Archive | June, 2012

Easy ways to kick start a healthier you

30 Jun

I don’t believe in dieting, health fads or quick fixes. Becoming healthy should be a life change not a 6 week detox. Quick fixes never last and before you know it you’re sitting in front of the fridge at midnight with an empty ice-cream container hating yourself for devouring a litre of ice-cream!

I do believe that changing habits can take time and should be done gradually whilst being kind to yourself along the way.

Here are simple changes you can make gradually that your body and mind will be thankful for:

  • Add a super food supplement like Vital Green’s or Spirulina to your day for an added boost
  • Have a green smoothie every day. Your skin will be clear and you will have so much more energy! A green smoothie can be equivalent to 3 or 4 servings of vegetables so an easy way to get in your vegies!
  • Avoid Sugar or at least the processed obvious junk food kind
  • Mix up your grains. The western diet is dominated by wheat, which these days is very processed and lacking in nutrients, no wonder so many people are “Wheat intolerant” Try swapping your bread with spelt or wheat free rye bread, and pasta for quinoa, there are so many varieties of grains that tend to be ignored but are much easier to digest.
  • Cook! Avoid processed foods by getting in the kitchen, it doesn’t have to be hard, an example of a simple quick dinner is baked fish with vegetables, only takes 20mins tops!
  • Swap cooking oil with coconut oil, tastes delicious and packed full of nutrients.
  • In fact fall in love with everything coconut – oil, butter, flour, water (see my post on benefits of coconut)
  • Use Sea salt instead of table salt
  • Don’t eat Carbs in the evening – let you’re digestive system take a rest, there is no need for this type of fuel at night.
  • Look at the ingredients on packaged food, the longer the list, the worse it is for your body!
  • Make better choices, even with junk food – eg. if you must have a junk food snack try plane kettle chips instead of flavoured chips. Plain Kettle chips have 3 ingredients – potato, sea salt and sunflower oil. Compare that to the ingredients on the flavoured ones!
  • Add lots of greens to at least 2 meals – greens contain chlorophyll which is a powerful blood cleanser. It also combats the acid of other foods so if you must eat something unhealthy or animal protein try eating a salad first as it will help alkaline your body
  • Eat healthy substantial, low GI breakfasts and lunches. If you nourish yourself during these meals you won’t crash at 3pm and head for the chocolate
  • Swap milk chocolate with 85% dark chocolate or Cacao instead of cocoa powder
  • If you’re a sugar addict and can’t say goodbye just give up one thing. My Dad once gave up cookies at night and lost 5 kilos! He still ate chocolate and cake etc he just gave up one thing!
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners. There are many health risks associated with artificial sweeteners, it can affect insulin levels so can actually make you put on weight! It is very acidifying to the body, is highly toxic and Aspartame is an excitotoxin that builds up in the brain, and can excite brain neurons to the point of cell death! If there is one thing you need to quit its artificial chemical sweeteners!
  • Meditate for 5 mins each day – it will quieten your mind and in turn keep you calm during the day.
  • Make a commitment to making exercise part of your routine, even if it’s just walking around the block at lunch time.
  • Live by the 80/20 rule; eat healthy 80% of the time so that when you want your cake you can enjoy it! This way you won’t feel like you are on a diet
  • Smile – nothing is sexier than a smile!

Superfood of the week: Cacao

28 Jun

When the good news came out a few years back that chocolate was good for us, we all cheered on our favourite friends, Cadbury and Lindt chocolate. But the bad news is that most commercially made chocolate bars including the dark ones have very little nutrients, if any.  They are made from cocoa which is the cacao bean that has been roasted and processed. This process and heat is believed to rob the bean from its superfood nutrients. Most chocolate bars contains so much sugar and milk that any benefit that the cacao bean may have  had is wiped out by the sugar and milk.

So how can you eat your chocolate and reap the health benefits?

Let me introduce you to Cacao.


Cacao is chocolate in its most raw state, uncooked and unprocessed. It has been labelled a superfood as it is higher in antioxidants than green tea, acai, goji and blue berries. It’s also the highest source of magnesium and chromium of any food and it is packed full of vitamins and minerals! The polyphenolic flavonoids in cacao have the potential to prevent heart disease and health benefits include decreased blood pressure and improvement in cholesterol levels

Cacao can be used in the same way as cocoa in cooking or hot chocolates. Check out the recipe page on this site for great recipes using cacao.

When it comes to buying cacao in a chocolate bar I only eat Green & Black’s 85% Dark chocolate. I don’t eat much sugar so this is perfect as an occasional treat as it has 3grams of sugar  (less than 1/2 tsp) in a serve and only contains organic ingredients.

It has a little vanilla in it which takes away the bitterness of the dark chocolate. I never liked dark chocolate before but now I love this!

Home Workout!

26 Jun

Gratitude Is The Only Attitude!

25 Jun

 

I am sure you have heard the likes of Oprah and every spiritual guru preaching about the act of gratitude but how can we bring this to life when we go about our day?

When you begin to look for areas in your day that you can be grateful for then you begin to shift your energy to being in the present. We are often stuck in the past and wishing for the future and we lose sight of the present, but the present is all that exists!

Begin to give thanks for where you are in this moment, your surroundings and your relationships. See the blessings in your day and you create shifts in your life that begin to bring in the miraculous.

What are you grateful for today?

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey

 

 

Move of the week – Tracy Anderson Butt and thighs

19 Jun

Love Tracy Anderson! This is a great butt workout for toning and tightening your butt! Be warned it burns!

Coconut – Super Food of the Week

17 Jun

Coconut water, coconut oil, coconut flesh or butter, wherever you turn it seems the world has gone coconut crazy and I have discovered why – I am obsessed with coconut butter! It’s been a huge help in curbing my sugar craving as now I turn to coconut when I need a hit of sweetness and the good news it is ridiculously good for you!

Coconut oil is the highest source of saturated fats (92%) and the highest source of Saturated Medium Chain Triglycerides (62%) occurring in a vegan food source.

50% of MCT’s are made up of Lauric Acid, the most important essential fatty acids in improving the immune system. The only other source of Lauric Acid in such concentrates is in mother’s milk.

What does that mean? It has a long list of health benefits including:

  • Kills viruses and bacteria
  • Kills fungi and yeast
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other vital nutrients
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Helps protect body from harmful free radicals that cause aging and degenerative diseases
  • Soften skin
  • Conditions hair and scalp

And the list goes on!

How I use coconut oil and butter:

  • I only cook with coconut oil – no more olive or vegetable oil
  • I eat coconut butter off the spoon!
  • I spread coconut butter on toast and add a little cinnamon for a real sweet treat
  • I add coconut oil or butter to smoothies
  • I add it to my oats
  • I use it in sugar free cakes
  • I use it on my skin and hair

What’s the difference between the oil and butter/flesh? Coconut oil is best for cooking or using on your skin. The butter is the actual coconut flesh with the oil taken out and I find is nicer to eat over the oil. They look very similar and the oil is a little cheaper. Be warned  both are a little expensive but worth every cent!

Loving Earth makes a great coconut oil which is creamier than most coconut oils so suitable for eating like a butter. Saves on buying two products (only just discovered this!) www.lovingearth.net

Where to buy: Organic food or health stores.

The Green Smoothie

13 Jun

“What the Eff is that?!” Is the question I get asked almost every morning as I sit at my desk sipping my jar of green smoothie. It’s in a jar as I make a big batch and freeze it, so it’s not super glamorous to drink; maybe I need to invest in a cocktail glass to make it sexier. The green smoothie is my ultimate health and beauty booster and I am committed for life to having this each day. If you can’t change anything else in your diet, add this in. It’s packed full of beautifying, feel good nutrients. Within weeks you will have more energy and your skin will glow!

What you need:

  • 1 head of Cos (romaine) lettuce
  • 1 bunch of Kale (or spinach)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 pear
  • 1 banana
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • 1 cup water

Invest in a good quality blender as this will make the world of difference. I love the Breville Ikon, which retails in Aus for about $230. You can use a cheappy but be warned it will be chunky, so harder to get down. Once blended into a smooth, chunk free texture pour into glass jars to store in fridge for up to 2 days or freeze. This batch should stretch to 3-4 servings. I would suggest you start out having a small amount and then over the weeks build up at least 500mls a day. It’s also best on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning is ideal.

P.S Don’t judge on looks this is sweetly delicious!

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