• Easy Salads/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Immune System/ LCHF diet

    Nutritious Comfort Food for Winter

    Nutritious Winter Food

    Quick and easy nutritious comfort food for Winter that is also cheap!

    Even in Winter I like to eat salad and this one is super tasty and gives plenty of healthy fats and nutrients to boost immune system.

    SARDINE HOT SQUASH SALAD

    Nutritious comfort Food for Winter

    Ingredients are

    • crunchy lettuce plus fresh herb leaves
    • cucumber
    • mini tomatoes
    • avocado
    • optional celery or fennel
    • tinned sardines in olive oil
    • roasted squash or pumpkin still hot and scooped out with ice- cream scoop just before serving
    • sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
    • dress with Virgin Olive oil or avocado oil

    Stuffed Mushrooms

    I love mushrooms for boosting the immune system so here is a lovely supper treat

    Nutritious comfort food for winter

    Make the filling by frying these chopped ingredients

    • tomato
    • red pepper
    • onion
    • Pancetta  or streaky bacon
    • plus the chopped stems from the large flat mushrooms

    Fill the mushrooms. top with torn Basil leaves and soft cheese or a coconut cream cheese alternative. Bake in oven 200C for about 15-20 mins. You can also pierce some extra tomatoes and roast them in the same pan.

    I love these served with some cooked Romanesco – if you have never tried it give it a go. It is similar to cauliflower but with a firmer texture and more nutty flavour. My son, who has never liked cauliflower, loves this.

    nutrious comfort food for winter

    Slow- Cooker Hot Pot

    A Winter Staple that makes life easy.  I just add cheap cuts of meat (preferably on the bone) and whatever vegetables I have plus some good organic stock and leave it to cook for at least 4 hours. Normally one pot full will last us for two days – so I get to have a day off from cooking 🙂

    This one was lamb shank with carrots, parsnip, courgette and potatoes plus Rosemary and Bay leaves.

    Get creative and add spices, herbs, or fruit – apricots with lamb and Moroccan spice or chicken with preserved lemons…..my favourites!

  • Gluten Free/ Health/ LCHF diet/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza

    Would you love a fresh, tasty and super-quick supper? Then here is my quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza that you can be eating quicker than a Take-Away! Approx. 20 minutes!

    Ingredients

    One gluten free Wrap per person

    Onion – chopped

    Red Pepper – small slices

    Mushrooms – sliced

    Herbs – such as oregano, Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence

    Fresh tomato – sliced or chopped tinned tomato drained well

    Vegan Cheeses both creamy and original solid (I used ‘violife’)

    any quick cook protein – smokey bacon, pepperoni, ham, prawns, tinned tuna etc.

    Fresh Basil leaves if available

    Method

    Pre-heat Oven to 200C or preheat grill to 190C.

    Lightly grease an oven tray or grill pan. Place the wraps in position. They only take a few minutes to cook therefore put the onion, pepper and  mushrooms into a pan with a little oil and cook until soft – approx 5 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and season, then spread evenly onto wraps.

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza

    Top with the creamy vegan cheese – this gives a good richness and texture similar to mozzarella.

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy Free Pizza

    Then top with tomatoes, chosen protein, grated vegan cheese and torn Basil.

    Cook for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melting and protein cooked through. I personally don’t mind if the tomatoes are only lightly cooked as it as another texture to the meal. If you like them more cooked than in the photo then slice them very thinly or use well-drained tinned ones or Passata but you don’t want to burn the base.

    Serve with a side salad or coleslaw.

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy Free Pizza

    Enjoy!

     

  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Health/ Hypothyroidism/ Immune System

    Why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.

    Fatigue

    This post is about my recent experience and why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.

    What is Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is an Autoimmune disease where your body gradually destroys your thyroid gland leaving you with multiple symptoms such as

    • Loss of outer eyebrow hair and increased loss of hair on head and body
    • slow heartbeat
    • discomfort in throat
    • muscle aches and cramps
    • weakness
    • arthritis
    • cold intolerance
    • dry skin and hair
    • lethargy / fatigue
    • sleep disturbance
    • brittle nails
    • memory loss/poor concentration
    • weight gain
    • tingling or parasthesia in hands / feet

    Each individual will have any number of these symptoms and they can vary with the level of thyroid deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the right amount of hormone.

    There are other causes of Hypothyroidism such as cancer surgery, radioactive iodine treatment of hyperthyroidism, heavy metal poisoning and more rarely a problem with the Pituitary gland that is not producing enough TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone.

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is by far the most common (90-95%) and that is what I am focusing on today.

    Treatment Options

    Normal medical treatment has always focused on replenishing the body with thyroid hormone – either in the form of a synthetic T4 drug or desiccated thyroid tissue taken from pigs or cows. In the case of a surgically removed thyroid or one that has been destroyed by radiation then this may be the only option.

    With Hashimoto’s I feel it is important to take a Functional Medicine approach to find and treat the root cause which is an Autoimmune reaction and to support the thyroid with the nutrition it needs for optimal function. There is frequently an underlying Adrenal imbalance as well and patients often say that they have had extreme stress previous to symptoms, or ongoing. There may also be a history of Epstein Barr infection or other herpes infections, all of which can affect the immune system long-term.

    It is very important to look at the medical history as the Thyroid may have been under attack for quite some time before multiple symptoms appear and a diagnosis sort. It is also possible that other Autoimmune problems are present, especially Coeliac disease or Gluten intolerance. This could mean that the digestive tract is damaged, already reacting to foreign proteins and not absorbing all the nutrients we need.

    Hashimoto’s is not something that I think you should try and treat yourself and it should be monitored with appropriate blood tests but there are certain actions that you can take yourself that can help balance your system, boost your health and at the same time help your Doctor see the overall picture of the effects of the disease and the treatment.

    If you think you may have Hashimoto’s rather than any other cause of fatigue then the first thing you could do is set up a chart to record your Basal Temperature. This is the temperature that you body falls to at night when you are sleeping. Have a thermometer by your bed and as soon as you wake take your temperature, in your armpit. Make sure that it is right in your armpit and leave it for 2-5 mins to get an accurate reading. If you have low thyroid function then it is likely to be several points lower than the normal range of 36.4C -36.7C . Do this for at least a week so that you have a record to show your doctor and you can also carry on to show any reaction to treatment.

    My own approach

    I have thought for years that my Thyroid was slightly under-active and have not been good with aerobic activity, climbing hills etc. since having Glandular Fever aged 20. I lost my outer eyebrows ages ago. I have been aware of my pulse being slow and irregular (43 -55) for over 10 years but have had ECG’s and told it wasn’t anything to worry about. It wasn’t until a medical showed a TSH of 5.25 and a slightly low FT4 of 11.8 that I thought I should probably do something about it if I was to continue to be healthy.

    It also made me realise that an increasing amount of tingling and parasthesia in my hands was probably more likely to be caused by my Thyroid than by neck arthritis. I felt, maybe wrongly, that if I went to my GP I would just be put on synthetic T4 Thyroid pills and from everyone I have dealt with over the years I knew this was not the cure all that it is often claimed to be.

    My plan was to first optimise my nutrition to see if that had any effect on my symptoms. I started by taking Bio-Selenium 200 as that is know to be essential for Immune and Thyroid function and it is a nutrient that many in the UK are know to be lacking. Ten days later I started a Basal Temperature chart and also recorded my pulse and blood pressure every few days. The first few days my temperature was in the range 34.1-34.4 C which is 2 degrees below normal therefore I decided to add an amino acid L-Tyrosine 500mg as I had read that this could possibly stimulate the available thyroid hormone. I realise that I was experimenting but I  researched and the only side effect was said to be that if you suffered with migraine headaches it may trigger them. I never get headaches since giving up gluten and dairy and therefore thought it was unlikely to affect me.

    Within 2 days my Basal Temperature was up 35.5-36.0 C and I actually felt very warm and my circulation was improved with warm feet – something that is a complete anomaly to me! This was in total contrast to the typical UK weather that had suddenly taken a dip back to cool and wet. That evening I started to get a headache and by the next evening it was continuous and worse – I felt like I had been kicked in the back of the head. Taking painkillers lessened it but then a couple of days later I started to get an uncomfortable feeling in my throat and a tight sensation on swallowing. Now this seemed extreme for a natural protein that is found in chicken, turkey and that I thought I probably was getting sufficient quantities of through my diet and so, listening to what my body was telling me, I stopped taking the L-Tyrosine. During the time I was taking it the tingling in my hands disappeared and I felt more energised and alert but I have since read that if you have autoimmune problems it may be too stimulating and cause more inflammatory reaction. If self medicating – even with nutritional supplements – always do thorough research!

    The tingling in my hands returned, the throat gradually returned to normal and my Temperature remained above 35C.  On to a new plan…

    Ashwaganda, a popular Ayurvedic medicine used for a wide variety of disorders, is something I have used before to treat stress and fatigue. It is an adaptogenic herb with the ability to get the body to regulate itself. It has been proven to work well in regulating the thyroid gland when additional T4 and/or T3 is required or if the rate of metabolism is slow.  Scientists concluded that people with hypothyroidism benefited from Ashwaganda due to it’s ability to raise T4/T3 and its anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant and nerve protecting qualities. It is important to buy good quality herbs therefore I started on 1 capsule twice a day of fresh organic Ashwaganda Root Capsules.

    I also added Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabara) that supports immune function and with ingredients that heal the digestive tract, are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial. From my latest research it does look like there may be a connection to Autoimmune problems stemming from Epstein Barr infection that can stay dormant in the body therefore adding supplements that have anti-viral properties could help.

    So far, so good. I am generally sleeping better and have plenty of energy. The peripheral neuralgia is improving again and a month on my temperature has not fallen below 35C and I haven’t had any palpitations. I will carry on for another month with this plan as well as my usual Low Carb High Good Fat diet, Methyl B Vitamins, Vitamin D and keep eating nuts and seeds for zinc, Liver or pate for Ferritin levels, Lemon Balm (anti-viral) and Green Tea and Resveratrol in the form of Red Wine plus my Sizzling Minerals to make sure I get good magnesium levels and all the other minerals I need to help cellular function.

    I will get a repeat blood test and if I have to take a thyroid hormone then I would definitely prefer to take a natural one that provides all the elements needed and not just artificial T4 – thyroid function is complex. Functional Medicine is about looking for the root cause, assessing all the signs and symptoms and adjusting diet and lifestyle.

    This might sound a lot but it just becomes part of what you do – listen to your body, assess signs and symptoms and tweek as necessary! Those that don’t take time to maintain their health may end up losing time due to ill health!

     

     

     

     

     

  • Health

    School Breakfast v School Lunch does it make sense?

    School Breakfast v School Lunch

    The Conservative Manifesto, while putting forward many innovative ideas about Education has come up with one idea that is very counter productive – replacing free School lunches for all children in the first 3 years of Primary School with the offer of a free School Breakfast for every child, in every year of Primary School. So School Breakfast v School Lunch does it make sense?

    Jamie Oliver, who has campaigned for years trying to improve our children’s school food has already been on television and social media putting his views as to why the Conservatives are wrong in proposing this.

    The  Conservative  Manifesto states

    We do not believe that giving school lunches to all children free of charge for the first three years of primary school, regardless of the income of their parents, is a good use of Public Money.”

    Therefore why would giving free breakfast to all children throughout primary school, regardless of the income of their parents, be a good use of Public Money? That makes no sense at all.

    “The savings made from this change will be added to the core school budget, meaning that every penny saved will go towards children’s education“.

    How will this save any money?

    The schools are already set up for producing hot meals at lunchtime and the lunchtime period is already staffed, whereas to have a breakfast club involves extra staff for preparing, serving and clearing plus extra staff for supervision and preschool activities.

    The free lunch is a protein based meal, usually hot and containing vegetables and much has been done over the last few years to give healthy options. To save money and ‘make breakfast for all’ a cheaper option would involve giving high carb and probably high sugar cereals and bread.

    In trials so far this has involved Cereals, bagels, crumpets and toast with spreads and milk or fruit juice which is going to do nothing to help with obesity. Some children might even have two breakfasts, one at home and then one at school followed by no lunch if it has to be paid for!

    I also don’t see that yogurt, fruit, bacon, sausages and eggs are going to be on offer or any special dietary choices as they obviously put cutting the budget over improving child health with this policy.

    Here are some of the facts

    1 in 7 primary school age child is obese.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies in 2016 showed evidence that programs for free breakfast had an effect on nutrition, health and school attendance for disadvantaged children but it was much less conclusive in higher income areas. Take up rates were low at 13%-52% and that it would only prove to be cost effective where more than 35% of the children were eligible for free meals.

    There is probably a good case to be put for Breakfast Clubs where both parents work or where there is a larger number of single parents, or limited childcare facilities before school but then this should be paid for as childcare rather than taken away from school food budgets exclusively. In some relatively wealthy areas parents are prepared to pay £25 a week for this facility.

    There has been plenty of research on Breakfast clubs over the last few years and many schemes are proving it can make a huge difference to children’s happiness, concentration and achievement. The Welsh Government spend £12.7m a year on providing Breakfast in three-quarters of primary schools, poor areas of London have breakfasts that are paid for by the Mayor’s Fund. Other Breakfast clubs are paid for by parents and run by volunteers.

    What  we need to do

    We need to make provision according to need and we should maybe lower the threshold for those children who are eligible for free meals and be able to use childcare allowance towards the cost of pre-school clubs. In this way we might be able to afford healthier food and snacks in our schools to make sure that no children go hungry or malnourished. It is also a great opportunity to educate them in making healthy choices for themselves so that, from a young age, they realise that a bag of crisps and a can of Coke is not a good breakfast and how having a balanced meal with protein and healthy fats will give them prolonged energy and brain power.

    If Theresa May and her team really want to make this a fairer society then they need to put decision making back into the hands of the Schools and the Parents and subsidise policies appropriately. If we get it right we might save £millions in NHS costs by preventing obesity and diabetes.

    So School Breakfast v School Lunch?

    Let’s not prioritise breakfast over lunch but provide the option for both where needed and fund it appropriately without stigma, for the health and wellbeing of our children and to help working parents.

    For more information on low carb kids check out this great website Ditch the Carbs

     

  • Aging/ Arthritis/ Autoimmune diseases/ Collagen/ Energy/ Health/ Immune system - healing/ Inflammation/ Leaky Gut/ Nutritional Medicine

    Proven Nutritional Remedies for Ageing

    ageing

    There are certainly many personal and spiritual improvements that can come with age – more confidence, wisdom, understanding and courage to name just a few. Intolerance is not often considered to be a good trait but it can be what drives you to instigate change – it certainly is a strong factor that drives me into action. I do not accept that we have to suffer as we age. We have plenty of evidence that there are nutritional remedies for ageing and that in the ‘Blue Zones’ of the world, people live to be much older without the chronic ill health that is common during the last 20 years of life in the Western World. Most of us don’t want to live longer if it means being ill, immobile, lonely or mentally impaired and we don’t have to! There are natural proven Nutritional remedies for ageing, combating loss of energy, loss muscle strength and mobility, improving sleep etc.

    Our bodies slow down as we age,

    they don’t function quite as well as they used to but with the right knowledge we can minimise the effects. I am not going to tell you to get gym membership or run marathons as I have never been big on exercise myself. I am a nutritionist and so this is about optimum nutrition. Many of you  have probably already noticed changes that you either hate or have just tried to accept thinking that you can’t do anything about;

    • extra weight
    • fat tummy
    • lines, wrinkles
    • Bat-wing arms
    • loss of energy

    ….but here are a few more;

    • muscle loss and wasting
    • joint stiffness and pain
    • loss of flexibility and range of movement
    • poor quality sleep
    • breaking, fragile nails
    • thinning hair
    • inflammation
    • poor digestion
    • blood sugar problems
    • loss of strength and stamina
    • weakened immune system
    • bladder weakness
    • loss of memory and mental performance

    A depressing list and even with a positive mental attitude these are things that can seriously impact our quality of life.

    To illustrate the point I would like to tell you about my Mother. She was only in her 50’s when she started to suffer from the extreme pain and difficulties of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome (dry eyes, mouth, chronic cough, muscle pain and poor digestion). When I had my three children she was unable to hold them, play with them, bath them and even a cuddle could be painful. Now that I have grandchildren I realise the full extent of what she missed out on and it is because of her Autoimmune problems that I became interested in Nutrition and disease prevention.

    I have several friends of similar age to me (65) who also struggle to cope, have less energy, cannot get down on the floor, cannot lift anything heavy due to poor backs, knees or hips. Some my age have already had hip or knee replacement surgery. Weakness of grip and inability to open jars, inability to squat and get up again and lack of balance are all early warning signs and women tend to suffer this much more than men.

    Now the good news

    I have suffered from ALL of the symptoms above and at age 30 I seriously imagined being just like my Mum by the time I was in my 50’s. I was convinced that diet and lifestyle played a very large part and also that multiple doses of Antibiotics definitely worsened the symptoms. Nutrition became a passion that has grown year on year and while at work as a Nurse the talk was all about ‘evidence based Medicine‘ I was always bashing on about evidence based Nutrition!

    We are living through very interesting times when knowledge about nutrition, ageing and chronic disease is expanding daily and that there is plenty we can do to alleviate the symptoms of ageing with good, evidence based Nutrition.

    What we have to do is not only ignore but also undo the damage that decades of poor dietary advice – low-fat, low calories, high carbs have inflicted on our bodies. If you want to know more about this I have an article ‘ Why Low-fat diets damage your Health.

    Weight gain, joint pain, loss of energy are not symptoms of old age anymore than a sudden penchant for pearls could be and simple changes can reverse all of these symptoms – as I have proved. I am now my ideal weight at 10st.7lbs and most of the symptoms I have suffered in the past have significantly improved or even disappeared. I do have a very poor memory for names but my ability to learn has increased, not diminished; I have more strength and energy than a few years ago and my bladder weakness has improved about 90% – no medications just good nutrition and nutritional supplements.

    The Journey to a Healthier Old Age

    Writing for women and men of 40+ I would like to share my knowledge and help you to prevent or reverse all these horrible symptoms that your Doctor will tell you are down togetting old’ and we will start with…..

    Collagen.

    Collagen is an amazing substance made up of 3 main amino acids – Glycine, Proline and Hydroxyproline, that constitutes 30% of the total protein in our bodies. It is what strengthens tissues and holds us all together. When young the body consistently produces collagen but by age 40 collagen synthesis starts to decline, with a dramatic reduction in synthesis after the Menopause. By age 60 there is normally a considerable decline but with early or surgically induced Menopause this could be considerably younger. As it was for myself and my Mother. I had a Hysterectomy age 31 and what followed was poor digestion, multiple food intolerances, arthritis and fatigue. Collagen and especially Glycine helps to heal the gastrointestinal tract, it is needed for the production of Bile salts and digestive enzymes, strengthens the immune system and reduces chronic fatigue.  This is why it is one of the best nutritional remedies for ageing.

    Other lifestyle aspects that affect collagen production are high levels of stress, excessive exposure to UV light, smoking and a poor diet with high processed carbohydrates and sugar.

    Autoimmune disorders can also target Collagen.

    Increasing Collagen

    There are many ways you can increase your intake and production of Collagen and therefore increase the health of your joints, improve sleep and mood, improve skin elasticity, muscle strength and flexibility.

    With food

    Collagen is made up of several amino acids that all come from animal sources.

    1. Organ meat:- liver, kidney, heart, tongue, sweetbreads. Some people, children included, who have not been used to eating organ meat cooked on it’s own or in a casserole might prefer pâté, Haggis or it added to burgers and sausages.
    2. Connective tissue:- oxtail, neck, marrow – all cheap stewing or casserole cuts with plenty of bone. I find a Slow Cooker best.
    3. Bone Broth:- chicken, beef, ham – organic definitely best.
    4. Pork skin, chicken skin, fish skin.
    5. Eggs:- especially the whites but the yolk helps with the production of fibrinogen which is also important.
    6. Gelatin

    ‘Women of a certain age’ may get a lightbulb moment – did we eat far more of these foods growing up than we do now? Do we now spend a fortune on skin creams that claim to include or stimulate Collagen production and reduce wrinkles by including Retinol (Vitamin A) from animal sources?

    For Collagen to be well utilised in the body some other nutrients are required so these are also nutritional remedies for ageing and foods that increase vitality and a strong immune system.

    • Vitamin C – citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, peppers and broccoli
    • Anthocyanidins – blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries.
    • Copper – shellfish, nuts, red meat, avocados, liver, kidney.
    • Vitamin D – oily fish like tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel, salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms, small amounts in milk, cheese and yogurt. Sunlight on skin.

    Supplements

    If you are already showing signs of decreased Collagen in your body then as well as increasing all the foods listed I think you need to take a supplement for a minimum of 3-6 months. I was already eating all the right foods and taking a natural Plant Mineral daily but a supplement of powdered Collagen started to make a visible difference after just 1 month. They are not just for bodybuilders – although the adverts do supply a bit of eye candy! A useful site is here.

    Do check out the best supplements because many products with low doses are sold as beauty products.

    You can get Collagen as a powder that dissolves in liquid and is easily absorbed or in capsules or tablets. 3-6 grams a day is recommended. The Collagen usually comes from fish or bovine sources so check this if you have allergies. Some are made from concentrated bone broth. Some have Vitamin C added and some even have Hyaluronic Acid – which helps hydrate tissues and cushion joints.

    Better to spend your money on nutritional supplements that benefit the entire body than on expensive creams just for your face – most of which don’t work. Collagen is not easily absorbed by the skin. Most other treatments rely on stimulating production by removing the surface layer of skin cells (a konjac sponge is a great natural way to exfoliate) or damaging the deeper layers with needles or laser – definitely not something I would choose.

    ageing

    I would love your feedback and to know how you get on.   

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This article was first written by me  for Sally Canning’s website 2016.

  • 10 portions Fruit and Vegetables a day/ Health/ Magnesium

    Magnesium deficiency Stats Reveal All

    Magnesium

    Magnesium deficiency is commonplace and can have quite an impact on your health.

    These Magnesium stats reveal all.

    Magnesium content in vegetables has declined up to 80% since 1950 and modern processing of grains for flour and pasta removes 80-90% of total magnesium. No wonder we are now being told that we have to eat 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day to remain healthy!

    The World Health Organisation states that 75% of the population do not  reach the RDA for Magnesium of 300mg.

    What factors affect our levels of cellular Magnesium?

    • Stress and illness
    • carbonated drinks – phosphates bind to Magnesium
    • caffeine causes more Magnesium to be excreted through the kidneys
    • refined sugar does as well
    • taking Calcium supplements without Magnesium

    Magnesium is in your cells and the intercellular spaces so cannot be accurately measured with blood tests.

    Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency are  muscular cramps, poor sleep, anxiety, times of hyperactivity, chronic pain and heart problems but you can be deficient and not have identifiable or constant symptoms.

    Magnesium can be found in leafy green veg, wholegrain cereals, brown rice, nuts, pumpkin and other seeds, beans, fish and seafood, cocoa and dark chocolate.

    Sizzling Plant Minerals are now with increased Magnesium at 200mg per daily drink and they also include all 75 natural minerals that are deficient in our diet. Your cells require these minerals to function properly and keep healthy and that is why I consider this supplement to be the first choice as the most important  supplement for maintaining health.

     

     

    Buy here. …and tick autoship to save.

     

     

    Here is a YouTube video from David Perlmutter MD that explains just how important Magnesium is for health.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmNIL3lo_Jg&sns=em

     

  • Health/ Organic produce

    Why now is the time to support Organic Farming.

    organic farming

    The Food Industry and major Supermarkets work hard to promote “cheap” convenient food while at the same time hiding intensive farming practises, poor treatment of animals and the effect on our health and the environment. I found out a few facts recently which had a big impact on me and made me research further, coming to the conclusion that we need to take more responsibility for what we eat and why now is the time to support Organic Farming. 

    BBC TWO screened a series called ‘New York: America’s Busiest City’ where they investigated how the City worked to clear rubbish, feed everyone and house people. It was a fascinating program giving us a glance of what has to happen ‘behind the scenes’ to make a City of this size function. One episode focused on Food and included a visit to a Beef farm where the intensively reared cattle were fed hay and grain and then fattened up for market with the addition of waste processed food like sweets, biscuits, gummy bears, and chocolate. I found this quite horrifying as it couldn’t be any more healthy for cattle than it is for us but then they are slaughtered at about 30 months –  they don’t get any long-term effect whereas we might!

    I know that there has been a lot of emphasis on Grass Fed beef recently but it took this program to make me realise that it was not just about feeding grain and pelleted food. There are two links to articles here….

     

    Some cattle eat grass, some eat corn and others have more of a sweet tooth they satisfy by chowing down on … into the same materials it would the starch in the corn they are fed.” It is not just candy, either. “Cattle are well equipped to utilize … via Feeding Your Cattle’s Sweet Tooth with Alternative Feeds Like Candy Can Help Improve Bottomlines

     

    chocolate, fruit loops and a whole list of candies. Fattening up the cattle thanks to a large percentage of sugar content and no real nutritional value, the disease-riddled cattle end up fetching a larger price for farm owners. The fruit loops-fed cattle … via Cattle Now Being Fed Cookies and Candies Instead of Real FoodGrazing Cow

    Public Domain from pixabay

    This article explains how the diet drastically changes the fat content in beef to being more anti-inflammatory Omega -3 fats in grass fed beef and containing more unhealthy Omega-6 fats when fed on junk food.

    Grass-fed beef is certainly more expensive, but is it better for you? If so, just how much better? via Grass-Fed Beef: Is It Worth The Extra Money? – BuiltLean

     

    Then with Trade agreements like TTIP in the news we hear of chickens being washed in chlorine after slaughter because they were reared in such confined, overcrowded,  dirty conditions  that they had to clean them up prior to packaging. We hear about huge multinational companies controlling seed purchases that relies on their toxic chemicals to get high yield, of more GMO crops entering our food chain.

    Therefore, if we care about our health and the health of our farming we need to be more aware of the source of our food and what it has been contaminated with.

    Should we also be annoyed when we are deliberately lied to or mislead by the Food Industry or Supermarkets? Tesco, Lidl and Aldi have all been guilty of this by labeling foods to have come from various ‘Farms’ with English sounding names that are not real Farms at all. In the case of Tesco’s the ‘Farm’ labels replaced the cheap ‘Everyday Value’ labels that were previously often ignored due to people thinking they must be poorer quality.

    It is time to start prioritising our values over price so that we can have an impact on animal welfare, the nutritional quality of the food we produce and the impact on our environment. UK farming  produces about 62% of the food we eat. Therefore 38% probably travels to us from anywhere in the rest of the world at great cost. At the present time we still waste a tremendous amount of food but that is now being highlighted and addressed by the Supermarkets and by organisations like FareShare who have 20 regional centres across the UK and are able to redistribute food to the people who need it most www.fareshare.org.uk

    Why now is the time to support Organic farming-especially in the UK

    At present we pay £6bn a year into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) but our farmers only get about £3bn back and so are effectively subsidising their competitors. Once we leave the EU we need that money to be distributed fairly and proportionate to the value of the produce not the quantity. We also need to pay a fair price. A litre of milk costs the Farmer about 30p to produce so why do Supermarkets only want to pay them about 23p?  Retail organic food producers are doing very good business by connecting with their local communities both here and in the USA and giving us superior produce with much less packaging or plastic!

    organic veg

    This month I have added to my Free Range Meat delivery with local organic food, vegetables and eggs, ordered a weekly organic veg box and bought seeds ready to grow beans, beets, chard and herbs in pots in the Spring. It has only cost me a small percentage more but we have been eating really well and everything is tasty and lasts longer.

    organic veg

    Another good link below from Compassion in World Farming.

    Food and Human Health; Food Sense; Food sense 20/03/2012. … Philip Lymbery, CEO, Compassion in World Farming. Share this page. Tags. food; intensive agriculture; via Food Sense | Compassion in World Farming

    Happy Shopping…..

  • Food intolerance/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Immune system - healing/ Mediterranean diet/ Nutritional Medicine/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    The Real Science behind the ‘Clean Eating’ Trend

    Clean Eating

     Recent UK Television programs have been attacking the ‘Healthy Eating’ movement in a rather frenzied and non factual way, more representative of sensationalist newspapers. So I would like to present a sample of their findings with a more comprehensive view of the real science behind Wheat/Gluten Intolerance and Clean Eating, ask some relevant questions and let you make your own mind up.

    Why the epidemic in Chronic ill-health?

    Disorders are too many to mention but include all Autoimmune diseases and some that are not classified as Autoimmune but the list is growing all the time – Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 2 Diabetes, Autism, ADHD, Brain Fog, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, IBS, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Heart Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer’s etc.

    These are the diseases that are crippling our Health Service and ruining people’s lives. Research is usually confined to each speciality and often funded by Drug or food manufacturing companies. There are over 10,000 Scientific studies on food and gut related disorders that could possibly be causative factors. So far the research has definitely proved that our digestive tract, which is a major interface between us and our environment, appears to be suffering from our modern diet, toxins, antibiotics etc. affecting protective bacteria(microbiome) and permeability between gut and blood vessels triggering an immune response. 

    [Researchers find biological explanation for wheat sensitivity.

    by Dr. Richard Nahas

    One of the most common treatable factors that we see affecting our patients with chronic pain is non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).  These folks test negative for celiac disease, but they have health problems that go away when they are on a strict gluten-free diet … and return when they eat gluten, even in trace amounts.  While there has been very limited scientific research to explain this phenomenon, it is very obvious to every single provider who has used it with their patients that NCGS is very real and very important.  I have personally observed improvements in joint pains, muscle aches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, asthma, eczema, thyroid problems, obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, memory, sleep and many autoimmune diseases in patients who have gone gluten-free.

    This study provides evidence that people with NCGS have a leakier gut than those without it.  It comes as no surprise to me, but it should help keep the skeptics quiet for awhile.  I have long believed that true innovation in healthcare has and always will begin with forward-thinking doctors and patients who are willing to try new things and observe the results.  It is unfortunate that it has taken a global juggernaut and a multi-billion dollar industry to stimulate this kind of research.  There are dozens of other important ‘discoveries’ that are being used by integrative practitioners and these need to be validated by good science. Smart researchers should pay more attention to what these doctors are doing, because there are many breakthroughs that are waiting to be made.

    A nice article on the study is here: http://newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu/blog/2016/07/26/columbia-researchers-find-biological-explanation-wheat-sensitivity-2/

    How to heal a leaky gut?  There are many ways.  The short answer is to see an integrative practitioner.

    via Seekers Centre Researchers find a biological explanation]

    Then this is an article from the Scientist that was commissioned to research for a recent BBC Horizon program …….

    [“How clean eating became a dirty word as food gurus distance themselves from the trend that made them famous

    Obesity and other diet-related illnesses are easily the greatest public health problem of our time. But losing weight and keeping it off is incredibly difficult; it is not what we are evolved to do.

    Over the past 20 years, my research at the University of Cambridge’s MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit has focused on the genetics of why some people get fat and some don’t. Science is set up to get to the truth eventually. It does not provide quick answers.

    As a result, there are many desperate people looking for a way out, a silver bullet. Over recent years, a proliferation of, by and large, skinny and attractive food gurus armed with dietary advice that is not based on any serious scientific evidence.

    Much of this new advice goes far beyond healthy eating, and in some instances argues that food can actually make you well. Welcome to the world of “clean eating,” which I have spent the last few months investigating for a BBC documentary, to understand just how scientific these claims really are.

    It became clear that many hundreds of thousands of people are more likely to believe the advice of these food gurus — buying their books and following their social media feeds — than listen to scientists and other experts who are taking an evidence-based approach to nutrition.For healthy-eating devotees, Instagramming everything that passes their lips, the term #clean reigns supreme. Clean eating is not one way of eating, but encompasses many different dietary approaches. In the documentary, we focused on three of the big beasts: giving up gluten, an alkaline diet and a plant-based diet.  via How clean eating became a dirty word as food gurus distance themselves from the trend that made them famous“]

    So I question many of the statements made in this article and subsequent program.

    • “losing weight and keeping it off is incredibly difficult, it is not what we are evolved to do.” From a scientist that studies genetics and obesity I have to assume that he thinks as a race we should all be fat and unhealthy then.
    • “Much of this new advice goes far beyond healthy eating and in some instances argues that food can actually make you well.” Thomas Edison said “the doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This has been the premise that all Nutritional and Functional Medicine is based on – food can make you well.
    • He has studied Metabolic diseases for 20 years and claims that Science does not provide quick answers and that people would rather follow ‘Clean Eating’ gurus than listen to evidenced-based scientists and other experts.
    • He claims that what is being promoted is not based on any serious scientific evidence so maybe he hasn’t had time to read the 10,000 plus articles on PubMed, peer reviewed medical studies or research nutrition at all.

    What we are seeing now is a massive trend of people taking responsibility for their health and fitness. People realising that the advice to eat low fat and consume processed vegetable oils and fats from mainstream science, Government and most Doctors has been wrong and has actually lead to one of the worst epidemics of chronic disease worldwide.

    Twenty years ago we thought that there was a genetic reason of all chronic disease but now we have mapped our human genome we realise that what we eat can change how those genes react – not the other way round.

    The so called ‘trend’ towards healthier eating and understanding how important Nutrition is to our wellbeing started more than 30 Years ago. For me it started with a book ‘Nutritional Medicine’ by Dr Stephen Davies (Oxford) and Dr Alan Stewart (Guy’s Hospital London) who were members of the British Society for Nutritional Medicine. This book was published in 1987 and it changed my life. I was a nurse at Charing Cross Hospital but always more interested in preventative medicine than mainstream.

    Over the years I was influenced by ‘Gurus’……

    such as Dr. Jeffrey Bland and trained in Nutritional Medicine myself. Now the ‘Gurus’ at the forefront of modern Functional Medicine are able to influence and educate far more people by online Forums and Seminars.

    Dr. David Perlmutter, Dr. Frank Lipman, Dr.Mark Hyman, Dr Josh Axe, Dr. Terry Wahls – who reversed her own MS and is now back teaching, plus all the hundreds of other Doctors and Nutritionists working tirelessly to further the fight against our epidemic of Chronic disease. Dr. Andreas Eenfeld needs special mention for his work in helping the world to understand and reverse Diabetes by going against mainstream views and proving what actually works. Also Dr. Alessio Fasano for his brilliant work as a scientist who is getting to the root of what is going wrong in our gut and microbiome – although they interviewed him on the program they managed to discredit the importance of his work by separating his research on gluten/gliadin and gut damage from how what we eat is fundamental. Two other books ‘Clean Gut’ and ‘Clean Eats’ by Alejundro Junger MD helped me navigate a good elimination diet and get to the bottom of several food intolerances and reverse Autoimmune problems in both me and my son.

    The lovely Ella from ‘Deliciously Ella’ was also on the program explaining how changing her diet had made her well again and sharing her passion for real, fresh food. There are many others doing the same – promoting the fact that fresh food is far healthier than anything produced in factories. Encouraging people to cook instead of buying packaged food or take-aways, surely this is a good thing? Surely this is what is fueling the massive success of people like Ella and Joe Wicks The Body Coach – by the fact that they can show results – evidence based nutrition. Why does anyone want to make programs to put us off doing this? But the program ended by visiting a place in the USA that treats a handful of ill people – who often have terminal cancer and who sometimes die. As with most bad reporting,they have to show an extreme example and pretend that it is linked to their main hypothesis.

    One of my favourite Gurus is Sarah Ballantyne PhD who developed The Autoimmune Protocol that has helped so many people with Autoimmune disease and furthered scientific discovery. Here is an a review showing some of the successes and breakthroughs that are changing the face of medicine.

    [If the stories compiled on our site and from the worldwide community are anything to show, the Autoimmune Protocol has helped a great many people with autoimmune disease live healthier, fuller lives. Many of us discovered this way of eating and jumped in as early adopters, before the research had time to catch up with us. I, for one thing, am happy I did, as I would not be healthy and happy today had I not made that leap! A lot of people get hung up on the fact that for the most part, the medical community does not acknowledge or support this intervention for managing autoimmune disease. Let’s be real though — times are changing (more on that in a minute!).

    Research is one of the missing links to this acceptance, because it starts the conversation about how and why these interventions might be working, and informs doctors on what to recommend to their patients. I am eternally grateful for the work of people like Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, who presented a refined version of the Autoimmune Protocol in her book The Paleo Approach, and Terry Wahls, M.D., who in addition to her book The Wahls Protocol has raised funding and conducted clinical trials using dietary and lifestyle interventions to manage multiple sclerosis. These contributions have begun to ground the Autoimmune Protocol in the scientific landscape, which is essential if we are to get anywhere in getting the medical system to make these important shifts in philosophy.

    A new study on the Autoimmune Protocol and rheumatoid arthritis

    Julianne Taylor, as a part of her Post Grad Dip Sci in Human Nutrition, conducted a qualitative study research project for Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve been following Julianne and her writing since the beginning of my journey, as she was one of the first people I found online writing about her personal experience using ancestral principles and the elimination diet in order to manage autoimmune disease (her blog was one that helped me decide to personally take on the protocol!). In the study, she interviewed those who had experienced success with rheumatoid arthritis in order to find out more information about management with dietary interventions. For those who are interested in this research, I’m presenting a summary here.

    Aims of the study:

    1. To find out what motivated people to change their diet in the first place.
    2. To discover which challenges they encountered changing and maintaining the diet.
    3. To learn how they managed those challenges.
    4. To find out which foods they consumed and which presented symptoms on reintroduction.

    Julianne found 10 participants from ages 28-60, with a positive RA diagnosis who had been following the Autoimmune Protocol or similar elimination diet for 6 months to 5 years and had reduced their disease symptoms or clinical markers. She interviewed every participant on a variety of topics and presented a summary of her findings.

    Some of the findings I found interesting (although not surprising!):

    • Some of the study participants were encouraged to try the Autoimmune Protocol from alternative healthcare professionals (the system is changing, folks!).
    • Many participants found their conventional doctors to be unsupportive of their nutritional choices, and chose to work with a combination of both natural and conventional practitioners.
    • Those that participated in the study were convinced to try it because of a blend of science as well as anecdotal evidence.
    • One participant found relief on a strict Whole 30 Paleo-style diet and did not take out additional foods, while the rest of the participants did.
    • Both mental and physical preparation were key at making the dietary transition work for those who participated (what do I always say — set yourself up for success!).
    • Everyone who participated in the study shared that there was one important person who supported them in their transition, either emotionally or physically. Many helpers assisted by shopping for and cooking food (this is huge!).
    • 80% of the participants switched overnight, while 20% made gradual changes. Many chose dates to start that were clear from family celebrations or events that would create difficulties.
    • The two biggest challenges for participants were eating away from home and lack of support from friends and family.
    • Adherence to the the diet was very high, over 95% for all but one participant who was at 85% compliance, and avoidance of pain was the primary motivating factor.
    • The dietary changes were difficult to implement, but became easier as time progressed.
    • The main dietary challenges for participants were the time it took to prepare meals, lack of convenience foods, high cost of food, eating out, travel, and lack of understanding.
    • Every participant experienced health improvements besides a reduction in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms — there was weight gain or loss, if the person needed it.

    I found these reintroduction findings particularly interesting:

    • Most participants used a unique reintroduction protocol — some focused on the one in The Paleo Approach, Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, relied on advice from their healthcare providers, or blended that with their intuition to customize an approach.
    • Some participants had been on a standard Paleo diet before trying the elimination diet to successfully pinpoint additional sensitivities.
    • The most common sensitivities found in the group as a whole were wheat, dairy, eggs, and corn.
    • Other sensitivities found in some participants but not others, were rice, nightshade vegetables, rancid and heated seed oils, and soy.
    • Every participant had foods they reacted to in a way that was different from a rheumatoid arthritis flare.

    While this study was not randomized and controlled and leaves a lot of questions unanswered, it offers a fantastic starting place for other researchers developing interest, seeking funding, and conducting more in-depth studies on why these dietary and lifestyle interventions are working for people. We can only hope that as time progresses, there will be more research and discovery that will enable doctors to fine-tune dietary interventions to best manage autoimmune disease.

    If you’d like to learn more about Julianne and read some of her writing, check out her blog Paleo Zone Nutrition. You can contact her directly to request to see the study. She is also publishing a series of blog posts on the topic.

    A clinical trial using the Autoimmune Protocol is underway

    Dr. Gauree Konijeti, M.D., M.P.H., director of the inflammatory bowel disease program division of gastroenterology at Scripps University in San Diego will be running a clinical study titled “Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease” this fall. Dr. Konijeti will be using Angie Alt’s online program SAD to AIP in SIX to study outcomes in patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis using the Autoimmune Protocol to manage their autoimmune diseases. We couldn’t be more thrilled about this new study and hope that more collaborative efforts are on the horizon with the medical community!

    via Research Update: New Study on The Autoimmune Protocol and Rheumatoid Arthritis – Autoimmune Paleo]

    Conclusion

    For anyone who is still with me – congratulations – this is much longer than my normal posts!

    •  Far from being unscientific this movement is fuelled from information from highly qualified Doctors and Nutritionists, many of them with personal success stories and disease reversals of their own.
    • It is a movement that has been building for years and recent scientific research has taken it to a different level.
    • There is the added incentive that our healthcare system is not coping with the huge rise in chronic diseases and we know we need a more preventative strategy, incorporating diet and lifestyle.
    • We are in an era of great change, we need to embrace it and keep an open mind.
    •  No longer will we be fobbed off with ‘just eat a balanced diet’ or ‘well, it’s your age’!

    We also need to educate ourselves and be capable of seeing ‘alternative truths’ whenever we come across them. Most of them need ignoring but sometimes they need to be exposed for what they are. Some of our previously trusted sources may no longer be putting a balanced, educated view.

    Please feel free to comment – especially if nutrition and fresh, natural food has changed your health for the better:-)

     

     

     

     

  • 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

    The Healing Diet – Special Offer!

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    New Year and what we all want is to get and stay healthy in 2017!

    So a Special offer for you of 50% the price of my guide so that you can Turn Your Health Around.

    Years of research and personal experiments have led to this approach to a Healing Diet. Find your ideal weight, gain health, energy and vitality – naturally. Make changes that will change your health and keep you healthy

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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 loose 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.

    If you have a chronic health problem and inflammation then by healing your gut and improving your immune system you will reduce inflammation, improve your digestion, gain energy and vitality and reverse chronic damage.

    All the information you need to get started on the road to healing and health. From the foods to eat and enjoy to the natural supplements that will help your recovery – 30 pages of up to date information and links to more resources that can help – all in one guide.

    We are the midst of an epidemic of Chronic disease. Autoimmune Diseases – of which there are more than a 100 confirmed and many more suspected; Cancer; Heart disease; Diabetes; Asthma, Arthritis; Chronic Fatigue; Anxiety and depression. It is Chronic disease that is crippling our Health Services and ruining our quality of life.

    Especially relevant is the fact that drugs do not cure most Chronic Diseases – therefore we need to address the problems in a different way and not just treat symptoms but core body functions. Consequently Functional Medicine is the only way forward, looking at how chronic disease is caused and addressing diet and lifestyle for a sustained recovery.

    Chronic disease often starts with inflammation and a poor immune system and it is totally possible to reverse this with lifestyle and good nutrition choices. Proven by Doctors and Nutritionists around the World.

    If you want to make changes that improve your health long-term, reduce your chances of getting Dementia, Cancer or Autoimmune diseases this book will help you, step by step, including supplements and recipes to get you on the right track. It is a regime that is easy to stick to and puts you in charge. By finding out which foods cause problems for you and how you can control your appetite and fat burning with natural foods.

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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_your_Children

    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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