Saturday, April 21, 2018

Simply Smooth

Here are a couple of easy to make and yummy smoothies for the hot weather. They are super as a dessert or a quick snack on the go.

Enjoy Love Chef Mel xxx

Oh So Smooth Strawberry

Serves 2

1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups organic strawberries
3/4 cup amasake
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon rice syrup
3 coconut water ice cubes (can use regular ice cubes)
juice from a fresh lemon

8 mint leaves
lemon slices and sliced strawberries for garnish


Soak the chia seeds in a little almond milk for 15 minutes
Place everything into the blender and blend for at least a minute.
Serve with a slice of lemon and sliced strawberries

A Blast of Berry 

Serves 2

2 cups vanilla rice milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
3/4 cup amasake

Juice of half an orange
1 tablespoon rice syrup
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
1 cup raspberries
3 coconut water ice cubes

Soak the chia seeds in a little rice milk for at least 15 minutes.
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend for at least a minute.
Serve garnished with blueberries

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Healthy Flying Tips

How to get over Jet Lag quickly

To help recover from long flights and jet lag it is vital to nourish your health and to include healthy food options on your trip. It is important to increase alkaline forming foods as flying can be stressful and create more acidity. Extra vitamin C and chlorophyll are also necessary to support the immune and better cope with stressful situations and jet lag. The best way to increase these are in natural plant based foods. 

Here are some simple natural remedies that can  help you enjoy happy travels.

Umeboshi Plums are a wonderful travel companion as they are extremely alkaline, full of minerals that help increase energy, aid digestiĆ³n, boost immunity, and improve liver functions. They also help to inhibit the growth of bacteria in the water, food and blood so great for travels to foreign locations. 

Miso soup is a wonderful addition, in the days before and after flying. It contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach and restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines. It also strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid and supports the immune system.  Miso is high in antioxidants that protect against free radicals.
You can also get an instant miso soup in powder form. All you need to do is add hot water so fantastic for long flights.

Toasted nori  is a great snack for travelling as it is easy to carry in small packs. Nori is alkaline, and provides a  good source of vitamin C, as well as omega 3 fatty acids, protein and minerals.

Vegetable Juices. These can be found in many airport cafes and provide a refreshing, uplifting start to your trip.

Spirullina is an fresh water alge that is packed with calcium and protein. It has a high chlorophyll content which helps oxygenate the body and is especially beneficial after spending hours in airplane cabins. The flavor can be strong so you can add it to a refreshing vegetable juice such as carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, and lemon with a dash of cinnamon. Great for jet lag recovery.

Enjoy a bowl of steaming hot Oat Porridge with berries, chia and flax seeds. Oats actually help the body produce melatonin more naturally. They are also full of vitamins and minerals that nourish the nervous system and make you more relaxed. Oats contain amino acids, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium and complex carbs that will provide an energising first meal at your destination and assist in regulating sleep patterns. Berries pack a punch of vitamin C and the seeds provide extra omega 3 and protein.

Make sure to increase your consumption of lightly cooked dark leafy green vegetables. Greens and broccoli are another great source of vitamin C and full of B vitamins which are energizing for the body. They keep you feeling refreshed and hydrated. Add a squeeze of lemon to nourish the liver and increase the C. You can even take a container of lightly steamed greens to enjoy while flying. Otherwise enjoy plenty in the days before and after flying.

Add Sauerkraut into your diet both before and after flying. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps relieve stress-related conditions such as jet lag and free radical damage. When you ferment cabbage into sauerkraut, its vitamin C and antioxidant levels skyrocket.  Enjoy a tablespoon a day.

Kukicha tea is a marvelous travel companion.  It is also known as twig or peasant tea and comes from the twigs, stems and stalks of the tea bush. It contains almost zero caffeine and is rich in vitamin C, calcium and antioxidants. Can be enjoyed alone or for an extra Vitamin C boost add a dash of lemon and a spoonful of rice syrup. The tea bags can be carried and enjoyed while flying.

Other suggestions

Body Rub – a brisk body rub with a hot damp towel or mitt helps boost metabolism, and energize the system

Reflexology – flying is ungrounding so a good foot massage can help you feel like you have arrived

Walking in nature – the negative ions in nature help us to feel more relaxed yet energized. The ultimate way to feel better. If you are in a city, a walk in the park is a great way to align with your new surroundings.

Epsom salt bath – helps to sooth achy joints and muscles, de-stress and re-energize. The magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin. Great for a better nights sleep and jet lag.

Happy Travels  - Love Chef Mel xx

Monday, April 2, 2018

Healing with Nature - Let's smell the Flowers

The Power of Smell

Since ancient times, people have used the fragrance of plants, trees, herbs and fruits as a source of healing. The perfume of nature acts like a drug for the brain.

Our sense of smell is one of the most primitive senses. This ability to smell helps us to enjoy thousands of different flavors which we could not experience with taste alone. At least 70 percent of what we think of as taste comes from what we smell and this helps us to really enjoy our food. 
Our sense of smell also connects us to memories, emotions and instincts. Smells stimulate nerves in the nose that send impulses to the brain’s limbic system which controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance.
This is why when we smell something past experiences often come to mind. The aroma of cooking apples can bring back memories of childhood and Mums apple pie or orange blossom may evoke times spent on holiday in the Mediterranean. These smells are very healing because we associate them with happy memories.

When we smell something, we are actually absorbing some of its molecules

Here are some of the wonderful fragrances of nature that help to keep us feeling alive and nourished.

Lavender -  delightfully calming, soothing and helps with insomnia. It is also good for anxiety, fatigue and depression.

Lemon - The astringent, invigorating scent of lemons is helpful for boosting energy levels, and increasing focus and alertness. 

Green Apples – Next time you cut into a green apple, take time to relish the crisp fragrance. It can ease  migraine symptoms, reduce stress and anxiety, and lower blood pressure. The refreshing smell also clears the mind and helps with weight control by curbing appetite.

Fresh Vanilla – elevates feelings of joy and happiness and relaxation. It can also be an aphrodisiac and increase the secretion of estrogen and testosterone.

Fresh mown grass/hay – the delicious scent of freshly cut grass keeps you mentally alert and increases feelings of joy and relaxation.

Jasmine - this beautiful light and cooling perfume increases alertness and helps to elevate mood. It can relieve depressive thoughts and increase energy levels.  

Rosemary -There's rosemary that's for remembrance: pray, love, remember.¨ - William Shakespeare. This fragrant herb has long been associated with improving memory. It also helps with migraines, relaxation, and enhances mood.

Peppermint - wonderful for motivation, greater cognitive stamina, and overall concentration. It has a delightful cooling and yet stimulating scent.

Orange - has a relaxing yet invigorating effect and can lower anxiety, and generally help you to feel more positive and calm. 

* Violent criminals in Rotterdam in the Netherlands became less aggressive and had fewer fights when exposed to the scent of oranges, according to a 2008 study.
During the four-week experiment inmates were calmer and needed fewer sedatives when orange smells were circulated through prison cell air vents.

Pine - reduces anxiety and achieves a greater sense of relaxation. Walking in pine forests can significantly lower depression and stress levels.

Cinnamon – There is nothing like the smell of cinnamon to create a warm, cozy, and relaxing feeling in a home. It also boosts brain power, and improves attention span and memory. 

Cucumber – has been known to help with claustrophobia and can change our perception of space.

Olive oil - can reduce food cravings and lower the amount of calories consumed. The smell of olive oil can leave you feeling more satisfied after a meal.

Roses - help to lift the mood, and soothe anxiety and depression symptoms. This beautiful fragrance can balance hormones, lower blood pressure, relieve headaches, The scent of roses creates a sense of happiness and harmony and is also closely tied with aphrodisiac effects. It helps to promote a more restful sleep and uplifting dreams when enjoyed before bedtime.

The Sea -The faint smell of salt in the air can take us to a place of pure joy. Sea air has a certain aliveness that is not found anywhere else. Slowly breathing in this stimulating scent can help release stress and tension 

Soil -  that earthy, musky smell of damp earth helps us to feel alive, grounded, and soothes away worries. The main causes of this distinctive smell is a blend of oils secreted by plants during dry periods. When the rain comes, compounds from the oils are mixed and released into the air. These airborne oils combine with other compounds to produce that marvelous peaty smell that is strongest after the first rainfall. 

Creating happy memories around various aromas.

A process known as neuroassociative conditioning enables you to consciously link a healing response to a specific smell. 
Choose your favorite natural frgrance. Inhale it whenever you are feeling happy, calm or relaxed. As you do this, your body will begin to associate these delightful feelings with the aroma. In no time at all, just a hint of the fragrance will invoke the same sensations and an inner healing response.