Sunday, 30 August 2015

Autumn Bounty for our Smoothie

I feel the end of summer and autumn is breathing it's cold breath across the landscape, the nights are closing in and the chill in the air is noticeable in the evening, I just love this time of year. Apparently summer showed it's face briefly, stamped its feet and then stormed off to the pub, got in a fight and stayed indoors with a fat lip and a chronic hangover!!

We've just returned from Southern Spain and a few important weeks with the family. The transition from 40C in Spain to a damp 15C back in the UK has took a few days to get used too. My golden tan is already the colour of two week old leftover noodles.

It would easy to feel a little down but I was excited to return home because I knew our fine countries hedgerows and woodlands would be full of wild, free and massively nutritious food. 

This year I've left a large portion of our veggie garden go fallow to rest he soil. Apart from a few runner beans and the stragglers of last seasons Kale the garden has been taken over with chickweed and dandelions. This is a bonus because I class them as superfood and instead of my cultivated greens these two beauties go into our green smoothies. The more I crop them the quicker they grow back, I couldn't be happier with the situation, although it'll take some serious digging to get it back to the veggie garden we normally have. I'm a traditional gardener's nightmare but I know next year we will have a revitalised soil and our crops will be improved. Another plus is that we have even more wildlife in our garden. Everywhere I step froglets bounce away from my size 10 feet. Our Slow Worms and thriving, they've taken over our three compost bins for the last 15 years but they're welcome to them, they're a star addition to our little ecosystem.

We also have all our berries coming ripe, Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries at their sweetest. We don't have massive crops but everyday we have a good handful to have either in our smoothie of with some dairy free yogurt. Add a few raisins, a sliced banana and some sliced apple topped with a spoonful of orange blossom honey that I bring back from Spain for the ultimate late summer dessert.

Upon our return from Spain we called in to see some good friends Vicki and Mel and plunder their huge garden and especially their crop of wild plums that are perfectly ripe and a great addition to our morning smoothies. After a fifteen minutes tree shaking session and collecting of the fallen fruit we had a least 10-15lb of fruit. None will go to waste in the next few days. I know my mother will make her legendary jam which will see us through the winter with a great topping for our morning toast and porridge. We had a great evening catching up with 'old' friends, Vicki, Mel, Slim, PA and Ian. We sampled Mel's amazing homemade wine stocks and shared stories, we all have a lot of colourful history together. Mel's a talented man, I'll have to start making my own vino with some help and guidance from my buddy. Thanks guys we had a great evening, much appreciated.

Nutritionally plums are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium and high in Fiber, Vitamin A, K and a great source of Vitamin C. You also have a good dose of Calcium, Phosphorus and Potassium and even Omega 6 fatty acids. All you have to do is get out there and collect them and maybe shake a few trees.

The UK countryside this year is producing a bumper crop of apples, pears, damsons. The blackberries are also just becoming ripe and so are my seasonal favourite the fantastic Elderberry. Watch this space as I'll be out and about harvesting. For the last few days this is the makeup of our morning green smoothie.

25-30 wild plums
Handful of Blueberries from our garden
A few Raspberries and Strawberries from the garden
30-40 Dandelion leaves from garden
Handful of Chickweed for the garden
Half a bag of Spinach
1 stick of celery from garden
1 Banana
1 unwaxed Lemon with skin
1 chunk of Ginger with skin
1/4 Cantaloupe Melon
1tbsp Wheatgrass powder
1tbsp Spirulina
1tbsp Bee Pollen
1tbsp Flaxseed

It's a great time of the year, don't be put off by the changing weather get out there and get your free nutrition harvest that will feed you through the winter if you're smart. Any excess just store in the freezer. Obviously you need a little prepping, de-stoning plums, washing and removing any bugs that have come along for the ride. When you need some fresh fruits for your smoothies just chip off a lump and away you go.

One last but very important thought. If you do go and take advantage to the wild bounty in your local countryside, please don't be greedy. Only take what you know you'll use. The wildlife at this time of year need this harvest to fatten up for the long winter. In fact I always make sure my garden has a supply of windfall apples and pears for the migrating thrushes and blackbirds. Below is a a photo of one of the beautiful migrant Fieldfares they visit us from Scandinavia every year when the winter really bites. We always makes sure they have a fresh food supply and well as unfrozen water at Cafe Hodges.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Manna of Life

It's like nature is trying to tell us something!

extract from my forthcoming book 'SAVE YOURSELF'

WHEATGRASS Triticum AestivumIn
Wheatgrass is a complete food with no toxic levels, everyone should make it part of their daily diet. Wheatgrass has 98 out of the 102 vital vitamins, mineral, amino acids and enzymes the human body need for perfect health. That’s a big punch for humble grass; no other plant can compete for nutrition.

Wheatgrass Nutrients 

Amino Acids 

Vitamins in Wheatgrass 
Folic Acid 
Pantothenic Acid 
Vitamin A 
Vitamin B1 
Vitamin B2 
Vitamin B3 
Vitamin B5 
Vitamin B6 
Vitamin B12 
Vitamin C 
Vitamin E 
Vitamin K 

Minerals in Wheatgrass 
70+ other known trace minerals 

Benefits of Wheatgrass from its Enzymes
Wheatgrass contains approximately thirty enzymes vital for healthy body and especially the digestive system. They also help purify blood, help burn body fat which increases energy and tackle any colon problems. All the enzymes in wheatgrass are retained because they are taken raw and uncooked. Heating food will automatically destroy live enzymes.

Amino Acids in Wheatgrass 
Aspartic Acid 
Cystine 8 
Glutamic Acid 

Antioxidants and Protection from Free Radical Damage
The high concentration of beta-carotene in Wheatgrass is a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from free radicals to damage. Damage caused by cell Oxidation can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammation of organs and an overall lowering of the immune system making us susceptible to viruses.

Antioxidants in Wheatgrass help: 
Elimination of toxins 
Skin cell repair 
Blood purification 
Gum health 
Improve memory 
Help control allergies by histamine control 
Helps remove fat deposits in the vascular system which can help reduce varicose veins. 
Reduces Arthritis and Rheumatism 
Increasing energy level and helps eliminate fatigue 
Helps restore fertility and libido 

Additional Benefits of Wheatgrass Powder

Wheatgrass is especially helpful in balancing gut bacteria which aids digestion and absorption of nutrients. If your gut bacteria and Ph is out of balance the whole immune system is stressed and opens to disease and infection. Wheatgrass will readdress the Ph to the correct alkaline balance.

When wheatgrass has helped re-establish a healthy gut environment, harmful bacteria and even disease will have problems establishing themselves and will eventually die off and be expelled through the colon. 

Wheatgrass is well known for its blood restoration qualities helping produce red blood cells and white corpuscles. It also lowers blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways.By stimulating the thyroid glands and speeding up the metabolism wheatgrass can aid in maintaining body weight and can help overcome obesity related problems. 

Because the blood is restored the liver and colon can work effectively and mop up and expel toxins from the body. The improved function will help in a number of blood and digestive ailments such as constipation, anemia, ulcers, piles, diarrhea and acid reflux. 

Because of the reduced inflammation in the body more serious diseases can be prevented and even reversed. Wheatgrass has been very effective in treating blood disorders such as Leukaemia. Many cancer patients have used wheatgrass to combat nausea and other such side effect from mainstream cancer therapies. 

Wheatgrass is also well known and a vitality restorative. This makes perfect sense because when the blood is clean and toxin free it shows itself externally with glowing skin, white eyes and hair restoration. Many claim the hair pigment returns to greying hair. 

I've personally treated a degenerative eye disease called Pinguecula which is caused by UV radiation damage from the sun. The white of the eye becomes raised and red. It’s extremely uncomfortable and feels like I have sand in my eye. I've spent a great deal of time with my right eye glued to a powerful camera and lens photographing birds around the World. Undoubtedly this has caused the damage but after being diagnosed by my MD and optician I was told that the condition is very hard to treat and will degenerate as I aged. I decided to try fresh wheatgrass juice and powdered concentrate. I was already taking 1 desert spoon daily in my smoothies but decided to up the dosage. For 2 weeks I drank 4-5 pints of water with 1 desert spoon of wheatgrass powder. I also freshly juiced three trays of fresh grass a week. As well as drinking the juice I also administered several drops to my eye. Within 48hrs I felt and saw an impressive improvement. My symptoms decreased by at least 80%. With a week of treatment it had completely cleared up. I finished my 2nd week of my protocol and then went to see my MD. When I asked him to examine my eye he was very shocked. He couldn't detect any damage at all. In amazement he asked me what I had done and I explain my treatment protocol. He now recommends wheatgrass to some of his patients with eye problems. Now if I ever have tired eyes either from a long day and exhaustion or from the rigour of being out in all weathers the first thing I reach for is my wheatgrass powder. Not only does it work better than any cup of coffee and with no side effects such as a caffeine crash but I can actually see the whites of my eyes brighten within 10 minutes of consumption. 

Wheatgrass is a true restorative elixir. With all these benefits from wheatgrass juice or powder the end result is a slowing down of the aging process. Your blood will be cleaner, free from toxins making your immune system stronger which leads to less illness and disease. 

Your skin, hair, nails, eyes and gums will be stronger and healthier looking. The metabolism stabilises and you burn fat more efficiently. Who wouldn't want these benefits? Some users claim that when powder or juice is massaged into the hair while showering it helps restore pigment to greying hair. Personally I haven't tried this method but it makes perfect sense. Copper supplementation is sold as a grey hair restorative and wheatgrass contains copper. 

When the powder is mixed with a little water and made into a paste is can help with numerous skin issues including, rashes, athlete’s foot, burns, sunburn, insect bites and acne. 

For prevention or reversal of disease wheatgrass cannot be ignored. I would advise that everyone include wheatgrass juice or powder in their daily diet. It easy to grow from seed for fresh juice (you will need a hand auger juicer; high speed electric juicers will not do the job). Alternatively wheatgrass powder is highly concentrated and obtainable from almost all health food shop on the high street or alternatively the internet. It’s relatively inexpensive when compared to health care costs and is great for all the family. I wish I had have discovered it when I was a child and studying martial arts, it’s a great training supplement.

For more science and info please click on the photo below