Thursday, 18 December 2014

HEALTHY CHRISTMAS CAKE BY RHITRITION

As its only 7 days until Christmas day, the lovely Rhiannon Lambert of Rhitrition has devised a healthy Christmas cake for the big day! 


300ml of Water
225g of Mixed Dried fruits (ensure organic and free from Sulpher dioxide)
225g banana
175g of quinoa flour (gluten free can be used instead)
250g of Chopped (sugar free) dates
1tbsp of Cacao powder (I use Creative Nature Superfood)
3tbsp of baking powder
½ tsp of Cinnamon
¼ tsp of Ground Ginger
A dash of grated  nutmeg
50g of Almonds/pistachios/Cashews
4tbsp of Fresh Orange juice (cold pressed)


Method:
  • Pre-Heat the oven to 160C.  Put some baking paper on a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment
  • Put the dates and water into the saucepan.  Start heating up until the water gets absorbed by the dates. Then add the banana. Mash them with a wooden spoon and add the orange juice to make the mixture thick and sticky.
  • Mix the dried fruits, quinoa flour &  cacao powder in a mixing bowl. 
  • Turn out the preheated loaf tin and make a pattern on the top with nuts of your choice, I like pistachio nuts! 
  • Cook for 1 hour & 30 mins. Make sure you  start checking the cake after 1 hour by inserting a knife inside the cake (it has to come out clean).
  • When the cake is cooked, place on a cooling rack.
  • You can make your own icing with Tiana raw coconut and cacao mixed together with a dash of water!! Allow to thicken and spread on to the cake. Sprinkle with Creative Nature Cacao Nibs.
For top tips on how to stay health over the christmas period follow Rhiannon on Twitter @Rhitrition or visit her website www.Rhitrition.com

RHITRITION JANUARYS SUGAR DETOX!
After all the Christmas indulging, why not give yourself a Christmas treat and book yourself in for a January sugar detox with Rhiannon?  At only £145 it includes one hour consultation, a 2 week diet plan and a probiotic supplement.  Further information here…..

Rhiannon is a registered nutritionist (UKVRN) with a 1st class BSc in Nutrition & Health. Specialising in Eating Disorders & Obesity, MSc. Based in Harley Street at The Food Doctor Clinic.

Monday, 1 December 2014

'Healthy Christmas Alternatives' by the The Nutrition Kitchen

As its the 1st December today and Christmas is only a few weeks away, I've asked my gorgeous friend Jessica Scott, founder of the Nutrition Kitchen, to give us some healthy and delicious Christmas alternatives.

"With the weather getting colder, the lights all lit up and the faint sound of jingle bells on the tip of everyone’s tongue we all know the party season is fast approaching, and already in full swing for a festive few! Despite all the excitement and merriment, the Christmas season is also slightly like running the gauntlet in terms of avoiding sugar and calorie laden treats. Unlike most holidays, which are usually over after a week or two of indulgence, the Christmas party season lasts a whole month! Which can be a real challenge for anyone trying to stay in shape.

However being healthy over Christmas does not meaning hiding in doors and missing all the fun there are ways you can do both enjoy the party season and stay healthy!

It is all about making the right choices when you are out and if you are entertaining providing choices which are delicious and your guests will enjoy without adding to there over burdened system!

Drinks & Cocktails
Sugar laden cocktails and sweet Vin Chaud can be one of the main culprits when it comes to the Christmas weight gain. Instead try going for red wine or vodka and soda with lots of fresh lemon and lime. Or try making your own healthy cocktail jug. Lots of citrus fruits are great for the liver and adding pomegranate seeds makes it look pretty and Christmassy. The low sugar content will keep your waistline happy too!

Canapés
I love canapés no Christmas party is complete without a cocktail sausage! Try to focus on vegetable and protein based canapés. They will help to keep blood sugars balanced and sustain your energy. Avoid the pastry bases and bread heavy canapés. Other bases that can be used are cucumber slices, vegetable rostis, and Chinese spoons or just have skewers of meat, prawns, scallops and vegetable with dips.

Here are some ideas below:

Homemade Mackerel pate or Hummus with vegetable dips
Quails eggs dipped in celery salt
Chicken skewer with avocado, spring onion & lime dip
Tuna and sesame tartar on a cucumber cup
Prawn Asian salad on a Chinese spoon
Beetroot rosti with smoked trout & watercress
Seared beef fillet skewer with salsa verde dip

  
How to avoid rolling from the table to the sofa on the big day!

Tip 1
When filling up your plate really focus on the turkey and the vegetables and put these on your plate first, trying to leave the potatoes and bread sauce till last and try to limit these as much a possible.

Tip 2:
Be a bit more creative with vegetables by doing something a little more adventurous than some boiled peas and carrots. If you can manage this you won’t mind having one less roast potato. Delicious Christmas vegetable can also be the best part!

My favorite Christmas veg:
Braised red cabbage with apples
Carrot & swede mash
Sprouts with chestnut, peas & sage

  
The great thing about braised cabbage and vegetable mash is it can be made in advance and frozen making life even easier on Christmas day. You might even get time for a walk, a perfect way to build up an appetite.

The perfect Christmas treat!

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Instead of reaching for the Terry’s Chocolate Orange, or a handful of “well they are only small” Celebration chocs. Why not whip up a batch of these they are perfect for any sweet craving and will help to keep blood sugars balanced. They are so easy to make and completely guilt free, containing only almond, raw cacao, dates, coconut oil and orange zest. A perfect combination of protein and healthy fat. They contain lots of antioxidants from the cocoa. They also contain only naturally occurring sugar, apart from a tiny amount in the optional coating which is 90% cacao. But if you wanted to avoid using chocolate altogether, when the truffles are rolled, they could be dusted in cinnamon instead, which not only adds another Christmas flavor but also helps to balance blood sugars. The dates provide the sweetness and are fantastic aid for the digestive system as well as being high in nutrients.

Makes approx. 24

Ingredients
100g Ground Almonds
30g Raw Cacao
200g Medjool Dates
2tbsp Almond butter
60g Coconut oil (melted)
Zest of 2 Oranges

For coating
100g dark chocolate 90%, or ground cinnamon
Orange zest.

1) Making sure the stones are removed add the dates and orange zest to a magimix, blend until dates are chopped.
2) Add ground almonds, raw cacao & almond butter, blend until well combined.
3) Keep the motor running and add the melted coconut oil.
4) When the mixture is fully combined and has started to form dough, switch off the magimix and pour contents into a bowl.
5) Roll the mixture into small balls and place on lined baking tray. (About 1 tsp. of mixture per ball)
6) If coating in chocolate place the balls in the fridge to chill.
7) In the meantime place the chocolate in a glass bowl and melt over a pan of water, when completely melted allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
8) Remove truffles from fridge coat each in the melted chocolate and place back on lined baking tray
9) Top the truffles with a bit of orange zest then allow to cool in the fridge.
10) If using cinnamon coating instead of chocolate, when the truffles are rolled dust them in the ground cinnamon before placing them in the fridge.


The truffles are best kept in the fridge they go soft if left out for too long."

The Nutrition Kitchen
www.thenutritionkitchen.co.uk
Twitter: @TheNutKitchen
Instragram: @nutritionkitchen

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

DETOX CLEANSING & DYNAMIC PILATES RETREAT at Haybarn spa, Daylesford

After the success of our Tuscan Detox & Pilates retreat, nutritionist Natalia Otero Sancho and I are really excited to be hosting a Detox cleansing & dynamic Pilates retreat on Saturday 28th February 2015 at Bamford Haybarn, Daylesford, Gloucestershire…...



Monday, 10 November 2014

GUEST BLOG: IS AGE NOTHING BUT A MINDSET? BY LIFE COACH ALISA BURKE

Alisa Burke helps professionals and entrepreneurs transform from drained to revitalised using mind and body techniques so that they can create and sustain positive change and lead a life they are excited about. Alisa’s experience and qualifications included working in an earlier high pressure finance career, as a qualified fitness professional, qualified transformational coach and embodiment trainer.

"Is age nothing but a mindset?  Here's 3 ways you can turn back the clock on your agility AND look and feel younger!

Do you sometimes wish you had the energy, flexibility, and looks of a decade or two ago?

What in your life acts as a trigger transporting you back to your childhood or time at college? Maybe you have kept an object from that time or find music from that era brings back vivid memories? Did you know that research is showing that this may be the clue to a powerful way we can turn back the clock to have more of that energy and youthfulness. Read on to find out how.

While I was on the recent detox retreat with Chloe and Natalia in Tuscany (it was truly fab!), Chloe took us through a Barre Pilates class. Standing there holding the Barre whilst doing side leg raises took me back to the fifteen years I practised ballet. It felt great and has inspired me to stay young in my approach to exercise. 



I was therefore intrigued when shortly after, as ever with my eye out for mind-body research, I came across an article about a series of experiments conducted by Langer and colleagues - a long serving professor of Psychology at Harvard. Many of her experiments manipulate how we perceive things, for example tricking participants as to how much sleep they'd actually had in order to test that a lot of our tiredness is in the mind.

The ones that stood out for me though had two tactics:

The first of these manipulated the environment around the participants by inviting them to stay in a resort where the decor, magazines, music and films etc were all from two decades earlier. They were not allowed mirrors, and photos in their rooms were of them 20 years younger.

The other tactic was asking participants to perceive they were young again and act like they were young again. Even though the group were elderly, they were treated like they were young again such as having to carry their own cases upstairs. A just get on with it approach! The results showed there were actual measurable improvements versus a control group (who merely reminisced about being younger).

Their sight improved, they sat taller, were more agile and looked younger.

Research studies like these above suggest three ways you can run your own experiment to turn back your clock:

1) Change gear in your mindset. Think back to a time in your life you enjoyed yourself, felt great and were happy. Can you try to recreate how that felt? Visualise yourself at that time and allow yourself to smile and feel the energy and lightness or whatever the feelings were you remember having at that time in your life. Is there a time of day such as travelling to work you can practise bringing back how this felt and visualise being that age again?

2) Is there a quality you had at that age that you would like more of again now? What change can you make to your environment that could trigger you to have more of that quality? If you want to have more fun and lightness again in your life, what fun object could you keep on your desk or fun piece of art for your wall? Heres a couple of bits of art in my house that make me grin when I see them:


 3) Could you choose a daily activity that you could practice in the manner of the quality that you would like to be able to access more - e.g. if you used to be calm and would like to have more calm back in your life now, you could walk your dog in a calm manner, or if you want to be more thoughtful, practice gratitude by acknowledging someone every day.


Try to pick just one quality for your experiment - your brain prefers to focus on creating one new pattern at time.

If you are interested in executive life coaching where you can gain a better understanding of how you can take advantage of the powerful mind-body connection, visit www.alisaburke.co.uk to find out more. There you can also subscribe to my mailing list and start to receive a free four part series on how to improve your sleep as well as access to a series of four short videos where you can learn how to switch off, overcome fears and worries, create greater clarity, build a healthier lifestyle and much more!



Wednesday, 5 November 2014

REVIEW OF OUR TUSCAN DETOX & PILATES RETREAT 2014


Nutritionist Natalia Otero Sancho and Pilates teacher Chloe Hodgson have recently hosted a very successful Detox & Pilates retreat in Tuscany and we wanted to give you a little overview to tempt you into coming with us next time! We hope to hold another one next year so please get in touch with us now if you are interested as places are limited.  We also hope to host a Winter Detox & Pilates retreat in the UK in February 2015 so watch this space!

  • The retreat was held at the beautiful Poggio Piglia, a 150 year old boutique farm hotel set in the magical Tuscan hills.
  • Natalia met each one of our clients before the trip for a nutritional consultation to establish individual health concerns, food preferences and objectives for the detox plan. Natalia then carried out a further two consultations with each client over the weekend and a final review back in the UK to make sure everybody was sure of how to incorporate the detox principles in their daily routines.
  • A welcome Detox Pack with supplements formulated by one of the top Chinese herbalists in the UK was waiting for them on arrival. Medicinal mushrooms and herbs, CPTG essential oils (further info below) and a list of easy recipes were also included in our package.
  • Every day we went to the Terme Sensoriali at Chianciano Terme & Thermal pools and enjoyed the purifying mud treatment and massages.
  • Each morning we went for an invigorating walk in the wonderful Tuscan hills followed by a poolside Pilates class.  Chloe also held dynamic Pilates and barre classes in the afternoon followed by a sunset stretch and meditation before dinner. 
  • Delicious, liver friendly, vegan food was prepared by our Italian chef Salvatore, so no fasting was involved.  Throughout the day, we served many cleansing juices, with mushroom boosters and CPTG lemon oil.
  • Exclusivity is crucial for our clients so we can give them the best attention and service. We only have a maximum of 10 clients on each retreat. 
Testimonials  

“It has been a great experience and I will certainly repeat it. I have learnt to take care of myself with food and exercise and I feel much younger now”
Rosy, Insurance Broker

“I loved our weekend, what a joy it was, so relaxing and interesting and delicious! My bum muscles were really sore on Monday!! I am feeling so good and energized, thanks to you!”
Sophie, Interior Designer 

“What a truly wonderful weekend in the Tuscan hills.  Incredible food and lots of it!  The Pilates and mediation really helped and felt very zen.  Thank you so much to all your team I couldn't have come home feeling more relaxed and inspired to be healthy.  I look forward to next year.”  Lucy, Property Search agent

“Thanks so much Natalia. You are so caring. I had the perfect time”
Alisa, Executive life coach

“Thanks! I feel so well and I started my week full of energy! Just a bit of good pain on my legs ;) but I am stretching every morning. Not to mention my husband complimenting my soft skin...thanks to the mud!”
Barbara, Architect

Medicinal mushrooms
Fungi secrete enzymes that literally chop toxins apart.  They can destroy some of the most potent carcinogenic chemicals including phthalates, polycyclic hydrocarbons, and aflatoxin.

We used four types of medicinal mushrooms:
  • Chaga booster - Internal colon cleanser
  • Snow fungus booster - Anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and depurative
  • Liver detox supplement: formulated with Antrodia camphorata, silybum marianum (known as milk thistle), curcuma longa (the active compound of turmeric) and camellia sinensis (green tea extract).
  • Lifestyle support: Cordyceps sinensis, ganoderma lucidum (reishi), panax ginseng (nervous system modulator), schizandra sinensis, panax quinquifollium.  
Essential oils
What are essential oils? Very powerful antioxidants, which prevent all mutations, work as free radical scavengers, prevent fungus, and prevent oxidation in cells.
Essential oils may detoxify the cells and blood in the body.

We choose three different oils that are very helpful for mind and body detox:
Lavender to help address nervous system and inflammation
Lemon to help boost liver cleanse and maintain normal blood pH levels
Peppermint to help with sugar cravings and stress

If you would like to enquire about future retreats, please get in touch with:
Chloe Hodgson 07748 654 999 Chloe@chloespilates.com
or Natalia Otero Sancho 07881 820 241 Natalia@chelseanutritionist.com 

10 MINS BLAST FOR TUM, BUM & BINGO WINGS!

A 10 minute blast for tum, bum and bingo wings! Easy to do at home, the gym or even on your lunch hour.

1. TUM

Chloe's PIlates

  • Lying on your back with an imprinted spine (engage your core, draw your lower ribs down towards your hip bones, a very slight pelvic tilt so that your back is flat on the floor – avoid jamming the lower back into the mat)
  • Lift your legs up into a tabletop position (legs in a 90 degree angle, knees above hips) and your fingers to temples
  • Inhale to drop the chin, exhale and slowly lift your head and shoulders up off the mat.  Avoid jamming the chin to chest – look towards knees
  • Keeping your body still and chest open, exhale and slowly rotate and draw your left rib down towards your right hip and extend your left arm as you reach up towards the right knee.
  • Alternate sides. 


2. BUM

Chloes Pilates

  • Lying on your side with head on bottom arm. Make sure your heels, hip and shoulder are in line, with a gap between the waist and the mat. Knees bent to 45 degrees hip flexion, 90 degrees knee flexion
  • Squeeze the heels together and slowly lift the top knee to hip level.  Hold it at the top for at least 5 seconds and then slowly lower
  • Repeat for 1 minute with a 30 second hold at the top.


3. BINGO WINGS

Chloes PIlates


  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on floor, hands on the floor below your shoulders with fingers pointing towards your body
  • Lift your hips off the floor and slowly bend your elbows straight behind you, hold at the bottom and slowly extend the arms back to straight (but don’t lock the elbows)
  • NOTE: keep your shoulders away from your ears
  • 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions

Monday, 3 November 2014

RAW VEGAN CARROT CAKE WITH A CREAMY CASHEW LEMON FROSTING

Chloe's pilates

Cashew lemon frosting:
1 1/2 cups cashews
Juice from 1 lemon  
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw honey/date syrup or 1 teaspoon of xylitol  
Water, as needed 

Carrot cake:
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks 
1 1/2 cups oats 
2 cups dates
1/2 cup dried coconut 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

To make the frosting: blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth, adding water as needed. Put in the fridge. 

To make the cake: process the oats into flour in your food processor then throw the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and process until it all begins to stick together. 


To assemble the cake, press half the cake mixture into a small spring form pan (about 4 inches). Gently take this out and put on a plate, then put in the freezer until it's solid. Do the same to the remaining half of the cake mixture. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting onto the top of one of the cake layers. Put it in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard. Place on the other cake layer and frost the entire thing, I let it set in the fridge overnight.