The Benefits of the GHP

As we revealed yesterday, Regan and I recently completed the Gut Healing Protocol by Kale Brock.

The protocol goes for 8 weeks, and although tough, we have both reaped multiple rewards from tweaking our diets and restoring gut health.

We have created a list of the benefits we each experienced during and at the end of the 8 Weeks. At the beginning of the GHP we struggled with some detox symptoms, which we combated with lots of lemon water, green tea and extra rest.

Slowly, the benefits began to emerge for each of us. They evolved over the 8 Weeks, culminating in both of us feeling fantastic at the end. We both agreed that it was one of the best things we’ve done, and it was even better to do it together.

Regan’s Benefits:

  • Weight loss – 11kg total

 

Megan’s Benefits:

  • Weight loss – 4kg total
  • Sustained energy through the day
  • Clear skin
  • No bloating
  • More focus
  • Decreased (and eventually eliminated) sugar cravings
  • Better sleep

Setting Goals – Should you do the GHP?

We’ve had awesome feedback on our Gut Healing Protocol post, and lots of people are asking the question “Do you think I should do it?” In one, simple word- yes. Yes, I do. Everyone can benefit from healing their gut and reaping the rewards that come with it. But, it’s important to evaluate for yourself and ask some hard hitting questions before you undertake any project/decision/life change if you really want to commit.

So, here’s my top list of important Q’s to answer, before you take the plunge: Any plunge, really. New job, moving house, starting a course, or perhaps doing the GHP!

Q:  What is Your Why?

Why are you at these cross-roads, and what has happened to make you evaluate this information as useful? This is deep one. Really ask yourself why you want to change what you are doing.

Considering the GHP: Take a moment to dig deep, and get to the bottom of why you need to make some changes to heal your gut. Research what gut health is, and if this is an area you need to improve, ask ‘why?’ Write it down.

Q: Where do you want to be in 2 Months, 6 Months, 12 Months (and years) from now?

Seriously, reach for the stars here. Think forward, and of all possibilities. What does your heart truly desire for your future? Write down the things that you would do, if money/time/resources weren’t an issue.

If you want to be healthier, happier and wealthier; consider the person you envision yourself to be when you’ve achieved your goals. What do you look like, where are you, what does a normal day look like for you?

Considering the GHP: Where do you see your health being, two years from now? If it wouldn’t be improving with the things you are doing now, consider what an 8 Week change could achieve for your health.

Q. How Can I Move Myself Towards My Goals?

Write down your BIG dreams, and then break them down into baby steps. What are the small things you could do everyday that could take you closer to your goals.

Consider that your days, weeks, months and years are made up of small moments that may at times seem insignificant. We are the sum of these small tasks and moments and they edge us towards the future that we work towards.

What small habits could you start today, that will pay you back in 2 years time? Don’t hold off. Don’t hesitate to start editing your life, even in minute ways to achieve a life that you love.

Considering the GHP:  Break down your big dream into small habits. To become a healthier you, the easiest way is to take it one bite at a time. If you need help installing new habits in your life, consider that an eight week program is a small investment now, for the you of the future.

Note: We do not have an affiliation with the GHP, we simply believe it to be an excellent protocol that we have tried ourselves and wish to share our experience with others. 

 

We Completed A Gut Healing Protocol!

Regan and I recently went through an 8 week cleanse/lifestyle change. We have had so many questions about it, we’ve decided to share it here, with our lovely readers.

The protocol we used was the 8 Week Gut Healing Protocol by Kale Brock. Essentially we did 8 weeks, eliminating inflammatory foods and introducing healing foods for the gut.

‘Gut health’ is such a buzz term right now, and for good reason. There is research showing the link between the health of our digestive system and many other areas of our health; including weight, energy, and mental state.The gut is even being considered the body’s ‘second brain‘- it’s definitely worth investing time and effort to maintaining your gut’s health.

As many of you guys know, we eat pretty clean. I thought that the 8 weeks would be a breeze because of this, but it turns out that even though you eat clean- your gut may not be balanced with good bacteria (more on our experience later). This balance is a fluid state, of course, depending on various factors. With the help of the protocol, we were able to create a healing state for the gut and sustain it for 8 weeks, allowing our systems to heal deeply, without interference from inflammatory foods.

Kale has designed the protocol to be simple, affordable and attainable; but best of all- healing. All of these factors influenced our decision to undertake the challenge. Kale has provided lots of excellent background information, to give the reader an understanding of how the gut works and interacts with the rest of the body. In simple terms, he gives great scientific information supporting his strategy to restore your gut health.

A quick overview of Kale’s protocol:

  1. Read the book. Get a good understanding of what gut health looks like, and the benefits of a healthy gut.
  2. Learn about what different foods do for the gut. Kale also has defined foods according to whether they will promote the healing state or not; essentially an ‘Eat this’, ‘Don’t eat this’ list forming the foundation of the GHP.
  3. Then you get started with a 1 week gentle cleanse. Simply changing your breakfast for one week, in the lead up to 8 weeks. Easy!
  4. After that, it’s 8 weeks of gut healing following a basic formula for how to structure your meals with key ingredients.
  5. A gentle re-integration and introduction of other foods after the GHP is finished.

The GHP has instilled some great eating and lifestyle habits for us both. We structure our meals more thoughtfully, and with the intention of keeping our bacteria balanced.

Both Regan and I saw some excellent improvements to our health. The improvements have been so good, that we have decided to go back for another 8 Weeks and use Kale’s protocol to heal, but also introduce some different sources of probiotics to boost the good bacteria.

Over the coming weeks we will be writing more about our experience on the GHP and we’ll be starting our second round as well. Subscribe on the right -> if you’d like an email update on our journey.

Paleo Naan Bread

This recipe is super easy and we always make it with our favourite butter chicken. This recipe can also be adapted to make paleo wraps/tortillas. There is a note below about altering the recipe to achieve this.

Happy cooking!

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Coconut cream
  • 100mL of water
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Dry Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp Coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 3/4 cup Tapioca flour
  • Butter/ghee/coconut oil to cook in

Instructions:
Step 1: Combine wet ingredients and whisk well.

Step 2: Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Step 3: Add the two mixtures and combine well until smooth consistency is formed. It should be like a thick pancake batter. If it is too thick, add water 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Step 4: Cook the same way you would pancakes, in a fry pan with a little oil, and flip when golden brown or bubbles start appearing.

This recipe can also be made into wraps, by decreasing the coconut flour to 3 tbsp, and having a runnier batter.

Paleo Butter Chicken

 

This recipe seriously rivals an all time favourite take-out of ours, butter chicken. The secret to traditional butter chicken is the blend of spices, slow cooking time and the use of a tandoor oven. We don’t have a tandoor oven, but we have a good ol’ Aussie BBQ. So, let’s use what we have to create lots of amazing flavour and a healthy alternative to eating out.

This may look like a complicated recipe- but it’s not. It is divided into 3 parts- making a marinade and simmer sauce (in one recipe), Cooking the sauce, BBQing the chicken.

It is super easy, and if you plan ahead and marinade for 1-2 days, this will be the best chicken ever.

Marinade and Sauce base

  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 100g melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp smokey paprika
  • 6 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 tsp ground coriander (or ground seeds)
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 teaspoons fresh ginger
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded
  • 300mL coconut milk or kefir
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 kg chicken thigh, cut into strips

If you don’t have all the herbs and spices on hand, most Tandoori spice mixes have the same spices, you can just read the ingredients and sub in the other ones you do have on hand.

butter chicken

 

Instructions;

PART 1:

Place all ingredients except the chicken into a high speed blender and blitz into a sauce consistency.

Split the mixture into half. Set one half aside (as the base for the sauce) and one half will be the marinade.

In one half of the mixture, place strips of chicken thigh and mix the marinade through. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours. You can do the marinade process as long as you like, but the longer- the better.

Place the other half of the mixture in the fridge to store, while the chicken is marinading.

After the marinading time is up, the fun begins.

PART 2:

In a large pot, heat up the sauce mixture that you set aside before. Add the following:

  • 400g coconut cream
  • 100 mL water (or 100mL of tomato passata)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 200g tomato paste
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh corriander

Simmer for about 30 minutes.

PART 3:

While the sauce is simmering, get the chicken thigh pieces out of the marinade, and BBQ them. Yep, get them nice and charchol-y so that there is lots of robust flavour.

You can add the marinade drippings into the simmering sauce if you wish. Waste  not, want not.

Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer away for about another half hour.

Serve atop cauliflower rice, and voila- seriously good butter chicken!

 

3 ways to make your food stretch!

To make your real food stretch further, it’s important to reduce waste. As the old adage goes: waste not, want not. The average Australian family discards 20% of their total grocery shop. 20%- that is 1 of every 5 grocery bags that are going in the bin, instead of on the table! That is literally money you are throwing away.

Three simple ways to reduce food waste:

  1. Before you even shop, evaluate what you have and make a shopping list and meal plan based on that. I can’t emphasis enough- plan your meals!
  2. Eat the left overs. Finish smaller meals on the side with breakfast. Don’t toss left over veges; turn them into fritters, or a vege bake/frittata with some eggs and kefir.
  3. Use your scraps and bones to make broth. I toss  trimmings, seeds, peels, ends and anything else in the freezer, as I’m preparing dinners. At the end of the week I put it all in the slow cooker with water and herbs- so easy!

Healthy Hack: Coconut Cream and Milk

I have been doing this for years, and when I told one of my friends about it- they couldn’t believe how well it worked.

It’s a little secret to stretching your dollar a little further and also decreasing the amount of items in your pantry (ours is very tiny, so any extra space is always welcome!).

The secret is this; you can make coconut milk out of coconut cream. I simply water down coconut cream- I always buy it ‘full fat’, none of this lite or skim rubbish.

I usually mix it half:half, coconut cream:filtered water to get a nice balance. Sometimes if the coconut cream is very solid, I’ll add a few teaspoons of hot water to soften it, and stir in the rest of the room temperature water.

Seriously, give it a go!

20 minute Paleo Pho Recipe

Pho is so delicious. Seriously. The problem I usually face, eating out being the noodles are a bit stodgy for me, and sometimes I have my doubts about restaurants adding in flavour enhancers.

This isn’t a traditional recipe. The leeks may seem a little out of place at first, but they truly bring something wonderful to the table, in terms of sweetness and subtlety.

This recipe will give you that savoury, umami flavour with lots of goodness from the bone broth and vegetables. It was so filling, but we had to eat up every last drop.

pho

Ingredients:

Base/Broth recipe

2 leeks (chopped)

1 onion (chopped)

1 tsp ginger

2 tsp garlic

300 mL bone broth (I used chicken)

1 tbs tamari

Chicken pieces (breast or thigh would be best)

 

‘Noodles’

2 carrots (grated)

1/4 head of cabbage, sliced very thinly into long ribbons

 

On top:

Shallots

Silverbeet

Bok choy

Corriander

 

Instructions:

Step 1: In a hot saucepan, with a little oil of choice saute off leeks, and onion

Step 2: When the onions become transparent, add ginger, garlic and tamari

Step 3: Add chicken pieces, and cook until white almost all the way through

Step 4: Pour broth into saucepan, and cover. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes

Step 5: Add prepared ‘noodles’ into the bottom of your bowl, pour broth and chicken mix over them. Allow to sit for 5 minutes while you prep the greens for on top, that way the cabbage and carrot will soften.

Step 6: Top with greens, and voila! You made a non-traditional, paleo Pho with lots of nutritional value, very affordable and oh so delicious!

Iced Chocolate (Paleo and Vegan)

Iced chocolate is such a treat. It shouldn’t have to be a guilty pleasure though. A lot of chocolate milks and milkshakes are full of refined sugar, preservatives, flavours and colours. Do your body and favour and switch them out with some superfood alternatives that still satisfy that sweet, rich craving.

Perfect on a hot summers day, when you don’t really feel like doing much at all.

double choc cookies7

 

3 tbs boiling water

2 tbs cacao powder

2 tbs honey or coconut nectar

1 tsp vanilla essence

dollop of your favourite healthy chocolate spread

300 ml of your dairy free milk of choice (I use coconut)

Handful of ice cubes

 

Step 1: In a strong glass cup, combine the boiling water, cacao, honey and vanilla.

Step 2: Stir until they have combined and have formed a chocolatey liquid.

Step 3: Mix in vanilla essence and chocolate spread, mix again until combined.

(If you want the fancy ‘chocolate effect’ on the side of your glass, simply drizzle the chocolate syrup mix down the sides and stir the milk in very gently, taking care not to hit the sides of the glass)

Step 4: Add in milk and ice cubes, and stir all together.

 

We bought some lovely reusable straws online, so that we can wash and use them again and again.

Paleo Double Choc & Walnut Cookies

Things are starting to get a little festive in our house. Christmas Carols are playing, tree is up and I just feel like baking, all. the. time.

This is truly a magical time of year. Honestly, who can go past chocolate biscuits? These would make great home-made gifts, wrapped up in celophane and ribbon. Being Paleo, they are allergen friendly for gluten and dairy intolerance (but definitely not nuts) and don’t have any nasties.

double choc cookies7

Dry Ingredients:

3 tbs coconut flour

1.5 cups almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup walnuts (roughly chopped)

1 cup cacao powder

Wet Ingredients:

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil

3-5 tbs honey/maple syrup/coconut nectar

100 g of 90% dark chocolate or cacao wafers

2 eggs

 

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 175*C.

Step 2: Add all dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix to combine.

double choc cookies5

Step 3: Gently melt all wet ingredients except eggs on a low heat saucepan. When they are half melted, turn the heat off and whisk every 30 seconds to keep it together, and to let it cool enough so that the eggs don’t scramble.

Step 4: Add the eggs into the chocolate mix (when it has fully melted) and whisk for about a minute until the mixture thickens, has a shine, and comes together.

double choc cookies6

Step 5: Combine all the ingredients well, and roll into little balls.

double choc cookies3

Step 6: Place the cookie dough on a lined baking tray, and press the middle down with a fork. Cook for 10 minutes at 175*C.

double choc cookies

To make these triple choc cookies, you could dip them in melted chocolate at the end, after they have been baked. Yum!