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Little Lemons Make a Colossal Contribution: Lemon Water Detox!

As a nutritionist, one of the most common asked question is how do I get my day started? Here’s a super easy way I get each and every day off to a flying start!

For an easy detox or cleanse, all you need is half a lemon and some water. Here’s what I do: First thing each morning, squeeze the half lemon into a nice big glass of water.

Lemon water detox, watch our quick video:

Drink the lemon water down. Leave it for 15-20mins before you have breakfast. This is a good time to go take a shower, prep your lunch for the day or pop the pan on the hob ready to poach those eggs! Just make sure you rinse your mouth with a little fresh water afterwards to avoid leaving acid residue on your teeth.

The benefits of lemon water are multiple…

  • It stimulates your gastric juices and prepares your stomach for the food that you’re about to eat, making it easier to digest properly and absorb the nutrients you need,
  • It helps your liver to detox, cleanse your body and flush out unwanted toxins, it also helps stimulate the bowels,
  • It has an alkalising effect, helping to balance out the acidity of most of our modern diets,
  • It gives you a head start on your water intake for the day, a great way to hydrate. If you use a pint glass, for instance, you’ll be around half a litre into your suggested 2 litres before you’ve done anything! (568mL in the UK/imperial, 473mL in the US).
  • It can be something you do throughout the year or for a few weeks 3 or 4 times a year.

Always use fresh lemons, not juice from concentrate. Some of the nutrients in the lemon juice may have been damaged or lost during the concentration/reconstitution process.


You may also like to read Our Food Grocery Essentials


An alternative to fresh lemon is Apple Cider Vinegar, which is generally available in health food stores. You only need to use around a dessertspoonful.

Voila! Lemon water. It’s such an easy thing to incorporate into your day with such wonderful benefits to detox and cleanse your body!

Please note: This may not be suitable if you have a stomach ulcer, experience heartburn or reflux.

 

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The Lowdown: Day 1 at Food Matters Live in London

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Did you know: one in five kids in the UK are overweight or obese by the time they start school? Did you know by the time they reach year 6 the number increases to Read more

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Why You’ll Never Skip Vegetables Again!

img_3331What are your views on vegetables? Are they the best thing ever? A necessary evil? Things your parents used to make you eat and now you avoid like the plague? Read more

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Cracking the Cholesterol Caper: The Truth about Eggs

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Have you fallen victim to the terrible “trend” of making egg white omelettes, throwing away the yolks because of their cholesterol levels? Or, worse yet, stopped eating eggs altogether? Read more

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Bone Broth Recipe: Your New Bestie For Gut Health & Healing

BONE BROTH IS BECOMING A TREND AVAILABLE TO THE MAINSTREAM

Bone broth is getting more and more popular. Folks in NYC have been swapping their morning cup of Joe for a warming, nourishing cup of bone broth since at least November 2014 when Brodo opened their little takeaway window in the East VillageLondon has caught on to the trend with a few outlets with broth on the menu, like CrusshDaylesford or Bone Tea. You can even pick up a pouch of Ossa broth for home if you pop into Fortnum & Mason to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly* 😆 Pret A Manger also caught up with the broth trend, which is a great option to have yours on the go. They offer bone broth, vegetarian broth and miso.

those Sydneysiders out there, if you’re in the Bronte/Glamarama ‘hood, you can grab a cup at Broth Bar & Larder ☕️


BROTH HEALTH BENEFITS

Bone Broth has amazing health benefits due to it being rich in collagen, minerals and amino acids and, as it’s in liquid form, all these goodies are easier for your body to absorb. Bone Broth is also incredibly nourishing for your gut and has anti-inflammatory properties to boot! Oh, and did I mention it’s gluten free, dairy free and sugar free? BOOM!


You may also like to read Lemon Water Detox


HOMEMADE BONE BROTH

If you’re making a lovely Sunday (or any day) roast, for heaven’s sake don’t throw out the bones! They’ll do nicely as a base for your very own batch of bone broth. And if you’re making it just for yourself/your family, keep any bones (and veggie peels for that matter) left over from meals during the week. Just pop them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer until you’re ready for them; I’m personally not bothered about them being gnawed on a bit by family but the choice is yours.

If you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan broth, a great alternative to the bone broth is a miso soup. We have been using Clearspring miso and it’s delicious!

Below is our homemade recipe to make your own batch of chicken bone broth.

Vitality Homemade Bone Broth

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light and healthy broth option to serve before or with your dinner. Perfect for gut health.

Ingredients

  • Carcass/bones from a roast or from your local butcher (tell them you’re making broth/stock and they should be able to help you out with the right type of bones/trotters etc.)
  • Veggie peels (we normally keep them in the freezer until we have plenty)
  • A few whole black peppercorns
  • 2cm fresh turmeric, chopped (or ½tsp ground)
  • 2cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 10ml apple cider vinegar (this helps break down the connective tissue to get all the goodness out)
  • Water, enough to fill your saucepan/pot

Directions

  1. Everything goes into your saucepan/pot (I use the largest pot I can find so I get a nice big batch!)
  2. Fill almost to the top with water. Bring to the boil.
  3. Turn down the heat and simmer for at least 3 hours.
  4. Strain all the chunks out and you’re good to go!
  5. Once it’s cooled sufficiently you can put whatever you’re not going to use there and then into the freezer to have when you please.

If you’re considering purchasing broth from a commercial outlet or restaurant, make sure you consider any food intolerances you may have. Commercial broth may be made with onion or garlic so make sure you check the label or ask the restauranteur/wait staff.

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Snack Idea: One Minute Muffin

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Here’s a tasty gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, pick-me-up that cooks in one minute! Read more

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Your Healthy Start: Brekkie of Champs🏆

Feeling hungry by 10am? | Barely any energy left since 11am? | I’m so hungry, I could eat my workmate’s lunch! | My 15 min break is generally around 14:30 |  Is it 5pm yet? | What am I having for dinner tonight?

Above are many instances and feelings experienced because you have compromised on your breakfast in the morning. Sugary cereals or 2 apples for brekkie are certainly not going to cut it, I’m afraid!

In order for you to have a productive and efficient morning at work or on a day off, you need those nutrients that are going to give you and your family what you need to be at your best. Always ensure there’s an adequate amount of protein in your brekkie (or any meal for that matter). This will reduce the likelihood of you sneaking over to the bikkie tin mid-morning because you’re starvacious at 10am. We love eggs for breakfast. Plain and simple. And eggs are a fantastic source of protein, as well as omega-3, selenium, B vitamins, iodine, and vitamins A & D. If you can get them locally from a farm (or farmer’s market) where the chooks are free-range and preferably pasture-fed, then that’d be the best source. They’ll be super fresh and have the best nutritional profile. Otherwise, go organic or at least free-range. They’re also incredibly versatile so you’re less likely to get bored for breakfast. Here are a couple of our faves.


=> Find out what our nutritionist suggests for your food essentials



HEALTHY BREAKFAST: GREENS ON TOAST WITH AN EGG OR TWO

The greens can be baby spinach, kale, asparagus or whatever takes your fancy and you have on-hand. Kale and spinach are both ridiculously nutrient-dense and are key to the meal. Give your greens a bit of a wilt if you like (we do). And the eggs? Well, poach ’em, fry ’em, boil ’em, scramble ’em… mix it up!
As far as the toast goes, a nice gluten free loaf with a little something extra. Some seeds to boost the fibre, for instance. If you’re going to be eating bread, you might as well make the most of it. If you’re still eating gluten, I’d definitely recommend a good quality sourdough, possibly from your friendly neighbourhood artisan baker or farmer’s market. Sourdough is fermented slowly and is normally much better tolerated and digested by those with gluten sensitivity. Along with this, if you know who’s baked it, you can find out exactly what’s gone into each loaf (meaning there’s less chance of added ingredients you’ve never heard of).
Next, slice up some fresh tomato. Stack it all up, sprinkle on some turmeric, freshly ground black pepper and you’re hot to trot! Deeee-lish.

 

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Computer says "No"

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Annabelle’s story.

Having been through several years of studying nutrition, sometimes I forget that much of the knowledge I’ve gained isn’t necessarily obvious to Joe (or Jolene) Average (this is one of the main reasons we started vitalityawesomeness.com btw). I need to be reminded sometimes that people get their information from different sources, some of which are questionable. Read more

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The Low Fat Joke

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I’ll admit it: my sanity is in jeopardy. If I see one more advertisement with super fit beach bodies proclaiming the wonders of a product being “fat free”, I may have to be checked in to the nearest nuthouse.

The incessant message being shoved down the consumer’s throat of eating low-fat to trim down is, in a word, ridiculous. To put it bluntly, the science just doesn’t support this “logic”. Eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat. Having said that, if you chow down on a stick of butter wrapped in bacon three times a day, there’s a good chance you’ll stack on some extra kilos. But this isn’t purely because your “meals” have a high fat content. More than likely you’ll be consuming far more energy than your body needs and so you’ll store it away for a rainy day (in the form of body fat).

Some folks at Harvard University did a meta-analysis of studies involving 68 128 participants, which was published in The Lancet in December 2015. They found low-carb dietary interventions produced significantly better results than low-fat dietary interventions when it came to losing weight. Also, low-fat interventions were no more effective than other higher-fat interventions. In other words, if you decide to change your diet, cutting out fat isn’t the most effective way of losing weight. Those following a low-fat intervention did lose more weight than those who stuck to their normal diet. So, the decision to change was more important than whether the change was increasing or reducing fat. Confused?

Well, here are some reasons I believe going “fat free” or “low fat” is the wrong choice:

  • If they’ve removed the fat, what have they replaced it with?
    Fat tastes good. It also gives food a satisfying mouth-feel. So if the manufacturer removes the fat from a food, the taste goes along with it. Now our normally tasty food tastes like wet cardboard/an old boot; not a great plan for repeated sales. Hmmm… what else tastes good? Sugar! Let’s pump it so full of sugar the consumer’s head will spin. As long as we can put “fat free” on the front, that’s all that matters. That’s what consumers want (because we keep telling them that’s what they want). This process can be repeated replacing sugar with salt, artificial sweeteners, flavours etc. So make sure you check the label. No, not the front where the company is telling you what you want to hear, turn it over and check the ingredient list and the nutritional panel, where they’ve printed what they have to tell you. That’s where the truth comes out.PopSnarfsImage source 
  • We need fat for our bodies to work properly.
    Four of the vitamins we need are fat-soluble vitamins. These are A, D, E and K. To put things simply, if we don’t eat fat, we won’t be getting/absorbing these essential nutrients. Deficiencies in vitamins can lead to all sorts of health problems. Our brains are around 60% fat and they need certain types of fat to operate optimally. We’ve probably all heard of omega-3 and omega-6, right? These are types of fats, which collectively (along with omega-9) are called Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs. They are called essential because human bodies can’t make them and so we have to get them from our diet.
    In addition to this, all the cells in your body contain fatty acids. Every. Single. One. They form part of the cell membrane (the part that keeps the outside out and the inside in). So we need to choose the right kinds of fats to help keep our cells functioning correctly.
  • You’ll miss out on a whole host of healthy foods.
    Cutting out fat from your diet means missing out on amazing foods like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut oil and oily fish. Oh, and eggs. EGGS! I don’t know what I’d do without eggs! These are whole foods, which contain lots of healthy fats, as well as a range of other helpful nutrients. Whole foods should be a big focus for your diet. Generally, the closer a food is to how it’s found in nature, the better. By removing fat, you’re also restricting the variety of foods you can eat. This can lead to monotony and boredom. Variety is the spice of life! Cliché, I know, but it’s so true.

⇒ You may also like to read our article about Eggs and Cholesterol


So to sum up, the fact you eat fat isn’t what really matters. It’s most definitely the type of fats you choose to eat. If you’re going to eat a handful of natural nuts, smear or smash some avo on your toast or drizzle your salad with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, then I say “go for it!”. These whole foods have plenty of health benefits to coincide with the healthy fats they contain. On the other hand when choosing packaged foods in the supermarket, make sure you read the ingredient list on the back of the pack, check to see what’s behind the “low fat” message on the front and check for hidden sugars and nasties. Low fat isn’t always best, most of the time it’s just a joke.

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Chilled Food Essentials

grocery-whole-foods

grocery-whole-foods

Seasonal Fruit and Veg!: First and foremost, vegetables (and fruit to a lesser extent) should be the basis of what you put into your body! You can pretty much eat as many vegetables as you want (providing you don’t suffer from an intolerance) without it effecting you negatively. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Buying seasonally is the best way to get maximum nutrient value from your fruit and veggies. It means they won’t have been kept in cold storage for months at a time and it’s almost certainly going to be cheaper. Ideally*, become a regular at a local farmers market, if you can find one nearby. You’ll be able to have a chat to the vendors to find out exactly where their produce has come from, whether it’s organic/biodynamic, which foods go well with others, and if you get to know the vendors, they may even throw in a little extra for you if you buy regularly. Bonus!

Spinach, baby or otherwise: This is a nutritional powerhouse, which is incredibly versatile. Throw it in a smoothie to add extra green goodness, steam it, wilt it, use as a base for salads… the list goes on.

Kale, baby or otherwise: Ditto as per spinach.

Sweet potatoes: An amazing vegetable with so many health benefits and even more possibilities in the kitchen.

Capsicums/Peppers: Great to throw into a salad for some extra colour, these are a fantastic source of vitamin C and carotenoids, as well as vitamins E, A, B6 and folate.

Yoghurt: Good quality, natural, pot-set yoghurt if you can tolerate dairy. Otherwise,  coconut or fermented soy yoghurt for those who can’t.

Bone broth: Nourishing for you and your gut, this can be made on a lazy day at home using the bones from a roast you’ve made. Then pop it in the freezer to enjoy during the week. See our recipe here.

Lemons: For your morning alkalising, digestion-helping, liver-detox-aiding kickstart to the day.

Tomatoes: That easygoing, lifelong friend in the fridge.

Zucchini/Courgette: A fantastic gluten-free/grain-free alternative to pasta, as well as another versatile veg.

Sauerkraut: Wonderfully nourishing for your gut. See our recipe for how to make your own… Super easy!

Herbs: Fresh herbs are a great way to add extra flavour to a dish, whilst sneaking in bonus nutritional benefits.

Kombucha: Made from green tea and sugar (just to feed the beneficial bacteria and yeast) and fermented, kombucha is another great way to give your gut a nurturing, liquid hug.

Meat: For all of you who are omnivores, do your best to source organic, grass-fed or pastured meat. When cows are grass-fed/pastured, it increases the level of omega-3 fatty acids in the meat. The meat is richer in protein, vitamin E and beta-carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body). Cows that are grain-fed have meat that is more pro-inflammatory, due to the higher proportion of omega-6 to omega-3. The cows are also more likely to have been exposed to antibiotics and other nasties.
A great way to get good quality grass-fed beef is to buy it from your local butcher or at your local farmers market, if they have a meat vendor. Once again, you can have a chat with the vendor/butcher to find out exactly where the meat has come from, the best ways to cook different cuts, and you could also pick up some bones they may have (cheaply), which you can use in making your broth.

Chicken: Again for the omnivores, always go for free-range or organic chicken (and eggs). The birds will have been treated better, not have antibiotic exposure, and have a better nutritional profile.

Eggs: As mentioned above, organic/biodynamic eggs are best, or free-range as an absolute minimum! If you can get them from your local farmers market, there’s a better chance they won’t have travelled far, so they’ll be fresher!

*Actually, in an ideal world you would be able to grow your own, but I don’t know anyone who has the time or space to grow enough veggies to be self-sustainable year round!