The Nourish 4 pillars of health and wellbeing

The Nourish 4 pillars of health and wellbeing

The 4 Nourish pillars of health and wellbeing.

Have you heard of the 4 pillars of health and wellbeing? The ones we set great store by here at Nourish, are nutrition & hydration, sleep, exercise and mental health. Being healthy, fit and well is pretty much the cornerstone of wellbeing, but, it’s not always easy to achieve. Life gets in the way sometimes and it can feel like your own health and wellbeing has taken a back seat due to stress, work, lack of time, exhaustion, and more.

So, which is the most important pillar, and why? The answer is that they are all important and that they actually rely on one another. Sometimes your nutritional needs will take a back seat while you work your way through a deadline at work and that’s fine so long as your mental health takes a front seat instead. Got a pressing deadline, eating less well than normal? Take it easy on yourself and plan a great, healthy meal to celebrate getting the end of the work project. It’s all about balance, not guilt.

These pillars are used by so many health professionals and everyone has their own subtle interpretation of them. Here’s what they mean to us at Nourish!

Nourish - 4 pillars blog - nutrition

Nutrition and hydration

Being surrounded by wonderful ingredients all day at work makes us particularly food aware at Nourish. As Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine’. Eat well and your body will reward you with clearer skin, a functional gut, more energy and a sense of wellbeing.

Maybe you eat Organic, maybe you don’t, so long as your diet contains plenty of nourishing ingredients, that’s the most important thing. We like to use Organic ingredients in our products because we believe that food should be as unadulterated as possible and be of the highest quality. Small swaps to Organic vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and eggs will help to cut down on your exposure to toxic pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.

However, it’s not realistic to think that we’ll be able to eat well all of the time and many of us follow an 80/20 rule. There’s nothing wrong with this, your body is built to detoxify itself and a little of what you fancy from time to time isn’t a nutritional fail.

Hydration is the detox key as it helps to keep everything moving, aiding digestion and clearing out any nasties. The EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, recommends that we drink 2 – 2.5L of water a day and that 70-80% of our fluid intake is from drinks made with water as their base. The remaining 20-30% should be from foods that are rich in soluble fibre, that’s those veggies!

As a general rule of thumb following a wholefood diet, cooking with fresh ingredients, using a wide variety of veggies, eating healthy fats (like our coconut macaroons!) and getting plenty of water will sustain you very well.

*Sometimes a gut health issue can mean that you need to follow a specific diet, we’re going to dive into this in a couple of weeks time on the blog so check back then.

Sleep

Sleep, it can feel like the final frontier sometimes! If you have young children, if you’re stressed, if you’ve had coffee too close to bedtime, the list goes on and on. If you find yourself craving it then the first thing to ask yourself is why?

Often it’s our own routine that can be preventing us from getting the sleep that we need. The phase, sleep routine, has been bandied around a lot over the past few years, and with good reason. Setting yourself up for success with sleep can not just mean that you get more, but that if you don’t sometimes you’re not stressing about it.

So, what’s a sleep routine look like? It’s pretty simple and probably much like what you would have done as a child, in fact treat yourself as you would a child at bedtime and you’re pretty much there.

  • Quiet, wind down time prior to bedtime, no screens for at least 30 minutes before bed
  • A tidy, calm room to sleep in
  • No lights on in the bedroom to sleep and definitely no phones!
  • Wind down to sleep with a little reading, maybe an audio book or a warm epsom salts bath
  • Sleep in a well ventilated room

We’ve talked about the advantages of beauty sleep before on the blog so if you’d like to get into this on a deeper level then check that out.

Exercise

Three words, just, get, moving. It really doesn’t matter what you do so long as you’re moving. Variety is great with exercise; like lifting weights but hate cardio, do your weights session and go for a walk instead. Conversely, hate weights and love cardio, then run whenever you fancy but maybe mix it up with some TRX, using your own body weight instead of weights.

Movement helps our bodies to function better, helping us to dissipate stress, helps with digestion and even aids with sleep. If you feel sluggish after a few days indoors then take your exercise outdoors too and get the double whammy of endorphins and vitamin D!

Planning for exercise just like you would plan anything else creates a habit, and this is the key. If you’re struggling for motivation then maybe find a challenge that you’d enjoy training for or maybe take up a new sport? Read Ellerie’s yoga journey to see how she successfully introduced a new routine.

Mental Health

Understanding your own mental health needs is a huge step in the pursuit of happiness. Some of us crave a little peace and quiet, that time alone that can be hard to find. For others it’s the company of friends and a chance to gossip and hang out. Just knowing what your own needs are can really help you to unwind and find that calm feeling.

Our mental health can be affected by so many things, happiness, sadness, stress, exhilaration. These emotions can manifest in the most simple situations, for instance, you run for the train in the morning and you make it, you start the day happy, you miss it, you feel a bit rubbish. Finding the best in every situation might sound trite but it may help to avoid the ups and downs that can affect our mental health.

Some start a gratitude journal, a simple way of reminding themselves day by day, that life is good in many ways. For others it might just be making yourself see the best in a bad situation. You’ve missed the train, so buy a new book on your kindle and lose yourself for a while in a great story.

Doing things with intensity and purpose can help us to be more positive too. If you don’t like a situation then think about whether you can change it. Maybe if you can’t it’s time to walk away and try something new.

A lot of people from the world of sport, the army and business, talk about how a positive mental attitude can be the best tool that they have in their mental health armoury. It can be a challenging way to live but the likes of Ant Middleton, Mo Farah and Peter Jones, have made it their life’s work to live in the positive.

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Orange Coconut Cake

Orange Coconut Cake

Orange Coconut cake with passionfruit coconut cream

 

There is something delicious about the smell of the oranges that boil for this cake, you’ll be looking forward to eating it long before it’s ready! This cake uses a number of ingredients we feature in our macaroons…. we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients

4 oranges (or 3 extra large oranges)
4 heaped dessert spoons of honey (or 7 Tbsp maple syrup)
1 1/2 cups of ground almond
1 cup coconut
5 eggs (separated)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 large passionfruit (about 35gm of pulp).

Method

Place the oranges into a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
Place oranges roughly chopped into halves/quarters into your food processor, along with the honey and process until finely chopped (like a semi-thick paste). Add in the egg yokes and process for a couple of minutes, until you have a lovely smooth consistancy. Add in the ground almond and baking soda. Process until well mixed.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until thick. Fold through half of the egg whites along with the cup of desiccated coconut. This will help loosen the mixture, before folding through the remaining egg whites along with the pulp of one passionfruit.
Line a round baking tin with baking paper and grease the sides of the tin with coconut oil. Tip the mixture in and smooth out evenly.
Bake at 160 degrees (170 degrees if not fan oven) for 35-40 minutes. Cake will be lightly browned on edges and a skewer should come out clean.
Serve with the passionfruit cream below, or with an orange/passionfruit drizzle.

Passionfruit Cream

Place a tin of coconut cream in the fridge over night or for a couple of hours.
Pulp of 1 passionfruit
1 Tbsp coconut sugar (or alternative sweetener).
Scoop out the cream from the top of your chilled tin and place in a bowl. Add in the sugar and then whip until thick. Fold through the passionfruit pulp. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
TOP YOUR CAKE WITH SOME RASPBERRY MINI MACAROONS! DELISH!
ENJOY…
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Kids days out in Surrey

Kids days out in Surrey

Days out with kids – Adventure awaits!

As a family we’re happiest when we’re outdoors and being lucky enough to live in the beautiful Surrey Hills means that we are spoilt for choice with places to visit and enjoy natures very own playground.

I certainly find that being outdoors with kids is much easier than when they are cooped up indoors, I feel more relaxed and so do they. I also try and find just a little time to get out myself for some fresh air each day as I really find that it improves my concentration and stress levels. The Japanese call being out in the woods and the fresh air, forest bathing (shinrin-yoku). Forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.

This recent weather has meant that the whole Nourish team have been out and about enjoying all that the Surrey Hills has to offer. These are just a few of our favourite places where we like to set the kids free to let off steam and enjoy the outdoors at.

Polesden Lacey

The National Trust have it nobbled when it comes to easy days out with kids and our ‘local’ Polesden Lacey is no exception. With acres of gardens and farmland to discover there is something for everyone. We love to head up through the formal gardens to the veggie patch to see what’s growing and then onto the chicken coop and bug hotel. There is also a beautiful covered bridge over this side of the estate that leads to a wildflower meadow, great for that Instagram moment! On your way across the lawn we’d advise grabbing a few deckchairs and just admiring the picture perfect view, maybe take a picnic and have your very own #macaroonmoment!

The tree tunnel is a great place to cool down and provides a lovely shaded walk to the playground, past the grass amphitheatre. There are often great interactive trails and activities on for kids in the holidays too, we had a go at making our own kites and then flew them on the lawn, great fun. There is also a good onsite café full of healthy options and treats.

RHS Wisley

Being a bunch of keen gardeners here at Nourish RHS Wisley is a perennial favourite of the team. The new bits of Wisley have been under construction for a while but this doesn’t distract from the glory of this amazingly well kept corner of Surrey. There is something for everyone but most of the time the small people want to head to the hothouse first. A place of forests and jungles if you’re small, it’s full of exotic planting, try and spot the banana tree! With the Jurassic trail on this summer holiday it might be a great place to spot the odd dinosaur too.

When you’ve finished exploring here then a trip to the expanding outdoor playground is next on the list, loads to keep the small people occupied from den building to a trim trail. Even better there is a snack bar that serves a decent cup of coffee for the grown ups! We love to head to the veggie gardens on the way back through the gardens for inspiration and the odd, ‘ours look better/worse’, than that comment. The café is good here but does get very busy over the holidays, we prefer to take a picnic to enjoy in a hidden shady spot and take advantage of the delicious organic ice cream stall on the way out.

Hatchlands

Another National Trust favourite, quite different to Poleseden Lacey, Hatchlands has over 400 acres of dog friendly parkland and woodland surrounding it so there’s plenty of space to enjoy the great outdoors. The lawn in front of the main house often has space hoppers lying around for kids to use, we like to grab a seat and enjoy a few moments of relative peace while the kids entertain themselves.

After a quick refuel in the Courtyard Café we’ll head up across the parkland, past the beautiful cattle towards Wizard Wix’s Willow Warren and treehouse. Here there you’ll find wood for den building, willow tunnels, sculptures and even a totem pole, plenty to inspire play in young minds. We’ve just stared Geocaching and they are taking part here too, a great activity for older kids. We don’t normally head inside at National trust properties, little hands and all that, but here they have a super dressing up area in the main house. Getting dressed up as a Georgian appealed to all, young and old!

Watts Gallery

A great place to visit to inspire any budding young artists! The artist G F Watts and his wife Mary founded the Watts Gallery in Compton and the aptly named, Artist’s Village, is in a beautiful spot in the Surrey Hills. With one child that is hugely into art and one who isn’t at all we were concerned that this might have been a tricky trip. However, there really was something for everyone. The gallery kept everyone occupied for a while and then we enjoyed the interactive art trail around the woodland play area. You really can’t help but feel inspired while you walk around the village, it’s full of interesting sculptures, beautiful buildings and obviously for the arty ones amongst us plenty of inspiration. Visit on a Sunday morning and you’ll have an opportunity to try something new in the ‘make space’, we tried print making and all want to do it again! A lovely hidden spot of Surrey that’s worth discovering.

The Medicine Garden

We discovered the Medicine Garden after a wrong turn on the way home from Wisley and it’s now firmly in our sat nav, we need no excuse to head towards Cobham for a treat here. As little as 10 years ago this gorgeous spot was completely derelict and has been lovingly brought back to life by the owners. There is a great restaurant serving just the kind of food we like, freshly prepared and seasonal, in the restored hot house and also a great little cafe with a super selection of cakes.

The café spills out into the lovely garden, full of medicinal planting (see what you can spot), with a play area and plenty of places to sit and soak up the rays on a warm day. If you have small people who need to let off some steam, then a run around the circular planting should sort that out! There are also few small independent shops scattered around the central courtyard where you can buy everything from a fairy door to a piece of Scandinavian pottery! The team also run regular events that are as diverse as a mindful parenting course, moonlit cinema screenings or Pilates classes in their gorgeous geodesic dome.

Fancy having your own #macaroonmoment? Why not treat yourself?

Nourish all pouches
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Roast Beetroot and Walnut Salad

Roast Beetroot and Walnut Salad

Roast Beetroot and Walnut Salad Recipe

Nourish - Roast beetroot and walnut salad

At this time of the year we tend to have a bit of a glut of the beautiful beetroot from the garden, but what a glorious glut to have! Beetroot is absolutely packed full of goodness, is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants, it’s a veritable a health-food titan.

3 medium beetroot
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 Tbsp coconut sugar (optional, this helps to caramelise the beetroot)
Salt/Pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
2 small handfuls of watercress or rocket

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Peel the beetroot and cut into wedges. Place inside an oven dish, such as a stone or baking dish. Measure in the balsamic vinegar, oil and coconut sugar along with a good pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss to combine all the ingredients.
Place in the oven and cook for 30-45 minutes, turning a couple of times during cooking. The length of cooking time depends on your oven type and how fresh the beetroot are. When they are just tender add in the walnuts and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
To serve arrange the watercress or rocket onto a serving platter and place the beetroot wedges and walnuts over the top. If desired, dress the salad with the following dressing –

1/2 Tbsp good quality balsamic
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
Mix together and drizzle over the salad.

Optional – Goats feta is a nice addition to crumble over this salad.

Enjoy…

Serves 4-5 people as a side dish

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ABC Nut Butter

ABC Nut Butter

What is ABC Nut Butter?

Almonds, Brazil and Cashew Nut Butter. Three fantastic healthy nuts, that combine to make a delicious creamy ‘ABC nut butter’. Almond butter by itself is delicious, but I found it took a long time to make in a basic food processor. It’s much easier in a vita-mix. By adding in Brazil Nuts and Cashew Nuts the added natural oils from these nuts makes it not only easier to make but creamier as well. Brazil Nuts are full of selenium which we often lack in our diet, so that alone is a great reason to add them. One of the processes selenium is involved in is the production of prostaglandins in our body. This regulates inflammation.

Ingredients for ABC Nut Butter

3/4 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1/3 cup raw brazil nuts
Salt

Blitz together in your food processor until the healthy oils from the nuts are released, creating a creamy nut butter.  Then blitz until you get a lovely consistency. Finally add in 1/4 tsp himalayan pink sea salt (more or less to taste). Blitz again.

I have used a Kenwood food processor for this and it has no problem making the nut butter within 5-7 minutes. Experiment with adjusting the quantities according to what you have and your taste-buds.

Finally, Enjoy…

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