Every now and then a fitness product comes along which will make you scream, but only with laughter. I give you the Shake Weight and the Hawaiian Chair and I really don't need to say anymore...

_ ...and I'm going to shout it from the rooftops! I feel I have stepped out of the dark and into the light – holy crap I’ve only just discovered baba ganoush. Am I alone? Have you all been eating it all this time? It’s going to be a new staple for me and the hubby (I hope for his sake he likes it). It’s the perfect combination of wholesome, healthy and delicious.

5 Reasons why you should be eating Baba Ganoush:

  1. It’s a great source of raw essential fats from the olive oil and Tahini (sesame seed paste)
  2. A tasty way to add raw garlic in to your diet. (So many benefits to raw garlic!
  3. It includes 1 of your 5 a day (Aubergine) but also acts as a vehicle for the other 4 in a crudités dip form. Clever.
  4. Its cheap and simple to make and can be made up to 5 days before you need it. Actually its apparently nicer a couple of days after making it.
  5. Its lovely to say, ‘Baba Ganoush’. Once more - Baba Ganoush

Here is how I made it. Recipe slightly adapted from David Lebovitz's version (Bit fancier than mine with an extra step for added smoky taste and cooling time...I was too impatient to eat after training but if you try it this way then invite me over)

1 large Aubergine
3 tbsp Tahini (roasted sesame paste)
1 tsp salt (I used Himalayan Pink crystal salt for extra minerals)
3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 tsp chile pepper flakes (optional, but I like to add chili to most things)
1 tbsp olive oil
a small handful of flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
2. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until completely soft
3. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
4. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Chill for a few hours before serving.

And here's how I ate it: A big dollop on top of a black eyed peas, avocado, red and yellow pepper salad. I'm going to have it again tonight with my falafel wrap...never mind meatless Mondays, it's meatless Wednesday!

_ Happy New Year! I have to get that in prior to my little new year rant, brace yourself, I may sound cynical and very un-happy new year like during the next couple of paragraphs, which is (a breath of fresh air) a bit different to what you usually hear around this time.

The one thing I’m not going to ask you for is your new years resolutions. I feel like new years resolutions have been turned into a tool for marketing departments and I hate having to buy a new me every year. If I hear ‘New Year, New You’ one more time I’m going to lose it. I don’t want to sound cynical but if it worked then they wouldn’t be rolling out that same line year in, year out.

The thing getting my knickers in a twist about new years resolutions is not the setting of new goals and achievements; it's important to do that but it’s the pressure of  the 1st January that gets to me. To wake up and be a ‘new you’ on the one morning when the very act of being (never mind being new and shiny) seems like too much of a challenge. So things get pushed to the 2nd of January, still not recovered? Ok the 3rd then, by which point you're back at your desk cursing your boss under your breath as she’s just dumped a pile of  'new her' challenges on your lap.

As it is that you’re reading my blog, I’m guessing that if you have made new years resolutions they probably include one on becoming healthier, fitter, slimmer…etc? Making a promise to yourself to be fit and healthy is a wonderful thing and the best gift you can ever give yourself but why do most of us have to go back and make the same resolutions every year? How long do you stay resolute about your new years resolutions? When and why do we forget our resoluteness. (I’m repeating that word a few times to make it’s meaning stick. Resolute) 

Now I’m not a new years resolution expert by any stretch but I think I know why some people don’t stick with their new years resolutions:

They’re either too flimsy -  Rihanna said on Twitter that her new years resolutions are the same as every year: Too be thinner and get a man. I bet her career goals and business planning were a bit tighter than that! Goals need to be specific and measurable if they are going to stand the course.  

Or too extreme and restrictive - For most people, changing much of your previous lifestyle/behaviour creates a lot of discomfort, which makes it hard to stick to. Our minds don’t always take change very well, especially if we take comfort and refuge in the behaviours that we are trying to move away from. To make consistent and lasting change, it’s necessary to start slow. Building in healthy habits one at a time until they become second nature. It may even take longer than the year you’ve given yourself in your 2012 resolution.

  New years resolutions to me seem too far away to worry about right now (I have a whole year before I check in and review those goals again, so I’ll start next week) and at the same time too short sighted (12 months is not long enough to achieve your ultimate goals). So forget about new years resolutions and re-asses your goals on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis and at the same time try to create an awareness of the choices you make every moment as these are the decisions that will move you closer to where you want to be. Question and analyse your own choices and take strength from the fact that they are all in your control. That holds a lot of clout. It’s the same old you, but with a new perspective on present moment living and the power of choice that will get you where you want to be.

Saying that, I do wish you a happy and healthy 2012!