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Cutting back on sugar

posted by Joan Palmer

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I am sure that we have all over indulged over the past few weeks but we may still want a little of something sweet, so it’s good to find a delicious recipe that doesn’t have any added sugar. 

I discovered this recipe when one of the older babies at Buggyfit was munching on what looked like a very delicious cake – their mum sent on this recipe to me taken from Babyled Weaning by Gill Rapley

  • 200g (7oz) wholemeal self-raising flour and 1 tsp baking powder
  • 110g (4oz) dates, finely chopped
  • 50g (2oz) desiccated coconut
  • 50g (20z) nuts (eg walnuts or mixed nuts) finely chopped or ground
  • 3 tsp ground mixed spice, cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 110g (4oz) melted butter
  • 110g (4oz) sultanas
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • Grated zest of one orange and 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • For the topping (optional)
  • 200g (7oz) cream cheese (mascarpone works well)
  • 100g (3 ½ oz) dates finely chopped
  • Zest and juiceof 1 orange or lemon (unwaxed)

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees c/300 degrees F/Gas mark 2 and lightly grease a deep 20cm (8in) round cake tin.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add dates, coconut, nuts and spices.  Mix thoroughly, then make a well in the centre.

Combine the melted butter, sultanas, carrot and orange zest and juice.  Add to the dry ingredients and combine to make a thick paste.  Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and place in the oven.  Bake for 45-60 minutes or until done (check using a skewer, it should come out clean)

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 mins then turn out on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

If using the topping, blend the ingredients until smooth and spread over the cake.  Alternatively, serve with mascarpone or whipped cream.

These recipes aren’t just for the children!


Is it porridge time yet?

posted by Joan Palmer


Is it porridge time yet?

This is not a question for me, as I eat porridge all year round and can’t live without it!  But as I discovered earlier this week when I was back to 6am running, it’s now dark at that time and it’s also quite a bit cooler.  With that in mind it may be time to consider a different breakfast.  Porridge is a great option to keep you going for several hours though the morning.  I have various different options on mine, blueberries, Chia seeds or stewed apple are my top three but recently I found this recipe that looked rather tasty.  It’s from ‘Deliciously Ella’, and she is all about taking a healthy option.  See what you think and maybe share your favourite porridge accompaniment. 


Deliciously Ella Pear, Cinnamon and walnut porridge


1 ripe pear

100g of porridge oats, 2/3 cup

250ml almond milk, 1 cup

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Handful of roasted walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 180c, fan.

Cut your pear into slices and place them on a baking tray with a tablespoon of maple syrup and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden, adding the walnuts right at the end to toast.

While your pear is baking in the oven make your porridge; place your oats, milk, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of maple syrup in a pan over a medium heat and cook for around 5-8 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Once your pears are cooked, place them on top of your porridge with the chopped walnuts and enjoy!

A new muffin recipe for you!

posted by Joan Palmer


It’s a while since a shared a recipe with you so I thought you might like this one.It caught my eye as it contains two things I do consume a fair amount of – bananas and peanut butter, quite often I like them on a thick crust of seeded bread but here they are in a muffin.The recipe comes from Dr Axe, he has a vast selection of recipes.


1 cup of natural organic peanut butter

2 very ripe bananas mashed (1 cup)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 whole eggs

½ tsp sea salt

¼ cup of honey

1 tsp cinnamon

Optional – ½ cup raisins, 1 cup fresh raspberries or ½ cup of chocolate chips


Preheat oven 350 degrees F and line a 12 hole muffin tin

In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix until smooth, then add any optional extras.

Place mixture into 12 cases

Bake 15 mins 350 degrees F, muffins should be firm and lightly golden.

Allow to cool for 15 mins

Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge.

Let me know what you think!

Many classes have carried on over the Easter break but we are back to the full schedule from Monday 16th April when another block of Holistic Core Restore® is starting.If you have been thinking about doing this course, sign yourself up, you won’t regret it.It will really put you back in control of your body again.Here’s where you can sign up and please e mail me if you have any questions.

Click the link below to see what 2 participants from the last course had to say.

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chip Energy Bars

posted by Joan Palmer

Energy Bars

Taken from Women’s Running Magazine March 2018

  • 150g (5oz) medjool dates
  • 100g (31/2 oz) ready to eat apricots
  • 125g (4oz) ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 25g (1 oz) dark chocolate chips

Place the dates in a food processor with the apricots, almonds, cocoa powder and cinnamon, and process until the mixture starts to clump together.

Add the chocolate chips and pulse until it forms the consistency of stiff cookie dough.

Spread in a cling film lined tray or in a square between 2 sheets of cling film (I didn’t quite manage to cover the bottom of a 20cm square tin)

Chill for an hour until firm and cut into pieces.

Store in fridge for up to a week or in freezer up to 3 months.

Lentil and Lemon Soup

posted by Joan Palmer

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Taken from the Sunday Times 14th Jan 2018


  • 4 tbsp extra – virgin oil
  • 1 White onion finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 200g green lentils, rinsed well under cold running water
  • 1 ¼ litres of veg stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 85g spinach, tough stalks removed
  • Extra virgin oil to finish
  • 100g natural yogurt to finish
  • Method

    Heat the olive oil in a large pan and set over low heat.  Add the onion and celery with a pinch of salt and cook covered with lid on for 15 minutes, until they are soft but without colour.

    Add garlic and turmeric and cook for another few minutes.  Now add lentils and stir to coat them in the onion mixture.  Add the stock and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 mins until they are soft and tender.  While warm, season the lentils with salt, black pepper and lemon juice.

    Add the spinach and blitz to a rough texture.  Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and finish with the olive oil and a spoonful of yogurt.

    Something for your leftover pumpkin!

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Pumkin soup

    As we have just had Halloween several of you may be overloaded with Pumpkin! If you haven’t yet had the joy of carving a pumpkin out for the children, this is still a great recipe to try. This pumpkin soup is a Jamie Oliver recipe and very simple to make, great for freezing too.

    Roasted pumpkin soup recipe

    • 1.5kg edible pumpkin
    • Olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon dried chilli
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 large onion
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 carrot
    • 1 stick of celery
    • 1 litre hot vegetable stock

    Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F. Half the pumpkin and remove the seeds (you can keep these for roasting), then chop into wedges. Place the pumpkin on two large baking trays and drizzle over a little olive oil. In a pestle and mortar, grind the chilli and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt until finely ground. Sprinkle the spices over the pumpkin with some black pepper. Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour, or until soft and slightly caramalised at the edges.

    Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Heat a lug of olive oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan then add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sweet but not coloured.

    When the squash is ready, add to the pan with the hot stock. Blend with a stick blender, adding a little more water if you like a thinner consistency.

    Ladle into bowls and add you favourite toppings.

    Grease a loaf tin or line with parchment paper and pour in batter. Bake for 35-50mins

    More time for breakfast at half term?

    posted by Joan Palmer

    banana pancakes

    We’ve nearly hit half term – hooray! One of the nicest things about half term is that we don’t have to rush in the mornings and we can take a bit more time to have breakfast.

    Pancakes are a lovely thing to have for breakfast but you may not want to have the version with the flour if you are looking to lose a few pounds and look after your gut.

    Here’s a simple recipe for banana pancakes that’s just bananas and eggs! A great protein breakfast that will keep you going for longer. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

    • 1 very ripe banana
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tbsp of ground flax seed (optional)
    • ¼ tsp of pure vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp of coconut oil


    Mix together banana and eggs until smooth. Add optional ingredients if using. Heat coconut oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Scoop batter, about 1/4 cup per pancake, onto the skillet and cook until the centre starts to bubble, about 30 seconds. Flip pancakes and cook until bottoms are lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes more.

    If you have any favourite breakfast recipes why not pass them on and we can share them.

    Get out for your free ingredient!

    posted by Joan Palmer


    What could be better than getting something for free!! You can get yourself out into the countryside and pick some blackberries.

    Not only are you getting something for free but you’ll be benefitting from some fresh air. Maybe you’ll have a good walk to get to some or even go on a bike! Whatever your mode of transport here is a recipe that can utilise your hard work and it’s sugar free! This has been taken from the Good Things magazine.

    • 50g of Blackberries
    • 10 Medjool dates
    • 50g of desiccated coconut plus extra for rolling
    • 200g of porridge oats (Use less if you like your energy balls to be a bit gooey!)
    • 1 vanilla bean scraped
    • 1 tsp of cinnamon

    In a food processor blend the oats until the consistency of flour. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until fully combined.

    Roll the mixture into 16 balls and roll each ball in desiccated coconut until fully coated.

    Place in the freezer for half an hour then then place in the fridge until serving.

    These will last 2 weeks in the fridge.

    Let me know how you get on.

    Aubergine Chocolate Brownies

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Gluten Free Banana Bread

    This recipe has been taken from ‘The clever guts diet – how to revolutionise your body from the inside out’ by Dr Michael Mosley.

    • 1 medium aubergine (200g) peeled and diced
    • 150g dark chocolate (Min 70% cocoa) broken up
    • 60g coconut oil
    • 60g soft pitted dates, diced
    • 1/2tsp salt
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 80g ground almonds
    • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C

    Steam aubergine 15-20mins until soft. When it’s ready place it in a bowl with the chocolate and coconut oil. The warm aubergine will melt the oil and chocolate.

    Add the chopped dates and salt and place in a food processor. Blitz the mixture until smooth. It should now be cool enough to add the eggs and baking powder. Blitz again for another minute or so and then mix in the ground almonds.

    Spread the mixture in a lined baking tray (I used 20cm square tin) and bake for about 20 mins. It is cooked when a knife comes out clean.

    It does say that you could make cupcakes, divide mixture in a 12 hole cupcake tray and bake for 15-20mins.

    Is there a tasty and healthy alternative to a bacon butty?

    posted by Joan Palmer

    This morning I took my girls to the Lido for the sunrise swim. Both girls are great swimmers and love the Lido so that wasn’t a problem but the early start was more of an issue. How did I get around this? I mentioned that we could have one of the Lido’s great bacon butties after the swim and then they were well up for it and I had no problem getting them out of bed at some ridiculous time in the morning!! We even stopped to pick up one of their friends.

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with having a Lido butty every now and again but if I ate these on a regular basis, I know I would start to feel it round my middle! Here are the girls enjoying their well-deserved butty after the sunrise swim.

    Bacon Butty

    But is there a tasty, healthier option that wouldn’t matter if I ate it more regularly? I happened to find this recipe on the Merrymakers website and they look pretty good although I have yet to try one.

    Merrymaker Cheese and Bacon low carb bread rolls

    Bacon Butty


    • 1 cauliflower cut into small florets then blended or grated (should be around 2½ - 3 cups)
    • 3 eggs whisked
    • 1 cup grated good quality cheese
    • 1 tbs. chia seeds
    • 1 tbs. coconut flour
    • ½ tsp. baking powder (gluten free)
    • pinch of salt


    • 2 rashes (slices) of bacon chopped
    • 1.Extra cheese, however much you want!


    1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
    2. Use a food processor or blender to whiz the cauliflower, but don't turn it into mush.
    3. Use a tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid (super important, do not skip this step!).
    4. In a bowl add the cauliflower, egg, cheese, chia seeds, coconut flour, salt, baking powder and mix super well.
    5. It shouldn't be too soggy, if it is, add another tablespoon of coconut flour.
    6. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to form 6 balls. Pop them onto the baking tray and flatten.
    7. Top with chopped bacon and extra cheese.
    8. Cook for 25 minutes, check and cook for another 5 minutes.
    9. And now eat!


    1. The trick to this delish rolls is to squeeze out the liquid in the cauliflower. Just want to remind you... AGAIN! hehe! Enjoy!

    Give it a go and let me know what you think.

    The Berry Love Tonic!

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Love Berry Tonic

    A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for a healthy alternative to ice cream. One of the ingredients was raspberries which is great as they are now in season and readily available. Now we are into June, Wimbledon season is fast approaching, strawberries are very abundant in the supermarkets or you could go and pick your own. Here is a recipe to take advantage of both raspberries and strawberries. The recipe is taken from one of Jason Vale’s books - over 100 delicious juices and smoothies. If you haven’t heard of Jason Vale, he is the guru of juicing.

    • ½ fresh medium pineapple
    • 1 handful of raspberries
    • 1 handful of strawberries
    • 4 ice cubes

    Juice the pineapple and pour into the blender. Add the raspberries, strawberries and ice. Blend until creamy and smooth.

    So why is it the love tonic? Along with many other nutrients, one of the main minerals found in these berries is zinc. Zinc is a key mineral to help boost libido. Enjoy your juice and have fun!!

    A healthy ice cream alternative!

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Iec cream

    Hot weather has arrived, and this means that when I pick up my girls from school, one of their first questions will be, ‘can we have an ice cream when we get home please?’

    We are off to Weymouth next week for half term, there are going to be ice creams selling on every corner and I am sure my family will be consuming many of them!

    It is a nice treat to have an ice cream when you are feeling hot, but with it containing plenty of sugar, is there a healthy alternative?

    I have recently been introduced to the Merrymaker Sisters ( and they do have a very simple recipe for a healthy alternative so I thought I would share it with you.

    Banana Raspberry Nice Cream (serves 2)


    1 frozen banana (slice a ripe banana into a ziplock bag and place in freezer)

    1 cup frozen raspberries

    ½ cup raw cashews

    ¼ cup coconut milk

    1tsp 100% vanilla extract


    Place cashews, milk and vanilla into a blender and whizz until smooth (this may take several minutes). Add banana and raspberries and whizz again until smooth. Place in bowls and serve with toppings of chopped strawberries, chopped nuts or raw chocolate. Enjoy!

    Try out this mid-afternoon energy snack!

    posted by Joan Palmer


    I found this recipe on and it was a big hit with the latest Holistic Core Restore® class participants. It’s very easy to make and you don’t need a big quantity to stop those afternoon hunger pangs!

    Let me know what you think.


    1/2 cup almonds

    1/2 cup cashews

    1 ½ cup Medjool dates, pitted (It is best to soak these for a few hours first)

    Zest and juice from 3 key limes

    1/2 cup unsweetened coconut


    Add the almonds and cashews to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped (but do not pulse too long, you do not want the nuts to turn into a paste). Add the dates, lime juice and zest. Pulse until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture starts to clump. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll in coconut to coat outside of the balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


    Carrot and Lentil soup

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Carrot Soup

    I thought I would share a great recipe for Carrot and Lentil soup to keep you warm, I found this recipe in the newspaper several years ago and it makes an appearance every winter and my girls love it too. This is so easy to make, a tasty lunch and a great source of protein - a winner all round.

    Serves 6

    • 1 onion
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
    • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (watch out for the salt content)
    • 2 celery sticks
    • 4 large carrots
    • 200g red lentils

    Heat the oil and gently cook the garlic and chopped onion until soft. Poor in the stock and bring to the boil. Roughly cut the celery and carrots and add them to the stock with the lentils. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the carrots are cooked. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and season to taste.

    This recipe has a good quantity of garlic in it and on Kate Dimmer’s Nutrition page it will tell you all about the great qualities of garlic.

    A chocolate dessert made with good fats!

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Gluten Free Banana Bread

    This rich dessert is a great way to get your chocolate fix as you won’t want a huge portion and it contains the good fats from avacados. I found this recipe on the Dr. Axe website.

    • ½ cup medjool dates soaked for 2-3 hours
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
    • 3 avacados mashed
    • ¾ cup cocoa powder
    • ½ cup water

    Blend dates, maple syrup and vanilla. Add the avocado, cocoa powder and water and continue to blend until all mixed.

    Although Avacados have a high fat content, these are good fats for the body. Avacados are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. Monounsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Avacados also have a higher percentage of protein and a lower sugar content than other fruits. They also contain a good level of fibre which is important to keep the gut heathy.

    There are many nutrients in a 100g serving

    • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
    • Folate: 20% of the RDA.
    • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
    • Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
    • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
    • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
    • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
    • Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

    A Healthy Christmas Treat

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Christmas baubles

    This recipe for Christmas Baubles was shared by a fellow FooFooFunClub trainer. They sounded yummy so I made them and then made more to share with some classes as I thought they were so tasty. They were a big hit, so here's the recipe so now you can make some for yourself!

    • 2 cups of dates ( I softened them in water for a couple of hours first)
    • 2 tbsp of ground almonds
    • 2 tbsp of nut butter (I used Meridian almond butter)
    • 2 tbsp of dried cranberries
    • 4 tsp of cocoa powder

    Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, roll mixture in to small balls and roll in desiccated coconut. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and keep in the fridge in an airtight container. They will keep for several days but probably won't last very long anyway as they are so delicious!


    Gluten Free Banana Bread

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Gluten Free Banana Bread

    This Banana bread recipe that I found on Dr Axe's website has been a real hit with all my classes and workshops recently. It is gluten free so it won't irritate the gut, it contains ground almonds for your source of protein so will keep you fuller for longer and contains natural sweetness in the form of honey so you won't get a sugar rush after eating it. It is also dairy free, so great for those with an intolerance to dairy. I have also found it to be a great hit with children of all ages, an easy to make alternative to sugary biscuits after school.

    • 4 eggs;
    • 3 overly ripe bananas mashed ;
    • 1/4 cup honey;
    • 1/4 cup coconut milk;
    • 1tbsp vanilla extract;
    • 2tsp baking soda;
    • 21/4 cups almond flour;
    • 1/2tsp sea salt;
    • 1/2tsp cinnamon

    Preheat oven at 350 degrees F

    In a bowl mix eggs, bananas, coconut milk, honey and vanilla.

    In another bowl mix the remaining ingredients.

    Now mix dry ingredients into wet and combine until well incorporated.

    Grease a loaf tin or line with parchment paper and pour in batter. Bake for 35-50mins

    Chia seed energy bars

    posted by Joan Palmer

    Chia Seeds

    It’s very easy to head for biscuits and chocolate when you feel tired and hungry and you want a quick fix. Ultimately, a quick fix is all you will get as these types of snack will give you a sugar rush that will sustain you for only a short time and you will feel hungry again. What you need in these situations is something that won’t spike your sugar levels and give you energy over a longer period.

    This is a recipe that I adapted from a running magazine to contain Chia seeds. Chia seeds are a great source of protein, they give sustainable energy and they help to keep the digestive system healthy and functioning properly.

    I took these bars one week to my FooFooFunClub class to try and they were a real hit. They don’t take long to make so give them a go and have some healthy snacks on standby that make you feel great.

    • 125g ground almonds
    • pinch salt 
    • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
    • 60ml coconut oil (melt over pan of simmering water) 
    • 60ml rice malt syrup or sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup) 
    • I tsp alcohol free vanilla extract 
    • 40g cashews crushed 
    • 160g combined chia seeds, sunflower seeds and slivered almonds 
    • 40g dried cranberries (optional)

    Preheat oven at 175 degrees celcius

    Grease 20x20x5cm tin

    Mix ground almonds, salt and bicarb. In another bowl mix coconut oil, rice malt syrup or alternative and vanilla extract. Add the almond mixture to this. Mix in nuts, seeds and optional cranberries. Press mixture firmly into the tin. Cook 15-20mins until golden.

    Remove to wire rack and cool before cutting.


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