Healthy Habit #60: Discover Sacha Inchi.


Sacha Inchi has been an integral part of life for the inhabitants of the Amazon Rainforest for more than 3000 years. It's harvested as a hardy seed and is traditionally roasted and snacked on, hence the nickname 'The Inca Peanut'. Now, before I outline its impressive nutritional profile, notice it's beautiful shape. 

Nature works in mysterious ways, one of Sacha Inchi's primary benefits is lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart. This is due to a 50% fat content of Omega 3s. In fact, this is one of the best discovered plant sources for a balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content. That makes it perfect for vegans like me, who will also benefit from it's high protein value. 

In addition, few plant based foods come close to its vitamin E, vitamin A and fiber levels. This demonstrates a powerful anti-inflammatory effect in the body which fights disease, aging, environmental damage and inflammation. It particularly benefits the brain; these fatty acids not only protect our most prized organ, but also helps it function and can be attributed to lowering fatigue, pain, memory loss and depression. The anti-inflammatory effect can help ease joint pain, arthritis and rheumatism, although the research is relatively new.

To add to it's impressive profile, the seeds, which are very easily digested, improve circulation, vision, blood sugar levels and bone health. High in the amino acid, tryptophan, Sacha Inchi can improve Serotonin levels, which is more commonly known as the 'happy hormone'. Serotonin is known to suppress appetite and aid weight loss.

Ok, Now that you're all excited to have discovered this highly nutritious food, let me just add that it also tastes delicious! You can consume the nuts (a crisp nutty flavour), the oil (similar to olive oil, but lighter) or simply get your hands on the Raw Green Organics Superfood powder. They implement the highest standards which ensures you haven't lost any nutritional benefits in the process. Have it on cereal, in smoothies or stirred into your favorite milk/juice! 

Head to Raw Green Organics now for a wide range of delicious and nutritious smoothies, vegan proteins and other superfoods. I really love this company!


Healthier Habit #59: Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter.


Maybe you've tried almond milk as an alternative to dairy milk because of the difference it makes to the environment, to your body and of course to the cow. Have you tried almond butter yet though? Apparently peanut butter is on the shelves of 90% of American homes. (P&J everyday) But with almond products becoming more popular, almond butter is much more widely available. From a calorie point of view, the two nut butters are pretty much identical with just under 200 calories per 2 Tablespoon serving. Protein? the same too, around 7g. Both also have beneficial monounsaturated fats. However, when it comes to essential minerals, almond butter has more calcium, more iron, more zinc and more potassium. Almond butter also has four times more Vitamin E which readily boosts antioxidants within the body to fight free radicals (Vitamin E is not available in that many foods). So it's a close one today, but you guessed it...

Almond Butter


Healthy Habit #58: Next Day Muscle Soreness - Workout? vs Take The Day Off?


Blasted through your training maximum and now suffering next day muscle stiffness (aka can't walk)? This is due to a buildup of Lactic acid as your muscles try to adapt to an increase in workload. In essence, this is a good thing, but to recover as soon as possible (so that you can walk again) don't take the day off. I'm not saying you should do CrossFit though. Instead, low-intensity cardio and yoga are excellent ways to boost blood flow. This will send fresh, nutrient-rich oxygen to rejuvenate your muscles and encourage healing. Stretching after your gentle workout will also help soothe the pain and get you back on your feet. And The Oscar goes to...

Gentle Workout.


Healthy Habit #57: Cheat Day vs Chocolate Errday

Cheat day.jpg

So, you've worked super hard to take the steps to eating healthier, but the real work starts when you run into social occasions or those moments of stress your brain translates into intense hunger pangs. Temptations have you reaching for the good stuff to save your sanity. Dietitians generally recommend the 80/20 rule of eating 80% healthily and 20% not. But research shows that having it all on one day can easily rack up over 2000 calories. If you enjoy something small and delicious (around 150 calories) every single day, you're less likely to feel deprived. Plus, you'll be able to sustain the 80/20 rule without the bloating, without overloading your GI tract and more importantly, without feeling guilty.

Chocolate Errday, Thank you. 


Healthy Habit #56: Early Workout vs Extra Sleep.


If you're diligently planning an early workout, even though it's now 1am, you're probably doing yourself more of a disservice than you think. Research shows that less than seven hours of sleep a day can make you unfocused, irritable and forgetful, which can affect your performance as well as the people around you (ie make you volatile). One late night and one missed workout is not going to make a huge difference to your overall progress. So you have official permission to hit snooze and get adequate sleep. Just try to keep active during the day. 

Extra Sleep.


Healthy Habit #55 Kale vs Spinach


Luckily, there's only good news with this pair. Both Kale and Spinach are bursting with Vitamin A, K and C as well as antioxidants. Spinach packs more fiber per gram, but Kale holds more calcium. Spinach over takes Kale in Iron and Protein (very important for vegans like me) and will keep you fuller for longer, but Kale is generally cheaper! It's a close game, both should be on every dinner table, but if there has to be a winner, this weeks is...



Healthy Habit #54: Spicy ways to get happier, healthier and smarter.


Different cultures have been enjoying spices for centuries. Aside from the flavour dimension they add to food, they have long been praised for a multitude of health benefits. Use them all as much as possible (go wipe off the dust they've collected at the back of the Christmas draw) and know exactly what to use when.

For Muscle Soreness: Ginger
Ginger has many health benefits including pain relief and eased digestion, but it's especially beneficial after a workout. It contains gingerol which targets inflamed muscle to reduce the day-after-pain. Blend it with your post-workout smoothie.

Soothe your Belly: Clove
Eugenol, a compound found in cloves, helps soothe digestion. Add a pinch to your post-dinner tea or in applesauce.

For Happiness: Turmeric
A famous spice for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The latest research shows it also fights depression. Good stirred in Rice, Couscous or Turmeric Lattes.

 Lose Weight: Red Pepper
Burn fat as well as your tongue. Capsaicin, the compound found in chilies is responsible for giving your metabolism a major boost. Add to Avo Toast or pasta.

 Stay Sharp: Cumin
The latest research shows Cumin's effect on our brain. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties can improve memory and lower stress. Perfect with hummus and toasted seeds.

 Curb Appetite: Fenugreek
With each teaspoon of the stuff you'll find a gram of fiber, important for healthy digestion and feeling satiated. Sprinkle on veg before roasting.

 Strengthen Bones: Cinnamon
Cinnamon is such an underrated spice, amongst other benefits it stabilises blood sugar and has high levels of manganese, essential to maintain bone density at all ages. Delicious in the morning on your latte and sprinkled in your oats.