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Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Food, Nutrition | 0 comments

Broccoli, Leak and Potato Soup for Autumn and Winter

Broccoli, Leak and Potato Soup for Autumn and Winter

Make a Broccoli , Leak and  Potato soup.  This is a larger amount, for about 6 people.

  •     4 slices bacon, diced
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     2 tablespoons butter
  •     3 large leeks, chopped
  •     1 onion, chopped
  •     3 stalks celery, chopped
  •     3 cups chicken stock
  •     3 potatoes, cubed
  •     1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground coriander/ or a handful of fresh coriander.
  •     1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  •     3 cups broccoli florets
  •     2 1/2 cups whole milk
  •     3 green onions, chopped (optional), or chives.

I chop the onion, celery stick and the leaks and fry this medley with the bacon in a bit of olive oil and the butter. Boil a few potatoes unless you have some left over already cooked in your fridge. When this is done, put to the side.

I steam the broccoli lightly. Set aside.

I then put it all inside Chef Tony Blender and add;

The chicken stock,  milk, the herbs, fennel, coriander and salt and pepper .

Blend- Blend- Blend…to your heart’s content. The more you blend the smoother your soup will be, obviously.

Heat up on stove and let it simmer and then serve with sliced spring onions, chives or top with roasted garlic.

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Body & Mind, Featured, Health, Nutrition | 0 comments

Understanding Menstrual Pain & Natural Relief

Understanding Menstrual Pain & Natural Relief

Most of us dread that ‘time of month’ where we feel fatigued, hormonal and worst of all incredible pain. I always try to understand feelings of discomfort as messages from my body trying to tell me something is imbalanced.

A basic understanding of menstruation

  • Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions in the uterus. During each menstrual period, if there is no sperm to fertilise the egg, the uterus contracts to expel its lining.
  • It is these uterine contractions that cause much of your pain. Contractions inhibit blood flow to the lining of the uterus. When the uterus contracts too strongly, it presses against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissue of the uterus. Pain usually results when part of a muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.
  • Conventional pain medication is potentially effective but can have negative side effects on your digestive, nervous and cardiovascular system. Hormonal birth control is also regularly prescribed but interferes with your normal hypothalamus/pituitary/ovarian hormonal axis to prevent ovulation, aka not natural.

Natural prevention & remedies

  1. Hormones. Most menstrual conditions – cramps and heavy bleeding – are caused by an imbalance of hormones. When you are deficient in certain nutrients, your hormonal health can suffer. Start by implementing whole, plant-based foods into your diet and you’ll certainly notice a difference.

  2. Toxicity. Environmental toxins and stress can also play a part in your hormonal imbalances. If there are toxins in your bloodstream, your body will use any opportunity of an open ‘wound’ or menstruating uterine wall to expel as many toxins as possible. Removing toxic conditions involves a series of cleansing periods with a diet rich in raw, plant-based foods, fresh vegetables juices (link:http://www.pilatestreemagazine.com/juicing-101/), fresh, organic fruit, sprouted seeds and nuts.

  3. Acidity. Over-acidity is another condition that can exacerbate menstrual pain and heavy flows. If you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, chemical sensitivity, food allergy or candida, your metabolism becomes inefficient and produces too much acid. This causes increased pain, inflammation, bleeding and swelling. Alkalising your body with fresh fruits and vegetables is a great start.

  4. Oxygen. And of course, anything that helps bring oxygen to your muscles is going to be a soothing remedy for menstrual cramp pain. This can include anything from exercising, acupuncture, massage, warm baths, yoga, sleep and heat pads.

If you still suffer from menstrual cramps and you follow a healthy, plant-based diet, another thing to consider is your digestive health. When I refer to digestion, I’m talking about your body’s ability to break down the food you eat and convert it into usable energy. Normally, we should eat food one day and the waste from it should be expelled the very next day. More commonly, it takes three days on a typical western diet.

Restoring digestive health

  1. Healthy fats. Incorporate healthy fats into 30 – 50% of your diet. Some examples include coconut oil, nuts, seeds, flax and chia.
  2. Chlorophyll. Increase your intake of chlorophyll (link:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Liquid-Chlorophyll-Natural-Spearmint-Oil/dp/B004PZZ5TW). It has high levels of vitamins A, C and E, has a strong antioxidant capacity and has also been found to help reduce inflammation.
  3. Bioflavonoids and carotenoids. These are the yellow, orange, red and purple pigments in fruits and vegetables. They strengthen the capillary walls and ensure rapid wound healing.
  4. Fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories that can help with cramps as well as bloating.
  5. Magnesium and calcium. They are two nutrients that help reduce muscle soreness, tension and can help lessen menstrual symptoms. Magnesium helps to deliver much needed oxygen to cells and tissues, bone formation, nerve and muscle function. It’s also critical for your cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and brain.
  6. Maca root. A cruciferous root found in Peru, it has been traditionally regarded as providing strength and endurance, enhancing fertility, and supporting pregnancies and menstruation.

Do you suffer from painful menstrual cramps? Are you willing to try some of these remedies?

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 in Body & Mind, Health, Nutrition | 0 comments

Juicing 101

Juicing 101

When my clients ask me what they can do today to improve their health, I tell them to start juicing! Juicing allows you to get all the necessary nutrients from your fruits and vegetables in a quick and convenient way. Juicing also improves immune function, digestion, allergies and chronic dis-ease. Learn more about the health benefits of juicing, the type of juicer that is best for you and an easy green juice recipe!

Here are some of the reasons why I prescribe ‘a juice a day’:

1. Weight Loss. Rich in antioxidants and vital enzymes, juicing can cleanse your body of stored waste and toxins that interfere with proper organ and cell functioning.  Often, people struggle with losing weight (even when they follow a super healthy diet) because their systems are backed up with toxins. Antioxidants in raw vegetable and fruit juice bind to toxins and flush them out of your body. During this process, the body is able to release fat cells that were storing toxins to protect tissues and organs. Drinking two glasses of fresh fruit and vegetable juice in addition to following a whole, plant-based diet can not only detoxify your body but also gives you the required nutrients to help you shed weight.

2. Nutrient Dense. Juicing offers an abundance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and antioxidants – nutrients that increase the micro-electric potential of your cells. This improves the body’s use of oxygen, so your muscles, tissues and brain all feel energised.

3. Disease Prevention. When you consume fresh raw juice, along with eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, your whole internal environment shifts to a healthy, balanced state. When your internal system is healthy, your cells, organs and systems are able to do the jobs they were designed to do. A healthy bio-terrain is key in preventing a dis-eased body and improving digestion, cell growth and immune function.

Ready to give it a try at home? Here’s some help on choosing the right juicer for you.

Centrifugal juicers are typically the most common type. They use a fast cutting blade that spins against a mesh filter, separating juice from the fruit or vegetable’s flesh (via centrifugal force). Thereafter, the juice and pulp are separated into different containers. One of the downsides of centrifugal juicers is that their fast-spinning blade generates heat, which damages vital nutrients and enzymes present in your fruit and vegetables. The heat also oxidizes those ingredients, making them less nutritious.

Masticating juicers extract juice by chewing, crushing and then pressing the fruit and vegetables for the highest, most nutritious juice yield. Because they produce minimal heat, they maintain more of the original nutrients of the fruit and vegetables. The juice you make from a masticating or cold press juicer is more like the juices you’ll get from a professional cleanse company like Plenish. The L’Equip Omni Juicer (http://www.ukjuicers.com/lequip-omni-juicer) or the Hurom Slow Juicer (http://www.ukjuicers.com/hurom-slow-juicer-HFSBF06-HU600) is great as well.

You have the knowledge, and now you have the juicer. How about a simple, delicious and super healthy green juice recipe?

1 large cucumber

1 handful of kale

1 handful of spinach

1 green apple

2.5 cm of ginger

½ a lemon

Juice, stir and enjoy!

 

x Natalie

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