Detoxing should be about eating well, exercising, reducing stress and drinking tons of water! Our bodies could do with this on a daily basis in order to provide a good daily detox. Our bodies want to work efficiently, so they just need little nudges to keep them on the straight and narrow! But sometimes we may overdo things or have other reasons that make us assess our health – for example illness. At Crucial we like to offer food that helps to give your body nutrients that function in a way that helps to eliminate toxins and get your cells working efficiently, as well as helping the kidneys and liver to keep the body clean. These foods are all used within the menu at the Crucial Café throughout the year but feature hugely in our Crucial Detoxes. Here’s a glossary of our favourite foods and why they are so good in the detoxificaton process :

Brain Food

The wrong foods often feel like the right ones when our brain feels tired. Sugar and caffeine just seem to hit the spot and help to lift the mood and make us concentrate better.  But they’re not right – they give us the hit we are looking for at the time but ultimately they’re making us grumpy, forgetful and craving for more! Studies show that people who eat well at breakfast and continue to eat well throughout the day have better mood, better concentration and overall better behaviour! So the great brain nutrients include macronutrients protein, fat and carbohydrate. As well as these, antioxidants are crucial because they protect the brain from damage, iron is good for more energy and choline (from eggs) is THE brainy chemical! And remember … ‘food is an important part of a balanced diet’!

Foods to feed your Brain

Why? Because the brain is a complex character and needs lots of love and attention: It needs protein to make the chemical messengers that tell us how we think and feel. It needs good fat ( 3) to help those chemical messengers be received and sent. It needs good sugar from carbohydrate to provide the energy to make all this happen.

Where do we get these nutrients? It’s easy :-
  • Blueberry or mixed berry smoothie made with coconut water, chia seeds and almond butter
  • Scrambled eggs mixed with chopped cherry tomatoes rolled up in a wholegrain wrap
  • Grilled marinated salmon served with roasted vegetable, pumpkin seed and quinoa salad

Crucial Cleanse

So . . . we are 21 days into 2014, how are your resolutions going? We've been producing fresh cold pressed juices and raw food and delivering to our clients who have started their year with a Crucial Food cleanse. But why cleanse?Raw food can really fight it's own corner - the science tells us that it's good for us and everyone loves "the science bit" (even if the expression grates). Heat destroys nutrients, toxins get formed, the body works best in an alkaline state - anyway that is a whole other blog. Juicing on the other hand gets good and bad press. So the question is to juice or not to juice?

Why Juice


Juicing is healthy, but like most things nutritional it needs more backup. So why juice? Juicing gives us a quick delivery of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and good plant stuff (phytonutrients). It gives the body a chance to rest and deal with other processes going on it in (and there is a lot). It is pretty much common knowledge that fruit and vegetables give us antioxidants, some easy to remember (or say) Vitamins A C E others don’t flow off the tongue so easily, like anthocyanadins and lycopenes. Anyway who cares whether you can say it - it's what they do for us that’s important.

Why juice?

As the body rests great things can start to happen. Clearer skin, clarity of thought, better energy, stronger immunity, improved sleep patterns and an overall spring in your step.

Why not juice?

The popular discussion seems to be the high fructose intake with fruit only juices. The trick is to not overdo it (we suggest 1-5 days) and to combine veg and fruit in the same juice.

Fruit and veg combined not only reduces the fructose intake but also gives a wider variety of nutrients. The detox symptoms  (e.g. drop in energy and spots!) can also be off putting. But these are all good signs and if the cleanse is nutritionally balanced to your specific needs you will pop out the other side feeling the benefits.

Remember cleansing isn't just for January - the Crucial kitchen is open all year!

Facts about smoothies

Blueberry Kale Chia Seed, Maca Powder and Coconut water smoothie

Smoothies are definately NOT the same as juices. A juice is just the juice. Nothing else. You get nutrients super fast with a juice. A smoothie is a drink constructed from whole ingredients that are pulped and blended together, so you get the nutrients gradually. The added benefit of smoothies is that you can throw in extra good stuff and supercharge them! Add a booster to your smoothie to supercharge it, read the full article to find out about some of my favourite boosters and what they do for you.

Blueberries - little blue bullets of health. Pop up everywhere because they’re so good. Full of bio-flavonoids and vitamins A and C. They are great for eyes, blood vessels and immunity. Have a handful a day.
Maca Powder – the Peruvian super-food. Rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, it’s a big energy giver and mood enhancer – well it is known as the aphrodisiac of the Andes! Add a good teaspoonful to a smoothie.
Kale – loaded with nutrition – particularly vitamins A, K and C, flavonoids and omega 3. Good for skin, bones and cleansing.
Coconut Water – the hydrator. Gets some bad press because pasteurised has been heated before packaging. This depletes nutrients but there’s still more nutrients in it than not having it at all!
Chia Seeds – have a higher omega 3 fat content than salmon and despite what is written – they’re easy to get into the diet. In a smoothie, blend or grind a bit before you blend it into the smoothie – that way you get to the nutrients quicker.

Sweet Relief : Sugar vs Sweet Freedom

Sweet Freedom - a healthy alternative to sugar

Sweet Freedom ...this stuff has won awards it’s that good and healthy. Here are the facts…

  • Sweet Freedom is a natural liquid alternative to sugar. Its made from apples, grapes and carob.
  • And they’ve even considered people with allergies so it’s made in a nut free factory.
  • There are no chemicals, preservatives and additives involved at all in its production.
  • 25% less calories than sugar
  • And it comes in a squeezey bottle which is less messy than teaspoons and dribbles!

In case you don't know, carob is an edible caffeine free bean that is naturally sweet and full of nutrients including calcium.

Sweet Freedom also has lower levels of fructose, 23g per 100g as opposed to honey (40g) and agave syrup (90g).

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Why buy Organic Milk?


Why choose organic milk

  1. Farmers having to naturally grow and have naturally enriched pasture which ensures healthy soil – no fertilisers, no pesticides and no herbicides.
  2. Ecosystems on organic farms work with nature and have a more natural cycle – this gives more variety of life to the farm and the environment.
  3. Bugs are used as pest controllers and crop rotation is used to help fertilize.
  4. Farmers have breeds of cow that are known to have stronger immunity against disease.
  5. If the cows do get sick, they are treated naturally.
  6. No growth hormones are used (these are used otherwise to increase milk production).
  7. The cows often eat plenty of red clover which increases fertility in the soil and is rich in omega 3 fatty acid. This comes up the food chain to us and that benefits brains and behaviour.
  8. Organic milk is also full of other great nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, beta carotene and antioxidants.
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Food is Love

Why we should nourish ourselves with delicious healthy foodOur bodies love fresh ingredients - the purer the food, the better they can repair themselves, get good energy and be happy.

Children in particular are sponges for good food. Their growing bodies demand nutrients to be able to develop and survive. Different foods give us different nutrients, which then have different jobs.

    - Fish, nuts and seeds provide good fats which are needed everywhere but brilliantly oil the brain;
    - Red meat, poultry, fish, beans and tofu give us protein that gives energy and builds muscles;
    - B vitamins from vegetables, milk, eggs and rice give us energy
    - Calcium from green vegetables, beans, lentils and fish strengthens bones and teeth.

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    Soup - Sweet potato with shitake mushrooms, chilli, garlic and ginger

    SWEET POTATO WITH SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS, CHILLI, GARLIC AND GINGER SoupI LOVE SOUP. Any time of year, thick and chunky, spicy and noodly, soup with the texture of baby food – I really love it. Even cold. Soup is just something that’s good for us that doesn’t take too much effort or require too much perfection in the preparation. You can pack it with protein and fibre and freeze it up.

    This soup I made today is the business.

    It’s so thick it sticks to your ribs and it’s rammed full with the good stuff – vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene, capsaicin, allium and fibre. These nutrients help us fight against infection, help with circulation, maintain healthy skin and fight off bugs.


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    Vietnamese Salad

    Vietnamese raw asian salad recipe

    The sun’s out … a great start to the day – and to add to that sunshiny feeling, Vietnamese salad is one of our favourite dishes at Crucial Food.

    I’m a big fan of Asian food it’s raw, refreshing and you just know it’s healthy. This salad takes me back to backpacking days spent on beaches, in the sun with very little to think about except how good life is! Well, life may be more faster paced now but it’s still good – and this salad is pretty quick to make so doesn’t require too much brain-power either!


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    Crucial Hangover Remedies…

    Strawberry and Cream Smoothie
    It’s the silly season and we’re not saying (of course!) to go and get wasted but where there’s booze the chances of a hangover are pretty strong..

    Don’t just throw any old thing together… Here’s a couple of Crucial cures that can quickly help you rehydrate, detoxify and get rid of horrible hangover nausea.

    Berries are one of the best ingredients for a hangover – they help metabolise alcohol
    Bananas contain potassium to help with hydration and provide sugar to pick that
    Coconut water / water – the best hydrators
    Cashews and almonds – provide the protein and can help alleviate the nausea
    Mint (+ water and berries) – great for sorting out the digestive system (without going into too much detail!)…


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