Nutrition, Recipes

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

July 5, 2016

What do you get when you combine a yummy bar with a crumble? Magic. Its rhubarb season and there is no better way to make use to them but in a healthy decadent bar.


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt

RhubarbfillingRhubarb & Strawberry Jam Center:

  • 2 cup frozen or fresh rhubarb, chopped finely
  • 2 cup frozen of fresh strawberries, chopped finely
  • 2 T xylitol
  • 1/4 cup kombucha(can also use water, or juice)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder

Optional spinach layer

For the crumble:

  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cups almond flour
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 T honey (can add more if you want it sweeter)
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line the bottom of a 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust with mixer.
  3. Evenly press the dough onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. The crust is done when it is lightly brown and firm to the touch.
  5. Mix all the rhubarb & strawberry jam ingredients in a medium sized pot and turn the heat to low.
  6. Stir the ingredients and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened. (should look like jam)
  7. Wait until jam is cooled
  8. Optional Step: add half a bag of raw washed spinach into a blender with half the cooled jam and blend until fine
  9. Pour spinach mixture into the crust.
  10. Gently pour in the rest of jam covering the green jam mixture
  11. Mix the pecans, flours, cinnamon, salt and honey together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with your hands until the mixture begins to form crumbs.
  12. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the filling.
  13. Optional Step: add a few slices strawberries on top for decoration.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  15. The bars are done when the crumble top is lightly brown.
  16. Allow the bars to cool completely for a few hours.
  17. Cut the bars into 8 squares.
  18. Store the bars in your refrigerator.

Rice Bucket Wrist Strengthening Exercises

May 18, 2016

The Rice Bucket Exercise is a simple but very effective exercise used regularly by American Football players to build arm and handgrip strength. It is deceptively simple: by simply pushing your hands – with fingers extended – into a bucket of raw rice, you will build strength from your fingers all the way to your shoulders.


  1. Fill a large bucket with raw rice to a depth of about 6-9 inches (the rice should be high enough to submerge your hand when fully extended).
  2. Place the bucket on a stable, waist-high table. Then, stand close enough to the bucket so that your lower abdominals are touching the bucket. Place your forearms against the inner side of the bucket while digging your hands into the rice. Remember, the deeper you go into the rice with your hands, the more resistance you will receive.

You can either do one hand and switch, or submerge both hands in the rice.

Basic Technique

Push your extended hand into the bucket with your palms facing outward. When your hand is fully submerged, grab a handful of rice and – with your fist remaining submerged in the bucket – slowly turn your wrist in a clockwise direction (towards your body) until your (clenched) palms are facing inward. Repeat.

Grab and Drop

Push your extended hand into the rice. When fully submerged, grab a fistful of rice, lift your hand and open your fist (dropping the rice) once you get close to the top of the bucket. Repeat.


Internal Wrist Rotation

With palms facing away from your body, push your extended hand gently into the bucket until fully submerged. Then rotate your wrist upward (fingers moving toward the inside of your forearm) while drawing your elbows close to your side. Repeat.


External Rotation

With you palms facing each other, gently submerge both hands. Then rotate each hand inward (thumb moving inward toward your abdomen) for as far as you are comfortable or until your palms are facing outward and the backs of your hands are facing each other with your elbows pointing out. Repeat.


4 Way Palm Drop

  1. Palms facing each other, submerge, grab, lift and drop.
  2. Palms facing away submerge, grab, lift and drop.
  3. Palms facing your body submerge, grab, lift and drop.
  4. Palms facing away from your body submerge, grab, lift and drop.

The Pincher

With hands submerged in the rice, use your thumbs to slowly pinch two fingers together, starting with index finger down to your pinky. Once you have done one cycle, go back to the 4 Way Palm Drop (internal and external) before coming back to this exercise for 1-2 more sets.

Cardio Palms

Open and close fully submerged hands quickly for 8-10 reps. Rest and repeat 2 or more times.


Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

April 28, 2016

After being blessed with a week of nice weather, this week we were given a dose of bad weather. Which gave me a perfectly good excuse to stay indoors and test out some new recipes.

This recipe happened because I had some broccoli that expired yesterday and rather than throw it out, I made some soup. This soup recipe is by no means my creation but inspired from’s Panera inspired recipe. I switched the plain flour and made mine with coconut flour. For the stock, I used a freshly made chicken bone broth recipe that I threw together. Recipe is also below. Hope you enjoy this soup as much as I have!


  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • pinch salt(high quality salt if you have it, I recommend Le Paludier de Guérande)
  • ¼ cup shifted coconut flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 450g of broccoli
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan or soup pot.
  2. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and pinch of salt; cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt rest of butter in a medium heat pan, then turn off and put in a mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk in flour; whisk until incorporated.
  5. Slowly add milk and continue to whisk until everything is well combined and there are no clumps.
  6. Whisk in bone broth, add bay leaf, and turn up heat to high; bring soup to a boil.
  7. Add the broccoli florets, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  8. Pour batches of soup into a blender or use a sick blender, and puree.
  9. Return soup to the soup-pot; continue to cook over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until melted and completely combined.
  10. Stir in the paprika and nutmeg.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  13. Serve.

If you have the time to make broth, here is the recipe. If you are short on time, use ready made stock or stock cubes.

Bone Broth Ingredients

  • 1 roasted chicken carcass
  • 1 beef bone marrow(if you have it)
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 apple core
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 organic unwaxed lemon (quartered)
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Throw everything in the pot.
  2. Pour enough filtered water until it covers the bones.
  3. Let everything cook for 2-3 hours.



Kombucha Adventures

March 30, 2016

scobyApproximately one week ago, I became a Scoby parent. SCOBY stands for Symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It has also been know be be nicknamed mushroom although it looks like something much more sinister than that. A scoby is what is needed to make kombucha aka buch.

The benefits of drinking kombucha include digestion, immune support, detoxification, liver support, weight loss, increased energy, improved mood, help with hemorrhoids, gout, eczema, and assist with nutrient assimilation.

Kombucha Recipe (from Kombucha Kamp)

  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 4 organic black tea bags(do not use Earl Grey)
  • 4 Yogi Energy Green Tea Bags
  • 15 cups of filtered water
  • tea towel
  • glass brewing vessel(enough to fill the tea)
  • Scoby
  • 1 cup of starter liquid


  1. Boil 4 cups of water.
  2. Add hot water & tea bags to pot or brewing vessel.
  3. Steep 5-7 minutes, then remove tea bags.
  4. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  5. Fill vessel most of the way with 11 cups of water, leaving just 1-2 inches from the top for breathing room with purified cold water.
  6. Add SCOBY and starter liquid. (if your scoby doesn’t have enough liquid, get a raw, unpasterised bottle with no fruit juices added)
  7. Cover with cloth cover and secure with the rubber band.
  8. Set in a warm location out of direct sunlight (unless vessel is opaque).
  9. Do not disturb for 7 days.
  10. After 7 days, or when you are ready to taste your KT, gently insert a straw beneath the SCOBY and take a sip. If too tart, then reduce your brewing cycle next time.  If too sweet, allow to brew for a few more days.  Continue to taste every day or so until you reach your optimum flavor preference. Your own Kombucha Tea Recipe may vary.
  11. Decant & flavor (also known as fermentation 2). More on that in the next Part.

My First Week

Day 1: My husband purchased the 5L container for me at Woodies in Carrickmines. (Note: Make sure the spout is plastic as metal will ruin your Scoby).  I make the tea, waited until it cooled and put it into the washed container and put the scoby in. The scoby floated.

Day 2:  It sank! I quickly went on-line to see if I had done anything wrong, but after scouring the web and my book, it assured me that the scoby can sink, be on the side, but will still do its magic.

Day 3: What appears to be a baby scoby is slowly forming on top. To my untrained eye, it looked like pool scum. I also fretted a bit, worrying that my kitchen corner was not warm enough but I didn’t want to put it in the hot press where there wasn’t air circulation.

Day 4-5: The layer has formed to be what looks like foam on top of beer. Everything looks good with not much change on day 5.

Day 6: The young scoby has formed a yeast bubble or as I like to call it a teenage pimple.

Day 7: The old scoby has risen to met the new one. It definitely looks sinister and yet I tried a drop to see the progress. It was way too sweet. My estimated guess is based on the temperature in the house, it will take another 5-10 days. Check back then for Part 2 or find me on Instagram for daily updates.


*As a disclaimer, I have also listed the side effects because nothing is a one size fits all cure. Much of the side effects may come from the body’s own toxins and the kombucha is the agent aiding to rid you of them.

  • muscle cramps or pain
  • arthritic flair ups
  • diarrhea
  • extreme fatigue
  • restlessness
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • sinus congestion
  • fever
  • skin eruptions
  • strong emotions or mood swings

Learn more from a fellow Kombucha fan, Helen Sanders, the chief editor Health Ambitions. Until next time!


Curing with Fermented Foods

March 7, 2016

Crawling with live bacteria, and often stinky. Fermented foods are popping up in your local health stores more frequently.

The sour, complex flavours of foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir aid in brain and gut health.

Regular consumption of foods such as sauerkraut can aid in healing health issues such as leaky gut and IBS, and can aid in better absorption of nutrients, weight loss, healthier skin, and boosted immunity.

Fermented foods go through a natural process of lactofermentation – in which natural bacteria feeds on the sugar and starch in the food – to create lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

4 Fermented Foods to Try:

tamariTamari is a traditional Japanese sauce made from fermented soybeans. The fermenting process takes 18 months to 2 years, and unlike the traditional soy sauce, this fermented, gluten-free soy sauce adds just a little more depth to sauces, soups and stews, and isn’t just for Asian dishes.

While similar in colour and flavor to soy sauce, people select tamari because it’s gluten-free, and thanks to the higher concentration of fermented soybeans, is thicker and richer so you will need to use much less.

kefir1Milk Kefir: This tangy fermented drink – a cross between milk and yoghurt – can be found in your local grocer. The milk kefir is colored grains that are used to ferment milk. The milk used for kefir is typically cow or goat, as it contains a denser nutrient profile, but for those who are vegan coconut milk can be used.

Kefir grains contain more than 30 strains of bacteria and yeasts, making it a very rich and diverse food. The microorganisms in these grains help to break down the bad stuff, aka ‘processed foods’, and support the digestive tract which is suitable for those that suffer from digestive issues such as IBS. It has also been suggested that it can help with autoimmune diseases such as eczema, roseca, and acne. Other benefits include weight loss and a lowered risk of osteoporosis.


First traditional Kombucha Tea Microbrewery in Ireland.

Kombucha: Coined the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese, this age old fermented tea drink has been around for centuries. This sweetened tea is made by ‘SCOBY” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).

The benefits of drinking kombucha include digestion, immune support, detoxification, liver support, weight loss, increased energy, improved mood, and assistance with nutrient assimilation. A note of caution: due to its naturally high acid content, your dentist may not be too thrilled with you sipping this all day. When drinking, use a straw and rinse your mouth (don’t brush) with water after consumption.

korean-foodKimchi; A traditional fermented Korean delicacy made typically from cabbage and a range of spices and seasonings. This spicy fermented side dish can be traced back to the Korean 7th century, with the heat and other spices being added in approximately the 18th century.

Kimchi is a low calorie, high-fiber, nutrient packed powerhouse. The numerous health benefits include digestion, detoxification, constipation prevention, weight loss, strengthening the immune system and maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels.

  1. Jayabalan, P. Subathradevi, S. Marimuthu, M. Sathishkumar, K. Swaminathan, Changes in free-radical scavenging ability of kombucha tea during fermentation, Food Chemistry, Volume 109, Issue 1, 1 July 2008, Pages 227-234, ISSN 0308-8146,

Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce(No Refined Sugar)

February 11, 2016

Kaman Sweet Chilli SauceWanting to make a salad similar in flavours to what I had at Staple Foods, I attempted to make my version of Sweet Chilli Sauce. the result was perfection with no refined white sugar.

Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce


  • 3 large garlic gloves
  • 1T of Chilli paste or fresh serrano chillies
  • 1/3 C of White Wine Vinegar
  • 3/4 C of Water
  • 1/2 C xylitol
  • 1/2 T Salt

Your thickener:

  • 1T cornstarch
  • 2T cold water
  1. Blend all ingredients except cornstarch and 2 T of water on heat medium heat until dissolved.
  2. Blend cornstarch and water until dissolved before putting it into the pot (Warning: not mixing the cornstarch before dropping into the pot will result in lumps)
  3. Once it thickens, pour out into a glass jar and cool.

My salad consisted of celeriac, carrots, cucumber, and courgettes, topped with chopped cilantro. This salad can be eaten as a Vegan salad. For those who want protein, you may add firm tofu, grilled chicken, steak, burgers would go nicely with this salad.

Here is a version of what we had for dinner last night…



Recipes, Smoothie Wednesday

Monday Morning Matcha Smoothie

January 25, 2016
smoothies, antioxidants, good fats, vegan

Most people groan about Mondays but I love them. Its a new start to the week and who know what can happen?Here is a nice Matcha Smoothie to start your week…

Monday Matcha Smoothie


  • 100 gram of frozen passion fruit(if using fresh, juice of 2 passion fruit)
  • 1/4 organic cucumber
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Spirulina powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Organic Matcha powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups of almond milk (coconut milk is very nice as well

*In addition, you can add 1/2 avocado to add good-fats that will keep you full longer.

Blend and enjoy!



Featured, Nutrition

12 Healthy Places to Eat in Dublin in 2016

January 8, 2016

Now that the 12 Pubs of Christmas is over, and we are all riddled with guilt for our over-indulgence, it’s time to get back to healthy eating. Here are the 12 healthy-eating establishments leading the pack in Dublin for 2016.


  1. Happy Pear: a trip here is the health nut’s (present company included) version of going to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. They have a grocery shop with organic vegetables and foods, along with a fantastic restaurant that serves delicious salads, meals, and healthy desserts. My favourite was the Normandy Bake, absolutely loaded with beans, butternut squash, and cheese.
  2. The Punnet: Their sporting backgrounds have given owners James Norton and Darragh Buckley a perceptive insight into what customers want and need to fuel their active lifestyles. From tasty protein balls to a wide range of salads, wraps, juices, and coffees, this is a great spot to order a pickup lunch, or perhaps to suggest to your HR department as a place to host your next (healthier) company event.
  3. The Hopsack: Established in 1979, the Hopsack has long been a leader in healthy eating, with great food and a very helpful and knowledgeable staff to advise on nutritional needs. It is one of Dublin’s best sources of organic, fairly traded, ethnic, and special dietary foods. It’s also a family business in its second generation with current owners Finn and Kate, and once a week you will still see mom Erica at the shop helping out. A good spot to stock your cupboards with healthy, nutritious groceries.
  4. Alchemy: a great place to catch up with a friend after the holidays for a healthy lunch, coffee or cup of bone broth (after perhaps a dose of retail therapy downstairs). They also do healthy lunch takeaways.
  5. Green Beards: one of the best juice places in town. Owners Ray and Kevin strive to get the very best organic produce to make their juices. They put as much thought into their juices as they did with the beautiful design of their glass bottles. If you’re looking for a ‘go to’ juice to flood your system with greens, ‘The Boss’ is, well, the boss. Remember, don’t chug your juices; chew through them to give the enzymes in your mouth a chance to start the digestive process, allowing the nutrients to break down like regular food.
  6. Coco: a cheap and cheery option for healthy takeaway lunches. You choose your protein, which comes with a few salad choices and a selection of healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice or sweet potatoes.
  7. Eathos: where the plates are as pretty as the food. I love the seared tuna, turkey and courgette koftas, and of course the chickpea burgers. The sides are just as tasty, from saffron fennel, pomegranate, and new season purple sprouting broccoli to the grilled halloumi cheese with samphire and their classic sweet and roaster potatoes. Great desserts too!
  8. Urban Health: a great little spot in Ranelagh. They have the best paleo brownie in town (made with no refined sugar), and a lovely selection of soups, juices, and lunches. They are also one of the first places in town to offer a soup and juice cleanse; a nice option for those who want something warming to help detox this winter.
  9. Cornocupia: A renowned award-winning restaurant located on Wicklow Street in the heart of Dublin. In addition to healthy wholesale food, you can expect high quality vegetarian and vegan food here.
  10. Blazing Salads: go early to avoid lines. Set up like an American-style deli, you pick your mains, sides, and sauces, and pay by the kg. A great place for someone who wants to try it all.
  11. Sova the Vegan Butcher: vegans all over Dublin rejoiced when Sova opened their pop-up at Yoga Hub during the holiday season. The tables were packed with people enjoying the beetroot soup, seitan wraps, and healthy vegan chocolate desserts. We wait with bated breath for news of their new store opening … hopefully in 2016.
  12. Staple Foods: open only for lunch, this is a truly great spot. Its location on Curved Street was a little tricky to find, but have since moved to 24 A Grattan St. Luckily for us, they deliver via Deliveroo, so you can get lunch dropped off right at your doorstep. Favourites include the Jamaican Jerk Chicken salad and the Vegan Superfood salad.

organic veg


Why we Have Cravings and How to Prevent Them

November 15, 2015

 The body is an amazing source of intelligence.

It is always there for you, pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting whatever food you put in it and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings due to lack of will-power or discipline? I’d like to suggest that cravings are not a problem. They are critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.

The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave.

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Perhaps your diet is too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients. Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is too boring or stressful. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.

Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself – Cicero

No book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to cultivate a relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of health and balance. The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness.

5 Tips to Preventing Cravings:

· Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
· Get up and take a walk. If you’re in an office setting, try to get up and stretch your legs, and take a lap around the office or a walk downstairs for a few minutes.
· Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit or sweet root vegetables to satisfy that craving.
· Ask what is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
· When you do eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savour it; notice its effect. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.


Mason Jar Salads

November 10, 2015

I generally like to pack buy all my ingredients on Saturday and prep my lunches for the week on Sunday. Prepping my lunches in advance keeps me from making unhealthy choices.

My favourite way of making my salads is in a mason jar. It keeps the leaves from going soggy, and pickles the heartier vegetables like cucumbers and carrots. The key to making the salad stay fresh all week is all in the layering.

  1. The first step is to add your dressing, I typically put enough to coat the bottom of that jar  (approximately 2-3 tablespoons)
  2. Next you add the heartier vegetables that will be soaking in the dressing-such as carrots, sugar snaps, beetroot, fennel, peppers, and cucumber
  3. Then you add the beans, grains, pasta
  4. Now its time to add the proteins and cheese (I fluctuate between shrimp, salmon, and roast chicken)
  5. Next you add the more fragile vegetables such as avocado, tomatoes
  6. Finally you add the leafy greens
  7. Sprinkle on top with seeds, nutritional yeast, or quinoa
  8. Cover the top and it will store for up to 5 days as long as you don’t shake the jar until its ready to be consumed

Here is my Salad for the Week: