Purple Power Smoothie

Add the power of purple to your next smoothie. Colourful fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Make sure you eat a rainbow today by adding this smoothie recipe to your day.

What are Trans Fats?

Trans fats are an unsaturated fat but the trans form results in a straight fatty acid like a saturated fat and so is more solid at room temperature.

They were manufactured in order to make a solid fat that would have a longer shelf life than saturated fats. They do occur naturally in some meat and dairy but in very small amounts. 

The body does not digest them as well as other fats and so they can cause problems such as increased cholesterol, decreased visual acuity, increased heart disease, insulin resistance (leading to diabetes), reproductive difficulties, decreased nutrition in breast milk and cancer. 

Read labels and avoid anything that contains ‘trans fats’ or says it is hydrogenated (the process of making a trans fat).

Do You View Your Number 2s?

Stool, poo, number 2, bowel movement, poop, whatever you want to call it, you should be looking at it! I know this makes some people squeamish, but it is so important.  Your digestion is the cornerstone of your health and your stool gives you a lot of clues about what is going on in there.  To learn more about what happens in your gut and how important all the little bacteria friends that live there are, check out my article 10% Human.

So, what should you look for?  To start with you want to check the consistency.  Check out this chart to give you an idea of what you are looking for.  Too hard or too soft are both indications of trouble brewing. You want your stool to look like Type 4.

You also want to look at size, colour and frequency and if there is any mucus or undigested food in there.

Check your stool for a few days and if you have any issues you really want to sort them out as issues in your gut are associated with health issues in all other parts of your body. The solution depends on what the problem is.  Every problem has a different solution.  It is really best to talk to a naturopath if you think there is anything going on with your digestion so that you can get the right answers and be on the road to a healthier you.

Happy viewing!

Almond Salted Chocolate Brittle

Did you know that almonds are good for wrinkles?  In a study of postmenopausal women, those who were given 20% of their daily calories as almonds had less wrinkle severity and less wrinkle width after a study time of just 16 weeks.  

Almonds are full of good fats and protein along with vitamins and minerals.  They are a great snack, and also good for wrinkles it seems!

I eat almonds all the time, usually as almond butter for breakfast or a snack. Here though is a recipe you can’t turn down.  Although perhaps not the healthiest way to eat almonds, it is certainly one of the most delicious.  And we all need something sweet sometimes so we might as well make it as healthy as we can.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (really good quality ones. I like the organic 70% cocoa ones from Honest to Goodness)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almonds (smashed)
  • 2 cups rice puffs

Method

  1. Put the chocolate chips, coconut oil and salt in a bowl.  Put in the microwave until chocolate starts to melt.  Stir occasionally.  Keep heating until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir until all mixed together.
  2. Smash up the almonds.  I like to put them in a silicone bag and smash them with a rolling pin.
  3. Add the almonds and rice puffs to the chocolate.
  4. Spread the mixture out onto a non-stick mat to desired thickness.
  5. Leave the mixture to sit for about an hour or until it is completely hard.  The length of time needed will depend on room temperature.
  6. Once hard, break up by hand or cut with a knife.
  7. Store in an air-tight container.
  8. Enjoy!

Here is a link to the study abstract if you are interested:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31576607/

Dairy and Snot Connection

Is there a connection between dairy consumption and nasal secretions? (we’re talking snot here people).

There is much controversy around dairy and its health benefits versus drawbacks. I’m not going to get into the whole thing today. I just want to talk about nasal congestion and dairy. Many people will try to say that no matter what you should always consume dairy for its calcium content. There have been studies in the past, but I found a recent one clearly showing that drinking dairy increases nasal secretions.

The participants had no allergy nor intolerance to dairy, and all had a history of persistent nasal mucous secretions. All participants went completely dairy free for 6 days and then after that had either a dairy smoothie or soy smoothie each day for 4 days. All participants had less secretions during the initial stage. The dairy smoothie group had significantly increased nasal secretions compared to the soy group. This was a double blinded study meaning that neither the researchers nor the participants knew who drank the dairy and who drank the soy.

So, if you have persistent nasal secretions (or lots of snot), or have a cold, it might be worth taking dairy out of your diet for a few days and see what happens.

Here is the study if you would like to take a read: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30178886/

For more information, give me a shout!

www.natactive.com.au

Naturally Active Naturopathic Clinic – Natural Family Healthcare

Healthy Lemon Chia Muffins

Usually we go home to Canada in July which is just when my lemon tree in Australia is ripening. I end up picking them all before I leave and handing them out to friends. But things being what they are this year, we didn’t go anywhere. So trying to find the silver lining (if you really want to see it!), I have been baking lots of lemon recipes. My family loves muffins, so lemon muffins was an obvious choice. So without any further ado, here is my healthy lemon chia muffin recipe!

Lemon Chia Muffins

4 Tbsp chia seeds

1 cup lemon juice (juice from 3-4 lemons)

2.5 cups self-raising flour (whole wheat preferably)

¼ tsp salt

½ cup maple syrup (the real stuff from Canada)

1/3 cup coconut oil melted

1 cup milk (I used macadamia, but you could also you almond or dairy)

½ tsp almond extract

Method

  1. Mix the chia seeds with the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 180C
  3. In another large bowl, mix the salt and the flour.
  4. Add the maple, coconut oil, milk and almond extract to the flour and mix well.
  5. Add in the lemon and chia mix.
  6. Divide out into muffin trays.

Depending on how big you make your muffins, cook between 12-16 minutes.

Add blueberries, raspberries or other fruit to mix it up.

Enjoy!