Going Against The Grain

Gluten: a staple food for thousands of years. So what’s changed? Why it is now perceived as threatening and frightening? And why are we all avoiding it?

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Image: Pop Sugar

All the rage

Everyone, including pets are now going gluten free. Yes, I can confirm that I have seen gluten free dog food in America. This was the last straw for me in an already lingering confusion about the sudden increase is supposed gluten intolerant folk.

Avoiding gluten has become a cultural and societal choice as much as dietary one. As The New Yorker published recently, “No matter what kind of sickness has taken hold of you, let’s blame gluten”.

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Image: Norte Salud

Do you really know what gluten is?

Before you go ordering your spaghetti with gluten free pasta, let’s just take a step back and reassess what gluten actually is.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. This means our noodles, bread, pasta, cereal and granola to name a few. But it doesn’t stop there. Did you know that chocolate, ice cream, beer, soy sauce, processed meats, store bought soup and sauces not to mention lipstick, all contain gluten?

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Image: Food and Style

Why we need whole grains

I’ll just say it, gluten is not harmful, nor is it making you gain weight. Whole grains are part of a healthy, balanced diet and have been for thousands of years. They are packed with vitamins, minerals but most importantly, fibre.

Fibre helps control blood sugars, reduce cholesterol and heart disease and help our body have regular bowel movement. Carbohydrates on the other hand provide our body with energy and help us feel fuller for longer.

The key is just choosing the right carbohydrates, rather than cutting them completely. Whole grains like oats, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, rye and barley should become your new best friend.

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Image: TN Body

Gluten free doesn’t mean guilt free

Cutting gluten from your diet doesn’t automatically mean lower calories. Nor will simply looking out for the ‘GF’ sign on the menu provide you any additional health benefits. In fact, it can actually be less healthy – not to mention, more expensive.
When gluten is taken out of foods, you lose a major textural element. To get that chewiness and texture back there are two gluten free items that work like a charm. You guessed it! Fat and sugar.

Common replacements of white flour are, rice starch, corn starch, tapioca starch and potato starch. These types of ingredients are highly refined carbohydrates and refined sugars.

 

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Image: Mill City Farmer

The Bottom Line

Self-diagnosis with anything is never a good idea and claiming gluten intolerance is no exception. Going gluten free without knowing actually what your body does and doesn’t need can create an imbalance.

Know your body, consciously choose what to put in your mouth and take ownership of things you could do better. I will continue to eat my bread, pasta and noodles made from flour and water and if I feel bloated, it’s probably because I just ate too much.

Interested in making the change today? Amazin’ Graze delivers an array of whole grains. Click here to start shopping.

It is all about making small changes in our daily routines and then eventually eating healthily and clean will become a lifestyle we cannot live without. It is not too late to make that change! Come on this healthy adventure with us!

Happy weekend, grazers!

Sticky
April 22, 2016

Antioxidants, The Ones We Should Value The Most

In Part One we learnt about little things called free radicals and what damage they can cause to our body and how antioxidants act as superman and save the day.

Now we can take the conversation one step further, and not just talk about implementing those changes but doing something about it. And that my friends, means only one thing, eating!

Once you start thinking of everything you put in your mouth as fuel for your body, you can start to have a more holistic and wholesome approach to food.

 

Your body. Your Temple.

 

Let’s just dive straight in. Eating foods rich in antioxidants can help with:

  • Weight loss, cancer prevention, improved heart and brain function as well as,
  • Boosting your immune system, protecting your skin, helping your eyes, prostate and urinary tract health. Not to mention,
  • Management or prevention of memory problems, mood disorders and anti-inflammatory effects.

 

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Source: www.whatscookingwithkids.com

So, here’s what to do. Start by assessing your fridge. How many colours do you see? Is everything covered in packaging? If all you can see is takeaway containers then its time to hit the fruit and vegetable aisle! Stock up on these items:

 

  • Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries
  • Okra, artichoke, kale, broccoli, asparagus and sweet potato

 

Next? Open your pantry. If you can’t see past falsely coloured packaging then hit the Amazin’ Graze pantry shop and stock up on these items:

  • Walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts
  • Cashews, pistachios, peanuts and pecans

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Secret weapon

Often, the nutritional value of nuts is overlooked, but it’s these little snacks contain a unique combination of nutritional benefits and antioxidants that help fight oxidisation with every serve.

 

Start to think of walnuts as the superman of the nut world and your skin, heart and head will be forever thankful. Here at Amazin’ Graze, we got you covered with our super antioxidant breakfast smoothie to help you on you way.
Coconut & Walnut Breakfast Smoothie
Makes one serve

 

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Ingredients
Half a cup of coconut milk
Half a cup of water
1 banana – I prefer mine frozen, up to you
Half a cup of raspberries – fresh or frozen
¼ cup walnuts

Method


In a blender, combine all the ingredients until smooth and bright in colour. That’s it! How simple and fuss free!

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No excuse to not make yourself a super nutritious breakfast smoothie tomorrow after the longgggg and tiring week.

Blend away!

Happy weekend, grazers!

 

Sticky
April 15, 2016

Antioxidants, Free Radicals and Your Health

So, what on earth are Free Radicals and why should we care? And on that note, what exactly are antioxidants and why does our body need them?

 

Let’s take one step at a time because to understand antioxidants you need to take one step back and understand free radicals.

 

Free Radicals

Basically, free radicals (yes, that is actually the name) are hazards that our body tries to overcome every day. Without trying to be a chemist or go into too much detail, free radicals are formed in our body during its oxidisation stages. Anything from our diet to stress or smoking to pollution or even the sun can be a source of free radicals.

 

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Source: Modern Farmer

So what?

 

So this is bad because they attack our good cells and that’s where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants play a role in our bodies to fight the free radicals, which left alone, can cause a wide range of illnesses and diseases. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage caused by oxidation. This also means one very important thing – anti ageing!

 

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Source: Connect Vending

 

Antioxidants 101

 

To put it plainly, antioxidants act as a protector of our skin. Over oxidisation can cause damage to our skin cells which impact the protein in our DNA and contribute to aging, sunburn and skin cancers.
While our body naturally creates antioxidants we can easily boost our intake through food. Foods rich in antioxidant can give our body extra protection for our eyes, heart, memory and immune system as well as slowing sign of aging.

 

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Source: Blueberry Council

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are among the top source of antioxidant. Given these are often expensive to buy fresh, you can always find them in your freezer aisle. As for vegetables, stick to artichokes, okra, (lady fingers) kale, broccoli, asparagus and sweet potatoes.

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Source: BBC Good Food

Perhaps you didn’t know though that nuts have a high source of antioxidants. While almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans can all help fight oxidisation it’s walnuts that deserve a special mention. Walnuts are high in vitamin E, omega 3, low in cholesterol and with unique and powerful antioxidants it’s no wonder they are considered a super food.

 

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Source: David Wolfe

 

Next steps

So, get to it! Start to help your body by eating lots of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants as well as nuts.

That’s where we come in. Now stocking pantry ranges full of varied nuts, Amazin’ Graze has got you covered.

Click here to start shopping and help fighting those free radicals.

 

Happy free radicals busting!

Sticky
April 14, 2016

Open Sesame!

They may be tiny, but they shouldn’t be forgotten about. Sesame Seeds are packed with nutrients and can be used in far more ways than on you hamburger bun. The nutty flavour and little crunch means they are a great addition to salads, stir fries or soups. But let’s go one step further.

 

Given these ancient seeds can lower cholesterol, increase antioxidant levels, give you glowing skin and strengthen bones they should almost be stored in your medicine cabinet.


Sesame, LSA & Chia Bliss Balls

Makes 10-12

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I’ve put together a slightly untraditional bliss ball here. What is commonly bound with dates or prunes, I have used honey. This makes for a dryer mixture but ensures eat bite is crunchy and packed with nutrients.

 

Bliss Balls are a high protein snack that will keep you full and energised for hours. Being super easy to make and with a shelf life of two weeks, they are a great snack to have on hand.

 

LSA (linseed, sunflower seed, almond) mix can be found in the health aisle of most supermarkets or can easily be ground up using a spice grinder. It is a power powder that enhances the nutritional density to these balls.
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Ingredients
1 cup Amazin’ Pantry whole raw almonds
7g white sesame seeds
2tbs LSA mix
1tbs Amazin’ Pantry organic chia seeds
½ cup desiccated coconut
3tbs honey
1tbs Amazin’ Pantry black raisins

Method
Using a food processor or spice grinder blend the almonds until an almost flour like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until ground and slightly combined. If the mixture is really dry add a little water or extra honey.

 

Using your hands roll the mixture into little golf balls, pressing firmly to hold the mixture in place. Keep in the fridge to solidify for half an hour before tucking in. They will store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

 

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There you go! Delicious and healthy snacking can be simple and tasty at the same time. You can now purchase the raw ingredients from our Amazin’ Pantry range and get them delivered right to your doorsteps. Try them out this weekend and let us know how it goes.

 

Happy bliss-ballin x

 

Sticky
April 07, 2016