Beauty begins on the inside…more specifically in the gut.
‘Gut Health’ is getting loads of attention! Due perhaps, to the connection between mental health and nutrition. Our gut is in constant communication with our brain, if we get butterflies in our stomach when we’re a little nervous or perhaps excited? It’s because we quite literally have brains in our stomachs! If that’s not astonishing enough, lets add the fact that the gut is also responsible for 90% of our body’s serotonin production, associated with our happiness levels.
Millions of these bacterial microbes live in our gut. They regulate our memory, mood, digestion, blood sugar and cholesterol levels plus immune responses, nutrient and hormone production.
Processed foods and sugars increase the growth of unhealthy strains within our gut, resulting in an increased risk of depression, anxiety and inflammation throughout the body.
Luckily for us, if we feed these little microbes the right foods, we can change in as little as 24 hours.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing trusted tips, clean food recipes and much more.
Lets all make every choice count, and glow from the inside…
Mexican beans and avocado on toast
A vibrant, Mexican-style breakfast or light lunch. Give yourself a healthy start with this easy vegan beans on toast with a gut friendly twist. Serves 2
Few cherry tomatoes, quartered
Handful young spinach
½ red or white onion, finely chopped
Scattering of sunflower/ pumpkin/ Flax or any other seeds
½ lime, juiced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle paste or 1 tsp chili flakes
1 x 400g cans black beans, drained
Small hand-full of coriander, chopped
2 slices whole meal bread
1 avocado finely sliced
Mix the tomatoes, lime-juice and ½ tbsp oil and set aside. Fry the onion in ½ tbsp oil until beginning to soften. Add chopped garlic, fry for 1 min, add the cumin and chipotle and stir until nicely fragrant. Add the beans and a splash of water, cook gently, stiring until heated through. Add the tomato mixture and cook for 1 min, Give it a hit of seasoning.
Toast the bread and drizzle with a little olive oil. Pile on some beans, arrange some slices of avocado on top, then sprinkle with the remaining tomato mixture, raw spinach, seeds and coriander leaves.
Smile and enjoy the energy boost.
February the month of love, with Valentine’s day tomorrow, everywhere you look at the moment you have symbols of love. Not all of us are in a relationship, but, this mustn’t stop you feeling the love, the love for yourself, the most important love of all.
Take a moment to think about how much you love yourself and if it is not 100% why? We need to take care of ourselves, mind, body and spirit. If we don’t nourish our soul’s, feed our bodies and take care of our minds we will become disillusioned, negative, sour and most important of all, not living the life we should.
So, on Valentine’s day celebrate YOU, make the day special for YOU and feed your mind, body and spirit with love.
“She remembered who she was and the game changed” - Lalah Deliah
When it is wet and wild outside, what a great time to get outdoors and blow away all those cobwebs. Whether you live in the country or the city a bracing walk is just so good for the soul, it invigorates, refreshes and banishes negative thoughts.
I love walking against the wind with the rain lashing down into my face it makes you feel so awake and alive. So get outside enjoy the storms and let everything go.
January was all about new resolutions, fitness plans, change. Let’s make February all about you. Yes, instead of focusing on how to improve yourself, let’s start to love ourselves NOW.
When you wake up in the morning smile, think of what makes you smile and why, maybe it’s a memory or a picture, think about this. What makes you laugh, what is your favourite song that makes you feel happy. When you wake up think about these things it will lift your mood immediately.
Then think of three words that would describe the love you have for your body, what you are proud of and say it out loud…….. by the time you finish off with a good stretch you will be feeling upbeat, strong and happy…… what a great way to start any day.
We use the aromatic mixture of spices in Garam masala as a base for this wonderful soup to give us a bowl of flavour and warmth… Super filling and healthy too. Even better if made a couple of days ahead: Serves 4
Tin red kidney beans (or any other beans)
Tin Black eyed beans (or any other beans)
1 Leek, sliced
1 Carrot, chopped
150g Mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
Tin good quality chopped tomatoes
1 Veggie stock cube in 3 cups water (or to taste)
Over a medium heat sauté the sliced leek in a splash of olive oil in a large pan for about 5 minutes until soft, Add carrot, mushrooms, and Masala powder and stir for an additional minute.
Stir in the beans, undrained tomatoes, water and stock cube. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, Season and enjoy…
When the temperature drops it is so important to keep moving, because when we get cold we tend to stiffen up and huddle, or close into ourselves and this in turn can lead to stiffness in joints, plus aches and pains
When the temperature drops a Vinyasa Flow comes into it own, it creates a warmth throughout our bodies, it stretches all our muscles and helps us breathe deeply clearing our lungs. Keeping our muscles supple is paramount in health especially as we all get older, suppleness keeps us young and helps us keep moving throughout life.
So open that mat, slip into something comfortable, take a deep breath and gently start your flow.
“Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen….. trusting that whichever way it goes. It’s for the best”
– Mandy Hale
The week started with Blue Monday and now it is Friday and we are nearly at the end of January, whether you have been doing dry January, Veganuary or started your fitness regime it has been a long month.
When the weather gets cold I find it helps to meditate and take 10 minutes in my day to contemplate, set my intentions and goals for the day. This helps me to stay focused and gives me energy and the ability to stay happy when the days are dark, think of the bright sunny days ahead and to strengthen my mind against any negative thoughts.
So if you are doing any regime this month and have got to day 25, pat yourself on the back, give praise where it is due. The days will get longer and warmer and you have given yourself a healthy start to 2019.
We all love a cup of tea, whether you enjoy a tea bag with milk, black tea, white tea or a green tea which I know I enjoy after a yoga practice, but, have you ever thought about the health benefits, or how It is collected, or what it even looks like.
Tea contains caffeine, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system which increases mental alertness, reduces fatigue and improves blood circulation. Flavonoids are an excellent source of antioxidants and tea has a good source of manganese, zinc and vitamins B, C, E and K, plus it has a natural source of fluoride which is good for our teeth.
The tea plant is an evergreen shrub of 1 to 3 metres tall and when it is harvested, the small tip leaf becomes white tea, the next 3 leaves are green tea and finally you have the black tea. All tea is good for you and comes from the same plant, it is how it is processed that produces, white, green or black tea.
We should all enjoy a good cuppa and to add a little extra health, add ginger for digestion or maybe enjoy a cup of Marsala Tea Chai to warm you up on these cold January mornings.
“If you are cold tea will warm you, if you are too heated it will cool you, if you are depressed it will cheer you and if you are excited it will calm you” - William E Gladstone
So, your feeling a little low, a little poorly, or perhaps you can feel a cold on the horizon… What do you always crave in these situations? Yes Tomato Soup, and this recipe tastes so similar to the ‘Heinz’ favourite but without the hidden sugars, salts and other nasty stuff! So comforting and warming to the tummy! Guaranteeing you feel a little better and reaching for a second helping…
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 x 400g cans chopped Italian organic plum tomatoes
800ml vegetable stock
handful basil leaves
3 sprigs parsley
Salt and pepper
Place the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and gently fry the onion, garlic carrots and celery for 10 minutes until soft. Add the canned tomatoes, stock, fresh basil and parsley. Bring to the boil, season and simmer for 40 minutes.
Puree the soup, then push through a strainer and return to the saucepan. Reheat. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve with crusty bread.
The second week of January, the resolutions are starting to get a little harder to keep up, habits are slipping back into our life. As the weather gets colder we just want to hibernate in front of the fire with big woolly jumpers watching box sets.
Don’t give up, this is a wonderful time of year to begin a new journey with 300 plus blank pages ahead of you. It is a time to dream of holiday destinations, detox the home or office and start your healthy journey whatever direction you feel that journey needs. It is exciting because you have the time to develop these new healthy habits which will then last you a lifetime.
So, pick up that yoga mat because you know once you arrive at the yoga studio you are building healthy habits and building the right frame of mind. This in turn will develop a more positive mindset which will then stay with you when you leave the studio to continue with all your new healthy habits.
“Small daily improvements are the key to long term staggering results”
What do you need on a cold winter’s day yep a traditional Neapolitan bean soup, delish, nourishing and perfect for veganuary and it serves 6, I always find it tastes better the second day. Thanks Gino D’Acampo.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin borlotti beans - drained
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans - drained
1 x 400g tin chickpeas - drained
1 x 400g tin lentils - drained
100g tinned chopped tomatoes (first time I made this I used a whole tin and it still tasted great - oops)
1.5 litres vegetable stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Place the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, fry the onion for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
Add the rosemary and chilli flakes, cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the beans, chickpeas and lentils. Stir well, cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook on a low heat, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt, fold in the parsley and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Serve in warm bowls with a few slices of warm crusty bread.
It will leave you feeling all warm and toasty inside.
Well it has arrived, was it with a bang for you? Did you creep off to bed early? Or maybe a lovely meal with friends to see in the new year? However, you decided to go into the new year I bet you have thought about resolutions, or someone has asked are you going to make a resolution to improve yourself?
But, stop, we don’t need resolutions, we are enough, we are a lovely, loving, adorable person and the only thing we need to remember in 2019 is to love ourselves, whatever our shape, fitness, food cravings. None of it matters more than loving yourself as you are.
So, in 2019 when we wake up in the morning, let’s set our intention to love ourselves, moods and all. Let us also be mindful about all our daily activities, whether we are exercising, working, eating because, a little bit of love is all we need to be a happier version of ourselves.
Happy New Year
‘Paloma Fizz’ Mocktail… Unique and refreshing with a hint of rosemary.
Ingredients Serves 2
For the Rosemary Simple Syrup: (Keep the excess in an air tight jar)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
For the Drink:
1/2 cup pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons rosemary simple syrup
1 1/3 cup Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water (available from major supermarkets)
Rosemary sprig for garnish
Grapefruit slice for garnish and Crushed ice
To make the Rosemary Simple Syrup simply add the water and sugar to a pan, add rosemary, simmer and cook until all the sugar is dissolved before letting this cool completely.
To make the drink pour grapefruit juice and simple syrup in a glass, stir to mix, add ice and top off with tonic water, garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of grapefruit.
Clink glasses with your friends and Enjoy… Happy New Year
We are in that funny time of year no longer Christmas but not quite New Year, the stress of buying all the presents, getting the decorations up and buying all the food we need for the festive season can leave us all exhausted….. it did me.
Then suddenly we are in the middle, not ready to get back to our normal routine, but also not quite ready for NYE. I mean will the outfit we were planning to wear before Christmas still fit!! Yikes!! That’s a thought.
Also, though, I don’t know about you but I’m not quite ready to think about new year resolutions yet either…. I am not ready to give up the party just yet!
However, I am ready to hit my mat, stretch, breath and work my way through a few energising flows to relax my mind and to look back at what 2018 has brought both highs and lows and be ready to embrace 2019 on Monday night. Let’s all remember 365 new days are ahead which will give us 365 new chances, bring it on.