Now, I don’t know about you, but I love a good DIY video. Whilst Suzelle DIY and her humour may not appeal to everyone, I love her message that “anybody can”, because often it only takes simple steps to makeover your home, or in this case, your health.
Whilst convenience is king in this modern age, a little empowerment in the kitchen goes a long way towards saving your health (and budget) in the long run.
Soups can be an incredibly healthy part of your diet. However there are quite a few “red flags” to look out for when considering store-bought options. Often pre-packaged soups will contain far more sodium (salt) than you would normally add. We know that too much salt is not good for your blood pressure or your heart.
If buying soup in a can or plastic container, also look out for Bisphenol-A (BPA) on the label. BPA is a known endocrine-disruptor and has even been associated with conditions such as early onset puberty, abnormal reproductive system functioning, obesity, insulin resistance and pre-cancerous changes. Sadly we are exposed to BPA in a wide variety of other products. Whilst one can of soup may not sabotage your health, you really want to eliminate any “avoidable” sources of BPA to lessen the load of the unavoidable environmental exposures.
Other than the sodium and BPA, you also want to watch out for the load of artificial flavourings, preservatives, and added sweeteners also. The best option is always to make your own, and then pop it in your blender for a smooth texture. Soups are actually incredibly easy, and we have a few recipes on our website. Otherwise – pinterest!
Smoothies really are amazing health tools. The amount of moms visiting Lifestyle Health saying that they have managed to hide products like moringa and spirulina in “chocolate” (read: Cacao) smoothies for their “non-veggie-eating” kids is so inspiring. Smoothies can even be used to disguise your daily essentials like omega 3 liquid, vitamin c powder, and even probiotics.
The trouble with smoothies that you get in café’s or restaurants are that they can be higher in calories and sugar (even natural sugars) than you would ideally have at home. Again, we have a ton of recipes on our website, as well as a guide to making your ideal smoothie. The tricks are to avoid adding too many sugar-rich fruits, to never ever add a fruit juice, and to balance the smoothie between wholesome carbohydrate sources, healthy fats and protein. The advantage of a smoothie versus a juice is that you can also get fibre from the fruits or nuts or seeds that you add. A good quality blender doesn’t need to cost the earth either, so long as you know what to look and ask for. The ladies at Lifestyle Health are more than happy to provide you with guidance here.
Juices can either be your best friend or your health-saboteur. If you’re looking for a phytonutrient-, antioxidant-, and vitamin-and-mineral-boost, then juices can be amazing. As with a smoothie, the trick is to limit the high sugar fruits, and ideally add more vegetables versus fruits to your juice.
Another MAJOR determinant in whether your juice is helping you or simply providing empty calories is the quality of your juicer. If you have a centrifugal juicer, the chances are high that you are destroying the nutrients within the fruits and vegetables because of the nature of the machine. These juicers heat the products and this destroys the natural enzymes as well as harming the nutrient content. Again, come chat to the ladies at Lifestyle Health about a good juicer because you do not want your nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to be rendered nutrient-depleted.
Juices should be treated as a multivitamin and mineral and antioxidant “supplement”, and we do not typically advocate for using juices as your sole source of nutrition. This is because they do not contain enough fibre, protein or healthy fat to sustain a healthy body long term.
It seems like it took us far too long to realise that nuts other than peanuts could be used for nut butters. A tablespoon of macadamia nut butter or cashew nut butter is easily more decadent that any pudding in my opinion.
Luckily there are a lot of brands that do take care to avoid adding added sugar, salt, and preservatives (although you must still read ALL labels). However, did you know that it only takes about 15 minutes for you to make your own nut butter? Also, you can often buy nuts in bulk packs at a great price to freeze until you need to make your next batch. Trust me, it works out far cheaper than the store-bought versions. You do need a good blender though, but essentially you just need to dry roast the nuts in a pan or in the oven, add a little bit of Himalayan salt, then blend until smooth. Be warned: when you first begin blending, you think its never going to get creamy and smooth, but persevere and you will be rewarded!
It is vitally important that you know and understand what you are putting into your body. Pre-packaged and pre-prepared foods often contain additives that you simply do not need, and if you are only eating pre-packaged foods this could seriously be impacting your health. Yes the initial outlay on a good blender or good juicer may be significant, but it is worth the expense up front to save you in the long run. Also, you can get all-in-one products such as the Oscar DA1000 which can make all of the above.