Black Quinoa Salad

This salad is so quick and easy to make. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack. It is tasty and super healthy. I cooked the quinoa but you can buy packs of already cooked quinoa making it even easier if you are pushed for time.

Ingredients

Makes a big bowl

1 cup of cooked black quinoa

1 cup of cooked white quinoa

150g of goats cheese cut into small pieces

125g of pomegranate seeds

2 handfuls of chopped coriander

3-4 cooked beetroots chopped ( I use the ones from Waitrose )

1 large avocado peeled, stone removed and cut in slices

Olive oil

Himalayan salt

Balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar (apple cider vinegar is healthier) or tamari and lemon dressing

Method

Toss everything into a large salad bowl and mix together. Add the avocado last. Season with salt and pepper, add the dressing, serve and enjoy.

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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting seems to be the latest trend but it is actually very good. I practice it myself and the benefits are enormous. I no longer wake up bloated and my water retention has also improved not to mention the increase in energy.

What is intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a fasting pattern where you alternate between periods of where you fast and eat. Usually you will fast between 14 – 18 hours. The other way you can do it is by restricting your calorie in take to 700  a day for two days of the week eating normally for the other 5 days. Personally I go for the 14-18 hour option.

The 8am – 6pm Plan

This is the one that works for me and I find it is also good for beginners. You eat between 8am – 6pm. You eat your last meal at 5.30pm. I go to bed between 10 -11pm so this is perfect for me. I don’t struggle at all with the 14 hour fast and it also gives me the chance to eat my 3 main meals a day with snacks. I find it easier as I go to bed early so I am fasting mainly as I sleep. When I awake I will have my lemon water and little fruit  before having my breakfast. I practice this every day.

The 12pm – 6pm Plan

If you are not a breakfast person then this way of fasting is ideal for you. It also means you fast 4 hours more. You have to find what works for you. As mentioned above I like having my 3 meals a day. Also for me a 14 hour fast is more than enough.

The importance of preparing for any fast

No one shoe fits all and fasting is not for everyone. If you have a healthy diet fasting will not be a problem. If you tend to eat a lot of processed foods and are generally unhealthy you will no doubt struggle with any fast. Therefore it is very important to prepare the body. Start by slowly eliminating unhealthy foods like sugar and alcohol.

Always consult your doctor before embarking on any type of fast especially if you have any type of medical condition and are taking medication.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

The results will be clearer skin, an abundance of energy, an improvement in memory and concentration, becoming less acidic and more alkaline with a stronger immune system. Intermittent fasting  also lowers the risk of cancer. It also helps with fighting free radical damage and inflammation in the body. Constant inflammation in the body leads to disease. It is also fantastic for improving gut health.

I hope the above helps. I am a qualified nutritional therapist so feel free to ask me any questions. If you would like a bespoke nutritional plan please email me.

 

 

 

What I Eat In A Day

I get many emails and private messages asking what is my daily food intake. So I thought I would dedicate a post sharing with you what I eat during the day.

Breakfast

20 minutes before I eat anything I have a large glass of water with lemon to alkalise my body. I tend to have the same things for breakfast. Monday to Fridays I will have either oat or buckwheat porridge with almond milk and fruits or a smoothie with Shakeology which is a protein powder with vitamins and minerals. In my smoothie I will put 1banana, 1 scoop of shakeology,  a handful of spinach and almond milk. Weekends I always have eggs, avocado with a rice cracker or rye bread.

I also have a 1 glass of water with wheatgrass powder or a fresh shot  if I am in London.

I never really drink coffee as I don’t like the taste. I am probably the only person I know. I always have one cup of english breakfast tea with goats milk in the mornings.

Midday snack

I tend to have either half an avocado on a rice cracker or a handful of walnuts or almonds with strawberries or blueberries and a green juice.

Lunch

This tends to vary. I eat anything from brown rice, brown rice pasta, spelt pasta and normal pasta with vegetables, fish or meat. I also have salad with chicken or steamed vegetables with fish or chickpeas and lentils. I always make sure I eat a lot of vegetables with my main meals.

Afternoon Snack

I love hummus so I always have some with a carrot or an apple with 5 almonds. I tend to eat my dinner very early between 5-5.30pm so I do not really have a big snack.

Dinner

In winter I tend to have vegetable soups with  beans or steamed vegetables with oven baked salmon. In the summer I will have more salads with organic chicken breast, fish or legumes.

I eat very early as I practice intermittent fasting which I will go into more detail in my next post.

I eat like this 80% of the time  however If I fancy a treat I will have one. I just never over indulge. If I feel like a biscuit I will have 1-2 not the whole pack, if I feel like cake I will have one slice not the whole cake. Once a week I will have a cheat meal. When I am in Italy I always have pizza once a week. I eat every 3-4 hours this is to balance blood sugar levels so you have the same amount of energy through out the day. I keep meals small. I don’t eat massive portions. This is so I do not place a strain on my liver and digestive system.

As with anything in life you need balance. You need to have a healthy relationship with food and enjoy every meal. Healthy doesn’t mean boring and of course you can still have your favourite foods.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist so if you would like a bespoke nutritional plan please email me.

5 Tips on How to Find Balance in Your Life

Finding balance in our every day lives can often be very challenging especially today when we lead such hectic  lives. There are a lot of women who struggle to find the balance with motherhood and holding a job which leads to major stress. How often have we said to ourselves that there are not enough hours in a day to do everything. Finding balance is essential if we want to have a healthy body and mind. It is important to understand that balance is not a temporary fix. It is long term. It won’t always be easy to find that balance and you will struggle in the beginning, but the important thing is not to give up and keep trying until you get there. Here below are a few tips that I hope you will find useful.

Goals

When setting goals it is important to set realistic ones. Focus on the important things that matter most. Concentrate on setting long term and short term goals. Set goals focusing on your finances, job and relationships. Sit down, concentrate and write down what you really want to achieve and be consistent in committing to your goals.

Prioritise 

When you set goals and make lists you write down the most important things to do first. You just have to figure out what is more important and then you systematically get it done crossing it off your to do  list. This is important as it gives you structure and order stopping you stressing about doing everything at once, which is virtually impossible and just causes unnecessary anxiety.

Learn to say no

Do not feel obliged that you have to say yes to every one all the time whether it is at work or at home. This becomes easier as you get older. You can be polite and still say no. If you do not want to do something don’t do it. No point adding more stress to your already busy life.

Learn to delegate

Do not be afraid to ask for help. It is impossible to do everything yourself.  We all need help. So get your partners and children to help you. If you know you won’t have time to do something , instead of stressing just ask your partner. Get your children to do chores around the house. Write down a schedule with different tasks and stick it on the fridge so the whole family know what they have to do.

Find time for yourself

This is extremely important. Find one day a week where you totally relax and pamper yourself. Have a massage, facial or a manicure. This will make you feel good. Yoga is extremely relaxing and calming so try to do it at least once a week. Taking a break from social media is also a good idea. Instead of spending hours on the phone, tablet or computer  in the evenings, take a relaxing long bath and listen to some classical music. This will make you sleep well and you will be refreshed the next morning.

 

Turmeric Paste

Turmeric is so good for you. It is anti-cancer. This paste is so easy to make. If you have it on its own it will not taste that great, but you can put it into your smoothies, almond milk, porridge and curries. I even put it on my oven baked fish.

Ingredients

I/2 cup of organic ground turmeric

1 cup of water (you may need more)

1 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

70 ml of coconut oil

Method

Place the turmeric  and water in a pot on medium heat and stir until it becomes a paste. This should take about 8 minutes. It should not be too watery so if it is add more turmeric and if it is too dry add more water.

Once the paste is ready let it cool a little and when still warm add the black pepper, coconut oil and ground ginger and mix well together.

Once it has cooled place in a glass jar and store it in fridge. It can be stored for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy.

 

 

Lamb Stew with Vegetables

Stews just like soups are perfect meals for the freezing cold weather and you can pretty much add whatever vegetables you like. You can use other meat like beef or chicken. Please make sure that the meat you use is organic as non organic meat is injected with antibiotics and hormones.

Ingredients

500 grams of  stewing lamb diced

300 grams of potatoes peeled and chopped

2 medium onions finely chopped

2 carrots chopped

2 celery sticks chopped

1/2 cup of frozen peas

A generous amount of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

500ml of meat stock

1 cup of water

1 garlic clove finely chopped

1/2 glass of organic red wine

1 bay leaf

1 small sprig fresh rosemary

Chili flakes

Himalayan salt and ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric

Method

Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sauté in olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes adding the tomato paste, chili flakes, turmeric and the red wine.  Then add the bay leaf, rosemary, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then bring to a simmer and give it a good stir then put the lid on. Cook for 1 hour keeping an eye on it stirring it occasionally.  After one hour add the potatoes and cook for another 30-40 minutes. Keep tasting and season to your liking. Add the peas at the end before serving. If it looks dry add a little water.

 

Smoothies vs Juicing: Which One Is Better For You?

This is a question I often get asked by my clients. Both smoothies and juices are more popular than ever with everyone going on juice cleanses and detoxes. Which one is better for you? Both offer benefits in different ways. Here below I explain the differences.

Juicing

Juicing is good for quick absorption of nutrients. It takes 15 minutes for the nutrients from a juice to hit the blood stream. This is very good in people that have digestive issues, are suffering  from an illness and their digestion is compromised. It is also good for people that are stressed as stress places a strain on the digestive system.  Juicing is also good as it includes raw foods packed full of enzymes that are lost during cooking. Juicing places less of a strain on the liver. Ideally fruit and vegetable juices should not be mixed together. Apples and carrots are the exception. Since a juice is very quick in hitting the blood stream it is important not to use too much fruit as this can cause a spike in sugar levels. Vegetable juices are best for people suffering from blood sugar problems. Fruit juices are high in sugar and can also cause weight gain as juicing removes the fibre.

Removing the fibre is what makes juices easier to be absorbed as your digestive system does not have to work hard to absorb the nutrients. Also in a juice you can pack larger quantities of vegetables than you would be able to eat. This means you are able to get more nutrients from a glass of juice.

It is important to remember that fibre in your diet is important so if you tend to have lots of juices remember to also eat your greens.

Smoothies

Smoothies are fantastic especially in the morning as they are super quick to prepare. You just throw everything into a blender and blend away. You can really include all sorts of goodies in your smoothie. You can add chia seeds, nut butters, oats, superfood powders like spirulina and wheatgrass, protein powders. The list goes on.

The fibre in a smoothie releases nutrients into the blood stream slowly balancing blood sugar levels avoiding spikes. You pack in less fruit and vegetables into a smoothie but smoothies are more filling keeping you fuller for longer. A juice can leave you feeling hungry.

With both juices and smoothies it is important to drink them within 15 minutes so the nutrients to do not get destroyed.

I hope this helps and keep enjoying both your smoothies and juices.