Simplest Crumble Ever

healthy_apple_crumble

This crumble recipe really couldn’t be any easier, and it can be used for all kinds of fruit crumbles.

It’s gluten-free and has a dairy-free option too.

And it contains only 3 ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil OR butter
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar, or coconut sugar

You can also add oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes or crushed nuts to the mixture.  I like to add chia seeds in the layer between the stewed fruit and crumble, so they expand with some of the moisture from the fruit, and they add in lots of essential fats, protein and key nutrients.

Method

  1. Put all 3 ingredients into a large bowl, and use your fingertips to rub the coconut oil or butter into the flour/sugar mix.  You want to aim for a crumbly kind of texture, with some ‘clumps’ I guess. The oil/butter is what will allow the mixture to cook and brown up, and go all crunchy and delicious.
  2. Add other ingredients (see above) if you’d like, once butter/oil is rubbed through the flour and sugar.
  3. Spread the crumble mix on top of any kind of stewed fruit/s, pop it in the oven for 30mins at 180C, and eat it hot or put it in the fridge for later.  I really like eating it cold with a bit of yoghurt on top – so yum!

*Tip: include the protein options, like nuts & seeds, if you’re prone to sugar cravings or have blood sugar sensitivities.  The protein will help keep your blood sugar levels more stable.

 

Enjoy!

danni-illingworth

 

P.S.  If you’re prone to sweet cravings, download my free ‘Overcome Cravings Guide’ right here.

 

 

 

Understanding Your Thyroid Blood Test Results

Thyroid testing is something I recommend to a lot of my weight loss clients, and that’s because if your thyroid isn’t working properly, weight loss can be really difficult!  Your thyroid regulates your metabolism, so it’s important to have a healthy thyroid in order to lose weight.

When you get your thyroid levels checked through your GP, there are a number of tests that might be ordered depending on your doctor.  I always tell my clients this: there is a BIG difference between “normal” blood test results and “optimal” blood test results, and this is especially true when it comes to your thyroid.

Normal results mean you don’t have a disease (or at least, not based on what was tested).  Optimal means your thyroid is working at it’s most ideal, which is what we want to see. If your thyroid levels are “normal” but you still can’t lose weight, and you have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism *link: 5 symptoms of an underactive thyroid then your results might not be optimal.  And optimal thyroid health is what we want, especially for weight loss!

First things first, what should you get tested to find out what is going on with your thyroid?

As much as you can.

A lot of doctors in Australia (I don’t know about other countries) will only test TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to assess thyroid function.  And unfortunately, TSH has proven to be quite an inaccurate indicator of thyroid health. So if you want to get your thyroid checked, make sure you at least get these three hormones tested:

  • TSH
  • T3
  • T4

T3 and T4 are two important thyroid hormones, and assessing the levels of each of them, alongside TSH, will give you a much better indication as to what your thyroid is actually doing.  Assessing ratios between T3 and T4 can also highlight possible nutritional deficiencies (like iodine and selenium) that might be impacting your thyroid health.  Which are super important to know!

If possible, get your reverse T3 tested as well (rT3).  This hormone will tell you whether or not you have an issue in converting T4 to T3.

So what levels are normal, and what levels are ideal?

Based on independent research, the table below highlights the differences between normal and optimal ranges when it comes to thyroid levels.  This is based on Australian levels and may vary for other countries.

Thyroid hormone Normal range Ideal range
TSH 0.3-5 mU/L 1-2 mU/L
T3 2.6-6 pmol/L 4-5 pmol/L
T4 9-19 pmol/L 14-19 pmol/L
rT3 140-540 pmol/L Less than 240 pmol/L

The above ranges are taken from Clinical Naturopathy by J. Sarris & J. Wardle.  Please consult your health care practitioner if you have any questions about testing and reference ranges.

If you suspect you have an underactive thyroid, I highly recommend working with a practitioner who will test your levels thoroughly, and work from the ideal ranges to give you the very best chance at successful, long-term weight loss.

The most popular way to work with me is via my Breakthrough Program, which includes testing for thyroid hormones, as well as other essential markers that can impact your weight.  For information on the program and how to work with me, click here.

 

Flourless Chocolate Brownies

flourless-chocolate-brownies-healthy

Super delicious and super easy, these flourless brownies made with REAL chocolate are as easy as blend, and cook! I cooked them in my Pyrex container, let them cool and then popped the lid on – saves on dishes, which is a definite win.

The recipe below made two of these containers (pictured) worth of brownies.

flourless-chocolate-brownies-healthy

Ingredients:

  • 250g Lindt dark cooking chocolate
  • 2 tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • optional: 1/2 cup raw sugar

Method:

  1. Melt cooking chocolate in the microwave or over a saucepan of boiling water.
  2. Put chickpeas, eggs, melted chocolate and baking powder into a food processor until smooth.
  3. Add raw sugar, if using, and blitz until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into floured/greased glass container/s or a cake tin.  Cook in a preheated oven at 180C for 40 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

I think if you were making these for kids, you’d need the extra sugar added.  Try it both ways, with and without sugar, and see which way you prefer!