News

Do you eat the seeds?

Some of you know, but if you don’t, then I will let you in on a secret. I make my own face moisturizer. I don’t use anything bought from a store with preservatives and who know what in it, but I make my own mix of natural cold pressed oils. One of those oils is avocado oil. It is slightly green in colour, but when mixed with the others it loses it greenish tinge (which isn’t a good look). It got me thinking about the avocado seed and what other health benefots we could get from this lovely little fruit. I read an article recently that an Americcan university did a study on the benefits of the avocado seed and the results are suprising!

Over 70% of the antioxidant capacity of the avocado is found in the seed. The e phenolic antioxidant compounds in the seeds may lower high cholesterol, high blood pressure, reduce inflammatory conditions, diabetes, and boost your immunity. The seeds even have insecticidal, fungicidal, and anti-microbial properties.

The avocado seed is one of the highest natural sources of soluble fibre. This the type of fibre which is really important in helping to lower cholesterol levels, and the avo seed has far more of it than oats.

This is all great, but how do you actually unlock all this greatness? A few ways you can try:

Remove the see, put it in a plastic bag and use a hammer to crush it as finely as possible. Once you have very small pieces, you can put them through a coffee grinder to then use in smoothies, salads, and dressings.

Roast the seed and then grate it into a fine powder.

By itself it doesn’t taste great, so you will need to add it into something to mask the bitterness.

Eat yourself prettier

There are lots of fruits and vegetables that have external uses on your body, like lemon juice as a toner, cucumber slices on puffy eyes, or an avocado face mask. But what about eating these foods? Can you impact the way you look by eating them too? I would say yes! I recently read an article about a grandmother in the USA whose modeling career is at an all time high. Obviously she had to be genetically blessed to begin with, but she quoted in her beauty regime to eating a whole avocado every single day. So it got me thinking about other foods that can help make you look better. Here are some of my favourites:

Cucumber. I don’t go a day without having a juice with at least 2 cucumbers in it. Cucumber is an excellent source of silica which helps to strengthen connective tissue, like hair, skin, nails, tendons, etc. If your diet is lacking in silica, it can result in slackening of the skin and your body not able to heal wounds as quickly. But if you are getting lots of it, then your skin, nails and hair will all get the benefits!

Avocado. This fruit is incredible useful for maintaining healthy young looking skin.  Avocados contain an antioxidant called carotenoids, which high amounts of can be helpful to improve skin density, thickness and tone, which could be why lots of avocado will help to protect your skin against environmental damage. Avo’s also have high levels of moisturizing monounsaturated fatty acids which help to maintain moisture in the epidermal layer of your skin. This helps your skin feel soft and hydrated.

 Pineapple. You probably would have noticed the rise of Vitamin C serums as a topical anti ageing soluition. Vitamin C is a great way to boost collagen production, which is the firmness we all have as teenagers, but start to lose as we age. You can also get the benefits from eating Vitamin C. I like it in pineapple juice, but you can get it from any Vitamin C rich foods like dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, berries, citrus and tomatoes.

Almonds. These little pocket rockets contain lots of Vitamin E which is essential for great skin. Vitamin E helps the ski to retain natural moisture and it is also a powerful protector against nasty free radicals. The sun can destroy your skins natural reserves of Vitamin E, so having extra reserves can help to protect your skin again sun damage

 

Why wait til Monday to start

Today is a good day, a great day in fact. The days are getting longer, the mornings are lighter, the birds are chirpier and this weekend is forecast to be above 20 degrees for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane! Good times!

So why wait to get started on being healthy? There are plenty of reasons to start tomorrow:

Just over 3 months til Christmas holidays, and if you plan on going somewhere where a swimsuit is mandatory, then that is not a lot of time to get into shape

Spring time is the best time to get inspired about changing something for the better in your life. It might be your health, your wealth, your education, or your relationships. Starting something new and exciting is as energizing as a holiday.

The fruit gets sweeter and more abundant which makes eating fresh and clean so much easier and much more delicious

Warmer nights means eating salads is suddenly not crazy talk. I know in the depths of winter, sometimes the idea of only eating a cold salad or juice seems like the most ludicrous thing you have ever heard. But what a difference a month makes!!

August 20, 2015

Posted in charcoal, detox, fatty acids, fresh juices, healthy, nutrition


Is charcoal the next best detox ingredient?

Activated charcoal is a medicine and drug sponge. It’s not absorbed into the body, and is put into the gastrointestinal tract to reduce the absorption of drugs and other poisons after they have been ingested, but before they have been absorbed into the body. While the overall effectiveness of charcoal isn’t well documented for all drugs and poisons, it has become a routine part of poisoning protocols. Huge doses of activated charcoal are given with the intent of clearing the harmful substance out of the gastrointestinal tract. 

It is made by burning a source of carbon such as wood, debris, or better yet, coconut shells. The high temperature removes all the oxygen and activates it with gases like steam. What is produced is a highly adsorbent material with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, and intestinal gases which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself. The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged unwanted toxins and gas.

It is mainly used to remove toxins from the body, and has been known to be to used for the following purposes:

  • Taking it when eating out at restaurants or eating low quality foods like processed junk foods
  • It can be helpful to take when drinking alcohol

However, and the main reason we don’t use it in our juices is that Activated charcoal doesn’t discriminate between the healthful chemical components of food, and any unwanted chemicals in the digestive system. Activated charcoal appears to bond vitamins like ascorbic acid (vitamin C), niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), thiamine (vitamin B1) and biotin, so it has the potential to make food and drinks you consume actually less nutritious, not more.

My go to winter vegetable

I have always enjoyed them, but for some reason it is only this year I decided to get creative with it. It’s the Golden Sweet Potato! It really is such a versatile winter vegetable, plus it is much healthier than its paler counterpart. Not only is it an incredible and unequalled source of beta carotene, but it could also help raise our blood levels of Vitamin A which plays a vital role in bone growth and immune system health. Beta carotene is an important antioxidant that helps to protect immune systems as well as helping to lower the risk of some cancers. Making sure you get the most beta carotene from sweet potato could be related to eating a small amount of fat in conjunction with the sweet potato, and it is as small as 3-5g of healthy fat like olive oil or coconut oil.

So far this winter I have made sweet potato soups, as well as just having it as side dish and mixed into my salads.   Here is a really easy soup recipe I used (I replaced the dairy with soy milk and didn’t think it needed the yoghurt dressing, so I went without) http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-sweet-po-2-19709

BUT, I have also had a few light bulb moments with my sweet potatoes, here are a couple of my inventions:

Roasted sweet potato and baked eggs – this is perfect for the kids and so simple. Just cut the sweet potato in half long ways and sit them in the oven to roast for about 30-40mins, until they are soft. Turn the griller on, scoop out some of the middle of the half potato and crack an egg into it, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop it under the griller on high. Once the egg starts to cook (should only take a few mins), pull it out, sprinkle some cheese over the top and pop it back under until the cheese melts. I make it with a green salad.

 Sweet potato pancakes – my absolute favourite winter weekend breakfast treat this year! Boil, steam or dry roast your sweet potato so it is ready to be mashed. Mash the potato (just 1 large one is plenty). I make up a cashew and oat flour just by putting two cups of raw cashews and 1 cup wholegrain oats into the blender and blending until you have a nut meal (leave the oats out if you want to avoid the grain). Mix the mash potato, nut meal, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon together. Add in a little soy milk if it feels a little dry. Then heat your saucepan with a little coconut oil and spoon your batter in and cook evenly on both sides. Serve with the (real) maple syrup, not the flavoured stuff.

 

Cravings, does your body really need it?

I have recently been thinking a lot of cravings mostly in regard to pregnancy, but also in general. There is a common belief that if you craving something, like really craving it, like you just simply can’t think past getting that thing in your belly, then your body must need it.   And that is true to a certain extent. But not to the extent that you are really craving KFC therefore your body must be subliminally telling you that you simply must have deep fried seasoned chicken or you will be nutritionally deficient. The truth doesn’t quite stretch that far.

So how far does it stretch? Well quite far, but it isn’t as simple as craving chocolate there I must have chocolate. You might be craving one of the minerals FOUND in chocolate and your brain associates that mineral with that food type. So if you are craving, there are healthy options to look for to no only satisfy the craving but help stop them in future.

Here is a list of common cravings, what they mean and a healthy option to replace them:

Cheese

Calcium deficiency

Sesame seeds/ tahini, broccoli, kale, legumes, mustard and turnip greens

Pasta, white bread, pastries

Chromium deficiency

Onion, romaine lettuce, tomato, cinnamon, grapes, apples, sweet potato

Bread and toast

Nitrogen deficiency

Foods containing proteins, i.e.. Green leafy veg, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains

Red meat

Iron deficiency

Beans, legumes, unsulphured prunes, figs+ other dried fruit, seaweed, spinach, cherries, Vitamin C for iron absorption

Potato chips

Chloride deficiency

Celery, olives, tomato, kelp, Himalayan sea salt

SWEETS

Chocolate

Magnesium deficiency

Raw cacao nibs/beans/powder, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, greens, fruit,magnesium

Soft drinks

Calcium deficiency

Sesame seeds/ tahini, broccoli, kale, legumes, mustard and turnip greens

General sweets

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Fruit, high fibre foods (beans, legumes), complex carbs (grains), chromium (cinnamon)

Tryptophan deficiency

Spirulina, pumpkin/sesame/sunflower seeds, raw cacao, oatmeal, sweet potato, spinach, raisins

Chromium deficiency

Onion, romaine lettuce, tomato, cinnamon, grapes, apples, sweet potato

Sulphur deficiency

Cruciferous vege (kale, cabbage, etc), cranberries, horseradish, asparagus, carob powder, garlic, onion

Phosphorus deficiency

Whole grains, pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, lentils

 

 

 

Source: http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/

 

Is it really better to go for diet drinks over the “normal” version?

So you have decided to jump on this quitting sugar bandwagon, which is great! But you love your soft drink and you figure “easy, I will just start drinking the diet version” but really you should be considering giving up soft drink, period.

Here is why:

Most diet drinks have got aspartame as the replacement sweetener. This is something you should look to avoid as the chemicals that make up the artificial sweetener aspartame may alter brain chemicals, nerve signals, and the brain's reward system, which can lead to headaches, anxiety, and insomnia, according to a review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Aspartame ranks 200 hundreds times sweeter than table sugar. Splenda? 600 times. In fact, brain scans show that diet soda alters sweet receptors in the brain and prolongs sugar cravings rather than satisfies them

Diet soft drink may get you drunk a lot quicker than drinking normal soft drink. An Australian study in the American Journal of Medicine concluded that if you mix diet soft drink with booze, for example, vodka and diet coke, your stomach empties out faster, causing a drastic increase in blood alcohol concentrations.

It can make you fatter. Apparently a study in Diabetes Central showed that that drinking two-thirds of a diet soft drink before eating a meal primed the pancreas to release a lot of the fat-storing hormone insulin.   This triggers your body in fat storage mode and leads to you gaining weight.