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Tips for more mindful eating

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

14.06.16

We could all do with a refresher course on how to eat to benefit our health. Mindful eating may be the answer. You may have heard of mindfulness or mindfulness training. What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness can be defined as a mental state that focuses on the present as well as an awareness and acceptance of one's innermost emotions, thoughts and feelings. Similarly mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. Our culture of overconsumption today suffers a binary where diseases such as obesity and diabetes are rife, whilst other eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervousa are hidden. On every corner we see fast food chains selling artery clogging 'happy meals' and every editorial is obsessed with the latest fad diet or detox cleanse. It is very easy to become confused with our relationship with food. Mindfulness is used as a form of cognitive behavioural therapy and has been successful as a form of treatment for individuals with disordered eating habits and obese individuals. <indful eat Here are some tips for more mindful eating. Respect your hunger cues.  This may seem obvious to some however others find that they often eat out of other reasons, such as boredom, sadness or as an emotional filler for real life problems. This is where mindful eating comes in. With a deeper awareness of our surroundings and inner emotions comes a  better ability to address problems at hand a more effective strategy than say 'eating our feelings'. Eating is often used as a coping mechanism for life's hardships, this can lead to a disordered relationship with food and in serious cases even obesity. On the other hand, we should not ignore hunger pangs as they come throughout the day. Waiting till you are ravenous can leave you desperate for food and susceptible to making poor food choices and can ultimately mess with your plan to eat more healthfully. Put simply it is best to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This can help make eating a more enjoyable and rewarding experience void of the feelings of guilt and discomfort that are associated with overeating and junk food. Mindful eating tomatoes   Mindful eating can sometimes mean eating more slowly. This way our body has more time to register how much food we are eating before we are too full. Additionally, studies have shown those who spend more time chewing their food achieve a greater level of satiety after their meal. When we slow down we can really focus on what we are doing and what we are eating, this way we may be better able to enjoy every bite of our food, feel full and avoid overeating. In the recent decades the whole culture of food and eating has changed completely, the landscape of the food industry is now run rampant by fast food chains and in some countries even drive throughs. When we take time to carefully prepare our food, and sit down for a meal we may feel more in tune with our hunger and fullness cues. Taking a tip from the practice of mindfulness we may better able to appreciate our food and savour each bite. Pose Mindful eating Eat food that is both optimal for both your enjoyment and health. When you really pay attention to what you are eating you may be better able to focus on food that is enjoyable, balanced, healthy and will leave you satisfied after you finish your meal. Often when we eat processed prepackaged food we may eat what seems to be a lot of food and still be left wanting more, this may be because our body does not feel as though it is getting the nutrients it deserves. However when we eat an abundance of well-balanced, nutrient rich foods our body can feel full and satisfied and less prone to sudden hunger pangs and mood swings. In the long run this can save us from bouts of overeating, binging on unhealthy foods and ultimately leave us free to fuel our body with the energy we need to live life to the fullest. Overall, it is important to take a lesson from mindfulness to make us more appreciative for every moment we are given. When we are swarmed with an army of fast food options at every corner it is important to stop and think where our food comes from before we eat it. Mindful eating helps us eat more intuitively, feel greater satisfaction and avoid feelings of regret after our meal. When we revolutionise the way we eat, eating instead to nourish our body and mind, we may develop a greater appreciation for our food and be better prepared to tackle the modern day obesity epidemic. For more tips of mindful eating click here or here.

Back to the basics – healthy food for everyone!

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05.05.16

All year round healthy foods for everyone!

We are so often bombarded with contrasting information regarding foods and drinks we should or shouldn’t be consuming, however once things are made simpler and we get rid of some of the complicated ingredients and recipes, and take it back to basics with some simple ingredients and foods that are fairly easily accessible.

COCONUTS

It’s no secret that coconut oil and well, everything coconut, is the what everyone is going mad for!  There are so many brilliant uses for this lovely nut including coconut milk, cream, water, oil and the meat itself. Coconut holds many beauty properties, doing wonders for your skin in turn, and absolutely creates the most deliciously healthy flavour when used in cooking. Coconut cream is brilliant for baking, while coconut water is filled with electrolytes, hydrating you no end, and coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to cow’s milk. Try Chi coconut oil, 100% organic, raw and cold pressed!

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GREENS

OK, so we all know that including greens in our diet is good for us, however it’s not necessary for you to sit with a bowl of spinach and expect to thoroughly enjoy munching your way through it. There are so many ways you can include greens in your daily diet, in pasta sauces, casseroles, in a smoothie, or even just stripping things back to basics and enjoying them as part of a colourful salad, this is one of the most important ways for anyone who refrains from eating meat and fish to get in a good source of protein in their diet. Try Giving Tree broccoli crisps as toppings for salads and soups as well as a healthy and nutritious on the go snack!

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BERRIES

Just as raw chocolate is brilliant for upping your antioxidant intake, so are the berry family. They are best when they are completely ripe and in season, however if you buy the frozen kind from any local supermarket, they make for a fantastic ingredient within a morning smoothie, on top of a breakfast bowl or even just on their own. Don't forget to try our Strawberry crisps from the Giving Tree which make amazing toppings for yoghurt, cereal, porridge and so much more! mmm!

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OATS

Oats are a brilliant way of consuming something delicious that will give you an extremely slow release of energy, meaning that it will keep you going for hours. They are so versatile by nature within recipes too, going from being able to be ground into a flour, as the nation’s favourite brekkie, porridge or as a substitute in many baking recipes. They work really well with bananas in smoothies as well, and are guaranteed to keep you going right through until lunch.

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RAW CHOC

Now for people who love a caffeine fix but want it without the sugary additions usually included in coffee shop concoctions, or for those who simply want something a little different, raw chocolate is a brilliant way to have this fix minus the nasties that come in normal chocolate bars. This form of chocolate is extremely high in antioxidants and is a brilliant way of getting your caffeine fix, totally naturally! There are so many different bars on the market that there will undoubtedly be a flavour that will take your fancy.

NUTS

Nuts create much controversy for many due to their high calorie content, however when portion control comes into play, the most important thing to do is know when to eat them, how to eat them and to remember that when food is in its’ rawest form, like nuts generally are, they are full of protein and healthy fats, which are both essential for maintaining our energy levels and giving us a gorgeously envious glow. If having them on their own just isn’t on the agenda though, combining them with dates to create a raw bar, or using them in a flour are all ways of including them in your diet without having to sit down with a bag of almonds.

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Vegetable Desserts.. who knew!

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

22.01.16

Who would have thought these drool-worthy desserts are in fact actually made up of the majority being vegetables, whole grains and tons of nutrient rich foods.

Our nation has such a sweet tooth, which is constantly growing with everywhere you go finding sugar loaded, baked goods. You can buy flapjacks, muffins, chocolate bars and so many more tasty snacks but they're generally all full of refined sugars.

Why not try DIY vegetable desserts.. Yes they sound a tad scary, but don't be put off!

They're packed full of fresh vegetables, fruit and nutrients and would pass as your favourite sweet treat, if not better! The vegetables add moisture, colour, texture and flavour to your favourite sweet treats making them irresistible.

Don't take our word for it—whip up one of these sweet treats and see for yourself!

Recipe 1.

Courgette and apple muffins - If you haven't yet tried courgette in sweet recipes, you're in for an absolute treat. Deliciously moist and packed full of wonderful nutrients!

Ingredients
  • 12 thin strips of courgette peel
  • 320g plain flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 50g walnuts, finely chopped
  • 50g raisins
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150ml chi coconut oil
  • 150g peeled, cored and grated apples
  • 150g grated courgettes
You can't taste the courgettes in the cake, they just produce a deliciously moist sponge

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder together then mix with the other dry ingredients, saving a little of the sugar to sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  3. Mix the eggs and oil together. Add the grated apples and courgettes.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together without overworking them.
  5. Divide the mixture between the muffin moulds. Decorate each with a strip of courgette peel and a pinch of sugar.
  6. Cook the muffins for 20−25 minutes until they are firm and golden. Check they are cooked through with a skewer; if it comes out clean, they are done.
courgette-muffins
 (recipe courtesy of good to know)
Recipe 2.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake - super moist, the addition of the beetroot deepens the flavour of the chocolate and makes this cake absolutely scrumptious

Ingredients

  • 3 medium beetroot (approx. 300g)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250ml chi coconut oil
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the filling:
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder, sifted with 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2tbsp cold milk
  • 2 generous tbsp cherry jam
This cake should keep for up to a week in an air-tight container

Method

  1. Boil the beetroot in water until it’s tender to the point of a knife, probably about 30 minutes. Drain and allow it to cool for 30 minutes or so, then remove the skin and coarsely grate the beetroot.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4, and prepare two cake tins (20cm in diameter) by lightly buttering them and lining with baking parchment.
  3. Beat the sugar, eggs and oil together, either by hand or in a food processor. Add the grated beetroot and cocoa and blend well. Finally, sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix again. Divide the mixture between the cake tins, smoothing down flat.
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cakes feel springy to the touch. Remove from the oven, let them stand for 15 minutes and then gently turn out on to a wire rack.
  5. While the cakes cool, make the butter-cream filling. Beat the butter, sugar and cocoa together, then drizzle in the milk and beat some more. Add a little more milk if you think it’s needed: you want the filling to be very smooth and to hold its shape.
  6. When the cakes are completely cold, lay each one flat side up. Spread one with the butter cream and the other with cherry jam, then sandwich the two together. It’s always a bonus when the cream and jam ooze out of the sides a little. Finally, generously dust the top with icing sugar. (recipe courtesy of good to know)
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  Recipe 3.

Avacado Choco Brownies - super creamy, deliciously moist and extra healthy decadent brownies!

INGREDIENTS Makes 20 brownies
225g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
4 medium eggs
125g light brown muscovado sugar
25g cocoa powder (make sure this is gluten free!)
50g ground almonds
2tsp vanilla extract
                                                                                2 very ripe avocados, thoroughly mashed

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C/ Gas mark 6/ 400F (180 degrees C for fan). Line a 25 x 30 cm tin with greaseproof paper.
  1. Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water- making sure that the bowl doesn't touch the water. Set aside to cool slightly.
  1. Using an electric beater, whisk the eggs and sugar together for about 5 mins until light and fluffy.
  1. Mix the cocoa, almonds, vanilla and avocados into the melted chocolate. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and whisk together until combined. Pour mixture into the prepared tin and level. Bake for 25-30min until set.
  1. Allow to cool completely in the tin before cutting in to 20 squares.
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 (recipe courtesy of the urban kitchen)

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