Archives March 2016

National Smoothie Day plus four new smoothie recipes


You can’t beat a good smoothie.  They’re quick, a nutritious light meal or snack and can be bursting full of goodness.  And now there’s a National Smoothie Day on the 30th March to celebrate that fact.  So to celebrate, I’ve teamed up with NutriBullet to bring you four new smoothie recipes that you’ll be sure to love.

Creamy chai spiced banana smoothie

Chai tea has an amazing taste and it makes a delicious flavour boost for this banana smoothie.  This combination is a new favourite for me, especially as the weather cools down a little. Add an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on top to enhance the flavour.


1 cup almond milk
1 chai tea bag
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
sprinkle of cinnamon, plus a little extra for topping the smoothie
3 heaped tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 banana
5 cashew nuts
2 teaspoons chia seeds

Pour almond milk into a glass and add the tea bag.  Allow the tea to infuse for around 3-5 minutes, dunking the tea bag up and down a few times to help release the flavours.  Discard the tea bag then add the chai flavoured almond milk into the NutriBullet with the remaining ingredients.  Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon.


Berry Bliss Smoothie

This probiotic rich smoothie thick, creamy and is great for your gut, with both good bacteria and fibre from the seeds, fruit and vegetables.  You can’t taste the cucumber as the fruit hides the flavour.


1 cup frozen berries (I used boysenberries)
1 banana, sliced
1 red fleshed plum, stone removed
1/2 cup cucumber
1 cup milk kefir
3 teaspoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons probiotic yoghurt

Place all the ingredients in your NutriBullet and blend until  smooth and creamy.

Tropical Mango Smoothie

This tropical smoothie is a tasty mix of tropical fruit and some vegetables too. It contains cucumber and avocado which you can’t taste, but they add extra nutrition and creamyness.  The chia seeds and nuts add some fibre and healthy fats for a filling, tasty smoothie.  You could add a little more pineapple if you prefer it sweeter.


1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango pieces
2 slices of avocado
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup coconut water (add more if it’s a little thick)
juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon coconut threads
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon cashews

Place all ingredients in the NutriBullet and blend until smooth. Garnish with mint and a slice of pineapple.

Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie

This thick, creamy smoothie is really delicious and I see it as a healthier alternative to a milkshake rather than a go to every day smoothie.  It’s sweetened with dates and the delicious flavours from cacao and hazelnuts. The Greek yoghurt helps make it thick and creamy as well as providing a source of protein.  You can add a scoop of protein powder to up the protein and also a little chocolate hazelnut butter to enhance the flavour if you wish. I added a teaspoon of chocolate hazelnut butter and it was delicious.


1 -2 medjoul dates, pits removed
1/2 banana
1 teaspoon cacao powder
3 heaped tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1  almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons chia seeds
Approximately 6-8 hazelnuts
(Optional: scoop of protein powder, 1 teaspoon chocolate hazelnut butter)

Simply blend all the ingredients together in your NutriBullet and you’ve got a creamy, chocolately drink.  Delicious.

Do you have a favourite smoothie?  Do let me know your favourite mix in the comments below.

This post was made possible thanks to NutriBullet.

What I ate Wednesday: the not perfect edition

This fortnight’s what I ate Wednesday isn’t green smoothies and kale salads!  I had one of those days where I was disorganised, didn’t plan and life got busy.  I almost considered not publishing this week’s Wednesday but then I decided I would for a couple of reasons.  1. to show I’m human.  2.  That one day of having a few more of the ‘sometimes foods’ doesn’t mean that you are unhealthy.  It’s just a day in the big picture.

So here it is and why my day panned out the way it did.


Breakfast:  Muesli with Greek yoghurt and  berries.

One of my breakfasts on rotation at the moment is this.  I’m loving the combination of all three of these.  My breakfast was a good start to the day for me.  Wholegrain carbohydrate from the oats with some nuts/seeds for healthy fat, fruit plus protein from the Anchor Greek yoghurt and milk.  Yummy and sustaining.

Today at work I spent the morning at a clinic in Martinborough.  I usually take fruit and nuts with me but today I forgot.  I had a cheese scone at the clinic.  Yep, refined carbs – white flour and lots of cheese.  I hardly ever eat scones, so in context not really a biggie.


When I got back from Martinborough, I decided I’d go for a quick run before getting something to eat. I hadn’t made my lunch so I had to buy it.    I ran with my card and stopped to get something at a cafe on the way back.  It was after 1pm by the time I got back . The first place I went to only had pastries or bacon and egg sandwiches.  The next cafe I went to was also pretty cleared out.  I didn’t have time to go anywhere else, so I chose a curried chicken and kumara filo which came with a salad and got it to go.  The salad is really more a garnish than a salad – one serve of vegetable is 1 cup of lettuce, and this probably would have been about 1/3 of a cup if I was lucky.  I had a tomato at work so I added this to it to bump up the vegetable.  The filo was quite yummy but not something I’d go for when buying my lunch. The only other options were pastry based tarts or paninis.

I was a little hungry about 4pm.  I had packed some berries, greek yoghurt and chia seeds with a sprinkle of chopped almonds.  When I use frozen berries, I like to sprinkle over a teaspoon of chia seeds as these help absorb the liquid as they defrost.  The nuts add a nice crunch.


I got home about 6pm but we ended up going out and visiting the inlaws, and stayed for longer than planned.  They eat early, but we hadn’t eaten.  We left about 7.30pm and were pretty hungry and tired so decided to get takeaways.  Now for those that live in cities, you are lucky with the choices you have! My general go to are either a kebab or thai, and tonight we got thai as the kebab meat can be dry later on.  I usually choose a stir fry that nearly always comes with HEAPS of vegetables, but of course to night it was super stingy! My husband got pad thai. I had a little of the pad thai and the stir fry with some rice.

I also had two mini easter eggs and two strawberries and a peach.

If I was looking at this critically, I’d say yes, refined carbs were featured in my day – scone, filo pastry, rice/fried noodles, that there weren’t enough vegetables.  I’m sure plenty of people would judge me for this day and think well if you ate an omlette for breakfast you wouldn’t be hungry and you wouldn’t need snacks, or  that I could have just cooked dinner or gone to the supermarket and got something that was quick to make, or that I should have been more prepared and made my own lunch and have things in the freezer blah blah.  Of course I know those things.  In general I don’t feel like eggs at breakfast.  And I generally do make my own lunch and have quick easy things for nights when I can’t be bothered cooking. But today I didn’t and sometimes that happens in life.

There were some things about my day that were perfectly healthy.  I guess the thing is that you learn from what happens.  If you’re going to buy lunch, get it early rather than later. I’ll remember that the stir fry is stingy on the vegetables now, maybe order some plain stir fried vegetables too.  Do a proper grocery shop so you are organised for lunches and dinner (didn’t really plan very well this week….)

I’ll be back in two weeks for another honest installation of “What I ate Wednesday”

What I ate Wednesday

Firstly, apologies as last Wednesday was supposed to be ‘What I ate Wednesday’, however I was sick and all I ate was a couple of pieces of toast with marmite. And as you can imagine, that would not have been the most exciting day of eating to feature!  So I’ve done it today instead.

Here’s my day of food in pictures.  These photos aren’t exactly master pieces but you get the idea 🙂

Breakfast today was muesli, Greek yoghurt and some stewed plums.  My muesli was a real hybrid today.  It was a mix of a homemade one, a one my husband bought and another one I bought.  I had a little of each as there wasn’t much left! There was oats, almonds, seeds, coconut and just a really small amount of dried fruit. For Greek yoghurt I usually buy Anchor Greek.  It’s the highest in protein so it’s great to help keep you feeling full.  If you remember my big plum haul from a few weeks back, I cooked some up and froze them in little glad bags.  They’ve been handy to defrost as I need them and they taste amazing with Greek yoghurt.

When I got to work I had 1/2 an instant coffee. The coffee at work isn’t the greatest so I didn’t finish it.

I spent most of the morning on the road for work.  I was a little hungry when I got back late morning and needed something to tide me over until lunch.  I am not usually much of a cracker person, but one of my favourite snacks at the moment is wholegrain crackers with either tomato or cucumber and cheese. FYI, crackers vary so much in terms of nutrition, so do check out the nutrition information before you buy.  I’ve got some chutney, cucumber and cheese that is in the fridge at work at the moment, and I have a box of crackers at my desk.

I’ve got lots of cucumbers in the garden so at the moment and pretty much everything comes with a side of cucumber! I had 3 sesame and chia crackers with chutney, cucumber and cheese.

For lunch I had left over panko crumbed fish, roasted cauliflower and zucchini and salad.  I love having leftovers, it makes lunch so easy the next day.  I also took a small amount of quinoa from the freezer and defrosted and heated that to go with lunch.

I usually take fruit and yoghurt to work for snacks but I forgot them today, so I went to the supermarket and grabbed a small bunch of grapes and a yoghurt.  I ate these about 3.30pm.  I then had just a couple of nuts which I forgot I had (not pictured).


Dinner tonight was a new recipe. I have so many recipe books I thought I should really start to use them more and experiment a bit so I made Chelsea Winter’s Sesame Chicken.  Minus the sesame seeds. Whoops.  I thought I had some but turns out I didn’t. It still tasted pretty good.  I served it with soba noodles and stir fried broccoli, capsicum and zucchini. My dinner had about 1/2 cup of broccoli, a zucchini and half a large capsicum in it – so about three serves of vegetables.

It’s quite an interesting exercise to reflect on a days eating.  I always try and get vegetables in at lunch as well as dinner.  Food doesn’t have to be expensive, fancy or contain superfood powders to be healthy.  My day is pretty basic, but covers a range of food groups and is nutrient dense, but tasty too! In terms of sugar (since it’s a hot topic right now), there would have been a small amount in the muesli from dried fruit, some in the chutney, a little in the yoghurt (the sugar is mostly from lactose, but it did have a little added in the berry) and the sauce for dinner also had some honey in it.  But seriously, nothing to stress about in the context of a healthy, balanced diet and likely to be under the recommended intake.

So that’s it – I’ll be back with another episode of ‘What I ate Wednesday’ in two weeks time!