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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Wellbeing Wednesday Challenge: how to eat chia seeds

Potato omelette with chia seedsLunch at the Echolife canteen: we’re keeping to our Chia Seeds challenge!

Our favourite way to eat the seeds so far has been to sprinkle them on whatever we’re eating: salads, omelettes, roasted veggies, yoghurt, …

We’ve thrown them into the blender with our greens on our green smoothie days, and added a pinch to our morning oats as well. They don’t really taste like anything so they lend themselves to sweet or savoury really well.

We haven’t soaked them to turn them into chia jelly – sprinkling is much easier and less… gelatinous.

One more day to go – we’re going to make it!

Chia seeds: our new Wellbeing Wednesday Challenge

Jar of Black and White Chia SeedsWhen we packed up and moved office last month, we found this little jar tucked away at the back of a cupboard in the Echolife kitchen. It had not seen the light (as in, been taken out of the cupboard) or been used for a good year, if not two. Why the neglect?

Although chia seeds have a bit of a reputation as one of the health foods you’re supposed to be eating, we just didn’t think about eating them. In fact, didn’t know how to eat them apart from soaking them in water and watching them slowly acquire a gelatinous consistency – while we slowly acquired more and more reservations about eating that jelly with seeds floating in it.

Since our recent foray into green smoothies (which we also had reservations about) was such a success, we decided yesterday it was Chia’s turn to get demystified and re-enter our eating radar. So our Wellbeing Challenge for this week is to eat chia seeds – every day.

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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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Healthy Cholesterol Levels

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol deposits itself on the walls of your arteries, forming plaques that make them hard and narrow. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or “good” cholesterol removes excess LDL in your blood and brings it to your liver for disposal. The more HDL you consume, the less LDL you’ll have in your blood. Continue reading

Flax hull lignans

You’ve heard of the benefits of flaxseed oil with its fatty acids content and anti-inflammatory action, but have you heard of the benefits of flaxseed hulls?

The hulls contain lignans – a plant compound thought to have high antioxidants and even cancer-preventing properties.  The extracted flaxseed oil, mighty as it is with its omega-3 content, does not contain any lignans.  But in addition to their lignan content, flaxseed hulls also contain high levels of omega-3, making them a better choice over the oil.

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