Now, you may ask: How important is breakfast for starting the day with good energy? The answer? Very important! Breakfast often refers to “breaking the fast”. Overnight, the body essentially fasts and undergoes important systemic repair-work during sleep. Breakfast has been shown to blood sugar regulation, food cravings, concentration and more(just to name a few!). Eating a nutritious breakfast allows for glucose (our body’s main energy source for cells) to restore brain functioning so that you can have the energy to focus for the day. In addition, having a hunger signal is a wonderful sign of a well-functioning digestive system.
Here’s an easy and nutritious breakfast recipe for you to follow:
- 1 frozen banana (or frozen zucchini for a low sugar option)
- 1 handful of frozen blueberries
- 1 Medjool date
- 1 tsp of cacao powder
- 1 tsp of maca powder
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 250mL of ‘mylk’ (e.g. almond, coconut, or oat) or water
Blend all these ingredients together and pour into a bowl.
- 1 tsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp ground flaxseed
- Half a handful of mixed sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds & cashews
- A sprinkle of cinnamon powder
Add these toppings to the smoothie bowl and ta-da, breakfast is served!
Enjoy (and be energised)!
Ingredients: Serves 4-6
1 handful of fresh coriander or parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 or 2 fresh red chilli’s (deseeded)
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
sea salt – pinch.
Place all ingredients for Chermoula in the blender and pulse until smooth. Set aside to develop flavour.
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 onions diced
3 cloves garlic diced
2 tins organic tomatoes (or 2 cups homemade chunky passata)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger – or 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups vegetable broth or stock
1+ 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup green/brown lentils
2 bay leaves
sea salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
extra water to make soupier if needed.
Saute onion, fennel, garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and allow aromas to develop before adding the tomatoes/passata. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the lentils, chickpeas, broth and bay leaves and allow to cook on low heat for approximately 30-45 minutes or until chickpeas are tender and soup has thickened. Season to taste and serve topped with as much spicy Chermoula as you like.
Winter’s finally here and I’ll admit, much to the disbelief of my fellow Queenslanders, I absolutely couldn’t be happier! I love the multi-layers of clothes, the amazing night sleeps and best of all, curling up on the coach with a hot drink, blanket and slippers, watching my favourite show on Netflix. For many of you, that hot drink would be a warm cocoa, cup of tea or coffee, but for me, it’s the delicious, calming and immune boosting warm mug of Golden milk.
What’s golden milk you ask? Well, for those of you that are members of Brisbane Natural Health, health food bloggers or just have a keen interest in healthy eating, then you will already know! For the rest of you, let me share this magical drink with you!
GOLDEN MILK – WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR!
Golden milk is fast becoming a popular drink on many websites, blogs, instagrams and healthy chef websites. And for good reason! This potent anti-inflammatory, digestive and immune boosting drink has replaced hot chocolates, and cups of tea and coffee for many health aware individuals because of its strong medicinal active constituents. So what’s in it?
- Turmeric – one of the greatest natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich spices known to science. The active constituent, curcumin, has had massive amounts of research poured into its uses as a medicinal food and supplement
- Ginger – a circulatory stimulant, anti-emetic (stop you feeling nauseas) and calming spice used for centuries by numerous cultures, and still one of the many superfoods I think needs to be added to everyones diet…
- Cayenne pepper – another circulatory stimulant and pyretic (makes you sweat – which is great for detoxifying!). You may also just use black pepper here or a mix of the 2. Black pepper in particular, allows your body to absorb curcumin <2000X more effectively!
- Raw honey – the proper stuff you get from your local market or health food store. Real raw honey contains amazing immune boosting properties and is incredibly mineral dense and, of course, tastes delicious!
- Milk alternative – Whatever your dietary needs are, you may choose to use almond, coconut, oat or macadamia milk.
1 cup of milk
1 thumb sized piece of organic turmeric, grated
1 thumb sized piece of organic ginger, grated
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more depending on your taste)
Raw honey to taste
Simply add all the ingredients into a pot on the stove or thermomix and heat up on a low heat until your desired temperature (not boiling). If you don’t like little bits of ginger or turmeric in your drink, simply strain into your mug.
Perfect for those chilli winter nights, taken to work in a thermos, for the kids (or adult kids) to prevent the cold, or simply for yourself because you deserve some comfort and YOU time!
This is a modified version of a recipe that my sister and I created.
If you’ve let yourself go a little too loosely over the Christmas feasting period, and are keen to break free of that sluggish bog before the New Year has taken over, this is the recipe for you.
The Chinese medicine pathology is labelled as food accumulation in the middle burner, and more than likely, if the break was accompanied with excessive alcohol consumption, damp-heat in the stomach and large intestine.
Based on what we know about the enteric nervous system and the chemistry of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), eating to excess will generally leave you with a feeling of slackness. It can also cause symptoms such as reflux, indigestion or heart burn, nausea, bloating and sensitivity to certain foods. Excessive food consumption can also give you a generalised feeling of inflammation such as aches and pains, loose stools, pain or burning on passing, phlegm or cold and flu symptoms. All of these drawbacks are exacerbated by drinking large amounts of alcohol and can even feel similar to a week-long hangover.
This recipe helps to re-establish the gut health and move the accumulated gunk through to the other end. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) terms, we are looking to alleviate this accumulation, clear the heat (inflammation), and moisten and nourish the Middle Burner (GIT).
Ingredients (roughly 6 servings)
1 large bunch of coriander
1 or 2 fresh chilies
1 small handful of sesame or sunflower seeds
2 cups sprouted lentils or sprouted mung beans
1 nub of fresh ginger
As much garlic as you like
Juice of 1 or 2 limes depending on taste
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce or Tamari
1 teaspoon of raw sugar or coconut sugar
(This recipe is great with boiled quinoa as a protein addition if you are so inclined)
How to sprout lentils and other beans
- Buy whole green lentils or mung beans, rinse them and let them soak in a large jar or container for 12 hours or maybe a little longer for mung beans. (Make sure you leave a little excess room in the jar because they expand to about double the original volume).
- Drain the water and cover with a tea towel or breathable membrane to keep the air flowing and the bugs out.
- Repeat the rinse and drain about 3 times per day to keep them moist and your lentils should be well and truly sprouted by day three. They are edible at any stage after the soak but I prefer to leave them to get a nice long sprout.
Cleansing Summer Salad
Cut cucumbers into small cubes, then finely chop coriander and chilies. Add to a large salad bowl together with the sesame seeds and sprouted lentils.
Finely chop or blend the ginger and garlic and place into a small bowl or jar. Add the juice of a lime, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar to the ginger and garlic, and stir or shake.
The longer that you let this dressing sit before adding it to the salad, the garlic and ginger will lose its spice so depending on how you like it, you could let it soak for a day or just eat it fresh. Adding the chilies to the dressing rather than to the salad will have a similar effect, so if you like it mild let it soak!
Hugh Hayward – Chinese Medicine Doctor (CMD), Bachelor of Health Science, Diploma An Mo Tui Na Massage
Nuts are a fantastic food for your health, being high in protein and health giving essential fats, and rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. The problem is that nuts are notoriously difficult to digest, meaning you may not be getting all of these juicy nutrients into your body.
You can bypass this problem by activating your nuts, a process in which you soak them to make them more digestible and better for your health. This is especially useful for those with digestive problems or those with nutrient deficiencies, both of which often go hand in hand.
How to do it
Activating nuts is very easy. All you need to do is…
- Soak them overnight in pure, filtered water.
- Discard the water and give them a good rinse. This help to remove any naturally occurring ‘enzyme inhibitors’ – compounds that can impair the digestion of the nuts in question.
- Now you need to decide how you want to use them. You can eat them right here and now, in their juicy hydrated form. This is the best option if you’re making them to put into smoothies or power balls or the like.
If you want to eat them like you would normal dried nuts, you can actually dry them out again. You’ll need to do this at a low temperature (under 40 degrees Celsius) using a dehydrator for best results. You can also try putting them on a tray in your oven on the lowest setting, with the door slightly ajar. If you’re storing them for a while then make sure you dehydrate them until they are nice and crisp, to prevent spoiling.
Another thing you can do is put the rinsed nuts in a paper bag in the fridge. This will dry them out slightly and last a week or so until they go bad. You can also freeze your hydrated nuts to use in smoothies so you have them on hand.
A note on salted nuts
If you have a hankering for salted nuts, you can achieve this by adding some Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to the soaking water. The nuts will take up the salt and if you dehydrate them you’ll be left with crunchy, salty goodness. Enjoy!
Kale is a bounty of good nutrition – being high in calcium, magnesium, iron and many other trace minerals. Kale is also very alkaline (antiinflammatory) and has a decent amount of protein too. Happy snacking!
- Soak 1 cup of nuts (cashews/walnuts) in water for minimum 1 hour
- Wash 1 bunch of kale then remove the stalks and tear leaves up into small pieces (approx 1 inch size)
- Dry the kale with a clean tea towel or paper towel
- In a food processor blend the nuts (and soaking water), 1 cup of steamed diced pumpkin, 2 medium sized carrots (or 1 carrot and 1 zucchini), 1 tablespoon of garlic, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
- Pour the puree over the kale and stir until well covered
- Spread the kale over dehydrating machine trays, trying to flatten the leaves where possible
- Dehydrate overnight or until crisp and dry
Note: This may also be done in an oven on very low setting – put your oven on the lowest temparature and leave the door ajar. Timing will vary depending on ovens but is usually between 4-6 hours.