Recipes

Valentine’s Vanilla, Berry and Chocolate Porridge

As it’s the season of love I thought I’d celebrate with something I love… porridge! This makes a great brekkie or lunch option. The protein powder is optional but adds the vanilla flavour and also the added protein helps to keep you fuller for longer. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!)

I make my porridge with water because I prefer it that way but obviously use milk if you prefer. I have used some yummy little protein chocolate hearts from Cocoa+ but you can use any chocolate you like! It would work well with some squares of dark chocolate

This comes in at approx 415 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

Large handful of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional – replace with a 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence if not using)

3 Chocolate hearts or squares

Place the oats in to a saucepan with the protein powder. Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats and protein powder, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once it starts to cook add in the blueberries and raspberries and stir in.

Slice the strawberries. Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the strawberries and chocs on the top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Accept you’re not doing it right

Tuesday Tip: Accept you’re not doing it right 🙌🏼

How you think about your fat loss has a profound impact on how you cope with sticking to a sustainable fat loss plan.

If the weight isn’t dropping and you’re saying to yourself ‘I’m doing ‘everything right’ but I’m not losing weight (fat) – it must mean I need a new program or diet or there’s just something wrong with me and I can’t lose weight right? Wrong. If you’re not losing fat then quite simply you’re not doing everything right.

Not losing fat or weight is the ultimate proof that you’re not doing everything right when it comes to fat loss. It means you’re not at a consistent calorie deficit. If you were you’d be losing fat. But the bigger issue is that this sort of thinking of ‘I’m doing everything right’ immediately puts you on the defensive. If you’re doing everything right, then there can’t possibly be anything to correct – because everything is right? So there’s no impetus to change your own behaviours or actions or find a solution.

With the ‘I’m doing everything right’ thinking you can’t possibly be consuming too many calories? You can’t possibly be incorrectly estimating portion sizes , you can’t possibly have forgotten to log some of those calories, it can’t possibly be that you’re doing something (probably subconsciously) that means you’re eating more calories than you think… because you’re ‘doing everything right’.

What we need to do is be a bit more

open minded and accept that we must be doing something wrong so we can then figure out what the solution is and how to fix the problem. So if you’re not making progress and feeling like you’re doing everything right try to take a step back and rephrase it; ‘I’m not losing fat, I must be doing something wrong’ and then you can find out what that is and try to fix it.

That way you’ll be more likely to solve the problem and continue on your fat loss journey

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Taming post-workout hunger

Tuesday tip: Taming post-workout hunger 🍕

Do you find you’re famished after a workout? It could be down to the type of workout you’re doing. A recent study in The International Journal of Obesity found that strenous interval training dulls the urge to splurge. Participants who did high-intensity intervals were less hungry afterwards than people who spent the same amount of time on the treadmill or cycling at a steady rate. 🚴🏼

Why? Bursts of high intensity, hard effort actually helps to suppress the appetite as it decreases the production of the hormone ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and also increases the levels of blood lactate and glucose which reduce the desire to eat lots. In contrast, steady state, moderate intensity exercise can reduce blood glucose levels and suppress grehlin which makes you hungry. This is also the classic ‘runger’ that runners get!

So if you’re trying to watch what you eat consider focusing on shorter bursts of higher intensity workouts – either in the gym or in a class (HIIT, insanity or Bodyattack are great examples). If you love your longer runs or steady cycles etc there’s no need to stop them, just make sure you fuel yourself properly to prevent that post workout need to stuff your face! Have something with protein, fats and carbs before you do your workout – e.g. something like peanut butter on toast, and then try to get something in shortly after your workout that’s easily digested but high in protein and carbs – if you like it something like chocolate milk (normal or dairy free) is a fab option. If you want any specific tips for your own recovery then do drop me a line 🤗

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Practice random acts of fitness!

Tuesday Tip: Practice random acts of fitness! 🏋🏻

I know how difficult it can be to fit everything you want to in to your days, and sometimes it’s things like classes or gym workouts that suffer. As I’ve said in previous tips, it’s not just those “big” workouts that matter though when it comes to losing or maintaining weight and fitness (see my tip on fidgeting from a few weeks back), it’s the rest of your day that matters. So as well as being generally active, try to practice some random acts of fitness!

Sneak things in to your day whenever you can – lots of day to day tasks actually burn a good few calories – gardening, hoovering, washing the car, carrying the shopping from the car (try to bring as much as you can in one go to increase the intensity), unloading the dishwasher (as fast as you can!) etc for example. Or try adding in some little bits of fitness throughout the day e.g. ten squats before you sit down, marching your feet while you watch tv, or setting challenges for each other while you watch – one push-up for every advert in the break etc… have you got a skipping rope? .. then how about one min of skipping before you make dinner…. or how about a quick hula hoop, or maybe a game of catch with your children (or fetch with the dog)…. 30 secs of fast feet in the kitchen while waiting for the kettle to boil…. single leg squats while you brush your teeth…..That’s just a few ideas, I’m sure you lot have loads more!

Don’t think that just because you can’t devote 45 mins or an hour to the workout that it doesn’t count.. it does! Although it’s not going to massively increase your cardiovascular fitness or muscle strength, it’s still really valuable and a great thing to do when your busy and can’t fit in your usual workout. You could easily burn an extra 200 – 300 calories a day with these random acts… that’s the deficit you need to lose weight…

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox 🥗

Across social media people are peddling “detoxes” and “cleanses”. We’re told our bodies are full of toxins, and if you follow plan X / buy the pill/tea/shake you’ll get rid of them and feel/look amazing. You don’t need it, your liver and kidneys do a great job of “detoxing” you, and these products can make your health worse. But they sell them because WE want them; why?

#Post holiday detox

Over holidays we eat and drink more, so we crave simple, nutrient dense food – like salads. Physically it feels good, and psychologically it feels good to; drawing a line under all the junk. This sort of “detox” isn’t silly, it’s just a word we use to say “lets get back to eating well”

#Bloated

Over-indulging, or eating certain foods makes you bloated; rich foods, alcohol, beans, fizzy drinks, or foods high in salt, certain starches and sugars. If it’s a chronic issue see a Dr. If you’ve been eating lots of salt you will retain water, making you look and feel bloated, reduce the salt for a few days and you’ll be fine. Overdo the food and drink? You don’t need to do anything just eat normally for a few days.

#Bunged up

If you’ve been eating badly you may be constipated. Most detoxes /cleanses are laxatives, which can permanently damage your intestines. So first of all, increase water and fibre intake, then increase fruits, veg, and whole grains, but do it gradually; a sudden fibre increase can make you feel worse. If that doesn’t help, see a Dr, not a Facebook detox salesman.

#Fatloss detox

No, just no. A pill/shake won’t do that! Sometimes just buying something special is a powerful psychological message that you’re making a change and acts as a kickstart; which is why we fall for it. Sadly it won’t last, and you’re left out of pocket and likely to rebound. The more radical approach to losing weight, the more likely it is to fail. Slow and steady wins the race; make small, sustainable habit changes and you’ll reap the rewards.

It’s normal to want to reset, feel better and make changes, but you don’t need a “detox”. Just try to get some sleep, drink more water, eat veg and get moving. You’ll look and feel far better for it!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Watch Those Swaps

Tuesday tip: watch those swaps 🥦🥛

Food fads and ‘healthy’ swaps are all the rage but they may not always be the best option for you and your gut. Sometimes too drastic a cutback or too dramatic a switch can result in GI issues such as bloating, constipation or abdominal pain — or exacerbate pre-existing GI issues. Here’s a few common swaps you may want to rethink.

#1 Cauliflower for Carbs

We’ve all heard of cauliflower rice or pizza crust and whilst it does reduce carbs (and calories) it’s also high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP). These can cause gastrointestinal distress, gas and bloating. Instead stick to white potatoes – full of energy, soluble and insoluble fibre and low FODMAP.

#2 Non-dairy milk

There is nothing wrong with non dairy milk in itself but it lacks the probiotics our gut needs. So if you’re not allergic to dairy then try to have some yoghurt or kefir as well which contains live active cultures. If you are sensitive to lactose these may still be an option for you as the cultures break down the lactose before it reaches your intestines. If you’re vegan then consider going for a probiotic supplement or foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh etc.

# 3 High fat in place of carbs

Keto is all the rage with people ditching carbs for protein and high fat foods. But this can cause both diarrhoea or, due to low fibre, constipation. So just go a bit easy – have half an avocado not a full one, add a little coconut to smoothies rather than 2 tbsp of coconut oil etc. And get lots of fibrous veggies in too.

#4 Sugar alcohols

Sweeteners such as erythritol, sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol are used to sweeten foods with less calories and impact on blood glucose levels. But these sugar alcohols can cause gas, bloating and diarrhoea. You may be better off simply using less sugar and adding spices (ginger, cinnamon etc). Studies have shown the difference in sweetness isn’t even perceptible with the spices.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Stick to your resolve

Tuesday tip: Stick to your resolve 💪🏼

Well it is the start of a brand new year, it’s a classic time for people to set themselves new goals. I talked about setting alternative resolutions last week but you may also have resolved to make this the year you finally start, and stick with, an exercise program but it’s all too easy to give up after a few weeks. You’re not alone, judging by the fact that the January crowds in the gym are long gone by February!

So the question is how to turn your determination into action you can sustain for more than 30 days? Here are a few tips to make sure you start out right:

#1 Define Your Challenge

Write down your fitness goal – be as specific as you can. How do you want to look? What weight or body fat do you want to be? Or what size clothing do you want to fit in to? Or if you’ve got a more specific goal like building strength in a particular area, or tackling a fitness challenge like a marathon or climb or canoe etc? Write it all down and then divide it by 3. That’s roughly your 90-day goal, to get you a third of the way there!

#2 Make Time For Your Health

Work towards 30 – 45 mins of physical activity every day. Now before you panic, that doesn’t mean hitting the gym every day, but it does mean some sort of activity, even if it’s walking up and down the stairs at work, a lunchtime jog, walking the dog, a gentle bike ride, walking part of your journey to work etc. When the weather is good take advantage and get outside – it will make you feel good! If you’re brand new to fitness or coming back from injury then start with two 15 min sessions or three 10 mins ones and build from there.

# 3 Discover What You Enjoy

The most critical part of a long term, sustainable success with a fitness plan is actually enjoying what you do. Choose something that makes fitness fun! Take the chance to try something new – it’s the perfect time – everyone is bringing out their new classes and programs, and there are loads of beginner sessions out there too at this time of year. So dip your toe in a variety of activities and find something that works for you. As a beginner to that activity, almost anything you choose will be challenging, but gains will be made from your very first week which will help you feel motivated to continue – win win!

#4 Find a fitness buddy

Train with a friend who’s at about your level of ability and has similar goals. You’ll be far less likely to skip your workout when you know someone is depending on you. It’s also more motivating when you push each other, and you’ll be far less likely to cut your sessions short. Also try to surround yourself with people who are on a similar journey to you. People who choose healthy lifestyles will engage in behaviours which will rub off on you without you even realising it. They also won’t be the ones trying to sabotage your efforts! So make friends with someone in class, get chatting to the work colleague that cycles in every day, set up a lunchtime netball team… Make it social and you’re more likely to stick to it!

#5 Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others

So although you want to surround yourself with people on the same fitness kick, try not to compare yourself to them. Instead, compare yourself to the you of last week. If you make every week better in some way than the one before then you’re moving forward and making progress. There’s no point comparing yourself to anyone else – everyone is on their own journey and has their own challenges. As long as you are making progress then you’re doing good! That progress can be measured in lots of ways – it’s not just about the scales, walking a little further or faster, adding half a kg to your weights, getting further through the class before needing a break, doing your belt up one notch tighter, adding an extra workout to your week…. measure your progress in multiple ways and you’ll see how far you’ve really come!

What are your goals for 2019?

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx