Wednesday, February 29, 2012

LDL Cholesterol, Plant Sterols & The Wholefood Lifestyle

A Heart That Smiles

With heart disease becoming an epidemic in today's society, devastating many lives through the loss of loved ones & the age group of heart disease becoming alarmingly younger in the population, now is a better time then ever to STOP, EVALUATE & LOOK at your diet/lifestyle for areas where you may be increasing your risk of high cholesterol resulting heart disease. Let me tell you, It's easy to avoid just by following some steps below to which will guide you to the path of a wholefood diet, rich in plant sterols, vitamins, minerals & essential fatty acids e.g. Good Fats. You will also find below a table of foods to include & foods to avoid. If you are suspecting you may have high cholesterol always consult your Nutritionist for referral to have your levels checked & provide the guidance for a care plan to optimal health.

Cholesterol Explained

LDL: - (SAD)
Is most commonly know as your bad cholesterol. When you have high levels of LDL circulating through your blood stream it slowly attaches itself to the inner wall of your arteries which feed your heart & brain with vital oxygenated blood. Over time this build of plaque becomes hardened & thick creating a clot which blocks circulation of blood to these vital organs resulting in stroke & heart attack.

Is commonly known as as our good cholesterol. HDL quite simply accounts for one third of total blood cholesterol carried around the body & actually protects against heart disease! How you ask? It does this by carrying LDL (SAD) away from the heart & back to the liver where it can be broken down and excreted by the body instead of building a cement wall in our arteries.

  • Plant sterols are Lipids (Good Fats) found in the cells of foods such as Raw nuts & seeds, Fresh Vegetables. Plant sterols can lower your bad cholesterol.
  • Plenty of water 2-2.5L per day.
  • Swapping dairy milk for Oat Milk & Almond milk. Oat milk is high in plant sterols.
  • Incorporating a fresh green juice into your daily routine. See blog for recipe.
  • Using a cold pressed olive oil & fresh avocado instead of butter for cooking & as a spread e.g. Polyunsaturated Oils.
  • Eating foods rich in EPA DHA like fresh reef fish.
  • incorporating lots of variety in your fresh vegetables & fruits.
  • Foods rich in antioxidants like Berries, Broccoli & Goji Berries will combat oxidative stress.
  • Quinoa is the mother of all the Wholegrain family.
  • Seasoning with fresh herbs, garlic, ginger & chili.
  • Leafy Greens are rich in Plant sterols like Spinach, Kale & Bok Choy.
  • Regular physical activity e.g. EXERCISE. At least 30mins, 3 times per week of high intensity cardiovascular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease & can aid in lowering cholesterol together with the above dietary recommendations.
  • Mediate & try yoga to reduce stress levels. low stress levels have shown to be advantageous for optimal heart health.
FOODS TO AVOID: ( Foods High in Sugar, Sodium & Saturated fats)
  • Fatty Meats.
  • Full cream cows milk
  • Yellow cheese's
  • Processed full fat yogurts
  • Cooking Creams
  • Animal fats e.g. for cooking
  • Highly refined, processed &
  • Preservatives, additives, artificial colours & flavours.
  • Refined grains
  • Smoking
  • Excess Alcohol intake
  • Sugar - Refined white sugar.
  • Salt & foods high in sodium e.g. Packaged highly refined foods.
  • Processed meats
  • All Commercial breads
  • Packaged chips
  • Canned foods that have high amounts of sodium for preservation.

By following a Wholefood lifestyle & incorporating the above steps you can achieve optimal health with a strong vital force, skin that glows, a heart that smiles & high energy levels to achieve all your goals accross all areas in your life. Remember health is wealth & you can have it all in life through looking after the most important part of your life... YOURSELF. Follow my blog for recipes & tips which will help you achieve optimal health as education is power.

Peace, Light & Joy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chisaya Mama Salad & Quinoa Explained


Now, I'm sure you have all heard the word on the street of this little "super food" seed known as QUINOA! But what is it? How do I cook with it? Where is it from? In fact is actually a member of the grass family & is harvested from the Goosefoot plant which historically got its name from the awkward shaped leaves upon this interesting little plant which carries these little seeds of life. Qunioa originates from the Andean region in South America & was named natures super food by ancient Inca tribes who then called it "Chisaya Mama" meaning Mother of all Grains.

So you ask, Why are they so good for ME?
Nutrient Factors:
  • Gluten Free
  • Rich in Iron, Calcium, Magnesium & Copper.
  • Rich in Protein & contains all Nine Essential Amino acids.
  • Folate
  • Phosphorus
  • Great for Cardiovascular Health
  • Diabetes Type 2
  • Migraine Suffers
  • Antioxidant rich for Oxidative stress.
  • Essential Fatty Acids e.g. EFA's.
  • High in Fibre & low GI beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable.
Chisaya Mama Salad

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
  • 1 cup Black Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Whole Green Lentils
  • x1 Bunch of Fresh Parsley
  • x1 Bunch of Fresh Mint
  • x1 Bunch of English Spinach
  • 50g Wild Rocket Leaves
  • 1 cup of soaked almonds
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 Red Capsicum
  • 1 Whole Lime
  • 2 Dst Spoons Cold Pressed Olive Oil
  1. Bring 2 Saucepans to the boil. Add in your lentils & quinoa, reduce to a medium heat & boil for 20mins, stirring every 5 mins. Wash your almonds, cover with water & soak until ready to put your salad together
  2. Whilst boiling you can start chopping up your salad ingredients. Start with washing all your greens, then take all the greens and finely dice into a tabouli like consistency.
  3. Take your capsicum & dice into small squares followed by grating your carrot & place into your mixing bowl.
  4. Take your quinoa & lentils of the stove, drain & rinse thoroughly with cold water, followed by your almonds.                                                                                                                                       (Tip - Use a mesh strainer to reduce loss of Quinoa & lentils)
  5. In your mixing bowl add in your boiled ingredients, almonds, all your greens, carrot & capsicum.
  6. slice your lime in half & together with the olive oil squeeze & drizzle over the salad mix. 
  7. Lightly with your hands mix all the ingredients together & serve on plates atop of fresh rocket leaves. Enjoy!

(Tip) - keeping a bowl of Quinoa & lentils in the fridge is great, you can add to salads & is a quick option for busy people. Perfect for Vegetarians & Vegans that want some extra protein for their meals.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Super Breakfast Smoothie & Anytime Super Green Smoothie

Super Smoothies

Super smoothies are a great way to get all your daily requirements for Fruit & Vegetables. Rich with essential vitamins, minerals & antioxidants they are full of health benefits like liver detoxification, blood sugar regulation, oxidative stress, bad cholesterol, diabetes and many more. A super smoothie a day keeps the DOCTOR away!!! Another great fact about smoothies are that because you have already broken down the food in the blender it makes it easier to digest as the manual breakdown process has already been done e.g. Chewing & therefore makes the nutrients more Bio Available. You can add a super greens to your smoothie & also a all natural Whey, Soy or Pea Protein powder to make your smoothie complete. My favorite Super Green powder is Synergy Super Greens as it has all four greens; Spirulina, Chlorella, Barley Grass & Wheat Grass. Great for Vegetarians as Iron rich & effective absorption with all the vitamin C.

See below for my Super Breakfast Smoothie & my Super Green Smoothie.

Complete Abundance Smoothie:

  • x1 Banana
  • 1/4 cup Blueberries
  • 1/3 cup Almonds soaked over night (optional, for activation)
  • Tablespoon of Chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup Goji Berries
  • 250ml Almond or Oat milk
  • 1 teaspoon Super Greens Powder
  1. Break up banana into 4 pieces & place into blender with blueberries.
  2. Add in Almonds, Goji berries & super greens powder along with almond or oat milk.
  3. Add in Chia seeds last as they mix through better this way & won't get stuck to the sides or at the bottom of the blender.
  4. Whizz away & enjoy the abundance. ( I also add x2 Tablespoons of an all natural protein powder)

My Heart Beats Green Smoothie:

  • x1 Banana
  • x1 Green Apple
  • x1Whole Lime
  • 1 Cup Kale
  • 1 Cup Silverbeet Spinach
  • 1/2 Small Cucumber
  • 1/3 Cup Parsely
  • 250ml Mineral or Filtered Water
  1. Loosely chop up all your parsley & greens. Don't over chop as the heat from chopping can cause your greens to oxidise. Add to the blender.
  2. Chop up your green apple, banana, cucumber & lime. Add to blender.
  3. Pour over contents with water & blend. ( I also add a Teaspoon of my Synergy Super Greens)
  4. Feel the natural energy as all your senses come to life & your bodies vital force is fed with abundance.
For more information on smoothies, recipe combinations & the health benefits feel free to email me or write a post below. Peace