EASY GREEN CURRY CHICKEN

You’ll need:

1 cup of rice

1.4 litre of coconut milk

500g chicken (chopped)

1 x red onion

1 x garlic clove

3 x carrot

100g green beans

1 x red capsicum

1 x bunch broccolini

1 x zuchini

400ml coconut cream

1 tsp ghee or coconut oil

Thai green curry paste (Ayam)

Salt + pepper

Method:

Soak the rice overnight. Rinse the rice before cooking. Cook rice in 1 litre of coconut milk and a little salt. Place ghee or coconut oil in large pan or wok, add chopped chicken and stir until cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan into a separate bowl (to be added back in later). Place finely chopped red onion and stir until soft. Add in carrots, beans, garlic, the coconut cream and the green curry paste. Stir until lightly softened. Add in the rest of the vegetables and keep adding in coconut milk for desired amount of sauce. Let simmer until desired softness of vegetables. Add chicken back in and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Serve together with rice. Enjoy!

GUT HEALTH, ACID REFLUX AND HEALING

My journey with gut issues, acid reflux and how I healed myself.

The answers to my very own health challenges made me rethink my entire career. 

After 15-years as an international shipping agent I made the decision to study health and nutrition with the goal to become a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner.

My health struggles started in 2011. I suddenly experienced some random nausea after every meal followed by right sided belly aches. Not a single doctor I’d seen had any clue, from countless pregnancy tests to emergency room trips to check for appendicitis, I was left with no answers.

This went on for a whole year before a different doctor decided it might be time for a specialist to review my case. The specialist suggested a gastroscopy to investigate so off I went. The diagnosis after the procedure was chronic reflux. All I could think of was what the hell is even reflux? I didn’t think I ever experienced it but apparently that was my diagnosis. I was shown one very inflamed and angry oesophagus for which I had to be on medication for the rest of my life according to the specialists. I was 28 years old at the time, I didn’t question the diagnosis, nor did I question the medication I was given.

After about 3 months on the medication, I thought surely, I can come off them now. And that’s when I experienced reflux for the very first time. It was so weird because the very thing I was diagnosed with I never actually experienced until after I tried to come off the medication. Unfortunately, my knowledge in this field was still well non-existent so the fact that I was misdiagnosed didn’t even cross my mind. Instead, a lovely doctor explained to me that I cannot under any circumstances come off the medication or else I may risk developing oesophageal cancer! There was the medical fear mongering happening all too often.

I ended up taking the medication for 3 years straight out of fear if I didn’t, I end up with something worse. I then developed candida all throughout my oesophagus. The doctors had no answers to this. They simply couldn’t explain to me how I could have possibly developed candida all throughout my oesophagus. I was prescribed anti-fungal medication to kill the yeast infection only to end up with worse reflux for which I now apparently needed to be on double the dose. Over the course of the 3 years, I’ve seen at least a dozen doctors. The answers very always the same.

It was a dead end. A dead end of continuous medication I didn’t want to be on. I had become extremely fatigued. No matter how much I slept. But this was also precisely the moment I woke up! I knew I had to get to the bottom of my own deterioration as nobody else was going to do it for me.

It was at this point that I started doing some research on the actual medication I was given. I was prescribed Pariet, a form of Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI) or Antacids some may call them which works to reduce one’s stomach acid substantially especially when taken long term. I quickly came across information that this type of medication was never intended to be prescribed for longer than 2 weeks! I was mortified at what kind of dysfunction these might have caused in my body over the course of 3 years.

I sought the help of a naturopath. The first I ever went to. And it didn’t go well. She had me come off the medication straight away and replaced it with HCl, hydrochloric acid. While I now understand what she was trying to do, the approach miserably failed and sent me into weeks of horrendous reflux pain that had me curling up in bed.

It took me almost another year to build up the courage to see another naturopath. I tried to come off the medication many times during this year only to end up with way worse reflux for weeks.

But this time I took some more care into researching specialised naturopaths in this area. The one I found specialised in this type of gut issues and had successfully gotten many of her clients off these drugs. However, I was extremely sceptical. I still remember to this day how after being her client for many years she kept telling me how I didn’t believe her initially. I felt so incredibly burnt it couldn’t be as simple as she made it sound.

I had to follow a protocol which consisted of several steps. The first was to concentrate on diet. No inflammatory foods. No alcohol, sugars, breads, processed foods etc, and even dairy was completely off the list for a while. But I was determined. With the diet change I was also prescribed natural herbs to heal the lining of my gut and oesophagus as well as herbs to detox. Downing slippery elm on the daily was a struggle, but nothing seemed as bad as what I’d already been through. I did everything religiously. Only after a few weeks on my new diet and supporting supplements did my naturopath start to slowly wean me off the medication by lowering the dosage gradually. As she explained to me back then, for years my stomach acid has been controlled via medication. Coming off it too quickly causes what is called ‘rebound reflux’ as the body struggles to catch up with what happened from being medicated to doing this on its own. Hence the healing and weaning process.

Contrary to what some may believe or are being told, acid reflux is not caused by too much acid in the stomach. It is caused by too little. As we age and especially with poor diet our stomach acid reduces which is when many digestive issues can start. Adding PPI’s (Proton-Pump Inhibitors) only makes the issue worse. It does mask the symptoms by diluting our gastric juices, but it doesn’t treat the root cause while it causes havoc on the digestive system and ultimately body as a whole as it depletes it of crucial minerals and nutrients. When we have too little stomach acid our gut is unable to digest the foods we eat, keeps it sitting in our stomach and as a result pushes up gastric juices into our oesophagus. And that’s when we experience acid reflux. Gastric juices are a combination of hydrochloric acid, lipase and pepsin. Without enough gastric juices germs in food cannot be adequately killed and hence have an opportunity to cause infections and bacteria overgrowth. Weight gain can also be a result of this.

Thanks to many years of study, I have also come to understand that candida doesn’t need starving with a sugar free diet. Candida is opportunistic. There’s a reason bad bacteria in our bodies are running the show and are in overdrive. Simply going sugar free doesn’t get rid off candida. Getting to the root cause of why it is there in the first place does. For me personally it was the medication that caused the candida.

During my many years of my study there’s one message that has been extremely loud across the boards and that is that nothing happens in isolation in the body. Nothing just happens. It is always the result of something much deeper than the symptoms we are experiencing. Symptoms are our bodies way of telling us that it is struggling.  It is a cue to dig deeper. Our bodies cannot heal in the same environment in which dysfunctions have occurred. Sometimes truly taking stock of when things went down hill and what we were doing at the time can help to point one in the right direction of where to start looking for answers.

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal if we provide if with the right nutrients and environment.

Today PPI’s are among the top 10 prescribed drugs in Australia.

Within a short 2 months I managed to come off my medication and I have never had reflux again since. I have also never experienced the kind of sugar cravings ever again. And lastly, I also finally fell pregnant within 4 months on the protocol after trying for 1.5 years. Gut health and hormonal health are directly linked.

I can wholeheartedly say when it comes to true health food is your medicine.

RAW CARROT SALAD

Why raw carrot salad you may wonder? Through my journey of infertility due to endometriosis I learned about Dr. Ray Peat’s raw carrot salad which has many health benefits. But the one I was particularly interested in was how the raw carrot salad binds excess estrogen and excretes it safely out of the body. Estrogen dominance is something many women struggle with.

As per Dr. Ray Peat the raw carrot salad cleans the intestine thus helping to prevent overloading the liver with toxins. The liver is responsible for detoxifying excess estrogen. The raw carrot salad can help to prevent the re-absorption of excess estrogen and help with digestion. It also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

You will need the following:

2 medium carrots (shredded)

1-2 tablespoon vinegar (I like to use Apple Cider Vinegar)

1-2 tablespoon coconut oil

Salt to taste

I like to use a little bit of fresh lemon juice as well

If you are a busy mum like me then shred a big batch of raw carrots at the start of the week and have it all ready to go whenever you feel like a snack! Your gut and liver will thank you