Monthly Archives: April 2015

Pearl Grace Life, 10 benefits to eating chia seeds

Chia Seeds

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Chia Seeds – 10 Incredible Benefits

Pearl Grace Life, 10 benefits to eating chia seedsAfter recently discovering these incredible seeds and learning of their health benefits I’ve become hooked and have been looking for ways to integrate them in my diet as much as possible. I use them in smoothies and tossed over salads whenever possible.

Here are 10 incredible reasons to eat chia seeds:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.

2. Fibre

Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fibre, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fibre per day.

3. Antioxidants

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

4. Minerals

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

5. Satiety

Pearl Grace Life, berry juice recipeSatiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fibre and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

(In my Berry Blast Juice I mentioned how I make my chia seed gel (aka soaked chia seeds) Here’s a vid showing you how – I do it just like this except I mix it into my own fresh juices. Plus a cup of chia seeds gel can last in the fridge for unto 5 days.)

6. Gluten-Free

Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

7. Egg Substitute

The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

8. Can Be Digested Whole

Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

9. Dyslipidemia

A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

10. Blood Sugar Regulation

Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

So, guys, go grab yourself some chia seeds and enjoy!

Love ya x

 

Title image courtesy of crispfood.com and content image by authoritynutrition.com and Nat Millie

Pearl Grace Life, berry juice recipe

Berry Blast Juice

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Berry Blast Juice – a rockin’ way to start your day!

Pearl Grace Life Berry Blast JuiceAs you guys know, I love my berries (Cue clip from Ice Age), so it will come as no surprise that I often start my day with a delight deluge of some sweet zesty fruity jewels.

My Berry Blast Juice is truly an awesome way to get your body fired up first thing in the morning.

Naturally it’s packed with an abundance of fructose but I love to throw in some seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and chia) and smoothie-fy it with some coconut milk yoghurt.

Over to you Lil’ Richard… 

Right, here’s how I make it…

Ingredients:
2 heaped handfuls of blueberries
2 heaped handfuls of blackberries
2 heaped handfuls of raspberries
2 heaped handfuls of strawberries
2 heaped handfuls/ a large bunch of seedless grapes
2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
3 tbsp of coconut milk yoghurt
3 tbsp of soaked chia seeds (check out my post on chia seeds to see what I mean by ‘soaked’)
A dash of water

Bits you’ll need:
A colander or a large deep bowl
A nuitibullet, blender or juicer

Method:
1. Wash all the fruit thoroughly under cold water and put in a colander or large bowl. Remove green tops of the strawberries and cut into smallish chunks if they’re quite large.

2. Spoon half the fruit in the nutribullet (or your preferred appliance). Add a dash of water and the pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Blitz for a few secs to a juice-like consistency.

3. Add the rest of the fruit, yoghurt and chia seeds. Blitz one last time till smoothie-like.

4. Pour and enjoy!

Switch it up!

I don’t tend to eat much dairy which is why I opt for the coconut milk yoghurt however a greek style yoghurt will generate the same results so use whatever you prefer.

Check out the chia post HERE.

Till next time, my pretties x

Images courtesy of Nat Millie

Pearl Grace Life, Worry or word up

Worry or wise up

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Worry or wise up

Tell me, do you ever find yourself worrying about something that you have absolutely no control over?

I do.

Do you ever stress about the opinions of other people?

I’ve been guilty of this too.

The truth is it’s only natural for us to worry about things we can’t control and to stress about the opinions of others, which is again something we cannot control.

The comforting thing is there are a couple of easy ways to combat this so that being worried no longer preoccupies your time.

This is something I’ve found to work really well, especially recently when I found myself stressed out when Ealy started nursery.

I used to worry from the moment he left to the moment he returned home.

In the free hours that I had to work, exercise, plan and prepare for the day and forthcoming week, I would be distracted by my worrying thoughts about his safety, his well-being, whether he was happy or if he ate enough during the day.

Throughout the day I would worry about one of these things at least half a dozen times so much so that often I’d reach the end of the day and had barely applied myself long enough or with enough focus to achieve anything substantial.

Quite frankly, I was a pathetic mess.

So when, I discovered this beautiful concept I decided to start applying this simple strategy and it has result in a calmer and a more productive Nat all round.

Tweet it out peeps: Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its troubles it just empties today of it’s strength @PearlGraceLife

Wise up or worry

Here’s the thing, we only really have to choices in life when it comes to this.

We can either worry or not worry. That’s it.

But I think it’s super cool to believe in a force bigger than yourself.

That force might be God, the universe, lucky stars, crystals, fairies, whatever. But something that makes you feel like you belong to something bigger than lil’ ol’ you.

You have to believe that this larger entity has your back. That it’s cheering you on. Wants you to rock it out in an awesome way and is conspiring to work in your favour.

Here’s how I see it..

I’m just a little gem in this crazy and fabulous world. In believing whole-heartedly that Mother Earth will handle my worries and cares far better than I can allows me to operate in a place of faith, which is in itself quite a beautiful thing.

Now, when I say faith I don’t just mean of the religious kind although that’s absolutely fine if that’s your thing.

I mean faith in the more generic sense of the word, as in having complete confidence that this larger force will carry my cares for me so I don’t have to.

I think prayer and meditation is a great way to free up your worry.

Remove the stress of worrying from your being and give it to whoever or whatever you believe brings you good luck and good fortune.

Trust fully in whatever you believe in to take care of the problem so that you no longer have to carry the weight of the burden on your shoulders, in your heart or in your head anymore.

So, for me, whenever one of those worrying thoughts about Ealy being at nursery starts to present itself I send out a little prayer. I do this immediately and it takes less than 5 secs.

The moment I think, “I hope Ealy is happy, unhurt and content” I close my eyes send it out as a message to the the big blue sky and whisper something like, “Hey, M.E (aka Mother Earth), watch over Ealy today, keep him safe, fill him with joy and happiness.” Then open my eyes, smile and carry on with whatever I’m doing. That’s it.

I don’t worry. Instead I send my wish out into the world. And carry on living reassured in the faith that Mother E will do everything she can to fulfil my wish.

I know this might sound a little whacky but it works if you have faith in something bigger than yourself and if you understand that worrying alone will not change the situation or create a certain outcome. So, why bother do it.

Worrying is futile. When it comes down to it, you have one of two choices: you can either worry or wise up. You can’t really do both.

Now, if the idea of praying gives you an uncomfortable feeling then reframe it and call it something you are more comfortable with like a love request or a wishful blessing.

Something that doesn’t unsettle you but still enables you to let go of the worrying woes so you can and live, love and laugh in the NOW.

Here’s to a worry-free weekend.

Lots of love
Nat x

Fill me in… Do you find you ever worry about things you cannot change? Do you ever worry and pray simultaneously (not such an uncommon thing)? But let me know in the comments below.

Wise words to consider from Miss Taylor Swift about negative people and vibes. But I think the same idea can be applied to your worries – just shake it off, baby!

Title image courtesy of www.hollywoodreporter.com Content image courtesy of www.barbroose.com

Pearl Grace Life, Nat's dog Riley

How dog are you?

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How dog are you?

Pearl Grace Life, Nat's dog RileyI was gonna write, how Dawg are you? Thinking it would be funny and cute to get all Southern with it but then thought better of it. (Just sharing an idea I was toying with – oh well!)

Any-whoo, back to the post, which might I add, is a super-hot gem of an idea that I’m crazy psyched to pass forward to you!

So, here’s the question: How dog are you?

And, no it’s not about listing your favourite breads – I can hear some of you now… Mmm, well I really love schnauzers, oh and beagles are cute and ah, I adore little yorkshire terriers!

Nope, as fun as that might be to all you dog lovers out there, that’s not what this post is about.

So, let’s dive right in!

Puppy love

As you know we have a 6 year old yellow lab called Riley.

From the day we brought him home at 8 weeks old he has been an absolute sweetheart.

Every morning without fail he greets us with a smile – yep, he smiles. He showers us with so much love, in the form of slobbery kisses and cuddles, that you’d think we’d been away for a month.

He reacts the same when we go out for the day or whenever someone comes over to visit.

He shows us (and everyone he meets) unconditional love no matter what and without fail.

He never tires of expressing his affection and after 6 years he’s as bouncy and as loving as ever.

Tweet it out peeps:Tweet: Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its troubles it just empties today of it’s strength @PearlGraceLife

Puppy past time paradise

The other day, Riley and I were walking in the woods and we were approached by a dog who a couple of weeks earlier showed signs of being dominant, over-zealous and boisterous with Riley.

I recognised the dog and was tempted to take a quick detour along another path when my plan was vetoed by Mister Riley who bounded up to the dog playfully wagging his tail.

I had no choice but to follow. And although I was aware that I felt some anxiety in the pit of my stomach I couldn’t help but notice that Riley seemed absolutely fine. He was actually really happy and calm and so was the other dog.

Eventually the nervous sensation I was experiencing passed and I found joy in watching to two dogs playing.

For the rest of the walk I couldn’t help but wonder about the characteristics of dogs and how forgiving they are.

Riley didn’t care about the previous encounter with the dog – he probably didn’t even remember it. All he cared about was playing with the dog in that moment.

And this is how he lives his life on a daily basis. He lives in the moment.

Quite frankly, he doesn’t care if I’m tired, stressed, unwell or upset, he greets me with an abundance of love every single day – no matter what.

He doesn’t stress about yesterday or worry about tomorrow. All he cares about is the present – the joys and happy things that are occurring in his life right now.

Some puppy pearls of wisdom…

So, you might be thinking, what’s this got to do with me? How does this help me live a more happy and inspired life?

Au contraire… the truth is it does but only if we’re brave enough to embrace some dog-like attributes. 

If we lived life more in the present – no longer stressing about the past or being fearful of the future – we could be happier.

If we chose to let go of our grudges and forgive those who have wronged us we would feel more at peace.

A contented spirit and a calm mind enables us to apply ourselves to more challenges, engage in more enriching and positive thoughts, which in turn lead to opportunities of enlightenment and inspiration.

And, here’s the ultimate doggy trait we should all try to master. If we gave ourselves permission to love those around us without prejudice, without conditions and without boundaries every single day, like Riley does – wow-  how much of a difference do you think that could make in your life?

I’m guessing some pretty incredible shizzle could unfurl for you.

And it’s not that hard to do – we can all do this. Riley’s life isn’t complicated. Quite the opposite in fact. A dog’s needs are really simple, as the video explains.

However it’s human nature to over complicate things when in actual fact life needn’t be as complex as we often make it out to be.

It takes more effort and drains more energy from us when we are angry, resentful and unforgiving.

Whats more, the universe spins in the wrong direction for us when we act in a way that is not conducive to having a kind and loving heart.

So, in reality we are doing ourselves more harm than good.

Dogs instinctively know this and that is why they are a terrific example of how to live and thrive.

So, I propose you give it a try for one week and see how much of a difference it makes in your life.

Approach everyone and everything you do with full-hearteded appreciation and commitment.

Remain aware of your intentions and if you feel yourself slipping into a human-like trait of judging and condemning then snap out of it and let your inner dog out to play.

Now, I would absolutely love to hear from you on this.

1. What dog-like trait do you think you could start to implement in your life right now and why do you think it could help you improve, either personally and professionally?

Quick PG Note: If you are a dog owner or dog lover then please CLICK HERE to see a great video. It’s fun and informative. But most of all, it’s full of useful tips and tools to help you become a calm and assertive pack leader. And even if you don’t have a four-legged companion in your life then still watch the video because there are some great principles and philosophies about life that we all can benefit from.

If you liked this post or know someone who struggles with any of the issues raised then please share it and spread this message. It could make a real difference in their life.

Thanks so much for reading,

All my love
Nat x

For more on Cesar Millan check out his website HERE.

Find out more about Mister Riley HERE.

Title and content images courtesy of Nat Millie.

Pearl Grace Life, Super green salad

Super Green Salad

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Super Green Salad

Pearl Grace Life, Super green saladIf you’re looking for a salad that’s brimming with green goodness then look no further than this super green salad.

I often make a big bowl of it for lunch and snack on it throughout the day.

It works perfectly as a side dish to meat or fish but is equally satisfying on it’s own.

I think the most essential part of a great salad is it’s freshness. Try to use fresh produce and prepare it just before serving. There’s nothing more depressing than a limp lettuce leaf!

Having said that if you hold off adding the dressing and avocados till just before you’re about to tuck into it then the salad will keep well in the fridge for a few hours.

This super green salad is light but packed with nutrients that your body simply can’t get enough of.

And because it’s a salad you can literally eat as much of it as you want – none of that calorie counting malarky! Look out for my post on the benefits of eating leafy greens coming soon.

As with all my recipes you can jazz it up as you see fit (cue vid). You can use this recipe as a starting point and have some terrific green endorsing fun by experimenting with different ingredients.

My measurements are approximates and makes enough for 4 greedy souls. Tweak the quantities to suit your needs.

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of baby kale
2 handfuls of baby spinach
2 handfuls of rocket leaves
2 handfuls of baby green leaves
2 handfuls of baby chard leaves
1 romaine lettuce or cos lettuce, roughly chopped
Half a cucumber, cut into quarters
3 salad onions, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 avocado, chopped in small chunks
2/3 tbsp of pitted green olives (optional), chop if using large ones
1 handful of pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Green basil pesto (homemade would be divine but the shop bought variety works fine too)
1 small handful of Parsley, finely chopped and sprinkled on top (optional)

Method:

  1. Throw the kale, spinach, lettuce, rocket, baby greens and baby chard leaves in a large bowl.
  2. Toss in the cucumber, onions and green pepper.
  3. Add the avocado, olives and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Just before serving, add the olive oil, parsley and basil pesto. Add as much as desired

Switch it up!
Try mixing in some warm wild rice for a different texture and a beautiful nutty flavour. Plus it’s loaded with incredible goodness that you’re body will love. I’ll do a feature on wild rice in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned.

If you’re looking to boost your green intake then add some broccoli and cabbage to it. I normally steam them for about 10 minutes so they still retain there crunch.  Pure gold.

If you find it hard to find the leaves I mentioned above sold individually then you can grab a mixed bag of salad leaves from your supermarket. Most are already washed so you can just throw it in a bowl with minimal fuss.

Go green, baby! x

Title and content images courtesy of Nat Millie.

Pearl Grace Life, What's your fuel?

What’s your fuel?

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What’s your fuel?

Pearl Grace Life, What's your fuel?Ok. ‘Fess, up what’s in your cupboard and fridge right now? What have you been putting in your face recently?

Fair play it’s been Easter and it might be a little unfair of me to put you on the spot but as a general rule how well do you eat? In other words, what’s your fuel?

Now, it’s not my style to get all preachy about the do’s and don’t’s of food because I’m not perfect and I like the odd cookie and glass of wine myself. (shoot me)

And don’t worry I’m not gonna ride your butt like Zorro in this post and make you feel bad about yourself – heck, we’re in this together.

But in honour of World Health Day (April 7th) I thought I’d share my thoughts on this.

I’ve also included a link to my delicious and gloriously green salad recipe at the bottom which will get your body rocking and shaking with disco fever delight.

“That’s the way, a-ha a-ha, I like it a-ha a-ha…” (Love it!) Ok, back to the post…

The truth is, if you’re passionate and committed to living a life of abundance, joy, meaning and fulfilment – you know all the things I rave on about here on PGL – then it will be an uphill struggle to achieve all of those wonderful things if you’re not conscious and aware of the fuel that you put in your engine.

Here’s the thing, a jockey wouldn’t feed his thoroughbred burgers and chips because he knows better than that.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that the mechanical whiz kids over at Ferrari aren’t filling their world class race cars with the wrong kinda fuel – that would be insane.

Yet so many of us are filling our own engines with dangerous, toxic and hazardous fuel.

Hey, its cool to have fun and enjoy the food you eat. If eating something sweet, having a glass of wine or getting your chops round a fillet of beef floats your boat then I’m to gonna stand in your way.

I’m not here to tell you to stop – that’s not my place – furthermore I enjoy tasty treats too.

As the French say, Tout dans la modération, même avec modération (Everything in moderation, including moderation.)

All I’m suggesting is we start to view our bodies as championship racehorses and  Formula1 race cars because we are valuable commodities worth treasuring.

So, let’s appreciate, respect and honour the vessels we were given.

Show your body love by feeding it with as much nutrient rich food as you can.

Your body will love you all the more for it. And when you love it in this way it will do it’s part in making sure you operate in a peak state as much as possible.

At the end of the day your body wants to support you fully so that you wake up every morning feeling unstoppable, unbeatable and formidable.

I’m not really sharing anything here that you don’t already know to be true but I know it can be difficult to make the right food choices.

So, to help you get started here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Pace yourself

If you’re a little uncertain about changing the food you eat then I reckon small and gradual steps is the way to go.

Slowly phase out the ‘less ideal’ option as you slowly add in the good stuff. For example, where you would normally use white potatoes swap it for sweet potatoes instead.

Before you know it you’ll notice how awesome you feel eating the good stuff that you won’t crave the bad shizzle anymore, well, at least not as much.

2. Jump right in

The second option is for those of you who prefer to jump in at the deep end and go for it.

For those of you wanting to get militant on this I suggest you grab the Bull of Health by the horns and take control.

Go to your store cupboard or pantry and chuck out everything that contains ingredients that you cannot pronounce or don’t know. Go do it now. No excuses and no justifications. If you know it’s not good for you or your family, Bin It.

If a guy in a white coat has fiddled with it then chuck it out however if it’s what mother nature created then chomp on it proudly.

Get militant!

Our challenge

Last month Drew and I set ourselves the challenge to only eat and drink food that contained ingredients that we could pronounce.

It’s alarming the amount of ‘added this’ and ‘added that’ we found in the food in our cupboards – some of which claimed to be healthy!

It was a month of going back to basics and we felt all the better for it.

I challenge you to give it a try. And in honour of World Health Day, this week is as good a time as ever to start.

You don’t have to do it for a whole month but try it for at least a week and see how you feel.

Why not share your experiences with me in the comments below.

And to help you get started check out my super green salad – it’s like spring in a bowl.

To your health and awesomeness,

Nat x

 

Title image courtesy of www.carsguide.com.au and content image from www.techinasia.com

Keeping it real: I’m not a doctor. Please seek professional advise if you’re considering changing your diet. 

Pearl Grace Life blog Me Myself and I

Me Myself and I

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Me Myself and I

Pearl Grace Life Blog Me Myself and IAnd before you ask, no, I’m not talking about the slow-jam about female empowerment by Beyoncé. Sorry Queen-B fans.

It just so happens that as well as being the title of a hit song, Me Myself and I, is also the attitude of many people in the world.

Take a sec and consider this…

Do you know someone who loves to talk about themselves? They love nothing more than to hear the sound of their own voice – which is usually telling you how awesome they are, how fabulous they look, all the amazing things they’ve done and how incredible other people think they are.

Do you know someone like that? I bet you do. Unfortunately so do I.

But here’s the kicker, if you’re honest with yourself, there’s a strong possibility that you’ve been guilty of doing this yourself at some point. Come on, let me see a show of hands!

I, for one, cringe at my own admission of this behaviour in the past.

Thankfully, we live in a world where we can learn from our poor judgements,  grow and evolve.

According to Dale Carnegie, “People are eternally interested in themselves”.

Continue reading Me Myself and I