Category Archives: recipes

Breakfast Smoothies

Today I am sharing three of the most popular smoothie recipes from my Conquer Your Cravings programme. These smoothies are super-quick to prepare, make fantastic breakfasts and are a great way to get your day off to a flying start. You can also take the left overs in a wide necked water bottle as a portable snack for later in the morning.

For each smoothie, blend all the ingredients in a Vitamix, other high-speed blender, or normal standup blender. If needed, add water to reach your desired thickness. Use organic produce whenever possible.

Starting the day off with a good serving of protein is important  – particularly if you are following a low GI diet. You can add extra protein to any smoothie by including either a scoop of your favorite protein powder or 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds.

STRAWBERRY KALE YUM YUM

1½ cup non-dairy milk (almond, coconut
or hemp)

½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries

½ cup kale

½ frozen banana

2 tablespoons hemp or chia seeds

 

 

POWERHOUSE TAHINI

1½ cups dairy-free milk (almond, coconut
or hemp)

2 tablespoons tahini

1 cup spinach

½ cup strawberries

1 banana, cinnamon

1 tablespoon raw honey

 

BERRY BLISS SPLISH SPLASH

(IDEAL FOR ANYONE ON A LOW SUGAR DIET)

 

1½ cups dairy free milk (almond, coconut
or hemp)

1 cup frozen mixed berries

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup kale

top with 2 tablespoons shredded coconut

 

berry smoothie

 

Spring Berry Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

One of my utter favourite easy spring salads and SO easy!

Mix the spinach, the red cabbage (shredded) and the berries in a large bowl, then make the vinaigrette by adding the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Drizzle the vinaigrette on the top of your salad and serve. Delicious!

This is one of the recipes from my “Conquer Your Cravings” programme – When you join you will get a recipe guide with over 60 recipes like this one and lots lots more resources to help you become cravings free in just 11 days. See details here.

Conquer Your Cravings Banner

 

Do you need a spring clean?

 It seems to be part of human nature, that once the days start to lengthen, many of us are suddenly gripped by motivation and inspiration get stuff done – sort stuff out and organise our houses. I for one feel so much ‘better’ if my external environment feels organised and clean! But if you’re interested in optimal mental and physical health, its worth considering that actually have two “houses” that need to be spring-cleaned: our physical homes and our physical bodies.

Just as we accumulate “stuff” in our houses (attics stuffed with outmoded clothes, magazines and random keepsakes), our bodies accumulate old food residues and toxins stored in our tissues.

My Mum loves a good ‘turn out’ – she ruthlessly goes through her wardrobe and storage cupboards deciding what to keep and what to send to the charity shop (or try to persuade her children that they would like to have!) This spring has been no exception! It always amazes me that there is still ‘new’ forgotten stuff to go through as these regular bouts of turning out seem to have gone on for years. But there is always something interesting that she happens upon. Last week she ‘found’ a beautiful little tapestry that the two of us worked on together one summer when I was about eight. Having completely forgotten about it, we were both transported back in time to memories of camping fields in France where we sat together sewing. The detail was considerable – I am amazed I was capable of sitting still to do it (I expect she did the lion’s share actually). But just seeing this forgotten object prompted all sorts of details of that time that had been buried for years in our cluttered minds suddenly surface again.

(I hasten to add that the tapestry didn’t end up in the pile to go to the charity shop – it’s back in the cupboard to remind us of that summer another time).

Like Christmas, it seems virtually impossible to get through Easter without consuming sugar to excess. Regular readers of this blog will already know that I gave up sugar during lent this year and was delighted by how much more energy I had once I had gotten over the initial cravings stage. However, I was unprepared for how different I would feel after just a few days of indulgence over Easter. The sudden change back to feeling lethargic and bloated was sufficient to  motivate me to get right back on that sugar-free wagon (at least most of the time). Not in a way that feels like I’m using willpower to deny myself what I really want, but as a positive choice. Because quite simply I feel much better in myself without lots of sugar (and feeling good in myself is a strong priority).

So this spring – do you feel like your body needs a bit of a ‘turn out’? Do you feel the winter (and Easter?) excesses have left you feeling a bit heavy, lethargic and bloated? Are you clothes maybe a little tighter than you’d hoped?

There is a saying that goes, “You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new.”

If you are feeling stuck or stagnant in your life, try spring-cleaning. Here are three suggestions to get you started:

  1. Declutter: Take a leaf out of my Mum’s book – ruthlessly go through a little used cupboard or drawer and throw out some of that stuff, say goodbye to your past and welcome the new energy of your happy, healthy future.
  2. Spring clean your body: have a break from rich and complicated foods by either cleansing or fasting for a short period of time. Cleansing means paring down your food to just simple fruits and vegetables, lots of water and perhaps whole grains. Fasting means limiting most foods and drinking lots of water, fresh vegetable and fruit juices, teas and soups. Without much energy going toward digestion, more energy is available to the rest of your body and mind. Most cultures and religions have a long history of regular times of fasting – it is something many of us have lost sight of in our modern world. Many say that cleansing and fasting can sharpen your concentration, help you gain insight and promote spiritual awareness. It can even help with improved immune function and better digestion.
  3. Emotional clutter: While you’re cleaning out your body and home, don’t forget to spring-clean your heart. Let go of negative thoughts and habits you’ve been harboring that no longer serve you well. A clean, open heart will allow you to be much more receptive to new things and all the good that awaits you each and every day. If your heart and mind are cluttered, there is less room for life’s gifts and surprises to enter!

There is still time to register for my Cravings webinar on Thursday 1st May at 8pm (BST). If you’re interested in detoxing or cleaning up your diet and body, then tackling cravings in a positive way is an excellent first step. If you can’t make it live then its still worth signing up as I’ll be sending out a link to the recording afterwards. Register here.

Eat more chocolate!

Virtually every woman I have worked with has admitted (to a greater or lesser extent) to using food as a comforter… and the most popular ‘go-to’ when tired, upset or depressed is sweet stuff.

Looking back, we often realise that these coping strategies are deeply rooted in our upbringing. Did your Dentist give you a lolly if you were ‘good’ and endured the ordeal of his/her chair without protest? Mine did! When you hurt yourself, were you given a sweet to ‘help you to feel better’? I was! Or maybe you were taken for tea and cake as a reward for good behaviour or a significant achievement?

I learned pretty early on to associate rewards with sugar or chocolate. Birthday cake, Easter chocolates and sweetest of all …. ‘period chocolate’! At university, my friend Julia’s thoughtful boyfriend brought her a large bar of chocolate (usually dairy milk) once a month when she was feeling ‘fragile’. Hence the term “period chocolate” became common parlance in our student flat! Like many women, somewhere along the line, I have developed a very clear link between chocolate and comfort.

So during tricky points in my life, the one constant comforter has been. Yes. Chocolate. When I failed my driving test for the second time? Chocolate. Split up from my first serious boyfriend? Chocolate. Newly separated, single mother to small baby? Chocolate – by the kilo (I WAS breastfeeding afterall!) and so the pattern has continued! So does this make me a ‘chocoholic’? Maybe at times, but over the years I’ve learned how to find other comforts – and when I do indulge, I’ve trained myself to stick to good quality dark chocolate.

Chocolate itself, or to be more precise – the ingredient raw cacao – has many health BENEFITS which have been widely documented. So there is a clear, logical reason as to why the dark stuff draws our attention so often when we feel down. Its not just about habits formed in our early years, there are chemical reasons too…

So what I am saying here is that we don’t need to feel bad about eating chocolate – particularly if we make a point of choosing the good stuff! Now as you know, if you’ve been following this blog, I gave up sugar for lent this year which was a massive deal for me. Mainly, because I was in the habit of a square or four of dark chocolate in the evening after my main meal. So finding a form of chocolate, that ‘hit the spot’ without breaking my sugar pledge has been an extremely serious project for me over the past few weeks. Once I cracked it, being sugar-free was easy. Particularly as the recipe I came up with takes about 5 minutes to prepare.

Read on to discover the secrets of my chocolate-loving success!

So the recipe I devised contains nothing bad. I’ll just say that again ….Absolutely NOTHING BAD FOR ME! So I can feel totally virtuous eating it – and let me tell you – that is an incredible feeling! Eating chocolate that is doing me good. No guilt, no drama, no nonsense. Just pure unadulterated enjoyment in the knowledge that I am feeding my body some wonderful healthy fat, some marvellous minerals (including iron and magnesium), and a healthy dose of incredible free-radical blasting antioxidants. MmmmmmmM!

Want to know the secret? Click here to learn all….

Chocolate Velvet Pie

Coming up with this recipe was a ‘Eureka’ moment for me! Sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, yet utterly delicious and oh-so-creamy, it ticks all my boxes even when at the mercy of pre-menstrual cravings or a life-disaster-induced bout of emotional comfort eating. Let me know what you think.

 

Chocolate Velvet Pie (makes 9.5 inch pie)

For the base:

2 cups mixed nuts
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
pinch salt

For the chocolate velvet:

3 cups cashew nuts (raw – soaked overnight)
2 and a half cups non-dairy milk (e.g. rice or almond)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
good pinch salt
3oz good quality cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
3 tablespoons lecithin (can get this at most health food shops)
3/4 cup raw coconut oil

Directions:

Pie base:

Blitz the nuts, vanilla and salt in a food processor until finely crumbled. Then add the dates bit by bit until the crust sticks together. Press firmly into a greased springform tin.

Chocolate topping:

Blend the cashew nuts, non-dairy milk, vanilla, salt, maple syrup and cocoa using a high-speed blender to ensure it is smooth and velvety in texture.
Then add the lecithin and coconut oil and blend well. Pour on top of the crust in the springform tin. Put in the fridge or freezer to set (about an hour).
Tip – you can add more or less cocoa depending on how dark you like your chocolate treats to be.
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