Start as you mean to go on…

Well, we’ve taken down the decorations and emptied out our fridges of indulgent leftovers from the festive season. Now is a good time to reboot our bodies and turn our thoughts to how we can maintain good health over the winter. The D word is often used (and sometimes abused) at this time of year. The key to detoxing successfully, and safely, is: gently does it. I’m not an advocate of strict fasting and intense cleansing at any time of year, but especially not in these chilly climates. Maybe in the warm and sunny comfort of Southern hemisphere countries, but here in the North, it’s just not advisable. We need nurturing, comforting, and gentle cleansing to keep us in tip top shape until Spring, when again, we can reassess our nutritional and wellbeing needs.

 

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Here are 5 simple tips to help you get your mornings off to a clean start, boosting your energy levels for each day ahead:

 

Dry body brushing

Before you jump in the shower, take a minute (that’s all it takes!) and a good quality natural bristle body brush, and brush dry skin from the feet, up the legs, torso and back towards the heart, and from the hands, up the arms, towards the heart. Make a figure of eight across the chest, and finish with some downward chest strokes towards the heart. This process boosts the lymphatic system which eliminates toxins from the body, removes dead skin cells and leaves you feeling awake and energised. Aim to do it every morning, and it’ll soon become part of your wake-up routine.

 

Love Lemons 

Make your first drink of the day a cup of hot water with a generous squeeze of lemon juice (about half a small lemon). Although acidic in its food form, lemon is actually incredibly alkalising once digested. Adding more alkaline foods into your diet – such as green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, citrus fruits, cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic – all help to keep the body in balance. We generally eat too many acid-forming foods, like processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined grains and mass produced meat and dairy, so cutting down on these and upping the alkaline foods will ease the body back into a state of balance.

 

Juice it

For breakfast, make a fresh juice or smoothie packed with antioxidant rich fruit and veg – try the Yogiz Get Your Green On recipe – an easy way to push out toxins and refuel with nutrients at the same time. As well as a cleansing juice, make sure you get enough protein in your breakfast. Adding a tablespoon of nut butter, half a ripe avocado and a good sprinkling of flax seeds to your smoothie will make it more of a meal. Alternatively, whip up some eggs and top with avocado, wilted spinach and/or salmon for a protein-packed, slow-release energy breakfast that will keep you satiated until lunch. Starting the day in a healthy way makes you more motivated to continue making positive health choices throughout the day.

 

 Get moving

Take an early morning walk; stretch out; breathe in; jump up and down; dance around; work up a sweat and feel the blood pumping. Just like dry body brushing, physical activity kick starts the lymphatic system into moving out any stagnant toxins, not to mention the cardiovascular, muscular and psychological benefits it brings.

 

Breathe

It sounds obvious, but sometimes we are in so much of a rush to get up and get on with our ‘to do’ lists that breathing gets pushed way down the priority list. By breathing, I mean actually taking notice of your breath and connecting with it.

Try rolling out of bed into a comfortable sitting position (I like sitting on a cushion on my yoga mat in a softly lit room), and just sit for 5 minutes, making your inhales and exhales longer and deeper until the flow of breath is the only thing you’re concerned with. You could say it’s a form of meditation. Starting the day by being present, and checking in with where you are during the day, will help you to stay calm and grounded.

 

 

Incorporating these 5 things into your daily routine is a sure fire approach to feeling lighter, brighter and more energised, ready for anything the day throws at you. Try it for a week and see how different you feel. We’d love to hear your feedback – leave a comment below or contact Yogiz here.

 

Keep your eyes open for more recipes and healthy tips coming soon on Yogiz.

Easy EggyVeggie Breakfast Muffins

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I have the beautiful and knowledgeable Hemsley sisters to thank for this gem of a recipe (from their book, The Art of Eating Well). It is so easy and so nutritious that I just had to share it. It’s basically 50/50 egg to veg, so packed with protein, good saturated fat and a whole heap of vitamins and minerals to start your day on the right track. They are a colourful twist on a classic breakfast omelette, and made as muffins the night before, are easily transported in lunchboxes to school or work. I’m normally one for a sweeter start to the day, but when I feel like a savoury breakfast, these hit the spot and do a brilliant job of keeping me topped up until lunch. They are even builder-approved (devoured in an instant by the hardworking builders working on our house!).

Adding grated cheddar, parmesan or crumbled feta cheese adds even more flavour and fullness to these muffins. Either mix the cheese in with the vegetables, or sprinkle on top of the muffin mix before they go in the oven.

 

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):
• 8 eggs, cracked and whisked into a bowl.
• The same amount of raw vegetables, chopped finely.

I find a mix of 1 large grated carrot, 1 large grated courgette, 1 chopped red pepper, half a diced onion, a handful of peas (fresh or defrosted) and 5 or 6 cherry tomatoes, halved, is enough. But use whatever you have available that will taste good lightly cooked.

• 50g of grated cheddar, parmesan or crumbled feta cheese
• A small handful of fresh herbs, such as basil (goes well with tomatoes and feta), mint (best herb friend of peas) or oregano (lovely with cheddar or parmesan).
• 1 tsp of paprika
• Sea salt and black pepper to taste (the more cheese you use, the less salt you need).

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Method:
• Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 12-portion muffin tray with butter.
• Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
• Spoon the mix equally into the greased muffin tray. If you prefer, keep the cheese out of the mix until this point, and sprinkle on top of the muffins before putting in the oven.
• Pop in the oven for 15 minutes until the muffins are lightly browned on top and just set in the middle. Remember, egg keeps on cooking while it is hot so be careful not to dry them out.
• Take the muffins out of the tray to cool on a rack.

 

Enjoy them while they are still warm or wrap them up in parchment paper to take with you to work, school, the gym, hiking, cycling…whatever you do in the morning that requires a good EggyVeggie muffin to keep you going!

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Get Your Green On – your daily nutrient-boost juice

This had to be my first recipe post. It’s just an unrivalled winner when it comes to a super boost of nutrients, along with hydration, flavour and colour.

If green is not your thing, shut your eyes for a moment and imagine a shot of pure vitamins and minerals entering your body, activating your digestion, cleansing your blood, repairing your cells, improving your skin, boosting your energy, building your immune defence and making you shine from inside out. Now open them and get over your green phobia. This juice tastes great, and can be adapted to include a range of colourful vegetables once you are feeling adventurous.

I use a cold-press, masticating juicer as my preferred method of extracting the juice (let’s save the what’s and why’s for another post), but any juicer that separates the juice from the pulp is fine. I’ve also given options for blending if you don’t own a juicer – just bear in mind how powerful your blender is, and whether it’s up to the job of extracting the juice out of tougher vegetables.

 

 

The following makes at least a pint of juice (this can be diluted with water or ice to make it go further):

Essential ingredients (for juicing): 

  • 3-4 generous handfuls of kale or spinach
  • 3 apples / 250ml cold-pressed apple juice
  • ½ small cucumber
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • A few sprigs of parsley
  • ½ a lemon, squeezed in at the end
  • 1cm cube of fresh ginger

 

If blending:

  • Baby spinach is easier to blend.
  • Use not-from-concentrate apple juice from a carton (look out for cold-pressed versions appearing in shops now; they are unpasteurised and therefore the sugar content is not as high as pasteurised or concentrated versions), or try using coconut water instead.
  • Leave out the celery, unless you have a powerful blender.
  • Grate ginger finely, or use 1 teaspoon of ginger powder.
  • Add in half an avocado (or a small banana if you prefer it sweet) for a thicker, silken texture.

 

Supercharge it!

Add ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp of a any ‘super food’ green powder such as spirulina, chorella or wheatgrass (be careful – wheatgrass can be very bitter and overpowering if overused!), 1 tbsp ground flax seed

 

Method if using a juicer:

Chop all the ingredients to the appropriate size for your juicer (some juicers require more preparation than others), and feed through. Transfer the juice to a flask or jar (with a lid), squeeze in the lemon, add any Supercharge! ingredients, and shake well.

 

Method if using a blender:

Add the liquid first, then the spinach, cucumber, grated ginger, avocado and/or banana. Squeeze in the lemon, add your Supercharge! Ingredients, and blend until smooth.

Serve your juice straight away, or decant into jam jars to take with you. Get your green on and go,go, go!