• Hi everyone!

So after cutting sugar and gluten from my diet for 8 weeks (killer by the way), I thought I would talk about something I’ve really struggled with recently:

sugar cravings! 

Image result for bruce matilda

Source: Pinterest

You know that feeling, you’ve had a break from clean eating, eaten a load of sugar, and all you can think about is when you can eat your next chocolate bar… I’m sure you all know those weekends when you eat more chocolate than you can imagine! It’s hard to resist when you’re constantly surrounded by so much temptation – and you should definitely not feel bad about treating yourself!

The only problem is, when we stuff our faces full of sugar, what next? Our bodies get used to this intake and once you stop it, the cravings come back! This has always been the hardest part for me. I gave up refined sugar quite recently due to digestive issues, and all in all I felt SO much better for it. I definitely still have cravings but after a few weeks your body adjusts and doesn’t crave it as much. It’s fairly simple really, the more sugar you eat the more your body craves it, and vice versa. Those first few weeks of reducing or giving up sugar are really tough, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle. However, I found a few things that helped me below.

Always be prepared

Make sure you have snacks on hand. This is the biggest one for me as I am ALWAYS hungry. Especially when it hits 3pm at work I’ll always have a snack, and if I haven’t planned well enough it’s easy to give into the office biscuits or vending machine that’s readily available. I like to have snacks like rice cakes, fruit, yogurt and muesli or a protein bar ready for these occasions.

Try and eat more ‘slow release carbs’

By this I mean brown rice, quinoa or oats. Have you ever had a pizza and really craved sweet food even though you’re really full? If you fill yourself up on lots of white carbs or starchy foods you’re likely to have sugar cravings as it throws your blood sugar levels off balance. I’m not saying cut them out all together, but trying to limit these foods and eating slow release carbs will not only help you feel more full, but help to lower those cravings. There is absolutely no need to cut out carbs all together, it’s about being selective of the ones you eat.

Protein is your best friend

Eat more protein! Something I’ve started to do recently as I’m trying to eat more in general. Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps keep sugar cravings at bay as it stabilises your blood sugar levels. I always try and have protein with every meal, and if I can I try and have snacks that are high in protein too.

Emotional eating

Oh we’ve all been there. A bad day at work, a low motivation day, receiving some bad news. I used to 100% be an emotional eater – and probably still am occasionally. This is a hard one. If your first point of call is to buy a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and eat the whole thing (I don’t blame you here) take a moment and think. Think about what else you can do to make yourself feel better. Maybe going for a walk or a run, have a hot drink, talk with a friend. Try and think what you’re doing before reaching for the sugar filled treat. Trust me, once you’ve started it’s almost impossible to stop (unless you have some insane willpower please can you teach me!) so stopping yourself before you get to that stage is always the best option.
Image result for bridget jones ben & jerrys

Source: Pinterest

Have a goal in mind

Maybe it’s an upcoming holiday or wedding that you would like to lose a few pounds for. Remember exactly why you’re doing it and keep yourself motivated to stick to your plan.
All in all, I definitely wouldn’t say you need to completely cut sugar from your diet. I think having a treat now and again is absolutely fine – this doesn’t make you unhealthy! It also stops you from binging if you allow yourself a treat occasionally. I found these tips really good for helping my cravings – so hopeylly they will help you too!

Lucy x

 

I think a lot of people have a bad misconception of healthy eating – that it’s boring, expensive or bland tasting. If I’m totally honest, I used to think this too. We all have extremely busy lives, so the need for fast, simple and nutritious meals is apparent now more than ever before. Most people make the excuse that they are too busy to cook and prepare healthy food. I know so many people who buy expensive pre-made salads to be ‘healthy’ that have zero flavour and are usually full of hidden nasties. So, the big question remains, how do you eat healthy food on a busy schedule and on a budget?

Plan, plan and plan some more

Write out your meal plan every Sunday, and do a big weekly shop to make sure you have everything you need. I always find it fun trying to find new recipes, but I’ll always grab my staple ingredients so I’m stocked up if I get home late and need to make something fast and simple. If you are super organised, try and meal prep on a Sunday. Granted, you’ll need a few hours, lots of tupperware and ideally a freezer for this – however it’s a massive time saver in the week! Unless I know that I’ll have a completely free evening during the week (which is rare), I’ll usually make fast and easy meals that I can whip up in about 20 minutes. I always like to stock myself up on lots of fresh vegetables and some fish/meat. I usually go for a fillet of salmon/white fish, chicken breast, beef/lamb mince and some tinned tuna as a back-up. I buy around 12 eggs per week – I’ve started adding a couple to stir fry’s for a little extra protein too! I absolutely love veg – and I never used to so you can 100% change your eating habits. I always buy a variety each week and usually go for whatever is on offer.

Spices are your new best friend

Once you’ve stocked up on a few staple ingredients, it gets SO much easier. You get used to what ingredients work well together and in my case start to enjoy cooking! I used to buy a tonne of pre-made sauces thinking I was making a healthy choice, but then realised that they are full of salt and sugar. Since moving to Australia, I came across a brand called Mingle Seasoning which you may have seen me post about a few times on Instagram. They are blended pure spices which help to give your food some serious flavour! I love using these, as for any dish they have a specific flavour that works well. The bottles are also HUGE meaning they last longer, plus they are all gluten free and sugar free!

Since moving, I’ve had so much more fresh fish and it’s just DELICIOUS – I’m actually a little obsessed. Combined with some roasted veg it really is one of my current favourites. The best thing is, you can make a huge batch of roasted veg and it will keep you going for the next few days.

Delicious Roasted Veggies with Fish

Ingredients

1 x white fish fillet – I chose Barramundi

Coconut oil for cooking

1 tbsp Sammy All Purpose Seasoning

2 tbsp Sofia Spicy Seasoning

Avocado oil / olive oil

Squeeze of lime

Vegetables for roasting:

1 x Aubergine/Eggplant

1 x Courgette/Zucchini

3 x cloves of garlic

1 x red onion

1 x sweet potato

2 x carrots

Vegetables for frying/boiling:

Handful of sugar snap peas

Broccoli

Pack Choi

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 220C. Start by chopping up all your veg into fairly small chunks and place onto a large baking tray lined with foil – for less washing up! Season your veg with salt and pepper, 2 tbsp of Sofia Spicy Seasoning and drizzle with avocado/olive oil. Mix well and pop into the oven. Whilst this is cooking, season your fish with salt, pepper and Sammy All Purpose Seasoning. Keep turning your vegetables every 10-15 minutes to ensure they don’t burn but become nice and tender. Once they have been in the oven around 45 minutes you can cook your fish and fresh veg. Heat a little coconut oil in a pan and fry the fish on a medium-high heat for around 3 minutes each side. Cook your fresh vegetables either in a pan or boil for 2/3 minutes – I chose to do mine in a pan. Once your fish is cooked, your roasted vegetables should be done and you can plate everything up! Serve with a squeeze of lime and enjoy!

Lucy x

There are SO many different types of protein out there, it can be a little overwhelming when trying to choose one. I starting taking protein when I realised I wasn’t getting enough from my diet alone. I was looking to gain more muscle, so I found taking protein powder a good way to get the extra calories in. Please note before reading the below, this blog post is based on my own research on the topic – I’m not a qualified nutritionist!

Of course you can get protein from only food. Foods rich in protein include chicken, eggs, milk, cheese and fish. However, if you want to gain more muscle, your protein intake needs to be at quite a high level to achieve this. For this reason, a lot of people turn to protein powders. I tend to workout in the morning, so the thought of making a high protein meal was not convenient for me. Taking a protein shake takes away the hassle of cooking, plus it also absorbs more quickly than food does, getting to your muscles quickly. I can literally make up a shake in 1 minute, in comparison to cooking a meal which would be time consuming when I have little time in the morning.

When choosing your protein, like anything, there are a number of benefits and downsides, so it’s usually a bit of trial and error to find what works for you. As I’ve been trying some of Protein World’s products over the past few months, I thought I could give you an overview and my recommendations on what might work for you.

Using Protein World Slender Blend

Whey Protein

Whey protein is probably the one you’ve heard of when it comes to protein powders. It’s usually cheaper than your plant based proteins, and it’s great for muscle growth. It’s also the protein that most people think will ‘bulk’ you up like a body builder – which is absolutely NOT true! I think if you’re a beginner however, it’s a good place to start.

Callum Von Moger – Body Builder

There are two types of whey – Concentrate and Isolate. Without going into too much detail, they are both derived from milk, however concentrate is about 80% protein and isolate is around 90%. Isolate is best taken straight after exercise, as it is more rapidly absorbed by the muscles.

We then have casein protein, which is known as a slow protein – slower for your body to digest. You might ask why you would take a slow protein if your goal is to gain muscle. Well, for muscle growth to take place, you also need muscle breakdown to take place – this is where casein comes into play. This is best taken at night as it takes at least 4 hours to get into your system. The Bedtime Blend is perfect for this, as you get a slow release of protein throughout the night.

My favourite protein at the moment is the Slender Blend range (pictured above), which a high protein, low calorie combination. It’s made up of whey protein, but has 24g protein per shake! I don’t have a dairy intolerance, so for me this is perfect. I have this straight after I workout 1-2 times per day.

Plant Protein

The downsides of whey, is that it can be difficult to digest for some people. Personally, I’ve not had any problems like this, but if you are dairy intolerant, a plant based protein would be best for you. There are many different types including; soy, hemp, pea (and many more). These have a bit of a reputation of being a little less tasty than your whey protein, however they are gluten and dairy free so a great alternative if you find whey difficult to drink. The Vegan Blend Slender Blend is a pea protein with 30g protein per shake, and like the other Slender Blend products, it is low calorie and low fat. There is no bad or gritty aftertaste like you may find with some other plant proteins, and it comes in the vanilla flavour which is by far my favourite!

Key things to look out for:

Low fat (1-5 grams)

Low carb (1-5 grams)

High protein (20-30 grams per serving)

I found these sites really useful when doing my research:

Bodybuilding.com

https://authoritynutrition.com/

Protein World nutritionist advice 

Other Supplements to try:

Now that I’ve been taking protein for some time, I’m currently looking into other supplements that can aid my training, so I’ll also do a review once I’ve tried and tested some products. The main ones I’ll be looking at are BCAA’s, creatine and glutamine, so watch this space!

I hope you’ve found this useful, but please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Lucy x

 

 

I just LOVE pancakes. I think pancake day growing up was always one of my favourite days as I have such lovely memories making them with my family. Instead of your usual pancake mixture, why not try a healthier option this pancake day? I’ve been making these protein pancakes for a while now, and I think after a few attempts the recipe is just right. I love finishing a long workout at the weekend and treating myself with these afterwards.

The best thing is, they are REFINED SUGAR FREE, GLUTEN FREE & GRAIN FREE!! Yes, you heard me right, and they taste just as good as ordinary pancakes.. maybe even better! These are so simple to make and taste delicious – you’ll have a hard time not wanting to make them every day from now on!

*DROOLS EVERYWHERE*

INGREDIENTS

1 x large mashed banana

1 egg

2 egg whites

2 scoops vanilla Protein World powder (I use Slender Blend which is high protein & low calorie)

Splash of almond milk

Dash of cinnamon

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Coconut oil (for cooking)

METHOD

If you have a blender, literally throw all ingredients in (apart from the coconut oil) and blend until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, whisk the egg whites with a hand whisk until it’s frothy and increased in size slightly, then add all the other ingredients making sure to mix well. It may look a little lumpy without the blender but this doesn’t affect the taste I promise! Use a little coconut oil in the frying pan and cook a few minutes on each side under a medium heat. This mixture makes around 8 small sized pancakes. I usually top mine with berries, pecans, and a drizzling of almond butter! It’s that easy!

 

Make sure to tag me in your creations if you give them a go!

Lucy xx

 

“The only way to be healthy and fit is to go on a diet.” So many people make this mistake, (me included)…you try multiple fad diets and juice cleanses, which ultimately leave you feeling deflated and uninspired. The truth is, a sustainable healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult and doesn’t take too much change. It can be a little daunting to start with, but once you get into a routine it becomes a lot easier. I have also learnt that cooking can be fun; I used to default to cooking the same basic meal time and time again, but with a new healthier me; I can honestly say I regularly experiment with new flavours and food. What once was a laborious task is now a new hobby!

I was really lucky that growing up my parents always cooked their food from scratch and made me like vegetables from a young age. Unfortunately, when I went to University I became lazy with my meals and I ate really large portions which didn’t help my weight gain. I would binge on chocolate and I loved bad carbs. Having fast food after a night out became a regular occurrence which was a hard habit to break. Luckily, I broke these habits and managed to change my lifestyle to a new, happier healthier me. Although at the start it was hard, I’m SO happy I did and I want everyone to know it is totally do-able! I’m going to share a few tips that really helped me when I started to eat clean – and hopefully it will help you too!

TOP TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY

  • Cut out processed foods
  • Try and buy fresh when you can
  • Don’t have fizzy drinks
  • Cut out refined sugar – within moderation
  • Allow yourself occasional treats – otherwise you’ll probably end up having a massive binge

Think of your body as a rulebook and like any set of rules they need time to get used to a change. In this sense, your body needs time to get used to your new way of eating. This is a gradual journey, not a sudden departure; don’t cut out everything all at once – it can be a shock to the system so you need to give your body time to get used to a different way of eating. Sugar is probably the hardest thing to wean yourself off of. Start slowly, for example, if you have sugar in your tea and coffee, cut this out first. You learn to find healthier alternatives of the foods full of fat/salt/sugar that you used to have. I had no idea but things like sauces are FULL of salt. Try and cook everything from scratch and experiment with new flavours or recipes – you might surprise yourself!

STOCK UP YOUR FOOD CUPBOARD

It may seem like an expensive change, but after you do one big shop, things like spices will last you a really long time. Here’s a few staples that I would always have:

  • Spices – my staples are cumin, coriander, paprika, chilli flakes
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey/maple syrup – alternative to sugar
  • Brown rice/noodles
  • Quinoa/Buckwheat
  • Oats
  • Cans of tomatoes/kidney beans
  • Soy sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Almond butter – not a necessity but SO good

There is no need to make it really expensive. Of course you could go crazy and spend loads of money on superfoods, nuts and pre-made healthy snacks – but there is no need for this! You have to find what works for you. Eating well isn’t like a diet that you do for a short amount of time, it’s something that you want to become part of your lifestyle. So, if that means you need to have a few treats a week then DO IT. Eating clean does not mean you have to deprive yourself from all of the things you love. I drink alcohol, I have chocolate and desserts when I go out – but it’s all in moderation and that’s the key!

EAT MORE

People who are promoting to eat MORE food have done such a great thing for the fitness industry. I love the impact Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) has had on society. He created fitness and meal plans that focussed on eating more of the right type of foods, combined with exercise to help lose weight. For a while, I couldn’t comprehend how you could lose weight by eating more, but I can tell you now, IT WORKS!

For all of my meals, I try and keep them as balanced as possible. I usually look at what I’m eating and think: do I have enough protein, carbs, healthy fats and vegetables in this meal. If not, for my next meal I’ll add more of what I’m missing in. I don’t track my macros, I just try and eat intuitively.

MY FAVOURITE RECIPE IDEAS

When you first start out, it can be a little daunting with what to make and what will work together, so here are my favourite blogs/books I follow that have some great ideas:

I hope this proves that changing your lifestyle to a healthy one is not impossible, and you don’t need to follow a fad diet to lose weight.

Lucy x