Part Two Why Should You Eat Super Foods

Hope you enjoyed reading my first blog about super foods and the amazing health benefits. Here is part two why should you eat super foods.

Dark Chocolate

Yes you really can eat chocolate!!! This treat is packed with heart protective antioxidants, as well as bone supporting minerals magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins to boost mood and motivation. Eat a few squares a day to reap the benefits, that doesn’t mean a full block.

Walnuts

Are you feeling stressed? Munch on a handful of walnuts – studies show that the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid helps your body handle stress more effectively and lower blood pressure. Walnuts provide protein, fibre, omega-3 and folate so they are an excellent little nut.

Beans And Pulses

Beans and lentils are a good source of iron and folate, which are needed for the production of healthy red blood cells and are particularly important for menstruating women, who are at increased risk of iron deficiency. They are also packed with antioxidants, fibre, protein and slow-release carbohydrates, making them a great source of energy. As an added bonus they are a good source of magnesium which is an essential mineral for energy production and preventing muscle cramps after exercise.

Avocado

Avocado’s are high in fat, but this type of fat can assist in getting you a flat stomach. They are a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fats which have been known to help disperse fat around your middle. Avocados also contain potassium, magnesium, folate, protein and cholesterol lowering plant sterols.

Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are a rich source of fibre, add one or two heaped dessert spoons of milled flaxseeds to your daily diet because this is an excellent way to ease PMS and acne. They also contain omega-3 fatty acid.

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in plant compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanates, which have cancer fighting properties and help to eliminate excess oestrogens from the body, which are linked to some forms of cancer. Broccoli is also a PMS fighting food because it contains folate which boosts mood and calcium which helps with cramps and is so diuretic, so can help reduce bloating. It also contains vitamins A and C and iron. Aim to have two to three servings a week.

You may also find these blogs helpful How To Feel Fuller For Longer and How To Beat Cellulite

Milk

A glass of semi-skimmed milk may be the solution if you suffer from PMS and stress. It is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which together can help ease premenstrual symptoms. Milk is a source of tryptophan, which the body converts into the sleep hormone melatonin. You could try a cup of warm milk if you are prone to sleepless nights.

Bananas

I personally don’t like bananas, but if you are in need of a boost they are packed with nutrients that can help soothe and lift your mood, and are a natural source of tryptophan, which the body converts into the mood boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Bananas are also rich in carbohydrates, making them ideal for when you crave comfort foods and they are a brilliant source of vitamin B6, which can help boost energy levels.

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Turmeric

This spice contains the anti-inflammatory ingredient curcumin, which can help ease muscles after a workout. Curcumin has been shown to protect against some cancers. You can add a tablespoon of turmeric to curries, soups an stews.

Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein therefore making them more satisfying than carbs and can promote lean muscle. They are great to have as a snack if you are feeling hungry. Also great to have for breakfast.

As you can see it isn’t that hard to include these foods in your diet and like I said in my last blog, you don’t have to include them all at one. It is worth a go if it can improve your health and how you feel. Hope you have enjoyed reading part two why should you eat super foods.

Karen x

How To Beat Cellulite

How to beat cellulite by eating your way to smoother skin and loose that orange peel look.

Dimply thighs are the bane of every woman aspiring to their best for summer.

Cellulite appears when fat deposits under your skin push through the connective tissues.

Hormone imbalances, your genes, excess weight, circulation problems, inflammation, a sluggish lymphatic system, fluid retention and stress all play a part.

What Can You Do To Help?

Eat Your Greens

Make sure you eat more broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and sprouts because they support your liver’s detoxification enzymes. Eat plenty of sulphur-rich onions and garlic, to help your liver get rid of toxins.

Stay Hydrated

It is important to ensure you drink 1.5-2 litres of water a day because this helps your body eliminate waste and reduce water retention.

Positive Proteins

Fish, chicken, eggs, beans and pulses contain amino acids that help your body produce collagen, which helps support your skin, so eat lean meat, lentils, eggs or beans daily.

Glowing Red

To support capillary repair make sure you eat raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. Red grapes and red grape juice are known to contain plant chemicals that are said to block the enzymes that break down collagen.

Flush Out Your System

To help fight fluid retention eat foods that are natural diuretics. These include cucumber, celery, asparagus, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, cranberries and watermelon. It can also help to eat foods that are rich in potassium to help rebalance fluid levels. Try to eat bananas, dried apricots, spinach, sweet potato and cantaloupe melon.

Eat Your Fats

Omega-3 fats hydrate your skin and expand blood vessels to improve circulation and blood flow. Eat oily fish known as sardines, mackerel, fresh tuna or salmon twice a week. If you are vegetarian include plenty of plant-based omega-3 sources such as walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and soya beans.

Go For Goji Berries

These berries are bursting with potent micronutrients for healthy cell function, plus antioxidants to protect skin. Either snack on the berries or drink 30-90ml of goji berry juice.

What Foods Should You Avoid

Sugar contributes to inflammation in the body as well as encouraging the storage of fat by boosting insulin production.

Salt encourages your body to retain water, so avoid adding it to food. Stay away from processed foods and ready meals that may have a high salt or sodium content.

Keep saturated fats and hydrogenated vegetable oils to a minimum.

Caffeine and alcohol put a strain on your liver so try to cut these down.

This might also help How To Get Your 5 A Day Every Day In An Easy Way or What Happens When You Don’t Eat Correctly

Hope these help to you beat cellulite and give you the body you want and help you to feel amazing.

Karen X

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Easy To Make Energy Balls

These energy balls are really easy to make and they are great if you fancy a healthy sweet treat.

A good little snack if you are getting the afternoon slump.

Ingredients

70g Almonds

200g Dates

2tsp honey

3tsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Method

If your almonds are whole blitz them in a food processor until they are fine breadcrumbs.

Add the dates, honey and cocoa and blitz in the processor.

Tip the mixture into a bowl.

Place the coconut in a separate bowl.

Roll and compress the mixture into balls, then roll each ball in the coconut.

Give them a try, no cooking involved.

Why Should You Exercise?

If you are not a person who really enjoys exercise then it can be hard to motivate yourself to do it.

Exercise has been shown to increase self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves it encourages us to take care of our health and wellbeing and support us in our efforts to change. Try to make some form of exercise a priority and make time for it, because it is vital for your health and it will improve your mental outlook, mood and self-esteem.

Exercise is a fantastic stress buster and just a moderate increase in your level of exercise can leave you feeling calmer and in control. Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, take a long, brisk walk and see if you feel better afterwards. Exercise discharges the stress hormone such as cortisol, that accumulates due to chronic stress. Exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and stimulates the release of mood-lifting endorphins that relieve pain – a natural opium known as the runners high. These changes in the brain chemistry make us feel euphoric and exhilarated.

It has been shown in several studies that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants or traditional psychotherapy in elevating mood.

The more intensely you exercise, the more of these chemicals you produce, helping you to feel better and better.

If you haven’t exercised for a while then build up slowly, don’t try to do too much at once. If you are recovering from illness build up slowly and don’t over do it. I had Covid in April and im still not back at the fitness level I was before. I have to build it up slowly because if I do too much it will massively impact how I feel the next day and can result in me taking a step backwards.

Below is some of the amazing benefits of exercise:

Maintains weight loss over the long term

Increases resting metabolic rate

Improves strength and stamina

Improves muscle tone

Improves joint flexibility and suppleness

Strengthens back muscles and eases pain

Strengthens heart muscle

Improves lung function

Improves digestion

Helps reduce food cravings and regulates appetite

Slows down the body’s ageing process and helps you look better

Reduces stress and anxiety

Improves mental clarity

Elevates mood

Increases self-esteem and self confidence

Increases energy and reduces fatigue

Increases the production of endorphins, helping you to feel calm

Helps you sleep better

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Lowers blood pressure

Reduces the risk of mature onset diabetes

Improves your insulin/blood glucose mechanism

Reduces cholesterol to healthy levels

It feels good

My main exercises at the moment are yoga and walking.

Yesterday I had a little robin on my walk with me.

Due to the situation we are all in at the moment it is definitely worth trying to do some exercise to improve how you feel.

Go for a walk and enjoy your day.

Discover How To Get Enough Protein When you Don’t Eat Meat

If you don’t eat meat one of the first questions you probably get asked is: where do you get your protein from?

So here is some answers:

Legumes

Legumes are a great source of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates and include beans, peas, lentils and nuts.

Lentils are widely available and can be added to salads, wraps, curries, soups or stews. Black beans are also a rich source of antioxidants and one of the healthiest legumes you can eat. Legumes contain more protein than any other plant food. They are also high complex carbohydrates and low in fat, so they are a great food.

Quinoa

Loaded with magnesium and antioxidants and fibre. Quinoa is becoming more and more popular with households.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is great for a quick easy snack and brilliant to have after a workout. Due to its high fat and protein content it should help you to feel full and help to get rid of those sugar cravings. Just having one tablespoon equates to 4g of protein. You could also try other nut butters such as almond, cashew, or macadamia. I like to use peanut butter in my own cereal bars. When you make your own you know exactly what has gone into them.

Meat Alternatives

There is a lot of meat alternatives around today and I do think that they taste great. They are packed with plant based protein. For a quick easy meal you could use a meat alternative chicken burger in a bun with a side salad sprinkled with seeds for extra protein. Give it a try before you say “I only eat proper meat”.

Hemp and Chia Seeds

These tiny little seeds are packed with protein and can be added to smoothies, homemade bread or homemade cereal bars.

So as you can see you can get plenty of protein from plant sources if you choose not to eat meat.

Have a good day

Discover How To Get More Energy

Do you find that your energy levels drop throughout the day or do you find it hard to get out of bed in a morning?

Living an on the go lifestyle often results in burnout or recovering from an illness can greatly impact your energy which is very true for me at the moment.

A lot of people reach for pick-me-up snacks or energy drinks and wonder why the effects don’t last for a long period of time.

There is so many things you can do to improve or hep maintain your energy.

Some of the main causes of low energy are………..

Poor Dietary Choices

Our bodies are not designed to consume a lot of the processed foods we eat today in the Western Diet. This also includes fizzy drinks, alcohol and extra caffeine. A lot of these foods also contain high amounts of sugar. Eating lots of white foods such as white bread and pasta can create ongoing stress for the pancreas causing it to release high levels of insulin which is required to lower the blood sugar levels by pushing sugar out into the cells. This is what creates the high/low energy crash cycle. This can lead onto you craving more sweet foods.

Another diet related energy problem is candida , this is a fungus that belongs to the yeast family. When your body is healthy, it will maintain small amounts of the fungus in the digestive tract. Poor dietary choices can lead to a candida growth to spiral out of control. When this happens it can be a major cause of fatigue.

Stress

Most people deal with some sort of stress on a daily basis. In today’s busy lifestyle many people are multi-tasking and struggle to find time to have relaxed mealtimes and stop working while they are eating. This will continue to deplete our energy.

What Can You Do to Nourish Your Body??

First of all do not skip breakfast. Having a good breakfast is key for balancing blood sugar. Try to avoid sugary cereals especially ones that change the colour of your milk.

Try to ensure that all your meals and snacks include some good quality protein. Don’t forget this can include nuts and seeds.

Consume plenty of green vegetables and most non-starchy vegetables give nourishment without causing blood sugar spikes. Non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and celery.

Eating some raw foods will also help in a great way as these are bursting with energy and enzymes which are normally destroyed during cooking. By eating raw foods means that your body doesn’t have to use a lot of energy to produce enzymes for the digestive process, reducing in more energy available for daily activities. If you don’t fancy eating raw foods you could try them in a juice first. Add in chlorella or spirulina for an extra protein boost.

Hydrate

Drinking water is so important, if you make one change today drink more water. Try to have two litres per day this does not mean two litres of coffee. If you struggle drinking cold water include herbal teas or add some fruit to your water. I start the day with a cup of boiled water. I am not saying completely stop other drinks just be aware of how many you are having. It is all about balance I have one coffee mid morning then change to herbal teas or boiled water.

Exercise

Our bodies are designed to move all day long. Eventually lack of exercise will impair multiple physical functions necessary for health. Think of your body as a car that requires fuel from food and water and plenty of exercise to keep the engine running at optimum level.

It is important to get regular exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. I personally don’t like gyms. I enjoy yoga, cycling, walking and hula hooping. Finding a form of exercise that you enjoy is really important then it doesn’t feel like a chore. I do 10 minutes of yoga or hula hooping in a morning and it makes me feel so much better after I have done it. I won’t lie some mornings it can feel like a lot of effort, but it is definitely worth it. If you haven’t done any exercise for a while then build it up slowly. I haven’t been able to exercise properly for a few months and it has made a huge difference to my fitness levels. Set yourself small achievable goals.

Time For You

Mindfulness is good for stress, if that’s not for you do ensure that you take some time out just for you. Have a brew in peace on your own, read a magazine, phone a friend for a chat or go for walk. Even if you only have 10 minutes to remove yourself do it, it will make a difference if you are feeling stressed.

Try to make small changes don’t do everything at once or you are setting yourself up to fail. Change one thing a week and see how you get on. Before you eat something stop and think how will I feel after I have eaten it. Also I am not saying stop eating chocolate or your favourite foods, its about moderation. I eat chocolate and enjoy it, but I don’t have it every day.

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