Prioritising Plant-Based Foods

We all know that there is much to be gained health-wise from including more fruits and vegetables in our diets. You do not have to always be eating the latest superfoods in order to stay healthy, and there is an abundance of goodness to be found in common fruits and vegetables.

If you know how great these plant-based foods can be but struggle to include them in your diet, then the following tips can help you overcome this problem.

Learn to Love Salad

Salad is something that you may more commonly enjoy as a side dish than a main meal, and adjusting your thinking on this is encouraged! There are many amazingly filling and super healthy salad recipes that you can enjoy regularly as a main meal. Doing so will go a long way to ensuring that you eat more greens, as well as all the other exciting fruit and vegetables that you can easily include in a salad.

Say Yes to Healthy Snacks

Snacking on junk food late at night is where many dieters find their downfall to be. Making the decision to only snack on fruit after dinner, instead of trying to avoid snacking entirely, is a great way to satisfy your cravings whilst also nourishing your body. Frozen bananas are a particularly good choice for those with a sweet tooth, and they can be enjoyed with a light topping for extra flavour, such as peanut butter or maple syrup.

Fresh Fruit for Breakfast

The majority of breakfast dishes can be very well complimented by the addition of one piece or more of fresh fruit. Try adding berries to your cereal, avocado to your toast or cherry tomatoes to your eggs. Whatever your go-to breakfast dish is, the chances are you will enjoy it even more once it is accompanied with some plant-based goodness!

Mix Up Your Smoothies

Smoothies are a simple and delicious way to consume several portions of fruit and vegetables at one time. If you primarily make your smoothies with fruit then the time has come to throw some vegetables into the mix. Try carrots, beets and fennel to get started!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Superfoods for Seniors!

Food is one of the most enduring and consistent parts of our lives – and the old adage “You are what you eat” has never been truer, especially for seniors looking to improve their diets and their bodies.

As we get older, there’s a certain tendency to wonder if healthy eating still matters – after all, we may not have long to experience any effects, right? That’s true, but our daily nutrition still has a major impact on how well our body functions. Today, we’re going to look at a collection of fantastic superfoods for seniors that could help reduce the chances of certain medical issues.

How To Make A Super Meal

Before that, though, we need to know how to make a great meal. Blueberries are fantastic for getting dietary fiber and antioxidants, but a meal consisting of nothing but these tiny blue marvels wouldn’t be a good idea. Instead, let’s think about combining these foods with a few simple recipes.

The Super Salad

Start with a base of Kale, whose impressively high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can help fight off pain in your joints. Top with a handful of Blueberries, as fresh as you can get them, and a small handful of Walnuts. Add your favorite dressing, and congratulations – you’ve just created a super salad that’s full of nutrition.

The Ultimate Smoothie

It takes practice to make smoothies just by eyeballing them, and we all prefer to drink different amounts – so think about proportions, not size. Once you’re ready to start, pour in equal amounts of pomegranate juice and acai juice – making sure you’ve got actual juice, not merely a fruit-flavored sugary drink. Add some ground flaxseed (whole seeds aren’t nearly as nutritious), greek yogurt, and as much fresh fruit as you’d like. This last one will determine the ultimate thickness of your drink – if you prefer meal replacement smoothies, the fruit should make up at least half the drink.

The Easiest Dinner

While cooking a slice of salmon in the oven, arrange a set of beans and an avocado on your plate. For added value, you can add some pumpkin seeds to the beans – mixing them in to make the meal even healthier while adding a nice degree of crunch. Every part of this meal is packed with nutrients that will help boost your body up, giving you the energy you need to continue enjoying your life.

Mixing It Up

These recipes focus on packing as many superfoods into your diet as possible, but they’re far from the only way to do things. For example, you could also mix greek yogurt and blueberries into a bowl of steelcut oats, topping the whole concoction with chia seeds – or you could make superfoods a part of your meals instead of the focus. Other foods also have nutritional value, and it’s important to have a balanced diet.

To get the most benefit, though, you’ll need to get up and move around as best you can – summer activities are particularly helpful for staying active and allowing the body to process nutrients, though it’s important to avoid excessive heat, which is one of the most significant dangers to any senior. Activities should be enjoyed in the morning or evening hours – or at least somewhere that has air conditioning.

How Much Do Superfoods Cost?

That depends on a wide variety of factors, including the season, your geographic location, and various matters in agriculture and business. However, most superfoods are widely available at grocery stores and supermarkets, and many of them can be purchased in bulk at a reasonable price. You don’t have to destroy your savings just to eat healthy foods – so go ahead, take a look around, and start making a plan to add these fantastic treats to your diet!

This post was a contribution by Felicity Dryer. Check out her infographic below!

Originally born in Flagstaff, Arizona, Felicity Dryer was raised by her parents (more or less modern-day hippies) to always make her health a top priority. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a freelance health writer, and continues to help those seeking encouragement to keep moving forward to achieve their goals. @FelicityDryer

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Chocolate and Salt

There aren’t many foods that I would say I absolutely could not live without, but these two might just make the cut! I try to include both of these amazingly nutritious ingredients in both mine and my kids diets every day and with a bit of imagination, it’s not a difficult task at all!

Himalayan Sea Salt

Making the decision to use Himalayan sea salt in your cooking, as opposed to regular table salt, is a great decision for your overall well-being. As we already know, consuming too much salt means bad things for the body. It can easily cause high blood pressure and place strain on your organs which can then lead to a stroke, a heart attack or even kidney disease. Eating less salt is generally a great idea but using an alternative that provides all the minerals and nutrients that regular salt is lacking is an even better one!

Himalayan sea salt contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals and is totally unprocessed and unrefined. It comes from salt caves that came to be over 250 million years ago when salt from the ocean was deposited on land.

Because Himalayan sea salt is millions of years old, it doesn’t contain many of the present day impurities and toxins that the ordinary kind can be polluted with. The many health benefits of incorporating this type of salt into your diet include controlling your water levels, providing your cells with a consistent pH balance, maintaining optimum blood sugar levels and even slowing down the visible aspects of the ageing process. It is also thought that it is great for your respiratory and vascular health and can reduce your chance of suffering with sinus problems. On top of all of these fantastic factors it could also help to ease muscle cramps, increase the strength of your bones and encourage a normal sleeping pattern.

Eating Himalayan sea salt isn’t the only way to take advantage of its many health benefits. Adding a couple of hundred grams to a bath is also said to aid detoxification and will not only relax your muscles but will also rejuvenate your skin. This is a very calming way to eradicate toxins from your body and will leave you feeling refreshed.

Many doctors and health food professionals suggest that this kind of salt is the best option and it’s a great idea to use it in place of the regular brands that you’re used to. You’ll soon see the difference for yourself!

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Raw Cacao

Cacao beans come from a tree that is native to the West Indies and South America. The taste of raw cacao is typically described as nutty and slightly bitter, causing some people to include a natural sweetener, like agave nectar, when they consume it. There is absolutely no cholesterol or trans-fats in the beans but there is an impressive amount of fibre and protein.

Raw cacao does several things to the body to truly earn its title as a super-food. The high antioxidant count is great for eliminating rogue free radicals in the body which are known to cause certain types of cancer and age the skin. Cacao also improves blood flow which in turn helps stimulate the process of healing cells and reducing stress inducing hormones.

Cacao is a rich source of magnesium and sulphur, making it great for improved focus and for combating fatigue. It also contains phenylethylamine, which chocolate fanatics may already know is the compound that is often referred to as ‘the love drug’. Phenylethylamine is thought to be useful in treating depression as it aids the release of endorphins. Similarly, cacao encourages extended anandamide presence in the brain which can also create feelings of happiness.

Raw cacao is excellent for including in a wide range of recipes and will increase the nutritional value of any dish. It’s not just great for food but can also be used in powder form in drinks like hot chocolate and smoothies. Mixing even a small amount into a smoothie will increase the nutritional value and compliment the existing flavour!

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Seven Clever Ways to get your Kids Eating Leafy Green Vegetables!

Convincing your children that eating healfebruary green smoothie challengethily is a good idea isn’t always the easiest task. When they’re adamant that they’d rather fill their faces with sugar instead of the healthy snack that you’ve prepared for them, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. However, there are many ways to easily incorporate health foods into your child’s diet, without causing a fuss! Here are just seven of my favourites…

Smoothies
Smoothies are easy to make and taste great. Even kids who don’t usually enjoy eating fresh fruit will be happy to drink a smoothie, especially if made to look a bit more enticing with colourful ingredients. You can blend the fruit with some soy milk and even sweeten with honey or natural sugars to satisfy that sweet tooth. Another great bonus of this treat is that you can also chuck some nutritional supplements and also things like kale or spinach into the mix and your child will be none the wiser!

Pasta Sauces simplesauce
Pasta is a simple and inexpensive meal that the majority of young ones will be happy to eat. Sprucing up any pasta dish with a delicious sauce is another great way to get some nutrients into your child’s diet. Making your sauce from scratch is the best way to know exactly what is going into the meal, and this also this allows you to blend in extra vegetables and herbs at your discretion!

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Soupred velvet soup grassrootsandgrains8
Soup is a fantastic way to cram a lot of goodness into one meal. Home-made vegetable soups can consist of absolutely anything you want and adding flavours and stock will keep any recipe tasty. Garnish with a selection of herbs before you serve for an extra dose of nourishment.

Kale Chipsimages
Kale chips are an interesting and nutritious alternative to potato chips and make the perfect snack between meals. They are so easy and quick to make that you can whip them up fresh whenever your young ones get peckish.

15649993-assortment-of-salad-dressing-bottlesSalad dressing
There is a massive variety of salad dressings that can be made with leafy green vegetables. To do this it’s best if you have a high powered food processor to properly blend everything together. Fresh spinach leaves are excellent for including in a salad dressing and it’s also easy to add in absolutely any herb to compliment the flavour.

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There are some very high quality vegetable burgers in the supermarkets these days, try substituting any meat products your children are eating for a veggie alternative. There is a lot of protein to be found in leafy green vegetables so there’s absolutely no need to worry that your children are missing out by not eating meat!

Purees
If your child is still young enough to be eating pureed food then it’s easy to combine leafy vegetables into any meal. This also works for older children. For example blended broccoli is easily disguised into mash potato and you can chuck any vegetable into the blender with tomatoes to make pizza sauce. images

Remember, you don’t always have to be sneaky to encourage your children to eat healthier foods. Often leading by example is a great way to show them that nutrition doesn’t have to be boring. Also, making every meal time fun and creative is a brilliant way to get children excited about food. Use your imagination when it comes to nutrition and they’ll use theirs!