Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Coconut Flour Berry Cakes

It's been a while since I've written... I guess I feel guilty for writing a health blog when I'm not feeling great... oh well!  I am sure it will all right itself soon and I can blog guilt-free again.  ;)

A note here on cheating:  it is so very hard to stick to your correct eating habits when on holidays.  My family and I were away last week for my uncle's wedding and while I (kinda) tried to eat right, I wandered a bit - like the time my sisters pulled out leftover pizza and garlic bread for lunch.  I ate my rice first like a good girl... and then had some pizza and bread on top of that.  And of course the wedding cake, which I am not at certain I want to know what was in it as it had HEAPS of fondant icing and each piece was in layers of the colours of the rainbow.  It was yummy at any rate!  :P

Anyway, they are a few f my confessions and I am ready to hit the wheat free road again with this recipe to share.  I made it yesterday and my Lady Mother insisted that I write it down as I have a habit of putting things in my memory... in a very safe place.  So I did, and now I'll share it will you.  :D

Sorry about the dodgy picture... its the best I could d at the time.  It looks much better in real life than the photo suggests!

Coconut Flour Berry Cakes

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp dextrose
1 egg
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup berries

In an over proof mug, combine the butter and dextrose.  Ad the egg and combine well.  Add the coconut flour and the baking powder and combine.  Mix in the milk and the berries and bake in a preheated 180 degree Celsius oven for 15-20 minutes.  When cooked, slide around the inside of the cup with a butter knife and tip cake onto a plate.


Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Anyone with their eyes and ears even three-quarters closed must have heard about the new phenomenon that is sweeping through our culinary culture.  The no-sugar craze has been picked up by chefs, retailers, and ordinary people alike and to cash in on this latest 'thing', there has been an all time high in the sale of alternative sweeteners, namely stevia.

Everywhere you go now, stevia is advertised as the new way to lose weight, because is contains less calories than sugar.  (This is not the reason you lose weight when switching to stevia, but that is beyond the point of this article!)  Coffee shops offer sugar-free syrups, sweetened with stevia.  Coca-Cola is now sweetening some of its drinks with stevia.  Cordial is on the grocery store shelves, now sweetened with stevia.  To my younger siblings' delight, you can buy tomato and barbecue sauce that is - you've guessed it! - made on stevia.  There are posters, tv ads, radio ads, all pushing for the sale of a new product that we know virtually nothing about.

At last, our sweet-tooth society is starting to lay down its sugary habits for what is made out to be a much better alternative.  That has to be a good thing, hasn't it?  I'm not so sure.

Think back to the 1960's-70's when butter was declared an abomination to the human digestive system and margarine became the big in thing.  We knew nothing about it, really.  Someone formed a hypothesis that butter is bad and that seed oils are good, and everyone went from there.  We are reaping the consequences of that hypothesis today.  After the switch to seed oils, cancer rates went through the roof, like nothing anyone ever imagined.  Coincidence?  Hardly.  Thankfully, people are starting to see the mistake that the last couple of generations made in regard to their health, and some are rectifying their own habits.  Let's hope it continues.

This is what concerns me about stevia.  We have tests and studies on sugar that show that over decades of eating it, will kill us.  We do not have that evidence for stevia.  We are entering in this tunnel with our eyes shut and we do not know where it will lead.  Will it really have no effect on our health, or will it be more catastrophic than anything we have seen yet?  We have no way of knowing, and yet we are diving into it blindly believing that it will fix all of our problems.

I choose not to eat stevia as it upsets my tummy - I become nauseous and lactose intolerant.  (Strange, I know but there it is! :P)  I wonder it it is just me and my Lady Mother who get sick on stevia, or whether it is a problem that is more common that we all realize and should be looked into as a study to determine if this crystallized sweetener is fit for human consumption.

Please note: I am not saying we should not eat stevia at all.  I think it is wonderful that we are turning from sugar and trying to come up with alternatives.  I just think we should take it slowly, watch what we are doing and act according to our observations until we have a green light to go ahead.

Thursday, 12 June 2014


Hey, y'all!  It's been a while, hasn't it?  How have you all been?

I've been unwell the last few weeks - ironic, isn't it?  I write a blog on how to stay well, and then go and get sick.  Oh dear, it happens to the best of us.  ;)

I only brought that up because I was thinking on how important it can be for people to look for links between what they eat/consume/intake and what their body does in response.  Some things are obvious, like how lactose intolerant people get sick if they have dairy, or another person might swell up and stop breathing if they eat (or even smell) peanuts.  Other things aren't so obvious, like reacting to a certain colouring or preservative in different foods.  It can be a hard job and the culprit can be hard to track down.  Often it is a matter of trial and error until you can step back and go "Aha!  There you are!"  :)

Just to throw a couple of examples out there:  In the last couple of weeks, I had a cold (nothing unusual for me with change of season) but when I still couldn't shake it after two weeks, and my ears were hurting, my throat was sore, etc., I decided to go to the doctor.  (Important note: if you think something is really wrong, GO AND VISIT THE DOCTOR.   It is better to do that than to try and treat something serious yourself until it's too late.)  Anyway, it turned out that I had an infection (probably sinus) and that I had to take antibiotics for five days.  A few days later, I noticed that I was coming up in a rash on the left side of my tummy, and around my right armpit.  It was one of those "Aha!" moments.  I have had this rash before, a few months back, but couldn't figure out what was causing it.  Now I am pretty sure that it was due to the antibiotics I was prescribed before and after my wisdom teeth were removed.  My suspicions have been confirmed as within a few days of finishing the antibiotics, the rash went down again.

With that link firmly under my belt, I move onto mystery number two, which will have to be done by trial and error.  For the last few weeks, I have had quite bad indigestion. I wake up fine, but part way through the day my stomach seems to balloon with gas, which is not only awkward, but also rather uncomfortable.  This can last all day sometimes.  Not pleasant, to say the least.  This morning, I felt it start again, and a thought struck me: what if it's my coffee?  I was in the middle of a cup, and every sip seemed to be getting harder to take, as all my tummy wanted to do was release all the gas it had taken in.  I ended up tipping the rest of my coffee out, and shall not drink it again for about a week.  Then, it's experiment time.  I am going to step this out so that you can do it too, because being unwell is not how we were created to live.

Download, save, and printout this chart, or make your own.  (Sorry, you can't really see it here- I'm highly untechno!  :P)

Start with your next meal or snack.  Record exactly what you ate and the time at which you ate it.  Take note if the targeted symptom that you write at the top occurs and be sure to write down what time the symptom occurs.  Keep this up with everything you consume for two weeks, then sit down and review it.  Look to see if you can find any patterns.  It might surprise you what triggers a reaction in you.  Do you get a migraine after a meal of pasta?  Or perhaps indigestion after spicy dishes?  Give it a go - giving up what triggers a reaction is a small price to pay for living fully and being well.