Coconut Cream Ice Blocks

coconut-berry-ice-blocks

When you are a kid there is seriously nothing better than lying on the trampoline eating a beautiful cold iceblock on a hot day!!!  My boys absolutely LOVE this afternoon ritual!

Dairy, colours and refined sugars are a nightmare for children’s health, behaviour and immunity,  which is why I love this recipe so much.  It is not only insanely easy and fast, but it is also amazingly good for you!

Its easily adapted by adding in anything that tickles your fancy… berries, lemon, crushed nuts, cocoa or cacoa nibs for example.

Ingredients

  • 400ml tin of coconut cream (organic if possible)
  • 1 ripe banana peeled
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

Method

Put all ingredients into blender and blend till smooth. Pour into moulds, add berries of your choice, pop in popsicle stick and freeze for 6 hrs.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

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Cleaning up your environment – reduce your toxicity

Clean Environment

Here’s how you can create a clean environment for yourself and your family:

1. Clean up your diet

  • Filter your drinking water. One of the best and most affordable filters in NZ is sold through www.purewaterontap.co.nz. To see just what is being filtered out, click here.
  • Do not reuse plastic drink bottles. They degrade quickly, so you drink a portion of plastic. Do not use polycarbonate drink bottles, they contain bisphenol A, which is a hormone disruptor and toxic. Best to use either shatter proof glass bottles or stainless steel (available through: http://www.justherbal.co.nz/stainlesssteelwaterbottles.php)
  • Eat organic food as much as possible. Wash all produce well. For a list of foods that are safe to eat non-organically and a list of the foods you should only ever eat organic: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
  • Cooking should be done in cast iron, stainless steel, glass or enamel pots. Avoid Teflon.
  • Avoid wrapping food in gladwrap/plastic bags, use greaseproof paper where possible. Avoid heating food in plastic such as take away containers. Microwaves are best avoided.
  • Use aluminum-free baking powder and deodorant. Do not cook in aluminum foil or drink from aluminum cans or foil–lined cardboard juice containers.

2. Clean up what you put on your body

  • Use natural personal care products, such as skin lotions, soap, shampoos, tooth pastes, free of chemicals (such as SLS and parabens) and petroleum based . Mother-Well, Weleda and Ecostore make good products.
  • Use toothpaste that is low in fluoride. Make sure your child brushes his/her teeth with a small amount of toothpaste, at least twice a day, and does not swallow the toothpaste.
  • Wear 100% cotton clothes when possible. Avoid flame retardant materials (they are soaked in toxic antimony). Wash all new garments at least once before wearing them.
  • Use natural, biodegradable and perfume free detergents and cleaning agents. Ecostore products are a good substitute and available at many supermarkets. They work out cost effective as you use much less of them. There are also new microfibre cleaning cloths for which you do not need to use any detergents – for example the ENJO system (quite expensive, but cheaper versions are available).
  • Do not dry clean clothes.
  • Eliminate exposure to mercury and thimerosal products. If you  needs dental fillings, do not allow amalgam (grey) fillings, use composite instead. Prevention through healthy nutrition, limited intake of sweets (best to have one day a week only) and good dental hygiene is best!
  • Avoid chlorine: use water filters, limit pool and spa pools. The ocean is a great place to spend time, as the minerals are very detoxing. There are some products suitable for spa pool treatments. Consider installing a shower filter, as a lot of chlorine is inhaled when showering and bathing.

3. Clean up your home

  • Do not use fragrant or fly sprays in the home.
  • Avoid playing on pressure treated wood (arsenic).This applies to many of the play grounds with a woodchip base and decking.
  • Use an air purifier especially in the bedroom if any concerns over air quality in the home e.g. close to busy road, mould in house.
  • Ventilate your house. Many synthetic products in the home emit gasses and your house can be a toxic place. Open windows, and air bedding in the sun. When purchasing new furniture, and carpet allow for time to off-gas (at least 24 hours). Many carpets are full of pesticides as well as solvents and dust mites. Best to have tile or wood flooring, rather than carpets.
  • Encourage a habit of removing shoes when entering your home especially if you have carpets. This way you avoid tramping in lead, pesticides and germs.
  • Delay redecorating until you are sure everyone is well prepared to deal with the toxic effects or source alternative eco-friendly products. Use an eco-builder to help you choose the healthiest building materials.
  • Avoid prolonged handling of batteries. Dispose of batteries safely – they do not go in the regular trash bins.
  • No plastic furniture (polyvinyl chloride).
  • Avoid use of herbicides or pesticides, on lawns, garden, or home.
  • Consider how you heat your house. Radiant heat is the healthiest. Gas is a moist heat, and should be avoided. It not only gives off fumes, but is a great breeding ground for mould.
  • If you or child is allergic to dust mites: For house dust mite allergy the most important thing to do is to keep the dust mites at bay: Allergy NZ sells very good covers for mattresses, duvets and pillows; you need to vacuum the bedroom at least once a week (HEPA filter is best); do moist dusting, keep stuffed animals away from the bed and it would be good to get rid of the carpet in the bedroom (or even better the whole house).
  • Do not let your car cool down where the gases can get into your living space. If you have an attached garage, let your car cool down on the street and then move it into the garage, as toxic fumes emitted from your car can waft into your home through the walls and increase benzene levels in the house, which are carcinogenic.

What are we filtering out of your water?

  1. Chlorine: Chlorine is added to our water to disinfect it and to kill bugs. It does a good job however it continues to do this job when you drink it or cook in it. Therefore there are many possible side effects associated with the long term ingestion of chlorinated water including heart attacks, strokes, cancer and premature aging. Refer to our web site for associated articles.
  2. Chemicals: Our water treatment plants balance the water from time to time to ensure our water has the correct ph etc before it leaves the reservoir. More chemicals for our body to metabolise.
  3. Pesticides & Insecticides: Although we proclaim a clean green image New Zealand uses a high percentage of pesticides & insecticides to assist with management of our crops & pasture. Some of this reaches our water catchments and shows up in our tap water.
  4. Giardia Cysts & Cryptosporidium: It is sad but it is a fact that there are many bugs now in our water that takes it far from the pure water we were used to as children. You need to protect yourself from them. Refer to our web site for details.
  5. Asbestos, Lead, Heavy Metals, Sediment, Rust, Taste, Odour: These are some of the impurities our water picks up between the catchments and our taps. You would not want to see the inside of our main water pipes, it is scary!

Salt | the natural flavouring you want to have at every meal

Salt has been used as a natural flavoring for thousands of years and it’s so vital to our existence that we’ve even been created with a portion of our tongue designated to taste saltiness.

Salt has had a negative wrap in recent times.  It certainly shouldn’t be eaten by the handful, but eating good salt daily is very important.  Here’s why.

Sea Salt vs Table SaltHimalayan Salt

Table “salt” is manufactured by taking natural salt (such as crude oil flake leftovers) and heating it to 1200° Fahrenheit. During this extreme process, the chemical composition is completely altered and all of the nutritional benefits are destroyed.

In the end, generic table “salt” ends up being about 97.5% sodium chloride and a 2.5% balance containing an array of ingredients including:

  • Anti-caking chemicals.
  • Iodine to prevent goiters.
  • MSG and/or white processed sugar to help stabilize the iodine.
  • And aluminum derivatives such as sodium solo-co-aluminate.

Trust me when I tell you that no one really knows what’s in this stuff and calling it “salt” is a complete mis-representation! Ultimately, this processed “fake” salt puts people at risk of developing cardiovascular events and chronic disease because of elevated blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.

So when the Heart Foundation says that salt is bad for you, this is correct only when referring to table “salt.” Unlike real salt, processed “salt” will cause your body to retain fluids and is so toxic that your body will operate in a sympathetic fight-or-flight response to protect itself from damage when you eat it.

Subsequently, it should be no surprised that people who use these products develop diabetes, gout and obesity more than people who don’t.

Additionally, most table “salt” is iodized and puts people at risk for over-iodization, which has been shown to abnormally enlarge the thyroid gland and cause thyroid-related autoimmune disorders.

Real Salt Benefits and Beyond

On the other hand, if we were talking about REAL salt like Celtic Sea Salt or himalayan salt then I believe it has many benefits and should be used daily.
Why?

Because of the life-giving nutrition sea salt contains:

  • Contains 60 trace minerals which help you stay hydrated.
  • Sufficient sodium levels that help balance your sodium-potassium ratios.
  • Powerful electrolytes like magnesioum.
  • Trace elements required for proper adrenal, immune and thyroid function.
  • Digestive enzyme enhancers, which help your body absorb more nutrients from the foods that you eat.

What is the best sea salt?

Himalayan Salt

It is claimed by many that Himalayan crystal salt is the purest salt available on the planet. With a history dating back to Earth’s creation, it is believed to be composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea.

Known as “pink gold,” Himalayan crystal salt is actually a beautiful translucent pink and contains all of the 84 elements found in your body. Because of amazing nutrient load, doctors of functional medicine report that regularly eating Himalayan salt can help:

  • Regulate the water content throughout your body
  • Promote healthy pH balance in your cells (particularly your brain cells)
  • Promote blood sugar health and can help reduce the signs of aging
  • Assist in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body
  • Absorb food particles through your intestinal tract
  • Support respiratory health
  • Promote sinus health
  • Prevent of muscle cramps
  • Promote bone strength
  • Regulate your sleep
  • Support your libido
  • Promote vascular health
  • Regulate your blood pressure with sufficient water and potassium intake.

Celtic Sea Salt

Another ancient commodity, Celtic Sea Salt is comparable to Himalayan crystal salt in its composition and health benefits. Being of a grayish hue, it is naturally harvested in Brittany France near the Celtic Sea using a 2,000-year old Celtic method that is crucial to preserving its life-giving nutrition profile. Weber’s description of this process sums it up well:

The salt fields of Brittany are lined with a natural layer of clay and sand…. In order to harmonize the trace elements, the hand raking of the moist crystals is done by artisans with a skillful touch.

The method is followed by a dedicated group of professional natural salt farmers in Brittany, who perpetuate the traditional skills that have been passed down through generations from antiquity. When harvested in these ways, natural Celtic sea salts are highly beneficial to one’s health as they possess many therapeutic qualities.

It has been reported that Celtic Sea Salt is powerfully beneficial for your health and can help:

  1. Alkalize the body
  2. Balance blood sugars
  3. Eliminate mucus buildup
  4. Build immunity
  5. Improve brain function
  6. Increase energy
  7. Provide electrolyte balance
  8. Promote restful sleep
  9. Prevent muscle cramps
  10. Regulate heartbeat and blood pressure

Interestingly, this salt will retain its moisture and will be moist to touch, in spite of how you store it. Think of this as a gentle reminder of its ocean-source and continual life-giving properties!

Apple Cider Vinegar … Whats all the fuss about?

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Apple Cider Vinegar is an amazing health tonic.

A natural, inexpensive, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral, metabolism-firing, immunity-building miracle worker, apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries for its positive lifestyle effects.

But firstly what is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and why should we drink it? 

Organic raw ACV is made by fermenting organic apples.   The “mother” is the key to this fermentation process… a strand of proteins enzymes and bacteria ferments these beautiful apples into  the mighty ACV.

Fermented foods such as ACV, Kefir, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi and Yogurt (using raw milk) are super foods for providing good bacteria into our bodies.   Considering our cells are outnumbered 10 to 1 by bacteria, fermented foods are often the key element missing in so many  modern day diets and thus the key to excellent health.

By consuming fermented products such as ACV your replenishing the good bacteria that are 80% of our immunity, the key to optimal digestion and are responsible hundreds of metabolic processes in our bodies.

10 Reasons to start drinking Apple Cider Vinegar today.

1. ACV speeds up metabolism and aids weight loss.   Drink 1-3 teaspoons in a large glass of water in the morning
2. Aids digestion. Apple cider vinegar contains pectin which soothes intestinal spasms and lowers LDL cholesterol.
3. Heals a sore throats – it contain anti-viral malic acid – two tablespoons in water and gargle
4. Enhances mood and increases energy.  APC is alkaline forming, keeping our blood to optimal alkaline pH = optimal energy.
5. Improves intestinal flora. These include acetic acid and malic acid, which have antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and can help control the spread of the candida fungus in your intestines, a common debhilitating problem with many people’s high sugar diets.
6. Aids joint mobility – add 2 cups to a warm bath, ACV draws out toxins from our body that cause inflammation through our skin – drink plenty water before and after bath.
7. 1 cup apple cider vinegar in 3 pints water disinfects the home.
8. Deodorant – apple cider vinegar applied to armpits is a great natural deodorant.
9. Reduces tendinitis, gout and arthritis.  The anti-inflammatory properties of APC are amazing…. Add 1 cup to a bath and soak away your pain.  Taking 1 – 3 teaspoons in glass of water internally is also an excellent anti inflammatory by reducing effects of leaky gut.
10. Detoxing – APC provides wonderful beneficial flora to our body.  These amazing flora grab hold of and excrete toxins from our body allowing our body to work unburdened by chemicals.
What type of Apple Cider Vinegar should I buy?
100% the best available brand of ACV on the market is Braggs, its organic, raw and full of the mother culture.
How much should I have?
Start with 1 teaspoon of ACV in a large glass of water first thing in the morning.  This wakes your tummy up, tells it “It is time to start the day”,  gets your stomach acid to the right acidity for absorption of nutrients and alkalises your blood.
Slowly increase this over time to up to 3 teaspoons morning and evening (before dinner) in a glass of water.
Where do I start?
Start with 1 teaspoon APC first thing in the morning 20mins before eating, if you feel tired in the afternoons have the same recipe.   This is an excellent blood alkaliser to eliminate tiredness and allows you to grab all the nutrients on offer when eating meals.
As ACV is full of good flora, therefor you can sometimes initially get stomach pain after consuming.  Don’t worry this is the good flora from the ACV killing the bad flora that have taken up residence in your gut.  This die off of the bad flora perishing won’t last long, keep persevering for excellent health benefits.
Thanks for reading
Linda
x  x x
Linda Christianson
Health Coach
Nourish Health and Nutrition

 

 

Organics On A Budget…Why And How

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WHY GO ORGANIC?

What we eat becomes us.  The food goes in and every bit of that food is used for a function of our body.  That is how we grow and change.  We are what we eat.  If we eat toxic food, our body becomes just that toxic and sick.

Going organic is one of the most effective ways to drastically improve your health and the health of our planet.

Herbicides, pesticides and fungicides are all poisons designed to kill the insects, mould or bacteria that may damage the plants and produce.  The only problem is those poisons damage our bodies too.  The sprays permeate into the produce, making them systemically ridden with chemicals, so even washing your conventional veggies and fruit will not wash away these toxins.

Organically grown plants have innate mechanisms designed to help them protect themselves from pests.  When a plant is left to grow on its own accord and not sprayed with pesticides, the plant creates substances within itself to help ward off pests.  These substances often behave as antioxidants when humans consume them.

So eating organic is not just about what you miss out on (pesticides) but also what you get (antioxidants).

ORGANICS ON A BUDGET…HOW DO WE DO IT?

STARTING A FOOD CO-OP AND SHOPPING AT YOUR LOCAL MARKET

FOOD CO-OP

For buying organic food in bulk you would need to organise a food co-op. This is when a group of you buy in bulk in order to obtain wholesale prices.

Being in a food co op is a wonderful experience.  It brings your community of friends closer together.  Ordering beautiful organic food and coming together to collect your orders is a very soul enriching experience.  Completely the opposite to shopping in the supermarket where you are surrounded by processed food, rush, hustle and bustle and bright lights.    It’s not only a wonderful way to fuel your family with nutrient dense, clean and affordable food, but food co-ops also connect you with friends, makes you truly grateful and over the moon when your pantry and fridge is overflowing with goodness.

It’s a wonderful feeling to have collected armfuls of organic goodness, talked and laughed with your friends while the little ones are eating peaches and playing around your feet.

You will very rarely have to step foot in a supermarket once you have your food co-op and market days sorted and that alone is a blessing!

Supporting organic allows you to choose the sort of world you want for your kids, a world you believe in.  When more of us choose organics the demand increases and that my friends is hugely influential for our beautiful planet and everything in nature.

So get a small group of like-minded friends together say 3 or 4 of you.  Order monthly from Ceres and every two weeks from Purefresh and shop every Sunday at your market.  By doing this you will be well on your way to having exceptional health and inspiring your friends and family too.

I recommend these organic food providers…

DRY FOOD
www.ceres.co.nz
The minimum order is $500 per order … so if say 4 of you purchased together you could spend $125 each a month and buy bulk nuts, seeds, dates, coconut, coconut oil, peanut butter etc
There are literally hundreds of products available (everything jarred, canned and in packets that you’d find in a health food store)
You don’t have to order every month. The prices are half of that in the organic shops, making buying organic cheaper than conventional produce.
Generally you would all take turns placing the order and accepting the delivery to your house. It’s actually such a lovely way to buy food, all together with your friends.

FRUIT AND VEGGIES
www.purefresh.co.nz                                                                                  An organic provider of fruit and veggies. Again you have to buy in bulk so for example cucumbers would come in a box of 25 so you would share that between 4 of you (or more) and order every two weeks.

MEAT
www.bostocksorganic.co.nz
for organic chicken. You do need to have this delivered to a food shop i.e. a cafe or similar. This one obviously requires contacts in hospitality to get these products.
www.harmony.co.nz
for organic meat, lamb, beef etc similar specifications apply.

BERRIES
http://www.oob.co.nz/products/12-frozen-berries
for bulk frozen berries.

In fact majority of distributors are more than happy to provide their products to co-ops in bulk i.e. Eco Store, Wild caught salmon,  Fermented Cod-liver Oil and Vitamin C etc

For ordering in a group I’d recommend using a google doc’s spread sheet so you can all order online, its updated as you go and you can all see it.

It’s also a good idea to create a Facebook group for your co-op i.e. “Hot mammas food co-op”.   The link to the spreadsheet can be pinned to top of the feed.  You can all converse easily about orders, payments and pickups.

 

BUYING VEGETABLES AT THE LOCAL MARKET                 

GREENS / VEGGIES                                                                                 Buy from markets every Sunday.                                                                  Here you can buy tomatoes, peas, beans, honey, eggs, beetroot, corriander, cabbage, parsley, spinach, kale, greens for juicing and salads, in season fruit, raw milk/butter…etc all organic or spray free.

The health benefits of eating organic produce lovingly grown and harvested the day before are tremendous.

It’s also a lovely experience to be part of the market vibe…everyone is friendly and upbeat.  Not only that but it is a great experience for children to connect with the food they’re buying and eating, meeting the people who grew it, fostering gratitude and knowledge.

Nourish runs monthly market tours at Browns Bay Market.

So there we go, go forth and prosper….change the world, nourish your family and reclaim your happiness.

Thanks for reading

Abby

xxx

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition
4735311 | 0272766268 | www.nourishholistichealth@wordpress.com | 
 

Understanding Low Iron And How To Treat It

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WHETHER YOU ARE PREGNANT OR NOT, BEING LOW IN IRON CAN MAKE EVEN THE MOST ACTIVE PERSON STRUGGLE TO GET THROUGH THE DAY

  

Often GP’s or midwives prescribe Iron Supplements…however that is just treating the symptoms of a bigger underlying issue.

SUPPLEMENTATION

It takes a lot more to remedy anaemia than just supplementing iron.  To have healthy blood the body needs magnesium, copper, manganese, iodine, zinc and many other minerals, a whole host of vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, A , D, Folate and many amino acids.

It has been shown in a large number of studies all over the world, that just supplementing iron does not do much for anaemia.

Often Iron supplements can cause unpleasant gastric symptoms and gut pain.  This is because they encourage the growth of pathogenic iron loving bacteria and have a negative effect on the cells of the gut lining.

SO HOW TO WE TREAT ANAEMIA NATURALLY?

RED MEAT

It is essential for people with anaemia to have red meats on a regular basis (lamb, beef, game and organ meats in particular) as they are the best remedy for anaemia.  They not only provide iron in the haem-form, the form in which the human body absorbs best, they also provide the B vitamins and other nutrients essential for treating anaemia.

Meats also promote better absorption of non haem iron from vegetables, while vitamin C from the vegetables and greens promotes absorption of iron from meat.

Ensure you eat the fat on the meat.  WHY?  we need the fat to be able to access the nutrients of meat.  Lean meat is difficult to extract nutrients from  for this reason.

Ideally on your plate should be half leafy greens and vegetables.  1/4 should be starchy veggies (potatoes, kumara or pumpkin)  OR gluten free grains (quinoa or rice) and 1/4 meat (approx the size of  the palm of your hand)

An absolute quick remedy of  Anaemia is to eat liver.  Liver is a true powerhouse of nutrition.  Whichever nutrient you take, you will find it in abundance in the liver.  This will do immeasurably more for your nutritional status than the most expensive supplements in the world.

Having liver or other organ meats at least 1 x a week will see you overcoming anaemia very quickly.  This is something to continue and to encourage your children to eat regularly, as children and pregnant women have bigger requirements of iron.

Doesn’t sound appetising?

  • Try grating it to add to other meats such as mince
  • Fry with nitrate/nitrite/sugar-free bacon
  • OR just chew quickly and swallow it down to just get it in there!
  • Adding it cooked to a smoothie is a good option for kids.

EGGS

Eat plenty of eggs up to 6 a day.  They are one of the most nourishing and easy to digest foods on this planet. Egg yolk will provide you with most essential amino acids, all the B vitamins, vitamin A and D, essential fatty acids, zinc and magnesium (all are essential for absorbing iron)

They are also very high is  Cholin which is a building block for a neurotransmitter called acethycholin which the brain uses for memory and cognitive processes (essential for the baby, breast-feeding and our own cognitive health)

Always have eggs with plenty of greens and sauerkraut  as on their own they are acid forming and can make you tired.  If they’re balanced with alkaline greens you will feel fine.

If you are having organic eggs you could put them in your smoothies raw.  However if non organic, cooking is recommended as non organic chickens have weak immune systems and can harbour salmonella.  Cooking destroys Salmonella.

BONE BROTH

Also try making bone broth….use the bones of a chicken / beef / lamb / fish bones,  roast in the oven then slow cook overnight (recipe below).  Our bones are our mineral storage houses.  This same goes for animals, when we slow cook the bones the nutrients and minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium etc come out of the bones into the broth water. It is a very nutrient dense drink.  The broth also contains collagen and gelatine which is essential for optimal gut health (it heals and seals the lining of our gut).  Drinking several cups of this a day with meals helps us heal and seal the lining of our gut, so we can absorb the iron from our food.  Bone broth creates optimal digestion.  We constantly need to be striving to maintain optimal gut health, so bone broth is a drink you want to have regularly throughout your life.

” A well functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health.  And, just as a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of our body cannot thrive without a well functioning digestive system”

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride MD (Neurology and Nutrition) GAPS diet

SAUERKRAUT

Its fermented cabbage, used traditionally in Germany this is a wonderful food that provides many health benefits.

Sauerkraut is a wonderful healing remedy for the digestive tract full of digestive enzymes, probiotic bacteria, vitamins and minerals.  Eating it with meats will improve  digestion as it has a strong ability to stimulate stomach acid production.

Eating sauerkraut will ensure you get all the iron out of your food and will also provide you with beautiful gut bacteria.

For pregnant women consuming fermented food such as sauerkraut is essential as the babies gut is cultured when it comes down the birth canal and swallows the good bacteria from inside the mother.  If the bacteria in the mother is unhealthy this impacts on the babies gut health.

By trying these tips for Iron deficiency you will overcome anaemia and many other health complains that are associated with malnutrition.

Thanks for taking the time to read the Nourish Blog

Abby

x x x

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition
4735311 | 0272766268 | www.nourishholistichealth@wordpress.com | 
 

 

 

CHICKEN BROTH

INGREDIENTS

1 chicken carcass (organic if possible)

Water to cover chicken

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

Himalayan mineral salt 2 teaspoons

METHOD

Put chicken bones in slow cooker on low. Cover in water till cooker is full. Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of sea salt or Himalayan mineral salt. Cook on low overnight Turn off slow cooker in the morning when cooler pour through the sieve. Drink Bone broth as often as possible at least once to twice a day.

Supporting our men to reclaim their health

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Getting our husbands into healthy eating is no mean feat……I know this first hand. My husband was raised eating good wholesome healthy food but somewhere along the way he (and I) went off the rails a bit.  Scotty has always been super fit and skinny, never had to worry about what he ate….KFC, McD’s you name it never really phased him.  Then the 30’s came along and after a good 10 or so years of drinking and eating pretty crappy food things start to catch up on him!

For Scotty it all came to head when we renovated our old 1940’s Torbay cottage… we were bursting at the seams with three little boys and desperately needed more room.   He is a builder so he undertook a huge 6 month renovation at our house as well as working full time building. We had moved into my mum’s for the duration of the build so we could work on the house after hours.  Scott would be up at 6am and off out to work a 10 hour day, then straight to our house to work on the renovation working late into the night, finally getting to bed around 1 am.  That cycle continued for 6 months.  He was exhausted and over this time his alcohol consumption went up and up.  We had always been social drinkers but hadn’t really drunk during the week, however this had all changed! Drinking daily and eating bakery food, 2 coffees a day and takeaways Scotty’s weight also went up and up!

We got the renovation done, we were back home in our beautiful house and started getting his eating at home back on track.

I dragged him along to see Jason Shon Bennett (one of NZ’s top Health Researchers) talk on health and nutrition and he was blown away…. It was fantastic having someone other than me educating him about his health.  From this point he stopped coffee and switched to Green Tea, he loves it!

We then went on to watch several health films such as ‘Food Matters’ and ‘Hungry for Change’ two films that really helped Scott see the big picture of health and why what we eat determines the world we live in, our expression of our genes, our mood and our destiny when it comes to being healthy or sick.  He learnt it is that simple, eat foods that are grown in nature and experience health and happiness or eat the chemical concoction of processed scientifically manipulated food and experience sickness. There it was cemented in his head and he got it.

The problem is when you are in a daily drinking habit its dam hard to break, you don’t really think there’s a problem and you feel like you ‘need’ it. I’ve been there too we were both exhausted with very little self care going on, it seemed like our respite was to have a few drinks once the kids were in bed.  It’s a slippery slope.  Once your liver is congested from the alcohol nothing works well….you can’t burn fat efficiently and detoxify. Toxins accumulate and you become fatter, more tired and more dependent on the very thing that is making you sick.

So there it was I felt it to my core that I had to give up alcohol…. I was eating so well but sabotaging my body with alcohol, it didn’t make sense and I knew it.  I finally went cold turkey and kicked drinking into touch in Jan this year.  When there is no one to drink with its definitely not as fun….. So Scotty reduced a bit but was still drinking a couple of beers most nights. He was starting to feel pretty unhappy with his body, he’d put on 18 kg in a year and was starting to look like a middle aged man with a pot belly.  Not a good look when your only 35.  Yet when I look around men everywhere are sporting this look.

He joined the gym, was going 3- 4 mornings a week was eating super healthy at home but still that weight wouldn’t come off.  (You can exercise as much as you want but if your nutrition is off your never going to see results)

So we started making his lunches, no more pies for this builder….and he was fine with it.

  • I made an extra salad each night with dinner and put it in the fridge for Scott to take to work for lunch. (a hearty mans salad full of veges, toasted nuts, variety of greens, boiled eggs)
  •  In the morning we would make extra so he could have a smoothie for breakfast and take one to work for morning tea.
  • He would also have soaked nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
  • Boiled eggs, fruit and vege sticks.

Full and happy this food routine worked so well…..weight was coming off…….SLOWLY.

He knew it deep down that if he really really wanted all this good stuff that he was doing to work that he needed to stop drinking. That there is not point spending time and effort filling your body with amazing nutrient dense food when your hammering your liver with the nightly habit of beer drinking even if it’s only 1 or 2..

So there it was….it was his own decision, he stopped drinking for a few months.  The first week was hard, breaking the routine of coming in from a hard day and grabbing a beer.  Or sitting down after getting the kids to bed and cracking open a cold one.  So he started drinking Green Tea, which still cracks me up when I say it as I never thought this would be the replacement, but I’m so pleased with his decision.  So he had two months off and the habit was broken, he now drinks socially or when the All Blacks are on but the daily habit is gone and will hopefully never come back, but if it does we know what to do.

I made an effort to have raw baking available for the first few weeks….as for most of us alcohol is definitely considered a reward at the end of the day or to celebrate something good. We now celebrate with yummy healthy raw baking (No refined sugar, gluten free, dairy free goodness) and a green tea.

Now this is where the transformation started. He was losing weight so well, that pot belly and double chin was disappearing in front of our eyes and he felt amazing.  He had so much more energy (alcohol damages your gut; your gut makes your B vitamins so hence alcohol depletes your B vitamins and your energy, without it your gut heals and your energy comes back!).

He then went on completely on his own accord to do several juice fasts that were amazing for his liver and digestion, detoxing the stubborn chemicals held in fat.

We talked about places he could go when he was out and about and hungry that would be better options than the bakery or Subway (which although is marketed to be healthy is a horrendous concoction of chemicals which everyone should keep away from, contains same the same chemical that is in Yoga mats!).   Healthy options were, sushi, raw food eateries and smoothie and raw juice shops.   We went together had lunch, tried them out…..finding little gems that are local that have beautiful healthy food to grab on the run is really important.  This reduces the impulsive buying of junk when you know there are other delicious healthy options that will satisfy hunger and provide satiety.

I explained to him that junk food and alcohol is highly acidic, our body is alkaline, so every time we eat acidic food our body has to strip alkaline stores off our muscles and bones to get our body back to being alkaline.  This means that carbonated drinks, junk food and alcohol decrease our muscle mass, the very thing most men want to avoid.   If men want to look hot and ripped they need to get rid of the food that strips down their muscles and eat food that builds it……greens, greens and more greens!

For the majority, women are the ones who buy the food and make most of the meals. We are for the most part in control of what our partners and children eat.  We can control their health by purchasing plenty of fruit and veges, saying no to processed and packaged foods, buying in season and purchasing small amounts of good quality unprocessed meats, controlling portion sizes of meat and starchy carbohydrates (unlimited veges).

When we make a meal for our family look at the plate over half of that should be green and coloured vegetables, 1 quarter carbohydrates i.e. rice, potato, kumara, quinoa etc (this is optional its fine to have 3/4 vegetables as these are carbohydrates too) 1 quarter protein i.e. beans, meat, eggs. The protein and carbohydrate portion should be no bigger than or thicker than the palm of the hand of the person eating it. Yes men have bigger hands so they get more than us, it isn’t fair but that’s just how it is!    Lastly there should always be fat on the plate.  Fat ensures the hormones needed to process protein (Glucagon) and carbohydrates (insulin) work as they should.  They are the gatekeeper of our hormones, they are essential.  So always include good fats such as coconut oil/cream, olive oil, avocado, eggs, nuts and their oils etc.

Support is everything….if Scotty hadn’t had my support he would have been on a very slippery slope to ill health….heart disease, diabetes, cancer. Too many people these days are heading in this direction.  All they need is support and education to break free and turn their destiny in a positive direction.

As a result Scott now 15 kg lighter, looking amazing and feeling so much happier.   It’s terrible being trapped in a body that you don’t want or need.  Being free of that is truly life changing.

Thanks and go forth and make healthy men and babies!

love

Abs

xxx

SUPPORTING OUR MEN TO RECLAIM THEIR HEALTH OVERVIEW

  • Watch a health film as the catalyst for motivation to change i.e. ‘food matters’, ‘hungry for change’ or ‘fat, sick and nearly dead’
  • Make breakfast healthy – eggs and greens or a smoothie that they can have for breakfast and then take another for morning tea
  • Make their lunch initially (lets face it most men are pretty unkeen make their lunches, I found I had to do this to support him to eat well during the day) – transitioning them into making their own, which he now does!  A big salad (make the night before at dinner put in the fridge for the lunch the next day), with a variety of different veges, include protein such as boiled eggs or soaked nuts/seeds toasted in tamari sauce.  Because food like this is really dense in nutrients it makes them feel full and satisfied for a long time.  However iceberg lettuce and a few tomatoes will definitely not have that effect, salads need to be full of plenty of veges, lots of colour and a variety of green leaves the darker the better.
  • Fresh fruit in their lunches as well as raw baking i.e. date/nut/coconut balls
  • Plenty of good fat i.e. nuts and seeds, coconut products, avocado, butter, lean meat
  • Having a fresh vege juice or green smoothie when coming in from work is a great way to squash the need for an alcoholic beverage.
  • Get rid of the junk out of the fridge and cupboard, if its not there no one can eat it!
  • When you see them getting overwhelmed don’t push it….no one likes to have health advice pushed upon them.
  • Have a 90 / 10 rule, all good food at home, occasional junk where food can’t be as controlled.  This is also pertinent for kids.  Keep food at home ultra healthy so that when they get sweets at school, at a friends house etc their body is healthy enough to process it out easily.  We can’t all be 100 % perfect living in an imperfect world.

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