Whole Foods to boost your mood and make you happy

Food can be a comfort, a reward, a guilty pleasure, a bit of nostalgia. Antidepressants are as common today as pain relievers and nighttime sleep aids, but does this mean they’re the best option for our health? Of course not! We weren’t intended to need or rely on drugs 


Quinoa is a great natural anti-depressant. This mighty little seed is high in magnesium, iron, B vitamins, and all essential amino acids. Quinoa is a wonderful gluten-free replacement to couscous and also more nutritious.  Quinoa’s high mineral content directly plays a part in the release of serotonin, GABA, and even melatonin which helps you sleep easier. Its natural carbohydrates are also slow-releasing which is optimal for blood sugar and a longer lasting happy mood.  Quinoa comes in white, red and black.  for a burst of texture combine all 3.  Cook it in water, stock and even coconut milk.  Add it to soups, salads and stir fries.  Great for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Because it’s so high in nutrients, it also helps fight fatigue and anxiety. Hence, the hype is real — quinoa really is a superfood.

Chia Seeds

Healthy chia Seeds

 Chia seeds are packed with amino acids, iron, and contain B vitamins that are must-haves for a healthy brain. Because they’re a complete protein they also assist with optimal neurotransmitter function and the production of serotonin in the body. Finally, they’re a great source of omega-3’s and fiber.

Chia seed is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways.They change their texture after being soaked and become softer, silky and velvety. You can blend them with your smoothies, shakes or cold coffee. You can also sprinkle some over your breakfast cereal.

Dark chocolate

Healthy eating at HideAway Haven

Dark chocolate boosts mood because it raises endorphin levels.  Choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. and no milk products.   Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as magnesium and copper. These minerals aid in regulating normal blood pressure and subsequently maintaining proper heartbeat levels.  Eating a delicious piece of chocolate can possibly reduce stress levels; it works by stimulating the production of endorphins that may give rise to a happy feeling. The serotonin level in dark chocolate may act as an effective anti-depressant. It contains serotonin, which has nearly identical qualities of anti-depressants. In addition, the dark variety of chocolate contains stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine, which are major stimulants.

Keep this in mind: The recommended dose is 28 grams per day.

Sweet Potato

Healthy Food Alternatives for depression

Sweet potato is one of the best natural sources of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates promote the production of serotonin, our number one feel-good brain chemical. They contain L-tryptophan, an amino acid directly related to helping prevent depression and anxiety. They are easily available, a great alternative to standard potatoes for its richness in fibre and helping in keeping the blood sugar steady. It’s also super rich in Vitamin B6. Low levels of vitamin B6 have been associated with symptoms of depression. weet potatoes are also high in magnesium and potassium which reduces cortisol and high blood pressure that increases with stress.

Flax Seeds

Antidepressant food

Flax is  one of the best sources of omega-3s, even higher in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) than chia.  Flax is also packed with fiber to reduce blood sugar levels and contributes to better blood pressure too. Sprinkle a little flax on your foods however you can; it has a great nutty taste, and it can be added to everything from veggies to healthy desserts!  Flax Seeds have omega-3, alpha linoleic acid, lignans, and fiber. It’s also conveniently accessible as oil, grounded, flour, or powder. We now have a dehydrator and are making our own flaxseed crackers.  I have read some warnings about the overuse of flaxseed in your diet. As with everything, please do your own research.

Source:  One Green Planet,  Natural Alternative Remedy, 

Enjoying Your Gluten-free Lifestyle

Enjoying Your Gluten-free Lifestyle

Whether you have a wheat allergy, celiac disease or some other form of gluten intolerance or sensitivity, trying to structure your life around a new health condition can be daunting. Most people on gluten-free diets quickly adapt; making a few changes to a recipe here, choosing an alternative product there, learning which items to avoid and which can safely be consumed.

Eating Out

It can be challenging when you first start eating out, but again, most people find local cafes and restaurants that can accommodate their needs. If you're based in a larger metropolitan area, you may be lucky enough to find a gluten-free speciality restaurant near you. If not, don't despair. A growing number of people are aware of the problems faced by gluten-sensitive individuals, and if you ask the staff they may be able to offer you gluten-free options. Many dishes are already naturally free of gluten, or can be made gluten-free with a few small changes -- leaving the croutons off your salad, for example.

On the go

While it's easy enough to eat wheat and gluten-free at home or in your favourite eaterie, things can get a little more complicated when you're out and about. At work or running errands, it can be more difficult to find things that are safe for you to eat and drink. Deciding to go gluten-free may mean passing up your usual fast food or takeaway options. Instead, look for prepackaged foods in supermarkets and grocers, or find quick and simple recipes that you can prepare at home and bring with you.

Further afield

The real challenges often begin when you leave your usual locale and travel somewhere unfamiliar. It can be tricky to find safe places to enjoy a meal or a drink. Going self-catering is one option. If you prepare your own meals, you can be sure you're not accidentally eating anything you shouldn't -- but the extra effort can make a holiday feel less relaxing for some. Fortunately, there are some hotels and holiday resorts that make a special effort to provide delicious gluten-free dining as part of their overall experience. It may take a little research, but you can find wonderful holiday options that don't involve the worry and extra effort of trying to find gluten-free foods. Support organisations for gluten and wheat sensitive individuals can often help.

At HideAway Haven we cater for a range of dietary requests, requirements and lifestyles.  We make our own gluten free bread and have a range of milks for those who have a dairy intolerance or who are vegan. Our raw afternoon treats are all gluten free and vegan.

Going gluten-free doesn't mean giving up the things you enjoy. With a few creative changes, you can live life to the full.


Article written by Sally Perkins - Freelance Writer and mother of a gluten intolerant daughter.

For The First Time Ever, US Federal Guidelines Recommend A Plant-Based Diet



Nutritional experts of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommend a predominantly plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons.

In 2010, the UN released a report urging citizens to adopt a plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons. Who knew that earlier this year, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee would outline similar recommendations for American citizens?

As was recently shared in the article, “8 Nations Going Vegetarian, Proving To The World Less Is More,”, a massive shift in health mentality is inspiring people everywhere to invest in their health.

The report, released earlier this year, includes recommendations by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on what Americans should be eating. This is the first time the committee has concluded a diet higher in plant-based foods and low in animal-based foods to not only be both healthier for the body, but better for the environment.

The report details their official recommendations for a “healthy dietary pattern,” which has vegetables, fruits, and whole grains at the very top of the list and red meat and processed meats at the very bottom.

“The overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.”

The 571-page report gives an in-depth look at what Americans are presently eating. “The quality of the diets currently consumed by the U.S. population is suboptimal overall and has major adverse health consequences,” it states.

Most notable is the large gap between a healthy diet and the standard American diet: “On average, the U.S. diet is low in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and high in sodium, calories, saturated fat, refined grains, and added sugars.”

Earlier this year it was reported that only 9% of American adults manage to consume the recommended amount of daily fruits and vegetables. Despite the bounty of healthy living resources and information available, America’s greatest challenge, it seems, is overcoming the idea of ‘quick fixes’ and short-term solutions.

The committee’s findings on the Standard American Diet include:

  • Roughly half of American adults have one or more chronic diseases related to poor diet and inactivity
  • Preventable diseases include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
  • More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese
  • Nearly one-third of children are overweight or obese
  • Chronic diseases disproportionately affect low-income communities
  • Focus on disease treatment rather than prevention increases and strains health care costs and reduces overall health

Amazingly, this is also the first time the committee has included environmental sustainability in its recommendations. It is mentioned that a diet lower in animal foods is not only healthier for the body, it’s better for the environment:

“Quantitative modeling research showed how healthy dietary patterns relate to positive environmental outcomes that improve population food security. Moderate to strong evidence demonstrates that healthy dietary patterns that are higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods are associated with more favorable environmental outcomes (lower greenhouse gas emissions and more favorable land, water, and energy use) than are current U.S. dietary patterns.”

Unsurprisingly, the beef and animal agriculture industries are unhappy, saying that an environmental agenda has no place in nutritional guidelines. Perhaps they should read this article. The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) also says the meat advice is “flawed” and “nonsensical,” and even launched a petition to urge people to protest the new dietary guidelines.



Knowing peoples’ love of animal products, they might actually be able to rally enough signatures – which would be a detriment to the well-being of the nation. It has been proven repeatedly that a predominantly plant-based diet is optimal for health and that diseases of affluence are not likely to remedy themselves until diet is improved. These guidelines are a step in the right direction for people to be able to realize and heed such advice.

The federally appointed panel is comprised of nutritional experts, and their recommendations help to put policies in place to ensure American eat healthier. Their task is to help set standards for school lunches, food stamp programs, and other programs for children and pregnant women.

What are your thoughts on this news? Share this article and comment below.

This article (For The First Time Ever, US Federal Guidelines Recommend A Plant-Based Diet) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

Read More:

Trying to eat healthy while travelling can be a big challenge

Travelling and eating new foods is incredibly exciting and enjoyable. Experiencing new foods is all part of the fun, and helps you get to know the new place you’re in. But, you need to maintain balance, and reduce exposure to foods that may not make you feel that great.

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream and roasted sweet potatoes. Healthy, Vegan and Delicious Breakfast Bowl

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream and roasted sweet potatoes. Healthy, Vegan and Delicious Breakfast Bowl

At HideAway Haven, we make it easy for you to eat healthy and feel great while you are travelling, with many healthy options offered during your stay.  Our healthy options include Chia Breakfast Pudding with local fresh berries, maple syrup and toasted almond flakes.  We make our own toasted muesli packed with dried fruits, nuts and healthy grains.  We serve home-made bread including Sour Dough, Wholemeal, Dinkle Seed, Khorasan and Gluten Free. Or try one of our many varieties of smoothies made from 100% local fresh fruit.  For those who enjoy a hot breakfast, poached eggs from our local bio dynamic farmer, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.  We now offer healthy spiralised veggie breakfast bowls.

Whether you enjoy vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, paleo we have lots of varied options for you.  No matter how long your stay is with us, there are new options to choose from every morning.

We have been challenged while we have been travelling through the USA.  We made it a priority to stay at hotels that offered a mini-fridge in our room. This enabled us to stock healthy foods in our room for easy access and saved us big dollars by being able to purchase our own breakfast and snack foods.

At our hotel free breakfast buffet, the least healthy things are served such as bacon, watery scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausages, waffles, cranberry muffins and fruit flavoured yoghurts to name a few.

A choice of cereals such as Cheerios, Wheaties, Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops, often stale, and sometimes with lukewarm milk to boot and nothing but sugary, dessert-like breakfast items such as Danish Pastries.

There is no variety and this is particularly pronounced as we stayed several days in our hotels. How many days in a row can you eat runny eggs, shrivelled up fatty sausages and bacon or very lame, yet highly fattening waffles with fake maple syrup?

As health conscious hostesses, we have taken the guesswork out of deciding how to manage a healthier style of travel, with countless options for healthy choices.  For those that still want bacon and creamy scrambled eggs, be assured they are still available at HideAway Haven and are freshly cooked to order. 


Stretching our Culinary Ingenuity

Anyone who has food allergies such as gluten or lactose or follows a special diet (such as kosher or vegan) knows that sticking to your food routine can be frustrating, depressing and sometimes a little tricky -- especially when you're travelling.  Dietary restrictions don’t have to take the spontaneity out of your adventures; it just takes a little planning.

Welcoming guests into our HideAway Haven home is an invitation to be cared for and treated like family and preparing breakfast or dinner for you is an extension of that care. From vegans and vegetarians to guests who are gluten free, soy free or paleo-dieting,

Some dietary requests and restrictions have stretched our culinary ingenuity but over the years we've come up with a few knock-out breakfasts.

Coconut and Banana French Toast (vegan) made with Gluten Free Home Made Bread

Orange Chia Breakfast Pudding - RAW Vegan and Gluten Free

Pan Seared Oatmeal served with local fresh blueberries and drizzled with honey - Vegan, lactose and Gluten Free)

Healthy Breakfast Options

Healthy Pear, Cinnamon & Chia Smoothie ~ a complete breakfast in a glass

People who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, but that doesn't mean all breakfast options are good for you! It can be challenging to make healthy breakfast choices from our breakfast menu when you're tempted with calorie-laden choices such as strattas, waffles and French toast. But healthy breakfast recipes can taste great and at HideAway Haven we give you plenty of healthy options.

Eggs - We use Shipleys Farm Eggs which are true beyond organic and free rage.  Eggs provide 13 essential vitamins and minerals for just 70 calories. They are a fantastic source of high-quality protein, and help you stay full throughout the day.  Eggs are a good way to start the day because they provide the energy you need to get through busy days!  Try our poached eggs or scrambled egg wraps served with locally smoked free range ham.

Grains are one of the healthiest options to have as part of a nutritious breakfast. Whole, unprocessed or minimally processed grains are a fabulous source of complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein. Grains break down more slowly than refined/processed carbs like sugary cereals and keep us full and energized for long periods of time.  Try our own home made toasted muesli full of nuts and dried fruit.  Sweetened with our local honey. Quinoa is the new superfood and we have a variety of options available.  Ask about our coconut quinoa served with toasted almonds, bananas and maple syrup - perfect for those who are lactose and gluten intolerant.

Dairy - yogurt-based parfaits and smoothies are a great source of calcium, protein and vitamin B. Try our fresh fruit parfait - fresh fruit topped with yoghurt and our home made meusli. Or one of our smoothies, such as Pear, Cinnamon & Chia or Strawberry & Apricot using locally produced fruit.  When we have our Yard 86 milk available, we make our own yoghurt.

If you want a healthy start to your day we have plenty of options for you to choose from.

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

We have recently put Pear, Chia and Cinnamon Smoothies on our menu for the health conscious.  It has been extremely popular with our guests.  Read this BLOG post for the recipe

We like to make sure there are always some healthy options on our menu.

Some awesome reasons to add Chia Seeds to your diet.

  1. Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds' lipid profile is composed of 60 % omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids -- and can help reduce inflammation, improve rational performance and reduce high cholesterol. Chia has eight times more Omega 3 than salmon!
  2. It is super high in dietary fibre, with 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons which is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fibre per day, making it great for digestion and healing digestion issues. Fibre is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. When chia is mixed with liquid they will form a jelly-like paste, and act as a gentle "sweep" through the intestines. A great way to get things moving so to speak.
  3. It boasts 20% protein with all 8 essential amino acids
  4. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant concentration gives them a long shelf life. They last nearly two years without refrigeration.
  5. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18% of the daily recommended intake for calcium, 35 %  for phosphorus, 24% for magnesium and about 50 % for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis. Chia contains five times more calcium than milk, seven times more vitamin C than oranges, three times more iron than spinach, and twice the potassium content of banana.
  6. Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fibre and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.
  7. Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.
  8. The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.
  9. Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.
  10. It has a positive impact balancing blood glucose levels (making it awesome for diabetics). It can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood
  11. Chia makes a great egg replacement. Just combine with water to form a gel, and add it to recipes that call for egg.

Stay tuned for more chia breakfast receipes.  Have seen a lot of recipes for bread with Chia seeds.