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.

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.

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.

Back on the Saddle

We have been told it is officially summer here in Blighty. Well knowing what British weather is like, it has been a mixture of heat and rain however, I have made the most of the good days. Remember, that I said I couldn’t do any of workouts because of my back and knee. Well I am happy to report that after 3 weeks of inactivity, I got back on the saddle on Monday. I can’t believe I missed it so much, it was not difficult once I got started, probably because I take the (10 flights) stairs at work and go for a walk at lunch time. The experts are certainly right about always been active.

For the first time ever, I made a green smoothie last week there is only one word to describe it – vile!! Guess what? I am going to do it again because it really does work on the inside. I am planning a two day detox for the weekend , I don’t think I could do it on a working day as I am not sure if I can cope with the side effects at work. I will keep you posted. I am also going on low carb diet for a week, not just yet as I don’t want my body to get confused or shut down. Basically, I am just experimenting and I need to shred my remaining winter weight. I was surprised that my arms were still toned even though I had been inactive, I thought they were going to back to been slightly wobbly. As I am getting close to my desired weight I am going to reduce the number of days (from 5 to 3) I work out, I don’t want my clothes ‘hanging’ on me, plus it could mean going down a dress size which I don’t want as that will mean I am underweight.

Stay healthy,

D

Back to Normality

With the Easter holidays (more like a distant memory now) over, I hope those indulged didn’t overdo it. I got straight back on the horse the following week because I knew the longer I delayed the harder it would be to get back into my fitness routine. I know some may ‘alright for you, it is easier said than done’, etc. Well I say it is a matter of determination and getting yourself organised. I will let you know exactly what I do; I take my workout clothes lay it on my bed before work, my trainers with socks inside by the door, I move furniture so I can’t sit down when I am back. Basically, I create ‘obstacles’ so I don’t have a choice but to actually workout, it may sound weird to some but it works for me. Like I have always said do what works for you but most importantly keep fit.

I have already mentioned the fact that when it comes to food I am ok as I only buy healthy ones, ok I admit once in a while, a packet of biscuits or dark chocolate may eventually find its way into my shopping basket, lol. However, I end up throwing it away as I can’t bring myself to eat it all or it has been sitting in the fridge or cupboard for so long. Oh, I occasionally sneak a pork pie, Cornish pasty or frozen pizza as well, I think of it as my treat, I only ever treat myself at weekends because I know if I do so during the week, it could be a downward slope.

One of word of advice I can offer is stay away/ignore negative people, I am speaking from personal experience. Some people either don’t believe me or tell me that I don’t need to lose weight that I should enjoy life or that I don’t need to lose weight. Ok, I am naturally slim well my arms but when I do put weight on it is usually my upper body and my stomach which is not very flattering in the summer, not exactly the figure for a fitted t-shirt or dress. Now if I was curvy I wouldn’t mind but I have a boyish figure I like to dress for my body shape and not look like I am wearing a potato sack!

Oh, do you ever get those who try to tell you the kind of fitness regime that is right for you, they are usually the ones who don’t do any exercise whatsoever. I can’t begin to tell you how many times a week, someone says I should join the gym or go running. Like aerobics is not a form of exercise, yeah, I will like to see them do planks, jumping jacks, push ups or even lift dumb bells. I just ignore them because they really don’t have a clue why waste my time trying to explain my preference. My conclusion is that they are just trying to get me off track or they are just domineering, I avoid such people or change the topic!!

I have gotten to the point where a healthy lifestyle is not a chore it is a hobby even when I am sweating I do enjoy my workouts. I also like my style of cooking which I don’t impose on my loved ones which is why I always tell them to let me know in advance when they are coming over so I can go food shopping just for them. Yes I know it is hard for those with spouses/ families but I am pretty sure that if they join or support your lifestyle you will be fine. I have heard/read success stories of other family members taking up the healthy life style.