The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Based on the GAPS Diet

The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Based on the GAPS Diet

This is my all-time favorite cookbook thus far. I purchased it because with all of the strange, persistent bloating, the constipation, and stomach upset that I’ve had for the past year or so, I knew I needed something that would be soothing and anti-inflammatory for my stomach.

This book is based on the GAPS diet. I had heard about the GAPS diet before in doing research in how to treat a variety of stomach conditions. The full GAPS diet is very strict and can be difficult to follow. All ingredients have to be pure and wholesome. I haven’t fully submitted myself to it yet, but based on what I know now about gastrointestinal issues, I believe in its efficacy.

I’ve learned that most G.I.-related problems are hard work to treat, plain and simple. That is, if you really want to get to the bottom of it. They often require a permanent change in your diet which might mean giving up things you’re attached to. It can take a long time to adjust.

I’ve enjoyed the journey, though, because I’m interested in doing what’s best for my body, and I know I don’t have to compromise on foods I love, because there are plenty of amazing, healthy dishes you can make. I had already cut down coffee to one cup a day and added coconut oil to it, I had eliminated any fatty foods altogether and made sure most of what I ate was easy to digest. But, I needed more good recipe ideas. I really felt that soups that were dense with nutrients would help my stomach, and this cookbook is full of those.

Having Digestive Issues Too? Check out this article I wrote a while back →

Regardless, this cookbook is awesome whether you have G.I. issues or not. The recipes are healthy, straightforward, unique, and most are relatively easy to make. You’ll just want to put effort toward making sure you get wholesome ingredients. When you do, you really feel how healthy what you’re eating is!

Ginger Turmeric Tea… Yum!!

I make the Ginger Turmeric tea out of this cookbook at least weekly now. It’s simple. Just purchase fresh ginger root and turmeric, peel them and slice them up. Boil some water, throw some slices in of both (about half as much turmeric than ginger), 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (I use unrefined, virgin organic coconut oil for consumption), and honey if desired. That’s it! Just don’t go crazy on the turmeric and ginger, because you don’t need much!

Note: The above link is an affiliate link; if you purchase this book through Amazon, I get a small commission that helps to support this blog. However the book is solely recommended based on my own experience with the book.

Rice – a Low or High Glycemic Food?

Rice – a Low or High Glycemic Food?

Glycemic Index is a  measure of how quickly one’s blood sugar rises after eating a particular type of food. Many people on specific diets or individuals with diabetes need to pay attention to the glycemic index of foods in order that they keep their blood sugar levels under control.

Rice is typically considered a high-glycemic food, but studies have actually shown that whether it is high or low glycemic entirely depends on the type of rice.

Rice Gives a Wide Range of Results in Glycemic Index 

According to the study, “rice has given a wide range of results in glycemic index (GI) studies around the world. The GI of white rice has ranged from as low as 54 to as high as 121 when bread (GI = 100) is used as the reference food (1-3). This makes it difficult to classify rice as a high- or low-GI food. Advice to individuals with diabetes may be incorrect if the product has not been specifically tested first.”

Amylose Content Plays Part in Glycemic Index of Rice

The different types of rice used in one studied were both brown and white rice varieties of three commercial types. Two of them had a normal amylose content (20%) and the other had a higher amylose content of 28%. There was also a waxy rice with 0-2% amylose content, a converted rice, a quick-cooking brown rice, puffed rice cakes, rice pasta, and rice bran.

The studies found that the rice that had a higher percentage of amylose had a lower glycemic index, and the relationship between these two are believed to possibly be exponential rather than linear. Most other rice products tested gave a high glycemic index.

As also stated in the study, “most rices contain 20% amylose but varieties that contain a higher proportion of amylose (eg, 28%) have been shown to have a slower rate of digestion and produce lower glycemic and insulin responses.”

Pelde Variety Rice Has Lower Glycemic Index

The GIs of the varieties brown rices that were tested were actually similar to their white counterparts except for the Pelde variety. Pelde brown rice gave a significantly lower glycemic index than did the Pelde white rice.

Brown rice pasta and rice cakes gave a high glycemic index, while the rice bran gave an extremely low glycemic index.

Oddly enough, the study also found that “the relationship between GI and the Insulin Index (II): the II was usually lower on the relative scale than was the GI of the foods. For example, the GI of Calrose brown rice is 83 but its II was only 5 1. We have no explanation for this result unless bread, the reference food, is unique in its capacity to stimulate insulin.”

High Glycemic Response Does Not Mean High Insulin Response

The bottom line for this is that one can’t assume that a food with a high glycemic response will have a high insulin response. It is possible “that many rice varieties, despite having a high GI, can be included in diets that improve carbohydrate and insulin metabolism in individuals.”

In the words of the article, “these results emphasize the need for individual countries to carry out their own GI testing, particularly of raw agricultural products, which are more likely to vary from one geographical location to another than do processed products, such as breakfast cereals. The findings also raise questions about the value of the GI alone without knowledge ofthe insulin response. In Australia, long-term studies are needed of the clinical utility of low-GI diets that specifically incorporate rice.”


Rice: a high or low glycemic index food? by Janette Brand Miller, Edna Pang, and Lindsay Branall
Downloaded from, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

About Low Carb Diets and How They Work

About Low Carb Diets and How They Work

ISS_1258_00142Low-carb diets greatly reduce your blood levels of insulin, a hormone that brings the glucose from the carbs into cells.

What does insulin do?

One of the functions of insulin is to store fat.
This is why many believe that low-carb diets work so well,  is that they reduce your levels of this hormone.

-Insulin hoards sodium, so high-carb diets can cause excess water retention.

Cutting carbs reduces insulin and your kidneys will start shedding any excess water, so it is common for people to lose 5-10 pounds of water weight in the first few days of a low-carb diet.

Weight loss will slow down after the first week, but this time the fat will be coming from your fat stores.

One study compared low-carb and low-fat diets and used DEXA scanners (very accurate) to measure body composition. The low-carb dieters lost significant amounts of body fat and gained muscle at the same time.

Studies also show that low-carb diets are particularly effective at reducing your belly fat, which is the most dangerous fat of all and highly associated with many diseases.

The “Low-Carb Flu”

If you’re new to low-carb eating, you will probably need to go through an adaptation phase where your body is getting used to burning fat instead of carbs.

This is called the “low-carb flu” and is usually over within a few days. After this initial phase is over, many people report having more energy than before, with no “afternoon dips” in energy that are common on high-carb diets.

Adding more fat and sodium to your diet can help with this.

Tip from Balancing Your Health: Daily carb intake can sneak up on you quickly! Track down your carb intake for a while so you can get used to what you can eat on a daily basis that won’t knock it up too high. Also, if you’re really trying to cut, count unrefined sources of carbs (for example carbs in a banana) the same way you would refined carbs; don’t give yourself an extra allowance of carbs just because they are from natural sources.


The Value of Raw Food – Cooking and Loss of Enzymes

The Value of Raw Food – Cooking and Loss of Enzymes

02J72348As many of us may already know, cooking depletes the nutritional content of our food by damaging nutrients and vitality of the food and at the same time making it more difficult to assimilate the remaining nutrients.

“At 113°F to 118°F the enzymes begin to break down and lose their catalytic power. At around 135°F we destroy the vitamins and phytonutrients (antioxidants). Minerals are not affected by heat, but if we boil our food, minerals will be lost in the water.

Another perspective on heating our food: Human skin burns and our skin cells die at about 130°F.

At around 160°F the sugars in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as potatoes and grain products, begin to caramelize, making them less effective as an energy source.

Cooked vegetables have lost much of their fiber content, which makes them less effective at sweeping out the digestive system.”

About the Paleo Diet

About the Paleo Diet


The diet is based on the foods that could be hunted, fished, and gathered during the Paleolithic era — meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruits, and berries.

But a true paleolithic diet is impossible to mimic because wild game is not readily available, most modern plant food is cultivated rather than wild, and meats are domesticated.

At best, you can eat a modified version of the original diet that’s gluten-free and includes lean meat, organ meats, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. It’s a wide variety of foods.

You won’t find any dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, potatoes, processed oils, and any foods that were grown after agriculture started.

On this diet, you’d skip salt and any drinks other than water, coconut water, or organic green tea.

You can satisfy your sweet tooth with raw honey or coconut palm sugar, but only in limited quantities.

Some versions of the plan encourage fasting, eating raw foods, and eliminating nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant).

Some plans allow a little flexibility, like adding some processed oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive and flaxseed oil.

The Caveman Diet: Food for Thought

A diet that includes whole, unprocessed foods is the basis of most all healthy diet recommendations. But so are whole grains, low-fat dairy, and legumes.

Including these food groups will help meet nutritional needs and contribute to a well-balanced diet plan. You can satisfy dietary requirements without these foods, but that requires careful planning and supplementation.

If the Paleo or Caveman diet appeals to you, be sure to supplement the plan with calcium and vitamin D.


The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet

There’s lots to be said about the Mediterranean diet, but researchers are finding out that it’s more powerful than they had anticipated as far as being beneficial for your health.

One of the things I’ve recently read in a Time Magazine issue is that researchers at the U of Alabama and the U of Athens in Greece tracked more than 17,000 African-American and Caucasian men and women for four years and found that those who closely followed a Mediterranean diet were 13% less likely to develop memory and thinking problems than other participants.

An earlier study found that people who stuck to such a diet were less likely than others to show evidence on an MRI of having had a small stroke.

Researchers agree that no single food is responsible for the health-giving powers of the Mediterranean diet. Instead, the combo of nutrients you get from regularly eating this way is what makes it so special—along with the nutrients you avoid.

One notable study showed that compared with those eating a low-fat diet, people on a high-oil version of the Mediterranean diet had a 30% lower risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke or dying of heart disease.

Information Source: The Diet That Might Save Your Life, by Alexandra Sifferlin, Time Magazine 2013.

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