Eight simple ways to a healthier, happier body

Let me just start this by saying, this isn’t me lecturing you. This is me pressing the ‘reset’ button on my summer eating (and drinking). Sometimes I let a few bad habits creep back in, and before I know it, my shorts are a bit snug. You know the saying “It’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit’? I’m pretty certain that was aimed at me. You too? Read on…

Every now and again I like to hit the reset button, take a check on what I’ve been eating, and give myself a chance to review and reset my eating habits. After all, nothing will change if I don’t change what I do. (Took me a lot of years to realise that). So, this last week I’m back tracking my food, keeping my calories within my limits and generally being mindful with my eating.

I’ve compiled my top ways to keep a track of your food, to help track and balance your food and fitness. After all, we’re all about balance.

What I’m not saying, is that you should follow this religiously…it’s just a guide.

My top tips for a leaner and healthier body

  1. Eat REAL food. Cook! Use fresh ingredients and lots of colourful veggies. We’ve got plenty of ideas on the blog for cooks of all abilities – give them a go.
  2. Avoid refined sugar, carbs and fat. This is a biggie. You know THAT chocolate bar, the pack of crisps or slice of cake in the office. Eating these more than the odd occasion (and by that, I mean once a month or so) will impact your weight unbelievably unless you are incredibly fortunate and the odd unhealthy snack doesn’t lead to weigh gain or peaks in your blood sugar levels which cause cravings.
  3. Don’t skip meals – not even one. Your body needs fuelling properly to work efficiently. Just fuel it with the right things.
  4. DRINK MORE WATER!!
  5. Move more – up your steps, try and be active at least eight hours a day, and exercise when you can (this needn’t mean hours in the gym. The key to consistency with exercise is to find something you LOVE, and build a fitness family around you to help motivate you (and you, them!). Not ready for group classes? Try some basic exercises at home>>
  6. Mix up your diet. Try and eat a new food regularly, shake off the old favourite dishes and embrace new tastes and textures. Make sure that the largest component of your daily diet is vegetable based too. You’ll eat much more, and not be as hungry without compromising on the calories. You’ll also boost your intake of vitamins and minerals naturally.
  7. Be consistent. Starving yourself for two months a year to fit in to your bikini and then eating badly the rest of the year won’t do you any favours. Find the balance which allows you to eat right most of the time, whilst allowing yourself the odd treat (and a glass of wine or three every now and again). It’s all about balance, right?
  8. Relax, and be kind to yourself. Your body is amazing, so respect it. Rest when you’re tired, fuel it properly and you will see the benefits.

Remember to be kind to yourself lovely people. Embrace your body, treat it well and be consistent. The changes will come. Tahlia x

James’ Granola Squares

Fancy a sweet treat? James has cooked up the ultimate granola squares to give you that sweet fix (with only some of the guilt).

Maple Granola Bars

Now, I hear you ask…are these granola bars healthy? Well, they are mostly oats which help regulate blood sugar by slowly releasing energy. Almonds & Cranberries are high in vitamins, so yes we will all agree they are!

They make a perfect rushing out the door breakfast or as a mid-morning snack.

Ingredients

  • 60g whole almonds 
  • 250g rolled oats
  • 80g butter
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • 60g soft brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g dried cranberries 
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • extra 2 tsp choc chips

Method

  1. Before you start, take a 20cm square baking pan and line it with tin foil. Then using some oil and kitchen roll, lightly grease it.
  2. Start by roughly chopping the almonds, they don’t have to be perfect just a rough chop. Combine them with the oats and pop in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Half way through give them a little stir so they cook evenly.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the butter, maple syrup and the sugar along with the vanilla and salt in a saucepan and gently heat until it has all melted together into a sugary, buttery, syrupy liquid which smells divine (and is definitely the unhealthier part)!
  4. Once the oats and almonds are cooked put them in a glass bowl and then add the liquid. Mix well and leave for about 10 minutes to cool.
  5. Finally add the chocolate and the cranberries again mix well.
  6. Now pour the oat mix into the foiled pan and pack down really well. Go on – really push that mix into the corners using a fish slice or something similar, and really pack it down. Add a sprinkling of chocolate chips and pack down again.
  7. Cover tightly with more foil and then pop in the fridge for at least 3 hours (but preferably overnight if you can wait that long).

Bit of troubleshooting here, but if anything makes them fall apart a bit it’s usually either not packing down enough, or not refrigerating for long enough, so try and be patient!

Once they have hardened, they will unwrap from the foil easily and can be cut into about 12 pieces (or less if you want bigger bars!)

Any crumbs left over from cutting can be saved and makes an excellent topping for vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy! James.

Easy-peezy Lemon Squeezy

Here’s a handy tip from my lovely Mum (thanks Mum!) on how to juice a lemon.

Whenever you need lemon in a recipe, isn’t it always a pain? Trying to stop the pips going in to the bowl, whilst getting all the lemon juice out is a pain! Yes, I could buy a lemon juicer, but you don’t need one – there’s a really simple hack to juicing a lemon!

Pierce a hole in the top of the lemon, and pop it in the microwave for about 60 seconds (check, if it’s not too hot to touch, try again for another 10 seconds at a time). When it’s really hot, set the bowl aside and let the lemon cool down.

Then, just tip the lemon upside down and squeeze – easy!!

It’s easy-peezy!

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