Preventing autoimmunity and recipes to balance your hormones

Hey, beautiful!

The daffodils are out in force, whoop! I love the spring, it is a wonderful time of hope for new beginnings and lighter mornings. I often talk about a gratitude practice, and focusing on the good things in your life is a game changer for our psychology and mindset. Therefore, spring makes this a whole lot easier.

It has been a while since I have posted recipes on my blog, and so I am going to share a few from this last week. As well as giving you a peek into what I have been up to and a few ingredient swap tips I shared with a client recently.

What I have been up to…

If you read my blog regularly you will know I am a mum of two beautiful children and a full-time teacher of food and nutrition here in the UK. However, my passion for improving nutrition and a drive to change our ‘society norms’ and help others feel amazing always means more busy for me.

This week I met a new nutrition therapy client. A beautiful lady in her 60’s and it made me feel so sad to hear that she had been on medication for hypothyroidism for so many years, and more recently with the most horrendous symptoms. In the 10 years she has had signs of an autoimmune condition, not once has she been aware she could improve her life by changing her eating patterns and overall lifestyle. Sadly, this is the norm, this where the earlier the better for reaching feeling good comes in.

How many people feel tired and grotty, and as friends or colleagues may be feeling the same, they think it is a normal part of ageing, or because they are just busy, or any other excuse. Listening to your body is so important. How is the food you are eating making you feel, I mean really making you feel? Autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis or Hashimoto’s are a signal to tell you your immune system is attacking your joints or your thyroid. Yes, your body is literally attacking itself; it takes ‘you are your own worst enemy’ to new heights doesn’t it? Instead of looking at why this is happening, our cultural understanding is to sticky plaster it with medication, resulting in worsened symptoms over time and possibly another autoimmune condition to top it off such as diabetes. I would never advocate not visiting your doctor with these issues as in many cases medication is essential, but my point here is to make the lifestyle changes much earlier in the hope that you will never need the medication.

Recipe swap tips:

Usually, the most challenging thing for clients is what ingredients they will replace their usual favourites with for dairy and gluten and so here is a few for you try:

  • In place of cream or yoghurt in a curry or with fruit – tinned coconut, coconut yoghurt or Alpro soya yoghurt (thyroid issues must avoid soy within a few hours of taking hormone)
  • In place of sugar – add sweetness to desserts or cakes with mashed banana, cinnamon or stewed apple (the banana and apple can also replace fats within a dessert)
  • In place of egg – 1 tbsp chia or ground linseeds seeds soaked in 4 tbsp of water
  • Gluten free starchy alternatives – brown rice noodles/pasta, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat pasta, amaranth, sweet potatoes
  • In place of cheese – nutritional yeast does not have an appealing name, but my 15-year-old daughter sprinkles it on absolutely everything. It adds a cheese flavour and you can use it to make a cheese sauce or simply sprinkle onto soups, casseroles or stews. You can also blend soaked cashews and add nutritional yeast to make your own cheese spread

Butterbean and spinach curry

I made this for dinner this week and enjoyed leftovers for lunch the following day. The sauce was delicious a definite new family favourite.

Ingredients
serves 4 to 5

  • 1 red onion diced
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 thumb size of fresh ginger chopped
  •  a quarter of chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric root or powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • add your choice of chopped veggies e.g. carrots
  • 100g butter beans
  • a few handfuls of spinach
  • 300ml vegetable stock – homemade or a yeast free organic vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tinned coconut milk
  • half a lemon – juiced
  • pinch of Himalayan or sea salt

Method

1.fry off the onion and garlic in a tiny amount of water until slightly softened and then add all of the spices – stir
2. then add all of the vegetables and stock, boil for 10 minutes and then add everything else from the list of ingredients – cook for a further 5 minutes and serve with brown rice or quinoa, enjoy x


Roasted carrot soup

Ingredients

serves 3 to 4

  • 3 or 4 medium carrots peel and chop
    place onto a baking tray sprinkle with a little olive oil and roast for 15 to 20 minutes
  • half a red onion diced
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes chopped
  • thumb sized piece of ginger and turmeric root chopped
  • black pepper and Himalayan or sea salt to season
  • 400ml water (more if the soup is too thick)

Method

Once the carrots have been roasted fry off garlic, onion, tomatoes, turmeric and garlic in a pan with a tiny bit of water until sizzling, season and then add the carrots and approximately 400ml of water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes until the carrots are soft enough to blend. Just add more water if you think the soup will be too thick (although I love thick soup).

Blitz the soup in a blender, serve and sprinkle with nutritional yeast for added B vitamins! Fabulously tasty, warming and uplifting soup.


Homemade tasty chilli sauce

My daughter wanted to make a salsa that was more of a sauce this week to add to the fajita wraps she was making for a friend. I advised her to use the same ingredients we use for our salsa, but to cook them in a pan and then blend them with tomato puree. The result was a resounding success and will be an addition in the household as a chilli sauce accompaniment. You could even add chipotle for a smoky BBQ version, and cornflour or xantham gum to thicken into a pizza sauce. Here is the easy, quick recipe:
Ingredients

  • a small punnet of cherry tomatoes – halved
  • half a red onion – diced
  • half or quarter a small red chilli (depends on how much heat you like)
  • generous pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1 to 2 tbsp tomato puree

Method

  • cook the tomatoes, onions and chilli in a pan until softened and well cooked through, season and add the puree before blitzing into a sauce consistency

Maca nice-cream pudding

This is one for the adults, a dessert that is nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory but also hormone balancing. Maca powder is something I use on a regular basis, albeit sparingly. It is a Peruvian root vegetable, known to uplift and energise. It is suggested to have libido enhancing properties for men, but more importantly, it supports an increase in testosterone for women which is what we need to reduce fatigue and provide us with more energy. This recipe is an adaptation of my ‘avonana’ pudding which continues to be a staple dessert for ultimate self-care and my heavenly go to treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana (peel bananas and place in a container in the fridge – a perfect way to use up bananas before they go off)
  • a quarter of a medium avocado
  • 4 or 5 walnuts (an approximate handful is fine)
  • a dash of almond milk (or another non-dairy alternative)
  • 1 tbsp maca powder

optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbsp cacao or organic cocoa powder

Method

Blend all the ingredients together into a thick beautiful pudding, serve and enjoy in a quiet place x


Pop me a question:

I hope you have been inspired to try something new. If I can cook these up believe me anyone can. I am not a trained chef or cook and did not begin to cook from scratch until well into my twenties. Please contact me if I can help with anything alternatively pop me a question on the new fantastic app POPDQ, just download it from the app store and ask away, there are many other specialists on there that can help you with any lifestyle or financial questions.

Also, if you need help with developing your own mental toughness or protecting your energy from negativity please have a listen to our latest podcast on iTunes or www.shineyourlightpodcast.co.uk

Have a wonderful week!

lots of love and light,

Kelly

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