Why Need To Add Sprirulina To Your Daily Smoothie

Spirulina is a natural “algae” cyanbacteria powder that is incredibly high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. When harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds and bodies of water, it is one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It doesn't taste the best but it's worth it. 

It is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids, and is typically recommended to vegetarians due to its high natural iron content.

The high concentration of protein and iron also makes it ideal during pregnancy, after surgery, or anytime the immune system needs a boost.
The concentration of protein and vitamins in Spirulina has led many to classify it as the “most nutrient dense food on the planet.” Compared to other foods gram for gram, it lives up to this reputation and is a great source of:

  • Protein: It is considered a complete source of high-quality protein and is often compared to eggs for the amount of protein per gram. The protein in Spirulina is highly usable. 
  • Vitamin B1: This vitamin is necessary for the digestion of fats and proteins. It is often taken for increased energy, eye health, brain function and for improving nerve functioning.
  • Iron: Spirulina is a favorite food for vegetarians and vegans because it is one of the best plant sources of iron. Even for those who consume meat, it has a highly absorbable form of iron that is gentle on the digestive system.
  • Calcium: Spirulina is also incredibly high in calcium with over 26 times the calcium in milk.

Benefits of Spirulina

  • Detoxes heavy metals from the body
  • Eliminates candiada
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Helps balance blood sugar levels - so good for sugar cravings
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Boosts energy
  • Powerful antioxidant

You can add this to a smoothie so you don't taste it as much, or bliss balls or raw slices.

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    Quinoa Seaweed Crackers

    Quinoa Seaweed Crackers

     

    Ingredients - makes 40-50 crackers

    1 Cup quinoa – Cooked as directed on back of packet
    1 Tsp Ceres onion powder
    1/3 Cup chia seeds
    1 Packet of Ceres seaweed nori snacks– I used teriyaki 1 Tsp brown onion – finely chopped

    1 Tsp salt
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1⁄2 Cup sunflower seeds
    1⁄4 Cup pumpkin seeds
    1 Tbsp sesame seeds – optional

    Method

    Pre heat the oven at 160

    Place the quinoa in a pot & cook with the onion powder.

    Put the chia seeds in a bowl with 1 cup of water & stir for 1 minute – let set.

    In a food processor place the cooked quinoa, olive oil, salt, nori snacks & chopped onion in – blend well.

    Then in a bowl combine the quinoa mix, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds & chia seeds together.

    Line a big tray (or can do two smaller trays) spread the mixture over the trays, all the way to the edges, as you want this to be super thin to crisp up like a cracker. You can now sprinkle the sesame seeds over top. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, then take out cut it into squares & put it back in the oven to cook for another 35-45 minutes.

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    Antioxidant Smoothie Bowl

    Smoothie Bowl - For Ceres Organics Wellington Food Show 

    Ingredients:

    1 Cup Almond Milk or Coconut water or Coconut milk

    1 Frozen Banana 

    1 Tbsp Almond Butter

    1 Scoop Protein Powder

    1 Tbsp Ceres Antioxidant Powder

    Handful of Ice

    Place everything in a blender and blend until thick and creamy. Pour in a bowl and top with your fav toppings, I like Ceres paleo breakfast mix and coconut chips. 

    TIP: To get your greens in add some spinach or kale, its a great way if you are not a fan of veggies. 

     

     

    Snicker Bliss Balls

    Snicker Bliss Balls - Made for Ceres Organics Wellington Food Show

    Makes 16 balls

    Ingredients:

    1 Cup Cashew Clusters

    1/2 Cup Sun-Flour 

    1/4 Cup Cacao Powder

    1/4 Cup Rice Malt 

    1/3 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter

     

    Place everything in a food processor and blend until combined. Roll into balls and place in the fridge to set.

    Enjoy x 

     

    Veggie Bread Recipe

    This is an awesome replacement if you are a bread lover! 

    This is gluten free, refined sugar-free and super healthy + you get some veggies.... winning all round really.

    You can have this toasted with some smashed avo or poached egg on top, or just as is for a snack on the run.

    Keep the bread in the fridge and lasts for 5 days, otherwise cut up and freeze it for a later date. 

    Breakfast Ideas

     If we have a high sugar breakfast like cereals,  toast, and spreads or high sugary breakfast drinks this will only lead to a spike in insulin, which will come crashing down and lead you to have another sugary pick me up - maybe that afternoon sweet craving! 

    We have all heard it a hundred times before - breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it really is though as it  does set us up for our day ahead. 
    Breakfast can be tricky as if we start early we may forget to eat, or we are in a rush - don't have anything prepared, so we get that muffin with our morning coffee. 


    We want to be smart about what we eat that this time, we want to have a good source of
    .carbs,fats and protein. The protein and fats together will leave us feeling fuller for longer as eating these together will take longer to digest. 
     But you don't have time to cook breakfast in the mornings, I totally understand that. So thinking about what you will be having for breakfast the night before will HELP a lot. Making quick and easy things you can just grab on the run that you have thought about and planned is the best way to go.
    When planning these meal you want to think..... 
    Where is my protein, carbs and fat's.

    My top picks are:

    Overnight oats

    You can make these the night before in a jar and place in the fridge and grab and run in the morning.
    Protein = protein powder
    Fats = the milk you use or the Greek yogurt, chia seeds, LSA (whatever one of these you may use)  
    Carbs = oats, fruit

    Egg Muffins
    These are great to have in the fridge for breakfast or great for a snack as well.
    Protein = Eggs, bacon
    Fats= Egg yolks, bacon
    Carbs = veggies you pop in them eg: sweet potato

    Protein Pancakes
    If you have more time you can make these or make them the night before.
    Protein = Egg, protein powder
    Fats = Egg yolk, LSA
    Carbs = Grains, berries

    I hope this helps you a bit if you find breakfast a hard one. You can find these recipes on my page. 

       

    8 Warning Signs For An Unhealthy Stomach

     

    Our stomach is a vital organ in the body as it aids in breaking down our food and releasing the nutrients into our bodies. An unhealthy stomach can contribute to a wide range of diseases.
     
    However, it can be difficult to tell if your stomach is unhealthy; some of the warning signs are little things that would not worry us day to day. I have compiled a list of signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut. 



    1. Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea.

    These are the signs most people recognize straight away as a stomach problem. These signs are caused by the bacteria living inside your stomach when the balance of bacteria is not right bowel irregularity and gas can occur. Gas, in particular, is a sign that food is fermenting in your gut, as you have insufficient stomach acid or an imbalance of bacteria to break down the food you’ve eaten. 


    2. Sugar cravings 

    Oddly enough your sugar craving sweet tooth may not be down to low will power but down to the bacteria in your body. Scientists have found that gut bacteria actually secrete special proteins that affect both our food cravings and mood. Basically the bacteria thrive on sugary food, so they make you crave it. This is the main cause of yeast infections. Over time you can reduce this craving by substituting in naturally sweet foods which will not feed the bacteria. Food such as frozen grapes, dark chocolate or even a little honey in your herbal tea. 



    3. Bad breath

    Chronic bad breath is called halitosis, and usually, it is caused by odor-inducing microbes that sit between your teeth and gums or on your tongue. Bad breath can also be caused by bacteria in the stomach. The body depends on a ratio of good and bad bacteria and having too much bad bacteria can make you vulnerable to health conditions linked to bad breath such as kidney infections and diabetes.
     
     
    4. Food allergies or sensitivities

    Food intolerances such as a reaction to gluten or dairy can often be the result of a leaky stomach (not all the time). The stomach is a sealed passageway from our mouth to our bottom, so its interactions with the other parts of the body are actually rather low. When your stomach is leaky, this means large molecules of food escape into the bloodstream. Our immune system recognizes these as “Foreign substances” because they do not belong outside of our gut. So our body attacks these food types and the immune system recognizes this as a food intolerance to try and prevent you from eating those types of foods.


    5. Moodiness, Anxiety and Depression


    Mental health is very closely linked to what we put into our bodies. A comprised stomach is unable to process appropriate nutrition’s, and this affects your ability to use serotonin (your happy hormone) and vitamin D within your body. 70% of your body's serotonin levels are found within the gut. If your gut leaks, your body loses much of the serotonin it produces. Treating your gut is a sure fire way to support mental wellbeing.


    6. Autoimmune disease and suppressed immunity


    Poor gut health means your immune system is overactive, and it becomes weakened. This is problematic in the lead up to winter as there are simply a greater number of colds and flu we are exposed to. We are just much more susceptible to catching these bugs if our gut health is compromised.


    What can we do?

     

    • Eat a diet rich in probiotic foods including sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and fermented vegetables
    • Drink bone broth. The gelatine in bone broth helps to line the gut to repair the damage caused by leaky gut. I am posting an extensive look into the benefits of bone broth later this week
    • Take a probiotic supplement. I recommend the Metagenics range, these are not sold over the counter ( let me know if you would like some) When choosing a probiotic make sure it is always stored in the fridge if only on the shelves DO NOT BUY IT! 
    • Eat a nutrient dense diet that is right for your genetics which ensures you feel full for the longest period of time. Eating in a way that promotes blood sugar balance will help relieve some of the stress your body is under, meaning it is better able to fight colds.
    • Sleep. Adequate rest helps our body restore itself

     

    Searching For The "Perfect Body"

     

    So we all search for this thing called the 'perfect body' we look in the mirror and our inner critic goes crazy.... I'm fat, my thighs are too big, I need a flatter tummy blah blah blah we all know how the story goes. 
    Well, I tell you what I I went on this same journey and put myself through extreme dieting and training for 4 years all for this 'perfect body'....Because well then it would make everything better, right? WRONG!!!
    It didn't change a thing, I still kept thinking I wasn't good enough! My inner critic still found every little thing I still needed to change or I wasn't happy with, if I reached my goal on the scales it felt good for a minute but then I changed the number and needed to get lower next week. I looked at other fitness competitors and compared myself to them! Don't get me wrong it did feel good to be so lean but I couldn't do anything but train, cook, eat and sleep because I had no energy to do anything else, my friends didn't want to hang out with me because I was grumpy all the time and 'not fun anymore'. Is that really living? 
    As soon as I did my fitness comp I would binge out and put so much weight back on (15-20Kg's) and feel shit about myself. This cycle went on for years.... But nothing ever changed because I was focusing on changing the outer to make everything better when I needed to go inside and change my inner world!!
    True change and transformation start's from within. 
    So today instead of looking in the mirror and criticizing everything about yourself you don't like, how about you give yourself a compliment about how amazing your body is for keeping you alive today, about how strong your thighs are, how great your butt looks or how much work you have already done. 
    Don't get me wrong the inner critic will always have something to say, but we don't always have to believe it!!

    Love you - you already have the perfect body, for you are so much more than your physical body! 

    Below are a few photos of me at competition and after, this went on for 4 years remember so there are a few like this haha, the funny thing is when I took the second and fourth ones I thought I was SO FAT.
    But now I see a body, an amazing body that takes me through life, that is my vessel for my soul, that has overcome so many challenges, experienced so many things and been in many different countries. So today I CHOOSE to thank this body for all that it does for me every single day, I CHOOSE to show it love and gratitude instead of beating it up and hating on it.  

    How will you CHOOSE to treat your body today...?
     

    What's In Your Cleaning Products..??

    Cleaning Products


     
    In today’s society, we are very health conscious in regards to what we are putting into our bodies. There are new studies on the effects gluten, refined sugar, and dairy have on our bodies, we are conscious of free range produce and the hormones the animals we eat are fed. However have you ever wondered what's in your cleaning products? I mean we clean our whole house with this stuff, so that means we are breathing it in, wearing the clothes washed in it, eating off plates and drinking out of glasses that have been washed in these chemicals....food for thought.
                   
                    The most dangerous cleaning products have corrosive ingredients such as drain cleaners, oven cleaners or acidic toilet cleaners.  The chemicals within these can cause serve burns on the skin, irritation to the eyes and in ingested can burn the throat and
    oesophagus. Many products include chlorine bleach and ammonia which can cause irritation to eyes, nose and lungs which is highly dangerous to those who asthma or lung and heart problems if can also cause headaches. If you have a cleaner you can't stand the smell of, that is a clear sign that your body has a build up of a chemical that is in that product.
                    A problem with these products is there is no federal regulation of chemicals used. 
     Environmental Working Group (EWG), explains, “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.” Therefore, products do not need to have the chemicals listed on the back of their packaging.
                     The average household in AAmericacan contain up to 62 different chemicals; manufacturers argue that in small amounts these toxins are not likely to cause health problems but when we are exposed to them on a regular basis it is difficult to gauge the risk involved when in contact with these chemicals. No one can avoid exposure to these toxins altogether but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the impact they have.

    Watch out for Product labels
    A large majority of cleaning products will not list their ingredients but you can learn about products hazards by reading the label. Most labels will bear a single word such as “Danger” “Warning” or “Caution” which can indicate a product’s toxicity. Products with the label “Danger” or “Poison” are the most hazardous and toxic; these products should be avoided. Look for other warnings such as “"may cause skin irritations," "flammable," "vapors harmful," or "may cause burns on contact."
    Biodegradable
    When products have this claim or something similar such as “"biodegradable in 3 to 5 days" it means the substances will eventually break down if given enough time and the right ecological conditions. And claims like "no

    solvents," "no phosphates," or "plant-based" are more meaningful than vague terms like "ecologically-friendly" or "natural."'
                    There are several chemicals are severely harmful to our bodies yet because we are unaware that they are in our daily cleaning products we are unintentionally outing our bodies at risk. There are several natural ingredients that can replace chemically laced products such as lemon juice, vinegar, and baking powder, which will actually be so much cheaper as well.

    Check out my friend's site who runs workshops on teaching you how to make your own products.http://www.madeforme.kiwi.nz/ 


     

    Scales - Friend or Enemy

    This week we are going to look at Scales; if scales have a negative or positive impact on our lives.
    Society’s constructions around the ideals of beauty and health mean that scales are often viewed in a heavily negative or positive way. Society has all these rules surrounding the ideal body and ways of regulating these ideas such as BMI, average weights, only selling certain clothing sizes in stores. All of these things enforce in our minds what it means to be “healthy”.
    Stepping on scales and seeing that little number can cause a massive amount of damage because it influences how we view our bodies and not to mention what it does to our mindset. That number dictates how we perceive our bodies, if we fit into this social ideal of “healthy”.
    A number on the scales that is not “average” or has increased since our last weighing can make us feel worthless. A number that is not “ideal” or “average” makes us feel like we are not working hard enough or putting in enough effort for our bodies.
    In reality, there are dozens of factors that can influence the number of the scale, whether we are losing weight, gaining weight or if the number stays the same.
    Lack of sleep, for example, can influence our weight. If we are tired then our body goes into stress mode and stores fat making it more difficult to lose weight, likewise if you have more water in your body than usual, if you are on your period (ladies) or are weighing yourself at different times of the day, all of these will factor into your weight.
    Diets with a damagingly low daily calorie count often show no difference on the scale because your body goes into starvation mode and stores all of its weight. Likewise muscle and fat weigh differently. You could cut out sugar, start training four times a week and feel fit and healthy but not lose any weight because muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore as you lose fat that number on the scales stays the same because you are gaining muscle.
    That is why naturally skinny people can have less healthy bodies than someone who weighs more than them. Even though the number is low they at times will have less muscle and not be as strong as other people who train regularly.
    While the scale can offer benefits to some types of training, e.g. professional body builders, fighters etc overall it is recommended that people do not focus on the number on the scale.  This number often offers more negative aspects than positive and can have a damaging effect of the way we view our bodies and mindset.
    Scales represent society’s way of regulating an idea of the perfect body, rather than conforming to this idea we should on healthier ways to monitor changes in your body. Dropping a clothing size, before or after photos, body measurements or how we are feeling or even how our energy levels are, these are all positive ways we can see changes in our bodies without the negative impact scales have.
     
    Below is a clear example that the scales are NOT a good measure for health or weight loss. The client has not changed one number up or down on the scales, but as you can see her body has changed a lot!

    So I leave you with this saying from Dr Libby:

    When you step on the scales you are only weighing your self-esteem!!  

    All About Gluten

    All this talk about gluten and how bad it is, not to mention how everyone seems to be gluten free now and has an intolerance to it....But what exactly is it you ask?

    Gluten is one of the molecules that make up the protein found in wheat. Gluten helps food maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds everything together. Gluten can be found in many other foods, even ones you would never expect from salad dressings, beauty products to even medications. It is used as a stabilizing agent in many processed foods as well.

    So how does gluten affect the body?

    Gluten - the Latin word for glue can affect the body in MANY different ways. 
    As the protein makes its way through your digestive system, your immune system into your gut, where foods gets broken down and absorbed into the body. But what happens in most cases, is we can't break this molecule down which causes havoc in the gut & body. 
    You may get some symptoms like bloating, digestive problems, constipation & many others which then lead into bigger issues in the body such as leaky gut & celiac disease.

    Gluten can not only affect the gut, but many studies are now shown how gluten can affect the brain, by giving us symptoms such as depression, brain fog, fatigue, headaches it can even show up as skin reactions. So in one way or another gluten IS affecting you and I suggest cutting it out for two weeks and see how you feel. Now that's the real test!

    If you want to more about this topic, please look up Dr Tom O'Brien he is the gluten guru.

    There is a link for a Youtube clip. 

    Common symptoms of gluten sensitivity:

    • Abdominal Cramps
    • Foggy Mind
    • Headaches
    • Balance Problems
    • Fatigue
    • Constipation
    • Anemia
    • Dermatitis
    • Joint Pain
    • Menstrual Irregularities 

    My Tips on How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

    One of the most difficult times of year for those trying to lose weight and stick to their fitness plan is the holiday/silly season. While the holidays are a time to get together with friends and family, every event and gathering is also an excuse to take a holiday from your healthy eating habits and fitness regime. A cookie here, a chocolate there, washed down with a glass of wine and before you know it you have missed your gym workout and your pants are feeling tighter.
    The good news is that with a little planning, those holiday kilos can be easily avoided while enjoying the festive season.  

    To start off here are my tips on getting through all those Christmas parties and the silly season,

    • Start the feast on a healthy and filling note- if you are preparing the food this can be a little easier. Instead of calorie laden dips and fatty appetizers choose fresh healthy pre dinner munchies. If heading out have a small healthy meal high in protein – like chicken salad so you are not so hungry and fill up on cheese and crackers as much.

     

    • Add veggie sticks and homemade dips instead of lots of crackers on platters – Pinterest has lots of great ideas for this.

     

    • If you are cooking have heaps of greens, salads and veggies as options. If you are out, head to these healthier foods to fill your plate before heading for the breads, pasta & potatoes. If you do have lots of carbs add lots of butter or cream to them as this will change the GI index and not spike your insulin levels as much.

     

    • Be mindful of portion sizes, you can even get a smaller plate and fill it. Wait 10 minutes before heading back for seconds. This will give your stomach time to digest your food and send signals to the brain to say you are full. 

     

    • Have plenty of water, as this will make you feel fuller and is also great if you are drinking and want to avoid the hangover.

     

    • Get moving and wait at least 30 minutes before hitting the deserts, if you are cooking add some healthier options on the table and fill up with them.

     

    • Take some high quality fish oil before the meal as this will help break down the fat/foods better :)

     

    • Red wine is better over white or bubbles, Vodka and soda is the best out of spirits.

     

    • Have a workout or hit the gym first thing in the morning that way you get your daily movement in, before the day gets crazy. Or try having a big heavy workout and then hit your work Christmas party as this is the best time for all the simple sugars you will be consuming.

    Most of all enjoy, DON’T feel guilty or BAD for indulging. Plan it, be present and conscious as this affects how the food will be digested. Enjoy this time with friends and family.

    Merry Christmas to you all. 

    MUG CAKE

    Ingredients

     

    3/4 cup Almond meal 

    3/4 cup Coconut milk or any milk you like 

    1 tsp Raw cacao powder

    Few drops of chocolate stevia or 1 tsp rice malt syrup 

    1/2 tsp Baking powder 

    2 tbs Greek or coconut yoghurt 

    METHOD

    Mix all ingredients in a large mug. Place in the microwave for about 1 to 1.5 minutes. Then can add a tablespoon of yoghurt or cream of your choice. 

    Enjoy, this is the easiest and yummiest cake craving buster EVER!

     

     

    Lemon & Coconut Protein Balls

    Ingredients

    1 cup of Almond meal

    2 tbs Chai seeds

    2 tbs shredded coconut 

    1 scoop vanilla 

    1/2 tsp vanilla paste 

    1 tbs cinnamon

    1 rind of a lemon

    2 heaped tbs Coconut oil - melted 

    Few drops of stevia or sugar free maple syrup or rice malt - to taste 

     

    Method   

    Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix, then add the melted coconut oil and maple syrup(if using) mix all together. Then add a small amount of water and roll into small balls (add more water if needed but very slowly and few drops) This will make about 8 balls. Place in the fridge or freezer. 

    Great for a sweet treat!

    Protein Pancakes

    Ingredients

    ½ cup of buckwheat or rice flakes 
    1 Scoop of protein powder 
    1 whole egg
    Hand full of blue berries or mashed banana
    Teaspoon cinnamon
    Stevia to taste – optional 
    1 Tablespoon LSA, Maca, chai seeds - all optional

     

    Directions

    Put all the ingredients into a bowl.  Add a little water and mix, be careful you don’t add to much water as you don’t want the mixture to be too runny as will go everywhere when you put them in the pan, so best to start with a little water and add more until all ingredients are combined - you can play around with this consistency. 

    Heat a pan and spray with coconut oil. Then pour mixture into hot pan into desired size. Cook until golden brown each side.

    Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar free maple syrup to taste.

     

    Enjoy