Posts

hangovers

Sugar Hangovers – They do exist!

As a recovering alcoholic of over 27 years, I know more than most how debilitating hangovers can be.  Not just physically, but emotionally as well.  It feels now as though I awoke, almost every week, of every month of every year for 27 years with a pounding headache, swollen eyes, parched dry mouth, dehydrated yet profusely sweating, unrefreshed as well as with no energy or zest for the day ahead. Now though, just over 2 gloriously, easy years of sobriety, which is not dependant on any interventions, support or therapies, I wake almost every morning refreshed, with a clear brain and eyes, fresh skinned and raring to go.  Not so great for my son, who is not a morning person, but perfect for my puppy, Gorby, who is!

In short, my life has changed completely and I feel amazing. Until recently. Since I started to research sugar and its affects on our weight and physical and emotional health, I have made an astounding discovery.  If I eat too much sugar regularly, I wake up with almost the exact same symptoms as a vodka binge! I am experiencing sugar hangovers.  This is incredible to me.

I started my nutrition and weight loss practice, YOUtrition, after realizing that making simple, easy and straightforward changes to the foods I ate made a huge difference on every level to my health (at the beginning this was as a rear-guard action to counter balance the damage caused by my drinking), as well as my weight. And whilst this has now become a way of life that keeps me slim and in tip top physical shape, I have also noticed a huge shift in my emotional wellbeing.

Then of course, the better I feel, the better able I am to make the best food/lifestyle choices, as I love the way I feel now and I am thriving on every level.  So, sugar has been relegated to a small corner of my nutritional intake, a small slice of birthday cake or slice of occasional pizza – I am very  sociable.  Becoming sugar free was not even a conscious decision, it just came about because the wholefoods I choose to eat and love, don’t come with any pre-packed, processed nasties.

That is all well and good, but to write about sugar and its affects, I needed to actually eat the stuff, so I made a deliberate decision to include in my daily diet, for just one week, some of the food products I rarely eat.  Bread, shop bought cakes with my coffee on dates with friends, refined pasta, shop bought sauces etc.  I didn’t over eat, I just can’t, my body knows when to stop and sends very clear signals, which I cannot ignore, but still I ate differently and my God, the change I felt was almost immediate.

I am bloated (though no extra weight yet), my waist is thicker, my skin is duller, my hair (never anyone’s idea of a crowning glory), lifeless, my eyes are puffy in the morning, I feel sluggish and dehydrated and worst of all, I have no energy, little enthusiasm and my mood is lower. In short,  I have woken every day this week sufffering from sugar hangovers and the only thing that shifts them is either a huge jolt of caffeine, or a “sugar hair of the dog” in the form of a sugary breakfast that then starts the depressing and depressive cyle all over again.

I am only aware of this change because this is not my natural way of living/eating. And  I know I can’t live like this. My body is under siege from the assault of rubbish it now has to process and get rid of –  this stuff has literally nowhere to go, or has any use in my poor body so can only be stored as fat, mainly around my waistline (just where I want it most!). Plus, and by far the worst aspect for me, my emotional wellbeing is struggling too.  This then is a complete no brainer, I eat rubbish, I feel like rubbish.  End of experiment.  End of the sugar hangovers.

One week later, back to my normal eating habits, I feel amazing again.  Fresh, relaxed, my humour intact again and raring to go. Up and ready for my early morning puppy walk – let’s do this Gorby.

Give yourself just five days of eliminating processed foods – and they are all sugar/salt drenched, they have to be for longevity on the shelves and to compensate for the taste that’s lost through processing, and you will see and feel an amazing difference.  Don’t just trust me, trust our body, it will literally change a gear and whiz you towards where you want to be with your weight and health.

If you need any help or support in ditching your sugar hangovers and living an easy sugar free life – and it is easy as well as much less expensive, contact me.  I want you to feel the way I do every single day. I deserve to feel this way and so do you!

sugary

Sugar Addiction Questionnaire from my A Simply Sugar Free Life recipe book

As part of my YOUtrition, A Simply Sugar Free Life recipe book, I have devised a simple questionnaire to help you identify your triggers, moods and feelings around sugary foods (well, actually if they are not whole foods, they are “food products”), and on how much these “food products” feature in your life.

How much control does sugar seem to have over you? How much do you think about these foods and how often do you consume them?

By completing this questionnaire honestly, you are taking a first huge step towards acknowledging the power and prominence sugar has in your life and then, with my help, starting to make the changes in both foods and behaviours that will get you living a slim and healthy Simply Sugar Free Life.

Don’t overthink your answers, a simple Yes or No, (your immediate response) is all that is needed.

When you have finished, look back and review your answers.  There are no right or wrongs, it’s just about you, what you eat and how you feel about what and why you eat.

If you would like to send me your completed questionnaire, email me through my website, I will send you back a quick summary which will depend on how many Yes answers you have!

Do you have a sugary food/drink every day? Yes No
Do you feel you need sugary foods to get you going? Yes No
Are you aware if you haven’t eaten a sugary food on any day? Yes No
Do you feel proud of yourself if you haven’t eaten a sugary food on any day? Yes No
Do you often think about your next sugary treat? Yes No
Can you stop after two sugary treats or does it trigger a binge? Yes No
Do you feel guilty after eating sugary foods? Yes No
Do you feel that sugar has control of you? Yes No
Do you go out of your way, even when you are tired or fed up to buy sugary foods? Yes No
Do you think eating sugary foods will make you feel happy on a bad day? Yes No
Does your energy crash after breakfast/ lunch? Yes No
Do you choose sugary foods that you know are unhealthy over healthier choices? Yes No
Do you think you a sugary food will make you feel better or comforted? Yes No
Have you ever tried stopping eating sugar and not been able to stick with it? Yes No
Do you feel drawn to sugar foods even when you don’t feel like eating? Yes No
Do you find it difficult to resist a dessert even after a big meal in a restaurant? Yes No
Does eating sugar affect your mood, either by not having some or overindulging? Yes No
Do you feel upset and guilty when you have eaten a sugar food? Yes No
Are you often tired and lacking energy? Yes No
Do you hide how much sugar you eat? Yes No

* A Simply Sugar Free Life to be published in November 2017

 

 

 

sugar

A Simply Sugar Free Life – My recipe book & guide to the life you deserve.

I recently started to research sugar, and sugar addiction for my new A Simply Sugar Free Life (scheduled for October release) recipe book.   I want to write a straightforward, no-nonsense, easy to follow book that will really make a difference.  A game changer hopefully (well, that is my aim anyway). I want it to be a mix of the science behind how sugar affects the brain and keeps us coming back for more after the first bite, the potential consequences to our health and the definite consequences to our weight.

“Ok”, I thought, “Jump in Sonia, go sugar free yourself”.  So, I did.  I gave myself one last dinner out and, fairly unusually for me, had a creamy, yummy dessert which, whilst it tasted pretty darn good for all of five minutes, left me feeling somewhat low and uncomfortable afterwards.  Been there anyone???? Anyway, the next day  I went sugar free.

First things first.  Off to the shops, no sugar shopping for me.  I had researched all the sneaky sugars and knew what to avoid.  And then as I wandered around the shops, a slow realisation came over me.  I was buying exactly the same foods I bought every week!  There was literally no change.  It suddenly hit me that I do, at least 90% of the time, live a sugar free life!  What on earth……..

So, a sugar free life is ultimately a life without processed foods.  It is as simple as that.  I don’t buy shop made sauces, I don’t buy processed cereals, I eat very little bread, I don’t buy cakes or sweets – instead I always treat myself to once piece of fresh, juicy, sweet and often exotic fruit each day and I love full fat yogurt with a teaspoon of honey or a good sprinkle of cinnamon and maybe, if I am going crazy a chopped strawberry or inch of chopped banana.  All of which satisfy my sweet tooth and leave me feeling good and positive afterwards.

I have to say, this was quite a revelation and also a slight worry.  How on earth was I now going to write the definitive book on a sugar free life?  I now knew that with a little re-thinking, as well as some tasty alternative recipes to guide my readers into the speed, ease and inexpensive way of making homemade sauces, dips and meals bursting with  texture, colour and flavour sans the sugar and salt that drowns out the taste of any shop bought ones, that I was done. In fact, I have just written it in this blog.  Read this, take it on board and a sugar free life is yours!

But of course, the food information is not the complete answer to a sugar free life, in fact on the whole it is only about 10% of it.  There is the science of addiction as well, how the brain responds to the sweet poison.  There are the types of sugar that we need to avoid, think fructose as well as sweeteners.  Then there is the sugar that we do need in the form of glucose for energy and brain function.  This information offers probably another 10% at best towards a sugar free life.

So, we are left with a huge 80% to deal with, and that it is where my expertise really kicks in. My first book, This Isn’t Me, is currently being published and is due for release in September 2017.  It is my memoir and deals with my 27 year battle, first with heroin addiction and then alcohol addiction. I write about my total desperation to be sober, especially after my glorious son, Christopher, was born and my total failure to be so even when armed with all the information, researched by myself, as to the devastating consequences both physically to myself and emotionally to him.  And still I just couldn’t stop.  And then I did.  I understood my addiction and just like that, I stopped.

That understanding of my addiction was the 80% that was missing, and it is the same with all behaviours.  Please trust me on this.

It is not about what you know about what you do, it is about why you do it.  It is about what you feel, about what you do, be it drink, drugs or food.  It is about what you think it gives you. It is about how you think it makes you feel, even when all the evidence points you in another direction.  It is about understanding you, and finding alternative ways of thinking. It is about your mindset.

When you have that knowledge, that understanding, you have the elusive 80%.  Then with the science to back it up and the recipes to support you, you have your 100%, and as we are talking about sugar here, you have your simple sugar free life.

I would love to hear any questions you would like addressed in my A Simply Sugar Free Life book.  The more I have, the more I can help. I can write from my perspective, but I want to help you.  Have a think and email me through my website.

Believe me, my alcohol free life is easy, every day.  Your sugar free life can to too. x

 

 

frozen

FROZEN YOGURT – A healthier, Delicious & Versatile Alternative to Ice Cream

Frozen yogurt, along with my banana ice creams have taken the place of my favourite full fat, dairy summer time treats.  Now, I did not see that coming.  From when I was a little girl, I have always loved an ice cream.  I remember with such fondness the ice cream van coming to our street what seemed like every day of the year, but surely can only have been in the summer.  The blare of tinny, jangly music to announce its arrival and its gooey, sweet, synthetic offerings covered in either chocolate, or strawberry sauce, nuts and a flake if I had a few extra pennies.  Ah, delish!  But it was not ice cream and definitely had no real chocolate or strawberries in the sauce.  In fact, because of my knowledge now, I shudder to think what ingredients were in those garishly bright coloured sauces.  Anyway, I digress.

Now at 53, my tastes have evolved.  I do still like my sweet, icy desserts, but now I prefer the fresh taste of the fruit melting on my tongue and the quality of the ice cream sliding down my throat is of paramount enjoyment to me. Sadly though I can no longer scoff an ice cream every day without it hugging my waistline for the rest of the summer.

So, what to do? I am absolutely not prepared to give up frozen treats, so have experimented and the results are fabulous.  Frozen yogurt, like my banana ice creams are so easy to make, only three basic ingredients, delicious and refreshing to eat and so much lower in saturated fat (that’s the one we should be checking out on food labels).

For ice cream to be labelled ice cream, it must contain at least 10 percent milkfat and this is usually met through the addition of cream. Top quality, premium ice creams can contain as much as 16 percent milkfat. Frozen yogurt is not made with cream and does not have a fat requirement.  Without the added cream, frozen yogurt is much lower in fat. In one cup of ice cream the fat content is 15g fat, 9g saturated fat.  Frozen yogurt comes in at, per cup, 6g of fat, 4g of saturated fat.  A huge difference.

However, whilst frozen yogurt is much healthier, you do need to keep an eye on portion sizing, especially if you go for some of the higher fat additions.

So, how to make.  Frozen yogurt is so simple. For a basic, but still delicious one, grab, Greek yogurt (higher in protein), honey, and fruit (packed with fibre and nutrients). That’s it.  Literally, that’s it! You can serve in a bowl, cone or pop a lolly stick in before you freeze and you have gorgeous “ice lollies” for the kids.

  • 1 x cup plain Greek Yogurt.
  •  4 x cups frozen, fresh fruit or drained tinned fruit
  • 2 x 3 tbsp honey.

Blitz until the consistency you like, either creamy for approx. 5 mins, or if with “bits” in for 3 – this is entirely up to your taste.Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours, depending on how much you make.You can add to your frozen yogurt any fruit you like. Below are some other suggestions. Obviously, some are healthier than others, but you know that right!

  • Add cinnamon, allspice, peanut butter or Nutella in to the blitz
  • Caco powder & mint essence
  • Add crushed nuts as a topping
  • Add more fruit as a topping

So, make some today, keep in the fridge and be ready for a sunny afternoons delicious and nutritious treat.

plates

Want to Lose Weight? Change Your PLATES!

When I start working with a new client who wants to lose weight, there are two things I ask them to do immediately. One is to change their drinking habits, limit their caffeine, cut out alcohol and fizzy drinks and to replace all with water – pure, life giving, beautifying, simple and cheap water.

The second is to buy smaller plates.  Much smaller plates.  I ask them to put their standard size plates in the cupboard out of sight and only to use the new smaller ones.  Every single client who follows just these two tips lose weight even if they make no other immediate changes.  There is of course more to YOUtrition’ s method than water and smaller plates, but they are an excellent start.

The first tip, the water, all my clients understand.  Ultimately, whether you like water or not, and there is so much you can do to jazz it up, we all know that water is good for us and that it has no calories.  Most aren’t aware that it also takes the edge off hunger but they soon notice that and learn to love this elixir of life. The plates are a different story.

To demonstrate why I ask them to buy the smaller plates, I place on my table four plates dated from the 1970’s, 1980’s 2000 & 2009.  The difference in sizes is quite incredible and of course as our plates have grown in size, so have our portions.

In fact, we have gone from eating off 8.5” plates to 12” dinner plates in 40 years.  Can you imagine the extra calories as each plate grows?  Let me tell you that the 1970’s plate would have held approx. 800 calories, the 1980’s plate 1000 calories, the 2000’s plate 1600 calories and the 2009 plate a whopping 1900 calories. Now imagine a portion from the 1970’s of any meal on a modern day plate, it would look woefully small and yet is more than enough for all our bodies needs.

Then there is the quality of the foods on these plates. I am old enough to remember bread being sold in brown paper bags, which lasted only one day to today’s loaf that can last up 7 days. What is the difference?  There must be something “extra” in the bread. Now, in our instant gratification, fast everything, including food world, meals can be so easy to buy pre-prepared, beautifully coloured and wrapped in plastic ready for us to heat in our super quick microwaves and decant on to our huge plates.  These ready meals have plenty of ingredients, most of which aren’t food related, but not the ones we need.  They often lack both nutrients and the fibre required to keep us full, and so we can eat much larger portions.  I guess you can see where I am going with this………

Not only that, but along with the rapid advancement of technology, we now have remote controls for everything from the tv to the lighting at home.  I don’t think my 19 year old son has ever had to rouse himself from the comfort of his armchair to either turn the tv over or volume down.  We now have emails to whiz between departments so no longer have to move from our desks to confer with colleagues. Most of us have at least two cars per household (more if you have grown up children), so there is no need to walk anywhere. There are enormous supermarkets that cater for all our shopping needs from food to furniture,  and we can do our whole life shop in one place if we wish, rather than wander up and down the high street going to the bakers, butchers etc before lugging our heavy shopping home. Or better still, we can shop from our computers at home and get anything delivered.  Is some cases, it can even be put away by the lovely chap who drives it to our door.  So not only are we eating more, we are also moving less.

There is however, one element of our increased food consumption life that hasn’t overly changed, and that is the size of our stomachs.  They have remained pretty much the same regardless of our fast food world and humongous plates. Still, not to worry, as we continue to consume ever larger portions of unsatisfying “foods” that offer little taste and no nourishment, our stomachs are becoming increasingly stretched and distorted to accommodate the load.

So, take my professional advice, all of it works. Pop out to any supermarket, buy yourself a few smaller plates. Ignore the processed food products, fill half your plate with veggies, one quarter lean protein and healthy fats, and the last quarter grains or wholemeal carbs and take the first important step to successful weight loss.  I promise you, within a week, you won’t even notice the difference in portion sizes.  Then of course come back to me for some more tips.  Happy eating everyone!

YOUtrition

YOUtrition – No Fads, Lotions, Potions, Gells Or Spells!

What is YOUtrition and why am I different?  What do I know that other “diet clubs” don’t (well, I am not a diet club for a start). Am I another fad foodie offering an unsustainable diet plan with weird lotions/potions/gels or spells to guarantee a slim you forever?  No, I am not.  So, let me tell you what I am, who I am and why I am different.

At the age of 53 years (young), and after 27 years of seemingly hopeless addictions at times to both alcohol and drugs, I am now easily and happily sober. I tried all the interventions out there along with a fair few quacks, none of which had any impact.  At the time, I didn’t understand why but now I do and that knowledge is the difference  that I, as YOUtrition, bring to my clients.

Let me explain.  For the 15 years I was desperate to be clean after my son was born I searched high and low for an answer.  An external answer to an internal problem. A cheap sticking plaster if you like. One which didn’t fit properly, that didn’t allow the wounds underneath to heal and so I stayed drunk.  I made the fundamental mistake of relying on a book, class or person to have the secret to my alcohol free life.  To tell me what to do.  But I knew what to do, I needed to stop drinking, I just couldn’t.  So of course nothing worked for me. Plenty of people told me what I already knew, but not one had any impact. I thought I was destined to live and die an alcoholic. And then something, or rather someone, did work.  And that someone was me. I found that the only way forward for me was to think differently about what alcohol gave me (or rather took away) and by the simple change of thinking differently I was able to make different choices. Alcohol free ones.

Then there was all the interventions. Excellent in theory, except that they seemed to have a “one size fits all” policy (much like a diet plan), which was perfectly understandable as, again like a diet plan, they deal with large numbers of people, not the individual. However, even the individual therapists I saw had an accepted view of  treatment for addiction and recovery.  Sadly though, not many of us fit that one size.  Believe me I tried. Time and time again. But I struggled to fit myself into the constricting guidelines which didn’t resonate with me and so, also time and time again, I slipped and fell off a wagon that had no seat for me in the first place.

Does that sound to you like some of your food struggles?  Do you find that the weight loss recipes and diet rules just don’t work for you? That clubs telling you what to do, when frankly you already know, just don’t “click”? Do you then find because they didn’t click that the reliance on willpower and perceived deprivation and restriction becomes depressing and unsustainable?  If you experience any of those thoughts and feelings, you haven’t found the right fit for you. You haven’t found your click.

My passion is to find YOUR right fit (your click)!  What works for you and why.   I provide simple, tasty, health giving and stress free recipes that you and your family will love and work to put food back in its rightful place in your life.  A place of physical and emotional nourishment and a time of bonding for you and your family. But more importantly,  I focus on your thoughts as to the “why’s” of your eating habits and choices and it is understanding the why’s which is your food struggle game changer.  Change your why’s and everything becomes easy.  I  know this because I live this!

I want my life, after so many years of struggle to be simple and I keep your life simple too. If you find your favourite family meals are unhealthy,  I simply swap out ingredients for a healthier version. Planning and prepping a chaotic nightmare?  I soothe your bad dreams away and replace them with strategies that work. Struggling to fit healthy eating in around your work/life commitments? I always find a way that works.  A way that you tell me works because you can stick with it.

I challenge your often long held thoughts and belief’s around your food choices and eating habits.  I know that so many of these come from childhood, where often we were rewarded with foods,  or maybe chastised if we don’t eat everything on our plates or  suffered some emotional upheaval that we haven’t had the skills to cope with and overate instead. I put these firmly in the past.  Together we laugh at your food monsters, turn them on their heads, pack them up, drop them in a bucket and then chuck them down the drain.

YOUtrition’s method works! I know what worked for me and I know by helping you think differently about food and its place in your life, that I can make it work for you. You are my passion.  Everyone deserves the chance  that I so thankfully found for myself.

I put you, your weight and health first until you are able to. Until you have learned the habits and healthy food choices and skills that will stand you in good stead for life. Once you have those firmly in place, you pick up the baton and the wellness and dress size you desire really does become a long term reality and not just a summertime fling. A fling that once the the love affair with your new size and restrictive diet ends, finds you slinking back to the eating habits and food thoughts that bought you to me in the first place.

I work with small groups and 1-2-1’s, so contact me to see what I can do for you!

 

eat

Eat Well to Live Well – Top Tips For Your Busy Life

In  our modern super highway lives,  we can feel as though we are in constant motion, striving to produce our best in every area of our lives which can be quite a juggling act (sounding familiar yet?) so it is imperative that we eat well.

I know that most of us are juggling more than just one ball, in fact on the whole we are Olympic standard jugglers, with our work, child care, parent care, animal care and “you name it, I’ll do it” care balls, all constantly in the air as we deftly catch and relaunch them to keep life running smoothly.  There is one ball though that most of us leave, lying dusty on the floor as we feel it comes last.  It is our self-care ball.  The one that is all about us.

However, to be truly successful in any and every area of our lives, we must put ourselves first and the one of the easiest way to do this is by making food and drink choices that best support our mental and physical selves.

My son is working hard on his exams at the moment and he often tells me he hasn’t had time for lunch.  A friend who has reached a wonderfully old age  tells me he has been working hard in the garden and that he too hasn’t eaten during the day.  I am very upset when I hear both of my loved ones tell me this, especially as they sometimes say it it with, “I am working so hard, I don’t have time” pride. I get upset because I know that good nutrition is vital to their wellbeing, success and happiness in every area of their lives, and guess what, the same applies to you.

When we prepare for an important client meeting we make sure everything is 100%, our PowerPoint slides are perfect, the meeting venue is easy for everyone to reach, the timing works for everyone, someone is on hand with refreshments.

When you are planning do you ever think, I must make sure I eat properly before I go in?  I must make sure I am properly hydrated?  I know if I am not my concentration might be affected and my ability to give my best.

If you are properly fuelled you are giving yourself the best chance of being energized, full of vitality, and ready to face the day’s work and challenges. If you are not, you can feel exhausted and irritable, relying on jolts of caffeine and processed sugars to get you through the day?   Which scenario best applies to you?

When we are busy, eating can become a fight between what you crave and what you know is going to nourish you as sadly they are rarely the same foods, then making good choices can feel frustrating and an added stress.   The best way to avoid food stress is to plan your food in advance.

My food choices are rarely made on the day, they are made the night before or earlier – in the same way my work and home life is planned.  It is unusual for my planned day to change so dramatically that I have to all abandon my choices, but it does happen and even that I am prepared for, so here are YOUtrition’s top 7 practical tips to eat your way to success.

YOUtrition’s Top 7 Practical Tips to Eat your Way To Success.

Spend one hour at the weekend planning for your week’s meals, making a shopping list and stick to it! Make wholefoods priority, not food products. If the label has ingredients you don’t understand, they belong in a laboratory, not your body. If you feel you might be tempted with other “treats” shop online.

Spend another hour prepping simple, easy meals for the fridge/freezer. Follow the mantra, cook once, eat twice. Any time you spend now will be gained back when you need it most.  When you are tired and hungry at the end of a busy day and something nutritious is ready to be popped into the microwave or oven.

In the same way you plan your next day, plan your food. Are you at home or in the office? How much time do you expect to be travelling?  Are you staying overnight? Call ahead, ask if there is a fridge/microwave you can use.  Know your day and make your food plans.

Try to include protein and healthy fats at every meal. They keep fat burning, keep you feeling fuller longer than carbs and limit the mid-morning & mid-afternoon sugar slump.

Eat breakfast every day. Those who eat a healthy breakfast lose 30% more weight than those who don’t, and make better food choices throughout the day.

Never leave home without water and a wholefoods snack, a small banana, a boiled egg, handful of mixed nuts etc. – don’t be caught short and hungry or thirsty. Make sandwich bags for snack a must on your shopping list.

Stay hydrated. Limit caffeine.  The shot of caffeine we use in the morning to get us going can also cause anxiety in an already stressed day. The same with energy drinks. Two cups of coffee is fine, then switch to decaff or herbal teas.

Remember that in every situation there is a healthier choice, even in a motorway service station, you just have to choose it!

Finally, dear ladies, in the words of Virginal Woolf,

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well”

 

 

protein

Protein Powder – Why Choose Dust Over Food?

Protein powders are all the rage right now.  In every supermarket and health food shop, the choice seems to me to be overwhelming with all of them extolling their potentially miraculous results.  Some I acknowledge do sound healthier than others. The ones for instance that do not have sweeteners, synthetic fruit and chocolate added, but still, when did dust become a healthy food source?

I understand that in our high-speed, immediate gratification world, so wonderfully promoted through super clever marketing to re-enforce that we are time poor, such powders just might have some place occasionally in a balanced diet – but only the least processed and least added to (always remember to check out the ingredients list. The less ingredients, usually, the less processed), but still they are not a true alternative to any good whole food protein source that comes bound with fibre, vitamins and other health giving nutrients that our bodies not only need but know how to effectively utilise.

If we plan our food properly in advance there is very little need for protein powders and unless you are a super athlete, try to minimise their usage and fuel your body with real foods instead.

Remember that your body can’t store any excess protein anyway, so unless you need the extra boost  it is wasted.  Plus protein powders are so much more expensive and so much less tasty than whole foods – have you ever lusted over a plate of dust, the way you have over a gorgeous steak or salmon?

From the committed carnivore to the dedicated herbivore and for every group in between, there are options for fabulous, wholefoods proteins. To make it easy for you, I have included below a list of meat and vegetarian protein sources and their protein content so that you can make the best food not powder choices!

MEATS

Beef (6 oz.) – 54 grams

Turkey, breast (6 oz.) – 51.4 grams
Pork Chop (6 oz.) 49 grams
Turkey, dark meat (6 oz.) – 48.6 grams
Hamburger (6 oz.) – 48.6 grams
Chicken, dark meat (6 oz.) – 47.2 grams
Tuna (6 oz.) – 40.1 grams
Broiled Beefsteak (6 oz.) – 38.6 grams
Chicken, breast (6 oz.) – 37.8 grams
Ham (6 oz.) – 35.4 grams
Salmon (6 oz.) – 33.6 grams

DAIRY/EGGS

Cottage cheese (1 cup) – 28.1 grams
Yogurt, low fat (1 cup) – 10.7 grams
Skim milk (1 cup) – 8.3 grams
Whole milk (1 cup) – 8 grams
American cheese (1 oz.) – 7 grams
Soymilk (6 oz.) – 6.7 grams
Egg (1 large) – 6.3 grams

MEAT SUBSTITUTES, BEANS AND LEGUMES, NUTS

Veggie Burger (6 oz.) – 51.4 grams
Tofu (6 oz.) – 13.8 grams
Peanut Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 8.1 grams
Almond Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 7 grams
Lentils (1/2 cup) – 9 grams
Split Peas (1/2 cup) – 8.1 grams
Kidney Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.6 grams
Sesame Seeds (1 oz.) – 7.5 grams
Black Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.5 grams
Garbanzo Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.3 grams
Green Peas (1/2 cup) – 4.1 grams

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Orange (large) – 1.7 grams
Banana (medium) – 1.2 grams
Green Beans (1/2 cup) – 1 gram
Carrots (1/2 cup) – .8 gram
Apple (large) – 0 grams

 

sweet

Sweet Potato Toast – the perfect bread alternative!

I am very good at food planning and prepping. I see and feel the benefits on every level myself, from the lack of food panic over what’s is/isn’t in the fridge when I am hungry, to my weight and health.  I feel the difference in my energy levels and overall sense of wellbeing very quickly if I have eaten rubbish.  Most of us do, but in our super high-speed world we are sadly not as tuned into our bodies and its needs as we could be. Plus of course, is it my passion to get clients to eat a healthy balanced diet that brings them all the health and weight benefits I know they can enjoy and that they deserve, but still sometimes I do get caught short.

This morning is one such instance.  I have had family staying for the weekend, a lovely, happy time, but also a time of total fridge depletion.  I often find that when I have guests, the foods that I always have prepared are dipped into purely out of interest to see what the “Mad Professor Food Aunt” (I am sure that it is said with love) has been working on.  Only trouble is, they don’t tell me and I don’t realize until I need to eat the “experiment”.

Today my homemade muesli is gone, along with my breakfast burrito filling and all my fruit salad with seeds and nuts.  Hey Ho! they had a good dose of nutrients and I love them so.

Meanwhile, I have no bread, I rarely do, I find it bloats me and make me sluggish, but I sometimes have half a bagel and they are gone too, so I can’t even have toast.  Or can I?  I do have sweet potatoes, I wonder what they will be like toasted? Here goes.

They are wonderful! Low on the GI scale (slower sugar release so no sugar slump),  packed with nutrients, slightly sweet and perfect with a buttery fried egg on avocado smash. Under 250 cals with avocado and fried egg topping, and with 11g of protein to keep you full, the “mad prof” has come through again! Check out this recipe, be bold and brave with your topping and try the latest toast to hit town.  Let me know how it goes.  Happy eating.

Ingredient

1 x Large Sweet Potato

Method

Slice sweet potato lengthwise into 2cm slices.

Insert slices into toaster (as you would bread) and toast on high. Check the sweet potatoes after it pops up from toaster. (It’s ready when you can easily pierce a fork into the flesh, it’s ready.) Continue toasting until tender, if necessary.

Keep a close eye until you have perfected your toast, if it browns too quickly , turn the toaster down.

Top with your avocado smash and buttery fried egg and serve immediately.

Mix Your Toppings Up 

  • tsp Tahini and sesame seeds
  • tsp peanut butter & sliced banana
  • tsp honey and sprinkle of mixed seeds
  • tsp marmite
  • tsp cottage cheese, sliced cucumber & tomato
banana

Banana Ice Cream – No Fat, No Sugar!

We all want to look and feel our best, especially in the summer months.  We can slather on the fake tan and get those little tops and shorts out, yes at 53 I am still (attempting) to rock my 23 year old self, and get our bodies out there soaking up those life giving, feel good rays and vital vitamin D.

There are fabulous healthy summer salads everywhere, and long cool drinks, that if we chose wisely – and I don’t mean that ice cold Rose every day – that help us on our way to looking and feeling amazing (Obviously I think one of the best ways to that end is for you to join my 6 Week Youtrition Group Program on my website.  Just saying…..)

However, healthy eating does not have to mean no sweet treats. Even though we know they really need to be small and occasional, the word “treat” is the clue and treat does not mean every day. Still, most of us would feel that is a little cruel. We want to enjoy our ice creams with the kids, or just by ourselves, but the shop bought ones, even the creamiest ones labelled “healthy” are packed with sugar and fat.

Have no fear though, I have the perfect answer and only one ingredient! Banana ice creams! You don’t even have to like the taste of bananas, with the toppings you don’t even need to taste them.  They are amazingly versatile, packed with nutrients, no saturated fat, loads of fibre to fill you up and I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed my ice creams.  This recipe is taken from my 6 Weeks to Looking & Feeling Amazing Program and is the easiest ever recipe.

Banana Ice Cream

Banana ice cream is a fabulous, fat free alternative and one of my fav desserts. So quick and easy to make and so many variations

2 x chopped bananas, frozen –  that’s it!

Add frozen bananas to food processor/blender and blend for 3 minutes.  Keep stopping to scrape from the sides into the mixture.

Place in bowl and your done! Either eat immediately or return to freezer for a firmer ice cream.

Mix it Up, try

3 x chopped strawberries

1 x tsp honey

1 x tsp honey & 1x tsp pistachio nuts

1 x tbsp. caco powder

1 x tbsp caco & ¼ tsp peppermint essence (mint choc ice cream)

1 x tsp cinnamon

Small chunks of any fruit you like!

Serves 2, Cals 65, Carbs 13.6g, Protein 0.9g, Fat 0.2g

Give it a go, add some of your fav fruit and let me know how it goes!