Dienstag, 17. Februar 2015


Like I mentioned in my anti-diet post a few weeks ago, I don't believe in any fad diets or detox methods that leave us starving and nutrient deprived.

However, sometimes it can happen that we lose our usual healthy routine for some time and feel we need to take some extra effort to bring our body back to our usual level.

For me, this happened last weekend. It was Valentine's Day on Saturday and of course you are out to do something special and don't really tend to watch everything you eat. Although I always take a box with precut vegetables with me if I go on a day trip, I did indulge definitely more than I should have.
Even during the week that led up to it, I had eaten some sweets daily, so that was probably also an extra reason. 
But the real damage started when I made Meringues on Friday and before, I wasn't really aware of how much sugar it includes but I was really shocked! I expected them to be very light (After all it is basically just sugar and egg white) but I seriously got a sugar shock and couldn't even finish a whole portion. Later that day on Saturday, I had a salmon crepe which was also not so ideal, and Sunday night I went out and had a huge Margharita pizza, plus a chocolate muffin for dessert.

The next day I went for a run and went back to eating really healthily, but around lunch time, I started feeling kind of sluggish and slightly nauseous, so that's when I realised I had to take more measures to get my body back to feeling healthy and energized.

I started including certain foods (some of them I have already daily anyways) into my diet consciously and I already feel a lot better.
In addition to that, I am keeping my caffeine intake low (not more than one coffee a day, but if you don't have to, try avoiding it for a few days altogether), and completely cut out refined sugar and flour for the whole week.

Here are the foods that I focus on in my meals to detoxify my body. They are very easy to add to porridge, cereal, stirfrys and other cooked meals.

I am going to go into each of them and briefly explain why they are detoxifying.

1. Cayenne Pepper

It increases metabolism, delivers nutrients more efficiently into cells, and reduces blood pressure as well as cleaning your arteries. It can be easily added to any cooked meals or even sprinkled onto avocados or salads.

2. Cinnamon

Cinamon has a boosting effect on the immune system and reduces cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (harmful chemicals that are a consequence of eating sugar and white starches), so basically it lowers the risks, especially for the heart, after eating foods high in sugar and hydrogenated fats.
I sprinkle it every day onto my porridge.

3. Cacao Powder

Not be be mistaken with the conventional sugar loaded version you get in convenience stores and coffee shops, the raw, original version of cacao has amazing health benefits and is often referred to as the "The Health Miracle" or a "Superfood".  It protects against infections and cardiovascular disease, it releases serotonin in the brain which acts as a mood booster, and it has extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants that kill harmful free radicals. I love mixing it into desserts. If you don't like the extremely bitter taste, try mixing it with honey.

4. Blueberries

Blueberries are also filled with antioxidants and tons of vitamin C that, again, helps to protect  and get rid of harmful toxins.

5. Garlic

Garlic is an often overlooked herb that can be easily added to pasta dishes, risottos or vegetable stir fries. It is extremely good in terms of protecting the heart, it boosts immune function so it protects agains cold and infections, and it reduces blood sugar as well. Additionally, it protects against cancer and Alzheimer's disease and overall extends your lifespan.

6. Oranges

Due to high levels in Vitamin C and antioxidants, oranges can help brightening your skin and protecting it against external negative influences such as UV rays and toxins. Of course, the main benefit of high Vitamin C doses is the positive effect on the immune system.

7. Olive Oil

High fat foods are often demonised and avoided, especially when you aim to rid you body of toxins and the effects of fast food high in hydrogenated fat, but you should definitely not skimp with this amazing type of oil.
It is very high in antioxidants, has antiflammatory properties (protecting against various diseases), by for example lowering LDL cholesterol (the "bad" type), however it is important to make sure you buy the high quality version , Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

8. Chilli

Some of the benefits include protecting against stroke, it boosts circulation and it thins blood, as well as ridding your body of toxins due to an increase in metabolic rate.

9. Green Tea

I have a cup every single morning, because it is such an easy way to boost your health right at the start of the day.
Not only is green tea incredibly high in antioxidants, it also provides you with energy which you are definitely looking for when you feels sluggish and have eaten too much sugar or other junk. If you want to intensify these amazing effects, reach for matcha powder, which I sometimes take for an extra boost. It is basically like green tea, just about 100 times more concentrated.

10. Walnuts

Another high fat food on my list which should definitely be included! These small power seeds not only fight against cancer and protect your heart, they also contain a unique type of very powerful antioxidants, and it helps stabilising blood sugar, which is effective to keep you from reaching for more sugary snacks due to imbalances and spikes.

I have also been eating other foods on top, which are difficult to photograph, such as legumes (spinach and swiss chard), sweet potatoes and cucumber. 
Other foods to achieve similar results are beetroot or asparagus.

There are tons of other foods that are beneficial if you are looking to rid your body of harmful effects of your diet, but these are just the ones I have been adding lately!

Donnerstag, 12. Februar 2015


In my previous Thrive Thursday posts I talked a lot about the importance of motivation in order to implement behavioural change, which is crucial to make healthy decisions and stay on track, not only when it comes to eating healthy, but also regarding being in the right place to be overall more productive and a better version of yourself, which stands in correlation to making better decisions for your health and acting upon them.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I fall into this frame of mind where I just cannot be 'bothered' about anything. It develops into an apathy towards your health goals and you lack overall motivation. The worst part is that you simply do not care if you are eating healthy or exercise, and even following a productive and focused lifestyle illustrates a burden that you simply feel you can't achieve at this moment.

These phases are normal for everyone, and it also effects people who are normally very discipled and passionate about living healthily. 
I wanted to address this issue in today's post because once you get into that state of mind, it may seem impossible to change pack and it is a huge trigger for feeling bad about yourself and thus relapsing into old unhealthy patterns altogether.

First of all, the most important thing that help me is simply forgiving myself for being unproductive and not pursuing the healthy lifestyle I actually do want for myself. You have to tell yourself that it is okay to take a little break once in a while, and it can even help you to get back into your full flow of feeling and staying even more motivated in the future.

You have to forgive yourself and move on. There is no use in dwelling on past mistakes because it keeps you from putting this energy in better behaviour in the present. It may also be helpful to put things into perspective by telling yourself that being unhealthy and unproductive for three days out of thirty is not much at all.
However, you must also ask yourself if this was maybe a subconscious mechanism to punish yourself, because after reflecting about this unhealthy relapse, you probably find yourself thinking that you didn't enjoy it and maybe it was simply a way of escaping or running away from a problem.

To summarise it, I give you some thought patterns that help to get out of this unhealthy state of mind and learn for the future:

- " I cannot change my past behaviour, so I accept it, I forgive myself and move on."
-  "Being unhealthy or unproductive for 10% of the time is not that bad really and doesn't make me a lazy person."
- "I will not punish myself like this in the future and I will work on finding healthier and better ways to release negative energy and bad thoughts'"

Additionally, it is important to build up a repertoire of coping mechanisms, so that you will refrain from getting into this unhealthy state of mind in the future. I will focus on the main points that I think are most effective from preventing


There is a saying that goes "fail to prepare and prepare to fail" and that applies to all aspects of life- be it a healthy diet plan or a daily agenda of things to do.
I find that if I plan in advance, I am so much more likely to stick with a plan. So to do lists and shopping lists should become your best friends. It is key here to do these ideally a day in advance, especially if you have many things to do the next day that require a lot of coordination. If you have everything planned out, you are more determined to fulfil your goals. It makes a big difference to actually write it down, believe me! So just don't resort to planning it out in your head.
There is also nothing like the satisfying feeling of crossing off points from lists, because it gives you a feeling of accomplishment


The best laid plans and intention can be thrown overboard by really small things that don't go according to your idea, and quickly you find yourself in a very bad place that leaves you incapable to get anything done and all your great resolutions are thrown out of the window.
To prevent this, it is important to create a certain fail-proof routine that conveys you familiarity and security, so you are less likely to even think about doing anything different from what you planned out. 
For example, small things like starting my day with 30 minutes of exercise like running or yoga or going for a coffee at 10 am every morning are these important things for me. Believe it or not, if I don't include these little, seemingly petty things into my day, I am much more likely to get out of control or carried away.
So what I basically mean are certain habits or rituals that are performed in a certain sequence at certain times. The more you practice this routine, the more it becomes automatic and internalized. This means it gets easier and easier over time.


Breaking out of your healthy lifestyle completely might also be a warning sign or a subconscious rebellion showing that you take things too strictly or you are being too extreme and idealistic about it. You have to accept, first of all, that nobody is perfect. A lot of people tend to fall into black and white thinking, so that once they are in their "healthy frame of mind" , they block out and reject everything that they believe is "bad" for them, and they become obsessed. 
Try to incooperate "unhealthy things" into your everyday life in moderation so that you don't feel that you have to restrict anything.
Accept that it is completely fine and even to some extent healthy to not have a perfectly healthy diet or 100% productive day. 

Do you feel that this applies to you? Do you feel these factors contribute to leading a healthy and productive life? If not, what are your tips to maintain this?

Montag, 9. Februar 2015


Another week, another food diary! I can't believe how fast time is going, it literally only feels like one or 2 days since I posted my last one. However, there was still PLENTY of food, so it must be a while ago, eh?

Enjoy reading through my seven featured meals. This is of course, as always, just a selection of what I ate.

If you read my last blog post, this meal might look familiar to you already. It is the Indian curry with homemade paneer, which I attempted to make last week. Check out my last blog post if you would like to know how to make it from scratch. You won't believe how easy it is!

I had this delicious and simple kale salad after an exhausting gym session the other night. I just tossed some kale, avocado and walnuts with balsamico dressing, and it was ready to go. It tasted just as nice as it looked!

This was breakfast from the other day, nothing to special but I really love this combination. I used Coconut yogurt by Coyo from Wholefoods, mixed fruit and sugar free Granola by Dorset. I am currently increasing the fat content (one of the reasons is an amazing book I will review in a future post soon) of my diet a little bit, so the yogurt was very rich and indulgent with 20%.

This delicious salmon fillet was my dinner from Thursday night. I got it from a magazine as part of a "Beauty Foods" series, so all ingredients of the featured recipes are basically very nutritious and good for you, in terms of having amazing benefits for hair, skin, weight etc. The side consisted of sautéed turnip cabbage and leek, plus a cheeky dash of cream with some lemon. I will definitely cook this meal again, it was absolutely divine!

This quick lunch during the week included a chicken tikka sandwich as a base (store bought), but I pimped it up with healthy toppings: avocado, broccoli and a raw carrot.

This was actually last night's dinner. I wanted to create something from leftovers, since we had quite a few vegetables still hanging around the fridge. I decided to make chips from half a butternut squash. I cooked them in the oven for about 30 minutes and sprinkled olive oil and sea salt over the whole tray. Since I don't like traditional dips such as mayonnaise and ketchup, I just added some salted butter. I highly recommend this combination, it's heavenly! I always make my own chips from either sweet potatoes or something like this. I think the last time I bought conventional chips in a restaurant must have been around 6 years ago!

This dinner was made from a recipe I got from Lauren Conrad's website (You should check it out, all meals are very healthy and still indulgent). I used kale pesto from last week's shrimp risotto and baked chicken with mozzarella in the oven. On the side I added some fresh cherry tomatoes. The perfect low-carb dinner where you will not feel you have to compromise.

Have a great week ahead filled with lots of yummy food! As always, I hope I could give you some useful ideas to try.

Donnerstag, 5. Februar 2015


Instead of my Thrive Thursday Series, I decided to come up with another food-related post this week. This time it is a recipe where I tried something new that I had never made before!

So, I stumbled onto an Indian curry recipe last week that required a cheese called paneer. I have eaten meals at Indian restaurants many times, so I knew it was a type of very firm and rich cottage cheese that is often added to stews and curry dishes, and since I have always loved it, I decided to give it a go. The fact that it isn't sold in regular supermarket around UK gave me extra motivation, to be perfectly honest.

To make paneer for ca. two people you need the following:

- 1 L milk
- 3-4 tbsp of lemon juice

That's it! It's more about the technique than any complicated ingredients.

Firstly, pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it on the stove until it is about to simmer.

In the meanwhile, squeeze one lemon. When the milk is just before its boiling point, turn off the gas, remove the milk from the stove and add the lemon juice gradually (on tablespoon each time) to let the acid react with the milk to separate the fat from the rest.

In the end, it should look something like this:

Let the mixture cool down for about 30 minutes, then take a fine dish cloth and use it to collect the firm white bits. Pour the whole content through it and wring it to make sure all the liquid is removed.

Press the white mass onto a small plate and make it into small blocks. It should now look something like this:

As you can see the consistency is quite firm, almost like feta cheese. To make sure it will hold its form later while cooking, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

Now the fun part comes: The cooking! I decided to make a vegetable curry.
It is very important to fry the blocks of paneer just before the actual meal preparation to prevent it from falling apart after being added to the curry sauce! You can use sunflower or olive oil.

I prepared the curry then using creme fraiche and vegetable broth as the base and sautéed peppers, mange tout and aubergines on top of that. 
I added the fried paneer towards the end, and it blended perfectly into the meal and didn't fall apart. 

It tasted very good and I was surprised that you can just make it at home without a lot of knowledge or practise.
Definitely give it a go if you have some extra time on your hands.

It is a great option to add instead of meat, if you are vegetarian or you just want to change it up.

I think it is very important to keep experimenting with food and trying out new things from foreign cuisines to keep your meals innovative and interesting. It is a great experience and a good accomplishment to share with your family and friends.

I can guarantee you that everybody will be impressed and you can claim the meal 100% homemade by YOU, which is definitely a bonus.

Let me know if you have tried it out and how you liked it!

Dienstag, 3. Februar 2015


Welcome to my second weekly food diary. I am glad that some of you seemed to like my first one from the previous week!
This week was a lot of healthy homecooked food, but there is a cheeky treat amongst it as well ;) . This shows I really don't eat "clean" all the time and love to have my occasional splurges.

That being said, let's get into it.

This was a vegan jerk stew I made last night for the first time. I got the recipe from an old Waitrose magazine and since I have never eaten much or cooked Carribean food, I was intrigued to try this. And I wasn't disappointed, it tasted amazing. I used butternut squash, kidney beans, pineapple and tomato and the sauce was made from coconut milk and jerk paste. I served everything with brown rice.

This was my breakfast from Saturday. I fancied something a little more special from my usual banana porridge so I had Dorset honey granola with raspberries and bananas and topped it with whipped cream, peanut butter and some walnuts. A heavenly combination!

This was a rather spontaneous quick lunch I made on a whim because I couldn't be bothered to cook. I simply took half an egg sandwich, leftover salad and topped it with spinach, mozzarella and kale pesto. Sometimes the simplest things are the best :)

This was a heart pancake my boyfriend made for me on the weekend. I wanted to make pancakes and prepared the dough, then realised it would take me ages to get ready, so he took over the cooking. So sweet of him , so I thought I would include it!

So this is the naughty treat I mentioned earlier, haha! To be honest, I never really crave pizza (I have a sweet tooth), but my boyfriend loves it, and it was a lazy Sunday so hey, why not! But it was me who chose the topping (Margarita, my favourite)! Oh, the brand is Doctor Oetker, by the way, it is the best frozen one out there in my opinion. 

We actually ended up sharing the pizza and I made a huge plate of raw carrots, turnip cabbage, green peppers and tomatoes, as you can see. I just like to get my veggies in! (and after all, it is all about balance)

Having been on an exhausting workout that day, I was still not completely full after the pizza and veg, and I craved a healthy dessert. I looked at what was in our pantry, and spontaneously whipped up this amazing dessert, which I will definitely make more in the future! It tasted so delicious. I simply cooked some millets for 30 minutes, let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and mixed them with 2 heaped tablespoons of raw cocoa, 2 tablespoons of honey, a bit creme fraiche and coconut milk. In the end I added some (unpictured) sliced banana and chopped walnuts. I highly recommend this dessert. It doesn't only taste great, but especially millet and raw cocoa are amazing superfoods for hair, nails and muscle repair.

This raw and super healthy low carb Pad Thai inspired salad is by the lovely Rose from The Londoner. I found it on her blog last week, so just google it and look at the recipes on the website to find the ingredient list. It is 100% raw and vegan and I made it for lunch one day. Unfortunately, it requires a vegetable spiralizer to achieve this 'zoodle effect', so I just just the vegetables into thin stripes which was fine, but now I really want a machine like this!

Last but not least, I decided to show you my typical everyday breakfast I have during the week. I cook porridge with oats, full fat milk and chopped banana (usually half). After simmering this mixture for about 10 minutes I serve it with peanut butter (100% without palm oil or sugar), walnuts and dried fruit (in this case apricots). This is my all-time favourite go to breakfast and it keeps me full until lunch time!

I hope you are having a great food week, and that I could inspire you with one or another meal idea!
Let me know what you had or what the food highlight was for you this week.