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Nourished Nutrition Community

Food swaps that will make your diet instantly healthier

Food swaps that will make your diet instantly healthier

1. Swap white pasta, bread and rice for whole grain – There is no need to ditch the carbs all together, you just have to learn which are the correct carbs to be eating. Whole grain carbs help reduce blood cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease. Furthermore, they provide more potassium, magnesium and other nutrients.


2. Swap plain jacket potatoes for sweet potatoes – While jacket potatoes are tasty, they are starchy and so swapping to sweet potatoes means you are eating a healthier potato and getting one of your five a day.


3. Make your own porridge instead of the pre-packed version – when you are in a rush, it is tempting to eat the pre-packaged porridge, however, when you make your own porridge you are in control of what goes in it. You can buy plain oats and decide whether you want added sugar or nuts and fruit on top. There are higher levels of salt, sugar and flavours in pre-packages porridge which is what you want to avoid.


4. Swap fruit juice for fruit itself – You may want to re-think going for a fruit juice next time, as they are very high in natural sugar and is missing the fibre that fruit provides.


5. Swap shop-bought salad dressing for homemade – It may sound like a faff having to make your own dressing, but it really only takes a few minutes. A base, such as olive oil and vinegar is a tasty mix, or vinegar and lemon dressing. They are lower in fat and calories with more nutritional value. For a French dressing, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and salt and pepper.


6. Swap crisps for popcorn – It may sound like an unhealthy option, but popcorn is lower in fat that crisps.


7. Swap full-fat yoghurt for low-fat or no-fat yoghurt – Plain yoghurt has less sugars and fat than the normal full-fat yoghurt. There is no risk of eating too much yoghurt and having too much sugar, as you can decide if you want to sweeten the low-fat yoghurt yourself with a tea spoon of honey or fruit.


8. Swap a chocolate bar for dark chocolate dipped strawberries – unfortunately, almost all chocolate is rich in fat and sugar, which is why you have to think about portion control. Dipping strawberries in melted dark chocolate means that you are eating less chocolate, therefore, there is less sugar and fat than a chocolate bar. Dark chocolate is also known to have nutritional value.


9. Swap chocolate biscuit for muesli bar – Commercially made biscuits contain large amounts of butter and salt which is why they have such a long shelf life. Along with the amount of fat and sugars in them. Baking your own muesli treats means that you can control what goes into them. Experts recommend, oats, raw nuts, raisins, chia or pumpkin seeds, honey, dates, olive oil and margarine. They are still sweet treats but using portion control you can cut them into mini squares.


10. Swap sugar for cinnamon – Cinnamon is not as sweet or bad for you as sugar. Alongside this, it has benefits that sugar doesn’t. It can help control insulin, help reduce cholesterol, speed up metabolism, burns belly fat and can help suppress your appetite.

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Peanut butter and banana protein muffin recipe

Peanut butter and banana protein muffin recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup honey or rice malt syrup
½ cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1 ½ cup mashed banana
¾ cup probiotic milk

Method:


Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C and line muffin tin with cupcake cases
Mix and whisk all of the dry ingredients
In a different bowl, leave the milk for now but mix the rest of the wet ingredients together.
Stir in the milk and add the wet and dry ingredients together until well combined.
Pour the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean
Leave to cool and enjoy

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Top 11 benefits of yoga

Top 11 benefits of yoga

1. Improves flexibility – One of the most obvious benefits of yoga is how flexibility improves. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to touch your toes, to learn to do a back bend or become less stiff, if you stick with it, you will gradually see improvement and get to where you want to.


2. Increases strength – while you may feel that you are not gaining in any strength, it takes time. Yoga is not a fast-paced sport, it is slow and it can take weeks-months to see a difference in strength. Once you have spent a couple times in down ward dog and you will realise how much strength it really takes.


3. Improves posture – In order to stay healthy throughout our lives, having a proper posture is an important aspect. The spine is one of the most important parts of the body and it is important that you protect it. When your spine is healthy, then energy moves freely, and your body is strong. Through back bends, forward bends and twists, your spine disks become supple. Correcting your poor posture and the imbalance will also help to prevent back pains.


4. Better your bone health – Many studies have shown that weight-baring exercises actually helps your bones as most of the time, yoga requires that you lift your own weight. Through doing these poses it means that your bones become strengthened and are less vulnerable to fractures.


5. Increases blood flow – Yoga is a sure fine way to get your blood flowing. The exercises that you learn in yoga help circulation, especially in the hands and feet. Twisting and stretching also helps with this circulation all the way through your body, such as headstands which can help the blood from your legs and pelvis flow back to the hearty, where it can be freshly oxygenated and pumped to your lungs. The helps to prevent any swelling in your legs from any heart or kidney problems. Yoga also helps boost haemoglobin which carry oxygen to the tissues.


6. Improves balance – for people who are prone to falls, especially the elderly, practising yoga is a good way to prevent these falls. As your balance becomes better through the poses that are performed, when it comes to older age, you are less likely to have as many falls.


7. Releases tension in limbs - As you practice yoga, you can really feel where you hold tension within your body, whether it be your neck, shoulders, face, arms, wrist, legs or feet. One you begin to notice this; you can really learn to tune in and release some of that tension. Through practice and relaxation, you can learn how.


8. Improves sleep quality – many studies have found that through yoga, your sleep routine and sleep quality can improve drastically. As yoga is a way for you to unwind, relax and breathe deeply throughout stretches, it helps you to fall asleep fast, longer and feel much more rested when you wake up. The secretion of melatonin which is a hormone that regulates sleep has also been proven to increase helping you feel rested.


9. Eases pain – A study showed that asana, meditation or a combination of the two, actually reduces back pain, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as other chronic conditions. In turn, when your pain is being relives, your mood also improves.


10. Reduces stress – you don’t need research to tell you that exercise has a positive impact on your mental and physical well being. It can reduce, stress, anxiety and depression. Yoga is no exception, it actually helps you to manage your stress, reduce your heart rate and ease respiration.


11. Improves concentration – It is a very important part of yoga to concentrate and focus as you breathe and move in and out of poses. Being aware of your body and how breathing can help be a useful tool to increase your concentration throughout all day-to-day activities.

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Our Top 5 Nutritious and Delicious Breakfast Recipes

Our Top 5 Nutritious and Delicious Breakfast Recipes

Many people are too busy in mornings to make breakfast, and a lot of people either go without or grab something easy on the way into work, which is not normally very healthy. For people who want breakfast but don’t have the time; then these recipes below are definitely winners. 

1) Blueberry and almond Overnight Oats

Not only are oats filling which means that you will be fuller for longer as the body digests them at a slower pace, there are endless options to mix oats with. From fruit to protein powder, Nutella and peanut butter.

Ingredients:

½ cup of oats

1/3 cup blueberries

1 tbsp of chia seeds

1 cup of almond milk

1 scoop of collagen or protein powder

Sprinkle of cinnamon on top

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, seal with a lid and pop into the fringe overnight. Top with blueberries and almonds.

 

2) Smoothie

Having a refreshing smoothie in the morning is the best way to make you feel great, fill your body with antioxidants and so you it can fight off the signs of ageing skin and with lots of fiber, a sure way to fill you up.

Ingredients:

1 apple

1 banana

Splash of milk

1 dollop of Greek yogurt

1/2 cup of kale

1 tbsp of honey

1 scoop of collagen or protein powder  

Add all ingredients together, mix and enjoy. This can be left over night in the fridge if you want to have it ready for the next morning.

 

3) Egg Muffins

Not only can egg muffins be made the night before, they are easy to make.

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon

½ cup of chopped spinach

1/3 cup of any cheese of your choosing

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and coat a muffin tin the cooking spray/oil. Beat the eggs, salt and pepper together in bowl. Fill each muffin cup with an equal amount of spinach, bacon and cheese crumbles.  Add the eggs mixture to the cups and fill approximately 2 thirds full. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes or until slightly brown on top.

 

4) Smashed avocado on toast

Avocados are rich in healthy fats, vitamins A and C, and fiber. They are a healthy food that enhances your complexion and fights ageing skin. Who doesn’t need that in the morning right? The beauty with them is that you can have avocado smash on toast topped with almost anything! Some of our favorites are halloumi, tomatoes, egg or salmon. A little spread of Vegemite on the toast also adds flavor.

Ingredients:

1 avocado

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper

Mash the avocado and add salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on top of your toast, add a squeeze of lemon on top if you fancy and enjoy.

 

5) Banana Pancakes 

Pancakes are renowned for being unhealthy and only something you have if drizzled with copious amounts of chocolate and sugar. However, it is so easy to make healthy pancakes and not go over board with the sugar. Moreover, they can be left over night and you can re-heat them in the morning. 

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas 

4 eggs 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

1 cup quick oats 

2 tsp cinnamon

Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. Heat a pan, add oil and then add the mixture to the pan over a medium heat for around 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and heat on the other side. Make sure the pancakes are a little browned before transferring to a plate and topping with your favorite toppings. But remember not to over do the sugar. Try topping with fruit and a light sprinkle of maple syrup. 

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A guide for eating carbohydrates

A guide for eating carbohydrates

While many people tell us to stay away from carbs and that they are bad for us; for those of us who want to lose weight, this is not in fact true. Sure, refined carbs, such as white bread, pastries, confectionery, cakes and sweet are what you need to be careful about eating as these can put added weight on and cause problems such as diabetes and other chronic diseases. However, in order to know what carbs to have, you have to know what they are.

Carbohydrates are split into 3 categories: sugar, starch and fiber. Fruit, vegetables and milk fall into the sugar category; starch includes rice, bread and potatoes; while fiber is found in whole grain breads and pasta. The problem isn’t the carbs, it’s the serving size and how much a day you are consuming.

Having toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for tea is a lot of carbs, especially if they are the refined ones. For people who are exercising or are in a more active jobs compared to those sat at a desk all day, they need more starchy carbs. The way to consume carbs is by balancing them with other foods, such as fish, meat, nuts and seeds. If you go cold turkey and try to cut out all carbohydrates, this will in turn cause binging and overeating, especially if you cut out the starchy carbs. That is why it is important not to cut them out completely but restrict yourself. It is about learning how to substitute the refined carbs with good carbs and to swap too much carbs for a healthier option.

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How does your body process sugar?

How does your body process sugar?

Everyone knows that sugar is one of the worst things that we can put into our bodies and that it causes us to gain weight, but what does it actually do within the body?

Being that sugar is a carbohydrate that is turned into glycogen within the body, if you digest too much of it, it is then stores as fat (triglycerides) within your cells. Sugar enters the body within your blood stream and goes to the pancreas, which is where insulin is created to regulate your sugar levels. Sugar is stored within the muscles and lives as fat which is then used as energy when you need it later. However, if you consume too much sugar over long periods, this can cause serious problems, such as diabetes and kidney and heart disease. Furthermore, sugar also has a very negative impact on our mood and can cause you to become more susceptible to depression and other serious mental health problems. It is no surprise that most people after eating sugar will have a sugar crash, which leads to mental fatigue and irritability. This is something that we will look into a lot deeper detail in next weeks blog. That being said, we do need some sugars in our diet, but the natural ones that are found in fruit and vegetables. These sugars are not processed, and they are high in fiber and nutrients which makes it much easier for your liver to digest. Furthermore, they don’t cause sugar crashes. So, the best way to eat less sugar is to swap. There are lots and lots of yummy low or no sugar foods and snacks out there that you can enjoy without worrying about what affect it will have on you. Using our protein powder in a smoothie to create a sweet yet healthy shake. If you are craving chocolate, use our chocolate protein powder and create some yummy healthy pancakes or protein balls. Not only are these alternatives healthy, they are easy to make and will curve that sugar craving.

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15 essential super foods that you need in your diet

15 essential super foods that you need in your diet

While there is essentially no real super food, there are definitely certain essential foods that should be consumed within a diet. Here is the list of our top essential super foods that we think are worthy of being super.

Ground flax seeds – these are not only a good source of fiber, but they reduce the rates of certain hormone-related cancers. Furthermore, they can help acne and asthma conditions. Flax seed is high in fiber which means that it can help with any digestive problems.

Raw cocoa powder – this super food is naturally rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium and like blueberries, is packed with antioxidants.

Chia seeds – these seeds are also high in fiber and so they greatly reduce appetite. They can be sprinkled on any meal.

Coconut oil –while it is classified as a saturated fat, it is mainly made up of medium chain triglycerides which are a great source of energy. While it can also be used for cooking, coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for both the skin and nails.

Berries – while blueberries are one of the best berries you can consume, all berries are important. They are full of fiber which keeps your digestive system healthy, is good for your waistline and your heart. In the winter season when berries aren’t available, you can pick up a bag of frozen berries and use them in a smoothie. Or if you want to defrost them, you can put them in oatmeal, or yogurt. Berries are also a very good super food, for people who would like to lose weight.

Salmon – salmon is full of excellent omega-3 fats and proteins. They can also reduce heart disease and improve mood.

Broccoli – broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C and K which contribute to bone health. They are also well known to help stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes.

Eggs – these are full of protein with one egg which has about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein. Eggs also contain two antioxidants, which help keep your eyes healthy.

Oats – oats are full of fiber, which is healthy for the gut and for your waistlines. Being that oats are whole grain oats, they do not have any added sugar, making them a nice healthy snack. Eating oats for breakfast is a good way to stay fuller for longer and prevent snacking.

Spinach – not only is spinach teeming with vitamins A, C and K, it is full of fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin E. Spinach can aid with weight loss and reduce diabetes.

Green tea – drinking tea has many positive effects on your body. Drinking it regularly can reduce Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes. Furthermore, it keeps teeth, gums and bones stronger. Green tea detoxes the body and is a great replacement if you are trying to kick that coffee addiction.

Nuts – is there anything nuts can’t do? They are full of polyunsaturated fats and magnesium, which are both important nutrients for a healthy heart. Both of these nutrients also protect against insulin which can lead to diabetes. Pelagic acid found in nuts, may reduce cancer risk. They are full of fiber, which studies suggest help you stay healthy by feeding beneficial gut bacteria.

Apple – an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The apple and skin are higher in fiber that many other fruits, which can help with weight loss by improving satiety. They are loaded with antioxidants which protect our cells and help reduce the risk of cancer and heat disease.

Yogurt – yogurt contains lots of good bacteria which help to keep our gut healthy. Just one cup of yogurt provides nearly half the recommended daily value of calcium and delivers phosphorus, protein, potassium, zinc and vitamin B12.

Cinnamon – studies have shown that cinnamon can improve blood sugar in people who suffer with diabetes. It is high in fiber, iron, calcium and magnesium, all which is beneficial for the body.

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Coffee and Raisin Breakfast Bars

Coffee and Raisin Breakfast Bars

Our recipe this week is an easy 4 step process, creating delicious bars ready for an on the go breakfast or just as a simple treat.

Recipe

  • 2 cup instant oats
  • 1 scoop Nourish + Repair coffee protein powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 cups raisins

Method

  • Mix all of the ingredients together
  • Keep pulsing the mixture until is starts to form a doughy texture
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper or butter
  • Place into the fridge until set and then cut into the desired bar sizes
  • Enjoy

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