Thursday, 22 March 2012

What’s in a healthy breakfast?

Breakfast can be suited to anyone’s individual needs which means you should never miss out on the nutritional benefits, even when you’re time poor. This very first meal of the day is breaking your fast from throughout the night, as well as beginning your busy day, therefore must be nutritionally adequate. You may want to start waking up your digestive system with a glass of warm water and lemon juice to kickstart your thyroid and get your digestive juices flowing.
Having a variety from day to day may ensure you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients – for example: eggs one morning and wholegrain cereal the next. Some days you may want to have a protein smoothie instead if you have had a hard training session.
Here are my top tips for breakfast:
·         Have a balanced meal – include good quality protein as a large component such as eggs or yoghurt or a protein powder or plant based proteins such as quinoa. This will ensure you don’t have an afternoon energy crash which makes you reach for sweets or stimulants!

·          Include carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index – avoid sugary cereals (such as toasted mueslis, processed cereals), avoid white bread, avoid lots of fruit and avoid sugary spreads such as jams, marmalade or chocolate spread. Instead choose whole rolled oats or steel cut oats (best cooked with 1 tsp coconut oil.. yum). Better options are sprouted or rye bread, sourdough or at least a wholegrain variety.  Check out my bircher muesli recipe below or look at purchasing a good quality seed mix such as Pura Veda.

·         So what about fats..  good ones that is! they can be included in many ways in the morning for example: avocado with your eggs, flaxseed oil drizzled over your yoghurt, Almond or Cashew spread on your bread, chia or hemp seeds in your smoothie or coconut oil in your oats. The key is to limit your portion – stick to the recommended serving but INCLUDE them and don’t be ‘fat phobic’ because they will satisfy your hunger and make sure you don’t reach for a 10am chocolate muffin or brownie!!

·          Don’t be afraid to go out and enjoy a cafĂ© style breakfast and ENJOY it.. just have it in moderation, relax, eat slowly and have good company you can laugh with.

·         As far as beverages go, I do enjoy a morning green tea or coffee (organic of course..) but try and have it away from your meals as components from these drinks can bind to and excrete key minerals such as iron and calcium from your meals. 

·         Be careful with portion size – have two eggs on one slice of bread instead of two slices, fill your plate with vegetables instead (e.g. spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes), have half a portion of your normal muesli and add puffed buckwheat or puffed millet instead.

For two great brekky recipes: Click below or the links on the right hand side of the page

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Thai food obsession

Thai is one of my favourite cuisines not just because it's tasty but because it's so easy to make a healthy Thai-inspired dish. They use alot of fresh vegetables, lean meats and an abundance of fresh and interesting herbs. I especially love the subtle but powerful influence that Kaffir lime leaves have. Culinary herbs are very therapeutic due to the antimicrobial properties - this includes coriander and basil. They help to eradicate intestinal parasites and bad bacteria and are beneficial to the immune system. A good investment is an authentic Thai cookbook, it also educates on healthy cooking techniques such as poaching and steaming. I hope you enjoy my recipe of San Choy Bao (slightly deviated from the authentic recipe..)


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Mindful eating

Just a little thought for the day on mindful eating - a concept based on the principle of encompassing inner wisdom when choosing what to eat, how you're eating and how the food is prepared. By having this mental awareness of how the food is nourishing your body, the energetics that accompany the food and being aware of hunger and satiety, it supports your physical digestion and assimilation of the food.

Think of two scenarios - one where you are in a rush, you whip up something quick and unsubstantial like processed cereal and milk and scoff it down while on the phone or trying to get ready for work - all while the thoughts of meetings, deadlines and errands to run for the day are clouding your mind. Then think of when you allowed time to prepare for a few minutes a more nurturing meal - maybe some sourdough bread with hummous and sliced tomato or eggs and avocado, your senses take in the smells and sight of such fresh and delicious food, then you sit down to eat, no distractions and relax, chew your food thoroughly and enjoy every mouthful. How do you think your digestive system is responding in these two scenarios?

It is not surprising that many symptoms of bloatedness, excessive hunger, burping, abdominal discomfort and reflux start can be solved with eating behaviour. So take the time to relax, enjoy your meal and gauge when your body is telling you you're full and content.