Healthy Sunday Night Dinner - Lamb Steaks With Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Its been now over a month since I took my healthy lifestyle up to the next level. What I mean by that is that I gave up all unrefined sugar, high fructose syrups and gluten.
Giving all of these things up sounds quite scary but its something I am passionate about and I am willing to give it a long shot, trying to make it a routine in my life.
Over the summer I read quite a few books on nutrition/ health and how the body is impacted by eating to much of these foods.
I was amazed and since studying these kind of topics, I come to realise that I had to change quite a few habits.
I thought my diet and lifestyle was already quite good but no I was wrong again. To be honest this whole food thing is actually quite confusing because everyone is saying something different. 
So if you want to make some changes for the better in your life try and do your own research otherwise you end up all confused and go right back to your normal ways.

Anyway after doing all my research ( I am sure there is more to know, it never stops) I came to the conclusion to stop eating sugar and holding back on the gluten. 

Here are some the things I started changing around the house!

1. Get a organic veg & meat box delivered every week ( I get mine from Riverford and so far they           have been fantastic)
2. Stop taking sandwiches for lunch and instead taking salads or soups with me in my much loved           Kilner jars
3. Stop eating vegetable oils and instead cook with coconut oil and butter, for salads I like to use             extra virgin olive oil
4. Stop eating pasta and instead making "pasta" from veggies like courgette
5. Stop drinking fruit juice, just have water 
6. Started making my own Yogurt ( its a great way to avoid sugar loaded ones that are in the shops)
7. For snacks I have nuts and dried berry's and when I crave chocolate I like to eat dark chocolate           (anything over 70% cocoa is great)

There are more things that I have changed but for know I think they are just enough. Pick the ones you would like to change and listen to your body. I changed all these things with time and not overnight. It takes time for the body to adapt and not crave sugary foods. Maybe just start with one. 
When I started I only wanted to drink more water and when I saw some good results I wanted to do more.

So to give you a little help and show you how easy healthy cooking can be I want to share last Sunday nights dinner with you! Hope you like it!

Lebanese Tabbouleh
serves 4-6

1 cup uncooked quinoa

half of a red onion or 3 spring onions

3 medium tomatoes

1 large bunch of parsley (1 cup)

1 small bunch of mint (half a cup)

2 cloves of garlic

half a lemon

season with extra virgin olive oil plus salt & pepper

1. Start of by rinsing the quinoa under some cold water, combine with 2 cups of water and some salt.     Bring to a rapid boil, then turn down to a low heat and cook until the quinoa is fluffy, about 20 min
2. Finely chop onion, tomatoes, parsley and mint and put aside in a large bowl
3. Empty the cooked quinoa into another bowl and let it cool down until is barley warm to the touch
4. Combine all the ingredients and drizzle the juice of the lemon and some olive oil over it.
5. Season with salt and pepper ( you might also like to but some feta into the salad to give it some more body) 
6. Give it a good stir to combine.

For the lamb steaks I simply seasoned them with some turmeric, salt and pepper and fried them on a high heat for 5 min in a pan. Easy

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a go at your house!

Sugar Free Raspberry Chia Jam

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Hi everybody I hope you all having a good week so far! We had a really nice weekend, just me and my hubby. One of my best friends kindly offered to babysit the boys from Friday night all the way up to afternoon Saturday. So me and my husband jumped to the opportunity and had a lovely pub dinner Friday night and Saturday we went to a National Trust house up in Dorking (Polesden Lacey). We love visiting old historical places and the house we saw that day was a real inspiration in interior design and I felt great seeing such an amazing house and hearing of all the things that went on in an old Edwardian country house.

After such an refreshing weekend I felt even more inspired continuing with my new healthy lifestyle.
I went back to my much loved and missed Yoga lessons ( I haven't done any yoga in 2 years and my whole body is aching now).

One of the most important things that I like to carry on with is giving up refined sugar. I know that sounds like a huge task at hands but its something I find important and that can really improve my over all health and well being. Its has not been easy especially when I am out and about and nearly every snack or food has added sugar or other nasties that I don't even know how to spell out.
I am trying hard and I know I can get there with time so I thought I would share one of my healthy dessert options that won't even make you miss all the sugar stuff.
Its easy to do and won't take any time to whisk up.

serves 4-6

2 cups of frozen  fresh raspberries

1 tbsp of raw honey

5 tbsp of water

4 tbsp chia seeds

desiccated coconut & sliced almonds for toppings

1. Throw all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. You may need to add some more water to help combine.
2. Pour mixture into saucepan and heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. reduce the heat and whisk constantly until thickened ( 3-5 min)
3. Store in an glass jar for up to 1 week.

I like to serve my Raspberry Chia Jam on top of my homemade yogurt and eat it after lunch. Its the perfect treat after lunch to kill those sugar cravings!


Whole Foods Haul And Other Organic Skincare

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Last weekend me and the family all went to Whole Foods and had a good nose around, it was rather a surprise visit than a planned one. It all happened when we were already in the car driving and I mentioned that there was a Whole Foods store near by, I had only just heard about this store opening and was super excited but to my big surprise my husband already knew all about it. It never crossed his mind telling me!! What!!??
After telling him a little bit more about the store, he also got excited and off we were. Now if you live in the US you might think whats the big deal but here in the UK we only have about 9 stores and 7 of them are in London. Not really worth going all the way to London to visit Whole Foods, right. Luckily the one we went to is in Richmond which is just on the outside of London and closer to us.

When we finally got there we where all quite hungry and couldn't resist the delicious food on offer in the restaurant. 
It all tasted amazing and the kids went back for some yummy organic ice cream.
I on the other hand headed straight to the pharmacy section and had a good nose around and ended up with some great addition's to my skin care collection.

I am trying to go a little bit more organic and having a healthier lifestyle. My skincare is also a big part of that. I recently found out that there can be so many irritants for the skin in normal skincare creams and lotions that I thought to myself to better stay away and go a more natural way. Who knows maybe my skin problems have also come from putting on creams that are not exactly good for me as the skin is also a large organ that absorbs everything you put onto it.

But Anyway here is what I bought!

Fist up is my new Pai Avocado & Joyoba Hydrating Day Cream. A lovely light day moisturizer that has all of its ingredients organically sourced and doesn't irritate sensitive skin. 
After trying the Pai Rosehip Oil  I really felt like I needed to try more of Sarah Brown's range. The rosehip oil has really helped my skin to balance it self out and reduce my acne break out. Can't wait to try more!

Another oil that I came across was the Dr. Scheller Organic Pomegranate Body Oil. This oil smells like heaven and feels really luxurious on the skin. I love body oils, especially when you put it on after a hot bath. It like how it makes you skin glow and how it feels like a soft hug to the skin!

Lastly is toothpaste, I know, sounds boring. But I really wanted to try an organic one to see what they are like and I swear you would not know the difference with this Kingfisher Mint Toothpaste. They taste just like regular toothpaste but are without all the nasties like artificial colourings, flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives. Instead they use natural ingredients like real peppermint or fennel. And
with 8 different flavours to choose from I am sure there is one for everyone's taste.

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Delicious Beetroot And Goats Cheese Salad With A Dash Chunky Walnuts

Friday, 5 September 2014

Beetroots, once they used to be my absolute most hated vegetable that my mother could have made me want to eat but these days it has slowly become my kind of vegetable.
I know its not the most exciting veggie on the marked but hear me out and I might just convince you to give these little red bulbs a try.
Beets have an super amount of nutritional value, they are rich in calcium, iron and vitamin A and C and are also known to be of benefit to our blood. They can lover blood pressure, boost your metabolism, fight inflammation and help your body to detox.

Things that all our body's need a little help with these days. I like to eat them once a week to give my body a little kick up the .... and get things going. And I also think that they are great at that special time of the month.
I used to have problems with my iron levels after having my two children but since I have been eating these little baby's there has been no more problems with my blood levels. So to me they are my kind of superfood that I like to reach for in that special time of the month or any other given time ;-)

This recipe is the one I like to mix up the most when I fancy me some beets. Its super easy and fresh and when you find that perfect goats cheese to go with ( I buy mine from a local farmers market), I can guarantee you that it will become a firm staple dish in your house.

Serves 2-3

4 medium organic beets

150 g fresh goats cheese

handful of walnuts

one small onion and a glove of garlic

salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for seasoning

Wash and boil the beetroots for half an hour until soft. In the mean time prepare and chop the onion, garlic and walnuts and put them into a bowl.
Peel the skin of the freshly cooked beetroots and cut them into small thin slices and add them to the bowl.
Season with the salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and give the salad a good stir.
Now add in the goats cheese and serve.


Watermelon And Feta Salad

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

If you are like me and you are dreading the cold winter months ahead and still want to hold on to summer for just a little bit longer. There is nothing better than a fresh salad made from one of my most favourite summer fruits of all time. Watermelon. Before I found this delicious recipe I used to just eat it on its own. But now I found some really exiting new ways of eating this amazingly healthy fruit.
Whether its in a salad or in my most refreshing summer juice there is just something about watermelon that puts a smile on my face.
And the best thing is that its super easy to make and won't take you longer than ten minutes. So you will be enjoying your salad in now time. All you need is ...

Serves 2

half of a Watermelon

100g of fresh greek feta cheese

1 small red onion

a bunch of fresh mint

olive oil & black pepper

Simply cut up all the first four ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil
and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.

As I promised super healthy and easy to do, I hope you enjoy!