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What Is Food Processing?

If you walk down the aisle of the shops these days, you will find that most of the food we consume has been processed in some way or another. Whole foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, have likely been cleaned, trimmed, shelled, husked, ground, or wrapped and this is a type of processing.  

Processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation.

The real question you want to ask is, how has the food you eat been processed? The answer is pretty simple, it is one of two options. There is mechanical processing and then there is chemical processing:

Mechanical processing includes food that has been peeled, cored, and/ or cooked, this is a more natural processing method.

Chemical processing is when anything is added to the single ingredient food, for example, sugar, artificial flavours, colourants, etc.)

Processed food can fall on a vast spectrum from minimally to heavily processed.  

Minimally Processed Food

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A Healthy Mind & Body Starts In Your Gut

Our gut is responsible for turning food into fuel for our bodies. It absorbs nutrients that support our body’s functions — energy production, toxin and waste elimination, hormone balance and overall health and wellbeing.

If we have a sluggish, “unhealthy gut” our body will not be able to absorb the nutrients we need for optimal health. This can impact our weight, mood, mental wellbeing and a number of other ailments.

Keeping our gut healthy boosts energy and ensures a healthy immune system.

Let’s talk digestion:

Digestion is how our body turns food into nutrients for the body to use. It starts in the mouth with our first bite. As we chew, we break the food down making it easier for our gut to digest it. At the same time, saliva mixes with our food and begins the digestion process changing our food into a form our body can absorb and use.

Many of us don’t chew our food for long enough, we wolf it down, skipping this important step in...

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Christmassy Mince Pie Recipe

What is Christmas without some deliciously healthy mince pies? These delicious creations are a staple in our households each year. They are super fun to bake, if you have kids, get them baking with you in the holidays. Not only is it a great way to bond with them but it also gets them excited about learning new things in the kitchen.

(This recipe mades 6 -8 delicious mince pies)

Ingredients

You will need (Pastry):

35g raw coconut oil.
200g oat flour.
90ml maple syrup/
1 big pinch of vanilla powder, ground cinnamon or ginger (this is optional)

Add these into the pastry to give it the Christmas feel:

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves.
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, or ground ginger.
1 and a half tablespoons of maple syrup to brush and then coconut palm sugar to sprinkle.

Instructions For Making The Pastry:

  1. Melt your coconut oil, and then leave it to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Combine all your ingredients into a box mixing bowl...
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The Healthy (& Delicious) Gammon Recipe

Hmmmmmmmm, Christmas smells like cinnamon spices, warm summery days with pineapples and most of all, our healthy deliciously juicy gammon!

This recipe serves 8 people, with lots of leftovers for the week after Christmas

Ingredients

You will need:

A nice big gammon, approximately 1.8kg or 2kg.
125ml of rice malt syrup.
4 tablespoons of olive oil.
1 tablespoon of paprika.
2 teaspoons of ground cloves.
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.
Zest of 1 big orange.
3 tablespoons of orange juice.

Instructions

Prepare the following on Christmas Eve:

  1. Line your baking dish with baking paper or grease the pan with coconut oil.
  2. Wash your meat and pat it dry so that it is ready to cook.
  3. Combine the rice malt syrup, olive oil along with 4 tablespoons of water into a jug.
  4. Stir in your spices, the salt, pepper, orange juice and orange zest.
  5. Pour the mixture over your gammon and rub it into the meat.
  6. Place your gammon into the baking dish and cover...
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Sugar-Free Ice Cream Recipe

We’d love to share our family recipe with you for AMAZING sugar-free ice cream that tastes delicious and avoids the nonsense!

Ingredients

You will need:

1 can full-fat coconut milk or cream
¼ cup honey (maple syrup)
¼ cup almond butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions

1.   Place all the ingredients into a high-powered blender.
2.   Blend on high for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth.
3.   Turn on your ice cream maker.
4.   Pour the mixture directly from the blender into the ice cream maker while it is moving.
5.   Let the mixture churn for about 20-25 minutes until it becomes a firm ball or the ice cream maker stops rotating.
6.   Transfer it into an airtight, freezer-friendly container and freeze that for at least 1 hour, or until it is completely frozen.
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5 guidelines to intuitive eating

With a lot of conflicting movements in the health dialogue over the past little while, we at YOUnique Life have settled in on the concept of intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating is a lifestyle take on health, more than a set of rules to follow, and foods to avoid. It is based on the foundational idea that you know best what your body needs most.

It is a way of thinking about food differently, keeping track of the signals your body communicates to you and then eating accordingly. Intuitive eating is quite simple. When you have the right information available to you it’ll be easy for you to trust the natural way your body responds to certain foods.

Once you have mastered the art of listening to your body, you’ll find yourself with a fresh, new and open outlook on healthy eating and living. 

Here are 5 guidelines to an intuitive eating lifestyle: 

1. Listen To Your Body

Our bodies are designed to tell us when we are hungry and when we are full. It is important...

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The power of nutrition

No matter how deep down inside, we as human beings all share a desire to survive, and to thrive. Whether we like it or not, eating is a healthy part of fulfilling this desire. If we don't eat, we won't live, but what we often forget is that what we eat and the way we eat can also change the way we live. 

A while ago, we sent out a survey asking people what types of blog posts they would find the most interesting and not surprisingly at all, 90% answered that they want to read more about eating for their health. 

This topic of health is huge and there is so much information out there, it can be overwhelming. In this blog, Kerry (co-founder of YOUnique Life) shares some of the insights she discovered along her way to health and vitality. 

Eating my way back to wellness

Not long ago, I found myself exhausted all the time and hit with cold after cold. I was also struggling with my weight and with stress. Being so tired with the plethora of conflicting health...

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How your body deals with stress

Do you find yourself feeling stressed as we get closer and closer to the end of the year? There may be huge deadlines to hit, goals to reach, school years to conclude and farewells to be had. Maybe you are feeling like you’re reaching the end of a marathon, and just thirsty for the finish line. We totally get it and believe it or not, so does your body.

Stress Is Not Always Bad

Our bodies get stressed in a healthy way when we need to rise to a challenge set in front of us. You will feel your heart beating a little faster, preparing you to take action, your breathing might get quicker, which sends oxygen into your brain. This is the normal stress response, and our perception of it can make it either a positive or a negative thing.

Essentially, good stress helps us when we need to perform our best. If we are anticipating an exam or a presentation in our workspace, or we have a special event ahead, we can feel stressed. This is our bodies’ clever way of communicating that...

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A YOUnique Approach To Optimum Health

As you know, we are not short on nutritional or lifestyle information, in fact, we are bombarded with many different opinions about health, eating and at the end of the day, we need to make decisions that will suit our unique genetic make-up. Which is why we believe in giving you the right tools so that you can make the best and wisest decisions for your unique body. Prescriptive eating is needed in certain circumstances, however, we believe you're made to know what will work for you.. let us empower you in looking after your body and soul well. 

At YOUnique Life, we have discovered a few things along our personal journeys towards optimal health and vitality. This is something we inherently long for as human beings - to thrive in optimum health and wholeness. This desire is awesome, and it is okay to long for vitality, which is why we'd love to share the principles we operate in when it comes to optimal health. 

YOUnique Life principles for optimal health:

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3 morning habits that will boost your energy

It is not always easy to get out of bed ready to take on the world. We totally get it, and we know for a fact that if you manage your mornings well with an awesome routine in place, they can slowly become your favourite times of the day. 

Getting a good start to your day is super important, and it doesn't need to be complicated at all. We have 3 simple steps for you to add into your morning routine that are total game changers!

1. The Warm Lemon

Sipping a cup of warm lemon water first thing in the morning is the most soothing and gentle way to wake your digestive system up.

Not only do lemons carry a number of necessary vitamins and minerals but they also help with removing unwanted toxins from your body. 

Lemons are fantastic for your skin as well making you glow with confidence, they are known to help with weight loss, and they will freshen up that morning breath. 

We recommend adding a slice of lemon to some warm water before you eat or drink anything else as...

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