Five Reasons To Be A Sauerpuss

Nope, that’s not a typo. I don’t mean SOURpuss (geez, this is The Happiness Cocktail after all), I mean SAUERpuss, as in SAUERKRAUT – that little German-born treat that does absolute wonders for your insides.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles are an amazing way to get probiotics into your system, Happies. Easily added to salads, sandwiches and other everyday meals these nutritionally dense add-ons help your health in numerous ways. Here, five reasons to get them in your life.

sauerkraut

Image via Pinterest

1. They Help Balance Your Good Bacteria

Everyday life tends to throw off the balance of good bacteria in your gut. The simplest way to replenish these handy little helpers is with probiotics. Fermented foods are packed with probiotics, which in turn pump up your levels of good bacteria and help ward off nasty illness (see point 2) and even help manage symptoms of IBS, candida and other gut problems.

2. They Ward Off Illness

Crazy human body fact: 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut. Nuts, right? So, by getting your intestinal flora all sorted you are essentially boosting your immune system as well. Studies conducted by the Journal of Nutrition show that probiotics could protect against colon cancer, while it’s common sense to say that if 80% of your immune system is in good health, your chances of getting sick are greatly reduced.

3. They Can Help Ease Allergies

It’s not just sickness that probiotics fight, it’s allergies too. If you suffer from certain allergies perhaps incorporating more fermented foods into your diet can help. It makes sense, by balancing out your intestinal flora and providing your body with immune-boosting power, you’re going to be more balanced and less susceptible to outbreaks. Worth a try, right?

4. They Calm Your Nervous System

You have the same amount of neurotransmitters in your gut as you do your brain. So, when you think about it your gut is technically your body’s second ‘thinker’. What’s affected by these transmitters? Your nervous system. So, by flooding the area with good bacteria to counteract stress, poor diet, antibiotics and other known bad bacteria promoters, you’re essentially promoting good health in all areas of your body.

5. They Help You Lose Weight

There are two sides of the fence here: On one side you have a gut that’s flourishing in bad bacteria, which promotes inflammation and ultimately weight gain. Not to mention bloating, flatulence and other fun bad-belly signs. On the other side, you have a healthy gut that’s loaded with good bacteria, far less (if any) inflammation and thus, little to no fat at all. I know which one I’d prefer. Studies have shown a 5 per cent reduction in belly fat on subjects who drank probiotic-rich milk for 12 weeks. So, there must be something in it.

We add sauerkraut to most of our meals these days. Mix it through salads, throw it on top of sandwiches, stir it through cauliflower mash, or add it on top of scrambled eggs. The possibilities are endless. Look for non-pasterised sauerkraut if you can, as it hasn’t been exposed to high heat and still has its enzymes intact. This can be found in the refrigerator section of your health food store. Alternatively, make your own at home. It’s super easy.

Tell me Happies…

Do you eat fermented foods?
Do you want to start?

In the Game of Comparison, I Never Win

Are you a chronic comparer? Go on, admit it. I used to be. I used to look at all the fabulous people around me and play the comparison game. Let’s just say I never won. Oh no, instead I just felt like shit all the time and wasted far too much energy looking outwards rather than focusing on what really mattered – my path!

Yet again it was my guru (read: husband) who reminded me that as long as you compare yourself to others, you’re never going to be happy. And what a truth that is. Taking a small snippet of someone’s life and comparing it to where you’re at is completely ridiculous when you say it out loud. Don’t you think? Who knows how they got there, what they had to endure to meet their fortunes, and hey, who knows what lies ahead for you, too. Right? Too right.

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I don’t play that game anymore. Sure, my mind tries to tease me and wander down the path once skipped, but I remind myself that there’s never a rainbow at the end, rather a storm cloud that hangs over you and veers you off course. I quickly learned that the more energy I put into other people’s situations, the less I’m putting into my own. Screw that! It’s all about me baby. And those awesome people around me are awesome and inspirational and fabulous. But hey, so am I. As are you.

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Tell me Happies…

Do you play the comparison game?

Do you ever win?

Affirmative Action! My love of affirmation cards

The old affirmation card is a greatly underrated tool for success. I mean, where else can you find a beautiful illustration with the words “Don’t ask for an easier life. Ask for a stronger person”. Or, better yet, “Work less, play more, love harder”?

affirmation

These simple little gems of positivity are smattered across my desk, providing me with hours of quality distraction inspiration and are a constant reminder that at the end of the day, there’s really only two things to remember:

1. Nothing REALLY matters all that much.

2. Fun, uplifting words and pretty pictures can turn any shit day on its head.

So Happies, as we reach the end of hump day and happily glide into the backend of yet another week, I thoroughly recommend getting your hands on a little box of affirmation cards to lift your spirits when you’re down, and entertain you when you’re bored. My picks are Twigseeds A Little Bird Told Me and Love, by Meredith Gaston. What about you? Do you have any affirmation cards you love?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

Ten Second Beauty Trick: Cold Water Blast

Sometimes small, subtle changes can make the biggest difference to your overall health. Case in point: my secret little skin-glowing trick that takes, on average, 10 seconds.

At the end of your lovely warm shower, once you’ve washed away your shampoo and conditioner, rinsed your body wash and cleansed your skin, turn the tap to cold. Freezing cold. And wait…wait…wait…OK, turn it off.

showerImage: Wynn Richards Woman in Shower, 1921

This tricky little beauty tip instantly gets the circulation pumping in your body, giving your skin an instant pick-me-up and gorgeous glow. Basically, it’s a cheat’s way to detoxing as it forces circulation to increase, shifting toxins around the body and getting the blood pumping in all the right places.

If you’re really in the mood for some circulation boosters, try dry body brushing before you pop in the shower and massaging in a body oil after you jump out. Gorgeous, glowing skin in seconds!

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

Simple Kitchen Trick: Falafel Loaf

I made way too much falafel mixture the other night. I was hungry; eyes too big for stomach. You know the drill. Anyway, when I came to the conclusion that rolling all this mixture into a million little balls and cooking them one-by-one was way too hard, I let out a big harumph and looked listlessly into the eyes of my lovely husband hoping he’d have a suggestion. Just like the sweet little girl in the Old El Paso ads.

Miraculously, he did. He said, “Just pour all the mixture into a bread tin and bake it. It will be like a falafel loaf.” Ohh, the genius!

It’s not all that much to look at, but here’s the end result…

falafelLoaf

All crispy and falafel-y on the top and soft and yummy in the centre, this loaf was an absolute winner! In fact, I prefer the mixture like this rather than the usual way. It’s healthier than frying, quicker than rolling and, you can pack even more veggies in like zucchini and carrot like I did. I served this vegetarian delight with some cooked onion, beets and a lebanese-inspired tomato salad. For ‘sauce’, try tahini or a mild chilli dressing – we used both.

Here’s what you need…

1 x medium-sized baking tin
1 x piece of baking paper
4 x cups of falafel mixture either store bought or homemade
6 x cups of water
1 x zucchini
1 x carrot
1 x teaspoon of olive oil
1 x teaspoon each of smoked paprika, turmeric and cumin

Here’s what you need to do…

1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and wet your baking paper with water. Scrunch paper to squeeze water out and line baking tin with it – Jamie Oliver styles.

2. Now, pour your falafel mixture into a large bowl and mix with water, removing any lumps as you stir. Allow to rest for around 30 minutes.

3. While your mixture is resting, chop your vegetables and prepare your side dishes. Then, once the mixture is nice and thick and has absorbed the water, add your zucchini and carrot and stir through. You can also add broccoli, tomatoes… whatever you have in the fridge. Also pour in a teaspoon of olive oil and mix. Then, transfer your mixture to a lined baking tin and decorate the top with your spices – paprika, turmeric and cumin – and pop in the oven for around 35 minutes.

4. To check if the loaf is done, simply stick a skewer or fork in the centre to see if it’s solid inside. You want it to be firm but not hard and the top should be crispy but not burned. Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool (take the paper and loaf out of the tin) while you plate up the rest of the meal. Cut into squares and drizzle with tahini and chilli. ENJOY!

 

Tell me Happies..

What do you think of this idea?