Brain balls

I made these on the weekend – they are ‘amaze-balls’

With Dr Libby Weaver – Source

Brain Balls

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Ingredients
2 cups walnuts, halves and pieces
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup coconut, shredded
2/3 cup cocoa powder
8 fresh dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of water
Pinch of salt
1 to 3 drops peppermint oil, optional

Method
Combine the walnuts, sunflower seeds, dates  and coconut in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 30 to grind the ingredients..
Add the cocoa powder, salt, water and the peppermint oil to the bowl and process until the mixture forms a paste.
Form the paste into medium sized balls by rolling a portion of the paste between your palms. Place the finished balls on a tray lined with waxed paper and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Dr. Libby’s nutritional information:
This chewy, nutty treat is an excellent source of the monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids that have the anti-inflammatory properties so necessary for healthy hearts and brain functions.  Keep these easy to make snacks on hand for the perfect after school snack for a burst of energy or as a source of vitamin E and zinc, beneficial for skin and the immune system.

Size doesn’t matter … for Ecostore

The well-known brand Ecostore has won against other big brands in a consumer survey run by Colmar Brunton – Marketing Research agency based in Wellington.  According to the news, seven other laundry detergent brands were surveyed and Ecostore came out on top against giants: Persil, Fab and Reflect.

Managing Director and Founder of Ecostore, Malcolm Rands said he was pleased to see consumers are now basing their purchasing on value and quality rather than just price. People were moving towards brands that promote sustainability and are considered good for the environment, he says.

“People are becoming more aware of not only what’s good for the environment but what’s good for them and their family. “Health is a hot topic and we’re finding people want to know not only what they are putting down their drains but importantly what they and their family are putting on their skin.”

Ecostore not only produce laundry detergent they also sell body care, hair care, skin care, dish care, home care and baby care.  Check out their website for the entire range of eco products.

Did You Know? Our laundry boxes are made of 95% recycled materials and our auto dish tablet box is made from 85% recycled materials. Recycled cardboard is less strong than virgin cardboard so a small amount of virgin material is still required for strength and stability.

Their packaging is made up of a high quantity of recycled materials, and in 2012 they will be using up to 80% of post consumer recycles plastic (from roadside collections) in their bottles.  I love knowing the eco products I buy are actually made in a sustainable way as well, every bit helps the environment.

If that wasn’t enough to persuade you to buy Ecostore products, founder and Managing Director set up a non-profit charity in 1993: called the Fairground Foundation that focuses on creating a healthier, more sustainable world through courageous leadership and ‘on-the-ground’ action. Its purpose is to create projects that make a difference in people’s lives and to the communities they live in, particularly in the areas of health, culture and sustainability.

Psychology for a Better World

I came across this new book published by Niki Harre, a Auckland University Psychology lecturer, late last year.

Here is an excerpt: “I wrote this book for people (like me!) who believe it is worth trying to make a better world in which both our species and the ecological systems we are part of can flourish. We may think the problems humans face are a simple truth and that it is blatantly obvious business as usual won’t work for much longer. But in any human system, it is not just about who is right, it is also about who can win people over. This book contains numerous strategies for inspiring others to join with those of us who are trying to make a difference”.

You can download a free copy here or order a hard copy for $15

What does the book cover?

Positive emotions and flow: Encouraging creativity and commitment
Copying: The power of doing and telling
Identity: The role of who we are and where we belong
Morality and cooperation: Making the most of our desire to be good
A self-help guide for sustainability advocates

I’ve just started reading it so will write a review once I have finished reading it.

Happy reading!

Superfoods

Do you want to supercharge your life? Enrich your diet? Live a long, happy and healthy life? I certainly do!

You’ll find a summary of some superfoods I cannot live without below:

Tomatoes
Rich in lycopene – which gives tomatoes their rich red colour, its also a strong antioxidant that helps fight off infections and even cancer (from recent research).    Lycopene has also been reported to protect white bloods cells, your body’s first line of defense against infection.  They not only taste great but are good for you to! 

Kale
Looks similar to spinach,  is a dark green leafy vegetable.  It has a alkalizing affect on your body as well.  High in vitamin A, C, magnesium, B6, calcium, copper and potassium.  This green vegetable is certainly worthy of super-food status.

Salmon
High in protein, iodine, minerals and zinc.  Fish, especially salmon, is high in omega 3  – the ultimate anti-aging fatty acid.  Omega 3 is great for hair, skin and nails too. 

Eggs
This superfood is full of protein, vitamins, minerals and should be part of any healthy lifestyle.   One serving of eggs provides you with every vitamin except for vitamin C – truly worthy of superfood status.

Spinach 
An average serve of spinach provides 5 mg of vitamin C, which is an eighth of the recommended daily intake. It is packed full of antioxidants which help fight free radicals and infections.

Dry body brushing

Skin is the largest elimination organ in/on our bodies, and plays a key part in detoxification.  It makes up about 15% of our bodies & helps control our body temperature.  Skin has several layers to it, people generally only worry about the top (epidermis) layer but there is also the dermis and subcutaneous layer which are just as important. 

Dry brushing is generally used in health spas (expensive ones may I add) and holistic massage and body therapy places.   It is done BEFORE you shower in the morning – hence the name dry brushing :)!

What will I need to dry body brush?

You will need a long handle brush (soft or hard you choose) here is the one I use  and a pottle of body scrub, here is my favourite one from Lemongrass House which sells all natural products. 

How to dry brush…

  1. Give yourself 10 – 15 minutes YOU time before your day starts
  2. Always brush TOWARDS your heart as you want to assist the natural flow of lymph through the body. Work from feet to thighs, hands to shoulders, and neck to chest.
  3. All of your movements need to be long and sweeping motions.  Repeat each stroke 3 – 5 times over the same area to increase the flow of lymph.
  4. Circular motions can be made over areas where lymph nodes are located ie: behind the knees, groin, and underarms. 

Here is a picture to show the directions to dry brush towards. 

Enjoy!

Supercharged foods

New recipe book by Lee Holmes

Lee is on a mission to try to change our eating habits and supercharge our lives – one meal at a time!

Supercharged Food is full of over 90 flavoursome meals to cleanse the immune system and maintain long-term wellbeing. All of the recipes are all gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free for a better eating plan.

Sarah Wilson, a writer, tv presenter and foodie who wrote I quit Sugar e-book swears by this book because it was designed for people with food intolerances and auto immune disease sufferers like herself.

Here is one of 90 recipes – it looks so delicious and making cauliflower mash – easy way to trick kids into eating vegetables – Genius! Mums will love this.

Check out her website http://www.superchargedfood.com  for recipes, plan weekly meals, creative cooking ideas and lots more.  There’s also information about detoxing, and other superfoods.

Bon appetit

The ‘real’ star fruit…

Pomegranates have had many uses since the ancient Greeks discovered them. The pomegranate has been a celebrity among fruits.

Ancient Egyptians included pomegranates in their tombs to ensure a safe passage to the next world. The Chinese gave wedding gifts with images of pomegranates to promote fertility, and Italian artist Sandro Botticelli made the fruit famous in his work, Madonna of the Pomegranate.

Today, pomegranates are celebrated for their health benefits – much like my previous post on Chia seeds, pomegranates are very high in antioxidants which help fuel your body!

Here is a delicious recipe from The Marlborough Express

Pomegranate Tiramisu 

The tang of the fruit balances the richness of the mascarpone and cream.

250g mascarpone
3 Tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla paste
¾ cup cream
200g sponge cake or lady fingers
1 cup pomegranate juice or cranberry and pomegranate drink
½ cup pomegranate seeds

Whisk the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla paste. Whip the cream until thick. Fold into the mascarpone mixture. Chill.

Cut the sponge into thick fingers. Dip quickly into the pomegranate juice or drink.

Place in a serving bowl or individual bowls.

Top with a little of the mascarpone. Add more sponge and more mascarpone. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serve topped with the pomegranate seeds. Serves six to eight.

You can make so many things out of this superfood – cakes, scones, salads, dressings, smoothies, main course and much more.

Bon appetit 

The Aztec Superfood …

Chia – Salvia hispanica – originally from the Central Mexican Valleys and Guatemala formed part of the staple diet of the Aztecs

What are Chia Seeds?
The ‘black’ variety of Chia naturally contains a combination of black, and white seeds. The ‘white’ Chia variety was formed by specially selecting white seeds from the black variety. The Chia Company grows dedicated paddocks of black and white seed.

Aside from the obvious colour difference, the seed itself is virtually the same in all of its properties – size, taste and smell, with the exception of a few minor seasonal nutritional differences, check out The Chia Co website here

While many of Chia’s health benefits are still being discovered we do know that it has some very unique properties:
 
4x more antioxidants than blueberry
5x more calcium than milk
3x more iron than spinach
15x more magnesium than broccoli
Loads of vitamins & minerals
20% high quality protein
18 amino acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6

This certaintly does sound like a superfood. The best thing of all, it has a nutty taste to it so it can be used in baking, cooking, added to smoothies and sprinkled on your morning cereal – an easy way to add powerful antioxidants and fibre to your meals!

It has so many benefits – check them out here
It can help weight loss, a source of high quality protein, energizing, high source of antioxidants, more iron than spinach and lots more.

Check out this website for some easy recipes and watch the video below on how to cook with Chia seeds

Dr Joanna McMillan:

Happy Eating xx

Mt Maunganui Oil Spill

The 47,000 tonne cargo ship became stuck on the Astrolobe Reef off Tauranga last Wednesday.

Fresh oil has been seen this morning leaking from the ship, heading in a south-westerly direction, and overnight the ship partially righted itself, and is now only listing by between 3 and 6 degrees, MNZ said.

This is so disturbing to see on my home town’s beach 😦

Lumps on thick tar like oil washed up on the beautiful beach

Lumps of it on the beach

Volunteers helping to clean up the beach – bless!

Rings of oil washed up with the incoming tide onto the beach

😦 What a sad day for Mt Maunganui and all the sea life! 😦

It’s as simple as A, B and C

Vitamin A, B and C – commonly known as consumables you place in your supermarket trolley along with bread, milk and canned tuna – if your anything like me, especially the latter during the winter months.  All this time I have been mistaken, believing vitamin A B and C can only be consumed orally – in liquid or tablet form (my much preferred option).

Here is a quick reminder of the benefits of vitamin A B and C.  Of course, I must mention if you can consume them naturally through a diet rich in vitamin A B and C it is much more beneficial for your body.

But ….. If you’re not perfect like me and don’t stick to a strict diet regime then add them to your diet – no harm caused.

Vit A – good for your eye sight especially at night time

Vit B – supports and increase the rate of metabolism, helps us maintain healthier skin, hair and muscle tone, promotes cell growth and enhances our immune and nervous systems to name a few.

Vit C – is an antioxidant, forms a protein used to make skin, tendons, heal wounds and repairs and maintains cartilages, bones and teeth to name a few.

A, B and C skin care range

I recently attended a MiNDFOOD event held at Prescription Skincare in Remuera, an evening themed around halting the ageing process.  I was the youngest person at this event (25 years of age) but it was a very educational evening.

The evening started with canapés and wine on arrival, before a presentation on ‘the ageing process’.  I must say, the presentation was very informative but a little shocking; flicking through before and after images of people who have not taken good care of their skin who are now regretting it …their credit cards must be too!

An appropriate wakeup call for the majority of the middle aged audience (and me) was timely, especially with warmer spring and summer months fast approaching.   No matter what the weather, always remember to wear sunscreen under your make-up Prescription Skincare reiterated.

In summary – the best advice from the night:

Start caring for your skin now and you will thank yourself in years to come.


Always wear sunscreen – this is the easiest way to prevent premature ageing/sun spots.

Be kind to your skin and treat it to vitamin A B and/or C skincare regime

Start using mineral make-up it is much kinder to your skin Jane Iredale

Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins, drink plenty of water (restrict alcohol which ages your skin)

I went away from the evening more educated on cosmetic surgery options (and how much I want to avoid this at all cost), vitamin rich A,B and C skin care and mineral makeup (more natural) options too.   All the attendees received a fabulous goodie bag worth $400 containing Results Rx and Restylane skincare products, treatment vouchers and the latest issue of MiNDFOOD.

Check out this website for more information on vitamin A, B and C skincare.