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Pistachio Truffles

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Are you craving something sweet and nourishing just because? It's time to satisfy your tastebuds with my delicious Pistachio Truffles.

If you’re on the hunt for a whole food party offering that is quick and simple to whizz up, then make and take these blissful balls to your next weekend or holiday gathering, they not only look the part, they’ll go down a treat too.

Click on the video to play or see below for the recipe.

PISTACHIO TRUFFLES

MAKES 24

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) additive-free coconut milk
  • 125 g (41⁄2 oz) cashew butter

  • 65 g (21⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) coconut flour
  • 140 g (5 oz/1 cup) pistachio kernels
  • 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) sesame seeds
  • 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) sunflower seeds
  • 21⁄2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

  • shredded coconut, for rolling

Pulse all the ingredients except the shredded coconut in a food processor until smooth. Use your hands to roll tablespoons 
of the mixture into balls.

Roll in the shredded coconut and refrigerate until ready to serve.

These can be stored in the freezer too!

This recipe is from my recipe book Eat Right for Your Shape.

A guide to batch cooking

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I’m such a fan of kitchen organisation. I really believe that just about anyone can live out a healthy lifestyle full of vibrant, nourishing meals made from quality ingredients. You don’t have to outsource your food preparation, no matter how time poor you are. It’s all about priorities and time management.

One of my favourite ways to ensure I’m set up to thrive with beautiful food in a chaotic week is to batch cook. I cover this in my eBook The Renewable Table which is a loaves and fishes” philosophy and centres around the concept of ‘continuum cooking’, a resourceful and environmentally friendly way to cook that reimagines your original meals into two, three or even four more, delicious dishes.  You can read more about the eBook here.

There are so many different ways to incorporate batch cooking into your life that will free up time and energy in the kitchen so you can focus on other priorities. Rather than cooking dinner every night, you might like to make two dinners that will give you the next night off. Or you may like to go hard and cook up an entire weeks’ worth of meals in one day.

Here are some tips to help you take up this liberating system in your home.

Equipment and storage

Firstly you’ll need a freezer with enough room to store the amount of meals you want to make. If you have a deep freezer you’ll be able to batch cook for more meals; potentially a month or even more! A deep freezer is also a great investment for buying bulk organic foods like meat, dairy, nuts and grains.

A freezer section of your fridge is also fine but you will just have to work with the space you have. I often clean my freezer out regularly to make space for more meals.

You’ll also need all of your regular cooking equipment, but if you have two saucepans instead of one, you’ll be able to have more meals cooking at once.

Lastly you'll need storage containers of your preferred size. If you’re just feeding yourself you'll need smaller potions, or larger containers for family meals. I often use glass jars in the freezer too. Just remember not to fill them too high or you'll break the glass!

Build a menu

Plan the period of meals you'd like to cook for. Is it just dinner? Or lunches too? Do you want to have snacks on hand for yourself or the kids? I often eat leftovers for lunch the next day so focus on making large dinners and I also throw a few snack, dip and smoothie recipes in the mix.

Look at your schedule and get out some recipe books or blog recipes that you love. Meals with some liquid in it; soups, stews, casseroles, lentil dishes and curries are my favourites to freeze. Muffins, cakes and slices can also freeze well.

List the recipes you’ll be cooking including the page numbers or website and remember to double or triple recipe quantities if needed. Write a corresponding shopping list for everything you need.

Have a cooking day

Here’s the fun part. Choose a free day in your week, tie your hair back, get your kitchen ready, and put on some music—it’s time to party! Cook all your meals, as many as you can cook at once.

I like to do all my food prep first- all the organisation of ingredients including the peeling and chopping. Then get cooking. You might have a stew in the slow cooker, one casserole in the oven, a curry plus a soup on the stovetop, and while they’re bubbling away you might be making almond milk, smoothies, pesto or other staples in your blender.

Preparation Tips

If preparation is where you feel most challenged, clear off the counter tops and get ready for some fun and interesting meal preparation ideas.

Chop up or spiralize raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini and capsicum into strips, batons and sticks and store in the refrigerator.  Then all you need to do is whip up a quick dip for a healthy snack. For recipes that use garlic and onion, you can use ready-made spices to save time and effort and make preparation easy. By preparing your meals beforehand, you can ensure that you have healthy options readily available when life gets busy.

batch-cooking

When roasting batches of vegetables on high heat to bring out the sweetness, find perfect partners with the same cooking times. Fast cooking vegetables are asparagus, capsicum, broccoli, leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini and slow roasting vegetables include celeriac, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, rutabaga, daikon, butternut squash and onions.  If you require a mixture of fast and slow, cook slower vegetables on the stovetop first and then add to the baking dish.

Smoothies can be made in advance and placed in muffin trays in the freezer. When morning comes, take three out and simply place them into blender to whizz and refresh.

Cook up skewered kebabs and save some for ready meals for the oncoming days.

When cooking a renewable dish such as chicken, cook two at the same time but with a couple of different variations, one could be lemon and rose- mary and the other could be Moroccan spices with yoghurt.

Eggs can be hard boiled in muffin pans in the oven allowing you to cook a few batches of twelve at a time.  Just preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), place the egg in the muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Make a tray of frittatas in muffin tins, which can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. You wont lose interest if you make them in different flavours.

Preassemble glass jars of soup ingredients, salads or layered gluten free oatmeal, buckwheat, coconut milk and berries. Using glass jars help the ingredients from getting tarnished, carry dressings separately or place at the bottom of the jar, layering sturdier vegetables such as capsicum and carrots then top with leafy greens. Use a section of paper towel at the top, this will absorb moisture and enable you to store your soups and salad jars for 3-5 days.

Snap frozen vegetables such as peas and green beans are easy to use and convenient if you don’t have fresh, they're great added to soups and stews.

Label and store

I’m a self-confessed label nerd. Your day will be so much easier when you can look in the freezer and see exactly what meals are in there.

Buy some stickers, write your meals on them and place them on your containers of food so you are never stuck rummaging through the freezer trying to work out what mystery meals you have before you.

Remember when freezing leftovers, be sure to freeze appropriate portions that you’ll know you’ll eat when it’s time to re-heat. For example, don’t freeze a whole tray of lasagne; rather split it into portions you know you want to eat – or even more importantly, you know are good for you to eat. This provides fantastic support for portion control.

Enjoy the bliss of free time, and knowing that you're looking after yourself through busy seasons.

Seven ways to supercharge your child’s snacks

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There are many challenges that parents face in the daily rhythms of raising children, and one thing that can take the edge off the chaos is ensuring that your child is nourished with the right foods. I cover this in my new kids cookbook Supercharged Food for Kids.

Whilst I'm a firm believer that the three main meals should be the greatest priority for filling your little one with the bulk of their nutrients and fuel, I also think snacks need to be well thought out as they are what regulate their blood sugar and moods.

Here are seven ways you can supercharge your child's snacks.

1. Load them up on protein

Protein is the building block of your child’s growth. Really, there is little that goes on within the body that doesn't require protein. When paired with carbohydrates, including protein in a snack will help to keep a turbulent tantrum at bay by regulating the uptake of sugar. Eggs, meat, fish, cheese and combining grains with nuts or seeds, or pulses with grains will provide a hit of protein.

2. Be generous with fat

Do not fear fat! Saturated fat from animal (butter, ghee, chicken skin, full fat dairy, and fats from pastured meat) or plant (coconut oil) sources are responsible for many critical functions in the body, and will keep your child full and nourished between meals when added to snacks. Unsaturated fats from avocado, nuts and seeds are also wonderfully nourishing to growing bodies. Nut butters, cheese, avocado, labna or yoghurt are lovely snack additions for kids. Try making these Cucumber Sailing Boats.

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3. Focus on complex carbs

There is absolutely no place for many of the commercial snack foods available today that are high in simple carbohydrates that spike sugar levels and are highly processed. When using carbohydrates in snacks, always opt for wholefood sources of carbohydrate like wholegrains like quinoa, millet, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, lentils as well as potatoes and sweet potatoes.

4. Explore colour

Once you’ve covered the macronutrients through fats, proteins and complex carbs, you can be liberal with colourful fruits and vegetables that will fill your child’s body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that will cover an enormous range of compounds to contribute to good health. Try to cover all colours of the rainbow to supply a diverse range of protective antioxidants.

5. Be savvy about sweetness.

Kids love a good treat, and there’s no reason to deprive them if they are homemade and full of nourishing ingredients. My favourite real food sweeteners include raw honey, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, stevia, and dried unsulfured fruits like apricots and dates. Use these to make sweet treats. They'll love these fabulous Chocolate Popsicles.

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6. Persist with diversity. Snacks are a great opportunity to introduce a range of foods to your children. Supercharging your child’s diet means exposing them to a diverse range of foods that will provide a range of nutrients for their growth and development. Persist through rejection. Sometimes it takes four or five introductions to a food before a young child will accept the new taste.

7. Cram the goodness into a smoothie. Smoothies are a great pick-me-up snack for kids, especially in the afternoons after a big day out. They are hydrating and potentially highly nutritious—you’ll be able to add sneaky ingredients that they’d normally reject.

You'll find more delicious recipes for kids in my book Supercharged Food for Kids.

Moroccan beef stew with spiced tahini yogurt

Moroccan Beef Stew

I've come out of hibernation to share a recipe from one of my  favourite health coaches Madeleine Shaw.  

This recipe is from her new book Ready Steady Glow which is full of show stopping recipes that are bursting with flavour and goodness.   

This gorgeous recipe not only tastes delicious but is perfect for those Autumn days when it's still warm outside but the evenings are starting to feel a little chilly on the extremities. 

Nothing quite compares to a warming stew. It’s no secret that I have an ongoing love affair with slow cooking; I just love the way this style of cooking transforms even less-popular cuts of meat into restaurant-worthy meals that continue to improve with age.

You can switch it up to and if you fancy a change, this recipe works just as well with lamb.

Designed to be shared, it serves 2–3 people

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
2 red onions, finely sliced
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp turmeric
500ml beef stock or chicken stock
400g stewing beef or lamb, cut into inch cubes
2 carrots, cut lengthways into 5cm chunks
100g green beans
grated zest of 1 lemon
50g toasted pine nuts

Spiced tahini yoghurt

3 tbsp tahini
150g Greek yogurt
juice of ½ lemon (2 tbsp)
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, plus extra for serving
salt, to taste

Method

Heat the oil or butter in a pan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic and turmeric and a few tablespoons of the stock – to prevent the spices burning. Stir well for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the meat and brown it for 30 seconds. Throw in the carrots and pour in the remaining stock, bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook with the lid on for 1½ hours. After this time, add in the green beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.

To make the tahini yogurt, mix the ingredients together well with a pinch of salt. Finish off the beef by sprinkling it with the lemon zest and pine nuts and serve with a dollop of tahini yogurt and some extra fresh mint leaves.

Happy Hibernating!

Lee x

 

Three Ways with Turmeric

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There are numerous spices and herbs in the world and one of my favourites, turmeric, certainly holds the title crown of Mother Nature’s most perfect all-rounder.

A deep orange plant displaying glorious golden hues, this spice is one transported unswervingly and with conviction from the spice gods.

Not only does its dramatic colour provide an award winning status, so does its medicinal properties and health correcting expertise.

The dazzling golden colour of turmeric is provided by curcumin, a natural antioxidant that will fight off and repair damaged cells and everyday bombardments of anything from petrol fumes to pesticides.

Turmeric is a powerful secret weapon when it comes to good health, and enjoying this supercharged spice frequently in anything from drinks, bakes and main meals is encouraged.

Holding an abundance of antioxidants is not its only healing saving grace, this rich staple from your spice rack also holds an assortment of anti-inflammatory properties and can float effortlessly between traditional and modern medicine.

It’s no wonder that turmeric has really built a name for itself as a front-runner in natural painkillers!

In fact, numerous studies show the powerful healing properties of turmeric and if you’re interested in delving in deeper, you can find an assortment of interesting studies here.

With this in mind, today I’m sharing with you my three favourite ways with turmeric and a short beginners guide detailing how to use this secret weapon in everyday life.

Firstly if you haven’t tried it yet you must get into my anti-inflammatory Toddy drink. This soothing hot drink boasts it’s sweet flavour with a peppery tingle from the combination of the turmeric and cashew milk.

It’s an ideal pick-me-up if you’re feeling a little run down and a wonderful comfort for an upset tum, gas and bloating. Having long been used to nip unhappy bellies in the bud in Chinese medicine, it’s also used widely in Ayurvedic practices for various respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, and allergy, as well as for liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis.

In both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is considered a bitter digestive and a carminative. Unani practitioners use turmeric to expel phlegm or kapha from the body and as a blood circulation booster.

Being a cholagogue, it helps to stimulate bile production in the liver and encourage excretion of bile via the gallbladder, which improves the body’s ability to digest fats, that’s why adding coconut milk to this recipe can boost your therapeutic benefits.

If you’re in need of a liquid rescue remedy click here. Or for more on how to grow turmeric at home go here. Enjoy it in the moment, and whenever needed relish in my natural form of SSRI, remember this acronym; Sip, Soothe, Relax and Improve.

Being native to Southern India and Indonesia, turmeric, a cousin of ginger is a key ingredient for curries. A dish with an abundance of flavours, smells and textures, curries can strike your senses with a flavoursome knockout punch.

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One of my newer much loved curry recipes is a Tuna Tikka Curry from my latest cook book Eat Right For Your Shape It’s composed around my favourite Ayurvedic healing ingredients.

Now this is the kind of recipe that is sure to get your taste buds tingling and your belly satisfied.

Revive your senses and fill your happy belly with my Tuna Tikka Curry go here to learn more.

Because all good things come in threes, I want to take you on an adventure to Mexico now and share with you my healthier take on nachos.

If you’re a little hesitant of this luminescent ingredient, a great way to include more turmeric into your diet is to pop it into healthy bakes and crackers.

I find that the nacho recipe is a more laid back way to introduce children to this wonder ingredient.

I like to serve my nachos with a bowl of cooling guacamole and chopped tomatoes for a mouth-watering free for all and one that the whole family can get stuck into enthusiastically.

nachos

Go here to discover my not so naughty nachos!

Now it’s over to you to unleash this golden super spice turmeric into your kitchen and recipes.

I invite you to give it a whirl and charge forth towards less inflammation and better health.

Register for Heal Your Gut

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The next round of my four week Heal Your Gut program starts on Monday 8th August, 2016.

You still have time to register for this transformational experience.

Just go here to join up and look forward to increased energy levels, better immune health and relief from gastro-intestinal symptoms.

See you on Monday 🙂

Lee x

The Chopra Center Pryaderm System Review and Giveaway

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The daily ritual of cleansing and nourishing my skin is such a special part of my day, and an important part of any self-care ritual.

Having travelled to India as inspiration for my Ayurvedic cookbook Eat Right for Your Shape, I found it so exciting when I stumbled across this beautiful Ayurvedic line of skin-care products. What is even more exciting is that it completely compliments my lifestyle and philosophies. 

The Chopra Center's PryaDerm System products are all natural and formulated with rejuvenating Ayurvedic herbs specifically selected for their successful ageing benefits.

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Using the right skincare is imperative as you age because much like our digestive system, our skin absorbs every single bit of product that we smooth on top of it, and it heads directly into our bloodstream.

That's why I much prefer to indulge in skincare derived from a natural source. When we use skin care products with highly unnatural chemicals, our body has to absorb and process them. It makes sense that if we use natural products like these, our bodies find it much easier to assimilate and utilise the Ayurvedic herbs to build beautiful new skin cells and to moisturise, smooth and revitalise the skin. 

In Sanskrit, Prya means beloved while Derm derives from the Greek root for skin. This beloved skin care range contains a cleanser, facial mist, day lotion, night cream and hand salve and they smell absolutely heavenly.

The Rejuvenating Cleansing Mousse is light and airy and contains organic aloe, lavender and alma it glides over the skin and is effortless to wash off leaving your skin feeling fresh and cleansed. 

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Use the Facial Mist next to tone and hydrate. It includes soothing organic aloe, fragrant lavender and salvia (not saliva which I read twice thinking SALIVA??? Whose saliva??. 

The Skin Brightening Day Lotion is used in the morning and contains saffron, a wonderful medicinal spice which has been used since ancient times to brighten and purify the skin. I also use it in my recipes one of my favourites being my gorgeous pumpkin and Saffron Soup. 

At night, the Rejuvenating Night Creme is wonderful for restoring your skin as you sleep.  It features Ayurvedic herbs such as Amla, Haritake and Turmeric that promote rejuvenation and regeneration.  

The Hand Salve is the final product in the system and it it wonderful on the skin.  I use this daily and I find it nourishes and protects my hands and after applying they feel richly moisturised but not sticky.  The salve blends into the skin really well.  This is a great product for the hands which often show the first signs of ageing when forgotten about. 

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Fortunately, The Chopra Center is giving away a full Pryaderm System and you can enter here. The giveaway will end May 15th 11:59pm PDT.

If you want to get your hands on this beautiful skincare range now, or purchase any other goodies from The Chopra Center, they have kindly offered all members of the Supercharged community, 10% off items in the Chopra Center Store plus free shipping. This offer will expire May 15th 11:59pm PDT. All you need to do is use the coupon code Supercharged10 at the checkout.

Is Fructose Affecting You?

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‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is often referred to when it comes to diet and health. But this old saying may not be as relevant to some people due to our modern heavily sugar supplemented diet. 

Throughout history we’ve only ever consumed a small amount of sugar. Seasonal ripe fruit rich in fructose picked straight from the tree was the desired amount.

Our ancestors waved goodbye to the sugary desserts and overly sweet treats and thrived from starchy vegetables bursting in energy releasing glucose. 

It’s funny how the tables have turned in the twenty-first century. It’s like we’ve become addicted to the hit of sugar and fruit juicing.

What is fructose?

Let’s get down to the basics, fructose is a simple sugar found in many plants, tree and vine fruits, flowers, honey, berries and most root vegetables. Fructose is easily confused with glucose, also a naturally occurring simple sugar, found in starchy vegetables.  Glucose is  produced by the body and essential to the body and many of it's important functions. This simple sugar provides the energy needed to perform specialized processes such as digestion and cellular respiration.

The difference between fructose and glucose is in its metabolism within our bodies. Whilst glucose is easily metabolised and used for energy throughout the entire body, fructose is harder to metabolise and can only be done within our liver.

With an abundance of fructose passing through our lips in the form of an over abundance of fruit juices this can put a strain on our hard working livers and result in fructose metabolising into fat. 

Although this fat replenishes our glycogen and triglyceride stores, the primary store is stored as fat in the body. Because sugar is in everything, even natural and healthy foods, it’s hard to understand the ramifications of eating too much. 

We all want to be healthy, and often by doing this we up our intake of fruit. It’s wonderful to enjoy a sweet juicy peach in season but many mass produced fruit juices could potentially be doing damage to our precious livers when taken in excess. Fruits are glorious and packed full of nutrients, minerals, vitamins and fibre so they shouldn't be avoided, but they can be detrimental in large quantities such as over juicing.

What does too much fructose do in our bodies?

When too much fructose enters the liver it kicks off a series of complex chemical transformations, tiny fat droplets begin to accumulate in the liver cells, a process called lipogenesis. This buildup of fat causes fatty liver disease. 

Before the production of High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the 1960’s, a commonly produced sweetener which has been stripped of all nutrients, fatty liver disease derived from fructose was barely known. Now it affects up to 30% of adults in the United States and other developmental countries, and between 70% and 90% of those are obese or have diabetes. 

Are you consuming too much fructose? 

That is the question is on many lips.  

One thing we do know is that fructose intolerance is on the rise. With so much sugar passing through our blood stream it’s easy to for our bodies to suffer, even if you’re slim, fit and healthy.

Another problem is sport drinks.  When swapping over from soda to sports drinks, these little switches could be further adding to a fructose problem.  With the average energy drink containing 50 grams of fructose per 1000ml, you’re quickly increasing your intake. 

What is fructose malabsorption?

Fructose malabsorption is a common digestive disorder in which absorption of fructose (or other sugars like lactose or sorbitol) in the small intestine is impaired.

I can rear it’s ugly head in a few ways, from bloating, abdominal cramps and pains, diarrhoea, constipation, increased intestinal sounds and gas production, acid reflux, nausea or vomiting. 

Unfortunately, if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Symptom (IBS), then you’re even more likely to recognise these symptoms. With a staggering 70% of IBS patients suffering with an intolerance to fructose. 

Did you know that studies suggest that depression can be more common in adults with fructose malabsorption?

What’s the next step?

If this is all sounding far too familiar then it’s time to take a little inspired action.

With such a huge focus on being healthy in the media what actually constitutes the recommended amount of fruit per day? Eat For Health.gov.au recommends two servings a day which is sufficient to retain the vital dose of nutrients.

If you do suffer from fructose intolerance or fructose malabsorption, and want to keep the bloating at bay you might want to reduce this to one piece of fruit a day. Remember, vegetables such as cucumber, spinach and zucchini are significantly lower in fructose than fruit. Including these refreshing green vegetables into your diet is a great way to ensure you’re still getting a good range of nutrients. 

Here’s a tip for you, it’s been shown that if you have a small portion of fruit after a meal your body can tolerate the fructose a lot better than a single dose on an empty stomach.

So if going cold turkey on the mangoes is too much, then enjoy some after lunch for a satisfying hit of sweetness! 

Reducing short chain carbohydrates is also a way forward. Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAPS) are sugars found in these short-chain carbohydrates which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and reach the large intestine where they produce gas and attract water.

This useful list of foods you should try and reduce will soon become your bible! You can also read my blog post about what is FODMAPS? here.

You may want to sign up to my Heal Your Gut four-week online program. You can find out more about it here. The next course starts on Monday 8th August, 2016 and bookings are open now.

Creating the right balance 

The right balance is to eat everything in moderation, but with the combination of a reduction in FODMAPS and fructose you’re well on your way to fructose-intolerance free life a life free of pain and a distended belly!

Cucumber Sailing Boats

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Getting little ones to eat their veggies can be a little tricky; especially through the toddler years. Sometimes it can feel like every effort you make to nourish those little bodies is a complete waste of time- ending up as a pile of mess all over the floor, or simply left untouched; the bin as its destiny.

Despite the discouragement that can come with these parent vs child food wars, please remember that any opportunity to nourish your kids with real food is never wasted, even if it takes some time (and maybe a few tantrums) to get there. If you haven't discovered it yet, my book Supercharged Food for Kids features fully road-tested recipe that kids actually eat and enjoy.  I've collated a collection of my most loved kids recipes, ones like mac and cheese and pizza and chicken nuggets but all with a healthy slant and a couple of nifty ingredient switches.

Persisting with a real-food culture despite seasons of narrow tastes will always pay off. I know how easy it can be to give into their constant requests for sugary snacks or chocolate, but maintaining a culture of real-food variety; continually exposing your youngsters to different colours, textures and flavours of real, unprocessed, fresh of wholefoods is bound to build a long term appreciation and openness to healthy food. 

Another great way to get kids enjoying their veggies is to have them involved in the process of selecting and making their food. Creating some space in your schedule to bring your kids along for the journey of shopping (or better yet, picking- if you are fortunate enough to have a veggie garden) and being involved in some kitchen creations can be a real source of joy for little ones, and a great time to teach them about the origins of their food.

These cucumber sailing boats are a fun project that the kids will adore making with you. They are very easy to make, and are a great snack combining the beautiful micronutrients that raw veggies have to offer, as well as a nice hit of healthy fats from the yoghurt; perfect for filling up and nourishing growing bodies.

Cucumbers are a wonderful summer vegetable, are super easy to cut up at any time, and kids generally take to veggie sticks fairly easily. Cucumbers are a secret weapon of hydration in warm weather due to their high water content and their ability to cool the body down. Red capsicums are another lovely raw veg that can be easily cut into veggie sticks for a child’s lunch box, and their bright red colour is evidence of a host of free-radical fighting antioxidants including high levels of vitamin C- perfect for boosting the immune system during the years of childhood bugs.

Kids will enjoy these darling little boats as an afternoon snack or weekend project with friends. They also make a great finger food for a birthday party or gathering where hungry little tummies are present.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 2 small Lebanese (short) cucumbers
  • 260 g (914 oz/1 cup) plain full-fat yoghurt or coconut yoghurt for dairy free
  • 6 drops liquid stevia or 2 teaspoons your sweetener of choice
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), seeded
  • toothpicks, for decorating

Method

  • Cut the cucumbers in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. 
  • Combine the yoghurt, stevia, salt and dill in a bowl. Spoon into the hollowed-out cucumbers. 
  • Cut triangles for sails out of the capsicum. Skewer each sail with a toothpick and stick the other end in the cucumber.

Supercharged Tip  

This is a great snack to let the kids make on their own – with parental supervision.

Health Tip  

Cucumbers are mostly water, so they’re a great way to keep the body hydrated. They’re also a good source of B vitamins, so they’ll give your child a little energy boost.

Calming Brown Rice Nori

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Calm your vata with this delicious recipe from Eat Right for Your Shape.

If vata is your dominant dosha, this Ayurvedic brown rice nori is a deliciously filling and nutrient dense vegetarian meal. Vata is governed by the element of air, which means you'll likely be the kind of person who's always on the go, with a tendency to skip meals or eat irregularly due to your flighty, quirky and impulsive personality. 

Whipping up these nori rolls and packing them for lunch will bring you grounding and nourishment when you're on the go, or busy flitting from task to task.

Conventional sushi that's made on sweet white rice can cause blood sugar chaos for many, so this version favours the wholesome goodness of brown rice, combined with fermented soy in the form of tempeh and tamari and a seed component with the addition of tahini. 

A cute combination of different plant based ingredients creates a more complete protein that'll keep you fuller for longer and ensure a slower, steadier uptake of the carbohydrates in brown rice. 

Containing the sweet (madhura) tastes of ghee, carrots and rice, this dish will provide energy while also grounding vata's nervous and stressed energy. 

The salty (lavana) nature of the tamari and seaweed will also stimulate digestion in vata; bringing some much needed warmth to the body and will help the organs and tissues achieve optimum hydration. 

The addition of cucumber is also a beautifully hydrating ingredient that will add some water to vata's airy and dry emphasis.

Vata's aren't the only ones who can enjoy this meal, and with a few little switches it can be made tailored to your dosha. If you're kapha dominant; you are governed by the elements of water and earth, with a tendency towards weight gain, sluggishness and oily skin. 

For this reason you should omit the avocado and carrot which will aggravate you due to an excess of oil and sweetness.

 If you're a pitta- fiery and hot with robust digestion and an athletic strong build; you should switch the brown rice for quinoa to avoid a fast spike in energy and to achieve more mellowing.

Ingredients:

Makes 4 

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) wheat-free tamari, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee, melted
  • 65 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) tahini
  • 100 g (3½ oz) tempeh
  • 370 g (13 oz/2 cups) cooked brown rice
  • 4 nori sheets
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, sliced lengthways into eighths
  • ½ carrot, sliced lengthways into thin sticks
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), halved lengthways

Method

  • Combine the tamari, lime juice, ghee and 1 tablespoon of the tahini in a bowl. Add the tempeh and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the tempeh from the marinade. Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat and pan-fry the tempeh until golden
    on both sides. Cut into thin strips and set aside.
  • Combine the rice with the remaining tahini. Lay a nori sheet shiny side down on the bench. With wet hands, take a quarter of the rice and press it evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 3 cm (1¼ inch) border along the top side. Lay a quarter of the tempeh, avocado, cucumber, carrot and spring onion on top. Moisten the top edge of the nori with water and roll up securely. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut each roll into four pieces and serve with extra tamari.

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate fudge_sml

Looking for homemade Easter treats?  Yes? I was hopping you'd say that.

Well you've come to the right place.  This one's from my Ayurvedic cook book Eat Right for Your Shape.

If you're a lover of sweet treats, it'll be a keeper in your recipe collection for several reasons. Primarily, it's a cinch to make, but it looks like you’ve gone to a whole bunch of trouble. 

Your chocolate connoisseurs will never know the simplicity of the preparation. Just throw the ingredients into a food processor and pour into a tray, wait for an hour while it sets, and voila- like a rabbit out of a hat, an impressive dessert or sweet snack that'll knock the socks of your friends and family.

My secret ingredient is almond butter, a brilliant way to add in a shot of protein and bulk into a chocolatey treat that will help your body release the sugars more slowly. If you're into that kind of thing.

Almonds are one of my favourite 'pantry staple' ingredients because they embody beautiful ayurvedic benefits for pitta and vata dosha's due to their grounding and balancing fats and oils. These monounsaturated oils are beautiful for your skin, hair and nails which can easily suffer if you're facing the imbalances that accompany these dosha's. 

The cooling nature of extra virgin coconut oil is a wonderfully pacifying ingredient in the warmer weather where Pitta's can become aggravated with stress hormones. To top that off, the extra addition of cacao- whilst a mild stimulant, is also extremely grounding for stressed out and fiery pittas due to its high content of magnesium and 'feel good' chemical inducing compounds that will help to relax tension in your nervous system and muscles. 

This fudge is actually a great way to unwind!

It's not just for Easter either. Eat it religiously and keep your fudge regularly stocked in your freezer as a lovely afternoon pick-me-up with an ayurvedic herbal tea, as a well-appreciated kids lunchbox addition, or plate up as an angelic light dessert. 

Despite its simplicity it'll never disappoint, and your cells will relish in the sneaky stash of health benefits that its wholefood ingredients will deliver.

BTW, even though the fudge appears to be iced, that’s just the way it comes out! 

Happy Easter 🙂

Ingredients: 

Makes 15 

  • 270 g (9½ oz/1 cup) almond butter
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) cacao powder
  • 90 g (3¼ oz/¼ cup) rice malt syrup
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

Method

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Process the nut butter and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin to 3 cm (1¼ inches) thick and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • Freeze for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. If stored for longer in the freezer you may need to transfer to the fridge to soften a little.

What on earth is Diatomaceous Earth Video

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Looking at your gut health is by far the best way to nudge off a few excess kilos naturally. Click on the video above to learn more.

If you haven’t already tried it or seen it in stores, my Love Your Gut powder, which is all natural and made from naturopathic grade, organic and fresh water diatomaceous earth is the perfect antidote to weight creep and shaking off those extra kilos.

This all natural food grade ingredient will give your gut that little daily spring clean it craves, particularly after a long-winded eating splurge.

It’s not just our cupboards that need a bit of tender loving care, our hard working colons do too!

Diatomaceous earth is the superfine fossilised remains of fresh water diatoms, a natural type of hard-shelled algae. For hundreds of years our ancient ancestors recognised algae as an incredible food source, holding magnificent health benefits. But for some reason it has taken us a long time to reap those benefits.

The wonders of algae lie in the silicon makeup. Silica provides an abundance of health benefits, from boosting hair growth, to easing skin problems such as redness, acne and eczema. Slowing down the degenerative break down of connective tissue, to increasing calcium deposits to bone.

Getting sufficient amounts of this super mineral is essential. However, it’s not all in the mineral composition, diatomaceous earth holds many other benefits as it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-any nasties in the form of parasites. It helps with increased nutrient absorption, better immunity and improved waste removal.


Due to the texture of this natural sediment, it very gently exfoliates the intestine wall, sweeping away all impurities that sit in your gut.

These unwanted toxins block our bodies from absorbing vital nutrients, and therefore decreasing our general well being, energy and happiness.

Once the junk has been removed from your trunk, you will nourish and glow from the inside out.  It’s easy to take and tasteless too without any additives. It's also suitable for vegans and is gluten and GMO free.

Simply add a tablespoon to water, juice or a smoothie twice a day before meals and scroll down for my favourite gut soothing smoothie.

Love Your Gut powder, can be purchased here. Or why not ry my anti-inflammatory blend Golden Gut Blend.

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