Prepare for the Winter Chill Before it Strikes

The change in season seems to be coming a little early here on our sunny Gold Coast with our coldest April evening in 16 years!!!! If you're not entirely sold on the idea of a Flu Shot, or even if you are, now is the time to start preparing your immune system so you can stay healthy and strong this winter and avoid the inconvenience of catching whatever bugs are lurking around the office. 

stay healthy this winter

There are so many cold and flu supplements, immune boosters, forms of vitamin C and Olive Leaf that it's sometimes hard to know where to start. So for your reference, here is our top picks for you this winter! 

Never underestimate the power of a throat spray!!!

comvita propolis throat spray

Most cold and flu viruses begin in your throat or are airborne. You're body's first line of defence is often your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs) and a good throat spray can help to kill off all those nasty little bugs before they have a chance to get to the rest of your system. There are only a few brands that put out a good throat spray so they are sometimes hard to find. You want something with a good antibacterial action, some immune boosting properties, and a numbing action never goes astray, just incase you do find you are starting to get some symptoms. Our suggestions include the Comvita Propolis Throat Spray or the Mediherb Throat Spray, both of which are available in store. 

Protect your Gut Immunity for all around Good Health!!!

Peace love and vegetable coconut keifir

The importance of your gut health is quite often forgotten when it comes to considering your immune system. The good bacteria in your gut are often associated with protection from food and water bacteria and microbes, but what you may not realise is that they play a vital role in your immune system as a whole also. Taking a daily probiotic supplement is not just a good idea for your digestive health, but can also benefit your immune system. This goes for kids especially. Did you know that studies have shown that kids that take a daily probiotic supplement have less days off kindy than those who don't?! For a live probiotic that tastes delicious and works great, try Peace Love and Vegetables Coconut Keifir. It is a bubbly drink found in store in the fridge and is packed full of live good bacteria. 

Prepare some good old fashioned Chicken Soup!!!

chicken soup

Whether you eat it now or freeze it and eat it later, having some home made Chicken Soup on hand is a winter necessity. With some fresh Onion, Garlic, Ginger and Celery, a few litres of Chicken Broth, as much veg as you like and even some rice, you'll have a therapeutic meal that will lift your spirits, warm you soul and boost your immune system on a cold winters day. There is just no point waiting until you feel sick to make it, you're sick, you just want to lie in bed and feel sorry for yourself! Make it up now and freeze it for later. Your future self will thank you for it! 

Wear a Scarf and a pair of Socks!!!

winter warmer scarf and socks

It's what mum used to tell you all the time, keep rugged up, put something on your feet! But it really does work. You only need to get a chill once and you've left yourself open to getting sick! Any trained singer can tell you how important it is to keep your neck and chest warm in order to protect your voice. Well it also works for warming the air before it hits your lungs and prevents you getting a chill in your throat, and for some reason, if you let your feet get cold your whole body seems to suffer. So make sure you keep prepared with a scarf and a nice warm pair of wooly socks this winter. 

ginger tea

That should just about have you covered. A few final tips and you're on your way to a winter of good health. Keep warm with a cup of herbal tea! Skip the coffee and hot chocolate and have some tea instead. Caffeine and sugar will lower your immune system, whereas herbal teas have some great therapeutic actions to keep you healthy. Ginger tea will warm you whole body and promote digestion! Try and avoid other stimulants in your diet, like alcohol and sugar which will also cause troubles! Eat lots of veggies and hearty soups and stew which are easy to digest and you can use lots of good herbs and spices in too. Have an early bed if you start feeling a little run down, sometimes all you need is a little extra rest. If you listen to your body it will tell you what it needs. If you don't listen, you may just end up sick until you do!!!

Stay warm and healthy this winter :-)

Healthy Easter Inspiration

If you're looking forward to a Chocolate Free Easter then we have some healthy inspiration here for you. Perfect for anyone on a Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo or Sugar Free eating plan. We have ideas for a delicious and nutritious healthy easter breakfast, a festive platter, and some decorative veggie dishes for the family lunch that are easy to prepare and are sure to transform a boring old salad into a festive easter delight. 

BREAKFAST

Boiled Eggs, decorated with a little piece of chopped carrot and some chia seed eyes. A perfect start to the day that won't take more than a second longer to prepare. 

You're kids will think you're a genius for serving this one up!!!

healthy easter breakfast

HEALTHY SNACK

Surprise your visitors with this fresh fruit platter. All you need is an egg shaped platter to serve it on. You'll find a nice cheap one at your local supermarket, or pick up something a little more fancy from a kitchen store or home wares shop.

All you need to do now is select some fresh, seasonal fruit and get creative as you decorate it.

Simple, easy and effective.

healthy easter treat
 

LUNCH IS SERVED

An easy egg salad that you'll have all ready and prepared in a 'hop' skip and a jump!

Invest in some cookie cutters and cut all your favourite salad veg with it. Chuck it all on a bed of green leafys and turn a boring old boiled egg into an easter delight. 

HEALTHY EASTER EGG SALAD

Vitamin K2 - The new wonder Vitamin for Bone and Heart Health

For all of you who saw Channel 9 News tonight... you would have had a great introduction to Vitamin K2, also known as Menaquinone. If you missed it or if you just want a recap then have a read of the following. We have compiled some great information on what Vitamin K2 is helpful for and how to take it. 

It has long been thought that Vitamin K1 and K2 were just simply different forms of the same vitamin. Recent research has proven that this just is not the case. Vitamin K1 has been popular on the retail market to assist with blood clotting, but the actions of K2 go far beyond activating clotting proteins in the liver. It has been found to be helpful in bone and heart health, as well as being beneficial for the skin, the brain and even the prostate. So where does this wonder vitamin come from?

If you're familiar with Vitamin K then your first thought was probably Dark Green Leafy Veg, but that is mainly sources of Vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 if mostly found in animal foods such as Egg Yolks, Chicken, Beef, Cheese and Butter (Organic Butter from pasture fed Cow's not your standard supermarket Butter). Other sources include fermented foods such as Natto (a Japanese fermented soy dish) and Sauerkraut. So unless you're vegetarian or vegan, you're most likely already getting plenty in your diet. So I'll bet now you're wondering what benefits you're getting from all that Vitamin K2 in your diet?

Vitamin K2 for healthy heart and bones

If you're familiar with Vitamin K then your first thought was probably Dark Green Leafy Veg, but that is mainly sources of Vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 if mostly found in animal foods such as Egg Yolks, Chicken, Beef, Cheese and Butter (Organic Butter from pasture fed Cow's not your standard supermarket Butter). Other sources include fermented foods such as Natto (a Japanese fermented soy dish) and Sauerkraut. So unless you're vegetarian or vegan, you're most likely already getting plenty in your diet. So I'll bet now you're wondering what benefits you're getting from all that Vitamin K2 in your diet?

For starters, Vitamin K2 may just be the breakthrough in bone health that we have been needing for a long time. So many people are aware of bone calcium loss with age, medications, menopause and many other lifestyle and ageing factors, but what can we do other than a good quality Calcium Supplement and some weight bearing exercise?! Well now we can add some Vitamin K2 into the mix. It has shown an ability to assist with calcium being deposited into the bones, where the body needs it the most. There just isn't any point in taking a Calcium supplement if it isn't being absorbed and utilised properly. Unabsorbed calcium can build up in your arteries causing strain on your heart and cardiovascular system, or it can form other such nasty deposits like kidney stones or very painful spurs. Taking Vitamin K2 alongside your calcium supplement can act to enhance it's absorption into the bones and teeth where your body needs it the most and help reduce your risk of breaks, fractures and osteoporosis as you age. 

Another way that Vitamin K2 acts to sort out calcium deposits in our body is by keeping it from building up in our arteries. This keeps our heart and blood vessels nice and soft and pliable which is important as they expand and contract to pump the blood through our veins. When calcium deposits in our arteries they become stiff and rigid and are more prone to damage when our blood pressure increases. The buildup in the arteries also runs the risk of dislodging at any time, turning us into a ticking time bomb. Once dislodged, there is no telling where it could get stuck and our risk of heart attack or a stroke increases significantly. With a little help from our friend Vitamin K2, we can help make sure that we are not causing premature calcification in our arteries. Obviously there are several other factors involved such as diet, lifestyle and other medication. Our qualified, in-store Naturopaths can help guide you as to other things you can do to help keep your heart nice and healthy as you age. 

Fact: A 2004 study showed that Calcification in the arteries was the most accurate predicting factor for heart disease. The study showed a dose related reduction in calcification in the arteries. The subjects in the higher third were 52% less likely to develop severe calcification in their arteries. Furthermore, this group was 41% less likely to develop heart disease, and on top of that, they were 57% less likely to die if they were unlucky enough to develop it. 

Now we do need to tell you that if you are on blood thinner's such as warfarin, Vitamin K2 supplements may not be for you unfortunately. Unless otherwise instructed from your doctor you can make sure to get a good amount of Vitamin K2 rich foods from your diet, but as far as supplement forms go you'll have to check with your doctor on that one. As always, if you're taking medication, check with your doctor first! Our Naturopaths can provide you some guidance but your doctor always needs to be informed of any and all natural supplements and herbs you are taking. 

If you're keen to try some Vitamin K2 then pop in store and check out Mena-Q-7. It's a high quality Vitamin K2 supplement sold exclusively at Go Vita health food stores starting from just $22.95. 

Couple with healthy bones

Another way that Vitamin K2 acts to sort out calcium deposits in our body is by keeping it from building up in our arteries. This keeps our heart and blood vessels nice and soft and pliable which is important as they expand and contract to pump the blood through our veins. When calcium deposits in our arteries they become stiff and rigid and are more prone to damage when our blood pressure increases. The buildup in the arteries also runs the risk of dislodging at any time, turning us into a ticking time bomb. Once dislodged, there is no telling where it could get stuck and our risk of heart attack or a stroke increases significantly. With a little help from our friend Vitamin K2, we can help make sure that we are not causing premature calcification in our arteries. Obviously there are several other factors involved such as diet, lifestyle and other medication. Our qualified, in-store Naturopaths can help guide you as to other things you can do to help keep your heart nice and healthy as you age. 

Fact: A 2004 study showed that Calcification in the arteries was the most accurate predicting factor for heart disease. The study showed a dose related reduction in calcification in the arteries. The subjects in the higher third were 52% less likely to develop severe calcification in their arteries. Furthermore, this group was 41% less likely to develop heart disease, and on top of that, they were 57% less likely to die if they were unlucky enough to develop it. 

Now we do need to tell you that if you are on blood thinner's such as warfarin, Vitamin K2 supplements may not be for you unfortunately. Unless otherwise instructed from your doctor you can make sure to get a good amount of Vitamin K2 rich foods from your diet, but as far as supplement forms go you'll have to check with your doctor on that one. As always, if you're taking medication, check with your doctor first! Our Naturopaths can provide you some guidance but your doctor always needs to be informed of any and all natural supplements and herbs you are taking. 

If you're keen to try some Vitamin K2 then pop in store and check out Mena-Q-7. It's a high quality Vitamin K2 supplement sold exclusively at Go Vita health food stores starting from just $22.95. 

Mena Q7

Top 5 Anti-inflammatory Spices

spices.jpg

Reducing inflammation is an every day task. It depends on how much you exercise, what food you eat, what you drink, medications and stress. With so many things effecting inflammation production in your body it's important to do what you can everyday to help reduce the amount of inflammation your body produces. 

With this in mind, here are our TOP 5 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SPICES that you can include in your diet every day. Spices are nicely concentrated when dried and powdered so it's easy to get a good dose every day. Prefer fresh??? That's great news!!! Cause fresh is always best and usually contains a higher nutrient content and more antioxidants. You just need to eat a little more to get the same dose but there are so many delicious choices so that shouldn't be a problem!!!

1. Tumeric

Now we did just recently do a whole blog on Tumeric and all it's amazing benefits for inflammation and ageing, so we won't harp on too much, but instead let's quickly recap from last time... 

Tumeric is rich in a phytochemical compound called Curcumin which has had a whole lot of research to prove it's anti-inflammatory benefits. It has shown benefits for conditions such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease and cancer. Tumeric also has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for and Ayurvedic Medicine for inflammation and conditions associated with inflammation as well as conditions of the digestive system and hormonal issues. 

2. Ginger

ginger

It looks very similar to Tumeric and comes from the same plant family so it's no wonder that the sister of Tumeric also has some great anti-inflammatory benefits. It's a warming, circulatory stimulant which makes it perfect for relieving joint pain associated with arthritis. The elderly often find Ginger very useful for swelling joint, or joint pain that is made worse by cold weather. Ginger is a great digestive herb and can help relieve inflammation in the digestive tract and reduce nausea. 

3. Cinnamon

cinnamon

This sweet herb is very easy on the palate and can turn your favourite sweets into a more therapeutic delight. Helping to regulate blood sugars is just one of it's many talents, which makes this herb great for people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. People don't often associate obesity with inflammation, but holding extra weight can put a lot of strain on the joints and tend to cause joint pain or worsen any niggling pain from past injuries or RSI (repetitive strain injuries). On the flip side, people who struggle to lose weight can benefit from Cinnamon and it's anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can worsen hormonal imbalances, put strain on the thyroid, interrupt regular sleep patterns and so many other things that can impede weight loss. So if you're trying to lose a few kgs why not try a teaspoon of cinnamon in you tea instead of sugar, you'll be surprised in how much difference it can make. 

4. Black Pepper

black pepper

Rich in the compound Perrerine, Black Pepper is great for reducing acute inflammation. It's a bit spicy, without the burn of chilli so you can get a little extra kick of flavour into your meals. Other than it's anti-inflammatory benefits, Black Pepper is great for digestion. It help with acid production in the stomach so you can better break down and digest food, but also acts to calm the digestive tract. You're probably a fan of pepper already, but now there's a few more reasons to have a little more. 

5. Cayenne Pepper

cayenne pepper

We have saved the best for last!!! Proven to be a very powerful anti-inflammatory for pain relief for joints, arthritis and headaches, this little gem is a must for every pantry. You don't need much to get a kick from this one! You can add it to just about anything, grilled chicken, curries, steak, baked veggies and so much more. It's a very warming spice so expect to get nice and hot from this one. It can help get your circulation going and help with weight loss so you can get out and get active again without those niggling pains holding you back. 

Inflammation and Ageing - Exercise

As we age, our risk of developing obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and other inflammatory conditions increases. It's a bit of a chicken or egg situation as to whether the inflammation triggers the age related disorder, or if the disease triggers the inflammation. Most research seems to point to a low grade inflammation that develops as we age, which tends to increase with a lifetime of poor diet choices and lack of exercise.

exercise

Our last two blog posts have covered how Oily Fish and herbs such as Tumeric can assist in reducing inflammation and slow the ageing process, so today we are going to look at how exercise can effect our body's ageing process and inflammatory status. 

Exercise has the ability to produce inflammation in the body as well as help reduce it. The key to getting the correct balance, or to get the anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise, is in they type and frequency of the activity. Let's break it down, firstly to how exercise produces inflammation  and secondly to how we can use exercise as a means to reduce inflammation as we age. 

exercise

If you begin a new exercise or fitness regime which includes certain movements that you've not done before, or for a very long time, it stands to reason that the body wouldn't be used to it. In these situations, this unaccustomed exercise can cause tiny little tears in the muscle fibres and connective tissue. The longer the duration of the activity, or the higher intensity that you work at, the more damage that occurs. Don't worry, it's not necessarily a "bad" type of damage. Simply put, the muscle fibres tear as you work them and as they repair that is when you get the muscle growth and strength for next time you do that exercise. After this damage has occurred, the body's natural response is to flood the area with inflammatory cells to begin the healing process. After several hours of these inflammatory cells making their way to the area, that is the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) begins to set in when you begin to feel of still and achy. After a few days you should be feeling back to normal again, but with a little extra strength in those muscles after their hard workout. 

exercise

So in order to gain more strength and grow your muscles, a little bit of inflammation is necessary and plays a vital role in the process. The more frequently you exercise, the more your body begins to adapt to the whole process and you'll find that you're a little less sore each time and that you recover a little more quickly each time also. 

Now, onto the good stuff. So you've been exercising now for a few months, you've got your strength back and you're recovering nice and quickly. All that's left to know now is how long you need to keep it up. Simply put, the longer the better, how about forever! You've made it through the worst part now which is just getting started so why not keep it up. You'll appreciate all that extra strength as you get older, and weight bearing exercise specifically is very beneficial for bone density, not to mention all the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight for your heart. 

exercise

Studies have shown that 6 months seems to be the bench mark for getting the best effects from exercise when we are looking at adapting to the healing process and reducing inflammation. Specific trials on elderly patients has shown that regular exercise for less than 6 months had no significant effect on inflammation. However, those who has participated in regular exercise for more than 6 months had a reduction in inflammatory markers. This would suggest that if you stick with your exercise regime, you stand to gain more benefit as time goes by. 

So as we look to make some diet and lifestyle changes to help keep us in good health for the future, we can now see the importance of regular exercise very clearly. Keeping our inflammation down will help slow the ageing process and keep us fit and active as we age. So get out and get active people!!! 

Inflammation and Ageing - Tumeric

It is a well known and researched fact that low grade inflammation drives the ageing process and many age related diseases such as metabolic disease, Atherosclerosis, some cancers, Rheumatoid Arthritis and more. If we want to delay the ageing process, we need to reduce inflammation in our body. Likewise, if we want to reduce inflammation, we need to take action against the onset of age related disease. This is where our diet comes into play in a huge way.

tumeric

Inflammation and ageing quite often go hand in hand. Mother nature has known this for as long as the earth has been around, hence we see many anti-inflammatory foods, herbs and spices that contain powerful antioxidant properties to combat the ageing process. It seems that mother nature has an answer for everything... don't you just hate it when your mother is right?!?!

Tumeric would have to be one of the most perfect examples of this. It's a rather unattractive looking spice from the ginger family. It looks quite similar to ginger actually, but more yellow in colour, that is unless you get it in a packet from the spice section. It is one of the main ingredients in curry powder, so when in a powder form it could easily be mistaken for curry powder. It has a warm, slightly bitter and peppery flavour makes it perfect for a nice hot curry! But it's more than just a yummy spice... it is also an extremely powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food. 

Tumeric contains a specific phytochemical compound known as Curcumin which has been researched quite a lot in recent years for its ability to inhibit inflammatory processes. This, combined with its antioxidant properties makes it the food of choice for many arthritis sufferers for a bit of relief from joint pain and inflammation. It's also been proven to help with other age related conditions such as metabolic syndrome, cancer and heart disease. 

tumeric and honey tea

In traditional Chinese Medicine, tumeric has long been used as a healing herb. They actually use several types of tumeric in their herbal formulation such as Giant Tumeric and White Tumeric. It has been used by the Chinese for many years for conditions of the liver and digestive system, as well as assisting with hormonal balance in women. Quite often it is prescribed to be taken dissolved in hot water and with a small amount of honey. Kind of like a nice hot cup of tea. The hot water helps to warm the digestive tract and assist absorption.

If you're a bit of a foodie, and would like to get more tumeric in your diet then why not whip up a nice big batch of curry. You can include so many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spices in your curry. Fun fact - if you add a bit of black pepper, you can actually increase the bioavailability of the curcumin in tumeric by upto 2000%!!! So you're nice warm winter curry just became one of your best, most potent, and most delicious ways to reduce inflammation and combat the ageing process. It's the little things every day that make the difference in the long term. 

 

Inflammation and Ageing - Oily Fish

Your diet is one of your most powerful tools for promoting and preserving health every day. What and how you eat now will effect you for the rest of your life. So we are here to help by revealing to you some powerful anti-inflammatory foods that will keep you fighting fit. 

oily fish for arthritis

So many degenerative conditions can be improved, delayed or avoided by consuming high quality anti-inflammatory foods every day. As an added bonus, most anti-inflammatory food are also quite high in antioxidants with some powerful anti-ageing effects. 

One of the most well known and popular anti-inflammatory foods is oily fish. The Omega 3, specifically some known as EPA, in fish has some very powerful anti-inflammatory actions in our body. It is often taken for inflammation in joints relating to arthritis or sports injuries. It is very effective in temporarily relieving pain, joint stiffness and swelling in the joints as well as restricted range of movement.

oily fish

Oily fish has many other benefits for ageing, most importantly for assisting with memory and concentration. The grey matter in our brain relies on a healthy intake of DHA, another important component of Omega 3 which is only found in fish. Your best sources of oily fish would be sardines, mackerel, tuna and salmon. Alternatively, you can go for a fish oil supplement to get your daily Omega 3, but food is always best.

Fish is high in easily digestible protein which is important for maintaining healthy muscle mass as you age. The protein in fish will be broken down by your body into several individual Amino Acids. These Amino Acids are integral in so many actions and reactions in your body, including detoxification, sleep hormone production, mental alertness and many more.

antiageing benefits of fish oil

Good fats, also known as Essential Fats, make up part of the cell membranes in basically every part of your body. If you get enough good fats in your diet then your cells will be well lubricated and happy. This means they can help keep your skin, nails, hair and eyes healthy inside and out. So if you really want to know the secret to reducing the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles, try some oily fish!

There are so many reasons for you to enjoy 2-3 nice big servings of oily fish every week. Enjoy it steamed or grilled with a splash of lemon and a nice big serve of salad on the side. Your body and your brain will thank you for it. 

Top 5 Brain Foods - Improve and Enhance your Memory and Concentration

brain food

We all want to stay sharp and alert every day, for our families, our jobs and for healthy ageing. Our brain is one of our most valuable tools and we use it every day so it's important to feed our brain with healthy, nutritious foods that will help sustain us all day.

Here are our top 5 brain food to help improve and enhance your memory and concentration both in the short and long term. You'll be pleasantly surprised, as it's not just all the boring healthy stuff. Try and include some or all of these foods in your diet every day for a healthier and sharper brain.

nuts and seeds for memory

1. Raw Nuts and Seeds

Raw nuts and seeds contain high amounts of Omega oils and Vitamin E which are integral in preventing a decline in cognition as we age. Prevention of conditions such as Alzheimers Disease begins much earlier in life but ensuring that we consume a diet high in good fats and oils as well as antioxidants. 

2. Oily Fish

Oily fish for brain function

It has long been known that the Omega 3 fatty acids in deep sea oily fish can help to improve your memory and concentration. The EPA and more specifically the DHA contained in oily fish can not be produced easily by the body from any other food source. Low DHA has been linked to loss of memory and the development of Alzheimers. Consuming oily fish a few times per week can help to increase brain levels of DHA and has many other health benefits relating to heart, joints, inflammation and cholesterol. 

3. Tomatoes

tomatoes

A powerful antioxidant in tomatoes called Lycopene has been ability to protect the body and the brain from damaging free radicals. Combating free radical damage can help reduce your risk of developing degenerative conditions of the brain and body, such as dementia. 

4. Broccoli

broccoli for brain function

To help enhance your cognitive function and improve your brain power, why not try a big bowl of broccoli. It's a superfood, rich in Vitamin K, Choline, Vitamin A and a whole range of other vitamins and minerals and help your brain to function at its peak. Choline help with memory recall so you can remember and retrieve all those valuable stored memories when you need them. You'll never forget where you left the keys again!

5. Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate for memory and concentration

Now I know this is what you've all been waiting to hear. Now just take note that we are not saying that Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate can improve your brain function, in fact quite the opposite. High sugar chocolate will mess with your blood sugar levels and actually impair your memory recall. But some good quality, organic dark chocolate or Raw Cacao can help improve cognition and concentration. The high levels of Theobromine can help to improve you memory, mood and focus. Great for those late night study crams or late nights at the office.  

Embracing Change - Top 5 Tips for eating healthy in our modern world

Shopping Bag

Once upon a time.... Food was food, a restaurant meal was off the menu, you grew your veggies in your backyard, you milked the family cow for fresh milk in the morning, and packaged food was almost unheard of. These days most of us don't even have a backyard, let alone space to grow anything, food allergies and the need for changes to restaurant menus are so common that they use specific Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan symbols, milk can be stored in a box in the cupboard for years and veggies come from a packed in the freezer. 

My how things have changed from when our grandparents and their parents were kids. Some for the good, some, well... not so good! But this is the world we live in and it's time to embrace the change. We simply need to find balance between living in our modern world, and keeping in line with our traditional ways of eating simple, healthy, raw and unprocessed food. 

Milking a Cow

We all have busy lifestyles with work and family commitments. It can be hard to find the time to prepare the good, healthy meals we would all love to eat. It can be hard to find the time, energy and motivation to exercise as much as we know we need to. So how do you find a balance?! Can you really have it all?! 

We have compiled our top 5 tips on how to embrace the changes in life and continue to find the time and energy to prepare good, healthy meals for you and your family. Be inspired and motivated to get your health on track this year and make 2015 the year of change!

Our top 5 tips for how to eat health in our modern world:

1: Get Organised

Easier said than done for sure! But if you take the time, be it 10 mins or half an hour, to get your head around the week ahead and organise a few things, you'll more than make up for that time by being far more efficient for the rest of the week. 

2: Plan your meals

Kind of covered under getting organised, but this can take a little extra time. Get your family involved in coming up with ideas of what meals to eat in the week, make a meals roster if you have to and everyone can get involved in having a turn to help prepare and cook a meal of their choice. Sometimes deciding what to eat is harder than actually cooking the meal so get organised early in the week so you have time to plan and shop. 

Meal plan

3: Make the most of your weekend

Organise your weekly meals

Get your shopping list and get on down to your local farmers market. You'll get fresh fruit and veg that will last for weeks at a price that you can easily afford. Take a few minutes over the weekend to peel, chop, and divide up your groceries so you know what the kids can take for school lunches, what is allocated for which meal and what's in the fridge for afternoon tea and snacks. You may have to get a little OCD with it and pull out a marker or the label maker, but you'll find it so much easier to keep up with, and then you'll have no wasted food by the end of the week, which means no wasted money either. 

4: Take a night off every now and again

Eating out with the family

Sometimes you just can't be bothered! It's been a busy week at work, the house is a mess and you just can't be bothered cooking tonight. It's ok to have a night off every now and again. But do it in the right way... don't settle for take out! Treat yourself! You've been working hard and you deserve to enjoy a nice meal out somewhere, something that's just as good for you as a healthy home cooked meal but a little more fancy, and you don't have to cook or do the dishes! You'll enjoy it so much more than a junk food TV dinner and you'll feel so much more refreshed for simply taking some time out for yourself and enjoying a quiet meal out or a nice evening with your loved ones. 

5: Keep your motivation close by for inspiration

motivation

It's hard to say no to a food craving or something more convenient when you're having a bad day. Sometimes a simple reminder of why you're not going to settle for the easy or more convenient option can get you through. Maybe it's because you've found an old photo of you in your glory days and you want to get back to that level of health or energy. Pop the photo on the fridge or pantry door so it's the first thing you seed when you go to grab a bite to eat. Maybe you're trying to lose some weight... why not make a chart and track your progress so you can see how far you've come and where you're headed so you don't fall off the wagon. An inspirational quote written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror to motivate you to keep at it no matter what! Whatever your reason for change, whatever your motivation, keep a few simple reminders around the house, in your wallet or handbag to make you smile when things get tough. It is far easier to be prepared for bad days before they arrive than to try and deal with them when they eventually do. 

Make some positive changes in your world today and keep at it! Your future self will thank you for it!!!


The Wonder of Coconut Sugar

The low GI, raw, unprocessed sweetener taking the the health food industry by storm! With a GI value of between 30-35, it is the lowest GI sweetener on the market. It fairs better than honey or Agave Nectar! 

Coconut Sugar Forms

The caramelised taste of Coconut Sugar complements just about everything you could think to cook with it. It goes great in tea and coffee, you can replace it 1:1 with sugar in any recipe, it's great for the kids and won't give you that blood sugar spike like standard cane sugar does. 

Also known as Coconut Palm Sugar, it is extracted from the Coconut Flower Blossom from the Coconut Palm Tree. It pours out of the flowers as a delicious fresh nectar and is then reduced to fine granules over a heated pan. There are still places today that extract and process Coconut Sugar the same way it has always been made. Hand kneaded to perfection. Check out this clip from Big Tree Farms in Bali, where they hand process this delicate sweetener. 

You're invited to come along on a sugar safari through a coconut kingdom! First stop: a chocolate palace. It's the home of Big Tree Farms, a forward-looking company that has transformed one of the world's oldest sweeteners into one of the world's most exciting rediscoveries.

One of the greatest reasons to use Coconut Sugar as an alternative to other sweeteners is its nutrient content. Coconut Sugar contains trace amounts of several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants so you're not just getting a sweetener, you're getting a few little extras in there also. 

Some of the nutrients you'll find in Coconut Sugar include:

Coconut Sugar
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Phytonutrients
  • B Vitamins such as Inositol
  • Antioxidants
Big Tree Farms Coconut Sugar

Try some Big Tree Farms Coconut Sugar today! It's low GI, low fructose, sustainable, nutrient rich, tastes delicious and always in stock here at Go Vita Robina. Check out our Recipes for some great ideas on how you can use Coconut Sugar in your cooking. 

Eat Seasonal | Support Locals

support local farmers

Did you know that your local farmers markets are not just a fun place to peruse on the weekend?! They actually contain the freshest local produce from local families, local farms. Join the revolution! 

We are going to call it!!! You heard it here first!!! We are predicting that this year, we are going to see a huge shift in how people shop for their produce. With Coles and Woolies continually expanding and renovating, it's hard to keep up with where everything is in your local supermarket. Your one stop shop just got a whole lot more complicated. But why??? That's simple... money money money!!!

local organic farmers

It's time we started saying no to the big supermarket giants, and started supporting our neighbours, our fellow Gold Coasters and our local farmers. The supermarkets are gaining too much power and control over what we eat, drink, wear and read, but as they get bigger and bigger the quality seems to just fade away. But your faithful local farmers have been there all along, and are still here to support you and your family. 

farmers market

We are so lucky here on our gorgeous Gold Coast to have not one, not two, but several Organic Farmers Markets. The top three closest to us would have to be the Friday markets at Mudgeeraba Village, Saturday at Burleigh Heads State School Hall and Sunday at Miami High School oval. So there is now no reason for lack of time to get to the markets and get your hands on some locally grown, Certified Organic, fresh, seasonal fruit and veg at prices that everyone can afford. Because it's picked fresh it lasts for weeks in the fridge, unlike all that supermarket rubbish that's been in cold storage for months. 

organic food

Another fun fact... you're local Go Vita store is also a small business, owned by a local too. Don't believe us?! Pop in store and meet the man for yourself, just ask for Angelo. As a small business, we strive every day to keep our store stocked with good quality, natural and organic products that are the highest quality standard. Our prices are competitive and our quality of product and service is second to none. The trust and respect of our customers is far more important to us than turning a massive profit... Now I'll bet you'll never hear those words from Mr Coles or Mr Woolworths!!!

Eat with the seasons and go with the flow! Support local business and lets take back the power in the clash of the supermarket Titans. 

Reading Labels Made Easy

Looking at food label

Probably the most daunting thing when you set out on a new health kick, lifestyle, eating plan or diet, would have to be finding food that you can eat and eliminating foods you can't. The biggest part of discovering this would have to be learning to read product labels and deciphering what it all means. Our aim today is to help you learn how easy it can be to read a product label so you can walk into your local health food store or supermarket with confidence. 

So what are you looking for???

looking at food label

You'll be interested in either the Nutritional Information, which you'll find in a box that is usually labelled as 'Nutritional Information'. The Nutritional Information will give you a break down of all the Fat, Protein, Carbs, Sugars, Energy or Calories in the products, and occasionally a percentage of your RDI for these and even some of your basic nutrients such as Vitamin C, Folate, Iron and so on. Alternatively, you may be more interested in what individual ingredients and additives are contained within the product. For this you'll have to look a little closer. It is usually found not too far from the Nutritional Information box, and is a paragraph of fine print listing all ingredients used to make the product. 

Nutritional Information or Ingredients???

The old school way of thinking seems to lean towards the Fat, Protein, Carb, Sugar content of food. The total Calories or the amount of Saturated Fats seems to be the deciding factor as to whether or not it is allowed on a particular diet. Firstly, be aware that there are two columns in your nutritional information, Per Serve and Per 100g.... and I'm sorry to say but your block of chocolate is rarely ever just one serve per packet! Shocking I know! If you take a quick glance up the top of your Nutritional Information box you'll see a little note that says how many servings per packet. If you're going to keep to your diet then this little bit of information is absolutely essential. 

nutritional info label

Now days, the new diet, lifestyle, health and fitness trends tend to be more focused on what ingredients you are and are not eating, rather than solely focusing on the ratio of Fats, Proteins and Carbs. It is an important shift in thinking that had to happen at some point, as more and more companies are adding cheeky little ingredients into their products to enhance the flavour, sweetness, saltiness, colour or texture. Although it may make the food more desirable, these additives are often quite harmful to your health. It's important to understand what you're eating, and how it will effect you. It's also becoming vital for some people suffering from allergies to Gluten, Dairy, Nuts and Soy products, as these additives quite often are derived from items containing the allergenic compounds. 

What do all the numbers mean???

food colouring

Unfortunately, companies seem to be catching onto the fact that well educated foodies won't purchase their products that contain nasty additives because of the health implications. As such they have a preference to simply list the Food Additive number rather than the actual food or chemical name in their labelling. Each series of numbers relates to a certain food additive, sweetener, flavour enhancer, preservative or other chemical compound that may or may not be something you actually want to be eating. But never fear, we have the answer! It's all found in a little red, pocket sized book called 'The Chemical Maze'. You can look up any food additive by name or number and it will give you a full description of what it is, what it's derived from and if it is good, bad or neutral. It's so simple that even the kids can use it and follow the simple smiley or sad face symbols to tell if it's good or bad. 

Well that is reading labels in a nut shell! Hopefully that give you a bit more confidence to battle the food labels. But the most confidence you'll gain is by doing it, over and over. So get your copy of The Chemical Maze and get shopping! 

Detox 101

So you've had a big Christmas and New Years and you're all set and ready to get your resolutions back on track and start a detox. With so many great Detox Programmes and Supplements on the market, it's hard to know what's best for you. So we are here to break it down for you!

detox

From 48 hour rapid detox programmes to 7 Day fasting detoxes and 20 day programmes, the market seems to be flooded with all sorts of info regarding Detoxification, what you should or shouldn't eat while detoxing and for how long you should do it for. The easiest place to start is to look at your diet, health status and lifestyle, taking into consideration any medications, smoking status and alcohol consumption. 

Lets start by looking at your diet. Foods you eat need to be digested, broken down for nutrient absorption, processed and eliminated. This process can take up to 72 hour to be fully complete for some individuals. Therefore, if you know you eat processed foods, foods high in refined sugar, foods that contain additives such as artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours, foods that you may have sensitivities to such as wheat, gluten, dairy or soy or so on, you need to allow a minimum of 72 hours to these foods to completely be eliminated from you system before you're body is ready to begin to heal. That means that you're detox diet will need to eliminate these foods for a minimum of 3 days before you're ready to actually detoxify what is being stored in the body. So it would stand to reason that a 48 hour detox will just not cut it!

detox

Let's move onto our old friend Alcohol. Now you may be a glass a night with dinner kinda girl, or a few beers with your mates after work on a Friday kinda guy, or even a party every weekend type. Wherever you fall in the Alcohol category, the fact is that it does put a big strain on your liver and kidneys, and damage your gut flora. So I'm sorry to say, but while you're detoxing... it's gotta go!!! A complete detox from Alcohol can take anywhere from a week to 10 days depending how much alcohol you consume. Most rehab facilities tend to recommend that some patients allow several weeks for their initial detox phase before any sort of regeneration can occur. Now you may be thinking, I'm not an alcoholic, but if you consume alcohol on any sort of regular weekly basis, 7-10 days for a simple alcohol detox is a pretty good place to start. 

detox

Smoker or non-smoker??? If you're a smoker then the bad news is, that you're detox is about it get a whole lot more complicated. So the first place to start is to ask yourself, do I want to quit or just detox??? Unfortunately, you just can't effectively do one without the other. If you want to detox, you really need to stop smoking to effectively detoxify you're whole body. Likewise, if you want to quit smoking you will inevitably detox. So with that in mind, are you ready to quit?! There is so much support for quitting smoking these days, you just have to be ready to reach out and ask for it. The good news is that after 1-3 weeks you will have made a huge amount of process with your lung function as well as circulation. So if you're a smoker, I would give you're detox a good 3 weeks minimum to give yourself the best fighting chance. 

So hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea of where to start. It's important to remember that these are simple guidelines for detoxifying, what you really need to consider is that this would be the minimum to eliminate toxins from your body. This isn't allowing for the fact that quite often you're body will need time to repair and regenerate after it has detoxed. So if you're keen to do the best for your body, maybe consider a few extra days and really nourish your body. 

Health Benefits of Raw Juicing

health benefits of raw juicing

If you follow us on Facebook you'll see we are smack bang in the middle of our 30 day Juice Challenge. We have challenged all our followers to try a Raw Juice a day for 30 days in the month of January to help support all your new years resolutions to get fit, healthy and skinny! But why drink Raw Juice???

There are so many amazing benefits to raw juicing. Whether you use a slow juicer to cold press, or simply a good blender, you will get the benefits. Raw juicing (or blending) helps begin the breakdown process of all the fresh fruits and veg you use in your juice. By breaking it down to liquid form you will more easily digest and absorb all those great vitamins, minerals and enzymes present in your fresh produce. It makes a quick, easy and convenient way to get some extra goodness in your diet every day.

health benefits of raw juice

Juicing is great for kids, fussy eaters, people suffering from illness or weakened digestion, people who live a busy or stressful lifestyle, or anyone just wanting some extra nutrients in their diet. Often people struggle to get their 2 Fruit and 5 Veg per day, so if you can chuck a few pieces in the blender and drink it on the go, you can rest assured that at then end of the day you've done your 2 and 5. 

Fresh is always best, so although commercial juices may be the beverage of choice for all the health conscious people out there, fresh juice will always contain more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and live enzymes than your standard pre-mix juices from cafes, health food stores and supermarkets. Making it yourself also allows you to control how much fruit vs veg goes in. Veggies will always be a much better option if you are trying to avoid carbs or sugars. They often contain higher amounts of fibre which will greatly benefit your digestion, as long as you remember to drink plenty of water. 

blending vs juicing

So should we Juice or Blend??? Personally, I prefer to blend. Using the whole fruit, veg, nut and seed provides all the nutrients as if you were eating the food whole, but because it's pureed the nutrients are more readily available for absorption and more easily digested. The downside would be that you'll always end up with a juice that's a little more on the chunky side. You can blend to a fine puree and add a little water so you can drink it through a straw, but it will always be a little thick compared to using a Juice extractor. 

When juicing, it's important to get a slow juice extractor that doesn't heat. This ensures your produce doesn't get the nutrient loss associated with heating and cooking. If you do juice, but want all the benefits of the whole food, why not use all that leftover pulp to make some nice dehydrated crackers or an omelette. It's the best of both worlds!!!

Whatever you choose to do, having a juice a day will help boost your energy, daily vitamin and mineral intake, help alkalise, detoxify and so much more. Challenge yourself, try a juice a day. If you need some inspiration, pop onto our Facebook page and check out some of our suggested recipes. We also have some in our Recipe Blog under Breakfast and Snacks/Sweets. 

Wheatgrass and Coeliac Disease... Can they mix???

wheat grass

Wheatgrass is a nutritionally rich sprout from the wheat grain. It contains Vitamins, Minerals, Chlorophyll and some Amino Acids. It provides our body with some great alkalising benefits and can help promote detoxification. But what if you are Coeliac or on a Gluten Free diet, because it is from the wheat grain?!

You'll be pleased to know that there have been studies done that show NO traces of Gluten in wheat grass. It is only the baby shoots that are use, the good green stuff, and the husk (or seed) is cut off from the bottom of the grass leaving the Wheat Grass itself FREE from any traces of Gluten. 

tray of wheat grass

But buyer beware!!! Not all commercially packaged Wheat Grass products are Gluten Free, especially tableted products!!! You see, the Wheat Grass itself is, but the tableting agents or other such filler may have traces of gluten that you'll have to read the fine print to see. So make sure you get up close and personal with the products and read all the fine print before you make your purchase or you could be in for a nasty surprise. Luckily, these days Gluten Free seems to be a bit a buzz word in the health industry, which means that you're likely to find the words GLUTEN FREE in big bold print somewhere on the package if it is indeed Gluten Free. Alternatively, pop in store and have a chat with one of our trained staff and they can check for you. Simple!!!

wheat grain for sprouting

If you don't have any luck finding a suitable Gluten Free Wheat Grass supplement, why not try sprouting it for yourself. It's really easy and a lot of fun to get the whole family involved. Just follow a few simple steps... 

  1. Soak your wheat grain for 12 hours
  2. Strain and leave in the strainer for a further 12 hours to help it germinate (during this time it's a good idea to rinse it as often as you remember)
  3. Line a tray with some paper towel and some good quality soil or compost and spread your grain evenly over the top of the soil and cover with newspaper
  4. Using a spray bottle, spray the seeds every morning and keep them nice and moist
  5. Keep them in a spot with just a little sun, but never in direct sunlight
  6. After a few days you will notice there is a second blade of grass coming from the seed, this means that your Wheat Grass is ready to harvest
  7. To harvest, simply cut the grass with some clean scissors just above the root and use it as soon as you can (it will keep for about a week in the fridge)



Green Tea... a little cup full of goodness

green tea benefits

With so many amazing benefits, it's hard to know where to start with Green Tea. It is well known for it's benefits for weight loss due thanks to Thermogenesis. It is used in many beauty properties because of its antioxidant and anti-ageing effects. We know it's great to combat free radical damage in our body's and makes alternative to coffee and black tea. So it's time to tell you something that maybe you didn't know about Green Tea.

health benefits of green tea

We live on the sunny Gold Coast! The  surf, the sun, it's just a part of our life. The weekend beach essential kit has always just included a tube of 30+. Well now we have another essential to add to the weekend beach ritual... GREEN TEA!!!

Green Tea catechins have shown an ability to protect against harmful UV rays from the sun, an effect that usually kicks in approximately half an hour to an hour after ingesting Green Tea. The higher the concentration of catechins in the Green Tea, the stronger the effect. Therefore, it would be better to use a supplement that is highly concentrated in catechins rather than simply drinking Green Tea in the beverage form which would be a much lower dose. 

Fusion Green Tea

Fusion produce a Caffeine Free Green Tea supplement that is highly concentrated in catechins, in fact, it contains 345mg of Green Tea catechins per tablet. It is also highly concentrated in EGCG which is responsible for most of the antioxidant benefits of Green Tea, and contains less than 0.5mg of Caffeine per tablet. Fusion recommend using 2 of their Green Tea tablets approximately an hour before heading out in the sun to get maximum UV protection. 

So this summer, protect your skin from the inside out with a good, natural sunscreen and some Fusion Green Tea, and enjoy the UV protection as well as all the other great antioxidant protection Green Tea provides. 

Paleo Basics

With so much info and media on the Paleo Diet it's sometimes hard to know where to start. We have outlined here the basics of the Paleo Diet so you have a quick guideline to refer to as you get started with the Paleo Lifestyle. We have the Do's and Don'ts covered, as well as some quick tips. Check it out!

paleo diet do's and don'ts

PALEO DO'S

  • Meat - Grass Fed, Free Range, Organic
  • Fresh Fish and Seafood
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Free Range Eggs
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Good Fats - Olive Oil, Nut Oils, Coconut Oil, Avocado, 

PALEO DON'TS

  • Processed Foods
  • Cane Sugar 
  • Potatoes
  • Food Additives
  • Artificial Flavours, Colours, Sweeteners
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Refined Oils - Vegetable oil, Soybean Oil, Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil,
eat real food

QUICK TIPS

  • If you could grow it, pick it and eat it or cook it at home then you're on the right track
  • If it's processed, refined or contains food additives avoid it
  • Sugars and sweeteners are to be avoided
  • Stay away from anything made from grain products or flour
  • It's the hunter gatherer diet so try to think like a caveman - could I hunt it or gather it?!
  • Make it a lifestyle, not just a diet - a caveman would have to go hunt and gather food before eating breakfast so try and start the day with some exercise, and remain active during the day
  • Because commercial Dairy products are over process, pasteurised and homogenised they can not be included on a Paleo eating plan. Why not try some home made nut milk... it's simple and easy to make! Worried about you're Calcium intake??? Don't be! The processing to milk products renders the Calcium un-absorbable so you weren't gonna get it anyway. Simply eat some nuts, seed and green vegetables and you'll be doing just fine. 
the paleo lifestyle

Milk Options And How They Compare

Old School Milk

Once upon a time there was just Milk. It came from a Cow, a Sheep or a Goat most often, and was freshly squeezed and consumed just as it was. The consumption of milk from domesticated animals began during the Neolithic Revolution when Agriculture was being developed. It wasn't until the mid 1800's that milk would begin its journey from being something consumed fresh from your farm to a bottled and packaged product. Since then the industry has evolved and developed into a multi billion dollar industry, and the milk we buy and consume these days barely resembles that which was once consumed. 

Cows being milked

When we think about how much things have changed since then, it's no wonder there are so many more people reacting to milk these days, unlike how they would have back in those times. Changes with the process of milk has greatly effected it's digestibility, such as pasteurisation and homogenisation of milk before packaging. We no longer commonly get milk from Dairy Cow's, unless you specifically choose to purchase the A2 milk. The living and feeding conditions for Cow's are not what they used to be either. Rather than being free to roam paddocks and feed from fresh grass they are hooked up to their pumps, side by side and given medication such as antibiotics to prevent infections. 

So now we jump forward to what milk is today, November 2014. Have you been to your local supermarket lately? There are now 2 massive sections you'll find milk, and one small area for flavoured milk, or as we like to call it, confectionary milk. You'll get fresh, cold milk, or long life milk in tetra packs. You're options for Cow's milk include Full Fat (or 'regular' milk), Low Fat, No Fat, Skim, Lactose Free, A2, Organic, Unpasteurised and Raw Bath Milk. But wait... there's more...

types of milk

Now you'll find Soy Milk and even Rice Milk in the fresh milk section. Then, if you move onto the Long Life milk, you can add Almond Milk, Macadamia Milk, Hazelnut Milk, Coconut Milk, Oat Milk and even Quinoa Milk to the list. You can get milk made from just about everything these days. So which one is the best?! 

Well there will always be a 'flavour of the month', I'd have to say at the moment Coconut Milk is quickly climbing to the top of the list, alongside Almond Milk, most likely due to the recent Paleo Trend. The simple answer to which milk you should choose would have to be that you choose which milk makes you feel the best. If you feel tired, bloated, snotty, crampy, gassy or puffy after consuming it, then try something else until you find something that suit you a bit better.

Milking Cow

So we're gonna do our best to break it down for you to hopefully give you a fighting chance on your hunt for a new milk. There are several things to consider including digestibility, fat content, sugar content and allergies. Here are a few of the different types of milks and how they compare.

A2 Milk

a2 milk

The A2 protein in the milk is more easily digested, so if you're not lactose intolerant, and you're keen to stick to Cow's milk then give this a go. You may find it a little more easy on the gut. This is not suitable for individuals who are sensitive to Casein or Lactose. Most often A2 milk is full cream milk so it does contain a normal amount of fat.

Skim/Low Fat/No Fat Milk

It's just regular milk with low or no fat. If you are lactose intolerant or sensitive to the casein or other proteins in the milk, you will find you still react. In comparison to regular full cream or full fat milk however, you may find your reaction to be slightly less. This is because low or no fat milk can sometimes be watered down so you tend to get a little less actual milk per glass. 

lactose free milk

Lactose Free Milk

This milk is just regular old milk with the addition of Lactase Enzyme to break down the Lactose in the milk for you. This is a good option for people who are Lactose Intolerant and lack the ability to produce enough, or any, Lactase Enzyme themselves. This is not suitable for individuals who are sensitive to A1 proteins or Casein.

Soy Milk

Soy was one of the first and most popular alternatives to Cow's milk. It is free from all the highly allergic and hard to digest parts of regular Cow's Milk. It is still nice and thick if you are looking for that creamy texture. Soy products have their benefits and downfalls when it comes to hormones and phytoestrogen. That's a debate for another time, but if you are unsure about it then maybe move on and check out some of the other alternatives. 

Nut Milk (Almond, Macadamia, Hazelnut etc)

Nut Milk

These milk alternatives are usually a lot more easily digested and do not contain any of the Cow's milk proteins or sugars that are quite often very hard for a human gut to digest. You just have to be a little cautious if you have nut allergies. They are quite fine for people with Lactose intolerance as they contain no Dairy products. Nut milks tend to have a bit of fat in them, but because they fats and oils are from the nuts it is good fat so there is no need to feel guilty. There are no phytoestrogens in Nut Milks so they make a good alternative to Soy also. 

Grain Milk (Quinoa, Oat etc)

Basically the same as Nut Milk really, maybe a little more carbs and sugars and bit less fat and protein but the digestibility is basically the same. As far as allergies go, it's about the same as Nut Milk but without the nut allergy risk, however, you need to be cautious of Gluten in Oat milk, however Quinoa Milk is Gluten Free. 

Coconut Milk

We finally come to the bottom of the list. Coconut Milk is one of the best, no Cow's milk allergies, no Soy or Phytoestrogens, no Nuts, no Grains, no Gluten. Coconuts naturally contain Coconut oil which is highly beneficial. It's low carb and low sugar too, but doesn't really have much protein. I guess the only downside is the very few people that may be sensitive to Coconuts or just not like the Coconut flavour. 

Well there you have it, all your current milk options and their benefits, allergy information, digestibility and comparisons. All that's left to do is try some for yourself and see what works best for you. Good Luck!!!

Top 5 Health Benefits of Kale

health benefits of kale

1. Rich in Essential Minerals

Kale is a great natural source of essential nutrients. It's a fantastic source of Iron for Vegetarians and Vegans, and anyone who is wanting a non-meat source of Iron and other minerals. Kale is also a great source of Calcium, actually better than milk. It's alkalising nature means that it is a great dietary supplement for people wanting to prevent Arthritis and Osteoporosis. 

2. Vitamin Rich

If you are looking for a good source of antioxidant vitamins, then Kale will quickly become your friend. It naturally contains Vitamins such as A, C and K that have powerful antioxidant properties. The vitamin C and K will also assist with the maintenance of bone health and connective tissue. 

3. Promotes Detoxification

The high fibre content of Kale makes it a great addition to any detox program, or just to assist detoxification every day. Fibre is great to bind to toxins in the digestive tract and help maintain regular bowel habits. Kale is also rich in Sulfur which helps to promote detoxification through the liver. It also contains high amounts of Chlorophyll which is also great for detox and cleansing. 

4. Great Addition to Any Weight Loss Program

When looking into your diet for weight loss, its important to choose foods that are nutrient rich without too much carbs or calories. Kale is high in fibre so it will help you feel fuller for longer and maintain good digestive health. It's basically free from carbs, fats and calories so you can eat as much as you want and not feel guilty. 

5. Contains 10% of the RDI of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Just when you thought this amazing super food couldn't get any better, it also contains 10% of your recommended daily intake of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The benefits of Omega 3 include cardiovascular health, joint health and brain function. It can also assist in healthy cholesterol levels, asthma and reducing inflammation. 

Benefits of eating Kale