Golden Milk

Golden Milk Recipe

Turmeric has a number of health benefits (read our blog on why we love turmeric the wonder spice here). The spices used in this drink are nourishingly warming and is great for drinking before bed. And bonus: this recipe is quick and easy to make.

Golden Milk

Serves 1

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Keto Bread

Keto Bread Recipe

Keto Bread1.png

Ok, so we don’t normally advocate paleo-fying addictive foods (like cakes, pancakes etc. because of the unhealthy relationship we can develop with doing so), but sometimes you just need to eat a piece of bread.

Here’s our recipe for keto bread that won’t leave you feeling bloated or running to the toilet (and since it is keto, it is grain-free – meaning you’ll also be avoiding that nasty substance called gluten).

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7 Reasons to Avoid Coffee

We all like (like, or have to?!?!) start our day with a coffee. Unfortunately, this habit of ours might be causing some damage to our health (especially if you are sensitive to caffeine). Here are seven reasons we are avoiding coffee.

coffee beans

1. It wreaks havoc with your gut

As you know, we’re firm believers in the saying ‘health starts in the gut’. And a healthy gut is dependent on its acidic level. Changes in gut acidity can be caused by coffee (among other things). Your stomach creates hydrochloric acid, which is essential for digestion. However, if hydrochloric acid is chronically over-produced (i.e. from drinking too much coffee) it can eventually reduce the body’s ability to create it, resulting in low stomach acid. If you have read our previous posts on low stomach acid, you would know that low stomach acid means poor digestion and malabsorption of protein and minerals.

2. It impacts your thyroid meds

The standard drug treatment for hypothyroidism, L-Thyroxine, is absorbed in the gastro-intestinal tract. Studies have shown that drinking coffee shortly after taking your thyroid medication can lower the absorption of it. This means that even if you have been prescribed the optimal amount for your health, your body might not be receiving the optimal amount.

3. It can expose you to BPA

The plastic lids on takeaway coffee cups contain BPA. BPA is a chemical which binds to hormone receptors and impairs all kinds of endocrine functions, hence the name endocrine disruptor (read more about endocrine disruptors here). When you drink your hot coffee through the plastic lid, BPA leaches out of the plastic.

4. It boosts stress hormones

When we enter our fight or flight mode, our body releases cortisol to combat the stress we are occurring. If the stress is acute, our body returns to normal once the stressor has passed. However, if the stress becomes chronic, as it can with drinking coffee regularly, our body is continually exposed to high levels of cortisol. High levels of cortisol can result in compromised immune function, among other things.

5. It can worsen Th-2 dominant illnesses

All illnesses are either Th-1 or Th-2 dominant. In a healthy person, with an optimal functioning immune system, T-helper Cells (Th) 1 and 2 recognise foreign toxins and signal to hormonal messenger proteins to go to the source of the inflammation and reduce the inflammation, working together to make your body healthy again. However, if you suffer from an autoimmune disease, drinking coffee can interact with your Th-1 and Th-2 and affect their function.

6. It can ruin your blood sugar

Caffeine impairs your reaction to insulin. One or two coffees a day is unlikely to affect blood sugar levels significantly in healthy people. However, for us who suffer from autoimmune diseases, drinking coffee can lead to both blood glucose and insulin spikes after meals. The more coffee you drink, the more your insulin sensitivity is reduced. This makes it harder for the body to respond to blood glucose spikes when they occur.

7. It disrupts your sleep

If you read our series of posts about copper toxicity, you would know that last year I didn’t sleep. At all. Unfortunately, it is when we are sleeping that our body repairs all of the cell damage that occurred during the day. For us suffering from an autoimmune disease, our sleep is hampered at the best of times and drinking coffee can just exacerbate the problem.

Vegetable Oil: The Ugly Truth

Veg Oil

You know when you roast pork, all of the fat swamps the roasting pan. That fat is lard, natural, healthy lard. Now picture roasting vegetables…when you take them out of the oven, they’re not swimming in their own fat. So what is vegetable oil then?

Vegetable oil is typically made from applying heat and pressure to seeds (sunflower, canola, corn, grapeseed, safflower, rice bran and soybean oils) and them treating them with chemicals to make sure they look like natural fats, such as butter and lard.

These seed oils are now a core component of our food supply and the world is sicker now than ever.

Unlike animal fats, vegetable oils are very high in polyunsaturated fats and in particular, omega-6 fat. Anthropological research shows that our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats in a ratio of roughly 1:1. It also shows that these hunter-gatherers were free of the modern inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Today, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats ranges from an average of 10:1 to 25:1. The problem with omega-6 fat is that it is pro-inflammatory. This means a diet with a lot of omega-6 fat (and not much omega-3) will increase inflammation.

When vegetable oils interact with oxygen they release neurotoxic chemicals. These toxic molecules are dangerous because they interact destructively with our DNA.

But aren’t vegetable oils ‘heart healthy’?

It’s been drilled into us that the cause of heart disease is too much saturated fat and the secret to curing it is to eat vegetable oils instead. Unfortunately though, if you’ve read our post ‘The Truth about Fat’, you’d know that the people actively encouraging us to eat these toxins are doing so because of their industry sponsors and BIG Food.

So what? A little vegetable oil wouldn’t hurt right?

Wrong. Every spoonful of vegetable oil is doing damage to your body. Elevated omega-6 to omega-3 ratios are associated with increases in all inflammatory diseases (aka pretty much all diseases). These diseases include:vegetableoilpoison

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease

So in short, avoid vegetable oil if you want to stay healthy and live a long life!

MTHFR

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.

dna

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 MTHFR.net.

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

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.

Chocolate

  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.

adrenal-gland-chart

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!!

Meal Prep Monday

Sticking to a paleo/AIP diet when you are busy with work, family and anything else you are trying to balance, can be difficult. That’s where planning ahead is so important.

When you are first starting out, it is especially important to plan your meals. By prepping your meals ahead of time, you remove all temptation to choose the most convenient meal or snack at hand. With meal prep you have your meals ready at hand, all measured out so hunger (or boredom, or any other emotional eating control) will not dictate what goes into your body. mealprepmonday Meal prepping can seem like a daunting task – how are you going to cook all your food for 7 days, in one afternoon? But follow these simple steps and you will become a meal prepping pro!

  1. Plan – What are you going to eat at each meal?

Spend some time researching paleo recipes (why not try some of our recipes?) and work out what you will want to eat. But make sure you…

  1. Keep it simple

Make sure the meals you choose are both tasty and easy to prep. Trust us, you won’t feel like prepping some crazy Adriano Zumbo, 8 page recipe each week. We like to stick to the formula: Meal = Protein + Fat + Veg. Choose a protein (brisket, steak, chicken, pork ribs), add a fat (coconut oil, butter, lard, pork crackling) and add some veg.

  1. Stick to your shopping list

Once you have worked out what meals you will be prepping, go shopping – but only buy the ingredients you need for your meals! Don’t be tempted by ‘convenient’ snacks (as you continue on your healing path, you will find these temptations will no longer tempt you).

  1. Prep!

Lay out your Tupperware (make sure they are BPA free) for each meal and start prepping. Cook your protein option in your fat option (unless it is pork crackling, then just cook the pork crackling!), let it cool and then add it to your containers. If you a prepping a long time ahead (sometimes we will cook a month’s worth of protein options), work out what needs to be frozen and whether or not your veg option could be frozen too. Otherwise, add your veg option to your protein and fat options and viola, your meals are prepped!

Check out our recipes for some ideas to get you started – happy prepping!