Health Benefits of Turmeric

Why is everyone so obsessed with turmeric? People are raving about it, all the big coffee chains are adding it to their lattes and there are even cooking books dedicated to turmeric. To find out why keep reading.

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Top 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory properties
  2. Pain relief – studies have shown it to work as well as ibuprofen
  3. Improve liver functions – due to its antioxidant abilities
  4. Digestion – can even be used to treat IBS
  5. Reduce the risk of cancer
  6. Natural Medicine
  7. Reduces depression
  8. Reduces period pains
  9. Reduces Acne – add to your face mask to have clear smooth and healthy skin
  10. Fights age related diseases.

Health Brands and stores are going crazy for this everyday spice. Shop shelves are over flowing with turmeric tablets, teas and snacks. Restaurants and coffee shops are adding to it everything they can from juices, coffees, shots and cakes.

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Thinking you might find it hard to add this magical ingredient into your daily routine? Here is an easy way to kill your evening snacking and add this magic spice to your daily diet:

Recipe

Turmeric Latte

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serving size: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 Teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 Teaspoons of agave syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon of nut butter
  • 1 Cup full of soya milk
  • Cinnamon to sprinkle

Instructions

Add all ingredients into a pan apart from the cinnamon and soya milk. Put on a low heat and mix until runny. Add in the soya milk and stir until boiling. Pour into a mug and add cinnamon. Serve straight away.

Best enjoyed as a late evening treat. If you feel something sweet or craving one more snack before bed try this. Not only is it filling but it’s healthy as well.

Here is the finished product:

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BEWARE: Turmeric stains very badly so try not to spill it, especially on anything white. Also clean your teeth straight after consuming to avoid a yellow smile.

Enjoy 🙂

Instagram – @Kezkiakco

 

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Mildred’s Vegan Restaurant

This is the first truly vegan and vegetarian restaurant I have ever been to in London and I have to say I was very impressed. They have four Locations across London – Camden, Soho, Kings Cross, Dalston. I went to the Kings Cross restaurant.

When you arrive they ask you if you’ve been there before and if not they check that you know that it is a vegetarian restaurant to avoid disappointment. I assume most people who attend would know in advance, as this is why they are here but you never know.

When we were seated we were asked if we had any allergies or intolerances and handed the menu. For a change almost everything was vegan and the few options that were not were clearly marked. It’s nice to go to a place where they assume the opposite to the norm. They assume you are vegan.

There is quite a large menu to choose from and the mains are all very large and filling. I didn’t get a starter and I don’t think I would have managed one if I had. I was very full by the end of the meal which is unusual for London.

I went for the chicken katsu curry as this is my favourite dish at Wagamama. I can’t say it tasted much like the one in Wagamama but it was very tasty. The texture and taste of the mock chicken was really good and it even looked the same as meat. As a meat eater it is an excellent alternative and I could quite easily eat this on a daily basis instead of chicken.

It is very reasonably priced at under £25 for main and alcoholic drink.

The only downside is that you cannot book in advance. When we arrived we were notified there would be a 20 minute wait so we decided to have a drink at the bar. This was not an issue for us but if in a rush this situation would not be ideal.

I very much like the idea of becoming vegan and I have read so much about the health benefits and understand the value it has on the planet but I honestly don’t know if I could do it on a permanent basis. I know it sounds lazy but I feel like it would involve a lot of reading ingredient labels and be quite inconvenient when socialising – restaurants and dinner parties. I would love it if I could eat like I did in Mildred’s every day but somehow I feel that wouldn’t be practical as I would have to spend hours in the kitchen ever evening. I am very interested in perhaps doing a 7 day trial, if you’ve done one or you are vegan let me know and drop me some advice.

Thanks!

 

Wood Roasted Mushroom and Ale Pie, Minted Mushy Peas & Fries:

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Chicken Katsu Curry:

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Instagram – @keziakco

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Crazy about cashews

Cashew nuts are one of the most popular nuts that we incorporate into our diets on a daily basis. This can be through eating nut butter, consuming them raw, roasted or salted, naked bars, cashew milk or a tasty nut roast.

Nutritional value per 100g

  • Carbohydrates – 30g – 10%
  • Protein – 18g – 36%
  • Fat – 44g – 68%
  • Fiber – 3.3g – 13%
  • Calories – 553
  • Sodium – 12mg – 1%
  • Calcium – 4%
  • Iron – 37%
  • Vitamin C – 1%

Cashews contain the lowest amount of fiber out of all the nuts but make up for this in containing many minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Cashews are extremely high in fat so best to stick to the handful recommendation (found in my previous blog post ‘Are nuts good for you?‘.  You do have to be careful and watch your fat content but the good news is that most these fats are good ones – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. When these fats are eaten instead of saturated fats (and within moderation) they assist in the prevention and fight against heart disease, stroke and weight gain.

When thinking about eye health, carrots probably pop into your mind. I’m sure you will be as surprised as I am that actually cashews are equally as beneficial due to their high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds basically work together to prevent cataracts and protect the eye from light damage and ultimately blindness.

By chance I found the most delicious dish that contains cashews whilst visiting a popular cafe in Fitztrovia, London:

Riding House Cafe

This quirky little cafe offering all home comforts is located in the heart of Fitztrovia, London. I found out about this place from Instagram, it has suddenly taken off in popularity and I can see all the influencers and bloggers alike taking posts in this restaurant. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about for myself so went ahead and booked a table for the following week.

Dining wise, there is no set theme, you could rock up wearing any attire and have whatever experience you are seeking. What I mean by that is that they offer, brunch, cocktails, beer, breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday roast, dessert and anything and everything in between.

It took me a very long time to decide what to do for with all these options to hand. The menu can be found here – Riding House Cafe Menu

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There is just so much choice, even though I was tempted by the buttermilk pancakes I went for the healthy option and had Freekeh and Feta Salad along with a green smoothie.

I will start by saying the green smoothie did not go down to well at all. I don’t believe the ingredients below complimented each other at all. The spinach and kale completely over powered the rest of the ingredients making it taste very bitter and difficult to digest. Had there been slightly more apple and ginger I think it could have been a lot more pleasant. However, this drink is the definition of health so I braved it, and finished the lot. I did have to drink a lot of water after to wash it down though. I would NOT be ordering this again in a rush.

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(even the shade of green isn’t appetizing)

It contained:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Apple
  • Ginger
  • Mint

The cost was £5

Freekeh and Feta Salad:

I am so so so pleased I picked this! It is absolutely delicious and full of nutrients. I had no idea what freekeh is but as I was out I thought why not try something new. I knew it wouldn’t be unhealthy and its hard to go wrong with a salad so why not. This is the final result:

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Inside it contains:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Feta cheese
  • Freekeh
  • Cashews

It is so healthy and filling and the flavors are amazing. So you have probably realized I’m more that just a bit obsessed with this dish so I went ahead and recreated it at home. I just purchased all the individual ingredients in the local supermarket and bought the freekeh from Holland and Barrett.

I boiled the freekeh in water with a bit of salt for about 15 minutes (taste it to check its soft enough, if still hard carry on boiling until soft). I then went ahead and chopped and prepped all other ingredients so that they were ready to mix into the freekeh.

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This is my final result:

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Freekeh:

If you’re like me you probably have never heard of this grain and no nothing about it. Little did I know, but freekeh is the all new exciting and popular super grain that has outshone the famous quinoa. This grain as celebrity fans including Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Oliver raving about it.

This grain is traditionally a middle eastern food. It is a fantastic base for getting the necessary protein and fiber into your diet. It contains three times more protein than brown rice and 2 times more fiber. So ditch the rice and jump of the freekeh craze. However, at over £5 per 500g it doesn’t come cheap.

If you enjoyed this, you can look at my other content within my nuts series:

Instagram – @keziakco

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What are the health benefits of hazelnuts?

Hazelnuts are high in fiber and low in salts, but please don’t go nuts with them! haha

Nutritional information per 100g:

  • Calories – 650kcal
  • Fat – 64g
  • Saturates – 4.7g
  • Carbohydrates – 6g
  • Sugars – 4g
  • Fiber – 6.5g
  • Protein – 14g
  • Salt – 0.02g
  • Vitamin E – 208% recommended daily intake
  • Pantothenic Acid – 25% recommended daily intake
  • Potassium – 37% recommended daily intake
  • Phosphorus – 43% recommended daily intake

Hazelnuts are great for weight loss, heart health, cancer protection and more. The antioxidants they contain help in the fight against cancers and the fiber assists in maintaining a healthy heart.

 

These contribute to healthy skin and hair as hazelnuts contains high amounts of vitamin E. 100g of hazelnuts (as stated above) contains 208% of our recommended amount. Vitamin E also protects the skin from damaging ultraviolet light, which protects from cancers and dark skin spots. The natural oils in hazelnuts also protect from premature aging, wrinkles and dryness of the skin. So if you’re thinking of getting that filler perhaps you just need to rethink your diet first 😉

Hazel nuts are quite unique as they contain a lot of folate. This is particularly beneficial for pregnant women as it protects against neural defects in babies and prevents anemia.

Here is a nice recipe I found to help you incorporate hazelnuts into your diet. This does contain sugar so more of a treat instead of a daily snack – enjoy 🙂

Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie with Bananas

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With the hazelnuts I purchased I decided to make a delicious desert smoothie that I sourced. Please see instructions for two servings below:

Ingredients:

  • 240ml milk (dairy, almond, cashew, soy, coconut) the choice is yours
  • 128g ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 64g hazelnuts (plain)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon hazelnut extract

Add everything to the blender and blend. Add more liquid if too thick.

I found this recipe from Jessica Gavins website I just decided to use plain hazelnuts instead of roasted and cacao powder instead of unsweetened coco powder.

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The benefits of these small marble sized nuts is endless. I was only able to list a few so it would be great to hear of any others.

Do you  know of any other health benefits or facts around hazelnuts?

Instagram – @keziakco

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For more information on nuts please check out my previous post  – Are nuts good for you?

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Chia Bites

Just a quick one this week 🙂

From my previous blog post on snacks I mentioned that I normally have banana slice to fulfill my sugar craving. I was getting a bit bored of it so found this recipe for chia bites. They are so tasty – enjoy 😉

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Chia seeds are very low in calories but hold a huge amount of nutrients within them. They come from South America and actually the word ‘chia’ means strength, so perfect for a strong body.

1 ounce or 28g of these tiny seeds contains the following nutrition:

  • 11g Fiber
  • 4g Protein
  • 9g Fat
  • 18% RDA Calcium
  • 30% RDA Manganese
  • 27% RDA Phosphorus
  • 137 calories in total

Almost all the carbohydrates in the chia seeds are fiber and due to their high protein content are perfect for weight loss. They also have the ability to make you feel fuller for longer. This is due to the fiber that swells in your belly giving you this full feeling.

In my opinion chia seeds don’t actually taste of anything so therefore they are very easy to incorporate into your diet. You can add them into baking, soups, salads smoothies, you name it!

These tiny seeds contain loads of antioxidants that maximize health and are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

A lot of goodness for a tiny seed!

Chia Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup or 340g of oats
  • 1/4 cup or 85g of cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup or 170g chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup or 85g coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup or 170g almond butter

Method:

  1.  Mix oats, cacao powder, chia seeds, coconut flakes, honey, vanilla essence and cinnamon in a bowl
  2. Heat the almond butter until soft and add to the mixture
  3. Roll the mixture into balls (add more honey if not sticking)
  4. Place on a tray with grease proof paper and put in the fridge for 10 minutes
  5. Store in the fridge in an airtight container

Final Result:

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Instagram @keziakco

xxx

 

Farm Girl

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Farm Girl is a beautiful little holistic cafe in the center of Notting Hill and is located just down Portobello Road. You could easily miss it as it is tucked away down a little alley way. When we arrived we were greeted by quite a long queue. As it is so small and hidden away it was obvious that these people queuing clearly came out of their way to try this cafe. They most likely know about it through marketing or social media and were not passers by.

We were greeted by the man at the door who took our names and notified us that there would be a 30-45 minute waiting time. As we had come out of our way to try this healthy food we had heard so much about we decided to wait it out. Luckily the queuing time was only around 25 minutes and we were seated inside.

Farm girl has a tiny outdoor seating space and indoor space and this explains the wait. In the summer it would be lovely to sit outside but I was happy with indoors due to the weather. I would mention that the tables are very close together so not much privacy but this is fine in a casual setting.

The menu is on one board, one side drinks and the other food. I had difficulty choosing my main dish and everything sounded so healthy, tasty and wholesome.

We ordered:

  • Hibiscus Latte – Organic hibiscus matcha powder with coconut milk
  • Butterfly Latte – Organic blue matcha powder with almond milk
  • Avocado Toast – Lemon juice, fresh coriander & a sprinkle of pomegranate
    add a poached egg
  • Oven Baked Eggs – Turkish eggs traditionally baked in a tomato, red pepper & parsley sauce + Greek yogurt
  • Berry Pancakes – Benoit’s buckwheat mix with amber maple syrup, peppermint & fresh strawberries sprinkled with coconut shavings + coconut yogurt

 

When the drinks arrived they looked very colourful and Instagramable but I cant say I felt the same with the taste. Both had a very unusual taste that I wasn’t really accustomed to. The Butterfly was much better than the Hibiscus as the Hibiscus had a very powerful taste (I honestly haven’t ever tried anything like it). I thought they were interesting but for the price (£4.10)  and the taste I wouldn’t have either again. Great for a picture though 😉

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Now the food was something else, tasted very fresh and full of nutrients, ( you can see a quick video on my Instagram to really get a feel of what I’m talking about @Keziakco). The bread that came with both dishes was very small (good for me as I don’t really eat carbs). You could also tell from the taste that it was fresh, wholesome and full of goodness. The avocado was very fresh and a very generous portion was given. It was mixed with lemon oils (I believe) that gave a strong tasty flavors. The pomegranate went really well with the dish enhancing the overall taste. As I used to live in Istanbul I have eaten this egg dish on many occasion and it is one of my favorites. I was hopeful that it would have the same flavors and taste as when made in the traditional way. I was nicely surprised, the only difference was that this one was a bit more tomatoey. All in all the food was delicious and I would definitely return.

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We decided to go for dessert and had pancakes to share. This is a very large dish and I don’t believe someone could have this all to themselves but great to share or have on it own as a main. Think American style pancakes but you can taste that they are healthy and unrefined, probably baked with whole wheat flower.

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The bill was around £46 for two people. Quite pricey for a cafe lunch but was very healthy. Farm Girl has made quite a name for itself on social media so the price doesn’t put me off.

Another note I would add is that you do not need to book so you can just pop in at any time. Here is the link to their website for further information – http://www.thefarmgirl.co.uk/

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Instagram @Keziakco

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Treats

The question on most dieters minds is when are they going to get to enjoy the food they loved so much before their diet began. On what day can I have that slice of cake? How much ‘bad’ food can I have without ruining all the progress I’ve made?

There are many options for people to follow and advice all over the internet. Please take extra caution when following this information as it varies. It is dependant on what you want to achieve, how quickly you want to achieve it and what you see as enjoying a treat.

As I promote this as a lifestyle and not a diet it is crucial that  you are not waiting for a treat day every week and seeing food as a reward. This ultimately ruins everything you worked for as this mindset is keeping you in your fat and unhealthy ways. Sugary, fatty and synthetic foods are not a reward and you simply setting yourself up for failure and not to mention, harming your body in the process.

We are all human and of course it is not realistic to go through life without indulging in what we most enjoy and for most of us we all have that favourite food that is not on the diet plan. When dieting it is evident that the majority of days in your life will be on plan and avoid unhealthy choices, the so limited days where you do eat what you enjoy, please do not waste this opportunity. Many of us snack when we are hungry and select the easiest option – crisps, sweets, cake (you name it). When you are starving you do not think about what you are eating and often do not enjoy it. Why waste a treat when you are unable to enjoy it. In order to avoid this meal prep is essential as this means healthy options are never out of reach.

When I have a treat I make it count. I save it for a celebration like a birthday, wedding, holiday, special restaurant, or when baking something. For example, last summer I worked really hard but when I knew all my holidays were over and I had a day off from work I ordered a pizza and I have to say it was a great feeling. This was one greatly appreciated treat meal after 3 months of low carbs, exercise and no treats. Not only did it taste better than ever but it was almost guilt free.

If you absolutely live for unhealthy food this will be very difficult for you and you must try to focus on reconditioning your brain in order to achieve your goal. Some people are more left-brained so more analytic and need a pattern to follow. In this situation you can follow this rule that is respected by many olympians:

12 days following your diet followed by the 13th days as a ‘cheat day’. I recommend  a cheat meal not day as this will only make the 14th day harder for you. Every 4 days on your diet your body makes an upgrade to its metabolism, improving itself and your health. After it has done this 4 times it is enough to remove everything bad out of your body, 4 x 4 = 16 days so if you consume a cheeky pizza or piece of cake on the 13th day your metabolism is in its optimum week and can remove the negatives from your body. This really does work and is scientifically proven, but please do not count days, and add dates to calendars etc. Do not live to eat, eat to live.

Despite us all enjoying a treat now and again the real reward is how you feel, your health, your appearance and your confidence.

This is a little something I created on the weekend for my one off treat (I only had one). Contains ALOT of sugar! BEWARE!

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Please find the recipe here – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/143083/fresh-fruit-flan/ (but instead of a flan I made meringues. Meringues recipe –http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/international/european/french/meringues Enjoy, but not too many please 😉

Instagram – keziakco

xxx