Eat, Fast and Live Longer!

Dr Michael Mosley, the medical journalist for the BBC Horizon program, has been trying to find ways to keep his brain from aging and to maintain good health. After meeting with experts and undertaking a wide range of tests, he was told that continuing on with his current  lifestyle would almost certainly result in chronic disease. Mr Mosley then tried to find out how some people live a longer life and how they manage to maintain their health better than others.

How to Lose Weight Fast in a Healthy Way

After a lot of research Michael found that fasting actually does a whole lot of good for the body. As the blood goes to the tummy to digest the food when we eat, our energy is put into the metabolism. Conversely, when the body is given rest from the constant digestion, our energy is allowed to go other places and starts repairing and healing the body. There has been numerous studies on fasting with amazing results. Through the Eat, Fast, Live Longer documentary, Mr Mosley introduce the concept of the 5:2 diet. This diet involves eating 5 days per week and ‘fasting’ on two nonconsecutive days. On the fasting days women are to eat only 300-400 calories per day and male are to have 600 calories. After fasting, Michael had his tests done again and was amazed by the improvement of his halth condition.

Personal Experience with the 5:2 Diet

I have tried the 5:2 diet for a little while myself and am impressed by the effectiveness of it. I also have friends that have been on the 5:2 diet for 5 months and experiencing massive improvements on their health.

Please note that this is for people that have consulted with their doctor first and is NOT for people that have a low BMI (Body Mass Index).

Juice Fasting

My Morning Routine

Lemon Water & Snack

I like the mornings. It’s like the night has cleaned the air and left it fresh for a new day. A good morning makes such a big difference for the rest of the day – for me anyway. I start by having a glass of lemon water and a little snack like berries or figs before heading to work. Lemon is a great kick start of the day as it alkalises your body. I usually go 1/2 lemon in two glasses of water – one for me and one for my man. Lemon water helps breaking the fast-mode that your body went into while you were asleep. For those who didn’t know, breakfast comes from “braking the fast” – makes sense:)

lemon water


Walk the Walk

Although I have a car, I try to catch the train most days – for several reasons. One of the reasons is of course that it’s better for the environment. But also because I really enjoy a walk in the morning. Going from the train station to where I work gives me a solid 20 minutes walk. In that time I get to wake up, think about what I want to achieve for the day and simply enjoy just breathing in the fresh air. I’m very lucky to be working close to the ocean and get to smell the salt water every day.

Smoothie Time

When I get to work it’s time for a big smoothie full of nutrients and goodness. I normally put pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and chia seeds in together with chunks of fruit like banana and strawberry so that I have something to chew on. For some reason I don’t feel that it fills me up properly when I don’t chew – it’s more of a meal if I don’t just drink it. I’ll be uploading some smoothie recipes soon, so hopefully that will give you some inspiration for a healthy start to your day!


What is your morning routine?


Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Lemon

medicinalLemon is low in calories, carbohydrates and hardly contains any fat.  It is an acidic fruit, containing about 8% citric acid, but when ingested it turns highly alkaline with pH 9.5. Lemon is therefore an excellent contributor to keeping the body’s optimum alkaline state. Our general diet is highly acidic, which can cause wrinkles, dry skin, joint stiffness, fatigue and bone loss. It is therefore important to balance it out with alkaline foods to assist slowing and reversing of these ageing problems. Operating in an alkaline state makes every system in the body work at its highest performance level, and your overall wellbeing is improved.

Further to being very alkaline, lemon is also an excellent source of vitamin C. Additionally it contains vitamin A, various vitamin B and calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Adding lemon to the daily diet stimulates the production of enzymes and digestive juices, enhancing the absorption of iron ad calcium.

Lemon’s Youthing Benefits

  • Speedy skin repair – The high vitamin C content aids repair, which naturally slows with age. Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen (the essential protein that keeps the skin looking young). The Vitamin C is also an excellent immune system booster.
  • Improving digestion – stimulates the digestive juices, which reduce bloating, heartburn, nausea, constipation as well as other digestive issues that increase with age
  • Helps lose weight – research has found that a diet high in vitamin C have better digestive systems, resulting in easier weight regulation
  • Can reduce sugar cravings – pectin (natural fiber in lemon skin) slows down the absorption of glucose and balancing blood sugar levels. Also, studies has actually shown that pectin can make you feel full up to 4 hours!
  • Helps prevent broken veins – the bioflavonoids increase blood flow & circulations (bye cold feet & hands!)
  • Improving bones & joints – high calcium content for the bones and vitamin C assists the development of collagen.
  • Lower levels of LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Detoxing the body – improving the cleansing function of the liver and pancreas
  • Good anti-inflammatory – having diuretic properties, lemon assists the body in removing excess water retention, which reduces swelling

Tips for Buying Lemons

The thin-skinned but heavy ones contain more juice – which is what you want. Buy organic if possible to avoid the pesticides and other toxins. If you’re planning on using the skin, make sure to buy the ones that are organic and un-waxed.

Uses of Lemon in the Diet:

  • Juices & smoothies
  • Drinks (in teas, water etc.)
  • Dressings and sauces
  • With mains (e.g., seafood)
  • On salads
  • With fruit (also to keep apples from going brown)

Lemon Recipes

Lemon Coconut Squares

medicinal 2

  • 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of grated lemon rind
  • 1 tsp of really good vanilla (powder or extract)
  • 2 tbsp of coconut nectar

1) Place all of the ingredients into your food processor and whiz away for about a minute… you want the mixture to appear creamy.
2) Press the mixture down tightly into a parchment lined loaf pan (or something similar in size) and toss it into the freezer for at least an hour…makes it easier to cut them into squares.
3) Remove the pan from the freezer once they’ve hardened and slice.
Note:  if you run a knife under hot water and wipe it dry, the yumminess will slice clean and smooth.

lemon 3

Raw Lemon Curd

medicinal 2

  • 1/3 cup cashews, soaked 4-6 hours
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp raw agave nectar, to taste
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of turmeric, for color (optional)

Drain and rinse cashews. Place in a food processor or Vitamix blender. Add coconut butter, lemon juice, and water. Blend until completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.

lemon 2

Nutritional Values of Lemon

Nutrient Value pr 100g
Energy 29 kcal
Protein 1.1 g
Fat 0.3 g
Carbohydrate 9.3. g
Fiber 2.8 g
Sugar 2.5 g
Water 89 g
Calcium 26 mg
Iron 0.6 mg
Magnesium 8 mg
Phosphorus 16 mg
Potassium 138 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Zinc 0.06 mg
Vitamin C 53 mg
Thiamin 0.04 mg
Riboflavin 0.02 mg
Niacin 0.1 mg
Vitamin B6 0.08 mg
Folate 11 µg
Vitamin A, RAE 1 µg
Vitamin A, IU 22 IU
Vitamin E 0.15 mg
Saturated fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated 0.01 g
Polyunsaturated 0.09 g


Peyton-Jones, Elizabeth (2011) “Eat Yourself Young”. Quadrille Publishing Limited.


Happy Halloween! Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Every year, 31st October, carved pumpkins are put out on porches and doorsteps in the United States, but also other parts of the world. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns” originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. The name comes from an Irish folktale about a man called Stingy Jack. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween tradition.


Pumpkin is a low-calorie (26kcal per 100g), low-fat vegetable, and contains 91.6% water (raw). It is also a great source of Vitamin A (8513 IU per 100g).

Pumpkin Coconut Soup


  • 1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 cups peeled and diced pumpkin
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 small red chili, diced
  • Chopped stalks from a bunch of fresh coriander (about 2 tbsp, perfect for using up those tasty bits)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder)
  • Some lemongrass
  • 2 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Peel from half of fresh lime
  • Juice from half of fresh lime


  1. Put the oven on 200C. Cut a lid off the pumpkin and carve out the seeds. Fill the pumpkin with 3 tbsp of water and put the lid over. Roast the pumpkin seeds at the same time. Leave in the oven for 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft enough to dig out the meat.
  2. Sautee onion, chili, coriander stalks, galangal and turmeric in coconut oil for a couple of minutes. Add pumpkin, garlic, lime peel, water and coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the rest of the mixture to a food processor or a blender. Puree until smooth, then add coconut cream and lime juice. Blend until incorporated. You can use a hand-held blender/soup mixer as well. Serve with fresh coriander leaves on top.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, cooking time: 15 minutes, number of servings: 4

Enjoy!   . ★


Squash, chipotle and bean bonanza chili

Recipe of the Day


I defy all bean haters to dislike this chili. Likewise you squash haters out there. And those few and far between pessimists with no faith in meatless chili. But maybe that’s my bias as a lover of these foods? Maybe you have to like all vegetables in order to love vegetarian chili? As far as I know my little brother only ate one vegetable–and no others–until his mid-20′s (it was broccoli). Would he have set down his steakums and ramen for a bowl of my chili?

Make this spicy. 1) Because spicy is good and if you don’t like spice, build up to it. You will be richly rewarded. 2) You want it spicy because the squash, corn and cilantro cool it down a little, as does the rice and greek yogurt.

chili 2

You can add whatever vegetables you want, such as carrot, mushroom, zucchini, red onion, celery. I tend to use bell peppers, onions and garlic. You can add in any kind of bean you like, or all kinds of beans. I recommend a mix of black and pinto beans with a little bit of kidney beans. This is one of those occasions when you can use leftover beans you cooked and stored in the freezer.

chili 3

Ingredients for 4 people

4-5 cups of cooked beans (black, pinto and kidney beans or all black beans)
1/2 small butternut (or other) squash, cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño chili (seeded or not, depending on your spice super power)
2 chipotles from a jar of chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped (secret weapon pantry ingredient)
1/2 each of green, red, yellow bell peppers, diced (or other vegetable combo, whatever!)
1 onion, diced
4-6 pickled jalapeño slices from a jar
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder (optional)
1 or 2 tsp chili powder (or chipotle chili powder if you don’t have the canned chipotles)
1 veg stock cube
2-3 fresh or canned tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup corn
large handful cilantro, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper
water as needed

For the rice

2 cups basmati rice
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lime


strong cheddar cheese
greek yogurt or sour cream
or neither if you want it vegan!

** Being specific on this recipe is really hard for me as I’ve made this about twice a month for many years now (with or without the squash) and kind of do it on autopilot. The leftovers are wonderful as enchiladas, burritos, chili omelette or nachos. I also cook this in a small pot or a big pot depending on how many people are eating. So please know that this is chili and can be corrected and adjusted as you go. Word to the wise, if you’re unsure of cooking with chilies and chili powders then be careful. You can always add in more spice later, or serve a hot sauce! It is harder to de-spice the chili if you throw everything in and then realize that, oops, smoked paprika is about as spicy as you can handle.
1) Rinse and cook the basmati rice. American long grain rice is great too but I tend to use my perfect basmati.
2) While rice is cooking, sauté the garlic, onion and jalapeño chili (as well as the harder veggies like carrots or celery if using) until soft.
3) Add in all the other ingredients except the corn and cilantro–the bell peppers, beans, squash, chipotles, veggie bouillon and spices. Add in enough water for a good chili consistency. Stir to break down the veggie bouillon. The beans will absorb some water–add more to keep the chili consistency like a hearty stew.
4) Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer. Cook until squash is tender.
5) Add in the corn and chopped cilantro. Adjust seasoning if needed, for example you may need more chili powder or salt and pepper.
6) When the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork. Add sea salt (about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) and garlic clove to a pestle and mortar and grind to a pulp. Add this to the rice along with the chopped cilantro, lime juice and a couple glugs of extra virgin olive oil. Mix with a fork until all the flavorings are combined.
7) Serve the chili over the rice and add shredded cheese and Greek yogurt unless you want to leave out the dairy.

chili 4

Edamame Succotash



  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • 1 small ear of organic corn, cut off the cob and blanched
  • 3/4 cup edamame, blanched
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet potato in salt, pepper, and a
  3. small amount of melted butter.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and a bit brown.
  5. In the meantime, blanch the corn and the edamame in salted boiling water and drain.
  6. Toss together and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

Butternut Squash & Kale Tostadas

Butternut squash and kale make me think of fall, and I love finding new ways to pair them together. These crunchy vegetarian tostadas are loaded with black beans seasoned with garlic and cumin, thinly sliced kale, roasted butternut squash, diced red onion, and avocado sour cream.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cube a 1.5 lb butternut squash. Place on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast squash about 25 minutes, stirring with a spatula halfway through.

While squash is cooking, pour two cans of low sodium black beans into a saucepan, and add garlic and cumin. Warm on low heat.

Wash kale thoroughly. Cut kale leaves from the ribs. Roll kale leaves up and thinly slice. Place kale in colander and rinse with hot water for about 15-30 seconds to slightly wilt leaves, then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Eggplant and Bell Pepper Terrine


So what is a terrine? My online Apple dictionary defines it as: 1. a meat, fish, or vegetable mixture that has been cooked or otherwise prepared in advance and allowed to cool or set in its container; 2. A container used for such a dish, typically of an oblong shape and made of earthenware.

This recipe conforms to both definitions and is a wonderful vegan appetizer. If you’re an eggplant lover, this one’s for you. It takes about an hour of prep time and can be made the day before. In fact, it is best if made the day before so the terrine fully marinates. Bring it to room temperature before serving for best flavor.


4 red bell peppers
2 medium eggplants  – cut ¼ inches thick rounds
1 small shallot  (peeled and minced)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup organic tofu (mashed)
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (Now appearing at the Farmers’ Market)
Vegetable oil cooking spray


Roast the bell peppers under the broiler until skins begin to bubble and peel. Peppers will almost be black when they are ready. Transfer to a large baggie and close the top carefully (peppers will be plenty hot). Let steam in the baggie until cool enough to the touch – approximately 15 minutes. Peel, seed and skin peppers. Cut into 1-inch wide strips. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray. Working in batches, arrange the eggplant rounds on baking sheets in a single layer. Roast until tender – about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the rounds over after 12 minutes to ensure even cooking. Using a spatula, transfer the rounds to a wire rack to cool (wax paper works well but if you can use a rack it lets the air circulate to both sides).

In a small bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Set vinaigrette aside.

Spray a terrine with cooking spray (I use a 9×4 inch earthenware loaf pan). Arrange one-third of the eggplant rounds, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom of the pan. Brush lightly with vinaigrette. Arrange half of the bell pepper strips, slightly overlapping, over the eggplant. Using a rubber spatula spread half of the tofu over the peppers. Top with half of the fresh basil and brush lightly with vinaigrette.

Make another layer of eggplant, vinaigrette, bell pepper, tofu and basil. Brush with vinaigrette. Top with a third layer of eggplant. Brush with vinaigrette. Using your hands, press down firmly but gently on the terrine, compressing the layers.

Cover tightly and marinate, in the refrigerator, for 12 to 24 hours. Carefully un-mold terrine onto a platter and garnish with fresh basil prior to serving.

Fresh Fig & Arugula Salad

Recipe of the Day

I am in fig heaven.  Does a more divine, sweet, and delicate fruit exist?  They must truly be the food of the gods.  Besides being so delicious, they are incredibly healthy and detoxifying.  I adore them fresh this time of year, but be sure to eat them within a day or two of buying because they are very delicate and will not last more than that.

Fresh Fig & Arugula Salad Recipe

Serves 4


  • 4 cups arugula, rinsed and dried
  • 4 fresh black figs, gently washed and quartered (with skins on, stem removed)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine arugula, olive oil, vinegar, molasses, pine nuts and salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.
  • Separate into serving bowls and top with quartered figs.