Category

Seasons

Happy Liver Foods by Lindy Cook, Naturopath and Nutritionist

By | Seasons, Nutrition | No Comments

It’s pretty hard to avoid not having a few extra drinks at this time of year, it goes with the territory. While it’s important to remember to keep your alcohol intake moderate and stay well hydrated by keeping your water intake high, there are also numerous herbs and foods that will support the livers detoxification pathways and regeneration of cells.

Herbs such as St Mary’s Thistle and Schisandra have regenerative qualities, while dandelion root, globe artichoke and golden seal get the bile moving to break down some of those extra fats you might be indulging in and ensure your detox pathways are fired up and working well.

As always, my favourite way to look after your liver

is through the use of ‘food as medicine’.

Cruciferous vegies such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and bok choy help support the detoxification process of the liver.  There really is a good reason to eat extra kale this time of year!

Include foods rich in the liver’s favourite nutrients (lipotropics) to support fat metabolism – choline and inositol (whole grains, legumes, egg yolks and lecithinmethionine (garlic, onion, legumes, eggs, yoghurt and sardines  and carnitine (avocado, fish, beef and chicken).

B Vitamins (raw nuts and seeds, wholegrains and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables and legumes).

‘Good’ fats generally improve liver function, support blood sugar regulation keeping us feeling full for longer, reduce inflammation and enhance our immunity.  Think oily fish, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed oil, coconut oil, olives and legumes. ALWAYS check your fish is sustainably sourced. Our oceans are incredibly depleted and we need to do our bit to help conserve those that are left.

Dandelion root tea is a natural liver tonic. With a slightly coffee-like taste, it can be drunk with your choice of milk or ‘black’. The bitterness stimulates digestion, enhances the detoxification role of the liver and can improve bowel function. Try making your own chai dandelion for extra digestive support and deliciousness.

Warming Winter Foods By Lindy Cook Naturopath & Nutritionist

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With the colder months upon us, now is the time to nourish and warm your body from within with the foods you eat, working in harmony with nature and the winter season.

One way of achieving this goal is to flavour your foods with pungent herbs such as ginger, garlic, cayenne, turmeric and small amounts of chilli. These foods gently heat the body and stimulate the circulation while garlic has the added benefit of fighting both bacterial and viral infections and breaking down mucous.

Garlic is a great natural remedy for colds and flu, add it to your cooking or mix it with lemon, warm water and honey for a really powerful immune system kick.

Another way of protecting your body from the winter chill is to ensure your foods are ‘warm’ or heated rather than served cold. Winter is not the time for salads or too many cold fruits. Always add ginger to any fresh juices and stew fruits (served warm) to harmonise the cold element.

Cook up hearty, nutritious soups and stews filled with as many vegetables you can manage. A big pot of organic chicken and vegetable soup (with added garlic and ginger of course) is a nourishing winter feast and another great way to aid recovery from illness.

Seasonally, winter is a time to eat root vegetables. Higher in energy-giving carbohydrates, our bodies need this fuel to keep the inner winter fires burning. Choose from sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin and beetroot.

The orange vegetables are naturally high in betacarotene, an antioxidant that helps protect all the mucous membranes of the body, including the lungs. Smokers can help reduce the risk of lung cancer by consuming higher levels of betacarotene.

Beetroot gently enhances liver function thereby aiding digestion and helping to relieve constipation. It is considered a natural ‘blood tonic’, and can help boost iron levels.

These delicious foods can be roasted, blended into dips, stewed, added to soups or steamed.

Fruits tend to be better suited to the warmer weather.

However, the deliciously sweet, Australian navel orange is in season. High in vitamin C and alkalising to the body, oranges make a great winter fruit. Start the day with a fresh orange, carrot and ginger juice. This will keep your immune system primed and fight off any potential colds and flu. Include some of the pith from oranges in your juice as this helps ensure vitamin C is well absorbed and gives extra anti-viral action.

Remember to choose organic or biodynamic foods whenever possible. Not only are you ensuring your food has maximum nutritional value, your body does not have to break down the cocktail of pesticides, chemicals and additives found in conventional foods that are linked to so many chronic disease states.

Organic foods contain on average 50% more vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients! Plus, knowing you are doing your bit to support our environment is a great feeling.



Winter Abundance Bowl

with

Garlic-Ginger Pumpkin Seed Sauce


Serves 2-3

 2/3 cup brown rice

1/3 cup green lentils

¼ – ½ tsp. sea salt

1 head broccoli

1 medium sweet potato (leave the skin on if it’s organic!)

2 cups shredded red cabbage

juice of ½ lemon or lime

drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine rice and lentils in a medium bowl, cover with water and wash well, rubbing grains and legumes together. Drain and repeat until water is clear. Cover with water again and soak overnight / for up to 8 hours, if possible. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a medium saucepan place the rice and lentils, plus 1½ cups water (if soaked – add 2 cups water if un-soaked), and sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered until water has been absorbed and rice and lentils are cooked through (about 30-45 minutes depending on if you soaked the grain or not).
  3. While the rice and lentils are cooking, chop the broccoli into florets and the sweet potato into bite-sized cubes. About ten minutes before the grains have cooked (check the water level before adding veggies – if it’s dry, add a little more liquid), add the sweet potato. After five minutes, add the broccoli on top of the sweet potato.
  4. While the rice and lentils are cooking you can also blend together the sauce (see below) and prepare the cabbage: Shred cabbage using a mandoline or sharp knife. Toss with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Toss to combine.
  5. To assemble the bowl, simply spoon in the cooked rice and lentils with the steamed veggies, add the cabbage on the side and pour sauce over. Give thanks for the abundance and enjoy.

Garlic-Ginger Pumpkin Seed Sauce


Makes 2 cups


Ingredients:

1 cup/150g pumpkin seeds

3 cloves garlic

knob of fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

¾ -1 cup /175- 250 ml water

¾ tsp. fine grain sea salt

¼ tsp. cracked black pepper

cayenne pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast pumpkin seeds, stirring every so often, until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. In a food processor, pulse to mince garlic and ginger. Add cooled pumpkin seeds and blend on high until sand-textured. Add remaining ingredients (start with ¾ cup water) and blend, scraping down the sides periodically. Add remaining water as needed to suit your desired consistency. Season to taste. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

NOTE: This recipe makes quite a lot of sauce, but as it keeps for five days it’s a wonderful thing to have on hand to dress salads, roast veggies and cooked whole grains. You can easily make half the amount if you know you won’t eat it all in before it spoils.

RAW VERSION: You can also make a raw version of this sauce. To do so, soak the pumpkin seeds for 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse well. Skip step 1 in the instructions and carry on with the others.

Enjoy!

*Recipe from the always inspiring My New Roots https://www.mynewroots.org/site/

Festive Summer Foods by Lindy Cook, The Nutrition Guru

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Summer has been called the ‘season of luxurious growth’ and it is reflected in our lifestyles as a time of expansion, growth and lightness. Wake early, embrace the day and enjoy the renewed energy and spirit that summer brings. Summer is, after all, the season of vitality.

Summer foods offer abundant variety and your diet should reflect this. Seasonal fruits include apples, strawberries, boysenberries, cherries, raspberries, mangoes, honey dew melon, watermelon, passionfruit, pineapples, nectarines and peaches. Indulge in beautiful fruit compotes, blend delicious fruit smoothies and juice exotic fruits.

Berries are undoubtedly the fruits of the season. One of nature’s super foods, berries contain powerful antioxidants which are complex compounds that help de-activate the cell-damaging free radicals whose activities can lead to cancer and age-related diseases. Red berries active constituents include lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene has a wide range of activities and helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer and protects the skin from sun damage. The blue, purple and black berries contain anthocyanins and phenolics. These clever compounds help prevent conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and heart disease. A high intake of cherries can reduce the pain and inflammation associated with gout and arthritis while cranberries have an antibiotic quality that alleviates symptoms of cystitis. All berries are rich in vitamin C, improve the circulation and may reduce risks associated with high cholesterol.

Summer is the time to emphasize raw foods in your diet, as long as your digestive system is robust and functioning efficiently. Raw foods are richer in enzymes that support the entire digestive process and have lost none of the heat-sensitive vitamins and minerals in the cooking process. To cope with the summer heat, incorporate foods with cooling properties such as watermelon, cucumber, sprouts, apples, lemons and limes. Eat more lightly on hotter days to avoid feeling sluggish and remember to replace those minerals and salts that are sweated out. Keep your fluid intake high and try to include regular vegetable juices to keep your body hydrated. Vegetable juices are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Coconut water naturally hydrates and balances your body’s pH. Try making a fresh green smoothie made with coconut water – it makes a deliciously refreshing and nourishing drink on a hot day.

Summer is a season of abundance so use plenty of brightly coloured summer fruits and vegetables and enjoy making dazzling and creative meals. Enjoy this time of increased vitality.

SUMMER FESTIVE FOODS

Acai Chia Pudding

Serves 4

1/2 cup chia seeds

1 1/2 cups coconut nut milk

2 tsp coconut sugar

2 tsp Acai powder

1 cup mixed berries

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate over night or for a minimum of 4 hours.

Serving Options

Sprinkle with cacao nibs or grated 85% dark chocolate, fine dessicated coconut, berries and yoghurt if desired.

Summer Fruits Icy Poles

  • 1/2 medium watermelon
  • Handful frozen blueberries/raspberries
  • 3 kiwi fruits
  • Frozen mango pieces
  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 2 passionfruit

How to make fruit ice blocks

  1. Blend up the watermelon in a blender or food processor. It should be liquified and will be quite watery.
  2. Slice up strawberries and kiwi fruit (peel kiwi fruit first).
  3. Start by placing a mix of fruit (frozen and fresh) into the bottom of each mould. I like to place the kiwi pieces along the sides, they look so delicious this way!
  4. Spoon or pour in the watermelon mix. Gently tap the moulds so that everything settles and there are no gaps left.
  5. Place the stick into the mould and freeze for 4-5 hours or until completely set

To easily get the ice blocks out of the moulds when ready to eat, run them under hot water for 5-10 seconds so they slip out of the mould.

* Recipe from https://keepcalmgetorganised.com.au/home-healthy-fruit-ice-blocks/

Spring Time Cleansing by Lindy Cook, Nutritionist

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Spring is the season of new beginnings, of rebirth and renewal. We naturally begin to eat more lightly and cleanse the body of the heavier foods consumed during the colder winter months. Working in harmony with the season, foods still need to be cooked, but not as thoroughly. Stir-fry or lightly steam your vegetables to gain maximum nutrition yet still keep the digestive fires gently warmed.

Spring is also traditionally seen as the ideal time for the body to detoxify, with specific emphasis placed on the liver and gallbladder. Prime functioning of these organs is critical to ensure detoxification pathways function effectively and the ‘recycling’ of wastes is avoided. Some signs that your liver and gallbladder may need gentle support include: dark circles under the eyes, bad breath, difficulty losing weight, constipation and/or diarrhoea, bloating, weight stored around the abdomen, skin problems, hormonal imbalances, moodiness and fatigue.

Seasonally, nature supplies us with many of the foods that will support the detoxification pathways of the liver and gallbladder. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, silverbeet and artichoke are all abundantly available and, as you will see below, all have a role to play in aiding liver function. Fruits such as pineapple and paw paw also reappear and both contain natural digestive enzymes that help break down foods and enhance digestive functioning. ​

Simple Ways to Get Your Detox On

  • Consume bitter foods.
    Anything bitter will stimulate digestion and enhance liver function. Start the day with 1/2 a freshly squeezed lemon in warm water. Bitter greens include silverbeet, cos lettuce (outer leaves), endive, chicory, dandelion, raddichio and mustard greens
  •   Foods rich in antioxidants help the liver in its detoxification role:
  • Vitamin C (broccoli, parsley, red fruits and citrus fruits)
  • Vitamin E (raw nuts and seeds, egg yolk, wheat germ)
  • Zinc (raw nuts and seeds, especially brazil nuts and cashews, eggs, whole grains, fish such as herring and oysters)
  • Selenium (raw nuts and seeds, especially brazil nuts and cashews, eggs, whole grains, fish and seafood, garlic and onion)
  • Foods rich in ‘favourite’ liver nutrients (lipotropics):
    choline and inistol (whole grains, legumes, egg yolks and lecithin)
    methionine (garlic, onion, legumes, eggs, yoghurt and sardines)
    Carnitine (avocado, fish, beef and chicken)
    B Vitamins (raw nuts and seeds, wholegrains and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables and legumes)​

  • Keep alcohol consumption low and stick with red wine (anti-oxidant rich) or vodka and soda (low sugar). 
  • Bring in some fermented foods to your diet to help flood your gut with good bacteria. Fermented foods are really ‘food as medicine’ at their very best – they are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. Natural fermentation of foods has also been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.Think keffir, sauerkraut, tempeh, natural yoghurt and kombucha. There are many brilliant fermented foods available at your health food shop now. I am personally loving a side of Peave, Love and Vegetables green sauerkraut served up with my daily (and ever changing) protein combo. Of course, you can also make your own. Here’s how www.corporatechillout.com.au/blog/category/simple-sauerkraut-recipe
  • Steam foods or bake/fry in coconut or olive oil
  • ‘Good’ fats generally improve liver function, support blood sugar regulation keeping us feeling full for longer, reduce inflammation and enhance our immunity. Phew, that’s a lot of reasons to include some in your diet everyday!  Think oily fish, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed oil, olives and legumes. ALWAYS check your fish is sustainably sourced. Our oceans are incredibly depleted and we need to do our bit to help conserve those that are left.

  • Dandelion root tea is a natural liver tonic. With a slightly coffee-like taste, it can be drunk with soy milk, milk, honey and ginger and will enhance the detoxification role of the liver and improve bowel function.
  • Remember that grains put a strain on our digestive system and can ‘feed’ the wrong bacteria, leading to food sensitivities and compromised immunity. Try going grain free during a period of detoxification to give your gut a break. Coconut flour and buckwheat flour are both okay to use during this time and can help you feel a little less deprived. You might like to start your day with a buckwheat pancake.
  • Foods that accelerate healing in the liver include chlorophyll-rich foods (wheat or barley grass, spirulina and chlorella, along with green, leafy vegetables). Mung beans and their sprouts, seaweeds, lettuce, cucumber, watercress, tofu and millet improve detoxification.
  • Cut the Sugar! Leave out the processed, sweet foods and your digestion will improve, detoxification pathways function better, energy levels will rise and your body will thank you for it. Yes, it is hard to do, studies show sugar is more addictive than heroin, but the amount we are consuming in Australia is one of the factors contributing to the sad fact we are now officially one of the worlds fattest nation. If you are looking for a healthier sweet treat, try our delicious raw cacao slice www.corporatechillout.com.au/raw-cacao-slice.html
  • Incorporate a ‘green smoothie’ into your daily diet. This is a really simple way to get a big bang of nutritional goodness into your day. Use almond milk (Pureharvest – avail from your supermarket – or fresh) or coconut water (I use Raw C) as a base and combine ingredients like silverbeet/spinach/avocado/lettuce/apple/banana/lemon/cucumber/berries. Throw in some protein (my favourite at the moment is Amazonia Raw Protein) and chia seeds and blitz. Frozen fruit adds an extra thickness and creaminess to an already delicious combo. You can also try our Green Smoothie Sunrise www.corporatechillout.com.au/green-smoothie-sunrise.html or our Green ‘Zing’ Smoothie https://www.corporatechillout.com.au/green-zing-smoothie.html
  • Sulphur compounds found in the cabbage family and dandelion can improve the detoxification process of the liver. These foods include: brussel sprouts, cabbage and garlic.

Remember, by using ‘food as medicine’ and eating in harmony with the seasons you are giving yourself the best chance to achieve optimal health. Organic foods support this process and reduce the chemical load placed on the liver. Happy spring cleaning.

Autumnal Foods by Lindy Cook, Nutritionist

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The days of bright berries, crisp salads and exotic summer fruits are behind us for another year. With autumn upon us it is time to slow down and allow our energy to slowly turn inward and contract. Autumn is the season to regain balance, a time to pull inward and gather together on all levels, a time to store food and prepare for the approaching stillness of winter. Allow yourself to find comfort in your inner sanctuary through meditation and contemplation.

Heartier, richer dishes will support and ground you. Add a little more sea salt and some extra oil (avocado, olive, coconut, macadamia) to warm your body while avoiding the raw, cooling foods of summer. Brown rice, miso, lentils, tofu, tempeh, greens and root vegetables and mixed seaweed vegetables will provide the nourishment and sustenance required for the cooler months ahead. 

Fruits are still plentiful throughout the autumnal season. Choose from an abundant array of apples – pink lady, gala, fuji, granny smith, jonathans, red delicious, golden delicious and snow!

Nature’s superfood

Another of nature’s super foods, they offer countless health benefits. Make sure you always consume the outer peel as pectin levels are concentrated here. Pectin contains soluble fibre that slows digestion and helps balance the blood sugar levels, while also lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. Research has shown that phytochemicals in the apple skin restrict the growth of colon cancer by 43 percent. Apples are also the richest source of the flavonoid quercertin, a powerful compound that protects the body from many cancers, exerts an anti-allergy action and reduces the risk of thrombotic strokes.

Apples are delicious and can be prepared in countless ways

Grate them onto your cereal to make a juicy bircher-style muesli. Stew them with pears and apricots, add a dollop of natural yoghurt, a tsp of chia seeds and a sprinkle of ground linseeds then serve as a sensationally sweet but healthy dessert. Alternatively, try baking apples with cinnamon and cardamom to warm and strengthen your digestive fires. Freshly juiced apples tone and cleanse the body by purifying the blood, promoting intestinal activity and easing constipation. Apples are rich in vitamin C and potassium. 

Autumn is the season of balance. Allow a calming, grounded energy to bring focus in preparation for the peace and stillness of the winter months ahead. 

APPLE CINNAMON QUINOA BREAKFAST BAKE

A warm, wholesome, and satisfying breakfast or snack for those cooler mornings. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

2 apples, peeled, diced

1/4 cup raisins

2 eggs

2 cups soy/almond/rice/cows milk 

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup almonds, chopped

Topping (Optional)

Yogurt: Greek (cows)/coconut/soy

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 18cm x 28cm (7-by-11-inch) baking dish (20cm x 20cm or 8-by-8 inch works too).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the uncooked quinoa with the spices. Pour into greased dish.
  3. Sprinkle the apple and raisins on top of the quinoa.
  4. In that same small bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the soy/almond/rice/cows milk and maple syrup.
  5. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.
  6. Bake for one hour or until the casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left.
  7. Allow to cool, and then cover and refrigerate.
  8. In the morning, cut a square, microwave it on a plate, and enjoy alone or with a few dollops of Greek/coconut yogurt.

from http://www.popsugar.com.au

A Nutritionist Guide to Surviving The Festive Season, by Lindy Cook

By | Seasons, Nutrition | No Comments

I don’t know about you but life seems to speed up a notch (or two) once the festive season begins. End of year work parties, catch ups, warm weather and dinners out, things just start to get just a little crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I really love it and spend most of winter looking forward to pulling out my summer dresses and sandals, enjoying the warmer weather and a bit more socializing. It can also feel like a bit of a survival test. Just how many times can you go out in one week and keep your health and energy levels up? It’s always good to know that quieter times are not too far off, when you get to kick back a little and really enjoy summer. Still, the goal is to get there feeling pretty good, ready to embrace a new year with spark. Here are a few of my tips to help you get there not just in one piece, but in great health too.

Energy Boosters

Being extra busy is fun but it can be tiring and stressful. At times like these our need for certain nutrients can greatly increase. If you don’t generally take supplements, this may just be the time to consider it, to give the boost you need to get you over the line in good shape. Consider a good quality B Complex or Magnesium (more on that later) or herbs like Withania, Siberian Ginseng, Rhemania and St John’s Wort. These help increase your resistance to stress, leaving you feeling calmer and more able to cope with a full schedule. The B group vitamins — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 — play an important role in keeping our bodies running like well-oiled machines. These essential nutrients help convert our food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day and are involved in the manufacture of neurotransmitters like serotonin. They are critical nutrients for all things mind-related: mood and memory can benefit from the B’s. In the right amounts, the B’s can quell anxiety, lift depression, ease PMS, and boost your energy. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Add them to your salads, smoothies and spread on your wholegrain bread.

Magnesium – Adrenal Superfood

Magnesium is probably the most prescribed nutrient I use in clinical practice and truly is your nervous systems friend. It helps regulate cortisol levels and promotes feeling of wellbeing. One of the great things the majority of my patients find is that it gives them a very quick boost to their energy levels. I generally recommend supplementing with a powdered form, it is better absorbed and faster acting. Apart from nourishing the adrenals, magnesium is also a key cofactor in the ATP cycle – how we manufacture energy – and is also an essential mineral that is used by the body in over 300 different biochemical processes. Because magnesium is so widely used, it is easy for it to become depleted. Common signs of magnesium deficiency include muscular cramps and spasms, headaches, eye twitches and even a decreased resilience to stress. Magnesium deficiency is surprisingly more common than you may think.

Magnesium comes in a wide variety of foods, from nuts and seeds, to leafy greens and grains. Include these nutrient-rich foods in your diet to support your magnesium status:

  • Nuts and seeds – Raw almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sesame seeds.
  • Green leafy vegetables – Kale, silver beet, chard and spinach.
  • Whole grains – Quinoa, wheat, buckwheat and rye are not only high in magnesium, but other nutrients too.
  • Dark chocolate – Feel like a treat? Raw cacao is also high in magnesium and makes a great guilt free treat in moderation. Just make sure it has above 75% cacao content and is low in sugar.

Here’s a few simple ways to increase the levels of magnesium in your diet.

  • Make your own trail mix to snack on at morning or afternoon snack time. This has the added benefit of boosting your protein and ‘good’ fat levels, helping to balance your blood sugar levels and keeping you full for longer. Mix almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts with cacao nibs
  • If you are always looking for a sweet treat in the afternoon as your energy levels flag, make your own protein ‘bliss’ balls using raw cacao, nuts and dates to sweeten.
  • Over the summer months make a tasty, fresh chicken salad with magnesium rich foods – quinoa, spinach and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin and sesame seeds for added flavour and crunch.
  • Start the day with buckwheat pancakes. Buckwheat is rich in magnesium, gluten free and not even classified as a grain, coming from the rhubarb family.
  • If you need a straight chocolate hit, stay away from the processed stuff and have a couple of squares of dark, organic chocolate. Just make sure it is over 75% cacao. It’s a good source of magnesium and has much less sugar.

Blood Sugar Balancers

One thing I hear myself saying it over and over again in clinic to my patients is to include protein with every meal. Increasing your protein intake helps you feel full for longer, boosts your metabolism and maintain your lean muscle mass.  Protein also increase’s your brain’s levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone that tells you when your belly is full. Keep this in mind before you head out to your work party or Christmas function – pop some protein on your plate with a good serve of salad.

  • So how much protein do I need? The general rule of thumb is 1 – 1 1/2 palms per snack. You will be amazed that not only do you feel full for longer by doing this, you also find your blood sugar levels stay much more constant during the day.
  • Tuck in to an egg/protein shake/scrambled tofu/smoked salmon at breakfast.  Include a few nuts with your apple at snack time and make sure your salad/soup has some added chicken/fish/lentils/meat at lunch and dinner.  Between meals good protein based snacks include nuts, yoghurt, hummus with vegetables, and cottage cheese.
  •  ‘Green’ shakes with some added protein powder are one of my very favourite ways to keep my vegetable and protein intake up and are perfect for breakfast or as a snack. An easy, tasty one to start with is ½ cup frozen berries, big handful of spinach, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/4 frozen banana blended in a base of coconut water or almond milk.

Happy Liver Foods

It’s pretty hard to avoid not having a few extra drinks at this time of year, it goes with the territory. While it’s important to remember to keep your alcohol intake moderate and stay well hydrated by keeping your water intake high, there are also numerous herbs and foods that will support the livers detoxification pathways and regeneration of cells. Herbs such as St Mary’s Thistle and Schisandra have regenerative qualities, while dandelion root, globe artichoke and golden seal get the bile moving to break down some of those extra fats you might be indulging in and ensure your detox pathways are fired up and working well. As always, my favourite way to look after your liver is through the use of ‘food as medicine’. Try including a few of these goodies in your diet to keep you and your liver happy throughout the festive season.

  • Include foods rich in the liver’s favourite nutrients (lipotropics) to support fat metabolism – choline and inositol (whole grains, legumes, egg yolks and lecithin, methionine (garlic, onion, legumes, eggs, yoghurt and sardines  and carnitine (avocado, fish, beef and chicken)
  • B Vitamins (raw nuts and seeds, wholegrains and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables and legumes)
  • ‘Good’ fats generally improve liver function, support blood sugar regulation keeping us feeling full for longer, reduce inflammation and enhance our immunity.  Think oily fish, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed oil, coconut oil, olives and legumes. ALWAYS check your fish is sustainably sourced. Our oceans are incredibly depleted and we need to do our bit to help conserve those that are left.
  • Dandelion root tea is a natural liver tonic. With a slightly coffee-like taste, it can be drunk with your choice of milk or ‘black’. The bitterness stimulates digestion, enhances the detoxification role of the liver and can improve bowel function. Try making your own chai dandelion for extra digestive support and deliciousness.
  • Cruciferous vegies such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy help support the detoxification process of the liver.   There really is a good reason to eat extra kale this time of year!

Chocolate Chia Superfood Pudding

1 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk

1/4 cup chia seeds

3 tbsp raw cacao

Pinch Himalayan salt

1 tbsp of maple syrup or brown rice syrup

Optional – organic dark chocolate shavings to serve

Place all ingredients in a large jar with a lid and stir well.

Put lid on jar and pop it in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Serve with toppings like goji berries, chopped nuts, coconut and mixed berries for extra deliciousness.

Source –http://tasty-yummies.com/