Sugar

The IQS 8wp week 3 roundup

Hi friends,

How has your week been?  This week has been a busy one work-wise but I’m feeling pretty good as all my food has been taken care of so I’ve not needed to eat junk or rely on pre packaged food to get me through the week – and that feels pretty great (plus my bank balance is looking much healthier than usual towards the end of the month).

So, I’m into week three, there’s still no sugar (including fruit) but I have to confess there have been a couple of times when I’ve deviated off plan and so I think I’m setting myself up for some harder sugar withdrawals next week if I don’t nip it in the bud.  Full disclosure I had a slice of chocolate vegan cake that someone had baked at work and a chocolate eclair because someone was leaving at work and there may have been red wine almost every night this week…

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Christmas

The Christmas fallow – what now?

Hi everyone,

How was your Christmas Day?  Are we all feel sprightly and bright or did we overindulge and feeling in a bit of a festive fug?  Well, hopefully you’re somewhere in between and had a great time, however you celebrated.  If you did indulge more than you originally intended, please don’t beat yourself up about it.  It happens, today is another day and another chance to have a fresh start.

This period between Christmas and the New Year (the Christmas Fallow) can leave you feeling a little ‘what now?’ as it is that strange time when some are back to work, others are not and there’s usually lots of leftover Christmas food to eat – but we’re all starting to feel mighty sick of the excess chocolates and cheeses.  With this in mind I thought I’d share some easy ways to use up leftovers in-case you are in the mood to start re-introducing veggies back into your diet and you’re feeling a bit ‘now what?’

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Christmas

A simple festive soup recipe

Hi everyone,

For today’s ‘surviving the festive season’ post I’m sharing with you my go-to winter soup recipe which comes on so handy when you need something healthy, filling and easy during this crazy time of year.

I make batches of this soup and freeze them so that if unexpected guests arrive you’ve always got something healthy to serve them. Or if you come home after a long day of work or festive shopping you can simply heat this up and in under 5 minutes you’ve got something hot and nutritious to eat.

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Food hacks, Uncategorized

Quick and easy make ahead breakfasts

When I wake up in the morning one of the first things I think about is what to eat.  Which is great if it’s a weekend because I have the time to make something delicious like breakfast burritos, pancakes or French toast and omelettes.  I’ve even been known to have multiple courses (croissants then toast followed by a fry up since you ask) but during the week I simply don’t have time for all that.

Most weekdays I roughly leave myself 30 minutes between my alarm going off and getting out the door to drive to the train station.  This is easily done as my clothes are sorted the night before, my work bag is packed and my food is in the fridge ready to go.

But being quick doesn’t mean I want to compromise on taste or flavour. I want the best of both worlds – and don’t even think about suggesting those instant oat sachets that are stuffed with sugar and other nasties.  They give the illusion of being quick and easy but in reality, they’re junky and you could cook regular oats in the same time (eye roll).

The good news is that there lots of different breakfast options you can make in advance which will take you minimal preparation time, taste amazing and you can simply grab and go during the week.

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Food hacks

Quick, easy and cheap low sugar snacks

Hi guys, how is your week going?  I’ve been in the healthy eating flow recently and following off the back of my post here on easy ways to reduce your sugar intake I thought I’d share some examples of smart swaps you can make when you’re stuck for a snack and don’t know what to eat.

There are loads of quick and easy options (whether you DIY it or buy them from a shop) to avoid eating on junky sugary foods that will make you feel crappy in the short term.

I’m going to do a post shortly on where sugar hides in food, to help you avoid falling in to the sugar traps because it’s so easy.  I consider myself quite clued up on the subject but the other day I was in a rush and picked up a ‘protein’ yoghurt without reading the label properly and low and behold it had over four teaspoons of sugar in it.  Total fail on my part. 

So if you’re interested in some quick, easy and cheap snack options which will fill you up and stop your sugar cravings read on…

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Money saving

A healthy shopping list

One of the most common things I hear from friends, colleagues and family who tell me they struggle with eating healthier is that they don’t know what foods to buy. They are comfortable following a recipe and buying the ingredients required but when it comes to a general food shop for store cupboard staples and a general ‘healthy shop’ they struggle.  So I thought a post on what I would buy from a supermarket and some ideas for healthy meal options from that shopping list might be helpful.

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Recipes

The easiest (healthy) icecream

Chances are if you are in to your healthy eating then you’ll have heard of ‘nicecream’ before.  However, judging by the reaction I received to my recent picture on Instagram of my bowl of nicecream I thought it was worthwhile doing a post on it:  what it is, how you make it and suggestions on what to serve it with.

For the uninitiated ‘nicecream’ is the term people use to describe this faux-ice cream which is made out of frozen bananas.  It tastes and has the same texture of icecream without the dodgy ingredients you’d usually get with the shop bought stuff.  Before we go any further let me reassure you, it’s not one of those healthy swaps where it doesn’t quite match up to the original but you convince yourself to like it anyway because you know it’s healthy.  This stuff delivers the goods. I’ve even tried it on the non healthy eaters in my life and they loved it.

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Food hacks

Quick and easy food options for when you have no packed lunch

Following on from Sunday’s meal planning post I began thinking about those days where you haven’t had time to cook anything beforehand but still want to eat well at lunch.  I’m pretty good with bringing in my own food 99% of the time (as I find it’s easier, healthier and saves me a bucket load of cash throughout the month) but there are times when meal planning doesn’t quite go, well, to plan.

I’ve found it’s usually days when either I haven’t had time to bring in lunch; my lunch plans fell through and I need to unexpectedly buy something; or I made lunch and forgot to pick it up so it’s sat on the kitchen counter at home going warm (which happens more than I would like to admit) when I’m in need of something quick, easy and that I will actually want to eat. Hands up who has ever made or bought a lunch and then ate something completely different because you didn’t fancy it?  Yeah, me too.

It is on these days that I re-visit my go-to list (below) which I have saved on my phone so that I don’t even have to think about it, I can just toddle on down to the shop and pull together a quick and healthy lunch option.

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Money saving

Meal planning 101

This week I’ve had a lot of conversations about meal planning.  I’d love to say it’s off the back of last week’s post about food prep but I think it’s just coincidence.  Although, one of my Instagram posts prompted a request for a meal plan from a family member so who knows?

As with the food prep idea, once I got talking to people about meal planning I realised that not everyone was doing it and the main reasons seem to be either confusion, intimidation or they thought it would take too much work.

Well, worry no more friends.  I am here to show you that just like food prep, meal planning is quick, easy and will make your life infinitely better.  By the time I’ve returned home from a full-on day of work in London unless my meals are planned I don’t have the energy to think about eating something vaguely healthy.  Without a meal plan I would end up eating terribly and spending far too much money.  Or I’d be in the supermarket every night and quite frankly, I have better things to do with my time.  Like Netflix. And wine.

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Money saving

Foods you don’t need to waste money on buying

As you know by now, I’m a stickler for not wasting anything, whether that’s food or money.  Which is why I quickly discovered that especially when you’re on a budget there are some things you really don’t need to spend money on. I’m talking about pestos, sauces, soups and condiments.  The kinds of things that we’ve been told are complicated and too much hassle to make yourself, when in reality the opposite is true.  Most of these things are actually more expensive to buy and usually contain some dodgy ingredients that you’re better off avoiding (sugar in mayonnaise I’m looking at you).

I’m hoping to convince you that by making some simple swaps in your diet you can save a few £££ and also enjoy some quick, healthy versions of your favourite foods.  It’s really not as hard as you might think, or have been told.

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