Christmas Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie tastes just like Christmas. Sooo delicious and my new favourite smoothie choice for this time of year. If you’re already starting to feel the affects of the cold weather or you have some serious Christmas parties happening this smoothie will really help you out.

Literally whizz up the following ingredients in a blender and voila.

Serves 2

2 heaped tablespoons of natural live yoghurt

2 bananas

1 teaspoon of Grated ginger

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of Turmeric powder

1 tablespoon of honey

300ml of Almond milk

And then just whizz up in the blender.

I’ve had this two days in a row now just because it’s so tasty. Let me know if you give this a try.

Love Lea xx

Tips and Tricks for Cheap and Healthy Family Meals

 

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Butter Bean Curry

Feeding the family healthy meals that don ‘t break the bank and don’t take hours to prepare and cook night after night can be challenging and stressful. When you throw in the idea of healthy eating people often feel that it’s an expensive challenge. Many patients/clients/friends/family that I see think eating healthily is expensive. Agreed, it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Steer clear of gimmicky health kicks and tricks and stick to basics.

TOP TIPS

Fresh – Tinned – Frozen

We all know fruit and veg is good for us and will fuel our body with the vitamins and minerals our body needs to function. Yet we don’t seem to eat enough of them. Why? Buying fresh fruit and veg is great but there’s nothing wrong in using tinned or frozen too. If you’re worried you won’t use your fresh fruit and veg in time before they go off then buy some tinned and frozen options as well. Try to have a stash of fruit and veg in your cupboard and freezer so that you are able to add some plant power to every meal. On days when I’m working and don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast at home before dashing out the door with the toddler, I grab my overnight oats from the fridge and throw in a handful of frozen berries and eat when I get to work. That’s 1-2 portions of fruit before 9am. If life is hectic and there’s no time for meal planning, no time for food shopping you can easily add some frozen or tinned veg to a pasta bake. Just the other day I added some frozen peas and runner beans to a pasta bake. It helped to bulk out the dish with some extra green goodness.

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Meat-free Mixed Bean Lasagne

Pulses – lentils, peas and beans

Beans, peas and lentils whether they be dried or tinned are a great source of low-fat protein, are cheap and count towards your daily recommended portions of fruit and veg. Protein doesn’t just need to come from meat or fish, have you ever made a spag bol or chilli with beans rather than mince? It’s cheaper, tastes delicious and reducing your meat intake will aid to reduce your carbon footprint and won’t do your digestive system any harm either.

Bulk/Batch cooking

Making larger portions or extra portions on days when you have more time means you can then freeze and eat for lunches or dinners on days when you have less time. Having very little time to prepare and eat food is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients/clients/friends. Unfortunately, if we want to live long healthy lives we need to prioritize time for decent meals. Cooking from scratch is the best way to know that your food is decent and honest. Grabbing food from fast food chains or ordering a take away is not cost-effective (it’s really really expensive) and definitely not good for you. Making extra portions or batch cooking can be hard to get in the swing of as it takes a little forward planning but if you have young children this really will be a god send on those days you just run out of time!

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Big Batch Lasagne

I have plenty more tips and tricks like these so stay tuned for more by subscribing to my blog and you’ll get emailed them straight to your inbox. I think that’s how it works, ha, I’ve no idea. Just trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to blogging ; )

Happy Thursday you lovely lot!

Love

Lea x x

Creamy Pistachio Chilli Dip

 

So it’s January 2nd 2017 and like many others I have a few thoughts and feelings on how I would like the new year to go. I don’t really do resolutions as such, I just try to focus my mind on a few intentions for the new year. So one of my intentions is to focus more time on my blog. I really enjoy sharing healthy and nutritious recipes with you guys but my life is quite hectic and busy at the moment (who’s isn’t) and all my sharing seems to focus on my Instagram page as it’s a bit more instantanious. The trouble is I’m not a photographer and I don’t have a decent camera and social media is filled with perfectly shot pictures of food that looks really tasty and appetising. I literally share what I’ve been cooking, baking, blending and eating day-to-day. So if you can forgive some rubbish photography I think I can dedicate more time to sharing more recipes with you lovely lot. This platform for sharing healthy, wholesome and tasty food really has changed my life. I love being inspired by others and hope I inspire a few others.

Any way, back to this dip I made for lunch today. So it’s post Christmas and New Year and somehow I managed to get my butt off the sofa and go for a run this morning. Which was actually really lovely, very cold,but lovely. I love running but anything can put me off. Cold, rain, too hot, anything! Feeling energised and productive post run I then went and did a fresh food shop and stocked up on lots of fruits and veggies. When it came to making the lunch I really fancied making my favourite dip as it’s so fresh and tangy and full of flavour. Stupidly I realised I didn’t actually buy all the ingredients I needed for it. D’oh. So I decided to improvise and this is what I concocted.

Ingredients

90-100g Unsalted deshelled pistachios (I had a 100g bag but accidentally ate a few)

5 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche

1 garlic clove crushed or finely chopped

1 lemon (squeezed juice)

Half a red chilli finely chopped (if you like hot food add the whole thing, why not)

Handful of spinach

Salt and Pepper

Method

First, blend all the pistachios in a food processor. Then add the chilli along with the spinach, crushed garlic and squeeze half the lemon in to the processor and blitz. Once that is nicely combined add the creme fraiche and squeeze a little bit more lemon in to the mix with a dash of salt and pepper and blitz one final time. Pour the mixtire into a bowl and put in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to set. That is literally it. So simple. So tasty. I had mine with some spelt and sunflower seed bread and a side of cucumber, tomoatoes and celery in a little olive oil and squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

This will last two days in an air tight container in the fridge. You could easily take this in a little tupperware pot and put in the fridge at work for lunchtime.

So I’ll save the original version of this dip for another blog post in the near future! In the meantime please let me know if there is anything else you would like me to blog about – food, health, exercise, lifestyle, children, advice and I’ll do my best to fulfill your request. If you do make this dip please tag me @naturallea on Instagram, Twitter (I am on Facebook but neglected for a while) and hastag #eatnaturallea. I would love to know how you found it and of course see your beautiful pics. And finally HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I really hope 2017 is filled with magic, adventure, love and laughter for each and every one of you 💖

Love Lea xx

Stock Up On Cupboard Staples

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Pumpkin Seeds

I hallmarked Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings as new blog update days but it seems Amelie picks up a new illness every week at the moment. A new bug means sleepless nights and long days for me, and inevitably I end up catching it too. Oli joked that she’s not allowed to go to any baby groups and socialise anymore, I think he was joking… So, I apologise for the lack of posts recently. I have been working on a few new recipes so I look forward to sharing those with you over the next week or two.

I do love hearing from people who read my blog, message me asking for advice and those that try my recipes and let me know how they got on. A few people recently have asked for a shopping list and advice on where to buy ingredients so that they can stock up on a few essentials. I think a good idea could be an online shop (Amazon or Buy Whole Foods Online) and buying some bits in bulk as supermarkets tend to sell small packets at more of a cost. There are some ingredients that I get through very quickly so it works out cheaper and your ingredients will last longer that way. Below are some ingredients I use a lot in my recipes.

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Things I would buy in bulk online are:

Coconut Oil (make sure it’s raw, organic, and cold pressed – Lucy Bee, Biona, Tiana)

Oats (make sure nothing is added to them)

Almonds

Ground Almonds

Pecans

Pumpkin Seeds

Cacoa Powder

Chia Seeds

Other things you can pick up in the supermarket gradually or when you’re making a specific recipe:

Almond Milk (Rude Health is free from additives, others might not be so do check) – or any other plant-based milk

Eggs

Sweet Potato

Spinach

Bananas

Oranges/Mandarins

Berries

Lemons

Medjool Dates

Sunflower Seeds

Flaked Almonds

Pine Nuts

Brown Rice

Chickpeas

If you go to my ingredients page there is a more comprehensive list of ingredients you can add to your shopping list. Sometimes it’s good just to get a little bit of inspiration before you head out to do a food shop!

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Cupboard essentials

I hope this is useful in some way. Have a fantastic week and hopefully I’ll have a new recipe up on Wednesday night for you : ) In the meantime, let me know what you struggle with when trying to eat healthy foods – snacks, meal ideas, lunches etc!

Lea  x

How to eat healthy food on a budget and no time

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Simple frittata

Happy Monday! Today is the start of a new week. We can achieve so much in a week, so rather than looking at Monday like it’s a big grey cloud over your head, look at Monday as the start of something new and exciting. Anything is possible guys, set your goals and go run at them with a smile : )

It’s Monday – let’s think about the week ahead and get planning some exciting things. Lots of people ask me if I spend a lot of money on ingredients and the truth is, no not really. Of course there’s always the potential to spend a fortune in a health food store on pricey products that claim to pack a punch in the health stakes. Equally, without a budget or planning it’s just as easy to do that on your weekly shop at the supermarket. Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. Be savvy, give your meals and snacks some thought, and don’t get distracted. You can rustle up a quick and healthy meal just using a few ingredients. And remember, small positive changes, slowly over time are better than no healthy changes at all. So please don’t beat yourself up if you’re not eating organic, fresh produce 100% of the time. I don’t. Be realistic. You can easily build up healthy food staples over time – nuts, seeds, grains, beans and lentils last, as a little goes a long way and they are some of the cheapest things to buy when you’re doing your weekly shop!

Simple changes

Focus on a few simple day-to-day changes to get you started. For instance, swap white rice for brown rice. We all know brown rice is better for us and it makes a fantastic staple to your diet. White rice basically looked like brown rice before it went through a refining and polishing process. This process takes out all goodness. Brown rice is richer in fibre,vitamin B3, B1 and B6, manganese and iron. With one simple change you can boost your daily nutrient intake. Try out some other healthy carbohydrate and protein options such as lentils, beans and grains such as quinoa to bulk up salads, stews and soups.

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Brown rice

Although I eat mainly plant-based foods, I’m not vegan, so I do eat eggs and find frittata makes a great lunch or dinner when you don’t have much time. You can pack a frittata with as little or as much veg as you wish. I will often make quite a deep frittata, pack it full with peas, onion, garlic, spinach and tomatoes and cut it in to thick wedges and put it in a lunch-box, pop it in the fridge and eat it for lunch. It makes a great alternative to eating a sandwich. I also give it to my 8 month old daughter for lunch or dinner and she loves it!

Don’t waste

Don’t waste food or time. If you’re making a chickpea curry for instance, make extra and put some in a lunch-box for your lunch the next day. You can easily take that to work with you and your work colleagues will undoubtedly be jealous of your delicious, nutrient packed lunch. Or make extra and put some in the freezer, you then have easy and healthy go-to-meals when you don’t have the time or energy to cook. I’ll often freeze my bananas (slice first), raspberries, and blueberries. That way they keep for longer, don’t get wasted and are great to throw in to energy boosting smoothies that are really tasty and refreshing.

These are just a few ideas. I could go on but I think this is a good start. I’ll do another blog like this in the near future to cover more ground. If you have anything else you’d like me to cover please get in touch or comment. I hope it has been useful in some way and I hope your Monday has got off to a flying start!

Enjoy your week xx