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.

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

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.