Southbourne Farm Shop – Local loveliness

Anybody reading this blog who knows me, will also know how much I love shopping local, it just makes good sense… It helps to reduce my carbon footprint, supports the local economy, and means that the food my family eats is as fresh and tasty as possible, with a whole stack of nutrients!

As you can imagine I’m absolutely thrilled that Frog Hollow Energy Bites are now stocked in one of my favourite locals… Southbourne Farm Shop, a family run business, that’s been at the heart of the Southbourne community for more than thirty-five years.

In this week’s blog, I asked Ben from Southbourne Farm Shop to share five of his favourite local goodies that are in stock now! So, in no particular order, here are some essentials to add to your shopping basket next time you are visiting the farm shop.

Ben’s Best Buys!

Brassicas and more – Cauliflower, sprout tops, savoy cabbages, brocolli, kale, leeks and sprouts are all grown locally in Chidham or Southbourne. These fresh vegetables are often on-sale the same day that they are pulled from the field! Here’s Richard Foot delivering cabbages to us from his farm in Chidham.

Best Bread – Handmade Artisan loaves are all made in the Southbourne Farm Shop in-house bakery using natural yeast, with no artificial additives, and keep for several days (and even when they begin to harden after a few days, they are still ideal for toast).

Frozen Fruit – Frozen diced fruit from Field Fare are ideal for making smoothies (especially nice with natural live yogurt from Longley Farm).

Getting Spicy – The extensive range of herbs and spices from Wilton Wholefoods are always popular.

A Cup of Something Hot – As an alternative to caffeine hot drinks we sell Cuppanut, a coconut-infused naturally sweet hot drink with all natural ingredients. Perfect to enjoy with a Frog Hollow Energy Bite, (or two)… Buy yours at Southbourne Farm Shop!

8 foods that boost your immune system

At Frog Hollow we’re all about eating delicious foods that nourish you. Frog Hollow super snacks were born out of my frustration and disenchantment that as part of my weight loss journey I had been encouraged to choose fat-free and diet foods, that contained artificial sweeteners and additives. I felt that these never gave me the nutrients I needed, and in fact were doing me harm.

As we head into the cooler months, it’s easy to let healthy eating habits slip, as we rug up and crave comfort food; in fact it’s exactly this time of year that we need to make more conscious choices and boost our immune system to ward off the winter ills and chills. So with that in mind, we asked our good friend Annali Court, Nutrition and Life Coach, to share her expertise in this article and share her immune system boosters. Take it away Annali…


Immune system boosters

Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. If you’re looking for ways to prevent winter colds and the flu, your first step should be boost your intake of fruit and veg by planning your meals and snacks to include these 8 powerful immune system boosters.

Citrus Fruit

Most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells that make up your immune defence. These are key to fighting infections.

Popular citrus fruits include:

  • grapefruit
  • oranges
  • tangerines
  • lemons
  • limes
  • clementines

Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.

Ginger

Ginger is another ingredient many turn to when they don’t feel well.  Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea. It can be used in sweet as well as savoury dishes, and it packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties.

Almonds

When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with this vitamin and also have healthy fats.

Turmeric

You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. But this bright yellow spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive colour, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.

Green tea

Green tea is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.

Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your immune cells.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are full of fibre and essential vitamins and minerals.  They are also high in omega 3 fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids that may help to boost the immune system by enhancing the functioning of immune cells.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are full of phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It’s important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.

Dates

Dates are packed with Zinc, which is needed so that our immune cells can function properly.  Dates are also a good source of energy and fibre.


The great news is that it’s easy to get your fix of these flu fighting foods, all of these immune boosting ingredients can be found in Frog Hollow energy bites. Our Pick & Mix Jars contain ten different flavours of bites, they are hand rolled and made from fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and superfoods as with all our products gluten, dairy and naturally sweetened.

Order yours HERE.

To discover more about our guest blogger Annali Court and the services she offers, visit her website HERE.

No tricks here… Just healthy treats!

With Halloween just around the corner the supermarkets are once again chock full of gummy sweets and palm oil laden chocolate. At Frog Hollow we believe in fuelling young minds and bodies with delicious and nutritious treats; so, in this blog we’d like to share some healthy alternatives for even the ghastliest ghoul who knocks on your door!

I won’t go as far as suggesting mini tubes of toothpaste, that I recently heard a devilishly clever dentist had offered the mini monsters who had turned up at his house on 31st October. But do remember that trick or treat booty doesn’t have to be edible…

Here are 5 hauntingly healthy treats to offer this Halloween!

  1. Creepy crayons – Why not encourage your young wizards and witches to get creative in the cauldron… Instead of giving out food, hand your door knockers mini colouring packs.
  2. Chilling cheese – Add a little protein to the occasion with a selection of mini, individually wrapped cheeses. These are easy to find in the supermarkets, and as lunch box favourites, most kids love them!
  3. Fearsome Fruit – New season easy peel clementines are sweet, juicy and devilishly delicious. Arm yourself with a magic marker and draw some ghoulish faces and fangs on each individual fruit before handing out to your trick or treaters.
  4. Spine Chilling Stickers – Reward your callers with a spell binding Halloween sticker or terrifying temporary tattoo. Think pumpkins, skulls, ghostly ghouls and witch’s hats!
  5. Eerie Energy Bites – There’s nothing tricky about Frog Hollow energy bites. Made from fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and superfoods. These hair-raising healthy treats are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Order a Family Pick & Mix Jar to keep sixty children happy this Halloween!

Contact me to buy yours.

Feeling Peckish? – How to choose snacks (and foods) that nourish.

When you’re having an overwhelmingly busy day, week, month, it’s inevitable that you’re going to reach for quick and easy snacks. But being hungry and in a hurry doesn’t have to mean being unhealthy… To help you make the right choices I want to share some of my top tips for making great snack choices.

Sweets for my sweet (tooth) – Ever wondered why you feel hangry if you haven’t eaten for a while? Low blood sugar triggers the release of stress-related hormones like cortisol and adrenaline leaving more than your tummy grumbling! A little bit of what you fancy can change your mood in an instant, but beware… That sticky, sweet sugar-licious fix can play havoc with those hormone levels too.
What to avoid:
- Artificial sweeteners: These include aspartame; my general rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether your granny would have used it in her cooking?

- Different types of sugars listed to confuse: Things like high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glycerol, sorbitol, sucanet and grape syrup may sound harmless, but these highly processed sugars are highly addictive.

- Fruit juice concentrate – Fruit sugar is natural, necessary and normal in the fruit it comes from as you would consume it in small quantities and usually with the fibre, vitamins and minerals, but removed concentrated and refined and then added back into products without the wholefruit it came from, then makes it unnatural and therefore unhealthy and no different from refined sugar.
Better alternatives: Raw honey, Maple syrup, Coconut blossom nectar, Stevia, Dates, brown rice syrup, lucuma, cinnamon and liquorice.

Feelgood fats – Fats are an essential part of your diet, but not all fats are created equal.
What to avoid:
- Trans fats and saturated fats.

Better alternatives:

- Extra virgin olive oil. Use this for drizzling, not for cooking as most nutrients are lost in the cooking process.

- Coconut oil in pure form, not deodorised (this has been through some awful processes including bleaching to strip out the coconut flavours!) Coconut oil can be used in cooking as it retains all its nutrients.

- Raw Avocado, nuts, homemade nut butters and seeds.

Delicious Dairy – Milk and dairy products are a great source of protein and calcium, but if you’re lactose intolerant, some great dairy replacements are coconut yoghurt, coconut milk, nut milk, oat milk or rice milk.

Snack well – Colourful food equals a colourful life! Eat a rainbow and mix up what you eat for snacks. Choose wholefoods and organic, where possible. Locally sourced foods are always a winner. Eat plenty of raw fresh foods, including fresh fruit, juices, eggs, berries, nuts, seeds, raw vegetables, fresh homemade soup.

Choose Frog Hollow Goodness - Frog Hollow super snacks were born out of my frustration when confronted with the sad range of fat-free and diet foods, offered as treats whilst trying to banish the burden of a few extra pounds! I felt that these solemn offerings didn’t fill me with energy and in fact, were causing me harm. I made a conscious decision to step away from artificial sweeteners and consume only nutritious whole foods. With nothing on the market that was completely natural and still able to curb my sugar cravings, I set about creating my own snacks. All Frog Hollow energy bites, superfood cakes and raw cacao truffles are free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar. These nutrient rich delights will help you snack well and ensure your tummy smiles!

-       Order Energy Bites 

-       Order Superfood Cakes

-       Order Raw Cacao Truffles

Plastic…. Not so fantastic

In this week’s blog post I’m not sharing healthy ideas or recipes; and I’m certainly not trying to sell you energy bites, raw cacao truffles or superfood cakes. Instead, I’ve decided to write about something that’s very close to my heart, so please read on…

Some of you may know that I’m a boatie at heart. I love the ocean and for many years, as a chef on board luxury yachts, I took great pleasure in sautéeing on the high seas. My love of sailing and being by the coast is something I share with my family, and Olivia has grown up with sea legs, feeling quite comfortable in a lifejacket. That’s why I felt compelled to act upon a change.org petition I recently viewed, highlighting the amount of plastic being poured into our oceans, more than 8 million tons every year, bringing our oceans to the brink of disaster. This, in turn, led me to the Plastic Oceans Foundation website. Plastic Oceans is a global network of independent not-for-profits and charitable organisations, united in their aims to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation.

Sadly, as if deadly polluted oceans weren’t enough, an article in the current (7th September) Waitrose Weekend Magazine highlights that our beaches are also awash with litter.

But you can help turn this all around… Here’s how…

  • Visit the Plastic Oceans Foundation website, and start acting on the 7 Easy Things You Can Do to Reduce Plastic Pollution, there’s a handy infographic HERE.
  • Join the Great British Beach Clean from 15-18 September. Discover more about it on the Marine Conservation Society website.
  • Think about what you buy and how you reuse and recycle packaging. At Frog Hollow we don’t just care about your health we care about this beautiful planet too, so we use recyclable, biodegradable packaging and avoid plastic wherever we can. To reduce packaging we offer a refill option on the glass jars filled with our energy bites. If you buy our Raw Cacao Truffles we encourage you to reuse the little black box they are delivered in. Fill it with a gift for somebody else, keep your treasures safe or give it to your little ones to get crafty with! We’d love to know how you have used yours… Share your photos on line with us, using the hashtags #planetfriendly #froghollow. You’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It’s time to get to work for the next generation!

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