A Mother’s Day lazy lunch – Chicken and Blood Orange Tabbouleh Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Chicken breast fillet
  • 3 Blood oranges
  • 1 pinch Chilli flakes
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 4 Spring onions
  • 200g Bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml Water

Method:

  1. Start by cooking the bulgur wheat. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a small saucepan along with the cinnamon and heat gently until starting to sizzle. Add the bulgur wheat and stir.
  2. Continue to cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes until the bulgur wheat smells toasted and fragrant. Add the water and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
  3. Cover with foil or a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down as low as it will go. Cook for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Leave to steam for 5 minutes before fluffing up the grains with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  4. Cut the chicken into very small bite-sized pieces. Place in a small bowl along with the zest of 1 blood orange and the garlic powder, chilli flakes and a good pinch of salt. Mix together well.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken pieces over medium heat until cooked through.
  6. In a large bowl mix together the cooled bulgur wheat, the blood orange chunks and the juice of 1 blood orange, the herbs and the spring onions. Taste and season if needed and add a drizzle of oil if liked. Serve with the chicken on top or mixed throughout if preferred.

5 Quick Fixes for those Nasty Tummy Issues

It’s that time of year where everyone seems to either be run down with the “Summer-is-over-Winter-is-approaching-flu” or a bedridden tummy bug. A healthy diet and bed rest can do wonders but if you have been victim to the dreaded tummy bug then try these ‘quick’ fixes to give your gut the boost it needs. The gut is after all the most important aspect when it comes to our immune defense system.

  1. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is a unique form of charcoal (different to the ashes that remain after a braai), that binds to toxins in the gut alleviating symptoms of gas, bloating or other IBS related complications such as cramping and diarrhoea. Activated charcoal comes in a fine powder, granules, tablets and capsules.

Whichever form you choose, always take it with a big glass of water and at least two hours away from food and more importantly, medications and other supplements. Find activated charcoal at any Wellness Warehouse or health shop. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage instructions on the product.

  1. Glutamine and zinc

Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of your intestinal lining. Zinc can alter your gut bacteria and low levels of zinc can contribute to poor zinc absorption, which is in itself a problem. Both glutamine and zinc act as a powerful tummy healing remedy.

  1. Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which can reduce some of the symptoms related to acute and chronic digestive problems. Omega 3 can be found in salmon and sardines. These two provide us with most of the health benefits attributed to omega-3 fatty acids.

Other sources include seeds and nut oils such as flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and soybeans.

  1. Probiotics (and prebiotics)

Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and helps get rid of bad bacteria. Probiotic rich foods include fermented vegetables (see below), yoghurt, buttermilk and kefir.

  1. Bone broth and Fermented foods

Bone broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. Fermented foods contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut. Sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh are excellent sources.

Also remember that bacteria feed off sugar so try to cut our refined carbohydrates and sugar altogether. Your tummy will thank you.

Festive Time is here! How do you keep it tidy you ask?

Prepare yourself for the holiday season! The run-up to Christmas is often a time for endless party nibbles, alcohol and lack of exercise…

We understand that you don’t want to miss out on the fun so with these tips you can do all of that – party and stay healthy!

1.   Exercise 
Give yourself the gift of 30 minutes of exercise a day. In addition to burning calories, exercise also helps to relieve tension – so you are less likely to eat to control holiday stress (which is a real thing!).

2.    Stay hydrated! 
A little water goes a long way – small sips throughout the day is a smart way to keep well hydrated. Even better, water has no fat, no calories and no sugar  🙂 Keep a bottle of ice cold water in the fridge and pop in some mint and lemon.

3.   Portion Alert! 
Try to keep your portions small and make only one visit to the table. Choose the smallest plate possible. Pile greens and other tasty veggies on your plate first, leaving just a little room for those high-calorie treats like sweets and cheeses. Eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy a special treat later – just make sure you do not starve yourself for the party and overeat later.

4.    Step away from the table 
If you don’t put your choices on a plate, you have no idea how much you are really eating. The worst thing you can do at a party is stand around the table dipping into the bowl.

5.   
 Drink smart 
Alcohol is a double whammy during the holidays.  It tends to weaken your resistance when it comes to eating, and the calories in drinks add up quickly. Always choose low calorie mixes (water is best) and opt for light white wine spritzers as your number one choice.

6.  If you need to cheat, be clever about it

Every one craves sugar at this time but make sure you opt for sugar free chocolate deliciousness. See our recipes for ideas…

7. Zen Yourself

Holidays can be stressful. Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable. Organise your time and make a list and prioritise the important activities. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. And don’t forget to schedule some down time to relax.

8.    Slip, don’t slide
If you eat three helpings of mashed potatoes and half a pie, all is not lost.  Rather than polishing off the rest, learn from your slip-up. Next time, eat a salad first, start a conversation, and park yourself far from the danger zone. The next time starts today.

 Remember to avoid missing meals in the busy period running up to Christmas. This easily leads to overeating, when you’re faced with temptation.

 

ENJOY THE FESTIVE SEASON 🙂

How can DNA testing help you reach your ideal body goal?

Choosing a diet can be frustrating. Especially when you feel like you’ve tried them all and have not seen the results you’ve always hoped for. Whether it be low carb, high fat, high protein, Mediterranean… the list goes on and on! The answer lies in your DNA….and we can help you.

We do DNA tests at our practice. It is a cheek swab and takes 5 minutes. You will get your results in 2 weeks. It tells you about eating behaviour, metabolism, fat and carb metabolism and exercise responsiveness. This guides your diet plan to make it effective and sustainable.

What does the DNA Diet test tell you: 
– Which diet type is best for you (low carb, low fat, mediterranean)
– If you require snacks or not
– If you crave sugar or can be classified as a sweet tooth as opposed  to a sugar addict
– How much exercise you should do per week
– and much more!

The cost of the DNA Diet test is R1625, excluding the consultation fee.

(The consultation price can be claimed through Medical Aid).

Nourish yourself to a glowing skin

Afternoon Express Show asked Alex what to eat to get a healthy skin. Here is her professional take:

How is eating a healthy diet going to give you healthier looking skin?

A healthy diet and lifestyle is the cornerstone to staying young and this is reflected in every cell of your body especially your skin.

– A healthy diet provides the vitamins and minerals that the skin cells require for proper structure and function

– Antioxidants to prevent damage from the environment

– Hydration and anti-inflammatory factors that prevent redness and puffiness.

Can you say that if you have healthier looking skin, that your skin will automatically look younger, take years off my looks?

If you have healthy skin which is less inflamed and red and more hydrated it will definitely look younger.

Some of the worst foods to eat for your skin?

-Sugar and processed foods that are high in chemicals

-Dehydrating foods and beverages (sugar, coffee in some people who are caffeine sensitive, alcohol, salt)

-Inflammatory foods (those high in omega 6’s, from certain cooking oils)

Best foods to eat to give us younger and healthy looking skin?

-Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli),

-A variety of brightly coloured fruits (berries, melons, guavas and citrus)

-Eggs, Nuts and seeds and oily fish like sardines, salmon and pilchards.

How good is water in helping with healthier skin, and should it be a certain amount, still, or sparkling, what is true when it comes to water?

-Water is very important for two main reasons. Firstly, well hydrated skin is less wrinkled and damaged and secondly, drinking lots of water flushes the toxins out of the body which gives the skin a healthy glow.

-You need 30-35ml/kg.

-Sparkling and still are the same in terms of hydration.

What are some of the important vitamins and minerals found in foods which are easily available?

– Antioxidants: mop up free radicals that cause skin damage and wrinkles.

– Vitamin A (effects the actual physiology of the epidermal layers in the skin. green leafy vegetables, carrots, peppers, Liver, eggs)

– Vitamin C (maintains the collagen in the skin. Citrus fruits, peppers, berries, guavas),

– Vitamin E (powerful antioxidant protecting the cell membranes of the skin cells. sunflower seeds, nuts, eggs, green leafy veg)

Anti-inflammatory foods:

– Omega 3s / precursors to omega 3: oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds

– Green tea, turmeric, ginger

– Zinc: improves structure of skin cells and helps with wound healing. It is found in red meat, seafood

– Selenium: improves tissue elasticity. It is found in brazil nuts, whole grains, eggs

In today’s times so many women, be it working moms, career women just can’t find the time to take care of their needs, be skin, eating healthy, what are some of the most important tips that are easy to follow, that is affordable to all women that will improve, maintain healthy and younger looking skin? 

Throw out all the processed sugary foods. Avoid convenience or fast foods. Keep fresh veggies and fruits chopped and ready to snack on. Make the base of your meals green leafy veggies.

Easy Daily Tips to Boost Immunity and Prevent Flu and Colds

Never underestimate the importance of good nutrition to boost your immune system.

The best way to get all the vitamins and nutrients into your system is through juicing and smoothies, eating a wide variety of vegetables, that are fresh and organic, and boosting your body with the supplements that you might need.

Boost your vitamin C intake – that is the obvious one. All your orange and red veggies are the best for this one. Include guava and peppers especially.

Vitamin D is incredible for immunity – get safe sunlight and potentially take a vitamin D supplement. I take one religiously.

Zinc – eat shellfish, seafood and nuts to get this little mineral.

Omega 3’s prevent inflammation – oily fish DAILY! Otherwise a supplement is on the cards!

Garlic has been shown to be an antifungal and natural antibiotic. So add this where you can.

Probiotics are FANTASTIC for immunity – drink kefir or kombucha and try some sauerkraut. Otherwise, again, get yourself a top quality Probiotic.

Keep warm and eat your oranges (and garlic, and kefir, and peppers, and sardines… you get the drift 😉

 

 

Shrug off the Flu this winter

I write this while snuggling under my blanket in bed, nursing a cold. Some say it is inevitable that you will get a cold or flu during winter! This is not ideal in any way, shape or form! So to try avoid this I want to pass on some nutritional knowledge to keep you from ending up like me sniffing and spluttering.

The main way to avoid a cold this winter is to keep loaded with Vitamins and Minerals – eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables every day and healthy lean proteins. With vegetables, make sure they are different colours, as each colour contains a different phytonutrient (e.g. tomatoes with lycopene). Here’s a bit more detail:

  • Grapefruit: The Red or Pink ones are high in Vitamin C and contain bioflavonoids that give the immune system a big boost.
  • Cauliflower and Broccoli: cruciferous vegetables are high in antioxidants such as glutathione which helps to fight off infection. They also contain choline which keeps the cells functioning efficiently.
  • Carrots: are high in Beta-carotene which protect the mucous membranes of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and prevent bacteria from crossing over into the blood stream causing infection.
  • Eggs: contain zinc, selenium and of course protein which boost immunity
  • Cinnamon: has been labelled an anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. These properties help keep disease at bay
  • Mushrooms: contain lots of zinc to boost immunity
  • Spinach and kale: are high in vitamin C and folate to prevent infection
  • Tomatoes and Watermelon: are high in lycopene that reduce respiratory inflammation and prevents infection
  • Yoghurt: contains probiotics that improves gut barrier preventing bacteria from entering the blood stream

See TIPS for practical ways to boost immunity!

Keep COSY!!

10 Day Clean Eating Program

*You can buy your Program here.

After a long festive season I was feeling tired, sluggish and heavy!

So what would any health and nutrition nut do? Start a 10 Day Clean Eating Program! It was a strict few days of eating heaps of spinach, green vegetables, fish, avo, berries, pears, legumes and shakes, but the end result is definitely worth it. I feel amazing and would definitely recommend it!

10 days later and I’m feeling so much lighter, leaner and MUCH more energetic. My concentration has been laser focused, my memory is better, I feel fitter and stronger, less achy and my taste buds and appetite have been reset. I actually find fruit is too sweet now and I battle to finish my meals (which is unheard of in my world).

Why do our bodies need this?

Toxins and chemicals are constantly bombarding our bodies through the environment and the food we eat. This can compromise the way our bodies work, and even affect our health. This is why we need to eat clean and “detox” our bodies occasionally. But if this is done incorrectly it might cause muscle loss and fatigue, so don’t fall for just any diet. This one has been tried and tested by me and many medical professionals.

What some don’t know is that in order to support liver detoxification functions, the body needs macronutrients
 such as high quality protein and carbohydrates, plus specific micronutrients that provide targeted nutritional support. And these have been included in this program.

This Program enhances the body’s natural metabolic detoxification process while providing adequate fuel for both cleansing and other daily activities, supporting energy metabolism and overall well-being.

What does this diet entail?

The 10 days are split into different phases where you cut out certain foods and exchange them for a complete health shake and capsules, which support the liver’s detoxifying function at different stages. The shake and capsules contain vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, green tea extract and milk thistle.

To give you an idea you can see an example menu below…

Screenshot 2016-01-31 21.14.29

Processed meat & cancer update

“Does bacon cause bowel cancer? Does red meat cause stomach cancer?”

In a short answer, yes, according to The World Health Organisation (WHO). They have labelled processed meats as carcinogenic agents. But what does this mean? Do we have to stop eating bacon and sausage? Shock and horror! Read on…

This is not new science. Epidemiological evidence and the underlying mechanisms have been studied in depth over the past few years. It is just now that the WHO and the IARC have exposed their new results that people are taking note again.

The background of IARC Monograph program:

Specialists from around the world assess a wide range of 940 agents from air pollution to solar radiation to chemicals and food products. The assessment looks at the hazard (how capable an agent is of causing cancer) not the actual risk (how likely it is to cause cancer). This is based on epidemiological studies, animal studies and underlying mechanisms.

The agent is then graded into 5 different groups depending on the level of evidence available.

Processed meat has been graded into group 1 – meaning that the agent is carcinogenic to humans, based on epidemiological evidence and animal studies.

Red meat has been graded as 2A (the agent can probably cause cancer), based on animal studies and limited epidemiological human studies.

At this stage it is important to look at what constitutes processed meats. It is made mostly from pork or beef meat that are preserved by treatment methods including curing and smoking, and yes most bacon and biltong are included here. Have a look at the image below…

cancerous_meat_624

 

The underlying mechanisms of how these products are associated with cellular changes and cancer are outlined by Santarelli et al in 2008 in the article Processed meat and colorectal cancer: a review of epidemiologic and experimental evidence, published in Nutrition and Cancer. 2008; 60(2): 131–144.

  • Cooking meat at a high temperature forms carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds are formed in meat and endogenously
  • Heme iron in red meat can promote carcinogenesis because it increases cell proliferation in the mucosa
  • Nitrosation might increase the toxicity of heme in cured products

This science has been available for many years and may stand true. However in certain studies risk can be falsely linked to disease due to compounding factors. For example, the healthy well part of the population may avoid processed meats and be highly active and not smoke – all of which reduces their cancer risk.

I would like to highlight the following here.

It is important to realize that even though processed meat has been regarded as a grade 1 carcinogenic hazard, which also lists tobacco smoke, alcohol and solar radiation, their association to causing cancer is not the same. So you cannot compare the hazard that processed meat has on cancer to smoking for example. This is highlighted here:

3% of all cancers may be linked to red or processed meats

19% of all cancers may be linked to smoking cigarettes

(Cancer Research, UK)

 

Furthermore, there are positive attributes to eating red meat including the provision of high quality and bioavailable protein, zinc, vitamin B12.

It is also important to examine your source of processed and red meat and to opt for hormone free, grass fed, free-range meats.

The message is that we should find balance: limit the amount of processed meat in our diets and enhance a healthy, active lifestyle where weight is well managed, tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption is avoided and a diet high in antioxidants and nutrients is followed.

 

 

Banana Oat Pancakes

Sugar and gluten free

Makes 4 big pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 4 eggs
  • Toppings: chopped almonds, strawberries or sliced banana and chia seeds

Method

  1. Blend the oats until it becomes a flour. Add the cocoa and set aside.
  2. Blend the banana and yoghurt and mix into the eggs.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until smooth.
  4. Use a nonstick pan or a smidgen of butter or coconut oil and fry the pancakes until golden brown.
  5. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Exchange breakdown per serving 

  • Milk 1/8
  • Veg  –
  • Fruit 1 (if you have 1/4 cup strawberries as your topping)
  • Starch 1/4
  • Protein 1
  • Fat 2 (if you use 1 tsp butter to fry + 8 almonds as a topping)