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Ingredient of the Week: Protein

April 10, 2016
Protein

What is it? A nutrient made up of amino acids which is an essential part of the human diet. It is used by the body to build & repair tissue.

Benefits: Critical to build muscle mass, supports neurological function, helps balance hormones, increases metabolism & energy.

Interesting fact: Protein is in every single cells of our body!

How to: Make sure you consume some of these foods which are high in protein – eggs, fish, beef, lamb, chicken, pork, turkey, yoghurt & kefir, cheese, beans & legumes, nuts & quinoa.

Nuts about Milk

March 6, 2016
Lox Stock & Barrel Coffee at Bondi

Do you get confused by all the different types of milk available? And in particular which ones are better for your body? I often get asked about the pros & cons of different types & why I choose fresh almond milk only & how I use it. One of the biggest barriers I come across for people who are advised to stop consuming or cut back on dairy is thinking they can’t have coffee. The flavour of non-dairy milk takes a little adjustment & getting used to but honestly, one year on and I am not tempted by anything but fresh almond milk.

Not all milk is created equal and if you can’t do dairy or choose not to consume it, not all non-dairy milk is created equal. I often get asked why I choose almond milk… really it comes down to a process of elimination for me.

Dairy agrees with some bodies better than others, but generally speaking, many of us consume more than we should. How much dairy do you consume if you consider your entire day – morning coffee, a dollop of yoghurt at breakfast, a crumble of cheese in your salad or sandwich, and sometimes a treat of chocolate, cake or slice. There are some concerns around the hormones in dairy and also whether dairy human’s are conditioned for it’s consumption. I found this article quite interesting on the different view of dairy consumption – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/should-we-be-drinking-milk-arguments-for-and-against-dairy-10192238.html.

Soy is a popular alternative to dairy milk and again, is ok in small quantities. Soy is a source of isoflavones which mimic oestrogen in our body. Due to our current lifestyle & the high stress zone many of us spend our daily lives our endocrine (hormone) system is already under pressure without additional inputs like soy. This is something to be particularly aware of if you suffer from hormone or autoimmune conditions such as adrenal fatigue, PCOS, thyroid etc. If you’d like to read more on soy check out this great summary by Dr Nat Kringoudis – http://www.natkringoudis.com.au/soy/.

Porch & Parlour Coffee

Photo cred: instagram @porchandparlour

Nut milk in it’s fresh form has no nasty additives. It’s produced by blending nuts & water and then straining, but it’s important to check packaged variety for their ingredients as the long-life varieties have preservatives which should be avoided. Nut milk has less protein than dairy, however there are plenty of other foods that provide adequate calcium if you are eating a broad range of vegetables, nuts & seeds.

Organic nut milk is my preference because it is delicious & made with limited ingredients which are good for us. Having said that, I truly believe nothing should be consumed in large quantities, so be mindful of your serving sizes.

If you’re interested in reading more about the comparisons of different options or oat, rice or coconut milk here are some other links: http://www.sporteluxe.com/got-almond-milk-an-experts-guide-to-alternative-milks/, http://www.healthline.com/health/milk-almond-cow-soy-rice#3, http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/which+milk+is+best+for+your,16541.

How to use nut milk

I use nut milk on museli or cereal, in coffee & smoothies, as an alternative in baking & a lighter substitute to coconut milk in curries. Please share below if you have other ways you use nut milk.

My favourite nut milks

If I’m buying a carton of milk for home my favourite brands are Bruce Nutty, Inside Out & Almond Milk Co. These are all freshly made with no nasty additives and are available in most health food stores & many supermarkets these days.

Larry and Ladd Coffee

Photo cred: instagram @larryandladd

As for indulging in a coffee here are my favourite spots in a few capital cities:

In Sydney my top pick is the homemade almond & cashew milk at Lox Stock & Barrel at Bondi. There coffee is perfect, they do a great iced coffee which is perfect for the Australian summer weather & good chai too. Good luck avoiding the food menu while you’re there! My next picks for homemade nut milk which are often a variety of nuts are Harry’s Bondi, Coffee (Bondi), Reuben Hills (Surry Hills), Brooklands Coffee Co (CBD), Paramount Coffee Project (Surry Hills), Bills (Bondi, Darlinghurst & Surry Hills) & Spicer Street Cafe (Woollahra). There’s an increasing number of cafes that use fresh almond milk including AboutLife (Double Bay, Bondi Junction, Rozelle & Surry Hills), Porch & Parlour (Bondi), Bondi Wholefoods (Bondi & Surry Hills), Dolce Terra (Manly), and if you are in the CBD I’d highly recommend Workshop Espresso, Brooklands Coffee Co or Skittle Lane.

In my home town of Adelaide my first choice is the homemade nut milk at Larry & Ladd in Adelaide Arcade. Other regular spots are Argo’s (Norwood & CBD) & Nutrition Republic (Goodwood), and again, good luck saying no to the tempting at Nutrition Republic.

In Melbourne my favourite spot for nut milk coffee is a tie between Tall Timber (Prahan) & Tom Thumb Espresso (Flinders Lane) with both having great beans & a lovely feel to them. Other great spots are Toby’s Estate (CBD), Seven Seeds (Docklands), Hawthorn Commons (Hawthorn) & Projuice (South Melbourne).

Both Inside Out & Almond Milk Co have really easy ways to search for stockists of their brands at the following sites: http://www.insideoutng.com.au/#!findus/c17q5 and https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zlcRyYLUBvbE.kcZdmxGvbJqs&hl=en_US

If you’re visiting looking for almond milk coffee in London check out my recent blog with recommendations.

Give fresh nut milk a go next time you see it on the menu and you may just end up converted like me!

Enjoy!

M x

Ingredient of the Week: Herbal Tea

February 28, 2016
Pukka herbal teas

What is it? Herbal tea is a beverage made from the infusion of herbs, spices or other plant based ingredients.

Benefits: Herbal tea is a great way to reduce caffeine intake, it’s high in antioxidants & comes in such a huge variety that positively impact digestion, sleep, stress & anxiety, detoxing your organs & absorption of nutrients.

Interesting fact: Tea is best prepared with warm water rather than boiling.

How to: Sip on tea in the morning rather than coffee to kick start your day, indulge in a tasty tea in the afternoon to prevent mindless snacking & enjoy a soothing cup in the evening rather than a wine to wind down.