Nutrition for Busy Parents

With the summer holidays well and truly underway, this time of year can bring a change in routine for many families. Whilst kids generally love the holidays, 6-weeks of entertaining, planning, and prepping breakfast, lunch, and dinners can seem like a burden for parents. So, it’s understandable that routines get knocked out of whack, but with challenges come opportunities.

With potentially more stressors and demands on parents’ time, ensuring you’re eating the best foods could mean the difference between a fun-packed day and an afternoon crash that ends in frayed tempers. Read further for some key tips to get optimum Nutrition as Busy Parents.

Nutrient Density for Busy Parents

Regardless of your health goals: fat loss, improved energy, less brain fog, more muscle, focusing on nutrient-dense foods is a great place to start. What is nutrient density? It’s a way of eating that focuses on consuming foods with the most nutrients per serving.

In our modern food environment, we can’t necessarily rely on our hunger and cravings to guide us towards foods containing nutrients that we might be lacking. For example, potassium and magnesium are two of the most common nutrients people are deficient in. However, foods high in these include spinach, chard, courgette, pumpkin seeds, kale, broccoli, sprouts, and chicken breast. It’s not often we ‘crave’ these foods.

The idea of nutrient density prioritises foods containing essential nutrients. The good news is that eating with nutrient density in mind often means eating less energy (i.e., calories). This is because we’re focussing on natural, whole foods, which generally have a higher satiety value than ultra-processed foods and aren’t laden with added sugar and fats to make them more palatable.

Foods to Consider – Nutrition for Busy Parents

I’ve mentioned a few already, but below is a list of some of the most nutrient-dense foods (per serving):

Animal

  • pork chops
  • steak
  • liver
  • chicken breast
  • ground beef
  • eggs

Seafood 

  • salmon
  • mackerel
  • mussels
  • tuna
  • prawns

Plants

  • spinach
  • brussels sprouts
  • chard
  • broccoli
  • sweet potato
  • potato
  • kale
  • avocado

If you can include some of these foods into your meals each day, you’ll be well on your way to improving your micronutrient intake and providing your body with the fuel it needs to operate at its best.

But perhaps the best part? As these foods – particularly animal and seafood – are high in protein and relatively low in energy density (calories), if these foods make up the majority of your diet, for most people, fat loss, improved focus and energy are likely to come along for the ride. Win-win. Of course, this is easier said than done, so start slowly and think of ways to incorporate these foods into your existing go-to meals rather than creating brand-new meals the kids might be suspicious of. Can you stir some spinach into a spag bol or cottage pie, add some broccoli onto the Friday night pizza, combine some avo and prawns in your lunchtime salad, throw some kale in your smoothie…


Apart from my tips for Nutrition for Busy Parents. If you are experiencing any problems with your energy, blood sugar levels, or gut health (food intolerances, IBS, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence), don’t hesitate to get in touch with James Dunham who is available for face-to-face Nutritional Assessments at Life Rituals every Tuesday afternoon/evenings.

You can book a free 15-minute no-obligation discovery call by emailing James at james@liferituals.co.uk or by leaving a message on 01572 868579.


About Life Rituals

Our team of healthcare professionals provide personalised healthcare plans based on the root causes of ill health instead of the ‘sticking plaster’ or symptoms-based approach. We offer a broad range of therapies and expertise to provide integrative healthcare for all the family under one roof.

Therapies we offer – Acupuncture, Medical Herbal Medicine, Nutritional Therapy,

Counselling, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Reiki, Myofascial Cupping,

Zone Face Lift and Holistic Facials.

We know a combination of approaches can sometimes achieve the best results for the patient to help speed up recovery or be more supportive in long-term complex and chronic health conditions. Our practitioners can guide you.

Prevention for the Common Cold

Prevention is always better than cure. These simple steps will help prevent the common cold and help keep you well over the winter months.

Include plenty of fermented foods

Include plenty of fermented foods and drink in your daily diet – the best quality is your own homemade kind – easy to make Fermented food and Kephir making kits will get you started. These help to keep your gut in good health and prevent chronic immune dysfunction. Research shows probiotics help boost the immune system and preventing cold and flu. Probiotic foods include fermented vegetables, kefir yoghurt, and kombucha tea.

Take Multivitamins

Taking Multivitamins has many health benefits. In the short term, they can increase energy, reduce stress, help fight infections. Long term they can benefit our immunity and health. Winter is the most vital time for multivitamins. We recommend Biocare Methyl Multi-Nutrient.

Get plenty of sleep

Getting plenty of sleep is important to avoid your body getting ill in winter. During sleep, our immune system regenerates and repairs the body. Natural hormones such as melatonin is released at night and help to encourage sleep and support immunity. Those that sleep less than 7 hours a night are 3 times more likely to get sick and catch a cold than those who slept more than 8 hours. Aim to be in bed and asleep by 10 pm at the latest. Don’t let yourself get run down. If you find it hard to sleep or have chronic insomnia get some acupuncture treatment and try bedtime ritual tea to help you sleep naturally.

Eat warm cooked foods

Eat warm cooked foods, avoid raw cold foods like Salads. Warming foods help warm the body, expel cold and increase circulation. Eat more winter vegetables and soups such as carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, and turnips. Use cooking methods such as roasting, mash or soups for a comforting winter meal. Have more ginseng, ginger, cinnamon and gou qi berries.

Increase Vitamin C

Increasing Vitamin C is great to help prevent colds and flu and increase our immune system. It reduces acidity in the body and is an anti-bacterial. Make sure you get enough vitamin C in your diet, you can do this with food and drink – try Life Rituals Organic Tea Blends such as Protection Ritual; Cleanse and Detox Ritual; or Unwind and Uplift Ritual Teas which are all packed full of high content organic Vit C ingredients. We also recommend taking a Vit C supplement.

If you are suffering from a cold or flu this winter or have extremely cold hands and feet, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are great to treat your winter cold. To find out more contact us for information.

Winter’s coming… So let’s get smarter about vitamin D

Winters’ coming… So let’s get smarter about vitamin D – before more and more people suffer unnecessarily.

Here are 4 steps to help you optimise your vitamin D levels in the winter:

1. Get your blood levels tested

Get your blood levels tested at least twice a year, using an accredited lab. End of summer or winter (yes, now!) are good times to run tests to see where you might be, at your highest or lowest levels. Whichever country you live in, put “vitamin D blood test” into your search engine and you’ll find an increasing array of services that measure your blood levels based on a blood spot that you produce yourself with a pinprick. Everything you need is supplied to your home and you’ll get your results a few days after you’ve sent your bloodspot to the lab by post. Blood testing is essential, however, also remember our body requires enough Magnesium (Mg). Without enough Magnesium your body (in the liver) will be challenged at utilising this life-enhancing pro-hormone. Ideally, get a test that does both, Jo George at Life Rituals can arrange this if you struggle to find the right one.

2. Take high dose vitamin D3 supplements

If your blood levels of 25(OH)D are below 100 nmol/L (40 ng/ml), take high dose vitamin D3 supplements (4000 IU [100 mcg] or more daily) to bring yourself back into range. Ideally, test again 3 months after starting supplementation. The rate at which you optimise will vary greatly in different people. If in doubt, seek the support of a suitably qualified and experienced practitioner like Jo at Life Rituals. You may need to increase your intake (via food or supplements) of additional nutrients and/or enzymes to enhance absorption. If you struggle to optimise your vitamin D levels, you may wish to have a genetic test to check for vitamin D polymorphisms.

3. Be less fearful of the sun

Let’s be less fearful of the sun and skin cancer risk – let’s simply avoid getting burned. Don’t slap that sunscreen on the kids before they’ve had a chance to be in the sun – but also don’t let them get burned. We need to get sun smart again – it’s what we’ve done for millennia. Remember that UVB strikes our skin and with the help of cholesterol is eventually absorbed (can take ca 48hrs) and processed in our liver. Showering it all off will not help it absorbed, so wash essential bodily parts but don’t use organic soap or gel and wash it all off your skin, simply rinse in cold water.

4. Oily fish and fortified foods can help – but not enough to remedy a severe deficiency

If you can consume oily fish, fish liver oil and fortified foods, these can help boost your levels, but typically, the levels are not high enough to remedy a severe deficiency. These fortified foods (e.g. dairy, wheat) may also contribute to other health problems.

If your immune system is constantly low then seek Jo’s professional advice and rebalance with nutrition, acupuncture, and herbs. Call the clinic 01572 868579 or email info@liferituals.co.uk for a consultation for an individualised health plan.

Saturday Tea Tasting; Bespoke Christmas Tea Sets & Unique Gifts – Throughout November & December

There are few finer ways to toast the season than with a cup of our popular teas. Start sipping your way to a Merry Christmas here. We’re delighted to share our tea obsession in a series of Tea Tastings on Saturdays throughout November & December in our Oakham shop. No booking necessary, just a healthy curiosity!

Join us between 10am -3pm us for a complimentary exploration of our caffeinated and non caffeinated teas with a health purpose. Enjoy and drink our teas for digestion, sleep, energy and cold protection. Organic, Additive & Naturally gluten-free, our wellness tea collection support health and well-being, inside and out.

Dates: Saturday 9th November / Saturday 23rd November / Saturday 30th November / Saturday 7th December / Saturday 14th December / Saturday 21st December
Time: 10am – 3pm
Location: Life Rituals, 24 Mill Street, Oakham, LE15 6EA

You can also make your own bespoke gift tea set tailored to the person’s tastes and health needs, which is wonderfully, thoughtful gift at Christmas, but also on any occasion. Very popular!

tea tasting event in rutland

Be prepared for delicious tastings served by our in-house tearistas – Helen and Liz and since no tea is an island, you’ll also discover a perfect homemade biscuit pairing served alongside. We also won’t be afraid to answer those necessary, hard-hitting questions like: how do you dunk a biscuit properly?!

You will take away with you a new wealth of tea knowledge, some brewing tips to complete your now-full suite of tea skills, and some gorgeous tea gift sets for friends and family. You will also have the chance to shop for unusual gifts at Life Rituals which encompasses an Acupuncture & Herb Clinic and Life Rituals Organic Teas together with an apothecary of tea accessories from Broste Copenhagen, unique botanical fragrances, books and original art.

So if you’re thirsty for some knowledge, and appreciate finding unusual beautiful gifts – or perhaps simply an expertly made cup of tea – we’d love to see you and share a moment out with you.

Drop-in anytime between 10am – 3pm 🙂

For more information please call 01572 868579 or email info@liferituals.co.uk

Complimentary Courtyard Organic Tea Tastings – July

We are having some fab Tea Tasting events at Life Rituals in our beautiful sunny courtyard on July 2nd / 9th / 16th & 23rd.
10am – 4pm. All welcome.

Come and Join us for an introduction to our herbalist blended range of 11 Organic tea blends, a slice of cake (gluten free too) and chill in the sunshine….with our compliments. Hot and Cold brew teas will be available.

tea tastings july

Life Rituals Teas has something for everyone – from caffeinated to non caffeinated to the sweet to the soothing, the spicy to zesty, the warming to the cooling. Our delicious Tea Blends have been created with specific health benefits in mind.

Drinking one of Life Rituals Organic Tea blends is a simple way to start to integrate herbs into your daily diet and routine. Let us help you make positive changes to your health, mood, skin, your sense of well-being and energy.

Whilst our ingredients for our unique tea blends come from all over the world, we are very proud to source organically certified herbs, flowers and roots and that’s why our teas are so therapeutically beneficially to body and soul.

 

Dates: Tuesday 2nd July / Tuesday 9th July / Tuesday 16th July / Tuesday 23rd July
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Life Rituals, 24 Mill Street, Oakham, LE15 6EA

For more information please call 01572 868579 or email info@liferituals.co.uk

Turmeric Chai Tea

Chai simply means “tea” in Hindi, and masala chai means “spiced tea”. Popular in India, where street vendors are kept busy serving thousands all day long, this 5,000+ year old drink originated as an Ayurvedic tonic.

Turmeric Chai Tea

Our Organic Turmeric Chai Tea has different ingredients to the classic Chai and its also Caffeine Free. Its a real winter warmer aromatic, spicy, smooth & uplifting with organic ingredients Cinnamon; Ginger root; Turmeric root; Liquorice root; Orange peel and Clove.

You cannot open Facebook or instagram without without seeing turmeric pop up somewhere…. you will see everything from turmeric smoothies to turmeric porridge, and one of the biggest caffeine free trends of the moment a turmeric latte !

As a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Herbalist I am very familiar with the traditional application of this spice. Turmeric is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, which is also a part of the ginger family. It is commonly used in India not only in cooking but as a source of dye and food colouring because of it’s beautiful bright yellow colour; Its also used during ceremonies – The Haldi (turmeric) ceremony is an old pre-wedding ritual. The bride and groom are slathered with turmeric paste and then bathed to “beautify” them before they get married.

get married with Turmeric Tea

 

TURMERIC IN TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), turmeric or Jiang Huang is:

Very WARMING to the body; which helps to treat blood stasis, and promotes the flow of Qi. In TCM we believe that when Blood and Qi are stuck, there is pain. When obstruction is removed, pain is relieved.

Traditional use: Shoulder pain), rheumatic pain, chest and hypochondriac (rib area) and menstrual pain.

Turmeric is not for everyone as its quite heating and herbalists will moderate this effect by prescribing it in conjunction with other herbs, however there is scientific research which confirms that most notably the curcuminoids in turmeric has an anti inflammatory effect. Mostly these trials used standardised doses of extracted curcuminoids and NOT the whole powdered spice which is far better for someone who suffers with acid reflux for whom the powder would aggravate this condition. Also when you use the whole powder, you cannot guarantee how much of the curcuminoids are present when you use its much better to opt for a high strength turmeric extract that delivers standardised measured doses of curcuminoids. We use Biocare Curcumin at Life Rituals. https://www.liferituals.co.uk//product/microcell-curcumin-plus/

When given in a therapeutic dosage (much much more than a cup of tea) in Chinese Medicine it is advised to avoid it during pregnancy, during heavy menstruation or if you have a heat or Yin deficiency heat body constitution. If you are suffering from an inflammatory condition and unsure whether curcumin is for you can consult Jo for some advice regarding acupuncture treatment and herbal medicine with Jo at Life Rituals.

 

A SIMPLE WAY TO GET TURMERIC INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

At Life Rituals we like our own chai in the traditional manner, combining it with almond milk (or whole milk if you prefer) and no sugar as the cinnamon and liquorice are naturally sweet. Making chai takes a few more minutes than steeping a regular cup of tea, but your efforts will be rewarded.

We enjoy turmeric tea latte-style, with a creamy almond or soy milk base. If you don’t want it quite as rich, you can make and then add milk at the end, as you would with English tea or coffee. Turmeric tea is so easy to make.

 

HOW TO MAKE LIFE RITUALS ORGANIC TURMERIC CHAI with milk.

Makes 2 cups

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add 4 teaspoons of Life Rituals Turmeric Chai Tea.
  3. Boil uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups of whole milk (or milk substitute – we like almond), and bring to a boil again.
  5. Remove from heat immediately (before it boils over) and steep covered for 5 minutes.
  6. Strain and enjoy it hot, or chill it in the fridge for a yummy ? iced chai.

 

WHAT ABOUT IN THE SUMMER?

If you’re thinking you would like turmeric tea, but are getting into the warm weather summer groove, you can keep a jar of your turmeric tea in the refrigerator and have a glass over ice any time you feel like you could use a pick-me-up. It’s just as tasty! Other Life Ritual Organic teas that are great cold are Cleanse and Detox Ritual, Energising Ritual.

 

THE RITUAL OF MAKING TEA _ AND RELAX

Tea making is a small ritual which signal the body and mind that it is time to unwind and rest, and a warm cup in your hands makes you feel warm and cozy. We think its a perfect dessert or afternoon tea time treat.

feel warm and cozy with Turmeric

 

CAFFEINE FREE

The good news is that if your one of those people who are sensitive to caffeine then we have plenty of other delicious life rituals tea blends like Digestive Ritual; Cleanse and Detox Ritual, Bedtime Ritual, and Protection Ritual; that do not contain any caffeine.

Put the kettle on and relax …