Megahome Water Distiller Review

IMG-20170516-WA0012

After much research Oli and I decided that we wanted to invest in a water distiller. We were already filtering water (standard Brita filter jug, nothing fancy) and frequently buying bottled water. For us we felt that a water distiller would be a good investment and much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying bottled water. Not to mention better for our internal filtering system.

In our research in to whether water distillation was a good option or not we didn’t need much convincing and kind of felt we had no choice but to invest in one. We’ve actually been toying with the idea since Amelie was born, nearly three years ago. On a recent business trip to Europe Oli got to try some water from a water distiller and decided just to go for it. We had also done lots of reading on reverse osmosis systems (filtering out contaminants that are larger in size than water molecules, if the contaminants are smaller than water molecules they pass through and remain in your drinking water), for this reason we felt the water distiller was for us. With a water distiller the process just seemed more effective. When using a water distiller the water is first gently boiled. This kills off viruses and bacteria and leaves all the pollutants behind. The steam is then captured in a stainless steel coil where it cools to form pure water. This water then passes through an activated charcoal filter to finally remove any trace of impurities. Common water impurities removed from water distillation are: antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides, chlorine, viruses etc. You can find a more comprehensive list here. There is an argument that using a distiller actually removes minerals that we humans do need and use, for example magnesium. However, for me I feel that I have a great diet and should be absorbing all the minerals I need from the foods I’m eating. I would much rather the filtering of harmful chemicals and pollutants happen outside my body than within.

So we decided to purchase the Megahome Water Distiller from Megahome Distillers for £139.95, this was the best price we could find for everything we wanted. For 4 litres of water it takes about 5-6 hours for the whole process to complete. You might want to get ahead of the game and store a completed batch of water whilst distilling the next 4 litres. I guess it depends on how many are in your household and how much water you drink/use. Once the water has gone through is distilling process it is very clear and definitely has less of a taste, if that makes sense. I live in a hard water area and feel that I can really taste the tap water and the taste is quite distinctive and not pleasant. Sometimes it does make my face squirm.

Although at first glance spending this much on a water distiller seems like quite a big expense, the more I think about it the more I feel quite content with the investment. I won’t be buying bottled water anymore and I won’t be buying Brita filters anymore (quite expensive), and I won’t be doing that weird face squirm anymore ; ) From an aesthetic perspective, it is quite big and takes up a lot of room on the kitchen side. I went for the cream/off white colour to blend in with my new kitchen (when we finally move) and also the glass jug as it looked a little more classy/expensive. The actual main trunk of the machine gets quite warm so will provide a little heat in the kitchen in the winter too. Not quite sure how much electricity it uses yet, but I’ll worry about that later.

This post isn’t to try to push the product in any way. Just my thoughts on it in case you were wondering whether to make the purchase too : )

Love

Lea xx

Natural Hayfever Remedies

Every year I suffer terribly with hayfever and every year I always resort to medication because I can’t handle it. My symptoms include: unbearable itchy inner ears, throat, and also eyes. Streaming eyes, and eyes that are puffy and inflamed. Groggy, drowsy and generally feeling like I’m coming down with a virus. Sometimes I get headaches and the pressure makes me need to lie down and shut my eyes. Every morning I wake up feeling like I have a mild hangover and my throat is sore and my eyes are shut tight together.

I Google natural remedies every year for hay fever or go to medical research to find a natural cure as I try to avoid taking medication unless I really need to. But every year I seem to half-heartedly give natural remedies a go as they never immediately relieve my symptoms.

So even though I have used antihistamines this year, I’ve really stuck to a more natural approach and have managed to stop taking medication for well over two weeks now. I’ve noticed symptoms are no way near as severe and some symptoms have gone completely.

I reached out to you guys for your tips and also my nutritional therapist friend who is a fountain of useful knowledge in this area and gave me some sound advice.

Suggestions from everyone included:

  • Vitamin C = Natural AntihstamineBromelain Protiolitic enzyme help with sniffles and nasal drips.

    Quercitin Red Onions (500mg)

    MSM (sulphur is a natural antihistamine, properties also in garlics and onions, cabbage etc)

    Glutamine strengthens the mucous membranes to prevent pollen getting in.

    Essential Fats EFA’s Anti inflammatories.

    Take out Wheat and milk.

    Reduce the total load of allergenic substances / triggers.

    Sleep with window open at night and closed during the day (I’m out and about in the day so not great for me but might be a good tip for others).

    Put coconut oil in and around nostril to prevent pollen getting in

     

  • Include a lot of the following foods in the diet:Dark green, leafy vegetables

    Deep yellow and orange vegetables

    Nettles, bamboo shoots, cabbage, beet tops, beets, carrots, yams

    Onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne, horseradish, tumeric.

    Kiwi fruit, pineapple.

Out of this comprehensive list I’ve been doing the following:

  • Taking a higher dosage Vitamin C supplement every day as well as having extra lemons and oranges.
  • MSM powder in my water first thing in the morning. Product linked.
  • Even though i have a very healthy balanced diet I consciously increased the following in my diet – ginger, garlic, red onion, spinach, cayenne, turmeric, cabbage, beetroot, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, lemons.
  • Reduced dairy and wheat (but not completely cut out).

By continuously doing the above and not giving up after a few days I have noticed a significant difference. My symptoms aren’t completely gone but they have certainly improved. The itching in my ears has completely gone and so have the headaches. I still get a little bit of an itchy nose and a bit of pressure behind the eyesbut this has certainly reduced. So I’m pretty pleased with the results and can enjoy being outside more.
I hope this has been helpful in some way. Let me know if you try any of these and how you get on.

Love Lea xx

Happy New Year from me to you

So, we’ve come to the end of another year. Who’s been doing a lot of reflection of late? It’s been a bit of a crazy year my end. The beginning of 2017 started out fairly strong. I had lots of plans for the year ahead (particularly with Naturallea) then it all went a little crazy. Work life went stupidly busy, patient referrals hit an all time high and staffing at an all time low. Which has been leaving me feeling quite drained for some time. We moved house which has been and continues to be a huge renovation project/headache. I can’t believe how hard it’s been if I’m honest. I don’t do too well with mess, builders walking through my house, and what feels like disorganization. Oli had a car crash. He was fine, but then we were down to one car. Which for us, is a logistical nightmare. Then I decided now was a good time to embark on my yoga teacher training. Then just to throw more chaos in to the works Oli thought it was a good idea to get not one but TWO puppies. Definitely my biggest challenge so far. Most the time, my life is all a bit of a comedy sketch and I feel like I’m in the middle of it all, losing my mind slightly. BUT, I sort of see light at the end of tunnel now. I’m hoping that my life in 2018 will have a bit more calm with more direction and not just about surviving the day. So, although I don’t really do resolutions as such, I have given myself some goals. I think giving yourself some sort of focus or a goal is a positive thing. You’re sort of just gently giving yourself a sense of direction. So direction for me looks like this right now:

  1. Make more time for blogging (currently getting off to a flying start).
  2. More recipe creating (and then blogging about it).
  3. More yoga teaching. More yoga learning.
  4. Get outside and run more.
  5. Having the best time with Amelie before she starts school in September. I’m currently off Tuesday and Friday’s with her so I’m going to enjoy every minute before the routine changes again.
  6. Smiling more at all the good in my life and not fretting about some of the shit that happens. It happens, I need to learn not to dwindle on it.

There’s a few things there. But they are things I feel quite passionate about so I’m pretty sure my focus won’t steer too far from this list. I also just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year (to anyone that might happen to be reading this). You are a lovely lot. I hope 2018 is bright and prosperous for you all. Resolutions or no resolutions just enjoy this crazy thing called life. Lots of love Lea xx

Tips and Tricks for Cheap and Healthy Family Meals

 

20170404_164327
Butter Bean Curry

Feeding the family healthy meals that don ‘t break the bank and don’t take hours to prepare and cook night after night can be challenging and stressful. When you throw in the idea of healthy eating people often feel that it’s an expensive challenge. Many patients/clients/friends/family that I see think eating healthily is expensive. Agreed, it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Steer clear of gimmicky health kicks and tricks and stick to basics.

TOP TIPS

Fresh – Tinned – Frozen

We all know fruit and veg is good for us and will fuel our body with the vitamins and minerals our body needs to function. Yet we don’t seem to eat enough of them. Why? Buying fresh fruit and veg is great but there’s nothing wrong in using tinned or frozen too. If you’re worried you won’t use your fresh fruit and veg in time before they go off then buy some tinned and frozen options as well. Try to have a stash of fruit and veg in your cupboard and freezer so that you are able to add some plant power to every meal. On days when I’m working and don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast at home before dashing out the door with the toddler, I grab my overnight oats from the fridge and throw in a handful of frozen berries and eat when I get to work. That’s 1-2 portions of fruit before 9am. If life is hectic and there’s no time for meal planning, no time for food shopping you can easily add some frozen or tinned veg to a pasta bake. Just the other day I added some frozen peas and runner beans to a pasta bake. It helped to bulk out the dish with some extra green goodness.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Meat-free Mixed Bean Lasagne

Pulses – lentils, peas and beans

Beans, peas and lentils whether they be dried or tinned are a great source of low-fat protein, are cheap and count towards your daily recommended portions of fruit and veg. Protein doesn’t just need to come from meat or fish, have you ever made a spag bol or chilli with beans rather than mince? It’s cheaper, tastes delicious and reducing your meat intake will aid to reduce your carbon footprint and won’t do your digestive system any harm either.

Bulk/Batch cooking

Making larger portions or extra portions on days when you have more time means you can then freeze and eat for lunches or dinners on days when you have less time. Having very little time to prepare and eat food is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients/clients/friends. Unfortunately, if we want to live long healthy lives we need to prioritize time for decent meals. Cooking from scratch is the best way to know that your food is decent and honest. Grabbing food from fast food chains or ordering a take away is not cost-effective (it’s really really expensive) and definitely not good for you. Making extra portions or batch cooking can be hard to get in the swing of as it takes a little forward planning but if you have young children this really will be a god send on those days you just run out of time!

img_20170313_184620_452.jpg
Big Batch Lasagne

I have plenty more tips and tricks like these so stay tuned for more by subscribing to my blog and you’ll get emailed them straight to your inbox. I think that’s how it works, ha, I’ve no idea. Just trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to blogging ; )

Happy Thursday you lovely lot!

Love

Lea x x

Struggling with FOMO?

 

Okay, so I think I’m totally out of my comfort zone with this post. Mainly because I used the acronym FOMO in the title, and two because I’m about to discuss this acronym FOMO. I literally have no idea who I am anymore. But here goes, bare with me.

So I heard on the radio that the digital world we now live in is causing high levels of anxiety in people, predominantly teenagers. Our increased use of social media means people constantly feel like they are missing out or are going to miss out on an exciting or interesting event. This means people are apparently getting less sleep as they are constantly checking their social media outlets for updates on people’s lives. Adding to this, people are comparing their lives to the perceived lives of others on social media. This anxiety is called FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. So my first thought to this was – get a grip! Then my second thought to this was – is this really a new thing? Haven’t humans always felt a bit like this? Isn’t this just a modern version of ‘keeping up with the Jones’? Is this anxiety just highlighted as we have so much access to the lives of those who are seemingly more fortunate?

Growing up (80’s child) I always felt like I was missing out on something big. I have no idea why, I just did. I always wanted to be out, I was always doing things, I had a ridiculous amount of hobbies but it still wasn’t enough. Perhaps I read too many copies of Smash Hits, J-17 and Bliss and longed for a more glamorous lifestyle than my small seaside village provided. I’m from a generation where as a young teenager you would go out to Youth Club or to a friend’s house and give your Mum and Dad one ring on the home phone to let them know you arrived safely. The introduction of THE WORLD WIDE WEB struck fear in to everybody, no one wanted to catch the Millenium Bug! I had visions of the world being hit with some deadly virus, I think this was why my auntie stocked up her garage with bottles of water and tins of food as we approached The New Millenium. Dad used to have to dial up the internet modem, those loooong moments used to make me nervous/excited, would this virus everyone is talking about strike today? The internet of course was incredibly slow and rendered pointless at the time. Such an anti-climax. And then all of a sudden we’re here. Access to everything at our finger tips. I’m sometimes annoyed with myself at how impatient I am when things don’t happen instantly now. What sort life are our children entering in to? This thought does scare me, but I know I shouldn’t be scared, I just need to roll with it, and write a blog post discussing FOMO, haha.

So, this got me thinking. Do I feel like I have a fear of missing out on things? I don’t think I do. I think I used to, when I was younger. Now I feel pretty content with what I have, what I’m yet to have and who I am. So maybe it is just an age thing. Maybe it’s just an insecurity we have when we’re young? I think I may have had a touch of FOMO when I was a new Mum. I suddenly had to dedicate my life to someone other than myself. Since the age of 18  I pretty much dictated the comings and goings of my life. Kind of. Suddenly I had a beautiful little girl in my arms whose needs would forever come before mine. So, there have been times when I had to decline a few invites to things I really wanted to go to as I knew it would be too difficult managing the logistics of it with a baby. Or just too expensive. Everything is so expensive these days. But all that is just life. I may have had a touch of SIMO (Sad I Missed Out – I just made that up, as you can tell) not really FOMO. But I got over it pretty quickly because I’m concentrating pretty hard on my own family unit. And for the most part, these days I kind of like having an empty diary, because life is so busy I just don’t want to complicate it even more. Sounds so boring but it’s true. I’m a working Mummy and when my diary is overloaded it kind of gives me the dreads. I’m pretty sure a more simplified life results in a more content life. I think if we concentrate more on ourselves and those close few around us, they’re what really matter. No need to feel like you’re missing out if your focus and attention is on those you love. I feel lucky that I was young enough and old enough to experience life without technology and life with. I love technology and I love social media but I do think there’s a time and a place for it. Sometimes you’ve just got to put your phone down, push your anxieties aside and concentrate on your own life. I realise that if you are a teenager or young person then this idea is probably not really going to ring true. Teenagers/young people have quite a lot to cope with anyway. I just hope they are old enough and wise enough to realise that social media is a very brief, edited snapshot of life. I know I’m naive in saying this but I hope that if they don’t recognise or understand this then they’re probably too young to be using it. Although, I have heard of kids as young as 6 having their own social media platforms. But I  think I’ll park that whole new subject matter there!

 

Just some thoughts on the subject. Would love to know your thoughts on it? I really do believe in simplifying your life, this fast paced world needs to slow down ever so slightly. Or am I just showing signs of age?

 

Love always,

Lea x x

Warming Ginger Latte


This little concoction recently got me through my winter sniffles. I say sniffles, I was an absolute snotty mess. It was revolting. This drink is creamy, indulgent but the kick of ginger definitely gives it a medicinal quality. The perfect drink when trying to beat the winter bugs.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Ginger 2-3 cm (roughly the size of your thumb)

Teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Teaspoon of ground cloves

Tablespoon of cashew nut butter (I use Meridian Foods)

3 cups of almond milk (I use Rude Health)

Method

Grate the ginger and then put in to a blender with the rest of the ingredients, whizz for 30 seconds or so. Then transfer to a saucepan and gently heat until it is hot but don’t let it boil. Serve in your favourite mug and relax. And that is it. Easy and delicious.

Love

Lea xx

New Year with New Intentions

Following on from the theme of my last post I’ve been thinking a lot about entering in to a new year and what it means to people. Seeing and speaking to a lot of patients, clients, friends and family over the last few weeks I’ve sensed a real mixed bag of thoughts and feelings as we’ve transitioned in to 2017. There’s some who are incredibly motivated and positive, some have had lots to face already and feel very sad their year hasn’t got off to the best start possible and some just aren’t phased and continue as they always have done.

What does a new year mean to you? I kind of feel that a new year should signify a resurgence of energy. I sort of feel like it’s a great time to sit and gather your thoughts from the previous year, to think about what went well and what didn’t. To then think about the year ahead and visualise the best possible year for yourselves and your loved ones. What does that entail? How do you want 2017 to play out for you? How do you want to feel in 2017? I really do feel that it’s good for us to see ourselves and the world with fresh eyes and a more optimistic outlook. People often feel rejuvenated during a holiday away, being away from their normal surroundings. Of course being on a beautiful beach somewhere, watching the sunset and listening to the waves crash to the shore is incredibly empowering for the soul but not everybody gets to taste that as a reality. So I think it’s important to take any opportunity you can to revisit yourself, your life, your goals, your intentions and the new year is a great time to do this.

Okay, so let’s say you’ve already fallen down on all your new year resolutions. That’s fine. Perhaps they were meant to be broken. Perhaps they weren’t the right resolutions for you right now, perhaps your resolutions were too big or unrealistic. Perhaps you’re too hard on yourself? What about setting smaller goals?

FOR EXAMPLE:

Rather than “I am never eating chocolate again” what about giving yourself an allowance, something you can stick to but is significantly less than you already eat? How about setting yourself a goal that is broader and more of an intention?

For instance: “I am ging to be more mindful of the amount of money I spend on…. ” This could be clothes, or food shopping, eating out, takeaways or just generally. Now this is a tricky one but it is totally achievable if you approach it in the right way. Every time you step foot in a supermarket, a clothes shop, browsing online or thinking about ordering a takeaway – ask yourself some simple questions and answer them honestly. Do I need this? Will this really make me happy? Is this healthy for me? Do I have something in the fridge that needs using up before I start buying more food? Do I have something similar I could wear in my wardrobe that I’ve forgotten about? Do I really need a glass of wine or a slab of chocolate? Or, can I make a more nutritious and healthier meal curry, stirfry, pizza at home? Let’s be honest we know the answer to all of these questions so I guess the hard question to answer is why is it so hard to adhere to? I think the answer lies within the word ‘adhere’. If you set yourself an intention or goal it is important to keep positively reminding yourself of that goal or intention and the reasons why you set them in the first place. And if you do fall off the wagon the key is to get straight back on. All is not lost. Adherence, really sticking to something, and persevering is really the recipe for long term change.
And remember to congratulate yourself. Tell yourself how flipping amazing you are. Every Friday that you decline that takeaway Chinese give yourself a firm pat on the back. Rather than berating yourself for not going for a run or attending the gym because you didn’t feel like it that day what about giving yourself a high five for all the times you have gone recently. Tell yourself how well you’ve done and how well you’re doing. And don’t be afraid to tell people how well you’re doing “I’m so proud of myself as I went swimming after work today, I was really tired but I’m really pleased I did as now I feel like a superhero”. Don’t be afraid to rejoice in those triumphs no matter how small you think they are. Positivity breeds and attracts positivity and it will be the thing that spurs you on. Now it may seem like I’m taking the easy way out and encouraging some sort of okay-ness in slacking when it suits but I think I’m just coming from a more human perspective. Knowing yourself, knowing your capabilities and looking after your emotional self is so important.

So to finish up (because quite clearly I could go on all day) as Nelson Mandela once said “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” be your own motivation and inspiration. Every time you fall down show your strength by getting straight back up again showing true fighting spirit. Work hard, surprise yourself, revisit yourself but never be disappointed in yourself. You’re in charge of you. You make the decisions that work for you and if it doesn’t work for you take a moment to check in with yourself and see how you can make it work for you.

2017 is the year for you.
Take care of yourselves
Lea x

Creamy Pistachio Chilli Dip

 

So it’s January 2nd 2017 and like many others I have a few thoughts and feelings on how I would like the new year to go. I don’t really do resolutions as such, I just try to focus my mind on a few intentions for the new year. So one of my intentions is to focus more time on my blog. I really enjoy sharing healthy and nutritious recipes with you guys but my life is quite hectic and busy at the moment (who’s isn’t) and all my sharing seems to focus on my Instagram page as it’s a bit more instantanious. The trouble is I’m not a photographer and I don’t have a decent camera and social media is filled with perfectly shot pictures of food that looks really tasty and appetising. I literally share what I’ve been cooking, baking, blending and eating day-to-day. So if you can forgive some rubbish photography I think I can dedicate more time to sharing more recipes with you lovely lot. This platform for sharing healthy, wholesome and tasty food really has changed my life. I love being inspired by others and hope I inspire a few others.

Any way, back to this dip I made for lunch today. So it’s post Christmas and New Year and somehow I managed to get my butt off the sofa and go for a run this morning. Which was actually really lovely, very cold,but lovely. I love running but anything can put me off. Cold, rain, too hot, anything! Feeling energised and productive post run I then went and did a fresh food shop and stocked up on lots of fruits and veggies. When it came to making the lunch I really fancied making my favourite dip as it’s so fresh and tangy and full of flavour. Stupidly I realised I didn’t actually buy all the ingredients I needed for it. D’oh. So I decided to improvise and this is what I concocted.

Ingredients

90-100g Unsalted deshelled pistachios (I had a 100g bag but accidentally ate a few)

5 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche

1 garlic clove crushed or finely chopped

1 lemon (squeezed juice)

Half a red chilli finely chopped (if you like hot food add the whole thing, why not)

Handful of spinach

Salt and Pepper

Method

First, blend all the pistachios in a food processor. Then add the chilli along with the spinach, crushed garlic and squeeze half the lemon in to the processor and blitz. Once that is nicely combined add the creme fraiche and squeeze a little bit more lemon in to the mix with a dash of salt and pepper and blitz one final time. Pour the mixtire into a bowl and put in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to set. That is literally it. So simple. So tasty. I had mine with some spelt and sunflower seed bread and a side of cucumber, tomoatoes and celery in a little olive oil and squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

This will last two days in an air tight container in the fridge. You could easily take this in a little tupperware pot and put in the fridge at work for lunchtime.

So I’ll save the original version of this dip for another blog post in the near future! In the meantime please let me know if there is anything else you would like me to blog about – food, health, exercise, lifestyle, children, advice and I’ll do my best to fulfill your request. If you do make this dip please tag me @naturallea on Instagram, Twitter (I am on Facebook but neglected for a while) and hastag #eatnaturallea. I would love to know how you found it and of course see your beautiful pics. And finally HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I really hope 2017 is filled with magic, adventure, love and laughter for each and every one of you 💖

Love Lea xx

Pecan Nutbutter

I have no idea why I haven’t made this before, but I think it is one of the best things I’ve made for a while! This is pecan nutbutter. So simple and so delicious. I definitely don’t think I’ve made enough though, as every time I’ve passed the jar of it in the kitchen I’ve been spooning it straight in to my mouth. Haha.

This will be a pretty short blog post as it’s so simple to make. Here’s what you will need to make this yourselves – pecans, coconut sugar and a food processor.
Ingredients 

1.5 cups of pecans

2 tablespoons of coconut sugar
Method 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Spread pecans across a baking tray and put in the oven to roast for about 8-10 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool down.

Once they have cooled place pecans in the food processor and whizz around until they crumble. Then add the coconut sugar. Whizz around again until the mixture is beginning to become more wet in consistency. Depending on how powerful your food processor is it should blend together for about 3 minutes. Stop blending once it is completely blended and smooth and runny in consistency. That is literally it!

Providing you don’t eat this in one sitting it should last a week in an airtight container. There’s no nasties in this so you know exactly what you’re eating. Pecans are a great antioxidant and help to prevent the hardening of arteries.They are rich in healthy fats (oleic acid) with plenty of B3 so perfect at combating fatigue, if you’re feeling the slump reach for the nutbutter!

Enjoy and let me know if you make this – tag me in your creations, comment on one of my posts and feel free to let me know of any questions you might have. I’m already thinking about all the things I’m going to add it to or eat it on : )

Lots of love and light

Lea xx