Saturday, 15 November 2014

This Chocolate Cannot be beaten, if you think it can... you're wrong

As you may know we get most of our vegetables from our poly tunnel but when it's out of season we go to our local Organics shop called 'kineden organics' in Drumod. This is their website where you can see some of the products they sell. It's the only true organic shop for miles and is such a lovely place to shop, safe in the knowledge that everything is organic. There's great coffee there too!

That's where I first found the best chocolate ever. It's 100% raw cacao and is made in such a way to keep all the goodness of cocoa.

Here is an extract from their website explaining about the goodness of cocoa and their processes.


    In the regular chocolate production process, the cacao beans are roasted and ground at very high temperatures whereby much of the cacao's beneficial qualities are destroyed. But raw chocolate is differrent:  The raw cacao beans are not roasted but cold ground, many of the beautiful cacao substances remain intact, namely antioxidants (flavonoids) and "love chemicals".
    In the Lovechock process, from the cacao bean through to the end product, the temperature is kept below 49ÂșC. Respect for the natural ingredients and passion for chocolate assure the high quality of Lovechock.
    Raw food is a diet in which only fresh, unheated vegetable foods are consumed (so lots of juices, smoothies, salades, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds). Because foods are eaten raw, the vitamin, minerals and enzymes remain intact. These are more easily absorbed into the body than when a foodstuff has been processed and cooked.
    Raw, unroasted nuts are full of enzymes. By soaking them in water, the enzymes come to life and can be planted to produce new trees. This is also true of the cacao bean, which is the seed of the cacao fruit.

    Lovechock uses only the best, natural and organic ingredients. After a long search our choice fell upon the Arriba Nacionale, which is a superior cacao bean from Ecuador. A 'cacao fino de aroma', that is to say a speciality cacao. Speciality cacao makes up only 4% of the total world cacao trade, the rest is bulk cacao. Arriba Nacionale is a rare cacao sort which requires careful and dedicated cultivation.
    The Arriba Nacionale has a full and intense flavour with tones of exotic fruits and spicy, flowery accents.
    The cacao Lovechock uses is organically grown on a small scale by small farmers who also often cultivate other fruits. This assures a high biodiversity. Organic quality is particularly important for chocolate. Cacao grows in a tropical climate and normally cacao trees are sprayed with lots of pesticides. Lovechock uses cacao which has not been sprayed with pesticides (SKAL025561).
    Lovechock buys her chocolate directly at the cacaocorperation. You'll find here more information about this subject.

    This chocolate is the perfect blend, it tastes so good and yet you know that it has been made organically and by being raw it has preserved the goodness of cocoa. 
    Cocoa is great for the body, it has magnesium, iron, and antioxidants to keep us strong and healthy. It also has Flavinoids, and research points to its help in preventing Alzheimer's and Cancer.
    So now you truly have an excuse for eating chocolate!

    You need to try some!

    Wednesday, 12 November 2014

    The Paleo Diet! What Is it? 10 Reasons to try it!

    What is the Paleo Diet?

    The Paleo Diet gets it's name from the Paleolithic era when "early man" lived off the land, ate the fruit of the land and hunted and ate whole animals. It is also called the caveman diet.
    This is all before organised farming and grains were widely used.

    Today though, we live in a totally different world, but the paleo diet, the paleo way of eating, attempts to mimic what early man ate.
    This means eating nutrient dense foods that have virtually no processing, organic, not genetically modified and whole animals including organ meats. The health benefits are huge from eating such nutrient rich foods.

    The diet is focused on giving its nutrients from Organic meats, fish, vegtables, dairy, fruit, seeds and nuts.

    It's not the easiest diet to eat though as everywhere you look there is processing, sugar and grains.
    I suppose at this point it's good to mention what is not part of a paleo lifestyle.

    All Grains, sugar, fruit juices, soft drinks, Legumes, Artificial Sweeteners, Starchy vegetables and for some paleo people Dairy.
    An exhaustive list can be found on this website of things that "are and aren't allowed".
    As grains are not allowed on the diet, nor are sunflower oils or the likes, nearly all modern convenience fast food and ready meals are removed. It can mean more healthy home cooking.

    The subject of dairy though is very divisory in the Paleo world. Some like leading Paleo figure Dr. Loren Cordain is against dairy and the effects of dairy, whereas others find that they have a tolerance for dairy and have no problem eating high quality diary such as butter, ghee and full fat Greek style yogurt that is natural and organic.
    It's summed up fantastically here.

    The Benefits from eating Paleo

    At the moment I don't know which is right and wrong, I think it's important not to replicate the past but to use real whole foods of Paleo-like eating for the best health results.
    Eating a real food diet and avoiding the modern diet has the following benefits:

    • Better weight control as Paleo foods are generally low in carbohydrate and thus does not over store fat in the body. Paleo living also allows for easier weight loss.
    • Helps fight against auto-immune disease and other intolerances to the modern food diet, often of which we are unable to tolerate effectively. Which in turn can cause stomach aches, skin conditions such as Exzema and other problems
    • Reduced inflammatory foods reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.
    • Mood stabilisation from the lack of sugar highs and lows.
    • Prevents and can cure metabolic disease such as Diabetes Type 2.
    • More energy that is sustainable and not reliant on constant sugar top ups.
    • Gives our amazing body the tools it needs to grow and fight infection.
    • Clean eating may prove to be a turn around point from more modern diseases.

    Paleo - It's not about the laws, but the principles

    Rather than getting bogged down in Low Carb/ Paleo / Primal / Caveman stereo types I think it's best to focus on the principles rather than the laws of each of the diets.

    One good principle is "if it doesn't swim, run or fly or isn't green and grow in the ground, don't eat it." Jack Lalanne.

    Paleo/ Primal or whatever you want to call it is about an education. It's about knowing where your food came from, what are the ingredients, what are it's benefits. 
    It's not a diet with a list of do's and don't.

     Live clean, eat clean, be healthy.

    Why not try Paleo for 30 days and see how you feel?

    Friday, 7 November 2014

    live your life to the mag-nesium! 10 important facts: 7 deficiency Symptoms: What to do!

    For a start here is magnesium's fact sheet:

    • 80% of people are deficient
    • Activates muscle and nerve function
    • Helps your body produce energy in your cells (ATP)
    • Needed to counterbalance the Magnesium/ Calcium ratio in the body to prevent strokes and other heart problems
    • Needs to work synergistically with other nutrients in order to be absorbed properly.
    • Helps you sleep by regulating the hormone Melatonin. It also balances the stress hormones which can also prevent good sleep
    • Deficiency can cause a unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva which damages teeth
    • Rehydrates
    • Helps to relieve constipation
    • Relieves Restless Leg Syndrome

    Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency

    • Calcium deficiency
    • Weakness
    • Muscle cramps
    • Anxiety
    • High blood pressure
    • Poor Memory
    • RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)

    As you can see magnesium does an amazing job in our body,
    If you have any of the above problems or feel generally low on energy it's worth taking a months course of Magnesium to see if it could be something as simple as a Magnesium deficiency.

    I've had first hand experience of the benefits of magnesium...

    For as long as I can remember I've had RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). It comes on in the evening time and gets worse at night. Often I'd wake up with a aching/pain/ awkwardness in my knees and legs that would give me the urge to get up and walk.
    Getting up and walking does help but it's a pain to have to deal with. It disrupts my sleep, in that I can half wake up with the constant niggles, and toss and turn for an hour until I wake up enough, become conscious and realise what's going on. I've read many articles that say to reduce your Alcohol intake as well as your caffeine.

    But on doing some research I found a new study that showed the benefits that magnesium does for the muscle and nerves. It also showed that it helped RLS sufferers.

    I take magnesium almost everyday now. I take magnesium citrate which is better absorbable than some of the other cheaper magnesium supplements. If I forget or am away for a couple of days my RLS reappears! But the day that I start on the magnesium again, my RLS disappears just as quick. I've tested this over and over again and I can anecdotally prove that Magnesium cures my RLS and as a result improves my sleep to no end.

    Magnesium has so many benefits as is shown above. It's worth putting it into your daily routine, especially if you suffer from any RLS or muscle/ poor sleep.

    There are also foods that you can eat to give you a natural source of magnesium.

    • Leafy greens such as spinach
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Fish 

    It can be difficult to get enough magnesium in our modern diet. Our food is only as good as the ground that it comes out of. It is best to try to eat a nutrient dense diet but in the case of magnesium it's also best to add a good magnesium supplement.

    Start off small with the doses as some people find it to be a laxative.

    Live your life to the Mag-nesium!