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How Healthy Is Your Cookware + Fifteen Minute Immune Boosting Vegetable Broth

When we talk about chemicals, we often look at our consumption of chemicals and pesticides in food, and the potential impact they may have on our health. But have you ever thought about the chemical impact of your cookware?

Why think about cookware?

Most traditional non-stick pans release toxic fumes when overheated, which can increase the burden on our (often overworked) liver. Non-stick pans contain harmful chemicals such as PFAS, Gen X (not the generation – Gen X are part of the PFAS class of synthetic substances that create a non-stick coating), PTFE and more. Every time you overheat your pan, these toxic chemicals get released and slowly accumulate in our body and the environment.

Cooking with non-chemical cookware is a healthier option that minimises the consumption of toxins, emits less carbon dioxide than traditional non-stick pans and can handle high heats.

Choosing toxic-free cookware.

If you’re looking for a pantastic new pan, why not try GreenPanTM? Their 100% toxic-free ceramic non-stick coatings are made with natural materials and don’t contain any nasties so you can say goodbye to toxic fumes for good. After all, healthy cooking starts with healthy cookware. GreenPanTM has a wide selection of ceramic and metal pots and pans which are dishwasher friendly to spare you the stress of cleaning up. Using GreenPanTM promotes healthy and toxic-free cooking.

Which collection should you choose?

If you’re thinking, “I have no room for MORE cookware,” the Smart Collection is for you. The range of space-saving stackable frying pans will easily fit into your kitchen cupboard. The V-shaped handle on the Smart Collection will help minimise heat transfer and ensure a comfortable grip, so you can goodbye to burnt hands. The ThermolonTM Infinity Professional ceramic non-stick coating is durable and glittered with diamonds for an extra bit of sparkle.

If you need an all-in-one, The Craft Collection uses heavy gauge materials that allow for intensive daily use. The cast handles utilise black titanium, and the stainless-steel lids have etched details that give this collection a luxe look and feel – get your Insta-worthy shots ready! The smart design even provides you with 25% more extra cooking surface and is simple to use and clean.

Are you looking for smart technology and a sophisticated look? Cue: The Copenhagen Collection. With premium materials for professional results, this collection is modern and sleek, finished off with a unique handle in brushed stainless-steel. It’s the perfect addition to the modern kitchen.

The Melbourne Collection heats quickly and evenly on your stove thanks to its construction and technology, performing exceptionally on all heat sources. The silicone handles on this collection adds a comfortable and secure grip. As a bonus, each pan and pot uses drip-free edges for easy pouring without the mess.

My Favourite Collection

The Venice Pro Collection is my personal favourite, with a hard-anodised aluminium exterior that’s stylish and handy, complete with MagnetioTM induction technology for top performance. The stainless steel handle allows your cookware to transfer safely from counter to oven. The glass lids are great for easy monitoring and reduce the chances of heat escaping; perfect for the impatient cook or baker. It’s a collection that can do it all and ticks all the boxes.

Check out that stackability!

If you’ve got no fry-dea what you’d cook with a new pan, allow me to introduce to you to my fifteen-minute immune-boosting vegetable broth. This recipe is as immune-boosting as they come, containing antimicrobial garlic, antioxidant-rich carrots and flu-fighting ginger.

It’s incredibly fibre-licious and straightforward. The best part about this broth is that it’s cooked in one pan. Say goodbye to hours of washing up and use that time to enjoy this broth with your family and friends. I can’t wait for you to try it out for yourself.

Fifteen Minute Immune Boosting Vegetable Broth 

Serves 2 

  • 4 cloves garlic sliced fine 
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced lengthways 
  • 2 sticks celery sliced 
  • 1 zucchini chopped into cubes 
  • 1-inch piece of ginger sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock 
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast flakes
  • Sea salt, black pepper and coriander to serve 
  1. Place all ingredients into the pan. Bring to a boil then simmer, for ten minutes until vegetables are cooked. 
  2. Pour into a bowl and season to taste, then stir in nutritional yeast flakes if using.
  3. Serve immediately with fresh coriander. 

GreenPanTM can be found on Amazon.com.au or in Target, Myer or Kitchen Warehouse.

Find out more about Green Pan here. Socialise with Green Pan on Facebook here and Instagram here.

Seasonal Fruits Bircher Muesli Bowls

Are you looking for a way to simplify your mornings with some Swiss simplicity? I have just the ticket. This beautiful Bircher muesli can be made the night before so you can have breakfast waiting for you in the morning, or if you have an extra 10 minutes on hand, you can make it when you wake up, take your shower and then enjoy it.

Because there’s no cooking involved, bircher is a very low effort style breakfast that can be switched up with different fruits and toppings for breakfast variety. You’ll be getting all of the necessary nutrients, protein and fibre to keep you going all morning.  It’s especially beneficial on those lazy spring and summer mornings when you wake up hungry but don’t want to overload your body with a heavy breakfast. This Bircher with seasonal fruits is a wonderful solution for a cool and calm start to the day and will give you all of the replenishment you need to beat the warmer days ahead.

Bircher muesli makes a punchy breakfast boost to charge up your internal engines. The indigo hued blueberries and grated apple produce a light and refreshing result, making it the perfect breakfast as the weather warms up here in Australia. In Ayurvedic medicine, blueberries help to reprieve an overheated mind and to calm random thoughts.  They assist with moving energy downward and inward, which is thought to tame pitta and encourage a more passive demeanour. They’re also a quick and easy ingredient to add to your breakfast and will fill you up with antioxidant rich goodness. 

Apple juice is traditionally used in bircher to soak and soften the oats and will impart a light sweet flavour, alleviating the need to add additional sugar. Some people like to use a half apple juice, half water approach, and others swap it out altogether for cream, oat or almond milk.  This will provide a much creamier result and give it deeper complexity and consistency. Yoghurt is mixed through before soaking and can be dolloped on top or stirred through when ready to serve.

Scattering chopped nuts or flaxseeds will offer extra protein and good fats and will level up the crunch factor so feel free to topple on flaxseeds or chopped almonds or walnuts give it extra texture and crispiness.

I’ve used tasty and tummy-filling Murray River Organics Apple and Cinnamon Muesli in the Bircher as it’s an extremely versatile and foundational breakfast ingredient on its own or to form the basis of a meal.  Lately I’ve been doing all sorts of different things with their muesli varieties, like roasting it in the oven with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup to make moorish clusters (which can be eaten as a granola or as a healthy snack) and I’ve also created these delicious Apricot and Apple Cinnamon Muesli Bars which the whole family love.

The Murray River Organics' range of muesli is available in a handy reusable and recycle canister or in a box of 5 pre-portioned servings!  You can find the 100% organic range, with no preservatives or additives in Coles stores nationally.

I hope you’ll embrace this wholesome and tasty Bircher and make it a regular part of your breakfast routine. It’s such a good recipe to satisfy all your tastebuds and speed up your energy on a slow-paced morning. Your appetite will be truly satisfied and your sweet tooth abated, to have you primed and ready for a supercharged day.

Summer Fruits Bircher Muesli

Serves 2

  • 1 apple (Granny Smith works well) cored and roughly grated 
  • 1 1/2 cups Murray River Organics Muesli (I used the Apple and Cinnamon variety)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (100% natural is best)
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt  
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 fresh nectarine sliced
  • Drizzle of honey 
  • Chopped nuts or flaxseeds (optional)

Method

The night before or when you wake up, place apple, muesli, apple juice and yoghurt in a bowl and stir to combine. Cover and place in fridge overnight or for 10 mins in the morning. 

When ready to eat remove from fridge. 

Place into bowls and top with berries, slices of nectarine, a drizzle of honey, nuts or flaxseed and extra yoghurt.

The Latest Gut-Friendly Prebiotics You Can Get from Your Food + Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Ham Soup

We all know I have a little bit of a green thumb; and love tending to my garden, growing an abundance of herbs, planting new seeds and foraging.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, isn’t this a blog about prebiotics? And yes, you are right of course.

A few years back in my Gut Health 101, I gave the analogy of the gut as being like an Amazonian rainforest. We’re going to dive a little deeper into that concept today and discuss the gut environment. 

Inside each of us is an inner rainforest that needs to be nurtured; this is known as your gut microbiome. Just like a rainforest, your internal ecosystem requires the right soil, seeds, plants and fertiliser to blossom and grow.  

To create vibrantly coloured plants, we need a diverse range of bacteria and plant food. This is where varied fibre-rich whole foods come in, known as prebiotics.

Prebiotics are found in your everyday vegetables and legumes such as asparagus, lentils and onion, as well as more exotic foods, like your chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke. They promote the growth of friendly gut bacteria to improve metabolic issues, health maintenance and protection against disorders.

Prebiotics not only have protective effects on the gastrointestinal system but also on other parts of the body, such as the central nervous system, immune system, and cardiovascular system. TAG: triacylglycerol; LDL: low-density lipoprotein; IBS: irritable bowel syndrome; IL-4: interleukin 4; IL-8: interleukin 8; IL-10: interleukin 10; NK cells function: natural killer cells function.

Probiotic foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha, are also going to help your inner ecosystem flourish and grow. Probiotics look after the gut by promoting good gut bacteria and ridding the body of any harmful bacteria.

To tend to the rainforest, firstly it needs to be cleaned and free of bad bacteria and residue that inhibits absorption (mucoid plaque). If you're looking for ways to show gentle cleanse your internal rainforest and sweep out impurities,  Love Your Gut Powder, Love Your Gut Capsules and Golden Gut Blend can help. They're a naturally vegan source of organic quality, food grade diatomaceous earth, that help sweep out impurities and reduce bloating. Golden Gut Blend is a mineral-rich anti-inflammatory blend that helps create a healthy alkaline environment in the body.

It’s time to plant new seeds in your ecosystem, so welcome to the garden club! If you’re looking for a fertiliser, Fulvic Humic Concentrate contains natural plant substances that play an important role in healthy metabolism and gut lining and is particularly useful if you are suffering from increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut). You can read more about leaky gut on Harvard Health here

Because your bacteria need to be nourished too, today I'm sharing a list of some of my new favourite prebiotic rich foods that you might want to add to your diet for great gut health;

Chicory Fibre

Chicory root is packed with a soluble fibre called inulin, a type of fructan. Inulin can be found in some of our more well-known prebiotics, including artichokes, onions and garlic. Inulin promotes healthy digestion, is excellent for relieving constipation, fighting inflammation and improving the absorption of minerals. Inulin, like all prebiotics, passes through the body undigested, helping to ease digestion. Chicory is commonly added to packaged foods to boost their fibre content, but I think we should dig straight to the source!

While chicory isn’t found in your general grocer, it can be found in some special grocers or health food shops. If you can find chicory root, boil it and then eat the leaves and roots as you usually would eat your greens.

If you’re looking for an alternative to coffee, like dandelion tea, chicory can be used as a caffeine-free alternative and is often combined with dandelion root in tea bags.

It’s seriously delicious, and great for your liver too. You might like to try this Mocha Banana Smoothie Bowl  and use dandelion and chicory tea. Or go for a Proplant complete shake.

Konjac

Used in traditional Chinese medicine as a weight-loss supplement for years, konjac is an Asian root vegetable full of soluble fibre. It contains glucomannan, helping maintain blood glucose levels and relieving constipation while being very low in calories.

While it sounds exceptionally exotic and fancy, konjac can be found as a noodle alternative in the health food section of the supermarket. They make for an excellent pasta alternative for anyone looking to up their fibre, without the gluten, grains or sugar.

Enjoy konjac noodles with vegetables and protein, like my delicious pantry tuna pasta.

Cassava Flour

I’ve always rooted for cassava root! The cassava plant is found in South America, Asia and Africa, and is a starchy carbohydrate, similar to potatoes, taro or yam. The cassava vegetable, also known as yuca, is transformed into an unstoppable flour when we peel and dry it, making it rich in dietary fibre.

It contains a resistant starch known as RS3 and is high in nutrients while being gluten, grain and nut-free. It’s practically the holy grail of gluten-free flours and can be replaced on a 1-1 scale to regular white flour in many recipes.

Why not try this Celeriac Fries recipe and swap it out for Cassava. 

Chickpea Flour

Legumes have bean around the town when we talk about prebiotics, so why not spin it around, turn it upside down and process it into flour?

I know, it’s getting wild up in here!

Enter – chickpea flour, the answer to your high-protein flour prayers (just me? Okay, fine.). Chickpeas contain antioxidants called polyphenols, and are rich in protein, containing 20g of protein per cup of flour. It is low GI, meaning it won’t have an impact on blood glucose levels either.

You can typically find chickpea flour (Besan or Gram flour) online, or at a health food store. One of the best ways to use chickpea flour is to turn it into a flatbread called socca bread, which uses a ratio of 1-1 chickpea to water. It’s so chic!

While the prebiotics listed above are a little different to your usual onion and artichoke, don’t be alarmed! The regular vegetables that you’re already buying are already helping to feed your prebiotics and form good gut bacteria; go you good thing!

If you’re wanting some more regular prebiotics to get your inner ecosystem going, I’ve got you covered here too;

I won’t un-leek too many jokes here because I don’t want to bring you to tears ;). Leeks and onions contain inulin, helping to promote healthy gut bacteria and break down dietary lipids.

Leeks and onions are on my weekly shopping rotation, and there's hardly ever a roast veggie tray in my house without them.

Why not try this one on for size, it's my popular Prebiotic Tray Bake with Garlic Tahini here.

Still rooting for root vegetables (try to say that ten times fast!)? Me too! I mean, is there anything they can’t do?!

Starchy root vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, turnips and parsnips are easy-to-digest, great for your digestive system and incredibly cleansing for the body. They tend to be sweet in taste but don’t spike your blood sugar.

They get extra brownie points for being rich in vitamin A and C, essential for our skin and immune health.

If you’re tired of the typical roasted vegetables, try mashing them up in a chunky root veg mash… mmm…  

If you’re looking to please even the toughest of critics (in my experience, this is typically children under the age of 12 ha), my sweet potato, broccoli and ham soup is your new go-to. I mean, for real, who can say no to ham?

If you’re going ham just thinking about it, make sure you find a passionate butcher and invest in quality free-range or organic nitrate-free ham. However, if you happen to be cooking for the ham averse, just leave out the ham for a delectable veg-filled soup. I assure you; all taste buds will be singing from the first taste.

Sweet potato, broccoli and ham soup

SERVES 4

This soup is so delicious and easy to throw together. It’s also great to freeze, for use as a quick midweek work meal. In my eyes, ham is one of the most scrumptious, joyous, flavour-filled foods in the world. But not all hams are created equal. Make sure you find a passionate butcher and invest in quality free-range or organic nitrate-free ham, which will be browner and not so pink (pink ham has been treated with nitrates). The taste is second to none, and you only need small amounts to bring an immense salty ham flavour to your meals.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks, pale part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 thin nitrate-free ham slices, chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 turnip, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable stock or filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons picked thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) coconut cream

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then cook the leeks, garlic and ham for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the remaining ingredients except for the coconut cream, then bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked.

Transfer half the soup to a blender, allow to cool slightly, then purée until smooth.

Return the puréed soup to the pan to heat through.

Ladle into bowls, swirl in the coconut cream and serve garnished with thyme sprigs and a grind of pepper.

SUPERCHARGED TIP 

Roasted sweet potato slices make a lovely garnish for this soup, as do edible flowers. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think of this or any of the other recipes in the comments section below.

What’s All the Fuss About Air Fryers? + Crispy Air Fried Chicken

Your neighbour’s sister loves hers; your brother is obsessed with his, and your best friend is continuously raving on about theirs. No, I’m not talking about the latest mobile phone, I’m talking about air fryers.

So are they really worth the fuss? And do you think it's a good time for me to join the air force?  With these questions in mind, I recently road tested one and created an absolutely delicious Crispy Air Fried Chicken recipe to share with you guys.

Air fryers are touted as the healthier alternative to deep fryers, helping to create your chewy, crispy favourite meals like potato chips or chicken schnitzels, at home without all the fat.

Air fryers circulate hot, dry air to produce golden, crispy food with little to no oil. Sounds pretty great, right?

As you all know, I’m a fan of wholesome home-made cooking. Cooking at home liberates you to understand what goes into the food you’re consuming. It tends to leave out the high amounts of sodium, additives and trans fats that you typically find in meals that you order out or on delivery apps.

Air fryers are safer than deep fryers and make crispy goodies available and accessible at home. They also cook a lot quicker than a conventional oven. Because of this, I think they’re marvellous especially for busy families and people wanting quick and easy meals.  

That being said, using nutritious ingredients will really take your air fryer to the next level.  Using an air fryer doesn’t automatically ensure that your meals are more nutritious, but they do encourage more people to cook from home and be less reliant on takeaways.

As you already know, the best kind of diet is one that is diverse and focusses on fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, good fats and whole grains and there's no reason at all that you can't cook healthy meals in an air fryer.

When choosing an air fryer some can be fairly bulky and take up alot of space on the bench top, so it's a good idea to look for a compact model that doesn't look like an out of place coatrack every time you open the door!

If you’re all about the air fryer, you’re not alone. It’s the perfect appliance for getting that indulgence without the added extras.

I road tested the Ultimate Fry Deluxe air fryer from Tefal as it looks good on the bench and is super compact.  It also has a 2-in-1 bowl and basket system so you can cook sweet potato fries in the basket whilst the chicken is roasting in the bowl. Even though its small and compact, it still has a 1.2kg capacity, which makes it enough for 6 servings if you have a big family. It can also fry, grill, roast and bake and there are 8 preset modes  for popular items like fries, fish, bake, chicken, cutlet, vegetable, snacks and defrost on the digital touchscreen.

So will making chicken inspired by Kentucky Fried Chicken in an air fryer be healthy? Today I put that very question to the test and created a healthy and tasty alternative that you can make at home. 

If you’re in the mood for something that tastes a little bit naughty, get around my Crispy Air Fried Chicken. It’s a must-try air-fryer recipe that brings you all the flavour, crispiness and juicy goodness in every single bite. It’s also a meal that puts dinner on the table in less than 25 minutes; a real miracle. 

I used Extra virgin olive oil spray to coat the chicken as it contains anti-inflammatory properties and is excellent for your skin and your hormones. I also added some delicious spices and gluten free self-raising flour. 

Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Crispy Air Fried Chicken

  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour 
  •  1 egg beaten 
  •  4 chicken thighs skin on 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 1 tsp paprika (optional) 
  •  Pinch Celtic Sea salt 
  •  Olive oil cooking spray   

Pre-heat air fryer to 180 degrees. 

In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and seasonings.

Working with one at a time, place chicken pieces into the flour mixture then dip into the egg mixture than again in the flour mixture until covered. 

Spray with olive oil or oil of choice. 

Place chicken into the air fryer and cook for 20-25 minutes until chicken is golden.  The internal temperature should reach 180 degrees. 

Plate and serve with fresh salad.

Tips and Foods for a Good Sleep + Pumpkin Almond Bake

If Disney taught me one thing, it was this; Sleeping Beauty was onto something!

We all know what we feel like when we don’t get enough rest; it feels like it’s harder to do everything. We hinder our work performance, finding the strength to do physical activity can be that much more difficult, and we’re more likely to get run-down and feel aches and pains feel or sniffles coming along.

We all know we need sleep, so if it has become a problem for you, maybe now is a good time to prioritise it. Rest is a massive piece in the puzzle of health and is vital for our brains, immune system, digestive system and ability to function as a human being.

Sleep gives us a chance to recover, rebalance and reset for a new day. Sleeping is also essential for brain health, allowing our neural networks to slow down and go back to baseline each night, so we don’t get overloaded and overwhelmed in the morning. On top of this, research is now suggesting that sleep can impact our mood, with sleep deprivation amplifying our response to negative emotional stimuli. So, when you lack sleep, your reactions to situations may differ significantly to when you’re well-rested.

Sleep is also essential for regulating our metabolism, particularly with the hormones that control our appetite, leptin (the hormone that signals satiety) and ghrelin (the hormone that increases hunger that is produced and released mainly by the stomach with small amounts also released by the small intestine, pancreas and brain). Sleep helps suppress ghrelin and stimulate leptin. Without sleep, these can reverse, which is why we’re likely to grab a chocolate bar mid-morning after not getting enough sleep!

Before we dive into specific foods, I'd love to touch on the importance of sleep hygiene; the things you can do daily to improve your sleep. I hope that these tips help you. 

My essentials for sleep include:  

  1. Create a sleep schedule. I recommend going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. We want to be getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Help your body wind down, switch off cortisol and retire for the day with a calming night-time routine. Try out a warm bath or shower, a delicious candle, writing or drawing in a journal, meditating or deep breathing, a relaxing self massage for the tummy, listening to relaxing music, chatting to your loved ones or reading a book. 
  3. Watch your stimulant intake. Consider your consumption of caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar, especially in the latter part of the day. It’s said that two glasses of wine before bed can negatively impact sleep by up to 40%! 
  4. Your room should be your sanctuary. Let me repeat that: your bedroom should be your sanctuary. Stop doing work on your bed! Before bed, your room should be pitch black, at a cool temperature and as quiet as possible.
  5. Avoid foods that are super spicy and rich, overly fatty and stimulating, especially before bed.
  6. I recommend staying hydrated throughout the day and try not to drink too much liquid before you go to bed – no one likes waking up for bathroom trips several times throughout the night.
  7. Exercise regularly throughout the day, aiming to get outside in the earlier hours of the morning. Regular exercise in daylight tells your body that it’s daytime, which is vital for our circadian rhythms. This increases our alertness throughout the day.

Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time to look at specific sleep-enhancing foods.

The meal before you go to bed, usually dinner, should include foods with a low glycemic index, combined with a protein and fat, e.g. non-starchy vegetables, a portion of your favourite protein and some avocado. Eating a whole and balanced dinner will help keep you full and satisfied, without feeling overstuffed.

One of my favourite minerals in the whole world is magnesium (sorry to any other minerals listening)! Magnesium performs over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and supports the health of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system and digestive system. It also produces specific neurotransmitters that regulate our stress and sleep response.

Many of us are magnesium deficient, so I recommend upping your intake of magnesium-rich food. Include nuts and seeds such as almonds and pepitas, bananas, avocado, spinach and beans. And after dinner and a few hours before bed, try chocolate. Who doesn’t want to be told by their nutritionist that they should eat chocolate? Try out my Collagen and Flax Chocolate Bars for a delicious magnesium hit.

B vitamins are an absolute must, helping us turn the food we eat into energy and regulating our stress response. They’re integral in supporting neurotransmitter production too. Specifically, vitamin B6 synthesises melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include poultry such as chicken or turkey, oats, bananas and pumpkin. Fish is another source of vitamin B6, giving your body the heads up that it’s time to produce melatonin and get sleepy.

Fish is also full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help regulate serotonin, responsible for our sleep-wake cycle. Omega-3 fatty acids help regulate cortisol, the stress hormone and reduce inflammation. For a fish delight, get your hands on my Delicious Salmon and Coriander Fish Cakes here or my Supercharged Fish Tortillas here.

The gut intricately connects to the brain via the gut-brain axis. Essentially, this means that the gut impacts the brain and visa versa. So, if you’re struggling to fall asleep, have a look at your gut health. If your gut bacteria is getting you down, clean the gut as you sleep with Love Your Gut Powder, Golden Gut Blend or LYG Capsules.

One ingredient you may have not yet heard about is tart cherry juice. Current clinical research is discovering that tart cherries can increase our time asleep and sleep efficiency.1 Tart cherry juice helps regulate our circadian rhythm (our sleep-wake cycle) and is also a potent antioxidant. Drink up!

If you’re a meat-eater, you’ll be happy to know that chicken and turkey are great for sleep. Both chicken and turkey contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps make serotonin, causing a relaxing mood, which then helps produce melatonin. You don’t need to wait till Thanksgiving to have a turkey; supercharge every day with my Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings or give my Chicken Biryani with Cauliflower Rice a try.

Other natural sleeping remedies include teas that contain two powerful ingredients – passionflower and valerian. These herbs are both natural sedatives, reducing stress, calming us down and targeting sleep disorders.

Speaking of sleepy teas, how can we forget chamomile? While some people think of chamomile as hay water, I love the taste. Chamomile is a gentle herb that is incredibly soothing, and full of an antioxidant called apigenin that promotes sleepiness… I’m nodding off just thinking about it. Try these relaxing tea recipes here

We mentioned that nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium, but they also contain that serotonin-boosting amino acid, tryptophan. Including walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds every day will do wonders for your sleep.

If you’re nuts for nuts, you’ll love my Pumpkin Almond Bake. This supercharged bake, packed full of mood-lifting and sleep-enhancing foods, is a great side dish at dinner before you hit the hay at the end of the day.

Pumpkin Almond Bake

A couple of everyday veggies combined with the right spices and a sprinkling of toasted almonds – you’ll be amazed at the paradoxical simplicity and flavourful complexity of this dish. Easy to prepare and easy on the wallet, it’s a bake that’s big on flavour yet low in calories. What more could you ask?

Serves 4

  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) pumpkin (winter squash), cut into dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted, or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 400 g (14 oz) baby (pattypan) squash, halved if large
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into thin wedges
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 45 g (1 1/2 oz/1/3 cup) slivered almonds, to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Put the pumpkin in a roasting tray, drizzle with half the oil and sprinkle with the spices.

Roast for 20 minutes, then add the remaining vegetables and oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for a further 15–20 minutes, or until cooked through, turning once.

Meanwhile, toast the slivered almonds in a small dry frying pan over medium heat until light golden.

Serve the vegetables topped with the toasted almonds.

SUPERCHARGED TIP

You can replace the baby squash with zucchini (courgette) if you prefer.

1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28901958/

The Benefits of Plant-Based Eating + a Mushroom, Broccoli and Sunflower Seed Quinoa Pilaf

We all know that the key to good health is to reduce stress, look after your emotional and physical wellbeing, and have a balanced diet, but what are we meant to eat?

There is a mountain of conflicting advice available; it's easy to feel like you're drowning in a pool of health experts, eeeek.

Simply put, a balanced diet is one comprised of whole and unprocessed foods, with adequate protein, fibre, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and water.

Sound more enjoyable than cutting out every food group that you've ever loved? It is!

Whether you're a vegan veteran, vegetarian, flexitarian or keto fan, we can all agree that there's one level on the old food pyramid that has stood the test of time; and that my friend is the good old vegetable category.

Eating whole, real, nutrient-rich and unprocessed vegetables is the ultimate way to supercharge your health. This falls into a category we call ‘plant-based’. Let's be clear: I'm talking about plant-based eating where the majority of your meals are plants, not processed fake meats, hot chips and sodium sky high seitan.

I'm not going to convince you to eat eight bananas, a whole kilo of rice and bread in one sitting; that's not what plant-based eating is and not a sustainable way to live. When it comes right down to it, a plant-based diet is one of the simplest ways to eat; all you have to do is include more vegetables in your day!.

So, if you're ready to get aboard the plant-based train (frozen corn schnitzel burgers and spaghetti with tomato sauce not included), get your ticket and let's get into it.

A plant-based diet is what it sounds like - mostly plants – but that doesn't mean you can't consume animal-based foods. Being "plant-based" allows individuals to consciously reduce their animal-consumption, without the strict parameters of being "vegan" or "vegetarian". I believe this mindset is a lot healthier and more maintainable than one based on taking foods away. It gives us room to breathe without any guilt.

So, what are the benefits of having a predominantly plant-based diet?

Fibre

Vegetables and legumes are full of soluble and insoluble fibre, which is essential for getting the digestive system moving. Eating a diet rich in veggies assists in our pathways of elimination, speeding up the passage of food. Speeding up this elimination process can help decrease our absorption of toxins!

Not only is fibre best friends with our digestive system, but a diet rich in fibre can also lower our low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, known as our "bad" cholesterol.

Honestly, name me something fibre can't do. For a fibre-rich snack, try my cheesy kale chips!

Antioxidants

Want glowing skin? Antioxidant-rich veggies are the answer! Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help fight against oxidative damage and stress. My favourite antioxidant falls under a group calling carotenoids and is found in sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, pumpkin and oranges. You can read more about how and why I carrot live without carotenoids here.

Antioxidants protect against damage from UV rays and reduce our overall inflammation.

If you’re looking to up the antioxidants in your diet, vegan Fulvic Humic Concentrate will provide your body with antioxidant-rich minerals, and is beneficial for IBS, food sensitivities, diarrhoea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease and more! Find out more here.

Weight a Minute…

It's not all about our weight but let's be real, a diet high in processed and junk foods isn't going to do any favours. Staying at a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing.

Vegetables are relatively low in kilojoules, making them fantastic for anyone trying to slim down or maintain a healthy weight. A diet full of seasonal vegetables is always a good idea!

If you're struggling with the idea of going predominantly plant-based, here are my three main (organic zoodles with slow-cooked lentil ragu) takeaways.

  1. Focus more on including plants rather than reducing your intake of animal-based foods - this means making vegetables, legumes and whole grains the focus of your plate, which naturally takes the spotlight off of animal-based foods.
  2. When I say plant-based, I don't mean fake meat and vegan junk food! While it's great that these alternatives exist, becoming plant-based means focusing on plants, not preservative-laden and nutrient-free foods.
  3. A transition to being plant-based doesn't need to happen overnight. I recommend introducing more vegetables and legumes into your diet slowly to allow your body to adapt to the increase in fibre. Going plant-based should be sustainable and enjoyable, rather than stressful and overwhelming.

I believe moderation is essential, and supercharging your life means you're not into extremes. Plant-based eating is a no rules approach to eating. While there are many obvious benefits to being vegan or vegetarian, plant-based is my middle ground. I eat mostly plants and these days and complement them with the occasional amount of animal products and by-products.

While the idea of going plant-based is lovely, I know that not everyone loves vegetables as much as I do. If your heart and taste buds are in a different place, allow me to introduce you to my Mushroom, Broccoli and Sunflower Seed Quinoa Pilaf.

It's a simple, super recipe that will get you excited about plant-based eating. Quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle. It's also rich in B vitamins, magnesium and zinc. Similarly, sunflower seeds contain nutrients great for our bones, including calcium, magnesium and copper. This pilaf will go down as a vegetable-packed treat.

Mushroom, Broccoli and Sunflower Seed Quinoa Pilaf

Serves 2

Mushrooms are a natural food, providing maximum deliciousness with minimal calories. Their addictive flavour comes from a protein called glutamic acid, the same amino acid found in monosodium glutamate (MSG), but mushrooms will satisfy your tastebuds without any unpleasant side effects.

  • 3 tablespoons uncooked quinoa
  • 180 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g (7 oz/about 1/2 head) broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water, plus extra as needed
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • a handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • Nutritional yeast flakes (optional) to top it off!

Method:

Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine sieve, then drain.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the mushrooms and broccoli with a little extra water and cook, frequently stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the cinnamon, cumin and turmeric, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Add the water then cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 12–15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through.

Season to taste.

Serve the pilaf topped with mint, with a squeeze of lemon and the sunflower seeds sprinkled over.

My Best Sticky Chai Recipe Ever

Many years ago, I decided to ditch a habit that was causing harm to my health. It was no easy feat. I had a massive void in my heart that was aching to be filled. I searched for what felt like oolong time to fill the spot, but alas, no luck.

And then, I went to India, and fell in love. Sweet, warm and a little spicy. Suffice to say; I fell hard.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, the void I was trying to fill was an almond latte-shaped one. I tried peppermint tea, green tea and even went so far as a magical unicorn latte (yes it's a thing!), but nothing hit the spot quite right.

I searched throughout the region for an alternative drink (okay, the cafes around my neighbourhood). But it wasn’t until I sipped on a chai from a street vendor in India, that I discovered what I'd been missing all along.

Since then, not a day has gone by without a chai. Chai is my motivator, life source and for any yogi’s out there, my prana.

For any newbies out there, let me quickly introduce you: this is chai, a flavoured tea beverage made with black tea and aromatic Indian spices or herbs. Chai loves walks in the park, dairy-free milk, rom-coms, and a dash of excitement.

Since tasting that authentic chai, I've been tinkering around for years trying to perfect my own version and one that can live up to the hype and universal appeal of this drink. My motto being, if at first you don't succeed, chai chai again.

IMHO a good chai needs to be well balanced with spices, have a warmth and sweetness, give you a big hug from first to last sip and its whole should be greater than the sum of its parts.

I’ll stop being modest here for a second and cut to the chai-se, this is the tastiest chai you’ll ever make. I know what you’re thinking: Lee, I think you’re a little bit biased here. Maybe you’re right, but if you're a chai lover I'd really love for you to try it out.

So, you may be asking, what goes into making a good chai? A good chai needs to be the perfect temperature, creamy enough to be warm and comforting, but not too sweet that it overpowers the spices.

But, we’re not here to make a good chai; we’re here to make a great one...

If you avoid caffeine, chai is inclusive, so you can make it with a caffeine-free tea as a base. I’ve added a version where I've swapped out the regular black tea for caffeine-free rooibos tea- but you can make it with either.

My chai spice mix (masala tea) includes a mix of spices, including cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon, whole cloves, star anise, fennel seeds and saffron. This blend is perfect for creating a dreamy creamy at-home chai.

Once you’ve created your chai mix, feel free to keep it in a glass jar and leave it in your spice cabinet for future use (like, ahem, tomorrow) or the fridge.

This simple recipe makes for the perfect pick-me-up, and as a bonus, makes the house smell like Christmas!

The Best Sticky Chai Recipe I have Ever Tasted

Makes: 1 jar

  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 3 cinnamon quills
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 tbs fennel seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups rooibos tea leaves or use English breakfast tea
  • 1 tbs vanilla fresh, liquid or powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch saffron (optional)

Method:

In a small pan toast cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, whole cloves and fennel seeds.

Transfer to blender or mortar and pestle and smash or whizz until pieces are chunky.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir in vanilla and honey to coat. I usually do this bit with my hands.

Keep in airtight container - I store mine in the cupboard, but you do you!.

Sticky Oat Milk Rooibos Chai

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs chai mix
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup oat milk
  • Ground cinnamon, to serve

Place 3 TBS of chai and 2 cups of  water in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

Heat slowly  and then turn down to a simmer. (This will protect the nutrients in the honey as rapid heat can destroy them).

Add 1/2 cup of oat milk and warm gently.

Turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes allowing the flavours to mingle.

Strain into a mug and top with ground cinnamon.

Hope you enjoy this delicious Sticky Chai recipe. Let me know how it works out for you in the comments section below.

Lee 🙂

Mexican Spiced Squash with Avocado & Black Bean Salsa and Quinoa

Today I’m sharing a colourful plant-based dish that’s guaranteed to satisfy. 

 

It’s a tasty Mexican spiced squash with avocado and made with the addition of black beans which are both nutty and creamy, and a wonderful source of protein and fibre.

 

Protein and fibre are going to keep you fuller for longer. Protein can help you to maintain muscle mass and strength and is needed for cell growth and repair and fibre is good for digestive health. 

 

Cooking and eating Mexican is a lot easier than you think. Especially if you opt for the zero planning or shopping option by ordering straight from a fresh delivery service such as Hello Fresh

 

Depending on what you fancy to eat, all you need to do is choose your recipes, then the pre-measured ingredients are delivered safely to your door. There are so many great recipes to choose from too you could literally eat your way round the globe. 

Why not savour the salsa and enjoy this zingy vegetarian dish on its own for lunch or dinner, or serve it as a filling side dish alongside grilled meats? It’s not only delicious and satisfying but also good for you too. 

 

Mexican Spiced Squash with Avocado & Black Bean Salsa and Quinoa 

 

1 Butternut Squash halved lengthways 

1.5 tsp Mexican Spice

½ cup Vegetable Stock

120 grams Quinoa

2 Vine Tomatoes

1 Avocado

1 Lime

1 Tin Black Beans

1 bunch Mint 

1 bunch Coriander

2 tbs Sour Cream

15 grams Pumpkin Seeds

500 mls water

 

Method

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Halve the butternut squash lengthways and scoop out the seeds (no need to peel). Chop it into 2cm cubes and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Sprinkle over half the fajita seasoning and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat then spread out evenly and roast on the top shelf of your oven until charred at the edges, 30 mins. Turn halfway through cooking.

 

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil (amount specified in the ingredient list). When boiling, add the vegetable stock. Lower the heat to medium and add the quinoa. Cook uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the seed has split, 11-12 mins. When done, drain in a sieve and leave to cool.

 

Chop the vine tomato into 1cm chunks. Pop in a mixing bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Halve the avocado lengthways and twist apart. Remove the stone and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Chop the flesh into 1cm chunks and add to the tomato. Zest the lime. Mix half the zest into the salsa, along with a squeeze of lime juice. Mix well and set aside.

 

Drain the black beans in a colander and rinse under cold water. Add to the salsa. Pick the mint leaves from their stalks and finely chop (discard the stalks). Add half to the salsa. Roughly chop the coriander (stalks and all) and stir it in too. Add a pinch of the remaining fajita seasoning and the olive oil (amount specified in the ingredient list). Taste and adjust with salt, black pepper or more spice if you like it hot!

 

Mix the remaining chopped mint through the sour cream. Add a pinch of salt and set aside. Transfer the (now cooled) quinoa to a large bowl and add a squeeze of lime juice, the remaining zest and a pinch of fajita seasoning. Mix together and add salt to taste.

 

Stir half the salsa through the quinoa, then spoon the quinoa into deep bowls. Top with the butternut squash and the remaining salsa. Dollop on some sour cream and sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

 

FREE Gut Transformation Summit 2020

As many of you already know, the gut plays an essential role in your overall health, your energy levels and your ability to keep your immune system strong and healthy.

This week I’ve been involved in a wonderful gut transformation summit which is a FREE resource for all.  If you’re keen to discover the latest information available on gut health, from the biggest names and renowned experts in the gut health and wellness industry right now then read on.  

You can sign up now for the Gut Transformation Summit 2020 to learn natural, effective, easy-to-implement ways to heal your gut and improve your health and start living a life you love, at any age.

It’s totally FREE to attend from 2-6 Sept 2020. You don’t have to be one of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world struggling with gut health issues, from IBS, SIBO, chronic diarrhoea, reflux and constipation, to other related health issues like auto-immune conditions, fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, irregular moods, anxiety and depression, to name a few.  

Sign up for the Gut Transformation Summit here.

Your hosts for the Gut Transformation Summit, Gen & Leisa from Nourishing Therapies, became gut health experts through their own struggles with it, for over 15 years. That’s what inspired them to create this summit, to get you the information you need to avoid making the mistakes they made, so that you can get better fast and get back to enjoying life.  

Here’s a sample of what you’ll learn during this summit: 

  • Why there is NO one-size-fits-all diet and how to figure out the best diet for YOU.
  • Blastocystis hominis and DientamoebaFragilis: Friend or Foe
  • How a carnivore diet could help reverse gut issues and autoimmunity.
  • How colonics and enemas can improve your gut health, and tips on how to do them.
  • Food sensitivities, methylation, and where to start when you are sensitive to everything!
  • Surprising supplements to help recover from SIBO & IBS.
  • How your home environment could be contributing to your gut issues and multiple chemical sensitivities.
  • How a tight iliacus and psoas muscle can affect your digestion and how you can fix it! 
  • The impact of trauma on your gut and tips and techniques to move through trauma quickly and easily with permanent results.
  • And so much more!

If you want to take charge of your own health, you don’t want to miss this summit! 

Sign up for the Gut Transformation Summit 2020 here 

Sleep Tips + Tray Baked Salmon with Pumpkin and Avocado Mash

The recipe for a good nigh.....zzzzzz

Oh, um, sorry, just nodded off a little there. Where was I? Oh yes, back to reality, today I am sharing a recipe that'll help you to enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep.

If you need a healthy dish to send you off to the land of nod, then you must try this delicious tray baked salmon dish. All you need to do is make this super simple recipe for an early dinner and enjoy it, then once it’s time for bed, roll on an essential oil, crank up your diffuser and all of a sudden you will find yourself getting…. very very very sleepy.

Right now, is a really good time to talk about sleep. A good sleep is one of the most under-rated health tips. Not just one night but every night it’s important to make room in your day for a healthy sleep. Insomnia is a prevalent sleep disorder, appearing in about a third of the population sampled in one study. If your constant lack of sleep is negatively affecting your mental health, click here to get the support you deserve today. For a dynamic calming duo why not try my Chamomile and Lavender Tea.

So why do we need sleep? Well, sleep helps your body reset and recover, it can help reduce stress, improve your memory and even lower your blood pressure by encouraging a steady state of relaxation.  To feel energised during the day, getting enough quality sleep is imperative.  Do you ever notice that your sleep helps you to remember and process things better during the day?  You feel more switched on and you seem to have the mental acuity to make the most of each day? That is due to  our memories being reactivated, strengthening of brain cell connections, and information being transferred from short to long-term. During sleep, the brain replays memories that you have had during the day which strengthen neural connections.

A good sleep can help build your immunity and conversely, it can also have the opposite effect,  draining your immune system by running yourself to the limit.  Having a susceptible immune system can also keep you lying awake at night.

To ensure quality and quantity sleep, implementing your own sleep routine can make a big difference.  Just introducing a few simple, helpful habits can make the world of difference to the way you sleep and the length and depth of your sleep. Eating the right foods at the right time such as having dinner earlier in the evening, will also go a long way to improving your sleep, and your digestion!.

Other tips to help sleep are screening off your phone, computer or TV, and easing off the accelerator as the evening approaches. Winding down and relaxing after dinner can help your body get into rest and digest mode.  Going to bed at the same time each night will enable a better sleep pattern.

Most people need around 7-8 hours of sleep a night but spending too long in bed can also be detrimental. Need more sleep tips? Check out Consumer Mattress Guide, they have a ton of helpful articles you'll love.

I like to create a space for new, restful, in-the-moment energy, so aroma is where I like to start. Recently, I've been using The Goodnight Co’s natural Immunity Boost Kit. It includes expertly blended Immunity Pure Essential Oil and Immunity Roll On to pop in your diffuser or on the go and it’s safe for the whole family to use. You can also go about your day and sleep without sniffles as the range features Cold + Flu Drops to naturally ease symptoms of cold and flu viruses, and even seasonal allergies.  These 100% natural blends combine the power of seven essential oils, with ingredients famed for antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties to help ease your body and soothe your mind. It's my nightly routine and it works for me.

But let’s back-up a bit to dinner, with this immune and sleep delicious dish. Tray baked salmon with pumpkin and avocado mash will keep your belly and mind happy. It includes butternut pumpkin which is great for immunity. One cup of cooked pumpkin provides Vitamin A, C and E. Studies show that vitamin A can strengthen your immune system and help fight infections. Sesame seeds contain tryptophan which is used by the brain to produce neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin that help you relax and go to sleep.  The tiny seeds also contain calcium which helps the brain use tryptophan to manufacture melatonin.

I hope you enjoy this tasty and peaceful recipe and add it to your weekly menu plans. Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Tray Baked Salmon with Pumpkin and Avocado Mash 

Serves 3 

Ingredients 

  • 1 butternut pumpkin chopped into small cubes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil  
  • 3 salmon fillets skin on 
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh parsley (great for sleep!) 
  • 1 tsp cumin (great for insomnia!) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 TBS sesame seeds 
  • 1 TBS lemon zest 
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 3 lemon slices, halved
  • Pinch sea salt and black pepper  

Avocado Mash 

  • 1 avocado, diced into cubes 
  • 2 TBS coriander, chopped 
  • 2 TBS  parsley, chopped 
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 TBS lemon juice 
  • Pinch sea salt 

To serve 

Large handful of rocket 

Method 

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius 

Place baking paper on a baking sheet and add pumpkin 

Splosh on 1 TBS olive oil, then sprinkle with cinnamon 

Roast for 15 minutes 

In the meantime place parsley, cumin, garlic, sesame seeds, lemon zest and 2 TBS lemon juice, 2 TBS olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to blend, place blend over salmon fillets, rubbing it in to stay put

Remove tray from the oven, add the salmon fillets, and lemon slices into the tray with the pumpkin.  Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until salmon is cooked to your liking 

Whilst the salmon is cooking make the mash by combining all of the ingredients into a bowl and smashing with a fork 

Once the salmon is cooked,  serve with rocket and avocado mash.   

Give it a shot and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Lee xo

Introducing Flourish and Nourish Through Menopause, a New eCourse

 

Hello ladies,

This one is for you!

If you're a woman experiencing menopause or peri-menopause and you're feeling like your body is out of control, or you're not managing stress as well as you used to, maybe you're noticing your energy levels and patience declining or the hot body you once had is now just a hot mess of hot flushes 😉 if this sounds like you, I think you'll love our brand new 6-week eCourse called Flourish and Nourish Through Menopause.

We all know menopause happens, but you don't need to just deal with it!

Sometimes it can be confusing knowing what to eat and how to nourish your body, especially at a time like this. If you’re unsure of where to turn for information about this time in your life, don’t worry we're here to help and with answers to all of your questions.

Menopause is something that EVERY woman will go through during their life and yet society and the media seems to remain very quiet about it. But things are changing. 

Flourish and Nourish Through Menopause –  is THE online course for every woman who is in peri-menopause or menopause and is feeling like they need to make some changes to feel more energised, alive, and healthier.

You'll learn so much on this in-depth educational course. By the end of the 6-week course you'll know how to manage common menopause symptoms at home, feel less stressed, have more energy, know how to reduce risk factors for common conditions, feel positive and in control and know what to eat for optimal health and weight management.

The course is run by Lee and Belinda and between us, we’ve helped thousands of women to optimise their health and feel their very best. You can watch this video now to learn more!

About the Flourish and Nourish Through Menopause Program

Throughout the 6-week course you will guided every single step of the way. You’ll have access to the following modules with video, written content and activities. There are over 50 beautiful recipes, recipe videos, meal plans, yoga instruction videos and meditation audios which can be accessed at any time during the entire course at your fingertips.

Why should you join?

  • You'll finish this course feeling like you are back in control of your body and your symptoms
  • ALL women deserve to understand the menopausal transition and know what they can do to manage it naturally
  • This course will educate, motivate and inspire you to make long term improvements to your health
  • You'll be provided with step by step guidance on how to make changes to your diet and lifestyle for optimal hormonal health
  • You'll LOVE the recipes which are all nourishing, tasty and simple to make. The whole family will enjoy these recipes which contain easy-to-access ingredients
  • You'll feel supported and part of a community of women who are focused on their health and long-term wellness

What you’ll receive when you sign up to the Flourish and Nourish Through Menopause program

  • Six modules delivered weekly, containing practical expert advice for managing menopause and peri-menopause
  • Tailor made videos in addition to written content
  • Guided support to help you understand how to manage symptoms and tweak your diet to feel your very best
  • Weekly activities, quizzes and downloads
  • Yoga instruction videos for anxiety, sleep, hot flushes, energy and balance
  • Audio meditations for sleep and anxiety
  • eBook for you to download with over 50 recipes and images designed to nourish your body through menopause
  • Shopping lists and meal plans
  • Private Facebook group support and Live Q&A’s
  • All it takes is a six-week commitment from you and you’ll learn so much and feel empowered, strong and supported through your menopause transition

What does the program contain? 

Module 1 - Understanding Menopause and Managing common symptoms

This module helps you to understand what is happening during the menopause transition and where oestrogen can be produced after menopause to keep you feeling your very best. The top 17 menopause symptoms are explored with practical tips on how you can manage these symptoms at home. 

Module 2 – Nutrition for Menopause Part 1

In Week 2 we begin diving into nutrition and how food can help to improve our menopausal symptoms and your future health. We have detailed info on which nutrients are essential for menopause and we list the Top Ten foods for menopause and learn how to make a balanced meal plan.

Module 3 – Nutrition for Menopause Part 2

There is so much to learn about nutrition! This week we learn about which foods and substances can negatively affect menopause while dispelling common myths and helping you learn how to best choose foods when you are shopping. We give nutritional advice for each stage of the menopausal transition and detail which supplements might be right for you. Each supplement/nutrient is explained in detail and includes which form to look for and what dose to take along with our top brand suggestions. 

Module 4 - Impact of Lifestyle on Menopause

Exercise, sleep, stress and friendships can have a massive impact on menopause symptoms. We detail lifestyle tips for optimal hormonal health, how to ensure a good night’s sleep and some tips for managing stress. Which types of exercise are beneficial for menopause are explained along with do-at-home yoga videos and guided audio meditations. 

Module 5 – Preventing Long Term Health Risks

After menopause comes an increase in the risk of certain long term health conditions. Learn about how to minimise your risk factors and understand the ongoing health checks and blood tests that are useful for focusing on wellness and prevention. 

Module 6 – Pulling it all together and making a plan for the future

By week 6 you’ll have learned everything there is to know about menopause and how to flourish and be nourished through the process. Menopause isn’t something we are trying to fix but something we are trying to transition through with ease. This week wraps up all you have learned and helps you to make a plan moving forward to allow you to eat well, move more and better manage stress. See you in the course!

Who has created this course?

Flourish and Nourish Through Menopause has been created by Lee Holmes and Belinda Kirkpatrick. We came together to create this course after finding a serious lack of helpful and practical information available to help women through the menopausal process. Lee Holmes a nutritionist, wholefoods chef, yoga and mediation teacher, best-selling author of nine Supercharged Food books and creator of the Love Your Gut powders and author of this website www.supercharegdfood.com and www.superchargeyourgut.com

Belinda Kirkpatrick is a Naturopath and Nutritionist and expert on women’s health and hormones. Belinda is the author of Healthy Hormones and has been in clinical practice for over 15 years helping thousands of women just like you take control of their hormones and thrive  through the menopausal transition. We have combined our skills and experience to bring you the very best and most practical information, inspiration and guidance to empower you to understand your body and feel amazing and in control through menopause and beyond.

How much does the course cost?

The 6-week program is only $199 and comes with a free recipe eBook with over 50 recipes.

Vegan Lentil Moussaka

Have you been drawn to eating more recently? How about craving comfort foods you don’t usually?

You’re not alone. With a lot of unknown in the air, many of us are feeling destabilised. While we aren’t able to fill ourselves with the answers, with what’s going to happen and when it will occur, we can choose to solve this emptiness temporarily with wholesome food.

Did you know that satiety communicates to the body that we’re safe; a feeling many of us are craving at the moment?

In unknown times, you can choose to use food as a tool to bring comfort, and all it involves is choosing wisely. For many people, it’s easy to get caught up in the loop of consuming comfort food, of delivery drivers and sweet treats. You guys know me by now, and I'm not the kind of person to encourage you to stop altogether, however gifting your body with nutritious foods can really lift your energy and mood, too. Fresh and healthy meals can grant a source of comfort; healthy food and tasty food can be mutually inclusive.

If you’re looking for a guide to help you feel your best and enjoy cooking, my FREE two-week guide to stockpiling your pantry may be right for you.  Or if you're keen to support your immunity another FREE resource I've created is a 14-Day Supercharge Your Immune Health Pantry List with recipes.   The resources are great for singles, couples and families, and you don’t need to be a doomsday prepper to benefit from them, everyone’s welcome!

If you’re looking for a recipe that brings both comfort and nourishment in the same mouthful, my Vegan Lentil Moussaka is the one for you. I assure you it’s tasty like you’re-eager-to get-a-second plate-of-it-after-only-the-first-bite kind of tasty. You know what I mean 😉

If you’ve never heard of moussaka, it’s a traditional Greek dish that’s similar to lasagne but utilises eggplant in place of lasagne sheets. It’s a handy way to sneak extra vegetables into the mouths of those in your household. Moussaka is an extremely warming comfort dish that my family has been enjoying during this lockdown period.

Mince traditionally fills a wholesome moussaka, but after receiving many emails and Instagram DM’s from people who previously bought tinned lentils and beans during panic-buying days and didn’t know what to do with them, I’ve switched things up with this vegan moussaka with lentils.

You don’t have to be a vegan to eat lentils, trust me! When you prepare lentils appropriately, they can be delicious for the meat-eaters and meat-free among us.

So, let’s chat about the humble lentil. Lentils are a high-fibre legume, great for showing love to our digestive system. And remember, a happy gut = a healthy nervous system and a happy mood. This moussaka is also full of vegetables for an extra fibre hit.

Legumes also offer an excellent source of plant-based protein which brings satiety. Protein is necessary for the health of our hormones, muscle and skin health.

Lentils give this moussaka a meaty texture so your household won’t feel like they’re missing out if meat free Mondays sends the troops into meltdown. To make this moussaka even more delicious, I’ve created a sunflower seed cheese topping with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12, another nutrient that can be difficult to obtain on a vegan diet. Vitamin B12 helps create DNA, and a deficiency can cause weakness and fatigue.

If you’re looking for comfort, why not try this Vegan Lentil Moussaka on for size? This deliciously layered baked eggplant dish with lentils and a vegan cheese sauce will bring all the comfort and nourishment you and your family need. Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

Vegan Lentil Moussaka

Serves 3—4

When prepared with love and flavour, the humble lentil comes into its own. This moussaka is completely free of all forms of stodge.

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant (aubergine), sliced
  • 2–3 zucchini (courgettes), sliced
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins diced tomatoes
  • 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins lentils, drained (soak if preferred for easy digestion)
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Sunflower seed cheese

(If you don’t have ingredients or time to make this just use 1 ½ cups grated vegan cheese)

  • 145 g (5 oz/1 cup) sunflower seeds, soaked in water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 120 ml (33/4 fl oz) filtered water

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes, for topping

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).

Place the eggplant and zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes then rinse off the salt.

Put the eggplant and zucchini on a baking tray and brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil then bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until browned.

Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add the remaining olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the garlic, onion and shallot for 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, lentils, stock, oregano and cinnamon and season to taste. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer over medium–low for about 15 minutes.

To make the sunflower seed cheese if using, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
If you’d like a creamier cheese, add some filtered water to the mix. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.

To assemble the moussaka, place a layer of the cooked eggplant and zucchini in a 28 x 18 x 5 cm (111/4 x 7 x 2 inch) baking dish. Pour a layer of sauce over the vegetables, and then repeat. Top with the sunflower seed cheese (or grated vegan cheese, if using) and scatter over the nutritional yeast flakes.

Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until the top is crispy.

Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Lee xo

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