I love a High Speed Blender and there are so many on the market. I use my blender multiple times over the day for making smoothies, juices, soups (blenders that go at this speed will make food hot), sauces, dips, dressings, blender ice-cream, hot chocolate and nut butters. I want one that will be powerful enough to make sooth juices out of whole carrots and kale! I had one, then it died (after 4 years). Used 3-4 times a day, this blender needs to be durable, good quality and powerful!
I am lucky enough to be in touch with a factory making commercial blenders (exactly what I am looking for) and so I can now offer a choice of 3:
3 different models, delivered to your door at highly competitive prices.
All the machines have an 18 month warranty and the customer service of the team at the factory is great.
The main points for me to consider when buying a blender are
1. Wattage of motor and speed
2. Quality of materials used (ie BPA free jug and stainless steel blade)
How do these blenders add up?
1. Blenders may advertise two different numbers, the Voltage will depend on the country you are in. Hong Kong runs on 220V. Then they will advertise the power of the motor in Watts and the speed in RPM. This is the maximum speed the motor can maintain. The best way to compare blender motors is to look directly at the wattage, as that will always show exactly how powerful the motor is. For example the below machines have a wattage of between 1500-2200W- and a standard Vitamix is 1000-1200W (see here).
2. All of the Jugs are BPA free and the blades are stainless steel.
3. The cost starts at $800 and goes to $1200 (You will not find these prices for this quality anywhere else!!)
Here is the comparison table to help you to decide.
I have been asked by my good friend Laura Paul to share “just one thing” I have changed in my life on my journey to health and natural wealth. This has been a very hard thing to do. ONE thing- and it has to be a small thing!? Over the last 15 years or so in my journey I have changed so many things. Foods, beliefs, thoughts, routines, exercise goals, body shapes and sizes and have also had two kids- so pinpointing one thing, thats tough!
So here is what I have come up with…I think that the fundamental change I have made to my life (since I have to pick ONE!) is that I have changed how I think about myself and my abilities. If you change how you think, you change how you feel and if you change how you feel it affects all your choices.
Yesterday I was thinking about all the years I punished my body. I was conditioned to believe that I could only get what I want by punishing myself . My body was not good enough, fast enough or small enough in the right places. I needed to train more, heavier and harder; I needed to concentrate more, be less selfish, be more organised, more pushy, get out there more, be classier, smarter, funnier, prettier, less lazy and I definitely needed to eat less. I needed to beat, starve, and berate myself to get the results I was looking for.
By changing this one thing, everything changed. I was bashed, bruised, sore, scared and vulnerable. I totally changed how I saw myself and what needed to be done. I was so mortified about how I had become someone so eager to please everyone else that I was deeply miserable myself. Meeting my husband helped me through this and he showed me that to be in a loving relationship or friendship you don’t NEED the other person to complete you. A strong partner didn’t mean a strong me because I could lean on him. I realised that two strong people, capable of making themselves happy first was an awesome combination. That when you don’t NEED the other person, you are not disappointed or relying on them for anything except partnership. That the person who may need to change is not them, but you.
The other thing I used in abundance was my Bach Flower Remedies (EFT came much later). First Rescue Remedy, then my own remedy combinations. These sets of armour have really helped me to heal and repair in safety and love. For myself. By allowing me to see myself differently I was able to turn nastiness into nurturing, pushing into guiding, hating to loving.
So there you have it- grab some rescue remedy and start seeing yourself differently and let me know what you change!
As you can probably tell I am very passionate about kids nutrition. It starts with pre-conception. Feeding ourselves before we have kids, while we are pregnant and then in breastfeeding and of course what we wean our kids onto; is extremely important for their health. Food provides nutrients for new cell formation and therefore supports the baby’s fast growth and development. Plus nourishing their relationship with food in a positive and fun way can provide them with a healthy understanding of what real food is and how great you can feel after eating real food.
Todays question is one that I am often asked and am happy to answer.
Can you please give me a list of foods that are great for babies to start off with.
Babies do not necessarily absorb nutrients from foods for the first year. Breastmilk is designed to do that. Formula attempts to do the same. The first 6 months of a child physically eating, is not necessarily to nourish them but to help them to acquire basic and necessary skills to eat. A relationship which is lifelong and should be encouraged. Eat for fun until they are one is very true.
The main thing to consider is that at weaning age babies may have some the enzymes to digest some proteins and fats. However until the age of 2 (or until the child’s back molars have come through) grains are not yet digestible. Baby Rice is one of the worst things you can ever give a baby as its first foods! Not only is it the by-product of industry but also the nutrients that may possibly be in it are completely unavailable. They may be full up- but they have not eaten it themselves and because it is a food that the body cannot recognise it may also ignite some inflammation. Especially if the baby is formula fed.
Fermented foods are so important at this stage and especially if the baby is formula fed. Water Kefir (see here to make it and my book Culture Your Life) is safe to use adding up to a tsp in their food a day. Please consult your naturopath if your child was a c-section, formula fed baby showing some digestive weakness (colic, reflux, intolerances, excess gas).
Gelatin is also nice to add to your baby’s food. Especially if there are any intolerances showing or skin conditions. Gelatin is anti-inflammatory but also hugely necessary for structural growth and development- so crucial for children. This is the one I like (find it at The Body Group if you are in Hong Kong) for first foods as it doesn’t set so can be sprinkled over fruit or cooled steamed veg.
Instead start with these traditional baby’s first foods-
ghee (even for those kids with a potential dairy issue- ghee is just the fat),
These foods can be fun for the kids to pick up, smear onto their trays and work out how to get it into their mouth, move it around their mouth (a babys instinct is to push food out of their mouth- at this stage it has very little to do with flavour)
I then move on to Foods that are hard enough to be picked up, but soft enough to help them start to chew.;
I also introduce chia (1tsp to 2 tsp coconut water, breastmilk or water)
(If you have to give them rice, lentils, chickpeas then ensure they are prepared traditionally; that they have been soaked before and cook it in bone broth)
I always eat in front of my kids as they learn by mimicking and copying whatever they see in front of them. I help them, I allow them to take the lead and I let them enjoy it.
With kids time is essential. Allow your child time and space to learn how to eat and enjoy their food. If it looks like they don’t like something, let them try it again and again. Encourage them to try. Give them some food off your plate and if possible be eating the same food as them. Be careful to notice how you act around foods- they will copy you. Be mindful about how you talk about them eating- they are listening!
Never ever say; you don’t like it, you won’t like it he/she won’t eat that.
The Immune system is a complex balancing act. The body is constantly reacting to changes in the internal and external environment, constantly morphing and adapting to maintain optimal health. Boosting the immune system is simple using natural methods and also extremely effective. Prolonged disease is an effect of the immune system either being interrupted by external forces (which can make the situation worse) or will not switch off (due to stress, digestive weakness, lack of bacteria, lack of key nutrients like fats and so on).
The body has several inbuilt innate responses primarily designed to keep the body safe and alive. The Fight or Flight mode is paired with the Rest and Recovery mode exactly for this. When there is a perceived threat to the body, the fight and flight mode is switched on to divert all resources to the muscles to do what they have to do. All other healing, nourishing, developing jobs are switched off for the time being to best use energy resources to do what is necessary- fight or flight (run like the wind). Rest and recovery takes over when the situation is safe and all the healing and repairing and growing can then take place again.
However in today’s society what we do not appreciate is that the brain does not distinguish between actual threat and subconscious threat. For example driving in your car- even without traffic and road rage is actually quite stressful for the subconscious- you are in a tin can travelling at speed with things also travelling at speed around you. This is perceived by the subconscious mind even if the conscious mind is singing along to the radio. This is also true of public transport- living in a block of flats above ground level, air travel, being in close proximity to strangers either in a shopping mall or even just walking along the street.
What we also choose to ignore is the way we speak to ourselves also gives signals to the brain about perceived threat-
These examples will promote a fight or flight response. So on an emotional level ensuring that you take some time in your day to feel safe, to feel calm and free from obligation, to really focus our minds of restoring blood flow and repairing the body through visualisation or focus on breath is such a simple way to bring back the rest and recover mode. This is the first and most important thing we need to do for optimal health and our immune system.
Rest and Recovery is the only time the immune system can kick in and do some very necessary repair work. It is why we always get sick after a long period of stress or when on holiday. Being sick (inflammation, heat, pain and swelling) is the body’s method of healing. When we are on holiday we have time to rest and do the big work we have been putting off. It is not an ideal situation and is always considered such a pain but really by promoting these functions in the body we can speed up the healing process rather than suppressing it to enjoy yourself on holiday or to just get through the holiday. Consider that by making small changes in your daily life can make a holiday more enjoyable as there is not as much healing the body needs to do as you have taken the time each day to catch up with any healing that needs to be done.
Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and suppressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health
Read my book Culture Your Life about Kefir and Kombucha. It includes recipes for food, drinks, cosmetics and household cleaners that can really boost and change your body for longer than a probiotic powder.
I have been asked some great questions this week- I chose these questions to answer publicly because so many of you will be eating out on holiday and may struggle with how to make healthy choices.
When you eat out, where do you go and what do you choose;
I grew up (and now live again) in Asia. When I moved to London for university when others reached for roast dinners for comfort food- I always went for Dim Sum or Thai/vietnamese food. It is still my food of choice when eating out.
When we eat have dim sum so I generally have a veg dish (choi sum/bak choi in garlic or the beans with pork) and a couple of meat dishes (like stir fried beef or chicken). We also love prawns and broccoli. I am grain free for now, to reduce some inflammation but we always have a couple of dumplings (shanghai, har gau, char sui so being our favourite) However I don’t miss them and feel a lot less tired and foggy after the meal without them. I have not been eating the rice or noodles anymore. However when I am only gluten free I love a pho with rice noodles.
I eat a lot of vietnamese and thai food without the rice- so we have lots of the pork lettuce rolls, sweet chilli squid, coconut based green/red/yellow curry’s without the rice and satay. We also love the pomelo and papaya salads.
If we have japanese food I will have miso, sashimi, I can rarely turn down a soft shell crab and mango roll! We also have asparagus rolled in pork at our favourite restaurant. I also love the curry sauce beef and noodle soup. The udon noodles have wheat flour so I generally leave them!
If we go to a pizza/pasta place I generally will have a steak or ribs. There is almost always a meat and veg option. I tend to also avoid potatoes and ask for some broccoli (most restaurants have broccoli!) However if I fancy something I generally have it- but I since I feel so crappy and tired after it I generally don’t fancy most of it anymore! I don’t find restaurant salads filling enough so I may order a side to go with it. However there are so many great places to eat nowadays that have yummy options for those looking to reduce refined carbohydrates (especially bread and pasta).
Lunches are normally salads- when I get a salad I want a good source of protein- normally smoked salmon, steak or chicken is available. Then I choose a nut/seed like pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds. A salad will also always have avocado in it. I also love beets, artichokes, pumpkin, broccoli and maybe a feta cheese. Dressing wise- lemon vinegarette is normally enough for me and I use these coconut oil sachets too to boost the oil content! This way if I get stuck I can normally find something to eat.
I am not celiac so these choices may not be suitable for those who are celiac- however I ensure that the days I eat out I compensate for with my other meals and I increase my kefir/kombucha consumption on these days. I realise there will most probably contain wheat in these meals- in the sauces and fillers- I make sure I enjoy whatever I choose as his is important for digestion and realise that giving myself a hard time or stressing about what to eat can actually cause more harm than good. I live by the mantra- I look after and am mindful about my food 80% of the time and for the remaining 20% can look after itself. Most days I eat 100% mindful.
Can you recommend some foods I can take with me on holiday? I find breakfast is the hardest to eat healthy when away.
There are certain things I always take with me. I always have a ziplock bag with chia in it. This can be sprinkled over fruit to help create a balanced meal. I also like to sprinkle this gelatine in the kids juice and over their fruit. This can minimise the sugar impact. Also great in tea or coffee. Although I always bring my own Tulsi and Rooibos tea bags. I also take some of my grain free granola in a bag for the kids. They generally have bircher muesli in most hotels but my kids (i really mean just my daughter) can be really particular about what she will eat in her muesli!
I normally have an omelette (see above- I love it with extra butter) or ask for fried or poached eggs (if you are worried that it is a reconstituted egg mix they are using for the omelettes this is a good option). I also always travel with my kefir grains (normally my water grains) as I can use them to ferment milk and water kefir. This way it is easy so I won’t worry too much about consuming dairy as normally the dairy substitute is soy (I would actually prefer milk over soy milk any day- heres why!).
To make the kefir I either buy some juice (normally pineapple or coconut water), or I bring coconut sugar in a ziplock (I also use the cane sugar in the hotel or place I am staying), and I have a mini tea strainer to strain the grains. It is so simple to continue to ferment whilst away (and it really helps with jet lag too).
I always dry fruit to take with use for the kids to snack on- it is normally easy to find fruit/nuts for them when away but it is always useful to have something in the room if you don’t want to go to breakfast straight away. Beef Jerky fills that hole really well too and travels really well since it is also fermented (I use Kefir in the marinade) I also make energy balls as they travel well. Popcorn is another great travel snack (here is our favourite flavour), However my favourite one are these individual coconut butter (here and here is a chocolate one), individual peanut butter or almond butter sachets which are perfect on their own or on some apple. Also if there really only is bread- at least these will add some much needed nutrition!!