I got the pleasure of meeting the amazing nutritionist, chef and author Zoe Bingley-Pullin at a Vitasoy event recently. You may recognise her as the co-host of the TV show Good Chef Bad Chef, or have read one of her health articles featured in numerous publications. She was incredibly warm, welcoming, and literally GLOWED with health. So I knew I needed to interview her and discover her secrets, plus she has kindly shared with you today one of her fruit protein balls recipes!
1 What’s your go-to healthy breakfast when you’re short on time?
I really like to make up a smoothie, so I can take it on the go. I’m a big believer in prepping ahead; if I know I’ve got a busy morning coming up, I might chop up the ingredients for a smoothie ahead of time, so I can easily throw everything into a blender. One of my favourite combinations is strawberries, blueberries, mango and chia seeds with Vitasoy Soy Milky Lite – not only is it high in calcium, but it’s made with Australian grown whole soybeans and has a really good, milky taste.
Other on-the-go or prep ahead breakfast ideas include banana breakfast muffins, overnight oats (you can literally grab these out of the fridge in the morning and go!) or even a fruit and nut ball. There are so many ways to get creative the night, or weekend before.
2 What’s your favourite decadent indulgence?
I think it’s so important to indulge once in a while, to keep the joy in food and eating. In fact, it’s this indulgence that helps me to keep the balance in my eating.
I’m a savoury lover so my favourite decadent indulgences is cheese, nuts and fresh fruit. For example, I’ll sometimes treat myself to a couple slices of goats cheese with apple and walnuts after dinner. I also love a healthy fruit cake. I just made an amazing raw mandarin cake with carrots, mandarins, dates, coconut oil and walnuts – yum!
3 Your favourite way to workout?
I absolutely love working out outdoors. Whether it’s running, or walking or playing in the park with my little girl, Emily and husband, Michael, I get such an energy burst being in the fresh air.
Since having Emily, I’ve really made exercise part of my lifestyle, and I now build being active into our days together. For example, I walk Emily to day care twice a week, up a big hill with a pram. Believe me, it’s a real workout!
4 When 3.30-itis hits, what’s your favourite afternoon snack?
My ideal afternoon snack is something that is going to keep me going until dinner, and also keep me satisfied so I don’t go reaching for unhealthy snacks.
Some of my favourite snacks are a hard boiled egg with mashed avocado and chilli salt, carrots with hummus or even a small nectarine slices and topped with crushed walnuts and cinnamon.
5 Any tips on staying healthy when travelling?
You can definitely stay healthy when travelling; remaining active and not going completely off the rails when it comes to trying the local pastries is key.
When travelling, I like to walk everywhere, and I always make sure I’m prepared with snacks such as nuts or popcorn, or even fresh fruit in my bag. I also make sure I keep a water bottle with me when I’m out and about, so I can stay hydrated.
At the breakfast, Zoe made these delicious fruit protein balls which I got to sample. I am a huge fan of protein balls, and always have some stashed in my freezer at home and at work so I can have a healthy snack whenever needed (which is often!)
- 10 dried figs diced, hard stalk removed
- 1 cup of walnuts
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 cup Brazil nuts
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup Vitasoy Soy Milky Lite
- ½ cup raspberries
- 1 cup LSA mix linseed, almonds and sunflower seeds
- Combine everything except the cocoa powder, the raspberries and half a cup of the LSA mix in a food processor until smooth and slightly sticky.
- Add the cocoa powder a bit at a time. Take a bit of the dough, put a raspberry in the centre, and form into a 2.5cm ball.
- Roll the ball in the remaining LSA mix to coat.
- Put the fruit balls in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
A big thanks to Zoe for her time, and I hope you got some handy tips and tricks on making your life a little healthier. The irony is not lost on me that I am writing this post whilst eating a cheese and ham croissant (in my defence, I’m on holidays!) so I look forward to putting some of her suggestions into action!
Lovely interview and some great healthy tips. I love the sound of these protein balls – especially that they use all natural ingredients and aren’t just beefed up with protein powder.
Totally agree Nicole, there are so many protein ball recipes that are full of rather awful crap!