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SKIN CARE

Clients often ask me about my skin care regimen and to be fair, I like to keep it simple. I use Kiehls cleansing products and a facial oil from Omorovicza which contains Evening Primrose oil, Jojoba and Sweet Almond oil which I apply twice daily. All three oils are high in either or both Omega-6/9 fatty acids which play an essential role in the formation of cell membranes. 

On top of that I use Udo’s Choice 3-6-9 oil blend capsules (so good for many reasons and skin is one of them!) and from time to time I use Hanskin paper sheet masks from Korea. They do a wonderful firming snail essence mask as well as Caviar sheet masks. 

As with everything, your skin is unique and what works for me may or may not work for you! That’s why it’s important not to buy into people’s one fits all solutions.

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TURMERIC

Turmeric rocks! It’s been used in the Indian cuisine for decades and lately more and more over here. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It’s a strong antioxidant and has powerful anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Recent research revealed that is can also be beneficial in the prevention or treatment of different health conditions such as different cancers, Leucemia, Parkinsons, MS and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin also lowers insulin resistance and activates fat burning gene signals hence can help with weight-loss. 
 
I would aim to have turmeric in your diet meaning cooking with it as well as making delicious Turmeric lattes and home-made tea rather than taking capsules. Nonetheless, if you know that you won’t be using it on a very regular basis then go for it! Capsules are better than not having it at all! Do what works best for you. 
 
As for capsules I prefer Wakaya Perfection as its 100% organic and from Wakaya, a 2,200-acre remote island in the Fiji archipelago … Puts me right into holiday mode, what about you?
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BEAT THE BLOAT

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We all know that digestive health is super important and we don’t have to be geniuses to notice when something feels wrong.

With meals on the go, long office hours and stress on the rise it doesn’t come as a surprise that most of us have had or have digestive problems, feeling bloated, constipated or both.

Inspired by my travels to Asia I found certain ingredients to be helpful in aiding digestion and getting rid of unwelcome tummy troubles. As for bloat these are my top herbs/spices.

•Ginger

•Anise

•Cardamon

•Jaggery

•Fennel

A tummy friendly and delicious alternative to Matcha tea in the morning would be the following…

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Mix freshly grated Ginger, Turmeric, Anise, Cardamon. Add unsweetened almond milk or a dairy free alternative. Boil, let simmer and blend afterwards. I love adding Cinnamon and Jaggery too. Not only for taste but also in order to stabilise my blood sugar, a great start to my day and hopefully yours too.

Enjoy hot or let cool down a little. Not too much though as cold may upset your tummy unnecessarily.

I also recommend Pre-and Probiotic foods and supplements. Probiotics are the body’s friendly bacteria whereas Prebiotics feed them. A combination of both as opposed to taking a single supplement on its own ensures you’re covering both grounds.

Prebiotic foods are e.g. garlic, raw chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus and unripe bananas.

Probiotic foods are fermented foods such as Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Yoghurt, Tempeh, Kombucha and Miso.

If issues persist please speak to your GP!

Have a bloat free day.
X

MEDICAL MUSHROOMS

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Thinking of mushrooms you may think of autumnal risottos or creamy soups and I’m not blaming you, especially given the freezing temperatures outside. In this case I’m talking about medical mushrooms though.

Shiitake, Cordyceps, Maitake are all part of the group but today I’m introducing you to my favourites Chaga and Reishi.

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Chaga is an antioxidant powerhouse, rich in protein and my longtime favourite. The Chaga mushroom is a parasite which typically grows on birch trees. It contains betulinic acid which is one of the strongest antiviral and anti-inflammatory agents out there and has been studied as a potential anti-cancer agent amongst others. The chemicals found in Chaga encourage the growth and production of Melanin in the human body (think healthy hair and skin).

I tested various brands but the 4 Sigma Foods is my favourite – super potent with 1500mg Chaga mushroom extract. It is vegan and free from sugar and gluten. Tried mixing the powder into your smoothie instead of drinking it hot?

I was introduced to Reishi also “Lingzhi” by my Chinese acupuncturist. The Reishi mushroom is slightly bitter but it’s healing properties outweigh it’s taste, believe me. Reishi has unique molecules that promote longevity by boosting immune system function and preventing abnormal blood vessel formations that could lead to life-threatening cancerous growths. This is leading us to the next topic – it’s anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties as well as blood pressure lowering effects.

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Again, 4 Sigma Foods do a great instant version.

Enjoy!

PROTEIN PANCAKES

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My word, I’m drooling just like my teething baby boy right now. Reason are these delicious Protein Pancakes, freshly made this morning. I’m not sure about you guys but I prefer dishes with a simple base. Dishes that can be tweaked one way or another (or another) based on needs as well as time and ingredients available.

Most mornings I opt for shakes rather than pancakes but when I have a few minutes extra I simply pour my shake mix into a pan and make these little goodies instead. Same recipe, different execution.

I use pasteurised egg whites from Two Chicks as that way I neither have to separate whites and yolks and can also simply drink the whites without risking Salmonella. As for the protein I use raw vegan unflavoured powder from Protein Works for myself and vanilla whey from Reflex Nutrition for hubby. Simply depends on preference. Same for cottage cheese which I often replace with dairy free coconut yoghurt.

THE BASE – RECIPE
1/4 cup raw oats
1/4 cup cottage cheese (or dairy free yoghurt)
1/2 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup egg whites

NUTRITION FACTS
Amount per serving
Calories 269
Total Fat 3 g
Total Carbs 23 g
Protein 35 g

I often add fruit (e.g. Blueberries, Banana), seeds or other superfoods such as Moringa or Macca. If you count your macros you’ll have to add anything that comes extra.

Today’s version also includes Pistachio, Pecan, Raspberry pure, Coconut yogurt and a little peanut butter mixed with quark. All topped with cinnamon and edible flowers from whole-foods.

Not sure about you guys but you have to excuse me, I have to tuck in 😛

Have a delicious day ahead X

MATCHA MORNINGS

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Try ceremonial grade Matcha green tea

Good morning ..

How do you like to kick start your mornings? I mean apart from pressing the snooze button.
Ice cold shower? Meditation? Coffee in bed?

The latter may seem a good idea at first but the consumption of caffeine can have nasty side affects on various parts of the bodily system. It can make you irritable, anxious and even more sensitive to pain. It can cause stomach upset, muscle tremors and .. the list continuous.

As far as caffeinated coffee goes I’ll have an espresso shot in my protein shake once in a while before hitting the gym. Excellent to increase performance. During the day I stick to decaf coffee. The smell is the same and no nasty side effects.

If you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake try ceremonial grade (the highest grade) Matcha green tea instead. If you’re a lover of the actual coffee taste rather than caffeine, go for a nice decaf brand.

I usually aim for 1-2 cups of Matcha tea in the morning. Matcha green tea contains powerful antioxidants, one of them epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECGC) which has been linked to cancer prevention, heart and brain health as well as weight management. One cup of Matcha has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea. Going back to caffeine, even though espresso provides roughly twice as much caffeine as Matcha, the tea’s effect lasts longer. Reason are the amino acids  and L-Theanin contained in Matcha which slows the release of caffeine.

My personal favourites are Matcha Lattes with either oat or coconut milk. A milk frother helps dissolving the powder much quicker than the traditional way – at least for me. Enjoy

BREASTFEEDING – THE MILKY WAY

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Me and my son

Good morning ladies,

I’m on a mission. A mission to keep up my milk supply. Its been four months already and I want to continue to exclusively breastfeed for as long as possible.

Guess whose on my lap feeding just now? My son Meelo Tiger, happily munchin away.

We all heard of “breast is best” but I’m by no means implying that every mother should give the breast as some ladies simply can’t – full stop. Motherhood is all about what’s best for mum and baby and alike nutrition overall – what works for one, doesn’t work for another. So all that – “mums must” nonsense by site, let’s begin…

Breast milk works on a supply and demand basis, meaning the more you nurse your baby, the more milk is being produced. Well, that sounds good in theory but let’s take sleep deprivation, too little water or inadequate food intake (we often forget about ourselves, don’t we) and/or stress in general into the equation and the system gets out of balance. More so, as our babies grow, so does their appetite – meaning mums need to produce even more of the “golden liquid”. You ladies know what I’m talking about, especially when your partner thinks its a good idea to discard milk even if a few millilitres “only”.

Below is my list of milk making essentials. Focus here are foods and supplements rather than e.g. techniques.

Water

My number 1.
So obvious but easily forgotten.

Water needs are based on multiple factors such as your metabolism and environmental factors. I personally try to have about 3 litres a day but if you’re less thirsty don’t force yourself. Drinking to satisfy thirst is said to be sufficient for most mum’s to stay hydrated.

Oats

It doesn’t come as a surprise that oats are one of the most popular foods to increase milk supply. Oats contain proteins, vitamins and minerals. They are high in manganese, iron, zinc, calcium and B-vitamins which help to level hormones (!) and increase energy (!).
Oats are also high in soluble fiber (decreases bad cholesterol) and beta-glucan, a type of fiber prominent in oats is thought to raise the levels of the breastfeeding hormone prolactin. More so, the idea of sitting down in peace and quiet and eating a warming bowl of porridge for instance is relaxing in itself and therefore aiding letdown. Let’s be honest though, how likely is the ladder case going to be?

I ate porridge for breakfast and made lactation cookies with an oat base (besides lots of other nutritional masters) in the first few weeks post-partum. I believe they did what they are meant to do, especially in the beginning when my milk supply hadn’t been established yet. Nonetheless, bearing in mind that most of the calories in oats are derived from carbs (mainly starch) I started to replace larger quantities of oats with small ones, meaning instead of big bowls of porridge I would go for homemade oat tea or have a glass of oat milk instead.

Other lactogenic foods are asparagus, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, watercress, beet and dark leafy greens, apricots, green papayas.

Lactogenic herbs and spices include turmeric (also anti-inflammatory), basil, caraway and ginger.
Garlic which can be beneficial for some didn’t work for me as it caused tummy upset and bloating.

Watch out for peppermint, sage, thyme, black walnut or oregano. These herbs can decrease milk supply and are often used by weaning mothers.

Lactation Cookies

Mmmmm, these goodies are not only super delicious but also super nutritious. Rather than buying them (think about all the preservatives) I like to make my own. Besides oats, my version includes flaxseed, coconut oil, lots of cinnamon, egg, salt, water and brewers yeast. I also like adding superfoods such as goji berries and raw cacao but you can of course add whatever you fancy.

Brewers Yeast

Brewers yeast is derived from the fermentation of beer. It’s believed to be a herbal galactagogue and used by nursing mums to help make more breast milk.
The yeast is a source of amino acids, B-complex vitamins and minerals. I cannot stress B- vitamins enough as they combat fatigue and help fighting baby blues.

I use Solgars Powder and either mix it with water, add it to salads or sprinkle it over yoghurt.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek, a herb, is another galactagogue. I use Holland & Barrets capsules (lowest dosage).

Weleda nursing tea

The tea is a blend of 100% organic herbs that support lactation and soothes digestion. It contains fenugreek, anise, fennel and other organic herbs.

Chlorella

I’ve been taking chlorella for a long time. With regards to breast feeding it can improve the quality of the milk. It purifies the milk of toxins and enhances it’s immunity-building properties. There are many brands out there but my favourites are Naturya and Organic Burst.

Happy milk making

Love, Anna X