On Wednesday evening we had our third GAPS and Canging habits community meeting, starring David Howell, naturopath, and Freyja, budding chef. First up was Freyja cooking her GAPS friendly hot chocolate (find Freyja's story under the blog post 'Guest Blogger Cathy Benson') and I think all agreed that it was super delicious and very easy to make. Not only that but it further proved that food can both be delicious, and healthy, and with enough creativity you don't need to feel like you're missing out by doing right by your body. This is a fabulous recipe for kids, and sparked a conversation about how to get children (and husbands!) to jump on the healthy, natural food bandwagon. Cathy (Freyja's Mum) suggested that everyone in the family eat healthy, and that all foods that are brought into the house are in align with their food philosophy (whether that be GAPS, Changing Habits or JERF foods). The home should be a space where no one feels like they are being deprived. I suggested that we involve children in choosing the recipes and meals for the family as well as role modelling and making shopping fun. It is also really important to find a balance that works for you so as to avoid being a 'nagging' mother or creating issues around food that could create potential distorted eating patterns. There may be times where in the bigger scheme of things it is better to be a bit flexible with food. Food is food and provides us with nutrients for our body to perform at an optimal level. Feeding your body good real food does just that!
GAPS Hot Chocolate By Freyja Bensonm
(Makes one serve)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cacao
Thermomix method Using butterfly, cook 70 degrees 4 minutes speed 4. Stovetop method: Use a double boiler and cook like custard.
If you wish to create mousse add in some gelatin!
David then went on to discuss Natural fertility, the dangers of medical contraception, and options for natural contraception. David provided a whole wealth of knowledge, and a unique perspective due to his own experiences with sub-fertility.The dangers of medical contraception were quite concerning, and included: depression, weight gain, increased risk of blood clots, strokes & heart attacks, increased risk of hormone dependent cancers (breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian), and the list went on. To evaluate the risks of your medication David gave us a great tip: type 'cmi' in after your medication type (in google) to find the side effects. From there he explained how to go about natural fertility, which included identifying problems with a women's menstrual cycle, and a man's semen analysis; treating underlying nutritional deficiencies via diet and supplements; educating couples about how and when to attempt contraception. David stressed the importance of knowing your body and being educated about health. Learning your cycle is one of the most important factors when dealing with natural fertility (and contraception!). There are many great free apps that allow you to track your menstrual cycle each month. My favourite is P tracker, but there are plenty of others out there!
By 2020 the number of infertile couples in Australia is expected to rise to 1 in 3. This is most likely due to rising levels of free radicals in our environments such as pesticides, cigarettes, and other chemicals, as well as the lack of antioxidants in our diets due to poor nutrition. David's food philosophy gave us the answer to this: No colours/flavours, or 'Natural Identical Flavours' (which are not natural AT ALL); eat as much organic foods as possible; peel all fruit if it is not organic; organic meat (David particularly likes Paynes Meats in Toowoomba!).
To get in touch with David, book a session, or for more information about him and what he does, go here.
Our next GAPS and Changing Habits Community Health Meeting will be on the 3rd of Feb, where we'll be looking at the next stage in the GAPS protocol, and local Permaculture expert Michael Wardle will be guest speaking about the basics of permaculture and how to get started. Click here to book your seat.