Monday, 31 October 2016

Monday 31st October 2016 - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone.

I know the streets are going to be busy with people trick or treating so we have prepared a delicious bowl of goodies, from satsumas, sweeties and raw energy balls for the health conscious kids.  So have fun, stay wrapped up warm and keep healthy :)

I think offering children a choice of treats is wonderful because they get the opportunity to see that there is always more on offer than the 'regular' sweets and snacks sold heavily and on display at all the high street superstores.

Continuing on from the theme of our 'Challenge 5' recipes, today my mum made a delicious Tofu Burger and it was so good, I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Tofu Burgers

(1)  250g firm tofu (mashed with a fork)
(2)  4 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
(3)  1/2 cup of chopped coriander
(4)  1/4 tsp cumin
(5)  4 tbsp flour to coat the patties (or you can use gluten free flour or polenta)

2 tbsp sunflower oil/coconut oil for frying
Salt & pepper to taste
4 tbsp of water or milk (of you choice) if mixture is too dry.

Mix all the ingredients together and make patties to the size you like.
Fry the patties in a frying pan for about 4-5 minutes on each side and then transfer to a baking tin and bake in the over at 180oC for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Tip:  If you don't want to fry, then you can make balls of the mixture and press down in a greased muffin tin and bake in the over at 190oC for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Both ways are delicious.

The weekend has seen us being really busy with baking and making goodies for both new and existing customers.  We have been making loads and loads of raw energy balls for customer orders and I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who have placed orders.  I think it is wonderful that most of the orders were from mummies who wanted to offer not only their own children but other children a healthier option of treats over the Halloween festive period.  THANK YOU

As it has been a hectic few days, I also wanted to say a big thank you to my mum and some friends who have volunteered their time to help me and my business over the weekend and with this in mind I wanted to share this lovely quote from Stevie Wonder, all about Love and Love needing Love.

Have a wonderful week and until soon xxx

" Love's in need of love today; don't delay; send yours in right away...... did you ever think that Love would be in need of love ? "

Friday, 28 October 2016

Friday 28th October 2016 - Being Prepared

It was an early morning wake up call this morning with lots to do and plan for today and over the weekend.

As Halloween is fast approaching, we have been popular with orders for our Raw Energy Balls and Bites.  I am so happy that more and more people are switching onto wanting healthier tastier treats to offer not only their own children, but other children visiting their door steps during this Halloween!  Not only will the children be able to enjoy delicious and varied raw balls and bites but their parents will also be able to devour our treats.  So it's not too late to place your orders for Halloween, for work (spoil you employees/employers and colleagues), your kitchen mantlepiece for turning to for the tasty snack and of course treat someone to that perfect gift, an alternative and perfectly delicious replacement to the usual box of chocolates you are used to buying!

Yesterday I attended the 'Busy Women Networking' lunch which was really good as I got to meet lots of women from all walks of business and they all loved my raw energy ball tasters I took along with me.  Lots of new business leads to chase up on and looking forward to networking with them in the future.

Today I will be making loads of energy balls and bites, as well as raw crackers and a vegan victoria sponge, a vegan chocolate cake and lots of cupcakes for a childrens birthday party.  As you can see it is going to be a busy day and weekend ahead and with this in mind, I need to stay energised and plan well to keep the body fuelled the right way.

To kick start the day I will be enjoying some porridge with banana and blueberries to fuel me throughout the morning, after my brisk morning walk (40 minutes).

I have prepared my fruit and veg for making juice later this morning of which I will use the pulp to make raw crackers and I have also prepared the ingredients to make a pea & sweetcorn chowder for lunch.  As I always say, preparation is KEY to the success of healthy eating, making sure you have the right balanced foods ready when your body needs it.

Apple, celery, carrot & ginger - ingredients for an energising juice

Ingredients for Pea & Corn Chowder

Pea & Corn Chowder (Vegan & GF)

For anyone who would like to make my delicious creamy soup, here is the recipe, continuing with Challenge 5:

Serves 4
(1)  2 medium potatoes diced
(2)  1 medium red pepper diced
(3)  1 carrot diced into small pieces
(4)  1 cup of frozen mixed sweetcorn and peas
(5)  1 can of coconut milk
6 cups of pre-prepared stock (recipe in my blog from Wednesday 26th October).
1/4 tsp coconut oil


In a saucepan gently saute all the vegetables, except peas and sweetcorn, in coconut oil, stirring for about 10 minutes.  Add the stock and let the mix simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  If you want the soup to be thick, you can gently blend the vegetables now.  Add sweetcorn and peas, simmer for another 5 minutes before adding the coconut milk.  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes before the soup is ready to serve.

This soup is truly tasty and decadent, vegan and gluten free.

Serve with raw crackers or crusty warm bread.

Now off to work we go.  I wish you all a great taste filled with healthy foods and treats. x
Orders now being taken for Christmas........

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wednesday 26th October 2016 - Decluttering! Challenge 5 begins....

As Autumn sets in, the weather is definitely starting to get colder and needing more layers first thing in the morning for my walks, however the views everywhere are stunning, what with the leaves fallen all over the ground, in their abundance of different colours, it sure is breathtaking.

View at 7.20am

View at 2pm

View at 2pm
Yesterday morning was a quiet day in our Virtuoso kitchens so we utilised the time to clear out the shed in the garden which was over stuffed with lots of unused and un-needed items.  It took 3 back breaking hours to clear it out, clean it and then reload it, this time in neat areas so next time we are looking for something, we know where it can be found - that is the theory anyway!

Through the decluttering process, I came across a wonderful spiritual book which reminded me on how being simple is great for the soul, the body and the mind.  This took me back to a challenge I did some time ago where I would only cook with 5 ingredients.  The benefit of this was to think less about all the ingredients needed to create a dish as well as using up all veggies, herbs and foods already in the fridge before they go off and giving them each their moment of glory without over crowding them!


So for the next few days I want to re-start the 'Challenge5' cooking project for myself and of course anyone else who would like to join me in this.

I will be posting at least 1 main dish a day focused on using only 5 ingredients, without losing any taste or flavour whilst still ensuring a good balance in all the nutrients we need.

However there are some tricks to maximise the use of your 5 ingredients.

For example, I cook fresh EVERY DAY, at least ONE MAIN dish daily.

Therefore, being vegetarian, I use a lot of veggies and make a huge pot of fresh vegetable stock once a week, which I use throughout the week for different dishes.  This helps when bringing fresh flavours to your dishes.

FREE additions you can add to your dish in addition to the 5 ingredients:
-  Stock
-  Oil (any you wish to use for cooking i.e. sunflower, coconut, olive etc.)
-  Salt & Pepper are also FREE ingredients you can add to your dish (although be careful as this has already been added to your stock).

I hope this makes sense so far and I haven't lost you :)

So basically my tip for you is to make a big pot of fresh stock.  Here is my recipe:

Fresh Vegetable Stock

In a large sauce pan put the following with 1 tsp of coconut oil:
-  2 medium potatoes, diced
-  2 medium carrots, diced
-  4 stalks of celery sliced thinly
-  1 tsp of black peppercorns
-  Mixed peppers - 1 of each colour (red, green, yellow), diced
-  1/2 small red scotch bonnet pepper sliced into small pieces
-  1 fennel bulb, sliced

*  Saute for about 10 minutes and then add the following and sauté for a further 5 minutes:
-  4 bay leaves
-  1 small bunch of parsley, chopped finely
-  1 tsp Himalayan salt
-  2 tsp Nutritional yeast

Fill the pan up with hot water and turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer gently for a couple of hours.

Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a glass tupperware (ideally glass but plastic is fine) and put in the fridge until you are ready to use.

You can blend the stock before you put in the fridge or keep it simply chunky.  The decision is yours and of course will depend on the dishes you will be preparing throughout the week.  If you keep the stock chunky, you can always blend the mixture as and when you want to use it.

You can add any vegetable you like.  Here are some additional options:
-  Parsnips, cabbage, mushrooms, beetroot, mixed herbs (thyme, coriander, fresh turmeric, tarragon, mint etc), butternut squash, kale, spinach, chard and so on.  Whatever you have in the fridge, stick it in the pot.

What the stock can be used to make:
-  Soup, risotto, casseroles, veggie bolognese sauce, veggie chilli, the list is endless.


Ingredients for 4 servings

(1)  4 large maris piper potatoes (boil in salted water until soft for mash)
-  When the potatoes are ready simply mash with 2-4 ladles of pre-prepared blended stock until the mixture becomes a smooth mash like texture.

(2)  2 medium carrots peeled and diced
(3)  1 cup of frozen peas/ sweetcorn
(4)  1 cup of soya mince (OR 1 cup of brown cooked lentils)
(5)  1 large beef tomato cubed (keeping a few slices for the topping of the pie)

1 tsp of sunflower oil or 1/2 tsp of coconut oil


Gently sauté the carrots for 5 minutes.  Add peas/sweetcorn and mix for another 5 minutes.
Then add the soya mince/lentils and mix for a couple of minutes before adding 2 ladles of pre-pared stock.  Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes whilst all the ingredients come together.  If the mixture is too thick, add another ladle of stock.  Add tomato and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Put the mixture in a glass oven proof dish and cover with the mash potato and then the slices of tomato.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes @ 190oC until the top looks crispy and golden brown.

Serve with a nice green salad and citrusy dressing.

Here is the one I made earlier for lunch.  It was delicious and full of flavour from the stock.

So have a go yourself and please let me have your comments and any tips you can offer me and my readers..............

Now I need to get back to a few admin activities and business planning before 4pm creeps up on me as I have a 'Bowen Therapy' session for work to continue on my lower back and ankle.  I will tell you more about 'Bowen' later this afternoon or tomorrow so stay tuned.

Until soon, I will leave you with todays Thought for Today xx

Monday, 24 October 2016

Monday 24th October 2016 - LIFE

I woke up this morning at 7.30am and couldn't believe how dark it was.  Winter is definitely starting to creep in.

I got up and brushed my teeth and decided to go out for my early morning walk, which I did.  I left the house at 7.50am and returned 8.30am.

I really enjoyed this mornings walk.  The air was fresh and with every step, so refreshing filling my lungs up with much needed oxygen and kick starting the brain to clear away the cobwebs and get ready for a brand new day.

Walking for me is more than just about health and mobility.  Walking when the rest of the world is still sleeping (half-term beckons this week so much quieter than the usual week) is a great energiser, walking in silence, quietening the mind into a meditative mode until your body gets going, speeding up with every step until you get the momentum you need to get into a brisk stride and then after about 10 minutes, my mind naturally starts to get into 'thinking mode' where I start reviewing the days activities and planning what needs to be done as I keep up to the beats of thumping base of my playlist.

I am currently suffering with some problem in my right ankle/heel area and although the first few steps are quite painful, I walk through this initial pain, giving my ankle a chance to stretch, well needed stretch after being immobile in bed for the last 8 or so hours, and after about 5 or so minutes, it has loosened up and fought through the pain into a nice steady stride and I'm happy to go with the flow.

I was recently told by a very good friend that as we get older, our bodies experience many aches and pains, niggles, swellings and for some, much more intense symptoms that can only be addressed through medical intervention.  However, in the early stages of trying to overcome these initial aches and pains, the best way to fight through it is to keep the body as mobile as possible and to reduce the amount of sitting throughout the day.  After this comment and also being introduced to this wonderful book by my sister 'Sitting Kills, Moving Heals' by Joan Vernikos, I keep as mobile as possible by walking daily (even if it is in short bursts a few times throughout the day) and also whilst working in my home office, getting up at regular intervals to move around the house, whether to cook, make a drink, walk around the garden, just anything to keep mobile and the muscles supple.

When I don't keep mobile, and of course there are times where I get carried away with tasks at hand, I really feel it in my body (stiffness, aches and pains) and I also notice a shift in my mood in so much as total focus on what I am doing that I forget other priorities (people, food, drink, walking, etc).

So in summary activity, ANY form of movement, is important for both body and mind and I swear by this from personal experience and personal testing of my own body and mind!

The other book I am also enjoying and dip in out of regularly is 'The Prime' by Kulreet Chaudhry which is about preparing and repairing the body for spontaneous weight loss.  It is not difficult to follow however you need discipline to prepare the foods and supplements and herbs etc. that need to be consumed daily and although on the whole I am a disciplined person, I find it hard to coordinate all the activities highlighted in the book with my own activities working from home however, after picking this book up again this morning, I am aiming to bring this into my existing daly food and drinks plan so watch this space....and my progress!

After all this, my breakfast consisted of the following and I am still working through my drinks as I type this blog update and catch up on emails.

Sometimes in the mornings, when I am working in my home office, I listen to Radio 2 and this morning I heard this beautiful Irish priest quote this wonderful 'Thought for Today' which I loved and wanted to share with you.

So leaving you with this lovely thought and looking through my 'to do' list and applying this wonderful quote to a few tasks and situations, I wish you a lovely Monday, filled with love and light and most importantly, good food and good movement x

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sunday 23rd October 2016 - Pumpkin Mania

Apologies as it has been a few days since my last update, however it has been a busy and productive few days.

Most of the time has been catching up with friends (Friday in Cambridge & Saturday in Milton Keynes), pumpkin picking, business meetings planning for wonderful new activities unfolding in 2017 as well as shopping, baking, making, cooking and trying to relax in between, which hasn't really happened and my body can feel it :)

As I mentioned above, I went pumpkin picking near Cambridge on Friday and came home with 6 pumpkins, all picked by my fair hands and over the last few days, I have been busy making delicious goodies, from food, to cake, snacks, pies, even Raw energy balls made with this ONE delicious vegetable as the main show stopper, and that is so versatile.

I LOVE pumpkin however previously, I struggled to know what to do with it.  Now, I feel I am more experienced and exposed to this delicious and nutritious vegetable that I can be quite creative with it.

So here are some pictures to get entice you to experiment with this wonderful veg:

Pumpkin Picking

I am going to share with you useful tips on how to cook your pumpkin the EASY way where you don't have to struggle with peeling for hours and ending up with achy hands and wrists and arms and shoulders and neck :)

Heat your oven to 120oC.  Wash the pumpkin with cold water.  Put it in a baking dish/pan and cook for about 2 hours (check on it regularly).

After about 2 hours, check that the outer skin is soft to touch and you will know it is ready.

Let it cool for about 30 minutes.

Cut and remove the seeds (to roast later) and the stringy bits (throw away).

Start to cut away the skin (which will now come away nicely and easily).

Now you have pumpkin flesh to do with as you please.

Below, I made 1) Soup with lots of delicious pumpkin seeds, 2) Hummus 3) Roasted pumpkin (used in soup and for curry), sweet pumpkin tarts

Roasted pumpkin

Roasted pumpkin seeds (with a little spray of soy sauce for saltiness)

Pumpkin & Coconut Soup with roasted pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin, Cinnamon & Paprika Hummus

Pumpkin soup, Pumpkin Curry with Basmati rice

Pumpkin Tarts

If you want any of the above recipes, please comment and I will upload onto my recipe page on my website.

All the dishes are VEGAN and gluten free.

And to top it all, not only is this vegetable tasty, it carries with it lots of health benefits.

And as I am writing this very blog, I am treating myself to afternoon tea in my home office and enjoying a cup of tea with one of my warm pumpkin tarts.  What better way to work and treat yourself on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

So the rest of the day is catching up on admin tasks, more business planning and then after that is finished, which I aim to complete by 5pm, I will be relaxing and spending some time with my mum and hoping she is cooking something delicious for dinner as I am all 'cooked' out.

And I leave you now to enjoy the rest of this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, with this wonderful Thought for Today by Louise Hay:


I remember that life loves me.
I let love find me at the perfect time.
~ Louise Hay

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Wednesday 19th October 2016 - Stay Healthy

Another gorgeous morning kick started with 40 minutes brisk walk around the neighbourhood....... the streets quiet, everyone still tucked away in their warm beds, the silence giving me a sense of calm and peace.

When I walk, I listen to an inspirational talk to get the morning started off in a positive live, giving me inspiration for the day ahead before the fast funky music kicks in to enable me to walk to the right speed........wonderful way to begin the day!

This morning has been full of admin work ordering new boxes and equipment for cakes and our new raw energy bites as well as some light book keeping and of course preparing for lunch later as I have a busy morning out of the house shopping and running errands.

Lunch:  Tortilla wraps with a delicious mushroom and mixed pepper sauce, topped with coconut cream and lots of salad.  I will share recipe and pictures with you later.

One thing I did want to share with you is that, over the past month, I have been working with a good friend of mine, not only talking about healthy and nutritious foods and drinks, but also enjoying them and seeing what the effects are on our bodies and minds.  My friend is following a gluten free diet and although has chicken from time to time, on the whole, enjoys a vegetarian diet and often comes to me for recipes and ideas.  This is where Virtuoso Food 4 Thought comes into play, in being able to provide good balanced meal plans and recipe cards for those needing a boost in ideas and a boost in their diet plans.

So over the past month I have shared with her some delicious vegetarian and vegan meal plans, filled with lots of natural plant based proteins as well as sharing delicious and nutritious recipes for fresh juices and smoothies to ensure the body gets the right vitamins and minerals.  From her feedback last Friday, she has felt a significant increase in energy levels as well as concentration and a general feeling of 'well-being'.  She walks a lot and has seen herself pushing her self more and longer on her walks and speeding up even though the body is some what challenging at times.

However, on Monday, unfortunately, on one of her walks, whilst out walking her dog, she fell quite badly and the result were both arms and wrists sprained, some injury to the face and teeth and a split lip which has now nicely swollen into a 'fat lip'.  After speaking with her this morning on FaceTime, she did tell me, through all the strained laughing, that although it looks like she has taken a bad fall and the looks are much worse than how she feels, she feels 'healthy'.  I asked what she meant.  She informed me that her body doesn't feel quite as bad as perhaps it would/could of if her diet regime wasn't so good and healthy and full of the right nutrients had she not been eating so well before hand. As I mentioned, she is quite accident prone, and through many literal 'ups and downs' over the past 6-9 months, this last incident hasn't been quite so bad physically or mentally on her.

To summarise, I know that regardless of what health challenges we face, if we eat and drink right, ensuring the body gets what its needs in terms of healthy nutrition, good carbs, good fats, good protein, good sugars, all as part of a balanced diet, then the body is kind to us when it is challenged with falls, sprains, aches and pains, and even some dis-eases the body goes through.

Does that make sense?

I am so happy to be a positive instrument in someone else's life, least my own and my my mums and other family and friends, where I can see that my passion for good food and good drink helps not only myself but others.  All we need sometimes is a guiding light to lead us on the right paths and of course to share wonderful delicious nutritious recipes where sometimes we struggle to see through the darkness...........

Have a lovely day, until soon, with love, health and light xxx

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tuesday 18th October 2016

After a morning full of rain and feeling rather quite chilly (heating on, jacket on, hot drinks drunk all morning), the sun came out.

The morning has proved extremely busy with managing orders and catching up on admin and some house errands, however I managed to get out in the sun for a brisk 50 minute walk and got caught in the last 10 minutes under a rain cloud so walked even brisker to get home!  So needless to say, on my return home, I was even colder and got busy cooking in front of the gas cooker to warm up.

I prepared a delicious lunch of pumpkin soup followed up by butternut squash curry & rice.  I love being prepared so that when my hunger kicks in, I know I am fully accommodated for.

Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Cream & Paprika

Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas & Brown Rice

Recipes for both of these delicious dishes can be found on my website under 'Recipes' under 'Savoury' ...

Ok as today is a busy day for me, I am going to keep this brief however I would love for you also to not only enjoy my recipes, but to also share some of your fantastic recipes and pictures that we can all learn from and enjoy.  Don't be shy, as the saying goes.....Sharing is Caring x

Monday, 17 October 2016

Monday 17th October 2016

It's been a few days since I last wrote and that is simply due to lots going on.

For those of you following me/Virtuoso Foods on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram), you will see that yesterday afternoon we released our new name:  Virtuoso:  Food 4 Thought and its associated new rebranding which I am very excited about.

The thought behind these changes are purely that we are starting to do more than take 'food/cake orders' and are offering a more holistic view on the service we offer, in so much as health and nutrition hints and tips, free recipes, recipes focused on specific diets and allergies (vegan, raw, gluten free, no added sugars etc.), Blogging and so much more.  It is about offering more information on 'whole foods' and 'plant based foods', the impacts it has on our body and mind and offering less/NO processed foods full of ingredients that people are becoming intolerant to.

Needless to say, these changes are something I am passionate about, not only for me to learn more about and grow with and eat, but to also be able to provide all this information and so much more to you all.

This has been something on the cards for some time after numerous requests from my customers and also of course, the way the market, trends and individuals food growth and habits are expanding and heading towards.

In addition to this, I am going to focus more on our biggest seller and that is our 'Raw Energy Treats' which, moving forward, we will be offering in 2 formats:  'Balls' & 'Bites', hence our new logo on this.

I will be offering more of a variety of flavours taking into account more 'super' fruits and supplements as well as some traditional flavours and seasonal flavours.  So keep an eye out on Facebook and the Website for more information on these new flavours, new quantities and our new packaging.

I believe that the reason why 'Raw Energy Balls/Bites' are so popular now in this day and age is because there is more focus on 'no/less sugar' and 'no/less' processed foods and these raw treats provide a delicious, healthy alternative to the normal snacks we usually reach out to, especially at those slumps in the day when we feel we need a 'sugar fix'.  These raw treats provide natural sugars and fats that are consumer much slower in the blood stream and don't cause us to have the peaks that the regular snacks give our bodies and that a lot of us are finding hard to digest!

A few facts about the ingredients that go into our 'raw treats'.




These are only a few of the main ingredients we add to our raw treats and as you can see, our balls and bits are full of goodness and nutrition and being natural, as long as eaten as part of a balanced diet, they are great for you.  They are also great for children to substitute for their usual sugar loaded snacks and a tasty snack for the lunch boxes as well as adults to enjoy at home or work.

We have also started providing some business with our delicious 'raw treats' to offer both their employees and their customers.  This is becoming a great part of 'business life' and a new trend in offering health in a ball or bite.  So if you are interested in offering these delicious treats at work, please do not hesitate to contact us to see what we can offer you.

Having said all this about our Raw Treats, this won't stop us continuing in providing our popular traditional cakes and raw cakes and treats!

As always, I invite you to comment on anything you feel you would like to comment on, share with us, feedback on and even suggest improvements etc........ this BLOG is really also about getting you involved in what I do and what I offer.

So with this in mind, I leave you with this great poster I came across early this morning.

With much health and love x

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Thursday 13th October 2016 - Challenges

Another gorgeous morning greeted me although slightly different to the usual sun - it was a little foggy and wet!

View from my car window first thing

However it was beautiful as I headed out with mum to do a little shopping (key items I obviously missed from my pre-mum coming shop)!

Porridge with banana and sunflower seeds

However now back home, nicely fed on homemade porridge with banana and as mum rests, I am in my home office catching up on work, always focused surrounded by water, cup of green & cranberry tea, my supplements and a little raw energy bite (coffee & walnut flavour) for later just in case........

This morning is going to be spent business planning and working on sending out my next Autumn Newsletter (so if you haven't already signed up, please do so on the website so you can receive this great edition).

This afternoon is going to occupied with making lots of raw energy balls and bites and raw brownies and cakes for some new customers, so feeling grateful to be given the opportunity to share these delicious treats with new people.

Coming up to Halloween, only 2 weeks away now, we are getting quite booked with orders for special cakes, especially cupcakes, which are becoming more and more popular, so if you want to place an order, get in quick as we only have a few slots left to fill for cake baking and making!

Virtuoso Foods is going through a few distinct changes over the coming months and you will be informed of these in stages over the coming weeks.  It is an exciting time for me as well as quite challenging as with any new ventures and ideas, to bring it to fruition, takes a lot of planning, action and then of course delivering these in a beautiful way for you all to enjoy.  So keep in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course our Website, however to be the first to hear about these changes as these happen, sign up with us on our website so you will receive the news first hand by email and regular newsletters.
(to sign up to be on our distribution list)

Food wise, I have just put on some rice to make avocado sushi rolls later (rice takes a couple of hours to cool down before you can use it so planning is definitely needed).  Can't wait.

So until soon, I will leave you with my favourite quote on challenges.  Have a lovely day x

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Wednesday 12th October 2016 - Nutrition

Another beautiful morning greets us this morning here in the UK.

My mum is returning from the US today and I am so looking forward to seeing her after a month away.

In preparation, I decided to make a delicious healthy nutritious soup full of veggie goodness as I know what its like to travel and be fed on not so nutritious food and being tired, needing good food to empower the body and mind.

I have named my soup 'Veggie Hot Pot' as it is a pot of pure goodness.  Here is the recipe for you to try at home.


Serves 4

The good thing about this dish is that you can make it as chunky or 'soupy' as you like, so the decision is yours!

3 stalks of celery, sliced
1/2 bulb of fennel, sliced
1 medium potato, cubed
1 medium raw beetroot, cubed
2 large carrots, sliced and cubed
1/2 cup of mixed lentils (red lentils, green split peas, brown lentils, whatever you like) - rinse first
1 red pepper, cubed
1 200g bag of fresh spinach
1/2 cup of fresh coriander chopped (including stalks) - keep a tbsp aside for sprinkling on serving
1/2 cup of fresh parsley chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme (or dried if you don't have fresh)
Salt & pepper to taste
6 cups of vegetable stock
Juice from 1 lime (or lemon)
1 tsp of coconut oil (or sunflower)


1.  In a saucepan, sauté the celery and fennel in the coconut oil for a couple of minutes.
2.  Add the carrots, beetroot, potato & pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes.
3.  Add the stock water and bring to the boil, add the lentils and turn the head down to low so the mix can simmer gently and all the veggies and lentils can cook - about 30 minutes.
4.  Add salt and pepper.
5.  Once all veggies and lentils are cooked, add the spinach, parsley and coriander and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
6.  When you come to serve, dish up in soup bowls, sprinkle with some coriander, add a drizzle of the lime juice and serve with some crusty warm bread or raw crackers are equally delicious.

This dish has nothing but pure goodness, nutrients and vitamins and is so versatile that you can add whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, whatever flavours you like and you can eat this throughout the day.  Also great to have in your fridge for that quick snack in between meals.


It is now 12.20pm.  Mum arrived speedily at around 10.45am, looking well and hungry so I am thankful that I made the above soup first thing this morning.

After catching up with some tea, we had lunch at 11.30am as mum was tired, hungry and wanted to go to bed.  She loved the soup, it smelt fab and tasted wonderful and mum loved it so a big thumbs up for this dish.

Now mum is sleeping and I am catching up with my blog and business planning tasks.

It feels so good to feel nicely full yet satisfied and light leaving way for me to get down and focus on tasks at hand without thinking of food constantly!

Today I wanted to leave you with this lovely quote I came across this morning.

Your conscience is a good friend.
Listen to it more often!
Have a wonderful day everyone x