5 Ways to Nourish your Thyroid

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that resides in front of your throat and under your Adam's apple with an important function of producing and releasing hormones (T4 & T3). These hormones along with the well known pancreatic hormone insulin and cortisol are responsible for regulating your metabolism, providing energy to your cells & regulating your sex hormones.

The function of the thyroid is both simple yet complex. It begins in the brain with an initial signal from the pituitary gland to release a hormone that then stimulates the thyroid to produce and release its hormones. This is not the complete picture however, as we need to ensure the hormones have been converted into the correct form which allows the hormone to enter your cells and complete the required tasks, of metabolising, producing energy, and interacting with other hormones.  Ensuring this final step means no annoying symptoms like fatigue, poor memory, morning stiffness and difficulty losing weight. You don’t need to be experiencing all of the symptoms to indicate your cells have low levels of thyroid hormones.   Key symptoms to look out for include:

·      Lethargy                      

·      Sensitivity to cold     

·      Heat intolerance

·      Mood swings

·      Headaches

·      Vertigo

·      Deafness

·      PMS

·      Voice change

·      Loss of libido

·      Susceptibility to viral infections

·      Unexplained weight gain

·      Difficulty losing weight 

The next question is, how do we look after our thyroid and its hormones?  There are a number of important steps you can take to nourish and support your thyroid and improve these important last steps of the thyroids journey into your cells.   

 

EAT FOODS THAT NOURISH

Include in your diet at least 3 times a week foods high in iodine.  Iodine is an essential mineral required by the thyroid for production of its hormones. 

·      Kelp

·      Wakame/nori etc

·      Oysters

·      Cranberries

·      Mushrooms

·      Fish

·      Dulse flakes (yummy added to your salads and soups)

·      Sunflower Seeds

 

Another important thyroid mineral is selenium, which particularly helps with the conversion into a more useable form.  Foods high in selenium include:

·      Fish

·      Oysters

·      Alfalfa

·      Celery

·      Cashews/brazil nuts

·      Onion

·      Garlic

·      Broccoli

·      Mushrooms

 

FOODS TO AVOID can depend on the individual, however as a guide can include common inflammatory triggers, which can disrupt the balance of conversion, such as gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol and sugar.  

*I would also add that flouride greatly affects our thyroid gland*

 

KEEP ON MOVING

Exercise helps stimulate thyroid gland secretion, ramps up the metabolism and improves your cells receptiveness.  If you are exercising why not get a dose of Vitamin D at the same time, and take a walk outside, this is another very important vitamin for hormone health. 

 

GO ON A DETOX PROGRAM

This is one of my favourite suggestions, and something I like to do once every 6 months.  I don’t realise how sluggish my whole system has become, until a few days into the detox and my bloated belly disappears, I lose a couple of kilograms, and I start feeling great and full of energy again.  Detox programs allow your digestive system including your liver to go on a well deserved holiday.  The liver is always working hard, finishing off jobs for so many other systems including recycling and excreting unwanted biochemicals which include your hormones.  A good percentage of conversion to the active T3 hormone, used by your cells, takes place in the liver, and again selenium is a very important part of this process.  The liver is susceptible to stressors such as poor nutrition, chronic illness and exposure to heavy metals.  Allowing the liver and gut a holiday can ramp up these vital conversion processes again.

  

HEALTHY GUT COLONY

Your friends in the gut, perform many tasks and interactions for us, and one of them is converting your thyroid hormones into the active form utilised by your cells.  About 20% of the conversion is performed by your friendly bacteria.  They can help to reduce inflammation levels in the body, which if left unchecked negatively impact upon your active thyroid levels.  Inflammation causes a rise in cortisol levels, throwing things out of balance.  Regular consumption of fermented foods and drinks in your diet is a great way to maintain a healthy colony.  It is also important to bare in mind that especially after taking antibiotics and even during and after a detox program, a course quality probiotics can positively impact on your thyroid health.

 

SLOW DOWN AND BE MINDFUL WHILST EATING

Take time to enjoy every mouthful and chew with purpose.  This is the beginning of good digestion.  Having a strong digestive system is connected to having a healthy metabolism and hormone balance (as well as a strong immune system).  Eating slowly allows your body to register that food is going in, and gives it a chance to prime all aspects of digestion (stomach acid, digestive enzymes, gallbladder bile and many other chemicals).  Chewing and eating slowly, gives the body a chance to release sufficient hormones associated with satiety giving greater portion control. 

 

Written by Pettina Jaques (Prac student @Seeds Of Health) & edited by Janelle Twine.

The Best Dairy-Free Alternatives (…And A Free Recipe)

From the cow’s milk we pour on our morning breakfast to the butter that coats our toast, we learn from a young age that dairy products are a key component of a balanced diet. But with 1 in 20 adults experiencing some degree of lactose intolerance, its important to know what simple alternatives are available, from the grocery store shelf to the ingredients used in your recipes.

The low-down on lactose

Lactose intolerance occurs when our bodies aren’t fully able to digest lactose (or sugar) in milk. Even if a person isn’t lactose intolerant, they may have a negative reaction due to the whey and casein proteins found within dairy, which can lead to allergies, eczema, asthma, bloating and acne. Substitutes can help you feel lighter and less congested, easing these symptoms. After making the swap, many people (myself included!) happily discover an absence of the heavy white coating that usually sits on the tongue. 

How to lighten up

There's no need to give up anything when switching to dairy-free eating. That’s a light-bulb moment! Your favourite treats - milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt and icecream – can be easily replicated in all their delicious dairy-less glory. My general recommendation is to try a variety of dairy alternatives. Calcium, minerals, protein and vitamin-D can be found in a stack of foods. 

What alternatives?

To make the switch a little easier for you, I’ve been busily creating a simple dairy-free product guide to assist with shopping and cooking. I’ve written this out for clients in messy handwriting more times than I can count. Now, I can save my hands (and your eyes) a little work as it will be in neat, downloadable form. The guides (there is a wheat-free one too) include substitute recommendations like coconut and cashews, as well as ways to use them to recreate your favourite dishes. I’m really excited to be sharing this with you very, very soon! Watch out for my new e-shop with more goodies too.

RECIPE: Simple Vegan Cream

This is one of my all-time favourite dairy-free indulgences. It’s full of healthy fats and is great for your arteries, as it uses no animal products. Cashews form the base of the icecream. These kidney-shaped nuts have a high copper content, which is a co-factor to producing SOH (superoxide dismutase), important in energy production, tissue integrity and antioxidant defenses. It’s sweetened by pure maple syrup and vanilla. Maple syrup is a wholefood sweetener packed with minerals. Vanilla has aphrodisiac properties along with small amounts of B vitamins, calcium, iron, and zinc, among other minerals. See what I mean about not missing out on your vitamins and minerals? 

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Cashews (soaked, for 2-4 hours)

1/4 Cup Filtered Water/Rice Milk/Almond Milk (Depending on thickness)

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Tsp Natural Vanilla Extract

Method: Blend everything together until smooth, thick and creamy. Serve with or as a dessert.

Curries & cookies

Good afternoon beautiful people!

This week I thought I would let you know that I’m on Instagram & you can catch some of my photos from my holiday over there @seedsofhealth (http://instagram.com/seedsofhealth).  One of the joys was picking wild blueberries!

I would also like to share 2 delicious recipes that I have enjoyed making this week.

Firstly, there is a delicious curry recipe followed by a simple and scrumptious chewy cookie recipe (I love chewy rather than crunchy!)


CAULIFLOWER, LENTIL AND COCONUT MILK CURRY (courtesy of Delicious Magazine)

150g red lentils

5 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 large cauliflower, florets cut off and any large ones broken up

1 medium onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium-hot red chilli, halved, seeded and chopped

1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds

1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric

400ml coconut milk

200g vine ripened tomatoes, skinned and chopped (I just chopped mine)

1 tbsp lime juice

Bunch fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped


Method:

1. Put lentils into small pan with 450ml water, bring to boil, then simmer for 15-20mins until the lentils have become a thick puree.  Cover and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of oil in large saucepan over medium heat, add half the cumin seeds and the cauliflower florets and cook, turning occasionally for 2-3 minutes until coloured here and there with golden brown spots.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.

3. Add remaining oil and cumin seeds to a hot pan, then as soon as the seeds start to sizzle, add the onion.  Lower the heat slightly and cook gently for 10mins, stirring now and then until soft and sweet but not browned.  Add ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for 2 mins more, then stir in the ground coriander, ground cumin and turmeric.  Cook for 1 min, then stir in the coconut milk, cauliflower and tomatoes and simmer for 10mins, stirring every now and then until the cauliflower is just tender.

4. Stir the lentil puree into the curry with lime/lemon juice and season to taste with salt.  Leave to simmer for 2-3 mins more.  Stir in coriander and turn off the heat.


Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies (The Shrinking Hubby.com)

1 cup macadamias

1 cup fresh dates

1 vanilla bean scrapped

1 pinch sea salt


Method:

Blend all ingredients in a blender then press in to cookies on a tray.

Cook in 180 degree oven for 20mins or until brown and cooked through.  Be careful not to overcook them as they will continue to cook outside the oven – this creates a delightful chewiness.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have!


MORNING ACTIVATION SESSIONS

I also want to let you know that the morning activation sessions at Yorkey’s Knob Beach on a Wednesday now start at 6AM! 15mins earlier.  However, after trialling this time yesterday morning I did notice that we will still be missing the sunrise so if anyone is interested in starting at 5:45am please let me know & that way we can enjoy some sun gazing together!  If you have never been before it’s a fabulous community event to allow like minded individuals a chance to get into nature & enjoy some walking which provides benefits of Earthing &

I look forward to hearing from you 

Janelle

Chocolate buckwheat granola

Happy Wednesday!

This week I thought I would share a delicious recipe that I’ve just made a fresh batch of!  I just love to enjoy the smell of it while it’s dehydrating and LOVE waking up to the divine smell, come morning.

Serving this raw GRAND cacao buckwheat granola with almond milk or sprinkled on top of an Acai bowl (explained below) gets me and my taste buds all excited for the day ahead!  It’s something so special!  I often savour the last couple of mornings as my stash gets low.

So…here is the recipe for RAW GRAND CACAO GRANOLA:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almonds (soaked overnight)
  • 1.5 kg buckwheat (soaked for 30mins)
  • 1 cup cacao
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • Black styrian pumpkin seeds (much larger with more flavour!) – 1 cup or more according to how many you would like
  • Goji berries – 1 cup or more according to how many you would like

 

Method:

  • Soak almonds ideally overnight or for at least a few hours – then tip out the water they were soaked in
  • Soak buckwheat for 30mins and tip out the water they were soaked in using a strainer (so you don’t lose lots of buckwheat)
  • Place the buckwheat, almonds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, cacao, cinnamon and coconut nectar (Maca is also nice in this mix) altogether in a bowl and stir until the mix is completely covered in cacao, cinnamon and coconut nectar.
  • If you own a dehydrator it is a big help however you can also dehydrate your raw GRAND cacao granola in the oven.  If dehydrating, place the mixture on trays and dehydrate on 45-60 degrees for 18 hours.  (Technically for your granola to remain raw it must be ‘cooked’ at 45 degrees or below – but if you are not worried about this the lower temperatures will still maintain a lot of nutrients).  If you are using an oven, set it on the lowest temperature and check it after 8-12 hours.   The almonds will hold a bit of moisture so to ensure they are fully dehydrated so they don’t go mouldy after a week.  I repeat it is important to keep dehydrating the muesli until the moisture in the almonds has evaporated.


Nutritional information:

  • Buckwheat is undervalued!  It is actually a seed and totally safe for people who are allergic or intolerant to wheat.  It contains NO GLUTEN.  Packed full of nutrients (magnesium being very high), great source of protein and fibre, balances blood sugar levels and good for a healthy heart.
  • Almonds – when soaked they are much more easily digested because the enzyme inhibitor has been removed from the skin.  Rich in calcium for healthy bones and teeth, healthy heart support, brain and nourishing nervous system support.
  • Goji berries are high in antioxidants
  • Black Styrian seeds high in zinc, magnesium and healthy fats
  • Cacao is loaded full of antioxidants, magnesium and happiness (gotta love chocolate in your breakfast!)
  • Coconut nectar – a healthy sweetener full of minerals
  • Cinnamon to support heart health, a warming spice – great for arthritis, balancing blood sugar levels and diabetes and beating fungal infections like candida

Do you need any more convincing?!!

If you are looking for a different way of using your raw GRAND cacao granola then sprinkle it on top of your smoothies or on top of an Acai bowl (like a thick blended smoothie served in a bowl with a spoon).

Acai Bowl  (pictured above) – Acai is a berry that packs a huge antioxidant punch! – Available from health food stores both frozen and powdered.  I think the frozen (fresh) berry is best and much more delicious.  Place a frozen Acai sachet combined with frozen banana, frozen mango, almond milk (or other liquids of your choice – less liquid than a smoothie), cacao, and whatever else you fancy (herbs, spices, nuts, coconut, blueberries, etc).  Serve in a bowl with a spoon topped with your raw GRAND cacao granola and bee pollen if you choose.  A mega dose of antioxidants, nutrients, minerals, hydration and the list could go on and on and on…just trust me 

What do you love to have for breakfast?  Have you tried making your own granola or acai bowl?  I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Have a bonza breakfast!

Janelle

Delicious food for plane travel!

Happy new year to you!

I hope you had a restful and recharging break!

What food is easy and nutritious to travel with?

I recently found myself on another plane, but this time well prepared and I wanted to share some information with you on what I do prior to plane travel, that helps me. 

On Christmas Eve, I travelled from Cairns to Brisbane and then drove to Ballandean (Granite belt country).  I picked up my partner from work about lunchtime & we travelled together down south.  First there was a 2 hour plane trip and then a 3 hour drive to Ballandean, with my parents included.  My parents drove us from the airport to Ballandean so I thought there may be a few people to feed on the 3 hour car journey.  I knew that my partner would be hungry after a full morning of work (last day for the year and he’s the boss) and then straight on a plane with the need to get on the road, at the other end, ASAP to make it for Christmas Eve celebrations at his parents.  So I prepared a whole lot of food.  

Aside from our longish commute, I do believe it’s always good to be prepared when jumping on a plane because the food is often so processed.   If you happen to opt for a ‘healthy’ sandwich the bread is often white and causes bloating or all kinds of nasty things that you don’t want while trapped in a small compartment with strangers.

So I thought I’d share a few ideas of what you could take when travelling on a plane that can either be sealed in zip lock bags or throw away containers so they don’t end up being extra luggage for your trip.  The zip lock bags can also be washed out and used on the return journey if you need to save space in your luggage.

The foods that I prepared for us included:

·       2x whole roasted sweet potatojust roast the whole sweet potato (skin on) in the oven on a tray and walk away and do other things.  Give it about 40-60mins.  It will be deliciously soft and able to be pulled apart and sprinkled with sea salt when ready to eat.  

·       Home made hommus

·       Raw dehydrated crackers that I had made in bulk after wanting to use my left over veggie pulp from my juicer.

·       Feta cheese to have as something a little decadent on the plane with our crackers.  That nice salty taste to create variety.  This was left over in the fridge.  I personally feel better without dairy in my diet however my partner likes it.  Organic is a must if you are going to choose to eat any dairy.  As I write this though, my partner is currently trialing 30 days of no dairy to see how it agrees for him.  

·       Festive cherries bought fresh from Rusty’s Market for our trip.  There were so many we got to share them with the family when we arrived.

·       Home grown pineapplethis was special for sure!  Not an easy addition to every plane trip as they do take 2 years to growbut wow!  It was the sweetest, juiciest, delicious pineapple I’ve ever had!

·       Raw cakeI had a small love heart shaped Chilli Maca Chocolate Pie frozen in my freezer that I thought we could share and enjoy.  

·       Bliss balls are another great option!  I have a simple recipe on my blog as well as a new recipe/ingredients list on my Facebook page.

·       Smoothies and or juices are also a fabulous choice when travelling!  

·       Water is so under-estimated as well.  I always over hydrate before hopping on a plane.  When we are dehydrated we often feel hungry which causes us to eat unnecessarily.  When we are stuck in a chair on a long flight we can also choose to eat unnecessarily, which is another reason to over hydrate.  I often get caught out on international flights and have to skull my 1L bottle of water at security.  I actually found this beneficial the first time it happened because I got off the plane feeling absolutely fine rather than dry and bloated and all of those awful plane flight symptoms.  I try to drink at least 2L before an early morning flight and 3L or more before a later flight during the day.  It doesn’t bother me so much having to get up to go to the toilet because I get to stretch my legs and get the blood flowing.

As you can see I went well overboard, but had no idea how hungry we would all get, on the 5 hour journey.  It’s better to have more than end up eating plane food!  These photos aren’t particularly clear but give you an idea of easy foods to take on the plane.  In the tupperware container (above) there is hommus and a little feta.  Along with some dehydrated crackers and sweet potato. Below, in the container, is the raw cake as well as pineapple & cherries.



I would love to hear what you take on planes to fill your hungry tummy?  

I hope 2014 is off to a fabulous healthy start for you!  If you’re wanting health advice or coaching or perhaps a detox or cleanse  from all of the Christmas festivities, please book in for a consultation to ensure you start the year off on the right foot!  Also follow me on Facebook to get food ideas, recipes, tips, links and inspiration to help you out when you feel like you need that boost!

Janelle.

Preparation for a juice fast

It’s nearing the end of the year…can you believe it?!!

I’m loving the hot weather in Cairns and the build up to Christmas holidays with family and friends.  I have to say I also LOVE the peaches that are in season at this time of year!  I simply love sitting still and enjoying the smell of a ripe organic peach before launching in for my first bite 

In the lead up to Christmas remember that it doesn’t need to be a time to stuff yourself silly on foods that make you feel bloated and yuck.  It can be a healthy, delicious and enjoyable time with loads of whole food treats and meals to share of greater nutrition value and flavour without the awful feeling post meal.  Please come in and see me for an appointment or ask if you are wanting help to ensure that you can enjoy your Christmas without the feeling of being bloated and hungover on sugar.    

I’m really excited that I have been invited to assist in facilitating a juice fast in Bali, with Tyler Tolman and Don Tolman, before the year is out.  Wow!  What an opportunity!  This father and son pair have a passion for whole foods and fasting with an emphasis on the 7 principles of health.  Don has spent many years researching different cultures and their practices surrounding health.  Both have the most amazing knowledge and brains.  A wealth of information!

I leave for Bali tomorrow and I have been working my body towards a juice fast over the last 3 days.  These initial steps of transitioning to raw allow the body to begin detoxing with lighter, cleaner foods before stepping in to the realm of just juice and water.   For the first 2 days I have eaten only raw foods (eg. raw zucchini pesto pasta, lots of fresh fruit (watermelon, peaches, pineapple), dairy free/sugar free smoothies, acai bowls, lightly steamed broccoli, kombucha, etc).  Today I have transitioned on to juices and will continue on that while taking a colon cleanse powder blend with bentonite clay in it, to assist in drawing toxins out.  It goes without saying that hydration is key also!  I always have 1L of water upon waking and ensure that my fluids are kept up during the day.  I am consuming an easy 3L plus per day at the moment.

I will stay on this juice cleanse prior to arriving in Bali as I am wanting to be at my best to assist in the facilitation of the juice fast (i.e. I don’t want to be detoxing myself).  I am there to support others during their fasting experience and therefore want to be feeling on top of things by Saturday.  It is common to find the first 3 days of juice fasting the most challenging, hence why I have started on raw and transitioned to juice in the week leading up to the community juice fast in Bali, beginning on Saturday.

The group of people gathering together in Bali will be from all walks of life, with different health histories and different daily practices.  The detox symptoms of each and every one of them will be different.  If you are choosing to join us via the virtual online juice fast, please remember this and be kind to yourself.  We are all unique.

A supportive community makes a juice fast so much easier!  Come and join in the fun…here is the link to join the FREE 7 day juice fast in Bali, online…

http://www.onlinejuicefast.com/nov-fast 

 Fasting gives the digestive system a break allowing it to rest and repair.  This regenerates the organs and gives the body an opportunity to cleanse.  With the emphasis on the 7 principles of health (hydration, air, exercise, whole foods, passions, relationships and sunshine) along with enemas the body is able to cleanse and repair.  A can’t wait to support and share in this experience with others, over the next week!

I am looking at facilitating a juice fast in Cairns next year.  It is such a perfect location surrounded by delicious tropical produce.  If you are interested in joining the juice fast or have a great idea for a venue please reply below, comment on my Seeds Of Health Facebook page, email (janellecarolyn@gmail.com) or call me (0438 733 103).  

 

Tyler and Rachelle Tolman have hosted many online juice fasts this year allowing the online community to grow with 1700 members currently.  It is a place where you can ask questions and share your thoughts.  A perfect platform to fast from if you are unable to join us in person.  Good luck if you’re choosing to join us on this amazing journey of fasting, which starts this Saturday!  

I’m really looking forward to assisting those who are joining us in Bali this Saturday!  I also look forward to sharing my experience on the other side 

Janelle

Easy cool summer treats

Here is a collection of cooling summer treats that are great to have prepared for the kids (or adults) for an after school snack or weekend treat.  They are all frozen so perfect for the weather that is heating up!

AVOCADO AND COCONUT POPSICLES 

by Sarah Wilson “I quit sugar”

INGREDIENTS

1 ripe avocado

200ml coconut cream

Juice of 1 lime

3 tbsp coconut water

1 tbsp rice malt syrup or 100% pure maple syrup

1 tsp chia seeds (preferably white ones)

1/4 tsp salt

METHOD

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and place into ice block moulds or cups with paddlepop sticks sticking out and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours.

KIWI COATED IN RAW CHOCOLATE ON STICKS

This recipe is from the Show Food Chef (http://www.showfoodchef.com/2010/09/chocolate-kiwi-popsicles-simple.html) with a dairy free alternative using raw cacao chocolate (eg. Loving Earth) or an alternative recipe found here (http://wholefoodkids.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/fresh-kiwi-popsicles.html).   

INGREDIENTS (for either recipe)

Kiwi fruit

Coconut oil

Dark chocolate or Raw cacao chocolate (you can either buy some raw chocolate from Loving Earth or another brand or make your own raw chocolate).  If not, purchase a good quality organic fair trade dary chocolate and melt it.

Paddle pop sticks

Otherwise recipe 2:

8 Kiwi fruit

Honey

Sea salt

Ice block moulds

METHOD

I will leave you to follow the method from the websites given above as there are 2 alternatives, depending on which recipe you choose.

BANANA ICE CREAM

This is super easy and can be as plain or varied as you like.

INGREDIENTS

Frozen bananas (skins off) – as many as you like

Optional extras – cacao powder, cacao nibs, almond butter, coconut oil, berries, Spiralina, honey, etc.

Almond milk (optional if you would like to make a thick shake)

METHOD

Blend everything together in a blender and enjoy.  This ice cream is best served straight away and not frozen for eating at a later date as it tends to form icicles.  You can easily make a delicious chocolate thick shake by blending some almond milk with your frozen bananas, honey and cacao powder.  Delightful!

FROZEN GRAPES

As easy as freezing whole grapes and eating them straight out of the freezer!  You can even create grape kebabs out of them like the picture below.

Please share below or on my Facebook page (Seeds Of Health) any cool summer treats you enjoy!

Have fun creating!

Janelle

Hiking food for the trekkers amongst us…

Hello fellow hikers,

A friend and I recently completed a 4 day hike in Western Australia from Cape Leuwin to Gracetown – part of the Cape to Cape track, near Margaret River.  We needed to carry all our own water, food, clothes, tent, etc.  So therefore we had to be very conscious of weight.

I have done many multi day hikes over the years, with some of them being 13 days long, however my food choices have changed a lot since my first multi day hike back in 2006.  I really enjoy doing multi day hikes and each time I complete one I learn a little more.

This hike I decided to focus more on which whole foods I could take with me that were light, clean and nutrient dense.  Chia seeds became a major part of both breakfast and lunch, with the benefits of this seed outlined below.

These were my food choices on my most recent hike.  I had more than enough, however we did plan on a 5 day hike so I had extra tucker.

Breakfast – Home made muesli consisting of oats, rice bran, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, coconut, goji berries, cacao nibs and chopped dried apricots (the brown ones without preservative 220 on them).  I had this soaked in either hot or cold water of a morning and a squeeze of honey could be added on top.  This was so incredibly filling it kept me going for hours as we hiked over sand, rocky cliffs, through forests and up hills.  I measured each daily amount out into zip lock bags to ensure I had enough for the week.

Lunch – Chia porridge consisting of chia seeds, coconut, pecans and chopped dates.  This is incredibly light prior to adding water so a fantastic hiking food.  This could be heated up with warm water when the weather is cold or otherwise cold water.  A squeeze of honey is optional.  I would like to add more flavour to this dish for my next hike (perhaps cacao and maca powder), however the energy gain from these little seeds is sensational!  

Dinner – I tend to favour dahl on long hikes as it’s highly nutritious and light and so tasty with the right mix of spices.  I choose to use red lentils as they cook quickly and also absorb the flavours of spices well.  A great accompaniment is quinoa as it cooks faster than brown or white rice, therefore saving on gas or wood, and is more nutritious with a better balance of protein to carbohydrates.  This ratio helps to repair muscles after hiking all day.  Recently on my hike I also discovered another dish that is a winner – butter bean and sweet potato curry served with cous cous.  The butter beans can be pre cooked and then dehydrated or otherwise a can of organic butter beans placed in a vaccum sealed bag and eaten on the first night is fine.  Onions, garlic and fresh ginger are a great base for both of these dishes.  It can be pre cut and dehydrated, however if room allows it’s great to be able to cut the onions, garlic and ginger fresh and cook them in some coconut oil and let the aroma spread through the camp as everyone’s appetite grows after a long day of hiking.  A spice mix that I enjoy using is turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds, sea salt (plus onion, garlic and ginger above) and I’m sure there are a few others, which I’ve forgotten.  Be creative!

Snacks – Bliss balls (containing chia seeds) are fantastic as they are light, full of flavour and nutrient dense.  I tend to put a lot of cacao powder in mine to ensure a good energy source and a high amount of antioxidants.  I ended up going to Paleo café with friends prior to flying to WA so I picked up a lemon myrtle raw food bar and lemon and macadamia slice.  I also carried some wheatgrass powder with me and some activated almonds and extra dried apricots.  This was more than enough.  The wheatgrass powder I feel is essential as it gives the body an alkaline source, as it’s hard to get greens when out on the track.  Dehydrated bananas were another delicious and energy rich snack.  Next time bananas are cheap buy a heap and dehydrate them if you can.  Then vacuum seal them and they’ll store really well for long periods, ready for your next hike.  

Despite the number of superfood choices I would like to highlight the benefits of chia for multi day hikes.  This seed has the ability to absorb 9-12 times its weight in water.  This means that chia increases hydration in the body, leading to less fatigue and muscle cramping.  Chia also decreases recovery time and fatigue due to its high amount of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.  Both of these reduce inflammation, which speeds up recovery.  Its high potassium and moisture retaining qualities helps protect against electrolyte loss which can lead to cramping.  The Tarahumara people of southwest Mexico would roast the seed and crush it before adding it to water to make a ‘sports gel’ which they would consume prior to long distance running.  Coates, W. (2012). Chia – The complete guide to the ultimate superfood.

I would love to hear your ideas or questions surrounding hiking foods.  It’s a fantastic idea to learn from each other.  Please share your comments below, email me or post a comment on my Facebook page – Seeds Of Health.

Happy hiking!

Janelle

cacao smoothies, GREEN JUICES & SOURDOUGH.

Who doesn’t love chocolate?!
Is that a silly question?

Friday’s seem to be my day of inspiration in the kitchen.  Last Friday I felt like something different to start my day, following my yoga practice, so I created a chocolate smoothie!  A mango, banana & cacao smoothie.  It was divine & full of nutrition…which makes it a perfectly suitable breakfast choice!  Or in fact, any time of the day.

Some of the benefits in such a simple smoothie include:
Cacao benefits – aids in weight loss, promotes heart health & healthy skin due to its high amount of antioxidants, it’s mood enhancing, an aphrodisiac and of course being a superfood is packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Banana benefits – very high in potassium and low in sodium which promotes an alkaline condition in the blood and therefore the body.  When your body is in an alkaline state it has a greater ability to heal itself.  Bananas are also rich in serotonin & norepinephrine which can help reduce depression.  
Mango benefits – rich in vitamin A which is essential for skin health and during times of infection, viruses, pregnancy, lactation and the ‘pill’ also depletes vitamin A (as well as B vitamins plus more).  The beta carotene supports growth, strong bones and teeth, healthy skin, hair & eyes.  Mangoes also have a powerful ability to purify the blood, normalise blood pressure and assist the digestion of protein foods, due to their high content of organic chlorine (which is also found in a high amount in tomatoes).  Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium are also prominent.  

Getting back to my creativity in the kitchen on Friday morning…
I had a full day of teaching ahead of me so decided I would experiment with my friends cold press juicer that I am minding at the moment & make a green juice (my Champion Juicer, although amazing, does not tend to get a lot of juice out of green leaves – so i was excited by my next experiment).  I had lots of Kang Kong left from the markets, as well as some coriander, parsley, kale, celery leaves and celery stalks, ginger and a little apple.  My green juice became a potent way of getting a large amount of chlorophyll to support my blood, brain & nervous system.  These greens would have also provided my body with a lot of calcium, vitamin K (for blood coagulation), folate (for health red blood cell production), cleansing the blood plus so many other benefits!  

I had so much coriander from the local market that I decided to make some pesto with it.  I soaked some almonds overnight and to break up the strong flavour of coriander I added a little kang kong and parsley with a few leaves of basil.  With garlic, beautiful olive oil that I picked up from an olive grove in South Australia, sea salt & 1 heaped teaspoon of savoury yeast flakes (to create the parmesan cheese flavour), my pesto was ready to be eaten.  This delicious vegan pesto was perfect on my freshly made homemade kamut sourdough bread.  I took this for lunch.


If you are wanting any details on how to make your own sourdough bread, please ask.  It is another great way of getting fermented foods into our diet, in order to help feed our healthy gut flora.  This assists in keeping our immune and digestive systems strong.

GOOD FRIDAYS: SALADS, SMOOTHIES & RAW CHOC

Hi readers,
Happy Easter to you all!

Yesterday I had the most relaxing day filled with reading, cooking, making raw chocolate with friends, sunsets, meditation and a sense of peace.

I simply wanted to share how easy it is to make a simple, healthy and filling dinner.  I had so many delicious vegetables to use up last night before I head away for a couple of days, so I created a salad.

I roasted some organic sweet potatoes, potatoes and zucchini slices in coconut oil and sea salt.  I then diced some mushrooms and bok choy and lightly fried these in coconut oil and Braggs Aminos liquid and steamed some broccoli.  Once all were cooked I combined some baby spinach, grated beetroot, bean sprouts and coriander into a large bowl.  I then added the roasted vegetables, steamed broccoli and  mushrooms and bok choy.  Some delicious olive oil, that was picked up from the farmer while I was in SA, was then drizzled over the entire salad and my mouth was watering.  The salad was delicious!

Now, while I was on a roll I decided that it would be a good idea to make a green smoothie with some fruits and greens that needed to be used up before I head away.  It was a simple green smoothie with baby spinach, cos lettuce, kiwi fruit, frozen pear (from an excess I had from my fruit box last week) and some local mango from the tablelands.  Add a little water, blend together & my smoothie was ready for breakfast the following day!

I had also had some buckwheat soaking during the day to try a new recipe I had seen on a raw food blog earlier in the week.  Buckwheat was one of the main ingredients so here are a few pointers on the benefits of this fantastic seed (that has no wheat in it – despite it’s name)…it is a fantastic source of iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and potassium.  The magnesium supports the nervous system.  It also contains rutin (which is a bioflavonoid) which supports the healing of varicose veins, hardened arteries and therefore blood circulation.  What a seed!  Here is the link to the recipe (I left out the cherries, as they are not in season and the Spirulina – hence my slice is not green) http://rawedibles.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/rawsome-gluten-free-chewy-granola-bars.html

Lastly, I was able to take my delicious Easter chocolates out of their moulds ready for friends to enjoy them when they drop over.  I don’t think I will be able to take them with me tomorrow on my Easter sea kayaking trip, which is a little sad, as I think they will turn into one giant chocolate mess!  They can be enjoyed throughout the week though.  I created one base batch and then separated this into four different bowls to make different flavours – peppermint, plain, cranberry and coconut.  It’s always lots of fun when made with friends too, which should be part of the recipe – thanks for helping Danielle!

This recipe uses cacao, not cocoa which has had no heat applied to it during it’s processing.  This allows it to contain a much higher amount of antioxidants and magnesium.  I look forward to making some of this delicious chocolate with those who are coming to my food workshops over the school holidays!

Enjoy the last 2 days of your long weekend.  Put your feet up or find time to enjoy the things you love!
I hope the bunny finds you :)

Janelle

Yoga bliss balls

Are you needing a really quick and easy yet nutritious snack?  Goodie balls or bliss balls are a perfect afternoon snack, or something to munch on the run.  I recently attended a yoga workshop and these tahini balls were made by one of my friends.  I just had to get the recipe and share it….they are delicious!

Tahini Balls

½ cup tahini
1/3 cup honey (you can play around with the amount of honey depending on what consistency you like)

½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup LSA (a combination of linseed, sunflower seed and almond which is made into a ground meal; or they taste just as good with just sunflower seeds and linseeds, 1/4 cup of each which were ground fresh in a spice grinder)
1 cup dried apricots
½ cup almonds
Mix all ingredients together.
Roll into balls and let them set in the fridge.

Tahini is a fantastic source of calcium.  The linseeds are a fantastic source of omega 3’s which assist in brain function, skin health and mood.  It is always best to grind linseeds/flaxseeds fresh to ensure the oil has not gone rancid once the seed has been cracked.  Buying pre-ground LSA is convenient, however it is often sold in clear plastic bags that have been exposed to light – this affects the quality of the omega oils you are getting.

Enjoy the recipe above and feel free to post any comments below.  You may also like to ‘like’ my new Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seeds-Of-Health/544271018938455?ref=hl – or simply search for Seeds Of Health on Facebook).  I will be posting useful links, thoughts, recipes and workshop dates on my Facebook page.

Have a fantastic week!  

Janelle