Nature’s Energy Boosters

You don’t want to miss this!

This week we are focusing on 5 energy boosters created by nature to give you a nutritional boost and pick me up.

If you rely on cups of coffee or energy drinks to try and get through your day,then you will definitely want to see what I’ve got in store for you this week.Stay tuned tomorrow for the first of 5 nature’s energy boosters.

#healthcoaching #healthcoachtips #healthylife

Morning Rituals

My morning starts with a shot of Aloe Vera juice on an empty stomach.Followed by the alkalising hot lemon water most of us are familiar with.

What are the health benefits of Aloe Vera Juice?

 1.AVJ is rich in vitamins and minerals.

2.It is a powerful antioxidant.

3.It aids digestion and can prevent and relieve constipation.

4.It has renewing properties for glowing skin.It can prevent wrinkles and heal wounds,especially burn wounds.

5.Can improve circulation.

6. Can regulate blood sugar.

7.Supports oral health by reducing plague.

8.Improves metabolism.

9.Has immune boosting properties

10.Can lower blood pressure

This list is not exhaustive.Many science papers have been written on the proven health benefits of AVJ.On my last search there were over 15 researched and reviewed health benefits of AVJ.

Not all Aloe Vera Juice is created equal. Good quality juice should contain the inner gel of the aloe plant which is nutrient dense and has the most healing powers .This gives the juice a gel like consistency.Look for varieties that do not have added sugar or any other flavouring ingredients.Pure aloe vera juice should have no more than 2 or 3 ingredients-aloe vera juice and some sort of preservative(preferable a natural one).

Try it,you will feel the difference in your body and see it in your skin.

What is your morning ritual?

Act Against Childhood Obesity-A simple guide for parents

As parents we want give our children the best in life.However when it comes to healthy eating and living,we seem to somehow fall short.

These days children’s wellbeing compete with a lot that is already on the parents plate and more often than not,it’s the children’s eating that is compromised.

Even health conscious parents  find themselves competing against easily available unhealthy temptations.Children are bombarded with messages of unhealthy food choices which puts them in a certain peer group if they drink this drink or eat this fast food. This creates a ‘need’ for them to belong to and a dilemma for parents who want their children to be healthy and to be accepted in their peer groups.

Of course food and eating does not have to be an unpleasant task.Food is meant to be enjoyed,each bite savoured.Mealtimes should be social events,where the family gathers and shares day’s news.It is meant to be a slow time,a time to reconnect with each other and with oursleves.But our hectic lifestyles do not allow this often.However all is not lost.

Obesity among children is on the rise and this warrants our concern.As a parent you can take action to ensure that your children cultivate healthy eating habits.By making a few simple changes you can make good nutrition and healthy habits part of your family’s daily routine

1.Keep it simple and in ubandance

Childern like simple foods.Offer them simple but nutrition packed fresh food.Carrot sticks,cucumber slices,assorted fruits and simple salads make the best treats.

That being said,offer a variety of simple and healthy food so that your children can choose what they like.Do not force them to finish what is on the plate especially when it’s vegetable.That just creates more resistance and nobody wins.Instead keep offering the food with other food until they get used to it.I only started eating avocado,paw-paw and spinach a few years ago.As a child I hated it but now,it’s on my top 10 favourite foods.However I still do not eat the butternut(squash)that I was forced to eat as a child.Lesson- do not make a big deal when you meet resistence.You can try other means to get that food into their system.I used to grate a whole variety of vegetables into the bolgnaise sauce when my children were younger,they ate the vegetables without even knowing.

2.Ditch the Sugar

The habit of offering healthy foods as snacks has to start at a young age. I was horrified and saddened all at once when I saw a mother give their 10 month old a sucker(lollipop).I had to literally sit on my hands to stop from grabbing that poison away from the child.Sugar is addictive.Recent studies have found it to be as addictive as cocaine and poisonius to our bodies.Repeat after me:We do not need added sugar in our food.

Get into the habit of offering pieces of fruit,vegetables,nuts,berries and seeds as snacks.Taste buds can be trained.Start to train them young.

3.Lead by example

Childrn learn best by observing adults.They will most likely do what you do than what you say.I could write a whole post about this because it is such a wide topic as it includes how we talk about food,weight and the attitude we display around food.Is it something we enjoy?Is it an enemy to be feared?Does it “make us” fat or thin?Does it make us beautiful or liked?Do we use food to make us feel better or as a reward? Do we make bad food choices and blame it on genes?There is a long list of questions that we are almost never aware of when we have conversations about food in front of our children.What we might not be aware of is that it rubs of to them and impacts on how they view food.

As a start be aware of the conversation you have regarding food and weight.Make healthy choices-not because you want to lose weight but beacause you want to be healthy.Choose low-carb real food over processed food.Banish fizzy drinks and high sugar fruit juices.Switch to water and water infusions,teas and herbal teas,kombucha,coconut water and freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.

4.Meal Preperation is King

The familiar saying that “If you fail to plan,you plan to fail”  must have been coined with meal prep in mind.A lot of people blame our busy lifestyle for bad eating habits and fast food people know this and capitilise on it.Healthy eating does not mean you have to be chained to the kitchen. 

Meal planning and preperation is key.Just as you plan your work week or even your work wardrobe in detail,the same commitment is required for healthy meals.Set a day in the week,plan your meals,do the necessary shopping and you can even cook 2 or 3 meals ahead and freeze them.That way there is no reason for you to stop at a take away joint for greasy,chemical laden food.

5.Make it Fun

Make meal preperation fun for your kids.Get them involved in planning and cooking of your meals.Instead of teaching them to make a jam sandwich,why not teach them how to put a simple crunchy salad together?Salads are a good way to start them on. They are easy,colourful and they have different textures which children love experimenting with.

By making these simple changes you can start giving your family the gift of health and vitality.Obesity among children is on the rise and that comes with a lot of health burdens.That is not a legacy we want to give our children.Your children might not take kindly to the changes you make but be assured that they will thank you later in life once it makes sense to them and you get the reward of knowing that you gave them your best in a way that matters the most.



Easy steps to freezing seasonal berries

Who needs sweets when we have an abundance of sweet and juicy berries?

But as with all good things which supposedly do not last( I do not buy into that),berries go out out season just as we start to really enjoy them.So this year I decided I will start  freezing them much earlier than other years so that I do not find myself having to buy them ridiculousy expensive off season.

You can do that too,it’s quite easy.The only investment required on your part is time and  freezer bags,I love the ones from Ziploc.

Follow these easy steps and you will have an abundance of berries throughout the year.You can freeze most fruits the same way too.

Step 1 :Pick

Select fresh and firm berries.If possible,buy organic.There are strawberry farms where you can go pick your own too.Kids,young and old love this. 

Step 2 :Wash

Take time to wash your berries.Our food is unfortunately exposed to a maltitude of pesticides,and as much as retailers want us to believe that these are safe for us, the recent surge of cancers and other inflammatory diseases say otherwise.

To wash my berries I soak them for 15 minutes in a solution of lemon juice and water.(I normally wash fruits and vegetables in a salt and vinegar solution but berries absorb flavours very easily and I definately do not want vinegar tasting berries).

Step 3:Dry

Take them out and gently pat dry with a kitchen towel or lay them on a tray to dry.I usually do not have time to wait,so pat drying is my go to method.

Step 4 :Pack

Leave space in between to prevent clumping

Pack them loosely in a freezer bag(I prefer using a resealable bag.It makes it easy for me to use any quantity I need at any given time).Ensure there is enough space in between so there is no clumping which can affect the texture of your end product.

Step 5: Freeze

Pack flat inside the freezer.And just like that,you have your own stash to last you thorough out the off season.

Frozen berries can be kept in the freezer up to 12 months.But you can also keep an eye on them,it is pretty easy to spot if anything goes wrong.

Try doing this,I will love to see and hear about your experience.


5 Reasons  you should “Love your Beans”

9-15 October is National Nutrition Week in South Africa and the this year’s theme is “Eat  dry beans,peas and lentils.Love your beans.”

Beans are not only one of the cheapest source of protein, they pack a mean nutrition punch.They are full of good fibre,vitamins and powerful antioxidants which fight off chronic and inflammatory diseases.

Here are 5 reasons why you should not be treating beans as a side dish

1.Contribute to a healthy digestive system:Healthy guts equal healthy beings.The fibre in beans and pulses can help prevent constipation and keep you regular which helps to remove waste and toxins from the body.No more feeling sluggish!

2.Assist in cancer prevention:Beans contain potent phytochemicals and saponins which have anti-carcinogenic qualities.

3.Promote healthy hearts:It’s the fibre in pulses that can improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol.The potassium in pulses can lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium.

4.Assist in managing diabetes.Beans and pulses are low GI foods.This means that they do not cause glucose spikes and dips.The controlled supply of glucose helps to keep steady sugar levels.

5.Can contribute to weight loss:The combination of high fibre and protein helps to keep you fuller for longer, reducing the need to snack in between meals.

The humble bean family definitely deserves our attention.They are not just for end of the month meals when there is more month than money left,they are a nutrition power house.

Start by slowly including them in your weekly menu.Look for a variety of ways of consuming them and you will find that there is more to beans than meets the eye.



Favourite winter drinks

Favourite winter drink 2

Hot water with lemon with a twist.

Most of us know of the benefits of drinking hot water with lemon first thing in the morning.I decided to pimp my daily dose with a teaspoon of tumeric powder. Yes the yellow stuff we put in curries has amazing health benefits.

Cumin has a compound called Curcumin which has powerfulI anti-inflamatory properties.During winter months I suffer from joint pain which the doctor diagnosed as Rheumatoid Athritis and wanted to put me on chronic medication.This winter I made this my go to drink and I have not had a single flare up.

How I make mine is pretty simple


Juice of 1/2 lemon

1cup hot water(filtered if possible)

1 teaspoon Tumeric powder(Non GMO and not Irradiated)

A pinch of black pepper

Raw honey(optional)

Mix all ingredients in a cup and enjoy.

Tip:I add a sprinkling of pepper to the drink to assist with the absorption of curcumin.

As a side note;when I feel the sniffles of the cold,I add a thumb of grated ginger,a sprinking of cayenne pepper and honey and enjoy this as a flu fighting hot toddy.

Hello August

What I am all about.

As we say hello to August,our eyes are firmly set on September,the month of of renewal and the season of promise. But how about we pay attention to August and use it to heal our bodies from the assault of winter? Week 1(this week) we will focus on hydration.

Winter dries our skin and we normally don’t take is as much good liquids as we should.

In the next few days I’ll share my favourite drinks.I’d love to hear what yours are too

Super Sweet Potatoes

My love affair with sweet potatoes started a long time ago. My mother does not eat white potatoes, but give her sweet potatoes and a different woman emerges. She can have them for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Growing up I ate both white and sweet potatoes with gusto. In fact I practically lived off fried chips (French Fries) during my varsity days. They made them and smothered them in mushroom sauce (oh the memories, I am salivating just thinking of that bad calorie fest) But hey, I was young and careless.

I still love my potatoes but not as much as sweet potatoes. This is purely based on preference not on nutrient value or health benefits. There is a lot of debate and misinformation regarding these well-loved, tubers but pitted against each other, they stand neck and neck in nutritional value.

Sweet Potato Facts

  1. Did you know that sharing the name ‘potato’ is as far as the relationship between the two go? Sweet potatoes come from a completely different plant family to potatoes.
  2. There are 5000 known varieties of sweet potatoes.
  3. Sweet potato leaves are edible and highly nutritious.
  4. Yellow/orange sweet potatoes are packed with more than 400% of your daily Vitamin A requirements.
  5. They have more fibre than white potatoes.
  6. They are rich in Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and manganese. These minerals are essential in normal functioning and maintenance of our bodies.
  7. They are very low in proteins. However, their proteins may have antioxidant qualities.
  8. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, some B group vitamins and Vitamin E
  9. The deeper the colour of the sweet potato, the more anti-oxidants it contains.
  10. Although they both fall in the middle of the glycemic Index, sweet potatoes have a lower GI than potatoes.

Health benefits

  1. Prevention of Vitamin A deficiency.

High pigment sweet potatoes contain are rich in Vitamin A prevent effects of deficiency which include night blindness, scaly skin and dry tissues.

2. Improvement of Blood sugar regulation.

While they are high in sugar, the high fibre content in sweet potatoes slows down the rate of digestion thereby regulating blood sugar.

3.  Contains antioxidants which neutralise free radicals.

This leads to reduced oxidative damage associated with some types of cancers, heavy metal residues and other digestive tract problems.

4. Aids digestion

The high fibre in sweet potatoes supports a healthy digestive tract and regulates digestion

5. Anti-inflammatory properties.

Bright coloured sweet potatoes contain pigment related antioxidants which are beneficial to general heath and have anti-inflammatory powers.

6. Heart Health

Potassium in sweet potatoes may help to lower blood pressure and regulate heartbeat.

Ok, back to the fun stuff-how I like to eat my sweet potatoes. I prefer to roast them with a little salt and just eat them as is. The other day I made a mean lasagna and just used the sweet potato slices instead of lasagne sheets. But my absolute favourite, favourite has to be sweet potato crisps/chips.

If you ever tried making sweet potato chips, you know it takes skill and many failed attempts. For one thing, sweet potatoes are notorious for refusing to get crisp. I found the secret to crisp sweet potato chips in a recipe I am sharing today.

To do them right you also have to have the correct equipment. Enter the mandolin. I never knew what this was for until I was serious about making my own vegetable crisps. The mandolin will help you cut the thinnest slice, a good step towards crispness. You can try  to use a sharp knife but I got better results using a mandolin.

Lastly, you have to watch them like a hawk. There is a thin line between burnt and crispy chips. Don’t cross it (like me, many,many times)

I encourage you to try a variety of ways to get incorporate sweet potatoes in your diet. There are plenty vegetarian sites which offer 101 ways with sweet potatoes. I found this…

Try your hand at making these chips, you won’t buy another packet of commercial chips.