This morning I attended a breakfast hosted by KORA Organics and Women in Focus, where I got to hear from Therese Kerr, mum to Miranda Kerr, and personal chef to the stars, Chef Kate on all things healthy and organic.
Delicious fruit and yoghurt served up for breakfast
If you regularly read my blog you will already know that I am a strong advocate for living naturally and eating healthy but it was quite inspiring to hear Therese and Kate talk about the importance of embodying health from the inside and the outside.
Most women put around 200 chemicals on their face each day and as Miranda’s mantra goes “what you put on your skin, soaks in”. Eating certified organic foods and using certified organic products means that the body doesn’t have to waste time processing toxins, meaning your body functions can get back to performing at their peak. This basically results in glowing skin, bright clear eyes, better digestion and a stronger immune system. Pretty much how I felt after I came off my detox last week :-)
KORA Organics Daily Hand Cream which smells delightfully citrus-y (it contains mandarin and grapefruit oil)
Branded Organic vs. Certified Organic
A lot of products will self-declare that they are organic. There is currently no government regulation over the use of the word organic in Australia so products and brands can declare they are organic even if they are not, so you may think you are buying organic but the product or food still contains a lot of the nasties you are trying to avoid. This is why certification is important, in order to be certified organic a product/brand has to jump through a lot of hoops and the certification process is quite stringent. In Australia the two biggest certifying bodies are Australian Certified Organic and NASAA Certified Organic, check out their website for more information.
Chef Kate also had a few tips and tricks, including which foods you should absolutely avoid unless they are certified organic, which was chicken, eggs, dairy and berries. She also said that Lamb is usually a good choice if you are out and unable to eat organically as it is generally lower in toxicity. The one thing Chef Kate said that really resonated with me was to have joy in what you are eating and I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve just come off a ten day detox and I have to say, I feel amazing. It’s easier to get up in the morning, I feel less bloated and my mind feels a lot clearer. However over the last week I’ve been getting this reaction from quite a few people “Oh, you’re not doing one of those lemon detox things are you?”
Let me just clarify one thing, in my opinion the lemon detox diet is a fast not a detox. It came to fame after Beyonce apparently used it to drop a bucket load of weight for her role in dream girls, but let me reiterate, it is a fast, there is no food and your only nutrients come from squeezed lemons and maple syrup. Hardly a balanced or nutritious diet, me thinks. Warm water with lemon juice is a great way to start the morning, it cleanses the liver and is alkalising however sustaining your entire body on just water, lemons and sugar is definitely not something I would undertake.
I’m a big advocate for detoxing but to me this means eating super-healthy with loads of fresh fruit and veg, which essentially gives your body a whole bunch of extra nutrients to work with. The main things that I cut out of my diet are:
- No caffeine (this includes no chocolate)
- No alcohol
- No gluten
- No red meat (this one is pretty easy being a vegetarian)
- No sugar (a small amount of natural sweetners ie honey is OK)
- No dairy (yoghurt with acidophilus bifidus is also OK, just don’t over do it)
Giving up my morning coffee has been the hardest for me this time, I’ve given up coffee before but I was definitely feeling it this time around. Apart from that a detox just requires a little bit more ogranisation, you can’t fall back on takeaway when you are doing a detox but the pay off is well worth it. Tip: Rice paper rolls are perfect detox food if you forget your lunch ;)
Lastly, it’s important to drink a tonne of water, this will help your body flush out all the toxins. If you want more information you should check out The Detox Cookbook, it’s sub-title is ‘Cleansing for Food Lovers’ so you know you won’t starve ;)
Are you yay or nay on the humble detox?
Nuts and seeds are packed full of yummy goodness, containing protein, unsaturated fats, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, fibre, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, selenium and the list goes on. If you don’t know what any of these do, then trust me when I say they are good for you :) However because they are quite high in unsaturated fats (don’t worry these fats are heart-healthy) eat in moderation, a small handful of nuts is all you should be eating in a day.
Nuts and seeds contain natural inhibitors such as phytic acid, tannins and enzymes that prevent them from sprouting until conditions are right. In nature when the temperature is right and there has been enough water ie rain the nut or seed will germinate to produce a plant. So soaking nuts or seeds is basically mimicking nature and breaking down all of their natural defenses making it easier for our bodies to digest. Soaking also increases the availability of nutrients and vitamins, which is always a good thing.
How do I soak my nuts, you ask…
I like to soak my nuts in a jar ;)
Place the nuts and seeds in a bowl or glass filled with room temperature water and soak for 12 hours, I usually leave mine overnight.
When the time is up simply drain and rinse well – it is not unusual for the water to smell a little bit funky after the 12 hours but this will wash away when you rinse the nuts.
Eat and enjoy :)
My gorgeous BFF returned from her family Christmas in Victoria on the weekend with an abundance of blueberries which she had hand-picked at her Uncle’s farm in Gippsland. I hadn’t seen her in a few months, she’s been living in the UK and had headed straight to Victoria for Christmas before coming back home to Sydney, so you can imagine my joy when I opened my front door to not just my bestie, but also two massive freezer bags full of blueberries.
Just a small sample of the total blueberry bounty
And boy are they GOOD blueberries; I’m talking sweet and juicy and packed full of flavour. Blueberries are chock-a-block with antioxidants so they are great for your immune system and some may argue also anti-ageing. They are often touted as a ‘Superfood’, which is just marketing speak for ‘this food is really good for you’. They also contain a long laundry list of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, selenium, zinc, iron and magnesium.
So, what does one do with 5kgs (slight exaggeration) of blueberries? Make teeny tiny blueberry muffins of course.
Om Nom Nom
Blueberry muffins are generally packed full of refined sugar and butter, making them not so healthy, I swapped out the sugar for honey and the butter for grapeseed oil. I also made these little babies with almond meal instead of flour so they have the added bonus of being gluten free :)
One of the best ways to start the day is with a Green Smoothie packed full of antioxidants and dozens of other nutrients and minerals. This baby is the epitome of health food… the kind of smoothie that makes you feel like one of those self-righteous health nuts. And it’s exactly what my body is craving after coming out of the food coma that was Christmas.
The basic premise behind a green smoothie is to blend together a bunch of green veg and some fruit. The great thing about green smoothies is that there is no one size fits all recipe, you can experiment with ingredients, use whatever you have in the fridge (I usually see what I can raid from the veggie garden) or include your favourite fruits and veggies until you find the right mix for you. If you are new to the whole healthy eating/green smoothie thing start out with a higher amount of fruit and gradually decrease it until you have a higher ratio of green veggies.
In my green smoothie this morning I used:
Broccoli (just a floret)
A few spinach & beetroot leaves
A few sprigs of parsley (stem and all)
Chuck it all together in a blender with a bit of water, blitz it up until its smooth, and voilà…
Green smoothies will do amazing things for your insides; stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your stomach, improve your digestion and immune system, purify your blood stream and improve liver and kidney function.
On the outside it will do fantastic things for your skin, hair and nails. I’m talking strong clear nails, luscious shiny hair and glowing skin. So what are you waiting for?