How to Have More Energy, Clear Skin and Optimal Health This Holiday Period

energy
Image Unsplash

This is a post I wrote quite a while ago but I thought since we’re in the season where we can start to feel quite sluggish assisting your body to be more alkaline around this period can really help you feel a lot healthier and give you more energy.
I’m definitely starting to feel quite tired and haven’t been as healthy as usual so I’ll be starting a cleanse on the 2nd January to help give me a pick-me-up!

I will be doing the Dr Sandra Cabot  clean and lean 21 day detox which is available on my Inner Origin link here. This is a gentile cleanse consisting of lots of whole foods plus three powders a day that are full of lots of amazing super-foods and vitamins. If you’d like to join me on this detox email me chiamiablog@gmail.com and I can add you to the secret facebook page where you will have access to calls from Dr Cabot herself throughout January and also be in the running to win some prizes.

This detox will really help you feel vibrant and healthy and help balance your bodies alkaline levels. If you’re not sure what i’m talking about read on to find out all about Alkalising.

(ps.  This cleanse is also great to do any time of the year!)

Alkaline the PHacts 

Alkaline. That’s just something to do with batteries, right? That’s exactly what I used to think before I got into this whole health business shebang. I never realised that this word actually plays a HUGE part in the overall health and wellbeing of our bodies and is a major contributor to our body’s ability to heal itself.

Alkalising refers to balancing the pH (potential hydrogen) levels of the body. The ideal pH level of the human body should be around 7.35.  If this pH level is reached the body will be slightly more alkaline which means it will be in the best position to heal itself and fight disease. On the other hand, if the pH levels are lower, they will be more acidic leading to a body that is a breeding ground for disease, bad bacteria and cancer cells, as a result rendering the body unable to heal itself.  Most people who don’t regularly consume fruits or vegetables but often consume alcohol, coffee, soft drinks and processed foods, will be more prone to having low alkaline levels.

Good pH or alkaline levels are essential for good health.

Some health issues of a highly acidic body (low PH levels) include but are not limited to:

  • weight gain
  • upset stomach, poor digestion and bloating
  • killing off of good bacteria in the gut – so much of our mental and physical health is linked to our gut health
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • trouble sleeping
  • bones are more prone to break and fracture
  • arthritis
  • teeth erosion
  • low immune system
  • decreases in the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients
  • decreases the body’s ability to detox and discard of heavy metals

How do you know your pH levels?

You can test your pH levels yourself using standard pH strips which are available from most health food stores or on an online store like iherb. Make sure you do a urine test though as testing your saliva can be quite inaccurate.

Food that cause more acidic pH levels:

  • red meat
  • eggs
  • soy – yep soy is not good for you, it wreaks havoc on your hormones and is a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) food
  • canned fruit
  • dairy products
  • white grains such as rice and white bread
  • corn
  • processed foods
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • soft drinks
  • sugar
  • artificial sweeteners
  • fruit juice
  • stress
  • smoking
  • drugs/antibiotics

The 80/20 rule for creating an optimal pH balance

If your body is quite acidic and you want to restore it to a healthy pH level try eating 80% alkaline forming foods with 20% acid forming whole foods. This recipe is the perfect combo of acid and alkaline foods.

Now let’s get into the great benefits of having high alkaline levels in the body:

  • high energy levels
  • high performing immune system
  • less pain and inflammation within the body
  • quicker recovery from injury, this is why it is so important for athletes to have healthy alkaline levels.
  • glowing skin, healthy hair and nails
  • slows down the aging process
  • healthier teeth, bones and joints
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • better digestion

So what else you can do to raise the alkaline levels in your body? These are some of my tips:

  • Try a cleanse or Detox – if you are feeling quite sluggish a gentile cleanse may be exactly what you need.
  • Add more high alkaline foods into your diet each day. Here is a great detailed list of foods that are alkaline and acidic 
  • Drink chlorophyll – Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants and you can buy this in liquid form from most health food stores
  • Eat your veggies, especially greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, celery. When you are eating kale, broccoli or spinach make sure you lightly steam them first as they can be very harsh on the stomach when eaten raw
  • Try adding a tablespoon of fermented vegetables to one or two meals each day. This will not only raise the pH levels in your body but fermented veggies are a great natural probiotic which equals a happy, healthy tummy
  • Start adding a fresh cold pressed green juice or a green smoothie to your diet every day or every couple of days. Here is a recipe for celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie. I have this every day and usually make a huge batch every Sunday enough to last me for a week. It will last in the fridge for about 2 days and I freeze the rest and just defrost it when needed
  • Drink hot water with half a lemon squeezed into it every morning – this may seem strange as lemon is an acidic fruit, however, once it enters the body it helps to balance the bodies pH levels and helps set up your digestion for the day
  • Try and drink around 2L of filtered water a day. You can also buy alkaline water or purchase an alkaline water filter which will help raise your pH levels even more. There are some great affordable alkaline water brands that you can usually find at your local health food or fruit shop. Putting some pink Himalayan salt and lemon in your water will help with raise the alkaline levels as well
  • Limit your sugar intake. There are many great tasting, healthy recipe alternatives to your favourite sugary treats out there that use natural sweeteners or a little bit of fruit to sweeten it. I have quite a few recipes like this on my blog.
  • Reduce stress by doing yoga, deep breathing or meditation as stress can cause the body’s acid levels to rise.

This may seem like a lot to take in and a lot to do all at once but try not to stress too much about it (don’t want to get your acidic levels rising) just try implementing one or two of these tips to start with and you will still notice an improvement in your health. The most important thing is to make sure you are adding fresh vegetables into your diet everyday and eating food closest to its natural form.

Almond Nougat

nougat

This stuff is so delicious, honestly you’ll be addicted once you try it.
If you like things quite sweet you may want to add a bit more honey to the mixture, just give it a taste before you put the mixture into the tin.

Ingredients
250g cashew butter (here is a recipe to make your own)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp all spice Continue reading

Lemon Tahini Nougat

Lemon and tahini, two of my favourite things! Speaking of, my best friend Laura and I have started up a little blog called The LM Edit where we share photos of our favourite things and share a little bit about ourselves, we’d love you to check it out.

Now, back to the recipe.

Ingredients
200g Cashew Butter
100g Tahini
Juice of one lemon Continue reading

Afternoon Delight Smoothie

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This is one of my favourite smoothie combinations for an afternoon snack. It has a really nice thick consistency which I love. The turmeric adds a nice unusual flavour as well as added health benefits however, if you’re not a fan of the taste I’d leave the turmeric out. Continue reading

Miso Soup with Zucchini Noodles

misoOver the past few months I have been consuming very minimal animal products which has pushed me to get more creative with my meals. This is one of my favourite vegan meals because it’s delicious and It’s a great portable lunch option for work. Just put all the ingredients into a thermos, when you’re ready to eat it add hot water, give it a shake and you’re good to go.
I’ve also added some (non vegan) ingredients below that would go nicely with this recipe. Continue reading

Sweet Tahini Slice

ImageSo I’m going to be honest and admit that this recipe was a total fluke, hence the dodgy photo. I went away this weekend with two friends, Meg from The wholesome Athlete and Steph from That Yoga Feeling. I didn’t have much time to make a snack for us, so I chucked the below ingredients into a food processor and hoped for the best. Turns out these ingredients taste damn good together, needless to say the whole slice was gobbled up very quickly.  Continue reading

PB&J Oats

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So technically this recipe doesn’t use jam or jelly but ‘PB&J’ definitely describes the taste and texture of this porridge/oatmeal very well. It’s the perfect winter breakfast! Some almond or cashew butter would also be an amazing alternative to peanut butter.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup organic rolled oats
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk or milk of choice + about 2-3 tbsp to serve
1 tsp vanilla powder or essence
Sweetener of choice (optional, I found the strawberries added enough sweetness)
2 tbsp of 100% peanuts peanut butter or nut butter of choice
1 cup of frozen strawberries, thawed

Directions:

In a saucepan bring the oats, water, milk, vanilla and sweetener to boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir regularly for about 10 minutes. When the liquid has been soaked up and the oats are cooked, transfer the mixture into two bowls and stir through the peanut butter.

To make the ‘jam/jelly’, simply blend the strawberries in a blender until they form a liquid. Stir this through the oats. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of milk and serve.

Grilled Zucchini and Pomegranate Salad with Creamy Pomegranate Dressing

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This salad is so simple yet looks so pretty and as an added bonus tastes amazing! It’s the perfect dish to bring along to a dinner party if you want to impress friends but don’t have long to throw something together. If you feel the dressing might be a bit of pomegranate overkill a mixture of apple cider vinegar, tahini, olive oil and lemon would also go nicely with this.

Ingredients

Salad
4-5 zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthways (should be about 4-5 slices per zucchini, depending on how thick they are)
3 tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Seeds from 1 pomegranate (leave 3 tbsp aside for the dressing)
3 big handfuls rocket
¾ cup almonds, crushed (optional)

Continue reading