Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Fountain of Youth – Anti Aging Tips

Many of us are searching for the eternal Fountain of Youth. We go to all extremes to look younger. However, we don’t really have to go to such drastic lengths. There are many simple things we can do to feel and look bright, alert, shinning and fresh. Beauty begins on the inside and is reflected on the outside. We are all aging but we can slow it down and continue to be beautiful and youthful for far longer. The aging process then becomes a graceful journey.

Here are some simple anti-aging tips that you can easily add into your lifestyle:

What Speeds up the Aging Process 

Too much sodium  – we need less as we get older. Excess salt can increase cell aging.

Dry foods – cookies, crackers, chips, bagels. The volume of dried snacks has grown enormously. Stress and pressure often creates a craving for dry hard foods that only gives temporary relief

Sugar – in all kinds of foods. The more we eat the more we want. In early 50’s people consumed around 5lbs of sugar a year. Today the average is a staggering 150lbs of sugar per person per year. The average amount of soda consumed is 60 gallons per person per year. Sugar depletes the body of vital nutrients, lowers resistance to disease, increases diabetes risk, and gets stored as fat.

Acidic diet –the body has to work extra hard to maintain blood balance. Acidic foods include animal, dairy, sugar, white foods (bread, pasta, rice), and alcohol

Over eating even healthy food, and stress both create acidity and ages the body

Animal protein – acid forming and taxing on kidneys. Due to the high levels of purines in meat, uric acid can increase which then has to be neutralized by calcium. The calcium comes from the bones, spine, and teeth.

Too much partying –late nights and alcohol affects the liver, kidneys and adrenals

Processed and packaged foods – oxidizing and full of chemicals

Sudden shock – can cause rapid aging

Cold drinks – taxing on digestion

Lack of routine – irregular meals, standing up to eat, irregular sleep patterns and lack of sleep

Long distance flying on a regular basis exposes us to the same intensity of radiation as several strong chest x rays.

Extremes of all kinds, exercise, diet, temperatures, climates, and environments

Ways to keep that Youthful Glow – be mindful and pay attention to your body. Think about wellness not disease

Good nutrition – plant based diet, home cooking, living foods, varying the cooking styles. Getting your nutrients from food first not supplements. Have vegetables at every meal using the full range of colors, shapes, and flavors. Juicing is a great way to enjoy vegetables at breakfast. Lightly cooked dishes and salads are especially important. Include mild sweets as part of your diet. They help to relax the body and strengthen the immune. Include pureed sweet vegetable soups, sugar free desserts, vegetable juices, and the natural sweet taste from grain and vegetable dishes.

Good digestion – good elimination on a daily basis, getting rid of what we don’t need. Make sure your diet is high in fiber and fermented foods. It is important to chew well and to enjoy meals in a calm environment. Excessive intake of food greatly burdens the entire digestive system. Practice moving away from the table when you are still a little hungry.
Good circulation – the key is to exercise on a daily basis and to find something that you love so you keep on doing it, make sure to stand up and move throughout the day, have an evening walk after dinner –improves all systems in the body, uplifts the mood, increases brain power, and keeps heart young

 How to RE- set your Biological Clock
Keep the mind fresh and open – find meaningful activities. Learn something new every day. Keep active and involved, and do things that make you feel happy.
Give yourself a nourishing olive, sesame or coconut oil massage   helps to reduce stress, hydrate skin, relieve aches and pains, improve cellulite, reduce stretch marks and slow down skin aging.
Enjoy eating meals at the same time each day. Sit down to eat all foods even snacks
Chew well – activates the lymph, helps us to eat less, ensures proper digestion, promotes growth and repair, and is the foundation for disease prevention

Drink adequate water – very important at any age to stay hydrated. However, some lose their natural ability to feel thirsty as they get older so it is essential to have regular glasses of water throughout the day

Stop eating 2-3 hours before to bed
Spend time in nature on a daily basis and become aware of your surroundings. Engage your senses and notice the different sights, smells, textures, tastes, and noises.

Enjoy good sleep – at least 6.5 hours a night. Helps you to feel more peaceful, energized, and positive, and less prone to anger and irritability.
Have Gratitude – give thanks to all of life even the challenges. Appreciate the marvel of the natural world. Be grateful for family and friends.
Take time out – to relax and enjoy life in the moment.
Enjoy meditation, breathing exercises or spiritual practice. Nourishing to the mind, body and spirit.


Laugh – watch funny movies, hang out with friends and family and laugh together

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beautiful Buckwheat and Burgers

When I lived in the US, I rarely used buckwheat as a whole grain. I enjoyed soba noodles in broth often, but for some reason wasn’t attracted to the grain itself.
Since living in Europe, I have been using it much more and find it tasty, and easy to use. Buckwheat gives great energy in a lighter manner than expected. So I am sharing some of the benefits and a simple recipe. Enjoy xx

Buckwheat, was first cultivated in South East Asia around the 6th century BC having been originally used as a wild food. It then spread to Central Asia, Tibet, Europe, and the Middle East.  Buckwheat actually came to Russia via Greece in the 7th century. The Russian name for Buckwheat is Grechka, which means ‘Of Greek’. Buckwheat was one of the earliest crops introduced by Europeans to North America.

Benefits of Buckwheat

Great for the digestion.
Buckwheat is high in fiber and has a mild, sweet flavor. It can help to clean and strengthen the intestines and improve appetite.

Nourishing to the Kidneys and Adrenals.
Buckwheat has a warming energy that is strengthening for the kidneys and adrenals especially if made into a porridge known as kasha in Russia.

Gluten Free
Buckwheat is not considered a grain, which makes it perfect for celiacs and those on gluten and grain sensitive diets.

Alkaline or Neutral
In terms of acid and alkaline, buckwheat is considered to be neutral or mildly alkaline.

Has a high concentration of Rutin
The high rutin content in buckwheat can help to lower the risk of developing gallstones, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Rutin is also beneficial for fighting inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Buckwheat can help to prevent varicose veins, and hemorrhoids as rutin is known to help strengthen the capillary walls. It can also improve circulation especially cold hands and feet, and edema.

Keeps Blood Sugar levels low
The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to maintaining sugar levels. With a glycemic index of 54, it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice and wheat products. 

Nutrient Rich
Buckwheat contains high levels of B complex vitamins and essential amino acids, which help to promote healthy skin and strong hair. It is also a rich source of magnesium and copper. Buckwheat has strong antioxidant properties, which can help keep premature wrinkles at bay.

Buckwheat can be made into porridge, burgers, pancakes (from the flour), soba noodles, and prepared with vegetables and beans.

Here is a simple recipe for Buckwheat Burgers. Feel free to adapt it to your taste and what you already have in your fridge. Happy cooking!
Love Chef Mel xxx

Buckwheat Burgers

1 cup Buckwheat toasted in a skillet for 3-5 minutes
2 cups Water
Olive oil
1 onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup grated carrots
1 celery stalk minced
6 green olives minced or 1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon Tahini (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh basil or fresh parsley chopped
1 heaping teaspoon dried herbs (oregano, basil, marjoram)

Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Add the salt, and buckwheat. Return to a boil on a medium flame, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes until all water is absorbed. Uncover the pot and let the buckwheat cool down.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and then the celery, and continue frying for a few minutes.
Add the vegetables to buckwheat together with olives, dried herbs and fresh herbs. Mix it all very well with your hands until you get nice dough. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Take little portions, shape a ball with your hands and make a burger. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.
Heat olive oil in a pan and fry your burgers for 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.