So you may have heard of kimchi before and how it can benefit your gut, you may have considered buying or already have got a jar of it in your kitchen but are wondering what on earth to do with it?!
What is it?
Firstly, for those who may not be too familiar with it, kimchi is a spicy, fermented mix of veg usually cabbage, carrot, raddish etc which comes from Korea and has a heat and pickled taste to it. As it’s fermented it’s high in probiotic bacteria, the best way to maximise on this is to source a good quality one that hasn’t been pasterised although even the type that has gone through this process and therefore is stored at room temp will still have benefits.
There are many ways to use kimchi, it’s so versatile and because it doesn’t require any cooking or prep it’s pretty easy to incorporate into food, but here are my top and favourite ways to consume it:
1) In a burger/veggie burger
People often look toward sauces for adding flavour to burger but a great way to add more veg and fiber to this meal is by adding a handful of kimchi, it gives lots of spice and tang, think about the traditional sauerkraut on hotdogs type of thing! For this recipe I used “Yumchi kimchi” which you can get in Planet organic/Wholefoods and on Amazon.
Recently I got to try a new superfoods blend product and I loved it so much that I really want to share it with others and support a brand that genuinely cares for its product & customers (see more below).
Firstly, some quick bits of info about what the blend is/contains:
-a mix of superfoods, probiotics, prebiotics & herbs for better health
-contains foods/ingredients that support the body’s own detox pathways plus helps with optimal digestion, alkalizing the body and supports energy levels
-free from gluten, dairy, soy, GMO, pesticides, herbicides & tested for heavy metals
-uses cocoa powder and natural plant derived xylitol & stevia for a sugar free chocolate flavour that’s kind to teeth
Using Vegantek superfoods blend
You can use this blend for anything you like, for example, add it to water or milk of choice for a quick shake, or blend with fruit for a healthy smoothie, add a scoop or two to your baking or oatmeal. Plus because the blend tastes so good I’ve found that for single serving recipes you don’t need to add any extra sweetness.
You can use it to help promote better health whether it’s through simply increasing the amount of good stuff going into your body, or to improve digestion meaning you’re better absorbing your food. You can also use it to make healthier/calorie controlled/low sugar recipes meaning you can loose weight easier. Plus when you sneak some scoops into baked goods you can get the goodness into kids too which includes greens that they may not otherwise touch!
Note: this is NOT your average detox tea or drink that just basically acts as a laxative which makes most people believe they’re detoxing but actually aren’t (it’s just water weight they’ve lost). The greens and herbs in this blend are natural liver and kidney supporters which enable your body to do it’s job better which is to get rid of the rubbish, if you combine this with a good diet it becomes even better because then your body doesn’t have to prioritize getting rid of toxins first before it can then focus on normal tasks/healing.
As I mentioned at the start, I’ve become more passionate about this product the more I learnt what went into it and how it was carefully designed. This brand has been very meticulous about how and where the ingredients were sourced and they’ve all the certificates to prove it (check out their site).
This is highly important and means it’s a level above many other brands because you aren’t getting any chemicals or added toxins in it that would negate the benefits of the blend. I have personally read studies on certain brands from America (now available in the UK) that weren’t sourced well and therefore scored very high for levels of heavy metals and pesticides etc. A superfood is NO good to anyone if it’s covered in a chemical which brings you negative side effects/cancels out the benefits of it.
Upon initial glance, it may seem like its more expensive than similar brands but when you really consider the quality and amount (it’s 1kg, most products are 500g) plus the sheer number of superfoods in it, it’s definitely worth it’s price.
Head to vegantek.co.uk to check out their products, read some helpful articles and purchase their blend, you can also get a discount by using code: DONTFRIG
Keep an eye on my social media as I’ve been using this blend so much recently that I’ll be sharing some recipes soon to help people understand how they can use it to make healthier, more nourishing meal choices.
Although I’m an ambassador of this product all opinions expressed here are my own and I never recommend products that I wouldn’t personally use myself, post may contain affiliate links.
If you’ve seen my blog before then you’ll know I’m a fan of real food and that includes bread.
Making real bread from scratch has begun to make a comeback; more and more people are starting to appreciate the handmade, locally produced products that are now being made.
Documenting real bread bakers
This documentary (see link at bottom), “Real bread bakers” highlights exactly why it’s so important and the benefits of supporting these creators rather than buying the heavily processed stuff in the supermarket, some of which are claiming to be sourdough but aren’t actually the real thing.
“Real bread bakers” follows people who are baking incredible breads, it gives behind the scenes insights into real bakers lives and tells their story as well as how this brings them a livelihood plus a sense of community.
It also gives you a brief history of the baking world from the original sourdoughs which then became disregarded because the mass produced stuff didn’t have the sour tang which made people believe that the authentic stuff had something wrong with it, when the opposite is true! We now know how much better the sour, fermented breads are for us, showing that we’ve now done the full circle and come back to appreciating the original stuff.
Some of the producers in this film even make breads for Michelin starred chefs which shows the uniqueness and high quality that can be achieved from bakers, this also in my mind shows just how wonderful making your own breads can be as you can develop and experiment with your favourite flavours.
The real bread revolution is definitely making a name for itself again but support is still needed. In order for these products to be readily available we need to support the people behind them, this means buying local quality stuff which remember, is also more nutritious for you too. It can also include advertising that hard work or quality produce with friends and family to spread the word about it and that way, people know where to purchase these options rather than just from the supermarket.
Please, give this documentary a watch, they ask for a small donation of just £2.30, part of the proceeds will go to the bread charity to support their work and if you feel you would like to support more, you can donate a larger sum, but that’s totally voluntary.
Click the link below to watch more and support this worthy cause.
The year is nearly at an end and it’s been another big year for health and wellness.
Now more than ever, people are starting to appreciate health more and therefore the health food and wellness product market has exploded. You just have to look at the sections in the supermarkets now that are dedicated to plant based/free from items to offer people compared to a few years ago when it was very difficult to find goji berries except in your local hippy health food store!
With so many products having come out it can be a mind field trying to figure out what you need/should try so I’ve summarised here some of my favourite products of the year which I’ve been quite fond of and will continue to purchase in the future.
Note: Obviously before trying any new supplements consult your GP first esp if on medication!
1) Karine jackson shampoo (Beauty kitchen brand)
This shampoo is made with all natural, chemical free, ingredients and smells lovely to boot! I love this one because it has ingredients that protect the hair but also help pull out pollutants that get in there from the days air/environment. Due to the nature of the ingredients it’s great for anyone with sensitive skin, the only issue i would be mindful of is that there are some essential oils in it which may not be suitable for skin with a lot of broken skin patches.
Find it: Holland & Barrett or online
2) Gato plant based cookie
Who doesn’t want a healthy cookie? I love these raspberry ones that are made with high fibre plant based ingredients, it’s also not too rich, but still feels like a treat without leaving you feeling sluggish or regretting your treat the way some richer foods can do.
Find it: Sainsburys, Holland & Barrett, Ocado
3) Ginseng green tea (rebranding from Qi to Herbal health teas)
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb that can provide energy and help the body deal with stress better. This combined with organic green tea is a great combo especially if you need some energy in the morning. The green tea is also full of antioxidants and has a mild caffeine level, plus is organic meaning it’s free from contaminants that may be in other brands. This particular flavour also has some spice in there too which I love as it gives it a little kick of flavour. This tea brand is also one of my favourites in general.
Find it: Holland & Barrett, health food stores or online e.g. Amazon
This tablet contains a mix of rhodiola (adaptogenic herb) and passion flower which are helpful for dealing with stress and anxiety, the tablet also contains some zinc which is great for immunity and quite complementary as stressful times lowers your immune system, plus B vitamins too for energy release. I take this in the morning when I know I’m going to have a stressful day at work and let’s face it, most jobs are like that these days, so it gives a helping hand to your body.
The dose of rhodiola compared to tablets on their own isn’t huge but it combination with the other stuff it can be a helping hand to your body. On a side note, I’ve also been using some ashwaghanda for cortisol balance which is also released when we’re constantly stressed. Everyone’s body is different so you may respond better to one than another.
Find it: Holland & Barrett or online
5) Ape snacks crisps
These beauties are a great snack based on real food ingredients and the “cheese” flavoured ones are amazing, they really taste like Whotsits but with better ingredients. What I really like is that they use coconut oil which is more stable at higher baking temps whereas most other crisp brands use unstable regular sunflower oil which turns rancid and isn’t great for the heart so if you eat a lot of crisps I’d look carefully at what they use.
Find it: Holland & Barrett, sainsburys, Amazon or Boots
6) Seedful olive loaf
This. Is. Delicous.
I love this bread and couldn’t believe how good it was when I first tasted it. Normally a wholefood, high fibre gluten free loaf is pretty dense or dry but this is neither. It tastes amazing because of the chopped olives which give a mild saltiness which contrasts with the tangy apple cider vinegar for amazing flavour, plus the cider vinegar helps avoid the bread being dense and the healthy fats from the seeds keep it moist, I can’t recommend this brand enough!
Find it: Holland & Barrett
The Beauty of Eating Well by Camille Knowles is her latest creation which focuses on teaching people how to eat for better skin/healing skin conditions.
Camille herself has gone through skin conditions in the past and has learned to heal this through food and find joy in doing so. All the recipes are dairy, egg and gluten free but are full of colour and nourishing ingredients.
Having psoriasis myself, I’m aware of how my condition flares up when my digestive system is at its worst or when my stress levels are through the roof so I love how this book takes a whole body approach to healing skin, i.e, it talks about digestion, managing stress and trying to stay positive all alongside eating well which is really important, as any autoimmune/skin issue won’t go away from simply slugging down an acai smoothie twice a week while neglecting other aspects of your health.
One of the first things I noticed about this book and the recipes were that it focused on very colourful, bright foods which are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that are key to healing skin, moreover, it also has a few recipes in it that use high quality fish/meat, as they are a good source of zinc which is a key nutrient for healthy skin. So while this book is primarily plant based, it does have some recipes in there which might intrigue even the pickiest meat eater too but also makes it more inclusive as I feel some people can be put off by the thought of a book being completely vegan.
Just to note, some recipes do use ingredients that some people may be very unfamiliar with/find hard to find such as acai or teff but these can be easily substituted by other ingredients, just give it a quick google (for example the teff flour cracker recipe could sub more buckwheat flour etc).
For people with really sensitive guts there are also a lot of recipes that are grain free or use pseudo grains such as quinoa/teff etc and most of the breakfast/dessert recipes are centred around fruit and nuts/seeds rather than heavily grain based. Personally, I love the grain free bread, which is lovely and moist thanks to the good fats and goes great with soup!
The Beauty of Eating well is a good entry point for someone first learning about how to take care of their skin from the inside out. It will give you a few nourishing recipes to start kick your healing journey as well as tips for looking after your health in other ways too in order to achieve much healthier, happier skin.
You can buy the book in multiple forms from Amazon here: http://bit.ly/376bHgyinfluenceramazon
I’m writing this firstly as I really wanted to bring awareness to this topic but also because I’ve recently come across a lot of stories involving insensitive comments or someone who has spoken without thinking and quite often it has been to a person with an allergy/medical issue. Regarding my own health issues, I do it in order to minimise my symptoms and to prevent further illness further one down the line as I don’t want matters to get worse, people often fail to see this, instead only seeing what they perceive to be “deprivation”.
One message I really want people to take away from this is to talk to the person first before making assumptions about them, you may be judging a book by its cover without even realising it.
Also, I’m sure at one point we’ve all felt like our body needs a bit of TLC and therefore have chosen to be more mindful of what we put in it, some people just do it more often than others.
These points and more are summarised below in the top five things I wish people would stop saying about healthy eating/people that they perceive to do it.
1– It’s too hard/expensive to be healthy
It doesn’t need to be if you focus on veg, fruit, local protein (eggs/fish) and wholegrains (oats). Basic food such as these are not expensive, focus on these types of ingredients for the most part and give yourself some time, good habits will form, cravings will reduce and you’ll find it a lot easier.
£1.15 wholegrain pasta