Banoffee Slice

Disclaimer: this is a treat! It has good stuff in it, but still, a TREAT. Ok?

Banoffee PieSlice 3Base ingredients and steps

1.5 cups of nuts and/or sBanoffee Pie Slice 2eeds, pinch of salt, 1 large or 2 small ripe bananas, 1/4 cup coconut oil.

Blitz nuts and salt in your food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add banana and coconut oil. Blitz again until it forms a smooth, thick paste-like consistency. Spoon it into a lined loaf tin and smooth it out evenly. Pop it in the fridge or freezer to set.

‘Caramel’ Layer ingredients and steps

1 medium can full fat coconut cream, 1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup* or other natural sweetener, 1 tablespoon of gelatine powder, 1 tablespoon of tahini.

 

Pour coconut cream and rice malt syrup into a small saucepan. Bring it to a low-medium heat and stir occasionally for fifteen minutes as it bubbles away. It should start to brown a little. Take it off the heat and swiftly stir through the gelatine powder until smooth with no lumpy bits. Stir in the tahini. Pour the ‘caramel’ over the base layer, making sure it is even, and pop back into the fridge or freezer.

Topping ingredients and steps

Whip half a cup of cream. Spread it across the cooled and set (no wobbles) slice. Use the thickened layer of chilled coconut cream if avoiding dairy.

Add a layer of sliced banana on top of the whipped cream

Drizzle with, a) melted 85-95% cocoa dark chocolate, or b) a mixture of about ¼ cup melted coconut oil, a tablespoon of cacao powder and a tablespoon of rice malt syrup*.

Pop back into the fridge for chocolate to set, then carefully slice and eat!!

*rice malt syrup is my first choice of sweetener because it does not contain fructose, meaning it doesn’t bug your liver like other sugars. But I highly recommend removing the sweetener altogether once your palate has adjusted to a real-food diet.

By Franklee Healthy

 

ORANGE AND ALMOND UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

Because life is more fun upside down sometimes… right?! These photos don’t do it justice, but this is one SUPER SCRUMMY cake!

IMG_7586 IMG_7587Makes: One medium (delicious) cake   Time: An hour-ish

Ingredients: 100 grams of butter, 4 oranges, half a cup of coconut flour, 1 cup of almond meal, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of ground ginger,  1 cup of natural unsweetened yoghurt, 3 eggs, vanilla extract. Add some natural sweetener of choice if you really have to, but I think it is sweet enough.

Steps: Melt  butter in a saucepan on a low heat. Add  the flesh of two chopped oranges and the grated rind of one, and stew the orange in the butter until soft and mushy. In a bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond meal, baking powder and ground ginger. To this bowl add the juice of another orange, vanilla extract, yoghurt and eggs and stir through. Add the butter/orange stewy mixture to this and stir well. Neatly slice your fourth orange (skin included) and place it in a pretty pattern on the bottom of a baking paper lined cake tin. Pour the cake batter over top. Bake on 160 degrees celsius (yes it is a low heat) for about 30-45 minutes – ovens vary, so take it out at 30 minutes and poke with a fork or toothpick to see if batter is cooked through. Cook further as needed. Remove from the oven and let it cool a bit before flipping upside down onto a pretty coloured plate. Slice and serve! Goes well with a dollop of coconut cream.

By Franklee Healthy

Spaghetti and Cheesy Meatballs

photo 1 (17)photo 3 (9)Tastes just like good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. A comfort meal at its best! This is is absolutely going to become a regular dinner at our house!

Serves: 4    Time:  I got caught up in the moment and I didn’t time… 50 mins??

Ingredients: Olive oil, a chopped onion, a crushed garlic clove, a chopped chilli, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, about four chopped tomatoes, salt, rosemary, oregano, some bay leaves, ground ginger, pepper. A kilogram of beef mince, a tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce, 2 eggs, about a cup of diced/roughly chopped cheese, salt. Baby spinach. Zucchini, salt. Parmesan cheese.

Steps: Gently heat your olive oil in a wok (or pan… I just love my wok). Add onions, garlic, chilli and salt and sweat until it has nicely softened. Add apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, herbs, ginger and pepper and simmer, stirring, for 10-15 mins until it starts to look saucy. You may need to add a bit of water if there is not enough juice from the tomatoes naturally. Meanwhile, combine meat, eggs, soy sauce, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Turn off the sauce. Roll meat mixture into balls and plop them into the sauce. Once you’ve done this with all of the mixture, turn heat back on (low), and simmer until all the meat is cooked. You will need to gently turn the meatballs with your wooden spoon from time to time so it all cooks evenly. While the meatballs are cooking, slice zucchini into spaghetti. Put it in a pot with salt and olive oil, add boiling water, and boil for 5 mins. Drain and pop it in a bowl, ready to cover in delicious meatball sauce. If meatball sauce seems runny, just keep cooking it until it reduces to a thicker consistency. Towards the end, add in a couple of cups of baby spinach and stir through. Serve meatballs on top of your zucchini spaghetti, and grate plenty of parmesan cheese on top. Devour.

By Franklee Healthy

What To Do If You Hate Your Job

 

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It is SO important to wake up every day and look forward to how you will be spending it. For many people, at least eight hours of this will be at work. For the sake of health and happiness, you just gotta love it. It is non-negotiable. Stress hormones and negative thoughts can wreak havoc on your over all health.

Your current job is not your final destination, unless you want it to be. No matter your age. It may seem like you are stuck in a job because that is all you are trained to do, or because that is the only area that you have experience in. This is not true. This is an excuse, because action takes effort.

For most, quitting your job immediately is not an option. Gradually working towards a new career goal is. You have options that extend further than quitting or staying. They are not immediate. That’s OK. Here are a few:

  • Retrain in a totally new job. Studying does take time, but make it a priority and you will fit it in. There are unlimited study options out there, including part time study that you can complete from the comfort of your own couch. This is how I am studying nutritional science right now alongside a teaching job (note: I also love teaching!). Take out a student loan and see it as an investment in your health.
  • Transfer your skills to an entirely new role. Think outside the box about how to use the excellent skills you have learnt and developed in your current job, study, or during life in general, in a different job. Then, build up a super-convincing case that makes you irresistible to any employer. Have super-high confidence and believe in yourself, and go and sell yourself to employers face to face. Don’t give up at the first ‘no’ and keep going until you get a ‘yes!’ Good things take time. And effort. You will get a ‘yes.’
  • Get creative, develop your own dream occupation, and work for yourself. AKA, become an entrepreneur. It is totally possible. Broaden your perspective on what entails a job. We are in 2016. You can be so much more creative with your career now. Even half an hour a day dedicated to creating your empire will pay off eventually. Keep taking steps forward, celebrate the small wins, and don’t give up until you have created your own entrepreneurial small business. Then turn it into a large business if you want. Somewhere along the line you will have enough confidence in your own project to be able to quit your current job.
  • Move to a different department within the company that you currently work for. Unless, of course, your employer is the reason you hate your job. If your employer already values you and your contribution to their company, it is likely they would rather create a new role for you than see you go. Set up a meeting and pitch it to them. They are human too, and they probably want you to be happy!

Try not to let money influence your job choice. I am very convinced that money only brings empty, unsustainable happiness. Instead focus on what you love – you will become more successful that way anyway.

During your journey towards a better job, don’t waste negative feelings on your current job. Instead of complaining about the aspects you hate, try to find the parts of it that you love, and be grateful for these. Your work-mates, your clients, morning tea shouts, a cosy workspace, the pot plant on the window-sill, a good pay-rate, the fact that you have an income, and thinking about the difference you might be making to other people, could be some of these. Take comfort in the fact that you are taking little steps towards a more fulfilling job in the future. Do awesome stuff outside of your job. Find passion in a hobby. Appreciate the great things happening outside of your job. Appreciate the people around you. Stay happy and healthy, keep focussing on eating good food, getting exercise, and taking me-time.

So take those first steps now, and watch your life slowly fall into place. These are just some ideas to start with. You might have better ideas. Life is too short to wish you were doing something else! Go for it!

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.

Fennel and Leek Soup

 

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Ingredients: 1 chopped medium sized leek, 1 chopped brown onion, 1 chopped medium fennel – bulb, stalk, leaves and all, 1 cup of full cream, 2 cups of homemade bone broth or veggie stock, 3 cups of water, a teaspoon of salt, ½ a teaspoon of cardamom, ½ a teaspoon of turmeric. Cream cheese to serve.
Throw it all in the slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours. Once cooked, puree in your food processor in batches and store in jars in the fridge/freezer for easy go-to meals throughout the week! Serve hot with a good dollop of cream cheese. I think the cream cheese is necessary, it makes it! If you want to make your own cream cheese, it is really easy, and here is a good recipe from Sarah Wilson.

 

 

Choc-Matcha Patty Cookies

Choc-Matcha Patty Cookies 5

Makes: 10-12 Cookies, Time: About 15 Minutes

Ingredients: 1 cup of shredded coconut, half a cup of almond meal, 1 free range egg, 1 banana (the riper the better), a tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of matcha green tea powder, pinch of salt about 50 grams of dark, dark chocolate of broken up into bits.

Steps: Mix all of the ingredients together, apart from the chocolate (save the best til last), in a bowl with an egg-beater, or in a food processor. Mix in the dark chocolate bits at the end with a wooden spoon. Dollop spoons full onto a baking paper lined tray and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 8-10 minutes on fan bake.

*these would also be nice with dried cranberries as an alternative to chocolate!

*If you don’t like banana as a sweetener, you could try a few soaked medjool dates instead and include a tablespoon of the water it was soaked in!

MOROCCAN LAMB SHANKS AND CAULIFLOWER TABOULI

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A deliciously spiced, fall off the bone comfort meal. And it only requires about 25 minutes of hands-on effort. The slow-cooker does the rest.

Serves: 4    Time: 25 minutes hands-on, 8-10hrs hands-off

Lamb

Ingredients: 4 lamb shanks, a handful of chopped tomatoes, chopped spring onion, juice of a lemon, about a tablespoon each of cinnamon, ras el hanout, turmeric, ginger and cumin, some chopped fresh chilli to taste, salt, pepper, 1 cup of warm water, a handful of soaked or canned chickpeas.

Steps: Layer the ingredients from first to last in the slow-cooker. Turn ono ‘high’ for 8-10 hours. The longer the better.

Cauliflower Tabouli

Ingredients: Cauliflower (riced in the food processor), macadamia oil, chopped fresh mint, chopped fresh garlic, finely diced cucumber, finely diced zucchini, finely chopped baby spinach, salt and pepper (and any other finely diced veges that you desire!!).

Steps: Fry the ‘riced’ cauliflower and garlic in the macadamia oil in a pan on a medium heat, until just starting to brown. Take it off the heat, add the remaining ingredients, and stir it all up to combine

Yoghurt-Tahini Sauce (not pictured…whoops)

Ingredients: A cup of full fat natural greek yoghurt, some chopped fresh garlic, 2 tablespoons of tahini, finely chopped mint, salt and pepper.

Steps: Mix it all together until smooth and delicious!

Serve the lamb shanks and its juices on top of the tabouli, and dollop some yoghurt-tahini dressing on top. Enjoy!

A Gradual Transition Towards Health is O.K.

 

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Feelings of failure can sometimes creep to the surface when we do not stick to promises that we have made ourselves. They shouldn’t, because a gradual process is natural and OK.

Positive health and wellbeing is becoming a priority for more and more people as we realise that cancers and heart disease (for example) are not going to disappear by themselves. But too often, one will give up their quest for full health because they just cannot immediately stick to the mission.

Stop being so hard on yourself and realise that a full transition into a healthy lifestyle is not usually immediate. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Building new habits takes continuous repetition, until finally it sticks. Essentially you are training your mind. Training takes practice!
  • Successfully eating the right foods all of the time requires many of your hormones to rebalance once you’ve given up processed food and stress. Not until balance is reached will your body stop craving unhealthy foods and accept healthy food as its preference.
  • Acquiring accurate and up-to-date nutritional knowledge takes time… a lot of time! And you can’t DO until you KNOW. AKA, knowledge is power.

Right there are three reasons off the top of my head, that developing a healthy lifestyle takes time. In fact, because of the knowledge factor, I reckon the development never stops. Research is always being updated (thank the mystical higher powers, because otherwise we’d all be doomed).

I, for one, am one-hundred-percent still developing my healthy lifestyle. For example I am very sure in my decision to stop using chemicals in my life (think beauty and cleaning products for starters). I have definitely taken steps towards this goal, but am still very much in the process of finding the right, affordable products (or homemade recipes) for me. I am also definitive in the fact I will eat healthy, real food for the rest of my life, but am still in the process of learning exactly what micronutrients I receive from each food source, and which ones are missing in the South Island, New Zealand environment that I live in. I’m figuring out whether I need to supplement any of these, and if so how much and when?

So if you have made a health goal, try not to stress if you make a few mistakes here and there and be open to development along the way. I would even argue that a gradual transition is more effective than an immediate one (if an immediate one is even possible), because it becomes embedded in your day-to-day life and is therefore sustainable. It shows that you are committed for the long haul. So, I reckon keep reading, listening, watching, sharing and learning, and commit to health for life!

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.

Pumpkin and Coconut Slow-Cooker Soup

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Ingredients: 1 whole pumpkin chopped into large chunks (leave the skin on, its all good once slow cooked), 1 can of full fat Ayam coconut cream, 1 chopped onion, half a cup on beef stock/bone broth (a good recipe is here by Sarah Wilson (the wonder woman behind ‘I Quit Sugar’ books and website)

Steps: Throw it all in the slow cooker, set to low and cook for 8 hours. Mush it up with a potato masher until smooth and EAT. You’ll feel so warm inside.

*Yummy served with a piece of butter-slathered cloud bread from The Good Life Health’s website.

Clean Green Avocado Chicken

 

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Ingredients: Chicken breast or thighs. Warm Salad = cauliflower, broccoli, spring onion, salt, sprouted legumes (optional – I used green lentils). Avocado Dressing = 1 avocado, 1 or 2 dollops of greek yoghurt, a few fresh basil leaves, a dollop of hummus, a drizzle of tahini, salt, a hint of cumin, a hint of cinnamon, a squeeze of fresh lemon, pepper.

Steps: Fry the chicken pieces in butter and salt until crispy around the edges. For the Warm Salad: Pop all ingredients in your food processor and blitz into little but chunky bits. Lightly fry, stirring, in your choice of FAT – coconut oil, butter or ghee will all be fabulous. For the Avocado Dressing: Blitz all ingredients in your food processor until well combined and smooth.

Serve the chicken on top of the warm salad and douse with a generous amount of avocado dressing. Enjoy!

Creator’s note: Feel free to add any greens that you love!