Gut Nourishing Lime, Coconut and Date Christmas Balls:

For Those Of You Who Have To Work On Christmas Day (or Night)!

These Lime, Coconut and Date Christmas Balls are perfect for sensitive tummies on night-shift, and also make for a nice change to the regular “Cacao Protein Ball” recipes that we see flooded on the Internet, not to mention the caffeine in the cacao can keep us awake post night-shift!

What’s great about them?

  • They are rich in vitamin C, which is important for shift workers fighting with depleted immune systems as a result of little sleep.
  • When combined with foods containing non-heme iron (such as those found in plant based food sources such as the almonds), the vitamin C in the limes will help to increase the amount of iron that the body can absorb.  Given low iron status can contribute to fatigue – this is something that shift workers definitely want to avoid!
  • Gelatin contains an amino acid called glutamic acid, which is converted to glutamine in the body that has been shown to improve the integrity of the gut wall and help prevent intestinal permeability or “leaky gut”.  Intestinal permeability (IP) is quite common in shift workers due to circadian descyncronisation, or a disruption to the normal sleep/wake cycle, which in turn, can contribute to gut disturbances.
  • Citrus fruit such as limes can enhance cardiovascular health, as lime juice and peel was shown to reduce the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries, thereby lowering the risk of stroke.

Ingredients (makes 20)

  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1 cup of medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 dessert spoon Changing Habits gelatin
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

How to make them!

Blitz all ingredients into your food processor until the mixture begins to clump.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and roll into small little balls, then cover in desiccated coconut to create that Christmasy-snowflake look!

Store in airtight container in the fridge before taking into work, and sharing with your workmates on Christmas Day :-).

Audra x



Boshtam, M, Asgary, S, Moshtaghian, J, Naderi, G and Jafari-Dinani, N 2013,  ‘Impacts of Fresh Lime Juice and Peel on Atherosclerosis Progression in an Animal Model’, ARYA Atherosclerosis, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 357-362.

Rapin, J & Wiernsperger, N 2010, ‘Possible Links between Intestinal Permeablity and Food Processing: A Potential Therapeutic Niche for Glutamine’, Clinics (Sao Paulo), vol. 65, no. 6, pp. 635-643.

A Shift Working Christmas: How To Make The Most Of It!

Doctors ChristmasIf you are one of the ‘lucky ones’ rostered to work Christmas day this year then it can be pretty tough, particularly for those with young families, as everyone wants to witness the unwrapping frenzy of all of those goodies left under the tree by Santa the night before.

But remember Christmas day is what you make of it – it really is.

Whilst you may not be home for Christmas, spending time with others is not really a bad thing.  In fact for some, Christmas can be a lonely time and coming into work can actually be a good distraction.

I for one enjoyed spending many years with my “Airline Family” on Christmas day – it just comes with the territory when you sign up to work irregular hours.

But is it really the end of the world? Are you really missing out on all of the fun and festivities of Christmas day?

Not a chance!  Because the day is what you make of it.

If you bring your Christmas spirit into work (along with some of those naughty Christmas treats to share) – you can actually have lots of fun joking around with your work mates. After all, when everyone is in the same boat there’s no point whining and complaining about it!

In fact sometimes being a shift worker is a really good thing because you can arrive at a Christmas function after work, and just sit down and eat. You didn’t have to spend all of the morning cooking and preparing everything because you were quite literally – at work.  If you don’t like cooking (but you love eating) – then this is a huge bonus!

So if you’re working Christmas day this year, try and bring a bit of Christmas spirit into work.

The holiday season is all about catching up with friends, family and loved ones, but when you work 24/7 there are going to be times when you will have to be at work, so you may as well make the most of it.

Just grab a Santa hat, eat lots of cake and you’ll be getting into the spirit of Christmas in next to no time.

P.S. – And remember, the diet can start next week!