The answer is in our Methylation

We were recently fortunate enough to attend a conference given by international speaker Dr Kara Fitzgerald on the trending topic of Methylation. To many of our clients who have had their genes tested with us, this term should ring a bell. If not, read on, you won’t want to miss this.

Methylation

First things first, what is Methylation and why is it necessary?

Methylation is a biochemical process that happens in all our cells. The process is involved in DNA repair, detox, hormone balance, histamine balance, gene building and gene expression (it makes sure the right genes are ‘turned on’ and the bad genes are ‘switched off’) – so you can only imagine why it is so important!

Hyper and hypo-methylation:

Methylation needs to be BALANCED. Both hypo-methylation (not enough methylation taking place) and hyper-methylation (excessive methylation) can be detrimental to your health. This balance is dependent on many factors, the critical ones being: poor nutrient intake, inflammation, oxidative stress, environmental toxins, gut-health and your genetic variation. I hope you are starting to realise the importance of this process… cue flipping through your DNA health report now.

Conditions associated with insufficient Methylation

This list looks frighteningly endless… from ADD/ADHD to bipolar disorder, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, cancer, chronic fatigue, dementia, diabetes, fertility issues, hypertension, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and thyroid disease  (to name a few, OK, to name many, but there are more).

How do we achieve balanced Methylation?

As mentioned before – methylation balance is what will ensure that all the right genes are turned on while all the bad genes are switched off, so the balance is what you must strive for. Taking high dose supplementation can often cause you to create an imbalance so the best way to achieve optimal methylation is to tackle your diet.

Start reaching for…

  • Animal protein such as eggs, salmon and liver
  • Bright fruit and vegetables, think beetroot, spinach and broccoli kind-of-bright
  • Omega 3-rich nuts and seeds
  • Herbs and spices
  • Good, healthy fats (trans fats and refined oils are a big no!)
  • Legumes and grains
  • Dairy, as tolerated

Steer clear from…

  • Charred foods
  • Added sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Hydrogenated fats
  • Alcohol
  • Folic acid fortified foods

As you can see the list of foods to eat is far longer than the list of ‘banned’ foods. If you think a ‘Methylation promoting diet’ is bland, think again. Have a look at some of the amazing food we were treated to at the seminar.

Do you have any queries? Is gene testing of interest to you? Book your appointment now.

 

 

 

Quinoa Sushi

Ingredients (Serves 3):

• 275 Grams Quinoa
• 150 Grams Smoked trout or any other fish that you like
• 1 Cup Greek yogurt
• 2 Tablespoons Wasabi paste, or more to taste
• Lemon pepper to taste
• Salt to taste
• 3 Tablespoons Sushi vinegar
• Nori sheets as needed
• 1 Carrot, shredded
• 1 Cucumber, sliced
• 1 Sweet pepper or bell pepper
• 2 Avocados, sliced
• Black sesame seeds to taste

Method:

1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water & then boil it for 12 min. Drain and set aside. While it is cooking prep the veggies.
2. For the rolls or bowl– slice the pepper and cucumber into strips.
3. Mix the greek yogurt, wasabi, sushi vinegar, lemon pepper & salt. Then add the cooked quinoa and mix until combined. Taste for salt.
4. Place a thin layer of quinoa on top of the nori, sprinkle some black sesame seeds, then add the trout and veggies. Roll it using the mat.
5. Arrange the sliced avocado on top of the roll. Cover with plastic film. Using the mat press a bit so the avocado sticks to the roll.
6. Remove the plastic wrap and slice it into pieces. You can also skip this step & add the avocado with the veggies so it is inside the roll.
7. To make the bowl. Just serve the seasoned quinoa first, then the veggies and trout. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and thinly sliced nori.
Serve with some soy sauce on the side and enjoy!

Low Carb Breakfast Wrap to start off Diabetes Month

If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes or you are pre-diabetic and you need to make radical changes in your current diet – this low carb breakfast wrap is a filling, veggie-loaded option that promises to hit the spot without spiking your glucose levels.

Low Carb Breakfast Wrap (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs, free-range
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh rocket leaves/watercress
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 red pepper,  julienned
  • 1/4 small zucchini, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons spring onion, chopped

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, combine eggs, almond milk and spices. Beat until well combined.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small to medium non-stick pan over medium heat for a 5 to 10 seconds.
  3. Evenly pour in the egg mixture. Cook covered over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until you can easily flip the omelette using a spatula. Flip halfway and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side.
  4. When ready, remove from heat and let cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  5.  Arrange rocket/watercress leaves on the cooled omelette. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top, then arrange the carrots, red pepper, and zucchini along the middle and sides.
  6.  Roll the omelette,  and then cut in half. Season with salt and pepper.

Filling variations:

  • Smoked salmon/trout
  • Curried butter beans
  • Hummus and avocado

 

Skinny Legs café – yes please!

I’m sure by now you have noticed that we have been on some what of a hunt to find delicious (and healthy) spots in the City Bowl area. Well… delicious we have found. Skinny Legs cafe – a luxury cafe and we know why. This gem in lower Loop Street opens at 7 am making it the perfect pit stop on the way to work. What had us coming back for more you ask?

Make everyday great with one of these dishes:

  • Coconut Quinoa – there is already a dish called ‘Porridge of the Gods’ but this one has to be a close second. Vegan and gluten free!
  • Buckwheat pancakes – another gluten free treasure with minted pea puree, creamed feta and rose harisa.
  • Gluten Free Lentil Salad with smoked trout, a poached egg and saffron aioli. A high protein and omega 3 powerhouse.

The sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere makes you want to linger just a little longer every time. Boost your breakfast or lunch by adding a freshly squeezed juice or green smoothie. View their menu here or have a look at their magnificent Instagram page: skinnylegscafe

 

Nutrition Week 2017 #RethinkYourDrink

The theme for Nutrition Week 2017 is # Rethinkyourdrink – choose water! Sounds so simple, so easy. It is. Water is a crucial part of overall health and most people don’t get in enough on a daily basis. Instead, everyone is opting for ice teas, carbonated drinks, alcohol or warm delights like tea and coffee.

The concept for this years theme is to make you more aware of what you are actually drinking. So not to scare you off, but I have listed a couple of facts that might make you #Rethinkyourdrink now!

The number of teaspoons of sugar in 500ml of:

  • Carbonated drinks – 15 teaspoons (58.8g)
  • Energy drinks – 14 teaspoons (56g)
  • Fruit juice – 13 teaspoons (53.8g)
  • Sweetened flavoured milk drinks – 10 teaspoons (41.8g)
  • Sweetened ice tea – 9 teaspoons (37.8g)
  • Sports drinks – 7 teaspoons (27.1g)
  • Flavoured water – 6 teaspoons (24g)

The high sugar content is something to fear. Studies have shown that adults who drink two or more sugary drinks a day increased the risk of developing diabetes by at least 24%.

5 Tips to increase water intake:

  1. Always keep a water bottle with you
  2. Drink a glass of water before you brush your teeth in the morning and evening
  3. Create habits, for example, drink a glass of water with every meal
  4. Flavour your water with mint, lemon, rosemary, strawberries or cucumber
  5. Set reminders on your phone to drink water every 2 hours throughout the day

Equip yourself with knowledge. Read food labels to identify the amount of sugar in your drinks. Look for various forms of added sugars like brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar and sucrose.

A good goal heading into the Summer months: #Rethinkyourdrink and remember that water is a scarce resource, be careful not to waste.

 

World Egg Day calls for celebratory Shakshuka

Yes it’s Friday the 13th but this recipe is foolproof! No broken egg yolks here (we hope!). It makes me so happy that we have a whole day dedicated to the humble egg – so versatile, affordable and nutritious. Eggs often get a bad rep for being too high in fat or cholesterol and yes, the egg yolk does contain cholesterol but recent research shows that having 1-2 eggs/day is healthy and in fact, we should be aiming to get in atleast 1 egg/day. Treat yourself to this vibrant and fresh Shakshuka that shows off the egg in all it’s glory!

Foolproof Shakshuka (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onions, green peppers, garlic, spices, pinch salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, and honey. Simmer until the tomato mixture begins to reduce, about 10-12 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, make 6 “wells,” in the tomato mixture (make sure the indentations are spaced out). Gently crack an egg into each well.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and cook on low until the egg whites are set.
  5. Uncover and add the fresh parsley and mint. You can add more black pepper or crushed red pepper, if you like.

The dirty deets on the glorious egg – here we are:

Nutritional composition per egg (roughly 50g):

  • Energy (kJ): 308
  • Protein (g): 6.29
  • Carbohydrates (g): 0.39
  • Fat (g): 4.97
  • of which Saturated fat (g): 1.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 212
  • Sodium (mg): 70

Fill up at Hungry Herbivore

Vegetarian? Vegan? Super health conscious?

We are well aware that around every street corner there is a new cafe or restaurant flaunting their freshly baked sourdough and croissants. It can be enticing and simply turning in the opposite direction isn’t always the easiest. To all our hungry clients in and around the Bree street area, we’d like to introduce you to – if you haven’t already heard of them – Hungry Herbivore.

We decided to give it a try and let’s just say that smashed avo on toast has never tasted so good! The menu offers everything from all-day breakie (always a plus in my books) to protein deluxe bowls and an array of nutritious smoothies.

Our personal favourites?

  • The Zesty Green smoothie – spinach, banana, spirulina, dates, lemon and soy milk (with the option to substitute for almond milk)
  • The Protein Deluxe Bowl – tofu, quinoa, corn, broccoli, beans and avo (uhhm yummy!)
  • Oh -sweet- Kim Burger – sweet potato, quinoa, kimchi and lentil patty

Yes to fermented foods and green smoothie goodness! They also have a secret menu so don’t forget to ask your waitron. Located in Orphan Street, City Centre. Have a look at the menu (beware: salivating may occur)

 

Going nuts for Wild Sprout

Invested in a Genes to Plate recipe book yet? If you have, you would have seen some of the most spectacular recipes done by Wild Sprout. A new eatery to hit the Loop Street mayhem. A farm to plate concept with a different harvest table everyday and homemade almond milks – what’s not to love? We couldn’t wait to give this one a go.

Definite must try’s:

  • The daily harvest tables are a hit – wholesome, fresh salads with different protein options – focusing on plant-based proteins (WINNER!)
  • Smoothie bowls named after the geniuses themselves – Berry B-Rad or Coo Cacao
  • Superfood juices and smoothies with combinations that will blow your mind! Seriously, the ginger has a real punch. Tummy issues? Have one of the brews that contain kombucha.

That’s not even the best part. Wild Sprout sells a range of their freshly made ginger balls, grain-free rusks, biscotti and so many other tantalizing treats that you just can’t resist buying. All their products are in line with our concept of holistic living. Do yourself a favour and head on over to their Facebook page @wildsproutcpt and pop in for a healthy lunch or mid-morning treat.

 

Spring Clean Your Diet

Spring is in the air! Can you feel it?

If Winter did some damage (it happens to the best of us), and your exercise regime is almost non-existent, give these 10 Spring tips a go. No juice cleanses, restrictions or fasts – just good, healthy eating to break those nasty Winter habits so you can get back to feeling energetic and happy.

 

  1. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier – if you managed to wake up at 5am throughout Winter to fit in your 30 minutes of activity for the day, we salute you. For those who woke up when the sun made an appearance, try setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier to get into a good routine.
  2. Give caffeine the boot – limit yourself to 2 cups of coffee daily and instead of the 3rd and 4th (and sometimes 5th) cup of coffee, drink a glass of water. If water seems like the most unappetizing drink to opt for, try herbal teas or add cucumber, rosemary and strawberries to your bottle of water for a bit of flavour.
  3. Spruce up your pantry – no need for heavy, hearty meals. Ensure your kitchen is stocked with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains such as oats, bulgar wheat, rice noodles and quinoa, fish, chicken, eggs and lean meat and all the herbs and flavours of spring. We love grapefruit, pineapple, coconut and alllll the greens.
  4. Say no to sugar – it’s time to break the habit of tea and rusks, sugar-laden cereals, pastries and the frequent chocolate. Get in healthy sugars from fruit instead – your gut will thank you.
  5. Put a spring in your step – aim to get in some form of exercise at least 4 times a week. Gym, walking, hiking, or yoga… just get active and moving.
  6. Greens, greens, greens – a change in season usually means a stubborn flu is making the rounds. Load up on all your greens to ensure you are getting in all the immune boosting vitamins and minerals. Spring is also the time to get sprouting. Sprouts (broccoli sprouts specifically) are fantastic in helping your body to naturally detox itself.
  7. Load up on anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods – fighting off infection, eliminating bloating, decreasing oxidative stress. There is no reason to not be getting in these superhero foods. Include in your spring diet: cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, olives, walnuts, almonds, avocados, herbs and spices (turmeric, ginger, rosemary, cayenne pepper), garlic, spinach, kale, bok choy (all collard greens), tomatoes, beetroot, cacao, berries, prunes, raisins, apples, plums, oranges, red grapes, alfafa sprouts, red pepper and aubergine.
  8. Go meat-free Monday – start your week off right by opting for bean, peas, protein-rich grains or an egg-based lunch and dinner. This sets your week off right and gets you going for the week ahead. Try combining different beans, peas and grains to ensure you are getting in all the important amino acids that your body needs.
  9. Be mindful – listen to your body. Some days you need an extra green juice or a power nap. Be in tune with what your body is telling you. Rest when tired. Stop eating when you’re full.
  10. Take in your surroundings – be outside. Go for walks, hikes or picnics. Getting in a healthy dose of Vitamin D will work wonders for your energy levels.

Our Q&A with Kim after doing the 4 Week Health Program

The answer to question 7 says it all – Kim loved the 4 Week Health Program. Read about Kim’s experience during her 4 weeks to a healthier self.

  1. Did you find the program manageable to follow?

Yes I did.

  1. What was the most challenging throughout the 4 weeks?

Making sure I was organised and prepped. It was tough traveling for work and having food sorted out. Thank goodness for rice cakes and peanut butter :).

  1. Stage 1: how did you feel eliminating all the toxins?

I felt horrendous for the first 5 days!!! I had major headaches and dizziness. Then on day 6 I woke up feeling AWESOME – so much energy and felt great.

  1. Did your mood and energy levels improve after the 4 weeks?

Yes, hugely.

  1. Were the recipes easy to prepare and delicious?

Yes but ended up making very simple food.

  1. Did you feel hungry throughout the program?

I was hungry in the first week and I craved dense bread!

  1. Would you do the program again?

YES!!!!

  1. List noticeable changes in yourself (both physically, mentally and emotionally) after the 4 weeks?

Skin was a major thing that everyone commented on. My skin cleared up and wrinkles seemed to vanish slightly 🙂 I lost some weight and just slimmed down overall. I had a lot more energy – didn’t feel lethargic. I fell asleep really quickly at night which was great – no insomnia. Emotionally, I also ‘detoxed’ my social life and became more aware of when I was pushing myself to unhealthy limits. I also coupled the program with guided meditations – I did one every day for the 4 weeks.

  1. Did the program make you reconsider your normal diet?

For sure – I am still staying away from caffeine and trying my best to stay away from sugar.

Are you interested? Book your appointment now at: http://alexroyaldiet.co.za/services