It is common that in summer, we find it a lot easier to be healthy – fruit bowls, smoothies, salads and water are easily incorporated into our routines when the sun is out and our clothes reveal a lot more skin. We are more aware of what we put into our bodies as we prepare for holidays abroad and the words ‘DETOX’ ‘GYM’ and ‘FITNESS’ become infectious as many attempt to keep up with the newest health fads advertised in the media and advocated by various celebrities.
AUTUMN begins. Our seasonal health and fitness dissolves into a lethargic, hungry groan as the temperature decreases and the days grow shorter. That morning jog seems a little less appealing when the rain is beating down hard and the winds are 20mph; the ice cold fruit smoothie is less desirable when your fingers are already numb and your body feels like a giant popsicle. So…as a consequence, many of us transform into couch potatoes who idly munch on whatever stuff we have lying about the house and despite ‘each to their own’, there’s not many people who would encourage this as part of a lifestyle that promotes a healthy body and mind. As someone who is very passionate about health, I’ve got a list of 6 great dishes that will not only BOOT your lethargy and BOOST your energy, but fuel your motivation to maintain that healthy summer vibe, all the way to Christmas!
- Avocado on toast (for those wanting something quick and easy)
Spread avocado on rye/sourdough/wholegrain bread and top with chilli flakes, pomegranate seeds, tomatoes and cucumber for a simple lunch with a kick!
2. Superfood salad (for those wanting an energy boost and an end to the lethargy)
Avocado, beetroot, quinoa, radish, tomatoes, omega 3 seeds, lettuce, black beans dressed with tahini (a sauce made with sesame seeds)
(Photo cred. goes to Flat White Cafe, Durham who initially inspired me with this incredible lunch that I have before an afternoon workout)
The avocado provides healthy fats, whilst the seeds and quinoa feed your body with protein and vegetables nourish your hair, skin, eyes and nails! Guaranteed after eating these foods you’ll be shining from the inside out.
3. Banana Pancakes (for those who wake up with a sweet tooth)
For anyone with a sweet tooth – whip up 2 bananas and 2 eggs (or vegan alternative depending on your diet ie. chickpea water, chia seeds soaked for ten mins in water, vegan egg); add maple syrup and vanilla extract to flavour and a tablespoon of cinnamon. Fry these using coconut oil (for healthy fats) and top with whatever you fancy.
Here are a few suggestions:
- desiccated coconut
- booja booja ice cream (this has no refined sugar and is dairy free)
These pancakes will satisfy your sweet cravings WITHOUT filling your body with processed, refined sugars. They taste delicious and are actually fuelling you to the max!
4. Cacao Smoothie (for the CHOCOHOLICS)
Blend together the following…
- cacao powder (you can purchase this online or at Holland & Barrett or online- it’s basically a superfood, an unrefined cocoa powder that genuinely tastes like the chocolate we all love)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 banana
- maple syrup
- almond butter
- chia seeds
- plant-based milk (almond, cashew, hazelnut)
5. Stuffed Sweet Potato (for a comforting dinner)
Bake a sweet potato in the oven for 1 hour and stuff it with whatever toppings you like…Here I went with kidney beans, a beetroot and avocado paste (tastes nicer than it sounds), rocket salad and buckwheat.
Some more ideas …
- baked beans
- chickpeas in a tomato sauce (use chopped tomatoes, not packaged pasta sauces as these are full of refined sugar and preservatives our bodies DO NOT LIKE – you wouldn’t fill a petrol fuelled car with diesel!!)
- smoked salmon and cream cheese
- olives, feta and quinoa
- marinated tofu
- black beans and omega 3 seeds with tahini
6. Roasted vegetable pasta (for when you need to carb up)
- Add 80 grams of brown pasta to a pan of 800ml of boiling water and cook.
For the sauce …
Roast at 200°C with olive oil, cumin seeds, turmeric and black pepper
- 1/4 butternut squash (30 mins)
- 1/2 eggplant (20 mins)
- 1 pepper (20 mins)
- 6 sliced mushrooms (15 mins)
In a pan, fry the following with olive oil, garlic and parsley…
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- diced tomatoes
- 50 grams of kidney beans
- tablespoon of tomato purée
Mix the vegetables in a bowl with the contents of the frying pan and pour on top of the pasta. Bon appétit!