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.

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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

 

5 Ingredient, 5 Step Seed Crackers

Have you ever seen those recipes for crackers that seem amazing, but in reality are a pain to prepare and you think ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’? Yeah, me too. I simplified a few recipes to make this one quick and easy, anyone could do it. Hello, healthy crackers!

These crackers took about 5 minutes to make, 40 minutes to bake and in that time I had also whipped up some gorgeous dips and cleaned my kitchen! Productive day, and so rewarding to pull some crunchy, nutritious home-made crackers out of the oven. I felt like Superwoman.

They are nut free, gluten free, dairy free and would be perfect to serve up at a dinner party or a BBQ. I flavoured my crackers with 1 teaspoon each of cumin and paprika. You could use whatever herbs and spices you wanted to make these lovely crackers your own.

crackers

Ingredients

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 tsp of salt in 1 cup water

Instructions

Step 1: In a blender, blitz sunflower seeds and pepitas until they are crushed into small pieces. Don’t go past this point, or they will turn to mush.

Step 2: In a bowl, add chia seeds, flax seeds and the blitzed seed mix from the blender. Add the salt to the water now.

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Step 3: Add water to the seed mix, and allow to sit for a few minutes, stirring every now and then until the water has absorbed.

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Step 4: Line a baking tray with baking paper, and place the mixture in the middle. Get another piece of baking paper, place it on top of the mix and use your hands to spread the mix evenly over the tray.

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Step 5: Pop it in the oven, at 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into pieces with a sharp knife.

Voila! You just made your own crackers. Kudos to you, my friends.

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Clean Eating Apple Loaf

This apple loaf is absolutely lovely. It is moist, and flavourful with no nasty refined sugar, gluten or dairy. You could call it Paleo, but it has some oats- which you could swap out if needed.

The loaf was a bit of a fluke actually, I had 2 large apples left in the fruit bowl and decided it was their time to shine, so I whipped out a few pantry staples, crossed my fingers and waited for the oven timer to beep.

apple loaf

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  1. 2 large apples, grated
  2. 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 3/4 cup of dates
  5. 1/2 cup of boiling water
  6. 3 tablespoons of flax seeds
  7. 3 tablespoons of chia
  8. 1/2 cup of almond meal
  9. 1 cup of raisins or sultanas
  10. 1/3 cup of oats (if you’re not on grains, replace with almond meal
  11. 1 tsp of cinnamon
  12. 1 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

Step 1: Place dates in a bowl, and cover with boiling water (allow to soak for 10-15 minutes) while preparing the rest of the ingredients. We’re going to turn this into date paste to sweeten the loaf with.

Step 2: Grate the apples, and place in a bowl with spices.

Step 3: Whisk eggs and coconut oil together until combined.

Step 4: Combine flax, chia, almond meal and oats, ready to combine everything together.

Step 5: Drain off excess water from the soaking dates (leave a few teaspoons of liquid in the dates so that it blends well). Blend the dates with a processor, I used my stick blender, and it worked a treat.

Step 6: Stir the date paste through the apple mix, and combine with the almond meal mix.

Step 7: Pour into a loaf tin, and bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees, or until a skewer comes out with minimal moisture (but not totally dry).

apple loaf2

Test Tasting gluten free baking – honest opinions ensue.

We are back with another entertaining YouTube clip, in which we discuss gluten free baking and flour alternatives.

Thumbs up for Regan’s mustache making a guest appearance.

Here is the Paleo recipe we used:

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup high-quality cacao powder

After combining all these ingredients, we separated the batter out into separate containers and then added the flour until the consistency was right. About 3 tablespoons of each flour was used in the smaller batches of batter.

Peanut butter Chocolate Cake

This cake was AMAZING. It was so rich in flavour, yet so light in texture. The peanut butter center was the perfect surprise. Every time I cut another slice there was some gooey, deliciousness waiting to be revealed.

Made with coconut flour, the batter was surprisingly thick. Held together with 5 large eggs, this cake is protein rich and full of lovely ingredients such as cacao, coconut oil, maple syrup and the secret ingredient: a dash of lemon juice.

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If you would like this to be a Paleo cake, simply omit the peanut butter, or replace it with a suitable nut butter if you wish.

Ingredients:

  • 50 grams of 95% cacao chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey (I found a blend of both works well)
  • ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk, stirred to combine the fat and water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ⅓ cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 4 tablespoons of peanut butter
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a baking tin with coconut oil.
  2. Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil gently, stirring until liquid and combined. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in maple syrup/honey, coconut milk, vanilla and lemon juice until blended.
  3. Whisk in eggs one at a time, until well combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients: coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda and salt. Toss gently with a fork to mix them evenly.
  5. Add to the chocolate mixture, whisking until well-blended and smooth.
  6. Transfer half of the batter to prepared pan, then add the peanut butter in the center, along the length of the pan. Top with the remaining half of the batter.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached.

choc peanut butter cake

ICING:

200mL coconut cream

2 tablespoons cacao powder

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Gently melt all together over a double boiler, whisking until combined and there are no lumps. Refrigerate until it is solid, and whip it to perfection with a set of hand beaters.

This cake gets better and better with age. Honestly, the first day I thought that it was pretty average. So I whipped up a basic icing and crossed my fingers. The next day, it was a little better. By day 5, this was almost like a light mud cake (if there is such a thing) it was velvety and rich, while being airy at the same time.

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Superfood Chocolate Brownie (Paleo)

This recipe makes the most moist chocolate brownie. It is delicious, chocolatey and totally guilt free. Made with sweet potato, it is not sickly sweet. The brownie is also Paleo and can be made suit vegans. The appropriate substitutes are in the recipe.

This recipe may seem like it has a few steps, but pretty much you just cook the sweet potato (super easy if you throw it in with other veges to roast, while making dinner) or boil it while you’re in the kitchen doing other things. Then you make a super easy batter, add the sweet potato and bake away.

No gluten, grains, sugar or dairy. This is such a winner. Who can say ‘no’ to brownie, anyway?

brownie

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato, or 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or butter if you aren’t dairy free)
1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs\
Instructions
Step 1: Bake or boil sweet potato. If boiling, peel and put in a saucepan with water, let it boil for 5 minutes or until soft; drain water and mash. To bake: place in a 200*C oven, for about 1/2 an hour or until a fork easily pierces the flesh. Remove from the oven and peel

Step 2: Preheat your oven to 180*C

Step 3: Cream the coconut oil/butter with the maple syrup/honey. Mix in the eggs until combined.

Step 4: Add your vanilla, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and mix until all is incorporated.

Step 5: With a hand mixer, mix in sweet potato to the batter.

Step 6: If using dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs,  add them in now and mix by hand.

Step 7: Line a baking tray with baking paper and pour the batter in.

Step 8: Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
Eat warm or cold, cut, serve and Enjoy

brownie2

Paleo Tortilla/Pizza Base Recipe

Sometimes, I just feel like a wrap. A nice soft wrap with tasty fillings. But if you go into the supermarket, you’ll quickly find that gluten free wraps are difficult to find, and if you do get lucky, chances are they have other nasties like soy, preservatives and flavours added. Perhaps gluten free, but not so Paleo.

I researched some Paleo recipes for tortillas online and played around with a couple of the recipes, tweaking the mix as I went. This is the final recipe that I used, and even it didn’t quite cut it as a tortilla. The end result was crunchy, like a flat bread and rather than light and soft like a wrap. Not to worry, we topped them with some leftover pork/chicken, roast veg, homemade tomato sauce and spinach. We put them under the grill for about 8 minutes, and it made a super yummy dinner.

gluten free pizza base

So, use this recipe as you wish. As a pizza base, or maybe a rigid tortilla. Either way, very yummy and ticks the Paleo boxes!

 

Ingredients

2 eggs whisked

1/2 cup of water

1 cup of full fat coconut milk (or you can use almond milk

1 tbs of olive oil

1 cup of tapioca flour

3 tbs of coconut flour

1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine all the above wet ingredients (including the tablespoon of oil)

Step 2: In a separate bowl, combine the salt and flours together, give it a quick whisk to combine

Step 3: Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and whisk until fully combined

Step 4: Lightly grease your fry-pan with olive or coconut oil (we used a 10″ non-stick pan)

Step 5:  Heat pan on medium to medium-low heat; when hot pour 1/3 cup of batter into center of pan to form about a 6″ circle

Step 7: Cook for 2-3 minutes until tortilla is lightly browned on the bottom

Step 8: Flip and cook about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on the opposite side until browned

Step 9: Place tortillas on a paper-towel lined plate

Makes about 6 tortillas/pizza bases about 6-inches in diameter

gluten free tortilla

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Blondies

My beautiful friend, Brooke forwarded me this recipe. It is amazing. I cannot describe how good these are. I’m taking them to dinner tonight (I agreed to bring dessert) let’s see how long these last…

If you love peanut butter, these are the blondies for you!

blondies2

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
6 ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Chocolate sauce

4 tbs cacao

4 tbs maple syrup/honey

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup of coconut cream

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180*C. Line a baking pan with baking paper.

Step 2: In your food processor add the rolled oats and pulse until they are are very fine. Place in a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Step 3: Add the bananas, apple sauce, peanut butter, and maple syrup to the food processor. Pulse until it is liquified. Add this mixture to the oat mixture and combine with a spatula. Add the 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Step 4: Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. The mixture will be thick, bake for 30 minutes.

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Step 5: Make the sauce while the blondies are baking. For the chocolate sauce, place the ingredients in a double warmer and stir until all the ingredients are melted and combined.

Step 6: Transfer the blondies to a wire rack. Poke holes in the top with a fork (while it is fresh out of the oven) and pour some sauce over the blondies to let it soak in.

Step 7: Cut into squares, drizzle more of the chocolate over the blondies while still warm and serve.

blondies

You can freeze the blondies once cooked.

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