Healthy Whole Me https://www.healthywholeme.com Dani's Blog about Healthy Family Recipes, Yoga and Beating Cancer Fri, 09 Nov 2018 07:35:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://www.healthywholeme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-Favicon-32x32.jpg Healthy Whole Me https://www.healthywholeme.com 32 32 Warming Butter bean Soup https://www.healthywholeme.com/warming-butter-bean-soup/ https://www.healthywholeme.com/warming-butter-bean-soup/#respond Thu, 08 Nov 2018 15:08:39 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1665 I often get asked how I come up with my recipes and this Warming Butter Bean Soup is a classic example. I saw a photo of this warming, rich and...

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I often get asked how I come up with my recipes and this Warming Butter Bean Soup is a classic example. I saw a photo of this warming, rich and moorish looking thick soup on social media and I felt immediately drawn to it. A hearty bean soup like that is so comforting on those cold autumn days and it looked simple to make. Plus, the lovely guy who’s posted the picture on Instagram added the ingredients he used in his captions. And I wasn’t worried about quantities, as I always make up so much that I have leftovers for at least my lunch for the next day. Additionally I just swapped some ingredients.

Using butter beans whilst the recipe said broad beans (why not!) and using a normal onion instead of spring onions means that I just use what I have available, rather than going out and buying lots of stuff. I always substitute ingredients or cut corners in cooking to make my life easier!

I always substitute ingredients or cut corners in cooking to make my life easier!

So off I went, I bought a couple of tins of butter beans 聽and my main meal inspo for the day was done. A few ingredients only, warming butter bean soup. Perfect! I then went to teach a class of yoga and after that my mother in law stopped by for a quick cup of tea. I love chatting and cooking at the same time, so I started to chop my onions and prepped the other bits I needed, got the soup cooking and loved talking about this and that with Dee.

This soup cooks in no time so we could have a taste of it before we had even finished our cup of tea. The verdict: Nice. Yum! A great taste. BUT…..

There is often a BUT and that’s when the MAGIC happens 馃槈 Dee said I could puree the majority of the soup (leaving some of the beans aside) as this will make it creamy and therefore much more appealing to the kids. And she was so right. I put a couple of spoons of beans aside, gave the soup a blitz in my food processor and then added the whole beans in again.

This process meant that our warming butter bean soup was a sure favourite with the kids and both Tim (my hubby) and I loved this absolutely delicious soup!

There are millions of fantastic recipes out there – but I feel that a recipe is only then perfect if you enjoy cooking it & you love eating it.

So for this particular recipe I have to thank @the_bethnal_greens family for the inspiration for this classic Syrian dish (aka foul mdamass) and my lovely mother in law Dee, who has always been and always will be at the core of my food and health inspiration. Without her, I might use sugar instead of salt and other crazy substitutes, just because it’s easy 馃檪

Anyway, enough blabbering on, here is the recipe for this tasty

Warming Butter Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

1tbsp love oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tins of butter beans, drained and washed

1 tin on chopped tomatoes

500ml vegetable stock

2 handfuls of parsley, chopped

1tsp cumin powder

2 tbsp tomato puree

Juice of 1 lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour olive oil into a large pot and heat.

Fry onions for a minimum of 8 minutes until soft.

Add garlic, cumin powder, tomato puree and mix well until the kitchen smells amazing.

Add beans, chopped tomatoes and parsley and cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove a couple of large spoons of the beans and set aside.

Puree the rest of the soup with a hand held blender or in your food processor.

The beans breaking up will make the soup creamy and delicious in taste.

Add lemon juice and fold under the remaining beans that were set aside.

Add chilli flakes and perhaps some more lemon juice to taste and sprinkle for parsley when serving.

Tips:

  1. You could add a handful of cashew nuts to your soup and blend this with the beans. It鈥檒l add creaminess and good fats.
  2. Make up lots of this soup and keep it in the fridge for up to three days to enjoy for a second meal.
  3. Broad beans work very well in this recipe too.

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Roasted whole stuffed cauliflower recipe https://www.healthywholeme.com/roasted-whole-stuffed-cauliflower-recipe/ Tue, 02 Oct 2018 13:43:43 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1657 This roasted whole stuffed cauliflower recipe does not only just look fantastic it is so delicious too. Be sure that your guests will be surprised when you cut into your...

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This roasted whole stuffed cauliflower recipe does not only just look fantastic it is so delicious too. Be sure that your guests will be surprised when you cut into your whole roasted cauliflower to reveal this creamy and rich filling. A great recipe if you are entertaining, or add it to your list for a winter lunch!
Roasted whole stuffed cauliflower recipe
INGREDIENTS

1 large or 2 small cauliflowers

4 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

50g chopped nuts

1 tsp ground turmeric

100g pomegranates

For the stuffing

1 onion, chopped

200g spinach

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

120g cashews

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground ginger

A sprinkle of nutmeg

Salt and pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Bring 2 large pans of salted water to boil.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degree fan. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

In the meantime discard the cauliflower leaves. Turn cauliflower upside down and use. Knife to carefully cut out the stalk in the middle. Make a little hole but make sure to keep enough on it for the florets to stay together.

Cook cauliflower for 8 minutes. Remove carefully and set aside.

Don鈥檛 discard the hot water. Place spinach into the hot water for 1 minute or so and remove. Set aside.

Meanwhile, make your stuffing. In a frying pan, fry your onion until translucent. Add wilded spinach, cashews nuts, spices and fry for 5 minutes. Stir continuously. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let cool slightly.

Then mix in a food processor until you have a creamy green puree.

Transfer to a piping bag.

Re-use the same frying pan and chuck in your chopped nuts with the 4 tbsp of oil and 1 tsp of turmeric. Mix well and coo for 3 minutes until the nuts are golden brown and the kitchen smells amazing.

Now, carefully stuff your cauliflower. Pipe the stuffing mix into the middle of the cauliflower and make sure to squeeze it into the cavities as much as possible.

Transfer to your baking tray with the opening at the bottom. Doit worry, the mixture should be thick enough not to just run out.

Spoon over the nut, oil and turmeric topping and bake in the pre-heated oven for ca.45 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

Sprinkle over pomegranate seeds before serving and if you have stuffing mixture left over, you can use that to dip in any extra bits of cauliflower.

Tips:

  1. You can pre-make the whole cauliflower on a morning and just roast it in the evening. It鈥檚 really easy for entertaining.
  2. You could use an elastic band to hold the cauliflower together a bit more if you are worried that the florets will break off.
  3. Add chilli to make it a spicy dish.

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Turmeric & Lemongrass Coconut Fish Curry https://www.healthywholeme.com/turmeric-lemongrass-coconut-fish-curry/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:54:41 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1652 Oh what a dreamy recipe this is and what a dreamy collaboration. I am so pleased that the lovely Emily, from the Wright Foodie, is sharing her yummy turmeric &...

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Oh what a dreamy recipe this is and what a dreamy collaboration. I am so pleased that the lovely Emily, from the Wright Foodie, is sharing her yummy turmeric & lemongrass coconut fish curry recipe with us all. Emily and I met on instagram and I feel continuously inspired by her amazing food shots but also by her ethos. As a busy mum to small children Emily鈥檚 recipes are family friendly and you can easily spice them up for a moorish adult meal too. Here is what she says about this recipe. Do go and take a look at all her other yummy dishes too!

Turmeric & Lemongrass Coconut Fish Curry

Serves 2

This is the perfect change-of-season type of meal as it is loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral ingredients that help our immune systems fight off the dreaded germs that seem to attack as soon as the kids go back to school. It is not only a deliciously tasty and warming meal but also a great cold preventer. 聽The fragrant ginger, turmeric and lemongrass pack a real Thai flavour punch and the spiciness from the chillies are perfectly offset by the soothing coconut milk.

Freeze individual portions for a go-to meal

I like to have individual portions stocked in my freezer, happy in the knowledge that I can have a nutrient dense dinner on tap for those days I start to feel a little under the weather.聽It is also a versatile broth that can be used to make a chicken curry or else form the base for a vegan stew with tofu.

 

Garlic is a powerful anti-microbial food (especially if you are brave enough to eat it raw!) and the active constituent of ginger is a compound called gingerol that is especially helpful at fighting infections in the respiratory tract. And turmeric, oh my darling turmeric, is the Queen of all of the healing spices! 聽Those of you who regularly follow my recipes will know that I am borderline obsessed with it and constantly live my life with stained yellow fingers as a result! 聽It has some of the most reliable scientific backing when it comes to its alleged super powers. The active ingredient in turmeric is called Curcumin and it has potent antioxidant capabilities that have been shown to help with a whole variety of health concerns, from arthritis to digestive problems. Western medicine has begun to study turmeric as a pain reliever, as an anti-inflammatory, and as a healing agent. Amazingly, curcumin has also shown promise as having both protective effects against cancer and even potential as part of cancer treatment itself. 聽But whilst the laboratory research is incredibly promising, there is currently no conclusive evidence to show that turmeric can prevent or treat cancer in humans.

However, turmeric on it鈥檚 own is not particularly well absorbed by the body. 聽It needs to be consumed with a fat (like the oil and coconut milk in this recipe) and some black pepper. 聽The active ingredient in black pepper is called piperine and research has shown that by combining the piperine and the turmeric, it can actually enhance the curcumin absorption by up to 2000%!

One serving provides 347 calories and 32g of good quality protein. 聽It also provides half of my daily Vitamin C and Calcium requirements, as well as a massive 87% of my Iron.

INGREDIENTS

路 100g Red Onions
路 100g Leeks

路 2 Celery Stalks
路 4 Garlic Cloves
路 15g Fresh Turmeric (or 1 tbsp Ground Turmeric Powder)
路 15g Fresh Ginger
路 陆鈥1 tsp Fresh Red Chilli depending on how spicy you like it

路 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves (if you can find them, but not essential)
路 3 sticks Fresh Lemongrass
路 Juice & Zest from 1 Lime

路 240g Skinless Boneless Haddock Fillets
路 300-400 ml Unsweetened Coconut Milk (from a drinkable carton, not a tin)
路 2 tsp Olive Oil to saut茅
路 Salt & fresh black pepper to taste

METHOD

路 Dice the onions, leeks and celery.
路 Finely dice the chilli and the lemongrass (remove the first 2-3 tough outer layers first and only use the softer bendier middle part).
路 Mince the garlic and grate the ginger and turmeric.
路 Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sweat the onions, leeks and celery for 5 minutes.
路 Add the garlic, chilli, lemongrass, turmeric and ginger and fry for one more minute before adding the coconut milk and kafir lime leaves (if using).

路 Simmer for 10 minutes.
路 Add the haddock and continue to simmer until fully cooked through (approximately 10 minutes).

路 Add the juice and zest of 1 lime.

路 Season with a little salt and a generous amount of black pepper.

路 Remove the kaffir lime leaves.
路 Serve over a bed of wholegrain rice or quinoa, alongside some tenderstem broccoli or other leafy greens.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Calories 鈥 347

Protein 鈥 32g

Fat 鈥 5g

Carbohydrates 鈥 52g

Fibre 鈥 4g

Vitamin A 鈥 19%

Vitamin C 鈥 50%

Calcium 鈥 48%

Iron 鈥 87%

Emily Wright (The Wright Foodie) is a nutritional cook specializing in customized cooking courses and bespoke meal planning advice to help alleviate a variety of health concerns from diabetes, to leaky gut, to weight loss to fussy kids.

www.thewrightfoodie.com

www.instagram.com/thewrightfoodie

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Back to routine gluten free pasta dish https://www.healthywholeme.com/back-to-routine-gluten-free-pasta-dish/ Fri, 07 Sep 2018 10:19:57 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1643 I posted a photo of this lovely pasta dish on social media and as I called it my back to routine gluten free pasta dish I thought I’d write up...

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I posted a photo of this lovely pasta dish on social media and as I called it my back to routine gluten free pasta dish I thought I’d write up a blog post with the recipe for you. Just because this one image signals so many changes for me.

It’s September and to me that totally feels like the new year. For so many of us, this is a month of change. A change in weather also signals a change I mood: back into action. Autumn is on the horizon and many children around the world go back to school, which means routines change and the juggling-act of work, parenting, household chores and the rest commences. To me this also rustling up nutritious and quick gamily dishes. These are not meant to take long, I want little washing up and thumbs up from all of us. A tall order sometimes, but this back to routine gluten free pasta dish ticks all the boxes.

Back to routine gluten free pasta dish

Recipe – serves 4 + leftovers

Ingredients:

400g brown rice fusilli or penne

1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets

200g fine green beans

2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 tbsp tomato puree

3 tbsp olive oil

2 clove of fresh garlic, minced

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper and chilli flakes if you wish to season

optional – a handful of grated parmesan or a handful flaked almonds

Instructions and tips to make your back to routine gluten free pasta dish super quick to make:

  1. Bring salted water to boil, add a drop of oil before adding your pasta. Boil for 5 minutes, then start tasting the pasta every couple of minutes until it is just right for you. Brown rice pasta can do with a bit of stirring in between otherwise it might clump up.
  2. Whilst the pasta is cooking place a steamer over the pot with the pasta to steam your veg at the same time.
  3. Drain pasta and transfer into your serving dish.
  4. Mix tomato puree, minced fresh garlic (garlic powder works too), lemon juice (to taste) and salt and pepper into your hot pasta and stir well.
  5. Once you love the taste, fold under your steamed veggies, sprinkle with parmesan or 聽flaked almonds and enjoy.
  6. Serve this with a side salad or maybe fry off some prawns to add on top?

I often cook this for when I work from home for lunch, which also means dinner is ready when the kids tell me that they are starving! 馃槈 Oh, and that leftover portion is obviously pack lunch for the next day.

Note: I love cooking with brown rice spaghetti or pasta as it is naturally gluten free. This means the product has not been tinkered with to remove the gluten from it, which often means other stuff is added to make up for it. I am not gluten intolerant, however, I am aware that it is very easy to have a very wheat heavy diet, if not to say overload, so by cooking brown rice pasta it means it’s a natural way to reduce this intake – quite naturally.

With love and I hope you are all having a great start at your ‘new routines’.

Dani xx

 

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My diet changed my life! https://www.healthywholeme.com/my-diet-changed-my-life/ Mon, 27 Aug 2018 18:23:48 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1633 I am so chuffed that I got to share my journey with food for an article called ‘My diet changed my life’ in Health & Wellbeing magazine! I do have...

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I am so chuffed that I got to share my journey with food for an article called ‘My diet changed my life’ in Health & Wellbeing magazine! I do have to pinch myself really. I find it so important to talk about food. We all have different relationships with food. The way we eat is ever evolving and no diets fits all. By talking and listening to each other and our bodies we can develop and make changes as we go along. We can grow and change to hopefully have a healthy and positive relationship with food throughout our lives.

The opportunity for the interview made me feel excited but also really nervous at the same time. Some things are quite personal. I do like to mention the low moments also, which make some parts difficult to talk about. But聽Charlotte Haigh, who interviewed me is a wonderful and super experienced health and wellbeing journalist. She has done a聽tremendous job at writing up my journey exactly how it happened. In the article ‘my diet changed my life’ Charlotte speaks with three women. Each of us has a different reason to thank food for important positive changes in our lives.

For those of you that didn’t get the magazine, here is the full article 馃檪

“Breast Cancer led me down a new healthy eating path”

Dani Binnington, 39, from Thames Ditton, Surrey, is a mum of three who transformed her eating habits – and her family’s – after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She now teaches yoga and has her own healthy eating supper clubs.

‘When I was younger, I had zero interest in healthy eating. I was born and raised in Austria and although my mum cooked nutritious Mediterranean-style food, I ate lots of sausage sandwiches. When I got older, I would have beans on toast three days in a row. I never struggled with my weight so didn’t have that as a motivator. My husband did all the cooking when the kids were little. My mother-in-law used to say I would use sugar instead of salt because it was white – and she was only half joking.’

‘I was 33 when I found my lump. After the conventional treatment ended, I thought that would mark the end of my journey with cancer, but it was the most difficult time. I felt I wasn’t actively doing anything anymore and was terrified about a recurrence. I couldn’t sleep and was up all night on the internet, looking into alternative treatments for breast cancer – even though my cancer hd been removed. I now realise I was ill with anxiety. But I did find out lots about the link between diet and health; everything from Alzheimer’s to osteoporosis and diabetes, and mental health too. I learned you could reduce the risk of so many things.’

‘I wanted to change, but wasn’t sure how to do it as there was so much advice out there. I decided to go on the clean-eating train. For a year, I had no dairy, sugar, nothing refined – I cut out so many major food groups. It was unhealthy and far too extreme because of my paranoia about a cancer recurrence. Eventually I realised I needed to be a good role-model for my three children. I didn’t want them to grow up with a controlling mum, who refused birthday cake.’

Plant Power

‘Now I know there’s no good or bad foo and we focus on eating lots of nutritious food rather than cutting out things. I think about what I need to add to give myself the best chance of being healthy. I don’t eat meat and have very little dairy, so meals are based around lots of lovely healthy veggies, plus sources of protein such as quinoa and pulses, and complex carbs. The focus is on what we want to do, so rather than say, “Never eat dairy”, I’ll say, “Let’s have some coconut yoghurt.”‘

Supper Clubs

‘My food’s been healthy for a while, but now it’s delicious too and people always compliment me on it. I’m a scatty cook so I don’t really follow recipes, but I base my ideas on Jamie Oliver recipes and dishes I find on BBC Good Food. Not only do I feel great and know I’m doing the best for my family, my healthy eating journey has also taken my life in a new direction. I teach yoga and host supper clubs, helping others to cook healthy and simple food. I’ve recently launched an online supper club plan to help everyone keep it up. It’s a little business for me now and I’m on a journey I wouldn’t have been on without cancer.’

 

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Cancer made me a better mum https://www.healthywholeme.com/cancer-made-me-a-better-mum/ https://www.healthywholeme.com/cancer-made-me-a-better-mum/#comments Wed, 22 Aug 2018 19:22:07 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1629 Cancer made me a better mum is the title I was given and asked if I wanted to write my thoughts towards it. I found it so hard at first...

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Cancer made me a better mum is the title I was given and asked if I wanted to write my thoughts towards it. I found it so hard at first to get my head around this tile but as it was for the Daily Express I thought it would be a fabulous opportunity so I really tried hard.

Cancer made me a better mum. Really?

My initial difficulties lay in the fact that at first I didn’t think that cancer actually did make me a better mum. I am no more patient now than then. And I can still shout at my three children, and then feel bad about it. But I soon realised that that’s not what it is all about.

This whole parenting malarkey can be such a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It’s definitely trial and error and once I think I’m at my wit’s end, something changes and we move forward, quite naturally.

Parenting is just as multi facetted as the most beautifully cut diamond in the world. It’s the balance between teaching my children enough maths to achieve what they want and enough self love and self respect to do so emotionally healthily.

Below is the copy to the full article, let me know what you think!

Love Dani xx

Daily Express, July the 18th 2018
Daily Express article paper clipping

Daily Express article paper clipping

 

“I鈥檓 one of the lucky ones.

I am a mum to three girls and like most parents, I have moments where I just want to cuddle and kiss my children non stop (much to their annoyance) and I have moments when I could yell from the top of my lungs as their arguing and bickering can be so聽frustrating. I suppose that鈥檚 normal.

It鈥檚 also quite normal that as a parent you want to do everything you can to protect your children.You want to make sure they grow up to become independent and happy human beings. We want to show them the way, lead in good example and to be there for them when they first have a broken heart.

I can鈥檛 tell you how sickening a feeling it was, how paralysing the pain and how the terror rippled through my entire body when I suddenly realised that the lump in my left breast might prevent me from seeing my girls grow up.

I was 33 when I was told that my cancer was highly aggressive. My eldest daughter was 4 and my twin girls were just 2.

After surgery to remove my lump and lymph nodes followed chemotherapy. It was like getting into a boxing fight. Over and over again. Chemo would hit me hard, I would feel sick, weak and exhausted and by the time I would feel a little more normal I was due my next round. Wham. Here we go again. When I started radiotherapy I felt as if I was on my end spurt of my very own ultra marathon. I was hoping that my last day of radiotherapy would also mark the end with my journey with cancer. But I couldn鈥檛 have been more wrong if I tried.

Today, over five years on, I鈥檓 cancer free. I wake up and I get to enjoy my days, I am excited about my future and I feel utterly blessed to have seen my girls start school, to have taken them on holidays and to being able to make their pack lunch for them. I also know that life is uncertain, it鈥檚 precious and each day matters so much. It has taken me all this time to recover from my breast cancer diagnosis. Physically and mentally, and on some days I know that I am still on a journey.

When my conventional cancer treatment finished I fell into a deep hole. I was scared that my cancer would return. My anxiety resulted in panic attacks and physical pains which I couldn鈥檛 explain. I had lost all trust in my body. I just didn鈥檛 know what I should be feeling anymore. What was normal?

I just wanted my old life back but I had no idea where to start. I just knew I had to do something. I needed to take control of my own recovery and wellbeing.

I turned to food, changed my diet and I learned to cook. Initially I thought I had to cut out major food groups but I soon realised that I wanted to find not only a healthy but also a sustainable and enjoyable way of eating. So I started to focus my attention to all the wonderful foods that we are lucky enough to eat and I made our diets full-of, not free-from. At first my food was just healthy but now I get loads of compliments that it also tastes amazing! Which is just great! As a result my three girls eat really well too. Of course they have the occasional pizza and ice creams too but they do also eat quinoa, pulses and loads of veggies. It鈥檚 lovely that my way of eating has rubbed off on the whole family.

At about the same time my mother in law ushered me to my first yoga class. I can鈥檛 tell you how big the relief was when I first stepped on my mat. I could focus on my present moment, without being worried about the future or having past events rushing through my mind. Yoga also helped me to physically rebuild my house, but it was really mentally that I experienced the biggest benefits.

My lifestyle changes felt empowering. I felt that I was on the right track, but it still did take a long time to feel a sense of relief, to worry less and trust more.

Something else happened that I still can鈥檛 quite explain. I stared to experience this urge, this drive, to be honest about my experiences, to talk about the down鈥檚 as much as the up鈥檚, to share what鈥檚 happened. I think it鈥檚 so important to say when life is rubbish and not just pretend that we鈥檝e got everything under control. It鈥檚 OK not to feel OK.

I started a little blog where I share family friendly and healthy recipes and tips for a healthy lifestyle. I host supper clubs, and have since cooked with hundreds of women. I also teach yoga, run wonderful retreats and get to write articles for some press. Most recently I even put everything I have learned along the way and put it into an online plan, for other families to learn how to make simple and healthy changes too.

Throughout, my husband has been incredibly encouraging and we both have this strong sensation that we need to get on and do things. That life is wonderfully precious and it is there to be experienced fully. He even became an inventor! When my hair was growing back after chemotherapy, it inspired him to invent and manufacture a new hairbrush. The Manta, which he has launched at the beginning of the year.

We both know, that we can鈥檛 wait for anything. That certain things need to be said daily. Such as 鈥業 love you鈥 and 鈥業鈥檓 sorry鈥.

This is the biggest gift I can pass onto my children. To be kind to themselves and kind to others. To appreciate the rain, to be grateful for the apple. To get on and do things, however big or small they may seem. To see each day as a gift.

I always thought I wanted my old, pre-cancer life back. But no thanks! My life, just like my diet, couldn鈥檛 be fuller if I tried.”

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10 Creative Summer Holiday activities to boost your families wellbeing https://www.healthywholeme.com/10-creative-summer-holiday-activities-to-boost-your-families-wellbeing/ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 13:23:18 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1621 10 Creative Summer Holiday activities to boost your families wellbeing We’re a good while into the summer holidays and I’ve had some time to think what I would like to...

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10 Creative Summer Holiday activities to boost your families wellbeing

We’re a good while into the summer holidays and I’ve had some time to think what I would like to get out of my time with the kids, apart from jumping into the lake, late nights and fun days out with family and friends. Besides, I love doing ‘things’ that fill our days with worthwhile activities that we can all remember, so I have come up with a list of 10 Creative Summer Holiday activities to boost my families wellbeing. Maybe you find the odd tip or two useful too.

Children have worked very hard over the school year and rightly deserve some time off to enjoy themselves. The summer holidays are a great time to refresh and recharge.

Establish key habits to get in touch with your inner Self!

With a careful bit of planning it can also be a great time to help develop key habits that will help children thrive when they go back to school in September. I love allowing down-time for me and my three daughters as much as possible. Remember, it is OK for your child to be bored. The school year is so busy and our days are filled with school, work, activities, sports, clubs etc. that it leaves very little time to even think what we WANT to be doing. Sometimes our children need to feel bored to come up with creative ways of how to spend their time.

In my list for 10 Creative Summer Holiday activities to boost your families wellbeing I love that some powerful and simple activities can stimulate our brains and help us get in touch with your inner self.

Here are my top 10 strategies to boost your and your child鈥檚 physical and mental wellbeing

Practice self-care. Teaching our children the important practice of self care is vital for their development and a great building block for their adult life too. Allow your child to tell you when they need to rest, when they want to read or offer them a bath in the middle of the day if they would like to relax. It is vital that we are connected to our gut-feeling, which is usually overridden by our schedule and to-do list. Learn to give your body and mind what it needs as often as possible.

Get talking. A weekly family meeting brings many benefits. Set a time and arrange a place for your family to gather. No phones or other gadgets allowed. No TV either. You can either set a topic that you would like to discuss (like the next family holiday or which rewards chart you want to get started) or allow anything to come up. You could start by asking everyone to tell each other how their week has been so far. Practice listening and teach your child not to interrupt either. It is a very powerful experience when you actually feel listened too.

Get into geocaching. Everyone loves a scavenger hunt. Families and groups of people can search for hidden 鈥榗aches鈥 using the GPS on your phones. You can choose from easy to tricky and you can even choose how long you want to be on the hunt for. It鈥檚 like your very own treasure hunt and such a great way to get little ones walking much further than you would have ever imagined!

Make 鈥榗ool stuff鈥. Mum or dad, can we make a – please? dadcando.com is a great site full of crafty ideas that brings adults and kids together spending quality time. From paper planes to dream catchers to quirky things it offers ideas of how to make stuff out of mostly inexpensive or recycled materials.

Bake. Whipping up treats in the kitchen can do more than just create yummy comfort food, according to a growing range of sources in both the culinary and mental health worlds. In fact, by setting some time aside baking can have a positive effect on your and your child鈥檚 relationship too. Smaller children can learn to measure out ingredients, older children can take charge of almost everything. By enjoying the end result (which is hopefully tasty!) it will leave you feeling super satisfied; emotionally and physically. But watch the sugar 鈥 how about making healthy versions of your favourite treats? Try my chocolate brownies!

Discuss goals. With hopefully a little more time at hand and longer summer evenings to be enjoyed it can be lovely to talk with your child about their goals and dreams. Allow your child to dream big! Then set a realistic goal which your child can achieve over the holidays. It can be as little or big as appropriate. From drawing a picture for each family member to learning a new skill like roller blading. Setting a goal, working towards it and achieving to meet it is an empowering and positive experience.

Borrow or purchase yoga cards. Yoga cards are a fun way for you and your child to embark on a journey that will be as exciting and varied as your child’s imagination. Each card shows a yoga pose and the colourful illustrations inspire hours of exploration, movement and creative play. It allows your child to become your teacher which is something they will love doing. You can never be too young or old to practice yoga. Now is a good time. Enchanted Wonders are really lovey yoga cards.

Try forest bathing. Most of us are aware that spending time in nature helps us to de-stress. A walk on the beach or a stroll in the countryside can make us feel so much better. But do we know why? The Japanese practice of 鈥榝orest bathing鈥 is scientifically proven to improve your health. Forest bathing鈥攂asically just being in the presence of trees鈥攂ecame part of a national public health program in Japan back in the early 80s. So go outside, surround yourself by trees and improve your immune function!

Have a go. At something new. Discuss with your child what it is that you could try out that is new to you both. Pick something age and budget-appropriate. This does not need to be a bungee-jump! You could order some clay and try yourself at making a vase. Try out a new healthy recipe, which you could let your child pick out of a magazine. Or head to your nearest car boot sale and have a go at selling some old toys.

Go on an adventure.聽Without booking a holiday. Turn a normal day into an exciting adventure and see if you can take a train, a bus and a boat to get to your destination. We often go somewhere for a day out, may it be a zoo, a museum or a restaurant. But why not turn the 鈥榞etting there鈥 into an adventure in itself? The journey is the destination…

And if there is water in sight! Take a plunge, give a damn about hair or make up and be as childish as can be. I’m still learning 馃檪

With love from the girls and me, Dani xx

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Pancake party skewers https://www.healthywholeme.com/pancake-party-skewers/ Thu, 05 Jul 2018 09:29:36 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1612 Pancake and strawberry party skewers for breakfast? How utterly lovely do these look! Pancake party skewers have become our go-to party attraction! Needless to say the kids love them, and...

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Pancake and strawberry party skewers for breakfast?
How utterly lovely do these look! Pancake party skewers have become our go-to party attraction!

Needless to say the kids love them, and needless to say we did NOT have them for breakfast this morning but rather last weekend and for the children’s parties.

If you want to give these a try, maybe next weekend, or for your next party, go for it! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make them and how attractive these look too. Play with any variation of fruit and pancake batters and ask the children to help you too.

For these mini pancakes I made a banana mixture. This makes the pancake party skewers a sweet delight!

Recipe for banana pancakes:
1 banana
2 eggs
1 cup buckwheat flour
A splash of oat milk
Pinch of salt

Mix all your ingredients well or blizz in your blender. If needed, add a drop more milk until you have a thick pancake mixture.

To fry pour small blobs of batter into your hot pan, cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Or you could try making green mini pancakes. My recipe for these spinach pancakes is as easy and you’d just have to make smaller ones to use them on the skewers.

How about mini pancakes聽using an oat and flaxseed batter with slices of kiwi fruit and satsumas?

Make up big batches of mini pancakes and then let your imagination free flow.

And if you feel like having skewers but you can’t be bothered to make mini pancakes, I totally understand! Strawberry skewers alone look lovely too!

Enjoy the sunshine 馃崜鈽

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In the Press – Dani’s thoughts on food, yoga & wellbeing https://www.healthywholeme.com/in-the-press-danis-thoughts-on-food-yoga-wellbeing/ Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:29:42 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1597 My thoughts in the press are a combination from personal and professional experience. In my personal experience I try to be as open and reflective as possible and my professional...

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My thoughts in the press are a combination from personal and professional experience. In my personal experience I try to be as open and reflective as possible and my professional experience as a yoga practitioner adds the tools which we can use to help ourselves. Combined, this makes for a realistic approach to subjects I am hugely passionate about.

What’s most important, regardless of how difficult our situation in life might seem. We CAN all do something to improve it. It might take some digging and trying out random things, to find what it is that helps you personally. But I am sure that being active in our own wellbeing or recovery process is the very first and most important step we can take on our journeys in this life.

I am excited about some of my recent features in the press which include:

 

 

My thoughts on the importance of breath featured in Health & Wellbeing magazine 2018

Ideas about growing your own to get little ones excited about fruit and vegetables in Pregnancy & Parenting magazine 2018

Thrive magazine published a really lovely story about my journey with food 2018

Families magazine in the South West published my healthy ice lolly recipes 2018

Primary Times magazine on how to get your children excited about fruit and vegetables 2018

Healthy Diet magazine featuring my Black rice and hallumi salad 2018

 

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3 simple ways to get back on track post-holiday https://www.healthywholeme.com/3-simple-ways-to-get-back-on-track-post-holiday/ https://www.healthywholeme.com/3-simple-ways-to-get-back-on-track-post-holiday/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:54:18 +0000 https://www.healthywholeme.com/?p=1469 I hope you have all had a good Easter holiday! The kids are back at school and for me this means getting back into our routines. Applying my 3 simple...

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I hope you have all had a good Easter holiday! The kids are back at school and for me this means getting back into our routines. Applying my 3 simple ways to get back on track post-holiday, it makes life so much easier. There is so much more I could do, but by keeping it simple it means that it’s doable, enjoyable and taking baby steps is so much more effective that trying to do too much at the same time.

Our healthy eating habits and our exercise routine takes a real downward turn during a holiday. Different environments, not cooking all of our meals myself and a pudding here and there means that we have consumed lots of yummy food, but it was definitely not the healthiest of all. Rather than worrying about it, I go back to my 3 simple ways to get back on track post-holiday and I start ADDING the fresh, whole and healthy foods I really crave by now.

If you have read my tips about weaning your kids (and yourselves) off sugar after the holidays then you know what I mean.

Sugar: Keep it coming but the unrefined stuff please

Let’s face it. The children are still going to ask me for the sweet stuff. Even more so after the chocolate overload I would say. And instead of saying NO, I will say yes but I will offer them some yummy refined-sugar free snacks instead. However, it doesn’t mean that these can be consumed without limits. Let’s remember, if it tastes sweet it is sweet and we will have less of it. Simple.

I make two lots of energy balls and keep them in the fridge all week. Why not try one of them yourself? For my peanut butter energy balls you don’t even need a blender. A mixing bowl is all you need.

No-Equimpment Peanut Butter and Oats Energy balls

Ingredients for ca. 25 balls

1 cup of rolled oats

1/4 cup of desiccated coconut

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

1 cup of peanut butter

A sprinkle of cinnamon

A sprinkle of chia seeds

Extra desiccated coconut and chia seeds for com

Instructions

Bring all ingredients together, combining really well. Roll into small balls, about 2cm diameter. Then roll each ball in either desiccated coconut or chia seeds.聽Refrigerated for 1 hour before eating.

Tahini Truffels Energy Balls Recipe

The Tahini truffles are so chocolaty that you will instantly feel satisfied. With 3 ingredients only they are super simple to make and are a no-brainer towards聽3 simple ways to get back on track post-holiday.

Ingredients for ca. 25 balls

65g tahini paste

350g pitted dried dates

30g raw cacao powder

Sesame seeds for coating

Instructions

Blend first 3 ingredients in a food processor, cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.聽Roll into small balls and place in a small bag with the sesame seeds to coat.

A Box of fruit and veggies

I know I say it all the time, but a container with cut up veggie and fruit is the best way to keep your hands out of the biscuit tin! Add a dip or two and who needs chocolate? (Errrrm….maybe!)

Family Friendly Main: Veggie Chilli

For my family friendly veggie chilli recipe read on聽here. This is one of my most versatile recipes and it ticks all the boxes.

  • It’s easy to make (all ingredients go into one pot).
  • Make more: (I keep portions in the freezer for that go-to meal in between).
  • A super versatile reciupe- sometimes I serve it with brown rice or quinoa, other days with flatbreads. I add fresh chilli for the adults and keep it mild for the kids. Add guacamole, yoghurt and fresh parsley and you will have a fabulous spread for when you are entertaining too.
  • It contains so many yummy beans and other ingredients that it is most definitely a super-dish of a recipe! Spirulina smoothies move over 馃檪

I hope you find my 3 simple ways to get back on track super helpful and remember, one step at. time towards a healthy and happy family life!

With love, Dani xx

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