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5 Tips to Get More Anti-Inflammatory Foods into Your Diet

Inflammation can be tricky to manage. In short, controlled amounts, it helps your body recover from injury and illness by supplying necessary blood and heat to affected areas. However, ongoing or chronic inflammation increases your risk for heart and kidney disease and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

The good news is that the meals you choose can increase or help to decrease overall inflammation. Many people with chronic conditions follow eating guidelines to keep their levels in check.

I'd love to share with you five tips to get more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.

1. Choose Cooking Oils Wisely

When the news about saturated fats and heart disease risk broke, manufacturers raced to create healthier cooking oils. However, they may have done more harm than good in some cases.

While plant-based oils are generally higher in the unsaturated fats once considered beneficial, some researchers have begun to cast aspersions on the high omega-6 levels in the typical western diet. While omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids benefit human health, the wrong balance can increase inflammation.

What should you eat? Opt for cooking oils that have a better omega-3 to omega-6 balance — like olive and avocado oil — and aim to get more fatty fish in your diet. Seafood such as salmon, sardines and mackerel contain high levels of omega-3s to help balance the omega-6 in many popular cooking oils like safflower and sunflower.

What about canola oil? This cooking oil is known by many as a cheaper, healthier alternative. Some people tolerate it without problems — however, others develop violent allergies. Humans shouldn’t eat the raw plant since it’s genetically modified to eliminate toxic erucic acid and glucosinolates. However, high-heat cooking methods and hydrogenation alter the chemical structure, making it problematic for some people. Use with caution and mindfully examine any inflammatory effects.

2. Visit Your Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s markets are absolute bonanzas for getting more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Why is that? You’ll find the freshest, organically-grown produce brimming with antioxidants and phytonutrients to support vibrant health.

Part of that dynamic involves calming widespread systemic inflammation. Fresh food works by providing your body with the nutrition it needs to overcome daily stressors and toxins like micromanaging supervisors and environmental pollutants.

For example, summer stone fruits are a spectacular antioxidant source. Pick up a basket of fresh nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums or cherries — or their exciting hybrid cousins.

Do you want a healthy and anti-inflammatory summer spritzer, unlike the alcohol-based numbers that can spur swelling and anxiety? Mix a can of Zevia zero-calorie ginger ale with a dash of peach puree and top with fresh apricot and plum slices. Divine! For gut health, which is connected to inflammation try my Love Your Gut Synbiotic.

3. Go International

What’s on your dinner menu tonight? The typical American diet has become overly laden with problematic foods. However, you can improve your diet by taking tips from friends around the globe.

Many clinical nutritionists like myself uphold the Mediterranean diet as a model of healthy eating. Why? It’s high in plant-based foods, healthy oils and lean proteins, reserving fattier, denser meals like red meats as accompaniments, not the meal's centerpiece.

Plus, many people have little trouble getting on board with this meal plan. Who wouldn’t love a healthy plate of whole-grain spaghetti with zucchini, paired with a light caesar salad?

Do you have more exotic tastes? If so, go gaga for Asian cuisine. Popular spices like turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory powerhouses. Your best bet is pairing these herbs with black pepper to enhance the calming effect — try an exotic curried chicken with a side of carrot ginger soup with roasted vegetables.

4. Pick a Better Flour

If you’re like many, you have the trusty bag of bleached, all-purpose flour on your pantry shelf or tucked into a storage container. However, you could be serving up an inflammatory nightmare for your pancreas.

The manufacturing process can sometimes create a chemical byproduct called alloxan, which scientists use to induce diabetes in laboratory animals. When you combine alloxan with the rapidly absorbing, blood-sugar-spiking nature of white flour, you have a recipe for the Type 2 form of the disease in humans.

Fortunately, you have a world of other choices. You might have to experiment a bit to get the taste and texture to your liking, but you can play with quinoa and amaranth if you like ancient grains.

Are you craving more protein in your diet? Try lentil or garbanzo bean flour. You can even find insect flour in select specialty stores if you aren’t squeamish. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with opting for whole-grain flour or a gluten-free substitute like oat.

5. Think Plant-Based

Strive to make your diet as plant-based as possible. Such foods contain natural nutrients your body absorbs better than supplements. They provide the building blocks for all the processes your body needs to perform to function at its best and help promote homeostasis — your ability to maintain internal stability as conditions change. Drastic fluctuations can spur inflammation.

The easiest way to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet is to look at your plate as a clock at each meal. Fill half of it with the deep, leafy green and colorful stuff, leaving 15 minutes for lean protein and 15 for starch.

You can also identify painless ways to incorporate more vegetables into typical meals. For example, do you take a sandwich or wrap most days for lunch? Top it with red pepper, red onion, lettuce and tomato.

Do you have a handful of vegetables left over from various meals that you don’t want to get limp and soggy? Mix up some broth-based vegetable soup and indulge in a bowl before your main course.

Eat More Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Feel Better

Chronic, widespread inflammation increases your risk of nearly every disease. It can also make you feel downright yucky and unenergetic most days.

However, you can tame the flame by getting more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Follow the five tips above to improve your meal planning and boost your overall health.

Winter according to Ayurveda and Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

I want you to close your eyes and take a big inhale.

And then, take a long exhale out of your mouth. 

Winter is here in Australia (cue the Game of Thrones music). It’s time to pause, take a deep breath, and slow down.

According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical philosophy, winter helps balance the fast-paced nature of summer and autumn, giving you the opportunity to redirect your energy inwards, rest, reflect and practice stillness. It’s crucial to embrace winter’s change rather than fight it. 

If you crave warming soups or stews but choose to drink smoothies by the fire to stay warm because they’re ‘healthy’, it’s time to change. The worst thing you can do for your body is ignore what the season tells you. According to Ayurveda, winter is the season where the Agni – digestive fire – is strongest. The body needs more fuel to stay warm and healthy in the cooler months, and the cold weather forces the fire principle deep into the core of the body – igniting our digestive capacity. Routines that follow the change of season will help you keep your health on track.

Winter food should be warm and comforting, and no, before you close this tab and call the hot chips place down the road, that’s not the kind of comforting food I’m talking about! Focus on eating warm, cooked, slightly oily, well-spiced foods with tons of flavour, and avoid frozen or cold food, excessively sweet, heavy or oily foods. 

When it comes to the eating principles of Ayurveda, it’s best to drink room temperature, warm or hot beverages, and avoid iced or chilled drinks. If you tend to feel sluggish during winter, give some warming, soothing drinks a try.

If your gut needs reinforcements (hint: it most definitely does!), include a tablespoon of my love your gut synbiotic powder daily in room temperature water. It supports the digestive system with dietary fibre, digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics to help get things working well internally. You’re guaranteed to feel clearer, more energetic and brighter after just a short period of time. 

I recommend consuming loads of root veggies, such as sweet potato and carrots, with hot spices, like garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and chilli. If you love to root for root vegetables, this sweet potato, broccoli and ham soup is soup-erb! 

Winter is also a great time to increase your protein intake with plant based sources or other foods such as eggs, chicken, and lamb, which brings me to what you’ve all been waiting for: my delicious winter lamb shanks recipe.

Now, I know I could tempt you by telling you that these shanks will help warm up your insides, or I could say that lamb is rich in protein, which is excellent for maintaining a healthy weight, building muscles and protecting your bones, but really, these slow-cooked, hearty lamb shanks sell themselves.

They are nothing short of glorious, and I cannot wait for you to try them.  

Slow cooked lamb shanks  

Serves 4

A beautiful mixture of aromatic spices infuses the most delicious flavour into every mouthful of these succulent lamb shanks. Just brown the shanks and place all the ingredients in the slow cooker mid-morning, and by evening, you’ll have an intensely flavoursome and fulfilling meal, the slow-cooked meat just falling off the bone. Instead of dried blueberries and cranberries, you could use dates or raw honey for a touch of sweetness.

Cauliflower or celeriac mash partner these shanks perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mixed ground spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin and ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries or blueberries
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) good-quality beef or chicken stock, such as the Gut-Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • chopped parsley to garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Working in batches, if necessary, cook the shanks, turning occasionally, for 3–5 minutes, or until browned all over. 
  2. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and sauté the mushrooms, carrot, celery and onion for 3 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Stir in the garlic, ground spices and salt, cook for 1–2 minutes, then add the mixture to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the dried berries, pour lemon juice and vinegar, pour in the stock, and add a few good grinds of black pepper.
  6. Put the lid on, set the cooker to low and leave to simmer for 8 hours.
  7. Transfer the shanks to a warmed wide serving bowl and spoon the sauce over the top.
  8. If using, garnish with parsley, and serve with your choice of accompaniments.

Note: If you don’t have dried berries, you can add fresh berries near the end of the cooking time. The shanks can also be cooked in a 100°C (200°F) oven in an ovenproof dish with a tight-fitting lid for 6 hours.

Is Hummus keto?

Hummus is a beloved staple snack for most health-conscious people all over the world. Because it is versatile, savory, and can taste fantastic with just about anything, it makes a strong case as a substitute for pretzel bites or queso for that matter. 

You may wonder, what happens if you are on a ketogenic diet, but just can’t keep your hands off hummus? 

Let's find out in this article whether you can snack on hummus while on keto.

Exploring the origins of Hummus 

Hummus has origins in Western Asia and Egypt, where it has been traditionally prepared from cooked and battered chickpeas; however, other legumes are also used. 

Back in the thirteenth century, it was prepared and served as a room-temperature dish, primarily containing chickpeas, herbs, spices, vinegar, and oil. The first hummus recipe was published in an Arabic cookbook from the 13th-century.

Today, hummus is an incredibly popular food that has captured the hearts of most people. Today, the ever-flavourful hummus is flaunted as a superfood, especially in the health-conscious communities, where it is used as a staple dip.

Most of the hummus you’ll find in the markets uses the traditional Middle Eastern recipes; that said, you can try mixing it with different foods and flavors such as:

  • Tahini (mashed sesame seeds)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Basil 
  • Rosemary herb
  • Chillies and peppers

Is hummus keto-friendly?

The key ingredient of hummus is chickpeas, coming under the umbrella of the legume family. 

Legumes, which also include other beans, are not advised for the ketogenic diet. Despite being excellent sources of plant-based protein, they are abundant in carbs (making it a less desirable option for keto-dieters) and low in fat.

The keto diet applies restrictions on the number of carbs consumed. Depending on your weight, your carb consumption may be restricted from 20g to 50g of carbs per day. 

Carb-amount in hummus

A 2-tablespoon, which is approximately a 30-grams serving of plain hummus has the following nutritional constituents.

  • Calories: 78
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Total carbs: 6 grams
  • Fibre: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 4 grams

The serving size of the hummus is approximately the size of a golf ball, smaller than your typical serving. Despite these small amounts, it contains a solid 4 grams of total carbohydrates. Most flavors, such as herbs, species, peppers, and garlic do not alter the carb amount or the number of other nutrients.  

What do food experts suggest about hummus?

Let’s ascertain whether hummus, the beloved snack amongst dieters is keto-friendly or not?

As we clarified earlier, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the major ingredient of hummus. According to the US Department of Agriculture, a cup of garbanzo beans comprises 45 grams of carbohydrates. When chickpeas or other beans are transformed into hummus, the total carb content is about 49 grams.

A spokesperson for the Chicago-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Robert Foroutan, suggests that a meager amount of hummus can potentially fit into your diet. 

However, the downside is that it will not make it gratifying. Foroutan further suggests that the recommended source of carbs can be instead obtained from dark-leafy vegetables such as spinach and other veg like broccoli and asparagus.

Lower carb alternatives to hummus

While a small serving or two of traditional hummus should be fine on a keto diet, you’d still want a low-carb alternative to your regimen, especially if you are longing for a dip. Here are a few options to consider as low-carb alternatives to hummus:

  • Black soybean hummus. Hummus made from black soybeans is very high in fibre, which helps keep the net carb amount in check. Black soybean hummus contains about 2 grams of net carbs per 3-tablespoon or a 30-gram serving.
  • Baba ganoush. Baba Ganoush is a Mediterranean dip and spread, but instead of chickpeas or legumes, it is made from eggplants, and the other ingredients are very much similar. In a 3-tablespoon serving of the baba ganoush recipe, we have approximately 3 grams of net carbohydrates.
  • No Bean Hummus. This is where my no bean hummus comes into play. Hand on heart…it tastes identical to the real thing…. I’ve just snuck in a raw zucchini and almonds for creaminess. Find the recipe here.

The bottom line

While the high number of carbs found in most commercial versions of hummus may not fit the bill for the most ketogenic dieters, it's still conceivable to enjoy your favorite dips without breaking away from the ketosis process. 

Choosing to prepare your own hummus with low-carb, legume-free ingredients - the DIY cauliflower and avocado hummus with olive oil, for example -  is perfect for keto-dieters.

As for traditional hummus, you can still enjoy the delicious, savoury hummus if you're following the keto diet consistently. You can relish your hummus on your carb backloading days, or if consume it either before or after a workout.

How To Heal Leaky Gut In 2-Weeks Naturally

In this blog post, I am going to share some tips that helped heal my leaky gut in 2-weeks. They are easy to follow and you can use any store-bought foods to follow along with my guide. I will also be sharing some details on what causes leaky gut and why many Doctors do not recognize Leaky Gut as a medical condition in 2022.

What Is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut is a phrase that according to Google trends first gained popularity not long ago in January 2013. Today you often hear health bloggers talk about the dangers of Leaky Gut and many supplement manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon creating supplements that claim to assist in healing leaky gut. Despite all of this, many people still refuse to accept that Leaky Gut is even a real thing and it is not yet an accepted medical condition.

According to reputable sources like Harvard, a Leaky Gut is quite literally a result of your gut leaking. This may happen through cracks & holes in your small intestine that widen to allow toxins to leak through into your blood stream. A more technical description of Leaky Gut condition can be explained through the term intestinal permeability which is when Tight Junctions in the intestinal wall begin to weaken allowing toxins to pass through the weakened cell walls. When healthy, these tight gaps should only allow essential nutrients & water to pass through.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

Studies into what causes Leaky Gut are still somewhat limited but one review from the BMC Gastroenterology journal in 2014 claimed that it could be down to viruses, damage to the intestinal mucosa, or alterations to bacteria in the microbiome.

Other popular online personalities like Dr. Steven Gundry who created Total Restore claim that lectin foods can be a cause of leaky gut by physically damaging the intestines. It's also thought that Butyrate is important to protecting the integrity of the intestinal wall and without enough of it, people could become more prone to leaky gut occurring.

A processed western diet high in carbs & fat may be the cause and studies have shown that at least in animals this type of diet can lead to metabolic endotoxinemia which leads to inflammation. It is however clear that the exact cause of Leaky Gut is not 100% known and more peer-reviewed human studies are needed to be sure.

Symptoms Of Leaky Gut

The symptoms of leaky gut vary from person to person but some of the most common symptoms have been reported in the Leaky Gut Syndrome Subreddit by a user called house829. They started a thread called "I Think I Have Leaky Gut" And mentioned the following symptoms;

Gas

Bloating After Meals

Brain Fog

Skin Rashes

Joint Pain

Some of the Redditors that replied said that those did sound like symptoms of Leaky Gut but that they could also be symptoms of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

Other conditions like IBS, IBD, Psoriasis, and more also share similar symptoms to leaky gut so it's important to consult with a Doctor first.

Some more symptoms of Leaky Gut may include headaches, Diarrhea, UTI's and more. The digestive tract is the largest organ in the body so it when something is not working as it should in the microbiome you often see symptoms show up elsewhere like on the skin.

Studies have confirmed that people with Psoriasis a skin issue largely have imbalances in gut bacteria and mental health issues have also been linked to the health of the gut because of the gut and brain connection. A large portion of the immune system is housed in the gut so to heal a leaky gut it's important to first focus on diet and what you put into your body.

4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut In 2 Weeks

Since diet seems to play such a major role in the cause of Leaky Gut it is also the best way to heal any damage. It's not possible to heal leaky gut overnight but many people have reported their leaky gut symptoms improving after around 14-days by adding these 5 things into your daily diet. Just remember to contact your doctor first to rule out any other digestive conditions through tests only they can offer. They will also be able to check your full medical history.

1) Probiotic's & Prebiotic's

Probiotics are a type of good bacteria that are essential for the human microbiome and prebiotic fibers are a great source of food for that friendly bacteria. Probiotics can help with Leaky Gut by potentially crowding out bad bacteria, boosting butyrate, supporting T-Junctions, and strengthening the mucosal barrier according to this probiotic leaky gut guide.

You can get probiotic bacteria from a high-quality supplement like FlowFlora for example or through naturally fermented foods like Kimchi, Kefir, and some yogurts. Add more vegetables like Artichokes, Asparagus, and Dandelion Greens for prebiotic fiber, or take a supplement that has both probiotics and prebiotics. Try our Love Your Gut Synbiotic which has probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes and dietary fibre.

2) Bone Broth & Collagen

Collagen is important because it may be able to enhance intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction (Leaky Gut) by strengthening the Tight Junctions according to at least one study. This means that collagen may be able to close those gaps in the intestinal lining that allows toxins to leak through into your bloodstream. Bone broth is an excellent source of Collagen and other Collagen sources include marine collagen, bovine powders, and collagen peptides.

3) Detoxing

If you consume a lot of processed sugar, gluten grains, refined oils, dairy, alcohol & processed meats in your daily diet then detoxing for at least a minimum of 2-weeks may help on your journey to healing leaky gut. Studies I shared earlier at Supercharged Food showed that a western low-fiber diet high in saturated fats & sugars could lead to a Leaky Gut. Whilst fruits are high in fructose sugar you don't need to cut them out completely. Some fruits like Berries are quite low in sugar, and carbs and are a good food to eat on a keto diet. Try our Love Your Gut powder to gently clean the gut. 

4) Digestive Enzymes

It's thought that Lectins a protein found in foods like peanuts, raw kidney beans, whole grains, and other raw foods can lead directly to intestinal permeability but more studies on this are needed plus for most people, consuming these foods in moderation and fully cooked won't cause problems. For others though, Lectins may lead to a leaky gut because they may not be producing enough digestive enzymes naturally.

By taking digestive enzymes like protease, you may be able to assist your digestive system in breaking down these large lectin proteins and thus allowing your leaky gut to heal. The good news is that many low lectin foods like pineapple, miso, honey, avocado, and kimchi sauerkraut naturally contain protease digestive enzymes as well as Love Your Gut Synbiotic.

Final Thoughts

Leaky gut symptoms are similar to those of other digestive conditions so it's vital that you always first consult with your doctor to rule out anything else more sinister. This blog post is not medical advice.

Other similar conditions include celiac, Crohns disease, diabetes, IBS, IBD, PCOS, allergies, yeast overgrowth plus more.

To fix a leaky gut you should throw the kitchen sink at it and do everything you can to allow your intestinal wall to heal and stop leaking.

Not everyone can heal their leaky gut in 2-weeks because it depends on the amount of damage that has already been done. It takes time and for some may take longer.

If you stick with this plan for the full 2-weeks most people will start to notice a difference in their gut health. Diet is the key to healing your leaky gut.

Do You Have Gut Issues after Having Covid-19? I Have Answers + a Coconut Oatmeal

Has a post-COVID belly got you down?

If you’re experiencing lingering digestive issues after having Covid-19 you’re not alone. Post-covid gut issues are something I’ve seen a fortune of in my clinic recently – from bloating, reflux and flatulence to constipation, diarrhoea and leaky gut. So, I’m here to help. 

The gut is the body’s epicentre to health. It’s central to many of the body’s systems, including the immune system, so it isn’t surprising that the aftermath of COVID can come in the form of a range of digestive issues. 

Some of the most common gut symptoms associated with the virus include vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, a lack of appetite, abdominal pain, flatulence, distorted taste and nausea. If you’re experiencing any of these during or after catching COVID, no, it’s not a coincidence or your body playing tricks on you. In fact, up to a whopping one-third of people with COVID have experienced gastrointestinal symptoms.

Why does COVID impact the Gut? 

While the jury is still out on this one, it’s clear that although COVID is primarily a respiratory illness, more evidence suggests that the GI tract is involved in this disease.  

The Gut Lung Axis

It turns out that the gut and the respiratory tract share an immune system, known as the gut-lung axis.1 This axis is bi-directional, which means if the gut is affected by bacteria, the lungs will be impacted too, and vice versa.2

There are also around 100 times more receptors in the GI tract than respiratory organs, so the gut may be able to house more viruses when it acquires an infection. 

In COVID, when pro-inflammatory cytokines enter the body through the lungs, it causes all-over body inflammation. Once these cytokines reach the gut, the virus can travel through veins that drain blood from the digestive tract, impacting the all-important vagus nerve.

Once this occurs, the disease impacts the gut barrier, altering bacteria within the gut, increasing its permeability and causing more inflammation.3

Increased intestinal permeability, which is also known as leaky gut, allows the bacteria to circulate, exacerbating the illness. When this happens, we can experience a range of digestive discomfort symptoms, like bloating or flatulence.  

To make matters worse, the medications taken for other symptoms of COVID can cause side effects like nausea and diarrhoea.

What Happens to the Microbiome?

The gut is the largest immune organ in the body, and its bacteria influence immune responses. The variety of the gut’s bacteria may influence the severity of COVID and the body’s response to it. Imbalances and inflammation in the microbiome may be implicated in persisting symptoms, known as ‘long COVID’.4

Increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut hinders the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients, making it harder to fight off an infection.

Who is Most Likely to Experience Gut Symptoms with COVID? 

Unfortunately, people with pre-existing GI conditions, such as ulcerative colitis or IBS, may experience the disease more seriously and have adverse complications that's why it's so important to look after your gut health both prophylactically and on an ongoing basis.

What’s the Bottom Line?

More research is needed to understand the full extent COVID has on the body, but it is clear that the gut is involved.  

My Top Tips for The COVID and Post-COVID Gut 

A Gut-Friendly Diet 

Focus on a gut-friendly diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, soups and smoothies. A gut-friendly shopping list should include anti-inflammatory turmeric, gut-healing gelatine, omega-3-rich fish, protein, gut-loving slippery elm and supercharged Love Your Gut Synbiotic Powder.

The Synbiotic Powder helps repair, restore, and rebalance and reignite your gut health from within.

It contains 20 billion bits of love for your bacteria in the shape of a unique and completely natural synbiotic formulation, with plenty of digestive enzymes, dietary fibre and a supercharged blast of antioxidants. You can find out more here. 

Incorporate foods that not only make it easier for your gut to digest but will make you feel lighter and possibly less fatigued.

Some of my favourite gut-loving meals are steamed, sautéed, stewed or roasted vegetables, bone broths, fibre-rich foods and gluten-free grains. There are load of recipes here.

Avoid triggering foods

If you are experiencing lingering health issues, help restore your gut by avoiding or reducing caffeine, alcoholic beverages and refined sugar. Giving your gut a break can allow the gut lining to heal and help reduce inflammation, too. 

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is required to help move things through the body. Water can help hydrate the kidneys, improve digestion and reduce fatigue.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Shift the balance of unhealthy microflora to a microbiome that can generate energy for the body by eating more pre and probiotics.

Probiotics are live microorganisms found in yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut that add healthy microbes to the gut. Prebiotics, found in artichokes, asparagus, and chicory root, act as food for the gut’s good bacteria. Prebiotics can improve immune function, reduce inflammation and even help weight loss. Prebiotics and probiotics work harmoniously to help the gut microflora survive and thrive. 

Probiotic Foods:

  • Kefir 
  • Kimchi
  • Miso 
  • Sauerkraut
  • Yoghurt 

Prebiotic Foods:

  • Banana 
  • Cassava
  • Chickpea flour
  • Chicory root 
  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Leeks 

Gut Toolkit 

Fulvic Humic Concentrate (FHC) is a great ingredient to include in your gut toolkit. It supports the integrity of the gut lining and strengthens its tight junctions, which replenishes microbiota, nutrients, and enzymes after viruses. It also helps to stimulate energy production, and improves oxygen levels. 5

Fulvic acid has a number of studies for its effects on immune health and inflammation. Test-tube studies have shown that it may limit the release of inflammatory substances like tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). 6, 7


The other ingredient to add to your toolkit is Love Your Gut powder. This powder helps to gently sweep the gut and carefully wipe it clean of bad bacteria. Love Your Gut Powder enables you to absorb nutrients by removing built-up plaque, allowing you to absorb more from your food and improve digestion.

If you're feeling tired and depleted, having a soothing and filling breakfast can help. My Coconut Oatmeal on a cold morning is like a warm hug for your insides. Oats are one of the most magical gut-healthy foods around, boosting beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, and relieving issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.

Oats are a good source of resistant starch which is not digested in the stomach or small intestine and reaches the colon intact. This oatmeal is such an easy way to squeeze in some gut-healing benefits first thing in the morning.

COCONUT OATMEAL

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 50 g (1 3/4 oz/1/2 cup) gluten-free organic rolled (porridge) oats
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
  • pinch of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
  • pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) Coconut Milk
  • 1 handful of mixed fresh berries
  • mint leaves, to garnish

Method

Combine the oats and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer
and cook for 12–15 minutes, or until the oats are tender, stirring regularly.

Stir in the salt, cinnamon. Mix the coconut milk through until creamy and smooth.

Serve topped with the berries and mint, and an extra sprinkling of cinnamon.

I'd love to know: have you experienced any digestive discomfort with COVID?

Let me know in the comments below.

Keep well!

Lee x  

 References

1 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.765965/full#B26

2 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.765965/full#B31

3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34177935/

4 https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/make-up-of-gut-microbiome-may-influence-covid-19-severity-and-immune-response/

5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2876922/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25888188/

7 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19131228/

 

7 Newest Healthy Food Findings From Scientists

A growing body of evidence in clinical studies shows how different foods affect human health. Based on the food we eat we can keep a healthy body or trigger health issues leading to obesity, heart problems, and accelerated aging.

The understanding of a healthy diet is constantly changing. Whereas, scientists suggest a diet enriched with nutrients, vitamins, and other dietary components to prevent the development of health declines over time.

These are the latest 7 healthy food findings of scientists which define a new pattern of proper nutrition.

Bananas: These are well-known shielded fruits that are present in shops all year round, and carry numerous health benefits besides boosting your mood. These benefits include the prevention of type 2 diabetes and kidney stones. They also provide quick energy, promote digestion, and increase muscle stability and bone strength while aging.

Depending on the ripeness, not only the taste but also the healthy effects of bananas change. Research suggests that green bananas, though hard to peel and chew due to starch, have a low glycaemic index (30) compared to ripe bananas having 58. This feature makes green bananas a healthy fruit for treating or preventing diabetes. Green bananas are also good for promoting the digestion of carbs and vitamin absorption. Enjoy my Green Banana Pancakes

Yellow bananas in their turn are sweet and easy to peel. The starch turns into sugar making them a good source of energy. On the other hand, yellow bananas are good for eye health and may help prevent cancer development.

Brown bananas can be used as a healthy sweetener instead of sugar. These types of overripe bananas contain vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and a trace amount of vitamin C. Also, both yellow and brown bananas are good bioavailable antioxidants.

Mangoes: These fruits fit all dieting patterns and bring various health effects. Mangoes are shown to contain generous amounts of vitamin C and provide you with the Daily Value (DV) of necessary vitamins and minerals.

A recent study with overweight and obese people suggests that the supplies of nutrients in mango play the role of anti-inflammatory agents and provide the body with large amounts of antioxidants.

Mangoes are also rich in fibre and potassium, vitamins A, B12, C, and folate. The latter is necessary to lead a healthy pregnancy. During the study, consuming low-fat cookies as snacks increased body weight and insulin among control group participants. Whereas, people snacking on mangos demonstrated reduced cholesterol intake, low inflammation levels, as well as, better glucose control.

Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are the best-known vegetables from the cruciferous family. These vegetables contain vitamin K and folate, dark cruciferous vegetables are also rich in vitamins C and A. The health properties of these vegetables protect your DNA from damage and act as antioxidants.

Studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables may lower the risk of developing different types of cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic, bladder, lung, and prostate cancers.

According to recent scientific findings, broccoli and cabbage are also considered NMN foods because they contain a generous amount of this health-supportive molecule. NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) is a molecule that is generated in all living forms and can be obtained through food or supplements. It is also gaining popularity due to its anti-aging properties and numerous positive effects on neurodegenerative disorders.

Coffee (In moderation): If you start your day with coffee and sip it during the day to keep agile, you may also get to know its health benefits. Despite controversial opinions about the restorative effects of this drink, the moderate consumption of coffee is demonstrated to promote cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

A couple of cups of dark coffee without added sugar or other ingredients has been shown to significantly lowers the risk of developing age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease.

Seeds and spices: The antioxidant properties of seeds and spices are long known.
Cumin, turmeric, black paper, curry, coriander, and mustard add not only color and flavor to your meal but also make it healthy fighting chronic diseases and inflammatory conditions.

Interestingly, scientists showed the healthful effects of spices on respiratory disorders, types of cancers, and heart diseases. A handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, in their turn, provide RDI (recommended daily intake) of nutrients for maintaining healthy skin, nourished hair, and muscles.

Fermented food: For many years people used fermentation as a means to better and longer preserve food. This is a process of yeast and bacteria breaking down the sugar in products. Hence, turning them into healthy foods, that rescue bone health, muscle endurance, better digestion, and even assist in weight loss.

Kefir, Greek yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, famous Japanese miso, and natto made from soybeans, and kimchi are types of fermented foods scientifically proven to bring numerous health effects. As a healthy addition to your balanced diet, fermented foods rich in probiotics may improve your digestion, increase immunity and play as strong antioxidants.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are fungi that have been eaten alone or added to numerous meals for decades. They are known to benefit your health in many different ways without adding fats, sodium, or undesired calories. Due to their chewy and meaty texture, contained nutrients, mushrooms are also a good alternative to animal meat.

Studies found that eating 18 grams (two medium mushrooms) a day may reduce the risk of cancer development by slowing down cellular damage. Also, being low in cholesterol, mushrooms help you keep a balanced BMI (body mass index) and reduce the risk of obesity. Another research with participants eating golden, oyster, shiitake, and white button mushrooms demonstrated a low risk of cognitive decline.

Besides containing Selenium which helps your body make antioxidants, vitamin B6 which protects from DNA damage, and vitamin D reducing inflammation, Crimini mushrooms are known to contain enough amounts of NMN to boost your health and longer lifespan.

Consider boosting your well-being by adding these types of food to your balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

11 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

 

Tea is a plant-based drink that many people regularly consume because of its sweet flavors and soothing aroma, but it also has some genuine health benefits. Let’s discuss the various tea categories and how they can positively affect your bodily functions.

Colored Teas

Colored teas share the same source: Camellia sinensis, a plant with many antioxidants that grows in China and India. The most noteworthy antioxidant is EDCG, which attacks a number of ailments, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and late-onset issues like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Along with these antioxidants (also known as flavonoids), Camellia sinensis has noticeable caffeine and theanine contents, both of which help with mental alertness and give you a temporary energy boost. Let’s take a closer look at the most prominent colored teas.

1.   Black Tea

Black tea has the highest caffeine content, making it the go-to mixture for those who drink their tea to replace coffee or energy drinks. Some studies also suggest that it limits the effects of cigarette smoking and reduces the risk of stroke.

2.   White Tea

White tea is the purest tea in this category, with no curing or fermentation process. As a result, its antioxidants remain in their natural state and have been shown to limit cancer cell growth and protect healthy cell DNA. However, if you’re looking for taste, we suggest trying something else.

3.   Green Tea

Green tea is the most closely observed tea because it contains the highest ECGC levels. We have strong evidence that it stifles cancer growth in many areas, including our digestive and respiratory organs. It also has the ECGC benefits mentioned earlier.

4.   Oolong Tea

Oolong tea has a specific effect, reducing abnormally high cholesterol levels in animal studies. It’s unclear whether humans experience the same effect, but it has a large group of believers who use it as a weight-loss supplement.

5.   Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea is a solid tea only made from aged, fermented leaves. The leaves are pressed into small cakes, creating a filling low-calorie snack that helps with weight loss and gives you a significant energy boost. It’s considered a type of black tea, but it doesn’t have the same anti-smoking effects.

Herbal Teas

We produce herbal teas from herbs, roots, fruits and seeds. They don’t have the same antioxidant and caffeine levels as green teas, and the effects largely depend on the ingredients. Overall, they tend to have more soothing and pain-relieving effects. Health experts recommend drinking herbal tea to curb cravings during addiction recovery and settle the stomach.

A wide variety of herbal teas are consumed around the world, but the following teas have the strongest track records and are the most popular.

1.   Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is considered the most effective herbal tea at improving sleep quality and alleviating chronic sleep issues like insomnia. However, scientists are divided on whether the effects are genuine or simply a placebo. It also has anti-inflammatory effects on your digestive system and could alleviate symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.

2.   Peppermint Tea

Although we haven’t performed tests on humans, several animal studies show that peppermint tea has significant positive effects on the digestive tract, alleviating nausea, constipation and stomach ulcers. It even reduces spasms in the lower intestines, relieving irritable bowel syndrome. This tea is the recipe to try if you’re dealing with digestive issues.

3.   Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is perhaps the most similar to the colored teas in the first section, with powerful antioxidants and flavors. The main ingredient is a proven immune system stimulant,  reducing inflammation and alleviating nausea. Ginger ale is also a popular sick-day drink for this reason. Some

4.   Hibiscus Tea

According to some studies, hibiscus tea is primarily known for its tart flavor and bright coloring, but it also may balance high blood pressure and lipids. In any case, the unique taste is undeniably relaxing and will help you manage your stress levels. Stress management helps lower blood pressure, so perhaps this is the connection the researchers found.

5.   Echinacea Tea

Some studies have shown that echinacea tea helps the immune system fight the common cold and other minor ailments, but the evidence isn’t expansive or detailed enough to make a firm conclusion. Still, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to drink a cup of echinacea tea when you’re feeling under the weather. Sometimes a hot liquid is all you need to soothe a sore throat or clear your sinuses.

6.   Rooibos Tea

This tea from the fermented South African red bush plant has been a popular natural remedy for the country’s occupants for hundreds of years. Unlike other herbal teas, it contains flavonoids that may have the same anti-cancer effects as colored tea. Some studies have also shown that it improves bone density and prevents heart disease, acting as a blood vessel constrictor similar to some blood pressure medications.

Add Tea To Your Daily Diet

Tea comes in many forms and has a wide variety of health benefits, as you can see. Colored teas lean more on the side of proactive, energetic effects, while herbal teas are more calming and preventative. They all taste delicious (though everyone has their preferences).

Even if some of the teas we discussed don’t have conclusive evidence, the overall soothing sensation of a hot cup of tea is enough to justify consuming the beverage on a regular basis. Add tea to your daily diet and reap the rewards!

7 Good Foods to Help Avoid Low Blood Sugar

To stay healthy, you need to find the proper diet. You want foods that help you maintain low blood sugar. Too high blood sugar can cause heart disease, stroke or kidney problems. So, here are seven foods you should incorporate into your next meal.

1. Try Some Whole Grains

Whole grains help regulate your blood sugar levels by not causing extreme spikes. These foods aren't digested quickly due to their high fiber content. So, when you eat sugary food, the sugar is absorbed slower, so your glucose levels don’t rise too fast.

Eating fiber also reduces constipation and bacteria buildup in your intestines​​. In addition to fiber, whole grains can lower your risk of diabetes. There are multiple whole grains, from barley to buckwheat. So, grab a piece of whole-grain toast or a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Plus, skipping meals can cause your blood sugar to drop and release cortisol.

2. Increase Your Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Fruits and veggies are rich in fiber and carbohydrates. You should get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day to maintain a healthy diet. When choosing your fruits, go for less ripe ones. These have a low glycemic index, which raises glucose levels more slowly. Also, eating skin with fruit can increase your fiber intake.

In addition, go for fresh or frozen fruit that has less-concentrated sources of natural sugar. Starchy vegetables like potatoes are higher in carbohydrates. So, eat these in moderation.

Some examples of fruits and vegetables to add to your diet include:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Blackberries
  • Broccoli
  • Beans

3. Have Some Nuts

Nuts are low on the glycemic index, high in fiber and a healthy source of fat. This helps regulate blood sugar levels, keeping you full and preventing extreme spikes. Nuts also contain nutrients and vitamins, omega-3 and magnesium, improving heart health.

This food is perfect for a midday snack. You can bring a pack of trail mix to work to hold you over in the afternoon. They also are a great quick snack for kids before they head off to their activities.

Here are a few types of nuts to add to your diet:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios

4. Enhance Your Dishes With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is perfect for any salad. It helps reduce the impact of high-glycemic foods. The dressing helps stabilize the blood glucose response. It also reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Olive oil helps to protect against inflammation and heart disease as well.

You can add it to various dishes or use it as a cooking method. For example, the oil can add flavor when sauteing vegetables or meats. It also works well in Italian bread, like pizza crust.

Here are a few more ways to add olive oil to your meals:

  • When baking
  • In your seafood dishes
  • When dipping bread
  • Sprinkled on soups or pasta
  • When grilling meat

5. Mix in Some Legumes

Legumes, like beans, lentils and peas, are high in fiber and protein. The protein can help repair muscles and bones, keeping your body strong. These foods are also low on the glycemic index, preventing insulin increases.

Plus, legumes can reduce cholesterol levels, helping to maintain good cardiovascular health. Legumes provide antioxidants and lower the risk of developing diabetes as well. You can incorporate them in various ways, such as following a Mediterranean diet.

Here are a few more legumes to include in your next dish:

  • Chickpeas
  • Peanuts
  • Black beans
  • Green peas
  • Lima beans

6. Add Some Seafood to Your Diet

Seafood provides plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These can help regulate blood sugar levels. The protein slows your digestive system and keeps your sugar levels under control. Also, it reduces overheating which is essential for healthy blood sugar levels.

In addition, vitamins can improve the body's responsiveness to insulin. Eat foods like fatty fish, such as salmon, to help improve your blood sugar regulation.

Here are a few more ways to add to more seafood to your diet

  • Cod
  • Trout
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia

7. Enjoy Some Yogurt

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product that can enhance blood sugar control. Eating some each day can improve your post-meal insulin levels. Also, yogurt contains probiotics that support a healthy gut microbiome. These can impair blood glucose control and lead to Type 2 diabetes when unbalanced.

Yogurt has other health benefits, such as strengthening your immune system and heart. Yogurt is the perfect morning meal with some cereal. It is also great to pack for the office. It's a light snack that you can easily consume on your break.

7 Good Foods to Help Avoid Low Blood Sugar

Controlling your blood sugar is critical, especially if you have diabetes. Finding the right food can sometimes be tricky. So, consult this list before your next shopping trip.

 

 

 

 

💕 NEW Love Your Gut Products at Supercharged Food

Just quietly, I wanted to let you in on a little secret. I've been working behind the scenes to create a brand new range of gut friendly products for you.

We’re quietly launching a number of  gut-loving essentials on our superchargeyourgut.com and Supercharged Food online stores!

The products have been developed by me, a qualified clinical nutritionist, and I have ensured that every single ingredient is handpicked and scrutinised. There is full transparency that exists within our sustainable supply chain, including the steps from the sourcing of ingredients to production of the final product, which is an integral part of our sustainable goals as a business.

When bringing out any new products, I really try to keep the pricing as low as possible for our customers and our suppliers, you will never find any added brand tax or superfluous packaging. When your gut health products reach your doorstep, you can be assured that they are made with you and the planet in mind. The prices have remained the same since Love Your Gut powder launched in 2014. 

I pride myself on being a women led business and these products are designed especially for you, but they are also good for men and the whole family, as they are based on food and nutrition principles and not medication, which is the cornerstone of the supercharge your life philosophy.

Supercharged Food is still a family operated business, I don't have big offices or fancy premises, I work from home with my daughter and niece who both work remotely. We are not a big brand company, conglomerate or a multi-national, and we believe that the benefit of that is each of these products are personally produced with you in mind.

I've brought my gut health nutritional expertise to each one of these new additions and personally backed them.  My mission is really simple and that is to help people regain their health and live healthy and fulfilled lives.

You won't find any corporate strategy here or the hiring of management consultants.  Supercharged Food is based on me working with clients from a clinical perspective, gaining their individual feedback and needs and then supporting them with food and nutritional ingredients that are backed by science and ethically produced. We’re all about sharing the stunning results of looking after your gut health and want as many people to be able to access our products as possible.

Please send me your feedback and reach out to me, as I truly value it and appreciate your suggestions, and your support of our range of gut friendly products. We always have your best interests at heart and believe in nature and nature's law. We believe that authenticity and intention is important and what you put in, is what you get back.  Your wonderful and kind emails, testimonials and health transformations are what continue to drive us. 

We are just doing small-runs to start with and exclusive to superchargeyourgut.com and superchargedfood.com so stocks are limited. We do have even more Supercharged products in the pipeline, so stay tuned!

I love my job as a clinical nutritionist. Love, love it! I get to read, try and research so many wonderful foods and food formulas that can help almost every imaginable health condition. I also really enjoy tinkering around in my clinic, making healthy concoctions for my clients and my friends.

As I mentioned, I’ve been working on a number of, what I like to call ‘gut essentials’ products. Now on the site are the fruits (and vegetables) of my labour.

We have the following new additions:

Protein + Fibre formulas - very yummy vanilla and healthy chocolate

Get on the vegan protein pro team! This blend of supercharged ingredients is great for your gut health and the health of your whole body.

 Good Gut Health:

  • 18g of bio-fermented plant protein per serve
  • Pea protein is a source of vitamins B6 and B2, niacin, molybdenum, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium and choline
  • Natural energy
  • Nutrient dense
  • Aids assimilation and absorption of nutrients
  • Low carbohydrate
  • Less than 100 calories per serve
  • Prebiotic fibre and digestive enzymes
  • Feeds your microbiome

Fast Facts:

  • Natural chocolate flavour
  • All natural
  • No fillers, no soy, no synthetic ingredients or sweeteners 

Read more about them here: very yummy vanilla and healthy chocolate

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar capsules

The Mother of all apple cider vinegar (ACV) capsules. Supercharge your health with organic apple cider vinegar and protect your teeth with our ACV capsules. Each capsule contains the mother and is packed full of goodness for your gut, including probiotics, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants.

Good Gut Health:

  • Contains the gut friendly mother
  • Certified organic nutrition
  • Aids digestion and weight management
  • Prebiotics and digestive enzymes
  • Creates an environment for microbiota to thrive

Fast Facts:

  • Protects your teeth by delivering ACV in vegan capsule form
  • Made in Australia from at least 90% Australian ingredients
  • Read more about them here: Organic Apple Cider Vinegar capsules

awesome Greens, Mushrooms, Protein and Adaptogens powder

The easy way to get your daily greens (protein, mushrooms and adaptogens!). Great for your gut and the functioning of your body. A unique blend of supercharged ingredients including organic greens, medicinal mushrooms, protein and adaptogens.

Good Health:

  • Natural energy
  • Nutrient dense
  • Adaptogenic herbs (help the body adapt to stressors of all kinds)
  • Prebiotics and digestive enzymes
  • Feeds your microbiota
  • Vitamin C

 Fast Facts:

  • Super greens like chlorella, spirulina, yerba mate and gotu kola from sustainable, organic growers
  • Adaptogenic herbs including; ashwagandha, holy basil, turmeric, chaga and cordyceps mushroom
  • Good tasting with natural flavours

Read more about them here: Greens, Protein, Mushrooms and Adaptogens.

I hope you’ll like them and find them useful on your health journey.

All the new products are vegan and free of all the bad stuff like preservatives and fillers.

By the way, thank you so much for all of your feedback on our new Love Your Gut Synbiotic which is a probiotic, prebiotic, dietary fibre and digestive enzyme formulation.

Here is some feedback from a recent happy customer 🙂

I've always suffered from bloating after meals and more recently I noticed bumps on my tongue that result from poor digestion and an imbalanced gut.

I started Synbiotic and after about 6 weeks, I noticed my energy levels were better, I bloat far less, and the spots reduced significantly and are almost gone!

I highly recommend using Synbiotic every morning!

Rosanna L

Please let us know your feedback after using our products, we would love to hear from you. You can email me here: lee@superchargedfood.com

Lee xo

How to live in alignment with nature + my favourite plant based recipes

Do you ever think about how some mammals undergo a hibernation process annually? When winter comes, mammals rest, restore and slow down. 

I actually think they could be onto something. 

The modern-day demands that we work harder every day, hustle, be continuously connected, and hyper aware of everything going on most of the time.

In this past year and a half, my focus has been on living more in alignment with nature, taking rest periods to recalibrate and disconnecting when I need to.  I have stepped back and have been living in a more attuned way, using innate wisdom to intuitively connect and embrace all that nature has to offer. Living off the land, growing my own vegetables and herbs, catching fish for dinner, hiking and exploring my local environment and taking care of animals.

I’m not going to say that once we get the first hit of a chill, we should all quit our jobs, relocate to a cave and sleep for months on end (but hey, some days, that sounds pretty good). However, it is becoming more obvious that modern life’s current fast pace, can’t be maintained, as it fundamentally goes against Mother nature’s intentions.

After the past 18 months of living simply and in a more aligned way, I believe that nature and the natural world has to be our focus now and forever, it's the fix that is needed in this current landscape and one that should be nurtured. 

What has become evident is, that once you get in touch with the cycles of nature and all they have to offer, you can start to think more clearly, be more present and show up in ways that you never thought quite possible. 

I've always been drawn to this way of life since childhood, as I write in my book Eat Clean Green and Vegetarian. "I grew up in England in a rickety house on a railway line at the bottom of an uncultivated bramble infested quarter acre plot. Within a year we had transformed it into a beautiful vegetable garden that we would disappear into, tackling nature head on and coming out triumphantly with purple stained hands clutching fistfuls of rhubarb or makeshift buckets bursting with juicy seasonal berries."

Growing up I was immersed in nature, being a part of the changing seasons and witnessing the circle of life; from watching the emergence of seedlings poking their first leaves out of the earth to observing the culmination of plants reaching their full potential, it was profoundly nourishing.

I'd love to share with you are ten things I’ve been engaging in, to help me fully align with the rhythms of nature. If you like you can take them one at a time, stick with what resonates and leave the rest. You do you, as nature intended. 

My Ten Tips for Living in Alignment with Nature

1. A morning routine. Sticking to a semi-regular morning routine has helped me set up my day in a calming state and check in with how I feel before going into whatever the day may bring. While I don’t have a strict morning routine, I like sleeping without my curtains fully closed to wake naturally with the sun. I then check in with how I’m feeling and feel into what I need, whether that’s savouring a warm cup of tea in bed, writing down how I’m feeling or taking a few deep breaths before I start the day. I make sure I get some early morning sun to help wake my body and brain up for the day too.

2. A regular meditation practice. Unfortunately, our schedule-oriented world has made us believe we’re meant to be busy every second of every day. If that’s you, you might want to add meditation into your routine. After introducing Vedic meditation into my life, I can honestly say it’s made a world of difference. It’s inexpensive and is one of the most natural things a human can do – experience a feeling of calm and peace. Meditation, for me, has helped me feel closer to nature on a fundamental level and returns me to a balanced state. It also has the ability to reach into the cobwebs and dust out past traumas or life events (samskaras) so that you can feel them and then heal from them.  You can read more about my journey Vedic Meditation, here.

3. Filling my home with plants. Yes, I know I’m a crazy plant lady, but having greenery around the house helps you feel more aligned with nature and clears the air at the same time! It has been proven that indoor gardening can help relieve stress, boost your creativity and focus.  You don't need to just crush them and use their juices, indoor plants can help with mental health and promote a better mood. If you own cats or dogs like me, make sure to avoid peace lily and florist’s chrysanthemum as they can be toxic to animals.

4. Gardening. After what’s been a tumultuous couple of years, I’ve found gardening to be one practice that’s helped me feel grounded and connected. Gardening may be hard work, but it’s incredibly therapeutic. It can be a great driver to put you in touch with nature and give you a greater appreciation of food. It’s an in the moment and mindful activity that helps you forget about time and allows you to focus on tending to what’s right in front of you.

I'd love to share with you are some of my best gardening tips Here

5. Walking barefoot. You know how kids run around without shoes on in the mud? They may be onto something. Feeling the dirt, sand or grass between your toes (sans shoes) helps you feel the earth's vibration and can even hit incidental acupuncture points! 

6. Follow the seasons. I believe getting in touch with the seasons can teach us how to understand our energy and needs; it's the rising potential of spring, the letting go of autumn and the time to rest in winter. It may look a little like this for you:

Summer: This is the season to be outside, socialise and spend time in nature. It’s also the time for fresh foods, lighter meals and gardening. 

Autumn: Autumn tends to cool down, and nature slows down too, so wind down a little. Eat grounding foods and do warming yoga asanas.

Winter: it’s time to retreat, slow down and feel a bit more snuggly. Candles, hot baths, jumpers, long socks and warming foods are just some of the joys winter can bring. 

Spring: Spring brings new beginnings, renewed energy and forward momentum. It's opportune to start a new hobby, get your hands dirty with gardening, and go on adventures. 

7. Lunar Living. Get in touch with moon cycles. You might like to follow the moons as below.

New Moon: The new moon is a time of reflection. It’s time to slow down, rest and take some downtime.  

Waxing Moon: It’s time for things to start blossoming! You may feel more energised, happy and cleansed, so it’s a great time to move, take on challenges and be productive. This is the time to start planting the seeds for your future.

Full Moon: When the moon is the most energetic big and bright. Things are hotter, and you may feel more social. It’s a great time to nurture relationships, be creative and get stuck into tasks. 

Waning Moon: Things are starting to wind down. You may feel a little more irritable, tired and less focused. This is a great time to be creative and strategic and fine tune smaller details. 

8. Spending time with animals. Spending time with my dog and cat has put me in touch with cycles and seasons more than anything else. They need to be cared for, loved and spend time outdoors. Even watching nature documentaries can help us gain a clearer understanding of these fundamental components of life.

9. Natural scents and candles. Turn off the lights and light a candle. Lighting candles is a beautiful way to connect with one of nature’s elements, fire. Fire is one of the most ancient natural forces in the world. My favourite Negative Ion candle is negatively charged and packed full of good energy from the earth; it elevates my mood and purifies the earth. You can read more about negative ions and my candles here

10. Eating plant based. You don’t need to love yoga, kale or horsetail braids to enjoy a plant based diet. Since simplifying my life, I've been growing my own vegetables and salad greens and including them in most of my meals.  Vegetables are our nutritional heroes: delicious, high-fibre and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They can be used as healing instruments in your life.

It’s never been easier to buy food that’s out of season. However, there are reasons vitamin C-rich oranges grow in winter, and vitamin A-rich berries grow in summer.  If you aren't able to grow your own, maybe visiting farmers markets can help put you in touch with seasons and seasonal eating. 

Eating with the seasons, ensures you’re consuming the freshest foods whilst supporting local farmers and producers. It can connect you to the food on your plate, reinforcing a mindful eating practice. You can read more about how to eat healthy on any budget, how to prepare and shop seasonally here.

I'd love to share some of my favourite plant based seasonal recipes for you to enjoy.

If you make them, I'd love to know what you think in the comments section below.

Cheesy Turmeric Cauliflower

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric   
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, turmeric, yeast flakes, salt and pepper. Place cauliflower in and mix until coated.
  3. Lay the cauliflower on the prepared baking tray.
  4. Bake for 20–30 minutes, until tender.
  5. Set aside to cool.

Maple Roasted Carrots with Pine Nuts

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps Golden Gut Blend or Love your gut powder  (optional)
  • Handful pine nuts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) heirloom or baby carrots, peeled and trimmed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the carrots in a small bowl and stir well.
  3. Spread out the carrots in a large roasting tin, drizzle over the dressing and pine nuts toss to combine.
  4. Roast for 25–30 minutes, until the carrots are cooked through.

Nutty Sweet Roasted Pumpkin 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 small pumpkin, cut into moon shapes
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 TBS coconut sugar
  • Good pinch sea salt
  • Handful mixed nuts and seeds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and place pumpkin slices on the baking sheet. 
  2. Drizzle with olive oil, making sure you also cover the back of the pumpkin.
  3. Sprinkle with cumin, cinnamon and coconut sugar. Season to taste. Roast for 20-30 mins or until crispy. 
  4. Checking halfway through cooking. Five minutes before it’s cooked, sprinkle over the mixed nuts and seeds to roast. Remove from oven.  
  5. It goes really nicely with this dressing.

Garlic Tahini Drizzle

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • 70 g sesame tahini
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes

Method:

  1. Place the garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and mash to a purée. 
  2. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the tahini. 
  3. Add the lemon juice and a little bit of the water, whisking continuously, adding a little more water each time until the sauce reaches the consistency of thick cream (or runny yoghurt). 
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Slow Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 12 Roma tomatoes (or tomatoes of your choice)
  • 1 TBS fresh dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 TBS olive oil

Method: 

  1.     Heat oven to 100 degrees Celsius.
  2.     Place tomatoes on baking dish.
  3.     Splash on olive oil.
  4.     Sprinkle on sea salt, garlic and rosemary.
  5.     Bake on middle shelf of oven for approx. two hours. 

Broccolini with Goats Cheese

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • small bunch broccolini
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup goat’s cheese

Method:

  1. Place broccolini in a tray, drizzle with oil, and place in 175 degree oven for 15-20 mins or until cooked to your liking.
  2. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crumbled goat’s cheese

Crispy Golden Roasted Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 large potatoes
  • 3 tbs Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary or dried
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • Pinch sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°c/200°c fan-forced. 
  2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. 
  3. Drain potato, then return to pan and shake over low heat to dry out and rough up sides. 
  4. Coat bottom of shallow roasting pan with olive oil fresh rosemary and 5 fresh whole garlic cloves preheat in oven for 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove pan from oven and add potatoes carefully tossing in the oil. Sprinkle extra fresh rosemary on top. 
  6. Season well with salt. Pepper, Roast, basting with oil every 15 minutes, for 50 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve.

If you'd love to have some more in-season recipes, check out my book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian here.

6 Potential Health Benefits of Eating More Nuts

Whether you’re eating a handful of nuts as a snack or tossing them into your food or over a salad, nuts are jam-packed with nutrients your body needs to function properly.

Although nuts have a somewhat bad reputation for being high in fat, they primarily contain monounsaturated fat, which studies have suggested improves heart health, insulin, and blood sugar levels.

Some of the most popular nut varieties include cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and pistachios. Peanuts are technically legumes. However, they’re often considered part of the nut family due to similar nutritional characteristics and texture.

If you’re looking for a tasty, nutrient-dense snack, here are six potential health benefits of adding more nuts to your diet.

1.   Rich in Antioxidants

In addition to being an excellent source of folic acid, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and other essential minerals, nuts are a vital source of antioxidants.

A diet rich in antioxidants fights free radicals and oxidative stress, which could play a role in developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive decline, and age-related macular degeneration.

Research indicates that walnuts are most effective at reducing oxidative stress, ultimately decreasing the risk for cell damage and cardiovascular dysfunction.

2.   May Aid in Weight Loss

Despite their high calorie levels, nuts may help you lose weight. Recent investigations have determined that tree nuts could improve weight loss and may make you feel fuller for longer.

One study analyzed 95 overweight or obese individuals between 30 and 68 years of age. Each had to follow a weight loss management program and were given a daily 1.5-ounce snack of tree nuts or pretzels over 12 weeks. A significantly lower body mass index (BMI) and lower heart rate were reported in those given nuts.

Furthermore, a research team from the University of Toronto found that eating a proper handful-sized serving of nuts was not associated with weight gain.

3.   Could Help Reduce Inflammation

Nuts contain substantial omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation occurs when the body tries to protect itself from pain and disease. However, long-term inflammation could be consequential for the body’s organs and make you sick.

According to various studies, eating foods with omega-3s could dramatically reduce inflammation biomarkers in diabetes or heart disease patients. One particular study with 67 participants between 50 and 65 years of age found that eating nuts improved plasma concentrations associated with body inflammation.

Walnuts are exceptionally high in omega-3s and are recommended as part of a diet to reduce arthritic inflammation and joint pain.

Chocolate and Coconut Rough

4.   May Aid in Addiction Recovery

Research shows that long-term substance abuse may adversely affect a person’s nutrient intake, hormones, and body composition. As such, a nutritionally balanced diet is critical during addiction recovery.

Certain foods could be beneficial for those recovering from opioid addiction. Nuts may be a good option since they contain an abundance of healthy oils and fats, providing the necessary nourishment for the body.

Since walnuts and almonds have significantly higher nutrient absorption than pistachios, they may be the best nuts for improving gut health during treatment.

5.   Could Help Lower Cholesterol

As previously mentioned, nuts contain monounsaturated fats that may decrease harmful cholesterol levels.

Pistachios have 13 grams of fat, of which 11.5 grams derive from monounsaturated fat, making them one of the most beneficial nuts to eat for lowering cholesterol.

Different studies also uncovered that almonds promote healthier cholesterol and triglyceride levels, particularly in people with metabolic syndrome.

6.   May Reduce Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is several conditions that could increase one’s risk of heart attack, stroke, or developing diabetes.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11.3% of Americans have diabetes and 96 million people over 18 are pre-diabetic.

Because nuts are low in carbohydrates and have a minimal effect on blood sugar spikes, they could be among the most suitable foods for people with metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.

Nuts also contain essential nutrients, minerals, phytosterols, and dietary fiber that are beneficial for stabilizing and improving heart health associated with metabolic syndrome.

Nuts: Delicious Snacking for Better Health

Although research continues to dig deeper into the benefits of eating nuts, plenty of evidence already proves they’re one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. Rather than grabbing a bag of chips during your midday slump, opt for a handful of mixed nuts to nourish your body with essential nutrients.

6 Tips to Get Enough Calcium in Your Diet

When you think of calcium, you probably imagine your bones. This mineral is essential for creating your skeleton, but that’s not its only function. It’s also vital for blood clotting, maintaining normal heart rhythms and preserving neurological homeostasis — keeping your nerves operating as they should.

However, your body doesn’t produce this mineral. You need to consume it through the foods you eat.

Here are six tips to get enough calcium in your diet.

1. Consume More Dairy Products

The most obvious way to consume more calcium is to up your dairy product consumption. Milk and milk products are high in this mineral while providing other benefits. For example, the casein in milk covers your teeth in protective protein, preventing decay, while the magical mineral helps maintain them from the inside.

Enriched dairy foods also contain vitamin D, an essential nutrient for absorption. Without this substance, your body can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol — aka active vitamin D. Your body takes calcium from your bones if you don’t get a sufficient intake, weakening them instead of vice versa. Fortunately, your body also manufactures vitamin D with adequate sun exposure, but many people don’t get enough.

What if you’re one of the many whose stomach revolts when you drink a glass of the white stuff? Some lactose-intolerant folks can tolerate certain cheeses, such as Swiss, Parmesan, cheddar or feta. Yogurt is another excellent choice, providing a gut-healthy dose of probiotics with your calcium. Many plant-based milks also provide a decent amount of calcium.

2. Get a Little Fishy

Other excellent sources of calcium and other essential nutrients like vitamin D are fish like salmon, shrimp and sardines. These benefit your body with omega-3 fatty acids, which are also critical for heart and neurological health. You need omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but many people get too much of the latter because of our over-reliance on vegetable oils in processed foods. The unbalance may contribute to various diseases — correcting it can help.

The long summer days make it a snap to wrap some snapper in baking paper with a few lemon slices and fresh herbs from your garden, popping it on the grill for a few moments. You get juicy and delicious perfection without smelling up your house. What can you do during the winter months? Pop a few lemon slices in your Pyrex baking dish with a touch of rosemary to keep odors at bay. You’ll also impart a few extra nutrients and antioxidants in your meal.

3. Think Deep, Leafy Greens

“OK,” you might think, “calcium and vitamin D matter, but what if I practice a vegan lifestyle?” If so, you can still get enough of this precious mineral in your diet from plant-based sources.

One of your best options is deep, leafy greens like kale, broccoli and Swiss chard. These foods also offer rich reserves of vitamin K, another nutrient essential for blood clotting and cardiovascular health. Sauteing vegetables like spinach in olive oil makes this nutrient more bioavailable because it’s fat- and not water-soluble.

You don’t have to do much to get more of these foods in your diet — without living on salad. Add a slice of kale or a few spinach leaves to your lunchtime salad or wrap. Fill your next breakfast omelet with arugula. Make a delicious vegan burger with black beans and dark, leafy greens baked right into the patty, perhaps adding a few hemp seeds for texture.

4. Shop Milk Alternatives

You might also have luck with plant-based milk alternatives. A quick perusal of your grocery shelves reveals scores of brands with more calcium than dairy. Many of these products are enriched with this nutrient, but they can still increase your intake.

For example, many commercial brands of almond milk contain more calcium than dairy. Some varieties, such as hemp and fresh soy without additives, also have hefty doses of vitamin D. Many versions are lower in fat and calories, helpful for those watching their weight.

5. Consider a Supplement

Consider a supplement if you still harbor concerns about your calcium intake. Western minds seem to think more is automatically better for some reason, but this consumerist principle does not apply to the human body. It helps your bones, heart and nervous system, but too much can have the opposite effect. Your best bet is to keep a food and supplement diary to share with your doctor.

You have four choices for calcium supplements:

  • Calcium carbonate: The cheapest form contains 40% elemental calcium, and you can find it in products like Tums. Hello, affordability.
  • Calcium citrate: This form is in many popular supplements because of its absorbability but is less potent.
  • Calcium gluconate: This version is available in prescription strength to fight osteoporosis and some over-the-counter preparations.
  • Calcium lactate: This popular food additive also stabilizes and firms food.

6. Have Your Cake

Let’s end this list on a sweet note. Many of your favorite desserts are high in calcium, so consider finishing your meal with a flourish of delight if you’re concerned about your intake.

Ice cream and yogurt are obvious choices — and you can find non-dairy versions of each if you’re vegan. Many cultures end their meals with cheese and fruit, so get a bit continental and do the same.

Get Your Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral for several body functions. Are you getting a sufficient intake?

If you’re worried, follow the tips above to get enough calcium in your diet. You’ll enjoy stronger bones and a healthier heart and nervous system.

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