Why Matcha Green Tea?

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MATCHA ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS

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6.2 TIMES THAT OF GOJI BERRIES 
7 TIMES THAT OF DARK CHOCOLATE 
17 TIMES THAT OF WILD BLUEBERRIES 
60.5 TIMES THAT OF SPINACH

 CANCER PREVENTER

Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals in the body. The most powerful catechin found in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen4.

A 2003 University of Colorado study confirmed that drinking 1 cup of matcha green tea has 137 times the amount of antioxidant EGCG compared to a conventional cup of green tea1.

 ANTI-AGER

One of the locales in the world where people live the longest is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea1.

Matcha green tea is the most popular green tea in Japan, but is rapidly gaining more popularity throughout the world because of its ability to combat inflammation, oxidation and aging.

 HEART DISEASE PREVENTER: LOWERS LDL “BAD” CHOLESTEROL

A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL “Evil Emperor Zurg” cholesterol concentrations5.

 WEIGHT LOSS

A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that green tea extract rich in catechins has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.

It was found that consuming green tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure6.

Another study demonstrated that exercising immediately after drinking matcha green tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise4.

DETOXIFIER

Matcha is grown in the shade, which is why it is richer in chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving leaves their green color. The Hulk would be proud!

Chlorophyll is purported to detoxify the body1, but this has yet to be scientifically proven. I wanted to mention it because of its supposed ability to clear the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.

 MIND IMPROVER

Matcha green tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea2. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain.

Stress is known to induce the brain’s beta wave activity, leading to a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure1.

Although matcha contains some caffeine, the relaxing properties of L-theanine counterbalance the “jittery” effects of caffeine. Therefore, a cup of matcha green tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without producing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee2.

 FIBER

Matcha green tea leaves contain a high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.

 ENERGY ENERGY

Try a cup of matcha green tea as an afternoon “pick-me-up” anytime you need extra focus. matcha green tea is an ideal substitute for coffee because it provides an energy boost without the headaches1 you might get from a coffee crash.

Reference:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-wonders-of-matcha-green-tea.html

 

Fresh as fresh! Not your average tomato basil pasta

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The pasta supper is clearly the most common ‘go to’ dish in most households. Its easy; boil some pasta, dump a jar of the store bought pasta sauce and add in some protein! Voila! You have food on the table!

There are a few problems with that:

1. White refined pasta: Choose whole wheat pasta over refined white pasta because it has fewer calories, carbohydrates, fats and higher fibers.

2. Store bought pasta sauce: Its full of preservatives and sugar! In a minute you’ll see that pasta sauce from ‘real’ tomatoes is not that bright red color!!!

3. Adding a protein into a carbohydrate intensive meal: Its a big no no in the food plan I follow, my next post will explain in details why there is no mixing!

So I present to you a fresh-fresh, healthy and yummy pasta dish that you can can serve guilt-free to your guests, kids or loved ones 🙂


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What do you need?

250 gm (raw weight) whole wheat pasta – cooked

5 large tomatoes

1.5 cups sliced mushrooms

2 large garlic cloves, one chopped and one whole

Fresh basil leaves

4 sprays of oil of choice

1 teaspoon of EVOO

salt to taste

This will make 4 servings!


Cook the whole wheat pasta and set aside

Steam the tomatoes until completely softened

Spray the oil onto the pan on high heat, sauté the garlic and mushrooms. Add salt to taste.

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Take the softened tomatoes and peel the skin off. It will come right off!

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In a blender, add the tomatoes, teaspoon of EVOO, clove of garlic, basil and salt. Blitz together until well mixed and looks like a sauce. See I told you there’s no bright red color!

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Transfer this sauce onto the pan containing the sautéed mushrooms and simmer in low heat for 5 minutes.

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Add in the pasta bit by bit into the sauce until well incorporated.

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Enjoy while warm!

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You can add in chili for an extra kick!

You can also make the sauce ahead of time and mix together right before serving! Garnish with a fresh basil leaf!

 

 

Dinner: Sweet and spicy ground beef lettuce wraps

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Lunch is always slightly easier than dinner as you have the whole day to burn it off incase you eat something extra. Dinner on the other hand is less forgiving which is why by 7:30 pm, I eat the proteins and vegetables! 

I cross a Chinese restaurant almost everyday and today I woke up determined to eat a healthy version of my most favorite dish! Lettuce wraps without the excessive fats, sugars or MSG and I did it! 

I also served it to some guests I had over today and they loved it! I was so happy to have served something healthy and fresh! You can easily make the filling ahead and put it together when your guests have arrived! Very versatile! 


What do you need?

1 whole lettuce bulb

450 gram lean ground beef ( I used 5% fat ones)

(you could also use chicken or turkey mince)

1 cup diced peppers 

1 cup diced carrots 

2 tablespoons of good quality honey 

2 tablespoons of chili sauce or to make it even healthier use chili flakes/paste 

2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard 

2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro 

3/4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 

3 sprays of your oil of choice 

salt and pepper to taste 

You will make enough for 3 dinners! 😀 


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In a bowl, mix together the honey, mustard and chili sauce with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside 

Spray on the oil into the pan on high heat 

Add in the garlic, peppers and carrot with a dash of water to soften and sauté 

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After sautéing for 2-3 minutes add in the ground beef and salt/pepper 

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Stir the beef and break it up and you will notice the ‘fatty juice’ collecting 

Put the lid on and drain that liquid out, it is the fats from the ground beef and its gotta go!! Ech! 

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Return the pot onto the heat and stir in 2/3 of the mixture of honey/mustard/chili sauce that you had set aside. 

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Close the lid and let it cook for about 10 -12 minutes more. Make sure to stir occasionally during that time. You will notice the char on the beef and peppers and then add in that remaining honey/mustard/chili sauce mixture and the cilantro. 

Keep tasting the beef as you cook! Thats just standard operating procedure 😀

Take it off the heat, arrange the lettuce and fill them in! 

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Enjoy while warm! I had it with a side of steamed mixed vegetables!

* You can also add in sweet and sour chili sauce in which case leave out the honey and chili sauce however I would highly recommend using a chili sauce and honey mixture as you eliminate the high amounts of sugar in those sweet and sour sauces. 

* A great alternative would be to use a freshly made chili paste! That would be ideal especially if you used a mixture of fresh red chili and roasted chili. YUM! I will surely do that next time!

Also I do apologize for not including the calories, thats because I don’t calorie count and you shouldn’t either especially when you are eating clean and healthy! 

 

Stoup (stew + soup) : Red lentils with squash and spinach

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We often overlook the simpler ingredients when devising a healthier food plan, we think we need the fancier stuff and equipped with the usual excuse of, ‘its so expensive to eat healthy!.’ Its not. 

Lentils are one of the best food source of slow-digesting carbohydrates! Perfect for lunch! It is an excellent source of fiber, folate, manganese and iron. It’s especially great because it is not like the usual carbohydrates like white rice or bread where your sugar levels spike immediately after consumption instead it takes its times to convert to glucose. Along with these, it has been proven that it aids colon health, diabetics and absorption of essential minerals like calcium. 

Available everywhere and you can make it so delicious by simply boiling it and adding your favorite vegetables, even if you cant boil an egg you can boil lentils! 

So this is what I made for lunch today, again it is extremely versatile to carry out and you can make it for 2/3 days at a time. 


What do you need?

1 cup of red lentils

2 cups of butternut squash

2 cups of spinach

1/2 cup of cilantro

3 tsp of turmeric powder 

1 cup of cooked brown rice

Sea salt to taste 

This should yield 4 to 5 servings ( each serving is 1.5 cups)


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Clean the red lentils under water until it runs clear

Cover the lentils with water making sure it is completely submerged. Add the turmeric powder and salt.

On medium heat, boil the lentils for about 10 minutes 

Add in the butternut squash and cover the pot and let it simmer until the squash and lentils have completely softened. 

Using a masher, mash the squash and lentils as it simmers 

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Add in the spinach 

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Mix together until the spinach wilts and take a taste. Beware it’s super hot! I say this from experience! Ouch!

Add in the cilantro 

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Allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes under very low heat. It’s ready! 

Spoon the stoup (stew + soup) into a bowl and add a tablespoon of brown rice. The combination is perfect! 

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Enjoy! No fats, good carbs and lots of vegetables!

You can add any vegetables you want, pumpkin, beans, jalapeños, tomatoes, the list goes on and on! You can even skip on the rice but the texture really adds a little something. 

It was a perfect meal on this cold London afternoon especially on a day I was feeling extremely homesick . 

Lunch: Vegetable fried rice

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Lunch is one of those meals that really helps you get through the day! There are such high expectations from lunch, it needs to fuel you and must be versatile enough to take to work/school/etc. Here’s a recipe that fits the bill, it’s packed with nutrients, you can make it once for 2/3 days and it’s holds well to carry out.

Remembering the 70:30 ratio of vegetables:carbohydrates I will give you only an approximation of how much vegetable you should add. Please feel free to add more!

Every household usually has their own fried rice recipe, stir fried vegetables, eggs, protein, rice together….but remember no mixing carbs and proteins! Here’s the trick to avoid stir frying those beautiful vegetables in oil and stripping it off it’s nutrients.

Steam them first! The steamer is my new best friend!


What will you need?

1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
1 cup broccoli
1 cup carrots
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup green/red peppers
2/3 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup spring onions
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Sea salt to taste

Cook and cool the brown rice

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Steam the broccoli, carrots, peppers and mushroom till just tender. Make sure they don’t get soggy.

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In a hot wok, add 3 sprays of your oil of choice and toast the garlic. Add in steamed vegetables and stir.

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Add in the brown rice and stir together. Add salt to taste and soy sauce.

Mix well and add in chopped cilantro and spring onion. Mix together and serve!

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You can add a medley of vegetables to your liking. Corn and peas are a great addition! Store extra fried rice in air tight container and it will stay well for 4/5 days in the fridge. This should make you at least 4 servings!

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Enjoy!

Food Plan : Not a diet plan

food, Lifestyle

So I used to be obsessed with counting calories, I had every app ever to count my daily intake! I didn’t realize while I was focused on the overall calorie count I was avoiding the ‘real’ information i needed to monitor. Sugars sugars sugars!!!!

A low fat yoghurt that I was happily eating on my ‘diet’ contained about 45g of sugar/ 8 fl oz while a full fat whole milk yoghurt contained 12g of sugar/ 8 fl oz!!!!!!!! Mind blown! Read your labels! Most countries (if any) DO NOT regulate the addition of sugars so while there maybe no fat, it is getting compensated with a huge chunk of sugar!

Basically our bodies respond to sugar like any other euphoria enhancing drug, I’m sure we are all guilty of that great feeling while eating our favorite bar of chocolate but ever notice the absolute hell-ish feeling afterwards? That’s the crash! Now you need more chocolate to make yourself feel better. Thus begins the vicious cycle!

Here’s a way to curb/cut off your cravings for refined sugars:

Eat fruits till lunch, fruits contain fructose which does not abruptly cause sugar fluctuations in your body and takes it’s time to digest unlike sucrose in refined sugar. So your body gets that dose of sugar you are unintentionally craving and slowly you will lose your dependency on sucrose and turn to fructose! It took me a whole month! (morning smoothie recipe to follow)

So once that’s covered, here’s the simple plan:

Do not mix carbohydrates and proteins!

Eat the carbohydrates for lunch like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, grains, quinoa, etc mixed with vegetables.

Eat lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fillet, etc mixed with vegetables for dinner.

Take minimal oil by using the spray.

Snack on seeds, nut butters and never ever let yourself feel hungry! That’s the sign of your metabolism going down a notch!

Lastly, water water water is your best friend! (Flavored waters post to follow)

Give it a shot! It is super easy especially when eating out! Just think before you eat!

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Homemade fresh vanilla almond milk

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| Why almond milk? |

It is one of the most nutritionally valuable milk substitutes available today which is free of lactose, gluten, casein, cholesterol and saturated fats!

It contains a large number of minerals and vitamins like calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin E, potassium amongst others. Almond milk is also low in calories, at only 40 calories and 3 gm of fat/ 8 oz serving whereas cow’s milk stands at 146 calories, 8 gm of fat, 5 gm of saturated fats and 24 mg of cholesterol/ 8 oz serving! Now you do the math 😀


| Ingredients needed to make this goodness |

1 cup raw almonds | 2 cups water | 2 tsp Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract | 1 tbsp raw organic honey | few drops of liquid stevia to your liking | 

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Cover the almonds with water and let it soak overnight | Drain and rinse the almonds before use

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 Add almonds and 2 cups of water and blend for 1 minute

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Add vanilla, honey and stevia (as pictured) and blend for a further 30-40 seconds

You can drink the milk as is if you like a course texture but for a smoother finish, line a bowl with cheesecloth and strain the milk through.

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The milk stays for around 4 days refrigerated and do not throw the almond remains in the cheese cloth!

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 Take the remains and on lowest oven setting dry it out and run it through a food processor for fresh almond flour | Recipe for chocolate chip cookies with this almond flour to follow!


Enjoy!

Misto: The olive oil gourmet sprayer

food, Lifestyle

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It is the best! You can put in your favorite oil to spray onto your pan to cook literally anything. Not only that, you can mix olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette/ truffle oil/lime juice to spray on top of your salads. You can also add water + stevia + lemon juice to spray on your fruits to add flavor and prevent browning! It really replaces eye balling or measuring the amount of oil you are using and coats your salad or pan evenly! Enjoy!

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Also instead of the fancy misto, you can simply do most of these using a fresh bottle with a pumping nozzle! Easy peezy! No excuses!

Share your spray on recipes or suggestion!