WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

healthy food

A Note on Fruit

Beauty, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Fruit causes all kinds of controversy within the wellness industry, and for years and years I was genuinely scared of it. An ex-personal trainer once told me the fruit I was eating was what was prohibiting me from losing weight, and that I should only be eating berries, if anything. That was almost 5 years ago, and it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve finally felt confident enough to bring fruit back into my diet. I’m here to tell you that I not only feel amazing, I’m looking more toned than ever too. Below, I’ve outlined a few pieces of advice that helped to encourage me to incorporate fruit back into my diet, along with a few common misconceptions on fruit and weight management.

1. People think fruit makes you gain weight because it contains sugar. To some extent, this is a valid theory, but the sugar in fruit is not the same as processed or isolated sugars. Fruits contain sugars, sure, but they also contain fibre and all kinds of vitamins and minerals, in balanced and natural amounts; not to mention all the water they also contain. Fruits are created in naturally appropriate proportions, meaning one portion of fruit provides a balanced amount of sugars and other macronutrients. So when you eat fruit, you’re not eating pure sugar like you would be with most processed snacks and sweets.

2. Fruits contain around 60-95% water, and so are some of the most hydrating foods. I truly value hydrating foods, for general wellbeing but also to aid digestion and to reduce fatigue. Staying hydrated fuels most of your internal processes, and also reduces the risk of headaches, stomach aches, constipation and other internal side effects. Whenever I’m abroad in a hot climate, fruit for breakfast is not only one of the most common options, but also the one I naturally crave too. Getting fruits in in the morning will help to keep you hydrated, and will also kick start your digestion not just due to the water content but also the fibre.

Staying hydrated also helps to manage water retention. Eating hydrating fruits alongside drinking plenty of water, I’ve noticed, reduces inflammation and puffiness that I sometimes notice from water retention. I notice within about 1-2 weeks, alongside working out consistently, I feel more toned and have more noticeable definition in my muscles.

The water in fruit also helps to assist the body’s detoxification process, flushing the system and also keeping cells fully functional.

3. Fruits are also super easy to digest, and whist some people think this is a bad thing, it simply means you get the nutrients and goodness in pretty quickly, and it isn’t too taxing on the digestive system. This means you won’t feel sluggish or heavy, or tired, since the energy it takes to digest is saved and can be used elsewhere.

4. Fruits are also low in calories, and previously you’ll have noticed I don’t like to count calories too much, and enjoy high calorie foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados. However, if losing weight is your main goal, thats a different story. You cannot lose weight unless you have a calorie deficiency - meaning you consume less calories than you expend. Fruits are low in calories and so when I have a big job coming up or want to tone up and slim down, I love eating loads of fruits as they keep me full, keep my digestion active, keep my energy levels high and don’t rack up the calories.

5. Pretty much every cell in our body’s run on glucose, which is ultimately sugar. Eating healthy, whole carbohydrates like fruits & vegetables means you’ll likely notice higher energy levels. There’s a few arguments on this matter, as some people like to eat low-carb diets in order to trigger a fat-burning state (when there is no glucose to use for energy, the body turns to fat cells to convert them to energy). This sounds good in theory as people like the thought of our body’s automatically burning fat without us having to think too much about it, but it also takes a lot of consistency (and energy) in order to reach this state. It’s much easier (and more sustainable) to use glucose from healthy carbohydrates for immediate energy.

6. Fruits are full of life, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These are essential in order for us to thrive, and the wider variety of vitamins and minerals, the less your body will lack in certain things and subsequently, the less random cravings you will experience. Getting enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is crucial in order to keep digestion smooth and to keep skin, hair and nails healthy. Not to mention energy levels high and cellular activity operating as it should. When you cut things like fruit out of your diet, you are cutting out so many vital components. Existing solely on fats and proteins will not give your body what it needs, and will not be sustainable over time.

7. Beyond fruit being food and fuel, is is also healing. It is not just a means to and end of hunger, but it can actually prevent and cure disease and discomfort. It is like medicine. Natural, cheap medicine.

I love this article by the Medical Medium, if you want to learn a little more. It discusses when we lost our way in diet, when we began being fed propaganda about food, and when we became scared of it. It also discusses the main benefits of fruit and why it should be such a vital part of our diets.

I hope this has inspired you to rekindle your relationship with fruit. I know it can be intimidating, but after 6 months of unlimited fruits, I am actually slimmer, lighter and more energetic than ever.

All-Natural Miso Almond Fudge

Vegan, Sweets + Desserts, Snacks, Recipe, Gluten freedanielle copperman1 Comment
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This recipe is so, so easy and, I mean, it’s just the dream. Not only is it simple and stress-free to make, it’s also all-natural, completely sugar-free, and high in functional nutritious ingredients. With almonds and coconut oil, this fudge recipe holds incredible benefits with high levels of healthy fats and protein, which support cell function and repair and growth of muscles, hair, skin and nails. I just love it. I keep pieces in the freezer for a quick snack and for a safe burst of energy during the day, before a workout or as an afternoon/evening snack that won’t spike my blood sugar levels too much. The miso bring a deliciously rich, salty flavour; you’ll see what I mean.

Components

150g dates (ideally medjool)
1 heaped teaspoon white or brown miso paste
3-4 tbs (about 30g) coconut oil, melted
150g almond butter (can use other nut butter if desired)

+ You can make these without miso, and use a pinch of salt instead; I just used it as it adds a nice, unique flavour.

Method

Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor, on the highest speed. If you don’t have medjool dates and if the ones you do have seem a little tough, soften them by placing them in a bowl and covering with boiling water for a few minutes. The drain them and pat them dry, squeezing out any excess liquid before then blending in your food processor with the other ingredients.

Blend until the mixture forms a smooth and sticky paste. It should blend into a smooth doughy ball. Remove from the food processor and spread out into a shallow dish or tray. I used a tuppaware dish for mine as it was small enough to make slightly thicker pieces. Use your hands or the back of a spoon or spatula to spread the mixture across your dish or tray evenly, making it about 1-2cm high. Make sure it is completely compact. Place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours, until stiff.

Once completely stiffened, slice with a sharp knife into small individual fudge-like pieces. You could also slice into bar shapes, if desired.

Return to the freezer and store them here until ready to eat. I like mine quick tough and fudgy, but if you prefer them a little softer, remove from the freezer a few minutes before you wish to enjoy them. Alternatively, you could store in the fridge instead.

Enjoy!

Updated Raw Tamari + Avocado Brownies

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Dessertsdanielle coppermanComment
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This was one of the first and most popular recipes I posted back in 2014 when I first started my blog. I don't even know how, since the pictures were awful, the ingredients list quite overcomplicated in parts, and the method really not as straightforward as it could have been. I've simplified the recipe and perfected the method (since now I am familiar with the power of food processors, when back in 2014 I apparently was not and attempted these in my Vitamix - which is also possible but just not the most straightforward or sensible approach IMO. 

These are my favourite things to keep in the freezer as they don't freeze fully but instead stiffen to become the perfect chewiness; sort of caramelly and fudgy. They are super easy to make and are high in fibre, healthy fats, protein and powerful adaptogens like cacao and maca - which enhance energy levels, reduce stress, balance the nervous system and regulate hormones (and moods y'all). I actually prefer these to baked brownies as they're less sickly and are are filling in a less uncomfortable way.

Ingredients

100g nuts or seeds (I tend to use cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds - either just one or a combination of several (you could also use gluten free oats)
1 tablespoon maca
200g Medjool dates (or standard dates, as long as they are soft)
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or natural syrup of choice
1 tablespoon nut butter - preferably smooth (almond, cashew, peanut, hazelnut, pecan or macadamia all work well)
30g coconut oil - at room temperature (could also use cacao butter, melted)
5-6 tablespoons raw cacao powder (use more or less to suit your tastes)
1-2 tablespoons tamari (could also use soy sauce, or replace with a pinch of salt, to taste)
50g avocado flesh (as ripe as possible)

To top

1 tablespoon cacao nibs, crushed nuts or seeds, cacao powder, salt or fresh orange zest.

Method

Start by measuring the nuts or seeds into food processor. Blend on a high speed Blend until it forms a flour-like consistency similar to ground almonds. Next add the remaining ingredients, except for those you plan to use on top and blend for a further 1-2 minutes. The mixture should become crumbly and should eventually form into a smooth, doughy ball. If it remains crumbly, check to see if the mixture sticks together when you press it with the back of a spoon or a spatula, and it will still work.

Transfer into a container, tray or small individual moulds (cake tins work well). Use the back of a teaspoon, tablespoon or small spatula to press the mixture into the base of whatever you decide to use. Ensure the mixture is compact and smooth it down to avoid any gaps. 

Top with toppings of your choice or, like me, leave au naturale. Place in the freezer for a minimum or 1-2 hours, and store them hear until ready to serve. I keep mine in the freezer for weeks and slice mouthful sized pieces off every now and then when I need a little something.