Toffee Caramel Popcorn

When it comes to making healthy snack decisions, popcorn is such a fantastic choice! One of the most amazing things about popcorn is that you can choose from so many different healthy toppings that it never has to get boring!

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Popcorn Nutrition

Popcorn generally only has around 30 calories per cup, making it a great snack for maintaining a healthy weight. As a wholegrain, popcorn also contains a beneficial amount of fibre as well as a dose of protein!

The problem with most ready made popcorn products is that they are usually covered in salt, butter or other unhealthy (but certainly tasty) ingredients.

My recipe for Toffee Caramel Popcorn is excitingly healthy AND a little bit sticky – perfect for those of you who enjoy a messy treat! With this recipe you will cook up a whole batch that you can either enjoy right away or store to eat on the go another time.

Ingredients:

1/2 a cup of popcorn kernels
1/2 a cup of maple syrup
1 tsp of almond extract
1/3 of a cup of almond butter (or any nut butter)
A dash of cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

Method:

First of all preheat your oven to 180C / 375F. Next, take a large pot and place it on the hob at a medium to high heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pan and then add your popcorn kernels. You can then put the lid on your pan and leave the kernels to do their thing! This will usually take around ten minutes but will vary so watch your pot closely. Once you start to hear more than five seconds between each pop then you will know that your popcorn is almost ready. As soon as it is ready you should remove the pan from the heat.

The next step is to make the caramel toffee sauce. To do this, take a mixing bowl and pour in the maple syrup, the almond butter, almond extract, and the cinnamon. Whisk the contents of your bowl until it becomes a smooth paste.

Next, pour your prepared popcorn onto a baking tray and pour the contents of the bowl over the popcorn. Try to drizzle it evenly but don’t worry too much as it will spread in the oven. Place the baking tray in the oven for seven minutes and your treat is then ready to enjoy!

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

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!

8 Essential Books for Health and Wellbeing

With such a wealth of information available when it comes to health and nutrition, it can be hard to know who to trust and what to believe. There are so many varying diets that claim to help you lose weight whilst also improving health and wellbeing that settling on just one can be complicated! I find the best way to avoid this is to devote the time to reading a good book on the topic. Consuming an entire book is a fantastic way to truly understand a topic and can inspire and motivate you to stick to your fitness and dietary aims!

The following books are some of my absolute favourites when it comes to discovering new and interesting things about health and wellbeing. These books have shaped my understanding of eating for optimum health and I absolutely can’t recommend them enough.

Plenish

plenish_bookThis book by Kara M.L Rosen teaches the reader all about juices that boost, cleanse and heal. Kara’s book teaches us all about how consuming fresh, raw juices will boost your nutrient count whilst also helping your system to detox. The book continues to explain how your health will benefit immensely, keeping sickness at bay. There’s more than 40 recipes in this book for various juice blends which will rapidly leave you feeling rejuvenated!

Honestly Healthy Cleansehonestly_healthy_cleanse_book

This book is written by Natasha Corrett and is a fantastic and creative introduction to healthy cooking. Natasha is a gourmet vegetarian chef and she has created a series of recipe plans that hep to guide the reader towards a healthier lifestyle. Her plans incorporate a number of different food types to make up a well-rounded approach to good foods. There’s over 100 recipes in this book which promote optimum nutrition and natural weight loss.

healing_with_whole_foods_bookHealing with Whole Foods

Paul Pitchford has put together this fantastic book which is not only used as a reference by students of acupuncture but also by those looking to find out more about Chinese medicine. There are over 300 recipes in this book, the majority of which are vegetarian, and focus on regeneration through diet. Pitchford has written this book with the intention of educating his readers in the areas of healing, awareness and peace.

Eating for Beautyeating_for_beauty_book

David Wolfe is one of America’s leading experts on nutrition and this book explains how a diet full of fresh produce is the best choice for everyone. Not only does the book teach how these foods can promote natural beauty but also how they can cleanse the system and nourish the body. Although this book is easy to follow, it does delve into some scientific explanations as to why the chemical processes from certain foods affect us in such a negative way.

healthy_at_100_bookHealthy at 100

This book by John Robbins shows us how our life span and our general health can be improved vastly through healthy eating. Within the book, Robbins explores several different cultures and how people within those cultures have reached old age through eating well. Countless people have already been inspired by this book which also encourages people to live life to the full and be as happy as possible while their health improves.

The Healing Path of Yogathe_healing_path_of_yoga_book

Nischala Joy Devi is the writer of this amazing book and is a known pioneer of yoga and natural healing. The book explains how yoga can reduce stress and the importance of doing so due to the dangerous effects it has on our lives. Devi uses the book as a platform to share her years of wisdom in yoga practice and teaches people how to take greater control of their lives.

big_book_of_yoga_bookThe Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga

This book is full of fantastic yoga poses which will stretch and tone your body while also building muscle and improving your stamina. This book not only demonstrates many of these poses to us but also explains why they can improve our health, boost our sex drives, help us to lose weight and also to cleanse our bodies and minds!

Loving Yourself to Great Healthloving_yourself_to_good_health_book

Louise Hay, Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane have come together with this book to transform lives by encouraging people to create their dreams. The book combines several theories of letting go of the things that limit us whilst also focusing on nutrition and health.

These books are all available on my e-store so click the title link to buy them for yourself!