Can we eat better for less? 

As I get older (rapidly approaching my 40th, only a few more years 😲😬), I am starting to find satisfaction in the strangest of places. 

A few months ago, my partner and I moved from a small (very small) house with no garden, to a lovely cottage with a modest garden, which is completely decked… yay low maintenance! 

As I am something of a sun-worshipper, sitting in my new garden was proving to make me very happy, and within a few weeks I noticed that both of my olive trees were starting to thrive in their new home. Even though neither have produced any fruit yet, they are still young, it is looking likely that they may soon. 

It got me thinking… what could I grow in pots in my garden? 

I’ve already got mint growing like it’s out of fashion, so I thought Basil would be a great start… (plus basil reminds me of Greece and as I love Greek food it’s a winner). The basil has took off and grown like crazy, stinking out the garden with a beautiful scent … and cooking with home grown herbs, well you can’t get fresher. 

Then my father in law visited and gave me two tomato plants, both of which have flourished, and are looking likely to harvest some lovely juicy toms for my salads later in the summer!! 🤤 I love tomatoes!!! 

But I started to think more about this, and whether or not you could eat better for less by simply growing a few of your own herbs, fruits & veggies? 

I’m not naturally green fingered, I have to “google” everything, so as you can imagine, my search history looks pretty random at the moment, but I have some really fun experiments going on at the moment, even my partner has got in on the action. 

During a recent trip to Greece, my partner put some olive and orange pips in his pocket… not to keep but there was no where to leave them & we didn’t want to infest our room with ants, but anyway, in the midst of packing to come home, he forgot they were there (😬😲) and I found them as I was sorting through the washing. 

So…. I planted them 🤞🏻 and hoped that something might happen. Yesterday whilst tidying the garden, I had a quick look and noticed two minuscule shoots coming up from both the olive pips…. have I just created life??? 😲

Now it doesn’t stop there… because I currently have a handful of date pits to pot & a few acorns that have mysteriously appeared from someone, oh and not to forget three of the citrus family… lemon, lime & orange 😁 

So, although I am totally aware that this is a long term game, and fruits will not start to grow for a while, it’s kinda exciting… who knew I would get so much pleasure from growing my own fruits??? 

In the garden at the moment I have: 

  • Chillies
  • Olives
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Tomatoes
  • Blueberries

Ready to pot & grow I have:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Dates
  • Acorns 

So, for those of you interested in growing your own, I am going to share the progress of this little life giving adventures via my blog, and hopefully, just maybe, these plants will give us fruits and we will be able to eat better for less! For now, that question remains unanswered in my life but I’d love to hear how you’re doing?

Do you grow your own in the garden? How have you got on and what have you grown? 

Let me know in the comments 😁 
Don’t forget to like & follow for updates on my green fingered antics 😁

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Let me Tell you about my Sausage! ;)

NUTRITION logo copyOne of the best things about living where I live, is I am really close to one of the best, if not in fact THE BEST Butchers in Northamptonshire. So I can just nip out and pick up some of the finest meaty sausages and cuts of steak known to mankind!

He supplies the local premiership rugby team, some of which live in the same village, plus local top catering businesses, and then their is their hog roasts and burger vans… They truly do offer the finest in local meatiness.

But let’s talk sausages! We have all had those thin, nondescript bangers from the super market, and the inert-looking ones from the local cafe, but these bad-boy butchers  bangers are amazing! Almost completely all meat and no filler!

I cooked a batch of 6 on my trusty George Foreman grill just the other night, and there was NO FAT oozing out into the little drip tray…. I MEAN NONE! *Wow* I have had this drip tray full to the brim before now cooking cheap bangers from the local shops!

(I can’t go without mentioning their home made Chilli-con-Carne and Curry, and if I am on a bit of a naughty day, then their sausage rolls and pork pies are the best!)

It’s all top Quality!

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And not too pricy either, maybe a tad more than you’d pay at the local supermarket, but then look at the product you are buying and the QUALI-TEEEEE!

It’s real, honest, proper food!

You can buy your ready meals that have been pumped full of man-made fats, or maybe even the low-fat option, that has been pumped with sugar and chemical ingredients that you can’t even pronounce (these are there to make it last longer & taste more normal)…. these ingredients haven’t been in our diets much more than 40 or 50 years, but the butchers block meat has been in our diets for thousands of years!

Guess what else has increased over the last 40-50 years?

Oh yeah, that’s right… Obesity! 

Is that just a coincidence?

Either way, I know what I would rather be putting into my body!

REAL FOOD WITH REAL NUTRITIONAL VALUE & REAL FAT! That’s what we were born to eat! Not this highly processed man made, so called “low-fat” crap that you buy for a quid in the shops!

If you want to lose weight, which is what I want to help you achieve, then heed my warning and start to change the way you eat! Go for REAL FOOD, Visit your local Butchers and buy some proper bangers that smell amazing when you are cooking them. Grab a cut of steak whilst your are there and serve it up with some veggies. Get some proper MEATY burgers that aren’t filled with all the junk that is making our bodies rebel against the fat loss fads we keep throwing at them!

Give your body a break, and feed it with something that it can actually use! Good Fuel for a Good Body!

If you are wandering about the butchers I mentioned, you can visit their website here!

Have a great day!

Lesley 🙂  x

P.S. Don’t miss out on your chance to get a completely tailored healthy eating nutrition plan HERE starting at just £69.99

Quick fixes don’t work, you need to change your habits to change your body, start with the small changes, they all add up!

If you have enjoyed this blog, please like, share and comment! You can also follow me on Facebook, instagram and twitter using the links to the side of this blog post! And don’t forget to download your FREE 21 Healthy recipe E-Book HERE.

 

Top 5 Gluten Free Recipes

There are so many people living a Gluten Free diet these days, that it has become almost the norm to try out recipes and see how they work. Gluten can, in many situations be responsible for making you feel bloated, lethargic, gassy, and in some cases a little nauseas!

Whether you are Gluten free of not, here are my Top 5 Recipes that I have used, Tried & Tested! Give them a go and let me know how you get on… Do the recipes get a thumbs up or a thumbs down?

 

Almond & Mango Muffins!

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup truvia
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup hazelnut meal/flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced into small bite sized pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 180Cº.
  2. Line a muffin tray with 8-10 paper liners and spray a little 0 Calorie cooking spray inside and around the liners to prevent sticking.
  3. In a large bowl, add eggs, grapeseed and extra virgin olive oil and blend vigorously, until you get a smooth emulsified mixture.
  4. Add the soy milk, vanilla extract and truvia and blend again.
  5. Add all of the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  6. Equally divide the mixture among the muffin tins and top with chopped mango chunks. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins are cooked through.
  7. Let your muffins cool to room temperature and enjoy.

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Garbanzo Salad

 

  • 3 cups finely chopped fennel bulb
  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 3/4 cups finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Combine all of the ingredients except the feta cheese in a bowl; toss everything well. Allow the salad to stand for approximately 30 minutes; sprinkle with the feta cheese, and serve!

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Ginger Lentil Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (14-ounce) chicken broth, plus enough water to equal 4 cups
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrot and onion; cover and cook about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in the ginger and garlic; cook for a further 1 minute. Add curry, salt, and pepper; cook for 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the diluted broth and lentils; bring to the boil. Reduce the heat; simmer, and covered. Allow to cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in the diced tomatoes; cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Divide the soup and serve.

This recipe should prepare 4 servings.

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Sweet Potato Brownies

  • 600g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 14 dates, pitted
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 100g buckwheat or brown rice flour
  • 5tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4tbsp pure maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Heat the oven to 180C,160C fan, gas 4. Cook the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, or until they are soft. Blend the potatoes in a food processor, with the dates until they are a smooth and creamy mixture. Put the remaining ingredients in to a bowl and mix in the sweet potato and date mixture. Spread the mixture into a lined baking tray and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until a fork/knife inserted into the brownie comes out dry. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before dividing & cutting the brownies into squares.

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Pork Casserole

  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) shoulder of free-range 
British pork, diced
  • 200g (7oz) lardons or chunky streaky bacon, chopped
  • 16 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 300ml (½pt) dry cider
  • 300ml (½pt) chicken stock
  • 6tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
  • 2tbsp cornflour mixed with 2tbsp water
  • 2tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, finely choppedHeat the oven to 170C, 150C fan. Melt half the butter in the casserole dish, and add half of the pork, season and fry for about 10 minutes until thoroughly browned. Remove the meat from the casserole dish with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the rest of the butter to the casserole and fry the rest of the pork for 10 minutes until evenly browned. Meanwhile, in another pan, dry-fry the lardons until crispy. Remove, set aside, then fry the shallots, onion and celery for a few minutes, to soften slightly. Combine all of the pork, lardons, shallots, onion and celery in the casserole. Pour over the cider and chicken stock to cover. Place a lid on the dish and cook in the oven for 2 hours until the pork is tender. Add the crème fraîche, cornflour mix, mustard and tarragon to the casserole. Heat on the hob and stir until the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve & Enjoy!

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Try out these Gluten free recipes and see how you get on. And please comment, like & share this post if you have enjoyed reading it. Remember you can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter 🙂