Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let's talk breakfast

In our next three blogs, we take a look at the dilemma that is meal preparation. It’s all very well deciding to eat healthily but when it comes to actually planning and making the food that we eat, it’s another matter. Healthy snacks aside, it’s the three biggies we’re interested in: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Let’s talk breakfast first of all. Breakfast is the meal that quite literally breaks our fast – when we wake, it is usually a good 10 hours since our last meal and our bodies are craving quality nourishment to get them going. Breakfast is also the meal that sets the tone for our subsequent food choices. If you start the day eating rubbish, you’ll probably continue in that vein!

Here are some super healthy and delightfully easy breakfast ideas:
  • Bio yoghurt (cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s) with a sprinkle of organic untoasted muesli (check the label to make sure there is no added sugar; the dried fruit will be sweet enough), a handful of mixed berries and a heaped tablespoon of LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond mix), chia or my personal favourite – Udo’s Choice Wholesome Fast Food (a pleasant-tasting powder full of super nutrients). Et voilĂ !
  • Two slices of low-gluten bread (spelt, linseed etc) with whole butter and ABC (almond, brazil nut and cashew) spread. Add manuka honey (unlike normal honey it does not feed bad bacteria) if you like it sweet, or rock salt for those who prefer savoury.
  • If you feel like something lighter, try a supercharged smoothie. We have some great recipes for you in our DIY Detox post.
  • If you’re feeling hungrier than usual, you can always go for poached eggs on two slices of low-gluten bread with wilted spinach and a small can of salmon slices. It has taken a while but I have finally discovered a delicious brand of tinned salmon – John West, in springwater or olive oil, not brine.
Enjoy and stay tuned for our lunch tips!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

10 reasons to drink green tea

Just a quick dose for you today. We recommend that cleansers drink green tea during the cleanse as it’s known for its detoxifying properties. Here are some additional reasons to add a cup (or three) to your daily routine.

1. Much healthier source of caffeine than coffee
2. High in antioxidants
3. Aids in weight loss
4. Combats fluid retention
5. Protects against heart diseases
6. Increases exercise endurance
7. Antimicrobial
8. Supports a healthy liver
9. Reduces inflammation in the intestinal tract
10. Promotes longevity

Wow. It almost sounds like that’s all you need to do. Not quite, but a very good start to a healthier and longer life.

If you find the flavour of green tea on its own not to your taste, you might like to try flavoured green teas. Some of our favourites include T2 Gorgeous Geisha, T2 Green Rose, and Lipton Mint Green Tea.


How do you like your green tea?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beat the bloat

It’s ‘beat the bloat’ week here at Urban Remedy – yes, a whole week dedicated to the dreaded bloat! We think it deserves it… after all, bloating leaves you feeling and looking significantly heavier than you are, and for a lot of people makes that ‘skinny jeans day’ seem almost unattainable.

Let’s shed some light, first of all, on what it means when we say we feel bloated. Essentially (if there is no underlying medical condition), bloating is caused by one of two things: trapped air (aka ‘gas’) in your digestive tract (common) or fluid retention (less likely and more frequently encountered in women around their time of the month).

Bloating due to excess air is often caused by bad bacteria producing gas as they ferment (ew!) and feed off sugar inside of you. We all have these nasty creatures in our gut; the challenge lies in maintaining the correct balance of good and bad bacteria, thus avoiding bacterial overgrowth – medically known as dysbiosis or candida (for overgrowth of the bacteria candida albicans). It is worth noting that food intolerances (wheat, dairy etc) can also cause excess gas in the digestive tract.

Most of us are victims of bloating caused by excess air – for some it’s a case of jeans feeling a wee bit tighter than usual; for others bloating can be so extreme that it makes the simplest activities seem unbearable. Whichever end of the scale you’re at, I’m guessing you’d be happy to say goodbye to the bloat once and for all.

Now it may not be possible to banish bloating forever but there are certain things you can do to help reduce its frequency and intensity.

10 golden ‘beat the bloat’ rules:

1. Chew your food properly to activate digestive enzymes
2. Eat your meals in a relaxed setting, preferably at a table
3. Minimize your water intake with meals (1/2 glass max) to avoid diluting your digestive juices
4. Drink filtered water as tap water kills off good bacteria
5. Boost your good bacteria with probiotics (in natural yoghurt or in supplement form for more severe bloating)
6. Avoid foods such as: lentils, beans, cruciferous veggies (cabbage, cauliflower etc), onions (red are OK for some people) and garlic
7. Minimize your intake of yeast (pizza, bread, pastries, yeast added to condiments and sauces, wine, beer) and malted foods (soy sauce, malt added to drinks such as soy milk)
8. Cut back on wheat and replace with other grains such as rye, spelt, quinoa, millet, amaranth…
9. Avoid artificial sweeteners (sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame etc) and sugar
10. Say no to chewing gum; when you chew gum, you swallow air!