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Taking care of your health and beauty is even more important when on holiday. Discover insider tips on maintaining your holiday healthy and beauty, from the best sun creams on the market to the best cure for mosquito bites – Purple Travel
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Ladies! Winter is nearly done (we hope!) for good and spring is tiptoing slowly, ensuring you’re lusting after golden beaches, aqua parks and holidays in the sunshine. It’s also the time when tights are banished to the back of the wardrobe, miniskirts are taken out and oh yes, bikini time.
With the summer fast approaching and the images of powder white beaches , celebs looking amazing in tiny two pieces and the lure of sunshine, it’s a good time to think about getting in shape now. So, your friends at Purple Travel k decided to give you some tips on how to get ready for summer with our bikini diet tips.
What to eat
Vegetables – Chock full of nutrients, vegetables have always been supporters of our health and shape; therefore stock up and feel the weight drop off.
Leafy greens: For a meal without calories opt for a hearty salad which will certainly satisfy your hunger and won’t leave you with a bulging stomach.
Red Bell Peppers: this valuable food stimulates the digestive system and boosts your metabolism.
Peppermint: to feel as light as a feather have some peppermint leaves that reduce bloating and indigestion.
Fruits – Apart from their nutrient and vitamin value, mother nature’s best natural products not only benefits our body, but also helps our minds. Apples, oranges, berries, make us feel happier, thanks to their healthy content and utter deliciousness! Prepare a simple fruit salad with pineapple, berries and apples and say goodbye to annoying cellulite.
Fish – Forget the fatty sausages or bland chicken and go for fish! Have a low-calorie salmon meal which will supply your body with good omega 3 saturated fats.
Greek Yoghurt – The best solution for your daily calcium intake, it has zero fat and can be easily eaten plain or mixed with some fruits, or added to sauces, or savoury dishes.
Raw nuts – Nutritious, quick snacks with healthy fats, fibre plant sterols and many vitamins and minerals, raw nuts pack a powerful nutritional punch, all wrapped up in a tiny bite-sized package.
For workaholics, the really busy ones or gym haters here are some exercise tips to help you either improve or keep in shape.
Tip 1: Give up email! If you want to share something with a colleague just walk to their office and have a chat. Every step counts – but you can always get a nice chat out of it too.
Tip 2: Improve your posture while sitting on your office chair, sit up straight and contract your tummy – this counts as an abs excercise even if you don’t feel it.
Tip 3: Avoid lifts. Try using the the stairs for some calorie burning, even if it’s just one or two floors worth. If you get public transport, get off the bus or tube one stop early and walk the extra few minutes home or to the office.
Tip 4: No need to drop yourself on the couch while watching your favourite series. Do some free weightlifting (even with two tins of beans!) or some gentle hip exercises to make your pastime a useful one.
Image of the New York City Marathon via @ Saucy Salad
City running: The New York City run is one of the top marathons around the world, with plenty of space for spectators. Around two million people throng the city streets each year just to cheer on their favourites. Entries are by lottery, so get your application in by April for your chance to run through all five boroughs. (November 10, 2013.)
Ice, Ice, Baby: The Antarctic Ice Marathon is one for the hardcore. Running on ice with temperatures dropping below 0, it’s certainly one for the absolutely committed… and a little crazy! (November 20, 2013.)
Desert Running: From one extreme to another, how about a six stage trek through the Sahara in Morocco. Temperatures can top 100 degrees, sandstorms can temporarily blind you and there are no shops to stop and pick up a handy bottle of water, all your supplies go on your back. (March 17, 2013)
Safari Marathon: A double loop around Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy will take you past zebras, giraffes and plenty of other wildlife. Try not to worry too much about lions and tigers – rangers and helicopters are on hand to rescue any runners that might come a cropper. (June 22, 2013.)
Great Wall adventure: How often will you get to walk on the Great Wall of China, let alone race along it? You’ll certainly feel like you’ve completed a workout over the gruelling but picturesque 5164 steps and paths. (May 18, 2013.)
The classic: The Athens City Marathon is the stuff of legend, literally. The home of the first ever marathon, it follows the route of a messenger who was delivering the news of Greece’s victory in the Battle of Marathon. It’s told he made his winning cry before collapsing on arrival in Athens. Today, the epic run finishes in the historic Olympic Stadium in the centre of the city. (November 10, 2013.)
Rookie runners: The Walt Disney World Half Marathon weekend is a good place to start for beginner runners. You can take the kids for an adventure of a lifetime and get a family run in at the same time. (February 22-24, 2013)
Rural running: The Connemarathon in Ireland will take you over mountains, glacier lakes, bogs and rolling hills and countryside of the West Coast. A great way to discover the Emerald Isle running a marathon with a difference. (April 7, 2013.)
Visit Purple Travel now to find out more about holidays with a difference.
After a month spent knocking back mince pies and downing one too many glasses of mulled wine, January is an international period of detox. For some, this necessitates a strict diet of raw food and juices, while others just need a week away to recover mind, body and soul. Here, PurpleTravel.co.uk searches for the top ten New Year detox holidays. Attention please…
Castel Monastero, Tuscany
Castel Monastero is a stylish retreat overlooking Chianti vineyards, placed within an 11th-century settlement. Its therapeutic wellness programme was designed by Dr Mosaraf Ali, the director of the Integrated Medical Centre in London. This programme focuses on weight loss, detox and rejuvenation – perfect for beating the Christmas bulge.
Expect daily yoga, toxin-eliminating Marma massage, cellulite-busting Trattamento Lipolitico mud wraps, a personalised dietary programme by Gordon Ramsay (delicious), and profuse amounts of fasting tea (gross). Come here if you’re looking to go home with more energy, lower stress levels and ease of sleep.
Viva Mayr, Austria
Based on Franz Mayr’s research on the idea that many ailments are actually caused by poor digestion, Viva Mayr, the Centre for Modern Mayr Medicine, in southern Austria prides itself on excellence in allergy and food intolerances. Run by Harold Stossier, the centre’s programmes combine traditional and modern naturopathic therapies, each with a different focus, whether it be on allergies, stress or anti-ageing. Its beautiful lakeside setting, indoor pool and beauty parlour make for an even more luxurious stay. However, don’t be fooled, this is not a holiday; everything is geared towards achieving optimum health, cleansing the digestive system and re-education of eating habits.
Longevity Wellness Resort, Algarve
Portugal’s first anti-ageing medical spa lies within a nature reserve by the quiet spa town of Caldas de Monchique. Recently built, the modern concrete and glass structure is eco-friendly, with grass roofs and solar panels. In partnership with La Clinique de Paris, specialists in ageing management, the Resort spa offers a variety of holistic personalised wellness programmes, lasting from three days to one month. For New Year, why not try Dr Chauchard’s 15-day Fast Slimming and Detox programme, which includes full medical consultation, a diet plan and related treatments? You will stay in one of the apartment-like suites, with its own kitchenette with Smeg and Bosch appliances and living and dining areas.
Fusion Fitness, Hotel Aguas de Ibiza, Ibiza
The Fusion Fitness holiday at Aguas de Ibiza offers seven personalised one-on-one activities and treatments, focusing on cardio, strength, sport, mind and body and renewal. Whip your body into the best shape to start the New Year with in the beautiful surroundings of Ibiza.
Hotel Palace Merano, Italy
Henri Chenot’s detox programmes are like catnip for yoga bunnies. His method is called Biontology, which combines Chinese medicine with Western technology. His regular clients visit to lose weight, boost their energy levels and rejuvenate their bodies, but those at the Hotel Palace Merano also benefit from being in the foothills of the Dolomites in northern Italy. Enjoy calorie-controlled, salt-free recipes, trips to the spa and medical centre and picturesque views.
Yeotown Radiant Health Retreat, Devon
Located within 50 acres of organic farmland in north Devon, the incredibly stylish Yeotown Radiant Health Retreat is home to a convoy of fitness, nutrition and yoga experts. Here, you have the option of reconnecting with nature in the beautiful English countryside, while enjoying the range of outdoor activities on offer. For New Year, you should try their signature programme, an intensive four to seven-day detox called the Yeotox, which involves a combination of private consultations and specialised massages, plus daily activities to boot.
The Golden Rock Retreat, Bali
A journey towards radiant health, the Golden Rock Retreat on the eastern tip of Bali is a private resort in the most tranquil of settings. Beachfront bedrooms and tailor-made programmes will help you get away from it all. Nutrition, fasting, yoga, meditation and qigong are all included, with the aim of deep-cleansing the system and re-energising the body. Whether you opt for the four-day Elemental Cleanse, with bowel flushes, massage, reflexology and other components or the 20-day Golden Rock Retreats, you’ll leave the Retreat feeling like a new person.
Forte Village, Sardinia
The Spa Thaermae del Forte at Forte Village houses six seawater pools at varying temperatures to heal by thelassotherapy. Resident doctor, Mosaraf Ali provides clients with advice on exercise, relaxation, yoga and massage to get you back on form after the Christmas season. His impressive list of patients include Prince Charles, the Sultan of Oman, Richard Branson and Michael Douglas.
Penninghame House, Scotland
On the exterior, Penninghame House is a quaint family home, but further inside you will discover a modern macrobiotic health retreat. Located on a remote 19th-century estate (an hour and a half’s drive from Glasgow in Dumfries and Galloway ), the House offers various courses, including cookery lessons and dine evenings, where their chefs will demonstrate a range of dishes, with ingredients chosen for their effects on the body, mind and energy levels.
The January health week (16-22) is perfect for your New Year’s resolutions, having a specific detox focus, which will help you clear your body of toxins, fat and acidic imbalance. You will also take home the skills needed to maintain a healthy balance in the future through lectures and home remedy sessions.
SHA Wellness Clinic, Albir, Spain
Alfredo Bataller Parietti’s used macrobiotic principles to tackle and recover from a disease he had suffered since childhood. With his SHA Wellness Clinic, he fuses ancient Oriental disciplines with Western techniques to create personalised macrobiotic diet programmes that include organic, locally sourced Mediterranean and Japanese fusion cuisine. The atmosphere is further enhanced by the resort’s fresh, contemporary design and its setting within the natural beauty of the Sierra Helada National Park. The seven-night, full-board Detox Holiday (already on our Christmas lists), includes a medical check-up at the beginning and end, clinical analysis, consultation with a personal coach, massage, colonic hydrotherapy, acupuncture, daily yoga, t’ai chi, cooking demonstrations and a personalised post-treatment health plan plus two months of follow-up coaching.
Need a detox holiday? Let us help you find the right one. Learn about the latest deals from Purple Travel.
From time to time, we all need a little bit of help in terms of health, beauty and general well-being. During your holiday, your choice of vitamins and supplements should fit accordingly. Does your skin need extra protection? Do you find yourself allergic to foreign cuisine? Find which supplements you should take away with you by completing our quiz…
If you’re seeing bumps on your behind, don’t worry – you’re in good company; some 90 per cent of women have cellulite. Luckily, with this guide to how to get rid of those dreaded lumps, you’ll be beach ready in no time.
Cellulite is fat cells found underneath the top layer of the skin that have squeezed between bands of connective tissue, or collagen, attaching your muscle to your skin. Cellulite is actually composed of water, toxins and fatty tissue cells that build up under layers of skin and causes pressure on the connective tissues of muscles. This concentration of body elements causes the skin to take on an orange-peel like texture. While the structure of women’s connective tissue is vertical (like mattress springs), men’s collagen is angled, which means that fat cells don’t push through and pucker as much – the reason why virtually no men have cellulite.
What causes cellulite?
Dermatologists believe that bad circulation can intensify the appearance of lumps. “When blood flow slows, collagen separates, allowing fat to come up to the surface of the skin, creating an orange-peel effect,” says Howard Murad, MD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of The Cellulite Solution. However, the main causes of cellulite are unhealthy diets and lack of exercise.
Cellulite builds up mostly in the stomach, hips, buttocks, thighs or on the back part of the legs – areas with deeper skin pockets that tend to retain more fat. This causes poor blood circulation to affected skin tissues, creating a dimpled, uneven surface.
Even though weight gain or obesity are often coupled with cellulite, other known factors include family genetics, hormone imbalances that usually occur during within the life cycle , and in women, high levels of Estrogen have been shown to cause cellulite formations.
How to get rid of cellulite naturally
Cellulite can be eliminated or reduced through regular exercising and a healthy diet. Regular running, aerobics, yoga, swimming or cycling can have a huge impact. Exercise sweats out excess water and toxins, reducing fat deposits in the targeted areas and toning up body muscles, while healthy eating ensures your system is flushing out waste toxins. Your nutritional diet should include dairy products and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are very helpful in removing toxins and providing many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Avoid processed foods, which are rich in saturated fats and sodium such as fried foods, potato chips, cookies and especially pork meats and avoid alcohol at all costs – sorry guys!
Do creams really work?
Cellulite creams are often overrated. They are typically a short term solution if the main cause is not addressed. Many anti-cellulite creams available today contain Aminophylline, which is included in kola nuts, tea and in coffee beans. When Aminophylline is used as a topical cream it will remove excess moisture from the skin and help to minimize cellulite and other skin imperfections. The only drawback is that when water is consumed by the body it will replenish the treated areas and the skin will once again retain moisture.
The better cellulite creams contain L-Carnitine, which is naturally contained in the skin and supports the metabolism. Regular massage applications of L-Carnitine-based creams have been shown to reduce dimples and lumps in a matter of weeks. We recommend Shiseido anti-cellulite cream, available from most department stores and pharmacies.
Holiday season may be coming to an end, but if you’re jetting off to catch those last rays of sun some place tropical, then you’ll want to be looking your best. The fourth part of our bikini survival guide is a guide to finding the perfect bikini for your frame. Read on for our expert tips on how to find the perfect bikini for body shapes of all types.
The secret to finding the perfect bikini for your figure is firstly to know your shape. Which one are you?
Hourglass | If your bust and hips are about the same width, but your waist is significantly smaller.
Athletic | If you’re thin all around, with no significant difference between your hips, waist and bust, and a muscular build.
Pear | If your hips are significantly wider than both your waist and bust.
Apple | If your waist is significantly wider than your hips, and equal to or nearly as wide as your bust.
Next – assess the situation.
If you’re hourglass | Hour glass figures benefit from fuller busts. However, these need support on the beach, so choose underwiring and full cups as you would with underwear.
Wider straps also help with uplift and prevent unsightly marks appearing on shoulders. Alternatively, halter necks can be adjusted for great shape and support. Be sure to balance the bikini so you don’t look top heavy. Don’t mix-and-matc! Wearing different colours on the top and bottom could make your body look disproportional.
If you’re athletic | Feminine styles flatter an athletic physique. A halterneck will minimise large shoulders, while plunge fronts, tie tops and padding give a more glamorous shape. Pick the prettiest prints you can find – floral, animal, spots, tropical etc. High-cut legs divert attention from shoulders. Swap sporty styles and boy shorts for tie sides and mini briefs.DO: Make yourself look feminine. DON’T: Pick functional, sporty styles.
If you’re pear-shaped | As pear shapes generally feature a smaller bust, you’re lucky to be able to wear triangle tops. Less fabric shows off more bust, while gel-filled or removable foam pads add shape. Avoid attention-grabbing big pants and stick with mini briefs to ensure the focus is up top. Luckily, having a triangular body shape usually means you also have a relatively flat tummy, so don’t be afraid to show it. Use colour and pattern to balance your body out visually; busy patterns draw attention, while dark, solid colours minimize attention. Try a patterned bikini top with a black bikini bottom.Play down fuller hips by choosing a very simple bottom.DO: Always look for bikinis sold as separates, so you can get two different sizes for your top and bottom. DON’T: Drown your assets in saggy, ill-fitting tops.
If you’re an apple | If your tummy is a problem area, minimise it with larger bottoms, tankinis or styles with control panels. High-rise bottoms or shorts work best. Avoid fussy designs and opt instead for large prints or bold, colourful patterns. A tankini with padded cups will balance your shape and hide the tummy.DO: Choose high-rise bottoms and tummy control. DON’T: Let it all hang out over skimpy briefs. Click the links for the rest of our bikini files posts: Click here for PART ONE: THE ULTIMATE BIKINI DIET PLAN Click here for PART TWO: HOW TO SURVIVE A BIKINI WAX Click here for PART THREE: HOW TO PREVENT RAZOR BURN Click here for PART FOUR: HOW TO GET RID OF CELLULITE
Unsightly. Annoying. Difficult to avoid. While you may think this is a post about Kerry Katona, we’re actually on about ingrown hairs. A common problem after waxing and shaving, these pesky, little blemishes can drive you absolutely mad. If you get the urge to irritate, pick, or squeeze them – STOP – they could become infected and turn into nasty, oozing boils. Gross, right? And definitely not the beach babe look you were aiming for. Here are are tips so you ‘ll beat razor burn and never worry again!
What causes razor burn?
Shaving. While you may shave (in particular around the bikini area) to look smooth and sleek, this is precisely what causes that ugly rash, which often looks far worse than those few strands of hairs did in the first place. Razor burn occurs primarily because most women shave improperly, which irritates their skin, taking off the outer layer of skin and literally injuring the skin tissues.
The body then responds to this as it does with any wound – it sends blood to the wounded area in order to heal it. The blood vessels dilate, the skin develops a rash, and hey presto, you have razor burn.
What can I do to prevent bikini line razor burn?
What can I do to get rid of ingrown hairs?
Bikini blemishes are more commonly known as ingrown hairs. These small, irritated bumps develop when strands of hair curl and grow back into the skin after shaving. Thankfully, there is an answer for how to get rid of razor bumps. Treatment includes gently lifting out the ingrown hairs with a tweezer and applying exfoliating and soothing lotions to the area.
Hollywood. French. Brazilian. Waxing and travel are linked in more ways than one; there’s nothing worse than throwing on a bikini, only to discover that it looks like they found bin Laden hiding inside your panties. Hey, we’re all for women’s rights here at Purple Travel, but ladies – come on – that’s just gross.
On the other hand, preparing for your first bikini wax, especially if its a Brazilian, can be incredibly nerve-wracking. But don’t worry, generations of women have gone before you and lived to tell the tale. And, unless your lower half is of Attack of the 50-foot Woman proportions, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete. If you have any more bikini wax tips we’d love to hear them in the comments below!
The first step is to which wax you would like to choose. The cost, length, and pain of the procedure depend on that decision, so be sure you know what you’re in for. Your options are:
Traditional Only those hairs that grow outside of your bikini line will be removed. Perfect for first-timers and wimps.
Full bikini wax Hair is removed up to two inches inside the bikini line.
French Removes all hair off the in the front (except a small strip) and continues to right before the back. It doesn’t take hair off from the back like a Brazilian (see below).
Brazilian It’s painful, uncomfortable and many women won’t go more than four weeks without it. The Brazilian leaves no crevice unexplored, leaving only a thin strip of hair pointing towards your bellybutton.
Hollywood Same as above, only with no ‘landing strip’.
What is the exact process? First, you’ll remove all clothes below your waist. Depending on which wax you choose (see above) you may have to don one of those hideous paper thongs, but bear with us, the worst is yet to come. You will then lie down and your waxer will investigate the area – if your pubic hair is too long (i.e. more than about 5mm), your waxer may first trim it with scissors. She will then use a stick or spatula to apply hot wax to your pubic hair in patches, and then use a clean cloth to peel the wax and hair off your skin. Repeat until smooth as the day you were born.
How bad is the pain? We’re not going to lie; waxing is a pretty aggressive technique and tensing up makes it worse. Bear in mind though that the pain and the experience are only temporary. It will all be over soon.
Can I take pain killers beforehand? You could take a standard dose of OTC pain reliever before your appointment to dull the pain, but nothing will totally get rid of it.
How do I get rid of ingrown hairs? Some women may experience ingrown hairs as their hair grows back in. You can reduce this risk by gently exfoliating and moisturizing the skin – stay tuned for next week’s Bikini Files for more on this.
Will I get an allergic reaction? Most women will not have an allergic reaction. You may experience some chicken leg appearance afterwards, but it’s nothing a cooling moisturiser shouldn’t solve. However, if itching, dryness, or redness last more than a day or so and cannot be eased by moisturizing, you may need to consult a dermatologist.
TIPS FOR BIKINI WAX SURVIVAL
1) Take some medication
2) Wear lose clothing so you don’t irritate the area afterwards
3) Ask for numbing gel afterwards
4) Close your eyes so you can avoid seeing the hairs coming off
5) Make fists and think about something else
6) Stay calm
You don’t have to avoid bikini waxes, but you should exercise caution. You don’t want to wax more than once a month, assuming that your hair has re-grown enough, about one-quarter inch, for waxing to work effectively.
If you’re still nervous, you may want to start slow, with minimal hair removal, and work your way up to your full hair removal goal.
Welcome to the the Bikini Files Part One: The Ultimate Bikini Diet Plan. With just two weeks to go, there’s no putting it off any longer; nutritionalist, Stephanie Preston has whipped up a meal plan to help you lose those extra pounds in no time. Find out more in the ultimate bikini diet plan.
You’ve booked your holiday, you’ve bought a bikini, maybe you’ve even started to pack your suitcase, but still you’re dreading hitting the beach. Sounds familiar? Don’t panic! It’s never too late to get into shape, particularly if you have the thought of stripping off on the beach to motivate you.
We’ve teamed up with top nutritionist Stephanie Preston to bring you a bikini diet plan that will make sure you look and feeling amazing.
1. Drink more water. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep skin well hydrated in the sun, flush out toxins, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and even helps the body burn its calories more efficiently.
2. Three meals a day, no snacks. There’s no flexibility on this.
3. No grains – that means no rice, pasta, oats, rye, couscous, wheat, quinoa, bread, pizza, pastries, biscuits or cakes.
4. No beans – so forget lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, hummus and dhal.
5. Restrict fruit. Your maximum is one portion of berries per day.
6. No alcohol. None. Not even on weekends. And no caffeine either. Unless you want to keep that cellulite.
7. 50-100g lean protein at every meal, such as white fish, oily fish, skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef and lamb, eggs, cheese, tofu or Quorn. Try to add nuts,seeds etc into meals to ensure you get your trace elements.
8. Vegetables are unlimited, except for root vegetables such as potatoes, turnips and parsnips and those which are high in sugar, such as beetroot, sweetcorn and sweet potato, which are all banned. Increasing the amount of vegetables eaten overall will ensure you get essential vitamins and minerals as well as aiding weight loss. and try to have a wider variety of foods to ensure getting all the trace elements e.g. nuts,seeds etc
While this may seem quite difficult at a glance, we’ve come up with this meal plan to help you along your way. And remember, if you have more than two weeks, you can loosen up on the rules slightly (include some healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, carrots with dip etc) and include some exercise to keep you toned and fit. But if you’ve left it to the last minute – check yourself into our bikini bootcamp:
Breakfast | Pick one one the following each day:
Mushroom Omelette Thinly slice 100g mushrooms and fry in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil. When the mushrooms are browned, remove and keep warm. Then mix together 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites and cook in the pan. Top half with mushrooms and 25g crumbled feta. Fold.
Yoghurt and fruit Stir 50g fresh fruit – either a combination of berries or melon (no banana) into a pot of live natural yoghurt. Add a squeeze of agave nectar to flavour.
No-grain pancakes with blueberries Mix 50g low-fat cream cheese with 1 egg, then add ½ tbsp vanilla whey protein powder and ¼ tsp baking powder. Pour the batter into a pan and brown underneath, flip, then top with blueberries.
Scrambled tofu with tomato Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a heated pan, and saute garlic and onions for about a minute until the onions start to get wet looking. Toss in some cubed tomato and mix everything together for about another minute so the tomato can get soft. Crumble some extra firm tofu into the pan and mix. Continue to cook until the tofu begins to look reddish from the tomato. Season with black pepper and serve.
Lunch | Pick one of the following each day:
Greek salad Unlimited cubed cucumber, tomato, red onion, black olives and green peppers. Add 50g feta and mix, before serving on a plate. Splash with olive oil and black pepper to taste.
Brocolli with soy and Brazil nuts Break the broccoli into florets and steam for 4-5 minutes. Toss with raw baby spinach leaves once cooked. Crush garlic and whisk with sesame oil and soy sauce. Drizzle over warm broccoli and add 5 crushed Brazil nuts.
Raw vegetable crudites with chickpea-free hummus Put 1 medium courgette (peeled and chopped), ½ cup tahini, two cloves garlic, 1 tbsp lemon juice and ¼ tbsp cumin powder in a blender and whiz until smooth. Serve with capsicum, celery and carrot sticks.
Bread-free goats cheese open sandwich Toast a slice of bread-free bread (mix 150g ground almonds, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 eggs; microwave on high, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until firm to touch). Top with 50g slice of goat’s cheese and melt under a grill. Serve with spinach and baby tomatoes.
Chicken and avocado salad Shred a cooked chicken breast (or 50g cheese if you’re vegetarian) on top of ½ bag of mixed leaves. Serve with half a sliced avocado, a generous sprinkling of celery, chopped black olives and balsamic vinaigrette.
Salad nicoise with tofu mayo Cook 100g tuna steak for 3 minutes on each side in a hot pan. Or, if you’re vegetarian, cook 50g of halloumi. Serve on top of ½ small bag of mixed salad leaves, 6 quartered cherry tomatoes and a 3cm chunk of cucumber (sliced). Tofu mayo: in a blender, put 250g tofu, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, juice of ½ lemon and ½ tsp cayenne pepper; whiz until smooth. Serve 1 large tbsp.
Carrot and Cabbage soya salad Grate one large carrot and ½ large Japanese radish into a bowl. Add shredded cabbage and toss thoroughly. For the dressing, whisk 1 tbsp mustard, ½ clove garlic, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and 3 tbsp soya milk together. Pour over the salad and serve.
Dinner | Pick one of the following each day:
Moroccan lamb with fennel Trim the fat from 200g lamb fillet (or use a Quorn fillet if you’re vegetarian) and marinate in dressing (¼ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp thyme, small bunch mint, juice of ½ lemon, ½ tsp agave nectar and 1 tbsp olive oil – save a little for later). Cut 2 fennel bulbs into chunks and boil for 2 minutes. Drain, coat with remaining dressing and roast at 160°C for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, coat lamb with cooking spray and fry for 10 minutes. Serve with wilted spinach.
Green chicken curry Blend cauliflower to rice texture then cook in bamboo steamer. Fry ½ chopped onion. Add clove of garlic (crushed), 1 tsp grated ginger, ¼ tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp curry powder and ½ tbsp fish sauce. Add chicken breast cubes (or Quorn), brown, add 200g coconut milk and broccoli. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Fillet steak with cauliflower mash Cut a cauliflower into florets and cook in boiling water until tender, then mash. Add pepper and 1 tbsp natural yogurt. Set aside. Heat a griddle pan, spray 100g fillet steak on both sides (vegetarian option: large portobello mushroom) and cook for 3 minutes each side (or to suit). Onions optional.
Chilli and lime squid with zucchini ‘noodles’ Use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons from two medium zucchinis. Wilt in a pan of boiling water, drain and set aside. Fry 100g squid rings (or tofu) in a non-stick pan until tender and opaque. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime on top and stir in zucchini noodles with ¼ deseeded and chopped red chilli. Serve with parsley.
Prawn and vegetable spring rolls Mix ½ clove garlic (crushed), ½ red chilli (chopped), 2 tsp agave nectar, juice ½ lime, small carrot (grated), ½ cup beansprouts, 100g prawns (or tofu) and 1 bunch each mint and coriander. Take a sushi wrapper, add 2 tsp prawn mixture and roll. Seal with hot water. Repeat. Serve with dipping sauce.
Tandoori chicken kebabs with sides Cut a skinless chicken breast (or tofu) into chunks, smear with a low-fat marinade and chill for 1 hour. Serve with cauliflower ground to couscous texture with 1 bunch each parsley and coriander, juice of 1 lemon, pepper and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Grill the chicken on skewers and serve with a dollop of raita.