Diet, lifestyle and fitness – three secrets of good health

Food provides our bodies with the fuel source to manufacture energy. We often forget the importance of a healthy diet in producing energy. The key to having a diet which produces high levels of energy is to avoid refined foods. Basically the more food is refined, the more energy deficient it becomes. Foods like sugary sweets, lollies, chips, fried foods, fast foods and junk food are all heavily refined and lacking in nutrition.
Another important element related to food is the amount we eat. Digestion takes up over 50% of our energy reserves. So overeating is one of the largest energy drainers on the body.
The human body is the same as a plant. If you give it the correct environment and food, it will flourish and heal itself. We often complicate our health, when in reality it is very simple. Look after yourself, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and maintain a positive, happy outlook on life. Your body will produce bounds of excessive energy.

With Ramadan just around the corner I am sharing one summery and light sweet treat with you that might become also your favourite once you tried it. Easy, quick, packed with nutrients and delicious.
Eat healthy, stay fit and look good!

RAW Chia Almond Pudding with Exotic Fruits

What to Buy for 2 portions
20 g Chia seeds
200 ml almond milk (I make it fresh and raw with 1/2 cup soaked almonds and 200 ml water in a blender, strained through a fine sieve)
1 teaspoon honey
80 g diced mango, papaya, dragon fruit
juice of 1 lime

How to Make It
Mix honey and almond milk. Stir in the chia seeds and transfer immediately into serving bowls. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. The chia seeds will absorb most of the almond milk and create a thick texture.
Short before serving top with the fruits and lime juice.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Nutrient packed and raw – a dessert that supplies long lasting energy and vitamins without sitting on the hips. Mango season is coming soon here in Dubai. But the dessert tastes also very good with fresh berries or peaches.

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Hot Weather – Light Food

It’s time to get summer ready and have some light sunshine recipes on hand for optimal hydration and cooling effect.
Living and working in sunny Dubai I may have the perfect advise for you:
Keep your food fresh (means a certain percentage also raw), light (means not heavy on fat or carbohydrates), easy to digest, and as natural as possible. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Read more about drinking here and here.

There are food combinations that are close to ideal, because they satisfy the taste buds and our body nutritional requirements in the same time. Such as, for a hot summer day, below salad I often make and truly love:

Watermelon Feta Cheese Salad with Sprouted Nuts

What to buy for 2 portions
1 medium wedge water melon (about 300 g)
mint sprigs, leaves picked,washed, pat dried
120 g feta cheesemelonensalat nah
5 g sunflower seeds
5 g pumpkin seeds
1 lemon (juice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It
Soak the nuts in water for minimum 2 hours or maximum over night. Strain and rinse them well before use.
Peel and deseed the watermelon. Cut it into 1-2 cm cubes. Crumble the feta cheese. Mix all ingredients carefully and season with salt and pepper.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
This combination is so good, nutritious and hydrating. It can be ready in 5 minutes, and is absolutely great to take along packed in a cooling bag in case you plan a beach day. Try it and enjoy – the weekend is not far away!

 

Healthy Sweet Treat

In my consultations people often ask for healthy, guilt free, weight friendly sweets. Well, sweets are not healthy when eaten regularly. But there are some that contain less fat than others. Try my favorite little treat I recommend to those who find it difficult to resist eating something sweet once in a while:

Coconut Macaroons

What To Buy

What to Buy for 20-25 pieces
4 egg whites
1 pinch salt
½ vanilla bean seeds scraped out
150 g Acacia honey
1 drop bitter almond oil
65 g low fat quark cheese
200 g coconut desiccated
80 g honey black berry jam

How To Make It
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven at 210 degrees Celsius.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, almond oil and the vanilla seeds until firm.
Cook the honey in a small pot for around 3 minutes. Gradually add the hot honey into the egg whites while continue whisking. Then carefully fold under the quark and coconut, do not stir too much to retain the foamy texture. Transfer the dough with two teaspoons in dollops (size of a walnut) onto the parchment paper on the baking tray. Make a small whole in each cookie and fill it with a little bit of jam. Close the dough over the jam.  Bake for 10-15 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius.

The biscuits can be kept in a box and cool and dry place for up to 3 days.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
There is no “healthy” cakes and biscuits to be precise. However above recipe is very low fat, high protein and better carb. Keep this for exceptions when you allow yourself to satisfy sweet cravings, but don’t consume them daily or in larger quantities.

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Spring Detox

A little detox once in a while is very helpful to maintain good health, radiant beauty and to stay in shape. What better time to tackle the issue than spring?
I recently rediscovered juicing and here is my new favorite – a pale powder rose, fragrant juice I serve in small shots that gives you that extra boost of goodness in a minute!

Pink Grapefruit Fennel Juice

What To Buy for 1 large or 4 small portions

1 medium fennel bulb
1 pink grapefruit
1 lemon
2 yellow apples
1 tablespoon flax seed oil

How To Make It

Peel the citrus fruits. Juice the fruits and the fennel. Stir in the flax seed oil and enjoy immediately.

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Chef Gabi’s Tip

Flax seed oil or freshly crushed flax seeds ( I prefer the golden ones with their great nutty flavor on my salads, muesli, smoothies) contain alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to the essential Omega 3 fatty acid and is said to help lower cholesterol and tryglicerides.

Talise Nutrition at The Swim Around Burj Al Arab Event

Last weekend Burj Al Arab hosted their annual “Swim around Burj Al Arab” event with a Talise Nutrition treats filled breakfast at their stunning garden. Spot my luxurious layered morning muesli (recipe) and other delicious goodness to refuel the healthy way after workout!

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Delicious Whole Spelt Galette

This recipe provides the good carbohydrates, and plenty of healthy goodness paired with delicious taste. I use my basic recipe for the base.

What To Buy for 1 Galette ( serves 4-6)

150 ml water

200g Whole Spelt flour

5g Fresh yeast

1/2 tsp acacia honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Olive Oil

I topped the dough with the sauteed slices of 1 onion, 1 fennel bulb and a mix of 80 g low fat quark cheese with 5 g grated smoked tofu. All that goes in the preheated oven at 220 degrees for around 15 minutes until the dough is crispy and the surface golden.

Serve with winter lettuce on the side.

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Delicious Cardamom Saffron Cookies

Baking the healthy way! It is the season for cookies and here is one new favorite of mine, definitely with Arabian flavors, and wholesome of course. They are quickly made and so delicious. If you wish to try your hand on baking, here is the recipe:

Cardamom Saffron Cookies

What to Buy for 40 small cookiesimage
1 g Cardamom seeds, roughly ground with mortar and pestle
0.1 g Saffron
150 g Butter (room temperature)
80 g Acacia honey
Organic orange zest (from 1 orange)
50 ml Orange juice
225 g Finely ground whole spelt flour
1 pinch Salt
100 g Finely ground almonds
1 Egg
120 g Dark chocolate

How to Make It
Warm up the orange juice and dissolve the saffron in it. Whisk the butter with honey, cardamom, orange zest, and a little bit salt to a creamy texture. Add the egg and continue stirring. When mixed well add flour, almonds and saffron-orange-mix and fold under. Form small cookies of the soft dough mixture with the help of a piping bag on a baking tray lined with pergament paper and chill for a minimum of one hour or over night before baking.
Bake the cookies at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 – 7 minutes. Once the cookies are chilled, dip the tips in melted  dark chocolate.

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Chef Gabi’s Tip
They taste best freshly baked. However I recommend to keep the remaining cookies in an airtight container and refrigerated for further use.
Enjoy and have a lovely winter day!