Food: Nutribullet Five Day 180 Cleanse

Of course the first week in January means detox time and while there are plenty of diets, regimes and plans to follow I decided to make use of my Nutribullet and do the 5-day 180 cleanse they posted on their blog.

I bought a Nutribullet last summer after a friend’s recommendation and went juicing mad for a few weeks then admittedly got a little bored of my new toy so it was good to get in the habit of using it again.

For something like a cleanse the most important thing you need to do is absolutely plan ahead. It’s pretty hard to just breeze along without juicing and meal-planning so you will be thankful in the long run when you prep your ingredients ahead of time and don’t get disheartened half way through.

Before you start prepping a big food shop is necessary, be prepared to spend more than you expect. I buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables anyway but found the extra ingredients required for the juices bumped up the cost.

food shopping
Next up I wrote down my juices and meals for the week, the cleanse requires you to replace your breakfast with a Nutriblast drink and then choose a clean meal for lunch and then a choice of different levels for your dinner.

I went for a mix of level one and two for my dinner which consisted of meals of protein and vegetables and stews or soups. Level three is the most hardcore replacing your evening meals with another Nutriblast.

For me this cleanse was about getting into the mindset of healthy eating and planning rather than a diet, so choosing a Nutriblast for dinner was far from an option for me but if you want a big kick to losing weight I would imagine this might be the way to go.

Before your Nutriblast in the morning you are recommended to drink a cup of hot water and lemon, which is a nice habit to get into and means less tea drinking for me!

My meal plan for the week looked like this, recipes with a * can be found here:

Day One

  • Nuts Seeds and Green Blast*
  • Roasted aubergine bowl with rice
  • Moroccan Chickpea Stew*
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Nuts Seeds and Green Blast: Broccoli, spinach, blueberries, banana, pumpkins seeds and chia seeds

Day Two

  • Winter Warrior Blast*
  • Roasted aubergine bowl with quinoa
  • Moroccan Chickpea Stew*
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Winter Warrior: Cooked sweet potato, spinach, apple, avocado, banana, chia seeds and lime juice

Day Three

  • Berry Beet Blast*
  • Sweet potato, broccoli, avocado and quinoa salad
  • Salmon and veg kebabs with cous cous*
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Berry Beet Blast: Spinach, beetroot, mixed berries, chia seeds and lime juice

Day Four

  • Berry Beet Blast*
  • Avocado, grated carrot, spinach and broccoli salad
  • Salmon and veg kebabs with cous cous*
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Dinner: Salmon, mushrooms, peppers, onions, courgettes, aubergine with paprika and lemon juice

Day Five

  • Berry Beet Blast*
  • Roasted aubergine, roasted sweet potato, broccoli, cous cous salad
  • Slimming World Sticky 5-spice pork stir fry (see recipe below)
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Dinner: Slimming World Sticky 5-spice pork stir fry

I prefer to make my juices fresh in the morning but I found time was getting a bit tight, so from the third day I started to prepare them in the evening along with my lunches because I faff a lot in the morning.

It was handy to take my juices to drink at work, but I’m a very slow drinker and they were quite thick so the first couple of juices took me around three hours to drink.

The Nuts, Seeds and Green Blast and the Berry Beet Blast are both highly recommended. Each had combinations of veg and fruit that I hadn’t tried before, such as beetroot, and were definitely refreshing and filling to keep me going until lunch.

I definitely do not recommend the Winter Warrior. If I were ever to make that juice again I would probably steam/boil the sweet potato rather than roast it, there were no specific instructions apart from that it be cooked and I think this made it too savoury when combined with the avocado and apple. I struggled to drink it and in fact don’t think I finished it in time for lunch.

Lunches were the easiest part for me as the recipes I used are pretty much what I eat anyway. A salad for me barely ever contains lettuce leaves, so I never understand people who reduce themselves to boring the so-called ‘rabbit food’ with barely any flavour when they are trying to diet.

Cooked veg is certainly the way to go to add some excitement, things like sweet potatoes, aubergines, chick peas, mushrooms, and butternut squash alongside chicken and salmon are all ways to keep you full until the evening.

The Moroccan Chickpeas Stew was super nice, and I made enough to still have a portion for another time after putting loads in the freezer. I also made the salmon and veg kebabs in advance and froze them, you just need to remember in the morning to get your dinner out of the freezer to defrost either through the night or during the day!

Snacks

Of course those going on a cleanse/detox/diet will need snacks. It’s hard especially in an office job not to reach for things easy and within reach so once again preparing ahead is vital.

I tend to always have a stash of raisins in my bag, they’re a simple way to ease any sweet cravings. Greek yoghurt is another good thing to have in your fridge, pop some honey in and even a tablespoon of chia seeds to make a refreshing dessert.

For savoury I love houmous it’s so good, but it can be a drain on the purse strings to keep buying it so make your own!

The easiest houmous recipe ever (thanks Slimming World)

  • 400g can of chickpeas drained
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 1 juice and zest of lemon
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander
  • A dash (or more) of cayenne pepper or paprika
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons of water (if needed add a tblsp at a time, you can’t take water away remember!)

This is a zillion times easier if you have a Nutribullet as you can put all these ingredients in all at once and blend (if you don’t a normal food blender will do!). At least three minute blending time to get rid of the chickpea chunks scoop out and you’re done. Make sure to cut up some crudites to dip in such as cucumber, peppers, carrots, celery or you can get some ryvitas to eat it with instead.

I continued the cleanse for an extra two days just because I had so much veg and stuff left over and just keeps me in the mindset. To make sure this cleanse was most effective I did cut out any sugar, including chocolate, cakes, sweets, and cheese. In the evening to curb any sweet feelings I just had a cup of tea with a sweetener in.

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Slimming World Sticky 5-Spice Pork Stir Fry

  • 2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  • Pork/gammon/tuna steak
  • Red pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby sweetcorn
  • 1 tsbp chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
  • 1/2 juice and zest of an orange
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 100ml chicken/veg stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Egg noodles to serve

Cover your selected meat in the 5-spice powder then fry in a bit of oil of Fry-light spray. Set aside.

Mix your sauce in a jug – veg/chicken stock, chilli flakes, soy sauce and orange juice and zest.

I like to add mushrooms, peppers and baby sweetcorn just to make it a bit more exciting and filling. Fry these for a few minutes until they begin to soften.

Add your sauce to the veg and then when in the pan add the honey. Cook for about seven minutes then add in the meat you cooked earlier. Whilst this is all going on whack on your noodles, I usually buy dried egg noodles that take about three minutes.

The timing usually works out that they both are done at the same time! And serve.

Food: Courgette parmesan crisps

What do you do with that last courgette in your pack and are bored of cutting them up into chunks or need a new pre-lunch snack?

Make crisps.

Those of you who are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle will probably be missing those luscious crunchy addictive treats that are the downfall of even the strongest willed dieter. But fear no more you can still have a crunchy treat without feeling so guilty.

Damn Delicious is my new favourite food blog, full of really simple recipes that you can adjust to your liking and inspire even more ideas.

I spotted the ‘Zucchini Parmesan Crisps‘ when I was cooking my aubergine pizzas and thought that they would be a perfect snack to have when I reach the dreaded elevenses everyday.

I’ve been making the most out of my Nutribullet, which for those of you that haven’t got one yet I implore you to invest it’s such a versatile gadget, and have been having smoothies everyday with spinach, strawberries, bananas, chia seeds, ground flax seeds and whatever else is in my fridge. But I needed a change.

Using a very chunky courgette I sliced them into discs about a quarter of a centimetre thick, and then grabbing a bowl cracked an egg in and another bowl with my coating mix.

courgette step one_Fotor

For the coating, the original recipe calls for Panko crumbs. I definitely read it wrong and decided I needed to get polenta. Well lucky for me polenta still works as a crumb and after a quick Google search I returned to the recipe to adapt it to my new ingredient!

I grated parmesan and mixed that with a bit of plain flour and the polenta and added some seasoning, you could probably add some Italian herbs to tart them up if you so wish.

courgette step two

Now I’m pretty sure I did the coating the wrong way round, in the recipe it is demonstrated you dip the courgette into flower then egg then the parmesan coating and this will be why the coating kept falling off, but no need to worry I’m the only one eating it!

I gave them about 15-20 minutes in the oven with a little flip half way through just to get the crunch on either side and you could definitely leave them in longer to get the cheese golden. The recipe does say to fry them but I went for the healthier baking option without using any oil because of the natural watery nature of the courgette, but if you’re feeling naughty get out that oil and fry away.

I’m pretty impressed with how well these tasted and had them for my snack today, highly recommended. Next up on my return from Paris (I’m going to see Beyonce and Jay Z), I shall probably try this One Pot Courgette Mushroom Pasta!

courgette crisps

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Panko or polenta!
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 courgettes (or however many you want to make), thinly sliced to 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Instructions

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine Panko and Parmesan; set aside.
  • Working in batches, dredge courgett rounds in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
  • Add courgett rounds to the skillet, 5 or 6 at a time, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Serve immediately.

Food: Aubergine pizza and parmesan courgette chips

I am on a roll this week with cooking. This time it’s pizza and chips. Yes you heard that right!

I can’t believe how much you can do with courgettes, this parmesan courgette chips recipe caught my eye and of course they’re pretty simple.

Cut your courgettes lengthways, then quarter them and drizzle with oil. Mix up about a handful of parmesan cheese with thyme, oregano and garlic powder and then sprinkle over and put in the oven.

courgette parmesan chips

For the next part of my dish I found an aubergine pizza recipe that looked so simple and a great healthy way to actually eat pizza!

The aubergines need slicing into about three quarters of a centimetre thick and then the recipe says to cover them in salt and leave to dry out on kitchen roll for 30 minutes but time is of the essence and my stomach was grumbling so I skipped that and drizzled oil over sprinkled on some salt, pepper and oregano and stuck them in the oven.

It said to roast for 25 minutes but my aubergines were done in about 15. In the meantime I made the tomato base which was just some garlic a can of tomatoes and some oregano and Italian herb seasoning, I also added a bit of cayenne pepper too obvs.

Spoon the sauce onto the aubergine and put your chosen cheese on top. The recipe calls for mozzarella mixed with parmesan but I was in the mood for halloumi so I put slices of that on top of each ‘pizza’ base.

aubergine pizza

The pizzas only need a few more minutes for the cheese to melt, and that time depends on how cooked you like your cheese. I put mine in towards the end of the courgette chips cooking time and they all came out together.

I’m always one to have mayo with my pizza and chips so to stay healthy if you really need a side dip even though the dish is quite juicy already, I’d go for a bit of Greek yoghurt mixed with some herbs or do like I did and mash up an avocado with some lime juice.

The flavours went so well together and would you believe you can eat healthy pizza and chips without any dough in site?!

Also whilst browsing the Damn Delicious blog I used for the chips, I spotted a courgette parmesan crisps recipe that I am absolutely going to try, such a great idea for a snack!

aubergine pizza anc courgette parmesan chips