If you find wheat difficult try sourdough bread

sourdough bread from tortoise bakery

Sourdough bread is different from your average loaf…

The natural process which makes them rise without yeast enhances their flavour, increases their nutrients and makes them more digestible.

In fact trials were suggesting that those with a wheat or gluten intolerance may be able to eat sourdough without any side effects. But analysis suggests the gluten level is still too high to be safe for coeliacs.

(See Research on Non-Dietary Therapies for Coeliac Disease, Coeliac UK, January 2013)

The taste and texture is less bland, more wheaty and chewy. Some say it has a creamy mouth-feel and the crust is always excellent.

As for nutrition, the natural fermenting process means that sourdough bread  actually becomes more nutritious than the grain from which it is made. Protein in increased, as is vitamin B12 and iron.

So step up Tortoise Bakery which will deliver sourdough bread nationally via GoodnessDirect.

I’ve just tried their Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed loaf and, believe me, it’s marvellous.

But there are many more styles of sourdough from Tortoise Bakery, all of them are organic and vegan and made with a commitment to a very ancient art of of bread baking.

The search for gluten free sponge fingers is almost over

sponge fingers
For the love of sponge fingers…

You can get almost anything gluten free nowadays.

But there are still some foods which are proving ilusive.

Amisa seek ways to provide organic alternatives. As such they’ve brought out gluten free organic porridge oats, a gluten free falafel mix and various coeliac friendly crispbreads including one made from the nutritious grain amaranth.

However, it still seems impossible to find gluten free sponge fingers in the UK, which is a shame because, if you’re anything like me, you’ll love ’em, especially in a tiramisu.

Amisa do produce spelt sponge fingers which are not quite the same thing, but still very useful if staying organic or avoiding wheat is your only requirement.

Still, knowing Amisa, I can’t see it being very long before they manage to bring out a gluten free version.

 

Give Candida, UTIs or IBS a knock out punch

If you suffer from candida, UTIs or IBS or similar, listen up.

If you’ve never had such illnesses then you’ll want to know this when you do.

Bio-Kult is a vegetarian supplement range developed to boost our immune system through probiotics. So much so that a standard box of Bio-Kult contains 14 different probiotic strains.

That should be helpful if you suffer from travel sickness, diarrhoea, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowels or eczema.

biokult
Advanced probiotic supplements

But there’s more…

Candida can be a life-changing illness when the bacteria gets out of hand – and, apparently, one third of us carry it. So, Bio-Kult have also developed a probiotic supplement called Candéa which includes powerful properties from garlic and grapefruit seed extract: these are believed to strengthen the body’s natural defences against the overgrowth of Candida.

A more common illness are Urinary Tract Infections which cause a lot of unpleasant experiences in the nether regions. Bio-Kult Pro-Cyan uses probiotics with with cranberry extract and Vitamin A to help your body to maintain a healthy urinary tract.

It’s also just recently won an award as the Best New Product from 2012 as voted for by CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) Lifestyle Magazine readers.

It’s getting easier to buy unpasteurised milk

Unpasteurized milk is lauded by its supporters for its superior quality.

It is argued that raw milk has more vitamins, beneficial enzymes and ‘friendly’ bacteria. 25% of milk’s vitamin C is said to be lost through pasteurisation.

fresh milkIt is also believed to be easier to digest and, apparently, studies show it can reduce allergies such as asthma and hayfever. Some even believe the saturated fat found in the cream is good for you.

But surely the best arguement is that it tastes better? When pasteurised milk is heat treated it loses its flavour.

Now, while it is still difficult to get hold of unpasteurised cow’s milk, it is possible to get raw, active, unpasteurized goat’s milk – just like real milk should be!

You can try a brand known as Chuckling Goat. The taste is mild and sweet, and not ‘goaty’ at all.

There was a time when unpasteurised milk was understandably risky, because of bacterial infection, but hygienic methods have substantially improved since the days of Louis Pasteur.

Chuckling Goat are licensed to sell raw goats milk; both the goats and their milk are regularly and rigorously tested to ensure stringent standards of safety and purity.

For more information on raw milk visit raw-milk-facts.com

Thinking of going on an Elimination Diet?

If you’re trying to find out which food is upsetting you, causing IBS or possibly something worse than an Elimination Diet can help you discover what you need to avoid.

We have put together an Elimination Diet Starter Pack based on advice from Allergy Medical UK.

Food from the Elimination Diet Starter Pack
Food from the Elimination Diet Starter Pack

It is sensible to talk to a doctor or nutritionist about embarking on an Elimination Diet. You will need to avoid all but the least allergenic foods and it can take up to 2 weeks before you start reintroducing certain foods.

There can also be other challenges along the way such as withdrawal symptoms or more intense symptoms once the offending food has been reintroduced.

For more information visit the NHS’s guidance page on Elimination Diets or contact Allergy Medical UK (a private clinic devoted to treating allergies and immune conditions).

The purpose of the Elimination Diet box and other similar foods is to take some of the hassle out of the process.

We hope it helps.

How to get rid of that slugish feeling

How to overcome constipation, a toxic colon and diarrhoea once and for all.My husband has a stressful job.  He’s the sales manager of an ever growing company.  The expectation to exceed the target (let alone meet it) for that month is always there. Now don’t get me wrong, he enjoys it immensely. He works with a fantastic bunch of people who all pull their weight. No one slacks.  But the pressure and therefore the stress is still there.Why do I tell you this? Well let’s just say stress affects your body in many different ways. For my Husband, Ben, it affects his stomach and digestive system. Which leads me onto my point.

Book Cover
I’ve been reading this book – How to overcome constipation, a toxic colon and diarrhoea once and for all, written by Peter Jackson and I’ve got 10 copies to give away to those that need a little extra help.   Now by the title you would think it was all about, well, poo. But it’s not. Well it is, but its not.

Read on and see how this book has changed my husbands life.

Right from the very moment you put something in your mouth it will affect your bowls in many different ways depending on a very small yet extremely important fact.

How long do you chew your food?

In this day and age we are very busy.  Much of the food we eat is ‘on the go’ so that’s bad for us… and even if it is home made, if we don’t chew enough then its still causing our body stress.

The point of chewing our food is not only to break it down so we can swallow it comfortably, but to get our saliva into the food.  Our saliva is packed with enzymes that help break down the carbohydrates for absorption. It is actually recommended that you chew your food until it has turned to liquid! (meal times have just got longer!)

Next, it travels down to the stomach where the breaking down really begins.  Now if you haven’t chewed your food until it is liquid then your stomach is going to have to break down the lumps. If the food is the ‘Wrong type of food’ (I will get on to that later) then your stomach acids (gastric acid) will find it impossible to dissolve the bonds between the food molecules properly causing your body more stress. Obviously some things take a lot longer to break down and therefore sit in your stomach for several hours before being moved on to the small intestines.

After the stomach comes the small intestine and it is said that 80% of the nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine. So this is an important place.

If the food you have eaten is either the wrong type of food or hasn’t been broken down enough whilst chewing or by your stomach acids then this can be where the trouble really begins.  Your intestines produce a mucus to help lubricate the digestive tract making it easier for the unwanted food to slip through the colon. HOWEVER if the walls of your colon are coated with unwanted waste from previous attempts of digestion then your gonna get into some trouble!

One of the main points of your colon is to absorb water from the waste on its way through. However if it cant come in contact with it as the walls of your colon are coated then you will end up with what is known as diarrhoea. And this will continue until you start to look after your inners a little more and think about what you are eating.

What should I eat? Wrong foods, right foods.

Well we all know that plenty of fibre is good for us. (especially those that are having a little trouble in the ‘passing’ area) but did you all know there are 2 different types of fibre?  I certainly didn’t until I read this book.

  • Insoluble Fibre
  • Soluble Fibre

Bran FlakesWhat’s  the difference?

>Well, in a nut shell, insoluble fibre will push things through your system but in a fairly rough manor.  For example, you may eat, say bran flakes (made from wheat bran) and they will go through you fairly quickly but in fact they are what’s known as roughage. As they travel through they will have a scratching affect which could make any sensitive situation worse.

Muesli

Soluble fibre… now that’s a different story.  Found in many fresh vegetables, beans, pulses, whole grains and fruit.  A great source of soluble fibre is oats.  When oats travel through your system, instead of having a scratching affect, they have a cleansing affect.  This means that they clean your colon on the way through, keeping the walls free from anything that is clinging where it shouldn’t be, making the process a lot more comfortable

‘Bad Foods’

Things containing wheat, gluten, dairy, or red meat and sweet things.

What can I eat???

The point isn’t that you need to get rid of all these things completely, but that you need to know just how much of something you are having.  Wheat for example manages to sneak into so many things nower days it’s almost unbelievable! and dairy is not far off either. Our bodies aren’t made to handle the amount of wheat and dairy that many of us consume.

Dairy- People believe that you need to have dairy to make sure you get enough calcium, but actually calcium and magnesium are a double act, so without one the other wont work.  you can get a lot of what you need for calcium and other minerals from the following

  • Sardines
  • Almonds
  • Watercress
  • Parsley
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Brown Rice
  • Chicken
  • Kelp
  • Molasses

And if your still in doubt then you can always take a calcium & magnesium supplement.

Meat –  Now if you are a meat eater then this bit is going to be a little hard for you to swallow.  It is recommended that you do not have red meat and pork more than once a month!  Both meats are linked to higher risks of colon cancer so from this point alone you should really consider how much you have.  It is actually recommended to have at least 2 days that are completely meat and fish free to give your body time to fully cleanse itself.

Back to my husband.  I have made a few subtle changes to his diet over the past few months.  First I started with his breakfast.  He was eating bran flakes.  Now he eats oat based muesli. This is obvious.  I have swapped the insoluble fibre with a soluble one.  Not only that, but it also has nuts and dried fruit in it.  This is definitely a much better start to the day.

Once he had got used to that I changed his lunch.  He was having a standard white bread sandwich every day, with some fruit and sometimes a piece of cake! Now he has a wheat free pasta dish with vegetables followed by fruit… (and I get the feeling he manages to sneak the odd cake now and again) but the main thing is that the wheat from the bread has gone, and so has the cheese.

Tea times… now this is a slightly harder one to tackle.  He is a meat lover. However if you fill the plate with veg and keep reminding them to chew until its liquid then by the time it gets to seconds (in other words getting more meat) they are actually feeling full from dinner and having learnt a little self control he no longer gets more meat.  Its a step in the right direction.

We are not perfect, but we certainly have learnt a lot form this book and there are still more areas we can tackle.  One thing Peter Jackson’s book does remind us of is that you change one thing at a time… that way its not so overwhelming.  As a testimony to the small changes, Ben would say he’s felling a lot better on the inside already 😉

If you live in the UK and would like to be entered in to the hat to have one of the 10 copies I’m giving away then simply send us an email with the subject A toxic Colon plus your name and you will be put in the hat!

All the best

Laura

IBS symptoms could well be relieved by exercise.

A study found that something as simple as a daily walk can significantly reduce IBS discomfort for some people.

Advice to “exercise more” is not easily received when you’re not feeling well; however, it has been repeatedly observed that practices which reduce stress are beneficial to IBS sufferers.

In this case, daily exercise tests reduced the severity of symptoms and resulted in an improvement in sleep, energy, emotional health and physical/social tasks.

A comparative group who did no exercise over 12 weeks saw their symptoms get worse.

Exercise may reduce IBS symptoms
Exercise may reduce IBS symptoms

So the message is clear: You may believe you can’t exercise because you feel poorly. But tell yourself, “I will exercise, so I don’t feely poorly.”

IBS can be diarrhea dominant, constipation dominant, or a mixture of the two, but exercise was found to be helpful regardless of personal symptoms.

Obviously, it’s best not to exercise too strenuously to begin with; at first it might be best to simply walk 20 minutes each day. Just remember that you’ll be increasing comfort by reducing IBS symptoms. (And make sure you plan to exercise where there’s a public convenience nearby.)

Other tips for IBS are to find the right fibre: high-fibre foods such as linseed, rye, brown rice, porridge, barley, and vegetables, or bulk-forming laxatives like psyllium husk may well help you to balance out your life. You can get ‘essential fibre’ gluten-free pasta and biscuits from Orgran now.

Probiotics and Grapefruit Seed Extract (citricidal) have also been noted to be helpful.

Eating charcoal soothes indigestion

A friend of mine has a real love of curry. When his curry cooking friend moved in with him, the whole house was filled with potentially noxious gasses as they cooked up some incredibly spicy concoctions. But possibly more terrifying were the variety of stomach complaints he suffered for the next few days after…

Distinctive and delicious, aids digestion
Distinctive and delicious, aids digestion

He needed to know about Charcoal Biscuits.

Some people don’t have to do curry to experience problems with digestion, they still suffer from terrible indigestion, wind and heartburn.

However charcoal is able to absorb the gasses and toxins caused by such complaints.

Based on a Victorian recipe, Bragg’s dark looking biscuits will still taste great with cheese! They are baked from 100% natural ingredients and contain no preservatives or additives.

Braggs are popularly known for their charcoal tablets which have been known to combat IBS and Delhi Belly, as well as working as  a popular natural aid during pregnancy.

Not too surprisingly, they first became popular in the UK about the same time curry did…

Lepicol for a healthy gut – you might never know how much you need it

How’s this for a testimony:

I have been using Lepicol for a few weeks and I am now sure that my bowel problems are over.

My Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ‘piles’ and constipation has virtually gone and I can’t tell you how pleased I am.

When people remark how much perkier I seem I don’t hesitate to tell them about my Lepicol success story.  I aim to always take it daily and tell my G.P. Surgery to take the doctor’s ‘remedy’ off my repeat prescription list.

I can’t believe I’ve stumbled across Lepicol – a product that works so much better.  Thank you and keep it coming.

What is Lepicol?
Lepicol is a clever mix of an incredible fibre food (called Psyllium husks), probiotics and a chicory based inulin. They work together to bring you relief if you have a sluggish or sensitive tummy.

So many people have been spreading the word about how helpful they’ve found Lepicol, whether it’s with IBS, piles, diverticular disease, constipation, cramp pains, bloating or discomfort, acid reflux, diarrhea or colitis.

Often converts add that they now have more energy, a better immune system, and improved weight loss.

This is good news. There is greater understanding nowadays that laxitives can be very damaging for your health in the long run, resulting in poor nutrition and damaging your digestive system.

Is it good for me?
Lepicol is made of natural source ingredients that are gentle on your gut – leaving you with healthy bowels and protection from future disease.

Psyllium husk fibre absorbs 20 times its own weight and it has a spongy feel to it, which means it doesn’t rip at your insides like other fibre foods. And, because Lepicol is not absorbed by the body, it is suitable for everyday use.

The inulin is a prebiotic which works with the probiotics to maintain friendly bacteria in your stomach for a healthy colon.

Lepicol comes in capsules and is gluten free, wheat free, phytate free and GM free. You can also get the psyllium husks in tablet form by themselves.

The Healthy Bowels Company now produce a Fibre Food for Kids which adds oat bran to the psyllium husk mix. You can even have a Colon Massage Oil to encourage relief.

Pasta galore! In more flavours than you could possibly think – recipe below

Forget fish and chips or curry, pasta is the nation’s favourite when it comes to choosing what to cook.

In many UK homes Italian food is served 2-3 times a week with “spag bol” in top position as the most cooked meal.

Pasta - everyone's favourite meal
Pasta - everyone's favourite meal

Imagine pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes, rocket and walnuts; or goats cheese and honey ravioli; or creamy spinach and asparagus fettuccine – it all sounds soooo delicious, but if you have a friend with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) it’s immediately off the menu.

Still, IBS sufferers can eat pasta if it’s not made from traditional durum wheat. Biona have spaghetti, fusilli and tagliatelle all made from spelt, a more ancient grain which doesn’t effect people with IBS.

In fact pasta can be made from corn, rice, kamut, buckwheat, amaranth, millet or quinoa; vegetables are often used in pasta too.

Using other types of pasta also means a bigger range of flavour: nutty or sweet, firm or rich in texture. Choose the right kind of pasta and you really can amplify how your dinner will taste.

Here’s a buckwheat pasta recipe called Pizzoccheri – it’s a great comfort food.

125g butter
1/2 teaspoon of dried sage
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 medium potatoes, cubed
300g dried buckwheat pasta
1 small savoy cabbage
100g brie sliced
100g grated mature cheddar
50g grated parmesan
salt and pepper
a pinch ground nutmeg

1. In a small pan, melt the butter together with the cloves of garlic and the sage. Keep on a low heat so it does not burn.
2. Cook the pasta in boliling water for about 15 minutes (buckwheat pasta takes longer then normal pasta).
3. At the same time boil a second pan of salted water. Shred the cabbage leaves and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and place in a large serving dish. Keep the pan of water.
4. Add the potatoes to the same water and boil until very tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and add to cabbage.
5. When the pasta is cooked to al dente. Drain and toss in with the cabbage and potatoes. Mix in the cheeses.
6. Pour the butter over the top of the pasta and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Gluten-free pasta

When it comes to gluten-free the Italians are well educated about Ceoliac disease. All Italian children are tested for gluten intolerance by the time they are 6.

We get a little benefit of their know-how with companies like Buontempo who price their gluten-free pasta at very competitive prices. And our very own Doves, the British purveyor of organic and gluten-free flours, has an organic gluten-free pasta range where the pasta is made in… well Italy, obviously.

There are so many pasta companies out there who are worthy of a mention. Barkat, for example, is a special diet company who have just introduced it’s own gluten-free macaroni.

The best thing to do is to type ‘pasta‘ into the GoodnessDirect search box and then use the brand guide on the right to check through the different options.