Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a coffee and a snack vs ruining your diet …

Just a coffee and a snack vs ruining your diet … ☕️

Perception is everything! Many of us would probably have a coffee and a snack without giving it a huge amount of thought. When choosing a snack we may also go for the ‘healthy’ option of banana bread too right? Yet if you’d just eaten a cornetto, packet of crisps and a creme egg wolfed you might be feeling guilty, like you’d over done it and blown your ‘diet’.

Well to be honest neither is an ideal snack; they’re both rather a lot of calories and probably more than most can afford as a daily snack. However, as you can see, the coffee (a semi-skimmed large latte) and banana bread is considerably more calories than the other snacks. They also contain significantly more fat and almost as much sugar. Yes there’s more protein in the coffee option (mostly from the latte) so that may keep you fuller for longer but even so. So whilst you might be beating yourself up over the crisps, chocolate and ice cream, in reality it’s not as bad as the coffee and banana bread.

It’s all about perception – the coffee and banana bread are not only viewed as being an acceptable snack, there is also a positive perception around the banana bread as it. Whereas the other snacks are universally recognised as “junk” food.

Knowledge is power so being aware of the calorie content of things, and also of our own perceptions of the things we consume is always a good thing.

If you want the latte and banana bread, have it and enjoy it. If you want to eat your way through a creme egg, crisps and a cornetto then go for it. Just be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!

🤗

Xx

Recipes

Veggie ‘feta’ roasted veg pasta

I’m sure many of you have seen the posts on social media of the feta and tomato pasta hack. This is my version of it – using a dairy free (vegan) feta! I wanted to see if it would work and it does! Obviously you can use a normal feta if you prefer. I also pimped it up a bit with mixed peppers, mushrooms, spinach and basil.

This serves 5-6 and comes in at around 380 cals per portion.

You will need:

500g pasta

1 200g block ‘feta’ (I used Violife Greek white cheese)

600g cherry tomatoes (1 punnet)

2 small peppers

5 mushrooms

100g baby spinach

Fresh basil

Salt, pepper, mixed herbs

1 cal oil spray (I used the olive oil version)

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Chop the peppers and mushrooms into chunks. Spray a roasting dish with oil spray and pop the block of cheese in the centre, and throw the cherry tomatoes and peppers around it. Season and spray with oil.

Pop in the oven for 10-15 mins to start with.

While it’s in the oven cook the pasta to your taste. Drain and pop to one side.

Check the oven after 10-15 minsand if the tomatoes are just starting to split a little then add the mushrooms and pop back in the oven for 10 mins or so. Timing will depend a little on how ripe your tomatoes are so check and see if they are soft and that the juices have run into the dish. The feta will have melted too.

Using a wooden spoon stir the veg and feta together and gentle squish the tomatoes.

Add the spinach a little at a time, stirring in each time. Pop back in the oven for 3-5 mins.

Remove from oven Once the spinach has wilted and stir in a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Stir in the pasta

Then serve with a little sprig of basil!

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Cinnamon Oat Baked Apples

This is a really easy option for a warming winter dessert. Delicious as it is or even better with a scoop of Greek yoghurt or ice cream! I make a batch and then I can reheat them for pudding or even have one for a snack or brekkie! Bramley apples work best but you can actually use any apple you like.

This recipe makes 4 portions (half an apple) at approx 77 cals per portion (this will vary with apple size).

You will need:

2 Apples

50g Oats

10g sugar (I use half spoon – as it gives sweetness with fewer calories)

20g light spread (I just used a normal anchor light spread)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Mix the oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

Add the spread and use a fork or your hands to mix it into the oat mix. Leaving clumps.

Cut the apples on half and use a spoon to remove the core and create a little hollow.

Pop the apples on a baking dish and pack the oat mix into the hollow and across the top of each apple half.

Add a tbsp of water to the dish, cover lightly with foil and bake for 25 mins. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins.

Serve as is or with ice cream/ yoghurt

Enjoy! 🙂 Xx

Recipes

Biscoff Berry Porridge

As it gets colder I am drawn to warm, comforting food and porridge ticks the bill for me!

This combo of biscoff and berries works really well! It comes in at around 350 cals (using water not milk) for a portion so a good hearty brekkie or even a lunch option.

You will need:

50g porridge oats

1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Water (or milk if you prefer to use that for porridge)

Handful of berries (I used blackberries, raspberries and blueberries)

20g Biscoff spread

20g Berry jam (optional – I used the low calorie skinny jam – available here)

Mix the cinnamon with the oats and then prepare your porridge using water (or milk) as you normally would. I often use boiling water from the kettle for speed but you can use a saucepan of course.

Once at a consistency you like transfer to a bowl and add the blackberries (or whatever berries you have), mix them up a little to release the juices.

Then add the other berries and biscoff spread. If using the jam add that too.

Pop in the microwave for 1 min (optional – this just helps to melt the biscoff and release the fruit juices – you could also do all this in a pan on the hob)

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Boost your B Vits

Tuesday Tip: Boost your B vits 🥦🥚🍗

As the nights get darker and the temperatures drop here it’s easy for our energy levels to take a nose dive. Couple this with the stress many will experience with the new lockdown and it’s easy for our health to suffer. Many studies have shown how important B vitamins are in helping to boost and maintain energy levels, and manage stress. All the B vitamins including B1, B3, B6 and B12 are involved to some degree in helping the body release energy from the food we eat and keeping the nervous system functioning. Many are also water soluble and excreted by the body which means you have to consume them regularly to say healthy. So when energy is low and stress levels are high adding some extra B to your diet will help to give you a lift.

Great sources of B vitamins include dark leafy greens, poultry, salmon, eggs, almonds, whole grains, soya beans, fresh fruit etc So grab a handful of greens and whack them in your morning smoothie, or snack on some almonds, or have an omelette for brekkie. Or you could consider taking a good B-complex supplement. This is going to help support you and get you feeling full of beans again! ✨👯

Happy Tuesday! 🤗

xx