I don’t often post recipes as I am building up a library on my Nutritional Therapy website before I launch it. I do have one recipe book call Feel Fabulous which will be on sale in the next week or so and I am slowly putting together a recipe book aimed at women for womens health.
Anyway, I do love cooking and experimenting and I made these super tasty ‘fat bombs’ at the weekend. My default comfort food is carbs and sugar but they mess with my mood, energy and gut health. Once of the ‘tools’ or ‘hacks’ I use to help those pesky cravings is to eat a fat bomb. They really help 🙂
My 15 years old daughter loves these 💚
These took me 20 minutes to make (you need a food processor) plus time for 1 hour chilling (you can chill while the bombs chill)
1.5 cups of dried shredded coconut
1/4 cup of virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup organic crunchy nut butter
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (depending on your preference)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
For the chocolate ‘icing’
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup organic butter
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoon of maple syrup
You will need silicon mini muffin/fairy cake moulds or ice cube trays.
Preheat the oven to 180∘
Spread the coconut flakes evenly on a baking tray and lightly toast for 6-8 minutes, giving them a stir half way through. You need to watch they don’t burn 🙂
Once toasted,remove from the oven and place in your blender/food processor and pulse until finely cut and starting to go mushy.
Add the coconut oil and mix to blend.
Add the cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract.
Add the nut butter and mix it in but not too much so you keep that lovely crunch
Pour a thin layer into each mould.
Pop these into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes while you prepare the chocolate ‘icing’
Mix the coconut oil, cocoa and maple syrup until blended and smooth.
Spread thinly over the well chilled first layer and pop back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Once they have set hard pop them out of the moulds and store in a glass container in the fridge.
Enjoy the smooth, chocolatey, melt in your mouth deliciousness.
Quit the Snacks Habit for Weight loss – Body Synergy Fitness
We have all heard the info that says says, ‘Choose healthy options for your snacks’. Instead of a chocolate bar choose an apple, instead of crisps have nuts and yogurt…. etc etc.
Well maybe just maybe even those healthy snack are keep your middle a little squoodgy and the bottom more wobbly than you’d like. Now I am not an advocate of obsessing about looks and size and fat % but one thing I learned about my metabolism is that if my leptin has gone on holiday I am not going to have healthy blood sugar levels and any wobbliness reduction I was hoping to see from a focussed effort to de-wobble myself will be negligible.
I will back it up a moment here and explain LEPTIN. Leptin is the hormone that lets you know when you have had enough to eat. The saviour chemical messenger that whispers quietly, ‘put your fork down or lose your jeans button!’. It works in conjunction with insulin to regulate fat storage and use of calories. Now if you have too many unused calories roaming around your blood this slows the free movement of Leptin from the fat cells to the brain and so the message gets a little lost in transit and you become Leptin resistant because your body is overproducing leptin and not getting a response. So you end up eating more food than you need and become numb to the messages of being full.
There is a proven link between FRUCTOSE and leptin resistance, insulin resistance and liver problems. Fructose is fruit sugar, it is in all fruits to varying degrees. It is also in a lot of processed products, even if they are presumed savoury. Check out the back of the packet on the next thing you pick up in the supermarket and most likely there will be an ingredient ending in OSE (meaning with sugar).
If sugar is in first 6 ingredients – PUT IT DOWN. If there is an OSE ingredient and you are trying to lose weight – PUT IT DOWN
But why give up snacking then? For sure getting rid of fruit for a while will help to reset your leptin levels because of the effect of fructose on leptin and insulin, however most snacking done between meals is not because of hunger and even more rarely because of low blood sugar levels. (there is loads more science behind this but I won’t bore you in this post)
Firstly let me address the snacking for anything other than hunger. If you feel the need to munch on something but are not actually hungry enough to eat a whole meal then step back and ask yourself, ‘WHY do I need to eat this?’. Most likely snacking has become a habit or an emotional crutch of sorts.
Secondly low blood sugar levels are rarely so low as to be life threatening, well not your own life anyway but perhaps that of the person that gets in your way when feeling like you have low blood sugar. Unless of course you have type 1 diabetes and then yes you do need to closely monitor blood sugar. If you are getting slumps in between meals that require pick me up snacks then it is best to look at your meal contents and improve the protein content and add some good fats to your meals to level your energy out for longer. SIMPLE. No one need die in the race for a chocolate bar!
BTW resetting your leptin and insulin and how effective it is in your metabolism is KEY to losing and maintaining weightloss.
What to do if the snack habit is as ingrained in you as 11’ses is for a hobbit. MOVE MORE! Add Movement Snacks to your day.
If you have improved the levels of protein and fats in your meals but still feel the need to habitually snack – then perhaps try and swap the food snack for a movement snack and a glass of water. Now I would love to say that the term MOVEMENT SNACK was my invention, however it came into my awareness from a company called MOVNAT. They (AND I) recommend getting up regularly during your day and moving around in ways you are not likely to do in your everyday routine.
Get down onto the floor and back up again 10 times.
Sit with your chair backwards and swing your legs around.
Climb onto the kitchen counter to get something form high up rather than using a chair.
Hang upside down from something sturdy or even lie half hanging off a sofa upside down.
Crawl across the floor on hands and knees
Crawl across the floor on stomach and elbows
Crawl across the floor on hands and feet only.
So many options – be creative and think movement not exercise.
Oh and also have some great improvised excuses ready for when people in your workplace ask what the heck you are doing army crawling across the office!
I guarantee this will either stop the hunger feelings or make you to scared to admit you want a snack.
Check out the Facebook page for my movement snack in May and to get more info on the BEND AND STRETCH AND BREATHE WORKSHOPS for more confident movement.
The health benefits of tea have been appreciated for thousands of years. The Japanese call their tea ceremony the Way of Tea, usually using Matcha tea. It’s not just about drinking the tea, it is the ceremony and presentation of the tea that is just as important. The Chinese also have tea ceremonies and use teas as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
I married my Chinese husband (who is Scottish!) in a castle in Scotland back in 1999. My mother in law organised a Chinese Tea ceremony to take place. We bowed and served tea to all our relatives as a form of respect. It certainly was a fusion of cultures; kilts and Chinese traditions!
I love my teas and have many different types as you can see in the photo. In the mornings I love to make a pot of my favourite brew which is currently called Morning Kiss (green mate, lemon grass, nettle leaves, tulsi, guaran-seed, red sandlewood, lemon grass, gingko leaves, spirulina, kombucha, marigold petals) 🙂 I light a candle and give thanks for all that I have in my life.
Anyhoo…..back to the teas!!
Black Cohosh root is a herb that is mainly found in North Eastern America and parts of Canada. It is most commonly known for helping women with PMS and Menopause symptoms (hot flushes, night sweats and irritability). It is reported to help with mood, inflammation, headaches and sore muscles.
I have dried ginseng root that my mother-in-law gave my husband to drink. Unless I make it for him he usually chooses to drink coffee (smacks forehead with hand!). It doesn’t make tea like you would get from a teabag. It makes an infusion. I really like it and it gives me a lift. Note: if you are prone to insomnia it may not be the best herb to use as it can be stimulating
Check out this blog to find out more benefits https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/health-benefits-of-ginseng-tea.html
Chasteberry (also known as vitex agnus-castus)
Chasteberry (the name of the berry found on the Vitex plant) ) is another well known herb used for treating female hormonal imbalances.
Here is a link to all the wonderful benefits http://www.naturalalternativeremedy.com/chasteberry-benefits-and-side-effects/
Maca is a root which is also sometimes called Peruvian Ginseng. It is an adaptogen which means it contains compounds that help the body bring itself back to homeostatis (balance).
I use maca as a supplement in powder form in my menopause cocoa drink. I’ve not tried to make it as a tea (yet)
Here is a link for more information http://wellnessmama.com/8254/maca-herb-profile/
Valarian tea is an well known old remedy which can ad sleep; especially helpful if you take time to fall asleep. Disturbed sleep is the bane of many menopausal women so it may help with sleep quality
Dong Quai is Chinese herb known for treating women’s hormonal issues including low libido, PMS and menopause. It is used among Chinese women as a daily tonic (I’m not surprised as it’s a reported aphrodisiac ;-))
Tulsi Tea (also known as Holy Basil)
I’ve been using and recommending Tulsi tea for many years. I drink it every evening as I find it very relaxing. It is another adaptogen and helps the body be more resilient to our modern day stresses. As we get older and enter the peri-menopause years our body’s tolerance to ‘stress’ lessens so this herb can be beneficial.
This link show you all the lovely benefits like digestive health, immunity boosting, blood sugar level balancing, supports respiratory system and more
I am not a herbalist and I always recommend that you seek professional advice when trying any new herbs and supplements
When I gave up drinking alcohol six years ago I became a bit of a tea buff. It became my new thing.
Instead of a wine collection in my cupboard I have an assortment of mainly herbal teas.
But over the last year or so I have be drinking lots more strong coffee and builders tea.
The addict in me enjoyed the high of caffeine, the buzz. I needed it to get through my day.
My caffeine tolerance went up and I needed more and more. My mornings were a struggle without the bump of a cuppa.
The extra caffeine was taking it’s toll on….
my already frazzled adrenal glands
my blood sugar levels
my expanded waistline
the quality of my sleep
the load my liver has to deal with
But I LOVED it, the thought of giving it up brought me out in a cold tea sweat.
So a few weeks ago I started to cut down my intake gradually.
I knew from past experience that if I just stopped I would have the mother of all headaches and feel lousy!
Back came the lemon and cayenne pepper first thing in the morning.
Then redbush replaced my regular black tea. I’m down to one cup of weak green tea per day.
The first few days were HARD, I really wanted caffeine in the afternoon because I felt sooooooo tired.
But I’ve persevered and I feel much better. I can feel my natural energy and I know my body is thanking me.
Why you should considering reducing or eliminating caffeine
We can tolerate caffeine more in our youth but as we head into peri-menopause and post menopause our tolerance drops
It taxes our already overloaded adrenal glands which are working hard to take up the slack from our waning ovaries.
It can make us hold on to belly fat due to caffeine raising our stress hormone cortisol levels. High cortisol = belly fat
It is a common trigger for hot flushes
It affects our sleep, even if you don’t wake up it will affect the quality of your sleep. Deep sleep is needed for weight loss and cognitive health.
It messes with our blood sugar levels. Caffeine pumps up our blood sugar levels and when they crash back down we either reach for the cookie tin or our body has to use adrenaline to push the levels back up. Worst case scenario is that this blood sugar imbalances lead to insulin resistance which equals belly fat.
Caffeine reduces blood flow to your brain which won’t help our meno-fog symptoms
It wires you out and can inhibit your body’s ability to be calm
You can do it!
So can you start to reduce or eliminate your caffeine consumption? It’s worth a try right? If you are a caffeine head then I would suggest cutting back slowly as stopping suddenly can make people feel really ill!
Start swapping teas and coffees for naturally decaf teas/coffees. See link to tea blog for ideas.http://wp.me/p5zNC2-fM
Regular decaf tea and coffee are not great as they contain many chemicals used to extract the caffeine.
It’s Friday – yay! Don’t know about you guys but my weekends are precious especially now that I’m back at college.
Time is something we can’t ever get back.
I don’t like to spend loads of time cooking at the weekend, I’d rather spend time with the fam or doing stuff.
Occasionally if I’m in the mood I’ll spend a little more time cooking and I especially like baking which is not so good for my post -meno belly.
I like to eat well and eat foods that make me feel awesome (which is handy considering I’m spending 3 years studying naturopathic nutrition) so I am always on the look out for new recipes to try.
Breakfasts seem to be a tricky one for my clients to get their heads around, especially if they don’t have much time in the morning.
So here are some ideas to titillate your taste buds, put a zing in your cells and a happy belly
Vanilla almond chia breakfast –This is great as you can make it the night before and add the fruit in the morning. You could take it to work in a cute glass jar.
Green Smoothie – no list would be complete without a green smoothie! This one is super simple and I love deliciously Ella’s recipes
Sweet potato brownies – for breakfast, maybe not everyday but why not? I found this whilst i was researching (drooling) on DE website. I’m so going to make these for my classmates when i’m next in school
Paleo Bread– I have to confess I am a toast-a-holic. My last meal will be toast with butter and jam!!
This is a better alternative to regular, processed wheat loaded bread which may give you a bloated belly and play havoc with you blood sugar levels
So there were a few recipes to try, there are so many options to try. If your breakfast is boring, processed cereal, which really won’t give your body the nutrients it craves, then give these a go.
Your body will thank you.
That’s me for today as I have two hungry teenagers that need feeding!!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend
7 Secrets to a happy menopause
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A message from Tanith
Founder, Mrs Menopause
Your forties are a time of change, I’m sure I read once that’s when the fun starts. The body changes and you cannot stop it. I want to help you accept it and embrace it…..cellulite, flabby bits and all!