Tag Archives: healthy

Get The Glow

Now I’m not the healthiest of people!! I eat A LOT, whether it’s at home or when I’m out, and I don’t always go for a healthier option. Yes, I run a bit, I enjoy it, but if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t do any other exercise, and when I haven’t run for a prolonged length of time the weight comes back on far too easily.

So when I received an invitation by Harvey Nichols to meet nutritional health coach Madeleine Shaw, and try out some dishes from her new book ‘Get the Glow’ I was intrigued. Maybe I could get some inspiration to be a little kinder to my body. That evening myself and a group of local bloggers were given time to informally chat and find out more about her ethos and philosophy behind her food and lifestyle.

Madeleine suffered from IBS at an early age, then an impulsive move to Australia opened her eyes to a new approach to food, she developed a more holistic approach to eating, health and well-being and resulted in her combating those dietary problems. Living in a place where food and a healthy lifestyle are inextricably linked and so integral, she was fortunate to work in a cafe where Madeleine realised she enjoyed cooking tasty food, that was also nutritious and great for the body. 

The recipes in her book are all gluten free, which for me is a brilliant thing because of the other half’s issues with the dreaded gluten, and they use healthier substitutes for sugar like honey or coconut sugar! Don’t be deceived in thinking it’s all devoid of things we love, Madeleine’s doesn’t follow the low-fat mantra, infact she opts for healthy full-fat ingredients as they fill you and provide more nourishment. I love that!! Studying nutrition in Sydney means she knows what’s she’s talking about when it comes to beneficial ingredient choices, something she talks passionately about and uses to the full in the book.


One other part of her philosophy which I think I should follow a lot more is how diet links to your health and well-being, it’s probably something we all know, but it’s whether we eat things which are good for you and make you feel good in the long term that counts. For example, I know that sometimes I’ll go running early, maybe 6:30/7am now that it’s light, but because of what I’ve been eating my body’s more lethargic than it would be if I’d been more thoughtful over what I was eating, not just eating anything I fancied. Madeleine’s recipes promote more consistent energy levels, nourishment, less fluctuation in mood from having less sugar slumps and cuts out the horrid bloated feeling by waving goodbye to gluten. 

We were treated to a dinner filled with recipes from her new book ‘Get The Glow’, this was the menu:


Green Goddess Bowl

Mexican BBQ – grilled corn and quinoa, chilli salsa


Thai beef salad, salt and pepper cashews

Spicy salmon, cucumber and yoghurt 


Raw chocolate cherry fudge, vanilla and coconut dairy-free ice cream

I found each plate really tasty, there’s a clever use of ingredients keeping them inventive and interesting. A salad can be the most boring thing I think, but both of these were anything but, in particular the Green Goddess bowl packed with nutrient laden spinach, kale and avocado, which seem to make every dish a winner, paired with soft boiled eggs (a personal favourite of mine), finally the mustard vinaigrette bringing it together made it altogether awesome!

Green Goddess bowl
Mexican BBQ – grilled corn and quinoa, chilli salsa

Of the two protein dishes, it was hard to pick a favourite here as they were both great in their own right. If I was pushed I would probably say the Thai beef salad, I think it’s the tahini in the mix that just gives it an extra something that I loved!! Once again, a great combination of tastes, textures and good balance between chilli warmth, sweet, salty, nutty, umami-ness from soy (gluten free) and with the beef juicy and pink it was a complete winner. 

Spicy salmon, cucumber and yoghurt

Thai beef salad, salt and pepper cashews

Raw chocolate cherry fudge, vanilla and coconut dairy-free ice cream

The dish that surprised me the most was the dessert!! For me to actually enjoy something where chocolate is the main ingredient is literally unheard of, apart from Noisette Bakehouse’s salt caramel brownie of course, but that’s another story!! It was also a raw dessert, so completely new one on me. The thing I usually struggle with is the richness of chocolate and how it can be too cloying, this was light, still chocolatey being made with raw cacao, combined with ingredients including coconut oil, almond butter and honey, results in such a gooey, unctuous mouthfeel. Every now and again there was a sour pop from cherries and finally the ice-cream was so light with coconut running through it. The whole thing was simply decadent, but you knew it was doing you some good at the same time!!! 

At the end of the evening I purchased my own copy of Get The Glow and am looking forward to trying them out and hopefully feeling the benefits myself!

Madeleine’s dishes are part of Harvey Nichols’ Body Kicks campaign and will run till May 31st in all branches across the UK. 

Harvey Nichols

107 Briggate




Pho @ Trinity Kitchen, Leeds

Pho has been serving at Trinity Kitchen as one of their five permanent eateries since its opening in October 2013, and as far as I’m concerned, it is THE pick of the bunch. I’ve eaten there a number of times and have always walked away very happy. Even though I knew it was healthier than most meals I might have, I’d never really thought HOW healthy until now. Part of Pho’s ethos is to serve healthy, nutritious street food made with the freshest ingredients. They have a decent sized menu with enough variety for everyone, and not too big that it completely baffles you!! So continuing with the theme of ‘New Year, New You’ I visited with Pho the other half and my foodie friend Alice to sample some food.


If you want to look at the Nutritional Guidelines of every dish they are clearly shown on their website, and Justina who served us was more than happy to let us look at a copy. It was fantastic to see that MOST of their dishes are VERY health, nutritious and filling too. 

We selected a number of dishes across the menu to get a good overview. I ordered the Super Green Juice made of kale, apple, pineapple and lime – it was refreshing, had a lovely freshness and it was if you knew it was doing you good. 


Next up the starters: We tried to be good and choose everything healthy, but we couldn’t help ourselves and had a sneaky little portion of pork and lemongrass meatballs, which are a little bit naughty, but VERY nice!!! Aren’t they always.



I love the summer rolls, they are rammed with lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and rice noodles so ultra healthy, at only a meagre 115 calories, 0.8g fat (just 0.1g saturated)!! They are accompanied with great dips – peanut sauce, Nước chấm sauce (fish sauce, sugar, fresh red chillies, garlic & rice vinegar).

Our chosen salads were the Gỏi xoài -a  spicy green mango salad topped with pork, dried shrimp & peanuts and Gỏi ngó sen – a salad of tangy lotus stems with chicken, prawns, green bean and sesame seeds. I’m not normally a huge salad eater, but these were both delicious!! Full of fresh flavours, the chicken and prawns were succulent and juicy, they still had a little crunch and tasted great!

Both salads are under 200 calories each!! The mango salad – 175 calories, 8.1g fat, (1.6 saturated) and lotus stem – 194 calories, 4.7g fat (1g saturated) respectively. Crazy healthy and a generous portion too!




The noodles were next: bun noodles are like a thin, soft spaghetti noodle, served at room temperature as they are in Vietnam, accompanied with a lemongrass, fresh herbs, beansprouts, peanuts and a chilli wok-fried topping.  Served with the nước chấm sauce, you mix together all the ingredients to combine all the textures and flavours.

At just 424 calories, 8g fat (0.6g saturated) for chicken bun noodles and 362 calories, 5.1g fat (0.7g saturated) for prawn bun noodles they are both incredibly healthy, low in calories and very tasty!



My friend had the Phở tái lan with flash fried steak and garlic, served Hanoi style, as a steaming bowl full of rice noodle soup. Part of Vietnamese food is to be adaptable to personal taste, so it comes with a selection of condiments in the form of fresh mint, lime, chillies and bean sprouts so you can choose how to much heat or seasoning you’d like.  At only 347 calories, 5.6g fat (1g saturated), it was a very healthy and satisfying bowl of food.

Pho are proud of the fact that their pho soups are low in fat & saturated fat, are a good source of 10 of your vitamins & minerals including vitamins C, B3, B6, folate, iron and magnesium, which are great for reducing tiredness and fatigue.

They also have a children’s menu and for people with particular dietary requirements, such as gluten, dairy or an egg intolerance, the menu is very well suited to these particular needs, as they use rice paper and rice noodles in a lot of their dishes. Great news which was welcomed by the other half!! 

If you want a lovely lunch, dinner Pho is a great option for those who are after something filling, very flavourful, reasonably priced and healthy and nutritious!!! Food is priced at £3.95 – £8.25.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Pho as a guest so my meal was complementary, but the views are my own unbiased opinions. I would quite happily go back and pay full-price for the same meal though. 

Pho TK1 Trinity Kitchen,
401 Trinity Leeds,
Albion Street,
0113 245 6926

Super Food @ Trio in Headingley, Leeds

Well it’s been a long time since I had dinner in Headingley, it used to be a regular haunt when I lived in Kirkstall. Both the Arc and Trio were Friday and Saturday night staples of ours before heading into the city centre. I’ve eaten at Trio a number of times and remember having enjoyable meals in the past, but this was many moons ago. A New Year always calls for a new and improved you, but not all of us are good at being healthier, I’m certainly one of them. So when I was invited to try out Arc Inspirations new Super Food Menu, I jumped at the chance. To eat food which was going to potentially highly nutritious, tasty and filling, who wouldn’t!!!




Executive Chef John Richold from Arc Inspirations has worked with Anthony Flinn to create a menu that uses ingredients from the top 50 super foods list.

So highly nutritious and tasty…really! Well actually yes and yes, I’m happy to say.


The dishes have been created to provide a good balance between all the important nutrients, such as protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. In particular with the use of ingredients such as Quinoa, bulgur wheat and green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, pak choi and seaweed. 

The idea of their new menu is to choose one meat, fish or vegetable main dish and an accompanying super food salad.



Both dishes were well presented and cooked accurately, in particular the steak, which was medium rare as requested. Everything tasted delicious and was filling too. The dishes were both well conceived and all the ingredients really worked well together. A little to my surprise, I didn’t miss the standard carbs with our meal!! All very good in my eyes, or more importantly in my belly!! 

Service was great, lovely, friendly and attentive. They gave us some excellent recommendations too in terms of the menu, which is always welcome! 

We both left feeling well fed and watered, completely satisfied and very virtuous.

44 North Lane
0113 2036090