I’ve been doing so much work lately prepping and getting all the info ready for the retreat in May, and in compiling all the info for them to be taking home, I stopped to think about what my top 5 foods would be that I couldn’t live without (well I could still live in a sense but I wouldn’t want to do without them) – my basic every day healthy support system. I struggled to come up with 5 as my spice and powder list was already at 5. So I’m kicking off a mini series here – beginning with my 5 favourite powders (then liquids/oils, then FOODS). And no this isn’t a list of exotic expensive ‘super-foods’, although they are very super in the goodness, most of these can be bought in regular supermarkets (although I do recommend opting for the organic alternative where possible to reduce the pesticide content especially on the spices as they are highly condensed – ps buying online is almost always cheaper I also have a 10% code for where I buy my online stuff at the bottom – usually getting organic products cheaper than conventionally grown products in comparison to supermarket prices).
I think I harp on about turmeric non-stop. But for good reason. It works as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever (great for arthritis sufferers), has anti-bacterial & healing properties, soothes cramps, improves digestion, boosts your immune system, is high in antioxidants, improves circulation, decreases stress, and has been linked to improvements in cancer and Alzheimer’s among so much more. A little goes a long way (very similar to ginger – another favourite of mine). This is not just a spice reserved for curries, although its use and need there is undeniable. I use this mixed with honey and taken by the spoonful, in my smoothies, main dishes, in my beauty routine, and I use it to make a delicious cup of tea/golden milk (1 tsp turmeric, a crack of black pepper, with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and 1/2 cup of coconut or nut milk – even a 1/4 tsp of cayenne spices this up even more). Learn more here or here.
2. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne and Turmeric are in my daily diet regardless. I take little jars when I go on holidays and I use both in my morning cup of tea (well its hot water, lemon, turmeric, and pepper – but yeah I consider that my tea alternative). Cayenne is extremely high in Vitamin A, B, and C, helps with digestion, aids in detoxing, promotes weight loss, can help improve heart health and reduce blood pressure, inflammation, migraines, and the risk of blood lots. Plus it boosts your metabolism. And that’s just the start of it. Get using this spice!!
3. Baobab Powder
This powder is incredibly rich in Vitamin C, and comes from the baobab tree in Africa. It is known for its energy, alertness, longevity and immune boosting properties. Add this powder to smoothies, water, or baking – it has a slight tarty/lemony flavour – quite nice actually (for those of you wondering my favourite brand I use so far is called Aduna, no I am not asked or paid to say that just my recommendation).
4. Cumin Seeds
This spice has been used for centuries in Indian/Ayurvedic Medicine as a diuretic, to soothe and settle stomach upsets, to reduce flatulence, and to aid proper digestion and nutrient absorption due to the compound thymol which stimulates the bodies glands to secrete acids, bile and enzymes (again similar to lemon and ginger). It’s also rich in iron and contains magnesium – check out this recipe as an easy digestive aid (or throw the seeds in to any meal, or use 1 tsp as a cup of tea). It also helps reduce the pain from migraines and regulate menstrual cycles (something I have been using to finally get a regular cycle since coming off the pill 4 years ago).
I use cumin in the seed form rather than ground as it retains its freshness and quality longer (you can also grind it in a mortar and pestle yourself).
5. Cacao Powder
How could a chocolate addict forget this bad boy? I couldn’t. Cacao comes from the beans of the Cacao fruit (yep real chocolate actually comes from a fruit!), and it is chocolate in its rawest and most natural state. When cacao is heated and processed, which destroys most of the health promoting nutrients and anti-oxidants, this becomes cocoa – so always opt for cacao (in powder, beans, or nib form).
It has healing properties and can repair damage caused by toxins and free radicals, and is one of the highest sources of antioxidants and magnesium that can be found in any food product. It also contains iron, fibre, chromium, and manganese. Plus it helps with cardiovascular health, boosting energy levels, longevity properties, increasing your libido, reducing pain from cramps (due to the magnesium) around time of the month or other muscular pains, and improving your mood. Some studies have found it helps reducing your risk of strokes and lowers your blood pressure.
Try adding the powder or nibs to smoothies for a chocolatey taste or there’s a few different recipes on my blog like this paleo cake one , this paleo granola, this raw chocolate topped with raw caramel/bannoffee bites, and this whole post dedicated to it (plus loads in my recipe book).
I just couldn’t not add the following quickly – Bonus Spice (because we all love bonuses): Cinnamon:
It helps to improve memory, circulation, burn fat, regulate blood sugar levels, boosts your immune system, and helps stimulate weight loss. It is loaded with anti-oxidants, is high in calcium, manganese.
My list could go on and on here – including greens powders like spirulina, moringa, or chlorella, or acai, or other weird and wonderful goodies – but I’m trying to keep it sweet,, simple, and cheap for you.
Have you got any favourites or did you find this helpful – let me know below?
Also for those of you who always ask where I get my stuff from, most of it comes from buywholefoodsonline.co.uk – the prices are so cheap and if you sign up for their newsletter you get a free product when you place an order (last one I got 3 Kilos of organic quinoa free – I was beyond excited). I also got in contact with them and they provided me a code for anyone to use ‘catelliott10’ at checkout for 10% off. No I do not get any referral points or money or anything for this – just trying to help my readers out as much as possible and tell you what I use.
Lots of love to you all,