What to Eat and What not to Eat - the Best and Worst Brain Foods Revealed Here plus Chocolate Truffles Recipe

The Best and Worst Brain Foods
Concerned about Brain Health? Take This Quiz To See If You Know What to Eat... 
And What NOT to Eat!

If you're concerned about memory loss, increasing forgetfulness, foggy thinking, and possibly even devastating diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's...this quiz could help save your brain.  So please take thirty seconds and read every word of this blog post.

I'm going to show you that the foods you choose to eat have a profound effect on the health of your brain. And it's not always obvious which foods are good for your brain...and which foods cause confusion, "brain fog", and forgetfulness.

Take this quick quiz and ask yourself...

Which Of These Are The
5 Worst Foods For Your Brain?
Which of the following foods are the five absolute worst foods for your brain? Choose carefully...the answers may surprise you.

Eat Your Way To A Better Memory?
The good news is you don't need dangerous and expensive drugs to improve your memory. You can make a significant impact on the health of your brain, and improve your memory, based purely on what you eat.
With just a few simple, surprising, and easy changes to your diet... you could be well on your way to sharper focus, better recall, and good brain health.

The 5 worst brain foods from the quiz above are:
1. Doughnuts
2. Hamburgers
3. Chips and crisps (french fries in the US)
4. Ice cream
5. High fat cheeses

These foods contribute to the destruction of your brain cells which kills your memory.  They are known as unhealthy in the food industry, but they are also toxic too.  They are high in sodium, trans fats, sugars and white flours.  They raise glucose levels too quickly which causes a surge of insulin and causes the brain to become sluggish.  Over time, these foods worsen the memory.

There are also other factors in today's society which can erode the brain:
Exposure to everyday toxins - antiperspirant deodorants, antacids, fizzy drinks.  These contain toxic metals which kill brain cells including aluminium and mercury.  Also, fumes found in petrol and diesel, dental fillings, air conditioning units and dental fillings.  Lead found in ceramic mugs, mascara and paint used in older houses.

Now for the good news...

The healthiest memory boosting foods are:

1. Broccoli
2. Turmeric/Cucurmin  
3. Omega 3 rich fish  (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring etc)
4. Honey
5. Dark Chocolate
6. Coconut

Chocolate??  I hear you say...Well, chocolate (or cocoa) contains quercetin, which actually reverses memory loss.  But be careful, due to chocolate's high fat and calorific content, it is only recommended to eat one ounce of chocolate per day.
Try out this delicious Chocolate and Coconut Truffles Recipe for size:-

1 tub of Philadelphia Lightest Cream Cheese (180g), half a cup of almonds, half a cup of coconut, one third of a cup of cocoa, half a cup of coconut, half a cup of raisins, 2 tablespoons of sweetener (splenda or stevia) or as much as you like, 1 table spoon of chia seeds, and one tea spoon of vanilla extract.

All of the ingredients in my chocolate truffles recipe are foods which encourage the brain to develop new neural pathways, generate new neurons and build and generate new brain mass.  They also increase memory and reduce stress and anxiety by 20%.


Avocado Recipes plus Heath Benefits

Mmmmm...I just love the creamy texture of avocados.  I also love their gentle yet refreshing and unusual flavour.  They are such a versatile fruit; they can be used as a fat replacement in baking, they can be added to dips and soups, as well as desserts, smoothies, and even baby food. 
Check out this delish savoury avocado warm snack idea; pan fried avocado recipe:-
2 avocados, 1 cal fry light olive oil spray, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sea salt, pepper, oregano. Spring onion or chives as a garnish.

In my opinion, avocados fall into the same category as bananas; when you cut into an avocado or banana, no juice flows out; they are both non-acidic unlike other fruit, rather they are moist but relatively dry as far as fruit goes.  They, like bananas and unlike other fruits, are great as a spread, as an alternative to butter. 
Check out this Avocado Toast Snack Recipe:-
1 slice of wholemeal seeded toast, 1 avocado, several cherry tomatoes, sprinkling of chili flakes, Italian seasoning, chives and cress.

Avocados contain around 20 health-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E for hair and nails, vitamin K for blood clotting and strong bones, B vitamins for converting food into fuel, vitamin C for boosting our immune system, potassium for maintaining healthy blood pressure and folic acid - great for pregnant women.  Due to such a high nutritional content, you should be persuaded to include it into your daily diet for optimal health. 

Try this snack idea to get more avocado into your diet:-
1 avocado, seeded wholemeal tortilla wrap, 2 egg whites, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Avocados are highly anti-inflammatory in nature.  This is due to their high carotenoid content including beta-carotene and lutein, as well as the phytosterols in the avocado fat.  This is great news for arthritis sufferers as avocados can reduce inflammation of the joints.  Their anti-inflammatory properties also mean they are vital for heart health and to fight heart disease.

In addition to the avocado's anti-inflammatory properties, research from Japan suggests it could also help protect against liver damage. In one Japanese study, some laboratory rats were fed avocado, others were fed other fruit. The rats were then given D-galactosamine (a potent liver toxin that interferes with cell synthesis and results in cell death). The rats fed avocado suffered the least amount of liver damage. The chemical-induced liver injuries resemble those caused by disease and viruses, so the research suggests avocado could potentially offer support in the treatment of viral hepatitis. 
Add an avocado to a smoothie for a creamier texture:-
80g pomegranate seeds (half a pomegranate), 80g-100g blueberries, 1 avocado, strawberries, 2 pears, 1 banana, 500ml or 1 pint of almond milk, 1 table spoon of chia seeds, ice, 1 tea spoon of cinnamon and vanilla extract.
The avocado is very beneficial in so many more ways.  They are rich in monounsaturated fat.  This is the 'healthy fat' which is burned easily by our bodies for energy.  A whole avocado contains around 300 calories, and around 20g of fat.  But you mustn't worry about the high healthy fat content; the fatty acid benefits are enormous as they help brain function, they also aid in the process of cell construction, improving general bodily functions and processes as well as improving our cardiovascular health.  This is partly because they help the absorption of vitamins and anti-oxidants into our bloodstream.
As a alternative breakfast idea, try out my avocado pancakes recipe:-

Scientific research has shown that avocados also help optimise cholesterol levels; there is a noticeable difference within a week of eating them.  They are also believed to fight the spread of cancer cells.  This is because avocados are especially rich in antioxidants, and antioxidants are anti-cancerous.  They contain an unusually high content of the carotenoid group, and specifically lutene, which is great for eye health.
Check out these two snack/starter/appetizer/canape recipes:-
2x avocados, 1 piece of wholemeal seeded bread, smoked salmon, Philadelphia lightest cream cheese, a rolling pin.

In conclusion, the avocado is a very versatile, powerful food which is important to include as part of your diet due to its fantastic nutritional composition.  As I have also demonstrated in this blog article, that they can be eaten cooked, raw, as a sweet or savoury dish.  Try your best to introduce your family to this fruit, or if they are already familiar with it, encourage them to eat it more regularly, and include it in your weekly meal plan.


The joy of making healthy biscuits, cakes, muffins and brownies

I just love chestnuts. They are so unusual and they contradict other nuts due to their sweet, crumbly, soft, powdery texture with their distinctive mild flavour.  They also differ from other nuts due to their low fat and high starch content.  Normally you only see them on sale in the wintry months and around Christmas time, although they are available all year round.
They are a fantastic idea as an ingredient, as they are gluten free, and they are rich in mono-unsaturated fat; specifically oleic acid and palmitoleic acid.  These monounsaturated fats lower bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol.  They, along with the antioxidants in chestnuts help prevent coronary artery disease and strokes.
Try this delish chestnut mini cakes recipe:-
800g (1.9lbs) of boiled chestnuts, 1 large banana (or 2 small ones), 2 eggs, 3 tbsps of coconut oil, 2 tbsps of honey, 1 tbsp of sweetner, half a teaspoon of allspice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

 And try this simple chestnut sweet balls recipe:-

1 lb of boiled chestnuts, heat 2 tbsps of honey, 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract a quarter to half teaspoon of cinnamon.  Make little balls with the palm of your hands.

I love the vegan lifestyle and the idea behind 100% vegan living.  I love gluten free and dairy free recipes, and some of my recipes are suitable for vegans.  However, I am not vegan, because I just could not give up fish, chicken, eggs or milk in my coffee.  But other than that, I am 100% vegan! (Just kidding)!!
Try out this almond and choccy biscuit/cookie recipe suitable for vegans:-
1 cup (100g) of almond flour (or ground almonds), 1 tbsp of maple, 1 tbsp of syrup honey, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, 80-100g of 99% cocoa (dark chocolate), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, fresh vanilla or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.


Weight Loss Success Story: Yamily Benigni

Hi guys!

I have a fantastic testimony for you here...some guidance and motivation!

Basically, my friend, Yamily Benigni from the blog Emagrecer Certo (meaning "losing weight the right way" in Portuguese) lost 25 kgs!  She has totally turned her life around by changing her lifestyle, eating habits and devoting more time to exercise.  Her quality of life has vastly improved, as has her health and agility.  She has loads of tasty and health busting recipes on her youtube channel (visit it at www.youtube.com/emagrecercerto) in Portuguese.  She also writes great blog articles on the latest recipe ideas, health tips and superfoods.
Check out her before and after photo here:-

Her testimony really speaks to many people not only through her will power and how she has now become a leader in health and fitness in the Portuguese language on the internet, but also because her husband saw her success and he too has lost 30kgs and is gleaming with health!

Check out my interview with her where I ask her all about her experience, plus her top 3 tips:-

Check Yamily out on:
Blog: http://www.EmagrecerCerto.com 
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/emagrecercerto 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emagrecercerto 
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/emagrecercerto
Instagram: @emagrecercerto


Fitness and the Gym - Ideas, Advice and Tips for Exercise and Weight Loss

Keeping active and keep up our fitness levels are very important factors in leading a healthy lifestyle, and indeed, they are 25% of our overall healthy lifestyle recipe!

However, many of us come up with hundreds of excuses as to why not to exercise. Click here for a blog article where I counteract these excuses.

Please feel free to browse the below videos on fitness:-

Do you lack motivation to work out?  Does laziness subtly seep in to your brain?!  Try out this motivational vid to get you back on track...it includes my usual gym routine plus some tips:-

My arm workout to tone those tricpes, biceps and shoulders:-

And on to recipes for great gym and working out food...

Try out my Gym Protein Pancakes:-

  • 250ml (one cup) milk,
  • 200g (1 cup) oatmeal,
  • 1 egg,
  • 1 lemon,
  • a teaspoon of cinnamon,
  • one scoop of chocolate flavour whey protein,
  • nut oil for cooking in
  • fruit (i.e. blueberries)
And try this delish Cereal Bars / Protein Bars Recipe:-

  • 2 cups / 250g oatmeal,
  • 1 cup / 125g whey protein (chocolate flavour),
  • 1 cup / 125g museli,
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter,
  • 1 tablespoon honey,
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract,
  • less than half a cup of water / 80ml water
  • Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I would love to know your feedback - you can DM me on myoutube channelmy Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.   

Much love,

Lou X


Healthy Starter Recipes

Looking for simple starters that will still impress guests? Looking for dips and canapes or appetizer recipes? Look no further as you can start as you mean to go on here, with ideas to make those occasions memorable.

I have a variety of dinner party starters - some that you can make in advance, and others that are just easy to prepare, such as soups, stuffed peppers and stuffed tomatoes and more.

This is my favourite one...vegan stuffed pineapple with veg...mmm...

And here is my canapes recipe - great to accompany an appetizer, starter or finger food at a party.  I always try and use wholesome, fresh ingredients as people appreciate them over processed foods:-

Toast for Cheese (crackers with seeds, dried fruit and nuts in, or other good quality crackers), cucumber, half fat mozarrella cheese, smoked salmon in dill, raw mushrooms, pickled onions, fresh mint leaves, turkey breast, pickled herring in dill, dried apricots, whole almonds.

One recipe I have really gotten into lately is stuffed tomatoes.  I love the delicate flavour of baked tomatoes, and their soft texture, yet sometimes chewy skin.  Tomatoes contain beta-carotene, which makes your skin look fresher and more youthful as it helps protect against sun damage. Tomatoes also hold lycopene which makes your skin less sensitive to UV light damage - the main cause of wrinkles. They also have anti-cancerous benefits and the lycopene are richer in cooked tomatoes than raw ones.  What's not to like about them?!  Check out this gorgeous stuffed tomato starter:-

4 large tomatoes
a third of a pepper
1 small red onion
1 slice of granary seeded bread
fresh basil
30g mozarella cheese
salt and pepper
Prawns are high in protein and low in calories and fat.  However, they are high in cholesterol, but they are high in the 'good' cholesterol, and they lower the 'bad' cholesterol in our bodies. Try this prawn cocktail starter recipe:
Lighter than light Hellman's mayonnaise
Lemon juice

This has got to be one of my favourite soups; honey, carrot and ginger soup. Soups are great because they are generally a high nutrient dense food with a low energy density - meaning that we get plenty of nutrients and vitamins from them for a relatively low calorific intake.  They also tend to fill us up quicker that eating solid food.  Studies have shown that people consume up to 20% less calories during mealtimes when they consume a soup.  The science behind it is that the thick liquid bulk of the soup fills us up quicker, and gives us a more satisfying feeling than solid foods do.  Bonus!

Try out this recipe:-

Ingredients: 1lb carrots, ginger, handful of fresh coriander, 2 tsps honey, 1 small red onion,  1.5 pints water, 150ml cream fraiche, 1 bay leaf, nut oil, salt and pepper.

Another great vegetarian starter recipe is stuffed peppers:

2 peppers
1 small red onion
fresh parsley
1 portobello mushroom
1 tomato
1 tbsp of chopped up almonds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tea spoonsps of pesto
2 slices mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
Bake in the oven at 175 degrees centigrade (350 degrees farenheit) for 50 minutes.

Check out these two avocado and salmon starter/appetizer/canape recipes:-

2x avocados, 1 piece of wholemeal seeded bread, smoked salmon, Philadelphia lightest cream cheese, a rolling pin.

Another idea for a starter is to serve some delicious chargrilled peppers.  This recipe is in blog article form, so check out the blog post here:

Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.


Clean Eating Seafood and Fish Recipes

Fish is a fantastic, low fat, high protein, health-busting option for meals, and it fits perfectly into a healthy diet.  By choosing fish over meat, you leave out saturated fat, which clogs arteries.  Eating seafood also means you dodge other high sodium and health damaging perservatives that can be found in processed meat, such as bacon, ham, sausage etc.  Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, help our bodies to fight against cardiovascular diseases, many types of cancer, dementia amongst other illnesses.  It is also high in vitamins B and D, and selenium.

Try out this is a fantastic combination; barbecued sardines and tomato bread recipe here

Here is a collection of my fish recipes:-

Omega 3-Rich Fish - Great for your Heart, Joints and your Memory

Omega-3s lower the risk of heart disease, improve arthritis, and could help with memory loss. Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish: salmon, herring, oysters, sardines, and mackerel.  Here is a tasty recipe to help you make sure you include omega-3 in your diet; my oyster video serving suggestion plus how to eat an oyster:-

Ingredients: Fresh oysters, freshly squeezed lemon juice, tabasco sauce.
Cold water fish, such as cod, is very protein-rich, which is fantastic new for people looking to improve their cardiovascular health.  It has been proven, in scientific research, that people who eat fish regularly have a lower risk of heart attacks and heart disease than those who do not.

Try out this Bacalhau com Natas (Portuguese Creamy Cod Bake):-

500g cod
750g potatoes
2 red onions
bread (hard)
olive oil
black olives
4 egg whites

This is my gluten-free recipe for delicious fish n chips:-

Ingredients: around 660g monkfish tail, maris piper potatoes, cooking oil, corn meal, gluten-free flour, sparkling water, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, tartare sauce.

Cod Fillets with Vegetables in Foil:-

4 Cod fillets
2 carrots
1 orange
1 Courgette zucchini
Lemon zest
1 Pepper
Fresh parsley or fresh mint
Sea salt and pepper
Olive oil

Prawns generally inhabit oceans, and they live up to 50m depth.  They are found in most countries and cuisines around the world.  The same as the other fish mentioned in this post, they are high in protein, low in calories and fat.  However, they are, unlike the above-mentioned fish, high in cholesterol, but they are high in the 'good' cholesterol, and they lower the 'bad' cholesterol in our bodies.

Prawns are quick and easy to cook, as they don't need much time or oil until they are ready to eat.  Prawns are an excellent source of calcium.  
Try out this prawn cocktail recipe:-

Lighter than light Hellman's mayonnaise
Lemon juice

Stir Fried Prawns with Pineapple Low Fat Healthy Recipe:-

Delicious for lunches or evening meals.

Ingredients: 100g raw prawns, 1 pineapple (fresh or tinned), 4x spring onions, 200g bean sprouts, 1 red pepper, 2 garlic cloves, half a lime, sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of nut oil, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes (or as much or as little as you want), salt and pepper to taste.

Why not barbecue your fish?!  It gives the flesh of the fish a delicious and chargrilled flavour! Have a butcher's at this barbecued squid video:-

And also this black seabream barbecue method:-

Tinned tuna is a fantastic and cheap option for a main meal.  It too is high in protein, vitamin E, niacin, potassium, iron and selenium, but it has been reported to contain trace elements of mercury - an element which has an adverse effect on our brain function and nervous system.  This is why it is recommended to consume no more than 2 tins of tuna per week.  Pregnant women ought to consult their doctor before eating canned tuna.

Tuna Patties / Tuna Fish Cakes:-

2 cans of tuna
1 small onion
1 lemon for the zest
1 tea spoon of olive oil if your tuna came in water. If it came in oil, leave this out.
1 tbsp fresh parsley
Sprinkling of salt
Dash of pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tbsp of water
1 bread roll (half a cup of bread or 45g)

Dont forget out to check out my delicious Clean Eating Fish & Prawn Stew Healthy Recipe with Fennel:-

Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.


Healthy Main Meal Recipes

Eating is fun and can often be a sociable event for you and your family to enjoy together. I have plenty of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes for you to peruse and pick what you fancy.  Of course what isn’t fun is dieting and having to watch what you eat, especially when it can ruin social situations and cause you stress.  Here I have created my own recipes which are still fulfilling, but have a lighter, lower fat edge to them, while they are still delicious.

There are plenty of ‘tricks’ I use which are simply subtle changes to eating habits which make a difference to the amount of calories and fat in my recipes. One trick I use is to substitute fast food and fatty meats with turkey meat dishes – a naturally lean source of protein.

500g lean turkey breast mince
4-5 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
2x egg whites
1 pepper
1 celery stick
1 red onion
4 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper

Also, try this Chicken Breast in Mustard Sauce Recipe:-

4x large chicken breasts
Colman's Mustard - half cup / 140 g
Dark Muscovado Sugar - quarter cup / 60g
Wholegrain course mustard - 1 tea spoon 
Apple cider vinegar - 59 ml quarter cup 
Paprika - 1 tea spoon
sprinkling of cayenne pepper
Garlic - 2 cloves 
salt and pepper - 1 tea spoon 
1 large red onion
Fry Light1 cal spray 

For lunch, try and resist the temptation to grab an unhealthy high fat, high calorie sandwich from the sandwiches counter.  Instead, take time at home and enjoy the preparation of a healthy tortilla wrap the night before.  I have plenty of ideas for fillings.

Take a look at these recipe ideas for wraps:-

Chicken, mozarella, mayo, spinach and tomato wrap recipe:-

Ingredients: seeded wholemeal wrap, lighter than light Hellman's mayonnaise, 50% half fat mozarella cheese, chicken breast, on the vine organic tomatoes, spring onion, spinach.

Salmon, spinach and avocado wrap:-

Ingredients: Seeded wholemeal wrap, avocado, hot salmon flakes, spinach, cucumber, 

Salmon, cream cheese and tomato wrap:-
Ingredients: Lightest Philadelphia Cream Cheese, wholemeal wrap, avocado, plum tomatoes, spring onion, salmon flakes, spinach.

For a hot tortilla wrap lunch or dinner, check out this blog article: Chicken and soya bean protein wrap with Greek yoghurt

Also, never underestimate how satisfying a salad can be.  Generally, (at least in the UK), salad ingredients can add up and become quite costly all together.  However, with my next salad recipe idea, be ready to be wowed by the flavours in harmony together, and note that you will not be left hungry, unlike with many other salad recipe ideas.

Check out this delish protein salad:-

Ingredients: New potatoes, roast chicken breast, lettuce, marinated herring with dill, 3 boiled eggs, smoked salmon with dill, sweet pickled onions, parsley, mushrooms, 1x lemon, 1 tomato, 1 red onion, cucumber, mint leaves, chia seeds, 1 avocado, gherkins, olives, pistachios, dried apricots, almonds, dried canberries.

When it comes to dessert time, don’t feel like it’s all or nothing.  Try this alternative to ice cream:-

Ingredients: 375g blueberries, 4 tbsps of 0% fat Greek yoghurt, chia seeds, 1 tub Philidelphia Lightest Cream Cheese, 2 tbsps splenda or stevia, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp ground black pepper.

Sodas, fizzy drinks and fruit juices can be a calorie-laden temptation for some people. Try my healthy fizzy water idea to quench that thirst with your lunch or dinner:-

Let me know what you think about these recipe ideas, and please comment below. Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.


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