I’m not a Monday person. Or Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday person really. But Mondays are particularly bad. The snooze button is usually pressed about 47 times before I actually get up, I then have that internal debate over whether I can be bothered to wash my hair or not (Answer: I can’t), and by the time I’ve showered & dressed I’m usually running about 45 minutes behind. I’ve never been one to skip breakfast, so thankfully I have come up with a quick, super nutritious power smoothie for Monday mornings that is also incredibly delicious.
The quantities are all very rough as it’s usually a matter of me fumbling about in the kitchen madly throwing things into the blender but, thankfully, that approach seems to work with this smoothie and it’s hard to get it wrong.
Serves two medium sized glasses or one enormous glass
- Large handful frozen raspberries
- Very large handful baby spinach
- Handful cashew nuts
- Heaped tablespoon raw cacao
- Tablespoon maca powder
- Tablespoon chia seeds
- Tablespoon coconut oil
- Pinch cinnamon
- About one and a half cups of water
Put all ingredients in blender. Blend. Drink. Marvel at delicious healthiness.
- I promise you can’t taste the baby spinach at all.
- I don’t add ice as the frozen raspberries do a similar job, but if you’re using fresh fruit you might want to add a few cubes to cool it down.
- You can add any fruit you like really - I’ve also used banana, strawberries, and blueberries in the past. I’ve settled on raspberries as my fruit of choice as I firmly believe that Raspberries Make Everything Better, but you may have a different opinion!
- All ingredients are bought from the supermarket, except the raw cacao and maca powder which I bought from Wholefoods House (most health food stores should sell them).
It’s been a while since I last posted about my I Quit Sugar journey. In summary, the update is that I have kicked my mid-afternoon Caramello cravings and developed an addiction to Pukka tea, and whilst I am not as super sugar vigilant as I was initially (I eat fruit a few times a week, and when I eat out I usually have dessert), sugar is no longer an accepted part of my diet but rather what it should always have been - a treat, to be enjoyed consciously and very occasionally. I’m much more aware of hidden sugar that creeps into sauces and low-fat ‘health food’ products, and it’s prompted me to generally eat ‘cleaner’ with a diet based on unrefined whole foods.
Apart from being healthier, I have found that I taste food more - my taste buds are sharper and sweeter than they were previously. Sauces that I once thought of as ‘savoury’ now taste like liquid sugar. Which they are. My skin has cleared up enormously and I did lose some weight (about 2 kilos), mainly around the belly (hurrah!).
All this is really just to introduce one of my go-to weekday evening meals that can be thrown together and is guaranteed to taste phenomenal. This isn’t so much a recipe as ‘things to throw together that taste really good’. It’s like a giant, delicious multivitamin.
The ingredients & quantities I’ve posted below are by no means prescriptive, just what I like and which fills me & my partner up. The beauty of this ‘recipe’ is that it can be easily mixed up to suit your taste - for example, I’ve used infused olive oils (lemon, garlic), thrown in whole cloves of garlic & some rosemary for a more ‘classic’ roast, thrown in some felafel balls or chickpeas for some added protein, and swapped ricotta for haloumi and added baby spinach & cous cous (this makes an excellent lunch to take to work the next day).
If you have any healthy go-to weekday meals, please post them in the comments section below!
- 1 x sweet potato
- 1 x brocolli
- 2 x carrot
- 2 x zucchini
- 1 x spanish onion
- 180 grams x full fat ricotta
- Olive oil
- Spices to taste - I love a sprinkle of cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper & a little chilli
- Chop up vegetables into rough chunks and spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Slosh a good glug of olive oil over the vegies (be generous!), then sprinkle over herbs & spices.
- Pop into the oven (I heat mine to about 190 degrees celsius) and cook to taste - I usually cook mine for about 20 minutes so that they become soft & golden but still retain their shape.
- Pull the tray out of the oven, sprinkle ricotta over the top and pop back into the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
As I have previously posted, I am currently on a sugar-free kick with the aid of Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar e-book. To be honest I am finding it a little more difficult than I anticipated (hello dessert menu), but I have almost entirely cut the ‘hidden’ sugar from my diet - so that makes it kinda okay when I have creme brulee, right?
To start the day off on the right note I’ve swapped my usual sneakily sugar filled cereal for these two really quick & easy ‘recipes’:
- Wholegrain porridge with the CCCs: Just make porridge as per usual, then stir in a spoonful of chia seeds and coconut oil & a sprinkle of cinnamon. Chia seeds are an amazing source of omega-3, and don’t taste like anything, so they are excellent to throw into anything and everything. The coconut oil makes the porridge lovely and sweet and creamy. Yum!
- Lemony eggs: When I’m in the mood for some protein, I scramble some eggs, then add a drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil - and if I’m feeling decadent, some crumbled feta. Again: Yum!
If anyone has a great sugar-free recipe they’ve tried, I’d love to hear about it!
I recently blogged about Sarah Wilson’s new e-book, I Quit Sugar. I’m a few days into my sugar-free diet and so far, so good! Sarah’s book is brilliant at guiding you through the process: my favourite tip is to replace your regular sugar-free snacks with alternative treats - for me, it’s a few pieces of grilled haloumi or some wholemeal wrap bread with hummous. The ritual of making a hot pot or cup of tea is also a good way to distract you from sugar cravings - Pukka has a beautiful range of herbal teas, and my pick is the ‘Detox’ tea which is naturally sweet.
I will keep you posted with my progress (and my particular focus on seeing the effects of a sugar-free diet on my skin), but in the meantime if you are interested in purchasing or finding out more about the e-book, Click here to view more details
Okay, this isn’t strictly a ‘beauty’ post - but ever since I did a 3 day juice cleanse a few months ago I am absolutely convinced of the very strong & immediate correlation between a good diet and good skin. I already knew this to some extent, of course, but I was still taken aback by how my skin was totally transformed after 3 days of drinking vitamin-rich, sugar free juices. My skin was clear and glowing - and the texture was unlike anything I could ever achieve even with a multitude of serums & moisturisers - soft, smooth and plump. So on that note, I’ve recently purchased a short (41 page) e-book by one of my favourite bloggers, Sarah Wilson, that has an 8-week plan to quit sugar. I’m doing this both to improve my health generally and to make me more conscious of what I eat, and also to really test the effect of a sugar-free diet on my skin. I don’t think I eat that much sugar on a daily basis, but it’s the hidden sugar in sauces and processed foods (especially low-fat foods) that I will really concentrate on eliminating. Of course it will be hard to say no to delicious desserts, but Sarah’s book seems to ease you into it really gently and has some great tips & tricks to get you through the sugar-detox process.
If you’re interested in reading more about cutting sugar from your diet, click here to view more details about Sarah Wilson’s e-book (she also has great recipes on her blog).