Apple and Avocado Smoothie

Apple and Avocado SmoothieThis is a great smoothie for a quick breakfast or for an energising snack. Once you try it you will be left with no doubt that this smoothie rocks! Having a healthy smoothie for breakfast is such a great way to start the day and can be much quicker than preparing a meal. It can also help you get large amounts of nutrients from one quick drink!

Although I often use avocado in my recipes and frequently talk about their benefits, I would like to re-touch on the health benefits of eating them every day! Research has shown that people who eat avocados tend to have a much higher nutrient intake than those who don’t and are also likely to have a lower BMI. Check out the following five reasons why you should eat a whole avocado every day!

  • Avocados  are a great source of heart healthy fats. This type of fat can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems as well as lowering cholesterol levels.
  • Eating an avocado every day can help to manage your weight and even support weight loss. They will leave you feeling satisfied for longer which means you are less likely to snack between meals.
  • Avocados are useful for managing blood sugar levels which means they will help to lower your risk of developing diabetes.
  • Chronic inflammation in the body can cause a wide range of health problems. Eating avocados helps to fight inflammation thanks to the oleic acid contained within. This compound is also found in olive oil.
  • Avocados contain a healthy dose of vitamin K which is essential for building strong bones.

Apple and Avocado Smoothie2Getting avocado into your diet every day doesn’t have to be difficult and including this smoothie will help you on your way!

To make one for yourself, you will need the following ingredients:

1/2 an avocado, peeled and de-stoned
1 green apple, roughly chopped
1 cup / 8fl oz / 225ml of coconut milk
1 cup / 2 1/2 oz / 70g of spinach
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 ice cubes

All you have to do is place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. When blending with ice it is best to start on a low speed and gradually speed up. Alternatively you can blitz it first and serve over ice. Enjoy!

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

How to Turn Curiosity into Passion

If you visit my blog regularly then you may have noticed that I am keen to help people follow their dreams and passions. Sometimes we can all use a little nudge towards the ambitions that we have, but what about those of us who do not know what our dreams are yet? If this sounds like you, and you haven’t yet figured out what you are passionate about, then being told to follow your passions can be frustrating.

It seems as though some people are born knowing what they want to do with their lives. They have job goals from a young age or talents that come naturally to them which guide their path. For those of us who this is not applicable to, all of the advice about following your passion can seem pointless. However, not yet knowing what you want out of life, or what it will take to make you happy, does not mean that you never will! The process of self discovery is an exciting journey that has no set pace.

So, if you do not yet know what your passion or passions are in life is, how can you set about figuring it all out?

First of all, try to contemplate all of the things that you are interested in or curious about. These do not have to be huge things and actually might seem quite insignificant to you. They may be things that you encounter every day or they may be things that you have only ever thought about. Once you are certain of these things, you can set about exploring them further.

Perhaps you have always been enchanted by some far away exotic destination and this could inspire a passion for travel. Perhaps your curiosities are more ingrained within you, such as a desire to create something.

Taking the time to learn more about the things that you have a curiosity for can quickly become a very fulfilling activity. Some people negate this act as they don’t see that it is immediately beneficial to their lives, or consider it a waste of time. But these small acts of curiosity can quickly lead to larger acts of adventure and self-discovery.

Allowing yourself the time to indulge in the things that fascinate and intrigue you is a great way to take a break from the parts of your life that feel like obligations. In time you may feel that certain things that you were curious about no longer interest you – and that’s okay! This simply means this thing wasn’t your passion in life and there was no harm in letting yourself explore it. If you continue to approach everything in this way, and never tell yourself no when you want to discover something new, then you will surely be on track to filling your life with passion and happiness.

My online e-learning portal will soon have a new course dedicated to self-love, letting go and happiness which are all concepts that can help us to understand our passions! Head to the Flexi Foodie Academy soon to sign up and Like my Facebook page to be the first to know when it comes out!

Flaxseed Pancakes

Getting omega-3 into you diet by consuming healthy oils could not be easier thanks to this super yummy pancake recipe. These pancakes are light, fluffy, and utterly delicious!

As we covered in an earlier blog post this week, flaxseeds are fantastic for for your health and full of goodness! Not only do they aid digestion but they’re also good for protecting the body against free-radical damage and disease. Maple syrup is also a healthy addition to this recipe and is what makes these pancakes extra delicious! Maple syrup contains a range of minerals, such as manganese, magnesium, calcium and potassium – all of which are essential to your continued good health! Maple syrup also contains an abundance of riboflavin which aids the metabolic process.

Flaxseed Pancakes 2To make enough pancakes to feed four people, you will need the following ingredients:

1/2 a cup / 5oz / 150g wholewheat (all-purpose) flour
2 tbsp of flaxseed oil plus extra for cooking
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1/2 a cup / 4fl oz / 125ml of dairy-free milk
2 tbsp of maple syrup

Flaxseed Pancakes1The first thing you will need to do is place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until the mixture forms a smooth batter.

You can then drizzle a little flaxseed oil into a small skillet (frying pan or pancake pan) and set on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, pour two or three tablespoons of the batter into the skillet so that it covers the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Pay close attention as the pancake cooks and turn the pancake after approximately four minutes to cook the other side. Once each pancake is cooked you can remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter.

Once all of your batter has been used up, drizzle your stack of pancakes with a little more maple syrup and top with your favourite berries or slices of banana. Serve immediately and enjoy!

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Kale and Spinach Pesto

A wonderful twist on the classic pesto! Filled with three amazing greens and using flaxseed oil instead of the traditional olive oil. Flaxseeds are GREAT for your health for so many reasons and I really suggest finding ways to incorporate them into your diet. Many people actually refer to flaxseeds as the original superfood because they have been consumed as a food for many thousands of years.

The most well known benefits of flaxseeds are that they improve your digestion, promote clearer skin, regulate your hormones and also that they work to lower your cholesterol levels. However, consuming them regularly can also help to combat any sugar cravings that you might be experiencing, as well as helping to protect against cancer and encourage weight loss.

Flaxseeds are also often called linseeds and are widely available in both health food stores and normal supermarkets. Just a one ounce serving of flaxseeds (which equates to roughly three teaspoons) will provide your body with 8g of fibre, 6g of protein, 35% of your recommended daily allowance of manganese and 30% of your recommended daily allowance of magnesium. In addition to all of those amazing things, it will also supply you with an ample amount of phosphorous, selenium and a range of other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! What’s not to love?!

Kale and Spinach Pesto3To make this pesto to serve four people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups / 5oz / 140g of kale
2 cups / 5oz / 140g of spinach
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp of almonds
2 tbsp of flaxseed oil
A handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), trimmed and chopped
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 a tsp of pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 a tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Kale and Spinach Pesto2Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blitz for a few minutes, adding more flaxseed oil or lemon juice if necessary to reach your preferred consistency. And that’s it!

You can serve this pesto with your favourite pasta dish for a tasty meal! I love quinoa and corn pasta but my kids prefer whole wheat, so take your pick and enjoy. Adding a handful of cashew nuts on top isn’t necessary but will give you that extra little bit of nutrition and flavour!

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Kale and Spinach Pesto

Raw Coconut Balls

If you are a coconut junkie, then this will quickly become your go-to snack! Packed with superfoods and natural sweeteners, this recipe will also help keep any sweet cravings in check. These balls may be small (which is great for taking them everywhere with you!) but they contain some serious nutrition which makes them the perfect pick-me-up throughout the day. I especially recommend them before and after exercise to give your body the energy it needs!

Lucuma is one of my favourite natural sweeteners and you can buy it in powder form. It is made from a subtropical fruit tree that is native to South America which can reach heights of 50 feet! Not only is this sweetener free from gluten, but it also contains a range of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is useful for giving your immune system a boost as well as contributing to the function of several essential functions in the body. Lucuma powder is especially high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Using lucuma in your baking instead of regular sweeteners can help to bring about some serious benefits and promote optimal health.

Raw Coconut Balls2.pngTo make 10 – 12 of these balls, you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups / 70z / 200g of desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling)
2 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of raw honey
1 tsp of lucuma powder
1 tsp of chia seeds

Raw Coconut BallsThe first step is to place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz for two to three minutes, or until you have a thick, coarse mixture. You can then remove the mixture from the blender and, using a large melon baller or your fingers, scoop and shape the mixture into 10–12 balls.

Roll each of the balls in a little bit of desiccated coconut, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes before serving. This tasty treat will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to three days. As mentioned previously, these balls are great for taking with you as you go about your busy day and will give you an energy boost when you need it!

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Goji Berry Quinoa Bars

These bars make a wonderful on-the-go snack or quick breakfast, and they are full of goodness! I find it is a great idea to make up a batch over the weekend and then you will have a supply of healthy snacks during the week. These delicious bars do not require many ingredients and they do not take long to make either.

You may not use cherries very often in your baking, which is a shame as they are bursting with flavour and nutrition! Consuming cherries regularly is known to soothe aching joints, protect the health of your colon, help to keep your cholesterol levels down and also to maintain your eyesight. Regular consumption of cherries can also help you to get a good nights sleep as they are a natural source of melatonin. Cherries can be expensive when compared to other fruits so shop around and check out your local markets for a good deal!

Goji Berry Quinoa Bars2To make six of these bars you will need the following ingredients:

1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 cup / 6.5oz / 185g of quinoa, cooked
1 cup / 5oz / 140g of almonds, chopped
1 cup / 5 1/2 oz / 150g of dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup / 2oz / 55g of goji berries
2 tbsp of brown rice syrup
1/2 cup / 4fl oz / 125ml of water

The first step is to preheat the oven to 425F / 220°C / gas mark 7 and grease an 8 × 8 × 1inch (20 × 20 × 2.5cm) square bake pan (cake tin) with a light layer of coconut oil. On a separate baking tray, you can spread the cooked quinoa and almonds together before placing in the preheated oven for ten minutes.

When the mixture is toasted, remove the tray from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. You can then place the cherries, goji berries, brown rice syrup and water into a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until everything is smooth. Once this is complete, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the toasted almonds and quinoa. Stir well to combine.

Goji Berry Quinoa BarsNext, spoon the mixture into the bake pan and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Ensure the mixture covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Then place in a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked, cut the mixture into bars before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. These bars will keep fresh in an airtight container for up to five days.

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Natural Foods for Better Energy

Increasing your energy levels is a concept that the majority of us would love to know more about. As our days become busier and more hectic, finding a way to get through till bedtime is often at the forefront of our minds. I am always excited to discover new ways to manage this naturally and, of course, food is my favourite weapon when it comes to doing so! Altering your diet to include high energy options is arguably the best way to keep yourself motivated and energised during the day. The following foods are easy to work into your diet every day and you will soon feel the health benefits of doing so.

Edamame makes for a great snack and will help your energy levels to soar. Also known as soybeans, they are high in nutrients that work to energise the body. When you eat edamame every day, you will be naturally increasing the B vitamins in your body, as well as your phosphorous and copper levels. It is a great idea to have an adequate amount of B vitamins because they help to break carbohydrates down into glucose, which the body then uses as fuel! They are also a fantastic source of fibre and protein so get them on the menu!

Opting for a whole grain cereal in the morning will help to prepare you for the day ahead when it comes to keeping your energy up. Whole grain cereals are high in fibre and this will help glucose to be released slowly throughout the day, thereby giving you more consistent energy levels. It is not difficult to find whole grain cereals that have been fortified with a range of vitamins and minerals, which means that your body will get even more of a boost!

Keeping a bag of nuts and dried fruit with you at all times is a great emergency go-to when you feel your energy levels begin to drop. Nuts and dried fruit contain an amazing combination of protein, fibre and healthy fat which is exactly what you need in a moment of low energy. It is best to make your own mix of fruit and nuts so that you can select the raw, unsalted varieties. Put together a huge batch and you can then take smaller portions with you each day.

Including these three things in your diet regularly will soon have you bursting with the energy that you need to approach your days full of positivity!

If you want to learn more about how nutrition can help you to maintain optimal health and high energy levels, then head over to the Flexi Foodie Academy!

Broccoli and Cauliflower Pilaf

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower have unique nutritional properties compared to other vegetables. This is because they are packed with phytonutrients—potent anti-cancer agents.

Broccoli is great for fighting disease in the body and can really help to keep you healthy when you consume it regularly. As with many foods, it is best for your body if you eat it raw, but there are still health benefits to be gained when you cook it first. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as vitamins A, E and K! Cauliflower is also fantastic for your health and can be very beneficail when consumed often. Cauliflower is particularly good for the immune system because of the folates and vitamin C found within. Your heart also stands to benefit when you eat cauliflower because it helps to lower your cholesterol levels.

To make this dish for two to three people, you will need the following ingredients:

1 tbsp of coconut oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 /2 a cup / 3oz / 100g of broccoli
1/2 a cup / 3oz / 100g of cauliflower
1 inch (2.5cm) of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups / 14oz / 400g of brown rice, cooked to packet instructions
1 tsp of ground turmeric
1 tsp of ground curry powder
1 tsp of ground chilli powder
1 tbsp of ground cilantro (coriander)
1⁄2 cup / 2 3 ⁄ 4oz / 75g of cashew nuts, chopped

Broccoli and Cauliflower Pilaf2To get started you will need to place the coconut oil in a large saucepan on a high heat to warm for a couple of minutes. You can then add the garlic and then gently sauté for two to three minutes.

The next step is to add the cauliflower and broccoli and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until it becomes slightly crisp. You can then add the ginger and brown rice to the pan before stirring in the turmeric, curry powder, chilli, and cilantro. You must then reduce the heat and cook on a low setting for a further 10 minutes, adding a splash of water if the mixture becomes dry. Finally, divide between plates, garnish with cashew nuts, and serve immediately.

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Breakfast Millet

When you want to add a greater variety of grains into your diet, millet is a fantastic choice and it makes the perfect porridge for breakfast. Millet contains a wealth of essential nutrients, including magnesium, manganese, and copper. This amazing grain is easily digestible and is considered to be an alkaline food, which is great for promoting balance in the body.

One especially beneficial fact about millet is that serotonin is naturally present, meaning this food is perfect for promoting a happy mood. Serotonin also has calming properties, making millet a good choice as a breakfast option ahead of a stressful day! Also, millet is free from gluten and doesn’t contain any allergens. This means that there is no limit to who can enjoy this grain as a staple of their diet!

Breakfast Millet2.pngTo make this breakfast dish for one to two people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups / 16fl oz / 450ml of water
1 cup / 70z / 200g of millet, uncooked weight
1 cup / 8fl oz / 225ml of nut milk
1/4 cup / 1oz / 25g of pumpkin seeds
A drizzle of maple syrup
A handful of your favourite berries

Breakfast Millet3.pngThe first step is to place the water in a large saucepan on a high heat and bring to the boil before adding the millet. You can then reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, remembering to stir occasionally.

The next step is to add the nut milk and continue to cook on a low heat for five minutes while stirring. After this time you can remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pumpkin seeds.

Finally, divide the millet between two servings bowls and drizzle with maple syrup. For an extra added antioxidant boost, top with your favourite berries (personally, I love blueberries with this one) and serve immediately!

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released today!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

How To Live The Life You Dream Of

Fear is such a natural part of life that some people give up entirely on trying to overcome this connection to certain things. You may experience fear in many forms, but most commonly in the form of a phobia or a negative emotional connection to something or someone. If this sounds applicable to your life then it is important to remember that we all have the strength within ourselves to combat this issue.

The more you feed your fears by avoiding the things you are scared of, the more you allow your fears to grow and manifest in different ways. This can quickly become extremely detrimental to your life on the whole. By changing your perception of this emotion you work to turn it around and eradicate it from your thoughts. Can you imagine how amazing your life would be if you had no fear? If you weren’t afraid to go after the things you want and live your life in an authentic and open way?

The following simple steps are intended to help you understand your fears and begin the process of overcoming them.

First of all, you need to be aware of what your fears are and where they come from. Writing a list of all the negative emotions and thoughts that you have throughout the day will help you to gain a clearer perspective on this. If a thought is not a loving and positive one, then it is coming from a place of fear. Once you have created this list, try and connect reasons and past experiences to the things on your list.

Once you know where you fears have come from you can come up with a relevant positive affirmation for every item on your list. For example, if you fear affection and intimacy because you have had a previous traumatic experience, then the positive affirmation, “I am a confident person and I am worthy of love and companionship”, can help you to overcome this. Repeat it to yourself out loud or in your head every day and also in moments where you have a negative thought about this fear. Positive affirmations help you to change the way you think and this in turn changes the way you interpret your fears.

Spending some time analysing your fears in order to rationalise them will help to take the power out of them. This is also true of talking about them with someone else. Often when we say things out loud they seem less serious than they do in our minds. When we keep something bottled up inside we tend to dwell on it and it can quickly appear to be much more serious than it really is. Spending some time contemplating these fears and talking them through with a friend or a therapist can be incredibly beneficial.

Using positive affirmations to overcome negativity and fear is something I discuss extensively in my book Eat Real Food. Click now to order this book on Amazon in the UK or in the US!