCHF diet.

    Here are some more LCHF tips from a Mum of three who has made a success of it at home and through getting the message out across the world – so that the next generation will be healthier and happier.


    Low Carb Kids

    The importance of whole food nutrition in children’s health and development cannot be stressed enough. All children will benefit from lowering their sugar and carbohydrate intake, especially from processed and junk foods.

    For Low Carb Kids the emphasis should be on feeding them tasty nutrient dense meals. Children shouldn’t be relying on sugars, grains and high carb snacks. Low carb is all about going back to basics – meat, vegetables, low sugar fruit, seeds, nuts and healthy fats. Real food is simple food.

    Many critics think we advocate no carb, but we are low carb. The biggest sources of carbs should be vegetables, nuts, dairy and berries, rich with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.

    Children need to receive all the nutrients required for their growing bodies but can easily do without the sugars and carbs of the modern diet. By removing processed junk food from their diet, children become low carb almost by default.

    High carb vs. Low carb

    By reducing processed food and high carb foods from children’s meals you reduce their risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay and other diseases of metabolic dysfunction. You improve their nutrition, concentration, mood, immunity, energy, and develop their appreciation for real food over processed foods.One of the most valuable lessons we can teach children is the importance of real food, cooking, nutrition and health. What we feed our children will have an impact on their growing bodies now and will have an impact on their health in the future. Chronic diseases don’t happen overnight, but over a period of time with extended periods of exposure to high sugars, high carbs, unhealthy oils and inflammatory foods.

    Why lower the carbs? When children eat low carb nutritious meals they avoid the high/low blood sugar roller coaster, they avoid energy slumps and more importantly, they avoid all the inflammatory elements of our modern diet. Children do not need the volume of carbs they consume. Many parents are unaware of how much sugar is hidden in everyday foods. 77% of processed food has added sugar. Take a look at the 2 lunchboxes and compare their carb values.

    The rapidly absorbed carbs, which spike blood glucose, also crowd out nutrition. For example, the nutritious element in a chicken salad sandwich is the filling, the bread is just a bulking agent that adds almost nothing nutritionally to the meal. In fact any vitamins the packaging may claim have probably added during the manufacturing process. By removing bread/pasta/rice from a meal, your children will fill up on fresh vegetables, good quality protein and healthy fats instead.

    What about fat? – Healthy fats are essential for hormone production, healthy brain function, tissue development, appetite control and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Children especially need Omega 3 fatty acids for healthy eye and brain development. Avoid the low fat products as they generally have added sugar to improve the flavour and texture. Choose healthy fats such as olive oil, butter, coconut oil, oily fish, nuts, seeds, eggs and meat. Stop using seed oils which are inflammatory and incredibly processed.

    Fruit and vegetables? These should be the biggest source of carbs for children. They are also a valuable source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fruit and vegetables should not be seen as equal. Fruit is incredibly high in fructose so choose low sugar fruits such as berries and limit them to once or twice a day. Cut back on tropical fruit such as melons and pineapple and avoid dried fruit completely. Fruit juice can contain as much sugar as some sodas. A glass of juice is not the equivalent of eating 6 oranges, it is equivalent to the sugar in 6 oranges. Eating whole fruit is self-limiting due to the fibre, drinking juice is not. Many “fruit juices” are actually sugared water with fruit flavours.

    Why grain free? Don’t be fooled by the healthy wholegrain message. Modern wheat is not the same as what our ancestors ate. Wheat and grains are now found in almost all processed foods and so many people are now consuming grains at every meal and every snack, crowding out nutrition and increasing inflammation with high blood sugars. Grains are used to fatten animals before slaughter and force-fed to geese to produce fatty livers (foie gras). Eating more vegetables by far compensates for any loss of fibre and vitamins from a wholegrain roll. Grains are high carb and rapidly absorbed, leading to sugar and insulin spike.

    So instead, let’s crowd out the junk. Encourage your children to eat more vegetables, meat, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. Encourage and teach your children to cook. Encourage them to choose new things from the vegetable aisle. Praise them each time they try something new. Help them develop a taste for real food and enjoyment of cooking. Cook and prepare food together. Have fun.

    With encouragement and guidance you too can help your children eat real food.

    Top Tips

    1. One meal at a time – if you have a fussy eater, your household will not be a happy one if you go straight in and change everything overnight. Change or remove only one element at a time. Remove (or reduce) the most obvious place sugar lurks such as sweets, cakes and ice cream, then cut back on bread, pasta and other high carb foods. Be proud of any changes you make, and strive for improvement not perfection.
    2. Be organized – plan your meals and have plenty of fresh food at hand. Have some boiled eggs in the fridge, leftovers in the freezer, fresh vegetable pre cut in containers, tins of tuna in the pantry. Prepare extra vegetables each night, ready for the next day’s snacks or lunch box.
    3. Make double dinners – leftovers are king and are such an easy way to prepare for school lunches. Cooked sausages, roast meat, quiche, meatballs or eggs any way are always popular options. Fill your freezer with leftovers. Learn to love your freezer!
    4. Reduce the bread – try bread free lunches once or twice a week, increasing until you are bread free. Try thin wraps or open sandwiches to cut back for really reluctant children.
    5. Involve your children – give them a limited choice of healthy foods to choose from so they feel they have some control.
    6. Choices – allow them to leave one vegetable on their plate. This is the trick that really turned my 8 year old around. He felt he had the final control of his dinner, unbeknownst to him I give him more of everything to begin with.
    7. Plan meals – allow them go through LCHF recipe websites and cookbooks to choose meals and recipes. Let them collate their own special cookbook.
    8. Picky eaters – all children love picking at food and eating small platters. I often put out a selection of vegetables, cold meats and cheeses for their afternoon tea. Buy a lunchbox with small compartments and serve them a buffet.
    9. Healthy fats – at meal times encourage your children to eat their vegetables by putting healthy fats on the dinner table such as butter, grated/shredded cheese, salad dressings and healthy oils. Not only will the flavour be enhanced, it helps them absorb the fat-soluble vitamins from their meal. Pack dips, salsa and sauces to dip their vegetables in at school.
    10. Drinks – start serving water only. Stop allowing them to drink juice or soda. These can be the biggest contributor of sugar in their meal.
    11. Beware – read the labels of foods traditionally given to children such as raisins, muesli bars, fruit yoghurt and cereals. These are often the worst culprits. Find or make your own low sugar alternatives. You will know exactly what goes in them.
    12. Feed them a rainbow – a colourful meal is so more attractive packed with a variety of colour and nutrients.
    13. Stop buying kids meals – most kid’s meals are highly processed junk food packed with inflammatory seed oils, grains and carbs. Pizza, nuggets, pasta, toast and spaghetti with sauce. Start ordering half an adult meal, or split and adult meal between siblings.
    14. Try and try again – moving children onto real food can really be a challenge. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen. Continue to introduce new foods and remove others.

    Don’t be daunted at the start. You can do this. It’s getting back to basics and ditching the processed junk. Here is a month of my children’s school lunches for inspiration (insert link). Have fun preparing meals together and discovering new recipes. So many families have commented that they are cooking for the first time, learning to appreciate real food and excited at the prospect of a healthier lifestyle.

    Don’t think you are depriving your child of junk food, you are teaching them how to eat healthy and remain healthy. You are feeding them the healthy fats and good sources of protein their bodies truly need.

    • Roll ups – use slices of cold meat, nori sheets or lettuce as a wrap and fill with cheese, salad or dips
    • Vegetables – cut in different shapes with a variety of dips
    • Low carb baking – make your old favorites but using sugar and grain free recipes
    • Nut butters
    • Smoothies – with plenty of healthy fats and flavours, it’s amazing what you can hide in a smoothie
    • Tins of tuna
    • Boiled eggs
    • Mini quiches – add their favourite vegetables and meats
    • A variety of nuts
    • Cheese sticks/cubes/slices
    • Billtong/beef jerky
    • Avocados

    We are all busy parents and we do the best we can with what we have. Don’t think this is an impossible task. We are simply feeding our children real nutritious foods. Meals don’t have to be complicated, fussy or difficult, to the contrary, they are generally simple, colourful and fresh.

    Action plan

    1. Stop buying sugary sweets, drinks and baked goods
    2. Start buying real unprocessed whole foods. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket for the fresh produce
    3. Avoid all seed oils and trans fats
    4. Eat nutrient dense foods
    5. Increase your omega 3 from oily fish, avocado, grass fed meat and nuts
    6. Cook at home, eat together

    Remember – we are LOW carb, not NO carb. The emphasis is on the real whole food approach, healthy fats, fresh vegetables and good quality proteins.

    via Low Carb Kids – How to Raise Children on Real Low-Carb Food – Diet Doctor


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  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Coeliac/ Food intolerance/ Healthy Food/ Ketogenic diet/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Healthy Food while travelling – with Food Intolerance

    healthy food while travelling - with food intolerance

    Finding Healthy Food while travelling – with Food Intolerance problems is not easy. I am lucky enough to have just had two wonderful, mainly sunny, weeks exploring the Canadian Rockies. As my son and I are both Gluten and Dairy free, travelling and eating out generally can cause problems. Canada had many more Gluten free restaurant options than we get in the UK and restaurant staff everywhere were much more aware and helpful than here. They also seem to serve low carb main meals and do not offer fries with everything. As with the special meal pictured above – the potato was minimal, which is how we like to eat. Even when high in the Rockies, Salads and fresh fruit salads were plentiful. We also found that they have quite a few Gluten free beers. As elsewhere, we found Italian Restaurants usually had Gluten free pasta and Pizza options.

    Preparation is everything

    I started by investigating the airline food available but there was literally nothing we could eat and although most airlines can substitute Gluten free or Dairy free they seem incapable of doing both. The risk is too great and nobody wants to be ill on a 9 hour flight or at the start of their trip. I bought some Paleo Protein Bars and made some chocolate crisp protein bars to fill in for when breakfast or lunch was not possible. We took dates, dairy free chocolate and mixed nuts (which we couldn’t eat because someone on the flight had a severe nut allergy.) We have a basic standby of fruit, ham or turkey, gluten free crackers and crisps which saw us through most of the difficult days actually travelling. Each place we visited we Googled ‘Gluten free Cafes and Restaurants’ and were quite overwhelmed by how much information was out there.

    Eating Out 

    We actually found some great places!  We had a delicious, really healthy lunch of Meatballs on zucchini noodles with mushroom sauce in The Kofta Meatball Kitchen in Cambie Street, Downtown Vancouver. We had a good burger with a very acceptable Gluten free Bun in Milestones, Kelowna plus salad.

    The best meal of the entire holiday was the steak wrapped in smokey bacon with a black pepper demi-glace and lovely fresh vegetables which is the feature image above. The chef at The Marmot Lodge, Jasper, then excelled himself by producing a gluten and dairy free Hazelnut chocolate tart with a berry coulee! It was incredible – thank you, you are a star!

    hazelnut chocolate torte

    Then when in Victoria on Vancouver Island we found an amazing place called Sante Gluten Free Cafe (check out their Facebook Page) where we had a fantastic chicken risotto and we also bought pizzas, lemon coconut slice plus a Cinnamon bun for our long journey home. We also had a lovely meal in the Milestone’s on Victoria Harbour.

    We survived the whole holiday without getting ‘glutened’ and have some lovely memories – so thank you Canada! It certainly isn’t easy finding healthy food while travelling – with food intolerances but with a little planning it is possible to eat and even be a little indulgent 😉

    Let’s hope awareness keeps improving.

  • Exclusion diet/ Food intolerance/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity/ Paleo Diet/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Healthy Eating Out – Food Choices

    Healthy Eating Out

    If you have food intolerance’s or you are trying to eat for good health then Eating Out can be a bit of a nightmare. Healthy Eating Out is becoming slightly easier and nutritional knowledge improving but we need it to get a lot better. One thing we could all do to improve the situation is when we have had a great experience eating out – take time to thank the chefs and the staff and maybe a comment on Social media to spread the word. Having been Gluten and Dairy free for sometime we really appreciate it when we have healthy choices.

    I had this amazing Smoked Mackerel and Rainbow Salad with a Honey Mustard dressing in a Pub on Sunday. The Pub was The Brushmakers Arms in Upham, Hampshire, UK. I was hungry and so had a side order of chips but they weren’t necessary because the salad was so filling. So a massive ‘Thank you’ to them 🙂

    Increasingly more Restaurants and Bars are catering for Gluten free but it would be so helpful if a system of symbols could be put alongside each dish on the menu. If marked Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free – it would save time in a busy establishment and save the customer embarrassment.  Gluten and Dairy free Gravy would be a wonderful addition to a Sunday Roast. We have found the occasional place where a gravy made from the meat juices and a splash of wine has ended up being far superior to the ‘normal gravy’!

    A holiday in Edinburgh was a great success when we discovered that Gluten free awareness was nearly everywhere and we even had a Pizza and Pasta restaurant opposite our hotel that did both gluten free Pizza and Pasta plus Gluten free Beer!

    Some Restaurants fail miserably and obviously have no comprehension about the necessity of choice or the prevalence of food intolerance. This is not dependant on the type of venue or price. I have had great food in a humble but health aware cafe and no choice at all in an expensive Restaurant. Many times we have had no option but Ham, egg and chips or been forced to ask for a burger without the bun only to find it is served minus the onion and salad as well! Other Restaurants have cheese or cream added to literally every dish!

    Why would you choose to eat out when given these options?

    So I am pleading to chefs everywhere, please be aware of the reality of food intolerance and healthy options (for both adults and children). Eating out should be a celebration of food and a socially engaging experience not an isolating one.

  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Coeliac/ Gluten/ NCGS/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

    Celiac or NCGS is there a difference?

    Celiac or NCGS

    Celiac or NCGS is there a difference? Celiac (Coeliac in UK and Ireland) disease and the connection with wheat has been known about since the 1940’s and with gluten since 1952. Celiac disease is caused in genetically predisposed people by a reaction to a gluten protein called gliadin which can be found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, durum, Kamut and triticale with some people also reacting to oats. Celiac Disease can vary from mild to severe usually showing destruction of the gut lining and is an Autoimmune disease.

    Despite nearly 65 years of knowledge it is poorly diagnosed across all age groups and it is estimated that less than a quarter of people are diagnosed. To confirm diagnosis raised antibodies (IgA) and destruction of the villi in the gut lining have to be demonstrated. Certain populations have a higher incidence, the populations of Ireland and Italy appear to and also people with Downs Syndrome have an increased risk .  Celiac disease is associated with a multitude of other chronic medical conditions, many of which are Autoimmune disorders and also some neurological disorders.

    NCGS – Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity was originally described in the 1980’s and only since 2010 has been included in the spectrum of gluten related disorders. It is also associated with Autoimmune disorders and neurological disorders where no small bowel disease has been discovered.

    It is known that there may be a genetic predisposition but that a trigger such as surgery, infection, pregnancy and emotional stress can trigger symptoms of Celiac disease and NCGS.

    The varied symptoms are common to both and can be:- Read More