Gluten Free Coconutty Banana Bread

I posted this picture on Saturday and everyone was asking me for the recipe so here you go! This is so simple and easy to make. Gluten free, dairy free and only has a small amount of added sugar in the honey (2.5g per slice). It works out to 19g of carbs, 6g of fat and 12.5g protein per slice.


  • 6 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g protein powder (I use pulsin rice or hemp protein)
  • 100g coconut flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 20g honey
  • 20g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven at 170 degrees.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork, sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon and stir.
  3. Beat the eggs and add to the bananas.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour, protein powder, honey, desiccated coconut and baking powder.
  5. Add more sea salt and cinnamon if required.
  6. Pour the mixture into a greased and non stick baking dish and cook for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and serve hot or cold with butter or nut butter.


FeaturedDangers Of Low Calorie Diets

We are often told that to lose ½ a kilogram or a pound a week that we should eat 3500 calories less than what we burn each week. This works out to 500 calories a day.

We are also told that the average woman burns 2000 calories a day and the average man 2500 calories a day.

This means that many average women end up consuming 1500 calories a day or often less. Because if you eat 1500 calories a day to lose a pound a week then if you eat even less than that you should see results faster, right?

Yes and no.

I do know women who have successfully lost weight on 1200 or even 800 calories a day. I do not know many women who have done this and kept the weight off, had a strong athletic physique, perform well in the gym, have balanced hormones and regular cycles, healthy hair and skin, a positive body image and relationship with food.

I would also say that almost EVERY client I have worked with who has come from a background in restrictive eating has struggled to lose the weight they gained back or reached a stand still at some point that has become very frustrating.

So this blog has been a long time coming. I think there are a lot of women (and men) who deserve to know better, to understand that they can lose weight without punishing themselves but the trade off is perhaps a little bit more patience and a lot more self love.

So let me start at the beginning.

How Stressed Are You?

The Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) is one of the tests that I recommend the most when working with clients. Although the adrenal glands are such a small gland, their function is completely fundamental to the overall picture of health.

The signs and symptoms of poor adrenal health include:

  • low energy
  • low mood
  • a plateau or regression in performance
  • feelings of poor recovery
  • aching muscles and joints
  • central weight gain and associated insulin resistance
  • an and increased frequency of cold and infections, auto-immunty or other signs of imbalanced immune function
  • sleep disruption
  • increased ageing
  • increased injury
  • menstrual problems
  • change in thyroid function
  • blood glucose regulation problems
  • elevated cholesterol, blood pressure or cardiovascular problems
This is an image of someone with Cushings Syndrome (prolonged exposure to elevated cortisol). It looks like a lot of people we see these days.

This is an image of someone with Cushings Syndrome (prolonged exposure to elevated cortisol). It looks like a lot of people we see these days.


Interestingly, despite displaying a couple or many of these symptoms many people will tell me: “I’m not stressed!”

There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, we adapt to stress. This means that your current stress load can often feel normal to you.

Secondly, stress is a physiological response. It is a dominance of the sympathetic nervous system. This means that things we don’t often perceive to be stressful (exercise for example) are contributing to the total stress load of the body.

The opposite  system is the parasympathetic nervous system, when the body is resting. A good way to assess the stressors in your life is to write down everything that you do which would use the different parts of the nervous system. Here is an example:


ExerciseDrinking coffeeEating mealsSpending time on laptop, ipad, mobile phoneWorking


Doing house chores

Time on social media

MeditationYogaSleepListening to musicReading a paper book

Relaxing in the bath




For ideal sympathetic and parasympathetic balance we want to put in what we take out. Therefore, we should spend equal amounts of time each day using each system. For a healthy biorhythm, it is suggested we spend 12 consecutive hours a day doing those activities listed under parasympathetic and 12 hours a day listed under sympathetic.

This means if you wake at 5:30am and have a coffee before heading to the gym, you would want to complete all your sympathetic activities by 5:30pm, this includes time spent eating and watching TV, browsing Facebook etc…

This may be seem unrealistic for many and the more unrealistic it seems to you, the more “stressed” you probably are because it is likely you are taking up too much time doing sympathetic activities because you are trying to fit too much into the day.

What is the solution?

Cut back on sympathetic activity 1 hour (or even 30 minutes) at a time. Replace your “sympathetic time” with “parasympathetic time”. This could be choosing to go to bed an hour earlier or making some time to meditate, treat yourself to a hot bath or reading a paper book.

If you are thinking “I don’t have time for this” you are probably the person who needs to make the time…


Miso Chicken Dinner


Macros: 28P, 18F, 4C (without rice)


1tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

half a red chilli finely sliced

1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

1 sprig of thyme, finely chopped

1 tsp sumac

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

600g skinless & boneless chicken thighs

1/2 packet of miso soup (I used the Clearspring one), if you prefer to avoid soy then use chicken or vegetable stock

150ml of boiled water

zest of a lemon

juice of half a lemon

2 handfuls of chard, spinach or kale

Fresh parsley to garnish



1. Heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, red pepper, sumac, chilli. Sautee until the onions appear translucent.

2. Add the chicken thigh and brown for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add 1/2 a packet of the lemon zest,lemon juice miso soup and 150ml of boiled water. Stir into the pan with a spoon.

4. Allow to simmer on a low heat until the chicken is cooked through. About 5-10 minutes.

5. Finally, add the handfuls of greens and allow to wilt.

6. Remove from heat and serve in a bowl with rice. Garnish with fresh flat leaf parsley.


Chicken, Broccoli and Bacterial Diversity

Do you ever feel sleepy after eating a meal? Even if it is a “healthy” meal? This might explain why…

Very often when someone embarks on a healthy eating program is can become repetitive. Often you see food plans written like this:

Meal 1: Steak and Almonds

Meal 2: Chicken, Broccoli and Sweet Potato

Meal 3: Whey protein, oats and honey

Meal 4: Chicken Broccoli and Sweet Potato

Meal 5: Salmon, Spinach and Brown Rice

Meal 6: Casein protein, oats and honey

I don’t know if that’s exactly right but you get the idea, 11 different foods.

What we can also see is someone who is experiencing digestive issues they may start an elimination diet plan. They may begin to exclude gluten and dairy, this may extend to all grains and dairy type foods (including goats or sheeps dairy) or even cut out some vegetables and fruits if following a low FODMAP food plan.

The problem in this case is that because of the perceived “limited amounts” of food one can eat, they often start to overly simplify their diet, which

can start to create reactions to foods that used to be safe foods in the long term. Over time, the variety diminishes even further and one of the reasons for this is that a healthy bacterial diversity is not encouraged and underlying imbalances are not being addressed head on.

I often have clients say to me;

“My digestion is okay but if I eat a lot of the same thing then I notice I start to feel bloated or tired”.

[as a side note, if you feel tired after eating, it is not because your digestive system is using energy to digest, it is likely because your immune system is reacting to whatever you have just eaten and is taking energy away from the brain to stay active. This is probably a good sign you need some more diversity in your diet]

I am not advocating that all of us should be eating wheat or gluten but some of us would probably tolerate small amounts of these foods in combination with a wide variety of other foods. Lets look at why a limited and repetitive diet is a problem…


There has been increasing awareness about gut health in the fitness communities over recent years. Generally, research into the microbiota (the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic  and pathogenic micro-organisms with which we share our body) is booming.

It is now accepted amongst many, that the number of bacterial cells in our body outweighs that of our own human cells. Moreover, these bacteria are in constant communication with our immune system which really means that they are the controller of our health.

Our digestion system a big hole. A long tube that runs from mouth to anus. Although we perceive it to be inside us, it is actually

on the outside (kind of like the centre of a doughnut). Therefore, in the pursuit of health, bearing in mind that a healthier body breads a healthy athlete with a longer shelf life, the best place to start looking is on the outside. And they say that health comes from within!

gut flora


Digestive health and the immune system are large and complex topics. However, we don’t necessarily need to understand the detailed mechanisms by which these systems work to understand how we can support our body in the best possible way. When it comes to gut health, the diversity of the bacteria which reside primarily in the colon seem key.

Diversity is the key word here. I always say to my clients:

“A diverse diet gives you bacterial diversity and a bacterial diversity means good health.”

Therefore, a repetitive 11 food body building diet is not supporting good health. And if you are eating this way to get leaner, what you really want to be doing for leanness long term is ensure your gut is healthy!

Specifically when we consider this idea of diversity what we are looking at is a diversity of plant based foods. Recently the idea of nutrigenomics has suggested that each food we choose to eat has the potential to interact with our genes, influencing our genetic expression. When we consider, digestive health, the foods we eat are also interacting with the DNA of the bacteria we house.

Yes, plants contain vitamins and minerals, but they also contain phytochemicals which are natural chemical substances which may offer health benefits. One of the reasons plants contain chemicals is for their own protection. Part of which is protection against damage from bacteria, insects or the sun.

[As a side line, sprayed crops do not need to cultivate th

eir natural defences because the man-made chemicals are doing the job for them. This provides an argument for organic food]

One of the reasons we want to consume these phytochemicals is because they offer our body anti-oxidant protection. But additionally they offer protection against free radical damage associated with “exertional endotoxemia”, which I have written a lot more about here.


It can be very common for athletes to eat out of convenience. Food can become repetitive and the diet restrictive. This is especially seen in those who have digestive issues and are eliminating foods from their diet or in those who are eating restrictively to control weight. Check the diversity in your diet by writing down all the different foods you eat in one week. This includes herbs, spices, meats, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, dairy, different types of oils, different types of eggs etc.

If you get:

Less than 50 – you need to increase your diversity

Between 50 and 75 – you are doing okay but there is room for improvement

Between 75 and 100 – you are doing pretty good

100+ – you have good diversity in your diet


When I first started working on the diversity in my diet I found it pretty tough. These are some of the things I did to improve:

  1. Just aim to be better than last week.

If last week you were on 46 foods, this week aim for 50 or 55. Slowly you will get used to naturally adding more foods into your diet. It is also a great way to try new flavours and add more fresh herbs and spices to your diet.



  1. Start a herb garden

I planted a small herb garden outside which contained 7 different types of fresh herbs; basil, parsley, mint, sage, thyme, rosemary and chives. There are obviously many more that you could plant.

  1. Explore your health food store, asian supermarket or local food and farmers markets

Turn food shopping into a fun adventure. I had great fun exploring different stores seeing what they had to offer. Did you know there are so many different types of spices, seaweed, types of rice and lentils? I bought several different types of seaweed to add to different dishes and I bought rice which is a combination of several different types. Don’t forget all the different nuts and seeds. I created a nut and seed mix in a big jar with sunflower, flax, chia, pumpkin and sesame seeds. You could also add many others; pecans, hazel nuts, almonds, brazil  nuts, walnuts, pinenuts, cashews etc.