Lent – Will I get food Absolution this year?

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday (read: pancake day) so that means today is the start of Lent. Traditionally a time where Christians seek forgiveness (Shrove means to forgive) and would fast.

In 2015 I gave up chocolate for Lent, and last year I did Dry January. This year I’m back off the chocolate (except cacao nibs as I top my smoothies with them, plus they don’t taste like chocolate anyway) for the next six weeks.*

*Disclaimer – my Birthday falls 3 days before Easter Sunday, so I may have a slice of my favourite cake – vanilla and chocolate marble sponge then.

THE vanilla and chocolate marble sponge cake
THE vanilla and chocolate marble sponge cake

I like having these short-term challenges that aren’t too widespread that they’re restrictive,and yet they do make you think consciously about the eating decisions you make.

It’s too easy to reach for chocolate. It’s EVERYWHERE! I’ve already eaten more Easter chocolate this year than I normally do all Easter! Don’t get me started on the commercialisation of Easter and supermarkets having eggs in stock before you’ve taken your Christmas tree down. Crazy.

So I’m stocking my fruit bowl, taking a trick from Ali @ Inspiralized by snacking on raw nuts and unsweetened dried fruit, and upping the vegetables.

More times than not I’m opting for meat-free meals, I’ve even substituted chicken for Quorn twice in the past couple of weeks, just don’t tell Hubby, he hasn’t noticed;-)

My treat will be fluff with peanut butter and maybe the occasional non-chocolate Krispy Kreme, but no chocolate!

I’ll keep you updated on my chocolate fasting. Are any of you giving up anything for Lent?

xoxo

 

Easter Monday – hello chocolate

Happy Easter weekend everyone!
This blog is not a forum I use for political or religious debate, but I’d like to take this opportunity to remember all those people who have lost their lives or loved ones, or have been injured in the attacks in the past few days, including Belgium and Pakistan.

This weekend has been full of family times, and I’m grateful I’ve been able to spend happy times with the people I love the most.

In terms of fitness, I ran just over 5km tonight, and as the first run in a while, I’m happy!
5.16 km in 29 mins.
I felt strong towards the end and if it hadn’t been dark or I was wearing some hi – vis I would have carried on.

Last night I ate spiralized yellow courgette with shredded Brussels sprouts and pancetta with a small cube of boursin followed by some spiralized apples and some chocolate!

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Considering I haven’t eaten chocolate in almost 2 months I didn’t go wild yesterday, I had 2 cadbury oreo mini eggs and a creme egg. I’m hoping I’ve kicked my cravings and will be able to enjoy chocolate in moderation from now on.

Did anyone else do anything health/fitness related for Lent or this long weekend?
Xoxo

Friday Round Up – One Week To Go

We’re nearly at the finish line, just 7 days to go and I will have successfully managed to go through lent without eating chocolate.

That’s right, there’s only¬† a week left of lent and I still haven’t eaten chocolate, not that I haven’t been bombarded from every angle – at home, at work and at the shops! And whereas in previous weeks I have eaten really cleanly for 80% of the time, this past week I have slipped back into poor eating habits.

A lack of motivation has well and truly hit, and I have now started to feel bloated and sluggish, and clothes that had started to fit me better now look a little tight and unflattering again.

I think this has a lot to do with not eating mindfully, not drinking enough water and not waiting long enough after I have eaten to register fullness, before reaching for something to snack on.

This has been accompanied by a sprained ankle, so I haven’t been able to do any intense workouts for a while either. I have given my ankle a week off, so hopefully on Sunday I will be able to fit a longer run in.

So today. we’re back on it, and I plan to…

MAKE APRIL YOUR BITCH

I have a 1 litre reusable bottle on my desk that I will be working my way through today, I have brought my lunch and snacks so that I won’t be tempted to choose something with limited nutritional value from the supermarket, and I plan on doing some gentle toning work at the gym on my lunch hour.

Next week I will be revealing how I plan to take what I have established over the past 40 days and turn it into a long lasting approach to food.

Has anyone else managed to maintain their Lent-promise, or still succeeding with their New Year resolutions?
xoxo

 

Friday Round Up – Have I become properly balanced?

Quick Summary: EEEEEEK! I STILL haven’t eaten chocolate, that’s over 2 weeks of being a cocoa-free body! And I’ve lost weight without doing a whole load of exercise!

This week I have felt as through I have really adopted the balanced eating way of life. I haven’t felt as though I’m missing out on any foods, I feel full and satisfied with the good foods I’ve been eating, so I haven’t felt guilty when I have indulged in the 20% of food that isn’t as nutritious.

I’ve only exercised twice with one short run on Monday (about 1.5 miles) and then 6.8km last night in 39 minutes. I need to kick my bum back to the gym on a lunch hour, but work is crazy busy. I’ve recorded some kettlebell and yoga stuff from the Fitness channel so will try to squeeze a couple of those in at the weekend as well.

Plus… my resolution for lent to give up chocolate for 40 days is well underway and I’m proud to say that I didn’t crack this week, even though yesterday was the kind of day when I thought I needed chocolate (men at work can’t handle a young/female/marketing person managing them). I have found the ultimate no-chocolate sweet treat – two meringue nests stuck together with a spoonful of Fluff. OMG, so delicious, and all those egg whites make it healthy, right??

Current Weight (Friday 6th March 2015): 155lb

Happy Friday Everyone!
xoxo

Friday Round-Up – Still no chocolate!?!

It’s Friday 27 February and I haven’t eaten chocolate for 10 days!

That’s right people, I’m sticking with my chocolate ban for lent and haven’t touched the stuff in 10 days, that must be some kind of record for me! I still have cravings every now and again, usually mid-afternon at work when I want a coffee and something sweet to nibble on.

I’ve substituted chocolate with sweet rice cakes and Fluff, both of which are low fat and I can easily stop after 1 rice cake/1 spoon of Fluff, so I still get a sweet kick without all the sugar, fat and calories!

I’ve lost 2lb since last Friday, weighing in at 154 this morning! I haven’t been at 154 in YEARS! Definitely not since the beginning of 2013 (to be fair I was pregnant/had a baby) but even before than I was probably over 154. So happy!

Also, on Wednesday I was in London for a conference and dropped into H&M for a browse whilst waiting for my train. I picked up a size 12 pair of jeans which fit great, and a jersey top in stripes, which is super flattering, size M.

Can you tell that I’m feeling great? I feel great!
xoxo

Giving up chocolate for Lent

Pancake Day, oh Pancake Day, how I love thee Pancake Day!

I cannot stress how much I love pancakes! I don’t eat them all the time but when I do, I love them soooo much! There are so many options for toppings and the actual pancakes themselves! Do you go fluffy like American pancakes, or thin like traditional pancakes in Britain? Do you go for pancakes made from banana and egg (how do people flip these?) or go for flour, egg and milk? The options are endless….

I also love chocolate. At least I THINK I love chocolate, but what I really love is the comforting feeling you get for about 10 minutes after you eat chocolate.

So, with that being said, this past Tuesday (17th February) we celebrated Shrove Tuesday in the UK. And Shorve Tuesday is Pancake Day! Knowing that I would be eating some scrummy pancakes, I still ate 2 (TWO!!!) chocolate bars at work during the day. Then, with my two pancakes in the evening, my fired and I polished off three bags of (small) Easter chocolates!

I knew I had reached a new low:-( I wasn’t getting through a day without reaching for chocolate, so as Lent started on Wednesday, I have made the decision to give up chocolate for Lent! 5 days down and I am feeling good! I feel that if I am able to get through a few more days chocolate free, I won’t feel the incessant need chocolate throughout the day or late in the evening (or anytime really).

It’s also perfect timing as my birthday lands right after Easter, and my sister and I are going to the Ritz for dinner. This way, if they do serve anything with chocolate during the dinner, I won’t have to refuse, or feel guilty for breaking Lent.

Has anyone else given anything up for Lent, or have food addictions that they want to break?
xoxo

Recipe: Squishy, fruity, nutty chocolate discs

So the title of this recipe may not sound very healthy, but trust me, two or three of these instead of a processed chocolate bar will satisfy your cravings and be much better for your waistline!

These are fairly flat discs made from dark chocolate topped with dried cranberries, macadamia nuts and mini marshmallows. I just made them this morning, they took 5 minutes and I will definitely be making them again soon!

You could choose any toppings that take your fancy, such as hazelnut and raisins or freeze dried berries!

I haven’t put any quantities in the ingredients as I have only made a small batch so far, but I put 3 dried cranberries, 2 nuts and 2 mini marshmallows on each disc, and each disc was roughly 5cm across.

fatboyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk chocolate discs2

(Photo credit: fatboyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk – I ate mine on my lunch hour and didn’t get any pictures!)

 

 

Ingredients (Makes 6 squares/2 servings):

  • Good dark chocolate (I used Tesco finest 70% Peruvian dark chocolate)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mini marshmallows

Method:

  1. Heat your chocolate in a pan over a low heat until it is melted – make sure it doesn’t burn as it will turn incredibly bitter and grainy, and that’s just wasted chocolate which I never like to see!
  2. Once the chocolate has melted, spoon a teaspoon of chocolate onto some greaseproof paper and with the back of your spoon gently spread the mixture into a disc roughly 5cm in diameter.
  3. Now sprinkle your toppings on, evenly distributing the different toppings on each disc.
  4. Place the discs in the fridge until cool and hard, and enjoy!

fatboyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk chocolate discs

(Photo credit: fatboyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk – I ate mine on my lunch hour and didn’t get any pictures!)

 

 

That’s just 4 steps to a very satisfying and healthy ‘treat’.

I don’t know for sure, but they would probably last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Send me pictures if you make chocolate discs!

xoxo