We often hear the phrase “Eat the rainbow” being bandied around, yes it makes our plates look beautiful and oh so instagramable but what are the actual health benefits to eating an array of colourful foods ?
Simply put each colour in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals that help protect plants from environmental threats and these colours indicate an abundance of specific nutrients.
Red fruits and vegetables contain the phytochemicals lycopene and ellagic acid. These powerful nutrients are known for their cancer-fighting effects as well as reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease while improving skin quality.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids including beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body known to promote healthy vision and cellular growth. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables also play a role in immune function alongside reducing the risk of heart disease.
Greens are one of healthiest foods we can eat being rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K — an essential nutrient for blood and bone health. Green fruits and vegetables support the immune system, assist in detoxification and boosting our energy and vitality.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients, anthocyanins and resveratrol known for anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties. Studies show that the bio-active phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation. Blue and purple fruits and Vegetables are anti-inflammatory and help keep us youthful.
White and brown produce may not be as vibrant in colour as other foods, however they still contain phytonutrients including anti-cancer compounds sulforaphane, allicin and quercetin. White and brown fruits and vegetables are thought to protect against certain cancers, aid bone strength and are heart healthy.
I generally tend to avoid refined carbohydrate wherever possible as such foods have little nutritional value and contribute to weight gain. Starches I find have their place place during the winter months i.e. squashes and sweet potatoes but I do love moving into the warmer months where these can be replaced with a lighter side dish. Hence I am delighted with my new discovery of roasted radishes which provide a fabulous alternative to potatoes and boast an array of health benefits which include being packed with vitamin A, B6, C, E and K. They are also high in fibre and antioxidants as well as being mineral rich.
1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
2. Rinse the radishes, cut off the green tops and slice each radish in half
3. Toss the radishes in avocado oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and arrange on a baking dish.
4. Roast the radishes for 30 minutes stirring them half way through.
5. Remove from the oven ensuring they are crispy on the outside and tender in the centre.
6. Serve with freshly chopped parsley and a generous squeeze of lemon.
Following our recent workshop exploring the concept of emotional eating I decided to post a recipe for this protein packed almond butter bar which satisfies a craving for something sweet whilst containing nutritious goodness:
1 jar almond butter - I used Meridian
1 tbsp honey (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g serving protein powder
generous sprinkling mixed seeds
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 bar dark chocolate 85% +
1 tsp coconut oil
In a bowl mix together the almond butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla until smooth next add the protein powder and mixed seeds and combine well. Line a suitable tray with parchment paper, press dough evenly down in the tray and set aside. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan and pour this evenly over the top, sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerator for 45 minutes. Cut into slices and enjoy as a post workout indulgence <3
During my recent holiday to Bali I embarked upon a three-day juice cleanse, I must admit in the past I have been sceptical of "cleanses" and was always an advocate for a smoothie rather than a juice - you know the old no fibre, too much sugar argument.
However, I have to say I am now a total convert; after day 1 I already started to feel the benefits of giving my digestive system a much needed break, I began to feel lighter, brighter and re-energised, DAY 1!!!
I realise that yes I was on holiday etc but bear in mind this was the second day of our arrival in Indonesia - still jet lagged and acclimatising to the heat having left a very cold and particularly stressful time in London behind.
In short prior to the wondrous juice I had been feeling burnt-out and bloated, a diet of four green liquid meals per day got me right back to where I needed my body and mind to be.
The juices were delicious and sweetened only by the extraction of an apple, in the evening we were able to indulge in a homemade cashew nut milk which took the feelings of hunger out of the equation allowing for a restful sleep. NB: I have since perfected the art of the making the milk myself, keep an eye on my Instagram account for details ; ).
My bloating naturally subsided due to being pretty close to a fasted state for three days, my energy increased and by the end of the three days my skin was glowing.
The element of this three day journey of re-balancing which resonated with me the most however was the time and space I felt it provided with which to reflect upon why and how I had come to feeling not so great in the first place. The low energy I had been experiencing had been impacting my exercise routine and this in tern was effecting my mood which was driving me towards old patterns of self- sabotaging behaviour leading to some not so healthy decisions around my diet (yes nutritionists experience this too).
In short, I needed to press RE-SET and this is exactly what these three days enabled me to do, upon my return to London life I have tried to incorporate a liquid only day once a week to my wellness protocol, I find it extremely beneficial and most importantly - achievable !
My message here is simply to make the time and space to allow yourself to do the same when you are feeling out of balance. This doesn’t have to involve travelling to a tropical country or even taking time off work we can tweak our lives to incorporate pockets of self-care which position us on the wellness path we so desire in order to be our BEST-SELF.
I would like to share my advice and enthusiasm with YOU and will be holding short workshops in London over the next few months details of which will follow, or you can contact me directly via the BEST-SELF website www.best-self.co.uk
A beautiful light and simple coconut broth for a go to summer supper when minimal prep is a must, allowing you to decompress and enjoy the longer evenings. Double the amount depending on how many people you are cooking for so you can roll it over into tomorrows lunch (recipe below serves 2).
As I discussed in my previous post I feel that setting aside a weekend morning and/or an evening once a week to meal prep to be an integral part of maintaining our wellness goals.
This along with establishing a healthy routine will be my theme over the coming weeks watch this space for nutritious recipe ideas to assist you in becoming your BEST-SELF <3
1 heaping teaspoon coconut oil
2 inch piece of ginger chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tablespoons tamari
1 can organic coconut milk
12 stalks asparagus
1/2 cup fresh peas
1 medium courgette spiralized
Pinch of chilli flakes
Squeeze of lime
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 to 60 seconds.
Add tamari, lime, coconut milk and chili flakes and stir well.
2. Bring the broth to a boil: reduce to a simmer, and let cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Place asparagus and peas into the broth and stir. Bring heat up to medium until the asparagus is tender.
4. Stir in the courgette and remove from the heat. Sprinkle over the coriander and another squeeze of lime, let stand for one minute, serve and enjoy.
For a more hearty meal you might like to serve this over rice or quinoa or try adding tofu cubes.
I'm finding myself in a particular busy period at the moment, now don't get me wrong I relish these times in life they provide me with a great sense of accomplishment especially when I still manage to squeeze in my beloved Pilates ! However, this is not to say that there are times such as these when I find myself feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
My number one time management strategy to keep me on track is batch cooking, setting aside an hour or so one ideally two times a week (if your an early riser mornings work well) to prep some nutritious staples to mix and match over the week; think a tray of roasted seasonal vegetables, large bowls of colourful salads, sauerkraut and of course a serving of protein depending on your dietary choices.
Organising yourself in this way saves times, money and keeps you on track with your all important health goals. Relish the time it takes you to prepare your dishes knowing that fuelling your body with a colourful array of nutrient dense foods will provide you with the energy you needed to power through and live your BEST LIFE.
Watch this space for further ideas on food prep, spring is around the corner what better time to make a promise to yourself to treat your body like it belongs
to somebody you love.
I'm Eggstatic to be here delivering my first post to you and I thought I would begin with sharing my love of the wonderful egg (organic and free range obviously).
I have been following a high fat low carb protocol lately and the egg has been a saviour for an omega packed lunchtime go to. I simply whisk two eggs together and add a choice of vegetables or perhaps salmon for the non vegetarians, a twist of black pepper and simply fry omelette style in a tiny dollop of coconut oil for a speedy, nutritious and extremely delicious protein filed savoury delight!
A journey of