In winter time, salads are not my daily choice of food, like they are in summer. I tend to go for the warm and comforting foods I grew up with in The Netherlands where it is always cold and rainy.
Now living in Australia where the weather is so different, I have found that my diet has changed according to the climate. Although winter here in Sydney can be rather cold as well, during the day we often have beautiful clear skies with full sunshine. Some days you can still wear short sleeves even. So nice. During the winter season I do enjoy a salad every now and again and in particular I like to enjoy a pressed salad.
A pressed salad is more a vegetable salad, than a lettuce salad. it is packed full with nutrient dense and low calorie vegetables from all colours of the rainbow. What I love most about this salad is the fact that all the vegetables in it can be eaten raw, to give you an extra boost of precious enzymes that otherwise would have been destroyed in the cooking process. Because of the way the salad is prepared, the raw vegetable fibers become soft and thus easily digestible. The salad also goes through a slight fermentation process providing you with beneficial bacteria. You can use any vegetable you like, but I like to stick with cruciferous vegetables mainly as they give you the added benefit of immune boosting and cancer fighting activity through the release of powerful ITC’s (isothiocyanates) a compound found only in cruciferous vegetables.
cabbage red and green
Grate, shred, cut or slice all vegetables and put them in a bowl. Per 3 cups of vegetables add 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt or rock salt. Take the vegetables in your hand and gently massage them. You will notice that water gets released and the vegetables will reduce in size. Once you have massaged the vegetables for a minute or so, put a plate on top of the salad and a heavy jar filled with water to continue the pressing process. You can press the salad for up to 5 hours or just 30 min. This is up to you. Once you are ready to stop pressing, drain of the liquid. If it is to salty, give it a bit of a rinse. Dress the salad with some apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of honey and enjoy.
I only ever saw them used as a decorative garnish on the food buffet at the local Chinese restaurant in the town I grew up. Together with carrots, which was another Chinese carving favourite.
But tonight I cut up thinly a bunch of radishes I had bought for a pressed salad I was going to make. I didn’t feel like making the pressed salad, so instead I decided to simply eat the thinly sliced radishes as a snack on its own. Except, that is somewhat boring. What happened next needed to be shared with the world. It is absolutely astounding what a drop of olive oil and apple cider vinegar can do to an otherwise boring bunch of radishes. You MUST try this at home, peeps! It is impossible for me to describe or put into words what party occurred on my tongue. But as the Dutch would say “It was like an angel urinated all over my tongue” If you want to know what that tastes like, follow the recipe instruction below 😉
1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
A drizzle of olive oil
a drizzle of apple cider vinegar
a shake of Herbamare
Put everything In a small bowl and combine well. I had a lidded bowl and gave it a good shake.
Absolutely enjoy this all by yourself, you will not want to share this!
Vegetables and fruits come in several different colours, which I am sure you all have noticed!
If you eat at least (and I do recommend you eat more) the 5 recommended servings of vegetables daily, you can almost eat a rainbow of colours. Colours who each serve a special purpose to your health. How cool is that!
All vegetables apart from having vitamins and minerals, also contain several disease fighting PHYTONUTRIENTS. Each colour made up of different phytonutrients and each phytonutrient serves a different purpose. But all phytonutrients have anti oxidant promoting activities. Anti oxidants help to neutralise free radicals therefore preventing cell damage and damage to our DNA. DNA methylation when accumulated results in cancer. More reason to eat several rainbows every day!
Let’s have a look at each colour and it’s super powers:
Phytonutrients can often be identified by the colour of the vegetable.
- Blue & purple foods like berries, eggplant, red cabbage are rich in flavanoids
- Yellow & orange foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin, papaya and melon are rich in beta carotene, hesperidin, lutein/zeaxanthin.
- Red & pink food like tomatoes, guava, cherries, watermelon are rich in lycopene.
- Green foods like kale, spinach, collard greens are rich in indoles.
- White foods like garlic, onion, leek are rich in powerful sulphur containing phytonutrients
THINK: Heart, Brain, Bone, Arteries & Cognitive health. Also fights cancer and supports healthy ageing
THINK: Eye health, Healthy immune function, Healthy growth and development
THINK: Prostate, Urinary tract and DNA health. Protects against Cancer and Heart disease.
THINK: Eye health, Arterial function, Lung health, Liver function and Cell health. Also helps Wound healing and Gum health.
THINK: Healthy bones, Circulatory system, Fights Heart disease and Cancer
This is 1 serve of vegetables. 75gr, 1/2 a cup. We are advised as adults to eat at least 5 of these serves every day and our children to have at least 2 serves, but from research we know that many struggle to reach this number of serves.
I want to give you a few ideas to help you reach your daily quota. In the morning most of us reach for the cereal, after all it is so quick and easy. But by doing so you miss out on an awesome opportunity to start of your day with a serve or 2.
Let’s us start with a satisfying breakfast;
- How about some eggs with a side of sauteed spinach, mushrooms and baked beans next time? 1 cup of raw spinach is 1 serve, but by the time you saute that not much is left over, add 1/2 a cup of mushrooms and 1/2 a cup of baked beans and you are well over half way of your daily quota! And who doesn’t love a full breakfast first thing in the morning?
If you have a sandwich for lunch or a wrap;
- why not pack it with a cup of salad greens or sprouts, some cucumber and tomato. Add some chicken, cheese or beef and you will be sweet for the rest of the afternoon plus you got another serve out of the way!
If you are a salad person;
- 2 cups of leafy salad greens make up 2 serves, add some carrot, tomato, cucumber, red onion and you are well on your way to the nirvana of ultimate health 😉
- Coleslaw (homemade!) is another awesome salad full of natures cancer fighting goodness. The small green cup in the picture above is exactly 1 serve of rainbow coleslaw. I bet you can easily devour 3 serves in one sitting!
How about an afternoon snack, I hear you ask,
- Some raw carrots, celery sticks, cucumber and cherry tomatoes served with hommus is delicious way to get those life giving phytonutrients into your cells. And this is a great snack for morning tea or afternoon tea instead of the office donuts that get passed around! Just have those donuts after the healthy stuff, okay? 😉
Now that you are already 4 serves in, dinner will be easy.
- Just pick your favourite vegetable and have 75 grams of it. But if you had cereal for breakfast, well, you will need to have 300 grams of you favourite vegetables. How about some delicious roasted broccoli or cauliflower, topped with some grated cheese? Another favourite of mine are green beans and carrots, covered in butter and a little bit of garlic.
Please share with us on Facebook your favourite way to get your veggies in? Do you know how many serves you get each day?
Try to reach the 5 serves a day goal and observe how you feel.
For this and more tips to balance your health and wellbeing join me for my FREE 6 week nutrition course in The Ponds from April 23rd. For more info contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I lugged around inside me a dead weight of not-good-enoughness – Lewis Smedes-
Is being healthy really so difficult and confusing? It sure seems to be so when you look at the book shelves in the shops these days. There are rows of books that will tell you how to achieve optimum health and wellness, but the sad thing is that it may not be the formula for you. You have tried all the diets known to man and you failed, or did the diet fail you?
What is that standard of optimal health and wellness you want to achieve? What does healthy mean to you? See, this is where it becomes a personal journey. Looking at society and the standard they put out in the media changes all the time. It is trend, fashion, season and it is all so superficial, never dealing with the thought, feelings and emotions that are on the inside of you. Your personal standard of what health means to you should not change like the wind. It is a personal journey where you learn precious lessons along the way, that you can choose to apply as needed. It’s not a journey where you change from diet to diet every 6 months, hoping this might be the cure for your unhappiness.
For me personal health and wellness is not just about what I put in my mouth. Yes, it is important to be aware and to know about how certain foods affect you, but really the most important part of living life well is whether you have complete balance, contentment, peace and joy in your day to day life. If you have that balance, you will value yourself enough to make sure you are filling your body, mind and spirit with goodness only. Because you know you only deserve the very best. Let me ask you this:
- Are you happy with your job?
- Are you contend with what you have?
- Are you stressed all the time because your life is out of control?
- Do you have healthy relationships?
- Do you value who you are?
- Are you thinking good thoughts about yourself or are you lugging around inside you a dead weight of not-good-enoughness.
- POISON ALERT: Are you drinking the poison of unforgiveness? Forgiveness is something you do for YOURSELF, not the other person. Forgiveness allows you to move on and get well.
“Forgiveness is a gift from God to us in a world that is not fair”- Sheila Walsh
And trust me, I know how hard forgiving is, I have had to do a lot of it too. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I realised my anger and depression was caused by unforgiveness and resentment. It was so deeply rooted that it started to cause physiological symptoms. What physiological symptoms do you have that might be related to negative emotion?Hmmmmm……I am glad I got skilled in the forgiveness department and have been practising ever since.
If you are able to live a life that has a healthy balance you are more likely to value yourself and make all round healthy choices that will serve you well long term. Isn’t life all about choices? Choose well, choose life!
So many people struggle to find ultimate health, simply because of the confusion of the clever food marketing gurus and advertising campaigns they are bombarded with on a daily basis.
I say “Turn off your TV” and turn on your brain. A healthy lifestyle is not rocket science.
Let me give you some simple tips to get you going in the right direction.
- Food is more than calories. Food is information, it talks to your genes, in fact it becomes you, your organs, your thoughts, your feelings and emotions. What you put into your body ultimately impacts you either positively or negatively. Choose well.
- What you put on the end of your fork impacts your health. It is that simple. Only eat real food. You know, the stuff you can still recognise. Anything that is highly processed will ultimately wreak havoc on your body, sooner or later.
- Eat real food. Artificial sweeteners have shown to trigger changes in your brain and your hormones, driving you to eat more and slowing down your metabolism. This makes you gain more weight and put fat on your body. The first 2 tips should be enough to stop you from grabbing the diet drinks or even the low fat (artificially sweetened) food products. But it case it didn’t, I hope this tip will.
- Have protein every morning. It will increase your metabolic burn rate by 7 calories a day. Over a year that amount equates to 11 pounds! Yay, for eggs in the morning!
- Add a good quality supplement and omega 3 capsule to your health regimen. It will help with the metabolism of your macro nutrients and reduce inflammation in your body. Overweight people have high levels of inflammation in their bodies. Adding a good quality Omega 3 supplement to their diet will make losing fat a bit easier. Of course adding anti inflammatory foods into your lifestyle should also be a priority.
- Last but not least; keep it simple. It is crazy out there, in the world. If we believed it all, everything you’d touch or eat will kill you! Maybe we should join the Breatharian movement? Nah, just kidding. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables. Add a small portion of protein and add some healthy fats. That does not include Margarine, by the way. That’s not food…….Bon appetit.
If you want more information or a push in the right direction, an answer to a question you are welcome to contact me at email@example.com
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