No Nut Slice

Nut-free-sliceLast weekend I was one of the cooks at my children’s cub camp. I love these weekends as the kids get to experience things they wouldn’t normally experience with us and they develop skills and independence. Knowing that the food offered is different to what I usually eat I wanted to ensure I had a few things I could snack on. I took my Tribest blender (yes we had electricity at the site), greens and fruit to make my green smoothies, chia seeds, goji berries and seeds to make breakfast. Before I left I made a No Nut Slice as nuts are not permitted due to nut allergies. This slice is packed full of goodness and having no nuts means it can be sent to school in lunch boxes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup activated buckwheat**
  • 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup goji berries
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds*
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • 1 cup sun dried apricots

Directions

  1. Soak the apricots over night in filtered water.
  2. In a food processor, blend the sunflower seeds, pepitas, shredded coconut, buckwheat and celtic sea salt until a flour consistency.
  3. Add raw cocoa powder, goji berries, hemp seeds and cinnamon to food processor and mix well.
  4. Drain apricots and add to the food processor and process until the mixture is a dough consistency
  5. Whilst food processor is still running add liquid coconut oil and ensure mixed well
  6. Put dough into a bowl and kneed in puffed millet
  7. Press dough into a 20cm x 20xm slice tin
  8. Place in the freezer to set
  9. Once set cut into slices. These can be stored in the freezer.

* If you do not have hemp seeds add more pepitas or sunflower seeds to step 1

**Buckwheat or buckwheat groats is not a cereal grain but actually a fruit seed and is related to rhubarb. It is a great substitute for those people who are sensitive to wheat and gluten.  To activate the buckwheat soaked over night in filtered water, then rinse and dehydrated for 3 hours or until completely dried. If you do not have a dehydrator they can be spread onto an oven tray and dried in the oven on the lowest temperature with the oven door open.  Soaking the buckwheat groats reduces the enzyme inhibitors which affects your digestions ability to digest the grain.  Buckwheat can be purchased from health food stores and some stores stock activated buckwheat

In good health, Vicki

What love language do you speak?

Love- Pralinen mit Herz I was discussing with a client the other day about conflicts in relationships, in particular child/parent relationships and how the language of love can cause some of the conflicts. The way you (the parent) demonstrates love may not match the way your child (can also insert spouse) likes to receive the message of love. “Isn’t love, love?” I hear you ask. Well yes love is love but the way you demonstrate it or convey your message of love can vary.

In Dr Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages“, he describes the different ways that you can express love:

  • Quality Time
    • Love Language Quality TimeThis is about spending time with your child/spouse, listening to them, eye contact, playing the games they wish to play or going for a walk. Finding out what it is that they would like to do and then do it with them.
  • Gifts
    • As this suggests the child/spouse that speaks this love language likes to receive gifts, however it is gifts purchased specifically with them in mind, personalised and individual. The gifts do not necessarily have to be expensive.
  • Physical Touch
    • Love Language Physical TouchThis could be hugs, holding hands, touching your loved one on the back as you walk past or sitting close as you watch the TV, all which says to the receiver “I love you”.
  • Acts of Service
    • This is doing things for your child/spouse that help them out like making their lunch, washing their clothes or doing a chore that they don’t like.
  • Words of Affirmation
    • Love Language WordsThis is not only about saying “I love you” but also complementing,
      praising and encouraging your child/spouse. This also involves the written word, so leaving a note for them to find, writing them a letter or sending them an SMS. As words are so important to these people unkind words or criticism will hurt very deeply.

You can visit Dr Chapman’s website to find out what your love language is or you can answer these questions:

  1. How do I express love to others?
  2. What do I complain most about?
  3. What do I request most often?

Love Language GiftsSo how can demonstrating your love for your child or spouse cause conflict? Let me give you an example. I have two children and my love language is physical touch. My daughter’s love language is also physical touch so I find it very easy to demonstrate my love for her as ‘we speak the same language’. However my son does not appreciate physical displays of affection. At first I found this vary challenging as he would move away from the hugs and I saw it as he was not accepting my love and therefore did not love me in return. Observing him, I found that what really made him happy was spending time together – quality time or gifts. My son has two equal ways that he likes to receive love. Learning what his love languages are means that I now look for ways to either spend time with him and he really ‘lights up’ when we do one on one things or little gifts every now and again.

If the child or spouse does not receive your message of love via the way they wish to receive it then they can feel that they are not loved or appreciated and in the case of children they may view that you love their sibling/s more than them.

Remember you where once a child also, did your parents demonstrate their love for you using your language of love or the love language they where comfortable expressing, which is usually the love language they wish to receive? Do you know what love language those close to you speak and are you demonstrating your love for them in their language?

In good health, Vicki

Pecan and Fig Brownie

Pecan and Fig brownieI’m on a bit of an experiment at the moment to make a number of sweet treats that do not include dates. Why? After I was asked if something else could be substituted for dates I got to thinking – why substitute why not create treats that are designed with the ingredient in mind. So today’s creation is with figs. I love the sweetness and flavour of figs and when the fresh ones are on the market I’ll but them to have in smoothies, on my breakfast or just enjoy them on their own.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pecans
  • 1/2 cup hemps seeds
  • 1/4 cup mesquite flour
  • 1/8 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 cup of dried figs

Directions

  1. Soak the figs for a couple of hours in filtered water.
  2. In a food processor, blend the pecans, hemps seeds, mesquite flour and celtic sea salt until a flour consistency.
  3. Remove stems from figs and add to the food processor and process until the mixture is a dough consistency
  4. Press dough into a 20cm x 20xm slice tin
  5. Place in the freezer to set
  6. Once set cut into squares and serve with ice cream. These can be stored in the freezer.

* If you do not have hemp seeds try slightly ground pepitas or sunflower seeds

Mesquite flour is made from the the dried, ground pods of the Mesquite. It has a slightly carmel flavour and is and excellent source of magnesium and calcium. The flour can be used as a flour substitute as there is no gluten, in desserts or drinks.

In good health, Vicki

The Big Cholesterol Myth

Guest blog post by Fiona Kane from Informed Health

Heart Care“The belief that the cholesterol we eat converts directly into blood cholesterol is unequivocally false” David Perlmutter, MD (Neurologist)

The Framingham Heart Study followed 15,000 participants over 3 generations and they found, the more saturated fat and cholesterol people eat, the LOWER their cholesterol levels were!

Dr William CastelliYour cholesterol number alone is not an accurate way to determine your health including risk of cardiovascular disease. LDL’s and HDL’s can both be good and bad, depending on whether they have been oxidised and depending on their sub fractions (there are many kinds of LDL, some good and some bad). What also matters is whether you have important inflammatory markers including blood markers (eg C-reactive protein (CRP), triglycerides, ESR, glucose and insulin, high levels of abdominal (belly) fat and high blood pressure). Cardiovascular disease is a disease of inflammation, so your overall levels of inflammation in the body are a better indicator of your risk.

Robert LustigTriglycerides are other ‘storage’ fats that are transported in blood lipoproteins, if these are present in high concentrations in the blood you are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. They are an indication that you have way too much sugar in your diet. If you have high triglycerides you will eventually start to have high glucose and high insulin levels and will be at high risk of developing insulin resistance (type II diabetes).

What does all this have to do with inflammation?

The body uses cholesterol to repair damage to the arteries caused by inflammation; these fatty deposits that develop in the arteries are your body’s short term solution to seal up the damage (kind of like a bandaid in your arteries). If the reasons for the inflammation are not addressed this will eventually cause the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart attack or stroke.

David PerlmutterDr Lundell, Cardiologist explains “blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes.  Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended.  It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.”

Inflammation in the body is driven by a high carbohydrate/sugar diet and consumption of poor quality oils found abundantly in packaged and junk food (eg margarine, canola oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, soy oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, cheap impure olive oil and cheap, rancid fish oils). Other causes of inflammation can be alcohol, drugs/medications, allergies/intolerances, parasites, bacteria, stress, viruses and exposure to chemicals including what you put on your skin.

Bring back the Fat

Many people in their attempts to avoid heart disease eat a low fat diet. We have now discovered that this advice was wrong and is leading to consumption of a high carbohydrate diet which is increasing inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and dementia just to name a few. salat herz pfeilTo reduce your risk of heart disease and protect your brain (which is made largely of cholesterol and saturated fat), ensure you eat a ‘healthy real foods’ diet. This includes a rainbow of vegetables and salads (limit potato), good quality free range eggs and free range grass fed meat, fish including the skin/fat, free range chicken and one piece of fruit per day. Snack on a palm full of unsalted raw almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds. Eat real block butter; avoid any softened butter or margarine. Soften your own butter by blending with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Eat full fat dairy, coconut oil, avocado and avocado oil.

Reduce grains (bread, pasta, noodles, biscuits, muffins, cakes, crackers, corn etc); avoid soft drinks or any sugar drink (coffee with syrups, flavoured milk, iced teas, fruit juice etc). Avoid packaged food and junk food. Avoid vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils. Just Eat Real Food!

Overwhelmed or confused about what to eat? Book an appointment with one of our Clinical Nutritionist on 47 222 111 for specific advice for your situation.

Fiona-251109-093--low-rez

Fiona KaneInformed-Health-Logo

Clinical Nutritionist

Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre