- 4 medium zucchini, grated
- 2/3 cup self-raising flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 250g reduced-fat fresh ricotta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 small carrot, peeled, grated
- 1 tablespoon frozen corn kernels
- 1 small red capsicum, halved lengthways, sliced
- Squeeze excess liquid from zucchini. Combine zucchini, flour, egg and basil in a bowl. Add ricotta. Mix until just combined (mixture will appear quite lumpy).
- Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into pan, spreading slightly with a spatula. Repeat to make 3 rounds. Press carrot into batter to resemble hair, corn for eyes and capsicum for a smile. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until browned underneath and top just set. Turn. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until fritters are cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Cool. Repeat with remaining batter, carrot, corn and capsicum. Serve.
- To freeze: Place cooked fritters, in a single layer, in an airtight container between sheets of baking paper. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
To reheat: Microwave 1 fritter on medium (50%) for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until heated through.
Frozen fruit skewers
You’ll need 4 bamboo skewers.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 12 seedless red grapes
- 2 small oranges, peeled, quartered
- 8 strawberries, hulled
- Thread grapes, orange quarters and strawberries onto skewers.
- Wrap each skewer in plastic wrap. Place in a snap-lock or freezer bag. Freeze overnight or until fruit is frozen. Serve.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
- 1/4 rockmelon
- 3 thin slices of peeled pineapple
- 1 thin slice of watermelon
- 3 slices of unpeeled kiwifruit
- Divide alfalfa sprouts between serving plates. Cut rockmelon in half lengthways to make the boats. Scoop out seeds. Place each boat on the alfalfa. Cut pineapple in half and thread each onto a bamboo skewer. Insert the base of 3 skewers along the centre of each boat to make the sails. Cut watermelon into 6 small triangles. Stick onto the top of each skewer to make flags. Cut kiwifruit in half and stack at one end of each boat.
Baked cinnamon ricotta drizzled with honey and berries
15 – 60 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 300g fresh ricotta
- 1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 1/4 cup (60g) natural vanilla yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla-bean paste
- 150g punnet raspberries
- 120g punnet blueberries
- 1 ripe fig, cut into wedges
- 2 tbs honey
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush two 1-cup (250ml) dariole moulds with melted butter to lightly grease.
- Combine the ricotta and sugar in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Add the egg, yoghurt, cinnamon and vanilla and stir until well combined. Spoon evenly into prepared moulds and smooth the surface. Place on an oven tray.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until light golden and just set. Remove from oven. Set aside for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate to cool completely for 30 minutes.
- Place the ricotta on a serving platter. Top with berries and fig wedges and drizzle with honey.
Diet Tips for Healthy Adrenal and Thyroid Function
There are many foods that can either support the healthy function of your thyroid and adrenal glands or impair them. The table below highlights some of the key foods to avoid or minimise in your diet for adrenal and thyroid health and those you can regularly include to support them.
||Foods to Avoid
||Foods to Nourish
||Caffeine: coffee; tea; chocolate; caffeinated soft drinks.
Refined carbohydrates and sugars.
|A variety of green and colourful vegetables.
Antioxidant rich, low glycaemic index fruits: blueberries; blackberries; raspberries.
Regular meals with high quality proteins (fish, eggs, lean meats, nuts, seeds) and quality fats.
Herbal teas: liquorice; lemon balm; valerian;passionflower; chamomile; lavender.
||Goitrogens: soy; millet; peanuts; Brassica’s (cabbage, turnips, swedes, kale, horseradish, radishes, broccoli and cauliflower).*If eating small amounts of goitrogens, ensure they are cooked to break down goitrogenic compounds.
||Iodine rich foods: seaweeds (kombu, nori, wakame, arame, dulse); fish; shellfish; egg yolks; spinach; garlic; watercress.
Selenium rich foods: Brazil nuts; garlic.
Smaller meals with good quality protein, reduced carbohydrates and good quality fats.
Living a Lifestyle for Optimum Adrenal and Thyroid Health
Just as diet can either support or impair thyroid and adrenal health, your lifestyle impacts these glands too. Key lifestyle factors to modify are:
- Exercise: regular gentle-moderate intensity exercise will improve your ability to cope with stress and has anti-inflammatory benefits. Exercise stimulates thyroid gland hormone secretion and increases sensitivity to these thyroid hormones. It will also help to increase your basal metabolic rate and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Sleep: good quality and adequate quantity of sleep supports adrenal and thyroid health. Practice healthy sleep hygiene habits: turn off technology in the bedroom at least one hour prior to bed; reserve the bedroom for sleep and intimacy; avoid stimulants in the evening (exercise, caffeine, late study or work); detoxify your bedding (use organic cotton bed linens and chemical free mattresses and furnishings); ensure your bedroom is dark enough; get out into the sunlight in the mornings to help maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
- Stress management: ongoing, unresolved stress has adverse effects on adrenal and thyroid health. It is important to implement stress management strategies (avoid the stressors, alter the situation, change your response, accept that which you cannot change, seek fun and relaxation), and seek professional assistance if required (counselling, life coaching).
- Relaxation techniques: incorporate scheduled, regular relaxation or meditation practices to reduce stress. You can choose any relaxing activity that you enjoy such as: yoga, meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness, visualisation, Tai Chi, Qigong or other rhythmic exercises.
- Reduce your toxic load: remove chemical cleaners, pesticides and toxic plastics from your home and replace with BPA and phthalate free plastics and natural cleaners. Leave your shoes at the door so as to not track pollutants through your home. Invest in water and air purifiers to remove unwanted compounds from your home and washing and drinking water.
Quinoa and Cannelini salad
Mix in the following ingredients together in a bowl:
- ½ to 1 cup cooked quinoa
- A handful of mixed salad greens
- Finely sliced purple onion
- 1 chopped tomato
- Finely shredded purple cabbage
- Cucumber julienne
- Cooked organic cannellini beans
- Wedges of avocado
For Mediterranean flavour: Add olives, parsley, basil, coat’s cheese, olive oil and lemon juice.
For Asian Twist: Add peppermint and coriander leaves, watercress, sesame and olive oil, lime
Juice and Chilli flakes.
- Simply rinse one cup quinoa (red or white or a combination) in a fine mesh strainer,
then bring to a simmer in a pot with two cups of water, cover and cook on low heat for
10 to 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Presto!
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 2 medium – large eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking
- Sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Stir until well combined.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Mould mixture into medium size balls and press flat into pan.
- Lightly cook until firm on one side, turn and cook the other side.
Thai lime chicken and sesame stir fry
- 180 g chicken (or seafood or tofu)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ cup snow peas
- ½ cup sliced red capsicum
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
- 1 tablespoon organic tamari
- Sauté chicken or alternative with ginger, garlic and organic tamari until cooked but not
- Add vegetables and cook for two to three minutes.
- Sprinkle with almonds before serving
Dress with lemeon juice and sesame oil
Home made hummus
- 450 g cooked chickpeas
- 1½ tablespoons of tahini
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice (to taste)
- A pinch of sea salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin (optional)
- ¼ cup of water (to adjust consistency if required)
- A pinch of ground paprika to serve
- A pinch of cayenne pepper or finely chopped chilli (optional)
- Place cooked chickpeas and tahini into a food processor.
- Add garlic, olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, sea salt and cumin (if using). Blend
at a low speed until smooth, scraping down the sides if required to combine thoroughly.
- Gradually add extra water if a smoother consistency is required and more lemon juice
- Spoon into a dish and sprinkle with ground paprika. Cover and refrigerate for the flavours
to combine or until ready to serve.
Variation: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or finely chopped chilli if a spicier
hommus is desired.
Berry and Quinoa porridge
- ¼ cup of uncooked quinoa flakes
- ¾ cup of unsweetened almond milk
- ½ tablespoon of almonds, chopped
- ½ cup of fresh berries
- A pinch of ground cinnamon to serve
- Soak quinoa flakes with ¼ cup almond milk overnight in the fridge. This speeds up the
cooking time in the morning.
- Add soaked quinoa flakes to a small saucepan with the remaining ½ cup almond milk.
- Heat on low-medium heat until simmering, stirring regularly.
- Cook for approximately 5 to 6 minutes, or until the porridge is thickened, smooth and creamy.
- Serve topped with chopped almonds and your choice of berries.
- Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Variations: Use rice milk instead of almond milk if preferred. Add ½ sliced banana or ½
chopped apple instead of berries.
The Gastrointestinal tract’s immune system is often referred to as gut-associated lymphoid tissue (or GALT). 70% of our immune cells are produced in this tissue.
The term probiotic is derived from the Latin and Greek language with the literal meaning “for life”. Probiotics enhance digestive function and overall well-being, as well as regulating immune function through interacting with the immune cells located within the digestive system.
Scientific studies over the last decade have highlighted the differences in various probiotics and their specialised functions. Probiotics are classified according to genus, species and strain eg. Lactobacillus (genus) plantarum (species) 299V (strain). It is these particular strains which individualise their function in our bodies.
Lactobacillus plantarum 299V: studies have extensively validated its use for Irritable Bowel symptoms. It helps reduce bloating, flatulence, and relieves inflammation of the digestive tract.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG): over 350 clinical trials have demonstrated it’s survival through the acidic digestive tract. It can modulate the immune system, helping decrease the development and help alleviate the symptoms of eczema and allergies.
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM: the most extensively studied and proven probiotic strain. It is a great everyday probiotic to maintain bacterial balance. It is especially useful for restoring beneficial bacteria after a course of antibiotics.