Tag Archives: Blog

NUT BUTTER ENERGY BALLS 

You know those days when you’re exhausted and you just can’t find the energy to function?We all have them! Rather than reaching for a coffee, energy drink or sugary processed snack why not grab some of these peanut butter energy balls?
They are sweetened with natural agave nectar and dates and stuffed full of nuts and seeds. The natural sugar in the dates gives you the initial wake-me-up and the complex carbs in the oatmeal and the protein in the peanut butter and other nuts helps keep your blood sugars stable for longer and keep you full.

 

HOW TO ADAPT THIS RECIPE TO SUIT YOU:

Peanut butter is a great energy-dense snack, and thanks to its sticky texture you can roll it in with other yummy ingredients as well. This recipe contains dates, rolled oats, pecans, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips (yum!)  – but you can put whatever you want in it!

Use whatever nuts or seeds that you have and make sure to chop them small. Try toasting the nuts and seeds so they are more flavourful. You can use any kind of nut butter you have but natural, organic butter (like Almond or cashew – Holland & Barrett) is best.

You can leave out the coconut, or add more. Or what about swapping the agave nectar for honey? You could even add more chocolate chips! Or less?! Or use chocolate shavings? Or what bout toasted almonds instead of pecans?


PREP TIME – 10 mins, TOTAL TIME- 10 mins, SERVINGS: 24

INGREDIENTS

½ cup natural peanut butter

8 dates, pits removed

2 tbsps agave nectar

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup toasted, chopped pecans

¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds

¼ cup unsweetened coconut

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

1 tbsp chia seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the nut butter, dates and agave nectar into a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Either add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process again, or you can scoop out the nut butter and dates into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix everything by hand.
  3. Roll into 24 balls.

And Enjoy! They will keep for at least a week in the fridge or frozen for much longer.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 116; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 3g

Melt In Your Mouth Morning Muffins

Kimberleys Own Granola muffins with cranberries and blueberries

Make Ahead: The muffins can be made a day in advance and kept (covered) at room temperature or frozen individually to preserve freshness (for up to 2 weeks), then defrosted in their wrappings. Reheat, loosely wrapped in aluminum foil, in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.

SERVINGS: 6

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup less 1/2 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran (also called miller’s bran; do not use bran cereal)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugarffd07a32238caf39d792f5bae740461a
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoonslow-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or bluerberries
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the wells of a standard-size 12-well muffin pan with cooking oil spray.
  2. Whisk together the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bran, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate mixing bowl, then whisk in the buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract. Blend in the oil, mixing well.
  4. Thoroughly stir in the mashed bananas.
  5. Quickly pour the banana mixture over the flour mixture, scatter over the cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and stir to form a thick batter. Let it stand, uncovered, for 2 minutes; this allows for the flours to be absorbed into the batter and steadies the rise of the muffins during baking. Divide the batter equally among the muffin pan wells, mounding the portions slightly.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins have risen and set and have browned. A wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin will withdraw clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Cool the muffins in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn them out and cool completely (right side up) on the rack.muffins_9
Nutritional Facts

Calories per muffin (using low-fat buttermilk and sour cream): 220

Total Fat: 8g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Total Carbohydrates: 32g

Sugar: 16g

Protein: 6g

 

Email me your pictures of your muffins chloehthomas@gmail.com or comment your feedback below – and don’t forget to hit the like button if you liked the recipe!

Healthy Tuna & Cheese ‘Noodle’ Bake


✅Under 200 calories,
✅low fat
✅low in carbohydrates 
✅low sugar
✅high protein

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pouch of Slim Noodles – see here
  • 1 Tin of Tuna in spring water
  • 25g low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 200g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Total 0% yogurt
  • 0.5 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 0.5 tsp Salt & Pepper to season
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 40g sweetcorn
  • 1/2 a broccoli
  • Spinach

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Brown the onions in a pan with some water and Fry Light Oil
  2. Boil broccoli and spinach
  3. Drain tuna
  4. Drain broccoli and spinach when cooked
  5. Follow noodle instructions
  6. Mix the herbs, onions,  total 0% and seasoning into the tinned tomatoes
  7. Pour this into a large mixing bowl and mix with the tuna, sweetcorn, veg and noodles
  8. Pour this into a china pasta dish and sprinkle the grated cheese on top
  9. Bake for half an hour , grill for the last 5 mins

Please tweet @_ChloeThomas or email me – chloehthomas@gmail.com your pictures! and comment below any questions.

Share with your friends and family!

Stop Dieting Today! Why Giving Up on Diets Is NOT Giving Up On Yourself

Years of dieting and listening to someone else’s voice – ie the media– means we naturally believe someone else always knows better. If we listen we will get the body they tell us we want. The picture of that (airbrushed) model in the magazine/diet book/poster – if we follow this diet we will look like that.

We loose touch with our own voice, what WE want to eat, WHEN we are actually hungry and actually full and satisfied. You eat unpalatable food because it will give you a body that the media tells you is ‘correct/right’ – slender and trim.

When you give up dieting you are taking back YOUR VOICE. 

Scary thought isnt it?!

When breaking free from a diet it can be overwhelming with the amount of food you are now ‘allowed’ to eat. You now have to TRUST the wisdom of your body.

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Here are some helpful tips when learning to listen to you again…

– Make sure you eat when you are hungry! ….sounds obvious right?….but honeslty think about when you eat – is it becuase ts a meal time so you are expected to eat

– You are upset so you have a treat – something to eat.

– You are celebreating – so have something to eat

– You are happy – so have something to eat

– You are in love and so you share – which leads to eating

– You are frusted adn need confort – so you eat

The list goes on….

I know, its hard at first, you have been following the Rules for years, the Adive in the media of ‘legal foods‘ but give it a go! It is NICE !!

Another thing I would add is – make sure you STOP when you are full. For example – you are eating your delicious chocolate bar/cake/ice cream/ pizza etc and you feel full (satisfied and not uncomfortably full) – but ‘it tastes sooo good’! you want to keep eating the cake becuase its delicious- but listen to your stomach and body – you ARE full. What i would adivse here is put away your food (in the fridge or tupperware, not in the bin)  and tell yourself ‘i can eat this whenver i like – BUT when i am hungry again’. This means you won’t over-eat and then feel guilty and can heave a healthy relationship with food again.

Feel free to email me – chloehthomas@gmail.com –  for more advice and guidance and please comment below your feedback on this post.

Is a Calorie REALLY Just a Calorie?

A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy. It’s equivalent to 4.184 absolute Joules.

We’ve all heard that “a calorie is a calorie,” and while there’s truth in this statement, it can lead us astray in our quest to build a great body.

You see, when we’re just talking about mere weight loss or gain, it doesn’t matter where these calories come from. So in this way, a calorie is a calorie. When it comes to PURE weight loss (not factoring in muscle vs. fat, body composition, overall health, physical performance, or energy levels), eating fewer calories than you burn every day will be the main part of the equation. Eat less than you burn: lose weight.

HOWEVER, we’re FAR more concerned with how you look, how you feel, if you are healthy, if you are getting stronger, if your doctor gives you a clean bill of health, and if you live a long life full of activity, exercise, sleeping well etc. You want to do everything in your power to avoid things like heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes – diseases that end your life too early.

When we’re talking about improving body composition (losing just body fat and not muscle, or maximizing muscle growth while minimizing fat storage), you must not only follow the principles of energy balance, but you must do so with a proper balance of macronutrients.


A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, and fat. How you balance your intake of these macronutrients has profound effects on how your body responds to the foods you eat. For example, protein is the most important macronutrient to get right when you want to optimize your body composition. The research is clear.

A high-protein diet…

-Is vital for preserving lean mass when dieting for fat loss.

-Is vital for maximizing muscle growth when dieting for muscle gain.

-Is effective for reducing body fat levels, including abdominal fat in particular.

-Increases satiety, helping you avoid hunger pangs and cravings.

-A high-protein diet is even more important if you’re exercising regularly, as this further increases your body’s demand for amino acids.

Despite what you’ve been told, carbohydrates aren’t the enemy. They don’t make you fat or unhealthy. In fact, there are big benefits to keeping carbohydrate intake as high as possible, even when dieting for fat loss, including…

-Better workout performance.

-Improved retention of lean mass.

-Better thyroid function.

-More satiety.

-Better mood.

Trust me–low-carb dieting is NOT GOOD and is completely unnecessary for the vast majority of people looking to lose weight, and is downright detrimental to those trying to put on size.

What does the perfect ratio look like?

In my opinion, the amount of calories consumed and the ratio of what the macronutrients should differ from person to person depending upon their body, goals, and routine. A proper meal plan not only provides the proper amount of calories but breaks them down into the optimal amounts of macronutrients as well.

  

I’d love to hear your thoughts:

Have you had success with counting calories or calculating macros, or did it make you go crazy?
Which methods have you messed around with, and what are your goals? Are you trying to lose a few pounds, lose a lot of weight, get to a minimal body fat percentage, compete in an elite sport, etc.

Do you use any apps on your phone to record claories alone or do you include macronutrients? -Has this article made you reconsider? 

I’d love to hear from you – chloehthomas@gmail.com, or message me on facebook- click here

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO HANDLE CRAVINGS

1. Plan for a snack attack

Many of us use low blood sugar as an excuse for a mid-afternoon chocolate snack. There are plenty of alternative foods that will boost your blood sugar and energy levels. A peanut butter sandwich or a banana is much better, as it increases blood sugar gradually, rather than the quick fix hit of chocolate. Learn to anticipate your weak moments and have healthy alternatives, such as nuts or fruit.

You could even try getting your chocolate fix with a juice plus pancake or ice cream or whip some into greek yoghurt (total 0%). 

What is GI and GL?

Glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) provide information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin.

The lower a food’s GI or GL, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.
GI measures the effect of your food on blood glucose levels. It’s a rank list index for foods based on how quickly your blood sugar levels will increase after ingestion.

The GL is different as it is based on the active carbohydrate content of a normal serving of food, or around 100 grammes. So in other words, the GL tells you how much carbohydrate is in a standard serving size of food.

2. Take up exercise

It may not be as immediately satisfying as munching on a bar of chocolate, but exercise creates serotonin, a neurotransmitter which promotes feelings of happiness.

It also releases endorphins in the same way that a bar of chocolate will, only exercise is far better for you in the long run.

After a good workout, you won’t have as much need for sugar, and the same goes for sex!

3. Blood glucose levels

A low glycaemic load (GL) diet will help keep your blood sugar level balanced. The glycaemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels. Juice Plus shakes are Low GI. 

Low GL carbohydrates produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

Eating quality lean proteins and the right fats with low GL carbohydrates, such as wholemeal bread, will make you feel full and you won’t be as likely to crave a sugar rush.

5 Ways to Combat a Slowing Metabolism

1. Aim to strength train at least 2-3 times per week
(This is the most important tip!). 

Whether you’re a gal or guy, prioritize weight lifting in your exercise plan. Adding muscle mass increases your BMR, allowing you to burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. If you’re a newbie to strength training, send me an email chloehthomas@gmail.com and I’ll help you out.

2. Ramp up the intensity of your aerobic exercise (think running, swimming, biking faster). 

Exercising at higher intensities allows you to reap the benefits of “after burn,” a phenomena where you burn extra calories post-exercise. To benefit from this effect, you should run, jump, dance, swim, bike, etc. at a pace where it’s difficult to talk. If you can push a little harder, then do so.

3. Eat enough protein from high-quality sources. 

High-quality protein sources supply amino acids to your muscles post-exercise so that they can repair and grow. To learn more about what foods contain high levels of protein check out my blog post- List of High Protein Foods & their RDA

4. Stay well hydrated

 Water is important because all of the chemical reactions in your body requires water—including the ones that burn calories. 

5. Don’t starve yourself in order to lose weight. 

You need to consume a moderate amount of calories in order to lose weight. If you eat a significantly low amount of calories, you’ll lose weight rapidly but much of it will be from water and muscle loss. Plus, you’ll likely lose hard-earned muscle mass that’s responsible for maintaining a higher BMR.

 


Is Booze Making You Fat? The Truth About Alcohol & Calories


We don’t burn extra calories to metabolize alcohol – not like we do from digesting carbs, fat and protein. This phenomenon, called the “thermic effect of food”, refers to the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Because alcohol is so easy to absorb, it enters our bloodstream without burning any extra calories.

Your liver does the dirty work because alcohol is seen as a toxin, the liver prioritizes metabolizing alcohol first which means you won’t be burning calories from other sources while that happens. The liver is only able to clear alcohol at a rate of around one ounce liquor per hour, which is why consuming more than this will leave you feeling tipsy.

Alcohol makes your blood sugar drop, making you want to reach for carbs. The liver helps keep our blood sugar steady, but a liver busy at work metabolizing alcohol can’t do this effectively, causing your blood sugar drops and stays low until the alcohol is metabolised. This explains why you crave carbs and wake up the next day with a headache.

Alcohol calories that aren’t burned will be stored as fat. This is true for all extra calories eaten no matter the source, but what makes alcohol calories worse is that they are stored in your liver first. It takes time for the liver to ship out the alcohol-induced fat for proper storage in your fat cells. If the liver doesn’t do this fast enough (or if you drink too much, too often) the fat stays stuck in your liver and around your abdomen giving you what we refer to jovially as a “beer belly.”

This of course doesn’t mean you need to completely dodge all social sips. Here are some tips to help prevent you from gaining too much of your night out:

1. Pour yourself half as much. This will help you limit yourself to one or two drinks per party.

2. Avoid higher calorie mixed drinks like eggnog, margaritas, mudslides, or other sugary mixed drinks–or have one and consider it dessert.

3. Alternate between having alcohol and water to stay well hydrated.

4. Sip slowly and take the time of enjoy your alcoholic beverage.

5. Keep your alcohol budget at or below 200 calories. 

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Hopefully this will make you think twice when you go out this weekend!

Another way to look at the effect alcohol has on weight loss is to compare the equivalent time you would need to spend doing fitness training to burn these calories off! We’ll assume someone has an average fitness level and is of average weight.

Training time required to burn off calories from alcohol:

Alcoholic drink

Walking

Swimming

Running

Cycling

Beer (355ml)

30 mins

17 mins

12 mins

13 mins

Light beer (355ml)

20 mins

11 mins

8 mins

9 mins

Low carb beer (355ml)

23 mins

13 mins

9 mins

10 mins

White wine sweet (200ml glass)

40 mins

23 mins

16 mins

18 mins

White wine dry (200ml glass)

29 mins

16 mins

12 mins

13 mins

Red wine (200ml glass)

28 mins

16 mins

11 mins

12 mins

Spirits (on ice / neat)

13 mins

7 mins

5 mins

6 mins

Water

0 mins

0 mins

0 mins

0 mins