Healthy Energy Bars | Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free

A bar that is free of almost everything you may be asking, what’s left? Well, there are key ingredients in these bars that are packed full of nutrients and flavour! The best part? It’s so easy to make!

Ingredients:
2 cups Dates
1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 cup Chia Seeds
1/4 cup Brazil Nuts
1/4 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp All Spice

Directions:
1) If you have a high speed food processor you can skip this step. If you do not have a powerful food processor, you could try cutting up the ingredients or using a mortar and pestle. However, you may not get the consistency you need. Also, if your blender is not a high speed one, you may want to be sure you soak the dates overnight or in boiling hot water for at least 20-30 min to soften them so to take the pressure off the food processor motor.
2) Put all of the ingredients into the food processor and blend together until there is a clumpy consistency.
3) Then line a pan with parchment paper and put the nut and seed mix into the pan. Then push down on the nuts and seeds evenly until it clumps into one.
4) Put into the fridge for 20-30 min and take it out to cut it into bars in desired size. Or you can roll the ingredients into balls.
5) When you are not enjoying them, keep them in a sealed container in the fridge as once they soften they will not hold their shape.

If you give these a try, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can share the love!

Enjoy!

LEW xxx


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.

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Acid Reflux vs. GERD and How Can I Decrease it? | Celiac Disease

There are many symptoms that come along with celiac disease, but did you know that acid reflux and heartburn can be one of them? The last few months I have personally been experiencing more bloating after eating, waking up with phlegm in the mornings or coughing at night, and the newest symptom I have been getting is a sharp pain in my upper right abdomen.

I am still in the process of healing my gut as my TTG level is now at 28 (it should be 0-12), so it’s still high and causing damage to my small intestine. I have been having a wide range of symptoms which has caused me to try a wide range of different diets to fix the issue. One of the diets was paleo, for those of you who do not know, it is high in fats and low in carbs (no grains at all). I believe this caused havoc on my gallbladder and stomach having to break down so much good fats in my diet that I now have added issues (more on this in a different blog post). 

Acid Reflux vs. GERD

Acid reflux can range in severity from mild to serious. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is chronic and a more severe form of acid reflux. There is also heartburn which is a symptom of both acid reflux and GERD. 

Acid Reflux

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a muscle that connects the esophagus and the stomach. It is the muscle that is in charge of tightening the esophagus after food passes by it so the food does not come back up. If the muscle is weak or doesn’t tighten properly, the food can make it’s way back up the esophagus and thus making the effects of acid reflux.

Symptoms of acid reflux:

  • Heartburn
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Bitter or sour taste in the mouth
  • Burning and pressure into the breastbone

GERD

The chronic form of acid reflux is known as GERD. This is diagnosed when acid reflux happens more then twice a week or there is inflammation in the esophagus. The pain caused by GERD may or may not be relieved with antacids or over the counter medications.

Symptoms of GERD: 

  • Bad breath
  • Damage to tooth enamel
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling of food coming back up into your mouth or regurgitation
  • Chest pain
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Asthma
  • Trouble swallowing

Most people will experience heartburn right after something they ate or laying down right after they eat.

What can I do to decrease acid reflux?

WITHDRAWAL OF RANITIDINE

In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Trusted Source

requested that all forms of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine (Zantac) be removed from the U.S. market. This recommendation was made because unacceptable levels of NDMA, a probable carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical), were found in some ranitidine products. If you’re prescribed ranitidine, talk with your doctor about safe alternative options before stopping the drug. If you’re taking OTC ranitidine, stop taking the drug and talk with your healthcare provider about alternative options. Instead of taking unused ranitidine products to a drug take-back site, dispose of them according to the product’s instructions or by following the FDA’s guidance

Trusted Source

.

From the Healthline website

There are over the counter drug and prescription drug options. However, if you don’t want to be stuck taking drugs for a long period of time or want a more natural alternative, you could try the following:

First off, stop eating big meals before bed time. Eating huge meals, especially fatty or greasy foods right before bed is a huge recipe for disaster when you have acid reflux. Your body needs time to digest the food with you up right, the minute you lay down after a big meal it will increase the chances of the food coming back up your esophagus. Try to stop eating and consuming anything at least 2-3 hours before bed time to allow your body to properly digest the food you have eaten. The three top triggers for heartburn is large meals, fatty foods and late-night meals.

So onto the next point, large portions of food. When you eat a lot of food at once and your stomach becomes stretched causing the stuffed feeling and a distended stomach, this puts a lot of pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This will happen with any large amounts of food, not just specific foods that will trigger your heart burn.

Now, fatty foods. This type of food sits around in your stomach longer which makes your body produce more acid to break it down and this will irritate your digestive system. Science has also shown that fatty foods will relax your LES which will in turn cause that increased amount of stomach acid to shoot back up your esophagus. This isn’t just the “bad” fatty foods either, this counts for the good fats as well like avocado, nuts, seeds, and oils. The good fats are good for your body, just everything in moderation…maybe don’t sit there with a jar of nut butter and a spoon until half the jar is gone like I have…whoops.

Common food that trigger heartburn:

  • Peppermint
  • Alcohol, specifically red wine
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea and energy drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, amongst many others
  • Tomatoes
  • Black pepper, raw onion, garlic, and spicy foods
  • Some meats, as they are high in fatty acids and cholesterol
  • Some oils, small amounts of olive oil seems to be okay
  • High amounts of salt
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Some medications like Ibuprofen, asthma medications, progesterone, medicines for Parkinson’s disease, and certain supplements like iron and potassium

You might be thinking, what can I eat? Here are some foods to include in your diet:

  • Proteins from low-cholesterol sources such as salmon, trout, almonds, lean poultry, beans and lentils
  • Certain carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, potatoes and some whole grains
  • Vitamin C rich foods from fruits and vegetables
  • Fruits high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium like apples, berries, pears, avocado, melons, peaches and bananas
  • Eggs, in spite of their cholesterol content, you could also opt for egg whites
  • Green vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts

Other lifestyle changes to help decrease acid reflux:

  1. Do not over eat. Try having 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 massive meals a day.
  2. Do not eat before bedtime and do not lay down right after eating. Allow 2-3 hours of digestion before you head to bed, once you lay down it’s harder on your body to digest the food you have just eaten. Allow the food to pass through your stomach first to the small intestine before you lay down.
  3. Exercise. If you are over weight this will put pressure on the LES and therefore cause heartburn. But also keep in mind you should allow your body to digest the food for 2 hours before you exercise vigorously as this may increase the likelihood of acid reflux. Abdominal work such as sit ups or leg lifts will irritate the stomach, same with jogging as this will have the contents in your stomach slush around and this will cause the contents in your stomach to go back up if you have a weak LES. However, this is not an excuse to not workout, physical exercise is a must need in each day, just be sure you allow your food to digest for at least 2 hours before you do any exercising, a light walk will be okay right after eating.
  4. Going along with exercise, try to not sit in a crunched position at your desk or in poor posture right after eating as this will put pressure on the LES. Also, try to not wear any clothes that are restricting on your belt line as this will also cause pressure to your stomach.
  5. Eat intuitively. Do not eat with the TV going or YouTube, no distractions such as your phone or reading. Just you and your food should be at the table. This will allow your body to be more aware of it’s hunger cues so you do not eat so much food that you end up with a distended stomach.

Remember that learning why your acid reflux happens and how to control it may help decrease discomfort of acid reflux. Try some simple lifestyle changes to decrease your acid reflux, and know that having it every once in a while is no cause for concern, but when you are experiencing it 1-2 times a week for an extended period of time, it is time to call your doctor to speak about your symptoms. Pain in your upper right abdomen can be acid reflux but it may be another condition including your liver or gallbladder, so it is always a good idea to consult with your family physician.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/heartburn-vs-acid-reflux

https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/triggers#3

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314690#what-is-gerd

https://www.verywellhealth.com/celiac-disease-symptoms-4014337