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FYI For Your Inflammation + a Vegan Edible Smoothie

Inflammation.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term before, but do you know what it means?

Well, for your inflammation, inflammation is a mechanism the body uses to respond to a foreign agent, infection or injury.

Inflammation activates the immune system and begins the process of healing. In acute cases, like when you scratch your knee, inflammation is beneficial, short-term, and essential to protection.

Inflammation can become problematic when it turns into chronic inflammation – when the body is under a constant state of inflammation or inflamed for an extended period of time with no threat of a foreign invader.

Chronic inflammation can lead to a whole host of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis and accelerated skin ageing (yikes!).

What causes chronic inflammation?

There are a number of things that can contribute to the development of chronic inflammation such as...

  1. Poor diet: I’m sure no one is surprised that this is number one on my list. A diet high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, processed meats, alcohol, poor-quality dairy, trans fat and lots of gluten can increase inflammation.
  2. Compromised gut health: A healthy gut is vital for reduced inflammation. Unfortunately, our ability to provide an anti-inflammatory environment for our gut microbes, with a strong barrier, declines as we age. When the gut's lining is compromised, endotoxins and undigested food can pass through easily and enter the bloodstream, triggering inflammation. If you want to strengthen the lining of your gut, this is what I use, it's called Fulvic Humic Concentrate and it's excellent if you're suffering from gut issues or leaky gut. Scientists now know that gut microbes influence immune cells and that reducing inflammation levels within the gut is a key driver to overall good health.
  3. Inadequate omega-3 intake: Omega-3 decreases bodily inflammation so, it’s time to up your oily fish, eggs, chia seeds and flax seeds intake.
  4. Nervous system imbalance: High amounts of stress, causing ongoing cortisol, is a one-way ticket to inflammation town. You can read more about my ten ways to manage stress over here.

FYI: Here are seven foods that reduce inflammation...

As a food-first clinical nutritionist, I believe one of the best and easiest tools we have to reduce inflammation is food!

If you’re looking to lower your inflammation, aim for a balanced diet based on whole foods. Below are some of my favourite anti-inflammatory ingredients and recipes you can incorporate into your diet today.

1. Bone Broth

Bone broth helps heal and seal the gut lining, reducing levels of inflammation. My Gut-Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth is rich in minerals and helps the medicine inflammation go down! It’s charged with anti-inflammatory turmeric, fresh ginger and a whole chicken. A cup of broth is just what the doctor ordered.

2. Salmon

Salmon is full of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It’s also rich in protein, antioxidants and minerals. Feast on salmon in my Crispy Salmon with Saffron, Aioli, and Smashed Green Peas. It’s a deliciously fresh meal full of anti-inflammatory salmon and antioxidant-rich herbs and veggies. Perfection!

3. Cruciferous Vegetables

Crucife-what? You know those vegetables you love but can sometimes you leave feeling a little bloated and, well, gassy? They’re part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussel sprouts and cabbage, have been shown to lower inflammation.

I recommend introducing these vegetables into your diet slowly, and make sure you cook them before eating them to help your body adapt to their fibrous nature! Adding spices such as turmeric to the cooking process helps too! My favourite cruciferous vegetable recipe at the moment is my Oven-Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower Steak.

4. Chia Seeds

Let’s all cheer for chia seeds. Chia seeds contain an antioxidant called caffeic acid, which helps fight inflammation in the body. They’re also rich in anti-aging omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your heart and gut happy. If you've never considered making your own jam, why not try out my Raspberry Chia Jam. You can thank me later 😉

5. Flaxseeds and Flax Oil

Like chia seeds, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre. Flaxseeds can help you reach your omega-3 target while keeping your digestion running smoothly (literally)! Up your omega-3 with my Omega Cheese Crackers.

6. Brightly Coloured Berries

Do you know what’s berry good? Berries. Berries are rich in polyphenols; specifically an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which can help lower inflammation. The richer the colour of the berry, the higher the anti-inflammatory effect.

If you’re after my favourite berry recipe, it happens to be a Homemade Berry Crumble. PS: you don’t need to be rugged up around the lounge with cute winter socks to enjoy a delicious crumble; it deserves to be loved no matter the weather.

7. Golden Gut Blend

No anti-inflammatory list is complete without my Golden Gut Blend. Containing bioactive and ginger turmeric, both shown to reduce inflammatory markers, Golden Gut Blend is an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antioxidant-rich powerhouse – now that’s upping the ante ;). Plus, diatomaceous earth makes Golden Gut Blend a cleaner and primer for your insides. It’s the superstar in my Golden Gut oatmeal cookies and nice cream.

And now for a magnificent anti-inflammatory meal in a glass. This Vegan Edible Smoothie is bursting with lively, activated nutrients and a beautiful, tangy and delicious berry zing. It's the perfect way to spruce up your day.

Vegan Edible Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 185 ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) almond milk
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) raspberries
  • 40 g (11/2 oz/1/4 cup) blueberries
  • 35 g (11/4 oz/1/4 cup) strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon organic almond butter (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 TBS Love Your Gut powder

Method

Place all the ingredients in a glass jar and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, pour the ingredients into a blender and process until completely smooth.

Note: If you don’t have almond butter, substitute with 1 tablespoon raw almonds.

Supercharged Tip

If you’re pressed for time and in a rush to get out the door in the mornings, make your smoothies the night before and place in a sealed jar in the fridge.

I’d love to know – what’s your favourite anti-inflammatory ingredient? Let me know in the comments below.

9 of the Best Moscow Mules in a Can for 2021

Have you ever tried a mule? Made with natural ginger, natural lime juice, unadulterated sweetener, and then some, the Mule, is a thick and sweet ginger lager and the ideal blended beverage for a warm day. It's an incredible simple drink, and is quickly turning into the most mainstream of all ready to drink, mixed drinks that are growing in popularity by the day. 

There are many different styles of mules and if you like a tipple, here are some favourites for you to get to know...

1- Merican Mule Moscow Style

The 'Merican Mule organization in Norwalk, CT, presents a setup of expertly made mules, including the Moscow Style. With a portion of inventiveness on the exemplary definition, Tropical, Mexican, Southern, and the occasional Pumpkin styles. The Moscow Style is made with vodka, Tropical with rum, Mexican with tequila, and Southern with whiskey alcohol.

2- Craft Cocktails by Bold Rock

Strong Rock Hard Cider creates an assortment of canned mixed drinks made with genuine spirits. The Copper Mug Mule is flavorfully made with American vodka and regular squeeze and flavours, including many gingers and a hint of pleasantness from the freshly squeezed apple.

3- Pickers Music City Mule

Pickers Canned Craft Cocktails is 6% ABV (12 proof) and is made with spirits instead of a matured malt base. The Music City Mule combines ginger and vodka in a tall call that features a cool guitar, fine art, and nod to the famous Music City, Nashville, in Tennessee. It is one of The best canned moscow mules.

4- Moscow Mule by Blue Marble

Blue Marble makes a wide assortment of hard seltzers and RTD mixed drinks, including this delightful Moscow Mule, coming in at 15% ABV. The taste is so even that it is simple savoring a high ball glass (or copper mug, if you demand) over ice.

5-Rogue Spirits Sparkling Craft Cocktails

Rebel Ales and Spirits makes a heavenly ginger-lime vodka mule; and a new ginger lemon bourbon mule. It's 7.5% ABV and made with genuine spirits in a knockout bundle plan.

6-Cutwater Vodka Mule

Since 2017, San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits has been delivering a wide assortment of prepared to-drink mixed drinks, including the tasty Vodka Mule, which has made it to the rundown of the best mules of 2020. It sneaks in all of the sudden carbonation, and ginger, with its 7% ABV, and pours clear.

7-Chicago Mule

The Chicago Mule from Chicago Distilling Company is in, uh, Chicago. It's 10% ABV (20 proof) and made with the Ceres vodka from Chicago Distilling.

8- Fling Rye Whiskey Mule

Hurl from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City won't ever confuse you and the Whiskey Mule is no exception. Presented only a year back, it's a flavourful blend of bourbon, ginger, and lime in a specialty mixed drink with 9% ABV.

9- Vitani Mule

The Vitani Mule is delectable, light, and reviving, even though it packs 12% ABV. Vitani Mule was the champ of Double Gold decoration at the 2019 SIP grants, an International Spirits Competition.

If you like mules, why not try one on for size!

 

Avaline – Top Organic Wine Brand For 2021

Avaline is the name of a new brand of organic wine released by Hollywood actor Cameron Diaz and her entrepreneur friend Katherine Power.

Even though Avaline has only been around for a few months, it’s already being touted as the “top organic wine brand for 2021.” Some wine connoisseurs have even called Avaline the most authentic organic wine in the world. The amount of buzz Avaline has been generating is exciting.

So what makes Avaline the top organic wine brand for 2021 and so special?

To understand Avaline’s strengths, it's good to go back to the beginning and explore its origins, manufacturing ethos, and characteristics.

Avaline: History & Background

Avaline has entered into the crowded wine market as a passion project and the ethos, characteristics, and history have been a long standing project for Cameron Diaz, the woman behind the beverage.

Cameron Diaz is widely known for her dedication to healthy and organic living. She’s incredibly cautious about what she puts into her body, only consuming drinks and foods that are organic and vegan. Imagine her surprise when she realised that most wines aren’t actually organic OR vegan and that most of them contain over 95 additives!

What alot of people are unaware of is that most wines contain dozens of chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, artificial flavours, sulphites, and other components. And what is even more disturbing is that wines branded as “organic” and “natural” may not be all they claim to be — because the wine industry is so unregulated, it's very easy for manufacturers to slap an “organic” label on any old bottle of wine regardless of it's contents.

When Cameron Diaz discovered the wine industry’s not so healthy practices, she dedicated herself to producing a truly organic wine that everyone could enjoy. She zig zagged across some of Europe’s best organic vineyards to learn and understand more about the manufacturing processes. Avaline came into being as a product of Cameron Diaz’s passion for organic beverages and uncompromising spirit and her friend Katherine Power’s business savvy.

The name “Avaline” was chosen from an online resource for female baby names because Diaz and Power wanted a name that embodies feminine energy.

Avaline: Organic & Vegan

Most wine brands, even those marketed as “organic,” contain over 95 additives and these are added for various reasons. Some of them are functional — increasing shelf life, killing bacteria, preventing insect infestations, etc. Some of them are taste-related — artificial flavours that enhance the wine’s strength and taste. And some of them are purely cosmetic — Mega Purple is only used to make the wine look stronger.

Avaline doesn’t use chemicals or unnecessary pesticides in the production and manufacturing process so it's truly organic and they use biological methods to kill bacteria and prevent infestations. For example, certain animals or insects are introduced into the vineyard to naturally kill the dangerous insects and bacteria. Avaline isn’t filtered through animal by-products, like egg whites and fish bladder, either. That makes Avaline truly organic and vegan.

Avaline: Transparency

Considering the lack of regulation in the wine industry, one would be right to ask, “how can we trust Cameron Diaz’s wine?”

Well, Cameron stands by her wine. Avaline Wine bottles feature a large label listing all the ingredients used throughout the manufacturing process in bold and legible letters.  The good news is that you can scour the ingredients and research them for yourself. Avaline is completely transparent and authentic. And that’s why it’s the top organic wine brand for 2021!

Cheers to that!

Is Chocolate Good for You? Plus Chocolate and Coconut Roughs and Crunchy Chocolate Buckwheat Bars

Let’s chat about one of my favourite foods – chocolate. 

*Gasps from the audience.*

Seriously, when did chocolate become a ‘naughty’ food, and why is food considered ‘naughty’ in the first place? Chocolate can be a source of joy AND vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s all about how you eat it. 

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

Is chocolate a health food?

Does eating chocolate make you put on weight?

If you’re going to indulge in chocolate, is there a specific type you should choose?

Will eating chocolate be the cure to all of my life stressors? Oh, okay, that one’s just me. 

The answer is: maybe. 

The health benefits of dark chocolate are pretty impressive; it’s full of antioxidants that fight free radicals, nutrients that give us energy and minerals that raise serotonin and lower inflammation. 

So, what’s the twist?

As with all food, quality and quantity are paramount. The type of chocolate, the ingredients added to it and how much you’re having will determine just how beneficial chocolate is for you.  

What is chocolate, and what's its origin? 

I thought you’d never ask! Get ready for chocolate school with your teacher, me. 

Cacao is derived from cold-pressed unroasted cocoa beans and has triple the number of antioxidants as green tea. Cacao contains many a nutrient, including vitamin A, C, D, E and B vitamins, as well as the minerals calcium, zin, iron, copper, potassium and magnesium.  

Which chocolate should you choose?

Dark chocolate contains a higher amount of cacao and less sugar and milk fat than milk or white chocolate. The higher the percentage of cacao, the better the benefit. 

When choosing chocolate, have a look at the ingredients panel. Many chocolates contain inflammatory oils that can diminish the anti-inflammatory power chocolate holds. Check for cheap oils, partially hydrogenates oils or palm oil and avoid those as much as possible.

How much chocolate should you have? 

If you’re someone who has good self-control (good for you.), I recommend one to two small squares of dark chocolate per day. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, be aware that a piece of chocolate can contain 12mg of caffeine, so be careful not to overindulge, especially late at night. 

What’s the best way to have chocolate?

I love enjoying raw chocolate in homemade treats and lucky for you, today I have two decadent chocolate treats to share with you.

Let’s start with my coconut rough.  

Coconut rough is one of my all-time favourite treats and is a fun one for adults and kids alike. Coconut and chocolate are one of my favourite flavour combinations and always lends itself to a funky texture that kids love. If you’re like me and like to have a tasty chocolate snack to reach for in the afternoon, these will forever go down like a treat. 

Chocolate and Coconut Roughs   

Makes 6  

These coconut roughs are a truly healthy answer to your confectionery cravings.  

Instructions:

  • 70 g (21/2 oz/11/4 cups) unsweetened coconut flakes  
  • 65 g (21/4 oz/1/2 cup) slivered almonds
  • 140 g (5 oz/2/3 cup) organic nut butter
  • 40 g (11/2 oz/1/3 cup) organic coconut butter 
  • 3/4 teaspoon stevia powder, or coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs  

 Method:

  • Line a 6-hole (250 ml/9 fl oz/1 cup) capacity muffin tin with paper liners.  
  • Place the coconut flakes and almonds in a large bowl.  
  • Place the nut butter and coconut butter in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water until melted. 
  • Add the stevia, vanilla extract, cacao powder and nibs, stirring frequently until well combined. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the coconut flakes and almonds, stirring well, so they are well coated.  
  • Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin holes and pop in the fridge for 1 hour, or until set.  
  • The roughs will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.  

Let’s be real here – is there anything better than a muesli bar? 

Yes, a muesli bar covered in chocolate.  

While I used to devour muesli bars like it was no one’s business, store-bought bars are typically laden with sugar, honey and preservatives to give it the stickiness and sweetness we know and love. Once you try a homemade muesli bar, you’ll never go back!

I asked my friend Alexx for her favourite Crunchy Chocolate Buckwheat Bars and here they are. They’re the ideal accompaniment to a morning cuppa or filler for a mid-afternoon snack craving. These bars have a nutty flavour because of the buckwheat, are super tasty but also filling, fibre-rich, gluten-free and nutritious. They’re also free of nuts which makes them playground-friendly for school children. I guess you can say these buckwheat bars bring everyone to the yard.  

Crunchy Chocolate Buckwheat Bars  

Makes 12  

Ingredients:

  • 65 g (21/4 oz/1 cup) additive-free shredded coconut  
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder  
  • 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)  
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) coconut oil  
  • 125–170 ml (4–51/2 fl oz/1/2–2/3 cup) rice malt syrup  
  • 120 g (41/4 oz/1 cup) tapioca flour
  • 1 organic egg
  • 160 g (53/4 oz/1 cup) buckwheat ‘buckinis’  
  • 120 g (41/4 oz) 85% dark chocolate, for melting and drizzling (optional) 

Method: 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and line a baking tray with baking paper.  
  • Place all the ingredients, except the buckinis and dark chocolate, in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Add the buckinis and pulse a few more times.  
  • Spread the mixture evenly and firmly over the prepared baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes.  
  • Remove from the oven and make indents into the mixture marking out your 12 bars.  
  • Cool on a wire rack, and when cool, cut completely into 12 bars. Drizzle over the melted chocolate before serving.  

Enjoy! Lee xx

Best Diet for Heart Health Plus a Crispy Salmon with Saffron, Aioli and Smashed Green Peas

Here at Supercharged Food HQ, we’re no stranger to talking about the best diets for our gut and, well, *clears throat*, our gut (hello, covid kilos!), but today I wanted to discuss the best diet for your heart.

If you, or your family, have high cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure or systemic inflammation, eating a heart-healthy diet is essential for your wellbeing. 

So, what do I recommend? 

An anti-inflammatory diet filled with an abundance of plant foods is the best way you can eat for a healthy heart. (1)

But, it’s not always that simple. If I was to give you a list of do’s and don’ts for a healthy heart it would look a little something like this…

DO:

  • An overall approach is “Fresh” is always best. Eating a wholefoods diet filled with predominantly fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes will be a good long-term plan.

    My go-to fresh meal will forever be my Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl - every health blogger needs one and it's just so filling and scrumptious ;). 

  • Anti-inflammatory foods are your new best friend. Including foods such as oily fish, salmon, sardines or mackerel, and chia seeds, nuts and hemp seeds. 

  • When it comes to dietary fibre this isn’t just great for your gut; your heart’s a big fan of it too! Try to add more beans, oats and flaxseeds to help lower total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Studies also indicate that high-fibre foods have other heart health benefits, like reducing blood pressure and overall inflammation – fibre is the gift that keeps on giving. Having a clean gut is also important to absorb all of the goodness from your food. Love Your Gut powder can help with that. 

  • Calcium is a mineral which is essential for a well-functioning cardiac muscle and regulated blood pressure. Calcium-rich foods include dairy, dark leafy greens, tahini and nuts. 

  • Foods rich in the mega-mineral magnesium (cue: holy light shining from the ceiling with angels singing) are your go-to. Magnesium helps to maintain a regular heart rhythm and a healthy cardiovascular system. I recommend upping the avocados (not that you need an excuse), pumpkin seeds, spinach, nuts, tofu, whole grains and oily fish. 

    Why not try my Ginger-seared tuna with avocado?

  • Human studies show intermittent fasting has a positive impact on cardiovascular health. (2).  If you want the low-down on intermittent fasting, check out my Fast Your Way to Wellness program.
  • A healthy diet isn’t the only way to a healthy heart; your heart also needs movement. A combination of resistance and aerobic exercise is essential for a strong heart.
  • Health encompasses more than just diet, and exercise according to https://fitnesstodiet.com/; we need to look at the connections that we have with others, too.  Having strong social bonds is proven to affect the risk of cardiovascular disease. (3)  So, if you’ve been looking for a sign to call a friend or family member, this is it.

DON’T: 

  • I don’t mean to be salty, but it’s time to cut down on the salt! The western diet is filled with sodium, which raises blood pressure and puts unnecessary strain on the heart. Swap the table salt for herbs and spices and maybe, stop placing the salt on the table altogether! Reduce your intake of high-salt food, like potato chips, sausages, salami, hot dogs, instant soups or pasta and pre-packaged sauces like tomato sauce and soy sauce. Choose salt-reduced foods wherever possible. Sea and river salt can be a better option than traditional table salt.

  • I hate to be the fun police but cutting down on the stimulants, like coffee, tea, chocolate and alcohol is better for heart health. These foods increase both your heart rate and blood pressure, not to mention the impact they have on your mood, energy and waistline. 

  • Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol and increase our risk of heart disease, so avoid them as much as possible. Trans fats are in most processed foods, like processed meat, fried foods and desserts. 

  • Keep the stress to a minimum. Stress can bring on arrhythmias (an irregular heartbeat) and place pressure on the heart. Include stress-busting activities in your weekly routine, like speaking to a loved one, meditating, walking, journaling or yoga. 

  • When it comes to a healthy heart, aim to keep stress to a minimum. Stress can bring on arrhythmias (an irregular heartbeat) and place pressure on the heart. Include stress-busting activities in your weekly routine, like speaking to a loved one, meditating, walking, journaling or yoga. 

  • Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your heart. Not only does smoking increase the formation of plaque in blood vessels, but some chemicals in cigarettes can cause the blood to thicken and form clots inside veins and arteries. If you’re a smoker, I highly recommend quitting. 

  • Now that’s out of the way; I’m sure you can’t wait to get going on your heart-healthy way!

  • If you want to get started now (go you good thing!), get amongst my heart-healthy Crispy Salmon from my latest cookbook Supercharge Your Life.

Crispy Salmon with Saffron, Aioli and Smashed Green Peas

Full of anti-inflammatory salmon, antioxidant-rich herbs and veggies, this quick and fresh meal is one that will make your heart happy. Oh, and your mouth water, too.  

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets, skin on
  • sea salt, for rubbing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced and roasted, to serve (optional)
  • chives and edible flowers, to serve (optional)

Saffron aioli 

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • pinch of saffron threads, soaked in a little lemon juice
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/1 ½ cups) extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Smashed peas

  • 200 g (7 oz) frozen peas
  • 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) vegetable stock or filtered water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • handful mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives

 Method:

To make the saffron aioli, whiz the garlic, lemon juice, salt, egg yolks and mustard in a food processor. 

Add the saffron and process again.

With the motor still running, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will emulsify to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Season to taste.

To make the smashed peas, put the peas and stock in a medium saucepan, season with salt and cook over medium–high heat, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender. Remove from the heat, strain and stir in the butter.

Gently mash the peas with a fork, then stir in the lemon juice and black pepper. Mix in the olive oil a little at a time, until the peas have the desired consistency. Fold in the herbs.

Pat the salmon dry with paper towel and rub salt into the skin. Heat a large frying pan over medium–high heat, then add the olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers.

Place the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side down, and press on them with a spatula to ensure all of the skin is in contact with the pan. Cook for 4–5 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the salmon is still pink inside. Turn over with a spatula, turn off the heat and let the fish sit in the pan for no more than 1 minute.

Divide the smashed peas between four serving plates and top with the salmon and the roasted lemon slices, if using. Garnish with chives and edible flowers, if using, and serve with the aioli on the side. 

Enjoy!

1 https://www.journalacs.org/article/S1072-7515(08)00219-6/abstract 

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415631/

 3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10656835/

 

 

5 Edible Seeds that are Super Beneficial for Your Health

However small they may be, seeds are jam-packed with alot of good stuff. From proteins and antioxidants to rich oils that improve your overall wellbeing - these little guys are small but mighty.

But what exactly is it that makes these seeds the super supplements they are? Have a look down below at five seeds that can boost your body in all the right ways. And don't forget to check out my beginners guide to meal prepping plus a Raspberry and Chia Overnight Brekkie Jar here

Pomegranate Seeds

They look like tiny beautiful rubies and taste amazing. Sweet on the palette, these seeds are packed with Vitamin C which boosts your immune system tremendously.

The vitamin C contained in these red seeds also play a crucial role in the production of collagen, which promotes healing for wounds and the strengthening of teeth and bones.

Pomegranate seeds can also be used in various foods and drinks, like healthy smoothies, tasty salads, and even sauces! Try my Oven Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli Steaks with Pomegranate and learn the art of cooking vegetables here

Pumpkin seeds

These mini superheroes are full of fatty acids and are rich in protein. Considered a very tasty snack, pumpkin seeds can be toasted and enjoyed on their own while providing more fibre in half a cup than most nuts.

Pumpkin seeds are also used to make oil that can be utilized when cooking - providing high quantities of zinc and bringing a delicious note to your food.

If you’re considering stocking up on this must-have in the kitchen, do yourself a favour and visit www.thepumpkinhouse.com.au for 100% authentic pumpkin seed oil. Also why not try my homemade Berry Crumble here or learn about other tasty toppers here

Flax Seeds

Extremely high in Fibre, these seeds are great for a healthy digestive system. Flax seeds are also known to promote cardiovascular wellbeing, improve cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. They can be baked into all kinds of goodies or used in smoothies and salads, whatever your preference may be.

Ingesting these small seeds before having a meal can also make you feel less hungry and might lessen the amount of food you consume - so it’s basically a meal suppressant in a way.

Say goodbye to starving yourself - just have a handful of flax seeds instead! You might like these Omega Cheese Crackers with Lemony Goat's Cheese Dip here

Sesame Seeds

These extraordinarily delicious seeds are sourced from a flowering plant referred to as the Sesamum indicum plant. These oil-rich seeds grow in a pod similar to poppy seeds.

Sesame seeds consist of a large amount of nutritious and healthy elements. These seeds can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and even inflammation. They contain 5 grams of protein per 30 grams serving. They're also a good source of vitamin B1, B3, and B6. Vitamin B is directly linked with your energy levels and brain function, so make sure you pop them on and in everything!

You would think that's enough, but it doesn’t stop there. Being rich in antioxidants, means that they're ideal for a healthy body. If they taste familiar, you've probably already noticed them in Asian cuisine. Try my Tray Baked Salmon with Avocado Mash here

Whether you use them in your food, in a daily smoothie to boost your health, or even enjoy them as a tasty snack, incorporating the above seeds are crucial to a well-balanced diet.

So, go and get yourself some of these little boosters, you’ll really see-d the difference!

Bush Tucker Homegrown Heroes + Wattleseed + Lemon Biscuits

The Australian outback has approximately five thousand different native food species. The Australian Aboriginal people have a distinctive and innovative relationship with land and food, collecting nectar from bottle bush flowers or honey from ants’ stomachs.

Sounds a little different to our drive down to the supermarket for ready-made snags, right?

Unfortunately, with the loss of traditional land came the loss of this gorgeous and revolutionary style of foraging and cooking many years ago.

Luckily, there’s been a culinary uplift in Australian native foods over the last few years. Everyone from the home-cook to the two-hat chef has been embracing macadamia nuts, finger limes and even kangaroo meat.

We’re so fortunate to have some of the most distinctive flavours within our flora. It's time to expand our minds, and taste buds, to our very own homegrown heroes.

Kakadu plums are about the size of an olive and have a dry and astringent taste, but what they lack in size and sweetness, they make up for in health benefits.

Kakadu plums contain almost fifty times the amount of vitamin C than oranges! Traditionally, Australian Aboriginals used this exceptional ingredient as an antiseptic, and a soothing balm for aching limbs. Kakadu plum is excellent in sweet recipes, and fair dinkum, do I have the recipe for you!

My Kakada Plum and Blueberry Ice Cream is perfect for those with a sweet tooth among us.

Let’s talk about lemon myrtle (don’t moan about it, Harry Potter fans!). Available in oil or whole dried leaves, lemon myrtle is rich in vitamin A and E and hosts an impressive amount of calcium, magnesium and zinc. If you’re feeling stressed or trying to improve your sleep, lemon myrtle may be your answer. You can use it in sweet or savoury dishes, including marinades, roasts and soups.

Have you ever tried a bush tomato? Well, close your eyes and imagine combining a sun-dried tomato, caramel and tamarillo altogether and that’s what you’d get! It’s peculiar and tasty all at the same time. This peanut-sized tomato packs serious flavour and is only needed in tiny amounts to add its intense character to your stew or sauce. It’s also full of selenium, an antioxidant that’s great for thyroid health.

Now it’s time for our favourite nut, no, not your aunty Karen, macadamia! While these nuts require a little (or huge) dip into the wallet, they’re arguably one of the tastiest nuts going around. If the butter-like flavour isn’t enough to sway you, maybe the benefits will.

Macadamias, loaded with antioxidants and high levels of flavonoids, can help reduce oxidative stress. Macadamia nuts make delightful nut butter, add creaminess to soups, such as my Macadamia, Garlic and Parsnip Soup or can act as the foundation for raw treats like these tasty Supercharged Snickers Bars.

Let’s play a game: guess what ingredient I am.

Are you ready?

I’m a fruit with a zesty flavour, in the shape of a finger? Any guesses? You got it – the finger lime! This local ripper fruit, bursting with zest, tastes slightly tart and citrusy. Finger lime is rich in vitamin C, folate, vitamin E and potassium, and acts as a protective antioxidant in human cells. Try it in dressings, jams and sauces.

Now for the ingredient of the hour, the humble wattleseed. The love child of coffee and chocolate, who wouldn’t want to dig right in? This unsung hero is high in protein, is as versatile as ingredients come, and has high concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron and zinc.

These shortbread-esque cookies are taking on a whole new culture. Celebrate Australia's gorgeous native ingredients by diving into my Wattleseed and Lemon Biscuits.

They are a wonderful treat with a cup of good Aussie afternoon tea.

Wattleseed and Lemon Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 100 g (312 oz/1 cup) almond meal
  • 30 g (1 oz/14 cup) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 110 g (334 oz) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
  • 110 g (334 oz/3/4 cup) coconut sugar
  • 100 g (312 oz/13 cup) almond butter
  • 112 teaspoons vanilla powder
  • 1 TBS wattle seed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 175°C (345°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, mix the almond meal, coconut flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and coconut sugar for about 1 minute. Stir in the almond butter, vanilla powder, wattle seed, egg and lemon zest until well mixed.

Fold the almond meal mixture into the egg mixture, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 16–20 balls, place on the prepared baking tray with at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) between them and press each one down with a spatula.

Bake for 12–15 minutes, until golden, then cool completely on the baking tray. They’ll be soft in the middle but will harden as they cool.

Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments section down below 🙂

Lee xo

6 Tips for Better Gut Health

Having proper gut health can change your entire body, mind, and well-being. So, it's vital to get it in check to ensure you're taking care of yourself!

There are many things that will help you improve your gut health, and we're right here to offer you a few tips to get you started on the right path.

  1. Eat Slowly

By slowing your speed of eating, you'll help your body to properly digest the items you are consuming. This is the time needed to break everything down, without getting overrun and overloaded. And since digestion starts in your mouth, the slower and the more you chew your food, the easier your stomach will be able to digest what you've eaten. Slowing down your eating might take some time getting used to, but it's one of the easiest ways to really improve your gut health.

  1. Reduce Your Stress

There are many ways that you've probably already implemented to help you find relaxation, so why not try something new! If you're looking for a great way to relax yourself, fast-acting CBD vape juice that works can be beneficial. When you're more relaxed, your anxiety levels will lessen and you'll be able to really let yourself work toward a healthier you. And the good news is that CBDfx uses only the finest of ingredients in their products, so you won’t be adding toxins into your body.

  1. Incorporate New Foods

One of the best foods that can help you focus on gut health is one that is rich in lactobacilli, and that is plain yogurt. It can help to modify your intestinal bacteria and improve your overall health. Plus, it can help to enhance the function of breaking down sugars within your body, helping to process lactose. Picking the right yogurt is crucial though. Avoid ones that are high in sugar, as that will defeat the purpose. Go for a plain, natural milk yogurt, instead. That way you are getting the full benefits from it.

  1. Get Proper Sleep

Never underestimate the power of good sleep! It's easy to get by on 5-6 hours a night, but that isn’t enough time for your body to heal and rest. Getting 8-9 hours will allow your body the time it takes to properly replenish and rejuvenate itself.

If you need help sleeping, and you feel like you have tried absolutely everything, using a weighted blanket from GravityBlankets.com may be the piece of the sleep puzzle that you're missing. They can help you to relax by putting an even pressure on your body while you fall asleep, and that pressure helps you to stay asleep.

  1. Stay hydrated

Proper hydration has so many benefits and getting control of your gut health is just one of them. Don’t get caught on the go without water, though. Make sure you have water with you wherever you go, that way you can stay on a water routine. Having a bottle with times on it will help you stay on track and get into a habit. Before you know it, you will be conquering that bottle and fully hydrated!

  1. Be Active

It's a good idea to get up and go. If you don’t have the time in your schedule to do a few hours of working out daily, opt for a quicker workout to get your body moving. If that still isn’t doable, try and move in small ways throughout the day. When at the grocery store, park a little farther away, do a few squats while you brush your teeth, stand up from your desk every hour, or go for a short walk on your breaks/lunch. By moving just a little bit, that will help you to start a new routine, and keep your gut in check!

When it comes to your overall health, even the smallest adjustments can make a difference! We hope at least one of these tips will help you get a step closer to bettering your gut health.

You’ve got this.

Do You Struggle with Sleep? Have you tried CBD?

With the hectic lives many of us lead these days, it can become difficult to relax and unwind. Many people find it really hard to switch off, and they tend to churn things over in their minds all the time even while at home. This can make it very difficult to rest and can impact sleep and life quality as well as quality time with loved ones.

If you're one of the many people who struggle when it comes to relaxing and switching off, you may find that CBD offers the ideal solution.

There are all sorts of CBD products you can choose from including CBD gummies, and these can make a big difference when it comes to your ability to unwind and let your mind rest and recharge. In this article, we cover some of the ways in which CBD can help. Did you know you can even cook with it? 

Why You Should Consider CBD for Relaxation

There are many reasons why CBD can help you to unwind, relax, and switch off. It has proven extremely effective in a variety of ways, and is a popular choice for a variety of conditions.

Some of the ways in which CBD can be used is to help:

Reduce Anxiety Levels

One of the things you can look forward to when you use CBD products is a reduction in anxiety levels. When you're always on the go and constantly have things on your mind, it can lead to elevating anxiety and stress levels. This makes it even more difficult for you to switch off and relax.

By incorporating CBD products into your wellness routine, you can help to reduce the levels of anxiety making it much easier for you to relax and unwind and benefit from the positive effects on your health, wellbeing, and quality of life.

Make it Easier to Sleep

Getting enough sleep is vital to your health and wellbeing, but if you struggle when it comes to switching off, you may find that getting quality sleep becomes impossible. This will then impact other areas of your life, so it is important that you address the issue.

CBD can boost your serotonin levels, and this can help to regulate sleep patterns and provide you with far better rest. As a result, you'll feel far more rested and you can reduce the risk of a range of problems that can stem from lack of sleep.

Have a Calming Effect

CBD is also a good tool for calming you down and helping you to relax, and this will also make it easier for you to feel together and centered. Many people use CBD products to help them with relaxation and it has proven hugely effective for many users. Just another way in which CBD can help when it comes to switching off.

By using CBD to help you to relax, you can look forward to a simple and effective solution that is affordable and has a proven track record. 

Have you ever tried CBD products? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

How Does CBD Positively Affect Your Health?

When it comes to our health, many of us go to extreme lengths to try and protect, boost, and maintain good health.

There are lots of things that can have an impact on both physical and mental health such as your diet, exercise levels, overall lifestyle, career, relationships, sleep levels, and more.

Sometimes people prefer wellness products in order to help improve health, such as health supplements and vitamins.

One of the newer supplements on the block in the health and wellbeing space is CBD products, and this has gained huge popularity over recent years. You can even use it in your cooking

CBD has undergone a large amount of research, and this has highlighted the range of benefits that it can offer in terms of health and wellbeing. There has also been a lot of positive press, and changes in laws have made it easier for people to buy and try CBD products from places like CBDplanetuk.com.

How CBD Helps

There are various ways in which CBD helps when it comes to your health and wellbeing, which is why so many people are now turning to it for assistance. It can help with body pain and sleep. 

One of the ways in which it helps is by improving your sleep patterns and the quality of your sleep. As we all know, the quality of your sleep can have a huge impact on your mental and physical health as well as on other areas of your life. So, by using something that can help to improve sleep quality, you can also positively impact your physical health and mental wellbeing.

Another thing that CBD can help with is to effectively deal with pain and inflammation. This is something that can arise due to health conditions as well as through strenuous activities or injuries. Whatever the cause, being in constant pain and experiencing inflammation can make life very difficult. CBD products can help to ease pain and make it far more manageable. In addition, they can help to reduce inflammation, which means you can tackle discomfort with greater ease.

Anxiety and depression can have a massive negative impact on your life. CBD has been proven to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and to lift mood by boosting serotonin levels. This makes it a valuable tool when it comes to tackling anxiety and depression, which can then have a huge positive effect on your mental wellbeing and a knock-on effect on your physical health and overall quality of life.

Try the Benefits Yourself

These are just some of the ways in which CBD can help to boost your health and quality of life. The good news is that you can try it for yourself and experience the benefits.

Stress Management: 5 Effects of Stress on Your Health

The one thing we all have in common, especially during these times, is more stress than usual.

Stress can be best defined as the mental and the physical response to the experiences in life; it affects us all.

Many things can trigger stress, from the death of a loved one, a health diagnosis to or a global pandemic.

Sometimes stress can prove to be beneficial, as it helps you to cope with difficult situations. However, the worse kind of stress can be ongoing, low level and chronic and can affect your health without you even realising it. This kind of stress can play havoc on your health and can lead to more serious issues. So what are some of these common problems that stress can exacerbate?

Common Effects of Stress on Your Health

 
Depression and anxiety

Many things can cause depression and anxiety, but one of the main causes is stress. Chronic stress can increase the risk of developing anxiety and depression. Chronic stress can overwhelm you and wear you down resulting in disordered moods, decreased productivity, sleeping issues, and  your relationships with others.  To get help in managing your stress, visit a mental health professional’s website.

Obesity

Chronic stress can significantly affect your body’s capacity to maintain a healthy weight. According to various researches, the stress hormone, cortisol, can cause weight gain. When your adrenaline glands produce adrenaline and cortisol, glucose is produced as a result. Glucose is intended to give you the energy you will need to get out of that stressful situation.

If you find that stress has impacted your hunger levels and your waistline is getting bigger, try to get rid of foods in your diet that might contain high fat and sugar. Exercising can also lower the levels of the hormone cortisol.

Headaches and migraines

Your muscles tend to tighten up whenever you get stressed. They then release again once you are relaxed. However, when you are under constant stress, your muscles fail to relax causing headaches and migraines, shoulder and back pain as well as body aches. All these aches and pains start out an unhealthy lifestyle because you'll find it harder and more difficult to exercise and could turn to over the counter medications for symptomatic relief.

Gut Issues

Stress can cause stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea. This is usually the result of a surge in hormones that can upset your digestive system. An increase in stomach acid can result in ulceration to the lining of the gut. A good thing to keep in mind is that stress isn’t responsible for causing ulcers, the bacterium H. Pylori is a factor. However, chronic stress can increase your risk and can worsen existing stomach ulcers. Vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea are also a result of stress.

Diabetes

When you're under stress, your liver releases extra glucose to give you an increase in energy. Being under constant or chronic stress keeps your body producing more glucose leading to a glucose surge. This then increases your risk of having Type 2 Diabetes.

Heart problems

The stress hormone can affect your cardiovascular system. When your body responds to stress, it produces a stress hormone. During this time, you inhale faster to quickly distribute blood rich in oxygen to your body. High levels of stress can dramatically increase your heart rate as well as blood pressure, which can lead to more serious health problems like heart attacks and stroke. You might also be at greater risk of stroke and heart attack if you have a history of heart problems.

Conclusion

De-stress today to avoid the above effects and improve your mental and physical health. Additionally, ask for help from your family and friends whenever you need it, take care of yourself by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and keeping up an exercise program. Little reminders like this can go a long way to keeping you and your mental health on track.

How to Get Healthy with Homegrown Ingredients

Do you know something that is low risk but high reward?

Gardening.

I know, not the answer you were waiting for, but hear me out. 

This year, I, like many of you, have spent a lot of time at home, which has allowed me to tend to my garden and grow more produce than usual. I’ve swapped out regular big shops at the supermarket for picking the veg, herbs and fruit off the vines in my garden.

Whatever I can’t plant myself, I’ve also been endeavouring to purchase from a local small grocer or the farmers markets. I've recently made Saturday mornings a farmer's market "masked meet up" with friends which is a good way to encourage each other towards healthy eating and supporting farmers and growers. 

So, what's the best part about gardening? 

Gardening is one hobby that helps you to slow down and get back to your roots (pun intended). Therapeutic in nature, gardening is one of my favourite forms of mindfulness as it gives you a greater appreciation for fresh and whole produce. For kids, gardening can foster a sense of responsibility, wonder and patience. 

Contrary to popular belief, gardening can provide a pretty quick turnaround (if gardening were a person at a desk job, they’d always have everything done way before the deadline!), and will make your garden, balcony or window look beautiful.  

It’s time to say hello to fresh produce you’ve made yourself – you awe-inspiring, glowing health god/goddess.

I'd love to offer you some tips on how to get started with growing your own home grown produce, so that you can feel more inspired to eat healthy.

So, that sounds great, where do you sign up? 

Well, the first step is to decide how much space you have for your new gardening venture. Will it be a few herb pots on a window, a wall of herbs on your balcony or an abundant garden outside? Remember to keep this as realistic as possible so you can reap the benefits. It's ok to start small, just remember less is more. You can also take a look at my Beginners Guide to Growing Your Own Veggies.

Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can still grow a diverse range of herbs and spices. You can read more here about How to Create a Kitchen Garden

Some of my favourite herbs to grow that are easy to maintain and good ones to start with in pots are:

  • Basil
  • Chilli
  • Chives 
  • Dill 
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary 
  • Thyme 

Supercharged Tip: Herbs like full sun exposure, so plant them pots or in a sunny part of the garden or on a wall that gets a lot of light. 

If you have more room to play with, why not go crazy with greens? Just check the best time to plant, but some greens grow for 10 months of the year. If you're not in spring or summer, choose varieties that thrive in cool soil and relatively low light conditions. You can also seed them indoors in balanced conditions and then transplant them at a later date. Microgreens can been grown all year round too.

My favourite greens to grow are: 

  • Boy Choy
  • Broccoli 
  • Celery 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Kale 
  • Lettuce
  • Microgreens
  • Rainbow chard
  • Silverbeet

Supercharged Tip: Your soil should be moist, but your plants shouldn’t be drowning! Be careful you don’t over-water them.

Want to add some colour? 

To add colour to your garden palette, I recommend growing your own:

  • Beetroot
  • Carrots
  • Leek
  • Snow peas
  • Spring onion
  • Strawberries 
  • Tomatoes

Supercharged Tip: The key to healthy plants is good-quality soil so, aim for organic potting soil and if possible, some compost from your garden. 

Mushrooms are not greens, but they can grow well in home gardens and indoors. For those who want to grow these tasty and nutritious delicacies, you can use ready-made mushroom grow kits to get started.

So, you’ve grown your fruit, vegetables and herbs – now what? 

Let’s explore ways you can utilise your new-found produce for a healthier you. 

-       For your homegrown kale, rocket, spinach and rainbow chard: Include them in your smoothies for the ultimate nutrient hit. While some may be immediately turned off by the green-looking sludge that appears after you’ve processed a smoothie with greens, you can hardly taste them, and they add a boatload of nutrients.

My Lockdown Gut Immunity Smoothie is the perfect example of a nutrient-packed green smoothie that tastes delicious. It’s the ideal way to sneak in extra veggies for kids, too. 

-       For parsley: Looking for something to top off your delicious homemade Garlic Bisque, Gorgeous Green Lentil Soup or Oven-Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds? You can’t go past parsley.

While parsley is the perfect soup topper, don’t forget that it can also add flavour and health benefits to your savoury baked dishes. I love adding it to my Tray Baked Salmon or whipping it up for a fresh Gremolata.

-       For mint: If you’re looking for some encourage-mint, why not make a mint tea? Bring the water to a boil, remove from the heat and add fresh mint leaves. Steep for three to five minutes, add a sweetener of your choice and then voila: mint tea.

Or, if a veggie dish is mint to be for dinner, why not add mint leaves to a homemade pilaf? My favourite is this one here.

-       For basil: who doesn’t love pesto? Seriously, I only plant basil so I can make pesto. If you’re looking for a new pesto recipe, why not try this one a Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto on for size? 

-       For a mix of herbs: When you have an assortment of herbs, and you’re not quite sure where to turn, use them to flavour up your homemade crackers. My Garlic and Herb Crackers are full of herbs and great for snacking. So, come on – get cracking. 

-       If that’s not egg-xactly what you’re looking for, have you thought about adding herbs to your frittata? Rosemary, mint, parsley, coriander, thyme and basil can add a flavourful punch to any frittata, including my Green Eggs No Ham Frittata here.  

-       For strawberries: hello, chia berry jam deliciousness. So good.

You can add the jam to sweet or savoury foods, there is no judgement here!

I’d love to know – do you grow your produce at home and if so, what kind? Let me know in the comments down below. 

If you need me, you’ll find me in the garden.

Lee x

 

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