The Shrinking Hubby’s Healthy Food We Love To Eat – Cookbook Now Available!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Healthy Food We Love To Eat – Cookbook Now Available!

Healthy Food We Love To Eat is my first cookbook and is the result of a decade of countless hours spent in the kitchen experimenting with recipes to support my husband Andrew in losing an enormous 60 kilos (130 pounds). Our whole family has permanently embraced a healthy lifestyle and this cookbook includes over 50 of our favourite recipes.

 

I am so proud of this book which has been beautifully designed and photographed.  It presents in a simple and easy to follow format for both Thermomix and non-Thermomix users alike.

All my recipes are gluten free, refined sugar free and many are dairy free.  The simplicity of the recipes will have you and your family enjoying delicious flavours and some of your favourite foods without feeling deprived – all while enjoying the added energy and vitality that better food choices bring.  Healthy Breakfasts, Vibrant Smoothies, Hearty Soups, My Favourite Salads, Healthy Meals for Lunch and Dinner and Sweet Treats provide something for everyone . . . click here to buy the book now and be inspired to get into the kitchen and start creating delicious meals that are perfect for you and your family!

As a very special offer for a limited time, I am offering free shipping throughout Australia. Just use the code MOTHERSDAY at the checkout.

Happy Cooking!

Love, Alix

XX

 

Surviving The Silly Season

I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact that it is already December.  We personally have had a massive year filled with lots of exciting adventures but it has really flown!  So here we are at that time of the year when everyone is trying to squeeze catch ups and celebrations in before the year ends and 2015 rolls in.  

I know that when I am in my normal routine it is a lot easier to stay on track with my food and general well-being.  When you are eating out a lot more than normal it becomes challenging to stay in control of what you are eating and drinking, and if you don’t have iron-clad willpower (let’s face it – how many of us really do?!) then you can pretty much guarantee that you will over indulge.  

Here are my top 5 tips to staying on track during this crazy time.

1.  Drink lots (and lots and lots) of water.  Try and drink at least 3 litres per day.  If like us you are living Down Under  you’ll need it to help your body deal not just with toxins but also with the heat – and we are expecting a scorcher of a summer in Australia this year!

2.  Don’t let your training regime go out the window.  Make sure you commit to as many of your regular sessions as you can, and if you can pick up a couple of extra workouts to make up for relaxing your diet, then that’s all the better for you!  If you can find a training buddy to keep you accountable and motivated it will make it much easier to stick to your resolve.

3.  Don’t skimp on your sleep.  Yes there might be some late nights celebrating, but make an extra effort to turn the screens off and have early nights when you don’t have stuff on.  You should be aiming for at least 7 hours sleep – more at this time of the year would be even better!

4.  Eat more greens!  Full of essential nutrients to help your body detox and recover, eating more leafy greens at this time of year will really make a difference.  Throw a handful of spinach in your scrambled eggs in the morning, or in your protein shake.  Even better, now is a good time to make a green smoothie a daily ritual.  My favourite green smoothie is a blend of spinach, cucumber, lemon,green apple, ginger, turmeric, ice and filtered water.  I also like to add my supplements including a probiotic powder, greens powder and collagen.  All which keep me on top of my game!

5.  Try not to stress about it!  Stress is probably the most toxic thing you can do to your body.  It’s been a big year, why shouldn’t you be able to let your air down and enjoy yourself a little more than usual?!  Do the best you can but don’t beat yourself up for having a bit of fun over the next few weeks.  Just make sure you resolve to jump straight back on the wagon in the new year.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and all the best for 2015!

X

Alix

 

3 Home Workouts Guaranteed To Test You Regardless Of Your Ability – Guest Post By Jess Robinson of Lazy Girl Fitness

There are many reasons why it’s not always possible to get to the gym. It could be your kids, absent partners, lack of time and/or lack of motivation to walk through those often intimidating gym doors.  I am often relegated to my garage to train  and so I am always on the lookout for nifty little workouts that I can pull out and use.

Lucky for you guys, I asked my good friend Jess from Lazy Girl Fitness for a selection of workouts so you can start doing the same thing.  It doesn’t matter how fit you are! Here is an example of a beginner, intermediate and advanced workout to get you started.  I tried the advanced one with a good friend last week and it wasn’t pretty, we were a sweaty mess by the end of it, but it was fun and we felt amazing all day!

So give at least one of these a go this weekend and let me know how you feel after!  Thanks Jess!!!

We were a sweaty mess but it was loads of fun!

We were a sweaty mess but it was loads of fun!

3 Home Workouts Guaranteed To Test You Regardless Of Your Ability

By Jess Robinson of Lazy Girl Fitness

No matter where you are on the spectrum of fitness, planning a workout can be tough. How long should the session go? What body parts should I work? Why am I having a complete mind blank on ideas?

We’ve all been there.

Luckily, putting together workouts is one of my favourite things, so today I’ve done not one, but three for you! All are no-equipment bodyweight workouts that can be done anywhere – from the gym to your backyard or even your living room. And everyone’s a winner because I’ve designed a beginner, intermediate and advanced session.

No excuses guys!

Beginner Workout

This total body workout is a great place to begin, full of simple exercises that will get your heart rate up and your muscles into gear, When you’re just starting out, it’s important to include ample rest time in your program. As you progress, feel free to increase the intensity of the workout by decreasing your rest time and/or increasing the intensity at which you perform the exercises.

Lazy Girl Fitness Workout For Beginners

Lazy Girl Fitness Workout For Beginners

 

Intermediate Workout

OK we’re starting to really work now. Part one of this workout will send your heart rate skyrocketing. Part two is all about intensity – go as hard and as fast as you can (while keeping good form) and try to better yourself with each round. This workout isn’t a long one, but you should be dripping with sweat by the time you’re done.

 

Lazy Girl Fitness' Intermediate Workout

Lazy Girl Fitness’ Intermediate Workout

 

Advanced Workout

Yikes. You know that any session starting with five minutes of burpees is going to be a doozy! It’s a 45-minute full-body HIIT session that focuses on big movements for maximum calorie burn and finishes with a cheeky little abs circuit. If you don’t curse me by the end then I’ll be a bit surprised.

Lazy Girl Fitness' Advanced Workout

Lazy Girl Fitness’ Advanced Workout

 

Hope you enjoy them!

About The Author:

Jess Robinson is a certified personal trainer, outdoor fitness instructor, writer and sub-editor, based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. She created Lazy Girl Fitness in the hopes of building a positive online community where everyone – from the fitness-crazed to the fitness-phobic – can come together for workout ideas, conversation and empowerment. She also needed somewhere to post pictures of her dog.

You can read more on her blog here, follow her on facebook at here or twitter/instagram @LazyGirlFit

PS – Jess is holding a Get Set For Summer 6 week bootcamp in Sydney in November – if you are interested please check out the link here.

jessandlou

How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon (Guest Post)

How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon (Guest Post)

Today’s guest-post is written by a friend of mine Mandy Sacher of  Wholesome Child, who is a qualified nutritionist specialising in children’s health.

As a busy mother of 3 young children (8, 5 and 4 years old) who are very fussy eaters, I struggle to come up with healthy and varied options at mealtimes that actually get enjoyed.  As Mandy explains in her  article below,  Salmon is a wonderful super food that can really benefit the health of our children.  She has shares some great tips on how to include more salmon into your family’s diet.  You will also find below my recipe for The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon and Noodles our go-to favourite salmon recipe – one of the few dinners that gets demolished every time.  I hope you enjoy this post!

How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon

By Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child

Salmon is a super brain boosting food for babies and children.  It is rich in omega-3-fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are essential for developing brains. These types of oils are found in breast milk and are always added to infant and follow-on-formulas. Recent studies show that children whose diets are rich in these essential fatty acids achieve better results at school – especially in the areas of reading and memory performance. Evidence has also shown that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behaviour/learning disabilities are more likely to have diets which are low in omega-3’s and would benefit from increasing their DHA levels.

Not only are these essential oils important for brain health, they are also crucial for healthy eye development and strong immune systems as they ward off inflammatory childhood diseases. One of the best ways to ensure they are getting enough of these fatty acids in their diets is to bump up their salmon intake.  However, when choosing salmon – especially for babies and small children – it is important to take note of where it comes from and how it is fed.  Many farmed salmon are fed pellets which contain genetically-modified grains and fats such as soy, corn and canola oil.  Synthetic dyes may also be added to their feed to give their flesh that attractive pink colour and there is a widespread use of antibiotics and other chemicals which are not found in high quality premium grade salmon such as wild salmon or organic salmon.

Most parents reading this article are thinking “I am aware of the health benefits of salmon but how do I get my children to eat more of it?”   Here are Wholesome Child’s Top 10 ways to get kids to eat more salmon.  Many of these recipes are perfect for healthy lunchbox meals.

  • The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon with Noodles (see below or click here for recipe)
  • Coconut crumbed salmon nuggets with dipping sauces such as home-made tomato sauce, tzatziki or beetroot hummus.
  • Spelt pasta spirals with creamy salmon and cheese sauce (great for winter, if your school does not heat food up send in a thermos).
  • Tasty salmon hamburger patties served on a sourdough spelt bun or in a wrap.
  • Savoury salmon and veggie mini- muffins.
  • Home-made cooked salmon sushi rolls.
  • Goat cheese, pumpkin and salmon mini-quiches
  • Rice paper rolls with cooked salmon and buckwheat soba noodles.
  • Salmon sandwich: layer sandwich with flaked salmon, crème fraiche, Dijon mustard and sweet potato puree
  • Salmon Shepherd pies are a great alternative to meat.
  • Salmon lasagne with plenty of vegetables.

So which is the best salmon for kids?  Many parents who are concerned about mercury levels, taste (compliance – getting their kids to eat it) prefer organic salmon to commercially farmed salmon and wild salmon.

Organic Norwegian Salmon is reared in the ocean in their natural habitat and there are 50% less salmon per habitat than non-organic salmon. They are free to eat natural occurring food sources within the ocean that flow into their estuaries and they are reared on 100% organic feed, which is fit for human consumption (100% sustainable).  There are no pesticides, no chemicals, no synthetic dyes and no nitrates. It’s really important when recommending fish for pregnant women, infants and children that we know exactly what the mercury, dioxin and PCB levels are and where our salmon come from.

About The Author:

Mandy Sacher is a paediatric nutritionist and health writer, who sources quality products for her clients.  She has had over 15 years of experience in the health industry and is the founder of Wholesome Child – helping parents to feed their children RIGHT from the start!

Mandy stocks the best quality organic salmon and is located in Rose Bay, Rozelle and delivers to St Ives on Tuesday.

You can find out more about Mandy at her website www.wholesomechild.com.au, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Wholesome-Organic-Salmon or you can contact her at mandy@wholesomechild.com.au

The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon With Noodles

What you will need:

  • 1-2 fillets organic salmon
  • 1/3 cup of good quality brown rice miso paste (found from organic health food shops or whole food shops)
  • 1 packet Vietnamese Rice Pad Thai Noodles (or you can use buckwheat or soba noodles – adjust cooking time according to instructions.)
  • A couple handfuls green beans (topped and tailed)

How to pull it together:

  • Bring a medium-sized saucepan to the boil.
  • Add the miso paste and using a whisk mix together well.
  • Add the rice noodles (which generally take around 8 minutes to cook or if using different noodles adjust cooking time accordingly).  Cook for 2 minutes.
  • After 2 minutes, add the salmon fillet/s to the miso and noodles.  Cook for 4 minutes.
  • After 4 minutes add the beans and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Dish out into bowls, ensure to add a couple of ladlefuls of nutritious miso broth to the mixture and serve.

Notes:  For a more grown up version – this is delicious drizzled with some tamari, a little sesame oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.  You could also add some chilli oil for a kick.

 

 

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes (And How To Find A Little More Time In Your Day)

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes (And How To Find A Little More Time In Your Day)

We all know that being a Mum is not easy !  I put a few feelers out there amongst some of the mums I know and on my Facebook page to ask what they find hardest about motherhood, and resoundingly the biggest challenge for most busy mums is definitely lack of time.  At whatever stage you are with your parenting – be it babies and toddlers or school-aged kids, life seems to get busier and busier as time goes on.  What often happens unfortunately, is that we tend to put ourselves last in the pecking order.  In honour of Mothers Day in Australia next weekend and for all the busy mums out there, I thought I would share some of my favourite tips for making some more time in your day.  I hope that you manage to spend some of this extra time on yourselves!  I am also sharing a new yummy pancake recipe so that your loved ones (or even you!) can spoil yourself with a delicious, healthy and comforting breakfast next Sunday.  They are Thermomix friendly but you could use a food processor or blender just as easily.  Don’t you think they would be yummy to have in bed with a cup of tea and the Sunday papers next weekend?  Hint .. hint ..!

Here are just some of my suggestions to increase some time for yourself during your busy day:

  1. Prioritise! Decide what really matters to you and organise yourself so that you can make time to fit those things in.
  2. Get up an hour earlier and factor some time for yourself– walk, run or even meditate.  If you find it hard to get motivated for morning exercise, make sure you have a plan so you know exactly what to do when your alarm goes off.  Set your clothes out the night before, fill up your drink bottle and put it next to your keys.  Download some music to make your walk/run more interesting.  Make a commitment by writing it in your diary or organise to meet up with a friend so you will be more motivated to go.
  3. Go to bed an hour earlier.  The best time to get your important sleep is before midnight and everything is so much better when you are well rested (plus if you have an early night it makes it easier to wake up the next morning!)
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask those close to you for help if you are struggling!  If you need a little time-out, your partner could watch the kids for so you can go for a walk or have a relaxing bath.
  5. Be clever in the kitchen – pack school lunches the night before, when you buy fruit chop it and pack it up straight away so it’s easy to grab in a hurry, freeze sandwiches in bulk, make more at dinner and freeze half/ or have for lunch the next day.  Do big cook ups on the weekend so you don’t have to worry about it during the week.  Cook batches of chicken, hard boiled eggs, quinoa, rice etc and keep on hand in the fridge so you can quickly pull together healthy meals.  There are some great gadgets out there that are designed to make your life easier in the kitchen.  The Thermomix (or thermo-type appliances) or a slow cooker can really save time.  Try my Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks, my Chicken and Eggplant Bake or Greek Inspired Shepherds Pie which are all easy to make double of and all freeze beautifully.

At the end of the day we should be grateful that our lives are so full – those little people might be hard work – but they are more precious than anything!  Happy Mothers Day!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes

– Serves 4 –

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons aluminium free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 organic free range eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Organic butter or coconut oil for cooking
  • Fruit, yoghurt and/or organic maple syrup or honey to serve

How to pull it together:

Put all the ingredients in your Thermomix or food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds speed 9/10 until well blended and of a consistency you are happy with.  You may wish to experiment with the amount of water you use depending on how thick you like your batter.

Heat a large frying pan, add a dollop of butter (or coconut oil) and let it melt.  Spoon out the batter (I did 3 small pancakes at a time).  Watch carefully and when nicely browned, flip and cook the other side until ready.

Serve as you like – Some suggestions are:  fruit, organic maple syrup, raw honey, almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dollop of greek yoghurt.

Enjoy X

Pasta-free Spaghetti Bolognese, Zucchini Noodles and Caper and Avocado Salsa

Pasta-free Spaghetti Bolognese, Zucchini Noodles and Caper and Avocado Salsa

One of the things I would like to achieve this year  is a happy balance when it comes to dinner time.   Of course some nights it is too hard to sit down as a family with work commitments, extra curricular activities (ours and theirs) and life in general.  However by by feeding the kids early and then cooking a separate meal for Andrew and I,  I feel that  a) we are missing out on connecting with our kids and b) I am working twice as hard as I need to!   The problem is that Andrew and I really haven’t been eating the same food as our kids.  We love our vegetables and chili and sophisticated flavours and as a rule tend to avoid starchy carbohydrates at night.  They love their simple food such as gluten free pasta, potato and rice. They are also super fussy and likely to turn their noses up at most meals I put in front of them which makes it very frustrating.   So I have decided to create a new section on this website dedicated to family friendly meals that can be adapted to please mum and dads and the kids without too much angst.

First off the rank is my Bolognese (or Bolognaise if that’s the way you spell it!).  I made this sauce the other night (see the recipe below).  I don’t like cooking bolognese in my Thermomix but I find the Thermomix is brilliant for chopping the onions and garlic and getting the vegetables to the exact consistency that I like.  I have noted where I used my Thermomix below.

For the children I serve it on top of gluten free pasta with a sprinkling of lactose free cheese (my 5 year old is lactose intolerant).  My 8 year old however tried Parmesan for the first time the other night (not being put off by the smell) and loved it – an excellent surprise!  They say persistence is the key (sigh) …

I served ours on a bed of zucchini noodles (see how I make my zucchini noodles below).  I didn’t even heat the noodles, I just topped with the hot sauce and then with an avocado and caper salsa (see below).

The Shrinking Hubby’s Bolognese

This makes an enormous batch of bolognese sauce.  Enough to feed a family for a good 3-4 nights.  I freeze some in family sized portions and some in ice cube trays for a quick mid-week kids dinner on the fly.  Don’t be alarmed if it seems like it will be too watery, it thickens up beautifully over the cooking time.

What you will need:

  • 1 Kg grass-fed beef mince
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or  teaspoons of good quality organic minced garlic – I like the Spiral brand)
  • 1 largish brown onion
  • 2-3 cups vegetables – whatever you have in the fridge really.  I like to use carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms depending on what I have.
  • 2 bottles of organic passata sauce (I use 690 gram jars or about 25 ounces).  *Passata is a tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • Dried herbs e.g Italian herb mix (there are many available), paprika, dried oregano
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

1.  Chop the onions and garlic (if using a Thermomix throw onion and garlic in and blitz for 3 seconds speed 5).

2. Finely chop the vegetables, or place the vegetables in a food processor and blitz until chopped to your liking.  (if using a Thermomix throw veggies in and chop for 5-8 seconds speed 5-6 depending on how finely you like them chopped.

How to pull it together:

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot.  When oil is hot add the onions and garlic and a generous sprinkle of sea salt, turn down the heat and saute for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.   When onion is well cooked, add the meat and cook until browned.  When meat is cooked, add the vegetables and 1/2 cup of red wine (if using), 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup tomato paste.  Stir through until well combined.

Add both bottles of passata.  Fill the empty bottles with water and add both bottles of water at the same time (it will seem like a lot of sauce but will reduce during the cooking time).  Add a generous amount of herbs (italian herb mix, paprika, dried oregano) and 2-3 bay leaves).  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour covered.  Stir from time to time adding salt to taste if required.

You can serve with pasta or zucchini noodles topped with fresh parmesan.

How to prepare your Zucchini Noodles

What you will need:

  • 3 zucchinis/courgettes per person
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • a vegetable spiraliser

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser.  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.  Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes.  You will find a lot of liquid leaves the noodles which means that they can shrink quite a bit.  

I have tried many spiralisers to make vegetable ‘noodles’ and the GEFU Spiral Slicer Spiral Fix is by far the easiest and most effective I’ve used.

If you like the idea of Zucchini noodles and want more inspiration I have used Zucchini noodles previously with the delicious Dina’s Tomato Sauce here and my Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles here.

Caper, Avocado and Tomato Salsa (serves 2)

Combine in a small bowl 1 tablespoon salted baby capers (well rinsed), 1/2 avocado diced, 1/4 cucumber diced, 1/2 tomato diced.  Toss with juice of 1 lime, sea salt and pepper.

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