Yup, it’s a cheesy blog title, but I’m not gonna apologise, as for the first time in a long time, I’m starting to fall in love with myself again.
It’s no secret that I’m in love with my food. I am infatuated with afternoon tea as well as cake and I’m now back to baking semi-professionally (of which I love to do) for my local coffee shop, so I’m surrounded by temptation and I would usually go for what I fancy.
Over the last 13 weeks, it’s also been no secret that I’ve met the most inspiring young lady I’ve ever met and she’s helped me to get fit and healthy. As a result, I’m loving watching my body shape change for the slimmer and see my clothing get baggier and bigger as I slowly shrink and tone. The first 6 weeks of eating on a healthy eating plan similar to the “caveman diet” saw me lose over 9kg and it took me a little while to get to grips with the exercise routines and food restrictions asked of me, but it’s now all very much part of my life and I’m well and truly addicted.
I’m now at a 2 stone weight loss, I’m building muscle, my fitness has improved tenfold and I feel amazing… I have plenty more to do, but it’s been a fantastic start. The diet has had a massive impact on my weight loss and it’s introduced new foods (and taken some bad ones away, boo!) to help me become a new and improved model.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m a saint, I’m far from it, but I’ve learnt a ton of interesting tips and recipes along the way and I’m going to share some here with you, my lovely readers. I’m not going to lecture you… but I am going to share my education on diet and fitness over the last 12 or so weeks…. It’s been a genuine learning curve for me personally, as my brain has been programmed (and potentially brainwashed) by fads such as the 5:2 diet, even “Weightwatchers” through to eating low calorie treats and I’ve simply been going wrong this entire time. They are simple mistakes, easily led by “healthy” adverts on the TV, I think we’re all guilty of not knowing about our food from time to time and simple as it may be to some of us to just eat everything “in moderation”, anybody who shrugs that off onto us doesn’t always truly understand other peoples’ relationship with food.
Lordy knows that even I would never have thought I’d be dishing out healthy eating advice, so If I can inspire just one person, then I’m going to be thrilled skinny (pun intended ; ) … Who knows, you may just learn one or two things yourself or in fact be able to teach me some new tips to boot?!
1. “Carbs before Marbs”… Or before midday in the real world! Try to eat your protein and carbs before lunchtime. Yes this means steak or chili for breakfast ( I can now do steak for my brekkie, but still haven’t quite got there on other savoury options just yet!) and go for sweet potato over normal, they’re perfect as wedges with a little paprika, or as jackets or even mash. Also try to only eat carbs such as these or rice on an exercise/training day, a fist sized amount being the perfect balance on a plate.
2. Eggs, glorious eggs! My personal trainer simply tells me to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! They are a great breakfast option and perfect for some pre-exercise protein so get creative and enjoy this filling treat all week long. These fantastically versatile little beauties are perfect for breakfast and just 1 egg contains roughly 6g of high quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are also great for the eyesight, help break down food into energy and are vital for producing red blood cells. They have a “good fat” content and will most importantly keep you full for hours, the perfect way to get rid of elevenses cravings or use as a pre/post workout snack. Need I say anymore?!… Get scrambling, poaching, boiling, baking, coddling, or make a sweet omelette with cinnamon & banana for something a little different, I can’t get enough!
3. Go nuts! These are the perfect food to replace your usual popcorn at the cinema and I add a handful of fresh raspberries & organic dark chocolate chips (with a high cocoa content) for a delicious and healthy snack, but shhh, I shouldn’t really condone this ; ) They are high in omega 3 and minerals, they’re nutritious and the best filling pre-workout snack. However, avoid peanuts, as they are not actually a nut, controversially and are a high allergenic. You should enjoy a mix of walnuts, almonds, cashews, etc. Avoid peanut butter too, opt for healthier varieties such as almond butter & pumpkin seed butter. With the likes of Pinterest around, you can even make your own almond butter fairly easily… all you need is a couple of cups of almonds, a food mixer on high speed for 10 mins, bingo!
4. Something fishy! Attempt to eat 2-3 portions of fish each week. Small oily cold-water fish is best (such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon & sardines). It’s full of omega 3 fatty acids which are fantastic for brain health, fat loss and preventing the onset of heart disease… need I mention any other reasons to get fishing?! I love a Salmon fillet & Green Bean Salad, smoked salmon & scrambled eggs for my breakfast at a weekend or a marinated tuna steak & vegetable stir fry for a quick dinner.
5. “Bividus Digesti-what” now? Avoid sweetended “energy drinks? at all costs. Soft drinks, powdered drinks and “performance drinks” are included in this. To put it very simply, if you can’t pronounce it, if you don’t know what it means or more importantly what it is… it might not be good for you… try to stick to healthy and natural foods with no hidden nasties. A really interesting lady on this sort of information is Vani aka “The Food Babe“… she has a lot of very interesting things to say on this subject, should you be keen to learn about hidden nasties in certain foods!
6. Go for organic, unprocessed & fresh meat where possible… Steak. Chicken. Duck. Minced Steak (Sloppy Joes, burgers, koftas, chilli etc) and a personal fave of mine is the “Domestic Sluttery: Breton Chicken” as a real treat! Eat as much meat as you like. ideally free range & organic where possible, although not even I can afford to do this all the time- I recently joined a local group of fitness folk who bulk order their meat from an online butcher and we get awesome deals as a result, hurrah! Avoid processed meats such as sausages, salami, chorizo, etc… go for chicken, steak, lamb, beef joints. Offal is also very nutritious apparently, if you can stomach it! Protein with every meal is there to help to keep you full and stabilise your energy levels, so try to cram into your diet as much as you can.
7. Liquidise the shizzle out of your food! Soups are a staple for me at the minute… Leek & Potato. Parsnip & Apple. Pepper & Butternut Squash. The list is endless. Smoothies are great if you are not used to having a breakfast – a great option for on the go! Juicing is also very popular, I’ve tried a few and I can’t get my head around it… but if you have a stomach of steel, you are onto a winner!
8. If you go for a pudding, select a high quality (low sugar) option and enjoy it guilt free. “Nakd Bars” are perfect for a guilt free sweet treat (found in the “free from” aisle in your local supermarket, these are little raw food bars perfect for an emergency handbag snack) and will help any sweet/chocolate bar cravings you may have. Avoid heavily processed treats and anything with high carb counts… as they are not so good on the hips, should you really need to be told this ; )
9. Not all fats are bad, mmmmkkk?! You can eat all forms of natural fats and oils. Animal fats, butter & coconut oils are the best for cooking with. Use olive oil for salad dressings, but avoid cooking with it, as at a high heat the properties of the oil will denature and turn into a trans-fat, not so good. This was a real shock to me at first, as when I was a “Weightwatcher” we were encouraged to cook with this, so it’s taken some re-training. I now cook in butter or rapeseed oil and both are fantastic alternatives, the oil perfect for roasting veg on a Sunday afternoon.
And a simple, but important bonus Tip – Get some rest! If you don’t get enough sleep, it turns out you don’t lose weight as affectively! Don’t go for a run, swim and a squash game, then stick on a film for a couple of hours (ahem, yes, I DO find it difficult to stop once I get going)… REST gosh darnit. I’m truly not one to talk on this subject, I have an over active mind, I get tetchy legs when I sit still for too long, I have 5 half read books on my bedside table and I get bored after an hour sat down on the sofa…. So even I need to listen to this advice for a healthier future. Spas are my way forward… I love visiting luxury hotels & spas with my blog and this is my perfect place to relax, thankfully there are plenty to try out there ; )
What are your tips for a healthy diet? Do you take a day off each week and shovel cake or are you a healthy eating hero? I’d love to hear your thoughts and hints, I’m still learning myself, so thank you in advance for your support – I can’t thank my readers enough for the awesome feedback I’ve been getting, it truly helps me through the low days.
My personal trainer is called Sarah Matthews, of Primal Performance and if you are interested in hearing more from her, simply click here!
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