What if you could slow down your aging process, while increasing your energy?
Do you sometimes find yourself on the energy roller coaster? Do you wake up, and need coffee to start your day? Maybe your breakfast is a slice of toast with jam, bowl of boxed cereal, or a glass of bottled juice. Or maybe you skip breakfast and wait for morning tea or lunch. Okay, so what does this have to do with energy? Good question – here we go!
Eating for energy is about one simple strategy: balancing your blood sugar. When we eat a constant stream of sugary foods or go for long stretches without eating, we send our blood sugar levels out of balance and this has a knock-on effect for our hormones. This manifests as quick bursts of energy followed by exhausting crashes, along with short-term and long-term problems like insomnia, weight gain, mood swings and inflammation.
And guess what effect those long-term problems have on us? We start to age faster from the INSIDE OUT.
So how do blood sugar levels get out of balance? Here is a quick breakdown of how sugary foods and refined carbohydrates affect us:
A sugary food is eaten (white bread, pastries, sugary beverage like soda, and fruit juice etc.)
Food is quickly digested and absorbed, with a surge of sugar rushing into the bloodstream
The pancreas secretes insulin to help shuttle that sugar out of the blood and into our cells
Our blood sugar levels drop quickly
The adrenal glands react, producing the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) to help pick blood sugar levels back up
These stress hormones peak and then crash
Too much sugar and carbohydrates can put us into a vicious cycle of peaks and crashes that is difficult to escape.
The short-term health impacts of blood sugar imbalance include several common signs, and maybe you have experienced one or more.
Poor focus and concentration
Increased blood pressure
Cravings for sweets
Over time, if sugar imbalances aren’t addressed, it will start to take bigger toll on our long-term health – which can worsen as we start to age faster from the inside out:
Impaired thyroid function
Insulin resistance and diabetes
Lowered immunity & increased risk of infections
Cognitive issues – inability to think, learn or remember
High blood pressure
Pain and inflammation
So, which foods are best to avoid or are the worst offenders? Here are the top offenders and might be a good idea to remove them from the fridge and pantry.
The secret to blood sugar stabilization, which leads to increased energy as well as better health and aging comes from 5 key concepts.
PROTEIN. This macro nutrient is essential for healing and repair, and also helps us feel full and satiated. Best sources: eggs, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes.
FAT. An energy-dense macro nutrient that also helps us feel full and satiated. Best sources: nuts, seeds, healthy oils (coconut, olive, avocado, flax, chia, etc.), fish, ghee, avocado.
FIBER. High fibre foods take longer to break down, releasing a slow stream of energy rather than a flush of it. This keeps our blood sugar levels steady and even. Best sources: beans, legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, gluten-free whole grains.
EATING REGULARLY. Consuming regular, nutritious meals helps our blood sugar levels to stabilise and prevents them from dropping too low.
LOW GI FOODS. Choosing foods that are low on the glycemic index (more info below) also helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
When you combine the above into each meal, you’ll set yourself on a course of steady, sustained energy that will keep you feeling great all day long. Here is a recipe for a great breakfast smoothie.
What else can we add into our diets that will help with blood sugar balance, increase energy, and slow down the aging process? Contact me to discuss some of my favorites. I would love to hear from you.
To be honest, I really like to chew my food, so having a smoothie can sometimes put me off. That’s not the case with this lovely smoothie. I call it my Healthier Green Smoothie.
Make every meal special, why not serve your fresh and healthy breakfast smoothie in a wine glass!
Well balanced using fresh spinach, fresh apple -with peel, good fats with flax seeds, hemp seeds, tahini and a medjool date for hit of sweetness wrapped up with fibre and iron. But what I really love is the addition of essential oils. For this recipe I choose lemon, lime and ginger. The lemon and Lime help with your metabolism in the morning and the freshness wakes me up. I used Ginger for the warming touch it gives and for digestion.
What a perfect breakfast smoothie!
Healthier Green Smoothie With Essential Oils
Breakfast, Healthy Advice, Smoothies
Bright, well balanced Smoothie that will suit the whole family.
1 red or green apple, core removed
1 to 2 cups Spinach OR Kale
2 cup water
1 tbsp Hemp Seeds
1 tbsp Flax Seeds
1 tbsp Tahini
1 soft medjool date, stone removed
pinch of sea salt
3 drops lemon doTERRA Essential Oil
3 drops lime doTERRA Essential Oil
2 drops ginger doTERRA Essential Oil
Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender and process.
Pour finished smoothie into glass of choice - I used a wine glass for fun.
Makes enough for 2 serves.
1. You can use red or green apple. Or other fruit such as Pear or even kiwi fruit.
2. The Essential Oils are an optional extra. You don't need to have them on hand or use them.
Homemade Birthday Cake was the norm when I was growing up, every member of my family had their GO TO cake. Mine was lovely layered cake known as German Chocolate Cake. It had this really yummy frosting made with pecans and coconut and I simply couldn’t think of anything better.
This cake is named for a man not the country!
Travel forward with me to 2019 and I have re-fashioned my childhood cake into a more whole food version that tastes just as special as it always did! In this version, the white flour and white sugar have been replaced with wholefood options. And if you want the cake to be VEGAN, the eggs can be replaced too! WOW, so is this really a cake? Yes it is and its every bit as good as the original.
So what magic did I spin to create this cake?
It starts with replacing the flour. Which I did my using pre-cooked quinoa. I then replaced the white sugar with coconut sugar. Now I could have used rapadura sugar here, however, I really like the caramel taste of coconut sugar. I don’t have an issue with eggs, however, I have many friends who either can’t eat eggs or are vegan, so I have included an option to use chia gel as an egg replacement. You could also use powered egg replacement, however, I wanted to keep this as a whole food cake so chia was the better option.
The result, is a moist, yummy, chocolatey cake worthy of being someones favorite Birthday Cake! With the perfect pecan and coconut frosting. YEAH!
For the frosting, the sugar was replace with whole majool dates – the rest is almost the same, unsweetened coconut and fresh raw pecans. Its the perfect frosting for this cake. Whats more, you can make this cake as a single layer, double layer or turn it into cup cakes. The choice is yours. I hope you love this cake as much as I do and make it often.
Ah, Cake! Homemade German Chocolate Cake
one whole cake or 12 cup cakes
• 2 cups organic quinoa, pre-cooked
• 1/3 cup almond milk ( or non nut milk like oat, rice, coconut)
• 4 organic eggs (use chia seed gel for vegan option see notes)
• ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¾ cup coconut sugar
• ½ cup raw cacao powder
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon Sea salt
• 16 Medjool dates, pitted
• Water to cover dates in bowl
• ¼ cup water
• ¾ cup coconut, organic, unsweetened, finely shredded
• ½ cup organic pecan
1. Preheat oven to 180 C. (350F) Grease and line a 9-inch cake pan with a round of parchment paper at the bottom (single layer – use 2 cake pans for double layer)
2. Melt coconut oil.
3. Put the quinoa, milk, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla into a food processor fitted with the metal “S” blade. Pulse to combine and then process until smooth, this will take about 30-60 seconds.
4. Add the coconut sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt to the bowl and pulse to combine well.
5. Bake - For a single layer cake: Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the centre comes out clean.
Let the cake cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before turning out of the pan.
For the cupcake option: Divide batter into paper cupcake liners in muffin pan, filling 2/3 full and bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
When the cake or cupcakes are completely cool, frost as desired.
Frosting How to....
1. Place 16 pitted in enough water to cover. Soak for 20-30 minutes to soften.
2. Drain water from dates, reserving ¼ cup for processing
3. Place dates in food processor with “S” blade. Add reserved date water.
4. Process till smooth and creamy
5. Add pecans and coconut, mix till blended.
To make Chia/ or Flax Seed egg replacement you will need
4 tbsp whole raw flax or chia seeds, ( do not use pre-ground)
12 tbsp water
Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the flax or chia seeds into a fine meal.
Combine the fine meal with the 12 TBSP of water. Mix well and allow to set before using in your cake mix.
Chia will need at least 15 minutes in the fridge, but an hour is better if you have the time. This gives your egg re placer plenty of time to thicken.
If you use Flax, it generally needs 1 full hour in the fridge. Once thickened, you will have the equivalent of four eggs to substitute in your cake.
ARE YOU AVOIDING BREAD? IS GLUTEN AN ISSUE FOR YOU?
Today I have a great option for you, I am sharing a recipe for a FERMENTED gluten free bread. YEAH!
Why a fermented bread? The cool thing about the natural process of long fermentation is it breaks down gluten proteins into smaller fragments, which improves digestibility. The process also breaks down phytic acid, a naturally occurring compound found in all whole grains that inhibits mineral absorption, so the fermented process produces a bread which won’t spike blood sugar, has more magnesium, zinc, iron, B12, and a lower glycaemic index.
However, If you have celiac disease all gluten-containing breads are off the menu. Which is why we are looking at this bread recipe using all GF pseudo grains. This bread can be eaten by those avoiding all standard grains and/or have celiac disease.
So how did we get here…. has it always been this way?
For 10,000 years, we cultivated wheat, stored it, milled it and consumed it. The system worked, and it nourished civilization. Then, in the industrial era, we changed things. First, we invented mechanical technologies to turn wheat into barren white flour. Then, we invented chemical and genetic technologies to make it resistant to pests, drought and blight and easier to harvest. And, while we were tweaking genetics, we also figured out how to increase glutens for better “baking properties” (fluffier results). Put another way:
We have mutant seeds, grown in synthetic soil, bathed in chemicals. They’re deconstructed, pulverized to fine dust, bleached and chemically treated to create a barren industrial filler that no other creature on the planet will eat. And we wonder why it might be making us sick?
So what else is in our bread?
Has anyone you know made let you know: “I’ve gone gluten-free and feel so much better. For the vast majority of people with some level of “wheat sensitivity”, symptoms are much milder and seem to be triggered by *something* about modern wheat. The irony, however, is that most gluten-free versions of traditional wheat-based foods are actually junk food. A quick check of the ingredients labels and you might see thinks like rice starch, corn-starch, tapioca starch, potato starch and guar gum, which are highly refined industrial starches that spike blood sugar just like white flour.
Well good news, my fermented bread recipe is perfect for you. Its gluten free, vegan and yeast free.
Checking the batter along the way. Seeing little air bubbles means fermentation is happening.
Fermented Gluten-Free Bread (Egg Free and Yeast Free)
1 standard loaf
I really love this bread! Its a very dense loaf, with a slight sour taste. Perfect for anyone who can't have gluten. It's also free of eggs and yeast.
The fermentation process (leaving out at room temperature) gives it a rise with all the air bubbles, but by no means is this a light fluffy loaf.
Lovely toasted with your favorite toppings.
• 3 cups whole buckwheat OR 3 cup mixed grains (try buckwheat/millet/rice)
• 1-2 tsp. sea salt
• Coconut oil, ghee, or butter ( for the loaf pan)
• Sesame seeds, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, (fold into the fermented dough before baking.
1. Rinse all grains, cover with water, and soak overnight (for at least 12 hours) in a large bowl.
2. Drain into a fine mesh strainer, and rinse before combining with ¾ –1 cup of fresh water and sea salt. Place in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until it reaches a loose toothpaste consistency.
3. Pour the batter into a clean bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and leave out at room temperature for approximately 24 -48 hours to ferment (I NORMALLY STOP THE FERMENTATION @ 36 HOURS).
Note: I like to mix the batter once around the 24-hour mark to mix in any hooch that might be on top of the batter. You’ll notice it because it will be darker than the batter…almost a purplish color. Just mix it back in and let it rise again.
4. Preheat oven to 180C (350-370F). Grease a loaf pan and then sprinkle a mix of seeds in the bottom of the pan. This helps the bread to not stick.
5. Before you pour the batter into the pan, add a couple Tbsp. of any other seeds you want. Once the seeds are mixed, pour the batter in the loaf pan and place in the oven.
6. Baking usually takes 45-60 minutes It's done when it's golden brown on top, usually the top of the bread is cracked, and if you stick a toothpick in it will come out clean.
7. Remove from oven and allow bread to cool for at least 1 hour before removing from pan. Once completely cool, slice bread and enjoy, either plain or toasted.
Can be left out at room temperature (well covered) for up to 3 days. After that is best to store in the fridge or freezer. There are no preservatives
Ah the rich smells from the kitchen today sent me back in time to when I was little. It had me wrapped up in my childhood …. cold winter days just before Christmas when I would bake all sorts of wonderful creations. I think this magical memory will stay with me all day! How wonderful.
Today I made Christmas Spice Biscuits, using all the traditional spices – you might feel you have been transported to another country. So lovely!
The recipe is based on a classic one and uses both white and brown sugar – I altered this and changed the sugar to all coconut sugar. I also used a combination of milk and baking soda (bicarb) instead of eggs (EGG FREE). However the standout for this recipe is the use of white pepper!