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A super healthy winter warmer

Really unsure how to get dressed at this time of year! Never feel like I can trust the forecast and always have to leave the house before the day has settled in. Some days I am freezing in flip-flops and other days I am sweating in my sweater. Is it winter or summer? God knows.

Regardless, not knowing what to wear has added a new layer of the ridiculous to our farcical mornings at home. Two nights before Christmas, Ellie the cat broke her leg. Our poor girl had a multimillion-dollar operation (almost a true story) and had to be crated for a few weeks. She's on the home stretch now, but tending to her and cleaning her cage has been added to the list of things that have to be done that can't be done the night before.

Then on Tuesday Belle broke her arm. In case you're new to this, Belle is my five- (and-a-half) year-old daughter.

King Edward VII Memorial Hospital were amazing — lovely, reassuring staff the whole way through — but it was a long and painful eight hours of ER and then the OR, too. To top it all off, the pump blew up when we got home.

The LH almost had a conniption. But these things come in threes don't they? Cat, child, pump … We're done now, no more disasters please!

Before we pause for breath, it's Chloe's birthday tomorrow morning. So there will be major excitement and gifts and cat-prep and Belle-prep and all-the-normal-stuff-prep before 7.25am.

I am not sure I can take it. Did I also mention we're doing dry January? Whose silly idea was that? It would have been nice to have a glass of wine to take the edge off the fact that we have two broken limbs in this house and tomorrow, Chloe is opening ... rollerblades. And, so that she can zip along with her sister, we also bought Belle some ... roller skates. I am sure she will be super excited to open the present she can't use for five weeks. Argh!

On the upside, Nutrifit is off to a great start with two amazing groups who look a little terrified and a little excited.

Healthy eating after the madness of Christmas is always daunting, especially when you are broke. Lots of people think healthy eating is expensive and I appreciate it can be (especially when you are trying lots of new things at once). However, it really does depend. Some healthy dishes can be whipped up in minutes without offending your bank balance.

I came up with this recipe on a very soup-worthy day — it was pouring with rain and really damp.

I didn't want to face the shops so I challenged myself with what I found in the fridge. My kitchen experiments don't always work out but this one was a winner. The peppery flavour of the watercress is a great contrast to the sweet of the parsnips. The spices are also really warming at this time of year. I have a vitamix which whips this up into a really velvety consistency but as long as the veggies are very tender, any blender will do.

• Parsnip & Watercress Winter-Warmer Soup (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

3 parsnips, washed and unpeeled

2 medium white potatoes, peeled

1 small onion

1 bag watercress

½ tin full coconut milk (well-combined)

1 vegetable stock cube (eg Kallo, Supermart)

¼ - ½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp white pepper

¼ tsp ginger

¼ tsp cardamom

Light olive oil

Method:

1. Prep the veggies

2. In a large pan, sauté the onion in the olive oil, over a medium heat, until tender.

3. Add the parsnips and potatoes and allow to “sweat” for a few minutes.

4. Add 8-10 cups water and bring to the boil. Add the stock cube, stir in and reduce heat to a simmer. (Water should cover the veg by at least an inch. Start with less, you can always add more.)

5. Add the salt/spices and cook until the veg are almost tender.

6. Add the watercress and coconut milk and cook gently until the veg are completely tender and the watercress has wilted.

7. Allow to cool.

8. Blend (you may have to do this in batches).

9. Adjust seasoning according to taste. Add a little extra water or stock if too thick.

10. Reheat and serve. I added a swirl of coconut milk on the top and an extra sprinkling of cardamom. Delicious!

• The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the managing director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda

Eat healthily: parsnips add sweetness to soup

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Published January 15, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated January 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm)

A super healthy winter warmer

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