Why I Don’t Ask “Does My Bum Look Big?”

Why I Stopped Asking "Does My Bum Look Big?"

I was introduced to the lows of being overweight on my first day at school. During recess, another kid in the playground called me fat. I was really upset. I had no idea that I was overweight until that moment. I was five years old. That memory has stayed with me ever since.

In my later years, I used to jump on the scales and tie my self-esteem to the number that appeared. Of course, the only number that was acceptable was on verge of being underweight. Some months I would feel great and others I would want to hide from the world. The only thing that used to matter to me was the number on the scales. It was all I could focus on.

I’ve tried so many different diets. And you know what, they all worked. I always chose the diet based on weight loss, the faster the better. Every diet recommended that I eat meat every 2 to 3 hours. There were some vegetables and never any fruit. They were high protein, low carb diets. And they got me where I thought I wanted to go.

Weight Loss & Green SmoothiesEach time I lost the desired amount of weight, I would feel fantastic. I would pull out my skinny wardrobe and wear it with pride. When I thought I’d unlocked the secrets of weight loss, the inevitable happened. I lost my way. I would start to ‘treat’ myself to things that were off the menu. I couldn’t sustain it and drifted back into my old habits. Little did I know or understand how harmful eating so much meat would be. Before I knew it I’d put the weight back on, with interest!

I would put my skinny wardrobe into storage and pull out my fat wardrobe. Down my self-esteem would plummet. This entire cycle would take between a twelve to eighteen months to occur. Then you guessed it; it would start all over again. I had been in this cycle for 25 years.

It wasn’t until I had a life changing experience that I changed my focus. After having two strokes at 39 my focus shifted my focus from weight loss to health. I read some pretty sobering statistics about stroke. Three people in every five who experience stroke will pass away in the following year. One will have another stroke and the last person will be okay.

I desperately wanted to be the person who was going to be okay.

Weight Loss & Green SmoothiesJurgen, my husband had been introduced to green smoothies a couple of weeks prior to my strokes. We had just started making them at home the week before our lives changed forever. Jurgen would bring green smoothie into the hospital for me. He would put it into the fridge and reminded me to drink it.  He would pour me glass after glass when he came to visit.

The doctors could not tell me what caused the strokes. This changed my priorities very quickly. I threw out the weight loss diets and looked for ways to be healthy.

That was all that mattered if I wanted to live.

The green smoothies then started a chain reaction. We started introducing more and more healthy foods into our diet. I looked for foods to rebuild my brain connections and give me energy. I discovered raw vegetarian foods and Quinoa. The taste for sugar, fried foods and meat disappeared. I became an accidental vegetarian.  I wanted my brain and my body to heal. Most importantly, I didn’t want to fear stroke ever again.

But then the most amazing thing happened. When I focused on being healthy, my weight took care of it’s self. I found my perfect healthy weight. There’s no skinny or fat wardrobe anymore, just lovely clothes that fit perfectly. I’ve just celebrated three extra years of life after the strokes. I’ve never looked better or been healthier. It’s such a freeing experience to know how to manage my weight… and it’s delicious! On a personal note, I’ll never ask again if my bum looks big in this.  I know its perfect just the way it is. I will never again tie my self esteem to a number.  Not my age, my bank account and definitely not my weight.

Focus on making healthy choices and watch the magic happen…

Did you like what you’ve read? We’d love for you to share your story below.

Wishing you lots of health, love & happiness,

Nikki xx

Growing Leafy Greens For Green Smoothies

Growing Leafy GreensSince we got into the green smoothie lifestyle, we’ve looked for easy ways to integrate health into our lives.  We have a standing appointment three times a week at the markets to get our organic fruit and veggies.   The other thing we do in the warmer months is to grow our own herbs and leafy greens.  They just love the warm spring weather.  It’s great to know they are organic and free from any nasties.  And for some reason, they seem to taste better!

We don’t have acres of land to grow own food.  We are city dwellers, so balconies and courtyards are what we have to work with.  You’d be surprised how easy it is to utilise the space.  Jurgen and I tend to plant the leafy greens we can’t get at the markets.  At the moment we have sorrel, lambs quarters and comfrey.  We also have mint, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and chives.  Here are some photos from our little garden.  As you can see, there’s not a lot of room but the plants are really thriving.  We are however competing with the caterpillars at moment!  I’ve included some great ways to get started growing your own greens in my book.

Growing Leafy GreensIf you are really short on space, find your local community garden and get involved. Jurgen and I were exploring Melbourne over the weekend and came across the community garden at the back of Federation Square.  It’s called the Veggie Patch.  A lot of city restaurants have their own plot there.  You can buy a plot and grow whatever you like.  It’s a nice way to get out in the great outdoors and connect with nature!

Got any gardening tips for growing your own green smoothie ingredients?  We ‘d love to hear about it in the comments below!

The Results Are In & I Need Your Help!

Cholesterol Ferritin & Menstration5I usually have a blood test very six months to check my cholesterol and my iron levels.  I accidentally missed my check, which should have been in February.  I booked in straight after arriving back from Fiji.  I wanted to see if there were any significant changes to my blood.  The results were very interesting.

Cholesterol
My cholesterol levels were amazing.  Even my doctor was surprised.  In 2013 my overall cholesterol was 4.8.  This year my cholesterol was 3.7!  That’s without any medication, that’s purely based on lifestyle and diet.  This was my biggest confirmation yet that you can control your cholesterol by what you choose to eat.

My HDL or good cholesterol levels were at 1.8 and my LDL or bad cholesterol was at 1.5.  These are brilliant results.  Measuring your results is the best way to see how your body is going and if there are any tune-ups required.

Cholesterol Ferritin & Menstration Iron Levels
This brings me to my next point.  While my cholesterol was great, my ferritin (iron) levels were quite low.  I found this quite baffling as I eat A LOT of dark leafy greens, broccoli, lentils, beans, chickpeas, beetroot, nuts and seeds.  I also eat several eggs per week.  I thought I had this covered.

The doctor explained that iron exists in the body in two ways.  The first is the iron that is being used in your system.  The second is the iron that is stored in your bones.  I had plenty of iron in my system.  The iron stores in my bones were very low.  At this stage I was not anemic but would need to boost my iron stores.

Vegetarian Iron Sources
I did a little research and have a few theories about why my levels are low. Turns out that vegetarians need to eat a greater amount of iron to maintain their levels.  The only extra thing I’ve added in to my diet is firm tofu.   The rest of the iron rich foods I am already eating.

Cholesterol Ferritin & MenstrationI did learn that you can increase your iron absorption by eating foods high in vitamin C.  These include oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, capsicum and cabbage amongst a few others. My solution – add the fruits into my green smoothies!

Menstruation
What I really believe is influencing my low ferritin levels is my periods.  After the stroke, I stopped taking the contraceptive pill.  My periods became very heavy.  This has been going now for three years. I have also had to take a low dose aspirin to thin the blood, post stroke.  I believe this causing the problem of iron loss.

My doctor recommended doing an ultra sound to make sure there was not some other cause.  This is on the list to do for September.  The question is how do increase my ferritin levels back to a healthy range?

The doctor had three ideas.Cholesterol Ferritin & Menstration 8
1.    A hysterectomy
2.    Using an IUD (contraceptive device)
3.    Iron supplements

I’m not in love with any of these ideas at the moment.  I’m determined to find a way to increase my levels naturally.  This is where I’m hoping you can help me.

If you know of any ways to increase your ferritin levels naturally,
I’d love to hear about it.

Please share your comments below and help me solve this!  If you found this valuable, please share it with your family and friends.  I’m sure I can’t be on the only woman with this issue.  Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Part 4 – The Low Down on Cleansing

The Low Down On CleansingThe Fiji cleanse was quite a roller coaster ride.  I thought it would be easy as we were eating a really healthy, clean whole food diet.  Having said that, I had developed a few bad habits that made cleansing really challenging.  The first was cappuccinos.  I used to have 3-4 cups per week.  I had managed to get my self up to two cups a day, so it was now 14 per week.  The other daily habit I had developed was a small piece of bread with breakfast.  It’s funny how easy it is to justify if it’s only one a day, but those bad boys added up and I paid the price.

Starting the Cleanse

The night before the cleanse was due to begin, we had dinner.  We were served a buffet of sliced raw vegetables, raw hummus, lettuce, stir fry vegetables, soup and fish.  I passed on the fish but ate a very generous size of everything else.  I thought if I wasn’t going to eat for five days and only exist on juices, I’d better stock up.  Turns out, this was not a very good idea.  The next morning for breakfast, there was fruit, sliced vegetables, hummus, lettuce and dressing.  Again I loaded up.  We then headed off to the do the pole climb.  Lunch was also more of the same. Beyond lunch there was no more food…

During the lunch break, Jurgen and I headed off for our colonics.  I had a light headache during the pole climb, but didn’t think much of it.  It was pretty hot so I just put it down to a little dehydration.  After the colonic, the headache became much worse.  By the time we headed back to the main hall for the evening session, my head was pounding.  I began to feel very unwell and was ill several times.  I felt so unwell that I had to head back to our room.  I was sick again and then I got into bed.  I was quite shocked at how much food I had thrown up and how terrible I was feeling.  I realised was eating way more than my body could digest.

Day Two

The Low Down On CleansingI managed to sleep right through the night and woke up with another headache.  I was still feeling nauseous and very drained.  We headed over for breakfast, which consisted of fresh juice.  After taking exactly 2.5 seconds to drink that, breakfast was over.  Given that I was still feeling so unwell, I don’t think I could have eaten anything anyway.  As the day went on we were served one very small thing every few hours.  These included juices, wheatgrass shots, Udo’s oil, smoothies, savory smoothies, or clear broth.  It’s surprising how your body stops being concerned with eating while you are cleansing.

Coffee – The Natural Enemy Of Cleansing!

During the morning session our leaders asked how everyone was feeling.  Another lady was also in a bad way.  Coffee was a hot topic and I started realize how it was playing a role in what I was now experiencing.  My body was releasing toxins into my blood stream.  My 14 cups of coffee each week were suddenly in the forefront of my mind.  I thought at this stage if I was feeling so unwell, that my body was working hard to get rid of it all. The colonics and drinking lots of salt water and electrolyte water was helping to flush the toxins out too.  It was going to be a waiting game. I knew I would have to start feeling better soon.

Rest, Rest, Rest

I was tired but this is quite normal during a cleanse.  We were told to rest a lot and take it easy.  Walking and jumping on the mini trampolines for a short while was fine.  Any heavier exercise was discouraged.  If you exercise too much during a cleanse, your body can release toxins much faster into the blood stream.  You can literally drop to the floor. There was no need to tell me twice, take it easy and napping became my mantra!

Perfumes, Deodorant & Moisturizer

The Low Down On CleansingWe were also advised not to wear deodorant or perfumes. They can stop the body from releasing toxins from the armpits and through the skin.  People can also be quite sensitive to smell while they are cleansing. I stopped using them and found that a quick wipe under the arms with a damp paper towel removed any musty smells! When we came off the cleanse I did start to use deodorant again.

Day Three – Yeah!

By the third day, I was feeling great.  I felt sorry for the others in our group who had started feeling unwell.  The more we were learning about our health and wellbeing, the more we started to really understand the benefits of cleansing. Each time we were served a small juice, I found myself savoring it slowly.  The flavours became really intense and I felt really full.

I was happy to learn that we were on the right track with our food and smoothies.  There was going to be a few small adjustments going forward but for the most part, we were doing everything we needed to do to create real health.  I was surprised that only on two occasions did I think about food.  When I really checked in with my tummy to see if I was hungry, I wasn’t and the feeling passed.

Day Five – Coming Off The Cleanse

By the fifth day we were ready to start coming off the cleanse.  How you come off a cleanse can be more important than the actual cleanse itself. It was recommended that we eat small raw food meals. The only thing I wanted was lettuce with a little dressing.  This is all I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire day and I was full.  The lettuce tasted amazing and I didn’t want anything else.   I didn’t really want to stop cleansing.  I was feeling so good; my skin was fantastic and had a lot of energy.  I wasn’t thinking about my next meal anymore.  My stomach had flattened and I felt I had released a bit weight.

The Low Down On CleansingFor the rest of our event in Fiji, I was eating a very small portion of stirfry veggies and greens at each meal. They were delicious.  We also had wheatgrass shots and Udo’s Oil. I realized that I had been eating most of the right types of food in the past, I’d just been eating too much of it.  I couldn’t eat anywhere near what I had been able to before the cleanse.  I’ve changed my dinner plate to a side plate.  That seems to be the perfect size for me now.

I’d Definitely Do It Again

I was happy that we did the cleanse in a controlled environment.  I think if I’d felt so unwell without the support, I would not have continued the cleanse.  The leaders were amazing.  On arrival back from Fiji I’d released 4kg.  I was starting to get a little cuddly before the cleanse so this was a nice added bonus.  I also tried coffee on two occasions since we’ve been back and found I didn’t like it any more.  This was completely unexpected!  I’ve also had no interest in bread.  When preparing our meals, I’m making sure at least 70% of the plate is water rich, raw food.  I’ve also starting making healthy raw soups again.

Checklist For Life In the Real World

Here are few changes I’ve made since coming back from Fiji:
•    Use smaller plates and be aware of portion sizes.
•    Make more raw veggie breakfasts.
•    Use Udo’s Oil for my skin and to help remove toxins.
•    Use healthy fats and oils to promote great brain function.
•    Colonics every three months for colon care.
•    Do a yearly worming and parasite cleanse.
•    Complete a cleanse at least once year.
•    Daily probiotics are important – use different ones.
•    Drink water – hydration is key to every function of the body.
•    8-9 hours of sleep a night is perfect for me.
•    Exercising daily is oxygenating my blood and cells.
•    To love my body and give it want it really needs to be well.

Some of the things we had during the cleanse were:
•    Watermelon and lemon juice
•    Almond and avocado smoothie
•    Clear vegetable broths
•    Spinach soup – yum!
•    Wheat grass shots
•    Udo’s Oil
•    Savory juices such as freshly blended celery and tomato
•    Proboitics
•    Salt water
•    Electrolyte water
•    Water

Did you like what you’ve read?  Leave a comment below about your experiences with cleansing, I love to know what you’ve experienced.  If you feel this was valuable share it with your friends and family! Have a fantastic weekend!

With love & gratitude,

Nikki xx

The Cleanse Part 2- Colonics

 

“Every tissue is fed by the blood, which is supplied by the Colon. When the Colon is dirty, the blood is dirty, and so on to the organs and the tissues. It is the Colon that invariably has to be cared for first before any effective healing can take place.”   
Doctor Bernard Jensen, DC, ND, Ph.D

As part of our cleanse at the Tony Robbins ColonicsLife/Wealth Mastery program, we were offered  a choice of therapeutic treatments. At an extra cost, we had the choice of massage, colonics and beauty treatments. You could relax in the sauna, spa or baths with fragrant oils. They also had a waterfall spa, which gave you a deep massage on the shoulders. All of this of course over looks the crashing waves over the coral reefs of SavuSavu.

When Jurgen and I arrived, we were not that keen on having any colonics. This was for two reasons. We didn’t understand that keeping our colons clean was going to greatly improve our health. Secondly, we mistakenly assumed that because we are eating a clean, organic vegetarian diet that our colons would be great. Many years ago I was not feeling very well and I had two colonics. It was an uncomfortable experience for me and I didn’t really feel I needed to repeat it.

By the end of the first morning, Jurgen changed his mind. This really surprised me as I couldn’t imagine Jurgen ever suggesting that it might be a worthwhile process. So we signed up and during the lunch break headed over to the Wellness Centre at the Namale Resort. Andrew from Gumtree Retreat walked us through the process. I felt a bit awkward while he was talking about how to insert the tube. I struggled to look him in the eyes! I just nodded and waited to be alone to work it out. Getting set up was easy and in a few minutes of working out what went where, I was underway!

There is a mirror next to the colonic The Cleanse - Colonics bed that reflects an image of the tube, where you can literally see what’s coming out of you. They refer to it as the YouTube! The colonic system is called a Libbe Colon Hydrotherapy System. You lie down on a plastic bed with your feet elevated. It really was very comfortable. There is a sheet that you place over yourself for modesty. It’s very clean and hygienic. Each speculum comes it’s own sealed bag and is for single use only. That was important and comforting to know.

You can control and alternate the water temperature yourself. This apparently is better for the bowels. In the interest of good taste, I’m going to refer to any waste matter as doo-dee! I was quite shocked at how much doo-dee was washed out of my bowels on that first session. Given we’d be travelling and missing our green smoothies, it was surprising how my bowels had slowed right down. Just in case you’re wondering, there are exhaust fans so everything smells as fresh as daisies.

Later during the week Michelle, Andrew’s wife did The Cleanse - Colonics a presentation for us about colon health. I was really amazed to learn that even if you have a really good diet, it is possible to still have parasites and worms in your intestines. This can especially be the case if you eat bread or pasta. I do occasionally have bread when we go out for breakfast. It’s funny how we worm our children, but we don’t worm ourselves as adults. Note to self: Worm Me! Parasites and worms can often be released in the 4th or 5th colonic. They showed us a picture of what they look like; it was not a pretty sight.

The other thing I found really interesting was the balance of both good and bad bacteria in the bowel. Your bowel needs both. Cleaning out the colon and adding back in the electrolytes and probiotics help to balance and keep the colon healthy. It was also recommended to change probiotics regularly as there are different ones for the both the lower and upper colon. Jurgen and I have committed to having a colonic every three months to maintain our on going colon health. Now there’s a conversation I never thought we’d have!

We were also shown how to massage our tummy’s to help stimulate the colon. The colon should be using peristalsis to move the doo-dee down through the intestines for elimination. Sometimes the colon becomes lazy and the doo-dee is pushed through the colon by the next meal. In an ideal world, having a bowel movement an hour or two after each meal is ideal. I noticed on average with the green smoothies that it’s twice a day for me. If I stop drinking my smoothies it can easily be a day or two before I go, which is definitely not ideal. What I eat affects the way my colon operates.

The second and third colonics were a breeze. It is The Cleanse - Colonics a painless procedure and quite relaxing once you know what to expect. I massaged my tummy during the colonics using the technique we were shown. I’ve also been doing it gently throughout the day. I felt so much better each time I went through the process and noticed a change in my energy levels. It was as if I was able to think a little clearer and I also had a burst of ideas. Learning about colon care and maintenance certainly added a dimension to our health we really hadn’t considered before. I’m really glad we went out of our comfort zone, it was definitely worth the results.

If you found this helpful, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts about colon care. Feel free to share this with your friends and family! Next week I’ll share with you what we learnt about healthy oils and fats for the body and how they actually burn fat!

Acid vs. Alkaline

The acid and alkaline balance in the body, unlocked one of the greatest secrets of health for me.  It actually gave me the blueprint for how to improve my health naturally after stroke. This dramatically reduced my risk of having another stroke.  It also reduced the risk of having all sorts of other conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc.  Making this simple change has saved me from a future full of ongoing health issues.

What is the acid and alkaline balance?Acid vs. Alkaline copy
The acid alkaline balance is the balance of potential hydrogen or pH in the body.  It is measured with a testing strip using either saliva or urine.  The testing strip is then compared to a scale that ranges from 0 to 14.  Readings from 0 to 6.75 are considered to acid.  Readings from 6.75 to 14 are considered to be alkaline.  The ideal range is above 6.75.  The acid alkaline balance is influenced by food we eat and drink.

Acid
When the body has a high level of acidity, it is prone to illness.  Acid decreases the body’s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients.  It creates low energy production in the cells.  It also reduces the body’s ability to carry out cell repair.  The immune system is weakened.  The body also creates extra cells to store the acid, which often results in weigh gain.  High acidity in the body creates an environment that encourages growth in tumor cells.

Removing or eliminating foods that cause acid in the body will dramatically improve your health.  These include meat, eggs and dairy. Pork and Parmesan cheese have an extremely acidic effect on the body.

Alkaline
It is very difficult for disease or illness to exist in an alkaline body. When the body is in an alkaline state, it has increased energy levels.  Oxygen is transferred to the cells more effectively, which promotes healthy cell function.  It improves and protects the immune system.  The body will absorb nutrients and minerals more effectively.  Cells are able to repair more rapidly, which reduces premature aging.

Including foods that create an alkaline state in the body are dark leafy greens, fruit, and vegetables.  There are some foods that are naturally acidic such as lemons, however they actually create an alkaline balance in the body.

Getting Started
Start testing your pH balance so you can see for yourself what certain foods are doing in your body. Green smoothies are one of the fastest ways to influence your pH balance in the body.  In the last two and half years, I have had two colds.  One lasted for a day and the other lasted for three days.  Other than that, I have not experienced any other illness since my strokes in 2011.  I know that changing to an organic, alkaline vegetarian diet has been the key!

You can buy the testing strips from the chemist or online.  We brought 10 packs online and are still using them years later.  The brand we brought was called Youth Waters.  Just a note we have no affiliation with this company at all, they are just the strips we found easy to use.  More information on alkaline foods is available in my book, if you are interested.

Love what you’ve read, leave a comment!

Cholesterol Made Easy!

Cholesterol often gets a bad rap.  It’s really important to know that there are two types of cholesterol.  They both do different things in the body.  There is the good cholesterol, which is called HDL.  And then there is the bad cholesterol, which is known as LDL.  The food choices you make influence your HDL and LDL levels.

What is cholesterol?Cholesterol & Green Smoothies
Cholesterol is the amount of fat within the bloodstream.  The fats within the blood stream are known as lipids.  It is a waxy substance that the body uses to produce vitamin D (the sunlight hormone), cortisone, aldosterone, progesterone, estrogen and testosterone.  Cholesterol builds cell walls and creates bile salts that help the body to digest fats.

The body naturally produces around 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol each day.  The average diet will usually contain between 150-250 milligrams per day. This is then added to the amount the body already produces.  You have the opportunity here to make sure you are getting lots of good HDL and limiting your LDL intake.

The good cholesterol HDLCholesterol & Green Smoothies
HDL helps to remove the bad cholesterol from the bloodstream and returns it to the liver.  The liver then processes it so it can be removed from the body.  It helps to protect the blood circulatory system from an excess of fat in the blood.  Whole foods that will help you to increase the HDL are greens smoothies, dark leafy greens, chia seeds, olive oil, avocados, nuts in particular walnuts.  Think fresh Mediterranean diet as a reference.

The bad cholesterol LDL
High LDL can build up and block the blood from moving easily through the body.  If a large build up occurs, it can form hard plaque on the inside of the vein walls, which causes the arteries to narrow.  This can reduce the rate of blood flow to the organs. It can be a major cause of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and angina.

Meat and dairy increase the amount of LDL in the body.  The amount you consume of these each day will directly affect your LDL levels. If you are serious about reducing your bad cholesterol levels, start with reducing meat and dairy.

Getting started
The first thing to do is get your cholesterol levels checked. Once you know where you are starting from, you can start streamlining your diet to match the health you want to create.  You can do this by making conscious decisions about what you put into your body, every day.  Your cholesterol levels are in your hands.  The best thing is you can create a fresh healthy diet full of smoothies and beautiful organic food.  What a delicious way to get healthy!

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Vegetarian Protein – Save the Animals!

The question I often get asked being a vegetarian is how do I get enough protein?  It’s actually really easy to do!Vegetarian Protein

Years ago I used to believe that protein only came from meat.  It was news to me that there are so many great vegetarian sources of protein.  You can enjoy a fantastic vegetarian diet and get all the protein you need.

The body uses protein for growth and to produce antibodies.  It also promotes cell repair and maintenance.  It is required for metabolism, digestion and for transporting oxygen and nutrients around the body via the blood stream.  Protein ensures your body has everything it needs to rebuild itself.

Here’s a list of some of the most common vegetarian protein foods I tend to use.  I will eat at least one but usually several sources from the list each day for variety and added nutrients:

Vegetarian ProteinVegetarian Protein
Dark Leafy Greens – green smoothies & salads
Avocado – great with everything, I love avocado!
Nuts – raw and unsalted
Seeds – great for a snack or added to salads
Lentils – soak & used in homemade felafels or soups
Eggs – poached & served with mushrooms & spinach
Legumes –  soaked and added to soups or stews
Beans – use raw instead of crackers for hummus and dips
Quinoa – added to sauteed mushrooms, onion, spring onion

Choosing good, natural vegetarian sources of protein will help to increase the alkaline levels in your body.  By reducing your meat intake, you will be helping to lower your acid levels in the body, which is ideal. The best way I’ve found to remember this is as follows:

                           Increased Alkaline levels is great for your health
                            Increased Acid in the body is horrific for health

Next week I’ll talk more about the Acid and Alkaline balance.  Learning about this unlocked how understood health and helped me rebuild my health after stroke.  You can use this to change your current state of health straight away!

Love what you’ve read, share this with those that you love! Please leave a comment below sharing your great vegetarian protein recipe ideas.  Natural, healthy and organic, love it!

With love & gratitude,

Nikki xx

In The Eye Of The Beholder

Macular Degeneration and Green Smoothies copyI wrote a piece for a lady early last year, who was experiencing macular degeneration. She was interested in using diet and green smoothies to limit any further loss of vision. I found a lot of foods that help to promote eye health. It was a really interesting challenge.

I noticed a change in my own vision in the past few months so I went to see the optometrist. I can see a hummingbird at one hundred metres away! My vision up close is a not quite as clear. I’ve had the same prescription for reading glasses for the last 15 years. This changed slightly at my eye test. Although they increased the prescription, it is still very mild.

I thought it was time to revisit eye health and make sure I was doing everything I could from a natural perspective, to look after my eyes.  This is the article I wrote about improving the health of your eyes using diet and green smoothies. Click here to read the full article.

Hope you have a wonderful day and “see” you next week! Please leave a comment and share this with your friends and family if you if found it valuable.

With love and gratitude,

Nikki xx

Beware of Over-Pimped Green Smoothies!

Beware of Over Pimped Green SmoothiesSometimes less is more.  I’m not a fan of over complicating life.  In fact, it’s the simple things these days that me bring the most pleasure. A good laugh, a feeling of joy and a kind word can make my day.  I really am that easy to please.

The same goes for my food.  I love easy, delicious recipes.  Recipes with a thousand ingredients generally put me off.  This is certainly the case with green smoothies.  I often see green smoothies that have been pimped out to such a degree, that the simple health benefits become diluted and sometimes lost altogether.

The most important ingredient in green smoothies is the leafy greens!

The leafy greens create the foundation for real health. They are cleaning the blood, protecting the eyes and increasing bone health.  They prevent cell damage, osteoporosis and diabetes.  They regulate blood clotting and prevent the build up of plaque in the arteries.  They can also reduce inflammation that causes arthritis.  They are full of chlorophyll, which helps to rebuild the body at a cellular level. Leafy greens help to rebuild the brain – how cool is that!

I’ve seen all sorts of weird and wonderful recipes for green smoothies.  The simple truth is that less is more.  Just add your favourite fruits and water, and voila!  You have the perfect blend for real health.

Adding a lot of other ingredients and reducing the amount of greens won’t give you the same health benefits.  Potions, powders and even vegetables won’t take place of leafy greens.   Why compromise when it comes it your health?  You can have the best of both worlds when it comes to smoothies and food.

Here are a few tips to help you to keep it simple:Beware of Over Pimped Green Smoothies

1. Don’t use vegetables in your smoothies.  They generally won’t taste as nice and it’s not necessary to include them. Power pack your green smoothies by using extra leafy greens. Save your delicious vegetables for other dishes.

2. If you are looking for extra vitamins or minerals to add to your green smoothie, look to nature.  You will find everything you need using organic whole foods.  Potions and powders have been refined and had their structure changed.  Accept NO SUBSTITUTES for real food! Keep your smoothies pure and stick to the formula of leafy greens, fruit and water.

3. Within that formula, you can be very creative.  I love using coconut water and the flesh in my smoothies.  They are an ideal ingredient and help to hydrate the body and the skin.  They will also make your green smoothies taste amazing.  Look for different fruits and greens to increase the nutrients you would like to include in your diet.  Be your own Health Detective when it comes to your body.

4. Remember to rotate your leafy greens.  Your body needs a variety of nutrients and minerals.  It’s important to make sure you keep all things in balance.

The simple things in life are often the best.  Unforgettable moments with family and friends, a beautiful sunset and the words, I love you.  Give your smoothies the simple touch and your body will love you for it, in return.

If you found this valuable, please share the love you with your family and friends.  Share your inspiration in the comments below on what simple recipes bring you the most joy. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

With love and gratitude,

Nikki xx