The Chillaxing Smoothie

I’m calling this the “chillaxing smoothie” because it’s filled with relaxing and health enhancing minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and gut-friendly fibre.

Perfect for a tired and weary … and somewhat frazzled shift worker ⏰ 😴!

Bananas 🍌, celery and beetroot all contain potassium – a mineral which helps to lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease by maintaining fluid balance by way of enhancing urinary excretion of sodium.

We want to avoid too much sodium (found hidden in the majority of processed foods), as it draws water into the bloodstream, raising blood volume and thereby blood pressure.

Whole, real foods really are our medicine!

1/4 – 1/2 beetroot
1 x banana
1 x celery stick
250ml of milk of choice
3 x spoons yoghurt

Enjoy!

Audra x

Orange, Almond and Chia Smoothie:

A Great Energy Smoothie For Night Shift!

What’s great about this smoothie?

  • Almonds contain healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin E.  The proteins and healthy fats provide a slow source of energy release, and also help to slow down the release of simple carbohydrates or sugars into the bloodstream.  This helps to keep our blood sugar levels steady thereby reduce sugar cravings – something almost every shift worker struggles with thanks to ongoing sleep deprivation.
  • The oranges are bursting with immune boosting benefits including vitamins B and C, along with Flavonoids, Folic Acid, Carotenoids, Potassium and Dietary Fibre.  Vitamin C is also critical for adrenal function, one of our stress regulating glands which bear the brunt of a sleep-deprived lifestyle.
  • The Chia seeds are also high in protein and fibre, both of which help to keep us feeling full and have been shown to aid weight loss.

(more…)

In Need Of Some Stamina?

Why Beetroots Are A Shift Worker’s Friend!

Fresh beet on wooden background

As someone who works round the clock 24/7, do you have times when you feel as though you’re lacking some stamina? Kind of like you’re running on flat batteries?

Well besides catching up on some long lost sleep (which is extremely difficult to do when you work irregular hours) there is an alternative and it’s called ‘beetroot’.

Sound a bit strange? Well as a nutrition student I’m always fascinated with wholefoods and how they can heal the body.  In particular, how they can specifically help shift workers who are continually prone to a depleted immune system, digestive complaints and nervous system dysregulation.

As Hippocrates once said – ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’.

Beetroot has so many wonderful therapeutic benefits including:

  • It’s high in vitamin C and iron.
  • It’s a great cleanser on the gut, and helps to maintain bowel regularity (excellent for shift workers who are prone to digestive complaints).
  • It helps to regulate blood pressure.
  • It helps to guard against infections, in particular bowel and stomach infections.
  • Studies have shown beetroots can boost endurance and stamina via the efficient use of oxygen (*Murphy et al. 2012) – music to the ears of any energy depleted shift worker!

So if you’re looking for a bit of oomph or get up and go, try including some beetroot into your shift working diet. (more…)

Why Food Really Is Our Medicine PLUS Raw Organic Cacao Balls Recipe!

one of the subjects I’m studying at Uni at the moment is called the “Science and Medicine of Food”, and I have to admit, the more I learn about eating whole foods, the more I’m convinced that Hippocrates, (the father of Western medicine), was on the money when he famously said “Food is Medicine”.

Hippocrates believed that illness stemmed from inadequate nutrition and bad eating habits, and if people could learn to improve their eating habits then optimum health would be restored. He also taught other health practitioners to “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”

My how the world has changed.

Fast forward to 2014 and most people are on some kind of medication for some kind of illness or ailment.

So I’ve decided to share a Raw Organic Cacao Balls recipe (courtesy of one of my lecturers from Endeavour College) which I made this afternoon and it’s GOOD FOR YOU. Yay, finally some chocolate that we can eat guilt free!

These cacao balls make for a yummy treat (after work, before work – heck, even whilst you’re at work!), particularly when you’re feeling weary and in need of an energy boost.

A quick word on Chocolate, always use RAW ORGANIC CACAO! It’s super high in minerals and antioxidants, and on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which shows the antioxidant values of food it sits around 25,000-50,000 compared to around 4,000-6,000 in red wine. Sorry red wine drinkers …

Raw Organic Cacao Balls

1 cup singular or mixed raw nuts
1 cup pitted medjool dates
½ cup pepitas (or alternatively sunflower seeds, or mix both)
¼ cup goji berries
2-3 heaped dessert spoons of Organic Raw Cacao Powder
1tsp vanilla concentrated extract
1 tbsp raw organic honey
1 tsp organic cinnamon
Desiccated coconut for rolling (Mrs Flannery’s)

(Option – Add 1 tbsp unhulled tahini paste, or maca powder, or spirulina, or protein powder).

Process all of the ingredients, except the coconut, into a food processor until a good crumbly consistency (for about a minute on high).

Roll into walnut sized balls, and then roll in desiccated coconut, and enjoy (makes about 30), or 20 if you make them bigger.