Category Archives: Nutrition and exercise nutrition

Is Protein The Secret To Weight Loss Success?

Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They are used to make muscles, organs, tendons and skin. We also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and lots of tiny molecules that make our bodies work. So, we really need protein to live.

What is protein ? 

Proteins are made up of amino acids, like beads on a string. Amino acids link together to form long chains. Our bodies can make some amino acids, but others we must get from diet. These are called the ‘essential’ amino acids.

When we eat food containing proteins they are broken down into amino acids, which are then delivered around your body. Some proteins are broken down faster than others. The slow proteins will provide raised levels of amino acids to our muscles for longer time. A combination of fast and slow proteins may be the most effective for building and keeping muscle.

So how does it help you loose weight?

  

Protein is incredibly important in losing weight. It can boost your metabolic rate and reduce your appetite. There are plenty of studies that show this. But the key to protein diets is protein’s ability to reduce your hunger – it makes you feel fuller than fat or carbs. This means you eat less while still feeling totally satisfied. Bonus.

Protein – 4 great benefits:

1. Effortless energy use. Studies show that protein needs more energy from our bodies to break it down than the other macronutrients.

2. Feel fuller after eating. Protein makes you feel fuller. Eating more protein can even help decrease calorie intake during the day and aid in weight loss.

3. Lower risk of disease. Eating more protein can help protect against diseases like diabetes and obesity.

4. Boost muscle mass. Protein has a positive effect on muscle mass. When people are dieting they can lose muscle if they’re not eating enough protein.

WHATEVER YOU DO do not think of eating more protein as a ‘diet’, it’s a way of life. Being smart about utilizing the power of protein, along with regular exercise, will help you reach your goals. More protein combined with heaps of wonderful vegetables, good fats and less refined carbohydrate is truly a perfect way to fuel your body: for work, play and fitness.
  

If you’re after high protein, without also adding a heap of carbs, meat is the way to go. Combining any source of protein with a bunch of delicious green vegetables is going to make a truly great meal for your body. Great high protein sources:

  1. Grass-fed beef & lamb.
  2. Free range chicken and eggs.
  3. Wild salmon and shellfish.
  4. Natural yogurt and cheese.
  5. Protein supplement.

Wondering about number 5?  Whilst whole foods are ideal we live in the real world. The benefits of protein in your diet are clear, adding a good quality protein supplement (like Juice plus complete) to your diet might be an option at times. Especially those pushing their bodies physically, or needing a little help to stay on track each day in making good food choices.

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8 Lies No One Tells You About Weighing Yourself 

Let’s hear the TRUTH – and bin the scales!

Most women weigh themselves daily–and their whole day is dictated by “the number.”  

I’ll give you a number: ONE [the amount of times you should weigh yourself annually/at the doctors office], or how about TWENTY [the body fat % that separates the ultra-fit from the healthy], or even SIX [the dress size that the average healthy, fit 5’5″ woman wears]. Now these are numbers I am ok with!

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If you’re just starting a weight loss program, the number on the scale can be deceptive, making you feel that you’re not making progress even when you are.

Unfortunately, the hard work of diet and exercise isn’t always reflected on the scale for people loosing weight, especially during the first few weeks.

When you work hard at your workouts and diet, you may expect more than your body can deliver, which leads to disappointment.

Here are my 8 reasons why your weight (in lbs, kg, tons, whatever) really means very little in the grand scheme of health, fitness & fat loss:

1) Muscle.

You have heard this before, and yet, you still don’t like it or want to get on board with it: muscle is more DENSE than fat and takes up LESS SPACE. The more muscle you have on your frame, the HEAVIER your weight will be, but the tighter and SMALLER your PHYSIQUE will be compared to someone who might weigh less but also has less muscle or a higher body fat %. 

2) Water weight.

You can literally GAIN up to 5-7 lbs within the same DAY. It’s simple. When you wake up in the morning, you are relatively dehydrated and in a fasted state, and then you hydrate throughout the day and eat food. Understanding this can help prevent melt-downs for people who weigh themselves multiple times a day.

Also, having a super-salty meal one evening can lead to excessive water retention the next morning. You can literally feel that you are holding water based on fluctuations in rings (tighter or looser) or joint swelling or looking at your midsection if you are fairly lean. This does not mean you are destined to keep that weight on…you rehydrate with 3-4L plain water, get back on your clean nutrition plan, eat lots of fibrous veggies and you can shed that retention within a single day.

 

3) Your weight is not an accurate reflection of how you look in clothes or on stage.

Once again, coming back to that muscle versus fat argument, your body fat % dictates what dress size you wear, though two people can wear the exact same size and look completely different. 

Likewise, two women can weigh the exact same (one at 20% BF and one at 40% BF) and look drastically different. Thus, using your DRESS SIZE and how your clothes fit are both much more applicable indicators of your health, fitness & fat loss than your weight in pounds–far and away.

4) Your weight is NOT always an accurate measure of health.

Ever heard of “SKINNY FAT?” (please see my previous post about this). This is someone who tends to have a higher metabolism, stays thin, but might be flabbier with a high body fat percentage. They often have sarcopenic obesity, meaning they are in the “normal weight” range for their height, but their body fat % classifies them as “obese” while also putting them at a higher risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and even cancer, not to mention the #1 most likely: osteoporosis. It is much healthier to be a little heavier in weight but with a lower body fat % than the opposite.

Unfortunately many insurance companies use weight and/or Body Mass Index (BMI, which is a height-to-weight measurement and essentially holds the same comparably inaccurate value to that of weight alone) to set their rates, which is bad for the people who weigh more because of their muscle mass! Yes, Jessica ennis is clinically obese I cording to the scales! What do you think?

So instead, use your body fat % or waist circumference as a more accurate measure of health.

5) Your ego.

Let’s face it, you get an ego boost when you weigh yourself and get a lower number. Not that there’s really anything wrong with that, EXCEPT how do you respond when the number goes UP? Often for people who are chronic-weighers, “the number” dictates how well their day will go: “Is it up? Is it down? This is going to be a bad/good day!” Having an attachment to your weight number is a double-edged sword. When it’s down, you’re up and when it’s up, you’re down. Having to rely on a quantifiable digit to decide your happiness is not a healthy place to be….

6) Playing with your self-worth.

Many people put way too much stock in their weight, their body fat % and dress size. Yes, the latter two can be a great indicator of health, but none of them should dictate your self-worth. “Your self-worth is inherent. No one can take it from you” and that includes a number on a scale. The problem with using any sort of objective measurement is that many times it can get entangled with our sense of self. You are worthy, special and a success right now, in this moment. 

7) Getting to know your body

You can’t lose weight until you exercise consistently and you can’t do that until you build endurance and strength. Take the first few weeks to experiment, condition your body and figure out what you’re capable of. weighing yourself once a month rather than daily or weekly to give your body time to adapt to what you’re doing. Another option is to shift your focus from the minutiae of weight loss and concentrate on what you actually need to do get there, such as:

-Showing up for your workouts 

– Set goals based on how many workouts you’ll do each week rather than how much weight you’ll lose.

-Learning how to exercise – If you’re a beginner, there’s a learning curve that may take you awhile to overcome. Give yourself space to learn good form, solid technique and effective methods of training before you put too much pressure on yourself to lose weight. 

8) Instead of watching the scale, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle.

Living well almost always leads to weight loss. This is one instance where the scale can lie, especially for new exercisers beginning a strength training program. I often hear this question from readers who mention losing inches while the scale doesn’t move. They wonder, “Why haven’t I seen any results?” If you’re experiencing this, one question to ask yourself is: Why do you believe the scale over your own experience? If you’re buying smaller clothes, you’re losing fat no matter what the scale says. 

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I’m upset about hearing from/of people who believe that the scale is telling them rather than what’s in front of our own eyes, leaving them discouraged and frustrated rather than celebrating their success ! BIN THOSE SCALES !!!!

 

 

Frozen Yoghurt – Not as healthy as you think

Alice Mackintosh, a nutrition consultant at The Food Doctor says: ‘Even if frozen yogurts are fat-free, if they are high in sugar, your body may take the sugar and store it as fat. They don’t offer much nutritional value, and should not be mistaken for a healthy snack.’ The probiotic element is in too low a concentration to have much impact, she adds.

New York-based nutritionist Lana Masor explains: ‘There are two things in this world that make food taste really good — fat and sugar — so if something claims to be fat-free but it tastes delicious, you can bet that it is loaded with sugar.’

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Since the difference in the ingredients of ice cream and frozen yogurt is cream, the main nutritional difference is the fat content. One cup of regular vanilla ice cream contains 275 calories, 5 grams of protein, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of fat and 9 grams of saturated fat. One cup of regular vanilla frozen yogurt contains 221 calories, 5 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat.

Several of the frozen yogurt cups also contain both artificial and natural ingredients — the former is chemically made, while the latter comes from some place in nature (though not necessarily something you’d typically think of as food; for example, some natural berry flavors might come from castoreum, an extract from beaver perineal glands).

So how to make sense of a confusing label? Here’s Nestle’s rule: “If it has more than five ingredients, or you don’t recognize the ingredient as a food, leave it.”
Some of the ingredient lists above top 10-plus items — and that’s for the seemingly simple “tart” flavors, not the oh-so-tempting birthday cake variety. And yup, that’s before loading on the toppings.

The Best Frozen Yogurt Is the One You Make Yourself!!!

HONEY PEACH FROZEN YOGHURT

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into chunks. (about 3 cups of cut fruit and you can use a mix of white and yellow)
¼ cup honey
2 ½ cups Fage Greek yogurt

METHOD

With a blender or a hand blender, puree peaches.
Add, honey and yogurt and puree more.
Pour contents into ice cream maker and turn on for 25 to 30 minutes, until mixture is stiff and bunching into the blades.
Remove all frozen yogurt from ice cream maker and store it in another container.
Freeze for an additional 2 hours. Serve.

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FROZEN STRAWBERRY YOGHURT

INGREDIENTS

140g strawberries
½ x 405g can light condensed milk
500g tub 0%-fat Greek yogurt

METHOD

Roughly chop half the strawberries and whizz the rest in a food processor or with a stick blender to a purée.
In a big bowl, stir the condensed milk into the puréed strawberries then gently stir in the yogurt until well mixed.
Fold through the chopped strawberries.
Scrape the mixture into a loaf tin or container, pop on the lid or wrap well in cling film and freeze overnight, until solid.
Remove from the freezer about 10-15 mins before you want to serve the frozen yogurt.
Can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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Do you really know what the labels organic, natural, low calorie or healthy really means?

Fresh, Natural, Organic – What Do All These Labels Really Mean?

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What Does “Natural” Mean?

In a short answer nothing. The term natural has no FDA guideline behind it. The information taken directly from their site states the following: “The FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”

So while the foods can’t include synthetic ingredients, they can be heavily processed, such as animals raised with antibiotics and growth hormones. High fructose syrup (sometimes referred to as corn sugar) is a natural substance, but producing it from raw corn requires a number of processing steps.

What Does “Organic” Mean?

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According to the USDA there are three categories for the term organic:

100 percent organic –
Foods that don’t contain any non-organic ingredients can be labeled as “100 percent organic”.

Organic
Foods can be labeled simply “organic” if they contain 95 percent organic ingredients, and the other 5 percent does not contain growth hormones.

Made with organic ingredients –
Foods that have at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients can use the term “made with organic ingredients”. That’s right – up to 30 percent of the contents could be non-organic.

The Difference Between Healthy and Low Calorie Foods

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Low calorie foods are often thought to be healthy, and people often assume the opposite is also true – that high-calorie foods are unhealthy. The amount of calories in food is not necessarily linked to how healthy that food is.

What does healthy actually mean?

Something that is healthy will help maintain or improve your physical or mental condition.

A food source that is healthy will have good short-term and long-term effects for your mind and/or body. Conversely, something that is unhealthy will have bad short-term and long-term effects for your mind or body.

Why high calorie foods can be thought to be unhealthy

There is a catch. Everyone is different, with different body types and activity levels requiring a different amount of energy each day, so a healthy amount of calories for one person may be an unhealthy amount of calories to consume for another person.

Being overweight with excessive body fat can have many long term health risks, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Therefore, you must eat a diet with a specific caloric intake that enables you to stay at a healthy weight for your body type. In this case low calorie foods and meals must be eaten in order to be healthy.

If you focus on eating whole foods most of the time, you should end up eating fewer calories without eating a smaller quantity of food. To get the maximum benefit, choose foods with low calorie density to allow yourself to increase food intake whilst reducing caloric intake. Overall, improving your food choices and eating better food for weight loss is a much more sustainable lifestyle choice than simply reducing the quantity of food you are eating.

Do you regularly read the ingredient panel on food products you purchase? Did you know what these terms really meant? http://www.naturalnews.com/”

http://traineatgain.com/difference-healthy-low-calorie-foods/

Berries in cancer therapy experiment

Wild berries native to North America may have a role in boosting cancer therapy, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

IMG_5892.JPG Scientists suggest chokeberries could work in combination with conventional drugs to kill more cancer cells. But the UK research is at an early stage, with experiments carried out only on cancer cells in laboratories. Cancer Research UK says much more work is needed to test the effectiveness of berries, particularly in human trials. Hard to treat Researchers from the University of Southampton and King’s College Hospital, London, tested a berry extract on pancreatic cancer samples. Pancreatic cancer is particularly hard to treat and has an average survival period of just six months after diagnosis. The study found that when the berry extract was used, together with a conventional chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine, more cancer cells died than when the drug was used alone. But the scientists say the chokeberry had no effect on normal body cells tested in this way. They believe compounds known as polyphenols in the berries may reduce the number of harmful cells. And the team previously carried out similar early work on brain cancer cells. Henry Scowcroft, at the charity Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s far too early to say from this small laboratory study whether chemicals extracted from chokeberries have any effect on pancreatic cancer in patients. “And the findings certainly don’t suggest that the berries themselves should be taken alongside conventional chemotherapy. “But innovative approaches are urgently needed to improve treatment for people with pancreatic cancer – a disease for which there has been precious little progress over recent decades.” Chokeberries grow on the eastern side of North America in wetlands and swamp areas. Bashir Lwaleed, a senior lecturer at Southampton University, who carried out the study, said: “We need to do more research to understand how the chemotherapy and berry work together. “At the moment we cannot suggest people go out and buy supplements – we are still at the experimental level.” The study was funded by the Malaysian ministry of higher education and health charity Have a Chance Inc in the USA.

IMG_5891.JPG Do you eat enough berries? Do you find it hard or expensive ? There is an easier way. Experts recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. To be honest, that is not always easy to achieve. Juice PLUS+ bridges the gap by supplementing your diet with the most important active ingredients in fruits and vegetables. Whole fruits and vegetables, fresh from the fields provide the basis. Juice PLUS+ allows you to enjoy the benefits of fruits and vegetables in a very simple way. Of course you should still eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day. That way you will have a balanced diet and remain fit and strong. There is no better opportunity to enjoy a long and healthy life!

IMG_5893.PNG For more info see here http://www.juiceplus.co.uk/+ct53247

Foods to Eat and Avoid to Stay in Shape

I read this article and loved it so much I wanted to share with all of you!

Eating the right foods will help you to stay in shape, build muscle and burn fat. It can be hard to decide what foods fit into your diet plan so we’ve come up with a simple list!

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There are three major food groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Your diet will come from a mixture of these three macronutrients and there are good and bad choices for each group! To help you decide which foods you should eat, we have split up the items in each food group into three categories:

Eat – you can eat these every day

Eat in Moderation – eat these once or twice a week if you like

Avoid – try not to eat these

The bulk of your diet should come from the ‘Eat’ section, with a few items from the ‘Eat in Moderation’ section each week. Try to steer clear of foods labelled ‘Avoid’ – they are labelled that way for a reason and will slow down your progress!

Proteins

With protein, choosing the highest quality sources is of top priority. We especially want to avoid getting our protein from processed foods such as burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and any other fast food or junk food. Whilst the protein in these foods may come from the same place as a lean cut of meat, they also come packed full of fats and unhealthy additives such as preservatives, rusk and batter.

The majority of our protein should come from lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, low fat dairy and whey protein (obviously if you are vegetarian or vegan this may not be possible!). Fattier cuts of red meat and poultry can be eaten occasionally but these tend to be high in saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, which we don’t want to consume too much of (more about this later).

Eat – All fish, chicken/turkey breast meat, eggs, greek yogurt, low fat cheese, lean red meat, whey protein powders, tofu/meat substitutes

Eat in moderation – fatty cuts of red meat, chicken/turkey leg meat, full fat cheese, whole milk

Avoid – processed meats, burgers, hot dogs, anything deep fried or battered, chicken/turkey skin

Carbohydrates

With carbohydrates, our priority is avoiding foods with a high glycemic index as these are more likely to cause us to put on body fat. Carbs with a high glycemic index such as sugar and white bread also tend to be devoid of any nutritional value, which is not very useful to anyone who wants to be healthy!

Try to eat 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day to ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. The other carbs in the ‘Eat’ category all have a low glycemic index but less nutritional value than fruit and veg. This is not really an issue and these carb sources do not have the same disadvantages as sugars and baked goods.

Eat – rice (basmati, brown, long grain), white potato, sweet potato, yams, oats, all vegetables, salad leaves, low sugar fruits (berries, melon, lemon, lime, apples, grapefruit)

Eat in moderation – brown bread, rice (short grain, risotto), rice cakes, brown pasta, sugary fruits (banana, mango, pineapple, orange, cherry, grape, kiwi)

Avoid – sugars, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, fast food (pizza, fries, etc.), sugary drinks (soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, milkshakes), white bread, white pasta, sugary cereals

Fats

Not all fats are equal and some are really good for our health. They are often demonised by mainstream nutritional guidelines, but we must look at fats individually and not bundle them all into one group. We want the majority of our fat intake to come from healthy monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. Foods we should try to avoid are those containing large amounts of saturated fat and omega 6 fatty acids.

Omega 6 fatty acids can promote inflammation and omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation. If these are in balance then all will be well within our bodies, but if we take in too many omega 6 fatty acids this can lead to an increased level of inflammation in the body. We should try and reduce our intake of omega 6 fatty acids because they are contained in so many of the foods we eat, especially vegetable oils and animal products like meat and dairy (also nuts excluding macadamia nuts can be high in omega 6). This makes it very easy to consume a lot more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids.

There is a great deal of debate about whether saturated fats are bad for our health. Since eating a large amount of them is not essential to achieving our goals, it makes sense to limit our intake but not cut them out entirely. The saturated fats in coconut are an exception to this rule as they are primarily made up of medium chain trigycerates (MCTs), which are more easily broken down by the body and can readily be used for energy. The foods in the ‘Eat’ category are packed with good fats and should form the majority of your fat intake.

Eat – avocado, raw macadamia nuts, coconut, olive oil, oily fish, olives

Eat in moderation – all other nuts, nut butters, butter, dark chocolate

Avoid – vegetable oil, sunflower oil, vegetable spreads, mayonnaise, anything deep fried.

Check out http://traineatgain.com/ for more brilliant articles like this on fitness, diet and health.

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I love pasta. Can I eat it and still lose weight?

Yes! Of course you can eat pasta and lose weight, provided of course, you keep your portion size in check and it’s not stuffed with meat or smothered with cheese or Alfredo sauce.

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By itself, pasta is a nutritious food. It contains almost no fat, cholesterol and sodium and is an excellent source of low glycemic carbohydrates. Foods with a low glycemic index are broken down slowly in the body and release their carbohydrate (glucose) gradually into the bloodstream. As a result, they can help you feel full longer after eating.
https://chloewellbeing.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/explanation-of-good-and-bad-carbs/

Research shows that most people lose the same amount of weight whether they follow a low-carb, lowfat or Mediterranean diet. That’s because calories matter most: Eat too many calories (from bread, pasta or anything else) and you’ll gain weight; eat less than you burn and you’ll lose weight.
The catch: Starchy carbs are high in calories, so you have to keep serving sizes small—but many people find it all too easy to go overboard on pasta, potatoes, rice and even the better-for-you whole grains like whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
So, how much pasta can you eat if you’re trying to lose weight?
Click here to follow the correct guidelines-
https://chloewellbeing.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/why-youre-not-loosing-weight/

Ideally, top your pasta with tomato sauce which is low in calories and fat and a good source of vitamins A and C. Tomato sauce is also an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant linked with protection from certain cancers. If you’re using a store-bought pasta sauce, look for a product with no more than 70 calories, 1 gram saturated fat and 350 milligrams of sodium per one-half cup serving.

To help you feel satisfied, be sure to include protein in your pasta sauce – lean ground turkey, chicken breast, shrimp, white kidney beans, and so on. Bulk up your sauce by adding plenty of vegetables,such as chopped zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, rapini and baby spinach.

Carbohydrates in Your Diet

When deciding what carbohydrates to eat, don’t worry about whether or not they are classified as simple or complex carbohydrates. Instead, try to ensure that you are getting your carbohydrates from minimally processed vegetable, fruit, bean, and whole grain sources. Carbohydrates from these sources are ideal because they have high vitamin, mineral, phytonutrient, and fiber contents, so they are not only providing your necessary caloric energy but they are also delivering a significant amount of additional healthy nutrients that are lost in the more refined and processed carbohydrates (i.e. in carbohydrate sources like white flour, table sugar, white rice, fruit juices, sodas, cookies, cakes, jams, etc…).

Generally speaking, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains are digested slower, which allows you to feel satiated for a longer period of time and reduces spikes in blood glucose levels, which are associated with increased risk for diabetes and heart and weight problems. Some examples of how to choose your carbohydrates are as follows:

-Try to increase the relative proportions of fruits and vegetables in your diet
-When eating bread choose whole wheat bread rather than white bread
-When eating pasta choose whole wheat pasta rather than regular pasta
-When eating rice choose brown rice rather than white rice
-At breakfast try eating oatmeal, preferably steel-cut oats, or perhaps quinoa, rather than your normal breakfast cereal.

Here are some yummy low-carb alternative recipes

Delicious Zucchini Lasagna

http://theturquoisehome.com/2013/10/delicious-zucchini-lasagna/

Mac-and-Cheese-Style Cauliflower
Get all the creamy, cheesy goodness of mac and cheese—without the high starch content of macaroni.

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/mac-and-cheese-style-cauliflower/

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Why you’re not loosing weight

It sounds so simple: Don’t eat or drink too much. But looks can be deceiving. It’s easy to eat or drink more than you planned to.

A 2004 study of 329 overweight people found that 38% of those who practiced portion control for two years lost 5% or more of body weight, compared with 33% of participants who did not (they gained 5% or more of body weight).

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How to Measure Portion Sizes of Pasta, Rice and Couscous

Most of us are guilty of cooking too much when it comes to starches. And when we do try to cook less, it somehow ends up not being enough. It’s very hard to get it just right, so how much, in dry weight, should be sufficient per person? Of course it all depends on whether the pasta, rice or couscous is meant to be for a first course or a main course, how hungry you and your family or guests are, and whether or not you want leftovers. But let’s take a look at the average portion sizes used worldwide.

Rice
When it comes to rice the norm seems to be about ½ cup (90g) per person, although some people prefer to use a bit less – about 1/3 cup (60g) per person. And remember we are talking about uncooked rice here, which means that when it’s cooked it’s usually about a cup per person, as rice doubles in size. For a main meal this is definitely enough!

Pasta
As a general guide, you should allow 75g dried pasta, 115g-150g fresh pasta or 175g-200g filled pasta (such as ravioli) per person. The same rule applies to all types of pasta – whether it’s spaghetti, penne, rigatoni or elbows. 70-80 grams of dry pasta turns into a satisfyingly deep-dish plateful. A mound is too much, because it will leave no space for the rest of the meal. When it comes to spaghetti a measuring stick is available to buy in most homeware shops, or you could order one online. This measuring tool has different sized holes from one upwards, and you put in whatever amount passes through the hole to match the amount of servings.

Couscous
Couscous is perhaps less popular than rice and pasta, but is slowly but surely becoming more widely used. A general rule is that 100g couscous per person is sufficient. But of course this also depends on what you are serving it with. 1 cup dry couscous makes 2 – 2 ½ cups cooked couscous. As a side dish, plan on ½ to ¾ cup cooked couscous per person.

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SOURCE

http://www.justeasyrecipes.co.za/2009/08/24/how-to-measure-portion-sizes-of-pasta-rice-and-couscous/

Snickers-style protein shake

I just wanted to share this really yummy recipe I had with my protein shake the other day! It tasted like a snickers bar!

Ingredients 

Organic meridian almond butter – http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/index.asp?selection=Our%20products

Frozen and fresh banana

Juice plus chocolate complete – http://www.juiceplus.co.uk/+ct53247

It’s so easy and yummy ! And has so much nutrition in it and it is easy to have on the go and fills me up for hours….just what a busy London model needs!
Not only that this brand is gluten and wheat free, perfect for me (and it’s vegan!).

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Secrets to the healthy grain Polenta- low fat and versatile !

Polenta

An Italian accompaniment dish made from ground maize, polenta makes a great change from serving pasta and potatoes.

There are three different types of polenta sold in supermarkets and delis. Traditional polenta takes around 40 minutes to cook, and it does need to be stirred while it’s on the stove.
Supermarkets sell instant polenta, which can be brought to the table, piping hot, in less than 10 minutes. 
If all this seems too much like hard work, check out the ready-to-use pre-cooked variety. It’s sold in good delis as a slab or a roll.

My ingredients

Polenta 50g
250ml water
Prawns 60g
Light chive Philadelphia 30g
Brocolli
Tomatoes
Peas
Carrots

HOW TO PREPARE 
Because traditional polenta takes longer to cook, it’s an idea to get hold of a sturdy saucepan, which isn’t likely to scorch.
As a rough guide, allow 50g polenta per person and about 250ml water for cooking.
Add the polenta in a thin steady stream into a saucepan of boiling water. Don’t forget to stir it constantly, or it might go lumpy on you.
When cooked, polenta has a smooth, creamy texture and comes away from the sides of the pan.

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If you don’t like my serving suggestion why not try these yummy alternatives ?

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

Serve it softly set, straight from the pan, with a hearty casserole or rich sauce.
You can also leave it to cool on a tray before cutting into fingers and deep frying.

Ring the changes – try using polenta instead of flour for a nutty, slightly crunchy flavour in cakes and biscuits.

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Creamy Tomato Polenta

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Mediterranean vegetable stack with chargrilled polenta and sauce vierge

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mediterraneanvegetab_86234

Crispy polenta cake

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/crispypolentacake_84562

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Crispy salmon, polenta chips and grilled asparagus

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/crispy_salmon_polenta_67895