Tumeric Latte

Turmeric Latte (Golden Milk) Recipe

This is the perfect replacement for a coffee. So many nutritional benefits, click here 

Tumeric LatteIngredients

Milk – Your choice – coconut, almond, rice, dairy, oat etc

Turmeric/Cinnamon/Ginger mix – 1 teaspoon

Pinch of black pepper (helps absorption of the turmeric)

Honey or maple syrup to taste

Pour all of the ingredients into a small pan and heat over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes.

N.B. – Your turmeric, cinnamon and ginger mix can be kept in a jar in your pantry until you want to use it. Start off with 2 tablespoons of each spice into a jar and mix well. Then you can use a teaspoon of this mixture whenever you want to make a drink.

Wonders Of Tumeric

Turmeric is highly regarded in many Eastern cultures and is pivotal ingredient in Ayurveda medicine.

Turmeric has recently gathered momentum in popularity in western cultures, even though in the 13th century, it was introduced into Europe by Arab traders.

In Medieval England, turmeric was regarded as the ‘Indian saffron’.

The Major Health Benefits Of Turmeric

1.    Brain health and memory

Turmeric improves the oxygen intake of the brain and improves its functionality by increasing the uptake of hormones such as serotonin and melanin.

2.    Skin and Aging

The antibacterial properties contained within turmeric help to deal blemishes and acne as well as reducing redness and skin irritation.

3.    Reduces inflammation and pain

According to research, curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric is a more powerful anti-inflammatory agent than most of the ‘high street’ pain killers.

4.    Depression

Worldwide studies have shown that turmeric is as effective as Prozac in treating depression, without the side effects.

5.    Diabetes

Turmeric lowers blood glucose levels and reduces insulin resistance. It acts as an antioxidant reducing the risk of plaque build up in arteries.

6.    Cancer

By boosting antioxidant levels and your body’s immune system, it’s been known to stop cancer cell growth. Turmeric improves the mitochondrial function at a cellular level.

7.    Anti-Inflammatory

Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, it is great for dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

Happy Chocolate Day

Ahh yes, Happy Valentines Day.

As long as I can remember they’ve always seems to be about roses, chocolates and spending time with your loved one.

Hmm, I’m into being grateful and appreciative for my husband every day of the year, rather than just on one day, but hey that’s just me.

Anyway, if you’re looking to give, share or just eat some amazing healthy chocolates on your own. Then I’ve got the perfect recipe for you.

IMG_0202

Chocolate Caramel Cups

Ingredients - Caramel Filling

1 cup of cashews (soaked for a 2 hrs)

1/4 cup medjool dates (soaked)

1 tbs tahini

1/2 cup of liquified coconut oil

1/4 cup of water saved from the soaked dates

 

Ingredients – Chocolate

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

Maple syrup or coconut syrup to taste (dependant on how sweet you like your chocolate)

Pinch of salt

Cinnamon

Method

1. Blitz all the caramel filling ingredients together in a Nutribullet, blender or food processor

2. Divide the mixture out into your paper cases placed on a baking tray

3. Stick the tray in the freezer allowing the caramel mixture to set

4. Add all the chocolate ingredients into a small pan and hit gradually on the stove, stirring the mixture occassionally.

5. Remove the baking tray from the freezer

6. Top the chocolate mixture on top of the caramel mixure

7. Swirl the mixture together if you like, or you can just leave it in 2 layers

8. Place back in the freezer to set

9. Remove from the freezer just before serving

10. ENJOY :)

To Carb Up Or Not To Carb Up

There always seems to be talk in the press about the ‘new fad’ diet….. whether it’s counting calories or eliminating certain food groups.

You’re left wondering who and what to believe.

You know what though, just keep it simple and LEARN TO LISTEN TO YOUR OWN BODY, as YOU know YOU better than anyone else. Start to see food as ‘fuel’ for your body instead, and ask yourself….

Is the food on your plate going to nourish you or not?

That’s it really, just keep it simple by eating ‘real whole food’.

In this initial process of ‘tuning in’ to your body and understanding what it actually needs, sometimes we can be pulled off into a different direction, by our bodies current addictions to certain food groups.

e.g.  morning coffee fix, alcohol, believing that bread and pasta will ‘fill’ us up, sweet after every meal.

Sometimes in this instant, it is better to eliminate food groups and start a fresh with a clean slate. By doing this it’s easier to understand your body as well as seeing if you’re intolerant to certain food groups.

So start with eliminating all processed food, gluten, diary and sugar from your diet. By doing so you will be removing your addictions to certain food groups and begin to have more energy throughout your day.

Do I need to carb up?

In running circles it’s still common practice to ‘carb up’ the night before a long run or major race.

If when you listen to your body, you feel it needs carbs, ensure that they are organic whole foods – e.g. brown rice, quinoa, fruit and legumes as opposed to carbs that are made from white flour, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and white rice

As an example when I was training for my marathons, I omitted pasta and replaced it with brown rice and felt much lighter when I ran.

There are many marathoners that still ‘carb up’ on pasta and pizza the night before a race, as there are marathoners that run mainly fuelled on a paleo food – Dean Karnazes as an example.

So that said, be your own judge of what’s best to eat for you.

If you are looking to reduce your ‘bad’ carb intake during the day, below are some suggestions.

  1. Wheat bread – swap to ‘paleo’ bread made with almond meal
  2. Soft drinks and juice – swap to water, kefir or herbal teas
  3. Pasta and white rice – swap to cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles
  4. Pre-packaged/bottle sauces – swap to homemade sauces
  5. Chips, crackers and biscuits – swap to nuts and seeds, ideally activate them, as that adds digestion more.

Be prepared with making some simple snacks for work

Here are some snacks that you can easily prepare to eat at work. They are guaranteed to keep the chocolate, chips and soft drinks cravings away.

-       Nuts and seeds

-       Bliss balls

-       Hard boiled eggs

-       Fruit

-       Raw vegetable strips and homemade hummus or gucamole

For more healthy snack recipes - Healthy Meals For Runners

The Magic Of Fermented Foods

It might seem that fermented vegetables have come back in vogue recently, however they have been around for centuries and the health benefits of eating fermented foods are huge.

Eating fermented foods have been linked to boosting your immune system, easing digestive problems, improving chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue syndrome in addition to many other medical diagnoses.

The reason being is that it improves your ‘gut health’. Not a glamorous topic I know, but something that is imperative to our overall health and well-being.

Fermented foods contribute live ‘good’ microbes to the microbiome, in your gut. These microbes have a powerful effect on our bodies, but when they are out of balance they can contribute to the following conditions – intestinal and irritable bowel syndrome, immune diseases, as well as type 2 diabetes and obesity.

What is fermentation?

Fermentation is a metabolic process in which microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria convert organic compounds (carbohydrates – sugars and starches) into alcohol or acids.

Fermentation has many uses such as:-

-       Preserves food – Extends the shelf life of foods e.g. pickled vegetables, cheese, salami and wine.  This was commonplace, before the modern world of refrigeration.

-       Improves your gut flora – there are many ‘good’ bacteria in fermented foods, so it is a great supply of adding microbes to the gut. Examples – yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and kombucha tea

-       Increases micronutrients – Vitamin B levels are increased in some foods

-       Easily digestible foods – e.g. the lactose in milk is broken down into a simpler sugar like glucose. This helps people who are lactose intolerant sable to eat yoghurt and cheese.

-       Eliminates anti-nutrients – Natural compounds that interfere with the absorption of the nutrients can be destroyed by fermentation. Eg. Legumes and seeds contain phytic acid, which binds minerals such as iron and zinc, which reduces their absorption when eaten. Tempeh and miso are examples of fermented legumes.

The Best Of The Best

Pickled Vegetables

Sauerkraut, kimchi, dill pickles and other pickled vegetables are fermented using lactic acid fermentation, where the bacteria converts the sugars in the vegetables into lactic acid. The vegetables are mixed with salt, which stops the growth of unwanted organisms. When the fermentation is complete, the pickled vegetables are rich in beneficial microbes.

Kefir

A carbonated, slightly alcoholic fermented milk drink that looks similar to runny yoghurt. Kefir is made using a lactobacilli bacterial culture and yeast.

Cheese

Heated milk curdles during the lacto-fermentation process.

Yoghurt

The lactose sugar in milk is converted by the lactobacilli bacteria into glucose and galactose, which further break down into lactic acid which gives the natural yoghurt it’s sour taste. Live bacteria stay in the yoghurt providing good bacteria for your gut flora.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast and fungi that are found naturally in fermented foods. Studies have shown that they can improve digestion, help protect against disease and improve your immune system.

Easy Guide To Make Your Own Homemade Sauerkraut

I recently shared a recipe to make your own homemade sauerkraut in the Run Well – Eat Well – Be Well Club, you can get a sneak peek at the guide here - How To Make Your Own Sauerkraut.

If you are a woman who is healthy, loves to run, exercise, eat healthy food and knows the importance of developing a great mindset OR is ready to BE and DO all those things you’re going to LOVE what the ‘Run Well – Eat Well – Be Well’ Club has in store for you! For more info click here 

10 Foods That Heal You From The Inside Out

If you’re looking to heal yourself from the inside out when you’re injured or just want to improve your natural immune system to enhance your health further, then there are foods you can include in your diet that are packed full of anti-inflammatory properties.

The most effective approach is to increase your intake of foods that improve your immune system and health whilst reducing foods in your diet that decrease your immunity and increase inflammation in your body.

E.g. Foods to avoid that are high in sugar include white refined foods like breads, flours, cakes, pastas, biscuits and white rice.

Protein is also important to aid the healing process, so ensure that you have adequate amounts in your diet. Introduce more poultry and fish in your diet rather than red meat as they can tend to be more acidic and inflammatory.

Ensure your diet is also full of vegetables and fruits which are loaded with antioxidants.

Click here for a list of 10 foods to include in your diet that reduce inflammation and improve your immune system.

Studies Find Sugar Is More Addictive Than Cocaine

Now I know that’s a pretty strong and bold statement, and you might want to disagree and hold onto the fight and protect your beloved chocolate, or favourite dessert.

I know I certainly was in this camp. Friends joked that I was a ‘chocaholic’. Absolutely not a shadow of a doubt there, I could quite easily polish off a family sized bar of chocolate with a friend, multiple Easter eggs, or a whole packet of chocolate hob-nobs dunked in tea of course.

Yes I knew all about the lack of ‘nutritional value’ in what I was eating. BUT I still did it, why

- Because I felt I could

- That it ‘met’ a need or an escapism

- I’ve had a crap day

- A good day

- I’ve worked hard in the gym

- whatever the reason was at the time.

I didn’t for one second realise that it had a ‘hold on me’, that it was effecting my moods greatly, that I was being brainwashed and believing what the big food companies said with their marketing slogans ‘A chocolate bar you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite’ OR ‘Makes you work, rest and play’

I don’t know if you can relate to any of this at all!!

Sugar v Cocaine brainscan

However let’s look at the study - ”Several studies really do suggest that highly-palatable, highly-processed foods can produce behaviours and changes in the brain that one would use to diagnose an addiction, like drugs and alcohol,” Dr. Nicole Avena of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says.

Cardiologist Dr. James O’Keefe said sugar contributes to cardiovascular disease, as well as liver disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.

“When we eat wheat flour and sugar in processed foods, spikes our sugar, then insulin. Those are the hormonal disturbances that make you store belly fat, and then you are hungry for more sweets and starchy junk food,” O’Keefe said

“When you kick the sugar addiction, blood pressure comes down, diabetes goes away, obesity goes away, complexion clears up, mood clears up, sleep improves. It is really, really striking,” O’Keefe

And this is what happened to me too. Some of you might know that in November last year, I had a huge health ‘wake up’ call, when I was diagnosed with MS. On doing my own research, I realised how much food can have an impact on our health for better or for worse. I’ve now, completely cleaned up my diet to a gluten, diary and sugar free diet 90% of the time.

Yes I still have a few ‘MS symptoms’ mainly temperature changes in my body, although I can truly say that changes in my diet has started to heal me on the inside out.

It has also balanced my moods, enabled me to sleep better, stabilised my weight, reduced PMS, eliminated a bloated stomach, no longer have mid morning or afternoon ‘sugar’ cravings, improved concentration and focus, no more ‘brain fog’ for me.

Now I know that a gluten, diary and sugar free diet isn’t for everyone, as everyone is unique and individual.

What I would suggest though is to become aware and be really honest with yourself about :-

- WHAT YOU EAT

- WHY YOU EAT IT

- HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL

Are You Making The Switch From The Dirty Dozen

Most people know that its best to eat organic food because of the benefits, you included right. But there is a myriad of information out there, and a minefield of supermarket labelling to get through when we select our ‘food’

- ‘Real’ food

- ‘Organic’

- ‘Fresh’ and ‘healthy’

Don’t get me started on packaged foods in supermarkets, I mean really, if food companies have to put the words ‘real, fresh, healthy and no additives’ on the label, it’s probably so far removed from the ‘Mother Nature’ food sources. Keep it simple, buy the actual food and make your own e.g. apples and make your own apple pie. At least that way you KNOW what’s exactly in it.

Hmm food for thought … excuse the pun.

Which gets me to the ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean 15′, which you might be aware of.

The Environmental Working Group, a US health and environmental research organisation, created a couple of lists outlining the “clean” and “dirty” fruit and veg.

Fruit and veg were deemed ‘dirty’ if their production typically involved using pesticides. The ‘Clean 15′ is a list of fruit and veg which require a limited amount of intervention in order to grow.

Research has shown that by using these lists as a guideline, people could potentially reduce pesticide exposure by almost 90 per cent.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ list contains :- apples, capsicum, blueberries, celery, grapes, cucumber, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, strawberries and spinach.

The ‘Clean 15′ list contains :- asparagus, avocado, cabbage, rockmelon, kiwifruit, eggplant, mushroom, grapefruit,   onion, mango, peas, watermelon, sweet potato, corn and pineapple. 

To download your list click here - The ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean 15’

So next time you select a fruit of vegetable from the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list aim to buy organic ones. A cheaper way to buy fresh, in season, organic produce is to buy at a local farmers market.

Happy Shopping.

You Are What You Eat Think And Drink

As my running distances have increased over time, I’ve developed a different relationship with food and drink.

I treat it more as fuel – to recharge/refuel my energy after a run allowing my body to utilise the nutrients to recover and repair. As well as stocking up on nutritious ‘fuel’ to energise me throughout the day.

I know a number of my running friends are the same. Are you too?

If you’re reading this, as a runner, then you probably are, right.

So to live a full life, it’s great to look at what energies you from a mind – body – soul perspective.

Mind – be expansive by being curious and a lifelong learner. Ensure that quality information is going in. Read books, listen to podcasts, audios, watch video – Ted X talks etc. on topics that interest you, areas in your life you want to master etc.

Body – exercise daily to feel energised to pump the oxygen around your body, whatever it is for you – yoga, walking, running, swimming, team sport etc. As well as ‘fuelling’ your body with amazing food.

Soul – what brings you joy and lights you up from the inside out. It could be a walk in nature, running, playing with your kids or animals, dancing all night, meditating.

So what can you do more of and/or introduce in your life that will fill you with energy to live your life fuller.

(Written as part of Natalie Sisson’s 15 Day Freedom Blog Challenge – Day 13)

Drop Dead Gorgeous Fudge

If you’re looking for a yummy dessert thats gluten, dairy and sugar free, you have to give this a go. Super easy to make and SOOOOO delicious.

FudgeYummy Fudge
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
1 medium Avocado – flesh
1/2 cup dried coconut
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or ginger
! teaspoon cocoa powder

Blend everything together in a food processor until smooth. Taste 1st and adjust accordingly (as I needed to add more nuts, raisins & cocoa powder to my batch, as the coconut taste was quite strong.)

Press into a 8×8 glass baking dish, and pop it in the fridge.

Then enjoy