After much deliberation, I have a new logo which I think encompasses all I stand for and believe in.
I'd like to share my ethos and thinking behind it.
I have hearts and love signs all over my house and I think that love is the most important and powerful emotion. Passion comes from the heart and it is a wonderful thing indeed to find your passion in life.
Our heart is our most important organ and does an incredible job of pumping oxygenated blood around our body, nourishing every cell and keeping us alive. It is massively affected by what we eat, as is every other organ in our body.
Plants are most beneficial, especially vegetables and we should all be eating lots of them, in all the colours of the rainbow for optimum health!
Hearts are something that everyone relates to and we all have something and/or someone to love. I certainly hope so anyway!
One of my favourite sayings is
"Don't love things that can't love you back"
I agree with this wholeheartedly, life is about creating relationships and opportunities to share and spread love. It's not about amassing stuff, which sadly lots of folks do, in the mistaken belief that lots of possessions bring happiness!
I have learned many life lessons, as we all have and have come to the conclusion that what makes me happiest is doing the things I love, spending time with the people I love and sharing my knowledge and helping and supporting others to lead the best life they can, in terms of their health and well being.
Nothing is more important than your health, without it nothing else matters.
Have you ever heard of anyone in their last days, wishing that they had bought more stuff, or spent more time working!
No I don't think so.
I read a very interesting article a few weeks ago, written by Bronnie Ware, a nurse who cared for terminally ill patients, and
asked them what they regretted most in life. She has written a book called
"The Top Five Regrets of the Dying"
Here are the top five answers.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
I have reached a stage in life where I am immensely grateful for the life I am living, one which is in every sense aligned with my true passions and interests and it feels so right. It's not without challenges but its feels so good to follow my passion to help and support others.
I created Nourished by Nature through my love:
I believe that life has become over complicated and so far removed from the one we are designed to live, and we are paying the consequences big time!
Climate change, chronic disease, disruption of natural pathways, endless stress, lack of time, no work/life balance, loss of traditional cooking skills
I hope to redress that balance by going back to nature and to the many lessons to be learned.
In my opinion, we cannot improve upon nature. There are miracles all around us, if only we would take the time to notice them.
Nature doesn't rush things, all happens in perfect timing.
Growing plants and crops and raising animals without chemicals, antibiotics, growth hormones, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides is perfectly do able and is the natural order of things.
The problems have arisen from our incessant need for cheaper food, produced faster, cutting corners, replacing natural processes with artificial ingredients to speed things up and knocking everything out of balance and creating toxic by products and nutritionally suspect food products which negatively impact our health.
There are so many synergies in nature, co operation for mutual benefit is everywhere.
Our relationship with our gut bacteria or microbiota is absolutely paramount in its importance. It literally affects every system in our body, from digestive health, brain health, our emotions, our ability to lose weight, our ability to deal with stress, our susceptibility to chronic disease and it's one that the majority of us are unaware of.
If we nurture our good gut bacteria with the food they need to thrive, and that's fibre, lots of it, found mostly in plants and wholefoods, then they will repay us a thousand fold with health benefits too numerous to mention in one blog post!
On the other hand, processed, refined food, chemicals, antibiotics, sugar, artificial sweeteners and stress all negatively affect our good gut bacteria.
Stress is a killer and negatively impacts on every organ in the body.
It's unrealistic to be continually busy and firing on all cylinders.
We need downtime, time to rest and relax, away from computers and TV and junk food, alcohol and caffeine.
Recent research actually proved the real health benefits to be gained from gardening in terms of reducing stress, all due to the microbes in the soil positively influencing our happy hormones!
I, for one, am at my happiest in the garden; one of my lovely mums favourite sayings was:
"You are closer to God in the garden than anywhere else on earth"
I have a lovely garden which has been created over many years, with the help of The Beechgrove Garden, who I was fortunate enough to have along twice to help me create a wonderful nurturing healing space which has continued to unfold into its natural beauty over the years.
I am blessed in so many ways and I feel guided to help others to find their natural balance in life; I look forward to sharing recipes, health tips and natural health magic with you all.
.....your health in your hands....
Is organic food worth the extra money?
This is a question I get asked a lot! My answer is a great big YES!!
It makes a massive difference, nutritionally, to our health and the environment.
My first degree is in Agricultural Chemistry and I more recently studied Permaculture and I have a Permaculture Design Certificate to prove it!
So I know a LOT about soil and pesticides!
The soil is a living organism teeming with all sorts of microbes going about their business, enriching the soil, decomposing waste and making minerals and trace elements available to any plants who happen to be growing there. If the plants grow in a living soil, which is exactly what ORGANIC soil is, then all the trace minerals exist in the soil so the plants can benefit from them and so can you when you eat the plants!
Conventionally grown crops are grown on dead soil, with only the application of the 3 main macronutrients, N, P and K essential for the plants to grow. These plants will grow but they will be lacking in most of the trace elements and will have been sprayed with toxic pesticides, which I may add DO NOT WASH OFF WITH WATER!
If that were the case then as soon as the crops were sprayed and watered or it rains, the pesticides would be washed off, which I can assure you is not the case! That would literally be money washed right down the drain!
There have been many studies done over the years comparing the nutritional quality of organic versus conventional produce, most recently in October 2015, a massive study by Newcastle University, link is here
showing that organic can be up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants essential for good health and more than 50% lower in toxic heavy metals and obviously much lower in pesticide and chemical residues.
That's worth paying extra for, in my opinion!
Bearing in mind that kids are up to 4 times more susceptible to pesticide residues and environmental toxins and if your health is compromised you seriously need to reduce the amount of toxins you ingest, to give your body a chance to heal itself.
Now I'm not suggesting that you buy everything organic, that's outwith the budget for a lot of people and its sometimes not that easy to source organic food.
The Soil Association are certifiers of over 70% of the organic food sold in the UK
Here is their link to Eating Organic on a budget
Here is an up to date list of fruits and vegetables, from The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) that tend to have the highest levels of pesticide residue (even after being washed and peeled). Click here for a pdf version
Dirty Dozen (this is where you want to spend the extra money on organic produce whenever possible)
these have the least amount of pesticide contamination - so are not as high a priority to buy organic.
If you can't buy organic then at least buy local. Always check where your fruit and veg comes from and buy UK produced if possible.
Of course if you sign up to an organic veg box scheme then everything will be organic and mostly locally produced.
If your budget doesn't stretch to organic or you have difficulty finding organic fruit and vegetables then you can use this simple home-made spray before you wash your fruit and veg.
HOME MADE VEGGIE WASH
To use just spray onto your fruit or veg, leave for 5 minutes, then rinse as usual.
Wholefoods also sell a concentrated product called Veggi Wash which is easy to use, convenient and good value. You just dilute a capful in a bowl of water and soak your produce for 5 minutes, then rinse it.
For those of you who live in or around Glasgow, the lovely folks at Locavore have kindly offered 25% off your first organic veg box, just quote Nourished by Nature! Also if you spend £30 in the shop, you get 10% discount. This is a brilliant offer so please take advantage of it! A veg box delivery starts from £10 per week for a medium bag.. Click here for more details
It's really quite exciting checking out the box every week, to see what seasonal goodies you have! I have just re instated my veg box, I grow my own over the summer, so am usually knee deep in greens, salads and herbs!
Locavore also have a veg bag Facebook group, on which people post recipes or take photos of odd looking veggies asking what they are and what to do with them!
There have been some funny ones that I have replied to. Last spring someone was holding up a bunch of wild garlic and asking if it would be good in a green juice!! I think not!
But it is a seriously great idea to eat seasonal food, grown locally, when its at its most nutritious and hasn't travelled far to get to your plate. The other great thing with a veg bag delivery is the lack of plastic packaging, it arrives in a reusable box so again has benefits for the environment.
Apart from fruit and veggies, the Soil Association suggest that you buy any animal products organic Its always from higher welfare animals, fed on their natural diet, without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones and the resulting meat, eggs and dairy have way higher nutritional value.
Similarly wheat is among the heaviest sprayed of all the cereal crops and considering that many of us eat wheat at every meal, in the form of bread, cereals, pasta, pizza, cakes and cookies then its worth seeking out organic options. I always use organic flour for home baking and buy organic wholewheat pasta.
The use of glyphosate on British cereal crops has increased by 400% in the last 20 years, and a recent study on European city dwellers found that 7 out of 10 people had traces of glyphosate in their urine Now that's a worrying trend. Glyphosate is now the most heavily used weedkiller in history! Chemicals of any kind have no place in our bodies and can wreak havoc with many body systems.
Lidl sell organic wholemeal pasta & organic rye bread and most supermarkets have a good range of organic products
Again Locavore stock organic eggs, from their own free ranging ducks and chickens, organic milk, butter, cheese, meat, flour and grains.
If you are a meat eater then it makes sense to eat better quality but less often. This is the International year of The Pulse so we should all be eating more lentils and beans for our health and cutting down on animal products
I tend to buy potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, apples, cucumber, celery and courgettes organic.
I also buy organic whole milk for Alastair, who likes it in his tea. I buy organic Soya Milk for baking and the odd cappuchino.
Organic isn't always more expensive. For example Oatly Organic Oat milk is the same price as non organic!! Its a no brainer in that case, always go for organic if you have the choice, especially if its the same price! You will end up with a product with less environmental impact, less toxic residues and more nutritional value!
.....your health in your hands.....
I came across this brilliant company this week and the savings they offer on top of the range organic products is quite extraordinary! All my favourite brands from Clearspring, Clipper, Amisa, Dr Stuarts, Faith in Nature, Bentley Organic, Nutiva, Vitalife and loads more. The range of products is exceptional and covers Food, Drinks, Kids, Household, Supplements and even Pets. There are also loads of gluten free products, which are generally expensive so the savings on these are substantial. Pretty much everything is organic so if you want to improve your health and have been using the excuse of I can’t afford to eat well, you can now!! The discounts on offer range from 40% to 90% with most of the products I purchased around 70% discount.
You may well wonder, as I did, how the heck is this possible and what is the catch?
Well the company is Love Health Hate Waste. For a minute I thought it was Love Food Hate Waste, who I follow on Twitter since I genuinely hate food waste. Intrigued I checked out their website, what a brilliant inspired idea, this company passes on huge discounts on healthy organic food which is at or beyond its Best Before Date.
Now I’m fairly knowledgable on food waste since I ran a series of food workshops funded by Love Food Hate Waste a few years ago.
While half of the world are starving, the other half throws away mountains of perfectly good food. It’s shocking, every year in the UK we throw away 7.2 tonnes of food and drink, most of which could have been eaten.
There is a bit of confusion about the meaning of Best Before and Use By labels on food. Where Use By relates to the safety of food, and should be adhered to, especially for meat, fish and dairy products which can cause illness if consumed past these dates.
Best Before, on the other hand, relates to food quality and has nothing to do with food being unsafe to eat. It’s mostly found on packets, tinned and dried foods. These foods will typically start to lose their flavour and texture after that date, but that’s all it means!
This date is the manufacturers estimate of when the premium quality of its product may start to deteriorate, it doesn’t mean the food should be thrown away!
So back to the point of this post which is to save you lots of money on your favourite organic health brands!
Jenna and I had a great time checking out the discounts on all our favourite products and some of them were at 90% discount, which is a massive saving!
Here is a small selection of the products we bought.
The majority of the products we bought had BB dates of August or September so considering we ordered mid September, most of the products had just recently passed the BB date. Interestingly a lot of the organic body products had BB dates of 2016 and to be honest I don’t think the quality of a shampoo or washing up liquid would deteriorate significantly anyway even quite far beyond its recommended Best Before Date.
Similarly, Floradix Dandelion teabags had BB of April 2016 and were still sold at a massive discount.
The most out of date product we purchased was Amisa Organic Gluten Free Crispbreads which was 6 months beyond its date. Although they were still perfectly edible they had a slightly stale flavour and weren’t as crisp as I would have expected.
We bought quite a selection of raw and organic chocolate, which we ate before I decided to write this post but I wouldn’t buy it again, especially one of the bars which had hazelnuts in it and tasted a bit rancid. Generally anything with a high fat content such as chocolate and nuts is going to go off quickly so I wouldn’t recommend buying either of those. I do love raw organic chocolate but its definitely not at its peak beyond its BB date.
There is no mention on the website of the actual BB date for each product so you just have to take your chances but if you avoid buying chocolate and nuts then your products should be just fine.
The range changes all the time depending on what is available and postage is free if you spend more than £50, which is quite easy to do since there are so many brilliant products to choose from. You could always share an order with a few friends to qualify for the free postage! So what are you waiting for, click the link and start shopping!
Here is the website- www.lovehealthhatewaste.com
........your health in your hands...........
A healthy lifestyle blog with green living tips, plant-based recipes and natural health magic.