Hands up if you struggle to find time to prepare yourself any sort of breakfast in the morning let alone a delicious and nutritionally complete meal that will have you salivating for it the minute you wake up? These overnight oats are fantastic! Not only because they take about 1 minute to whip up before you go to bed, not only because there is something very decadent about having a gourmet meal ready for you as soon as you wake up, not only because the goodness of low GI oats will satisfy you and keep those nasty morning hunger pangs at bay, not only because EVERY SINGLE ingredient is a natural wonder-food but especially because it tastes amazing!
I am sharing the recipe below which is how we have been eating them lately, but there are so many other things you can add/subtract to create some variety. (Think gogi berries, walnuts, LSA, macca powder, mixed spice, vanilla, prunes, craisins – the list is endless!) The quantities below make enough for about 6 servings (plus yoghurt and fruit). For the 2 of us it lasts for about 3 days (which is about as long as they would last in the fridge anyway) so as far as time management is concerned they are a little gem! Obviously if its the kind of thing your kids would eat as well the recipe is easy to double …
Overnight Oats (serves 6)
How to make it:
Place the following ingredients into a bowl:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 apple grated – I like the consistency of the food processor (and I really detest standing there hand grating an apple!) – but either is fine (you could even finely dice it if you would prefer)
Mix the above well (as if you don’t you might get little clumps of chia/cinnamon – not that that is necessarily a bad thing ..) and add enough almond milk to cover. I use about 2 1/2 cups.
Cover and place in fridge overnight.
We love it with a dollop of greek yoghurt (I use the full fat Jalna brand) and 1 cup of chopped fruit. Berries, mango, nectarine, peaches, prunes, banana and/or passionfruit all work really well – depending on what you like. I also like to sprinkle mine with some cinnamon and flaked almonds.
So delicious! Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow me on facebook www.facebook.com/theshrinkinghubby or instagram @theshrinkinghubby
A really healthy sweet treat that you can enjoy guilt free – sound too good to be true? This is an absolutely delicious recipe from The Healthy Chef (Teresa Cutter). Full of healthy ingredients, it uses honey instead of sugar and almond meal instead of flour but does not sacrifice itself as far as taste and satisfaction is concerned. This is a great cake to make if you are having people over for tea and freezes really well if you want to cut it up into individual serves for when that sweet craving hits hard. Feel free to play around with the spices and/or dried fruit – adding some walnuts might be nice …
Healthy Carrot Cake
What you will need:
3 large carrots grated (food processors make this task really easy)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups almond meal
1/4 cup coconut oil (Teresa uses macadamia nut or olive oil – I used coconut oil and found it gave the cake a deliciously nutty flavour)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup craisons (I added these – delicious!)
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
How to make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius (320 degrees Fahrenheit)
2. Combine carrot, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, oil, honey, sultanas, craisons and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well. (I used my mix-master on a slow setting to make sure it mixed well)
3. Pour into a lined and greased loaf tin.
4. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through. You may need to cover with foil if it starts to burn before cooked through.
5. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin then turn out and serve as you wish. (it is delicious on it’s own, or you could top it with greek yoghurt, cream cheese and icing sugar or whatever you fancy).
In our quest for good health sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
Here are 10 foods that most of us eat regularly that can be swapped for just-as- good- but- much- healthier options.
1. Swap BREAD for SPELT/RYE MOUNTAIN WRAPS
We really don’t need the amount of bread that the average person eats. We are conditioned to toast in the mornings and sandwiches at night and bread rolls for dinner but you will notice such a difference if you cut out the bread. Mountain Bread is so wonderfully versatile. It’s easy to swap your breakfast toast or lunchtime sandwich for a mountain bread wrap and as for the bread rolls at dinner – totally unnecessary GET RID OF THEM!!!
2. Swap OLIVE OR VEGETABLE OILS for COCONUT OIL (for cooking)
I love love love my olive oil in salad dressings or as a marinade, but for cooking coconut oil has amazing health properties and its exquisite nutty flavour adds something extra to your food. I have been using it to cook my bodyism pancakes, my healthy almond meal schnitzel (recipe to come) or even cook up our chicken for the fridge. It adds a delicious zing to my vegetable ratatouille (recipe to come) too. Yum! When taken in moderation it actually assists weight loss and apparently is amazing for your skin and hair.
3. Swap your REGULAR LATTE for a PICCOLO LATTE
Yes it’s not as nice as a big milky coffee, but not as harsh as a straight espresso and drinking milk definitely effects the bloating of our stomachs. This is one habit that is easy (and cheaper) to get into and makes your morning coffee (almost) guilt free. Especially if you drink more than 2 coffees a day make the 2nd and 3rd piccolos if you can’t deal without your latte in the morning.
I’ll also go against the grain here and say that I always drink full cream milk – I believe that skim milk although less in fat is so heavily processed that the body struggles to digest it. Whenever I’ve switched to skim I’ve never noticed a difference on the scales, on the contrary I find myself fuller after full cream so I am less likely to snack …
4. Swap BALSAMIC VINEGAR in your salad dressings for APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar has amazing health benefits like aiding digestion and reducing bloating. It is such a yummy and easy salad dressing to whip up 1 tablespoon olive oil to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar with some sea salt and cracked pepper.
5. Swap CREAM CHEESE for COTTAGE CHEESE
Cottage cheese IS YOUR FRIEND! It is just as yummy as cream cheese but much higher in protein. Spread it on your mountain bread wrap with chicken, tomato and spinach before toasting, or have it for afternoon tea with some yummy mango or berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon, or spread with avocado on rice cakes (plain of course). Delicious.
6. Swap CHOCOLATE for RAW CHOCOLATE
Good food stores sell raw chocolate – made with coconut or cacoa butter, and agave syrup. It is much richer than chocolate and definitely tastes different but it is a great way to get rid of those sugar/ chocolate cravings and a little goes a loooong way.
7. Swap MARGARINE for ORGANIC BUTTER
Your body doesn’t know what to do with the processed nature of margarine which is completely artificial and laden with nasty trans fats. Much better to use (better tasting anyway) natural organic butter instead – in moderation of course!
8. Swap REGULAR YOGHURT for GREEK YOGHURT
Greek yoghurt has more protein and less carbohydrates than regular yoghurt but so thick and creamy and delicious! It’s very versatile – mix with avocado and fresh lime for an easy guacamole or have with berries as a snack. Use in salad dressings or sauces.
9. Swap FLOUR for ALMOND MEAL
This is trickier than the other swaps because it takes a bit of getting used to but almond meal is a great substitute for flour and much better for our gut. The paleo diet has embraced the use of almond meal and there are many yummy recipes out there. I will be posting a few in the coming weeks.
10. Swap SUGAR/ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS for NATVIA or RAW HONEY
We are starting to realise how terrible sugar is on our bodies but if you really need that sweetness give raw honey or Natvia a go. Natvia is an all natural sweetener made from stevia – so versatile – without the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners.
So as you can see – you don’t have to suffer to be healthy, most of these swaps are far superior in taste than their counterparts!
I discussed some healthy snack options for our kids (here) a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be helpful to talk about some food ideas for us too! If you want to lose weight the worst thing you can do is stop eating. Our bodies need to be constantly fuelled to keep our metabolism going. A healthy day of eating would ideally involve lemon water upon waking followed by a hearty breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack and dinner. Don’t forget to keep drinking water – at least 2-3 litres a day – often your body mistakes thirst for hunger making you eat more …
I often get asked what Andrew and I eat so I thought I’d give you a brief overview. It seems like a lot of food but keep portion sizes small. Also keep in mind that we exercise almost every day so we need to replenish our bodies. It’s long but I thought it was important to get the full day in.
Starting your day with a big glass of filtered water with a squeeze of lemon in it is such a great way to flush out and detox your body. I must admit until I recently started drinking my lemon water I was sceptical. However I have definitely noticed higher energy levels since I have been doing this.
Breakfast is SO important. If you tell your body (by not eating when you wake up in the morning) that it needs to go into famine mode you will start the day feeling sluggish and tired as your metabolism slows right down leaving the path open for unhealthy food choices during the day as you try to eat some energy back. Much better to start with a hearty and healthy breakfast to get your energy levels going from the beginning of your day. You will feel satisfied which will make you less tempted to make unhealthy choices.
I’ve already given you some delicious suggestions for breakfast e.g. a toasted mountain bread wrap (see here), quinoa porridge (see here), or healthy pancakes (see here). Another great breakfast is an omelette (with 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites) or poached eggs with mushrooms, tomato, avocado and spinach.
You don’t have to make a big deal about breakfast though. A good quality muesli (preferably without dried fruit) topped with some greek yogurt and berries, or some rye or spelt toast with avocado, hummus or a healthy nut butter (check out your health food section in the supermarket) are also tasty and easy options.
Mid Morning and Mid afternoon Snacks
These snacks are great! Always try to incorporate protein in your snacks to help satisfy you for longer.
Here are my favourite snacks (note that they all contain some form of protein):
- 2 Brown rice cakes with avocado and cottage cheese or hummus and avocado. (choose the rice cakes that contain puffed brown rice only. NOT the flavoured ones that are full of artificial junk.
- A couple of hard boiled eggs.
- Some greek yoghurt and berries (fruit best consumed in the morning because of its sugar content)
- A good quality protein bar – I love the protein bars from 180 nutrition as they are made only from superfoods rather than artificial junk.
- Protein shake – again I try to avoid the protein powders that have chemicals in them. 180 nutrition has a great protein powder but I love the sunwarrior one – have 2 scoops of chocolate with a banana, a tablespoon of macca powder (another superfood) and water. (Sometimes I have this shake for breakfast)
- An apple and 10 almonds
- 100 grams of chicken or turkey breast or smoked salmon
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- A small tin of flavoured tuna (again make sure you choose the naturally flavoured ones – i.e. the chilli, lemon and cracked pepper and zesty vinegrette are all healthy options)
Here are some suggestions of things I like to eat for lunch:
- Chicken or tuna and salad
- Mountain bread wraps either my toasted chicken wrap (here) or tuna and salad
- My yummy chicken quinoa recipe (here)
- Tuna with ½ cup brown rice or quinoa and spinach, lemon and chilli
- Homemade soup
We try not to eat starchy carbohydrates for dinner most nights of the week – e.g. pasta, potatoes, rice etc. Once in a while we allow ourselves a treat such as my healthy lamb pizza (here) but most of the time dinner is protein and vegetables – think delicious marinades for your meat and big healthy salads, stir fries, soups, bakes. I have already shared some yummy dinners such as my spicy lamb mince (here), salmon with haloumi and lentil salad (here), and the delicious piri piri roast lamb (here). I have so many more yummy recipes to come – so stay tuned!!!
If you got through all of that – well done!!! Feel free to comment or ask any questions – I love hearing from you!
I promise these are just as good, if not better than your traditional pancake recipe. Our girls love them and I love watching them eat them knowing how healthy they really are. As a treat I love to drizzle them with organic maple syrup, but organic honey would be yummy too and if you’d rather not indulge quite so much then fruit and yoghurt would also be great. They would also make a great lunchbox snack if you make them into pikelet size – (you may have missed my post on healthy snacks for children …). This is my favourite Saturday morning post-workout brecky!!!
This recipe comes from the people at Bodyism (www.bodyism.com) – James Duigan is a great mentor for clean eating. (I have added the vanilla)
Healthy Oat Pancakes
(serves 2-4 but for our family of 2 adults and 3 children I would make 1 1/2 times this recipe)
You will need:
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
How to make them:
Whiz the cottage cheese, oats, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla in a food processor until well blended.
Heat some coconut oil (or olive oil, or organic butter) in a pan and ladle a spoonful of mixture. Cook like you would a normal pancake (just be careful when flipping and make sure they don’t burn).
Top with fresh fruit (I love strawberries, blueberries and banana) and a drizzle of maple syrup (make sure it’s the real deal and not the awful artificial stuff) or some honey if desired. You could also spoon a dollop of yoghurt with the fruit if you like …