We love a good cuppa here at Holistichem, fruit, green and white teas, that is!
Now there's nothing wrong with the occasional cup of tea, indeed many traditional teas contain flavonoids helping fight disease and ageing. However it's the caffeine content that causes problems. Found in tea and, of course coffee, excessive caffeine consumption is addictive, toxic and over stimulating for the body, can irritate delicate stomachs and can also contribute to conditions such as high blood pressure.
If you drink lots of cups throughout the day then you might consider cutting down. Caffeine-free alternatives are great and with a wide range available you're sure to find a variety you like. Remember, green tea has a small amount of caffeine however these low levels are acceptable due to the health-giving properties a lovely cup of green tea provides.
Personally, I've never been a fan of "normal" tea so I have been drinking herbal teas for years and enjoy every sip. Here are some of my favourites:
Words we've been reflecting upon this month....
"To succeed, we must first believe that we can."
Avocados are packed full of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, dietary fibre and vitamin B6. They have also been shown to lower cholesterol and help balance blood pressure. So not only are they tasty but incredibly healthy, however for many they prove a tough sell as they are unsure how to use them. The most common ways of eating avocados are either on their own or in guacamole, but this fruit has so many other uses. Below are some of our favourite, easy and enjoyable ways to eat avocados:
1. In sandwiches - Try using mashed avocado as an alternative to mayonnaise, it's far more healthier yet just as tasty.
2. In smoothies - Use like any other fruit and mix with banana, yoghurt, soya/rice milk and agave nectar.
3. In salads - Try grilling with your other favourite veggies, season with salt and pepper, then toss with spinach and rocket.
4. In puddings - Combine avocado with coconut/soya milk, agave nectar and cocoa powder for a delicious and healthy treat.
5. As a pasta sauce - Mash avocado together with butter beans, season with garlic, salt and pepper for a delightfully creamy sauce.
Bet you didn't think there was so much you could do with an avocado!
Words we're considering this month....
"Be the best version of you."
If you suffer from aches and pains or have difficulty sleeping, then the Yantra Mat might just be the answer. It can help to boost energy levels and relieve stress and headaches. It's great for soothing a sore back and neck too, helping alleviate any stiffness.
The Yantra Mat has 8,820 acupressure points and 210 non-toxic plastic spiked flowers, each of which contains 42 pressure points. The acupressure points help to activate natural healing capabilities within the body. All you have to do is simply lie on the mat flat on your back or stomach or you can position it on a chair and sit against it. You can also place your cheek on it as you would with a pillow. This is excellent for relieving any tension in your jaw. It even rolls up neatly and is kept in a handy storage bag and is available in a variety of colours. (I have the purple!).
It may be made up of little spiky flowers but it is very comfortable and relaxing to use helping to restore flagging energy levels and achy areas as well as promoting better sleep. Lying on it for just 20 minutes per day really can make a difference and is perfect for boosting wellbeing and relieving tense muscles.
The Yantra Mat is available from www.yantramat.co.uk and other retailers.
Words we're pondering this month....
"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
Surprisingly when I started a wholefood diet it wasn't bread or sugar I missed, no the one thing I had trouble replacing or replicating was gravy. It's nigh impossible to find shop bought gravies that don't contain wheat or yeast and a Sunday roast just isn't the same without one. So after much trial and error and experimenting I have finally found a recipe that not only suits a wholefood diet but also tastes great and is now a family favourite. It's also great to use in meat-based and veggie stews, casseroles and mince. The recipe is as follows:
Words we're contemplating this month....
"Always listen to your heart. Even though it's on your left side, it will always be right."
Freshly squeezed juice tastes amazing and is an easy, enjoyable way to get 1 of your 5 a day. Not only does it contain vital nutrients, it is also bursting with live enzymes that help revitalise and encourage good health. I am a keen advocate for the healing power of juicing and drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices regularly.
Fresh juices provide a hit of natural vitamins and minerals which are easily absorbed and digested. One of my favourite juicing ingredients is beetroot. It has fantastic cleansing and purifying properties and helps boost the immune system and fortifies the blood, making it useful for treating anaemia. Rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and B vitamins, beetroot is also a great energiser.
I like to juice beetroot along with vitamin A, C, calcium and magnesium rich carrots for an immune boosting drink. Here's the recipe:
Wash vegetables. If using organic produce you can simply scrub the vegetables without peeling and you can leave the stalks on the beetroot if you wish. Beetroot can stain your hands temporarily so if you can avoid peeling, then it is less messy. Once the vegetables are prepared and clean add to juicer. Once juiced, drink immediately whilst all the oh-so-good-for-you vitamins and minerals are at their most active.
Words we're musing over this month....
"Never let go of your dreams."
It's a New Year, so why not start it as you mean to go on, filled with positivity and hope. A great way to combine both these elements is to introduce the use of affirmations into your everyday life.
For Christmas I received the gift of Katie Piper's "Start Your Day With Katie", a book of affirmations, positive thought and inspirational quotes. Many of you may have watched Katie's programmes or read her previous book detailing her story following an acid attack, which disfigured her face. If anyone had the right to feel negative and be lacking hope, it was definitely Katie. But as she explains in her book she knew that in order to move on with her life, she had to let go of her negative feelings and embrace the positive aspects in her life. This can be a difficult process, not just for people like Katie who are overcoming such traumatic experiences, but even for those trying to implement this process into their everyday life. But with time and practice the use of affirmations in your life becomes easier and eventually will become the norm.
This is a great book that can be read chronologically, as there is an affirmation, quote or positive thought for everyday of the year, or you can dip into it you need a mood boost. Keep this by your bedside or in your handbag to provide you with hope and positivity whenever you require it. If there are certain affirmations or quotes which you feel are of relevance to your life or how you are feeling, you may wish to write these on a post-it note, then place by your bedside or on your bathroom mirror so you see this at the start and end of your day. This will provide optimism and a great boost to your spirit as you start the day and relax and soothe you as you head to bed. You may also wish to place these at your workspace to give you positive encouragement throughout the day.
As Katie and we at Holistichem say hope and positivity can be found anywhere, you just have to take the first step to introducing it into your life. An easy way to get started would be to buy this book, which is available at all good bookshops and online stockists. So go on get your life going in the right direction, the only person who can take control of your happiness and wellbeing, is you.