Tune in

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Stressful life situations can bring out the worst in all of us. We over-analyze, fret, escape from painful feelings and generally keep ourselves super busy hoping things will get better or, ideally, go away. More often than not, however, looking outward for a solution to our problems tend to bring meagre returns – at the end of the day we can’t fix that over which we have no control no matter how much we try. Continue reading “Tune in”

Blueberry Super Smoothie

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When I prepare breakfast smoothies for my children I’ve learned that the trick for immediate consumption is the use of colour – and green is not the colour of choice! Instead, using red or black berries of any variety gives the smoothie that required pink/purple wow factor needed for a thumbs up. Following easter’s sweet fest I felt they needed a much-needed boost of nutrition that did not come out of an easter egg. They just got over a pesky cold so I also wanted to make sure they got a big dose of vitamin C, coupled with some vegetable protein and important omega-3 fatty acids. Smoothies are good that way – you can put all kinds of goodies inside and no one will know!

Top tip! Until the season is here when berries start to grow locally again, buying frozen fruit (organic if possible) is a great way of always being five minutes away from a great smoothie.

Here is what went into this morning’s smoothie! Continue reading “Blueberry Super Smoothie”

Gluten Free Pancakes

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Mornings can be a stressful time to advocate healthy eating for our children. In the rush to get to school/work we tend to serve what we know they’ll eat and what is quick. More often than not this means cereal, toast and fruit.  Although studies have shown repeatedly that a diet high in carbohydrates causes our insulin levels to soar, due to the carbs transforming into blood sugar (and this very much includes ‘healthy’ options such as whole wheat too), we are stuck with what a sensible and realistic option may look like.

Wheat Belly; Lose the Wheat Lose the Weight author, Dr William Davies, even claims that two slices of whole wheat toast raises blood sugar higher than eating a Snickers bar and is equivalent of 6 teaspoons of sugar!! Although a cardiologist, in his clinical practice he has seen the removal of wheat consumption linked to improvement in many other areas than the heart, such as irritable bowl syndrome, asthma, arthritis, celiac disease, mental clarity, deeper sleep and emotional stability. Read Dr. Davies blog to find out more about his findings.

Sending your kids off to school with a belly full of sugar, therefore, may be less than a desirable route to go so what to do? My dear friend Marika, a  seasoned physio with an interest in alternative health, suggests that the introduction of gluten free pancakes could be the answer to the breakfast dilemma. With four young children, some with gluten intolerance,  she has found it to be a popular and nourishing start to the day in her family.  The wheat flour is replaced by coconut flour or ground almonds – both readily available from Ocado and Waitrose in the UK but other general supermarkets too such as Whole Foods. The eggs provides much needed protein and the banana gives the sweetness without giving away the fact it isn’t made with ‘normal’ flour. It was my  breakfast this morning and it was absolutely delicious topped with blueberries. Great recipe that I will try with my children this week. x

Marika’s Gluten Free Pancakes – serves 4

1 cup ground almonds/coconut flour (I used a mixture of both)

5 eggs

1 banana

1-2 cups of milk or milk alternative (coconut is my favorite)

Coconut oil for cooking

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until you have reached desired pancake batter consistency – start out with less liquid and add as you go along so it doesn’t get too runny. Cook like normal in a pan with coconut oil – I find you have to cook them a little longer so they don’t disintegrate as the absence of gluten means that the glue (hence the name) in regular flour isn’t there. Serve on its own or with berries. Happy Sunday x

Garden Porridge

 

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We have just reached that unique and lovely time of year where you feel warm enough in a t-shirt even in the sun’s early hours. This morning the birds were tweeting, my rose bushes were flowering and no one was mowing their lawn – it was, in other words, perfect.

In honour of all that loveliness I decided to have my favorite breakfast porridge in the garden amidst glorious sunshine. The porridge recipe is loosely inspired by Deliciously Ella but bastardised by me as I keep adding flavours. It requires a little extra effort to prepare (I do add a lot of ‘stuff’)’  but it is so worth the effort and will keep you full for hours, leaving you  free to do whatever takes your fancy on this fabulous Saturday.

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Ingredients (serves 2 hungry peeps)

2 cups organic oat meal (you can get gluten-free variety)

1 heaped tbsp raw and organic coconut oil

2 tsp organic almond butter

1 punnet organic blueberries

1 banana

2 tsp ground flax seeds

2 tsp ground nuts (I use almonds, walnuts, brazil, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds – you can add other varieties)

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Coconut milk (the drinking variety, not the cooking or any other milk you like)

Cook the oatmeal and banana in water until a gloopy mush has been created. Stir in the coconut oil and almond butter and mix thoroughly (it will look chocolate-like as almond butter has the consistency and colour of milk chocolate). Add  all the ground nuts and seeds and finish with your blueberries (strawberries, dates, raspberries or whatever fruit you like will work just as well) and milk. The world is your oyster and I am keen to hear what you put into your morning porridge. Enjoy this lovely day. x

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My green and lovely garden