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Jerk spiced Aubergine with fresh Mango and Cucumber Salsa

Jerk spiced Aubergine with fresh Mango and Cucumber Salsa

I love aubergine and I love this plant-based recipe. The sharpness of jerk spices against sweetness and freshness of mango and cucumbers is brilliant. I also love the dressing for this salsa. Adding sesame seeds is a great addition to help your digestion. Sesame seeds have so many health benefits from lowering cholesterol to keeping your digestive tract free of worms. Adding them to dressing or simply even roasting and sprinkle them on salads adds not only flavour but health benefits as well.

Enjoy 

aubergine

Jerk Spiced Aubergine with Mango & Cucumber Salsa

Lovely spiced aubergine with fresh mango and cucmaber slasa; good for digestion and easy on stomach; dressing has sesame seeds which have amazing digestive properties. It helps lower cholesterol, has ability to relieve constipation and remove worms from the intestinal tract
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Aubergine cut in half, vertically
  • 1 tbsp allspice powder
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce

Mango and Cucumber Salsa

  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red oninon, diced
  • 1/2 bunch, coriander (cliantro)
  • Few spring onions, thinely sliced
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp seasame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Blend everything except for the aubergine in the Nutri blender to form a paste
  • Cut the aubergine in half, lengthways and score the inside in a criss-cross pattern
  • Pour the jerk spiced marinade over the aubergine and allow to sit for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200 ̊c/180 ̊c fan and bake the aubergine until lightly
    brown on top and fully cooked through – approximately 40-45 minutes
  • Serve with the salsa

Mango and Cucumber Salsa

  • Cut all vegetables and mixed in the bowl
  • Prepare dressing, season to taste and add to the bowl and mix

Notes

Use tomatoes if Mango isn’t in season
How to continue the weight loss journey?

How to continue the weight loss journey?

 Have you been doing a lot of things right when it comes to weight loss? Maybe you have done the cleanse , went a bit more plant-based, drink nice and healthy smoothies and added protein to your meals. You also exercised adequately  to your abilities and lifestyle. You have put in a lot of work but hit the brick wall and your weight does not want to budge.

Quite often this is when many people give up. You start wondering where is the issue? Maybe I shoud invest more money in some funny shakes, maybe frutis and vegetables are not so healthy after all.

Maybe I should try keto for few weeks?

I see this as the main turning point for my clients, either they stick to the lifestyle or give up. With the coaching they have a fair chance of actually moving through that point realising that losing weight is a long term game. There is nothing wrong with you  this is a natural body reaction adjusting to lifestyle changes. I believe in slow and gradual weight loss. It maybe a longer way but more sustainable for sure.

 Your big WHY plays an important role here, then you need to follow some steps and actions every day and have accountability  to see sustained results. 

Are you honest with yourself?

detox

At this point  you may realise that actually some of your old habits returned. I always encourage to write a journal with all food and drinks you have for a few days. I would like you to  be honest with yourself. Sometimes you do not realize how much you eat and drink. Not only that. You do not also realise how your meals are rushed, how stressed you are sitting down to have a meal and you are not aware of your fullness and hunger scale. All of that I cover in my programs together with practice and breathing techniquest to get you to rest and digest mode. You  may  not be mindful with your meals, often snacking in front of TV in the dark not actually monitoring what and how much you eat.

What is the game?

meditiation

I always say that losing weight is a mindset game but not only. The fact is that we love food and love eating it. We have been programmed that way and hormones play also a big part (especially satiety hormones leptin and ghrelin) along with genetics.

Food has a big social meaning for us too . We love sharing it and it creates massive comfort like anything else. We also have insatiable cravings and we love the second piece of the cake although we are stuffed. As per Harvard Medical School, the liking the way food tastes can prompt you to eat 44% more of it. We are also surrounded by food, it is everywhere, however being in lockdown is a massive opportunity actually to cut ourselves off from all of the heavy carbs, sugary food we see in cafes as long as we do not buy them with our weekly food shopping.

In any social setting strong mindset not to give in as well as support from people around are often the key to success. Sometimes people will actually indulge themselves in such settings but very quickly go back to their meal plans day after. If you can do that than this is great , but no everyone can. Weighing  yourself after such event may also not be a good idea. Just go back quickly to your baseline and you should be fine.

So do the quick diets work?

The simple answer is NO. Generally, people taking part in various programs, crushed diets etc , quite often put on the weight back. Their metabolism have slow down, hormones are playing havoc and they are putting on more weight than ever before. This is the road to nowhere.

People love to have a quick results and I get that. I have been there althought I have never followed any diet but I did think that for losing weight I had to exercise as crazy. This lockdown put a lot of pressure on us all, but I still believe looking into big why and not giving yourself excuses to get off the track is the best way. It will be so much harder to go back.

I have a big Why and still nothing 

Now I am not  saying that having a big WHY is a solution to everything. You may have an underlying  health conditon (you may not even know about it) which prohibits you from losing weight. Some thyroid conditions and generally autoimmune conditions come to mind but also poor digestion and poor sleep. 

However, I wanted to focus on digestion and gut health.

Early research shows that there is a strong connection between your gut and your ability to lose weight. Generally,  having a very diversified gut flora and good balance of bad and good bacteria can help you and goes a long way. The comparison have been made between obese and lean people and research has found that gut bacteria in lean people can help them stay  slim by stimulating  the production of hormones that keep you feeling full, such as leptin. (Harvard Medical School)

The foods you eat determine your unique gut bacterial profile. Generally, diet rich in fiber-filled plant foods appears to protect against obesity causing bacteria. The good news it it does not take long to adjust gut bacteria and even few days can be enough to change it , however building healthy habits to include more plant food is critical to long term weight loss.

There are many many complications of excess weight eg. headache, stroke, dementia, diabetes and all its complications, asthma, sleep apnea, kidney cancer, many circulatory problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, lower back pain. Excess weight increses persons risks of more than 195 different medical conditions. So when people say in lockdown  do not care about putting an extra weight on as a blank statement, I am really really angry as the chances these people end up in an overwhelmed NHS are very high sooner or later.

Lifestyle changes for sustainable weight loss

salad

 Mindset, love for yourself and right nutrition are  key here. I highly recommend to work with a weight loss specialist coach to really work out the right nutrition for you and coach you on mindset and other lifestyle changes such as stress and sleep if you feel that you need that extra support.

Drastic changes are not recommended so if you have never tried plant-based diet, changing to it overnight may not be a good idea. Small and consistent steps are better.

  1. Cook dinner at least three times a week – include plant-based meals; that way you can control ingredients and portion sizes.
  2. Add at least two healthy foods to your weekly shopping – I suggest pick two recipes 
  3. Have a journal and monitor for some time water and food intake – everything from snacks to late evening foods.
  4. Switch to water, healthy vegetable jucies and smoothies
  5. Try mindful eating especially in the second half of the day when our willpower is weak and we tend to sit in front of TV eating in the dark. Prepare  lovely herbal tea for good sleep .
  6. Boost your fibre intake – add low sugar fruits such as berry to wholegrain cereal, add 1 tbsp of chia seeds to your smoothie, add half of cup to peas to pasta, add beans and swap white rice for quinoa.
  7. Watch your sugar intake in any form also fruit
  8. Keep to three filling meals and avoid snacking
  9. Eat earlier in the day
  10. Make sure you have accountability – recruit supportive friends who will not tempt you with food but actually accept your choices

The truth is there is no magic wand but constant change by small steps.

I run cleanse and detoxification programs.  My cleanse is not a fast and it does not slow down your metabolism as you still eat on the cleanse. It is designed to give you a good baseline and you have one week to prepare , one week to cleanse and one week to reintroduce some food groups. We remove gluten, alcohol, sugar, processed food and caffeine. It starts on 01st June and I hope you can join this but in the mean time download my detox guide here.

Few Words on Body Confidence and Body Positivity

 Probably we all have seen Adele’s new rare picture on her birthday showing herself considerably  smaller than she used to be so the media went crazy with speculation and both camps of fat shaming and fat accepters raising their voices.  I believe any change starts with loving yourself no matter how you look. If you do not than the whole journey will be much harder and you may not be happier at the end of it. I know there are many eating disorders and psychological and genetic problems with weight but many are not and there are very good healthy reasons why you should lose weight.

That is why it will always be a controversial subject as there is no one size that fits all. We are all individual and we approach this topic differently .  However, it has been massively exploited by various companies offering miraculous diets, supplements and also give us the notion that thin and sporty body is always better than others.

You need to seek answer within yourself and if you struggle or would like some help,  do not do it alone but ask for it. It is a journey of 1000 miles and it starts with a first step and the next one and next one. 

 

 Try this recipe  –  Jerk Spiced Aubergine with Mango and Cucumber Salsa

aubergine

Jerk Spiced Aubergine with Mango & Cucumber Salsa

Lovely spiced aubergine with fresh mango and cucmaber slasa; good for digestion and easy on stomach; dressing has sesame seeds which have amazing digestive properties. It helps lower cholesterol, has ability to relieve constipation and remove worms from the intestinal tract
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Aubergine cut in half, vertically
  • 1 tbsp allspice powder
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce

Mango and Cucumber Salsa

  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red oninon, diced
  • 1/2 bunch, coriander (cliantro)
  • Few spring onions, thinely sliced
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp seasame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Blend everything except for the aubergine in the Nutri blender to form a paste
  • Cut the aubergine in half, lengthways and score the inside in a criss-cross pattern
  • Pour the jerk spiced marinade over the aubergine and allow to sit for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200 ̊c/180 ̊c fan and bake the aubergine until lightly
    brown on top and fully cooked through – approximately 40-45 minutes
  • Serve with the salsa

Mango and Cucumber Salsa

  • Cut all vegetables and mixed in the bowl
  • Prepare dressing, season to taste and add to the bowl and mix

Notes

Use tomatoes if Mango isn’t in season

Love M.

Are you ready for the cleanse? Find out why it could help you.

Are you ready for the cleanse? Find out why it could help you.

Welcome to May!

Is it 07th week in lockdown? Not that I am counting but the emotional rollecoaster is true and real. 

Every Monday morning I do Motivation Monday video. I love having that focus on Monday morning and my schedule clearly written for the whole week. For sure I am not perfect but I am defenitly getting better in achieving what I want. I am also patient with myself going more inwards to think and be with my thoughts so that I can be focused.

This weekend I spent Friday and Saturday with my coaching tribe. Heart-centered people who know that they want to help others and have the lifestyle they always wanted. The services they provide during COVID-19 are invaluable. Why? As good coaching is all about good listening, it is about self-mastery of life. 

Now, let’s talk about cleansing and detoxification. This is my topic and how I put back my health on track. May for me is the month of easy digestionas as well as minimizing the impact of stress and anxiety to manage the digestive problems which quite often are rooted in an emotional state.

Digestion is also a key when it comes to losing weight. Without your liver and gut properly functioning , losing weight can be a very hard task. 

Role of fibre and nutrient dense food

The sole function of fibre is to provide fullness and bacteria for our gut to help produce the compounds which in turn balance our sugar levels and tell our brain that we are full. 

The recommended intake is 30g of fibre a day and with all simple carbs means that a lot of people suffer from lack of right quantity of fibre in their diets. If you aim for colorful food in every meal it will satisfy not only your senses but also your apetite. Portion control is also a key and you should work out your hunger and fullness scale and stop eating at 80% full so that your brain has time to catch up. Target  two pieces of fruit, five servings of vegetables, three servings of whole grain, and one or two servings of nuts or seeds daily.

If you feel that you cannot fit in that much fibre (and some people cannot) , taking supplement or fibre powder can be a good option. 

The difference between detox and cleanse

Over the years people realised the health benefits of cleanse and detoxification. Many people experience good results, focus on themselves, their diets and build healthy habits over a short period of time which they can continue once the cleanse is done.

Over the years I have done many detoxes and cleanses ,  with my coaching tribe as well as Independetly and recently I finished one lead by Functional Medicine Practitioner – Andrea Nakyama. There is always something new to learn or try. 

Following her defenition –  The purpose of a cleanse is to clear the body of foods and chemicals that you may be allergic or sensitive to. It’s also an opportunity to rid the body of toxic burdens. At the same time it’s meant to improve your body’s ability to handle and dispose of these substances. What are some of the places in which toxins come into our lives? 

  1. pesticides in produce
  2.  plastic drinking bottles (now you have glass!)
  3. phthalates and parabens in skin and hair care products
  4. solvents from paints 
  5. hormones from meat that leak into our water supplies 

This means removal of some of the foods for a week . Simultaneously, you’ll be adding certain foods and nutrients that will enable you to improve your patterns of toxic elimination. We remove alcohol, sugar, gluten and caffeine to give our body and especially liver a  break and discover and food senstivities.

Detox is focusing on flushing out toxins from your body which have accumulated over the time. Toxins love sitting in our fat cells. Cleansing goes a bit further , it is the rest for your mind as well and doing other activites such as meditiation, body brushing, gentle exercise. Time to go inwards and focus on mindful activites and restoring and waking up our intituition to what serves us in this world.

Cleansing is a vacation for your internal organs and for your body and mind —rest, relax, reset, refresh!

Why and How to start the cleanse

If you feel sluggish, can’t lose weight, have poor skin , poor digestion resulting  in frequent bloating it may be the time for the cleanse. I always suggest it to the clients when they start with me as I think it is a good way to so called ‘clean the tank’ and prepare  for change of habits. Not everyone is ready as it is a challenge to start with but it defenitly can be done. 

My Group Restore and Renew Program lasts three weeks to give you time to prepare, cleanse and reintroduce the food groups. I provide recipes, support, protocols and even essential oils and supplements if you want to (from Doterra) (at additional cost). These are a great add on to the whole experience.

If you join by 15th May you will also get a Welcome Pack with selection of oil samples, teas and self-care products worth £80. Cost is £97 (instead £127). It also includes initial coaching session and follow up two weeks after cleansing program. You get access for life and opportunity to take part in the cleanse 4 times a year without addtional cost.

Program starts on 01st June 2020. 

You can also download my e-guide which is a good starting point. 

I also suggest the recipes and food to include and one of them are beetroots which I like to add everyday to my cooking. I juice them, roast, make hummous and recently done this beetroot curry. Have a try.

Are you Ready?

So are you ready for the cleanse? You might not be or have a lot of objections. Investing money in yourself it is not an easy thing to do. However, joining the program might be what you need and want. Having guidance and accountability  is great as well as support. On your own it might be a very lonely journey. Focusing  on your health can be a great thing to do right now. Maybe you have not be successul in social distancing from your fridge or had far too many drinks (no judgment – have been there) and while the lockdown is being relaxed you want to refresh and come back to your form?

If you are not sure let’s talk and you can book the appointment here:

I really hope you can join

Love Monika.

health coach

Beetroot Curry with Carrot & Coconut Sambal

Beetroot helps to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and enhance antioxidant status in the body. It is a valuable ingredient for providing liver support and helping liver detoxification.
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Carrot and Coconut Sambal

  • 45 g Unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 125 ml coconut water (or mineral/ filtered water)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 large (or 2 small) carrots, coarsley grated
  • 1 lime, juice and 1/2 tsp zest
  • Fine sea salt to season
  • 1 red or green chilli finely chopped (optional)

Beetroot Curry

  • 650 g fresh beetroots (approx 4 medium)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 20 dried curry leaves (or 1 sprig fresh)
  • 2-3 small green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, bashed in half
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic lcoves, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus more for finishing
  • 1 400ml can full-fat coconut milk
  • 15 g fresh coriander
  • 1 lime, jucie for curry and zest to garnish
  • Seasoning to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges to serve

Instructions
 

Carrot and Coconut Sambal

  • Combine the desiccated coconut and (coconut) water in a small bowland soak for 30 minutes.
    Slice the onion into thin slices. Add the onion, with the grated carrot, lime juice and zest to the coconut and mix well. Stir in the chilli if you are using it.
    Taste for seasoning. It should be fresh and sharp to balance the curry.
    Spoon into a serving bowl, cover and set aside while you prepare the curry

Beetroot Curry

  • Peel the beetroots and cut them into thick matchsticks / batons.
  • In a large pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil.
  • Add the coriander seeds, curry leaves, chilies and cinnamon stick. Stir well
    and cook for two minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the onion and salt. Stir and cook until the onion slices are translucent
    (about 7 minutes). Add the garlic, stir and cook for one minute, then add
    the beetroot and coconut milk.
  • Reduce the heat and partially cover. Make sure that the liquid is simmering
    very lightly, not boiling. Boiling will cause the coconut milk to split. Cook for
    25 minutes until the beetroot is tender and flavours have combined.
  • While the curry is cooking, wash and chop the coriander.
  • To finish the curry, remove the cinnamon stick and squeeze in the lime
    juice. Stir, taste and add seasoning to balance the flavours. Fold in half ofthe coriander. Either sprinkle the remaining coriander over the curry, orput it into a small dish for diners to help themselves.
  • Serve the curry on a platter with rice and the sambal. Garnish with the limewedges.

Notes

I like using coconut sambal for the variety of curries I do. I like the sweeter taste of coconut combined with lime juice
 
 
Source: Adapted from recipes by My New Roots / Kate Waters. Edited by Sarah Lumley.
Keyword vegan curry