Healthy Snacking April 05, 2016 13:19

There are different schools of thought on snacking. Snacking features in our meals for various reasons; convenience, to relieve hunger, satisfy cravings, control weight, replace meals, suppress unsettling emotions, boost nutrient intake and metabolic rates, or just because we are bored, along with a host of other reasons. Some people prefer to just eat their main meals in a day and avoid snacking altogether. But, if you are going to snack then it could be an excellent way to contribute to your intake of much needed nutrients, if done right. Those moments of spontaneity require a game plan to ensure that they become  opportunities to continue eating well, to conquer urges and to rev up your energy. Eating healthy snacks that are low in energy density and high in nutrient density throughout the day will help you maintain optimum energy levels, provide your brain and body with a steady stream of nutrients, and control appetites and weight as they can prevent overindulgence during mealtimes.              

These days, majority of us, be we business owners, employees or students, are living life on the go. This has us naturally reaching for nutrient-poor sugary or salty snacks that give us a quick jolt of energy whenever our batteries are running low. But, these jolts of energy are then quickly  followed by another energy crash that can leave us hungry and unable to concentrate. A steady diet of unhealthy snacks can lead to both obesity and malnutrition. On the other hand, healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, smoothies (yes they can be a snack) are more like slow burning fuel that keeps us going for longer without the roller coaster effect.

Snacking well requires some planning and a strong will to avoid the temptation to just grab and snack the salty, fat filled and refined foods that are so readily available to all us. Here are some tips to help you snack successfully;

Snacking Tips

  • Plan ahead. Take healthy snacks along with you. Going on a road trip? Needs snacks at your desk? A few bags of nuts and dried fruits, plus lots of water will help you get through the day
  • Awareness. Become conscious  of the triggers that cause you to snack. Are you really snacking because you feel hungry or you are bored? Maybe getting up and doing a chore or a fun activity may take your mind off food
  • Breakfast. Don’t skip it. Not eating breakfast can send your body into starvation mode and the likeliness of grabbing the first thing you see - which will probably be unhealthy - when the hunger becomes unbearable is very high

Food Swaps

  • Need something to crunch on like plantain, potato chips? Swap them with nuts and seeds instead. Great options are almonds, tiger nuts, cashews, dates and coconut. They are calorie dense, high in fiber and good fats, and will also make you feel fuller longer than starchy salty chips
  • In need of some sweets, candy, popcorn? Try instead raw dark chocolate (which is full of antioxidants) or fruits like pineapples, bananas
  • You want ice cream? Pop some frozen bananas into blended to make a quick batch of ‘nice’cream or freeze a smoothie to make a healthier version of a sorbet

Nutrition and Beauty March 09, 2016 12:42

The power of smashing makeup or high tech face peels cannot be ignored, but sustainable beauty starts from the inside - with your diet. Whether we live sedentary lives or on-the-go, our skin has to deal with stress, hormones, the weather and probably junk, all on a daily basis. When we eat healthy, our skin is equipped via these beneficial nutrients to withstand any adverse conditions whilst enhancing it. Foods get broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that the body can use to build healthy skin.

It’s easy to embrace cosmetics as quick solutions because the effects of a good diet are not immediate, but we must keep in mind that every function in our body is facilitated by the cells in our body, which are nourished by the blood-containing nutrients from those foods we consume, hence the importance of a healthy diet for overall wellness.

Whilst an immediate and total overhaul of bad diet is impossible, we can improve our meals and ultimately our overall outlook by gradually switching out those unhealthy foods.

Where does one start?

Avocados: They are good sources of biotin and help to prevent dry skin & brittle hair and nails. Apply as a face mask to hydrate skin. You could switch out white bread in the mornings for an avocado or mash it and use as a cream for salads in place of mayonnaise.

Tomatoes: Are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene, which has anti-ageing properties and also acts as a sunscreen from within. Since they are acidic in nature, their pulp helps tighten pores and prevents pimples. You could switch fried eggs with grilled tomatoes on some mornings.

Sweet Potatoes: These are anti-inflammatory in nature and have high vitamin A content, which helps fight acne-causing bacteria. They also contain Vitamin C, which further improves skin tone and heals pimples and scars. Eat with skin for maximum benefits. You could boil with fresh vegetable sauce for lunch instead of fried rice.

Carrots: Are high in beta carotene, which is converted by the body to Vitamin A. Beta carotene fights wrinkles and improves your skin by giving you a glow. Use everywhere! In salads, stir fries or juice them for a refreshing drink. Switch out your bottle of Coke for carrot juice when you are thirsty.  

Pineapples: Increase collagen synthesis, helping to keep skin flexible and firm. Also contains Vitamin C & Amino acids which are all skin friendly nutrients. Can be applied directly to the face. Pineapples can be incorporated into salads, replace baked beans and sweet corn.

Ginger: Has antioxidants that reduces toxins in the skin and increases blood circulation, ultimately slowing down the ageing process and stimulating hair growth. Ginger teas and iced ginger drinks are great ways to enjoy ginger.

The wonders of ginger root February 25, 2016 23:27

Ginger is known for having a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.  It is a root vegetable that speeds metabolic rate and is also a warming food which is perfect for adding to juices, drinks, and teas. This root is readily available in many markets across Nigeria. Keep a look out for it, and we definitely advise you to keep some in your pantry on a regular basis. There are so many ways to include ginger in your daily meal prep. We'll be sharing a few recipes in the near future. In the meantime, here are some more known benefits of ginger:

  • Maintains normal blood circulation
  • Remedies motion sickness
  • Improves absorption
  • Cold and flu prevention
  • Combats stomach discomfort
  • Colon cancer prevention
  • Reduce pain and inflammation
  • Fights common respiratory problems
  • Ovarian cancer treatment
  • Combats morning sickness

Drinking your greens June 16, 2015 01:49 1 Comment

These days most people rarely meet their daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. As we become more advanced as a people, and adopt more of a western lifestyle we also adopt the western eating habits. Now eating healthily has slowly become a chore.  Since everyone is so busy with work, personal and community commitments smoothies may help you get the nutrients you need while on the go. Have you ever thought about the value of drinking your greens. Leafy green vegetables contain are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Next time you think about reaching for a soft drink, switch it out for a healthy green smoothie.