Smoothies

This week I thought since I’ve been posting lots of pics of smoothies thanks to my mum in law after giving me a NurtiBullet I would blog about it. Smoothies really are a great way to get lots of healthy and delicious ingredients in one hit.

They are quick and easy to make and the combinations really are endless. My children love smoothies and love helping choose the ingredients for their smoothies i.e. pink smoothie with raspberries, purple smoothie with blackberries or blueberries, green smoothie with grapes, avocado, green apple. They are also a great way to hide those healthy ingredients your children may not be so fond of i.e. handful of spinach!

My favourite times to have a smoothie is at breakfast and as an afternoon snack for my children and I. I call the afternoon snack the 3pm hungers time. I’ve never really been a breakfast person but it really should be your most important meal of the day so I find making a smoothie the perfect solution. Smoothies can be packed full of so much goodness that they can be a meal in itself. My daughter has taken after me and I really struggle to get her to eat a decent breakfast, I find smoothies the perfect solution as she will always drink a smoothie. That way I know she has had something decent and is ready for the day ahead. My son however does take after his dadda and loves his breaky! So if you have a similar problem with your children why not try making them a smoothie, give it a go.

So what do you need to be able to make a smoothie? Smoothies were one of the first things I experimented with when starting my healthy lifestyle and at the time I had a blender, one that looked similar to this below but a much older model.

Breville Blender Pic
I recently broke my blender ironically making a smoothie! I broke it trying to blend a whole frozen mango cheek, it was an old model so it really couldn’t cope and it was obviously time to upgrade. Since then my beautiful mum in law gave me a NutriBullet and I have to say I love it. It really is perfect for the healthy and delicious combinations I like to create.

NutriBullet
There are so many affordable blenders that you can purchase to make healthy and delicious smoothies. I did have my eye on a Vitamix which is much more expensive and is a little more than just a blender but the NutriBullet is doing the job just fine for us at the moment.

There are so many healthy ingredients you can add to your smoothies, check out my Healthy eBook for lots of different combinations or follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see the smoothies that I make for my family and I as I generally list the ingredients included in them. My second eBook is almost ready to be released and will also have a number of yummy smoothie combinations. Here are a few pictures of ones I have posted on social media lately, all my smoothies are dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, vegan and paleo friendly.

   
So why not add smoothies to your lifestyle, they are quick, easy, healthy and most importantly delicious! Children will love them! Another simple, easy, healthy change to you and your family’s lifestyle.

Juggling

Recently I put it out there and asked you what you would like to read about in my blogs. A very supportive friend of mine suggested I write about how I juggle it all! Children, husband, work, my little online business, family, friends, exercise, household and the list goes on. Well when I actually took the time to think about my life and all the things I juggle I was surprised at how much I actually do juggle and how many other mummas out there do the same.

If you ask any of my family and friends one of my biggest traits is that I am a highly organised person. I guess that’s why I ended up in the sports and entertainment event/venue management industry. This definitely for me has its advantages when trying to juggle my little business and all things that come with being a wife and mother. With being organised also comes planning. I’m the biggest planner, I love to do lists and take the time to plan my meals on a weekly basis. It only takes less than half an hour to plan your meals for the week and write a shopping list. I strongly believe that by doing this it saves you time and money. It means one trip to the supermarket or local markets a week saving you time (that you could be using to cook instead of shopping more frequently) and saves you money as you are not impluse buying and only buying what you need.

As for cooking, well I obviously love to cook. I make cooking a healthy and delicious meal a priority for my family and I. I would much rather take the time to cook a meal than buy take away as I know I am providing my children with healthy nutritious meals, it definitely costs less and I honestly believe cooking yourself tastes better! I will generally pre prepare most of my family’s meal that night when my second child is having his daytime nap and I’m not working that day (dreading the day his daytime naps finish). This allows me to quickly put the meal together at dinner time. For example if we are having a stir fry I cut everything up whilst my son naps making it quick and easy to cook later on. The days that I work I choose a meal that can be completed quickly and on the table within 30 minutes. Again this comes back to pre planning your meals for the week and choosing quicker meals for the days you might work.

Not only is cooking healthy and delicious meals a priority but exercise is also important to me. I strongly believe that a healthy, happy mum means a healthy, happy household. I’m very lucky to have a supportive husband that I can take the time out to exercise. I also believe that by exercising I am setting a good healthy example for my children.

Like most mumma’s with their own little business most of the work is done when the children are tucked up in bed asleep at night time. This is definitely the time when I work on things like my orders, blog, new recipes, my eBooks, newsletters etc.

As for all the other household duties i.e. cleaning, washing, maintaining a home etc. I try to do something everyday to ease my load rather than leave it all to pile up and get totally overwhelmed that it will take me a full morning or even a day to complete. Gone are the days when I worked full time and Saturday mornings were allocated to cleaning my house from top to bottom. As a mumma I’ve had to let go of the fact that my house will never be completely clean all at once ever again (haha)!

Then most importantly it’s easy to get mothers guilt and be too busy doing everything else like cooking, cleaning, washing, working etc and forget to simply play with your children. I try to take the time everyday to do something with my children, can be as simple as reading them a book together or playing a game of hide and seek. At the end of the day what is most important to me is my husband and my two children and I sometimes have to remind myself of that and not worry about all the other meaningless chores that come with being a wife and a Mumma!

Bone Broth

Recently I was shocked to discover the brand of stock I was using which I might add is labelled organic was full of everything nasty! I’ve been a huge advocat for checking labels of all things you buy but for some reason I never checked the label of the stock I was buying. I guess I just assumed that if it was organic it was good for me, right?! Well no! Make sure you check the labels of everything you buy even when products claim to be something that they are not!

Which brings me to the topic of bone broth! I have started making my own bone broth for recipes and can I say the flavour and taste is amazing and tastes nothing like the stuff you buy. I discovered bone broth through following lots of amazing healthy people on Instagram and decided to give it a go. Well I will never go back!

Bone Broth

Bone broth is an ancient food that has been made for centuries as it is an inexpensive and verstaile source of nutrients. So what are the benefits of bone broth?

There are so many health benefits of bone broth including:

  • Great for nutrient adsorption and enhances the absorption of nutrients from other foods.
  • It is an excellent source of several essential amino acids including proline, glycine, arginine and glutamine that are often difficult to get from diet alone.
  • Excellent source of minerals that the body can easily absorb including calcium, magensium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others.
  • It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulphates and other compounds that support joint health.
  • It provides the amino acids needed for collagen production. Collagen keeps the skin smooth, firm (reduces cellulite!) and reduces wrinkles. Collagen also supports hair and nail health.
  • Assists with gut and immune health because it is high in gelatin/collagen and supports gut health and its amino acids help reduce inflammation. Helps with healing leaky gut.

So you might be thinking what is the difference between bone broth and stock? They are basically made the same way but the difference is in the length of time it is simmered for. Stock is generally simmered between 3-4 hours whereas bone broth is simmered for 24-48 hours depending on the type of bones utilised i.e. chicken v beef bones. Bone Broth has a longer cooking time which removes as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones.

And how do you use it? You basically use bone broth in the same way you would use stock including base for soups, casseroles or stews, gravies, sauces and cooking vegetables to add more nutrients and flavour. I recently had some left over cabbage and cooked it in some bone broth and it was delicious! One way you can use bone broth which you definitely wouldn’t do with a standard stock is to drink it as a warm drink. The flavour of bone broth is so amazing and this is actually my favourite way to use it.

My subsribers this week will receive my recipe for how I make bone broth, it is really simple and easy, it just takes time but is so worth it! If you would like to subscribe to my website to receive free recipes, notification on my blogs, tips and special offers then visit the bottom of any page on my website to subscribe.

So why not add bone broth to the list of staples you make on a regular basis. It is super easy, inexpensive and so good for you! Another simple, easy, healthy change to you and your family’s lifestyle.

Healthy Treats

This week I asked my hubby what should I blog about. What can I inspire other mummas to do, what healthy tips and ideas can I share? There are so many but I literally have had a mental blank this week. Then my hubby suggested I blog about my healthy treat balls and a whole range of inspiration, tips and ideas that go with them.

When I first became a mum I fell into the trap of going to cafes to meet with other mums on maternity leave and having coffee and a treat! What happened was the treat didn’t become a once off treat it became an often treat, full of everything bad for you and hence my health suffered. After having Avery my “baby weight” as they call it came off, I can’t blame being pregnant for my weight gain it was the year after I had Avery and my lifestyle that I have to blame.

My biggest tip when becoming a first time mumma is not to fall into the trap of eating unhealthy, quick and easy options and be careful when “treating” yourself! Those treats can become a regular occurrence which over time can cause a negative effect on your health i.e. weight gain.

When starting a healthier lifestyle I discovered that you can have a treat without it being unhealthy and full of cane sugar. There are so many healthy treat options that you can make yourself. This is where my healthy treat balls evolved. They are a great substitute for chocolate, cakes and lollies.
IMG_6531 Healthy Treat Balls
Currently I stock a local café with my healthy treat balls which gives mums in the area a healthy alternative to have with their coffee or tea. My aim is to try to get more of these options available in more cafes, it’s just making the time to visit the cafes to show them. I’m definitely not a saleswoman so I do find this hard but hey I have my hubby to learn from as Sales and Marketing is his trade.
Chocolate Balls Revitalise Revitalise Treat Balls
If you have a copy of my Healthy eBook you will know that I have a range of recipes for healthy treat options and I also have a Healthy Store where you can save time by purchasing some ready-made healthy treat options. Check it out here!

Healthy Oils

This week I thought I would blog about healthy oils. If you have been following my blogs from the start you will know that I have already blogged about Coconut Oil and why to use it. Well this week I’m going to share the range of healthy oils that I use in my healthy lifestyle.

If you have my Healthy eBook you will know that I only really cook with Coconut Oil. If you have the time scroll back through my blogs to read all about why I use Coconut Oil.

Coconut Oil

When thinking about oils you need to be aware that when healthy fats are heated above certain temperatures they oxidise and turn into bad fats. When cooking with high heat you need to choose an oil that will remain stable which coconut oil does.

Many of us would have many different types of oils in our pantry and the ones to avoid are vegetable, canola, sunflower etc. Simply swap these oils for coconut oil in your cooking.

There are a number of different oils I also use for dressings and to add flavour to meals when they are not cooked with high heat. These include Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Macadamia Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. My favourite is definitely Avocado Oil, something I didn’t even know existed until I started my healthy lifestyle. Make sure they are all unrefined and cold pressed to ensure you are consuming them in their most natural state.

Avocado Oil almond oil flaxseed oil macadamia oil 2

So why not add some healthy oils to your pantry as healthy pantry staple items. Throw out the bad oils and replace them with healthier alternatives. Another simple, easy, healthy change to you and your family’s lifestyle.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This week another healthy ingredient that many of you would have in your pantry already, apple cider vinegar. I’ve always had apple cider vinegar in my pantry however have had the wrong brand. I can’t stress enough about making sure you check your labels on the food that you purchase to ensure it doesn’t have any added cane sugar or nasties.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apple must and has a pale to medium amber colour. Unpasteurized or organic ACV contains mother of vinegar, which has a cobweb-like appearance and can make the vinegar look slightly congealed.

My favourite brand of apple cider vinegar is Bragg as it is organic, raw, unpasteurised and naturally gluten free. When you look at the different brands of apple cider vinegar compared to Bragg’s you will notice that it isn’t clear like other brands as it hasn’t been pasteurized. As I have stated in previous blogs (Why Use Raw Honey?) pasteurizing is a heating and filtration process to make it clear, meaning all the beneficial enzymes have been lost.

You can generally find the Bragg brand in the health food section at the supermarket or alternatively your local health food store will definitely stock a healthy brand of apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar
What are the health benefits?

Apple cider vinegar has lots of benefits including great for detoxification, promotes weight loss, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, helps with digestion, alleviates skin problems, promotes soft and shiny hair, helps relieve asthmatics, gout, allergies, arthritis, relieves nausea, migraines, heart burn, chronic acid reflux, sinus pressure and infection, reduces inflammation, reduces and lowers glucose levels in diabetics, regulates PH balance in the body, gets rid of fingernail and toenail fungus, dissolves kidney stones, gets rid of build-up on your scalp and helps ward off sickness.

How to Use it?

Use in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, chutneys, flavour in cooking, use when a recipe calls for a vinegar or simply just add to half an avocado and enjoy with a spoon! I’ve seen my Dad do this many times and it is actually a great healthy snack idea.

So next time you are at your local store, why not purchase some apple cider vinegar to add to your pantry staples. It’s another simple, healthy change to you and your family’s lifestyle!

Tapioca Flour

This week I’m going to blog about another healthy ingredient that I have discovered since starting a healthy lifestyle, Tapioca Flour!

What is Tapioca Flour?

Tapioca Flour is obtained from the cassava plant. Despite it’s name it is not a flour made from wheat or grains and is gluten and wheat free. It is a slightly sweet, white flour that is high in starch.

You may recognise Tapioca in sweet puddings.
cassava plant - tapioca flour
What is the nutritional value of Tapioca Flour?

Tapioca Flour however has almost no nutritional value it predominantly consists of carbohydrates and is low in satured fat, protein and sodium. It has no significant essential vitamins or dietary minerals.
Tapioca Flour
So why use Tapioca Flour and how to use it?

The reason I use Tapioca Flour is because it’s not a grain, a legume, a potato, it isn’t refined, processed or unnatural so is the better healthier alternative.

The reason I discovered Tapioca Flour was because I wanted a substitute for corn flour in recipes. Something that wasn’t obtained from wheat although in saying that these days you can buy corn flour which is made from just that corn which is a gluten free product.

I now use Tapioca Flour as my number one thickening agent in recipes for glazes, sauces, fruit syrups and soups. You will see this ingredient appear in very small amounts in my second eBook when I finally get around to finalising it.
ceres organic topioca flour
So next time you visit your local store why not pick up some Tapioca Flour (preferably organic) and use as a healthier substitute to other thickening ingredients. Just another discovery that is a simple, easy and healthy ingredient to add to you and your family’s lifestyle.

Alternatives to Dairy

Since starting the Healthy Mumma journey I have discovered so many of my Instagram and Facebook followers are intolerant to dairy. I try to limit the amount of dairy I consume in a day but haven’t given it up altogether. I still enjoy my coffee in the morning with cow’s milk, I’ve tried other alternatives with my coffee but I just don’t enjoy it and my one pleasure as a Mum is buying a coffee from my favourite local cafe!

In saying that other than the occasional natural greek yoghurt (full fat) I don’t have milk, cheese, ice cream or any other types of dairy. Actually I lie I do occasional have goats feta too but no other cheeses. The paleo lifestyle omits dairy from their diet as the theory behind it is that many of us do not have sufficient levels of enzymes necessary to digest it. To me this explains why so many of us are dairy intolerant.

The good news is there are so many other delicious alternatives that I have discovered instead of having dairy. These include:

Alternatives to Cows Milk

Instead of Cows Milk try any of the nut milks including Almond Milk, Cashew Milk, Macadamia Milk, Hazelnut Milk or try Coconut Milk or Rice Milk (Brown Rice). My favourite is definitely almond milk and I do love coconut milk too. Make sure they are unsweetened and not full of sugar.
almond-milk
Alternatives to Yoghurt

Instead of natural greek yoghurt try coconut yoghurt. It is so delicious however is a little pricey compared to other yoghurts but it’s worth it.
coyo
Alternatives to Ice Cream

Instead of ice cream made from dairy you will find the supermarkets are all starting to stock a lot more variety when it comes to dairy free ice cream alternatives. Generally the alternatives are all made from coconut milk or cream and are so delicious. My favourite brand at the moment is Cocofrio and they have a great range of delicious dairy, gluten and fructose free ice creams. I have to say that I actually prefer eating this to normal ice cream as it’s so delicious and the best part is its guilt free! Just a tip when buying dairy free ice creams, watch the sugar content, some of them can be loaded with sugar.
cocofrio1
Alternatives to Cheese

There are a few alternatives to cheese that I have discovered including a cashew cheese which consists of soaking cashews overnight and blending them with stock and adding a few other ingredients. The other alternative I have found is Nutritional Yeast or it can be called Savoury Yeast Flakes, this has a cheesy taste without the dairy and is a popular ingredient for vegans. It can be found at your local health food store and generally it’s stocked at supermarkets.
Savoury Yeast Flakes
If you can’t fully go off dairy, choose the full fat and not fat free version i.e. natural greek yoghurt. You may think you are doing the right thing by choosing the low fat versions however they are generally loaded with more unhealthy refined sugars to compensate for the fat. As I’ve blogged before, check the labels of everything you buy, flavoured yoghurt is generally also loaded with unhealthy sugar so stick to the natural flavours and add your own healthy flavourings i.e. natural sweeteners, berries, fruit etc.

I have to admit by reducing the amount of dairy I consume it has had the same positive affects as when I quit grains. So why not try some alternatives to dairy and see how it makes you feel!

 

Eating Out

Just because you have decided to live a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t eat out. When I first started to live a healthier lifestyle my first initial goal was to lose weight after having children so I have to admit I did avoid eating out so I could totally control my food intake BUT that doesn’t have to be the case. When eating out the key is to make healthier choices to keep you on track with your healthy lifestyle.

Here are some tips:

  • Choose gluten free options if available i.e. if you are out having pizza and they have gluten free bases available chose a gluten free base.
  • Choose tomato base sauces over the creamy ones.
  • If you find yourself at an Italian restaurant with lots of pizza and pasta they will generally have other options including steak, chicken, veal etc. Choose a protein based meal with salad or vegetables and avoid the creamy based sauces.
  • Go for grilled options rather than fried i.e. fish n chips.
  • Swap the fries/chips and potatoes for vegetables and/or salad.
  • If available choose brown rice over white rice, generally Japanese restaurants have this option with their sushi rolls. Don’t be fooled with Japanese by thinking it’s healthy, they generally load their sushi and sauces on meats with sugar. Choose fresh sashimi or soba noddles made from 100% buckwheat.
  • Avoid soft drink, choose mineral water or plain water, and ask if you can get some fresh lemon or lime to add flavour.
  • Try choosing rice or corn wraps over wheat based ones if available.
  • Ask for sauces and dressings on the side so you can control how much goes on your meal.
  • If you want to treat yourself and indulge on a not so healthy meal i.e. pizza or pasta limit your portion size. Choose an entrée size over main.
  • These days portion sizes are generally supersized, don’t feel like you have to finish the entire plate. Listen to your body and take your time when eating, generally that full sensation doesn’t occur until after you stop eating.

Most importantly when you go out for dinner you are usually going for a special occasion or to catch up with family and friends so don’t obsess and limit yourself too much and enjoy!

Hemp Seeds

This week I’m going to blog about another healthy ingredient that I have discovered since starting a healthy lifestyle, Hemp Seeds! I love sprinkling these over a salad as they give a yummy mild nutty flavour.

So what is Hemp?

Hemp seeds come from the same hemp plant renowned for its durable fibre. The seeds of the plant are edible (known as hemp seeds, or hemp nuts) and are used in a growing number of products today.

Although hemp comes from a variety of cannabis plant, it contains extremely low levels or none at all of THC, which is considered a drug in most countries which we know as marijuana. Let’s face it with Hemp Seeds available on the shelf at your local store it’s  pretty safe to say the two are unrelated.
hemp-seed-bowl
Why Hemp Seeds are good for you?

Hemp Seeds contain a complete protein with all 10 Essential Amino Acids and hemp is the only plant to make Edestin (which is a globulin legumin protein that is found in hemp seeds. The name edestin is from the Greek meaning edible), believed to be the most digestible protein so it doesn’t cause gas or bloating. Hemp seeds are an ideal source of protein for vegans and raw foodists. It is also a key component to a healthy immune system.

Essential Amino Acids like Omega 3 and 6 are important for beautiful skin, strong muscles and agile joints. Hemp is full of fourteen fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 , 9, CLA, GLA and SDA all naturally and perfectly balanced for optimum health.

Besides hemp being high in protein it is also full of vitamins and minerals including fibre, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, folate and calcium which keeps hemp’s healthy omega oils protected from oxidation. Hemp seeds are also naturally low in carbohydrates.
hemp seeds 2
How to use Hemp Seeds?

My favourite way to use them is to sprinkle them over salads as they add a yummy mild nutty flavour. They can however be added to any meal sweet or savoury, sprinkled on your breakfast or added to your smoothies.
hemp-seeds-250g
So next time you visit your local store why not pick up some hemp seeds (certified organic of course) and add another simple, easy and healthy ingredient to you and your family’s lifestyle.

A Healthy Tip: Since Hemp Seeds are so high in Essential Amino Acids they can easily go rancid so keep them in the refrigerator.

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