4 Ways to Eat a Healthy Plant Based Diet

I know a lot of people would like to transform to eating a much healthier diet but do not know how to or where to start. There are so many diet’s ‘out there’ that you can get confused with what to eat. Transforming to a vegan/plant-based lifestyle can also be quite confusing.

I have worked with a few clients who are vegan and are doing it for animal rights purposes. I think it is amazing that people are standing up for what they believe in and being a voice for animals who cannot speak for themselves, however these clients were very unhealthy and not eating the right foods for their body. I want to be the voice of everyone’s body’s and say we have to listen to our bodies more than our heads to keep us thriving.

If people have not done their research before they cut out animal products they are at a loss for what to eat and then consume the same foods day in and day out, missing out on beautiful foods that could help them thrive. I’ve seen numerous people go back to eating meat again because they said while eating vegan they had so little energy and it just wasn’t working for them, and they really didn’t want to do it but had to if they were going to function properly.

Just as there are junk food meat eaters, there are junk food vegans.
I want to help people eat a vegan diet, but I want it to be a healthy one.

Here are 4 ways you can eat healthier on a plant based diet (although the below could also work for anyone):

  • Add in green powders or capsules daily (I tell most people to take these but it is very beneficial for when you’re not consuming animal products). My favourites include Barleygrass, Wheatgrass, Moringa and Spirulina.
  • Eat more green leafy foods such as lettuces, kale, baby spinach. Try and include one of these daily.
  • Have a variety of fruits and vegetables. More colours and more different types of foods means a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • Make freshly squeezed juices with lots of greens such as celery and cucumber. Juicing allows you to get more in nutrients while not filling yourself up too much. (This is supplementary to your normal meals so as to not miss out on the fibre)

If you would like to transition to a more plant-based lifestyle or are vegan and would like to eat healthier add in the above. If you are in need of help and more tips in doing so get in touch with me and we can work together to get your body thriving.

Investing in Your Health is Your Wealth

I was speaking with some people this weekend and the topic of healthy eating came up. As usual the general consensus is that eating healthy is expensive. And yes it can be pricey. But what could the cost be to not eat healthy?

There is a show on one of the BBC channels that I just happened to see called “The Truth About …” and this particular episode was on Takeaways/fast foods’. They did a study with 15 young adults around 18-21 years old. They had to eat two fast food meals a day for two weeks. For a lot of people this could perhaps be exciting or just the normal way of eating.
After only a few days the test subjects were starting to feel lethargic and foggy brained, lacking motivation to do simple tasks and some were not even looking forward to eating another fast food meal.

At the end of the two weeks they did some tests to see how their body’s fared as well as how they were feeling.
They reported feeling very tired and they couldn’t sleep properly, their skin was breaking out, their hair was more oily, their digestive systems weren’t functioning properly and they couldn’t concentrate on their studies.
The majority gained weight, which was a gain in body fat, and their concentration of fat in the blood increased which is a marker of increased cardiovascular disease risk. Thankfully this was just a short term study, but if they continued with this diet they could develop heart disease as well as many other lifestyle diseases.

The scary thing is that for a lot of people this is their normal life. Imagine what the cost of living like this is.
Fast food and takeaways can be expensive vs cooking from scratch. When you cook at home you also know what is going into your food so it is usually healthier.
Eating a lot of takeaways may cause you to be foggy brained and not be able to concentrate on your work properly. You would get less done or even make errors, which could cost the company you’re working for a lot of money. Imagine there are 10 or even hundreds of people working for the company that are feeling the same way, making similar mistakes. If you run this business it will be an expensive one for you.
(I worked for a company who provided their staff with a daily morning smoothie and a healthy lunch, which was amazing because we didn’t have to think about what to bring for lunch and also great for the company because we performed better and didn’t have the after lunch slump)

Then there is your health that starts to cost you money. You end up needing to pay more for your medical insurance, buying pills to help your digestive system, or your blood pressure, or help your sleep problems. It all adds up and is very costly.
And you don’t get to fully enjoy life.

Now imagine spending your money on healthy meals at home and at restaurants.
– In my opinion the nourishment your body gets from the nutrients in the food far out-ways the cost.
– You can make the meals at home with the family, involving the kids so they learn about foods and a valuable skill for later in life.
– You feel light and happy which helps everyone around you feel happy.
– You have a clear head so you are more productive and able to do your work properly saving you time to enjoy other activities.
– You sleep well so you have more energy to exercise, which helps maintain your ideal weight as well as releasing endorphins enabling you to feel good.
– Your immune system is strong so there is less chance of getting sick
– And you spend less money on pills trying to get your health back.

You don’t have to change overnight, but I encourage you to try a cooking a new meal from scratch each week, or trying a new healthy food each week.
I am really not a fan of Brussels sprouts but I kept searching for a way to enjoy them, (as I know how incredibly good they are for us) and came across this recipe and I actually enjoyed it!

The first wealth is health!

My 5 Top Supplements

I think these days whether you are vegan or a big meat eater or somewhere in between we all need to supplement.

My opinion on this is because of the mass production of food nowadays. Crops are not rotated enough anymore, and the soil is not given the time to recuperate.
Only a handful of minerals that our bodies require are put back into the soil in the form of fertilizer.

So how else do we get these minerals? We would have to supplement.

I love a more natural way of eating and also love natural when it comes to supplementing.

Supplementing for me can come in a few different forms.

1 – Juicing – I love to have green juices and other healthy fruit and vegetable juices. Juicing the fruit and vegetables removes the pulp/fibre and concentrates all the nutrients into a smaller quantity so you can consume more. You can make the juicers with a juicer (My favourite is the Oscar juicer) or a blender. If you use a blender you can strain the juice out of a sieve or a nut-milk bag. Green juices for me are the most beneficial because I feel we do not eat nearly enough greens. Wheatgrass shots are also incredibly beneficial. You can have juices throughout the day not as a meal replacement but supplementary to your normal meals.

2 – Green powders – such as Barleygrass, wheatgrass, moringa powder. These are 3 of my favourite green powders. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as containing 8 of the essential amino acids. They contain enzymes, chlorophyll, and are all round wonderful for us for helping boost our immune systems and keep us healthy in general.

3 – Spirulina – I just love spirulina. Not only does it cleanse and remove toxins, it helps you maintain your health and helps prevent disease. It is full of nutrients and antioxidants, including vitamin B, iron, chlorophyll, magnesium and protein which especially beneficial for athletes. I’ve worked with a few athletes and they have felt the benefits of increased stamina and energy.

4 – Superfood powders and seeds – such as baobab which is rich in calcium, hemp powder which is rich in protein and helps boost the immune system, hemp seeds which are high in omega 3 and 6 and help digestion and improve hair, skin and nail health, chia seeds which help aid digestion and are a rich source of fibre which helps push the toxins out the body, and the list goes on.

5 – Medicinal mushrooms – such as reishi (known as the Queen of the Medicinal Mushrooms), chaga (known as the King of the Medicinal Mushrooms), lion’s mane, cordyceps, maitake to name a few. These little fungi help boost the immune system, help with the digestion system, have the ability to protect against viruses, bacteria, and pathogens, help improve the quality of your hair and skin, help you perform better athletically and in the bedroom, increase energy, improve memory and concentration and so much more.

I could write about Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3 and a host of others but these ones above are my favourites. They are plants sources of potent vitamins and minerals.
Play around and see what works for you. Start off small and work your way up to larger amounts as some of these could have a strong detoxifying effect on your body.

I’m sure that if you start adding in 1 or 2 of these daily you should start to notice a difference in your life.

Journey of Self Love

Self-Love. I’ve read these words on numerous websites and social media pages. But I never really took much notice of it because I thought that I’d done a pretty good job of loving myself.

I thought that because I feed my body well with really healthy food, I put toxic chemicals in and on my body as infrequently as possible, drink clean spring water, exercise often and read empowering books, that I was doing the act of self-love.

In actual fact I had been talking fairly negatively to myself, putting pressure on myself for various different reasons, comparing myself to other people’s highlights on social media. And that can virtually out-way everything else that I had done which is good for me.

Below I’ve paraphrased out of a book written by Michael Neill titled ‘The Inside Out Revolution’:
“We seem to have an innate desire to know ourselves at deeper and deeper levels. For most of us this begins with our own individual psychology. This self-awareness can soon turn into self-consciousness, and each new aspect you learn about yourself is often coupled with a judgement. We then try to fix our faults and improve ourselves which turns into a struggle against ourselves, and we spend months if not years trying to be the person we think we should be. When really what we find out is that most of what we thought was wrong with us is simply a part of the human condition.”

I’ve been down this road and been my own biggest critic.

For me self love is taking the time in getting to know who you really are, what you really like and don’t really like, what you value in your life and in those around you. It is getting to know your quirks and accepting them as a part of who you are, as well as looking after the body you are living in. It is limiting the negativity surrounding you on social media and the mainstream media and feeding your mind with joy as much as possible.
It is listening to yourself/Inner Being/Intuition rather than what a hundred different people online think you should be doing. It may have worked for them but it may not really work for you.
We have given our power over to everyone else and have lost the ability to listen to ourselves.

Here are some positive phrases you can say to yourself:

* I recognise that awareness is the first step in healing or changing. I become more aware with each passing day.
* I value myself.
* I love and approve of myself.
* I am willing to love and approve of myself. (If the above is too difficult to say for now)
* I am my own best friend. I love what I see in me.
* I am perfect for just being me.

A question I have found really helpful is:
What would someone who loved themselves do?

When you love yourself everything else around you reflects what you are feeling inside. When you take care of yourself first, you have more with which to give to others.

9 Benefits of eating sprouts + sprouting tips

For anyone who knows me or has worked with me you’ll know how much I love sprouts, I always recommend everyone to grow them. Come to my kitchen and no doubt you’ll see them growing on my windowsill or sitting draining in the drying rack. 
My favourite ones are alfalfa, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, fenugreek, and sunflower.

Some of the benefits of sprouting:

  1. Sprouts are some of the most nutrient rich foods we could eat. The seeds have the highest nutritional value when they are seedlings about 3-10 days old. The sprouts contain a greater concentration of nutrients like Vitamin E, potassium, iron, antioxidants and protein. They also contain other nutrients like folic acid, zinc and magnesium.
  2. They are living foods. They feed your cells (or batteries) the energy required to maintain all your bodily functions.
  3. They are quick growing and require little attention, so if grown frequently you always have a healthy food to add to your salads, smoothies, juices, sandwiches and to pop on top of your soups or other main meals.
  4. Sprouts are a very cost effective way to eat extremely nutrient rich foods.
  5. If you are looking to lose weight, sprouts are perfect to consume on a regular basis as they have fewer calories and are so nutrient rich which helps to keep your weight under control because your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
  6. Sprouts are also an amazing detox food.  They are rich in water and fibre, so it’s the ideal food to add to a healthy clean eating detox diet.
  7. Sprouts are the perfect home-grown food. When you grow them yourself you are helping the environment and ensuring that you are not getting unwanted pesticides, food additives, and other harmful chemicals.
  8. They have high levels of proteins. Sprouts such as sunflowers are a complete protein. The quality of the protein in the sprouted seed, nut, bean or grain improves when it is sprouted so our bodies can better utilize the protein.
  9. They are loaded with enzymes. Some people battle to eat the bean, nut or seed raw but once sprouted they contain loads of enzymes and are easy to digest and therefore the intake of nutrients increases.

How to grow sprouts:

  • Choose your seed or bean and place in a glass jar. 
  • Cover the seeds with filtered or spring water. Some seeds soak up a lot of water so make sure to add enough for this to happen. I often add a couple grains of sea salt for more minerals in the germinating process too. 
  • Place cheesecloth or a sprouting gauze over the top of the jar.
  • Soak the seeds overnight or for about 8-12 hours
  • After soaking rinse thoroughly and leave to drain so all the water comes off. Rinse 2-3 times a day
  • Once sprouting begins and you can see the shoots, place the jar in in-direct sunlight for about 1/2 an hour so chlorophyll can be produced. 
  • Allow the sprouts to grow for about 2-5 days in warmer climates and about 4-8 days in cooler climates or depending on your preference. 
  • Refrigerate once ready and add to your salads etc. 

* Make sure to keep the sprouts in shaded cooler parts of the kitchen, rinse thoroughly and pop them in the fridge as soon as they are ready as bacteria can grow on them if it is too warm and humid. If you are purchasing them from a store make sure you have checked the source and that they are fresh sprouts and have been properly refrigerated.

6 Ways to Stay Hydrated

How much water or fresh fruit and vegetable juices do you drink every day?

Most of us are probably mildly to chronically dehydrated from not drinking much water, going all the way back to our childhood. Nowadays most people’s diets are not hydrating enough either. We don’t even need to feel thirsty to need to drink water.

As we’ve heard so many times, we’re mostly made up of water, so we have to make sure we are replenishing that water to help us function optimally.

We can see the importance of it in our lives by the length of time it would take us to start dying without it. Second only to breathing, good quality water is the most crucial things for us to take in.

Often our body is signalling to us that it wants water, but instead we reach for sodas, coffee, an energy drink or snacks which causes more dehydration. If you’re feeling snacky or tired, or that you want to have a cup of coffee then have a glass of water first. If you still feel like your snack then have it, but make sure you’ve had the water.

If our body doesn’t get enough water it cannot filter and flush out the toxins as efficiently. These toxins then continue to float around our system causing it to be very acidic. Viruses and other pathogens thrive in an acidic environment causing us all sorts of problems.

Without enough water our blood also starts to get thick. This makes it difficult for the heart to pump the thick blood throughout our body, potentially causing strokes and heart attacks.

When you’re putting something into your body as often as you should be drinking water then quality really matters. Tap water is so heavily chlorinated. Depending on which part of the world you live in, the water is also recycled numerous times so it has to be treated with all sorts of chemicals. Get a filter for your taps, or purchase spring water or filtered water.

Besides water, here are other ways you can stay hydrated:

  • Drink a litre of water upon waking. If you find plain water too boring add in some lemon or cucumber or any other fruit or herb that you enjoy. You can also drink more throughout the day.
  • Drink cucumber juice. This will hydrate you and help thin your blood, making the heart’s job a lot easier.
  • Eat raw fruit and vegetable salads. All the juices are still intact in the raw foods which will hydrate you.
  • Drink watermelon juices or eat watermelon as a snack, it is one of the most hydrating fruits.
  • Drink herbal teas instead of caffeinated beverages. It’s not specifically hydrating but they won’t dehydrate you like the caffeine would.
  • Have less salty foods or add less salt to your meals. The salt will dehydrate you.

Each person’s hydration needs are different so play around and see which of these works for you.

How to Trust Your Body

I think now more than ever, in the times we currently find ourselves in, is that we need to invest in our health, both physically and mentally.

I try not to watch much news, only for the updates and important information and then switch it off. But over the last month I’ve seen so many posts, news reports, forwarded emails and messages that after only a few days in quarantine it has worn me out, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So I’d like to focus on the positive ways that we can improve our health and boost our immune system.

It is probably not possible to immunise ourselves against every virus out there as there are no doubt thousands of them (thankfully they seem to be mostly dealt with by our bodies already). If the reports are true then there are already many different strains of the Corona Virus that have evolved in this short space of time, so if a vaccine does become available, will it be for the right strain?  I don’t want to have to worry and be fearful about stuff like that, I want to be able to trust my body to do what it needs to do.

The way I believe we can do this is to build up our immunity as much as possible so that our body fights off anything that comes our way and that we can trust our bodies to do their job. When we trust our bodies we can be less fearful. That’s not to say we will be completely immune, we just have a better chance.

Thankfully there are so many wonderful ways to do this, here are a few:

  • Try to watch as little fearful news reports as possible. Get the information that you need and move on to other activities. Be prepared but don’t put yourself in a place where your anxiety and fear takes over your body, this stresses you out and lowers your immune system.
  • Incorporate more fruits and vegetables, organic and/or home grown if possible, into your daily intake.
  • Get creative with healthy meals; thankfully there are thousands of people online showing their beautiful, healthy recipes.
  • Be more playful. Make time to laugh and play with your kids, your friends or family. Laughter really does lighten the mood and reduce stress.
  • Listen to music you love and dance more. You’ll be happy and get exercise at the same time.
  • Move your body, run, cycle, hike, and do exercises from home, dance like I suggested above, and anything to sweat, move your lymph (the garbage system of our body) and release the toxins.
  • Be outside in the sunshine and feel the earth under your bare feet. We and the Earth are electromagnetic beings each with a different vibrational frequency, and when we are connected to the earth we release our frantic energetic charge and become calmer. That’s why we feel so grounded after walking on the beach or in a river. Nature grounds us anyway, and being barefoot is even better.
  • Grow your own vegetables. It is really satisfying to be able to pick your own food from your garden or window boxes. You’ll be happy and healthy.
  • Find reasons to be happy. Watch positive stories, find the joy in the small everyday things, enjoy the beauty in life that you usually rush right past and be thankful for it all.

If you implement these into your daily life then the positive will out way the negative and you will start to develop a stronger immune system.  

I hope you are all safe and well and excited to be radiant, fit and healthy.

All my love
Gail

Know your Cycle, Know your seasons

This one is for the ladies, however guys, you’ll also benefit from reading it.

We all (men and women) have cycles; daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc. This means ups and downs, times when we’re inspired and when we want nothing to happen, times when we feel like socialising and times when we feel like staying indoors.

For women it’s a bit easier to gauge ours due to our menstrual cycle. But a lot of women have no idea where they are in their cycle and that they even feel any differently. You may only be reminded when someone comments on your shortness or grumpiness that you become aware that you are going through some PMS.

To know your cycle is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself, and for those around you. I highly recommend getting in touch with your cycle. You’ll understand why everyone is irritating you, or why you want to binge eat every sweet thing in site. You’ll stop wondering why you feel so loving some days and others you want to be left alone.
You’ll understand that you’re not weird, your hormones are just different on different days.

I’m going to explain it the way I’ve learnt it and have shared with many different women…and men. The men really relate to this; they get it and have been very understanding and supportive when it is described in this way.

We all know the seasons (cycles) of our planet; Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.
Now think of this in terms of your menstrual cycle.
Just a reminder that I am generalising for most of the women here who still menstruate, although women who have been through menopause also experience seasons.

Winter:
Imagine how most of life operates in winter, there is hibernation and staying indoors, relaxing and rejuvenating. This is the same for your cycle. You feel like staying indoors and don’t really want to socialise or party or do much exercise.
This is usually when you start to bleed as well as a few days into bleeding. For me that is also a day or two before, it all depends on how your cycle is.

This is a time where we should really rest and rejuvenate and listen to our bodies to see what they need. You don’t have to stop activity altogether, but check in with how you’re feeling and honour it. You may not want to make many social gatherings.

Spring:
This is when life starts to come alive again. Animals come out of their hidey homes in search of food, plants are breaking through the snow, and the flowers are starting to open.
Same for women, we are ‘through the worst’ and start to blossom again. We start to get inspired for our work, playing with the kids is easier, we make plans to see people and are generally a lot happier.

This is a time for planning and preparing for when you do have lots of energy. You can schedule some dates and go out with your friends and family, plan for the business meetings and events or any other function you may want to host in your ‘summer time’.

Summer:
Life is in full bloom, and so are we. We are usually full of energy, socialising with friends and family, and working well. This is when the libido is usually at its peak.

This is the time when you do a lot more socialising, and when you host your functions. It is also the time when you get as much done as you can for when you do not have as much energy. For example, you can make a few more meals and freeze them for when you don’t feel like cooking. You do a few more blog posts for your social media while the inspiration is flowing, take the kids out for some fun activities, do the clearing in the house or garden that you know you might not get to later in your cycle.

Autumn:
Just as in nature, things are starting to slow down again for women. We will still socialise and be inspired but it is tapering off.

This may be the time to complete everything that you started in the spring cycle in preparation for wanting to hibernate again.

This may not be realistic for everyone because you still have a job, you still have to entertain the kids even when you don’t feel like it and still have to attend events. Perhaps what you could do is make deals with your partner that they do more when you’re not feeling up to it, and when you are at your peak, you do that little bit extra to keep it balanced. You communicate with your girl friends about their cycles and work out what when the best time would be to connect. (Yes it sounds completely weird but do what feels comfortable for you, you never know, you may end up connecting with women on a different level)

It’s not about limiting your life just because of your cycle, it is about understanding why you feel the way you do and being better prepared. Even if all of these suggestions are not possible for you, I highly recommend getting to know your cycle at least. You can write down in your journal where you are in your cycle and describe how you are feeling. There are also apps online to track your cycle.

Journal promp example:
Day 1: (your first day of bleeding)  
Feeling – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually: “I feel bloated and crampy and don’t feel like getting out of my pjs. I just want to relax, and don’t want to see anyone because my emotions are so up and down and I don’t want to misinterpret what others say to me.”

Once you’ve done this for a few cycles you will see there is a pattern and you can work with it.
It can be life changing!

Pic Source – https://youtu.be/HY1jojwGN_0

Why Be Healthy?

I think deep down we all know we need to make healthier choices. It can feel like hard work and that you really don’t want to do it and that you’d rather just do it when you really have to.

Every day we are taking in toxins that our body and more specifically our liver has to process.
These toxins are in foods we eat; either covered in pesticides or completely artificial like crisps or overly processed such as fast food, or from the hormones in the meats from the animals that were bred to grow rapidly.
They’re in drinks like sodas or alcoholic beverages or the chemicals in our tap water.
Toxins are in our skin and hair ‘care’ products, nail polish and the nail polish remover, make-up, toothpaste, hair dyes, spray tan, perfumes and cologne/aftershave.
Its in our detergents, air fresheners, laundry detergent, firelighters, candles, etc.

It is quite overwhelming, and there are some things that we just can’t do anything about, such as the exhaust fumes from all the traffic we sit in daily, chemicals that are floating in the air from factories that are blown in by the wind.

All of these toxins are processed by your liver every moment you’re alive, and for the most part it can do it really well. But after a while it gets overburdened by the constant bombardment of toxins and it may start to get sluggish, you can develop illnesses related to the struggling liver, or maybe even liver cancer.

How do I make better choices?

Thankfully we are able to do a lot with our food choices and our house and body products. There are so many shampoos, soaps, body lotions and house hold cleaning products that you can purchase nowadays that have very little of these chemical toxins in them. And they are available at your local supermarkets these days which makes it so easy to find them.

By purchasing organic foods you consume less pesticides, herbicides and fungicides and the organic food usually has more nutrients in to deal with the toxins. By using natural skin and hair products and washing your clothes in natural detergent less toxins are being absorbed into your blood stream.

And when your liver has to deal with less toxins and sends cleaner blood to your heart your body can then perform better.

  • You’ll have a stronger immune system which means you’re less susceptible to viruses, you’ll have more energy,
  • clearer skin,
  • radiant hair,
  • vibrant eyes,
  • better quality of sleep,
  • improved moods,
  • women’s menstrual cycle balances and there are less mood swings,
  • you’ll reach your ideal body weight,
  • you’ll slow down the aging process,
  • and you’ll feel happier overall.

By making small changes daily, weekly, monthly, you get to prevent spending the last ‘2-20’ years of your life struggling. I know your grandparent lived to 88 years old, but how many of those years towards the end were vibrant, and how many were a struggle? I know I want my later years on this planet to be happy and healthy ones.

Healthy Fruit breakfast

Natural Body Cream

“If you can’t eat it then don’t put it on your body.” I’m sure a lot of you have heard this statement.

There are a lot of toxins in body lotions and whether or not it does get absorbed straight into the blood stream or not I’d rather just use natural products. This one that I make smells lovely and feels wonderful on the skin.

Recipe:
1 cup Cacao Butter
1/2 Cup coconut oil
Optional: Essential Oils for your choice of scent

Melt down over a double boiler system (Helps keep the lovely scent of the cacao butter)

Cacao Butter and Coconut oil in a ‘double boiler’ to melt them down without cooking them.

Pour into a glass container and let it set on the counter for an hour. Then you can put it into the fridge to set properly.

You can use more coconut oil if you live in a cooler area as the cacao butter will make it quite hard. And if you live in a really hot area then add more cacao butter so it doesn’t become too liquidy. You can use a stick of sorts to get it out, I’ve washed an old ice-cream spoon and use this 🙂