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.

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.

 

Food vs. Guilt

Guilt. The dictionary’s definition says guilt is: a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined. What I find interesting from the definition is that the guilt can be ‘real or imagined.’

A lot of times we treat ourselves worse than anyone else in the world for doing something as normal as eating pizza, having Chinese take-out, having chips as a snack, drinking soda or having a cheat meal of any kind. We rationalize the bad treatment by telling ourselves that what we’re saying will ‘motivate’ or ‘encourage’ us to do better next time. But it doesn’t. So we do it again…another trip to guilt-town where the main attractions are feeling awful about what we ate, counting the calories we shouldn’t have consumed, calling ourselves bad names (because we deserve it, in our mind), amongst other things.

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This behavior creates almost a never ending trend of ‘every time I eat XYZ I will feel guilty’ which won’t help the situation but will only demotivate me or leave me feeling awful. What we need to understand is that there is no “bad” and “good” food; there is just food. Once you take away the bad and good from food, the villain and hero can disappear because there isn’t a battle anymore. If you take away the “bad” connotation from the slice of chocolate cake and truly enjoy it, savor it and satisfy the craving, you won’t feel guilty.

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You can tell yourself with a smile, I enjoyed that treat! And that’s it.  

I’m not proposing it becomes a lifestyle for you to eat poorly on a daily basis, just for you to remember that it’s perfectly OK to have a treat and enjoy each and every bite. In the long-run, you will be grateful and happier with yourself if you stop the guilt trend and end the food battle. Remembering that we CAN have that slice of cake if we want, will a lot of times take the craving away. You have probably heard the saying “We all want what we can’t have” well I believe it’s true in the food department. We tend to crave what we “cannot” have – this is why taking the labels good and bad away can help immensely. This doesn’t mean you will stop being healthy and eating nutritious food, it just means that you’ve changed the way you look at things.

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If you’re having a trip to guilt-town because of what you ate…ask yourself, would you treat a sibling the way you’re treating yourself? Would you talk to a friend, a loved one, the way you’re speaking to yourself? Sure, it’s OK to admit that having 27 chocolate chip cookies was a bit too much, but does that deserve the guilt that you feel? The remorse? Is that going to change the situation? I know the answer; and the answers are no, you would not speak to a loved one the way you speak to yourself, and no, you do not deserve the guilt and remorse over 27 chocolate chip cookies. You are allowed to have those treats and you are allowed to continue loving yourself. You do not become less amazing because of the food you ate.

Say goodbye to guilt. End the food battle, today.

Nicecream… because you deserve to feel like a kid!

This is by far the easiest and tastiest dish (can we call nicecream a dish?) I have ever made. It truly takes me back to summer time when all you think about is something cold, refreshing, something tasty… ICE CREAM!

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As adults we know that eating too much ice cream is not good for us (too much sugar can cause diabetes and obesity, amongst other illnesses, yikes!). So, what to do during a hot summer day? Or hey, if it’s winter and you want your ice-cream fix, I don’t blame you. I’ve been there myself. Nicecream is the answer. 

Nicecream I believe has come to save the day… it should truly come with its own superhero cape.  

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter (I typically use almond!)
  • Splash of almond (or coconut) milk
  • For flavor you have many options – which is wonderful. The most common ones are: 1 tablespoon of cacao powder, 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (or sweetener of your choice), or a handful of berries (I added a handful of blueberries!)

THAT IS IT! 

Instructions: 

  1. Blend together, serve & then enjoy!

Quick tip: Remember to peel your bananas before freezing them as this will make the process much easier. 

For the toppings you can seriously go wild! I’ve seen some nicecreams with almond flakes, chopped walnuts, goji berries, cacao nibs, ALL kinds of fruits or more nut butter. You can truly pick your favorite toppings and add them to your lovely and healthy treat! 

Try and give some nicecream to your children or nephews and nieces, you’ll see that they’ll love it. Now you have your healthy and tasty treat for both summer and winter!

 

Veggie Bowl of Sunshine

It has been such a lovely weekend; with warm weather, life planning, tons of cooking and inspiring thoughts. I’ve been researching the link between willpower and food and I cannot wait to share my thoughts on the matter and give you some helpful tips! We’ve all been there, feeling like you “can’t resist” that cupcake (or anything tasty) only to feel bad about it afterwards. I hope to bring some light to your life with my research!

Now back to the veggie bowl! I thought of this dish because I wanted to increase my vegetable intake. I could just live off of avocados, toast and sweet potatoes (to be honest!). Given that this is (sadly) not an option, I looked for healthy recipes for a veggie dish that would inspire me. Being a Mexican food-lover I thought why not give this veggie dish a Mexican twist? I don’t want just veggies… let’s add a salsa! And let’s have guacamole on the side…why not? And this, is how it all started.

Ingredients for veggie bowl: 

  • 1 yellow onion – peeled & chopped to your preference (some people like their onion coarsely chopped & others enjoy it more minced)
  • 3/4 cup of zucchini – chopped
  • 3/4 cup of mushrooms – chopped
  • 1 large red or yellow pepper – chopped
  • 2 cups of black beans (you may use kidney or pinto, it’s all about making it your own!)
  • 2 cups of corn kernels
  • Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1/2 – 3/4 of shredded Monterey cheese (you may substitute for a different type of cheese or nutritional yeast if vegan)
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of cilantro powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder.

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Ingredients for the salsa: 

  • 1 large tomato or 2 medium ones – chopped
  • 1/3 of a cup of red onion – chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of coriander (cilantro) – chopped
  • 1/2 lemon – use the juice of the 1/2
  • 1 jalapeño – finely chopped (remove seeds if you want to reduce spicy level or if serving to kids)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (your preference)
  • Instructions for the salsa: add tomato, onion, coriander and jalapeño to a bowl. Mix together until combined, now add lemon juice. I recommend adding the salt and pepper after you’ve tried the salsa. You’ll realize that sometimes, you don’t need it.

Ingredients for guacamole: 

  • 1 avocado – smashed
  • 1/2 lemon – use the juice of the 1/2
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander (cilantro) – chopped
  • 1/2 of a tomato – chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (your preference)
  • The instructions for the guac are this: smash the avocado as much as you like (again some people like their guac’ chunky and others don’t so go wild here!), add the tomato, coriander and lemon juice and mix gently until combined. That’s it. No fuss.

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Time for instructions!

  1. Preheat oven to 190C or 375F.
  2. Sauté onion, mushroom and zucchini with some olive oil.
  3. Once onion is translucent, add black beans, red pepper and corn kernels to skillet.
  4. Mix spices, cumin, cilantro powder and chipotle powder in a separate bowl.
  5. Add spices to skillet, stir and mix gently to coat all ingredients.
  6. Once ingredients have been thoroughly mixed with the spices, transfer them to an oven-proof bowl or casserole.
  7. Add salsa on top of the bowl carefully spreading it (a spoon or fork is helpful here).
  8. Finally, add the shredded cheese.
  9. Place casserole or bowl into the oven (uncovered) for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and/or bubbling.
  10. After it’s done, let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tip: Take me up on not adding sea salt & freshly ground pepper until after you had a taste. With dishes like this one that come with spices, salsa and cheese, you truly may not need it. 

Tip 2: If you’re feeling adventurous or like having tacos, use this recipe! All you need is literally the corn tortillas and voila! You have veggie tacos and even guacamole to accompany them. 

This is a great dish to make for your family, friends or colleagues. During a potluck you can take this dish! (no need to make the guacamole if you don’t want do) I added it because I could eat guacamole with every dish! And to be honest, it tastes delicious with it too! 

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Enjoy!