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

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Detox – my improved version

I decided to go on a 3 day detox last month. I did it last year but that was rather intense and I ended up with a migraine for days so having learnt my lesson I opted for a softer ‘version’.
My breakfast was a combo of greens and fruits in the berry family plus frozen banana to give it that slushy look, using my new blender with its on the go bottle. To give my smoothies a bit of kick I added ginger, alternating with cinnamon. I am not into energy powders so I put in sunflower and flax seeds instead, finishing with oats using soya milk as my mixture of choice. I did add almond butter on the last day just to see how it would work, it was even more delicious.
Mid-Morning – I had a handful of seeds or brazil nuts
Lunch was salads, oat and rice cakes with hummus.
Drinks – I had green tea and water through out.
Mid Afternoon – I didn’t have anything as I am not into snacking.
Dinner – Ribbon Courgettes or Aubergines with mushrooms, chopped fresh tomatoes, sweet potatoes. Lean chicken with veggies

I drank hot lemon water first thing, which I found really refreshing. I have now incorporated that it into my daily routine, although I do forget sometimes as I am rushing to work. I will definitely be doing this again, I felt very cleansed, lost a few inches around my tummy area, overall my skin felt great, most importantly there were no side effect

I opted for gentle short workouts as I didn’t have the energy to do my regular intense routines. Following from the results of my detox I have decided to start drinking detox water at the weekends. I have tried strawberries, orange slices for a bit of colour. I alternated by going green using mint, lemon and cucumber topped with ice. I am sticking with the latter as its really cooling and very refreshing I felt cleansed on the inside as well. Detox water works better with bottled or distilled water – tap water is a no, no because of the chemicals.

I may detox every month after the satisfied results, not necessarily 3 days, I can do a 24 hour to 48 hour detox.

Egg muffins packed with nutrients

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

Is Fibre really necessary?

As I am not one to go by hearsay but research I have been doing a lot of online researches in my continuous quest to remain healthy for the rest of my life. After looking at my sites I have decided to base my findings on the most reliable source I can trust, my country’s Health Service, commonly known as the NHS – National Health Service. The extract from one of the articles states Fibre ‘can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers …’ You can read more about this very short but informative article (the Importance of Fibre) by visiting their website.
http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1141.aspx?categoryid=51
Having done a number of online searches the top foods I found were: wholemeal bread, barley, broccoli, red sweet pepper, nectarine, peanuts, orange, beans, wholemeal/grain cereals, dates. The list is inconclusive, as our bodies are different then there are health issues to take in to consideration especially those with bowel syndrome there are certain foods that are not allowed. Please always remember to consult your doctor or Nutritionist or Dietician before making changes to your eating habits.
Another useful article which gives a breakdown of the foods high in fibre and how much should be eaten in day.
http://www.lnds.nhs.uk/Library/Dietaryadviceforincreasingyourfibreintake.pdf

Stay healthy and fit.

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.

My new friend

I started using the built in Health and fitness app on my new phone. It has definitely got me back on track, I use the pedometer and have done a lot of walking as a result. I smashed my goal two days in a roll this week. I am not sure if I am mentioned in one of my last posts that I may have to join a gym as I am no longer motivated to exercise at home. Unfortunately, finding the right/affordable gym and time is proving to be very difficult. I want to take up running but I have to constantly remind myself it’s a high impact exercise which is not good for my recovering left knee perhaps I should just do it but once a week for say half an hour. I will have to motivate myself I suppose but I am going to try and get back to my aerobics I can’t be inactive for too long or I will never get round to exercising properly again. Granted I take 11 flights of stairs at work, never use the lift, walk at lunchtime it is just not enough for me.

I still weigh the same but that is only because I eat healthily as always. I need to get my body ready for the summer so I have got no choice but to start exercising properly again, I can’t show off bongo arms. I had a health screen this week and came out tops, everything in ship shape so I am chuffed about that but I can’t get complacent and don’t plan to. I am going to a Health Food show tomorrow hoping to pick up a few tips, etc. I will keep you posted.

Have a great weekend.

Dee