Valentines raw food menu

Valentines raw food menu for two

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

IMG_9884Why not try something different this Valentine’s day and enjoy a light and energy giving ‘raw’ vegan meal.  Many of the water soluble vitamins are preserved and the dishes are bursting with fibre

I have devised a  light two course menu of courgette noodles (courgetti), with tomatoes and cannellini beans and for ‘afters’ peanut butter truffles.  The courgette is made using a ‘spiralizer’, although you can now buy them already prepared in many supermarkets. Eating courgettes this way means you can enjoy the romance and joy of pasta twirling without the carbohydrate overload.  The tomatoes add some great antioxidants and the beans are a good low fat protein source, and both are a great source of fibre.

The dessert is only slightly naughty; the peanuts provide protein and fibre, the rice is gluten free, the chia seeds are bursting with omega 3 fats and the sesame seeds are a valuable source of calcium.  Finally, the dark chocolate contains some nice mood enhancing endorphins.  Making it an ideal choice for Valentines day


Courgette noodles with tomatoes and cannellini beans


  • IMG_13812 large courgettes, spiralized (or ribboned with a vegetable peeler)
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil or virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes or ½ chilli de-seed and finely sliced
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tin of drained and rinsed cannellini beans
  • Sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped


IIMG_2437n a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together – except the sesame seeds and fresh mint. Taste and add some salt and pepper if needed or a bit more chilli


Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes for the flavours to marry together. Scatter over the images-10sesame seeds and mint. Serve in a large clean bowl to share – visualise the spaghetti eating scene in the Lady and the tramp!








For dessert some little bite sized chocolate lovelies!

Peanut butter truffles


IMG_1816100g wholenut crunchy peanut butter

10g wholegrain puffed rice – toasted, cooled and lightly crushed

few drops of Vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp Agave, Golden syrup or Maple syrup

½ tsp Chia seeds

½ tsp Sesame seeds

40g Dark chocolate

½ tsp Coconut oil

few grains of rock salt


Mix the first six ingredients together. Blend well

Line a tray with Clingfilm and shape the mixture in to small balls. Keep wetting your hands with cold water to stop the mixture from sticking to youIMG_1820

Leave the balls to firm up in for fridge for at least 30 minutes

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a pan over a bowl of hot water or microwave on high for 1 minute


peanut butter truffles


Remove the peanut balls from the fridge and dip each one in the chocolate. Place on the cling filmed tray to set. Crush a few grains of rock salt over the coated peanut balls.  Leave for a few hours for the chocolate to harden.  Then pop one in your beloved’s mouth and enjoy!

Blue Monday 2017

Blue Monday!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

6389379-largeToday, Monday 16th January is considered to be the most depressing day of 2017; for some pay day is nearly 2 weeks away, dry January is getting harder, credit card bills are dropping on the mat, the weather is miserable etc.  So lets make Monday the 16th January all about being uplifted.  Today’s Meat free Monday recipe has some mood enhancing ingredients, to make you feel better.

Energy balls

Makes 25 – 30, which are approximately 70-80 calories per ball

ingredients200g pitted dates (preferably Medjool)

2 tbls chia seeds

2 tbls oats

1 tbls melted coconut oil

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbls raw cacao powder

100g almonds

100g other nuts (cashew, walnuts, pistachio, hazel, brazil, peanuts)



  • blendFirstly place all the nuts, oats and chia seeds in your food processor or nutribullet. Blend for 1 minute, until a powder forms and the nuts have crumbled.
  • Secondly add the remaining ingredients. Blend for another minute until a sticky dough forms. You may need to stop the blender and scrape down the mixture so it all blends
  • Wet your hands with water and use them to roll the mixture into little balls. Or use a chocolate mould to make different shapes. This short video will show you how its done
  • At this stage you can place them in a container and store in the fridge. Or you can coat them in desiccated coconut, sesame seeds or cacao powder before placing them in the fridge
  • Now that should put a smile on your face!

energy balls

Additions or substitutions

Use pitted prunes instead of dates

Use ginger powder instead of cinnamon

Use toasted puffed rice instead of oats

Use quinoa flakes instead of oats

Use 1 tbls pea, soy or hemp powder instead of oats

Use sesame seeds instead of chia seeds

Use linseeds/flaxseeds instead of chia seeds

energy balls1


And these were the energy balls made by a Twitter follower @SNottsExplorer



De-stress with food

The benefits of eating healthily to reduce stress 

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website



I advocate a healthy balanced diet to all my clients, including those going through stressful situations such as the start of the summer holidays and keeping the kids entertained .





Stress can have an impact on your diet and in turn food can impact on your stress

If you are under a lot of stress you are more susceptible to feeling unwell both emotionally and physically, one part of the solution is to eat plenty of stress busting foods and drink to boost your immune system.  Try some of these simple steps

  • Don’t skip breakfast; it can help with mood, memory and attention.  Try IMG_6160eating porridge or muesli or wholegrain cereal like bran flakes, Weetabix or shredded wheat; they help to steady blood sugar levels and stop you having an energy crash.  Brazil nuts are also great as they contain selenium – a great mineral for lifting your mood.


  • Eat a variety fruit and veg – so you get a ‘rainbow’ of colour and a boost fruit and vegof vitamin A, C & E and Zinc.  All of which play a positive role in your immune system.  Add more veggies like spinach and kale to your pasta sauce, or homemade pizza; the magnesium they contain also helps fight fatigue. Put seasonal fruit in blender with milk (or non-dairy) with some oats for a fibre and calcium rich smoothie.  Eating an Orange can orange fruitboost your levels of vitamin C; strengthening the immune system and at the same time reduce levels of stress hormones. Potassium is another mineral that can help in the battle to fight stress by reducing your blood pressure.  So make sure you regularly eat bananas and avocado 


  • During the day drink black or green tea – full of antioxidants which are great at moping up free radicals.  Black tea can lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations


  • waterStay hydrated with water – often you can mistake thirst for hunger, so always have a drink first; wait about 10 minutes and then have something to eat if you are still hungry


  • Have a warm milky drink at night or some full fat yoghurt – the calcium soothes tension as well as eases anxiety and the protein has a calming effect on the body, which could lower blood pressure.


  • imagesRest and relaxation – take time for your self; read a book, have a warm bath, listen to your favourite music, get out in the garden or watch your favourite box set


  • Limit your alcohol intake.  It is a depressant not a stimulant so drink within safe limits, which is now 14 units a week for both men and women


  • De-stress with some exercise or activity  – activity exercisebrisk walking is great way to burn calories, get some fresh air and absorb some much needed vitamin D


dark chocolateAnd ending on a positive and happy note, eating a few squares of 70% dark chocolate can also make you feel happy by prompting the release of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin, a calming brain feel good chemical

5 foods to get you in the mood for Valentines Day

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

5 foods to get you in the mood for Valentines Day

As well as cards, love tokens and candles why not set the scene and use food to get you both completely in the mood for love!

IMG_5123Brazil nuts are packed with feel-good selenium, a mineral many of us don’t get enough of. 3 or 4 nuts a day will put a smile on your face and help make you feel happier. So why not start the evening with a few Brazil nuts and a glass of fizz


According to English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper in the 17th century, Asparagus “stirs imagesup lust in man and woman.” Apart from its obvious phallic shape, asparagus is high in potassium, fibre, vitamins B6, A and C, thiamin and folic acid.  It also contains nutrients that boost histamine production, which can get you in the mood for love

Simply steam some asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes.  Serve on a plate with a  drizzle of olive oil, cracked black pepper, a few chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon

IMG_4449Spices like as chilli, curry, cayenne, turmeric, ginger and cumin can make you feel amorous because they warm and relax the body.  The hot compound found in chillis also increases heart rate and triggers the release of mood-enhancing endorphins. Just remember to wash your hands before you get too amorous, if not things could get hotter than you intended!

So for your Valentines meal why not serve up a spicy curry dish, and feel the lurve!

Dark Chocolate prompts the release of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin. just a couple of squares are enough to release endorphins: hormones that create a natural high. It also contains caffeine, phenylethylamine and magnesium, which are known to lift the spirits and increases alertness … and passion

Strawberries are perfect for Valentines Day, not only are they red but heart shaped too!  imagesBeing low in calories (50 calories in 8 strawberries), bursting with vitamin C and high in fibre (5g per serving) they are a sweet treat that fills you up without adding the pounds.

So why not end your Valentine’s day meal with chocolate covered strawberries – A sure fired way to win your loved ones heart



What is your favourite meal to woo your loved one?

Blue Monday – 18th Jan 2016

Blue Monday – 18th Jan 2016

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

Monday the 18th of January is considered to be the most depressing day of the year! When the bank balance looks pretty low, the New Years resolutions are fading and the temperature is dropping.

IMG_5039If you are feeling down don’t reach for the pills, or the booze (especially if you are committed to dry January) or the last of the Christmas chocs. Instead reach for food that can lift your mood and spirits


Fruits and vegetables are an obvious choice as they contain lots of mood enhancing vitamins – go for variety and colour. 3 Brazil nuts a day contain all your selenium needs – a vital mineral that helps us to feel happy. I’d IMG_0847also add oily fish, walnuts or flaxseeds to your diet for the good omega 3 fats they all contain. This good fat has been shown to lift our mood. Peas and marmite both contain B vitamins – these have also been show to have mood boosting properties

Wholemeal carbs like pasta, bread and rice also contain



valuable amounts of serotonin that can induce a feeling of calmness


And don’t forget the great outdoors; being outside is not only goof for our heart health and reducing feelings of isolations but it’s a chance for us to gain some much needed Vitamin D – also known as the sunshine vitamin

My Meat free Monday Blog will be a recipe that has lots of mood enhancing ingredients, to make you feel more uplifted. 


But in the meantime why not counter that sad feeling by incorporating some of the above ingredients in to your diet this weekend and here’s how

  • add some fresh or dried fruit to your wholegrain cereal (weetabix, porridge, all bran, shredded wheat etc)
  • IMG_2482make a smoothie using milk (or non dairy like coconut milk) and add some kale, carrots, avocado, banana, ginger
  • for lunch have scrambled egg with some smoked salmon on wholemeal toast or Ryvitas
  • for an afternoon snack munch on some walnuts or brazil nuts for great omega 3s and serotonin
  • and for your evening meal try a mixed veg stirfy with buckwheat noodles (not forgetting to add some protein and vitamin B rich peas!)

Have you got any ideas for lifting your mood and avoiding Blue Monday?