Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Why I am no longer sugar free...

Hi, I have abandoned this blog as I am no longer sugar free...and I've never been happier or felt better!  If you'd like to know why, see my first blog post at my new blog here:



Monday, 23 September 2013

Elimination diet - month 2, reintroduction phase

So, a few developments;  I can definitely tolerate the coconut milk yoghurt (even a whole cup!).  I've also successfully reintroduced carob, which means I can make a type of yummy faux chocolate with coconut oil and pure stevia extract (super yummy when I add a few drops of orange essential oil, cinnamon and cardamom!). I am probably eating way too much of this though...it's so easy to have in the fridge to grab when I'm hungry, but some-times I overdo it and feel a bit yuck.  I need to figure out more things to have in the fridge to grab and go.  I'm pretty hungry most of the time, with so few carbs in my diet...especially since I have cut down on the carrots (because my skin is turning orange!!). 


I also seem to be okay with a small kiwifruit and strawberries (not at the same time though, I have to watch my fructose intake).  I am also good with hemp protein and pine-nuts (which are seeds). 
Broccoli seems to be a no-go at the moment (and I love broccoli!) :( .  Sauerkraut is okay in moderate quantities.  

I'm planning to re-read through the recipe section before shopping day this week to get a little inspiration...my diet is very repetitive and I'm worried I'm overdoing some things (like coconut yoghurt and oil).  

The eczema under my eyes is looking a lot better this week (hooray!!)...still some redness but the skin is a lot smoother.  Haven't lost any weight (it's not my goal with this diet, but I always hold out hope...)

This week I'm going to try blueberries (yum!), kelp noodles and some new vegetables...maybe lettuce...would be nice to have to cook everything all the time!

Till next week...

Friday, 13 September 2013

Elimination diet - end of month one!

Well, it's been a month of ups and downs.  I've been through periods of being totally fine with my diet, and a few days where I've just really struggled, and messed up.  

Here is what I've tried re-introducing so far

Egg yolks - I can handle these digestive-wise, but it seems to flare up my facial eczema, so it's a no for now. 

Dairy - I knew I was pushing it with this, but I tried reintroducing kefir-fermented cream (because I love it and it's so healthy!)...but again, eczema flare up

Almonds & Cashews - soaked and dried nuts...I can digest these fine, but they do seem to cause an eczema flare up as well.

Banana - I can tolerate 1/2 a banana per day (hooray!), which makes a nice change from all the meat and veges, and gives me some much needed carbs (the only other carb I can eat ATM is carrots, and I've been eating too many...my skin has a light orange tinge!).  

Kale - I have really enjoyed adding another vegetable to my restricted diet...the other veges I can eat are zucchini (too expensive to buy at the moment!), spinach and green beans (which I'm totally sick of!).  I'm not sure if it's maybe giving me a little gas or not...I've added some new probiotics and fermented foods at the same time (I know,  I'm not supposed to add more than one thing at a time!) so it could be my body adjusting to that.  Kale chips are the bomb!! 

Coconut Milk Yoghurt - Had an epic fail on this recipe the first time around...was completely runny, even with the gelatine.  I've now sourced a brand of canned coconut milk that only has coconut (60%) and water, without all the stabilizers, emulsifiers and preservatives, which is what effected the ferment the first time around.  I used 1 TBS of gelatine (dissolved in half a cup of hot water - then cooled) mixed into the can of coconut with two probiotic capsules (I used this one which is the Bio-Kult GAPS diet recommended formula).  It tasted great, but I used way too much gelatine, so I'll try 2 tsp next time.  I fermented it for 10 hours in an electric yoghurt maker. I added stevia and ground vanilla beans (yum!).  Unsure if I tolerate this or not yet (too soon to say, I only ate it today!) as I don't tolerate regular coconut milk at all...I'm hoping the fact that it's fermented and without all the additives will mean I do...fingers crossed!

So, my list of confirmed NO's:

  • Coffee (including decaf)
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Dairy

So, all in all, just enough success to keep me motivated (I'm SO appreciating anything I can add in at this point!!) and enjoying my food.  Of course, I'm disappointed about the egg yolks, nuts and dairy, but I'm not surprised, and I'd rather have the red, irritated eczema under my eyes gone!  

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings! ;)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Bone Broth Healing Fast - Elimination diet - 3rd week

 Image from: http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/gut-healing-bone-broth.html

So, I'm into my 3rd week now...only 6 more days until I can start reintroducing foods!  

I've decided to step things up a bit for my last week and I'm doing a liquid only fast for a few days (until I can't stand it any more and need to chew something!) with bone broth, and hot chai style gelatine drinks with virgin coconut oil and ghee, white and oolong tea (only before 2pm), or rooibos (red bush) tea, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper and stevia.

I can't find much info online about bone broth fasting, and the only article I did find was a proper, virtually calorie-free fast with only bone broth (fat removed) for 4 days.  I'm considering doing a day or two of broth only, without the gelatine/coconut oil drinks...but I don't much like being hungry, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Today is day 2 of my liquid fast.  Haven't really been hungry...not sure how many tablespoons of coconut oil and ghee I've been having, but enough to fill me up anyway!  The 20oz (591ml) tub of virgin coconut oil I got on Monday is almost gone (it's Friday)...so I guess I've been averaging nearly 120g a day, plus at least 3 TBS of ghee.  Hmmm, I wonder if that's why I'm still having diarrhea!  It's either that or the turmeric, which I have reduced to 1 capsule plus 1/4 tsp in my morning chai. 

My thoughts behind doing this fast, is to give my digestive system a break and really nourish my gut.  I'm not committing to doing any particular number of days at this point...I'll eat tomorrow if I really feel like it, otherwise I'll do another day or two.  I'm a big believer in listening to my body and not pushing things that don't feel 'right'.  

Off to grab another cup of broth...thanks for stopping by!  

Edit: About two hours after writing this I decided that I needed to eat some actual food!  I was thinking that the fact that I have had diarrhea probably means that my digestive system is not happy with so much coconut oil and isn't getting a 'rest' at all.  Some-times you just need to listen to your body ;)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Elimination diet - days 10 - 13


Well, things are looking up since I last posted!!  All my bloating is GONE!  It got much worse in the first week of elimination and I was feeling pretty discouraged going into the second week!  My crazy cravings have gone again (praise the Lord!), and I have dropped nearly a kilo along with the bloating!  This has coincided with me starting to take turmeric (and now turmeric standardised 95% curcumin capsules) so I believe that it is healing the inflammation in my gut. 

I can't tell you how awesome it is to be free of the bloating!!  It makes the last two weeks all worth while, and gives me motivation to continue on my healing journey.  I'm also pretty excited about dropping a little weight...it has been nigh on impossible for me to lose at all (and I only want to lose 5 - 7kg!) with my digestive issues, so I'm pretty stoked!

Okay, gotta dash and pick up my 3 year old from kindy...thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Elimination diet - days 7 - 9

So, this is were it starts to get hard...and it probably doesn't help that it's that time of the month...I feel like stuffing my face with everything crunchy and salty and sweet and chocolaty....pretty much everything I can't eat!  Just about going out of my mind!
BUT...I am totally committed to seeing this though (and seriously...I have to do this!)...I don't want to be dealing with IBS and multiple food intolerance's for the rest of my life...but it's hard when you still have to cook for other people and have all sorts of things in the house you can't eat. 

Okay, so that's my pity party over ;)

How I'm feeling:
Apart from wanting to stuff my face with contraband food...I had to cut out the pureed carrot "treat" I was making...it's really not good when you eat over 1kg of carrots within 24 hours...my tummy was NOT happy and it didn't stay in me long... ;) 

The eczema I've been getting under my eye, hasn't improved at all yet.

My bloating has reduced a bit today (probably the diarrhoea, ha!).  I have realised that I need to go easy on the green beans and the carrots, so reducing those has helped. 

I've also been having a lot of turmeric (up to 1 TBS per day) in turmeric chai lattes, and I think that is what's causing the diarrhoea I've been having for the last few days...not nice!  Thankfully I have some turmeric capsules coming on the courier tomorrow, which are concentrated to 95% curcuminoids (the good stuff in turmeric), so I won't have to take so much to get the intestinal and anti-inflammatory benefits.  

I've been reading that turmeric is also beneficial for weight-loss, so that's a bonus...might help with all the fat I have to eat at the moment (my body does not want to lose weight on extreme low-carb/high fat diets), I seem to need moderate carbs and moderate fat (more of a balance), which makes sense when I look at body type diet recommendations for my type of figure.

Okay, so I'm off to find something to do, to take my mind off my stomach!  Ugh...I'm hungry again!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Eliminiation diet - day 5 & 6

I am thinking now that it is going to be much too boring to post every day, so I think I'll just post every few days from now on instead!  

I am still feeling pretty good...the bloating is starting to subside now, and I'm not waking up bloated any more, which is nice!  

I'm eating the same stuff, but I've started adding 2-3 Rooibos tea, gelatine and coconut oil drinks per day.  They are actually very nice, as well as being super-foods for the gut.  


4 tsp of gelatine (soaked in 1/3 cup cold water for 5 minutes)
1 cup of brewed Rooibos (Red Bush) tea (cooled).  
1-2 TBS Virgin Coconut oil
Cinnamon, cardamon and ginger to taste or a cap-full of natural essence/extract like banana or orange
A sprinkle of stevia 
Ice-cubes - 1 - 2 trays
*Optional* It emulsifies better if you add 1/2 tsp of guar gum in with the tea to thicken, but I'm not able to eat this at the moment.

Put the warm (but not hot) tea into the blender with the soaked gelatine and blend together to fully dissolve the gelatine.  Add coconut oil and blend again until melted.  Add one or two trays of ice-cubes (depending on size).  Blend on ice crushing mode (or keep turning on and off until the big chunks are broken up).  Blend until smooth.

This will thicken up on standing, so drink quickly or eat with a spoon!

Chai tea

Make as above, in the blender, but add a little extra boiling water instead of ice (maybe 1/2 cup).

Today I added a teaspoon of turmeric to my hot chai (I put it in with the teabag and then strained out).

Turmeric is extremely good for reducing inflammation and also for intestinal healing (among other things).  Read here for more info on Turmeric and a nice Turmeric Chai Tea Mix recipe.  

Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Elimination diet - day 3 & 4

Okay, I didn't manage to post yesterday, so I'm going to do a 2-in-1 post here today :)

Day 3 was a Sunday for me, and my hubby's birthday.  The kids all bought him chocolate and sweets for his presents and they were all munching away on them all day. Lunch was fresh french sticks from the bakery with butter (not the most nutritious food I know...it was a treat).  We had dinner with the in-laws and there was blue cheese (my fav!), sun-dried tomatoes and other tasty nibbles that I usually love.  There was also lots of cake, dessert (my MIL makes a mean Lemon Heaven dessert!) and ice-cream after dinner.  I am really happy to say that I wasn't even tempted to eat any of that stuff!  I really do think that Chromium is amazing stuff!  

I had told my MIL in advance what I am able to eat at the moment, and she was very happy to accommodate, so that was good!  The veges weren't cooked as soft as I am supposed to be eating right now and I don't know what kind of oil she roasted the veges in (I didn't want to issue to many instructions!  I'm difficult enough as it is!), but I didn't have any major symptoms last night, so I guess the digestive enzymes and HCI are helping some. 

I am just blown away that I am not having any cravings at all, and my taste buds are quite satisfied with what I'm eating.  So far I have been totally happy (!) with my very bland diet...I just eat when I'm hungry.  All those good fats I'm eating at the moment are very satisfying too, and help me fill up.  I'm getting the bulk of my calories from fat at the moment, mostly from ghee, fat from the chicken bone broth, avocado oil, RBD coconut oil, and I also picked up some virgin coconut oil yesterday.

I've been having hot rooibos tea with coconut oil in between meals, and I'm also working on a frappe type smoothie with gelatine.  My usual recipe has gelatine (1TBS), 1/2 tsp guar gum and egg yolks, but since I can't have those, I'm experimenting with making it with just cooled rooibos tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, coconut oil and gelatine (and lots of ice of course!).  It isn't emulsifying like my usual recipe (to be expected) but it's still pretty good.  Will post the recipe when I get the quantities right...this mornings one was too thick and jelly-like (I used 2 TBS of gelatine).

Hmm...I'm thinking it's going to get pretty boring if keep posting what I'm eating...it's just been chicken, chicken livers, bone broth, gelatine smoothies, coconut oil, ghee, green beans, zucchini, carrots (roasted and pureed with coconut oil and cinnamon) fermented ginger carrots and...hmm, yeah, that's pretty much it!  Oh I did eat a wee bit of bacon today...not totally on plan, because it's just standard supermarket bacon, but not too bad a "cheat" I figure.

For the last two days, I have been feeling...
Pretty good...was having some random stomach cramps yesterday but so far so good today.  Still bloated, but less so than the first two days.  A little bit gassy still, but not too awful.  Emotionally, I'm feeling good, a little tired though as my 3 year has been waking during the night for days. 

Yesterday; none.  Today, I went for a 30 minute walk...might squeeze in 10-20 minutes of pilates later on.

Less than 6 hours the night before last (late night + the 3 year old woke me up at 5.40am)
Last night, about 8 hours, but lost maybe an hour of that around 2am with the 3 year old waking again.

As I already mentioned...none so far...seriously amazing!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Elimination diet - day 2

I ate chicken liver for lunch today.  Fried it up in ghee with some green beans.  Was actually quite nice.  Sort of like steak, but softer and a little more liver tasting (ha!).  And, I didn't even gag...at all.  Yay for me!  Previously my only experience with any kind of offal was grating some frozen lambs liver into my soup or hiding it in mince/hamburger meat (not really very nice - stronger tasting than chicken livers, but edible). 

The Digestive Health with REAL Food book recommends eating liver a few times per week, so in the spirit of getting right into it, I did :)  Very proud of myself ;)

Breakfast today was mince leftovers from last night with green beans and cooked carrots, and a cup of bone broth.  Also polished off the carrot treat (pureed carrots with cinnamon and coconut oil) from the fridge (yum!). 

Morning tea was chicken soup with spinach and ghee.

Lunch (as I mentioned above) was chicken livers and green beans fried in ghee.

Afternoon tea: Bone broth with extra gelatine and a tablespoon of ghee.

Dinner will be chicken soup

Today I feel:
Very bloated...I even woke up this way, which isn't normal for me...it doesn't usually start until late afternoon/evening.  Might be the after effects of the peanuts I scoffed before starting day 1, or because I ate way too many carrots yesterday!  Could even be die-off reactions (some-times it gets worse before it gets better!).  My 3 year old kindly informed me that I have a baby in my stomach...hmmm, thanks sweetheart.  Mind fog not so bad today...I think the liver I just ate has given me a nice energy boost!  I'm taking peppermint gels and activated charcoal between meals to help with the bloating...doesn't seem to have helped much, but then again, maybe I'd be a lot more bloated with out them!  

  • 60 minutes moderate/gentle effort on the stationary bike while Facebooking (gotta multi-task right?!)
  • 20 minutes pilates total body and flexibility workout 

Maybe 6-7 hours?  Little miss 3 woke me up at 1.45am and spent the rest of the night draping herself over me...

None so far!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Elimination Diet - day 1. Digestive Health with REAL Food!


I am currently reading (and re-reading!) a fantastic new book by Aglaée Jacob called Digestive Health with REAL food.    (And I'm looking forward to the cookbook coming out in the future).  I have IBS and numerous food intolerance's which really make life quite unpleasant sometimes!  I have been struggling with this for nearly two years now, just getting worse and worse... and I've had enough!  I've tried the GAPS diet (lasted all of two weeks), and did all of 5 days of a Paleo Autoimmune Protocol a few weeks ago to try and clear up some skin issues I'm having (I was supposed to do 30 days!!).  However I really find these restrictive diets EXTREMELY difficult, and I keep giving up...

Now after reading Aglaée's book, I am inspired to see it through this time and really (once and for all!) heal my gut and discover which foods I need to keep out of my diet for good (I know some of them already...dairy, wheat, oats and coconut products are major no-no's for me) and which things I will be able to re-introduce down the track. 

Basically, the way the elimination or as Aglaée calls it, a BYO (build-your-own) diet works, is that you eat a very basic, low carb, high fat, moderate-high protein diet for a minimum of 3 weeks (or until you are symptom free for 5 days), after which time you add things back into your diet one by one to find out which things you react to.

This is what I can eat for the next 3 weeks:

Bone Broth (homemade) - lots!  I'm consuming 4-8 cups per day in soups and as a drink with meals.
Carrots (well cooked)
Zucchini (well cooked)
Spinach (well cooked)
Green beans (well cooked)
Chicken and lamb livers 2 - 4 times per week
Ghee (clarified butter)
Extra virgin olive oil
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Macadamia nut oil
Gelatine (beef - I use Davis brand)
Unrefined sea salt
Lemon juice
Herbal tea

Pancreatin digestive enzymes, betaine HCI, Ginkgo Biloba, zinc, chromium (to eliminate cravings) omega 3 fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, evening primrose oil, vitex (the last two are for hormone balancing) and magnesium and calcium at night to help sleep and bowel motions.   

And that's it.  Yeah...it's going to be pretty repetitive for sure!  Either soup, or meat and veges with broth on the side...including breakfast! But a few weeks to reset and heal my digestive system is well worth it in the long run!!

Today I am feeling:
Not great...totally pigged out home-made (sugar free) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups last night and was paying for it all night...I really don't tolerate peanuts well at all!

Bloated, gassy (sorry, if you decide to read my daily elimination diet ramblings, you're going to the gory details! LOL).  Mind-fog pretty bad today, can't concentrate well at all.  Feel tired and a bit achy.  Probably doesn't help that my 5 year old kicked a soccer ball hard into my face about 30 minutes ago...

Went for a walk up and along the cliff tops with my 5 & 7 year old's for about 20 minutes.

Slept well last night, about 8 hours.

Okay so far, I think that the 800mcg of chromium I'm taking is really helping!

Okay, well, that's it for today!  Hopefully tomorrow will be a little better!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Gelatine - my new favourite superfood!

Gelatine (or gelatin as my American friends would spell it), is good for a lot more than just making jelly (or again, jello if you're American!)!  Did you know that it is an amazing superfood for your digestive system, that it strengthens nails and hair, improves and tightens loose skin, lubricates joints and reduces arthritic pain and inflammation.  It can also help you sleep better!

Gelatine is a great (but not complete) source of protein (3g per tsp)

Gelatine contains half of the 18 essential amino acids (hence it not being a 'complete' protein). Glycine (one of the amino acids found in gelatine), helps the liver to remove toxins from our system. Lysine (another important amino acid) is easily absorbed from gelatine and helps us to better absorb calcium and build muscle. 

About digestion...
I am always on the look out for things to improve my digestive health as I suffer from IBS and have a long list of food intolerance's, so learning about the benefits of gelatine has been an amazing discovery for me!

Did you know...

  • Gelatine soothes and heals the gut by repairing the mucosal lining of your digestive tract, and can also help your body break down fats and proteins making them easier to digest.  When your body is able to effectively break down and absorb your food properly, the result is less inflammation in the gut, and a higher level of nutrients absorbed from your food.
  • Gelatine binds with water and helps food to move smoothly through the digestive system. 
  • According to some experts, gelatine can heal the stomach and intestines and reduce food allergies and intolerance's, which are some-times thought to be caused by a leaky gut. 

Joint health:
  • Gelatine can improve joint cartilage and reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. 

Skin health:
  • Gelatine is an excellent source of dietary collagen (which increases the bodies natural production of collagen) and can improve skin and strengthen nails and hair.  It is even rumoured to improve cellulite!!  Three cheers for gelatine!!
  • Having a gelatine rich drink or dessert before bed can dramatically improve your quality of sleep, I personally have stopped taking my valerian root (I have been struggling with insomnia) and have found gelatine to be even better.  I get to sleep faster and don't wake during the night (hooray for a good nights sleep!)
"Although I pointed out a long time ago the antithyroid effects of excessive cysteine and tryptophan from eating only the muscle meats, and have been recommending gelatinous broth at bedtime to stop nocturnal stress, it took me many years to begin to experiment with large amounts of gelatin in my diet. Focusing on the various toxic effects of tryptophan and cysteine, I decided that using commercial gelatin, instead of broth, would be helpful for the experiment. For years I hadn't slept through a whole night without waking, and I was in the habit of having some juice or a little thyroid to help me go back to sleep. The first time I had several grams of gelatin just before bedtime, I slept without interruption for about 9 hours. I mentioned this effect to some friends, and later they told me that friends and relatives of theirs had recovered from long-standing pain problems (arthritic and rheumatic and possibly neurological) in just a few days after taking 10 or 15 grams of gelatin each day."
    Above excerpt from Ray Peat's article which as more detailed information about the scientific benefits of gelatine, read the full article here: Gelatin, stress, longevity.

What kind of gelatine do you want to use?
What you want to get is natural BEEF GELATINE.  The regular kind you find in NZ supermarkets (Davis brand) is fine, but my new favourite is instant gelatine (I haven't found this yet in NZ) because you can stir it straight into cold drinks, eliminating the need to stir in hot water for several minutes. 

How much?
Well, this is going to depend on you...personally, I am aiming for as much as possible, because I am trying to heal my gut...I read in Ray Peat's article that up to 100g a day is optimal for healing benefits (but, boy, that's a lot!!).  10 - 15g per day has helped people with arthritis.  So basically, start with 10 - 15g and see how you go.  I am taking about 3+TBS a day at the moment.

Yummy ways to include more gelatine in your diet:

Home-made bone broth, cooked for a minimum of 6 hours, is an excellent source of natural gelatine (along with loads of other minerals from the bones), but soup is not always what I feel like eating, and realistically, there is only so much of this I can consume every day (I always try and add some to casseroles and stir-fry's and I even replace some the water with broth when cooking rice using the absorption method), so how else can I get more gelatine into my diet? 

Sugar-free Vanilla Marshmellows or Peppermint Marshmellows

Jelly (Jello) Whip or Frappe - many flavour options, my favourite is matcha green tea & raspberries!

French Vanilla Panna Cotta 
1 Litre (Quart) Unsweetened Almond Milk
4 Egg yolks
4 tsp Vanilla essence or extract
Stevia to taste
 4 - 6 tsp Beef gelatine (depending on the texture you want)
Tiny pinch of salt
Optional: 30g (2 scoops) of Whey or Egg White Protein Powder
Put almond milk into a pan and heat until very warm, nearly hot.  Turn off element. Sprinkle in gelatine and leave for 5 minutes.  Whisk well until the gelatine has fully dissolved.  Add the rest of the ingredients whisking the egg yolks in one at a time.  Pour into container and allow to fully cool in the fridge before eating (this will take HOURS so I suggest making it in the morning, or at night for the next day). 

If you stir it several times in the first few hours, it shouldn't separate, however I don't mind the taste and texture if it does, so I often don't bother (or forget!).  If anyone knows how to stop this happening, please comment!!  I think it's because of using almond milk instead of the traditional cream.
Makes 5 servings (approx 1 cup)
Nutritional info per cup: 
Fat: 5.6g (this will be very low fat if you make the FP, egg free version)
Carbs: 1.5g (+ .2g carb with added egg white powder)
Protein: 6g (10.9g if egg white powder used, less if no eggs used)
Calories: 90 (if you care!) or 114 with optional egg white powder added.

I hope you are able to find some yummy ways to include gelatine in your diet!!  It's my new BFF (sorry to sound 12!  I really am 34!), along with my favourite metabolic boosting matcha green tea!  This probably explains why I keep having yummy green tea jelly whip frappes every single day!! ;-)

Blessings x

Friday, 26 April 2013

Matcha Green Tea Jelly Whip

Matcha Green Tea Jelly (Jello) Whip

Makes 4 cups, but you can eat the whole thing if you like, it's only 45 calories, 8.7g protein, 1.8g carbs & 0.1g fat!

3 TBS gelatine
1 Cup boiling water
½ tsp guar gum (or glucomannan)
½ - 1 tsp green tea powder
2 - 4 tsp vanilla essence (depending how how much you like the taste of green tea!)
Stevia to taste
12 - 20 small ice-cubes (depending on how thick you want it). 
*Optional - 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil (this adds 43.3 calories and 4.7g fat)
Flavour options: You can skip the green tea and/or vanilla and add any flavouring you like...how about berry or lemon jelly whip? 

Sprinkle gelatine into cup of hot/boiling water and leave for 5 minutes.  Stir until all the gelatine has dissolved.

When the gelatine mixture is still very warm, but not too hot, pour it into the blender.  Add guar gum and blend on high until it thickens slightly.  Add green tea powder, stevia and vanilla essence and blend until mixed.  Add ice-cubes and pulse until crushed, then blend on high until it fluffs up.  If you want it very thick, use the smaller number of ice-cubes, if you want it lighter, use more.  It will thicken up  a little more if it sits for a few minutes after dishing up into wine glasses or small single-serving containers. 
Jelly Whip Frappe
To turn into a frappe, simply add more water or almond milk (1/2 - 1 cup) and a few more ice cubes and blend again until the desired consistency is reached.  I add 3 TBS of hemp protein powder (any protein powder will work - hemp protein powder adds 11g protein) and a teaspoon of Maca Powder at this point to turn it into a high-protein super-food shake. 

A note about gelatine: Beef gelatine (gelatin to my American friends) is a healing super-food for the gut and digestive system, can reduce arthritic pain and inflammation of the joints, and is full of collagen (great for the skin, nails and hair).  I am working on a detailed post about the benefits of gelatine at the moment (it's taking a while as there are so many!), so I'll have that up  in a few days.  In the meantime, enjoy your Jelly Whip! 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Green Tea

Now before you tell me that you don't like the taste (or aftertaste) of green tea, I'll tell you that I know a few tips and tricks that'll have you guzzling it in no time!  But before we get into the recipes, lets talk about the amazing health benefits!

Antioxidants, Cancer & Heart Disease

Green tea contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols.  These antioxidants fight free-radicals (bad guys that we eat, breathe and absorb into our skin every day) that cause damage to cells and DNA, causing heart disease, cancer and strokes.  Green tea has been proven in studies to help prevent cancer developing, inhibit cancer growth and reduce the severity of coronary heart disease.

Other Health Benefits

Long-term, habitual green tea drinking has been shown to increase bone mineral density (resulting in lower occurrence of hip fractures), lower blood pressure and reduce clogging in the hearts arteries.  Long-term green tea consumption has been shown to flush out bad bacteria and improve digestion function.

Weight Loss Benefits

Studies have shown that people who drink green tea each day (especially the caffeinated kind - caffeine seems to help with fat oxidation) lose more fat than non green tea drinkers, and have lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.

Stress & Anxiety

5 Cups of green tea a day (yes the caffeinated kind!) have shown in studies to have a considerable effect on the reduction of psychological distress, compared to those who drank less than 1 cup per day. It has also shown to reduce liver damage caused by on-going stress and fatigue.

Now, the above examples are only scratching the surface of all the possible benefits of drinking green tea!  Convinced yet, that you should add green tea to your daily routine?

How much green tea do I need to drink or maximum benefit?

Answers vary on that question, but it seems that up to 5 cups a day would be the ideal for maximum health benefits, but 2 cups a day would give some benefits also, and is a good place to start if 5 cups seems way too much!  If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, limit to 2 cups per day.

If you have any health conditions, such as a blood disorder, a heart condition, glaucoma, liver disease or any other health conditions, please read this caution to ensure it is safe for you.

Other types of tea to consider

Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder is said to contain up to 100 x more antioxidants and nutrients than regular green tea.  This is the bright green tea that is used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.  I have found wildly varying prices on this, so do some research.  A good priced one I've found in NZ is $22.50/100g here. For brewing instructions read here.  You can also add matcha powder to smoothies, frappes, desserts and more!

Read more about the benefits of Matcha here

White tea is also said to contain more antioxidants than green, but it is often a lot more expensive.  My local Countdown supermarket sells a small box for nearly $15!!  I buy a box of 20 white tea bags for $2.50 from the Tai Ping Asian supermarket in New Lynn, Auckland.  White tea is harvested from the immature, unopened buds of the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as green and black tea, in the early spring.  Green tea is harvested from the mature leaves. Both green and white are very minimally processed, which means most of their antioxidants remain intact.  Green tea is partially fermented, but white tea is not fermented at all, which means it contains 3 x the antioxidants that green tea has. 

How to drink green tea if you're not a fan

If green tea is not something you have enjoyed in the past, please don't give up!  I have had many blah green tea experiences myself, but you need to know that NOT ALL GREEN TEAS ARE CREATED EQUAL!  Some green teas I've tried had a bitter aftertaste and left a funny feel in my mouth, so if that's the only kind of green tea experience you've had, read on! 

Some green teas (even 'good' organic kinds!) have a less than desirable flavour, but it's often our brewing methods that are to blame for bitter green tea.  Green tea is best seeped for between 1 - 3 minutes (no longer!), so starting with 1 minute will give the least bitter results, but it does depend on the individual tea, so keep trying until you find one you love!

Flavoured tea's are a great option...one of my favourites is Bell Zesty Berry Green Tea, but there are lots of other flavour combinations out there to try. 

Others ways to enjoy green tea...

I add green tea to my Good Girl Moonshine when I seep the fresh ginger, but I take it out after 3 minutes and let the ginger seep longer.  I usually use Japanese Sencha Green tea (pictured above) This makes a fantastically refreshing drink with loads of digestive health benefits. 

Raspberry Green Tea Frappe

A current favourite of mine is to make a raspberry green tea protein shake/frappe.  I brew the berry flavoured green tea, allow to cool and use as the liquid portion of my frappe.


1/2 Cup cooled, double-strength brewed green tea (such as berry flavour) or plain water and 1/2 - 1 tsp matcha green tea powder - this will give a stronger tea flavour than brewed tea.
1/2 tsp guar gum or glucomannan
1/2 Almond milk, water or more green tea.
Stevia to taste
1/2 Cup frozen raspberries
1 cup ice cubes
3 TBS protein powder (I am dairy free now, due to intolerance, so I use egg white powder, but whey protein isolate will also work great).

Firstly blend together the cooled tea, guar gum and extra liquid (water, almond milk or more green tea) and stevia (liquid or powder), until it thickens.  Then add ice-cubes & frozen raspberries and pulse until they are crushed.  While the blender is running on high, add the protein powder and blend until it fluffs up . 

Well, there you go, lots of brilliant reasons to start drinking more green tea!


Friday, 12 April 2013

Good Girl Moonshine

This is my recipe, adapted from Serene Allison’s fantastic recipe here, if you haven't heard of it yet, Serene & her sister Pearl Barrett have written a fabulous health/diet/nutrition book called Trim Healthy Mama!  I HIGHLY recommend it!! :-)

Chopped fresh ginger root (how much depends on how spicy you like things, I use about 10cm)
Boiling Water – filtered water is best
Stevia (liquid or powder, I use about 8 drops of Sweetleaf Lemon Drop flavoured stevia)
1 – 2 TBS Apple cider vinegar  (ACV - use raw apple cider vinegar, such as Braggs or other brand – my favourite is Chantal Organics – NZ for it’s mild flavour)

Optional: Small pinch cayenne pepper (this is great for the metabolism, but it is very hot, so use with caution!!) and ¼ - ½ tsp cardamom powder or a couple of cardamom pods & sliced lemon.

Peel and finely chop fresh ginger and pop it into a teapot or saucepan, add the optional ingredients if you want them.  Pour over boiling (filtered) water and let seep for at least 10 minutes or until cold. 

Strain out the ginger (and optional cardamom, cayenne pepper and lemon slices) and pour the liquid into a litre (quart) glass jar.  Add ACV and stevia to taste.  Make up to 1 litre with water.  Add ice or allow to cool in the fridge (best served icy cold!).

Drink with a straw as the ACV is (obviously) acidic and it’s not good for your teeth to get coated in it all day long!   You can drink as much of this as you like (the more the better!).  The benefits include improved digestive function, reduced cravings, improved circulation and if you are experiencing nausea, the ginger will help a lot!  For more info, see Serene’s post here. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Frosty Frappe

This is my recipe, adapted from my very favourite-of-all-time nutrition/diet/health book Trim Healthy Mama! This is my version of a Fat Stripping Frappe :)

Frosty Frappe
Photo: My current addiction...fat-stripping coffee frappe...yum!


 ½ Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

½ Cup Water (or brewed coffee for a coffee frappe)

12 small ice cubes (or more if you prefer it icier)

1 – 3 TBS Whey Protein Isolate (plain, unsweetened)

Stevia (powder or liquid drops) or Natvia (stevia/erythitol mix) to taste

 Optional flavours: ½ Cup frozen berries for a berry frappe, or 1-2 TBS Cocoa powder for chocolate frappe.  My favourite is coffee with a dash of cinnamon & a tsp of maca powder, with unsweetened cocoa nibs sprinkled on top…yum!  Sometimes I add a TBS of extra virgin coconut oil or raw cream (while blending in the whey powder) if I need more calories (otherwise, it’s only 150 calories and it makes nearly two big glasses!)


Add first 3 ingredients to blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until it thickens.

Add ice cubes and pulse until they are crushed.

While blending on high, add whey protein isolate and watch it fluff up! 

Drink & enjoy, guilt free! J