Deep Cleansing and Detox for the New Year - Water Recipe

So I had a full sized Christmas, although I was careful not do overdo it, I did indulge more than I normally would.  Now, it's time to put some sparkle back in my step with some deep cleansing and detox.




I'm going to start by ditching the sugar and alcohol, and go to town on clean eating and drinking my favourite drink, flavoured sparkling water with cucumber skin, basil leaves and lemon.  Too much booze and food can make your system feel bloated and sluggish.  This drink will flush out toxins and stimulate blood circulation.  

I made a quick video demonstrating how to make it:-


Ingredients:
- 5-6 basil leaves
- 3 slices of lemon
- 3-4 slices of cucumber skin
- ice cold water


Method:
Using a chunk of cucumber about the length of your fingers, peel the skin:-

Add ice and the peel to a jug. Add the basil leaves:-


Add the slices of lemon and the water:-


Give it a stir and let the fruit and veg sit in ice cold water in the fridge overnight or for a couple hours at least to get maximum benefits.  Then...enjoyyyyy!

What other things help during detox mode?  Dry body brushing will!  Ever heard of that? It's a fantastic way to stimulate circulation and reduce cellulite.  All you need to do is use a body brush daily on dry skin before your morning bath or shower.  Start at the bottom of your legs and work your way upwards, in movements towards the heart.

You can detox your complexion too by laying off the make up for a few days.  This rests your skin from any chemicals and irritants in skin care products.  But also refrain from using your usual skin cream and serum.  Instead, use organic natural ingredients on your face - mash up a banana or an avocado, and let it rest on your skin for 10 minutes.

Or, I have another face mask recipe: Mash up one ripe banana in a bowl. Add one teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, add 3-4 drops of lemon juice and mix. Spread over clean skin and leave it to set for 10 minutes.  Chill and relax. Then rinse off thoroughly.

I would love to hear about ways that you detox, so let me know by DM or in the comments below. Just to say a happy new year to everyone and all the best for 2016.  Feel free to check out  my youtube channelmy Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.   Much detoxing love!

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Christmas Clean Eating Recipe: Chestnut Cupcakes + Hangover Advice

Hello

Here is my last recipe before Christmas...it involves my current favourite wintry and chrismassy ingredient...chestnuts!  These are absolutely delightful little chestnutty cupcakes full of nuttiness and goodness. I use chestnuts in baking because they stick out from other culinary nuts due to the fact they have much less protein and fat. Their calorific content comes mainly from its carbohydrates. Chestnuts contain little fat and are gluten free, although they are naturally  starchy.


But before that, we need to have a little chat about stuff that goes on at Christmas ;-D
It can be hard and also a bore to restrict our alcohol intake, especially with all those fun Christmas parties and gatherings. So I wanted to suggest some hangover cures for the drinkers among us:-
  1. 1. When you wake up feeling worse for wear, grab a glass of fresh water. Alcohol causes dehydration, so you need to replace the lost hydration with plenty of H2O.
  2. 2. Try some milk thistle capsules capsules. Milk thistle helps to support the liver as it tries to process the alcohol.
  3. 3. Artichoke is another natural cure, like milk thistle, because it is believed to help the liver to detox your system and get rid of all of those toxins from the night before.
  4. 4. Eat crystallised ginger in ginger biscuits, or drink ginger tea.  This relieves nausea.
  5. 5. Add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to some olive oil and massage gently into your temples to relieve any headaches you may have.
So on to my delish chestnut cupcakes recipe...here is the video:-

Ingredients:-
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 sweetener, half a teaspoon of allspice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.


Method to the Madness

Firstly wash 1.9 pounds (800g) of chestnuts. Boil them in water for 30-40 minutes.




After you have let them cool down and they are still warm, cut each chestnut in half:



Scoop each chestnut out of its casing and separate the shelled chestnuts into a bowl.  When done, sift through all of the chestnuts in the bowl and peel any excess skin off:-


Add all of the shelled and skinned chestnuts to a food processor to create chestnut flour.  Add one teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of allspice. Switch the food processor on for around 3 minutes or until the chestnuts are fine.  You are now ready to add your wet ingredients; one teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 3 tbsps of coconut oil, 2 tbsps of honey, and the sweetener.




Blend together, then add one large banana, the bicarbonate of soda, and blend again:

Add the mixture to cupcake holders, or to a cupcake baking tray. I used a silicon baking tray:-

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes at a temperature of 350F or 175C. Let them cool down and enjoy! Serve with bee pollen, blueberries or orange zest.


I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it with the family.  It is really light, fluffy for Christmas!  So just to say thank you to everyone for your support over 2015, and thank you for subscribing to my youtube channel.  Here's to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Feel free to check out  my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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Tips and Advice for Enjoying the Christmas Holiday Season and a Healthy Lifestyle

Woooo!!  It's almost Christmas time! And that means it's also holiday time! I've been asked to give some tips and advice for the upcoming holidays.  Some people complain about putting on weight at Christmas time, or that all the food they're going to be eating can result in some serious indigestion.


So here is my advice...

1) Firstly, chill, relax, and enjoy Christmas!  Don't worry toooo much about your weight. Have fun and be sociable with your family and friends; life is not all about what you weigh.

2) Just make sure that you do not go over the top with the fatty foods and booze.  This is not too hard to achieve!  Festive food may be traditional, delicious and moreish, but this can cause havoc with our digestive system.  Indigestion (or dyspepsia) is a range of problems in the gastro-intestinal system.  The most common symptom is pain in the upper abdomen after eating, as well as reflux (acidic stomach contents come back up the gullet), bloating and wind.

To avoid all of these nasties, eat small portions and don't rush meals.  keep fried, fatty and spicy food to a minimum.  Also remember that antacid medicines neutralise stomach acid and form a protective layer over the stomach lining, so don't forget to reach out for these, if need be.

When it comes to bloating and feeling bunged up, drink plenty of liquids and eat bananas or apple with the peel on to increase your fibre intake.

3) Remember you can still incorporate exercise during the festive season- this can be in the sociable form of a walk or a light jog with a friend.  Of course, if you're going away, hotels have gyms (as do some beaches) and you can of course go swimming.

Please see this video where I explain further each piece of advice:-




So I hope you will take good care of yourself this holiday. In my experience, dealing with pressure at Christmas requires a three-step approach:

Firstly, don't try and do it all on your own; ask for help. Secondly, take timeout every evening to sit back and relax with a magazine, a cup of tea or some music for example. Finally, have realistic expectations.  Don't expect Christmas to be perfect, because it rarely is, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it...


HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

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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Clean Eating Christmas Recipe: Sweet Chestnut Balls

Hello!
In Portugal, chestnuts are a big thing in winter and especially at Christmas. I, and lots of the Portuguese 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.



Here is a Lisbon street scene of a street seller selling chestnuts to passers-by:-


Chestnuts 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.

Check out this simple chestnut sweet balls recipe:-

Ingredients:
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.

Method
Boil one pound or 500g of chestnuts for 30-40 mins. When they've cooled down a bit (not too much), cut each chestnut in half with a sharp knife. With a teaspoon, scoop the flesh out of the shell.


Next, sift through your bowl of shelled chestnuts and ensure there is no skin stuck on. The skin is so bitter! If necessary, peel it off with a knife.



Add the chestnuts to a food processor and switch on for 2-3 mins:-


Then, put to the side.  In a saucepan, add two tablespoons if your local honey, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of vanilla extract:-



Slowly heat up and stir the ingredients until warm and well mixed.  Add to the chestnuts:-


Roll the mixture into balls using the palms of your hands:-


Serve with mulled wine or some cocoa.  These are so great and healthy for you! It can be really hard watching your weight and being healthy over the Christmas holidays, so I have complied a list for all my readers of my top holiday survival tips for the Christmas holidays:- 


Next blog post, I have a video of me talking about more holiday tips, which compliments this list, so look out for that.  Let me know what you think on the comments 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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Vegan Eggplant/Aubergine Mini Pizza Recipe

Hello!  I'm still in eggplant/aubergine mode, so today I'm releasing yet another aubergine recipe!  (Don't worry, this will be the last one for a while!)  This one is a clean eating recipe and is breaming with healthiness (if that's a word).  It is so delicious, tasty and moreish!


Here is my video of the recipe:-



Ingredients
One eggplant/aubergine, two tomatoes, 4 mushrooms, olive oil, a sprinkling of dried parsley and pepper

Method to the madness
Start off by washing your eggplant/aubergine, and slice it long ways like so:-


Place the slices of aubergine onto wax paper on a baking tray. Pour a small amount of olive oil over each slice, and bake the slices in the oven for 15 minutes at 175C (350F).  Turn them over and back for another 10 minutes or until starting to brown.

On two slices, spread a small amout of seeded mostard:-


Chop up the tomatoes into small pieces and slice your mushrooms. Place some chopped tomato and sliced mushroom on top.

Onto two more eggplant slices, spread your favourite piri piri sauce on the top (I use Nandos Medium piri-piri sauce):-


Repeat the same process, placing some tomato pieces on and three or four slices of mushrooms.  

Onto the fifth and sixth slices of aubergine/eggplant, spread some of your favourite salsa (I use Old El Paso which has 7 kcal per serving), and place some tomato pieces and mushroom slices on top.  Your baking tray should look like this:-


Place your baking tray into your oven which is already hot at 175c (350F) and leave them for 10 minutes or until ready:-


Once ready, Sprinkle pepper and dried parsley (sea salt is optional):- 



These mini pizzas are vegan, super healthy and bursting with flavour.  They are light, and the pizzas which have the salsa sauce, contain 34 kcals!  Let me know what you think on the comments 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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Crisps! How to Make Eggplant/Aubergine and Carrot and Parsnip Chips

Eggplants/Aubergines are just great, aren't they?!  Just blink and they're everywhere on social media, with lots of healthy recipes and new innovative ideas using them.  Today's blog post is for my mum, who's birthday it is today - 1st December, and who is crazy about aubergines ;-D



Eggplant/aubergines are special because their lovely purpley shiny skin encases their spongy, creamy flesh.  They are from the nightshade plant family - the same as tomatoes and they grow on trees just like tomatoes.


Their dark skin colour prove how rich they are in antioxidants, especially the antioxidant called nasunin.  This is great for protecting fatty acids which are important for brain function, and also for excreting excess iron from the body. 


Eggplant, as they're known in the USA, are high in fibre and low in calories; great for making us feel fuller for longer.  This is why I have this ingenious aubergine crisps recipe idea which is delightfully tasty.  You can watch the video here:-



Ingredients
One or two aubergines, cumin, turmeric and sea salt.

Method to the madness
Wash your eggplant, chop it up into round, thin slices.  Spread out the individual pieces flat onto a baking tray.  Baking paper is optional.  Sprinkle a generous helping of cumin, turmeric and sea salt over the aubergine slices.  Bake for 15 minutes in an oven at 175C (350F).  Turn the aubergine slices over, sprinkle your spices over them again, and put back in the oven for 15 minutes, or until crispy, but not burnt.
Then, Enjoy!

To compliment this recipe, I also have another similar recipe video; I love this appetizer/snack idea - great to get the kids more into veg.  This is parsnip and carrot crisps:-


Ingredients:
Carrots, parsnips, healthy oil (eg walnut or olive oil etc) and sea salt. 

Method to the madness:
Cut the veg into thin strips with a knife or mandolin. Spread evenly on a baking tray, drizzle the oil over lightly, sprinkle with sea salt and leave in the oven on 175 degrees centigrade (350 Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes if they are thin strips, or 25-30 minutes if they are thick strips.

Let me know what you think on the comments 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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