We were super excited to add the third book from Tess Masters to our shelves earlier this year. The Perfect Blend offers up 100 vegan and gluten-free recipes for healthy living with tasty, crowd-pleasing dishes that help boost immunity, detox the body, and more.
To celebrate the release of the book, we asked Tess a few questions about how to put our health first in 2017.
1. Can you let us know a little bit about your new book, The Perfect Blend?
This is the last book in The Blender Girl series. With the first book The Blender Girl,
I organized the recipes by type: smoothies, tonics, soups, salads, mains, desserts, and condiments. In The Blender Girl Smoothies
each recipe had three optional boosters that ramped up nutrition and/or flavor. With this last installment, The Perfect Blend
, I decided to take elements from the first two books. The recipes in this book are categorized by health goal and all contain optional boosters so you can choose your own adventure and make the recipes your own. This book is a celebration of fruits and vegetables and how to blend them for amazing textures and tastes. This book celebrates healthy fast food. Some of the star recipes include: Red Basil Balsamic Blast Smoothie, Sexy Celeriac Slaw, Shiitake & Asparagus Lettuce Cups, Artichoke Ace Soup, Mind-Blowing Moroccan Pizza, and Blueberry & Lemon Cashew Cream Crepes.
2. We can imagine that it’s tricky working out how to organize the recipes by health goal. Can you tell us more about that?
I open the book with a master list of nutrient-dense ingredients that can help keep us in optimal health. Then, each of the twelve chapters addresses a specific health goal, such as gaining energy, optimizing protein intake, boosting immunity, losing weight, and reducing inflammation.
I open each chapter with a write up on each of the main hero foods and share a few top-line takeaways for each of them—practical information on their health benefits, and how to prepare, blend, and cook them to make delicious meals. Then, there is a smoothie, tonic, soup, salad, appetizer, main dish, dessert, and condiment to help you reach those goals.
There are three optional boosters listed for each recipe that enhance flavor and/or nutrition. They have been designed to work separately or together, so you can supplement any base recipe with one, two, or all three.
The food is functional and geared toward flexibility, so you can tailor the recipes to your own taste and requirements to find your perfect blend.
3. If people take away one thing from your book, what would you like it to be?
I’d like people to make the recipes and be excited that vegetables can be delicious, and that you can lead a vibrant healthy life and
4. What are some of your favourite summer ingredients?
I love the summer fruits: peaches, plums, apricots, mango, pineapple, watermelon, coconut, and berries. I also love making fresh salads with tomatoes, avocado, spinach, rocket, cucumber, and herbs. I’m always eating leafy greens, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, shiitake mushrooms, and raw nuts and seeds all year round. I eat a variety of colors and flavors for nutrient diversity and taste-bud satisfaction.
5. What does a typical day look like for you?
My days and weeks are different as a travel so much. But, typically I always start by drinking two glasses of warm lemon water. For breakfast, I enjoy a different green smoothie or soup (depending on the season); I love a salad with raw veggies, nuts, and seeds topped with avocado or a veggie wrap; and for dinner I mix it up with soups, salads, stir-fries, and stews. For snacks I love cucumber and celery sticks with raw dips, sprouted raw nuts and seeds, kale chips and other veggie chips, or an avocado with lemon juice and salt. I love to walk, hike, dance, do pilates or yoga, and box for exercise.
6. Do you have any top tips for busy and time-poor people who struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Plan ahead – set aside a few hours on your weekend to make some quick asy meals you can eat throughout the week – soups, salads, smoothies, stir-fries etc
Batch book and freeze – make large batches and freeze portions to defrost for quick healthy dinners.
Research healthy restaurants and cafes near your house or work where you can pick up healthy options for meals.
Set goals with friends – set an intention to make one small change each week and do a challenge with a friend to be accountable and have support.
7. What advice do you have for people who intend to get their health back on track in 2017 but don’t know where to start?
Here are the top 5 things I recommend to stay healthy this year:
Stay hydrated - drink awater, herbal tea, and eat high water content foods like cucumber, celery, tomatoes, melons, berries, grapefruit, lemons, limes to get nutrient-dense water that helps flush out toxins.
Go Green – seize every opportunity to add some leafy greens to your meals – add them to quick smoothies or throw some in a sandwich or wrap, or chop up a quick salad.
Go Raw – add some kind of raw food with every meal – a little bit of chopped tomato, cucumber, avocado, or a side salad for nutrients, hydration, and enzymes that aid digestion.
Include Probiotics – The quickest way is to include probiotics is to take a probiotic supplement or drink kefir, eat unsweetened natural yogurt, add 1/4 cup of cultured vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles etc) to meals for gut health and to boost immunity.
Move Everyday - Go for a quick walk or do some other kind of movement in between calls or meetings for heart and respiratory health, to improve circulation, and aid metabolism.
What's your top tip to keep your health on track? Leave us a comment and let us know!