Tag Archives: eating

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

Fruity Frosty Snacks

People snack; that’s a fact. And frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re trying to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortable, you usually end up eating smaller meals plus a couple of snacks in between.

Make the most from your snacks this summer with these frosty fruity bites which I love to nibble on. These are great go-to snacks for any season, but are exceptional on a warm day! This is the season when the fruits are just rolling into markets so healthy choices are both cost effective and delicious.

1.Frozen Grapes

Just wash and dry and pop in the freezer on a lined cookie sheet. Once frozen, store in a freezer safe container or bag until ready to eat.

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2.Frozen Yogurt Grapes 

Wash and dry grapes, then submerge in your favorite yogurt (we find a toothpick method is easier than fishing out the grapes with utensils). Pick out the grapes one-by-one and pick on a lined cookie sheet. Freeze until completely frozen and store in a freezer-safe container.

3.Grape Popsicles

Wash and dry your grapes and using a high-speed blender, puree them until completely and entirely smooth. No seeds allowed here! Pour the puree into popsicle molds and freeze completely before enjoying (about four hours).


4.Bananas, Two Ways!

If you haven’t jumped on the frozen banana train you don’t know what you’re missing! Try these out the next time you have bananas that are really spotty and brown.frozen-banana-slices

5.Banana Bon Bons

Peel banana, cut into 1-inch chunks and freeze until firm. Then, one-by-one, dip each banana chunk into melted semi-sweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate (we like using a toothpick to keep this part tidy). You can then dip the chocolate covered banana in chopped nuts or coconut flakes to really jazz it up.

 

6.Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles

(Makes 6 popsicles)

  • 3cups strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup agave next a or natural honey
  • 1 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup skimmed milk
  • 3/4 cups homemade granola

1. Combine the strawberries and 1/4 cup agave/honey in a small saucepan and stir gently to combine. Let the berries soften on the counter for at least 10 minutes, until it’s syrupy.

2. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid simmer.

3. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the strawberries are thick and jammy.

4. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. You should have about 1 cup of jammy fruit.

5. When ready to assemble the popsicles, whisk together the yogurt, 1/4 cup of the milk, and 1/4 cup of the honey. The yogurt should be thick, but pourable (roughly the consistency of regular yogurt). If needed, whisk in a little more milk. Taste and add more honey if desired.

6. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the yogurt mixture and stir it into the granola. This will help the granola freeze into the popsicles.

7.  Arrange 6 popsicle molds on your work surface. Pour a generous spoonful of yogurt into the bottom of each mold. Add a scoop of granola and then a spoonful or two of strawberries. Continue layering yogurt, granola, and strawberries until the molds are filled. Tap the molds lightly agains the counter or use a popsicle stick to work out any air bubbles between the layers.

8. Insert popsicle sticks into each mold and place the popsicles in the freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.

9. To unmold, run the popsicle molds under hot running water for a few seconds and gently easy the popsicles out of the molds. Popsicles will keep in the freezer for several weeks.

Recipe Notes
The strawberries can be replaced with an equal amount of any other fruit.

Where to buy the popsicle holders – £2 Free Delivery, Click HERE,  Ice Lolly Maker Pop Mould

 

Recipes adapted from HERE

Please feel free to email me – chloehthomas@gmail.com – and comment below. Or contact me via social media (see menu bar) – i would love to get your feedback.

 

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!

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.

TravelTips1

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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 

CALORIES DONT COUNT TIME! 

Health topic of the week

“Late-night eating promotes weight gain”

“Never Eat Before Bed”

Can a late-night dinner ruin a day’s worth of healthy eating? It’s time to find out.

This myth stems from the long-rumored belief that you should stop eating two hours before you go to sleep. Has any reputable expert ever stated that this myth is fact? 

NO, simply because it’s a bunch of B.S(!). You don’t gain more fat from the calories you consume if you eat them at 9 p.m. versus 7 p.m. Like I the title says- calories don’t tell time! You will consume the same amount of calories whether you eat them earlier or later, and your body will digest those calories the exact same way.

Fact: It is not about what TIME you eat, but WHAT you eat that matters. If the meal that you eat late at night consists of healthy food, then you don’t need to worry about anything. Eating a bucket of ice cream instead of a bowl of salad anytime of the day will promote weight gain. Eating protein before bedtime can help you sleep well and gain muscle mass.

Research

“They found no link between when the animals ate and whether or not they put on weight.

Speaking at a Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, the scientists said claims that eating late lead to weight gain may be “an urban myth”. Dr Judy Cameron and colleagues came across the finding almost by accident.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Weight Control Information Network web site, “it does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight.”

So remember there’s nothing wrong with eating a light, healthy snack after dinner as long as you plan for it as part of your daily calories. To keep from overeating, pay attention to your food while eating, avoid eating in front of the TV, and choose a portion-controlled snack. 

People eat at night for a variety of reasons that often have little to do with hunger, from satisfying cravings to coping with boredom or stress. And after-dinner snacks tend not to be controlled. They often consist of large portions of high-calorie foods (like chips, cookies, candy), eaten while sitting in front of the television or computer. In this situation, it’s all too easy to consume the entire bag, carton, or container before you realize it. Besides those unnecessary extra calories, eating too close to bedtime can cause indigestion and sleeping problems.

When you’re trying to lose weight, eat regular meals and consume 90% of your calories before 8 p.m. The benefit of eating meals every three to four hours is it helps regulate your blood sugar, and thus control hunger and cravings. *

The Bottom Line: 

More research is needed on humans to determine whether calories eaten at night are more likely to cause weight gain than those eaten early in the day. 

You’ll consume the same amount of calories whenever you decide to eat — yet when some people eat late at night, they’re more likely to over eat and skip breakfast the next day. Keep that in mind and plan your meals out ahead of time, and avoid overeating by stopping eating when you are full!

And remember the truth: It doesn’t matter what time you eat — the only thing that matters is the AMOUNT of calories you’re consuming.

*http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/diet-truth-myth-eating-night-causes-weight-gain