Saturday, 29 August 2015

Healthy Home Made Popcorn

We all love a cheeky snack don't we?  Sometimes it doesn't have to be a naughty snack,  but it can be a healthy one with a little something naughty added to it.  I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate and I also love popcorn.  Oh yes chocolate and popcorn two of my favourite treats yum yum. 

To me popcorn isn't too bad, trust me there are worse things you can eat.... I could name plenty if you'd let me.  Anyway... I am a sucker for salty popcorn goodness.  It is seriously addicting.  Instead of buying a packet of ready made popcorn I opted to make my own.  It was a little more time consuming but we'll worth it and fun!

To make this all you need is... 

* A large sauce pan and a lid for it. 
* One TBS of cooking oil (you can use anything - except olive) 
* A bag of kernels
* Some salt (optional) 
* Chocolate of your choice - I used dark :-)
* Another pan, hot water, a heat proof bowl plus a wooden spoon (this will be your banmarie)
* A large baking tray

How to make it is easy.

In your pan,  place your TBS of oil and add about 1/2 cup of the kernels (more if you desire).  Make sure the kernels get a light coating of oil. Then pop on your lid.. Cook it on a medium heat.

You'll soon hear popping.  Every now again pick the pan up,  holding down the lid and give it a shake and replace back on the heat.   The is no 'ready' time just until the is no more popping or the popcorn is busting out of the pan... You can always lift the lid to see.. but be careful.

Take off heat and leave for a few minutes. Then lift the lid and sprinkle on your salt.  Replace the lid and shake.   You can now eat it if you want but I'm covering mine in chocolate.

Melt your chocolate in a banmarie, whilst it's melting place your popcorn on a baking sheet as flat as possible.  Once the chocolate has melted you can you use a fork to dribble on your chocolate.  Once happy with the way it looks... Leave it to cool.

You're done..... now eat!!!!


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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Cooking Inspiration

I love planning and putting together meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Being creative is great and I completely encourage it in any shape or form and of course in the kitchen.  After time we may end up feeling uninspired and because of this sometimes meals can become repetitive and boring. No one likes to eat the same meals day in day out do they??

These days many look to the internet for inspiration but I like the old traditional way of grabbing a book.  Will books exist in years to come??? Any ways I picked up this book Five Ingredients, Ten Minutes by Jules Clancy in Home Sense a few months ago.  The name and the fact it only takes ten minutes to knock up the dishes in this book grabbed my attention.

If you are looking for fast not very good for you meals, then this is not for you.  Each recipe in the book contains only five ingredients and are healthy and delicious.  I'll be honest and tell you that some are a little basic, however you could perhaps add a few extra ingredients if you fancy.  As for getting the dishes ready in ten minutes...I'm not the most skilled knifes-men and I'd rather keep all my fingers in tacked...but that said if your organised you can easily get the meal done in that time.

The book contains lots of pictures so you can see what the finished result will be and the instructions are easy to follow.  There are also variations in case you are fussy and don't like a particular items on the list.  Any one should be able to make these meals as most ingredients are likely to be in you fridge/freezer or stored in your kitchen cupboards.

I completely recommend this book if you are looking for some healthy eating clean meal recommendations.  You can pick up your copy from Amazon right HERE.


Where can you find me??

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Can you eat out and be healthy??

The simple answer to this is yes.  It is all about making better and wiser choices (plus having the meal out with someone who understands your journey, there is nothing worse than peer pressure to eat a Banoffi Pie -  true story!).

If you're leading a healthy lifestyle there is nothing worse than temptations especially if you're someone who can easily cave in to it.  Here are a few helpful tips.

If you're going out for a meal, plan ahead.  Agree a restaurant which has healthier options on the menu. You can even pick the meal before you step foot in the restaurant.  This way you won't be looking at everything on the menu.  Don't put temptation under your nose!!

Avoid the bread basket
I, like the next person loves a chunk of bread with balsamic and olive oil.  However most restaurants give you white bread option.  Go for olives instead as they contain healthy fats. Plus you'll be saving yourself from the bread basket bloat.

These days I'm all about the water. I rarely have soda/pop/fizzy (whatever you call them) drinks at all.  However with a meal I may have the occasional glass of white wine.  If you're going down this road have water too as it's all about balance.  Plus water fills you up so you may not be a hungry.

So your dying for a steak but the only options on the menu is they serve it with chips and covered in sauce.  Ask your waiter if you can swap items over or have the sauce on the side.  Restaurants are quite acommendating these days and are more than happy to chop and change chips or French fries for let's say a jacket or boiled potatoes.  If you don't ask, you don't get!

If you're dying for a side dish of chips then have them but perhaps share them with who you are with.  You won't feel like you have to eat them all if you're sharing with a friend.

Two Out Of Three
When you're at a restaurant there is normally the traditional of starters, mains, dessert. Well my friend just have two... either starters and no dessert or indulge in dessert but skip the starters.  Less is more.

Hope this helps and inspires.


Where can you find me??


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Healthy Banana Oat Cookies

There is always a time when I just crave something naughty, be it a woman thing or just fancy a pig out... you know how it is.  However this can be difficult if you are attempting to live a healthy life style and not to eat so much crap.  I am up to day 21 of entering my daily food in take in to My Fitness Pal.   Not a naughty thing has crossed my lips with the exception of a piece of dark chocolate now and again.  But day 21 has proved challenging.  So with some very ripe bananas I did some baking.  But healthy baking I might add and yes there is such a thing.

What you'll need ingredients wise are...

3 cups of porridge oats
3 large or 3 1/2 small ripe bananas (ripe being the KEY word there)

That's it!!  That is all you need.  However you can add some optional extras like the following...

Nuts: almonds/pecans/walnuts
Chocolate chips: dark/milk/white
Coconut flakes
Vanilla or Almond extract
Dried fruit: cranberries/sultanas/raisins

If you include an optional extra, you need to add 1/2 a cup.  

In my cookies I added a TBS of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of raisins.

Equipment you need is a food processor, measuring cups, baking trays, a large bowl and wooden spoon.

1.  Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
2.  In a food processor blend your oats in to flour.  Some little lumps are OK so don't worry about it being perfect.
3.  In a large bowl place your peeled bananas and mash them up until smooth.
4.  Add your oat flour - at this point I threw in my 1/2 cup of dried fruit, cinnamon/nutmeg and and a TBS of vanilla extract.
5.  Combine together with a wooden spoon, then on your greased baking tray (I sprayed mine with Fry Light) place balls of the mixture.  Flatten each one with a fork.
6.  Place into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Now take them out and let them cool.  Then enjoy them with a cuppa.

You will have these cookies prepped, baked and eaten within 30 minutes.  Or if you cannot eat them all at once, they will keep for about 10 days in an air tight container.  They may not look the nicest but they taste pretty darn good plus they are better than a Mars bar!!  This can also be a Slimming World Healthy Recipe.


Where can you find me??

Friday, 21 August 2015

Alexa Jean Fitness

Well hello, last night I spent an hour in my back garden torturing myself.  I was determined to spend at least one hour doing exercise, so I whipped out my three new fitness programmes.  Oh my poor little body was crying afterwards.

For quite a while I have followed Alexa Jean Fitness on Instagram and longed to have a body remotely close to hers.  Oh please god!  Considering she's had a child too it makes me even more envious.

Alexa sells three e-books which targets different areas of the body.  If you check her out on Instagram you'll see what kind of moves her programmes entail.  This week I bought a bundle set containing all three of her 30 day exercise programmes.  There is Sore To The Core for abs, Butt and Leg which obviously is for your bottom and legs and finally the Upper Body Challenge.  You can buy all three for $25.00 (approximately £15.00 for us Brits). I think this is a fair price for three e-books when each contains 4 weeks of exercise routines.  Everything is written out for you and is very easy to follow with photographs with reps and times.  You can buy each of them separate for $10.00 if you wish.

If you need support or wish to show your progress pictures there is a hashtag system on Instagram.  Lots if ladies show their success stories with before and after pictures.  I'm determined to do this and I cannot wait. Bring it on!

Fancy trying out Alexa's fitness programmes??


Where can you find me??

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

New Read | Eat. Nourish. Glow.

Ok, so I'm slightly obsessed with my new read.  Amelia Freer's Eat. Nourish. Glow. is a book once you pick up to read, it's very hard to put back down on the coffee table.  As they say, once you pop, you can't stop!  Amelia's name is one that has been floating around for a while and I was desperate to find out more.

I'm one of those people who are always searching and gathering information especially on subjects like nutrition.  Amelia is a fully qualified  nutritional therapist and her book covers 10 points and they all talk a lot of sense.   You eat due to boredom and the need for a distraction...  SO TRUE!! 

I'm only a couple of pages in but I can tell this will be life changing read.  I have sticky tabs at the ready so I can mark my favourite pages.   I plan to write a follow-up post where I will do a more in depth review when I have read more.  I am quite excited! 


Where can you find me??


Monday, 17 August 2015

What is in my yoga bag?

Yoga is far more than standing on one leg, humming and looking ridiculous.  It's actually a rather good work out - try it if you do not believe me!  For the past few weeks I have been enjoying an evening class.  I thought it would nice to share what kind of clothes I wear and what bits and bobs I take with me.  I attend classes after work, so I take a bag with my yoga essentials and a set of work out clothes.  So what's in my bag you ask?  

Let's start clothes...

The key thing with yoga is comfort.  None of the positions you try to obtain should cause you any unnecessary discomfort and neither should your clothes you wear to class.  You need to feel comfortable, nothing too tight or too loose it's falling down round your ankles.  I like to wear a skin tight work out vests - I prefer these to loose fitting flowy tops as there is no fabric falling in your face when you're in your downward facing dog!  The Nike Dri and the Adidas ClimaLite lines are one of my favourites as they are breathable and move along with you - almost like a second layer of skin.

For my bottoms I like my leggings and when I say leggings I mean work out ones, not those causal thin black ones.  The causal ones generally are a little thinner and can show your knickers off - keep that for the bedroom ladies!!!!!  I own a few nice pairs from USA Pro, which have good Lycra in them and are quite high waisted.  No falling down to my ankles!

Now ladies, when it comes to your boobies - please wear good support.  Whether you are small, medium or large or even extra large in the bust department - you need support.  I wear my sports bra as I have mountains (as per Shakira - Whenever, Wherever).   The bras I use are from Active D+ range from Shocker Absorber, I love this kind I wear as they are high at the front so I don't fall out.  No awkward moments!

Okay on to the essentials...

You may not necessarily need any equipment to begin with.  If you're attending a new group perhaps message your instructor and find out if they supply matts at the class.  If you love it, want to make the class a regular thing, then you may want to buy your own.  The matt I have is from the Argos Davina McCall range.  I personally didn't want anything too fancy and this does the job perfectly.

On to blocks, these aren't a must - it is dependant on you really.  Unfortunately I don't have long luscious limbs like a super model.  With some of the yoga positions you need a little help and I certainly do.  The two I picked up are from USA Pro (not being sponsored - promise).  I've provided the link to an Ebay page as the blocks weren't on the USA Pro site - LINK.

The belt is next on my list to buy.  I'm currently using a range of residence rubber bands I've collected over the years.  These are great too if you aren't that flexible yet and need help reaching certain positions.  Link HERE if you want to browser at some.

I hope this helps any yoga newbies out there.  Have you ever tried yoga?  Do you have any yoga essentials recommendations?


Where can you find me??


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Weekend Breakfasts

I love the weekend.  Mostly because those two precious days are my days of rest plus I don't have to rush breakfast time.  Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day, I really enjoying creating a yummy dish.  During the week it can be far too busy to give it much thought, I still am healthy but I cannot really sit down to enjoy it.

This weekend I have documented my meals to share.  Perhaps I can inspire someone to recreate??  I hope so.

Here goes. 

... pancakes were on the menu - the healthy version however (I'll pop receipe up soon).  I have not had these for ages so I grabbed two eggs and one banana - added a little cinnamon and nutmeg to season it.  I gave them all a good mashing and ta-dah healthy pancakes are born!! I managed to squeeze out four servings (which I ate all of -yum yum). Strawberries on the side and there you go.... food heaven.  I also had a smoothie which was ice cubes, blueberries, apple and pineapple plus extra water.  You can never have enough H2O!!!

... was eggs again but however I added red onion and spinach.  I fried half a red onion in coconut oil to soften them and the added frozen spinach to cook (which took forever as it was frozen like a rock!!). Once cooked through, I broke two eggs and stirred with my wooden spoon... Added some Himalayan pink salt to season then I served it up with half an avocado.  This was sooooo yummy, I know I cooked it but it was lush!  My smoothie was 80mls of coconut water, one banana and some frozen red berries. I also added ice and water.  Fluids fluids fluids!

What do you love to eat for breakkie???!


Where can you find me??


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Breakfast in bed

Today was a breakfast in bed kind of day.  A beautiful Sunday day plus I was feeling slightly under the weather! Due to the later, my super-duper hubby took pity on me and whipped up a delicious breakfast in bed and this is what I got. 

Egg on a bed of peppers, tomato, cubed feta and avocado. 


I thought my hubby's creation was blog post /picture worthy (don't tell him or he'll get a big head) as it was quite yummy and also extremely healthy.  I'm really into my eggs at the moment, as I find the feel me up and I do not tend to pick between meals.  I totally recommend this meal as it was lovely.

All he did was poach an egg in a pan and while that was cooking - he soften some orange pepper and tomatoes on the hob.  He then scooped out half an avocado, grabbed some herbs and a small amount of cubed feta cheese to serve with it.

Pretty simple and very tasty.  What did you eat today??


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