- By Olivia Bates
- 23 June 2016
While our friends in the Northern Hemisphere are revelling in the warmer weather, for us down under, the cooler months have begun to take their toll (unless we have been smart and decided to escape – Hello Europe) which has also meant an increase in colds and flus floating around! Our dietitian Olivia shares the 5 best foods for keeping your immune system in tip top shape:
- Fresh (or frozen) fruit and vegetables – you have heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” – while it takes a bit more than an apple, the fundamental concept is there! Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Antioxidants in particular, boost the immune system by mopping up free radicals which attack cells. When people talk about antioxidants you will often hear them refer to the ORAC value – with higher values corresponding to higher antioxidant content. You will notice when you compare the ORAC values of F&V, a general rule of thumb is the darker the colour, the higher the antioxidant content. Blueberries and raspberries are particularly high in antioxidants so try adding them to your breakfast or enjoying them as a snack through the day for a seriously delicious and low sugar boost to your immune system!
- Turmeric – This bright yellow coloured spice has been getting some serious airtime of late with turmeric being added to everything from your warming curry, the crumbing on your fish and increasingly as an alternative beverage to your morning coffee (sans caffeine) with Turmeric Latte’s (AKA Golden Milk) popping up on menus everywhere. In an era of ‘superfoods’, Turmeric, a spice which has been around for centuries, has been escalated to stardom status. Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric is responsible for it’s distinct yellow colour, as well as providing a list of health benefits, in particular reducing inflammation, with its benefits been comparable to that of anti-inflammatory drugs! It is also a powerful antioxidant and is a well tolerated treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Try incorporating turmeric into your regime – we recommend a Golden Latte made on our Almond Milk for a delicious way to get the benefits!
- Ginger – A well known spice in Asian and Indian Cuisine, as well as being very popular in the western world, Ginger has long been heralded for its immune boosting properties. It is particularly effective for the relief of nausea and symptoms associated with colds and is best simply served as a ginger tea. Slice fresh ginger and place in mug topped with hot water. Add manuka honey and lemon for extra anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties!
- Yoghurt & Fermented foods – Probiotics found in yoghurts and other fermented foods play a major role in maintaining the balance of bacteria within our gut. Ensuring there is adequate good bacteria, is essential for keeping our digestive system functioning optimally as this represents the first line of defence against pathogens which ultimately make us sick. Incorporate yoghurt (try Luz Almond Milk Yoghurt) into your daily routine to give your gut a healthy boost!
- Matcha – Before there was turmeric, there was Matcha! A long standing tradition in Japanese culture, the Western world caught wind of this vibrant green powder a little while back and these days it is commonplace to see it in everything from lattes (Have you tried our Matcha Almond Milk?) to cakes, desserts and even pancakes! Matcha which literally meals ‘powdered tea’ is basically a super concentrated version of green tea, concentrated in everything from colour, to taste and health benefits. One of the main benefits associated with matcha is the buzz of energy similar to that of caffeine, but without the jittery and anxious side effects. It also rich in antioxidants (ORAC values 20 x that of blueberries) and is known to enhance mood and improve memory and concentration.
- By Olivia Bates
- 1 April 2016
A delicious gluten and dairy free alternative to an old favourite!
- 3/4 cup Luz Original Cold Pressed Almond Milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp raw cacao
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 1 tbsp chopped almonds to serve
1. Combine all ingredients except chopped almonds in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Heat for ten minutes stirring continuously.
3. Serve topped with almonds!
This nutritious and utterly delicious breakfast, packed with healthy fats, protein and antioxidants should keep you full for hours!!!
- By Olivia Bates
- 23 July 2015
Matcha is the new kid on the superfood block. Being used in everything from tea to lattes, cakes and desserts, this distinctly green powder is packed with nutrients and goodness. However while Matcha is only just now gaining popularity in the western world where Matcha shots were recently considered the “it” beverage at New York Fashion Week, Matcha has been a long standing tradition in Japanese culture.
So what is it?
Basically think of it as a super concentrated version of green tea! Yet unlike green tea where the leaves get infused with hot water and then discarded, Matcha literally means powdered tea. Matcha leaves are covered with shade cloths prior to harvesting which helps enhance the flavour and texture of the leaves which are then hand selected, steamed, dried and aged to deepen the flavour before being ground into a fine powder.
So what is so good about it?
- Boosts energy – Originally thought to be due to the caffeine content (1 cup of Matcha tea = 1 cup of coffee), the energy boost provided by Matcha is largely a result of the unique combination of nutrients. The presence of L-Theanine also means Matcha drinkers can experience the buzz associated with coffee, without the usual side effects such as nervousness and hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Rich in antioxidants – Antioxidants are natural chemical compounds which help to fight infections and disease. With an ORAC value (used to compare antioxidant content of foods) twenty times that of blueberries and pomegranate, Matcha is one of the most potent forms of antioxidants. In particular Matcha contains catechins, known for their cancer fighting properties as well as counteracting the effects of pollution and the sun’s UV rays which can cause cell and DNA damage.
- Memory, concentration and calm – L-theanine promotes the production of dopamine and serotonin, both of which play a role in enhancing mood, improving memory and concentration.
- Promotes calmness – Monks have used Matcha green tea for centuries to relax and meditate while still remaining alert, due again to the presence of L-theanine which induces relaxation without drowsiness, a side effect known as “alert calm”.
- Detoxifies the body – The high levels of chlorophyll which give Matcha its vibrant green colour also naturally remove heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
If you haven’t already, make sure you try our latest Luz creation, formulated in collaboration with Being Co, distributor of premium quality Matcha, we bring you Luz Matcha!
- By Olivia Bates
- 11 March 2015
You might remember a little while back we introduced one of our favourite instagram sensations and food blogger, Ksenia of @breakfastcriminals. Since meeting her in Central Park NYC for a delicious Breakfast back in September we have watched her go from strength to strength, with her delicious recipes having being featured on such blogs as LuluLemon, The Body Book (yes that is Cameron Diaz’s site), MindBodyGreen, Well+Good and Le Pain Quotidien, among others.
Most of you are probably familiar with some of her delightful breakfast smoothie bowls, if you aren’t I suggest you get over to her instagram or blog immediately. However what you probably haven’t seen is the behind the scenes – what is actually in the fridge of the biggest breakfast criminal of them all, Ksenia Avdulova.
So here it is…have a peak inside her fridge:
- Unsweetened organic almond milk – to make smoothies and oatmeal
- Probiotic foods – miso to make soup, sauerkraut (I can’t live without it), sheep’s milk yogurt from farmers market, kombucha, yogurt starter, capsuled probiotics, powdered probiotic from Sunbiotic
- Superfood shelf, jars – flax, cacao nibs, cacao, hemp seeds, nutrition bars (Kind and International Harvest)
- Nopalina flax mix
- Snacks: tigernuts, vegan snack packs raw macarons
- Juice Press ginger fireball juice
- Ginger and lemon – to make tea
- Ran out of greens because I’ve been making kale salads for lunch daily!
- Raw cacao beans that I brought from Nicaragua with intention to make my own chocolate
- Sprout living sprout mix to add to smoothies, oats and salads adding nutrition value
- Veggie burger mix
- In the back: all my bulk cacao and cacao nibs from Frontier Coop (the best ever!)
- Aloe vera juice – alkalizing when mixed with water or as a shot
- Spelt flour
- Rice paper- to make veggie rolls
Quick Q&A with
Q: How do you maintain a healthy weight?
A: “Exercise is non-negotiable – I’m a sucker for a sweaty vinyasa and a good cardio. Not only it gets my heart rate up and is plain fun, but also it helps me connect with my body on a different level, which ultimately helps control appetite and emotional eating. A few more rules I follow is not shopping when hungry, and only buying groceries that I won’t regret eating 🙂 And rule number one of course, never skipping breakfast! It’s often my biggest meal of the day.”
Q: Why is a healthy weight important?
A: “Let’s get real, nothing feels more amazing than having a strong sexy bod! It gives you the confidence to go for your dreams and accomplish all your goals.”
Get in touch with Ksenia: