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10 Foods to Improve your Mood 0

As we head in to winter, the amazingly warm and sunny summer we have just had can seem like a distant memory leaving you feeling down.

The food that you eat and the drinks you have all have an effect on your mood so, to help you combat some of those woes, we have put together our list of favourite mood enhancing foods.

  1. Dark Chocolate

High quality dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins (the chemicals in the brain that create the feelings of pleasure) so if we ever needed a better reason to eat chocolate, we have one here.

  1. Beans

Due to how your body digests them (slowly), these help with reducing blood sugar highs and leave you without that irritable and tired side-affect that comes from the crash.

  1. Berries

Blueberries, Raspberries or Strawberries…these little fruity snacks can reduce the production of Cortisol (the hormone released when we are stressed).

  1. Herbal Tea

Swapping your usual high caffeine coffee or tea can drastically help mood swings however that’s not the end of why you should indulge in this herbal alternative. There are links between tea and relaxation and concentration. With so many flavours – we don’t think you will get bored!

  1. Coconut

Just smelling the scent of coconut has shown to reduce stress (anyone else think of a tropical beach?) however eating coconut regularly has proven to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure.

  1. Turmeric

Studies show that this powerful root can help fight the symptoms of depression. This is due to the anti-anxiety properties and the ability to help with chronic fatigue.

  1. Nuts

Eating these little snacks has been found to increase serotonin levels in the brain which can lead to brightening mild depression. The recommendation is to grab your daily intake of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts and feel a bit brighter.

  1. Seeds

One of our biggest superfoods at the moment and, in particular Chia Seeds, carry major health benefits (as well as being able to keep you fuller for longer). They also have a hidden and very important side affect, they improve your mood due to being rich in Omega 3.

  1. Spinach

Any leafy greens that you can include in your diet are proven to lift your mood. They contain magnesium which increases Serotonin levels and in turn boosts your mood.

  1. Water

Quite frankly, the most important of all. The more water you drink, the better the mood and it’s that simple!

What is your go-to mood boosters? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Handbag Essentials for the Working Mum 0

When that alarm goes in the morning, a number of parents in our office know how difficult it is to just get sorted for the day – especially when you have a little one throwing a mass amount of attitude your way!

When we finally do get to leave the house, we can guarantee that we have forgotten something that was needed whether it be a baby wipe, a drink (non-alcoholic during the busy working hours we are afraid!) or some hand sanitiser.

Fear not! We have compiled our “go to” list of essentials that are a must when dealing with juggling the demands of a baby/toddler/child and trying to remain professional within office hours.

  1. Baby wipes

An absolute MUST! The number of meetings I have walked in to with baby sick down my shoulder is sending shudders down my spine even to this day! Not to mention, the mucky looks received when dropping my child off at nursery with a snotty nose with nothing to wipe it on …. Just make sure you carry them and you will thank us!

  1. Bottle of water / flavoured water

I barely have time to get myself ready on a morning some days let alone hydrate myself properly. It isn’t until I have dropped my daughter at nursery that I notice how thirsty I am so carrying this is essential.

  1. Healthy Snack

I am guilty of occasionally skipping breakfast when I am rushed (I know, a complete sin!) but for those days, I always make sure there is a healthy snack in my bag. On good days, it’s fresh fruit (but that’s if I remember to pack it!) otherwise I always keep a Nakd bar in my bag for a snack on the go.

  1. Hand Sanitiser and Moisturiser

I don’t even question what is on my hands anymore after dropping my daughter at nursery but I know I couldn’t be more thankful for the hand sanitiser and moisturiser saving the day.

  1. Change of Top

Always, always, always needed. For those mishaps that a baby wipe can’t solve…a full change is just required.

 

If anyone else has any ideas, let us know in the comments – we could always use them to make our days run a little smoother!

 

Top 5 Smoothie Recipes of 2018 (so far…) 0

A constant struggle for anyone trying to eat healthily but also grab something convenient and quick for breakfast – say hello to the breakfast smoothie!

Full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to promote good health, we have rounded up our favourite one’s for you to try (and where to find the full recipe – we unfortunately can’t claim them as our own!):

  1. Banana Ginger Smoothie

Loaded with the essential vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy and balanced diet, this smoothie is great for both lowering blood pressure due to the high-quality honey used and can help with stomach issues such as sickness or nausea due to the high concentration of ginger.

Ingredients that you will need include (Serves 2):

  • 1 Banana (Sliced)
  • 6 oz Vanilla Yoghurt
  • 1 Tbsp High Quality Honey
  • ½ Tsp Freshly Grated Ginger

Combine all the ingredients together and blend until smooth – Voila! 

View Full Recipe Here

  1. The Very Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Helping to fight against Cancer, Heart and Circulatory Disease and Age Related decline, this simple and fruity smoothie packs a lot in to that one glass.

Ingredients that you will need include (Serves 2):

  • 1 x Frozen Unsweetened Raspberries
  • ¾ Chilled Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ¼ c Frozen Pitted Unsweetened Cherries
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Good Quality Honey
  • 2 Tsp Finely Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Ground Flaxseed
  • 2 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients together in a blender and add the Lemon juice according to your taste.

Read Full Recipe Here

  1. Detox Green Smoothie with Chia Seeds

With our favourite superfood, Chia Seeds, this smoothie is designed to give you a boost in the morning and stay fuller for longer, helping with weight loss and that sometimes hard to resist snacking that can happen mid-morning (don’t worry, we are all guilty of it!).

Ingredients that you will need to include (Serves 1):

  • 1 Cup Spinach Leaves
  • 1 Banana (sliced)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Once again, blend and enjoy!

Read Full Recipe Here

  1. Green tea, Blueberry and Banana Smoothie

With another one of our favourites, blueberries, this smoothie is a high source of antioxidants as well as being low in calories. This is the perfect start to the day if you know it is going to be a hard day – the green tea has been known to help brain function (to name a few health benefits).

Ingredients that you will need to include (Serves 1):

  • 3 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Green Tea Bag
  • 2 Tsp Honey
  • 1 ½ c Frozen Blueberries
  • ½ Medium Banana
  • ¾ c Calcium Fortified Light Vanilla Soy Milk

Microwave Water until steaming and add tea bag to stew. Once stewed, removed tea bag and add honey (stir till dissolved). Blend the rest of the ingredients and add tea.

Read Full Recipe Here

  1. Pumpkin Coconut Smoothie

Suitable for a range of diets which include Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan and Vegetarian, this is great for potentially improving sensitivity to insulin (thanks to the cinnamon), lowering blood pressure and providing powerful anti-diabetic effects.

Ingredients that you will need (Serves 2):

  • 1 Cup of Coconut Milk
  • ¼ Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Frozen Banana Sliced
  • 1 Cup of Ice

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Read Full Recipe Here

Let us know how you get on or what your favourites are.

Superfood of the Moment: Chia Seeds 0

We can’t help but love these little Seeds!

Other than the fact that they are so easy to fit in your diet, this versatile superfood is packed full of taste, nutrients and huge health benefits!

Want to know what just a few of them are?

  1. They hold a huge amount of nutrients at the cost of very few calories – good for those of us who are watching our weight.
  2. High in Omega-3 which is great for brain and heart health as well as having anti-inflammatory effects.
  3. High in plant protein so great for people following a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet.
  4. Digested slowly so provide a slow release of energy which stabilises blood sugar levels.
  5. High calcium content – 25g of Chia Seeds contains more than 100ml of milk.

So sprinkle them on your salad, add them to your smoothie, leave them to soak in Greek yoghurt overnight and start to feel good.

Let us know of any more we haven’t listed in the comments and start treating your body to these little Super Seeds!

 

How to Make a Flax Egg 0

It can be hard to find good substitutes in recipes for eggs, but this flax egg is easy to make and works well in most recipes. A flax 'egg' has the same effect in baking, it doesn't quite bind or stiffen in the same way as a regular egg, but is a good substitute for pancakes, biscuits and brownies.

  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water

All you need to do is mix the two together and leave to thicken for about 5 minutes.

Use in recipes in place of 1 medium egg.

How To Juice Like A Pro! 0

Stepping into the world of Superfoods can be a daunting experience. Many customers have told us the easiest way to incorporate Superfoods into their daily routine is with smoothies and juices. We have learnt lots of great smoothie and juicing tricks over the years.

Here's our Top Ten Tips to Juice like a Pro:

1. Use in-season, local produce as much as possible. In markets featuring local produce, the fruits and vegetables are likely to have been harvested within the last 24 hours at the peak of ripeness. If you can try to use organic as much as possible. This helps provide you with all the benefits (flavour, texture, nutrition, etc.) freshness can offer. 

2. Don’t be afraid of a little pulp. I like my vegetable juices with a bit of extra pulp. It feels more well-rounded and wholesome.

3. If you want more sweetness, add more fruit. I like my juice and smoothies on the less sweet side (generally with less fruit - no more than an apple sized portion), but using seasonal local organic fruit like an apple, pear, stone-fruit or berries can help provide wholesome and natural sweetness.

4. Try a smoothie in the morning and a juice in the afternoon. Juicing and blending are complementary — not oppositional. I typically do a smoothie (with veggies, fruits, superfoods and nut milk) in the morning, and a lighter veggie juice in the afternoon with leafy greens, cucumber, celery, carrots, beets, ginger, lemon and turmeric.

5. For smoothies, make your own nut milk. Nut milk can help cut down on the sweetness of your juice, and it may also offer additional impact on the smoothie’s nutrient profile! I prefer to sprout my nuts by soaking them 1 to 2 days before making nut milk.

Here is a quick how-to on making your own nut milk:

  • Soak organic raw almonds for 8-12 hours at room temperature
  • Rinse
  • Blend water & almonds in roughly a 1:3 ratio for 1-2 minutes until almonds are ground very fine
  • Strain with cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
  • Fiber can be dried and reused as flour

6. Don’t be afraid to juice the stalks and rinds! These may offer nutrients you don’t want to compost. For instance, just one cup of beet greens can provide a rich source of vitamins A (as beta-carotene) K, and C.

7. Stock your pantry with ‘superfoods’ so that you can add them to any juice or smoothie. I like to enhance my juices and smoothies with superfoods such as:

  • Cacao: it offers a hint of chocolate and bolsters the taste of the other ingredients in your smoothie
  • Maca: this root adds a touch of sweetness
  • Goji Berries & Chia: Try soaking them overnight before blending with your other ingredients

8. Experiment with variety. We've all heard that we should “eat the rainbow,” of vibrant fruits and vegetables. It can help to create variety in our diet and maintain health through various nutrients.

9. If you're not sure where to begin, start simple.

10. A morning juice is the perfect way to start your day with self-love. For me, juicing is a self-nurturing, loving choice that I make everyday. I choose to be Loving with myself and share the joy I feel with others! I encourage you to juice freely and enjoy the “feel good” side effects!

Happy juicing!

Ten Tips To Organic Living On A Budget! 0

Organic food and consumer products that have been produced in a cleaner, more environmentally friendly manner take a bad rap on a fairly regular basis for being more expensive. On this point alone, that reputation is typically pretty justified: Yes, these products can be and often are pricier than their conventional counterparts. But there are ways to offset the costs so that your overall expenses in going organic won’t be much more than what you’re paying now, and possibly even a little less. Here’s how:

1. Buy direct from the farm.

Farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangements are typically less expensive than organic markets or the organic section of your local grocery store. You’re guaranteed the freshest flavors of the season, and as an added bonus, farmers have the best recipe tips!

2. Buy store brands.

Supermarkets and large discounters like Wal-Mart have realized good success in offering their own organic products. Private-label offerings are expanding, and they’re cheaper than name brands.

3. Clip coupons.

You might not see many coupons for organic products in the weekly food section of the newspaper, but you’ll definitely see them in other places. Look for them in health and fitness magazines and in lifestyle magazines. 

4. Make your own.

Processed organic food products can be substantially more expensive than their conventional equivalents, and processed foods overall are always more expensive than the sum of their individual parts. Instead of buying granola cereal, make your own. Want to make sure your baby’s food is the freshest and healthiest it can be? When you make it yourself, you can ensure the quality of the ingredients and the processing. Cook at home using organic foods. You can turn almost any recipe into an organic recipe just by using organic ingredients.

5. Buy in bulk.

Buying in large quantities is always cheaper than buying smaller, prepared portions.

6. Learn your labels.

It’s easy to get a little confused over the terminology and lingo in the organic world, especially when you’re first starting out. When you’re watching your pennies, don’t buy something that’s labeled “natural” when you’re looking for “organic.”

7. Learn what to buy organic and what to not buy organic.

There are certain organic foods and food products that are worth spending the money on, and some that you can skip and save the money. Check out these top fruits and veggies to buy organic.

8. Grow your own.

Even the smallest balcony can usually support a pot or two. Fill those pots with a tomato plant and maybe a pepper plant and you’ve got the beginning of an organic garden. Herbs grow well indoors on a sunny windowsill.

9. Make your own cleaning products.

The ingredients that go into natural cleaning products — baking soda, vinegar, borax, washing soda — are as cheap as can be. The cost of making products from them is about one-tenth that of their commercial equivalents. Add up what you spend every month on cleaning products — you might be surprised at how much money you can save here.

10. Finally, don’t be a slave to the word “organic.”

Yes, a label that says something is organic can be a sign of the purity and goodness of that product. But there are plenty of good, wholesome choices to be made that don’t include the word. For example, if you’re taking your dog organic, buying him a tin of certified organic dog biscuits might seem the thing to do, especially since you can point to the organic label and know for sure the ingredients therein are indeed healthy. But maybe there’s a pet store in your town that sells homemade dog biscuits. And maybe the woman who bakes them uses ingredients from her own garden. And maybe she gardens organically. And maybe she doesn’t use any preservatives or fillers in her products. They’re probably pretty darn good dog cookies, fresh and natural, and most likely about half the cost of the certified organic ones.

Don’t be an organic snob. Don’t pass up good products and good food because they’re not labeled “certified organic.” As you progress further into the organic world, you’ll find out that very little of the products it contains are certified organic, and for some good reasons.

Recipe || Overnight Vegan Oats With Superfoods! 0

Overnight Oats with Maca, Chia Seeds & Goji Berries

Everybody loves oatmeal! It can warm you during the winter or cool you during the warmer months. Overnight oatmeal is the solution! This Oatmeal Parfait is just what you’ll need.

You’ll have to make this before you go to sleep, so when you wake up, all you have to do it get the glass from the fridge and add superfoods and fresh fruit. Easy, healthy and fast!

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 5 to 6 tbs oats
  • 1 mashed banana
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • superfoods like goji berries and mulberries
  • fresh fruit like raspberries and blueberries

Stirr the almond milkoats and the mashed banana in a glass. Add the cinnamon and mix well. Put it in the fridge for a night, the next morning, top it off with superfoods and fresh fruit. Enjoy, that’s it!