Category Archives: Nutritional Hints & Tips

Milk Thistle

It’s been a while since I posted about the benefits of spirulina and I promised to write about some of the other organic powders I use and why – so here I am and today we are talking about the mighty milk thistle 🙂

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is part of the Asteraceae plant family which includes sunflowers and daisies and has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits and is widely used to detoxify the body and more specifically, the liver.

The liver helps defend us from toxins that are common in everyday life, acting like a filter and removing harmful substances from the body. Milk thistle assists this process and works by drawing out the nasty toxins that can cause disease and illness and has been shown to decrease, or even reverse signs of damage to the liver.

Milk thistle also helps protect the body from all kinds of free radicals due to the Vitamin C and E content, and these also help to slow down the ageing process.

Hoorah – sign me up! 😉

Some of the benefits of taking a milk thistle supplement

  • Anti-ageing effects
  • Can lower cholesterol
  • Can help to prevent or control diabetes
  • Helps protect against cancer and other diseases

Read more about the benefits on these websites Dr. Axe and Web MD

Read more about the functions of your liver British Liver Trust

Happy reading and healthy living to you all 🙂

With love,

Tash x

 

 

 

Spirulina – The Superfood

As promised, I am writing a post about one of the superfood powders I use and why 🙂 I will write about others as well but for now, this one is the one I want to tell you about first.

Spirulina is a type of algae that grows in freshwater and is blue / green in colour.

You have probably heard of this mighty green superfood already (definitely if you read my posts and recipe’s 😉 ) but this algae has been said to be the most nutritious food source on the planet and this is down to the amount of nutrients it contains.

For example; 1 tbsp. has the below (taken from Authority Nutrition.com) – talk about a powerhouse superfood!

  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 11% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 4% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 21% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 11% of the RDA.
  • It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese, and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that we need.

It’s so nutritious that they use it in Space to keep the astronauts healthy!

Benefits

There are so many benefits but here are the reasons I use this powder 🙂

  1. Nutrient dense
  2. High digestible protein content – works out to be between 50-70% protein
  3. Contains all of the essential amino acids
  4. Boosts your immune system and reduces inflammation due to high levels of GLA
  5. High levels of calcium and magnesium essential for bone, muscle and nerve health
  6. Scientific studies have reported that it can prevent / treat lots of health conditions, such as; type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anaemia, hay-fever / allergies, arthritis and many more

How to incorporate it into your diet?

  • Use it stirred into porridge
  • Add it to your smoothie / smoothie bowl
  • Use it in your soups and stews
  • Add it to your drinks
  • Buy it in capsules and take them as you would a vitamin

Be warned, a small amount is all you need as this algae tastes just like…an algae! 😉

Be happy and healthy 🙂

 

 

 

Oaty Superfood & Pecan Smoothie Bowl

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I do love a yummy smoothie bowl on a sunny morning 🙂

The main reason I choose a smoothie bowl more often than a normal smoothie on it’s own these days is due to the fact that chewing our food is actually really important. Sounds silly, of course it’s important, but it’s not just a process we go through to break down our food into smaller pieces that we can then swallow. The whole digestive process actually begins in the mouth.

When chewing our food, we cover it in saliva which contains an enzyme (ptyalin) that begins the process of breaking down our food ready for it to be digested and this enzyme also helps us digest carbohydrates.

Chewing also brings the food to body temperature meaning that our digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to convert the nutrients into energy.

That doesn’t mean a lovely refreshing smoothie is off the menu though, they will still appear every now and then but probably not as often as a smoothie bowl.

Which leads me nicely, onto this gorgeous superfood smoothie bowl recipe 😉

Ingredients

  • Avocado – 1 small one or 1/2 a large one pp
  • Banana – 1 small one
  • Yogurt – 1 small pot or 2 tbsp. (I used a strawberry activia)
  • Almond milk – 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on consistency
  • Oats – 1/2 cup
  • Spirulina powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Rosehip powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Milk thistle powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Frozen berries
  • Pecans
  • Beetroot qnola

Make it

  1. Pop the avo, banana, yogurt, almond milk, oats and powders into your smoothie cup and blend until smooth
  2. Pop the berries in a pan and heat until thawed
  3. Place the berries, qnola and pecans on top of your smoothie bowl
  4. Chew! 😉

Enjoy 🙂

With love,
Tash 💖

Maple & Pecan Superfood Porridge

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I had a really hard workout last night and woke up this morning aching all over and soooo hungry! It took all my will power not to make some pancakes…Thursday might be Friday eve but it’s not the weekend yet Tash 😉

So as a compromise (life is all about compromises right?) I made a huge bowl of superfood porridge and along with fruit I added pecans and drizzled a little bit of maple syrup over it 🙂 Worked a treat! It felt naughty but it wasn’t! Yay! 😀

I bought my organic superfood powders separately from Goji King but you don’t have to. You can buy some mixed powders from places like Holland & Barrett, etc. I would recommend getting some and using them wherever you can for an added vitamin and mineral boost. I will write a separate post about the powders I use and why 🙂

I’ve included the links for the qnola and beetroot sprinkles in the ingredients section but you don’t have to use these, you can substitute or not use them at all. My sister and mum bought me them for my birthday as I love anything that adds a nutritional boost to your meals and I am now hooked and will definitely be buying them again (thanks Mum & Em) 🙂

Ingredients

  • Porridge oats
  • Almond milk
  • Spirulina powder – 0.5 tsp (or just under)
  • Rosehip powder – 0.5 tsp
  • Maca powder – 0.5 tsp
  • Strawberry
  • Kiwi
  • Pecans
  • Beetroot & pistachio qnola (Qnola website link) – can be substituted or missed off 🙂
  • Beetroot and milled seeds sprinkles (Primrose’s kitchen website link) – can be substituted or missed off 🙂
  • Maple syrup – 1 tsp

Make it

  1. Mix the porridge and almond milk together and either heat through on the hob or in the microwave in a microwaveable bowl
  2. Add the spirulina, rosehip and maca powder to the porridge and slowly mix them in
  3. Chop the strawberry and kiwi
  4. Pop on the top of the porridge along with the pecans
  5. Sprinkle the qnola and beetroot sprinkles
  6. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top
  7. Do a little superfood porridge dance and applaud yourself for not having pancakes midweek! 😉

Enjoy your nutritious porridge everyone 🙂

With love,
Tash 💖

Vitamin C and Iron Absorption

Iron is an essential mineral for the human body and one of the most important roles of iron is to make red blood cells which transport oxygen around the body.

There are two difference types or iron; heme and non-heme.

Heme iron comes from animal based foods and non-heme iron comes primarily from plant based foods. Whilst they are both types of iron, our bodies absorb them differently .

Approximately 15-35% of heme iron is absorbed whilst only up to 20% of non-heme iron is absorbed.

The good news is that the levels of absorption of non-heme iron can be influenced by other food sources; such as vitamin C.

Consuming vitamin C with any non-heme iron can nearly double the amount you absorb!

So, if you are consuming plant based foods rich in iron, such as; spinach, kale, lentils, nuts, etc. make sure you add some food items that contain high levels of vitamin C, such as; broccoli, berries, fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers and leafy greens, and you can be sure that your body will be absorbing much more of that iron.

Interesting stuff if you ask me 🙂

 

Food is Fuel

Fruit and veg

Food is fuel… we hear that all the time but do we really take the time to think about what it means?

To me it means that everything I eat should be feeding my body with all the nutrients it needs to be able to function at it’s best. It’s about choosing premium nutrition over processed rubbish. It’s about focusing on your long term wellness over that short term satisfaction you get from eating something full of all the wrong stuff. It’s about getting your endorphins from a workout, not from chocolate cake.

Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate as much as the next person and cake…well don’t even get me started… it’s delicious! I still eat these things but I don’t eat them as part of my daily diet. They are treats and I treat them as such. I eat well during the week and then at the weekend, I can have a slice of cake (or 2) and not feel guilty for putting rubbish into my body.

 I still go out during the week, have dinner with friends and live my life but 9.5 times out of 10 I choose the healthy nutritious food on the menu, yes I am that person and I am proud to be! I don’t have a dessert unless I really, really want it, but if I really, really want it, I will have it.

It’s not about deprivation for me, it’s about creating and keeping healthy habits that make you think twice before diving headfirst into a tiramisu 😉

I don’t believe in restricting diets, quick fixes and miracle pills. I believe being healthy and leading a healthy life is hard work, perseverance, will power and above all else…loving yourself enough to want to nourish every single cell within your amazing body every single darn day. Saying that, it is also important to allow yourself the unhealthy stuff once in a while…we can’t all live clean and healthy lives constantly…that would be very boring!

Learn to listen to your body!

Your body is so finely tuned, it will tell you what it doesn’t like. Whether you are getting a bad tummy, feeling sluggish, getting headaches, etc. it is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right.

A few months ago, I went to see an Acupuncturist and during my first consultation she asked me about my gut health and bowel movements.

Well, ignoring my natural instinct to be embarrassed to be talking about poop, I explained that no matter how healthy I was eating, I always had either a runny tummy or didn’t go at all and rarely had a ‘normal’ experience in that department.

She asked me what I typically drink in a day and I answered that I drink at least 2 litres of pure water a day, 1 cup of coffee in the morning, green tea throughout the day and occasionally a smoothie for breakfast. She then asked what temperature the water I drink throughout the day is usually at. I replied “freezing cold” – I like my water refrigerated! She told me that was my problem and if I could drink my water and the majority of my drinks at a minimum of room temperature, I would see a huge difference in my tummy health almost immediately. She was right!

It turns out that every time you drink freezing cold water, your body rushes lots of blood away from your vital organs and intestines to your stomach to warm it up so that your body can process it and use it…leaving your organs without the precious blood it needs to function properly. Well, it sounds obvious now doesn’t it but for years I was completely oblivious to this!

Now I add boiling water to the water from the refrigerated tap in the office and use tap water at home and let it warm slightly before drinking it instead of keeping a bottle of tap water in the fridge and I can say it has made such a huge difference.

I now have a very happy healthy tummy!

My body reacts very badly to sugar. If I eat something with refined sugar, I get a huge sugar rush sending me sky high where I get giggly and act delirious and then crash to the floor with an almighty thud. It’s become something of an amusement to all my colleagues at work if I ever decide to eat some of the office sweets (which is not very often). 😉

I can’t eat donuts anymore. The way I feel after eating one is not worth the few minutes of pleasure at all. Not even at the weekend. I hardly even get the sugar rush, I just get the slump! 😦

People that eat bad things regularly are less likely to notice how it makes them feel because feeling like that is just part of every day life for them.

Once you start to clean out all the rubbish from your system, you will notice the adverse reaction your body has to all the bad stuff and this will help you learn to eat the right things. After all, why would you want to make yourself feel sluggish?

You tune yourself into the hum of your own body and I can tell you… you become your own little miracle.

Look after yourselves – there’s only one of you.

Tash x

 

 

Benefits of Eating Porridge

Eating a bowl of porridge in the morning provides so many health benefits (some of which are listed below)…❤

  • Regulation of blood sugar
  • Reduction of the bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Regulation of appetite
  • Complex carbs for energy
  • Contains high amounts of iron
  • High in phosphorus which can help with muscle recovery
  • Good source of calcium (even more so if made with milk)
  • High levels of vitamin A

 

The Importance of Drinking Water

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I am always telling people to drink more water…these days with our busy lifestyles and hectic days, it’s hard to remember to carry water with you but it really is so important.

This picture perfectly demonstrates where in our bodies water is used and what for. Many people don’t realise just how much of our bodies are made up of water.

An average adult should drink 2 litres per day. If you don’t like the taste of water, drink herbal teas, or add sugar free squash. It still counts.

So… if you change one thing today…please drink more water.

With love,
Tash 💖