Detox footbaths

Every couple of days I have a foot bath to help relax the muscles in my feet and detoxify my body.

I fill a small tub up with just enough warm-hot water to cover my feet and then add a handful of one of the following ingredients:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Bicarb soda
  • Dead sea salt
  • Epsom salt
  • Seaweed

Sometimes I’ll add couple of drops essential oils.

I’ll sit and try to meditate for about 20 to 30 minutes so it’s my relaxation time. The hot water and salts combination works to leach toxins from your system.

Hands down, or should I say feet down, my favourite is the Epsom salts baths. It’s an easy way to give your body a boost in magnesium.

The Epsom Salt Council lists the following health benefits from the proper magnesium and sulfate levels:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

I will warn you – the seaweed one leaves your feet with a green tinge!

Books and ebooks for GAPS and SCD

Here are a list of great resources for anyone on following GAPS or SCD.

Books

Cookbooks

Cookbooks – Others

Ebooks and online courses

How to take probiotics, if you think you can’t

probiotics

I used to think I couldn’t take probiotics.  Now I know that I was just having a big die-off and that was an indicator that I really did need to take them, BUT just in a different form.

Repopulating your bacterial flora to contain predominately good bacteria (via probiotic supplementation) will result in a drastic reduction – if not elimination – of many harmful pathogens like yeast, fungus, mold, parasites, viruses and bad bacteria from your gut environment. The good bacteria will also form a protective coating of your mucosal cell lining and produce B vitamins and digestive enzymes. As a result, proper digestion and absorption of nutrients will gradually be restored.
Jini Patel Thompson

There are some guidelines you need to know about taking probiotics:

  1. You need to take the right strain for the job.
  2. You need to take a high enough dose to maximise your results.
  3. You may need various different strains to finish the job.
  4. Start off very slowly and gradually build up your tolerance to minimize the die-off.
  5. Take your probiotics away from meals.

Strategy one – multi-strain probiotics

In the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet , Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride provides the following guidelines:

  1. A good probiotic should have as many different species of beneficial bacteria as possible. A human gut contains hundreds of known species of different bacteria. We should try to get as close to that as we can. Different species of probiotic bacteria have different strengths and weaknesses. If we have a mixture of them then we have a better chance of deriving maximum benefit.
  2. A mixture of strains from different groups of probiotic bacteria is more beneficial than just one group. For example, many probiotics on the market contain just Lacobaccilli. A combination of representatives from the three main groups: Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and soil bacteria usually works best.
  3. A good probiotic should have a concentrated amount of bacteria: at least 8 billion of bacterial cells per gram. You need to provide probiotic bacteria in large enough doses to see an improvement.
  4. The manufacturer of the probiotic should test every batch for strength and bacterial composition and should be prepared to publish the results of the testing.

To manage the die-off, Natasha recommends starting off very slowly and gradually increasing the dose.

Natasha recommends the GAPS-safe probiotic:

Strategy two – swap single strain probiotics then go multi-strain

Jini Patel Thompson, describes in her book “Listen to your gut” how she overcame her Crohn’s disease by starting with Natren’s Bifido Factor powder (Bifidobacterium bifidum Malyoth strain). She stayed on the B. bifidum bacteria for another three months before trying the L. acidophilus again and able to tolerate it. About a month after that, she added L. bulgaricus and tolerated it successfully.

You may want to consider beginning probiotic supplementation with B. infantis, especially if you try B. bifidum and can’t tolerate it. and just to confuse you even more, I have talked with readers who couldn’t tolerate B. bifidum at first, but could tolerate L. acidophilus.
Jini Patel Thompson

Her approach is to start with a single strain of probiotic and build up from there.  She says you need to establish a healthy bacterial flora (consisting of all three major species).  She recommends the Natren range, starting with:

  1. B. bifidum* –           Bifido Factor, then
  2. L. acidophilus –     Megadophilus, then
  3. L. bulgaricus –       Digest-Lac (this strain can sometimes be found in yoghurt), and then
  4. all three                    Holy Trinity.

If you try all the adult strains and can’t tolerate them, then try the infant strain: B. infantis (LifeStart by Natren). Maybe you have to start with what you never had as a baby, and gradually move on from there.
Jini Patel Thompson

In Australia, the distributor is Integria. They can be ordered in through your local health food store or Healthy Life. However only the following products are available:

  • Natren Bulgaricum
  • Natren Lifestart
  • Natren Natradophilus
  • Natren Trenev Trio

Alternatively you can order Natren products from Wise Choices or Organics Australia Online.

Here are some other single stain probiotics you could start with:

  • Ethical Nutrients – “Eczema Relief” contains L. rhamnosus (LGG) only. “Eczema Shield” is the powdered version.
  • Ethical Nutrients – “IBS Support” contains L. plantarum (which is good for IBDs).
  • Metagenics product – “Ultra Flora LGG” contains L. rhamnosus (LGG) – needs to be practitioner prescribed

Still no luck?

If you are having trouble with a particular product:

  • The dose may be too strong at the moment.
  • It may contain too many different probiotics which you aren’t ready for.
  • It may have dairy in it.
  • It may contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and/or inulin, which are prebiotics. These will feed your bad bacteria, as well as good bacteria.
  • Check all of your beauty and cleaning products, including your toothpaste. Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) destroys good bacteria.
  • Avoid fake sugars, particularly aspartame as these destroys your good bacteria.

Diet

You will also need to follow a diet which supports your healing, such as:

Alternatives

If you are still having problems taking probiotics, you may like to explore these alternatives:

  1. Arrange to have your food allergies and intolerances tested, including for celiac desease.
  2. See a practitioner to arrange for a poo sample to be sent to a lab like Metametrix.
  3. If you think you may have a parasite, take a parasite formula such as Triplex. Look for one based on Dr Hulda Clark’s original parasite remedy, which will contain black walnut, wormwood and clove.
  4. Try a probiotic retention enema. Jini Patel Thompson has instructions on how to do this.
  5. Alternatively try a colonic.
  6. Try Fecal Microbiota Transplantation [FMT] (a.k.a, Bacteriotherapy, or Fecal Transplant Therapy)

References

Please let me know how you were able to take probiotics to heal your health?

Stewed rhubarb

stewed-rhubarb

I’ve worked out that I’ve been cooking my rhubarb for way too long! I do like it mushy though. Isn’t this a vibrant red?

1 bunch of rhubarb
1/4 cup of water
4 Tbsp honey or sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced

  1. Cut the ends and leaves off of the rhubarb. Then cut the stalks into pieces about 3 cm long.
  2. Place the water, sugar (or honey) and lemon juice on to boil in a pot.
  3. When boiling, add the rhubarb.
  4. Cook gently with the lid on until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool.

Serves 6.

Note: SCD and GAPS safe if you use the honey.

Kefir starters

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasian Mountains near Turkey, where it was used for centuries as a healthy drink. Kefir is a probiotic – a source of beneficial bacteria and yeasts which help maintain a healthy digestive system. These include Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, and Saccharomyces kefir.

It is best to introduce homemade kefir after homemade yogurt, when healing of the gut wall has taken place.

Kefir starters are available from your local health food store, although it is best to ring and check they have some in stock first. They are sold as ‘grains’, even though they are not a grain. Alternatively, in Australia you can order direct:

If you are overseas look for:

If you don’t want to make your own kefir, you may like to try Babushkas Kefir which comes in plain, strawberry and honey.

Yogurt starters and yogurt makers

You can make home-made yogurt with goat, sheep or cows milk and select your own live cultures for fermentation. It is also possible to make yogurt from coconuts, soy and nut milks. Yogurt needs to incubate for 24 hours or more so that the fermenting bacteria consumes all of the lactose and is therefore easier to digest.

There are two ways to start off making yoghurt at home. The first way is to use a store bought yogurt and the second is a yogurt starter.

Yogurt

This yogurt is suitable for your first batch:

  • Farmers Union Greek style natural yogurt (contains bifidus)

Yogurt starters

Yoghurt starter contains cultures of bacteria that are used to inoculate the milk and begin the fermentation. The bacteria to look for in a yoghurt starters are:

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (optional)

Here are some of the safe yogurt starters available in Australia:

Here are some of the safe yogurt starters available overseas:

Yogurt makers

Your yoghurt maker needs to be designed to maintain the ideal temperature for making SCD and GAPS yoghurt. It also needs to be able to ferment for 24 hours. There are two suitable yogurt maker available in Australia:

Some people use their dehydrator to make yogurt.

If you are overseas look out for the Yogourmet electric yogurt maker (available from Amazon with starters, or Lucy’s Kitchen Shop).

Note: If you are following the SCD, then it is sometimes recommended to avoid the Bifidus strain as it may cause a strong die-off reaction.

Basic healing stock

healing-stock

Here’s my basic healing stock recipe (aka bone broth). I’ve keep the list of ingredients simple so that if you are on an elimination diet you can add or subtract as needed. It’s best to prepare this recipe when you are going to be home all day. The longer you simmer the bones the more nutritious your end result will be.

Meat stock aids digestion and has been know for centuries as a healing folk remedy for the digestive tract. Also homemade meat stock is extremely nourishing; it is full of minerals, vitamins, amino-acids and various other nutrients in a very bio-available form.
– Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride

It is also best to use organic bones as they will have more nutrients. The best bones to use are soup, shank, ribs, marrow, oxtail or knuckle bones. If you are using organic carrots you can leave them unpeeled as most of the nutrients are in the skin, otherwise peel them.

If you are going to be making a few batches of stock in the coming weeks and want to save time later, you can cut up all of the vegetables (carrots, celery and parsley) and put them in zip lock bags to freeze for when you have some more bones ready.

Basic healing stock recipe

chicken carcass; or bones (with marrow preferred)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 celery stalks, including the leaves
2 carrots
parsley
Celtic sea salt

  1. Add the bones to the pot and cover with water. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help get maximum nutrients out of the bones.
  2. Cut up the celery stalks, carrot and parsley finely and then add them to the pot. Add a teaspoon a sea salt.
  3. Simmer with lid on for at least 4 hours, but preferably 8 hours or more.
  4. Skim off any scum from the top using a spoon. Top up with water as required.
  5. When finished, allow the stock to cool and then pour stock through a strainer and transfer to storage. You can also use cheese cloth or chux wipes to strain the stock. Pick off any meat to eat later. Discard the bones.
  6. If you want to remove the fat when you are finished cool the stock down and then place in the refrigerator overnight. The fat will rise to the top and you will be able to remove the solidified layer with a spoon. When often strain the mixture a second time in the morning. If your stock has jellied it is rich in gelatin.

The stock will keep for at least a week in the fridge or can be frozen in zip-lock bags.

Other optional ingredients to add:

2 tbsps thyme
pepper
4 cloves of garlic (if not fructose intolerant)
1-2 onions or leeks (if not fructose intolerant)
cabbage (if not raffinose intolerant)