Friday, 28 February 2014

Chocolate Truffles ... With tahini? Really?!

Yes... I've added tahini to these little balls of goodness and they taste yummy! 

Tahini is a great ingredient, made from ground sesame seeds, for raw recipes as it's so creamy, it helps to provide moisture and an element of 'stickiness' that holds these little truffles together. Not only that though, it packs a punch where protein is concerned and is a rich source of B vitamins, Vitamin E and minerals too.

It has a nutty taste, some people are not keen on its own, but it's great mixed with other ingredients either as a savoury or sweet dish.

These coconut truffles make a fab gift ,in a little bag,or box, with ribbon, or to take to friends for an after dinner change to chocolates!

Here's the recipe, it takes minutes to make:

2 oz hazelnuts
2oz walnuts
2oz dessicated coconut
2oz raw cacao powder
3oz raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3oz tahini

Method :

1. Blend the nuts and coconut in a food processor. I use a Vitamix

2. Tip the mixture into a bowl and mix in the other ingredients gradually

3. Roll into small balls , they are rich so make the balls just bite size! 

4. Roll in dessicated coconut and chill in the fridge until ready to eat


This recipe is in my first Ebook Bakes, Bars and Bites - available from . If you don't have a kindle facility, please DM me through FB either on my Balanced PT page or my Sweet Enough page, and I can send you the PDF for the same price.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Guest Blog Post - Gilly Payne

I've been Facebook friends with this lovely lady for a few months now, having been introduced by Ian Mulrooney of Smartway2fitness (who starred in my last blog) . We finally met up a couple of weeks ago, along with Andrea Wood of Mind and Body Clinic fame (who has also starred in a blog post for me). The three of us put the world to rights where health and nutrition, and fitness is concerned! I hope you enjoy reading all about Gilly :

1. Tell us how you got into this field? 

I got into fitness and health when we lived in Sweden. Everybody does some form of fitness there, it's part of life just as you eat food and drink water . They don't even think about making time for it, it's just automatic. A great culture! 
I am a Nordic walking instructor. I came into this field through my Pilates Instructor, Tina Skidmore. Tina invited me to join her in setting up a Nordic Walking Business. I said yes without really knowing anything about it but I had immense faith in her and she is intuitive enough to have spotted something that would suit me down to the ground. She's a gifted lady, to whom I owe a great deal of happiness and fulfilment. Two weeks later I was on the course and loved every minute of it. The teachers are inspirational and it's a fabulous form of exercise. I recently extended my repertoire by qualifying as a personal trainer too. Primarily this was so that I had more exercises up my sleeve for the ski fit sessions that I run, and to extend the tool box of strength work that we practice on the walks too . I loved it so much I've now started working as a PT too!

2. Can you explain how you help clients to improve their health and well being ? 

I provide a fun, friendly accessible form of exercise that is easy to learn, and as exercise goes is reasonably cheap, needing very little equipment and can be practised at home, alone. I try to encourage mindful walking and breathing and help them practice this in the sessions. I advise them on diet and lifestyle choices and listen to their feelings, worries and concerns, both with regard to their exercise and health,  but also in relation to their personal lives. Being a trained relate counsellor helps there! 

3. What are your top three health and lifestyle tips? 

I would say get out and move every day, even if it's just a brisk walk around the block (what could be more grounding?) . Learn to breathe properly and practice mindfulness. I think if you can do all of these the rest falls into place.  Stress, cravings, dietary dilemmas - they all dissolve.

4. How do you start your day?

I usually start my day with a shower and a good stretch session, in the shower ( unless it's a 6am start for a PT session) followed by porridge, with soya protein powder , flax seeds, blueberries and Redbush tea.

5. What is currently in your fridge?

Well I have three fridges so this could take a while!!  Soya milk, blueberries, strawberries, smoked salmon, celery, carrots, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, eggs, butter (from grass fed cows of course) , ham soya yoghurts, apples, lemons, Avacado, bananas, and because my son has been home there is also fresh ravioli, pate, a one month old Christmas pudding remains and orange juice but they are heading for the bin any second now!

6. What is your guilty food pleasure, go on tell us, you must have one!! ?

White wine! 

7. How do you keep yourself fit? 

Cross training suits my body; if I don't work out this way I become too strong in certain areas and not in others (generally those that have been injured in the past). I Nordic Walk, run, bike (road), practice Pilates and go to the gym. I'm also trying to return to Yoga, after a 5/6 year breather, so that I can keep these tight muscles in check by stretching them out. 

8. What is your biggest daily challenge? The one thing that can pull you off course if you let it? 

I'm prone to overtraining and then suffer adrenal fatigue. I love exercise and I love the endorphin buzz that one gets from it, so I'd happily do some form of exercise in every spare moment of the day but 'one' needs to rest. So, I guess my biggest daily challenge is to sit still!

9. How do you relax? 

I love a long bath with aromatherapy oils or Epsom Slts, if I've done a lot of exercise; alongside whatever book I'm reading at the time. I love to read in the bath! 

10. If you had three wishes that would help our planet, what would they be? 

I have to admit that I am the worlds most ignorant person when it comes to saving the planet, so my answers are a little tongue in cheek. Firstly I wish euthanasia would  become legal so that my children can shoot me when I start showing signs of dementia! That will de-stress  the planet an awful lot!
I wish I could remember to take my own bags to the supermarket each time I visit. 
I wish it would stop raining so that we could all walk mud free! 

Thanks very much Gilly!
You can contact Gilly through her FB page ; Gilly Payne