Am I hungry or am I bored? Tips on how to stop those hunger cravings.

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I don’t know about you but the main reason that I snack is that I am bored! Whether that be in the office on a particularly slow work day or at home watching Netflix. I have a habit of feeling like I need to constantly reach for a bag of crisps, piece or toast or even cheese on crackers (I know very bad but I can’t help it!). I’ve become so frustrated with myself that I have come up with a list of handy tips in order to try to stop myself raiding the fridge and consuming those extra calories that I certainly do not need…

You may be dehydrated…

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There is a good chance you may be dehydrated rather than hungry. A good tip is to have a glass of water and if you are still hungry after half an hour have something to eat. It is important not to starve yourself if you are genuinely hungry.

Do¬†exercise…

I always feel less hungry after a workout. It could be because my mind is somewhere else and off food. It could also be that after working out I don’t want to have wasted those calories I have burned by going and eating unhealthily. It doesn’t have to be a big workout even a walk to feed the ducks will do (plus if you throw your leftover bread at the ducks there’s less chance of you eating it!).

Go on your favourite time wasting website or play your favourite game on your phone…

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We all know we can waste hours doing this and its a great way of taking your mind out of the kitchen. Unless your favourite sites are cooking sites then maybe give it a miss!

Brush your teeth…

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I seriously love this one for two reasons… 1. If I brush my teeth I’m not going to eat anything else because I am too lazy to go and brush them again! 2. The minty toothpaste makes all food taste weird. Also you’ll have lovely fresh breath so it’s win win!

Watch your favourite TV show…

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Before you know it you could be a few episodes in and have forgotten all about your cravings. Mine is Game of Thrones, House of Cards or Dirk Gently. Swap binge eating for binge watching!

Pamper yourself…

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Maybe this tip is more for the ladies but seriously paint your nails, apply a face mask or just have a relaxing bath. Not only will you distract yourself but you will make yourself feel better in the process.

Be creative…

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Channel your energy into creating something. I am currently making a Christmas wreath for next year using left over Christmas cards. I actually really feel like I am achieving something by creating something lovely to to add to our home. not to mention my hands are busy so I literally can’t reach for the biscuits. I would suggest Pinterest as a great site to get some craft ideas. However even if being crafty isn’t your thing there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to be creative. You could even start a blog. Writing this blog for me has been a great distraction as well as an amazing source of motivation and support from all you guys!

Most importantly…

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Be happy and live life! Don’t beat yourself up for eating what you want every once in a while. We all deserve a treat sometimes ūüôā

The dreaded first cardio workout of the year!

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Well guys, I have just finished my first cardio workout of the year and I feel great! I felt so sluggish and tired when I got up today and I really didn’t think I would make it to the gym at all. My gym is just across the road from my work so if I am doing a cardio workout I always try to go on my lunch break. If I wait until the end of the day I will be even more tired and may have gone off the idea. I also like the fact that if I get my workout done during my working day then when half 4 comes I know I can just go home, put the dinner on and relax without the thought of the gym hanging over me.

I have been out of the routine of regularly exercising for weeks now. This was due to Christmas and coming down with a heavy cold. Not to mention I have most certainly been over indulging in the treats department, so I fully expected today to be a real struggle. Even on the short walk across to the gym my brain was thinking “Oh god nooooo! Anything but this! It’s not too late to turn around and just head into town and go shopping instead.” But I persevered and eventually I found myself stepping back onto the cross trainer (elliptical machine for you Americans!)

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I put my headphones in and soon got into a rhythm. I told myself that I wouldn’t push it and would do 15 minutes and see how I felt after that. Half an hour later I was still at it and time had flown. I had to stop in order to get back to work on time but I have to say I am very proud of myself!. When I stepped off I just felt great. I thought after all that build up in my own head it really wasn’t that hard and I can definitely get back into the swing of things. Back in the office I felt way more energised and genuinely felt happier. I have to remember what an advantage exercise has on your mood! Another important point to note is that before my workout I was craving loads of unhealthy treats for lunch. Afterwards I couldn’t have felt more different! I happily ate my tuna and broccoli and felt full and satisfied afterwards.

For goodness sake if I can do well on my first day back and feel this great then its only onwards and upwards from here. That is partly why I am writing this post so that I can look back on it when I’m not feeling motivated. I urge you all to get out there and start working out even if it is just a walk. Write down how you feel beforehand and then write down how you feel after. Then use this to motivate yourself on a day where you frankly can’t be bothered. Remember 15 minutes exercise¬†means you are 15 minutes better than if you were to just sit on the couch. Every little bit counts towards a better you! Now here a selfie of me looking like a complete sweaty Betty but proud haha….

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Xx

No Flour delicious banana bread muffins!

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Ingredients: (Yields 12)

300g  ripe bananas (roughly 3 medium bananas)

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons of maple syrup – adjust to your taste

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

30g  butter

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

200g ground almonds

1 tablespoon of whole flaxseed plus extra for decorating the top of your muffins

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Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl mash together the bananas and butter. (a fork works well for mashing).

banana and butter

  • Now add¬†the maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice and mix well with a whisk.
  • Add the ground almonds and a tablespoon of whole flaxseed and mix well.
  • Grease your muffin tins with butter or low fat spray. Alternatively you can use individual muffin cases.
  • Spoon your batter evenly into each muffin cup and top with a pinch of flax seeds.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. You will know if the muffins are done by inserting a skewer into the middle and it coming out dry.
  • Allow muffins to cool and eat warm or at room temperature. Remember to store covered, in the fridge and most importantly enjoy!

**Note this recipe can also be used to make a loaf of bread. Use a bread loaf tin. Fill with the mixture and cook for 1hr 10mins. If the bread starts to brown too much during baking cover with a piece of tinfoil.

These little muffins have been a god send for my partner and I. We now have them every morning for breakfast and they make a great guilt-free snack for when you get peckish during the day. There is no flour, sugar or preservatives and each muffin is only 89 calories so you can have more than 1! The bananas, maple syrup and vanilla give these muffins a lovely sweet taste and so when I am craving something sweet this is now my go to snack. The bread is filling and will keep your energy levels up during the day.¬†Almonds are full of Vitamin E and magnesium, and the Omega-3-rich flaxseed which is added means these muffins aren’t just delicious but nutritious as well. Not to mention they smell great when they come out the oven! As ever I would love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe.

Happy cooking!

Xx

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Omelette and Spinach cannelloni NO PASTA!

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Ingredients

500g Spinach

150g cream cheese  (could use ricotta cheese if preferred)

75g Parmesan cheese, grated

Nutmeg, grated

4-6eggs

4 tblspn water

1 tblspn olive oil

Salt and pepper

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F degrees.

  • Cook the spinach until tender.¬† Mix with the cream cheese, half the Parmesan cheese and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

  • Whisk the eggs with the water and add a pinch of¬†salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in¬†a frying pan on a medium heat and pour in enough egg mixture to¬†make a small, thin omelette.¬†¬† Cook until firm and turn over to cook the over side.¬†¬† Remove and place to the side.¬† Continue to do this until all of egg mixture is used.
  • Spoon some of the spinach mixture onto an edge of an omelette and roll up.¬† Place in a shallow gratin dish and repeat using all of the omelettes.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 25 minutes.

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  • Eat and enjoy!

I was eager to try this recipe as I absolutely love cannelloni. I thought making it using omelettes would be a real challenge but it actually worked out really well. A good tip is not to overfill your omelette as they are quite thin and prone to splitting. This tasty recipe yields about four portions. The filling was lovely and can easily be adapted for your own tastes. I think next time I will throw in a bit of chicken into the spinach mix to pack it out a little more. This makes a great main as it is extremely filling and much healthier than the pasta versions you would be used to. The dish is packed with protein from both the omelette and Spinach so would be ideal to have after a workout. I really cant get enough of this one and urge you all to try it. Also it is a great way for those of us who are obsessed with cheese to get our fix! As usual let me know if you have tried this and send e your pictures if you would like.

Happy cooking!

Xx

 

Delicious Broccoli and potato soup

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Ingredients:

1 large head of broccoli

1 large potato peeled and chopped into cubes

1 Large white onion diced

2 cloves of garlic

500ml vegetable stock

250ml low fat milk

125ml water

Salt and pepper

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Method:

  • Cut the broccoli into roughly 1 inch pieces. You can cut and add a bit of the stem but discard the main stem.

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  • Put all the ingredients into a pot except the milk, salt and pepper.
  • Put on the lid of the pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down the heat to medium and rapidly simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add your milk. Now bring back to the boil and then remove from the heat altogether.
  • Now whizz the hand blender until thoroughly mixed together.
  • To thicken the soup cook it longer on the stove at a medium/low heat.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with a side of your choice. (I have chosen some gorgeous wheaten bread that my talented partner made *recipe for this to follow).

I was a little sceptical of this recipe when I first made it. I’m not really sure why, maybe it was the colour of the soup that made my brain think this may be healthy but I bet it doesn’t taste great. Maybe the green reminded me of lettuce too much haha! Think again. This soup is so unbelievably tasty. I absolutely love it. Plus it is packed full of nutrients from all that veg! I like to have this recipe for dinner but it would make a great packed lunch too. It makes enough soup for about 3-4 servings so you could easily make it at the start of the week and just store it in the fridge. *I am lucky enough to have a partner who loves to bake. He inherited a great bread recipe from his lovely mum and was able to make us a great side for this dish. Bread isn’t very healthy as we all well know but when eaten in moderation it compliments this soup perfectly.

For those who are interested I will post the bread recipe up here as well shortly.

If you do try this recipe I would love to know what you thought of it and by all means send me some pictures if you’d like.

Enjoy and happy cooking!

Xx

Healthy Oriental Beef and Broccoli

Attention attention! This is such a great recipe I’m willing to say that it is my favourite so far! I cant urge you enough to try it. It is simply delicious.

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Ingredients:

1lb Flank/Skirt steak thinly sliced across the grain

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 large white onion diced

roughly 2 small crowns of broccoli florets

2 tbsp. cornflower

180ml water

80ml low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

‚Öõ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

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Method:

  • Slice your steak into thin pieces across the grain. (I actually ended up using scissors to cut the beef as it can be quite tough).
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until well-browned, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Now remove the beef from the skillet and set to the side.
  • In the same pan that the beef was in add the garlic, white onion and spring onions. Cook for 1 min stirring throughout.
  • Add the broccoli to the skillet and cover with a lid for 5 mins. Open pot half way through the 5 mins and give the ingredients a stir. Then replace the lid for the remaining time.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine water and cornflower and mix until no longer lumpy. Now add the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and red pepper flakes to the same¬†bowl and stir to combine.

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  • Remove cover from pan and add sauce. Cook until sauce starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Add beef and stir , cooking an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • No you are ready to serve ans enjoy!

I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this recipe. I would happily eat it most nights for dinner. Also this would be a great one to prep at the start of the week and bring in for lunch during the working week. I choose to serve this with plain noodles as the beef is so flavoursome you don’t really need anything else. However this would also go well with the likes of rice, chips and even mashed potatoes. ¬†I absolutely love a good Chinese takeaway but we all know how unhealthy they are. This is a fantastic healthy alternative containing lots of protein as well as a hell of a lot less salt than your usual takeaway whilst still maintaining a mouthwatering ¬†full-bodied flavour. Honestly if you decide to try none of my other recipes at least try this one you wont be disappointed. As usual let me know what you think if you do decide to get cooking and of course send me your photos and I will feature them on my FB and blog.

Happy cooking!

Xx

Cauliflower pizza bites!

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Ingredients: Yields 12 pizza bites

1 head of cauliflower (grated)

1 egg white from a large egg

230g of 1% cottage cheese

1 Tsp Oregano

2 Tsp Parsley

1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder

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Method:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius or for fan ovens 200 degrees¬†Celsius.
  • Make sure you have a muffin tin to hand and spray it with low cal cooking spray.
  • Grate cauliflower into fine rice like pieces. I used a cheese grater but you could certainly also use a food processor.

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  • Spray a frying pan with low cal cooking spray and heat at a high temperature.
  • Add the cauliflower rice to the frying pan and stir for 6-8 mins until slightly translucent.

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  • Place rice in a bowl and leave to the side to cool.
  • Place all other ingredients the food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. smooth.

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  • Combine the mixture with your cauliflower rice in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

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  • Spoon the mixture into your muffin tray. Make sure that the mixture is pushed down so that it sticks together in the mould.

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  • Now place your muffin tin the the oven to bake for 25-30 mins.
  • Remove tray from the oven and allow the pizza bites to cool in the tray for at least 10mins.
  • Serve with a light tomato based pizza/pasta sauce.

This recipe was a pleasant surprise for me having never really been a fan of cottage cheese. it adds just the right amount of cheese flavour to the pizza bite and is delicious without having the added calories of opting for a full fat soft cheese. Therefore you can eat as many of these as you want without feeling too guilty! These are great as a snack when you have that craving for pizza (usually a Friday night for me). Or you could take them to work with you and eat them for lunch. Go on have a treat day without actually having to feel guilty about it! As always I would love to hear from you on what you thought of this recipe. Send photos if you’d like and I will feature them on my FB and blog.

Happy cooking!

Xx

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Buffalo Chicken Casserole

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Ingredients (This recipe serves 8 people)

  • 340g of whole wheat macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (I used the low cal spray version)
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 100g vegetable risotto (alternatively you can add 2 medium stalks of celery, sliced)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 950g skinless, chicken breast trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 5 tablespoons of corn flour
  • 1 litre low fat milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • 5 table spoons of hot sauce (I used 4 as I don’t like food being too spicy)
  • 120g of crumbled blue cheese.

Method:

  • Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees C or for fan assisted ovens 180 degrees C
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil. Cook the macaroni in the pot for 2 mins less than the recommended time on the package.
  • Drain the macaroni and set to the side for later.
  • Heat oil in a large pot or wok over medium heat. Add carrots, vegetable risotto, onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • veg in wok
  • At the same time as your veg is cooking spray some oil in a separate pot and heat on a high temperature. Add chicken to this pot and cook until the meat is no longer pink on the outside. About 7 mins.

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  • Add this chicken to your vegetables and stir.
  • Whisk cornflour and milk in a medium bowl. Add this to your chicken and vegetable mixture with a pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce.
  • Spread the macaroni in a large baking/casserole dish so that it makes a layer at the bottom.
  • Top with the chicken mixture and sprinkle with blue cheese.

crumbled cheese

  • Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • I served mine in a bowl with a spoonful of sour cream because I am a big baby and cant take the heat!
  • Now sit back and enjoy!

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I loved this recipe and you can have it so many different ways. With it being only 439 calories per serving with 39.4g of protein how could you go wrong! Its a great idea if you want to make a large meal that will do you a couple of nights as it tastes even better after its has been sitting in the fridge for 24 hours. Also if you wanted to be really naughty and treat yourself at the weekend you could definitely have this over nachos! on a personal note I’ve never been a fan of blur cheese but after using it in this recipe I am a complete convert! In fact I would probably use a little bit now as it tastes delicious.

As always I would love to see your creations if you decide to try this recipe. If you send me a picture I will feature your food on my Facebook and blog.

Happy cooking!

Xx