Smoothie-Time: die schnelle Nummer in der Küche

Grade noch Hunger gehabt, 10 Minuten später nur zufrieden und nach einer schnellen Nummer in der Küche angenehm gesättigt!

Da kann ich doch sagen: kleiner Aufwand – großer Effekt!

Ich sag’s ja immer: sich mit gesunden Sachen zu ernähren, die auch noch schmecken muss nicht schwierig sein! Dieser Smoothie ist ein sehr gutes Beispiel dafür!

Als vielleicht typisches Beispiel einer Unternehmerin habe ich vor 10 Minuten erst (da war es schon 14:00 Uhr) ganz plötzlich gemerkt, dass ich Hunger habe. War einfach davor zu konzentriert und habe nichts davon mitbekommen. Aber dann – ihr kennt das ja vielleicht – ein schneller Gang in die Küche und das verzweifelte Öffnen der Kühlschranktür: was esse ich nur jetzt schnell? Klar, ich kann mir eine Scheibe von dem glutenfreien Brot nehmen, schnell Butter drauf oder nur eine Avocado und Salz und Pfeffer. Geht natürlich. Aber auch gestern mittag (ähem Nachmittag) hat es nur zu Brot gereicht. Als Health Coach muss ich dann doch mal mit gutem Beispiel vorangehen und das nicht weiter einreißen lassen… 😃 Zum Glück fiel  mein Blick auf eine Packung frische Cranberries. Und ein Päckchen Bio-Spinatblätter hatte ich auch noch im Gemüsefach. Also klar: Smoothie-Time! Nix geht schneller und nix kann man in Null-Komma-Nichts so einfach zu einer Nährstoffbombe machen.

Was kommt rein?

Also, eine Handvoll Bio-Cashewkerne (ich kaufe meist Cashew-Bruch, ist günstiger) und einen guten Esslöffel Leinsamen in den Blender. Eine kleine Banane dazu, den Spinat, ja das ganze Päckchen! Dann die Cranberries, ca. ½ Tasse bzw. eine gute Handvoll. Und ein grosses Stück Salatgurke in groben Stücken dazu. Eine Orange hatte ich auch noch, die kam auch rein. Und das Beste, was dem Smoothie diesen tollen Geschmack beschert hat: Kokoswasser! Davon habe ich mal ein paar Packungen eingekauft und hatte zum Glück noch eine 250 ml Packung da. Trinke ich nicht immer, weil, naja, Kokos, wächst weit weg, muss ja erstmal nach Europa kommen. Aber ab und zu ist das in meiner Welt drin, denn da lebe ich nach dem 80/20% Prinzip. Und stellt euch vor, wenn alle Menschen zu 80% gesund und umweltfreundlich leben würden, wie sehr sich diese Welt ändern würde. Denn jetzt sind wir glaube ich global ziemlich weit weg davon. Aber ich schweife ab, das macht dieser Smoothie, denn der hat mir jetzt einen Energieschub gegeben! 😀

Aber eigentlich war’s das auch schon mit dem Smoothie-Rezept! Ist ja so einfach, alles in den Blender, ganz fein mixen und genießen! Also ich habe nach dem ersten Schritt ‚mhhmm – genial’ gesagt, war selber überrascht wie lecker das war, dank dem Kokoswasser.

Von der Menge her war es glaube ich fast 1 Liter. Mir reichte jetzt erstmal ein großes Glas voll und schön zu wissen, dass es dann im Kühlschrank noch mehr davon gibt für heute abend oder sogar morgen früh.

Klingt das einfach genug? Meinst du, du kannst das auch in deinen Tagesablauf einbauen? Vielleicht sogar mit etwas mehr Planung als ich, denn mit dem Planen habe ich persönlich es leider nicht so, aber wenn ich es mal mache und meine Mahlzeiten im Voraus plane, finde ich das immer toll! Ich hoffe, du bist planungsfreudiger als ich, aber auch wenn nicht, wie gesagt, es gibt Smoothies und  noch vieles mehr, was du ganz schnell zubereiten kannst.

Viel Spaß beim Ausprobieren! 🙂

How a Salad Dressing can give you Freedom

How a Salad Dressing can give you Freedom

Salad or sandwich? Which do you grab when you are hungry?

Do you often find yourself deciding against the salad because not only do you have to wash and prep the salad ingredients, but you also have to make the dressing and it’s that last bit that then seems to make the whole process too burdensome? And a sandwich is so much easier, right? Just grab and go!

I have been in that situation countless times, but then found a way to move beyond this and it’s been the best discovery and one that to this day still makes me happy every time.

It’s such a simple and small thing, but it makes a hell of a difference. It actually gives me freedom! Yes, I said it. Salad Dressing gives me freedom! Now let me explain that one, otherwise you might thing I am completely mad… 🙂

So… Salad Dressing. The big difference in your kitchen!

A salad dressing in a little screw top bottle, ready to be poured over a bowl with lettuce or cucumber or grated carrots and so much more. A healthy salad dressing, home made, free from any strange ingredients, just the basic stuff, just those few ingredients and voila’! Dinner or lunch or snack is served!

I absolutely love it. It has allowed me the freedom to make the healthier choice because it’s an easy choice, quick to prepare. That’s what I need, simple food, natural, quick to make, no fuss. Especially at lunch time I often ignore any signs that my body needs to be fed and continue to work until I get really strong hunger pangs and then I need food NOW!

Do you recognize this maybe?

In that situation I don’t have any patience to muck around with lengthy preparations and I would grab the first thing coming into sight, so it’s really important that the first thing coming into sight is something nutritious or reminding me of a nutritious option. Hence the bottle with salad dressing sitting on my counter, in full sight, always ready.

I thought I share this with you, as sometimes it’s those simple things that can turn our situation around. And it took me a long while before I realized that I could make this dressing in advance…

Best of course are those days when I have some prepped lettuce in my fridge as well, so I don’t even have to waste time to wash my produce. Those days are still rare occasions, since menu planning in advance is not my strong side. But every time I am so impressed by the added ease to meal preparation that I swear to do this more in the future from then onwards… hmm, I think I will get there one day. Sometimes a good thing needs time, right?

So, let’s finally get to that dressing then, shall we? Better get it out of the way how easy it is and actually not a big thing!

It’s a very simple dressing, I have been making for years and I have never tired from it!

And I never actually measured this, just went by approximate amounts and by feeling and taste testing. I tried to make one and measure it for you, but please taste test as well, since we all have different preferences. And you can always spice it up when you make the salad by adding some pepper or fresh basil leaves or garlic or spring onions. This way you have a neutral base and can give it your own twist every time.

You can make a bigger batch in the blender, but most times I just put all ingredients in a glass bottle with a wide screw top neck and then shake vigorously until all the ingredients have amalgamated. Every time before using it I shake the bottle and it goes all silky smooth again.

So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 TBS mediumstrong mustard, less if very strong
  • 3 TBS organic Nama Shoyu (or Tamari, Coconut Aminos or other type of organic Soy Sauce)
  • 2 tsp (or to taste) herbal salt or himalayan salt / see salt
  • 2 TBS honey or maple syrup or a few drops of stevia if you want to keep the glycemic index down

Easy, right?

Play around with the proportions and adjust to your liking. Once you have found your perfect basic salad dressing you are all set for quick healthy meals and the freedom of going for the healthy choice!

If you want to see the ingredients I usually use, you can watch me running through them in this video.

I hope you feel inspired to give this a go and if you do, let me know how you liked it or how you adapted it to your taste! I am always eager to see what you come up with!

Love, Martina

How to beat Cravings with these Chocolate Covered Vanilla Cookies

How to beat Cravings with these Chocolate Covered Vanilla Cookies

 

I love a healthy snack!

 

I love simple recipes! I love recipes that only require a few ingredients and that only contain staples I basically always have in my kitchen.

 

So today it was time to combine some of those staples into a relatively healthy (meaning not messing too much with the blood sugar levels) power snack / sweet / dessert / cookie. Yes, many different names, because you certainly could eat one or two of these Vanilla Macaroons/Cookies in any of those occasions. After your workout, after a light lunch or with a cup of tea. They are very flexible in being called different names and don’t mind. 🙂 They are actually quite dense and solid, so I’ll stick to the term cookies from now on.

 

So what makes this a ‘relatively healthy snack’?

It’s the fact that they are gluten free, lactose free, refined sugar free and that they contain lots of fiber (in the shredded coconut), healthy fats (again the coconut plus coconut oil and nut butter) and protein (contained in the protein powder and a little in coconut and nut butter). Little powerhouses, dense and full of nutritional value, sweet, chewy and very satisfying. Difficult to eat more than one or two. Which is a good thing!

 

It’s like this for me: when I eat ‘normal’ sweets, meaning that packed with refined sugar and often even with gluten containing flour, I can’t stop. Is it maybe the same for you?

In my case: there it goes, the whole bar of chocolate. Or an entire packet with cookies. They might be organic, they might contain less sugar, they might be made from spelt flour… still the same, one cookie – can’t stop.

Different the story with my homemade cookies or cakes or – like today – cookies! They are so nutrient dense and filling that I actually don’t want to eat them all up. I am satisfied after one or two and can stop! Wow! Actually a strange feeling for somebody who has always been ruled by those cravings for more of the sweet stuff! So yes, I have been a sugar addict! And with sugar addicts it’s the same as with any addict: you gotta avoid your drug completely in order to not get hooked again! What’s important to understand about this is that a rapid drop of the blood sugar (which happens a short while after we have eaten something like white bread or pasta or something sugary) lights up the region of the brain that is connected to addictive behaviors! So I am not making this up!

As little as 3-4 days without any refined sugar or gluten containing food are enough  to feel more empowered and in control of my appetite, my cravings. And every additional day makes me more sugar-resistant. Every additional day helps me to develop a good sense of taste again and actually finding ‘normal’ sweets way to sweet and not delectable anymore.

 

But how do you get over those first 3-4 days without sugar?

 

It helps me a lot when I eat a lot of greens, so a green smoothie in the morning with lots of spinach or lamb’s lettuce starts me off in the right way. Whenever I drink those kind of smoothies regularly I feel less cravings and less hungry (and have a lot more energy!).

And I also feel better when I eat food that is rich in healthy fats and protein. Think avocado and egg for example. And of course it’s good to have some healthier snack options without refined sugars at hand. Enters the scene the mighty Vanilla Macaroon!

But before we get to the recipe let me do this:

Let me clarify a bit more what I mean with ‘relatively healthy’

 

Apart from the fact that we are all different and our bodies react differently to specific foods, my own experience and that of my clients has shown me that a balanced sugar free, gluten free and lactose free diet is beneficial for all of us.

So this healthy snack would hit the mark here. But the cookies do contain maple syrup, which is still a sugar. While it does contain minerals and is considered a healthier alternative to sugar, it still does spike blood sugar levels. With a value of 54 against a value of 65 for refined sugar, it is just a little lower on the glycemic index scale. That’s why I usually add some stevia in combination with honey or maple syrup or coconut sugar to my recipes. Stevia does not impact blood sugar levels and lowers the glycemic index of a dish as we use less of those other sweeteners. Its taste is not so great on its own though, that’s why I love it in combination.

 

But back to our cookie, which is a very dense little creature with its fat and protein content. Even if the fat content in it counteracts a little the blood sugar issue by slowing down or delaying the rise of blood sugar, that doesn’t mean we should eat lots of it.

As the old saying says: ‘a little goes a long way’!

This is totally true here!

And here it comes: if you have been reading carefully until here you might have gotten to the following conclusion already: if our bodies are naturally satiated when we consume small amounts of healthier foods, the risk to overeat them is relatively small. So it’s a good idea to always have some healthy snacks at hand, because in this way we don’t even get tempted to pop to the shop to get our cookie or chocolate fix.

We have our own healthy cookie + chocolate fix at home!

 

Chocolate Covered Vanilla Cookies

INGREDIENTS

For the Macaroons

  • 3 cups (210g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons protein powder (I used Sun Warrior Vanilla) or almond meal
  • 1-3 tablespoons vanilla extract (taste test after 1 tsp to your liking)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup + a few drops stevia extract (taste test)
  • pinch of Himalaya salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup liquid (almond milk or coconut milk or even just water)

 

For the Chocolate Dip

  • 50g dark organic chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil

Note: This dip will stay a bit soft on the cookies if not kept in the fridge, so if you want a fuzz-free version then just melt a little dark chocolate instead.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit/170 Celsius.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine the shredded coconut, protein powder or almond meal, salt, and sweetener. Pulse a few times to combine.
  • Add in the coconut oil and vanilla extract and process until combined and crumbly.
  • Add in some of the almond milk very slowly and stop when you have the right consistency (not too crumbly, not too wet, mixture should together when you press it between two fingers). You may need to stop and scrape down the sides as you mix.
  • Roll about 1 Tbsp of the mix into tight balls and place on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Let stand to cool.
  • While the cookies are cooling, melt chocolate, cashew butter and coconut oil over low heat or even better in a double boiler.
  • Dip cookies one at a time half into the melted chocolate. Place back on parchment with the chocolate on top. Once all cookies have been dipped put in the fridge to set and store.

Serve slightly chilled. These will keep in the fridge, in a sealed container, for around one week. You could even make these raw, without baking by the way! Just pop them into the fridge instead of the oven and you are all set!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! I’d love to hear how you liked them!

And if you want more recipes plus 5 great tips you can download my free collection of headache strategies.

 

Wishing you happy thoughts & happy (food) choices!

 

Martina