Rye Bread with Advocado ‘butter’ and fresh tomatoes 

This makes a wonderful, flavourful meal for any time of day and is surprisingly filling. The rye bread is a change from your usual processed white, containing plenty of slow burning carbs, and you have good, nourishing oils coming from the advocado and Virgin olive oil. 

You will need: 

  • 2 Rye Bread slices 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • Half an advocado 
  • 1 tomato 
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Black pepper 
  • Sea salt (or pink Himalayan salt if you can get hold of it)  

Peel the garlic clove and gently crush it under the flat of a knife, applying pressure using the palm of your hand. Rub the clove across both pieces of rye bread to give a hint of garlic flavour, without blowing your head off. Half the advocado using a sharp knife and running it around the fruit vertically, then twist to release each half. Spoon out the flesh and crush it with a fork, then spread equal quantities on each slice of bread. I call this advocado ‘butter’ as it spreads just as easily as the for mentioned condiment, and had double the flavour. Dice the tomato and place equal quantities on top of the advocado. Finish by sprinkling with salt and cracked black pepper, and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Measure this using the cap of the bottle. 

With love and light, 

Ciara x  

 

The Saturday Swap – fizzy drinks for lime and soda 

When I go out for a meal, or am craving something fizzy, I find lime cordial and soda water is the best thing for it. It is so easy to go for a sugary drink and admittedly a full sugar choice is far better for you than diet alternatives, which contain many chemicals and unnatural sugar substitutes. But a can of coke contains 39g of sugar in one can. Baring in mind that the recommended amount for men in a day is 37.5g and for women is 25g. And with studies showing that sugar is now a major contributor to weight gain, and less so fats, it is so important to cut back and go for more natural sugars, or at least lower alternatives. 

Soda water has next to no calories, and the lime cordial gives a lovely sweetness. Supposing you don’t go over board, the cordial is just enough to give you a sweet hit without too much sugar going into your body. 

This is such a simple way to make your lifestyle a little more healthy. As I said, it’s about the little steps. 

With love and light, 

Ciara x 

Bee Pollen – the benefits 

After the recent recipe I posted on my green 3 superfood porridge containing these golden grains of goodness, I thought it would be a good idea to follow it up with the benefits of bee pollen in a bit more detail. Many are aware of the benefits of local and Manuka honey, helping with colds and sore throats. But this is a little less known, and should definitely be shared as I think they are wonderful. 

Bee pollen has an extraordinary level of B vitamins, which play an important role in cell metabolism in the body. It is a source of 18 B vitamins (except B12) as well as C, D, E and Rutin. They have high antioxidant levels and will neutralise free radicals, and are better to take than high antioxidant juices which could also be high in sugar. 

It is a natural aphrodisiac with fertility improving properties, as well as helping to relieve stress, clear acne, and can assist in reversing ageing and wrinkling. It helps to relieve type 2 diabetes, restoring mineral and metabolic deficiencies, as well as helping the following: 

  • Anemia 
  • Colitis 
  • Constipation
  • Sinusitis 
  • Asthma 
  • Bronchitis 
  • Allergies 

My mum encourages me to take bee pollen every day over performance or assessment periods, and I also took it every day over my exam period last year as it helps increase strength, endurance, energy and speed, strengthens the memory and improves concentration. 

You can take a teaspoon on its own, or mix into breakfasts such as smoothies, porridge or granola. Now we have even more reason to prevent the extinction of bees! 

You can get bee pollen in 150g quantities with us at Elysium, or buy it from any good health food shop. 

With love and light 

Ciara x

Green Superfood Porridge 

This is such a wonderful and filling way to start the day. I find it difficult to be full for a long time after eating things such as breakfast cereals and oats are the only thing that really seems to do it for me. This porridge is naturally sweetened with the raisins meaning no added sugar, and has 3 excellent superfoods to kickstart the day. 

You will need: 

Porridge oats 

Raisins 

Almond milk 

Barley grass powder 

Goji berries 

Bee pollen 

It’s pretty easy to make a good consistency for porridge. 1 cup of oats and cover with the almond milk so you end up having more milk than oats (it’ll soak up quickly and turn to a more appetising thickness). Add a handful of raisins and gently simmer the porridge until thick and creamy. 

2 teaspoons of the barley grass powder mixed into the porridge is enough to turn it a glorious green colour. Top with a teaspoon of goji berries and a teaspoon of bee pollen. The contrast of colours is beautiful, and bee pollen is packed full of B vitamins, helping to clear acne and relieve stress, helping those with asthma and helping with fertility. It is also an aphrodisiac, which surely can’t be a bad thing to take in the morning! 

With love and light 

Ciara x  

 

The Saturday Swap – Crisps for Apple crisps 

In my first post I spoke about how your journey is about the little steps, and that is where the idea for the Saturday swap came from. Each week I will give you one little thing you can change to make a noticeable difference in your life. 

This week we are swapping crips for homemade baked apple crisps. Crisps are personally my worst nightmare, but I know this savoury snack is a lot of people’s downfall when it comes to convenience. By eating a packet of crisps every day for a year you consume 3 litres of oil. 3 LITRES of cooking oil going into your body. And don’t be fooled by the likes of baked crisps which are covered in salt and flavourings. 

These Apple crisps are so simple and much more delicious. They can be baked in batches at the beginning of the week and will keep if stored in an airtight container. Just slice the apples with the skins in into the thickness of your nail and lay on a baking tray on top of a piece on baking parchment. Bake in the oven until golden brown and crisp (you may have to leave the to cool for a while before they have that ‘crunch’). Sprinkle with a little cinnamon. 

I’m not saying you can’t treat yourself with a bag of walkers every now and then, but surely this sounds a lot more appetising. 

With love and light, 

Ciara x  

   

Oil Pulling 

Many of you may have seen the latest craze over social media of ‘oil pulling’ using coconut oil to whiten the teeth, and various celebrities have championed this method. What you may not have known is that you don’t have to buy the pre packaged oil from brands aiming at teeth whitening. Cold pressed, natural sesame oil does exactly the same job and has in fact been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years! 

The aim of oil pulling is to cleanse, and gargling the oil helps bring out toxins from the body. It is one of the best anti ageing routines in Ayurveda and has many health benefits other than giving you a brighter smile, such as: 

  • Helping to correct receding gums, prevent bad breath and reduce teeth sensitivity (when done regularly) 
  • Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as puffiness around the eyes (when done regularly) 
  • In Ayurveda oil pulling is recommended for insomnia and tinnitus. When done regularly it also helps facial palsy and dry eyes 
  • It is not only helpful for local ailments but is said to help lower back ache, constipation and irregular periods to name a few. 

The best time to practise the technique is in the morning before brushing your teeth. Take approximately 1 teaspoon of the oil in your mouth and swish around for 30 seconds. Then hold the oil in your mouth for 30. Repeat this process for up to 3 minutes, then spit it out. You will notice the oil is now a milky colour, due to toxins being pulled into the oil. Brush your teeth to get rid of any excess oil and cleanse your mouth with warm water after. Try not to eat or drink anything in the following 20 minutes.  

 Oil pulling is not advised during pregnancy, breastfeeding or the post natal period and likewise during periods or if you suffer from headaches. 

NOTE – It is best not to use sesame oil from the supermarket as this is not always the best quality and isn’t always natural. The oil we use is by Ayurveda Pura and is sold here at Elysium, or check out their website. 

With love and light, 

Ciara and Sam x 

Pancetta and nectarine salad 

I made this salad in about 10 minutes after I got in from a cycle and workout. Fruit in a savoury salad may sound weird but trust me, the saltiness from the pancetta and the sweet, juicy nectarine really works, whilst being a cheap,clean eat. What’s more, everything can be found in your fridge!   Serves 2. 

You will need: 

4 rashers of pancetta (plus coconut oil for cooking) 

Little gem lettuces

A third of a cucumber 

3 Sweet mini peppers 

1 tomato 

Half of an advocado 

1 nectarine 

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Balsamic vinegar 

Begin by frying the pancetta until crispy in a drizzle of coconut oil. Whilst it is cooking, wash and prep the lettuce by cutting it into shreds, then use a potato pealer to peel the cucumber into thin ribbons. Toss both of them together, season with a little pepper and arrange on the plate. Slice the peppers and tomato and spoon the advocado out of its skin, before dicing it along with the nectarine and sprinkling both over the plate. Arrange the tomato and pepper accordingly. After all of this the pancetta should be cooked. In a dry non stick pan, lightly toast the seeds to give them some depth and scatter across the salad. Arrange two slices of the pancetta on top and drizzle with a capful of balsamic vinegar. This is best eaten whilst the nuts and pancetta are still warm.  

Note –  Coconut oil is rather high in saturated fats, however recent studies show that saturated fats are not all bad for you! In fact, communities that consume coconut are amongst the healthiest in the world. It is also free from trans – fatty acids, making it a great alternative to your regular cooking oil or butter. It can also reach very high temperatures making it great for frying. The oil I use is by biona organic, and you can buy it from us at Elysium! Alternatively all good health stores should stock it. 

With love and light,

Ciara x