We have all probably heard at some point that we need antioxidants, but why?
Antioxidants fight off oxidative stress and protect our bodies from free radicals on a cellular level. Oxidative stress comes from our environment through factors such as; pollution, foods that contain harmful substances, stress and many other things. When our cells become damaged our immune system becomes compromised exposing us to infections and various degenerative diseases including heart disease and cancers. Therefore to prevent our tissues from breaking down we need to load up on antioxidants to fight against oxidative stress.
As we are unable to prevent ourselves from becoming exposed to free radicals, there are things that we can do to combat our exposure.
Eating a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables are the easiest and cheapest way to get antioxidants, and the rich and bright coloured ones are loaded! It is the pigments that turn a fruit or vegetable into their rich or bright colour that is essential.
Leafy green vegetables (i.e. kale, spinach, broccoli and silverbeet) are great, along with other vegetables including sweet potato, beetroot and carrots. Fruits are best eaten seasonally to get the best range of antioxidants. Great examples include; berries, mangoes, dragon fruit, passionfruit, red grapes, pineapple and paw paw.
To increase your antioxidant intake further there are foods labelled ‘superfoods’ such as; goji berries, macqui berries and camu camu powder just to name a few that are very rich sources of antioxidants. There are also supplements such as glutathione which is a potent antioxidant that will really boost your intake. Often these foods and supplements are more expensive and not readily available for all people.
As we continue to age, the more antioxidants we require. However you choose to get your antioxidants does not matter as long as you get them!
Happy Life = Healthy Life
Creating recipes that are, ‘Dairy and Refined Sugar Free’ is a passion of mine. I love showing clients as well as family and friends just how tasty snacks and desserts can be along with turning staple meals into healthier versions without losing flavour.
I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I do 🙂
Pancake – You will need:
- 1 small banana
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder (I use Vital Protein)
- 1 tbsp buckwheat flour (or preferred flour)
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1-2 tbsp almond milk/water to reach a smooth consistency
Chocolate Sauce – You will need:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp coconut syrup/maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 tsp nut butter (tahini, almond, cashew etc)
- Mash banana in a bowl and whisk in egg.
- Add protein powder, buckwheat flour, cacao powder and baking powder and mix.
- Dependent on mixture add some almond milk to create a nice smooth consistency that is not too runny.
- Add some coconut oil to a fry pan on medium heat. Once hot add half the mixture.
- Cook pancake for approximately 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and underside is cooked. Flip pancake over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until cooked through.
- Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining mixture.
- To make the chocolate sauce, mix all ingredients in a small bowl until a smooth consistency is reached.
- To serve, pour chocolate sauce over pancakes and top with additional banana, cacao nibs, shredded coconut or anything else that you fancy 🙂
Sound Familiar? Have you recently had a baby and finding it difficult to not only sleep but to eat as well?
Whether you are currently breastfeeding or not you still need to take care of yourself while putting all your effort into being the best mum you can be.
I have been lucky enough to spend heaps of time with babies lately as a fair few of my close friends have all recently given birth and they know who they are!
When you feel exhausted and fatigued you don’t necessarily feel hungry or want to eat, therefore it becomes easier to skip meals or completely forget about meals altogether. Then later in the day your either really hungry or just simply can’t remember when you last ate, let alone got quality sleep.
If you are currently breastfeeding then you are already aware of the requirement to eat more protein, hence regular meals are going to often be more suitable for you since bub always seems to know how to cry/scream when you want to enjoy a decent meal! Even if you are formula feeding you still need to eat regularly to help your body cope with the changes of becoming a mum.
Quick snacks/small meal ideas:
- Tin of tuna or salmon (max 2-3 tins weekly)
- Hardboiled egg
- Chia seed pudding (1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp protein powder, ½ cup milk – mix well and allow to sit for 2 hours or overnight)
- Smoothies (1-2 pieces of fruit, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp protein powder, 1 tbsp nut butter – blend and enjoy)
- Roast chicken (buy from supermarket deli and break up)
- Raw vegies and hummus (carrot and celery sticks)
- Pre-made salad packs (add some protein)
- Deli meats (turkey, leg ham of the bone etc.)
- Wholemeal crackers with 1 tbsp nut butter or cheese
- Wholemeal toast with an egg or 1 tbsp nut butter
Eating something that is quick to make or convenient is the easiest way to ensure that you don’t skip meals. Always best to aim to eat something little every 4-5 hours to keep your energy levels up.