Smashed pea and avocado, green goodness on a plate
This recipe is a favourite of mine and great to use for dinner parties, or alongside your favourite vegan or meat main. It goes well with falafel, lamb and salmon, but we love it with a Roasted Cauliflower Steak. Or you can have it by itself. Enjoy.
1 & 1/2 cup peas
Large handful of baby spinach leaves
½ Large ripe avocado
Few leaves of fresh basil
4-5 leaves of fresh mint
1 & 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil
Salt and Cracked Pepper
Steam peas until hot and just cooked.
Place your peas and the remaining ingredients into the food processor. Blitz until you reach your desired consistency.
Always wanted to know more about why you might supplement your diet with a collagen? Look no further, this blog from our friends at Bare Biology takes a deep dive into the subject. Don’t forget that this month only you can grab our Cherry and Collagen Macaroons, made in collaboration with Bare Biology, containing their Skinful Collagen.
As one of a growing number of nutri-cosmetics, collagen powder (also called hydrolyzed collagen powder or collagen peptide powder) has been written about extensively, mostly from a ‘beauty-from-within’ standpoint. But while it does have some intriguing properties when it comes to our complexions, in reality collagen is about so much more than skin.
As one of the staple ingredients in anti-ageing creams, collagen’s been a beauty industry favourite for some time now. But recently collagen has become increasingly popular as a food supplement. You’ll find it as a liquid, in capsules or as a collagen powder that can be stirred into drinks and used in cooking.
It’s the most abundant protein in the human body and our own collagen levels change throughout our lifespan, with studies suggesting that overall collagen begins to decline as early as our 20s. The effect on our health isn’t just skin deep, as declining levels of collagen can mean we lose muscle strength, bone mass and less flexible joints.
The good news is you can replenish declining collagen levels with a high-quality supplement such as Skinful, a type I marine collagen protein powder made from wild-caught fish. But how does a collagen supplement really work and can it help us stay flexible, strong and fresh-looking as we age? Read on to find out.
How does collagen work?
Collagen anchors cells to each other to form sturdy, fibrous strands. These strands of collagen twist together, giving structure to skin and forming the flexible fibres used in ligaments. The fibrils of collagen have amazing tensile strength so it can be stretched without breaking.
In the skin, these strands look a little like fat Roman pillars placed closely together to hold up the top layer of the epidermis.
Collagen exists in different forms, depending on its location and function in the body. At least 16 different types of collagen have been identified, but some 80 to 90 percent of all the collagen in the body is either type I, II, or III.
Type I Collagen – The vast majority of all the collagen we contain is type I, because it’s found in skin, hair, nails, muscles, joints and organs. Most anti ageing collagen powder supplements for the skin will contain type I, and it’s the type that’s found in large quantities in marine collagen.
Type II Collagen – This type of collagen is present in movable joints and cartilage (the connective tissue that protects your bones). You’ll also find it in spinal disks and eyes. In supplements, type II is predominantly used for joint health.
Type III Collagen – After type I, this is the second most abundant collagen in human tissue because it’s found in places such as your intestines, muscles, blood vessels and the uterus. As a supplement, type III collagen is most commonly used for gut health.
What is collagen made of?
Each type of collagen is made up of amino acids, nitrogen-containing molecules that form the building blocks of all proteins. In collagen, the main amino acids are glycine, proline and hydroxyproline (a special amino acid made from proline and lysine) which account for up to 57% of its chemical make-up.
These amino acids are secreted by specialised cells known as fibroblasts and as they’re manufactured, they’re tightly wound together to create a strong, yet flexible, triple helix fibre.
Why do our levels of collagen decline?
Your body naturally produces and breaks down collagen every day. But over time, more old collagen is broken than can be replaced and the net result is gradually declining levels of collagen.
This natural decline in collagen is responsible for many of the health outcomes we associate with ageing. Like a house with a crumbling frame and weakened supporting structures, skin becomes wrinkled and sunken, there’s less mobility in the joints, muscles weaken and bones lose their density.
Collagen production begins to decline at a rate of about 1 percent a year in our mid-20s and goes rapidly downhill in our 40s and 50s, with the majority of women experiencing a 30 percent drop in the first few years post-menopause.
Collagen and skin
The appearance of our skin is important to all of us and not just for vanity reasons. The skin is also the external manifestation of our inner health, so keeping it in good condition is vitally important.
Type I collagen makes up 75 to 80 percent of our skin and it’s found in the dermis. It plays a huge role in the health of our bodies’ largest organ but to explain its importance, we need to take a closer look at the skin’s structure.
The skin is made up of three layers.
The epidermis is the skin you show to the world and it also provides a waterproof, protective barrier. The cells here were formed deep in the dermis around four weeks ago. The dermis is the next layer, lying just beneath the epidermis. The dermis has a blood supply and contains much of the skin’s collagen and elastin fibres, which give it structure and firmness, along with the fibroblasts – specialised cells that make new collagen.The hypodermis is the bottom layer and is made of connective tissue and fat.
As we age the collagen in the dermis breaks down and the fibroblasts don’t make enough to keep up. At this point, skin begins to lose its firmness, fine lines and wrinkles begin to show and there’s a loss of elasticity, meaning skin doesn’t plump up so well after pinching.
But besides age, there are other factors that contribute to declining levels of collagen in the skin. UV rays from the sun, cigarette smoke, pollution, poor diet and even stress can all speed up the breakdown in the skin’s structure.
When we’re younger the damage is repaired by the fibroblasts producing more collagen, but as we get older our fibroblasts become more sluggish. We can’t produce enough collagen to make up for the rate we’re losing it and as the collagen vanishes, so does our skin’s youthful appearance.
So can we just add more collagen to the skin in the form of topical moisturisers? Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. While creams and serums can hydrate the dead skin cells on the epidermis and make it superficially look a bit more healthy, the collagen molecules are too big to penetrate the dermis and just sit on the top level of the skin.
Do we need to take a collagen supplement?
While collagen is an important building block for whole-body health, it’s one that’s slipped entirely out of our diets. Our Western love for muscle meat that’s skinless and boneless has meant our diets are almost completely devoid of important amino acids.
That’s not the case in Asian cultures such as China, where nutrient-rich organ meat and connective tissue are routinely eaten. Head to Beijing and you’ll find street markets brimming with pig’s trotters, chicken feet and whole duck’s heads, and bone marrow is often served as a side dish.
Of course ideally you’d get all the amino acids you need to replenish your collagen levels from your diet. But unless you want to sit down to a bowl of bone broth every day, there’s every chance you’re missing out on vital nutrients that can keep your bones, joints and skin healthy. That’s where collagen protein powder supplements can step in to fill the gap.
What is collagen powder and where does it come from?
Collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen and collagen protein powder are all different names for the same thing. It’s all animal or fish collagen that’s been treated to break down the amino acids into smaller molecules that your body can absorb.
Collagen protein powders are made from the hide and connective tissues of large mammals like cows or in the case of marine collagen powder, from the skin and scales of fish. Because the collagen molecule is too big and sturdy to be digested and absorbed by the bloodstream, it has to be ‘hydrolyzed’ using enzymes and high-pressure steam.
This process splits the super collagen molecule into tiny snippets of collagen fibre, now commonly referred to as collagen peptides. These are much more bioavailable, meaning your body can actually absorb the key amino acids they contain.
Made from fish skin, scales and sometimes bones, marine-sourced type I collagen peptides are widely considered to be superior to the bovine variety when it comes to skin health.
What do collagen powders contain?
Collagen peptides are a white, odourless powder that are neutral in taste. They’re normally derived from type I collagen (the same type that’s found in all human skin and bone) and are up to 97 percent protein.
But the real magic lies in the levels of amino acids they contain. Collagen peptides normally contain around 18 different amino acids, including eight of the nine essential amino acids. The important amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline are the most prevalent in collagen peptides, making up 50 per cent of its total amino acid content – the same amount that’s in human skin.
How do collagen supplements work?
Your body makes its own collagen proteins from the amino acids proline, glycine and hydroxyproline. All three (and hydroxyproline in particular) are hard to come by from diet, unless you regularly eat organ meats or foods such as bone broth.
Collagen supplements are brimming with these amino acids. When you eat them they are absorbed by the small intestine and circulated into your bloodstream. In fact, collagen peptides show up in your bloodstream just two hours after you take them.
What happens next is the subject of two different schools of thought. The conventional view is that the body uses the amino acids to make new collagen directly. But more recently, scientists have come to believe that the presence of these amino acid fragments in the bloodstream tricks the body into thinking there’s been a collagen breakdown. Believing that repair is urgently needed, it stimulates your own fibroblasts to produce more collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
What are the different kinds of collagen powder you can buy?
There are two main types of collagen powder available: bovine and marine. But which one is best for you will depend on why you’re taking it and your personal preferences. Let’s compare the two side by side.
Made from the hide, bones and muscles of cows, bovine collagen powder contains type I and type 3 collagen, both of which are abundant in the human body. A rich source of proline and glycine, bovine collagen powder is normally promoted for bone and gut health, along with strong joints. But because it’s derived from cattle, it could be a problem for those who don’t eat certain types of meat for religious or ethical reasons.
Made from fish skin, scales and sometimes bones, marine-sourced type I collagen peptides are widely considered to be superior to the bovine variety when it comes to skin health. This is due to their smaller sized molecules, because having a lower molecular weight allows it to be absorbed more efficiently. It’s also suitable for those who don’t eat meat.
What is the best collagen protein powder for skin?
Marine collagen powder is best because it has a nearly identical chemical make-up to skin. Human collagen is made almost entirely of glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, in roughly the same ratio you find in marine collagen supplements.
The peptide molecules in marine collagen are also much smaller in size than bovine collagen, making it more bioavailable.
And while marine collagen is high in glycine and proline, it’s especially rich in the amino acid hydroxyproline, which is an essential component of skin.
That’s why Bare Biology’s Skinful collagen powder is sourced from wild-caught cod, making it rich in type 1 collagen.SHOP SKINFUL
How to take collagen powder effectively?
Skinful marine collagen has a neutral taste, so it’s easy to add to drinks you already enjoy like tea and coffee. This means that whenever you remember to take it, you can simply stir it into your drink and you won’t even notice it’s there.
Unlike other supplements the collagen won’t be damaged by heat, so you could add it to muffins and cookies as well soups and stews. Collagen peptides can withstand heat up to 300°C, making them one of the few protein powders that’s good for cooking and baking.
As a side note, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re also getting plenty of vitamin C too, either by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet or by taking a supplement. That’s because vitamin C is a co-factor in collagen synthesis. In fact scurvy (the plague of sailors on long journeys in the 15th to 18th centuries) was actually a lack of collagen caused by vitamin C deficiency.
When to take collagen powder?
Is morning or night best? Should you take it with or without food? The short answer is it doesn’t matter when you take collagen powder, as long as you remember to take it everyday. The collagen will be broken down by your stomach acid, whether you take it with food or without, but if you experience any gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, taking it with food could be helpful.
How to find the best quality collagen powder?
With so many products out there, it can be hard to know if you’re getting the best quality collagen powder money can buy. Here’s what you should be looking out for.
Choose marine collagen
If you want to take collagen for skin health, marine collagen is best as it is especially high in type I collagen, the kind most associated with anti-ageing.
Look for wild-caught sources
Some brands of collagen powder may come from factory farmed fish. If a brand is proud of where their fish come from they’ll shout about it. Bare Biology’s own Skinful marine collagen peptides are sustainably produced from wild-caught, non-GMO cod.
Check the amino acid profile
Make sure your chosen collagen powder actually contains glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline in substantial amounts. And always opt for brands that are transparent about their entire amino acid profile.
A collagen powder should be as pure as possible, so make sure yours contains no additives in the form of dyes, flavours or fillers.
Test results Look for brands that publish their test results and, even better, get their products third-party tested for heavy metal residues.
Is collagen powder the same as gelatin?
Gelatin is also a substance derived from the collagen of animals. Its gel-forming properties make it particularly useful in foods that need structure, such as jelly or cheesecakes, or as a casing for vitamin supplements.
Odourless, flavourless and clear, you can buy gelatin from the supermarket in leaf or powdered form. It’s brittle when dry but gummy when moist, which makes it particularly useful in soft sweets.
Collagen peptides have no gelling capabilities because of their low molecular weight, which means they can be dissolved in water of any temperature, hot or cold, without binding together, emulsifying or foaming. This makes them easier to stir into drinks such as tea or to make a collagen latte.
And while gelatin is made up of long chains of amino acids, collagen that has been hydrolyzed is formed from short chains known as peptides. This makes them much more bioavailable, as the shorter chains can be taken up by the bloodstream through the intestinal wall.
How many calories are there in collagen powder?
One serving (a tablespoon, or 5g) of Skinful contains just 19 calories. And because it’s pure protein, it makes the perfect keto collagen powder for those on a low carbohydrate diet. It can also be a good substitute for bone broth for those who are following a paleo diet.
Having a protein-rich diet is also known to prevent cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels stable, as well as keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
Which one is best, collagen capsules or powder?
Whether you take collagen as a capsule or powder is a matter of personal preference, but Bare Biology Skinful marine collagen comes only as a powder.
We believe powder form is best because it’s so versatile. You can add the powder to almost anything you can think of, with favourites including smoothies, juices, coffee and water. Want to get even more creative? Try making collagen omelettes or ice lollies.
These clever ways of taking collagen are impossible with a capsule. It would mean splitting one open which is messy and wasteful, as you lose a lot of the product in the process.
Collagen capsules are also large in size and you may find you need to take several of them a day to get anywhere near a 5g dose, something that makes capsules more costly, too. So if you struggle to take tablets or are worried about the cost, you’ll find that a powder form is a lot cheaper and much more pleasant.
Can I put collagen powder in a face mask?
While it won’t hurt you to put collagen in a mask, it’s far better to eat it than put it on your skin. It’s unlikely that the amino acids it contains will be able to cross the skin barrier to stimulate new collagen growth.
Some products claim to have formulated transdermal collagen that can cross the skin barrier, but these creams are extremely innovative and at present cost hundreds of pounds, which is further evidence that slathering powder on your face is unlikely to have a great benefit.
Choosing a reputable brand whose products are tested for purity and who are transparent about their test results is key.
Is taking collagen powder safe?
Taking collagen protein powder is safe and well-tolerated. But how do you know that your marine collagen doesn’t have high levels of the kinds of toxins that are present in fish, such as PCBs and mercury?
Choosing a reputable brand whose products are tested for purity and who are transparent about their test results is key. Our Skinful collagen peptides are made from hydrolysed wild (never farmed) codfish skin, made and packed in Norway. They’re 100 percent safe and have the highest degree of purity.
We publish our test results for each and every batch, and third party tests which are carried out by an independent laboratory, which you’ll find on the product page as a downloadable PDF.
What are the side effects of taking collagen powder?
Collagen supplements are generally well-tolerated with no known drug interactions. However, some people have been known to experience mild side effects, ranging from a feeling of fullness to mild diarrhea and on rare occasions, skin rashes. Taking collagen supplements with food may help to avoid any gastrointestinal problems.
Some people notice that they feel thirstier when they consume more protein. Listen to your body and drink extra water if you need to.
Is there anyone who should avoid taking collagen powder?
People who are allergic to fish or shellfish should not take a marine collagen powder. And if you have kidney disease or suffer from kidney stones, you should consult your doctor first as collagen will count towards your daily protein total. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before taking.
How much collagen powder should I take?
We recommend taking two tablespoons (10g) of Skinful every day for one month, then reducing the dosage to 5g per day for month two.
Can you take too much collagen powder?
Anytime you consume more food than your body has the enzymes to process, you may notice some digestive discomfort like bloating. If this happens at a higher dose of collagen peptides, just scale back and slowly build up to your ideal dose.
Some people feel thirstier when they consume more protein. Listen to your body and drink extra water if you need to.
Can you mix collagen with protein powder?
Mixing collagen powder with protein powder (such as whey or pea) is completely safe, and doing so has its advantages, because you’ll be getting a full range of amino acids and other nutrients.
How long does it take for collagen powder to work?
In all the studies carried out on collagen to date that have shown a benefit, particularly on skin, the subjects took a supplement for between 8 and 12 weeks.
So should I take a collagen supplement?
Collagen plays an essential role in both the structure and appearance of your skin, but that’s not the only reason to include a good quality supplement in your diet.
Collagen is an important building block for all our connective tissues, muscles, joints and ligaments, yet our Western diets are totally devoid of many of the important amino acids we need to make for ourselves, such as glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. While in Asian cultures people still eat collagen regularly, here in the West we favour boneless, skinless (and collagen-free) muscle meat.
If that’s not a good enough reason to include some collagen in your diet, it’s worth remembering that levels of our own collagen decline naturally from our 20s and drop sharply in post menopausal women. This can cause bones to weaken, muscles to atrophy and joints to lose their flexibility, some of the symptoms most commonly associated with ageing.
Collagen supplements are particularly good for us as they’ve been hydrolyzed, or broken down into short snippets (called peptides) of amino acid chains. This allows them to be absorbed more readily by the body to be used where you need them most.
If your priority in taking collagen is anti-ageing, taking a pure marine collagen such as Skinful is best. That’s because it contains type I collagen with a near-identical chemical make-up as the skin itself. And because Skinful is made by Bare Biology, you know you’ll be getting the purest collagen free from any additives or contaminants.
During lockdown we’ve noticed that
our skin has suffered a little so, this week we’re looking at 7 ways to Nourish
the skin you’re in.
Over the past few months, we’ve
all felt more stressed than usual, many of us have not made as much time for
self-care as we might normally have done. Our sleep patterns have been
disrupted along with our work routines. The results of all this is quite
literally, written all over our faces. For the next month we’re focusing on
#nourishedskin and taking a closer a look at nourishing ourselves from within
and how that will help us to achieve that glow we love on the outside. We want
to greet the summer with a glow and a spring in our step, join us!
What does be healthy on the inside mean?
A healthy diet means different things to different people and we would not advocate following a particular diet or getting too tied up in any food fads. A balanced diet, full of whole foods (organic where possible), cooked from scratch as often as you can, with limited processed foods is a good place to start. For your microbiome (the good/bad bacterial balance in your gut) to work efficiently you need to be eating as wide a variety of foods as possible. Think eating the rainbow! Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals, pollution, and sunlight. Our Red Velvet Macaroons for instance are a powerhouse of beetroot-based antioxidants!
Healthy fats are your building blocks to great skin.
Good fats are an essential part of keeping your skin looking and feeling great. The skin is comprised of many different types of cells and structures which is partly held together and protected by a layer of lipids (fats). This lipid layer diminishes as we age but is also negatively affected by over-cleansing and over-exfoliating the skin or cleansing with harsh soaps/detergents, as well as by diets lacking in healthy fats, such as omega 3. A compromised lipid layer not only gives a drier, more aged appearance to the skin, but it also leads to trans-epidermal water loss, dehydration. Good vegetarian sources of omega-3 can be found in walnuts, linseeds, pumpkin, chia, and hemp. Grab some of our Oat Cookies for a healthy treat for your skin here.
Make time for cleansing, this is your time.
It might only be a few minutes in the morning and evening, but we’ve come to love the rhythm and routine of caring for our skin. We love to use soothing natural essential oils instead of the harsher chemical-based cleansers and moisturisers. There are so many wonderful natural ways to care for our skin. Rosehip oil for instance is a great allrounder for soothing, nourishing, exfoliating, and helping to boost collagen production. Using natural products also helps lessen our exposure to parabens and SLAS. Try Odylique or Botanicals for simple, beautiful products.
You snooze you win, win, win!
Getting your 8hrs is important for so many essential processes within your body to work efficiently (read our Sleep Blog for even more information). In basic terms the less you sleep, the less recovery from your day. If you’ve had a stressful day of juggling home-school, work zoom calls and keeping the wheels turning at home, you need at least 8hrs for your body to efficiently process all of the stress hormones you’ve created during the day. Stress hormones are great at creating that haggard, had enough look that we all want to avoid.
Go big on biotin for great skin.
Never heard of biotin. No neither had we before we started investigating. Biotin helps the helps fat metabolism in the skin. It is found in good amounts in some of our favourite ingredients, almonds, Swiss Chard, tomato, avocado and sweet potatoes. Try our Passionfruit or Vanilla Macaroons to add a little almond to your diet. With plenty of gorgeously crumbly Organic Spanish ground almonds in them these are a great way of making sure you’re getting some biotin in!
Eat your vitamin C!
Vitamin C is a super antioxidant. It is needed to support the immune system, promote radiant skin, and help blemishes heal properly. The best sources are blackcurrants, passionfruit, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin. Try our Passionfruit Macaroons or slices to put a pep in your skins step!
Stress less, breathe more.
Stress plays a huge part in the health of your skin. Stress depletes all those lovely fat cells that we need to keep our skin plump and glowing and drains our bodies of essential vitamins and minerals. Your mind and your skin are closely related and work together. Many common skin conditions such as eczema and acne are shown to be exacerbated by stress. Stress cannot be solved with a one size fits all solution but learning what is creating your stress and finding ways to limit it will allow your glow to shine through. Find out more about how we deal with stress in our blog here.
Nourishing recipes that will help you grow, cook, enjoy with us.
We love to share our favourite nourishing recipes that will help you grow, cook, enjoy with us. Ineke writes all of the recipes for our website and our eBook, Nourishing Treats, and you can rest assured that they’ve all been tried and tested on very willing subjects at home! Having been brought up in a home where cooking from scratch was the norm, Ineke loves to play with ingredients and finds inspiration from cooking seasonal whole foods. With her passion for cooking it’s unsurprising that when she’s not making things for Nourish, she’s writing recipes to share.
The Kitchen is the heart of the home
Some say that their kitchens are their hub of their home and you would definitely say this about Ineke’s. There is usually one of her children or her husband, Ryan, helping out. Her worktops are scattered with all the kit you’d expect to find in a keen cooks kitchen. A place to work, a place to be inspired and a place to sometimes find peace in the simple. Like peeling veg while listening to a podcast (we’d recommend Table Manners as a good one!).
Our whole team are keen cooks and we’ve made full use of the Nourish recipe page on our website. Everyone has a favourite. We thought we’d share just a few of ours that will maybe inspire you too in the kitchen. We do all share one favourite though and that is our Beetroot cake from Nourishing Treats, its an epic red velvet treat!
Don’t forget you can search for our recipes via our website and find additional ones on IGTV. Our IGTV recipes are very simple and being hosted by Ineke’s daughter Inge, they are suitable for kids to make too.
Ineke’s got a few favourite staple recipes that she relies on weekly, almond mylk, carrot salad and nut butter are all on repeat. Making your own almond mylk is really rewarding and ensures that what you get is clean and natural, with no binders or thickeners. There are so many good nut butters out there but playing around and trying it with different nuts and adding other flavours is great when you have kids that adore it as a snack.
She’d most like to be woken up with a stack of her keto pancakes, take note kids! Simple to make and they look very impressive. Stacked up with fresh fruit and coconut yogurt is her favourite way of serving them.
Inge is the hands behind our IGTV videos and already a keen cook in her own right. Often found helping with recipe development she has a keen sense of taste and knows what she likes! Bananas are an obvious favourite as she’s picked not one, but two banana recipes!
With the weather set to hot this week her first choice of banana ice cream is a great one. With just 3 ingredients this is a must have for eating in the paddling pool! For brekkie she’d love to wolf down a stack of pancakes too, but goes for the banana ones as a personal favourite.
Toiling away as a maths teacher by day and a Nourish worker bee at night Mr Nourish likes to relax with a Inge’s Ice Cream sandwiches. These gorgeous creations aren’t just great to look at, they’re delicious too. A definite Instagrammable moment if you can keep these on a plate for long enough! We suspect that he may be fending off two very hungry children while he tries to enjoy these.
With two small children who are always on the go Ellerie loves to have a simple, nutritious snack on hand and reaches for our Oat Cookies. The perfect snack to pop in a rucksack and head off for an adventure in the woods with she says. Great for keeping little ones going one their energy is flagging. Available to buy on the website these are a favourite with young and old. Packed full of nutritious ingredients such as chia seeds, cacao nibs, raw honey and of course oats.
With a couple of chocolate spread fiends at home Kate loves to make the easy chocolate spread and keep it in reserve to slather on pancakes or dip fruit into for a snack. Her family are also constantly asking for a repeat of the keto cauliflower gnocchi, which has become a firm favourite! Changing up the pesto flavouring depending on the season, so far they’ve enjoyed the gnocchi with wild garlic, spinach and kale.
We’ve had some lovely comments from you all about our recipes in the past. This one from Kathy really made us all smile, it’s good to have you on our journey Kathy!
‘I have been following the Nourish-Grow-Cook-Enjoy website for many years now and have had great fun trying out many of the lovely recipes. They are very easy to follow and always turn into
delicious treats. Not sure I can pick a favourite but the Banana Pancakes are my absolute go-to-recipe for lazy Saturday mornings and I love making the Vegetable Satay for an easy mid-week dinner. Thank you so much to Ineke and the team at Nourish-Grow Cook-Enjoy
for being such wonderful inspiration!!!’
At Nourish we live by our name. Is it any wonder that so many brands have a derivative of the word nourishing in their name? The definition in itself of ‘promoting or sustaining life, growth, or strength’ is something so appealing that we all want a piece of it!
We’ve been thinking this month about how we can strive for a more #nourishedlife in aspects such as physical and mental health, our relationships and of course in nutrition. Nourishing practices and habits form such an important part of that growth, sustainment and strength that we all need. We need to ‘put on our own oxygen mask, before we can help others’. In other words, we need to nourish ourselves first in order to be able to reach out and nourish those around us.
So what can we be doing? I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase, ‘ do more of what makes you happy’ ? Well it is really as simple as that. Nourishing practices for us bring us joy and quiet content. There may be some that are tough to start off with and get off the ground and we may sometimes slip in and out of the practise or habit, but really, the things we should choose to do will make us happy. Hobbies are a great place to start. We only really start up yoga, dance, running, crafting or cooking out of enjoyment. These hands on and physical activities are super nourishing as we are able to take time to concentrate on only ourselves and develop personal talents that are lying just beneath the surface.
Getting closer to nature is something so many of us have been fortunate to do these last few months as we’ve simplified our lives and found joy in the great outdoors. Getting outside regularly is an absolute must for us. We’ve found pure peace in those early morning walks and the simplicity of playing amongst the trees, spotting new baby animals on the pond and breathing the air in deeply.
Nourishing practices are not always specific activities we do. Being completely present around your children playing, or when sitting watching Netflix with your partner may seem pretty obvious, but with busy worlds and phones always close by, they are not always easy to do. Trying hard to ensure we are mindfully preparing our food and mindfully eating it for each meal is important to us.
Being purposeful in our daily activities and doing these simple things with intent, can be just as nourishing for our body and mind and allow us to avoid letting everyday things slide past us. We love a daily practise of gratitude either in an evening journaling session or simply taking a moment for our mind to go through the day and then let it wander. This is a great thing to teach children to do too and can be done from the moment our children can speak. We like to go round the table during our evening meal and each choose something that has made us happy that day.
We’ve also learnt we don’t need to actually be doing anything to be nourishing ourselves. Some of the most nourishing practices we’ve tried to adopt into our weeks are ones where we actually do nothing. Meditating and mindfulness, complete with deep breathing can be so nourishing to both our minds and bodies. Aside from all the incredible health benefits of mindfulness, we find it really allows us to check in with ourselves. If you are looking for somewhere to start, simply sitting and staring out the window into your garden is a great way. There are also a plethora of great apps out there to help with mindfulness or meditation (check out Calm) Perhaps the most underestimated yet important nourishing practise we all need to adopt fully, and one we are told repeatedly about it’s benefits, is sleep!
We’ve enjoyed creating a slower pace of life these last few months (check out our Nourish Guide to Slow Living here ) but have still found merit in scheduling in time for these nourishing practices and sticking to routines. Routine can often help improve mental state as we look to enjoyable parts of our day we can control, and our body moulds into those pockets of routine moments. A warm drink first thing in the morning, a yoga class at a certain set designated time in our day and a short but affective wind down routine, perhaps with a bath or skincare routine before bed, can really help our sleep improve as our body starts to recognise it should prepare for sleep mode.
This week during our #nourishedlife month we’re sharing the Nourish Guide to Slow Living. So, what is slow living?
“The central tenet of the slow philosophy is taking the time to do things properly, and thereby enjoy them more.”
If lockdown has taught us anything it seems that the main lesson we have learnt is that we need to collectively slow down. For many of us life is lived constantly running at a million miles an hour. Our weekends pass without any decrease in pace, holidays are wedged into small pockets of time and moments that could be spent slowly are instead filled with scanning social media endlessly.
We created the Nourish Guide to Slow Living because, as a team, we are as guilty as the next person of filling every available moment with tasks. We’ve been consciously making ourselves slow down since lockdown began to try and help deal with the feeling of overwhelm that we’ve experienced. Slow living doesn’t mean being lazy, slow living means giving time to things that matter. It means adopting smart working practices, taking time to be outside and really appreciate it. Creating meals from scratch that are nutritionally valuable and being mindful about the time we spend on social media. The odd team Zoom #macaroonmoment has definitely helped too!
Fully immersing yourself into the slow living movement may not be for you, but a few little tweaks to your current way of life could help you slow down enough to see the benefits. In fact there are so many different ways to embrace slow living. In fact it’s unlikely that anyone would be doing them all.
Here’s a few ways we’ve found to slow down.
Be less busy.
How many times has someone asked you how you are and you’ve replied with your standard reply, ‘busy, you know what it’s like’? It’s become our default setting to fall into the busyness abyss. You know the one, it’s when there are tasks throughout your day off and still you’re beating yourself up at the end of the day that perhaps you never got that walk with the family, or didn’t do that online yoga class you’ve been promising yourself.
What would actually happen if for one day you took your foot off the gas and slowed down? What if you prioritised that walk with your family and did it first thing, or maybe closed the door and quietly did an hours yoga practice in peace? The answer is probably surprising. Nothing would happen, there might be one more load of washing that didn’t get done, an email that didn’t get sent, a floor that didn’t get cleaned. But, are those things going to matter when you take into account what you got to do instead?
Kate’s story – This Sunday we got lost in the woods, really, properly lost. A walk that was meant to take 2 hours, took 4! Spending a few moments late in the day I realised that I hadn’t lost anything, nothing important hadn’t been done. Instead I have a mind full of fabulous moments and wonderful belly laughs at how it’s possible to get so lost, so close to home. It’s a day in the middle of lockdown that will stay with us as one of our happiest days. A Slow day, a mindful day and a marvellous reminder that sometimes when you can’t stop, the world will make you stop and slow down.
When we’re dashing around from pillar to post it’s easy to forget the creative side of our brains. There are so many wonderful creative practices that we can adopt to enhance our ability to slow down. Being creative could be anything from cooking to building. For us at Nourish this creative slow down has come in many different forms. Many of us have things we aspire to learn or reembrace from a creative standpoint
For Ineke it was writing and photographing her own recipes, which became our eBook Nourishing Treats. Just the process of making a meal, creating a beautiful tableau, and seeing the end result was a way of reconnecting with her creativity.
What would you do with some creative time? Learn to cross stitch, master a new language, build a piece of furniture, paint a wall, make a meal? The list is infinite and there will be something for everyone. Why not try the Slow Home Podcast for some more ideas?
Saying,’ no’, is hard, not many of us are good at it. As humans we’re programmed to say, ‘yes’ and be helpful and empathetic. Somehow saying no has lots of negative connotations, it suggests that we don’t care or don’t want to help. However, sometimes saying no is the best thing you can do. When your day is already filled with a million and one tasks then adding one more can feel like you might as well, however when you fill a glass and keep on pouring, at some point it will overflow.
Saying no from time to time could allow you to find a pocket of time to slow down. Downshifting a little may provide the opportunity for you to listen to that podcast, play that album all the way through, plant the flowers or just sit on your balcony/in your garden and just breathe for a few precious moments.
The slow information diet.
Newsfeed over the past few months has been relentless and for many it’s invoked feelings of anxiety and concern. Limiting time that we spend looking at this kind of information can help to slow down our anxiety response. We’ve found that limiting subscription to just one news feed rather than multiple feeds has helped. Checking this just once per day, rather than throughout the day.
Social media is a fantastic tool that many of us enjoy to connect with one another for business and pleasure. We still love a scroll through beautiful pictures and motivational words so we’re limiting our viewing to positive feeds that inspire us. We love learning more about sustainable slow living and have found social media to be a great place to find this information. Here are just a few of our favourite accounts. They cover everything from great products to how to make your home more sustainable.