The beauty of bakes – 7 reasons why they are so great

Pasta, rice or vegetable bakes are something that we all grew up on and the best thing about having them for dinner is that they taste even better the next day. The beauty of Bakes and 7 reasons why they are so great are:

  1. They are a fantastic way of throwing a pile of wonderful tasty ingredients together in the one pot.
  2. They makes an easy meal for anyone to put together a Bake.
  3. Also they don’t have to be heavy and full of fat.
  4. You can combine wonderful ingredients that are healthy and still full of flavour making them ideal for everyone.
  5. Bakes are perfect for school or work lunches, when they cool they are very easy to cut and place into takeaway containers.
  6. Use the combinations and suggestions given under the salad heading for grains and vegetables to make your bakes something a little special.
  7. Grains such as rice, pasta, quinoa, cous cous, barley are all perfect and when teamed with all sorts of vegetables including spinach, sweet potato, pumpkin, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, spices, cheese and eggs.

Well the list is endless and the possibilities are many. So get your bake on with this super tasty recipe:

Rice and Tuna bake
Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
3 cups of cooked basmati rice
425g tin of tuna in brine, drained
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 green shallots, sliced
1 zucchini, trimmed, grated and squeezed of all its liquid
½ cup chopped parsley
3 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
160g ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 egg white
20g parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200c

  • Spray a ceramic dish or individual muffin trays with oil. Combine the tuna, lemon rind, juice, chopped shallots, grated zucchini, diced tomatoes and the parsley in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, ricotta and parmesan and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the egg mix into the rice and mix well, spread this into the greased baking dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.
  • Substitute the tuna for salmon, cooked fresh fish, cooked mince seasoned with Mexican spices and a tin of diced tomatoes or diced cooked chicken. If you are looking for dairy free alternative you can use soft tofu in this dish and dairy free
    parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Coffee and spice with all things nice

Cooking with coffee, entertaining with coffee, studying with coffee – it works every way. 

Australian coffee drinkers are full of beans, keeping up with their American cousins, as coffee consumption shows no sign of slowing down (under). According to the NCA, a whopping 59% of coffee consumed daily is classified as “gourmet”, and it is the younger population that are driving this trend. There is a raft of healthy recipes emerging, from coconut cappuccinos to golden lattes, and one thing is for sure – coffee is on a health kick. For 2017 it was all about looks, as we stared lovingly at rainbow lattes and licked our lips while we guzzled down the glitter. The crazier they looked, the better; but what will 2018 have in store? There is a buzz around nitro, cold-drip and siphon, but will roasting coffee take on a whole new meaning when we make the switch from drinking to cooking.
What does coffee bring to the table?
Coffee complements a host of everyday ingredients as the roasted bean can unleash a surprising diversity of flavour. It contains an impressive 800 aroma compounds, making it the ideal ingredient to balance and enhance dishes. Depending on how long a bean is roasted for, and thus how intense the flavour is, it can be matched with anything from a sweet dessert to a rich beef dish.
Cooking with Coffee
Cooking with coffee Dominique Rizzo - Photo be Athena Lamb
You can enhance the flavour of stocks, stews and soups by adding in some leftover brewed coffee – its rich, deep taste will perfectly compliment any winter warmer. Instead of throwing away any unused coffee, try pouring it into an ice-cube tray and freeze for future use.
When it comes to preparing coffee, nowadays, there are various high-tech coffee makers that can prepare your favorite brew in just seconds. With that said, if you have a bit more time to spend experimenting in the kitchen, and really want to impress your friends, then an infused coffee recipe may be just what you are looking for. Heat coffee beans slowly in your preferred medium e.g. vegetable oil, butter, milk, chicken stock. Once the flavour has infused, you can use this base to make subtle but delicious recipes, such as coffee ice-cream, coffee mayonnaise or coffee butter cream.
Furthermore, coffee adds a unique depth and bitterness to meat, particularly sweeter varieties, such as  wild duck and venison, and only a small quantity is needed to make a big impact. It also makes a great marinade for meats such as grilled chicken and duck, adding an extra depth of colour and flavour.
Roasted, blitzed, infused, marinated, however you like your beans, it’s likely you will see them springing up on the menu throughout 2018, and with Australian coffee being touted as the best in the world, you will sure be in for a tasty sensation.
Written by Lucy Stevens.

Get more from your salads – Tips to take your salad bowl to the next level

You can get more from your salads as they are a perfect lunch or dinner option and another excellent portable food that can be deliciously healthy and really quite filling. Salads are perfect as you can include many grains, legumes and some great tasty proteins teamed with fresh seasonal leafy greens and vegetables. And as I have said before the most important aspect to a good salad is the dressing. Here are some helpful tips to take your salad bowl to the next level:

 

Include grains in your salad

Grains or ingredients you can include in your salads are cous cous, burghal – (Cracked Wheat used to make tabouleh), barley, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, brown rice, cooked basmati rice, noodles such as buckwheat, rice, bean thread, you can also make your own croutons out of spraying a slice of bread with olive oil and chopping it into squares and baking it in a 180c oven for 10 – 15 minutes until golden. You can use this same method for tortillas, pita breads and lavosh, for crackers and pita chips to have with dips.

Aim for ½ a cup of grain in your salad per person if using only grains
Aim for ¼ a cup of grain in your salad per person if using grains and legumes

Legume salads

Legumes you can use in your salads can include cooked chick peas, lentils, cannellini beans, barlotti beans, three bean mix, check for the ingredients and buy the tinned ones without any added or extra salt or sugar. If you are cooking your own it is best to soak these over night first, discarding the soaking water and covering them with fresh water before simmering. It is not necessary to salt beans and they will take different cooking times so taste them after 20 minutes, you should be able to squash them in between your fingers> Drain and cool before storing in the fridge. You will need to eat these within the week although you can freeze them.

Aim for 1 cup of legumes per person in a salad if using only legumes
Aim for ½ a cup of legumes in your salad per person if using legumes and grains

Vegetable fillers for salads

Just about anything goes for a salad when adding in fresh vegetables. The important factor here is to use fresh not tinned, tinned vegetables serve another purpose. You can roast, barbecue, grill, steam or sauté most vegetables and use them for a salad. These vegetables could include, capsicum, eggplant, onion, Asian greens, corn, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, parsnips, green beans, broccoli and so on. Any vegetable that you eat for dinner you can include in a salad, top up your favourite combinations with some fresh vegetables like baby spinach, mixed lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, sprouts and you can also include a sprinkling of nuts and seeds. These could include sesame seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, almonds, roasted peanuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts.

Don’t forget about fruits, sliced or shredded apple, pear, orange, mandarin and grapefruit segments, pomegranates, fresh dates, diced melons, mangoes, peaches are all fantastic in certain salads and give a little sweetness and wonderful flavour combinations.

Try this tasty Quinoa salad with broccoli and feta

 

I know I said that the most important aspect to a salad is the dressing ! Keep an eye out for my next post that will give you four salad dressing recipes help take your salad bowl to the next level.

 

Healthy Smoothies – Chef Dominique Rizzo’s Recipe Tips to get it right

Healthy Smoothies are a perfect quick breakfast for anyone on the go, there are two different types of smoothies, a high protein smoothie and a fruit and or blended fruit and vegetable smoothie. Smoothies are extremely popular as they are an easy way too start the day when you system is still detoxing from the night before.

Your combinations are endless, here are some Recipe Tips to get it right:

  • It is recommended that you have about 2-3 servings of fruit a day and 5 servings of vegetables a day.
  • Fruits are high in sugar so stick to the 2-3 servings a day.
  • Like with vegetables, choosing different coloured fruits increases the variety of nutrients, which can enhance your health.
  • Eat a selection of apples and pears, citrus fruit such as oranges, mandarins and grapefruit
  • lemon squeezed in warm water first thing in the morning is a must for a healthy liver and digestion.
  • When in season choose stone fruits such as apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums and tropical fruits such as bananas, paw paw, mangoes, pineapple and melons
  • Berries, grapes and passionfruit are ideal for snacks and adding into fruit salads or on desserts.

Go Dairy Free

For healthy smoothies you don’t always have to go dairy, you can also use almond milk, coconut, rice, soy, oat milk, water or coconut water. Be sure to read the labels and get unsweetened versions to avoid added sugars.

Up the Protein of your healthy smoothies

Protein powders come in many different varieties, look for an all-natural protein powder from a reputable health shop with little or no sugar and no flavourings, you can add your own vanilla or
chocolate as these are unnecessary sugars and colourings that you don’t want. Base your serving of protein powder on 30g grams for women and about 56 grams for men.

Fruit and Fiber Options

Frozen berries, bananas and chopped fruits are the best for healthy smoothies and can be easily prepared and wrapped in plastic or stored in containers in your freezer making ti easier to throw together any flavour. Most frozen fruit you can now buy in packets so there is no excuse. It is especially good to buy fruit in bulk when it is cheap and chop it up to freeze it that way you have tropical fruits all year round.

“Superfoods”

All the rage now are many “superfoods” that you can add to your smoothie for extra nutritional value. Here are a few that you may or may not have heard of, these are all available in your health
food shop and some can also be found in your local supermarket.

Acai powder – The small, dark purple Amazonian berry provides exceptional amounts of antioxidants, omega fats, protein and fibre, plus it’s an immunity and energy booster.
Omega 3 fish oil –Disappears into your smoothie and you’ll never know it’s there
Raw cacao powder – A top source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron along with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Chocolate that is good for you! This is particularly good with strawberries and coconut. You can also just use cocoa or dutch cocoa for a richer flavour .
Chia seeds or powder – Chia is a great source of healthy omega fats, protein, antioxidants and dietary fibre. It has a neutral flavour and because it absorbs water, it thickens liquids and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Maca powder – Great for energy and balance, this ancient Peruvian superfood was highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina and combat fatigue.
Spirulina Powder – Spirulina is 100% natural and a highly nutritious micro salt water plant. Spirulina contains rich vegetable protein, multi Vitamins and a wide range of minerals and can be
added to water, or smoothies, it is not recommended for people with serious seaweed or seafood allergies.

Try this Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Tea and fruit smoothie
Serves 2 Pre time 5 minutes
3 cups frozen white grapes
2 packed cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups strong brewed green tea, cooled
1 medium ripe avocado
2 teaspoons honey serves 3
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup coconut milk
¼ cup natural or coconut yogurt

Place in a blender and blend until smooth and enjoy!

Want more recipes for Healthy Smoothies?

Try this Cucumber Cooler Smoothie Recipe

or this

Berry Coconut Smoothie Recipe

5 Simple Tips for Back to School Dinners

Yes, we are here, the first week of preparing back to school dinners! Do you feel like you are already running out of healthy meal ideas to get your kids (and the big kids) back to the table for week two? This follow up post from last week’s, 3 Simple Tips for Back to School Breakfasts & 4 Simple Tips for Back to School Snacks will hopefully give you some new ideas on how to put together some healthy dinners and wholesome lunches the whole family can get involved in!

If you can teach kids at a young age about healthy food choices and the fun to be had shopping, preparing and cooking food, they are more likely to grow up with a healthy attitude towards making balanced food choices and enjoying wholefoods and homemade meals rather than store bought processed meals.

Here are some Simple Tips for Back to school Dinners:

When I have conducted cooking classes for students of all ages I notice that kids love to make up their own salads. So, for great back to school dinners and lunches have a selection of healthy ingredients out on the table such as shredded chicken, chopped ham or left over shredded roast meats, maybe a selection of grains like rice noodles, brown rice and/or lentils and chickpeas and then a range of vegetables, salads items, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, baby corn or carrots, sprouts and get the kids to make up their own salad combinations, create little food stations at home.

Healthy pizzas and burgers are a fantastic way of getting the kids into the kitchen to help and if they are helping in the preparation you are more likely going to get them to eat the food that they have proudly prepared.

Keep the sweet sauces, dressings to a minimal and perhaps make your own tomato sauce and fruit toppings using fresh fruits to pour over ice creams.

Using skewers, sticks, noodle boxes, chop sticks, straws and fresh fruit ice blocks can make food playful and fun for kids to put food together and take to school to enjoy.

Get the kids involved in the shopping taking them to food markets, local farms where they can pick their own produce or collect eggs and teach them about where food comes from, involving them in menu planning and choosing recipes from cook books and magazines that they like gives them a sense of ownership.

For more helpful ideas for back to school meals check out my 3 Simple Tips for Back to School Breakfasts and 4 Simple Tips for Back to School Snacks!

4 Simple Tips for Back to School Snacks

Back to school snacks can be a minefield for so many of our children having intolerances to wheat, gluten, nuts, dairy, preservatives and additives, so a fail proof way to keep them safe and healthy is to make all your snacks, treats and meals from scratch. By making everything from scratch you are guaranteed that you will know exactly everything that is in all of your meals depending on what your children can and cannot eat.

Here are 4 Simple Tips for back to school snacks:

  1. Kids love things that they can grab and go so prepare fruit and vegetable sticks with healthy dips, make your own chips by brushing pita or mountain bread with a little oil and a few salt flakes and pop them into a packet, try slicing potatoes very thinly and spraying with olive oil then drying them out on a baking try lines with baking paper and in a moderate oven until roasted and crispy.
  2. Sweet muffins are great but substitute the sugar for stewed fresh fruit and a small amount of honey for sweetness using coconut juice or milk alternatives for dairy intolerances.
  3. Home-made muesli bars and grain slices are great packed with seeds and fruits and can keep fresh for weeks in airtight containers in the fridge.
  4. For hot days freeze yoghurt so that it will keep for longer or enjoyed as a frozen treat!

Click here for my delicious healthy Spelt and Coconut Slice

If you would like some top tips for Back to School Breakfasts click here

3 Simple Tips for back to School Breakfasts

Cooking and creating back to school breakfasts, healthy meals to keep the kids interested can sometimes be daunting, so I have come up with some tips to help keep you sane in the kitchen and keeping your kids happy healthy at school and sitting at the dinner table.

A great way to make a healthy change is to see what kids love to eat and then adapt these store bought, highly processed foods into healthy home baked goods.

  1. Kids usually love the sugary breakfast cereals and a sweet start to the day, so to make your own fabulous cereal start by buying whole grains like oats, rice puffs and unsweetened flakes and combine them with a little honey and pure apple juice tossing them until covered and then baking them in a moderate oven until toasted and golden, you can then add your kids favorite dried fruits, nuts and even put a special toy hidden in the bottom of the container.
  2. Try eggs baked in a muffin tin with grain bread as a base and filled with spinach, tomato and cheese, or use soft whole grain flat bread or mountain bread to make a breakfast burrito using lean ham, a little cheese, tomato, spinach and some scrambled eggs, toast this my placing the burrito in between two fry pans over moderate heat on the stove until toasted if you don’t have a toasty machine.
  3. Frittatas, omelets and egg muffins are a great start and can include all sorts of vegetables and even leftovers.

Here is a great little back to school breakfast fritatta recipe to get you started!

Bacon, asparagus and parmesan frittata
Serves 2
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Olive oil Cooking spray
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 cm lengths
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
150g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
100g trimmed bacon, diced
100g grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 egg whites
¼ cup milk or water

optional
2 tablespoons fresh chives or parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Heat a large 27cm non stick frypan over a moderate to low temperature, Spay in some of the olive oil and add in the asparagus, red onion, mushrooms and bacon. Fry for 3 minutes until the
mushrooms start to soften. Whisk the eggs with the milk, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Pour this over the vegetables and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes until the eggs are slightly
firm to touch.
Serve with 1 piece of wholemeal toast / ½ toasted bagel / ½ toasted muffin or 1 flat bread.
Accompany half the frittata with wilted spinach and sliced fresh tomato.

For healthy back to school snack tips click here

5 Top Tips to get the most from your ham

A good quality ham can make your meal festive whatever the season. Here are my 5 top tips to get the most from your ham! For inspiration, I have linked to this post to a fantastic glazed ham recipe and a perfect Ham Lentil and vegetable soup recipe to try if you manage to have any leftovers!!!!

  1. There is definitely an art form to cutting or carving a ham especially one with a bone in it. To carve, use a sharp thin long carving knife to cut slices of ham away from the bone, this will ensure you have even slices that are the full size of the ham. Follow the grain of the meat, laying the slices on a platter as you go and working around the bone. Turn ham over and repeat on the other side.
  2. To store a cooked ham pre and post-baking, wrap the ham in a calico cloth, or a clean piece of sheet that has been soaked in a vinegar solution of ¾cup of white vinegar with 1 ½ litres of water. This will keep the ham moist and stop it from drying out.
  3. To serve ham warm on Christmas day, you can prepare it the day before. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to bake and glaze it.
  4. Leftover ham on the bone can be covered in a vinegared cloth and then refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. If you are keeping it for that long, rinse out your cloth every 3 days with the prepared vinegar solution, to keep ham moist.
  5. You can keep leftover ham in the freezer for up to 6 weeks although it is perfect to add to soups, scramble eggs, omelettes, sandwiches, salads, pastas, fried rice on pizzas and wherever else you want that delicious smoked flavour.

Check out my How to bake Glazed Ham video here.

 

The Taste of Korea – Good Food & Wine Show with Chef Dominique Rizzo

There is not a Korean BBQ in sight when Chef Shin takes us into his Hansik slow food kitchen at the Good Food & Wine Show with Chef Dominique Rizzo guiding the audience through each step of his cooking revealing the wonderful world of flavours of thistle pickles and kimchi that are synonymous with the taste of Korean food.
Good Food & Wine Show with Chef Dominique Rizzo - Chef Shin w Chrf Dominique Rizzo

The essence of Hansik Cooking

Hansik is Nature
Earth is the source of life for man. Thus, the healthiest nourishment for man is earth’s natural foods, nurtured by the sun, rain, and wind.
Slow …… aged over time
Hansik is the ultimate slow food
The age-old practice of naturally fermenting food gives a deep and complex flavor to foods such as kimchi and jang (fermented sauce).
Vitalizing ……with seasonal ingredients
Spring is the son of new life when nature generously provides us with fragrant vegetables and herbs. The mountains and fields are covered with a variety of different namul (wild-greens, herbs and sprouts) and young vegetables that are harvested for cooking.
Harmonious Balance …… microcosm in a bowl
Korean cuisine is characterized by the balance and fusion of Five Cardinal Colors of blue (靑), red (赤), yellow (黃), black (黑), and white (白). These five colours, called obangsaek, also represent different spatial and seasonal elements, as well as the Five Tastes – spicy, sweet, sour, salty and bitter.
Rustic …… the feel of home
Hansik is unpretentious and humble. With its roots in peasant cookery, hansik consists of a wide range of hearty soups and stews that satisfy the stomach and comfort the soul.
Labor of Love …… in every bite
Hansik is prepared with great care and attention. Ingredients are always finely diced or shredded, then seasoned and mixed by hand. Taste is determined by the deft feel and skill of experienced hands. In Korea, we call this the ‘work of mother’s fingertips,’ which is the secret ingredient behind the flavorful and easy-to-consume hansik dishes.

Good Food and Wine Show - Chef Shin with prepared dishes

More about Chef C.H. Shin

Chef Shin is the Owner and Chef of “Joo Ok”, a contemporary Korean Restaurant in Cheongdam-dong.  “Joo Ok” is a Restaurant recommended by MICHELIN Guide Seoul 2017.
Chef Shin was invited to the Gala Dinner at the 2016 World Hansik Festival hosted by the KFF; in 2014–2015 he was Chef at Michelin Japanese Restaurant ‘NOBU’ Miami Branch.

Check-in for a  Taste of Korea at the Good Food & Wine Show with Chef Dominique Rizzo, with recipes for two of the amazing dishes on the menu.

Gondeure jangajji yukhoe pastry (Korean-style beef tartare with pickled vegetables) is the first one. 

Good Food & Wine Show with Chef Dominique Rizzo - Korean Style Beef Tartare

 

The Taste of Korea is unique in this dish of Gondeure jangajji (pickled thistle) yukhoe (beef tartare) pastry, which is a pastry garnished with yukhoe. The seasoning is made from onion jangajji (pickled vegetables), Gochu-jang (red chili paste), and Gochu-jang aioli sauce that softens yukhoe and adds both the delicious and sour taste. Gochu-jang mixed with Gochu-jang aioli gives the soft taste and texture. Added with the dried yolk and gondeure jangajji (pickled vegetables), it gives the deep and savoury taste. Inspired by authentic Korean food, the use of puff pastry is considered to be pleasing to the taste of Australians.

Ingredients (for 2pcs):

– Baked pastry (2ea)
Garnish
– Korean beef eye of round (5g)
– Nutritious leek (0.5g)
– Pine nut (0.5g)
– Yolk powder (0.5g)
– Gondeure pickeled vegetables (1g)
– Onion pickled vegetables (1g)
– Gochu-jang aioli (1g)
– Gochu-jang sauce (1g)

Steps:

1. After cutting a puff pastry into 2cm in width, bake them on a butter paper in an oven at 180-degree for about 20 minutes. Then cut them into 2cm x 6cm-sized pieces.
2. Peel and mash eye of round.
3. Chop nutritious leek.
4. Mash Gondeure pickled vegetables and onion pickled vegetables, and remove moisture from onion pickled vegetables.
5. Measure and mix mashed eye of round, nutritious leek, onion pickled vegetables, Gochu-jang aioli, and Gochu-jang
6. After putting Gochu-jang aioli at each end of the puff pastry, place the mixed ingredients (from step 5), then put Gondeure pickled vegetables, pine nut powder, nutritious leek yolk powder on the very top.

The second recipe is Jjimdak kromesky with Neungi mushroom

The Good Food & Wine Show with Chef Dominique Rizzo - Braised chicken with hawk’s wings mushroom

This dish is braised chicken with hawk’s wings mushroom.  Jjimdak (braised chicken in soy sauce) kromesky (fried croquette) with Neungi mushroom is a croquette made by frying mashed jjimdak and chicken feet, with the bread powder added. The dish gives the jjimdak taste with Ganjang (soy sauce) soaking into the soft stuffing inside the fried croquette. The dish sauced with Cheongyang red pepper sauce removes the fried dish’s typical greasy taste with its sourness. The kromesky is topped with bread crumbs dusting and Neungi mushroom powder to add to the autumn vibe.

Ingredients (for 2pcs)
– kromesky (2ea)
– Chicken drumstick (1,500g)
– Boneless chicken foot (750g)
Seasonings
– Bulgogi sauce (250g)
– Water (250g)
– Flour (1g)
– Egg (1g)
– Breadcrumbs (1g)
Garnish
– Cheongyang red pepper sauce (10g)
– Grana Padano (3g)
– Neungi mushroom powder (0.5g)
Steps:
1. Peel and remove fat from a chicken drumstick, and wash and remove moisture from chicken feet
2. Boil chicken drumstick, chicken foot, Bulgogi sauce and water in a pressure cooker
3. Once the ingredients (from step 3) boil up over high heat, continue to boil them over low heat for about 30 minutes.
4. Separate the soup from solid ingredients once they cool down
5. Tear the boiled chicken drumstick, and mash the chicken feet until the texture is softened enough for chewing
6. Gradually boil down the soup over low heat so that the soup gets suitably seasoned
7. Mix the chicken drumstick, meshed chicken feet, and the soup, and put them in a 2cm-high square tray inside a refrigerator.
8. Once they get hardened, cut them into a suitable size, cover the pieces with breadcrumbs, and fry them.
9. Once they are fried, cover them with Grana Padano cheese.
10. Place Cheongyang red pepper sauce on a plate, them put the cooked kromeskies on the top.
11. Lastly, sprinkle Neungi mushroom power on the kromeskies.

Good Food and Wine Show with Chef Dominique Rizzo - Chef Dominique, Chef Shin and translator.

Getting the Best from Travel

Getting the Best from Travel: How the World Sleeps 

Traveling may be rewarding, but it comes at a cost. Aside from the money you need to spend, you also incur sleep debt while on the road. In fact, Smarter Travel revealed that taking long-haul flights can make you lose several hours worth of sleep due to jet lag. 

This is not even counting the sleep debt you incur when you reach your destination. Aside from the hours that you will spend out and about exploring your surroundings, crossing time zones can also take a toll on your body. WebMD estimates that one day is needed per time zone you cross in order for you to adjust to the new schedule. This means the hours of sleep you can potentially lose will pile up with each passing day, and therefore your body may not be able to adjust fully before you head back home. Upon arrival, your system will once again need to recover from the change in time zones (deep breath).

Unfortunately, not getting enough rest during your holiday can take a toll on your body and your mind, making you more lethargic and susceptible to a variety of illnesses. However, the National Sleep Foundation reckons that it is possible to catch up on sleep. It cited a study by Harvard Medical School that proves that there is no way to take back lost sleep no matter how many hours you rest afterwards. Although, what you can do, is to minimize the impact of what The Blonde Abroad describes as the feeling of having your body in one country but your mind in another. In homage to your love of travel, here are some tips from different parts of the world on how to recover from lost sleep.

How the World Sleeps 

Leesa reveals that Germans believe that fresh air is the key to restful sleep. In fact, they even leave their blankets hanging outside their homes during the day, believing that the sheets will be able to absorb the rejuvenating powers of the fresh air so they can sleep better at night.

The British supposedly have a habit of sleeping naked. Studies have shown that low temperatures can help people get better sleep. Not wearing clothes means you can stay cooler, which can make it easier for you to nod off more quickly.

Alternatively, you can take notice of the Spanish as they are renowned for their afternoon naps. Time states that this tradition originated from farmers, who spent afternoons resting after busy mornings. Due to the body’s circadian rhythm naturally fluctuating during mid-afternoon, taking a nap then can also help you re-energize.

Of course, a good night’s rest is not the only thing you will need during your holiday. Eating well is equally important. Check out our ‘Five Healthy Travelling Tips’ article to find out how you can maintain healthy eating habits even while on holiday.

Image credit: Flickr