A Simple Way To Get Your Five A Day

 

There are constant studies into the negative health effects of most foods. Think of all of the research that has been put into finding out whether meat is good or bad for us. Claims that a glass of wine and some dark chocolate once a day is good for you and counterclaims that reinforce the concept of alcohol and chocolate being as bad as ever. But you never read a bad claim about the health benefits fruit and vegetables. Unless you believe the school playground myth that eating more than six bananas in one sitting can cause you to overdose on potassium. So why is this? Well, it’s because fruit and vegetables are good for you in almost every way, shape and form.

How to best get all of your vitamins and minerals

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The World Health Organisation recommends that we eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. This may be easy for some. Eating five portions a day can’t be that hard, right? However, if you have a hectic, on-the-go lifestyle and multiple mouths to feed every day, it’s easy to skip a portion or two now and then. An easy way to keep topped up is to drink your fruit and veg. Enter juicing. Juicing extracts all of the best parts of your fruit and veg.

Avoid store bought juices

Many of us make the mistake of assuming store bought, prepackaged juice is good for us. Well, juice is juice, right? This couldn’t be more untrue. Pasteurised juices from concentrate offer very little regarding nutrient content. Having sat on the shelf for months, their enzymes will have rapidly depleted. By juicing yourself, you know exactly what is going into your juices. You have no need to worry about extra added sugars or the juice being concentrated and topped up with water. You can also ensure that all the juice you consume is as fresh as possible. Home Juicing also allows you to experiment (which means fun!) with flavour combinations and build bespoke juices that cater to your personal needs.

Find the right juicer for you

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Become a Juicer Cruiser and browse reviews of various juicers before making any purchase. Different juicers have varying pros and cons. Try to get a juicer that can be cleaned easily, as this will save a lot of hassle down the line. Other factors in your choice could be price, delivery options and the design of the juicer. You’ll want an appliance that fits in with the rest of your kitchen and most of all, that motivates you to get up and start juicing!

Prep your fruit and veg properly

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Check which fruits and vegetables need pre-juicing preparation. The green leaves of carrots are toxic so should be removed before juicing. Apple seeds contain cyanide, so are best removed. Kiwi skins can create an unpleasant texture, and lemon skin can leave a bitter taste in your juice. Orange skin contains poisonous substances, so is best peeled off. Always wash your fruit and veg before juicing to remove any pesticides or dirt.

Drinking juice at least once a day will leave you feeling more energetic, radiant and active. While you’re at it, why not pick up some other new daily habits that can change your life for the better.

Daily Habits That Could Transform Your Life

Most people don’t realize that it’s the things they do every day that change their lives for the better. Some people think that good things just happen to people. They think opportunity knocks or just falls into laps. It doesn’t! Success is attracted to people who make the effort to attract it. It comes to people who deserve success. The people who take the steps everyday to improve, no matter what they are going through. If you want to transform your life in every area, the following daily habits are essential for your success:

Get Up With Enthusiasm

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When we get up each day with enthusiasm, we not only send a message to our brains but the world. If we struggle to get up every day, or resist it for as long as possible, we get into bad habits. We tell ourselves we don’t want to get up. Life isn’t good enough, not exciting enough. We want to change that feeling! By making a habit of getting up each day raring to start your day, whether you have much to do or whether it’s full of mundane tasks, you’ll get into good habits. Your life will almost start to improve by default. You want to send a message to the world that you love your life! When you get up enthusiastically each day, this is what you do. If you struggle to get out of bed, here are tips that can help you:

  • Have water by your bed ready to drink when you wake up. It should perk you up and stop you feeling fatigued.
  • Have your alarm clock away from your bed, preferably so you have to get up to turn it off.
  • Make your bed as soon as you get up so you’re not tempted to climb back in.
  • Brush your teeth to help wake yourself up. Do this before you eat anything.

Meditate

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Meditation is becoming more well known (I wrote a detailed blog about it!), and all kinds of people are using it. It isn’t just for hippies. Successful business men and women are now using meditation to improve their lives and minds! By taking just 5-10 minutes each day to sit comfortably in silence, you could experience many benefits. You can feel more alert, creative, and inspired. You could actually come up with answers to questions that have been plaguing your mind. Getting into this habit will benefit your life in many ways.

Get Some Exercise

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Exercise isn’t just for people who want to lose weight. Exercising does not mean you have to spend hours bored-to-death running on the treadmill. By getting a little exercise before you start your day, you can feel so much more focused and prepared for what the day throws at you. Even if you just go for a short walk around the block, it should clear your mind and help you prepare to do your work or tackle the day’s projects. There are other benefits too, of course, such as weight and fat loss, muscle gain, improved health and fitness, and less chance of developing illness and disease.

Eat Healthy Foods

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Healthy foods will help you to feel more energized. They’ll change the way you feel, act, and think. If you fill your diet with unhealthy foods, you will feel tired and sluggish. This isn’t to say you can’t have treats, but you should make moderation something you pride yourself on. You should also include things like fresh herbs and spices. Having between 2 and 2.5g of turmeric per day is said to be beneficial – and it tastes great.

Work On Your Self Development Each Day

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Working on your self development each day will make you a better person. This is the kind of thing you need to do, whatever your goals may be. Make sure you read more self development books (I have a ton of suggestions!) – they will give you invaluable advice to help you through life. Go to classes and seminars, focusing on learning as much as you can. Get to the root of your problems and work them out. Control your emotions by learning where they’re coming from and learning to work with them. All of these things will make you a much better person!

Be Grateful

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Make sure you’re grateful, even if you don’t feel like you have that much to be grateful for. The fact you’re alive is enough to be grateful for! Look around you. Be grateful for a roof over your head. Great friends and family. Money in the bank, even if it’s not much. The more you are grateful, the more you’ll find to be grateful for.

Change your life today with these daily habits!

The Possibility of Having a Dream

 

I took photography as a hobby recently and discovered how much I love being outside, enjoying the peaceful mornings, nature, capturing moments forever…amongst other things. I realized that it’s beautiful sights like this one that make me feel so grateful and bring a smile to my face. (It’s the little things!) 

I’m reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and I came across this lovely quote:

“It is the possibility, of having a dream come true, that makes life interesting.”


So, what’s your dream? What do you hope to achieve someday? What would you do if money wasn’t a concern? (Or health?) How does your perfect day look like? What do you do on your free time that if you got paid for would be like heaven?

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These are just some questions I find to be quite necessary for us to ask once in a while; to get a feeling of how we’re doing, if we need to change anything, how the life plan is going, etc.

Unfortunately not many people ask themselves these questions; so they live their lives almost in autopilot – study, work work work, marriage, kids, retirement, death. There’s nothing wrong with that scenario, if that’s what you want. But if you don’tchange your situation. Ask yourself these questions. Move little by little towards your goal, your dream life, your perfect day. Don’t let anyone tell you what you *should* be doing.

Do what makes you happy… because life is to be enjoyed. 

Would you rather be happy or be right?

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

I completely agree with Elliott’s description of photography (as a new photography enthusiast). Everyone can see something that’s the same, but experience it and see something completely different. And isn’t that wonderful? The differences are what makes us beautiful and unique.

Life can be like this too; it can be enjoyed, it can be suffered, it can be felt and seen an infinite amount of ways. . . And who is right?

I heard the lovely author and intelligent man (Nathaniel Branden) once say how humans a lot of the time will choose being right over being happy. Personally I’m not big on being right, and I’m typically the first to accept if I did something wrong (it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction). However, I have met people who fall under this trap of being right. . . And they’re typically unhappy. These people tend to want hold their ground – and truth be told, a lot of times there’s no changing their mind. I just wonder, what good comes from being right, that one would be willing to put their happiness, their peace even, to the side?

Thinking about putting my peace, calm, and happiness on the line because of wanting to be right in a situation sounds exhausting. Yet I must admit that sometimes if it feels that I am being ‘attacked’ in some way, I react defensively; not because I want to be right, but simply because I don’t want to feel attacked. This is what I remember when someone won’t let something go because they want to be ‘right’ – I just tell myself, they’re probably feeling attacked like you have many times, and are reacting to that feeling.

I also find it helpful to remember that being right is not everything in life; we can be wrong and be a good person, we can apologize, we can accept it and change.

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Happiness > Being right

It can be a really humbling and positive experience to accept that you’ve made a mistake. It makes you human.

Much love,
Abby

4 Quick Habits for Eating Healthier!

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be so difficult. Normally, we stray from our nutritious diets because there are too many temptations put in the way of us. If you get rid of temptation, you’ll find that eating a healthy and balanced diet is a lot easier to do. In fact, you could end up eating a lot healthier without even noticing! Here are four tips that can help do just that.

Hide Sweet Treats

If you see unhealthy foods, you are going to be constantly tempted by them. So take any cookies, chips, and candies out of sight. Hide any sweet treats that you have in cupboards that you hardly go in. Try to put bowls of fruit and nuts out on display on your kitchen surfaces. That way, you will reach for a healthy snack whenever your tummy rumbles.

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If you’re craving something sweet, make yourself some nicecream!

Don’t Throw Away Leftovers

Throwing away uneaten food is a big waste. If you don’t finish your meal, keep the leftovers to have for lunch the next day. You can also keep ingredients that you didn’t use for another recipe. Leftovers usually have a good shelf-life when stored in a fridge. To extend this shelf-life, you should place them in your freezer. One way to keep them for a lot longer is to vacuum pack them before you store them in a fridge or freezer. To do this, you need a vacuum sealer. Try to get the best vacuum sealer (here are some with reviews) that can help you store food for a few weeks.

Use Smaller Plates

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One of the main reasons people have issues with their weight is because they eat large portions without realizing it. So to make sure you aren’t overeating, serve your food on smaller plates; here’s a great study that showed that we tend to overeat due to the size and color of our plates (shocking! I know). Be careful not to pile all the food up high on your plate, though! At first, you might feel slightly hungry after eating off smaller plates. That is just because your body is used to large amounts of food in one go. However, after a couple of days, you will get used to it and will feel full after a smaller meal. No matter the size of your plate, though, ensure half of it is taken up by fresh fruit or vegetables.

Drink Lots Of Water

Water is key for a healthy diet. You need to aim to drink at least eight glasses of pure water a day. The more water you drink means you won’t need to drink sugary or caffeinated drinks to stay hydrated. There are loads of ways you can encourage yourself to drink more water. One of the best ways is to keep a water bottle with you whenever you leave the house. That way, you won’t need to buy a drink while you’re out. If you don’t like plain water, try sparkling water. It tastes like a fizzy drink but doesn’t have all the hidden sugar.

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Hopefully, this guide will help you eat a lot healthier without even trying! You might be surprised how much healthier and happier these tips help you feel.

 

Calorie Counting: Friend or Foe?

Many of us have used this old trick of counting calories to help us in some way. I personally disliked using this technique because I’d lose track, I found myself over-thinking about it and it made me feel like I was restricted. I felt like I couldn’t just eat, it was different. So I stopped. It was the best decision for me, personally.

Whether you are trying a food journal (which is a fantastic idea to gain some insight into what you eat!) or you’re simply curious about how many calories you consume; it’s important to remember that some of these techniques can be flawed or may not work for everyone.

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Don’t be harsh with yourself if you forget to write down the snack you had 7 hours ago, it happens to all of us. This is one of the biggest flaws of calorie counting, we’re actually pretty terrible at it.  They’ve done studies to find out how well people do in keeping track of their calories and food intake and the results were shocking; the women from the study were underestimating on average 50%. That is 50% on average.

Another interesting fact? Labels can lie. They can actually have a 20% margin of error.

“The ratio between the amount obtained by laboratory analysis and the amount declared on the product label in the Nutrition Facts panel must be 120% or less, i.e., the label is considered to be out of compliance if the nutrient content of a composite of the product is greater than 20% above the value declared on the label.”  (FDA Guidance for Industry: Nutrition Labeling Manual)

There are other reasons why calorie counting may not be the best option, such as; swapping something ‘low fat’ instead of having the full-fat version (simply because it has fewer calories),  it can make you feel stressed (as this study showed) and it can make you eat more (because it’s on your mind all day!).

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There are also good reasons to like calorie counting! It can give you an insight as to how many calories you’re consuming on a day-to-day basis, which may come as a shock. A lot of us eat way more than we think! It may also help you regulate how much sugar, coffee, etc. you’re consuming (in case you’re trying to consume less of any). It has proven positive results for many and that’s the main reason so many continue trying it.

What do I think is the best solution? I can give you the solution that worked for me!  

I know that I can eat as much as I want of anything I want. There are no restrictions. Butter on toast? Yes, please. Vegan raspberry croissant? Double yes! Coffee? Yes! Sweet potato fries? Triple yes! (There’s even a recipe on the blog!) and I can continue until my hands are tired; my point is – there are no restrictions.

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I learned to eat with awareness. I try (and this takes a bit of time) to enjoy each and every bite I take. I don’t rush it, I really want to enjoy it and savor everything I eat. This made me eat at a slower pace. I used to be told I was the faster eater out there, because I’d always be done eating first. Well, now that’s different.

I take my time, pause between bites, enjoy, savor it and repeat.

What has happened since I began practicing these eating habits? For one, I’m happier! I know that if I want that ice cream I can have it, but what I crave is an acaí bowl. I eat a much bigger variety of food – because remember, there are no restrictions! I have little treats here and there (today I had a few bites of a croissant with honey) and I really enjoy them. I don’t feel guilt or any negative feeling. I just enjoy and move on. It’s simple and it works for me. I can recommend it to anyone who wants to feel free and not restricted when it comes to food.

Food should be enjoyed, so enjoy it!

Much love, Abby

Lemon Shortbread Bars – Guest Post!

Hey guys! My name is Alexandra, and I’m the creator of vegandra.com, a website devoted to delicious vegan recipes and lifestyle tips. Abby was amazing enough to allow me to write this guest post, so I hope you all enjoy 🙂 If you do, please check out my blog, and see what other goodies I’ve shared!

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So, lemons. Kinda hard to use in cooking, because the flavor has the potential to be too overbearing and sour. But, using the zest gives all the flavor of the lemon without the sourness!

The shortbread base here is super simply (just flour, powdered sugar, and coconut oil), but is perfect to let the lemon flavor through to be the star of the show! These bars are simply, light, and refreshing. Give them a try!!

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Serves 8

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbs. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. water

For the filling

  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tbs. flour

To Prepare

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine ingredients in a bowl to form a dough.
  3. Press dough into a greased baking pan and bake for 7 minutes.
  4. While base is baking, use a hand mixer to beat together ingredients for the filling.
  5. Pour filling on top of base, and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and set to cool (can be cooled in the refrigerator if you’re really hungry!).
  7. Cut up and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  8. Enjoy 🙂