Ditching the scales

The 12 Step Mind-Body-Food Reset, by Jessica Sepel, published by Macmillan.
The 12 Step Mind-Body-Food Reset, by Jessica Sepel, published by Macmillan.
At this time of year many people start to question the wisdom of having that extra Christmas mince tart or glass of bubbly as they stand on the bathroom scales.

Their first instinct is to cut back or go on a diet to shed those extra kilograms, but Australian clinical nutritionist and health blogger Jessica Sepel has called time on diets in her latest book, The 12 Step Mind-Body-Food Reset.

‘‘Fat diets are out. Balance is in. My balanced eating philosophy has helped women reach their health goals without dieting and deprivation (yes really!).’’

This type of eating leads to long-term success and it is a lifestyle people can maintain and enjoy for life, she says.

She describes her approach to eating as flexible. She believes in eating well most of the time and leaving room for indulgence.

‘‘This way you can still eat out, sip wine and sample that delicious dessert.’’

Sepel advises people to throw away the scales, stop counting calories and unfollow people on social media peddling diets or unrealistic bikini bodies.

Instead, she advocates and provides tips on how to get into a positive mindset to help sustain healthy habits in the long term.

She also provides plenty of information on how to get all the macronutrients people need in a diet, to set up a nourishing morning routine, to combat sugar cravings and to eat healthily quickly and easily.

 

Oaty banana bread breakfast wheels

Makes 12

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Ingredients
4 small over-ripe bananas (about 340g in total), peeled
3 large eggs, whisked
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
60ml (¼ cup) milk of choice
145g (1 cup) rolled oats
35g (¼ cup) golden flaxmeal
2 Tbsp psyllium husk
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 large fresh medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
30g (¼ cup) walnuts, finely chopped

Method
1. Heat the oven to 180degC (160degC fan-forced). Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

2. Place the bananas in a large bowl and use a fork to mash them really well until smooth. Add the eggs, maple syrup and milk, and whisk together using the fork until everything is well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and stir again until well combined. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.

3. Using a quarter-cup measure, drop level portions of the banana mixture on to the prepared trays, leaving a 3cm gap between each portion. Flatten each portion slightly into a 7cm round.

4. Place both trays in the oven at the same time and bake for 18-20 minutes, swapping trays halfway through the cooking time, until the cookies are baked and golden. Leave the wheels to cool on their trays for 3 minutes, then serve warm or let them cool completely on wire racks before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Cauliflower and seed bread

Makes 1 loaf

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour

Ingredients
2 cups cauliflower rice (see notes)
100g (1 cup) almond meal
2 Tbsp psyllium husk
2 Tbsp chia seeds
40g (¼ cup) pepitas, plus 40g (¼ cup) extra for decorating
1 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, whisked
2 Tbsp cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil

Method
1. Heat the oven to 160degC (140degC fan-forced).

Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.

2. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined and smooth. Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf tin, spreading it out evenly and pressing down firmly to level the surface.

3. Sprinkle the top with the extra pepitas then bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tin, then turn out and slice to serve.

Note: This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap the slices individually and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

You can buy bags or packets of cauliflower rice at your supermarket; just be sure to place the contents in a clean tea towel and wring out the excess moisture from the grains before using in this loaf.

If you want to make your own, you’ll need 1 cauliflower head to get 2 cups of ‘‘rice’’. Simply break the head of cauliflower into florets, place these in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles fine rice-like grains.


Carrot hummus with rosemary linseed crackers

Serves 4

Prep time 25 minutes + 15 minutes standing

Cook time 45 minutes + cooling time

Ingredients

Rosemary linseed crackers
2 Tbsp chia seeds
85g (½ cup) brown linseeds
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp sea salt
125ml (½ cup) warm water

Carrot hummus
4 large carrots (about 650g), roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp fennel seeds
60ml (¼ cup) tahini
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 Tbsp cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
1. Heat the oven to 160degC (140degC fan-forced). Make the rosemary linseed crackers first by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Meanwhile, line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

2. Spread the cracker mixture evenly over the prepared tray in a very thin layer — about 3mm thick. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Leave to cool completely on the tray, then break into shards and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

3. While the crackers bake, place the carrots, garlic, turmeric, fennel seeds and 125ml (½ cup) of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir while it comes to a simmer, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and the water has reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the tahini and the lemon zest and juice. Cool for 10 minutes.

4. Add the oil to the carrot mixture and season well with salt and pepper. Using a hand-held stick blender, puree until smooth. Spoon this mixture into a serving bowl and serve with the rosemary linseed crackers.

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