With officially less than a month to go to Christmas, it’s been getting VERY festive on TFD of late and I don’t doubt that all the indulgence is only set to get more extravagant as we race into December…
But rather than feebly attempting a detox in the New Year (I don’t know about you, but I can never last more than two days on one), I’m going to try instead to balance things as I go along.
Starting with healthier elevenses.
Let’s face it, there’s no escaping those mean hunger pangs that strike by mid-morning… but the good news is that there are a number of deliciously healthier alternatives to reaching for that leftover slice of pie or polishing off a pack of mince pies in one go – I mean, we’re going to be having one or the other later in the day anyways.
And since we’re all in the same foodie boat, I thought that it might be helpful to share my favourites here, along with some DIY hacks…
I absolutely love these pint-sized energy bites as they’re usually vegan, naturally sweetened (with no artificial sugars) and loaded with superfoods… literally and figuratively amaze balls, wouldn’t you agree?
I usually get mine to go from Press London at Selfridges Food Hall where they come in tasty flavours like carrot cake and salted caramel (dates, coconut, pecan, vanilla, flax seeds and bee pollen) – perfect for washing down with one of their vibrant cold pressed juices.
Energy balls are also quite easy to make yourself – for an instant fix, I rely on the recipe that Mighty Bee have shared for their raspberry and sesame coconut energy bon bons.
On the subject of high- energy snacking and superfoods, Punch Food‘s range of super-seeds are a marvellous find. They’re great for sprinkling on your yogurt, porridge, avo-toast or for even just for mid-morning munchies on their own, especially if you have your hands on the coconut brownie mix (made with rich cacao, this is one for dark chocolate lovers) and the warming Cinnamon Spice (the combination of cinnamon, ginger and turmeric is simply perfect as winter sets upon us).
Monday morning meetings and failsafe pocket snacks because this weather is so cold we needed some extra super fuel! Thankfully the new @timberyarduk is right next door. #mondaymeetings #coffeechat #onlygoodcoffee #starbucksisnotrealcoffee #eatrealfeelreal #superseeders #superseeds #cinnamon #winteriscoming #coldhands #warmhearts #coffee
I always find that there’s something incredibly moreish about granola too – there’s just no stopping once you’ve started!
It’s not always healthy of course as store-bought granola is notoriously high in sugar, artificial flavours, additives and preservatives. Quite self-defeating… Which is why, I prefer to make mine at home using Health Box Kitchen’s recipe for an apricot and coconut version.
Photo by Health Box Kitchen
One of the main take-aways from a Deliciously Ella Q&A that I attended a while back, was her great advice to whip up big batches of healthy eats, like energy balls and granola, on a Sunday evening, so you’re stocked up for the week ahead.
But if you’re hard on time/ lazies are more your Sunday mood, then Health Box Kitchen is your handy solution – from granola and granola bars to muesli and energy balls, all their products are handmade in small batches using fresh ingredients from their own family farm or locally sourced!
(Relatively) guilt-free indulgence
Of course there are times when you’re just craving that brownie or chocolate. Nothing else will do.
My go-to at moments like these, are Mira Manek‘s coco fudge. These fudge-like treats are made only with only chickpea flour, dates and coconut oil… and my gosh, they’re good. Soft with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, they especially go down a treat with a cup of tea! You can see here for a full list of Mira’s products and stockists – her website is also a treasure trove of Indian recipes with a uniquely healthy twist.
Coco Fudge back @rawpressco on Monday morning 👏 only 3 ingredients ~ chickpea flour, dates and coconut oil ~ deliciously nutritious #sweet #healthy #cocofudge #dates #healthyfudge #coconutoil #vegan #rawpress #sweettooth #cravings #snacks #chickpea #glutenfree #sugar #nosugar #natural #guiltfree #yum #nutritious #sunshine
But if it’s really a brownie that you want, then the Detox Kitchen‘s raw cacao slices proves that it’s possible to make these free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar, without skimping out on taste!
I know they’re are more apt for summer-time snacks, but I can’t shake my addiction to these frozen smoothie bowls made with antioxidant-rich Açaí berries (a Brazilian superfood).
I think that the best in town are at Raw Press, the achingly cool healthy eatery below Wolf & Badger on Dover Street. From nut butters to coconut yogurt, granola, fruit and cacao nibs – there are a multitude of exciting ways to complete your bowl here…
But of course, you can whip it up at home too – this way, it’s much easier to keep a check on what’s going in, to make sure the benefits aren’t lost through calorie-rich toppings. If you’re interested in giving it a go, I found this Food 52 article incredibly useful when I attempted to make my first açaí bowl.
Clean & Lean Coffee
In addition to serving up colourful acai bowls, Bodyism’s Clean and Lean To Go café inside Fenwick of Bond Street also offer clean and lean cookies (made with quinoa and raw chocolate) and clean and lean coffee – espresso, blitzed with organic butter and coconut oil! It makes for a surprisingly creamy beverage (but butter does that, I ‘spose) and is meant to have a whole host of benefits from supporting fat loss to fuelling your brain power.
Bodyism founder James Duigan’s recipe is modelled on the Bullet Proof coffee concept pioneered by a tech entrepreneur in the States. Now the jury’s out on how nutritious this actually is…
But where Bullet Proof coffee is advocated as a complete replacement for breakfast with at least 2 tablespoons of butter and coconut oil recommended, Clean and Lean’s version uses just a teaspoon of each, making it a lighter and I’d say a pretty delicious on-the-go pick-me-up, with a good dose of your good fats!
If you’re unconvinced, Raw Press have also shared their dairy-free recipe for Coffee & Mylk, described by co-founder Jack as a mineral-rich jet fuel that you can definitely feel good about…
Photo by Raw Press
If however, you’re looking to skip the second round of morning caffeine entirely, then perhaps a refreshingly zingy smoothie might be up your street instead?
One of my favourites is the Coco Green Matcha at Retreat Cafe in Kingly Court – the lush combination of spinach, pineapple, banana, coconut water, matcha and wheatgrass, provides exactly the burst of energy needed to fuel through a busy day!
And equally if I’m at home, I love blasting together leafy greens, juicy fruits and a good heaping of flax seeds in my Nutribullet. Quick tip if you’re fond of doing the same – I always find that a few slices of banana go a long way in smoothening the texture and adding a touch of natural sweetness!
So what about you guys – do you have any healthier options on hand when the elevenses hit? Sharing is caring, so do spill in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I was not invited to review any of these featured products.
If you’re looking to eat healthy when eating out at lunch, you may also be interested in my guide to Healthy Hangouts in London!