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Here’s what you should know about Freeze Drying

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  In case you haven’t noticed it yet; our Giving Tree fruit crisps are really special as they are freeze dried. Sounds pretty fancy, doesn’t it? And as most of you might ask yourselves what vacuum drying exactly is, we would like to explain this method to you a little but further today and make also clear why we chose to dry our fruits this way. By freeze drying fruits, these are dehydrated at a low temperature, which freezes the water inside and makes it as a result evaporate into gas. Thereby around 80 to 90 % of water are removed from of the fruit. To give you a more precisely idea of the immense evaporation process, listen up: after drying 7 to 10kg of fruits, there is only 1kg left. That’s when you actually notice how much water fruits contain!     While they contain up to 87% of water, vegetables can be even composed of 95%! So if you know that you are definitely not drinking enough water, you should at least try to eat more fruits and vegetables to get your body hydrated. Anyway, not only the water is an important benefit of fresh food, but also the high number of nutrients, especially vitamins! And while most of the dried fruits unfortunately lose many nutrients and are instead prepared with lots of sugar once they are dried, our Giving Tree fruit snacks still got all the nutrients and NO added sugar! Remember also that you should eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, while the Giving Tree crisps are covering indeed one of these 5. So don’t hesitate to integrate a little pack of our Giving Tree Peach, Strawberry or Mango crisps in your daily diet and your body will be more than well provided.  

Halloween inspiration

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Halloween | 0 comments

18.10.16

Halloween weekend is fast approaching and the colour orange has never been so appealing! We have picked out some of the finest inspiration for you to throw the best Halloween themed party, or drinks of some sort!

Halloween Mood

Flavours: pumpkin, orange, ginger, butternut squash, cinnamon, cranberry, chocolate Characters: bats, ghosts, cats, spiders, cobwebs, witch, Harry Potter, eyeballs Colour code: anything that looks like blood, lime green, orange, white

Sweet

 Halloween Franken-cupcakes

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Toffee apple muffins 

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Halloween ghost cupcakes 

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Drinks

Zombie punch

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Spiced orange pumpkin bowl 

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Hollow out a medium size pumpkin and fill halfway with ice. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, pour in 4 to 8 bottles of Crabbie's Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Top with sliced oranges.

To make citrus ice cubes: Take 1 orange and use a peeler to create small orange zest peels to curl up and put in each tray. Take a second orange and cut in quarters, then cut each quarter into small triangle slices that will fit in the ice cube tray. Freeze.

To rim glasses: Mix the 2 tablespoons cinnamon, ¼ cup sugar in the raw, and 1 tablespoon allspice in a small bowl and then pour evenly onto a small plate. Rim each glass with orange slices to create a wet layer for the sugar mixture to stick to. Roll the rim of your glass into the cinnamon sugar mixture, add a few citrus ice cubes to your glass.

Black cauldron 

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In a cocktail shaker filled with ice...

  1. Combine 1½ parts Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila, ¾ part fresh lemon juice, ¼ part agave syrup, ¼ part sage simple syrup, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, and 1 capsule activated charcoal, which adds a jet-black hue and a light smoky flavor to the cocktail.
  2. Shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Smoked pumpkin

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In cocktail shaker filled with ice...

  1. Add 1 ounce Ketel One Orange, ¼ ounce lime juice, 1 ounce Illegal Mezcal, 2 heaping bar spoons of pumpkin butter, and 2 dashes orange bitters.
  2. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with cubes ice. Garnish with an orange twist and a sprinkle of flake smoked salt.

Pumpkin Carving

A quick how to on youtube

https://youtu.be/55WemWe7DU4

For your toolbox

Bargain: 9 piece carving kit for £1!

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For the experts...

Pumpkin pro safety power saw

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Carved creations beyond the norm

Great lanterns

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Elaborate table centrepieces

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A practical wine holder

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Some of your favourite animated characters

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Anything looking other than a pumpkin!

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Spooky decor

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And don't forget about our delicious pumpkin crisps!

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Energise in October

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

06.10.16

Days are getting shorter and darker as we settle into the Autumnal months. The motivation to maintain the get up and go attitude that we usually have on sunnier, warm days is admittedly not the same as much as we would like it to be. Whether this is simply the motivation to get out of bed to work, or to keep fit and healthy in colder months; outdoor runs are less appealing and the temptation to reach for hot chocolate and marshmallows is real. However, here are multiple ways in which you can approach and beat the winter slump come October.

Light up with Lumie 

Bodyclock wake-up light

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Some would dub the Lumie body clock as the saviour to your early morning wake ups, especially during dark and gloomy months. The difficulty in getting up results in inertia, which is the inability to feel alert and perform when you first awake. So if you are not a morning person, this body clock wakes you up gently as the light turns on and gradually gets brighter in last thirty minutes of sleep. The light stimulates production of hormones that help us to get up and go, while suppressing those that bring on sleep.

The body clock also solves the issues associated with oversleeping, which may indicate that your body clock is set at a later time than desired. The light of Bodyclock can help to reset the body’s natural rhythms to suit the working day better and make you feel more awake and refreshed when you have to get up.

Bodyclocks start from £59.95

SAD light 

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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. Often known as "winter depression", symptoms of SAD tend to appear in the autumn as days start to get shorter. Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure of interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleeping during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
Light therapy is a popular way to combat SAD. Lightboxes are able to treat the symptoms of SAD with summer levels of bright light. They lift mood, boost concentration and restore natural energy. Lumie offer a range of lightboxes which stimulate exposure to sunlight. The Arabica is just one lightbox which ideally can be used whilst watching TV or using the computer; recommended treatment time is 30-60 minutes. SAD lightboxes start from £99.95

Stretch

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There are multiple benefits in taking even 10 minutes of your morning routine to stretch your body before you get on with your day. Benefits include:

  • Improves posture
  • Fewer aches and pains
  • Increased blood flow
  • Greater amounts of energy

You can follow a straightforward sequence of total body stretching...

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Or, if you are a regular yogi, then you may be interested in a light morning yoga sequence such as...

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Soup for days 

There is no doubt that soup is a cold weather staple, we drink it by the gallons in the autumn and winter! Sales of soup noticeably increase during the colder months, however, shop brought soups are often laden with added 'nasties' such as unnecessary salt, sugar and artificial additives. So why not make your own home made soup? It is no longer time consuming due to the array of blenders that are now available to whizz up your own batch of wholesome glug.

Splurge

What you can make with the Vitamix blender is absolutely endless! You can make juices, smoothies, soup, nut butters, no strain nut milks, powders, sauces and dips, whipped cream and frothed milk and even pulled meat! If you can't afford the most coveted Vitamix blender (prices start from £299-£650), there are plenty alternatives which can do the same job for a small fraction of that price! screenshot-2016-10-06-10-09-50

Save

Keeping things affordable and simple, all you may need is this soup maker by Morphy Richards. Put in all your ingredients and select 1 of the 4 functions: blend, smooth, chunky or juice - to give your soup the perfect consistency! As well as preparing all kinds of soup, this blender is also able to heat them up too and the 1.6L capacity means that you can make enough soup for the whole week.

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Go Sober 

 

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Macmillan Cancer Support has launched their annual Go Sober for October campaign to encourage people to go sober for October and raise money to support those people who are affected by cancer. As well as fundraising for a highly respectable charity, you may be forever thankful after 31 days of booze free detoxing. No hangovers, a downsized beer belly and a noticeable amount left of your pay check to splurge on a new winter coat instead? Yes please.

So far just over £500,000 has been raised this year. To be involved in this fantastic cause, as well as feeling renewed and rejuvenated, sign up individually or with a team.

Halloween spirit 

halloween Halloween is not just for kids and trick or treating! Keep posted for Halloween themed recipes for all ages to celebrate.  

Back to School: What’s in your lunch box?

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

06.09.16

Whether you are going back to school or university after a blissful summer or starting your first day at your new job, making your packed lunch does not need to be tedious and boring!

Snacks

Admittedly snacks are necessary to keep your day going. However before you reach to the chocolate think about the many other healthy alternatives you could go for...

Dark Chocolate 

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Satisfy your sweet tooth with dark chocolate! Known for its high mineral and antioxidant content, it is highly nutritious and can reduce levels of "bad" cholestrol. We like Green and Blacks 85% or Lindt's dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt!

Research has found that chocolate is good for the heart, circulation and brain as well as potentially beneficial for tackling today's major health issues such as autism, obesity and diabetes.

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Almonds

All nuts are full of antioxidants and healthy unsaturated fatty acids known to reduce cholesterol levels. However, almonds are especially popular due to its delicate and sweet taste. Whole almonds (with skins) provide the most heart healthy benefits and can lower the risk of weight gain as well as also helping to lose weight.

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Almonds are a source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium and high quality protein. Full of unsaturated fatty acids along with high levels of bioactive molecules (such as fiber, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals, and antioxidants) which can help prevent cardiovascular heart diseases. Take a handful of almonds for a snack on-the-go or to nibble on to keep hunger pangs at bay before lunch time.

Nut butter is another alternative in your nut intake. Our favourite is Pip and Nut, which comes in many nut flavours!

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Spread some on toast with pieces of banana and honey

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or as a crunchy snack with celery sticks!

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Giving Tree Crisps 

Snack on our very own freeze dry crisps which are a lunch box filler. They are available in vegetable and fruit flavours to suit all tastes!

BACK TO SCHOOL_1  

Equipment

The water bottle

S'well water bottle 

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An incredibly aesthetically pleasing range of 100% stainless steel water bottles that holds cold and warm drinks. Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and keeps drinks hot for 12 hours!

Available in different sizes: 260ml, 500ml, 750ml

The lunch box

Sistema are infamous in the tupperware world for their quality, practical and sturdy lunch boxes. Their unique sistema clips prevent any leakage and are therefore perfect for bringing to school or to the office! They are available in a range of shapes and sizes and are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe.

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This Purple Geisha Bento Box is perfect for Japanese food lovers

  • Screenshot 2016-09-05 16.36.48The top, ‘hat’ section is an inverted bowl - perfect for miso soup.
  • The second ‘face’ level has a hermetic seal for storing stews or dressed salads without leaking.
  • The bottom ‘body’ level is a perfect container for buns, sushi or rice.

 The Coffee Cup

Help the environment by buying a reusable to take with you when you buy your daily coffee. More than 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK! A favourite is BYO cup £9.95

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Health and fitness apps of 2016

Posted by admin in Food, Health, Mindful | 0 comments

24.08.16

Girl floating on beach mattress and eating watermelon in the blu   With the end of August in sight and perhaps diminishing motivation for the ultimate beach body, the desire to get fit and healthy should not just be limited to the summer and for sunny days for the beach (although we are praying for an Indian Summer come September and October!). Maintaining and increasing ones fitness should be an all year round goal; not just so that we physically feel our best but also mentally. Following a steady year round routine also means that one does not need to drastically change their lifestyle come pre summer months. how-to-workout-at-beach1 Now with increasing technology advancements and a flourishing base of health and fitness apps that are constantly updating, there is really no excuse to embrace them seeing as we are already superglued to our smartphones. In fact, there has been a rise in popularity of such apps as they primarily allow the option of exercise to ones weekly routine... flexibility! So whether you are a professional athlete, a regular gym goer, just new to the gym or a couch potato looking to begin your fitness regime, you can positively fuel and motivate themselves through your very own smart phone. Apple Starts iPhone 6 Sales In Germany Health and fitness apps can be incredibly beneficial...

  • For those who do not have enough time to go to the gym - there is huge flexibility to adapt your gym routine to do at home or wherever you are, even on holiday!
  • For those who do not want to spend masses on a gym membership, apps are also A LOT cheaper; some are even free!
  • For those who want to record and track their personal health and fitness goals - some apps are able to calculate and graphically report progress data
  • For those who have one sport they would like to specialise in i.e. running, cycling, yoga
  • For those who are at any fitness level, no one has an excuse to opt out and try something new!
There are hundreds of health and fitness apps available and with some charging a small cost, it is difficult to know which ones are worth buying. The hard work has been done for you as we compare reviews and ratings to find the best apps to download in 2016.  

For those new to running

Couch to 5k

c25k   If you’ve wanted to try running but never known where to start, Couch to 5K should be the next app you download. The free eight-week program gives users three workouts per week that get you ready for your local Turkey Trot or Fourth of July road race. FREE; iOS and Android

For a serial runner or cyclist

Strava Running and Cycling 

strava If you’re a serious runner or cyclist, you need one place to keep track of your most recent runs and rides, and no app comes close to the capabilities offered by Strava. The app can track distance, speed, elevation, calories burned, heart rate, power, and cadence. Then it synthesizes all of this data into easy-to-understand graphics. FREE; with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android

For a work out at home

No equipment required, just yourself. 

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Sworkit 'Simply WORK IT'

Tell Sworkit the type of workout you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and the amount of time you’ve got (anywhere from five minutes to an hour), and the app delivers the moves to follow during your sweat session. The pro edition ($4.99/month) has a few notable features, including the ability to save custom workouts, access your complete workout history, and eliminate ads. This is also compatible with Apple Watch. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For a 10 minute work out

HIIT at its best 

FitStar Personal Trainer 

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Shows workouts you can do quickly and inexpensively. Training is broken down into four types of workout styles: "get lean" (cardio), "get strong" (balance of bodyweight strength training moves), 10-15 minute "daily dose" workouts; and "freestyle". At the core of the app is a patented algorithm that customises a user's workouts, so an athlete can move at their own pace and and advance as they get stronger. There is also a user's rating for each exercise which is used to adjust each routine. Difficulty ratings range from "too easy" to "way more brutal" than expected

FREE or Premium ($7.99/month or $39.99/year); Android and iOS

Or a 7 minute work out?

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout

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Crafted by Chris Jordan who is the mastermind behind the original 7-Minute Workout. This "Smart Workout" is designed to challenge your fitness level and help throttle the intensity according to your ability, while the uncomplicated interface is designed to help you get through the bodyweight routine as simply as possible.

FREE

 

For those who lift

StrongLifts 5x5

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No need to carry around a paper and pencil while lifting at the gym anymore. This app keeps track of the exercise, number of reps, and rest time, so all you have to worry about is getting to the gym and getting huge stronger.

FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For outdoor lovers

Yonder 

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Think of this like Yelp for the outdoor enthusiast. Enter your location and find dozens of suggestions for hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing with reviews and tips from fellow outdoorsmen and women.

FREE; Android and iOS

For gamers

Zombie's, Run! 

zombies-run Running becomes way more fun when each step gets you closer to carrying out your mission, collecting materials for your base camp, and keeping humans safe from the zombie apocalypse. There’s a reason this game became the highest-grossing health and fitness app on iTunes in just two weeks—even though it’s free to download, you’ll start shelling out money like you do for Candy Crush. Except this game helps you get your sweat on. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For yogis

Daily Yoga 

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Never be bored by yoga again: More than 50 classes shot in HD video are just a few taps away. Each sequence has a specific focus, from increasing flexibility to strengthening your core. Plus, there’s a library with detailed videos of more than 500 poses.

FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For pilates

My Pilates Guru

512x512bb iTunes most popular Pilates app created by Pilates instructor Anya Hayes. Offers step by step instructions with 90+ exercises with high res photography. Build your own sessions, focusing on one body area and monitor your own progress. £2.99

Food and nutrition

Because you need to eat well too! 

MyFitnessPal

myfitnesspal MyFitnessPal is the most popular health and fitness app in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The app’s database of more than 6 million foods makes it easy to track your diet, no matter what you eat. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or put on muscle, the app helps determine the best things to eat to meet your goals. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

Fooducate 

fooducate Makes grocery shopping surprisingly fun. Open the app, scan barcodes, and get a quick read on how healthy each item is. It also tracks sleep, mood, and hunger levels. Then Fooducate analyzes all of the information and provides feedback to help you meet your health and fitness goals. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

Thrive Market 

thrive-market Buying healthy food has never been easier and cheaper. Thrive Market is basically the Costco for natural and organic products. Pay a yearly fee ($59.95) and have access to insane deals on everything from coconut oil to kale chips. The app makes it easy to shop for groceries whenever you’ve got the time, and then Thrive sends your order right to your door. FREE; iOS

Mind and Brain

Meditation Studio 

meditation-studio There are so many different types of guided meditation. Rather than try a general practice that focuses on relaxation, this app offers meditations catered to your needs, whether it’s anxiety, stress, happiness, or gratitude. And best of all, it’s a one-time fee for access to more than 160 meditations. ($2.99; iOS)

Sleep Cycle 

sleep_cycle_android_icon Say sayonara to feeling groggy in the morning. This app measures your sleep cycle, as its name suggests. Then it wakes you sometime during a 30-minute window before your alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep state. Sure, you might get up before your alarm goes off, but you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. FREE with in-app purchases on iOS, $0.99 on Android

Musical accompaniment

Motion Traxx

motion-traxx Listening to music can be the perfect way to add extra oomph to your workout, but crafting the perfect playlist is tricky. That’s where Motion Traxx comes in. The app combines coaching from world-class trainers with music designed to set the perfect intensity for every phase of your workout. FREE with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android

Spotify Running 

spotify Part of the Spotify app (and let’s be honest, you probably already have that on your phone), Spotify Running measures your pace and picks a song with the beats per minute to match it. It’s about time your music matches your cadence instead of the other way around. FREE; iOS and Android

Destress and relax 

Relax Melodies 

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The most popular and highly rated of the stress release apps on the market, Relax Melodies boasts at array of white noise inspired loops, which you can then mix with other loops or pair with songs on your device

FREE; iOS, Android and Windows Phone   Now without further ado, get downloading to renew and enhance your workout! It is important to note that an app should not replace ones motivation, they should be seen as a personal aid or guide to be made full use of!

Staying healthy in summer

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Mindful | 0 comments

11.08.16

1238742_10151587827986227_622587189_n So you've spent the upcoming months (or perhaps a couple weeks) worshipping green juices, chia puddings and quinoa salads and slaving away in the gym in hope for your ideal beach body. You have been on a role keeping the 80:20 lifestyle and way of eating; having kept drinking for the weekends only (Thursday's do count as the weekend..). However, it seems that all this hard work is then threatened by the minute that holiday feeling strikes on the onset of the odd British heat wave, or even more so when we are holidaying abroad. At home, festival food trucks, BBQ's and pimms infiltrate the social scene whilst multiple rounds of gelato and pina coladas are our vice when travelling abroad. The temptation to binge and regress on the slippery slope of sugar and salt saturation is imminent, especially once once glass of rose has been consumed and you proceed to feel the drunken munchies. pimms_04 Of course, a balance of treats is necessary especially when you are on holiday. However, the feeling of sluggishness and bloating is all too familiar post day drinking and feasting. It is surprisingly easy to slip into an unhealthy cycle of continuous indulgence which may leave you stranded back to square one, far off from the healthy vision your ever had. Therefore, whether you are enjoying the sun abroad or just at home, here are some ways to keep on track with your body (and mind) and tips to be mindful of in keeping a healthy lifestyle over the summer months.

Don't be lazy!

200259790-001 When the sun is out, the thought of working out in the gym may be highly unappealing. So why not maintain your fitness outdoors? Start off your day the right way by going for a run in the morning. This will stimulate your metabolism as well as giving you the 'running high' due to the happy hormones that are released. The benefits are reaped as you are mentally and physically better set up for the day; an excuse to eat as much as you want at the family BBQ! surfing-barry-pics-2-186-e1427739794161 Understandably, a strenuous workout will not be prioritised (unless you are Kayla Itsines) when holidaying in the Caribbean. However, before you idly lady on the lounger to sunbathe all day with a cocktail in hand, you should make time to keep active and take full advantage of the environment around you. This is a great way to balance out indulgent meals and reduce bloating from the sugary drinks you may be having. If you are on a city break, choose the most active option to walk sight seeing rather than public transport if possible. This may seem like common sense, but it can be easy to become lazy and lethargic when hot weather takes over.

Be mindful of empty calories

Mason-Jar-Mojitos-finished4 It's 3pm and before you know it, you've sipped through too many cocktails to count. As delicious as pimms, pina colada and fruity Rekorderlig can be, these drinks are consumed as empty calories due to their high sugar content but very low nutritional value. What's more, they do nothing for your hangover the next day. Counting calories is considered prehistoric when practiced as a means for dieting. However, one should be aware that cocktails such as pina coladas, long island ice tea and margarita can contain up to 780 calories! be-healthy-alcohol-calories-151204a It is important to keep in mind the drinks which are more calorific than others. Consider swapping your tonic water for slimline or sofa to effectively lower the amount of empty calories you are consuming. Asking for less sugar in cocktails is another simple way to reduce your sugar intake. The result is a refreshing drink that is still delicious. Moderation is key.   calories

H2O

It is very difficult to not eat with our eyes at first glance at of a BBQ spread of food. There are a few ways to help pace your speed of eating vast amounts of food which firstly involves quenching any pangs of false hunger to cause to think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Drink plenty of water prior to having a meal. bbq-summer-food-spread Drinking too much alcohol can result in dehydration, leading to a pounding headache the next day. Avoid feeling faint or light headed by drinking water in between alcoholic drinks and plenty especially if the temperatures are high.  

Remember SPF

sunscreenissexy-feat-prime-750x400 Forgetting to put SPF on even on cloudy days exposes your skin to free radicals and harmful UVA and UVB rays. In extreme cases, staying out in the sun for too long without sunscreen can result in skin damaging burns and heat stroke.  

That’s A Wrap

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

08.07.16

Whether you're on the go or you just like to roll your food these fun, healthy wrap recipes are for you! They are packed full of whole plant foods, our friendly fruits and vital veggies, in other words we love the work of mother nature and so should you! 1.) Southern Black Bean Wraps These colourful wraps are full of goodness and wonder! You can practically see the health through the vibrant phytonutrients pigments of the sweet potato and green leafy vegetables! You can wrap up at least 3 servings of your 5 a day in this recipe alone!   Check out the full recipe here! And for more information on why you should be eating more beans click here! southwestern_veggie_wraps4   2.) Nori Burrito Just about everyone loves sushi and burritos, this sushi burrito recipe makes the best out of both worlds! Also the brown rice in this recipe whams in a punch that has been associated with increased weight loss, lower blood pressure and decreased inflammation! For more information on brown rice click here! Then roll on over here for the full wrap recipe! P.S. This is gluten free sweet-potato-sushi-burrito-1200x750 3.) Protein Packed Hummus Wrap Throw your kale confetti in the air because this wrap is a celebration of health! This humble hummus wrap will have you humming with happiness! For the full recipe click here! protein-power-hummus-wrap     4.) Summer Rainbow Rice Paper Rolls This summer rice paper rolls all about rainbows and sunshine and are sure to leave you with a vibrant glow from head to toe! Check out the full recipe with the secret sauce here! Almost-RAW-Rainbow-Veggie-Spring-Rolls-with-Ginger-Peanut-Sauce-vegan-glutenfree- 5.) Easy Mexican Bean Burrito Would you like to burry your worries with burritos? Well this recipe is for you! Check out the full recipe here!     mexicanburritos5-1-of-11   For more wrap recipes head on over here!

Vegan Recipes for your Next Summer Picnic

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Uncategorized | 0 comments

30.06.16

The summer season is here and we're all ready to kick back and relax, enjoying the weather with our friends and family. Pack your blanket and your basket because we have 5 fun new picnic recipes to share this summer! These great recipes are a great way to sneak your veggies in! 1.)Vegan Mushroom Rolls Who needs sausage rolls when you can have mushroom rolls! If Jamie Oliver can eat vegan so can you! Stuffed with a flavourful herby mushroom fulling these vegan mushroom rolls will be irresistible at your next picnic! Check out the recipe here! Vegan Mushroom Rolls 2.) Mexican Black Bean, Avocado, Corn and Quinoa Salad Packed full of flavour and topped with refreshing orange segments this Mexican inspired salad will be a hit at your summer picnic! Try topping with some broccoli and pumpkin Giving Tree crisps for added crunchy texture! Get the recipe here! HEALTHY-Vegan-Mexican-Quinoa-Salad-with-Black-Beans-Corn-Avocado-and-a-Creamy-Orange-Chili-Dressing-vegan- 3.) Easy Sesame Brussels Sprouts Slaw This recipe is so quick and easy you can make it in no time! Check out the full recipe here! Easy Brussels Sprouts slaw   4.) Sweet Potato Burger This sweet potato burger looks so delicious and so easy to take on the go! It's sure to be a favourite among children and adults alike! Check out the full recipe here! sweet-potato-burger   5.) Vegan Pumpkin Brownies These fudgey pumpkin brownies would be a delightful addition to any picnic regardless of the weather! Check out the recipe here!                          Pumpkin Brownies   With all these great dishes and desserts your picnic is sure to be a success! Also the great thing about these recipes is they all include a serving or more of fruits or vegetables. Smash in your fibre and your five a day at your next picnic! For more great picnic ideas click here! or here!

Fruit Versus Cholesterol

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

24.06.16

High cholesterol has become a epidemic of this century, and this century alone. Many scientists believe this is due to the change in our diet over the recent years. In this decade we have reached all new highs in the prevalence rates of high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. What can we do to conquer the diseases of our time? Well we can start by eating more fruit. Why is this an issue? High cholesterol can lead to hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and eventually deathHaving cholesterol is fine, we all have cholesterol, however high cholesterol is an issue. An issue with rates at an all time high; high cholesterol is a disease that plagues over 50% of adults in the United Kingdom alone. As this can lead to cardiac arrest and in some cases death, this is clearly an issue that we need to take to heart. Where does it come from?  Cholesterol is a naturally occurring waxy substance which is necessary for healthy cell maintenance, vitamin D production, hormone production amongst other functions. Cholesterol is made by the body in the liver so we get all the cholesterol we need. However it is also a component in some foods so we need to watch our diets and consuming too much cholesterol. Dried-fruit Get low! Get low! One of the most effective ways to keep our cholesterol levels lows to limit our intake of saturated fat, as consuming these foods has been scientifically proven to raise our cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is mainly found in animal products such as butter, lard, fatty meat and full fat dairy products. Another way to combat our cholesterols is to eat more fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in fibre and other beneficial compounds that lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and can help individuals who struggle with their cholesterol levels. Dietary fibre can be seen as a broom that works to sweep cholesterol out of the body naturally. How does this work? and what can we do? Soluble fibre found in plant foods like fruits and vegetables (as well as grains and beans) bind to and remove bile acids from the body. This means that there is less bile acid available to recirculate in the body. However we need bile acid for digestion, so the liver must use up its cholesterol reserves to produce more bile acids. This process of using up our existing cholesterol, lowers the overall cholesterol in the body. Research has shown that individuals who consume higher quantities of fruits and vegetables are at lower risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity. Additionally, experimental findings have shown that increasing daily dietary fibre intake by "5 to 10 grams have up to a 5 percent drop in cholesterol". Fruit stack Most fruits and vegetables are of high fibre content however some especially high in fibre such as broccoli, apples, strawberries and spinach. Additionally, dried fruits have been shown to also have been shown to offer a whole host of health benefits such as providing a high antioxidant value, help with insomnia and battle cancer. Dried apples have been especially good at lowering cholesterol.  Scientists conducted a year long study that tested the cholesterol lowering effect of various dried fruits in a group of 160 older women. They found that just 12 dried apple rings a day helped to significantly drop the overall cholesterol levels! It's time to get crunching! Put simply if we are to trying to reduce our cholesterol levels, reduce our risk of heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure or just live a healthy lifestyle we should limit saturated fat intake and eat more fibre! Each fruit and vegetable crisp pack at The Giving Tree count as one of your five a day! For more information click here!

Fruits and vegetables versus asthma

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

22.06.16

Asthma is the most common chronic illness amongst children today and prevalence rates are quickly on the rise worldwide. We cannot let constant coughing and wheezing cripple our nation! To remedy this issue we should look to our diet and turn the table to more fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that there is a link between low consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and increased prevalence of asthma amongst children. This helps to make sense of the finding that populations that eat a traditional diet, where the majority of their caloric intake comes from plant sources have lower rates of asthma.   An apple a day keeps the asthma away? Recently British researchers have found that individuals who ate between 2 to 5 apples a week have lower rates of asthma. They speculate that it may be due to the flavonoid components involved, in particular, khellin which has been shown to open up airways. At The Giving Tree our fruit crisps make an excellent snack with all the nutrition preserved by our freeze drying process and vacuum packaging.Apples   A call for the 'C'? We have all heard of the wonders of vitamin C. Pirates out at sea that lacked vitamin C got scurvy. Whilst nowadays scurvy is not so common, asthma however is. One study of preschool children conducted in Japan found a link between vitamin C intake and lower rates of asthma. Some fruits with the highest antioxidant vitamin C content include papayas, strawberries and kiwis. Additionally, research has shown that there is increased risk of airway hypersensitivity in those with the lowest vitamin C intake. citrus 2 Veggies to the rescue? Another study on a sample of children has shown that high dietary vegetable intake to be protective against asthma, reducing the risk up to 50%. This may be due to the high antioxidant content of many vegetables which serve a protective effect on our overall health. To test this theory researchers conducted an intervention study where they experimented adding and then removing antioxidant rich foods from the diets of their experimental sample. The results showed that  when the antioxidant rich foods were removed from the participants' diets they experienced "significant worsening of lung issues and asthma control". This suggests that antioxidants play a key role in the functioning of our lungs and breathing and can be considered as a treatment option for asthma in adults and children alike. Our vegetable crisps are a great to eat your veggies when you're on the go! Grab a pack of our broccoli crisps for your next snack! Even if we don't have asthma we should all eat an abundance and variety of fruits and vegetables to better our health! For more information on how asthma can be treated using fruits and vegetables click here or here!