Clean Cocoa Coconut Bites

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Family Matters, Health & Beauty, Journey Back to Health

This is based on a recipe from Honestly Healthy a fabulous cookbook full of healthy clean recipes that I can’t recommend enough.  What I love most, especially during my 100 Healthy Days and since giving up processed sugar is the snacks and desserts section.  Yes they can be clean and here is one of my favourite at the moment….

I made mine slightly differently to the recipe to keep a cupcake type vibe which I knew would be more appealing to my little fussy easters.

  • 10 fresh pitted Dates
  • 50g Cacao powder
  • 25g raw Almonds
  • 200g Coconut Flakes
  • 30g Agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp Xylitol (I actually didn’t use this as I wasn’t able to get any in time)
  • 2 tbsp Water (I used filtered)
  • I also added tiny Coconut Flakes for dusting

This recipe couldn’t be easier – Pre-heat the over to 180

Chuck the dates, cacao powder and almonds into the blender and blend until it becomes a sticky paste (I don’t have a high powered blender so this did take a while and a bit of digging it out from under the blades and restarting but that was fine).

Chuck in everything else and blend till its a touch choppy consistency.

I popped my mixture into small cupcake cases, as I’ve said I knew my kids would prefer it and I thought it would make transporting them easier.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.

I then sprinkled very fine coconut flakes over the top.

photo

Allow the bites to cool completely before eating and there you have it.  Yummy goodness to pacify any sweet tooth and no nasties.  My husband actually didn’t believe I hadn’t included any sugar they tasted so good.

Happy eating! x

Day 36 – 100 Healthy Days – Keeping Momentum High

Health & Beauty, Journey Back to Health

There is no doubt that it was easier for me to stay healthy whilst in Spain.  The heat, swimming pool and delicious salads made it easier for me to eat healthy and move more everyday.  It’s when I’m home I seem to struggle, especially with sugar and caffeine.  I just get so tired with the kids etc… so it has to be done!

photoI know I said that I wasn’t going to ‘give up’ anything but as things are going quite well and want to keep moving in the right direction I decided to give up processed sugar.  As well as wanting to be healthier I have given up sugar due to the horrible fatigue I have been feeling ever since having cancer as a way to try and help combat that.  I am on day 6 now and it is going well.  Apart from on day 4 when I accidentally had sugar in a drink I didn’t realise it was in (we will come onto hidden sugars in due course) but basically….  I have been making some ‘clean’ desserts as fab alternatives, including these delicious Cocoa Coconut Bites that are also a hit with the children – win win!

Moving wise I have taken the plunge and hired a personal trainer to make sure I keep exercising regularly and get the most out of my workouts.  I will be starting with her on Thursday so in the mean time I keep moving and getting out and about and my Davina DVD’s whenever I can.  Even when it was raining at the weekend, hubby the kids and I all got our wellies on a headed into the woods for a long country walk, heaven!

So 36 days in I would say that one thing that has been interesting is the effect I believe it is having on my children.  They are getting out and about more and their diet has definitely improved as I find healthy or clean alternatives and – if I’m honest – I don’t want to be tempted by them eating something yummy I’m not allowed so I’m not giving them things I would have on occasion before.  All in all I believe it is having a positive impact on the whole family, which is only ever good news in my eyes.

100 Healthy Days – And So It Begins

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Journey Back to Health

Today is Day 2 of 100 Healthy Days.  If you have read my blog previously you will probably know that I am a total sugar addict, adore carbs and live for cheese.  Anything that your not supposed to eat on a healthy diet, I am totally and irrevocably in love with.  And its true love, the kind that lasts a lifetime.  So how do I break up with this love?  I figure its by loving myself more?!

My Green Juice - Kale, Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Pineapple

My Green Juice – Kale, Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Pineapple

I’m tired, I have put on weight, I had cancer which has strong links to diet.  I go through phases of eating well then eating crap then somewhere in the middle and this is what has led me to 100 Healthy Days.  I have seen the 100 Happy Days on Facebook and 100 Active Days on Twitter, there seem to be many versions of this 100 day campaign going on so I decided to make my own that would suit me.  They say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit so I am hoping after 100, it will become standard behaviour, even to a sugar-freak like me – that’s the plan anyway?!

I have found many versions of healthy eating and exercise, all with varying degrees of strictness so here is what I am going to do – I am not ‘giving up’ anything.  I know me (surprisingly) and if I do that, I will do nothing but think about what I can’t have and be eating chocolate covered ice-cream before you can say Green Juice.  This for me will all be about making better and healthier choices; for me that means;

  • Making fruit and vegetables the bulk of my diet.
  • Drinking at least 2 litres of water a day.
  • Drinking a Green Juice everyday.
  • Switching white for wholemeal grains.
  • Choosing homemade food from fresh and clean ingredients.

That sort of thing.

Book-Cover-2X8lTc1A few websites I have found valuable in deciding how to do this are Deliciously Ella and 100 Days of Real Food (you are allowed wine in this one, result) and Cookbooks wise it’s, Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson and Clean and Lean Cookbook by James Duggan.

I don’t believe good health just come’s down to food, it’s exercise too.  For that my mantra will be Move More!  So even if it is just to walk somewhere locally that I would normally drive too, that will be more movement and get me my ‘Move More’ gold star for the day… Ohhh, I may actually make a sticker chart to hang next to the kids,  such a geek, I know!

Sticker charts aside.  My first day went well eating wise and today has gone well moving wise.  Tomorrow I’m hoping for a bit more of a combination of the both.  But I am pleased, all moving in the right direction.  Just knowing I have decided to do this for 100 day’s seems to have made a big difference in my dedication to what I’m doing.

Coincidently, flicking through Good Housekeeping last night I found an article about giving anything up for 100 days and the impact it can have (what are the chances) and the author was specifically referencing the website Give It 100, you can do absolutely anything as long as it’s for 100 days and the site encourages users to post a daily blog charting their progress.  They are inspirational and worth a look even if you aren’t sure about going ahead, or maybe you will be inspired to do 100 of something else.

Clean Banana Breakfast Pancakes Recipe under Delicious Healthy Recipes

Clean Banana Breakfast Pancakes
Recipe under Delicious Healthy Recipes

Needless to say I will be updating my progress intermittently throughout the next 100 day’s, don’t worry you won’t be getting daily updates, but if you don’t already you can follow this blog by popping your email address in the box to the right (on a computer, below on your phone) and clicking follow and get updates straight to your inbox.

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter, for in the moment thoughts!

Wish me luck! Nx

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 16 – Go Green

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips, Journey Back to Health

Flood Your Body with Goodness with Green Juice

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 16 – Go Green

The thought of drinking a Green Smoothie can be a little scary, mainly because it doesn’t sound great.  It is an acquired taste, but the fruit is essential as it helps balance out the bitterness.

images-5I have found the most wonderful recipe on an awesome website for you to look at, it even includes a Beginners Juice with a softer taste so if you are interested but not 100% sure where to start, you need to visit 100 Days of Real Food.

Honestly, give it a go, it’s not that bad and the benefit is immense – balance your body’s natural pH, flood your body and cells with goodness quickly and effectively, breaking down the fruit and veg in the blender lessens the load on the body’s digestion,

You can make your juice and put it in a jam jar so you can take it with you when on the move..

Happy juicing x

 

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 2

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health and Beauty Tips

This might sound funny but stick with me…

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 2 – Switch Spaghetti for Courgette’s

Honestly this is so yummy!  I heard about this ages ago but only got around to trying it recently and it was amaze balls.  It is really filling as well.  It honestly is just as good as the pasta but so much better or you!

Switching Pasta for Courgette's

Switching Pasta for Courgette’s

I cut the courgette in half and then use a grater to cut it into wafer thin strips.  You can have it raw, the warm pasta source makes it al dente or steam it for a few minutes it you would like it softer.

Happy eating x

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 1

Health and Beauty Tips

Well its the last month of spring (sort of) and this is the perfect time to continue to give yourself and your life a bit of a spring clean so everyday this month I will be posting a little Spring Health and Beauty tip everyday to help you along the way….

Spring Health and Beauty Tip 1: Drinking Little Bottles of Water

We all know that water helps cleanse the body, detoxify, help our skin and generally be all round fantastic.  People often say to me that drinking 2 litres of water a day is to much, and I sort of agree but a really easy way to make it feel less it to drink from a little bottle.

images

There are 4 little bottles of water in a big one which seems hard to imagine but there are.  I think most people can easily drink a little bottle within a couple of hours?!  You have only got to do that 4 times and your done.  Try and get into a habit of refilling your little bottle in the morning, lunch, afternoon and evening.

Happy drinking!

New Years Resolutions – How Are You Doing?

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Goals
Leanne

The lovely Leanne Clack

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?  Well I have been speaking with the fantastic Leanne Clack who has done amazingly well, completing a 21 day detox in January.  When speaking with Leanne just before she started she said

I was nervous about sticking to it but had been feeling so sluggish and put on weight over Christmas so I was determined to do it.

Leanne’s 21 Day Detox meant that she was only going to be eating pure, clean foods.  Basically vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts.  I can’t lie I was horrified at the thought.  I gave up alcohol for January and that was enough.  I’m all for eating well, but no coffee?  Step too far for me!

Leanne didn’t just decide I wanted to do it and start there and then.  She planned it and think’s that it was part of that planning that was key in her success.

I cleared out one kitchen cupboard that was just for me and only had food that I could eat inside it.  So when I was feeling peckish and tempted I could just open that cupboard and know everything in there I could eat and snack from and I made sure that it was full of really yummy things.

It also gave me time to go online and hunt out some delicious recipes such as the Mango ‘Ice Cream’ so I still felt like I was having treats.

I am terrible that if I know I am starting a diet or healthy eating plan, I use the time to binge on all the items I am planning on giving up as it will be my last chance to eat them, I have always considered this a fantastic argument but Leanne used to the time to start trying to get used to a healthier way and lower her sugar and caffeine intakes so it wasn’t a complete shock to her body when she cut them out altogether.  When you think about this for longer than a nano-second, clearly makes a lot more sense than my way.

Once on the detox a typical day for Leanne was;

  • Porridge made with water or rice milk with blueberries for breakfast
  • Homemade vegetable soup for lunch
  • Vegetable stir-fry with wholegrain rice for dinner
  • Snacks included fruit, peanut butter (as long as it is 100% natural) and nuts.

I also made sure that I ate plenty of quinoa, humous and nuts for protein.

It wasn’t all plain-sailing though.  I saw Leanne 3 days in and all was not so well.  Complaining of headaches, tiredness and feeling hungry I am sure that this is the point that I would have given in, but Leanne stayed strong and soon really started to feel the benefits.  According to Leanne, that was the hardest part and once she had got through it, the feeling of hunger and cravings for sugar and caffeine based products started to fade.

I was surprised on how quickly the cravings went and after the first few days it got easier and easier as the days went on.

After successfully completing her 21 day Detox, I was desperate to know how she felt, was it worth it and would she be sticking to it at all?

I have lost all the Christmas weight which is great, but more than that, I just feel so much better.  Not so sluggish, much more energy and I am not finding I miss sugar or caffeine now.

I am planning on keeping large parts of the plan because I just feel so much better, but I have introduced chicken, eggs and yogurt.  I really missed eggs and yogurt!

Leanne looks brilliant, she is looking noticeably slimmer but even more than that, she looks SO well.  The white of her eyes looks so white and clear, her skin is glowing and she is radiating health.  I must say I am feeling very inspired.  I have even replaced a couple of morning coffees with hot water and Lemon (which I love and for more information on the benefit of Hot Water and Lemon, click here) and I am cleaning out a cupboard all ready for me.

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 21

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health and Beauty Tips

Slice of Lemon

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 21 – Hot Water & Lemon

The best time to have this is in the morning before you have anything else and there are some awesome reasons why….

  • The juice from the Lemon is detoxifying and helps clear out the body.
  • Supports the liver and aids digestion.
  • The digestive qualities in the juice from Lemon eases bloating.
  • Lemon’s increase the rate of urination which helps flush out unwanted materials quickly and also helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
  • Lemon’s are high in Vitamin C which we chatted about how fantabulous that is in my earlier blog – Vitamin C
  • It is well known to Aromatherapists that the smell of Lemon’s can brighten your mood, clear your mind, reduce anxiety and depression – also love because they smell like a Mediterranean holiday.
  • Supports the Immune System.
  • Warm water and Lemon replace fluids lost by your body which can help you feel stimulated, energised, concentrate and sleep better, that has to be good right?!
Hot Water & Lemon

Hot Water & Lemon

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 8

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health and Beauty Tips, Journey Back to Health

Get Your Juice On!

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 8 – Carrott and Apple Juice

Seriously the most delicious and easiest juice.  I think if you are thinking about starting juicing this is the place to start.  Even my kids will drink this juice and that is saying something (they generally treat vegetables as one would posion).

I tend to use the same amount of carrots and apples, you can alter how much of each goes in to suit your taste but basically 2 apples, two or three carrots, cut then into large churnks, put through the juicer and hey-presto and little cup of nutrients right there!

Carrots (like oats), drag toxins out the bowel as they go through so can really help in giving you a healthier, cleaner bowel…. particularly important for us Bowel Cancer people, but for general health is still as must.

You do need a juicer for this but if you are thinking about a seriously healthy diet you are probably considering getting one anyway?!  Check out websites for 2nd hand ones if they seem a bit expensive to you.

Happy juicing

Nicola

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 7

Health and Beauty Tips
Lovely Water

Lovely Water

Water, water, everywhere!

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 7- Get your thirst on!
You know this, I know you know this, drink water.  Its rule number one and even more important if you are detoxing and trying to be healthy because it helps flush all those toxins and nasties out your body.  Ideally you want to drink one and half litres a day.
But really…..  I didn’t even need to tell you that…. you already knew! 🙂 xx