Sticky teriyaki, ginger & garlic Aubergine with pak choi

This was such a Delicious and easy dish to cook and a hit with the whole family. The key to balance is combining foods you enjoy and topping up with ingredients that benefit you and your goals. Some of my personal top goals are eating for hormonal balance, energy, great skin and mood.

What are your top nutrition goals? Are you eating the foods that will help you reach these goals? Why not take the time to sit down and write down 3 goals you would like to achieve. Then pick 5 foods you can add daily to meet these goals. And now I know you are all wanting these super tasty recipe so here it is…

Ingredients

  • A medium aubergine
  • 1 table spoon of sesame oil
  • 2 table spoons of sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 5 teaspoons of teriyaki & garlic sauce
  • About 10 matchsticks of ginger
  • 1 Pak choi(cut lengthways)
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut or avocado oil
  • Cup of rice (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the grill to high. Mix the teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, honey in a bowl.
  2. Cut the aubergine into small circles about 2 cm thick. Soak in the marinade for about 5 minutes.
  3. Place on a foiled baking sheet and arrange in a row. Grill for about 6 minutes each side.
  4. Fry the ginger in the oil and add the pak choi. Stir fry for about 3 minutes until veg is wilted.
  5. Rice is optional and can be placed on side. Arrange the veg over the rice and drizzle the rest of the marinade on top.
  6. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and spring onion over the dish.
  7. You can always add some chicken and protein to the dish if you wanted. Is super tasty without also and a great vegetarian dish.

Top tips on how to manage stress through Nutrition, mindset, exercise

There is no getting away from it. And more so now then ever with lots of us self isolating, or perhaps worries and feeling anxious by what we cannot control around us.. Stress is a common factor in this modern busy world, and surrounds some of us like a toxic cloud. Unless your on some exotic island eating the most antioxidant foods nature has?  Breathing the cleanest of air then your life has stress in some form. Mine certainly does, from waking nightly to the sounds of demanding pre preschoolers.

What used to be my stresser, running to nursery with my top inside out because we were late AGAIN!  To now having to manage my anxiety and my kids frustration of self isolation in a flat with no garden. Also  the stress any one feels running their own business, in a time of uncertainty and wondering am I good enough(I am by the way but we all have moments of self doubt)

Yes, a certain level of stress is important. The caveman had his fair share back in the day. Catching his dinner whilst running away from a tiger. And we thought we had it bad! Now that is a reason to be stressed!. Although for the majority of us, our reactions to situations, how we take care of our health and well being are major contributes to the stress in our lives.

The issue today is we are in a constant state of stress. Stressed from over thinking situations, fear of unknown, lack of exercise, work, childcare, our self confidence, our health etc . We’re one big ball of stress. Taking action to reduce these everyday stresses is a practice. Unfortunately we cant just manifest our wishes and they come through. (I do love a full moon manifest from my rooftop). But, There has to be positive action also involved.

A couple of practices that have helped me are simple techniques such as

  1. Writing a journal or diary of the days events that have stressed you out. These are hard times for the majority of us, effecting us all differently. Reflect back on these for a few minutes every evening. Was there something you could have done differently? Would it have changed the outcome if you had reacted differently. Learn from it! Our brain is capable of so much but like every habit formed it has to be done repetitively for it to become an automatic reaction without thoughts. Remember these are not normal circumstances so cut yourself some slack! Talk to yourself like you would a best friend. It changes the conversations guys doesn’t it ?!
  2. Look to keep the angry monster at bay by keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. Start the day with a source of protein. Protein is so important for keeping our moods and hormones in check. Its also where we get our zinc from which we need to keep our immune system balanced. A couple of recipes I share with my clients are Egg muffins(which can be made the night before and kept for 3 days). Plain Greek yogurt with flaxseeds and fruit another great example. Oats are also a great anabolic food and veggie source of protein so porridge with some flaxseeds and fruit.
  3. Take some time everyday to fit something in that brings you joy. If you still have the option of getting outside going for a walk. Reading those books you never got around to. Try a distance learning course on something you have always wanted to learn. Find a fitness and health community and get involved with those virtual classes( Get in touch for my weekly fitness and nutrition online classes). A bedtime hug with your kids. Its the small things that matter most. Most of my clients come to me for just that. They need an outlet through fitness, food and mindset. Have something planned no matter how small that brings you joy, boosting happy hormones, and reminding us that stress does not have to rule our lives if we choose not to let it.
  4. Pack your plate with colours of the rainbow. Dark greens, red, yellow. All these veggies are packed full of antioxidants that keep illness at bay when stress takes over. Our immune system can be severely depleted when stressed. So help your body to fight back with an army of antioxidants. Aim to fill half your plate with these amazing troopers. Vitamins and minerals such as B, C, magnesium and zinc are crucial at this time.
  5. Keep alcohol to a minimum. I can hear the sighs already. I am with you guys and feel your pain. I love a big glass of red to unwind but when alcohol becomes a crutch for stress then I hear the warning signs. It was something I did after having my kids, and loved to stretch out with an episode of poldark with a big glass of red. But next day I always was tired, cranky, stressed!! It places a huge demand on your immune system and we need more then ever in the currant climate. It leaches vitamins and minerals from your body and lets be honest we need all the goodness we can get.

I hope that by reading this you have taken some small steps you can implement. By including little action daily we can make positive changes in our life. We will get through this. Take the action you need to do to keep as healthy and positive as you can. If I can support you virtually right now please get in touch for a free fitness and nutrition consultation via the consultation form. Or join me for some virtual fitness and nutrition workshops and lets fight back.

Stay safe x

How we can help our liver to naturally detox through healthy eating and lifestyle choices

The  liver, lungs, skin, lymph, bowel, and kidneys are  6 of the main organs we detox through. When one is overloaded it can have a negative effect  on the others so a whole body approach is always best when doing a detox.

Most people  kickstart with a detox usually  for weight loss after all that Christmas stodge. In reality we detox to get rid of our toxic burden that has accumulated over time. By doing so, we also improve the function of the metabolically active tissue. So why wait for January. Every few months is a fantastic way to maintain balance and give the body a well deserved break.

We know increasing lean muscle mass will burn more calories while at rest. This is why we always advocate weight training when it comes to wanting weight loss. However, lean body mass is a low-metabolic-rate tissue: It burns far fewer calories than our brain, liver, kidneys, and heart. The better these organs are working, the more calories you’ll burn while sleeping, eating, breathing, etc. This is why weight loss can be an effect of a  detox.

It can be the  same way a pool filter functions in a pool. Catching the dead leaves, dirt and insects. The liver detoxifies our bodies from harmful chemicals and toxins found in food and our environment. it also performs a variety of essential tasks, ranging from producing proteins, cholesterol and bile to storing vitamins, minerals and even carbohydrates. Helping alleviate digestive issues, such as a sluggish metabolism, gas, bloating, and constipation. Also regulates blood sugar levels, which—when out of balance—can cause sugar cravings, fatigue, and fuzzy thinking.

Too much booze, drugs pesticides in foods, refined sugar, chemicals and environmental pollution (your liver doesn’t like smog), even toxins from our home , food and water have been known to cause ill-health. Not enough of the essential nutrients can cause your lovely liver to get really bogged down. It ends up working all day long to remove these excess toxins that we’re exposed to, instead of doing it’s main jobs in the body.

Signs you need to have a little detox:

This could be the catalyst to get you backon the  busy path of optimal health. Depression, insomnia, lethargy, indigestion, stress, body odor, weight gain, skin problems, a white or yellow tongue, and mental fog to name a few..

These are the signs and symptoms I look for through a detailed questionnaire in your initial Nutrition consultation.  We always treat the body as a whole unit. Listening to your body and the signs it gives you, then acting on these signs can get us on the path to feeling better. A personalized food plan and supplements when necessary  can help get you feel more energised, have brighter skin, weight loss and more mental clarity to name a few of the benefits.

Foods/drinks to include that support liver detoxification include:

  • Water
  • Artichokes
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Cabbage
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli(most cruciferous vegetables)
  • Cranberries
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit(avoid if on blood thinning or liver medication)
  • Grapes
  • Beets
  • Kale(most green leafy)
  • Garlic
  • Turnips
  • Prickly pear
  • Salad greens
  • Lemon juice
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Sprouted nuts, beans, grains and seeds(chia,flax)
  • Sea vegetables
  • Vegetable protein
  • Grass fed meats
  • Fish especially wild
  • Medicinal Mushrooms such as Maitake, shiitake, and reishi.
  • Cultured foods such as real miso and kimchi
  • Cold-Pressed, Unrefined Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Rocket
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel
  • Tumeric
  • Cayenne
  • Nettle
  • milk thistle

Bitter herbs that support liver detoxification include:

  • Dandelion
  • Yellow dock

The bottom line is liver is an important organ with many essential functions. Therefore, it makes sense to do what you can to protect it. The foods listed above have demonstrated beneficial effects on the liver. I aim to create meals by adding into every meal some of the ingredients I have mentioned. I’ve picked a few from the list and made into a liver friendly soup Really think how you could  mix and match some ingredients into each meal. Think about your meals and how you could add a liver friendly food to the mix.

“We are what we eat”

Liver friendly Broccoli, Rocket and garlic soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow or Spanish onion, roughly diced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt/pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • head of garlic clove
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • handful of rocket
  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. Add broccoli and cook for 4 minutes until it is bright green.
  5. Add water (or vegetable stock), salt,pepper, and thyme.
  6. Bring to boil, then cover and lower heat. Cook until broccoli is tender, around 8 minutes.
  7. Carefully transfer the soup into blender,  and add rocket, blending until smooth. NOTE: Be careful if you are using a blender, start slowly, place the lid on top of the blender but don’t press the lid down and work in batches if necessary.
  8. Add the lemon juice and serve.

Happy cooking x

Great recipe for Breakfast on the go

For those busy mornings, plan ahead and try this recipe for breakfast muffins on the go.

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 8 x large free range / organic eggs
  • 2 x handful of spinach(chopped)
  • 10 x cherry tomatoes (cut into quarters)
  • ½ head of broccoli(chopped)
  • 1 x medium red onion (diced)
  • 1 x green pepper (diced)
  • 2 x tsp of mix herbs
  • 2 x tsp olive oil
  • 1 x dash of milk
  • 1 x handful of low fat feta cheese (sheep’s milk)

Preparation:

Place the diced pepper, onions, tomatoes, spinach and broccoli into a lightly oiled muffin
tray. Mix the eggs and milk together and pour over the veggie mix, Sprinkle the feta and
herbs over the mixture. Bake in oven on 180 degrees and bake for a 15- 20 minutes until
the eggs are firm and golden on top.

This dish is a great breakfast on the go or can be accompanied by a salad to make a
delicious healthy lunch. It’s a great way to use up left over items in your fridge – absolutely
anything goes in this dish. It lasts for a couple of days and tastes great hot or cold.

Beat Sugar Cravings with cinnamon !

Cinnamon is our little sugar messenger. It tells our brain that it has received something sweet. Cleverly it does this  without creating a damaging sugar surge in the bloodstream We have all experienced those mid day dips leading to mood and energy changes. Not nice are they?

Cinnamon is especially good for diabetics. As they need to regulate their blood sugar constantly. Sugar surges damage our tissues and DNA and cause inflammation. This helps avoid giving in to refined sugar cravings, which in turn accelerate the ageing process!

Cinnamon contains MHCP (methylhydroxychalcone polymer). We don’t need to remember this big long word. Only that it mimics the hormone insulin and actively helps prevent diabetes by reducing circulating blood sugar. MHCP also stimulates glycogen production. A form of sugar that we store in muscles and the liver for peak energy needs, thus reducing cravings for ‘instant fixes.

“Cinnamon is a fantastic weight management tool. It is used both to stem cravings and as a superior, natural sweetener for food and flavouring for sweets and desserts.” Cinnamon is widely available. Buy it as sticks or the ground spice. It has a sweet smell for as long as it is fresh. The sticks keep for longer but the powder is stronger.

“Cinnamon really is an amazing therapeutic food, A teaspoon of cinnamon has the same antioxidant power as 1/2 cup of blueberries or a cup of pomegranate juice! It has anti-bacterial properties that kill microbes and yeasts that upset digestion and immunity. Added to hot honey and lemon tea it helps relieve colds and flu. Simply smelling cinnamon has been shown to improve brain reactions and memory…and it’s reputed to be an aphrodisiac.