Apple Walnut & Date Loaf

Apple Walnut & Date Loaf is a delicious and moist sugar, gluten and dairy free option for casual ‘get togethers’ or to have on hand for lunchboxes and afternoon snacks.

What’s great about it?

Apples are high in fibre as they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre which is great for your digestive system. The soluble fibre is known as pectin and the beauty of it is that it has the power to help lower cholesterol and regulate your blood sugar levels.

Walnuts contain Omega 3 which helps reduce inflammation in the body and support heart and skin health.

Coconut yoghurt although higher in fat than normal yoghurt does contain medium chain triglycerides which are a great source of energy and also stimulate metabolism.  It contains probiotics and is a good alternative for those with dairy intolerances or for vegans.

See recipe here

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Village Pie with Buckwheat Pastry

Village Pie with is one of those comfort dishes which is perfect for the cooler weather.  This recipe using nutritious, and totally delicious, black rice and buckwheat pastry is based on the one my mum used to make which was wrapped up in fillo pastry.  The recipe is made with goat’s cheese which can be replaced by macadamia nut fetta for a vegan option.

Black Rice or forbidden rice, contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than most other foods, as well as higher amounts of plant protein and dietary fibre than other rice varieties.  It is a very good source of iron which is beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.

Buckwheat actually derives from the same family as the rhubarb and is completely gluten free. It is a good source of low GI carbohydrates, protein, magnesium, iron, and B group vitamins. Buckwheat also contains a flavonoid called ‘rutin’ which acts as an antioxidant and helps to reduce high blood pressure, prevent clotting and lower bad cholesterol levels. The insoluble fibre content in buckwheat stabilises blood glucose levels and maintains a healthy digestive system.

See recipe here

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Turmeric – Changing Gene Expression

Turmeric can change gene expression and is a perfect example of Food As Medicine. We are all becoming aware of the many benefits of curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, from its ability to reduce depression to its anti-inflammatory effects which help with osteoarthritis and diabetes. It also has the ability to protect the liver and assists with detoxification as well as encouraging weight loss due to its thermogenic effects.

A recent study conducted over 6 weeks by University College London & Dr Michael Mosley determined that when added to food on a daily basis,  turmeric can regulate our DNA Methylation thereby reducing our genetic susceptibility to inflammatory diseases such as asthma and some cancers.

Turmeric can easily be added into our diet through food and the traditional Ayurvedic turmeric milk.  In fact turmeric lattes are becoming increasingly popular in the Australian cafe scene.

Note:   turmeric MUST be consumed with a little healthy fat  and black pepper as this increases activates absorption and bioavailability by up to 100%.

Drink or eat up!

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Coping with Christmas Stress

As Christmas and New Year approach,  many of us experience increased stress levels which can be due to varying reasons such as a lack of time, financial obligations, relationship stress, worrying about our health or what presents to buy.

Usually most of the stress we experience is the stress we place on ourselves!  We need to retain the focus that spending time with loved ones and the message of peace is the real gift of the season.

To find out how read article here.

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Raw Kelp Noodle Salad with Tamarind Dressing

Raw Kelp Noodle Salad with Tamarind Dressing

raw-kelp-noodle-salad

Raw Kelp Noodle Salad with Tamarind Dressing is a colourful and vibrant salad which is a perfect example of the naturopathic principle of ‘eating a rainbow’ to ensure that you consume a range of vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants through your diet.    This super salad is full of wonderful nourishment and only takes a few minutes to throw together! For full recipe click here.

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Simple Strategies to Boost Immunity

Echinacea&Bee

There are simple strategies to boost immunity at the end of winter when we might be getting over winter germs or  getting complacent as spring approaches.  These can include such things such as eating immune boosting foods such as mushrooms, garlic and pepita seeds, getting more sleep, staying hydrated to flush out toxins or getting 15 minutes of sunlight per day to give us a shot of Vitamin D and fresh air.

Continue reading

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Banana & Date Bread (Nut, Sugar, Dairy, Gluten Free)

Banana & Date Bread (Nut, Sugar, Dairy, Gluten Free)

Banana Bread

Banana Bread is always delicious and we can make so many variations – this one with dates.  It is  100% gluten, nut, dairy (optional) and refined sugar free option for those who want a gluten and nut free option.  Eat it warm spread with butter for afternoon tea, or pop it into lunchboxes – it contains eggs, coconut oil, bananas and dates to pack it full of nutrition.  Yum!!

See recipe here.

 

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Love Your Heart With Yoga

Yoga For Your Heart

The benefits of yoga on heart health are often overlooked

Yoga is better known for its relaxing effects and overall health benefits but more and more the signs are pointing to yoga as the best way for men and women to take charge of their cardiovascular health and ‘love’ their heart.

How?

Studies have suggested that the incorporation of yoga into exercise regimes increases heart endurance, oxygen usage, decreases heart rate and lowers blood pressure. These effects can assist individuals with or without heart conditions by  improving heart functionality and providing a supportive environment for the heart.

The breathing styles found in yoga are of significant value to improving heart health

Stress  and depression actually weaken the heart:   a recent study in 2011 documented that it evaluated that the breathing styles used in yoga are able to decrease the negative effects of stress on the heart. This study was done by using a Bio feedback device which simulates the rhythmic breathing associated with yoga.

The results showed that the breathing styles of yoga are able to reduce the strain that is put on the heart in stressed individuals as well as providing a positive change on heart rate that is often altered with increased stress levels.

According to Charles MacInerney, a teacher of yoga in cardiac health, hypertension can also be reduced through correct breathing. He states that when the exhalation is longer, the parasympathetic nervous system takes over which lowers the heart rate and blood pressure. On the other hand a longer inhale stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and increases energy.

Yogic breathwork allows a controlling of the ratio of the two systems.

Alongside heart health and stress, yoga has further benefits for individuals suffering with mental conditions such as insomnia, depression and anxiety. A study in 2004 reported that regular yoga sessions including physical postures, meditation and breathing exercises are able to reduce depression related symptoms in mildly depressed individuals. The same study further concluded that there was improved mood, decreased levels of stress hormones, reduced negative mental states and reduced fatigue in depressed and non-depressed individuals.

Incorporating yoga into your lifestyle can be vital to improving overall wellbeing.  In addition,  it can also act as a preventive measure to potential heart conditions as it has been shown to improve the functioning of the heart by reducing the strain and negative implications of stress associated with busy lifestyles.

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Winter Food – Dry Pumpkin Curry

Dry Pumpkin Curry

Suddenly it’s winter in Brisbane and a curry is perfect comfort food for warming us up.  This nutritious dry pumpkin curry can be served with rice or quinoa on its own or you can really warm up by eating it with another of your preferred curries or steamed green vegetables.

We ate many delicious curries when in Sri Lanka last year which often used the dry dark sri lankan curry powder.  This is my take on one of my trip favourites which also includes the amazing spices turmeric and cardamom.

Much clinical research has been done on the spice turmeric which is anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and supports brain health among some of its health benefits.  Cardamom supports adrenal function and stimulates digestion, as do chili and garlic which are both also anti-bacterial.  Pumpkin contains the anti-oxidant carotenoid which assists the immune system making this a wonderful dish for immune support.

For recipe, click here

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Antioxidant Smoothie

 

Dragonfruit Smoothie3

I call this smoothie my ‘Antioxidant Smoothie’ as it is packed with them.  It is one of my favourite blends especially with the white Dragonfruit (or Pitaya fruit), and it is also very refreshing.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 white dragonfruit

1/2 cup of raspberries (spray free)

1/2 plum – I buy Queen Garnet variety when they are in season, or use the nectar.  Otherwise any in season plum will taste delicious.

1/4-1/2 cup of vanilla organic rice protein powder (I use Ezy Protein)

Approximately 1 cup of coconut water – quantity to taste.

 

Method:

Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smoothie.

Savour!

 

So what’s great about these fruit?

Dragonfruit

  • Firstly the delicate flavoured dragonfruit are full of antioxidants including Vitamin C, fatty acids and some Vitamin Bs.  They also contain minerals calcium, iron and phosphorus.  The seeds are full of Omega 3&6 which combined with the phytochemical ‘captin’ support heart health.
  • Raspberries have high levels of Vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid that support heart and immune health through their anti-inflammatory actions.
  • Queen Garnet plums are high in the antioxidant anthocyanin which has a beneficial effect of blood pressure and heart disease and it’s circulation increasing actions helps with with heart health and dementia.  http://www.nutrafruit.com.au/research.html

 

 

 

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