Smoothie Ideas

D and I are on a bit of a health kick at the moment and when we are eating healthier I tend to have smoothies a lot for breakfast. I broke my blender making smoothies and now I have a shiny new smoothie maker. I know they’re notorious for being sugary but you can make them less so but adding spinach and using fresh fruit instead of using ready made smoothies. Also in my defence I find that eating fruit earlier on in the day prevents me from craving sweet things made from refined sugars later in the day and it puts me in a happier, more energetic mood and my skin looks better. Generally we try and eat mostly vegetarian and pescatarian meals now so maybe it just fits in with these meals?

I nearly always thicken my smoothies by adding a banana. I also add oats or a nut butter to make it filling enough to see me through until lunch. Then I will add frozen fruit such as mango, blueberries or raspberries or the frozen fruit mixes designed to make smoothies with (like the banana and strawberry mix). Sometimes I use up fruit that isn’t quite at is best (minimise food waste when you can) and I also like to add frozen spinach. It is packed with all sort of nutrients and also because it has anti inflammatory properties so I find it really helpful with stomach pain or aching muscles. I switch between making smoothies with unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or sometimes normal milk depending on what I have in. (Sometimes I have coconut water too).

I don’t think there is much of a recipe for what is essentially squashed fruit whizzed up in a blender, these are just some ideas to inspire. Maybe I’m just obsessed with fruit?

Tearoute

Autumn is well and truly underway and what better time to fully embrace the wonderful drink that is tea than on a cold evening in November. When the lovely people at Tearoute offered me a change to try their tea I jumped at the chance. Tearoute is a mail order tea service with a Greek twist. They use Mediterranean sourced ingredients in a wide range of tea blends that are so fragrant they smell incredible.

I got send some Rooibos Abyssinia which had chocolately notes and was pleasantly spicy. I became obsessed with it the week I had a really bad cold as it sorted my scratchy throat and blocked nose right out. Which is funny because on the website rooibos is described as being something that improves headaches, asthma and allergies.

In addition, the fact you can see the leaves and spices in the blends is really something and having larger tea leaves really enhances the flavour of the tea and improves the overall clarity of the flavour.

I can’t wait to try more from this range and I think it would be the perfect Christmas gift for tea lovers of the world wishing to try something a little different.

For more information about the range of Tearoute products visit here. I promise you tea time will never be quite the same again.

This is a cereal drama

I wish I could apologise for my dreadful pun, but I can’t. I love a good pun especially in the context of breakfast food. I have mentioned in previous posts trying to have healthy breakfast foods, but struggling to stay full until lunch. Which I must admit I have managed since changing what I ate in the morning and I must admit that adding muesli and porridge back into my repertoire there has been no exception. The added bonus of having a sweet breakfast is that once I get round to lunchtime I don’t seem to crave really sweet food quite so much.

I got sent some muesli by Stoats along with a range of their porridge which I loved and got me back onto cereal in a big way. Its just so easy! While I love smoothies and things on toast this actually means there is less washing up overall. (Also as mentioned previously I’m a big fan of Scottish food and produce as its part of my heritage and what I grew up eating).

I have found however, that it perks me up so much to have fruit first thing and I think my skin has certainly improved since adding more fruit into my diet.

Plus, I think cereal looks so beautiful when you’re hungry.

I was provided with samples of Stoats porridge but you can order online and find stockists here.

Quick chia pudding

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I do apologise, this is going to be another one of my wonderfully vague recipes. Although I would not call this a particularly quick recipe (who can argue something is quick when you soak it all night?); it will make your morning routine more simple. Not having to think beyond “should I grate in that apple or throw in a handful of sultanas” is sometimes the most complex thing I can determine when I get up for work.

Anyway chia pudding is convenient, really healthy and can really easily be adapted into a vegan recipe or made with things you really like.

To make chia pudding for 1 you will need:

Chia seeds

Milk of your choice (mine is coconut milk)

Yogurt (I used Alpro strawberry and rhubarb yogurt)

The topping of your choice (sliced banana, grated apple, etc etc)

Pour a small quantity of chia seeds into a cereal bowl so a thin layer covers the bottom. Cover this with about 2cm milk. Add 1 large spoonful of yogurt. Stir this so that all the seeds are as evenly dispersed as you can manage. Cover this and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning stir again. Add your toppings and serve. Enjoy your beautifully simple and delicious breakfast.

Here’s to a happy, healthy January

I think the first few days back to work after Christmas can be more than a little tiring. After time over Christmas basically sleeping, eating biscuits in front of the television and a nice amount of wine getting out of bed has been something of a struggle every morning this week. While I don’t exactly make New Years resolutions (it’s all too tempting to break them) I tend to have yearly goals. However, the main thing I try to do in January is just to be kind to myself. Well, that, and trying not to eat too many biscuits.

So anyway; instead of promising myself I will take things up, go on diets or give up sweet things here are a list of things I think will make January (and the rest of the year) bearable.

  1. Instead of dieting by cutting back on things instead try to eat more healthy meals. Try new healthy recipes, make turkey burgers, stuff a courgette. The world is your multicoloured oyster. I got sent some delicious cold pressed juice in December (its called B fresh) and now I’m a total convert. Who urges you to try this. Anyway, your skin will look better, your blood sugar will spike less and I honestly believe by enjoying healthy living you actually enjoy your food more. If you take away feelings of obligation and guilt and just enjoy your meals, enjoying the odd treat as well your mindset and your relationship with food will improve and you’ll find yourself making healthier food choices more often.

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2. Wear your slippers as much as possible. One colder days I actually wear slipper socks under my boots. Try it. Its deliciously warm and comfortable.

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3. Get outside. I know its cold and rainy yadda yadda yadda, but hear me out. I adore colder crisp days. The light its beautiful and nothing puts me in a better mood than fresh air. Who can blame me with views like this?

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4. Up your breakfast game. When D and I are both off work we tend to have brunch rather than breakfast. Ours over Christmas were particularly decadent (and delicious). However I started making fruity porridge and chia pudding and I have since remembered how delicious healthier alternatives are. So I definitely think a decent breakfast is the key to starting as you mean to go on.

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5. Have a good clearout and do the cleaning you keep putting off. Over the last few weeks D and i have been slowly reorganising our house and sorting our conservatory into a home gym. Its a work in progress but I think its already looking promising. Nothing can describe how happy it made me when our conservatory walls were scrubbed of mildew and sparkling again. To illustrate this point here is a picture of our rabbits who were banished from their usual haunt of the conservatory while we cleaned.

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Don’t they look unimpressed? They also had a fun trip to the vets and were thoroughly spoiled on their return.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Healthy breakfast ideas when you’re pushed for time

For the past year and a half or so; instead of being on a specific diet I have just been trying to make healthier food choices. Things like trying to eat well in general rather than trying to cut out a specific food. Lately I have been trying to mix things up at breakfast by trying different things to help me cut craving for sweet things in general and to stop me wanting to snack all the time at work – being on my feet all the time at work makes me think I need to eat more than I possibly do if I have had the wrong breakfast. All of these breakfasts take less than 5 minutes to prepare; something that is important for most of us on a day when we’re rushing out to work. But the result has been pretty wonderful. Something in the combination of more complex carbs, or healthier fats has put me in a happier mood in the morning, my craving for sweet things has dropped a ridiculous amount and my jeans fit better.

1. Toast with almond butter topped with sliced banana    DSC_0540

2. Muesli with grated apple and coconut milk

DSC_05422. Avocado on toast (an instagram favourite)

DSC_05513. Muesli with coconut yogurt, frozen raspberries and passionfruit (and a splash of coconut milk)

DSC_05545. Smoked salmon and cucumber on toast

DSC_0558In case you were wondering I switch between soya and linseed, buckwheat and poppyseed and sunflower and chia seed breads and I the muesli is one with a higher nut and lower fruit content (I think it’s the Dorset cereals one). When it comes to eating healthily I feel like its important to start your day well and to try to have a balance to keep your metabolism ticking over a bit.

Hopefully I will post some more breakfast ideas in a few weeks!