Posts tagged lemon
What I've learned about 'lemon water'... so far!

It's Day 7 of my 21 Day Lemon Water Challenge.

In coming up to the end of the first week I wanted to take a moment to reflect.

Initially what had blown me away was the sheer number of people who wanted to get involved in the challenge, who wanted to think outside the box, to change things up in their daily routine, to empower themselves and embrace the challenge with an open mind.

Those things mean so much to me, and now simply judging by the engagement and positivity i've received in comments each day throughout the week, it's reinforces my belief that small changes can indeed make such a difference to health and wellness both physically and mentally. I can almost see the mind shift happening for people as the days go by and i'm grateful to be a part of the process and for listening to my intuition (it was purely an idea on a whim to create the event) and creating this space for accountability and inspiration.

So what have I learned myself?

Actually a lot. More than I expected through a practice that i'd been following for a good few years now, though i'd only increased to a litre in the last 6 months or so.

I'm a sucker for a routine and typically upon waking I go downstairs boil the kettle and I squeeze my lemon into a huge mug then fill half with cold and half with boiling water. Then I drink another mug full just like the first over the course of the next 15 minutes. I'd be doing that for months.

But in listening to my 'challengers' ask questions and share their experiments, it inspired me to question myself... why not add some mint, ginger or cucumber? Why not try infusing over night and drink at room temperature in the morning?

For the last couple of mornings I have been drinking my lemon water at room temperature (with a smidge of hot added to make it luke warm as it sits easier in my tummy that way) and I love it! I make a litre jug the night before with a mix of 1 lemon, maybe some lime, ginger or mint and cucumber slices. In the morning it is nicely 'muddled' (cocktail lingo!) and actually almost feels like pouring myself a cocktail! This creates a totally different experience.

I woud encourage everyone who is used to drinking lemon water, regardless of whether you love your current routine or not... simply to try changing it up a bit. A change is  always a good reboot for the system and the mind.

Here are some great additions to your lemon water and a quick outline as to why they are so beneficial. Obviously the pure ands simple lemon water itself is the key principle and these are a just an optional bonus!

Lemon: A glass of lemon juice contains less than 25 calories. It is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fiber. It also has medicinal values and antibacterial properties. It also contains traces of iron and vitamin A. It assists with digestion, flushing out toxins and restores Ph balance within the body. 

Lime: The health benefits of lime include weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care, and treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums, urinary disorders, etc. Lime juices and oils are exceptionally beneficial to the skin. Lime juice, consumed orally, or lime oil, applied topically, rejuvenate skin

Ginger: Most frequently used to aid digestion, ginger is believed to increase saliva and other digestive fluids, alleviating indigestion and associated problems such as flatulence.It is known to relieve nausea and sickness. Ginger is believed to have anti-inflammatory qualities that may relieve swelling and pain. As a tea it is said to ease headaches and sore throats or assist if you have a cold or flu. Fresh ginger is used for asthma, coughs, colic, heart palpitations, swellings, dyspepsia, loss of appetite and rheumatism, while the dried root is used to "strengthen" the stomach, inhibit vomiting and treat diarrhoea.

Mint: Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus. Mint can also be effective, especially when combined with tea for relieving sore throats. Mint is a calming and soothing herb that has been used for thousands of years to aid with upset stomach or indigestion. Mint is thought to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.

Cucumber: Not only is cucumber water refreshing and hydrating, but it’s loaded with nutrients. Cucumbers are high in Vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that can help protect your skin from sun damage throughout the summer. Vitamin C also boosts collagen and elastin to help keep your skin looking vibrant and youthful. Plus, cucumbers have natural anti-inflammatory properties that prevent water retention, and silica to promote healthy connective tissues.

Cayenne pepper:  Cayenne stimulates digestion and muscle movement in the intestines, which helps restore deficient digestive secretions and aids absorption of food nutrients. Cayenne also stimulates circulation and blood flow to the peripheral areas of the body. Because it stimulates digestion and circulation, cayenne is often added to a wide variety of herbal remedies; it improves the absorption and circulation of the other herbs throughout the body.

Apple cider vinegar: ACV has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Among the ailments it’s said to cure are allergies, acne, high cholesterol, joint pain, weight loss, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, dandruff, chronic fatique, candida, sore throat, gum infection, sinus infection, flu, acid reflux, leg cramps and ear infections. It’s also used to help dissolve kidney stones, lower high blood pressure, and it’s also been shown to help with type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. Even though vinegar is acidic, when we take apple cider vinegar it has an alkaline effect in our bodies. 

Turmeric:   The wide range of turmeric health benefits come mainly from its main ingredient, curcumin. This component of turmeric is highly therapeutic used mainly because of its immunity boosting and anti-oxidant properties. Turmeric has been used for many thousands of years in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for conditions including heartburn, diarrhoea, stomach bloating, colds, fibromyalgia and depression. 

 I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

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'Clean Eating' breakfast round up!

My '21 Day Lemon water Challenge' starts on Monday... have you joined the group yet?

No...? Check out this link and get in on the action, it's a free challenge so what are you waiting for. I have created a tips and countdown calendar print out available to download direct from the event page, plus if you sign up to my newsletter by midnight Sunday you'll get a mini detox guide absolutely free (those already on my mailing list will get it too!). You can use this alongside the lemon water challenge as an optional bonus or simply as a little inspiration.

I have had a lot of questions bouncing around in relation to the challenge and one of those was:

"what would be an ideal breakfast to follow on from the lemon water cleanse?"

Obviously since follow a plant based diet my answers might be a little different to some others, but at the same time there are many recipes I have to offer and some general principles I would advise. When it comes to cleansing the body, plant based foods do offer some incredible benefits in helping the body detoxify.

The general principles are outlines below and I thought this would also be an ideal opportunity for a little breakfast round up to showcase a few options to help inspire your own creations... most options can be modified to suit, so if you are soy free, nut free etc most of these recipes can easily  be adapted for you. Some people prefer a heart breakfast whilst others prefer a light one and then another snack before lunch... there are some ideas for everyone.

No matter what time of the morning you have your first meal these are some general principles I follow:

 • Pack in the antioxidants: berries, green veggies and super foods like maca, chia flax etc

 • Go wheat free: I personally feel that gluten is more taxing on the body (regardless on whether you have a sensitivity or not) and so a gluten free breakfast (or at least wheat free as I often use oats) is easier on the digestive system. Also as a nation we eat so much refined wheat in general, it's a good principle to reduce.

• Quit the sugar! If you prefer a sweet breakfast (like me!) then sweeten with fruit only or a little natural stevia (see food basics menu tab for more info).

• Probiotics are great: If you have the option, add a small glass of kombucha or coconut keffir or another source of natural probiotics (even from a good quality capsule) which can help give your digestive tract a boost.

Some recipes round-up Ideas:

Raspberry chia pudding (great for dessert of breakfast! You can also substitute other berries or soft fresh fruits)

Superfood Granola (make ahead for great nibbly snacks): 

Pear and ginger carrot porridge (I love adding veggies to my porridge!)

Creamy quinoa porridge (a great protein rich alternative to using oats- or use part quinoa and part oats)

Cashew cream (great as a non-dairy alternative with fruit/nuts etc)

Or if you prefer something of the less sweet more savoury variety...

The beginner green smoothie (of course!)

Chickpea cauliflower quiche (can be prepared ahead, sliced kept in the fridge and eaten cold- yum!) 

Smashed avocado crackers (oat crackers are a great alternative to regular wheat)

What is you favourite clean eating breakfast recipe?

Feel free to post links if you like!

 

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can always find me in these places:

 

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The lemon water challenge!

I love lemon water....

I drink a hot mug (or few) of it every morning as soon as I wake up, then I tend to continue to drink it throughout the first few hours of the morning if I'm at home,  before I then switch to regular filtered water and then onto mint tea during the latter part of the day into the evening. 

I'm a sucker for a routine!! Can you tell :-)

There are three things I also know to be true:

  • hydrating and cleansing the body are two of the most important things you can do 
  • small habits are often the hardest to create and actually stick to since they often fool the brain as being insignificant compared to bigger habits.
  • everyone (clients, friends, family) who I have introduce to 'lemon water' have reported great results.

So.... it seemed only right to notch things up a gear and get the whole world involved, ok well let's not go too crazy but hey i'd love you guys to come along for the ride.

Starting on Monday August 11th I'll be hosting this challenge:

The 'rules' will be pretty simple... drink 1ltr of warm lemon water first thing in the morning before eating anything else.  

One litre I hear you say!?

Yes I know that sounds like a lot- and yes you might find yourself going to the loo a little more than normal to start with BUT it does work wonders, more so than 1 small mug of lemon water. Tried and tested you see. Hydrating the body is so crucial... not just for these hot summer days. I want to make sure you maximise the benefits.

All it really means is drinking two very large mugs full each morning (go and buy a special big mug if you only own small ones!) It is also best to drink it before you eat anything else in the morning, this will create maximum benefit in cleansing and detoxing the body and creating the optimal internal environment to take whatever your days throws at it. Also try and avoid drinking very cold or boiling water- anywhere from lukewarm to hot is fine. Simple use one small organic lemon (or a half a large one) per litre of water.

Put lemons on your weekly shopping list now!!

That's really all there is to it... you can eat whatever you want or would normally for the rest of the day. You may find that this little habit brings about other positive changes in your mindset and eating habits...embrace the change and see what happens!  I'll be here for you along the way.

The 'challenge' is totally free, i'll be throwing in some extra freebies for all those than join me, and i'll create a Facebook event in the next few days so we can all be in this together and share experiences...

But you know what...

The main thing about all of this is simply to try something new, create a new habit, break bad habits, change up your morning routine, kick your day off to a good start, create mindfulness. If you only manage 500ml at first that's cool, there is no pressure. The point is that you give it a go and give it your best...

So, who's up for the challenge??

More details to come shortly!

 

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can always find me in these places:

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Lemon and blueberry mini pudding pots

Remember my crazy good hot chocolate cherry pots?

… Duh, how could you forget? :-)

On that particular post one reader commented with a question as to how to make a lemon and blueberry version. At that time I haven't tried that twist, but the idea was sparked and it was only a matter of time before I wanted to try it out for myself. 

 

blueberry pot 1a.jpg

The only real difference is substituting the cocoa powder for another 'fine flour', I used the combination of coconut milk powder and tapioca starch (any starch should do) It worked really well! You also try substituting other fine dry 'flours' of an equal amount.

As always in many of my recipes using berries I opt for frozen so that their juices bleed less and the berries themselves have less risk of being overcooked or burnt during the process.  With these little pots, I microwaved them in the same way that I did the chocolate pots but then I also grilled them for two minutes to brown the top a little which give a great contrast in texture between the slightly crisp and thick 'crust' and the soft and moist pudding below.

These puddings don't look very big, partly because my ramekins are quite big so the puds don't come up as high as I would have liked for the photos (perfectionist!)  but mainly because they are very rich with the ground almonds that you wouldn't want a large pudding!

What other flavour combos would you come up with? I imagine these little pots to be as versatile as my breakfast baked oatmeal!

 

blueberry pot 3a.jpg

Recipe: Lemon and blueberry mini pudding pots

Serves 2 multiply recipe to fill more ramekins!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 2 tbs coconut milk powder*
  • 2 tbs starch (I used tapioca flour)
  • 2 tbs sugar-free marmalade and a few drops of stevia (to taste)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • tiny pinch salt
  • zest of 1 lemon and its juice (approx ¼ cup) add extra juice/milk if needed (I didn’t)
  • large handful frozen blueberries

Method: 

Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mix the marmalade, lemon juice and rind separately and then combine with the dry ingredients. Mix together until smooth and the mixture is thick but easily spoonable.

Spoon the batter into a ramekin no higher than 2/3 of the way up, layering with berries and adding the remaining berries on top. Microwave individually for 60 seconds on full power (90s if doing both at once). Heat the grill whilst the pots are in the microwave and then grill the tops for a couple of minutes until lightly golden.

Note: I have not tried cooking these in the oven but I can see no reason as to why it would not work- just keep an eye on it and be careful not to let it dry out as you still want a gooey

*You could probably sub the coconut milk powder for more starch or another fine flour. 

 

 

     

blueberry pot 4a.jpg
blueberry pot 2a.jpg
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Easter Bunny’s

My Easter Bunny’s were supposed to look cute….but instead they look more like scary robo-bunny’s with crazy gnashy teeth…Oops!  Oh well, I think they still look kinda goofy cute in their own little way.

I’m getting in my Easter themed recipes in good time, organisation-love it! I have a couple more up my sleeve in coming days so keep your eyes peeled. Easter is typically a time for chocolate I know….don’t worry I have that sussed too!

It’s the principle that is the main thing here, little Easter themed cupcakes that are simple to dress up however you like with your favourite cupcake and frosting combo, or feel free to use  recipes below. I bet yours will look better than mine!  These cupcakes are made using spelt flour, but you could use a GF cupcake recipe instead. In this recipe I trialled both spelt and GF to good effect, but I cant testify this for a larger batch of cupcakes.

So back to the robo-bunny’s...

It’s all pretty simply really. Bake your cupcake in the usual way and then using a very sharp knife (to get as clean edges as possible) cut an oval out of the top of the cupcake- I say oval instead of circle so that the ears are a little longer than they are wide. Fill the ‘hole’ with frosting of your choice (mine was lemony although now I wish I’d added a drop of food colouring too), you could go crazy and go for the chocolate frosting. Once filled, press the ears in and add a couple of dried blueberries or currants for the eyes…and, er maybe avoid coconut flakes for the teeth unless you can do a better job than me!

Simple…and cute (ish)

My cupcakes were basic vanilla cupcakes with a lemony frosting. The frosting will be firmer if it is fresh from the fridge, mine was a slightly runnier than I would have liked but I think that was due to the cupcakes still being ever so slightly warm- note to self: allow cupcakes to cool fully.

I’d love to see your Easter themed successes (or disasters!) whether they be bunny’s or not, feel free to link in the comments below.

Recipe: Lemon frosting

Makes approx. ¾ cup

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup silken tofu
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter
  • 5 tbs agave syrup (or part stevia)
  • Zest of one lemon plus ½ tsp lemon extract

(note: if you use stevia to sweeten you could use a little real lemon juice to help flavour as this will replace the liquid that the agave would have provided and still not make it too runny)

Method:

Blend everything together well and chill before use.

Recipe: vanilla cupcake

Makes approx. 12 cupcakes. (based on this recipe)

Ingredients

  • 200g white spelt flour
  • 75g potato starch
  • 1tsp flax seed mixed with 1tbs hot water
  • 3tsp baking powder 
  • 1tbs bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g agave
  • 70g granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp stevia
  • 100ml melted coconut butter
  • 50ml apple puree
  • 50ml soy yoghurt
  • 150ml orange juice
  • 150ml soy milk
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

Method

Blend all liquids in food processor and melt coconut oil separately then mix in. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl then pour into the wet ingredients and beat well to get a smooth mixture. Pour into cupcake cased and bake at 180C  for 10-15 mins. I found these needed turning round every 5 minutes to ensure an even rise.

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