Well it is January, which means that along with the usual swathe of quick fix diet plans, recipe guides and nutrition advice overload, most of us are thinking more about our health than usual, wondering about the best way to lose the Christmas excess and worrying about which diet really makes most sense.
Well, we want to do your research for you and come up with the perfect “diet”. Research that isn’t legal research and is related to topics I am interested in is basically my dream job. So over the next few months on the EAT section, we are going to tell you about all these diets/exclusionary nutrition recommendations and more: alkaline, raw, gluten free, refined sugar free, no alcohol, paleo, vegan, juicing, 5:2, clean food movement, etc. We will tell you what the diet claims and why people do it, what we like about it, what pitfalls to look out for, and also what principles we take from them that have actually worked for me at times when I have needed to lose weight (post Christmas/post pregnancy, pre bikini shoots/pre Cannes slinky dress season etc.) and what Mary recommends for sustainable health.
After going through all of this, we will then tell you what WE think and leave you with a post of headline nutrition recommendations, fridge, freezer and cupboard shopping lists and a “don’t go there” list. Neither of us believe in quick fixes and “diets”. We believe in long-term commitments to good nutrition, and want to help you achieve the knowledge and tools to work out what is right for you and your family. In terms of health, weight loss and aesthetics, Mary gets sick as little as I do (it is a long standing joke in my family that no one can pass on their cold or cough to me) and also has a flat stomach after 3 pregnancies, so whatever we do works for us and hope it might work for you. We feel strong and resilient despite the constant life stress, sleep deprivation and often overwhelming juggle (struggle) of being working mothers with three young children each.
Each post will have a recipe as usual. I will come up with something that fits in with each “diet”. So for this week, I’m giving you a recipe that would work for any of them. Something alkaline, refined sugar free, gluten free, raw, vegan, paleo, clean… other than spring water! My guacamole would work, but here is something new for you, and something I give my kids at least once a week as well, the perfect hummus. Hummus is such an easy way to up your plant based protein intake. Chickpeas are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and have been shown to lower your cholesterol. You’ll notice I use bone broth in this recipe; you can use vegetable broth instead or indeed water. I always have bone broth in my fridge because I boil any bones that I can – roast chicken carcasses, lamb chops, any meat bones that I have cooked for my family. Bone broth is light in flavour and is texture free so doesn’t really change the taste of anything, but it is rich in minerals and protein including collagen. It is great for digestion, skin, immunity and general health. You can store it in the fridge for a week and I also freeze it in ice cube trays or baby weaning cubes. Read here how I make my plain bone broth. The bone broth prevents this recipe being vegan but I have put it in on purpose to make the point that you can use bone broth in place of water in any savoury dish, as I do. If you are vegetarian/vegan, use water or vegetable broth (the water from steamed or boiled vegetables).
2 cups cooked chick peas (ideally home cooked, but use a can or packet if you must)
1/4 cup (40ml) bone broth (or vegetable broth/water)
2 tbsp olive oil (I like cold pressed extra virgin)
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste). I like quite a lot of salt but I use as little as possible for my children; children these days get far too much salt for their kidneys to process.
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Use as a dip for fresh crudités or topping for homemade bread and toast.
The yellow hummus below is roasted garlic turmeric hummus. Instead of adding two cloves of raw garlic to the mix, I have added a whole head of roasted garlic (brushed with oil, foiled and roasted in the oven at 250 degrees for 1.5 hours), plus 1 tsp of turmeric. This is an antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral OMG it’s winter hummus. Not as yummy as plain hummus but an interesting variation and I just don’t have time to get colds. This as a snack with a hot water/grated ginger/squeezed lemon drink is a powerful anti-cold remedy.
Disclaimer: This diet series is not a personalised diet plan. Mary and I are both ex-lawyers and take our advice and potential liability issues seriously. If you would like a particular look at your diet and lifestyle and a personalised nutrition plan built for you, please contact Mary directly here. Mention TMA for a 10% discount on a consultation.