Tag Archives: Cook

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

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!

Never Eat Airplane Food Again – Top Tips For Eating Healthy When Travelling

Why do millions of people think they have to eat airport and airplane food because it’s the only thing available?

This is why i feel compelled to share and help you as you have a choice. YOU are in control of everything you put in your mouth and your body is not a rubbish bins for the industrial and processed foods. Airplane food is often heavily processed with tons of controversial additives and preservatives. When you’re flying, it’s stressful. Your body utilizes more nutrients, so it’s important to nourish yourself well and plan.

Bring food with you to the airport & on airplanes.

I’m happy to say that I haven’t had to eat airport and airplane food in a years – apart from fruit! It’s easy to do, but it does take a bit of prep time and you have to make sure that what you bring won’t get confiscated by the TSA at the security checkpoint.

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TSA lets you bring food through security.

In the UK, USA and in most countries, the transit authorities allows you to bring food through the security screening and onboard. Here are some items that work well and don’t get confiscated:

  • Homemade sandwiches wrapped in parchment paper stored in a quart-sized plastic bag. Keep in mind that all food that you carry on will need to go through the x-ray machine at the checkpoint. So, never use any foil. They will want to search your bag and delay your travels.
  • Dips and sauces, such as hummus, salsa and almond butter, as long as it is in a small Tupperware/container,  and put into a small ziploc plastic bag.
  • Fresh fruits and veggies, such as apples, bananas, carrot sticks, celery sticks and avocados. Just wash them at home or in your hotel room before you put them in your bag. If you cut or peel them ahead of time, of course they need to be in a plastic ziploc bag or Tupperware container.
  • Crunchy snacks such as crackers, ryvita, kale chips, etc.
  • Dried fruit and raw nuts make a great snack on the plane. You can make my own mix – 1/2 cup each of raw almonds, coconut flakes, dried cherries or raisins, and raw walnuts. The airport usually has trail mix in boots or Pret a Manger, but it comes along with all the inflammatory oils, other additives and are usually not raw or organic (although Pret is good).
  • Pre-made salads in containers (Tupperware- BPA-free plastic). Salad dressing can be already mixed into a salad or at the bottom of the bowl for mixing in later. Ask for a plastic fork on the plane.
  • Empty flasks – any size. These are great for filling up after you get through security. And you can bring a protein shaker bottle with the protein powder in, then once you are through security go to coffee shop and get some milk and water and mix it up – or on the plane.
  • Tea bags for making hot tea in the airport before you board or on the plane.

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Most people don’t think about this, but you can pack a cooler as one of your carry-on bags. There are some great travel coolers available, and even some that are on wheels that easily go through security for long flights or if you are traveling with family. Just make sure that it meets the size requirements for the airline that you are flying on.

For longer flights, pack some frozen food in your cooler. If you pack some frozen berries or yogurt in small containers, it will help to keep your cooler cool and slowly defrost during your flight.

And remember , exercise alongside your healthy diet when you are travelling. And no you DON’T need a gym or equipment – Click HERE for 9 workout moves you can do in a hotel room!! 

Please leave comments below and feel free to email me – chloehthomas@gmail.com, i would love to hear your top tips or any questions about your travels!

 

Thanks to Vali for some of these tips, check out her great website here.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Cinnamon Honey or Sea Salt & Vinegar Crisps

IMG_2611Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Vinegar

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp Ground cinnamon  

1 Tsp Honey

2 Small Sweet Potatoes 

 

Directions

1.Mix the honey and cinnamon together on half the batch for a sweet flavour

2. For the salt & vinegar,  shake up the sea salt and vinegar with the sweet potatoes in a ziploc/airtight bag.

Try a Greek Yogurt dip (total 0%) to go with these.

 

 

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Taken from a great blog – Undressed skeleton, click HERE to see more  

 

 

Mouthwatering Healthy Protein Pancakes 

Yes it’s true, these pancakes ARE healthy, low in fat, calories and high in protein which means they keep you fuller for longer! I’ve used juice plus complete protein powder which is gluten, wheat and dairy free and suitable for vegans and used by 3 Olympic teams and many athletes around the world.image

Prep time –5 mins

Cook time  –10 mins

Total time – 15 mins

Ingredients:

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 Cup instant oats, dry

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein (juice plus) powder

2 egg whites

1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt (0% total)

1/2 small banana (old)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Low calorie nonstick oil spray

Instructions:

1. In a blender, combine the oats, protein powder, egg whites, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, banana, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.

2. In a large skillet coated with spray oil, begin cooking the pancakes over medium-high heat, about 4-5 minutes on each side.

3. Serve immediately or let them cool and place in a Tupperware box. You can freeze half the batch as well in separate ziplock bags. Make sure they are defrosted before serving.

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Serving suggestions 

Best served warm (heat up in microwave or oven) with

-Total 0% Greek yoghurt & some strawberries / raspberries / blueberries

– organic almond or cashew nut butter & sliced banana 

– homemade frozen banana yoghurt and some cinnamon 

– Greek yoghurt a 2 tsps agave nectar syrup 

For more information on juice plus click here –http://www.juiceplus.co.uk/+ct53247

Mouthwatering Chocolate Zucchini Cake

On the look for a healthy after-school snack for the kids or for you on the go?  Zucchini (or courgette to us British!) is also available year round. This quick bread is incredibly moist and if you use a combination of applesauce and a small amount of oil it cuts down the fat content. You can cut up the loaf and pop individually-wrapped slices in the freezer for easy after-school/work snacking. This moist and cake-like chocolate zucchini bread is the perfect way to make sure you are eating your vegetables but still enjoying a sweet treat!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 16

Serving size: 1 slice

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Ingredients

1¼ cup wheat flour

1¼ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup baking cocoa

¼ cup sugar

1¼ tsp baking soda

1¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

2 cups grated zucchini (approx. 2½ zucchinis)

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3 eggs, lightly beaten

8 oz vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1½ Tbsp vanilla

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 2. Lightly coat two 8-inch bread pans with low calorie oil spray and set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients: wheat flour, all purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk all of your wet ingredients: mix zucchini, eggs, yogurt, applesauce and vanilla.

5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix, careful not to over-mix.

6. Evenly distribute batter into your two loaf pans.

7. Bake for 30-40 minutes .

8. Let cool completely on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from loaf pans.

Enjoy!!

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Nutrition Information- Per Serving: (1 slice)

Calories: 112

Fat: 1g

Saturated Fat: 0g

Sodium: 132mg

Carbohydrates: 21g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar 5g

Pizza Bagels

Cauliflower is a great classic low carb option. It is so versitile and this is just one of the many ways it can be used. This is adapted from a recipe i found on Pinterest, i have altered it slightly. With childhood obesity at it’s highest ever don’t tell your kids it’s actually cauliflower and they will never know! These can also be frozen which is great if you make too many and can be de-frosted the morning of the day you plan to eat them.

Serves 6

Ingredients

– 2 eggs

– 1 cup light Mozzarella

– 1 cup riced, fresh cauliflower (not cooked- use a blender or grater)

– 10 slices smoked ham cut into quarters

– 0.75-1 tsp Garlic powder (depending on preference)

– 0.5 tsp Crushed red pepper

– 1 large slice tomato diced

– side salad- rocket , lettuce, cucumber & cherry tomatoes (dressing Balsamic vinegar & pepper)


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.Combine all your ingredients and mix well.

3.Pour into greased bagel baking tray**

4. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, or until set.

5. Serve with side salad 

NOTES: Can be frozen without the toppings after the first baking. Simply thaw, top and then bake for 12-15 minutes in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven.

**£8.90 Ebay – CLICK HERE 

Yummy Tuna Patties!

These are so easy and quick to make ! Plus tuna is something we all have in the cupboard and in-expensive but extremely good for you. I would recommend using tuna in brine or spring water . 

Tuna serves as a source of complete protein — one that provides all 10 amino acids your body needs to survive. Your body utilizes these amino acids to maintain healthy tissue and uses specific amino acids to help support brain function and maintain a healthy hormone balance.

The fish provides a modest source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats your body uses to maintain healthy skin and hair and to maintain the health of your cardiovascular system and brain.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

 

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Ingredients

 2 6-ounce cans tuna
2 tsps Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown bread torn into small pieces
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives, green onions, or shallots
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
A couple of drops of tabasco
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon butter

Directions

1. Drain the tuna cans.

2. In a bowl, mix together the tuna, mustard, torn bread, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, parsley, chives, and hot sauce. Mix in the egg.

3. Divide the mixture into 4 parts. With each part, form into a ball and then flatten into a patty.

4. Place onto a wax paper lined tray and chill for an hour. (You can skip the chilling, chilling just helps the patties stay together when you cook them.)

5. Heat the olive oil and a little butter (for taste) in a cast iron or stick-free skillet on medium high. Gently place the patties in the pan, and cook until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes on each side.

Enjoy with wedges of lemon, salad and some steamed vegetables like broccoli.

 

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Spiced Baked Apple Chips

These spiced baked apple chips make a fabulous healthy alternative to potato chips when you want a crunchy treat!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

Apples (as many as you like!)
Apple pie spice

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

2. Slice apples very thinly and discard seeds.

3. Arrange apple slices (without overlapping) on nonstick or cooking-sprayed baking sheets.

4. Sprinkle with apple pie spice.

5. Bake apples for 1 hour, then flip and continue baking for 1 to 2 more hours, flipping occasionally, until the apple slices are crunchy and no longer moist. The thinner the apples, the less time they will need to bake.

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Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

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