The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Chia Seed Porridge

Chia seed porridge…have you tried it yet? This is a great healthy way to start the day with a protein-packed punch. Just mix the Chia seeds and liquids the night before and leave until morning. The Chia seeds with have absorbed the liquids and have the consistency of porridge, then finish off the recipe in the morning and enjoy!

Serves 2
  • ¼ Cup Black Chia Seeds
  • ¼ Cup White Chia Seeds
  • 1 & ½ Cup Coconut Water
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsp Organic Soy Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 20 gms Coconut Flakes
  • 10 gms Nuts (Almonds, Pecans or Pistachios)

 

To make our super simple Chia Seed Pudding

Start the night before.

Mix the chia seeds, coconut water and ½ cup of still water in a bowl, cover and pop in the fridge over night.

The next morning bring the chia seed mix out and allow to stand at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.

Mix the milk, vanilla and yoghurt, then add this blended mix to your chia seed mix and stir thoroughly. You may want or need to add a little extra still water now to get the consistency that you like…these little seeds will absorb liquids almost exponentially.

Meanwhile in a dry frying pan gently toast the coconut flakes and your nuts.

When ready to serve spoon the chia pudding into a glass and top with a splodge of soy yoghurt and the toasted nuts.

 

 

Do You Have A Healthy Breakfast?

What’s For Breakfast?

 

I was reading through the Conscious Cooking Blog and it hit me… about 70% of the recipes are for breakfast. Bircher Museli, Power Porridge, Pancakes, Omelette…so many great healthy breakfast ideas. Maybe too many breakfast ideas?

 

It was then it struck me… that when I reflect on it, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I love breakfast. I love that sense of setting yourself up for the day, setting your intention of the type of day you are going to have.

 

Will it be an “on the go” breakfast, a energy sustaining healthy breakfast, the lazy breakfast, the big celebration breakfast ..or what about that crazy combo …brunch? So many ways to breakfast and yet as a nation breakfast is often the meal we seem to give the least attention to.

 

You probably know that breakfast comes from the old English term to break fast, but breakfast has not always been a popular meal. Recently it’s a meal that has been completely hijacked by marketing and manufactures.

 

The History of Breakfast

We used to be a nation that went out to work on an egg or a bowl of porridge oats but that all changed thanks to the Kellogg’s bothers in 1880 and the invention of the Corn Flake. A breakfast that needed no preparation, simply pour and eat. It took a while to catch on but when it did…WOW. Have you been up the cereal aisle in your local supermarket recently!!! Shelves after shelves, rows and rows, every grain imaginable in every shape, favour and even colour!

 

But cereal is not consumed on its own… no, there are the breakfast accompaniments. As Britain emerged from the post-war years into the economically liberated 1950s, things like toasters, sliced bread, instant coffee, pre-sugared cereals and orange juice invaded the home. Daily Breakfast as we now know it today was manufactured and marketed as the best thing since the bread got its hair cut..

 

I can honestly say that I cannot remember the last time I had such a breakfast. Cereal, toast, fruit juice… it’s just a sugar crash waiting to happen.

 

It just doesn’t seem like a sensible or healthy way to set up your day.

 

Why Choose Breakfast Cereal?

 

Lack of time is the biggest reason we hear week after week on retreat as to why people are still stuck in the cereal breakfast cycle.

 

There is no denying that it takes only seconds to open the box, tip into the bowl and cover with milk. Its takes only minutes to consume and then you are ready to go…oh and don’t forget that the cereal is probably fortified with vitamins and minerals. Sounds like a win win doesn’t it?

 

All those precious moments saved in the morning. But wait… easy come and easy go. Yes this cereal option is an easy hit of fast acting energy that can get you out of the house quickly…but what happens when that fast acting energy is used up.

 

Energy Rockets 

 

Like a rocket blasted into space, your blood sugar levels rise quickly after eating this food and you are literally flying ..for about 60 – 90 minutes. Then you start to drop…quickly. Like a rocket with zero fuel you are on a one way track to a crash.

 

As your energy levels begin to drop so does your cognitive functions, it’s a little harder to concentrate, your thinking slows down slightly, you may become distracted thinking about when you can get your next energy hit. Queue the vending machine or coffee shop. If you do make it to lunch time your energy reserves are so depleted that you are grateful for the carb heavy Meal Deal lunch option (but that’s a whole other blog…read step away from the sandwich here)

 

I understand that time is precious and that even a few moments saved in the morning can seem the difference between family sanity and a house full of crazy. But just because you are time poor in the mornings doesn’t mean that you need to set yourself up for a bad day.

 

The Bad Breakfast News

 

Here’s the headlines… refined carbs and processed cereals are like sugar bombs for the body. The odd one isn’t going to hurt anyone but a steady stream of sugar bombs is declaring war on your health.

 

You set yourself up for an energy roller coaster that means that you will consume more food over the course of the day, you are consuming high amounts of sugar which is linked to a host of disease and ill health and you are messing with your brain chemistry in setting up reliance and tolerance to sweet foods.

 

So make another choice… think proteins and good fats. Reduce the sugar content of the breakfast and you set yourself up for a steady release of energy.

 

The anti cereal healthy breakfast needn’t take a morning to prepare. Below are just some of our favourite breakfast choices, some of which take minutes to prepare and some are prepared the night before.

 

Top 4 Super Fast Healthy Breakfast Recipes

(clink the link to go through to the Conscious Cooking Blog for the recipe)

 

On the go breakfast smoothie  On The Go Smoothie

 

Coconut Bircher Museli   Bircher Museli

 

From the conscious cooking book   On the Go Fritatas.

 

Avocado on Toast  Avocado Toast

Poached Egg with Bulgar Wheat Breakfast Hash

This morning I woke with a real craving for eggs and carbs!!

Normally this would mean egg on toast, I normally only eat bread baked by Julie Brealy as she makes me the most amazing sourdough rye bread which my gut can tolerate much better than commercial breads.   But we have just returned from our andalusian retreat and there has been no baking so far at The Body Retreat.  So no bread for me.

Serves 1
  • 30gms Dry Bulgar Wheat
  • 2 Asparagus Spears, chopped
  • 1 Scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 Avocado, chopped
  • Small Handful Baby Spinach, chopped
  • 1 large Free Range Egg
  • Chilli Flakes, Fresh Ground Black Pepper, Olive Oil

So my crab craving was satisfied this morning by using bulgar wheat. Buglar wheat or cracked wheat is a good source of dietary fibre and plant protein.  While bulgur wheat is definitely a step up from refined carbohydrates it’s still best to have in moderation.

You could substitute Quinoa for the bulgar wheat here and have a great dish if you want to go gluten free.

To Make Egg and Bulgar Wheat Breakfast Breakfast Hash

  1.  Cook the bulgar wheat until aldente.
  2. Cook the asparagus and then add with the other vegetables to the cooked bulgar wheat and mix.
  3. Poach your egg and then simply load up your plate with the bulgar wheat mix and top with your egg.
  4. Sprinkle with chilli flakes, black pepper and olive oil
  5. Enjoy

 

 

 

Coconut Bircher Muesli

The love affair with the humble whole rolled organic oat continues.

Our Bircher Muesli recipe is so simple to make, if you haven’t been making Bircher before you are going to want to make it a lot from now on.

At it’s core Bircher is really just soaked oats… but this simple beginning can be the gateway to a multitude of flavour and taste sensations.  Soaking the oats and seeds makes them more easily digestible and also means that the nutrients are readily bio available (i.e your body can use them easily).

I really like to mix it up and have so many varieties of  Bircher Muesli recipes now that clients at The Body Retreat don’t know what to expect until they sit down to breakfast.  Coconut, Cardamon & Peach thats a favourite or how about Apple, Walnut & Honey a classic but always well received…or keeping it very simple just plain old Blueberry Bircher.

serves 4
  • 1 cup of organic rolled oats
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 25 gms coconut flakes
  • 40 gms mixed seeds
  • 50 gms whole unblanched almonds
  • 2 tbps ground flaxseed
  • 1 apple

While this Bircher Muesli recipe is for four it will keep in the fridge for 3 – 4 days so it’s a perfect make ahead time saver of a healthy breakfast.  Make this up on a Sunday night and you can kiss breakfast worries good bye.

Method.

As always …super simple.

Get a large mixing bowl and add the oats, seeds, flaxseed and coconut flakes.

Now roughly chop the almonds and add to the bowl.

Add the coconut milk and mix thoroughly.

If you are serving this bircher muesli the next day and you will use all four portions then now you can go ahead and grate in the whole apple, including the skin.  Mix again and cover and pop into the fridge.

When you are ready to serve give the mix and good stir and if it is a little think then add a splash of coconut water or almond milk to create a better consistency that you like.

As you can see from the picture above I have topped my Bircher Muesli with a sprinkle of flaxseed and a few chopped strawberries for added freshness and nutritional punch, but you can add any fruit you might like ( add about a tablespoon per person)

Enjoy

 

 

Sugar Free Buckwheat Pancakes With Cinnamon Nut Cream

Who doesn’t love pancakes!!

They are a staple on retreats.  Even on our Sugar Detox Retreat.  That is when these sugar free buckwheat pancakes come into their own.  We serve them with the cinnamon nut cream but on other retreats we like to serve them with some fresh or frozen berries for a little sweet hit.

SERVES 4
  • FOR THE PANCAKES
  • 1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Egg, separated
  • 1 tbs Coconut Oil ( for cooking)
  • FOR THE CINNAMON NUT CREAM
  • 1 Cup Blanched Almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Juice ½ Orange
  • Zest of 1 Whole Orange
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

 

METHOD

 

First make the Cinnamon Nut Cream

 

Soak the nuts over night if possible. Then combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the mix is a little too thick then add a splash of the soaking liquid to thin down.

 

To Make the Pancakes

 

Mix the egg yolk with the coconut milk. Beat the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Now mix the coconut milk mix with the flour until your create a thick batter. Now fold in the egg while.

 

When ready to cook the pancakes, add a tbps of the oil to a hot frying pan and then add a ladle spoon of the batter. Cook the pancake until it s browned and firm then flip the pancake over and cook on the second side for a further minute or two. Continue to cook all the remaining pancakes.

You can keep the cooked pancakes warm in a medium warm over for about 5 – 10 mins without compromising on taste and texture.

Serve 2 pancakes per person topped with the cinnamon nut cream and some fresh berries when in season or defrosted berries all year round.