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Spring cleaning and cabbage is king

SPRING CLEANSE AND CABBAGE IS KING

I love this time of year….working up to the Spring Equinox, the earth is coming alive again, days are getting longer and we are coming out of hibernation. It’s time for a spring clean on many levels.

Christine Kjeldbjerg is running her bi-annual Reboot and Cleanse programme (see www.ck-health.com) and I am actually looking forward to that feel good feeling that comes with clearing out the toxic and claggy stuff from the body. The aim is to eliminate certain foods from the diet for the next few weeks in order to give the liver and body a rest. It means that I am on an austerity mission with no booze, no sugar (arrrgggh), no caffeine, no gluten, dairy, eggs or tomatoes…. (wow that sounds like a lot in one go!). Many people think I’m crazy. I sometimes think I am mad when I am trying to find a chocolate substitute after my meal….

But, hand on heart, I really do love the cleanse. Having already cut back on many of the culprits in that list progressively over the past few years does make it bit easier. Preparation helps hugely – my fridge is stuffed with vegetables and beans, there is frozen spinach and blueberries in the freezer and I have seed bars and bread, homemade granola and litres of almond milk and coconut water in good supply.

Luckily cacao is a superfood and there is no need to eliminate that so I have made pears dipped in 100% chocolate and a supply of raw cacao nibs to add to my smoothy and sprinkle on seed bread and this does satisfy the chocolate cravings and almost the sugar cravings!

As for the sugar….well, stewed apples and pears are my go to now and Christine says that cabbage can help with the sugar cravings. (There are 2 types of cabbage in my fridge right now!!) In fact, the sugar-free challenge we did in January was a revelation – the cabbage did help and my family have developed a new love of this cheap and amazingly nutritious food.

I attach a non-chocolate recipe for a salad I made yesterday that is simple and so delicious – even my 4 and 6 year old couldn’t resist it!

Cabbage, carrot and apple salad

1/4 white cabbage, grated

3 large carrots, grated

2 small or 1 large eating apple, grated

1 tsp tamari

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method

Mix all the ingredients really well together and season to taste. Leave for at least 15 minutes if you can so that the flavours blend together. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Loving that feeling of lightness, clarity and energy – thank you and au revoir cleanse….

The cleanse ended for me last week.

Truly, my body felt amazing and I had so much energy not from solid food fuel in quantity but from the right kind of nutrition in my body at the right time. It was such a success.

The reintroduction of gluten, dairy and chocolate (sugar) happened too fast and I think that I could probably reduce or eliminate these things again. When I reintroduced them, almost within 24 hours I felt more sluggish, felt sugar cravings and bloatedness. I could recognise these as I hadn’t’t had any symptoms like this for a few weeks.

The Cleanse and Reboot programme was a success for me on many levels and it has inspired me to clean up my nutrition in general. It takes some effort in the beginning (as with many worthwhile things!) but I love that feeling of lightness, clarity and energy.

Big thanks to Christine for the in-depth information, for organising the support network and for the encouragement.

See you at the next one!!!

 

 

19th November at 1.30pm – Chocolate Tasting Event for Mimosa Matters Charity!

Bon Bean Chocolate invites you to the launch of the new collection of chocolate bars.

The four new flavours will be unveiled at a chocolate tasting event for charity held in Magagnosc, Grasse.

Click here for the flyer ‘Taste Chocolate for Charity’

Christine Kjeldbjerg, our partner and gracious host, and Hilly, Bon Bean Founder welcome you to a cosy afternoon centred around chocolate! We’ll talk a little bit about why chocolate can be good for you and then it’s time for the blind tasting!

This is a unique chance to experience the new Bon Bean chocolate flavours coming out this Christmas 2018.

If you live nearby, we really hope you’ll join us and bring some friends….benefit from the early bird offer – 10€ if you book your places before 31st October 2018. Proceeds go to the local cancer support charity, Mimosa Matters www.mimosamatters.org.

For more information and to book : contact@lebonbean.com.

 

Day 10 – and it’s the weekend…

Last Saturday morning I got stuck in to a mammoth cleanse of our living space and sorted and got rid of toys and clothes that have been cluttering our space for ages. Christine said this is quite normal behaviour for people on a cleanse, so it makes sense.

Other satisfying signs that this cleanse is working are related to my body size… a snug fit now describes how I feel in a couple of trousers that before were more like a tight squeeze!

The weekend is upon us again but the cleanse takes no prisoners and in my case should continue for another 4 days…..hmmmmm, I’m in the mood for a glass of wine just to be sociable (we have family here for the weekend)….but I am determined to get to Tuesday. It is also a reminder that I must break the cleanse properly and not just rush headlong into a feast of wine and chocolate….although having said that  my wee craving for chocolate has been satisfied with a couple of bounty balls today and some dipped pears yesterday…and I could actually live on those if I chose to be sugar-free….

Wish me well, here’s hoping I’ll be triumphant on Monday telling you I did it!

Bon weekend xx

Two liquid days…a new moon and mind, body, spirit support from 3 tribes of ladies…

Day 6 and day 7 of the cleanse are liquid days and a turning point. I had heard that a couple of people found this hard. Funnily enough, I actually enjoyed this part of the cleanse. I felt clean, focused, light and actually full of energy.

Firstly, I was so busy that I almost didn’t make time for the all important smoothie and the essential protein that goes in it, but I managed it, very late in the day but powered on through with water in my bottle and a lot of adrenaline until after my meetings.

The meetings were fabulous. An early afternoon boost with wonderful fellow business women who were supportive and generous with their counsel and then a later afternoon gathering to hear about clean cosmetics – so inspiring and again supportive.  It really felt good knowing that all the ladies on the cleanse were at a similar stage to me. Love it! It’s a great way to do a cleanse.

Venus was really working her magic (today’s new moon was in Libra – the sign of balance and her ruler is Venus). After making family  supper and sitting down with my own 2 girls I spent the evening with another group of lovely ladies and we took time to relax that gave me a much needed pick-me-up on the spiritual front.

So, thanks Venus for your Libra new moon and for giving me the strength of this community of wonderful women around me. Thank you to all the wonderful women that crossed my path today and gave me strength.

Sometimes we put too much emphasis on food, finding the goodness in the things we love is sustenance too.

 

A few days in a Baltic State…crispy kale chips in a steam oven!

Developments in Bon Bean’s product range took my husband and I to Lithuania. The capital, Vilnius, is a charming city full of churches and cobbled streets, craft beer and I must say everyone we talked to was warm and charming too. A great antidote to having to put on the thermals and woolly jumpers for a weekend after leaving Nice and it’s balmy 24C!!!

On the first morning we explored the town and found a market with all the local produce – they specialise in honey, kefir to name but a couple of the delights we encountered. The market stalls were housed cosily under one roof and right in the middle was a little old lady selling organic kale and other fresh veg from her farm. We hit the jackpot! We also found a food truck selling beetroot hummus, bliss balls and some other treats. It set me up for the time we were there. Luckily, I also had a stash of pear slices that travelled well and were a great emergency snack.

Managed to make kale chips in a steam oven – yes they were actually crispy and the steam oven is now on my kitchen wishlist!

Vilnius has a range of vegan options, even in regular restaurants, and  in one of their most famous cake shops, Pinavija, I was over the moon to find they served porridge made of rice flakes with cinnamon with almond milk instead of regular milk. A perfect start to the day! For the rest of the time I drank lots of herbal tea, not so much water and slept well. That must have been good for me! Still on the prep week but moving in the right direction. Will be back home by the time I start the cleanse proper.

Cheat of the stay was a cheeky glass of wine over dinner. We had a wonderfully successful trip and it was worth a toast!

Water, chocolate and shiatsu

I was so busy in the morning I didn’t notice that water had been my only sustenance but it is great – actually I love that clean feeling when my body is dehydrated –  Barbara Wren (who wrote the book ‘Cellular Awakening’) says dehydration is the fundamental expression and cause of disease: that keeps me drinking.

Didn’t have enough time to stop and eat properly – naughty naughty. The goal is to eat consciously as well as healthily: it was classic case of right food (walnut, chia, cacao and blueberry granola thing in almond milk) but wrong attitude. I must make more effort next week to carve out time to make that smoothy with all the goodness in it and really sit down and appreciate every grain of it.

The highlight of the day was Fong’s shiatsu massage – I treated myself and it was soooooooo worth it. It felt like hours of my mind drifting as she worked gently but with loads of pressure in the parts that needed it (I did ask for “strong and hard please”!!!). She totally loosened up my stiff hip. The best part was that I was wishing her not to finish and then she massaged my head…..total bliss!!!

I fell asleep and was dreaming after the session!!!! Thank you Fong. xxxx

Again, couldn’t resist the square of chocolate 75% equatorial bio chocolate after supper tonight but I am doing OK  and frankly won’t beat myself up about it. I am about to go on a chocolate mission to a secret destination in Eastern Europe this weekend so watch this space!!!!

 

 

Friends come over…wine, wisdom and chocolate brownies……

Hello all,

The overnight fast is now included in the cleanse, this “intermittent fasting” element gives the body a break of between 12-16 hours between meals. I broke the back of that challenge since the last cleanse and I genuinely feel better for it being established in my routine. Generally we eat fairly early in the evening with our children, the next day throughout the morning I just drink water or the occasional herbal tea  before eating at lunchtime.

This lunchtime I made buckwheat pancakes (with egg this week – without egg next week) with my family for lunch. It was good to eat roughly the same food as my children, I don’t like setting the example that eating a different meal is normal – especially as I am the chef in the house and I’d rather not share food like that! I opted for sprouts, avocado, grated carrot and a tahini dressing instead of tuna, egg and cheese.

I had a chocolate tasting in the afternoon (REALLY!!!! – I am giving feedback to a fellow chocolate-maker on his collection and truly had to test this chocolate). The single square of dark liquorice and orange was enough to satisfy and delicious too by the way!!

DINNER CHALLENGES…..The biggest challenge today was not having friends over after having decided to stop drinking, I had a small glass of kombucha, but it was the pre-dinner snacks. Can you believe that those BELIN aperitif biscuits are still hanging around…:-) so I cracked open some nuts instead…hope pistachios are allowed?

Skipping the chips in the fish and chips was fine but the deliciously moist chocolate brownies presented with a small scoop of vanilla ice-cream was VERY HARD to resist until I remembered I had a couple of sugar-free bounty balls that I had made in the fridge…..a saviour. Add my name to the list….three packs extra for me for next week!

 

 

 

Day 1 – Prep week – don’t panic yet!

…but could do better…

So, today at the Reboot and Cleanse meeting I did a demonstration of SUGAR-FREE almond chai latte and a version of hot chocolate with maca, cacao and spices and made some nut and cacao spread….normally I would have added in a glug of maple syrup into everything but that’s strictly not permitted….

I keep thinking that if I am the one making the sugar-free treats I should be good at eating them…..I was selling the idea to these eager detox ladies all afternoon and don’t want to be a hypocrite!!!

After a long day, as I walked in the door I was hungry, surprisingly didn’t go for the sugar but had this choice….

a spelt cracker with raw butter (lashings of it) or something from the open box of  Belin aperitif crackers. Luckily chose option 1. Well done Hilly!!

 

Also, on seeing the lovely blue bottle of Bombay Sapphire I resisted “finishing off the G&T” because it must go before the real cleanse starts next week!! (Really????)

I’ve got to get better at this, had a couple of squares of my favourite 75% chocolate to finish off my meal too….his days are numbered but it’s the same panic attitude – must finish things off before the cleanse….I have another 2 bars in the fridge!!! Yikes!

The good news is that Christine said that the people who do the prep week  instead of launching straight into the detox have the best success at sticking to the cleanse. There is hope for me yet!