Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting over Christmas

Happy new year!! It's 2014 and today being little Christmas, it's now time to take down the beautiful decorations and go back to normal. I intensely dislike this part of the year. All the excitement of Christmas has passed and now we are left with some wonderful presents, a half dozen half empty packets of chocolates and a deep sense of regret for the many many days of unhealthy couch potato behaviour and excessive consumption. The television is not out friend either, every commercial seems to relate to weight-loss, exercise and saving money. It's like everyone is supposed to be filled with shame and regret and frankly I don't like it. Christmas comes once a year and, yeah ok, we all indulged but we now have months of winter left to face and darned if that won't get rid of those extra pounds for you.

Look at how that top truffle is just calling to you, go's ok ;)

I, personally, find it really difficult to switch back to healthy eating just like that. To go from being able to enjoy little treats throughout the day to hiding the chocolate again. This is probably, for me at least, the most difficult part. I imagine it's a little bit like being a smoker because every cup of tea or coffee feels dissatisfying, without a chocolate treat. So I've come up with two little treats to help make the new year a little sweeter while holding on to a little bit more Christmas.

The first is a tea. Over Christmas you may have indulged in a few hot chocolates, I know I did, with all the marshmallow and sprinkle goodness. However, if you do want to eat healthier (and let me note that I am not here to tell you that you need to because the television pretty much has that covered!) then increasing your water intake is a very good place to start. This tea is an alternative to the apple and spice one that I blogged about in November last year. It is based on the lipton apple and cinnamon. To this add
 - 2/3 Cloves
 - 1 Cinnamon stick
 - 1 Star anise
 - 1/2 - 1 tsp agave nectar (optional)

Mix everything together with just cooler than boiling water. After about 1 minute remove the star anise and then enjoy. Not only is this a delicious way to rehydrate after those....mulled wines and ciders, that you definitely did not consume too many of over Christmas, but there are also numerous health benefits to these spices that are anti-oxidizing and will help to boast your immune system. Take a look for yourself star anise, cloves and cinnamon.

Now onto the fun part, sweet treats. As mentioned coffee time is the most difficult part of eating healthy for me. I crave chocolate and something sweet to go with my coffee. Every Christmas I make truffles for friends and family and obviously eat a few myself. Therefore why not make some delicious healthy truffles to ease the tranisition from Christmas indulgence to new years healthy. I'll admit that this is not a completely original idea, but I think that I have really stumbled upon a fantastic recipe. The truffles have a nice bite but are still chocolatey and creamy without containing any cream or dairy of any kind and only a tiny bit of dark sugar-free cocoa. They contain absolutely no processed sugars of any kind and are completely gluten-free and vegan. So please, please try these the take about 10 minutes to make and use ingredients that are very easy to find.

New Years Truffles

14 Soft Dates
50g Ground Almonds
2 Tbs Organic Cashew Butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaped tbs Dark sugar-free Cocoa

1 tbs Dark sugar-free cocoa for decorating
2-3 tbs ground walnuts/almonds for decorating

Method 1
- If you have a good quality blender, throw everything into your blender and blitz until smooth.

Method 2
- If you don't have a good blender or don't have one at all, chop the dates really well and then mash with a fork.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mash vigorously (your welcome for the exercise) until smooth.

Once everything is smooth take small balls and mush them together with your hands. They may look dry but as you push them between your hands they will become sticky and combine beautifully.

Then just roll them in the cocoa or nut decorations and chill in the fridge. Store in an airtight container and enjoy with coffee and without guilt!

Yum - creamy, crunchy and delicious!

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