Post two of five

Setting the foundation towards better health

 

 Hola Hannah and Jen from Health Synergy here. As part of our wellness-boosting collaboration with Power Super Foods , we’ll be sharing four guest blog posts with you. Each will cover off a different theme. Starting with getting the basics right, following through to healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Before we can get to the healthy meal options, we first need to establish the basics. These basics are the foundation towards better health.

Sometimes, establishing these basics and introducing new habits can be the most daunting part in any lifestyle change. To help you on that front, here we have some simple tips to assist you in getting started on your wellness-boosting journey. This includes some advice on what superfood staples to include in your diet (and pantry), as well as some healthy habits to implement such as getting enough sleep, regular exercise and mindfulness practices.


Superfood pantry staples

 

We love including superfood ingredients in our diet. They’re abundant in nutrients which help en-hance our energy levels and mood, whilst also contributing towards satiety, and keeping sugar cravings at bay. Here’s a list of our favourites and why:

 

Maca powder:

Maca powder is ground from the resilient and nutrient rich root vegetable, maca. This vegetable has long been used in traditional medicine to assist in balancing hormones (particularly for wom-en), as well as providing support for the nervous and immune systems.

 

Acai and Maqui powder:

Native to the Amazon, acai berry is a source of Vitamin C, helping contribute to cell protection, healthy collagen formation and reduction in fatigue; whilst maqui is a berry that’s native to Pata-gonia. It’s a delicious source of Vitamin A and C, and is rich in antioxidants, helping to contribute to healthy immune function.

 

Goji berries:

Goji berries are one of our favourites, especially Power Super Foods Goji Berry Blend, mixed with cacao nibs for a serious antioxidant hit! Goji berries have high nutrient levels that promote healthy hair and skin.

 

Cacao nibs:

Cacao nibs are a source of fibre, antioxidants and magnesium. Magnesium helps contribute to a healthy (energy) metabolism, muscle function and electrolyte balance. These same benefits apply to cacao powder. Just make sure you purchase cacao rather than cocoa. Cacao is processed from cacao beans in lower temperatures than the average cocoa powder. This process ensures the nu-trients are not depleted through high temperature processing.

 

Chia seeds:

Chia seeds are a great way to increase intake of nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, iron and calcium. We recommend soaking them overnight in filtered water or coconut water to create a chia seed ‘gel’ that can be added to smoothies or made into a chia pudding. Coconut wa-ter is a great choice for enhancing nutritional value and adding natural sweetness.

 

Coconut sugar:

When it comes to natural sweeteners, one of our top picks is coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is the crystallised nectar of the tropical coconut palm tree blossom. Found (and harvested) high in the swaying canopies of Indonesia, the nectar is evaporated and ground into a unique, faintly caramel-tasting sugar. It’s minimal (and sustainable) processing ensures that some of its minerals are re-tained. As with any sweetener, we recommend using small quantities.

 

Adding a tablespoon of any of these ingredients, or making the swap from processed sugar to a small amount of coconut sugar is such an easy and delicious step towards improving your wellbe-ing. Trust us when we say, you’ll feel and see the benefits!

 

Getting enough sleep

Restorative sleep is a fundamental element to our overall wellbeing. The amount of sleep we re-quire is dependent on the individual, but on average we aim for eight hours rest per night.

Sleep is so integral as it can impact many elements of our health. Including energy levels, blood pressure, psychological wellbeing, metabolism and the appearance of our skin. So, it should not be overlooked.

If you’re needing some assistance in establishing better sleep practices, try some of these tips:

• Eat dinner earlier. This will give your body time to digest the meal before it rests.

• Have a bath before bed to help wind down.

• Establish a regular ‘body clock’ by going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day.

• Put electronic devices away or on ‘do not disturb’ mode about an hour before you go to bed. The blue light given off by these electronic devices can prevent our brains from re-leasing melatonin, a hormone that tells our bodies it’s night time.

• Make a “sleep tonic” latte to enjoy after dinner. Our Health Synergy sleep tonic latte con-tains anti-inflammatory turmeric and nutritionally dense Maca Powder. These ingredients help to slow down our nervous systems.

 

Sleep tonic turmeric latte

Serves 1


Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 tsp Power Super Foods Maca Powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp raw honey (or to taste)

 

Method

• Over low heat, warm the almond milk in a small saucepan.

• Combine the Power Super Foods Maca Powder, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and honey in a mug. Add a dash of the warmed almond milk to create a paste.

• Once the paste is formed, add the remaining milk, stirring until well combined.

• Top with additional cinnamon and add honey to taste (optional).

 

Mindfulness

 

Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily regime is another simple step towards better health and mental clarity.

With busy lives filled with work and social commitments, we often forget to live in the present and don’t take the time to check in on our thoughts and feelings.

Bringing our awareness to the ‘now’ by simply taking the time to acknowledge these thoughts, feelings and sensations can help to slow down our over worked nervous systems, preventing us from becoming overwhelmed and anxious.

Other mindfulness practices include meditation and yoga, or even just going for a walk in nature. Anything that allows you the time to feel a sense of respite from the fast-paced nature of life, and creates space for personal reflection is of benefit to both our mood and focus.


Exercise

Another crucial element for “setting the foundation” is exercise. We aim to walk for 30 minutes to an hour every day and do pilates or yoga about three times per week.

Taking time out to exercise is a great opportunity to introduce mindfulness practices into your rou-tine and will increase your energy levels throughout the day, as well as improving muscle mass which increases metabolism.

Staying motivated and committed to your fitness regime can be a struggle for many. The solution is finding a form of exercise you truly enjoy so that you look forward to the exercise, rather than associating it with being a chore.

If you’re not sure where to start, start small by doing little things like getting off the bus a few stops earlier, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. Every small change counts and will inch you closer towards your goals.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these simple tips to help you get started on your wellness-boosting jour-ney. As part of this journey, below are two recipes to enjoy post-workout, or as an after-dinner treat to keep sugar cravings at bay.

Finally, in collaboration with Power Super Foods, we’re giving away 3 x 1-hour, weekly nutrition e-consultations to one lucky Power Super Foods Instagram follower. The consultations will be tai-lored to meet your health goals, whilst also answering any questions you may have on your diet, including what you should be eating each day. For further details on how to enter,  click here.

 

Maca banana split smoothie (post-workout smoothie)


Serves 2


Smoothie base

2 frozen bananas

2 cups almond milk

1 tbsp Power Super Foods Maca Powder

2 medjool dates

1 tsp cinnamon


Choc-tahini sauce

2 tbsp Power Super Foods Cacao Powder

1 tbsp hulled tahini

1 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup

1 tsp coconut oil, melted

Boiling water, adding until desired consistency is reached

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter


Method

• To prepare sauce combine all choc-tahini sauce ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well until smooth.

• Drizzle both the sauce and smooth peanut butter around the outside of two milkshake jars and place in the fridge whilst you make the smoothie.

• Combine smoothie ingredients in a blender, blending until smooth.

• Pour smoothie into jars and enjoy.

 

Coconut Maqui Nice Cream


Serves 2-3


Nice cream

4 frozen bananas

1/2 cup mixed frozen berries

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

2 tsp Power Super Foods Maqui Powder

1 tsp raw honey


Toppings

Power Super Foods Goji Blend

Sliced banana

Berries

Toasted coconut

Smooth peanut butter


Method

• Combine all nice cream ingredients in a high-power blender, blending until smooth and creamy.

• Transfer nice cream to bowls and top with Power Super Foods Goji Blend, sliced banana, berries, toasted coconut, smooth peanut butter.