Recipe: ROOT VEGETABLE SALAD (vegan, paleo, gluten & dairy free)

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Yet another super quick and easy but truly nourishing recipe!

Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this salad won’t leave you hungry with its satisfying amount of grated raw root vegetables and variety of good quality fats. And with the inclusion of apple cider vinegar all will be more easily digested and absorbed – ACV is fabulous at helping stimulate stomach acids which assist in breaking down your food and easing the effort required by the digestive tract. Take note and give it a go!

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large beetroot
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 handful of long stem broccoli
  • 1/2 an avocado (optional)
  • 1 TBSP melted coconut oil / cold pressed virgin olive oil / MCT oil
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar / freshly squeezed lemon
  • salt

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Preparation

Grate the carrot and beetroot and finely chop the spinach – set aside

Chop the avocado into small cubes – set aside

Bring a small pot of water to the boil

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small pan on a low heat

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Directions

Place the broccoli in the pot of hot water. Cover and cook on a low heat for 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

To the heated pan add the walnuts, coconut, turmeric and pinch of salt. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes or until the ingredients are toasted/crispy then take off the heat.

In a large bowl combine the beetroot, carrot, spinach, raisins, avocado and brocoli. Pour over the oil and apple cider vinegar and using your hands mix well. Lastly add in the pan ingredients and mix well again.

Enjoy this delicious salad as it is, or accompanied by some roasted vegetables, or pan fried fish or chicken.

…and remember the wonders of turmeric and its super ingredient curcumin!

  • aids memory function – is used to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • aids the immune system – is used to disrupt cancer causing cells
  • relieves joint inflammation – is used to help arthritis
  • speeds up wound recovery and post work-out muscle soreness
  • aids digestion
  • promotes healthy glowing skin
  • incredible antioxidant properties – surpassing vit E and C
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EASY TRAVEL TIPS!

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I got the idea for this post after a recent overseas journey which spanned around 36 hours of flights, trains and buses. Whether on a journey as long as mine, or something less intense, traveling has a definite impact on our physical well-being – time-zone changes, cramped conditions and limited food options disrupt our natural cycles, so it pays to be prepared. With the holiday season winding down this is perhaps a little belated, but keep these tips bookmarked for next time!

Preparation:

  1. The day before you travel, move around a lot – go for a long walk or gentle jog, go to a pilates or yoga class or simply stretch.
  2. Buy some healthy snacks to eat on the journey – avoid plane/train/ food if you can. I tend to pack leftovers (fritatta and salad is easy to pack) nuts, nut butter, coconut oil, dried fruit, healthy snack bars, crackers, bananas, avocados, kale chips, crisps, dark chocolate, bake some muffins or a loaf. You should be fine taking this food onto a plane but anything left after your flight you may have to declare on entering a new country (transit should be fine).
  3. Eat and hydrate well on the day you are flying so you can fill up on good quality produce and won’t be tempted by any nasties onboard. Try to get in a vegetable juice or smoothie before the flight –  google beforehand to find out if your airport has a juice bar. Green tea will help with tension headaches – I take the tea bags with me and just ask for hot water.
  4. Pack your probiotics to help keep your tummy happily digesting and to help support your immune system (being stuck in a confined airless places with loads of people can be a germ breeding ground!).
  5. Prepare your travelling outfit – choose your most comfortable clothes, soft fabric that is loose fitting or nice and stretchy. Pack an extra pair of socks or some slippers or flip flops/jandals to walk around in as you want to take your shoes off as soon as you begin your journey.
  6. Make sure you have a good sleep the night before – no last minute packing or panicking

While travelling:

  1. Choose an aisle seat so you can get out of your seat easily to walk around (without your shoes), or if travelling in a car take regular breaks to get out and walk around and stretch: turn your head from side to side, squeeze hands together behind your back, twist, sit in a low squat, lean forward to stretch the back of your legs, point and flex your feet, and so on (images below).
  2. Drink plenty of water (double the amount of water offered to you if on a plane) this will make you get up to use the toilet at the very least! Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these can disrupt your sleep patterns.
  3. If you have more than one flight then use the transit time to find a juice bar, or guzzle some good quality water. If you’re hungry choose fresh vegetables/salad or fruit.
  4. If you feel tired then sleep! Or at least close your eyes and rest. Take the opportunity to practise some calming breathing exercise or mindfulness. If you are transiting and need sleep then lie down rather than sit to sleep. If you’re wide awake then walk around or stand as much as you can.
  5. Eat your own packed food. Or if you have to eat the food served to you then definitely avoid the bread and dessert – ask for a piece of fruit or a bag of nuts instead.
  6. Brush your teeth! or at least swill your mouth out with oil or fresh water! This won’t only make you feel more refreshed, but will also help keep your immune system boosted. Remember the major importance oral health plays in well-being!

After travelling:

  1. Stretch, twist and move around! The cat stretch is a great one to do if you have the floor space. Massage your feet on a tennis ball to help rebalance the different reflex points that may have been affected by the travelling.
  2. Hydrate – plenty of fresh water perhaps with a pinch of good quality salt to help balance your electrolytes.
  3. Eat well to help you sleep well – fill up on any food groups you may have missed out on during your travels.
  4. Go to bed at the local time (between 10 and 11pm is ideal) and get 7-8 hours sleep if possible.

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STRETCH!


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Recipe: BANANA & AVOCADO ICE CREAM (vegan, dairy & sugar-free)

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Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana peeled, chopped and frozen

1/2 avocado

Preparation:

Blend frozen banana and avocado together with a hand blender and eat straight away while creamy, cold and fluffy!

I know this sounds a weird mix but it somehow works! Delicious and ridiculously healthy with no troublesome highly pasteurised dairy products and no added sugar! Perfect for the kiddies too as the avocado fat helps slow the rate at which the sugar hits the system, so no manic sugar highs!

All you have to remember is to chop and freeze your bananas when they are spotty and ripe –  this is after all when they boost their nutritional best and are most easily digested by our systems.

Variations:

Blend in 1tsp of cinnamon / 2 tsp cocoa powder / vanilla / chopped pecans / desiccated coconut

Swap avocado for 1 TBSP of melted coconut oil

Recipe: AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (vegan, gluten, dairy & grain-free)

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Ingredients

1 chilled avocado

1 TBSP coconut oil

1 TBSP water

2 TBSP raw honey / maple syrup / 1 frozen banana

3 TBSP cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of sea salt

Preparation

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend together until smooth. Transfer into a small bowl, refrigerate for at least 30 mins (or 15 mins in the freezer!). Tastes even more delicious the next day… Enjoy!

Variations

Sprinkle with desiccated coconut / grated dark chocolate / sliced banana / berries

Remember nutritional benefits of avocado from here and coconut oil from here

Recipe: BAKED AVOCADO EGG NESTS (grain & gluten-free, vegetarian)

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These are so unbelievably delicious and nutritious – a quick and simple snack for any time of day!
Ingredients (serves one)
1 avocado
2 eggs
2 cherry tomatoes
1/2 courgette
1/2 carrot
sprig of parsley
Preparation
Cut avocado in half and remove the stone. Break 1 egg carefully into each of the halves. Add salt and pepper. Bake at 165 deg for about 15-20 mins. Take out and serve with sliced cherry tomatoes, grated courgette and carrot – raw or fry on low for 10 minutes with 1 TBSP of coconut oil.
Alternatively you could dress with bacon/salad/salsa/cheese.
Avocados are incredibly nutritious and packed full of the following nutrients and vitamins:
  • Fiber – helps mute blood sugar swings so excellent if you’re craving sugar or suffer from diabetes
  • Potassium – more than twice the amount found in a banana! Helps to lower blood pressure and carry oxygen to the brain – so excellent for headaches
  • Monounsaturated fat – easily used up and burned for energy – they WILL NOT make you gain weight!
  • Vitamin E – awesome antioxidant
  • B-vitamins – play many important roles in cell metabolism and regeneration
  • Folic acid – helps produce healthy red blood cells and also helps rapid cell division and growth – excellent in infancy and pregnancy

Eggs are also truly nutritious and bursting with goodness:

  • Protein – boosts energy and aids muscle building
  • All 9 essential amino acids – the building blocks for protein that can only be got through diet
  • Choline – particularly important for fetal brain development as well as overall brain function and health
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium – essential for a healthy immune system
  • Cholesterol – essential to every cell in our body! do not fear it! It helps produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of memories and is vital for your neurological function.