Avocado & Tomato on toast

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Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. I don’t mind repeating what hundreds of experts and nutritionist have been saying for years.

I am one of those who are rarely hungry when I wake up, so I do my exercise in the morning before it. Try waking up a little earlier and procrastinating for 30 minutes, and you will surely work out an appetite. Moreover, if you make this a habit, your body will become accustomed to it, and it will start demanding it!

Skipping breakfast makes your body think that no food will be coming your way and it will stop the fat burning process, keeping as much as possible and activating the fat storage when the food becomes available again, this is known as “starvation mode” it is true that it doesn’t kick in properly until more time has passed by, but after the night fasting, it impacts your metabolism. No breakfast, no active burning!

There are few things healthier than an avocado. I thought I hated it for most of my life, thank goodness I came to my senses in Australia, when I fell in love with it, and today, I am sharing with one my favourite avocado breakfast.

Ingredients for 2 people:

1 Avocado

1 Tomato

Lemon juice

Salt

Wholegrain Spelt Bread (or any wholegrain bread)

FullSizeRender2Chop the avocado and the tomato in tiny squares and mix them in a bowl. Cut two thin slices of bread and toast them. Add a little bit of salt and squeeze half a lemon on the bowl, mix well, place on your toast… enjoy.

Option 2: with low fat cream cheese.

You can add some extra protein by layering a bit of cheese to your toast before adding the avocado mixture.

Black Rice

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This has been a horrible week at work, stressful, bad weather… the only thing that has put a positive note on it, has been the lovely discovery I made during the weekend and that has made my home made lunches this week Mmmm so delicious.

I have been bored lately, and I devoted a couple of hours of my Saturday last week to wander around aimlessly through the posh supermarket of my town, (which is already posh enough as it is) in the search of the sexy named Forbidden Rice.

According to history, only the ancient Chinese emperors were allowed to eat this rare type of rice in the kingdom, and it was meant to provide them with longevity. There is a scientific reason behind this popular Chinese belief, and in fact this rice contains more antioxidants than blueberries and it’s much higher in protein that it’s white counterpart.

Not only that, this variety of rice, is what today is considered and ancient grain, which hasn’t been modified for efficient farming or mass production, retrieving its original benefits and characteristics. Moreover, it doesn’t have the same glycemic index as white rice, is even lower that brown rice, and has fewer calories than any of them too.

This is as healthy as rice can get, and on top of that, it’s rich nutty flavor and exotic colour, make it an absolute showstopper when trying to impress at your dinner parties.

It is cooked very much like brown rice, it’s wholegrain coverture makes it harder so it needs approximately 30 minutes of cooking. You can cook it only 20 if you leave it in hot water for a couple of hours or since the night before.

I have been cooking it with prawns and calamari rings, in a manner of black healthy paella, and it works really well, but it can be a nice side dish for anything you would do with white rice.

The only downside, as usually with these things, is the price, it’s significantly more expensive than normal rice, but hey… your body will thank you.

Facts about black rice:

White Rice: 180 calories, 53 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein GI 70

Brown rice: 170 calories, 46 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein GI 50

Black Rice: 160 calories, 34 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams protein GI 35

(for GI guidance: for weight loss, the GI of your food should be under 40, for weight maintenance between 40 and 50 and for weight gain, anything above)

Black rice recipe coming soon!

Zucchini Soup

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So let’s get started!

I promise you this soup is so delicious, no one would imagine is so healthy.

Very low in fat, carbohydrates and very low GI.

Just in case you don’t know what GI means, here is a 2 line explanation for beginners: The GI or Glycemic Index is the reaction that foods produce in your sugar levels. The higher the GI, the higher that particular food scores in the “fattening” foods index.

This response is caused by the production of insulin and is directly linked to Diabetes.

If you want to finish your days with a warm, hearty dish full of goodness, try this super easy soup.

You will need:

  1. A medium to large sized pot
  2. A wooden spoon
  3. A blender

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Zucchini
  2. 2 Onions
  3. 2 portions of cream cheese (the likes of Kiri) low fat versions are also good
  4. 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. 1 cube of vegetable or beef stock
  6. Salt to taste (if needed)

How to do it…

First peel and chop the onions in big chunks (they will be blended later so no need to spend time chopping finely)

Wash the zucchini and cut off both ends, you can throw those away. Then split them in half in length and side to side and chop them in big cubes (see picture)

zucchini

Put the olive oil into the cooking pot and turn the heat on to medium high, once the oil is hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt so they lose some water. Move them around with the wooden spoon to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Adjust the heat if necessary.

You want the onions to be a bit cooked, so they don’t taste raw later on. When they go slightly transparent, then you add the chopped zucchini.

Then mix the veggies, add 200 ml of water and the stock and put the lid on. Cook on medium heat (gently boiling) for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Take the pot out the heat and check that the level of water is appropriate. You can remove or add if needed. Add the two cheese portions and then blend until smooth. Test for salt and add to your taste.

Enjoy!