(by Max Tomlinson)
Insomnia is persistent sleeplessness. We all know the scenario of tossing and turning all through the night after a particularly stressful period at work. If this goes on for weeks and months, you may be an insomniac. Eating or working too late, drinking alcohol, taking too little exercise, adrenal exhaustion owing to stress, and yo-yoing blood-sugar levels can all cause insomnia.
EAT BEFORE EIGHT
When you eat too late you lie in bed digesting and not resting. This can keep you awake. Ideally you should eat at least three hours before going to bed. In addition, you can speed up digestion by food combining – separating your proteins and your carbs.
EAT MORE STRESS-REDUCING FOODS
Foods rich in vitamins C and B5 and in magnesium feed your depleted adrenals (which produce adrenaline [epinephrine]), helping to restore sleep. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruit, guava, kale, parsley and squash are all rich in vitamin C. Whole grains, dark green vegetables, avocadoes, fresh fish and apples are all magnesium-rich. Organic eggs, fresh fish, whole grains, nuts and all fresh fruit are rich in B5.
EAT LOW-GI FOODS
High-GI (glycemic index; see p.120) foods raise the amount of sugar in your blood quickly. When the blood-sugar levels fall during the night, you wake up slightly hungry. Eating low-GI foods for dinner helps to keep your blood sugars stable, ensuring a better night’s sleep.
Quinoa tart with avocado salad
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes (plus 10 minutes cooling)
55g/2oz/1⁄3 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly; 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ; 250g/9oz/3⁄4 cup quark ; 2 large organic, free-range eggs, lightly beaten; 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed; 6 salad onions, trimmed and thinly sliced ; small bunch parsley, chopped ; 85g/3oz/3⁄4 cup hard goat’s cheese, finely grated; 1 little gem lettuce or 1⁄2 cos (romaine) lettuce shredded; 1 small avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced; 2 tsp lemon juice
1 Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Spread out on a plate and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2 Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oC/350oF/gas 4. Generously oil a 20cm/8in ovenproof pie dish or springform cake tin using half the olive oil.
3 Put the quark in a medium bowl and stir a couple of times to soften. Beat in the eggs using a wooden spoon – don’t worry if they look a bit curdled at first, just keep mixing and they will combine. Then stir in the garlic, onions, parsley and cheese.
4 Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25–30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before loosening the edges with a spatula and removing the tart from the dish.
5 Meanwhile, put the lettuce and avocado in a medium bowl. Whisk the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice together in a small bowl, then pour over the salad and toss well. Serve with wedges of the tart.
Max Tomlinson is the UK’s top naturopath. In this book he reveals how you can harness the power of food to generate outstanding health, unfolding how foods in their pure form can protect you against pollution and disease and can help you to achieve long term health and vitality.
Clean Up Your Diet