With the change of seasonal climes comes a more vulnerable immune system; it goes hand in hand with this time of year, and you’ll invariably have noticed more children picking up Spring bugs, more colleagues suffering runny noses etc. Having yearned for the sun for what seems like an eternity, perhaps we’re all a tad too eager to dash outside liberated from our coats and armed instead with little strappy sandals! Well fear not, for today’s post, as part of my ’30 Ways to Goodness’ collaboration with Blue Diamond, covers off a warming and nutritious Spring soup to combat any colds that may be going around and keep your immune system well supported! As ever with my recipes, it requires practically no cooking skills, takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and is packed full of ultra-delicious goodness! (more…)
To combat the frosty chill of winter, some of my favourite warming recipes are unquestionably soups. But beware, not all soups are created equally. You might think they’re healthy because of all that cuddly ‘hearty’ and ‘homely’ PR that goes into them, but take a little look at the label first: a lot of those you’ll find on the supermarket shelves are super-high in sugars and fats, so that they taste impossibly supreme, and because they’re in liquid form, they get metabolised very quickly. These soups are calorie ‘wolves’ dressed in sheep’s clothing! One way to be sure about what you’re nourishing yourself with is to make it from scratch, which helps to ensure added freshness and keep costs down. That’s always my procedure with soups, and is exactly what I did for this healthy and warming ‘Avocado, Broccoli and Chicken Velouté’, bursting with healthy fats, high quality lean proteins, and a metabolic boost to kick! Click ‘MORE’ to find out why it’s healthy, to get the ‘how to’ and see the recipe! (more…)
It’s the Halloween time of year again, and just throwing it out there, but I guess you might be finding it harder to stay on the fitness ‘straight & narrow’ as we run into the festive season, consuming a bit more alcohol than normal, chomping on some salty sweets and let’s not forget all the sugary ‘trick or treat’ fare. You might even have some war wounds after running around town late one night chasing bats dressed up as Batman – cape, knickers at minus 2 degrees? Sound familiar? HAVE NO FEAR – Fitness On Toast’s healthy (& seasonally on-trend) Pumpkin Soup to the rescue – it’s ultra hydrating and nutrient-rich to make up for all the sugary sweets, alcohol and salt in which you’ve been overindulging! Plus it’s packed with minerals and vitamins to help recover from a heavy night out or just a little man-cold. Read MORE for ingredients & ‘How To’, here! (more…)
I love Wagamama for a quick meal, BUT it’s definitely a case of ‘buyer beware’!!! I worry about the MSG-content and the calorie-count in dishes like their Chicken Ramen (not to mention the epic 1149-calorie, 50g-fat Chicken Katsu Curry!!!). For the Ramen, 520 simple-carb calories strikes me as alot of the wrong kind, so I set about making my own healthy, fun Chicken Noodle Broth recipe for the home too! This Chicken Noodle Soup recipe (‘Rahmen’ style) is low in calories (c. 390) fat and salt but rich in protein (30g) – ideal! It’s so easy and quick to make – just about 15 min – and it’s suitably filing / craving-neutralising when your body cries out for comfort-food. There are 2 key ingredients:
1) Wholewheat noodles are low in fat (1g fat per 100g), boast 0% saturated / trans fats as well as 0% cholesterol, and crucially, have 27g of slow-release, low-GI carbohydrates per 100g – containing only 1g of sugar! So much healthier than their pale, simple cousins 😀 !
2) Chicken is a famous source of ‘lean protein’ and I consider it one of the core building blocks for a healthy diet that aims to control weight. In the picture above, I’ve used ‘Roast chicken breast slices’ from Sainsbury’s the ‘Be good to yourself’ range. It’s plenty high in protein (29.6g per 100g), lower in fat than most ‘chicken breast’ products (with a teeny-weeny 1.6g per 100g) and has a wafer-thin amount of saturated fat (0.7g per 100g).
I’ve added some veggies – mainly peppers, mushrooms and rocket – but you can use whatever you fancy really, so get a bit inventive! Click to see the ‘how to’ here…
Spring has officially sprung in London – but it’s still snowing 🙁 Therefore I’m holding back my ‘summery’ recipes (hopefully not much longer) and instead I’m making a nutritious ‘Pea Soup’ which will help keep you warm during this snowy, cold, english March!
The soup is quick to make (c. 15minutes), consists of only 4 ingredients and costs under £5 for enough soup to feed 4 hungry people! The main ingredient is of course the environmentally-friendly little powerhouse, the pea. Remarkably, it’s packed with goodness for such a little guy! They’re great for weight management (a mere 81 calories per 100 grams), with 0 fat, 0 saturates, 0 trans-fats, and 0 cholesterol. Plus they’re comically low in sodium (3mg/100g serving, which is about 0% of your GDA). Peas are also relatively high in protein (c.5g per 100g) bearing in mind their very low calorific value, and that helps with cell repair and muscle regeneration. The high fibre content (c. 5g/100g) aids digestion, and together with protein helps to regulate blood sugar levels to avoid peaks & troughs in energy levels! They’re also a great source of omega 3 fats (in the form of “alpha -linoleic acid” which sounds grand, but can effectively lower the risk of cardiovascular disease). They also contain high amounts of healthy ‘polyphenols’ which have been shown to lower the risk of stomach cancer. Best of all though, peas are packed full of antioxidants including ‘flavonoids, cartotenoids and polyphenols’, all of which are hugely immune boosting, anti-ageing and can prevent or reverse the risk of diabetes. No to mention plenty of Vitamin A, manganese, vitamin c, Vitamin B1, phosphorus, iron and much more!
The remaining three ingredients are just a single onion (a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C, dietary fibre vitamin B6, Folate and potassium), broccoli (antioxidant-rich for immune health, with dietary fibre to aid digestion, and vitamin A for healthy vision) and my personal favourite ingredient, 0% fat greek yoghurt from Total, which contains a mere 57 calories per 100ml giving the soup a rich creamy velvet texture, without the guilt!
I top it off with a tiny bit of horseradish but if that’s a bit too strong in flavour department, try some smoked salmon, dill, chives or feta cheese! When coughs & colds are going around this March, this hearty pea soup is the perfect way to fend it all off! Bon ap!
CLICK HERE FOR INGREDIENTS & ‘HOW TO?’
This soup recipe is quick, easy and very nutritious. One of the reasons I love making soups is that anything in the fridge is fair game… everything is a potential ingredient (within reason)! This particular Leek & Carrot soup is made up of just 4 ingredients, which are unremarkable on their own, but when blended together, taste – if I may say so myself – delicious! It’s a healthy mix of carrots (rich in dietary fibre for digestion, vitamin A for healthy vision, and are proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease), yoghurt (contains protein to fuel muscle repair, potassium to condition the heart / brain / kidney, zinc to regulate testosterone, and vitamin B12 to encourage haemoglobin production), leek (rich in antioxidants, and calcium to strengthen bones), and some ginger (with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and digestion-aiding properties) for added flavour. Most recipe books I read suggest plenty of cream to thicken the texture; I’m sure Gordon Ramsay wouldn’t use yoghurt in a soup, but this miraculous 0% fat greek yoghurt from Total is miles healthier than its dairy cousin, and still gives the soup a wonderfully rich texture – just with a mere 57 calories per 100ml vs Sainsbury’s double cream at 445 calories per 100ml! Another great thing about this recipe is that it serves 3-4 people, for under £6.00 in 30 mins so eating fresh healthy food every day doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming!
To cook it, follow the easy instructions below. Hope you enjoy, and that it warms you up on these cold winters nights!
This is not just a recipe for soup, it’s a way to trick your metabolism. My Winter Lentil Soup is one of my favourites, and one which is super-quick to make (10 min max – recipe below). It has all of the key nutritional values you’d look for (protein rich thanks to the lentils, plenty of dietary fibre and vitamin-B too), but healthy shouldn’t mean tasteless, so what better way to improve a soup’s flavour than with some fresh chili. I’m frozen on these cold winter days but eating spicy foods can make you feel warm and cosy (and occasionally give you a comically red face!) – in chili this is because of the chemical called ‘capsaicin’, which gives it the heat and potency, and also stimulates a natural process where other food you eat is converted immediately to heat. This process is called thermogenesis, meaning you burn up calories immediately rather than storing them.
So, spicing up a meal with chili significantly increases the pace of thermogenesis. More good news – it often boosts the amount of fat, rather than carbohydrate, that is burned in the process, AND it can reduce appetite. So it’s a natural dieting agent that tastes good! A few more foods that can do the same, you ask? Ginger, mustard, green tea, coconut oil and coffee. Click ‘more’ to see my yummy recipe…