Microgreens: What, Where, and Why!

WHAT ARE MICROGREENS?

Microgreens are a green vegetable harvested when they are just a few inches tall and after the very first leaves (cotyledon leaves) have developed from the seed.  At this point, all the nutrients needed to grow the entire plant are concentrated in the tiny leaves, making them 4-6 times more nutritious than the mature plant.

Microgreens are packed with antioxidants and other health promoting nutrients and are a particularly rich source of vitamins C, E, K, lutein and beta-carotene. They are also bursting with flavour and are loved by chefs and home cooks alike for the way they enhance the look and taste of dishes.

We are excited to be including samples of micro greens in all discovery boxes during the week of Saturday, June 22nd. The mix that will be included is called “Rainbow Mix”. These micro greens will be available as an add-on to our boxes going forward.

WHERE DO THESE GREENS COME FROM?

The microgreens in your box are supplied by New Leaf, a Dubai based indoor farm. They grow in organic soil without using any pesticides or chemicals and ensure optimal growing conditions by controlling light, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide. This means that they use 95% less water than traditional farming and can grow throughout the year.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Up to 85% of our food in the U.A.E is imported. It has travelled many miles before it reaches us and is grown for shelf life rather than for taste and nutrition. Having access to these greens supports the health of individuals, the blossoming agriculture community in the U.A.E and the environment.

HOW CAN YOU USE MICROGREENS?

  • On salads, as an addition or the main event
  • In green juices, smoothies and shakes
  • In sandwiches, burgers and wraps
  • In soups, omelets and stir fry’s
  • To make pesto, sauces and vegetable purees
  • As a garnish to add texture, colour and flavor

 

Microgreen Beetroot, Walnut & Goats Cheese Salad

25 minutes (serves 4 as a side salad)

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 40g mixed microgreens from the Fruitful Day Box
  • 2 small beetroots
  • 4 small radishes
  • 50g walnuts from the Fruitful Day Box
  • 90g goats cheese
  • 3 small spring onions

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp honey

METHOD for the salad:

  1. Peel beetroots and then slice into 5mm slices.
  2. Place a griddle on medium heat and sear each slice of beetroot slowly for 10-15 minutes, turning half way. Alternatively, you can bake the slices in the oven for the same amount of time at 180 degrees celsius. Set aside.
  3. While the beetroots are searing, toast the walnuts by putting them in the oven on a baking tray for 6 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Set aside.
  4. Slice spring onions and radishes. Set aside.
  5. Assemble by putting the microgreens in a bowl first and then tossing in the seared beetroot, sliced radishes and spring onions and then top with the toasted nuts and chunks of goats cheese.

METHOD for the dressing:

  1. Dice the garlic and set aside.
  2. Put the olive oil in a small saucepan on low heat and then add the diced garlic. Cook the garlic slowly and gently and then remove from the heat (optional step).
  3. Mix together the olive oil and garlic mixture, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, black pepper, grainy mustard and honey. Stir rigorously.

     

    Dates stuffed with sunbutter

    First and most importantly, Ramadan Kareem from the Fruitful Day team! It’s always a magical time of year to spend with family and friends, but it’s equally important to keep health in mind during the Holy Month. Fasting or not, it is easy to get dehydrated with the temperatures steadily on the rise. Make sure to hydrate as much as you can at night and think about foods that will keep you full for longer.  

    Amongst the foods that will keep you fuller for longer are foods high in protein.  Peanut butter is of course one of the more well-known high protein foods, but many kids and adults aren’t able to eat it because it contains nuts. For this reason, sunflower seed butter is actually a great substitute!

    Sunflower seed butter is full of healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium, which has the added benefit of helping you with your digestion.  

    Today’s recipe is a super simple snack, dates stuffed with sunbutter! In addition to the sunbutter, dates are good source of vitamins and minerals. Perfect for breaking your fast and getting you on your way to a healthy Ramadan!

    Dates stuffed with sunbutter (sunflower seed butter)

    20 minutes (depending how many dates you want to do)  

    Ingredients

    • Dates
    • Sunflower seed butter

    METHOD for the biscuit

    1. Cut each date open with a sharp knife, however, don’t cut it all the way through the date.

    2. With a small teaspoon, spoon out a small amount of sunflower seed butter and put it into the space where the seed was.

    3. Close the date and consume immediately or leave to set in the fridge.

    Apricot & Apple Muffins

    Welcome back! For a lot of us, it’s back to school this morning and that means the usual stress of filling lunchboxes.

    At Fruitful Day, we’re all about finding ways to make healthy delicious AND convenient. Besides delivering you boxes of the most delicious fresh fruit, we also share lots of healthy recipes with you crafted by our resident nutritionist, Michelle. If you haven’t heard of Michelle before, you can read more about her here.

    Today’s recipe is VEGAN apricot and apple muffins. Generally, eggs are used for binding and structural support in a recipe as well as adding moisture and richness, however, there are several ways you can replace eggs to make a recipe vegan:

    To replace one egg:

    1. Flax – Add 1 tbsp of ground flax to 3 tbsp hot water and combine to form a gel.
    2. Chia – Add 1 tbsp of ground chia to 3 tbsp hot water and combine to form a gel.
    3. ¼ cup applesauce – peel, core and quarter apples. Bake them for 15 – 20 minutes at 180 degrees C or until very soft. Place in a blender while still hot and puree into applesauce.
    4. ¼ cup mashed banana.

    However, the replacement you choose will depend on what you’re making!

    • Flax and chia are better when you need strong binding agents
    • Applesauce, on the other hand, adds a lot of moisture and flavor to a recipe – perfect for something like muffins!

    With that, we wish you a wonderful start to the week and happy baking!

    Apricot & Apple Muffins (makes 10 – 12 muffins)

    1 hour

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ cups of oat flour
    • ¼ cup flax meal
    • 2 tbsp coconut flour
    • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp clove, allspice and nutmeg
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
    • 2 tbsp chopped dried apricots from the Fruitful Day Box
    • ¾ cup of applesauce made with apples from the Fruitful Day Box
    • ½ cup maple syrup/honey
    • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp vanilla powder

    METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
    2. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients; oat flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, spices, vanilla powder and chopped dried apricots.
    3. Blend applesauce with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and fresh ginger.
    4. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and pour into a silicon muffin tray or into a lined muffin tray.
    5. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
    6. Allow to cool and then serve with coconut yoghurt, cream cheese or butter.

    *Note on ingredients – you don’t need to buy oat flour or flax meal. You can buy oats and flax seeds, then put them in a blender to grind into a flour consistency.

    Pomelo & Prawn Salad

    One of our favorite things about winter in the region is always pomelo, but all good things must come to an end. Like us, are you a pomelo lover too or do you have a different favorite winter fruit? 

    Therefore, before we say our final goodbyes for the season, we are paying tribute to pomelo by sharing a pomelo and prawn salad recipe.

    With the end of the winter season, we can begin to look forward to regional stone fruits including cherries, nectarines, peaches, and apricots. However, this year we’ll have to be a little more patient than usual as the cold weathers and rains have been put us a little behind schedule. As always, you can be sure we’ll be at the fruit market tasting and trying until we find the perfect stone fruit to serve you.

    For now, enjoy the last of the delicious pomelo with this pomelo & prawn salad! And just in case pomelo is not your favorite fruit… check out this recipe for a pomegranate and quinoa salad instead.

    Pomelo & Prawn Salad

    (makes a salad for two people)

    30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the salad
    • 1 medium carrot
    • 1 medium cucumber
    • Pomelo from the Fruitful Day Box
    • 8 prawns
    • 1 handful of hazelnuts
    • ¼ tsp smoked paprika powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 large thumb of ginger
    • 1 handful of coriander leaves
    • 1 handful of basil leaves
    • 1 small chili
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • Edible flowers (for garnish)
    • 8 prawns (cleaned and de-veined)
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil
    For the dressing
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp tamari
    • 1 tbsp sesame oil
    • 3 tbsp olive oil

     

    METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
    2. Roast hazelnuts with salt and paprika for 5 – 7 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
    3. Put a skillet on medium heat, add coconut oil, then sauté the prawns on both sides for 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
    4. Combine all dressing ingredients.
    5. Pick the leaves off the bunch of coriander and set aside. Finely dice the stems.
    6. Finely dice the ginger (it should come to 2 tbsp), garlic and chili.
    7. Saute the coriander stems, ginger, garlic and chili on medium heat until slightly browned.
    8. Add the sautéed vegetables to the dressing mixture. Set aside.
    9. Peel carrot and then continue to peel the entire carrot to form carrot ribbons. Set aside.
    10. Make cucumber ribbons in the same way as the carrot ribbons. Set aside.
    11. Combine carrot ribbons, cucumber ribbons, coriander leaves, basil leaves, pomelo, prawns and hazelnuts in a bowl.
    12. Pour dressing over the salad and then garnish with edible flowers.

    Banana Baked Oats

    It’s a new week and for many of us the last before our kids are on holiday for a couple weeks. This quote by John F. Kennedy is our motto for the week, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” With a to do list a mile long, it’s important to take time out to plan and figure out what is actually moving you towards your goals. Once you’ve got down on paper, it will be a lot easier to spend your time on productive tasks. 

    On the list of things we don’t want you to worry about is your breakfast! This simple and delicious recipe for banana baked oats is a great way to get you powered up for the day.  By baking the oats, you create a different texture than the one you may be used to, almost like a soft chewy cereal bar! By adding flax, chia and nuts, the nutritional value of this breakfast is also greatly increased. Lastly, add any fruits from the Fruitful Day box to make it both aesthetically pleasing and more flavorsome.  Add different fruits the next day for a whole new combo and you won’t get bored.  

    Now go out there and smash this week healthy breakfast and all! 

    Banana Baked Oats (makes one 23cm x 23cm baked tray)

    1 hour

    Ingredients for the baked oats

    • 2 cups of rolled oats
    • 2 tbsp ground flax
    • 3 tbsp chia
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp nutmeg
    • ¼ tsp cloves
    • ½ tsp ginger powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence
    • 2 cups mashed banana from the Fruitful Day Box
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (this is optional as bananas are already sweet)
    • 2 cups coconut milk, almond milk or any milk of choice

    Ingredients for toppings

    • 1 banana from the Fruitful Day Box
    • any other fruit of choice from the Fruitful Day Box
    • pecan nuts from the Fruitful Day Box

    METHOD

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

    2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flax, chia, spices and salt. You can grind the flax yourself from whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder.

    3. Add the wet ingredients; mashed banana, coconut oil, vanilla essence, maple syrup and coconut/nut milk.

    4. Mix all ingredients until well combined.

    5. Pour mixture into the baking tray (lined if necessary) and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until browned on top.

    6. While oats are baking, take another baking tray out for the pecans.

    7. Coat the pecans in honey and roast for 5 – 8 minutes or until browned. You can put them in alongside the oats.

    8. While both the pecans and oats are baking, thinly slice bananas.

    9. Place a pan on medium heat, add some butter to the pan and sauté the banana slices by cooking lightly on each side and sprinkling with cinnamon.

    10. Once oats are browned, remove from the oven and serve with cream or yoghurt. Top with caramelised banana, caramelised pecans and sliced fruit.

    Sumac Roasted Grapes & Brussels Sprouts

    In honor of St Patricks Day, we’re loving all things green today and that includes veggies! Fruit and vegetables always go hand-in-hand and today’s recipe is a perfect example. Sumac roasted grapes and Brussels sprouts might sound a little unusual, but we promise you’ll love this Middle Eastern twist on a traditional European festive dish. 

    Need some more convincing?  Here are some of the many health benefits of incorporating Brussels sprouts in your diet:

    • Brussels sprouts are one of the foods richest in vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and bone health.
    • They’re also high in vitamin C, a boost for your immune system
    • Their high fiber content helps your digestive system to run smoothly
    • In addition, Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of many other nutrients such as vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.

    Sumac Roasted Grapes & Brussels Sprouts (makes one roasting tray)

    1 hour 

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups of brussels sprouts
    • 2 cups red grapes from the Fruitful Day Box
    • ½ tsp sea salt
    • 1 tbsp sumac
    • 1 tbsp melted grass fed butter

    METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

    2. Wash brussels sprouts and remove any external bruised leaves.

    3. Chop any excess stems off the brussels sprouts and cut both these and the grapes in half.

    4. Put brussels sprouts and grapes in a roasting tray or two – they brown more easily if they aren’t piled up on top of each other.

    5. Melt butter and pour over.

    6. Sprinkle sumac over the tray and combine with your hands until evenly coated.

    7. Roast for 30 minutes or until browned.

    Pineapple Burger

    If you follow us on Instagram (@fruitfuldayuae in case you don’t),, you’ll know this is the week of the pineapple! Pineapple is great in a fruit salad, but there’s lots of other unique ways to incorporate pineapples in your meals. Here’s a fun idea to do something a little different, a pineapple burger!  

    Usually cutting out bread or gluten can often make people feel deprived as they can no longer enjoy foods like a burger. This substitute with a pineapple is tasty and colorful. However, remember to choose pasture raised beef, not only is the fatty acid profile much more favorable, you’ll also be doing a service to the environment by avoiding industrialized meats.

    Have we told you lately if you were a fruit, you’d be a fine-apple?

    Pineapple Burger (makes 5 small patties)

    1 hour

    Ingredients for the patties
    • 500g pasture raised beef
    • 1 tsp salt
    • ¾ tsp dried oregano
    • ¾ tsp dried thyme
    • ¼ tsp black pepper
    Other ingredients
    • 1 large tomato
    • 1 large onion
    • 5 cross section slices of pineapple
    • 5 slices of pasture raised aged cheddar cheese
    • 5 lettuce leaves
    METHOD for patties

    1. Put two skillets on medium heat and turn on the grill/broiler on the oven.

    2. Mix all spices and salt and add to the ground beef mixture mixing thoroughly.

    3. Bring about 100g (a palm sized) amount of ground beef mixture together in your hands and shape it into a burger patty.

    4. Slice tomato, onion and pineapple into 1cm thick slices.

    4. Put a small amount of ghee on the skillet and then add the burgers.

    5. As they cook add the tomato, onion and pineapple to the other skillet.

    6. Flip the patties after 5 minutes or so and cook the other side for an equal amount of time (or longer depending on the doneness you prefer)

    7. Remove vegetables and pineapple from the skillet as and when they are done. done. The tomato will cook quickly, the pineapple next and the onion last.

    8. Once the burger is ready, place a slice of cheese over the top and place in the oven to melt the cheese.  

    9. Remove from the oven and assemble all layers on top of the lettuce leave.

    Five Points on Improving Digestion

    Nobody wants to talk about it, but let’s be honest heartburn, bloating and gas are all symptoms of indigestion that plague everyone at one point or another!

    It can be uncomfortable and even painful in some circumstances, but with these 5 simple tips from Fruitful Day’s Nutritional therapist, Michelle, you can improve your digestion drastically. Incorporating these easy points every day will allow you to go from grumpy and gassy to happy and healthy 🙂

    1. Chew your food

    Digestion is a north to south process which means that any compromises made higher up in the chain will have negative effects later on. Chewing your food whilst in a parasympathetic/relaxed state is important, as discussed in last month’s article. However, I wanted to discuss the simple act of chewing. The teeth physically break down food, however, saliva (99.5% water + 0.5% solutes) actually begins to break the food down enzymatically. This is why it’s really important to chew enough before swallowing – ideally for 30 seconds per mouthful.

    For example: if salivary amylase doesn’t get a chance to begin the breakdown of starches, the pancreatic enzyme cannot complete the breakdown and undigested starch enters the colon feeding candida. If you’re prone to candida outbreaks, just the simple act of chewing your food can make a difference in keeping it under control.

    3. Stomach acid is key

    The stomach is designed to be at a pH of 1.5 – 3.0. Hydrochloric acid is excreted at a pH of 0.8 and has many roles:

    • It baths and disinfects the stomach
    • It kills parasites and bacteria
    • It activates pepsin – an enzyme that begins the breakdown of proteins
    • It stimulates gastrin – a hormone that stimulates the release of gastric acid

    It’s estimated that 90% of people produce too little stomach acid due to factors such as:

    • Stress
    • Excess carbohydrate consumption
    • Nutrient deficiencies
    • Allergies
    • Excess alcohol consumption

    Without adequate stomach acid, we are prone to infections by yeast, bacteria, viruses and parasites. We are also unable to properly digest our food. Instead of nourishing us, it rots in our gut causing damage to the intestinal lining (leaky gut) and overwhelming our body with undigested particles that can, later on, trigger autoimmune disease.

    There are several ways to test for stomach acid both with a physician or at home. However, drinking 1tsbp of apple cider vinegar in half a glass of water before a meal will help trigger digestive juices. Eating a small number of bitter foods before a meal such as lemon, grapefruit, kale, turmeric, parsley, coriander, rocket or dandelion greens will also have the same effect. A digestive herbal bitters formula can also be used pre and post a meal to aid with this process.

    3. Absorb good fats   

    Fats play a big role in a healthy diet because they provide us with energy, create the building blocks for cell membranes and hormones, aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, serve as a protective lining for the organs of the body, increase satiety and most importantly make food taste amazing!

    Luckily the ‘low fat fad’ seems to have dissipated and most people embrace the need for healthy fat. However, if you were on a very low-fat diet in the past or consumed a diet with a lot of hydrogenated fat (in fast food), then it could be the case that your gallbladder has been compromised and is not releasing bile in the right quality or quantity. Since bile is used to digest fats, all the processes that use fat (as previously described) will be compromised. This is why quality fats such as avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and flax oil are so important as part of the digestive process.

    4. Feed your microbiome

    Trillions of bacteria inhabit our gastrointestinal tract and play an intricate role in our health. Many factors such as lack of sleep, stress, pesticides, smoking, alcohol, diet and antibiotic use can affect our microbiome. Researchers are becoming more and more aware of how these bacteria support our health. Anything from skin allergies, thyroid, autoimmune issues, brain fog and cravings could be the result of a damaged microbiome.

    Consuming probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir can help rebuild your gut microbiome.

    5. Eliminate food irritants

    There are many reasons your body finds certain foods irritable or stressful. For example, gluten intolerance could actually be an immune response to mould on old or improperly stored flour, rather than the flour itself. You can even form ‘intolerances’ to foods you consume at emotionally stressful times, repeatedly through your life. It’s mostly the case that when digestion is compromised in any of the ways we discussed in this article, you will likely also have intolerances as your body doesn’t have the capability to properly digest certain foods.

    If this is the case, it’s best to cut that food out entirely, then go about the process of healing your gut and then finally, reintroduce the food once you’ve healed. It’s really hard for any healing work to be done if you’re constantly being irritated by a certain food every day.

     

     

    Avocado Chocolate Mousse

    Last week we introduced you to the newest addition of the Fruitful Day family, a fruit bouquet! It’s made with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, physalis, and a touch of mint.

    We wouldn’t want you to go without a new recipe for your Valentine too though!  This week we are sharing a recipe for an avocado chocolate mousse, which is a little different than your typical mousse as it uses melted chocolate achieving an extra creamy texture.

    Whether you’re single, taken, or just plain hungry, we’re sure you’re going to love this dessert!  Wishing you a happy, healthy Valentines Day from the whole Fruitful Day family. 

    Avocado Chocolate Mousse (serves 2/3 for dessert)  

    30 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 100g dark chocolate (you can use 70% cacao)
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence
    • 100g coconut cream (to make this – put the tin of coconut cream in the fridge overnight. In the morning, scoop only the cream off the top leaving the water behind. Set aside).
    • 1 avocado from the Fruitful Day Box
    • ½ tbsp honey (optional)
    • 50g full fat yoghurt or coconut yoghurt

    METHOD

    1. Place a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into the bowl to melt.

    2.  In a separate bowl, smash the avocado with a fork.

    3. Place the coconut cream in a bowl and beat with a hand beater until it forms soft peaks.

    4. Add the chocolate, vanilla, yoghurt, honey to the avocado and blend with a hand blender.

    5. Add the whipped coconut cream and blend (leave a few tablespoons aside for garnish)

    6. Garnish with coconut cream and grated dark chocolate.

    6 Ways to Live a Healthier February

    Last month we introduced you to Michelle (click here if you missed it!) who works as a Nutritional Therapist. This month Michelle shares with us her 6 tips for living a healthier February. Our hope is that even if you weren’t able to stick to your New Years Resolutions, these are some simple tips that will help you to slow down and think about what you’re eating, when you’re eating it, and why you’re eating it. When mind and gut work together, you will feel the difference in your health and well-being.

    1. Start the day with a glass of water with apple cider vinegar 

    We often wake up dehydrated due to the lack of fluids overnight. However, the morning is a time when people stereotypically drink diuretics such as tea and coffee (diuretic beverages cause your kidneys to flush extra water through urination). Hypothetically, if we drink 1 cup of coffee, we would need to drink 1.5 cups of water to counter the diuretic affects of that. 

    It is estimated that up to 90% of people have low stomach acid due to factors like stress, excess carbohydrate consumption, nutrient deficiencies, allergies and excess alcohol. Since the stomach is a naturally acidic environment, (pH 1.5 – 3), a lack of acid can compromise our digestive function greatly, leading to all sorts of digestive issues. Apple cider vinegar does wonders to help our stomach reach the environment pH it needs to properly digest. 

    Starting the day with a large glass of water and two teaspoons of ACV will set you off well in regards to both hydration and getting the stomach ready to digest food.

    2. When eating out, focus on quality of food > macros

    For example, if you’re following the paleo or keto diet, you might always be drawn to meat options on the menu when you’re eating out. However, bear in mind that unless advertised, restaurants will not be purchasing organic, grass-fed or pasture raised animal products. You might be cutting down on carbs by choosing a steak over a vegetable curry, but don’t forget to factor in the hormones, antibiotics and altered nutritional composition of a battery farm or feed lot animal. Grass fed beef, for example, contains up to fives times more omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed beef. 

    Also consider the overall impact on the environment in choosing non sustainable animal products. Both your health goals and the environment can be jeopardised by a choice to dogmatically stick to what’s ‘paleo’ or ‘keto’ (as an example), rather than considering the complexity of these choices. 

    3. Be connected to your food’s origins. 

    Have you ever seen a cashew apple? 

    Each apple gives rise to one cashew. Imagine a whole bag of cashews and what that would look like on a tree. Perhaps it would be a whole branch, or even an entire tree!? Would one ever eat the fruits of an entire tree? Unlikely. However, when it’s packaged in the grocery store in a bag, we are so disconnected from the reality of how things grow that we can easily over consume. Trying to reconnect to that can really give us great insight into how to live a healthier life. 

    4. Eat in a parasympathetic/relaxed state. 

    Did you know that we can only properly digest food in a parasympathetic/relaxed state versus a sympathetic/non relaxed state? Our enteric nervous system runs the entire length of our digestive system governing all manner of processes such as the production of digestive enzymes, to the movement of of food through our intestines. When we are in a sympathetic/non relaxed state our body will slow down digestion to favour the fight or flight stress response which takes priority in tense states. Eating in a sympathetic/non relaxed state, for example; driving, rushing before a school run or even at a ‘stressed out’ family dinner table can compromise your entire digestive cascade from the beginning leading to many issues relating to mal digestion. 

    5. Ask yourself ‘am I making this choice out of fear or joy’? 

    When I first had the realisation that many of my decisions were being made out of fear it was quite a shock! Choices out of fear come in many forms. For me it usually involves making a choice in the present to avoid something that might happen in the future. By doing so you’re totally living in your own internal narrative – one that actually has little to do with the real world. By being present in every moment and responding to actual stimuli, you’ll not only feel less stressed, but also more successful because you’re responding directly to the people and situations around you.  

    6. Create a morning routine.

    It’s very tempting to look at emails, what’s app and Instagram immediately upon waking up. When I do this, I find that the first few hours of my day become disjointed and inefficient. I also start the day seeing people on Instagram doing/eating/wearing ‘better’ things than me. This can lead to misguided thought patterns assuming other people’s lives are ‘more fun/inspiring’ than your own. 

    Creating a morning routine that involves really simple things such as making tea or coffee, stretching for five minutes, watering your plants or doing five minutes of journaling can really make a difference in terms of clarity and assuredness.