Boosting Immunity With the Goodness Of Lupin Flakes

Every one of you reading this right now will agree that our current world of stress, anxiety and uncertainty is unsettling. 

Good news though – the one thing you CAN control is how you look after yourself – what you choose to eat, how to move, when to get some shut-eye, how to deal with an overload of stress and remembering the good old mechanism of breathing – remember that one?

In the food and nutrition realm, you will see some crazy coo-coo claims being made about what you should do to prevent or cure you from a viral infection. 

You may have also read about foods that boost immunity and they are usually foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.  It is absolutely true that these nutrients assist our immunity.

Enter lupin flakes. These little yellow flakes of goodness tick many of these boxes in the vitamin and mineral department. They also have some unique superpowers in the boosting immunity department that other foods simply do not.

Lupins are a unique legume that contain 40% protein plus 40% fibre with a small amount of carbohydrate and fat and are completely gluten free.

The Super Boosting Immunity Powers of Lupin Flakes

Good Gut Health

The intestinal tract or gut is a very busy place. There are around 500 species of bacteria hanging out in your gastrointestinal tract, mostly in the large bowel.  Not only do they live there in peaceful coexistence with us, they may actually help. These bacteria keep out disease-causing bacteria and viruses, keep our immune system healthy and maintain the lining of the bowel.

Under some circumstances, the normal mix of these bacteria gets disrupted. Not surprisingly, stress is a major factor that upsets this balance.

Our gut wall houses around 70% of the cells that make up our immune system, so gut function is super important.  This is where probiotics and prebiotics start to shine.

Probiotics are live bacteria that are naturally found in our gut and in some foods. They improve our health by reducing the number of harmful bacteria that may survive in our gut. 

Prebiotics on the other hand are very different. They are mostly soluble fibres and resistant starches that act as fuel for our good bacteria in the large intestine. They get the party started by being fermented by gut bacteria and boosting the balance of our microbiome to be healthier.

Hello lupin flakes. Lupin flakes are a rich source of prebiotics due to their high content of resistant starch. This means they are super powerful bacteria and rather clever at boosting immunity.

Power Up With Protein

Did you know that protein is essential for the repair and regeneration of cells and one of the front-runners for fighting viral infections?

Protein is made up of amino acids, which are just like building blocks similar to Lego. Amino acids are classed as either essential as they cannot be manufactured by the body. These are only accessible through food or non-essential.

Inthe plant world, it can be truly difficult to get enough of these essential proteins. Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans and other similar friends contain just 5-8% protein.  Lupin flakes boast a mighty 40%!

Lupin flakes are multi-faceted too as they can be used as an alternative to meat but do just as well as an alternative or addition to rice or pasta.  These starchy foods contain only 3-7% protein, so once again lupin flakes storm to the front. And you can actually purchase them, unlike many other foods right now!

For ideas on how you can incorporate lupins into your day and boost your immunity at the same time – check out some recipes of mine here and a ton from The Lupin Co right here.

To purchase the lupin flakes, you can check out stockists or order online by clicking here

Stay well everyone and keep in touch – I am here.

Overnight Oats – How to Make This Simple Super Breakfast

Right now in this rapidly evolving food landscape of ours, Overnight Oats aka Bircher Muesli is one of the simplest and cheapest breakfast ideas you could whip up.  

If you don’t have oats you can also use natural muesli with the added bonus of a few extra bits!

Oats are a fabulous source of resistant starch – it’s no surprise that as the name would suggest, resistant starch is resistant to digestion and nourishes our gut bacteria. This special starch is a prebiotic and basically gets the party started by fuelling the probiotics in our large intestine. The good bacteria that are produced as a result of the starch being fermented in our gut, naturally help us to maintain our intestinal health.

This recipe for Overnight Oats serves two people but I usually batch it up and multiply the recipe by at least five to feed the locusts that live in my house.  

Depending on how you prefer to operate, the Overnight Oats can be made in individual containers or like me, a large container that will hold the weeks worth.

Overnight Oats

INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup rolled or quick oats

2/3 cup plain natural or Greek yoghurt

1 cup water 

2 tsp chia seeds

2 tsp shredded coconut

1 medium apple, grated

1 tbsp natural yogurt to serve

 

METHOD

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

To serve, spoon into bowls and top with a dollop of natural yoghurt and fresh fruit of choice such as:

  • 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen) or 
  • 1 small sliced banana or
  • 1 passionfruit 

These are all equivalent to one serving of fruit but you could also combine a variety of fruits to make up one serving and add variety to your breakfast each day.

For some other simple breakfast ideas, you can check these out here. 

Breathing In and Breathing Out – Bring That Stress Back Into Line

Breathing in and breathing out, breathing in and breathing out.  Right now, this is one thing we can do whilst our world experiences so much angst.  

Without diminishing or belittling the gravity of all affected or who have lost their lives to COVID-19, I am struggling to comprehend the actions and thought processes of some of my fellow humans who are in full panic mode.  When panic surrounds you, it can be difficult to remind yourself not to join the proverbial party. Please keep reminding yourself because this is important.

One of my lovely friends Cath of Conscious Business, has just shared a quote by Seth Godin who has said, “Panic is a choice and so is productive generosity.”  

It sure is.

With the global events that are happening all around us, it is important to remember that there are many things that we CAN actually do to look after ourselves and those around us.

One of the most simple things we do have control over is looking after our wellbeing and the act of simply breathing to keep stress levels at a healthy level.

A few years ago, as a result of self induced stress, I forgot about the importance of breathing and wrote about it on this blog.

I went looking for it today and decided that it was perfect timing to share it again.  

The moment in time that I wrote about eventually passed, as will the current world health events.  

A Story to Tell

Three years ago I experienced something new. It was overwhelming and both a physical and mental storm. I experienced an anxiety attack.

To me, it sounds silly because in the scheme of things, what I was anxious about did not warrant my reaction. If I think about the times or events in my life that should have been more likely to produce such a severe reaction – the weekend in question should not have featured even for a second.

My then 13-year-old daughter, had her first gymnastics competition for the year. She had been in the National Development Program since early primary school, so it was not a new thing. And let me just establish that this girl was a seasoned professional and a total poker face when it comes to competition – she trained for 18+ hours each week and knew her stuff.

Despite this, over recent years – my nervousness and anxiety with competitions had been increasing.

But one particular weekend most certainly took the cake. I made myself physically ill with stomach pains, nausea and a migraine as a result of my anxiety and irrational thinking. I found myself holding my breath at various points of the day – and this was before the competition even started!

There was no sympathy at home either because I was very careful to hide this anxiety – nobody needs that kind of negative energy before they start swinging around bars and pirouetting on beams do they?

My husband is the anti-thesis of anxiety and not many things get his heart rate over 80 bpm. He just reminded me that our girl had done all the preparing and she was fully able to do the doing. Great.

Just before the competition started – one of the other parents who was sitting quite a distance away from me (and clearly had a telescope) called my name – quite fiercely I might add. I turned around and she calmly looked at me and said – ‘breathe.’ Oh yes indeedy, thanks for the reminder.

There are many things that we can do to reduce stress levels in our lives – getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, meditation and so many other ideas from expert people who are far more qualified than I to provide advice on how to manage anxiety.

But you know the one thing that is available to all of us, 24/7? Breathing.

Of course, breathing is something that we do without a seconds thought and yet, when we feel anxious or upset we often start with the whole shallow breathing thing or interval breathing (my fancy way of describing holding ones breath). Every week when I go to my yoga class, its all about the breath. Lets face it, it is almost impossible not to feel calm after yoga (unavailable poses aside) simply because the focus for 75 minutes has been breathing.

Anxiety presents itself in all kinds of circumstances – the work place, at home, sport, in relationships and so many other nooks and crannies. Clearly, deep breathing alone is not the cure-all for anxiety and stress but the beauty of engaging the breath is that you can access it anywhere, anytime without anyone being aware.

Taking three deep breaths in and out through your nose automatically induces calm. Research shows that blood pressure starts returning to appropriate levels, lungs work more efficiently, your brain can do its thing and a churning stomach works a lot better when oxygen is circulating.

Try the simple routine below to dial down the anxiety in three breaths.

The Power of Breathing to Take Down Anxiety

  • Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose (with your mouth closed) and get every last bit of oxygen in that breath. When you reach the end of that breath, hold it for as long as is comfortable and then let it all out through your nose not your mouth. We are going to do two more of these breaths.
  • Again, take a deep breath in through your nose and get every last bit of oxygen in that breath. When you reach the end of that breath, hold it for as long as is comfortable and then let it all out through your nose.
  • For the last time, take a deep breath in through your nose and get every last bit of oxygen in that breath. When you reach the end of that breath, hold it for as long as is comfortable and then let it all out through your nose.

What about you? Do you have a breathing routine that you find to be effective for reducing anxiety?

Passionfruit Cupcakes

Passionfruit Cupcakes had not entered my life until this week when I was gazing at the back of the a pack of a Devondale skim milk powder. I’m not usually someone to make the recipes from the back of packets of food but this time the words Passionfruit and Cupcakes  jumped out at me. Two of my favourite things together can only be a winning combo.

After making these delicious morsels, I posted them up on Facebook and Instagram and it seems that many people have nostalgic memories of Passionfruit Cupcakes from their childhood. Who knew.

I’m just very happy that I can spread the passionfruit love!  We do have a vine growing at home but quite honestly its not pulling its weight at the moment.  There are a grand total of two green ones despite the actual vine looking gorgeous.  Due to this low performance, I used fresh passionfruit pulp (without added sugar) that can be purchased in the jar.  If you have a vine that is actually doing its job, use those guys.

Skim milk powder is definitely the secret ingredient in this recipe (not surprising as it is from Devondale) because it not only provides a calcium boost but it makes them SO fluffy.

Passionfruit Cupcakes

Ingredients

125g polyunsaturated spread or butter

1/2 cup caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup passionfruit pulp

grated rind of one orange

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 cup skim milk powder

1.5 cups self-raising flour

1/2 icing sugar

extra passionfruit pulp

Method

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in eggs, passionfruit pulp, orange rind, water and vanilla.  Mix in skim milk powder and flour.

Spoon into a 12 hole lightly greased muffin tin.

Bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the passionfruit cupcakes are golden. Allow to cool.

For the icing – sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add small amounts of the extra passionfruit pulp until the mixture is smooth but not too runny. 

If you live with other people big or small, hide at least one for yourself because I can assure you if backs are turned – they will be inhaled.

 

The Twelfth Day Of Christmas – With a Healthy Twist

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..twelve devils fighting, eleven emus kicking, ten wombats sleeping, nine crocs a weeping, eight flies a feasting, seven possums playing, six sharks a swimming, five kan-ga-roos, four cuddling koalas, three little penguins, two pink galahs aaaaand a kookaburra up a gum tree.

You may have worked out that my twelfth day of Christmas does not actually finish on Christmas Day.  I wanted to get the last message in before you all clocked off for a break and stopped thinking about your healthy selves.

So, today is Christmas Eve, Eve and I would like to wish a very happy and safe festive season to you all!  We made it.  

Given that twelve Tasmanian Devils are fighting today, I am not suggesting that you are devils but there may be some pretty crazy eating behaviour on Christmas Day.  I may even be involved myself.  I found this greeting card recently by British company ‘Make Do’ that I thought summed up the day perfectly.

Enjoy this day with your loved ones.

If you are reading this there is every chance you like to take care after yourself and for that I am happy. However, we all need a break in routine and if Christmas Day festivities allow you to do that – let your hair down. Nothing bad will happen, you will just need to have a good lie down on the floor. It’s cool down there so stay as long as you can.

Thanks so much for being part of my 2019 and I am grateful for each and every one of you.

If you are still trudging the shops for Christmas presents on the twelfth day of Christmas (why?????), don’t forget about my Christmas Giftpack – my book ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ combined with a delicious WineBar Espresso Martini chocolate – all beautifully wrapped and ready to go!  Emergency Pickup only.

Click here for all details.

The Eleventh Day Of Christmas – With A Healthy Twist

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..Eleven emus kicking, ten wombats sleeping, nine crocs a weeping, eight flies a feasting, seven possums playing, six sharks a swimming, five kan-ga-roos, four cuddling koalas, three little penguins, two pink galahs aaaaand a kookaburra up a gum tree.

Emus worry me, they really do and I hope I don’t see any on this eleventh day of Christmas.

Beady little eyes and a lonnnnnnggg neck that looks like it might reach out at any moment and give you a little peck followed up by a quick kick.  An iconic Australian product that features this native animal is the good old Swan Brewery Emu Export beer.  It is still around but not considered to be in vogue now.  

Emu Export beer was and still is a full-strength beer unlike the low carb beers which are gaining popularity in Australia.  The question is, are they the real deal?

Low carb beers are low in carbohydrates but they still contain alcohol and therefore kilojoules.  Choosing a low carb beer over a full strength beer will save you about 100 kilojoules.  In a 375ml can or stubby of full strength beer there will be approximately 13 grams of carbohydrate compared to 0-3 grams in the low carb version, so this could be useful for diabetics but there is still the alcohol content to consider.  

Low carb beers are not the same as ‘light’ beers, which are lower in alcohol and based on this it is a good idea to watch out for the false promises of beer advertisers.

If you are concerned about your weight (and Christmas Day is definitely not the day to be concerned), consider choosing a beer that you enjoy and drinking less of it.

If you are still trudging the shops for Christmas presents on the eleventh day of Christmas, don’t forget about my Christmas Giftpack – my book ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ combined with a delicious WineBar Espresso Martini chocolate – all beautifully wrapped and ready to go!  Pick up only now with just a couple of sleeps to go.

Click here for all details.

The Tenth Day Of Christmas – With A Healthy Twist

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..ten wombats sleeping,  nine crocs a weeping, eight flies a feasting, seven possums playing, six sharks a swimming, five kan-ga-roos, four cuddling koalas, three little penguins, two pink galahs aaaaand a kookaburra up a gum tree.

Aaaahhh, sleep.  Can somebody find me some?  Eight hours sleep is ideal for us all but this can be a challenge during busy times like the tenth day of Christmas.  Too many things to get through, do not make a good recipe for a restful sleep.  I know I am not alone but I also know that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture, so bring on the Christmas break I say.  Not many sleeps to go now.

Which brings me to our fast paced world and our now flexible mealtimes.  When I was growing up, my mum had dinner on the table religiously at 6pm and we all sat down and ate together (I am still trying to perfect that myself, unsuccessfully I might add).  

Eating early seems to be a thing of the past as we are working longer hours and may have children and other family commitments that prevent us from eating our evening meal at a civilised hour.  Some people find that it is uncomfortable to eat close to going to bed and this is turn will disturb sleep.  Others may not find this to be the case. 

There is also the question of what you are eating prior to sleeping. Snacking on chocolate (unless its your four nightly squares of course), biscuits and cake (many of which are high in fat) are not great choices before you lie down for eight  hours of sleep.  The evening is when your body is least active and therefore not burning a lot of fuel.

Essentially, you are the best judge of your own body but if you are experiencing disturbed sleep, acid reflux or other problems, then have a look at your eating habits before bed.

If you are still trudging the shops for Christmas presents on the tenth day of Christmas, don’t forget about my Christmas Giftpack – my book ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ combined with a delicious WineBar Espresso Martini chocolate – all beautifully wrapped and ready to go! Pick-up only now.

Click here for all details

The Ninth Day Of Christmas – With A Healthy Twist

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..nine crocs a weeping, eight flies a feasting, seven possums playing, six sharks a swimming, five kan-ga-roos, four cuddling koalas, three little penguins, two pink galahs aaaaand a kookaburra up a gum tree.

It doesn’t matter whether it is the ninth day of Christmas or not, crocodiles are scary.  Not that I socialise with them all the time.  Some time back when I was doing a nomadic around Australia trip, we stopped off at the Adelaide River in the Northern Territory and hopped onto a boat to spot some crocs. Within minutes there were monster truck versions of the prehistoric animal flinging themselves out of the air  to try and jag some meat off the end of a stick.  I regretted taking the tour immediately as it was wrong on so many levels but as there was only one way of getting off, I decided to stay.

Crocodiles are THE peak predator with endurance like no other.  Because they are the boss of everyone, they can eat whatever they like. But they don’t.  They hunt only what they need, roll them around a few times and then eat when they need to. Yes, I know they do occasionally get confused and take a human who happens to be in their feeding ground. 

I think there is a lesson there that we can use over the next few days.  Be selective, gather only what you need, roll it around a few times and savour it, chew slowly and enjoy. And as a special tip, try not to confuse your fellow diners with the sumptuous fare.

If you are still trudging the shops for Christmas presents on the ninth day of Christmas, don’t forget about my Christmas Giftpack – my book ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ combined with a delicious WineBar Espresso Martini chocolate – all beautifully wrapped and ready to go!  There is still time to get it onto Santa’s sleigh but it’s probably the last day for postage. If you can pick up, there is still time.

Click here for all details.

The Eighth Day Of Christmas – With a Healthy Twist

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..eight flies a feasting, seven possums playing, six sharks a swimming, five kan-ga-roos, four cuddling koalas, three little penguins, two pink galahs aaaaand a kookaburra up a gum tree.

Aren’t flies just the most fantastic aspect of Australian life?  The perceptive amongst you may detect just a hint of sarcasm because in real life they truly do drive you mad. Not only are they are a source of annoyance but they are also a seething mass of germs.  With all of the mountains of food that we are preparing and eating in the lead-up to the BIG DAY it is easy to get busy and forget about storing our food correctly.

So to avoid an unhappy stomach and poisoning all of your guests in the process, don’t leave food uncovered on the bench or table, put it straight in the fridge.

On this eighth day of Christmas you can also start practicing keeping your meat and other foods separate by using different chopping boards and utensils to avoid cross contamination when preparing meals.

And don’t forget to do the same thing on Christmas Day before doing your whale impression on the carpet, so that Sitting Number 2 is fresh and healthy.

If you are still trudging the shops for Christmas presents on the eighth day of Christmas, don’t forget about my Christmas Giftpack – my book ‘truth, lies and chocolate’ combined with a delicious WineBar Espresso Martini chocolate – all beautifully wrapped and ready to go!  There is still time to get it onto Santa’s sleigh but it’s getting close to the wire.

Click here for all details.