health

Juice Cleanse – Day 1

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Day 1:

Well, if I’m honest there hasn’t been much to report so far. I’ve been drinking my juices up and have really enjoyed each of the ones I have tried! My favourite so far has been the gold juice because it is really refreshing and sweet! I haven’t tried the green juice yet but will definitely give that one a go tomorrow.

 

I’m feeling a bit tired but am not sure if that’s from my lack of solid food or lack of sleep over the weekend (probably both).

 

It’s actually been pretty convenient doing this cleanse as I made my juices this morning and took them in drink bottles to uni today so I only had to shake them up and have them at the two hour intervals.

 

My tummy has been rumbling quite a bit but that’s pretty normal for me so I’ll update you on the rumbling frequency tomorrow.

 

So far, so good. No miraculous weight loss experiences to report yet but I’m feeling a bit healthier (placebo maybe?).

 

Until tomorrow, drink up!

 

-M x

 

Mmm Smoothies

smoothie front cver_Fotor

Let’s be honest; there have been around 10,000 blogs, vlogs and websites made about “healthy smoothies” and “green smoothies” in the last year alone. I’m not going to pretend that is a super different post with some revolutionary ingredient to change your life, but I will say that as a lover of all things edible and yummy these simple recipes have changed my mind on smoothies. They somehow taste absolutely delicious, fill me up and don’t make me feel like I’ve just eaten two bags of spinach.

I’m usually in a rush in the mornings (I love my beauty sleep) so I make these smoothies so I can quickly get a yummy, filling breakfast and head off to uni in time for class.

Banana Bonanza

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What you’ll need is:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • A decent shake of cinnamon
  • 200mL of your choice of milk (I like to mix it up)
  • 100mL of water (can be coconut if you’re extra fancy)
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of your choice of yoghurt (my favourite is Greek but go for it, chuck in strawberry)
  • Some ice (optional)

Chuck it all in a whizzer, turn it on and voila! You have your very own Banana Bonanza (the names make them taste even yummier.)

Chia seeds are little bombs of nutrients. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” (or so they tell me) and they are loaded with antioxidants, fibre and protein.

Berry Blast

berry _Fotor

What you’ll need is:

  • 1 cup of frozen berries
  • Half a banana
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 200mL of pure apple juice
  • 100mL of water
  • 2 tablespoons of your choice of yoghurt
  • Some ice (optional)

You know what to do. Whizz it up and you are ready for a blast of berry goodness!

Using pure apple juice means that you won’t have any of the added sugar that lots of companies put in to their juices and it will be just as sweet with the raw honey added.

Green Monster

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This one scared me to begin with too. I mean who wants to drink their vegetables? Yuck. But trust me, this is just as sweet and delicious as the others!

You will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 8-10cm diced cucumber
  • 8-10cm diced celery
  • ½ a pear/apple cut in to pieces.
  • 1 sprig of mint
  • About 1/2 thumb- thumb of grated ginger (optional)
  • 150mL pure apple juice
  • 100mL water

We forgot the mint and ginger in the photo – oops!

Mix it all up and you have yourself one of the most amazing smoothies known to man.

The ginger in this one is amazing for fighting or warning off colds! I have this one when I’m feeling a bit down or stuffy. It’s a great start to the day and the apple juice, banana and pear/apple sweeten it up.

I would definitely recommend grating the ginger, as it can get quite stringy otherwise. I speak from experience.

I like to prepare the ingredients for my morning smoothie the night before and keep it in a bowl in the fridge. I obviously don’t add the juice, milk, water or yoghurt until the next morning but it makes the whole process even quicker and the flavours morph together overnight to make them extra yummy!

 

Bon appétit!

-M x

Little Bites of Heaven

Date Balls

If we’re honest with ourselves, whilst we say that our life goals involve personal and career success (happiness, love, white picket fences, fitness, health and a kick-ass job all whilst donating an admirable amount of time and money helping the less fortunate and saving the world) all we really want is to find a way to eat all the yummy foods without being unhealthy and putting on weight.

Unfortunately, I am yet to discover such a miracle (don’t worry, I’m still looking) but what I have found is a snack that tastes naughty but is actually packed full of healthy nutrition! These cacao and date balls are to die for. As a long-term chocaholic, they give me my chocolate fix without the usual guilt and are a breeze to make!

Cocoa & Date Balls

  • 1 cup Whole Medjool Dates or Pitted Dates *
  • 1 cup Walnuts and/or Almonds
  • cup Cacao Powder or Cocoa Powder ^
  • cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Shredded Coconut (plus extra to serve)
  • 1 tbs Chia Seeds

Notes:

*If you are using medjool dates they will need to be pitted before your begin. If you are using pitted dates, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes before you begin.

^Whilst I have used cocoa in this batch, they are just as yummy (and even healthier) with cacao powder. You can get your hands on some at your local health food store.

  1. Add nuts, cocoa, shredded coconut, coconut oil and chia seeds to a blender or food processor and mix until a powder-like consistency.
  2. Add dates to the mix and process until combined. (If the mixture is too dry, add 1 tbs of water or coconut oil to the mix)
  3. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Roll mixture into bite-sized balls.
  5. Roll the balls in additional shredded coconut.
  6. Store in the fridge to harden a little.
  7. Bon appétit!

-N x

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Go Coconuts!

Coconut Oil

It seems that every other week someone somewhere is declaring something as the new ‘super food’.  Kale, quinoa, acai, goji berries, freekah; the list is endless.  If you were to eat the recommended daily dose of all these multi-benefit, disease fighting wonder-foods, you’d never leave the kitchen.  I’ve given many a try, and have enjoyed quite a few, but there has been only one that resulted in a lasting love affair.

Coconut oil, I’d seen it around and never really understood its purpose.  As we live in a colder climate, the white solidified consistency intimidated me and so I left it alone.  Then one day the Pinterest boards and YouTube accounts I follow were suddenly taken over with the myriad of uses and benefits of coconut oil, and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve never looked back.

Here are my top 5 uses for coconut oil:

  1. Night Cream

The first time I used coconut oil as a night cream, my skin was glowing the next morning. It might have even been the first time I’ve looked in the mirror, especially first thing in the morning, and genuinely thought my skin looked naturally luminous.; and not in the oily way I had expected.
Coconut oil is amazingly moisturizing for the skin, helping to reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.  Its lightweight consistency helps it to easily soak into the skin and makes it perfect as an eye and lip cream as well.

I have certainly seen positive results on my own skin.  One of my friends has been using coconut oil as a night cream for over a year and her skin looks incredible.  Just ½ – 1 teaspoon of oil applied to the face and then off to bed, it’s that easy! It does look oily at first, but it starts to ease after a few minutes, and the scent is so lovely and relaxing.
A careful side-note: I have heard that people with blemish/acne-prone skin should steer clear of oil cleansing, so just be aware that this may not be the best approach for your skin type.

  1. Bath Oil

This was the method that initially had me falling in love with coconut oil. Just 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of oil in your bath and your skin will feel and smell amazing when you dry off.  No need to moisturize, the oil did it all for you whilst you were relaxing.

A healthy side note: There’s an added benefit from any of you out there that suffer from yeast infections.  Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal; the caprylic acid in the oil helps to kill off the yeast that causes thrush, as well as helping to maintain that healthy balance.  Taking coconut oil internally also helps – see number 5 for more details.

  1. Body Moisturiser

This one is self-explanatory.  Just a small amount on any part of your body and your skin will feel incredible.   It does leave a bit of an oiliness initially, but that soon sinks in.

A word to the wise: The scent does stick around on your clothing, so if you’re not into that you may be best using this method at night – that’s how I prefer to do it.

  1. Make-Up Remover

A small amount on a cotton pad will remove all your makeup, including waterproof mascara, without drying out the delicate eye areas.  It also leaves the rest of your face feeling nourished after a hard day.

  1. In the Kitchen

Adding a little coconut oil to your diet can have wondrous effects for your health.  The medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil can help increase energy expenditure, helping you to burn more calories throughout your day. It can also help to fend off viruses, infections and fungi. If these excellent health benefits aren’t enough to convince you, coconut oil in your diet will also help to maintain beautiful hair and skin.
My favourite way to ingest coconut oil is just a teaspoon in a cup of tea once or twice a day.  It’s also a great addition to rum/bliss balls, smoothies and other healthy treats!

-N x

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