Friday, 14 November 2014

Strategies to deal with Stress

As we are moving to the end of the year, stress levels increase. What should we be giving to the different people in our lives, what to wear to Christmas functions, when we don’t fit into our best party dress, what to do for the holidays, and the list goes on.  Here are some interesting facts regarding stress:
  • Caffeine increases stress (and how often we resort to coffee when we are stressed)
  • Stress shrinks the memory centre of your brain
  • Stress makes you fat in the abdomen

Being stressed, fat and forgetful certainly do not seem to be a pleasant combination. 

Stress can affect each of us differently. Perhaps you are suffering from anxiety, feeling worried, depressed or irritable; even feeling exhausted and overwhelmed can indicate you are under stress. As well as affecting your ability to cope, stress may also be causing a disruption to your health. When under stress for a length of time, you may be more susceptible to tension headaches, high blood pressure, frequent colds and flus, digestive disorders or a worsening of an existing condition. So you can see, there are many reasons why it is so important to manage your stress now, before it starts impacting your health and wellbeing.

For most people, the dietary intake during periods of stress are also not the best.  It is often takeaway food on the go, or no food, or snacks all the time.  This does not help as the body is needing more nourishment but instead it is deprived of it.

Dietary and Lifestyle recommendations to distress include
  1. Deep, slow, breathing, making sure that on inhalation, the abdomen extends.
  2. Engage in some meditation, prayer or yoga daily to distress, unwind and refocus.
  3. Have some ‘me’ time, be it an aromatherapy bath, listening to music, knitting, reading or cooking, whatever you enjoy that makes you feel relaxed.
  4. Eat seasonally, organic where possible or fresh produce.  Make sure you include greens every day.  It does not have to be just eaten raw, it can be lightly cooked, stirfried, put into soups or juiced or blended in a smoothie.
  5. Have adequate good fats – fish, seeds, nuts, olive and coconut oil.
  6. Avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, additives and preservatives.
When you can differentiate between the different types of stress disorders, whether it is anxiety, worry, depression or irritability, the appropriate herbs can be selected to support the body’s response to stress. We offer a Natural Stress Less Program, if you have trouble destressing, talk to us about what we can help you with.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Simple Healthy Cooking - Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

½ of a large head of cauliflower, blended
250g chicken thigh sliced, marinated with salt
½ red capsicum
½ yellow capsicum
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons of Braggs liquid aminos to taste
3 tablespoons dehydrated sprouted buckwheat
A handful roasted cashews
A dollop of butter
Pepper to taste

Cut cauliflower in smaller pieces, put into blender and blend into fine bits. 

In a heated pan, put 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and add chopped garlic.  Once garlic is fragrant, add in chicken thigh slices and stir fry till chicken cooked.  Add in blended cauliflower and stir fry for 5-8 minutes.  Blend in chopped capsicum, stir fry for another 2-3 minutes and add liquid aminos in. 

Scoop into serving bowl, stir in a dollop of butter.  Add cashews and dehydrated buckwheat and some pepper.

Dehydrated Sprouted Buckwheat

1 cup buckwheat
Glass sprouter

Soak buckwheat for 1-2 hours and drain.  Let buckwheat spout in glass sprouter. Rinse in cold running water 2-3 times a day and let the seeds continue to sprout.  Put sprouted buckwheat into dehydrator at medium to allow seeds to dehydrate for 5-6 hours.  When done, buckwheat sprouts are dry and tastes crunchy.  Store in airtight container and use in dishes and desserts.

Note:  Buckwheat is wheat free seed and is suitable for people on wheat and gluten free diets.  It helps to improve insulin sensitivity and makes a great snack.  Ground up, buckwheat flour can be added to pancakes.

Simple Healthy Cooking - Baked Garlic and Orange Chicken Nibbles

1kg chicken nibbles
4 cloves garlic
2 bird’s eye chillies (optional)
Rind of 1 orange, grated
Juice of half an orange
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Blend grated orange rind, orange juice, salt, garlic and chillies.  Spread marinate into chicken nibbles and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.  It tastes best if marinated for some time in the fridge.

Oil a baking pan and spread chicken nibbles onto the pan.  Bake at 170C for 30 minutes.