All tagged healthy fats

creamy green smoothie

When the weather gets warmer we love nothing better than a smoothie for breakfast. This smoothie is deliciously creamy due to the addition of avocado and banana. Suitable for children - the first time I made this my daughter drank most of it! There is some protein from the avocado, but not much, so if you want to drink on its own then you might want to add a few nuts. I often like a smoothie post run and then I’ll have lunch a few hours later.

Are you riding the blood sugar rollercoaster?

We all know that sugar is bad for us and does us no favours in our quest to being healthy. However it’s not just sugar in tea and coffee or fizzy drinks that is affecting our blood sugar levels. White bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits and fruit juice all convert to sugar within a few minutes of being eaten. Now you might think this is not a problem and you exercise loads so you’ll burn it off right? Unfortunately it’s not as easy as this. If you suffer from mood swings or find yourself becoming ‘hangry’, have low energy or weight that gathers around your belly then you might feel much better by cutting back on the sugar and white refined carbohydrates.

a week of healthy snacks

Kat and I are not really snackers, but with 5 children between us and busy schedules we know that they are often a necessity to keep us all going, mums and children alike. However, with so many supermarkets and health shops increasing their range of so called "healthier option" snacks, it is easy to get confused with the often misleading claim on the front of the packets.The nutritional labels at the back are so often just as confusing. The solution to ensure you know exactly what you eat? Make your own snacks and get the kids involved with flavours. Many of the snack bars sold in the supermarkets or health shops as "healthy" are often still very high in sugar due to the dried fruit content or sugar alternatives used. We have so many great options on the website, baked snacks, raw options, all gluten free and mostly nut-free for a school policy compliant lunch box. We believe that a good nourishing snack should always include protein.

a week of courgette/zucchini recipes

For anyone that grows their own or has family that grows their own vegetables you will be very familiar with how quickly you can suddenly have far too many courgettes (or zucchini as it's known in the States and Australia) to deal with! A couple of years ago I planted for too many courgette plants and I was making everything with courgettes in from cakes to hummus to curries and salads. Well you'll be pleased to know that lots of our recipes contain courgette and here we've compiled them all in one place just for you. The only thing that's missing from the recipes below is a courgette cake - but don't worry we're working on one!!

fat soluble vitamins

If you follow us on Instagram you will know that we recently posted a series called Nutrient Spotlight, where we took each vitamin and mineral in turn and spoke of how it is used in our body, why we need it and any symptoms of deficiency - also most importantly how you can find these nutrients in your food. The series was so popular that we have added them to our blog so you'll be able to access them easily. This week we spotlight the fat soluble vitamins – Vitamins A, D, E and K. It's very important to remember that these vitamins are stored in our body (in the liver) and so it's very easy to reach high and potentially toxic levels.

courgette & chickpea salad

In August we are always looking for ways to use up a glut of courgette from the veg patch! This salad recipe is perfect. It's a good mixture of carbohydrates, green vegetables and fat from the avocado and dressing. This stores well in the fridge (without the avocado and dressing) and so can be taken into work for a healthy packed lunch.

harissa baked cod

At the Health Boost we're here to share quick simple and delicious recipes that you can make and enjoy again and again. This cod is packed full of the aromatic flavours of the Rose Harissa and simply baked in parchment paper. It is ready very quickly and can be served on a bed of crushed new potatoes or wild rice and a rainbow of seasonal veggies!

Let's talk about fat

For those of us growing up in the 70s, 80s and 90s we were told that eating a low fat diet was healthy and we switched from high fat butter to margarine, full fat milk to skimmed milk and we stopped drizzling oil and butter on our salads and vegetables. Thankfully those days are now behind us and finally the message that eating low fat is healthy is starting to be replaced by the message that eating healthy fats is good for you. However, I still find there are many people that cling onto eating a low fat diet and have a fear of eating any fat. The idea that eating fat makes us fat was first touted in the 1950s and since this low fat message we have seen a rise in obesity, a rise in dementia-related illnesses and a rise in heart conditions.​​​​​​​ 

broad bean & mint dip

At the Health Boost we believe that the sure way to sustaining healthy eating on a long term basis is to keep it simple. Few ingredients, inspired by the seasons and available locally. This dip is just that and will make the perfect offering with summer drinks, barbecues served with warm flat breads or corn tortillas.  

French Dijon dressing

A classic French vinaigrette was one of the first things my mother taught me to make. We always made a big batch to last the week, and it's a custom I still do to this day. This can be made in any quantity, just remember the 3 part olive oil and 1 part acidic rule. The acidic base can be vinegar or lemon juice or a combination of the two. When we were little I also used to add a touch of honey, but with a good quality olive oil I don't think this is necessary any more, but do add if you prefer.

a week of salads

We love salads at The Health Boost and nearly every day will have one for lunch and in the summer for supper too. However there's no limp lettuce and starving ourselves with our salads. The key to a good salad is to get the right balance of protein, healthy fats and some slow release healthy carbohydrates so that you aren't hungry again by 3pm. Every salad must contain a palm-sized amount of protein.

beetroot, lentil & feta salad

I eat a salad nearly every day for lunch and so am always trying to come up with different varieties. This one has been a favourite for a couple of weeks now. The lentils and feta provide a good source of protein and the feta and dressing some healthy fats - meaning that this salad keeps you full for the rest of the afternoon. It can be made in advance and taken into work as a packed lunch. This can be made with any type of lentil - but I particularly love the nutty flavour and firm texture of the dark speckled lentils.

chilled cucumber & avocado soup

A cold soup on a hot summer's day is exceptionally refreshing, but sometimes not that filling. With the addition of avocado, cashew nuts and coconut milk, this soup is creamy and will keep you full until the next meal! You won't need to serve this with bread. We have added mint and basil, but do substitute with other herbs that you have to hand.

pea shoot & cashew pesto

At the Health Boost we love a green pesto. Spring and summer provide us with amazing green herbs, leaves and shoots and the greatest opportunities to experiment with green pesto. A homemade pesto is a great base for a bright and zingy salad dressing if you add olive oil and the juice of a lemon. As a make ahead and refrigerate item, it will become your best friend for a last minute delicious meal. Spoon some on top of a salmon fillet or chicken thighs before sliding in the oven and serve with a side salad. 

roots & mango smoothie

When the weather gets warmer we love nothing better than a smoothie for breakfast. It's light and refreshing. The problem with many of the smoothies or smoothie mixes from the freezer you can buy from supermarkets is they are really high in fruit not vegetables and there's no protein to keep you full. This has protein from the chia seeds, healthy fat from the flaxseed and a good mix of vegetables with a touch of sweet from the mango.

spring nettle soup

This soup is best served in April and May when the nettles are young and sweet, but the days still have a chill and warrant a soup. If you've never cooked with nettles before do give this a try - no sting we promise! Pick the top shoots from young nettles with thick protective gloves and wash thoroughly before using in this dish.