Serious about Salads: Try the Vegetable Challenge!

Can you do the vegetable challenge?

‘What’s the vegetable challenge?’ I hear you ask…. Well, it involves two large salads everyday, thats’s all! Salads are really the most versatile and healthy option there is and you can get as creative as you like. My rule is the base should be greens, (cos lettuce, romaine or mini gems work very well) I then usually mix this with a bit of spinach or darker greens for more minerals. Fill your bowl with greens then add your toppings….

I recommend:

Beetroot, avocado, sweetcorn (organic), Quinoa, beans, lentils, sweet potato, dairy free pesto, dairy free mayo, tofu pieces, hummus….

Some ideas:

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Bed of Greens, beetroot, mange tout, chickpeas (with garlic, cumin, paprika, veg stock  splash veg milk), baked sweet potato pieces, vegan mayo.
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Bed of greens, grated carrot, broccoli (washed in boiling water) tofu, hummus + olive oil + pinch of salt.
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Greens, with avocado dressing, beetroot, mange tout, cucumber slices, quinoa + dairy free pesto, baked sweet potato, hummus.
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Courgetti, spinach, tofu pieces + dairy free pesto.

Feel the Difference when you fill up on raw foods!

New Year Super Cleanse

So you’ve overindulged at xmas and you’re feeling it… Do you need to lose a bit of weight? Want to feel lighter and get back into your jeans? With this simple cleanse you can do all of this and improve overall health at the same time. For best results, follow for one month  (until you notice results) if you break before you notice results you’ll not make progress, then you can add a few treats in here and there but sticking mainly to the plan.

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Firstly, you’ll need to adopt these healthy habits:

  • You should leave at least 12 hours between finishing your evening meal and your breakfast. For example if you finish your dinner at 8pm you should eat your breakfast no sooner than 8am in the next morning. If you can do up to 14 or 16 hours on some days this will really help with weight loss. Water, Black coffee and black tea are all okay.
  • Try to do REGULAR light exercise, like a brisk walk before you break your fast. Avoid strenuous exercise whilst on the cleanse.
  • Drink at least 8 large glasses of water a day. My rule is “Drink before you are thirsty” if you get thirsty you are already dehydrated. Coconut water is excellent if you can get it, and very hydrating.
  • Add a the juice of half a lemon to water and drink first thing in the morning. Repeat before dinner.
  • Fill up on raw vegetables or a green smoothie before meals.
  • Ideally, have a light breakfast, i.e smoothie, fruit or oatmeal, a larger lunch (from the ingredients I’ll list below) and a lighter evening meal of a salad/vegetables + protein.
  • Do not allow yourself to get too hungry.
  • Take snacks everywhere. Best snacks are: Oatcakes (check they are wheat free), almonds, Nut butter + apple.

EXTRAS:

Sip on lemon infused water through the day, this is very cleansing and will help surpress appetite.

Drink a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a glass of water after each meal.

Needs something sweet? Have a piece of fruit, a handful of raisins or some dark chocolate if you really need it (but not a whole bar).

Foods to fill up on:

  • Oats
  • Nuts and seeds (including chia seeds)
  • Nut butter
  • Beans/lentils/chickpeas
  • Sweet potato and root vegetables
  • Quinoa, millet, brown rice
  • Green vegetables i.e, broccoli, spinach, kale etc.
  • Use Coconut oil for cooking and  olive oil + lemon juice + pinch salt for dressing.

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What to avoid:

  • Sugar, all sugar substitutes
  • All processed foods
  • Dairy: Milk, butter, cheese
  • Wheat
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast

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What should you be eating? Smoothies, large salads packed with seeds and root vegetables, baked sweet potatoes, home-made soups, dishes made with beans and lentils.

If you eat meat then chicken, eggs and fish can be added to your salads in moderation.

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Typical daily menu:

Upon waking: Half the juice of a lemon in large glass of water.

Black coffee or Green tea

One – four hours after waking:

Green smoothie consisting of: 1/2 banana or apple, spinach or greens, 1/2 avocado, ice, water. Optional: desert spoon of pea protein.

Snack: Pack of oatcakes or carrot sticks.

Lunch: Large green salad with steamed broccoli, hummus, pumpkin seeds with olive oil/lemon/salt dressing or 1/2 avocado.

Snack: Handful almonds

Dinner: Mixed bean salad with olive oil dressing.

With plenty of water, coconut water and herbal teas throughout the day!

How to Drink Vinegar, and Smile about it.

Vinegar… Natural Organic Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar.

A glass of vinegar water is one of the most refreshing drinks on my list. Although the taste is not something to rave about, the health benefits are!

ACV is fermented and you’ll see the little floaty bits in the bottom of the bottle.Photo on 05-11-2015 at 14.31 #3

Tip: Use ACV on your skin. It’s the best toner you’ll ever use as it contains malic and lactic acids balancing the PH levels in your skin whilst softening and exfoliating! Because of this ACV is excellent used on acne, psorisis and even wrinkles.

Foods that are fermented are great for digestion reducing indigestion and raising energy levels. It is also good for the guts bacteria and helps to maintain a good bacteria balance.

Tip: Sip on ACV after a large meal or too much alcohol and it will help to normalise the PH in your blood, helping to reduce any negative effects. Drinking it before a meal helps suppress your desire to overeat!

Drinking ACV is thought to aid weight loss and reduce fat cells in the body. How? Who really knows? But it is said that the vinegar interferes with the body’s digestion of starch and therefore less calories are absorbed. You can find hundreds of weight- loss products out there which contain ACV as the main ingredient.

ACV has antibiotic properties and helps fight colds and flu, drinking it through flu season may prevent you getting ill.

 Tip: Gargle with ½ vinegar ½ water to soothe a sore throat.

ACV can be taken as a tablespoon in warm water but I also enjoy it in a large glass of cool water, it can also be taken in juice if you find the taste too much.

Tip: Add to olive oil, mustard and lemon juice to create your own dressing.

ACV is also a great hair tonic as it normalises the pH levels on your scalp it promotes better hair growth. It is also known to clear dandruff.

Tip: Put it in a spray bottle diluted with ½ water and spray onto your scalp – leave for 10 minutes, rinse and wash as normal.

When I drink ACV I feel ‘cleaner’ and I do feel it gives me an energy boost and stops unhealthy cravings. I also love using it as a toner on my skin (I often just wipe it over my face before gong to bed – nothing else) I am sure it reduces wrinkles and always gets rid of spots and my skin feels really smooth the next day.

So, if you haven’t tried using ACV, do it soon and tell me what you think!