Tag Archives: healthy food

Green Food Matters!

I’m back!

I know I have been remiss in my postings and for that I apologise. Life has been particularly busy of late, as the beginning of the year is for most, and I’m juggling just a few green apples in the air!! You may remember I mentioned I am reworking my website and doing some exciting things with my business and all will be revealed in the coming months. In the meantime, I will endeavour to feed you with a bunch of healthy information.

You all know your greens are good for you but have you considered including these in your daily diet?

Hungry for Change is a website I admire and they are always supplying fantastic nutritional advice ..like this …enjoy! x

1. Seaweed

Often overlooked because it is not a land-dweller, seaweed is insanely good for you. While providing a whopping amount of vitamins and minerals, seaweed’s golden ticket is iodine. Iodine is found in very few foods and is essential to a healthy thyroid. With more people avoiding iodised salt for a slew of reasons, mild iodine deficiency is growing more common. When deficient, a person may have difficulty losing weight, feel fatigued, perhaps depressed — experiencing general thyroid malfunction. Whip up a tasty seaweed salad for lunch to keep your thyroid chugging along.

2. Micro greens

Move over regular arugula (commonly called rocket)! Micro greens are simply mini versions of your favourite produce, and man do they pack a punch! As “toddler plants,” they contain more vitamins and flavour than their mature counterparts. There is an endless variety of micro greens from which to choose, from mustard and watercress, to turnip and sunflower — each with a unique, tantalising flavour. As an added bonus, micro greens are crazy easy to grow in your kitchen, and will supply your meals with some tasty, uber healthy green nutrition.

3. Lacinato Kale (aka Tuscan/Dinosaur kale)

This is your grocery-store-kale’s dark, jurassic-looking cousin. With 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins A and K, and 88 percent of your vitamin C requirement, the rich compounds of kale have been linked to cancer prevention. It is a little sweeter and nuttier than your regular kale, so go ahead and experiment!

4. Moringa

Recently growing in popularity, moringa is a leaf that is chock-full of goodies. It assists with blood sugar stabilisation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, is loaded with energising and depression-fighting B vitamins, and containing 90 nutrients that benefit the human body. It is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant-rich. Cook with the oil, or flavour meals with the leaves. Never heard of it? Discover all of the wonders of moringa here.

5. Avocados

OK, so you may be pretty familiar with avocados, but they are so delicious and nutrient-dense that they deserve a mention. They are full of monounsaturated fats, which increase satiety and can assist with weight loss. Avocados are anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulators, and may even prevent strokes. Buy them once for the high amount of potassium, fibre, B vitamins, and vitamins K and C; keep buying them for their glorious, creamy texture and your newfound obsession with guacamole.

Green foods are good for you, but they don’t have to be boring. Trying a new green every week can keep your meals interesting and your body healthy.

Avocados are my absolute favourite – and I eat almost everyday!   What is your favourite green????

Be Healthy & Happy! 

Caroline

 

Finally Part Two…Answers to the Dreaded Bloat!

I have returned….do you know where I have been? DId you realise I was gone? No? Actually don’t answer that.. best I believe that you have been waiting patiently for my next post and wondering how come it took so long!

I have been in France for 6 weeks! For those of you that have worked with me… I achieved my goal, the one that I put in my lifeline in December 2010. Four weeks of French language immersion in a school in Ville Franche sur Mer, and, two weeks travelling with the partner! I have had the time of my life and in time I will tell you a little more about my experience, but for now the long awaited part two ….

In  the last post I explained reasons why your body holds onto water and some of the things you can do to de-bloat!! There are also foods and fluids you can increase in your diet to assist, and of course exercise!

Increase:

1)  Fluids that help act as a diuretic: 

  1. Cranberry juice
  2. Pink grapefruit juice
  3. Lemon juice In water
  4. WATER: ensure 8 glasses /day – surprisingly it helps flush the excess.

2)  Foods that help:

  • Increasing water based foods: they stimulate your kidneys to release excess water. ie more vegetables and fruit!    Especially….
  • Banana – high in potassium
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus /parsley / Beet’s/ green beens/ leafy greens /leeks

3)  Herbs that help:

  • Evening primrose oil
  • Chaste tree
  • Dandelion tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Parsley

4)  Vitamins that help:

  • B vitamins particularly b6 – found in brown rice/ red meat /salmon /tuna/ banana
  • B5  – found in natural yoghurt
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Calcium:   1,000 mg
  • Vitamin C – 1000mg /day

5)  Exercise:

  • Getting hot and sweaty always helps
  • Work the muscles in the areas where the water accumulates
  • Massage the areas always massaging in the direction towards heart
  • Sauna – sweat it out!!

 Be Healthy & Happy!

CarolineIMG_2342

 Compliments of La Columbe d’Or.

St Paul de Vence, October 2103.

 

 

Feeling a little bloated………..?

Water is to me the fluid of life and its health benefits reign supreme. Sometimes however, for various reasons you may be holding onto too much water resulting in that bloated feeling and/or swollen legs, arms, ankles and face. It is the accumulation of excess water in your body tissues that is the culprit. Here are some of the potential causes:

  • PMS- could be either pre menstrual or peri menopause! (Gentlemen you cannot use this excuse!)
  • High salt levels -1 part salt attracts 4 parts water 1:4
  • High sugar diet (including alcohol)
  • Thyroid issues – potentially under-active
  • Hormone imbalances – progesterone levels are on the low side
  • Stress

All is not lost – there are changes that you can make to your diet to reduce water retention. I would try these first then if the problems persists, see your medical practitioner to test for thyroid and/or hormone imbalances.

So what to do, what to do…?

  1. REDUCE SALT INTAKE:

If you are a big salt eater then this could be your guy!!  Cut it down (not out) – aim to be less than 1000mg/day.  Check all nutrition labels for sodium content as it in hides in products like salad dressings/sauces/mayo/bread/pasta. Don’t add salt to cooking or be heavy handed at the table.

2.REDUCE EXCESS STARCHY CARBS – a high starch refined diet, think lots of bread, pasta etc etc can play havoc with both your blood sugar and salt levels. Cut back – your waistline will also love you for it!

3.REDUCE CAFFEINE – INC. COFFEE AND TEAS (not herbal) Alas even though caffeine is a diuretic (makes you pee) and you would think that would help the problem – it’s the opposite! It makes you body hold onto water not let it go!

4. REDUCE ALCOHOL –  Alas too much alcohol (think sugar), dehydrates the body therefore the body in panic, holds onto water!!  Those A.F.D’s you have been thinking about are looking better and better!

Next post I will tell you what to increase in your diet to help combat water retention.

Be Healthy & Happy !

Caroline

(image:google)

 

 

Eating in Season… better for you and better for the planet!

July 1: Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!!

6 months of 2013 gone… never to be repeated and 6 months left!! Is it because we are older that time passes at a greater speed each year? I suspect so but would be happier for another explanation if anyone out there has one!

Eating seasonally is soooooo important for many reasons, so I’ve decided at the beginning of each month I will let you know what is in season and share one of my favourite recipes that compliments one or more of the seasonal foods…enjoy!

Fruit

  • Avocados
  • Custard apples
  • Fuji apples
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mandarins
  • Nashi
  • Navel oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Pink lady apples
  • Pomegranates
  • Quinces
  • Red delicious apples
  • Rhubarb

Vegetables

  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Brown onions
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chinese greens
  • Dutch carrots
  • English spinach
  • Fennel
  • Gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Kumara or sweet potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Olives
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Silverbeet
  • Spinach
  • Witlof

 I am not sure where I got this recipe, but it is delicious and brings the humble often boring carrot into it’s own. I have served this in a small shot style glass or small cup while having pre-dinner drinks.

 Curried lentil, carrot and cashew soup! 
1.5 litres chick stock
750g carrots grated
3/4 cup red lentils rinsed and drained
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 tbs madras curry paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems
1/2 cup Greek style yoghurt
fresh shredded coriander leaves for garnish

Method:    Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan.  Add the carrots and lentils, bring the mixture back to the boil, then simmer over low heat for about 8 minutes, or until the carrot and lentils are soft.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and cashews and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and browned.  Add the curry paste and coriander and cook for a further 1 minute, or until fragrant.  Stir the paste into the carrot and lentil mixture.

Transfer to a food processor or blender and process in batches until smooth or a little bit of crunch if you prefer.  Return the mixture to the pan and reheat over medium heat until hot.  Season to taste with seas salt and cracked black pepper and serve with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of coriander.

 Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline

Maintaining Momentum on a Monday…Oils Aint Oils My Friends!

The final food group that I want to bring to your attention in regards to accelerating the aging process is OILS. Not all oils are created equal and in fact some oils are unhealthy – pure and simple! In fact these oils are neither pure nor simple. They are usually a blend of many oils, that have been refined under extremely high heat and chemical solvents such as hexane have been used in the process. End result ..the nature of the polyunsaturated fats (omega 6’s) is altered, lots of oxidation occurs and are therefore very inflammatory inside your body. Nasty free radicals are produced, cell membranes are damaged, contributing to health problems such as heart disease, cancer,  and guess what? Yes …accelerating the aging process.

The villains – anything extracted from seeds – are labeled soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, rice bran oil, vegetable oil, or cottonseed oil. Not only can you buy them in the oil section of your supermarket, but they are overused in the manufacture of most processed products. Think dry biscuits, sweet biscuits, savoury chips, hot chips,  pretzels, Up & Go’s (!!), chocolate, supermarket breads, rice crackers, long life milks, “alternative” milks such as soy or oat, olive oil margarine’s, most supermarket sauces,  salad dressing, almost anything in the supermarket freezer section (except snap frozen veggies) even the humble packet of chicken noodle soup!!.. and the list goes on and on and on!

SO BE AWARE and seek out the healthy options –  olive oil, avocado oil, virgin coconut oil (a healthy source of MCT fats), palm oil is OK but it is not a enviro friendly choice -think the depletion of the orangutan’s habitat – so best to avoid. Nut oils and grass-fed butter, yes there is that word again natural good for you butter!! (a great source of healthy CLA fats).

I am often asked about which oils for which type of cooking. This is a quick summary from David Guillepsie’s new book Toxic Oil.

Deep frying – animal  fats, (yes you read correctly and yes you can buy in supermarket) or light olive oil (not extra virign due to it’s low smoke point).

Pan Frying – olive oil or butter

Oven Cooking/Baking/Roasting: goose/duck fats (OMG – did I just really type that?) olive, coconut, macadamia and other nut oils.

SO now you have the low down on the four main food groups that age us – inside and out – sugar, wheat, corn based foods and seed oils. Choose wisely!

 Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline

Healthy Ideas for Weight Loss on a Friday!

 

It’s the first day of February 2013… and I am back on line, at work, etc etc. Summer holidays have flown, kids are back at school, life is falling into that familiar day to day routine. All of a sudden you may have a little time to stop, take a deep breath and check in with how you are feeling, where your health is at. If weight loss is your thing, has that been on the back burner over the holidays? Did you take a break from exercising? Do you have some goals in place for 2013? Just some questions for you to ponder.. As I said in my last post, you hold a lot of power in your thoughts –  so make them positive, make them great! ………Those thoughts eventually become your actions and your destiny.

Now for those healthy ideas for weight loss. It would be very hard for one to argue the health benefits of eating processed foods (with me anyway)! I was sent this email over the holidays, it makes me smile, and it makes sense in it’s simplicity….enjoy x

It’s been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land,

planted a garden, made animals and fish… All before making a human. He made

and provided what we’d need before we were born. These are best & more powerful

when eaten raw. We’re such slow learners…

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body! God’s Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines

look just like the human eye.. And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

 

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red.

All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopene and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

 

 Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell.

 All of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

 

 

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper 

cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like

the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen

neuron-transmitters for brain function.

 

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes,

they look exactly like the human kidneys.

 

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These 

foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium

 If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it

from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female- they look just like these organs.

Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes excatly nine (9) months to grow and avocado

from blossom to ripened fruit!! There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents

of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied & named 141 of them)

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs


increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm

as well to overcome male sterility.

 

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the

glycemic index of diabetics.

 

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges , Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the 

mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions

help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce

tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, 

Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

(photos compliments of google!)

Food for Thought?

Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline

Tuna – are you eating the fish that John West rejects?

Tuna is, as most of you know, one of the good guys when it comes to healthy foods, and one of my favourite foods! Even though it does not have as many omega−3 fats as sardine or salmon, a serving of tuna is a great source of high quality protein, niacin, B6, B12, selenium and does provide some healthy omega – 3’s.

You may wonder if all of those vitamins and minerals still give the same nutritional punch when your tuna comes in a can. As expected in the world of nutrition, there is not a simple answer…it depends on a number of factors – how the tuna is caught, frozen or not, how it is cooked, whether it comes in oil or water and, what additives and flavourings have been included in the mix.

Something you may have not considered is how your tuna is fished. Unsustainable and destructive fishing methods are unfortunately used by many of the big fishing companies. Fortunately for the consumer, companies such as Greenpeace, our very own ocean police, are constantly applying pressure on these companies and the methods they use. Just to push the point home they have  released the 2012 Canned Tuna Ranking – I urge you to click on the link and see how your favourite canned tuna ranks, and perhaps you just may like to consider a change….I am guessing John West might be the one you now reject!

Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline

I Am Going a Little Nuts Over Nuts! Healthy Absolutely! Weight loss Definitely!

It is funny how food groups can go in and out of food fashion! In the 70’s FAT received the biggest bashing ever seen. Propelled by the Scarsdale Diet and a population wanting to embrace a new diet fad, food manufacturers decided to remove as  much fat as possible from every product on supermarket shelves, and the consumer took to them in droves!

Nuts too received their bad wrap, most likely a flow on from everyone wanting everything low fat, and people removed them from their diet! The occasional nut surfaced in a bowl of salted nuts served with your drink at bars (grubby!) and in the days when aeroplane food was free, a packet of mixed nuts landed on your tray table as a mid flight snack! But even that has disappeared!

But nuts just like fat never deserved their unfortunate reputation. Nuts are in fact full of the good healthy fats – mostly monounsaturated, some poly unsaturated and if you are eating your daily dose of walnuts, you are consuming a significant amount of the brain healthy omega-3’s.

Much has been touted about the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, which is full of monounsaturated fats. Lower heart disease, lower cancer rates, healthier waistlines and longer life spans are just some of the health benefits of including monounsaturated fats in your everyday.  So I think it is more than OK to be a little crazy over nuts and eat more. I eat them everyday. This morning I had crushed walnuts in my natural yoghurt for breakfast and my mid morning snack was fresh strawberries and a small handful of almonds!

One delicious thing I have to share with you, which I tasted at my local health food shop the other day – Activated Nuts. Scrumptious….. and in store, expensive. But don’t let that stop you trying them, you can make them yourself at home and what I like it is easy…well !

Activated Almonds (recipe compliments of wellbeing.com.au)

Time: 12-24 hrs soaking + up to 24 hrs drying
Ingredients:
2 cups raw almonds* (not roasted or salted)
enough water to cover the almonds in a dish
sea salt or garlic salt or tamari (optional)

*You can use other nuts, too! Try brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts, pistachios

  1. Soak the almonds in the water for 12 hrs. If you’re using other hard nuts (like hazelnuts or brazil nuts) 12 hrs will also work. If you’re using soft nuts, like cashews or pistachios – shorten soaking to 4-6 hrs.
  2. Rinse the nuts under running water, and if you want to add flavour – now is the time to do it. Just shake a couple of tsp of whichever flavour you want over the wet (rinsed) almonds, and stir to combine well.
  3. To ‘roast’ the almonds, without damaging all those nutrients you’ve activated. Dry out the nuts on low heat – either in a dehydrator or on the lowest temperature your oven will do (mine is 40C). This will take anywhere from 6-24 hrs, depending on the temperature you’re using. The nuts will be done when they feel (and taste) dry.
  4. Use your activated-dried almonds as you normally would use roasted almonds. They last really well in an airtight container. And they can be ground into almond meal too!

 

Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline 

p.s. do you like my new “look”? I have been playing around backstage with my post and I thought this looked quite “fresh’ for Spring!!

 

Maintaining Momentum on Monday – I am 8 Weeks Sugar Free!

I began this experiment on Monday 30th April 2012 and 8 weeks later we arrive at today, my destination 8 weeks sugar free!  As you are all aware, there have been a total of 5 hiccups which I  have detailed in previous posts and considering this has been a 56 day experiment I think statistically that ain’t too bad!

So what are my (one woman) research findings?

Mentally…

  1. It was not as hard as thought it may be. In fact once I set my mind to it, I found it was easy to say no to the bowl of bullets under my nose, or a bowl of chocolates sitting on the table! I suppose when you have your head set in “experiment” mode there is not that sense of restriction or deprivation, it was, it is ..an experiment!
  2. People comment on your behaviour when you make an obvious change. IE I was at a dinner and said no to dessert and explained what I was doing which then opened the floodgates into a whole new discussion of pros/ cons etc. It is similar to another client who has cut back on her wine content considerably and is loving the health benefits. When she is out socialising however, everyone comments on the fact that she is not drinking, coercing her to have “just one” or want to know what is wrong with her!!  Some people don’t like change!

Physically…

  1. I have lost weight – though this was not my intention. Not a lot, but what I have noticed is that it is an all over weight loss from top to toe, not just from my usual already non existent chest area!
  2. My eyes are clearer. The whites are definitely whiter!! 
  3. My skin feels more hydrated. Interestingly I had my Mother’s Day Facial the other day (one of my pressies) and the beautician positively commented on the state of my skin….though in hindsight she could say that to all her clients!!
  4. I believe I have definitely been sleeping better and not getting up or waking as much as I usually do!

Conclusion: I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiment and intend to remain sugar free as much as I can.

I have loved my switch to full fat Greek Style yoghurt’s and indulging everyday has been one of my pleasures. My newly discovered sugar – free muesli  (the muesli) is one of my great finds and have now converted many a client. Whether I have it with the yoghurt or heat it up on a cold morning with rice milk it keeps me satisfied more often that not till well after 1.00pm!

I am very much looking forward to eating fruit daily again – I did not cut it out completely but I did cut it down considerably. As you know whole foods such as fruit are an extremely important part of a nutritious diet… just remember to have a small protein source with them to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

So there it is – I can highly recommend to everyone going sugar free or at least just cutting as many unwanted sugars out of your daily life as possible… your body will thank you for it.

 

Be Healthy & Happy!

 

Caroline 

 

 

 

 

 

Maintaining Momentum on a Monday …Sugar Free for one week —well almost!


A methodical trial and error procedure
..remember from last week that was the definition of an experiment? Well thank God for trial and error, as error  did come into play over the past seven days! Remember, I don’t see food choices we make from day to day, as an error, or failure or stuff ups, rather each choice is the choice you made at the time (for all sorts of reasons).  If the choice you make is not the healthiest choice, so be it, don’t dwell or beat your self up, learn from it, it is just feedback and move on.

I successfully in all but two episodes removed sugar from my diet. No chocolate, no fruit flavoured yoghurt’s, dates scones, etc etc etc!  The two times when sugar snuck in were interestingly both when I was out for dinner. The first occasion was a school mums’ dinner where we paid a set price for two courses and a glass of wine…you know the drill. When it came to ordering I ordered my main – delicious linguine with prawns, garlic, chili, rocket and olive oil – then without thinking sorbet for dessert. The sorbet came I was half way though my second scoop when the penny or I should say the brick dropped! No more sorbet! The next occasion again at a friends for dinner. It was a very cold night and  before dinner we all partook in a fabulous winestyle master class. Tasting wines from Burgundy and the Barolo region in Italy. Dinner was a delicious beef bourguignon followed by yummy crumble and again with little regard for my experiment I delved in. This time I did not give it a second thought and before I knew it.. all gone, as was the delicious King Island yoghurt that went with it! What is interesting about these two episodes is that normally I don’t even think about dessert. I am not a dessert person. I am one of those who when handed the menu go straight to the entrees and mains but never cast my eyes down to the desserts. I have girlfriends whose eyes head straight to the sweet section of the menu, make their choice then decided what entree or main would go best compliment the dessert they have chosen! 

As for the remainder of the week – a success. Breaskfast has been easy and I have found a wonderful new muesli called The Muesli made in Melbourne by the bodsquad. It is expensive compared to the other breakfast products out there, but it works out to be only  $1.60 per serve and it is of a very high quality and seriously, a small amount sustains you all morning. Otherwise I have been having lots of avocado on toast which I love. Lunch and dinner have been without any sugar dramas – except of course those mentioned.

So week two of my eight week experiment has now commenced. Some have asked about fruit – am I cutting it out, as yes it is all fructose? I am probably a two piece of fruit a day girl and one of my favourite breakfasts is banana on delicious multi grain sour dough toast with tahini drizzled over the top! However for the sake of this experiment I am cutting back. If I really crave a piece of fruit I will have one, but otherwise no. Then at the end of the 8 week period fruit shall be back on the menu… naturally.

I still have not explained to you the issues surrounding fructose…I will I promise.. but for now work beckons.

mueli

(the muesli ingredients!)

Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline