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It has been said that bad supplements are like a bad diet and I have to say I agree. Every day I get bombarded by supplement companies with products that promise to be the true elixir for a better life and increased health. The truth is that a good supplement should be supporting a busy lifestyle where someone already has a great diet and way of living.

 

The landscape of supplements is also changing and food supplements are becoming more important. This is because we are calorie laden and nutrient poor. The soil our crops are grown in can be deficient in essential minerals and nutrients and fast food has become a fast way to poor health.

 

Convenience is not convenient if it’s costing you your energy, vitality and essential lifeforce. As we now know nature provides us with everything we need the world of plant based food supplements becomes an area of interest and intrigue. The question is how do we harness the best that nature can provide?

 

For thousands of years mushrooms have been used in healing and medicines and they are being increasingly researched today to assess their importance and health benefits. There are edible, inedible, magic and poisonous mushrooms. Currently there are over 10,000 known types of mushrooms and scientists reckon about 2,000 of these are edible. Although that may seem like a lot, mycologists suspect that this is only a fraction of what’s out there!

For a long time now I have been using mushrooms for medicinal teas and supplementing with good quality supplements that I have found like shitake and reishi in my smoothies. Mushrooms have long been known to boost immunity and overall health. Some of the other benefits that you can expect include increased energy, improved muscle recovery, heart health, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and concentration or cognition. In trials many mushrooms also contain powerful ingredients that have been found to neutralize free radicals.

A new product that I am a proud Brand Ambassador for, Phytality, which means for ‘plants for life’ has a new product called Super Six. It contains six different active extracts from six different types of mushrooms. Each “vegan friendly” capsule contains 300mg of concentrated extracts from the mushrooms, God’s Mushroom (Agaricus brasiliensis), Maitake (Grifola frondosa), Cordyceps militaris, Shiitake (Lentinus edodes), Turkey tail (Trametes Versicolor) and Reishi- “Mushroom of Immortality” (Ganoderma lucidum).

 

All six of these mushrooms and their extracts have been used for 1000’s of years all over the world by traditional herbalists to promote and support good overall health and wellness. Also, within the past several years, these mushrooms have also been of great interest to many research scientists.

 

For example, in a 1995 study,* Reishi showed ‘the greatest antihepatotoxic activity and the greatest free radical scavenging activity.’ In other words it helps to reduce free radical activity. At high levels, free radicals damage various structures in your body’s cells. This cellular damage contributes to an increase in your risk for developing many health problems, including those related to aging. This is why decreasing or inactivating free radicals can lead to huge benefits for your health.Reishi is Known in China as the “spirit plant,” as it is believed to relax and fortify both mind and body.

CORDYCEPS

In a 2012 study (2), Cordyceps have been shown to “improve the antioxidation activity in immunosuppressed mice (and to) significantly increase… total antioxidant capacity.”

The great news is that Cordyceps not only helps to neutralize harmful free radicals, it also enhances the activity of your body’s innate antioxidant systems.

Compounds from Cordyceps have been shown to help support balanced blood sugar levels. For example, a study (4) in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that a Cordyceps polysaccharide showed “potent hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) activity in genetic diabetic mice,” while “plasma glucose level was quickly reduced in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.” The study also found that this same Cordyceps-sourced polysaccharide contributed to lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

 

SHITAKE

 

Shiitake is probably one of the best-studied mushrooms in the world today. These mushrooms contain a polysaccharide known as Lentinan, (3) which Cancer Detection and Prevention Journal has described as “a unique class of immunopotentiator” that helps to improve the quality of life and extend survival.

 

TURKEY TAIL

 

Turkey tail contains a wide variety of phenol and flavonoid antioxidants which help promote your immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds. In fact, one study (5) detected over 35 different phenolic compounds in a sample of turkey tail mushroom extract, along with the flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and baicalein. Reducing stress and inflammation is so important in today’s world. Let’s face it most of us are stressed even when we don’t even feel it.

The busyness epidemic means that our bodies need better support backed by science and research. We need to understand our needs better and a lot of plants have the intelligence to work synergistically with our bodies to help us navigate the modern world with greater ease and pleasure.

 

We don’t always have to fight life and battle with our health. Knowledge truly is power and when you begin to educate yourself about food and the plant world, you can begin to make smarter choices for yourself.

 

PHYTALITY Super Six stockists https://www.greenlightsupplements.com/

  • Boots Ireland
  • Duggan’s Pharmacy , Renmore , Galway
  • Salthill Pharmacy , Salthill
  • Matt O Flaherty , William Street , Galway
  • Matt O Flaherty , Barna , Galway
  • Matt O Flaherty , Moycullen , Galway
  • Matt O Flaherty , Eyre Square , Galway
  • Matt O Flaherty , NUIG , Galway
  • Matt O Flaherty , Terryland , Galway

 

REFERENCES/STUDIES

Post sponsored by Phytality 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probiotics are the superhero of the gut world! With the increased focus on their benefits Probiotics have become one of the biggest trends today

MyPro GutWhy? A probiotic deficiency may very well be a root cause of digestive, physical or even mental health illness. Probiotics aka “friendly bacteria” have become an easy and effective way for us to look after our digestion, boost our immunity and maintain and promote overall wellbeing hence probiotic supplementation can yield massive benefits to many individuals.

The vast range of products available on the market today can cause confusion if the consumer does not know what they are looking for. Not all probiotics are created equal and not all probiotics do the same thing.

Launching three new products Irish company Pharmed introduce the MyPro range delivering the next generation of probiotic interventions, one specifically for new babies, one for people with iron deficiency or for improved iron uptake such as women of childbearing age, pregnant women, children and adolescents, people with gluten intolerance and gastrointestinal diseases, vegetarians, athletes, elderly people and those using medications containing aspirin. The final product being launched resulting from years of clinical research is a high strength formulation of varied probiotic strains clinically proven to reach the gut alive and assist in promoting a healthy microbiome and digestive system for all the family.

Probiotic Myths:

The Billions Myth: Quality (strength) is much more important than quantity
The Cure all Myth: Different probiotics do different things
The Antibiotics Myth: Certain strains can reach the gut alive during the use of antibiotics
The Numbers Myth: Single strains are more specific
The Food Myth: Certain strains have specific health benefits not found in fermented foods
The Fridge Myth: The storage method does not indicate superior quality

• 1 in 3 women need more iron in their diet
• Other groups at risk of iron deficiency include Vegetarians, Athletes, elderly people, people with gluten intolerance, People with gastrointestinal diseases, Women of child bearing age, etc.
• 50% of pregnant women are estimated to be anaemia globally (World Health Organisation )
• A probiotic deficiency may be a root of some mental health illnesses
• Up to 80% of women taking global iron supplements experience adverse effects
• 95% of the iron in a traditional iron supplement is not absorbed

MyPro Iro-Sorb is specifically targeted at people who are Iron deficient. It offers a natural way to increase Iron absorption through dietary intake. Its patented strain of probiotic, LP299V is clinically proven to facilitate this mechanism of natural absorption.
Iro-Sorb also contains added Vitamin C which further enhances Iron absorption as well as containing a folic acid booster. It is suitable for teenagers, men & women to take before, during and after pregnancy and due to its low Iron content (15% RDA) significantly reduces the possibility of side effects.

MyPro Gut 2MyPro Iro-Sorb RRP €19.95 – Available in pharmacies nationwide and at www.mypro-biotics.com

“Probiotics are live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” World Health Organisation

1. MyPro Colicare – clinically documented to improve the early childhood symptoms of infant colic and to promote a healthy digestive system for your baby
2. MyPro Forte – a food supplement resulting from years of clinical research surrounding probiotics. The high strength formulation of its varied probiotic strains are clinically proven to reach the gut alive and assist in promoting a healthy microbiome and digestive system for all the family.

MyPro Colicare RRP €18.95, MyPro Forte RRP €16.95

Available in pharmacies nationwide and at www.mypro-biotics.com

The focus of this very special event is complete holistic self-care focusing on health, food and wellness from the inside out and the outside in

Kildare Village

I will help you to join the dots with your health and well-being through a series of interactive workshop segments, looking at mind, body and spirit, environment and relationships. Join me in Kildare Village on Sunday, 4th March.

You will be shown how to achieve feeling and looking better, by making small changes that will result in big differences to your overall lifestyle, health and daily wellbeing. There will be talks on meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, healthy eating tips, stress reduction techniques and much more.

I will be joined by food writer Domini Kemp – of Joe’s Coffee at Kildare Village – and you will be taken through their ethos on food, healthy eating and receive a juicing demonstration.

Tickets are priced at €50 and are fully redeemable via a Kildare Village gift card, which you will receive on arrival. All guests will receive a goodie bag a booklet of exclusive offers only available on the day.

The event will take place at the Guest Lounge in Kildare Village (opposite Starbucks) at 11am. A delicious healthy lunch comprising a selection of salads, juices and platters will be served and the event will end at 2:30pm – allowing you lots of time to shop Kildare Village following the event.

“Keeping your skincare routine simple is key”, says Virginie Claire of V.Claire Natural
Cosmetics.

Alison Canavan is constantly on the go, as are most women juggling it all while trying to
find time to take care of themselves. I have been looking after Alison’s skin care for the
past two years and simplicity is all there is time for! While putting The Full 360 Series
together, promoting, studying and travelling her skin had become tired and dull. Knowing
she will not have the time or patience for using numerous products I recommend two.
PHYT’S Concentré Reviderm for day and PHYT’S Serum Antirides at night.

Sallow skin can lose its lustre quite easily. PHYT’S Reviderm oxygenating line specialises in
bringing radiance to a dull, tired skin. Its content of Chlorophyll from Alfalfa, Avocado,
Kombu Algae and Acerola (high in Vitamin C), energises, revitalises and brightens the
complexion. Chlorophyll carries oxygen to the cells and encourages microcirculation,
where it provides powerful anti-oxidant effects.

CONCENTRE REVIDERM Skin

        PHYT’S Concentré Reviderm is available from the PHYT’S Online Store

 

Serum Antirides is a highly nutritional phyto-complex, rich in nourishing vegetable oils
(Wheatgerm, Castor Oil) and regenerating essential oils and herbal extracts (Rosemary,
Thyme, Cypress) shows its full strength on wrinkles and slack. It reduces the number,
surface area and length of wrinkles for smooth and visibly younger skin. It is important to
massage in well with fingertips to stimulate connective tissue and circulation.

SÉRUM ANTI-RIDES Skin

                   PHYT’S SÉRUM ANTIRIDES is available from the PHYT’S Online Store

The key to having good skin being consistent and committed to a good skincare routine.


The ethos behind V Claire is simple, La Vie Claire – The Clear Life. Virginie Claire’s dream of providing completely natural cosmetics began 10 years ago when she discovered PHYT’S organic skincare in France and brought it to her own salon in Harold’s Cross. Follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram.

Now I know what you’re thinking “Alex are you hopping onto the hipster band wagon? will you grow a trendy beard? tie your hair up into a man bun? or ride a vintage bicycle made entirely out of recycled drain pipes?”

 

Well thankfully the answer to all those questions is no. However I will continue to treat myself to the increasingly popular nutrient packed, and crunchy nutty flavoured delight that is avocado toast.

Avocados are bursting with heart healthy fatty acids plus 20 different vitamins and minerals. They contain more potassium than bananas and are free from sodium and cholesterol. It isn’t surprising that people are beginning to consider the avocado a super food as they are loaded with antioxidants plus vitamins K, C, B5, B6 and E.

Today I am going to share with you two of my favourite quick and snappy avocado toast recipes that are so delicious they’ll make you want to ditch the plain old bread and butter.

 

  1. Honey Drizzled Apple and Cashew Avocado Toast.

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The bread that you use is one of the most important elements to both of these recipes so be sure to grab your favourite fresh baked loaf. My preferred bread has to be a crisp country loaf but you can use anything from sourdough to Rye just as long as it toasts well.

 

What you’ll need:

  • Bread
  • Avocado
  • Apple
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Honey
  • Fresh Basil

 

The subtle peppery flavour of fresh basil sets this recipe apart. The combination of sweet honey and apple on top of the nuttiness of the cashews and avocado creates a divinely unique summery sensation.

Method:

  • Slice the avocado in half and remove the seed before placing it (without it’s skin) into a bowl.
  • Mash the avocado until it is spreadable.
  • Pop your bread in the toaster or under the grill until it is golden brown.
  • Spread the avocado onto the toast.
  • Next add some chopped apple and cashew nuts.
  • Lightly drizzle your honey over the toast.
  • Garnish with some fresh basil leaves.

 

  1. Spicy Peanut Rayu and Lime Avocado Toast.

avocado, apple, basil, healthy recipes,sweet and spicy avocado toast, nutrition, health, wellbeing, the green door, alex hayes, alison canavan, becomplete, organic food,

Peanut Rayu has become one of my all time favourite toast toppers. It is a delicious blend of sunflower oil, peanuts, sesame seeds, tamari, honey, salt, chilli flakes and crispy garlic. Luckily “White Mausu – Peanut Rayu” produced by the amazingly talented chef Katie Sanderson is always at hand in The Green Door Pantry. However I have good news for those of you without access to that jar of heaven. Subbing in your favourite hot sauce works as a great alternative when paired with the fresh kick of lime.

 

What you’ll need:

  • Bread
  • Avocado
  • Peanut Rayu (or hot sauce)
  • Lime

 

Method: 

  • Slice the avocado in half and remove the seed before placing it (without it’s skin) into a bowl.
  • Mash the avocado until it is spreadable.
  • Pop your bread in the toaster or under the grill until it is golden brown.
  • Spread the avocado onto the toast.
  • Next spread some peanut rayu/hot sauce on top.
  • Finally finish by squeezing a little lime juice over the top.

 

All the ingredients mentioned above can be found at The Green Door Market. Like us on Facebook and follow me on Instagram as I continue my culinary adventures.

As an organic vegetable producer, I feel blessed that I am able to grow food from the ground up. Putting time, effort and care into nourishing those plants really does boost the flavour when I find them on my plate. This being particularly true for today’s topic “Sunflower Shoots”.

What are Sunflower Shoots?

Honestly, sunflower shoots are probably one of the best kept secrets in your healthy cooking arsenal. They are the delicious and nutritious micro-greens of the sunflower plant. Sunflower shoots are bursting with vitamins A, D, E, chlorophyll, magnesium, iron, calcium and more!. If it’s protein you’re looking for, they are made out of 20% of it. Oh and for an added bonus, should you let them grow to flower, you will find yourself with thousands of edible crunchy seeds.

With a nutty flavour and a refreshing pop and crunch texture sunflower shoots are perfect for use in salads. Pairing them with nutritious foods such as avocado, bean sprouts and lemon juice, sunflower shoots will leave you feeling fresh and full of energy. Here is one of my favourite sunny salad recipes that you can be creative with and tweak to your own taste.

SUPER SUNNY SALAD WITH SUNFLOWER SHOOTS

Super Ingredients:

  • 50g sunflower shoots
  • 1 ripe hass avocado
  • 2 scallions (often known as spring onions)
  • 4 radishes
  • 50g mixed salad leaves (eg.rocket, cress, lettuce)
  • 25g bean sprouts
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 carrots
  • 8 green olives
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • Pinch of salt

Unprocessed Process:

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice, pour the olive oil and toss the paprika plus salt into a bowl. Give them a quick whisk.
  2. It’s off to the chopping block for the avocado, scallions and olives. Cut them into small pieces.
  3. Thinly slice the radish, cucumber and carrots using a sharp knife or mandolin (I’m more of a guitar man myself).
  4. Mix all the cut up veg together with your sunflower shoots, mixed leaves and bean sprouts.
  5. Drizzle on a few spoonfuls of dressing and enjoy.

This will serve 2 hungry people.

#TASTYTUESDAY,sunflower shoots, organic food, salads, nutrition, menu ideas, the green door market, phytonutrients, health, wellbeing, GIY, grow your own, organic living, holistic healthcare, connections, spiritual connections,Where can I find Sunflower Shoots?

As the popularity of sunflower shoots increases we seem to be finding them sprouting up at more and more farmers markets. I bought mine from Christys Organic Wheatgrass inside The Green Door Market located at 18 Newmarket Square, Dublin 8 just off Cork Street.

Open Tuesday – Friday 12:00pm – 19:00pm

Saturday 9:30am – 16:00pm

Sunday 11:00am – 17:00pm

#TastyTuesday

I love my nut milks and once you get used to making them it takes no more than 5 minutes to make creamy fresh delicious almond milk.

I always buy organic nuts in bulk from the green door market THE GREEN DOOR  for my almond milk as it’s more cost effective.

I always soak my nuts to activate them as nuts contain enzyme inhibitors and phytates making the digestion and absorption of nutrients difficult to digest as the phytic acid binds to minerals in the digestive tract. So by soaking them in water with a pinch or pink Himalayan salt they can be neutralized. I soak mine for 8-12 hours and then I rinse and freeze. You can use straight after soaking, as the nuts are nice and plump from the water. I soak large batches of nuts so I always have some to hand from the freezer.

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Here are some nuts soaking and then frozen ready to use along with a nut milk bag

SWEETENED OR UNSWEETENED

You can have sweetened or unsweetened almond milk. I sweeten mine with dates. Dates are a good source of energy, iron, potassium, vitamin A, fiber and antioxidant flavonoids. I always have some soaking in a jar of filtered water in my fridge ready to go. You will also need a nut milk bag, which you can buy from Down To Earth and a bowl.

You will need a blender for this, I use my nutribullet

Ingredients and method for almond milk:

  • Place a small handful of nuts in the blender
  • A Pinch of Pink Himalayan salt
  • Dates to sweeten if desired. I use 2-3
  • Fill too the line with water

Blend for a couple of minutes till creamy and frothy. Play around with nut quantities and consistency. I find around 12-15 nuts perfect. Pour into a nut milk bag and squeeze through. This is possible the most satisfying part! Transfer into a jug or bottle and serve.

Here are some nuts soaking and then frozen ready to use along with a nut milk bag

I use the almond milk for oats, muesli, matcha lattes and as a base for soups.

#TastyTuesday

As we move out of the winter months we might want to put a spring in our step by upping our physical game. With the best of intentions the winter simply doesn’t lend itself to a lot of physical exertion due to dark nights and cold mornings. After winters gestation period spring is an opportunity and a time for rebirth. It’s a chance to look at the world through fresh eyes and also try something new.

When it comes to exercise I like to switch up my routine as we enter a new season. To be honest I get bored and I love to challenge my body by switching up my classes.

I’m a huge fan of Reformer Pilates and I can credit these classes with helping me to regain my post baby body a few years ago. It’s been quite a while though since I took a class though but I decided to return to Pilates Performance Ireland (PPI) in Dundrum and see if the passion was still there.

reformer pilates, positively physical, exercise, full body workout, pilates performanceThe Reformer is a bed like frame with springs and straps attached! Don’t let that frighten you because the best thing about this exercise is that your back and body are supported by the bed at all times which is great for me as I have a bad back from a car accident. The Reformer gives you a full body workout and it also helps to build a very strong core. Half way through the class I felt a huge smile appear on my face as I realized just how much I missed these classes.

I felt grounded and really connected to my body as the instructors encourage you to really use your breath with each movement. It’s a potent destressing exercise for many reasons. The deep breathing helps to calm your central nervous system and the movements help to really move your energy through your body. Your circulation gets a boost, your spine and muscles are stimulated and of course those feel good hormones wake up and start to flood your body too.

Because of the strong focus on core strength your balance and posture will also be improved and in an age of computers where we sit at desks for long periods of time I welcome any exercise that helps with that. Your flexibility will also increase and what I like is that it really helps to give you a lean shape and stretches out the muscles as opposed to bulking them.

IMG_1893 Pilates Performance Ireland offer a wide range of classes suitable for all levels and abilities. You can also book personal sessions which I would advise anyone who has injuries or back problems to do as the owner Sarah MacLachann who is a Pilates master is excellent and can really help you to get to the root of your problems and work slowly with you to build your strength back up.

**As printed in Positive Life Magazine

Do you want to learn how to get started with essential oils? in this video Caroline from Honest about Health takes us through the initial steps and explains in detail about essential oils, what they are and their uses

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BUYING ESSENTIAL OILS CONTACT CAROLINE caroline@honestabouthealth.com

and check out our weekly articles right here on Be Complete every Friday called Essential Health

 

So this Tasty Thursday I decided to share my sneaky trick to getting more veggies into James. It can be tricky trying to get your kids to eat their veggies but if you juice for your family its pretty easy to sneak things like celery, cucumber and peppers into a carrot and apple juice without them even noticing!

This will serves 2-3 kids:

  • 4 Carrots
  • 2 Apples
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 1/2 to 1 Pepper

You can also add Tumeric to this to boost immunity. When you are juicing try to use mostly vegetables and only 10-20% fruit. My general rule is juice veg and eat fruit!

Enjoy

Ali xxx

VIDEO SPONSORED BY COULEUR CARAMEL