Happy Bean Nutrition & Wellbeing Top Tips

My Nutrition & Wellbeing top tips to inspire and motivate you to make healthy food and lifestyle choices.

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Category: Snacks

  1. Food's at the Root!

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    Happy Bean is about supporting your health and wellbeing through various natural health methods including Naturopathy, Nutritional Therapy, Wellbeing Coaching, Reflexology and Yoga.

    Food’s at the Root

    root vegFood is the basis of our health; it provides the fuel to run our bodies. Put simply: “poor foods = poor fuel” which leads to reduced energy and imbalances.

    “The nights are drawing in…” These are the words on everyone’s lips as we turn from to autumn-winter. Our tastes and needs change at this time of year; now’s the time we think of slow-cooked foods, nourishing soups and comforting meals. Scrumptious! Butternut quashes, leeks, Brussels sprouts, green beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes…

    Let’s talk about hormones…

    Our endocrine system is made up of a number of glands that secrete various hormones. Each hormone has a distinctive role to perform within our body. These chemical messengers are responsible for a number of functions including:

    • our metabolism regulation
    • growth and development
    • response to stress
    • sexual reproduction.

    It is a complex and finely tuned business. Quite often, we know when our hormones get out of balance – and perhaps those closest to us do as well!

    Hormone levels go up and down all the time to help us adapt to situations. For example, in times of stress, our bodies automatically release extra hormones. It is when our bodies are under long-term stress (which are bodies are not designed for!) that our hormones can get out of balance, having a negative effect on our wellbeing.

    Do you know when your hormones are out of balance?

    autumn-women picClues might include:

    • PMS symptoms including headaches, abdominal cramps, fluid retention, mood swings, hunger, lethargy, insomnia, nausea, irritability, cravings for sweet foods
    • Menopausal or peri-menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, migraine, joint/muscle pain, memory loss, poor sleep, low libido

    How can we help re-balance our hormones?

    • Through good nutrition
    • Blood sugar-balancing diet
    • Digestive function
    • Liver function (The liver is involved with making and breaking down certain hormones, so an effective liver is key to your hormonal balance)

    So my top tips are…

    • Increase your intake of fibre-rich foods to aid removal of toxins Eg. ground flaxseeds, brown rice.
    • Ensure you eat quality proteins. (These are the raw ingredients necessary for hormone production) Eg. fish, chickpeas, turkey.
    • Eat foods rich in zinc. Eg. Pumpkin seeds
    • Eat foods from the brassica (mustard) family. Eg. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
    • Keep sugars and refined carbohydrates to a minimum

    Enjoy this autumn recipe:   Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

  2. Nutritious nibbles this autumn......

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    blackberry picAs we reluctantly wave goodbye to summer and all its juicy fruit and fresh salads it’s easy to forget the wonders of the autumn harvest. Organising the family into back-to-school routines and getting into the swing of post-holiday life may mean focus is lost on diet and nutrition.

    Snacks are important; the right snack can keep our energy levels more stable during the day no matter how busy or demanding it may be. With autumn approaching and the threat of coughs and colds; immunity boosting snacks can help you battle the bugs.  Brain development is vital at any age, especially children starting their new school year so provide them with tempting treats in their lunchboxes and easy ideas when they get home.

    So what makes a good snack? It has to be nutritious, quick to prepare and easy to grab when you’re in a rush. Here are a few of my suggestions to help you snack healthily this autumn:

    On the go

    These combinations are perfect to store in small, sealable tubs to take with you when you’re out and about. Keep some in the car, your bag and even in your children’s coat pocket for break time.

    Blackberries & brazil nuts – All berries are high in anti-oxidants which help protect and keep our cells healthy. Blackberries are in abundance at this time of year and fun to forage for them in the hedgerows. You could pick them with the kids on the walk home from school too!

    walnut picDried mango & Walnuts – Reminisce over the tropical tastes of summer with fresh or dried mango pieces paired with a handful of walnuts. It’s no coincidence that walnuts look like tiny brains, they are excellent for improving brain function; perfect to get brains back into work, school and learning.

    Snacking at home

    It’s always a great idea to keep your fridge and cupboards stocked with these snack essentials as you can offer them to your kids as they return from school and are a great mid-morning or afternoon energy boost when spending time at home.

    guacomle picAvocado & rice cakes – Mush up half an avocado and add a squeeze of lemon before spreading on a couple of rice cakes. Avocado is an excellent source of essential fatty acids and contains some protein; helping to keep you fuller for longer.  It is even good for your skin which can be affected by cold winds and central heating.

    Mange tout & houmous – Crunchy mange tout are a nutritious and tasty snack, high in fibre.  These can be dipped into some houmous, making this a timeless snack to prepare, full of the essential fatty acids for our brain function along with some protein keeping our energy levels up.

    This list is not, of course, exhaustive and please contact me for more ideas on improving your nutrition for your family.