banana

Banana Ice Cream – No Fat, No Sugar!

We all want to look and feel our best, especially in the summer months.  We can slather on the fake tan and get those little tops and shorts out, yes at 53 I am still (attempting) to rock my 23 year old self, and get our bodies out there soaking up those life giving, feel good rays and vital vitamin D.

There are fabulous healthy summer salads everywhere, and long cool drinks, that if we chose wisely – and I don’t mean that ice cold Rose every day – that help us on our way to looking and feeling amazing (Obviously I think one of the best ways to that end is for you to join my 6 Week Youtrition Group Program on my website.  Just saying…..)

However, healthy eating does not have to mean no sweet treats. Even though we know they really need to be small and occasional, the word “treat” is the clue and treat does not mean every day. Still, most of us would feel that is a little cruel. We want to enjoy our ice creams with the kids, or just by ourselves, but the shop bought ones, even the creamiest ones labelled “healthy” are packed with sugar and fat.

Have no fear though, I have the perfect answer and only one ingredient! Banana ice creams! You don’t even have to like the taste of bananas, with the toppings you don’t even need to taste them.  They are amazingly versatile, packed with nutrients, no saturated fat, loads of fibre to fill you up and I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed my ice creams.  This recipe is taken from my 6 Weeks to Looking & Feeling Amazing Program and is the easiest ever recipe.

Banana Ice Cream

Banana ice cream is a fabulous, fat free alternative and one of my fav desserts. So quick and easy to make and so many variations

2 x chopped bananas, frozen –  that’s it!

Add frozen bananas to food processor/blender and blend for 3 minutes.  Keep stopping to scrape from the sides into the mixture.

Place in bowl and your done! Either eat immediately or return to freezer for a firmer ice cream.

Mix it Up, try

3 x chopped strawberries

1 x tsp honey

1 x tsp honey & 1x tsp pistachio nuts

1 x tbsp. caco powder

1 x tbsp caco & ¼ tsp peppermint essence (mint choc ice cream)

1 x tsp cinnamon

Small chunks of any fruit you like!

Serves 2, Cals 65, Carbs 13.6g, Protein 0.9g, Fat 0.2g

Give it a go, add some of your fav fruit and let me know how it goes!

smoothie

Smoothie, Power Up Your Body With Nutrients And Keep Calories Down

This morning, whilst I am at home getting ready for my busy day I am loving a smoothie for breakfast.  A gorgeous alternative meal (and I do mean alternative, don’t have a meal as well!),  that took less than 5 minutes to blend and, even though I am always prepared in advance with a healthy meal and snack in the fridge, sometimes I just feel like something different, maybe a little more indulgent that I can sip away at on the way to my next client or at home in front of the computer whilst I work.

And this is where smoothies become king.   A healthy smoothie can provide you with essential vitamins, fibre, healthy fats, protein and minerals and are an easy way to nourish your body as well as being a fantastic aid to weight loss.

Quick and unstressful to make, there is no need for the shop bought variety which are expensive and can have very high sugar content. The best way to know the exact ingredients in your smoothie is to make them yourself. All you need is a blender, leafy veg, a small amount of fruit and a base, such as water, milk or yogurt. Smoothies don’t need much planning in advance. These are the basics and from this start point, anything you like goes, literally.

The healthiest smoothies are packed with fibre, protein and healthy fats – think avocado, nuts and seeds.  Delicious to taste they are a godsend on a busy day, or after an indulgent night before or weekend.  They are a great way to re-balance our bodies and pump in the nutrients we may have missed out on and to keep your calories down.

Beware though of the not so healthy smoothies, even homemade ones.  These are the ones packed mainly with fruit and although fruit is fantastic in terms of antioxidants and vitamins, it does need to be eaten in moderation due to the high sugar content.  I want your smoothie to keep you full so that you don’t need to snack between meals, and don’t create a massive sugar spike then slump which will leave you craving more sugar.

The best proportion for any smoothie to keep you full and satisfied is 3/4 veg and the last quarter made up of fruit, healthy fats and water – if I do add avocado or nuts, I use water instead of yogurt to keep the fat and calorie content lower.

So here is my smoothie recipe for this morning, and as I said before, I didn’t plan it, I just had the ingredients to hand,  and literally anything you like goes.  Be brave, mix it up.  Like any new recipe, taste it and then add a little more sweetness in the form of an extra strawberry, a little more banana, or ramp up the intensity by adding a pinch of chilli or small amount of ginger.

Breakfast Boost

1 x handful spinach.

1/4 avocado.

2 x tbsp oats.

¼ x beetroot.

½ x small banana.

1 x strawberry.

½ cup water.

Serves 1, Cals 200.

Blended all together and its done.  If you like a little looser add water to achieve the consistency you like.  Just look at the nutrients involved here, the vitamins, fibre, protein and healthy fats.  This is a total powerhouse of a meal in one delicious drink.

Blackberry & Vodka Soup – something a little bit different

As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach, I am always looking out for something a little bit different to share, I like to mix up the tried and tested, so this is for  soup fans everywhere,  a little different and one of my cheeky favs!   I would like to say it was made with leftovers, but there is rarely any vodka “left” after a party……..

Ingredients

  • 450g/1lb fresh or frozen blackberries.
  • 1 cup red grape juice.
  • 2 tbsp vodka.
  • 2 rounded tsp powdered arrowroot.

Garnish; spoonful of Greek yoghurt and a sprig of mint.

Method

Place blackberries in a saucepan with the grape juice.

Place lid on pan, bring to the boil and simmer over a very low heat until tender and juicy (2 – 5 minutes if fresh and a little longer if frozen).

Place the arrowroot powder in a small bowl and stir in 2tbsp water to make a smooth paste. Stir this paste into the blackberries, and keep stirring until the mixture thickens.  Stir in the (best ingredient!) vodka.

Serve warm or chilled with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt in the centre, decorated with a sprig of mint.

 

This soup can be with a variety of berries.  I am using Blackberries now but blueberries, bilberries and black cherries all have similar nutritional properties.

What it’s good for –

Dark red and purple fruits are rich in flavonoids, which if eaten regularly help to prevent small blood vessels from leaking water ad protein into surrounding tissues.  Excellent for water retention. And Vodka? Well they say a little what you fancy does you good, and in this case a little goes a long way!!

 

I found this recipe in one of my favourite Soup books, The Big Healthy Soup Diet, by Linda Lazarides

 

 

Christmas Mulled Ciderless Apple Warmer

Mulled wine, on of my Christmas favourite’s – along with Yule Logs, Christmas puds, pigs in blankets., brandy sauce and oh, all manner of delicious treats of which the list is far to long and waistline busting and headache inducing!

However this year I have just been given the best festive mulled apple drink ever, made by my son and friends for our second early Christmas Dinner. Non-alcoholic, so perfect for the teens as well, this wonderful winter warmer has all the smells and tastes of the festive seasons and, no matter how much you indulge, no embarrassing side effects and far fewer calories!  Perfect.

For 4 generous sized mugs, you will need;

1 litre apple juice.

250ml  water.

2 sachets mulled spice  mix.

2 tbsp brown sugar

Method

Pour juice and water into pan.

Add sugar and spice.

Heat pan to simmer, stir until sugar dissolved.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Cool and decant into mugs for the perfect, non-alcoholic festive drink.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avocado & Greens Smoothie – Lunch in a glass

As I sit here in my Nutrition and Weight Loss Coaching practice in Beaconsfield, thinking about a quick, easy and super nutritious on the go snack or lunch, my mind always go first to a smoothie.

I am a smoothie queen!  You can experiment with all the fruit and vegetables in your kitchen and come up with some amazing concoctions! So quick and easy to make,  no fuss and very little mess.

Always be aware that the more fruit you put in the more sugar you will consume, so  with that in mind, I usually make the fruit the smallest amount (1/3) and fill up with an assortment of veg, water or low fat Greek yogurt.   In this smoothie both the yogurt and the avocado give it a really delicious, creamy, luxurious taste as well as being packed with fibre, and a whole host of goodness.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup low fat Greek yogurt.
  • 1 ripe avocado.
  • 1 sweet apple chopped.
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped.
  • 1 carrot chopped.
  • 1 cups lightly packed kale.
  • 1 cup lightly packed spinach.
  • 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger.
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds.
  • 8 ice cubes (optional).

PREPARATION

Blend yogurt, avocado, apple, celery, kale, spinach, ginger and ice in a blender until very smooth.  Add a little water to loosen up if desired. Remember to drink immediately as smoothies lose their nutrient quality quickly.

Avocado And Poached Egg on Toast

As a nutrition and weight loss coach, I am always looking out for  easy, nutritious meals that tempt me to eat on a busy day.  Here is one for you to try.  Poached eggs are one of my favourites and I am always looking at ways time intergrate them into my diet. I love them in this easy, simple breakfast or light lunch.

I simply mash one deliciously ripe avocado, add chilli flakes, coriander, lime juice, squeeze of lemon and ground black pepper together.

Poach an egg (Tip below), toast your favourite wholemeal bread, assemble the mashed avocado and place egg on top. Add a good grind of black pepper (I don’t use salt – lemon is the perfect substitute)

TIP – place cling film over a cup, making sure there is a “well” for the egg, brush with a smidgen of olive oil and crack egg into the cling film. Make a sealed parcel of the cling film and place in pan of boiling water for 5 mins.  Remove egg from pan, take of cling film and you have a perfect poached egg!