Tuesday, 28 August 2018

grow eat heal - NEW - web site

Hello there,
For those of you who have followed me here, and I so love that you have, I have now got my own website where the blogging still goes on.
So I invite you to come on over there, subscribe, (easy as), and you can keep up with whats what. And there's lots, by the way. Like my first book is just been released. IKR so exciting. Check that out on the website https://www.groweatheal.co.nz/

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

probiotics and immune system health -essay

Probiotics and Immune system health -essay
by Jocelyn J Murray

The benefits of using probiotics to improve our immune system are now starting to be understood.
The best documented effects include bowel disorders such as lactose intolerance, antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and infectious diarrhoea.  Emerging evidence continues to accumulate concerning their potential role in various other conditions.

Maria Kechagia from the Microbiology Department, Sismanoglion General Hospital of Athens identified that food products containing probiotic bacteria could contribute to coronary heart disease prevention by reducing serum cholesterol levels and blood pressure control.
Probiotics in dairy products have shown to improve the therapeutic outcome in women with bacterial vaginosis, by supporting the normal vaginal lactobacilli microbiota.

Most of us now will eat yoghurt for breakfast or a mid morning snack. Children are often fed yoghurt. This is a great way to bring probiotics to the table. 
The range of food products containing probiotic is wide and still growing. The main products in the market are dairy-based ones including fermented milks, cheese, ice cream, buttermilk, milk powder, and of course, yogurt.
Non-dairy foods include soy based products, nutrition bars, cereals, and a variety of juices which are appropriate means of probiotic delivery to consumers.  The factors to be considered in evaluating the effectiveness of the probiotic strains into such products are, besides safety, the compatibility of the product with the microorganism and the maintenance of its viability through food processing, packaging, and storage conditions.

For centuries across the globe a range of fermented foods, which are foods produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms have been part of the daily fare for families.
In this context, fermentation typically refers to the fermentation of sugar to alcohol using yeast, but other fermentation processes involve the use of bacteria such as lactobacillus, including the making of foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut. 
- Some breads, such as sourdough, use dough that is fermented.
- Various vegetables or fruits, which have been fermented by pickling with salt and brine or marinated in mixtures based on soy sauce or savory bean pastes.
- Kombucha is a beverage made from a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast" 
- Lassi is a popular traditional yogurt-based drink from the Indian Subcontinent and originates from the Punjab. It is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes, fruit. 
- Pickling is the process of preserving or expanding the lifespan of food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. The pickling procedure will typically affect the food's texture and flavour. 

Probiotic mechanisms

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that, in adequate amounts, provide a health benefit. Probiotics aid in nutrient digestion and absorption, the production of vitamins, energy metabolism, and the support of a healthy immune system. They also reduce allergic reactions, improve immunity, and facilitate immune defence against pathogens. 

The two microorganisms playing an important role in the food industry, particularly in dairy
products, although not strictly considered as probiotics are Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactococcus lactis, the most commercially important lactic acid bacteria.

Probiotics have various mechanisms of action although the exact manner in which they exert their effects is still not fully known. These range from bacteriocin and short chain fatty acid production, lowering of gut pH, and nutrient competition to stimulation of mucosal barrier function and immunomodulation.
Proposed mechanisms include interference with cholesterol absorption from the gut, direct cholesterol assimilation, and production of end fermentation products that affect the systemic levels of blood lipids and mediate an antihypertensive effect. 

In summary the evidence is powerful on the probiotic effects to immune system. Improve your gut health and you improve your over all health.  


1. Hindawi Publishing Corporation ISRN Nutrition
Volume 2013, Article ID 481651, 7 pages - http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2013/481651

2. Changing Habits education - Autoimmunity and Immune dysfunction

3. Wikipedia website - probiotics and fermented food

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Calendula - flower or herb? this seasons crop

Calendula is a flowering plant I have been fond of since I was a small child because my mother fancied them, and she always planted a row along the pathway to the back door. I'm sure its because they are bright, and hardy, as well as therapeutic, and we just loved them.
While Mum never added the flowers to any salads we ate, nor did she make tinctures, lotions or even shampoo from them, they have for centuries been enjoyed as ornamentals, culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal reasons.  
One end of my garden this month - both calendula and borage.

This flower is popular in many natural health products and skin care lines available,  and used in almost 200 various lotions, shampoos, and other products. Its therapeutic qualities are known to help with a wide range of health issues.  As a powerful antioxidant it is among the strongest of antiviral herbs, and can inhibit the development of viruses. Used to treat infections, they typically cause no, or few, side effects. Calendula is one of many antiviral herbs that boost the immune system, which allows the body to attack viral pathogens.
Calendula is also used cosmetically to improve skin firmness and hydration. What is impressive, it helps increase blood flow, and oxygen to wounds and infected areas, which helps the body grow new tissue and heal more rapidly. 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

what to do with left over roast lamb - lamb and cauliflower curry

lamb and cauliflower curry

Left over roast lamb - about 2 cups of cut pieces
1/2 head of small cauli  -blended to rice size pieces - about 2 cups full

Left over roast lamb gravy -watered down to be 2-3 cups
1 cup coconut milk

Spice mix
2 tsp ground tumeric - I used my  fresh dried, milled 
2 tsp ground coriander - I used seeds and milled them
1/4tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cumin - I used seeds and milled them
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ginger - if using fresh add in the pan with the garlic and onion.
 OR - 1.5 tsp of ginger powder - I used my fresh dried, milled 
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
Salt and black pepper

1 onion
5 garlic cloves - crushed -  I used a roasted whole bulb and squeezed it out
Coconut oil

Prepare and combine all the spices - you could double the mix and save 1/2 for your next curry
In a hot pan melt the coconut oil, add the onions, brown off, then add the garlic for the last minute. Throw in the spice mix, stir for a minute.
Pour into the pan the gravy stock, simmer. Pour in the coconut milk. Simmer.
Add the meat and then the cauliflower. Simmer for about ten minutes with the lid slightly open so the curry thickens and all the flavours are well infused to the meat and cauliflower.
Serve, with a handful of micro greens.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

tumeric powder and tumeric latte's

Tumeric day lovelies - 

I'm amazed at how easy preparing tumeric powder was. How superb the final product has turned out. 

I started with a beautiful product, grown spray free fresh tumeric. I just scraped it, sliced it, and put it in my dehydrator for most of today. Then milled it. Beautiful fresh smelling powerful tumeric powder.

Now my tumeric lattes take on a whole new meaning and taste of course. 

tumeric latte

I use my own almond milk, made in a flash. 1 cup of almonds soaked in water for about 8 hours. Strain then put nuts in the blender. Add 1 cup of fresh cold water. Blend until a good thick paste. Add 3 more cups of water, blend. Strain thru a nut bag. 

You can add a spoonful of maple syrup or honey, but I dont.

oh back to the latte

heat the milk in a pot on the cooktop.in the cups 3/4 tsp of tumeric, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon or nutmeg, 1 tsp of honey. Pour a little hot water over the spice and stir.Then pour the hot milk over. Stir.

Now here's the thing- doing this was delightful, and humbling. Humbling because this beautiful food I have taken for granted to some extent in the past when I've bought it from the spice shop or off the shelf at the supermarket. 
Now I understand the process, and have learned the power of this food for our bodies. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

summer fun breakfast - kind of like muesli

1 cup of puffed millet
1.5  cups of mixed raw nuts - blended to chunks
1 cup of mixed seeds, sunflower, pumpkin - blended to chunks
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3 tbsp chia seeds or golden linseeds
1/2 cup LSA
1 cup of gluten free oats

1 cup of mixed dried fruit - I used persimmon, figs, dates, currants, cranberries

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Process nuts and seeds in blender until chunky bits. Add in LSA, Oats, puffed millet, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend together for a few seconds.
Mix melted coconut oil, honey, fresh ginger together. Then add to the nut mixture, stirring to break up large lumps.
Spread onto baking paper on baking tray. Toast in moderate oven for 15 mins or until crunchy.
Combine with chopped dried fruit.
Store in jar in the fridge.

Serve with yoghurt, apple sauce and a piece of fresh fruit. This is nice as sprinkles on top of fruit and yoghurt too.

seed, nut and dried fruit porridge

seed, nut and fruit porridge

3/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds or golden linseeds

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup of walnuts
1/4 cup of brazil nuts
OR mix up nuts as you like- to equal 1 1/2 cups in total

1/2 cup dried fruit - in total - like apricots, pitted dates, raisins, figs
1/2 cup coconut water (may need a little more)
2-3 tbsp apple sauce

In 3 different bowls - place the seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Cover with water and soak over night. In the fridge in the warmer weather. On the bench covered with a tea towel in the winter.
The seed bowl, will have thickened, so spoon any excess seed free liquid from the top if you can.

In the morning, drain all 3 bowls, place ingredients in the blender with 1/2 cup of coconut water. Check and add more water, and scrape the sides down. Mix until a chunky paste.

Serve into bowls topped with your favourite yoghurt, a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, and a few slices of banana or thinly sliced apple.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

winter warmer super powerful smoothie

Winter warmer super powerful smoothie 

Sunflower seeds - 2tbsp
Pumpkin seeds - 2 tbsp
watermelon seeds - 2 tbsp
Frozen Blueberries - 3/4 cup
Frozen soy beans- 1/2 cup
Any leftover root veg from(I had kumera pumpkin parsnip)last nights dinner
Banana - 1
Coconut water- 1/2 cup
Spinach - 1 handful
Coconut yoghurt - 1/2 cup
4 cacao wafers ( I use changing habits wafers)
2tsp of probiotics (I use changing habits)

Blend - hard as

Serves 2-3 

This gave each person (330ml serving) approximately 10gms of protein. That packed a punch for sure. 

nutritional story

Watermelon seeds,  pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are all similar in providing excellent nutrients and minerals. They all contain great amounts of plant protein (approx 5-7gms per 2 tbsp), magensium, Vitamin B6, iron, and zinc among a few other smaller quantities of other nutrients.

Soy beans - I buy mine from the freezer at the supermarket(its a reliable source and I tolerate some of what they have done to get them to market. If you come across a good source, next to fresh, let me now please.They contain protein (approx 15gms per 1/2cup) high in iron and magnesium, calcium.

Just to remind you about protein intake each day - our daily requirements of protein is between 45-50gms for women and 55-60gms for men.  This means a piece of chicken that weighs 100gms gives you approx 30gms of protein. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Super healing juice

to make Super healing juice
(Need a powerful blender and good juicer)

1/3 of a Fresh pineapple - peeled, cut.
1 pear
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery 
1 lemon
4cm of fresh ginger - roughly peeled and sliced 
1 fresh beetroot

Handful of fresh microgreens
Handful of goji berries 
Handful of sunflower seeds
1 banana
2 tsp of probiotics (I used changing habits)

Juice the fruit and veg 
Blend the sunflower seeds and goji berries 
Then pour the juice in with the seeds and berries in the blender. Add the microgreens, probiotics and the banana. Blend until the banana disappears. 

Serves 3x 330 ml glasses. Use a little bit of ice if you like. 

Nutritional benefits - 
Goji berries are high in antioxidants that aid your mitochondria(cells).
Pineapples contain bromelain which may be an effective anti -inflammatory, muscle relaxant and digestive aid. 
Microgreens contain 20% more nutrients than fully grown veg.
Ginger may help over exercised muscles and is good as an anti-inflammatory.
Sunflower seeds are a great source of Vitamin E and Vitamin B1, and selenium.