A good wee number for when you can’t really be too bothered cooking, but still want a home-cooked meal!
Ingredients: potatoes chopped into thick wedges, extra virgin olive oil (if you’re worried about cooking with mono-unsaturated fats, use coconut oil or butter), salt, one chopped onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves, beef mince (for a vegetarian option, use a can or 2 of red kidney beans instead), 4 chopped tomatoes (or a no-additives can of tomatoes), half a chopped broccoli head, a couple of handfuls of chopped spinach, 1 finely diced carrot, a sprinkle of mixed fresh or dried herbs, a sprinkle of paprika, a squirt of tomato paste. Grated cheese and sour cream or cream cheese to serve if you eat dairy.
Steps: set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spread the potato wedges on a baking tray, coat in a smidgen of olive oil (or other fat), and grind some salt over top. Bake for about 30 minutes.
While the wedges are cooking, add some olive oil (or other fat) to a good heavy pan, along with the garlic and onions. Cook, stirring, until softening and smelling deeeelicious. Add the mince and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until browning. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and paprika, and the rest of the veggies (yepp, just dump it all in) and stir it all to combine. Let it all cook and then simmer until it reaches your version of cooked perfection. Add salt and pepper as you like. I like to let it simmer on a low heat for about half an hour, checking and stirring occasionally.
Serve the tomatoey mince on top of the potato wedges, adding grated cheese to serve if you please.
By Franklee Healthy
*Sweet potato or parsnip would be lovely substitutions for the potato 🙂
Base = 1.5 cups shredded coconut, ¼ cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup of dates, ¼ cup of cacao or cocoa powder.
Filling = 1 cup of berries (any type will do!), 2 eggs, 250grams cream cheese. *if you are using frozen berries, thaw them first.
For the base, blitz shredded coconut in your food processor until oils begin to release and it starts clinging to the sides. In my food processor (nothing flash) this takes about 3-5 minutes. Add the coconut oil, dates and cacao and blitz until combined and clumping together a bit. If it is not coming together like a dough, add a little more coconut oil and blitz a little longer. You might need to push it down the sides with a wooden spoon. Press into a silicon mini-muffin tray (or lined regular one) to fill to about a third of the way up.
For the filling, blitz cream cheese, berries and eggs together in your food processor until super smooth. Spoon some on top of the base to fill the mould. Bake for 15 minutes on 180 degrees celsius or until set.
Let the mini-cheesecakes cool and set in the fridge before serving, if you can wait!
*You can choose to make one big cheesecake instead.
*If you are watching your fructose intake, you can reduce the amount of dates but blend the coconut for longer to release even more oils. This helps it to stick together. Blending in a banana instead of the dates is also an option.
Ingredients: 1 cooked kumara (sweet potato) (I boiled mine but baked would be fine too), 1 ripe banana, 1 avocado, 50 grams of melted butter, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of raw cacao (or cocoa) powder, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 cup of frozen blueberries.
Steps: Put all ingredients, apart from the blueberries, into a food processor. Blitz for a minute or two (depending on the power of your processor), until very nice and smooth. Pour into a baking-paper lined square cake tin. Sprinkle the frozen blueberries on evenly on top. Bake on 180 degrees celsius for about 30 mins or until cooked through. Let it cool for 10-15 mins, then grab the edges of the baking paper to pull it out, place on a chopping board a slice with a knife. I served it with a dollop of full-fat greek yoghurt, a strawberry and a sprinkle of cinnamon for dessert. I’ll also be taking it to work as a snack for the next few days! Enjoy.
By the way: I didn’t even peel my kumara – just chopped it up and boiled it, then blitzed it like never before. They say lots of the nutrients are in the skin!!
Living a real-food lifestyle can be really hard when the people around you are not doing the same. Surround yourself with other people who are passionate about eating real-food. Even if it’s the only step you take towards being healthier, I reckon your health would improve by default.
You will learn new things, be inspired by new cooking ideas, catch and spread the passion, and be regularly reminded why you eat real-food in the first place. It will help you live and breathe full health! Ultimately you will SEE living results of a real-food lifestyle in your friends who exude the beauty and happiness that it can bring.
If your current friends group does not value fresh real food and health and wellbeing (but you still love ‘em to bits), then I would suggest joining an online community, or creating your own online space to share all of the lovely real-food ideas, wins and challenges. By creating this community you can keep the real-food love circulating, growing and evolving.
Just make sure you have a crew that you can bounce ideas off, become excited with, and push through challenges with! Think of them as your personal wellness team. Together you will be able to sustain health and wellness for life.
Ingredients: 1 small banana, 1 medjool date, half a chopped zucchini, ¼ cup of almond meal, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons of cacao powder. Optional addition to boost protein: 1 egg.
Steps: blitz the banana, date and zucchini in a bullet like blender, to forma a smooth paste. Pour it into a large mug. Add almond meal, baking soda and cacao powder (and egg if using). Mix it all well, then microwave for two minutes (microwaves vary, though). Either eat it spoon by spoon from the mug, or gently tip it out on a plate. Serve with coconut cream, or even more delicious, coconut yoghurt, if you please. Enjoy.
*I’m sure microwaving can’t be the best thing, but damn this is delicious! And still full of good stuff! Better than your conventional toast or cereal with orange juice… Probably not an everyday thing though… xx
Ingredients: flesh of one mango (or about half a cup of frozen), 1 handful of baby spinach, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, half a cup of almond milk, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, coconut yoghurt to serve (optional).
Steps: Blitz it all up in a blender until smooth (apart from coconut yoghurt). Leave it in the fridge over night to gel through. Eat as a breakfast pudding in the morning, with coconut cream if you fancy.
Cake Ingredients:Dry: 1 and 1/4 cups of almond meal, half a teaspoon of baking soda. Wet: 1 banana, 3/4 cup of blueberries (thaw if frozen), 3 prunes, ½ tablespoon vanilla paste or extract.
Icing Ingredients: ¼ cup of blueberries, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon coconut cream.
Steps: Put the dry cake ingredients in a bowl. Blitz the wet cake ingredients in a small food processor or bullet blender. Add the pureed ingredients to the dry bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Spread into a lined loaf tin. Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes.
For the icing, puree all ingredients in a small food processor or bullet blender. Leave in the fridge to thicken up (the chia seeds will work their magic).
Let the cake cool completely before icing. Enjoy with a cuppa!
Bike Ride with my Uncle Dave to the loveliest spot in Motueka – The Janey Seddon
If you know that sinking feeling when you say ‘yes’ to doing something that you don’t actually want to do, you’re probably a people-pleaser. Making other people feel happy is a fantastic, powerful thing, but not at the expense of self-love.
Mental health impacts over-all wellbeing in a big way. So, it is super-important to please yourself before you please others. This is not being selfish; it is self-care. Running yourself into the ground to meet the needs of others is not a good idea. Looking after yourself fuels your own happiness as well as the happiness of others around you.
Everyone is different, but here are a few tips for self-care.
Schedule ‘me-time’ – every single day! I personally tick off me-time with yoga, reading novels, running, being in nature, having a cup of tea, pottering in the garden, having a bath, napping, baking, walking… just to name a few. Ten minutes is all I squeeze in some days. But I make sure I do it every. single. day!
Tune into your own needs – some days you might need to take more me-time than usual. If you listen to yourself, you will know when. And when you do need it, make sure you do it. Everything else can wait. You will do a better job at those things if you have restored your mental and emotional energy first.
Don’t be scared to break a commitmentto something that you don’t love in the first place! Humans seem to have a very strong commitment to… well… commitment! We judge ourselves, and others judge us (so what?) when we break a commitment.
Postpone – people don’t mind too much when you say a straight up ‘no’ to doing something. Try not to make excuses, or you will be left with that guilty feeling. Just say no, thanks.
Take plans into your control to make sure you do things that you will actually enjoy doing – if you have been invited for dinner but you don’t have the money to spend, change the plans to a walk on the beach instead. Don’t be afraid to suggest an alternative activity.
Pinpoint the real reason you don’t want to go – if you are purely being lazy, decide whether you might actually benefit from going ahead. If not, don’t do it.
Hopefully these little ideas will help someone out there to put himself or herself first. It really will have a significant impact on your health. To health and wellness!
I would love to hear some ways that you put yourself first… so comment below 🙂
By Franklee Healthy
A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.
Ingredients: 1 chopped swede, 1 cup of chopped celery, 1 head of garlic, 1 handful of almonds, half a cup of full cream, 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste. Grilled bacon or halloumi to garnish would go down well too.
Steps: Pop the whole garlic head into the oven on 200 degrees celsius and roast for 30 minutes. Tak it out, let cool slightly, peel and pop in the slow-cooker. Add all other ingredients, cook on low for 8-10 hours. Blend in a food processor until smooth and serve!
*use homemade stock of some sort instead of water to add more oomph!
Prominent health and medical professionals have, for the entire span of my lifetime, advocated a low fat diet to reach optimum health. Claims that a low fat diet will help reduce heart disease, cholesterol problems and fat gain, and increase longevity have been consistently published for the public eye. A food pyramid was even created, that showed us how to limit our fat intake and up our carbohydrate intake. It seemed logical that if we stop eating fat, we’ll lose fat. Billions of dollars and expertise have been channelled into public nutritional standards and recommendations over these years, so surely they’re onto something good, right?
It is astonishing to realise that these public nutritional recommendations we have been hearing our entire lives, were never actually supported with any reliable scientific proof. They began as hypotheses that appealed to those who were advocating it, and remained as hypothesis without being proven right. Truthfully, they were actually proven wrong, but these findings were, conveniently, never published or publicised. That is, until now. More reliable research from the ‘good scientists’ like Gary Taubes and Malcolm Kendrick is beginning to surface. It rings alarm bells about the previous nutritional beliefs. It is saying that fat (including saturated fat), dietary cholesterol, and even salt, are healthy for the human body. They can also help us lose fat. Food examples include fatty meats, eggs, butter, raw full-fat dairy, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and avocado. Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, can be extremely harmful for the human body. They can also cause us to gain fat. Food examples include pasta, couscous, white rice, bread and a myriad of processed and packaged foods. In a nutshell, our diminishing intake of fats and salt is harming our health, as is our increased intake of refined carbohydrates.
So, the verdict: FAT IS YOUR FRIEND. There is so much evidence surfacing confirming that eating healthy fat does not make you fat. In fact, it helps you to lose fat. Our bodies need healthy fat to run efficiently, and to stay lean. Higher fat diets also fill you up for longer, meaning you don’t feel like consuming so much food to reach your body’s nutritional needs. Basically, eating fat can help you feel and look healthier.
So, where does one start when they have forever been told fat is bad and carbs are good? It can be a difficult mind shift. Instead of building our meals around carbs and supplementing it with protein (for example pastas and risottos), start with the protein… or better, start with the vegetables! Make meat or veggies the star or your meal. Supplement meat with plenty of clean green vegetables. Of course you can add a handful of good carbohydrates, like sweet potato or other starchier vegetables. Homemade condiments like olive-oil based mayonnaise and sugar-free sauces are a great addition too.
My own diet currently consists of of some red meats, poultry and fish, cooked in generous amounts of olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and butter. My meals always include lots of fresh, green vegetables along with more vegetables. Avocado appears when it is affordable, and I usually add some sweet potato or parsnip, and occasionally some rice. Spices and herbs are my chosen flavour enhancers. I have eggs, chia puddings, smoothies, leftovers, mug-cakes or natural yoghurt based meals for brekkie. I eat about two pieces of fruit each day, especially blueberries, oranges and kiwifruit. I snack on nuts, seeds, cheese, homemade goodies, eggs, natural greek yoghurt and homemade nut butters. And I never count calories, as it can become an unhealthy obsession. I feel great, and happy! Healthy-fat low-carb for the win!
If you are wondering more about different types of fats, see this bog post.
By the Way: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.