Amazing “Clean” Products That Have Grabbed My Heart April 6, 2013 Australia, Green Living, healthy products, weight management 17 Comments So as time goes on, I find with the pool of confusing information out there, I am slowly but surely shifting towards a more whole foods “clean” style of eating. As I have always suggested, there are certainly places for packaged foods in our diet, it is just about knowing which ones to consume. Here I am going to attempt to introduce you to some of my new favourites and show you a yummy quick and tasty smoothie I have created with them to show you just how easy it can be to incorporate nutritious foods into your daily food repertoire! As always with my recommendations, feel free to modify and switch up the ingredients to suit your taste buds and dietary requirements, but just be mindful that those changes have the potential to bump up or down the calories, protein, fibre, healthy fats, or any other nutrient that may be a key defining trait of the recipe and why I think its a winner. So my high protein, high fibre, low GI, low calorie, antioxidant, vitamin and mineral packed (almost) daily smoothie contains: Unsweetened almond milk from Almond breeze (not because I have anything against dairy foods, but because it cuts the calories in half compared to a cup of regular skim milk, and still provides a creamy texture, has healthy fats in it, and is low GI [compared to rice milk and some of the other alternatives]). From the Nutra Organics range organic barley spirulina blend, super green and reds and organic maca – Where to begin with these? They are seriously fantastic. The amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are packed into just a few grams of these powders really does leave your insides feeling like they have been taken to a retreat. The organic barley spirulina blend contains a range of ingredients; many of which I kept hearing about whilst in NYC last year, but didn’t hear much of in Australia until recently. Chlorella and spirulina were two of the key ingredients that stood out to me; It seems that a number of algae based foods are extremely nutrient dense and are also sustainable at the present moment. A key feature of these ingredients that particularly strikes a cord with me is that they are known to boost your immune system and focus on the good bacteria in your gut (brownie points for the positive effects on your emotional wellbeing..this is one of the topics I speak about in my book – The Clean Separation). Maca is also an interesting one. Here is some information I have rallied up to help you understand the proposed benefits of having it in your diet: Super Food Energy per 100g Protein per 100g Fat per 100g Sat’ fat per 100g Carbs’ per 100g Sugar per 100g Sodium per 100g Dietary fibre per 100g Extra vitamins and minerals per 100g (product claims) Maca (a Peruvian herb/root vegetable) 1365kJ 14g 4g 0g 71g 32g 18mg 7g Calcium – 350-500mgPotassium – 2000mgIron – 14.8mg Vitamin C – 285mg Proposed benefits for maca (aka Peruvian ginseng): Maca has been associated with an enhanced immune system through a regulation process of the endocrine glands. Maca has been called an adaptogenic species; which helps the body to adjust and effectively cope with physiological, biological and psychological stressors. This is partially due to the vitamin C content which is a natural antioxidant and is associated with improved immunity. Improved cognition due to antioxidant action. Can increase one’s libido by 180% and fertility (both genders), and improve sperm count by up to 200% in men. Men who consume maca have found improvements in erectile function and semen quality. Women suffering from hormone irregularities or menopause, have also found maca consumption to be beneficial e.g. decreased period pain and menopausal symptoms. Maca has been found to stimulate oestrogen production which is beneficial for perimenopausal and menopausal women. The phytosterol composition acts to further stimulate adrenal, ovarian and hypothalamus glands; which is associated with improved fertility, energy and menopausal symptoms. Can help to prevent or maintain osteoporosis due to the calcium content Maca acts as a stimulant by acting as an adaptogen to aid adrenal function, increase energy and stamina. Macas’ iron content can help decrease risk of anaemia; especially in vegetarians and vegans Glucosinolates are a component of maca; affect specific enzymes in the body and exhibit anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties, which can be highly protective against certain types of cancer. Maca can assist with constipation and increase regularity due to the fibre content. Common uses and serving size of maca: One serve of maca is one tablespoon, can consume up to 2 tablespoons per day; use as an additive. Can be used in smoothies, raw or cooked desserts, hot chocolate, and even in stir fry sauces e.g. teriyaki sauce to use on meat/chicken. Put it this way, a week of including these extra ingredients in my smoothies and I seriously felt the physical benefits from within (and this coming from someone who already had a ‘healthy’ predominantly whole foods diet). I felt my appetite was regulated even more so than usual, and that I could easily concentrate whilst working long hours..not bad hey? not bad at all! Natvia – This erythritol and stevia mix can be switched spoon for spoon with sugar, is low GI and practically calorie free. I would just suggest not going overboard with it as if you have a sensitive stomach to erythritol you will find you stomach starts gargling at you! Crio Bru cocoa– I am not sure if I have gone against code here, but this product is actually meant to be a brew that you make up similar to brewed coffee (even though it is a cocoa bean!). It is packed with antioxidants, and obviously tastes like chocolate! I find adding a teaspoon adds to the flavor of my drink..yum! Reduced fat cottage cheese or Chobani natural 0% yoghurt– both are packed with protein, are low GI, and not dense in calories. The greek style yoghurt is great with probiotics, but sometimes after I exercise I find I want a tiny bit of extra salt that is in the cottage cheese relative to the yoghurt (usually it would be recommended to try and cut down on salt/sodium, not have more, so keep that in mind!). Raspberries – I just like raspberries, but any berry is low calorie, provides fibre, antioxidants, and simply can make the smoothie taste yum! Obviously you can switch this for a preferred fruit that you like though. Ice Now as you can see, this is all pretty simple, pretty nutrient packed, and pretty tasty (although we all have different taste buds, so maybe thats in the eyes of the beholder!). I think adding in some shredded coconut or almond butter would taste delicious in here too..but again, that could just be me! I have also come across some other great small businesses in Australia that are all about using wholesome clean ingredients to leave you glowing from the inside out (and I have even been lucky enough to meet some of the owners/creators personally, and let me tell you, good people like these don’t seem to come around every day! They are genuinely passionate about helping others feel their best through fuelling themselves with healthy foods). If you haven’t checked out these products, I highly recommend you do, there is something in here for everyone 🙂 (I have attached a link to their websites if you want to click on the image to get more information!). So there you have it, hopefully a few new ingredients and products to start testing out in your diet that are healthy, wholesome, and of course, convenient! 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