Poached Eggs with Avocado Smash on Toast

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This makes for a super filling breakfast or lunch. I love this meal combo as it’s super tasty and satisfying. The combination of protein, healthy fats and wholegrain carbs make for a nutritionally balanced meal that’s bursting with nutrients which fuel our body and mind.  The ultimate ‘good mood food’!

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1 slice of bread, toasted (rye, wholegrain or sourdough work well)

Avocado Smash

  • ½ a ripe avocado (or use all & refrigerate the other half of the smash for following day or freeze)
  • A good squeeze of lime juice
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • A sprinkle of chilli flakes/paprika/mild chilli powder

Optional extras

  • 1 tbsp. Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A handful of mixed salad leaves

Method

  • Peel & mash the avocado with a fork, season with salt & chilli flakes, add a good squeeze of lime juice.
  • Poach egg/s in boiling water to your liking (I add vinegar to the boiling water)
  • Spread the avocado smash on a slice of toast & top with the poached egg/s.
  • Add crumbled feta and cherry tomatoes and serve with a mixed leaf salad, if desired

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

 

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Apple N Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares

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These soft & chewy oatmeal squares taste and smell like warm apple pie. High in fibre and slow releasing carbohydrates they make the perfect on the go breakfast or mid-morning/afternoon snack. Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fats which support heart health by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation. There’s also solid evidence that oats can help lower blood cholesterol thanks to the power of beta-glucan, a soluble fibre found in oats.

Ingredients (makes 9)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds (I use white chia as less noticeable for kids)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple puree/sauce (stew 2 apples in a little water or buy apple sauce, unsweetened preferably)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp. honey, optional (agave, brown rice/maple syrup work well too)

Method

  • Set the oven to 180 degrees and line an 8X8 inch baking tin with parchment paper. (I lightly rub coconut oil onto the tin to allow the parchment paper to stick and leave overhang on all sides for easy removal.)
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon and chia seeds.
  • Stir the honey into the melted coconut oil, if using. Make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients and bit by bit, add the melted coconut oil and apple sauce, mixing well as you go.
  • Transfer the mixture into the baking tray. Use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture evenly throughout the tin, take a minute to do this well for best results.
  • Bake in the oven for approx. 25 mins until firm and golden.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 20 mins then carefully transfer to a wire rack to fully cool for another 30 mins (cutting too early may cause crumbling). Cut into 9 squares and keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

Balsamic Chicken With Roasted Veg

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This is my kind of food – colourful, flavoursome and nutritious. A nutritionally balanced meal in terms of protein, carbs and fat content and packed with Mediterranean goodness. This is my go to mid- week dinner because it’s all done in the one tray and so requires minimal prep & clean up.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 4 baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 courgette, halved and cut into chunks
  • 6 Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large flat mushrooms, halved
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Leaves of 1 rosemary sprig or ½ tsp of dried rosemary
  • Good pinch of Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  • Place all the prepared potato & vegetables (except the tomatoes) in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Pour the oil and balsamic vinegar into a cup and mix in the garlic powder, seasoning and rosemary. Pour two thirds of the marinade over the vegetables and mix well.
  • Spread the vegetables across a baking tray. Put the chicken breasts in the bowl and pour over the remaining marinade, coating both sides. Nestle the chicken breasts onto the tray of veggies and roast in the oven for approx. 30 minutes. Half way through, turn the potatoes and veggies and add the tomatoes. Once out of the oven, allow to rest for 5 mins then serve immediately.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

Banana Protein Pancakes

The high protein content of these pancakes makes them super filling so they’ll keep you full & energised for hours. Eggs, banana and oats are rich in mood boosting nutrients so if there is such a thing as ‘good mood food’ these pancakes definitely qualify!

protein banana pancakes instagram(makes 2 large pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

Method

  • In a wide bowl, mash the banana very well with a fork. Add the eggs & whisk together until well combined.
  • Add the oats to a blender/bullet and blend to a flour consistency (you can also skip the blender & just use fine/quick oats).
  • Add the oat flour and cinnamon to the mixture and stir to combine.
  • Heat a little oil/butter in a non- stick pan. Pour in half the mixture for a large pancake.
  • Cook for 2-3 mins on each side. Allow to cool for a few mins before tucking in.

Serving suggestion: press blueberries into the pancake during cooking or serve berries on the side with a drizzle of maple syrup.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Feta Salad

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A tasty and filling winter salad…

◊ Make as a light supper then get a couple of lunches out of it the following days.

◊ A high fibre, nutrient dense salad powered with plant protein & iron.

◊ Rocket leaves and apple cider vinegar enhance digestion whilst quinoa, onion & seeds are prebiotic which means they support your gut health.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ tsp paprika (optional)
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 + ¾ cups vegetable stock
  • 4 fistfuls rocket leaves
  • 100g feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2tbsp. red/pink onion – very finely diced
  • 2tbsp. toasted seed mix (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tbsp. dried cranberries

 Dressing (whisk to together in a cup)

apple cider vinegar twitter

Method

  • Set oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bit sized cubes.
  • Toss with the olive oil & paprika and spread out evenly on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for approx. 20-25 mins, tossing half way through. Remove from oven when tender and caramelized and allow to cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, rinse the quinoa under cold water in a sieve then add to a pot of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered for approx. 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, cover pot with a lid then allow to sit for another 5 mins. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  • Add the quinoa to a large salad bowl, stir in the finely chopped onion followed by the sweet potato. Pour the dressing over and mix to combine. *Throw in the rocket and toss the ingredients together with your hands. Top with cubes of feta and sprinkle with the seeds mix and dried cranberries.

Notes: This salad can be served warm or cold and keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days. *If you plan to get a few days out of this salad, then you could add fresh rocket to each serving as you go instead of mixing it in from the start.

elsa jones logo

Elsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

‘Change Your Health Direction’ Aftercare

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Lorraine (CYHD Health Coach) & Rebecca (Supervising Pharmacist)

Congratulations to you all on completing our 8 week Change Your Health Direction Programme. It’s the end of the 8 weeks, but really it’s just the beginning of a new health direction for you all to follow right through the years ahead.

YOU are the ones who can make the most impact on being a healthier you, one meal at a time, one snack at a time, one workout at a time, one day at a time. It’s the start that stops most people and all of you have already leaped over that hurdle! Even losing a small amount of weight has health benefits.

The key to your success going forward will be that good old scout’s motto, “Be Prepared”. Take time to plan your meals in advance. This will help you to introduce variety, eat more nutritious, home-cooked food and rely less on convenience and processed foods, the bonus is that it will probably also save you money!! Win win!!

Prepare meals using mostly fresh ingredients and choose foods like fruits, veg (eg carrot sticks, celery, cucumber sticks) or a portion of unsalted nuts as snacks. Don’t forget the old recommendation to eat 5 portions of fruit or veg a day has now been changed to 8-10 portions per day so try to include fruit, veg or salad in every meal. Remember size matters, use the food pyramid as a guide for serving sizes. Learn to recognise hunger. If you’re not really hungry at meal times, just eat small portions.

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Use healthier cooking methods. Boil, steam, dry-roast, grill, poach, stir-fry or bake food instead of frying it. Our Optima raw virgin coconut oil is a fantastic alternative to butter or cooking oil. Cut visible fat off meat and drain fat off meat and sauces when they’re cooked. Choose tomato-based sauces instead of creamy sauces. Home made soups are a great comfort food, freeze portions of it to have at short notice when needed. Base your meals on having plenty of vegetables and salad – covering half your plate every time.

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You should aim to have a variety of colours on your plate at mealtimes and limit chips and takeaway foods as much as possible. Don’t forget the recipes we’ve suggested to you over the last two months are always available online on our blog.

To be healthy it’s not only about our food intake, you need regular physical activity also. It can be hard to motivate yourself so join a walking group, a neighbour, an exercise class, where you can encourage each other. Choose an activity, sport or exercise routine that you enjoy, this way you’ll be much more likely to stick to it. Remember to drink plenty of water, at least eight cups of water a day. Build your exercise level up gradually, ideally to 60 to 75 minutes of physical activity on 5 days a week but remember always ANY  exercise is better than no exercise. You should try to aim for moderate intensity exercise which causes your heart to beat faster and brings a little sweat to your brow. You should be a little out of breath but still able to talk.

For those of you who have quit smoking don’t forget the benefits:

  • Within 20 minutes of quitting your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal.
  • One day later your risk of heart attack starts to fall.
  • By day two your taste and smell improves.
  • On day three breathing is easier and energy levels increase.
  • Over the next three months your lung function increases, your circulation improves and risk of heart attack and stroke reduces.
  • After one year your risk of heart attack is cut to half that of a smoker.
  • Within 15 years, you will have about the same risk of heart attack and stroke as that of a non-smoker.
  • And not forgetting you’ll have saved yourself a huge amount of money too!

We run the 8-week programme twice every year for anyone who wishes to participate, whether you’ve done it before or are a new face to us. Don’t be afraid to pop in to us in between each programme if you feel you need some motivation or have fallen off the bandwagon or even if you just want us to measure your BMI or have your blood pressure taken.

Wake up with determination because every day is a fresh start. It’s never too early or too late to work towards being the healthiest and best version of you.

What is ‘Change Your Health Direction’?

Lisa Walsh Headshot Corporate

Lisa Walsh
Life Coach and Training Specialist for LloydsPharmacy

Change Your Health Direction (CYHD) is a FREE 8-week programme offering you the opportunity to visit your local LloydsPharmacy, where one of our trained in-store coaches will speak with you on a weekly basis about your health goals. Our instore health advisory services include smoking control support, blood pressure and BMI checks, weight management diary, lifestyle and health coaching sessions. 

The New Year is a wonderful opportunity for us all to align our health goals and lifestyle habits to keep us on track with everyday healthy living and wellbeing practices. Rather than taking something away from your life as a resolution, I love to ‘take on’. This year I am taking on healthy habits that will improve my lifestyle and wellbeing.

So I am super excited to be part of the ‘Change Your Health Direction’ 8 week programme. What I adore about CYHD is that it gives me 8 weeks to monitor the healthy habits I wish to commit to with the support of a Health Coach in my local LloydsPharmacy and it’s for FREE! Yes, I can have a one-to one mini consultation session with the CYHD coach on a weekly basis all for free!

After the Christmas eating, TV watching and couch cuddling, I am ready to increase my exercise levels again, monitor my immune system, care for my skin more and focus on eating a balanced nutritious diet.  The first step is to meet with my LloydsPharmacy Health Coach and set realistic achievable goals. I can’t wait to ‘take on’ the CYHD programme.

Small changes can make a big difference. Whatever change you choose to ‘take on’ your LloydsPharmacy Health Coach is there to support you as you introduce healthier habits into your lifestyle.

Happy New Year to you all and best of luck with whatever you choose to “take on” for 2018.