Zucchini and Haloumi Fritters

The zucchinis in our veggie patch this year have been uncontrollable! And since there is only so much Zucchini cheese you can make, we’ve come up with this zucchini and haloumi fritter recipe! The recipe is super simple and the fritters go perfectly with some homemade mayo and freshly picked tomatoes!

Makes 15

zuchini-fritters

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Grab the 2017 bull by the horns

Happy New Year! As our weekly readers will know, Healed by Bacon is dedicated to helping you overhaul your health and optimise how you feel – and January is the perfect time to start!

This week’s article is a repost of one we wrote at the start of last year – 5 health tests to start the new year. We’ve chosen to repost this article as we think it’s important to create a baseline for your health by providing you with the necessary health checks you need to do.

Health Tests for the New Year

Ok, put your hand up if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve your health or lose weight? And put your hand up if you know how you are going to do this?

Well done for taking the time to set a health goal, but let’s take a step back. Obviously you have made this resolution because you’re not happy with something, in particular, the way you feel. But how do we really measure how we ‘feel’? Is it by the number on the scales? Is it by the number of times we laughed today? Below are the top 5 health checks to help you create a baseline for your health.

  1. Tests for thyroid dysfunction

Are you struggling to lose weight? Feeling low or depressed? Struggling with everyday functions – like thinking clearly? If yes, then your thyroid might not be functioning efficiently.

If you have read our Initial Tests page, you will know that the most important thyroid function tests are:

  • TSH,
  • Free T4 and Free T3,
  • Reverse T3,
  • Thyroid Antibodies,
  • Iron,
  • Adrenal Cortisol Levels,
  • Sex Hormones and a number of other blood tests.

These blood tests will help you gain a full picture of your endocrine health. However it is important that the doctor who completes these tests for you has a deep understanding of the thyroid. If we had a dollar for every time a doctor said our bloods were ‘in the healthy range’….

Thryroid Brain Fog

  1. Tests for Adrenal Fatigue

Autoimmune diseases, like hypothyroidism, go hand in hand with Adrenal Fatigue (AF). AF 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. So if you are struggling to even get up in the morning, your adrenal health might be compromised.

In the early stages of AF the blood tests you should be having include:

  • Insulin,
  • Cortisol (although a Saliva test is much better than serum),
  • DHEA,
  • Sex hormones, and
  • Blood sugar levels.

In order to interpret your bloods and understand what stage of AF you are suffering from, read our 4 Stages of Adrenal Fatigue post.

adrenal-gland-chart

  1. Tests for sufficient stomach acid

Stomach acid – let’s face it, it’s not really something you give much thought to. Yet stomach acid is actually one of the most important aspects of our digestive system. Low levels of stomach acid means the body can’t protect itself against bad forms of bacteria which can cause inflammation in our stomach.

A quick and easy test you can do at home to test your stomach acid levels is the baking soda test.

  1. Gluten Sensitivity/Intolerance

Without sounding too extreme – wheat and other gluten containing grains really should be avoided at all costs for us suffering from autoimmune diseases. However if you have previously been able to tolerate them and only recently developed gluten sensitivity symptoms you can have a doctor run a number of blood tests, including:

  • IgA anti-gliadin antibodies,
  • IgG anti-gliadin antibodies,
  • IgA anti-endomysial antibodies,
  • Tissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA and IgG in questionable cases),
  • Total IgA antibodies, and
  • HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genotyping for celiac disease (used occasionally to detect genetic susceptibility).

Why you shouldn't eat gluten

  1. Triglyceride levels

We all know how the story goes – eating foods high in that horribly bad saturated fat leads to high cholesterol which leads to atherosclerotic plaques that causes a clot which then results in a heart attack or stroke. And that’s why most doctors like to test our LDL/HDL cholesterol levels to make sure they are sufficiently low.

BUT we really shouldn’t be worrying about our high cholesterol, instead, we should be focusing on lowering our triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are a good predictor of a very high risk for cardiovascular disease and the more processed, high-carb foods we eat, the higher our triglyceride levels go.

Therefore, in order to gain a good picture of your heart health, you should have your doctor test your triglyceride levels – a healthy range is below 1 according to your doctor, however below 0.6 is the goal.

Good luck on your path to optimising your health!!

HIIT vs. Low Intensity Cardio

barbell

The fat burning zone – the idea that if you keep your work out at 55% to 65% of your maximum heart rate, you will magically burn more fat than at higher levels of exercise intensity. So why bother pushing yourself when you will burn more fat exercising at a slower pace?

Because the fat burning zone is a myth.

In the post, we’ll discuss the top 5 reasons why should give up that 10 km run and start doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT).

  1. HIIT takes less time

We are so time poor these days. Imagine what you could fit into your day if, instead of that hour run, you only worked out for 20 mins. HIIT requires less time to complete an effective work out, leaving you with more time in the day to get on with other things.

  1. HIIT burns more calories

HIIT is harder than low intensity cardio. This means our bodies have to work more during the workout. Whilst a HIIT training session may only last a third of the time of a low intensity workout, the higher oxygen use during the session causes the body to use fat for energy once it has finished. As a result, our body burns more overall calories throughout the day.

  1. HIIT builds more muscle

Low intensity cardio is catabolic, meaning that it uses your muscle stores for energy. HIIT, on the other hand, uses fast oxidative and fast glycolytic muscle fibres. This means that HIIT is more of an anaerobic workout that builds muscle rather than eats muscle.

  1. HIIT makes us more efficient at burning fat

The more muscle someone has, the greater their ability to burn fat. As we discuss in point 4, HIIT helps to build muscle. But HIIT also makes us more efficient at burning fat by creating a higher oxygen deficit than low intensity cardio. A higher oxygen deficit increases the body’s maximum oxygen capacity meaning that the body is more efficient at transporting oxygen. And since fat requires oxygen to be oxidised, the more oxygen transported, the more fat burnt. But HIIT’s ability to increase fat burning doesn’t stop there. HIIT causes a hormonal response in our body that increases our insulin sensitivity and produces greater amounts of growth hormone, making the body more effective at burning fat.

  1. HIIT is more fun!

Let’s admit it, long runs are boring…especially if they are on a treadmill. HIIT makes workouts more interesting. At most, an interval will be 1 minute long and you’ll be switching between activities…so you will never get bored.

Whilst we really like HIIT, make sure you tailor your workout to your level of fitness. We don’t want you going full blast after not having done any exercise for a long time and doing your fooffa.

How to measure Copper Toxicity

wilsons-disease-Kayser

Measuring copper toxicity is a complex task and requires the assistance of a doctor/practitioner who is well versed in understanding excess copper and its effect on our body. There are numerous tests which can be carried out, including hair analysis, urine, faeces (always a fun test) and blood. The most common tests for excess copper are:

  • Blood Ceruloplasmin Levels,
  • RBC Mineral Test,
  • Hair Analysis/Urine Toxic Metals Test,
  • Kayser-Fleischer Rings Analysis (see picture above for an example),
  • Faecal Toxic Metal Test,
  • Urine Chelation Challenge, and in extreme cases,
  • Liver Biopsy.

It is important your results to these tests are interpreted accurately as, more often than not, the situation is not always black and white.

For example, copper found in your hair tissue may not initially give a high reading, as it is a historic, backward looking test. But patterns of mineral ratios in your hair tissue can reveal the likelihood of hidden copper toxicity. On the flip side, the excess copper in your body might not even get deposited in your hair! Sometimes excess copper can be seen in the rings of our eyes. The complex way our body excretes excess copper is just another reason why it is important to find a medical professional who understands this process.

What to look for in your tests

The obvious thing to look for in your test results is high copper. In addition, a poor zinc/copper ratio and/or low zinc may indicate a copper imbalance.