MTHFR – it’s not our abbreviation for a swear word! MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene. But since the scientists who discovered this gene didn’t think that was confusing enough, they went on to label both the gene and the enzyme the gene produces MTHFR.


What is MTHFR?

Really simply, we have two MTHFR genes – one from our mum and the other from our dad. MTHFR is a gene that produces the MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for regulating our methyl cycle – the biochemical pathway that helps our body detoxify, produce energy, balance our mood, control inflammation, manage our immune function and maintain our DNA.

When the MTHFR gene is healthy, it produces sufficient, highly functioning amounts of the MTHFR enzyme. However when the gene is mutated, the enzyme isn’t produced correctly. Since we have two MTHFR genes, none, either one or both can be mutated.

Why does it matter if the MTHFR gene is mutated?

If both MTHFR genes are healthy it doesn’t matter. However mutated MTHFR genes can cause a range of health problems. Common health problems include:

  • Autism
  • Addictions
  • Miscarriages
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chemical Sensitivity
  • Bipolar
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Low HDL
  • High homocysteine
  • Asthma

For a more detailed list of medical conditions relating to the MTHFR gene mutations, check out


Mouldy Foods

Typically, when we think of mould and food we picture mould covered bread, or that fuzzy green stuff that covers fruit and veg when it has gone off. When we talk about mouldy foods here, it is not these gross, fuzzy mould covered foods, but rather foods that are sources or binders of mycotoxins.

Unfortunately, mouldy foods are very common. Because of the way we treat our soils when farming, we’ve created an environment perfect for the cultivation of mycotoxins. Farming chemicals such as glyphosate/RoundUp significantly increase the amount of toxins fungi in the soil disperse. The strongest moulds survive pesticide spray and antifungal treatment and in response to being sprayed, the moulds that don’t survive release more toxins.

Moreover, destructive factory farming methods – such as disrupting the animals’ hormones right before slaughter to gain more weight by feeding them mouldy feed – have further increased the level of mycotoxins in our food.


Platter of mouldy food

What’s troubling is that farmers will ensure their animals aren’t fed mouldy food until the days right before their slaughter. Mouldy feed makes cows extremely sick and can even lead to pregnant cows having miscarriages. Agricultural companies are spending ridiculous amounts of money to make sure their animals’ health isn’t impacted by mouldy food.

The scary thing is, these farms produce the conventional food that we see in the supermarket, buy and eat.

To reduce our exposure to mould, via our diet, we should be eating foods that are organic and rich in antioxidants, grass-fed protein, contain high-quality fats, responsibly sourced foods and those that are low in sugar.

Foods that are high in mould and should be avoided include:

• Corn
• Wheat
• Barley
• Rye
• Peanuts
• Sorghum
• Cottonseed
• Cheeses, including stilton and blue cheese
• Sour dairy products such as buttermilk and sour cream
• Alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, rum, gin, brandy, whisky and cider
• Oats
• Fungi (mushrooms and truffles)
• Processed meats
• Fruit juice (and any other product that contains fast releasing sugars)
• Rice
• Nuts such as pistachios and brazil nuts
• Oil seeds
• Black pepper
• Dried fruits
• Figs
• Most coffee

The Thyroid, Your Hormones and Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine Disruptors hormones thyroid BPA

You’ve eliminated gluten, started eating more saturated fat, stopped eating that white poison, sugar, and tried to minimise stress, yet you’re still feeling crappy. Maybe it’s time to look at how your thyroid and hormones are being effected by the environment you live in?

Ok so it’s not feasible to live in a bubble of fresh air, free from toxins and chemicals, eating only organic food and drinking pure water (you know, that fancy, wind dried stuff that you pay $50 a bottle for at your local artisanal juice bar…). But realising what sort of chemicals and toxins you are exposed to everyday can help you minimise the bad of the bad and hopefully quick start your hormones into doing their job properly.

You’ve probably come across the term ‘endocrine disruptor’ before, or at least heard of the negative effects chemicals can have on your health. So what is an endocrine disruptor we hear you ask? Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with our body’s endocrine system, producing adverse reproductive, neurological, developmental and immune effects in both us and wildlife.

As the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says:

“…there is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signalling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones”.

Simply, endocrine disruptors mimic our naturally occurring hormones, tricking our bodies into thinking they actually are them. But once we start to use these ‘hormones’ are body reacts differently to how it would if they were the actual hormones.

BPA Hormones thyroid

When absorbed in the body, an endocrine disruptor can decrease or increase normal hormone levels (left), mimic the body’s natural hormones (middle), or alter the natural production of hormones (right).

Endocrine Disruptors and the Thyroid

Given the essential role the thyroid has in our hormone production, exposure to endocrine disruptors can significantly impact its functioning. In fact, endocrine disruptors can interfere with nearly every step in the thyroid system.

Examples of Endocrine Disruptors’ impacts on the thyroid:

  • Endocrine disruptors can alter the thyroid-pituitary-hypothalamus axis through increasing T4 and stimulating the thyroid which can result in thyroid follicular cell proliferation, and in some cases, result in thyroid cancer.
  • It is well established that thyroid hormones are of special importance in the development of the brain, which, in utero, is dependent upon normal levels of thyroid hormones. Studies have shown that exposure to endocrine disruptors during pregnancy can result in significant cognitive problems for the unborn child.
  • Dioxin-like compounds and certain flame retardants, have a high degree of structural similarity with the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. When we are exposed to these chemicals, they compete with our naturally occurring hormones for the thyroid hormone receptor and transport proteins.
  • Exposure to PCBs (or fire retardants) can reduce circulating levels of thyroid hormone, resulting in hypothyroidism.
  • Studies have shown that endocrine disruptors such as PCBs (or fire retardants) interfere with the way the thyroid hormone functions, but they don’t actually change the amount of the hormone found in the body. This is of interest as we know, our thyroid function is measured by hormonal tests.

Unfortunately, chemicals are not currently tested specifically for their ability to mimic, disrupt, or otherwise act as hormone disruptors.

Here are the most common endocrine disruptors and what you can do to best minimise your exposure to them.


10 Easy Paleo Brekky Ideas

Hands up if breakfast is your favourite meal of the day! Well breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I absolutely love having something delicious after my morning workout. I normally have the same thing every week day then treat myself to something extra indulgent (and often more timely) on the weekend.

I’ve put together this blog post as I want to open your eyes to a whole new world of brekky ideas in case you’re sick of plain old bacon and eggs each day (I don’t know how people can tire of bacon but that’s just me)! You will notice that most of these ideas are savoury; this is because it is best to avoid fruits in the morning given their effect on blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance – you won’t find any ‘paleo pancakes’ here!


  1. Bacon and Egg Cupcakes
    Grease a muffin hole with coconut oil and line with bacon. Crack in an egg, sprinkle with chives and bake in the oven until the egg is cooked.
  2. Breakfast Pizza
    Heat a pan over medium and add in a knob of coconut oil or lard. Whisk a few eggs and add to the pan. Wait a few minutes for the eggs to set then add any toppings you like (I love capsicum, tomato, crispy bacon and cooked chicken). Place under the grill for a few minutes until it has puffed up a bit and serve with fresh rocket.
  3. Pork Breakfast Sausages
    Combine organic, grass fed pork mince, some chopped lard, salt and fennel in a bowl. Mix with hands until well combined then form into little sausages. Pan fry in coconut oil or lard until golden and cooked through.
  4. Eggs and ‘Soldiers’
    Halve some pre-cooked pork breakfast sausages and pan-fry in coconut oil or lard until crispy all over. Boil some eggs for 4-5 minutes (4 minutes if you like runny yolk, 5 if you like slightly harder) and serve with the crispy sausages. I love to spread the runny yolk on the crispy sausage or dunk the sausage in like a vegemite soldier!
  5. Homemade Scotch Eggs
    Grease a muffin hole with coconut oil or lard and press some pork mix from the homemade breakfast sausages in to form a pastry. Crack in an egg and bake until the mince and egg is cooked. You can also top with some crispy bacon; yum!
  6. ‘Sweet’ Omelette
    Whisk a few eggs with coconut cream, cinnamon and vanilla beans and cook in a pan with some coconut oil. Once the bottom is cooked, place under the grill for a few minutes until puffy. Top with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and some whipped coconut cream or coconut butter.
  7. Bacon Wrapped Meatballs
    Combine organic, grass fed pork or chicken mince with chopped lard and salt. Mix until well combined and form into small meatballs. Wrap each meatball in a piece of bacon and bake until the bacon is crispy and the mince is cooked through.
  8. Meat Floss
    This is what I have for brekky most days! -Place a good heap of slow-cooked meat (I use 150-200g) in a hot pan with 1-2Tbs of coconut oil; cook until crispy and sprinkle with Celtic Sea Salt, pepper, chilli and a pinch of truffle salt.
  9. Brekky Burger
    Combine organic, grass fed beef mine with chopped lard, salt, pepper and a splash of coconut aminos or coconut barbecue sauce. Form into a patty shape and pan-fry in coconut oil or lard until cooked through. Serve in a lettuce leaf with tomato, avocado and crispy bacon.
  10. Bacon Devilled Eggs
    Boil a few eggs for 5 minutes or until hard boiled. Peel and remove yolk. Place yolks in a bowl with 1-2 teaspoons of homemade mayo and chives then mix to combine. Scoop (or pipe if you’re feeling fancy) the yolk mix back into the egg whites and top with crispy bacon, extra chives and a pinch of truffle salt.

I hope this gives you a few ideas for the week and doesn’t leave you craving paleo pancakes, paleo muesli or paleo bread (or any other processed food product that’s been paleo-ified)!


Chocolate? Yes Please

Did you know, good quality chocolate (the stuff with minimal sugar, toxic oils and a high percentage of cacao) can actually be beneficial for gut bacteria? Chocolate, once thought of as a food of the gods, actually has a range of health benefits.


  1. Chocolate acts as a probiotic

Good quality dark chocolate can help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly. Interestingly, the benefits are greatest when the chocolate is eaten before the meal!

  1. It can help reduce inflammation

AI diseases are characterised by inflammation. Chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce and even prevent our body’s inflammatory responses. Epicatechin and other flavanols found in cacao inhibit the actions of leukotrienes, the body’s inflammatory messengers.

  1. Chocolate as an antidepressant

You know that happy feeling you get when you eat chocolate? That’s actually the chocolate stimulating the release of the feel good chemicals serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine. Cacao beans also contain the amino acid tryptophan and monoamine oxidase inhibitors which allow serotonin and dopamine to circulate in the bloodstream longer. It is this effect that helps alleviate depression and promote feelings of wellbeing.

  1. Eating chocolate can prevent weight gain

Yes, you read that right, eating chocolate can help prevent weight gain! The antioxidant oligomeric procyandins found in cacao effectively improves our body’s glucose tolerance, lowering blood sugar levels and preventing weight gain.

  1. Chocolate as a stress buster

A study recently found that dark chocolate can dull the body’s reaction to the brain’s stress signals. In particular, the response of the adrenal gland and its production of cortisol, was significantly less in the participants who consumed dark chocolate before being placed in the stressful situation.

Good quality dark chocolate is also beneficial at reducing blood pressure, your risk of stroke and heart disease and can protect your nervous system and cells from damage.

And that is why, here at Healed by Bacon, we like to have a piece of dark chocolate with every meal!


Zucchini Cheese

Zucchini Cheese Recipe

If you have never tried this magical hippy dust called nutritional yeast, hold on tight, because you are about to get hooked on it!

Nutritional yeast contains high levels of glutathione which helps to enhance immunity and reduce inflammation. Added bonus – this magical hippy dust is a great way to add extra protein to meals and snacks. Just 2 tablespoons of it contains 9 grams of protein.

This recipe for zucchini cheese is perfect for anyone following healing diets such as a Paleo diet, Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and a low-FODMAP diet. Whilst it doesn’t contain any dairy, the nutritional yeast adds a nutty, cheesy flavour that is very satisfying. ZuCheese

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Testing for Adrenal Fatigue

Are you tired, run down, gaining weight and feeling less than optimal? If you answered yes, you may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is becoming increasingly common as a result of the stressful western lifestyle; we are constantly stressed from study, work, family, money and never take the time to de-stress, relax and heal our bodies.

Adrenal Fatigue is when your adrenals become fatigued. Sounds simple right? Unfortunately, is a lot more complex and debilitating than it sounds (as we’re sure you know if you are reading this)!

What is Adrenal Fatigue

For more information on the complexities of Adrenal Fatigue, read our post The 4 Stages of Adrenal Fatigue here.

We always find that the New Year is a great time to get ourselves in check. Our most import tests that we like to run can be found here. One of these tests is an Adrenal Cortisol level test.

Adrenal Cortisol levels (read more about them here) should be tested via a 24 hour saliva test, NOT blood, in order to determine if your cortisol production follows the diurnal curve that it should. Our highest levels of cortisol are required in the morning in order for us to carry on with our normal activities and then fall progressively towards night so that we can sleep.

Unfortunately, doctors tend to recommend a one-time blood test, which measures both your bound and unbound cortisol–not how much cortisol is produced at different times of the day. Ideally, you will need to be off all cortisol containing supplements for two weeks before testing.


Tests results for optimum health should look like these numbers below:

  • 8 am: At the literal top of the range
  • 11 am-noon: In the upper quarter, and often about a quarter below the top
  • 4-5 pm: Mid-range
  • 11 pm to midnight: At the very bottom

We’ve written a number of posts on Adrenal Fatigue. For more information on the symptoms of the 4 different stages of Adrenal Fatigue (we know, 4 stages!!), read our post The 4 Stages of Adrenal Fatigue here.

We’ve also put together a post on our recovery plan which you can read here.

When recovering from AF it is important to remember that it will take some time – we didn’t get to this stage overnight. It is common for AF recovery to take 3 – 6 months, and even longer for those in the later stages of the illness (or for those suffering from other illnesses). Be patient – and if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, just think, these months of recovery is time for you to focus on yourself and put yourself first.

Here’s to a healthy 2018!!


Rosemary and Sage Roast Turkey

Rosemary and Sage Roast Turkey Recipe

Less than one week until Christmas!! If you’re still looking for a turkey recipe for the big day, try our Rosemary and Sage Roast Turkey. This recipe is taken from our Healed by Bacon Autoimmune Protocol Friendly Christmas Menu eBook.

AIP low fodmap gluten free sugar free christmas

We used to ask each of our guests to bring a dish to our Christmas lunch – sounds like a good plan in theory, less cooking, less cleaning up and save on money…turns out the plan is only good in theory.

One of our guests, Aunty Jane, liked to bring a “meat” dish to our Christmas dinner. Problem is, no one could ever tell what meat it actually was. In fact, one year another guest mentioned to Aunty Jane that she had slightly overcooked the pork she brought – that it was a bit tough and dry (and trust us, this guest was being very generous with ‘a bit’ tough and dry. Think chewing on a rubber boot and the dry feeling you get if you were to eat a spoon of coconut flour by itself). Looking confused, Aunty Jane replied with “Oh, I didn’t bring pork, I brought Turkey”. And from then on, (1) any meat dish Aunty Jane ever brought was just called “Mixed Miscellaneous Meat”, and (2) we started to cook the meat for Christmas dinner.

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Christmas Menu

AIP low fodmap gluten free sugar free christmas

Christmas is our favourite time of year – spending time with family, baking, decorating and of course eating! So whilst Christmas is a time to celebrate and enjoy ourselves, we don’t really have the option to gorge on gluten based nibbles and sugar-laden dessert – because feeling bloated or constantly running in-and-out of the toilet isn’t a fun way to enjoy an office Christmas party or even the big event itself! Not to mention constantly trying to explain to everyone why you’re not eating certain dishes on the menu (and the story about your diet probably bores them more than Uncle Fred’s stories about which roads his friend’s brother’s cousin uses to get to work in the mornings…ah families at Christmas).

Because we still want to be able to enjoy Christmas, we have written the Healed by Bacon AIP Friendly Christmas Menu eBook. All of the recipes in our eBook are designed to help you still eat the foods that remind you of Christmas, but won’t cause reactions or inflammation. Every recipe is AIP friendly, low FODMAP, gluten free, low sugar and low carb.

The Healed by Bacon AIP Friendly Christmas Menu also contains only recipes that are quick and easy to cook – because we know how time poor you can be during the silly season. A number of the recipes, such as the pumpkin spiced Christmas pudding and the whipped coconut cream can be made ahead, leaving you more time to entertain your guests…or they can be made on the day in order to avoid your guests!

As a gift for supporting the Healed by Bacon blog, we are giving away the AIP Friendly Christmas Menu eBook to our followers. If you haven’t received your copy yet, send us an email. If you don’t follow Healed by Bacon but will still like a copy, send us an email with the subject line Christmas!!! and we reply with the pricing information.

We hope that the Healed by Bacon AIP Friendly Christmas Menu will help take some of the stress out of this time of year and let you enjoy Christmas!

anti inflammatory healthy christmas menu



Relax with this one easy exercise


It’s that time of year again – Christmas! And while it can be a magical time of year filled with excitement, family and anticipation for what Santa might bring, it can also be a time of stress.

It’s less than a month until Christmas; how are you feeling? Do you feel like you’re running out of time? You still haven’t organised the dinner menu for the big day? You haven’t had a chance to buy everyone’s gifts yet? Has your ‘favourite’ (cue sarcasm) uncle just told you his extended family will also be coming to yours for lunch? Do you just feel like there is no time for you?

Did you know, stress has been linked to a myriad of health issues, including insomnia, depression, high blood pressure and mild cognitive impairment (MCI – a precursor to Alzheimer’s)?

Unfortunately, our typical way of relaxing (e.g. zoning out in front of the TV or tucking into a big bowl of comfort food – pasta, chocolate or ice-cream? or maybe all three anyone?) is doing little to reduce the damaging effects of stress.

What really helps – and only needs to take 5 mins – are deep breathing exercises. And bonus: it’s free and can be done anywhere, anytime!

Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—bringing your awareness away from the worries in your head, quieting your mind and letting you focus on the now.

So how do you relax through deep breathing?

Visualisation combined with deep breathing is a powerful tool to halt stress in its track. You can do this exercise anywhere, but we really like to do it laying down (and, maybe a little bit over the top, but with our feet facing in the direction of a window or door – read on to see why). release stress breathing

(1) To start, imagine all of the tension in your shoulders floating away.

(2) Now imagine two holes in the soles – one in each.

(3) Take a deep breath. As you do so, visualize hot air flowing through these holes moving slowly up your legs, through your abdomen and filling your lungs.

(4) As the hot air moves through your body, relax each muscle it ‘touches’ (e.g. as you visual the air moving up through your shins, visualise your calf muscles relaxing).

(5) Now, as you exhale, reverse the flow of the hot hair – you should be visualising the hot air moving down through your body and exiting (taking with it the tension in your body) the holes in the soles of your feet (and, if like us, you have your feet facing a window or door, you can take it a step further and imagine the tension and stress flowing out of the window or door).

The best part about this exercise is that you can do it anytime you feel like you need to relax and calm down…even in the middle of that shopping mall as you rush around buying last minute gifts (because, let’s face it, everyone else is too stressed also trying to buy those last minute gifts that they won’t even notice).