EAT WELL - FEEL GOOD - BE HAPPY
MOST RECIPES ARE GLUTEN FREE!

RECIPES, PHOTOS & ALL OTHER CONTENT BY MICA FRANCIS-ANGEL

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Super Berry Smoothie(Serves 2)Ingredients1 cup Blueberries1 cup Strawberries1 Passion Fruit1/2 cup Blackberries1/2 cup Redcurrants1/2 cup Blackcurrants1/2 AvocadoLarge handful of Kale 1/4 cup Goji berries1/4 cup Chia seeds 400ml Coconut waterOptional: An extra sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry for garnish1. Whizz all ingredients together using a blender. Feel free to add a little more or less of each ingredient according to taste.2. Pour in to a glass, garnish with a sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry

Super Berry Smoothie

(Serves 2)

Ingredients
1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Strawberries
1 Passion Fruit
1/2 cup Blackberries
1/2 cup Redcurrants
1/2 cup Blackcurrants
1/2 Avocado
Large handful of Kale
1/4 cup Goji berries
1/4 cup Chia seeds
400ml Coconut water

Optional: An extra sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry for garnish

1. Whizz all ingredients together using a blender. Feel free to add a little more or less of each ingredient according to taste.

2. Pour in to a glass, garnish with a sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry


Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and AvocadoSuch a simple and delightful breakfast - A great way to start the day!I also topped my egg with fresh dill and chives for a little flavour boost.Some people can find poached eggs a little tricky, so here’s a guide of how I make mine.Poached EggsIngredients1 Egg 1tbsp Rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)1tsp Sea salt1. Fill a deep pan with 4/5 inches of boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat, add a pinch of sea salt and 1tbsp of rice vinegar. 2. Crack your egg into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Leave to cook for roughly 3-4mins.3. To check whether its done, remove carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in for another minute or so.Note: When serving, I like to pop a little hole in my poached egg so the yummy golden yolk oozes out.

Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and Avocado

Such a simple and delightful breakfast - A great way to start the day!
I also topped my egg with fresh dill and chives for a little flavour boost.

Some people can find poached eggs a little tricky, so here’s a guide of how I make mine.

Poached Eggs

Ingredients
1 Egg 
1tbsp Rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1tsp Sea salt

1. Fill a deep pan with 4/5 inches of boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat, add a pinch of sea salt and 1tbsp of rice vinegar. 

2. Crack your egg into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Leave to cook for roughly 3-4mins.

3. To check whether its done, remove carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in for another minute or so.

Note: When serving, I like to pop a little hole in my poached egg so the yummy golden yolk oozes out.

Avocado and Blueberry MuffinsI went to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends Helly for a catch up last night - After a lovely dinner, we drank a couple of bottles of wine and decided to make these delicious muffins while very drunk. We threw the original recipe out the window and made this one up ourselves!FYI: Helly is lactose intolerant so this recipe is lactose-free! Yipee! Ingredients (Makes 12)
Muffin Ingredients:2 cups All-purpose flour2 tsp Baking powder1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda1/2 tsp Salt1tsp Ground cinnamon (optional)1 Ripe avocado (seeded,peeled and cut in to chunks)1/2 cup Sugar2 tsp Vanilla extract2 cups Fresh blueberries1 Egg1 cup Soya milk2 tbsp Soya butter
Topping Ingredients:2 Tbsp. melted butter2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour2 Tbsp. granulated sugarIcing:2 cups Icing sugar1/4 cup Water1.Preheat oven to 190°C / Gas Mark 5. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners.2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, egg, vanilla and avocado. Using an electric mixer (or a regular whisk as we did) beat together these ingredients until completely combined and smooth.3. Chuck in your blueberries and fold them in to the mixture using a large spoon.4. Scoop the batter carefully in to your muffin cases, leaving a thin rim around each case. 5. Quickly mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle over your cupcakes before popping them in the oven.6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.7. Mix together your icing, if the icing looks a little too runny just add more icing sugar until it thickens (We didn’t measure this part very well as we were quite drunk by this point!). 8. Zig-zag your icing over your cupcakes. Leave to stand for 10mins.

Avocado and Blueberry Muffins

I went to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends Helly for a catch up last night - After a lovely dinner, we drank a couple of bottles of wine and decided to make these delicious muffins while very drunk. We threw the original recipe out the window and made this one up ourselves!
FYI: Helly is lactose intolerant so this recipe is lactose-free! Yipee! 

Helly Cole

Ingredients 
(Makes 12)

Muffin Ingredients:
2 cups All-purpose flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1tsp Ground cinnamon (optional)
1 Ripe avocado (seeded,peeled and cut in to chunks)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 cups Fresh blueberries
1 Egg
1 cup Soya milk
2 tbsp Soya butter

Topping Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Icing:
2 cups Icing sugar
1/4 cup Water

avocado blueberry cupcakes

1.Preheat oven to 190°C / Gas Mark 5. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, b
icarbonate of soda, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, egg, vanilla and avocado. Using an electric mixer (or a regular whisk as we did) beat together these ingredients until completely combined and smooth.

Helly Cole Whisking Batter

3. Chuck in your blueberries and fold them in to the mixture using a large spoon.

4. Scoop the batter carefully in to your muffin cases, leaving a thin rim around each case. 

5. Quickly mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle over your cupcakes before popping them in the oven.

6. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.

7. Mix together your icing, if the icing looks a little too runny just add more icing sugar until it thickens (We didn’t measure this part very well as we were quite drunk by this point!). 

8. Zig-zag your icing over your cupcakes. Leave to stand for 10mins.

avocado blueberry muffins

Prosciutto, Goats Cheese, Fig and Rocket Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce(Gluten Free) (Serves 4)IngredientsBase:400g Gluten-free flour 1tsp Salt4 tbsp Olive oil7g sachet Fast-action dried yeast2 tbsp Fresh rosemary (chopped)2 tbsp Fresh thyme (chopped)2 tsp Ground black pepper250-300ml Warm waterSauce:3 tbsp Tomato puree4 tbsp Sundried tomato pesto6 Cherry tomatoes1 Cup fresh oregano (finely chopped)Toppings4 Figs ( each sliced in to 4/6)1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)200g Goats Cheese (crumbled)330g Cherry tomatoes160g Prosciutto (roughly torn)4 Handfuls of rocketBalsamic vinegarParmesan shavings / grated (optional)1. Making the base - Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, yeast, thyme, rosemary and pepper into a food processor, pulse until well mixed. With the motor still running, add enough water to bring the flour to a soft, but not sticky dough. Take out dough and put onto a work surface, knead until it comes together.2. Split the dough in to 4 even balls. If you only have one shelf in your oven and are cooking in batches, wrap 3 in cling film. Roll out each ball of dough directly onto lightly oiled baking sheets into very thin 25cm/10in rounds. Leave to stand for 10 mins. Bake in the hot oven for 10 mins.3. While your base is in the oven, whizz together all the ingredients for your sauce using a food processor. 4. Take out your base from the oven and spread your tomato pesto sauce over your pizza, leaving a thin rim around the edges.5. Add all your pizza toppings except the rocket and parmesan, preferably arrange with figs on top. Put your pizza in the oven and bake for 10-15mins.
6. Take out your pizza and top with the rocket leaves, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of grated parmesan. Serve with a green salad.

Prosciutto, Goats Cheese, Fig and Rocket Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

(Gluten Free) 
(Serves 4)

Ingredients
Base:
400g Gluten-free flour 
1tsp Salt
4 tbsp Olive oil
7g sachet Fast-action dried yeast
2 tbsp Fresh rosemary (chopped)
2 tbsp Fresh thyme (chopped)
2 tsp Ground black pepper
250-300ml Warm water

Sauce:
3 tbsp Tomato puree
4 tbsp Sundried tomato pesto
6 Cherry tomatoes
1 Cup fresh oregano (finely chopped)

Toppings
4 Figs ( each sliced in to 4/6)
1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
200g Goats Cheese (crumbled)
330g Cherry tomatoes
160g Prosciutto (roughly torn)
4 Handfuls of rocket
Balsamic vinegar
Parmesan shavings / grated (optional)

gluten-free pizza

1. Making the base - Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, yeast, thyme, rosemary and pepper into a food processor, pulse until well mixed. With the motor still running, add enough water to bring the flour to a soft, but not sticky dough.
Take out dough and put onto a work surface, knead until it comes together.

2. Split the dough in to 4 even balls. If you only have one shelf in your oven and are cooking in batches, wrap 3 in cling film. Roll out each ball of dough directly onto lightly oiled baking sheets into very thin 25cm/10in rounds. Leave to stand for 10 mins. Bake in the hot oven for 10 mins.

3. While your base is in the oven, whizz together all the ingredients for your sauce using a food processor. 

4. Take out your base from the oven and spread your tomato pesto sauce over your pizza, leaving a thin rim around the edges.

5. Add all your pizza toppings except the rocket and parmesan, preferably arrange with figs on top. Put your pizza in the oven and bake for 10-15mins.

6. Take out your pizza and top with the rocket leaves, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of grated parmesan.
Serve with a green salad.

fresh gluten free pizza

Interview: Q&A With Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor LJ of Wildcat FitnessI caught up with West-London based female PT and Fitness Instructor  LJ, to find out more about how to she achieves the purr-fect lean, strong, toned body and how she stays full of energy, the Wildcat way!1. Why and how did you become a personal trainer? Why is a healthy lifestyle so important to you?I previously worked in media and although I loved fitness I couldn’t seem to make time for the gym - my diet consisted of rich client dinners and unhealthy ‘on the run’ snacks. I was relying on caffeine and sugar to keep me going through my long days. I was permanently tired, lacking energy and I couldn’t lose weight. I decided to hire a Personal Trainer and within 6 months had lost a a stone and a half, dropped two dress sizes and was bouncing out of bed in the mornings. My PT turned my life around! I knew then I wanted to help other people in the same way.I started out as a fitness instructor - teaching Body Pump and Body Attack in gyms across London part-time around my day job.However, working with people to help them reach their goals was so satisfying that I decided to leave my office job to devote myself full-time to health and fitness. Feeling as I do now - healthy and energised and at the size I want to be - I just can’t imagine feeling any other way and so therefore a healthy lifestyle is always my top priority. I have never looked back!
2. How important is diet when training? Are abs really made in the kitchen?That is a phrase you hear all the time in the media - but with good reason - Yes, it is true. You really can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and no matter how hard you train, if you aren’t eating well, you won’t get the results you deserve. But I feel the word “diet” is a negative one as people often associate it with starving themselves, which is also a bad thing when living an active lifestyle. You need to fuel your body both with energy for your workouts and your recovery period afterwards and people who restrict or count calories often aren’t eating enough. This shocks my clients when I tell them they need to eat more! But as long as you are eating the right foods for your activity levels you really don’t have to starve yourself. It’s all about moderation. 
3. What is your philosophy on food and cooking?Generally I follow the 80/20 rule - eating as healthily as possible 80% of the time, but allowing for “real life” too - you can’t escape birthday parties, holidays ,weddings or other social occasions where there is likely to be cake, pizza, alcohol or other things you wouldn’t ordinarily have. But, in moderation these really aren’t going to do you much harm - I just spend a little longer in the gym the next day! It’s only when these things become the norm that we start to have a problem. I try to be realistic in my approach - if you control every mouthful, every calorie and feel hungry and miserable most of the time then the minute temptation is in front of you bad things will happen - believe me, I have been there! Strict starvation-led diets are not a long term solution and often those who crash diet end up putting the weight they have lost back on, and often even more. Lack of fuel sends the body into starvation mode to protect itself and ultimately does not lead to weight loss, nor does it help with training as your body literally doesn’t have the energy to make it through the workout. I try to eat as “clean” as possible - eating as much fresh, natural food as I can. Plenty of fish, vegetables, fruit and natural grains. I generally try to steer clear of anything that comes from a packet, pouch or box.I make sure I eat plenty of good fats - avocados, nuts, coconut oil, fish etc - as our bodies need fat to digest fat. I choose not to eat meat for ethical reasons but don’t judge those that do. 
4. Do you have any particular diet restrictions?I try to eat gluten-free as I suffer from IBS which seems to be aggravated by excessive gluten consumption. My digestion functions much better without it and the choice of gluten-free food available is fantastic and not at all restrictive. I choose not to eat meat - but as I said before - that’s an emotional rather than a dietary decision!5. How would you describe the current clean and healthy living movement? Why do you think is it becoming more and more popular?I think people are starting to realise how precious their health is - In reality none of us have time to be sick, or functioning at less than full capacity. I do think people are starting to appreciate that what they put in their mouths on a day to day basis has a direct relationship with how they feel. Of course the media has it’s part to play and celebrity culture too - who hasn’t seen snaps of every Hollywood starlet leaving a yoga class in their shades clutching a green juice over the past few months?! This of course has an effect and an influence - but in this case I believe a positive one. Healthier food is more readily available now - before things like gluten or dairy free produce or items like quinoa or coconut oil or flaxseeds were the preserve of dusty health food shops that weren’t “cool” or accessible - now you can find these items in your local supermarket. I do believe social media has helped also - people joke about the inordinate amount of food photos on Instagram, but when you’re sharing your dinner for the world to see, wouldn’t you feel better if it was steamed white fish and asparagus rather than a Dominoes and a milkshake?6. What’s one of your favourite things to cook?Now that is opening Pandora’s Box…. I just LOVE to cook and if I had the time would be in the kitchen all day, every day experimenting! I love trying new dishes and new ingredients so cook a wide variety of dishes. I love baking healthy cakes or breads - people automatically assume that baking without sugar is going to be bland and tasteless so I love whipping up some beetroot cacao brownies, or a coconut sponge cake, or banana bread loaf with no sugar and no refined ingredients - and seeing people being pleasantly surprised at how much it satisfies a sweet tooth without consuming a shed load of calories. 
7. What is one of your favourite juices / smoothies? I’m addicted to green juices at the moment - I often have to get up very early to train clients before they go to work and need something quick but nourishing for breakfast, so I often whip up a green juice - at the moment I am mixing a large handful of kale, large handful of spinach, two celery sticks, half a cucumber, an apple, a pear, half a lime and a large chunk of ginger with a teaspoon of spirulina - delicious and so full of vitamins! 
8. What are your top pre-exercise snacks to fuel a workout?I usually have something with a little protein and a little complex carbs to burn to fuel performance - If I’m in a rush that could be a piece of fruit and handful of nuts or some greek yogurt and berries or gluten free rice cakes and sugar-free peanut butter or a home made granola bar with oats, seeds and coconut oil. 9. What are your top post-workout snacks/ meals? I try to consume some form or protein within 20 minutes of my workout - usually this is in the form of a shake which I make with either coconut or almond milk, or a protein bar (I swear by Quest bars which taste amazing but are gluten free with no refined sugar). If available, then prawns are a great pure protein hit, as is a handful of almonds and brazil nuts. 
10. Any nutritional secret weapons?Stay hydrated! So many people mistake thirst for hunger - If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water. Chances are that will kill the craving. If you don’t like plain water add some citrus slices (lemon or lime are great), or mint leaves, chopped ginger, strawberry and cucumber slices…. whatever takes your fancy. So refreshing! (See Post: Fruit Infused Water)I love quinoa too - it’s as versatile as rice but with so much more protein, and chia seeds - especially soaked in coconut milk with some cinnamon and vanilla. The seeds soak up the liquid and create a gorgeous pudding like texture. Guilt-free dessert!
11. What are the most common mistakes that can easily be avoided when trying to keep fit?Poor technique can be a big barrier to success - lifting weights and lifting weights correctly are two very different things. If you’re not sure if you’re doing something right then ask someone on your gym floor, or book a one off PT session and ask to learn basic exercise techniques.Repetitive training is also damaging - if you are running or going to spin class or doing pilates three times a week then that’s fantastic - but if that’s all you are doing your body will adapt quickly and your results will plateau. Mix it up - shock your body - it will have to constantly adapt and this will result in increased fitness and stamina in a much shorter time. Recovery - if you are training hard enough, your body will need a complete break sometimes. I recommend two clear rest days a week. Your body needs time to repair and recover, so that you can come back to your next workout strong and fully fit - this will prevent injuries and allow you to keep pushing your boundaries.
12. What are your three top tips for maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle?Consistency - don’t start like a bull in a china shop - 6 workouts a week and a 1000 calorie a day diet - you will crash and burn after a couple of weeks. Commit to something you can be consistent with - if that’s only two workouts a week to start with that is still much better than nothing.Small steps - it might begin with taking the lift instead of the stairs, or walking the last few stops instead of getting the bus all the way home, that might become a 20 minute jog once a week, which might become two circuit classes a week, which might lead to hitting the gym floor to starting weight training, which could become your first marathon. Who knows? The point is, if you start small and make continuous changes that YOU can keep up, then fitness will soon become a part of your lifestyle without you having to “make time” for it. The more you stay active the more energy you have - it’s a positive snowball effect!Keep it clean in the kitchen - as I said at the start, you can’t out exercise a bad diet - so don’t undo your hard work with “treats” for working out - eat clean as much as you can and you will feel nourished, energised, look leaner and feel much more confident to make healthy choices. And lastly - I know you only asked for three - but Don’t Give Up! A healthy life is sometimes not the easiest one, and people may judge and try to derail you - but remember - looking great feels great! So don’t be too hard on yourself, forgive the occasional slip up and keep active! You can do it!
Find out more about LJ and Wildcat Fitness at www.wildcatfitness.co.uk

Interview: Q&A With Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor LJ of Wildcat Fitness
I caught up with West-London based female PT and Fitness Instructor  LJ, to find out more about how to she achieves the purr-fect lean, strong, toned body and how she stays full of energy, the Wildcat way!

1. Why and how did you become a personal trainer? Why is a healthy lifestyle so important to you?
I previously worked in media and although I loved fitness I couldn’t seem to make time for the gym - my diet consisted of rich client dinners and unhealthy ‘on the run’ snacks. I was relying on caffeine and sugar to keep me going through my long days. I was permanently tired, lacking energy and I couldn’t lose weight. I decided to hire a Personal Trainer and within 6 months had lost a a stone and a half, dropped two dress sizes and was bouncing out of bed in the mornings. My PT turned my life around! I knew then I wanted to help other people in the same way.
I started out as a fitness instructor - teaching Body Pump and Body Attack in gyms across London part-time around my day job.
However, working with people to help them reach their goals was so satisfying that I decided to leave my office job to devote myself full-time to health and fitness. Feeling as I do now - healthy and energised and at the size I want to be - I just can’t imagine feeling any other way and so therefore a healthy lifestyle is always my top priority. I have never looked back!

2. How important is diet when training? Are abs really made in the kitchen?
That is a phrase you hear all the time in the media - but with good reason - Yes, it is true. You really can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and no matter how hard you train, if you aren’t eating well, you won’t get the results you deserve. But I feel the word “diet” is a negative one as people often associate it with starving themselves, which is also a bad thing when living an active lifestyle. You need to fuel your body both with energy for your workouts and your recovery period afterwards and people who restrict or count calories often aren’t eating enough. This shocks my clients when I tell them they need to eat more! But as long as you are eating the right foods for your activity levels you really don’t have to starve yourself. It’s all about moderation. 

3. What is your philosophy on food and cooking?
Generally I follow the 80/20 rule - eating as healthily as possible 80% of the time, but allowing for “real life” too - you can’t escape birthday parties, holidays ,weddings or other social occasions where there is likely to be cake, pizza, alcohol or other things you wouldn’t ordinarily have. But, in moderation these really aren’t going to do you much harm - I just spend a little longer in the gym the next day! It’s only when these things become the norm that we start to have a problem. I try to be realistic in my approach - if you control every mouthful, every calorie and feel hungry and miserable most of the time then the minute temptation is in front of you bad things will happen - believe me, I have been there! Strict starvation-led diets are not a long term solution and often those who crash diet end up putting the weight they have lost back on, and often even more. Lack of fuel sends the body into starvation mode to protect itself and ultimately does not lead to weight loss, nor does it help with training as your body literally doesn’t have the energy to make it through the workout. 
I try to eat as “clean” as possible - eating as much fresh, natural food as I can. Plenty of fish, vegetables, fruit and natural grains. I generally try to steer clear of anything that comes from a packet, pouch or box.
I make sure I eat plenty of good fats - avocados, nuts, coconut oil, fish etc - as our bodies need fat to digest fat. 
I choose not to eat meat for ethical reasons but don’t judge those that do. 

4. Do you have any particular diet restrictions?
I try to eat gluten-free as I suffer from IBS which seems to be aggravated by excessive gluten consumption. My digestion functions much better without it and the choice of gluten-free food available is fantastic and not at all restrictive. I choose not to eat meat - but as I said before - that’s an emotional rather than a dietary decision!

LJ - Wildcat

5. How would you describe the current clean and healthy living movement? Why do you think is it becoming more and more popular?
I think people are starting to realise how precious their health is - In reality none of us have time to be sick, or functioning at less than full capacity. I do think people are starting to appreciate that what they put in their mouths on a day to day basis has a direct relationship with how they feel. Of course the media has it’s part to play and celebrity culture too - who hasn’t seen snaps of every Hollywood starlet leaving a yoga class in their shades clutching a green juice over the past few months?! This of course has an effect and an influence - but in this case I believe a positive one. Healthier food is more readily available now - before things like gluten or dairy free produce or items like quinoa or coconut oil or flaxseeds were the preserve of dusty health food shops that weren’t “cool” or accessible - now you can find these items in your local supermarket. I do believe social media has helped also - people joke about the inordinate amount of food photos on Instagram, but when you’re sharing your dinner for the world to see, wouldn’t you feel better if it was steamed white fish and asparagus rather than a Dominoes and a milkshake?

6. What’s one of your favourite things to cook?
Now that is opening Pandora’s Box…. I just LOVE to cook and if I had the time would be in the kitchen all day, every day experimenting! I love trying new dishes and new ingredients so cook a wide variety of dishes. I love baking healthy cakes or breads - people automatically assume that baking without sugar is going to be bland and tasteless so I love whipping up some beetroot cacao brownies, or a coconut sponge cake, or banana bread loaf with no sugar and no refined ingredients - and seeing people being pleasantly surprised at how much it satisfies a sweet tooth without consuming a shed load of calories. 

7. What is one of your favourite juices / smoothies? 
I’m addicted to green juices at the moment - I often have to get up very early to train clients before they go to work and need something quick but nourishing for breakfast, so I often whip up a green juice - at the moment I am mixing a large handful of kale, large handful of spinach, two celery sticks, half a cucumber, an apple, a pear, half a lime and a large chunk of ginger with a teaspoon of spirulina - delicious and so full of vitamins! 

8. What are your top pre-exercise snacks to fuel a workout?
I usually have something with a little protein and a little complex carbs to burn to fuel performance - If I’m in a rush that could be a piece of fruit and handful of nuts or some greek yogurt and berries or gluten free rice cakes and sugar-free peanut butter or a home made granola bar with oats, seeds and coconut oil. 



9. What are your top post-workout snacks/ meals? 
I try to consume some form or protein within 20 minutes of my workout - usually this is in the form of a shake which I make with either coconut or almond milk, or a protein bar (I swear by Quest bars which taste amazing but are gluten free with no refined sugar). If available, then prawns are a great pure protein hit, as is a handful of almonds and brazil nuts. 

10. Any nutritional secret weapons?
Stay hydrated! So many people mistake thirst for hunger - If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water. Chances are that will kill the craving. If you don’t like plain water add some citrus slices (lemon or lime are great), or mint leaves, chopped ginger, strawberry and cucumber slices…. whatever takes your fancy. So refreshing! 
(See Post: Fruit Infused Water)
I love quinoa too - it’s as versatile as rice but with so much more protein, and chia seeds - especially soaked in coconut milk with some cinnamon and vanilla. The seeds soak up the liquid and create a gorgeous pudding like texture. Guilt-free dessert!

11. What are the most common mistakes that can easily be avoided when trying to keep fit?
Poor technique can be a big barrier to success - lifting weights and lifting weights correctly are two very different things. If you’re not sure if you’re doing something right then ask someone on your gym floor, or book a one off PT session and ask to learn basic exercise techniques.
Repetitive training is also damaging - if you are running or going to spin class or doing pilates three times a week then that’s fantastic - but if that’s all you are doing your body will adapt quickly and your results will plateau. Mix it up - shock your body - it will have to constantly adapt and this will result in increased fitness and stamina in a much shorter time. 
Recovery - if you are training hard enough, your body will need a complete break sometimes. I recommend two clear rest days a week. Your body needs time to repair and recover, so that you can come back to your next workout strong and fully fit - this will prevent injuries and allow you to keep pushing your boundaries.

12. What are your three top tips for maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Consistency - don’t start like a bull in a china shop - 6 workouts a week and a 1000 calorie a day diet - you will crash and burn after a couple of weeks. Commit to something you can be consistent with - if that’s only two workouts a week to start with that is still much better than nothing.
Small steps - it might begin with taking the lift instead of the stairs, or walking the last few stops instead of getting the bus all the way home, that might become a 20 minute jog once a week, which might become two circuit classes a week, which might lead to hitting the gym floor to starting weight training, which could become your first marathon. Who knows? The point is, if you start small and make continuous changes that YOU can keep up, then fitness will soon become a part of your lifestyle without you having to “make time” for it. The more you stay active the more energy you have - it’s a positive snowball effect!
Keep it clean in the kitchen - as I said at the start, you can’t out exercise a bad diet - so don’t undo your hard work with “treats” for working out - eat clean as much as you can and you will feel nourished, energised, look leaner and feel much more confident to make healthy choices. 
And lastly - I know you only asked for three - but Don’t Give Up! A healthy life is sometimes not the easiest one, and people may judge and try to derail you - but remember - looking great feels great! So don’t be too hard on yourself, forgive the occasional slip up and keep active! You can do it!



Find out more about LJ and Wildcat Fitness at www.wildcatfitness.co.uk

Fruit Infused Water We all know keeping hydrated is very important - We can’t survive without water, it makes up over half of the body and is essential for you to function properly.Unfortunately, many people (myself included) really struggle to drink enough water and find it can just be a bit boring really…But instead of spending money on sugary artificial drinks that claim to be good for you but really aren’t - Try some of these natural and clean ideas to make drinking water and staying hydrated a little more interesting!(Quantities of fruit are just guidelines -  Feel free to add more or less according to taste)Strawberry, Mint and Lemon Infused Water1.5l waterA few springs of mint2/3 Strawberries (slice)1/2 lemon (sliced)1. Add all ingredients to the water.2. Leave overnight Cucumber and Mint Infused Water1/2 of a cucumber (sliced)A few sprigs of mint1. Add all ingredients to the water.2. Leave overnight Other suggestions Blackberry, Cherry and LimeOrange, Lemon and LimeLemon and GingerWatermelon and Lime

Fruit Infused Water
 
We all know keeping hydrated is very important - We can’t survive without water, it makes up over half of the body and is essential for you to function properly.
Unfortunately, many people (myself included) really struggle to drink enough water and find it can just be a bit boring really…
But instead of spending money on sugary artificial drinks that claim to be good for you but really aren’t - Try some of these natural and clean ideas to make drinking water and staying hydrated a little more interesting!

(Quantities of fruit are just guidelines -  Feel free to add more or less according to taste)

Strawberry, Mint, Lemon Infused Water


Strawberry, Mint and Lemon Infused Water
1.5l water
A few springs of mint
2/3 Strawberries (slice)
1/2 lemon (sliced)

1. Add all ingredients to the water.
2. Leave overnight 

Cucumber Mint Infused Water

Cucumber and Mint Infused Water
1/2 of a cucumber (sliced)
A few sprigs of mint

1. Add all ingredients to the water.
2. Leave overnight 

Other suggestions 
Blackberry, Cherry and Lime
Orange, Lemon and Lime
Lemon and Ginger
Watermelon and Lime

Tropical Green Smoothie
(Serves 2)Ingredients 4/5 large leaves of kale4 large leaves of spinach /  3 large handfuls of baby spinach6 StrawberriesA large handful of blueberries1 Tablespoon chia seeds1 Banana1 medium mango330ml Coconut waterOptional: An extra sprinkle of chia seeds for garnish1. Whizz all ingredients together using a blender. Add more of less of each ingredient according to taste.2. Pour in to a glass, garnish with a sprinkle of chia seeds

Tropical Green Smoothie

(Serves 2)

Ingredients 
4/5 large leaves of kale
4 large leaves of spinach /  3 large handfuls of baby spinach
6 Strawberries
A large handful of blueberries
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 Banana
1 medium mango
330ml Coconut water

Optional: An extra sprinkle of chia seeds for garnish



1. Whizz all ingredients together using a blender. Add more of less of each ingredient according to taste.

2. Pour in to a glass, garnish with a sprinkle of chia seeds

This year me and my best bud Julia decided to go all out and make a whole variety of delicious pancake day treats! 

We had three types of batter - regular, gluten-free and banana (gluten-free), then used them to make some tasty apple and blueberry blintzes, cinnamon apple slices with a side of strawberries dipped in chocolate with goji berries.
Yummy!

Pancake mixes
Regular pancake recipe
Gluten-free pancake recipe
Banana recipe is same as either of the above but with 2 added mushed bananas



Apple and Blueberry Blintzes
(Serves 6)
Ingredients
250g tub mascarpone
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 egg yolk
50g coconut oil
6 small eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
200g blueberries
½ tsp ground cinnamon
For the sauce
200g blueberries
3 tbsp caster sugar
squeeze fresh lemon juice



1.Prepare pancakes following the classic recipe or gluten-free
(see above for links)



2.  Beat together mascarpone, vanilla extract, 1 tbsp sugar and the egg yolk until smooth and thoroughly combined, set aside.

3. Melt coconut oil in a large frying pan and add half the chopped apples and remaining sugar. Cook until the apples are tender and starting to caramelise. Add the blueberries to the pan, cook for 2-3 mins until they start to soften.

4. Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan with 75ml of water and cook over a low heat until the blueberries start to break down. Add extra sugar or lemon juice if needed. Pour into a jug for serving.

5. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lay each pancake out one by one, add a dollop of mascarpone mixture into the middle of each pancake. Top the mascarpone with the apple and blueberry mixture and fold over the sides of the pancakes to completely encase the filling in a neat square parcel. Arrange the blintzes on a tray (seam side down) and scatter with a little caster sugar.

Bake on the middle shelf for about 10mins or until warmed through. Serve 2 blintzes per person topped with blueberry sauce, and a little extra alongside in a jug.



Chocolate and Goji Berry Dipped Strawberries
Ingredients
200g Dark or milk chocolate with goji berries
2 Small boxes of strawberries (roughly 16)



1. Melt down the chocolate - best method is to put chocolate in to a bowl over a saucepan of hot water.
2. Dip the strawberries in to the chocolate and carefully place on a baking paper covered tray.
3. Leave to set in fridge
 

Cinnamon Apple Slices with Maple Syrup

Ingredients
2 cooking apples
Pancake batter (see above for recipes)
Ground cinnamon
Maple syrup



1. Remove core from apples, thinly slice.
2. Dip in to pancake batter, cook like a pancake and until apples are soft.



3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup

So, to wrap this up… We had a delicious feast and I hope you all enjoy your pancakes as much as we did, however you have them! 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Butternut Squash, Courgette and Feta(Serves 4)Ingredients4 Large red bell peppers1 Cup quinoa1/2 Butternut squash (medium size)1 Courgette200g Feta cheese 3 Garlic cloves1 Can chopped tomatoes400g Fresh basil2 Teaspoons paprika2 Teaspoon saltExtra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
(Preheat oven to 200°C)
1. Prepare the peppers by removing the tops and scraping out the ribs and seeds. Set aside. 2. Peel and scoop out seeds from butternut squash, cut in to 1/2 inch cubes. drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, toss to coat.Bake for roughly 20mins until slightly tender but still firm. 3. While the butternut squash roasts, you can make the quinoa. To cook your quinoa, rinse well and cook with two parts water. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 10/12 minutes with lid on. Remove from heat and drain excess water. 
4. Cut the courgette in to 1/2 inch cubes, roughly chop the basil, mince the garlic and crumble 3/4’s of the feta (saving 1/4 for topping later).5. In a medium bowl, add the quinoa, butternut squash, courgette, garlic, basil and feta together with the can of chopped tomatoes and two teaspoons of paprika. Gently stir to combine.6. Prepare a baking dish with just a drizzle of olive oil. 7. Spoon quinoa mixture in to the peppers and arrange in baking dish, making sure they sit flat. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35mins.8. Remove foil. Sprinke the peppers with remaining 1/4 of crumbled feta and continue to bake for another 10mins.Note: Garnish with basil and season with salt / pepper if desired. Simple side salad suggested.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Butternut Squash, Courgette and Feta

(Serves 4)

Ingredients
4 Large red bell peppers
1 Cup quinoa
1/2 Butternut squash (medium size)
1 Courgette
200g Feta cheese 
3 Garlic cloves
1 Can chopped tomatoes
400g Fresh basil
2 Teaspoons paprika
2 Teaspoon salt
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


(Preheat oven to 200
°C)

1. Prepare the peppers by removing the tops and scraping out the ribs and seeds. Set aside. 

2. Peel and scoop out seeds from butternut squash, cut in to 1/2 inch cubes. drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, toss to coat.
Bake for roughly 20mins until slightly tender but still firm. 



3. While the butternut squash roasts, you can make the quinoa. To cook your quinoa, rinse well and cook with two parts water. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 10/12 minutes with lid on. Remove from heat and drain excess water. 

4. Cut the courgette in to 1/2 inch cubes, roughly chop the basil, mince the garlic and crumble 3/4’s of the feta (saving 1/4 for topping later).

5. In a medium bowl, add the quinoa, butternut squash, courgette, garlic, basil and feta together with the can of chopped tomatoes and two teaspoons of paprika. Gently stir to combine.

6. Prepare a baking dish with just a drizzle of olive oil. 

7. Spoon quinoa mixture in to the peppers and arrange in baking dish, making sure they sit flat. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35mins.



8. Remove foil. Sprinke the peppers with remaining 1/4 of crumbled feta and continue to bake for another 10mins.





Note: Garnish with basil and season with salt / pepper if desired. Simple side salad suggested.

Quinoa Salad with Honey, Mint and Lemon Dressing(vegan)
Serves 4Dressing:1 Lemon2 Tablespoons organic honey5 Sprigs of fresh mint (finely chopped)2 Teaspoons sea salt1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil2 Tablespoons za’atar spice blendSalad:2 Cups organic quinoa2 Red bell peppers1 Medium cucumber4 Spring Onions250g Sugar snap peas4 Cloves of garlic1 Small bunch of coriander1. Prepare the dressing - juice the whole lemon and combine with olive oil, sea salt, honey, mustard, za’tar spice blend and finely chopped mint.2. To cook your quinoa, rinse well and cook with two parts water. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 10/12 minutes with lid on. Remove from heat and drain excess water. Allow to cool.3. While the quinoa cooks, steam your sugar snap peas for 3/4 minutes, they should still be bright green and quite crisp.4. Dice up the cucumber and red pepper, finely mince garlic, finely slice spring onions and roughly chop the coriander.5. In a very large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Add the dressing and toss gently to combine everything. Note: If you desire, this also tastes great topped with feta or goat’s cheese!

Quinoa Salad with Honey, Mint and Lemon Dressing

(vegan)

Serves 4

Dressing:
1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons organic honey
5 Sprigs of fresh mint (finely chopped)
2 Teaspoons sea salt
1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons za’atar spice blend

Salad:
2 Cups organic quinoa
2 Red bell peppers
1 Medium cucumber
4 Spring Onions
250g Sugar snap peas
4 Cloves of garlic
1 Small bunch of coriander

1. Prepare the dressing - juice the whole lemon and combine with olive oil, sea salt, honey, mustard, za’tar spice blend and finely chopped mint.

2. To cook your quinoa,
rinse well and cook with two parts water. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 10/12 minutes with lid on. Remove from heat and drain excess water. Allow to cool.

3. While the quinoa cooks, steam your sugar snap peas for 3/4 minutes, they should
still be bright green and quite crisp.

4. Dice up the cucumber and red pepper, finely mince garlic, finely slice spring onions and roughly chop the coriander.

5. In a very large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Add the dressing and toss gently to combine everything. 

Note: If you desire, this also tastes great topped with feta or goat’s cheese!


Coconut OilThroughout the summer, I heard so many people raving on about the incredible health and beauty benefits of coconut oil, so I decided to have a little look into it myself… Apparently the benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion, regulated metabolism and cholesterol level maintenance. It is also said that coconut oil provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. These benefits can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.

HairCoconut oil is said to be one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps stimulate healthy growth and adds lustre, shine and softness to the hair. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, prevents hair breakage, split ends and dandruff.SkinCoconut oil is excellent for the skin as well - It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin. A safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin, coconut oil also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, keeping you looking healthy and youthful. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.Weight LossCoconut oil contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that aid in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Furthermore, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy.
DigestionIf you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system and has been found to prevent various stomach and digestion-related problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. I bought myself a tub of Biona Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – Raw and have been adding 1tsp a day to meals, using on my dry and damaged hair and applying a small amount to my weather damaged skin in replacement to my usual moisturiser.  I can honestly say, I’m absolutely all for this tropical trooper! My hair feels fantastic, my skin is clear and smooth and although can’t say I’ve seen any dramatic changes, my body feels pretty good too! Aside from that, coconut oil tastes great when used as a cooking ingredient and is a great alternative to vegetable oils, butter or margarine.More about which Coconut Oil I’m using: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (Raw): Produced from organic coconuts, in an organic way, virgin coconut oil is derived from the milk obtained from fresh coconut meat, and not from copra, by processes like fermentation, centrifugal separation and enzyme action. Care is taken to use no or as little heat as possible in the extraction of this oil. Produced in this way, the oil tastes and smells best and is laden with antioxidants and medium chain fatty acids. It also has remarkable anti-microbial properties. This is one of the most respected and trusted varieties of coconut oil.Brand: Biona - www.biona.co.uk/product-194-4.html

Coconut Oil

Throughout the summer, I heard so many people raving on about the incredible health and beauty benefits of coconut oil, so I decided to have a little look into it myself… 

Apparently the benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion, regulated metabolism and cholesterol level maintenance. 
It is also said that coconut oil provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. These benefits can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.



Hair
Coconut oil is said to be one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps stimulate healthy growth and adds lustre, shine and softness to the hair. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, prevents hair breakage, split ends and dandruff.

Skin
Coconut oil is excellent for the skin as well - It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin. 
A safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin, coconut oil also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, keeping you looking healthy and youthful. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.

Weight Loss
Coconut oil contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that aid in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Furthermore, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy.

Digestion
If you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system and has been found to prevent various stomach and digestion-related problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. 



I bought myself a tub of Biona Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – Raw and have been adding 1tsp a day to meals, using on my dry and damaged hair and applying a small amount to my weather damaged skin in replacement to my usual moisturiser.  
I can honestly say, I’m absolutely all for this tropical trooper! 
My hair feels fantastic, my skin is clear and smooth and although can’t say I’ve seen any dramatic changes, my body feels pretty good too! 
Aside from that, coconut oil tastes great when used as a cooking ingredient and is a great alternative to vegetable oils, butter or margarine.

More about which Coconut Oil I’m using: 

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (Raw): Produced from organic coconuts, in an organic way, virgin coconut oil is derived from the milk obtained from fresh coconut meat, and not from copra, by processes like fermentation, centrifugal separation and enzyme action. Care is taken to use no or as little heat as possible in the extraction of this oil. Produced in this way, the oil tastes and smells best and is laden with antioxidants and medium chain fatty acids. It also has remarkable anti-microbial properties. This is one of the most respected and trusted varieties of coconut oil.

Brand: Biona - www.biona.co.uk/product-194-4.html

Coconut Chilli Chicken Ramen
(Serves 4)
300g Rice noodles3 Chicken breasts2 Tablespoons raw organic coconut oil4 Cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth4 Medium free range eggs10g Toasted fine cut nori (Dried seaweed)3x 10g Sachets of Organic miso instant soup (gluten-free, check label)4 Spring onions3 Cloves of garlic1 Chilli2 Teaspoons all purpose seasoning2 Tablespoons soy sauce (gluten-free, check label)Handful of sesame seeds 
1. Season chicken breasts with all purpose seasoning, half a finely chopped chilli and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, grill for roughly 8-10mins on each side.Once cooked, thinly slice chicken breasts.
2. For the broth, finely chop 3 cloves of garlic and 1/2 chilli and add to saucepan with 2tbsp of soy sauce, 1.5l water and the 3 miso soup sachets. Add 4 cups of chicken stock, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20mins.
3. While the broth simmers, cook the rice noodles, slice the spring onions and boil the eggs (using your method of preference).

4. Combine noodles, spring onions and an egg to your serving bowl, pour over 2/3 cups of broth. Place a handful of seaweed and the chicken on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Add a couple of slices of chilli for decoration if you wish.

Coconut Chilli Chicken Ramen

(Serves 4)

300g Rice noodles
3 Chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons raw organic coconut oil
4 Cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
4 Medium free range eggs
10g Toasted fine cut nori (Dried seaweed)
3x 10g Sachets of Organic miso instant soup (gluten-free, check label)
4 Spring onions
3 Cloves of garlic
1 Chilli
2 Teaspoons all purpose seasoning
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (gluten-free, check label)
Handful of sesame seeds 

1. Season chicken breasts with all purpose seasoning, half a finely chopped chilli and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, grill for roughly 8-10mins on each side.
Once cooked, thinly slice chicken breasts.

2. For the broth, finely chop 3 cloves of garlic and 1/2 chilli and add to saucepan with 2tbsp of soy sauce, 1.5l water and the 3 miso soup sachets. Add 4 cups of chicken stock, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20mins.

3. While the broth simmers, cook the rice noodles, slice the spring onions and boil the eggs (using your method of preference).

4. Combine noodles, spring onions and an egg to your serving bowl, pour over 2/3 cups of broth. Place a handful of seaweed and the chicken on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Add a couple of slices of chilli for decoration if you wish.

Pumpkin, Banana and Peanut Butter Dessert
(serves 6)2 Cups dairy free vanilla yogurt1/2 Small pumpkin 1Ripe banana2 Generous tablespoons organic peanut butter1/2 Cup fresh orange juice1/2 Cup water2 Teaspoons vanilla extract1 Tablespoon brown sugar2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Use a large strong knife to cut the pumpkin. Cut the 1/2 pumpkin in to 8 parts. Scoop out seeds and stringy bits. Peel skin off each section.
2. Put pumpkin chunks in to a pan of boiling water and cook until soft (roughly 20mins). Drain and let cool for 10mins.

3. Combine the pumpkin chunks with all other ingredients in a food processor/ blender. Mix until smooth.
4. Scoop mixture in to serving glasses and refrigerate for 2/3 hours before serving. 
5. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and add a chocolate wafer if desired.

Pumpkin, Banana and Peanut Butter Dessert

(serves 6)
2 Cups dairy free vanilla yogurt
1/2 Small pumpkin
1Ripe banana
2 Generous tablespoons organic peanut butter
1/2 Cup fresh orange juice
1/2 Cup water
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon

image

1. Use a large strong knife to cut the pumpkin. Cut the 1/2 pumpkin in to 8 parts. Scoop out seeds and stringy bits. Peel skin off each section.

2. Put pumpkin chunks in to a pan of boiling water and cook until soft (roughly 20mins). Drain and let cool for 10mins.

image

3. Combine the pumpkin chunks with all other ingredients in a food processor/ blender. Mix until smooth.

4. Scoop mixture in to serving glasses and refrigerate for 2/3 hours before serving. 

5. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and add a chocolate wafer if desired.

image

Mangosteen - Queen of Fruits
I tried Mangosteen for the first time a few weeks ago and it is quickly becoming one of my new favourite fruits! In my opinion it tastes like a cross between a grape and a lychee and is delicious by itself or as part of a fruit salad.Grown mostly in South East Asia and also in tropical South American countries, the super fruit Mangosteen is known for its unique appearance, flavour and amazing health benefits.Legend has it that Queen Victoria offered a reward of 100 pounds sterling (or some sources say knighthood) to anyone who could deliver to her the fresh fruit - This is apparently where the nickname ‘Queen of Fruits’ came from.
Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, it is claimed that this fruit is effective in lowering the risk of various diseases, mainly due to the presence of antioxidants. The most prominent antioxidant in mangosteen is xanthone - It is due to these xanthones, that mangosteen has antibiotic, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

Another of the mangosteen’s  health benefits is its effect on the cardiovascular system. It is believed to be effective in preventing diseases, like, arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, kidney stones, cataract, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, neuralgia and the list goes on!  It is also said that this fruit can be effective for weight loss, treating depression, aging, skin diseases and allergies.Now that sounds like one hell of a Super Fruit to me!

Mangosteen - Queen of Fruits

I tried Mangosteen for the first time a few weeks ago and it is quickly becoming one of my new favourite fruits!
In my opinion it tastes like a cross between a grape and a lychee and is delicious by itself or as part of a fruit salad.

Grown mostly in South East Asia and also in tropical South American countries, the super fruit Mangosteen is known for its unique appearance, flavour and amazing health benefits.

Legend has it that Queen Victoria offered a reward of 100 pounds sterling (or some sources say knighthood) to anyone who could deliver to her the fresh fruit - This is apparently where the nickname ‘Queen of Fruits’ came from.

Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, it is claimed that this fruit is effective in lowering the risk of various diseases, mainly due to the presence of antioxidants.
The most prominent antioxidant in mangosteen is xanthone - It is due to these xanthones, that mangosteen has antibiotic, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

Another of the mangosteen’s  health benefits is its effect on the cardiovascular system. It is believed to be effective in preventing diseases, like, arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, kidney stones, cataract, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, neuralgia and the list goes on!
It is also said that this fruit can be effective for weight loss, treating depression, aging, skin diseases and allergies.

Now that sounds like one hell of a Super Fruit to me!

Poached Egg, Smoked Salmon and Kale with Guacamole 1 Egg1/2 leaves of KaleSmoked SalmonGuacamole1 slice of bread (my choice is gluten free with grains)Asparagus (optional side)Cracked black pepper For poached egg1tbsp rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)1tsp sea saltWhile suffering from a really severe hangover, I came up with this tasty little number that absolutely cured me. Quick and easy to make! 1. Finely chop kale. Chop ends off asparagus. Put the greens into boiling water for 3/4mins. While they cook, toast the bread.2. Layer the toasted bread with guacamole, then add the kale followed by a few slices of smoked salmon.3. Poach the egg - fill a deep pan with 4/5 inches of boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat, add a pinch of sea salt and 1tbsp of rice vinegar. Crack the egg into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Leave to cook for roughly 3-4mins.To check whether they’re done, remove one carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in for another minute or two.4. Once the egg is cooked, pop it on top of the salmon, kale and guacamole tower. Add the asparagus to the side.Add some cracked black pepper all over.And that’s it!

Poached Egg, Smoked Salmon and Kale with Guacamole 

1 Egg
1/2 leaves of Kale
Smoked Salmon
Guacamole
1 slice of bread (my choice is gluten free with grains)
Asparagus (optional side)
Cracked black pepper 

For poached egg
1tbsp rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1tsp sea salt

While suffering from a really severe hangover, I came up with this tasty little number that absolutely cured me. 
Quick and easy to make! 

1. Finely chop kale. Chop ends off asparagus. Put the greens into boiling water for 3/4mins. While they cook, toast the bread.

2. Layer the toasted bread with guacamole, then add the kale followed by a few slices of smoked salmon.

3. Poach the egg - fill a deep pan with 4/5 inches of boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat, add a pinch of sea salt and 1tbsp of rice vinegar. Crack the egg into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Leave to cook for roughly 3-4mins.
To check whether they’re done, remove one carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in for another minute or two.

4. Once the egg is cooked, pop it on top of the salmon, kale and guacamole tower. Add the asparagus to the side.
Add some cracked black pepper all over.

And that’s it!