Posts

Food prevents disease

Perhaps more than anything else in our lives, the foods we regularly eat help determine whether or not we will become ill, or remain healthy into older age. Whether vegetables, fruit, meat, oils or grains, foods contain influential substances including antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fiber and much more.

Some of the ways food prevents disease include:

Decreasing inflammation – Inflammation is the body’s attempt to heal itself after an injury, defend itself against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria, and repair damaged tissue. Its job is to heal, but in many cases, it also contributes to chronic diseases.

  • Foods that decrease inflammation: tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards, nuts like almonds and walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.

Balancing hormones – Abnormal changes to your hormones can lead to accelerated aging, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, depression, low mental capacity, reproductive problems, and an array of autoimmune diseases.

  • Foods that balance hormones: protein such as chicken, fish, eggs, healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avo, olive oil and green tea.

Balancing blood glucose levels – Poorly managed blood sugar levels can cause cravings, fatigue, neurological damage, mood disorders, hormonal imbalances, and more.

  • Foods that balance blood glucose: vegetables, melon or berries, higher-fiber foods: beans, brown rice, sweet potato, butternut and lean protein like chicken and fish.

Eliminating toxins – In modern society, we are bombarded by chemicals from our diet and environment. Toxicity contributes to inflammation, autoimmune diseases, infertility, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, etc.

  • Foods that eliminate toxins: greens such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, green tea, beans 

Success Story- Ismail shares his journey to weight loss

One of my most determined and motivated clients, Ismail, has done exceptionally in his weight loss journey following his meal plan, losing 47kg. He shares his journey and what he has learnt through this amazing and inspiring transformation!

 

Kirby: How much weight have you lost in total?

Ismail: I was at 164kg, my heaviest just before I came to see you. I am currently around 117kg and my aim is to get into the double figures soon.

Kirby: What was the most difficult part of the diet plan?

Ismail: When I came to you I was in the process of doing some soul searching and trying to understand where I wanted to be in terms of my weight. The difficult part was realizing what my bad habits were and sometimes still are, and to understand what the food does for me and to me. With the help of the consultations and knowledgeable advice you gave me – I started to understand the situation I was in and I could then reflect seriously on what I wanted from my life. The difficult parts were removing the years of bad eating habits and changing it into a healthier way of eating, this is still a learning curve for me. The discipline in learning how to cook nutritious meals for myself was key in breaking those old bad habits. I always remind myself to have more veggies and salad and to start filling my plate with those first! I found it difficult in the beginning to get into a regular routine of exercise and to maintain the momentum of working on my weight, staying on a good eating plan, and working on my emotional self in order to attain my goals.

Kirby: What was the easiest?

Ismail: The easiest part was coming to my consultations and feeling relaxed and knowing that this is my journey to many little goals during my weight loss.

Kirby: Can you share some tips and give advice to others in your shoes, just starting the diet plan?

Ismail: Sometimes the road ahead seems like a mountain, but by taking it one day and one meal at a time, is the first healing steps. Get to know yourself and to love yourself and make little changes to improve your health and weight.

Keep it up Ismail !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

WOMEN’S MONTH SALE: 4 Week Health Program

Calling all women – from near and far. Spring is just around the corner and the Winter fatigue needs to be shaken off! Improve your health, body, work productivitymood, and energy levels this August by joining our 4 Week Health Program. Each week marks a different stage that is important for your health: ELIMINATION, DETOX, BOOST and INTEGRATION.

The 4 Week Health Program includes:

  • A healthy eating program divided into 4 stages
  • Four consults (online consults are available)
    • An initial consult (body composition assessment and diet explanation)
    • 3 follow up consults
  • Our ‘Dietitian’s Guide to Clean Eating’ e-book for FREE

*The 4 Week Health Program is now R1199 (excl supplements and exercise regime)

August: A time to celebrate Women

There’s no denying that as a woman we have certain roles to fill, duties and responsibilities that are both unique and wonderful but can also be draining both physically and emotionally.

Knowing and accepting that you need an extra boost is what being human is all about. So take from the tips what you need and share with someone near and dear the tips they might need, after all, we are in this together.

Women’s Health Tips from girl-to-girl:

  1. Good, nutritious food – this is a no-brainer yet it happens to be the first thing that goes out the window. Women need a healthy balanced diet that suits the needs of its holder, whether that is more protein, no dairy, a block of dark chocolate after a bad day or a veggie juice because the greens are otherwise non-existent. Find what works for you and stick with it.
  2. Soulful company – a loyal pet, a trusty friend or a peaceful yoga group. Find your tribe, this is a must.
  3. Extra vitamins and minerals – iron, omega 3, a good B-vitamin, vitamin A, C and D, Calcium. Women need a little extra when it comes to these all-important nutrients. Make sure you are getting in enough through a healthy, balanced diet.
  4. Sleep – a luxury to most but I cannot stress the importance of getting in enough. Aim for 7-8 hours a day and if possible, sneak in that 15 minute shut eye in the afternoon.
  5. Time to yourself – possibly more of a luxury than sleep? Maybe. Put down the tab, iPhone or laptop. Try 10 minutes of meditation or a 30 minute walk outdoors. Breathe. Relax. Be grateful.

 

Need a little pick me up? Try our Royal Lattes

Five uses for your trusty blender

Has your blender made its way to the back of the cupboard because the idea of making a smoothie in this chilly Winter puts you off ? Dust the handy appliance off ASAP. Here are 5 fantastic uses for your trusty blender.

Homemade Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 200g tinned chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (or more)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until combined. If not fully blended, scrape down the sides and blend again. Season to taste.

Thai Green Curry Paste

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 medium green chillies, deseeded
  • 5cm piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • 1 lime, grated zest and juice
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend to make a paste. If not fully blended, scrape down the sides and blend again.

Basil Pesto (or any pesto)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-2 cups fresh basil, washed
  • 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan in a blender and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin steady stream until well combined.

Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat yoghurt/coconut cream

Method:

  1. Place the halved tomatoes, quartered onions, and garlic cloves into a large bowl and add the oil. Season well with salt and pepper, and stir well to coat. Pour the oiled and seasoned vegetables onto a baking tray, and roast at 180C for about 30 minutes.
  2. Set the roasted vegetables aside for 15 minutes to cool and then place the veggies into your blender.
  3. Once the soup is blended, add the yoghurt/coconut cream and, salt and pepper to taste. If you are serving the soup immediately – pour the soup into a pot and heat on the stove top for 5 minutes.

Salsa Verde

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  •  1 cup basil leaves
  •  1 garlic clove, chopped
  •  2 teaspoons capers, drained
  •  1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 lemon, juiced
  •  Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Place parsley, basil, garlic and capers in a blender. Process until finely chopped.
  2. With the motor running, add oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to parsley mixture. Blend until well combined. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Blenders are so versatile. From the above mentioned recipes to the humble pancake, frothy lattes or simply grinding flaxseeds – there should be no reason to ever push your blender to the back of your cupboard.

 

 

Braai’d lamb skewers with a herby vegetable couscous

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

For the lamb skewers:

  • 1kg lamb leg or shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 80ml/5 tabespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or some fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 10 skewers

For the herby couscous:

  • 200g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into thick slices
  • 140g mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 240g couscous (dry weight)
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 3 handfuls of your favourite herbs (I used coriander, parsley and dill)

Method:

For the skewers:

  1. In a large bowl add the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, the herbs and spices and season with freshly ground pepper. Whisk all the ingredients to combine. Add the lamb and the chopped onions and blend to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, chill and let marinade for at least 4 hours.
  2. To assemble the lamb skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water. (This will prevent them from burning.) Lift the chunks of lamb out of the marinade and thread the pieces, on the skewers.
  3. Braai the lamb skewers for about 10-15 minutes, until cooked to your liking.

For the herby couscous:

  1. Pre­heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the vegetables on a roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil, add the paprika and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir well and pop in the oven for 30-­35 minutes until soft and caramelised.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, put the couscous in a large bowl. Add the tomato puree to the hot stock and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the stock on the couscous, stir, cover with a plate or cling film and let it stand for at least 15 minutes, until the stock has been fully absorbed. Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork.
  4. Toast the pine nuts by placing them in a small pan and cooking them over low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables, the pine nuts and the chopped herbs to the couscous, then drizzle with a little olive oil and mix well. Serve hot or cold, alongside the braai’d lamb skewers.

Cheese and Chive Mancakes for Dad this Father’s day

Cheese and chive mancakes (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (can be substituted with almond/oat flour)
  • 2 scoops protein powder (vanilla/unflavoured)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated

Method:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add eggs, coconut oil, and milk and blend well.
  2. Spoon batter into a hot non-stick pan.
  3. Once pancakes bubble, flip over and cook until golden brown.
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of grated mozzarella, a poached egg, delicious salmon or some tomato salsa if your dad prefers some heat.

Soup up this Winter

Temperatures are dropping, and there is something so comforting about sipping on a warm bowl of goodness. Avoid the pre-made stuff and use up all those leftover veggies in the fridge by whipping up these quick and super easy, heart-warming soups. These recipes are rich in anti-oxidants and plenty of other nutritious, delicious superfoods. The best part is, they can be made in 60 minutes or less.

 

Sweet potato, butternut and kale soup (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small butternut
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 300ml almond milk
  • 4 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, curry (optional)
  • Roasted pine nuts for garnish
  • Small bunch coriander

Method:

  1. Start out with preparing the ingredients. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and the butternut. Wash and chop the kale, onion, and apples.
  2. Bring the coconut  and almond milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sweet potato and butternut and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potato/butternut is soft.
  3. Add the kale, onion, and apples to the saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, and optionally curry according to taste. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, roast the pine nuts in a frying pan.
  5. Serve the soup hot with a good amount of the roasted pine nuts and fresh coriander.

 

Ginger and turmeric carrot soup (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 400g  carrots, chopped into rounds
  • 4 medium beets, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4cm of fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Coriander, chopped, for garnish

Method:

  1. Toss the carrots and beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies are tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onion begins to become soft. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for one minute more, or until the garlic/ginger becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the roasted beets, carrots and vegetable stock to the saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Stir in the vinegar, cayenne pepper and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer the beet stock mixture to a blender or blend in the pot using a blender stick. Blend until smooth.
  7. Serve with chopped coriander to garnish.

 

Chicken zucchini noodle soup (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • ½  cup diced red onion
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • Avocado for topping (optional)

Method:

  1. Place a large soup pot over medium heat and add in the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  2. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables “sweat” and onions are translucent. Add in the thyme and oregano and cook for another 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Place in the chicken thighs and bay leaf and pour in the chicken broth and water.
  4. Cover and let the mixture come to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a steady simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken and peel off the skin and discard. Then, shred the chicken off the bone and set aside, with any juices. Place the bones back into the soup pot and simmer for 10 more minutes, uncovered.
  6. While the bones simmer, slice the zucchinis halfway lengthwise. Then, spiralize/grate the zucchini. Set aside.
  7. Remove the bones and bay leaves and discard. Add the reserved shredded chicken back to the pot along with the zucchini noodles.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes or until zucchini is al dente. Season to taste.
  9. Top with sliced avocado (optional)

 

10 Prebiotic Foods You Should Eat For Digestive Health

Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut which leads to a healthy digestive system.

 

Garlic

Garlic gives great flavour to your foods and provides you with prebiotic benefits. It has been shown to help promote good bacteria and prevent harmful bacteria from growing.

Onions

Onions are rich in inulin and FOS, which can help boost your immune system, provide fuel for your gut bacteria and improve digestion.

Leeks

Leeks are often used in cooking for their distinct flavour. They are high in prebiotic inulin fibre and vitamin K.

Asparagus

Asparagus is a spring vegetable rich in prebiotic fibre and antioxidants. It promotes healthy gut bacteria and may help prevent certain cancers.

Bananas

Bananas are rich in fibre. They’re also great at promoting healthy gut bacteria and reducing bloating.

Barley

Barley is high in beta-glucan fibre, which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. It also seems to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Oats

Whole oats are a grain rich in beta-glucan fibre. They increase healthy gut bacteria, improve blood sugar control and may reduce cancer risk.

Apples

Apples are rich in pectin fibre. Pectin promotes healthy gut bacteria and helps decrease harmful bacteria. It also helps lower cholesterol and reduces cancer risk.

Flaxseed

The fibre in flaxseeds promotes regular bowel movements, lowers LDL cholesterol and reduces the amount of fat you digest and absorb.

Wheat bran

Wheat bran is rich in AXOS, a type of fibre that has been shown to increase healthy gut bacteria and reduce digestive problems.