Overnight Baked French Toast 

One of my favourite Sunday Breakfast is Overnight Baked French Toast. Whenever I have got left over bread I can’t wait to make this yummy recipe. So I told myself why not share I make it. It’s super easy l promise.

You can add your favourite ingredients as this recipe is so versatile.

This is left over homade seeded that I tore into bite sizes.

I whisked all the ingredients and poured into the pan then topped with fruits, oats which I sprinkled on to finish.

It will look a bit wet out of the oven (depending on the type of bread) but give it about 10 minutes to cool before serving. As the bread I used was wholemeal it took longer to bake, as it is wholemeal flour is heavier than white flour.

This is how I served mine – sliced plums and peaches topped with natural yogurt, sunflower seeds and agave. But you serve yours with maple syrup, honey or sprinkle brown sugar with chocolate chips. The list is endless, try yourself you deserve it.

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OVEN BAKED FRENCH TOAST

Ingredients

Day old or stale bread – torn into pieces

Cinnamon

Sugar or sweetner if preferred.

Method

Preheat 350c, 180f or gas mark 4. Grease ovenproof dish with oil or butter, add torn bread. Whisk the remaining ingredients and pour over the bread, cover in a cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate overnight.

The following morning, remove the cling film and bake in the oven for 20-35 minutes, depending on the kind of bread you use. Serve with yogurt poured on toast, finish by drizzling with honey or maple syrup, chopped nuts or flaked almonds, if liked.

Sugar Free Meals

I have spent the last few months cooking Sugar Free meals, they have all turned out to be so tasty I ended up buying quite a number of cookbooks. Please don’t ask how many, you will be amazed at how many ingredients we use in cooking that contains sugar, check the labels of items next time you are out shopping. Baking with honey, xylitol or agave is so delicious I don’t have to worry about calories. I can’t really recommend sugar alternatives due to the fact that everyone is different based, also taking into account lifestyle/health issues, this will be down to a Doctor or Dietician but I know what works for me because I have discussed it with my Doctor.  I must warn you that some of the sugar alternatives are not cheap but they are worth it the price as you will usually need only a tiny drop or spoon.

I have noticed changes since I started low sugar cooking, my skin looks better, it has a real nice sort of glow to it, I am even more fuller for longer,  I have lost weight, feel light and full of energy, this confirms the old saying ‘sugar fix’ is utter rubbish!! I have decided that this is going to my lifestyle from now on,  to be honest I  don’t’  miss sugar anymore and that is saying something for someone who has a sweet tooth. Don’t get me wrong I still have the occasional sweet (s) but that is about it. And here is a funny thing I have gone off dark chocolate ( was my alternative to refined version) completely, I’ll rather eat nuts, mixed seeds, carrot batons or celery sticks which I now carry in a tiny plastic container in my bag either to work or even going to catch up with friends or church.

As usual please free to share or comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

PS: I have found this rather useful article on the dangers of sugar, based on UK research.

http://www.shadestation.co.uk/Sugar-Is-Killing-You

Egg muffins packed with nutrients

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Great for breakfast or lunch, make a batch and freeze some.

Cheese and Easter

I love cheese and it is the one thing I am never giving up which was why I decided to go to the Cheese & Wine festival last weekend. It ran alongside the Chocolate festival, which didn’t get me that excited as I am not really a chocolate fan anymore, I still have it occasionally but usually the dark variety, it is in the fridge for ages as I go off it, then I eventually chuck it but I won’t be doing that anymore as I know I can leftovers to bake cakes for friends. The festival turned out to be a disappointment as there were very limited cheese stands all of which were crowded. I went back to one that caught my eye when the crowd had died down but the seller was so rude to me I just walked off. There were only 3 wine stalls which were over the top pricey worst of all they were actually horrible – I tasted a couple. I left the so called festival with homemade fudge but no cheese, needless to say I would not be going next year, the BBC Good Food Show is a 100% better. And that is the end of my whinge, just needed to get it off my chest, lol

With only two more days to go to Easter, there is no doubt chocolates and treats have been ‘lying’ around in the workplace. Yesterday was the height of sugar in my team, it all started with one colleague bringing boxes about 5 boxes of Celebrations, for non-Brits they are mini variety of popular chocolates, they come in sweet wrappers. It snowballed from there, up till the time I left for the day there were endless flow of ‘goodies’. I have to admit I did eat one of the chocolates and had tiny piece of freshly baked Granola bar. But that was it I knew my limits, my consolation was that I was going home to burn off the fat anyway and boy did add I intensify my workout, I am aching a bit but feel really good.

It is my birthday on Good Friday so I am throwing my healthy routine to the wind for the day, anyway by the time I have finished walking through the exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert museum with my friend I will need to re-fuel. In my usual fashion I will be straight back on the saddle, well not completely as I am going to be socialising but I won’t be going overboard. I am going to ease myself back into my usual routine, the good thing is that I don’t have any junk food in my cupboards/fridge so I am pretty sure I will be ok. My trick to losing the weight is go on a 24 hour detox; Paleo or Low Carb diet for a week.

Have a great Easter and don’t feel guilty if you have fallen off the wagon you can pick up yourself but don’t leave it too late.

My new Facebook page

Having decided to be more personal and interactive, I have set up a new Face Book page titled ‘Living the Healthy Lifestyle. Please feel to leave your comments, tips or questions – I am no expert but I will try to point you in the right direction if I am unsure.

The link:
https://www.facebook.com/beenhealthy?ref=hl

Back to Fitness and Energy bars

I am happy to report that I am back to fitness, I went running two days straight this week. On my second day I decided to do a combo of running and aerobics, oh it almost killed me I could barely walk the next day, my legs and thighs hurt the most. But I had to do my usual ritual of taking 11 flights of stairs to my office floor the next day even though I was in agony, taking the lift would have been a down slope and failing my fitness. I had planned to do some toning exercises when I got home that day but my body was not having it. I am glad to say it has all paid off because I feel a lot better today. Next week I will be back to my ‘full time’ fitness regime’, especially now that I have bought more fitness clothing it would be a waste of money otherwise.

Following from my visit to the Eat Well show I decided to search online for homemade Energy bars, I just could not justify paying ‘ridiculous prices’ for manufactured ones even though they claim it is ‘ free from’ whatever they would have me believe. So I went to my favourite site – if you don’t know by now it’s Pinterest, I am on there about 3-4 times a day, what can I say it’s addictive. Following my search I found loads of recipes for no bake Energy bars, I checked out the sites for the ones that caught my eye one or two were not as healthy as they claimed so I left it at that for the time being. A few days later I was watching a you tube video when I stumbled upon a video on Energy bars. I had been following the author’s blog for some time but not really had time to check out all the recipes, I blame my hectic life, lol. I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was to make, unlike a few of the others I had seen, the ingredients are not that expensive, it does not require any baking and even better all the ingredients are mixed food processor which means minimal washing up required. Now who doesn’t like that, dare I ask. Another advantage to making this Energy (balls as she calls them) bar is that it will keep for 3 weeks in an air tight container.

Why my interest in Energy bars you ask? Well it is because I read an article that stated it is great for pre and post exercises, or just when your energy levels are low. It’s got to be better than eating sweets or chocolates to fill the gap, right? I put my hand up and say I do eat sweets when I feel I am low on energy a bit naughty I know but I don’t make a habit of it. I won’t be doing that again as I am trying to cut out sugar from my foods however, I will still have the occasional treat. Girl has got to be a flexible sometime, I can’t keep been regiemental, life would be boring otherwise …

I promised the author on her page that I will recommend her book on my blog , and her name is …. Drum roll please. The fastest selling author in 2015 both in the UK and the US is Ella Woodward. Her book Deliciously Ella is all about simple, healthy recipes from plant based ingredients, believe me it is not as boring as you may think just watch her you tube videos and you will see what I mean. Who would have thought you could make something delicious from Zucchini or Courgette as we call it here in Blighty. I ended up buying the app based on what I had seen, you can of course buy the book in hardcover or Kindle versions.

Ella’s recipe is not the only one on Energy bar, the only reason I went into so much detail is because hers stood out for me. Please follow the links below for:

Online recipes

http://deliciouslyella.com/recipe/the-ultimate-energy-bites-vegan-gluten-free

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-3-ingredient-energy-bars-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-184306

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/167829523586900636/ – warning, you are likely to spend more time on this site, lol

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/homemade-energy-bars-the-easy-and-inexpensive-way-to-refuel/

http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes/10-easy-recipes-homemade-energy-bars

Recommended Book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deliciously-Ella-Woodward/dp/1444795007

I will be interested in hearing from you if you have tried out any of the recipes, please leave a comment below.

PS: I have left gaps in between the links for easy scrolling for anyone surfing via their phones or tablets.

The Food Show – Update

As promised in my last article – update on the Food Show I attended last Saturday.
I had organised myself the night before the show so I was not rushing the next morning. On waking up I jumped straight into the shower, had a cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs and a cheeky bacon with mushrooms with tomatoes. Headed out the door to begin a long bus journey as no trains were running due to engineering works – the joys of living in London. The first bus came on time, and I was fortunate enough to get the second the moment I got off the first. To while away the time, rather than read a book like I always do I decided to knit, I was only 3 stops away from the venue when I suddenly realised I had left my ticket at home, it was in my work bag!! I said the words out loud; ‘ I forgot my ticket’, the other passengers must have thought I was crazy, Thank God it was only a few people on the upper deck not that I would have cared.

So I got off the next stop to head back home in the opposite direction. I was so furious with myself for not setting a reminder on my phone/ leaving a post stick note on the Telly, like I always do. I kept telling myself it could have been worse, I could have gotten there with egg on my face when I got to the venue and couldn’t produce my ticket. Or I could have had lost my handbag, etc. Needless to say the traffic was crazy on the way but I managed to arrive at venue just before 2pm.

Right you probably want to know how the show went. There were loads of healthy foods and drinks – mainly gluten/free from, etc. I was expecting to see speciality flour exhibitors as I wanted to buy a few bags but alas there were none. The majority were selling healthy bars, the drinks were either flavoured water (which I hate) or Vitamin based, I thought they were overpriced. As for healthy bars I have got loads of recipes saved on my Pinterest. There were hourly forums, interviews with the ‘big Stars’, the kitchen stage where live cooking/baking were been demonstrated which I really enjoyed. Can I quickly add that I came to rescue ( I had brought mine along to be signed as I read there will be a signing session) when the organisers did not have one of the Author’s books to display during the kitchen session. On handing the book to her, I whispered ‘can you please sign it afterwards’ to which she agreed. I not only got my book signed I got to take a selfie with her.

I had the opportunity to chat a bit more with the next Author, although not as popular as the first but was very down to earth just like the previous Author. I had watched her TV show and bought her book which I left at home because she was not listed on the book signing timetable. Based on my experience at the other food/baking shows I had attended, guests were not allowed near the ‘Stars’ You guessed it? I kicked myself because I could have gotten her to sign it for me, however, I took a picture with her I suppose that is a good reminder. I did not buy much as there were not a lot of new products on sale.

Overall, it was a good show but I won’t be attending next year as I discovered I already know a lot of what was been discussed – I can get all the information I need online. However, that does not mean I will not recommend it to others especially those who are thinking of/embarked on a healthy lifestyle. And I did leave the show happy as it was a very friendly and warm atmosphere.

Apologies for the rather long article, I will be brief next time.