Herbal teas can be great remedies for a whole array of ailments. Granted they can take a bit of getting used to especially if you have been drinking normal tea and coffee for years, but once you get used to them they are really refreshing and you can experiment with all the different tastes.
Here’s a small selection of some of my favourites and some of their therapeutic properties.
Camomile – Camomile is a fantastic herb to have in your diet. It is anti-inflammatory and full of anti-oxidants, two things that are great for keeping you healthy. It may help support blood sugar, great for people with insulin resistance or type II diabetes. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe joint pain, cold and allergy symptoms as well as skin conditions such as eczema. It is really soothing for digestive issues and IBS. It also has a relaxing soothing effect on the nervous system helping you wind down and get a better night’s sleep. You can even use it topically to alleviate skin irritation, haemorrhoids and acne. Steeping the full flowers are best for maximum benefits. You can buy them loose or in tea bags.
Rooibos – I love the taste of this one! Full of minerals and antioxidants. It is naturally caffeine free great for winding down before bed or reducing stress. It is said to be good for bone health, skin irritations and high blood pressure, as well as boosting the immune system and protecting from common colds, viruses and stomach bugs.
Holy Basil – A great one for supporting the body’s natural response to stress, which is so detrimental to your health folks! High in Vitamin C and antioxidants, Holy Basil tea can help with anxiety, depression, cold and respiratory symptoms and skin irritations. Can also be used as a natural mouth wash and will help with mouth ulcers.
Green Tea – My favourite! Does take a bit of getting used to but worth persevering as so good for all round health. Try it with a squeeze of lemon or a small bit of honey to get you going. Absolutely full of antioxidants and nutrients. Studies show it may help with weight loss, brain function and physical performance as well as prevent a whole array of chronic health conditions.
Echinacea – I also love this one! Another great one for boosting immune function. Will help with cold symptoms as well as reduce its severity and duration. It is also great for alleviating pain from sore throats, stomach ache or tooth ache. Is also a mild laxative helping constipation.
Liquorice – Also used to relieve digestive issues as well as a mild laxative, is anti-inflammatory and good for cold and respiratory symptoms. Is also reported to ease PMS.
Ginger – Great for relieving nausea and helping ease stomach issues, great for easing digestive discomfort. Ginger is also a great anti-inflammatory which may help relieve painful joints as well as boost your immune system. Also another great one for relieving PMS.
There are so many more such as peppermint, fennel, Elderberry, Ginseng . Try them out! Drunk on their own herbal teas can be really soothing but as an effective remedy they need to be drunk 3-4 times per day. All herbs can have side- affects and contraindications so be sure to look into these if drinking a lot over the day. Also ensure you buy good quality. Some fruit teas are just purely made for their flavour, you want the herb to reap all the benefits.
It’s not just food!
Hippocrates once wrote "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’’ and you know what? We now know how right he was. The power of food and nutrition to support the body’s natural healing process, promote health and prevent disease is paramount to living a long healthy and happy life. Using food in this way is about nourishing the body and giving it the resources to heal itself.
The body works hard to stay healthy and wants us to feel our best and full of vitality. However, there are so many reasons why this may be out of balance; genetic influences, lifestyle, poor diet, stress, toxins, food intolerances, compromised digestion and many more.
Following a diet with the right nutrition can be used to detoxify the body, lose excess body fat, reduce stress, tiredness and fatigue as well as support a whole array of chronic health conditions.
However, it is never about fad diets or quick fixes, it’s about long term lifestyle changes with simple yet delicious food. It’s changing habits so it becomes the norm and you don’t feel like you are missing out or feeling deprived. Once you get to this stage you will never look back. And if you do, it certainly won’t be as appealing or enjoyable.
‘’If you want to feel better about yourself, increase your energy levels, a diet revamp may be the answer’’!
Where to start
Although different diets have their place, there is no one- size- fits all diet. We are all individuals with different likes and dislikes with bodies that work in different ways. From the Atkins diet to the Mediterranean diet there are so many to choose from! Whether its gluten free, or dairy free or meat free, ultimately you have to listen to your body, find out what makes you feel your best! You may not need to be anything free!!
A good place to start in any diet revamp for any reason is to cut out all un-natural foods. Eat a diet that is natural, unrefined and unprocessed, the way nature intended. Eating meals that are full of nutrients can be absolutely delicious, making you feel great in both body and mind, and it’s definitely not about depriving yourself or having to spend hours in the kitchen. You can put together healthy alternatives to your favourite foods in an easy and simple manner as well as make good choices when eating out. It’s just knowing how!
Slowly introducing natural alternatives to your diet and cutting out the un-natural foods will help towards a life- long healthy enjoyment of food, and is a great place to start!
An example of a usual days eating for me may start with either porridge made with almond milk, flaxseeds, nut butter and berries or maybe a smoothie, and I love eggs for breakfast. For lunch, quinoa with a whole array of vegetables, leafy greens and mixed with avocado and sultanas, or maybe a soup, either homemade or a fresh one from the chiller in the supermarket. I sometimes pop a bit of kale or spinach or some other veggies on top, as well as include some beans or a good protein source.
‘’ I really do pack the veggies in at every opportunity,
as well as good sources of protein and fat’’.
Dinner might be a baked sweet potato, salmon, stir fried asparagus and soy beans, and a mango salad. Just a mix of things thrown together, made in advance or from leftovers. I always make more than I need so it’s there for another meal. I go into a bit more detail about food choices in the 'about' section on my website, and check out my recipes. There’s some really simple and easy ideas.
I have not always eaten this way, but now I do, I know it has made me healthier and happier, as well benefited my family and children. I am certainly no connoisseur in the kitchen, and I like preparing meals that are quick and easy! Hopefully this will resonate with a lot of people who struggle and want to eat healthy and feel better.
So what have you heard about fats? Fat is an essential nutrient for the whole body, especially brain health, hormones, vitamin absorption, reducing inflammation, metabolism and so on! However, there is so much different and conflicting advice around, about which fats are good, which ones you should avoid, is cholesterol good or bad, and which ones are ok to cook with. Especially how fat has been demonised for the last 60 years due to unsubstantiated evidence, it’s not surprising the uncertainty there is around the subject.
Can you remember low fat diets? It seems crazy now with all we know about fat. For a start, the brain is made up of around 60% fat, every cell in the body is surrounded by a membrane which is made out of fat. It also makes up the structural components of hormones and other important substances within the body, and these are just a few of its importance within the human body.
The reports that eating saturated fat causes heart disease has absolutely no evidence. While some research shows that reducing saturated fat in the diet also reduces cholesterol, this is the HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol. Avoiding saturated fat is now known to increase your risk of obesity and heart disease. You need fat for a healthy body and mind! And the myth that fat makes you fat! Up to date research shows this is wrong. Obviously, too much of anything will make you fat but primarily sugar makes you fat, refined carbohydrates makes you fat! Furthermore, fat is needed for a healthy metabolism!
Eating fat also triggers hormones that tell your body it is full, and will fill you up and keep you fuller for longer. Refined carbohydrates and sugary foods don't do this, so it easy to overeat and feel hungry very shortly after eating.
Some good fats you should be eating and some of those to avoid;
The most important thing to remember with diet and that includes fat, is to just eat ‘real’ natural sources. Food found in the ground, the ocean and from animals from small local farms, who themselves eat natural food.
This smoothie is so simple, made from a few bits I had in the fridge but really does taste great and takes seconds to make. The pineapple gives it a really refreshing light flavour. Full of vitamins and minerals is detoxing, anti-inflammatory, alkalising and will make you feel great. Having a green smoothie everyday will really boost your health and energy. The kiddies even liked this!
Throw it all in the blender, mix and enjoy.
If like me you like it quite sweet or are new to green smoothies I recommend a ratio of 3 veggies to 1 fruit. This way you still get some sweet in there but not an overload of sugar. I had porridge with this smoothie but if having a smoothie on its own for breakfast I would throw in a good protein source to balance blood sugar and keep you full for longer. Nuts, seeds, a spoonful of nut butter or protein powder works great.