Spicy Chicken Enchiladas

You will need:

  • 6 tortilla wraps
  • 450g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • 150g mature Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 x red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 x green pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 x onion, chopped
  • Mushrooms chopped
  • Jalapenos (as many as you like)
  • 1tbsp corn oil
  • A handful of freshly chopped coriander
  • Enchilada Spice Mix (old el paso and discovery both sell some brilliant mixes)
  • 500grams of Tomato Sauce

Preparation Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and lightly grease a large ovenproof dish.
  2.  Heat the oil in a large pan and stir fry the chicken and onion over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the chicken is lightly browned.
  3. Mix the Spice Mix with your Tomato Sauce and 150ml of hot water.
  4. Stir in the peppers and mushrooms and jalapenos, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in half of the cheese and the fresh coriander.
  5. Warm the Soft Corn Tortillas
  6. Grab the first Tortilla and spoon over some of mixture. Roll and place into your dish. Repeat with remaining Tortillas, then pour over the cheese sauce.
  7.  Sprinkle grated cheese across your tortillas and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.

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5 Natural Ways to Prevent Depression

Now usually my posts are solely about food however a fellow blogger asked if I would give some tips on foods that cause or help lower depression. This got me thinking so after a little research I thought Id give you my findings.

Most people have experienced depression in some way. However if these feelings become more severe or are prolonged progressing to fatigue, lack of interest in ordinary day to day things, low self esteem, hopelessness, low sex drive and decreased productivity it is maybe a sign that you should seek help. Modern psychiatry focuses on changing brain chemistry through drugs to eliminate depression. However there are also ways to change your diet and lifestyle which can help address many of the factors that contribute to depression.

Diet and lifestyle tricks to help to decrease depression:

Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates  – The brain prefers sugar as its source or energy. However when you eat refined sugar or carbs the blood sugars tend to rise and fall quickly this will lead to low blood sugar. Low blood sugar can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability and headaches. Examples of refined grain products include pastries, pretzels, plain bagels, bread crumbs, corn flakes, white bread, white sandwich buns and rolls and white rice.

Increase your intake of omega-3 oils – Omega-3 oils are an important component of the membranes of nerve cells. It is important to support the health of nerve cells so that your brain functions “normally”. Omega-3 oils are found in nuts, seeds and oily fish

Decrease your intake of alcohol and caffeine – Although sometimes when down in the dumps or depressed we reach for a glass of wine this will not help. Alcohol is a major toxin which functions as a brain depressant. Caffeine is technically a stimulant, but has been linked in several studies to depression. The effect of caffeine is worse when combined with sugar.

Increase your exercise – Exercise releases endorphins plain and simple. The natural endorphins released during exercise have a mood lifting effect.

Increase your intake in vegetable and/or take vitamin supplements – Depressed people are often deficient in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B6, B12, folic acid and iron. These vitamins are important for making and processing neurotransmitters in the body. The levels of these vitamins may be low due to hormone or birth control pills, excessive stress, or low levels of stomach acid, which can cause decreased absorption of vitamins and minerals.

What is brain food?

So most of us struggle to fit everything that we have to do in the day and we tend to reach for our favourite snacks to get us through, whether that be crisps or chocolate or biscuits. However these types of food just tend to give us an instant fix they don’t necessarily help our brain in boosting its mental agility. These foods in my opinion are more comfort foods.

I thought I would give you all my top ten brain foods:

  1. Blueberries – Blueberries help to improve short-term memory loss.
  2. Wholegrain Foods – These contain Vitamin B6 and B12 and Folic Acids are found to help women to recall information
  3. Tomatoes – Lycopene in Tomatoes is an antioxidant and is said to help protect against damage to the brain cells
  4. Sage – Sage is great for improving the memory
  5. Fortified Cereals – Fortified cereals are a great source of B12 and also contain complex carbohydrates which release energy over a long period and will keep you more mentally alert throughout the day.
  6. Oily Fish – Oily Fish are high in DHA, fatty acid which are crucial to the health of our nervous system
  7. Blackcurrant – Blackcurrants are a great source of Vitamin C which helps increase our mental agility
  8. Punmpkin Seeds – Pumpkin Seeds contain Zinc which enhances thinking and memory skills.
  9. Nuts – Nuts contain Vitamin E and help prevent poor memory
  10. Broccoli – Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin K which is known to help enhance our cognitive function.