3 Tips to Eating well for Gut health this Christmas

Christmas & family gatherings can be the most challenging time for people with food intolerances and allergies—or even just for those of us trying to eat a little better. Not only is it a time of excess to celebrate with friends and family, but it is also the time when foods are prepared communally—and let’s face it, ‘traditional Christmas food’ (in the western world) is far from healthy. At best, it’s just eating too much delicious roast veggies (if that’s possible), and at worst, it’s rice pudding eating competitions and an extra 5kg.

Food is central to life and eating together—whether it be brunch with friends, family meals, ice cream and popcorn in front of a movie, or the Christmas feast, food is a way to bond, share, and care for each other. Making the change due to health issues or living with allergies that require you to eat differently can be isolating, alienating, attract unwanted attention and teasing, or leave you hungry. Even though eating differently (whether it be dairyfree, glutenfree, cane sugar free, vegetarian, vegan, free range only, or nut free) can mean that you feel physically better, with less headaches, body aches, clearer skin, or even healthier weight, it can be emotionally challenging when everyone around you is sharing in something you would rather not eat. It can also be hard if you’re away from the comfort of your fridge and pantry at home.

So, here are my holiday survival tips.

#1. Prepare. Come with snacks for when everyone else is having cheese and crackers. Don’t be caught out. Make sure you always have something ready to go in case non-allergy-friendly dinner is dished up. The worst thing is to be caught hungry surrounded by people who are eating.

#2. Replace! Choose your favourite dish, the one Christmas dish you just ‘can’t live without’, and make an allergy friendly version. Make it edible—something that everyone can eat!

#3. ….and bring extra! No doubt your friends and family will be curious about what you eat, and they’re probably going to want to try whatever amazing dish you whip up. While it can be an additional load on the preparation to make extra to share, this can pay great dividends in allowing others to experience that food can still tasty delicious when it’s different. Instead of an argument about the validity of various food choices, it’s often better to just focus on eating delicious food. Opening the door for others to explore eating for their own health as well can allow for a sense of connection & understanding that would otherwise be missing.

You never know, next time someone else might bring food that’s ‘Edible’!

For gut health specifics including supplements for healing, dietary changes, meal sizes, chewing and more, as well as body-friendly food inspiration, see ‘Edible’ by Angela Flack http://www.ediblethebook.com.

Workshops!

Now the initial rush of establishing Edible with suppliers throughout Australia is complete, I’ve begun my favourite part: meeting with people, and talking about food!

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So far I’ve enjoyed workshops and talks at festivals and healthstores throughout NSW & Qnsld.  In the coming months I will also be running my own workshops, with a few exciting plans in the pipeline! Are you on our mailing list? Click here to join.

For a full list of upcoming events, see the Events Page.

Edible: Now in Print!

Edible: Plant-based, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Naturally Sweetened Wholefoods. By Angela Flack.

As of November 2014, Edible: The book is now in print and available for purchase from ediblethebook.com. 426 pages, full-colour recipes, referenced to journal articles. We ran crowdfunding via kickstarter Sept-Oct of the year, which was eventually quite successful, and I completed many of the book deliveries in person through November and December. Membership of the Facebook recipe & discussion group is growing, and feedback is good so far—it’s very rewarding to see Edible embraced by people from all walks of life! I’ve now begun work on the cooking videos ordered through the kickstarter and will be uploading these in the coming weeks (are you subscribed to the youtube channel?).

Edible is now stocked in over 30 stores up & down the East coast of Australia (for stockists, click here). In the coming months the Edi-van will be hitting the road, so keep an eye out for us! Join the mailing list for information on upcoming events in a town near you.

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Hope to see you soon!

Angela.

Nut balls!

Secrets of the wild, wild west here folks!

Just kidding. Everyone knows how to make these. OR do they?

50/50 nuts and dates. Almonds work well, as do macadamias.

Step 1. Combine in food process.
Step 2. Turn it on.
Step 3. When the mix starts to clump, pull it out in handfuls.
Step 4. Roll these into balls.

Optional: Add lemon zest, coconut flakes, mesquite, cocoa, coconut oil, a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Rock Salt. Refrigeration also optional.

Ta da! Feed them to your friends.

Edible the book sent to print!

As of last week, the offset print has begun on ‘Edible: plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, naturally sweetened wholefoods’. Full colour, fully referenced to journal articles, all 436 pages of prettiness. Print will be complete by the end of September, expected to arrive in Australia mid to late October.

Throughout September we are running crowdfunding for the print run 🙂

Check out the website at http://www.ediblethebook.com for more information.

Chocolate pudding in a mug

Made a mudcake. It was amazing.

I really need to stop adding things into edible (the book) or it will never be finished. Seriously.

So I’m just gonna leave this here. It hasn’t been re-tested, just made it up the other day.

Have fun!

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1 C buckwheat
1 C almond milk
4-8 Tbsp. rice malt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. stevia powder
4-6 Tbsp. raw cocoa
1/4 C arrowroot flour
Stevia-sweetened dark chocolate

Step One. Pour into 3 small mugs, or 2 big mugs.
Step Two. Microwave seperately, 3-4 minutes.
Step Three. Melt sugar-free choc with a small amount of almond milk.

Serve in mug or up-ended on a plate, drizzled over with chocolate.

Chocolate is best melted in a bowl sitting in boiling water, to prevent burning.

Literary Criticism

Yo! Long time no talk. In preparation for the publication of ‘Edible’ (plant-based, gluten-free, naturally sweetened, wholefoods!) I have been reading widely. And I mean, really widely. I have delved into the majority of the popular diets books, including D’adamo’s ‘Eat right for your type’ and Dr Atkins heart-stopping ketosis brilliance, and spent some time making out with ‘Healing with Wholefoods’ (Paul Pitchford) and ‘Eat to Live’ (Joel Fuhrman)… plus all the related sciencey literature along the way. Which brings us to now.

Page 125 of ’80/10/10′, a book by Dr Douglas Graham, an advocate of a raw, plant-based diet low in fat. He states that the saturated fat in coconut oil is artery clogging, which he then links to a scientific article. As a blessed individual with a university education, I have the luxury of accessing said article, in it’s entireity, via my university library. I read the whole thing. Nowhere does it say anything about artery clogging by coconut oil. The conclusion states ‘the results demonstrated the potential beneficiary effect of virgin coconut oil in lowering lipid levels in serum and tissues and LDL oxidation by physiological oxidants.’ Blood fat reduced, bad cholestrol less oxidised. So, uh, what?

Unfortunately 80/10/10 contains many of such, what I would consider ‘minor misdemeanors of fact’ or ‘creative exercising of poetic licence’. None concerned me as much as this one. Making counter-culture and anti-mainstream claims is wonderful, in my opinion. And noone knows anything for sure, really. The deeper you go down the rabbit hole, the deeper it gets. But presenting health claims as apparently supported by scientific literature, when the said literature says the exact opposite, is gross negligence. I would have liked to say so myself to Dr. Graham, but google didn’t know his contact details. Anyone?

I’m off to double and triple check my references, kids. Happy eating & Happy everything!

~AngelaImage

UPDATE. Page 153. ‘In spite of what we are told, consuming protein will not assist in the muscle building process’. Is that true? I’m not sure. The supporting ‘reference’ has nothing to add on the matter. 😐

If I had to eat it every day for the rest of my life…

I don’t want to make any absolute statements here. Tastes change, and I am currently preferring simple foods due to the recent encounter with eucalyptus oil (don’t ask). But today someone asked me ‘If you had to eat it every day for the rest of your life, which vegan meal would you choose?’, and next to my current infatuation with banana on rice chia fruit bread, this curry was my answer. It is sweet and creamy without the inclusion of coconut milk. Although coconut is widely used as a dairy replacement for vegans, it is less of an option for those with allergies, or with various blood types, such as O. This curry is cheap, tasty and simple. It lends itself easily to adaptation and meets basic nutritional needs. Like beans, lentils are high in protein, but are much easier to digest. For those of you new to the glories of lentils, you may be surprised to learn (as I was) that although they are called red lentils, they will turn yellow when cooked. Who knew?

Anyway. Use a rice cooker to make this dish even simpler. You can chuck curry ingredients in the rice cooker and turn it on to cook. It will simmer without burning, turn itself down to superlow when it’s done (how does it know?!) and keep the food warm til I’m ready to eat. If cooking in a pan, fry an onion in oil, before adding the other ingredients. Add garlic at this stage as well, if that’s your thing. I omit these for simplicity.

Basic Red Yellow Lentil Curry
1 ½ C red lentils
3 ½ C water
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 medium sweet potato, chunks
fresh ginger, chopped
1 bay leaf (remove to serve)
Herb or celtic sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in rice cooker, walk away and enjoy your freeedom.

Options include sliced apple (sweetness to balance out the spice), zucchini chunks (this is almost a must), peas, or stir through baby spinach leaves through the hot curry prior to serving.

Nice on its own, or with pappadums. 🙂

‘Hungry for Change’

Okay. So it’s about time. And I’m just gonna come out and say it.

I’m offically a foodie. An organic buying, locally grown supporting, ideologically committed foodist. It’s not just something I like. It is crucial to me. The soft drink aisle has been dead to me for longer than I remember, and my food shelves are filled with a range of organic grains and seeds. I’m happy this way.

I suspect this will come as no great revelation to anyone except myself; similar to when I came home from Morocco and solemnly announced to my mother that I am a vegetarian- she rolled her eyes. My mother had been carefully coercing me into more mainstream animal consuming behaviour for the 21 years that I was in the closet.

Today, I ticked off an entry of my post-university to-do list. I watched Food Inc. And I kid you not, I cried. Tears of compassion, but also relief. First hand reporting of real-life experiences is what I require, as heart-wrenching as it can be. Things are the way they are because everyone is doing their best within a system that is inherently flawed. The people working within the system wish for change as well. And it is possible.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

‘A culture that just views a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure to be maniuplated by whatever creative design the human can foist on that critter, will probably view individuals within it’s community and other cultures in the community of nations with the same type of disdain, disrespect and controlling type mentality’.

‘Is cheapness everything that there is? [Work goes into] creating the mystique of cheap food.. when actually, it’s very expensive food. When you add up the environmental cost, societal costs, health costs… the industrial food is not honest food. It’s not priced honestly, it’s not produced honestly, it’s not processed honestly’.

‘To eat well in this country [America] costs more than to eat badly. It will take more money, and some people simply don’t have it. That’s why we need changes at the policy level, so that the carrots are a better deal then the chips’.

‘Imagine what it would be if as a national policy we said we are only successful if we have fewer people going to the hospital next than last year. The idea then would be to have such nutritionally unadulterated dense foods, that the people who ate it actually felt better, have more energy and weren’t sick as much. That’s a noble goal’.

‘You have to understand that we farmers are going to deliver to the marketplace what the marketplace demands. People have to start demanding good, wholesome food of us. And we’ll deliver. We’re very ingenius people, we’ll deliver’.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to feel this way about one American, let alone three… but I have so much love and adoration for these beautiful, smart men. I want to hug them.

If you are even remotely curious about why the world is the way it is, do yourself a favour and check this out. I am not sure there are many other things that could be considered as important.

www.foodincmovie.com

I am very curious to find some information relevant to the legislation and farming practices here in Australia. No doubt as with many things, America in this instance serves as a warning for the smaller countries considering following in their massive, corporate footsteps.

God forbid.

Mission Cookable

Okay so university is finished for the year, with a little more money for ingredients and some spare time, it is time to attack my vegan ‘to create’ list, as follows.

  • Rice pudding
  • Gluten-free homemade pizza
  • Homemade iceblocks
  • Homemade baked beans
  • Stuffed sweet potato jackets
  • Lentil soup.
  • Mussaman curry from scratch
  • Lemon sago

 

Let’s begin!

If I were Queen of the World….

Let’s begin.

Decree 1: Stop being pansies
You will use so called ‘recycled’ water, and you will like it. All water is recycled; it was wee and poo, and mushed up carrots, and dead animals, and pieces of tree, it fell from the clouds and flowed in a river;  now it comes from your tap. The clouds usually recycle it, now humans do instead. It has been this way forever and forever it will be!

Shower as long as you like, and grow a beautiful veggie garden. As Dorothea Mckeller wrote ‘I love a sunburnt country.. of droughts and flooding rains.’ There is no water shortage. There is only chronic water mismanagement. Water is not a precious resource or a scarce commodity, look around. We must suck it up and clean up after ourselves, and then we will find we already have plenty.

On Desalination: It is irresponsible to take clean water out of the ocean for our use, only to pump dirty sewage, storm water and industrial waste back in. Eventually this will end in even the water of the ocean being too polluted for us to use, not to mention the fish, whales and dolphins being poisoned.

(As a side note, the two biggest water users (above household, fruit and veg) are the meat and dairy industries. It takes 4000 litres of water to make one glass of milk. Which leads us to…)

Decree 2: Leave the milk for the baby cows
It is time for all people to stand on their own two feet. Every other animal in the animal kingdom stops suckling on their mother when they are weaned by adolescence. Why do you have your mouths on the udder of cows in paddocks?

While hitching in New Zealand, I was informed by a cattle truck driver, that for you to drink milk the mother cow has to have a baby every year. As these cows are bred for milk (not meat), the baby boys are killed within the first week and used to make blood and bone fertiliser. (A small percentage are eaten as a ‘delicacy’ or have their fourth stomach used to make parmesan cheese.) The mothers bellow continuously for their babies, when they are seperated soon after the baby is born. This might make you feel sad, but what will really turn you off is knowing that up to 50% of dairy cows suffer from lameness due to mastitis. (A major cause of this is the mechanical suckers which continue sucking at the delicate front teats after they are emptied.) Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland in the udder, causing it swell and the cow to not be able to walk. The risk of mastitis increases 30% with each baby the cow has. The reason this will turn you off is that infection can cause blood, pus and antibiotic residue to get into the milk- only 40-45% of lame cows are detected.

In answer to your questions ‘But where will we get our calcium’- think again. Where did you get your calcium before someone decided it would benefit them to have you drinking cows milk intended for baby cows? 70% of the worlds population do not consume milk and those people have a low to nil incidence of osteoporosis. Excess animal protein makes the human body highly acidic- the body then leeches calcium from the bones to alkalize the blood. This is the reason the first thing to go when you ‘detox’ is dairy. Replace milk with coconut milk, and for calcium there’s sweet potatoes, leafy greens in stir fry, oranges, strawberries, cucumber, prunes, figs, almonds and tofu.

Decree 3: No Nuclear Power for you.
People have recently become aware of and concerned about climate change and ‘global warming. Continue reading