Glowing skin from the inside out

Smoothies for clearer skinWe’ll admit: maintaining our regular green smoothie habit is a bit harder during the winter months… But we’re still making an effort because a raw fruit and veg drink is a fantastic way to get a daily shot of fibre and concentrated nutrition, whatever the season. We’ve found that changing ingredients around really helps, as well as reminding ourselves that it will greatly increase our energy and make our skin glow (as evidenced by our 21 Day Green Smoothie Challenge back in January!).

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Mood-changing foods

Happy sad facesRemember when we wrote about certain foods that can keep you hydrated? The list is here if you need to refresh your memory – have a look, we’ll wait.

Well, it also turns out food can have a different sort of impact on the eater: uplifting or lowering mood. We’re not talking about eating ice-cream to cheer yourself up (no matter how effective this is short-term!) – but how the actual nutrients or chemicals present in food affect the body and brain chemistry, for good or for bad.

If you’re eating a fair amount of mood lowering foods, you might like to substitute with better alternatives for a few weeks and see how you feel.

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Green smoothie recipes ahoy!

Kale leavesWarning: this post will be recipe-heavy!

We’re in Day 7 of the 21 Day Green Smoothie Challenge, and by gosh everyone is doing so amazingly well… Some of you are even going for 2 smoothies a day – in another 14 days we forecast sparkly eyes, glowing skin and bouncy energy aplenty.

Because you are all fantastic you’ve been sharing pictures and recipes for your green concoctions – especially helpful since to get maximum benefit out of the green drinks, we should be rotating our ingredients and greens daily. So behold a compendium of everyone’s recipes thus far, and a few other bonus links for inspiration!

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The 21 Day Green Smoothie challenge: ready, set, go!

Glass of green smoothieSince we started to drink green smoothies last year, we’ve never looked back. And if you drink them too you know what we mean: plentiful energy! Beautiful skin! And overall feeling GOOD. Really good.

We tend to average two to three of the green drinks per week these days – because we’re short on time, and they’re a little time consuming and require some planning and prep. But it’s January, we’re full of optimism and what better way to start the year than with a massive 21 day green-smoothie drinking extravaganza? The fun! Who’s in?

And did we mention there will be some prizes at the end of the 21 days? Because when you do something awesome for yourself, your health and your wellbeing, we believe you should be rewarded…

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The Wellbeing Wednesday Challenge: update on our green smoothie consumption

Green Spinach Smoothie with Spinach LeafIt turns out our initial reservation (fear) when it came to green smoothies was unfounded and uncalled for. Not only have we kept our word and met our Wellbeing Wednesday Challenge goal of drinking three in a week, we’ve actually gone above and beyond and our total tally comes in at… five!

Along the way during the week we’ve also ticked the Group Challenge of eating three fresh salads. This abundance of green veggies and fresh, raw food is doing us a world of good – so if you need any convincing to become a green smoothie drinker, read on to see what you can look forward to. And we’ve included a few recipes as well to get you started.

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Superfoods spotlight

Poster of fruit and vegetablesOur mothers say to eat a little bit of everything in moderation – but let’s play favourites for a minute and talk about some foods that are so stupendous for our health, they deserve to be eaten more often.

Garlic: we’re not suggesting eating a raw clove – but do grate it into sauces, casseroles, or infuse olive oil with it. The more garlic you eat, the more healthy you are likely to feel – garlic is a natural antiviral and antimicrobial so eating it or taking a garlic supplement is a great way to maintain your health.

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The Importance of Green in your Diet

Green foods are brimming with important nutrients to maintain optimal health, and ideally should be included in our diets every single day. And it’s easier than you think!

“Young cereal grasses are a rich source of nutrients,” says Dr. Brasco, co-director of The Colon and Digestive Disease Center of Huntsville, Alabama. “Super green foods are a wonderful way for people who aren’t consuming 5 or 6 servings a day to get those nutrients. They are good for all the reasons vegetables are good for you.”

Cereal grasses are a concentrated source of beta-carotene, calcium, fibre, iron and vitamin K. They also contain a high percentage of protein (per weight ratio), vitamin B6, B-12, C, folic acid, and many other trace minerals.

Cereal grasses are often used in laboratories as a medium to support the growth of lactobacilli, the “healthy flora” bacteria that inhabits the digestive tract. The chlorophyll found in green foods is also very important. “It’s a nutrient that seems to have detoxification value,” says Dr. Brasco. “You’ll also find very high concentrations of chlorophyll in green foods like spirulina, chlorella, kelp and other blue-green algae.” Continue reading

Spirulina: tiny but mighty

spirulina powderSpirulina has been consumed and valued as a perfectly balanced nutritional food for centuries. It contains high concentrations of organic nutrients ranging from vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, E), beta-carotene, minerals iron, manganese and zinc, enzymes and many trace elements. Spirulina contains a whopping 67% easily digestible protein and all the essential amino acids the body needs, as well as nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), natural antioxidants and chlorophyll.

Spirulina grows wild in very warm, alkaline and mineral-rich lakes in various parts of the world. These ideal conditions (and abundant sunshine) help spirulina grow its concentrated abundant nutrients, resulting in a super-food unlike any other single grain or plant. Continue reading