A lot of my clients discuss with me the need within either their job or social choices to eat out a lot. Menu's filled with tempting dishes often lead to us over eating and taking in more calories than we need.
Listed below are my tips to avoid piling on the pounds
1- Plan workouts to allow for additional calorie intake
If you know you are going to be eating out make sure you supplement your week with additional workouts so that you can plan for the extra calories.
2- Choose healthier options with dressing/ sauces on the side
Take a side salad instead of fries, or jacket potato instead of deep fried foods. A lot of eating out is about will power when confronted with so many choices.
3- Pick starters instead of main course
Eat for how hungry you are and not just 3 courses because you are in a restaurant. Choose what you want to eat that fits in to your calories and not necessarily whats in an offer. 2 dishes for £10 in a very small, usually process cooked menu may be less pounds out the wallet, but will make you add pounds on your weight.
4- Pre scan the menu before you arrive so you know what you are going to pick
Avoid temptation by having a good look over the menu before arriving.
None says eating out is bad, but just control your portion sizes and eating out can remain a very normal part of your social life without leading to weight gain.
The festive period is a time when we like to catch up with friends and family and add more into our social calendars.... and why shouldn't we enjoy the the odd extra mince pie or glass of mulled wine.
With calorie balance being tipped in favour of consuming more than burning it's important that we try and make time to increase our activity levels to keep our weight at a constant if we do not want the pounds to start piling on.
The easiest way to do this is to start working on it early. In the coming weeks leading up to Christmas establish some good habits both nutritionally and with exercise.
Another good tip is to not buy in all the Christmas food and drink extras too early so you are tempted to start dipping in to them. As soon as that Roses tin is open its hard to resist.
Factor into your week when you are going to exercise and stick to it. Keep a diary of your sessions to help you keep track of your workouts. Walk or cycle to work instead of driving. Every little help!
Lastly when you go out know that you have earned it in the gym or during your workout so that you can enjoy yourself and let your hair down!
In my opinion I hear too many people say they are on diets. They want the quick fix to taking weight off, often with very little knowledge about dangerous side effects and the longer term to coming off the diet.
Losing weight is easy on a diet, but keeping it off when you have made so many drastic changes can be where people come unstuck. Any Diet programme where you are bound by time scale suggests you are going to fall back into old habits once the programme is finished. A 10 Day juice cleanse, guaranteed 10Lb weight loss. You may well lose that but as soon as you start eating solid food again you will put the weight straight back on.
You body works on a fight or flight mechanism. If you don't feed yourself you break down all available energy in terms of carbs, fats and proteins to try and maintain efficient calories to help you function. Should you deplete your body of a certain food group such as carbs, when you reintroduce them your body saturates itself with them and holds on to them, storing them as fats as it does not know when you might eat them again.
For me I have always been an advocate of having healthy balanced nutrition. Not depriving yourself of any food group, rather eating them in moderation. Feeding yourself for the activity you have in the day. Calorie balance is the key to losing weight, maintaining weight or gaining weight.
Try these simple hacks to get a flatter stomach in time for summer!!
Drink 6-8 cups of water daily
Eat clean. Eat food high in fibre and protein also don't forget your fruit and veggies. Almond, beans, grapefruits, eggs, tomatoes, soy, apples, berries and avocados are beneficial when it comes to a flat belly.
Drink peppermint, chamomile and green tea.
Do cardio exercises for 30 minutes 5 times a week.
Do tummy workouts. Crunches, planks, flutter kicks, mountain climbers and leg pull-ins.
DON'T STARVE YOURSELF!!!
10 simple tips to avoid taking in additional, un-needed calories
1) Substitute fizzy drinks for sugar free cordials
2) Change white starchy rice for couscous
3) Control your portion size by filling a side plate instead of a dinner plate
4) Drink more water to make you less hungry
5) Eat at the table, without the TV on. Actually enjoy what your eating!!
6) Don't eat after 7pm- allow your body chance to digest food before you go to bed
7) Allow 12 hours meal free ( including the time you are asleep)
8) Workout in the mornings to increase metabolism for the rest of the day
9) Take Green tea in the mornings- a natural metabolism booster
10) Live without the take away and make home made treats!!!
We all fancy a cool down especially in this weather but how about some greek yoghurt and frozen fruit to cool us down as a healthy alternative....the way forward for those summer sweet tooth cravings!! Just the right mix of crisp, creamy and barely sweet this frozen treat is exactly what we want to snack on all summer long! Make it with any nuts and fruit....we have used pistachios and raspberries for this recipe. This can be made 2 months ahead and frozen in an airtight container - perfect!!
2 cups unsweetened greek yoghurt
3 tablespoons honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, halved or other fruits
1/3 cup chopped unsalted pistachios or other nuts
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Using a rubber spatula, mix yoghurt, honey, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour into the centre of the prepared sheet and spread to 1/4" thick. Top with raspberries and the pistachios.
Freeze until completely firm approximately 4 hours.
Everybody needs a certain amount of carbs but here are a few ideas on how you can replace those starchy carbs - especially if you struggle to get your 5 a day!
CAULIFLOWER - swap rice and save just under 200 calories in the process! Try cauliflower rice or couscous as an alternative to rice...all you need to do it blitz a head of florets in the food processor or grate it and put in a heatproof bowl covered for 3 mins or stir fry with a dash of water! You can also cook this and serve with poached egg instead of bread - think about all those extra vitamins you would be having!
MUSHROOMS - grill 2 large flat mushrooms until cooked through and use instead of a burger bun or instead of toast with eggs or beans on top! This alone compared to a burger bun can save you up to 250 calories!
LETTUCE LEAVES - you can replace flour tortillas with lettuce leaves such as romaine, cos or iceberg..whether it be for a lunch wrap or to hold cooked mince such as fajita this will save just under 150 calories and increases vitamin c too!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH - this is a great alternative to potato wedges. You can leave the skin on and cut into desired thickness and roast with your favourite herbs or spices, this can also be used in place of spaghetti too! Calories saved is around 150 and a massive boost of Vitamins A, C and E!
AUBERGINE - this is a brilliant replacement for pasta sheets for a low carb lasagne. Slice 2 large aubergines lengthways and grill the slices for a couple of mins on each side until lightly cooked and use in place of sheets - around 100 calories saved and a boost in fibre and potassium!
COURGETTES - Courgetti is very popular now and can be purchased already spiralled in the supermarkets. It just needs frying for a couple of minutes and is a great alternative to spaghetti to save in excess of 200 calories!
CARROTS - these can be used instead of mashed potatoes, spiralised like the butternut squash and courgettes in place of spaghetti or noodles and also roasted and cut up like chips. This is a great boost of fibre and vitamin A so a very quick and cheap alternative to try.
PEPPERS - this can be made into sandwiches by using the shell of the pepper in place of the bread you would have used. You can fill each half with reduced fat cheese, eggs, lean meats, tuna...anything you would pop in your usual sarnie and a saving of around 150 calories so make sure this is one of your 5 a day!
CUCUMBER - Slices of cucumber make a fantastic alternative to crackers , oatcakes and rice cakes. Top with cottage cheese or low fat spread and reduced fat hummus. Four crackers in place of 1/4 cucumber would boost your vitamin A and Folate as well as saving you in excess of 100 calories!!
Let's all adopt at least one of these if not more and make sure we get our 5 a day without too much effort!
Easter treats can be healthier....honest!
We are still in the Easter holidays and all love a traditional hot cross bun but did you know that the traditional recipe contains over 5tsp of sugar per bun? We have managed to reduce this to 1/2tsp of fructose-free sweetener per serving so you can enjoy the rest of the holidays without a massive sugar high!!!
Prep - 1hr and 35mins
Cooking - 20mins
Total - 1 hour and 55 mins
1 tablespoon dried instant yeast.
1 teaspoon rice malt syrup.
4 3/4 cups white spelt flour.
1 1/4 cup full-fat milk, lukewarm (not hot, otherwise it will kill the yeast).
1 teaspoon sea salt.
1 tablespoon stevia granules.
60 g butter, at room temperature.
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground.
1 teaspoon allspice.
1 egg, lightly beaten.
50 g 85-90% dark chocolate, chopped finely.
2 teaspoons rice malt syrup.
1 tablespoon boiling water.
1. Add yeast, 1 tablespoon spelt flour, warm milk and 1 teaspoon of rice malt syrup into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Cover your bowl and allow to stand in a warm place for 15 minutes until mixture is frothy.
2. Meanwhile, sift 4 cups of spelt flour, salt, stevia and spices into a large bowl and toss to combine. Add in the butter and rub into flour mixture with your fingers until combined.
3. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, add into the flour mix with the whisked egg. Stir to combine. Add in the chocolate pieces then fold through. Cover the bowl again and allow to stand in a warm place for 40 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in size.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and lightly grease a 18cm x 30cm lamington tin.
5. Punch dough down, turn onto a floured surface, and knead well until dough is smooth and elastic. Cut into 3 equal pieces then cut each piece into 5. Knead each into round shape.
6. Place buns into the prepared tin in rows. Don’t worry if they don’t touch, they will expand in the oven. Cover and again allow to stand for 10-15 minutes in a warm place or until the buns have expanded.
7. Meanwhile, to make the crosses, sift ½ cup of spelt flour into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of water, mix to form a paste. You may need to add a touch more water to make the mixture a thick, but still fluid consistency. Fill into a small ziplock bag and then cut a hole across the corner. Use this to pipe crosses onto the top of each bun.
8. Place buns into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, combine the rice malt syrup with boiling water. Once hot cross buns have cooked, remove from the oven and immediately brush with glaze. Serve buns warm with a moderate slather of butter.
Because these Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns don't contain any preservatives or sugar, they won't last as long as supermarket-purchased ones. We suggest eating these fresh out of the oven or within the next few days. After that, we recommend freezing them, then eating them toasted with a moderate slather of butter.
Mother's Day - or Mothering Sunday - is on Sunday, March 26. The day is always on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday and usually in the second half of March or early April.
The day is a celebration of mothers and the maternal bond and traditionally children give flowers, presents and cards to their mothers, and other maternal figures such as grandmothers, stepmothers and mothers-in-law.
Let's make them feel special.....
Sun-Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Basil Frittata
This frittata fits perfectly in a brunch menu, and its gourmet flavours of sun-dried tomato, goat cheese, and basil will leave your mom thinking you worked on it all morning in the kitchen!!
Lucky for you, it only takes 15 minutes! With 9 grams of filling protein—20% of the your daily recommended intake of protein—you won’t be hungry right after. This is a great addition to any buffet too.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup minced onion
4 large eggs
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp pepper
3 oz sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
2oz goats cheese
2 oz basil chiffonade - please see recipe
1) Preheat the oven. Using a well seasoned 10inch iron skillet or a nonstick skillet with a heatproof handle, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion until translucent, approx 3 mins.
2) Whisk together the eggs and egg whites and season with the pepper. Add the mixture to the pan over the onions patting down any lumps with a wooden spoon. Scatter the sun-dried tomatoes over the pan surface.
3) Add the goats cheese to the dish and put in the oven for 2 mins until the frittata rises slightly and becomes light and settled. Remove and top with the basil chiffonade (stack basil, then roll slice into feathery 1/4inch peaces)
4) Plate and serve. To remove the frittata from the skillet place a large plate over the top of the pan, invert the frittata onto the plate and cut into wedges.
Serve with a nice fresh green salad.
February is a time when pancakes are made even more popular due to the celebration in many Countries of Shove Tuesday. February or not, pancakes are always a popular easy dessert so below we have given a few recipes to make them healthier...obviously toppings are key too so consider that when layering your pancake! Fruit such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries are a good option. Where fruit is used in making pancakes they are often sweet enough and additional chocolate or sugar is not needed!
Flour free pancakes
1 ripe banana
A pinch of baking powder and cinnamon
Coconut oil for frying - small amount
The below method can be mixed in a blender if easier.
Mash the banana with a fork really well so it is as lump free as you can make it.
Crack open the 2 eggs and mix it in. Add a pinch of baking powder and a few dashes of cinnamon.
*If you do want to add protein powder a small scoop can be added prior to final mixing.
When the pan is nice and hot with the oil add the mixture and cook on both sides.
125g gluten free plain flour
butter for frying
Pour the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle and egg a quarter of the milk.
Once you have a smooth mixture add the rest of the milk to combine.
Leave to rest for 20mins if possible.
Heat a small non stick frying pan with a small knob of butter.
When the butter starts to foam add the mixture and then when cooked on one side turn over and cook until golden brown on the other side.