Ingredients: 1 cup or so of full fat coconut cream (I used the lovely, thick Ayam brand), flesh of 2 avocado, 1 cup of fresh berries (I used blackberries), 3/4 cup of raw cacao powder, optional drizzle of honey to sweeten, a pinch of sea salt.
Steps: Blitz all the ingredients in your food processor until really smooth. Chill. Eat!
By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy
*pictured here swirled through yoghurt on top of fruit.
Not all exercise is created equal. Some forms are good for heart health, some good for burning fat, some good for building muscle, some for building incredible cardio fitness levels… you could really go on and on. It is important to choose the right exercise in order to reap the health benefits.
So what is the best form exercise? The one you LOVE doing, of course! The one that you don’t have to drag yourself out of bed, or off the couch, to complete! If you don’t love it, you won’t do it. And you’re only going to get the benefits if you do it. Here are some examples of the BEST exercise for me, and why:
Mountain biking, because it gives me thrills! It gets me into the fresh air and sunshine, and lets me get lost in my thoughts.
Booty Barre… it is like a fitness class based on ballet, but groovier and cheekier! Because it’s super fun, and it’s a thing I do with my good friend Tanyka. Social + fun + epic workout = win!
Yoga – because it grounds me while still getting the blood flowing. I always walk out of a yoga class with a clear head.
Boxing – to release pent up energy and challenge myself!! To get out of my comfort zone.
Everyone is different. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should be doing. Just do what you love!
I reckon one of the main reasons I maintain healthy eating habits is because I eat heaps of food! Heaps of nourishing food, that is. Filling up on the good stuff leaves no room for the processed food-like stuff. I guess it is the opposite to mainstream dieting advice, in which you ‘can’t’ eat this, or have to ‘cut out’ this, this and this.
Better still, when you’ve been doing it for a good while, your body just starts to want all the good stuff, way more than it wants all the crap stuff. You notice that you just start saying ‘no’ when you get offered the tray of biscuits with your tea at work. Simply because, you just don’t feel like it! You just don’t want it. Eating in this way keeps you satisfied, and ensures you’re getting all the goodness you need to produce healthy cells all throughout your fabulous body. It leads to great energy levels, and even makes you look better too. Bonus.
This little tweak in perspective makes a world of difference to your relationship with food. A much more positive one than when you come from a place of deprivation. Fall back in love with food. Food is your friend! Your really good friend!
Ingredients: FISH: butter for frying, your favourite white fish (we love blue cod), salt, pepper. SALSA: diced fresh cucumber, halved fresh cherry tomatoes, diced fresh avocado, shredded baby spinach leaves, chopped fresh parsley and/or coriander (some hate it, some love it!), juice of a lemon, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Steps: Heat a pan to a medium-low heat with a bit of butter. Add your fish and cook for about 2 minutes each side or until just cooked through, sprinkling each side with salt and pepper to taste as it cooks. For the salsa, simply toss all ingredients together and serve under your fish. Easy, light, delish!
Ingredients: BASE LAYER ½ cup walnuts, ½ cup shelled pistachio nuts, ¾ cup shredded coconut, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tsp cacao powder, ½ cup dried cranberries.
CHOCOLATE LAYER 1/3 cup softened or liquid coconut oil, 4 tbsp cacao powder, 1 tbsp honey.
GARNISH 2 tbsp pistachio nuts all chopped up, a few fresh cherries halved, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a few chopped fresh mint leaves.
Steps: Add nuts and coconut to a food processor and blitz until oils begin to release and it resembles breadcrumbs (slightly damp ones…). Add the coconut oil, honey and 1 tsp of cacao powder and blitz until the mixture starts to look a little buttery. Stir through the cranberries. Press the mixture into a lined small spring-form cake tin. Chill in the fridge. For the chocolate layer simply mix coconut oil, cacao powder and honey together with a wooden spoon until well combined. Pour it over the base layer. Immediately throw the garnish over the unset chocolate layer, then return to the fridge to set completely. Sprinkle the cinnamon on once set. Slice with a warm knife when you’re ready to serve. Merry Christmas, Franklee Healthy friends!!
Ingredients: a bit of butter, 2 finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic cloves, 1 sliced shallot, 500g free range chicken thighs diced into cubes, 1 big bunch of chopped up spinach or other leafy greens, edamame and mungbean fettuccine, 1 finely chopped tomato, a handful of fresh basil leaves, a handful of chopped parsley, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the juice of one lemon, 1 free range egg, salt and pepper to taste.
Steps: Cook the fettuccine as per instructions on the packet. Stirring with a wooden spoon, gently fry the garlic and shallot on a medium-low heat in the butter until it becomes soft and smells awesome. Add the chicken to the pan and continue cooking, stirring with the wooden spoon, until just cooked through. Add the leafy greens and herbs and stir through to wilt. Take off the heat. Gently stir through the cooked and drained fettuccine, drizzle through a decent amount of olive oil, squeeze in the lemon juice, stir through the raw egg (the heat of the dish will cook it a bit), and season with your desired amount of salt and pepper. I feel a lovely glass of wine would go down well with this dish too!
*I use organic edamame and mung-bean fettuccine from Explore Asian, and it is delish.
I eat greens for breakfast! Or, more frequently, I drink greens for breakfast. I always make it delicious, so I look forward to it when I wake up. None of that screw-up-your-face-and-pinch-your-nose action associated with healthy greens shots or supplements.
How do I make it delicious? Usually by throwing lush, leafy greens into a smoothie, and other times by whipping up a gorgeous breakfast salad.
If you’re intrigued and want to give it a go, then here are three ideas to get you started:
1. Make a decadent, silky-smooth chocolate smoothie by blending together a couple of hands full of baby spinach greens, 1 ripe banana, 1 tablespoon of tahini, 3 tablespoons of cacao powder, 1 cup of coconut or almond milk, and a dollop of coconut cream. Total bliss!
2. Try a refreshing green smoothie by blending together 1 handful of leafy greens (keep any fibrous stalks out of this one), 1 chopped up orange, a teeny bit of finely chopped fresh ginger root, 1 cup of cold water and a couple of ice cubes. Blend it reeeeally well. Try experimenting with berries and different fruits too.
3. Wilt your greens! In a pan, stir a few hands full of leafy greens and a good pinch of salt in coconut oil over a medium heat to wilt. Serve under a couple of perfectly runny poached eggs.
These three ideas should be enough to get you started without getting sick of the same thing every day. If that’s not enough food for your breakfast, just have something else too. Sometimes a refreshing green smoothie is all I need, and other times it is simply a refreshing accompaniment to my yoghurt bowl or buckwheat porridge. But always something green to boost the day’s nutrients. Listen to your body and do what makes you feel good.
Ingredients: Cake/dry – 1 & ½ cups desiccated coconut, ½ cup ground almonds, ¼ cup psyllium husk, ½ tsp salt.
Cake/wet – ½ cup coconut milk, 1 ripe banana, 2 limes.
Honey-Coconut Icing – 1 cup coconut cream*, 2 tbsp raw natural honey
Steps: Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon. Add coconut milk and banana to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into the dry ingredients. Peel the limes and chop the flesh into small bits. Blitz them into a pulp using your blender or food-processor (a bullet-like blender works well). Add lime pulp to the dry ingredients and grate in some of the leftover skin to taste, if you are into the bitterness of the skin. Mix it all together with your wooden spoon until well combined. Press the cake mixture into a small lined spring-form cake-tin and pop in the fridge.
To make the honey-coconut icing, simply blend the coconut cream and honey together in a blender. Pour evenly over the cake and return to the fridge for a few hours to set. Remove from the cake tin, slice and enjoy with a cup of tea.
*You will need to use a good, thick coconut cream such as the Ayam brand in full fat. Alternatively, you can make up a cup from a runnier band by chilling a couple of cans upside-down over night, then scooping the thick stuff off the top upon opening.
*If you have a sweet tooth, blend about a quarter cup of soaked dates to the wet mix… or a few tablespoons of honey.
Sometimes I ride my push-bike to work. Not everyday, but that is something I might work up to. I bike other places too. It saves me petrol, but I reckon it also contributes to good all-round health.
Starting the day on my bike allows me to escape from the all too common modern rush, which is especially apparent when living in a city. Biking is slower physically, yes (although I still keep up with the backed-up morning traffic), but it also slows my mind. It helps me to appreciate the little things, and stop sweating the small stuff. When you slow down like that, you begin to appreciate aspects of your world that you might not otherwise notice. The fresh air, the smell of flowers, the elements, the smiles that get thrown your way, birds, the relationships between people walking by, your own health, community involvement, and just the world around you. You notice life more, and that’s pretty cool.
I also love the way that morning exercise brings energy and clarity to my day. Biking instead of driving to work allows me to include exercise in my morning routine with next to no extra time. It wakes up my brain and body, and my day becomes more productive, fulfilling and enjoyable.
Biking home from work gives me time to unwind and reflect on the day. And by the time I’m home from work, I am no longer thinking about it. Or at least, I am thinking about it in a positive way rather than feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
It is nice to know I’m being kind to the environment, too.