Avocado Prawns Recipe for Toddlers and Babies

prawn recipe suitable for babies and kids

With the same set of ingredients, you can make meals for babies, toddlers and (of course) adults

Renée Elliott’s shows you how one set of ingredients can be turned into three different recipes to suit the ages of your family. For your 6-9 month old baby try Rice Noodles & Avocado Purée, or for your toddler there’s delicious Spiced Rice Noodles With Avocado.

You can serve this healthy dish as a starter, but it also works well over rice as a quick midweek main meal. Spiced with jalapeño and chilli, it also has lime and cumin, which are heavenly!


Spicy Avocado Prawns

Serves: 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby
Preparation time:20 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes

300g/10½oz brown rice noodles
1 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
225g/8oz raw, peeled king prawns
3-4 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into bite-sized pieces
3-4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ tsp chilli powder

1 Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling water, according to the packet instructions. Drain the noodles, add the salt and toss well.
2 Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the prawns and fry, turning occasionally, for 3 minutes until opaque and pink. Transfer to a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Stir in the noodles and mix thoroughly. Serve warm.


For a 6-9 month old

Rice Noodles & Avocado Purée

Put 4 tablespoons of chopped, cooked noodles (drained and without the salt), 6 avocado pieces and 3 tablespoons water in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth. Serve warm.


For a 9-12 month old

Spiced Rice Noodles With Avocado

Put 4 tablespoons of chopped, cooked noodles, (drained and without the salt), 6 avocado pieces, a pinch of the coriander and 3 tablespoons water in a blender. Pulse for 15 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture forms a lumpy purée. Serve warm.

Because the types of foods that your baby can eat increase at every stage of development, the recipes for the 9-12 month old build on the recipes for the 6-9 month old. When your baby is a year old, you can use the main recipe.


‘Renée Elliott’s cookbook is a kitchen essential for new moms and for those who need a little inspiration on how to feed the entire family. The delicious recipes cover babies, toddlers, kids and adults – and each meal is simple and healthy for everyone.’

Gwyneth Paltrow


Me-you-and-kids-too-coverCooking for a family can be a huge challenge that leaves you feeling like you’re always making compromises. In Me, You and the Kids Too, Renée Elliott makes this do-able. She shows that you don’t have to cook different recipes to please everyone at the table – and that you never have to sacrifice flavour or nutrition to get meals made without stress.

Me, You and the Kids Too by Renée Elliott







Gluten-free Chia Seed & Coconut Pancake recipe (and it’s vegan too!)

a recipe for gluten-free pancakes

A perfect recipe for a gluten-free pancake day


So you’re looking for a gluten-free pancake recipe and it would be really, really good if it was vegan too? Hurrah! – you’ve just hit the jackpot with this delicious recipe from Adele McConnell’s new book, The Vegan Cookbook.

Gluten-free Chia Seed & Coconut Pancakes

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 10 minutes soaking, plus making the spread
Cooking time: 20 minutes
½ tsp chia seeds
190g/6¾oz/1½ cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
875ml/30fl oz/3½ cups coconut milk
175g/6oz/½ cup Fruit & Pumpkin Spread (below), plus extra to serve
2 tbsp olive oil, safflower oil or coconut oil, plus extra if needed
desiccated coconut, berries, and agave syrup or brown rice syrup (optional), to serve
Fruit & Pumpkin Spread
Makes about 1kg/2lb 4oz/3 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
6 apricots or 3 peaches, cut in half and pitted
300g/10½oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
4 large pears or apples, peeled, cored and cut into dice
180g/6¼oz/1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
1. Put all the ingredients in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add 185ml/6fl oz/¾ cup water, then combine well.
2. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently, or until the pumpkin and fruit are soft. Add extra water if the mixture starts to catch on the base of the pan. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve or cool and store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 7 days.


To make the pancakes

1. Preheat the oven to 100°C/200°F/Gas½ and put a heatproof plate inside to warm. Put the chia seeds in a small bowl and add 3 tablespoons water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes to form a gel.
2. Sift the buckwheat flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chia seed gel, coconut milk and the fruit spread. Add to the dry ingredients and stir gently to form a thick batter.
4. Heat 1½ teaspoons of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Pour 3-4 tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan, tilting the pan to cover the base of the pan with the mixture. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side until lightly browned.
5. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding another 1½ teaspoons oil to the pan before cooking each one. Transfer the pancakes to the warmed plate, stacking them between sheets of baking parchment to prevent them from sticking together, and keep warm in the oven. Serve hot with a selection of fruity toppings.


Adele McConnell is the founder of the hugely successful vegan food blog,, and was the winner of the prestigious ‘Vegan Food Blogger Award’ by The Vegan Woman 2012. She loves sharing her passion for vegan food. Watch her inspiring, easy-to-follow cookery demonstrations on her YouTube channel.


Adele MacConnell - 100 Vegan Recipes

“Feed your soul, taste the love: 100 of the best vegan recipes”

The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell

176 pages • Illustrated • £14.99

AUS $28.00 NZ $35.00

Pre-order now!




A foolproof pancake recipe from Jo Pratt

easy recipe for pancakes

An easy recipe for pancake day – the only difficult thing is deciding what you want on it!


Enjoying pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is a must, but if they are an annual feast, it can be difficult to remember the quantities. It’s worth investing in some measuring cups or finding a teacup that is 250ml/9fl oz – this makes it so much easier to memorize the quantities (just don’t forget which mug or tea cup you used). American-style pancakes tend to be thicker and smaller. If you want French crêpes, use a large pan and add the minimum amount of batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. You can let your imagination run wild with the toppings, or simply try a few of those suggested below.

Foolproof Pancakes

Makes: 12-14 American style pancakes, or 8-10 crepes

Preparation Time:5 minutes

Cooking Time:4 minutes

125g/4½oz/1 cup self-raising flour (either plain or self-raising can be used for crêpes)
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup milk (just under for American-style, just over for crêpes)
1 egg
a pinch of salt
butter or sunflower oil, for frying

Suggestions to serve

try some of these options:
• clear honey, golden syrup, maple syrup or jam
• chocolate spread or caramel sauce
• fresh fruit, such as berries or bananas
• grated lemon or orange zest and sugar
• yogurt
• ice cream … for breakfast? Some of you will!
1. Put the flour, milk, egg and salt in a blender or food processor and mix together well. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be that of double cream for crêpes, so add a little extra milk if you need to. (Cook straight away or chill for up to 24 hours until needed – loosen with extra milk if necessary.)
2. Heat a pancake or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a small piece of butter or a trickle of oil until it melts all over the base of the pan. Add a spoonful of the batter, rolling the pan to spread it over the base of the pan, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
3. Serve with your chosen topping and enjoy.

And if there are any leftovers…

Any pancake batter that hasn’t been used up is brilliant for making Yorkshire puddings. Keep the batter covered in the fridge. When you are ready to cook, put a good drizzle of sunflower oil in each hollow of a shallow bun or patty tin and put the tin in the oven while it heats to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. After 5 minutes, quickly take out the tin and pour the batter into the holes, filling them halfway. Return to the oven on the top shelf and cook for 12–15 minutes until golden and risen. Serve with your roast dinner or as a snack topped with baked beans and cheese, or even as a dessert drizzled with clear honey, golden syrup or maple syrup and lemon juice.


Find more inspiring quick and easy recipes in bestselling author Jo Pratt’s latest book, Madhouse Cookbook. A life-transforming collection of recipes for busy parents – for surviving the stressful week, coping with weekends and enabling you to cling onto your social life. Follow Jo on her inspiring website


Family recipes for busy parents “Home-cooked food that’s tasty and stress-free – this is Jo’s guide for busy parents” – Jamie Oliver

Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt

224 pages • Illustrated • £20.00

AUS $35.00 NZ $42.00

Buy the book now!



How well are you ageing? Are you a Jumper, Sitter or Digger?



“A few years ago I began to interview interesting women who were nearing or passing the age of 50” says Jaki Scarcello, author of Fifty & Fabulous. “I started the project for a variety of reasons, in response to circumstances in my professional life to questions that arose in my personal life. By the time I stopped asking questions, I had interviewed women between the ages of 45 and 102, from five countries. At the end of the interviews, I knew I needed to write these women’s stories. My enthusiasm came from a desire to share what they had shared with me, along with a strong sense that others – both individuals and our society – needed to hear what I had discovered and needed to hear it soon.”

As the interviews progressed, Jaki had discerned that women facing their fiftieth birthdays and/or the event of menopause fall into two categories:

  • Those who are horrified by their ageing, who look out on their future as a time of decline and diminishing capacity to be postponed and denied as long as possible.

  • Those who aren’t fazed by the physical milestone of menopause or the chronological significance of turning 50, but who celebrate the new possibilities each stage of their lives brings.

These women, whom Jaki calls the Women of the Harvest, are not oblivious to the changes happening in their lives. They have simply embraced the idea that being over 50 and female at this time in history is an opportunity richer and more ripe with potential than ever before. “Our reaction to change is linked to our personality type. If I take some poetic license, I can divide people into three types according to the way they face change,” says Jaki.


1. Heel Diggers cling to what they believe is the present but in reality has already become the past. At the extreme, they might admit to preferring death to change. They have shut down their logic receptors, so it is difficult to give them the information they need to consider the advantages of change.

It may seem to them that it’s easier to lie down and let progress march over their graves than to learn to use an iPhone, consider driving a Smart Car, or accept footless tights as suitable attire for a dinner party.


2. Fence Sitters – I never understood these folks – it can’t be comfortable. But perhaps some may have sat up there balancing on the pickets for so long that they imagine they are in a comfy armchair. Or maybe they’re just numb.

From the fence, in theory, they can see both sides, where they came from and where they could go. You would think that with such a panoramic view it would be easier to chose a side, and some Fence Sitters do eventually, but others are truly stuck… impaled in their position. Again I wonder, how comfortable can that be? Obviously it’s more comfortable than making a decision.


3. Early Jumpers, on the other hand, grab on quickly to new theories and are the first to move into the new world. The risks of danger in the new order don’t seem to bother them. Sometimes they even jump a little too soon – but they are flexible and can usually jump back or jump somewhere else. Early jumpers like change, so it is easier for them, and if change is not happening quickly enough to suit them, they sometimes initiate it.

Many of the Women of the Harvest are Early Jumpers, but some, by their natures, fall into the category of Fence Sitters. The difference was they jumped off those fences and moved on just before things got too painful. She did not find any Women of the Harvest who were Heel Diggers, because by definition they do not move on – or if they do, they’re the very last to – and this is not the way of harvest women.

“Sure, the women I interviewed struggled and grumbled with new technologies, fashions, and politics as much as anyone, but in the end these were not barriers, just hurdles. The Women of the Harvest pick themselves up, work around or over or under the problem, reinvent, redesign, and keep going.”


In Fifty & Fabulous, Jaki Scarcello reveals how changing our attitude toward ageing can spark a ‘virtuous cycle’ of rejuvenation and renewal. Women who know this embrace the years after 50 with a spirit of optimism and energy that is truly liberating. They understand that in maturity a woman has the potential for genuine elegance, a beauty more than skin-deep that sparkles confidently and generously from the eyes, and a whole new brand of personal sexiness. On a deeper level, they possess a secret power and joy that radiate outward into the world and illuminate everyone around them.


a guide to ageing well for women

 ‘Scarcello bubbles with enthusiasm over her subject…’ LA Times

Fifty and Fabulous by Jaki Scarcello


Order the paperback now 

10 signs that leptins are causing you to put on weight


Broad Bean & Brown Rice Soup is a great “filler-upper” – it’s full of fibre, thanks to the broad beans, and really helps to balance leptin.


Are you struggling to lose weight? It might be down to your leptin hormones – Lowri Turner shows you the tell-tale signs, and what you can do about it.

Some of the most interesting research into why certain people put on weight and others don’t has focused on hormones produced by our own fat. These include metabolic hormones such as leptin and the role it plays in letting our bodies know we’re full.

Answer the following 10 questions and find out if your levels of leptin need balancing. Consider each of the following statements and rate yourself on a scale of 1–5, with 1: strongly disagree, 2: disagree, 3: not sure, 4: agree and 5: strongly agree.


1. I feel hungry all the time.

2. I have a blood pressure of 130/80 or above (rate yourself 5 if true and 1 if false).

3. I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (rate yourself 5 if true and 1 if false).

4. I gain weight round my middle.

5. I am more than 13kg (2st) overweight (rate yourself 5 if true and 1 if false).

6. I have new stretch marks, skin tags (benign growths) or Acanthosis Nigricans (AN) – a sort of dark staining on the skin under the armpits. It can also appear around your neck or in skin folds.

7. I work shifts, travel a great deal or have small children who disrupt my sleep.

8. I suffer from spots/excess hair along my jaw line.

9. I crave bulky foods like pasta, rice and potatoes.

10. I know I need to lose weight, but however little I eat, I don’t lose weight.



Add up your scores. If you scored 30 or more out of 50, you may find it easier to lose weight if you balance your leptin levels. There are two problems with the hormone leptin that could be causing you to put on weight: leptin depletion, in which your fat cells can’t produce leptin, and more commonly, leptin resistance, in which you produce a high level of leptin but it doesn’t have the normal effect of telling you that you’re full. In both cases, your brain thinks you’re starving, so it increases your appetite and slows down your metabolism – when actually your jeans are getting tighter and tighter!


How does leptin affect my appetite?

Leptin tells our brains when we have enough body fat, triggers a drop in appetite and speeds up metabolism – burning up excess body fat in the process. Leptin production follows a circadian rhythm, that is, it rises and falls over a 24-hour cycle. Peak production of leptin is at night, so if you work night shifts, travel through different time zones or have a young baby who keeps you awake in the wee hours, you may develop leptin problems and gain weight.


What foods should I eat?

Foods rich in resistant starch, such as oats, can help those with leptin issues, as resistant starch speeds up your metabolism and reduces your appetite. You can also utilize other appetite-controlling hormones, such as ghrelin. Ghrelin levels increase before meals and go down again after meals. One way to reduce ghrelin is to stretch the stomach by eating high-volume foods (those with high water and high fibre content). The best foods to stabilize leptin include:

  • Beans
  • Eggs and lean protein
  • Green bananas
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oats
  • Oily fish


In her book The S Factor Diet, broadcaster and journalist turned nutritionist, Lowri Turner, has devised a 14 day meal plan to balance your leptin levels. The 7 day Phase 1 is based around lean protein and high-volume, low-cal foods – that is to say vegetables. To help you feel full, it also includes grains like oats, which are a good source of resistant starch.


A sample day’s menu:

  • Breakfast Fruity Yogurt Crunch
  • Lunch Mini Feta-Stuffed Lamb Burgers with Polenta Muffins
  • Dinner Polenta-Crusted Chicken with Cauliflower “Mash”
  • Raspberry Granita
  • S Factor Snack Apricot & Oat Cookies


The 7 day Phase 2 is still about high-volume, low-cal foods that will help you hang on to that feeling of fullness. And, in case you’ve been missing them, it also includes an extra portion of grains.

A sample day’s menu:

  • Breakfast Quinoa Porridge with Apple & Raisins
  • Lunch Tartelettes Niçoises
  • Dinner Moroccan Tagine with Broccoli & Pistachio “Tabbouleh”
  • Fig Flowers with Orange Flower Water
  • S Factor Snack Chilli Pitta Crisps

With over 70 recipes to help balance your hormones naturally, Lowri Turner shows you how to lose excess weight easily and keep it off for good.


S-FactorDietCover“Drop a dress size in 2 weeks”

The S Factor Diet by Lowri Turner

160 pages • Illustrated • £10.99

AUS $22.99NZ $28.00

Buy the e-book now!


Lamb and Redcurrant Casserole with Rosemary Dumplings

recipe for lamb casserole with rosemary dumplings

This hearty lamb casserole recipe from Jo Pratt is ideal to serve as an alternative to a roast when you’ve little time to prepare. Simply throw everything in a casserole dish, pop it in the oven and leave it to cook. The only other thing to do is whizz together the dumpling ingredients in a food processor and put on top of the casserole towards the end of its cooking time.

Lamb and Redcurrant Casserole with Rosemary Dumplings

Serves: 2 adult and 4 kid’s sized portions

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
For the Casserole
750g/1lb 10oz lamb shoulder, diced
3 heaped tbsp plain flour
2 large onions, thickly sliced
½ swede, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp redcurrant jelly
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato purée
400ml/14fl oz/scant 1¾ cups red wine
200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup lamb or beef stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
cabbage or curly kale, to serve
For the Dumplings
75g/2½oz/scant cup self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
75g/2½oz/heaped 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
75g/2½oz butter, diced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 Preheat the oven to 160°C/315°F/gas 2–3.
2 Put the lamb and flour in a bowl or large plastic freezer bag and toss well, making sure all the lamb is coated in the flour. Put the lamb and all the remaining casserole ingredients in a large flameproof casserole dish, mix well and bring to the boil over a high heat. Cover with a lid and bake for 2 hours until the sauce is thickening.
3 Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Put the flour, breadcrumbs and butter in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the mustard, rosemary and egg, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Blitz briefly until the mixture forms a fairly moist dough. Using floured hands to stop the mixture sticking to you, divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape them into balls.
4 After the casserole has been cooking for 2 hours, take it out of the oven and remove the lid. Put the dumplings on top of the lamb and sprinkle a few flakes of salt on top of each one. Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes, until the dumplings are golden and the casserole is rich and thick. Serve the casserole just as it is or with some lovely buttery cabbage or curly kale.
Find more inspiring quick and easy recipes in Madhouse Cookbook. A life-transforming collection of recipes for busy parents – for surviving the stressful week, coping with weekends and enabling you to cling onto your social life. Follow Jo on her website


Family recipes for busy parents “Home-cooked food that’s tasty and stress-free – this is Jo’s guide for busy parents” – Jamie Oliver

Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt

224 pages • Illustrated • £20.00

AUS $35.00 NZ $42.00

Buy the book now!


Amanda Hamilton’s top 5 healthy winter breakfasts

Amanda Hamilton's top winter breakfasts

Apple and Ginger porridge from The Eat, Fast, Slim Diet – the life-changing fasting diet that everyone’s talking about.


The Eat, Fast, Slim Diet by nutritionist Amanda Hamilton is the original life-changing fasting diet for amazing weight loss and optimum health. Try Amanda’s healthy plans with more than 100 nutritious recipes including these 5 warming winter breakfasts.


1. Apple and Ginger Porridge

Serves 1

55g/2oz/heaped ½ cup porridge oats
100ml/3½fl oz/generous cup skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
¾ apple, cored and grated
1.5cm/in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

1. Put the oats, milk and 270ml/9½fl oz/generous 1 cup water in a nonstick saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oats are cooked through and creamy.
2. Stir in the apple and ginger and serve immediately.


2. Peanut Butter Smoothie

Serves 1

145ml/4¾fl oz/generous ½ cup skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
140g/5oz/generous ½ cup reduced-fat natural yogurt
2 tsp peanut butter (no added sugar or salt)
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp clear honey

1. Put the milk, yogurt, peanut butter and cinnamon in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, stir in the honey and serve immediately


3. Fig and Walnut Porridge

Serves 1

55g/2oz/heaped ½ cup porridge oats
100ml/3½fl oz/generous cup skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
1½ ready-to-eat dried figs, chopped
15g/½oz/ cup walnuts, chopped
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1½ tsp clear honey

1. Put the oats, milk and 270ml/9½fl oz/generous 1 cup water in a nonstick saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the chopped figs. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oats are cooked through and creamy.
2. Sprinkle the porridge with the walnuts, nutmeg and honey and serve immediately.


4. Oat, Date and Banana Smoothie

Serves 1

15g/½oz ready-to-eat dried dates
1 small banana, cut in half
30g/1oz/heaped ¼ cup porridge oats
210ml/7½fl oz/scant 1 cup skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
140g/5oz/generous ½ cup reduced-fat natural yogurt
3 tbsp whey protein powder (optional)

1. Put the dates in a bowl, cover with warm water to soften or leave to soak in cold water for 2–3 hours, then drain.
2. Put the drained dates and all the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and serve immediately


5. Raisin Quinoa Porridge

Serves 1

70g/2½oz/heaped cup quinoa
210ml/7½fl oz/generous ¾ cup orange juice
30g/1oz/¼ cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
125g/4½oz/½ cup reduced-fat natural yogurt, to serve

1. Put the quinoa, orange juice, raisins and cinnamon in a nonstick saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
2. Serve topped with yogurt.



fasting diet from amanda hamilton

Amanda Hamilton has helped thousands of people lose weight and gain body confidence. Try Amanda’s healthy plans with more than 100 nutritious recipes. Choose a plan to suit your lifestyle and maximize the benefits of fasting – lose weight, slow down ageing and boost your health. Follow Amanda on her inspiring website



How to reset your sleep-wake cycle for a great night’s sleep

chris Idzikowski's 5 steps to reset your sleep cycle

Do you long to wake up refreshed and feeling full of energy? Are you not getting the quality or amount of sleep you need? Do you have difficulty drifting off, or lie awake in the small hours, with bad dreams? Try these 5 steps to reset your sleep-wake cycle from sleep expert Professor Idzikowski.

For simplicity, I’ve assumed that you want to condition your body so that it’s ready for sleep at 11pm and ready to wake up at 7am. If these times don’t suit you (for example, if 10pm until 6am works better with your schedule), that’s fine – you can change the times, but try to make sure they allow for seven to eight hours of shut-eye every night.
1. You’ll need to set aside four weeks for this, because conditioning your body into a new routine won’t happen overnight (excuse the pun). Clear your diary of all social engagements that would keep you out late in the evening and let your friends and family know that you are not contactable between 11pm and 7am.

2. Set your alarm clock for 7am and make sure that it’s on its loudest setting so that it wakes you straightaway. Put the alarm clock out of reach so you have to get out of bed to stop its noise.

3. On the first night of your new routine, practise your pre-sleep rituals in time for you to be actually in your bed by 11pm with your eyes closed, regardless of whether or not you feel sleepy.

4. When your alarm goes off, get up. Immediately. Go to the window, open the curtains and let light flood in. If it’s still dark outside, turn on all the lights. Artificial light isn’t as effective at setting your biological clock as natural light, but it’s better than trying to wake up in the gloom.

5. Repeat this ritual every night and morning for the whole four weeks, by the end of which you should have reconditioned your body into a healthy sleep-wake cycle. You’ll know you’ve done it because you’ll naturally feel sleepy at 11pm and you’ll be on the cusp of wakefulness when the alarm sounds in the morning.


One of the world’s leading sleep experts, Professor Chris Idzikowski, reveals his wisdom in a down-to-earth and reassuring way. Sound Asleep gives you the in-depth understanding you need to make your sleep more restful, more energising and more satisfactory.




Low sugar (and gluten free) Chocolate & Brazil Nut Brownies

recipe for gluten free, low sugar brownies

Gluten-free and low sugar, Nicola Graimes’ Chocolate and Brazil Nut Brownies are the perfect sweet treat


These scrumptious brownies make a wonderful treat with their ‘fudgey’ texture and nutty chocolate flavour. They’re also gluten-free so are suitable for coeliacs. Brazil nuts are particularly rich in the mood-enhancing mineral selenium – a single nut a day will ensure that you are not deficient in this mineral. The occasional Chocolate & Brazil Nut Brownie will satisfy any desire for something sweet without you having to overindulge. Fructose is used in this recipe as this natural sugar doesn’t cause irregular blood-sugar levels in the same way that refined sugar does.


Chocolate and Brazil Nut Brownies (low sugar, and gluten-free!)


Serves 16
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes


100g/3½oz/heaped cup unsalted butter or polyunsaturated spread, plus extra for greasing
150g/5½oz plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into squares
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g/3½oz/scant 1 cup ground almonds
85g/3oz/scant ½ cup fructose
40g/l½oz/¼ cup Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
4 eggs, separated


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°C/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 20cm/8in square tin. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
2. Remove the bowl from the heat, stir, then leave to cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract, ground almonds, fructose and Brazil nuts and mix well until combined. Beat the egg yolks lightly, then stir them into the chocolate mixture.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until they form stiff peaks. Using a metal spoon, stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to slacken it, then fold in the remaining egg whites until they are well combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes until risen and firm on top but still slightly gooey in the centre. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, then turn out, remove the baking parchment and cut into 16 squares.
Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Find more delicious, simple-to-make recipes using naturally sweet foods and alternative flavourings in Quick & Easy Low-sugar Recipes by Nicola Graimes. Savoury foods can also be surprisingly high in added sugar too, particularly canned foods and sauces, and you’ll find specially adapted recipes for healthier, low-sugar alternatives.

Make a classic Toad In The Hole tonight

toad in the hole recipe from Johnnie Mountain

Toad in the Hole – it’s a family classic that deserves to be on your table

It’s official, Toad in The Hole is making a comeback. From trendy restaurants to the family dining table it’s the comfort food we’re all craving this winter. Johnnie Mountain the charismatic Chef Patron of The English Pig, offers his foolproof recipe served with a delicious onion gravy.

Toad in The Hole

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 1 hour 10 minutes

250g/9oz/2 cups plain flour
½ tsp salt, plus extra to taste
5 eggs
300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups milk
6 tbsp vegetable oil
8 good-quality sausages, about 450g/1lb total weight
peas or other green vegetable, to serve

Onion Gravy

30g/1oz unsalted butter
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
1 small thyme sprig, leaves finely chopped
1 tsp plain flour
60ml/2fl oz/¼ cup red wine
300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups beef stock
1-2 tsp redcurrant jelly
freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the batter, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk with 4 tablespoons water, then gradually whisk three-quarters of the mixture into the flour to make a smooth batter. Whisk in the remaining milk mixture, a little at a time, until the consistency of single cream. Transfer to a jug and leave to rest until ready to use.
2. To make the gravy, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the onions and thyme. Turn the heat down slightly, cover the pan, and cook the onions for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft. Uncover the pan, increase the heat to medium and cook for a further 10 minutes until the onions have slightly caramelized. Stir in the flour, then whisk in the red wine and stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the gravy has thickened slightly. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of the redcurrant jelly, adding more to taste, if you like. Season with salt and pepper and leave to one side.
3. While the onions are cooking, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sausages and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning them regularly, until golden brown all over. It is important to brown them properly as they won’t colour in the batter. While the sausages are cooking, pour the remaining oil in a medium-sized roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes until very hot.
5. Carefully remove the tin from the oven and put it on the hob over a medium heat. Pour in the batter (it should start to bubble at the edges) and sit the sausages in the batter. Immediately return the tin to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and bake for a further 25-30 minutes until the batter is puffy on top and crisp on the bottom. Reheat the gravy, if necessary, and serve with the “toad”. I like to serve this with peas, but any green vegetable would be great.



With more than 100 recipes Pig shows you how to cook pork brilliantly. Including, ‘Home Favourites’, ‘Cured, Dried, Preserved & Smoked’, ‘Aromatic & Spicy’, and Chapter Four, ‘Slow-Cooked’, reveals the secret of truly succulent pork with recipes such as Slow-Roast Belly of Pork. Special features throughout explain the different cuts of meat and how to smoke, preserve, cure and braise.

How to get the courage to have difficult conversations, in 6 steps

how to have the courage for difficult conversations

Get the courage you need to tackle life-changing conversations


If you could have a conversation that would change your life, who would it be with? Your partner, a colleague, your boss, a neighbour? And if you found a way to talk, what difference would your Big Conversation make? Would it help to clear the air, heal a hurt or renew a relationship?

Author and Leadership Development Consultant Sarah Rozenthuler believes that conversation is pivotal in our lives, yet many of us are holding back from talking. We fear upsetting other people, losing our job or damaging the love we have. In her book Life-changing Conversations, Sarah shares how to have that conversation, leave your baggage behind and move forward in your life.

We are living in times of great change – technologically, socially and financially. Many of us are experiencing upheavals that we never could have anticipated even a short while ago. Whether we have to step into a new arena of work, draw a line under a relationship or uproot from our home, we have to roll with the punches as never before.

In the midst of this turmoil, the need for heart-to-heart, human-to-human encounters is becoming ever more pressing. As we hurtle toward a future full of unknowns, many of us feel increasingly disorientated. With tomorrow’s technology arriving before we’ve even mastered today’s, we can feel isolated behind our computer screens, haunted by the conversations we’re not having.

Navigating these uncharted waters calls for a new set of capacities. We need an expanded sense of self, new skills and bridge-building tools to reconnect with each other.


“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”

Nelson Mandela


6 steps to find up your courage for difficult conversations


We all have courage. Rather than acquiring it, we need to cultivate it. Just as an athlete strengthens his or her muscles ready to run a marathon, the more we practise being courageous, the easier it becomes.

Courage is not bravado or recklessness. A courageous conversation means speaking from the heart, being sensitive to the other person and being willing to listen. All of this takes guts. The following steps will help you to reach beyond your comfort zone and talk:


1. Access your courage

Look back at the times in your life when you’ve shown some strength. Identify what helped you in the past, to see what strategies you can apply to your current situation.


2. Name your fears

Take a closer look at what’s making you anxious. Be specific. Identify what the fear is – for example, it might be of rejection, loss or pain. Become aware of how your fears become smaller when you understand them.


3. Weigh it up

Think through the risks and benefits of having the conversation and staying silent. Let yourself sleep on the decision. Become clear about your reasons for talking – or not talking.


4. Build a bridge

Reflect on how you can “meet” the other person where they are. An introvert will benefit from time to gather their thoughts before speaking. An extravert needs to talk to work out what they think. Flex your style to adapt to theirs.


5. Let your heart speak

Take some quiet time to go within. Hear what the courageous part of you has to say. Listen to this voice of wisdom inside. Ask questions and let it speak without judging or rejecting. Embrace the messages that it brings.


6. Take action

Decide what your next move is, set a deadline and then do it. Ask someone to check with you later that you’ve done it. Use the power of your imagination to visualize yourself taking action in the way you’d like.


Whatever the form of the particular challenge we face we can equip ourselves to ride these shockwaves of change. We can learn to have Life-changing Conversations.

Low-Carb Lamb Casserole with Buttery Cauliflower & Celeriac Mash

low carb recipe for lamb casserole

A hearty, satisfying low-carb casserole – perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon.


This is a real hearty dish which I love to cook on a rainy Sunday afternoon, says nutritional therapist Laura Lamont, author of The New Low-Carb Diet. Its rich, thick gravy accented with mint and poured over the hot buttery mash makes for great comfort food. In The New Low-Carb Diet I’ve devised a plan for a new version of a simple carbohydrate-controlled diet. Even if you are trying to lose weight, carbohydrates are still a valuable source of energy but what we want are the complex carbs that release their energy slowly, not the simple carbs that give you a sugar rush.


Low-Carb Lamb Casserole with Buttery Cauliflower and Celeriac Mash

Serves 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes

1 tbsp olive oil
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g/10½oz lamb fillet, cut into chunks
1 large leek, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, diced
300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups lamb stock
½ tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
1 tbsp mint sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp stevia powder
½ celeriac, peeled and chopped
½ small cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp butter
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Heat the oil in a heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat, add the onion, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the lamb and fry for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add the leek, carrots, stock, rosemary, mint sauce, tomato purée and stevia powder. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 1½ hours until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened.

2. After about 1 hour, put the celeriac into a saucepan of boiling water and return it to the boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for a further 15 minutes until the vegetables are very soft. Drain well, then return to the pan, add the butter and season to taste with pepper. Mash together well and serve with the lamb.


If you’re looking for a new approach to healthy eating and weight loss, nutritional therapist Laura Lamont’s The New Low-Carb Diet is the effective long-term answer. Out in April – just in time for summer.

New Low Carb Diet recipes

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The New Low-Carb Diet by Laura Lamont

160 pages • Illustrated • £12.99

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