LoveRaw Lifehacks | Loveraw

Use these superstars to give your food a nutrient boost (and they're totally organic!)

Sound the panic alarm and grab hold of your loved ones, because we aren’t getting enough nutrients from our veg anymore. Thanks to modern farming techniques, much of the fruit and veg that we eat today has significantly less nutritional value than it would have had 50 years ago1 Research by Texas based biochemist Dr. Donald Davis tells us that some vitamins in our veg have dropped by up to a whopping 38% across the last 50 years, meaning that you now have to eat almost double the amount of them that you once did for the same benefit.

Luckily, some lovely people *cough cough* did something about this and came up with Food Booster Blends. They’re a way to rectify the missing vitamin content from your current veg by simply adding a spoon or two of the powders into your drink, snack, or meal. They’re made up entirely of natural and organic ingredients so, in short, we literally ground down the missing nutrients and are handing it to you on a plate - or in this case, in a tub! Many of our ingredients are imported and difficult to get hold of in one place, so our blends make it easier than sourcing all the raw foods and cooking them into your meals separately… they’re also cheaper than flying to New Zealand for your wheatgrass!

We’ve mixed these imported veggies, fruits, and plants into four deliciously different blends for you to choose to suit your lifestyle - or you can just have them all:

 

Easy Greens

A great all-rounder for improved wellbeing as well as a general vitamin boost. Containing:

 

  • Spirulina,
  • Nettle,
  • New Zealand
  • Wheatgrass,
  • Chlorella, Moringa,
  • Kelp
  • Our Easy Greens blend contains calcium which contributes to digestion and bone development, Niacin to help maintain the skin, Iron to reduce fatigue, and Vitamin B12 to promote immunity and help make you feel the best you can be.

     

     

    Skin Food

    Perfect for those who want to look their best as well as feel it. Packed full of:

    • Rosehip
    • Goji
    • Maca
    • Baobab
    • Lucuma
    • Camu Camu
    • Acai

    Skin Food contains Vitamin C which helps the skin, joints, and bones. It also has Copper which contributes to hair pigmentation, as well as immunity.

     

    Energise

    Goes great with a busy schedule as it keeps you feeling fresh and ready to take on the day (we use it for the office hangover-cure too). With:

    • Cacao
    • Maca
    • Carob
    • Baobab
    • Guarana
    • Moringa

    Energise contains Magnesium which contributes to energy levels, Vitamin C which assists the joints and bone development, Iron to help maintain immunity, and Copper which has antioxidant properties.

     

    Immunity

    Stops anything holding you back by helping you fight off any nasty bugs. Containing:

    • Turmeric
    • Maca
    • Ginger
    • Cardamom
    • Cinnamon
    • Black Pepper

    Immunity contains Iron which contributes to immunity and brain development. It has Copper which assists the joints, helps to maintain and improve energy levels, and is also bursting with antioxidant properties.

    With all these to choose from, we like to think we’ve given you an organic and easy alternative to doubling the veggies in your diet. You’re welcome!

    Team LoveRaw

     

    Sources:

    1. Nutrient Decline In Garden Crops
    2. Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition

    Try these bad boys to kick those winter colds to the curb

    It’s freezing outside and you feel like s**t - what do you do? Do you curl up in bed and sulk? No, you get these four natural flu-busting concoctions into your system and you show that cold who’s boss!

     

    The 'Immunity Shot'

    This masterpiece is made up of a small slice of ginger, half a teaspoon of turmeric, the juice of ¼ lemon, and a small clove of garlic - mixed in with around 50ml of water. These ingredients are full of Iron, Vitamin C, and Calcium - what more could you want? The shot assists metabolism, skin and blood functions, the immune system, and also combats fatigue. If you’ve got more delicate tastebuds, we recommend watering this down or reducing each ingredient to taste, as it’s a very potent mixture. It might make you pretty unkissable for a while - although let’s face it, if you’ve got flu people are probably avoiding you anyway!

     

    Echinacea

    Many studies have been conducted into the effects of echinacea, and there has been a ‘consistently proven effect of echinacea in stimulating phagocytosis, that is encouraging white blood cells and lymphocytes to attack invading organisms.’ [1] That’s one hell of an immune system boost! Simply pour around 15 drops of this into a large glass of water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Because of the way in which it benefits the immune system, it can also be used as a preventative measure to keep the germs from getting you in the first place!

     

    Easy Greens Food Booster Blend

    With spirulina, nettle, New Zealand wheatgrass, chlorella, moringa, and kelp all in one place, this blend makes it easy for you to literally sprinkle goodness into your diet. Add some of this into a smoothie or meal and let it’s ingredients do the rest - they’re full of Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin C so boast similar health qualities to the turmeric, ginger, garlic, and lemon super-shot. Definitely worth a try if you still fancy a smooch after your vitamin boost, and our Immunity blend is another obvious choice if you want to avoid those winter bugs!

     

    Manuka honey

    Manuka honey is rich in a ‘compound called dihydroxyacetone, which is present in the nectar of manuka flowers. This chemical produces methylglyoxal, a compound thought to have antibacterial and cell-killing properties’ [3] It’s been linked with acne prevention and has even been rumoured to have antibiotic properties. When we’re feeling rough we love to load up on hot drinks, so adding manuka honey to a cup of tea is a necessity.

    When summer comes back around and brings hay fever with it, try swapping manuka honey for locally sourced honey. Taking in small amounts of local pollen present in the honey can act as a natural tolerance booster!

     

    We’ve been trying these ingredients at LoveRaw HQ to fight the winter bugs and can’t wait to see everyone else’s results! Don’t forget to keep us posted on your cold and flu-boosting concoctions by tagging us @loveraw

     

    Team LoveRaw

     

    References:

    1-http://www.herbs.org/greenpapers/echinacea.html

    2- http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/212/2

    3- http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/04April/Pages/manuka-honey-mrsa-superbug-bacteria.aspx

    Make sure you know how to keep your promises this year

    In 2015, our top 10 resolutions included losing weight, staying fit and healthy, quitting smoking, and enjoying life to it’s fullest, and in 2016 ‘four in ten Brits vowed to lose weight.’[1][2] Sounds like our bodies should be feeling great, right?

    Unfortunately, research from the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people continually succeed in their resolutions.[3] With 47% of resolutions being centred on self-improvement and education, it looks like most of us just want to better ourselves, but are struggling to keep at it.

    So, we’ve found some tried and tested methods for resolution success to help you get through 2017 as your best self!

    Don’t make too many resolutions

    Roy F. Baumeister, author of Willpower: Rediscovering our greatest strength tells us that ‘those who try to quit smoking whilst also restricting their eating or cutting back on alcohol tend to fail at all three.’[4] He conducted ‘The Radish Study’ with four groups of students; one given radishes to eat, one given cookies, one with no food at all, and one with both options - left to choose whether to remain healthy or not.

     

    Credit to theatlantic.com

    Then they were taken into a second experiment where they were told to complete a puzzle. This puzzle was incompletable, and they were actually being timed to see how long they lasted before quitting - apparently scientists are just really cruel! Students in control groups who had either been allowed the cookies, or given nothing at all, stuck with the task for around twenty minutes, but students who had just successfully avoided the cookies lasted just eight minutes. They had exhausted their willpower on avoiding the cookies and so had no patience left for the puzzles - and probably were just really hangry!

    This is the same with New Year’s resolutions today. We often try to take on too many new behaviours or cut out too many things at once, leaving us with less willpower per task. If you want to really achieve at something, try your resolutions one at a time to make sure your willpower is reserved for the most important resolution.

    Forgive yourself

    Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct: How self control works, why it matters, and what you can do to get more out of it, tells us that ‘willpower is a mind-body response, not a virtue. It is a biological function that can be improved through mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and sleep.’[5] So sticking to those healthier resolutions can actually improve the willpower needed to keep succeeding at them - it’s a sort-of happy paradox.

    More importantly, she also tells us that ‘guilt and shame over your setbacks lead to giving in again, but self-forgiveness and self-compassion boost self-control.’ That means you need to give yourself a break if you slip up and miss a gym-sesh or eat a piece of chocolate. Learn to work with your mistakes and use them to motivate your future decisions by recognising what led to them. Living guilt free and staying positive about the good decisions you make can help you stick to your solutions and feel great about them too.

    Track your progress

    So you’ve narrowed down your goals and learned to enjoy the journey - all that’s really left is to keep track of the progress!

    Keeping a diary is a great way to remind yourself how much you’re achieving. Diaries like the Five Minute Journal are especially useful because they focus on positivity as well as recording parts of your day. It’s also a quick task to complete each day, so won’t intrude too much on the rest of your lifestyle. That way, you should be able to keep your willpower strong when tracking your progress - you’ll also look really poetic and interesting, which is always a plus.

     

    An even more convenient way to do this is by using apps designed to help you track specific changes in your life. Apps like Streaks, Momento, C25K, and Sleepfulness are brilliant at helping you set goals for yourself no matter what your resolution.

    Whether you want to eat cleaner, exercise more, sleep easier, or just be better at being you, it’s about knowing what you want to achieve and making sure you take the time to grab it this year. Now you know how to kick 2017’s a**, don’t forget to keep us posted on your health journey by tagging us in your posts @loveraw. Happy 2017!


    Team LoveRaw

     

    Sources:

    1, 3- "New Years Resolution Statistics", Statistic Brain, 11 Dec. 2016, http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/. Accessed 3 Jan. 2017

    2- "Four in ten Britons vow to lose weight in 2016," You Gov, 8 Jan. 2016, https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/01/08/four-ten-britons-vow-lose-weight-2016/. Accessed 3 Jan. 2017

    4-  Baumeister, Roy F., John Tierney, Willpower: Rediscovering our greatest strength, (Penguin, UK, 2012)

    5- McGonigal, Kelly, The Willpower Instinct: How self control works, why it matters, and what you can do to get more out of it, (Avery, 2011)

    We get it. You work hard. As much as you want to, your hectic work life means that eating healthily when you need a quick snack can be a bit tricky, especially when so many offices are filled with vending machines full of junk. BUT… If you get your head in check and start planning you can sort out your own snacks for your working day that are both tasty and nutritious. Here are some of our favourites:


    Fresh Fruit

    Nothing spectacular here, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Grab yourself a bit of nature’s best and munch on it when you’re getting hunger prangs but can’t stray too far away from your desk.


    Edamame Beans


    One of our favourites here at LoveRaw, Edamame beans are soybeans that are harvested before they’ve reached maturity, and are a mainstay in Eastern and oriental meals. They’re a naturally low calorie snack, and are high in protein, calcium and iron. Get some down your neck!


    LoveRaw Bars

    LoveRaw Bars

    Ok, a bit of shameless self promotion here, but if we didn’t believe that our bars were some of the tastiest, healthiest snacks you can come by, then we wouldn’t make them. So - check out our range of super tasty, all natural, raw, healthy, vegan, gluten free bars here.


    Carrots & Hummus


    Carrots on their own are great for you, and whilst they won’t actually allow you to see in the dark (thanks mum), they are full of:


    • Vitamin K
    • Fibre
    • Molybdenum
    • Potassium
    • Vitamin B6
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin E

    And much more!


    Add a bit of hummus to the mix and you’ve got a really tasty snack that’s tastier and a hell of a lot healthier than a bag of crisps. If you want to go even healthier, why not use a low fat hummus recipe?


    Pumpkin Seeds

    Next time you’re scooping out a pumpkin on Halloween, save the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a great snack, and heavily recommended by the World Health Organisation for their high zinc content. On top of this they’re full of antioxidants and minerals, and can help your immune system and prostate health - winner!


    Avocado


    There are so many different ways you can eat an avocado that we thought we’d leave it up to you to find your favourite way to eat it - be it with a wrap, or even in a smoothie, the ever versatile avo can be fashioned into a whole host of snacks. Got a favourite that you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!

    Caught the Organic September bug but restricted by budget and accessibility? Don't beat yourself up! We appreciate that organic isn't always the most affordable option and that not everyone has access to variety; so don't feel the pressure to suddenly replace everything with organic alternatives!

    It is believed that certain fruit and veg absorb more pesticides than others, so instead of replacing your entire fridge, look at replacing a selection of these top offenders!

    To make your life super easy we have listed our top 15 foods to buy organic and a handy little infographic which you can print out and stick on the fridge as reminder!

    Top 15 Foods to Buy Organic

    Strawberries

    We hate to break it to you, but these gorgeous, juicy, heart shaped berries topped this years (2016) most contaminated fruit list! The Environmental Working Group reported that a whopping 300 pounds of pesticides were applied to each acre of strawberries. Let's keep your Pimms clean and definitely opt for organic in this case!

    Apples

    These guys were also up there as one of the worst offends! The USDA reported that 91% of non organic apples were found to contain pesticides.

    Peaches

    We love their soft skin, but this is exactly what makes the peach more susceptible to absorbing all those nasty chemicals - make sure you buy organic! 

    Nectarines

    As a close relative to the peach it's really no surprise that the trusty nectarine is on the list too. On average they contain around 33 chemical pesticides! 

    Grapes

    Grapes have a nasty habit of ripening too quickly and attracting insects when they mold. This results in the growers spraying them with various chemicals. Best buy your grapes organic!

    Cherries

    We know these juicy little gems are pricey at the best of times, but with up to 42 pesticide residues found by the USDA, we're going to play it safe and opt for organic!

    Pears

    These guys aren't far behind cherries with up to 40 pesticide residues, 11 of which are suspected hormone disruptors. Sorry Mr Pear, if you aren't organic we're not interested!

    Celery

    Celery contains a whopping 64 pesticide residues, 27 of which are suspected hormone disrupters! You're best option? You guessed it - buy organic!

    Spinach

    You'd think fresh is always best right? Wrong! The USDA found up 54 chemical residues on fresh non organic spinach, but only 18 on non organic canned! Of course the ideal option is to buy fresh and organic!

    Tomatoes

    From neurotoxins, to developmental or reproductive toxins and suspected hormone disruptors, tomatoes were found to be contaminated with 35 pesticides.

    Cherry Tomatoes

    Big tomatoes, small tomatoes...don't trust them!! They may be little, but these guys contain almost double the amount of pesticides than the big boys.

    Bell Peppers

    What do you like in your fajitas? Guacamole, black beans, grilled peppers and 15 pesticides...thought not! 

    Cucumber

    Cucumber - a classic addition to the trusty salad, however they were found to contain a shocking 86 pesticide residues!! Yes, I'm afraid we haven't made a mistake here.

    Potatoes

    The potato - a common staple veg in our kitchen, but the average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce! 

    Kale

    Although this tough green leaf rarely suffers from disease or pests it is still sprayed with lots of chemicals. Luckily due to it's recent rise in fame, it's not difficult to find organic options at local farmers markets and organic supermarkets - yay!

    References: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/ | https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

    Seeing as it's Organic September it only made sense we shared with you our fav places in Manchester to pick up some delicious organic grub - from supermarkets to cafes, here are our top 4 organic food places in Manchester!

    The 8th Day, Manchester City Center

    Based on Oxford Road, The 8th Day first opened in the 70's making it one of Manchester's oldest whole food providers! They boast the largest selection vegetarian, vegan, organic and Fairtrade food in the North-west, as well a cafe which serves fresh and exciting meat free dishes. 

    Give it a try: The dahl in their cafe!

    The 8th Day

    The Garden, Hale

    You can't beat a lazy Sunday at The Garden in Hale. Whether it be a hearty breakfast, a healthy lunch or a guilt free cake, these guys have it covered! The majority of their menu is vegan and gluten free, with a selection of ethically sourced meat dishes, so there's something for everyone! Using only the best organic produce sourced as locally as possible, these guys are big on promoting healthy and sustainable eating habits

    Give it a try: Matcha pancakes and hot cacao for brunch!

    The Garden, Hale

    Village Greens, Prestwich

    If you fancy whipping up your own organic meal at home, Village Greens is the go to supermarket in the North of Manchester.

    Their 'no junk policy' means their food is free of artificial additives, preservatives or colours, with minimal processing. This ensures their food is of a high quality and maximum nutritional benefits, without compromising on value.

    From fruit and veg, to baked goods, wines and house hold products, you can quite easily do your weekly shop here!

    Put it on the shopping list: Coffee beans!

    Village Greens, Prestwich

    Unicorn Grocery, Chorlton

    With 20 years of experience under their belt, the guys at Unicorn know their stuff and offer without a doubt, the best organic supermarket experience in the south of Manchester.

    Boasting approximately seventy lines of organic fruit and veg, an ever expanding deli and bakery and an impressive range of organic beer and wine, to name just a few, you are spoilt for choice!

    Put it on the shopping list: Anything from the deli - you can't go wrong!

    Unicorn, Chorlton

    Happy Organic September!

    Team LoveRaw 

    We can’t think of Valentine’s Day without thinking sweet treat. And what better way to show someone you care than whipping up a tasty raw treat for them! With a nutty, crumbly base, oozing caramel and melt in your mouth raw chocolate topping, our delicious Raw Snickers Cake is guaranteed to please. Plus, it contains mood-boosting cacao to help keep your seratonin (our happy hormone) levels sky high! What’s not to love? It’s perfect to enjoy after dinner, as a weekend treat all to yourself or during a cosy night in together.

    This recipe makes one big 8” cake - enough to share (if you can keep it for long enough that is!).

    Ingredients

    Base:

    • 1 cup cashews
    • 1 cup almonds
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup (feel free to substitute with agave, coconut nectar or your favourite sweetener)
    • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
    • 1 tbsp almond butter

    Caramel middle layer:

    • 20 pitted deglet nour dates (medjool dates work well too for those with an extra sweet tooth)
    • 1/4 cup of water
    • 2 tbsp peanut butter
    • 1 tbsp almond butter
    • pinch of himalayan salt
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup peanuts

    Raw chocolate topping:

    • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
    • 1 tbsp of Energise 
    • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup

    Directions

    1. Put all of the ingredients for the base into a blender and blitz for a couple of minutes until blended but not too fine. Transfer this mixture into the base of a springform cake tin and pat down.
    2. For the middle layer, add everything for the caramel (except the peanuts) to the blender and combine until smooth but not too runny. Once blended, throw in the peanuts then blend again lightly so that they get mixed in but stay nice and chunky.
    3. Pour this mixture into the cake tin on top of your base layer and set aside.
    4. Now for the raw cacao, add all the topping ingredients into a pan and stir over a gentle low heat until you have a runny consistency.
    5. Pour the cacao topping evenly over the cake.
    6. Pop into the freezer for 1 hour to set, then keep refrigerated until you want to tuck in.
    7. Enjoy a slice of deliciousness and feel the love!

    Not a peanut fan? Just swap these for your favourite nuts - pecans are great too for an extra caramel taste!

    How to pick avocados

    At LoveRaw, we love superfoods that can be easily integrated in our busy lives. The avocado is one of the richest and tastier ones: while most fruits are high in carbohydrates, avocados are a great source of fatty acids, good fats, as well as 20 different vitamins and minerals.
    They are a source of nutrients for the brain, and can help you feel fuller for longer.

    They also taste amazing and can be used in green smoothies, guacamole sauce, or just simply on their own.
    And remember? You can also use avocados as an all-natural conditioning hair mask.

    Sounds like the perfect food. But how difficult is it to pick the right avocado?
    This is because avocados only ripen when off the tree: the chemicals that kickstart the mellowing process are only released once the fruits are picked from the plant, which then mature at the shop (or in your kitchen).

    But no more waiting, and no more eating rock-solid avocados: here are 5 tips to make sure your avo will always be soft and succulent.

    1. Look for the colour

    Ripe avocados become darker, appearing either dark green or even black depending on the variety. Compare with the other ones available if you’re not sure what variety the ones you’re looking at are.

    2. Give it a gentle touch (not a squeeze)

    Apply gentle pressure to the skin to judge whether the inside flesh is soft. But don’t push too hard, as this may bruise it and cause the fruit to go bad.

    3. Quickly ripen at home

    If your avocados are too hard, put them into a brown paper bag.
    Ripening fruit emits ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process itself. By keeping avocados in the fruit, you will accelerate the process in a metaphysical fashion.
    How cool is nature?

    4. Pair with apples

    Add bananas or apples to the paper bag. These fruits emit high amounts of ethylene, and will make the process even faster.
    Remember: the bananas and apples will ripen more quickly, too!

    5. Once ripe, refrigerate

    When avocados start to become soft to the touch, put them in the refrigerator to stop them from softening. This will keep them perfectly ripe for up to five days.

    Bonus tip: if you only use half…

    …it probably wasn’t that good! So make sure you have been following 1-5. But if you managed to resist half a ripe avocado, put the pit back in the hole, and gently cover the flesh with lemon juice. Wrap it in cling film if you can, and keep it in the fridge. It will stay bright green for almost 24 hours, and you will be able to eat it for at least another two days.

    How do you like to use avocados? Leave a comment below with your secret tips and recipes!

    Lots of (all-natural) love,

    Team LoveRaw

    Hummus is amazing, it's packed with goodness, high in protein, and it's super versatile. You can enjoy it spread over some lovely warm toast, as a salad dressing...

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    If our recent Blog posts are anything to go by, it appears as though we've been on a real chocolate (cacao) craze recently, but really, can you blame us? 

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