Tag Archives: protein

Chocolate Orange Protein Energy Balls

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These handy little balls of power are a great portable snack on the go and a great post gym dose of carbohydrate from the dates. You can do make these with or without the protein powder but it would be ideal to include it to make them more of a protein hit snack. If you don’t like orange then you can leave that part out completely or replace it for mint extract instead.

Pumpkin seeds are a really good source of zinc and magnesium and they also contain some Omega 3 fats, and some tryptophan, which converts into our happy hormone serotonin, which then converts into our sleep hormone melatonin!

Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, and the dates provide the sweetness and the carbohydrate.

I prefer to use raw cacao as opposed to regular cocoa powder just because cacao is rich in antioxidants levels and also iron and magnesium.

The coconut oil adds to the sweetness and provides even more healthy and energy giving fats plus it has antiviral and antibacterial properties, so can help to support the immune system.

What you’ll need (makes about 15 balls or 30 if you prefer to make really small ones!):

  • 200 g pitted medjool dates
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 and a 1/2 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp pure orange extract
  • 1 scoop of Sunwarrior vanilla protein or 2 dessertspoons of Pulsin pea protein (this is optional but a great addition, you my need to add a couple of drops of water to the mixture in case it goes too flaky)
  • Some desiccated coconut for coating the balls (optional, the picture here doesn’t include it but its definitely a nice addition). 

How to:

  • First mill the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a grinder or your food processor until they are finely chopped, and then add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Process until the mixture has all stuck together.
  • Use a teaspoon to take chunks of the mixture and roll together in your hands to make into balls.
  • With the desiccated coconut on a plate gently roll the ball into it and until it is coated in the coconut to your liking.
  • Lay the balls on a plate and store in the fridge. Once they are set you can move them to an airtight container and store in the fridge. I have stored mine in the fridge for a week or so, although they rarely ever last that long! Or they should keep in the freezer for a couple of months.

Tamari, garlic and ginger salmon chunks

Tamari Salmon

This is my favourite salmon dish and its so easy to prepare, I do this at least once a week at the moment and it’s a big favourite in my house. I always make enough for dinner plus tomorrows lunch so I make sure to buy double the amount of salmon needed for one meal (about 130-150g of uncooked wild salmon fillet per person).

What you’ll need (serves 2):

  • 1 tablespoon of tamari sauce (I like Clearspring the best)Marinating salmon
  • 2 garlic cloves
mashed (I use a pestle and mortar) then chopped
  • 1 thumb size piece of peel ginger, also mashed and chopped
  • 300g of wild salmon fillet

How to:

  • Mix the tamari, garlic and ginger together in a large bowl
  • Remove the underskin from the salmon and cut the fillet into chunks
  • Place the salmon into the mixture, cover with cling flim and leave to marinate in the fridge for about an hour (more if you can!)
  • Bake in the oven at about 180 degrees for 20 mins, be careful not to let it dry out.
  • It’s amazing served with oven roasted sweet potato wedges, aubergine and courgette, and a generous serving of steamed broccoli in melted organic butter.

Chocolate Power Smoothie

Raw chocolate power smoothie

This smoothie makes a perfect afternoon energy booster or post workout drink. It’s free from gluten, dairy, and sugar (as all of my smoothies are!). Its delicious, satisfying and nutritious, as it’s a great source of protein, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals.

What you’ll need (serves 2):

  • 350ml coconut milk, hazelnut milk or almond milk (I like rude Health)
  • 2 tbsps of chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp almond, hazelnut or cashew nut butter (I like Meridian or Biona)
  • 2 tbsp pea or brown rice protein powder (I like Pulsin)
  • 1 banana (so that’s 1/2 per person – can be fresh or frozen but I like frozen for more of a milkshake consistency!)

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender and enjoy! :-)

Super Scrambled Eggs

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This nutritious breakfast of eggs and vegetables will really set you up well for the day ahead. It provides some protein, healthy fat, fibre, as well as health promoting antioxidants.

What you’ll need (serves 1):

  • 3 large free range organic eggs
  • 1/2 a small red onion, chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • About 4 mushrooms, chopped
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • Virgin coconut oil
  • Thyme (fresh or dried)
  • Black pepper and sea salt to season
  • 1/2 an avocado

What to do:

  • Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of thyme
  • Gently heat a dessertspoon of extra virgin coconut oil in a frying pan (low – medium heat)
  • Add the chopped baby cherry tomatoes, red onion, and mushrooms and sauté for about a minute
  • Add the eggs and the spinach leaves and gently stir over the heat until cooked
  • Chop or slice the avocado and add to your plate with the scrambled eggs
  • season with sae salt and black pepper to taste

You’ve just got to love EGGS!

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Eggs!! They really are a wonder food in my book, but so many of us think we should avoid them because they are “high in fat” or “don’t they raise cholesterol?”. After years of being given the wrong advice from our government and health officials, its time we turned things around and started including all the great foods we’ve been told to avoid, and start to become a healthy nation!

Some questions you might have are “how many eggs should I consume in a week?”, “What about my cholesterol?”, “Should I discard the yolk?”

Let me help you get some answers.

Eggs are a great source of a complete, high quality protein with few calories (although we don’t count those here ;-)). One whole medium size egg has around 5-6 grams of protein and contains all the 9 essential amino acids, making eggs perfect for muscle growth,repair and recovery. They are a ‘nutrient dense food’ and one worth having on the menu for breakfast, snacks, lunch, or dinner!

Eggs are rich in choline, which is an essential nutrient that the human body can indeed make itself in small amounts but it still needs to be consumed in the diet to maintain good levels. Choline is important for our brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system.

Eggs contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health as they can help prevent macular degeneration. These 2 nutrients are more readily available (absorbed better) from eggs than any other foods.

The white of the egg has about 57% of the total protein in an egg, which is why some people like to load up on whites, and they usually discard the yolk due to its fat andcholesterol content, let’s look at this in more detail.

Ok, so yes it’s true that egg yolks contain cholesterol, fat and saturated fat. But, only 1.6g of the total 4.5g fat in an egg yolk is saturated fat, so the rest is the good type of fat that our bodies and brains need so desperately, and we are most likely not getting enough of. These good fats are also needed to help our body burn fat. Some saturated fat in the diet is fine, and necessary, its trans and processed fats that we should be avoiding. There are also some really important nutrients in the egg yolk that we are depriving our body off if we discard the yolk such as essential fatty acids and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, essential fatty acids, then there is the 2.7 grams of protein you’d be leaving behind too.

The table below (taken from the USDA) compares the nutrients of the egg white with the yolk, and shows the percentage of total nutrition found in both. You can see from this that the yolk is the most nutritious part, so please please don’t leave it out! 

Nutrition of Egg Yolks V’s Egg Whites

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New research shows that moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol(1). ‘New’ is the key word here. Mainstream media and parts of the NHS are still clinging onto outdated research (which was very much flawed in the first place(2)), it’s important to keep up to date with research when making dietary recommendations and claims to the masses that may even be damaging their health rather than improving it. Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid (cholesterol) profile and may, in fact, improve it, and suggests that it is bad fats and overconsumption on sugar that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol such as that found in eggs.

So, hopefully by now you are happy to include (whole) eggs in your daily diet (unless of course they cause you digestive upset of any sort). When buying your eggs always go for free range and organic if you can, you can also look for the ‘omega 3 enriched’ kind. Free range and organic ensures you’re eating the eggs from healthy happy chickens that roam around free and are fed the right food so they can produce great eggs. Eggs from battery farmed (caged) hens are a no-no, so don’t go for the cheapest option as these are most likely to be from caged hens, always read the label!

On a typical day, I have 2 whole eggs, but sometimes more, and I’ve been doing this for many years now. I love them scrambled with smoked salmon and spinach on a crunchy piece of rye toast with some real butter, or poached with some grilled asparagus, or boiled and mixed into a salad or as a snack during the day. My cholesterol levels are fine and I don’t struggle with my weight (not since about 10 years ago). Even if the dietary cholesterol in egg yolks DID, have an effect on the cholesterol levels in your blood it would be very minimal. Enjoy eggs and enjoy everyday! They are a handy, practical, and healthy addition to a whole foods healthy diet.

I hope this has been helpful, for further reading on the subject of cholesterol and food have a read of this insightful book, and also this one, sometimes you have to take your health into your own hands and dig a little deeper.

Francesca x

 

 

 

 

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