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DIY, Health & Fitness

Health Benefits of Almond Milk

A lot of people eat almonds as it is or in a dish but almond milk has become popular over the last few years.

It might seem like a health fad but have you ever wondered if almond milk is good for you? Or what are the benefits of almond milk? Read on…

Almond Milk Nutrition

Almond milk is derived from the almond nut, which can be found in the Middle East, India & North Africa. Almond milk is a plant based alternative to traditional milk from cows.

It’s made from raw almonds and filtered water and can be flavored with a few ingredients. Almond milk is low in calories and doesn’t contain saturated fat. It’s also a suitable fat free replacement for people with allergies.

Find out the awesome benefits of almond milk for the body and skin

What Are the Health Benefits of Almond Milk?

  • Almond milk contains many nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and potassium, which are excellent for a healthy body.
  • Almond milk is a very good source of vitamin A, a vitamin essential for healthy eyes and vision.
  • Almond milk is lactose-free and suitable for vegans.
  • Almond milk is a good source of protein and calcium although not as much as traditional cow’s milk but it can be fortified with these nutrients.
  • Almond milk helps boost and maintain the body’s immune system.
  • Almond milk contains vitamin E, which helps repair damaged skin and boost skin health. You can also cleanse your skin with almond milk.
  • Since almond milk doesn’t contain cholesterol or saturated fat, it’s an excellent option for people with high cholesterol. Additionally, it is high in the same heart healthy omega fatty acids usually found in fish.
  • Almond milk contains B vitamins such as iron and riboflavin, which work together for strong muscle development and helps the body repair itself.

Is Almond Milk Healthy?

A cup of almond milk is roughly 50 – 60 calories and less than 2 grams of fat making it a great option when you’re on a fitness regimen. You can use it as a liquid base in your daily smoothies.

Best Almond Milk Brands

The best almond milk brands are natural and shouldn’t contain carrageenan, an ingredient derived from red seaweed and algae, which may cause issues for the GI tract. Some good brands include:

EcoMil Sugar Free Almond Milk

EcoMil Sugar Free Almond Milk

Australias Own Organic Almond Milk

Australia’s Own Organic Almond Milk

Both brands can be found at Choithram’s Supermarkets. Wondering how to make almond milk yourself instead? See below –

How to Make Almond Milk

You will need 2 cups of raw almonds and some filtered water.

Directions for DIY Almond Milk

  • Soak the raw almonds in filtered water overnight.
  • Strain the next morning and blend the almonds with more water.
  • After blending, strain the milk through a cheesecloth and add any flavorings you like such as vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  • Store in a milk bottle and use within a few days.

If you make your own almond milk, keep in mind the protein and calcium content is not as much as you require and you will need to make up for it in other ways.

Is Almond Milk Good for Your Hair?

Almond milk contains a lot of good fats, vitamin E and vitamin A – ideal for moisturizing dry and dull hair, as well as maintaining softness. Read Almond Milk Benefits for Healthy Hair.

Where Can You Buy Raw Almonds?

Raw almonds can be found in most local supermarkets packed or in the bulk bin section. You can also purchase it online HERE.

Now Foods Raw Almonds

Now Foods Raw Almonds

Health & Fitness

Control Your Chocolate Cravings with Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The avocado tree can be found in Mexico although they are cultivated in several tropical and Mediterranean regions of the world. It is aka alligator pear.

The avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole, and can also be used in smoothies, milk shakes, salads and ice cream or mixed with other dishes.

Avocados are incredibly nutritious and contain up to 20 vitamins and minerals with the most abundant being vitamin K, C, B, E, potassium (more than bananas) and folate. Additionally, it contains small amounts of iron, zinc, vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). Can you spot some vitamins vital for healthy hair growth in there?

Avocados are also rich in fiber, can help lower cholesterol, loaded with potent antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are excellent for healthy eyes.

Avocado itself is a bit bland in taste for me except when combined with something else so when I came across this recipe while researching healthy ways to indulge chocolate cravings (I’m a serious chocoholic), it felt like a godsend.

The recipe has only a few ingredients, is simple to compile and takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

avocado-mousse-for-healthy-weight-loss

Ingredients for Chocolate Avocado Mousse

  • 3 – 5 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk (I used regular milk)
  • 4 tablespoons raw cocoa powder (I used a bar of dark chocolate instead)
  • Honey or agave syrup to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

There are many recipes online but below is the one I used as a guideline. I customized it based on my personal preferences. For instance, I didn’t use as much honey as she used.

1 serving comes to about 295 calories. The great thing about this recipe is a little of it fills you up faster, which means you consume fewer calories overall when included as a cheat day dish within your diet.

By the way, you can use this as a frosting for cakes and donuts as well although not sure how that would end up tasting!

3-seed-butters-essential-for-weight-loss-goals
Health & Fitness

3 Seed Butters Essential for Weight Loss Goals

This is a continuation from the earlier article on 7 Essential Nut Butters to Include in Your Diet for Better Weight Loss. This article will look at seed butters.

Seed butters are just as nutritious as nut butters and whichever one you choose boils down to personal preference. It is made the same way as nut butters by grinding suitable seeds into a paste via a blender or food processor. Seed butters are also a great alternative if you’re allergic to nuts.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Food To Live Organic Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seed butter is an excellent source of selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, vitamin E & B vitamins. It’s also full of omega-6 fatty acids. It makes for a great dipping for veggies like carrots and cucumbers, as a base in salad dressings and in baking.

Sesame Seed Butter

sesame seed butter for weight loss

Sesame seed butter is aka tahini in the Middle East. The butter is made with toasted sesame seeds and is full of omega-6 fatty acids. The many benefits of sesame seeds were covered in the earlier article – Benefits of Adding Sesame Seeds to Your Diet. The consistency is creamy and slightly runny. Sesame seed butter is excellent for use in sauces, salad dressings and the popular Middle Eastern dish hummus.

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Now Foods Organic Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seed butter is packed full of omega-6 fatty acids as well and falls into the category of a superfood. It contains a significant amount of zinc, which can help you contribute to about one third of the recommended daily allowance for women. Additionally, it contains iron, beta-carotene, phosphorus, manganese, copper, magnesium and copper. Pumpkin seeds make an excellent snack and can be eaten whole.

You can find seed butters in most supermarkets but check the ingredient listing before purchase as there might be additives like sugar, which defeats the purpose of helping with weight loss.

How to Make Seed Butters at Home

There is a detailed recipe in the earlier article – 7 Essential Nut Butters to Include in Your Diet for Better Weight Loss as well as other healthy ingredients you can include in your recipe.

Easy-Recipe-for-a-Quick-Energy-Boost-Before-a-Workout
DIY, Health & Fitness

Easy Recipe for a Quick Energy Boost Before a Workout

I’m a fitness aficionado and make an effort to stay on top of my diet and what goes inside my body. However, one of my major challenges with this is finding the right meal to eat prior to a workout.

I’m a picky eater and I also don’t like eating heavy meals in the morning but I also need to get something in me before my tough Beachbody workouts.

I’ve tried apples, toast and cereal bars but they didn’t quite give me the energy I wanted or they made me feel heavy during the workout. Last week, I came across this great recipe on Tasty’s Facebook page. It’s so simple; it’s crazy I never thought of something like this before. It consists of peanut butter, oats, honey, chocolate chips and flaxseeds.

I’ve modified the recipe slightly in the following ways:

  • Ground flaxseeds instead of whole flaxseeds. Your body cannot process whole flaxseeds so definitely mill it a little. You can purchase whole flaxseeds and blend yourself or purchase already milled flaxseeds.
  • I added a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and toasted pine nuts.
  • I added a spoon of plant protein powder.

I make enough of a batch to last around 5 days in the fridge and pop a few every morning before my workout. They’re awesome and keep me going throughout the 30-minute workout.

A possible substitution for the oats, which I haven’t tried yet includes coconut flakes, quinoa, chia seeds and hemp seeds. You can also replace the peanut butter with almond butter or cashew butter and the honey with agave nectar or maple syrup.

jillian-michaels-30-day-shred-review
Health & Fitness

Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred Review – Does It Work?

A previous article discussed how  decadent buffets in Dubai are contributing to expanding waistlines. In the same article, I also mentioned ways to control your buffet intake for a healthier lifestyle.

However, you still need to have some sort of physical exercise regimen in your life for a healthy heart, muscles, bones and overall bodily functions. Unfortunately, a majority of expats in Dubai have a killer work schedule and don’t always have time to make it to the gym.

This is where home workout programmes come in. I’ve been using these for the last 3 years with great results, and will be reviewing all the programmes I’ve used over the next few weeks.

jillian-michaels-30-day-shredSo Who is Jillian Michaels and What is the 30 Day Shred?

Jillian Michaels, is one of America’s top personal trainers and has been featured in popular programmes such as The Biggest Loser & Losing it With Jillian. The people she has trained obtained outstanding results and she has continued to develop work out programmes that literally kick ass.

The 30-day shred programme is a 20-minute workout everyday for 30 days based on Jillian’s 3-2-1  concept – 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio training and 1 minute of ab work. The programme promises you will have lost up to 20 pounds by the end of the 30 days if you stick with it.

It sounds like something that is simple and effortless but far from it. The exercises while not long are designed to be intense and engage every part of your body. I promise you will sweat.

The programme is divided into three levels with 10 days assigned to each level. There are no resting periods between each set but with only 20 minutes for each workout, you don’t need the rest. However, you can stop for 1 – 2 seconds to take a breather if necessary but get right back into it ASAP. Level 1 is relatively mild but level 2 & 3 can get  intense. Getting through level 1 would have prepared your body somewhat for the intensity of level 2 & 3. Each session also contains a short warm up and cool down session.

5 Great Things About Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred Program

  1. Only 20 minutes per day. I know everyone got time for that!
  2. Intensity levels are regulated so you can go at your own pace.
  3. Only a mat and a set of weights are required (I used 2kg weights but you can use heavier weights if you want to). I also used knee braces to prevent injuries.
  4. Fast and efficient. If you need to quickly tone down for something like an upcoming wedding, dinner or other social events, this works great.
  5. Jillian breaks down each movement slowly and carefully so you are able to follow it and reenact the correct posture at home.

I used Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred primarily to tone and prepare myself for Beachbody’s Focus T25, which is way tougher. I highly recommend this for moderately fit people but don’t expect it to shed any major fat within 30 days.

jillian-michaels-30-day-shredShop Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

As with all work out programs, it doesn’t work in isolation. Simply doing the fitness regimen isn’t enough. You will also have to modify your diet to suit the workout. Have you tried this workout programme yet? Let’s know in the comments section.