Tag Archives: low fat

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.

 

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!

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

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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