These tasty little snacks are perfect pre or post gym or just to replace your usual chocolate fix.
I have used Purition 100% wholefood protein mix as the main protein ingredient. http://www.purition.co.uk
20/30g Lucy bee Coconut Oil
2 scoops of Purition Breakfast Smoothie (or brown rice protein)
50g pre-soaked dates
2 tsp of Whole Earth Peanut Butter
1 tsp of maple syrup or honey
2 tsp of good quality dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
Shredded coconut to coat
Combine all ingredients in a blender, if the mixture is to sticky to roll into balls add a little more Purition or alternative protein. Then roll into balls and roll over the coconut to coat. They will keep in the fridge for about two weeks or freeze for three months.
Clean & Lean Protein Pancakes
I love a good breakfast and these pancakes hit the spot. I use a whole food product called PURITION which is 100% natural and can be used as a shake, added to yogurt or used as an ingredient like I have here. Take a look at their website www.purition.co.uk.
2 scoops of Purition
1 whole egg
1 egg white
2 tsp of oats
splash of almond milk
frozen raspberries, Greek yogurt and a little maple syrup to finish
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and pour half into a small frying pan (recipe will make two pancakes). When pancakes are done turn out on to a plate turn off heat and use residual heat to warm raspberries through, add to Greek yogurt and dollop on top of your delicious pancakes…yum.
If there is one thing I have learnt over the past 7 weeks in trying to lose a bit of weight and feel good about putting a bikini on again ready for my holiday in 8 and a half days time (I’m not counting)!! Is that if you start eating sensibly early enough to allow yourself to lose the weight then you can do it without adopting a fad diet. I know it can work because I have done just that in the last 6 weeks and I promise you I haven’t been doing any silly diets, just healthy eating and exercise, but even without the exercise you can lose weight with a sensible approach to eating. So here are some of my tips to help you do just that. If you want to lose a few pounds remember you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day to lose 1lb per week.
- If you have a smart phone get an app to help you count calories, you will be surprised at how many calories you are eating and it is a very effective way of keeping track of what you eat as you can really see where your calories are coming from and how much sugar and fat you are eating. I recommend ‘my fitness pal’ excellent calorie app and it has most definitely helped me stay in control. You can also add exercise and although it is not 100% accurate in calculating calorie expenditure it does go some way to giving you an idea of how many calories you might be burning during exercise.
- Try and plan meals in advance, leaving it to the last-minute usually results in bad choices.
- Weigh your food, not everything but definitely cereal because there are a lot of hidden sugars and more calories than you think. Secondly look at the serving size in relation to calories, it usually ranges between 30 – 50g and believe me even 50g is a small portion when you weigh it. Most people double this when they fill the bowl and the calories, you could easily be consuming 500 to 600 calories in breakfast and milk alone when eating cereal.
- If you have had a bad day and consumed more calories than you perhaps should have then don’t stress about it but instead make up for it the following day and reduce your calories to around 1000 or do some exercise, I find this works well if I have been invited out for a meal or something. It means you can still be naughty from time to time without worrying too much. I have still lost weight using this method.
- Find a good fitness program off the internet there are a lot of free ones. Circuit training is good or HIT (high intensity training) short bursts of intense exercise lasting about 20 to 30 minutes per session. You do need to include weight resistance in your programe…trust me it will work wonders on burning calories.
- If you find a meal you like for lunch at work for example, then keep using the recipe but alter one or two things to it so you don’t get bored and just keep tabs on your calories.
- If body fat is what you need to reduce then ensure you are paying attention to fat in the foods you are eating. Reduce your fat intake and you will start to lose fat too; your body will start to burn stored fat instead if you are reducing how much you eat…it’s simple really and if you chose to exercise as well then you will burn even more and you will see the weight start to drop.
- Take measurements for thighs, hips and waist as well as weighing yourself and body fat %, because you might not see weight drop but you could have lost inches.
- Whilst I don’t advocate low fat food options such as low fat cheese etc, they are a good way of reducing your calories initially to get you started but once you have reached your ideal weight I would recommend that you stick to normal full fat foods but again just continue to keep a watch on your calories. There is evidence to suggest that low fat foods actually make you hungry because they are not satisfying the hunger pang so you end up eating more. If you find this to be the case then stick to normal foods without low fat options, if you are watching your calorie intake then naturally the amount of fat and sugar you consume will reduce anyway as long as you are choosing healthy options of course!
- Eat goods fats not bad for example bad fat = animal (saturated fats) good fat = avocado and oily fish (omega 3&6).
- Eat whole foods; whole grains, nuts, brown bread, fruit and vegetables, potatoes (sweet potato) – foods that nourish and fill you up.
- Have three meals a day and 1 or 2 snacks in-between (healthy snacks), eating this way keeps your metabolism ticking over rather than it becoming slow and sluggish.
- I can promise you that if you start to change your diet for whole food and little or no refined and processed foods you will notice a difference in your energy, concentration and how you feel. I feel less bloated and tired, more awake and able to go to the gym after work.
- Even if you feel like you can’t do exercise after work still go because as soon as you’re there and working hard your energy will pick up and you will feel different and glad that you made the effort.
- If you choose to lose weight without exercising that is fine but, you won’t feel the benefits of exercise such as; muscle tone and definition – your whole body will look more defined through exercise and you will be stronger, you will feel more energetic and more confident. If you want to have lean legs, arms and less wobbly bits then I’m afraid exercise is the only way you will achieve this.
- And finally, losing weight and feeling great don’t come easy you have to work for it I’m afraid, but it will all be worth it.
Last night I watched a very interesting program I recorded ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’. A very interesting documentary about new research that suggests a calorie restricted diet could be the answer to reducing obesity and increasing our life expectancy without predominant western diseases. Research is still continuing in this area but so far scientists have found links when testing the diet on mice that their longevity increases.
How does it work then? Well during the great depression in the 1930’s life expectancy increased by 6 years…diets were restricted! So using this theory scientists began a trial. Humans have a growth hormone called IGF-1. This hormone is thought to be responsible for our ever-increasing obese population. Basically, when humans eat too much or more than the body needs IGF-1 kicks in because the body thinks it has the fuel it needs and so cells increase, but unless you are young and still growing we do not need high levels of IGF-1 and evidence shows that high levels of IGF-1 are linked to cancer, diabetes and other nasty illnesses. IGF-1 is produced by the liver especially when high levels of protein are eaten. New cells are produced because of IGF-1 which may sound like a good thing but it increases the chances of the body becoming sick. When protein levels are reduced IGF-1 reduces and the body begins to repair itself.
Scientists believe that by fasting (not eating or eating very little) this decreases IGF-1 significantly and the body begins to use fat cells for energy instead which not only helps a person lose weight but ‘believe it or not’ makes them healthier. Mice scientifically developed to have Alzheimer’s disease were put through fasting once a month and the results showed that the mice did not develop Alzheimer’s until later in their life much later than they would normally have developed it which in turn increased their longevity. More significantly was the fact that the mice developed new brain cells…all due to not being allowed to eat for a couple of times a month.
Michael Mosley, BBC presenter, decided to give the fasting a try due his own health indicators being somewhat worrying. He had high IGF-1 levels and 27% body fat amongst other things. He tried the three-day fast and managed it but felt he could not achieve this level of fasting every month, however, after the three-day fast his IGF-1 levels reduced significantly by 50% proving the theory works. He visited two other scientists all working on the same theory but trialling different levels of fasting and decided to give the 5:2 fast diet a go. You eat normally for five days i.e. advisory calorie intake per day and then for two days you reduce your calorie intake to about 500 for women and 600 for men. Michael did this for five weeks and in that time his results showed that his IGF-1 levels had reduced drastically, he lost over a stone in weight and his body fat % reduced from 27 to 19% as well as reducing his cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Pretty impressive.
Michael believes this could be the answer to obesity and western disease, obviously more research is needed but it is a very interesting theory and worth a try if you too are feeling the affects of bad diet and lack of exercise!
This program can be watched on BBC iplayer which I recommend to fill you in on the small details I have probably left out.