The best three bad habits to boost your immune system

Hola amigos;

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful time of the year. The color of the trees is stunning as well as the smell of the smokey chimneys when the sunset arrives.

I love the feeling of getting back home early , having my boys and cuddle them, homework and then go to bed early with a cup of my favorite tea… The warming and magic Nettle tea. Have you ever heard about Nettle tea? The stinging nettle tea is a perennial flowering plant that has been used medicinally for ages dating back as far as ancient Greece. Every-time I have a cup of Nettle tea my body automatically gets warm and keep me calm. I highly recommend to you to try it.

It has antioxidant antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, astringent and analgesic capabilities. The plant has been used most commonly throughout history was a diuretic for treating painful muscles and joints, eczemas, arthritis , gout and anemia.

Having said that I have been warmly home with my cup of tea but tolerating an annoying flu. I was kind of happy a couple of days ago talking to a friend and saying how lucky I am, because I rarely get sick , unfortunately not this year. It is not too bad; but still not fun having runny nose , sore bones and sneezing all day long with my watery eyes.

Beside your cup of Nettle tea I want to share some interesting practices you could start following which are not the best advice from a Dietitian , but sometimes we need to indulge ourselves in some bad habits to be happy, to get back to our childhood and teenage years and remember the good times those little times that gave us so much peace and happiness.

These are my favorites: Don’t think too much about perfect body, perfect workout , perfect sleep , don’t follow the rules just feel what your body needs. This is the secret for living a happy , healthy life therefore and you will be boosting your immune system automatically.

My first one is skipping the early workout and sleep in.

Regular exercise is the healthiest habit you can have, prioritizing the workout over having more sleep can change the rest of your day. Lately I have been sleeping in and it feels great.I feel more energy and I feel more awaken and I just change my schedule and the time to exercise. Sleep is benefitial for immunity, brain health, energy and so much more. Those days when you feel like you dont want to wake up , when you hear the alarm and the alarm goes off, means that your body needs to sleep more than the spin class at that moment.

My first one is skipping the early workout and sleep in.My first one is skipping the early workout and sleep in.

Stressing about a project at work.

Chronic stress is bad because it causes inflammation, but some kind of stress like the acute , short , emotional is healthy as some human beings need challenges to feel alive. It pushes us to be the best, so try to challenge yourselve with new projects, new ideas , get out from the comfort zone. There is a real evidence that people often perform better responding to a challenge. Once you finish your challenge please congratulate youselve with a pad in your back or a celebration with your loved ones.

Ordering Dessert

I dont believe in cheat meals , I believe in “conscious indulgences” what is your favourite dessert? what is that favorite ice cream? dont think twice and indulge yourselve. Every meal is an opportunity to eat well, and a conscious indulgence is a desition taken from a place of positive energy. If you feel like eating that delicious dessert , dont feel like you have failed or given in just enjoy it!Be confident to start a healthy breakfast the day after or just have my warm immune booster early in the morning and skip your breakfast .

I hope you have a fantastic autum and be strong over winter time with this healthy , rich in Vitamin C , Vitamin A , zinc and Iron drink.

I am sure is going to give you all the vitamins you need to boost your immune system be healthy – be happy and indulge yourselve in the bads to get the best from you.



Spanish tortilla

The Spanish tortilla. One of the most popular dishes in Spain. I make the light version and I wont usually flip it over is complicated so I prefer to put it in the oven. People usually eat it cold or warm , mix it with green peas or with tuna.

Tell me what you think. Are you going to make it?

You can have it as main dish or finger food. Just need to cut it in squares and add a toothstick.


Much love,



What food are good for glowing skin

First of all I would like to invite you to visit my new website.

I am passionate about health , nutrition as well as skincare. I always use natural products to put onto my face skin and my body, never bought expensive cosmetics, I do my own creams , lip balms and body lotions.

This is the beginning of my new adventure with skincare plus natural products handmade by me from New Zealand.

I am 42 years old with four kids so I am happy to share some of my favorite tools and secrets to have glowing skin.

Hope you come , visit and like my site. Thank you in advance!

Nowadays, it seems like everybody is worried about fine lines, wrinkles, and anything that causes premature aging. And we are becoming much more aware that our physical appearance can be compromised by the foods we eat. Healthy good food is essential to promote glowing healthy skin.

As well as good food, there are also lots of different creams and make-up beauty products available on the market that promise to offset the worrying signs of aging.  These products can be made from either simple, natural organic ingredients – all the way up to complex, artificial synthetic chemicals.  Beauty creams and make-up can be either simple or sophisticated and this fact is reflected in their wide range of prices.

I have always loved natural creams, so, I make my own!  I make body and face lotions, including a natural face mask and much more. Today, I am going to share with you all, my little secrets! I am not a friend of expensive make up, or for that matter, any expensive beauty products at all. I think that some of these products can contain dangerous chemicals, which can be absorbed in to our body and interfere with our vital organs, including the finely-tuned delicate biological processes that take place every second within our body.

A couple of months in the past, I went to a talk with a very interesting professor of Buddhism and he said: “The age and beauty does not come with the wrinkles, the beauty of a woman comes in the brightness of her eyes, so all you ladies, are very beautiful”.  It does not matter how many wrinkles you have. And the more natural you are, the more beautiful you become.  Feeling happy and proud of who you are makes you more beautiful too.”

But you don’t need to spend a fortune to give your skin some love. There are plenty of ways to support healthy skin from the inside-out, through our diet. Generally, by eating a diet that contains a variety of fruits, brightly coloured vegetables, healthy fats, limiting processed foods, and keeping hydrated, then that will support healthy skin.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use diet to support skin health!

1 Grapefruit:

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It has a very sour taste, which I personally don’t like very much, but when I think about the benefits of grapefruit, I would rather eat it than not.    It is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep early signs of aging at bay. As a necessary component of collagen, vitamin C also helps keep skin resilient and supple.

Try grapefruit with shredded coconut, cinnamon, and chopped pecans for a satisfying snack.

Other great sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi fruit, and papaya.

2 Green Tea:

Green tea is a fantastic way to decrease inflammation and support hydration, both of which are essential for good skin health.  Green tea contains powerful polyphenols that help support health in a variety of ways. Research shows that green tea helps reduce the risk of cancer and support the immune system as well as reduce signs of aging.

I love having a cup of green tea first thing in the morning. It’s also a powerful cleanser.

Other great sources of polyphenol include red wine, black tea, and dark chocolate.

3 Walnuts:

Walnuts are a fantastic source of omega. Similar to vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids work to reduce inflammation or oxidative damage that can lead to skin imperfections.

Other good and healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, salmon, and flaxseeds.


Almost as important as the foods you do include in your diet to support healthy skin – are the foods you don’t include.  Evidence shows that a diet high in sugar can lead to signs of premature aging, like wrinkles, fine lines, and decreased skin elasticity.

Excessive sugar can be found in processed foods like cookies and cakes, donuts and croissants, sweetened pastries like tarts and other so called ‘bakers’ confectionery’. Chocolates and candies may also lead to acne or breakouts.

While it is nice to enjoy a treat now and then, be mindful of portion sizes.  Take note of the role these foods play in your diet to best support skin and overall better health.



What can I have instead of coffee? 4 healthy, nutritious and delicious morning drinks.

what can i drink different to colombian coffee.

As a genuinely authentic Colombian woman, I just love to drink coffee. Colombian coffee is very different compared to the coffee we drink here in New Zealand. We call a short Americano a “TINTO”. This is the perfect drink to start your day with, or to socialize with friends, or simply to help digestion after having a meal.

Colombia is one of the most important producers of coffee in the world. Colombian coffee has a mellow acidity and a strong caramel sweetness, perhaps with a nutty undertone.  It is delicious!

I don’t like fancy coffees.  I just prefer the simple and authentic.

I have been trying different kinds of drinks lately – different to coffee, not because coffee is unhealthy (in fact, there are innumerable studies which highlight the health benefits that coffee brings) but just to give myself and other people alternative options to drinking coffee.   Some people might think that they are drinking too much coffee or they want to cut back for other reasons.  It could be overproduction of acid in the stomach, or maybe you have been thinking that your coffee habits are affecting your ability to fall as-sleep.

If you are affected by having too many coffees and want to try other healthy options, yet you still want a healthy drink that kick-starts your day right – just like a hot cup of coffee, then rest assured, here are some alternatives to coffee which contain properties and compounds that will give you a similar energy boost that coffee does, or at least promote better overall health.

Here you go the four drinks to consider in the morning or in those cold and lazy days.


what can i drink different to coffee

Turmeric has immense health benefits. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a substance that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.  A Turmeric Latte is a tasty way to get more of this substance in your diet. It does not have any energy booster ingredient but it will support your overall wellbeing especially combined with the healthy fats from coconut oil and the calming and nutritious cinnamon.

What are the advantages of cinnamon?

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants.   In fact, cinnamon beat out more than two dozen other foods in terms of its antioxidant capacity in one study.  Anti-inflammatory: from skin conditions to autoimmune diseases and cancer. Brain benefits: eating cinnamon increases neurotrophic factors which keep existing neurons in your brain alive and encourage new ones to grow. Cinnamon also regulates blood sugar levels and promotes weight loss, and helps your body to fight infections.


1 Cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/3 tsp cinnamon

Dash cayenne pepper

Dash black pepper

2 tsp coconut oil

Optional: 1 tsp maple syrup or coconut sugar.


what can i drink different to coffee?

I have posted another article about matcha in the past. Matcha is a true Superfood. It’s filled with powerful antioxidants and provides a nice energy boost. It contains caffeine plus L-theanine combo.

This recipe is called Ice Matcha Tea. This recipe is made with almond milk, my favourite.

You need to know what a good quality matcha is, because nowadays, supermarkets are selling different quality brands.

First: Colour: the more vibrant the colour, (dark green matcha), the better it will likely be. A dull gray green is not acceptable. Second: taste: it should be a bitter, grassy taste.  But if the flavour is too bitter – then that’s likely down to the quality.


2 tsp matcha powder

1/4 cup almost boiling water

6 ounces unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Dissolve the matcha powder in boiling water-whisking out the lumps.

2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the matcha water and almond milk

3. Shake liberally

4. Serve over ice

5. Top with cinnamon


Maybe your gut bacteria needs and a.m wake up call. Bubbly Kombucha is great for your microbiome – which is good for your immune system. It is made with a black tea base and it has got a little bit of caffeine for a gentle jolt.

So what is KOMBUCHA?  It is a fermented tea!  It is made by brewing tea, adding sugar, and then adding the SCOBY symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, which starts fermenting by feeding on the sugar. The fermentation process will produce a very small amount of alcohol of around 1 percent.

The tea is slightly fizzy and the taste can be described as sweet and sour, almost like a mild sour beer. It is very easy to drink.


Yerba mate is a tea made from the leaves of the rainforest mate tree. In Argentina almost everyone drinks it socially by passing around a cup called “gourd” and sipping through a bombilla which is essentially a fancy straw. Not only does mate have some pick me up effects but is full of minerals and vitamins.

It reduces inflammation and is a perfect start for a healthy morning.


6. 1 cup warm water

7. 1 Argentinian yerba mate tea bag

8. 1/3 cup soaked cashews

9. 1 cup cold water

10. Dash Cinnamon

11. 1/2 tsp honey

Put the tea bag in hot water, and remove the tea bag after 2 minutes.

Add steeped Argentinian yerba mate beverage to a blender.

To the same blender add the soaked cashews, cold water Cinnamon and honey.

Blend until completely smooth.

To a clean glass, add blended late, ice and enjoy.

Hope you taste them all and I would like to hear and read your experiences. What is your favorite?



Autumn the colour of hope.

Time for Inner exploration

I have realised recently that energy and stress are two of the biggest obstacles we face in reaching out your goals of health. I was working so much during summertime, kids holidays etc that I have reached the point of exhaustion. I was not very excited when the first of March arrived, our first day of Autumnn. I wanted to think that we were living in a little piece of hot paradise; I loved summer very much , but I have to say that I have not stopped taking pictures of the sky on fire, the amazing orange, red, pink and blue sky in the mornings and even the amazing sunsets.One of the beauties of Qt is having the pleasure of enjoying every season with its different emotions, smells and colours.Interestingly I have seen some of my friends going through depression, sadness, or not good quality sleep, even starting having colds and flu. Not motivation whatsoever.Do you see yourself identified ?I don’t want to say that this beautiful season is bringing people down but I would like to take note about what is happening. After having amazing time during the summer season, it is time to stop and take care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves is not selfish, is our responsibility. In other worlds by taking care of ourselves first, we can look after anybody around us, we can give the best advice and we can give the love to the ones we live the most or our close friends who may need a little bit of help.When we make one healthy and positive choice, you open the door to one additional one. What is your new choice now?Have you being generous to everybody but not generous to yourself. I am sorry but we have to start making little changes. I have been helping lately to my friends emotionally when I am not in my hundred percent and I don’t feel good at all. This is why I feel exhausted I need to start eating healthier and maybe drop a couple of kilos that I have put on lately.I feel terrible because I did not do enough exercise during summer time and I think I’m paying the consequence.One lady in her middle sixties came to my workplace and she said something that I want to share… She said… You really need to move or do any kind of exercise otherwise when you get to my age you won’t be able to move and your joins will be stiff and sore so remember this. Any kind of gentle or strong exercise is good not just for the present moment, is good for your future, the rest of your life.Stress is constant in our lives, everybody experiences a different level so this is why is important to check on ourselves, check our levels of performance and productivity and the duration of it.What happen when our body is under stress? The body produces more energy to handle the stressful event or even by having to handle someone else’s problem.We need to understand what stress can cause in our body and our emotional state. If the stress is allowed to build with no release it will rob the body good nutrients, and the energy and the capacity to fight off bugs. The following are some tips to help you to reduce the amount of stress.– Practice the exercise of your preference but move. Between 30 mins to one hour. – Breathe help you to reduce stress – Take at least 5 mins to meditate or pray if you prefer and be grateful for the wonderful things around you. – Listen to your favourite music. If you come from another country like me, put on your favourite music and sing out loud. – Have a lovely bath with Epsom salts to give you relaxation and good minerals to your skin. – Always be surrounded by positive people!

What are the nutrients that give you happiness or improve your nervous system ?

Magnesium is good to reduce, stress, relaxing the muscles and eliminating cramps.Echinacea, boost your immune system give you energy.Vitamin B, this vitamins are vital to reduce levels of stress in your body.Garlic, anti-inflammatory and boost your immune system.The most important person is YOU, remember to stop, think and check internally how you feel and take note of the changes you have to make. I would like to share my Autumn salad. Hope you like it. This combination of autumn ingredients is the perfect combination of salty, sweet, sour and savory.You won’t want to eating this salad… It’s so good!AUTUMNSALAD Ingredients1 bag of baby spinach1 cup very thinly cut of red onion1/2 cup of dried cranberries1 cup of raw walnuts1 cup of apple cored and thinly sliced1 cup of crumbled cheeseDressing1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup balsamic vinagretteSalt and pepperToss the spinach with the red onions, cranberries, walnuts, the apple and the blue cheese.Then add the vinaigrette and voila!! Blessings!Andreap

Have you ever wondered why cocoa is considered a Superfood?

Here are some reasons.
In Latin American countries like mine Colombia, we used to have Cocoa in hot drinks , we call it … Un chocolate por favor!
Once all the ingredients are mix in the tall pan, we use a wooden molinillo to mix it all together. The result is a delicious , thick, bubbly hot chocolate.
We use to drink it with cheese, but the cheese goes into the chocolate so the cheese will be melted after a few minutes. Yum
A delicious and nutritious Colombian recipe.

I don’t know what to put in the lunchbox?

Is that question familiar to you?

I am very excited because boys are going back to school, back to their routines, but it stress me out when I think about their lunchboxes… I don’t know what to do? I would love to give them something different something more exciting.

Are you one of this mums who are overwhelmed about school, routines, lunchboxes, extra school activities and bedtime? Welcome I am one of them!

Every morning I have to prepare four, can you believe? So I decided to write this blog about nutritious lunch boxes for going back to school.

The lunchboxes play an important part in our kid’s health and life so we have to make sure to pack a lunchbox easy to make, nutritious, full of colours and attractive to our kid’s eyes.

I would like to share with you some tips to make your child lunchbox more interesting and healthier.

1. Involve your child

When you involve your child in the preparation you will reduce the chances that the lunch box come home with them at the end of the day.

Educate your child about making healthy food choices and involve them in the shopping decision.

2. Keeping food fresh and safe

Before preparing your child lunch box always wash your hands with warm soapy water and make sure all chopping boards are clean and dry. Perishable foods such as diary products, eggs, and sliced meats should be kept cool and eaten within four hours of the preparation.

3. To keep kids lunchboxes cool and safe put a frozen bottle of water in the lunchbox. When it’s time to eat, the drink will be icy cold and the food will be beautifully cool and safe to eat.

4.If you make lunch the night before keep it in the fridge overnight.

5.Use a none leak thermos to keep food like soup or pasta delicious and hot.

6.Made just for kids. Children generally want to eat quickly so they can go and play so try to make lunch food easy to manage and don’t make servings too large.

7.Cut bread into thin slices and cut sandwiches into small shapes to make them easy to handle.

Avoid messy food in the lunch box not only can leak but if it’s too challenging to eat your child simply won’t.

6. Stinky lunch

Stop sandwiches from getting too soggy by minimizing the spreads on sandwiches and removing seeds from tomatoes. The other option is to keep the fillings and bread separate and let your child create their own sandwich. Think about the tuna and egg, although they are fabulously healthy and convenient they have the potential of taint their food in the lunchbox.

7. Lunchboxes or lunch bags

Make sure that your child has a container that seals well to prevent any leaking but is easy to open to your child.

8. Wonderful water

Always make sure your child has plenty of water with them either their own water or always available wherever they are.

7. How much food to pack and what to pack?

This depends on how long they are at school. If kids are going to be more than six hours it is better to pack their morning tea plus their lunch plus something else to have on the bus If they catch the bus.

  • Ideally 2 oz lean protein: turkey, chicken,chicken ham, beans, cheese, sausage or tuna.
  • 1 or 2 tbsp healthy oils: olive oil, coconut oil, butter.
  • 1 cup of raw veggies, like carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumber or peppers.
  • 1 cup of wholegrains, like wrap, rice, couscous, quinoa, pasta, or 2 slices of wholeameal bread,potatoes.
  • 2 portions of fruit.
  • 1 portion of dairy like yogurt . You can put on the side a bag with cereals or muesli so the kids can mix it with the yogurt.

In the colder months a cup of soup will give you the veggie option plus the protein from last night dinner like chicken or mince meat and get your carbs by sprinkling in grains or enjoying a slice of warm wholegrain toast on the side.

  • Dried fruits: Just if they are natural without additives or extra sugar.

Home baking

It can be used as a treat and the great thing is you control over the ingredients so you can make it as healthy and nutritious as you like.

Healthy muffins, scones, make a large quantity and freeze it will defrost during the day and have the benefit of keeping the lunchbox cool.

Other ideas:

Soups, breadsticks, crackers, healthy dips( hummus, babaganish, tuna, cold meats, tofu, fruit bread, hard liked eggs, or wraps.

Leftovers: Pizza, samosas, sliced of pizza, instead of sandwiches.

And these are some of my favourite lunchboxes ideas to start school.

If you have any idea or any other suggestion please feel free to share it with us.

With gratitude!


Should we reduce the consumption of animal protein?

For all of you who don’t know me well, I am Dietitian from my home country Colombia and I finished my studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach and I will call myself a Holistic Nutritionist.

I don’t believe in diets but I believe in having nutritious meals, which means having a correct amount of animal or vegetable protein, the correct amount of cereal, grains or complex carbohydrates like fruits and whole grains, and healthy fats. I believe in primary food; this is the base to have a happy life, the primary food are: relationships, career, exercise and spirituality.

I want to talk today about animal protein

What do you think when you hear about protein? And what is your favourite source of protein?

Usually, the first thing that comes to our mind is animals like chicken, beef, pork, fish, Lamb. They are all complete proteins. There are lots of people like me, who decided to give up on animal protein just for healthy life and digestion problems. I am pescetarian meaning I still eat seafood, so I am not that complicated!

There is a group of non-meat foods out there that also contain protein, including eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, whole grains, such a brown rice, even green leafy vegetables as they contain amino acids.

A gram of protein offers four calories of energy and supplies the body with amino acids. This component is an important part of the immune system, meaning that protect us from cold and flu, influence our mood, and creates the muscles that provide you with the strength to carry groceries and maintain a good level of energy.

There are two kinds of amino acids: complete and incomplete.The complete amino acids are coming from animal sources.

Vegetable based protein sources are incomplete, however different vegetable-based protein sources from different botanical families can be combined to be completed examples:

1. Lentil + brown rice

2. Beans such black beans or kidney beans +brown rice

3. Chickpeas +seeds for example vegetable patties made with chickpeas and sunflower seeds or sesame seeds.

4. Hummus made from chickpeas and tahini.


Is one of the few plant-based proteins that contain all essential amino acids so is considered COMPLETE.

Animal meats contain just 25gr of Protein, meaning that 100 gr of meat contains 25 gr of protein. That’s a lot if you consider the amount of protein we have to consume daily.

Is important to have a balance in our diet and instead of consuming meat everyday, what If you reduce it to three times a week?

It will help to reduce inflammation in your digestive system, it will keep you out from cravings, you will be consuming food from live sources not dead sources.

Why is important to reduce the amount of red meats?

*Improve the health of the planet and the animals.

*Lose body fat.

*Increase the consumption of raw and natural food.

* Getting to know a huge variety of easy and delicious recipes , easy to make.

*Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

*Improve the level of acidity in your body.

*Increase the level of energy.

*Give to your body the nutrients that body needs.

*Balance your mood.

*Cleanse and purify your body.

*We don’t need much protein as you believe.

The body needs just between 0,8- 1 gr of protein per kg of body weight per day. So If I weight 58 kg I just need between 46 -58 gr of protein a day. Not much really!

What if I get too much protein?

The load on your liver will be increased as the liver must change components to be excreted.

You might become easy dehydrated.

Calcium excretion will Increase and we need the calcium for our bones.

Let’s try new sources of protein.


AndreaP xxx