Progress isn’t just the number on the scale

Standard

Sometimes we can focus too much on the number we see on the scale and it means that we don’t appreciate the progress we make in other areas of our healthy lifestyles!

For the past few weeks I have been stuck between 166-168 even though I have been hitting the gym hard 4-5 times a week and eating clean 80% of the time. This has been disappointing and I was slipping back into old habits because I didn’t think that being ‘healthy’ was having any affect. However, it took a couple of really good gym sessions to change my outlook and realise that just because you don’t see progress on the scales, doesn’t mean that your not making progress.

So, what changed my mind?

1. Looking better in my workout clothes – I haven’t changed what I wear to the gym, but over the past week I have noticed that I look leaner and stronger in my workout gear, score!

2. Getting faster on the treadmill – I used to try and run steadily at 10kph for however long I was on the treadmill for, but because I now only have 20 minutes on my lunch hour to workout, I have taken up HIIT running (1 minute at different speeds ranging between 9.5-13kph) and today I reached 3.5km in 20 minutes which beat my personal best by nearly 1 minute.

3. Finding exercises easier – The rowing machine was my nemesis and I would give up after a couple of minutes. Now I can go for 10 minutes at a medium resistance and still able to complete my strength training afterwards!

So you see, all of these things show me that I’m making progress, even if the scales don’t reflect this.

Don't let the scale define you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you measure your progress and achievements?

xoxo

 

Hearty vegetable and pasta broth

Standard

Soups are really not my thing. I don’t like ‘wet’ food. Anything pureed, mashed or liquefied isn’t for me.
Broths on the other hand, I can get on board with.
Whole pieces of food swimming in a tasty liquid, with distinguishable flavours and textures, are something I am coming to enjoy more and more!
So today’s recipe is for a hearty broth I recently made which was great for dinner and then warmed up the next day for lunch. Sorry about the rubbish picture quality!
image

Vegetables, pasta and pancetta, what could be better!

Ingredients

50g soup pasta
1/2 cup carrots, chopped into 1cm pieces
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped into 1cm pieces
1/2 cup savoy cabbage, chopped into thin strips
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup Brussels sprouts
3 rashers pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, chopped into 1cm pieces
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chicken concentrate, or a chicken stock cube
Pinch of saffron (optional)

Method

1. Put a pan of water onto boil and add the concentrate/stock cube
2. Once boiling, add the cabbage, chilli flakes, saffron (optional) and pasta. Boil for 3 minutes.
3. Add the Brussels sprouts and carrots. Boil for 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, grill or dry-fry the pancetta/bacon (I have a mini frying pan perfect for individual fried eggs, and ideal for small amounts of chopped up pancetta/bacon)
5. Add the pepper to the broth. Boil for 2 minutes.
6. Add the broccoli. Boil for 2 minutes.

7. The pancetta/bacon should now be crisp. Transfer it onto a piece of kitchen towel to remove excess fat.

The broth should be almost thickened from the starch in the pasta, and a lovely golden colour if you have used the saffron.

8. Ladle the vegetables and pasta into a bowl, and then pour over some of the broth liquid.
9. Sprinkle the pancetta/bacon over the bowl for a salty crunch

This meal takes under 20 minutes to prepare and cook, is really tasty and can be customised with your favourite vegetables, add more chilli if you like spice and you can swap the pasta for noodles!

Enjoy xoxo

Plateau

Standard

Do you have plateau’s in your weight loss journey? I have been stuck at 167-168lb for the past few weeks and I really want to see that number getting smaller.
I’m not seeing any difference when I look in the mirror so don’t think its muscle gain either!
What I need is to find some super effective workouts that I can fit into 20 minutes (lunch break at work) and will have an impact on my body. I currently like to mix it up between 20 minutes interval running on the treadmill, and a 10 minute bike session followed by 10 minutes arms, abs or legs/butt.
What do you do to get out of a plateau? Mix up your exercise routine, your diet, take a break?
Xoxo

Healthy shop-bought lunch

Standard

Hello!

Just a quick post today to prove that you don’t have to eat rubbish just because you are in a rush, forgot your packed lunch etc. In the UK we have Marks and Spencer and I popped in on Monday as I hadn’t had time to make lunch for the day. I could have picked a packed sandwich (try saying that 10 times really fast) but instead I looked at their prepared salads. I chose the M&S Edamame Bean Salad and the M&S quinoa and bean salad, as well as a taster pack of sushi. I had half of each pot (including 1 of the dressing pots) with half a pot of their sizzling fruit salad and all this was just over 420 calories!

M&S quick lunch

So you see, just because you’re in a rush, don’t just grab the most convenient packet. Take a look at what’s available in the non-takeaway aisles and you can find healthy, nutritious food that is quick to buy and easy to eat!

PS. The fruit salad didn’t sizzle so I was a bit disappointed;-)

What do you choose for lunch at the shops?

xoxo

Recipe – Seven Wholegrains with Green Vegetables

Standard

Last week I posted this picture and promised to share the recipe, so here it is!

Wholegrains, vegetables and pesto This is seven wholegrains with green vegetables and let me tell you, what I was expecting to be a dull and tasteless dish turned out to be a real gem. Super quick and easy to make, perfect for taking to work in your lunchbox, tasty and healthy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pouch of Seeds of Change Seven Wholegrains
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 5-10 brussels sprouts, halved
  • Handful of sugar snap peas
  • Handful of asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Teaspoon of low fat pesto
  • Chicken stock paste or cube

 

 

Method

  1. Start out by boiling some water in a pan, and add your stock. I like Knorr touch of taste which is a chicken stock concentrated liquid.
  2. Add your sprouts and cook for 2 minutes
  3. Add the sugar snap peas and asparagus and boil for a further 2 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, add the grains to the microwave for 2 minutes
  5. Empty the grains into your bowl
  6. Drain the vegetables and add to the bowl, and mix together
  7. Return the pan to the heat and add the courgette, dry frying for 30 seconds – 1 minute, just to heat through
  8. Add the courgette to the bowl
  9. Drizzle over the pesto and give everything one final mix to ensure everything has a garlicky, herby coating
  10. ENJOY!

Really quick, really tasty and healthy!

If you can’t get your hands on the Seeds of Change 7 wholegrains, use your favourite wholegrains and cook them as required. Quinoa, barley and brown rice are all good choices.

xoxo

 

Balance it out BABY!

Standard

One of the reasons that ‘diets’ often fail is because we limit ourselves too much. We stop eating anything that might not be great for us completely, rather than just reducing the amount of these foods that we eat.

Me, I love myself a bit of chocolate, and if I decided that I wasn’t going to eat chocolate because it wasn’t ‘healthy’, it would immediately make me want chocolate and I would end up bingeing.

So you need to learn to balance out the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ – not a 50/50 balance, more like an 80/20 balance. And some days, if you have had a really good workout or it’s a special occasion, that balance might be more 70/30 or even 60/40!

Don’t feel bad if you have the occasional treat, if you are eating really nutritious, healthy foods the rest of the time it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, or that you will put on weight.

The Londoner, a blog about London, life, travel and FOOD has a great post about following an 80/20 diet, in fact Rosie, the author, calls it the anti-diet, precisely because you are still allowed those foods that make you feel sinfully satisfied! Hello, baked cheese in croissant pastry, yes please! You can find the post here: www.thelondoner.me/anti-diet

On a personal note, I have just eaten some delicious Galaxy smooth chocolate, but I did eat this for my lunch – I will post the recipe soon!

Wholegrains, vegetables and pesto And I even managed to wrap half of the packet of Galaxy up so that I didn’t eat the whole bar (but it is only 2pm so let’s see how long it lasts:0)

xoxo

Satisfying Tuna Salad

Standard

Some salads are just plain boring! You still feel hungry after you’ve finished because all you’ve eaten is rabbit food. Well my version of Tuna Salad is surprisingly satisfying, it’s protein rich, low in fat and contains a balance of foods.

Ingredients  (makes 1 salad)

  • 1 x 56g tin of tuna (I prefer mine in spring water, but whatever floats your boat)!
  • 80g x iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4 x cucumber
  • 80g peppers (not green unless you are weird)
  • 2 x hard boiled eggs
  • 20g smoked cheddar cheese – finely grated
  • 100g baby new potatoes

Method

  1. Boil your potatoes for about 15 minutes or until cooked through
  2. About halfway through the cooking time throw in your eggs (gently) and boil for the remaining 7 minutes (alter to suit your egg preferences)
  3. meanwhile. drain your tuna and chop up your salad ingredients
  4. Take your potatoes and eggs off the boil and drain, de-shell your eggs and cut into quarters
  5. Pile everything high on a plate and then sprinkle with the cheese

Delish! The smoked cheese stops this from tasting too virtuous whilst the egg and potatoes will fill you up and add a nice warmth.

If you like onions, olives, anchovies etc. they will all work well in this salad so alter to your tastes.

xoxo

 

Fitting it in – no excuses

Standard

When I became a mum, it was the height of summer, the sun was shining and hours of walking around parks and villages was the norm. Then I went back to work. And then it started raining – pretty much none stop from October to February.

What did that mean? It meant that I did hardly any exercise.

Why not? It’s too cold, I’m tired, I haven’t seen my baby in too long, it’s late, I don’t want to!

Excuses, excuses, excuses. The truth was that I just got lazy, I didn’t want to have to work all day, go home, put the baby to bed, make the hubby’s tea and then go do some exercise, no way! So what’s the solution? You gotta fit it in people!

Now I have started hilunch workouttting the gym during my lunch hour a few times a week. It’s surprising how much you can fit into 1 hour. I get to the gym, put on my workout gear, do a 20 minute intense workout, hit the shower, get dressed, dry my hair AND get back to work. Then I can just sit at my desk and eat lunch.

Do I want to go to the gym during my lunch hour? No! Would I rather be surfing the internet or scrolling through my Tumblr feed? Hell yes! But you know what? If I didn’t fit a workout in my lunch hour a few times a week, I wouldn’t get any exercise done. And not only does that make me feel bad, it makes me a bad example for my daughter.

So how do you fit your workouts into a busy schedule?

xoxo

Weight Update – 06th February 2014

Standard

So between New Year and Today I have lost 6lb. Considering I haven’t exercised much due to 1) Shin splints and 2) Working full time and having a baby, I am VERY pleased with that!

I am now 12st 1lb and by the end of February I would like to have lost another 3-4lb. This isn’t about a quick win anymore, I have yo-yo’d for a long time, once I get under 12st I won’t ever see that number on the scale again!

Happy losing everyone!