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Category: Nutrition

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, making up a huge 1.5 to 2% of the total body weight. The bones and teeth are the home to the majority of the body’s calcium, containing roughly 99% of it.

Calcium is not only responsible for helping to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, but also promoting heart health, contracting muscles, regulating the heartbeat, clotting the blood and regulating the nervous system. Calcium can help relieve aching muscles and bones, maintain the correct acid-alkaline balance and reduce menstrual cramps. Calcium may even serve as a protector against high blood pressure, osteoporosis and colon cancer.

And so with all that in mind, I think we can all agree that calcium is a pretty incredible and important nutrient, and without it, we wouldn’t survive.

With many people turning to a plant-based or dairy free diet due to ethical or dietary reasons, or out of necessity due to dairy or lactose intolerance, more people are cutting dairy out of their diet.
This has understandably caused many questions to arise about alternative sources of calcium after being conditioned for many years to believe that the best source of calcium comes from milk and dairy products.

The most common question that arises is often “Can I get enough calcium on a 100% plant-based or dairy-free diet?”

The resounding answer is, of course, YES – and within this blog, I will delve into the commonly asked questions such as “What are the best plant-based calcium sources?” “How much calcium do I need?” “Do I need to take calcium supplements?” and “What are the signs of calcium deficiency?”

And so without further ado, let’s get to it….


What's the Scoop on: Maca

Posted: Fri, 13 April 2018, 10:25

What is Maca?

Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the Peruvian Andes at very high altitudes. Maca belongs to the cruciferous family of plants which includes other such powerhouse foods including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and radishes.

This powerful root vegetable from South America is most commonly used to help with stamina, energy, mood, vitality, sexual function, hormone balancing and fertility.

Nutrition

Maca is incredibly mineral rich, boasting high levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and potassium. It also contains trace minerals including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, manganese, and silica. And it doesn’t stop there; maca is also high in vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, plus it contains 19 amino acids (including 7 of the 8 essential amino acids) and is a rich source of sterols.


You can use all the lotions and potions, oils, gels and serums you want, but in all honesty, healthy hair starts from the inside out.

Whole, nourishing foods are the foundation of healthy hair. The old saying “we are what we eat” really runs true!
The foods we eat literally make up the building blocks of who we are, from the inside out. Our diet has such a huge impact on the health of every part of our body, and that includes our hair. A good diet is unquestionably vital to having healthy hair.

To help you nourish your hair from the inside out, I’ve created a two-part blog to give you the ultimate guide to caring for your hair in a natural & healthy way, from both the inside and the outside. Part one of this blog covers 7 Ways to Nourish your Hair from the Outside.
And here in Part 2 we shall cover Nutrients to Nourish your Hair from the Inside, covering what nutrients you need and where to find them, from both food and supplement sources.


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. 


Overcoming Anxiety Naturally

Posted: Mon, 16 October 2017, 14:11

We’ve all experienced anxiety at some point in our lives, whether it's speaking in front of a large group of people, performing on stage or heading into an interview for our dream job.

The real trouble comes when these feelings of anxiety become too much for us and even overwhelm us. These feelings can have debilitating effects on our day to day lives, as well as leaving us feeling like we’re not good enough, or worthy enough.

There are several tools we can use to support us when we are moving through difficult and uneasy feelings, and within this blog post I will share with you my favourite ways to overcome anxiety naturally.

EXERCISE

Move your body every single day!

Exercise increases feel-good hormones like serotonin, whilst increasing blood flow, moving stagnant energy around and out of the body, boosting your natural energy and banishing anxiety.
Running, swimming, hiking, bouldering, yoga, pilates, tennis, long coastal walk – whatever is your jam, do it, and do it every day.


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.


After summer months of staying up late, running wild outside and playing video games, kids are in for a huge adjustment as they head back to school.

Most children need help transitioning back into a routine with early mornings, structured meals and deadlines for a fruitful start to the school year; but it’s not only the kids that need help.

Whether you’re a working or stay at home parent, the kids going back to school can be a stressful or anxious time of year.

This blog will be covering my 5 tips for getting you and your kids on track for a healthy start to the school year.

Let's get started!


Now that we're approaching the “Back to School” time of the year, the cold and flu season is just around the corner —a time of year that parents know all too well.

This is the time of the year to really start focusing on making sure your children’s immune systems are strong and healthy as they start a new school year.
So where do you start when it comes to keeping your child healthy so they have a properly functioning immune system?

Before the first runny nose or sore throat makes its unwanted appearance, let’s dig into our 5 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Child’s Immune System.

No. 1 - Nutrition

The first step, the very foundation of having a strong immune system is nutrition.
I cannot stress enough the importance of consuming high quality, whole foods.
The benefits can be seen and felt almost immediately!

A healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, broths, legumes, fermented foods and essential fatty acids (think fish oils/algae oil/coconut oils/hemp seed oil) is the way to go.

A primarily plant-based diet rich in these foods means you’re providing your child’s body with the nutrients it needs to boost their immune system with nourishing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

I highly recommend having a look into some amazing cookbooks like The Happy Pear book 1 and 2 and Deliciously Ella, or the recipe sections on their websites for some great healthy food inspo. They’re simple, healthy and super tasty.

If you need some help in this area, check out my previous blog on developing healthy eating habits in young kids or if you need snack ideas, check out healthy snack ideas for kids (and adults) here.


What's the Scoop on: Vitamin D

Posted: Wed, 02 August 2017, 11:52

By now, most of us know that Vitamin D is something we need, but what exactly is it? And do we have enough?

Well, the honest answer is: no.

Studies in Ireland have revealed that low vitamin D status and vitamin D deficiency are widespread in the population of Ireland; therefore it is important to ensure we’re getting enough.

Due to Ireland’s northerly latitude, very little UVB light reaches the earth’s surface, resulting in reduced production of vitamin D, especially in winter.
This fact, in conjunction with low dietary intakes is compromising the vitamin D status of all population groups living in Ireland.

Allow me to introduce you to the sunshine vitamin.

Although known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is in fact actually a hormone, and is the by-product of a reaction that occurs when UV light hits the skin. Since we cannot often get enough of this vitamin from our food, our bodies are able to make it from the sun instead.

Our bodies absorb sunlight using cholesterol, which helps convert sunlight into a form of vitamin D that our body can use.


When it comes to improving your health and your happiness, my advice: Start small.

If you can find just two minutes a day here and there, you can start making small changes to put you on the right path to living a happier, healthier life.

You don’t have to overhaul your entire diet and lifestyle overnight on your quest to living a healthier lifestyle.
Throwing away everything deemed unhealthy from the cupboards and signing up to a boot camp on day one is not always the best way to go about it.
In fact, this is actually often counter-productive because of the stress and pressures it puts on your body, both mentally and physically.

Instead, you can embark upon the journey towards a happier, healthier lifestyle simply by incorporating any or all of these 9 healthy habits into your life today.

They don’t take up hours of your time, nor do they squeeze your wallet dry, but they do have incredible health returns!


10 Ways to Look and Feel Amazing Naturally

Posted: Thu, 04 May 2017, 18:44

If you want to look and feel good naturally, then here are my top 10 ways to get you there!

No. 1 - Be nice to your gut

Your gut flora can influence your health in a lot ways, from helping to extract energy from your food, building and supporting your body's immune system, and even having the ability to affect your mood and metabolism.

And did you know that bacteria can also produce vitamins?

Bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria produce B-complex vitamins, including biotin, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), and cobalamin (B12), as well as folic acid and vitamin K.

A happy gut is the first step to a happy and healthy body. If you want abundant energy, glowing skin and shiney locks, then your digestive system is your number one man.

Try boosting your levels with probiotic rich foods like fermenting veggies like sauerkraut (see my blog here on the benefits of fermented veggies), kimchi, pickles, yogurt, kefir, tempeh etc. or supplementing with high quality supplements like Udo’s Super 8.


Fermentation is one of the oldest forms of preservation.
Vegetable fermentation helps to transform a simple raw vegetable into something infinitely healthier and even more delicious.

How is this achieved?

The transformation owes everything to the microbes in the soil that the veggies are grown in and the sugars present in the vegetables.

During fermentation, microorganisms including bacteria, yeasts or moulds break down complex molecules into simpler substances. Given the right conditions, the bacteria kick-start fermentation by feasting on the vegetables natural sugars and converting them into a variety of things including lactic acid, carbon dioxide and a tinsy amount of alcohol.

This not only transforms the chemical composition of the food, but also enhances its nutritive value.

Fermented vegetables are so good for you and your gut health; they really should be eaten daily.

Not only do they aid in digestion, healing the gut, and boosting the body’s ability to absorb more nutrients from your food; they’ve also been linked to an increased immune system and an improved mood.

Our bodies are populated with trillions of bacteria, most of which live in our gut and have a huge impact on our overall health.
Our microbiome do so much to keep us healthy, from keeping our good:bad bacteria ratio balanced, synthesising vitamins including Vitamin K and B, enhancing nutrient absorption, regulating inflammation and immunity throughout our entire body and so much more.

That's why I believe that nurturing our guts is the number one thing we can do to boost our overall health and immunity.


What’s The Scoop On: Ashwagandha

Posted: Thu, 23 February 2017, 09:39

If you’re suffering from anxiety, going through a stressful period in your life or constantly feeling fatigued, I’ve got the herb for you.

And this is no ordinary herb. No. This is a superstar of a herb, used to help increase vitality, energy, endurance and stamina, promote longevity, strengthen the immune system, not to mention its incredible anti-stress properties.

Let’s go into more detail shall we?

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is the root extract of Withania Somnifera, also known as Winter Cherry or Indian ginseng.

Ashwagandha is a highly valued rejuvenative herb that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India.

Traditionally, Ashwagandha has been used to treat anxiety, low energy levels, inflammation, infection, aging, and as an overall body tonic for general health and wellbeing.

Now after so much research and study has gone into learning more about the plant, its popularity has increased thanks to its exceptional properties becoming more well known about.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that causes depressive periods during the winter months.

SAD affects both sexes, but it can affect women more than men. It’s also more prevalent for those who live further away from the equator.

People who suffer from this type of depression in the winter months can lose their energy, suffer anxiety attacks, feel tired and oversleep, feel sluggish and find they gain weight, often as a result of craving the wrong food.

Other symptoms of SAD include irritability, hypersensitivity, losing interest in activities you love, feeling socially withdrawn, suffering with a low/no sex drive and feeling an inability to focus and think clearly.

Whilst it can be normal to feel a little down in the winter months and feel as if you have less energy; SAD is much more than just the “winter blues.” It’s a seasonal subtype of depression that affects many people.

Here are 4 steps you can take to help decrease the effects of SAD naturally with food, supplements, improved sleeping habits, and a bit of light!


What's The Scoop on Cacao

Posted: Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:37

Cacao is actually called ‘theobroma cacao’ which translates as ‘food of the gods’.
Cacao trees produce fruits (pods) which contain cacao seeds. From these seeds cacao solids and butter are extracted which can be used to make delious raw chocolates and even face creams!

In its raw state, cacao is extremely nutritious, and is a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, chromium, copper, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
It is also recognised as one of the best sources of magnesium in existance. This ladies, is also why some women crave chocolate at a certain time of the month. It's not because you want chocolate exactly, but because you need the magnesium which can be found in abundance within raw cacao.

So next time you get the cravings, ditch the sugary processed forms of chocolate and get chowing down on some amazing raw chocolate, add some cacao nibs to your breakfast or blend up a tasty cacao smoothie to banish those cravings!

Moving away from PMS and back to the magnesium..!

Magnesium is a mineral that is required for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, and it helps the body to perform its normal functions. These include maintenance of muscle and nerve function, building of proteins, controlling blood sugar, regulation of blood pressure, and magnesium is also required for the proper growth and maintenance of bones. 
Signs of your body lacking in this mineral include muscle cramps, fatigue and abnormal heart rhythms.

The humble cacao bean is also very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are helpful in preventing and repairing free radical damage, protecting and repairing cells, and therefore help to keep you healthy.

Chocolate is often dismissed as an unhealthy snack, but this is due to how it is processed. When chocolate is made, cacao is processed and refined, and large amounts of refined sugar are often added, along with processed fats, milk, artificial sweeteners, colourings and added flavourings. When cacao is consumed in its unprocessed form, it acts as a great mood enhancer, and is rich in anti-aging antioxidants, great for energy and even good for your arteries due to the flavonoids which prevent fat-like substances in the bloodstream from oxidising and clogging.


What's The Scoop On Beetroot Juice

Posted: Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:20

Beetroot - the beautifully blushing pink vegetable bursting with sweet, earthy flavours. Perfect in salads, sandwiches, hummus, and even chocolate cake (notions!), beetroot isn’t just the sweet root vegetable that stains all it touches cerise pink. Beetroot is also a powerhouse of nutrients. Beetroot is without a doubt, a super food, and what better way to get these nutrients in than via an easily digested juice.  This month, we are lucky enough to be offering 20% Off James White Beetroot Range (pink – valentine’s day – see what we did there?!)

So in the spirit of the month of looooove, I have put together my top 6 reasons for giving beetroot some lovin’ this February!


6 Top Snacks to Fuel Your Yoga Practice

Posted: Thu, 26 January 2017, 15:10

Strange as it may seem, one of the most frequently asked question when it comes to yoga is actually what do I eat before class?

As with any exercise, you really want to avoid eating right before you head into class, and as a general rule you want to avoid eating anything heavy in the two hours before you plan to do yoga.

If you have ever ignored this advice, you will probably have discovered the reason behind it’s existence.

Yoga can consist of twisting, bending and turning upside-down along with jumping to and from the back of your mat. On a full stomach it's pretty uncomfortable, and sometimes even nauseating to have too much in your belly.

You do however want to go into class with a good amount of energy minus having the pains of undigested food, or the distraction of hunger gnawing at your belly. And that's where this blog comes in with my 6 Top Snacks to Fuel Your Yoga Practice.


Yummy Healthy Oaty Squares

Posted: Thu, 19 January 2017, 12:40

These fruit and oat squares are packed with goodness for a breakfast, snack or lunch box. The contents can be varied according to taste. Maple or agave syrup can be used instead of honey. The dried fruit can include raisins or apricot. Any nut butter, such as cashew or almond would also work well. Two versions can be baked on one tray by simply placing a foil strip between them. This is also a recipe that children will enjoy making and offers a fresh alternative to commercial sugary versions. Store in an air tight container.

This recipe will fill a 23cm baking tray.

 

Ingredients

275g organic porridge oats

4 tbsp. coconut oil

2 tbsp. honey

3 tbsp. ground flaxseed

3 tbsp. tahini or peanut butter*

1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp. dried cranberries

2 tbsp. dates, finely chopped

1 tbsp. dried figs, finely chopped


Lentil & Mushroom Cottage Pie

Posted: Thu, 19 January 2017, 12:19

Here is a hearty cottage pie, ideal to make with leftovers, which will comfort your soul on a cold autumn evening. Made with cooked lentils and mushroom duxelles* it is topped with a creamy mash of potatoes, carrots and parsley. You can play around with the ingredients; sautéed celery, leeks or onions can be added to the cooked lentils. The mash can be any combination of potato, celeriac, parsnip or swede. Serve with steamed or stir fried kale for a wholesome dinner.

 

Ingredients for the Topping

4 or 5 cooked potatoes

2 or 3 cooked carrots

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Knob of butter or cream (optional)


For the Filling

150g precooked green or brown lentils (drained)

3 or 4 tbsp. mushroom duxelles

Sea salt and pepper to season

What to Eat: January

Posted: Wed, 18 January 2017, 12:44

A new year means an abundance of new food coming into season. Is your new year’s resolution to eat more fruit and veg? Maybe it’s to make some better food choices? Sometimes it can be tough to know what’s tasty and nutritious to eat now when supermarkets stock most fruit and veg all year round. A simple habit you can pick up for your new year’s health kick, is to choose to eat what’s in season. Why is this important? Food that is in season is generally at a point where it is highest in its nutrients and flavour. So with that in mind, here are my top picks for this January’s seasonal fruit and veg.

 

1. Kale

Groovy Kale. There was a lot of hype about kale in 2016. Some people swore an addiction to it for brekkie, lunch, and dinner, while others forced it down in the hope of being seen by their friends as some sort of health guru. The truth is, many people secretly hate kale due to its chewy texture and mild flavour, but really kale can be pretty darn tasty!

My favorite way to eat kale (especially when it is in season), is to simply give it a quick wash and chuck it into a frying pan, sauteing gently with some olive or coconut oil, before adding some crushed garlic and liquid aminos (or soy sauce if you prefer!). It’s also fabulous roughly chopped up and thrown into a saucy minestrone soup.

For some seriously awesome (and a little more adventurous) kale recipes, check out this website’s top kale concoctions!

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/kale-recipes


8 Great Reasons to Eat More Fat

Posted: Tue, 17 January 2017, 15:31

Fat - A simple three letter word that sends many dieters running towards the horizon. Hundreds of thousands of people are trying to cut fat out of their diet in a desperate bid to ‘be healthier and lose weight’’. The idea is, in a sort, correct. I mean saturated fats absolutely do clog up your arteries, cause diabetes, weight gain, mood swings, and more. The problem is, over the years, the media has portrayed all fat as the devil, not taking into account that there are both good and bad fats. Let’s focus on healthy fats and why they are essential for optimal health.


Marta's Gorgeous Carrot Cake

Posted: Thu, 17 November 2016, 08:36

''This is my old variation about carrot cake with a twist of Italian mascarpone, slightly changed when I was pregnant and diagnosed with gestational diabetes. So it has very low GI, no sugar, only whole wheat or spelt and plenty of veg as it is carrot cake ! If you're looking for dairy free - skipping icing will do the work. Hope you will enjoy that and have a chance not only read it but also bake it as it is super easy and quick!'' 

 

Marta writes her own blog about pregnancy, babies, and living an eco friendly life. You can check out her amazing posts here on mumwaytoshare.blogspot.ie


Kate's Seed & Cacao Bites

Posted: Wed, 16 November 2016, 15:28

When Kate entered our Great Nourish Bake-off, we fell in love with her blog Nutritiouslykate. Her recipes are super healthy and tasty, and simply bursting with colour. 

These Cacao and seed bites are a tasty little guilt free treat to enjoy with a cuppa! Take it from us they're amazing- we've tried them! 

 

Ingredients

 

Base

60g of pumpkin seeds

60g of sesame seeds

100g cashew nuts

100g desiccated coconut

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp tahini

Topping

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

2 tbsp honey

50g coconut oil


How To 'Veganise' Your Baking

Posted: Fri, 23 September 2016, 16:09

Every time I bake something Vegan I get the same response “wow it doesn’t even taste vegan” and there’s only one answer to that – vegan baking isn’t any less tasty or dry than regular baking. You just need to know how and what to substitute with.

Veganism is without a doubt increasing in popularity. There are so many benefits to baking vegan goodies, however many remain reluctant to try out of fear of the unkown. But no need to panic, as I have written a full disclosure on how to ‘veganise’ your favourite recipes, substituting any egg, honey or dairy products without compromising on flavour and texture.


What’s the Scoop on: Manuka Honey

Posted: Thu, 22 September 2016, 10:23

Did you know that the Manuka shrub flowers for just 2-6 weeks in a whole year? Crazy huh?

Those little bees have a busy start to their honey season once the Manuka begins to flower in the early summer.

Many people ask “what’s with all the hype over Manuka honey, surely it’s just honey?” - but no my friends, Manuka is no ordinary honey.

Let’s get the full scoop on Manuka Honey shall we…..


What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is one of nature’s most powerful natural medicines.

Manuka honey comes from the nectar of the flower of the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) which is a native plant found only in New Zealand and a small part of Australia, and this is where all real Manuka honey comes from.

Manuka honey comes from bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush, and only those specific bees in the specific regions of New Zealand can create this powerful honey.


The 411 on Seed and Nut Butters

Posted: Thu, 08 September 2016, 09:34

There’s no denying that nut and seed butters are delicious, but sadly there are still many people out there who have yet to branch outside the confines of the good ole jar of peanut butter and dip their spreading knives into new and tasty butter realms.

Well my friends, today help is at hand. Now is the time to up your nut butter game!

Many people are unaware that a lot of the cheaper nut butters, especially peanut butters you find in supermarkets are pumped full of sugars and oil! Yeeesh!
Rest assured, the nut butters stocked in Nourish are JUST nuts and their naturals oils with nothing else added (with the occasional exception of sea salt if added to the particular product).

In this guide we shall be covering the different types of nut and seed butters out there, learning more about their flavour profile, nutrition and their uses!

ALMOND BUTTER

Flavour: Almond butter is relatively mild in flavour with a hint of sweetness which makes it a versatile addition to both sweet and savoury recipes. It is available in smooth or crunchy texture and is perfect as a peanut butter alternative for those who want to change it up a bit!

Nutrition: Almonds are a good source of minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, molybdenum and iron, plus B vitamins and vitamin E. They are also a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein and fibre.


What's the Scoop On : Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted: Thu, 18 August 2016, 14:51

Apple Cider Vinegar has been a popular tonic in the health and nutrition community for years, however recently it has become increasingly popular. So what's the big deal? Apple cider vinegar is by no means the new spirulina or acai. However, it definitly brings with it an abundance of goodies for whoever takes the plunge and manages to shoot it down every morning! (This supplement isn't for the faint hearted)

 

Good for the inside and out (because we all know beauty isn't just skin deep), here is our guide on apple cider vinegar, minus the myths (teeth whitening? With acid? Whaaaat?!). We also delve into the best ways to take apple cider vinegar. If you have given it a shot (literally!) and found it too intense to carry forward with, fear not! We have outlined slightly more subtle methods of consuming this digestive superhero.....


26 Ways to Use Your Jar of Coconut Oil

Posted: Thu, 21 July 2016, 10:41

Coconut oil has suffered from quite a bad reputation in the past, but thankfully that’s now changing thanks to many scientific studies revealing the true make up of coconut and its wide array of health benefits.

With its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, plus its immune, hormone and healthy cholesterol supporting benefits, coconut oil is one of the most versatile (and tastiest!) substances on the planet!

So with that being said, here’s a list of 26 ways to use your jar of coconut oil!

No. 1 AS A CLEANSER

Perfect for light and deep cleansing and typically done in the evening prior to bed, coconut oil makes an amazing cleanser.

Massage a fingertips worth of coconut oil onto a damp face to cleanse your skin and wash off with a hot facecloth for an amazing clean feel.
For a deep cleanse, do the above procedure but massage into your face for up to 3 minutes. Soak your washcloth in clean, hot water, rinse and hold over your face to gently steam your pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. Allow it to stay until it cools.

If you suffer from acne, you’ll be pleased to know that coconut oil contains lauric acid that works as an antibacterial agent to help with breakouts and clear up your skin.

No. 2 MAKE UP REMOVER

Coconut oil is a totally natural make-up remover and works wonderfully - even on waterproof mascara!
Just dab some coconut oil on a cotton ball and gently wipe your make-up off. Alternatively do the cleansing method as above.


How to Make Matcha Tea

Posted: Tue, 12 July 2016, 15:16

In my last blog we discovered the benefits of Matcha.
To delve a little deeper, let's get more hands on and taste it for ourselves!
In this blog I'll cover how to make Matcha tea and Matcha lattes in a few simple steps.

Let's get to it!

Matcha Tea

Ingredients:

½ - 1 tsp Matcha Powder (depending on required energy levels)

Hot Water (roughly 150-200ml but really it’s down to personal dilution preference) Make sure the water is a maximum temperature of 80°C and never boiling – this will damage the health properties of the tea as well as causing the tea to turn out very bitter in flavour.
The water can be cooler than 80°C if desired.

Directions:

Add the Matcha tea powder to a Matcha tea bowl or into a cup and add a small amount of hot water to the bowl - roughly 45ml or less.

Using a bamboo whisk, whisk briskly in a figure of 8 or an up-and-down direction to make a thick, green paste with no lumps.

Add more hot water to fill your bowl/cup up to the desired level and whisk until frothy.

Sweeten if desired.

I have often used my little mini electric whisk to get the same frothy consistency, and more than a few times I’ve even added it to my blender to whisk it all together!


Going gluten free can be a personal choice, but sometimes an allergy or intolerance means you have no choice in the matter at all!

Wwhether you decided to ditch gluten because you’re intolerant, or if it’s because you’re choosing it for your health, here are 4 gluten free essentials you should absolutely be using.

1. MILLET

Millet is a small yellow grain that is naturally gluten free with a slightly nutty flavour.
It’s an alkalising grain (non acid forming) and is considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available. This makes millet an absolute must for anyone with celiac disease, those with a gluten/wheat sensitivity or anyone with troublesome digestion.

Millet provides a great supply of nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and B vitamins; plus it provides a good source of protein, fibre and antioxidants, helping to prevent oxidative stress and damage in the body caused by harmful free radicals.

Millet is easy to prepare and delicious to chow down on. Millet can be cooked in a similar way to rice, resulting in a fluffy, nutty tasting nutritious grain that you can use in soups, salads, stir-fry’s, or as accompaniment to main dishes, as an alternative to rice, or mixed into a veggie patty/burger. You can even try it as an alternative to oats! Check out this recipe for Millet Cinnamon porridge.

How to Cook Millet: use 1 cup of millet to 2½ cups water; simmer 20-25 minutes.

Other flavoursome ways of eating this gluten free grain can be discovered here:
My New Roots Seriously Super Cereal
Rosanna Davison Nutrition Avocado Spinach and Millet Superfood Salad
The Kitchn How to cook Perfect Millet Every Time

Pick up a bag of organic millet online or instore or checkout other millet products such as:

Biona Organic Millet Wholegrain Bread
Infinity Organic Millet Flakes
Orgran Gluten Free Rice & Millet Spirals


How To Eat Super Healthy on a Budget

Posted: Thu, 21 April 2016, 09:16

A lot of people believe that to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet you must spend a fortune; but if you’re doing it right, it’s really not as expensive as you might think - you just need to know how!

Here are my 5 tips and tricks for eating well on a budget:

1. Buy in Season

Supermarket shelves are constantly laden with delicious foods harvested from all corners of the globe, and it’s all too easy to be enticed by juicy ripe fruit from America or colourful veggies from Africa; but the problem is these appetizing foods are often out of season and therefore overpriced.

Food is always going to be easier to grow when it’s in season, making it more abundant, less time-intensive for the grower or farmer, and often more affordable for the consumers.

Buying out of season produce is much more expensive because of the shipping distance, the fuel costs, the growing conditions and the amount of people involved in getting that produce from one place to next.

You can save a lot of money by choosing locally produced fruits and veggies that are in season, plus they’re much more likely to be fresher and contain bountiful amounts more nutrients.

For more info on reasons to eat in season, check out our previous blog here: 5 reasons to eat in season


6 Helpful Herbs You May Never Have Heard Of But Should

Posted: Thu, 17 March 2016, 08:57

I think it would be fair to say that everybody is familiar with quite a handful of herbs, like basil, mint, parsley and coriander, but how many people know what else herbs can do, more than simply adding flavour and colour to their favourite dishes?

Herbs also have a wealth of healing and restorative powers that are pretty darn impressive and have been used to make traditional cures by herbalists and apothecaries throughout the centuries to help anything from stress, infection, inflammation, through to skin healing by restoring the body’s homeostasis.

There is a world of herbaceous plants out there you might not know about, most of which can be made into effective herbal tonics, teas, tinctures and supplements, so here I give you 6 amazing herbs you may never have heard of but should:

1. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle (AKA Silybummarianum) is an herb native to southern Europe and southern Russia, and contains a range of therapeutic compounds known collectively as silymarin.
Milk thistle has a long history of use as an herbal medicine, largely for ailments of the liver, being used for its protective and restorative qualities as well as its detoxification properties.


Milk Thistle is known to help prevent liver destruction and enhance liver function through its ability to prevent toxin-induced damage from toxic substances including alcohol, drugs and chemicals. It also stimulates the growth of new liver cells to replace old damaged cells allowing for regeneration to occur.


Staring at a wall of teas can be daunting. There are so many options to look at before choosing the right one for you, and with each one having a different purpose; it’s hard to know which one to go for!

Tea offers so much more than just warmth and hydration. Some teas can boost the immune system, cleanse and detox the body, while others can have relaxing or stimulating qualities, be rich in antioxidants, or have fantastic anti-inflammatory or digestive aiding properties.
Then of course there’s the option to pick your tea based on its flavor.

If you’re feeling like branching out and trying a new brew, here are 9 of our favourite sips to help you make your decision:

1. Green Tea

Green tea is native to the rainy forests of Southeast Asia and is cultivated in China, India, Japan, Burma, Turkey, Pakistan, Argentina, Sri Lanka and Africa.

A personal favourite of mine, green tea has built up its good reputation through its variety of boast-able qualities, with a major one being its extraordinary source of antioxidants. These act as free radical scavengers, decreasing the oxidative stress on the body and helping to fight off disease and aging.


The Top Ten Superfoods with Natural Superpowers

Posted: Wed, 18 November 2015, 12:01

So what are superfoods?

Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.

They are jam-packed full of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals, making them fantastic nutrient powerhouses to help fight disease, infection, free radicals and to help promote and support good health.

One of the most touted benefits of super foods are their high levels of anti-oxidants that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are a natural occurrence through metabolism, however extra and unnecessary free radical loads put on our bodies by external factors including pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, burnt foods, deep fried fats and cooked foods can increase the amount of harmful free radicals. When enough of these free radicals are created and not counteracted by antioxidants, symptoms of illness can occur, from cardiovascular health to immune system problems.
This is when you need antioxidants to build up the immune system and fight off the free radicals in the form of superfoods (added to your healthy meals) and/or supplements. 

Luckily, superfoods taste AMAZING, but just in case you need even more convincing, I’ve got a few fast facts about them for you.


The back to school season is thoroughly upon us, and you may have noticed your child has brought home more than tonight’s homework. Often the first problem people come across after their bouncing well-holidayed kiddy-winks are back to school is the sudden influx of back-to-school bugs, viruses and general immune system mayhem.

You can boost your child’s immune system through a good well balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, with their bodies being filled to the brim with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and the likes.

With a whole new routine, early mornings, lots of new information being thrown at them and then their after school activities to top it off, children need as much energy and brain support as they can get their hands on!
That’s why we’ve wrangled a few tips on how to help keep your kid’s concentration and learning abilities up, and not having them fall asleep 15 minutes into class!

Make sure your backpack is zipped and your shoes are tied: we’re about to run through 4 Back to School Supplements to help support your child’s immune system, energy levels and concentration.


If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, you’re probably already aware that you should be eating a healthy diet to ensure that you and your baby receive plenty of good quality nutrients necessary for optimum health and wellness.

But even if you are eating well, you can’t always trust you’re getting ALL the nutrients essential for a healthy pregnancy from your food at the recommended levels, therefore it is advisable to supplement alongside with a good prenatal vitamin.
This will help you to cover any nutritional gaps in your diet and ensure that you obtain the correct quantities of each nutrient to prevent any deficiencies and support you and your baby’s health during pregnancy.

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet, especially when you’re pregnant or trying to conceive.

So what do you need to look out for and why in your diet and prenatal vitamin?

All vitamins and minerals work together to function and absorb at their best, so it’s best to eat a wide variety of foods to get an abundance of nutrients and supplement with a prenatal vitamin and mineral complex to fill in any gaps.
It is also strongly advised that you do not to take the following nutrients as a separate supplement unless otherwise stated by a health care professional.

1. Folate

Folate is essential for proper cell replication and thus for the development and maintenance of body tissues and systems, especially the nervous system.
Folate is well known for its preventative effects against spina bifida (a condition where the bone encasement that protects the spinal cord is not fully developed) along with other developmental issues, making folate an important supplement.
If you are deficient in this nutrient before you become pregnant, the developing foetus is at an increased risk for neural tube defects, a developmental condition that adversely affects nervous system development in the foetus.


10 Natural Mood Boosters To A Happier You

Posted: Thu, 23 July 2015, 13:15

Do you ever just wake up feeling a bit blah? Or perhaps that perk in your step has walked off somewhere else and you’re feeling more flat footed?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

Do you want the good news? You can quite literally eat your way to a brighter, clearer, more energised, mood boosted you by incorporating these 10 Natural Mood Boosters.

But First

There are two things I will mention a lot during this blog that you should know about.
One is tryptophan, the other, serotonin. These two are very important when you’re working on improving your mood.

So what are they?

L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning it must come from your diet as it is not made in the body. It is involved in the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of happiness, promoting relaxation and sleep.
It is found in a variety of foods, more of which you will read about later on.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter– a type of chemical that relays messages within the brain and body. It’s known for triggering feelings of happiness and is involved in regulating mood, appetite, memory, sexual behaviour, and sleep.
Serotonin can mainly be found in the gastrointestinal tract and in the central nervous system.


Chia Pudding with nuts and almond butter - yum!

What does protein do for me?

Protein is made of important amino acids that are the building blocks necessary for each and every part of your body. Proteins are essential for the normal functioning of the human body, being used to manufacture hormones, immune cells, enzymes, cellular messengers and being a fuel source for the body.

Protein is needed to make up every cell, tissue and organ in the body, from your red and white blood cells to your hair and skin. It is needed for proper growth and healing, cardiovascular function and muscle contraction.

Protein is a crucial macro nutrient for everyone, most especially for pregnant women, growing children and those into sport, therefore it is important to eat a good balanced diet including lots of whole, clean protein containing foods.

What kind of protein should I have?

It is important to choose the right kind of protein. The best protein comes from eating whole food, found in both plant and animal sources.
Plant-based protein sources include sprouted nuts, seeds including chia and hemp seeds, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, sprouts, avocado and quinoa.
The best sources of animal protein include grass-fed meat, chicken, seafood, organic eggs, and natural or Greek yoghurt.


This week we have our very own Grainne from our Wicklow street store guest blogging for us about her Top 8 Sports Supplements For Building Muscle.
Grainne is a qualified nutritionist and owner of www.evolvenutrition.ie and has a wealth of information, some of which she will share below..!

Grainne’s Top 8 Sports Supplements For Building Muscle

Building muscle is not just about lifting weights in the gym, it’s also vital to fuel your workouts with the right foods. See Emily’s blog here for more details on what to eat and drink and when for your workouts.

On top of your diet and exercise regime, adding the right sports supplements to the mix can really enhance your overall results and help you increase your muscle tone and improve your performance.
Here are my top choices:

1. Ubiquinol

What is it? Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10, vital for energy production. The body makes its own CoQ10, but as we age even into our 30’s, it becomes less efficient.
Athletes are often deficient in ubiquinol so supplementation can make a huge difference to energy levels.
CoQ10 is also a potent antioxidant and immune modulator, helping to keep you young and healthy, as well as providing you with plenty of energy to get you through your workouts.

How much to take and when? My favourite brand is Solgar Ubiquinol100mg. Taking 1 capsule with breakfast and if you’re training later that day, another one with lunch and give you an extra boost of energy and stamina.


Sometimes it’s hard enough getting to the gym that we don’t pause long enough to think about what we need to do the prep ourselves before we get there, or how to help ourselves out after. To make your trip to the gym less stressful, we’ve compiled our favourite pre and post snacks and sips that will keep you at the top of your game.

Before you leave the house: Consider these drinks and superfoods as important as your warm-up

1. Coconut Water, Fruit/Veg Juice or Pure Water

When should I drink? Drinking water throughout the day versus minutes before a workout will help to prevent a washy feeling, cramping or nausea during your workout. Downing a litre of water followed by a downward facing dog movement during a yoga class is not going to be pleasant!

Benefits: It is essential for any workout that you keep yourself sufficiently hydrated throughout the day to keep your body constantly hydrated. You’ll experience better performance, less cramped muscles, and feel better during your workout.

2. Maca Powder

What is it? Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the Peruvian Andes at very high altitudes. It is most commonly used to help with stamina, energy, vitality, sexual function, hormone balancing and fertility. Maca is easy to digest and considered naturally rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc, and contains 10% high-quality protein.

How should I use it? To use pre workout for an added boost, add to smoothies, protein shakes, or energy snack balls, or add to your morning muesli or porridge and consume at least an hour before your workout.

Benefits: Many studies have found that maca strengthens the body and helps maintain stamina and endurance, as well as increasing stamina by increasing oxygen levels in the blood.
Maca also works as an adaptogen, helping individuals to cope better with stress both physical and mental.


7 Top Tips for Natural Detoxing and Daily Cleansing

Posted: Mon, 18 May 2015, 13:10

Say no to drastic detox and hello to natural detoxing and daily cleansing!

In this modern world with all its toxic battering, we need to put a lot more attention on natural detoxification and cleansing and allow the body to heal itself and regenerate new healthy cells.

Often, people go full steam ahead and throw themselves into a drastic detox programme, and then promptly make themselves feel awful as they release all their stored toxins into the body all at once.
There is a better, safer, and gentler way to cleanse away those toxins on a daily basis without a drastic detox.

If you’re considering doing a detox and want to learn more about them, then see our sister post about detox basics and why we recommend daily cleansing.

Here are my 7 top tips for natural detoxing and daily cleansing!

1. Open up the exit routes
Ensure your bowels are moving efficiently and you’re passing urine often enough (this depends on your age/size/how much you liquid you drink and your caffeine consumption, but on average you should be urinating 4 -8 times per day).

To help move things along, try starting your morning with warm water with ½ lemon and 2 tbsp of Braggs apple cider vinegar (start with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and build up if you find it too strong). This will really help to cleanse the liver and re-alkalize the body.


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