How To Avoid Protein Shake Mistakes!

No one can underrate the effectiveness of protein shakes in weight loss efforts; perhaps only those who have never tried them. Tens of thousands of people seeking to lose weight have resorted to protein powder because of the philosophy behind this product.

However, if you do not use the right mix of protein shake, you are likely to make no progress in losing weight or even start gaining body mass.

Why Proteins?

Before we delve into the mistakes that many make with protein powders, let us first understand the rationale behind consuming proteins to lose weight. One of the most effective strategies for overcoming hunger pangs is to take a sizeable amount of protein especially in the morning. Food rich in protein suppresses your appetite and prevents you from eating large amounts of food or eating frequently. This implies that your body will be forced to burn excess fat for its energy needs.

Similarly, since you will not eat a lot of food, your metabolism will work optimally. In contrast, eating a lot of carbohydrates gives your body an uphill tasks of digesting and assimilating the food, and the more frequent you eat starches and sugars the more likely the body is to convert these foods into fats thus increasing your body mass.

No Time or Appetite for a Protein-rich Breakfast?

I know people, and probably you are one of them, who are simply too busy to prepare protein-laden meals. Others claim they have no appetite. Such individuals end up taking huge amounts of carbohydrates for breakfast since wheat-based meals and snacks are easier to prepare or are found readily in retail outlets.

But that should not be the reason for you not to eat proteins particularly if you want to shed excess weight. That is why you need protein shakes. For the uninitiated, these are ready-to drink mixtures of proteins prepared especially for athletes and body builders. Protein powders are packed with proteins although they may contain some other nutrients like carbohydrates. Many people often use these products after workouts.

And Now, the Mistakes!

Despite the marvellous benefits of protein powder, the human tendency to mess up with what should be of help to them comes into play often. The cliché, ‘too much of anything is poisonous’ rings true in these circumstances. In your lopsided wisdom, you might end up consuming a protein shake that will hurt you instead of helping you. That is why you need to watch out for the following mistakes that you are likely to make when buying or preparing protein powder.

1. Confusing a Milkshake for a Protein Shake

Confusion is a common and understandable human characteristic. We confuse people with others. We use words that appear similar even when they don’t mean the same. It is possible to confuse a thug for a husband or wife and marry them only to realise that you were conned, when it is too late to bolt away.

That said, some level of confusion is detrimental, like thinking that milkshake is protein shake. By all means you need to curtail your sugar intake if you want to lose weight. Any form of protein shake that contains more than enough sugar should be discarded. I am talking about you adding dried fruit, sweetened nut milks or sugar added almond butter into your protein shake.

Instead, go for low-sugar protein shake. For example, opt for frozen raspberries, kale, sugarless coconut milk, avocado or ground flaxseeds. This way you will eat a delicious and fatless breakfast that will keep your hunger pangs away for longer durations.

2. Opting for the Protein you Should Avoid

There are as many protein shakes in the market as there are types of cookies. You will be spoilt for choice but that is if you don’t know that not all protein powders are the same. And I don’t blame you either. The varieties of protein shakes in the market have confusing labels on the ingredients they contain. But that does not mean that you buy any stuff you find on the shelf.

Generally, you will find protein powders in three varieties: casein, soy and whey. Casein behaves like any dairy product even though it is absorbed slowly, and is not advisable to take as a meal replacement.

Soy is the least preferable ingredient in protein shakes because of it propensity to harm the thyroid, in addition to being a catalyst for breast cancer.

Whey is the most popular protein shake variety. However, it tends to be absorbed quite quickly and is not as suitable as a meal replacement. It also raises insulin rapidly thus making you hungry within an hour of eating the powder.

You best option is to select a protein shake without soy or dairy elements. Cranberry protein, chia, chlorella, chia, rice or pea can do the job for you. You can also try protein powder that has no fat.

3. Purchasing Unhealthy Powders!

Not all protein powders contain the same ingredient. This point is so important that it is worth repeating. In the quest for profits, various manufacturers of protein shakes create various mixtures. I call most of these products unhealthy protein mixtures because they tend to make it harder for you to reach your fitness goals.

They are made to appeal to your taste buds by adding preservatives, processed sugars and artificial sweeteners. It is like sugar-coating bitter pills, but in this case making the amount of added sugar the main ingredient, thus destroying the healing power of the medicine you are taking. It is obvious that healing is a mirage when you take such medication.

Please read the labels of the proteins you buy very carefully. Don’t be cheated by titles such as juice, fructose, syrup, sweetener or concentrate because they simply mean the product has additional sugar. The more natural the protein shake; the better. Don’t rush for famous trademarks at the expense of your health or fitness goals.

Just as a Reminder….

  1. Proteins powders are important for body building and weight management, but you need to choose wisely if you are to attain your fitness goals.
  2. Not all protein powders are the same; they contain varying amounts of whey, casein and soy in addition to other ingredients.
  3. Choose low-sugar protein shakes instead of those with high amounts of sugars.
  4. Avoid protein shakes with dairy or soy products or fats.
  5. Read the labels on the protein powders you buy very carefully to know the contents and avoid those that will not benefit you.
  6. Talk to a fitness expert to get the best directions on the right kind of protein shakes to use.
  7. Protein shakes are not absolute substitutes for food. Eat a balanced diet as most of your protein needs should be met through this avenue.
  8. If a certain protein shake does produce the results you expected, change to a better variety (in terms of sugar, soy or fat content) or ask an expert to help you choose one.
  9. Protein powders are effective for people who engage in physical activities. Avoid them if you are the lazy type of persons who spends the day lying on the couch and watching TV.

With love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

Follow:

Amazing Nutrition Tips For A Super Healthy Fall!

Fall began on Wednesday 23 September and will end on Monday 21 December 2015. It is the time when temperatures gradually fall as we head towards winter. However, few people understand that amazing health benefits that they can derive from this season. To people who are conscious about the nutritional value of food, fall is a season to look forward to.

Before discussing important nutrition tips for this autumn, it is crucial that we appreciate why we need to concentrate on some foods in particular seasons. Nature works in such a manner as to provide particular foods during specific seasons. This implies that there are some nutrients that are abundant during certain seasons and scarce during others.

To this end, you must not be left out on the nutritional feast of any season. This should not be misconstrued to mean that you cannot get the same nutrient during ‘offseason’. It means you must eat more of a particular nutrient when it is in season. As part of nature, you must obey natural law.

There are other reasons for observing season-specific nutrition. To begin with, you will spend less on a particular food product when it is in season since supply will be high and the price will be low. In addition, fresh food has greater nutritional value and health benefits than frozen or canned varieties. Lastly, fresh food has the best taste and flavour thus making it more palatable that when it is offseason.

There are many fruits, vegetables and other foods that will make this autumn the most beneficial in terms of nutrition and health if you follow the tips below:

  1. Eat Lots Of Tangerines

Tangerines belong to the citrus family, like oranges and lemons, but have unique benefits. They are versatile in terms of the recipes that can accommodate them. You can combine them with dates, almonds and honey or add their juice to ginger or vinegar as part of dressing. These sweet but small fruits are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C to reduce the risk of cancer and promote healthy skin.

Tangerines with cinnamon

  1. Make Apples Your Friend

Fall is the apple season and the best you can do is to obey nature and incorporate these fruits into your diet and recipes. The good thing with apples is that you can eat them full and raw. You may also want to bake them and have them as part of your meal. Expect abundant antioxidants, dietary fiber and flavonoids. You will also enjoy improved general wellbeing, effective digestion and weight control among other benefits.

Happy blond toddler with wooden trolley full of organic red appl

  1. Treat Your Body To A Grapefruit Party

This may be a citrus fruit but it is known for its tartness. This autumn, make the wise decision to eat as much of this fruit as possible. You will relish a blend of grapefruit and greens or a mixture of grapefruit and avocado. How about a refreshing glass of grapefruit juice that is packed with antioxidants? Need I mention that vitamin C, lycopene and pectin are waiting for you when you eat this fruit? This means you will be protecting your skin, keeping away cancer and lowering cholesterol at the same time.

grapefruit drinks

  1. Feast On Cauliflower Often

Fall is the time when this sweet vegetable hits the market. There are many ways to eat cauliflower. It can be a perfect complement for side dishes. You can also steam this vegetable and mix it with mashed potato. Some people also like to puree it into soup. In an era when cases of cancer are on the increase, you definitely need food with elements that can avert this fatal disease. Cauliflower also controls blood cholesterol and is packed with vitamin C.

fried cauliflower

  1. Incorporate Brussels Sprouts In Your Meals

This veggie is abundant in autumn and has a heavenly taste. I know some people don’t like the somewhat bitter taste of brussels sprouts, but when this vegetable is blended with spicy and flavourful sauces such as balsamic vinegar, it becomes irresistible. When I do this, I am assured that I have more than my daily requirement of vitamin K, folate and iron, which all crucial minerals for my body to perform optimally.

iStock_000054243002_Small

  1. Enrich Your Pies With Pumpkins

The squash family is amazing considering the nutrients packed in these foods. I believe a pumpkin is a versatile food item if you take into account the variety of ways it can be prepared, blended and eaten. This fall, incorporate this tasty food into your cakes, pies and pudding and enjoy its amazing nutritional content. I am talking of fiber, vitamin B and potassium to name a few nutrients.

iStock_000016007960_Small

  1. Make Sweet Potatoes Part Of Your Diet

This is another wonderful serving that fall brings to your table. You can boil or roast sweet potatoes and even enjoy them as part of your breakfast. I enjoy the roasted type more because most of the nutrients are not lost when preparing it as opposed to the boiled type. Apart from the obvious sugary taste, sweet potatoes contain vitamin A and iron and are known to lessen inflammations.

Homemade Cooked Sweet Potato

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

 

Follow:

Incredible Healthy Eating Habits For Weight Loss!

Human beings are creatures of habit. You either have a habit to adopt or one to discard as you move on with your life. In the quest for weight loss, the need to adopt healthy eating habits cannot be overemphasised. Often the difference between achieving your fitness goals and failing miserably is your ability to adopt healthy eating habits.

Here are some fundamental habits that you must adopt if you are to reach you weight loss goals more efficiently!

Always Eat Breakfast!

I have never understood the reason people give for skipping breakfast. I know those who are often in a rush to reach their places of work that they find a morning meal to be a hindrance. Others think eating in the morning is not necessary since their tummies are full from the meals they ate the previous night. But you are doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t eat something in the morning. Treat yourself like a king what you wake up.

The first meal of the day is arguably the most important. People who eat well in the morning often require lesser amounts of food the rest of the day thus averting overeating. The body’s metabolism is high in the morning, which means the food you eat will be absorbed faster. If you tend to eat more food later in the day and at night, your body is likely not to absorb all of it and will store the surplus in form of fat. You are also likely not to feel like eating breakfast in the morning.

Eat Relatively The Same Breakfast Meal

I know a friend who eats a different kind of breakfast every day. This larger-than-normal being believes that only the poor eat the same food on consecutive days. Is this advisable when one is looking to attain healthy body weight?

When you want to shed excess weight, one of the best strategies is to watch your calories intake. It is important that you eat fewer calories than you use if you are to lose weight. Eating the same type of meal every morning to maintain your momentum. Changing your breakfast content often is likely to interfere with this trend and result in excess calorie consumption thus hurting your dream of becoming leaner.

Healthy  smoothie

Eat Smaller Portions

Some of us never overcome some childhood habits even when we grow older, and this creates serious problems when we want to shed surplus weight. The tendency to overeat is one reason you may be chubby today. Sometimes I think overeating or taking huge chunks of food is a psychological problem. Contemporary eateries have made this an even worse problem by serving large portions of food to customers. Simply put, most of us are eating more than enough and this leads to accumulation of body mass.

Have you ever comprehended the accompanying damages of eating large portions? You will burden your digestive system and metabolism. Your body will struggle to assimilate what you are eating in excess of your needs. Consequently, some of the food will end up as fat and you will add more weight.

Drink A Lot Of Water

Water, water and more water! Water is the fuel of metabolism. It is the fluid that ensures all your nutrients reach every part of the body. You must also be aware that your body consists of about 70% water and taking this liquid is simply your lifeline. Need I say that your blood is essentially water? I can continue writing about the importance of water for your body and not finish in this space.

However, and more importantly for your weight loss efforts, you need to drink about eight glasses of water every day. Apart from all the other benefits, taking water fills your tummy thus making it less likely for you to eat more than you need. Never forget that without taking enough water, your weight loss will become a cropper.

Chew Your Food Slowly

Do you know people who stuff a full sandwich into their mouth in one instance? How about the guy who clears a plate of food in a flash? This is not just about a person who is famished, but those of us who have the habit of eating like they are driving a Formula One car. This is one habit that you need to discard if you are to make any significant progress in your weight loss journey.

Food is meant to be enjoyed in as much as it is supposed to give you essential nutrients. There are tastes and smells that come with good nutrition. Chewing your food slowly allows the enzymes to perform the important role of breaking down your meal into nutrients that can be absorbed into your blood. When you eat like you are in a competition for gluttons, you hamper your chances of losing weight. Besides, you are likely to eat more food that when you chew slowly. The obvious outcome is storage of excess food in form of body fat.

When Your Hunger Is Gone, Keep Off The Plate!

You are the best judge of the exact time when you should say ‘no’. Some people stop eating when there is no more food on the plate. Others will continue eating if another meal is availed immediately. As long as there is food, some individuals have extra space for it. If you are this kind of person and you are trying to lose weight, you are simply engaging in impossibility.

Stop eating when you stop feeling hungry. The Japanese assert that 80% full is adequate for the body. Your body needs time to chew, digest and assimilate the food, and resting before the next meal. Don’t overburden it. Don’t eat like you are dying the next moment or as if you have gone for months without food. Remember, hunger will come at regular durations and you will have to eat another meal. Have pity on your tummy! Learn to say ‘no’ when your hunger pangs are satiated.

iStock_000046977332_Small

Never Forget!

  1. Shedding excess weight demands that you adopt some habits and drop others.
  2. Do not skip breakfast as this will mean you don’t have to eat larger portions during the day, when metabolism is slow.
  3. Eating the same type of breakfast every morning is guaranteed to help you avoid eating more calories than you need.
  4. Don’t eat larger portions than your body requires. Smaller portions are easier to digest thus averting conversion of excess food into fats.
  5. Drink a lot of water because among many other reasons, it helps to make the tummy feel fuller most of the day thus forcing you to eat smaller portions.
  6. Take your time to chew your food because this will ensure you eat less and that the body will have time to digest what you eat.
  7. Learnt to say ‘no’ when your hunger is gone as this will help you to overeat – a major cause of excess weight.
  8. You will lose weight better and enjoy it when you learn to give your body periods of rest from eating.
  9. Eat more of proteins and less carbohydrates for breakfast as the former tends to remain in the body for long thus averting frequent hunger pangs.
  10. Try intermittent fasting to allow the digestive system to recover from long periods of incessant work.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

Follow:

3 Amazing Smoothie Recipes You Won’t Be Able To Live Without!

Smoothies are an incredible, super simple way to get a quick energy fix and feel so healthy all in one go! However most of the smoothies you can buy in your local supermarket are packed with massive amounts of sugar. Just like fruit juices, we think they’re good for us but in fact their incredibly high levels of sugar are actually doing nothing for us!

So here we present our top 3 smoothie recipes, which are all vegan friendly, and one thing is for sure they are a lot healthier for you than ones that are in the chilling fridge at your local stores.

Smoothies are so simple and quick to make when you have a little guidance to direct you!

  • Firstly we would recommend stocking up on frozen fruits or vegetables (can grab a packet in most national supermarkets), or you could try and use the freshest organic ingredients, from your garden perhaps, as it will ensure you have the healthiest punch!
  • Secondly, pick yourself up a blender! You DON’T need to spend a fortune products such as Vitamix that go for over £400, to be honest this is just un necessary! Smoothie blenders are absolutely everywhere, you can pick them up in most convenient stores, but we would recommend Breville Blend-Active – you can order one online!

  • Thirdly, if you fancy boosting your healthy smoothie level up a notch, we would recommend splashing out on some seeds! By adding flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds to your smoothies. These three seeds have been named as the new superfood by health experts, as they are an amazing way to boost your protein levels!

TOP TIP: Cut all ingredients up quite small, including any leaves, to prevent any jams in your blender. Blend all ingredients together for about a minute, or to your preference! 

The Root Vegetable One

This smoothie is amazing post-work out when you need to ensure you have a well-balanced recovery. The hemp protein (hemp seeds) will help to boost your metabolism, and the beetroot and carrot will provide two sources of extra nutritious non-starchy carbs.

What more could you ask for post-workout? It’s a bonus that it tastes delicious and it is an incredible colour!

Beet Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot – washed and finely chopped
  • 1 beetroot – washed and finely chopped
  • 1 orange – peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon hemp protein (hemp seeds)
  • 2 dates
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup ice

The Green One

Okay we know we called it green, but it’s actually so simple, the only green is kale! Nevertheless, do not underestimate the power of kale. Kale is part of the cabbage family and is one of the most nutritious vegetables grown locally in the UK. Its dark green leaves are an excellent source of vitamins K, C and A so having them as a base to your smoothie is a must!

Similarly spinach can be used as an alternative, the dark leafy greens are super important for bone health and your skin, as well as proving essential vitamins and minerals.

Green fresh healthy smoothie with fruits and vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups kale – washed and chopped (can use spinach as an alternative)
  • ½ cup light unsweetened almond/ coco/ hemp milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds

The Berry One

This recipe is a perfect example of using those packets of frozen fruit! Packs of mixed frozen fruit usually contain strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries and blueberries which means you are getting a HEAP load of nutrition. Using this many berries will increase the sugar amounts, but as the portion sizes aren’t too large and it is all natural sugars you are all good!

Having a berry smoothie in the morning, along with packing in all your superfood seeds, is a great way to boost your morning energy levels and get your metabolism flowing!

Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon shelled hemp seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries

Happy blending! 

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

Follow:

Super Healthy Snacks On The Go!

Snacking is a common behavior considering the many times we eat between meals. This is particularly true when one is travelling, although some people simply cannot stop eating. While a snack will save you much time that could have gone into preparing a real meal, it is important that whatever you eat is healthy.

The market is full of snacks that do more harm than good to your body. Unfortunately, we tend to choose grubs that have excess unsaturated fats, processed sugar, salt and preservative – never mind we are living in an era when obesity and related diseases are killing more people than ever. Travellers are particularly guilty of making wrong snack choices because they do not plan adequately for the journey.

For this reason, you need to choose your snacks carefully when you are on the go. Fortunately, there is no dearth of grubs that are packed with essential nutrients and energy while at the same time being delicious. Some of these snacks can be prepared at home before you set out on your journey. Others can be bought from food stores along the way. Regardless of your situation, you have no reason whatsoever to eat snacks that have poor nutritional content and which can send you down the road to obesity.

10 Healthy Grubs Handy For Travelling:

  1. Dried Fruits:

    Carrying dried fruit will be advantageous during your journey because you will get various nutrients. Research has shown that this snack contains iron, potassium, fibre, antioxidants, sugar and calories. Some of the best fruits that you can dry and carry as a snack include apricots, cranberries, golden raisins, figs and chopped dates. If you can add these fruits to yoghurt and oatmeal, the better for you. It is important to remember that a snack is a stop-gap measure before you reach a place where you can eat a real meal. Consequently, you will need to eat dried fruits in moderation. Some people discourage this snack claiming it has a lot of sugar, but you should be remember that it contains natural sugar, and when taken in moderation, no harm will befall you.

iStock_000008037442_Small 

  1. Energy Bars:

    Not all processed products can be dismissed as unhealthy snacks. There are a lot of energy bars that can give you the strength you need while travelling. These bars come in handy particularly when traffic delays you from reaching home to prepare a real meal. I am sure you know very well that hunger pangs have a way of surprising you when food is not in their vicinity. You will need to be careful with energy bars, though, because their nutritional contents vary. Generally, energy bars have little fibre, a lot of calories and sugar. To ensure you eat healthy energy bars, look for the one with a combination of fibre and proteins of about 5 to 7 grams. 

Homemade granola bars

  1. Nuts:

    These are some of the most natural foods – if there is anything like that. Our lives would be significantly healthier if we learned to eat nuts in abundance. Even in the wild, animals like birds, rodents and apes eat nuts as part of their diets. I have in mind raw nuts like walnuts, cashew nuts, peanuts and almonds among others. Nuts contain minerals, proteins, fats and few calories. You can also buy packed nuts, most of which have additives. Watch out not to eat nuts that have a lot of salt as this may harm you. You may also want to roast some nuts slightly to give them a desired taste while preserving their nutritional content.

Selection of dried fruits

  1. Ground Flaxseeds:

    This is yet another healthy snack that you need to try out when travelling. Flaxseeds contain antioxidants, omega-3 fats and fibre among other nutrients. Very few snacks can compare to the nutritional value of this wonderful seed. I would advise that you eat the organic type although the other variety is also not all that bad. The fiber in flaxseeds will make your tummy full thus preventing overeating, something you should avoid especially when travelling long distances. You obviously won’t like it when your stomach begins to grumble and ask questions while you are in a long distance overnight bus. If you happen to have yoghurt as part of your travelling food package, flaxseed powder can greatly enrich the former. The same can be said of smoothies and salads.

iStock_000013482620_Small

  1. Rice Chips:

    Many of the snacks you will come across, particularly if you prefer to buy from stores, are made from wheat. This presents a problem if you are gluten-allergic or have celiac disease. One way of avoiding such a scenario is to snack on rice chips. You will enjoy great crunch and taste with this grub. Getting the calories you need during a journey is as important as avoid any stomach upset that might ruin your travelling experience and that is why rice chips should feature on your list of preferred snacks. Look for various flavours like fiesta lime and wasabi to make your experience even better. Consider complementing rice chips with spreads, dips, nut butters, guacamole and jam. 

Stack of grain crispbreads

  1. Granola Bars:

    Granola contains a lot of fibre and this is very important for your digestion and satiation as you travel. Unlike normal granola, granola bars are more convenient to eat. To make sure you enjoy this snack as you travel, break the bars and mix them with yoghurt to make them crunchy and smooth. You can achieve this if you pack granola bars and yoghurt separately and blend them as you travel. Alternatively, you cam crumble the bars and carry yoghurt with you. To enrich this snack, you can crush several granola bars and mix them with raisins and pretzels, then package them in a plastic bag for use during the journey.

Several Granola Bars Isolated on a White Background with Narrow Depth of Field.

  1. Apples:

    Whoever said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away was not wrong. When you consider the nutritional value of an apple, you will classify it with super foods. You can understand this more if you consider the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar, but that is a tale for another day. For travelling purposes, apples are some of the healthiest and convenient snacks you can carry with you. These fruits will refresh and hydrate you because of their high water content. They also contain a lot of fibre, which means they will make you feel satiated even when you are not, thus preventing you from binge eating, which is possible when you are traveling. Apples also contain carbs hence providing you with the energy needed to carry out different tasks as your journey. What more? Apples are very convenient to carry as they occupy little space in your bag.

iStock_000054519266_Small

  1. Nut butter:

    As we observed earlier, snacks can either be prepared or bought while one is travelling, but the bottom line is that you eat healthy food. One of the best snacks you can carry as you journey is nut butter. The high amounts of proteins and other nutrients contained in this snack will ensure that you are energised throughout the day. If you plan to go sightseeing or trekking, this is a snack you cannot avoid to carry. The good thing is that the market has many different packages of nut butter to fit your needs. Moreover, they are easy to carry in a backpack or a small container. Nut butters can also be eaten with crackers and fruits to give you even more nutritional benefits.

Raw Organic Almond Butter

  1. Berry banana cups:

    The world is full of berries that contain loads of nutrients which can give you the energy you need as you travel. When you blend these berries with sliced bananas, the snack that you will emerge with cannot be matched by many ready-made snacks available in stores. I am talking about strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. You only need a few fresh ones, which you will toss with cut bananas and keep in plastic containers, and seal the latter. To make sure the banana does not appear brownish, take the berries-banana blend and add lemon juice to it. The final package will be a potent mix of antioxidants, potassium, starch and great taste.

  

  1. Oatmeal Cookies:

    Cookies are often condemned because of their sugar content but this happens when people lack creativity. You don’t have to avoid cookies; you only need to prepare healthy and nutritious cookies especially using oatmeal. What you must do is pack them in airtight jars once you have baked and cooled them. I advise against buying cookies in stores when you are travelling because the average cookie is all about sugar, margarine and wheat. Instead, bake your own cookies at home and give them the exceptional nutritional magic of oatmeal. Grab one as you drive but don’t get carried away and eat more than you should. I can assure you that once you get used to homemade cookies you will think twice about buying sugary snacks as you travel.

 

Homemade oatmeal cookies with seeds and raisin

 With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

Follow:

Fall In Love With Nut Butter!

Nuts are undoubtedly some of the most important sources of nutrients for human beings. If you are not eating nuts, you are missing out on essential nutrients that your body needs for optimal functioning. Irrespective of where you live in the world, there are nuts that you can incorporate in your diet. Cashew nuts, peanuts, almonds and coconuts are commonly available. However, if you cannot find raw nuts to eat, you may want to try nut butters.

Apart from the nuts you are used to, nut butters can be made by using seeds from pumpkins and sunflowers. People who know the benefits and deliciousness of nut butters can never imagine not having these important nutrients as part of their diet. An analysis of a few nut butters will reveal why many people love these butters so much:

  1. Almond Nut Butter

If you are looking for a notorious snack that will give you few calories, look no further than almond nut butter. Moreover, this butter contains high quantities of protein for building your cells and tissues. In addition, almond nut butter has a lot of fiber. Fiber is very important to the body especially because it aids digestion. This means that almond butter can play a crucial role in weight loss efforts. Finally, in addition to being delicious, this product helps to steady blood sugar levels, which means you will have more energy thus warding off food cravings.

  1. Coconut Butter

I know you are used to coconut oil so much that you forget there is coconut butter, which is made from the flesh of the coconut. This product is packed with fiber. We have already stated why you need fiber in your diet. Coconut butter is loved because it contains essential minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron, which aid normal cell functioning in addition to other roles. Coconut butter makes food yummy, delicious and nutritious thus preserving its place in the kitchens of health-conscious people.

toasted cashew banana coconut butter

  1. Peanut Butter

It is ironical how food with high nutritional content like peanuts is despised. It may be true that when you are paid a meager salary you call it peanuts, but the benefits you can derive from peanut butter are worth bars of gold. How about lowering your vulnerability to heart diseases and colon cancer? Eat peanut butter and memory impairment will be curtailed. This product also contains healthy fat and helps to prevent gallstones and lessen the effects of type II diabetes. The list is inexhaustible.

Nut Spread

  1. Pumpkin Seed Butter

If you are allergic to peanuts and other nuts, you can enjoy the delicious taste of pumpkin butter without any fear. Pumpkins may not have nuts as we know them but the seeds inside pumpkins are often made into a form of butter that many cannot do without. Get your much-needed dose of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper from pumpkin butter. You will also be in a better position to fight diseases in your body, as well as reduce bad cholesterol when you use this nut butter. The amino acids contained in this product will also help you to sleep well because they deal with stress in your body. People love this nut butter because it significantly improves skin tone following constant consumption.

  1. Sunflower Seed Butter

Like pumpkin seed butter, this one is manufactured from whole seeds to ensure you don’t lose out on the wonderful nutritional values of sunflower. Moreover, it is a healthy alternative for people that are allergic to peanut butter. Using this product in your meals will give you zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and unsaturated fats among other important nutrients. You will, therefore, have the ability to fight inflammation as well as to lessen the quantity of cholesterol in your blood.

Now you know why people love nut butter and why you should join the bandwagon today!

 With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

 

Follow:

Ditch Meat For Veg – The 7 Reasons You Can’t Ignore!

Ditching meat and animal products from our diets has become increasingly more common in our day-to-day lives. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of us adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet to help prioritise our wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle! Other individuals choose to abstain various forms of meat products in their diets due to religious and cultural reasons. Generally, there are a lot of reasons why eliminating meat and diary from our diets can be extremely beneficial!

During October 2015, the World Health Organisation shocked the planet by announcing there is a close link between eating processed meat products and the increased risk of cancer in the lower digestive and excretory systems. This outstanding finding supports vegetarians and vegans while accompanying the recognition they have been long waiting for! So now would be the perfect time to highlight exactly what vegetarians and vegans are shouting about. Don’t you worry, we’re here and we’re listening!…

Vegetarians Versus Vegans

Firstly, let’s get technical and understand the different types of vegans and vegetarians. Lacto-vegetarians include plant products, but also dairy products in their diets. However, they do not eat any form of eggs, meat, seafood and poultry.

Ovo-vegetarians choose to eat only one animal product – eggs. An ovo-vegetarian does not include milk or other daily products in their diets. He or she also abstains from seafood, poultry and meat products. In recent days, there has been an increase in the number of diseases found in milk products. Therefore opting out of milk products may be a way to ensure you are safe from illnesses such as brucellosis. You go ovo-vegetarians!

Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat both dairy products and eggs but avoid seafood, meat and poultry. Generally, milk and eggs are considered safe by many people. The protein they contain is regarded as being more safe than the protein found in meat because of the production processes. There is a feeling that flesh is more susceptible to illnesses and can transmit the same to users as compared to eggs and milk.

On the other hand, pescatarians are pretty half and half! Pescatarians will include diary, eggs and fish in their diets but no poultry or meat products! These nature lovers mainly include plant based products in their diet and can sometimes have strong concerning views about animal rights, specifically regarding the killing of animals for food or any other purposes!

Enter The Vegan

The last and most radical group is the vegan. Unlike the previous groups (which are generally referred to as vegetarians) vegans do not eat any animal products, including honey. Some vegans go to the extent of not using any product that is derived from an animal. This includes not wearing leather shoes and clothes.

Confused? So are we! Alas, we created a table to explain all…

 
Meat
Poultry
Seafood
Eggs
Diary
Plant-based
Lacto-Vegetarians
No
Nope
Nope
No way
Yes
Hell-yes
Ovo-Vegetarians
Hell no
No
No
Yes!
No way
Always
Lacto-ovo Vegetarians
No
No
No
Yup
Yes
Duh!
Pescetarians
NO!
NO!
Yep!
Yes
Yes
YES
Vegan
No
No
No
No
No
100000%

Why Choose Veganism? 7 Reasons Explain All…

1. Those who embrace veganism from a religious standpoint believe that animals are reincarnated human beings. The soul does not die when the body is buried. It takes another form, including becoming an animal, and continues with its journey towards spiritual purity. In the final stages, when you are hurting an animal, you are oppressing another human being and in your next incarnation, you may take the form of another animal for you to experience the same pain you inflicted on others!

2. Vegans also choose this lifestyle because they want to protect animal rights. Holding strong beliefs that it is immoral and unethical for people to eat animals – a process that necessarily requires that animals should be killed. Vegans want animals to live and roam freely and argue that man should concentrate on plant products. They also detest the fact that animals are fattened for slaughter as it were since commercial farms use chemicals and hormones to induce fast growth in animals.

3. Another reason for the rapid preference of veganism is the desire for a healthy life. Numerous studies indicate that people who consume animal proteins and fats are at greater risk of developing some of the most fatal diseases we know today. These include diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses, cancer, hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis among others. Many people understand the health and financial burden that these illnesses are imposing on humanity today. Consequently, when people discover that vegan diets can avert such illnesses, the decision becomes easy to make.

4. There is enough evidence to also show how the human body is not designed for animal milk. This may be shocking especially because we love milk so much. But did you know that human milk (the type that we suckle after birth) is more nutritious and fit for your body than cow milk. Vegans opt for plant products that have the same nutrients as those found in animal milk instead of putting the body at risk of diseases inherent in animal milk.

5. Similarly, men suffering from prostate cancer will also be delighted to know that a vegan diet is an effective strategy of managing the illness. Those who are at high risk should also be informed that eating a plant-only diet also lowers their vulnerability significantly. These are findings that were reported recently in the Journal of Urology, an authoritative and respectable publication that specifies in prostate cancer issues.

6. Did you also know that people who eat red meat and the processed variety tend to die earlier, compared to the rest of the population? This is the final message that WHO delivered to the world last month. People who eat plant-based diets tend to live longer than others. Studies carried out among vegans in Loma Linda, United States and among various communities in Asia indicated that these people live longer, on average.

7. There is another reason why vegan is becoming popular. Bad cholesterol is significantly reduced when you eat plant diets. Cholesterol is one of the worst problems for the cardiovascular system. Vegan diets also contain vital fiber which is important for digestion and other crucial body functions. That is why you will never lack nuts, beans, vegetables and soya in the diets of vegans.

Haters Gon’ Hate…

Those who oppose vegan diets argue that failing to eat animal products will result in nutrient deficiencies. There is a strong belief that vegans cannot get some fatty acids, minerals and proteins in plant products thus necessitating eating of animal products. Opponents of veganism argue that vegans are likely to have underdeveloped bones, muscles and tissues.

While some of these arguments have some level of credibility, research in veganism has resulted in discoveries on how some of these gaps can be bridged. It is important to remember that animal flesh is built from the plants they eat. In essence, all the nutrients the body needs can be found in plant products if people eat the right foods. There are enough nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, grasses, leaves and other plant products that together contain all the nutrients that the body needs for optimal functioning.

As we celebrate the World Vegan Month (YAY!), it is important to remember that veganism is a lifestyle choice that has innumerable benefits for those who choose to follow this path. By opting not to eat animal products, you will be investing in optimal healthy, a longer life and a happier existence, the taste of meat and milk notwithstanding.

With Love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

Follow:

Secrets For A Younger You!

From time immemorial, we have been taught to believe that ageing is inevitable. We naturally expect to grow older, frail and eventually succumb to death. History and experience also bear witness to this fact. After all, aren’t we witnessing our elderly folks going through the same process?

It is for this reason that many people are pleasantly shocked when they hear that the aging process can be decelerated and that human beings can grow younger! Did you know that your body is actually a field of energy and intelligence? Are you aware that your body and mind are closely connected and that you age because your mind believes you must age?

Screen shot 2015-06-26 at 12.15.12

This implies that you begin to lose your physical and mental abilities with the passage of years largely because you have conditioned your mind to believe that this must happen! Since your mind influences your body cells, the ageing process can be reversed, accelerated or slowed down.

You may be asking, “Isn’t ageing genetic?” Yes it is a factor, but it is not the key determinant. The ageing process and your health are not predetermined. You can choose to behave in such a manner that your body is transformed to beat the biological clock. Here’s how:

  1. Begin by Changing your Attitude

Humans are fond of underestimating the power of the mind. You need to stop viewing your body as a preconditioned machine that must eventually succumb to biological wear and tear. Shift your mind to seeing yourself as a field of energy that continues to transform itself and has renewable intelligence. Begin to make positive affirmations about your body and ageing. Stop glorifying ageing and other inherited weaknesses and focus on living for many more years to come.

Positive Thinking is my Lifestyle! - Grace Guru

  1. Deal with Stress Effectively

Stress is inevitable considering the struggles we go through life and the fact that we have to deal with people who do not necessarily share our points of view. Remember stress accelerates the ageing process. It is, therefore, imperative that you reduce stress in your life if you are to grow younger. One of the best strategies to do this is to meditate. During meditation, your body and mind relax, you breathe more slowly, the heartbeat slows down and the hormones that control stress also relax.

  1. Get Adequate Sleep

You age faster when you fail to sleep adequately. If you are not getting between six and eight hours of restful sleep every day, then you are not doing your body any favour. This habit also weakens you immunity and disrupts you body’s internal balance. The best indicator that you slept restfully is to be energetic when you wake up. To arrive at this ideal, ensure you take a light meal before 7:30 pm and then sleep by 10.00 pm.

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating fresh food or that which is freshly prepared is a strategy for curbing ageing. You also need to eat a balanced diet and ensure it includes foods that are pungent, astringent and bitter, in addition to the common salty, sweet and sour ones. Do not forget to make your food colourful by including foods that have antioxidants. I am suggesting that you eat lots of fruits, vegetables and legumes like mustard, spinach, peppers, lentils, tea, lettuce, radishes and ginger.

  1. Work Out Regularly

It is impossible to discuss strategies for growing younger without considering exercise. When you work out, your biological processes are invigorated and you begin to have brain cells that are close to one another. Your mind is rejuvenated and your emotional health is boosted. To this end, endeavour to engage in cardio, aerobics and strength training with the help of a fitness trainer. A cheaper but equally effective strategy is to jog and stretch out regularly.

  1. Invest in the Social Sphere

You can grow younger by surrounding yourself with love and affection. Research has shown that people who are lonely and isolated are more prone to heart and mental illnesses than those who have constant company of loved ones. I am not talking about old people homes but a real family that offers love and support to its members. Create emotional bonds and invest in them instead of spending the entire day watching television.

  1. Learn from Children and Imitate them

To grow younger, you need to be childlike. Remember when you used to be carefree and would laugh and play knowing everything was fine? I know today you are conditioned to believe that that was foolish behaviour. The truth is that a childlike disposition is essential for reversing or controlling ageing. Get time to relive those childhood days by engaging in some of the games you used to play. You will be surprised at how fast youth will flood back.

Don’t Forget:

  1. It is possible to become young if you engage in deliberate activities that change your thinking and body processes.
  2. Ageing is not mandatory; we are conditioned to believe that we must grow old and eventually die.
  3. You have a right to live for as long as you like and this is what some people discovered a long time ago and we keep honouring them with Guinness World Records.
  4. You cannot grow younger unless you begin to eat fresh food and freshly cooked meals instead of junk food.
  5. You may have heard that rich people sleep less hours every day. Why should you sleep less, get more money and eventually have a shorter time to enjoy what you work for?
  6. Stress is inevitable but it can greatly enhance ageing unless you control it through meditation and other effective techniques.
  7. Your attitude is paramount in the quest to grow younger. Whatever you believe influences ageing. Believe you are a field of energy that renews itself every day and it will be so.
  8. Stop being a hermit and surround yourself with people. Love and affection are essential ingredients for growing younger.
  9. Control your emotions and learn to forgive and forget. Didn’t you hear that holding a grudge against someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die?
  10. Get out, stretch your limbs and body and sweat profusely. You cannot grow younger without regular exercise.

 With love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

Follow:

Vegan Friendly Protein!

Nobody can begrudge you for being a vegan considering the proliferation of diseases associated with animal products. While this is a wise choice, it is important for you to avoid losing their daily essential protein intake.

Unlike vegetarians who consume dairy and poultry products that contain proteins, you shun animal products completely. Considering that humans derive a huge chunk of their proteins from animals, you are disadvantaged and need to have alternative sources of protein.

Let us begin by establishing a few issues about Proteins:

  • Proteins are called body building foods for a reason. They comprise about 20% of the body and are responsible for building of muscles, metabolism, repairing body tissues and formation of hormones and enzymes among other functions.
  • Without adequate proteins, your body would become dysfunctional because there would be no sufficient amino acids (types of protein) to help in all biological procedures. Remember that you need 21 amino acids and while your body can only generate 11 of these inherently, you can only get the remaining 10 through the food you eat.

Where Can A Vegan Get Proteins From?

As a vegan, you need to understand that while animal products contain a lot of protein, you can still derive your daily intake from plant sources. However, it is crucial for you to understand exactly which foods contain proteins. The last thing you want is to get a disease related to protein deficiency or to experience a breakdown of body functions owing to lack of proteins.

From the onset, you need to understand that the recommended daily intake of proteins differs from person to person depending on gender, health condition, age and physical activity. If you are in doubt about exactly how much protein you need to take, it is important that you talk to a nutritionist .You should also consider that the digestive process of animal protein differs from that of animal protein thus requiring adjustment of portions to fit your individual needs.

Some Of The Best Sources Of Proteins For Vegans:

Green Peas: You may not take milk because of your beliefs but one cup of peas will give you the same amount of protein you get from a glass of milk (7.9 grams). The advantage with this legume is that it can be cooked separately or be blended with other foods. Peas also contain fiber which you need for proper digestion.

Quinoa:  This seed contains 8 grams or more of protein in every cup. More importantly, it carries all the important amino acids (9) that you need for your body to grow and repair damaged tissue. You can eat quinoa by adding it to soup, serving it with brown sugar during breakfast or tossing it with vegetables.

Non-Dairy Drinks:  Here you can choose between soy milk, coconut milk and almond milk. The three are produced from plant sources with soy milk having the same amount of protein as the one you find in a comparable measure of cow milk. Although almond milk is low in proteins, its nutritional content is high.

Nuts and Butters:  Almonds, pistachios and cashews are some of the best sources of protein from the plant world. Every ounce of these nuts contains 5 to 6 grams of protein. They also have fats. Peanut and almond butter contain a lot of healthy protein, but you must avoid those with added sugar and hydrogenated oils.

Vegetables: They may have incomplete protein but they can come in handy for your protein needs if you blend them with whole grains. Brussels sprouts, spinach and broccoli are very rich sources of protein. Don’t forget also that lentils and chickpeas are legumes with high protein content. The other advantage of getting your protein from vegetables is that you will also be fulfilling your mandatory need for vegetables as part of a balanced diet.

Beans: Perhaps this is the best and cheapest sources of proteins for vegans. Legumes grow in abundance in many places on the planet. You can choose from white, black, heirloom, pinto and many others. They are all loaded with proteins and fibre, are easy to prepare and can be eaten solely or as part of other meals.

Soy: Although soy is a bean, it deserves to be discussed in isolation owing to its high protein content. Its versatility is evident in the manner in which it has been made into different products like milk and meat. In terms of nutritional content, soy is a complete protein.

Tofu and Tempe: These are foods that are made from soya beans. They contain all the proteins found in soya but are also made edible and more nutritious. The two also contain high amounts of fibre and vitamins, which give you even better reasons to eat them. Various communities have made tofu and Tempe staple foods and the health benefits to such people are evidenced by good health and longer lives.

Edamane: This is a creative way of enjoying soy. It is simply soy that is still in the pods, boiled and served while hot or cold. Every half cup will give you about 8.4 grams of protein. You can eat it with pastas and salads (but remember to remove the shell) or as an appetiser before supper.

Hemp: Yes, you read it well. Right from the dreaded marijuana! Hemp is derived from cannabis but does not have the element that intoxicates. Hemp seeds can be added to baked goods, pestos or smoothies for their high protein content. You may also want to try out hemp powder, milk or oil as they are made from a complete protein.

Sunflower, Sesame and Poppy Seeds: Each of these seeds contains a lot of protein, with sunflower leading at 7.3 grams for every quarter cup. While there are a variety of ways to prepare them, you will get more benefits if you simply add the seeds to your meals, where necessary.

Screen shot 2015-07-15 at 16.40.54

At A Glance:

  • Choosing to be vegan is important for your healthy and also makes it possible for you to live longer and enjoy life.
  • Studies have shown that vegans live longer than people who eat more animal products.
  • Veganism is a lifestyle choice which prevents you from contracting a lot of diseases especially those associated with animals.
  • However, as a vegan you need to understand that you will have to look for other sources of protein in order to live optimally.
  • You need protein for almost all body functions, to build muscles and to repair tissues and also for other biological processes to take place.
  • Your safest best for proteins, considering your lifestyle, is in plant sources. Such protein is natural and cheap to obtain.
  • Legumes are among the best sources of protein for vegans since they are complete proteins, while also containing a lot of fibre too.
  • Soy-based foods like tofu will guarantee you your daily protein intake while offering you other dietary benefits,
  • Nuts and butters are other natural sources of healthy plant protein, which also supply you with essential fats.
  • Brace yourself for lots of proteins from hemp. You will not be consuming addictive and poisonous cannabis but complete protein in hemp seeds, milk and oil.

Check out my Favourite Vegan Raw Blueberry Cake Recipe!

Vegan raw blueberry cake

Prepare your Ingredients!

Bottom layer Ingredients:

3 cups of organic almonds

20 dates

and pinch of sea salt

 Second layer Ingredients:

2 cups of soaked organic cashew nuts

1 cup organic fresh blueberries

1 cup coconut water ( I am a coconut abscessed, but you can use just filtered water )

5 dates

2 tbsp honey or agave syrup

3-4 tbsp melted coconut oil

How to prepare it!

Preparing your First layer:

Add all of the ingredients, almonds, dates and a pinch of salt to the food processor and mix everything until sticks together.

With your hands press the crust out in a cake – I like a tin layer!

Preparing your Second layer;

Yummy blueberry mash cream!

Add all the ingredients, cashew nuts, blueberries, dates, honey, coconut oil and coconut water to a blender. Blend until you get a thick, smooth mash.

Spread the mash over the crust and let the cake sit in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours!

Take the cake out just before serving, so it does not melt!

Be creative and decorate the cake with some fresh blueberries and few mint leaves!

Isn’t it easy?!

A Perfect dessert for those hot summer days! Enjoy!

With love,

Your Grace Guru

xxx

Follow: