I was fiddling around in the kitchen the other day and came up with a new drink that I believe should be on everybody's lips. Move over Golden Mylk (as much as I love you)! And make way for my Maca and Tahini Latte.
This creamy and warm concoction will support your immune system and revitalise your body, both mentally and physically. It’ll get your metabolism revving first thing in the morning, providing you with more get-up-and-go, reducing fatigue and ensuring your body is functioning at it’s best.
Today’s modern, hardworking men and women can often be seen multi-tasking in the centre of busy cities, hands clutching their morning caffeinated beverage, determined looks upon their faces. For decades caffeine has been viewed as a daily necessity to get you moving in the morning and to ‘switch on’ creativity.
But for many people, caffeine may be doing more harm than good. Overdoing caffeine can cause your blood pressure to swell, burdening your already hardworking heart!
Caffeine and other energy-enhancing supplements can also overload the endocrine system in the body. Since the endocrine system and the adrenal glands are responsible for the release of important hormones into the body, too much caffeine can result in an imbalance in hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone. Plus I’m sure I don’t need to remind you about the relationship between hormone levels and mood swings. Eeek.
For someone aiming to maximise their gut health, caffeine can impede progress as it can cause indigestion and incontinence not ideal on a busy working day when you are trying your upmost to be fierce! Diuretics can hinder the absorption of vital nutrients by the gut and can lead to the unnecessary loss of healthy gut microbes.
What is maca powder?
Maca is grown in the Peruvian Andes and is packed with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and phytochemicals. It is the root of the Maca plant that is of the greatest nutritional value and it has been used by the Incas for centuries. Generally used to improve energy levels and revitalise the body it is nutrient dense and has a variety of beneficial uses. It can be ground into flour, added to smoothies and drinks and used in baking too.
What are the benefits of maca powder?
- It’s nutritious and is made up of protein, fibre, essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium and calcium – oh my!
- Helps to increase energy levels, without causing stress to the endocrine system and key organs in the body
- helps to reduce chronic fatigue
- balances hormones in men and women, as it contains amino acids which are the building blocks for hormones.
- Peps you up! Think elevated mood and a reduction in self perceived anxiety, stress and depression.
My Maca and Tahini latte contains no caffeine, no processed sugar and no pharmaceutical energy enhancers. And this frothy brew boosts energy levels in a balanced and sustainable way, with no stress on the body. Yay for that!
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp maca powder
1 tsp tahini sesame paste
1 tsp vanilla
To sweeten add 1 tsp rice malt syrup to taste (optional)
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir, whisking until combined and just warm then pour into a heat proof blender and blend for a few seconds until frothy. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a little cinnamon on top.
Hello U.S and Canadian friends 🙂
I'm so happy to announce that my #1 Selling book, Heal Your Gut, is now available for pre-order in America and Canada.
The book features 90 gut-loving recipes that aim to cleanse, restore and nourish your insides. It features a four-week treatment program and a natural cleansing regime that will have your insides happy and smiling and your energy levels though the roof!
I'll be heading to the US in October and will be doing events in New York and LA and I absolutely cannot wait to meet everyone in person so stay tuned for event times and locations.
From the bottom of my heart and my healed gut, I thank you so much for your support and hope that you'll love this book just as much as I do.
It's been such a fulfilling journey to bring this book into your hands and I’m so excited to share everything I have learnt along the way with you.
You can pre-order the Heal Your Gut book now at these retailers;
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You’ll find no shortage of celebrities endorsing various superfoods all over the world wide web and their social media accounts; which is all well and good until you get a closer look at the price of these super-expensive life enhancers!
WARNING: Beware of the following hash tags when scrolling:
But really, you don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Keep reading for some delicious, healthy, and very affordable alternatives to so called superfoods! I like to call them Supercharged Foods.
Many of you may be wondering, what makes a food a ‘superfood’? Well, to be honest there’s no concrete definition, however, the name ‘superfood’ is actually a marketing term, not a scientific one. A superfood is described as being any food that contains high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are well known for their ability to strengthen the immune system, thereby warding off diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
The health benefits of these ‘superfoods’ are the result of studies done on specific essential nutrients, that are known to prevent disease and improve immunity, and the foods that they can be found in, in large amounts. If studies show that a specific food contains high concentrations of antioxidants, trace minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin C, K and B, it can then be referred to as a superfood.
Each time a new study is released shedding light on the health benefits of a specific food, the media runs with this information, publishing their own news stories about these newly researched superfoods. In 2014 kale farmers struggled to keep up with the new demand for kale after several studies reported that kale contained high levels of antioxidants and other essential nutrients, leaving many supermarkets out of stock. The media has a lot of influence over consumers, and with consumers becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of eating healthy wholesome foods, it’s no surprise that supermarkets take advantage of this by drastically increasing the price of these foods!
However, some studies can be misleading, and the results reported can be misinterpreted by the media and consumers. Just because studies have reported that a specific food, such as blueberries, contain large amounts of antioxidants, it doesn’t mean that you have to start eating blueberries every day to maintain vibrant health! Superfoods aren’t the only foods that contain essential nutrients. And by eating a balanced diet that is full of variety, you can guarantee that you’re eating enough essential nutrients without even picking up a superfood.
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Fermented foods are a beautiful way to increase gut health when your gut is strong and ready.
If you’re familiar with my four week online Heal Your Gut program, (the next round kicks off soon), you'll know that after giving your digestive system a rest and healing the gut lining, when your gut is feeling stronger you can start adding fermented foods to your diet to boost beneficial gut flora. Go gently and see how your gut reacts – try small amounts each day and see how you feel.
Kombucha is one of the most enjoyable and delicious ways to introduce the world of cultured foods into your life, as it basically replaces the need for soft drink, providing a mildly sweet, slightly sour and naturally fizzy beverage that is enjoyed by adults and kids alike.
Kombucha begins life as an ordinary sugary tea, but the addition of a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) transforms it into a fermented drink. The SCOBY bacteria and yeast eat most of the sugar, yielding a drink full of natural probiotics that will dance around happily in your intestines. A small amount enjoyed daily has many gut-healing properties.
Aside from colonising the gut with probiotic bacteria that are wonderful for your immune system, this delicious fermeted tea holds an impressive collection of health promoting properties that have been enjoyed in Russia, Japan, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Manchuria and Indonesia for generations. According to the Weston A Price Foundation:
Kombucha is rich in B vitamins and a substance called glucuronic acid which binds up environmental and metabolic toxins so that they can be excreted through the kidneys. Glucuronic acid is a natural acid that is produced by the liver. Kombucha simply supplies the body with more and boosts the natural detoxification process.
Glucuronic acid is also the building block of a group of important polysaccharides that include hyaluronic acid (a basic component of connective tissue), chondroitin sulfate (a basic component of cartilage) and mucoitinsulfuric acid (a building block of the stomach lining and the vitreous humor of the eye).
Kombucha has also been linked to a myriad of other benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. It truly is a tonic rather than simply a yummy beverage.
Don’t be afraid of the fermenting process which can seem like a complex lab operation rather than a kitchen recipe. Honestly, you just have to take the plunge and enter into the world of fermentation to realise that with some basic knowledge of the way bacteria feed on a constant supply of sugars, the process of keeping your culture alive and enjoying it’s wonderful and delicious creations is actually a very straightforward, common sense process that will become part of your daily rhythm.
Once you get the hang of making it, you can flavour it up with ginger and turmeric or even berries. Purchase a SCOBY online or, if you’re very lucky, a friend might give you one. You can buy kombucha online or at a health food store, although once you’ve made your first batch, you won’t need to buy it any more.
You’ll also need a breathable cloth such as muslin (I use a nut bag), a rubber band, and one sterilised wide-mouthed, 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) capacity glass jar with a lid (Mason jar).
- 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water
- 2 organic black tea bags
- 55 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) organic sugar
- 1 SCOBY (see above)
- 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) homemade or store-bought kombucha (see above)
Put the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Pour the tea into the sterilised jar, then add the SCOBY and the kombucha. Cover with muslin, secure with a rubber band and write the date on the jar.
Store undisturbed in a cool, dark, dry place for 7 days, then test it to see if it’s ready. It should be fizzy and slightly sour/vinegary. If it’s still sweet, let it ferment for a day or so longer (usually up to 10 days).
Once the kombucha is ready, carefully remove the SCOBY using a clean long-handled spoon and place it on a plate with a little of the liquid to stop it drying out (then use it to make another batch straight away). Pour out 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) of the kombucha and keep aside to make another batch, then pour the remaining liquid into a jug through a sieve and then into a clean glass bottle with a lid. Secure the lid tightly and make a note on the bottle of the date. The kombucha will keep in the fridge for 2–4 weeks.
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There are numerous spices and herbs in the world and one of my favourites, turmeric, certainly holds the title crown of Mother Nature’s most perfect all-rounder.
A deep orange plant displaying glorious golden hues, this spice is one transported unswervingly and with conviction from the spice gods.
Not only does its dramatic colour provide an award winning status, so does its medicinal properties and health correcting expertise.
The dazzling golden colour of turmeric is provided by curcumin, a natural antioxidant that will fight off and repair damaged cells and everyday bombardments of anything from petrol fumes to pesticides.
Turmeric is a powerful secret weapon when it comes to good health, and enjoying this supercharged spice frequently in anything from drinks, bakes and main meals is encouraged.
Holding an abundance of antioxidants is not its only healing saving grace, this rich staple from your spice rack also holds an assortment of anti-inflammatory properties and can float effortlessly between traditional and modern medicine.
It’s no wonder that turmeric has really built a name for itself as a front-runner in natural painkillers!
In fact, numerous studies show the powerful healing properties of turmeric and if you’re interested in delving in deeper, you can find an assortment of interesting studies here.
With this in mind, today I’m sharing with you my three favourite ways with turmeric and a short beginners guide detailing how to use this secret weapon in everyday life.
Firstly if you haven’t tried it yet you must get into my anti-inflammatory Toddy drink. This soothing hot drink boasts it’s sweet flavour with a peppery tingle from the combination of the turmeric and cashew milk.
It’s an ideal pick-me-up if you’re feeling a little run down and a wonderful comfort for an upset tum, gas and bloating. Having long been used to nip unhappy bellies in the bud in Chinese medicine, it’s also used widely in Ayurvedic practices for various respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, and allergy, as well as for liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis.
In both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is considered a bitter digestive and a carminative. Unani practitioners use turmeric to expel phlegm or kapha from the body and as a blood circulation booster.
Being a cholagogue, it helps to stimulate bile production in the liver and encourage excretion of bile via the gallbladder, which improves the body’s ability to digest fats, that’s why adding coconut milk to this recipe can boost your therapeutic benefits.
If you’re in need of a liquid rescue remedy click here. Enjoy it in the moment, and whenever needed relish in my natural form of SSRI, remember this acronym; Sip, Soothe, Relax and Improve.
Being native to Southern India and Indonesia, turmeric, a cousin of ginger is a key ingredient for curries. A dish with an abundance of flavours, smells and textures, curries can strike your senses with a flavoursome knockout punch.
One of my newer much loved curry recipes is a Tuna Tikka Curry from my latest cook book Eat Right For Your Shape It’s composed around my favourite Ayurvedic healing ingredients.
Now this is the kind of recipe that is sure to get your taste buds tingling and your belly satisfied.
Revive your senses and fill your happy belly with my Tuna Tikka Curry go here to learn more.
Because all good things come in threes, I want to take you on an adventure to Mexico now and share with you my healthier take on nachos.
If you’re a little hesitant of this luminescent ingredient, a great way to include more turmeric into your diet is to pop it into healthy bakes and crackers.
I find that the nacho recipe is a more laid back way to introduce children to this wonder ingredient.
I like to serve my nachos with a bowl of cooling guacamole and chopped tomatoes for a mouth-watering free for all and one that the whole family can get stuck into enthusiastically.
Go here to discover my not so naughty nachos!
Now it’s over to you to unleash this golden super spice turmeric into your kitchen and recipes.
I invite you to give it a whirl and charge forth towards less inflammation and better health.
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The next round of my four week Heal Your Gut program starts on Monday 8th August, 2016.
You still have time to register for this transformational experience.
Just go here to join up and look forward to increased energy levels, better immune health and relief from gastro-intestinal symptoms.
See you on Monday 🙂
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Gut health is by far the best way to nudge off a few excess kilos gained during the over-indulgent festive season.
If you haven’t already tried it or seen it in stores, my Heal Your Gut powder, which is all natural and made from naturopathic grade, organic and fresh water diatomaceous earth is the perfect antidote to seasonal weight creep and will get you back on track.
This all natural food based ingredient will give your gut that little daily spring clean it craves, particularly after a long-winded holiday eating splurge that seems to run for the best part of the new year and beyond.
It’s not just our cupboards that need a bit of tender loving care, our hard working colons do too!
Diatomaceous earth is the superfine fossilised remains of fresh water diatoms, a natural type of hard-shelled algae. For hundreds of years our ancient ancestors recognised algae as an incredible food source, holding magnificent health benefits. But for some reason it has taken us a long time to reap those benefits.
The wonders of algae lie in the silicon makeup. Silica provides an abundance of health benefits, from boosting hair growth, to easing skin problems such as redness, acne and eczema. Slowing down the degenerative break down of connective tissue, to increasing calcium deposits to bone.
Getting sufficient amounts of this super mineral is essential. However, it’s not all in the mineral composition, diatomaceous earth holds many other benefits as it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-any nasties in the form of parasites. It helps with increased nutrient absorption, better immunity and improved waste removal.
Due to the texture of this natural sediment, it very gently exfoliates the intestine wall, sweeping away all impurities that sit in your gut.
These unwanted toxins block our bodies from absorbing vital nutrients, and therefore decreasing our general well being, energy and happiness.
Once the junk has been removed from your trunk, you will nourish and glow from the inside out. It’s easy to take and tasteless too without any additives. It's also suitable for vegans and is gluten and GMO free.
Simply add a tablespoon to water, juice or a smoothie twice a day before meals and scroll down for my favourite gut soothing smoothie.
Happy Gut Banana and Mango Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 tsp Heal Your Gut powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Place all ingredients to a high-speed blender and whizz until combined and smooth
- Pour into a tall glass
You can also spice up your mornings by adding this fine powder to one of the gut healing drinks from my Heal Your Gut recipe book.
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Eat Right for Your Shape takes a fresh look at the ancient healing system of Ayurveda and applies it to the way we eat and live. This book has been cooked up in the Ayurvedic kitchens of Kerala, where I spent time last year studying Ayurvedic nutrition and cooking.
Originating in India, Ayurveda presents a holistic approach to feeling well and living in harmony with yourself and your surroundings. It is a union of the mind, body, senses and soul.
Through nutrition, yoga and meditation, it focuses on treating the individual as a whole rather than a specific issue or disease, so that you can achieve balance and good health, not only in your physical body, but also in your mind and spirit.
Immersing myself in Ayurveda and its philosophies inspired me write a practical based book with an emphasis on balance and self care.
In this book, I’ll show you how to apply Ayurvedic principles to your life. I cover eating habits, digestion, daily routines, yoga and meditation.
One of the starting points is establishing your own particular dosha or constitution to enable you to tailor the principles and recipes to suit you. There’s a comprehensive questionnaire in the book to help you do this.
Following that is a chapter on basic yoga poses and breathing exercises unique to you to help pacify your dosha or shape, and I’ve included over one hundred and twenty delicious and nourishing recipes that correct your doshic imbalance, in order to create harmony, weight management and health.
In the book I offer a wealth of practical advice to eat right for your own dosha or shape.
I believe that this is more than just a book about losing weight and eating right for your shape. It has been the hardest book I've ever written but it’s the one I’m most proud of.