HEALTH & BALANCE

Helping you live a healthy happy life


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WHY CHOOSE ORGANIC?

organic-farming-busy-bee-holistic-healthIt’s ‪#‎OrganicSeptember‬. Let’s go ‪#‎organic‬. It HEALS you. It SUPPORTS Mother Nature. In this short post, I would like to tell you my key reasons for going organic.

Many of my clients don’t see the reason behind this VITAL change in their shopping habits. They consider themselves ‘healthy’ just because their fridge is full with vegetable and fruits. Well, if they come from toxic farming, then guess what – their goodness is almost killed by the way they have been grown. Many chemicals use oestrogen based ingredients which work as the ‘pill’ (stopping the bug from making babies). But did you know that this oestrogen then enters our body, creating an increase in our natural levels of oestrogen which in turns stimulates fat storage and even ‘breasts type’ chest in men. Yes, that’s right, guys, maybe the food you eat is giving you that feminine look;) Same applies to women, we might be struggling to lose weight, because there is too much oestrogen in the body which is also responsible for irregular periods.

Then what about fertilizers? Plants goodness comes from the soil. If it is devoid of minerals then the plants will be without minerals too. The fertilizers are the killers of soil goodness meaning that
THAT BANANA is actually A SILENT KILLER, bringing you more BAD than GOOD. UGLY TRUTH, I KNOW;(

Here’s my TOP TOP: It’s not about having many vegetables and fruits so you can call yourself ‘healthy’. It’s about the right quality. Choose less and buy ‘more’ for your health. It’s better to have just a few of the good ones than many of the bad ones – this way the budget will stay the same too:)

TRY IT THIS MONTH AND FEEL THE DIFFERENCE. Even if it is just buying one thing, every step helps. I recommend choosing vegetable & fruit boxes from Bonativo. If you prefer supermarkets, Sainsbury’s supermarkets have a good range. My favourite is Ocado as I can get both my meats and fresh produce at great prices and they do £20 off for your first order.

I would love to hear your experience with going organic and your reasons behind it. Share in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter :).

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx

 

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HEALTH IS THE NEW WEALTH

The health and fitness industries are now the centre of wealth for many companies which have eagerly jumped on the bandwagon of creating the next superfood product or breakthrough exercise plan. Unfortunately, despite this booming health focus, our nation is still battling with obesity, cancer and diabetes. The medical industry is not doing us any good either. Preventable medical errors rank as No. 3 killer in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer while in the NHS hospitals medical staff errors lead to nearly 12,000 patients dying every year.

Being hugely disappointed by the medical industry and many of the new ‘healthy’ trends, I am now on a mission to discover of discovering the underlying beliefs that stop us from taking care of ourselves. In this post, I will share my findings and what I think is necessary to have TRUE HEALTH AND WEALTH.

Health-System

What are the main obstacles to Health?

Medical-driven thinking

Our government has taught us that our healthcare system will keep us healthy and turning to doctors is all we need to live happily and healthily ever after. Many of us see doctors as authority figures who know more than we do about our bodies. However, according to a report from the University of California, 50% of doctors do not have a personal physician – something that they advocate to patients, 20% don’t exercise, and only 7% believe that they drink too much alcohol. And we regularly give control of our health over to these imperfect models of unhealthy living.

Our culture and addictive medical system believe technology and testing will save us. We think that everything scientific must be true. However, I believe science must leave room for the wisdom of nature.  Thoughts and consciousness influence our lives. What we believe today shapes our tomorrow. Thus healers and doctors must recognise our emotional individuality and dig deeper in our past, childhood and present thinking to uncover the root causes of disease.

Damaging information

Much of the information online follows a ‘one-size fits-all’ approach. I experienced this when healing my digestive issues by reading websites and magazines, trusting ‘healthy-looking’ models. But it’s not about the looks. The pressure of body appearance has created this wave of ‘fit sick’ people who look healthy but suffer health issues on the inside. When I started bodybuilding, despite my improved physic, my digestion went on a downward spiral, my period disappeared and my sleeping got disturbed. That’s because we follow diets that work for others. We follow training programmes without paying attention to the body’s feedback. Therefore, I believe the diet and exercise of the future are bespoke. When I work with clients, no diet is the same but tailored to individual goals and lifestyle needs.

Damaged beliefs about health

Many still think that eating veggies and fruits is enough to be healthy. Sadly, health is viewed as time consuming and not involving tasty foods. The word treat still relates to junk food. But how can something so nutritionally poor, made at the expense of our health, be a treat?

This is worse in the corporate world. Pastries and cakes are prevalent, even at places like the staff food corners of Google and Mozilla where the sweets and crisps outnumber the fruits and nuts. Not even that but the quality of the healthy foods is poor too. No organic and local farmers support. So how can these companies be claiming  to be committed to staff wellbeing when they are feeding people garbage food? Our bodies are like cars whereby the  (no need the as no specific) food is the fuel. So if we want our petrol car to perform well, would we put diesel in it? Nutrition is what must take to improve our performance.

global-healthcareWhat is the new Health?

My dream is for people to realise that we are only as good as our Health is. We can’t achieve our personal and business goals without it. We would be of no good to our employers, family and friends, and most importantly ourselves if we become ill or have no energy.

But how do we start the healthy living in this jungle of confusing information?

  • Don’t be just another Patient

We should see Health as Bespoke and Holistic whereby the human body and mind are seen as a unity which needs to be healed not just cured. We need to address the imbalances that underline the symptoms because Illness occurs to show us that we are not living life well. The symptoms have their root causes often in emotions, beliefs, past stressful situations and childhood. When we take medication just to cover them up we don’t necessarily address the factors that led to the symptom in the first place.

  • Believe what you want to Experience

Our Beliefs are energetic forces that create the basis for our health. It is not stress itself that creates immune system problems. It is the perception that the stress is inescapable and we can’t prevent it. This perception suppresses the immune system because our bodies are influenced and structured by our beliefs.

Our subconscious holds the key to our healing. Many left-brain mainstream practitioners still regard this as woo-woo and do a test after test. However, we need to firstly analyse the thoughts, emotions and beliefs. They (insert comma) along with our brain communicate directly with our immune, nervous and endocrine systems and with the organs in our bodies.

  • Create Health Daily

Every day is a new opportunity to create health for the mind, body and spirit. Our bodies constantly renew and repair. Our red blood cells, for example, regenerate every 28 days and we get a new liver every 6 months. That’s why we need to include daily practices and take it one step at a time. Here are my first steps for better mind, body and spiritual health:

Body health – reduce the No. 1 killer – sugar and processed packaged foods – support your local farmers and switch to organic farming. It’s about time to start paying the farmer, not the doctor.

Mind health – practice being present and breathing for 5 min a day – give your mind a break and watch how your intuition gets stronger and you make better decisions.

Spirit health – start loving and accepting yourself the way you are. Often what we think of as wrong with us are only our expressions of our own individuality. Nature never repeats itself. We are meant to be different. There are people out there looking for exactly what you have to offer. Let them know you exist. Take care of yourself and life will do the same for you:).

With health & balance,

Maya xxx

 

 

 


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How to Make Cashew Milk

Lactose intolerance is becoming more widespread these days, especially among my clients suffering from IBS issues. While in this case, taking lactase – the enzyme we need to digest lactose – will help reduce the symptoms, many of us IBS fighters suffer from milk protein intolerance. This means that the enzyme trick won’t help and we would be required to either forget about this creamy delight or try some alternatives. This is where nut milks come not even useful but also more delicious and nutritious. They are packed with good fats necessary for healthy skin and heart, along with protein and fibre.

One of my favourite recipes is with cashew nuts –  the easiest and most fuss-free milk you can start off with. Below are a few ideas, inspired by Madeline Shaw and the EatGreenCake blog.

cashew-milk

1. Cashew Nut Milk 

  • 100g of cashews
  • 300ml water
  • 1/2  vanilla pod
  • tiny pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Soak the cashews in salty water to cover them for 4 hours. Use a pinch of Himalayan salt.
  2. Drain the water in a sieve, add the soaked cashews with the water, vanilla and salt. Blend together for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Keep for up to 5 days in the fridge in a sealed container

 

2. Chocolate milk

chocolate-cashew-milk

  • 200ml of cashew milk
  • 1 tbsp of raw cacao
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 avocado or banana

Directions

  1. Place everything in the blender for a minute or two.
  2. If it needs more sweetening add stevia or good quality organic honey. If you need more bulk add SunWarrior Chocolate Powder – mixed blend or Vital Protein Pea Vanilla protein powder. This smoothie will last for 2-3 days in the fridge.

 

3. Green milk

green-smoothes

1/2 cup cashew milk
1/2 cup water
1 raw avocado
1 large bunch spinach, kale
3 – 4 cubes of ice

Here’s how
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender and top with cacao nibs, blueberries, and hemp seeds.

Hope you enjoy the recipes busy bees and let me know how you get on:)

With Health & Balance,

Maya xxx


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Gut-friendly Sunflower Pâté

Sam Faiers Love Your Gut4This week August 11th – 17th is Gut Week 2014. Organised by Love Your Gut and the IBS Network, the week-long event aims to raise awareness about gut health and encourage more people to recognise their symptoms by listening to their ‘gut’ feeling. In recent years, lots of attention has been brought to this issue as no matter how healthy our diet is and how many high quality supplements it contains, if our body is unable to metabolise, absorb and utilise these nutrients, all our efforts will bring minimal to no results. As an IBS fighter myself, you know I am very passionate about this issue and hence have eagerly joined this initiative. On my twitter feed you can find daily tips on gut health, along with useful articles.

Today I want to introduce a gut-friendly recipe that is recommended by Love Your Gut and that I also enjoy with a few extra additions to make it even more nutritious.

Roasted red pepper, rosemary and sunflower seed pâté

This is a simple, nutritious spread that can be eaten as a snack with rye crackers (if you are fine with Gluten) or rice/buckwheat crackers for the more sensitive IBSers.  It’s also nice with boiled white potatoes which we know can help with IBS-D.

Serves 4-6

Roasted red pepper pate-1Ingredients

  • 3 large organic red or orange peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 75g organic sunflower seeds
  • a pinch of smoked paprika
  • Himalayan salt
  • juice of half an organic lemon
  • 1 tsp rosemary needles, chopped
  • 5g coconut oil

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 130-150°C/Gas mark 6. This temperature will preserve the nutrients in the vegetables which is important when we suffer from IBS-D as the frequent toilet visits deplete the body from minerals, such as potassium and salt. The added Himalayan salt is another trick for this purpose:)

Place the peppers on a lightly oiled with coconut oil baking tray and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the skins begin to blister. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Peel the skins from the peppers. This is important as the skin can often irritate the gut lining due to the inability of our body to digest cellulose.

If time allows, soak your sunflower seeds overnight in filtered water with a pinch of salt. This will activate the nutrients and enzymes necessary to digest the seeds, making it easy for thr digestive system. You might have noticed that often after eating nuts or seeds your tummy feels heavy which is due to these enzymes-inhibiting nutrients in the seeds and nuts that protect them from being eaten and going rotten.

After soaking, rinse well with water. Place the sunflower seeds on another baking tray and place in the hot oven for 5 minutes to toast a little.

Place the peppers, sunflower seeds, smoked paprika, lemon juice and rosemary in a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

If you would like to add a protein kick, add a scoop of unflavoured pea protein. I use Vital Pea Protein as its from organic origin and the manufacturing process removes the difficult to digest components in peas that often upset the gut lining. Below you you find a discount code for the brand too:) Pea makes it even creamier and is suitable after exercise to repair the muscle tissues.

  Per portion (62g)(based on 4 people) Per 100g
Calories 123kcal 199kcal
Fat 9.1g 14.8g
Protein 4.1g 6.7g
Carbohydrate 6.2g 10g
Sugars 2.8g 4.5g
Fibre 2.4g 3.8g
Sodium 2mg 4mg
FODMAPs None

Discount code: JF0K8S

Give the recipe a try and let me know how you get on in the comments or tweet to me @BusyBee_Blogger. Don’t forget to check #GutWeek14 and #LoveYourGut for my gut health tips.

In Health & Balance,

Maya xxx

 

 

 

 


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ADDICTED TO POISON: THE DANGERS OF SUGAR TO OUR HEALTH

The Truth behind High-Fructose Corn Syrup

We have naturally developed a sweet palate since the nutrients-rich mother milk started fuelling our bodies. Even our primitive ancestors lived on sweet plant food and animal fatty meals with no harmful diseases at the time.High-fructose Corn SyrupHowever, since 1971, our food habits dramatically changed when the process of sugar refinement was embraced by manufacturers, drastically transforming the human diet. The beginning was laid by Earl Butz, the American secretary of agriculture at the time, who encouraged mass corn production and introduced industrial farming. The policy resulted in abundance of corn and to stop its decay, a group of Japanese scientists developed the chemical transformation of corn to sugar, creating the Number 1, most dangerous substitute for sugar – High-Fructose Corn Syrup. This man-made sweetener contained double the calories of normal sugar and was so cheap to produce that all food and soft drinks manufacturers took it as the new panacea to reduce costs and increase sales – literally trading people’s Health for Profit.

William Dufty’s book ‘Sugar Blues’ warned us about the ulterior motives of the sugar industry: ‘This industry has invested millions of dollars in behind-the-scenes, subsidised science to convince the public that sugar is a harmless ‘fun food’.  As sugar consumption escalates wildly, fatal diseases crease remorselessly.’’

A new kind of epidemic has started to contaminate our world – more than two-thirds of British adults suffer from obesity and the numbers of chronic diseases and diabetes are staggering.  To affect these numbers, the food industry came with another even more dangerous solution – low-fat foods and artificial sweeteners, such as sucrolose and aspartame. The food companies replaced natural fat with tons of sugar in almost every product on the shelves – from your coleslaw to pizza toppings and bread.

But why is sugar so bad? Let’s see what really happens to our bodies!When we take refined sugar, our bodies must deal with its rapid absorption as its rushes through the stomach without being digested, stimulating insulin increases and metabolic imbalances. Insulin is our air traffic controller directing glucose – our main energy source – to our cells and ensuring their proper functionality.  When too much of it is produced that confuses metabolism as insulin deals with the refined sugar first to flush it away from the body, leaving the other food undigested. Moreover, your blood sugar levels fall which dramatically affects the brain – it starts to malfunction. Think for a minute of some of the children you see in supermarkets or shopping malls, wailing pathetically and screaming around, with their parents harassed and unknowing that it might be the sugar in their morning cereal or can of coke that made them emotionally out of control.

At this point some of you might be thinking – but sugar gives me high energy and makes me happy!!! Sugar actually increases the level of serotonin – a chemical that makes you ready for sleep – which explains our sweet cravings when upset. Moreover, it impairs the production of leptin – a vital hormone which tells our brain that we’ve had enough food. As a result, leptin stops working and we simply enter the vicious cycle of sugar addiction and obesity. And to make it worse, while your cells are fuelled with energy they are not nourished at all because all vitamins and minerals are stripped away during the sugar refinement process.

But it’s not just refined sugar that can cause damage to the body. It’s all kinds of sugar that are consumed in excess. Too much ‘sweetness’ feeds cancer cells, weakens the eyesight, reduces skin collagen, leading to premature aging, can increase the growth of bacteria and cause infections, and impair our hormonal balance. If that still does not seem frightening enough, add pancreas and liver damage, food allergies, depression, heart disease and ultimately cell death.

What should we do then? Should we give up all sugar?

No, of course, just Be Smart and choose the natural sources, known to our ancestors – they used fruits and plants not ‘Snickers trees’!Stevia sweetenerYour natural cravings for sweet foods have been artificially perverted by refined sugar. But we can turn that around – what is more important to you – a healthy weight and longevity or a candy bar?

Nature provides many sugar sources, such fruits, honey, coconut sugar, and my favourite stevia and xylotol. With certain fruits, you must watch the amount consumed – bananas, apricots, peaches, melons, pineapples and grapes are a bit higher in sugar but you can ‘cheat’ the body and add some nuts as fat will slow down the absorption of sugar and reduce the risk of insulin spikes. I prefer citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, kiwi, and lemons or any of the berries as they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. My experience shows that when eaten on an empty stomach before breakfast they can aid detoxification. I wouldn’t go as far as 5 a day but probably 2 or 3 (grapefruit in the morning, berries as part of your mid morning snack and a green banana/apple for the mid afternoon snack). The greener the banana the less sugar it contains.

Stevia and xylitol are my top sugar substitutes. Stevia is plant-derived and is 200 times sweeter than sugar with zero calories, causing no effect to insulin levels. It also reduces the number of plague and promotes tooth health. Xylitol is naturally found in fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. It’s a great ingredient to chewing gums instead of aspartame. It protects teeth from cavities as the caries-causing bacteria in the mouth are unable to ferment xylitol in their metabolism, and hence their growth is reduced.

Quit the sugar habit today! Your body will thank you for it!!!!

With health & balance,

Maya xxx