Blog : wellness

5 Foods to Help You Avoid the Lurgy this Winter

5 Foods to Help You Avoid the Lurgy this Winter

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:

  1. 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!IMG_6435
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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!IMG_6469
  5. 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.Powderalmondsbottle
Chai Latte

Chai Latte

Ingredients

4 Black Tea Bags

2 cups Luz Almond Original or Date Almond Milk

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

Grind black pepper

Sweetener to taste

Method

  1. Place all ingredients except sweetener into a small saucepan over medium heat with the tea bags hanging out of the pot.
  2. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes so flavour infuses.
  3. Squeeze tea bags to release flavour, mix and then taste.
  4. Add sweetener of your choice to taste (we recommend maple syrup or honey).
  5. Serve immediately.
Orange & Pomegranate Bircher Muesli

Orange & Pomegranate Bircher Muesli

Inspired by a recipe from Theresa Cutter, the Healthy Chef

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 200g Luz Almond Vanilla or Natural Yoghurt
  • Arils from 1 pomegranate
  • 2 oranges, chopped
  • 1 green apple, finely chopped
  • Honey / maple syrup

Method

  1. Combine oats, chia seeds, orange juice and yoghurt and mix to combine. Cover and allow to soak overnight.
  2. Fold through apple and divide between two bowls.
  3. Top with fresh orange, pomegranate arils and a light drizzle of honey.
  4. Enjoy immediately or take in a container or jar to work!

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Matcha Almond Pancakes

Matcha Almond Pancakes

Ingredients

1/3 – ½ cup Luz Matcha Almond Milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup almond meal

1 tsp Being Co Matcha powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp baking powder

coconut oil for cooking

fresh fruit, for serving

honeycomb (optional)

Method

1. Combine egg, almond meal, matcha and baking powder in a bowl.

2. Slowly add the Luz Matcha Almond Milk, starting with a third of a cup and adding more if required to thin out the mixture.

3. Heat a small fry pan over medium heat and add a teaspoon of coconut oil.

4. Add ½ cup matcha mixture and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until set.

5. Repeat with remaining mixture.

6. Serve with fresh fruit, honey comb and for an extra treat why not top with a delicious scoop of Luz Almond Burnt Toffee and Macadamia Frozen Dessert!

10 Fabuluz Facts about Luz Almond Milk

10 Fabuluz Facts about Luz Almond Milk

Just in case you needed 10 more reasons to enjoy our delicious cold pressed almond milk!

  1. Vegan friendly – all Luz Almond products are 100% free of animal products
  2. Gluten Free – our products are free of gluten-containing products, and therefore are suitable for celiacs and those with gluten intolerances
  3. Dairy & lactose free – making them suitable for those who avoid dairy and lactose for dietary, religious or personal reasons
  4. Made with Australian Almonds – we are proud to say our product is Australian made using premium quality Australian almonds, supporting our local industry
  5. Activated almonds – we activate our almonds to reduce the phytates which can prevent absorption of the good nutrients in the almonds
  6. Source of protein – unlike most almond milk brand, Original Luz Almond milk contains 5.3g of protein per serve versus ~1g in other brands
  7. No added or refined sugar – our Original almond milk is made simply from almonds and filtered water, while our flavoured milks are naturally sweetened with dates
  8. Low in saturated fat – almonds are naturally high in good fats (poly and monounsaturated fatty acids) and low in the bad fats (saturated and trans fats) which cause high cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease
  9. 12% almonds – most almond milks contain 2-4% almonds and have added oils, emulsifiers and fillers to make them seem denser
  10. Fresh, unpasteurized, no HPP – our milk is simply made by soaking then pressing the almonds, bottling, labeling and distributing. Our milks contain no preservatives and do not undergo any form of heat or high-pressure treatment to ensure the nutritional integrity of the product is maintained.

To learn more facts and tips for the health-savvy, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

What’s in your fridge Jordanna Levin?

What’s in your fridge Jordanna Levin?

Jordanna Levin is the founder of one of our favourite blogs, ‘The Inspired Table’. She is a holistic wellness coach whose focus is to heal people’s ‘complicated’ relationship with food. She believes food should inspire and nourish, not be a source of stress and anxiety. Through her coaching programs, cooking workshops and popular healthy food blog she’s creating a new movement of mindful and inspired eating.

We were delighted to get a sneak peak inside Jordanna’s fridge. Enjoy checking it out for yourselves!

Jordanna's fridge

 

A little more on what is in Jordanna’s fridge (in her words, it was a little random on this day!):

  • 2 types of yoghurt: Coyo and goat’s milk. The reason there is two because I prefer Coyo on sweeter things like porridge or with fruit, and then goat’s milk on savoury meals like curries and salads. I find straight cow’s milk yoghurt a little hard to digest these days. Goat’s milk is a good compromise, plus it’s DELICIOUS.
  • Fresh coconut: I have a serious coconut addiction. I add the water to my smoothies most mornings. The carton stuff just isn’t the same. I try and make sure I use the whole coconut too. I usually freeze the flesh i don’t eat and add it to smoothies or banana soft serve.
  • Raw Sisterhood sauerkraut: I always have a jar of this in the fridge and eat a spoonful with every meal. I’m usually a Golden Goodness (full of turmeric and ginger) fan, but this week I bought the Pickle Me Pink (full of beets).
  • 2 jars of random: I always have countless jars of weird things in my fridge. The top jar is some cold pressed turmeric and ginger juice that I made the day before to add to teas and hot almond milk drinks. The bottom jar is a raspberry chia pudding that I made the night before to have for breakfast with some Coyo and probably some activated buckwheat.
  • Organic eggs: Always! It’s eggs for days at my house. Soft-boiled, scrambled, poached, in crepes, in banana bread… I couldn’t survive without them.
  • Vegemite: You can see the yellow lid peeking out from over the back. I love the stuff, I can’t deny it! Vegemite and avocado on sourdough with a poached egg on top is my idea of breakfast heaven.
  • Orchard St Turmeric Kefir: I’m surprised this was in the fridge, they never last more than 2 minutes once i buy them. I’m fortunate enough to live a 5 minute walk from Orchard Street elixir bar in Bondi, I must have planned ahead this day and had one ready to go for an afternoon pick me-up.
  • Organic veggies: I actually couldn’t get my veggie crisper in shot here, but my fridge is usually full of lots of vegetables. Although I end to buy as I need it these days. I was sick of getting to the end of the week and finding I wasn’t able to get through everything. Its such a waste. I’m lucky that my local grocer has such a wide selection of organic fruit and veg.

 Jordanna Levin1

Quick Q&A with The Inspired Table

Q: Why do you think it is important to maintain a healthy weight?
A: “I think we place too much emphasis on weight, size and body shape. When I’m working with my clients and they come to me with weight issues I think it’s really important to shift the focus from a desired weight range or dress size and ask them what being healthy would feel like to them. What would it feel like to have boundless energy, have a clear head, sharp mind, restful sleeps, glowing skin and improved self-esteem? How would it affect their job, relationships, family and hobbies? There are so many varying degrees of “healthy”, but if somebody can say that they’re nourishing their bodies with nutrient-rich foods, moving their bodies with regular exercise and taking the time for self-care and stress management then being “healthy” has the ability to transform peoples lives.”

Q: What do you do to maintain a healthy weight?
A: “Well, I do things a lot differently than I did in my early twenties I’ll tell you that much. The biggest key factor for me to remain healthy is to really tune in to my body and listen to what it needs. I spent years exercising like a crazy lady and restricting my diet only to have a serious adrenal burnout at the age of 25, 2 years without a period and a massive disconnection from what my body really needed. These days I eat when I’m hungry and try to squeeze as many nutrients as I can into each meal, which means lots of green vegetables, small amounts of grass fed meats, fresh seafood, good fats and superfoods like quinoa, chia and cacao. If my body feels nourished it stays pretty happy. I also exercise less these days. I do yoga most days and then throw in some brisk walks and a couple of HIIT sessions, but if my body says ‘no’ and somedays it does, I just take it easy that day. Meditation is the last bit of the puzzle for me. Actually, mindfulness in general. Once I eliminated the stress from eating and exercising the whole being healthy thing just kind of fell into place. We are so incredibly hard on ourselves sometimes and the mere act of being gentle and kind can make physical and emotional transformations in people that no amount of dieting or exercising could achieve.”

 

Get in touch with Jordanna:

Top Ten Tips to Avoid Ending up looking like Santa at Christmas

Top Ten Tips to Avoid Ending up looking like Santa at Christmas

There is no denying we all have a soft spot for the magic affiliated with the big jolly guy in the red and white suit…however despite all the love in the world we would prefer to not end the silly season looking like him! The fact is ‘you are what you eat’ and if you spend the entire silly season stuffing yourself with pudding and mince pies, you are bound to start resembling one. Here we have compiled our top ten tips for avoiding the Christmas weight gain:

  • Stock up on fresh produce and a healthy pantry – particularly if you are in Australia at this time of year, the warm weather and abundance of delicious fruit and vegetables makes it a great time to enjoy salads and fresh fruit. Avoid the temptation of eating highly processed food and Christmas treats by keeping it out of the house (at least until the 25th) – out of sight out of mind!!
  • Don’t go to the Christmas party hungry – consume a light meal such as a salad or sandwich (made on wholegrain bread) prior to the event to prevent you from overindulging on party food as soon as you arrive. Many party foods are ladened with saturated fat and / or sugar (think party pies, spring rolls and mince pies), which are high in kilojoules but leave you feeling unsatisfied and often result in excessive consumption.
  • Eat regular meals – skipping meals will often leave you reaching for the Christmas cake later on so stick to your regular meal times!

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  • Don’t overindulge in alcohol – we know this is the time of year when we are likely to have a couple of extra champagnes, however it is important to remember that large quantities of alcohol disrupt sleep patterns as well being a significant source of empty kilojoules. Try and maintain at least 3 alcohol free days per week plus alternate each glass of alcohol with a glass
    of water – this will help prevent over consumption of alcohol as well as food!
  • Make better choices and set yourself a limit prior to arrival – try and steer clear of pastry /deep fried canapés in particular, as well as giving yourself a limit … let’s say four savoury items and one or two sweet treats (I will let you decide on the number) …and make sure you stick to it!
  • Maintain your sleep pattern – a late night out at a Christmas party may result in inadequate sleep particularly if it is mid week and you still have to turn up to work tomorrow. In contrast a heavy night of drinking may result in a serious hangover and feeling like spending the whole day in bed. Research has shown less than 6 hours or greater than 8 hours of sleep is associated with weight gain so you should be aiming for 7 hours of sleep a night, even during the silly season!!

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  • Don’t try and lose weight – if there is one time of the year to NOT try and lose weight…it is Christmas – you are setting yourself up for failure! Christmas is a time to relax and unwind with family and friends, so don’t place additional pressure on yourself by trying to lose weight! If you have a few extra kilos to lose, focus instead on not putting on weight and then use the New Year to set yourself some achievable goals and targets!
  • Stay active – while this time of year is undoubtedly one of the busiest, don’t let it interfere with your exercise routine, as it is one of those times we need it the most. It will not only help prevent those extra kilos from creeping on but also tones our muscles and relieves stress which can also often accompany this time of year! If you can’t make it to the gym or your usual exercise activities, up your incidental activity by walking to work, choosing stairs instead of the escalators or power walking to do your Christmas shopping! Every little bit counts!
  • Use a smaller plate – it might seem ridiculous but studies have shown people who use a larger plate compared to those who use a smaller plate are more likely to consume more kilojoules. Regardless of the plate size we mentally feel we need to clear the plate (inbuilt from childhood when you weren’t allowed dessert if you didn’t finish everything on your plate), so those
    eating from the larger plate may have actually eaten enough before they finished their plate, yet the need to clear the plate results in overeating.
  • Enjoy yourself – most importantly allow yourself to enjoy this time of year, don’t set yourself expectations of perfect because chances are your ideals of perfect differ from someone else…and really who cares! Focus on what matters most and what this time of year means to YOU!


Foodie in Focus: Ksenia aka Breakfastcriminals

Foodie in Focus: Ksenia aka Breakfastcriminals

In September we met up with one of our favourite food bloggers and the clever, creative soul behind the awesome instagram account BreakfastCriminals… Ksenia! In true New York style, we met up in iconic Central Park and shared one of Ksenia’s delicious creations…a Dragon Fruit Berry Bliss Chia Pudding (for the recipe click here). In case the picture doesn’t say it all…it was BEYOND delicious and packed with superfood goodness!

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Ksenia founded Breakfast criminals after a visit to Hawaii where she was exposed to the exotic tropical goodness of colourful, superfood packed acai bowls. After a quest to find something similar back home in NYC, Ksenia was disappointed to find the limited options available lacked the love and soul which enriched those with which she had fallen in love with in the Aloha culture. So with some experimentation, inspiration and tonnes of enthusiasm from her friends and the instagram community, breakfast criminals was born!!

From her passion and love for food, health and wellbeing, Ksenia’s Breakfast Criminals has turned into a movement inspiring people all over the world to start their day with a healthy and nourishing breakfast, most importantly made with love! In fact it is the love and soul of the original Hawaiian acai superfood bowls which led to the use of the heart shaped bowl, which has been so hotly requested that she now sells them on Amazon! She also runs incredible acai superfood masterclasses and has her own BreakfastCriminals eBook packed with the recipes for all those incredible bowls she teases us with her on instagram, so be sure to check out her website so you can have access to all the amazing goodness Ksenia has to offer!!

ksenia

In line with her love and passion for health and wellbeing, Ksenia is devoted to Strala yoga and meditation. Recently she completed her 200 hour yoga training and is also undergoing her advanced spiritual leadership training. Through the combination of these passions, she is also about to host SuperYou: Yoga + Superfood Retreat in Nicaragua in early November. Incredible superfood cuisine, created by none other than Ksenia herself, as well as yoga classes, long rainforest walks, pristine beaches and luxury treehouse accommodation – need we say more?!

For more information about Ksenia and Breakfast Criminals check out her website

Breakfast Criminals

OR find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

@breakfastcriminals

breakfastcriminals

 

P.s. A fun fact we found out about Ksenia when we caught up was that she actually grew up in Australia so we can ALMOST claim her as our own!

Cacao Mint Smoothie

Cacao Mint Smoothie

Start your day with this nutrient packed smoothie!
Ingredients

1 cup Luz Almond Cold Pressed Almond milk with Medjool Date

½ bunch mint, roughly chopped

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp cacao powder

Maple syrup to taste

1 frozen banana

 

Method
1. Blend all ingredients until smoothie consistency, adding maple syrup last to taste.
2. Top with a mint leaf and there you have a delicious and nutritious breakfast which will keep you full for hours!
Foodie in Focus: Heather Cox aka eatrealfoodnyc

Foodie in Focus: Heather Cox aka eatrealfoodnyc

During our recent trip to New York, I was lucky enough to meet the very lovely Heather Cox who through her passion for fresh, organic and most importantly REAL food, founded her company Eat Real Food NYC. Originally born in Sydney, and having lived all over the world, Heather currently spends her time between the Hamptons and NYC. Consequently you will find upon exploring her website Eat Real Food NYC that Heather not only highlights the best New York has to offer in terms of great wholefood stores, markets and restaurants but she also includes her best picks from both the Hamptons and Sydney as well. In addition she also shares her own clean, fresh, healthy food recipes … check out the chocolate hazelnut banana tart which looks to die for!!!

Heather’s philosophy which is defined by her company name and supported by all that she does is that everyone deserves access to fresh, organic and most importantly REAL food. Thus she is a firm believer in using education, awareness and inspiration as a means of creating this. In line with this some of Heather’s most important work includes working with Stone Barns Centre for Food and Agriculture, where she teaches kids about the importance of knowing where their food comes from, sustainable farming and healthy eating. She also teach kids yoga and work at Balsam Farm Stand over the summer. While extremely dedicated to eating a clean, pescatarian diet, Heather openly admits to enjoying such indulgences such as cheese, wine and chocolate because as she puts it ‘’Quite simply life would be boring without it”! Touche!!

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We highly recommend taking a brief minute to sign up to Heather’s monthly newsletter which apart from delivering you insightful information and delicious clean recipes, will also provide you with exclusive password restricted access to her recently launched Treehouse retreats thetreehouseretreats.com! Spend a few days escaping the city, enjoying the tranquility and relaxation of your surroundings, while nourishing your body with fresh and wholesome foods! Participate in activities or use the time to unwind, Heather’s Treehouse retreats will cater to your needs!

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For more information about Heather and Eat Real Food NYC check out her website

Eat Real Food NYC

OR find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

@eatrealfoodnyc