Six Ways to Avoid Night Time Cravings!

Night time food binges are something many people can’t resist. Even if you’ve managed the whole day sticking to your diet and getting an adequate amount of exercise, sometimes the urge to binge late in the evening wins over your will power! For some this can consist of a naughty snack after dinner, but for others it can involve over-eating late into the night when they should be in bed giving their bodies the rest it deserves. If this sounds like you then don’t worry! You’re definitely not alone and here I’ve got seven great tips to help you avoid this behaviour.

six_ways_to_avoid_night_time_cravings1)      Always Eat Breakfast

This might sound obvious to many people but it’s surprising just how many people skip breakfast. Some will say they were too busy for a morning meal whilst others will use new diet restrictions as an excuse not to eat first thing. Whatever your excuse is, stop using it! If you are rushed in the morning then simply wake a little earlier and always choose a low fat, high protein option that will give you a boost before your day has really begun. Eggs are a great option, as is fruit. Or why not try making scrambled tofu with a selection of vegetables on brown toast – delicious!

2)      Avoid Calorific Drinks

It is so easy to drink a massive amount of your recommended daily calories. Coffee, tea, sodas and juices can contain shocking amounts of sugar which can cause disruption to blood levels and leave you craving more of the sweet stuff.

3)      Eat Regular Meals

Keeping your meal times regular will help your body to form a natural rhythm too. If you have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time each day then you will create a balance and your body will be less likely to crave foods at inappropriate times. You should apply this thinking to snacking in between meals too. Healthy light snacks are fine and actually encouraged to help regulate your metabolism but try to be consistent in this too.

4)       Include Good Fatssix_ways_to_avoid_night_time_binges

It is important that each of your meals contains good quality fats and a decent amount of protein. Foods which contain good fats are nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and coconuts. Meat sources of high quality protein are chicken and fish but you can also get a more than adequate amount of protein from a vegetarian diet by consuming things like leafy green vegetables.

5)      Sleep & Relaxation

Comfort eating is something everyone has been guilty of at some point and this can have serious detrimental effects on your diet efforts. Wherever possible, try to avoid stress during the day. Depending on your lifestyle this may be hard for you to achieve but there are several relaxation activities, such as yoga and meditation that can help. There is also a range of breathing exercises that you can do anywhere throughout the day to calm yourself. Making sure you have a regular sleep pattern is also key to avoiding over eating as when your body is well rested you will have a natural energy that will prevent your body from craving sugary snacks as a supplement.

6)       Vitamins & Supplementssix_ways_to_avoid_night_time_cravings

Taking vitamins and supplements cannot only help keep your body balanced with all the things it needs, but can also help prevent food cravings. For example, Omega-3 contains some essential fatty acids that are considered necessary for human health however the body can’t make this on its own. If you’re not eating enough omega-3 rich foods then you should definitely be taking supplements to counteract this. A daily dose of Vitamin D will help to regulate your hormones and balance your insulin levels. This will lead to less desire for night time binging and a generally improved sense of well-being.

Stick to these three tips and you’ll soon find that any desire to ruin your healthy diet fades away, leaving you with a body that will thank you for it!

Seven Cancer Fighting Foods

Combining an active lifestyle with a healthy diet is a great way to defend your body against many forms of cancer. Some cancers develop due to genetic factors however the way you take care of yourself can play a part in preventing the onset. By incorporating a wide variety of plant based foods into your meals you can stay on top of your health! Include these seven foods in a balanced diet to help your body defend against cancer and a huge range of other health issues.

Berries
Berries

Berries

Antioxidants are great for stopping those free radicals from travelling around your body causing damage and berries are absolutely crammed full of them. Although it’s never possible to completely avoid toxins, it is possible to put up a good fight and berries are a great weapon for this. There’s so many different types of berries that you’re bound to find a selection that you love!

Garlic

Studies have shown that garlic is especially great for inhibiting the growth of cancer in the prostate, colon, stomach and bladder. Garlic will also give your immune system a boost and work to detoxify the body. You can include it in soups, stir fries, salads – in fact, practically any dish!

Garlic
Garlic

Kale

Kale is full of fiber and studies show that it is most effective in preventing cancer of the colon, stomach and lungs. Kale is a delicious addition to many meals but if it’s not your thing, then you can also get similar nutritional goodness from other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Spinach  Spinach is fantastic and works to prevent cancer when carcinogens enter the body. Research has shown that consuming spinach will decrease the chances of tumours occurring and growing. Spinach is delicious with salads or as an accompaniment to many main meals.

seven_cancer_fighting_foods_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie
Mushrooms

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are full of compounds that aid the liver in the detoxification process. Several of these compounds also work to stimulate the production of enzymes which protect against carcinogens. Broccoli sprouts are three-four day old broccoli plants which have been likened in flavour to the radish. These awesome sprouts will also help with lowering cholesterol levels and can be easily grown at home.

Mushrooms

Because of their ability to suppress the enzyme in the body which converts testosterone into estrogen, mushrooms are great for inhibiting breast cancer. They also contain lentinan which is thought to prevent tumour growth. Certain types of mushroom, like shitake, are also fantastic for kick-starting the immune system.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is predominantly used in curry dishes but can also be used to flavour many other meals. Curcumin is the component of turmeric which makes it of such great value to our health. Studies have shown that curcumin helps in the fight against cancers such as that of the mouth, intestines, breasts, skin, and stomach and is also especially useful for treating colorectal cancers.

When it comes to preventative medicine, plant-based foods are a great way to go! You can have effective control over your health and your body just by making some simple lifestyle and dietary choices. Try it for yourself and see the difference!

Blue Ballet Squash Boats with Black Rice, Swiss Chard and Cranberries

Oh, how I LOVE autumn! Because with autumn comes so many delicious and amazing varieties of squash! It’s so much fun going into Whole Foods and seeing the shelves covered with the brightly coloured squashes so when I saw this Blue Ballet Squash sticking out amongst the red, orange and yellow varieties, I knew I had to have it!

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I mean, look at how gorgeous this Blue Ballet Squash is!  I nearly didn’t cut it up and was thinking about having it for decoration.  My four kids even thought it was the coolest looking vegetable they’d ever seen.

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I don’t think we all actually realise what  a power house of a food squash really is.  I mean, look at its size – these guys are big players in the game of well-being.  They’re like the big linebackers on an American football team. Plus, they simply are delicious!

P1050422Although winter squash has long been recognized as an important food source of carotenoids, only recently have research studies documented just how fantastic winter squash can be when it comes to these key antioxidants. For some groups of study participants, winter squash turns out to be the primary food source of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in the entire diet! For lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin (three other health-supportive carotenoids) winter squash also comes out among the top three food sources in several studies.

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And don’t forget about the SEEDS!  Seeds from winter squash make a great snack food, just like pumpkin seeds. If you scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds, you can place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 160-170°F (about 75°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a relatively short time at a low temperature you can help minimize damage to their healthy oils. Linoleic acid (the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fatty acid that is plentiful in olive oil) account for about 75% of the fat found in the seeds.

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So this lovely, quick and easy recipe serves four.  Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large ballet blue squash (or another type of round winter squash will do just fine!)

A large bunch of Swiss chard

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 cup black rice

2/3 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup brown lentils

1 tsp. black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

Sea salt and black pepper

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Heat the oven to 180C and cut the squash into four boats.  Remove the seeds and save them for later!  You’ll want to roast them for a delicious snack!  Place the squash into the oven and let them back for app. 20-25 minutes or until the flesh is beautifully bright orange and soft!

Bring two and a 1/2 cups of water to the boil, add the black rice and reduce to simmer until all the water is absorbed.  Rinse then let it cool.  Next, melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.  This is a great way to really fragrant the lentils.  Allow the mustard seeds to start popping to release their flavour and then add the lentils and just enough water to cover 1cm above the lentils.  Again, bring the bowl and then let simmer until all the water has been absorbed.  Then, mix the cooked lentils in with the black rice.

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Coarsely chop the Swiss chard and steam for seven minutes or boil for two minutes.  Again, add to the black rice/lentil bowl along with the cranberries and toasted pine nuts.  Season with sea salt and black pepper and scoop a large dollop onto each of the boats so that they are overflowing with goodness!  And voila, you have the most gorgeous looking, delicious tasting, nutrient dense meal for a cold autumn night!

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