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Carrot Hummus
We love hummus, and this delicious Carrot Hummus recipe is no exception. Try it with our delicious BONUS Recipe: Seed Crackers or try with cut up veggies! 
 

You’ll need:
1 cup of dried chickpeas (or 2 cans of tinned chickpeas)
3-4 medium-sized carrots
2 tablespoons of tahini
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Plus Oil
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 inch of ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of turmeric
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of water
 
Garnish
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
1 small handful of fresh coriander

 

To make:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
 
Soak the chickpeas overnight. Rinse and place in a pot of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours until tender. 
 
While the chickpeas are cooking, line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the carrots on the tray and place in the oven. Roast the carrots for 1 hour.
 
Whisk the tahini, the juice of one lemon, Bestow Beauty Plus Oil and rice wine vinegar to make a thick paste. Mince ginger and garlic and add to the paste.
 
Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain them and let them cool. Remove the carrots from the oven. Once the chickpeas and carrots are cool, put them in a food processer with the tahini paste and the remaining ingredients. Blend on high until it reaches the desired consistency. Add more water if needed. 
 
Garnish with fresh coriander, toasted sesame seeds and a swirl of Bestow Beauty Plus Oil.

Seed Crackers
These crackers take 2 hours to cook so plan to cook these when you are spending the day at home. Trust us, they’re worth it!
 

You’ll need:
1 cup of sesame seeds
1/3 cup of flaxseeds
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons of psyllium husk
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon of dried onion flakes 
1/2 teaspoon of dried garlic flakes
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm water

To make:
Mix all the dry ingredients together, add water and mix.
 
Allow the mixture to stand for 15 minutes to become thick and gooey. It will resemble a dough.
 
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees celcius on fan bake.
 
Depending on how thick you would like the crackers to be, line one or two baking trays with baking paper.
 
Spread the dough evenly over the baking tray. Bake for 1 hour, removing after 30 minutes to score lines in the dough indicating where you would like the crackers to break apart once baked.
 
After an hour, check the colour of the crackers. If you would like them to be more golden in colour, bake for a little longer. If you are happy with the colour,  switch off the oven, leaving the crackers in there to crisp up for another hour.
 
Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into crackers and storing in an airtight container.

The holiday season can present a bit of a challenge for our gut health. More sugar, less sleep and more alcohol are all key factors that are all guaranteed to upset the delicate balance of the microbes that live in our gut.

If you are feeling a little off or find you are lacking energy, then your gut health may need some attention.

Luckily small imbalances in the gut can be easily and fairly quickly remedied. One study showed that within five days of changing your diet, fairly significant positive change was observed.

So, how do you do you improve your gut health?

Let’s start with one of the most effective ways. One of the biggest enemies of gut health is sugar. The problem with eating sugar is that you can cause an overgrowth of the microbes that prefer to live on sugar. This causes a major imbalance in the variety of microbes that live in our gut.

We know that the microbes can influence our feelings. They do this in two ways. Firstly they can hack into our nervous system and secondly, they are responsible for the production of neurotransmitters. So this means that the balance of microbes we have in our gut can change the way we feel about things.

One interesting theory is that if enough sugar-loving microbes take hold of your gut, they can drive our cravings for sugar and then reward us with a flood of feel-good hormones when we satisfy their demands. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen but I do know if I eat more sugar on one day, the next day I have cravings for more sugar. What helps me is to envisage a gang of sugar-loving microbes mounting a takeover of my gut and trying to influence my choices. That image helps my determination to starve them out. I don’t like being told what to do by a bunch of bugs. Maybe this image will help you resist the temptation for that chocolate bar! 

 

You have two options when trying to reign in your sugar intake. Slowly reduce it over time or go cold turkey eliminating all processed and natural sugars. This means avoiding fresh and dried fruit as well. Once you are sugar-craving free, you can reintroduce a few pieces of fruit each day as it is great for your health but at first it helps to have none, natural or otherwise.

Both approaches require some dedication and you will know what is most likely to be the most successful approach for you. But one of the best things you can do for your gut health is to address the sugar issue.

Good luck with your efforts to reduce sugar and don’t forget that you can use the bestow cleanses as a guide or for inspiration. Just go to bestowcleanse.com and sign up for our free programmes.

Alternatively, if you feel your gut needs more attention than simply reducing sugar, I would recommend our book, The Gut-Skin Connection. It contains a comprehensive programme and many recipes that support gut health.

In our last few blogs we have been discussing the benefit Bestow Collagen Boost offers our skin.

The main advantage is the increased production of collagen in our skin and the protection it offers our existing collagen and elastin.

Just as a reminder, collagen is the fibre in our skin that gives it strength whereas elastin provides the stretchability and snap-back. Having good levels of both fibres is important for healthy, strong skin. 

But I feel this series of blogs wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t look at some of the lifestyle and dietary things we can do to look after our existing collagen and elastin fibres.

So let’s look at their enemies.

Both collagen and elastin are degraded by smoking and sun exposure. In the case of sun protection, using a good sunscreen is vital. But remember sunscreens aren’t anywhere near 100% effective and can often give us a false sense of security. Many protect our skin from burning but not from ageing. It is important to boost your sun protection by wearing good, wide brimmed hats and choosing to sit in the shade where possible.

Elastin is affected by dehydration so it is crucial to keep your water intake up. A lack of sleep is also a key factor in the breakdown of elastin, as is stress. Getting enough sleep often helps us cope with stress, so my advice would be to start by prioritising sleep. Here’s a link to a handout on tips for getting a good night’s sleep to get you started. 

Collagen is degraded by sugar. Sugar oxidises and latches on to our collagen fibres then attaches to another collagen fibre causing them to become entangled and inflexible. Try to cut down on sugar where you can. This can be difficult at first as you have to overcome the cravings. But as time goes on, it does get easier so I it is worth the effort. The Bestow Treats from our cookbooks are a great way to start replacing refined sugar with natural sugars. We still don’t want to eat a lot of them but at least you are getting other nutrients with your sweet treat.

So those are my tips on protecting your skin. This time of year is a great time for putting some more supportive rituals in place and kicking out some of those bad habits.

  • February 7, 2021
Cheese-free Pesto
Pesto is a super multifunctional dip/sauce, but for those of us with congesting skin, the cheese in pesto can cause problems. This cheese-free option is a great recipe to keep up your sleeve.
 
You’ll need:
1 ½ cups basil
½ cup Italian parsley
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves of garlic 
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup hemp seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
1 tablespoon Bestow Beauty Oil/Bestow Beauty Plus Oil
2/3 cup Olive oil 
Juice of 2 lemons 
½ teaspoon sea salt


To make:
Places all ingredients in the blender and blend well. If you need more liquid to get it moving use a touch more olive oil.
  • February 1, 2021

One benefit I wasn’t expecting to learn about collagen powder was its ability to act as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect our body from the damage caused by free radicals by donating an electron or hydrogen to stabilize them.

Researchers found that he antioxidant properties of collagen powder were mostly due to the presence of hydrophobic amino acids it contains. However, more research is needed in order to investigate the exact way in which these amino acid acts as antioxidants. What is known is the antioxidant properties of collagen powder are directly linked to the size of the molecules it contains. The lower the molecular weight of the peptides in the collagen powder, the greater their antioxidant effect.

Bestow Collagen Boost contains the lowest molecular weight peptides available on the market with a size of only 1000 to 2000 Daltons.

Fish-derived collagen, like the type found in Bestow Collagen Boost can also counteract the effect of sun exposure on our collagen and elastin fibres. Typically collagen and elastin, when exposed to UV become abnormal or degraded. Taking these types of collagen powders, help their recovery.

Another added benefit is the affect collagen powder has on hyperpigmentation. A study carried out by dermatologists found that not only did their subjects notice an improvement in the texture and hydration of their skin within 60 days but a reduction in the intensity of any irregular pigmentation they were experiencing.

With all of these benefits, it seems very likely taking collagen powder is an excellent addition to our skin care regimes. All of this research is encouraging, but the final proof will be the improvements we see in not only our skin, but the growth of our hair and nails as well.

We would love to hear about your experiences.

  • January 31, 2021