NATURES SKITTLES

The other day I caught myself out by saying “oooo if you are feeling sick eat white foods… they are apparently good for your immune system” and then followed by listing off all of the white coloured foods I could think of… Onion, garlic, mushrooms, leeks, cauliflower… and then I stopped realising that I had only ‘heard’ this once and had NO IDEA why or if it was true.

So here is the dirt behind why certain food colours mean certain things to our body and why.

WHITE = IMMUNITY (beta-glucans); Immune system. Ok so I was right here. White foods activate our natural killer cells and reduce cancer risk whilst strengthening our immune systems

RED = HEART (lycopene); improves heart and blood health, supports joints and increases circulation.

ORANGE = VISION (beta-carotene); boosts eye and skin health and may decrease your risk of developing cancer

YELLOW = BEAUTY (carotenoids); stimulates digestion and promotes collagen growth for radiant youthful skin and strong bones

BLUE/PURPLE = AGING (anthocyanins); powerful healing antioxidants for retinal health and vision, assisting with healthy aging and improving memory

GREEN = DETOXING (chlorophyll); powerful detoxers, improves oxygenation and normalises digestion

So now when mum says “eat your greens” you can turn around and say “but what about my reds and whites too?”

K

5 HIDDEN VEGGIE MAC ‘N’ CHEESE

Growing up Mac n Cheese was a staple in our household. Mum used to make the most insane mac that we all devoured! I have made mum’s classic dish a few times over the last couple of years but wanted to make a ‘healthy’ completely guilt free version for the gluten intolerant and of course add as many vegetables as I possibly can into the mix without making it look like a stir fry. SUCCESS!!!  Continue reading “5 HIDDEN VEGGIE MAC ‘N’ CHEESE”

ZUCCHINI SLICE

This is a simple and delicious meal that is so easy to whip up – and I bet you have had it before. Zucchini pie, tart or slice call it what you wish, it is a homemade classic that has been circulating for years. Here is a ‘healthy’ recipe alternative for the dairy and gluten intolerant and even options for the paleo inclined.

ZUCCHINI SLICE  – SF, GF, PALEO

1-2 medium zucchinis

1 medium sweet potato

2 tomatoes  (topping)

1 brown large onion

8 jumbo eggs

1 cup diced bacon or ham (left over Christmas ham works a gem)

1 cup almond meal (or any other flour alternative – I use spelt or buckwheat flour and it’s divine)

2/3 cup olive oil 

1 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper

handful of pepitas or pine nuts (or both)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (can omit for paleo diets)

 

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a large baking dish with baking paper.  Grate the zucchinis and sweet potato. Place in a large bowl. Add the diced bacon/ham, finely diced onion and grated cheese.

In your food processor crack the eggs, add the oil and process until light and fluffy. Pour into bowl and mix through. Add the flour/meal, cumin, pepper and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

Pour mixture into lined baking dish. Top with sliced tomato and sprinkle with pepitas. Bake for 45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

K

zucch pie 2

 

 

 

PLATE UP

pb banana breadMonday morning!! A new week means new health and fitness goals. A lot of people spend more time worrying about what they ‘shouldn’t’ be eating and rather than focusing on fueling their body with nutritious wholesome super foods. It has taken my a very long time to get my diet right to suit my body, health and fitness goals and overall digestion. Everyone is different – portion sizes, food types, gluten vs no gluten, taste buds and snack frequency so there is no point copying the person next to you as what they eat may not be doing you any benefit. However, let’s not get too precise about what we should and shouldn’t eat and focus on trying to pack as much nutrient rich wonders onto our plate everyday.

Once you build your diet around healthy wholesome foods, you create a strong health platform for your body long term and leave less time for slip ups and binges or poor nutrition. Especially with summer and the bikini season about to hit (even though Canberra lacks in the beach department) now is as better time as ever to get our nutrition right!!

“DON’T EAT LESS – EAT RIGHT” Try adding these nutritional powerhouses to your plate daily!!

1. BERRIES; make friends with berries, and not any particular type – all of them! They are bright, super sweet, low in sugar and have a super high content of antioxidants and vitamins. You can eat them frozen, blended into a smoothie, on your oats, in muffins or with yoghurt. Make sure you have berries today!

2. COFFEE; hallelujah baby!! Not only is coffee exceptionally high in antioxidants there is also evidence that it can speed up our metabolism and promote fat loss and anti aging – sounds good to me.

3. YOGHURT; packed full of prebiotic goodness for overall gut health you cannot go past yoghurt. It can reduce bloating, constipation (yep I said the C word) and digestive imbalance.  For a strong overall immune system and healthy bacteria include yoghurt into your daily diet.

4. PEANUT BUTTER; I’ve said it once and I will say it again – get spooning that peanut butter!! Full of so many health and weight loss benefits, you cannot go wrong with PB. 2 Tablespoons a day will speed up your metabolism, give you energy to work out, keep you full and not to mention taste amazing. 2Tbs Peanut butter and banana bread for morning tea? CHECK!! (pictured)

5. TOMATOES; full of beta-carotene and vitamin c, cooked tomatoes will give you a better daily dose of the nutrient lycopene, another powerful antioxidant with anti-cancer properties. So whose adding a tomato based pasta sauce or yummo lasagna stack into next weeks meal planning?

6. WALNUTS; all nuts have great over all health benefits to our skin, hair, body and metabolism but walnuts have the richest polyunsaturated fat content (this doesnt mean the ‘fattiest’ nut thought) which reduces cholesterol levels and has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Grab a large handful to chuck on your salad, oats or in your next baking session. Choc-walnut brownies anyone?

7. OILY FISH; tuna and salmon give the body a massive dose of omega 3 polyunsaturated fat much the same as walnuts. And you can grab a few cans to store in your work draw, handbag or pantry so there is no excuse not to get your daily dose.

8. BROCCOLI; rich source of folate and phytonutrient content well above other greens, broccoli makes for a perfect vege! Soups, dips, pastas, salads, stir fry’s or quiche – its a pretty versatile cute little tree so get plating it up!

9. APPLES; the old saying still goes ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and ain’t that the truth. Apples are packed full of soluble fiber, vitamin C and can satisfy hunger therefore promoting weight loss. Great for heart health, protecting against metabolic syndrome, dried apples (in particular) can boost exercise endurance, lower cholesterol and aid fat metabolising. Reach for that daily apple – especially teamed up with some PB for a super snack!

10. DARK CHOCOLATE; now this is the one sweet treat that I suggest eating frequently and nutritionists can back that up. If you are going to devour the block – make it dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage. The higher the cocoa = the higher the antioxidants and more health benefits. Another great example of Kale and the Kettlebell’s health rule – the darker the better!

So NO MORE counting calories, restricting portions, crazy diets or binges. Eat right and eat more of the above foods daily – your body will thank you for it!

K

NN DAY 8 – GROOVY SMOOTHIE

Soggy spinach? Bruised mangoes? Spongey apples? Brown bananas? PERFECT!! Don’t throw them out. Throw them into a blender instead for the perfect groovy smoothie! They taste delicious and are jam packed with nutritious vitamins, minerals and fiber. Smoothies are a great on the go snack and are super quick and easy to make. And considering most things go into the one blender – there isn’t much mess to clean up after. (Unlike a juicer with its million parts)

If you chose to have a smoothie as a ‘meal’ ie for breakfast, then make sure you add substantial protein and healthy fats to keep you going. A simple scoop of protein powder, a raw egg, 1Tbs LSA, chia seeds or a handful of cashews are bound to do the trick! Cashews, macadamias and other nuts give smoothies a real creamy texture – so why not chuck a few in next time you blend!

To blend or juice? Unlike juicing – where you extract only the water and nutrients from the vegetable/fruit, smoothies include the whole content, fiber and all. When you remove the fiber from the produce, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream quickly. If you are only juicing fruits, this would cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar  levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems and more! Fiber is also filling and without fiber in the juice, some people tend to get hungry again quickly. If you do however prefer a pulp free ‘juice’ over a thick smoothie, make sure you don’t throw out the pulp. Use it to make vegetarian patties, burgers or add it to your next spaghetti bolognaise.

 

MY TWO FAVOURITE SMOOTHIE RECIPES BELOW – THE GREEN GODDESS AND THE BANANA-CHOC COCONUT

smoothie combo

GREEN GODDESS SMOOTHIE – serves 1

1 frozen ripe banana (doesn’t have to be frozen but it makes it more creamy if it is)

1 cup frozen mango or pineapple diced

1 handful of spinach or kale

1TBS chia seeds (extra for topping)

1TBS LSA or protein powder

2-4 Medjool dates

2tsp vital greens or spirulina powder  

1/2 cup milk (almond, dairy, coconut or soy)

1/2 cup coconut water (add extra if desired based on texture)

 

BANANA-CHOC COCONUT SMOOTHIE – serves 1

1 frozen ripe banana

2TBS shredded coconut (extra for topping)

2TBS cacao powder

1TBS chia seeds

8-10 cashews or macadamia nuts  

2-4 Medjool dates

1/2 cup coconut milk (can use almond, dairy or soy)

1/2 cup coconut water (add extra if desired based on texture)

 

HAPPY BLENDING UP THESE GROOVY SMOOTHIES !!!

K