A Gut Healing Guacamole, introducing Slippery Elm Powder!

A Gut Healing Guacamole, introducing Slippery Elm Powder!

Guacamole is one of my favourite foods. This is probably because it’s made up of avocado, which is one of my favourite foods for taste, texture and nutritional talents. Think about these issues you may regularly struggle with, and see how avocado can help.

1. My beans are boring. *add avocado
2. I don’t know what to put on my toast. *avocado
3. My smoothie is not creamy enough. *add avocado
4. My skin is dry and I need to improve my lipid profile. *eat avocado

I could go on, but you get the idea, and I have spoken about the wondrous benefits of avocado before here. Today I’m focusing more on gut health.

Introducing Slippery Elm Powder

For those who are not familiar, slippery elm powder (SEP) is the ground inner bark of the slippery elm tree. It is a mucilage, meaning that it is hydrophilic and is able to trap water where it then swells and becomes like a gel. Once consumed, this gel is broken down by the gut bacteria and has a soothing effect on gastrointestinal inflammation, irritation and for conditions such as diarrhoea, gastritis, reflux, peptic ulcers and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. SEP has a traditional usage as a nutritious ‘gruel’ for children, and no wonder given it contains vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium and B vitamins. On top of this, you can also use it topically to soothe wounds, burns or inflamed skin, and to draw out boils or abscesses. Cool! I recommend it in clinic for anything from mastitis (topically) to IBS.

I suppose the catch is that it’s not amazingly palatable. But don’t let that stop you, there are some tricky ways around it. You can try mixing 1/2 a teaspoon with a little warm water to make a paste, then

Happy New Year, starting with a Green Smoothie Challenge!

Happy New Year, starting with a Green Smoothie Challenge!

Happy New Year everyone! I have taken a mini-break from everything, but am back on board and so inspired and excited about 2013! I have a great feeling that this is going to be a spectacular year. Why not start off on a good note and join me in this 30 day green smoothie challenge – starting today! As you already know, I am a huge fan of green smoothies. It is the single most effective blanket ‘prescription’ that I most commonly recommend for patients. Simply by adding them to your diet you can increase your energy levels, improve digestion and elimination, support kidney and liver function, boost immunity, encourage clear, glowing skin, and enjoy a general sense of improved wellbeing. Tell me a pill that does that without side effects and I will eat my hat! In each serving you are drinking in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, fibre, and living plant love goodness!! Think of them as a multivitamin in a glass – but better! In as little as 15 minutes the green gorgeousness is into your cells to nourish, replenish, cleanse and energise – BAM!

And guess what – it’s so our lucky day!! The beautiful people at Simple Green Smoothies have created a 30 day challenge, so that we can all show our outpourings of love for green liquid! Or maybe that’s just me… Either way, get on board! All you need is a blender, some fresh produce, and the will add green smoothies to your diet every day for 30 days. The link will take you to the sign up page where you can download a recipe ebook to get you started – all for free, hooray!

I will be posting regular updates on My Wholefood Romance’s Facebook page to keep you inspired and blending away.

Fertile Foods

Fertile Foods

Just a quick little post today looking at food as medicine for fertilty! There are a plethora of essential nutrients that are required for healthy eggs, sperm, and for creating the perfect environment for them to meet. Key players include zinc, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin E, B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and vitamin A. Eat yourself fertile starting with these top five.

1. Avocado

Not only are they beautiful, but they take 9 months to develop from blossom to ripe fruit, sound familiar? They are even shaped like a uterus. Nature is practically screaming for us to eat them, and enjoy the benefits of their fabulously good fats, Vitamin E, Folic acid, and Vitamin C.

2. Eggs

Vitamin A, E, and D, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, iron, protein and omega 3s  – whoa! Seriously nutrient rich, these little gems have a lot of nutritional bang for their buck. Invest in eggs from pasture-raised chooks to maximise the vitamin intake.

3. Figs

Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, figs contain vitamin A, C, E, Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc and Iron among other deliciousness. They usually grow in pairs on the tree, which gives you a bit of a clue as to what part of the male body they are helpful for!

4. Black Beans (or Turtle Beans)

Used in traditional medicine to benefit reproductive function, and as a remedy for infertility and hot flashes of menopause. If you don’t fancy them as part of your curry or casserole, try black bean “juice” a
Cacao Love: Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Chocolate Kale Chips

Cacao Love: Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Chocolate Kale Chips

I have had a little cacao obsession this week.

It started with the avocado love from last week, which just sort of melted into an avocado chocolate mousse; and finished with cacao and cashew kale chips…. Lucky that cacao is chock full of antioxidants: 10-15 times more antioxidants than blueberries, and 20 times more than green tea to be precise – whoa! Cacao beans are super rich in magnesium, and are also high in chromium, iron, zinc, vitamin C and manganese. If you are worried about the caffeine content, it is actually quite low – around 1%, compared with coffee which had around 10%.

So what’s the deal with cacao anyway? The cacao tree grows the cacao pod which is the fruit. The pod is full of fabulous seeds which we know as cacao beans. You can find cacao as beans, nibs, powder and cacao butter. The nibs (like chocolate chips) and the powder lend themselves fabulously to baking, trail mix, smoothies, desserts and my new gourmet granola (I will post the recipe soon!).

The difference between cacao and chocolate, or ordinary cocoa, is that the latter is like a watered down version of cacao, with added extras like sugars, binding agents, milk solids, colourings and other chemicals. Vitamins and minerals are very sensitive to heat, and as most chocolate and cocoa is made using high temperatures, the end product is severely depleted in antioxidants, and has almost none of the vitamins and minerals it began life with. Good quality raw cacao however is produced using low temperatures and so maintains much of the original nutrient profile, hooray! Although it’s not something you should really eat in the same quantity as vegetables, the health benefits make it such an awesome alternative for a sweet treat! You will find it in …