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meals

Getting ready to start the much-needed seasonal detox doesn’t mean that you have to forget all about your favourite comfort food.

In fact, we have rounded up some delicious recipes that will help you stick to any healthy 2017 plans while still filling you up and keeping hunger at bay.

1. Healthy potato mash

Dairy-free but not taste-free, this mashed sweet potato recipe is even better than the real stuff, with added nutritional value too.

2. Chicken goujons

This ultimate weeknight comfort food CAN be part of a healthy diet: just make it yourself instead of buying it ready-made in the shop!

3. Potato chips

If you want to cut down the calories, don’t fry your chips: bake them. With this delicious seasoning, you won’t miss the greasy stuff from the chipper.

4. Shepherd's pie

While it might not be just as good as your mam’s recipe, this shepherd’s pie will give you a taste of home without causing any damage to your waistline.

5. Spaghetti Bolognese

This classic Italian dish doesn’t have to make you feel guilty. With a few small changes to the original recipes, you can enjoy it as often as you want. To make it even healthier, use spiralised courgettes instead of pasta.

6. Thai curry

An easy weeknight dinner, curry is a great way to introduce more vegetables into your diet. Rich in plant protein to keep you fuller for longer, this delicious recipe won’t make you miss your Asian takeaway.

7. Ice-cream

Don’t feel bad about indulging with this dairy-free ice-cream, only made of good and healthy stuff. Ben & Jerry who?

8. Cheesecake

A traditional cheesecake is probably one of the worst things that can happen to your diet. But if you use low-fat dairy, it can turn into an acceptably clean January pre-workout treat.

9. Raw millionaire shortbreads

Raw, full of good fats and natural sugars, this delicacy will satisfy your craving for sweet while providing you with loads of nutrients.

10. Mini-pizza bites

Easy to make, vegetarian, low in carbs but high in flavour, these aubergine-based pizzas are a great healthy recipe to make whenever you feel like giving a call to your friends in Dominos

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We've long been told of its virtues – that it's the most important meal of the day and certainly not one to be missed. 

Still, in reality a lot of us also find that breakfast is often a serious PAIN to manage. 

Because an extra 15 minutes in a toasty warm bed on a cold, dark January morning is going to trump porridge or poached eggs any day.  

That a whole load of us just don't 'do' breakfast… beyond maybe a cup of coffee or tea.

However, it being the new year and all, we've decided that 2017 could very well prompt us to FINALLY embrace a morning feed of sorts. 

Here are five fab breakfasts… for people who don't actually like eating breakfast:

1) Fruit and a yoghurt:

A great entry-level breakfast for those of us who are adamant that we're NOT hungry in the morning. And gloriously, this doesn't require any prep; scoff the yoghurt before taking the fruit along with you for the car, bus, train, or the walk into work. Should require you to be up approximately 30 seconds earlier than standard. 

2) A smoothie:

A cheater's breakfast: it's quick, easy, filling – and it doesn't feel too 'much' if you're not a fan of early-morning snacks. Use fruits, nut milk, raw oats, nut butter, and protein powder for something sweet. Or go super healthy with leafy greens, ginger, avocado, citrus fruits, and seeds.

3) Home-made granola bars:

OK, bear with us here – sure thing home-made granola bars sounds a bit ambitious, but they're actually oh-so easy to master and a batch of them will do you for a week. Better still these delicious ones only use four ingredients: bananas, oats, dates, and nuts.

4) Peanut butter wrap:

Something a bit different for those who just don't 'do' eggs, cereals, or toast. Take a wholemeal wrap, spread with peanut or almond butter and then top with a mashed banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Wrap it up and devour – on the go if necessary.

5) Night-before porridge:

Porridge takes just minutes – minutes you may not have, however. The solution? Make up a batch the night before and leave it out, ready to be blasted in the microwave. Using oats – and the likes of chia seeds, grated apple, and cinnamon if you're feeling fancy – soak overnight in water, milk, or nut milk. The following morning you'll have breakfast ready in about 90seconds.

 

PS It might take a while to switch into the ways of the habitual breakfaster. However, a load of studies show that you'll be healthier and slimmer munching on something or other shortly after you rise.

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If you feel like you have turkey coming out of your eyeballs today (yup, us too) you mightn't feel like sitting down to another roast dinner with all the trimmings feed-fest. 

Still, if there's a load of good meat left over from yesterday, you don't want to be chucking it out either. 

So here are five delicious recipes that prove you CAN make scrumptious meals from roast turkey. 

 

1. Turkey Club: Loaded with pecans, mustard, and cheese, this is just the thing to hit the spot on Stephen's Day. Alternatively – try an avocado, turkey and bacon bagel.

2. Loaded with veg – Jamie Oliver's turkey con chilli definitely doesn't feel like leftovers. Complete with home-made guac, this will be devoured!

3. Roast potato, stuffing, sausage, and turkey pie: if there are any sore heads or delicate souls that need a great dish to pick them up today – this is it. A great recipe to use up stuffing, potato, and gravy too. 

4. If you don't have a load of turkey meat left, but still don't want to see what you do have wasted, turkey noodle soup is ideal for using up the remaining slivers. Warming and nourishing too.

5. Turkey curry on Stephen's Day has a bad rep – but this Thai twist on the old cliche is fabulous. 

 

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Variety – as well as compromise – is the spice of life. So while we might not be able to resist EVERY single treat going – some small tweaks and occasional changes can make a big difference to how we look and feel.

That and reaching for a large glass of Pinot Grigio most nights of the week isn't always so appealing when you know you'll be up at the crack of dawn with loud and lively small ones.

With that in mind, we've compiled a list of five fabulously delicious snacks to tuck into when you feel a lift-me-up that doesn't involve a pounding headache or inhaling two packets of Hobnobs…  

1) Dark chocolate and green tea

According to one US study, dark chocolate and green tea is the ideal combo to tackle that mid-afternoon energy drop. If you snack on these, you should feel more alert and attentive thanks to the dark chocolate (minimum 60 percent cacao). Meanwhile your blood pressure should also instantly drop thanks to the amino acid L-theanine, which is a relaxant found in green tea. 
 
2) Apple with peanut butter or banana and almond butter
Peanut, almond or cashew butters are great sources of healthy fats and protein, and fruits provide us with fibres, essential for our gut health and to regulate our appetite. Spread a thin layer of nut butter on your favourite fruit and you get a lovely sweet, filling and healthy snack. However, if you're keeping an eye on your calorie intake, don’t be too heavy-handed with the nut butter, as it’s very rich. 

3) Almond stuffed prunes

So much more than an elderly lady constipation treatment! To make them softer, soak your prunes in tea or water and stuff them with a lightly grilled almond. Prunes are a good source of potassium, iron, and of course fibres to help digestion and promote a healthy gut. To mix things up a little, swap almonds with walnuts and the prunes with dates.
 
4) Energy balls
Energy/protein balls were a BIG food trend in 2016, and for good reason. Making them yourself in bulk will make them much more affordable than when you buy them in the shop. Depending on what ingredients you use, they can be a great source of vitamins and minerals. Just Google “energy balls” and you will find countless recipes. Try the likes of peanut butter, dates, oats and cacao power ball, or blend together dates, your favourite nuts, goji berries, coconut and cacao for example. Be careful, these treats are seriously addictive!

5) Greek yoghurt, blackberries and honey
A great source of protein, probiotics, potassium and calcium, Greek yoghurt is definitely your waistline friend. Top it with blackberries (full of vitamin C and antioxidants, and low in calories) and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, you will get a filling and delicious snack that your tummy will thank you for. 
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The mason jar is just about the coolest piece of Tupperware you can buy. 

And yes we just used 'cool' and 'Tupperware' in the same sentence!

But it's true, the culinary advantages of this glass jar are brilliant. Heavy duty seals mean that perishables will wilt less slowly, as well as keeping your food in tact from morning to lunch.

And we obviously can't go without mentioning the photographic qualities of a mason meal. They're practically Instagram-famous!

Not only getting you the most likes on IG, these jars will keep your wet and dry ingredients separate and keep everything as fresh as when you first assembled it. All you have to do is throw all your ingredients in and your good to go!

Courgette Pasta Salad

You'll need a spirializer to make this amazing courgetti but it will be so worth it. 

Ingredients:

  • Courgettes
  • Celery
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Feta

 

Breakfast Oatmeal

Stay in bed that little bit longer by prepping your breakfast in advance. They will keep fresh all week!

Ingredients:

  • Oats
  • Yoghurt
  • Chia seeds
  • Milk
  • Fruit of your choice

 

Wrap Free Burrito Bowl

Who thought something as indulgent as a burrito could become healthy?

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Quinoa
  • Bacon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yoghurt / sour cream

 

Instant Noodle Soup

Outshining the Pot Noodle by miles, all you have to do is add hot water in work for a delicious, healthy noodle dish. 

Ingredients:

  • Rice noodles
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Stock cube (chicken or vegetable)
  • Ginger and garlic
  • Shredded vegetable of your choice

 

Mud Pie

And for cheat day, this creamy, chocolate mud pie is perfect when made in a mason jar. 

Ingredients:

  • Oreo cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Cream
  • Fudge
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