Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Food Prepping in Advance

So important it is when you are training at the gym or just on the go, to prep your meals and have plenty of snacks to keep you motivated; fulfilled and the blood sugar level for optimum well being and fitness.
I have found that food prepping may take some time but during the overall week it actually saves time.  I do not prepare all meals at the weekend and I will explain why...

The idea of prepping for a whole week for me is not ideal because I like freshly prepared meals and salads.  Therefore I still like to prep my meals but try to do this on a regular/ daily basis.  It actually makes me feel a bit sick knowing that people prepare their meals (including meat, which I do not eat!) at the weekend for the whole week.  Stinking, rotten meat mixed with your carbs a week old -  no thanks.  I actually rarely eat cooked vegetables during the day so cooking vegetables other than carbs does not make sense to me but I understand that some people do have their personal preferences!

So in general preparation is on a day -to-day basis with some weekly shopping to make sure you have enough fruits and vegetables to sustain your lifestyle.


You may need to prep up to 3 - 5 meals a day to take with you so you need to be able to guide yourself when it comes to quantities and allocate enough for other meals also.  The maximum meals I would take with me would be 3 with some snacks.  Remember that keeping hydrated is the number one priority and always keep the blood sugar level.  I often use coconut water to help with my hydration (and I love Chi at the moment)




Food that lasts all week that you can prep:

Sweet Potato (I skinned and diced the sweet potato on the weekend and had enough for several meals throughout the week).
Snacks (You can obviously buy prepackaged snacks; but making your own granola snack is a good way to monitor the ingredients.  Alternatively you can add nuts; seeds and dried fruits and bag them in small quantities so that you can munch on the go!)

Food that you can prep the night before:


  • Cooking the sweet potato can be done the night before for lunchs/meals especially if it is diced as it is easier to pack into small containers and it is not messy or smelly.
  • Quinoa is a great option, a complete protein tastes good cold and mixes great with salads.  It also lasts without going mushy.
  • Salad can be prepared the night before especially if it is a bell pepper or celery/ carrot/ cucumber/ spinach/ beansprouts but some of the salad items may not store well such as diced onions or avocado which tends to brown quickly when exposed to air, so if you are taking salad as a lunch be selective with your salad items, adding additional ones in the morning won't take up too much time if the majority of the salad is prepped.
  • Rice.  I would not really want to eat cold rice but if you have the right container it may store and keep especially brown rice - this generally tastes okay even when cold, but personally it is not my favourite.

The main points in food prepping for me are:

Keep it as fresh as possible but preparing as much as you can whilst no letting veg go stale or soggy.

Food that needs to be prepped on the day:

Fruit.


I say this because in my experience even cutting the fruit the night before (unless it is melon or citrus fruits) exposes the fruit to air and this can cause a brown tinge to the fruit and spoil it quicker which can make it go mouldy in your lunch bag.  Best sticking to preparing fruit in the morning.

Overall vegan food prepping is easy and very vibrant and colourful.  It is so great opening your freshly prepped meal when done correctly.  It is completely satiating and satisfying knowing you did it yourself and didn't spend several pounds at the local canteen paying for their version of what you wanted.  You know exactly what went into the food; how it was kept; where it was kept and this is key for clean living.

The overall pros for prepping


  1. Saves time
  2. Cost effective
  3. Less Stress
  4. You know what went in it
  5. Controls the quantities
  6. Fresh satisfying meals regularly
  7. Keeps blood sugar level
  8. Eating healthier on a regular basis
  9. No excuses to get off the health food as you are always prepared!
  10. Bright, Colourful fresh foods cheer you up!
Here's a great video I found on a new container specifically for salads:

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Salt Gargling

Recently I was watching 'Vice' on YouTube and came across this video that showed a man living on a deserted island.  He has not yet become completely self sufficient yet he claims that his body is free of bacteria as he says he gargles with salt from the sea every day.  He says that when he visits the mainland he has to take a bottle of salt water so that he can gargle and this supposedly keeps him healthy.

So I started to research and gargling with salt actually has many health benefits:



  • The salty environment prevents bacteria growth
  • The salt can eliminate bad bacteria
  • Increases pH balance
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Freshens the breath
  • Helps to alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat
Video: The Benefits of Gargling With Salt Water





So along with oil pulling, your oral health can be 100% naturally rectified!

This video also has a lot of useful information for eye; nose and throat sole solution:



Sunday, 1 March 2015

Do You Eat Tinned Food?

Safe to say my diet consists of mainly fruits; veges; nuts & seeds.  Occasionally some cheese & chocolate (which are my weakness!).  However, one thing that is NOT in the cupboard are tins!  Even eating vegetarian it is easy to eat tinned food, however did you know...




Reasons NOT to eat from a can:

Food is not as fresh

Metals leach into the food creating a toxic concoction

Cans contain BPA (Bisphenol A) (hormone disruptor/can cause cancer/ can effect the heart)

Canada banned BPA in 2008 declared it to be toxic


Not to mention the strange creatures that are often found inside the cans:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11391939/What-is-this-mystery-sea-creature-found-in-tin-of-tuna.html


Further issues with canned food:


Tinned or Tuna is laden with mercury!
So the verdict is don't eat canned food.

Things to exchange instead of canned food:

Tinned tomatoes - choose fresh; cherry or large tomatoes to exchange from tinned.

Tinned beans - buy dried beans and soak overnight.

Tinned sweetcorn - buy frozen sweetcorn (add some salt and leave to soak overnight in cold water to defrost).

Tinned soup - Home made is always best!  Make your own soup and freeze portions!

Overall, steering clear of the 'tinned aisle' will steer you towards fresh whole foods and make your prepare in advance!

My favourite glass jars for any kind of storage are Le Parfait brand, so if you have to store something... buy some of these!


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What Toothpaste Do You Use?

Everybody has their personal preference when it comes to toothpaste, and some are very particular.  I know I used to be, buying the 'Beverly Hills' 'HollyWood smile' or whatever it is called.  I wanted an ice white smile like those celebrities.  I had cosmetically whitened my teeth where you wear the molded gum shields and let me tell you it was expensive; timely and slightly painful but it did create the perfect result. My teeth were white and pearly, however, that was the beginning of my research into the perfect white pearly smile.



Why do teeth get discoloured?

Food particles, drinking darker coloured hot beverages can often lead to discolouration of the teeth.

How can you whiten your teeth?

Obviously you can go the cosmetic route which does whiten them effectively, but it costs and the process has to be repeated.  Visiting the dentist may help to remove plaque and residue on the teeth, but personal responsibility on a day-to-day basis is a must.  That means that monitoring your intake of coffee/sugar/ darker foods or foods that are coloured (beetroot/turmeric/dark green foods even though these can be healthy, they can stain the teeth).

After the initial results, cosmetic whitening needs 'topping up' or repeating because the teeth naturally get stained with food and tea/coffee.  This again is costly, including the whitening gels which you can get (so you keep the gum shield and top up with the gels).  I don't want to know what was in the gel, but lets just say that keeping a bleaching agent on your teeth for 8 hours a night cannot possibly be good for you).  Little did I know the affect that this was actually having on my teeth.

Therefore, I decided to go on a quest to find the perfect whitening solution.  It was not until 2009 did I discover 'oil pulling' and after that I didn't go back to the cosmetic gels.

The teeth are made up of an inner layer of dentin an outer layer of enamel which is harder and a dental pellicle forms on the surface of the enamel which is a protein.  You may have seen plaque also present on the teeth which is bacteria that builds up and is quite difficult to remove.  If you think about cosmetic whitening all it is actually doing is bleaching the colour of the plaque and the teeth and not actually removing it!  That would be like spraying a surface with bleech without actually wiping up the mess!

So during my research as I have blogged before, I found a brilliant book by Dr Bruce Fife:


Oil pulling is actually an Ayurvedic medicinal practice which must give it some credence.  The idea is that the oil is swished around the mouth and by pushing and pulling the oil swishing it through the teeth the oil magnetizes the bacteria and after about 15 minutes the oil can be rinsed out along with the bacterial load.  This makes a lot more sense rather than just plastering over the issue with bleach.  What results from oil pulling is absolutely astounding.  Not only do the gums tighten up; the body can start to eliminate further disease from the body.  Dr Fife says "all disease starts in the mouth" and with that said he states that "The human mouth harbors over 600 types of bacteria.  The total amount of bacteria is estimated to be around 10 billion".  He goes on to say in his Oil Pulling book that "brushing only reaches 60 percent of the surfaces of your teeth, leaving plaque in hard-to-reach areas such as in-between teeth."

We have to ask ourselves if we intend to whiten our teeth, maybe its not just about getting rid of the stains but minimizing the bacterial load.

After reading the book Oil Pulling Therapy, I chose to use coconut oil to oil pull as this seemed the most optimal oil, plus it is white and therefore would not stain the teeth in the process.  My initial reaction was astounding.  Not only do the gums feel tighter, the teeth started to become whiter in colour, and I felt like I was detoxing physically!  This was to be a positive tool to implement on a daily basis.

"Oil pulling is a tool that is useful for removing harmful bacteria from the mouth." ~ Dr Bruce Fife

However it does not solve all problems.  As the bacterial load may be reduced your body's natural defense system has then to jump into action.  The oil may remove the bacteria and to some extent the plaque, but the body itself has to clean house, not the oil!  So it really is about the body and the mouth being in harmony by using a natural tool that can help eliminate a health problem.

Using coconut oil when oil pulling is also just as good as using a mouthwash.  Coconut is anti-microbial anti-fungal and therefore is an excellent oil to for this purpose.

Now here comes the tricky bit:

You have have to swish the oil around the mouth for at least 15 minutes before a meal (preferably in the morning).

You must not swallow the oil because it contains all the bacteria you are getting rid of!

You cannot put this oil down the sink because it will block the drain (so best off putting this oil in the bin!)

You still need to brush your teeth!

You need to do this on a daily basis for at least one month to see a difference.

So overall it is a little bit more time consuming than a quick fix gel tooth whitening experience or even whitening toothpaste, but the results are more natural and in the process your body can naturally detox and heal.

Other helpful ingredients that naturally whiten teeth include:

  • Sodium Bicarbonate



To get rid of further bacteria, iodine can work efficiently:




Friday, 20 February 2015

New Read for Feb

You may be like me who likes reading but takes forever to finish a book.  I like buying new books but I find it a challenge to finish them.  Probably because there are so many distractions namely life!  I have recently been reading a book called Cellular Awakening by Barbara Wren.  The interesting features of the book is when she talks about 'dehydration alert' which basically means that the body cannot heal until it is fully hydrated. Wren talks about the shift of magnesium and potassium which moves out of the cell during the day, allowing sodium; calcium and lipids to enter the cell.  By night, the process is reversed and the magnesium and potassium enters the cell whilst the sodium; calcium and lipids move out of the cell.  




One of the main things which is re-iterated throughout the book is 'switching off' the dehydration alert in order for the cells to become hydrated and fully functional. You have the opportunity within the book to do your own 'case history' which is probing to say the least.  If you are honest with yourself, you can really start to answer the questions and see patterns of being including the affects of any vaccinations you may have had.  Obviously it is helpful to use this book in conjunction with a homeopath as this can aid your own personal healing journey.  Especially when it comes to the techniques she mentions towards the end of the book.  Her suggestions for generating more energy and electrical potential in the cell which could help to draw out toxicity and eliminate disease include:

Hot & Cold Showering

Skin Brushing

Epsom Salts Baths

Castor Oil Packing

Enemas

Urine Therapy.

The main thing I got from the book is that we are transmitters and receivers of the light and that in order to reach our full potential we have to be fully hydrated and cleanse the cells.  A great quote that Wren says in the book is "To biochemically switch off the body's dehydration alert is quite a lengthy process.  We need to change the structure of the cell membrane in order to be able to fully hydrate and utilize light, and this takes time."

The only thing I disagreed with in the book was the suggested meal plans which included meat, I have an issue with this because even though I have eaten meat in my life, I am vegetarian (and practically vegan apart from cheese!) and also I have been mainly vegetarian throughout my life.  For those who do eat meat/fish it may be perfect, but for me,  the oils I would consume would be not derived from animal products but from avocado/nuts/coconut oil etc.

Watch the youtube video for further info:




Sunday, 15 February 2015

What I am loving this month...

This month I have found some most excellent deals on my absolute favorites.  Have a look  below and check out this awesomeness!  The Lush products were not on sale but being Lush how could I resist?!

NATIO...


Absolutely love the Natio brand made from gorgeous ingredients.  The Natio Live lipgloss was on offer at a snip for £2.20 at Tesco.  Love this colour a peachy nude with a shimmer tint.  Really nice look and a bargain!

VITA COCO...





My absolute fav drink in the world besides the real coconuts! Asda (Walmart) have put this on offer at £1.89 (around this price) at the moment.  Never seen the 1 litre cartons so cheap.  Must be getting popular!  The regular price is £3.50 so get it whilst it lasts!  I bought more than 4 obviously!  This stuff really hydrates the colon, and clears the skin of imperfections.  It is a great base for smoothies and protein shakes.

LUSH!

Absolutely love this combo.  Lush Big shampoo with chunky bits of salt really work the hair into a fluffy lather and strips the oil from the hair.  Replenishing American Cream conditioner is so sweet and dreamy an absolute must for February this year. Just because!

WELEDA HANDCREAM



During the frosty, windbiting months, one needs an extra helping hand to keep the digits hydrated and free from dry skin.  That's why I am absolutely loving the Weleda Pomegranate Hand Cream.  A little goes a long way and the smell is quite fruity!

Enjoy and have a great week!








Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Intuitive Eating

When shopping rather than write a list become inspired and drawn towards foods that you feel you would want to eat.  This may be quite random and spontaneous at first however, you may be drawn towards foods which are new and that you may have never tasted before.  Be inspired to look at the colours of the foods and select them based on how you are feelings rather than sticking to a recipe. This will jumpstart your creativity in the kitchen as you decide what to do with the fennel you picked up but haven't got a clue what to do with!
If you mix things up in your shopping basket you will start to use new ideas and ways of creating some tailor made recipes.  The body automatically knows what it needs intuitively therefore being intuitively inspired will help you reconnect with your body and you will feel that connection between your mind your body and your feelings.  
When you choose the denser foods such as wheat; corn and sugar, make a mental note of how you are feeling what you are thinking before you buy the food.  Most often, the blood sugar level may be low, or it may just be a feeling of comfort that you are after.  Either way, don't beat yourself up, just intend to go shopping for healthy foods and watch them be attracted in to your experience.  No diet lifestyle is perfect, it is a journey to optimize your well being therefore if you fancy a biscuit then just eat it!  It is no good eating 100% raw fruits and veges if you are depressed.  However, raw fruits and veges are usually the first step towards feeling more cleansed as they are more easy to digest and if they are not GMO then they are in a more natural state.
So be inspired to eat intuitively and watch how your health improves.