Lets talk about your liver

OK, so you’ve heard of it – but what does your liver actually do?  It leads the charge in eliminating toxins from your body, it is an eradication powerhouse.

Often we don’t help the liver to do its job for a multitude of reasons that are just happening in our regular everyday lives (THINK 🧐 poor diet, stress, medications, even chemicals & pesticides which are in our food chain).  Hmm, so where do the toxins go?  Great question – repercussions can be seen in a lot of different areas, such as energy, aging, mental performance, obesity, & hormone balance.

Sounds important right.  Some symptoms of a stressed liver 🍎 Poor morning appetite 🍎 Nausea 🍎 Fatigue 🍎 Headaches 🍎 Fluid retention 🍎 Itchy skin 🍎 Hormone imbalances 🍎 & Irritability (as you would be with all that going on!)

Hmm, some of these sound familiar?  Whilst there is no magical food that will protect your liver, you can add in liver loving foods as part of a balanced diet & healthy lifestyle.  It is only part of the picture, along with maintaining a healthy weight, assisting digestion & reducing cholesterol & blood pressure.

Your liver loces cruciferous vege – like broccoli. i Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Here are some liver loving foods + a brief why (because I do love a why!)
🍏 Cruciferous vegies such as broccoli, cabbage & cauliflower (stimulates liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins.).  PLUS a special mention for some great cabbage based food options THINK 🧐 kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup, & sauerkraut
🍏 Lemons & limes (aids in synthesising toxic materials so they can be absorbed)
🍏 Garlic & onions (activate the liver enzymes)
🍏 Leafy green vegetables THINK 🧐 spinach, rocket AKA arugula, lettuce, chard (increases bile function & flow)
🍏 Beetroot & carrots (stimulate & supports overall liver function)
🍏 Turmeric (honestly it is the liver’s favourite spice)
🍏 Apples (the pectin, cleanse & release toxins from the digestive tract making it easier for the liver to do its thing)
🍏 Oily fish such as salmon, herring or mackerel, alternatively use fish oils (reduces inflammation & increases liver function)
🍏 Avocados (produces glutathione to help cleanse)
🍏 Olive oil (an alternative lipid base to absorb the toxins)

A few easy options to add into your diet & show that liver some 💗 💗 💗.

#LiverLove #DidNotKnowThat #GutHealth #Digestion #HappyHealthyPeople #HealthyLiving #MetabolicBalance #ConsciouslyNutritious

📷 Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Sugar Substitutes

Refined sugar is not good for you & I don’t think that info is a big surprise to anyone.  It has no nutritional value; zip, nil, nada – no fibre, no nutrients & no healthy fats.  Evidence suggests that too much sugar & too many refined carbohydrates actually cause inflammation & curbs your immune system.

Sugar, it’s pretty addictive.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

However, our taste buds love sweet & concentrated sources of sugar have a long history as part of our diet.  Sugars in fruit & honey have provided carbohydrate energy of millions of years.  So, what do we do?  There are some healthier natural sweeteners available but not all are created equal.  If you are looking for something to use as a steppingstone on the path of cutting out sugar – look for minimal processing, so it still contains minerals & phytonutrients, but not the extra chemicals or enzymes.    

Here are some commonly available options which I see pop up in recipes.  It is a balancing act, some have good points, some bad, & some have both.

Agave Nectar

This has a higher fructose content than most common sweeteners, even high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  It has a low GI & doesn’t affect blood sugar levels in the short term.  It can increase your risk of fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, & high cholesterol in the long term.

Rice Malt Syrup / Brown Rice Syrup

This may start from organic brown rice but there is a lot of processing using enzymes to break down the starches to produce a liquid mix of sugar with the excess water then cooked off.  Hmm, I don’t think good health is a goal here, it is just a sweet syrup with clever labelling.

Sugar Alcohols

You may have heard of these as xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol or isomalt.  They can be found naturally in foods, but they are also added to a lot of processed items.  These taste sweet but they have a different chemical structure, so your body doesn’t absorb them very efficiently.  They can have a negative impact on your digestion, blood sugar levels & oral health.

Stevia

Honestly, this one is a mixed bag.  Commercial varieties of this are often highly processed & mixed with other sweeteners.  This can disrupt healthy levels of gut bacteria & may contribute to a higher body weight in the long term.  On the flipside, it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels & generally you don’t get sugar/carb cravings.  If you decide to go for stevia, find one that is JUST stevia as a lot of the options have added maltodextrin, flavours, glycerine & alcohol.

Maple Syrup

This is made from tapping sugar maple trees for sap, the sap is then boiled to produce a thick syrup.  It is generally produced in Eastern Canada.  Whilst it does have good amounts of some minerals, it has loads of sugar too.  OK, it is a great source of manganese & zinc, plus antioxidants.  So, if you choose to purchase maple syrup make sure you buy organic as many commercial brands use chemicals in the processing.

Raw Honey

The best way to describe raw honey is “as it exists in the beehive” – meaning it is extracted from the hive, strained & poured into the bottle.  Commercial processes often involve heating or pasteurization which destroys the goodness in the honey.  Why is this done?  To extend shelf life & make the product smoother.  Some manufacturers also add in sweeteners or sugars to reduce the cost.  I am a big fan of raw honey but use it sparingly.  Raw honey contains antimicrobial properties, antioxidants, plus a range of vitamins & minerals.

Rapadura Sugar

This is an unrefined cane sugar, so you get the natural caramel taste.  However, it is still a sugar & should be enjoyed in moderation, as any added sugars can be a factor in weight gain and obesity.

Special Mention – Dates

These are often used in cooking/baking to add in some sweet.  Be aware they have a very high sugar content & should only be eaten in moderation.  On a positive note, they contain potassium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium & vitamin B6.

You have probably heard (over & over) about the message of eating less sugar.  Natural sugars don’t get special treatment from your body, it tries to break it down as sugar.  Bottom line – sugar consumption will still impact weight, so have sugar as a treat on special occasions & try to consume less added sugars in your daily diet. 

OK, nutritionist vs dietitian – what’s the diff?

This is a question I get asked A LOT & often. I don’t mind because they are pretty similar in that they both deal with diet – but the approach is where things get a little different.

A nutritionist has a holistic approach to health management. The emphasis is identifying a root cause of the disease state by looking at diet, lifestyle choices and even genetics. They can utilise functional testing, such as blood tests, hormone tests, etc. This will help to analyse patterns within diet and lifestyle and also help to identify where improvements can be made to improve health.

Dietitians often help people with diet related diseases. They assist with food choices often in relation to weight loss, diabetes and heart disease to name just a few. They are important players in the allied health team, and often are working from government guidelines such as the food pyramid and focus on calorie intake.

Bottom line: we know diet can impact disease states; however, it isn’t ethical to do a double-blind placebo-controlled trial for a set period of time focusing on particular food choices. This makes it hard for dietary impact to be explored when a disease already exists. The reality is, we are all working towards healthy people – just approaching from different angles with different philosophies. Subsequently, we may make different recommendations or treatment plans as we try to find the root cause of the issue. Dietitians and good Nutritionists both hold Bachelor of Health Science degrees; we just have different approaches to solving the puzzle.

Here is an article which I found great for showing similarities and differences. It was written by an ex student from Endeavour (where I studied). Have a read – you might be surprised.

What should I eat?

There is so much information out there about diet & let’s face it there are a lot of people who fancy themselves as experts.  Seriously, it gets confusing & honestly more than a bit overwhelming – I mean keto, paleo, grain free, intermittent fasting, FODMAPS, AIP – the list goes on (& on & on).

Truly, everyone is different – so a diet that works for me, won’t necessarily work for you.  It is about choices.  Yup, whether we want to believe it or not there are a lot of factors influencing our food choices.  THINK family, peer pressure, religion, income, education, allergies, our values, even our general wellbeing will affect our choices..

Even if we take all those influences into account, the best advice is to eat real food.  Sometimes you will hear it referred to as whole food.  Real or whole, it is food in it’s natural state.  If it is unprocessed or minimally processed, then that has to be a good thing!  Make this a key part of your eating plan, the cornerstone or pillar if you like.

Why?  Real food delivers loads of benefits for your body – micronutrients give you your vitamins & minerals, whilst the macronutrients deliver protein, carbohydrates & fats, plus fibre.  There is a wide range of foods to choose from such as, fruit & vege, fresh herbs, whole grains (choose no or minimally processed grains), nuts & seeds, dairy (again minimal processing).  Plus, there is unprocessed meats or fish, even eggs, & legumes.  This is great a pattern of eating because you are looking at a lifestyle diet with NO added fats, sugar, salt or additives. 

Another benefit of eating this way, is that you are more likely to get your recommended 5 serves of vege in each day!  Additionally, you are also more likely to eat in season which means you can eat fresh local produce & not items which have loads of miles on them due to road transport or time spent in storage.  Often once you start eating this way, you will naturally reduce your intake of processed foods.

Whole real foods are best.
Photo by Marisol Benitez on Unsplash

Unsure where to head to pick up more whole or real foods.  Farmers markets are a great place, so too is the local fruit & vege shop, or your butcher, even the fishmonger will have some great options.  Honestly, even the supermarket, just make sure to shop the edges where the fresh stuff is!

There are so many health benefits for eating this way & seriously, your body will love it.

Goals…They Change!

Your goal 10years ago probably aren’t the same goals you have now.  Why?  Our lives change daily, sometimes stress makes it difficult to focus but you can still work towards your current goals (yes, even in 2020).  Here is what keeps me on track for my much revised 2020 health & wellness goals because let’s face it – it’s been a weird year.

Make yourself a gameplan & re-evaluate regularly.

My current health & wellness 2020 plan

📌 Revisit your goals, change the game plan – seriously, if you need to adapt, that is OK.

📌 Plan your menu.  Use what you already have in the pantry & fridge.  It helps reduce wastage & potentially saves a trip to the supermarket plus it saves money & often you get some delish one off creations or as I like to call them Shânno’s Spesh Surprise.

📌 Make sure there are fruit & vege at every meal, as well as good quality proteins, healthy fats & fibre.

📌 Start a little herb patch so you can add herbs to meals, or even grown your own vege to cut down on the food bills.  Need some ideas, check out my https://consciouslynutritious.com/2020/10/08/want-to-start-a-scrap-garden/ Fresh basil in a summer salad…yummo!

📌 Exercise each day, yup get your heart rate up – even a 30min walk each day is valuable for your health.

📌 Help family & friends where possible, it’s good for both of you – even if it is a checkin phone call.

📌 Be grateful for what you have, don’t focus on what you don’t. 

Get yourself organised & figure out what works best for you….& do it!

About Stress…

It is International stress awareness week this week, so I thought it a great time to post about stress.  It is common to feel stressed occasionally & stress is a normal part of life, at any stage of life.  However, when it is all the time; that is when stress can cause a lot of harm to your health. 

OK, so why do we get stressed?  It is a survival strategy.  Yup, it is a physical response triggered by your nervous system & adrenal glands when you are in a stressful situation.  Hundreds of years ago it was to help us escape threats to our life THINK situations similar to a lion chasing us.  However, now we stress over things more in keeping with our modern lifestyle (& no, it doesn’t usually involve being chased by lions).  THINK an exam block at uni; a constant barrage of phone calls &/or text messages; relationship or money issues; even car problems; to name just a few.

Love street art – totally get the stressed vibe here!
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Sometimes you will hear it referred to as a “fight or flight response”.  This is really well named, as your body will prioritise vital functions like increasing your heart rate & respiratory rate – allowing you to run or fight.  Cool right?  Basically, full power is being diverted to get more blood to our muscles, brain & vital organs (such as your lungs). The result is our senses are sharper & we are ready for action.  I mean the flip side is “rest & digest” as the name suggests it is all about digestion & sleep, which let’s face isn’t really a priority during a crisis situation.  This is more what assists with calming you down after the crisis. 

OK, but what happens if you are always in crisis?  Your body only sees a threat, it can’t discern whether it is life threatening or just “life drama”.  When people are living in a world where they are constantly stressed, often they describe themselves as “wired but tired”.  They can’t dial it back; their bodies aren’t adapting & their lifestyle isn’t allowing them to resolve the stress nor it’s knock on effects.

Stress has lots of effects on the body, that is no secret.  Your digestive processes are slowed (poor digestion, fluctuating appetite, upset tummy, constipation or diarrhoea), inflammation increases & your sleep is disrupted.  Another by product of that stress is how your body absorbs & stores some nutrients; triggering symptoms such as fatigue, low mood &/or mood swings, even muscle pain/tension.  These are warning signs, which if ignored can lead to serious health issues.  The goal is to keep the body nourished so it flourishes.  Realistically, good foods in to fuel your body & you will get better results; or on the flipside, junky rubbish stuff in & things ain’t gonna shine. 

Stress is super hungry for B vitamins, magnesium & vitamin C.  Unfortunately, B vitamins are water soluble, so your body doesn’t store them for long – you need to have them every day, seriously EVERY day.  These help your body cope with the stress, however if you are chronically stressed they get depleted so your body needs even more – creating a cycle.  THINK leafy greens, bananas, nuts & seeds, eggs, dairy products, meat & fish. 

Vitamin C is well known vitamin & I gotta say it’s a great multitasker involved in lots of functions within your body.  However just like Bs, they are also water soluble.  This is another must have in your daily diet.  THINK kiwi fruit, broccoli, capsicum, or of course citrus. 

Magnesium is involved in over 300 chemical processes & reactions in the body, yup it works seriously hard.  As you can imagine, working within that many processes in the body it is not surprising that it is also depleted when the body is stressed.  THINK leafy greens, avo, bananas, nuts & seeds, & wholegrains.  Even add in a regular foot soak or bath with Epsom salts, because that is magnesium sulfate.  Some of that magnesium soak is absorbed through your skin –  winning!

Stress has a BIG impact on digestion.  The flight or fight response is a short term survival strategy.. Your body either eliminates or slows down on the digestion front, both of which mean – you don’t get to absorb any nutrients.  Let me explain further.  Stress weakens your gastric secretions.  Your stomach relies on these to help break down food, so your body can absorb the nutrients.  However, if the gastric secretions are declining, then your food is not being broken down & your body is hampered in it’s ability to absorb the nutrients.

Of course, when you are stressed you also tend to indulge in unhealthy habits THINK chocolate, craving stodge meals, skipping meals or upping your coffee or alcohol intake.  OK, my personal fav a packet of Smiths crinkle cut potato chips for the salt & crunch.  These add to the depletion of nutrients, sometimes even hindering nutrient absorption. Bottom line – stress management is important.  Your game plan needs to be a mix of nutrition plus some holistic practices (THINK gentle exercise like walking, breathing, or even yoga to start) these assist with the mental & physical load of stress.  There are many influencing factors, but you need to find what suits you.

Pantry Basics

You need some pantry basics to go with your fresh produce.  It saves time, if you don’t need to do a shop run on the way home at the end of the day.  Here are some items I always try to keep on hand.

⭐️ Dry goods

These are the standby items which have a longer shelf life.  Store them out of direct sunlight & in closed containers.

Flour Rolled oats Pasta Rice Lentils & legumes Baking powder & baking soda

Raw honey

A neat pantry makes life so much easier!
Photo by Nadia Pimenova on Unsplash

⭐️ Herbs & spices

I tend to stick to things that fit with the foods I like.  Me, I like baking & Italian flavours.  It may even change depending on the season, winter I do a lot of soups but more hearty salads in summer.  Even as I am experimenting with Metabolic Balance meals, I am finding my go to herbs & spices are changing.  At the moment I have rosemary, thyme, a bay tree in the garden & access to fresh ginger – so I don’t have these in the cupboard.

Ground cinnamon Nutmeg Oregano Ground turmeric Curry powder Fennel seeds Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

You may use more Mexican styled spices (THINK cayenne pepper, ground cumin or ground coriander) or even do a lot of Asian cooking (THINK curry leaves, star anise, five spice, cardamom or sesame seeds).  Bottom line – play to your strengths & remember – keep your herbs & spices fresh for the best flavour.

⭐️ Oils & Sauces

These can be handy to have but again play to your strengths on the type of foods you cook frequently.

Oils (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil & some sesame oil) Vinegar (apple cider vinegar & balsamic)

If you do a lot of Asian style cooking you could add in soy & fish sauce.

⭐️ Don’t forget the fridge stuff

These items generally don’t have a long shelf life, so they probably be regular purchases if they are foods you eat.

Milk Eggs Greek yoghurt Cheese Nut butter

There are things that you always will be using & replacing – those are your staples.  Sometimes you will purchase other things as needed but sticking to your staples where possible to save time & money.

#Life101 #Inspo #HappyHealthyLife #EatWell #LiveWell #MetabolicBalance #ConsciouslyNutritious

Photo by Nadia Pimenova on Unsplash

Digestive Enzymes

Huh, what are you talking about?  OK, your organs work together to make up your digestive system.  This system processes the food break down, so nutrients can be transported & absorbed, to make energy for growth & repair within the body.  It is digestive enzymes that help with the breakdown process so foods can be digested properly.  Keeping this in mind, it makes sense that if we are eating foods high in natural digestive enzymes it will help improve digestion.  Here are some foods where digestive enzymes occur.

😊 Pineapples

These contain bromelain, you may have even seen it as a supplement at the chemist.  Bromelain helps break down proteins into amino acids.

Pineapple, smells great, tastes great & good for you…winning!
Photo by Phoenix Han on Unsplash

😊 Papaya

Papain is the digestive enzyme in papaya.  Make sure to eat papaya either ripe or uncooked as high heat can destroy the enzyme.  Papain breaks down protein into building blocks, including amino acids.

😊 Mangoes

Mangoes contain amylase & this breaks down carbs from a starch (or complex carb) into sugars.  The amylase helps the mano ripen which is why it gets sweeter when ripe.

😊 Bananas

These contain two enzymes, amylases & glucosidases, which digest complex starches into easily absorbed sugars.  These are more active when the bananas start to ripen.

😊 Kiwi Fruit

Kiwi fruit contains the digestive enzyme actinidain, which helps with digestion of proteins.  Additionally, general consumption helps ease digestive symptoms like bloating & constipation.

😊 Ginger

This contains zingibain, a protease.  It helps food move faster through the digestive tract & boosts the body’s own production of digestive enzymes.  Pretty cool, right?

😊 Raw honey

This has a variety of digestive enzymes, including diastase, amylase, invertase & protease.  Be sure you are purchasing raw honey, which has not been exposed to high heat.  Why? Processed honeys have often been heated, destroying the digestive enzymes.

OK, there are several fermented foods which are also rich in digestive enzymes.  Just another reason to add some fermented foods into your diet.

😊 Sauerkraut

A fermented cabbage dish which is rich in loads of digestive enzymes & a probiotic!

😊 Miso

Made from soy beans & fermented with the fungi koji.  This adds lactases, lipases, proteases & amylases.

😊 Kimchi

Yup, another fermented dish however this is made from vegetables.  It is fermented with a bacteria of the Bacillus family which add enzymes, such as proteases, lipases & amylases.

😊 Kefir

You may have seen this at the Farmers Markets or the health food store, maybe even the supermarket.  It is a fermented milk drink that contains digestive enzymes such as lipases, proteases & lactases.  These break down fat, protein & lactose molecules.

Try adding any of these, or even a few of these into your diet to help with digestion & better gut health.  Your tummy will love you for it!

#Why #DidNotKnowThat #Digestion #GutHealth #HolisticHealth #Nutrition #HappyHealthyPeople #ConsciouslyNutritious

Photo by Phoenix Han on Unsplash

Reducing Your Sugar Intake.

Depending on your diet this can be a seriously hard task but the benefits of that decision are huge.  The impact of high added sugar in your diet links with various medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, & of course, dental health to name just a few.

Why is it hard to give up?  Sugar affects the brains reward system & that reward system helps us to survive but the downside is that same mechanism is linked with addictive behaviour.  Basically, it is a vicious circle – eat more sugar, want more sugar, need more sugar to get the same feeling, & repeat.

Sugar.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends 6 tspn/day for women & 9 tspn/day for men.  According the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) current consumption in Australia is sitting around 14 tspn/day.  OK, you can see it is not ideal but you may need some ideas to cut down that added sugar load?

Read the labels

Try doing a bit of detective work when you shop.  It is startling how much sugar is hidden in things.  The order the ingredients are listed starts with the highest amount & ends with the least amount, so if sugar is in the top 5 –  forget it!  Even better, choose products with no sugar listed in the ingredient list.

Another big tip for label reading is to remember that sugar goes by other names.  Some common ones are dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, maple syrup, sucrose, malt, maltose, lactose, brown sugar, caster sugar, maple syrup, raw sugar, sucrose.

This one is super important & I cannot stress this enough, sugar is often added to loads of manufactured products, seriously from bread to BBQ sauce & everything in between.  So, don’t just stop at removing sugar from your coffee, look at your whole day of eating.

Don’t drink your sugar

A great starting place for elimination as this can creep up pretty quick.  Cut out the fizzy drinks, processed fruit juices, & sports/energy drinks.  Also, take a look at what you add to your tea or coffee; & keep alcohol to 2-3 times a month.  All of these can push your total sugar intake up especially if it is happening on a daily basis.  If you are thirsty, opt for water.

Go for an anti inflammatory diet/lifestyle.

The most famous anti inflammatory diet of all, is the Mediterranean diet.  Loading up on the oily fish, loads of fruit & vege, & extra virgin olive oil, are a few key dietary points.  Another important part of the Mediterranean diet is exercise.  Try for regular & consistent exercise, even a 30 minute walk daily is a good thing!  The standard western diet is very high in inflammatory foods, so this type of lifestyle change can assist with reducing inflammation & sustaining that reduced level of inflammation.

Add in tummy loving ingredients.

Sugar wreaks havoc on the gut.  So, add in some foods that are rich in nutrients which great for healing the lining of the gut.  Look for foods high in zinc (THINK beef, capsicum, pumpkin & sunflower seeds); vitamin A (THINK sweet potato, green leafy vege & cod liver oil); & glutamine (THINK most proteins & dairy products, even rolled oats).  Your gut also loves fermented foods because they are rich in probiotics THINK kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, or yoghurt.

Reduce stress

Often when we are stressed we reach for something which is sugar laden (hello, chocolate) but that relief is only temporary.  Why?  Because it makes you more reliant on sugar & more at risk of obesity plus other related diseases.  Additionally, stress exacerbates symptoms of so many common issues THINK upset tummies, poor sleep habits, even your hormone can get out of whack, to name just a few.  The solution is to find a stress buster that YOU enjoy doing & do it regularly.  Maybe walking, yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or swimming.

Cold turkey vs taper down

OK, you have made the decision to cut the sugar – fabulous!  Go you!  I would advise you to also be prepared for the sugar detox because depending on your current sugar intake it can be brutal.  Symptoms can include bloating, headaches, nausea, cramps & fatigue.  Bottom line sugar is incredibly addictive, so be patient as it will take a couple of weeks to create this new sugar free lifestyle habit but it is totally worth it. 

#MovingForwards #YouCanDoThis #EatWell #LiveWell #Why #DidNotKnowThat #GetWise #FlipThePacket #GutHealing #ConsciouslyNutritious

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Want to start a scrap garden?

Groceries can be a big-ticket item in the household & it is unlikely that will change – as we all need to eat.  Have you thought about using vege scraps from your regular every day?  A lot of commonly used vege can be used to start your own vegie plot (big or small, balcony or yard).  There are loads of options, but some of these may get you started.  

A vegie patch is always rewarding!
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Basil, Mint, & Coriander

Herbs.  Gotta say, I hate paying money at the supermarket for these.  Make sure there is a good amount of stem (10cm-ish).  Place into a glass of water in a sunny spot, keeping any leaves above the water line.  Once there are some roots, just transplant into containers or into the garden.

Onions, Garlic, Leeks & Shallots

These are all members of the allium family & all of the can re grow from the root base of the bulb/stem.  Take a small section of the base with roots still attached & place in a shallow dish of water in a sunny spot.  Once they start to re sprout, transplant into containers or into the garden. 

Onions & garlics will form new single bulbs, however shallots will divide & form clumps.  If you harvest them about 1cm above the soil level, you can continue to re harvest regularly.  Yup, it just keeps giving!

An FYI on garlic.  Australia imports a lot of garlic from China.  This means it has been treated with Bromide to fumigate prior to import & so the garlic won’t sprout.  Solution – go for Australian garlic – just another reason to shop local.

Ginger

Another vegetable which is often imported, so again shop local for this one.  Ginger is a actually rhizome or root, so it just needs to be planted in a container or the garden.  Easy Peasey – just remember to make sure the buds are facing up when you plant it.  Also, when you harvest your fresh ginger, keep a new bit to replant & keep the cycle going.

Celery & Fennel

Super easy!  Cut the bottom of the bulb off & place into a shallow container of water in the sun.  You will gradually see the leaves thickening along the base, at this point transplant into containers or soil & just wait for it to mature.

Carrots, Radishes, Beets & Other Root Vege

Keep the tops (where the leaves & stem join the root).  Place in a shallow dish of water & you will see resulting leafy growth on top pretty quick (days) for this one.  If you have used carrots you can also harvest the greenery to add to salads, like you would herbs.  Otherwise wait for the roots to continue growing & transplant into soil.

Lettuce, Bok Choy & Leafy Greens

Lettuces are pretty much a cut & come again kind of deal.  You can keep harvesting the outer leaves & the plant keeps growing.  Alternatively, even a leaf left in a shallow dish of water can grow new roots, allowing it to be planted.

Bok Choy is another plant which will re grow from the root base.  Leave in a shallow dish of water in a sunny spot, when you see new roots begin to form – then it is time to replant.

Potato

I suspect everyone knows potatoes can be re grown from scrap, you just need a peeling with an ‘eye’ on it.  Leave them to dry out overnight, then plant with the eye facing up.  Plant into lose, rich soil as the potatoes will actual grow underground.

Pineapples

OK, if you are lucky enough to live in the tropics (or sub tropics like me), just plant the pineapple top in the ground.  They are part of the bromeliad family & fit easily into a tropical style garden.  If you don’t live in the tropics this will probably grow better inside with the warmth.  Initially strike it in water, then plant into some rich soil.

Whether you decide to do pots on the balcony or a plot in the yard, ensure you use a good quality soil & if possible, go for an organic certified soil to reduce your chemical use.  Oh, & remember to mulch so that precious water stays in the soil.  Makes sense to use those scraps to start your own garden, it saves food waste, it saves you money & reduces chemicals on your food.  That is a lot of wins from humble vege scraps!

#VegieLife #Inspo #Lifestyle #HolisticHealth#HappyHealthyLife #ConsicouslyNutritous

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash