2 ingredient Ice Cream

2 ingredient Ice Cream

This is so easy to make and I reckon took me less than 5 minutes but is a great one to have in the freezer. Kids (and adults) love ice cream in summer and especially with this hot weather we have had.

 

This is dairy free and 100% vegan. Interestingly I saw some ice creams advertised as gluten free when on holiday in Italy and I thought there shouldn’t be gluten in ice cream anyway! Some shop bought ice creams do add flour as a thickener so it is always worth checking and if you are buying in the shop go for the one with the least ingredients.

 

Bananas sometimes get a bad rep for being a higher sugar fruit but they contain potassium, B6, vitamin C, Magnesium, Manganese and copper so you are getting much more than just the fructose. Sugar doesn’t have any of these vitamin and minerals so banana is an excellent substitute that still offers that sweet flavor. 

Ingredients

3 large bananas

140g peanut butter

 

Method

1-    Roughly break and add 3 bananas to your blender with the peanut butter. I use meridian as you have no added extras.

2-    Blitz for around 30 seconds until you have a smooth consistency

3-    Freeze in an airtight tub for a minimum of 3 hours. If you want itas a softer consistency you can have earlier.

 

Enjoy and let me know what you think xx

Banana and blueberry muffins - Is poor blood sugar balance adding to your tantrum woes?

Banana and blueberry muffins - Is poor blood sugar balance adding to your tantrum woes?

These muffins are the perfect family friendly snack and are not only free of sugar but they are nutrient dense. I made these with my favourite little baker and as you can see he was very keen to get stuck in so the photo needed to be quick.

 

They are gluten and dairy free too so should fit with most eating requirements. I have used a mix of buckwheat flour and gram flour. Gram flour is higher in terms of protein content with 22% over 13% in buckwheat (In comparison to 7% in normal white flour). Protein is essential for a slow release of energy and balancing blood sugar levels.

 

There is so much in the press about reducing sugar for children and it is really important but also getting them to eat real foods. Sugar not only adds to cavities in the teeth but moods too.

 

As I talk about in my ebook but stable blood sugar levels are important for adults and children alike. When we have high levels of sugar in our diet, then a young child’s body can’t process this and maintain balance. They have a sharp rise in glucose level, which is followed by a dramatic fall when this wears off. This cycle can mirror the hyperactivity or tantrums that we see as their energy goes up and down.

 

Eliminating sugar from their diet could reduce the frequency of these tantrums in addition to looking at other factors that are at play including exercise, sleep and television.

 

 

Banana and blueberry muffins

 

150g buckwheat flour

75g gram flour

2 eggs

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

½ tsp gluten free bicarbonate soda

pinch Himalayan salt

1 tsp cinnamon

100 ml hazelnut milk

75ml olive oil

150g blueberries

2 bananas

 

Method

1.     Preheat over to 180 degrees and grease muffin tin with oil or use reusable silicon muffin holders and no need.

2.     Sift all the powdered ingredients together in a bowl.

3.     In a separate bowl beat the eggs and add in the olive oil and milk. Add in the mashed banana and whisk for 30 seconds.

4.     Then mix into the powdered ingredients to form a paste.

5.     Fold in the blueberries.

6.     Spoon the mixture into muffin cups and bake for 15-2 minutes or until risen and firm to touch.

7.     Place on wire rack to cool. 

Broad Bean Dip

Broad Bean Dip

So, I usually say most of my meals never take long to prepare and I always opt for hassle free nutrient dense food but the below may be an exception.

 

Every week we have a Riverford vegetable box delivered and this is something that I started early on in my health journey. They are organic in season vegetables which is so important.

 

At my Endometriosis talk last week at the Royal Society of Medicine I talked about reducing our exposure to these chemicals and it is particularly important for those with oestrogen dominant conditions such as endometriosis. When we eat food covered in pesticides, these chemicals are perceived as xenoestrogens in the body and thus mimic the action of oestrogen, adding to that overall load, which therapeutically we are looking to reduce.

 

One of the reservations people have around organic is often the cost and this is where buying in season really makes a difference. Blueberries are a great example of this as currently you can buy organic for a round £2-2.50 as they are in season but the price in winter shoots up to £4. In season, organic vegetables aren’t actually that expense and a vegetable box for the family, with 8 different types of vegetables is starts at £14.

 

So although I wouldn’t have put the broad beans in my supermarket trolley, they came with Riverford and it pushed me outside my comfort zone and to try something new. Try the recipe and see if you agree with me, that it was worth the effort…

 

Broad bean Dip

Ingredients

Broad beans

½ avocado

1 tbsp tahini

2 garlic cloves - crushed

5 tbsp olive oil

Himalayan Salt

Black pepper

 

 

Method

1.     Pod the broad beans and then boil for 5 minutes.

2.     Once boiled you want to double pod and the outer shell should easily come away with your fingers – this makes a huge difference to the flavour.

3.     Add all of the above into your food processor and blitz for 30 seconds. 

Broccoli Rice

Broccoli Rice

Broccoli, we’ve known for a long time that they are a super food with so many health benefits but a new study has revealed that the sulphoraphane in broccoli can support blood sugar management in diabetes. “We have investigated the mechanism and sulphoraphane targets the critical disease process.” Anders Rosengren commented.

 

If you suffer with diabetes then having this food in your diet would be beneficial. Insulin sensitivity is programmed through our genes and having a genetic SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) on this may mean you have a higher chance, if not following the right diet and lifestyle of being diagnosed with diabetes. I see lots of people in clinic who have this SNP or the genes for high cholesterol and they are amazed that we can have such positive results through our diet.

 

I have diabetes in the family and a SNP on my insulin sensitivity gene so it is important that I manage this through my diet. My blood glucose and HbA1c levels remain at a good level but on the wrong diet these could quickly be pushed out.

 

One of the key areas to managing this is adding lots of good quality vegetables to your diet and this broccoli rice is a great way to do that. You can add to most things and we typically use it as a rice alternative when having chili or curry’s or add to salads.

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Broccoli Rice

1 broccoli

Olive oil

 

Method

1.     Cut the florets off to individual pieces and steam for 4 minutes

2.     Add to food processor and blitz for 5 seconds

3.     I drizzle with olive oil as you can never have too many antioxidants. 

Watermelon and Celery Cooler

Watermelon and Celery Cooler

WOW, this is how we do a heat wave. It feels like we’ve been waiting a while for summer to arrive but it is definitely here now.

 

It is so important to stay hydrated and I often see low water intake in clinic and it is especially important in this weather.

 

This is the perfect smoothie to refresh on a hot day or freeze into ice pops and great for kids and adults alike.

 

Ingredients

½ watermelon

3 celery stalks

 

Method

1.     Blitz together in the Nutri bullet and either serve with ice or add to lolly pop moulds and freeze overnight.

 

 

Health benefits

 

Watermelon as the name would suggest is full of water and very hydrating. The seeds have a high vitamin E content so great for anti-aging so keep them in. It also has a high lycopene content, which is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties due to this.

 

Celery can assist with lowering blood cholesterol in some individuals. 

Spicy Butter Bean burgers

Spicy Butter Bean burgers

These are a firm favourite in our house and great now we are going into BBQ season as a meat free alternative. They are vegan and so delicious.

 

Butter beans, aka lima beans, are a great source of cholesterol lowering fibre. The fibre is also great for managing blood sugar fluctuations, as they prevent blood sugars spiking too quickly (download my e-book for more information on this).

 

These are fully vegan and do contain protein but for a full protein serve with some whole grains, such as rice and plenty of salad.

 

These beans are rich in molybdenum which assists in the detoxification of substances like sulfites, copper and alcohol, and it also helps the body to excrete protein breakdown products such as uric acid and petrochemicals.

 

 

Ingredients

660g Large butter beans (I use Navarrico)

2 red onions finely sliced

1 carrot – grated

2 cloves of garlic – crushed

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp tamari sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp coconut oil

 

 

Method

1.     Sweat the onions for 2/3 minutes

2.     Add the garlic, paprika, cumin and a splash of water to the pan, mix. Add in the grated carrot and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes

3.     Mash beans in a separate pan.

4.     Add to the beans the tomato puree, mustard, tamari and mix well.

5.     Add the vegetables to the pan and mix well.

6.     Season to taste with Himalayan salt and pepper

7.     Make burger patties from the mixture and heat a spate frying pan with coconut oil

8.     Fry the burgers, they will take roughly 5 minutes each side.

9.     Serve with a large salad. 

Paleo Granola

Paleo Granola

This is seriously tasty so I thought it would be rude not to share the recipe. It is packed full of protein from the nuts so a great start to the morning or post exercise snack. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and therefore great for supporting the thyroid. Pecan nuts are high in pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), which is essential for our adrenal glands and if we are feeling stressed.

 

If I’m having this for breakfast, I mix with some soaked nuts so it isn’t too sweet. I’ve avoided adding the dried fruit in the recipe as I like to minimise sugar in the morning. Soaking dried fruit over night, reduces the sugar content but also stops them sticking to your teeth. Dentists have reported a rise in cavities with children eating raisons as they are high fructose and they get stuck in between their teeth. 

 

Anyway enjoy and if you are on Instagram, tag me in your pictures @rp_nutrition

 

Ingredients

50g Brazil nuts

50g almonds

70g pecans

60g pumpkin seeds

2 tsp honey

1 egg white

 

Method

1.     Preheat over to gas mark 3/170 °

2.     Chop the nuts into smaller pieces and then add to a large bowl with the pumpkin seeds

3.     Add the egg white and honey and mix together

4.     Place mixture on baking tray and squish together to make little clusters

5.     Cook for 15minutes and then remove and allow to cool.

6.     Store in an airtight container. 

Carrot Waffles

Carrot Waffles

 

These are so quick to make and a good way to increase your vegetables in your breakfast if you don’t have any. Carrots are one of the sweeter vegetables so it gives it a great flavour. These are packed with protein so can be a good post workout breakfast or lunch.

 

These are perfect for packed lunches and can be prepped in the morning and carry well. As you can see from below, this is a regular in my son’s lunchbox and a great way to sneak some carrots in as he is insistent that he doesn’t like them!

 

I’ve talked a lot about the health benefits of eggs before and carrots are a great source of nutrient too. They are fibre rich (12%) and high in vitamin A, that is great for eyesight (the myth that you could see in the dark with these came from some sound background) but also repair in the body.

 

Carrot Waffles

1 carrot grated

2 eggs

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use pea protein from Nuzest)

splash almond milk (rough 20 ml)

 

 

Method

1-    Preheat oven to 180

2-    Add all of the ingredients to a nutri bullet or similar blender and blitz

3-    Cook in oven for roughly 10 minutes or until the top has crisped over. Alternatively, you could use waffle maker but I personally like these silicon waffle baking moulds. 

 

Amchara Malta Detox Retreat

Amchara Malta Detox Retreat

Sun, sea, yoga and RELAX!

So I had the pleasure of visiting Amchara Health Retreat in Gozo and what a special few days it was. I spoke to the guests about understanding stress better to optimise health as this is really something I see regularly in clinic and wanted to give them practical tools to take away with them.

But what a weekend…

First of all, Gozo is so beautiful and tranquil, it really is a perfect get away. The retreat consisted of people juicing, those on the healthy living programme (ME) and a mix of the two. The guests ranged from marathon runners, there for some hill training, to those looking for weight loss or just some time out. For me I had two days to really make the most of the experience and being child-free meant I could properly relax.

The apartments surround a beautiful pool, and it was perfect for topping up your vitamin D levels in the sun. The facilities are great with a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and nice big rooms. I incorporated all of these into my daily routine to really optimise detoxification. With yoga offered on rising and late afternoon before sunset, it was the perfect tail end to the days. I’ve been wanting to incorporate more yoga into my life and both teachers were so inspiring that I have taken some of the moves to be part of my morning routine at home.

In addition to this I made the most of testing they had on offer and tried out their hypoxia therapy, which is altitude training, heart rate variability and the thyroflex.

They have a full therapy room offering complementary treatments from reflexology to massages. I had some reflexology, which was great and sent me to sleep, along with a body scrub.

The food was outstanding and you can see a couple of tasters below. All the food is organic and sourced from Sicily. The final icing on the cake (although definitely no cakes in sight) was the super friendly and helpful staff, some of whom started as retreat guests themselves. I would highly recommend and you could go with a friend or definitely a place you would enjoy on your own.

I left feeling lighter, brighter and browner!

 

If this sounds interesting, then do get in contact as I can refer you on so that you are rewarded with a free massage of your choice!

IMG_1117.JPG

Improve your Sleep? Try my Walnut Super Green Paste

Improve your Sleep? Try my Walnut Super Green Paste

This super greens walnut paste is sooo good and perfect to offset those easter eggs. Full of detoxifying herbs and spinach, with some lovely in season wild garlic leaves. I made this to use up some spinach but it’s a great one to have in the freezer and can be added to pasta, so even when in a rush you can offer something nourishing. It is also a great way to add herbs and vegetables to your breakfast. I had on some Organic paleo bread this morning with eggs, full of protein and phytonutrients.

 

Walnuts give this an even better nutritional composition as they provide protein, healthy fats, including omega 3’s, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

 

They are rich in the protein l-arginine and therefore great for the cardiovascular system so anyone with family history of this would do well to add in to their diet.

 

They are rich in vitamin E, folate, omega 3 fats making them great food for brain health. Interestingly a study in 2005 showed that in rat models they increased melatonin levels three-fold, so anyone struggling with insomnia or sleep would benefit in having these in their diet. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating and inducing sleep and is produced in the darkness. Interestingly having white or blue based lights in the bedroom inhibit melatonin, so should be avoided especially in children’s bedrooms.

 

Walnut Super Green Paste

100g walnuts

½ cup parsley

1 cup Basel

½ cup wild garlic

2 cups spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

6 tablespoons of olive oil

 

Method

1-    Mill the walnuts in the nutri bullet/blender

2-    Add all of the greens to the blender with the lemon juice and mix for 20 seconds

3-    Mix the walnuts and olive oil to the paste and blender for further 20 seconds, until pesto like consistency

4-    Ready to serve

5-    I then put the leftovers between some folder baking parchment paper and stuck in the freezer for later use. Just break off  what you need. 

 

 

unnamed-1.jpg

Benefits of Basil

Benefits of Basil

Herbs are quite often over looked and I definitely know I used to fall into that category. Adding herbs to a meal, can quickly increase the nutrition content of the food and they have some fantastic health benefits. Basil is one of my all time favourites, smells so good and pretty versatile in what we can do with it.

Basil is high in Vitamin K that is essential for bone health and blood clotting.

Basil can be seen to have antibiotic properties due to the volatile oils that it possesses and therefore is a great food to include in children’s diets. One of these oils is eugenol and this is anti-inflammatory in nature, blocking the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX). Conditions related to elevated levels of COX, including rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune inflammatory condition of the joints.

So how to get it in the diet, well this pesto recipe is a great start and doesn’t just nee to be added to pasta! Great on fish and eggs.

Quick tip: Make a big batch and then spread across baking parchment paper. Cover the top with same paper and freeze. You can then just break off what you need and saves you cooking from scratch each time. Freezing retains the nutrients of the food, so will be just as healthy

Pesto 4 handfuls of basil 1 handful parsley 1 garlic clove Himalayan salt Black pepper Juice half lemon 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil Pine Nuts

Method 1. Peel and chop the garlic, do this 10 minutes before using to raise the allicin levels and thus the health benefits 2. Roughly chop the basil leaves, remove any stalks if necessary 3. Crush the garlic and add to food processer with other ingredients. 4. Blitz for 10 seconds and taste 5. Can add further oil or lemon juice if required.

Almond pancakes

So these paleo pancakes are perfect for pancake day but outside that, we have them quite often for breakfast or lunch. Great for children and you can get creative making them into shapes. The flour is buckwheat, which is a pseudo-grain and the seed of broadleaf plants instead of grasses, which cereals come from. The pancakes are gluten and dairy free but packed full of fibre, protein, omega 3’s and those essential B vitamin’s for energy.

pancakes
pancakes

Almond pancakes

400ml almond milk

large handful greens (watercress or rocket)

60g buckwheat flour

30g ground flax seeds

4 eggs 1 tsp cinnamon

1 pinch baking powder (gluten free)

Ghee (for frying)

Method 1. Whisk the greens and almond milk together in blender and then add to bowl, adding the 4 eggs and mixing 2. Add the powdered ingredients and whisk, until forms a smooth consistency 3. Heat your saucepan on a high heat, adding a small amount of ghee or coconut oil if dairy free. 4. Add the pancake mixture and cook for a couple of minutes each side or until they have a firm, pancake consistency. 5. Serve hot or cold if on the run. Kids seem to love these cut into shapes.

Courgette Brownies

Courgette Brownies

brownie
brownie

These are grain free and contain vegetables, with the courgettes making an appearance., although you would never know! I personally think these taste just as good as the flour version and with the addition of the dark chocolate they feel like a treat. Dark chocolate contains fibre, essential for prop bowel movements and is high in Manganese, Copper and Magnesium, so it really is good for us.

The refined grans have been replaced with almonds and tahini, for extra protein and nutrients. Tahini is made from sesame seeds and are a good source of phytoestrogens, that can naturally displace aggressive estrogens and thus help with hormone balance.

Ingredients

120g almond butter

80g tahini

140g dark chocolate,

70+ % cocoa solids

3 eggs

2 courgettes, grated

60g ground almonds

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

pinch cinnamon

Method

1- Preheat the oven to 180 C

2- Mix the nut butter, tahini and chocolate together in a saucepan over a low heat, allowing the chocolate to melt.

3- In your food processor add the remaining ingredients and mix. Then add in the chocolate sauce and re blend until it forms a smooth consistency.

4- Grease and line a square baking tin with baking parchment and spoon the mixture in.

5- Bake for 25 minutes, until it is firm on top.

6- Transfer to baking tray and allow to cool. These last for 2/3 days but perfect for freezing too.

What is visceral fat? And how might it be hindering your health

What is visceral fat? And how might it be hindering your health

shutterstock_428032594.jpg

With some new Tanita scales in my clinic, I’m able to assess so much more than just your weight. One of the key things that these scale do differently over regular scales, is measuring your Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT). But what on earth is this?...

VAT is the fat that accumulates in the abdominal cavity and around the internal organs, including the liver, heart, pancreas and kidneys. We’ve all heard the term “skinny fat” and this really gives us an insight in to what is going on in the body, as this is the deep seated fat that wouldn’t necessarily show in the mirror.

VAT is a hormonally active component of body fat, so it really does have a mind of its own and in some ways is an organ in itself. So what do these hormones do?

As most people now know, insulin balances our blood sugar levels and helps bring these levels down after eating by moving glucose into the cells to give us energy. This glucose is uptaken by the cells but if levels in the blood are very high and the glycogen stores get “full” then it is stored as fat. The higher the glucose content of food (yes I’m looking at you white refined carbohydrates!) then the more likely this is to be stored, causing weight gain.

Furthermore, VAT is responsible for releasing leptin, which is the “satiety hormone”. Surges in leptin are experienced when eating a diet high in glucose, and if this happens frequently then you can become leptin resistant and a breakdown in the body’s communication mechanisms. This results in us feeling hungry and craving foods that give us a quick release of sugar, thus gaining weight.

This is just a quick overview of two of the hormones affected by VAT, but these can have a huge effect on the body and high levels of VAT have been linked with medical disorders such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers including breast, prostate and colorectal. It can also lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, arthritis and sleep disorders to name a few.

I am at Neal’s Yard in Clapham on Tuesday so do come and find out your levels for free and hear how I can help you reduce these.

Is your thyroid preventing you lose weight?

thyroid.jpg

So I often see clients who are struggling with their weight and despite being on a restrictive diet, they just can’t shift those pounds. Well the likelihood is there may a reason or an imbalance in the body that is preventing the weight from dropping off.

One symptom of hypothyroidism is difficultly losing weight, despite a decreasing appetite.

Thyroid hormones are vital in the body and every cell relies on them to regulate their metabolism. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that causes the antibodies to bind to the thyroid preventing them making thyroid hormones.  It is usually characterised by goiter and as the thyroid gland is enlarged it makes it difficult to produce thyroid hormones.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid?

This list is by no means conclusive but below are some of the common symptoms:

  • Difficultly losing weight, despite decreasing appetite
  • Fatigue and sleepiness
  • Low mood or depression
  • Infertility and increased risk of miscarriage
  • Irregular period
  • Pale dry skin and hair
  • Hair loss

Thyroid problems are more common after pregnancy and childbirth.

The thyroid gland requires a host of supportive nutrients to function effectively, so restrictive diets can encourage this.

Top 5 ways to support your thyroid

  • Remove gluten - celiac disease and hypothyroidism showed that both shared common immunopathogenic mechanisms. This suggests that restricting gluten in patients with hypothyroidism could reduce their symptoms
  • Vitamin D – check your levels and either get out in the sunshine or supplement through winter if that is not possible.
  • Check your iodine levels, the thyroid gland adds iodine to tyrosine to create T3 and T4 so if you are low in this it will make this conversion difficult.
  • Excessive intake of goitrogens, foods that block the utilization of iodine. Mainly found in the brassica family, soybeans and peanuts. Typically cooking would inactivate these so just avoid eating in their raw state as they have many health benefits in their own right.
  • Environmental goitrogens, which include mercury, fluoride and perchlorate, will also block iodine uptake so if you have low thyroid look at removing these from your life.

Hot and Sour Salmon

Hot and Sour Salmon

IMG_6157
IMG_6157

So I recently completed a mini cooking course at Leith’s to really get some good technique behind my cooking. We learnt a variety of things including some good knive skills, boning a chicken and filleting a fish… quite tricky actually! There was a real focus on eating well but being economical about this. For example, buying a whole organic chicken and freezing in portion sizes is much, as much cheaper than buying the chicken breasts separately. It’s all in the preparation and it makes cooking from scratch so much easier. Below are some of the creations we made on the fish week, if you haven't already seen on my instagram profile (@beccanutrition) ..

So I have been much more creative in the kitchen since and this is one of my new favourites that I created…

Hot and Sour Salmon

salmon and sesame seeds
salmon and sesame seeds

Serves 4

Ingrediants

4 pieces of wild salmon

2 limes

4 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mustard seeds

4 tablespoons sesame seeds

Pinch crushed chilli’s

Method

  1. Heat the over to 190
  2. Finely zest the limes and mix the lime zest with the juice of the limes., Dijon mustard and mustard seeds. Add the chilli if desired.
  3. Place the salmon skin side down on a lightly oiled baking tray and add the mixture on the top. Once this is completed, top with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the salmon is opaque and cooked.
  5. Delicious served with a salad as above

Health benefits of Salmon: Salmon is rich in omega 3, which is an essential fatty acid. Essential fats aren’t made by the body and we need them in our diet to meet our bodies needs. Omega 3’s are important for brain health and anti-inflammatory. Make sure to buy wild over farmed salmon, due to less toxins.

Spirulina Gluten Free Pancake

Spirulina Gluten Free Pancake

Happy Pancake Day! So after saying to my husband last night that I wasn’t going to do any pancakes, after having a look on social media this morning I had changed my mind. Plus, I wanted to come up with a good gluten and dairy free option that provides a good breakfast option to get you moving.

So here it is… This took a few attempts as I don’t have the best pancake flipping skills but even if they didn’t turn out perfectly shaped they tasted damn good.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large eggs, at room temperature

400ml coconut milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

60 rice flour

1 tablespoon matcha powder

1 tablespoon spirulina

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat your pan over a medium-low heat.
  2. Beat the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer, if using a whisk do it on low speed, until frothy.
  3. Mix in the coconut milk, vanilla and honey.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, matcha powder, spirulina and cinnamon.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  6. Then add the remaining dry mixture and beat at medium another minute or two, or until the coconut flour is completely mixed into the batter.
  7. Grease the heated pan with coconut oil.
  8. Spoon the batter onto the pan to create pancakes. I like them relatively thin but this does make them hard to flip so I would suggest around 1 inch to prevent this.
  9. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pancakes are bubbling and well set, then flip and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary.

Serve hot or you can freeze the prepared pancakes and reheat them later.

Quinoa and Oat Muffins

So I have promised a few mums this recipe for a while. I love these muffins, they are so easy to make and a great one if you need food on the go with kids. We always take a batch when we are flying and saves so relying on the not so nutritious plane food. As you can see from the picture I also managed to rustle up another batch hassle free while we were away. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all the 9 essential amino acids, which makes them a perfect option. They are also gluten and dairy free.

IMG_5952
IMG_5952

Ingredients

70g Whole oats

70g Cooked quinoa

1 Eggs

75ml macadamia milk (See nut milk recipes for this)

1 bananas

½ tsp Gluten-Free Baking powder

Pinch Gluten-free baking soda

50g cup chia seeds

3 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in your food processer and mix it up, for around 30 seconds to 1 minute. It should be a nice slightly runny texture afterwards.
  2. Pour the mixture into well greased muffin cupcakes and this recipe should give you roughly 12 muffins.
  3. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
  4. Delicious hot or cold!

Bone Broth – New Year, New You

bones
bones

I provided some weight loss tips in my last post, and mentioned that we should all be making some delicious bone broth. Given Christmas is the season of the turkey, the carcass of this festive bird is perfect for making a really nutritional broth, but any other meat bones can be used.

The run up to Christmas usually involves lots of socialising, drinking and generally trying to fit all your work in so you can enjoy a nice Christmas break. Our bodies end up running on adrenaline and then when we finally stop it can all catch up with us.

Bones hold a lot of nourishing minerals, and by boiling them we get to have that in a lovely broth. There is a reason why traditional chicken soup was given when you are ill, as traditionally it would be made by boiling those bones and this stock would provide the base. The nutrients in broth support the immune system so that you make a speedy recovery.

It is also packed with collagen, which helps the body burn fat and build muscle. And it is great at anti-aging, much better than Botox and actually provides long lasting results! As we age, we lose collagen and that causes the skin to lose its elasticity and becomes thinner, causing wrinkles. Using the expensive anti-aging creams do not help to the same degree as it is difficult for your skin to absorb. The collagen in bone broth has already been broken down in the cooking process and is easy to digest, giving you that youthful boost!

Now, if we look at the packaged Chicken soups on the market then you are definitely not getting those nutrients. I checked out the Heinz version for this post and it actually only contains 3% chicken and a whole range of other undesirable ingredients including cornflour, vegetable oil, wheat flour and skimmed milk.

You can simply warm up the broth and drink from a mug (as I do!), or use it as a stock and add it to fresh vegetables and chicken/turkey for a fresh soup, or to stews and casseroles to add a rich and delicious base to the sauce. I sneak it into my son’s food to give him an immune boost over the winter months.

Turkey Bone Broth

Turkey carcuss and bones

1-2 turkey thighs or drumsticks (if leftover)

¼–½ cup apple cider vinegar, depending on the size of the pot

Purified water to just cover the bones and meat in the pot

2–4 carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped

3 or 4 ribs organic celery, including leafy part, roughly chopped

1 onion, cut into large chunks

1–2 whole cloves garlic

2 teaspoons peppercorns

Directions:

  1. Place all the bones and meat in a slow cooker or large stockpot. Add the vinegar and enough purified water to cover everything by 1 inch. Cover the pot and bring to simmer over medium heat.
  1. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and peppercorns and reduce the heat down. You want the broth to barely simmer. Cook for at least 6 hours and up to 8, adding water as needed to ensure the bones are always covered with water. (You may have to add water during the cooking process.)
  1. When the broth is done, turn off the cooker or remove the pot from the heat. Using tongs and/or a large slotted spoon, remove all the bones and meat. Pour the broth through a fine mesh sieve.
  1. Let cool on the counter and refrigerate within 1 hour. You can skim off the fat easily after the broth is chilled, if desired. When chilled, the broth should be very thick, almost jelly like. The broth will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator and 3 or more months in your freezer.

10 Christmas weight loss tips...

shutterstock_353213120
shutterstock_353213120

So Christmas is the time of great excesses and we often notice it in January when our clothes start feeling that little bit tighter and we feel we need drastic measures to lose weight. Rather than starting the new-year fresh faced and raring to go, we can feel lethargic and tired.

We all know Christmas isn’t the time to start a health kick and that it is much better suited to January, but we can put some things in place so the waistline doesn’t creep up.

So here are my top tips for Christmas so we can still enjoy ourselves and keep good health too…

  1. Stay hydrated – one of the most important things to do, and especially when there is wine and champagne flowing freely. Sometimes dehydration can present itself as hunger when we are actually thirsty, so staying hydrated can shrink that appetite. If you are drinking early make sure to have one glass of water with every drink, to reduce the hangover. It isn’t hard and you will reap the rewards the next morning.
  1. Eat 3 meals – When we know we have a big meal ahead like on Christmas day, we can often be tempted to miss breakfast and then end up with ‘snacking hands’ all morning. It is definitely best to have a healthy breakfast and then a fast until lunch is served, instead of stocking up on nibbles and chocolates in the interim.
  1. Make sure you Christmas dinner is the colour of the rainbow – Include lots of different coloured vegetables to get a wide range of phytonutrients in the diet. The most unrepresented colour is purple so don’t forget that braised cabbage!
  1. Have protein with every meal – Protein is required to both balance blood sugar and to assist with satiety during that meal. If you eat meat stock up on that turkey or for vegetarians make sure you have a good quality protein substitute, such as a homemade nut roast.
  1. Boil those bones – And make some lovely bone broth that is packed full of vitamins and nutrients to boost your immune system.
  1. Stock up on vitamin C rich foods – to boost that immune system and prevent the holiday cold sneaking in. Fresh fruit and berries can be a great dessert and are packed full of this as well as plenty of antioxidants.
  1. Cook with healthy fats – bin the vegetable and sunflower oils this Christmas and cook with coconut oil, ghee or even butter.
  1. Apple cider vinegar – this acts as a digestive tonic and you can have a tablespoon straight or mix with some water to increase that stomach acid and improve the absorption of nutrients from the meal.
  1. Sleep – Research shows that lack of sleep adds pounds to out waistline so make sure you get plenty of sleep and given its holiday season if you fancy an afternoon nap then do it! Rest and recovery is just as important as exercise for weight loss.
  1. Get out in nature – Enjoy the elements and have the fresh air blow those cobwebs off. Make memories, you aren’t going to reminisce about that episode of Eastenders in years to come….

Overall Christmas is the time for festive cheer and to enjoy yourselves with the people around you, whether that is friends, family or doing what makes you happy. Moderation is the key one chocolate isn’t going to add inches to the waistline but the whole box might!