THE TIMELESS PLAN

THE ‘TIMELESS’ PLAN:  a plan we can refer back to over and over again. It involves 3 nutritious balanced meals a day, ensuring each plate contains ¼ lean protein, ¼ complex carbs and ½ vegetables and most importantly no snacking. January is truly a perfect time to put this plan into action as it’s strict without being too restrictive. I like to think of this as a gentler approach to a new year detox. It’s not the time to be cutting calories, it’s about adding more variety, more fibre and more veg to support your immunity, digestion, energy and gut health.

My ‘perfect plate’ method is a great tool. Your plate should always be half filled with vegetables (leafy greens, cruciferous veggies – lots of gut loving fibre!) a 1/4 carbohydrate, a 1/4 protein and a little of the good fats.

Carbohydrates: carbs are the body’s primary source of energy and we need them! People are often scared of carbs and I’m here to tell you that there is no need for this fear. You want to be focusing on good whole complex carbs like root veggies (sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots) fresh fruits, most vegetables and whole grains (I favour quinoa, millet, oats, sourdough, rye, buckwheat and brown rice as some of my go to sources). Keep the focus on these and avoid processed packaged foods like white bread, pastries, cakes, pies etc.

Protein: protein is so crucial for our muscle mass, tissue formation and supporting the immune system. Good sources of protein include organic meat, fresh seafood, organic free range eggs, organic dairy and plant-based sources (e.g. tempeh and tofu) and legumes (e.g. beans, lentils and nuts, seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax).

Fat: fat also serves as a crucial source of fuel. It is essential for a multitude of functions including nutrient absorption, brain function, hormone regulation and protecting organs. Not to mention keeping us full and satisfied! However, be sure that you are focusing on the right sources of fat because the wrong ones can do you more harm than good. Good fats include cold pressed olive oil, organic butter, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut and olives.

BENEFITS

This approach isn’t a quick fix, a short term diet or a fad. It’s a way of life and one that you and your family can easily live by. There are a number of benefits from eating this way-
Sustainable and balanced
Increase in fibre
Gut support
Increase in energy levels
Glowing skin
Balanced blood sugar levels
Boosts metabolism
Gives structure and routine
Increase in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals
Increase more vegetables
Introduce more fibre
Increase phytonutrients
Strengthen your immune system
Increase energy levels
Improve any slow transit/digestive issues
Remember to be consistent and you will soon reap the benefits of eating this way.

THE RULES & TIPS

Keep it simple! Remember it’s not rocket science. Keep focused on foods in their most natural state and whole form. For example, carbs: sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice. Protein: Black beans, tempeh, salmon, organic chicken and organic mozzarella. Fat: olive oil, avocado, nuts/seeds.   

 Remember the ‘perfect plate’ method. Half veggies, quarter protein, quarter carb and a little fat.   

No sugar- If you have sweet tooth get your fix from fresh fruits instead! They are filled with nutrients and vitamins!   

 If you can plan a head a little. Buy enough for the week ahead so you feel mentally prepared and know what’s in your fridge/cupboards.   

 Triple up! Whatever you’re cooking… make more of it! Buckwheat for dinner can be tossed into a lovely salad the next day for a homemade packed lunch. Sweet potatoes can be thrown into the mix for a frittata with some fresh organic eggs. Roasted veggies can be done in 30 mins on a Sunday night and voila you have a nutritious side for a couple of evenings in the week.   

 Avoid processed fat- Margarine, lard, poor quality dairy etc. 

 Avoid fast/fried foods. 

 Avoid processed packaged convenience foods- ready meals, sugary pasta sauces, deli meats, shop bought sandwiches etc.  

 Avoid processed flours  

 Avoid fizzy drinks  

 No snacking- If you’re eating good balanced meals you shouldn’t feel the need to snack  

 Limit alcohol and coffee- Try and ease yourself off these stimulants that you of had more of in December.  

 Aim for 30 minutes of movement a day- Jogging, stretching, running, swimming, walking.  

 Aim for 2 litres of water daily 

 Start your day with warm water and lemon.  

THE GOOD FOOD LIST

This is the food list that I would love you to follow for the next couple of weeks, make sure you get organised and stock your fridge and cupboards with everything you are going to need. This list is abundant in nutrients, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals and the focus is really on wholefoods in there simplest form.
VEG:
All veggies including root vegetables (sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, beetroot, carrots, parsnips) Eat veggies in abundance and include some raw leafy greens at every meal like watercress, spinach, lettuces, rocket.
FRUIT:
All fruits are great (eat dried fruits in moderation)
SPICES AND HERBS:
Use all spices and herbs they are so packed full of antioxidants and can easily be added to every meal. Think cinnamon on your porridge, rosemary on your soup and turmeric in your dahl. They not only add so much flavour they also add a punch nutrition wise.
LIQUIDS:
Water, herbal teas, homemade smoothies, homemade juices, matcha.
GRAINS:
Quinoa, brown rice, wholegrain wheat, bulgur wheat, couscous, buckwheat, rye, oats, sourdough, whole-wheat or vegetable pastas, millet, pumpernickel.
FATS:
Nuts, seeds, cold pressed oils, coconut, olives, avocados, organic grass fed butter, organic full fat dairy, coconut yoghurt, unsweetened pure nut butters.
PROTEIN:
Lean (preferably organic) meat such as turkey, chicken or lamb, fish (preferably oily fish) such as mackerel, salmon, anchovies and sardines, tempeh, organic tofu, beans, legumes, peas, pulses, nuts/seeds and organic free-range eggs.

 

Ingredients

BASIL, TOMATO AND CHILLI SALSA WITH AVOCADO & EGG - serves 4

  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped 
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes – quartered  
  • 1 chilli or as much as you can tolerate, finely sliced  
  • Olive oil  
  • 8 organic eggs (optional) 
  • 2 avocados ½ per person 
  • 8 slices of bread – I recommend seedful  

Method

  • Start by making the salsa, add the tomatoes, chilli and basil. Drizzle some olive oil and season. Toast the bread and smash the avocado on top. Boil some water on the hob and turn the low. Crack the egg gently into the pan and poach for around 40 seconds. Drain and add to the toast. Season to taste

Ingredients

BAKED BLUEBERRY PORRIDGE - serves 4

  • 100 g rolled oats 
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds or golden flaxseeds 
  • 250 ml almond milk 
  • 1 apple, grated 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries 
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey, agave, maple syrup (optional) 
  • Handful of sunflower seeds 

Method

  • 1. COMBINE oats, chia seeds, almond milk into a bowl. 
    2. COVER and place in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour 
    3. PREHEAT oven to 170°C fan assisted  
    4. REMOVE soaked oatmeal from the fridge and add grated apple, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder and honey. 
    5. FOLD through blueberries. 
    6. TRANSFER to deep baking tray 
    7. GARNISH with blueberries and sunflower seeds. 
    8. BAKE for 30 minutes 

Ingredients

BANANA BREAD PANCAKES  - serves 8

  • ½ cup rolled gluten free oats 
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 3 eggs 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder 
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed, ground or chia seeds 
  • 1 banana, smashed 
  • maple syrup to serve 
  • blueberries & raspberries to serve 

Method

  • 1. Combine oats, desiccated coconut, milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder and flaxseed. 
    2. Rest the batter for 30 minutes. 
    3. Fold smashed banana and mix through. 
    4. Heat a non–stick pan over a low heat with a little coconut oil and spoon in the pancake mix, 2 tablespoons of mix per pancake. 
    5. Cook over a low heat so that it cooks through. 
    6. Flip over and cook the other side. 
    7. Serve drizzled with maple syrup and berries 

Ingredients

TURMERIC AND COCONUT NOODLES - serves 4

  •   4 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped  
  • 5 medium shallots, roughly sliced  
  • 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced  
  • 3 green chiles, stems removed, roughly sliced  
  • 1 lime - juice of 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin  
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric  
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1 can of coconut milk  
  • 200ml vegetable stock  
  • 200g Clearspring Buckwheat Soba Noodles 
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander  leaves 
  • 4 fillets of salmon - VG use tempeh or tofu  
  • 1 pack of tender stem broccoli  
  • coconut oil 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180. Place salmon on a baking tray and a little squeeze of lemon. Bake for 15-17 minutes.  
     
 
    Combine garlic, shallots, ginger, chilli, lime juice, cumin, turmeric, and coriander in a blender or food processor, and pulse until ingredients are finely chopped. Pulse until ingredients form a smooth paste.  
 
    Heat a pan over medium-high, and drizzle with coconut oil. Add paste. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in vegetable stock and coconut milk. Let simmer 6 to 8 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. 
 
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and add noodles. Cook according to package directions, drain and rinse under cold running water. Divide noodles evenly among 4 serving bowls. Steam the pak choi and ubrcolli for about 5-8 mins, you still want some bite to both. Only place the stems in of the pak choi leave the head out to avoid wilting too much. Drain water. Remove salmon from oven.  
     
 
    Season sauce with salt and pepper if needed. Turn off heat. To serve, ladle the sauce over the noodles. Top with salmon, add the pan choi, spring onions and coriander on the other side. Enjoy. 

Ingredients

SWEET POTATO, CHICKPEA & COCONUT CURRY  - serves 4

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed  
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes  
  • 200g of coconut milk  
  • 2 tbsp garam masala powder  
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder  
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander  
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger  
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed  
  • 4 sweet potatoes, cubed skin left on  
  • 1 onion, diced  
  • 600g bag of spinach  
  • 100g brown rice 

Method

  • In a small bowl combine the garam masala powder, turmeric and coriander. Add coconut oil to your pan, once heated add garlic, onion and ginger. Keep stirring ensuring it doesn’t burn. Once browned off, add the sweet potatoes and mix through. Cook through for 5 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and coconut milk. Place on a low heat and add a lid. In the meantime, boil the rice for 20-25 minutes. Remove the curry from the heat ensuring the potatoes has gone soft. Add spinach and stir through. Serve. 

Ingredients

MINESTRONE WITH BROWN RICE SPAGHETTI - serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped 
  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 head of celery, coarsely chopped, keeping the leaves 
  • 1 head of garlic cloves peeled 
  • 1kg swiss chard, leaves shredded and stalks roughly chopped 
  • a good handful of parsley, finely chopped 
  • 400g can plum peeled tomatoes drained of most of their juices, roughly chopped 
  • 1kg cavolo nero stalks removed, leaves shredded (or savoy cabbage) 
  • 400g can canellini beans drained and rinsed 
  • about 700ml vegetable stock 
  • a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary 
  • parmesan 
  • extra-virgin olive oil , for drizzling 

Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and slowly fry the carrots, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take about 20 minutes but it’s worth it – the slow cooking gives a lovely taste. Add the garlic, chard stalks and half the parsley, and stir to prevent sticking. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced. 
    Add half the Swiss chard leaves, half the cavolo nero, three-quarters of the beans, and the boiling stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour in more stock if needed – don’t add too much – it should be thick. 
    Add the remaining Swiss chard and cavolo nero and blanch briefly so they remain green and crisp. Season when slightly cooled. 
    Purée the remaining cannellini beans coarsely in a blender with some of the cooking liquid. Add to the soup – it should be very green. Stir in the herbs and serve hot with Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

Ingredients

HARISSA CHICKEN WITH LEEKS & SWEET POTATO - serves 4  

  • bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks 
  • 4 sweet potatoes cut into chunks 
  • Himalayan salt 
  • ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons harissa 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed 
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons 
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
  • 1/3 cup coconut yogurt 
  • 1 small garlic clove 
  • 1 cup mixed soft fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves 
  • 1 lemon - juice of

Method

  • Combine the chicken and sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Season them with 2½ teaspoons of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the chicken and potatoes, and toss to combine. 
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the leeks, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil. 
Heat the oven to 180. 
Arrange the chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a large baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Then toss the potatoes lightly, and scatter the leeks over the baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 25 minutes longer. 
While the chicken cooks, place the yogurt in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove over the yogurt, and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 
Spoon the yogurt over the chicken and vegetables in the baking sheet. Scatter the herbs over the yogurt, drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and serve. 

Ingredients

SLOW COOKED CHICKEN CURRY – serves 4

  • 4 organic free range chicken breasts  
  • 2 tbsp curry powder  
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder  
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander  
  • 2 tsp salt  
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar  
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 cans coconut milk  
  • 1 cup water  
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed  
  • 4 sweet potatoes, cubed  
  • 1 onion, diced  
  • 70g coriander  
  • 600g bag of spinach  
  • 100g brown rice  

Method

  • For this recipe you can use either a slow cooker or a deep stew pot. In a small bowl combine the curry powder, turmeric, coriander, salt and sugar. Toss to combine. Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker or stew pot. Add coconut milk and water, making sure to lift up the chicken breasts to prevent the chicken from burning. Add garlic, and the bowl of seasoning ingredients. Stir the liquid to incorporate the seasonings. Add the sweet potatoes and onions. Stir to combine. Cover the slow cooker and set to Low for 6-8 hours, or High for 4-6 hours. If using a pan cover with a lid, put your hob to the lowest heat possible and cook for 6-8 hours. Check on the curry during the last hour of cooking and stir the ingredients if the curry is starting to stick to the sides. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with a fork. Place the chicken back into the slow cooker or pan for the remaining time. In the meantime, boil the rice for 20-25 minutes. Remove the curry from the heat. Add spinach and stir through. Serve. 

Ingredients

IMMUNE BOOSTING VEGETABLE STEW  - serves 4

  • 400g tinned black beans  
  • 1 cup of red lentils  
  • 3 sweet potatoes cubed  
  • 300g greens (whichever you prefer)  
  • 1 tsp of fresh ginger grated  
  • 1 tsp turmeric  
  • 1/2 cayenne pepper  
  • 1 tsp ground coriander  
  • 1/2 tsp cumin  
  • 1 kallo stock cube  
  • 500ml hot water (add gradually)  
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed  
  • 1 onion diced  
  • 4 stick of celery sliced  
  • 100g brown rice  

Method

  • Start by frying off the celery, onion and garlic. Once soften add the spices and ginger and mix through. Add the sweet potato, black beans and lentils. Mix through coating everything. Add your stock cube to your hot water and add into the pan ensuring everything is just covered. If you have some left over keep it to one side as you may need to add it in later. Place on a low heat with the lid on and cook for 20 mins. During this time place the brown rice in a boiling pan of hot water and simmer for 25 minutes. Once the sweet potato is soft take off the heat, add your greens place the lid back on and let it wilt down. Serve.