Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad

This incredible salad is the last of the amazing dishes that I discovered during my stay at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand! It takes just a few moments to throw together and is an iconic dish from this beautiful country.

The salad itself contains an abundance of ingredients that pack a healthy punch, and the pumpkin seed garnish gives it an extra nutritious boost! Also, if spicy isn’t really your thing then you can always make this salad without the addition of the chilli!

Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fats, as well as being an excellent source of magnesium and zinc. Studies have suggested that regularly consuming pumpkin seeds could help to keep your blood pressure down and to promote an optimum sleep cycle.

Papaya is another exciting ingredient from this exotic dish, and may not be one that you consume often! Papaya is a rich and colourful source of nutrients, in fact – it has one of the highest vitamin C counts of all of the fruits! It is also an excellent source of potassium, beta-carotene, and lycopene! As well as being a delicious addition to salads, you can also simply enjoy this fruit on its own, or as a juice!

Ready to make this salad for two people?

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 50g long beans, sliced diagonally in 1-2cm pieces
  • 100g green papaya, fine julienne
  • 50g carrot, fine julienne
  • 10g chilli, fine julienne
  • 10g coriander leaves

Dressing

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 5g garlic, minced

Garnish

  • 10g pumpkin seeds

Method:

Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Next, to make the dressing, mix lime juice, coconut nectar, sea salt, garlic and tamari soy sauce together. You can then pour the dressing over the salad and mix lightly.

Serve your salad onto plates and garnish with a few pumpkin seeds. So simple!

Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad Julie Montagu

Wellness for Women

If you have seen my 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 2018!

Also, if you wan to learn about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health and your energy levels, then click here now to check out my starter guide!

Thai Green Curry with Vegetables

Following on from the amazing recipe I shared recently for Raw Carrot and Ginger Soup, I would like to share another absolute delight from the kitchen of the beautiful Amatara Resort in Phuket!

You can make this curry with any combination of vegetables that you desire, but great options are baby corn, carrots, courgettes, mushrooms, broccoli, and red pepper.

The inclusion of fresh basil is one of my favourite parts of this recipe, and really helps to create the distinctive and delicious flavour of the dish. It also doesn’t hurt that basil is bursting with goodness, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, copper, and calcium!

Ingredients:

  • 25g green curry paste
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 50ml vegetable stock
  • 10ml soy sauce
  • 3g kaffir lime leaves
  • 5g coconut nectar
  • 20g eggplant
  • 15g fresh basil leaves
  • 5g red chilli
  • Small bowl of mixed vegetables
Method:
Heat the coconut milk in a large pan for a few minutes before adding the green curry paste. Stir well.
Oil your wok and add your selection of vegetables. Heat for a few moments and then coat with the curry paste sauce. Add vegetable stock, kaffir lime leaves, soy sauce and coconut nectar to the wok and bring to the boil before adding the eggplant. Add the fresh basil leaves with the chilli and then serve.
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Wellness for Women

If you have seen my 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 2018!

 

Also, if you wan to learn about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health and your energy levels, then click here now to check out my starter guide!

Why You Should Alkalise Your Body

Maintaining the natural balance of your body in regards to your pH levels is important for several reasons. Both your immune system and the amount of inflammation in your body can be affected by whether or not you are in the correct alkaline range. When we consider that immune system function and inflammation are two of the biggest factors contributing to optimum health, then we can see how important it is to maintain balance in the body!

Immune System

The reason that your immune system becomes compromised when your pH is out of balance is that the cells in the body aren’t getting the minerals that they need. This means that less oxygen is being circulated and your immune system therefore doesn’t function as well as it could!

When you have the correct alkaline balance then your body is better equipped to prevent and deal with infections and illnesses.

Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a leading cause of illness and diseases, and can soon become a problem when normal levels of inflammation start to increase.

Acidic foods are known to cause inflammation in the body. When you consume excess amounts of acidic foods then your body is going to have to work extra hard to neutralise this acidity. One of the ways in which your body can do this is to take essential minerals from other parts of the body, which can of course be detrimental to your overall health.

Balancing Your pH Levels

If the foods and drinks that you are consuming are too acidic then your pH levels are quickly going to get out of whack. However, your lifestyle and overall diet also contribute to your pH levels.

Foods that are high in magnesium, phosphorous and calcium are great for restoring the alkaline balance in the body.

Unprocessed vegetables are the perfect choice for alkalising your body, especially citrus fruits. Garlic, ginger, apple cider vinegar and turmeric are also beneficial choices. Eating your greens will also help with this, and you can aim to include broccoli, wheatgrass, chlorella and spinach in your diet regularly.

If you do not consume many processed and packaged foods then you are going to give yourself a head-start when it comes to alkalising your body. They can be incredibly acidic, and it is an amazing idea to replace these products with whole food options!

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!

Anxiety and your Diet

Choosing which food we will nourish our bodies with is among the most important decisions that we will make each day. With our dietary choices we have the potential to either heal or harm ourselves, and this is particularly true when it comes to anxiety.

Research has shown that certain foods can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, whereas other foods have the potential to combat and ease these feelings. If anxiety is something that is affecting your life in some way then taking notice of the following tips could go a long way to helping you overcome it!

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress. It is a precursor to serotonin, which is extremely beneficial for promoting feelings of calm and happiness.

Tryptophan naturally occurs in several plant-based foods, most notably in bananas, oats, peanut butter and sesame seeds.

Vitamin B

There is much research to suggest a connection between the various B vitamins and the mood. In fact, a deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to a low mood, anxiety and even depression.

Eating a range of foods that contain B vitamins is the best way to enjoy the many benefits of this vitamin group. Good foods to include are leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts, spirulina, watermelon, spinach, rice and legumes.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates often get a bad rep in the wellness world, but they are actually great for increasing serotonin production. Whole grain carbohydrates are the best choice and you should make an effort to avoid processed carbs, such as white rice and white bread.

When you eat whole grain carbohydrates it takes a while for your body to break them down, and this means that sugar is being released into the bloodstream relatively slowly. This is great for consistent energy levels as well as consistent mood.

The best things to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta and legumes.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dietary choices that encourage feelings of anxiety!

Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, are often favoured for the quick burst of energy that they can provide, but after the high comes the inevitable crash – and this can impact your mood as well as your energy levels! Furthermore, studies have shown that the presence of caffeine can actually inhibit serotonin production. This can quickly cause you to be more prone to feelings of irritability, anxiety and depression!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

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!

Aubergine Dip

This dip is absolutely amazing both hot and cold, and is bursting with both flavour and nutrition! Aubergines are packed full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. They are particularly prized for their ability to help lower cholesterol and assist those who are trying to lose weight.

Sweet red peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids, which are thought to help to prevent the onset of several diseases. Carotenoids are particularly beneficial for preserving the health of the eyes, as well as the appearance of the skin.

To make this dip you will need the following ingredients:

1 aubergine
2 sweet red peppers
1 clementine, peeled
1 tsp of miso paste
Pitta bread
Olive oil
Sea salt

The first thing that you will need to do is take your aubergine and chop it into small chunks. You can then slice the sweet red peppers in half. Place the aubergine chunks and the sweet red pepper halves onto a baking tray and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Add a sprinkling of sea salt on top of the olive oil and then you can place the tray into your oven at 180C.

Leave the aubergines and the sweet red pepper in the oven to roast for approximately 30 minutes. After this time you can remove the baking tray from the heat and place all of the aubergine into your food processor with half of the sweet red pepper. You should also add the clementine into the food processor with half a teaspoon of sea salt and the miso paste. Before you turn the food processor on to blitz your dip, add in four tablespoons of olive oil and then you’re good to go!

Once you have blitzed your dip you will notice that it is still hot once it is ready! This means you either have the choice to serve as a hot dip, or leave to cool down and enjoy it later. All that is left to do is break up the remaining sweet red pepper and add it to the top of your dip as a garnish.

Enjoy this dip with hot or cold pitta bread, or as a creative side-dish to a main meal!

If you want to see this recipe in action then you can head to my YouTube channel and watch me creating it!

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!

Healthy Festive Food

Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that people make. And, it is no coincidence that this is a common idea following the festive season! Many of us use this time of year as a great excuse to cast our healthy eating ambitions aside and indulge instead!

The burst of new diets and exercise regimes in January are of course great for improving health. However, if you want to avoid having to make a dramatic change to your eating habits or activity levels in the New Year, then the best idea is to eat healthily during the festive season. That way you will have no extra weight to contend with and can start 2017 with a more positive focus!

Although Christmas is undoubtedly a time of year when there is an abundance of high sugar and high calorie foods everywhere, it is also a great time of year to experiment with healthy cooking.

Plant-Based Alternatives

Keeping meat off the table is a good way to avoid the unhealthier aspects of the festive season. And, it is super simple to create plant-based alternatives to traditional meat dishes! If you have never made a Nut Roast at home before then you are definitely missing out on a delicious plant-based meal that is also incredibly good for you. There are several amazing recipes online that you can also customise yourself to make it more to your taste.

Eat Your Veggies

With all of the meals you cook or attend during the Christmas season, there is no excuse not to pile your plate high with veggies! If you are cooking yourself at home then make sure you grill or boil your vegetables in order to keep them as healthy as possible, and avoid using too much oil or salt. You can never cook too many vegetables at Christmas as anything left over can be used to make a vegetable mash the next day!

Healthy Desserts

Creating alternative healthy desserts, instead of snacking on pre-made mince pies and Christmas puddings, is a great way to avoid over-doing it. This is also a great way to sneak some superfoods into your dessert options, such as by making my Banoffee Pudding or my Lentil Brownies!

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 this Christmas!

Dill and Radish Hummous

Making hummous at home is so simple to do and is generally always going to be healthier than the shop bought versions! You have an endless choice of ingredients to include in your hummous recipes and this one is one of my faves!

Radish might not be one of the first things that come to mind when you are choosing how to flavour your hummous but they are great for both taste and nutrition. These veggies have a natural spicy kick to them which is great for soothing sore throats and decreasing the presence of mucus in the body. This also makes them useful in clearing the sinuses and combatting colds. Radishes are also known to be useful in aiding digestion as well as tackling toxins in the body. Add to that they contain a combination of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber and you have a food that is great for the whole body!

Dill is a herb that is also incredibly healthy! It is believed to be useful in aiding digestion, relieving insomnia and helping to prevent certain cancers and respiratory disorders. It is also useful for boosting the immune system as well as helping to alleviate inflammation in the body.

To make a batch of my hummous for yourself, you will need the following ingredients:

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. of tahini
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
5 radishes
A large handful of dill, stems removed
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
A litte more dill to garnish

All you have to do is put all of the ingredients into your food processor or blender and whizz until smooth and creamy! You can then transfer to a container and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

This hummous is especially perfect for enjoying with carrot sticks or with your favourite bread!

Courgette Pasta with a Mexican Bean Sauce

If you haven’t experienced the culinary delights of a spiralizer yet then this is the recipe to bring you on board! It is such a great way to bring a bit of variety to meal times and you can easily head over to my website and get one for yourself today! I love to spiralizer courgettes, not just because of the great texture and shape that it produces but also, of course, for the fantastic nutritional value of these vegetables. Courgettes are incredibly low value at just 17 calories per 100g and contains absolutely no saturated fat or cholesterol. Eating courgettes without peeling them is always the best option as there is a great amount of dietary fibre to be found close to the peel. Additionally, they are abundant in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, not to mention moderate amounts of folate, zinc, manganese, iron and thiamine!

To make this dish for two to three people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 courgettes – in long thin strips (best to use a spiralizer or a mandolin)
2 spring onions
1 red pepper
100g of baby spinach
1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
A handful of coriander – chopped
1 corn on the cob
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 lime

Courgette NoodlesThe first and most enjoyable part of cooking this meal is to spiralize the courgette and put to one side in a large bowl. Next, finely slice the spring onions and cut the core from the red pepper and dice into 1 cm cubes. You must also shred the spinach with your hands and roughly chop the coriander.  Place the corn vertically on your chopping board and run your knife downwards to remove the corn pieces.

Next, over a medium to high heat, add the beans to a large skillet with the smoked paprika and a dash of olive oil. Mix well for two minutes. Then, in the same pan, add the corn and cook for five minutes before you then add the chopped spring onions and red pepper. Again, cook for a further five minutes and then add the spinach and coriander. Stir the contents of the skillet well until the spinach begins to wilt. You can then remove from heat and add to the courgette noodles.  Mix well and dress with the juice of your lime and finally, enjoy!

You can discover more fun meals like this one in my cookbook – SUPERFOODS – The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods – Now available in the US too!

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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