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Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Do you ever get a sinking feeling thinking about the cooler months, knowing they are bound to bring some sort of cold or flu?  The immune system is your body’s natural way to defend itself against bugs and prevent illness so by keeping it in top shape you better your chances of remaining flu-free, energised and feeling your best.

Here are our top 10 ways to naturally boost your immune system this winter:

1. Exercise as a family

We know it’s cold outside, but to keep your body functioning optimally, ensure you and your family exercise regularly.  Regular activity can increase the amount of †˜killer cells’ in your body which search and attack viruses and bacteria, helping to keep your immune system in functioning at its best, plus it’s a great way to bond and have fun together. Try bike riding, backyard cricket, hiking or even do a fun-run together!

2. Get your 8 hours 

Feeling tired and exhausted? Sleep deprivation can decrease the production of cells which work to destroy microbes and fight off illness.  Make sure you and your family get the right amount of sleep each night (at least 8 hours) to ensure your body has enough energy to defend itself against illness.

3. Eat probiotic foods

Probiotics are fantastic at keeping your body and digestive system healthy, allowing your immune system to function smoothly. Fight bacteria with bacteria through eating yoghurt and fermented foods.

4. Eat Your Vitamins

Vitamin C, while maintaining a plump, youthful complexion also makes the spread of bacteria or viruses more difficult. The tightening of cells works to strengthen their membranes making sure only the good things can get through. This means your body can destroy the bacteria or virus before it can get any worse.

Vitamin A promotes a healthy mucous function, which helps to stop the entrance of bugs into the body.  When this occurs, the body doesn’t have to work as hard to prevent illness.

boost your immunity with fresh food

Boost your immunity with vitamin rich fresh vegetables and herbs

 

5. Relax

Stress induces a toll on your body, whether long term or short term, and lowers the body’s ability to fight off illnesses.  While some stress triggers are unavoidable, some are often manageable.  Does your house become stressful in the mornings, with getting the kids ready for school packing lunches, answering phone calls etc? Take a few minutes the night before to pack bags, lay out clothes and get organised to start your day off on a relaxing note.  Same with afternoons, being prepared and having a flexible routine, especially with kids is necessity to remain organised and therefore calm. We understand things don’t always go to plan so if you forget the school bake sale, didn’t respond to that email or burnt dinner – laugh it off! Things happen that don’t always go to plan, so just ask yourself †˜does this really matter?

6. Make friends with healthy fats

Omega 3 fatty acids are just what your body needs to maintain healthy cell membranes.  This is important to stop the spread of viruses while working to create resistance to toxins, which may enter the body. It is recommended to eat foods high in omega three fatty acids every day, such as walnuts, chia seeds and salmon.

7. Stay Hydrated

Water enhances the production of lymph, which helps to transport immune cells around your body. Maintaining a smooth lymph function means your body can race to defend itself when viruses or bacteria enter. Try adding some freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water to enhance the flavour and boost your vitamin C intake.

8. Eat foods rich in Zinc 

Zinc promotes function of the thymus gland, which helps to control your immune system.  By consuming zinc in your diet, it enhances the production and activity of infection fighting cells (also known as white blood cells).  This means your body can rush to destroy microbes such as a viruses before begins to show symptoms. High sources of zinc include beef, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils and spinach.  Plus it’s fantastic for maintaing clear skin!

9. Season with garlic 

A powerful immune booster, garlic is a rich source of phytonutrients and contains sulphur compounds that help to stimulate the production of white bloods cells as well as containing anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Add garlic to a variety of dishes including mixed with a salad dressing or marinated over meat to give your immune system a boost.

Boost your immunity with garlic

Boost your immunity with sulphur rich  garlic

 

10. Stay Balanced 

The best way to stay healthy and control infection is to minimise stress by eating clean wholefood, exercise regularly, get sufficient sleep and make sure you balance out work, life and play. Recognise when you have met your limits and if you do become unwell to take time to rest and allow your body to recover.

Providing yourself and your family with a healthy lifestyle to ensure overall health and happiness, sets up lifelong healthy habits for your children.

Have you got any more tips, tricks or remedies for winter colds and flus? Share it with us in the comment section below or on our Facebook page!

xx

be delicious.... inside and out

skin loving watermelon healthy mocktail recipe clean food luk beautifood

Healthy Mocktail Recipe – skin hydrating Watermelon

Perfect for entertaining – your friends will love sipping on this pretty watermelon healthy mocktail on a warm summers day!

This healthy mocktail recipe is a refreshing, guilt free way to hydrate and revitalise your body on any occasion.  As watermelon is 91% water, this recipe will leave you feeling fresh and light and with the added ice, will help to cool your body and bare the heat of a hot summers day whilst giving your skin a powerhouse of antioxidants.

BEAUTY BOOST

Watermelons are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene which work together as a hero combination for your skin. Lycopene is fat soluble meaning it is an especially effective antioxidant and helps to protect skin cells from damaging UV rays and free radical damage.  Vitamin C from watermelon and oranges is water soluble meaning  it helps combat wrinkles and sagging from the inside of your cells by strengthening collagen and elastin which works to keep your skin firm and tight.  Vitamin A and limonoids in limes provide  lasting antioxidant protection whilst mint provides a refreshing taste whilst reducing inflammation, helping to sooth the body and reduce redness within your complexion.

SKIN LOVING WATERMELON HEALTHY MOCKTAIL RECIPE

Takes 10 minutes. Serves 4

YOU’LL NEED

1/4 watermelon, (seedless or seeds removed)

2 oranges

1 lime

1/4 cup strawberries

2 1/2 cups ice

1/4 cup mint

HOW TO
  1. Juice oranges and lime, add to blender with chopped watermelon.
  2. Add strawberries and 2 cups of ice to the blender and blend for 1 minute or until smooth.
  3. Pour into glasses (or a large jug), stir in remaining ice cubes and mint into your healthy mocktail and enjoy!
TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Add vodka!!
skin loving watermelon mocktails recipe clean food luk beautifood

Enjoy your healthy mocktail on a warm summers day for some skin loving nutrients and cool, refreshing vibes!

Beauty Benefits of acai beauty food acai luk beautifood

beauty benefits of acai

beauty food acai

Beauty Benefits of acai beauty food acai luk beautifood

These intriguing berries are grown in the amazon and are around 1cm in size. Acai berries are on the list of being gorgeous superfoods due to their remarkable antioxidant content!

FOOD ACTIVES:

Antioxidants including anthocyanin, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc and fibre.

BEAUTY BENEFITS:

Its range of antioxidants, including anthocyanin’s makes acai a perfect addition to help prevent signs of ageing. Anthocyanins help to increase the circulation in our bodies meaning more oxygen is supplied to cells.  This allows healthy regeneration and repair, creating strong healthy hair cells and sustaining a bright, glowing complexion! This helps to reduce dullness associated with ageing and maintain strong lush hair. They also ward off wrinkles and nourish your brain – allowing you to look and feel young! Omega 3’s not only help to plump your skin cells, but also aid your brain by helping keep focus and improve memory.

COOK:

For anyone who doesn’t live locally to acai berries (everyone else), acai can be bought in powder form, frozen or as a juice.  Add some powder to your smoothie for a fabulous antioxidant boost!

TIP:

Acai is pronounced ah-sigh-ee and can be bought online. Or try searching the internet to find a local health or supplement store which stock acai.

dividers R1-beautifood middle yellow

PRINT TO KEEP HANDY

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Beauty Benefits of watermelon beauty food watermelon luk beautifood

beauty benefits of watermelon

beauty food watermelon

Watermelons are known for their vibrant green skin and lush pinky red flesh.  They grow on vines and are native to Africa, thriving in tropical locations.

FOOD ACTIVES:

Antioxidants such as beta carotene, lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamin, citrulline, copper, magnesium and potassium.

BEAUTY BENEFITS OF WATERMELON:

Watermelon is high in citrulline which is converted to the amino acid, arginine in your body.  Arginine soothes your muscles while increasing blood flow which is fabulous for promoting hair growth as it ensures a healthy scalp and encourages circulation of blood and nutrients. Watermelons are also alkaline foods which balance the acidity levels in your body.  They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene all of which help to protect your skin and body from free radical damage, leaving your skin feeling fresh and revitalized.

COOK:

Watermelon has a high water content of 92% which makes it a great snack and helps to keep you hydrated. Watermelon rind and seeds can also be eaten, they’re high in iron and zinc, but compared to the flesh they don’t have a very appealing taste!

TIP:

Don’t forget to allow your watermelons ripen! The highest concentration of lycopene and beta carotene is found in a ripe watermelon, when it turns to a more redish colour.  A ripe watermelon is heavy, and slightly dulled when compared to it’s shiny unripe skin.

dividers R1-beautifood middle yellow

PRINT TO KEEP HANDY

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Beauty Benefits of watermelon beauty food watermelon luk beautifood
green smoothie

GREEN SMOOTHIE SKIN FOOD | Avocado, Mango, Banana, Kale + Chia Seeds

[recipe] Makes 4 large glasses | 5 mins wo-to-go | No Cook

We made this gorgeous green smoothie last friday in my inaugural “Beauty Wellbeing Workshop”. It was creamy smooth and delicious even tho it sounds an unusual combination. We drank it as an appetizer in the glam gold glasses as we prepped our lunch. Kelly’s scarlet nails look a treat next to it! You could also do shot glasses and pop a few edible decorative goodies on top.

I love to cook by looking at the ingredients I have on hand rather than following a recipe (hence the combo) and Ursula got to experiment with the ‘turbo charged’ cocktail blender I have  had for eons but rarely use – there was not a spec of kale in sight. So go ahead, experiment using this recipe as a guide.

BEAUTY BOOST:  Anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, immune boosting, vitamin ACEK rich, EFA’s.  

Avocados for essential fatty acids and Vitamin E to keep skin soft and smooth. More on avo. Mango are rich in the carotenoid antioxidants + vitamins A&C – keeping your skin tight and toned. They also contain silica – a food active nutrient that acts as an internal moisturiser. Undeniably bananas are high in sugar (about 20g in a ripe one) and give you an energy burst (yeh if you are tired), but they also contain a high amount of fibre including the prebiotic inulin, which feeds our beneficial (probiotic) gut bacteria, the first line of defence for the immune system. Keeping your gut bacteria healthy can prevent inflammatory conditions like eczema and support the digestion and absorption of nutrients needed to retain optimal health and keep you looking and feeling younger. The high level of potassium ( ~ 400mg) they contain helps transport O2 round the body to renew and revitalise the skin. Kale is an excellent source of calcium, vitamins AC & K – all essential for skin health and Chia seeds are an excellent non-animal source of skin loving omega 3 to keep skin looking moist and plump.

YOU’LL NEED…..

1 ripe avocado

1 banana

1 mango (optional)

3-4 kale leaves

3 stems fresh mint leaves

1/4 whole lemon

2 tspns chia seeds

1 cup ice

1 cup chilled water or coconut water

TO MAKE….

Put  all ingredients in blender. Mix on high til smooth and creamy.

Serve in classes with a spoon or thick straw! Garnish if you have guests!

TIPS & TRICKS

  • For a more liquid smoothie add more water or if you don’t want the flavour diluted another high water content vegetable such as cucumber or a liquid such as coconut water, almond milk or dairy milk.
  • For more dimension and an extra hit of Vit C (support collagen synthesis) add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • For a bite add a dash of tabasco sauce.
  • Add some probiotics via an unsweetened yoghurt.
  • If you want a lower sugar content – remove one or all of the fruits. I like it as is and because I don’t eat much food with added sugar.
  • You can sub in fresh pineapple for mango, parsley or spinach for kale etc.
  • Chia seeds swell to 10times their size so they have a real thickening effect on the smoothie. For a more liquid smoothie –  sprinkle on top instead of adding in.

KIDS 

I will let you know once mine have had a go at making & tasting it!

Beauty Benefits of peach beauty food peach luk beautifood

beauty benefits of peach

beauty food peach

With soft skin, sweet flesh and a pleasant aroma, peaches are the perfect addition to your summery days, bringing a gorgeous boost of antioxidants!

FOOD ACTIVES:

Phenols, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, copper, selenium and fibre.

BEAUTY BENEFITS OF PEACH:

Peaches are high in both vitamin A and vitamin C which makes a gorgeous combination for your skin! These two antioxidants work to ensure healthy regeneration of skin cells to keep it soft and bright while greatly reducing damage done by free radicals. The presence of phenols in peaches protects your hair from the summer sun, protecting against damage from UV rays while selenium encourages hair growth for lush strong strands. They also help to cleanse your kidneys from toxins due to their diuretic nature.

COOK:

Eat peaches with their skin on, you can run them under cold water before eating to get rid of their slightly fuzzy texture. Warm them in a pan by slicing, removing the seed and sprinkling with cinnamon.

TIP:

When buying peaches, check to see how they feel. They shouldn’t be overly hard or mushy, when squeezed gently their skin should give slightly to the pressure.  Avoid ones with wrinkled skin and look for ones with a sweet aroma and buy organic when possible.

dividers R1-beautifood middle yellow

PRINT TO KEEP HANDY

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Beauty Benefits of peach beauty food peach luk beautifood
thai style zucchini noodles recipe clean food luk beautifood

Thai Style Raw Zucchini Noodles Recipe

 Our Raw Zucchini Noodles Recipe is the perfect light go-to recipe that will leave you feeling revitalised and rejuvenated. 

With an exotic Thai style, this zucchini noodle, or ‘zoodle’ recipe will be your go-to recipe for a quick lunch, light dinner or easy meal for when company drops in. It’s not only quick and easy, but this recipe maintains the fun in eating ‘noodles’ without the bloated or ‘full’ you can sometimes be left with from gluten. All you need to do in this recipes is spiralize your zucchini, throw the ingredients into the pan and you have one delicious, nourishing dish which you can vary it by adding different herbs or vegetables and it will soon be your go to meal for a quick and healthy dish.

What does spiralize mean? This handy gadget will allow you to whip up a storm in minutes.  Spiralizers range from around $20 to $40 and can be bought online or sometimes found at farmers markets.  They allow you to twist vegetables such as zucchini or carrots to produce long spaghetti likes spirals.  This allows you to eat spaghetti while moving away from gluten.

BEAUTY BOOST

Zucchini‘s high water content makes it excellent for helping to revitalise and hydrate your skin.  It also contains vitamin A which protects your skin through the epidermal layer.  This means zucchini helps to absorb the sun’s UV rays which can otherwise damage your skin and cause signs of premature ageing such as wrinkles or age spots.

Chilli is not only a great metabolism booster, but it also helps to reduce inflammation. This helps to decrease the appearance of redness or puffiness and improve your skin tone.

THAI STYLE RAW ZUCCHINI NOODLES RECIPE

10 minutes wo to go. Serves 2

YOU’LL NEED

2 Large zucchini, spiralized

2/3 cup bean sprouts

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 small chilli, finely sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon tamari

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon coriander

HOW TO
  1. Combine zucchini noodles, bean sprouts, garlic, ginger and chilli in a large bowl.
  2. Mix olive oil, lemon juice and tamari in a small bowl.
  3. Divide the zucchini into two bowls and top each with half of the olive oil dressing, sesame seeds and coriander.
TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Add in some more chilli for a spicy kick or add in a variety of herbs and vegetables such as red cabbage, finely chopped carrot, snow peas or cherry tomatoes to vary the zucchini noodles recipe.

 thai style zucchini noodles recipe clean food luk beautifood

Beauty Benefits of Zucchini beauty food zucchini luk beautifood

beauty benefits of zucchini

beauty food zucchini

Also known as a courgette or a summer squash, zucchini is dark green in colour and is related to both squash and pumpkin.

FOOD ACTIVES:

Vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and zinc.

BEAUTY BENEFITS OF ZUCCHINI:

Zucchini’s high water content helps to revitalise and hydrate your skin while manganese helps the body to develop strong bones and teeth.  Vitamin A in zucchini also protects the skin by being present within the epidermal layer, acting to absorb the suns UV rays to help maintain healthy, bright skin. It also helps to prevent age spots, wrinkles and sagging from forming.

COOK:  

Usually served cooked, zucchini can be steamed, grilled, baked and fried.  A quick cook is all it needs, drizzle with some oil or throw it into a stir fry.

TIP:

Try cutting long and flat slices of zucchini.  Quickly fry, bake or grill the strips with oil and roll up some mixed veg inside,  creating sushi made from zucchini!

dividers R1-beautifood middle yellow

PRINT TO KEEP HANDY

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Beauty Benefits of Zucchini beauty food zucchini luk beautifood
Beauty Benefits of Snow peas luk beautifood beauty food snow peas snowpeas

beauty benefits of snow peas

beauty food snow peas

Snow peas contain an edible pod that contains immature peas.  This legume is similar to a snap pea but with a thinner pod wall.

FOOD ACTIVES:

Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium, manganese,  magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, folic acid and fibre.

BEAUTY BENEFITS OF SNOW PEAS:

Beauty benefits of snow peas begin through their naturally high flavonoid content.  These work in the body as antioxidants protecting both your insides and outsides!  They help to fight off and reduce exposure of free radicals which in turn can reduce the appearance of premature ageing. Beauty benefits of snow peas also include their high Vitamin K content which helps reduce dark circles under the eyes while folate aids the renewal of hair cells, keeping your locks strong and shiny! Beauty benefits of snow peas will revitalise your appearance and support a glowing complexion.

COOK:  

Snow peas are a fantastic addition to stir frys,add them towards the end of cooking to maintain a delicious crunch, adding texture to your dish.  They also a great addition to any salad.

TIP:

When buying snow peas look for bright and shiny, crisp pods, making sure they are blemish free.  Wash them before adding them to your dish and don’t forget to trim or snap off the ends.

dividers R1-beautifood middle yellow

PRINT TO KEEP HANDY

PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Beauty Benefits of Snow peas luk beautifood beauty food snow peas snowpeas
Shakshuka baked eggs recipe luk beautifood clean food

Shakshuka Baked Eggs Recipe

Put a delicious, exotic spin on your morning eggs with this shakshuka baked eggs recipe. Super easy to make, enjoy this recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner! 

Shakshuka baked eggs are great for trying different styles and flavours. Mix it up by adding in some different herbs or spices, or a touch more cayenne pepper for extra kick. You can even use it as a way to clear out the crisper before the Sunday groceries by adding different vegetables into the mix!

BEAUTY BOOST

Eggs are a great source of protein, containing essential amino acids to build and repair tissue, meaning they keep skin both firm and smooth and your muscles in top form. They also contain choline which maintains plump cell membranes and lutein which helps to ensure skin elasticity, together they make eggs the perfect skin superfood.

But it’s the herbs and spices that really make this dish. Parsley is fabulous for cleansing your body while vitamin A and vitamin K work to brighten the eyes and rejuvenate skin. Paprika contains vitamin B6 aiding healthy and lush hair.

SHAKSHUKA BAKED EGGS RECIPE

30 minutes wo to go. Serves 4

YOU’LL NEED

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 brown onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

6 tomatoes, diced

1 cup mushrooms, diced

1 capsicum, diced

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 large eggs

1/4 fresh parsley

pinch of salt and pepper

HOW TO

1. Heat oil in a skillet or fry pan over medium heat. Add onion and stir for 5 minutes, add garlic and stir regularly for a further minute.

2. Add the capsicum and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring regularly for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes.

3. Begin to squash the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.  Add paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper and stir. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Crack the eggs on top of the tomato mixture and cover the pan (foil will do the trick if no cover is available). Simmer the mixture for desired time.  4 minutes for runny yolks, 6 to 7 minutes for soft yolks and 10 minutes for hard yolks.

5. Garnish with parsley and some salt and pepper and serve warm.

TIPS AND TRICKS
  • Serve with some warm crusty bread for dipping in the tomato sauce.
  • Try adding a touch more cayenne pepper to spice up this shakshuka baked eggs recipe. You can add some cumin in place of oregano, or even top with coriander.  You could even add in some mince or lentils for a lunch time or dinner meal.
Shakshuka baked eggs recipe luk beautifood clean food

Serve with some warm crusty bread to scrape up the last bits of tomato sauce!