I wish you a very happy 2016 and a Happy New You too!
2016 has started with the usual flurry of health programmes on the telly plus lots of articles in all the magazines and on websites about dry January and detoxing after the indulgence of Christmas, various diets and weightloss advise.
I want to challenge this view, following on from my last post in December on how to be mindful over Christmas. If you, like me, tried to be much more aware of what and how much you were eating and drinking over Christmas then January doesn’t have to become this ‘boring’ month where you have to ‘make up’ for the past month. I think it’s much better to look at our overall habits (not just for January) and change a little bit for good. Instead of dry January I am picking 2-3 days a week where I will drink some alcohol but still be aware of the quantities and not binge drink lots on those days, and then have dry days for the rest of the week. Plus I want to focus on healthy eating and food and drink that makes me feel good. So, I have bought myself my first food processor as a gift to myself for Christmas and have started to make lots of variations of little energy balls and homemade cereal bars, more salads and soups etc. I love my new gadget and it’s making my own healthy snacks really easy (I only had a mini baby food chopper before and it was a real struggle to whizz up dates, etc!)
My two favourite January recipes I want to share with you are:
Quinoa & Avocado salad
(recipe adapted from Waitrose recipe card January 2016)
145g cooked Quinoa (I used Waitrose Love life quinoa)
45g Mango, cut into cubes
20g Pomegranate seeds
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 small spring onions, chopped
optional: 40g edamame & mint dip to serve
Cook the quinoa (or use a ready cooked grain mix pouch if you like)
Whisk together the oil and vinegar.
Mix the cooked quinoa with all the other ingredients and serve the dip on the side.
66g carbs (of which 20g is sugar)
Cocoa, Cranberry & Date Energy Balls
(recipe is adapted from the Healthy Food Guide January 2016 issue)
Makes 16 small balls
40g dried cranberries
25g organic jumbo oats
2tbsp cocoa powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp crunchy almond butter
Put all the ingredients in the food processor and whizz up until you get a smooth paste.
If it gets too dry you can add a teaspoon or two of water.
Roll the mixture into 16 balls, chill for 1 hour until firm.
You can keep these in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 month.
Also, if you need to follow a gluten-free/ diary free diet you can use gluten-free rolled oats and diary free cocoa powder (some contain milk).
5.6g fat (of which 0.7g saturated)