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Category: Healthy Holidays

We are fortunate to live in an age where many infectious diseases that would have formerly been life-threatening can now be treated simply and effectively with a round of antibiotics.
And whilst there is undoubtedly a time and place for antibiotic prescriptions to be effective, we are commonly hearing more and more about the potential consequences of the inappropriate use of antibiotics; from antibiotic resistance, damage to our own gut bacteria and even to environmental issues as a result of antibiotic-laden livestock and their waste products getting back in to our soils and water supplies.

When you're up against something stronger than the common cold—pneumonia, sinusitis, strep throat—your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics and this can be extremely valuable. The trouble is that antibiotics have been over-prescribed in recent years, and their use should not be taken lightly.

At this time of year when chilly weather keeps us indoors, where close contact, runny noses, and common coughs and sneezes conspire to spread bacterial infections, many people take antibiotics unnecessarily.

The problem with taking antibiotics is that they tend to not be very discriminating. So, when they go to work wiping out the “bad” bacteria that are causing all the problems, they also take out the beneficial bacteria as well.
They don’t know how to distinguish between the good bacteria in your gut and the bad stuff. That means that the good bacterial colonies in our guts can suffer some extreme damage, if they’re not wiped out entirely, with a course of antibiotics.


6 Natural Remedies to Stop a Cold in its Tracks

Posted: Tue, 19 December 2017, 14:51

It’s that time of year again when the sniffles are threatening us with their arrival and the scratchy throats, tickling coughs and the runny nose are never too far off.

Being sick is never fun, and whilst it’s true that sometimes you just have to let viruses run their course, there are proven natural cold remedies that can help you feel better and alleviate some of those bothersome cold and flu symptoms.

Whilst there’s no instant miracle cure, using these remedies to take preventative measures against getting sick as well as at the first sign of a cold will help you feel better fast.

And so, without further ado, here are my 6 Natural Remedies to Stop a Cold in its Tracks

No. 1 - Olive Leaf Extract

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the health benefits of olive oil, but another part of the olive tree that is less known about is the olive leaf.
Olive leaves provide incredible health benefits, including amazing immune system support.

These humble leaves offer antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activities, making olive leaf extract incredibly effective for battling microorganisms like fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
Thanks to these antiviral properties, olive leaf extract is able to help fight off the common cold and even battle viruses that are known to cause respiratory infections and the flu.

Try Comvita Olive Leaf Extract to help you this winter. 


Fire Cider is a popular herbal folk remedy made from a combination of apple cider vinegar that has been infused with herbs such as garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, horseradish, and hot peppers; but there are heaps of other herbs that can be thrown in for added benefits or flavour.
Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it.

Fire Cider is one of the more pleasant and easy ways to boost your health and immune system, plus it also helps to stimulate digestion and improve your circulation – not a bad time of year for that!

How to Take Fire Cider:

- straight by the spoonful

- mixed with warm water, honey and lemon

mixed with vegetable juice, lemonade or orange juice

- used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and condiments

- drizzled over salads, steamed veggies or greens

- added to soups, stews or chillis

- used in marinades for example with tofu or tempeh

- and it can even be added to cocktails like a Bloody Mary for a dash of health boosting goodness.

Personally I like to take a tablespoon each morning in the winter to help ward off any viruses going around – plus it warms me up from my head to my toes!

Fire cider is especially great if you feel any tickle at the back of the throat or the sniffles coming on.
Simply take 1 to 2 tablespoons at the first sign of a cold, and then repeat every 3 to 4 hours until symptoms subside. 


10 Tips to Help Beat Sugar Cravings Naturally

Posted: Tue, 03 October 2017, 11:52

Many people nowadays have difficulty controlling their sugar cravings. Some days it’s easy to avoid things like chocolate and sweets, but then other days it feels virtually impossible.
With a modern lifestyle that often includes processed/refined foods, irregular eating habits, poor sleep schedules, artificial light and a lack of movement, it’s no surprise that many people struggle with sugar cravings.

So What Causes Sugar Cravings?

There are many reasons we crave sugar. Often it’s due to poorly balanced blood sugar levels as a result of not eating regularly, poor food choices or skipping meals.
It could also be caused by a lack of a specific nutrient or nutrients in the body; or perhaps it’s a result of stress or other emotional reasons.

And if you feel downtrodden by your perceived lack of willpower, don’t beat yourself up. It’s hardwired in your brain to crave sugar.
Humans are designed to crave sugar and carbohydrates from birth, and for good reason - survival.

Humans are designed to start their life outside the womb by consuming breast milk. This is naturally sweet and has important carbohydrates that not only feed the baby, but also stimulate the release of serotonin, endorphins, and promote relaxation. These carbohydrates even feed the baby’s gut bacteria too.
Breast milk also contains essential proteins and fats that a baby needs for growth, but the sweet taste is a dominating factor.

The taste for concentrated sweetness is often acquired in childhood and continues into adulthood. If sweet things were used as rewards or as a way to cheer someone up, they become emotional comforters.
As we enter adulthood, this natural desire for sweet foods continue to thrive and the body still gets this physiological sense of reward or gratification from eating sweets.

Although in the past, these cravings were lifesaving, resulting from a drop in blood sugar and a release of stress hormones to get you hunting for food; nowadays with sweets, chocolate, soda, chips, supermarkets and everything else available round the clock, the appetite, sugar and carb cravings kicking in is not a good match.


As we enter into the joys of the summer, sun exposure becomes an inevitable part of daily life.
On the plus side, summer is the easiest time of year to get your beneficial vitamin D. But the downside is it’s also the easiest time to get sunburnt.

When your skin is excessively exposed to these ultraviolet rays (UV), these rays can activate free radicals in the skin and cause accelerated aging, sunburn and may over time lead to skin cancer.

Contrary to popular belief, liberally smothering yourself in sunblock every moment of the day to avoid sunburn is not all there is to it.

There are many ways to improve your skin's UV resistance, and what you eat is one of them.
What you put in your mouths can have a huge impact on how your skin handles the sun.
Eating certain fruits and veggies can actually give your body the raw materials to build its own sun protection, from the inside out.

While not a substitute for topical sunscreen, combining both the use of a non-chemical protective sunscreen for the face and body, and the nutritional support from an antioxidant-rich diet complete with plenty of fruits and vegetables, high quality fats and proteins and plenty of pure water; you should be able to boost your skins protection from the sun.

Food is our first line of defence, but if you are going to be in the sun for long periods of time, be clever. Wear protective clothing, pop on some sunnies and rub in some non-toxic sun cream to avoid overloading your skin with too much sun.

Try incorporating the following foods to help protect your skin against UV rays from the inside out:


12 Bunny-Approved Vegan Easter Chocolate Treat Ideas

Posted: Thu, 06 April 2017, 10:18

With Easter just around the corner, you may be in the midst of a hunt for the perfect vegan chocolate egg or sweet treat for yourself, a friend of a family member.

With vegan friendly options and alternatives popping up all over the place nowadays (horray!), you can now easily find yourself some super tasty chocolate treats.
But do you know what's even better? Being able to get a hold of some equally amazing ingredients to make your own healthy indulgencies!

To save you the trouble of hunting for the best vegan and gluten free delights out there, I’ve already done it for you!

Here are 12 Bunny-Approved Vegan Easter Chocolate Treat Ideas, all of course coming highly recommended by the Easter Rabbit himself ;)

Loving Earth

For the moments in life when only chocolate will do (and there are many!), Loving Earth organic vegan chocolate is the perfect pleasure.

A wickedly decadent healthy treat, this chocolate is dairy free (and vegan friendly!), is sweetened with organic coconut nectar (a natural low GI sweetener), contains no refined cane sugar, and is chocolate in its purest, richest, most essential form. This chocolate is uncooked and unprocessed, using unroasted Cacao Beans, meaning that their natural wealth of phytonutrients remain fully intact.

For those of you who have turned vegan or have given up dairy for health reasons, this is one sweet treat to keep you safe from the feelings of missing out when it comes to seasonal chocolate fests like Easter!

Now although I highly encourage you to munch your way through their divine selection of flavours individually, alternatively you can try some chocolate based Easter-y recipes like these:


Drinking enough alcohol to get yourself a hangover is definitely not something I would recommend, though having said that, I do believe alcohol can be immensely pleasurable and aid in relaxation which is something so many of us need!

As a result, there can be the odd time that we have that one drink too many and you wake up thinking “I’m never drinking again!”

Hangovers happen when our already overburdened livers struggle to clear out the excessive amount of toxins and chemicals ingested from too much alcohol. Our bodies are dehydrated, our blood sugar levels are all over the place, our electrolytes are depleted and fatigue takes over.

Worse than just feeling awful, hangovers can actually wreak havoc on our immune system, digestive track and organ function – yikes!

Here are some of my favourite natural hangover tips and what I recommend you do before, during and after drinking alcohol to help limit the damage.


What To Do Before You Drink

1. Line your stomach and eat well before drinking

The golden rule of alcohol is to never drink on an empty stomach.

Since alcohol is absorbed from your stomach, if you haven’t eaten anything before drinking, you’ll certainly feel the effects of drinking much more the next morning.

By lining your stomach with food, you’ll be able to slow down the metabolism process which allows alcohol to be absorbed at a slower pace
.
Next time you’re planning on heading out, fill up beforehand with plenty of slow releasing carbs, protein, good fats and high-fibre foods like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brown rice, sweet potato and quinoa.

The difference between feeling normal versus waking up the next morning with a nauseous stomach and sore head can be as simple as a good meal.


Easy New Year's Resolutions For The Best Version of You

Posted: Tue, 17 January 2017, 11:30

Happy New Year everyone!. Did you start the New Year with a list of new resolutions? It’s pretty clear from the sudden surge of people in gyms at this time of year that one of the top resolutions on everyone’s mind is to get fit, get healthy, and lose the Christmas gains!

 

Every New Year, so many of us set unrealistic resolutions for ourselves. We have rose tinted dreams of becoming health gurus, having 6 pack abs, and developing the fitness a marathon runner. Let’s be real - we are only human! There is a belief that with the New Year comes the ability to change ourselves overnight into what we believe is ‘the perfect human’. With so much conflicting information out there to ‘help’ us, it’s no wonder The University of Scranton estimates only 8% of people actually see their resolutions through.

 

 Let’s not be so hard on ourselves. We are all human beings with incredible capabilities. With that in mind, here are my top new year’s resolutions that are easy to follow - but more importantly - easy to maintain...


Gift List for your Favourite Foodie

Posted: Thu, 08 December 2016, 08:24

So Christmas is around the corner, edging itself in closer day by day, and Christmas shopping days are getting limited.

Perhaps you have a favourite foodie who you need to buy for and are a bit stumped?
Maybe it’s a secret Santa you’re buying for and you’ve discovered they’re dairy or gluten free and have no idea what they can eat.

Here’s a list from one foodie to another with some of our best gift choices to help feed your foodie!

Booja Booja Organic Chocolate Truffles

As a foodie myself, I couldn’t miss out on bragging about the spectaculars of Booja Booja chocolate. I think life became a little better in 1999 when this company started out, and I know I’m not the only one happy they did!

Booja Booja have a large selection of organic chocolate truffles to entice you with, ranging from 6 truffle boxes through to 20 truffle boxes filled with moreishly good flavours, from espresso, hazelnut, almond and sea salt caramel (oh my…) through to rum sozzled sultana and rhubarb and vanilla fool.

Can’t make up your mind what one to choose?

The Gourmet Selection box is your man. Filled with a luxurious selection of 20 deliciously diverse chocolate truffles, you really do have a flavour for everyone!

And did I mention they’re organic, vegan, dairy free, gluten free and soya free?!
Great for giving and sharing with friends and family, these will make any foodie a very happy soul!

Booja Booja - from €1.99 - €21.95


Butternut Squash Soup

Posted: Mon, 05 December 2016, 15:46

This soup is the essence of autumn with its golden yellow hues and a warming chilli undertone. The butternut squash is vitamin rich, particularly A and C, and is easily transformed by roasting before making a dense, silky soup. Here it is served with a splash of beetroot kvass which gives a sour balance to the natural sweetness of the squash. A dollop of yoghurt is equally good as a garnish.


Nourish’s Pukka Tea Picks for Winter Wellness

Posted: Thu, 24 November 2016, 10:31

When the colder weather sets in we start to notice an exponential increase in the amount of sniffles and muffled coughs going around.

During this snotty season, our immune systems are much more likely to be susceptible to bugs that can keep us feeling down, so here is a list of our Top Pukka Tea Picks for Winter Wellness to keep your immune system super-charged, and your energy levels tip top this upcoming winter!


Pukka Turmeric Gold Tea

Pukka Turmeric Gold tea is an organic golden blend of premium Indian turmeric, lemon fruit and whole leaf green tea; and it packs quite the punch when talking health benefits.

Turmeric is a true herbal superhero, and a definite herb to have at hand this upcoming winter.
In traditional Indian herbal medicine (known as Ayurveda), turmeric has been used to help maintain healthy blood, skin, circulation and as a nourishment to feed the whole body.

Thanks to the yellow pigments (collectively known as curcuminoid) and the root which is crammed with essential oils known as tumerones, these two components both work together within the body as powerful antioxidants helping to attack those offensive free radicals which can damage and age our bodies.

Not only that, but they also stimulate a healthy inflammation response, enhance circulation in the body, protect the brain, rejuvenate the liver and even target pain.
Add the benefits of green tea on top of that and you’re golden (ah, see the pun there..?!)

100% organically grown and ethically sourced ingredients: Turmeric root (40%), Suoi Gang green tea (20%), licorice root, cardamom pod, lemon Vana tulsi leaf, lemon essential oil flavour (6%), lemon whole (6%).


Raw Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Posted: Fri, 11 November 2016, 11:17

This is a raw, gluten and dairy free dessert which has a subtle note of orange. The base of hazel nuts and figs adds bite to the soft cashew /cacao topping. Maple syrup provides subtle but perfect sweetness. 

A fantastic dinner party or better still, Friday night in indulgence! 

 

Ingredients

 

Ingredients For the topping

150g pre-soaked raw cashew nuts, drained

2 tbsp. raw cacao powder

2 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt


9 Healthy Halloween Treats

Posted: Thu, 27 October 2016, 09:40

It’s coming up to Halloween, and you know what that means? - Plenty of frightfully fun recipes are to be made!

I’ve collected 9 super fun and ghostly Halloween recipes from around the web to help inspire you during this spooky season.
Whether you’re planning a party or just want to add a little fun to your family or friends dinner, these recipes are guaranteed to put everyone in the Halloween spirit!


9 Healthy Halloween Treats

Posted: Thu, 27 October 2016, 09:40

It’s coming up to Halloween, and you know what that means? - Plenty of frightfully fun recipes are to be made!

I’ve collected 9 super fun and ghostly Halloween recipes from around the web to help inspire you during this spooky season.
Whether you’re planning a party or just want to add a little fun to your family or friends dinner, these recipes are guaranteed to put everyone in the Halloween spirit!


7 Easy and Tasty Pumpkin Recipes to Make This Autumn

Posted: Thu, 20 October 2016, 09:39

After writing my previous post on Autumnal soup recipes, I went a bit pumpkin mad and used up every pot, pan, mixing bowl and kitchen aid to create a multitude of pumpkin related foodie creations.

Whilst I’m the first to admit my food photography is not up to scratch, I couldn’t resist sharing the pumpkin love (and poor quality photos!) with you all.

So why pumpkin you may ask?

Well besides it being in season right now, pumpkin is very versatile with its flavour and texture, making it an amazing ingredient to use in cooking, baking, puddings, dips, spreads and so on.
It’s wonderful roasted, baked, sauted, pureed and added to sweet and savoury dishes. It can be disguised into many dishes, making it easy to sneak in that extra veggie portion here and there.

Pumpkin is also jammers packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, most noticeable from its beautiful golden orange colour.

So let us fully embrace Autumn with the autumnal flavours of pumpkin and pumpkin spice in these Pumpkin recipe ideas!


Emily’s Top 5 Holiday Skin Care Dos and Don’ts

Posted: Wed, 29 July 2015, 09:18

So you’re all packed, ready to check in online and you’re feeling set for your holiday.

To help keep skin looking its best, here are my Top 5 Holiday Skin Care Dos and Don’ts.

1. Keep hydrated!

The re-circulated, dry and filtered air on planes can be incredibly dehydrating on the body and therefore the skin, and can affect your skin for days after if it’s not looked after with a proper skin care regime.

Before and during a flight, try to avoid all forms of caffeine, including coffee, tea and cola as these are all very dehydrating. Instead, opt for hydrating water, coconut water, green juices and watery fruits and veggies like melons, tomatoes and cucumbers to help replace the moisture lost whilst you’re flying.

To keep your face hydrated and glowing, try a rehydrating toner, such as Pai Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Skin Tonic to spritz over your face throughout the flight. Alternatively you could opt for rosewater and do the same.

For those who have very dry skin, try applying a couple of drops of Rosehip oil to your face before the flight. This will hydrate and plump the skin as well as giving it additional nourishment.

One thing to note for those who suffer from eczema, often the drying air in aeroplanes can exacerbate the condition so always use a rich body cream before you board the flight to help prevent this. Choose creams over body oils as creams are best at alleviating extreme dryness due to their water content.


5 Ways to Prep (and Pamper!) Your Skin for Sun

Posted: Thu, 16 July 2015, 15:24

Hello Summer!

It’s happened to all of us: you go on holiday, the sun is gracing you with its sunny presence, you get over-excited to get outside and you end up coming home an unflattering shade of fire red!

Sunburn is highly damaging to the skin and can truly affect your health, increasing the risk of skin cancer and promoting premature aging. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?

Never fear, sun-worshippers, I’ve got you covered with 5 ways to prep and pamper your skin for the sun this summer.

1.) Have a healthy relationship with the sun and learn what you’re up against.

What are UVA and UVB rays? Ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) are the two types of sun rays that travel through the earth’s atmosphere and shine directly on your skin. In short, UVA rays can age us and UVB rays can burn us.

UVA (long wave ultraviolet A) rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer.
They are the forces behind the signs of aging, including wrinkles, sagging skin, leathery skin and sun spots.
Often we think we are safe from these rays when the sun is not blasting down on us, but these rays can come through a cloudy sky and penetrate your skin without you realising.
They are less likely to give you sunburn, that’s the UVB rays job, but they are still linked to increased risk of skin cancer.

UVB (short wave ultraviolet B) rays impact the top layer of your skin. UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin. The intensity of UVB rays vary by season, location and time of day.
These rays are the main contributors to skin cancer and are strongest between 10am and 4pm. Be especially wary during the summer months when they are much stronger.


12 Top Tips for Healthy Travels

Posted: Thu, 09 July 2015, 12:14

Travelling + healthy eating can be a challenge for many, not to mention the stress that it can put on our bodies.
Long distance flying can also create a whole host of problems, from poor dietary options to nervous tummies and jet lag.

Here I will outline my 12 Top Tips for keeping healthy whilst travelling and flying so you can enjoy a stress-free, health-filled, energy pumped holiday!

Before you set off

1.) Research where to eat before you go

Preparation is the key here.

Seek out healthy options where you can using the internet beforehand, and have a scout about the area once you’re there. This is especially true if you’re vegan, vegetarian or a health nut in a foreign speaking country. It’s always a good idea to look up the translations if you can as well.

Even in a new part of your own country you might find it difficult to find a good spot to grab something to eat in, so researching before you go is a great help. I always check online for veggie/vegan-friendly cafes, bars, restaurants and even health food shops before I get on the plane. It’s saved me a lot of stress and hunger-fuelled arguments!

One of my favourite sites to check for these places is a site called happycow.net where you can search by country or city - very handy!

If you already have a list of good food places to go to, you’re less likely to fall off the health wagon when you’re away, so research research research!


Emily’s Top 11 Festival Must Haves This Season

Posted: Wed, 17 June 2015, 10:29

It goes without saying, a tent, sleeping back and a decent pair of wellies are going to be your top choices this festival season, but what about the other essentials you’re going to need?

Here are my Top 11 Festival Must Haves This Season

Sun Protection

Absolutely essential, come-rain-come-shine. You will likely be outside all day for a few days, and scorching red sunburn to start your week off is nobody’s idea of fun!

1.) For body: Green People's fragrance-free SPF30 sun lotion

This is a great product to protect your skin naturally from UVA and gives up to 97% protection from UVB radiation.
The formula is rich in antioxidants helping to protect against cell damage and is even water resistant due to the non-pore clogging beeswax used in the product.
I like to throw it in my festival bag to reapply throughout the day, keeping me from turning into a lobster! I also love this product because it’s great for my sensitive skin as well as being scent-free.

Other ranges include Jason, Aloe Pura and MooGoo, with options for kids and babies too.


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