The L.I.S.A bone building smoothie

L.I.S.A stands for linseeds, ice, sunflower seeds and almonds.

The kefir and greek yoghurt supply dairy to this bone building smoothie.

Kefir and yoghurt are both fermented, which is the best way to consumer dairy.

The almonds contain boron and magnesium.  The pear also contains boron.

Boron, calcium and magnesium are very important for bone health.

2 cups plain kefir
1 ripe banana
1 ripe pear
1 tbsp LSA (linseeds, sunflower seed, almonds)
¼ cup greek yoghurt
1 tsp chia seeds
2 cubes of ice

Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.

Why are we doing GAPS as a family?

My health

Although now I eat very well and have a very healthy lifestyle, my gut health has been compromised many times over my life.  My diet as a child was great, a very wholesome and traditional diet.  It was largely meat and three vegetables, and no takeaways.  All treats were homemade, so no preservatives and additives, but still lots of sugar and white flour.  I never missed a day of school, never had to take medicine, and was generally very robust.

The first major assault on my gut health was when I was a teenager.  I developed acne and was put on antibiotics by my local GP.  These were broad spectrum antibiotics and I was on them for years.  Not only did they not fix the acne, but they wiped out my gut flora, leaving me even more susceptible to bacteria which cause acne.  I often wonder why my doctor kept me on them, when they were clearly not working.

The next catastrophe for my gut health is actually a pretty extreme event, not the typical scenario.  While I was at university, I was did a Master’s Degree in Food Microbiology.  I was investigating the effect of high pressure processing on E. Coli bacteria.  As with all bacteria, there are good E. Coli and very, very bad E. Coli.  My project was intended to look as a non-pathogenic strain of E. Coli, one that can’t make you sick.  So I was happily working away in the microbiology lab, taking minimal precautions.  Unfortunately, I had accidently been given a pathogenic strain of E. Coli, called E. Coli O157.  That’s the one that kills people.  So began the stomach cramps and diarrhoea, which then progresses to bloody diarrhoea.  E. Coli O157 is called “enterohaemorrhagic”.  That means it haemorrhages you from the inside out.  So over the course of the next week or so, in isolation in hospital, my entire gut lining went down the toilet.  The hospital bacteriologist came to see me to discuss antibiotics.  As I had been studying the bacteria, I knew that antibiotics would actually make me sicker, as they would split open the bacteria and release toxins into my bloodstream.  So I advocated for my own health and declined the antibiotics.  He later came back to see me, to tell me he had done his research and I was right!

Knowing what I know now, I should have started an intense period of gut healing, with fermented foods, broth and probiotics.  But the 21 year old me went to meet her boyfriend in Tenerife for a week of holidays instead J.

About a year later, I developed an auto-immune condition in my eye, called uvetitis.  I researched and realised that this was probably as a result of my illness.

A few years after that, I took Roaccutane, for my skin that still had acne.  No surprises that acne was still an issue, as acne is so related to gut health.  This is a really strong medication that would have continued me on a downward health spiral.

Through all this, my health was actually really great, other than having regular severe migraines.

About 10 years ago, I developed a bit of a rash on my scalp, which the doctor said was psoriasis.  It was only when I was studying health myself that I found out the sunlight is very helpful for psoriasis.  My scalp got significantly worse in the sun.  So I went for a biopsy which indicated I actually had something called Discoid Lupus, also an autoimmune disease.  I now have a crater and a bald spot on my scalp for ever.  This really shocked me and forced me to get even more serious about my health, and I haven’t had gluten since.

Since doing GAPS, I don’t get migraines any more.  Healing and sealing my gut has stopped my body being so sensitive to hormones and foods.  Sometimes being gluten-free isn’t enough.  You need to remove all grains, as GAPS does.

My daughter’s health

My middle child has congenital heart disease.  When she was born, she was greeted by a roomful of medical staff, who whisked her off to intensive care.  By the time I got to see her she had lots of tubes poking out everywhere.  Over the course of the next few weeks, she had 9 general anaesthetics, diuretics, antibiotics, morphine, paralysis drugs and probably more.  For the first week she was fed via a central line into her neck with total parenteral nutrition.  All this had a very negative impact on her gut health.  Luckily, I breastfed her from about day 16 onwards which would have helped, but a lot of damage was already done.  On the plus side, she was alive, and without all that medical intervention, she wouldn’t have survived.

I recently did a poo test on her which showed the diversity of bacteria species in her gut was poor. She was also lacking some of the bacteria which are really important for regulating emotions and controlling anxiety.  Her gut was crying out for healing.  When we started on the GAPS introduction diet, she was doing a wee every 20 minutes or so as her kidneys desperately tried to flush out the toxins that were being released into her bloodstream.

Nearly dying by inhaling a pathogenic E. Coli and having congenital heart disease are quite dramatic examples of why you might need gut healing.  For most people, the stories are much more subtle.  Caesarean births and recurrent ear infections are the scenarios that crop up more regularly.  The consequences on gut health can still be devastating, and the need for gut healing just as strong.


Sauerkraut juice

In the early stages of the GAPS gut healing protocol, your body goes through some intense healing.

Food choices are restricted, and early in the introduction stage, even sauerkraut isn’t allowed.  Instead, only the juice of the sauerkraut is allowed.

If you are doing GAPS as a family, you will need to make this juice, rather than just taking the liquid from the sauerkraut jar.  Otherwise you will soon run out.

Sauerkraut juice is also really good for reflux and heartburn.  Just have a glass every morning.

To make the sauerkraut juice, you will need:

1 large head of organic cabbage

6 tablespoons celtic sea sald

Filtered water

Sterilised jars (I sterilise for 20 minutes in the oven at 180C, the lids should be sterilised too, not screwed on)

For fermentation, always choose organic vegetables.  You need the native microflora on the vegetables for a ‘wild fermentation’.  Vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides will have a very different microflora.  Organic vegetables are also higher in nutrients.

Using a food processor, chop the cabbage very finely.  The more finely it is chopped, the large the surface area of the cabbage, the quicker the fermentation.

Put the finely chopped cabbage in a large bowl, and add 6 tablespoons of celtic sea salt.  Mix the salt and cabbage mixture very well.

Leave the mixture to sit for at least 20 minutes, up to a few hours.  After this time, the water will be drawn out of the cabbage and the cabbage will be limp.

Fill the sterilised jars one third of the way up.  Fill to the top with filtered water.  Filtered water has the chlorine removed.  Chlorine is added to water to kill bacteria.  In fermentation, chlorine would kill the bacteria you are trying to grow.

Screw on the lids and leave in a cool dark place for about 2 weeks.  Make sure the lids are tightly screwed on so mould can’t grow.

If you know you react badly to histamines, leave the juice to ferment for a much longer time.

When it is fermented, put the jars in the fridge and drink as required.



Immune boosting chicken soup

Serves 4-6


1 whole chicken (organic is best, at least free range)

1 table spoon apple cider vinegar

1 leek, washed and thinly sliced

3 carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, sliced

300g sweet potato

2 sprigs fresh thyme

8 fresh sage leaves

2 sprigs fresh oregano

4 cloves garlic, chopped

Pinch celtic sea salt


Place whole chicken in a large saucepan or stock pock.

Add 3 L of filtered water and the table spoon of apple cider vinegar, and the salt.

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.  If any scum comes to the surface, skim off and discard.

Remove chicken from stock – use a metal sieve to do this, as the chicken will be falling apart.

Put the chicken aside to cool.

Add all the vegetables, except the garlic, to the stock.  Bring back to boil and simmer for 25 minutes.

After the heat is turned off, add in the garlic and mix through.

You can serve as is, or use a stab blender to make a smoother soup.

Take the meat off the chicken when it is cool enough to handle.  Add some meal to each bowl of soup, and save the rest of the meat for packed lunches.



Sleep – a precious commodity!

Our family has been struggling with getting one of children to sleep for the last 5 years.  As a baby she slept, well, like a baby.  But once she hit toddlerhood, bedtimes became seriously derailed.  We would spend hours trying to get her to sleep – the stories, the cuddles, sitting with her, leaving her to cry.  We tried it all.  Like a jack in the box she would got out of bed over and over again, until she collapsed at about 9.30pm.  Then every night, she would end up in our bed as she would wake in the night from her light sleep.

Starting school escalated the situation.  Morning tantrums became a regular occurrence.  She was so tired and didn’t want to get up. It was particularly disturbing that she was getting upset about her inability to sleep. She would ask why her siblings could just get into bed and fall asleep and she couldn’t.

We eat a really healthy diet, so we couldn’t look at reduced sugar or additives.  I had to think more broadly.

Our fortunes changes when we did Bio-compatability hair analysis for her.  This gave us a list of about 8 foods which her body was not dealing well with.  We easily eliminated these foods, without having to remove any food groups entirely.  We haven’t looked back.  Now she goes to bed easily every single night, and stays in her bed until she wakes refreshed at 6.30am.  This is life changing for us, we actually get our evenings back.  This has had a dramatic effect on her school work and she has made huge improvements in a very short space of time.

The test is totally non-invasive.  Grab the scissors and cut off a few locks of hair, that’s it.  No blood tests, no skin pricks, no scratch tests.

If you or your family suffer from headaches, skin conditions, ADHD, asthma, behavioural issues or sleep disturbances, book in for an initial appointment with me.  We can go through your health history and decide if this test is right for you.

Probiotic cleaning – an alternative to chemicals?

I was interested to come across “Probiotic Solutions” cleaning product.  With 3 kids to clean up after and an Airbnb business on the side, I spend quite a bit of my time cleaning.  We use very environmentally friendly cleaning products for our own health, but also because we are on a septic system.  Anti-bacterial chemicals or bleach would ruin the balance of our septic tank.  We would have a smelly situation on my hands.   I am very familiar with probiotics from a food and supplement point of view, but was intrigued by the thought of spraying them round my home!

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