Yes, I am smiling smugly as I write this post. Smug, because we are now in February and I have (more or less) managed to stuff myself full of nutritious, wholesome foods since the start of the year.
I wobbled my way through Dry January (falling off once or twice) and have blitzed my way through every type of smoothie you can imagine. I have stocked up on seeds and berries with names I can’t pronounce and kissed goodbye to refined sugar. I have even managed to forgo pasta, which really was a step too far, although the discovery of spiralised ‘courgetti’ eased my discomfort.
I have to admit, whilst I am far too laissez-faire and inclined towards the indulgent to eat this way indefinitely, I have noticed strange and wonderful things happening to me.
When Tim and I started this little sugar-free adventure, we were plagued with unending headaches and the inability to sleep. But after a week or so, the symptoms faded away. The grottiness was replaced with an unfamiliar, zingy energy and radiant skin. I felt so…well.
I have relished devouring avocados, dates, nuts and a rainbow of veggies and fruit. I love coconut oil. I love almond milk. I love doing nourishing things for my body.
Welcome, the avocado, spelt and watercress salad.
This salad is ridiculously easy to throw together. It will also do wonderful things for your body. It is packed full of fresh, clean flavours and its bright colours will jump off your plate.
The avocado is a creamy, green jewel from nature. I love it smushed on sourdough toast, sliced in every type of salad, or simply de-stoned with olive oil and balsamic drizzled in the centre as an outrageously tasty snack.
In this salad, the avocado acts as a base for a plethora of nature’s other green goodies. Watercress, cucumber, salad onions and salad cress, then scattered lovingly with whatever nuts and seeds you can get your hands on. Mixed with wholesome, nutty spelt and barley and drizzled generously with freshly squeezed lemon and olive oil, this is one salad that packs a nutritious lunchtime punch.
There is a gigantic movement in ‘clean eating’ in the foodie world at the moment. Blogs and cookery books at every corner are championing courgetti, smoothie bowls, veganism, gluten-free and declaring refined sugar as Public Enemy Number One.
Would I give up sugar and alcohol completely forever? Has the movement gone too far? I am of French heritage. I love fine wine, good food and life’s pleasures. I can’t say non to freshly made pasta, a glass of smooth Malbec, a gooey Camembert. Whilst I love the healthy benefits of this way of eating, I do believe a little of what you love does you good.
I love organic food, I love local food. I love food that is ethically and sustainably produced. I love real food, without chemicals, pesticides or other nasties.
It might not always be sugar-free, it might be laden with creamy dairy, but I love food that feeds you.
Body, heart and soul.
- 500g pre-cooked spelt, barley and wheatberries (any mixture of these is fine)
- Large handful of watercress
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 100ml olive oil
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ a cucumber, chopped
- 4 salad onions, finely sliced
- 4 avocados
- 30g chopped nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and hazelnuts work well)
- 1 punnet salad cress
- Tip the pre-cooked spelt mix into a large bowl.
- Add the cucumber and salad onions.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.Tip into the spelt and cucumber bowl and mix well.
- Slice the avocados in half and remove the stone. Scoop the avocado flesh away from the skin.
- Place a portion of the watercress on each plate, drizzle over a little olive oil, and top with the avocado.
- Divide the spelt and cucumber mix on top of the avocado and scatter with the seeds, nuts and salad cress.
- Drizzle over the dressing and munch away!