Guest Post // The Healthy Blue Bird: Chia Seeds

29 July 2014

Today's I want to introduce you to The Healthy Blue Bird...the new health blog written by one of my best friends Claire!

Claire's a total health bunny and currently in training with IIN to become a health grab a cup of herbal tea and have a good old read about the wonders of Chia Seeds!

Chia seeds may seem like the latest health food fad but these bad boys have been around for thousands of years, fascinatingly even Aztec warriors consumed them for sustenance whilst running long distances or during battles!

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family and are native to Mexico and South America.

With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants and minerals, a complete source of protein and high levels of fibre these seeds have been dubbed 'a dieter's dream', 'the miracle running food' and 'the ultimate super food' by advocates and athletes.

Top Five Benefits of Chia Seeds:

Protein, Protein and yet more Protein
Chia seeds are a complete source of protein so your body can use them to repair and build muscle. Before the meat eaters scoff that they already get enough protein, it's good to know that animal protein contains bad cholesterol which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. With zero cholesterol, chia seeds should not simply be reserved as a protein source for vegetarians, everyone can benefit from them. They also pack a punch of protein. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds gives a massive 4.4 grams of protein, which is nearly 10% of your RDA.

Increase your Healthy fatsThe war on fat is biased and unfounded. Although nobody is doubting that a cheeseburger will contribute to you gaining weight, healthy unsaturated fats, such as those found in chia seeds are good for the body. Eating healthy omega-3 fatty acids will not only reveal its benefits in your skin, hair and nails, but they also keep your brain healthy, strengthen your immune system and improve your heart and cholesterol health.

Stabilises blood sugarDue to the high fibre content of chia seeds (two tablespoons provides half your RDA of fibre) they have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, fighting insulin resistance, which can prevent, reduce and even cure diabetes. As if this wasn't enough, insulin resistance can be tied to an increase in belly ditch the crunches and load up on chia seeds to get rid of any unwanted belly squish.

When chia seeds are mixed with liquid they create a gel like substance. This gel like texture can get into all the hard to reach parts of your intestine, sweeping up undigested food which has been stuck in the intestinal folds. It also picks up toxins expelled from your liver and takes them along for the journey, meaning they don't get re-absorbed back into your blood stream.

Because chia seeds can swell up to four times their original size they're the perfect perfect pre/post/mid workout hydration booster. They contain an abundance of vitamins and mineral...much unlike the very additive filled lucozade! Choose wisely!

So now that you've learnt all about these marvellous seeds now you can learn how to use them. he seeds are flavourless so it is easy to pack them into your usual meals by adding them to a smoothie or sprinkling them on salad but you might also like to try...

Chia waterPerfect for rehydrating post run, or for an energy burst mid run, mix a tablespoon of chia seeds with 1 litre of water and add mint and cucumber for a refreshing drink.

Chia seed porridge
This makes 4-5 portions and is great for breakfast. It lasts in the fridge for up to 6 days.

All you have to do is mix one cup of chia seeds with one litre of almond milk, add a tablespoon of cinnamon and stir. And that's it! I like to load mine up with banana or berries for an extra kick of flavour!

So what are you waiting for?? Get purchasing your chia seeds from Amazon or your closest health food shop now!

And finally....a little bit about Claire...

“Inside us all patiently waiting, sits a tiny little adventurous bird”…

And this little bird has decided her health is pretty damn important and to fly away from her city law job to study nutrition and health coaching!

This blog is about general health and wellbeing with a huge big fat focus on nutrition.

There is so much written about nutrition but often it is fairly extreme and pretty confusing. A lot of my focus will be on superfoods which you have perhaps heard of, but are a bit unsure of what they are and how to use them . I hope to demystify them for you so that you can include them into your diet and reap the benefits.
Oh and you must meet Alan, the healthy blue bird himself!

Head over here to read her gorgeous blog, or connect with her here on facebook or on twitter here.

The Wellness Series // What does wellbeing mean to you??

17 July 2014

This post was originally posted over here on the wonderful Wellmeaningbeing blog written by the gorgeous Liz. I thought I'd share it over here too to keep the dialogue going...

"What does wellbeing mean to you?"

These are the words that come to mind when I think of wellbeing.

To me, wellbeing means that I choose love over fear whenever I have a decision to make (and there are always a lot of decisions to be made!). Choosing love is choosing what empowers me and makes me feel good and strong.

To me, wellbeing means that I trust that the Universe is supporting me. That I am loved, perfect and exactly how I am meant to be. Everything is a lesson and the present moment is where I find joy and happiness. I trust wholeheartedly in the Universe.

To me, wellbeing means that I choose compassion towards myself equally when things are very good and when they are not so good. After all...choosing compassion and kindness for my body when it is unwell or struggling is how I help myself heal and how I listen to what my body is trying to tell me.

To me, wellbeing means that I am brave when I step out into the unknown. Stepping into the unknown is where the magic is, where the transformation is, where the sparkle in me reside

My wellbeing is not a tangible thing that I can sit down every day for 20 minutes and work on. It's a constant practice. Something I come back to in every moment. And this is what makes it magic. Because it is always in me and always something I always have access to.

Tell me... what does wellmeaning mean to you???

Thinking / Realising / Wearing...blah blah..

Thinking that Goblin is all kinds of adorable at the moment. Sitting on the poster of 'how to pet a kitty'? Adorable. Goblin sitting on my lap and the laptop at the same time whilst I am trying to blog? Adorable. Goblin following me around like a little lost kitty all the time? Adorable.

Realising I am a crazy cat lady. Entirely.

Wearing my comfiest little shorts and my fluoro Darth Vadar Tee. Cause this heat... geesh.

Considering taking some rather strong painkillers for this stonking headache.

Ignoring the urge to go to bed already. Let's be honest, half 7 is just too early.. even for me!

Anticipating this weekend is going to be full of joy and love.

Honouring my self care routine this week much better than I have in a long while. It feels good.

Things i'm LOVING lately...

16 July 2014

- Spending my lunch times out on Soho Square getting my fix of Vitamin D. 

- My new Liz Earle skincare routine. Face and body. After months of my skin being entirely shit and full of grossness I've made the switch to something that is soothing and healing. 

- Jam doughnuts. 

- Drugstore budget make-up. A £2.50 mascara by 17 surprisingly delivers.

- Drying our clothes outside on our balcony.

- Reminding myself of my WHY before teaching yoga.

- Cutting all my hair off. Feels gooooood.

- Seeing my sister last night and having tonnes of cuddles.

- Having Goblin come for cuddles every single morning, smooshing his face up against mine.

- Having brought two Christmas presents this week. I know, gross right.

- Being challenged every day in my job.

- Ignoring my "shoulds" and just doing what I "feel" like doing.

Life lately : A snapshot

8 July 2014

^ This guy. Being a cutie. All the time.

^ Prosecco and giggles with this lady.

^ British Museum. Viking Exhibition.

^ Lazy Fridays exploring London.

^ Family drinks and catch ups.

^ Birthday celebrations for this guy. Theatre trip, cocktails, dinner, heavenly. Treating him and wondering how I got so lucky.

^ More family time, more drinks, more giggles, more fun.

What a beautiful life I have. So utterly grateful.

My practice sucks right now...

3 July 2014

I have something to confess - partly to make myself feel like I and partly to let you know that we all fall off track now and then. My yoga and meditation practice has been almost non-existent for the last few weeks. You may have guessed but things have been pretty hectic around these parts and I have been so IN IT that I haven't had a moment to step back and really take stock. 

My practice has looked something like this: one maybe two classes at the studio a week, ten or fifteen minutes a day at home on my mat and two or three meditations a week. The consistency and contentment I had from a daily home routine, the community of the studio and a regular meditation practice has slipped away. 

And if i'm being honest - really honest - i've been feeling pretty shitty because of it. Not inspired, not healthy, not content. My body has been pushing me to take notice, to pay more attention and it keeps flaring up and I've now decided to listen after I've found myself at a pretty low point.

The thing is, life has sneaked up on me and in the process I've found myself pretty far away from where I want to be. I'm not proud of it - but I am not going to give myself a hard time about it. And for that? Well, I'm pretty proud. 

I'm simply going to pick myself up and start again. 
Step by step.
I'm going to make a commitment - a small one -  and start from there. 

I am going to do what I can to bring the light back in. 

My plan this week is.. 
  • Meditation every day to get my Prana moving
  • Load up on more greens, cut down the sugar
  • 10 min of yoga at home every day
  • Saturday morning yoga class at HPY
It's not much.. but that's the point. Small changes practiced consistently. I am not after a quick fix... I'm after that consistency of feeling connected to myself again. I'm giving myself compassion and the grace to start again. 

Remember... we're always moving...might as well be in the direction you want. 

Grateful for..

1 July 2014

Today I am wildly grateful for.. 
  • Having to type this at a rather awkward angle because Goblin is sprawled out on me sleeping away.
  • Picking up this incredible book to read on my commute. There were a few tears on the tube home tonight. If you haven't already... read that book.  
  • Remembering to breathe deeper at a few points today and it helping considerably.
  • Having a surreal moment of 'wow...look how far I have come' at work today.
  • Making a delicious cherry and raspberry based green smoothie this morning giving me energy right up until lunch. 
  • Spending my lunch with Ben today and feeling really familiar with Soho. 
  • Sleepy tea. 
  • Realising that maybe right now I need to be tested, pushed, challenged and stretched. I sent out the Prayer and Intention in February that I wanted those things and all the Universe is doing is delivering and seeing what I am made of. 
  • Shutting down the computer now and giving myself a refreshing and relaxing Light Bath to send me off to sleep.