Is resistant starch the cure for chronic constipation?

Posted on March 3rd, 2015

Gut health makes the world go around. This is where the wellness movement is at right now. And crucial to good gut health is sturdy, regular poo action. For many, especially those of us with an autoimmune disease, regular poo action is but a pipe dream (which sounds like an ablution entendre; so many things do!).

sack of potatoes

Does ablution have to be so arduous? Image via Flickr

I’ve written about constipation quite a bit (you can catch up here). And I am on a committed journey to finding a safe, natural, gentle solution to my own periodic struggles with stuckness. The latest theme to emerge is resistant starch.

What is this resistant starch when it’s not sounding so recalcitrant?

It’s a type of food starch – contained in legumes, green bananas and cooked (and cooled) potatoes – that remains whole through the stomach and small intestine, and, unlike most foods, reaches the large intestine intact. Ergo, it resists digestion. For many years it was believed that starch was completely digested and absorbed in the small intestine. But a study published in the 1980s showed that certain starches reach the large intestine as malabsorbed, fermentable material.

What does this mean? Well, when it reaches the colon, good bacteria attaches to it and the digestion/fermentation process begins.

And why is this so good? Foods that are digested in the colon promote the growth of good gut bacteria, and increase the colon pH to become more acidic, which improves your overall gut health and decreases the risk of leaky gut. Read more

Which fermenting starter is best: salt v whey

Posted on February 12th, 2015

I’ve been making my own ferments for a while now. It started a few years back with pickled daikon and sauerkraut and has developed into a passionate hobby. I’ve recently added fermented turmeric tonic,  kombucha, ginger-ade soda, cream cheese, beet and turmeric kvass. My next book is going to take things to even mouldier levels!

turmeric fermentation

Three generations of turmeric experimenting… A bug, fermented tonic and then the leftovers puréed to become a cooking paste. And a hoola dancer!

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. Fermenting your vegetables is THE BEST thing you can do for restoring and maintaining the health of your gut. And the stuff is a boon for autoimmune folk like me. I’ve shared before how the process all works, the magic ingredient being a starter culture.

When I first started out, I used whey – a protein derived from dairy products (I make my own) – as a starter culture to get the fermenting process moving along.  Whey acts as an inoculant, reducing the time needed for sufficient lactic acid to be produced to ensure preservation of the food.

Using salt, or brine, is the more traditional method of lacto-fermentation. Before the invention of refrigeration, salt was used to preserve foods. Most bacteria need a warm, wet environment to thrive. Salt draws out the moisture in food, denying such a watery Read more

The second IQS chocolate cookbook is here!

Posted on February 3rd, 2015

Life happens. Chocolate helps. And one sugar-free Chocolate Cookbook wasn’t enough for me and the I Quit Sugar Team…so we made another. And as of this minute, you can get hold of it!

Zucchini Mud Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Popcorn

Zucchini Mud Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Popcorn

Yes, yes, yes, this is a gratuitous post to get you to buy the book. And truth be known I’ve chosen the photo above because I think it’s the one most likely to get you to comply! (It’s the goo-ey bits!). Which feels a little grubby, given I’ve not posted for a while. 

But, a) I think it’s always better to get to The Point,
and b) I’m back on deck posting again as of this week,
and most importantly, c) it’s chocolate.

For the sake of fairness and efficiency, a very quick rundown of what you might want to know about the book:

* The book features 80 sugar-free chocolate recipes. Read more