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Spicy Red Lentil Soup

It’s  healthy, delicious and easy to make…Spicy red lentil Soup (Good with smoked bacon too!)
·  80g  tandoori paste
·  50g tomato puree
·  50g sunflower oil
·  400g tinned diced tomatoes
·  250g coconut milk
·  150g dried red lentils
·  200g carrots, peeled and 10mm diced
·  200g celery, 10mm diced
·  200g banana shallots 10mm diced
·  1 large red chilli de-seeded and sliced
·  salt and pepper
·  600ml vegetable or white chicken stock

Heat a large saucepan with the oil to a medium temperature.
Sauté the diced carrots, shallots and celery with a little bit of seasoning. Always remember to season, especially soups,a bit at a time, as during the  cooking  and reduction processes the flavours becomes stronger and it’s easy to over season. Cook until the vegetables become transparent but not coloured.
Add the sliced red chilli, tandoori paste and tomato puree, cook for 3 minutes, add the dried red lentils and stir.
Add the tinned diced tomatoes and the stock, bring the soup to the boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid.
Simmer the soup for 40 minutes over low heat.
Add the coconut milk, turn the heat to high, bring the soup back to the boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Use a ladle and scoop a third of the hot soup in to a food processor  and puree until smooth, add this back to the soup and stir. By blending only a third of the soup, this will ensure that your soup has a silky thick and creamy texture with some whole bits of carrots and lentils.
Serve piping hot. (Fresh crusty bread is great with it if you wish)

It’s yummy!

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Best Diet, Perfect Diet, Performance Diet, Fun Diet

These and countless others are being promoted for your new year purging after recent (and not so recent) binges.

‘diet’ means a regulated selection
‘purge’ means to remove; rid of sin or guilt
‘binge’ means unrestrained self-indulgence

Every diet has worked for someone, yet quite probably won’t work for you.

Why?  I’ll offer just one reason for now –

We live in a culture of binge and purge.  A new diet (and diet equals deprivation) idea works for say three weeks, then temptation, hunger or convenience rise up and just a little something you like becomes bigger and bigger and…

So either you live with a few more pounds than you started with or get back onto the diet treadmill for another willpower workout.

Forget it.

Eat healthy, natural foods as much as you possibly can, avoiding all those things you know to avoid because they:

  • make you fat
  • make you tired
  • waste your hard earned money
  • raise your blood pressure
  • give you indigestion
  • bring you out in spots

and let wholesome foods do all the hard work for your body.

If you are serious about a life change then Keto diets are much the same as we had in the olden days, less choice and healthier options. There are plenty of books in our waiting room to leaf through and we can give first hand advice as we also do the keto and intermittent fasting for great health.

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Exercises for Core Training

Learning to contract the Core.

Breathing.
Lay face up on the floor, in the psoas position (this means knees at 90 degrees and feet flat to the floor). Relax and practice breathing into the abdomen, with your hand rested gently over your navel. You should aim for the navel to lift about 2” on your in breath. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Relax on the in breath and squeeze your stomach in when exhaling fully.

Once you have mastered this, relax and start again, but this time you need to make sure that your pelvis/spine is in a neutral position. To do this, place the heel of your hands on the prominent hip bones and your finger tips together on the pubic bone. They should all be level. Now start the breathing pattern again.

Then add in the contraction of the pelvic floor, whilst keeping the breathing pattern going. “Imagine stopping the flow, when going for a wee”

Next stage is to add in the contraction of the’ core’.

The best way to achieve this is to place your hands on the side of your ribs just below the chest level. You can use the pressure of your hands to push in, on the out breath, and encourage them to expand on the in breath. When ready tighten the whole of the abdominal area, holding the navel down toward the spine, but not moving the spine from its neutral position. The idea is to keep breathing normally as you do this. You will feel your abdominal area holding firm, as your lower ribcage expands laterally.

Lastly, try to slide one leg (heel down, toes up) away from the body. There should not be any movement, tilting or adjustments of the spine or pelvis to accommodate the one sided pressure. If there is then start again until there is no movement!

These exercises may take many sessions, even weeks to perfect and you should only move on a stage, once you have mastered the previous.

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Baked Chicken Parcels

Baked Chicken Parcels

This is a lovely way of cooking chicken, it keeps it moist and tasty – and best of all, once its in the oven, you have 20 minutes to yourself!

SERVES 4
Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts (1 per person)
2 Portobello mushrooms
16 tbsp (4 per parcel) of Vegetable/Chicken Stock (or Bouillon Powder made into stock – my personal favourite)
Salt and Pepper to season
4 tsp of Dried or Fresh Basil (1 tsp per breast)
Juice of half a lemon

You will need:
4 Large squares of either kitchen foil or baking parchment

To make:
1) Lay your 4 squares of foil / parchment onto the work surface, and place a breast on each one – they need to be laid diagonal in the centre.
2) Slice your mushrooms and lay a few slices on top of each breast.
3) Add basil, salt/pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to each one.
4) Now you need to fold up one side of your parcel and make the two corners (top) meet, and scrunch together. Think of a large Cornish pasty shape – that’s the shape you’re looking for! Once you have one side and the top secured you are ready to add the stock.
5) With the remaining gap, spoon the stock into the parcel, and then secure by scrunching up the side. Your parcel should now be secure and have absolutely NO HOLES!
6) Once you have repeated this for each parcel, place all 4 onto a baking tray, and place into a pre-heated oven at about 200 degrees for 20 minutes (you can check by opening one side of a parcel to see if the meat is cooked, if in doubt place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes).

Serve with brown rice and green vegetables.

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Good snack, bad snack!

In an ideal world we would probably eat three healthy meals a day and never experience hunger. However, many people function better with three meals and two snacks a day as it helps keep blood sugars and energy more even. A poor choice of snack on a regular basis will quickly sabotage all the best intentions for a healthy lifestyle or weight loss plan.

So, here are some Good snack ideas:

  • Fruit e.g. apples and pears
  • Raw veg e.g. carrots, celery
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Smoothie – home-made (there is little nutrition in packaged smoothies)
  • Bean salad
  • Soup – home-made (which can be purchased) not tinned or packet
  • Stew – home-made transported in a food flask
  • Quinoa or other grain e.g. millet and salad or beans etc.
  • Fish & salad
  • Wholemeal bread / toast / pitta with butter and e.g. tinned fish, cheese, nut butter
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Oats – flapjack or porridge etc.
  • Home-made biscuits & cakes – ingredients chosen with care

Bad snack ideas will probably not harm you now and then, but for every day I suggest you think twice before eating convenient junk foods. You are what you eat.  Your body’s cells of tomorrow are made from the food you eat today. Think before you eat.

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Naughty-but-Nice Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Brownies

Everyone deserves a treat now and again, and these will go down a storm at parties with adults and children alike…

MAKES 16 SQUARES

Ingredients:

150g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces (70% cocoa)
50g Milk Chocolate, roughly chopped (good quality)
I punnet of Raspberries (save at least 8 for the top, cut into halves)
130g Butter, chopped into small squares
225g Caster Sugar
55g Cocoa Powder (Plus extra for dusting at the end)
75g Plain Flour
¾ tsp Baking Powder
3 eggs, beaten

You will need:

A 20cm Square baking tin (or disposable foil baking tin of the same size) lined with baking parchment.

To make:

  1. Preheat Oven to 180 degrees
  2. Heat the butter and dark chocolate in a saucepan, once melted and glossy take off the heat.
  3. In another bowl, sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and add in the sugar.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the melted chocolate and stir until well mixed.
  5. Add the beaten eggs, and stir in the chopped milk chocolate and raspberries. Give it a good mix.
  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, flatten out with a spoon and top with the raspberry halves. (Sprinkle randomly over the mixture.)
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. Move from the oven and cool in the tray before pulling out using the baking parchment and then cut into squares.
  9. Dust with a little cocoa powder.

Delicious Served warm with creme fréche or ice cream.

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Upper Cross Syndrome

This could be you? To be honest we all have to a degree, and I would like to mention it just briefly.

If you stand yourself or your partner, up against the wall with your back to the wall and your feet just 2/3 inches away, you should be able to get you back, from the base of your spine up through your entire torso and the back of your head to almost meet with the wall. Try it…

If you find that when your lower back comes close to the wall and your shoulders lift off, or when you put the shoulders back and in contact with the wall, it leaves a big gap at your lower back, you are probably someone who has the above.

Is it bad? No, not necessarily, but it can lead to many problems and you may be suffering with its negative effects now. Because of the rotation it causes in the shoulder girdle, it can cause tension headaches, dizziness, shoulder pain, pain when lifting the arm, numbness in the fingers, pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades (scapula), to name a few.

Is it easily rectified? With education and a little hard work and dedication, in most cases it is! The cross (X) part refers to the muscles being tight in one section of the cross and loose in the other, therefore creating an imbalance in the way we function in the upper torso.

If we move and posture incorrectly for a long time this causes the body to compensate and over use one set of muscles and renders the opposing muscles inactive. To improve the situation, you need to first become aware of what is occurring and then set about correcting it, by stretching the tight set of muscles and then strengthening the weak (loose) set.

Simple? It really is! But you will need someone who is a specialist in anatomy and movement to help you to build a plan to correct it.

If you are suffering with any of the above, clinic and posture are my passion and I would love to help. There, so now you know a little about upper cross syndrome and how to test for it.

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Chicken and Quinoa Balti Curry

Who said all curries were bad for you? Try this healthy take on an Indian classic – you won’t be disappointed!

SERVES 4
Ingredients:

4 skinless Chicken Breasts (1 per person)
2 Large Onions, sliced
200g Quinoa
400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
4 tbsp balti curry paste
1tbsp Olive Oil
Bunch of Fresh Coriander (roughly chopped)

To make:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and fry until soft and golden – about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

2. Add the chicken breasts, brown for a few minutes on each side, then add the Balti paste, quinoa and pop the onions back in.

3. After a few minutes of sizzling, pour in the tomatoes, stock and give it all a good mix. Leave to cook for 25 minutes.

4. Just before serving, add most of the coriander to the mix and stir.

5. Pile onto a plate or wide bowl, and sprinkle the remaining coriander on top and around – for that decorative touch!

Serve as is, or with some Garlic and Coriander Naan to mop up the juices!

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Do you want to look like a healthy cow?

Healthy calves grow into healthy cows by drinking milk in its natural state just as nature intended.  Calves fed our pasteurized milk fail to thrive and their internal organs are sickly.  And dogs drink natural dog milk, natural horse milk is for horses…do humans need pasteurized, homogenized cows milk in order to be healthy humans?

Worldwide it is a minority of humans who consume milk after weaning, quite possibly because of a lack of enzymes to digest it.

Scientific papers do not support the notion of milk as a ‘perfect food’.  Indeed scientists have linked milk with health problems including intestinal irritation, allergic reactions, heart disease and an increased risk of some cancers.

As someone who carries out food intolerance and sensitivity testing and advice, I know many people have problems digesting milk and feel so much better without it in their regular diet.  How about going dairy free for a while and see if any unpleasant symptoms subside?  This is especially recommended with a cold and / or congestion.  Rice milk, oat milk, almond milk and coconut milk are healthy alternatives which you can try.

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x

Positive quote of the month…is a poem!

THE DASH

I heard of the man who got up to speak at a memorial to his friend,
He mentioned dates on her tomb stone, 1934-2000, the beginning and the end.
The first of course, recorded her birth, the second he spoke with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between the years.

For the dash represented the time that she had spent on earth,
And now only those close to her knew what that was worth.
What does it matter what we own, the cars the house, the cash?
What counts is how we live and love; just how we spend our dash.

So think about it while you can; are there things you’d like to change?
You never know what time you’ve left to try and rearrange.
Just take more time to listen, understand how others feel,
Getting the priorities right on what is lasting, true and real.

Be less ready to sit in judgement; show appreciation more
of the people in our lives who we’ve taken for granted before.
Treat everyone with due respect; more often wear a smile,
Recalling that this little dash might only last a while.

So when you’re eulogy’s being read, a life time to re-hash,
Will you be proud of the things they’ll say about how you spent your dash?

ANON

Love and energy,
Liz and Jessica x