Category Archives: Nutrition

DIY Juice Cleanse | Recipe #2: (Not a) Pina Colada Pineapple Detox Juice

August 2, 2014

DIY-juice-cleanse-pinapple

The second juice of the day is a little sweeter than the Glow Getter Green Juice, and it has a bit of a tropical twist. I might be biased, but I think it gives pina coladas a run for their money…

Here’s what’s in it and why it’s good for you:

  • Pineapples contain a digestive enzyme called Bromelain, which has a number of beneficial functions. It aids the digestive system by breaking down protein, while also cleansing the body of toxins – great for detoxification. In addition, Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory. Pineapples are rich in Vitamin A and C, as well as calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which does loads of awesome stuff for your body: boosts your immune system, helps to synthesize connective tissue, etc. Pineapples also deliver high levels of manganese, which helps your body build bones and connective tissues.
  • Peaches contain high levels of Vitamin C, as well as flavonoid polyphenolic compounds, including lutein, zeaxanthin and B-cryptoxanthin. Along with the Vitamin C, these antioxidants protect against damage from free radicals. Peaches can also help lower cholesterol.
  • Apples are another great source of Vitamin C. They also contain ellagic acid, a liver stimulant, which can help with detoxification.
  • Ginger is a digestive aid, which can sooth an upset stomach. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can reduce the redness produced by skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne. It also boosts the immune system.

DIY-juice-cleanse-pinapple

Ingredients

  • One third of a large pineapple (about 400g)
  • 2 apples
  • 2 peaches
  • A thumb sized piece of root ginger

Prep

  1. Remove the outside of the pineapple and chop it into pieces small enough to fit into the shoot of your juicer
  2. Halve the apples and peaches, remove the stones on the peaches
  3. Skin the ginger
  4. Juice it all up!
  5. This should make about 400ml of juice.

If you are completing the juice cleanse, follow this with another Glow Getter Green Juice, and then Beet It! Beetroot Detox Juice – recipe coming up tomorrow!!

xx

Next Up: Juice Cleanse Recipe #2: Beetroot & Carrot Juice

DIY Juice Cleanse | Recipe #1: Glow Getter Green Detox Juice

DIY-juice-cleanse-green.

This green juice makes up the majority of my juice cleanse. Actually, you could do a cleanse drinking just variations if this one if you wanted to. It’s made up mainly of vegetables rather than fruit, so it’s packed with loads of micronutrients without too much sugar. It tastes delicious too!

Here’s whats in it and why it’s good for you:

  • Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables you can find. It contains loads of Vitamins A, C and K, which are cancer-fighting antioxidants, as well as Vitamins B and E.  Kale also contains high levels of manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, folate, phosphorus AND protein.  And it has inflammation- and cholesterol-lowering properties. The antioxidants in kale, and the other ingredients below, fight against free radicals, which cause damage to the skin and the rest of the body.
  • Spinach is a very rich source of Vitamin A. It also contains lots of minerals, including: magnesium, selenium, zinc, chlorophyll and manganese, as well as Vitamins C and E.  Like kale, spinach contains protein and iron, making it a quality source of overall nutrition. This superfood fights ageing, cancer and promotes a healthy heart.
  • Romaine Lettuce is packed with powerful antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, as well as folate and calcium. it is also a great source of Vitamin K and chlorophyll.
  • Celery is a rich source of minerals, including potassium, sodium and magnesium. These minerals help to keep the body hydrated, which is crucial for a glowing complexion. It is also a source of Vitamin B6, which is involved in regulating the balance of sodium and potassium. This makes celery excellent for managing fluid accumulation in tissues, and helping the body release excess water – this helps reduce puffiness caused by fluid retention. It is also a mild diuretic, which means it makes the kidneys work harder, making it great for detoxification and elimination of waste.
  • Cucumbers are very rich in one of the most important minerals for skin health: Silica. Silica is vital for the production of collagen, which is the main protein in the skin. Silica also helps in the maintenance of the collagen’s flexibility, making the skin less likely to get wrinkles and lose its elasticity. Cucumber also provides Vitamin A-D, magnesium and potassium. Like celery, cucumber flushes excess water from the cells while hydrating the skin.
  • Apples are high in Vitamin C, making them a sweet source of this antioxidant. Apples also contain a powerful chemical called ellagic acid, which is thought to be a liver stimulant, which helps with the detox process.
  • Pears are an excellent source of Vitamin B2, C and E. They also contain copper and potassium and pectin, which lowers cholesterol levels and tones the intestines.

Ingredients

  • Two large handfuls of kale
  • Two large handfuls of spinach
  • A romaine lettuce
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • Half a cucumber
  • 3 apples or pears, or a combination of both (I like using one Granny Smith, one slightly sweeter apple like a Golden Delicious and one pear, but any combination tastes good!)

Prep

  1. Rinse all the ingredients
  2. Chop the cucumber into large chunks and halve the apples, removing the stalks
  3. Put some of the cucumber in the juicer and pack in the kale, spinach and romaine lettuce, then top with some apple.
  4. Juice everything else in whatever order you like!

You want to make about one litre of juice, which you can divide up and drink throughout the day, so add more if you need to. Try to reduce the amount of apples and pears, however, as these contain the most sugar.

DIY-juice-cleanse-green-juice-variations

Variations

  1. If you’re feeling hungry and you want something a bit more substantial and smoothie-like, put your juice in a blender with 1/2 an avocado (chopped) and whizz them together until smooth. Try to only do this once a day though…
  2. For a couple of flavour variations, you can add half a lemon or a thumb sized piece of ginger (or both at once). Just peel them and add to the juicer with everything else (if your lemon is unwaxed, you don’t even have to peel it, but it’s up to you).

These ingredients have their own nutritional benefits…

  • Avocados are super nutritious. They are rich in fatty acids that plump up and smooth out the skin. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin E, which boosts skins vitality and luminosity. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkle.  It has a particular affinity for free radicals derived from damaged fats. Avocado is also loaded with B complex vitamins, which help calm and soothe irritated red skin.
  • Lemon stimulates digestion and increases your body’s alkalinity.  It also boosts your immune system with Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin and calcium. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which help protect against the damaging effects of free radicals.
  • Ginger supports digestion and soothes an upset stomach, as well as boosting immunity. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory compound. Many skin lesions (eczema and psoriasis, acne etc) involve an inflammatory response, which causes redness. Ginger can help reduce this inflammation.

Enjoy!
xx

Next Up: Juice Cleanse Recipe #2: Pineapple Juice

I’m Juicing! Juice Cleansing and Detoxing: the whys, the whats and the hows

August 1, 2014

I’m a little bit obsessed with the concept of detox (I say concept because theoretically giving up cheeseburgers and mars bar ice creams is a lot easier than actually giving them up…) But a few weeks ago, I finally decided pull my finger out and completed a three day DIY juice cleanse. That’s pretty hardcore as far as detoxification goes, so I thought I’d share my experiences, a bit of how-to, and with the recipes I used.

First of all, the why
There are loads of reasons to detox. I did it because, as a bit of a beauty fanatic, I believe that what you put into your body is as important as what you put on it. Besides the obvious aesthetic benefits, a clear, glowing complexion is an excellent sign that everything is working well on the inside. Plus, I think detoxing is a good way to kickstart a generally healthier lifestyle. It makes you more conscious of what you are eating and motivates you to continue to make healthier choices. In case you need convincing, here are lots of other benefits to detoxing and juicing:

  • Eliminates toxins and fills your body with nutrients
  • Gives your digestive system a rest
  • As well as your skin, it improves the condition of your hair and nails
  • Increases energy levels
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Alleviates bloating and other digestive complaints
  • Improves sleep
  • Makes your body more alkaline (viruses and bacteria thrive in an acidic environment)
  • Boosts your metabolism and facilitates weight loss, if you are trying to shift a few pounds

Next, the what
The main idea of a detox to give your liver and digestive system a break, allowing them to work at flushing out all the toxins in your body, e.g. free radicals, debris that’s festering in your digestive system etc. Doing anything that helps your liver to work at optimum capacity, or that helps your body flush out toxins, counts as detox in my book. At the simplest level, my favourite tip of lemon and hot water before breakfast, is a mini detox you can do everyday.

However, to complete a proper detox, you want to cut out processed and white foods (basically anything in this post), as well as all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs etc. The less work your digestive system needs to do the course of the detox, the better. Juice cleanses are particularly effective because they provide you with a ton of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and fruits, without any of the fibre, so your body can absorb all those nutrients really easily.

Finally, the hows
I went DIY with my juice cleanse, but there are tons of “detox delivered” services, that provide you with three days+ worth of juices delivered to your door. Great, if you don’t want to bother with the rigmarole of juicing yourself. But obviously these don’t come cheap.

Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing my detox recipes, and then a kind of step-by-step guide slash blow-by-blow account of the event.

Next Up: Juice Cleanse Recipe #1: Green Juice

Disclaimer/Warning: I’m not an expert on detox. My juice cleanse is based on various recipes/juice combinations I’ve seen in books and online. Also, you shouldn’t undertake a cleanse if you are under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before you start.

Yummy Veggie Subs for Refined White Foods

July 15, 2014

healthy-alternatives-for-refined-white-carbs

A while back ago I posted about foods that can have a negative effect on your skin (and general) health. The list included white flour-based foods, including pasta, white potatoes and bread. Since then, I’ve discovered lots of innovative alternatives to these simple carbs. Being a meat eater, one of my biggest challenges is making sure I get the right meat/vegetable/starch ratio in my meals. The substitutes listed below not only help you to cut down on simple carbs, but also to get more vegetables and nutrients into your diet.

1. SWAP: Spaghetti or Noodles for Zucchini/Courgette (Zoodles!)
photo: Love & Lemons
Zucchini/courgettes can be a great substitute for spaghetti or noodles. This is ideal, because it’s an easy way to get a massive serving of veggies. You can make zoodles with a spiraliser or a julienne peeler, like this one. I found a great step by step guide to making zoodles, here. Here are twe of my favourite recipes two recipes: Zucchini Coconut Noodles and Spaghetti with Beef Sauce. And for a really quick dinner, these zoodles would be delicious tossed with garlic and chillies in olive oil.

2. SWAP: Rice for Cauliflower
photo: The Londoner
This is a completely new (and delicious) discovery for me. I’ve never been a big fan of cauliflower, but when I saw this recipe on The Londoner’s blog, I had to give it a try. It is so delicious – totally recommended as a healthy and filling dinner option. To make cauliflower rice, all you have to do is grate it. I used a very non-fancy hand grater with no difficulty, but if you have a food processor with grater attachment then the process will be even quicker. Everyday Maven also gives a great step by step for making (and storing) cauliflower rice, here. One tip I would add is to dry fry your “rice” first as it is quite moist when you first grate it. I grated it all up then fried it, stirring for a few minutes in a pan to evaporate some of the excess water.

3. SWAP: Fluffy White Potatoes for Waxy Varieties
photo: iVillage
White potatoes, in their roasted, chip, mashed or baked forms, have a high GI, which means they cause a glucose spike (bad for skin). The best way to eat white potatoes is to boil a waxy variety, like new potatoes. Waxy potatoes have a lower GI (it’s basically the fluffiness you want to watch out for). I love to serve skins-on boiled baby new potatoes tossed in a little olive oil and garlic with salmon fillets or lamb chops.

4. SWAP: White Potatoes for Sweet Potato
photo: BBC Good Food
These are great mashed or cut up and roasted. When I make mashed sweet potato, I like to add a little coconut oil and coconut milk instead of butter and cow’s milk. This recipe goes down very well at my house. You can even bake them like you would a normal baking potato (see this link for recipe ideas, but ignore the recipes using white potatoes). If you’re cooking a roast, you could roast a load of mixed vegetables, like sweet potatoes, carrots and onions, instead of your usual white roast pots.

5. SWAP: Mashed Potatoes for Cauliflower
photo: Wanna Bite
As well as being a great rice alternative cauliflower can also be a substitute for mashed potatoes. I haven’t tried this one yet, but after my success with the rice I’m definitely up for it! Get the recipe for the above photo, here.

BONUS… if you can find it! Spaghetti Squash
photo: The First Mess
I can’t find this one in the UK anywhere, which is SO annoying because I really want to try it! When cooked, the flesh of the spaghetti squash shreds into long strands that look like thin spaghetti or vermicelli noodles (hence the name). Here are some instructions on how to prepare it. It looks like spaghetti squash can be used as a direct replacement for pasta with any sauce. These two recipes look amazing: Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce. Let’s hope I get to try them sometime soon.

I’m getting very hungry writing this post! Have you tried any of these? And do you have any other great swaps that I’ve missed off my list?

xx

Disclaimer: These photos are not mine. Check out the links below each photo for the credit and recipe.

6 Foods (And Drinks) That Aren’t Friends With Your Skin…

December 12, 2013

White Foodsfoods that are bad for your skin -  white carbs
This includes white bread, pasta, cakes and anything else made with white flour. These foods have a high glycemic index, which basically means they cause a spike in blood sugar. Fluctuations in blood sugar lead to excess secretion of insulin and androgens, which causes over-production of sebum, enhanced cell division and aggregation of dead skin cells – all of these are big causes of acne. Whole grains, on the other hand, including wholewheat and oats, release their sugars slowly and are packed full of antioxidants.

Sugary treatsfoods that are bad for your skin - sugar
Like white foods, sugar causes a spike in blood glucose levels (obviously!) Besides increasing sebum production, high blood sugar can weaken the skin by affecting collagen and elastin, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm. Collagen depletion causes fine lines and wrinkles, and can make the skin lose its lustre. Basically, any foods that cause a spike in blood sugar level, including sweetened fruit juices, can have a negative effect on your skin over time. So try to balance out with foods high in fibre, which have a lower GI.

Alcohol
foods that are bad for your skin - alcoholAlcohol is a diuretic, which makes it very dehydrating for the cells, including skin cells. Dehydration causes fine lines and wrinkles in the skin. Alcohol also causes vasodilatation, which can trigger outbreaks rosacea and psoriasis. Also, when you consume lots of alcohol, the liver has to work hard to metabolise it. This means your body is more likely to release toxins through the skin, making the skin look dull and potentially causing breakouts. Caffeine is also a diuretic, so remember to drink lots of water before and after a big night out, and go easy on the coffee the next day!

Saltfoods that are bad for your skin - salt
Salt causes fluid retention in the tissue, which basically means the cells swell.  This can have the effect of making your face look puffy. Apparently iodized salt is the worst of the bunch and it has been shown to aggravate acne.

Bad fats, including fried foods and hydrogenated fatfoods that are bad for your skin - trans fats
When hydrogenated fats (aka trans-fats) are heated, either when you cook with them (e.g. frying in vegetable oil), or during their production (e.g. margarine and ghee), they become oxidised, which produces free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to all cells in the body and they disrupt the skin’s structure by destroying collagen and elastin. Besides damaging the skin, they have strong links to heart disease, cancer and diabetes, because they disturb the DNA structure at a cellular level. Besides obviously keeping consumption of trans-fats to a minimum, I recommend cooking with coconut oil, which oxidises at a higher temperature. This makes it less damaging to our cells than other oils.

Dairy (Maybe…)milk
I’m not sure how much evidence there is to support a link between milk and acne, but certainly people have said anecdotally that dairy products (most notably cow’s milk) causes them to break out or that since they’ve stopped drinking milk their acne has cleared up. Apparently cow’s milk contains certain hormones which overstimulate the glands that produce the skin’s oily secretions. Goat’s milk, and even buffalo milk, apparently contain less of the harmful hormones. So they might make a good substitute.

Eating these foods won’t necessarily directly cause breakouts, but consuming them regularly or in excess will stop your skin from looking its best. At the most basic level, a diet high in vitamins, minerals and good fats will make you look healthier than a diet made up of empty calories and lacking in nutrients. It might be a bit unrealistic to say you’re never going to eat fries again, but just make sure to balance it out once in a while with foods high in antioxidants, like different coloured vegetables, to fight off those nasty free radicals. This will keep your immune system strong, your cells healthier and, all in all, your body will function better. Thus making you look all glowy and stuff 🙂

xx

(Images from stock.xchng)