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November 01, 2014

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EcceKo featured on Lululemon!

Love Lululemon? We do to! So what a great honour it is to have been featured on their website! Head over to read the article and maybe learn a few things along the way! 

 

sawyer trice on lululemon

 

October 27, 2014

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Matcha and the natural sports drink recipe

matcha sports drink

There are loads of commercial sports drinks out there. But did you know you can easily make your own – and it’ll be much better than anything you can buy?

The whole point of sports drinks, or energy drinks, is to replace water and electrolytes lost during training and sweating, and to give you a boost of energy. But commercial sports drinks aren’t all they’re cracked up to be...

Isotonic drinks have salt and sugar added in concentrations similar to what’s naturally in the body. Hypertonic drinks have more salt and sugar than the body; while hypotonic have these in lower levels.

The problem with commercial energy drinks is this: how do you really know what you’re getting? How do you know what chemicals have been added? How much sugar’s in your drink?

We’re here to tell you that you can make your own, perfectly pure energy sports drink – with matcha of course.

We’ve been over the benefits many times – put simply, matcha is a functional wonder food. It’s full of all the things our bodies need to work perfectly. As an energy sports drink, Matcha:

  • Burns calories
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Provides focus
  • Does not spike blood sugar levels
  • Enhances mood
  • Cleanses and detoxifies
  • Does not raise blood pressure or heart rate

Here is our recipe for the best sports drink you’ll ever consume:

You need a clean, empty and reusable water bottle. Simply fill the bottle almost to the top with water – cool or cold. Add a quarter of a teaspoon of matcha green tea powder for every 250mls of water and a pinch of salt, for electrolytes. If you like a sweeter taste, add a little agave or liquid stevia. Then just shake it vigorously until all the matcha is dissolved. It’s refreshing, light, largely calorie free, and oh so good for you.

October 26, 2014

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Barre & Brunch and the preview of Vie Active's new season

Today we joined Barre Body studios and Vie Active for Barre & Brunch, celebrating the launch of Vie Active's new season. Starting with an hour-long yoga and pilates class, the crowd worked up a sweat before recouping muesli and bliss balls from Charlie's Balls and of course matcha smoothies from EcceKo!

 

barre and brunch with vie active

barre and brunch with vie active

barre and brunch with ecceko

vie active new season launch

barre and brunch with vie active and ecceko matcha

ecceko matcha at barre and brunch with vie active

October 20, 2014

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The fast vs the cleanse

matcha green tea cleanse

Fast versus Cleanse: What’s the Difference?

So you want to kick-start your body for great health and vitality (and perhaps a little weight loss). Or you want to amplify your meditation. Do you do a fast or a cleanse? Is there a difference?

Both fasting and cleansing involve drinking loads of fluids, and are great for detoxing, wellbeing, and weight loss. They both really clean your body from the inside out!

There are some big differences between fasting and cleansing, though:

  • A fast restricts all solid foods, and is much more demanding than a cleanse.
  • A fast can be as long as you like, while a cleanse usually has a set time limit.
  • Cleansing aims to eliminate toxins, whereas a fast may be done to gain a natural high and to clear the mind.
  • Cleansing causes the body to sweat.
  • Fasting can help break addictions to sugar, grains, alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.
  • Fasting involves consuming only water and fruit juices.
  • Cleansing allows raw fruits, bran, spirulina, and vitamins. It encourages having loads of minerals to support the body. You literally fuel your body for healing!

And if you're cleaning, matcha is the perfect detox drink!

But why?

  • Matcha has caffeine which is alkalising, not acidic like the caffeine in coffee. This alkalising effect is gentle and improves your digestion and the cleansing process. Also, the healthy amino acids in Matcha act as a time release system for the caffeine, so, unlike coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your blood really slowly.
  • Matcha is brimming with chlorophyll (which gives it such a vibrant green colour). Chlorophyll is great at removing harmful chemicals and heavy metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium from your body.
  • Plus, matcha is the antioxidant superfood, with many times the amount of antioxidants as goji berry, the next best thing.

Every cup of matcha green tea you drink is a mini-cleanse in itself!

October 14, 2014

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High Protein Vegan Bliss Balls

matcha bliss balls

It's time to feel healthy and and vibrant, and coming into summer seems to just make everything come back to life. Why not start eating right?

Eat fresh, light and vegan with these matcha bliss balls.

They're one of the yummiest and easiest snacks to make and enjoy. They pack a big punch and they taste amazing...

What you need:

  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp of non-dairy protein powder made with pea or hemp (preferably)
  • ½ cup of organic raw honey
  • 1 tbsp natural almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (black or white)
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds

What to do:

  • Mix everything together really well in a bowl.
  • Spoon out and roll into bite sized balls
  • Seal balls in a container in the fridge for 2 hours.

Too easy! For a twist, roll the balls in crushed nuts or even in a nut/matcha powder mix for an extra punch.

If you feel like something a little sweeter for a special treat, try these chocolate matcha power balls...

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup of soft pitted sticky dates
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup raw almonds

What to do:

  • Process dates and almonds until they make a sticky ball.
  • Break up ball and add matcha powder, cocoa, and almond milk and process until all is combined into another larger sticky green ball.
  • Roll into bite-size balls
  • Dust with more matcha powder
  • Seal in a container and pop in the fridge. They will last 2 weeks (or freeze for longer).

AMAZEBALLS

October 07, 2014

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Remake Your Morning With Matcha

We all know the feeling. You wake up in the morning and the first thing your brain can compute is, “Coffee! Now!”

We’re here to tell you that there is a MUCH better alternative to drinking coffee first thing in the morning – and, in no time, you’ll even find dragging yourself out of bed to be not such a drag. Even on Monday mornings.

The better way

We consume too too much caffeine – in coffee, black tea, colas, energy drinks, and chocolate. Too much caffeine makes you jittery, angsty, and can even harm your adrenal glands – which control how you physically respond to stress.

But a moderate amount of caffeine isn’t bad at all. And the caffeine in matcha green tea is caffeine with a difference.

Matcha is a healthy energy drink. There are scientific studies which prove that having a cup of matcha gives you longer lasting energy than any cup of coffee can. The added bonus is that the energy from matcha won’t make you jittery at all – in fact, you will feel calm and focused.

Another bonus of drinking matcha instead of coffee is that it’s full of healthy goodness – vitamins and minerals by the bucketload. This little drink packs a big punch!

Replace your morning coffee with matcha. We did – so we know how much better and brighter you’ll feel. It sets you up for the day right from the start – and in no time, you’ll likely want to replace all of your coffees with matcha. Why not? Not only does it taste great – it’s great for you.

September 29, 2014

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Meditate with Matcha

matcha aids meditation

Modern life can be overwhelming, and it’s not easy to take a step back and just “Be” in the moment (especially when you’re reading this while waiting in line for the iPhone 6 plus). But the importance of doing so can’t be understated. Meditation is one way to achieve this.

The idea that a simple cup of tea could assist in meditation may sound far-fetched, yet with matcha green tea, it’s true. Matcha has been used for ages to help to be calm and alert during meditation.

Meditation isn’t necessarily about emptying the mind, but more an exercise in being present and mindful, allowing thoughts and sensations to come and be released.

The benefits of meditation are enormous. Meditation reduces stress, tension, anxiety, and high blood pressure; increases happiness and peace of mind; relieves pain, which may be physical, mental, or emotional,; and improves overall concentration.

How can matcha help in the process of meditation?

By drinking matcha before meditating, you “kick-start” the meditative process. The mind and body will be more at ease and experience less mental distraction. You can focus without falling asleep, yet not feel at all jittery (like you can so often after drinking coffee, for example). How’s this work?

There is a chemical in matcha called L-theanine, an amino acid almost exclusively found in the tea plant. It’s been scientifically proven to reduce stress, both physical and psychological, whilst at the same time improving mood and cognition. It even stimulates alpha-wave activity within the brain, which is the state which people who meditate seek to achieve.

September 22, 2014

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Five Ways Matcha is Better than Juice

matcha vs juice

Why is a glass of matcha green tea so much better than fruit juice?

  1. It has no sugar

Even the freshest squeezed fruit juices in their purest form, without any added sugar, are full of natural sugars. While these are undoubtedly better than the highly processed sugars found in soft drinks, the actual sugar content within fruit juice is comparable to that in a soft drink. For example, a glass of pure orange juice contains just one gram less of sugar than does a glass of coca-cola. Grape juice actually contains MORE sugar than its equivalent amount of coke. 

Matcha, on the other hand, is pure green tea leaves in powdered form. Mixed with water and no added sugar, it has NO sugar content – it is the perfect guilt-free, sugar-free beverage.

  1. It is full of antioxidants

Just one glass of matcha gives its drinker the equivalent of ten glasses of green tea in terms of antioxidant content, making it one of the most potent antioxidants known – and not only promotes weight loss, but contains compounds that offer protection to the body from ageing, cholesterol, inflammation, and even cancer.

  1. It gives you an energy boost

Even better than a cup of coffee, matcha is high in caffeine – yet it does't bring with it the unpleasant effects of caffeine such as jitters that are so common with coffee intake. Thanks to its L-Theanine, it is actually very calming while promoting alertness and a physical boost. There is no better wake-up drink for the morning, or way to combat the mid-afternoon slump, than a glass of matcha. 

  1. Matcha is unparalleled in nutritional benefit

Antioxidants are just the tip of the nutritional iceberg when it comes to matcha tea. This superfood is also abundant in its levels of various vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins. These chemicals offer calming qualities and are also great for the metabolism of protein. Additionally, matcha contains no calories, fats, sodium, or cholesterol. It is one hundred percent vegan, and improved brain and digestive functions, controls blood sugar, and enhances energy levels. Even better, this drink is the perfect detox beverage – eliminating toxins such as chemicals and heavy metals which can build up in the body.

  1. It tastes amazing!

Convinced? Get a free matcha sample here.

September 15, 2014

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How to Make Cold-Brew Matcha Green Tea

 cold brew matcha tea

There are heaps of ways to enjoy the health benefits of matcha green tea: as a hot drink, as a latte, or in desserts and even savoury dishes. One of the most beneficial and enjoyable ways to enjoy matcha is as a cold brew.

Cold brew matcha is simply matcha green tea prepared entirely with cold water. Unlike iced matcha, the water used for preparation of cold brew matcha is not heated at all; instead it's icy cold. (Iced matcha is made with hot water then cooled and ice is added). Preparation of cold brew matcha is fast, uncomplicated, and, before you know it, the beverage is ready to enjoy.

Making cold brew matcha is as easy as adding matcha powder to your water bottle, blender, or even a cocktail shaker, adding icy cold water, and thoroughly shaking or blending it. Drink it immediately, or take it with you; just remember that over time, the matcha will settle at the bottom, so re-shaking regularly will be necessary.

The matcha powder to water ratio is entirely dependent upon personal taste; however as a guide, we recommend one teaspoon of matcha powder to five hundred millilitres of cold water. Alter proportions accordingly to taste; less matcha powder will give a thinner beverage; more matcha will make the drink thicker.

For a slow-brewed ice cold matcha, spoon a couple of teaspoons of matcha powder into a pitcher, then fill with ice. Allow it to rest for several hours; the ice will melt and slowly brew the matcha. Pour over ice to enjoy.

For a taste twist, try adding a little ginger, lime, or agave.

Cold brew matcha is the perfect summer drink. It looks amazing in a cold glass, with its rich verdant colouring; it tastes amazingly refreshing; and you know you’re not just enjoying a tasty treat; you are filling your body with nutrient-rich goodness. Drink up!

September 14, 2014

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5 ways to travel like a minimalist

travel like a minimalist

The warm months are upon us and it's time to get serious about planning your travel, but packing your bags to be light as a feather is a challenge.

Traveling isn't about taking all the comforts of home. Traveling minimally lets us focus on the present, in turn allowing us to connect better with the world around us. 

Here's your guide for packing minimally.

Leave your suitcase, love your backpack

Start here. Buy a 40 litre super lightweight pack. The adaptability of a backpack along with its flexibility will accommodate itself to any scenario the presents itself. Having limited space will also force you to get serious about your packing. 

Skip the what-ifs

Embrace the uncertainty of the unknown. If you think to yourself, I may need this, leave it at home. 

Minimise your clothing

Depending on where you're going, three or four tops, two pairs of shorts, one pair of pants, and a lightweight jacket covers the essentials for a week away. If you plan on nights out, pack one outfit that can handle all nightlife scenarios, but each piece should also be able to be worn during the day as well. Leave the blazer, dress and heels at home. 

Care not for your hair

Hair products are notorious for adding dead weight to your bag. Straighteners, blow dryers, conditioners and brushes are a great way to fill up your bag. Leave it at home. Same goes for excess toiletries. if you get really desperate, just go buy it.

Take one gadget (your phone)

Your laptop will be the biggest "what if" in your bag. Trust in your phone; you can answer emails without getting too deep into work, it takes great quality photos, and serves as the ultimate reference guide.