In our modern society, judging ourselves and our bodies is something that comes incredibly naturally to a lot of people. Both men and women are afflicted by this problem and it can lead to equally damaging behaviours in both sexes. There are countless companies cashing in on this by selling diet pills, make-up and endless creams and lotions to reverse ageing and perfect our skin. And it’s not only the pharmacuetical and cosmetic companies exacerbating this issue. The high street shops and fashion retailers who tell us which clothes to buy in order to look skinny and fashionable are also adding to this problem.
This lack of self confidence can soon lead to greater problems, such as social or general anxiety, which can really hinder your day to day life. Anxiety can make even the smallest, easiest of tasks seem complicated and impossible which then often causes people to avoid certain situations altogether. Attempts to self-medicate this anxiety away can also commonly lead to drug and alcohol dependance as a few drinks to power through a social occasion develops into a habbit. People who lack self-confidence are often the best at pretending, but having to do so can be incredibly exhausting.
When you are able to let your authentic self present itself, free of the disguises and tricks you have used to keep it hidden, then you will find that you’re able to move through the world with much greater ease than before. Self-confidence, alongside self-love, is the key to a free existence where dependance on the validation of others simply does not exist. Learning to love your natural form – hair, skin, emotions, fears and every aspect of the package – is the biggest step you can take towards living a life of happiness. Embracing the flaws and understanding that it is these flaws which make you who you are, is essential in building a confidence so true that no make-up advert or ignorant opinion can leave even the slightest of dents in it.
This of course isn’t something that’s going to happen in a day, or in any unreasonably small pocket of time. It is a process that must be approached with complete honesty and an unrelenting willingness to change. As your fake exterior is peeled away, your true self-confident self will emerge and never look back!
This recipe uses both solid and blended foods together to create a delicious meal that also has a range of consistencies. Broccoli and almonds mixed with the coconut milk, veg stock and lemon is such an amazing flavour as well as an incredible source of goodness! Lemons might be small but they are often referred to as powerhouses thanks to the high nutrient count within. Just one squeeze of lemon juice is enough to provide your body with a dose of phytonutrients and antioxidants! Lemon juice is also known to be healing with antibiotic effects. The almonds, which you will have to pre-soak before you get started, also contain a selection of antioxidants as well as a multitude of vitamins and minerals. Almonds are also a fantastic source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are essential for keeping LDL cholesterol levels down!
In addition to the nutrition, making this dish involves spiralizing the carrots which is a fun and interesting way to prepare them! If you don’t own a spiralizer yet then you can click here to buy one!
So to make this dish for four people, you’ll need the following ingredients!
4 medium carrots, spiralized
50g of almonds (soaked for 3-4 hours)
200g of broccoli
1/2 a tin of coconut milk
1/2 a cup of veg stock
Squeeze of 1 lemon
A large handful of pumpkin seeds
A large handful of currants
Salt and pepper
When making this dish, I prefer to steam the broccoli so that it’s soft but not overcooked! However, if you don’t have a steamer then it’s absolutely fine to boil, just make sure you don’t overdo it! Once the broccoli is cooked, combine it with the almonds, broccoli, coconut milk, veg stock and lemon in your food processor or blender. You should then blitz it well until it’s nearly a puree. The next step is to thoroughly mix with the spiralized carrots and then top with currants and pumpkin seeds before you season with salt and pepper. Yes, it’s that easy and super yummy too!
Pesto is a great side dish to add to so many different meals. It brings a burst of flavour and when made with colourful ingredients it is also an aesthetically pleasing addition to the dinner table. The combination of sweet corn, spinach and mint is not only great for your health, as these three ingredients are full of nutrients, but also creates an amazing taste! Research has suggested that a certain acid found in sweet corn can prevent certain cancers as well reduce inflammation in the body. The high antioxidant count in spinach makes it the perfect choice for improving all-round health, plus it only contains 27 per calories per cup! Finally, mint is an absolute winner when it comes to aiding essential functions in the body. It is good for digestion as well as the health of your blood and bones!
To make a bowl of this pesto at home, collect the following ingredients:
500g cooked corn, but put aside 100g
50g pine nuts
1 large handful spinach
1 small handful mint
Squeeze of one lemon
120ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
Put all ingredients into a food processor except for the 100g of corn and whizz away. Garnish with the rest of the corn and a few more mint leaves and it’s ready to serve!
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These burgers take less than 45 minutes to put together and are full of the kind of goodness your body craves after a stressful day. They make the perfect evening meal choice as one of the ingredients is especially fantastic for improving your sleep – that ingredient is walnuts!! Walnuts naturally contain melatonin which helps control your sleep cycle. This means that eating them a few hours before bed can really help you to get to sleep. As we get older our natural melatonin levels will decrease, making it all the more important to get it from dietary sources.
Using chickpeas in these burgers is great for the consistency as well as the overall nutrition of your meal. One cup of chickpeas contains an impressive 15 grams of protein as well as 13 grams of dietary fiber and just 4 grams of fat. Add to that that there is no bad cholesterol in chickpeas but there is a fantastic range of much needed vitamins and minerals.
To make a batch for yourself, get hold of the following ingredients:
½ an onion, diced,
1 cup of walnuts
1 cup of chickpeas
1 cup of whole-wheat flour
1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ a cup of dairy-free milk
A dash of sea salt
1 tbsp of basil
To begin, sauté the onion and mushrooms in a large skillet with a tablespoon of the coconut oil. You can also preheat your oven to 180C at this point. Once the onions and mushrooms begin to brown, add them into your food processor with the walnuts, chickpeas, flour, garlic, milk, salt and basil and blitz. The mixture doesn’t have to be totally smooth. If you find it is too dry then add in milk as necessary or if you find it is too moist then feel free to add in more flour.
Take a handful of the mixture at a time and make into patties before placing onto the baking tray. Place in the oven for 15 minutes before you remove, turn over and put back in for a further 15 minutes. After this time you can remove from the oven and eat however you like!