Immune Boosting Heroes

With the current focus on a particular virus, it’s a good moment to consider whether we are offering our immune systems enough support. The strength of our immune system is dependent on our diets, environment and lifestyle, including our levels of stress. The bottom line is that pathogenic microbes can cause disease, but only if our immune system is compromised. Or another way of putting it is: To prevent disease, we have to create health.

We want a rainbow of fruit and vegetables in our diets daily. The minimum is 5 a day but better to aim for 7-10.

Here are a few of the real heroes of the immune system: READ ON

Love Your Legumes!

Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are practically a yogic way of life! Occupying a central role in a nutritious and sustaining diet, we would benefit from eating them in some form several times a week and are encouraged to do so by Yogi Bhajan. In terms of nutritional therapy, legumes are considered a superfood and with good reason: READ MORE

Delicious, Golden, Caramelised, Nutty Ghee!

The first thing I want to tell you about ghee is that it is way easier to make than you might imagine. The seemingly mysterious alchemy of turning butter into this versatile, delicious fat with it’s distinctly nutty/toffee-like aroma and taste, put me off making ghee for a long time. But no! I am here to tell you that it is quick and easy to make and once you start, you will wonder how you ever managed without ghee in your life! READ MORE.

Autumn Bounty

Autumn is the official harvest time in nature where we are blessed with an abundance of nourishing foods. As the weather becomes cooler and the days become shorter, we respond naturally to our increased desire for cooked foods.

Our dietary requirements shift, embracing newly harvested complex carbohydrates such as root vegetables, squashes, corn, legumes and whole grains.

Yogi Bhajan encourages us to increase our intake of earth foods, which grow below the ground as the nights draw in. READ MORE.

Focus on Fruit

Yogi Bhajan advised us that if wanted to elevate our consciousness, we should eat etheric foods grown on trees and vines more than three feet above the ground. Referred to as sun foods due to the fact that they have absorbed energy from the sun rather than the earth, many fruits fall into this category and are naturally perfect summer food being light and hydrating. READ MORE.

Spotlight on Superfoods

There are certain foods that crop up time and time again in Yogi Bhajan’s recipes and with good reason too, as you could call them superfoods. Let’s have a closer look at the fab four:

ONIONS & GARLIC

Onions and garlic have been used throughout history and has even been found in the Egyptian pyramids! Both of them are fantastic for our immunity as they are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and can lower blood pressure. READ MORE

Spring Cleansing Part 3: Roar for Raw!

Summer is here and the sun is out, so if you’ve ever been tempted to try a raw food diet, then this might just be your moment.

What’s it all about?

  • This is food in its most nutritious state, with the vital elements of nature still within it – sun energy, water and nutrients from the earth, so it’s no surprise to find that it must consist of unprocessed and uncooked foods.
  • To be truly following a raw food diet, 75% of your total food intake has to be raw. More commonly, it is a vegan diet but it is possible to include raw fish, eggs and meat.
  • The only way food can be cooked is by using a dehydrator where the temperature never goes above 118 degrees F (48 degrees C). So you can use a conventional oven if the temperature goes down low enough.
  • You can eat a raw food diet with no special tools at all, but the following will allow you more scope for variety: Blender, food processor, juicer (masticating is best), spiralizer (fabulous for courgette spaghetti) and a dehydrater. READ MORE

Spring Cleansing Part 2: The Cleansing Power of Foods

Veg

“By nature the month of April, can give you a total new lease, eat light and eat right. In spite of the taxes and cleaning the houses and all other stuff, this is one time that you can give yourself a new sprouting energy.” Yogi Bhajan

Our diet should support the body’s natural detoxification processes by ensuring that we are taking in the right balance of nutrients at the same time as not burdening the system with congesting toxins.

So when are considering foods for cleansing, we need to consider what we put in….and what we take out! What this looks like ultimately is an alkalising diet, which is primarily a plant-based, whole food diet, low in animal protein, dairy, processed grains, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. READ MORE

 

Spring Cleansing Part 1: From the Inside Out

Spring flowers

Spring is in the air and everything that meets my gaze from the budding crocuses to the flowering blossom makes my heart sing with optimism. The promise of new growth, a fresh start and a little more warmth in the air stirs us out of hibernation and into action. It’s the perfect time for turning our attention to spring-cleaning within, so the next three blogs will all be around the subject of detoxification, a corner stone of naturopathic practice.

In the first of this detox trio, I’ll be sharing some facts on the importance of optimum hydration and physical detoxification protocols that impact profoundly on the health of our internal organs.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY DETOXING?

Our bodies are constantly under siege from toxins. Some are by products of normal body functions, some are ingested, such as caffeine and over the counter drugs, and then there are environmental pollutants like mercury in fillings or flame retardant chemicals in soft furnishings.

All these factors increase the toxic burden on the systems and organs of our bodies. But I’m happy to report that we can take steps to neutralise and discharge accumulated waste and build up of toxins by supporting the body’s own elimination channels: the bowel, liver, kidney and bladder, skin and mucous membranes, lungs and the lymphatic system. READ MORE

Breakfast Re-set!

Leek, cougette & feta omelette 2

I used to have trouble with a Western breakfast. I can’t abide porridge, muesli leaves me cold, toast leaves me heavy and fruit is somehow not enough. Then a couple of years ago I went to Japan with my sister and my Japanese brother-in-law and found myself in breakfast heaven! Pickles, omelette, miso soup, fish and all sorts of other savoury delights, all exquisitely presented, making my taste buds dance and leaving me completely satisfied. Now I wasn’t ever going to get up at 5am to start pickling the daikon as my brother-in-law’s mother does, but it did get me starting to think creatively about what I wanted to eat when I broke my fast each day. It allowed me to be unshackled from the admittedly self imposed restriction around what breakfast should look like.
So here are some of my current favourites:

THE SUBSTANTIAL BREAKFAST

When I have a little more time in the morning and often when I’ve done a strong yoga practice or have come back from a swim and I feel in need of something substantial, I go for my favourite omelette/frittata. I gently sweat a chopped leek and courgette with a few mushrooms until soft (use a frying pan with a lid) Then I add either some cubes of feta cheese or smoked tofu and 2 beaten eggs and continue to cook with the lid off. Then I pop it under the grill for a few minutes to cook the top, slide it onto a plate and sprinkle with spouted mung beans or have a small side green salad.

THE VIBRANT BREAKFAST

Winter breakfast saladSpiralised courgette, avocado, orange, olives, red pepper, walnuts and seeds make a very delicious, nutritious and satisfying Winter Salad. It might seem a little strange to opt for salad for breakfast but give it a try – if you take the ingredients out of the fridge a while before making so you are eating it at room temperature.

Another option on a breakfast salad is

Yogi Bhajan’s Fountain of Youth

 

 THE ‘ON-THE-HOOF’ BREAKFAST

Bircher meusliOf course muesli not an unusual breakfast choice for many of us, but have you ever tried making Bircher muesli? It’s a great option when you’re short of time. The slow energy release oats are soaked overnight in apple juice and milk of your choice, then grated apple, honey, yoghurt and cinnamon are mixed in and a delicious nutty topping added. The great thing about it is that you can prepare most of it the night before; put the oat mixture into one jar and the dried ingredients into another….in the morning you add the grated apple etc. to the oat jar, tip the toppings in and off you go!

 

THE WARMING BREAKFAST

Banana & Apple SurpriseMy current favourite when I want something warm and comforting with a little bit of natural sweetness is Banana & Apple Surprise – with the surprise being a delicious layer of maca (for energy and stamina) and cacao nibs nestled between a bottom layer of mashed banana and good tahini and the top layer of warm spiced cooked apple.

 

 

 

THE CLASSIC BREAKFAST

Poached eggs on rye with rocketIt’s a classic but such a goody! Avocado on rye toast, with poached egg and rocket. Packed with protein, good fats and healthy nutrient dense dark leafy greens, it’ll set you up for the day

It’s always a good idea to include some protein in your breakfast. Some great sources are eggs, nuts & seeds, lentils & beans and tofu & tempeh. Not only does protein keep you feeling full for longer, but also it is absolutely essential for every function in our bodies.

I’ll leave you with an interesting fact: The glycaemic index is the measure of classifying foods according to their potential to raise blood glucose levels, leading to a surge and then plunge in energy levels. Cooked and cooled rice, pasta and potatoes are lower on the glycaemic index than when they are hot, even if they are re-heated, leading to energy levels that are steady and more sustained….so here’s a big-up for eating the leftovers of last night’s dinner for breakfast!

 

 

 

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