I am not going to lie to you, this week has been very full on and busy, juggling full-time work and continued study can be a little challenging at times. What if I told you in my weakest, most sleep deprived moments I was reaching for the nearest pick me up, coffee, sugar, chocolate! Now, as health practitioners I know we are suppose to walk the talk but on occasion we all slip up, myself included. I feel it is part of my job to be honest and open with you all and have some humility, not only that but I believe it is how we recover that really matters. Guilt will do you far more harm that a couple of squares of chocolate and a cup of coffee (ok, maybe several cups of coffee)…..
Anyway, in light of all of this a friend from work was having her leaving morning tea. She also had a colour theme for this event – being green. After the last fortnight of perhaps not taking the best care of myself I certainly wasn’t going to add green food colouring to the mix, so what is a girl to do…. raid her herbal dispensary and grab some chlorella! Yes, in my delirious sleep deprived state I came up with the most delicious snack balls that matched the colour brief, hopefully now you will learn from my mistakes and be armed with these little beauties (store in the freezer) for when the stress monster pays you a visit (which will hopefully stop the cookie monster from also paying a visit!).
Luckily for me I am actually doing the free Vitalise Health Detox for the next 21 days starting on Sunday. I figure this will be a great time to nourish my body over the winter months, be gentle, kind and recuperate some of my qi! (If you’re keen to get involved click here and you too can participate for free).
Enough about me… what’s in these little balls? Well, they actually pack an almighty nutritional punch.
Chlorella – This single celled, micro alga has a hard cell wall making it closer to a plant that an algae. Chlorella has a massive 50% protein, with high amounts of GABA which is an important neurotransmitter, particularly when we are under stress (1), as well as folate, B12 and iron. It is the small cell size combined with its unique properties that make it such a useful detoxification tool. Its molecular structure, allows it to bond to metals, chemicals and some pesticides, without binding to important nutrients such as zinc, calcium and magnesium (1).
Oats – In herbal medicine we refer to these as nutritives or nervine tonics. These help in conditions of nervous debility and exhaustion, depression, nervous tension and anxiety. They also have a relaxing and calming effect on the nervous tissue and its function. (2). it should go without saying but I used a gluten free variety but if you are a celiac these may still not be well tolerated.
Manuka honey – Usually I steer clear of honey due to it’s high fructose content and I choose to use other sweeteners, however, sometimes you need to look at the overall sugar load and this is still reasonably low per serve. However, Manuka honey has some unique medicinal properties having higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial agent, but you must search for one that has a Unique Manuka Factor of greater than 10+ to get the therapeutic benefits (3). If you’re still not keen on honey, you can use rice malt syrup but be warned it may taste a little like the ocean so you will need to adjust to your taste accordingly.
1 c gluten free oats
1 c of desiccated coconut (or half sunflower and half coconut)
5 tsp of coconut butter (not oil, as slightly sweeter)
2 tbsp of manuka honey (or rice malt syrup)
1 tsp of chlorella
1 x Lemon juice and zest
Pinch of Himalayan salt.
Combine oats, coconut (or sunflower) and salt in a food processor. Over low heat melt coconut butter and add chlorella, honey, lemon zest and juice, stir and mix through oat mix, shape into balls and set in fridge. Can be stored in freezer too.
(1) Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2015). Herbs & natural supplements: An evidence-based guide, Volume 2(4th ed.). Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
(2) Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
(3) Dr Axe (2014). Top 10 Manuka honey benefits. Retrieved from: http://draxe.com/manuka-honey-benefits-uses/