- 11 January 2016 < Back to gossip

Smart Carbs Three Day Meal Plan: Day One

Thinking ahead is one of the key factors in making sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. These first three days of my five week plan are here to get you on your way to eating plenty of those wonderful smart carbs!

Follow the rest of the five week plan in the book Smart Carbs: Eat Carbs and Still Lose Weight With My Amazing 5 Week Smart Carb Plan.

Apricot and pistachio power ballsChicken, broccoli and spelt saladBlackened fish with bean and avocado salsaSmoky Almonds

Day One | Day Two | Day Three


Proper porridge* + handful of blueberries


Apricot and pistachio power balls

Everyone loved the power balls in my first book so we just had to come up with a new version – these are fruity and fabulous. I like the touch of maple syrup, but you can leave it out if you prefer. And you can add a little spice – such as cinnamon, ground ginger or cardamom. If you don’t have any pistachios, use almonds instead.

Makes about 16

  • 150g dried apricots
  • 100g nut butter, preferably unsalted
  • 50g desiccated coconut or oatmeal
  • 50g pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

For rolling

  • 25g pistachios, finely chopped or ground
  • 106 calories per power ball


  1. Put the apricots in a food processor and pulse until they are very finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture comes together.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls the size of a walnut. Put the ground or finely chopped pistachios on a plate and roll the balls in them until they’re completely coated. Chill the balls until they’re firm and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.


Chicken, broccoli and spelt salad; nectarine for pud

I discovered spelt when we were working on my first cookbook and I love it. It’s a grain, with a great nutty flavour and good firm texture. You can cook it yourself, as below, or you can buy it ready cooked in sachets in the supermarket. Up to you. This salad has an anchovy dressing and I didn’t think I liked anchovies but I do like them in this – they add lots of flavour.

Serves 4

  • olive oil spray
  • 400g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 100g uncooked spelt, well rinsed or 300g ready-cooked spelt
  • 250g sprouting broccoli, trimmed
  • 100g mixed salad leaves, well washed
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt
  • Dressing
  • 1 small can of anchovies in olive oil (30g drained weight)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)

286 calories per serving

  1. Heat a griddle pan until it’s very hot, and spray it with olive oil spray. Add the chicken thighs and grill them for 5–7 minutes on each side until they’re cooked through and golden brown. Remove the thighs from the pan and set them aside to cool, then slice them thickly.
  2. If you’re not using ready-cooked spelt, put the spelt in a saucepan, add plenty of water to cover and season it with a good pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer the spelt for 15 minutes or according to the packet instructions until the grains have softened but still have a slight bite to them. Drain and allow the spelt to cool.
  3. Cook the sprouting broccoli in boiling water for 3–4 minutes until just tender.
  4. To make the dressing, finely chop the anchovies and put them in a small saucepan. Add the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and whisk together over a low heat until the dressing thickens and emulsifies. Add the chilli flakes, if using.
  5. To serve, arrange the mixed leaves on a large platter. Sprinkle over the spelt and drizzle with some of the dressing. Top with the sprouting broccoli, cherry tomatoes and chicken and add the rest of the dressing.


15g smoky almonds

You can buy smoked salt in supermarkets, but don’t worry too much if you can’t get any – the smokiness of the paprika still gives a good flavour.

Makes 10 x 20g servings

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g whole almonds, preferably with the skin on
  • ½ tsp smoked sea salt, crushed
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika

142 calories per serving

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the almonds and fry them for about 5 minutes until you can smell their lovely aroma, shaking the pan or stirring the nuts regularly.
  2. Tip the almonds into a bowl, then sprinkle over the salt and paprika. Stir to combine, then store the almonds in an airtight container.


Blackened fish with bean and avocado salsa + steamed green veg

Mmmm – this tropical salsa works beautifully with the spicy fish and the whole dish is ready in minutes.

Serves 4

  • 4 x 150g skinned fish fillets (such as tilapia or snapper)
  • 50g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning or spice mix (see below)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • lime wedges, to serve
  • salt
  • Spice mix (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Bean and avocado salsa
  • 400g can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 medium mango, diced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced into rounds
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

427 calories per serving

  1. First make the bean and avocado salsa. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and season them with salt and black pepper. Leave the salsa to stand at room temperature while you cook the fish to allow the flavours time to blend.
  2. Season the fish with salt on both sides. If using the spice mix, stir all the spices together in a bowl. Mix the flour with either the Cajun seasoning or the spice mix, then add a generous pinch of salt. Roll the fish fillets in the seasoned flour until they’re thoroughly coated, then pat off any excess.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan large enough to hold all the fish fillets. Add the fillets and fry them for 2–3 minutes on each side until they are well browned and just cooked through – thick fillets might need a little longer.
  4. Serve the fish with the salsa on the side and wedges of limes to squeeze over the top if you fancy.

Davina's Smart Carbs: Eat Carbs and Still Lose Weight With My Amazing 5 Week Smart Carb Plan is out now! 

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