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Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary With Abel & Cole 🍒🎉

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Probiotics & Superfoods On The Rise in The UK

Team V+A with the team from Turmericandhoney.com

Team V+A with the team from Turmericandhoney.com

When it comes to the nutrition and wellbeing industry, probiotics and superfoods are most certainly on everyone’s lips!  Read more

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Time To Eat Fermented: Today’s 8 Healthiest Fermented Foods

Depending on where you usually hang out, you may or may not have heard a lot of buzz around fermented foods lately. Fermented foods and their influence on your microbiome/beneficial bacteria has been getting a lot of traction around the health and food industries of late, and for a good reason. We’re learning more every day about the billions and billions of bacteria that live on and inside us. Currently we only know a teeny tiny amount about how all the different types and strains of bacteria work together to help our bodies function correctly but we do know that what we eat impacts on them significantly.

Our gut is like a second brain; You may not realise but when you have bloating, tummy pain, infections, or any other digestive issues, it can really impact on your wellness and mood in general. Think about it! There are over 100 million neurons (the same type of cells our brains are made of) in our gut and the bacteria that makes up our microbiome has a big influence on our “second brain” and how it functions. So, what can you do to give your microbiome the best chance? Eat a variety of whole, unprocessed foods. Try new and different things too, as the bacteria love variety. Fermented foods in particular are great for those friendly types.  Minimise refined, processed, high sugar foods whenever possible, as these are what the not-so-friendly bacteria and yeasts thrive on.

V+A Top 8 Fermented Foods

Here’s our list of 8 great fermented foods and drinks for you to try. They may sound funny at first but they’re definitely worth giving a go, even just for your microbiome’s sake! Who knows, you might even find a new favourite food!

Miso

Fermented Foods Clearspring Organic Miso PaceThis is a unpastirised paste made from fermented soy beans. Commonly made into a soup. You may have seen miso soup on the menu in your favourite Japanese restaurant.
We use this great Clearspring organic brown rice Miso pace which you can order directly from their website or planetorganic.com or at your local Waitrose.

Tempeh

Also made from fermented soy beans but this time formed into a block. It has a firm texture and earthy, sweet taste. You can get yours from Planet Organic or Ocado.

Sauerkraut

Fermented Foods Biona Organic Sauerkraut

A traditional German food made from fermenting cabbage. With a salty, rich flavour it’s great as a little something extra on top of your burger (veggie or otherwise), salads, and anything you like really!
Also, it’s easy to make it at home or find some like our favourite brand for sauerkraut, Biona Organic, available in most of your local health stores in the UK like As Nature Intended.

Kimchi

This Korean side dish is similar to sauerkraut, made up of fermented vegetables, most commonly cabbage. Kimchi packs a bit of a punch as it is normally seasoned with chilli, ginger and garlic. Yummers!

Natto

Another in the list made of soy beans, this time fermented with a particular type of bacteria. Natto is a traditional Japanese food with a strong flavour and slimy texture. An acquired taste? Almost certainly. You can purchase Natto from most of your Asian supermarkets.

 


You may also like to read about Probiotics and Superfoods


 

Kefir

This drink is made from fermenting milk using “kefir grains”, with its origins in the Caucasus mountains. Kefir grains are made up of certain types of bacteria and yeasts. With a sour taste, kefir may take a little bit of getting used to but is a great way to diversify the drinks you consume. Kefir can also be made using coconut water, great for vegans! Nowadays, you can probably find some fresh organic kefir at your local weekend farmers market or in most Sainsbury’s. Turmeric & Honey have even pushed it further with their brand new supplement Kefir Plus made in a soluble powder.

Kombucha

Fermented Foods Jarr Raw KombuchaA refreshing, lightly fizzy drink made from fermenting black or green tea using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). You can find kombucha in numerous flavours from ginger to blueberry to natural.
Make sure when you buy a bottle, there are still “floaty” bits in the bottom! This is known as the “Mother” and is where all the enzymes and good stuff is so drink up!

Yoghurt

Probably the most commonly consumed fermented food, probiotic yoghurt is available virtually anywhere. Traditionally, yoghurt is made from cow, sheep or goat milk. Choosing a natural yoghurt, preferably one that is “pot set”, i.e. fermented in the pot you buy, is key. Go for the ones without the unnecessary added sugar. This means less meddling with from the manufacturer and  potential for added ingredients you don’t need. And always choose full fat! The fat content provides some protection for the good bacteria to make it through the harsh acidic climate of your stomach. For those folks who are avoiding or don’t tolerate dairy, there are still options for you too. Alpro make a range of soy-based probiotic yoghurts. Other options include coconut-based probiotic yoghurts from Koko Dairy-Free, The Coconut Collaborative and Coyo. Nush has a range of almond and cashew milk probiotic yoghurts as well.

 

As always we love to hear what you think

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5 Must Do’s When Joining The Gym To Keep Motivated

Nowadays there is a wide variety of options for you to stay active and exercise. Are you left wondering whether joining a gym is cost effective and worth the money? Well, I can easily say yes! The gym remains an easy option for you to exercise and become part of a community. I decided to join again because the UK winter was too cold to run and workout outdoors. Most equipments and facilities also only tend to be available in a gym. Furthermore, exercising is no longer optional for me, now that I’m close to my mid thirties. 😌

The first gym I registered at in my early twenties was a Virgin Active in Edinburgh. Amazing facilities with a huge gym floor, latest equipment, great pool and plenty more. It was all so good that I felt overwhelmed and quit a month later. I did keep paying my membership for a year though, hoping I would go back by some sort of miracle.
I then moved to London and joined a local gym in Fulham. At that time I had a programme written by one of the personal trainers there and I stuck to it for a few months.

Things got serious when I ended up moving to Sydney in Australia. Everyone was twice my size and I felt I needed to get back into shape. I started training with a gym buddy for a few months and then took a personal trainer. Both were great motivators and helped me get into shape.
Looking back to the beginning of this journey almost 15 years later, I can see why I felt demotivated so many times and how I finally found my own pace to keep active.

My 5 Must Do’s When Joining The Gym To Keep Motivated

These five tips would have helped me keep motivated every time I joined a gym:

Location, location, location

When you’re new and you want exercising to be an essential part of your wellbeing, make it as easy and practical as possible. The location is very important as you want it to be easily accessible, and not become an excuse not to go or keep motivated. Make sure that the opening hours match your lifestyle. Are you really going to go if it’s out of your way and doesn’t suit your availability? If you’re a frequent traveller, look for a gym that you can access in several cities or countries.

Don’t skip the gym induction and your free workout programme

I find this stage crucial in joining a gym. Make time for the in-house gym induction, you may meet a good PT or find a workout buddy. Highly motivating, you’ll gain the knowledge you need about the equipment and  will understand what’s available to you. Everytime I joined a gym in the past I focused on the machines and weights, yet there is so much more than that. From your stretching zone to the classes available to you, make time to find out what else is on offer. Having a PT write you a programme may also be your best chance to ask questions and find out what’s best for you.

Join a gym that shares the same goal(s) as you

The gym I currently go to in London is by far the best option for me. Nuffield Health is a bit more than just a gym. Like most gyms they provide you with a Personal Training session/taster and a written program for free. As part of your membership with Nuffield you also get a Health assessment which you can repeat every 3 months. This gives you a great idea of where you’re at, health and fitness-wise. It also includes your BMI and blood pressure, your aerobic fitness level, all the way through to fasting blood glucose and total cholesterol! It’s pretty extensive and costs nothing extra, except an hour of your time.
If you have a clear goal for exercising, it’s paramount to equip yourself with the right tools to do so.

Have a go-to activity at the gym that works for you when unmotivated

Gym: Swimming as part of staying active

My go-to at the gym has always been swimming. You can go swim with a friend or you can go by yourself and it’s a great way to clear your head and feel relaxed. Swimming is also a remarkable way to give your full body a workout. On my Facebook feed recently, a post from Vogue Hommes came up about Fabio Mancini and how swimming and running was all he needed to keep in shape. Not that I compare myself to Fabio, but it’s reassuring to think that 2 of the exercises I tend to enjoy the most can keep other people in shape too. For you it may be the cardio machines, or bikes, or lifting heavy stuff!

Find a gym buddy or work with a Personal Trainer

I can remember a couple of instances where training with someone has helped me a great deal. I used to feel very awkward at the gym and having a gym buddy helped me get comfortable. It also made me confident using the equipment on my own and attend classes and so forth. The last PT I had in Sydney would always push me, mention improvements and my strength among other things. In life it’s the little things that make a difference and those encouragements really helped me work harder. A personal trainer is a good option to get familiar in a gym and then start training on your own. The money I spent on a PT was worth every penny.

Nowadays I can’t complain as Daen helps me keep in shape with spin classes, running and HIIT.

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Maintaining Gut Health On The Road in South America

Hello, I’m Sarah Jayne, an enthusiastic member of the V+A family! I’m taking over Vitality+Awesomeness temporarily to share some insights on gut health that Daen helped me with during my travels in South America. Read more

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The Mediterranean Diet Isn’t Just Another Fad

grocery-whole-foods

Unfamiliar with the “Mediterranean Diet”? It started to develop a bit of a buzz a couple of years back but then may have been pushed to the back of the crowd, due to the incessant bombardment of new fad diets and weight-loss crazes that fill our worlds, as well the growing vegan movement, based on a plant based diet. The Mediterranean Diet is essentially formed around Read more