Blog Default

Boost your Immune System

So it seems despite everyone starting the New Year all guns blazing, ready to kick ass in the health kitchen and the gym only to be stopped in your tracks by the dreaded lurgy. Well we are not going to be beaten that easily!

Just taking a little extra care of yourself can make all the difference in your defence against winter bugs.  All those late nights, extra wine and Ferrero Roche have left you feeling sluggish and run down , alcohol and sugar suppress your immune system which is when those bugs will find it easier to take you down-think wounded deer (sorry to the vegetarians).

So our plan of attack.

Firstly, clean that diet right back up. You already know this stuff but that’s bin anything processed, sugary, and if you’re really serious bin the starchy carbs too (bread, pasta…..)

Second, start taking a good quality multi vitamin every day. And if you feel like you’re surrounded by people coughing and spluttering up your defences with extra vitamin C and Zinc. I like the dissolvable stuff so I know I’m taking on plenty of water too- helps to flush out toxins.

Now I know I harp on about this all the time but Coconut Oil, or Manuka Honey taken on a daily basis however you like to take it (ahem) really will boost your immune system.  They are both anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti flipping nasty bugsial. Trust me I have coconut oil in my coffee every day and despite spending plenty of time near sickly people I rarely (feel like I’m jinxing myself saying this) get ill. And on the occasion that I do it’s rarely for more than a day or two then I’m back. Mr A is currently snivelling round our flat and I have as yet not taken the drastic measure of wearing a face mask in his presence.

Get plenty of sleep. I’m sounding like your mum now but I promise you trying to get a good 6-8 hours a night will give your body its best chance to fend off the nasties. An energised body is an efficient body (I feel a t shirt coming on).

So hopefully you have managed to stay on track so far this year but if being taken down by a ninja like virus has veered you of course, don’t be so hard on yourself. Just get yourself well and get back on track, and remind yourself that all this clean eating and exercise will be helping to ward off any future predators.

 

Nicola x

 

PS. For you serious kitchen based bug defending ninjas a Chicken Soup recipe scientifically proven (yes science agrees with the old wives tale!). It is all down to a compound called Carnosine, and the mix of vitamin packed vegetables, the effect of hot liquid on mucus. Also adding a couple of carefully chosen herbs and spices not only enhance the flavour but also the health benefits.

You will need.

2 litres Chicken Stock (preferably homemade)

Chicken, Celery, carrots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, parsley, coriander.

Very simple this.

With a little oil in a pan, simmer vegetables for around 5 mins, add stock and chicken and simmer for another 10 mins or so. Add the seasonings/spices and simmer for another minute or two. Done!

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

So you may have noticed that this month the TV has been full of diet programmes. It’s probably my favourite time of the year for telly – except apprentice season I love that!

And of course most of you will know I sit in front of them sniggering and shouting expletives at some of the “expert opinions”  ( I think sometimes these programmes try to be too PC for fear of actually having an opinion-not something I struggle with myself).

I have really enjoyed Dr Christian’s programme where dieters are pitted against each other and have to put their own money down for the winner to spend on whatever they like. Usually something their opponent would hate – think vegan against hunter.

Then there is the “which diet is right for you” where people are genetically tested and then put on a specific diet according to that information.

All very interesting and food for thought. What I have noticed though is there is actually a very common theme through all the various different diets. Yes I figured out the key to a healthy diet……………eating clean, healthy food!!! Each diet no matter what the formation promotes that we eat lean meat, poultry, fish eggs and fresh vegetables and fruit alongside some exercise. But I imagine just putting that on telly wouldn’t make compelling viewing nor would it sell lets of books. I can see it now – Horizon – eat natural real food special. Not sexy enough is it!

But what I do think is an interesting message is firstly we are not all the same and our bodies will respond differently to certain foods, training etc. And secondly we all have different lives to lead so the same principles will not fit into all of our lives as easy.

It’s all very well telling someone to eat 6 small meals a day, train 5 times per week for an hour at a time when they have a full on job where they don’t get regular breaks, and have 3 kids and a husband at home who need taking care of before they can even think about doing a workout and preparing the following days food.

Now I’m not giving you excuses here, but what I am saying is to some degree the programme should fit the lifestyle and not the other way around. Albeit with some exception. I’m not saying you should be able to carry on with unhealthy takeaways, boozy nights out and slumping on the sofa every evening as these are all unhealthy habits.

But what I am saying is they shouldn’t feel like that’s what they have to do to be healthy.

Have a look at your lifestyle now as it is what small changes can you make to make it healthier?

Could you spend a little more time preparing food in the evening to take to work the next day? Maybe invest in some healthier snacks you can eat on the go? Try Naked Bars, 9 bars or fruit if you need something sweet at the 3pm tricky office hour (you know what I mean I’ve been there) Could you join an exercise class with a friend so you get to socialise and get some exercise, which also helps as motivation as you won’t want to let your friend down. Even if it’s just once a week, it’s once a week more than you were doing last week?

Spend some time at the weekend planning your meals for the following week, write a list of what you will need and take a list to the supermarket with you. That way when you come home tired, you know exactly what you need to do to get a meal on the table. You could also bulk come some meals like casseroles, chilli’s etc. and have some frozen just in case you get stuck.

Just try a little planning ahead, and some small changes and you’ll find they lead onto to more small changes and they will fit into your life much better than trying to overhaul to some ideal regime made up by someone who doesn’t live your life.

My positive message for the day. If you’re doing your best to make healthier habits and get more exercise you’re doing ok. Small positive steps are better than no positive steps. Keep up the good work.

 

Nicola x

 

Stay on Track

So due to technology issues (i.e I’m a numpty) my planned email didn’t send this morning-I know you were all sat there waiting for it to arrive in your inbox. Anyways, here goes……

So how has the first full week of 2015 been for you? How are those new year goals looking? As you are probably all still in shock from your first full week back at work I will try and keep this short and save my science and rants (clients words not mine) for another week.  Although I may well have been the only person I know genuinely excited to go back to work this week, what can I say I love you guys!

At this point I imagine motivation is still high, the tv has been full of diet programmes, every other advert is a celebrity promoting their latest dvd etc. Same old, same old. Although Davina McCall was on the other day promoting her new book about quitting sugar and doing some sugar free baking. I’ve mentioned going sugar free before and it really is the way forward so expect me to be mentioning it a lot this year. And before you start crediting Davina, remember who gave you the advice first!

So I ask you, what are you going to do differently this year that will help you achieve the goals that you’ve been setting yourself every year and never quite made it? Because remember this year you are in it for the long haul, not just January.  So I’m going to say it again-Make a Plan! Set yourself small challenges and reward yourself when you hit them (not with cake!). And if you fall off course, just get back on, maybe go back a step in the plan but most importantly just keep trying. Just because you might mess up on 26th January doesn’t mean by Dec 2015 you can’t have achieved something amazing.

And of course if you need any help you know where to find me.

 

Nicola x

New Years Resolutions?

Well hands up who over indulged and now feels like a slug in an inflatable sumo suit????

So the “New Year New You” campaigns are everywhere telling you that this year you can be a size 10 and along with that will transform you into a whole different person, who of course will be loads happier than you are now.

Well, please just ignore that BS! Firstly, why do you have to be a new person? Why can’t you be yourself, just yourself with added sparkle because you are leading the life you want and hitting goals you set for yourself that will truly enhance your life, not the goals the media, weight loss clubs etc. tell us we should have?

Now I know I’m supposed to be in the New Year, new you camp what with being a fitness professional and all that, but those of you that know me, will know that’s not really my style. I believe health and fitness comes in many shapes and sizes and there is no one size fits all when it comes to getting there.

Now we’ll just get out the way all the nonsense we usually tell ourselves.

This year I’m going to lose weight and get really fit.  You’re not! Well you might but it’s unlikely unless you are more specific and have a good think about your reasoning why you want this and how you are going to do it then you aren’t going to do it. Sorry to disappoint you!

But all is not lost!

Really think about what you want to achieve in the New Year, health and fitness related or not and write a list.

Then look back at your list and for each goal ask why? I’ve mentioned this before as I really believe it is key to keeping you on track when things get tough.

Want to lose weight? Why? Is it because you think being a size 10 will make you happy-it most likely won’t! But if you want to lose weight because you feel uncomfortable to go out, you want to have more energy to run around with your kids and you are worried about the impact on your health being overweight brings then that is why you want to lose weight, and that doesn’t boil down to a tiny label no one ever sees inside a dress. You might get that feeling at a size 12 and that’s fine as long as you’re healthy and happy.

Want to get fit? What does being fit mean to you? How will you know when you get there? For one person being fit may mean being able to run 6 miles in less than an hour, for another it may mean squatting their own body weight, and for someone else it may just mean being able to climb 4 flights of stairs without having to stop halfway. So be specific with your goal, and then plan small simple steps to get there.

If you would like my goal setting sheet I’m handing out to all my clients this year to help them plan their 2015 goals, feel free to drop me an email and I will send you a copy.

 

Nicola x

Reflections before Resolutions

Well, I hope you all had a lovely day with family or friends yesterday and Santa brought you everything you wanted. Maybe like me you have to do the whole thing again today with the outlaws, I’m exhausted already but Speedy Steve (the father inlaw) has promised Gluten Free Christmas Pudding just for me, so it would be rude not to!

Anyway I’m not going to ramble on as your probably picking at leftover mince pies reading this and the longer you sit the longer you will be eating.

So once the boxing day fun is over, and you’ve ram raided boots because a half price gift set is too good to miss it is that time of year we start to reflect on the past year before beginning a new one.

So I want you to just spend a few minutes writing down all the positive things that happened this year no matter how big or small.

Then I want you to think about the people you have shared your life with this year and why they are so important to you. Maybe you could write down why certain people mean so much to you, what qualities do they have that you admire and why do you cherish having them in your life, you don’t have to show them the list but I bet if you did it would be amazing.

Anyway, I think it is important to reflect on the past year before we go on to the whole new years resolution thing next week. Being specific about what you enjoyed most about the present year should help you to consider what sort of goals would truly enhance your 2015 rather than saying the usual get fitter lose weight…….zzzzz

And whilst we are reflecting I just want to tell all of my clients you have been awesome in 2014, I’m proud of what each and every one of you has achieved this year whether it be big or small and I look forward to moving into smashing out the park your 2015 goals with you. You keep me inspired to keep pushing, keep learning and moving forward. Thank you!

 

See you in 2015!!!!

 

Nicola x

 

 

 

Healthy Christmas Dinner

Have A healthy Christmas!

I know I sound like a stuck record, stop eating, stop partying, stop having fun………

But just know that I do it for your own good. Anyway, I am not about to suggest in anyway that you skip Christmas and have salad for lunch instead, nor am I going to suggest turning wine into water.

You see the thing is, the actual traditional Christmas dinner is not actually bad news, it’s more to do with the quantity we eat.

It’s obvious really as the main component traditionally is turkey.

Turkey is a rich source of lean protein. It is full of vitamins including iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.; As well as vitamin B6 and niacin, which are both essential for the body’s energy production.  It also contains Tryptophan, which produces Serotonin; essential for a robust immune system.  So it isn’t the bird giving you that after dinner slump!

So let’s move on to the vegetables.

Sprouts. Love them or loathe them these little green bundles pack a powerful punch.  To be honest I could have wrote a whole blog on their health benefits but I didn’t think it would be that popular.

Brussels sprouts contain a plethora of  anti-oxidants such as thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates and other words I cannot say or spell. Together, these phytochemicals offer protection from many forms of cancer.  And you said you hate them!

Brussel Sprouts contain Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), which is found to be good for immune function, and is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Remember that next time you have a virus.

Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C; A and E. Again this helps them in their cancer busting properties as an excellent source of anti oxidants. They also contain Vit K which is good for bone health as well as many B6 and Niacin.

Parsnips?

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Parsnip. Don’t get me wrong Parsnips contain many phyto-nutritents, vitamins namely C and B, minerals and anti oxidants as well as being a good source of fibre.

However, they are one of the startchy vegetables meaning they contain (natural) sugar which can cause your insulin levels to spike. And  during the festive period it is common to roast them with honey (more sugar) making them an unhealthy addition to the table. Just have a couple then!

Carrots?

Carrots are rich in anti-oxidants namely Beta Carotene that help to prevent cancer, vitamin-A that helps to maintain good eyesight (your mum wasn’t lying when she said they’d help you see in the dark) and also assist with fertility. In addition, they are rich in Vitamin B-complex.

And of course because they are orange it is the vegetable law that they contain Vitamin C.

So depending on how you prepare them-you can add some butter just not the whole block!

Potatoes?

Well this is when it gets tricky, as essentially potatoes aren’t bad for you, and to be fair neither is goose fat ( I just did it again, told you fat wasn’t bad for you???) but if you look at it from a basic calories in, calories out equation due to the quantity we tend to eat, as well as everything else you may have eaten that day unfortunately they can be seen as the baddie. So your going to have to choose – more roasties or more post lunch quality street? I know which one I’m choosing and it doesn’t come in a shiny wrapper.

And then there are the extras (no not those kind!) the stuffing, gravy pigs in blankets and whatever else may be traditional in your house.  Again they may be made with good quality, natural ingredients but on a feast like this the old calories in calories out (although I hate it!) does have to be considered.

So Bullet Points Again!

  • Load up on loads of turkey meat
  • Loads of green vegetables and carrots
  • Couple of potatoes, pigs in blankets
  • Little bit of gravy and stuffing
  • STAY AWAY FROM THE QUALITY STREET! I REPEAT STAY AWAY FROM THE QUALITY STREET!

 

Nicola x

Ps. To those of you I won’t see before have a lovely Christmas, take some time to relax and reflect on the year so your ready to take 2015 by the horns!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

Only the Strongest Will Survive!

So I reckon by now with the constant rounds of Christmas shopping, Christmas parties and excessive mince pies to be eaten some of you are already starting to feel the strain?

Well if you want to make it through the season still in one piece and ready to take on the new year all guns blazing then it’s time to take action.

Firstly, you need a plan! Write down anything you still need to do/buy and go and do it! Do not leave it until Christmas Eve I promise you’ll thank me for it when you’re sat chilling on the sofa with friends or family drinking a glass of something fizzy, whilst other people are tearing their hair out battling the shops.

Second and most importantly is keeping your health on track. All that rich food, alcohol, late nights will play havoc with your immune system as well as your gut.

So we will start with your immune system. If you want to survive the rest of 2014 intact, listen up.

When you are not out partying, try and keep your diet full of wholesome, nutritious food. That’s lots of fruit and veggies and good quality protein (poultry, fish, meat, eggs, pulses etc.). This will help to keep your energy up!

Then, I suggest if you don’t already adding a multivitamin plus extra Vitamin C to your daily routine. I personally like a dissolvable Vit C – like Berocca, because it also encourages me to drink plenty of water. If your are likely to be overdoing the alcohol, (Making my disapproving face but I know your ignoring it) then consider adding a Milk Thistle supplement too as this will help to support your liver.

Where possible make sure you are still getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water and generally taking care of yourself.

It is also helpful to at least try and keep up some form of exercise (no dancing at midnight fuelled by champagne does not count………….or does it?). Continue to pre plan your workouts so you know where they will fit into your week. If you really don’t have time for your regular workouts, make time for some short circuits maybe 10-20mins that you can do most days, if you need some inspiration send me an email. I promise that 10-20mins will be worth it when you don’t feel like a slug on 1st Jan!

Right so I think that’s my mum style lecture over (Not my actual mum she is more likely to be handing out the wine).

Bullet Points!

  • Make a Plan
  • Eat plenty of fruit and veg
  • Take some extra supplements
  • Sleep
  • Drink Water
  • Fit in some exercise

 

Nailed it!

 

Nicola x

12 Days of Christmas Workout!

So since you are all probably well into festive bulking season by now, I thought it only right to try and encourage you to do a workout.

So here goes my 12 days of Christmas workout – I expect you to sing along as you do it!

  • On the First Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me A tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the Second Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 2 Jumping Lunges and A Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the Third day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 3 Tricep Press Ups, 2 Jumping Lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the fourth day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 4 Mountain Climbers, 3 Tricep Press Ups, 2 Jumping Lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the Fifth day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 5 Squat Swiiiiinnngsss! 4 Mountain Climbers, 3 Tricep press Ups, 2 Jumping Lunges and a Tuck Jump and  burpee
  • On the 6th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 7th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 7 Plank Twists 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 Squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 8th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 8 Reverse Lunges, 7 Plank Twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 Squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 9th day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 10th day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 10 Perfect Press Ups, 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 11th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 11 Dorsal Raises, 10 Perfect Press Ups, 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 12th Day of Christmas my trainer gave to me 12 high squat jumps, 11 Dorsal Raises, 10 Perfect Press Ups, 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
Phew! Workout Done!
And if your seeing me this week, yes this might be in your session, no I won’t be doing the singing!
Nicola x

Festive Damage Limitation

Well, as the advent calendars have been cracked open the official Christmas countdown has begun! I don’t have one this year although I’ve noticed my mum has bought the dogs one each…………………………we’ll be having words!

Anyway, it is traditionally the time of year when everyone throws the diet out the window, let’s their hair down in a string of social events telling themselves they will start again in January. Yes, you the know the 1st of January every year when you wake up hung over, bloated and several pounds heavier than you were in November? Do you really want to be there again this year?

I’m hoping the answer is no you don’t! Now I’m not saying you should remain a Teetotal Rabbit fooder (is that a word?) throughout the festive season. But you do need to decide how much of a blowout is really worth undoing all your hard work this year.  If you’re happy with seriously loosening your belt and then having to get your graft on in the New Year then that’s fine, it’s your choice and as long as you are ready to commit to putting the work in come January then I don’t really think there is a problem with having a few weeks off the healthy wagon. But it really is important not just for your waistline but for your overall health that you rein back in once the festivities are over.

But what if you don’t want to undo your hard earned results, but you don’t want to become a social hermit? Well, in that case it’s just about putting some what I call “damage limitation” strategies in place to help you stay on track.

Firstly, I know I sound boring but keeping your alcohol intake in check will help A LOT! Decide whether you really need to drink at every event you attend. After work quiet drinks, maybe you could just stick with lime and soda and save you’re drinking for the full work party?

Christmas Eve? Maybe just have one or two to save yourself from a hangover for the big day and you can enjoy your glass of compulsory breakfast fizz rather than using it as hair of the dog (you know you’ve done this!)

And then there’s the food! Now most of you will know, I’m not a big drinker but food is my weakness! And many of my clients have already said your offices have started to fill up with tins of chocolates, mince pies etc. which make sticking to healthy eating really difficult. Now I can’t really do anything about your companies obsession with trying to fatten you up like Christmas turkeys, and aside from me stalking you in the office to intercept any mince pie incidents ( I am available to hire for this service though…..) you are just going to have to do your best to avoid them. Maybe just pick your favourites and allow yourself a little treat on a Friday. Try not to just eat sweets because they are there. Ask yourself if you are hungry, do you even really like those sweets, and how will they make you feel? If the answer is probably a bit sick and bloated along with a potential sugar crash, back away! Honestly, you’ll feel great about that decision later!

How about taking the initiative and taking a fruit basket into work, more people than you think will be grateful for it!

Right, diet morals lecture over for now, I just want you to keep on the clean eating as much as you can, we still have a few weeks to go until the day itself and I don’t want you feeling bloated  before dinner in your sparkly Christmas day dress……..fellas. So keep that in mind when you pass the quality street tin!

Nicola x

PS.  I have to issue a formal apology to some of my male clients, as more than one of them has sent complaints that due to my advice serious consequences have arisen. Apparently, following my advice has caused throughout this year several clothes shopping trips (the most hated of shopping trips known to man!) as current wardrobe items where now too big, and it may also be an idea for me to start offering a discount at a good suit shop. Sorry guys! I think to prevent this becoming an issue in future I will have a T Shirt printed-“Warning this Personal Trainer May cause Weight Loss”

 

Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day. To be honest I would have to agree a good breakfast can help to get your energy levels up and raring to go, as well as keeping you satisfied to prevent overeating or cravings for sugary foods later in the day.

But it can also be a minefield of unhealthy options if you go with one of the many commercial options. Cereal – massive sugary filled thumbs down, breakfast bars/biscuits-don’t even get me started and well a round of toast just doesn’t really cut it in the raring to go energy boosting, craving stopping stakes.

So what to do? Well I’ll be honest it does require a little forward planning and some preparation but I promise it will be worth it. Once you realise how much more energised you feel and much less hungry on a good breakfast, toast or cornflakes won’t cut it for you anymore either.

It is really important to get some protein and good fats in early in the day, this is what helps to keep your hunger levels at bay and boost your energy levels preventing the dreaded 10.30 am biscuit o’clock slump. It is also a good idea to put some veg in your breakfast, firstly for their many anti-oxidant and health benefits but also to help fill you up.

Most of you will know that I am rather partial to Steak, Eggs and green veg (green beans, broccoli, spinach…….) for breakfast and some of you may think that is madness. “Steak for breakfast? But that is an evening food!” erm says who? The food police? Although I have already converted a couple of you to the idea of erm “evening meats” at breakfast time some of you may still need some convincing, go on I dare you to give it a go.

Don’t fancy steak, well this week I’m eating beef mince with roasted butternut squash, shredded cabbage and a sprinkling of goats cheese, this could easily be done with turkey mince if you prefer and any other veg you fancy. We mix and match to keep things interesting-purple carrots anyone?

Perhaps you’re just not a big meat eater?

Well how about fish? There are so many different kinds of fish you could be mixing it up for months. Try tuna, salmon/smoked salmon, mackerel, kippers, river cobbler, trout………

You could have fish with eggs and some veg of your choice, minus the eggs if you just want veg, you could even have salad (I know a lunch food at breakfast-madness) trust me it isn’t that weird! Or there is a Kedgeree recipe below which is a great one to bulk cook and have prepared for all week.

How about good old fashioned bacon and eggs, you could try turkey bacon if you fancy a change, maybe add some mushrooms and tomatoes. Just doesn’t deep fat fry it, use coconut oil or the grill please!

Or maybe an omelette with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach whatever you like. I also like to cook them in a muffin tin to eat on the go, or pre prepare a big vegetable frittata and slice it up to go into a box to take with me.

And if you still hanker after the traditional cereal based option how about porridge, you could add some seeds and fruit to up the health benefits.   Or why not try Bircher Muesli –see below for recipe. It is traditionally made with oats but I find they don’t agree with me so this is the recipe I will be using which is from Hemsley and Hemsley The Art of Eating Well and uses Buckwheat instead. But you could still do it with oats if you don’t have an issue with them.

And for those of you that just can’t face food, how about a smoothie. These are really easy to make with any fruit you like, berries, bananas, peaches whatever, just add some milk or natural yoghurt, blend and you’re done. Although I find they aren’t particularly filling done this way so it is best to add maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter, coconut oil,  flaxseeds, handful of oats or a protein powder make it more satisfying. Try to get a protein with very few ingredients like absorb nutrition, or most vegan hemp or pea proteins have very low levels of rubbish added.  (Taste ok when mixed into a smoothie-not so ok on their own!)

Let me know how you get on!

 

Also just before I sign off  I wanted to share with you this video from a guy who I have a huge amount of respect for he is my go to nutrition guru Ben Coomber, highlighting what our diet industry is doing to our increasing obesity epidemic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0YRkz6dclQ

 

Nicola x

PS. Amazing news this week that my lovely client Sam has managed to lower her previously high blood pressure to normal in just 3 months purely by changing her diet habits. It’s amazing what can be done without drugs. Well done Sam I’m really proud of you!

 

Bircher                 Muesli – serves 2

60g Buckwheat Groats (soaked overnight)

2-3tbsp of seeds (any you like-pumpkin, sunflower etc.)

125g Natural yoghurt

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp raw honey

1 large apple, grated with skin on

Optional desiccated coconut to serve

In the morning mix all the ingredients in a bowl and you’re done!

 

 

Cranberry Quinoa Breakfast Bars-Great to make at the beginning of the week so you’re well prepared.

2 bananas

250g Quinoa (soaked overnight

2 tbsp. chia seeds

100g desiccated coconut

100g coconut flour

60g butter or coconut oil

40g sesame seeds

1tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp sea salt

2tbsp maple syrup

50g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 6. Butter a baking dish.

Mash the bananas in a bowl then add the rest of the ingredients plus 100ml water (if you are using a food processor leave the cranberries out until the end).

Pour mixture into a dish and spread out evenly.

Bake for 50mins until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

You can then slice into bars, and you can also freeze them to keep them fresh and just take one out the night before for defrosting. They also make a great on the go snack.

 

Choc muggins-I know chocolate! I’ve clearly gone soft!

25g almond meal

2 tbsp. desiccated coconut

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

½ teaspoon stevia

60ml milk-any kind

Plain yoghurt to serve.

This is too easy it feels wrong, but basically all the ingredients (except the yoghurt) mixed in a mug, microwave on high for 1 ½ – 2 mins and then serve with yoghurt.

 

Kedgeree – serves 2

1 tablespoon butter

¼ onion finely chopped

100g Basmati Rice

1 teaspoon Curry Powder (any heat you like)

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 medium eggs-boiled

100g hot smoked salmon flaked into chunks

Chopped Parsley

Heat the butter and onion until just soft, add the rice and stir until coated in butter. Add curry powder and turmeric and stir. Add 200ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down heat and simmer for about 10-12mins – check the rice is cooked through. Add the salmon, parsley and the chopped boiled eggs, mix through and serve.

You could make this in advance and have it boxed up and ready to go for the next few days ahead.