Paleo Banana Bread | Vegan, soy and gluten free

Who doesn’t love banana bread!? This is a simple and delicious recipe that is grain free, egg free, dairy free, refined sugar free, and of course gluten free. A delicious treat you will enjoy eating!

Ingredients:
2 Ripe Banana’s
2 Flax Eggs
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla
2 TBS Maple Syrup
2 cups Almond Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 350F.
2)Make the two flax eggs first by putting 2 TBS of ground flax into a bowl with 6 TBS of water. Mix together and set aside while you make the rest of the bread.
3)) Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
4) Mix together the wet ingredients in another bowl, mashed banana’s, flax eggs (once they have thickened), coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
5) Mix the wet with the dry and combine until a batter consistency has been made. You can also put all the ingredients into a food processor as another option.
6) Place the batter into a bread tin lined with parchment paper or oiled with coconut oil or oil of choice. Place in the oven to be baked for 40 min or until golden on top.

Enjoy! Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you end up making this banana bread, I love seeing your creations come to life!

LEW xxx


Paleo Vegan Pancakes

Have you ever wondered how to make paleo pancakes without using eggs? Here is the trick, flax egg and make vegan “buttermilk.” These pancakes are a bit more dense than other pancakes but trust me when I say, they are delicious. Follow the recipe below to make your own!

Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup cassava flour (or tapioca/arrowroot starch will work as well)
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs coconut oil – melted
pinch of salt
1 cup almond milk
1 flax egg

Directions:
1) First make the flax egg and the vegan buttermilk to set as side as they need to sit for a few minutes to work. Mix together 1 tbs ground flax seed and 3 tbs water, mix together and set aside. Mix together 1 cup almond milk with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar and set aside for 10 min to become “buttermilk.”
2) Mix together all the dry ingredients in one bowl, almond flour, cassava flour, baking powder, and salt.
3) Mix together all the wet ingredients in another bowl, flax egg, buttermilk mixture you made, coconut oil, maple syrup.
4) Now add the dry to the wet ingredients and mix together. You can also put all of the ingredients into a food processor.
5) Melt coconut oil on your pan, and place the mixture (which will be a bit thicker), onto the pan. On medium heat it should be ready to flip in 3-5 min.
6) Serve with your favourite toppings, I have a homemade apricot spread and maple syrup on mine.

Enjoy! Tag me on instagram if you end up make these, I love to see all of your creations!

LEW xxx



Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing | Paleo and Refined Sugar Free

Have you ever wanted to know how to make yourself a quick, easy and delicious chocolate cake for your birthday or just because you want cake? This is the recipe for you! It is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, and refined sugar free all without limiting your taste buds.

Here is a video on my YouTube channel where I make this cake for my birthday! Here is the full recipe on my blog.


Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing | Paleo and Refined Sugar Free

Have you ever wanted to know how to make yourself a quick, easy and delicious chocolate cake for your birthday or just because you want cake? This is the recipe for you! It is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, and refined sugar free all without limiting your taste buds.

Ingredients:

For the cake you will need:
2 1/2 cup Almond Flour
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
4 eggs or 12 TBS Egg Whites
1 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar, Cane Sugar, or Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Almond Milk or Milk of Choice
1/4 cup Avocado or Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the icing you will need:
1/4 cup Dairy Free Butter or Butter of Choice
1/3 cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
3 TBS Coconut Sugar or Cane Sugar
1/4 cup Almond Milk

Directions:
Cake Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F, and line your cake tin with parchment paper – this is an important step to ensure the batter does not stick to the sides of the tin.
2) In a bowl, put all of the dry ingredients including the almond flour, cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Hand mix it all together and be sure to get any clumps out of the flour, or use a food processor if you have one.
3) In a separate bowl, put in all of the wet ingredients including the eggs or egg whites, coconut sugar or sugar of choice, almond milk or milk of choice, olive or avocado oil, and vanilla extract. Mix it all together.
4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix them together until you have a cake batter. Then add the batter to the cake tin you have prepared, and smooth the batter to the sides of the tin.
5) Put your cake tin into the oven for 25- 30 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out smooth from the centre of the cake. Let the cake sit in the tin for 10 minutes to cool down then take it out of the tin and let it cool down completely before icing or cutting the cake!

Icing Directions:
1) Using a food processor (you could do it without but you just have to be sure to smooth it out and mix the ingredients well), put in the diary free butter or butter of choice and mix in the food processor until smooth (about a minute).
2) Now add the almond flour, and turn the food processor on again until the ingredients start to clump together.
3) Add in the cocoa powder and maple syrup and mix the ingredients again for another 30-60 sec.
4) Now add the coconut or cane sugar along with the almond milk or milk of choice and do a final mix. The icing should be slightly thick but able to run off your spoon.
5) Add the ingredients to a storable container and put the icing in the fridge to harden a bit more.


Now you have a delicious cake to enjoy and decorate to your liking! I put cocoa nibs and raspberries on top of mine. Below is a video of me making the cake and icing for my birthday :).


Paleo Banana Bread | Acid Reflux Friendly

Have you been wondering how to make a paleo banana bread moist, soft, and delicious? How about a banana bread for anyone with acid reflux or any other digestive issues? This will be the bread for you! Simple ingredients and really easy to make!

Ingredients:

3 medium bananas
1/4 cup and 1 TBS egg whites
2 TBS olive oil
2 cups almond flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor or bowl, put the banana’s in and mash them until smooth.
  2. Then add in the rest of the wet ingredients – olive oil and egg whites.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, until smooth and no lumps.
  4. In a baking tin, at the ingredients and smooth out. You can grease the tin or add parchment paper.
  5. Put in the oven at 350 degrees F for 45-50 min or until golden brown and test with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it is ready.

Let it cool down and enjoy!



The Positives of Celiac Disease and Having a Chronic Illness

When some one hears the word “disease” it is automatically seen as an awful thing. Even though no one is ever wishing and praying for a disease to pop up in their body, life does happen and you cannot choose your genetics. So instead of only ever seeing the awful side of the disease you have, why not see the positives.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease just over 3.5 years ago, and in spite of having my ups and downs I have decided to change my mindset and start seeing the disease not as a blessing or a curse but something I am in control of (excluding going out to eat and being cross contaminated with food). I believe that my diagnosis of celiac disease has changed my lifestyle habits for the better, and here is why.

  1. My diet has improved immensely.
    I’m not sure about you, but before I knew I had celiac disease I could eat the whole kitchen, including the sink. What’s even funnier, I never felt full, my stomach was a black hole. So when I saw a box of donuts I would eat the whole box, or go for seconds with dinner – sometimes even thirds. Even though I had a pretty well balanced diet, I still had the urge and craving to eat fast foods and sugar. All I wanted was the simple fast carbs and sugars to give me the quick energy because my body needed it after not absorbing any nutrients.

    These days, I eat less processed foods (try to not eat too much of the processed gf products as most of them have a huge amount of sugar in them – you will learn how to make things gf in your own kitchen soon enough!). I eat a more whole food diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some beans (be careful of lentils as wheat can sometimes be found mixed in them), and lean meats. I’ve never eaten better, and I no longer have the urge to eat any fast foods or junk food as it usually is not gluten free.

  2. I take sleep much more seriously and have so much more energy!
    I was always tired, really tired, taking naps in the day or falling asleep once 2pm hit. Growing up I was anemic and could never get my levels any higher no matter what I did. After going gluten free my iron levels are the highest they have ever been and I no longer feel the need to take a nap in the middle of the day. I usually have energy to last me the entire day now.

    Before I knew about my celiac disease I was also having awful nights sleep. Not only was I exhausted throughout the day, but my body was not allowing me to sleep at night. Sleep is a huge component to increasing one’s immune system amongst many other functions within the body. I now take sleep very seriously as it helps my body heal from the damages within my gut. But also because I realize just how important it is for every day function and life.

  3. I have picked up my meditation practice where I left it.
    I started meditating back in university to help me be more calm getting through my classes and exams. Once I passed and became a certified athletic therapist, my meditation practice slowly became something of the past for me.

    Having a chronic illness can become exhausting, especially with having to think about what you are eating on a regular basis. As we all know by now, stress causes havoc on the body and it’s systems. Anything that may stress you out with your health, job, relationships or just life will have an effect on your bodies immune system along with all other systems. One way I have found to decrease this stress is through meditation, I really feel it on the days that I do not meditate. I can think clearer, make better decisions and my anxiety has decreased.

  4. I have learned what real patience is.
    I have developed so much more patience for finding, waiting and making food. I have more patience for letting my body heal from it’s symptoms. I have more patience for not having as good of a day as yesterday knowing that next great day is just around the corner.

    Everyone’s healing time is different, and because of this you will learn your very own patience with allowing it to heal in it’s own time. As I mentioned, I am 3.5 years into following a gluten free diet after my diagnosis and I still have symptoms pop up here and there. This may not be the same for you, but depending how long you were an active celiac before you found out, this may make your healing time a bit longer or shorter then someone else. Remember to be kind to yourself, you will make it over every hurdle, and every speed bump in the road.

    Repeat after me: “My body will heal in it’s own time. Everyday is better than the last. My body is amazing.”

  5. I no longer take the simple things in life for granted.
    I think back to the days when I went to a restaurant and would be so picky with the food options. If I could tell my younger past self to eat everything off the menu I would. One of the simple things I’m referring to is going to a restaurant and being able to order whatever you would like off the menu, and not have to worry about how it is being made in the kitchen. Simple things like going to a friends place or a party and not being nervous about how the food was made or what everyone else is dipping into the salsa while you are not watching it. Or even being able to go traveling and not have to worry a head of time about where you are going to eat when you get to your location.

    The simple things I absolutely adore now is when I have food made for me by a chef and they bring it to me themselves, or having a friend or relative clean down the entire kitchen before they make me anything as a sign of love and respect. I get really excited when traveling and find a certified gluten free product in the store, or when I get to a restaurant and they tell me that everything on the menu is gluten free. If there is one thing that celiac disease has taught me in a great way is to never take anything for granted, so now even life events outside of food, I enjoy fully.

  6. I am more aware of my body and listen to it more.
    I have had aches and pains before, but I never used to listen to them. When you have celiac disease and it feels like 20 small kittens are inside your gut scratching away at the lining of it, you begin to listen. I have learned what claws feel like and I know what my gut should feel like now on a gluten free diet. I do not see every symptom I feel as an autoimmune reaction to gluten anymore. I have calmed down and have started to take a few seconds to think through what it is that I am feeling and why it may be there. Then I do what I need to do for what my body is asking. My mindfulness practice has helped immensely with this one.

    I have also started to learn to listen to my hunger cues through intuitive eating. This seems to be a trendy word now a days, but this is an important part of digestion and a happy body. As I mentioned, before I knew I had celiac disease I would binge eat everything in sight as I never felt full. I now know this was because I may not have been getting the nutrients my body needed. Until a few months ago, I kept up with this same habit, and it has brought on some other health issues because of it.

    With the good news that my gut is healing, this means that my villi within the small intestine are able to absorb nutrients and my body can now become full. I have learned the hard way of listening to this cue, I was eating until I was overly full and to the point that my stomach was distended and very uncomfortable. I believe this has brought on the acid reflux I have been experiencing the last few months. Learn to listen to your hunger cues, your body will let you know when it needs food and when you need to stop. This comes with practice and I am no where near an expert at it as this can take a few years to truly perfect.

  7. I have learned a whole new way of cooking and baking that is fun and delicious!
    I grew up working in a bakery and I would always stick to the baking and cooking rules of gluten. However, going gluten free threw a curve ball I was not expecting right at my gut but I have learned a whole new way of making food. To be honest, it’s so much fun! Experimenting with different GF grains, different fruits and vegetables that I had never heard of before 3.5 years ago, and experimenting with vegan, vegetarian, paleo and every cultured food there is. I have learned a new and great respect for all types of foods from all over the world, now that I cannot be choosy and picky with the food I eat. My diet is so much more varied, so much more interesting and delicious. The best part is that my gut microbiome is loving all the different nutrients it can digest now. Just wait, your taste buds are going to explode into happiness!

  8. I have learned, and am still practicing, how to change my mindset from negative to positive.
    This is so unbelievably hard to do. Day in and day out I will have multiple negative thoughts run through my head. Mental health issues can be a part of celiac disease, but learning how to over come them is so very important. When a negative thought comes in I instantly tell myself, no. Then think of the positives of every situation or conversation I am in. Consistent negative thoughts everyday will have a long term effect on your mental health. Your body is going through enough as it is healing, there is no need to add more for it to think about. One way you can tackle this is by wearing an elastic band around your wrist and every time a negative thought comes in, snap it against your wrist lightly to stop your thinking process. Then replace it with a positive thought.

  9. I have more of an understanding for anyone in pain, especially chronic pain.
    Regardless if you have an autoimmune disease, a chronic injury, or something your body is currently going through, being in pain everyday will wear on you. With what my body has been through so far, I have so much more respect for the people in the world that have not found the answer to no pain just yet. This has made me a better and more understanding therapist, friend, sister, daughter, niece, partner and stranger. Until you have been through it yourself, you will never truly understand what someone is going through. Not to mention everyone experiences the same thing different ways. Just always know that the end is near and your answer will come to you soon enough. You are feeling what you are feeling for a reason, it is not all in your head and you are not alone.

  10. The most important one, I feel so much better! And you will too.
    I never knew what it was like to feel “normal” until I felt normal. I thought everything I was feeling was how it was supposed to be, and now that I know it is not, I am on cloud nine. I can think clearly, I’m not bloated everyday, my hair has never been so thick, my energy is back, my strength is coming back, and I’m starting to become motivated again. I truly cannot think of a better way to live and I wouldn’t trade it for the world because this is my world and I have worked so hard to learn how to navigate through it. Now I have the opportunity to maybe help just one human find their way through it too. And that is such an empowering feeling.

I know being diagnosed with a chronic condition at first can seem scary, unbelievable and leave you saying, “why me?” But once you start to live your new life, you will see and feel how much better you are and start to see the positives of having celiac disease or any chronic condition you may have. Don’t loose hope, there is always a rainbow after the storm. You will come to see it soon, and you will kick ass when it does.

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.


My Health and Wellness Plan Back to Strong and Happy

There are a lot of blogs out there that are or have shared their wellness journey’s and I realize some of them can be construed as not health and wellness or they don’t need to be doing this journey because from the outside they look healthy and happy. Key phrase here is from the outside, we never know what someone is going through on the inside because we cannot see it. 

This is actually a very vulnerable post for me, but I think if I am up front and honest about how I have been feeling the last few years then maybe it will help someone else have the strength to do the same. For those of you who do not know, I was diagnosed with celiac disease just over 3 years ago from this post date. The first year after being diagnosed I was relieved, and had a great year of feeling better then I have ever felt – I finally knew what it felt to be “normal.” But then I went out to eat one day and long story short I was given the wrong bread and I became ill for 8 months after. Since this incident I have not been able to get myself back on that high feeling, and instead I seem to have hit a plateau of, “things are the way they are and this I just how it is going to be from now on.” It seemed like no matter what I did my symptoms would get a bit better but then come back, for a lack of better words, in a raging shit storm.  I have not been able to get my TTG levels to drop in my blood (antibody test for celiac disease) for over 2 years. This has discouraged me and made me unmotivated because it just seemed like, no matter what I did, my levels were not going to drop any lower and I would always have symptoms appear out of no where. One day I’d be happy go lucky and feeling great and the next it was like I had eaten the wrong bread again.

I guess the best way to describe this is by explaining what I used to be like. I was very active and loved it, I loved going to the gym and playing sports, I never stopped moving. I woke up excited about life and used to get up around 5:30-6:30am on my own without an alarm and never hit the snooze button. I would wake up and think, I’m going for a walk or just excited about what it was I was going to eat that morning.

Now, as I’m sure you can guess, it is the opposite. Over the last 2 and a bit years I have lost motivation and drive, I was always physically and mentally exhausted or not feeling well. It became very hard to get out of bed and I was always hitting the snooze button. I stopped being active and doing the things I used to live for, I became lost. I know having a physically demanding job that I absolutely love did not help with my motivation to be active, but I used to be able to look past this and still get to the gym and do something for me. 

I really feel as though it took the pandemic and being forced to stop working for me to realize where I had brought myself. When I was forced to stop I then started to feel all my aches and pains in my body. My left shoulder keeps going numb with neck pain and my right hip will scream at me if I do too much sitting or moving. The kind of pain that will make you wince and look as though you have aged 50 years over night. As an Athletic Therapist I know and have seen this all too often with my patients and know that I have lost my strength, mobility and flexibility. Once I build these back up and correct my muscle imbalances, I will live up to my last name of Walker and be an unbeatable Jedi again. I have been on again, off again, bloated with mental challenges and brain fog, anxiety, decreased motivation and drive, and decreased focus. If there is anything I have noticed over the last few years it is that the gut brain connection is a true and serious thing.

However, with all of that being said, I am happy to state that as hard as things have been in the past they are improving and from this day forward I will not accept anything but. It is going to be challenging and I will of course still have off days – but I will not let them drive me away from my goal of becoming strong and happy again.

So you may be thinking, how are you going to do this? Excellent question, here is how:

  1. Fitness: I will be working on my muscle imbalances and correcting my biomechanics. I will be doing this through mobility, flexibility and strength. There needs to be an equal amount of all of these to have a well balanced musculoskeletal system. So I will be making myself a fitness plan that will include all three of these components. 
  1. Nutrition: I have been dabbing into this component for the last 2 months already and I am happy to state that following the diet I have been doing has helped to decrease my TTG antibody levels in my blood and increased my iron. There is still a lot to improve in this department but it is a start! For the first 3 weeks I followed the hypoallergenic diet without consuming any grains. I was to cut out processed foods, dairy, certain meats, eggs, soy, peanuts, corn, tomatoes, artificial butters and sweeteners, refined sugars, and glutinous grains (obviously for me) but the naturopath had me cut out all grains just for the first 3 weeks. I followed this to a T and even continued it past the 3 weeks because of how much better I felt, but then, my digestion started to go wonky again and my energy has dropped. This is why I feel these full on restrictive diets are not meant to be eaten forever (other than the food you have to avoid for health reasons).

    Science actually shows that if you are under eating you will have immune problems and digestion issues. It may seem like you have a food intolerance but in reality your restrictive eating will cause digestive issues because the digestive system is not receiving enough energy, and if it does not get enough energy it cannot properly extract the nutrients your body needs to function. Mind.Blown. Therefore, I have decided that following a very restrictive and paleo diet long term is not the way to go for me. I believe my TTG levels being high is due to cross contamination in food that is processed and made in restaurants that are not careful. Also, having a very restrictive diet has made me very anxious around food, I’m always afraid whatever it is that I am eating will cause food intolerance symptoms. I know I do have some food intolerances because after eating certain things like corn and oats, I instantly have full body autoimmune symptoms. However, I do wonder, if I get my TTG levels to lower to zero, will these intolerances go away? Because technically once I get those levels to zero, that means my gut lining has finally healed and it will be able to digest food properly again. So as long as I stay away from my kryptonite, gluten, I should be okay to eat a variety of food again without feeing sick. That thought actually makes me so excited and pumped to get my gut lining healed.

  2. Mindfulness: This one is HUGE! I have been trained in transcendental meditation and started doing it back when I was in university as I used to have a huge amount of exam anxiety. This technique helped me get through my certification exams, and to be honest, I stopped doing it, and that was a big mistake. I told myself I was way too busy and did not have the time to sit and meditate for 20 minutes twice a day, but this is the exact person that needs to make time for exactly this as they typically need it the most. Since I have started meditating again, I cannot even begin to explain the benefits I have experienced in my everyday life. My thoughts are clearer, I do not snap as much if at all, I’m positive, focused and motivated. Mindfulness does not just have to do with meditation, it also includes living intuitively. If you have a negative thought come into your head, change it right away for a more positive one. If you are overworked, cut your hours. Our bodies need us to start living more intuitively because we all need to start listening to our bodies and giving it what it wants and needs.

These are the three ingredients to not just my wellness journey, but I believe everyone’s. If the health of our mind, nutrition and fitness does not exist, then we are more likely to develop muscle imbalances that will cause injuries. We may have a leaky gut or improperly functioning digestive system because we are not fuelling it properly or moving to help stools pass through your bowels or have a horrible gut brain connection where now the health of your gut effects your mental health and vice versa. All three of these components are absolutely essential for an overall well balanced health and wellness plan, you cannot do one without the other. It only took me siting down and writing this blog for me to truly make this connection. I always tell my patients to include all three but it has really clicked with me as to why.

Regardless if you are on a wellness journey of your own or want to see me through mine, I hope you find what it is you are looking for, because the sun really is brighter on the other side.

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.


What is Celiac Disease?

Here is a video of me on my YouTube channel talking about what celiac disease is and highlighting some of the main facts that I think everyone should know about it.

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

Articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot and do not provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness.

You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on our website.

It is your responsibility to consult with your professional health care providers before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking; varying the dosage and / or ceasing to take any medication.

We do not collect any personal information or store cookies.  You can turn off cookies on your web browsers.