Oh boy, have I had an absolute plethora of requests for this from you guys! And it makes me so chuffed! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed me testing out some smoothie recipes this week. Its actually stimulated a lot of motivation for me, so thank you for that!
I’ll start this all off with a very detailed request from Ainslie, sent via Facebook:
“Hi Miranda, how are you? I need some inspiration from you please :) I really struggle eating in the mornings, it makes me feel really ill when I eat so I’m looking into having smoothies for breakfast so I’m getting something rather than skipping breakfast all together. Do you have any recommendations on good smoothie recipes that will give me everything I need and really help to boost my metabolism? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks :)“
Thanks for your request Ainslie, I’ve developed a few recipes for you that are sure to increase your metabolism, and what sounds like a sluggish digestive system – your tummy will be rumbling in no time! Continue reading
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that I really really (REALLY) love tea. I love a hot cup of earl grey on a cold and slow morning, I love a bubbly and naturally sweet iced tea in the summer time, I love collecting new flavours and I even bathe in the stuff! But the thing I love most about tea is discovering the medicinal properties of the different herbs – meaning that you can drink specific teas to help your body do its thing!
From time to time, I’d like to explore with you these medicinal properties (goodness knows I need another reason to drink more tea, don’t I?) in my Tea Fiend series. Just remember, if you are going to explore these options, best to opt for organic tea (I’d be happy to give you a guide to my favourite brands within this series – just ask!), and don’t be afraid to try a pre-made blend (it will only taste better that way) or even experiment in blending stand-alone herbs that you like (you never know what you will come up with).
Ginger Tea (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is a gorgeous herb to drink in tea form – it’s got a sweetness and heat to it that can be matched easily with a variety of other teas, but on its own, it has fantastic medicinal properties.
For starters, the natural heat within ginger makes it a perfect natural winter warmer! If you get cold hands and toes, ginger is a fantastic herbal tea to drink throughout the day as it gets the blood flowing to really warm you from your head to your toes. This action of stimulating the blood flow can also stimulate the blood flow to your organs, such as those in your digestive system, to stimulate their function. The organs need an adequate blood supply in order to function properly, so stimulating the blood flow in your body can optimise the delivery of nutrients and removal of wastes to better the performance of your organs.
Ginger also benefits the digestive system by reducing nausea, (a safe and effective treatment for nausea in pregnancy) and motion sickness, and can reduce bloating by aiding the breakdown of food due to active digestive enzymes within the ginger. Drink some ginger tea in anticipation of motion sickness if it’s something you know you’re prone to, or as symptoms arise. If you’ve over eaten or haven’t properly chewed your food, or regularly feel bloated just below your rib cage (your stomach area), sipping ginger tea may be a beneficial remedy for you. It also stimulates digestive secretions required to breakdown food and as such has been shown to reduce reflux, flatulence and colic, as well as stimulate the appetite. To stimulate your appetite, brew yourself a cup 30 minutes before meals to gently get your digestive juices flowing, not only will you have an appetite, but you will be more able to breakdown and absorb those all-important nutrients I keep bangin on about!
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory food, meaning that it can be used to reduce the pain associated with common ailments, like period pain, headache, muscle pain and migraine. These conditions are associated with an overproduction of pro-inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins, which over-stimulate the natural inflammatory processes within the body, causing unnecessary damage to nearby tissues, and pain. Sipping on a brew with ginger in it throughout the day, may be of benefit.
[While ginger tea is a helpful tool for such conditions, an anti-inflammatory diet will have a more potent effect ('Ask Mira' at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/MirandasWellness if you'd like more info)]
The anti-inflammatory effect of ginger is also helpful during cold and flu, while the immune-boosting effects of ginger can help your body to fight off infections.
How to Brew
Infuse 4-6 fresh slices of ginger, or 3-9g dried ginger root in boiling water for 30 minutes and sip throughout the day. Best not to consume more than these amounts in one day.
Brew a pot of 4-6 slices ginger with 1/4-1/2 cup fresh peppermint (or 3-9g dried ginger/6-12g dried peppermint), as both herbs are great for nausea. ***If prone to reflux however, leave out the peppermint as it will exacerbate symptoms***
When feeling bloated after a meal or experiencing flatulence, a brew of 4-6 slices ginger and 1-2tsp chamomile can help the digestion of your food and to relieve the discomfort of bloating and flatulence
Brew a ginger and turmeric chai tea, such as this gorgeous one from Reece Carter Naturopathy for relief within 30 minutes
For cold & flu:
Ginger slices, lemon slices, a sprig or two of thyme and a teaspoon of the strongest manuka honey you can buy (the bigger the number, the stronger it is) is a strong brew to boost your immune system and help to kill off microbes that are making you sick in the first place. The stronger the better for this tea, and best if sipped throughout the day. It may not be the most pleasant tea you’ve brewed, but it will definitely pack the punch you are after.
Thanks to Lyndal Martin from Life Loves Me Naturopathy, who was my resident herb-nerd for this piece.
How to create a healthy salad that tastes great!
Salads are one of the best ways to get lots of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other phytochemicals into your diet, that are all important for each process that occurs in your body. They are also low calorie, incredibly tasty and so, so easy to make!
When making your salad, keep in mind that it should take up at least half the size of your plate and be the majority of your meal. Your protein (meat, chicken, fish, legumes) should be the size of a deck of cards (double if you are a very active and athletic person), as should your carbohydrates.
This is a step-by-step guide to help you create a delicious salad with a range of different nutrients to give your health a boost.
1. Don’t be so radicchio – STEP AWAY from the iceberg lettuce!!
Start with your lettuces – rocket, spinach, radicchio, kale, swiss chard, bok choy, chinese broccoli, red cabbage, endive, wombok, green, red, whatever!
A nice mix of leaves will give you a variety of nutrients, and the more bitter they taste, the more stimulating they are to your digestion. Aim for at least a cup of these.
2. Add at least 3 fresh, raw vegetables
Choose fresh veggies you know that you enjoy and cut them into bite-sized pieces – the more colour the better! Experiment with how you cut your vegies to make them a bit more exciting, such as peeling long thin strips of zucchini or cucumber, grating some carrot or radish, melon balling some avocado or chopping your vegetables into matchsticks.
Cucumber, grated carrot (orange and purple), celery, snow peas, avocado, capsicum (any colour), broccoli, onion (red, spring, shallots, etc), red cabbage, tomato, sprouts (bean, alfalfa, garlic, onion, watercress, etc), orange, apple, pear, grated beetroot, green beans, wombok, kale, grapes, zucchini
3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of seeds and/or chopped raw nuts
Seeds and nuts provide more minerals, good fats, fibre and protein to your salad, and a crunchy texture.
Walnuts, chia seeds, almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, flax/linseeds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, pine nuts, cashews, macadamia, pistachio, hazelnuts
4. Choose your protein
Protein should be a part of every meal, including snacks! Protein is essential for energy and neurotransmitter production (so it keeps you going and keeps you happy!) If you’re mixing this into your salad, don’t forget to chop it into bite-sized chunks.
Egg, mackerel, kangaroo steak, kidney beans, tempeh, tofu, chicken, salmon, turkey, lamb, beef, sardines, quinoa, crab, prawns, chickpeas, tinned or fresh tuna, lentils, smoked trout, smoked salmon, felafel
Don’t forget to add a carbohydrate source (1/2 cup) (buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, barley, lentils, chickpeas, beans, potato, sweet potato) if you choose a vegetarian option, to make sure you provide your body with a complete amino acid profile.
5. Be adventurous
Now add at least 1 ingredient that you’ve either never tried before, wouldn’t usually think of as a salad ingredient, or haven’t eaten in a long time, because you think you don’t like it – you might surprise yourself! By doing this you are exposing your tastebuds to new flavours, and giving yourself more options for nourishing yourself in the future
Sauerkraut, sprouts, tomato, quinoa, cucumber, celery, pear, a new lettuce, radish, buckwheat, red onion, fennel, a new nut/seed/pulse/vegetable/fruit, chia seeds, tinned tuna, burghul wheat, parsley, olives, watermelon, raw zucchini
6. Get creative with herbs (and spices)
If you still aren’t convinced that your salad is going to be super delicious, play around with herbs, for more flavour (and nutrients) - fresh basil always goes well in a salad, but try something new:
Parsley, oregano, rosemary, coriander, chilli, garlic, marjoram, ginger, cracked pepper, chive, thyme, dill, fennel, horseradish, mint, lemon thyme, lemon, mustard, tumeric, lemongrass
You may like to add these straight into your salad, or spike your salad dressing to carry the flavour through.
7. Dress it up!
Always choose cold-pressed oil, and lightly drizzle with something acidic. You shouldn’t need more than 1Tbl of each.
My favourite combination is extra virgin olive oil (Aussie olive oil is always best!) with a wedge of lemon & cracked pepper.
You could also try:
OILS: chia oil, avocado oil, flax seed oil, walnut oil, grape seed oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
ACIDS: apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, verjuice, red wine vinegar, vino cotto, fresh lime, fresh orange, fresh lemon
While enjoying your salad, to chew it up adequately (aim for 20 chews per mouthful) so that you can get as much goodness out of it as possible.
So, start with something you know you like and add new ingredients to create your perfect salad – easy!
Good luck! And don’t forget to let me know how you go, and if you have any questions.