Tag Archives: snacks

Is Failing To Meal Plan The Cause Of Your Weight Gain?

Saving Time and Money

You might not realize it, but you waste a lot of time standing in front of your fridge each afternoon deciding what to make for dinner. Not to mention the money you wast running to the shop 4 to 5 times a week to pick up last minute ingredients. By planning your meals in advance, you save money long term.

Eliminating the Last Minute Stress

Everyone knows how stressful it is to make a last minute decision about a meal. If you have a meal plan, you can take care of things in advance and all that is left at the end of a long day are those last few things to cook.

Helping You Avoid Unhealthy Choices

How many times have you opted to stop at the fast food shop on the way home or buy a ready made meal instead of preparing a healthy meal? Probably more times than you care to admit. Meal planning eliminates the need to rely on this unhealthy last minute option.

WHAT TO DO NOW:

  • How many meals you need to plan for 

Take a few moments to think about what you have going on next week week. Taking a quick note of everyone’s plans will give you a rough idea of how many meals you’ll need to get through the week, and how much you can get from each recipe.

  • What you have time for 

If you have a crazy busy week coming up, make a mental note to be on the lookout for quick, slow cooker or make-ahead meals that can served up in a hurry. We’re big fans of the cook once, eat twice (or thrice) approach.

  • Your food mood 

Things like the weather, a change in seasons, and food cravings can impact what sounds good on any given day. Thinking about these things beforehand will make recipe selection process faster and meal times easier on everyone.

Now the fun part! Once you know how many meals you’ll need, it’s time to find some healthy recipes and fill in your calendar for the week.

  • Create a master recipe list

Having a list of go-to meals is one of the easiest ways to expedite the meal planning process. Consider trying one or two new recipes and use a few old favorites to fill in the gaps. Every time you find a new meal you love, add it to the rotation!

  • Find a few new dishes to try

Finding delicious, healthy recipes isn’t hard–you just need to know where to look. Health-conscious cookbooks and food magazines are great but the internet can literally provide millions of healthy recipes at your fingertips.

COLLECT & CALENDAR YOUR RECIPE

  1. Start a master recipe list. Digital versions (like a note on your smartphone) are handy, easy to update and usually within arm’s reach!
  2. Fill in your calendar. Pick some favorites from your master list and 1 or 2 new recipes to try.
  3. Write your grocery list. While doing that, jot down ingredients for each recipe. Then, take stock of what you already have on hand before heading to the store.
  4. Pick a time to shop. Once your shopping is done, you’re ready to tackle food prep.

Example Meals for Meal Prep

Here’s a few examples of tasty meals and snacks you can prepare in advance:

 Hot meals for reheating:

Blackened salmon with sweet potato and broccoli

Thai curry with brown rice

Chilli with brown rice

Turkey curry with brown rice

Fish curry with brown rice

Sweet Baked potato with tuna in brine, avocado & salad

Cold Meals:

Chicken salad (spinach, rocket, pine nut, satsuma

Mackerel salad (shredded lettuce, pine nuts, grapes)

Chicken and avocado salad with salt and pepper

Cold Snacks:

Rice cakes with Merdian almond butter and banana

Juice Plus Protein flapjack

Juice Plus Protein brownies

Juice Plus Protein carrot cupcakes

Any un-salted/roasted nuts

0% Total Greek yogurt with natural honey and berries

Raw avocado

 

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.

 

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.

Are rice cakes making you fat?

Rice cakes – the dieters nightmare.

You may see rice cakes as a staple diet snack but don’t be fooled. Rice cakes can have a glycemic index rating as high as 91 (pure glucose has a rating of 100), making it the kind of carbohydrate that will send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. This is bad for weight loss and for your health!

GLYCEMIC INDEX

Although rice cakes are low in calories, it is easy to eat too many because they don’t make you feel full and can’t fully satiate your craving for more food.

The glycemic index of a food is a measurement of how fast the carbohydrate it contains raises blood glucose levels and insulin secretion as it’s digested.
Rice cakes have a high carbohydrate content at 21 g per serving, and three cakes have a very high glycemic index of up to 95. High-glycemic foods rapidly raise blood glucose levels and create a high insulin demand, which could lead to irreversible diabetes and cause cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and weight gain, warns Oregon State University. J. B. Miller and colleagues at the University of Sydney’s Department of Biochemistry conducted a study to determine the glycemic insulin-index values of various rice products, including rice cakes. The conclusion, as published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 1992, was that rice products are classified as high GI food.

Basically you won’t be satisfied or full- Not a good way to stick to the diet, as you’ll be reaching for a more filling (and more fattening) snack in no time. Swap the rice cake, which has a GI of 87, for a Ryvita, which has a GI of 63.

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