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Healthy Rhubarb Flapjack – Vegan

If you are in need of an energy fuelled sweet treat then this flapjack is just the thing for you. Sports clients and busy mums equally love it as it is so quick and easy to make and it can be frozen. Personally I freeze it in individual portions and then take one out in the morning and by mid morning it has defrosted.

Oats are a slow release carbohydrate and can help to lower cholesterol levels. Along with being packed full of fibre they contain a number of minerals including magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Ingredients:

  • 300g oats (or gluten-free oats)
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 200g dates (chopped finely in a food processor with splash of water)
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 100g sultanas
  • 3tbsp honey
  • 200g rhubarb, orange and ginger compote

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients, except the rhubarb, together and stir well
  2. Put half of the mixture into a greased and lined try, push it down firmly
  3. To make the rhubarb compote place 200g rhubarb in a pan with the juice and zest of 2 oranges and 1cm root ginger, grated. Cook until the rhubarb has broken down but not too runny
  4. Put the rhubarb compote on top so that it is a layer on top of the flapjack mix
  5. Add the remaining mixture and press down so that the rhubarb is in a layer in the middle of the flapjack
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes at gas mark 5
  7. Slice whilst warm and leave to cool

Chocolate Avocado Bites

These avocado chocolate bites are delicious, they melt in your mouth like a truffle! They are higher in sugar than my normal recipes but I came up with them as a snack to be eaten whilst breastfeeding when your body needs  extra energy (and things that can be made in advance)! The addition of avocados means these bites are packed full of nutrients, much more than a standard truffle!

Making these bites takes about 10 minutes to make and then you leave them to set in the fridge for a couple of hours before rolling them into balls. They couldn’t be easier to make! Oh and they are vegan and gluten-free!!

These are a snack to have occasionally in the same way you would a chocolate truffle.

Ingredients:

Makes 20, depending on size

  • 1 avocado
  • 1-2 tbsp almond milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 100g 70% chocolate
  • 20g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Blitz the avocado with a slash of almond milk until smooth
  2. Add the vanilla, and ground almond and blitz again
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of water (bain marie)
  4. When the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and stir in the avocado mixture until well combined. Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours until firm
  5. Remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into small balls, roll in coconut and then place them in the a container in the fridge until you are ready to eat them

Super Energy Boost Green Smoothie

This smoothie is packed full of energy boosting ingredients and makes a great breakfast. It only has one piece of fruit in so won’t cause your blood sugar to spike. It’s super versatile so you can swap or remove any ingredients you’re not keen on.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large handfuls of spinach or kale
  • 1 apple
  • Small piece of fresh ginger root
  • 2” piece of cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 1” piece of lemon
  • Water (the amount will depend on the consistency you like your juice to be)

Method:

  1. Remove the skin and pip from the avocado
  2. Simply put all of the ingredients into a blender and bend until combined

Easy Bean Dip – Vegan and Gluten-free

This dip is super quick and easy to make and will be sure to impress your friends with it’s taste.

Cannellini beans are a great part of a healthy diet as they are high in both protein and fibre. Beans such as cannellinni are frequently used in weight loss as they can help to maintain healthy, normal blood sugar levels in the body. Beans not only help you to feel full but they are also low in calories so they can be used to help achieve a calorie controlled diet. Along with the high fibre content this also makes them a great food for diabetics.

Ingredients:

  • 1x 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 heaped tbsp. sesame seeds
  • A pinch ground cinnamon
  • Large handful flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon juiced

Method:

  1. Whizz all ingredients, except 1 tbsp lemon juice, in a hand blender until smooth and creamy, taste and add more lemon juice if required
  2. Serve with pitta bread, bread sticks or crackers

Chicken Fajitas with Guacamole and Salsa – Dairy-free

This recipe is so easy to make. One of the great things about it is you can leave the chicken to marinate in advance or if you don’t have time you can just leave it to marinate whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.

Smoked paprika is made from a combination of dried sweet peppers and dried chilli peppers, the colour varies depending on the type of peppers used. Paprika is rich in Vitamin C and carotenoids, it is rich in beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin, preventing wrinkles and promoting a brighter complexion.

Paprika contains high levels of iron; 1 tsp contains 6% of men’s and 3% of women’s recommended daily intake of iron.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 300g mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 8 wholemeal wraps

For the Guacamole:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 6 cherry tomatoes

For the Salsa:

  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 6” cucumber
  • 10 basil leaves
  • ½ lime

Method:

  1. Place the chicken into a bowl, add the cumin and paprika stir well and cover. Set aside to marinate (depending on how much time you have this can be a few hours or just the amount of time it takes to prepare the other ingredients)
  2. To make the guacamole remove the skin and pip of the avocado and place in a blender with the tomatoes and the juice of 1 lime. Blend until combined and then set aside
  3. To make the salsa chop the tomatoes into quarters, dice the cucumber and then add both to a bowl with the juice of ½ a lime. Finely chop the basil, add to the bowl and stir well
  4. Slice the peppers, mushrooms and onions
  5. Put the coconut oil into a wok and heat
  6. Add the onions and chicken stirring regularly
  7. When the chicken is sealed (about 5 minutes) add the mushrooms and peppers and cook until the chicken is cooked through
  8. Place a wrap on to a plate, add some of the chicken and pepper mixture, top with guacamole and salsa and then roll into a wrap
  9. Serve 2 wraps per person

Granola

This granola is quick and easy to make and keeps in an airtight container for a few weeks. It has a lot less sugar than shop bought granola. For a vegan version replace the honey with maple syrup.  The recipe also works well with gluten-free oats if required.

Ingredients:

Makes 15 servings

  • 2tbsp/30ml of vegetable oil
  • 75ml honey
  • 75ml fresh orange juice (about 1.5 oranges)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g oats
  • 125g mixed seeds (I use sunflower, pumpkin and a few sesame seeds)
  • 100g dried fruit (I use sultanas and apricots)
  • 50g desiccated coconut

Method:

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2/150C

  1. Mix the oil, honey and vanilla in a bowl
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except the dried fruit and coconut
  3. Mix well
  4. Spread the mixture evenly on to two baking trays
  5. Bake for 15 minutes then add the coconut and mix it in
  6. Bake for a further 10 minutes
  7. Add the dried fruit and bake for a final 5 minutes (you can add the fruit at the same time as the coconut but I find it burns a bit)

 

Frittata Cups Dairy-free and Gluten-free

These are my favourite thing at the minute, so quick and easy to make and they can be eaten cold as a breakfast on the go or taken to work for lunch. I tend to use whatever vegetables I have in the fridge so feel free to mix it up and add any herbs you like. If you like your vegetables crunchy then use diced vegetables, it you prefer them softer then grate the harder vegetables. You can easily double the recipe to make more so you have plenty left for lunch or switch it up by adding some grated cheese.

Eggs are a great source of protein and omega 3 they also contain Vitamins A, B5, B12.

Ingredients:

Makes 6

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ courgette
  • 1 small carrot
  • 5 mushrooms
  • ½ an onion
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Fresh coriander leaves (or any herbs you like)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C
  2. Chop the vegetables into small pieces or if you prefer grate the courgette and carrots. Chop the spinach in to small strips and finely chop the coriander
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the vegetables and coriander and stir well
  4. Using a muffin tin, divide the mixture evenly between the muffin moulds
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the egg is set
  6. Serve with salad

The Truth Behind My Passion for Nutrition and Yoga

Most of you know I’m passionate about Nutrition and Yoga but up until now I’ve struggled sharing with you the truth about my story and why I’m so passionate about it. I didn’t just wake up one day and think “Hey lets become a Yoga guru that will be fun”. Like most of you, I had a busy and stressful job, when in 2006 my life changed as I received the diagnosis that I have ME. On some levels it was a relief to know that I wasn’t going completely crazy and there was a reason I was in pain and exhausted all the time. Whilst travelling during my gap year after university I became ill with glandular fever. On returning home after a period of recovery I started working in the ‘real world’ and working my way up the career ladder but I never fully recovered and whilst I was successful in my career the reality was I came home every night and crawled into bed without even the energy to make anything to eat. My weekends were spent in bed and my social life was non existent.

Eventually I hit rock bottom and realised that I was in danger of spending the whole of my 20s either at work or in bed. Something had to change. I moved back to Yorkshire to be nearer to my family and started a new job in a quest to find a better work/life balance. However, I soon discovered that this wasn’t enough to make me better so I reduced my hours at work and began my journey of using food and yoga to help improve my health.

For a while now I’ve been wanting to take the plunge and share my knowledge and experiences of living with ME/CFS but I haven’t known how to do it! The longer I have kept quiet the harder it has become as I began to worry that people might not believe me or that they would say the one thing that really winds me up ‘It’s so good to see that you’ve fully recovered’. Unfortunately, I haven’t fully recovered, I’d love to say that I have and that I have a magic formula that will make it all go away but the reality is I don’t, I’m not even sure that I believe that there is a cure or if there ever will be. I don’t mean this in negative way but in a realistic one, a number of years ago I consciously made the decision not to keep chasing every miracle cure in the false hope that this time there would be a solution but rather to try my best to live in the moment to make the most of what I have and to strive to gradually make improvements. As a result, I have improved, I have got stronger but I’ve also got better at hiding my symptoms!

I have come to the conclusion that I have a duty to share my knowledge with others to hopefully create hope, inspiration and to share the mistakes I’ve made along the way to hopefully stop other people having to make them, and believe me there have been many including forcing myself to go swimming at 6:30am before work thinking that exercising would increase my energy levels – trust me it didn’t and was definitely a recipe for disaster!

Whilst improving my nutrition was a massive turning point in improving my health it wasn’t the only factor. Along the way I had some hard knocks and set backs whilst working in an incredibly stressful environment – my health began to suffer and my relationship broke down. I made a decision that something had to change and that I was the only one that could control my destiny. After attending my weekly yoga class and literally falling apart in the middle of it I realised I how much better I felt. Every day I did a little bit of yoga and gradually I began to get stronger. When I started my yoga teacher training there were days when I was unable to physically do yoga so I would lie in bed and visualise it. It was during these times that I realised the power that stress has on our body, the way in which our body responds to it and the impact managing stress level s has on improving our health. In my experience stress is often a key trigger to low energy levels which is why I work with people to help them to tackle their stress levels through nutrition, yoga and relaxation. I have come across people whose bodies have physically shut down due to stress and they have been unable to function on a day to day level and have seen them improve by changing their diet and daily routines. My aim is not to just help people that are chronically ill but to help stop people before they get ill.

So that’s why I’ve decided to share some of my experiences and my best tips for increasing my energy levels based on first-hand experience. You don’t have to have a long term health condition to be low on energy, speak to any parent, employee, employer or person in their 20s, 30’s, 40’s, 50s and beyond and they will tell you that anyone can experience low energy levels.  I don’t get it right all the time, I still have days or weekends were I overdo it but I now have the tools to make sure that my recovery time is much shorter and this testimony from one of my clients is an example of how I help others.

‘I cannot recommend Active-Eat highly enough.  My Chronic Fatigue symptoms are completely under control, I haven’t had a cold or a virus (which I used to get all the time) since I started working with Jenny (about 6 months ago).  My nails, which had been flaky since primary school (despite an already well-developed interest in wholegrains and organic foods)– have grown long and strong and beautiful– I can’t believe it!  My powers of concentration, energy levels and mood are all greatly improved.  I have lost weight without ever feeling hungry once, and everywhere I go people tell me how well I am looking.’ Rebecca, Hampshire

 

So if you or someone you know is suffering from low energy levels, I can say with absolute certainty that I know exactly how they feel. And I have many tried and tested tips, tricks and tools that can help. Please do get in touch if you’d like support.

Jenny xx

 

Raw Carrot Cake Bites (Nut Free and Vegan)

This recipe came about as I needed a snack that was nut-free and all of my date ball recipes contain nuts.  I love carrot cake so I thought why not create a healthy snack based on these flavours.

Carrots are a fantastic source of beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A which has many fantastic benefits to eye health hence the saying that eating carrots help you see in the dark!

Vitamin A acts as a antioxidant to cell damage, some studies suggest that it can slow down the ageing of cells whilst protecting the skin from sun damage.

This recipe is quick and easy to make, for a gluten-free version simply replace the oats with gluten-free oats.

Ingredients:

Makes 30 (depending on size)

  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce (1 small apple, stewed)
  • 4 dried apricots
  • 1 heaped tbsp date paste or 50g Medjool dates
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g jumbo oats (or gluten-free oats)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp mixed spice
  • The juice of 1 orange

Method:

  1. In a food blender, blitz the dates and apricot until they are chopped.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz until well combined
  3. Roll the dough into small balls and place in an airtight container
  4. Store in the fridge, or they can be frozen.