Energy Enhancing Raw Cauliflower Rice Salad

Say what? You want me to eat RAW cauliflower Audra?!! I sure do, because when it’s raw, it’s wonderful nutritional benefits become even more pronounced.

Being part of the cruciferous family, it helps with detoxification, which, if you’re struggling to lose weight whilst working 24/7 can be super helpful.  This is because toxins create chemical stress in the body, leading to raised levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Sadly, high cortisol levels increase body fat, especially around the belly or torso region, as it wants to protect your organs from any impending “danger” brought on by stress.

When we eat too much processed food (which is full of manufactured chemicals), the liver also has to work harder to filter out these toxins, which can lead to cellular damage.

Cauliflowers are not only rich in antioxidants, they contain a compound called glucosinolates, which fuel and strengthen the liver during all stages of detoxification.  The glucosinolate sulforaphane (yeah, it’s a mouthful I know!), actually helps to boost production of enzymes that sweep these toxins out of the body.

Pretty clever hey?

They’re also high in vitamin C and zinc (hello immune system) and bursting in B-vitamins which are necessary for supporting energy production and adrenal glands, which get hammered when sleep is curtailed as a result of irregular shift schedules.

Hot Tip: for those not used to eating raw, the secret is to slice it very thinly or chop it finely, then marinate with oil, citrus, and spices.

For added protein, feel free to throw on some feta cheese, sliced chicken or whatever your heart desires!

What’s In It? (Serves 2)

1/2 head cauliflower, very thinly sliced or finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped cashews
1/4 cup sultanas (or finely chopped dates)
1/2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 tablespoon lemon (or lime) juice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Sprinkle black pepper
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons almonds, sliced

How To Make It?

In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, cashews, and sultanas.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and pepper. Add it to the cauliflower mixture and toss evenly to coat. Serve immediately, or place in a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to take into work. It will keep for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!

Audra x

Are Ingredients Important?

Do you read ingredients labels? Do you even pay attention to them?

When it comes to the food that we eat – are the ingredients even important?

Many years ago when I worked for a multi-level marketing nutrition company (please don’t hold this against me – we live and learn!), one of my mentors said that he never reads ingredients labels. In fact, he used to put those who did into a basket of sorts, calling them “label readers”.

Now I don’t like it when people slander others using labels at the best of times, but as a newbie learning about nutrition, I figured I should just trust what he was saying and deem it to be true.

However, as time marched on, it didn’t sit right. It left me with a bit of a niggling feeling that ignoring the ingredients was not a good approach to take.

That being said, if you’ve ever taken the time to read a nutrition label, you will know it can be like a minefield.  Lots of numbers and hard to pronounce words you may never have even heard of.

Shouldn’t that be an alarm bell in itself?

If we don’t know what’s in something or we can’t even pronounce it – shouldn’t that trigger us to investigate further?

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Reducing High Blood Pressure to Support the Immune System.

Last week I chatted briefly about a condition called metabolic syndrome (MetS), and how it’s inflammatory effects can alter the normal functioning of lymphatic tissues involved in the immune response.

Now there are 5 risk factors that fall under the banner of metabolic syndrome, but in today’s post, I’m going to concentrate on High Blood Pressure, also known as hypertension.

First and foremost, something to keep in mind is that high blood pressure is an inflammatory disease that impairs immune function.  That being said, a compromised immune system also leads to inflammation, so it works both ways.

When the immune response becomes dysregulated, it causes the sympathetic nervous system (a fancy way to describe our ‘fight or flight’ stress response), to go into overdrive. This raises our heart rate and blood pressure (which is fine in the short term), but over the long-term, can lead to oxidative damage causing arterial stiffening and hardening of the arteries.

Picture a rusty pipe and this is pretty much what oxidative damage does to our inner piping, so definitely something we want to avoid!

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Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome and Immunity

Something which is not often spoken about when it comes to immune function, is how our body composition can play a role in its ability to function at its optimum.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of conditions comprising of:

– excess abdominal weight
– high blood pressure
– elevated blood glucose levels
– high levels of triglycerides, and
– low levels of high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol 

A person is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (MetS) if they have at least three of these five conditions.

Sadly this is becoming more and more prevalent both here in Australia, and overseas – also raising the risks of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Quite simply, metabolic syndrome has become a global epidemic (Saklayen 2018) – be it a very silent one.

What’s important to understand is that metabolic syndrome (MetS) negatively affects immune function, and does so by altering normal functioning of lymphatic tissues due to high levels of inflammation.

These lymphatic tissues include white blood cells (leukocytes), bone marrow, the thymus gland, spleen and lymph nodes.

So stay tuned, as over the next few weeks I’m going to share some tips and tricks on how to address all 5 of these MetS risk factors, because many people who work outside normal working hours … AKA shift workers ⏰, often present with at least 3-4 of them.

Audra x

Trouble Sleeping? Have You Tried Grounding?

Did you know the simple act of earthing, otherwise known as grounding can help to improve sleep?

Sound a bit strange – or to good to be true?

Earthing works because when direct skin comes into contact with the ground, it helps to rectify an electron deficiency.  Essentially the body becomes charged with negative electrons that are abundant on the surface of the earth.

Think of it as topping up your vitamin G – as in G for ground.

This in turn helps to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and lower stress hormones such as cortisol, which in most cases helps to improve sleep.

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