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 🙂

Sausage and Egg McMuffins Healthy Version

Ingredients: Yields two double McMuffins 

6 Slimming world syn free sausages (or any lower calorie sausages of your choice)

1 calorie cooking spray (I use Frylight)

2 wholemeal baps

2 tablespoons Primula light cheese spread

1 teaspoon Rosemary

1 teaspoon Thyme

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Method:

  • Remove the skins from your sausages and squeeze the sausage meat into a large bowl.
  • Add the herbs to your meat and mix with your hands to combine.

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  • Now split the sausage meat into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a burger patty shape to fit inside the bun.
  • Spray the Frylight into a frying pan and heat over a medium heat. Add the burger patties to the pan.
  • Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side or until it is obvious that they are cooked through.

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  • Whilst waiting for the patties to cook you can make your poached eggs. I am lucky because I have egg poaching cups which I just place in boiling water. (They really are brilliant and you can buy them from the likes of Amazon of Lakeland for a couple of pounds.) If you do not have poaching cups then don’t despair. You can spray two small microwaveable bowls with Frylight and crack an egg into each one. Season the eggs, pierce the yolks and cover with cling film. Microwave each egg on high for about 30 seconds. Keep an eye on them as they may pop in the microwave.
  • Now all you need to do is prepare your rolls. Stack the two patties one on top of the other and spread a little Primula light cheese on the top. (Note if you feel your McMuffun is too tall you can just keep it to one patty per bun.)
  • Finally top your Mcmuffin with your poached egg and viola!

Recently my attention has been brought to the idea of fakeaways (fake takeaways). Believe me before I started trying to loose weight I was the takeaway queen! Therefore the idea of being able to make healthier versions of my favourite delicious takeaways was far too good to pass up. I decided to start with breakfast because all too often at the weekend I will give in and allow myself to have something lovely and greasy like a fry-up or a sausage sandwich! I find it difficult to stick to a healthier breakfast at the weekend as I don’t have the routine I have during the working week. Usually I grab a quick healthy breakfast at my desk. At home on the weekend all the goodies in the kitchen beckon and its so hard to ignore when I am mere feet away from opening the fridge and stuffing my face! That’s where these fakeaway Mcmuffins come in. They truly are delicious and very filling. If I have these for breakfast I normally don’t have a big lunch at all as it really does set me up for the day. Also they are so easy to prepare which is great for sleepy Saturday/Sunday mornings when you want to put in as little effort as possible. The Frylight spray combined with the low fat (Syn-free) sausages means that you get all the taste but with much less fat! So why don’t you give them a try and see what you think. I dare you to not fall in love with this recipe it is just too tasty!

Happy cooking!

Xx

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Chocolate Bread Pudding!

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Ingredients: Serves 8

300ml/1.2 cup skimmed milk

100g pitted dates

250g brown bread (about 7 slices)

200ml/0.75 cup boiling water

25g/0.2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp dark vanilla extract

1 egg

30g/1 oz dark or milk chocolate

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Method:

  • Firstly we are going to start by making a syrup out of the dates. Combine the boiling water and dates in a small bowl and leave for 15 minutes until the dates are softened.
  • Pour the dates and water into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Tear up the bread into small pieces in a large bowl. Then add the milk, date mixture, cocoa powder vanilla extract and beaten egg.
  • Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  • Grease a 8 x 5 inch baking dish and then evenly add the mixture to it.
  • Crush the dark chocolate into small pieces. (I put the chocolate into a sandwich bag and gave it a whack with a rolling pin.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate pieces evenly over the top of the mix.
  • Bake in the oven at 200 degrees C or 180 degrees C for fan assisted ovens.
  • Remove and eat while still warm and gooey!

Having been on a diet myself I’ve been finding that I am  craving something sweet particularly in the evenings after my dinner. This is the perfect after dinner treat to stave off those cravings! Yes when we hear the word chocolate we automatically think “oh no I can’t have that I’m on a diet and chocolate is a no no.” However there is so little chocolate in this dish that you can allow yourself to indulge without feeling guilty! Also this pudding is low in sugar as we obtain our sweet taste by making the date syrup so really its a win win all round! At 142 calories a slice you really can’t complain and it tastes awesome. The only hard part is stopping at one slice! I would love to know your thoughts on this recipe or if you have any ideas on how to adapt it to make it better. Feel free to contact me on any of my social media if you give it a try.

Happy cooking!

Xx

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

Happy New Year!!

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Hi Guys!

Just a wee post to say Happy New year and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday! I most certainly over indulged on all the extra food and drink this season. Never mind finishing off the odd selection box and Terry’s chocolate orange.

I’d like to announce the blog will be back in full force this month. Not only did I get a load of exciting cookery gadgets for Christmas but I have also been collecting a lot more healthy recipe ideas. Perfect for those of us looking to use the ‘New year, new me’ Cliche!

I’m also on a bit of a personal mission to loose weight in the next 6 months as I am heading to the sunny California coast for the first time and I am determined to fit into a bikini for then… or at least at worst look semi decent in a swimming costume! So hopefully you can all join me on this journey. I will be sharing any tips I’ve learnt along the way on what I find works and what doesn’t.

It’s time to get out there, get motivated and start learning that we can love healthy foods!

Stay tuned for my new recipes and if anyone has any requests as to types of recipes they would like to see on this blog by all means please message me on any of my social media!

Happy 2017! 🙂

Xx

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I love Matcha green tea!

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Well folks, welcome to my first lifestyle post! So far I haven’t actually posted much about myself on this blog so I thought I would include a few snippets each week letting you know what I’ve been up to and a little more about my weight loss journey. I have been gradually loosing weight for about a year and a half now and am currently down by just over 2 stone (that’s around 30 pounds my American friends). I attribute this to making simple and easy changes to my lifestyle. I have tried many fad diets before and none of them have worked for me. I now believe that you have to change the way you live in order to take advantage of loosing weight and keeping it off.

A few things that have really changed my life are:

  • Cutting back on the amount of bread I eat. (I simply no longer eat sandwiches for my lunch every day so have cut down on 10 slices of bread a week!)
  • Taking the stairs at least once a day in work. (A small change which makes a huge difference)
  • Walking to and from work.(I live 3km away from my work and walk this everyday however if you live further afield why not get off the bus a couple of stops early and get a bit of exercise in?)
  • Calorie counting (I use http://www.Myfitnesspal.com which is great, it really makes you think about what you are putting into your body).
  • And finally I allow myself 2 cheat days a week. I save mine until the weekend so that I have something to look forward to. Honestly I think if you deny yourself the food that you crave e.g chocolate you’ll end up craving it more. Then once you give in and have a piece you think to yourself ‘right well I obviously can’t keep up with this diet I may as well give up’. If you let yourself have what you want in small amounts once or twice a week you will benefit from it in the long run. And lets face it a little bit of chocolate or a packet of crisps is enough to keep us sane on those days where we have just had enough of everything and need a treat.

Each week I hope to share with you some new tricks to dieting as well as what has been working for me in my everyday life. For me each new week is a learning curve when it comes to loosing weight and being healthy and so I invite you to come and experience it with me! 🙂

Right! So back to Matcha….

I have been drinking Matcha green tea for around 2 months now every morning when I get into work. I had begun to feel a little guilty about the calories my normal coffee was adding to my diet every day. Especially as I don’t scrimp on the added milk and sugar. I decided to give Pukka Matcha green tea a try as I had seen a lot of articles regarding Matcha on other health blogs. Let me tell you it does not disappoint! From the first couple of sips Matcha gave me a lovely energy that lasts throughout the morning. I genuinely feel far more alert and ready to go after a nice cup of Matcha tea. Matcha is a form of powdered green tea. You’re drinking the entire leaf when you drink Matcha which is why you get so many more health benefits.

Benefits of drinking Matcha green tea:

  • One cup of Matcha tea has the antioxidant power equivalent to 10 cups of brewed green tea.
  • Matcha has approximately 15 times the amount of antioxidants of pomegranates or blueberries.
  • Matcha is especially known for being rich in theanines and catechins. Theanine relaxes those who take it in and has an effect of soothing one’s feelings. Catechins are compounds of polyphenol that contains many effects like dietary effects and antioxidant effects.
  • Mathca can also help with your cholesterol.
  • Drinking Matcha greatly improves the look and feel of your skin.

So really what’s not to love? One more benefit that I have found is that the tea actually fills me up and settles my stomach. I find my stomach can get a bit grumbly in the morning making me want to eat more than I really should. Drinking this tea makes me feel full and energised. So in summary I highly recommend you give it a try!

Please do share with me your thought’s on Matcha or in fact any recipes you have come across which use it as an ingredient. I would also love to hear about other herbal teas that you guys enjoy!

Xx

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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).

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  • 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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