#3 Jasmine’s Healthy Habits: Bike to Work

img_8772Sometimes I ride my push-bike to work. Not everyday, but that is something I might work up to. I bike other places too. It saves me petrol, but I reckon it also contributes to good all-round health.

Starting the day on my bike allows me to escape from the all too common modern rush, which is especially apparent when living in a city. Biking is slower physically, yes (although I still keep up with the backed-up morning traffic), but it also slows my mind. It helps me to appreciate the little things, and stop sweating the small stuff. When you slow down like that, you begin to appreciate aspects of your world that you might not otherwise notice. The fresh air, the smell of flowers, the elements, the smiles that get thrown your way, birds, the relationships between people walking by, your own health, community involvement, and just the world around you. You notice life more, and that’s pretty cool.

I also love the way that morning exercise brings energy and clarity to my day. Biking instead of driving to work allows me to include exercise in my morning routine with next to no extra time. It wakes up my brain and body, and my day becomes more productive, fulfilling and enjoyable.

Biking home from work gives me time to unwind and reflect on the day. And by the time I’m home from work, I am no longer thinking about it. Or at least, I am thinking about it in a positive way rather than feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

It is nice to know I’m being kind to the environment, too.

I love biking.

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

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#1 Jasmine’s Healthy Habits – Grow a Veggie Garden

img_8670 img_8671 img_8672 img_8674 img_8673The next ten weeks of blog posts will feature my personal healthy habits that I feel make my life more awesome. My first healthy habit – grow a veggie garden!

It’s the first year I have set aside the time to grow and nurture a lush garden full of herbs and vegetables… parsley, basil, lemon balm, oregano, sage, fennel, beetroot, Swiss chard, carrots, sweet peas, purple cauliflower, rocket, puha, pansies, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and more! Some I planted in the ground, others in containers and pots when I ran out of room. I carefully prepared the soil for weeks before planting, sourced organic heritage seeds that I nurtured into seedlings, transplanted them, and I regularly nourish them with ocean nutrients and water… and of course I harvest them! And collect the seeds when they bolt, so I can plant them again. Seems like a lot of effort…. But here are a few reasons that I think gardening is worth it:

  • Gardening gives me beautiful, fresh, nourishing food every single day. It means I also eat more of it, because there is something special about eating veggies from your own garden. It tastes better too.
  • Gardening gives me a fresh dose of sunshine on days that I spend mostly indoors.
  • Gardening gives me a reason to be mindful. I am connected with my food source, and notice every little change in my plants from when they are seeds to when they are producing veggies. It makes me smile.
  • Gardening gives me movement in ways that I wouldn’t otherwise use my muscles. Think lots of shovelling, squatting and pulling, especially when the weeds start to come through!
  • Gardening gives me me-time. The time I spend gardening is super valuable. It is time blocked out to just do one thing – garden. There is no multi-tasking involved. Just complete focus on one, fulfilling activity.
  • Gardening gives me a connection with the environment in which we live. It helps me to appreciate planet Earth and motivates me to look after it so that it can keep on giving us food. Simultaneously I am minimising my carbon footprint, as my veggies have zero travel distance, packaging or chemicals involved.
  • Gardening gives me enjoyment and happiness. I don’t know what it is, but gardening is like therapy to me! It just gives me a good feeling.
  • Gardening gives me a new community. It is amazing how many people I connect with now that I have a garden… from people from whom I get advice, community gardens where I buy some seedlings, to chatting to colleagues and friends and stealing seedlings from other gardeners. I now have plants from a friend’s garden and my dad’s garden growing in my own.

Gardening will always be a part of my life, because it brings me so many holistic benefits! And this is by no means an exhaustive list of good things that gardening can bring. Comment below if you have anything to add! You don’t have to start with big garden… just start by planting one or two things if you like. Happy gardening!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

 

10 Tips For Achieving a Real-Food Lifestyle: Don’t Ever Diet

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A real-food lifestyle has no room for dieting. Diets are all about restricting certain foods and allowing others. Real-food lifestyles are just about eating real food (the stuff that comes from Mother Nature) and not food-like substances (the stuff made in factories).

Restricting particular food sets up an ongoing psychological battle. It sets up an “I can’t have that” mentality. And of course, this makes you want it more. A real-food lifestyle, however, is all about nourishing yourself with delicious, fresh food until your body realises that real-food is what it wants anyway. This is much more fulfilling than deprivation.

Speaking of deprivation, a real-food lifestyle has nothing to do with it. Calories are restricted during a diet, but during a real-food lifestyle you can eat as much as you need to in order to feel full. It is all about the quality of the food, not the quantity. There is no sense in starving your body when it is obviously communicating hunger. And, hunger is not the same as cravings.

Cravings are rife within a diet, because deprivation leaves your blood-sugars low. So, you instantly crave the sweet stuff, because the sweet stuff will shoot your blood-sugars back up. Unfortunately blood-sugar levels will plummet even lower than they started soon after. This up-and-down blood-sugar scenario is non-existent in a real-food lifestyle, because real foods fuel your body in a way that sustains steady energy throughout the day.

Finally, nature’s food has a balance about it that ensures you receive the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that you need, provided you eat a good variation of foods. This means no counting macronutrients. You can get rid of those kitchen scales for this purpose. Just eat freely and happily with total satisfaction.

So go ahead and get rid of the dieting mentality, and bring on the nourish and fill yourself with real foods mentality. It is easier, healthier, more satisfying and just makes way more sense.

By Franklee Healthy

10 Tips For Achieving a Real-Food Lifestyle: Educate Yourself

img_8122When you learn how different foods can heal or harm your body and mind, you begin to just WANT to eat real food. Processed food, on the most part, loses its appeal entirely. When you understand what processed food does in your body, and the disease, discomfort, and general low quality of life that it can lead to, you just don’t want to touch it anymore!

It is not as simple as checking your news apps for the latest nutrition break-throughs each morning, or reading the foodie side of the blogoshere for updates. TV news doesn’t cut it either. Get into some peer-reviewed published books. And read both sides of the story; advances in nutritional science could indeed be viewed as a story. It is super difficult for scientists to perform accurate studies both for ethical reasons and because it is impossible to control every aspect.

Think about it… it is unethical to feed a large group of humans a diet of processed crap to see if it leads to modern disease. And, the health improvements shown in the study group that eats ‘paleo’ for an extended period of time could be due to many variables… the fact that processed food was removed, the fact that vegetable intake went up, even the placebo effect. It doesn’t necessarily prove that meat (even grass fed!) is a healthy or necessary part of a human diet. Then again, it might be! There is just not really any reliable way of knowing. So you need to think for yourself.

Get down to the public library, get a bunch of books out that explore all different nutritional perspectives. Read them all up with an open mind, and decide for yourself how you want to eat to achieve the best version of you. And remember, it all might change next month. But I am yet to find any literature that advises against eating real, fresh food. Particularly the stuff that grows in the ground! So I personally will continue to love cooking and eating delicious real, fresh food! Be well.

By Franklee Healthy

10 Tips for Achieving a Real-Food Lifestyle: Shop Smart

 

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Fact: You will eat the food that hangs out in your kitchen So, stock it up with beautiful fresh food! Shopping smarter is a fantastic strategy for achieving this goal. It all comes down to navigating and getting to know your food sources.

Shop at farmers markets. No packaged food available! Juts gorgeous, recently alive, fresh, nourishing food! So inspiring and delicious! The abundance of fresh fruit, veggies, quality meats and homemade goodies are not the only reason I love farmers markets. It is also a lovely feeling getting to know the people who put the effort and love into growing or raising your food. You can’t beat those community feels. You make a stronger connection with where your food actually comes from, and thus build a meaningful appreciation of every little wholesome bite. You know that the food is local and thus fresher, easier on the environment and you will be supporting local people. Also, produce at markets is generally cheaper than the inflated prices presented at the supermarket. Especially when you consider that it is better quality. Win, win, win!

If you can’t access a local farmer’s market, those little veggie shops dotted around the place are wonderful too. Prices are cheaper, and often some or all of the produce is grown locally. And again, you get to know the people who grew your food. And they usually share your passion for real food, too.

I enjoy visiting the butcher for my meat. Again, better quality and people who work there have a passion for the stuff. It is also fresher. They are super helpful when you want particular cuts or tips and tricks too. I do find that it is slightly more expensive than the supermarket, but I like to go for quality not quantity, so it all evens out.

I do a little visit to the supermarket for spices, some canned stuff like chickpeas, beans and coconut cream, plus things like almond milk and nuts and seeds. But, you can sometimes get some of these things at the farmers markets too.

If life is way too full and a rushed supermarket shop is all you can manage at this point in life, then no worries. Just stick to the outside of the supermarket and don’t venture down the isles where all the packaged and processed food lives (or doesn’t ‘live’… and is very far removed from something that ever did live…). You can definitely achieve a real-food shop-up when you navigate the supermarket in this way.

These are just a few ideas to help out a little. Do you have more ideas or tips and tricks for shopping smarter in the real-food style? Comment below, I would love to hear them!

To health, happiness and total wellbeing!

By Franklee Healthy

 

 

 

10 Tips for Achieving a Real-Food Lifestyle: Be Part of a Supportive Community

 

Zoe and ILiving a real-food lifestyle can be really hard when the people around you are not doing the same. Surround yourself with other people who are passionate about eating real-food. Even if it’s the only step you take towards being healthier, I reckon your health would improve by default.

You will learn new things, be inspired by new cooking ideas, catch and spread the passion, and be regularly reminded why you eat real-food in the first place. It will help you live and breathe full health! Ultimately you will SEE living results of a real-food lifestyle in your friends who exude the beauty and happiness that it can bring.

If your current friends group does not value fresh real food and health and wellbeing (but you still love ‘em to bits), then I would suggest joining an online community, or creating your own online space to share all of the lovely real-food ideas, wins and challenges. By creating this community you can keep the real-food love circulating, growing and evolving.

Just make sure you have a crew that you can bounce ideas off, become excited with, and push through challenges with! Think of them as your personal wellness team. Together you will be able to sustain health and wellness for life.

By Franklee Healthy

 

 

10 Tips for Achieving a Real-Food Lifestyle: Learn to Love to Cook!

 

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Cooking seems to have become an arduous chore in our busy modern lifestyles. It doesn’t have to be! Some of you will already LOVE to cook and feel like there are not enough nights in the week to cook ALL the delicious real-food recipes!! Excuse the excitement… I am one of those people. I find cooking to be very therapeutic.

But for those of you who put cooking off for half an hour… just 20 more minutes…. Just 10 more minutes… I’ll start cooking in 3 minutes…. bugger it I’ll just get takeaways…! If you’re one of those people, you obviously loathe the thought of cooking. It doesn’t have to be that way, and here are seven tips to learn to love to cook:

  1. Make an attitude adjustment… think of cooking as something you get to do because you have access to an abundance of beautiful food and are lucky enough to have a functioning kitchen in which to create gorgeous nourishing food for loved ones (including yourself)!
  2. Make a cooking ritual… make it your ‘me-time’ – find something that makes cooking more enjoyable for YOU. I often listen to my favourite music or podcasts while cooking. I see it as my own little time slot to do these things I wouldn’t otherwise find time to do.
  3. Grow a garden to help you get back in touch with your food sources and learn to truly appreciate the beauty of real-food. There is something special about cooking food that you have grown.
  4. Cook with a friend – make your nightly cooking into a social event… it could be a flatmate, or you and a friend could visit each others’ houses alternative nights to cook together.
  5. Plan ahead – it can really take the stress out of cooking. When you know what you are going to cook, and already have the ingredients from your weekly shop, you can just slide on into the kitchen after work and get started. Ahh, ‘me-time.’ It can become a grounding experience rather than a stressful one.
  6. Get inspired! Follow lots of fun and exciting blogs and social media pages that ooze a passion for healthy food! I promise you, it is contagious. Read some awesome real-food recipe books, and watch the four-part documentary, ‘Cooked’ by Michael Pollan. It is also in book form, and he has lots of other books that are on my reading list! Books, books, books! See… the cooking excitement is infectious!
  7. Keep it simple – start simple and you will probably find that as your enjoyment for cooking grows, so will your desire to experiment in the kitchen.

With your amazing mind, you have the power to learn to love anything. So go ahead and learn to love the process of cooking. Your health is worth it. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

10 Tips For Achieving a Real-Food Lifestyle: Clean Out The Kitchen

IMG_7868Having a kitchen stocked full with beautiful fresh, healthy, nourishing food will make living a real-food lifestyle much easier, simpler, and more enjoyable. Most people are addicted to refined carbohydrates like sugary foods as well as white pastas and breads and crackers, for example. Your body is hard-wired that way due to the possibility of famine around the corner. It wants sugary foods to help store fat for an emergency energy source (obviously not packaged refined carbs, but perhaps berries and honey). But there is no famine in developed countries now. So we just get fat and unhealthy. This means you’ve just gotta get that food out of the house! If you’re interested in your health, and feeling and being your best, then examples of ‘food’ to get rid of include:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • White flours
  • Sugar, including white, brown, raw, processed syrups, natural and artificial sweeteners and the stuff hidden in processed foods
  • Dried fruit
  • Tinned fruit
  • Packaged or frozen microwave meals
  • Tinned soups and meals
  • Tinned spaghetti and baked beans
  • Boxed cereals including granolas and muesli (usually sugar laden)
  • Any processed powdered items like jelly and custard
  • Any oil that comes from a vegetable or seed (lots of research showing detrimental affects on health)
  • Margarine
  • Just anything in a packet that has not been alive very recently, and has numbers in the ingredients. Get rid of it. It’s not food!

Instead, fill your fridge with fresh produce that represents all of the colours of the rainbow! Vegetables are usually the biggest part of my meals. Stock up on plain herbs and spices (check for preservatives and additives) and find some real food recipes that use them. Buy extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Have a little container full of nuts and seeds for snacks and toppers. Start eating free-range meat (if you eat it) from animals that have been treated well and eaten a diet as close to natural as possible – wild game is best! The animal’s life really does affect the nutrient content. And it’s ethical. Meat takes up a little spot on my dinner plate. Think quality, not quantity with meat. Grab some free-range eggs – but do some research… free-range labels might not equal what you have in mind as free range. Some unprocessed and full fat dairy could be an addition to your fridge. So could almond and coconut milks, but again be careful of the ingredients! Other coconut products like coconut cream (check ingredients) and shredded, desiccated or flaked coconut can be great. Notice that most of this stuff will live in the fridge? That’s because it is fresh. It was recently alive. These are just some ideas.

You will feel SO good cleaning out that kitchen. Give the packet stuff away or donate to a charity for even more feel-good fluffies. Grab some recipes that help you actually use your new real food kitchen. There are lots online, including my own at frankleehealthy.com, and I also love these recipe-filled websites: The Merrymaker Sisters, Michelle Yandle Nutrition Coaching, Mikki Williden Real Food Nutrition, I Quit Sugar, That Sugar Film and Eat Drink Paleo. There are plenty more out there, but these guys all have a great real-food philosophy and are a few of my favourites.

Go forward and have a clean out, and be well!

By Franklee Healthy

P.S I would also LOVE to hear your ideas of foods to get rid of and foods to embrace, in the comments below xx

A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.

Is People-Pleasing Affecting YOUR Health?

 

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Bike Ride with my Uncle Dave to the loveliest spot in Motueka – The Janey Seddon

If you know that sinking feeling when you say ‘yes’ to doing something that you don’t actually want to do, you’re probably a people-pleaser. Making other people feel happy is a fantastic, powerful thing, but not at the expense of self-love.

Mental health impacts over-all wellbeing in a big way. So, it is super-important to please yourself before you please others. This is not being selfish; it is self-care. Running yourself into the ground to meet the needs of others is not a good idea. Looking after yourself fuels your own happiness as well as the happiness of others around you.

Everyone is different, but here are a few tips for self-care.

  • Schedule ‘me-time’ – every single day! I personally tick off me-time with yoga, reading novels, running, being in nature, having a cup of tea, pottering in the garden, having a bath, napping, baking, walking… just to name a few. Ten minutes is all I squeeze in some days. But I make sure I do it every. single. day!
  • Tune into your own needs – some days you might need to take more me-time than usual. If you listen to yourself, you will know when. And when you do need it, make sure you do it. Everything else can wait. You will do a better job at those things if you have restored your mental and emotional energy first.
  • Don’t be scared to break a commitment to something that you don’t love in the first place! Humans seem to have a very strong commitment to… well… commitment! We judge ourselves, and others judge us (so what?) when we break a commitment.
  • Postpone – people don’t mind too much when you say a straight up ‘no’ to doing something. Try not to make excuses, or you will be left with that guilty feeling. Just say no, thanks.
  • Take plans into your control to make sure you do things that you will actually enjoy doing – if you have been invited for dinner but you don’t have the money to spend, change the plans to a walk on the beach instead. Don’t be afraid to suggest an alternative activity.
  • Pinpoint the real reason you don’t want to go – if you are purely being lazy, decide whether you might actually benefit from going ahead. If not, don’t do it.

Hopefully these little ideas will help someone out there to put himself or herself first. It really will have a significant impact on your health. To health and wellness!

I would love to hear some ways that you put yourself first… so comment below 🙂

By Franklee Healthy

A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.

 

 

 

 

Fat – Friend or Foe?

Healthy Fats BoardToasted Almonds

Prominent health and medical professionals have, for the entire span of my lifetime, advocated a low fat diet to reach optimum health. Claims that a low fat diet will help reduce heart disease, cholesterol problems and fat gain, and increase longevity have been consistently published for the public eye. A food pyramid was even created, that showed us how to limit our fat intake and up our carbohydrate intake. It seemed logical that if we stop eating fat, we’ll lose fat. Billions of dollars and expertise have been channelled into public nutritional standards and recommendations over these years, so surely they’re onto something good, right?

It is astonishing to realise that these public nutritional recommendations we have been hearing our entire lives, were never actually supported with any reliable scientific proof. They began as hypotheses that appealed to those who were advocating it, and remained as hypothesis without being proven right. Truthfully, they were actually proven wrong, but these findings were, conveniently, never published or publicised. That is, until now. More reliable research from the ‘good scientists’ like Gary Taubes and Malcolm Kendrick is beginning to surface. It rings alarm bells about the previous nutritional beliefs. It is saying that fat (including saturated fat), dietary cholesterol, and even salt, are healthy for the human body. They can also help us lose fat. Food examples include fatty meats, eggs, butter, raw full-fat dairy, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and avocado. Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, can be extremely harmful for the human body. They can also cause us to gain fat. Food examples include pasta, couscous, white rice, bread and a myriad of processed and packaged foods. In a nutshell, our diminishing intake of fats and salt is harming our health, as is our increased intake of refined carbohydrates.

So, the verdict: FAT IS YOUR FRIEND. There is so much evidence surfacing confirming that eating healthy fat does not make you fat. In fact, it helps you to lose fat. Our bodies need healthy fat to run efficiently, and to stay lean. Higher fat diets also fill you up for longer, meaning you don’t feel like consuming so much food to reach your body’s nutritional needs. Basically, eating fat can help you feel and look healthier.

So, where does one start when they have forever been told fat is bad and carbs are good? It can be a difficult mind shift. Instead of building our meals around carbs and supplementing it with protein (for example pastas and risottos), start with the protein… or better, start with the vegetables! Make meat or veggies the star or your meal. Supplement meat with plenty of clean green vegetables. Of course you can add a handful of good carbohydrates, like sweet potato or other starchier vegetables. Homemade condiments like olive-oil based mayonnaise and sugar-free sauces are a great addition too.

My own diet currently consists of of some red meats, poultry and fish, cooked in generous amounts of olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and butter. My meals always include lots of fresh, green vegetables along with more vegetables. Avocado appears when it is affordable, and I usually add some sweet potato or parsnip, and occasionally some rice. Spices and herbs are my chosen flavour enhancers. I have eggs, chia puddings, smoothies, leftovers, mug-cakes or natural yoghurt based meals for brekkie. I eat about two pieces of fruit each day, especially blueberries, oranges and kiwifruit. I snack on nuts, seeds, cheese, homemade goodies, eggs, natural greek yoghurt and homemade nut butters. And I never count calories, as it can become an unhealthy obsession. I feel great, and happy! Healthy-fat low-carb for the win!

If you are wondering more about different types of fats, see this bog post.

Further Info:

For some great recipes, see:

By the Way: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts,  because I would love to know more.