Can a gluten free diet really improve my health?

gluten free be whole

If you ever feel bloated, tired or need to go to the loo after having a few slices of bread, you may be gluten intolerant.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. You can’t tell whether there’s gluten in food by just looking at it. But if you scan the labels of sauces, salad dressings, cereals, breads, milkshakes, and pastas, you’ll see that many of them contain gluten. You may even find that some cosmetic products and supplements are made with gluten.

How a gluten free diet can affect your body

People who are sensitive to gluten but still consume it may suffer from diarrhea, tummy aches, and bloating. This happens because when they consume gluten, the lining of their stomachs become inflamed, which makes it difficult to digest food properly.

There’s been many studies on the benefits of gluten free diets. According to an article by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, adopting a gluten free, casein (dairy) free (GFCF) diet may improve the development of autistic patients.

The article notes that while the intervention improved the development of some autistic patients, a lot of research still needs to be done before this can be conclusive.

Cutting out gluten doesn’t mean saying goodbye to delicious food.

Here’s a list of some gluten free foods :

  • Fruit
  • Veg
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Teff
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Legumes
  • nuts

I’ve been gluten free for a month now and my body is happy. After seeing a homeopath to help me clear my skin, I was advised that there was a much greater problem happening inside my body. It made a lot of sense when she explained that my acne was my body’s way of warning that something wasn’t working well internally.

Without realizing that I was sensitive to gluten, I satisfying munched on the freshest breads, saucy pastas, and those wonderfully seasoned salty cracks. My taste buds were in heaven but my digestive system was in turmoil. I had been maintaining a healthy diet for years to my mind, but my body wasn’t able to absorb all of the nutrients because every time I would consume gluten, I would damage my stomach lining.

I immediately stopped eating gluten based foods (I also don’t consume dairy) and haven’t have a breakout since.

Have you considered going gluten free or are already maintaining a gluten free diet? I’d love to know your thoughts. Drop me a comment in the section below 🙂

How to make overnight oats in a jar

I eat oats for for breakfast everyday of the week. Sometimes I’ll skip having oats over a weekend because I’m either away from home or going for breakfast. But this really is my favourite breakfast recipe. It’s filling but doesn’t make you feel sluggish, it’s nutritious, and best of all, easy to make.

I usually prepare my oats in a glass jar since it’s the safest container to use today. Plastic containers, especially those that don’t have the BPA free label on it, contain chemicals that transfer to your food when you’re heating food in the container or the plastic begins to wear. Eatright.org has an in-depth article on glass versus plastic – if you’re interested in finding out more about that, click here.

I also prepare (at most) three jars of overnight oats on a Sunday night to make sure that I have breakfast for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Wednesday’s jar is always the tastiest.

Meal planning for breakfast saves me a lot of time and money because I’ve had to calculate exactly how much ingredients I need and once I’ve made the oats on Sunday and Wednesday night, I can just hop over to the fridge to enjoy my already-set creamy oats.

You’ll definitely enjoy this if you’re on a tight schedule and don’t want to have to worry about what you should have for breakfast.

overnight oats

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 banana

1 cup almond milk

Preparation time: five minute 🙂

Optional (add):

a pinch of salt

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Pour all the dry ingredients into a glass jar or container of your choice. Add the container lid and shake to mix the contents.
  2. Remove the lid to add milk. I use almond milk because of my dairy-free diet but you can use any milk or water since almond milk is actually only 25% almonds, and 75% milk.
  3. Once you’ve added the milk, seal to make sure that all your dry ingredients have been coated with milk and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Enjoy in the morning!

That’s it. Quick and easy. I never get tired of this breakfast recipe because there are so many different ways to make it.

Tip:

Try to get rolled oats and not instant oats because the texture of the oats is quite different. Rolled oats are the larger white flakes that take a while to lose it’s crunch.

Also, this is my go-to recipe but you can add any of your favourite fruit, seeds, or milk.

I’ve love to know if you’ve tried this recipe or already prepare your own overnight oats. Drop my a comment in the section below and let’s connect on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter.

Guest Recipe: Coconut Fish Curry

fish curry

My fragrant coconut fish curry recipe is incredibly easy to prepare. If you’re looking for something quick and healthy that’s rich in flavour, creamy, and delicious – this is it.

I’ve used easily accessible ingredients so there’s no need to spend hours hunting through shopping aisles.

This nutritious dish can be prepared in less than 45 minutes.

The subtle blend of exotic spices will tickle your taste buds with each mouthful. And the broccoli and carrots add a beautiful, vibrant colour to the mild yellow curry.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: 40- 50 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tsp coconut oil
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 tbsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tsp fresh or dried chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger, grated
coconut milk 400 ml (shaken well)
2 cups chicken stock/ veg stock if you’re pescatarian
½ head broccoli florets
½ head cauliflower florets
750 g firm white fish, cut into bite-sized cubes (I used hake fillets)
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, minced

Method

1. Heat coconut oil in a medium-sized pot.

2. Add onions and allow to cook until golden in colour. Add tomatoes, carrots, turmeric powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, dried chillies, garlic and ginger.

3. Cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until sauce thickens.

4. Add chicken/ veg stock, coconut milk, broccoli, cauliflower and fish, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables and fish are cooked to your liking.

5. Garnish with minced cilantro and serve on a bed of brown rice or Quinoa.

Dinner Ideas: Easy Kidney Bean Pasta

kidney bean pasta be whole

One thing that I miss about having supper at home-home (where my family live) is that we’d take turns to cook supper during the week.

I was lucky to learn about mean planning and healthy eating well before moving out and have quite healthy eating habits, aside from my trips to Snoekies for Hake and Chips on weekends, and my sorbet binges while watching movies.

The biggest struggle with maintaining a healthy diet is finding time to prepare not only nutritious, but equally tasty meals.

This easy kidney bean pasta is a quick dinner idea for meat-free suppers or lunches. I often use this recipe as an inclusion to my meal plan, which makes two lunches and two dinners.

I generally cook meals for up to three days – no longer – to preserve the freshness of all ingredients and to switch up my meals.

Meal planning is great for ensuring that you continually eat the right foods. You’ll also save money as you’ll be reluctant to buy quick snacks and lunches if you’ve already packed your own.

Is pasta healthy?

Yes, and no.

Controlling your portions of pasta is what matters. I avoided high-carbohydrate foods like potatoes, pastas and bread for a long time because these foods are key contributors to weight gain. What I didn’t know at the time, was how much vitamin B, fiber, and protein could be found in pasta.

Whole-grain pasta (brownish coloured), has the same amount of calories as white pasta, expect that you’ll find more nutrients in the whole-grain selection.

I’ve used white Fusili pasta (screws) for this recipe but whole-grain pasta will suit this meal perfectly, if preferred. You could also use Penne Rigata pasta (quills), if you prefer.

spinach with pasta be wholecooking pasta be wholekidney beans for pasta be wholepasta sauce be whole

What you’ll need to make Kidney Bean Pasta:

300 – 400 g Pasta

1 Finely chopped onion

400 g Kidney Beans

500 g Spinach

1 tbsp Hemp seeds

200 ml Napoletana Sauce (as desired)

2 tbsp Olive Oil

500ml hot water

Method:

  • Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into a saucepan and braise your onion.
  • Pour 5oo ml of boiled water into a pot to cook your pasta. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the water to ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick together, then add pasta to cook for 10 minutes. Using hot water instead of cold water will largely increase your preparation time.
  • Once your onion is golden brown, add spinach and hemp seeds to cook while you wait for the pasta.
  • Once the pasta has cooked, strain it, then add it to the saucepan with kidney beans and Napoletana sauce
  • Once your Napoletana sauce (with added ingredients) has been heated, your pasta is ready to eat
  • Allow to simmer for 5 minutes

Let me know if you try this recipe. Any meat-free dinner ideas you think that I should try? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the section below or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

 

Quick Summer smoothie bowl 100% Delicious

smoothie bowl - be whole

One thing I love more than food is travel. And when I’m exploring a new place, whether it’s two hours from my home or across the ocean, rest assured I’m going to indulge in the local specialty meal.

In Botswana, before I’d stopped eating meat, I’d had the most delicious shredded beef. I couldn’t even describe the seasoning – it was just spectacular and that was the highlight of my trip.

In Scotland, I’d had haggis and black pudding – not the tastiest of cuisine but I sure did enjoy the scotch eggs and hand cut fries, served to me at a corner Hipster Restaurant in Islington, London.

This December, while my heart yearns for a cruise along the Portuguese Islands, I also really want to enjoy time with family and prioritize getting to know some of my cousins who will be in Cape Town for Summer.

Matching my love for food and travel is Cape Town based Foodie and Travel blogger, Naturally Tescha. I’ve lived vicariously through her stories and tapped into the culture of foreign lands through her recipes.

Her tropical mango and pineapple smoothie bowl is especially a treat for me to imagine that I’m on some wonderful sunny island, and not packing tons of calories. Take a look at Tescha’s recipe below:

Ingredients for your Smoothie Bowl

1/2 Cup of fresh/frozen mango
1/2 Cup fresh/frozen pineapple
1 Small banana
½ cup of coconut water
Fresh or frozen blueberries (about 5)
Fresh or frozen raspberries (about 5)
1 Sliced Kiwi fruit
2 Tablespoons of shredded coconut

smoothie bowl - be whole
Who said healthy eating can’t be mouth-watering 😉 (Photo/ Tescha Chetty)

 

Method

Blend (or sift ) the frozen mango, pineapple, banana, and coconut water until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with your choice of fresh fruit such as kiwi, blueberries, raspberries and shredded coconut.

This is also a great dessert idea for Christmas lunch or any festive gatherings.

Check out more delicious, healthy recipes from Tescha at www.naturallytescha.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Try this recipe and send us your pics. You can tag us in a pic of your smoothie bowl, using the hashtag: #naturallyteshca

This easy egg muffin recipe tastes amazing |Packed with protein

Okay. So. Egg muffins aren’t new at all. People have been making them for years but I’ve just made my first batch and it’s delicious.

I love cooking my own meals. Ever since I went for a Bio-resonance screening at the Still Centre, I’ve become quite mindful of what I put into my body. The other day, I’d read that almond milk by my favourite brand – Almond Breeze, actually only has 2% almonds in one carton of milk. That’s a topic for another blog post but when you make your own meals, you know exactly what you’re consuming.

 

What you’ll need for this egg muffin recipe:

6 eggs
1 onion
1/4 head of broccoli
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp baking powder
Spinach

Optional: Cauliflower or green pepper
Makes 8 muffins

Step 1

Pre-heat a pan with coconut oil or an oil of your choice while preparing the other ingredients.
Also pre-heat your oven on 180°c.
Chop your onions, spinach and broccoli finely to avoid having huge chunks of veg in your muffins.

Ready to chop finely for a delicious egg muffin recipe

Step 2

Braise your chopped onions in the preheated pan, allowing them to turn brown before adding the spinach and broccoli. Frying the veg will decrease baking time, once your egg muffins are in the oven.

Broccoli, spinach, and braised onion for a savoury egg muffin

Step 3

Mix your 6 eggs well in a separate bowl. Add pepper, cayenne pepper, baking powder, and salt for flavour.

Step 4

Once the broccoli is 50% soft, pour the veg into your egg mixture and stir well.

Step 5

Using a measuring jug or if you have a bowl with a lip like I do, carefully pour your mixture into a baking tray. Ensure that your baking tray is non-stick, or that you’ve lined it with butter or oil before adding the egg muffin mixture. I used coconut oil.
It’s not necessary to fill each cup of the baking tray because the egg muffin will rise.

Voila! An easy breakfast that can be refrigerated for up to a week. Let Me know if you try this egg muffin recipe

Step 6

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 180°c.

The egg muffins will be ready when they’ve risen, the mixture has solidified, and the egg muffins develop a golden brown tinge to it.

Once you’ve taken them out of the oven, allow it to cool before removing from the tray.

And then, enjoy!

I’d actually made this batch to enjoy four of them for lunch since I’d already prepped some overnight oats for breakfast the night before.

Try this recipe and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment in the section below or connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Why you should stop drinking milk immediately

stop drinking milk

75% of Africans are lactose intolerant, according to an in-depth article published by USA Today.

If you love cream, milk, and cheese, and happen to consume lots of it, how much can you consume before your stomach starts running? Any given percentage is a sign that you could actually be lactose intolerant. You may want to stop drinking milk immediately.

It won’t be a sacrifice.

I recently had the most delicious dairy-free ice cream from Legendairy Creamery at Root44 Market in Stellenbosch. A vanilla and chocolate ice cream packed with crunchy peanut butter pieces and crushed Oreos. Cue the singing angels! Oreos are not milk-based biscuits. And, almond milk ice cream tastes just as great, if not better than cow’s milk ice cream.

Whoever decided that we (as humans) should be sucking on the udders of cows for nutrients in the first place, was a questionable chap. Drinking cow’s milk originated in Europe, 7500 years ago. This explains why fewer Europeans than any other nation are lactose intolerant.

Cow’s milk produces one of the best forms of calcium. It’s packed with Vitamin D which helps your body absorb the calcium and also hydrate. So with all these benefits, why should you avoid drinking milk?

You’re not a cow, you’re human.

When calves are born, their bones are brittle; they can’t walk, and they need to size-up quickly. After a few short months of continuously drinking milk, calves become full grown cows/bulls. It’s amazing. When you consume the same milk as a young child, your body experiences great benefits but as you grow older, the same amount of milk consumption can be detrimental to your health.

Watch this video by New York Times’ best-selling author, Dr Mark Hyman, to find out why you should be avoiding milk completely:

According to Dr Hyman, this is why milk is not good for you:

  1. Milk doesn’t promote sport performance
  2. There’s no evidence that dairy’s good for your bones
  3. Dairy is linked to prostate cancer
  4. It’s full of saturated fat and linked to heart disease
  5. Dairy causes digestive problems for 75% of the world’s population who are lactose intolerant
  6. Dairy aggravates irritable bowel syndrome

For me, consuming dairy meant acne activation and increased inflammation. I am currently treating my acne by taking Omega 3+6 capsules, Green Power tablets, and a dairy-free diet. View my photos on Instagram.

Would you consider cutting dairy out of your diet, or is it out of the question? I’d love to hear from you.  Drop me a comment in the space below or email me directly at robyn@bewhole.co.za

An introduction to eating well

breakfast for healthy eating

breakfast for healthy eating

a snack for healthy eating

healthy eating snack

I stayed up late last night, thinking about food. You’d never believe how many free 30-day eating plans one can find online, for just about any diet.

I’m ovo-pescatarian which means that my major food sources are eggs, vegetables, beans, nuts, grains, and fish. I don’t eat meat, poultry, or dairy products since I discovered how dairy and meat contributes to my hormonal acne. Take a look at what Dr Hyman, a New York Times bestselling author, physician and leader in functional medicine, says about what cutting milk out of your diet can do for your body, click here to watch the video.

I miss milk and especially cheese but every time I sneak in a delicious slice of cheese, my face turns into a pine cone. That’s enough motivation for me to stay way. Almond milk is my staple for oats, creamy dishes, puddings, and shakes. Woolworths’ unsweetened Almond milk finds its way into my fridge regularly but when I do manage to get to a Pick ‘n Pay or Dischem Pharmacy, I love getting the Almond Breeze brand – it’s a lot cheaper.

My eating habits are mostly suited to improving my skin because I’m determined to treat my acne naturally – regardless of how long it takes. If you don’t have any skin concerns but you want to eat well, here are three things to think about that can guide you on your path:

Eat foods that benefit your body

A friend of mine, bless her, works out five days a week and has been training for quite a while but doesn’t see body progress. Her biggest setback is that she has a busy schedule and rarely has time to cook so sometimes finds herself in line at a drive-thru after a good work out. Some people would argue that you deserve to reward yourself for working hard but like the guy at my favourite spice shop said to me one day, “I never consume what doesn’t benefit my body.” Not even eat the very sweets he sells.

Plan what you’ll be eating

Decide what your goal is, whether to lose weight, gain weight, or simply live well. Planning your meals helps to avoid eating fast foods, overeating, and getting the right nutrients. How would you know what’s good for your body? Pay attention to the foods that upset your stomach, make you feel bloated or lethargic, those are usually warnings from your body to avoid those foods.

Keep it simple

If you’ve read 4 things I wish I’d known about moving out, you’ll know that I’m not fond of grocery shopping but that I generally eat well.

A colleague often jokes that whenever he spots me, I’m always eating something. It’s true, I absolutely love food and I do eat often. I’ll have breakfast and then a snack, lunch, followed by another snack, and then supper. It seems like a lot but I don’t have over sized portions and the quality of the meals in terms of how beneficial it will be to my body, are always high. On a weekday my breakfast would usually include a whole fruit (on an empty stomach), followed by overnight oats. For lunch, I would either have a tuna or alternative seafood sandwich, a vegan wrap or salad, or vegetarian curry if I was up to cooking it the night before.

I eat much less at supper than I would eat for lunch because by supper time I’ve already had lots of water during my workout and  don’t feel exceptionally hungry. Hake or an alternative seafood, sometimes mussels or calamari with a big portion of steamed country veg like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and carrots, is what I would quickly cook for supper on any given weeknight.

Would you like to know more about my ovo-pescatarian diet or share some tips for eating well? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the space below or connect with me on Instagram to view my favourite eats.

5 minute protein bread recipe

This easy-to-make flaxseed bread recipe has changed my life. I can’t remember the last time I ate bread that I didn’t make myself. Why? The recipe only requires a few ingredients; it has a really short preparation time, it’s delicious, filling, and it’s gluten-free. What a win-win.

If you’re a conscious eater, monitoring what your intake, you’re also likely a person who enjoys knowing exactly what all the ingredients in your meals are – the less, the better. I love cooking my own meals. I’m not a Siba Mtongana but I know my way around the kitchen. I enjoy preparing the ingredients, estimating  the proportion of spices, and finally, savouring my meals. What I don’t like is the 45-minute wait for brown rice to cook, or having to eyeball a stewing pot for 30 minutes in the evening. That’s why I love this bread recipe so much. It’s not time-consuming and so good for you.

A cousin was kind enough to share the recipe with me. She is Banting and found the original recipe on Daleen’s Banting kitchen. I’ve tweaked the original recipe (which makes one bread roll) to produce a larger portion that requires fewer ingredients. The recipe below makes four slices of bread.

This delicious flaxseed bread is high in protein and gluten free!
This delicious flaxseed bread is high in protein and gluten free!
What you will need:
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. Baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Coconut oil (but you can use an oil of your preference)
  • 7 tbsps. Flaxseed powder
  • 25 ml Water
  • One soup bowl
  • One mixing bowl
  • Fork for mixing
  • microwave

Preparation time: 5 Minutes

Flaxseed powder can be found at any health store. I buy my 600 g tin of powder from Dada’s Spice at Ottery Centre for R69.

Step 1:

Pour the eggs, baking powder, flaxseed powder and water into your mixing bowl. Using a fork to avoid any lumps, mix the ingredients together.

Step 2:

Line your soup bowl with coconut oil. This will prevent the bread from sticking to the bottom of the bowl during the baking process.

Step 3:

Now that you have mixed your ingredients into a sticky dough, use your hands to mould the bread into a shape of your preference. Some may prefer to roll the dough into a ball to make a bread roll while I prefer to press the dough into a square shape so that I can cut it into slices.

Side note: The consistency of the dough depends on how much water you use. You can use 5 – 10 ml more water if prefer a softer, fluffy bread. You will also have to add 30 seconds to microwave time for each additional 5 ml of water.

Step 4:

Place the dough into your soup bowl and then into the microwave on high heat for two minutes. Depending on the heat of your microwave, lower or increase the microwave time by 30 seconds. Check to see if your dough has risen well and that the texture has changed. If you’re happy, place the bread on a bread board to cool.

Slice as desired and enjoy!

Would you like to share more easy-to-make healthy recipes with you? Leave me a comment in the section below if you’d like me to continue posting. Bonne appetite!

 

The most delicious post-workout treat ever: Sweet, Banana ice cream

Hello! Hello! Hello! Let’s make sweet Banana Ice Cream!

Bananas are the staple fruit for any health conscious eater because it’s so good for you. Just some of the health benefits of bananas include bowel regularity (sorry), they can dramatically help to improve weight loss since they have a low-calorie count while being deliciously sweet, and here’s something a lot of people don’t know – bananas are good for your eyes. The little bits of Vitamin A in bananas help to regulate clear vision.

Photo/ Pixabay
Photo/ Pixabay

Who can say no to that?

Not me.

Let’s get to it.

To make banana ice cream you will need one ingredient – seriously. Aside from the perks of a healthy body, making this delicious treat is just so much easier than making anything else remotely as sweet and beneficial.

What you’ll need:

6 large bananas
1 cutting knife
A sealable plastic container
A blender

This shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to make. You can opt to use more or less bananas according to your preference.

STEP 1:

Peel and slice the bananas into tiny chunks using your cutting knife and prepare to blend.

STEP 2:

Blend the banana chunks to a smoothie-like texture.

STEP 3:

Pour the blended banana pump into your sealable container and freeze as desired.

It’s really that simple.

Once the ice cream is frozen, scoop yourself a good helping to enjoy after a long day or post-workout.

Top Tips:

Switch things up by flavouring your ice cream with berries and nuts. I like to use crushed almonds but you can also use peanut butter – add three tablespoons of peanut butter before blending to freeze.

I’d decided to make this post-workout treat one day after my cousin was planning to throw away perfectly good, ripe bananas one day. If your bananas begin to display brown stops, don’t throw them away, use them to make your ice cream. The riper your banana ice, the sweeter your ice cream will be.

It’s totally worth the sweet, refreshing taste.

I’d love to share more healthy, post- or pre- workout treats. Do you know any recipes? Please drop me a line in the comment section below or connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.