Back to School, healthy guide to start on the right foot

The start of the new academic year is upon us.  Whether your summer was relaxing or frenetic the dwindling heat of summer coupled with the challenges of a new timetable and a spike of social activity can tax the sense of well-being all too quickly.

For those teen/post teens in my family these are the things I encourage them to pay attention to in order to maintain that feel good factor of summer.

Start each day with a glass of fresh water!

by winnond on freedigitalphotos.net

Acid/alkali balance – meat and fish, sugar, diary produce and processed carbohydrates make up a very large part of the average young persons diet.  If your breath, feet or body odour is noticeable and you haven’t been working out, the chances are that your system is too acidic. This is easily rectifiable by eating lots more greens, 2 daily tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar with honey or a dessert spoon of green barley powder in juice (I have juice of half a fresh lemon) with water twice a day.  The vitamin C will help you to keep on top cell repairing condition too.

2012-UK-Product-Shot-GBH-GG-B-125     Greenbay ACV small-recut

Avoid the slippery slope of very regular sugar consumption. To do this means eating protein and vegetable rich meals three times a day.  for extra protein add seeds (including flax fibre) and nuts to breakfast and salads, and unsaturated oils – fish oil, olive oil, coconut oil- onto bread or veg to nourish the brain cells. Try to restrict sugars to after meals on certain days of the week.

Habits – the human body responds very well to following natural rhythms that are common to us all. Energetic cycles in the day mean that different organs of the body are recharging at different times of the day.  Breakfast is best eaten between 7- 9 am, keep clear of fats for morning break when the gall bladder is recharging, finish eating before 9pm to allow for a clear regeneration of the whole cycle of organs in the system. This will also help stabilise the blood sugar in the day.

by Serge Bertasius on freedigitalphoto.net

by Serge Bertasius on freedigitalphoto.net

Waking up at a regular time really helps to maintain a clear head and sleep ins should be reserved for illness. (Though I have to admit to being defeated regularly on getting my teenager out of bed).

by stockimages on freedigitalphotos.net

Up your sleeve…. have a packet of Manuka Honeysuckers on hand for those days when your throat feels dry or you feel in need of a boost. A reassuring treat to get you feeling at par again with an immune boost alongside some anti bacterial punch.

HSEP

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Research on Combating Free Radical Damage, Blackcurrant and Honey

Quote

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) such as peroxide and superoxide are an inevitable part of our body’s metabolism; they can cause oxidative damage in the body which is a major cause of chronic inflammation and a wide variety of disease conditions.

“The most pressing human health issue is oxidative stress caused by physical and mental stress.”

Prof Peter Molan MBE of the renowned New Zealand honey research unit.

Antioxidants are known to play an important role in combating the oxidative damage ROS causes in the body.   The most familiar way in which antioxidants protect human cells is through scavenging for free radicals.  However, recent studies have shown that in some cases antioxidants are ineffective in preventing oxidation and have focussed on other mechanisms by which antioxidants provide protection.

Ferrous ions which are free or poorly bonded are known to initiate the formation of free radicals.  Put more simply, too much free iron in the body is also thought to lead to oxidative damage to cells, as seen in diseases such as type II diabetes, atherosclerosis and liver disease.   This process whereby hydrogen peroxide reacts with free iron leading to damaging radicals is called the Fenton reaction.

What are needed, therefore, are iron-binding antioxidants which can contain excess iron so that it is unable to participate in forming free radicals. Such antioxidants are likely to be more effective, too, than those that simply scavenge for free radicals as they can pre-empt free radical formation rather than attempting to clear free radicals once they are active.

Picture by Daniel Jolivet (Flickr)

Picture by Daniel Jolivet (Flickr)

Dr Peter Molan and Helene L Brangoulo looked at various foodstuffs known to be rich in antioxidants – blackcurrant puree, thyme, honeydew and Rewarewa honeys, red wine and orange juice – in order to measure their iron-binding antioxidant capacity.  Their experiment simulated oxidative damage to membrane lipids and low density lipoproteins which occur when free iron is present.

The blackcurrants, honeydew honey and red wine were all found to be effective at preventing lipid breakdown by containing ferrous ions.  It is thought that the flavonoids in honeydew and blackcurrant may be providing this protection, as bioflavonoids have been seen to help clear excess iron in mice.  Flavones, isoflavones, catechins, tannins and anthocyanidins are all flavonoids which may chelate iron.

 Molan also compared the antioxidant effect of iron sequestration with the more usual measurement of free radical scavenging.  He discovered that orange juice and thyme honey offered no protection against the Fenton reaction, although the thyme honey was more than 3 times as active as other honeys as a free radical scavenger.

If ferrous ions are present and uncontrolled, Molan’s assay found that the rate of oxidative damage was 25 times greater than it would be without the excess free iron.  Also, when vitamin C is added to ferrous ions, oxidation may actually increase, so that it becomes a pro-oxidant rather than an antioxidant.

Disorders that may be related to poor iron metabolism include metabolic syndrome, inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and asthma, and pre-eclampsia.  It is well known that high iron levels can be a factor in coronary artery disease, which may lead to heart attack; iron is also found in atherosclerotic lesions.  It is strongly implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases and has been found in the plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

Low iron blood levels are common in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, but high levels are found in the synovial fluid of arthritic joints, so it seems likely that faulty iron metabolism plays a part in the condition.  It is also thought that inadequately controlled iron metabolism may accelerate the ageing process.

Clearly we need antioxidants which can both scavenge free radicals and bind up excess iron and it seems that honey and blackcurrant may offer both kinds of protection.

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Barley and Wheat Power

Plant Power in Small Packages
When we talk about “green foods,” we’re referring to a group of foods that includes young cereal grasses like barley grass and wheatgrass, as well a blue-green algae known as BGA. Nutritionally, they are close cousins to dark green leafy vegetables, but offer far greater levels of “nutrient density.” In other words, an ounce of these concentrated green foods contains much more of the beneficial phytonutrients found in an ounce of green vegetables.

The results of many experimental studies show that green foods have marked beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, immune response and cancer prevention. These effects are attributed in part to their high concentrations of chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll, the phytochemical that gives leaves, plants and algae their green hues, is the plant equivalent of the oxygen-carrying red pigment hemoglobin in red blood cells. Dietary chlorophyll inhibits disease bacteria and exerts therapeutic effects on bad breath and internal odors.

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Wheat and Barley Grasses
Young cereal grasses—especially wheat and barley grass—are distinguished by their brilliant emerald green hues. Before World War II, …

Continue reading here: From Dr Perricone, http://www.oprah.com/health/Barley-Grass-Wheatgrass-and-Green-Foods-Superfood-No-6

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Blackcurrant Honey

This beautifully unusual honey comes to you from a dedicated honey producer near Christchurch, in the south island of New Zealand.

Picture_blackcurrant

This honey has been collected from the bees during the flowering of the bushes on the blackcurrant farm. Below are a picture of the beautiful Blackcurrant flowers:

floweringblackcurrant2011

It is a small, responsibly managed farm that produces some of New Zealands best blackcurrants full of antioixidants and phytonutrients. The honey has a distinctly fruity taste and a surprisingly delicious sour note. With a vanilla white colour and a beautifully thick texture we loved this honey and found it to be very morish.

Why not try some for yourself today!

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Top 5 Mothers’ Day Breakfasts

1.Jo’s Green Smoothie.

Green-SmoothieTOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min.

MAKES: 2-3 servings

Ingredients

  • Kale – 3 leaves without stalkes

  • 1/2 cup of apple juice

  • 1/2 cup of water

  • 1 teaspoon of maca powder

  • 1 pinch of organic fine kelp 

  • 1/2 banana or other sweet fruits

  • 1 hand full of salad leaves

  • Add Manuka Honey if required

Directions

  1. Whiz all the ingredients & dilute with water to taste.

 

2.Almond French Toast Hearts with Almond Butter

Almond-French-Toast-Hearts-labeled.jpg

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 5 min./batch

MAKES: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 slices of bread

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 5 tbsp of Manuka Honey 

  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

  • 2 tbsps butter

  • fresh raspberries (or slices strawberries for garnish)

  • Manuka Honey (for serving)

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)

  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (topping)

Instructions

  1. Cut bread slices into heart shapes. You can use a large, almost 4 inch heart, cookie cutter or cut your own heart shape with kitchen shears. Use trimmings for another purpose.

  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and 1/2 tsp almond extract (up to your taste).

  3. In large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Dip both sides of each bread heart into the egg mixture and place on the hot skillet. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

  4. For the almond butter – in a small bowl, blend together the ½ cup butter, 2 Tbsp of Manuka Honey and ½ tsp almond extract.

  5. Serve cooked french toast with the almond butter along with fresh raspberries or strawberry slices. Drizzle with Manuka Honey. Serves 5-6.

 

3.Bacon and Cheese Egg Muffin Cups

bacon and cheese eggTOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min.

MAKES: 6 servings (6 eggs)

Ingredients

Muffin Tin (by 6)

6 slices of bacon, not microwaved, just right out of the pan or grill

1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

6 large eggs

Pinches of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Picnik-collage-egg

Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Press English muffins carefully into bottom of a 6 cup muffin tin.  Form a little circle with the bacon and place around inside of muffin.  Sprinkle inside with cheese then top with a whole egg in each cup, keeping inside the bacon ring.  Sprinkle with pinches of kosher salt and pepper.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg is cooked through.

2.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin. Serve.

4.Jo’s Birches Muesli

brulee_oatmeal_recipeTOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min + 1 night on the fridge

MAKES: 1 bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 2 cups organic oats

  • 1 cup creamy yoghurt or rice milk

  • 2/5 cup of nuts roughly chopped (hazelnuts/almonds/walnuts)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon of Manuka Honey

  • 1/4 cup of Flax fibre

  • 1 cup coarse grated apple/pear

Instructions

  1. Soak all the ingredients (except the apple/pear) in a bowl overnight on the fridge

  2. Add the cup of apples or pears before serving with berries.

 

5.Pain Perdu

Pain_Perdu

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min + 1 night on the fridge

MAKES: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 1-inch thick slices country bread
1 quart thick cream
9 eggs
3 spoons of Manuka Honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
(1/2 cup brandy if you wish)
(some Manuka Honey on the top).

Instructions

  1. Place bread in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix cream, eggs, Manuka Honey, (brandy) and salt in a blender. Pour over bread slices.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning once to ensure proper absorption.
  4. Preheat oven to 350º F. Heat large oven proof saute pan over medium-high heat and add butter. When foam subsides, put soaked bread in pan and cook on one side, 5 minutes. Turn and place in oven, 10 to 15 minutes, until cooked through and custardy in the middle.
  5. Add Honey on the top.

Have a great breakfast!

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What is Creamed Honey?

Beekeepers like to produce honey that is popular and the notion that honey, smooth and buttery, spread on toast is a justifiably delicious association with good honey. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through creaming honey. The creaming process will inhibit the growth of crystals that may naturally occur in the honey and will instead encourage the growth of smaller crystals, thereby giving the honey the desired smooth texture.

The process is amazingly simple and will even work in your own kitchen. Take some fresh honey –  as runny as you like and gently warm it up around 40C, (temperature of the Hive) and introduce a little creamed honey or raw honey of a type that produces small crystals such as clover honey and stir. Leave it to cool down at room temperature for a week!

By giving clear honey smooth crystals it seeks to replicate them naturally. The term is ‘following suit’. The small crystals prevent the formation of larger crystals. It’s very similar to how yogurt and cheese are made, although they use cultures as seed.

Non drip creamed honey is great for kids as it is easy to spoon and not so messy.

At Green Bay we enjoy creamed honey from time to time. We have creamed our blackcurrant honey (coming January 2014) as the natural crystal formation is rapid and the crystals are large giving it a very grainy texture.

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Digestion

Paleolithic man ate up to 300 times as many phytonutrients as we do – and s/he didn’t have to contend with the estimated 50,000 toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our daily lives. How can we enable our bodies to achieve more, with less? To maintain our health in the face of this environmental onslaught we can choose a diet with high quality protein, abundant fibre, fruit and vegetables, selected according to the seasons and our life stage: yet our food can only be as nutrient-rich as the soil in which it was grown. This is where green leaf foods, which provide such a high concentration of raw nutrients, can offer remarkable benefits. Kelp, with its stunning array of vitamins and minerals, can revitalise a jaded digestive system, while Green Bay’s Apple Cider Vinegar and Manuka Honey can provide excellent digestive support by helping to rebalance blood sugar and alleviating a wide range of gastro-intestinal conditions.

apple cider    Kelp

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Real Food Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

The holidays are an incredibly busy time and it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Here are some easy tips to enjoy yourself and make it through the festive season in fine form:

Eat Nutritious Food

OK so I realize this isn’t always possible during the holidays. My regular motto is the 80/20 rule. So 80% of the food we eat should be ‘good’ food, and 20% maybe not so good (let’s call them treat meals). I’ll admit this ratio does vary a bit over this time of year but I have found that it is really easy to make treats and snacks that are ridiculously tasty AND healthy. Just by adding a small amount of superfoods (Flax Fibre, Greens, Manuka Honey) to your regular recipes can increase the nutrient value, providing vitamins and minerals that are very much needed during this busy season.

Here are some examples of how these superfoods can in incorporated into holiday recipes very painlessly:

 

Assist Digestion

Give your overworked digestive system a kick start in the morning with an alkalizing Apple Cider Vinegar tonic. The first thing consumed in the morning can have incredible benefits as we are ending an all-night fast and the first thing ingested is easily absorbed. ACV is an absolute cure-all remedy full of enzymes and minerals that has countless benefits. Some of which are:

  • Detoxifying and feeding the liver
  • Restoring alkaline acid balance which relieves problems with diets high in acid-producing foods (aka sweets)
  • Emulsifying fat, keeping arteries free from plaque and supporting healthy blood circulation
  • Purifying the colon making it easier to absorb nutrients and improving digestion
  • Boosting energy levels and speeding up the body’s metabolism – yes please!
  • Try two tablespoons of Green Bay Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey in a glass of lukewarm water first thing in the morning and you will be ready to take on the day.

Keep Active

The holiday season provides every excuse you can think of not to exercise: too busy, too tired, too cold/rainy/snowy outside, too many drinks the night before… But the truth is exercise is incredibly important, especially at this time of year. ID-100132827Exercise willboost your mood, reduce stress levels and of course help burn off some of the excess calories consumed. The best time to do something active is early in the morning, before you get caught up in the festivities. Find something you enjoy whether it is jogging, walking, yoga, swimming – anything to get your heart pumping oxygen-rich blood to your cells.

Schedule Some ‘You’ Time

‘Tis the season to be stressed. Rushing around from place to place, doing all the things that ‘need’ to be done can shoot stress and anxiety levels through the roof. Give your mind and body moments of rest throughout the day by going for a short walk, doing some deep breathing or meditating. Remember what the holidays are about – spending time with loved ones and enjoying this special time of year.

From all of us at Green Bay Harvest, we wish you a happy, healthy holiday!

 

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Greg Glass (Director, Green Bay Harvest) at the Canadian Health Food Association Show

Here is a picture of my husband Greg at the latest CHIFA trade show last week. Bringing our range of functional and organic foods to Canada. Favourites with our Canadian cousins are 15+ Raw Manuka Honey 375g and Canada Certified Organic – Green Barley Leaf Powder.

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Thyme, Herb and Conifers honey infusion

Slice four cloves of garlic and put them in a small bowl. Cover with honey our Thyme, Herb and Conifers honey is especially suitable. Leave to infuse for a few hours. Take a teaspoonful every two hours to combat coughs, chest infections and colds.

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