Use this Spice to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity! 

A simple, scientifically proven trick to not only fight belly fat, but control blood sugar levels (and fight carbs)…
This spice that I’m going to mention is one of the most overlooked, but healthiest spices in the world…
You might even call it a “fat burning spice”… in a roundabout

And yes, it can actually help you win the battle against abdominal fat if you use it daily…I’ll explain why.
Here are some other benefits of this miracle spice:
controls blood sugar levels

helps maintain insulin sensitivity

a VERY powerful antioxidant

may have antibacterial and antifungal properties

and dozens of other benefits

So what is this miracle spice that beats abdominal fat?
Well… it’s good old tasty Cinnamon!

Although cinnamon does NOT directly increase fat burning (such as by increasing metabolic rate, etc), it CAN actually help you to burn off abdominal fat and get leaner in an indirect way
Here’s how…
Although cinnamon has dozens of health benefits, the main benefit that will help you to get leaner is through it’s strong effect on controlling blood sugar levels in your body.
In a study published in 2003 in the medical journal Diabetes Care, groups were split into people taking 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon per day in capsule form (the equivalent of approx 1/4th to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon).
The results of the study showed that all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose levels by 18-29% after 40 days.
Cinnamon can also increase insulin sensitivity, which essentially means that it is helping your body to control blood sugar while simultaneously allowing your body to produce less insulin.
As you know, chronically high insulin levels can make your body pack on the blubber.

How to harness cinnamon to lose stubborn belly fat…
One possible way to benefit from cinnamon to lose more fat is to use cinnamon daily in your meals when you can, such as in yogurt or cottage cheese, in smoothies, oatmeal, or anything else you can think of where it would go well.
Also, you could use a cinnamon capsule before each of your meals, particularly if you’re going to have more than 30 grams of carbs in that meal.
This could help to control blood sugar and insulin response from your meals and thereby control your appetite and cravings throughout the day… hence, helping you to lose body fat more effectively over time.
So now you can see that not only is cinnamon a powerful antioxidant that can help you stay youthful longer, it can also help you to control blood sugar and get a leaner body!


Turmeric and Lemon Morning Shocker

You may have heard that warm lemon water will get those pipes working in the morning and optimize your health. You may even drink warm lemon water with Himalayan salt, or warm lemon water with honey in the morning. However, have you heard of warm lemon water combined with honey, cinnamon, and the most essential ingredient to this morning elixir, turmeric? If you have yet to try this one, you may be missing out on an excellent way to begin your day. All-natural lemon and turmeric are especially powerful ingredients that boast a wealth of beneficial properties.
The Turmeric and Lemon Morning Elixir

1 serving

Prep Time- 5 minutes

Cook Time- no cooking

What you’ll need…

1/2 of a lemon, squeezed for juice

1/4 – 1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp honey

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1 cup warm water, and/or coconut milk (the coconut milk adds healthy fats, and helps absorption of turmeric)
How to make it…
Mix the lemon juice, turmeric and honey into your cup of warm water or milk. You will want to stir these ingredients well. Add cinnamon on top and continue to stir your morning elixir as you drink it — this will ensure that the turmeric does not settle at the bottom of your cup.
Turmeric with its main active ingredient, curcumin, may be that one healthy addition to your morning routine you’ve been looking for, and can help you fight inflammation in your body. I enjoy this elixir nearly every morning with fruit, which adds a sweet, delicious twist.
What healthy alternatives get your morning off to a perfect start?

Lemons offer a tasty, tart flavor with many health-promoting properties. According to a study published in the Chemistry Central Journal (2015), lemons possess a treasure trove of natural metabolites. The study authors state, “Citrus fruits exhibit plentiful bioactivities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antimicrobial and anti-allergy activities, as well as cardiovascular effect, neuroprotective effect, hepatoprotective effect, obesity control, etc.” Lemons are indeed a healthy ingredient to enjoy at the beginning of the day. However, when you couple lemon with turmeric, your health and wellness benefits increase significantly.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a yellow-orange spice that is part of the ginger family. Native to tropical South Asia, turmeric is well known in traditional Asian medicine and cuisine. More recently, its health benefits have been recognized in Western medicine. According to a study published in the Journal of Nephropathology (2012), “Turmeric, a neglected Asian traditional drug might reemerge as remedy and/or preventive tool for various illnesses including different type of cancers, obesity, type-2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, CKD [chronic kidney disease] and ESRD [end stage renal disease], which are steadily increasing globally, claiming many lives and tremendous amount of resources worldwide.”

One active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been the focus of several academic studies.
Curcumin may alleviate inflammation: According to research from the Department of Stomatology at the University of California, San Francisco, curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory properties. The research, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004), found that curcumin, “may exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.”

Curcumin’s anticancer potential: Curcumin may play a vital role in cancer prevention, according to a study published in BioMed Research International (2014). Previous research has highlighted curcumin’s antioxidant, antibacterial and antitumor properties, according to the study, which concluded, “Curcumin, a vital constituent of the spice turmeric, is an alternative approach in the prevention of cancer.”
Therapeutic applications of curcumin: According to a review study published in the AAPS Journal (2013), “curcumin has shown therapeutic potential against a number of human diseases,” including multiple types of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, peptic ulcers, psoriasis, H. pylori infection, Alzheimer’s disease, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.

Try it…. 

Your Gut – 10x more cells than your entire body?

Unfortunately, many people think of their gut solely as the mechanism by which your body digests food, which is at best an extreme oversimplification, and at worst an ideology massively contributing to the health problems, weight loss struggles, and auto-immune disorders of millions world-wide.
In reality, your GI tract is MUCH more than a digestion center; in fact, it is quite literally your second brain as well as being “home” to 80% of your immune system.
You see, within your gut reside roughly 100 TRILLION living bacteria…
That’s more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your entire body – and maintaining the ideal ratio of “good bacteria” (known as probiotics) to “bad bacteria” is now gaining recognition as perhaps the single most important step you can take to protect your health and further along your fat loss goals.
In fact, there are more than 200 studies linking inadequate probiotic levels to more than 170 different serious health issues; including obesity and weight gain:
To touch briefly on the weight gain and obesity consequences, virtually every study performed on the obese population analyzing gut bacteria found higher instances of “bad” bacteria and lower levels of probiotics (again, the “good” bacteria) within these individuals.
Perhaps you yourself are already experiencing some of the more advanced signs that your intestinal bacterial balance is beginning to spin out of control, such as:
• Gas and bloating

• Constipation and/or diarrhea

• Skin problems

• Overall sickness

• Headaches

• Urinary tract infections

• Trouble sleeping

• An inability to lose weight

• Sugar cravings, especially for heavily refined carbs
You see, the ideal healthy ratio of “good” to “bad” bacteria is 85% to 15%, or 9 to 1.
Unfortunately, due to lifestyle and environmental factors, the vast majority of the population is severely lacking when it comes to good probiotic bacteria, throwing their gut flora ratio completely out of whack.
These lifestyle and environmental factors include, but are not limited to, exposure to:
• Sugar

• Artificial sweeteners of any kind (found in “diet” beverages and food items, chewing gum, and even toothpaste)

• Processed foods

• Chlorinated water

• Pollution

• Antacids

• Laxatives

• Alcoholic beverages

• Agricultural chemicals and pesticides, and…

• Antibiotics (from medications and/or antibiotics found in meat and dairy products that we ingest).
As you can see, unless you maintain a 100% organic diet, completely avoid all sugar, and lock yourself in the house in an attempt to only consume the purest of air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is almost certain that your gut flora balance is suffering, and will continue to suffer, unless you do something to proactively correct it on a daily basis.
Can you really afford to neglect your gastrointestinal health much longer?
If you do, the likely result is dramatically increased risk for health problems and disease, failure to experience relief from any ailments you may be currently suffering from, and an inevitable, continual struggle with your weight.
With that said, it’s no wonder that research is now suggesting that supplementing with probiotics every single day is even MORE important to your health than taking a daily multi-vitamin…

Chocolate, Butter & Coconut Oil Healthy & Anti-Ageing!

3 SATURATED Fats that Actually SLOW Aging in Your Body
Yes, ALL three of these foods have a high ratio saturated fats, but studies are showing that they actually improve your heart health and fight aging. Read on…
The majority of the population these days still seem to “fear” fats in the diet because of all of the fat-free and low-fat propaganda of the 80’s and 90’s that falsely made people think that all fats are bad for us. Nothing could be further from the truth!
As a health blogger, fitness coach and Nutritionist, I observe people’s eating habits all the time… and I constantly see well-intentioned, but misinformed people choosing egg whites instead of whole eggs, even though studies show that the “fatty” yolks contain almost all of the anti-aging benefits, heart-health benefits, and 90% of the valuable antioxidants and vitamins/minerals in an egg, whereas the whites contain very little nutrition at all. Not only that, but egg yolks have been proven to raise your GOOD cholesterol, and improve the good to bad ratios.
I also see people constantly choosing “low-fat” and “fat-free” options of various foods in the supermarket despite the fact that most of these options contain a LOT more carbs and sugars to replace the fats that are taken out, which actually leads to FASTER AGING by increasing the amount of Advanced Glycation End Products(AGEs) that your body produces. These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.
Plus, it’s high blood sugar from all of those extra sugars and carbs in “low-fat” and “fat-free” choices that increase AGEs in your body on a daily basis leading to faster aging. On the other hand, all of those FATS that people have been avoiding for years can actually SLOW the aging process by keeping your blood sugar lower and more stable, hormones balanced, and for other reasons too.
In fact, it’s absolutely imperative to get enough healthy fats in your diet to keep your hormones balanced, blood sugar under control, prevent cravings, and to SLOW the aging process in your organs, skin, and joints. 
And I’m NOT just talking about the obvious healthy fats that you hear about in the news all the time, such as almonds, walnuts, avocados, fish oil, and our beloved olive oil… all of those examples ARE definitely healthy and contain loads of beneficial nutrients that can help you to live longer, healthier, and leaner…
Here are THREE more examples of “fatty” foods that most people falsely think are “unhealthy” simply because they do contain certain ratios of saturated fat… But in reality, these foods are shown in studies to protect our bodies from the ravages of aging and even help us to stay lean…
1. Grass-fed (outdoor reared) butter & cream
Yes, delicious smooth and rich BUTTER (real butter, NOT deadly margarine!)… It’s delicious, contains loads of healthy nutritional factors, and does NOT have to be avoided in order to stay healthy and get lean. In fact, I often use grass-fed butter whenever a spread is called for, like on a juicy treat slice or three of fruit bread. 
There’s a lot of confusion about this topic… in fact, I attended a Science Festival lecture that was talking about fat and one of the first things a nutritionist ‘banned’ was saturated fat. It just shows that the majority of the population still doesn’t fully understand that butter (grass-fed only!) can actually be a healthy part of your diet.
In fact, there’s even ample evidence that REAL butter can even fight aging and help you to lose body fat for a couple of main reasons:
   a. Grass-fed butter is known to have high levels of a healthy fat called CLA, which has been shown in numerous studies to have anti-cancer properties, and also has been shown to help burn abdominal fat and build lean muscle. I use a powdered CLA supplement in my recovery shakes. 
   b. Grass-fed butter also has an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (unlike conventional grain-fed butter) which helps fight inflammation in your body, and can help balance hormones, thereby helping to slow the aging process, and keep your body lean.
   c. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also contain MCTs (similar to the MCTs in coconut oil), which help to boost your immune system and are readily burned by the body for energy. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also help to satisfy your appetite and control blood sugar levels, both of which help you to stay lean!
If you have a hard time finding a grass-fed butter at your grocery store, Kerrygold Irish butter is one of my favorites, and the cows are 100% grass-fed on lush green pastures in Ireland. It’s one of the richest butters in colour that I’ve seen, which indicates high levels of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that help fight ageing. 
Note for people who are dairy sensitive or think they might be:  
People that are dairy sensitive or intolerant are generally NOT sensitive to butter or cream. This is something that’s highly misunderstood in the nutrition industry, even by most authors and doctors. The truth is that it’s almost always either the lactose or the casein that people are sensitive to, and butter or cream has nothing more than traces of either since butter and cream is solely the fat portion of dairy while the lactose and casein have mostly been removed when the fat is skimmed off the milk. The amount of casein in butter or cream is negligible compared to milk.
Also, fermented dairy generally doesn’t give people any problems either (kefir or plain yogurt) because the lactose has been digested by the microbes, making kefir 99% lactose free usually. Plus, even the casein in kefir and yogurt is MUCH more highly digestible because the microbes have already performed a little pre-digestion on it.

2. Super Dark Chocolate (72% cacao content or higher) 
It might not be a secret anymore, but yes, dark chocolate (NOT milk chocolate) can be a very healthy food, even though it is technically calorie dense. 
However, I would contend that dark chocolate can actually HELP you to burn off more body fat if you’re the type of person that has a sweet tooth and likes to eat a lot of desserts. In this case, just 1 or 2 small squares of dark chocolate can many times satisfy your sweet tooth for only 30 or 40 calories as opposed to 500 calories for a piece of chocolate cake or a piece of pie. 
Also some brands of dark chocolate that are in the mid 70’s in % cacao content or higher, can have a fairly high ratio of fibre content (I’ve seen some brands have 5-7 grams of fibre out of 15 grams of total carbs per serving), and relatively low sugar content compared to the amount of healthy fats. In fact, that’s one of the “tricks” I use to select a good quality chocolate… I look for more total fat than total carbs (or about the same number of grams of each).
The importance of that fact is that it means many dark chocolates will not greatly affect your blood sugar and will have a fairly blunted blood sugar response compared to other “sweets”.
In addition, dark chocolate is also very rich in healthful antioxidants, including a powerful compound called theobromine which has been shown to help lower your blood pressure and have other health benefits. 
Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavanols with dozens of health benefits… One study found that eating as little as 6.7 grams of chocolate per day has a protective effect on your heart. Other studies show benefits to your digestive system by improving the ratios of good to bad bacteria in your gut, possibly due to the catechins and polyphenols in cocoa.
The reason I say to choose dark chocolates with at least 72% cacao content is that the higher the % of cacao, the lower the % of sugar. However, this does mean that any chocolate over 80% cacao content will generally start to get a more bitter taste and have very little sweetness. If you like this type of taste, then the higher % cocao, the better. Otherwise, a good 75% dark chocolate is in my opinion an almost perfect combination of lightly sweet with a rich velvety chocolate taste. 
You can also reap the benefits of the antioxidants and fibre without all of the calories by using organic unsweetened cocoa powder in your smoothies or other recipes.
The bottom line is that you can enjoy small to moderate amounts of dark chocolate and also cocoa powder daily, and it only helps you to stay lean and fight the aging process in your body.

3. Coconut oil, coconut meat, coconut flour, and coconut milk
Coconut milk and oil are great sources of a super healthy type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including a component called lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system, and is lacking in most western diets. In addition, MCTs are readily used for energy by the body and less likely to be stored as body fat compared to other types of fats.
Eating coconut oil can help improve the health of your skin from the inside out… But in addition to being healthy internally, coconut oil is also known to be great for the health of your skin externally as a skin moisturizer that’s healthier for you than most lotions since natural coconut oil allows you to avoid the harmful chemicals found in many lotions. 
Coconut oil is even shown to help improve your thyroid function as well as helping to protect your brain from Alzheimers.
There are even direct studies that show that coconut oil can help you burn off abdominal fat more efficiently.
Along with coconut milk and coconut oil as healthy fat choices, we’ve also got coconut flour as a healthier flour option for baking. Coconut flour is an extremely high fibre flour alternative (almost ALL of the carbs in this flour are fiber and not starch!). Coconut flour is also VERY high in protein compared to most flours and is also gluten free! 
Just beware that if you’re going to use coconut flour for baking, it absolutely NEEDS to be mixed with other flours as it sucks up moisture like crazy…make delicious baked goods by mixing coconut flour with almond flour and quinoa flour in equal parts, and adding slightly more liquid ingredients than the recipe calls for.

Enjoy your fats and NEVERTHELESS feel on a ‘diet’


High Protein Snack Favourite

SAVOURY HIGH-PROTEIN QUINOA PANCAKESLooking for new breakfast ideas? You’ll love these savoury pancakes.

Not only easy to make, but also very versatile. You can add any ingredient you like.
You can even use them as a substitute for burger buns! Just whack a patty between two pancakes, add lettuce, tomato, onion and my healthy Aioli, voila low-carb burger!
Ingredients: (makes 5)
1 cooked full chicken breast

3 eggs

salt, pepper, tumeric powder & chili to taste

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Using a food processor, blend all ingredients except the quiona together until completely smooth. Mixture will look just like a pancake batter.

A large tablespoonful of the mixture on a hot greased skillet and press down gently like a pancake. Sprinkle quinoa on top.

Cook for about 1 minute then flip to the other side.

Low Carb Lunch Ideas

#2 low carb lunch

Spaghetti squash with Kale, chick peas and hazel nuts. 

Oh my Gosh, the Nutrition!
Winter squash rocks because it is a powerhouse veggie. Unlike summer squash (re: zucchini, crookneck, pattypan), winter squash has had a lot more time to develop and pump itself full of vitamins and minerals throughout its lengthy life on the stem. We’re talking oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and even some extra dietary fiber thrown in just for kicks. This combination of nutrients spells good news for asthma sufferers, those with heart disease, elevated cholesterol, or inflammatory conditions such a rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.  
The other bonus? Nature designed summer squash to be rather delicate, with a high water content for those hot summer days when we need a cool down. Naturally, their shelf life is rather short during our abundant harvest season when produce is plentiful. On the flip side, winter squash has a tough outer skin and lower water content, which allows it to be stored for a very long time – some varieties up to six months. This means that we can keep these vitamin bombs around for a long time after the first frost to provide our bodies with the nutrition we need to see us through the long months of winter when there is nothing fresh in sight. 
Put that in your oven and roast it. 

This dish is so yummy – like Oh my Gosh yummy. I wanted to create something totally special and seasonal, with rich, earthy flavours, and satisfying comfort. Everyone loves pasta and the way it is like getting a hug from the inside, right? Well, this dish comes pretty close, except that instead of that really heavy feeling you get after a plate of penne, spaghetti squash is filling in an energizing way. I bet you will be very surprised at how delicious it is all on its own, straight out of the oven – I nearly ate a meal-sized portion to myself before combining it with everything else. I just couldn’t stop myself! I’m totally wild!

Oh my Gosh, Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
1 bunch kale
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
pinch crushed chilies
¾ cup toasted hazelnuts
Pecorino Romano (hard sheep’s milk cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
2. Prepare the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half lengthwise, removing the seeds, rubbing the inside of each half with a drizzle of olive oil, then seasoning with salt and pepper. Place face down on a lined baking tray and place in the oven – cook for about 45 minutes.
3. While the squash is baking, prepare the rest of the filling. Wash kale well and remove the tough center rib of each leaf. Roughly chop kale into small pieces. 
4. Heat oil, ghee, or butter in a frying pan, then add minced garlic, crushed chilies to taste, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook 2 minutes until fragrant, then add chopped kale and cook until the leaves are bright green and just starting to lose structure. Throw in the chickpeas and cook just to warm. Remove from heat. 
5. Remove squash form the oven when it is cooked through. Using a fork, scrape out the insides, which will pull away from the shell in strands, like spaghetti (whoa). Place all strands in a bowl, and toss with the kale and chickpea mixture. At this point you can either serve it from the bowl, or mix it everything together and place back in one half of the empty squash shells for a beautiful presentation. Sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts and shaved Pecorino Romano. Enjoy.

Are you deficient in essential nutrients?

1. Are You Deficient?

1. Vitamin D

This vitamin helps regulate calcium absorption in your gut. It also helps maintain bone strength, healthy muscles, a well functioning nervous system, and is important for immune function and cell growth.

You might be deficient if you are experiencing digestive or gut issues, a weakened immune system, or even feeling depressed.

To get more try eating more eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Mushrooms can also be a great source of Vitamin D. Fish such as cod, salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Perhaps the most efficient way to get more Vitamin D is to get out in the sun. Our bodies naturally produce it when exposed to sunlight so try getting at least 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Go for a walk at lunchtime, park further away from work or the shops, expose your skin – you don’t need factor 50 ALL year round – feel healthy and alive! 
P.s. I’m not suggesting you strip off in public tho’, especially this time of year. The UK is at a latitude meaning we don’t get the Suns rays at an angle where we get enough Vitamin D even if we streak around the garden naked in Autumn, Winter and even part of Spring. 
Think about a supplement – you can get soft gels to chew or an under the tongue spray and you’re golden!