How fermented food helps your health

How fermented food helps your health

Many people don’t realise how fermented food helps your health but there is an ‘underground’ society of people that do and this movement is getting stronger 🙂

I’ve been into probiotics for some time and have always wanted to learn how to make my own fermented foods like kefir, sourdough bread, sauerkraut and the fermeted drink, Kombucha. And recently I went on a workshop in Shoreham, West Sussex to do that so I will share that with you in this post.

 

Gut health

Did you know your gut is referred to as your second brain? Your gut is very important to your overall wellbeing. There is ever growing evidence to the effect it has on your mental and physical health. Improving your gut health will give you better immunity, more efficient digestion and less stress. Because your digestion is better you will have more energy – yay.

In your gut there are trillions of bacteria that help you process food, produce nutrients, and fight disease. You might remember seeing adverts on TV about ‘healthy bacteria’ and this is what I am talking about here.

A great book on the subject is Gut by Giulia Enders

 

There are three things you need to do to look after your gut bacteria

 

  1. Make sure you have enough good bacteria
  2. Make sure that they survive
  3. Don’t deplete them

1 – You put healthy bacteria in by eating probiotic foods that contain them.

2 – You preserve them by eating probiotic foods that support them.

3 – You protect them by being aware of what depletes them and that is stress, antibiotics, steroid medications and stomach bugs.

So what can you do to improve your gut health?

 

You can take a probiotic supplement or eat probiotic food like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, coconut kefir, yoghurt, kefir and apple cider vinegar.

You can eat prebiotic whole foods. Certain foods feed and support the growth of good bacteria. Raw onions, garlic, dandelion greens, artichokes and bananas are some of the best.

Keep hydrated. Your gut needs water to keep bacteria and waste moving through your digestive system, which will help prevent constipation and bloating. Dehydration affects your bacteria balance.

Eat less sugar as it feeds bad bacteria and you are more interested in the good ones.

Reduce your stress levels. Stress makes your brain go into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow in the gut to slow down and digestion is not as effective.

Making fermented foods which help your gut bacteria

fermented food

 

Making fermented foods is an interesting experience and when the scoby comes out that’s exciting! I learnt at a workshop with my local Homoeopath, Therese Eriksen

During the workshop we made:

Sauerkraut – a kind of pickled vegetable. We made red cabbage and another of carrot and ginger. You can have a little bit on the side of practically any meal to add some lovely flavour. It keeps well too.

Sourdough bread – a bread make without yeast which some people find easier to digest. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe the world is your bread basket as you can add herbs, cheese, sundried tomatoes. YUM

Milk Kefir – A ‘live’ drink that you make from grains (main blog picture). You can drink it straight if you are hard core or make smoothies with it or flavour it.

Kambucha – Is the tea teetotallers champagne! It’s made with a scoby which I have put a picture of below. It’s a weird disc thing that you put in tea to make the Kambucha but then it takes on a life of its own and grows!

scoby

In Copenhagen Kambucha is readily available, they know it helps them get Hyggey 🙂

 

Let the fermenting commence!

So now my kitchen is full of kilner jars doing their different things. I’m so excited about having fermented foods in my life that I’ve made myself.

One of my guiding principles of life is to cradle my health (mental and physical) like a newborn baby. Not in an obssessive way, but it’s very high up my values list. I want enough energy to fulfil my dreams and enjoy my family. But I am conscious this takes effort and thought. Effort in the sense of eating right and making time for exercise. And thought recognising when thinks are out of balance and addressing it.

In life, the effort has to be worth the reward. I am going to try to maintain my fermented food supplies as the reward is better health and more energy. That has to be worth it!

If you want to learn how to make fermented foods with the Therese you can book through her website or Facebook page.

5 great smoothie recipes you’ll want to try

5 great smoothie recipes you’ll want to try

5 great smoothie recipes you’ll want to try

Earlier this week I blogged about easy ways to eat more healthily. One of the suggestions was by having smoothies. Before we look at 5 nutritious smoothie recipes, let’s cover some smoothie basics.

The reason healthy eating interests me is I am  a Hypnotherapist so I work with people’s minds but in many cases, treatment is about the whole person; mind, body and spirit. I like to keep fit and healthy on a personal level so you could say I have a healthy interest!

How are smoothies different from juices?

Juices extract the liquid and nutrients from the produce that you are juicing and leave behind the pulp. This means you end up with a thin juice, full of nutrients. You should include more vegetables than fruit in your juice or it will be laden with fruit sugars and this will affect your blood sugar. There are different levels of juicer depending how serious you are. The leading person in the juice industry is Jason Vale and he offers free juicing programes several times a year.

Smoothies blend the produce to a thicker consistency and there is no left-over pulp. Smoothies you buy in the shops are often full of sugar from the high fruit content and less nutritious than the ones that you can make for yourself.

What can you put in your smoothie?

Smoothies are a good way to bring healthy foods into your diet easily as no cooking is required! You just whack it all in a suitable blender (some people swear by the Nutribullet. And the Vitamix is the Rolls Royce of the blender world) and it’s ready to drink/eat.

Smoothies can keep you full for hours if you include protein. Your body will love the fibre, vitamins and dense nutrients. You could get your 5 a day in one hit (although it’s now thought we should be aiming for 7-10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day).

Once you start ‘smoothi-ing’! You might want to start create your own recipes. Here are some ingredient ideas. Make vegetables the main ingredient, add some fruit for sweetness, a supplement or two of your choice and a protein to keep you fuller for longer:

Vegetables and fruit

green smoothie

Vegetables

  • Cucumber and celery both provide a lot of juice and are full of nutrients
  • Coconut water which is full of electrolytes or coconut, oat, rice of almond milk.
  • Leaves such as lettuce, rocket, kale and watercress (did you know watercress contains lots of vitamin c)
  • For the brave – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts which all all very good for removing toxins and providing vitamins and minerals.

 

Fruit

  • Pineapple (reduced inflammation)
  • Blueberries – (said to improve memory)
  • Apples & Pears  (which are also good for good digestion)
  • Lemons and Limes (which help alkalise the body)

 

Supplements

You can add lots of healthy supplements to smoothies too such as:

  • Bee pollen is full of enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
  • Aloe Vera has antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Supergreens are nutrient packed dark green vegetables.
  • Chia seeds are loaded with nutrients and are among the healthiest foods on the planet.
  • Flax seeds are full of omega essential oils and are also good for the digestion.
  • Goji berries contain a wide range of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
  • Raw Cacao is a top source of antioxidants and contains an abundance of magnesium and iron.
  • Acai is high in antioxidants and Omega-3 oils.
  • Maca powdera is a mineral-rich food supplement powder.
  • Probiotics such as kefir to keep your gut healthy.

A great place to get healthy supplies from is Healthy Supplies. They are based in West Sussex.

Protein

You can also add some sort of protein as if you include a protein you will stay fuller longer and protein is particularly beneficial after a workout. Some good proteins for smoothies are:

  • Avacado
  • Hemp protein
  • Pea protein
  • Whey protein
  • Peanut butter
  • Natural live yoghurt

 

Here are 5 great smoothie recipes you’ll want to try

  

 

This blog is one in a 30 day series about self-development and practical lists we will be making to enhance our lives. I’m using these blogs to provide coaching and advice in my capacity as a qualified coach and Hypnotherapist working locally in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype.

 

Quick review of yesterday’s list:

Yesterday you wrote a list of  chunks of your life and what they might be called. Did anything on that list surprise you?

 

Today’s list:

Today’s list is one of your easiest ways to health. Just make a list of the smoothies you are going to have this week and the ingredients you need to buy to make them. If you make a delicious smoothie of your own or already have a recipe to share, please put it in the comments. We would love to try it!

See you tomorrow.

Honey

x

 

How to relax without a holiday

How to relax without a holiday

How to relax without a holiday

This is meant to be the peak time of year when people book holidays. Maybe it’s the January blues or just the desire to go somewhere warmer! One of the main things that people want to do when they go on holiday is to relax. To ‘escape from it all’. But what if you could could ‘escape from it all’ anytime you wanted to?

So what ways do you currently relax? With a glass of wine or a beer at the end of the day? With a bubble bath? With yoga? Everyone’s techniques and strategies are different.

There is physical relaxation and mental relaxation. They are interlinked and often relaxing one, relaxes the other. For example, if you’ve ever had a massage you might notice that when you lie on the massage table you are still thinking about the day’s work, or your kids, or your partner or your mile long to do list but as the treatment progresses, those things seem to ease and you are able to enjoy lovely ‘floaty’ feelings.

Build relaxation into your mindset

But what if you didn’t need to get to the point where you feel desperate for the need to relax on holiday or to unwind with a massage? As a Hypnotherapist, I spend most of my life in a relaxed state (don’t worry, I still get lots done). So much so that when I go on holiday I have plenty of energy for sightseeing and exploring! Because I have built relaxation into my mindset and make it a priority and you can too.

A lot of my clients say ‘they think too much’ or they ‘can’t switch off’ and then they have Hypnotherapy and say ‘wow!’ because it is a truly deeply relaxing state like no other. A state where you can just be and have lovely thoughts and visions in your subconcious (like meditating but better). Once you have connected to this deeply relaxed state, you will want to do it again! I give my clients recordings to listen to at home.

 

Do you have 12 minutes spare to relax?

Just share from this box and you’ll be able to download a fantastic audio that will help you relax. I’ve been told that this is a really easy way to switch off and relax because all you have to do is lie down and listen!

So how else can you relax?

The benefits of relaxation include lowered blood pressure and reduction in the thickening of the artery walls. Also slower age related memory loss and brain-cell deterioration. Being relaxed also improves your digestive process.relaxing water

  • Improve your breathing, Breathing is our life-force and we take it for granted! Just try this. close your eyes and monitor your breathing for a couple of minutes. Then slow it down slightly and notice any difference. “Learn how to exhale, the inhale will take care of itself”  – Carla Melucci Ardito
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Lie down. Work from up to down your body or down to up. Tense the muscles in your feet and then relax them, then do the same for your legs, your buttocks, your stomach, your arms, your hands and lastly your face.
  • Yoga. There is a 30 minute yoga flow here
  • Try sitting quietly and focusing on your heart. When you have settled, place your hand on your heart and take slow and considered breathes and really connect with your heart.
  • Shake your legs and hands for one minute. When you finish you will feel relaxed.
  • Take a nap.
  • Play some relaxing music.
  • Use aromatherapy  oils around your house. Lavender, neroli and ylang ylang are relaxing.
  • Make a space in your home where you can relax.

Add your ideas for ways to relax in the comments. We would love to hear them.

The important thing is once you build relaxation into your life, it becomes a habit. You mind understands what is required and does it for you more easily. It will soon be second nature:)

This blog is one in a 30 day series about self-development and practical lists we will be making to enhance our lives. I’m using these blogs to provide coaching and advice in my capacity as a qualified coach and Hypnotherapist working locally in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype.

Quick review of your tenth list list:

Your tenth list was about judgements you might hold. Were there any surprises on that list for you?

Your eleventh list:

Your eleventh list is simply to make a list of ways you can personally relax. Choose things that appeal to you, that fit into your life. Even if you were to relax for 2 minutes every day you would feel benefits in a week.

See you tomorrow.

Honey

x

Did you get a fit-bit for Christmas?

Did you get a fit-bit for Christmas?

Did you get a fit-bit for Christmas?

‘They’ say we should be doing 10,000 a steps a day to be healthy. If you got a fit-bit for Christmas, it will count your steps each day and you might be looking for ways to increase your activity. Maybe you’ve joined a gym or bought an exercise DVD to do at home. Maybe you haven’t really got into anything yet and are finding it hard to motivate yourself.

A ridiculously high percentage of people that join the gym each year in January stop going by February. This might be because they didn’t find something they loved doing. If you find something you love to do you won’t want to stop doing it!

You might need to try a few different things before you find the right exercise for you. Some people enjoy a bit of Zumba and others are not so keen but love to swim or run. You’ve just got to find your thing (or things).

 

Here are some ideas of things you could try!

 

trainers

 

1.     Max HIIT workout: HIIT is very high-intensity interval training. It burns major calories in less time. This seven-minute HIIT workout is the perfect circuit to raise your heart rate while working your entire body.

2.     Spinning which is basically cycling indoors: See it here

3.    Tabata workout: Tabata is a type of HIIT workout that involves 20 seconds of max training followed by 10-second rests, for a total of four minutes. This 10-minute Tabata workout video includes two intense circuits along with a quick warm up and cool down.

4.   CrossFit workout: CrossFit is for serious athletes. You can see what it is like here

5. Pilates is great for your core, see what it is like here.

6 – Circuits is a mixture of everything; weights, running,  squats and lots of other things. See it here.

7. Kickboxing is just as it says! See it here.

So do any of those take your fancy? would love to hear about what sort of exercise you have tried and what your experience was.

It is often said that when you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit. Howeve, if you are doing something you like aswell as it feeling like more of a natural thing to do, the fact that you enjoying it will be enough to pull you back time and time again.

 

If you need help embarking on a healthier lifestyle….

If you want to stop smoking to help you in you quest for a healthier lifestyle the easiest way to stop really is with Hypnotherapy. I offer a 2 session stop smoking treatment to get you stopped for good. I do mine in 2 sessions as I have found the results with 2 sessions to be excellent.

Other ways Hypnotherapy can help with fitness is by focusing the mind on sports targets for running and strengthening motivation for all sporting events. The mind is just as important as the body for exercise!

 

This blog is one in a 30 day series about self-development and practical lists we will be making to enhance our lives. I’m using these blogs to provide coaching and advice in my capacity as a qualified coach and Hypnotherapist working locally in West Sussex and Worldwide on Skype.

 

Quick review of yesterday’s list:

Yesterday you wrote a list of things of things that were special about you to put on your CV. Did you manage to weave those into a personal statement?

Your ninth list:

For your ninth list I would like you to consider writing 2 lists. The first list is a list of all the reasons you think you should or reasons you want to exercise.

The second is exercise you could try and how you will fit it into your life (it can be difficult to imagine how you can fit it into your already jam packed life at all but that’s the reason you wrote the first list).

If the reasons on your first list are strong enough, you will find a way to fit your exercise in.

See you tomorrow.

Honey

x

Healthy eating day 21 – What type of eater are you?

child eating chocolate

What type of eater are you?

Just as we have different personalities, we are different types of eaters. Here I have taken a look at just a few, but it would be great to hear about others you think of.

If you want this blog emailed to you simply sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of the blog. People are loving that!

The waste eater

coffee-creams

‘Don’t worry about the leftovers, John will clear those up.’ Are YOU John? Does your appetite know no bounds and you just cannot leave any leftovers. Kids don’t finish their tea… no  problem you are there to finish it! Macmillan cake morning, you finish ALL the leftover cake? Or maybe you actually eat the coffee creams that are left in a box of chocolates?

The emotional eater

Bad day at work and you reach for some ‘comfort food’? Or maybe you are feeling the stress and munch through biscuit after biscuit. Or you are feeling lonely and food becomes your new best friend. Food is a much used emotional reliever but unfortunately we can get to use it a bit too much and gain weight as a result. Which then causes more emotions about feeling bad about our bodies. A vicious circle!

The plate loader

eat as much as you like plate of food

Maybe you love ‘eat as much as you like’ restaurants? How exciting being able to load your plate with a wide variety of foods and as high as you like! You merrily eat your way through one plate and then go for seconds even though you are not at all hungry. After the second plate you hold your stomach and moan that you are over full! But you just have to have a go at that chocolate fountain don’t you? After all, how often do you get to use a chocolate fountain? And it’s free!

The sugar addict

Coco pops for breakfast or chocolate spread on toast, that gives you that early morning sugar kick that you need. By mid morning a chocolate biscuit seems like a good idea, but one or two are never enough and that ends up at 5! Few cups of tea with sugar throughout the day and a nice sandwich and creamy chilled desert for lunch. Now what’s for tea? Maybe a sweet & sour sauce on something but definitely ice cream for pudding. And there’s that nice big family bar of chocolate waiting in the fridge for later….. And in a sweet shop you are well, like a kid in a sweet shop!

The sniffer dog

Your partner is out. You know there must be some goodies in the house somewhere and you are going to find them! Wow those cupboards are dusty up there but nope, not there. Surely there must be a stash somewhere? So you put your best hunting skills to use and eventually find something. You want it but you don’t want them to know you’ve had it. This dilemma plays on your mind for a while but in the end you think you will replace it tomorrow and scoff it anyway.  You cannot be trusted around Easter and Christmas with all those Easter eggs and selection boxes around!

 

These are just a few light hearted types of eaters that maybe you can relate to. Just like our personalities, self awareness is key and often the first step to making changes if you want to.

Over the past week we’ve heard from 6 different guest bloggers.

Here they are if you want to catch up:

Jill Howie from Porchester told us how she changed her diet and changed her life. Read it here  

Carol Hunter from Worthing shared her bread making secrets with us. Read it here

Maggie Albrecht from London told us how she put positive thoughts into her vegetarian food. Read that one here

Rebecca Boulton a nutritionist from Yorkshared a day in her food life. Read it here

Healthnutgirl Rachel Kieffer from New York City gave us some easy healthy eating tips here

Ayurvedic practitioner, Julie Rawnsley from Ditching, near Brighton shared her Ayurvedic day with us here

It’s been wonderful hearing from so many different people about their healthy eating andover the next 9 days we will hear from even more.

Why sign up for my newsletter?

  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording
  • You will be first to hear about special offers and other exciting things

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

 

Healthy eating day 20 – What does an Ayurvedic practitioner eat? Find out here…

Julie Rawnsley is an Ayurvedic Practitioner from Ditchling, Near Brighton, East Sussex. Shes runs an Ayurvedic practice called Simply Ayurvedic. Here Julie tells us about her typical day.

A Day in the life of….

  Japanese Green Tea

What gets me out of bed in the morning is a cup of Japanese green tea. Of course it’s full of immunity-boosting anti-oxidants, but what’s really important is that I love the taste.

According to Ayurveda, when we are more or less in balance we will have healthy cravings; so by listening to our bodies we can stay on track. The tea is my early morning ritual and time for myself. To make a perfect cup of green tea, use a loose leaf tea and water at 80° rather than boiling as this allows the flavours to develop fully.

No ‘one size fits all’

Sourdough spelt bread

In Ayurveda there is no one-size-fits-all diet. There are three constitutional types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha: each comprised of different elements and each with differing dietary needs.

As I am predominantly Vata (air and ether elements), I need more earthy, grounding food to balance: Carbs! I make my own sourdough spelt or rye bread which I love. These grains are much easier to digest than wheat and the sourdough process makes it even better.

This morning I had one with tahini and another with homemade blackberry jelly: Heaven! But if I’ve eaten late and I need a lighter breakfast I might have an Ayurvedic Green Smoothie instead.

Mung on the move

Mung soup

When I’m working in London I take a thermos of mung soup. This is filling but very easy to digest. A protein-based meal helps to stimulate the neurotransmitters which make you more alert, so it’s ideal for a working lunch.

As I’m often seeing clients back to back in London with breaks at odd moments I will generally need an energy bar as a snack. When I’m at home I have a larger lunch and prefer not to snack in between as it can weaken digestion.

Mung Soup Recipe

I love my thermos!

thermos

Warm drinks support good digestion: Mine’s a roibos-based herbal tea.

“But why does our digestion need so much support?” I hear you asking.

Answer: Without good digestion, you can’t have good health.

I remember my first Ayurvedic Consultation:

“How’s your digestion?”

“Fine.”

 In fact it was anything but fine, but because I was so out of touch with my body I really had no idea. I would eat constantly, grazing, eating from boredom rather than hunger. No wonder I felt tired and out of sorts!

My evening meal

stir-fry-png

If I’m at home I’ll have my evening meal as early as 5.30 or 6.30pm as we eat with the kids. When you eat can be just as important as what you eat, and eating earlier allows your body plenty of time to digest before bed.

Carbs are definitely on the menu as they stimulate serotonin release, which helps you sleep well. We always eat together and I’ve never had problems with picky eaters. The kids love stir fry with basmati rice and eggy strips. Colourful, healthy and easy to cook: What more could anyone want?

Homemade biscuits

homemade biscuits

My ten year old had great fun making these biscuits. Making your own deserts means you can eliminate white sugar, which is more or less banned in this house.

Having said that, I don’t have any blanket bans as such, because I find rigid rules can be in themselves quite unhealthy and we tend to desire the things we forbid!

The emotions aroused by food can be quite intense. However, the Ayurvedic approach can help you to become more balanced, so that you actually prefer to eat foods that are good for you. Then eating a healthy diet becomes effortless and joyful.

 

A note from Honey

Thank you Julie for that insight into the wonderful Ayurvedic way of life.

What’s in this blog for you:

  • 30 days of blogs from a variety of people including experts to give you ideas and top tips for healthy eating
  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

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