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The Benefits of Eating Mushrooms plus a Mushroom with Red Quinoa Soup

If you think mushrooms are the new superfood on the block, think again. Mushrooms have been used for decades for their healing properties; from their ability to support the immune system to their impact on the heart, mighty mushrooms are the perfect example of using food as medicine. 

The amount of research on medicinal mushrooms (get your head out of the clouds; not those mushrooms) is growing daily. So, let’s dive into it, shall we?

Shrooms with Benefits

Vitamin D-Rich 

Mushrooms are one of the few plant-based sources of Vitamin D, a vitamin deficient in almost 1 in 4 Australians.1-2 Vitamin D is essential in keeping our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Plus, Vitamin D plays an integral role in the immune system. 

Modern Medicine

Mushrooms have been at the forefront of pharmaceuticals for decades. From penicillin to statins, mushrooms are a significant component of modern medications.3

Read more to learn about how mushrooms can affect your life and how to cook them in the best ways possible.

Natural Immune Boosters

Mushrooms contain a type of soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which assists the immune system in fighting infection and stopping the growth of harmful bacteria. Shrooms also offer a potent source of selenium, which is a major immune-boosting antioxidant.4

Gut Love

It wouldn’t be a supercharged blog without mentioning gut health, would it? A compound within mushrooms is known to act as a prebiotic, boosting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and promoting a healthy environment within the gut.5 Mushrooms get the supercharged gut-kick tick from me! Speaking of a healthy gut environment, our brand new Love Your Gut Synbiotic Formula contains 20+ Billion probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes and dietary fibre.

Supercharged Food Love Your Gut Capsules

Heart Health

Mushrooms have therapeutic properties, which may help lower cholesterol and reduce plaque build-up; this means mushrooms may protect the heart by maintaining healthy blood pressure and good circulation.6 

Are All Mushrooms Equal?

All mushrooms offer health benefits, but these benefits vary from shroom to shroom. Here are just a few common and unique mushrooms and how they may benefit health. It’s essential to remember that mushroom research is growing, so some of this is based on traditional use and anecdotal evidence. 

White Button Mushrooms

Let’s start with the standard variety you find in the supermarket and on your avo toast in your local café. White button mushrooms are rich in phytochemicals that may aid in the prevention of prostate cancer in men.7 Button mushrooms are also rich in protein, great for the immune system, and offer an incredible amount of fibre antioxidants and vitamin D. 

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are a favourite among vegetarians, often acting as a burger substitute, but that’s not all they’re good for. These shrooms have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce free radicals, plus it offers a great source of selenium and plant-based vitamin D.8

Reishi

Reishi mushrooms may assist energy, increase memory, support the immune system, reduce stress, regulate blood sugar levels, and even help the heart.9

Cordyceps

Cordyceps mushrooms have traditionally been used to support kidney and liver health, improving the body’s ability to remove toxins, improve energy and potentially control blood glucose levels.10

Oyster Mushrooms

Who doesn’t love oyster mushrooms? They are delicious in soups or with steamed veggies. Oyster mushrooms are known for reducing inflammation, containing an antioxidant called ergothioneine which helps protect DNA in cases of chronic inflammation. These mushrooms also show promising results in reducing the common flu. Oyster mushrooms contain B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc and potassium.11

Sauteed Scallops with Mushrooms and Spinach

Where can you find mushrooms?

I believe every single person can benefit from increasing their shroom intake. While portobello mushrooms and smaller button mushrooms can be found in supermarkets, more unique mushrooms like reiki and cordyceps can be found in powder form in health food stores.  

Mushroom Soup

My favourite way to have mushrooms in the cooler months is in soup. I believe mushroom soup stands out from all other soups because it’s oh so flavoursome and earthy. This soup is full of immune-supporting button mushrooms and protein-rich quinoa, making it the perfect recipe for a night in.

Mushroom with Red Quinoa Soup 

Serves 4 

This soup screams love and attention like a big protective hug. Warming and hearty, the mushrooms and quinoa muddle together, combining earthy and bold to bring your soup bowl alive with outstanding flavours. 

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 2 large carrots, diced 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) button mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1.25 litres (44 fl oz/5 cups) vegetable stock 
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) 
  • 50 g (13/4 oz/1/4 cup) red quinoa 
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes, to serve 
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, rosemary and seasonings and sauté for 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. Add the mushroom and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, tamari, apple cider vinegar, tomato passata and quinoa and cook for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft. 
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with the nutritional yeast flakes.

Enjoy !

Lee xo

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4320875/

2https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/australian-health-survey-biomedical-results-nutrients/latest-release

3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC123731/

4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2698273/

5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/

6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33309597/

7https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19005974/

8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4056650/

9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/

10https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7356751/

11https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230384/

Gluten Sensitivities and Plant-Based Eating: How to Thrive as a Gluten-Free Vegan

Gluten Free Nut Loaf

Food sensitivity technology and other medical advancements are improving individuals’ health and well-being. More consumers are eating low-impact diets as a form of treatment and sustainability. Gluten-free and plant-based diets are more eco-friendly than conventional consumption patterns.

You may attempt to follow a restrictive diet to improve your health and struggle to cut out allergens and meat. There are various ways to consume a balanced and satisfying diet as a gluten-free vegan. Here’s how to identify what foods you should avoid.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein present in rye, barley, wheat and triticale. Many chefs add it to different foods to help maintain their shape. Wheat is the most common form of gluten, and it causes challenges for individuals following a celiac-friendly diet.

You can find wheat in traditional bread, soups, pasta, sauces, roux, salad dressings and baked goods. Barley is an ingredient commonly found in beverages. According to Beer Snobs, brewers put barley in beer to enhance its flavor profile..

Rye is a less common ingredient in cooking, and it is easily identifiable. The grain appears in rye bread, rye beer and some cereals. It has a unique flavor that’s identifiable in meals. Learn more about what is rye here.

Oats are a more complicated grain because they are gluten-free by nature and at risk of cross-contamination. Many wheat farms also grow oats, which enhances the chance of mixing. Once you understand the common causes of gluten exposure, you can increase your diet’s efficiency.

What Are Plant-Based Diets?

Understanding the implications of a plant-based diet also helps you improve consumption patterns. Vegans eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and legumes. They restrict foods derived from animals from their diets.

Plant-based diets are healthy because they decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Vegan diets also have a significantly lower footprint because they minimize carbon and methane emissions. There are a few ingredients you should be sure to consume as a gluten-free vegan. 

Eggplant, Pomegranate and Minted Quinoa Salad

Quinoa

Dieticians suggest that 25% of your diet should come from grains. Removing gluten from your diet decreases the natural consumption of grains. You can replace traditional pasta, bread and other wheat-based products with quinoa alternatives.

Quinoa is the seed of a Chenopodium plant, and dieticians label it a superfood because of its high vitamin and mineral content. It contains B vitamins, iron, manganese, zinc and other vital nutrients.

Cauliflower

Another beneficial additive to gluten-free vegan diets is cauliflower. The plant has zero fat and contains 100% of your daily vitamin C content. You can grind it into rice, make it into pasta, use it as a pizza crust and convert it into other grain-free materials.

Fruits and Veggies

It is essential to eat many fruits and vegetables when adopting a gluten-free vegan diet. You can increase your vitamin and mineral consumption by adding more whole foods to your meals. Fruits and vegetables also improve your oral health.

The natural foods contain more nutrients and less sugar, which protect your teeth from cavities and decay. That means you’ll likely save money on dental care by adopting this eating plan.

Broccoli Soup

Nutritional Yeast

You can add nutritional yeast to your and improve vitamin B levels. People who follow plant-based diets generally are deficient. Nutritional yeast contains vitamins B1, B2 and B6.

It also has high levels of zinc and potassium, which improve your general health. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor, making it an adequate dairy substitute for vegans. The dietary component also supports gluten-free diets by improving low zinc levels.

Start With Testing

It’s a good idea to visit a dietician for an allergy test before adopting a gluten-free vegan diet. Removing certain foods can harm your health, especially if you have zero allergies. Sit down with a clinical nutritionist after receiving your results to develop a sufficient meal plan that supports your body’s vitamin and mineral levels.

8 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss After the Holidays

The holidays have come and gone, and if you’re like many people, you might have resolved to get back in shape and lose some weight.

What’s the best way to do so without punishing yourself? Here are eight tips for a healthy post-holiday diet and exercise routine.

1. Invest in Quality Food Storage

What’s sadder than tossing soggy strawberries before you get to savor the sweetness? Quality food storage containers may seem like a luxury if you’re on a budget, but they save you money in the long run by preserving what you buy at the store. If you have a bit extra, gadgets like vacuum sealers and dehydrators can help you keep garden goodies longer.

2. Learn to Meal-Prep

Fast food sings a sweet siren song when your day is long and you’re exhausted and famished. Meal prepping helps you stick to your resolution to ban junk.

It’s much more efficient to cook once per week and portion freezer meals that you can pop in the slow cooker when you get home. You’ll save money and time once you master the knack.

3. Ban the Bottle

You can’t do much worse than consuming alcohol when it comes to sucking down empty calories. What’s worse is your body prioritizes metabolizing this substance before the food you eat. Do you know how you crave a huge, fattening breakfast the night after overindulging? That’s partially because your body didn’t absorb enough vital nutrients while processing what you drank.

Excess alcohol consumption can also cause blood sugar woes. If you can’t abstain, stick to the recommended portions of one drink per day for women, two for men.

 4. Make Your Plate a Clock

Many Americans fail to get their recommended intake of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. While they may consume sufficient calories, missing out on vital antioxidants and phytonutrients can adversely affect health.

One simple solution is to treat your plate as a clock. When you sit down to a meal, fill half of it with fresh or steamed vegetables like salad greens, peas and carrots.

5. Experiment With Alternative Flour

White flour might lurk behind the soaring diabetes rate in many parts of the developed world. Manufacturing this substance creates a chemical byproduct called alloxan that scientists use to induce diabetes in laboratory animals. This stuff also absorbs quickly into your bloodstream, causing your glucose levels to spike. The combination is a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, alternatives exist for breading and baked goods that play a substantial role in many diets. Chickpea and almond flour offer vegan protein that keeps you fuller for far longer than the white stuff. Coconut flour lends an extra touch of sweetness to many baked goods.

6. Consider an E-Bike

E-bikes combine two benefits — they help you reduce your carbon footprint while increasing your exercise quotient. If you live within a reasonable distance of your workplace, one of these devices could get you a workout while you commute.

You still burn calories even when you engage pedal assist. However, the boost from the electric motor means you won’t arrive at your cubicle all sweaty.

7. Make a Gym Date

People who work out with a partner tend to stick to their programs better than those who go it solo. It isn’t hard to see why. It’s one thing to cave to a Netflix binge when you’re alone, but most people would feel guilty if they knew they left their BFF waiting at the ellipticals.

If you have a friend who is similarly resolved to getting healthy, combine your resolutions. Your post-holiday diet and exercise routine will go more smoothly with support.

8. Begin Your Day With Movement

The first few waking minutes of your day set the tone for the next 24 hours. Why not make them active?

You don’t have to bounce directly from bed into your running shoes. Take a few minutes to perform some yoga while still on your mattress. As you breathe, visualize how you want the day ahead to go.

Get Healthy After the Holidays

If you have resolved to get back to a healthy diet and exercise routine post-holiday, you don’t even have to embark on a fad diet or spend hours doing HIIT. The eight tips above will help you make self-improvement effortless in 2022.

💕 Chocolate Fudge + Give the Gift of a Loved Gut

Can you really make homemade chocolate fudge with just a handful of ingredients? Why yes you certainly can!

With valentine's/galentine's day sneaking up on us, why not spend it with the ones you love at home, enjoying a minimal prep, no cook + delicious recipe that is so much better than a box of crummy chocolates? <3

Go ahead and whip it the fudge for your BFF, that special someone or for your lovely self.

It's a simple recipe to concoct and while it's chilling and firming up in the refrigerator, you can chill and firm up plans with your nearest and dearest. 

It's time to put your feet up, and delight in all of life's fudgy love and goodness. The combination of flavours in this recipe is quite unique and it goes without saying that my chocolate fudge will satisfy all your sweet, salty and fudgy tastes in one.  It doesn't get much sweeter than this!

By the way, if chocolate isn't really your thing, you can also give the gift of health in the form of a "loved gut" to the person you care about the most.

20+ Billion Ways to Give the Gift of a Loved Gut

Love Your Gut Synbiotic populates your gut microbiome with quality probiotics, feeds the microflora with prebiotics, and supports the digestive system with dietary fibre and digestive enzymes to facilitate a postbiotic environment.

Love Your Gut Synbiotic is for good gut health.

  • 20 billion probiotics per serve.
  • Source of dietary fibre.
  • Digestive enzymes for gut support.
  • Developed by a Clinical Nutritionist.
  • Unique prebiotic and probiotic formula.
  • Developed and Made in Australia.
  • 100% Cupid-approved!

You can read more about it here

And now for the gooey fudgy recipe of goodness! 

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients: 

Makes 5 

  • 270 g (9½ oz/1 cup) almond butter
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) cacao powder
  • 90 g (3¼ oz/¼ cup) honey or rice malt syrup
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Process the nut butter and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin to 3 cm (1¼ inches) thick and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • Freeze for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. If stored for longer in the freezer you may need to transfer to the fridge to soften a little.

Ten Ways to Live Your Best Life

Do you ever feel stuck?

You know, like life isn't moving in the direction you want it to, and things aren't evolving, but you're not sure why.

Perhaps, you're eating foods that nourish you, moving your body, progressing in your career, and connecting in with loved ones. And yet, it feels like you're not truly happy or moving forward.

Can you relate?

I was there last year. 

And so, I set out on an intentional ever-evolving self-development journey. It's taken time, but I can now say that I'm committed to shifting how I process my thoughts and emotions and how I perceive the world around me.  

In saying that, it has taken time and work. Evolving is a conscious choice I make every day. At its core, this evolution has allowed me to see that I am an active participant in my life; things happen for me, not to me. Do you understand the difference?  

This radical shift in thinking takes time and means you have to change some thinking modes, priorities and habits. I know that sounds tough, but the rewards are worth it. 

I'm going to show you how you, too, can live your best life. Yes, even in the middle of a global pandemic where the sands are constantly shifting. 

Here are the ten top things that have helped me and I hope that if this resonates with you, they will help you too 🙂

1. Know Your Values

What matters most to you? 

While society has told us for so long that certain things matter, like cars, shoes and big houses, we all know the fulfilling stuff in life isn't stuff at all; it's the connection to self and love.  

So, ask yourself, what matters most to you? 

Is it your family? Friendships? Kindness? Love? Changing the world? Laughter? Meditation?

And now ask yourself: are you living life in a way that serves that purpose?

If family matters most to you, but you're constantly spending time on your phone or doing overtime at the office, are you living in a way that serves that purpose? 

While we can't always control things (and hey, I'm not going to tell you that work's unimportant), perhaps commit to one thing a day that helps you move towards that purpose.

If you do have to spend a long time at the office, but family matters most to you, why not call a relative on the way home from work? Do something each day to help you move closer to living your life aligned with what you care most about. 

2. Deal with any Unresolved Trauma 

It's so common to regret or feel shame about your past. No matter how traumatic your past was, you can learn so much about yourself and the world around you if you can process the complex emotions that you attach to past experiences.

Teaching your brain to learn from the past can help you think more clearly in the present. Sometimes our feelings and behaviours can interfere with everyday life, work and our relationships with others.

If you feel you may have some unresolved trauma in your life some of the symptoms to look out for are:

  • Flashbacks of the traumatic happenings 
  • Nightmares or intrusive thoughts about past events
  • Feeling angry, or agitated or having outbursts for no apparent reason
  • Blaming yourself or others
  • Not sleeping well and feeling jumpy or impatient
  • Health anxiety and putting your body under a microscope
  • Going into flight or flight mode
  • Avoiding people or places that trigger you
  • Feeling detached from the world and dissociated and not wanting to be around people
  • Avoiding the issue and using drugs, alcohol, food to numb you
  • Heightened vigilance and anticipating danger

One way that you can help heal trauma yourself is remind yourself that you are safe every day, and practice creating safety in the body. Tell yourself you are not afraid or fearful. Commit to regulating your nervous system through psychology, meditation, journaling and yoga.

3. Do More of What you Love

As a kid, did you do things that you loved for the pure joy of it? 

Sport? You were there. 

Dance lessons? Of course.

Art classes? You're totally in.

Drama? Sure, why not?

But, as an adult, do you do things you love for the pure joy of it? Hobbies are linked to improved wellbeing and reduced stress.1

So, what do you love to do for pure joy? 

If you can't think of something that you do now, is there something you used to love doing as a kid?

Perhaps it's painting, reading or writing stories? 

Or maybe it's your love of animals? Have you ever played with your dog or groomed your cute puppy? As you progress through the process, you become more aware of details, such as the fact that 100% cotton papers are excellent for painting with watercolors, or that special biodegradable dog wipes are used exclusively for your dog.

By the way, my dog Cashew gets jealous when I eat these fritters.

I've always loved gardening and find time to do it weekly. And I just started knitting a chunky blanket.

For you, it may be time to pick up a pen and write poems or book in for dance lessons again.

Whatever it is, commit to doing it at least once a fortnight. I promise once you start, you'll want to do it more. 

4. Be Present

After one of the most challenging years of my life, I committed to a daily Vedic meditation practice, and I can honestly say it's been life-changing. You can read more about my meditation practice here.

Research has revealed that a simple way to be happier and live your best life comes from the ability to enjoy and be mindful in every moment.2

Mindfulness provides a plethora of benefits, including improved physical and mental health. 

You can start right now.

Close your eyes and take five deep breaths in and out of your nose. 

Then, observe five things you can hear, five you can see, and five you can feel without judgment.

It really can be as easy as that.

5. Be Kind to You

How kind are you to you? 

I know, I know, it can sound incredibly cheesy, but many of us have learned to be self-critical in the face of challenges, and we're wired to look for things that we dislike about ourselves. However, the research shows that self-criticism can have a considerable impact on the quality of our lives and our health.

On the flip side of that coin, self-compassion and the ability to reassure ourselves can help lower our risk of depression, anxiety and stress.

Next time stress creeps in, and you find yourself being self-critical, visualise comforting images.

Other ways to be kind to yourself are:

  • Take time out for yourself
  • Learn the art of forgiveness
  • Practice daily self care
  • Give up trying to be perfect
  • Follow your passions and dreams
  • Tell yourself you are enough
  • Recognise your achievements and give yourself a pat on the back
  • Be your biggest cheerleader
  • Learn how to self soothe
  • Trust yourself and set solid boundaries
  • Just be you!

Sometimes, life sends us curveballs that we're not prepared for (shoutout to 2020 and 2021), so it's essential to know how to realign ourselves and connect to our goals. If you find yourself talking negatively to yourself, re-focus through deep breaths, journaling or meditation. 

6. Nervous System Food

There's a sophisticated system between the gut and the brain called the gut-brain-axis, which you can read about here. If the gut is thriving, likely, the nervous system is too. Unfortunately, that does mean if the digestive system is imbalanced, you're more likely to experience feelings of worry, stress and anxiety. 

To support the gut-brain axis, cleanse your gut with Love Your Gut powder and Love Your Gut capsules. As many gut issues can be traced back to an unclean and inefficient digestive tract, Love Your Gut helps clean out the accumulated build-up of waste toxins, metals and mucous in the digestive tract. It's also anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. You can try it in powder form here or, for easy on-the-go use, get it in capsule form here.

Then follow up with a prebiotic, probiotic, fibre and digestive enzyme formula like our Love Your Gut Synbiotic. It populates your gut microbiome with quality probiotics, feeds the microflora with prebiotics, and supports the digestive system with dietary fibre and digestive enzymes to facilitate a postbiotic environment. A healthy gut means a healthy, active brain environment!

Be sure you're consuming enough B vitamins. B vitamins help maintain a healthy nervous system and can help fight stress.3 In one clinical trial, 60 participants took either a placebo or vitamin B complex for three months. The group that took the B complex experienced lower personal strain, reduced confusion and an improved mood than the placebo group. Find Vitamin B in whole grains, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, vegetables and legumes.

Steer clear of caffeine and refined sugar, as these can elevate cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and lead to prolonged adverse effects on your physical and mental wellbeing.4

7Social Connections

If we've learned anything from a certain disease (not mentioning any names) taking over the world, it's the importance of social connections. Having a sense of community is essential in making us feel happy and like we belong, plus it's integral to wellbeing and health.5

However, if you're on a healing or personal development journey, it's common to feel disconnected from your old friendships. If you feel like your current friends aren't supporting you, you're not alone. It's important to remember that hurt people hurt people, and healed people heal people. It's okay to let go and create healthy boundaries with people who don't support you or drain your energy. 

If you feel disconnected or like you want to strengthen different connections, consider calling a friend each day, joining a group or book club or exploring community events where you'll meet people with shared interests. 

8. Find Your Flow  

I touched on flow a little earlier, but I want to focus on it. Finding flow is a powerful way to connect with yourself and experience positive emotions.6

If you've never heard of flow, allow me to explain. Flow is when you are so engrossed in what you're doing and get in the zone that you stop thinking about anything else, including that negative inner-critic. Flow is mindfulness in action. You may experience flow when reading a book, writing, playing an instrument, running, doing yoga or cooking. 

Being in flow increases happiness, boosts creativity and will help you reach optimal performance. Find things that transfer your mind to a flow state to start living your best life today. 

9. Develop Routines and Positive Habits 

Do you sweat the small stuff?

I know I have.

One of the reasons we let the small stuff get in the way is because we haven't taken the chance to establish routines and habits. Routines can help us reduce distraction and accomplish what we need to do, including reading our emails, cooking and even cleaning.

Commit to a tiny ritual and stay committed to it for thirty days. After thirty days, a ritual will become a habit. It doesn't need to be significant. It can be anything from a ten-minute walk before work to five deep breaths upon waking. When you've mastered that ritual, add in another. Be patient and commit every day. Rituals take a lot of time but are the key to daily evolution. 

 If you struggle to stick to a ritual, try habit stacking. Habit stacking is when you put one habit in between two practices that you already do.

For example, when I first started meditating in the morning, my morning routine used to look like this: wake up, feed my pets, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, go for a walk and have breakfast. So, I simply slotted a meditation practice in between two habits that I already did: brushing my teeth and going for a walk. It worked like a charm.

10.  Move Your Body

Exercise is essential for a happy and healthy life, with the research indicating it can prevent long-term illness, improve mood and even increase longevity.7 

So, what exercise will you do? I like to do a mix of walking, yoga and Pilates, but find what works best for you and commit to moving at least three times a week. You'll notice the difference.

It's Time for You to Live Your Best Life

Living your best life requires knowing what matters the most to you and reflecting this in the way you live each day. With intention, the small changes you make can have a life-altering difference. 

I'd love to know: which of the ten pieces for living your best life resonates the most? Let me know in the comments below.

Resources: 

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863117/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5755604/

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770181/

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4668773/

5 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0004867417723990

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551835/

7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

Introducing a New Synbiotic Powder to Love Your Gut

If you’ve ever read a health blog before, I’m sure you’ve read about probiotics.

And, if you’ve read a few more, you may have heard of prebiotics.

But have you ever heard about a synbiotic?

Synbiotic products are all the rage with nutritionists and naturopaths, and I, for one, absolutely love them.

If you’ve just opened a new tab and typed ‘what on earth is a synbiotic?!’ into Google, I’m going to explain what they are, what they do, why they’re helpful for the gut and where you can get them.

But, before I do that, you must understand how probiotics and prebiotics work. 

Probiotics and Prebiotics

For the unacquainted, probiotics are live microorganisms found in yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut, that add healthy microbes to the gut.1 Prebiotics, found in artichokes, asparagus, and chicory root, act as food for the gut’s good bacteria.2 Prebiotics can improve immune function, reduce inflammation and even help weight loss. Prebiotics and probiotics work harmoniously to help the gut microflora survive and thrive. If you want to brush up on your probiotics and prebiotics knowledge before progressing, you may find these blogs here and here helpful. 

Are you all caught up?

Great. Let’s chat through synbiotics.

Synbiotics

If you think of probiotics and prebiotics like parents, synbiotics are basically the rounded and grounded child; they’ve taken the good parts of both parents to become a whole human.  

The term synbiotics, a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, was born in 1995, but in 2019, a group of scientists proposed a new definition of synbiotics. 

The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics met to update the definition and application of synbiotics. The new definition of synbiotics is “a mixture comprising live microorganisms and substrates selectively utilised by host microorganisms that confers a health benefit on the host.”

So, scientists no longer believe synbiotics are simply a combination of probiotics and prebiotics but rather a whole new phenomenon on their own.3 

Now that we know what synbiotics are, let's discuss what they do for you.

What Do Synbiotics Do? 

While synbiotic capsules are usually found in the gut health aisle, they target the whole body, including the skin, nervous system and immune system. Synbiotics aid metabolic syndrome, reduce parasites and pathogens, manage irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea, atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions.3

There are complementary synbiotics, where both the probiotic and prebiotic work independently to achieve health benefits, and synergistic synbiotics, whereby the probiotic and prebiotic work as a team to confer specific health benefits.  

Where Can you Get Synbiotics?

Synbiotics are easier to find than you may imagine. You’re probably eating them already! However, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll receive enough synbiotics from food alone. Plus, if you don’t have the suitable digestive enzymes in place, you may not be able to absorb all the goodness from the food you’re eating, meaning you’re not getting enough bang for your synbiotic buck. So, it looks like you may need to work on getting those digestive juices flowing with digestive enzymes.  

What are Digestive Enzymes? 

Digestive enzymes are a naturally occurring part of the digestive system. They help break down food and assist nutrient absorption. Some foods provide digestive enzymes, but sometimes the body needs a bit of help.

If you’re experiencing bloating or flatulence after food, you may not be breaking the food down adequately, which is where digestive enzyme supplementation can come in handy. Consuming digestive enzymes, such as protease, lipase and amylase, help break down carbs, fats, and protein to aid nutrient absorption and digestion and rebalance the microbiome.

Introducing: Love Your Gut Synbiotic Powder

Wondering whether the Love Your Gut Synbiotic Powder is right for you?

As a qualified nutritionist, I’ve created Love Your Gut Synbiotic Powder for those who are ready to repair, restore, and rebalance their gut health from within. It contains over 20 billion bits of love for your bacteria in the shape of a unique synbiotic formulation, with plenty of digestive enzymes and a supercharged blast of antioxidants.

While the Love Your Gut component cleans and tones the gut, the synbiotic complements it by adding nutrients and a good amount of fibre for extra digestive support. Love Your Gut Synbiotic Powder is there for all-round gut loving and is a gut health helper.

The workaholic organ

An effective gut environment will work for you 24 hours a day. And love every minute of it!

During mealtimes it will be best placed to process and digest your food and liquids. At other times, a healthy gut will slowly and effectively send much need nutrition throughout our body and help with other influential conversions and jobs that support our body's functions.  These can include energy production, hormone balance, toxin and waste elimination, skin health, mental health, in a nutshell it is the workhorse that is responsible for putting our body into working order.

The Gut’s Side Hustles

Even at rest, a cared for (loved) gut is working overtime at some amazing side hustles. It’s under less strain and pressure so can pursue other goals like feeding the gut/brain connection. This nutritional body system or network is now well-established and gaining more prominence with very new study. A healthy gut means a healthy, active brain environment.

A healthy, toned gut (what I call a ‘loved gut’) is the key to treating and alleviating many health conditions whether they reside in the gut or elsewhere. 

On the other hand, a sluggish gut can lead to direct gut health conditions like bloating, gas, IBD, IBS, SIBO, weight gain, fatigue, constipation, leaky gut and diarrhea. The list goes on and on.

Further, a poor gut environment has an indirect but telling effect on many, if not most, health conditions. Even those not directly linked to the gut. Conditions like these can be supported through nutrition: Crohn’s, celiac, UC, SIBO, candida, GERD, lactose intolerance, diverticulitis, leaky gut (dysbiois), inflammation, mental health, skin health, worms, reflux, gastro, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s. 

Even Covid/Omicron symptoms such as gastro, fatigue and recovery can be greatly assisted by your gut health. This virus can be very debilitating and draining. Your gut and what you put into it is key to your recovery (also consulting your healthcare professional, of course).

How to Take Love Your Gut Synbiotic Powder?

Simply add one teaspoon of the delicious tasting powder to your water to support your digestive health and regenerate your gut!  

Show your gut the love it deserves with my new Love Your Gut Synbiotic Powder

It has been created with love and care by myself, a Clinical Nutritionist and I have developed it over 18 months in my clinic, using the latest in nutrition science.

You can watch a video about it here 🙂 

Lee xo

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5031164/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/

3  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4648921/

FREE Liver and Kidney One Day Cleanse

Every day, we shower and brush our teeth (hopefully), but we tend to forget that our insides sometimes need a bit of cleaning up too.

That’s why I’ve created a FREE one-day liver and kidney cleanse for you all.

It’s packed full of tips to improve your digestion, inspiration and delicious recipes to supercharge your health and purify your body from the inside out. 

But, before we dive in, it’s essential to know if cleansing is suitable for you. 

Is A Cleanse Right for You? 

Anyone looking to support their health and improve their skin will benefit from a one-day cleanse. 

A cleanse is particularly beneficial if you do or have any of the following: 

  • Consume refined sugar, fried food, and processed food
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Regularly use pharmaceutical medication, such as antibiotics
  • Live in an urban environment
  • Drink unfiltered water
  • Smoke cigarettes or are exposed to passive smoking
  • Suffer from colds, influenza (a cleanse can help temporarily alleviate your symptoms including congestion, muscle aches and pains, or a fever) 

Those who also experience the following symptoms will benefit from doing this one-day cleanse:

  • Digestive issues, including constipation, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhoea
  • Frequent colds or the flu for long periods
  • Skin changes, including acne, flaking, rashes, pimples, dry, dull-looking, and dehydrated skin
  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • Tiredness, insomnia, and lethargy

If you’re nodding your head at any of the above symptoms, you will benefit from this special one-day cleanse. 

Hey Lee, why is it essential to cleanse? 

I never thought you’d ask. To talk about the importance of cleansing, we need to do a mini biology lesson on the liver.

Think of your liver like your internal washing machine. It has two cleaning cycles or phases – phase one and phase two. These phases detoxify and help excrete toxins, chemicals, pathogens and hormones from the body. 

During phase one, your liver converts toxic chemicals in the body into less harmful chemicals. 

During phase two, we need to bring in the washing detergent, also known as sulphur-containing nutrients. Sulphur-containing nutrients include broccoli, kale, cauliflower, St Mary’s thistle and dandelion. These nutrients help convert toxins into less harmful substances and make them ready for elimination. The liver then sends these processed chemicals to the pathways of elimination – which include the bowels, lungs, or kidneys to be excreted. 

If sulphur-containing nutrients are the washing detergent, gut-healing products, like Love Your Gut Powder, are fabric softeners; they help smoothen things out (see what I did there?).

A healthy gut promotes the elimination of toxins and effectively cleanses the body in several ways. It helps ease the burden on the liver by neutralising chemicals and toxins. It also promotes elimination through the bowels, one of the body’s main elimination pathways. 

By doing this cleanse, you may experience clearer skin, more energy, a sharper mind, reduced inflammation and alleviated digestive issues.

Follow this cleanse with my NEW! Love Your Gut Synbiotic powder which populates your gut microbiome with quality probiotics, feeds the microflora with prebiotics, and supports the digestive system with dietary fibre and digestive enzymes to facilitate a postbiotic environment.

So, let’s shower your insides with some TLC.

Here are the top eight essentials to do for your one-day cleanse: 

  1. Try to minimise your exposure to toxic chemicals found in your home, foods and environment, as much as possible. While it can be challenging to avoid these toxins entirely, there are a few simple ways to limit your exposure.  
  2. Organic food is excellent for reducing your toxic load, but if you’re not opting for organic, make sure you wash your veggies in filtered water and apple cider vinegar to reduce your exposure to pesticides.
  3. Speaking of filtered water, avoid single-use plastic water bottles as these can potentially leach harmful substances. Aim to drink filtered water only.
  4. Review your skincare – commercial beauty and personal care products often contain toxic ingredients. Where possible, choose organic and natural skincare and beauty options. 
  5. Avoid gluten, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, fried, burnt, or charred foods.
  6. Include as many different coloured vegetables as you can, and focus on the sulphur-rich vegetables, including kale, rocket, Brussels sprouts and collard greens. These naturally help the liver. You’ll find loads of veggie-rich dishes in the meal plan below.
  7. Drink herbal teas, including dandelion, licorice and fennel tea – these are all rich in antioxidants and help fight inflammation. 
  8. To help supercharge the cleansing process, Love Your Gut Powder is a must. Love Your Gut Powder, made from organic food-grade Diatomaceous Earth, clears harmful bacteria from the system, eliminates parasites and worms from the body, and keeps the bowels clean. Love Your Gut Powder cleans and detoxifies the body, reducing the load on your liver. To take Love Your Gut Powder, start by taking one teaspoon a day (1.8gms) and continue with that.  When taking Love Your Gut Powder, be sure to drink lots of water. 

I know the word cleanse can bring on a few nerves for some, so I’d like to assure you that the meal plan is full of delicious and nourishing recipes that you’ll love. 

Breakfast

Microalgae Green Smoothie

Start the day with my favourite gut-friendly green smoothie. Thanks to the frozen banana and blueberries, this mid-level greenie packs a green punch but is irresistibly sweet and creamy. If you’re a newbie to taking Love Your Gut Powder, this smoothie is an excellent place to start. 

Or try my Basic Green Smoothie

Evergreen green smoothies are high in phytonutrients and chlorophyll, and dense in plant minerals. This concoction also includes some fat-burning, anti-inflammatory ginger to aid liver cleansing.

Ingredients

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) almond milk
  • 2 handfuls of baby English spinach leaves
  • 1 peeled and frozen small banana, in chunks
  • 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • ice cubes, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth.

Lunch 

Kale and Blood Orange Salad

This salad is an easy way to get in your antioxidants, show your liver some love and give your gut microbiome what it truly desires: fibre. Plus, it looks fabulous if I do say so myself. You can find the recipe here.

Sunflower Falafel Balls

While deep-fried falafels don’t usually fit into a cleanse, these falafels have a gut-healing twist. These baked falafels are created with cashews and sunflower seeds, making them satiating and full of omega-3 fats to reduce inflammation. Find the recipe here.

Afternoon Snack

Cozy Green Soup

There’s no afternoon snack quite like a zucchini soup; it’s delicious, filling and feels like an afternoon hug. This flavoursome anti-inflammatory green soup is a quick and easy one-pot dish filled with nutritious veggies and delicious spices. While the herbs are excellent for brightening the flavour, they also contain potent plant compounds that help reduce inflammation. Get the recipe here.

Dinner 

For the fish eaters:

Gut-Friendly Salmon Chowder

Holy mackerel – this salmon chowder is good. It’s a comforting dish that’s bursting with flavour, protein and anti-inflammatory fats. It’ll leave you feeling satiated, without any digestive discomfort. Make sure you use wild-caught salmon and avoid salmon that shows signs of browning and bruising. You can fish for the recipe here.

For those who prefer a plant-based option: 

Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl

Who doesn’t want to finish a cleanse with a big bowl of goodness? This bowl is the perfect way to get in all of your colourful vegetables, increase your nutrients and reduce inflammation. It’s packed to the brim with greens, roasted vegetables, roasted nuts and seeds, plus a drool-worthy tahini dressing. Get the recipe that will bowl you over here.

If you’re not feeling well during the cleanse, I recommend the following: 

  • Make sure you’re drinking at least 2-3 litres of filtered water.
  • Rest when you need to.
  • Reduce your exercise intensity and opt for moderate exercise if you feel up to it.
  • Eat your last meal early so you can go to bed early.
  • Speak to your healthcare practitioner. 

So, there you have it. The liver and kidney one day cleanse.

Let me know how you go with it in the comments below. 

 

All You Need To Know About Cast Iron Grill Pans

When it comes to cooking, grilling has always occupied a special place in most people’s hearts. Be it a simple sandwich or your favourite meat, everything tastes better when grilled perfectly. But this mode of cooking is also associated with heavy expenditure. Not anymore, though.

Generally considered an outdoor activity, grilling of food as a method of cooking has evolved to a large degree. Modern lifestyle has made living in urban localities a reality. Home chefs who prefer indoor cooking (either due to lack of outdoor space or budgetary constraints) have found the ideal replacement of outdoor grillers - cast iron grill pans. Also, it's always better to research and choose the best online seller. Dhgate-china wholesale website is a known dealer in these products and offers competitive prices.  

In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know about cast iron grill pans. From what they are, their benefits to common issues with them, at the end of this post, you'll have all your questions answered!.

If you're interested in learning all you need to know about cast iron grill pans, this page has you covered. And if you're considering a new outdoor kitchen and want guidance on choosing a built-in grill, be sure to explore this link at RTA Outdoor Living.

So let’s get started. 

What are cast iron grill pans?

As is evident from the name, these grill pans are made from a material called cast iron. This material is best known for its sturdy nature and hence is most suitable for withstanding high temperatures without succumbing to the heat. The pan must be seasoned well though. In fact, one of the first things to learn is how to season a cast iron pan. 

Apart from logistical and financial issues, there is one more reason why people prefer cooking indoors. That reason is extreme weather conditions that are prevalent in many parts of the country at various times of the year. Uneven snowfall or windy weather might make outdoor grilling more of an adventure sport. 

What are the types of cast iron grill pans?

The market is flooded with hundreds of types and brands of cast iron grill pans. However, for the sake of information, it is relevant to note that there are broadly two types of cast iron grill pans - raw and enamelled. 

The raw cast iron grill pan has two main advantages - it is non-stick and also capable of handling a lot of heat. However, there are some common problems with cast iron pans which are also found in raw cast iron grill pans. The first and foremost is that they need to be seasoned (more on that later) regularly.

The enamelled cast iron grill pan, on the other hand, is low maintenance as it does not require constant seasoning (which is a major relief) as it does not rust very easily. If it is the convenience that you are looking for, then spending a few extra bucks for an enamelled cast iron grill pan makes sense. 

Are there any benefits of using cast iron grill pans?

Are you kidding? There are tons and tons of benefits of using cast iron grill pans.

I'm so excited to tell you, that I've curated a list for you. Take a look here...

  1. They're cheaper than other pans - The best part of these grill pans is that they're not just full of features that other pans do not have, they're also cheaper compared to other more expensive pans. In fact, if you go for wholesale cast iron grill pans, you'll save on a lot of money. 
  2. They can tolerate more heat - A lot of meat and other food items cook much better on very high heat. That perfect crisp coating is developed perfectly on a cast iron grill pan as it can withstand heat to very high temperatures without giving away. 
  3. They add iron to your food - In many cultures, it is considered a good way of life to use cast iron utensils. There is some science behind this too. Cooking in these grill pans ensures that you add natural iron to your food. Obviously, this also depends to a large extent on how you cook your food.
  4. They're durable - Most non-stick pans need to be thrown after a couple of years. However, if cast iron utensils are properly taken care of, then they can last for decades and can stay in the family over generations. 
  5. They're compatible with multiple sources of heat - Any material which is naturally equipped to handle considerable heat can be compatible with any mode of heat be it actual fire or gas or induction. This further adds to the benefits of cast iron grill pans.

What about the common problems with such pans?

There's always a catch in these situations. Sure, the advantages of cast iron grill pans clearly outnumber the disadvantages but it always helps to know some of the common problems with these pans too. 

  1. Difficulty finding genuine products - When a product is as popular as this, you can find unscrupulous websites that unfortunately offer fake products. That's why it's important to do some research before you buy anything.  
  2. Cleaning is an issue - The best way to clean your cast iron pan is with soap and water but you need to be careful that you do not tamper with the seasoning and the iron material. 
  3. Sticking of food - Another issue with some cast iron grill pans is that cheese or meat fat gets stuck on the pan’s surface sometimes. 

All said and done, is it crucial to note that none of these problems are unsolvable and just need you to improvise a bit in the kitchen.

Happy Grilling!

Lee xo

4 Ways To Fit A Healthy Diet Into A Hectic Lifestyle

The world seems to move faster these days and if you feel that way too, then it can be difficult to find the time to prepare healthy foods. So, how can you live healthy when you’re on a hectic, packed schedule? These are the options that we recommend you consider. 

Ten Minute Meals 

A great way to get everything that you need from your diet without putting too much pressure on your schedule is by focusing on quick, time friendly, ten minute meals. This might sound like microwaveable junk, but there are actually quite a few different types of meals that you can cook for yourself in under ten minutes.

One great example would be stirfrys. You can put whatever you like into a stir fry which ensures that they never feel dull or boring. 

Prepared Food Delivery Services

Perhaps you are interested in more wholesome meals but you don’t have the time or even the energy to prepare them? If that’s the case, then you should think about exploring a food preparation delivery service. As the name suggests, this means that your food comes ready and prepared to be booked.

You won’t have to slice it and dice it or measure out the different quantities. That’s all done for you and this can work like a subscription service where food is delivered to your home each week. It’s great for busy working professionals who want to ensure that their family are getting full, nutritious meals. Also meal delivery services are great.

Make Smoothies

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you are eating well even when there’s a mad rush to get out of the door each morning is to make smoothies. Smoothies allow you to pack everything you need from your diet into something that is easy to digest which can be consumed readily throughout a busy day. You can even make smoothies for the kids to take with them to school or for you if you are spending the day at the office. You can get all the produce you need for a top homemade smoothie from a fruit and vegetable shop. Then, you can use a few guides online to make some delicious treats that you are sure to love. Additionally, taking ImmunoG PRP from NuMedica can complement your smoothie routine, providing essential nutrients and supporting your immune system for added health benefits throughout the day.

Slow Cooking 

You might also want to consider using a slow oven to prepare food that takes longer to cook. A slow cooker will allow you to throw all the ingredients together at the start of the day and leave them cooking while you are at work. This is a great way to ensure that healthy options like a casserole is available for you and the rest of the family when you get in at the end of the day. It also saves you from eating too late in the evening. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the steps that you can take to fit a healthy diet into a busy or hectic lifestyle. Exploring the right options here will guarantee that you do get everything that your body needs even when you feel as though you are constantly in a rush. 

6 Tips to Get More Fibre in Your Diet

The typical American diet is low in fibre, a plant element that’s vital for physical wellbeing. Fibre passes through the digestive system mostly intact, but along the way, it supports healthy gut bacteria and lowers cholesterol levels.

High-fibre diets also support healthy bowel movements and make people feel full, which can help them maintain a healthy weight. For these and other health reasons, it’s important to incorporate adequate fibre into your diet.

Adding fibre into your diet is easy. Here are six tips for getting started:

1.   Ask Yourself This Question

Because fibre is found in plants, there’s an easy way to identify foods that are good sources of fibre. Simply ask yourself this question: Does this food grow outside? If the food item is plant-based and grows out of the ground, it has some form of fibre.

The next time you go grocery shopping, take a moment to survey your shopping cart. How many of the items you’re purchasing can be grown? How many elements of your boxed foods are plant-based? What items in your cart aren’t grown, and what function do they serve in your diet?

2.   Create a Fibre Battle Plan

Meal planning is an incredible way to strategise your fibre intake. Instead of buying what looks good, start choosing foods that treat your body well. As you adjust to healthy levels of fibre, you’ll start to feel better, and your taste buds will adjust to enjoy healthier foods.

Nutritionists suggest that the average adult eats between 25 to 38 grams of fibre a day. Too much fibre can lead to side effects like bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. However, because most American diets have chronically low levels of fibre, overdoing it is not usually a problem.

3.   Switch out Processed Foods

Processed foods are typically stripped of their natural sources of fibre. For instance, refined white flour is missing most of its nutritional value and fibre. Another example is healthy juices – although these products contain many nutrients, the fibrous parts of plants are processed out during the juicing process.

Replacing processed foods with raw or cooked whole foods will reinstate fibre back into your life. For example, you could buy whole wheat bread or flour instead of white, processed grains. Instead of eating processed cereal, consider having oatmeal or adding bran to your cereal bowl.

4.   Pick a High-Fibre Meal

If adding fibre to your whole diet seems overwhelming, try eating one fibre-packed meal a day. Changing even one meal can improve your whole diet and significantly increase your fibre intake. You could even adapt one meal a week until you become more familiar with fibre-filled recipes.

High-fibre options for breakfast include oatmeal, chia seeds, almonds, avocado, and berries. Lunch is the perfect opportunity to introduce fibre-rich greens such as kale and spinach into your diet. Add bulgar wheat to salads for an extra fibre boost. Dinners can include legumes like split peas and beans and high-fibre vegetables like broccoli and carrots.

5.   Snack on High-Fibre Foods

Snacking is often mindless and tends to center on foods that are convenient rather than healthy. Prepping high-fibre snacks can help you cut these unhealthy foods out of your diet. In addition, healthy snacks will put fibre within easy reach throughout the day.

Great snack-sized sources of fibre include chopped fruits and vegetables. Switch out different types weekly for variety and added nutritional value. Other fibre-dense snacks include nuts and seeds like almonds, pistachios, peanuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, and poppyseeds. In addition to fibre, nuts and seeds are a source of healthy fats.

6.   Make Sure You’re Chewing

Foods with high levels of fibre require a lot of chewing. Think of a rabbit eating their daily meal – all that chewing is breaking down fibre-filled plants so this animal can access the nutrients integrated into the plant material. The same thing is true for you!

The next time you eat, pay attention to how much you need to chew. If most of your food is soft or in liquid form, you’re probably not getting enough fibre in your diet. In addition to benchmarking fibre intake, chewing can also improve digestion and increase feelings of fullness.

A Fiber-Rich Diet

Fibre is incredibly good for your body, regulating important physical functions and helping you to feel satisfied after meals. In addition to improving your digestion, fibre-rich foods also include many vitamins and minerals that will boost your mood and strengthen your body.

Many Americans don’t eat enough fibre, but incorporating fibre-rich foods into your diet is easy. Follow these six tips to increase your fibre intake and reap the many benefits of a fibre-rich diet. If you struggle to consume enough fibre through your diet alone, incorporating a fiber supplement like Colonbroom can be a convenient and effective solution. Colonbroom supplements are specifically formulated to provide the necessary fibre intake, promoting healthy digestion, regular bowel movements, and overall gut health. By including Colonbroom supplements in your daily routine, you can ensure you're meeting your fibre needs and supporting your overall well-being.

Three Wise Christmas Salads to Light Up the Table

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a brand-new player, hosting Christmas lunch or dinner can be a little stressful.

If you’re two steps away from choosing which restaurant will be catering your Christmas table, hold your metaphorical horses. I’ll be sharing three Christmas salads that are fit for a king and queen. 

Firstly, choosing what to cook, can be challenging when almost everyone you know has an allergy or some sort of dietary restriction. And then, you need to consider how to make your table look beautiful and feel merry.

But fear not, hosting a fabulously festive Christmas lunch or dinner need not be stressful or take up too much room in that lovely brain of yours. With the right plan, and a little help from me, you can put in less effort and still pull off a memorable and delicious event.                                                               

Let me help you cruise through the planning so you can focus on enjoying the party you and your guests deserve.  

Before we get into what food to cook, it’s essential to set the stage with a beautiful tablescape.

Choose and stick to a theme to make sure your table looks cohesive. I love a garden theme and love to use flowers and pots on the table as a decoration. Like any good Instagrammer, I use upcycled jars to place things like dressings and toppings on the table, too. 

One of my other favourite ways to decorate the table is letting the food do the talking, and by that, I mean providing the colour. Spreading citrus fruit, pomegranate, and pumpkins on the table is an excellent way to bring vibrancy to your table naturally. If you need some more tips on creating a tablescape, this blog here is for you as it has all the tips and tricks and ins and outs.

To ion out any bad vibes, make sure to light candle.  I often use my negative ion candle. Negative ion candles purify the air, elevate serotonin levels and look absolutely stunning on the dinner table, making it an essential piece of the Christmas table puzzle. 

Now, let’s get onto the delicious part, the food.

These days, one main meal never fits all, especially when you’re cooking for a few. You might be catering to a vegetarian, flexitarian, dairy-free, grain-free, vegan, keto, or carb-free crowd, making it almost impossible to choose what to make.

Do yourself a favour and take the pressure off by choosing one main meal and letting the sides do most of the heavy lifting. It’s the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure meal and great for when you’re hosting a bunch of people. I mean, why fuss over a big roast when everyone loves the sides? There, I said it; because let's face it, someone had to!  

My foolproof Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings plus a Homemade Cranberry Sauce and Christmas Stuffing Balls, is here if you want a main on the table that feels traditional but is surprisingly easy to make.

Every holiday main deserves a salad by its side.  

Having mix-and-match salads will ensure your meal is family-friendly and scalable. There are a few different options here, but you can pick your favourites and leave (or should I say leaf) the rest behind. 

  1. Kale and Blood Orange Salad 

This Kale and Blood Orange Salad is a one-stop shop for all your antioxidant needs. In this tasty salad, I’ve paired the green goodness of kale with a unique crimson coloured orange that brings a delightful twist to the old green salad. Plus, it’s full of fibre that your gut microbiome will love you for, especially after one too many pieces of Christmas cake. For more gut-loving goodness this holiday season, don’t forget to stock up on Love Your Gut Powder.

  1. Kaleslaw with Creamy Dressing

My Kaleslaw with Creamy Dressing is light, healthy and full of serious flavour. It’s fibre and sulphur-rich, making it a liver-loving food that supports our natural detoxification pathways. 

It’s sweet and tangy and goes well with just about anything. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the dressing name – it tastes like a traditional creamy dressing but is packed full of whole food ingredients, like sesame seeds, sugar-free mustard and cashews.  

  1. Eggplant, Pomegranate and Minted Quinoa Salad 

Eggplant has vitamins and minerals in spades. It’s rich in manganese, folic acid and all-important thiamine, the mineral that helps convert blood sugar into glucose for energy. Eggplant also contains a rare antioxidant known as nasunin. Found under the eggplant’s skin, nasunin protects brain cells from free-radical damage.

I hope you’ll love this wise salad, and the colours inspired by the three wise men, a perfect nativity scene for your Christmas table.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini (courgette), sliced
  • 1 eggplant (aubergine), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 270 g (91/2 oz/1 cup) cooked quinoa
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 bunch of mint, leaves only, plus extra, to serve
  • 1 bunch of coriander (cilantro), leaves only, plus extra, to serve
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 2 avocados, peeled, stones removed and sliced into wedges
  • 4 small spring onions (scallions), chopped 
  • 125 g (41/2 oz/1 cup) slivered almonds

Method

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

Place the zucchini, eggplant and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for about 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a bowl with lemon juice and zest and olive oil. Combine well.

Place in a salad bowl with all the other ingredients and serve topped with extra mint and coriander leaves.

After the year we’ve had, Christmas is the perfect time to spend time with the ones you love the most and enjoy the festivities.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Lee xo 

Supercharge your Plant-Based Lifestyle with Iron Friendly Foods

Did you know iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency globally, affecting 1.6 billion people? 

That’s a heck of a lot of people! 

Unfortunately, people on a plant-based diet and women of reproductive age are among the most at risk of being iron deficient (I know what you’re thinking – haven’t we endured enough?).

Whether you’re a lifelong vegan, a flexible vegetarian, or simply immersing your toes in plant-based waters, it’s essential to supercharge your diet with iron friendly foods.

Luckily, there are plenty of foods rich in iron that you can choose from. For example, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is one of the most iron-rich treats available; it's also tasty and vegan! Then, you also have numerous greens, tempeh, nuts, grains. There's a lot of variety  when it comes to iron-friendly foods.

While everyone will benefit from increasing their iron intake, people who experience the following symptoms will mainly gain (read: thank me a million times over) when they supercharge their iron intake:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Reduced cognitive and physical capabilities
  • Brittle or weak nails

Why iron?

If you’re still not convinced that iron is for you, you may be surprised to know iron plays an essential role in the body. Iron is responsible for the transport and storage of oxygen. It acts as a cofactor for proteins and enzymes, synthesises collagen (hello, wrinkle-free skin), creates energy, and supports the immune system. 

So, where can you get iron?

Greens 

I’m sure you’ve read enough blogs telling you to eat leafy green vegetables for many a reason, so I won’t leaf you feeling bored ;). I mean, we all know the power of green vegetables; they’re full of vitamins and minerals, including our new best friend, iron, and yet, most of us aren’t eating enough of them.

So, if you need one more reason to eat your greens, let it be that your energy and your skin will thank you.

Looking for a recipe that will make your friends green with envy?

My cozy green soup above, is a winner. That was smooth, am I right? Do you know what’s smoother than that line, though? My microalgae green smoothie. It's super smooth!

Nuts

Ask any nutritionist what vegetarians need to eat more of, and they’ll likely tell you greens (tick) and nuts.

While greens are a no brainer, there seems to be a bit of confusion around nuts and whether they’re healthy. So, let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, nuts are high in fat, but that doesn’t mean they’re unhealthy! We need fat for a healthy diet, as it helps keep us fuller for longer.

When eaten in moderation, nuts are excellent for satiation and hold an abundance of vitamin E, protein, zinc, fibre, and iron.

If you’re nuts for nuts, you’ll love my Pumpkin and Almond Bake. This supercharged bake is full of mood-lifting and energy-balancing foods, making it an excellent side dish.  

Love Your Gut Capsules

The standard American/Australian diet (also known as SAD – haha) is commonly comprised of processed foods and deficient in necessary vitamins and minerals. Luckily, diatomaceous earth contains minerals including magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium, essential for wellbeing.

But Lee, why are you talking about some weird earth food?

I thought you’d never ask. My Love Your Gut Capsules are solely made of diatomaceous earth and contain over 17 essential minerals. Love Your Gut Capsules are natural, vegan and offer gut health and energy on the go. Take that, coffee.  It also comes in a powder form to add to juice and smoothies. Discover Love Your Gut powder here.

Grains

One of the best things about writing a blog is that I get to write about stuff that makes me excited—the stuff I want to speak about each day. And today, I want to talk about grains.

Grains and pseudo-grains alike can get a bit of a bad rep in the holistic health world, but they’re a crucial part of any diet, particularly plant-based ones. For example, brown rice is rich in many minerals, including iron, but it is also high in fibre, which is terrific for digestion and lowering cholesterol levels.

I share my love for brown rice in this Pumpkin, Mushroom and Sage Brown Rice Risotto recipe here.  

Tempeh 

Why is tempeh soy complicated?

Well, it’s because soybeans are rich in isoflavones (plus a hefty dose of iron) which mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body. This is an excellent thing for women in menopause, but when eaten in excess, not as good a thing for men.

So, when eating soy products, choose the natural, non-GMO and organic varieties, and you’ll experience the iron-boosting and protein-rich benefits. I know I’ll be able to tempeh-t you with this Vegan Caesar Salad.  

Beans and Legumes

While we’re on the topic of beans, I’ve bean waiting to share this point with you. All beans are excellent and beneficial in their own way, which you can read more about here.

Beans and legumes contain the plant-based trifecta - iron, protein and vitamin B12 – making them the ultimate go-to plant-based food. If you’re looking for a new legume recipe, pop over here for my famous Black Bean Burgers.  

So, you’ve eaten iron. Now what? 

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your iron, supercharge your iron absorption with the following tips:

  1. While eating iron-rich foods is excellent, there’s no point if you’re unable to absorb them properly (sorry, not sorry). Love Your Gut Capsules and Love Your Gut Powder assist the absorption and digestion process so you can get the most out of your iron foods. Fulvic Humic Concentrate is another plant based supplement that is a good iron source.
  2. Coffee and tea can reduce iron absorption, so wait at least two hours between caffeinated tea or coffee and your iron-friendly foods.  
  3. Consume iron with vitamin-C rich foods to maximise absorption. For example, add some capsicum (vitamin C) to your leafy green salad (iron). 

So, how are you going to supercharge your plant-based lifestyle with iron-friendly foods? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you.

Lee xo

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