Month: November 2013

A Sunshine Winter Wellness Anti-Flu Drink + 5 ways to Stay Cold Free

antiflu smoothieOh my goodness, we’re barely out of autumn and already people are coughing and splattering about the place. I forgot how much I hate it when people come to work spreading their germs – stay at home please, no need to be the hero! Yeah, yeah, I’ve done this too…………..but anyway, this post is inspired by the trickle of nose juice, courtesy of a client that splattered all over my left foot yesterday. I can’t blame him really, I was the one wearing gladiator sandals…….it’s what I do when I refuse to give in to the colder temperatures!Sunshine ant-colds smoothie

I’m a queasy person and I was horrified with this nose juice making contact with my foot, running off mid conversation to desperately clean the offended foot in the bathroom, twice over. Yes, this did really happen and I still have a slight shudder at the thought!Sunshine smoothie

I feel much better after drinking one of these though.Sunshine smoothie

Now it’s a fresh new day and I’m fully recovered post trauma so lets get involved in doing our utmost to ensure we give flus and colds a good boot up the backside. Here’s 5 things that really do work for me, and Russ too – I don’t think he’s had a cold for like 3 years! So here goes:

1. Garlic – whole books have been written about garlic’s amazing health benefits but here we’re interested in it’s antiviral + antibiotic properties. They’re good.
2. Citrus + vitamin C – lemons contain antibiotic properties so vital for a fully functioning immune system and for fighting free radicals. Lots of vitamin C too.
3. Sleep + rest – research shows that poor sleep makes people susceptible to colds. I can vouch for this as when I seem to feel run down it usually correlates with a period of poor sleep. Get at least 7 hours and try to get at least 1 hour before midnight.
4. Chili – if you are currently fighting a cold then eat spicy foods. Yep, your nose + eyes may run but this is a good thing + may give you some relief by opening up congested nasal passages and clearing sinuses. The capsaicin will numb the nerves in your head when it’s clogged by colds. Oh + 1 chili can contain 4 X as much vitamin C as an orange.
5. Ginger – my one true love. Ginger contains chemicals which I don’t know the name of that fight rhinoviruses – these are the most common type of cold. Ginger helps ease coughing, is a mild sedative + a natural fever reliever. Add it to teas, smoothies, juices, stir fries, cookies or just EAT it as is, everyday!

I know I said 5 but here’s a bonus point! Turmeric- gosh this spice is a knock out in health benefits and one of its super powers reduces the severity of bacterial + viral infections.Healing ingredients

Yep, I’m thinking stir fry too (and curry and soup and moroccan stew) but this smoothie is a fantastic and speedy way of boosting our immune system and preventing winter colds and infections. Let’s call it a sunshine smoothie, a wellness drink and a health tonic too cos it’s all these things and mighty tasty too.Easy + effective cold remedy

The sunshine smoothie recap: pineapple for it’s magnificant vitamin C content, lemons for obvious reasons, ginger, garlic, turmeric (we’ve been here!), apple (well they do say an apple a day keeps the doctor away!), 1/2 frozen banana for a creamier consistency and the rest is history.

Get involved now, the perfect defence to those winter colds. Get well and get smug.A true health tonic

Sunshine  winter wellness anti-flu drink

(serves you)

1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped (or tinned in juice)
1 lemon, skin removed
1 apple
1/2 frozen banana
2 inch pice of ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 clove garlic
sprinkle of cayenne
1/2 cup water, coconut water or apple juice
5 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender + blend until smooth. Enjoy the sunshine.

Vegan Coconut Chia Balls

coconut chia ballsOh my, hello coconut powder, woweeee, where have you been all my life? I wanna tell you guys how amazing this stuff is but you should check out a more informed write up about coconut powder’s wonderful versatility because I want you to get involved. It’s not coconut flour nor desiccated coconut but pure coconut powder and I reckon I found another absolutely delicious way to put coconut powder to work- vegan coconut chia balls. So simple, yet sooooooo bloody tasty and the best part is these cost nothing, well they cost a little tiny bit. I got a huge 1 kg bag for £3 from my local Indian supermarket and probably used only 50 pence worth for this one recipe. Thank you very much. Coconut powder is officially high up on the list of my coconut loving, coconut milk on tap (now there’s a thought) and creamy curries make this stuff pretty special…..oh god, what would happen if there was no coconut….shudder. Life would be pretty awful though, wouldn’t it?delicious coconut chia balls

My day was filled with dull training and long team meetings, oh and what a drag it was to see the sun finally come out only to be stuck in a huge strip lit meeting room. That’s the worst for me – being cooped up indoors when there’s sunshine and blue skies outside but luck was on my side as my meeting finished really early! Obviously I came straight home to make these delicious coconut chia balls whilst sitting outside in the sunshine and generally chillaxing. Yes I did just use that word.

Making coconut + chia balls

I think people across from the canal, usually walking dogs wonder what I’m doing with my kitchen utensils and camera laid out all over the garden furniture. I do get some funny looks! Oh no, I just had a horrid thought, soon it will be winter and really cold so where am I going to make all my food…………of course I have a kitchen but it’s really not the same as al fresco food prep! I guess I’ll survive, inside, in my kitchen…..just like normal people!The ball making station!

So the mixture only made 10 balls which really wasn’t enough for me so just double or triple the mixture for a larger batch because they really don’t last long. Packed full of creamy coconut and ultra satisfying, I can honestly say that these are way tastier than any shop bought sweets I’ve ever had. You know what I love on top of all that, there’s no ridiculous ingredients or additives either, zero hydrogenated fats and very low in sugar. In fact they’re a very healthy treat. You know what else, coat these in some raw dark chocolate and you can say goodbye to Bounties forever!Ball station!

I just wanna persuade you to make these coconut chia balls, so here goes: they contain the amazing superfood chia and coconut, very cheap to make, no blender involved so minimal mess and super duper quick to throw together, healthy and better than a Bounty! No problemo If you don’t have any chia to hand as sesame seeds, cocoa, carob or any crushed seed or nut would work wonders as a coating. Enjoy. Delicious coconut chia balls

Vegan coconut chia balls

(makes 10 balls, yeah double this recipe!)

1 cup coconut powder
pinch of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup crushed chia seeds

Method:

1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl + combine well.
2. Using your hands form 10 small smooth coconut balls. The mixture should be very maleable when squeezed together but if it’s a bit dry just add a little extra coconut oil.
3. Lightly dampen the outside of each ball + roll in the crushed chia seeds.
4. Transfer to freezer for 30 minutes + store in an airtight container if you haven’t already devoured them. Consume within 4 days.

Pumpkin Spiced Coconut Pancakes (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakesToday is mostly about delicious stacked pancakes and awe inspiring quotes. These words of wisdom made their way into my life this morning:

“Only the truth of who you are, if realised, will set you free.”

Eckhart Tolle

Deep eh? Man I gotta read ‘The Power of Now’, like now!  I love it when a quote just sparks something in me, inspires, motivates, ignites and this is definitely one of those quotes for me. Discovering and accepting our true authentic selves, existing as we truly are, the good, the bad and the ugly, practicing self acceptance and lending the same sentiment to others. It’s authenticity that I value more than anything and it’s clear to see when someone is being their true and authentic self, these people are magnets as we’re always drawn to the real. I vow never to be afraid of being the truest realest me, embracing self discovery always, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be free? Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Who we are when people aren’t looking, listening, simply observing ………… well that’s how we should allow ourselves to be all the time. It’s a journey at the end of the day so let’s have some pumpkin + coconut spiced pancakes along the way. See how I did that, eh?

Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

I’m really rinsing the pumpkin thing at the mo and seeing as i’ve never had pumpkin pancakes there was very good reason to keep going with this pumpkin theme, I mean obsession. It’s hardly a crime is it?! Honestly, it’s fair to say I have a pumpkin preoccupation all year, not just halloween!Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Well what about these then, a stacked pile of loveliness. So yum but unfortunately I didn’t make enough. Their moreishness (yes, in my world it is a word!)  plus sharing with Russ proved hard to do…..soul destroying really.Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

These pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes are oat based, eggless and pumpkin packed so they’re great for dairy and gluten free diets or for anyone who is simply cutting back on these things. I used a little coconut oil for greasing, maple syrup for drizzling and nuts for dressing. A pretty good breakfast I’d say.

Be happy and proud of who you really are and eat pancakes, often. Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Pumpkin Spiced Coconut Pancakes

(Serves 2)

1 cup gluten free oat flour (make your own by processing oats to a fine flour)
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + ginger
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond milk
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseeds combined with 3 tablespoons water)
pecans + maple syrup
coconut oil for frying

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk the pumpkin puree, milk + flax egg in a measuring jug.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry + combine thoroughly to form a thick batter.
  3. Using a 1/3 cup, ladle the batter into the pan + cook well on both sides. Transfer to the oven to keep warm whilst cooking the remaining pancakes.
  4. Tower the pancakes on a plate, sprinkle with pecans + drizzle with maple syrup.

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