Healthy, hot breakfasts – Porridge 5 ways

I’ve had a few people say to me recently that they’re not eating healthily because it’s cold.  Now I totally get that the cold makes you crave hot, comforting recipes… but that doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy! Health isn’t an ice-cold salad and limp lettuce leaf.

black ceramic bowl filled with cereal
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Porridge is a super old-school breakfast that in recent years, thanks to instagram and health influencers, has made a comeback but in a variety of jazzier ways.

It’s my go-to every morning at my desk because it’s so quick… and if you’re having it regularly, it’s worth experimenting and messing around with different ingredients, as variety in your diet is good for your gut micro biome! So I’m going to share with you a few of my fave recipes that you can mix and match and play with.

I’ve kept them friendly to all diets – carnivore, omnivore, veggie and vegan – just check the labels of things like jam or pesto if you’re plant-based, naturally 🙂

NB: I make my porridge the Scottish way – oats and water. Feel free to substitute whatever plant milk or dairy you usually use.

Indulgent chocolate orange porridge

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • 1 – 2 satsumas
  • 1 pack of Pret a Manger dark chocolate sea-salt coated almonds

This is the simplest, and probably most indulgent of my regular porridge recipes. I love it for the occasional Friday morning treat.

I make my porridge literally by microwaving my oats with enough water to cover them for approx 2 minutes.

Then you literally stir in your dark chocolate coated almonds, peel your fruit and top with satsuma segments.

Banana & blueberry porridge

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • Sprinkling of chopped almonds
  • 1 small – medium banana
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Optional teaspoon of desiccated coconut
  • Optional tablespoon of protein power (I’d pick a plant-based vanilla for this recipe like the one by MissFits nutrition)

Again, make your porridge oat base via your preferred method – 2 mins in the microwave or on the hob.

If you’re adding in the protein powder, I like to stir it in part way through. Chop your banana while it cooks, and then chuck on your toppings – banana, blueberries, nuts and coconut if you’re using it.

Green Machine Italiana savoury pesto porridge

I LOVE savoury porridge – it’s basically like a breakfast risotto, so if you’re hesitating I’d really encourage you not to knock it till you’ve tried it.

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • 1 – 2 tsps green pesto
  • Chopped sundried tomato
  • 6-10 almonds
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp spirulina
  • Optional: either finely chop 4-5 black olives, or add 20g cheese (be it dairy, plant based – but if vegan cheese go for one that melts!)

Make your oat base (see above) and while hot, stir in your pesto. If you’re using cheese, stir it in now too. Ditto the spirulina (this is just for extra greens more than anything!)

Top with your sundried tomato, almonds, olives (if using) and voila!

Chia, pear and cinnamon porridge

This one requires that you pre-grill your pear if you’re making it at work, just fyi…!

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk)
  • Grilled pear with a drizzle of maple syrup (or honey for non-vegans)
  • 1-2 tsps chia seeds
  • Cinnamon to taste – probably 1/2 – 1 tsp

If you’re at home, grill your pear with a light drizzling of maple (you need to judge this by eye and personal preference as to how you like it. I only go for 8 mins or so).

You’re getting the hang of making porridge now, right? Do that. Stir in the cinnamon and chia seeds and leave to soak a moment.

And if you’re at work and you’ve pre-grilled the pear, you’ll want to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until warm.

Top with a pinch more chia seeds and the rest of your pear. This is also really nice if you chuck a handful of raspberries on too.

Porridge a la Lemsip

  • Approx 30g oats
  • Water (or your plant milk / dairy milk – if you have a cold I’d recommend not having dairy as this creates mucus in the body)
  • 1 – 3 tsp lemon juice (depending how sour you like to go!)
  • 1 tsp honey (or maple for vegans)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1-2 tsp desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of poppyseed to top

This is a nice comforting one if you have a cold. All you do is stir all the ingredients into your porridge. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s good. ❤

Let me know if you try any of these, or if you’d like more as I have a tonne of porridge recipes I use, derived from years of experimentation and my obsessing about reading about nutrition in recent years 🙂 

B xoxo

Live Well With Louise: An Honest Review of the Made In Chelsea star’s new health book

lou3
Photo credit: Live Well with Louise imagery from www.amazon.com

Louise Thompson was initially best known for her role in pseudo-reality TV show, Made in Chelsea, but now arguably she’s equally well known for her abs so impressive you could grate cheese on them! The pocket rocket is also one of the founders of Pocket Sport, a luxe fitness clothing brand.

Louise never looked unhealthy but admits to having all kinds of issues, not least with her relationship with alcohol. Subjected to public scrutiny in the extreme, she ended up suffering with anxiety and having very poor self-image.

Her brand new book Live Well with Louise documents her journey, from struggling with body image and unhealthy habits to transforming her mindset, ditching the booze binges and loving workouts and healthy food.

lou

It also contains recipes, and workout routines (approved by her PT boyfriend Ryan Libbey (also of MIC fame!), of course!)

So… what’s the low-down? Yet another unqualified celebrity book, or worth a read?

The Verdict

What could have been just another celebrity offering diet advice is actually a relatable, down-to-earth account of an unhealthy relationship with health, to a total transformation which yes, while it’s very aesthetic and ‘abs-y’ also conveys the important message that health, taking care of your body, good nutrition and MOVEMENT can be cool… and that binge-drinking and hangxiety are actually not all they’re cracked up to be.

While your average girl or guy can’t relate to being a celeb, I personally relate SO HARD to Louise’s use of alcohol for confidence, and going a bit too hard in my teens to early twenties.

Louise’s transformation from non-stop ‘ragers’ as she calls them where she’d drink so much she’d black out, to a healthier focus on fitness and health with the occassional social red wine with friends and family at dinner parties or with a cracking Sunday roast is something all of us who went to uni, damaged our livers and need a kick up the butt in terms of healthy living can relate and aspire to!

The recipes

Here I was dubious – on opening the book I thought here we go, another book by a non-nutritionist purporting to give dietary advice… But she doesn’t! She openly states she’s not a nutritionist but openly shares what has worked for her. She goes by what I feel is a very simple and similar philosophy to my Harley Street Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. Louise advocates filling half your plate with veggies (rainbow, variety, you got this!), quarter with complex carbs (ideally without the beneficial fibre stripped out, so rather than white bread and rice go for wholegrains, legumes, brown rice, sweet potato…) and a quarter with lean protein.

YES PEOPLE, LOUISE THOMPSON EATS CARBS AND STILL HAS A STUNNING, LEAN PHYSIQUE. I am so happy to see celebrities endorsing healthy, balanced meals and helping combat the media myth that carbs are bad. (See my stance on carbsand why they’re essential here!)

Louise’s recipes are surprisingly varied, and there are tonnes of them!

It’s not a slim and flimsy book with a couple of dinner ideas – it’s jam-packed with tasty, balanced meals, and YES it includes desserts and dinner party appropriate dishes!

The recipes are easy to follow, and the photography is gorgeous.

The workouts

I did feel this section could have been more extensive, but the circuits are decent with beginner, intermediate and advanced options, and approved by her PT boyf.

Louise breaks down each move for anyone who’s new to exercising, with clear photographs and descriptions of how to execute the movement, and tips for upping the intensity if it gets too easy.

All in all, while there aren’t loads of options, her 11 minute ab blast is great, and then she offers 3 circuits – easy, medium, and hard – which are enough to get you started, and you can always use her book as  a base to create your own.

Best of all, they’re do-able from home, no gym or super-fancy equipment required!

Overall?

Definitely worth it for Louise’s personal story, and the recipes… and I do love her ab routine, so I’d say it’s worth the (affordable and fairly small!) investment.

Hope that helps!

B xoxo

The Secret to Meghan Markle’s Pre-Wedding Glow…?

blueberries-summer-fruit-fresh.jpg

So this week an email landed in my inbox from Rhiannon Lambert (her Rhitrition newsletter has all kinds of interesting nutrition nerdy news and tips so do subscribe!) linking me to an article in The Independent about Meghan Markle’s favourite smoothie. But the article misses out another favourite recipe of Meghan’s that she mentions in an interview with The Chalkboard, so scroll down to unearth this extra little royal gem!

It’s no secret that this gorgeous, smart, soon-to-be-royal was a fan of all things wellness before she took up with the Prince… and all fairytales need to feature magic and potions somewhere, right?!

Rhiannon Lambert, as I’m sure you all already know if you’ve been around this blog/insta a while, is an amazing Harley Street nutritionist (info on her book here) and in the article mentioned above, she breaks down the health benefits of the ingredients to Meghan’s go-to smoothie. The recipe Meghan claimed she uses can also be found in this article in Hello Magazine, but Rhiannon highlights how the protein powder could be improved to a healthier one, so I’m going to share a take on the smoothie that’s more in line with these Harley Street guidelines ❤

Meghan’s love of health was formerly shared with fans on her now-defunct lifestyle website, The Tig, but you can find some more goss about her healthy living and lifestyle philosophy in this Living Well With… Meghan Markle interview by The Chalkboard.

With the Royal Wedding coming up, I thought I’d experiment and give you a recipe made with these ingredients that you can blend up in time for the celebrations along with the bonus extra the Independent missed out… who knows, maybe we’ll get Meghan’s glow if we drink enough of it 😉

The Meghan Markle Classicbackground-berries-berry-blackberries-87818.jpeg

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein – Neat is a fave of mine, but see Rhiannon Lambert Harley Street nutritionist recommendations here!
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsps chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • *Blend all ingredients*… & then:
  • Top with some unsweetened dessicated coconut, 3 blueberries and a mint leaf or two!

 

A Duchess Honeymoon [Bonus recipe] (adapted from this interview) pexels-photo-1024992.jpeg

  • 1 frozen mango
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • (optional: 1/2 banana or 1 Satsuma and 1 small handful of spinach)
  • *Blend all ingredients*… & then:
  • Serve with a little pineapple and/or a cherry, and voila!
  • (Also optional to serve: small wedge of lime/lemon)

pexels-photo-1057313.jpeg

There you have it – two royally delicious smoothies fit for a princess!

If you liked having a little nose at this, you may also enjoy this piece by Best Health Meghan Markle: The Beauty of Balance for a Future Princess where Meghan discusses her yoga practice.

xoxo

ReNourish: An Honest Review

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 12.15.31I’m so passionate about health and wellness – it’s been great to blog and Instagram and connect with others who feel the same – but I’m conscious that a lot of the time, while we can share our tips and tricks, we’re not qualified to give ‘advice’. Rhiannon Lambert is someone I found on Insta after my lovely friend Alex (@theleanlawyer) posted about her, and I’m so glad I discovered her. And she is so, so, so qualified! So there’s finally a great source of information who is also an influencer in the health sphere on Instagram who actually knows their stuff and has the degrees and post grad qualifications to back it up, not just a 6 week nutrition quick course! (The title nutritionist isn’t legally regulated in the UK so sadly anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, leading to a lot of advice from un-qualified, even if they’re well meaning!, individuals who can do more harm than good).

Rhiannon Lambert is changing the game completely. Evidence-based, science backed learning… I am literally so excited to see how her following is growing and message is spreading!

Her book is basically Rhiannon, bound in book-form! It describes her nutrition philosophy and is packed full of information on how we can eat well, simply, and healthily without doing ridiculous fad diets, or buying crazy expensive superfoods. Her recipes are accessible and so tasty, and the presentation is really lovely too – the book is basically almost as pretty as she is! I wanted to give you guys a fuller review of it rather than just hash tagging it constantly on Insta, so here you go!

If you want:

  • Fad diets
  • Quick fixes
  • Pseudoscience and detox ridiculousness

Then this book is not for you!

If you want a book that gives you:

  • advice from a qualified Harley Street nutritionist;
  • to learn about what your body really needs;
  • the science behind nutrition (micronutrients, macronutrients, myth-busting);
  • gut health;
  • mindful eating;
  • body confidence;
  • a sustainable approach to eating that helps you ditch the diets;
  • a book that is kicking ‘diet culture’ in the a**!
  • to learn about Rhiannon’s nutrition philosophy of taking it back to basics and keeping it simple;
  • delicious recipes including breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert;
  • and loads more!

then this book is absolutely the book you need to buy for 2018!

I’ve so enjoyed making recipes from this book, and I can’t wait to try every single one – it’s my 2018 resolution to cook each of them 🙂

ABDC55A0-A7D0-499B-BE8F-6A4E51D81E3B

Here’s my amazon review too ❤

I’ve followed Rhiannon ever since hearing her speak at a wellness panel and her approach to eating changed my life, quite literally. I was so excited to buy this book and it’s turned out to be even better than I expected which is saying something!
I love that for once there’s a book encompassing being your healthiest, the science behind food, myth busting and explaining micro and macronutrients as well as including sections with sample meal plans, putting together healthy packed lunches plus LOADS of amazing recipes!
So many books promise content and don’t deliver. This book more than delivers…. in addition to all the above, it helps you with mindful eating, body confidence and healing your relationship with food for such a reasonable price.
It’s refreshing to see a quality book on this subject written by an actual nutritionist in a day and age where anyone and everyone offers advice on social media (often dangerous celeb faddy diets). The care and attention and knowledge Rhiannon brings to the table having specialised in eating disorders is really incredible… and it’s super accessible, an interesting and fun read. You’ll look and feel your best for implementing her advice – if you buy one book this year I’d make it Rhiannon’s! (As an ex ED sufferer I don’t say this lightly!)

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 12.18.19

You can visit her website and find out more about her Harley Street clinic here.

Also check out Rhiannon’s facebook page and instagram – @rhitrition.

Zucchini Pizza Party Boats!

10522089_10154074095539571_742486296110860964_nThese little bruschetta inspired babies are more filling than you’d think (I guess zucchini or courgette is basically all water!) and they’re a super fast option for a healthy, pizza craving busting supper after a long day at work.

All you need is:

❤ 1 courgette/zucchini

❤ Some crumbled / chunky chopped goats’ cheese

❤ Chopped plum tomatoes

❤ Black pepper and mixed herbs to taste.

It is this simple:

  1. Preheat your oven to around 180.
  2. Halve your courgettes then halve them again (so you get 4 ‘party boats’ – see picture above!)
  3. Top them with your goats cheese and chopped plum tomatoes. You could also add a little red onion or tuna to vary it.
  4. Place on a baking tray and leave in the oven for around 8 minutes (but it really depends on the power of your oven – check back regularly and some of it will be down to taste – how melty you want the cheese and how soft the courgette!)

You can have these with a mixed salad, I like mine with raw spinach, but you could also have veggies, or kale, or a little quinoa or sweet potato.

They make a nice entree too if you have guests, and they never need know how clean you’re keeping the eating for the evening 😉

Cacao-coconut oatmeal

10371470_10154057192249571_6677453302151696644_n

It doesn’t get much more indulgent (and still clean!) than this!!

All you have to do is serve yourself the same sized portion of oats you would for porridge… about 1/4 of a cup.

(Make sure your oats aren’t flavoured or anything! All natural here please darlings!)

Stir a heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder (or sugar free cocoa powder) in to your oats. Fill the bowl with water (you can use almond milk if you prefer but water’s my preference) and stir until oats and powder have now made a chocolate shake looking mix.

Stir in a little honey or agave nectar to taste.

Top your cacao-oatmeal smoothie bowl with a sprinkling of coconut, and think about adding almonds, walnuts, pistachios, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or mint – whatever’s to hand! – to sex it up a little.

Chocolate for breakfast? Who wouldn’t?! And this way it’s totally guilt free!

Bootylicious Berry Smoothie

12963794_10154141186774571_2117300014501066370_nThe Bootylicious Berry Smoothie, otherwise known as ‘Peanut butter & I-don’t-think-you’re-ready-for-this-jelly’ is an amazing breakfast option, but also works as a post workout shake, or an afternoon pick me up!

Bootylicious_CD_Cover

It’s so simple to make too. You can do it with or without protein powder, whatever your preference.

You need: a blender, and then…

2 tbsps organic natural peanut butter, honey, 1/2 banana, frozen raspberries, approx 3 tbsps oats (and 1/2 scoop natural soya protein powder, optional).

Along with maybe 1/4 cup of water, blend your peanut butter half banana, 1 handful of frozen raspberries, oats and optional protein powder until smooth. Take of the lid and check consistency – you can add more water at this stage if needed. You could even use almond milk if you really want, but that’s not my jam.

Add a little liquid if needed, and a teaspoon of honey to taste. Blend, and serve!

You can add chopped nuts, a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut or raw cacao, or a couple of fresh raspberries and some mint to garnish ❤

This is a new favourite for me, and a happy blending accident. Some of the best recipes come from improvisation!

‘Fake it’ fish curry

12805697_10154036561459571_2064375277258769836_n

Curry can be a difficult one, because while it tastes great, the creamy sauces can be a bit of an issue for a clean, lean regime. Here’s a quick, easy supper recipe to help you enjoy a curry-style dish, while staying totally on track.

You will need (for 1 serving)

A little less than 1/4 cup brown rice

1 cod fillet

Turmeric

1 fresh red chilli

Cayenne pepper

Paprika

Approx 2 tsp organic, bio-live natural yoghurt (e.g. geo valley)

Mixed herbs

1 handful spinach

3 or 4 asparagus stalks

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

1 chopped spring onion

  1. Cook your rice (boiling water, approx 20 minutes). With 10 minutes to go, make a start on the rest…
  2. Warm your frying pan and put in your coconut oil. Wait for it to melt, and spread around the pan.
  3. Place cod fillet in the pan and throw in your spring onion and fresh chilli.
  4. Add spinach and asparagus to the pan.
  5. Flip your fish at around 6 minutes to cook the other side.
  6. Add a little cayenne pepper (be frugal! 2 shakes will make it medium-hot) to the fish and spinach, keeping the asparagus separate.
  7. At 12 minutes, check your fish is completely cooked, and create flakes by mashing with a fork. Mix fish, spring onion, rice and spinach together.
  8. Add your 2 tsps yoghurt to the dish, and around 4 shakes of turmeric, 2 shakes of paprika, and mixed herbs to taste. Stir so thoroughly blended, and the mixture should be yellowish in colour.
  9. Lay your asparagus on top and serve.

You can also add chilli flakes to make it extra hot, if that’s your sauce ; )

Spicy spinach scramble

12802931_535187366655757_1192064250380375449_n

I love this breakfast option – it’s great to start your day with protein, and the spinach gives you plenty of nutrients. Bread selection will make or break the healthiness of the dish – go for a good rye or wholegrain, and don’t have bread too often. The one pictured here is the walnut cob from Sainsbury’s as a weekend treat!

For 1 person, you should beat 2 eggs, and start to scramble them in a frying pan. Your pan should be prepped with as little olive oil as possible or half a tsp coconut oil. 

Add in around 2 handfuls of raw spinach (make sure if you haven’t bought ready-washed that you run it under the tap first!) and shake a little cayenne pepper into the pan. Less is more when it comes to this, I find. Chop 1/4 – 1/2 a fresh, red chilli and add to the pan. Keep scrambling ; )

The fresh chilli is great Vitamin C and for boosting immunity. Some suggest it helps raise the metabolism too. The cayenne adds an extra kick if you like the spice.

I like my scramble firm, but it’s personal preference of course, so once done, serve on your unbuttered wholegrain/rye toast, with spinach on the side.

You can also add red bell peppers, watercress, or asparagus too, to mix up your brunch.

Enjoy.

 

 

Quick protein mug cake

12814712_534855723355588_8325931332346707044_n

 

You will need:

1 egg

1/2 scoop natural protein powder (my preference is the Nature Valley Soya Protein Isolate one from Holland and Barrett)

1/4 tsp baking powder

Drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup (just make sure it’s 100% natural! None of those ‘desert’ syrups / golden syrups)

Dash of water / almond milk

Beat your egg, and mix in all of your other ingredients thoroughly in a mug you’re happy to put in the microwave. Whisk briskly with a fork until smooth (some lumps are normal!) and like cake batter. Microwave for approx. 3 minutes. 

Once your microwave cake has risen, tip your mug upside down and you’ll have an instant sponge.

Serve with clementine slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon, some lemon zest or a smear of peanut butter.