Tag Archives: Nutritionist Hightown

SICILIAN CHICKEN WITH BLOOD ORANGES

I’m so in love with blood oranges that I set out to find a dish that highlighted their deep citrus flavour and absolutely beautiful colouring.

Blood oranges are in season right now, and I’m a huge advocate of ideally using produce when it’s in season. If for any reason blood oranges are not available then this dish can be made with navel oranges.

This dish is perfect for a dinner party with friends and pairs really well with fresh steamed vegetables, rice and quinoa.

This recipe serves 3-4 people, is gluten and wheat free and only takes 20 mins to prep.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1-2 whole cloves
  • 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig dried thyme
  • 40g green olives pitted
  • Pinch Himalayan salt
  • Ground black peppercorns to season
  • 300ml chicken stock for quick cook or 750ml chicken stock if slow cooking

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Start by grating the zest from half an orange and set aside
  • Juice two oranges (one that you’ve taken the zest from) and set aside
  • Slice the remaining orange (skin on) and set aside
  • If slow cooking, preheat the oven to 150C, 300F, gas mark 2
  • Melt the coconut oil in a deep pan, on a high heat
  • Add the cloves and chicken thighs and brown each side
  • Turn down the heat
  • Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 mins until golden
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add the cumin, chilli flakes, cardamom, orange (juice, zest and slices), nutmeg, bay leaves, thyme, olives, seasoning and stock
  • For a quick cook, place the lid on and cook for 15 mins on a medium heat then remove the lid and cook for a further 5-8 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the stock has reduced and thickened
  • For a slow cook, bring to the boil, cover and slow cook in a preheated oven for 2 ½ hrs
  • Serve with steamed veggies, brown rice or quinoa

HOW TO AVOID THE MID AFTERNOON SUGAR CRASH

Does this sound familiar? It’s 3 p.m. Lunch seems like forever ago and your stomach starts to rumble and grumble. You start to lose focus and dinner seems so far away.

Well, you’re not alone – this afternoon dilemma happens to me too. It can be caused by a number of factors and can often be solved by simply having a glass of water.

If you try this and you still feel hungry, then yes, you could probably use a little snack. However, when you reach for that snack, you want to make sure you’re making a choice that will sustain your energy. The best options combine nutrient-rich fruits or veggies that give quick energy and hydration combined with a lean protein or fat for staying power. Do your best to avoid sugary or starchy foods that give you a quick boost, but cause a crash quickly after.

To give you a better idea of what I mean, I’ve listed below some of the best and worst things to reach for if you’re craving a snack.

Avoid these …

  • Granola bars
  • Yogurt with added sugars
  • Diet drinks
  • Vending machine options (mostly packed with added sugars)

All of these include ingredients that will actually make you more tired over time. They’re tricky because whilst they give you a boost of energy straight away, they also cause you to crash.

Indulge in these …

  • Nuts and veggies with 1-2 tbsp hummus, plain yoghurt or guacamole
  • Green smoothie (3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit)
  • Dry roasted chickpeas or edamame

These options combine protein and good fats, which give you the energy boost you need. Plus, they keep you sustained for longer periods of time, which prevents you from having an energy crash before dinner.

Keep it clean and simple and always listen to your body.

Love Gaynor x

BLOOD ORANGE MARGARITA

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups freshly squeezed blood orange (approx 8 oranges)
  • ¾ cup freshly squeeze lime juice (approx 6 limes)
  • 1¾ cups tequila
  • ¾ cups cointreau or triple sec
  • Slices of blood orange to garnish
  • Kosher salt for glass rim

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix orange/lime juice, tequila, cointreau or triple sec in a pitcher
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 mins until chilled
  • Wet the edge of your margarita glasses with a damp paper towel
  • Pour salt over a small plate until it covers the bottom
  • Lightly dip the glass with the wet rim into the salt
  • Rotate glass until you have a salted rim
  • Let salt set for about 5-10 mins
  • Fill glass with ice
  • Pour in margarita mix
  • Enjoy and let the party begin

ROAST VEGETABLE & CHICKPEA STEW

This has to be one of my all-time favourite dinners to make at this time of year. It’s real comfort food and is perfect if you’re looking for a simple, quick nutritious meal. Plus, it makes getting your 5 a day easier as it’s jam packed with courgette, aubergine, tomato, onion and garlic. I think it tastes great with a simple side of quinoa, wholegrain rice or roasted sweet potatoes.

The chickpeas provide a ton of nutritional benefits too. The high fibre content helps us poop regularly and keeps us feeling full. The high iron content gives us energy, and chickpeas are a low GI food so they’re great for stabilising blood sugar levels.

So, pop on your apron, and let’s dive straight into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 courgettes sliced
• 1 aubergine sliced
• 1 red onion sliced
• 3 garlic cloves chopped
• 1 x 400g can chick peas drained
• 2 x 400g can tinned tomatoes
• 2 tablespoon tomato puree
• 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
• Pinch chilli flakes
• Salt & pepper
• Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

• Preheat oven 180c fan
• Prepare all your vegetables
• Place in a baking tray with the chick peas
• Add a good drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
• Give everything a really good mix
• Bake 35-40 mins
• Place tomatoes/puree, maple syrup, chilli flakes, salt/pepper in pan
• Heat over a medium heat
• Bring to the boil and reduce temperature
• Simmer 10-15 mins
• Once veggies cooked, stir through the tomato mixture and enjoy

MANGO & SESAME QUINOA

This is a great recipe for any time as it’s clean, delicious and nutritious. I love the way this recipe combines the sweetness of mango with the savoury flavours of the tamarin and sesame seeds. The avocado makes this dish lovely and creamy whilst the lemon adds a tang, and it only takes 15 minutes to make too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 120g quinoa
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 100g pomegranates
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • Salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook the quinoa
  • Allow to cool
  • Peel and chop the mango
  • Peel, de-seed and chop the avocado
  • Half and squeeze the lemon
  • Mix the mango and avocado together
  • Add the sesame, lemon juice, pomegranates, tamari, salt, pepper
  • Add the quinoa and serve

10 AMAZING WAYS TO USE COCONUT OIL

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE coconut oil.

Most people have cooked with it but this Superfood has literally tons of uses. It’s versatile, cost effective plus incredibly healthy. Trust me your body and health will thank you for it.

Read on to find out how many products my one jar of coconut oil has replaced!

Cooking Oil

Coconut oil is high in saturated fat so consuming excessive amounts isn’t advisable for your hearts sake. However, the manufacturing process and chemical properties make it healthier than its counterparts. It isn’t refined, bleached or odorised. But make sure you choose cold pressed and virgin coconut oil to reap these benefits.

Hair Conditioner

Did you know that coconut oil penetrates the hair and prevents protein loss? It sure does. All you do is take a dollop of coconut oil and comb it through your tresses. Not the most glam of looks but I wear a shower cap and sleep with it in. Then the next day I just shampoo and style as usual.

Face & Body Cream

Coconut oil is also a great moisturiser as it’s rich in fatty acids plus it leaves a lovely sheen on the skin. It helps give relief from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and will help soften fine lines and wrinkles.

Highlighter & Contouring

Want the Kim Kardashian highlighting and contouring look? use a small amount of coconut oil to highlight your cheek and eyebrow bones. You can also press a small amount of coconut oil on top of your makeup to give a nice dewy glow.

Mouthwash

It sounds weird I know but let me explain why coconut oil is a great mouthwash. It’s called oil pulling which is an ancient Ayurvedic practice to keep tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease at bay. Remember, coconut oil is antibacterial so it’s brillant for our teeth. So how do you oil pull? It’s simple. Take one tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for 10-20 mins until the oil turns cloudy and murky. This is the bacteria being pulled off. Then spit the oil out.

Makeup Remover

The oil nature of coconut oil means that makeup will wipe off easily because it breaks down water resistant substances. I’ve used it to remove my mascara and I have to say it works a treat! Just take a small amount of oil between your palms to warm it up. Glide it across your skin and use a cotton pad to remove the makeup. Keep repeating until your skin is thoroughly cleansed.

Dairy Alternative

Because of its emulsifying properties it’s a good dairy substitute. Use it on toast as a butter/margarine replacement. Add to coffee instead of milk.

Soap

Again, the anti-bacterial qualities of coconut oil make it a perfect candidate for a soap alternative. And it won’t just kill those nasty germs but it will also leave your hands silky soft.

Shaving Cream

Think about it. Coconut oil is a natural lubricant and so perfect to shave with. Lather it on and you’ll see that your razor will just glide over your skin as you shave.

Cuts & Bruises

Coconut oil just doesn’t have anti-bacterial qualities which makes it perfect for cuts and bruises … it also has anti-fungal properties too. And that means it’s perfect for conditions such as athletes foot.

There are many brands around but one of my favourites is Lucy Bee’s coconut oil. It smells heavenly and 100% pure.

So which use are you going to give a try? Let me know how you get on. Also have you any uses I haven’t mentioned? If you do, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Gaynor x

HEALTHY CHRISTMAS TIPPLES

It’s a given that during the festive season alcoholic beverages are going to be on the menu.

Now I’m not saying these recipes are ‘super’ healthy but they are healthier than fizzy drinks, and beers. And the taste will not disappoint either!

Be sure to give these a try and let me know how you get on.

SPICED MULLED WINE WITH CHAI MIX

INGREDIENTS

  • 500ml red wine
  • ½ large orange (or 1 small), halved and sliced
  • ½ tsp Lucy Bee Chai Mix
  • 1 tbsp Lucy Bee Coconut Sugar, to taste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add red wine and orange slices to saucepan
  • Gently heat on low heat
  • Add Lucy Bee Chai Mix and Coconut Sugar
  • Stir in to infuse
  • As the wine begins to steam, take off the heat
  • Do not allow to boil
  • Serve in glasses/mugs with cinnamon stick

CHRISTMAS MOJITO

INGREDIENTS

  • Handful fresh mint
  • 2 limes, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp Lucy Bee Coconut Sugar
  • 100g cranberries
  • Crushed ice
  • Soda water
  • Rum, optional
  • Dash cranberry juice, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Remove the mint leaves
  • Add to bowl, with lime quarters, coconut sugar and cranberries
  • Mix together
  • Cranberries need to break down
  • Make sure lime juice is mixed well with Lucy Bee Coconut Sugar
  • Tip into two glasses along with ice, rum if using
  • Top with soda water
  • Stir all ingredients together
  • For extra sweetness, add splash cranberry juice if using

ACAI & BERRY SMOOTHIE BREAKFAST BOWL

This acai & berry smoothie breakfast bowl will spice up your breakfast repertoire. It’s deliciously sweet and fruity. And the frozen banana makes the smoothie extra creamy which just melts in your mouth. Also, there’s 2 superfoods added called acai and baobab. These are both tasty whilst also adding a serious dose of nutrients.

Acai is similar to a grape/blueberry and is harvested from palm trees found around the Amazon river in South America. It’s rich in antioxidants, closely followed by the berries, which are in abundance in this recipe so each mouthful protects your body from free radical damage that can lead to disease.

The baobab powder naturally forms inside the hard-shelled fruit of the African Baobab tree. It boosts your vitamin C and iron levels whilst also boosting your calcium, potassium and magnesium levels. Interesting fact … did you know that it contains more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than red meat? So not to be overlooked!

And then, of course, we’ve got the almond butter which will give you healthy fats and plant-based protein. And the berries, dates, and banana will give you, even more, vitamins and minerals so that you’re well and truly set up to start your day strong.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp acai powder
  • 1 heaped teasp baobab powder

Tip: add a handful of spinach for the extra greens. It won’t change the flavour too much.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place all in blender
  • Whizz until smooth
  • Enjoy 😊

10 HERBS & SPICES THAT REDUCE BODY FAT

As well as adding flavour to your food did you know that certain herbs and spices can help you maintain a healthy body weight?

They do this by firing up your metabolism, suppressing your appetite and shrinking fatty tissue.

Not only this they are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and may help fight diseases. In many cases, herbs and spices contain more potent antioxidants compared to many well known mainstream food sources. Let me give you some examples.

Cloves (antioxidants 30% dry weight) and cinnamon (antioxidants 18% dry weight) versus blueberries (antioxidants 5% dry weight). Oregano has 42 times more antioxidants than apples, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than blueberries.

From my experience and research, the top 10 herbs and spices that may support your weight loss goals when added generously to food are:

  • Ginger
  • Black Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Mustard
  • Ginseng
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Dandelion

Let’s take a closer look at them:

Ginger

If you’ve ever had ginger tea you’ll know it has a very warming and soothing effect. It’s known to help relax your intestinal tract and is very anti-inflammatory. It may have thermogenic properties that help speed up your metabolism, as well as an ability to suppress your appetite.

Black Pepper

Contains a substance called piperine which blocks the formation of new fat cells. It also increases the bioavailability of other foods.

Cumin

Helps with digestion and energy production, and may improve glycaemic control in people with diabetes. Also been found to improve memory and provide stress-relieving benefits.

Mustard

Interesting fact, the mustard plant is actually part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25% so you burn more calories. In fact, 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 kcals per hour.

Ginseng

Boosts energy levels, improves insulin sensitivity, speeds up metabolism and so helps with weight loss.

Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin is the compound that gives peppers their heat. The heat effect increases the thermogenesis in your body, which in turn impacts on metabolism, weight loss and fat storage.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice. Curcumin is one of turmeric’s active ingredients, that reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat.

Cinnamon

This spice may help boost your metabolism so helping with weight loss. It’s been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, as well as increase glucose metabolism, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar. So it’s especially great for diabetics!

Cardamom

Cardamom, an aromatic spice with a spicy sweet flavour, is another thermogenic herb that helps boost your metabolism and may boost your body’s ability to burn fat.

Dandelion

The dandelion slows down your digestion, so making you feel fuller for longer. This in turn helps with weight management. Dandelions are also rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin K1, vitamins and minerals, and are beneficial for normalising blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as cleansing your liver.

On the next up-coming blog I’m going to give you some super simple ways to incorporate these herbs and spices into your diet. Can’t wait to share 😊

Love Gaynor x

PUMPKIN STEW

This delicious pumpkin stew will not disappoint. It’s highly nutritious and will definitely keep you toasty on the inside and feeling nice and full on these nippy Halloween nights.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg pumpkins
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 mug brown basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 litres yeast free vegetable stock
  • Handful parsley finely chopped
  • Pinch celtic sea salt or himalayan crystal salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Peel the pumpkin, carrots, onions, garlic cloves and potatoes
  • Cut the onion into fine pieces
  • Finely chop the garlic cloves
  • Cut the carrots into slices
  • Cut the potatoes into cubes
  • Deseed the pumpkin and cut into cubes
  • Deseed the chillies and cut into fine pieces
  • Gently fry the onions and garlic in olive oil
  • Add the rice, mix well
  • Add pumpkins, carrots, potatoes and the chillies
  • Cover and steam for about 10 minutes
  • Add the stock
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Cook on low heat for another 30 mins
  • Stir in the parsley
  • Leave to rest in the open pot for about 5 mins
  • Serve and enjoy