Banana and PB Protein Muffins!

Lately, I’ve been really focused on eating plenty, keeping fit and staying healthy. Part of my regime is to get in at least 90g of protein per day; I also like a sweet treat that won’t harm my waistline!

Alas, Banana PB Protein Muffins were born! I used the recipe from Dashing Dish as a base and then added the peanut butter (cause I could quite frankly marry peanut butter!!) and it adds a little more protein and fats to the muffin! You could easily add in some dried fruit, chocolate chips, coco powder or adapt protein flavours…anything!

Ingredients

– 1 large banana

– 6 egg whites

– 122g low fat greek yoghurt

– 67g oats

– 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder

– 1 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– 12 tsp peanut butter (optional)

 

Method (makes 12 muffins)

– Pre-heat the oven to 175°C

– Line muffin tin with foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray

– Blend all ingredients (excluding peanut butter) until you have a smooth batter

– Divide mixture into muffin tins

– Place one teaspoon of peanut butter into each cup

– Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown

 

You should now have a gooey, banana’y, protein’y packed sweet snack!

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Oaty Proteiny Cookys

I took a night off from the gym and decided to treat myself to some baking. I love baking – it allows me to relax and put my concentration into making something beautiful! I’m definitely not a pro baker – baking is far too meticulous for me, I like to throw things together and hope they work out! Hence the reason I used oats to make these bad boys.

Not only are oats better for you than flour, but they require very little attention!

These cookys are fairly guilt free (unless you eat them all in one go like me) and are packed with protein and vitamins from the fruits! I even added some dark chocolate for a little added danger! You don’t have to add the protein, that’s just for the gym freaks amongst us!

So, how did I make these ooey gooey oaty cookys? (I know I’m spelling it wrong, it’s meant to be cute and quirky)

Ingredients

2 Bananas

Splash of Unsweetened Almond Milk

Cinnamon

1-2 Scoops Whey Protein Powder (I used vanilla – feel free to experiment)

Porridge Oats

4 Squares Green & Blacks 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, chopped (you can use any chocolate, 85% cocoa can be very overpowering!)

6 Large Strawberries

 

Method

– Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with some greaseproof paper

– Blend the bananas up until they’re pretty free of lumps. Feel free to do this with a fork/masher if you don’t have a blender!

– Add a splash of almond milk to help loosen up

– Mix in the cinnamon and protein powder

– Add porridge oats until the wet mixture is completely soaked up – but still malleable

– Add the chocolate chips and half of the strawberries, finely chopped

– Form small balls, place on baking tray and press down gently.

– Using up the remaining strawberries, chop them in half and push into the top of each cookie

– Bake until the edges begin to brown (roughly 10 minutes) The bigger the balls, the longer it takes! – there’s definitely a joke in there somewhere.

 

This recipe is incredibly easy to adapt. Change the chocolate, add some fruit, fill with a spoonful of peanut butter or nutella, or both! The oats are your oyster!

I hope you all enjoy them!

 

 

Juicin’ Life with the Nutribullet

Over the weekend my grandma greeted me with a very early birthday present – a Nutribullet! I hadn’t asked for it but I’d always wanted a blender/juicer. The Nutribullet does exactly that and I cannot get enough of it!!

Their motto is “add years to your life” – now, I’m not entirely sure that’s true but since I’ve started drinking juices, I’ve felt so much more energetic and I definitely feel slimmer and healthier in myself. I haven’t gone on a massive juice crash diet – I wouldn’t survive! – instead, I have a juice for breakfast with a slice of toast. then snack on juices during the day.

The Nutribullet isn’t like your average juicer; it doesn’t throw away the bits of fiber that are essential in the fruits and veggies, but “extracts” them. By that, I mean that it literally blends the fruits down to a juice form. You pop your fruits into the cup, flip it, press it and drink it. There are literally two parts that need a quick wash with some soapy water and you can start afresh!

It takes me about 5 minutes to make a juice in the morning and that normally gives me two portions! Because you aren’t “juicing” but “extracting” you don’t need to use masses of fruit to ensure a decent serving size. Here are some examples I’ve had this week:

The Corangery

2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 orange, grated ginger, water – BLAST

Refresher

1 kiwi, 1 apple, 1 celery stalk, water – BLAST

Breakfast Juice – kind of

Porridge oats, 1 banana, splash almond milk, chia seeds, water – BLAST

Mexicana Salsa

Chillies, grilled tomatoes/garlic/red onions, corriander leaves – BLAST

The Creamy Protein Shake

Protein powder, almond milk, water – BLAST

 

I’m planning to try making soup with it this week and continue enjoying my fresh juices – I feel a berry blast coming on! To be continued…

 

My Easter Break!

I rarely go home and when I do it’s normally for no longer than a couple of days. So when Easter came around and I had the opportunity to be back in sunny Macclesfield for 4 whole days, I was ecstatic! Not to mention, the sun was shining for most of it!

Here are my highlights:

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I started the weekend with a long long long overdue haircut! Split ends were at their ultimate peak as it had been about 6 months since I’d had a trimming. It felt like I had a whole new head of hair by the end of it and now, I don’t even have to try and tame it in the mornings – fab!

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Then I went on a little picnic and stumbled across this cutie. I’m slightly scared of any animal bigger than me, but I plucked up the courage and fed him some grass. He was very appreciative!

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After a lovely picnic and saunter through the beautiful hillsides the day took a frightful turn when this heard of scary cows – which I thought were werewolves are first – blocked our path and wouldn’t let us pass!! So, we had to trek up the hill and scale around them. Here, I decided I wasn’t a massive fan of cows…

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On Saturday my friends and I decided to put a twist on your average girlie catch up and headed to Glebe Farm in Aldershot for a day with the animals!! We had breakfast, tea and went on a little walk around to take as many selfies with animals as we could! It’s actually really difficult to accomplish!

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There were a few little shops and I stumbled across a Wheatie! It’s a bag of wheat you can stick in the microwave to heat up. Literally the best £3.50 I’ve ever spent! My bed is now never cold.

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For my birthday present (earliest gift giving ever!) my Grandma got me a NutriBullet. I hadn’t heard of it beforehand but it’s AMAZING. I went to the supermarket and bought a tonne of fruits and veg to start my juice journey which I will blog about soon!

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In the evening I fancied a couple of beverages as it was Easter weekend so I suggested a round of Articulate (the best game ever, if you haven’t played it – do) at my friends house! It was lovely – slightly competitive, as you can see – but lovely.

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On Easter Sunday we usually do a paperchase, but apparently I’m too old for all of that now! Instead we had – what my mum labels – The Best Sandwich in the World (it’s salmon, cream cheese, bacon, capers, mango chutney and red onion). It was actually incredible. I suggest you try it! My dad and I then went on a 10k run up a mountain to burn off all of the chocolate! It was a killer and my calves are now thanking me for it! Then Grandma came round for dinner with my uncle and we ate too much. Perfecto!

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Easter Monday the sun was shining so it was only fitting that we went on a family walk, just the four of us. Little did I know, it was muddy and my trainers got wrecked! But, I had a beautifully presented lunch of Salmon and Pancetta Salad.

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All in all my weekend was perfect, too short, but perfect. How was yours?

Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Sweet Potato and Broccoli Burger

After a massive binge day, I figured I needed something clean and fresh to eat for my dinner! This is a recipe I came up with whilst attempting to use up all of my bits and pieces in the fridge! It’s super easy, super healthy and just 215 calories per burger! If that’s too many calories for you (crazy person) use low fat cheese or remove the cheese completely! You could also substitute regular breadcrumbs for Panko.

Either way, this cheesy, ooey gooey burger feels terribly naughty and… who doesn’t look a little naughtiness in the kitchen? Enjoy everyone!

veggie burger

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato

1/2 floret of broccoli

Tbsp green pesto

1 slice mozzarella

1 slice goat’s cheese

4 tbsp breadcrumbs

Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°. Cook the sweet potato until tender (either microwave or steam for 5-6 minutes). Do the same with the broccoli!

2. Blend the two together. It doesn’t need to be a smooth mixture, I used a masher to do mine!

3. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and mix well.

4. Using the mixture make four fairly wide and flat patties. On two of the patties add a blob of pesto, half a slice of mozzarella and goat’s cheese.

5. To complete, lay the two remaining patties on top and mold the edges together to create the burger formation.

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6. Stick em’ in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

7. Indulge!

 

 

Fitness food – trying to eat “clean”

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If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that lately, I’ve been posting a lot of fitness focused stuff. I’m a massive lover of the gym, however, usually don’t eat well to compliment. But lately, I’ve started to really clamp down on my eating habits and have discovered some fabulous recipes along the way. I thought I would share some of my favourites with you!

Mackerel Fillets and Salad

This is a quick and easy lunch! Smoked, peppered mackerel fillets are relatively cheap and full of essential fish oils and omega to keep you fit and healthy! Half a pack with a generous helping of mixed salad leaves comes in at just 320 calories!

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Cauliflower Rice 

Rice is a complex carb that really isn’t ideal to be eating late at night, but nobody can doubt how delicious it can be and how essential it is as a meal accompaniment. A healthy, carb free, alternative is Cauliflower. It sounds like it wouldn’t work, but if you get cauliflower, blend it up finely (or chop it like I do!) you’ll be left with what looks like rice! Whack it in a frying pan for a few minutes until tender and treat it like you would rice. Have it with a curry, stir fry it with some egg and vegetables… Experiment!

One serving of Cauliflower Fried Rice is roughly 300 calories (without cashews).

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Courgette Pasta

Again, pasta is a very complex carb and the devil when it comes to calorie counting! A great alternative is courgette. If you take the courgette and grate the entire length of it to form long strips, fry lightly and briefly, then treat it as you would pasta! I added some garlic and herb Philli and some chilli prawns! I was most definitely satisfied but didn’t have that horrible heavy bloated feeling pasta usually gives me!

This particular recipe has just 113 calories! You can have triple portions if you wish!

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Banana Pancakes

This recipe is a life saviour! If you’re a fan of pancakes this is for you!

The recipe calls for just one banana (mashed or blended well), two eggs and whisk it all together! What is produced is an incredibly sweet batter that once cooked, tastes just like a hearty pancake! One portion (about four pancakes) is about 350 calories.

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If you would prefer not to fry the batter, you can bake it like a frittata! I used apples to help keep it together and sprinkled some cinnamon on top for some spice! (About 300 calories)

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Snacking on the go!

I am a huge fan of snacking! But, you can quickly stack up the calories without even noticing when it comes to a good old graze! I’ve found some great, filling products that will keep you going until your next big meal!

Pork Mooli Ribbons from Marks and Spencer’s are just 150 calories for six ribbons, plus a side of carrots and sweet chilli dip! More than enough to keep you happy!

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Metcalfe’s Sweet and Salty Popcorn is utterly delicious and very light in terms of calories and fat! Dead easy to munch on the go!

For a sweet treat to help curb cravings, I nibble on Green and Blacks 70% cocoa chocolate. It’s bitter but satisfying at the same time and therefore you don’t need to eat lots of it!

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Total 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt

Whoever designed this should be given a medal! It’s absolutely divine and completely free of sin! I like to spice it up in various ways…

Almonds, Honey and Yoghurt – a great start to the morning! (60 calories)

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Or, try a tsp of peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract and some chocolate chips (optional) to create a beautifully sin-free cookie dough flavoured yoghurt! You can freeze to create your very own Ben and Jerry’s! (100 calories for a small serving)

Sweet Potato!

The queen of the root vegetables! The sweet potato is so tasty and really easy to cook! I tend to have it at lunch as it’s still quite high in carb despite being better than a white potato! I usually have it in a jacket style filled with tuna and avocado with a side salad. It’s more than enough to fill me up until dinner time!

This serving has around 282 calories! If you removed the avocado, it’s just 199!

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Salmon Trimmings

I adore salmon! However, it’s very expensive, especially when you’re living alone and only ever cooking for one! But there is an answer… Salmon trimmings! These are the cut offs when they trim down smoked salmon for serving. As far as I know there isn’t a huge difference in nutrients and they cost just 98p for a generous sized packet! I have them various ways but my favourites are:

Scrambled eggs with salmon trimmings on toast!

And

Salmon trimmings, avocado, hot pepper sauce and brown toast! (About 300 calories)

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I must say that despite this all being very healthy and quite low in calorie intake, you won’t get very far – in terms of weightloss – unless you incorporate some exercise into your regime.

I hope you all enjoy these recipes as much as I do! 🙂

 

 

Lemons in the morning: Benefits!

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I had heard that lemons in hot water first thing in the morning is the “thing” to do these days. For the past three weeks I’ve been drinking a glass each morning, religiously, to see if it has any benefits!

These are the so-called benefits along with my personal analysis:

– Gives your immune system a boost

Well I haven’t been ill in the past few weeks? Good stuff!

– Excellent source of potassium

– Aids digestion

I’m not sure I agree with this. I suffer from quite bad bloating anyway and it’s a known fact that acid can increase bloating. However, that’s a personal issue and I definitely have less of an issue than if I were to have a cup of tea!

– Cleanses your system

– Freshens your breath

I’ve never really had any complaints of bad breath, so I assume that’s a good sign?

– Keeps skin clear

I can 100% vouch for this. After just three weeks of drinking this, my skin is one hundred times better than it has been in years!

– Helps you lose weight

Just drinking hot water with lemon will never make someone lose weight. Anybody that thinks that is in denial. Perhaps with exercise and eating well, you would see an increase in weight loss. However, I am yet to weight myself to make any judgement!

– Reduces inflammation

– Gives you an energy boost

Again, I can definitely vouch for this! I wake up absolutely shattered and normally this would continue on through to the afternoon. But after a hot cuppa, I feel wide awake!

– Helps cut out caffeine

– Helps fight viral infections

 

I’m really enjoying drinking lemon tea and I will reassess in a couple of months to see if there are anymore benefits I can confirm!

Week 3 – Staying Dry

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Three weeks in and the storm has yet to run rampage! I have danced through the desert with The Spice Girls as my theme tune. No seriously – I went to a 90s nightclub the other night and stayed completely dry! The proof is in the drinking:

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I actually found that I had a better night than usual! I wasn’t tired, I didn’t end the night throwing up or looking like a bedraggled cavewoman, Reeeeeeesult! However, I did find that I wasn’t my usual ghetto booty-shakin self, nor was I confident enough to walk up to the resident fitty and tell him I thought just that. But it was my last girls night in London and boys really weren’t on the agenda!

My schedule is hitting me with another test this weekend – my friend’s 21st birthday party, in a house, dressed as a mermaid. The tipple is a tempting blanket, though I am sure it won’t be necessary as the company will be fabulous!

One week to go, stay strong!

Week 2: Staying Dry (some handy advice)

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It’s difficult to believe we’re nearly two weeks into 2014 – and I’m still writing 2013! As you may have read in my New Years Resolution Post, I am giving something up each month of the year, starting with the ever so lethal – Alcohol.

So far, I haven’t struggled. There have only been a handful of occasions where alcohol has been present:

1. A lovely Sunday meal with my landlord and family

Red wine and Port were the only options. I wouldn’t say they are my most favoured of drinks and therefore, didn’t interest me! We were also playing Cranium and I needed my wits about me to make sure I won!!!

2. The free bar at work (every Friday)

So I faced the free bar for the first time yesterday. Being an unpaid intern, I usually take advantage of the freebies where I can. However, this time around I opted for a Diet Coke and a packet of Doritos before making a swift exit!

It hasn’t been particularly difficult, yet. Emphasis on, yet! Over the past week, I have been offered a new job and will be leaving London in the next few days – crazy! Saying Adios to all of my amigos stone cold sober isn’t exactly how I envisaged my dramatic exit from the city, but I will try my hardest to keep the umbrella up and stay dry!

For those of you doing the same, here are a few of my top tips for keeping off the booze:

– If you’re a G+T lover like myself, drink the tonic water! That way you will feel like you’re having an alcoholic beverage.

– Remember, you do not need alcohol to have a good time! Think of all the laughs you’ll get watching you’re best friend drunkenly twerk!

– Keep reminding yourself THERE WILL BE NO HANGOVER TOMORROW.

– To stay awake throughout the night, drink some Redbull!

– Dance your pants off – think of the calories you will burn

– Pretend to be drunk, by 2am, nobody will know the difference!

– Finally, peer pressure is for school days. Stay strong.

 

I wish you all the best of luck! – Let me know how you get on!

 

Witness the Fitness Tips

Let me guess, this year you want to be healthier, fitter and skinnier? So you’re planning to stop eating and run on a treadmill for hours on end. Then in about a month you’ll realise that spending £30 a month on a gym really wasn’t worth it cause all self-motivation is lost.

I’ve been there and I know plenty of people who have. So, I figured I’d compile a list of my favourite and most simple fitness tips. (I’m no personal trainer but I’ve picked up quite a lot of tricks over the years! So feel free to ignore me!)

1. Eat. Plenty and regularly. Starving yourself will make you lose weight in the short term, but come March you’ll be back to square one and all of those celery sticks will have been for nothing! Stick to high protein and low carbs, but NEVER cut carbs out completely – you’re exercising more so you need the energy.

2. Weights are your friend. Cardio is essential for losing weight, everybody knows that. But weights are a great way for toning and tightening your body – say goodbye to the wobble!

3. Avoid alcohol. Obviously, have a life and enjoy yourself, but keep it to a minimum!

4. Start off slow. Don’t commit to a 10K run without conquering 3K first. Work your way up to everything!

5. Set goals. This leads on from starting off slow – set a goal and work towards it. Once you reach it, the sense of achievement will bring a big old smile to your face!

6. Wear sensible shoes! This tip is especially for people wishing to take up running. Without a decent pair of trainers, you’re more likely to incur an injury – been there, it’s not fun! I usually spend around £70 on a pair, Nike are my favourite as their shoes are light as a feather (they look pretty nifty too!)

7. If you’re busy, be sure to allocate time! The majority of people give up because they don’t have time. This is rubbish. 200 jumping jacks take less time than an episode of New Girl – You could even watch it while jumping, simples!

8. Stretch! Not only does this avoid injury, it is SO relaxing at the end of a session. You should aim to hold the stretch for around 30 seconds to a minute.

9. Keep a log. Weight yourself once a week at the same time and make a note of it. This will keep you motivated as you see yourself getting closer and closer to your goals!

10. Try and get into a routine. Once you do, exercise and healthy eating will become second nature thus you’re much less likely to fall off the wagon!

11. Crash diets and diet pills are the devil.

12. Your only competition is yourself. Take your time. Results won’t happen over night, keep going and you’ll see the results eventually!

13. Always have a good playlist on your IPod, the beat will keep your pace and singing along usually passes a lot of time!

14. Finally. Remember that the majority of men love something to grab on to – and this was once the sexiest figure in the world – notice no “gap”

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Work It, Work It People!