Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sunflower seed meal/flour muffins

Tonight I decided to try a variation to the almond meal muffins I make all the time.

I went to the bulk food store yesterday and instead of just loading up my cart I noticed the prices as I selected each product (we are a bit skint at the moment). I noticed that almond meal was $20 per kilo - ouch!

I also noticed that sunflower seeds were only $5.95 and I wondered if I could make my muffins using seed meal instead.

So tonight I whizzed up some seeds in the food processor. They came out rather grainy and so I grabbed the coffee grinder and ground them up some more. (This process took a long time as my grinder only holds about 4 teaspoons of seed at a time and I needed 2 cupfuls!).

I was really unsure how these would turn out and I hate wasting ingredients on food that I end up throwing out, so I was feeling very nervous.

I followed the recipe in the same manner that I use when making with almonds and then slipped the muffins into the oven

when it was time to pull them out they looked delicious.

Alas when I tasted one I was slightly disappointed with the flavour. They are definitely not as good as the almond meal but they will still be eaten so at least they wont be wasted.

So my little money saving plan didn't really work. I will need to find other avenues to curb our spending.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Myths of Vegetarianism

I recently came across this fantastic article that addresses some of the Myths of Vegetarianism. As an conscientious omnivore I find the political and moral high ground that Vegetarians take, to be offensive. Obviously not all vegetarians suggest that their way is the only way, but many do. How many other eating groups have political lobbying platforms and religion-like zealousness in their desire to convert others to their eating habits?

I find that in talking to my vegetarian friends they are swift to play the "environmental" card to support their lifestyle and try and convince me to do like wise. This article helps to debunk that myth and others. Enjoy.

Monday, March 1, 2010


What a week. Last Tuesday I had my first NMT session and Thursday I started on the Amino Acids from the "Mood Cure" book. I also decided to start having a regular enema.

The results of this have been amazing. The coating on my tongue is almost completely gone. This is something that I  have struggled with (allong with the related sore throat), for over 2 years. I have had a lot more energy this week and have felt quite a bit more centred, however Im still very forgetful and am finding that frustrating.

I have applied for a part time job, and while this usually sends me into a spin of anxiety, I have felt very positive and calm about the decision.

Ive been really sticking to the diet for the first time in over a year, which is amazing. In the past I have really be struggled with sugar cravings/bingeing/cheating etc. but in the past month when I have cheated I get straight back on the program instead of descending into a bingeing attack of self pity, and in the last week I havent cheated once!

I have had a headache on and off but that may be die off so Im not too worried.

So I dont know if it is the Aminos or the NMT or the enema's or all of them together, but something is working. For the first time in years I feel hopeful about the future. Im also a little scared that its all going to come crashing down and prove to me that I was wrong to be hopeful that I could be well - but Im not paying attention to that fear. Just witnessing it and letting it go.

I have my next NMT session this afternoon, so I will keep you posted.

Full health here I come!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'll try anything

I have seen terrific improvements since I started the GAPS diet, and when I cheat I have terrible relapses of my symptoms, so I know the diet is working. However I am aware that I need more than just this diet to get me to full health.

I have been going crazy lately (David can attest to this). I am coming slowly off my anti-depressants and finding I am constantly irritable and irrational. Im tired and depressed and having trouble dragging myself around to do the jobs that I need to do. So I have started looking into other things to help.

I am currently reading about 6 different books on various therapies and healing tools, including, a book on Acceptance Commitment Therapy, another on Vedantic Meditation, and another on using Amino Acids to correct my mood imbalances. I am also seeing a psychologist and a "Nuero Modulation Technique" Practitioner. (Do I sound desperate!)

The problem is not that I have to come off my drugs. The main problem is that I have to keep working while I do it and Im pertified that Im going to go tropo at work. So Im  trying anything and everything so that I can keep my head above water during the transition. If I was just at home with the kids I could simply explain that I am coming off my meds and there will be a withdrawal phase where I am loopy and they would be very understanding about it all. Im not sure my boss would be as sympathetic.

I have my first appointment for the NMT this afternoon and while I feel a little sceptical I am still hopeful that it will help re-program some of my internal negative messages. What  I really wanted to write about in this post is the Mood Cure book I am reading, by Julia Ross.

A member of the gaps group put me onto it and while I havent tried and tested the books suggestions yet, they sound amazing. The book suggests that because our modern diet is so deficient in certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids, our bodies cant produce enough of the mood stabilizing chemicals (like seratonin) it needs to run the brain in the way it did when our great parndparents ate wholesome foods. So through supplementation of these vitamins, minerals and amino acids along with a healthy diet we can correct this problem.

Obviously I have the diet and mineral supplements down pat with the GAPS diet, so Im off to get my amino acids today and give it a go! The book has some very exciting success stories and I will keep you posted on how I go.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cooking as a soul craft

I stumbled accross this blog entry by Foodrenegade today and it is so beautifu I just had to share it.

Beautifully written it expresses the reasons behind why I spend hours in my kitchen and garden and chook yard to nourish my family. Why I choose to toil over food instead of grabbing convenience foods from the freezer and pantry. (Not that my pantry or freezer contain any but you know what Im and referring to).

And I love the concept that what I am doing is right in so many ways beyond good nutrition – character building, and according to the laws of nature instead of some man made law that is enforced over nature.

This article made my day. I hope you enjoy it too.

Cravings cured with lots of fat

I recently went to see my homeopath about the crazy cravings I have been having. I was finding it so hard to stick to the diet and really needed some support. She made a few suggestions that I thought I would share.

She mentioned that if I wasnt getting any sugars in my diet is natural for my body to crave them and the I should go back to including a small amount of fruit in my diet. She also suggested that I only eat fruit and veges that are in season and proposed that the reactions I was having to fruit may have been because they were artificially ripened out of season.

These two suggestions made sense to me and seemed a more natural way of eating too. She also suggested that honey might be causing me problems with the sore throats I am getting and that I should still avoid that but introduce some whole nuts.

Well I implemented all those ideas and was still craving sweet food, so I made some almond meal muffins with honey (I figured it was the lesser of two evils). Well of course that stopped the cravings but made me nauseus.

Then, today I was reading some emails from the GAPS group and somebody had posted that they were having this same problem eating cycle with their child. The following email was from a wonderful person explaining that it is probably a yeast craving and then a light bulb went off in my head.

I had read in the past that yeasty cravings can be combatted by eating lots of good fats. The funny thing is that I have used this strategy in the past and I know that it works. I have fallen off the good fats wagon and then forgotten that it existed!

So today I am back to adding lots of fat to my diet. Am I worried about weight gain? No, I tend to find that the extra fat actually helps me loose weight as long as I am not also eating loads of sugary, high carb food. (IE: high fat never helped me before GAPS, but then again it wasnt good fat, so maybe that is why!)

Basically the theory is that fats are converted into glucose, in the body, for energy . Carbohydrates and starches are too hard for the GAPS sensitive body to break down and so they ferment in the gut and create nasty chemical reactions with the brain, that then cause all kinds of nasty side effects thoughout the body.

But fats are simple for the body to breakdown and so they don't create that some toxic cocktail in the gut.

So by eating lots of fats your body gets the energy food it needs and therefore does not get the "sugar lows" that cause cravings. That is my understanding of the science.

I find if I eat a teaspoon of coconut oil at every meal, along with all the fats in the foods I'm eating then it curbs those cravings and helps satisfy my hunger.

So what types of fats am I eating?

Animal fats, cold pressed vegetable oils like olive oil, fatty meat and oily veges, butter, ghee, coconut oil.

How am I eating all this fat?

I add avocado and olive oil dressing to any salads I eat. When I fry foods I pour the fat over the food when it is on the plate. I pour the fatty juices from a roasting pan into my soups or over my roasted foods, I add butter to all fruit that I eat as fat makes it easier to digest, eg: if I have a peach I cut it in half and top each half with 1 Table spoon of butter, I fry bananas (cut in half lengthwise) on low heat in coconut oil and at the end I add butter to pan to melt it and then pour the whole thing into a bowl to eat.

I cant tolerate dairy yet but when I do, yogurt made with cream will also be on my list.

Probiotic Value of Yogurt

I recently read a terrific article called "The Great Yogurt (and Kefir) Conspiracy" - It basically states that if yogurt is prepared according to process outlined in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which calls for a 24 hour ferment, then the yogurt will contain billions of bacteria and there is not need for a probiotic supplement.

I found this article fascinating and it spurred me on to make the yogurt for my kids (Im still dairy free at present).

Here is the link to the full article.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lamb Madras

This is a favourite of our - you do have to be organised in advance to make it. Sometimes I makea double batch and freeze half.

500g lamb cut into cubes
3/4 t turmeric
1 T coriander seeds
1 t cumin seed
5 dried chillies
6 curry leaves
5 cloves garlic chopped
2.5cm ginger chopped
1/2 t fennel seeds
1/2 T tamarind puree
4 T ghee
2 large onions sliced
300ml coconut milk
4cm piece of cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
  • Rub the lamb with turmeric.
  • Dry fry the coriander seeds until aromatic - remove
  • Repeat with cumin seeds and then chillies
  • Grind them all into a powder using a mortar and pestle
  • Add curry leaves garlic and ginger and grind to a paste
  • Dry fry the fennel seeds until they start to pop.
  • Dissolve the tamarind in 1/4 cup hot water
  • Fry the onions in fat until soft
  • Add chilli paste and cook for 2 mins
  • Add meat and toss well with paste
  • add 1 cup coconut milk and 1/8 cup water
  • Bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer for 10 mins
  • When liquid has reduced add remaining coconut milk, cinnamon stick cardamom pods, and fennel seeds.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • When meat is tender add tamarind puree and check seasoning.
  • Oil should have separated from the meat.

Serve with stir fry veges or 'cauliflower rice'

the Ultimate latke

I got the original recipe for these latke's from the "Pecan bread" website - Im too lazy to make it the way Jodi does so here is my revised version. These really are so very delicious and my potato loving son barely notices the difference between these latke's and the potato ones I used to make (I have to peel the zucchini's for his - any bits of green and he wont eat it). I also use more spring onion that the original recipe calls for as we love onion and you can never have too much in a latke!

I also like to add various herbs and garlic sometimes depending on my mood. Try making them plain first as they are really very good that way, and if your family likes them you could try basil, thyme, oregano the next time.

I hope you enjoy these simple but delicious creations

The Ultimate Latke

3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 a large cauliflower
5-8 chopped spring onions (white and light green parts) or 1 small white onion
2 whole eggs
salt and pepper to taste
Lard or coconut oil

Shred the zucchini on the course grater

Place the Zucchini in a tea towel and twist. Wring out as much water as you can. (I line my tea towel with paper towel so that any little pieces of zucchini that get left on the paper can be put in the bin - rather than trying to pick every piece off the tea towel )

Chop up the cauliflower and then whiz it a food processor for a few seconds until it becomes like small grains of rice

Fry the chopped onions on low heat, in a bit of lard or coconut oil, until caramelized,

Combine the zuchinni, cauliflower, and onions together in a bowl and add the two eggs.

Mix with a fork to get everything evenly distributed.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

I like to use quite a lot of fat to cook these in so they are nice and crispy. So melt 2 Tablespoons of fat in a cast iron fry pan and when hot, add a heaping tsp. of the mixture

Flatten it out a little with the back of the spoon/fork.

Turn when browned to your liking.

These can be made ahead of time and reheated uncovered in a 250F degree oven.