When does healthy become unhealthy?

When does healthy become unhealthy?

by Sophie Bertrand BSc, MSc and Dr Alison Colville MbCHb, MRCGP, LFHom (med) 

Having completed an MSc in Nutriton and eating disorders, I am very family with the research surrounding the topics of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. However, we are now being faced with the rise of a condition named ‘orthorexia’ which describes an individual that will avoid all foods that they consider to be ‘unhealthy’ thus becoming extremely restricitive in regards to their eating habits. Being that this condition is not yet listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mential Disorders (DSM-5) it can be somewhat difficult to diagnose. Being that my ethos is centred around encouraging idividuals to have a healthy relationship with food, I wanted to ask for General Pracitoners perspective and her understanding of orhorexia to help educate individuals who find it difficult to separate the idea of being healthy and having a good relationship with food from only eating ‘healthy foods’. Myself and GP Alison Colville (also known as ‘The Wholehealth Doctor’) have teamed up to hopefully clear up and answer any questions surrounding this topic.

When does healthy become unhealthy?

Is it when we start choosing organic over non-organic? Is it when we turn down dinner with a friend because you know they won’t have dairy free options? Or perhaps it’s when you spend your day planning your meals for the following day? The truth is, it is very hard to tell. Individually, these can be health conscious behaviours to have but when they start to negatively impact your mental state, relationships or day-to-day life then perhaps things have gone too far.

What is Orthorexia Nervosa?

ORTHOREXIA NERVOSA was first described in 1997 by a man called Bratman who found his behaviour around food and health becoming obsessive whilst running a health retreat. [1]

After a year or so of this self-imposed regime, I felt light, clear headed, energetic, strong and self-righteous.  I regarded the wretched, debauched souls about me downing their chocolate chip cookies and fries as mere animals reduced to satisfying gustatory lusts.  But I wasn’t complacent in my virtue.  Feeling an obligation to enlighten my weaker brethren, I continuously lectured friends and family on the evils of refined, processed food and the dangers of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.’

Does this sound familiar?! You can read the rest of his story at www.orthorexia.com/original-orthorexia-essay/

Although not currently recognised as a disease by Psychiatric diagnostic guidelines, Orthorexia is a condition which is becoming increasingly diagnosed. There are differing views as to whether it is a ‘disorder’, a ‘behavioural addiction’ or an ‘extreme dietary habit’[1]. Particularly amongst those with a history of mental illness or in recovery from other eating disorders. Essentially, the condition is characterised by obsessive behaviour surrounding the perfect diet and other healthy actions such as excessive exercising, use of supplements, and extending into ritualistic selfcare practices.

As I wrote this article, I realised that in my GP practice I have never diagnosed this condition, or in fact, come across it all. Does that mean perhaps it doesn’t exist? Well, the evidence suggests the otherwise, so clearly, we are not aware of its existence, both the individual and the healthcare professionals. When we are eating ‘healthily’ and striving to improve our health or fitness we think we’re far from having a problem and so this is not something that we would seek help about. Interestingly, Orthorexia is a condition where the individual talks freely about their food habits, quite the opposite to those suffering with Anorexia Nervosa.

How do I know if I have it?

The ORTO-15 is a questionnaire which has been developed to identify those who may have Orthorexia[6]. It clearly has it’s limitations, namely in it’s lack of standardisation and also cultural variations. However, it is a useful tool to make a general assessment of someone’s attitude towards their food and health. As a practitioner of lifestyle medicine and promoter of health, some of the questions I believe to be health conscious behaviour rather than specifically destructive e.g. ‘Are you willing to spend more money to have healthier food’ but see how you score….

 

  Always Often Sometimes Never
When eating, do you pay attention to the calories in the food?
When you go in a food shop do you feel confused?
In the last 3 months, did the thought of food worry you?
Are your eating choices conditioned by your worry about your health status?
Is the taste of food more important than the quality when you evaluate food?
Are you willing to spend more money to have healthier food?
Does the thought of food worry you for more than 3 hours a day?
Do you allow yourself any eating transgressions?
Do you think your mood affects your eating behaviour?
Do you think that the conviction to eat only healthy food increases self-esteem?
Do you think that eating healthy food changes your lifestyle? (frequency of eating out, friends…’?
Do you think that eating healthy food may improve your appearance?
Do you feel guilty when transgressing?
Do you think that on the market there is also unhealthy food?
At present, are you alone when having meals?

L.M. Donini, D. Marsili, M.P. Graziani, et al. Eating Weight Disord. 10: e28-e32, 2005

 

Scoring grid

Question Responses
  Always Often Sometimes Never
2 – 5 – 8 – 9 4 3 2 1
3 – 4 – 6 – 7 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 14 – 15 1 2 3 4
1 – 13 2 4 3 1

 

The impact of social media

Probably the most shocking research I discovered was a study done by Turner et al[5] who used the ORTO-15 questionnaire on 680 social media ‘health food’ account followers and found that a staggering 49% of them fit the criteria for Orthorexia. A similar study was done on random members of the public and found only 1% to fit the criteria. Interestingly, these figures are only linked to Instagram and not to other social media platforms. A further Austrian study by Kinzyl et al[4] found that up to 55% of the dieticians they examined also exhibit behaviour consistent with Orthorexia.

Anyone on social media promoting food, wellness or any other practice of healthy lifestyle is potentially feeding into this. So, this begs the question… Are we feeding into this? As a doctor my goal is clearly to make people BETTER or restore their health and certainly not to drive an eating disorder. Ultimately, we need to be aware that this condition does exist and promote self-reflection in our eating/health habits to ensure that we don’t slide into more unhealthy habits. It is so important to have balance in all aspects of life and practicing mindfulness, meditation and journaling are fantastic ways to help us see through our actions and become more self-aware.

How to keep a healthy mindset

Try to go easy on yourself from time to time. You don’t have to be perfect, because perfection never ends. If you forget to meditate one day, or you’re invited to eat at a friend’s house, or even if you just need to sleep and have a bath rather than exercise, forgive yourself and move on. The 80:20 rule is a very useful rule to stick to: eat well, exercise, 80% of the time, and allow some flexibility for the other 20% of the time.

What we have to remember is that good food makes us happy, and being incredibly restrictive around food will ultimately leave you feeling unhappy. Food is to be enjoyed, it is fuel, it is energy, and cutting out food groups such as diary, is not going to have any positive impact on your health unless of course you are intolerant to it. Variety is key, and the more colours and varitey of foods you have in your diet, the better your gut health will be thus the healthier you will be. So try not to stick to such a restricted way of eating because the truth is, it is not healthier!

If you feel that your behaviour around food is becoming destructive to your life then please seek help from your GP, even if it’s just to talk things through. Some other supportive resources include:

www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk

http://www.mind.org.uk

www.seedeatingdisorders.org.uk

Co- Written by Sophie Bertrand MSc and The Wholehealth Doctor

Dr Alison Colville MbCHb, MRCGP, LFHom (med)

Public speaker and GP with a specialist interest in lifestyle medicine and wellness

 

 

References

[1]            Orthorexia nervosa and self-attitudinal aspects of body image in female and male university students / Donini et al / Journal of Eating Disorders 20153:2 / January 2015

[2]            The stigma of clean dieting and orthorexia nervosa / Nevin et al / Journal of Eating Disorders20175:37 / July 2017

[3]            The interrelationship between orthorexia nervosa, perfectionism, body image and attachment style / Barnes et al / Eating and weight disorders – studies on anorexia, bulimia and obesity / Vol 22 Issue 1 pp 117-184 / March 2017

[4]            Orthorexia nervosa in dieticians / Kinzyl et al / Psychother Psychosom 2006;75:395–396 / October 2006

[5]            Instagram use is linked to increased symptoms of orthorexia nervosa / Turner et al / Eating and weight disorders – studies on anorexia, bulimia and obesity / Vol 22 Issue 2 pp 227-284 / June 2017

[6]            On orthorexia nervosa: A review of the literature and proposed diagnostic criteria / Bratman et al / Eating Behaviours Vol 21 pp 11-17 / April 2016

 

 

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Marble bread

Okay so this bread right here, as well as being a good source of protein and great for a chocolate fix… may also be one of my most indulgent breads! Chocolate, banana, cinnamon, vanilla… what more could you want?! It took me a while to perfect this one as I don’t like using too much sugar in my recipes but hey, sometimes they need to be sweetened up to be enjoyed right!? So I think I have the right balance here of the flavours I wanted to achieve in order to give you a great tasting recipe!

 

Ingredients

White marble

  • 1 egg (or flax seed egg for vegan option)
  • 1 ½ cups of wholemeal flour
  • 1/3 of a cup of brown sugar
  • 1 ripe mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of cashew milk
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of banana protein powder

Chocolate marble

  • 1 flaxseed egg (1 tablespoon of flaxseed+3 tablespoons of water)
  • ½ a cup of wholemeal flour
  • 3 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • ¾ of a cup of cashew milk
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

Topping

  • 35g of chocolate of your choice (melted) (I used Raw Halo)
  • Chopped hazelnuts

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line/ grease a 1lb loaf tin. I greased mine with coconut oil, however I also sometimes use baking paper to line the tin.
  • In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients to start the white mixture for the marble bread (this includes the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and protein powder).
  • Add the egg, vanilla essence and cashew milk and make sure all the ingredients is combined.
  • In a separate bowl, you can start to make the chocolate mix for the bread. Again, mix the dry ingredients first and then add the flax egg, and cashew milk.
  • Once both mixtures are smooth (and still in separate bowls) line your prepared tin with a layer of the white mixture. Then spoon in some chocolate mix and swirl it gently with a spoon (so it makes a swirl like pattern).
  • Continue to layer the tin in this way until you have used up both mixtures.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes (until knife comes out clean).
  • Allow the bread to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the tin and then allow to cool completely before you melt the chocolate on top.
  • When the bread is cool, melt your chocolate and drizzle over the bread to cover the top. Then finish off with the chopped hazelnuts.
  • To keep this bread fresh, seal it in a container and refrigerate. (will last around 5 days)

Enjoy! You can see more of my sweet and savoury recipes that are uploaded daily to my instagram page!

Apple cinnamon oat bars

Now this recipe is very similar to my strawberry oat bars as I used the recipe for them as a template for this one. However, my apple cinnamon oat bars are also inspired by the autumn season and taste absolutely delicious as the flavours I have use have worked perfectly together. Whether you keep them in the fridge as a snack, or grab one before you leave the house for a breakfast on the go… these little bars are perfect being that they contain complex carbs, healthy fats, fruit and protein which is provided from the oats. (and of course they are sweetened with a little bit of sugar)!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (can use plain or self raising)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon + an extra sprinkle
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar + 1 teaspoon
  • 4 tablespoons of melted ghee butter
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 medium apple (cut into thin slices)

 

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Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree celsius. Prepare a baking tray around 2- 3 inches deep and 10 inches by 8 inches (these are rough measurements). Place baking paper in the tray.
  • In a bowl, combine the oats, flour and 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Add the melted ghee, water, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and vanilla essence, and mix until all ingredients is combined together.
  • Set aside 1/2 a cup of this mixture and use the rest to line the baking tray. You can use your hands to spread the crust evenly in the tray and then set aside.
  • Cut your apple into think slices and cover the top of the crust (as shown in the photo). Then sprinkle across 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and finish off with a dusting of cinnamon. Then spread the 1/2 cup of the crust mix that you set aside across the top of the apples.
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Once baked, it is important to let them cool properly as the bars will harden slightly whilst cooling.
  • You can then remove them from the tray, allow to cool further and then cut evenly into squares.
  • Note: these oat bars should be stored in the fridge (in a container or wrapped in cling film) and will last for around 5 days. You may also freeze these bars by cling filming them and storing in the freezer.

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Enjoy! SHK x

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Chickpeas & edamame spaghetti

Now I know a lot of my Recipes page is taken up with my healthy sweet bakes but I have promised to start sharing more of my lunch and dinner recipes so that is what I am doing- you can find all these on my recipes page! I have recently been trying out different pasta dishes because we all need carbs for energy and you can get so creative with pastas! Today I am sharing an edamame spaghetti which is amazingly high in protein and tastes so satisfying. I have paired it with lots of veggies and my famous chickpea recipe that I will document here along with some awesome health benefits…

Health benefits of chickpeas

  • Chickpeas are high in fibre and are good for your digestive health.
  • They help at controlling blood sugar levels. Chickpeas are known as what is referred to as ‘complex carbohydrates’ which are slowly released and digested by the body in a way that it does not cause ‘spikes’ in our blood sugar. These spikes are what lead to sugar cravings.
  • Chickpeas provide great nutritional value (particularly for those who have chosen a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle), boasting high levels of B vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, iron and folate. Folate is essential for the body effectively producing new cells that play a role in copying and synthesising DNA.
  • It is important for vegans and vegetarians to be mindful of adding enough protein to their diet, as cutting out animal products could lead to a lack of protein in the diet. Chickpeas are a great plant based protein option.

Ingredients

  • 50g uncooked Liberto edamame spaghetti
  • 3/4 of a cup of chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • A pinch of salt
  • A sprinkle of black pepper
  • 1/4 of cup of green peas
  • 1/2 a cup of broccoli
  • 1 medium carrot

Note: I usually cook more chickpeas than needed as I save them to snack on the next day!

Method

  • Drain the chickpeas from water and dry with a clean tea towel or a piece of kitchen roll.
  • Put the chickpeas in a bowl, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil as well as the paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper, and use a spoon or your hand to cover the chickpeas with the spices.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the bowl of season chickpeas, stirring them with a wooden spoon over so often so they do not burn.
  • Prepare your vegetables, cutting your broccoli into florets and dicing your carrot.
  • Boil your spaghetti and your veg separately. The edamame spaghetti will only need boiling for 3 minutes- the veg a little long depending on how boiled you like it.
  • Drain the spaghetti and the vegetables. (Remember to keep turning the chickpeas).
  • The chickpeas will take around 15 minutes to become a golden brown colour.
  • Remove them from the pan and serve with the spaghetti and vegetables in a bowl.
  • You may want to add sauce to your dish this is optional!

Enjoy! x

Cacao & raspberry doughnuts 

So I have recently developed a lovely and indulgent doughnut recipe–> cacao and raspberry doughnuts! Made with just 8 ingredients they are super easy to make and the perfect little sweet treat… and they only take 10 minutes to bake!

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Ingredients (makes 8 mini doughnuts)

  • 1/2 cup of whole meal flour
  • 1/4 cup of ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 2/3 cup of soya milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar
  • 10 fresh raspberries (mashed)
  • 50g dark chocolate

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius.
  • To achieve the doughnut shape you will need a silicon doughnut mould (mine has 8 doughnut shapes).
  • In a bowl, mix the coconut sugar, ground almonds, cacao powder and wholemeal flour. Add the egg, soya milk and avocado oil.
  • In a cup, mash your raspberries up and then pour into the mixture and stir in gently.
  • Distribute the mixture across the moulds and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes of so before popping the doughnuts out of their moulds.
  • Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the doughnuts. Note: you should allow the doughnuts to cool completely before drizzling with chocolate.
  • Enjoy!

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Who to trust for nutritional advice

Dieticians, Nutritionists, Nutritional Therapists, Nutrition Advisors… who do you go to and who can you trust?

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 14.09.51

Individuals with these titles have all undergone some kind of nutritional training (we would assume) however, not all titles are equal and not all qualifications are equal. The level of study and qualifications required to respectably use each title differs tremendously. You will find some professionals that have undergone years of further study whereas some have simply signed up to a 2-day course on the internet.

Unfortunately, when it comes to food and being ‘healthy’, a lot of individuals think they know everything because they have done a google search. the difference between someone using Google and trained professionals such as dieticians and nutritionists, is that these professionals have undergone extensive and intensive further education to practice evidence based nutrition.

However in terms of people using various different ‘nutritionist’ titles, it can be difficult to know who to trust and to identify who really knows what they’re talking about!

So who is qualified to give nutritional advice in the UK?

Registered Dietitian (RD)

Registered Dieticians will have completed a minimum of a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics that is accredited by the British Dietetic Association. Many will undergo further education specialising in different areas in order to treat certain medical conditions. Their practice is based on nutritional science and they typically work within the NHS, in the industry or in research. They are also regulated by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Registered Nutritionist (ANutr & RNutr)

Associate Registered Nutritionists (ANutr) are recent graduates who require 3 years relevant experience in the field on Nutrition before applying for the title Registered Nutritionist (RNutr). Registered Nutritionists will have a minimum of a BSc and usually an MSc qualification in Nutrition. They will also be members of the government-approved Association for Nutrition (AFN) and practice in an evidence based way, understanding the ethics code of practiced provided by the AFN. AFN membership is only obtained if individuals provide proof of accredited qualifications that meet the specific and rigorous criteria required by the AFN.

Nutritional Therapists 

Nutritional Therapists will have typically obtained a diploma accredited by the British Association for Nutritional Therapists (BANT). Where Nutritional Therapists differ from Dieticians and Nutritionists, is that their way of practice tends to be a complimentary medicine and is not always evidence based. It is also likely that they do not have a BSc or MSc in Nutrition. Don’t get me wrong there are some good Nutritional Therapists out there just be more weary of their qualifications.

To conclude, if you think you have underlying health issues or are in need of a nutritional plan to cater to certain health problems, you will need to see a dietitian. If you are looking for evidence-based nutritional advice to improve your overall wellbeing you should seek a qualified nutritionist.

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin and carrot cake muffins

My first proper Autumnal recipe of the season! I LOVE using pumpkin puree in my bakes and I also love making raw protein balls with it but that’s another recipe! I find ‘baking buddy natural pumpkin puree’ the best and easiest to use and you can find it in Tesco. So for this particular recipe I actually started out with my carrot cake muffin recipe that I have been working on in order to perfect it, but then I though, why not add pumpkin!? What gave these little treats such a lovely taste was holy lama vanilla and cinnamon spice drops… They really do taste like Autumn!

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Now these you can enjoy with or without the vanilla icing- it depends whether or not you want to have them as a healthy snack or a bit of a treat- or it can just be down to how sweet you would like them to taste.


Ingredients (makes 8)

  • 2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup of coconut sugar (I used thecoconutcompany)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 medium egg (of flax seed egg for vegan option)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup of cashew milk
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 medium mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 3 drops of holy lama cinnamon spice

Icing

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 drop of holy lama vanilla spice
  • 1 tablespoon of cashew milk

 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and prepare a cupcake tray with 8 cupcake holders (can use paper ones or silicon moulds).
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, ground almonds and baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl, mash your banana, and add the egg, melted coconut oil, vanilla essence and cinnamon spice. Add this to the dry ingredients.
  • Then gradually add your cashew milk, stirring as you go along to combine all the ingredients.
  • Now, depending on whether or not you prefer a pumpkin filling or you want to mix all the pumpkin in together, add either half a cup or the full cup to the mix. The half you choose not to use will be a filling for the muffins.
  • Lastly, add the grated carrot and stir in gently.
  • If you’ve chosen to go for a pumpkin filled muffin then spoon some mixture into each cupcake mould (only half full) then place a little scoop of pumpkin on top (as shown in the picture). If you’ve chosen to mix all the pumpkin in then simply spoon your mixture evenly into each cupcake mould.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before icing.

For the icing

  • Mix all ingredients into a bowl- if you wanted more of a glaze than an icing then add a little more milk or water to the mixture.

These will last for up to 5 days. Keep them sealed (either in an airtight box or clingfilm) refrigerated.

Enjoy!

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Peanut butter jelly muffins

I am back with a new recipe! Popularised by the American culture – ‘peanut butter jelly’ seems to be a hit with everyone as you guys were so keen for this recipe! These muffins are totally divine as well as being a good source of protein, healthy fats and vitamins. Yes, they are a sweet treat but they are low in sugar and provide nutritional value!

Ingredients (makes 6-8 muffins)

  • 2 cups of self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 1/3 of a cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 scoop of ThatProtein peanut butter protein
  • 1 large mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 medium eggs (or flax seed eggs for vegan option)
  • 1 1/4 cups of cashew milk
  • 1/2 a cup of ground almonds
  • A jar of smooth Whole Earth peanut butter  – (you won’t need the whole jar- I usually use Meridian peanut butter but I have found for this recipe that whole heart spreads better!)
  • 1/4 cup of crushed walnuts plus extra for decoration.
  • My homemade chia seed jam (note- this is for the filling- you can also make this recipe without the jammy middle) or substitute supermarket purchased jam.
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and prepare a cupcake baking 6 lined with 6 paper muffins cases.
  • In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. This includes the flour, sugar, ground almonds, protein powder and baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mash the banana and combine with the vanilla essence, and cashew milk. Gradually add this to the dry ingredients, mixing well with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of the Whole Earth peanut butter then mix in the crushed walnuts.
  • Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into each prepared muffin case, then add a heaped teaspoon of jam on top. Then top up the muffin case with more cake mixture. This will give you your jammy filling!
  • Bake in the oven for approx 18 minutes (until knife comes out clean) and allow to cool completely before topping your muffins.
  • Using the Whole Earth peanut butter, spread on top of the muffins and sprinkle with a few walnuts.
  • You can keep these muffins chilled in the fridge in a sealed container for 5 days.

Enjoy!

You may also enjoy my banana and peanut butter protein bread!

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Paprika salmon with colourful veg & lentils

Hey guys! So for a bit of a change I am sharing one of my favourite lunch/dinner recipes with you, which is super easy and probably one of the most nutritious meals you can have. It is also one of my favourites because it contains a great balance of complex carbs, protein, healthy fats and lots of micronutrients. The meal is paprika salmon served on a bed of lentils with green vegetables and roasted carrots.

Salmon, being the primary source of protein in this dish, is also an excellent source of those all-important omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). These types of fatty acids have been known to reduce inflammation, support cell function and decrease risk of diseases such as heart disease. It also contains essential B vitamins as well as potassium; essential for heart health. I love topping my salmon with paprika which helps aids digestion.

For my carbs I have used puy lentils- I use Merchant Gourmet lentils because all you need to do is heat them up! Super quick and super easy 🙂 Lentils are great for stabilising blood sugar levels, good for digestive health and they’re also a good source of soluble fibre.

Finally we have our micronutrients; which are our vitamins and minerals essential to our diet. I always take dinner time as a prime opportunity to add a whole load of vegetables… with this dish I have added broccoli, asparagus and rainbow carrots. Good sources of dietary fibre, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and other antioxidants.

So for the recipe:

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 125g of Merchant Gourmet puy lentils
  • 6 asparagus tips
  • 1/2 cup og chopped broccoli
  • 6 baby heritage rainbow carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • Wrap your salmon fillet in baking paper after sprinkling your paprika on top. Seal the ends of the baking paper by folding it over. This will take 20 minutes to cook.
  • In a baking tray, cover your baby rainbow carrots in olive oil and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, turning them halfway through.
  • Boil your green veg in boiling water, 5 minutes before your salmon and carrots are ready.
  • I usually boil my veg for 3-4 minutes but you may prefer to boil them for more or less time.
  • Pour your portion of lentils into a bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  • Remove your salmon and carrots from the oven when ready and serve up with the green veg.
  • Enjoy!

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Peanut butter & banana protein bread

So I shared a ‘sneak peak’ of this bread on my instagram last week and you guys seemed to really like it (which I am flattered by), therefore I have written out the full recipe so you can enjoy it too! The taste of smooth and creamy peanut butter goes perfectly with the banana in the bread and its a good source of protein; which makes it the perfect snack!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups of self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 1/3 of a cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 scoop of  banana protein powder
  • 2 large mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 medium eggs (or flax seed eggs for vegan option)
  • 1 1/4 cups of cashew milk
  • 1/2 a cup of ground almonds
  • 4 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts (plus a few extra for the topping)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Topping

  • A jar of smooth Whole Earth peanut butter  (you won’t need the whole jar- I usually use Meridian peanut butter but I have found for this recipe that whole heart spreads better!

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line/ grease a 1lb loaf tin. I greased mine with a little coconut oil, however I also sometimes use baking paper to line the tin.
  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, ground almonds, protein powder and baking powder.
  • In a seperate bowl, mash your 2 bananas well and add the vanilla essence, cashew milk, eggs and peanut butter. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry mix bowl, combing into a smooth mix. You can either do this with a whisk or by hand. Then add the baking powder and apple cider vinegar.
  • When the mixture is well combined, pour it into your prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the tin and allow it to cool completely before ‘icing’ it. When I say ‘icing’ it, I mean you can cover the top of the bread with your smooth peanut butter. Additionally you can add walnuts on top.
  • This will stay fresh for 5 days if you keep it refrigerated in cling film.

Enjoy!

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