Diet and sweet pancakes

A weekend is a great opportunity to slow the time down, not be in a rush and do what you like. I really enjoy cooking. At the same time, I never spend in the kitchen for more than forty minutes. Because healthy meals do not require a lot of time.

In the morning, I slowly crawled out of bed on an exercise mat. A little more than half an hour of yoga, and I my body is grateful to me. This afternoon, I play tennis which is an intense cardiovascular workout. So 30 minutes of yoga is enough to warm-up joints and muscles. After yoga – a green smoothie, shower and cooking breakfast. As always this happens with different recipes in my case, Russian pancakes recipe was converted into a one without gluten and sugar.

Ingredients for eight medium pancakes:

  • bananas instead of sugar – 2 pieces;
  • baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon;
  • eggs – 2 pieces;
  • coconut milk – 3 tablespoons;
  • cup of quinoa flour (can be substituted for rice flour, if you need gluten-free option, or wheat, if you eat gluten);
  • glass of water;
  • a pinch of salt.

Bananas I mash in a blender, then mixed with all the ingredients. And I leave the dough for 30 minutes to infuse. Then I stirred and still about a quarter cup of water. I fry pancakes quickly with a little olive oil.

In the evening I made a variant of dietary jam. Just mashed in the blender two mango pulp (you can use any other fruit). I added five teaspoons of chia seeds in a mango puree, and put in the refrigerator overnight. The seeds swell and make the mass like a jam. It served as a topping for pancakes with strawberries.

The great compliment for this breakfast is a green tea with lemon and a little clove. It is not only a tasty and healthy meal, but also a way to hear one more time that I am the best wife in the world! 🙂

Choco shock

A month ago I organized an excursion to the small chocolate factory owned by a French couple in Saigon. It took us two hours to get there, and it is considered extremely long by local standards. However, it really was worth the trouble. From this time on, cacao nibs are a must-have in our kitchen.

You can see cacao nibs in the picture of my brownie. The harvested and dried cocoa beans are then roasted and cracked. After that, cocoa butter is produced using the hydraulic press. Cocoa butter is the most valuable product in chocolate production process. The extraction process also produces cocoa powder, which is not as costly as cocoa butter, but is quite healthy too. To produce a chocolate bar, cocoa powder is mixed again with cocoa butter. Then sugar is added for sweetness. The sort of chocolate depends on other ingredients added to basic ones. Milk chocolate contains much milk; aerated chocolate consists of much air. By the way, white chocolate actually has no chocolate. There is no cocoa powder in it and cocoa butter is replaced by palm oil. Basically, if you study chocolate bar labels in detail, you will find out that of chocolate there is only color left in them, the rest is sugar, palm oil and emulsifiers.

Still, even the most expensive and darkest chocolate bars have not as much chocolate as we would like (French chocolate factory in Saigon is an exception, as chocolate there is hand-made and of premium quality). My boyfriend is an avid sweet tooth. After the chocolate factory excursion he went to the supermarket and studied all the chocolate bar labels possible. From now on, he is going to eat nothing but my homemade sweets.

And here is the recipe of my first brownie. You can easily substitute cacao nibs by cocoa powder. The result will be the same!

  • 2 bananas
  • 80g cacao nibs/ cocoa powder (grind cocoa beans in blender or coffee mill)
  • 4 tablespoons rice flour
  • 3 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (grind them in blender or coffee mill)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (it’s up to you, I like to add it to my pastry)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 200ml coconut milk (can be replaced by any kind of milk)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar for sweetness (can be replaced by honey or dates)
  • Walnut – optional.

Whisk bananas, cacao nibs and agave nectar or dates. In a separate bowl beat eggs, cinnamon, coconut oil, coconut milk and baking soda. Blend in both mixtures, whisk and add flour. Then stir in ground walnuts. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Pour mixture into a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.

I have baked brownies twice recently. And our family council has concluded that cooled down brownies taste better and tend to reveal a more vivid chocolate flavor.

I recommend you to prepare fresh ginger and lemon tea to your brownie. Just put some ginger and a little of lemon juice into a teapot, add hot water and in 10 minutes your flavored tea is ready!

Dietary muffins

I don’t remember why and how I decided to cook dietary muffins this year. But recently I cook them quite often for our nice family weekends. I have tried different options of recipe. Firstly, I added a homemade cottage cheese, but I don’t eat dairy products for half a year now. So I created the different recipes and the taste is even much better. And now this is definitely dietary muffins without gluten, sugar, dairy products and butter.

Ingredients and proportions for six muffins:

  • 2 small organic eggs + 1 egg white;
  • 1 teaspoon of stevia (or teaspoon of honey);
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil;
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda;
  • 4 tablespoons of buckwheat flour;
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut or brown rice flour;
  • 6 pieces of mashed dates;
  •  2 mashed bananas with 1 teaspoon of organic cacao;
  • dried apricots or raisins to your taste.

I put dried apricots into hot water for 10 minutes. They swell up and the taste becomes very tender.

While dried apricots are soaking I’m mixing all the ingredients adding one after another. Then I put paste in baking cups filling them half and then bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

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I cooked such muffins several times. You’ll have the tenderest taste if you add soaked apricots 🙂

One more nice option is to mash a carrot instead of dates with bananas and cacao.

Bon appetite!

Morning notes and fruit salad with cinnamon

Morning is my favorite time of the day. In the morning I love to do the most pleasant things: practice yoga, cook delicious breakfast, read a book, work out or just go for a walk. Recently I began to write morning notes. They say it helps to disclose the creativity. You wake up in the morning; you take a pen and write everything you have in your head (use a pen, not the keyboard or touch screen). The main thing is to write everything, even some funny and crazy thoughts!

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This morning I wrote my notes and made bright fruit salad for breakfast.

Fruit salad (for two):

  • 1 kiwi
  • ½ pineapple
  •  ¼ watermelon
  • Cinnamon to your taste
  • Home-made yoghurt or non-fat cottage cheese to your taste (optional)

Let this day be also bright and rich!

Fruits and nuts smoothie for breakfast

A multilayer smoothie! Beautiful, healthy and nutritious!

I rescheduled my workout in order to make it and take some pictures of it.

Multilayer smoothies look really beautiful in transparent glass. I also enjoy the richness of taste when I eat different layers with the small spoon and occasionally mix them.

Fruit and nut smoothie (for two):

  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 kiwi
  • Fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • About 20 Hazelnuts
  • 100 g of homemade yoghurt (or non-fat cottage cheese)
  •  8 walnuts

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Blend the mango and pour the first layer into the glasses. Wash the blender. Then blend avocado, kiwi, mint and cinnamon. Pour a second layer. Put hazelnuts on the top. Then pour homemade yoghurt or non-fat cottage cheese. Decorate your smoothie with walnuts, hazelnuts and mint leaves.

Enjoy the taste of this wonderful breakfast!

Breakfast: cottage cheese pancakes with strawberry

Recently I’ve cooked our favorite cottage cheese pancakes. That time I added more eggs and flour so portions were bigger than usual. I had them for breakfast and I wasn’t hungry for several hours till lunch. Time of cooking: 10 minutes to prepare paste, 10 minutes for frying and making strawberry mix at the same time. Total: 20 minutes.

I always put the meal into the separate plates for each of us. We don’t have additional plates or salad bowls with food on the table lest you want to eat more. In fact, a plate of food is quite enough to satiate the stomach.

The recipe of my pancakes:

  • 2 small eggs;
  • 2 small white eggs;
  • 1 teaspoon of stevia;
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon;
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla;
  • 3 spoons of rice flour;
  • 3 spoons of coconut flour;
  • 200 grams of cottage cheese.

I mixed all ingredients in a blender, then I fried pancakes in a pan with olive oil. At the same time I put washed strawberries in a blender, added one teaspoon of stevia and two spoons of coconut milk. Then I put three pancakes with strawberry “jam” in the middle of plate. I also put some berries to the pancakes and poured blended strawberries into the glasses to use it as a jam.

Bon appetite!

My nutrition or how to increase the immunity and loose 6 kg a month

Today I’m going to tell you about my nutrition that saved me from permanent colds and illnesses. It also helped my dad to lose six kg a month, my mom – three kg, and my boyfriend has lost four kg a month!

More than two years ago I had permanent immunity problems. It forced me to study different nutrition researches. I found out how the food influenced our health and lifetime.

Analysis of food preferences of people from different countries led scientists to impressive results. People with complex illnesses started to feel better; they got rid of symptoms and as a result had an eventful high-quality life for more than 80 years. It is not a one-time diet: first results can be seen only after 6-12 months. This is the diet for the whole life.

Having read lots of information I realized that everything we eat is potentially affecting our lifetime. I decided I love myself so much that I’m ready to stop eating cookies, chocolate, meat, mayonnaise and so on. That’s right; two years ago I’d been eating it every day!

So here is the summary of all the information that I’ve found in internet about a healthy diet. It became my healthy lifestyle program.

I harshly changed my nutrition. We discussed all the information on family council and decided to change our diet together.

First two weeks were the hardest. When we went to a supermarket we realized that at least 80% of food selling there was unhealthy. I had a headache after 30 minutes of reading lists of ingredients. During two first weeks I was hungry all the time. At such moments I’ve been eating the small amount of fruits, vegetables or nuts. But then everything has changed! I felt lightness and cheerfulness; it seemed there was more positive in my life and my brain started to work better and faster.

Later I felt terrible after eating something unhealthy (pizza, chocolate or French fries) and I didn’t ever want to eat it again.

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So here are my nutrition principles and their reasons*:
*Please, pay attention there aren’t prescriptions. This is just my personal experience. And this is your personal or your doctor responsibility to choose and/or prescribe any diet.

Principle Reason
(how I explain the reasons for myself*)
Exclusion of gluten: no wheat flour, barley or rye. It means you have to exclude bread, sweets, wheat noodles, kvass, beer, whisky, and oatmeal. Wheat, barley and rye contain gluten. It makes your intestinal walls thinner so pathogenic bacteria can penetrate into your blood. They also contain proteins, which cause cancer and autoimmune diseases.
90% exclusion of dairy products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream. Dairy products contain unhealthy proteins; they also contain fats, which cause different diseases and shorten your lifetime. I drink a cup of coffee with milk once a day.
Exclusion of red meat: beef, pork, and mutton. Researchers say that you can eat boiled beef or mutton once a week. Meat contains saturated fats, which increase your cholesterol level and the risk to heart disease and diabetes.
Saturated fats were replaced with unsaturated. For example, I don’t have any sunflower oil at home, but I eat more olive oil, nuts, red fish and olives.

I also reduced the amount of eggs consumption.

Saturated fats are increasing cholesterol level.
Exclusion of legumes: haricot, peanuts, and peas. I eat soy sauce but only with sashimi 🙂 Legumes contain unhealthy proteins, which can cause undesirable immune reactions or may be reason of cancer diseases.
Exclusion of sweets, any drinks from the shop, food with high content of sugar. They cause undesirable immune reactions; reduce intestinal flora.
Exclusion of semi-prepared foods e.g. sausages. Also mayonnaise and ketchup. Large amount of saturated fats. Plus you cannot control the production of this food and you never know what it contains.

Here is the list of my food daily plan:

  • Fish and seafood – two times a day for lunch and dinner;
  • Lots of vegetables – lunch and dinner;
  • Filleted chicken and turkey. I don’t eat it for the last year; formerly I had been alternating it with fish and seafood;
  • Rice or buckwheat crisp breads;
  • Rice or glass noodles, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa;
  • Fresh fruits;
  • Dried fruits and nuts;
  • Stevia instead of sugar just for baking;
  • Sweets of my own recipe (rice or coconut flour and stevia) – one-two times a week;
  • Eggs in the sweets or in the omelet – once or twice a week;
  • Coffee with milk without sugar – one time a day. Sugar can be replaced with stevia. You can put it into container and keep it in your bag;
  • Any amounts of greens;
  • Lots of water of room temperature.

Once a week I have a cheating day when I can eat scoop of ice cream or some cake in a cafe.

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I’m used to my nutrition and have no problems with it at all. I enjoy eating savory vegetables, fresh fruits and delicious fish and seafood!

I love cooking a healthy food and this is actually easier than to cook the food from my past life 🙂 My health has greatly improved for the last two years! I became healthier, more cheerful, more active and more creative! All the time and money I spend on healthy diet will be the best investment in the life!

Healthy sweets: cottage cheese and fruit cake

Every weekend I cook tasty and healthy sweets. I should mention that I do not use wheat flour and oatmeal because they contain gluten. I do not eat it since I have read many articles and researches about it couple of years ago. So this time I baked cottage cheese and banana cake with an orange and mango on my own recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of stevia
  •  2 spoons of coconut flour
  • 2 spoons of rice flour
  • 4-5 bananas
  • 250 grams of non-fat cottage cheese
  • The peel of one orange
  • Mango
  •  15 grams of casein protein for the decoration (can be replaced with a yoghurt)

Mix two eggs with the stevia, and then add rice and coconut flours. You can use only rice flour or mix it with wheat flour (if you eat it). I do not recommend using just coconut flour because there is too much calories in it. I like the taste when coconut flour is mixed with some other. Then mix bananas, cottage cheese and grated orange peel in a blender, and then add flour and eggs. Then put everything to the form and put it to the oven for 30 minutes.

The decoration is up to you. I mixed mango and casein protein in a blender and used some orange peel with a slices of almond.

After the cake is ready you should put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours or for the whole night.

We ate it for breakfast and as a snack during the day. It is delicious and it just melts in the mouth.