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Keep it simple for summer

Back at my desk and down to earth with a bump … except, when your bump is Bermuda, you just can't really complain! And though our holiday was amazing, I've never been so happy to be home … the journey was a little epic and the flight from Athens to Toronto took 11 hours. I don't care how good the filter is on the plane, by the time you're eight hours in, the air is approximately 90 per cent farts and 10 per cent oxygen. It's the equivalent of walking into a teenage boys bedroom when the window hasn't been opened for a week.

Although reality means work and routines, there is something comforting about getting back into the rhythm of daily life. Including the rhythm of not giving the girls ice cream almost every day. There's only so many temples and ruins that kids have a tolerance for, so there was a predictable amount of ice-cream bribery while we were away, whoops!

At least it was endless fresh fruit and vegetables, but the sugary stuff has got to go. And the real difference is made by just not having it in the house. Honestly, if you can get your children into the habit of snacking on fruit and veg (with some nuts or hummus for protein balance) and keep the cookies and ice cream out of the house all together, then you're on to a winner. It's so much easier to say “we don't have any” than “you can't have any”. Creating a supportive environment is key.

And while the ice cream has to go, there'll be lots of things we're keeping too. Lazy lunches in the villa were great for reminding me how easy it is to put together amazing salads with just a few very simple ingredients.

We did a layered salad of tomatoes, avocado, cantaloupe melon and goats cheese that was so tasty. I drizzled it with some basil-infused olive oil and crushed black pepper … and that was it.

Such a great side or perfect just as it is for something light. And if you need to be dairy free, just ditch the cheese or try it with a cashew or almond-based dairy-free cheese such as the Kite Hill brand. It's so simple, but step by step directions below!

Layered summer salad

(serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main)

4 large tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds

1 large, ripe avocado, thinly sliced

½ cantaloupe melon, peeled, deseeded and thinly sliced

1 cup goats cheese (or mozzarella) — hard enough to slice

Basil infused olive oil (or infuse your own)

Fresh basil leaves (small handful)

Black pepper


Layer the tomatoes, avocado, melon and cheese in lines across a plate so that they overlap slightly but not completely. Drizzle with the infused oil. Scatter with fresh black pepper and torn basil leaves. Serve immediately (otherwise the avocado will go brown.) Enjoy!

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 or call 5054725. Join Catherine on Facebook:

Light refreshment: melon and avocado salad

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Published August 16, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated August 16, 2019 at 9:27 am)

Keep it simple for summer

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