In these times of unknowns and stress we’re looking at Hygge and why it’s more important now than ever. Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with family and friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special. No one is naive enough to think that being on your own or with your tribe, in isolation, is going to be the most fun but making it feel cosy, warm and enveloping is important. Soothe yourself and your gang by taking care of yourselves and creating a haven around you.
Hunker down and Hygge
As the days become longer and we finally get to see a little more of the sunshine why not find a snuggly spot by a window? A cosy blanket for your knees and you can snuggle up by an open window and gain that all important Vitamin D and all the hormone boosting serotonin you can get. Light those lamps early and maybe invest in a few battery operated fairy lights from an online retailer like these bunny ones for Easter from Not on The High Street. Light up a dark corner or perhaps pop a string a vase for a pretty centrepiece. We also love to bring the outside in and have some twigs decorated with Easter bits and bobs and a bunch of daffs or two from your supermarket order, cheap but so cheerful. Check out our Easter boxes here, one sharing box and one vegan.
Just for you
We know we talk about it a lot, it’s probably because we’re always striving to achieve it ourselves! But, time alone, spent doing something just for you is just as special and important as time spent with others. Especially as we’re all in close quarters at the moment! So whether you like snuggling under a blanket with a new book and a cup of something warm to one side, a walk on your own for your daily dose of allowed exercise or you prefer a candlelit bath and a chance to empty your mind, these moments can be just as special. If you’re alone during this time then getting out and spotting the kids rainbows in the windows and seeing the odd other walker might help to lift your spirits.
When looking to strengthen your immune system your diet is the best place to start. Remember the Hippocrates quote – ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’. Think about what you are eating and whether it has value. Just starting by making sure you and yours are getting at least 5 a day is great and anything extra on top of this is fantastic. If you need some inspiration then check out the recipe section on our website for plenty of seasonal meals, snacks and treats. Why not try our refried beans for a quick, simple meal or our breakfast muffins which make a super start to the day.
Let me entertain you
All those board games, boxed sets and podcasts have suddenly come into their own as we try to find ways to fill the time. Maybe this is time to learn a new language, watch Game of Thrones at last, paint the hall or do some crafting? The media can just heighten anxiety at times like this so it’s important to have a little time each day when you turn off the phones, ignore the world and just be in the moment.
Below is a list of some of our favourite things to do when we have time and want to create that special moment that’s Hygge! We’d love to hear yours too.
It’s a tricky old situation we all find ourselves in at the moment and you may ask why kindness should be your superpower. The way we live, the way we behave towards one another can resonate through our society. If we treat one another with distrust and are dismissive of each other we create a negative situation. Greeting one another with kindness and concern for each other’s wellbeing helps to make us all feel more positive. And as a result more able to cope in these difficult times.
Being kind in times of upheaval is a true superpower. You can be the superhero that your community and your family need.
A simple hello and a smile while you’re out taking in the air can make such a huge difference to those who may be feeling very isolated at this time. We know you can’t hug, or get too close to one another. However, a chat about the weather while you keep your distance is fine. Everyone can remember while we’re out and about in our cars, to say ‘thanks’ when someone lets us past, out at a junction etc. We all agree here at Nourish HQ that when someone is kind when we’ve been sitting at a junction for ages it’s a little thing that goes a long way.
With many people feeling isolated both physically and mentally at the moment communication has become key. We have some many wonderful resources at our disposal for keeping in touch with one another. If you want to chat to your whole family at once then try Skype or Zoom. Both are free and you can all see each other, which we love! If you’ve got a housebound neighbour and you can help them set this up it may be the thing that makes all the difference to how they are feeling. Learning to write a letter is a great life skill and one that we’re teaching the Nourish smalls at the moment. Finding ways to write about how they are feeling at the moment should help kids to cope during these uncertain times. It may give you a better insight into how they are feeling too. Twinkl is a great teaching resource for templates specifically for kids.
When people are scared they can do crazy things. The stockpiling we’ve seen in recent weeks is a great example of this. Kindness comes in here too, do you really need all that you have put in your trolley virtual or otherwise? If we’re fit and well then we can continue to shop and look after ourselves but what of the busy carers who are out buying for 3 or 4 people at a time and are having to go back with nothing? If you find you have got too much and have some non perishables to share then find out where your local food bank is. Many of them are crying out for donations at the moment and will greet you with open arms. The Trussell Trust has a great search function for finding out where your closest one is. They also have the ability to make financial donations too.
Take care of yourself
Kindness doesn’t just mean being kind to others, at times like this it’s easy for some to forget to be kind to themselves too. Making time for yourself is just as important as helping others, if the tanks empty the engine simply isn’t going to work. If you’re the Superhero in your tribe remember to accept kindness from others too. It could just be someone making you a cuppa, taking in a delivery or sending you a message to check that you’re okay, but it’s the little things that add up and can make a tricky day more bearable. How about a little #macaroonmoment just for you? Macaroon Moment – A moment of calm with a cuppa and a macaroon!
If you’re having any anxiety about the current situation there are some super resources online too that can really help.
Calm App – Great for those nights when you just can’t relax and are feeling anxious
Mind Org – A super resource that covers lots of topics around mental health awareness
Anxiety UK – Covers all different types of anxiety and how to find help and coping mechanisms
Our Rainbow Carrot Salad takes advantage of our fab veggie box from Riverford this week! Just in time for Valentines Day we’ve whipped up a quick, simple, nutritious and gorgeous side or starter to make your loved one smile. This colourful collation is packed full of vitamins and micronutrients. Where carrots really shine is as a source of vitamin A. One cup of carrots provides a whopping 428 percent of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin A is an important nutrient for healthy immune system functioning. It protects and supports cell membranes to help fight infection and increases white blood cell activity. So you’re not just putting a smile on someone’s face but you’re also protecting their immune system, now that’s love!
As a Company we use only natural unrefined sugar, we wanted to give you the lowdown on 3 Natural Sugars that we come across most often. The consumption of refined sugars is on the rise, but alarmingly so are artificial sugars! According to the NHS the average person in Britain consumes 700 gm of sugar a week. This is the equivalent to 140 tsp per person!
There are so many articles available to read, some about the latest sugar substitute, others about the latest dietary trend. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to know what we should and shouldn’t be eating.
The simple truth is that all sugar is still sugar. Thanks to well publicised research we know that sugar’s effect on the body is harmful and that it is a significant cause of disease and various health issues.
So, what is a good natural sweetener? Raw Honey and Maple Syrup are two natural sugars, and both have some health benefits (remember to consume in moderation). There are others as well including, Medjool dates, coconut sugar, stevia and monk fruit (the latter two being great for those following a keto diet).
We’ll give you the lowdown on 3 Natural Sugars below;
Raw Honey has often been haloed as a superfood. It is rich in many minerals and vitamins including iron, zinc, potassium, vitamin B6, calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus and niacin. It contains enzymes and antioxidants too. These all help to promote healthy gut flora and a diverse microbiome, which goes hand in hand with good overall health.
The GI (glycemic index) of honey is also less than that of a banana (for a tbsp serving of honey). The key however to ensure you benefit from these nutrients is to consume raw honey (the darker the better).
We’d recommend trying to find a local raw honey producer to support if you’re looking to source honey for you and your family. We love The Local Honey Man or our very own local Reigate Beekeepers who keep hives on the farm where our kitchen is!
Maple syrup is more heat stable than honey and can be used in baked goods. It is also is rich in antioxidants, in fact it’s packed with a whooping 24 and has some nutritional benefits. It is incredibly rich in manganese and contains calcium, potassium and zinc. Zinc and manganese are great for strengthening your immune system as they help regulate white blood cell production.
Check out this article by Dr Josh Axe for more information on the benefits of Maple Syrup.
Did you know that we use Maple Syrup as our primary sweetener in all our products? Check them out here.
DATES (specifically Medjool)
Dates like the above contain some excellent nutritional benefits. Containing copper, manganese, magnesium, Vitamin B6, potassium and iron. They also contain beta carotene which can be converted by the body into Vitamin A, which is particularly great for eye health.
A single serving of dates contains more than 6 g of dietary fibre, roughly 20-25% of the daily recommended intake, depending upon your gender. Dietary fiber is crucial for the proper functioning of the digestive tract
Making a date paste or using the fresh dates in making raw desserts is an excellent way to use this natural sweetener. Why not try making our delicious Banoffee Mousse to see how these can be used?
Key Take Home Point
Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean giving up sweets entirely. It does mean replacing refined sugars and artificial sweeteners with natural sweeteners. Despite still being sugars, unlike refined sugars natural sugars have extra beneficial nutritional and health benefits that can mean that a little bit of what you fancy is still possible.
For further reading from key experts in the industry –
If you’re joining in with Veganuary and are in any way concerned about missing meat you have to try our Cauliflower Steaks. Once this super veg roasts it caramelises and becomes unctuous and delicious. We love the humble cauliflower and it’s many and varied health benefits. Cauliflower Steaks are a powerhouse of nutrients, including anti-inflammatory Vitamin C, digestive-supportive fibre and glucosinolates, which are sulphurous compounds that help us detoxify and neutralize carcinogens.
Preheat oven to 180C Slice the cauliflower into steaks approx 2cm thick Place in a roasting dish/cooking stone. Drizzle over 2 tbsp of the melted coconut oil and season with salt and cracked pepper.
Place in the oven and cook for 15 mins. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix together the last tbsp of coconut oil with the tahini and maple syrup along with the garlic if using.
Drizzle 2/3rds of the mixture over the cauliflower and then bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve alongside a fresh salad and some sweet potato wedges.
Ineke’s note ** I have recently started using the brand “Belazu” which I love, they make there tahini using traditional stoneground methods and the tahini is runny and has a slightly hint of salt from the methods they use to make it
*** You can also use honey, which some people prefer. Or omit it entirely if strict keto. ENJOY 🙂
Sometimes only sweet potato wedges dipped into Hunter Gather Mayonnaise will do! There’s something very comforting about these and so they make regular appearances on our winter menu at home. We love to top them off with roast almonds when they need to look a bit more snazzy and just smother them in mayo when they don’t. How do you eat yours? Don’t forget to tag us in your images if you do make anything from our site, we love to see your Nourishing creations.
Sweet Potato Wedges – Serves 2 as a main course with vegetables and a salad, or 3-4 as a side.
2 Sweet Potato or 3 smaller ones
1 tbsp melted coconut oil or avocado oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin (or cumin seeds)
2 pinches salt
Roast almonds, sliced (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Using a sharp knife cut the sweet potato in half lengthways and then into quarters or thirds lengthways creating wedges. Place into a large roasting dish or baking stone.
In a small bowl mix together the oil of choice, smoked paprika, cumin and salt. Drizzle evenly over the wedges. Season with cracked pepper and bake for 15 minutes.
At this point you can remove and toss gently before placing back in the oven for a further 15 minutes. Once tender and lightly brown remove. Sprinkle with some sliced roast almonds. ENJOY!