Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss…..

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss….. 🍕

There is a perception that certain foods are better for you than others due to their perceived health benefits. Usually terms like “plant based” or Vegan / Vegetarian are promoted as is they are a healthier option and there’s an assumption that this means they’re the best choice.

Now this is not about whether or not a plant-based diet is more healthy or less healthy than a diet including meat (there’s a variety of studies about this and it’s not clear cut and it’s beyond the scope of this comparison). I’m not suggesting that either of these options is actually a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting you will get more health benefits from one option versus the other. At the end of the day they are both Pizza’s and they both contain a large amount of fat and calories. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that instead of having a “normal” pepperoni Pizza for dinner, that they’d be better off having the plant-based option with a jackfruit alternative. However in actual fact that “healthy” pizza has more calories and fat than the Pepperoni one.

So if you are out for a Pizza and wanting to go for a lower calorie option then don’t automatically assume plant-based equals lower calorie. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be wary of these marketing ploys which make you perceive things as being “healthy” and therefore lower calorie and helpful for weight loss. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. And it’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. I love Jackfruit so for me I’d chose that every time but I’d do so in the knowledge it wasn’t a lower calorie option.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, and check out the nutritional info (most restaurants have the info online nowadays) on food and don’t always assume the current trendy “plant-based” food is automatically lower calorie.

🤗

Xx

Recipes

Hoisin Pulled Veggie ‘Pork’

If you’re a Chinese takeaway fan this is a great lower calorie, home-made option for you! You can use any veggie alternative – there are pulled pork, pulled chicken and pulled jackfruit options available now. I happened to have the Linda McCartney pulled fake chicken in my freezer so that’s what I’ve used.

This serves 3-4 people and comes in at around 230 cals per portion (before rice etc).

You will need:

1 pack of veggie pulled ‘meat’

1 small onion

1 clove garlic

1 stick of celery

1 small red pepper

1 small red chili (optional)

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp black bean sauce

1 tbsp water

Small handful of cashew nuts (optional)

A couple of spring onions (for garnish)

Place the pulled fake meat in a bowl and add the soy sauce and sweet soy sauce – leave to marinate.

Chop the vegetables up into small pieces and add the onion, garlic and celery to a hot wok or pan with a little oil (or oil spray to save calories)

Add the peppers and chili if using.

While the vegetables sauté add the hoisin and black bean sauce and water into a small bowl and mix together. Set aside.

Add the marinated pulled fake meat to the wok and fry it for 5-7 mins.

Meanwhile, if you’re using the cashew nuts roast them in a dry pan.

Add the sauce mix to the pulled meat and cook through for another 2-3 mins.

Serve with the cashew nuts and spring onions sprinkled over the top, with rice or noodles.

Enjoy 🤗

xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What you track vs what you actually eat…

What you track vs what you actually eat… 🥜 🥄

If you’re hoping to lose fat in a sustainable way you need to be aiming for a deficit of around 200-300 cals a day. So you have your calorie goal, and you’re tracking your calories and weighing your portions. You diligently weigh your peanut butter for your slice of toast … 30g – that’s 169 cals – all tracked, all good. But what about the little bit you just scrape off the side of the jar as you’re getting that spoonful… or that bit that dropped on the plate that you wiped off with your finger.. or the bit you lick from the lid….

All that can add up to another 15g – that’s an extra 84 cals.

84 cals in itself isn’t going to ruin your progress, but if you’re having a couple of slices of toast a day that’s 168 extra calories a day or 1,176 cals a week! And that’s assuming that’s the only “extras” you have. That can easily stop you progressing or slow it down. And to be honest you probably don’t even realise you’re doing it.

So if you’re tracking cals and hoping to lose fat then perhaps double check you’re actually tracking what you’re eating, especially with calorie dense foods like nut butters etc.

🤗 xx

Recipes

Easy, light high protein chocolate mousse

This is a super easy chocolate mousse which makes a fab dessert or snack. Because it uses Greek yoghurt it’s higher protein than ‘normal’ mousses and that means it is more filling so can help to keep you satisfied.

I’ve also used Cocoa + protein chocolate – mainly because it’s one of my favourite milk chocolates and I was desperate to try their new baking chocolate, but it does have the added bonus of more protein. Any chocolate will work though – milk or dark!

This is so quick to make and so easy. It serves 5-6 at around 200-240 cals snd 15g protein per portion.

You will need:

160ml skimmed milk (or any milk of your choice)

160g 0% Greek Yoghurt (I used ‘total’ – you can use any but it needs to be thick)

200g Chocolate (I used Cocoa+ milk choc)

Start by popping the chocolate, in small pieces, in a clean bowl and melt it using short blasts in the microwave (or a bain- marie)

While the chocolate is melting measure out the milk and yoghurt.

Add the milk to the yoghurt and then whip it together until frothy using a hand whisk.

Once the chocolate is melted add it gradually to the yogurt mixture, mixing it quickly and really well.

Once it’s well mixed pour into individual Ramekins and pop in the fridge for at least 3 hrs to set. It will be quite liquid to start with so don’t worry.

Sprinkle a little chocolate on top to serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Veggie Sausage Casserole – perfect mid week warmer

This is an easy meal for a mid week dinner on a great day. I like to cook up a batch of this so it gives a few meals.  You can obviously use any sausages you like, but using veggie sausages really reduces the calories without sacrificing the taste. I usually use quorn sausages but this time I used Cauldron’s lincolnshire sausages and they are delish! If you want to save time use a bag of frozen grilled veg, or use any veg you have in the fridge! Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves 6 at about 220 cals per portion.

You will need:

6 vegetarian sausages

800 g passata or chopped tomatoes

Approx 500g mixed vegetables (either a pack or 1 onion, 2 sticks celery, 1 pepper, 1 courgette, 1 small aubergine etc – you don’t need to be exact)

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp chilli powder (adjust for taste)

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cube

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1/2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp marmite (optional)

1/2 tsp of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

If using fresh veg then prepare it and chop it up. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften. Chop the sausages in to slices and add to the pan and allow to brown (NB I like my sausages a bit browner so I often brown them in a separate pan and add them later – but either way works fine). Then add the pepper, courgette and aubergine or whatever veg you like  (if using a pack then just throw it all in at once once the sausages have browned).

img_4885

Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the passata. Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cube, all the spices, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Add the sugar (this brings out a richer tomato flavour). (If you browned the sausages separately then add them now).

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve with green veg and grains, with a jacket potato or just on its own!

enjoy 🙂

Xx