We don’t often hear the words ‘happy’ and ‘hormones’ in the same sentence, but Emma Ellice-Flint has discovered a nutritional way to make these words blend perfectly.
Emma is a chef, nutritionist, speaker and co-author of The Happy Hormone Cookbook. Emma’s exuberant passion for healthy food, combined with her impressive scientific knowledge of all things nutritional, makes her the ideal food muse. Emma’s co-author Jill Keyte, first ran workshops for women who wanted to lead healthier, more vital, lives. She approached Emma to facilitate these groups and voila! A healthy match made in heaven was created.
The book is targeted at female health and balance but the recipes are nourishing for the whole family. In fact many of her recipes were trialed on the two blokes in her family who gave it the big thumbs up and said they’d never felt better in the summer of recipe road-testing for the cookbook.
Emma’s approach to food is simple and uncomplicated (the lingo every busy Mum wants to hear). Her recipes celebrate fresh wholesome ingredients and each comes with a blurb on why particular ingredients are so good physiologically for your body. This seems to have the immediate impact of making you feel better even before cooking the recipes.
The recipes are predominantly gluten free and low in sugar. The scientific jury is definitely in on the benefits of turmeric and ginger for wellness and to combat illness. These ingredients feature prominently throughout the book. Most recipes in The Happy Hormone Cookbook have ingredients high in flavonoids. These are a group of phytonutrients that optimize antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses which are the natural processes that promote healing and prevent disease.
Emma’s top two easy tips for making a difference with healthy eating are:
- eat more vibrant rainbow-colored vegetables
- bring in small amounts of pulses and legumes into your meals
Here is a taste of one of Emma’s easy to prepare and nutrient-packed recipes.
Ranch Eggs with Spinach
This is my family’s all-time favourite breakfast, which is saying something as they have a big range to choose from. Often it’s eaten for lunch or a fast dinner when no one else is around to share dinner with. This breakfast is high in fibre, minerals, protein, phytonutrients and taste – an all round winner.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin seeds or powder
1 large spring onion, chopped (white and green parts)
5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato passatta (if you have it in the house)
60g (2½ oz) cooked black beans (cook your own or canned)
1 handful chopped spinach/chard/kale/silverbeet
2 organic free range eggs
1 heaped tbsp natural unsweetened yoghurt
Pinch salt and pepper
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Optional extra: ½ teaspoon long red chilli/Jalapeño chilli, chopped or splash of Tabasco sauce
In a small frying pan/skillet set on medium heat, gently warm the olive oil and cumin seeds, about 30 seconds.
Add the spring onions, tomatoes, and tomato passatta (if using). Warm and slightly cook the onions and tomatoes for about a minute.
Add the spinach and beans. Stir to warm, then crack in the 2 eggs. Loosely pop a lid on the pan so that the eggs cook faster and more evenly.
Cook until the egg white is just firm, but the yolk soft, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Dollop the yoghurt on top, scatter the chopped chilli and splash the vinegar over. Add salt and pepper to taste. Eat straight from the pan.
For more details on Emma’s food philosophy including recipes visit Emma’s Nutrition
By Sue Mackey