Tasty tempting treats

As christmas is approaching i may start thinking of stocking my snack cupboard with a few treats i wont feel so guilty diving into.

So many people find that christmas plays havoc on their waist line and if you are new to the whole “DIET” lark it is dreadful to be surrounded by all your favourite foods, watching everyone scoff their face while you sit down to your plate full of salad!

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I have decided to delve into the wonderful world of google to give me some inspiration for some tasty snacks so i don’t feel so left out this holiday season!

Here are a few of the best i have found over the last few days which i am going to try out!

Why don’t you have a go yourself?!

This recipe i found on http://atastylovestory.com (paleo, vegan, low-carb and raw food recipes!)

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Energy bars for everyone
Makes 16 bars

Almond & coconut layer
200 g almonds
200 g desiccated coconut flour
2 very ripe bananas
1 tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic virgin coconut, melted

Chocolate layer
100 g dark chocolate (70 %)
1 small or 1/2 big avocado
2 Tbsp Sukrin, coconut sugar, stevia or sweetener of your choice (I used sukrin gold)
1 tsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp ground vanilla

Raw & vegan chocolate layer (alternative chocolate layer)
4 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil, melted
4 Tbsp high quality cocoa powder
8 big soft pitted dates
1/2 tsp ground vanilla

Directions
For this recipe you need to use a food processor or very good blender. Blend the coconut flour until it becomes almost ground. Then add the almond and blend until you have a mix almond and coconut flour. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, salt, banana and blend until you have a firm and mixed dough.
Find a square baking pan, box or whatever you have on hands. Line it with a piece of parchment paper. Now use your hand to even out the dough, it should be plain and have a thickness around 2 cm (0,75 inch). Place it in the fridge.

Original chocolate layer: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Blend the avocado, sugar and vanilla until it has a very smooth texture. Add the chocolate and pulse until just combined. Remove the dough from the fridge and add the chocolate in a plain layer and place it back in the fridge to set for at least 30 min.

Raw and vegan chocolate layer: Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth chocolate paste. Add more cocoa if you want a deeper flavour and darker colour. Remove the dough from the fridge and add the chocolate in a plain layer and place it back in the fridge to set for at least

Cut the ‘cake’ into 16 bars. Keep them in an airtight box in the fridge for up to a week. Wrap some of them in paper and bring them to your workout, as a afternoon snack or on long walks. You’ll get a tasty and healthy energy load without any blood sugar rush.

Heres another fab recipe this time from http://www.paleogrubs.com

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Gluten free energy bars

Ingredients
1 cup almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pitted dates
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Instructions
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything up. Then blend continuously until the ingredients have broken down and start to clump together into a ball.
Using a spatula to scrape down the sides, turn out the mixture onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Press into an even square and chill, wrapped, for at least an hour. Cut into desired size of bars, wrapping each bar in plastic wrap to store in the fridge.
Notes
Servings: 8 bars
Difficulty: Easy

and another here from http://livinghealthywithchocolate.com

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Cookie Dough Bites (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb)

Ingredients
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1½ tablespoons coconut milk
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon + ½ teaspoon raw honey
¾ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons chocolate chips, plus more for drizzling
Instructions
whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and honey
using a rubber spatula, gently mix in the almond flour until ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over mix or the batter will become oily.
fold in the chocolate chips and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes
roll chilled dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water
drizzle chocolate over each cookie dough bite
Recipe make 10 cookie dough bites. Store in the refrigerator.

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Smoothie Talker

Todays blog is dedicated to my best chum, Charlotte.

The other morning we were discussing ‘healthy eating’ options, something a year ago you would never have seen me doing!

My buddy was feeling a little bothered by the fact she had lost her way on her diet, by diet i don’t mean general weight loss, i mean healthier lifestyle choices relating to food and how it can impact her general being! – lets get this straight, DIETS should be an eating choice, you can be on a diet of chocolate and state you are on a diet…. to me, a diet means your eating habits not just always just a way to lose weight!

But anyways, my dear chum had felt she had let her diet slip, and had noticed she was putting on weight and feeling she wanted to get back to the healthier her……

What had changed in her life to cause this slip you ask? LOVE!

Now, don’t get me wrong, love is a great thing, its great to be in a new relationship, but its lethal if your into your fitness and body image!

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Going on dates ( which usually involve eating) , meeting new people ( usually involving the consumption of alcohol) and then the ‘cosy nights in’ ( usually spent in bed or on the sofa watching copious amounts of films….well, maybe a little bit of exercise thrown in now and again too if things are going well)….. All these lovely experiences are bound to impact what you eat, how active you are and how you feel.

So me being the health guru i am ( said with a huge amount of sarcasm) , i decided to have a general chat about her eating habits.

Now my lovely friend is one to occasionally skip a meal if she isn’t feeling hungry and snacks on bags and bags of nuts. Now nuts are great for you, nothing wrong with eating nuts, but probably not a family pack a day and definitely not after 7pm. As for skipping meals, i don’t think this is a particularly great thing for your body, if you eat healthy, balanced meals then you should have no need to skip meals and your body will know where it is, when its meals are coming, better control of your body sugar levels and have a steady metabolism!

One thing she has added to her diet is to have a smoothie for breakfast.

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“Good for her” i hear you all shouting…. But…

Fruit smoothies for breakfast just starts your day with a massive sugar hit, by the time you’ve got rid of the peel and mashed the fibre then you have already lost many of the potential health benefits. What you are left with is just a sugary drink.

There is a lot of information out there encouraging people to juice, saying its a healthy option, but recent studies have concluded that starting your day with a cup of coffee has more benefits to your health than a smoothie, caffeine and all! The sugar, the calories ( not that i am a calorie counter!) and the acid within your ‘healthy drink’ do not have the health benefits you are probably seeking! Did you know that by regularly eating fruits reduces the risk of diabetes by 2% but drinking it raises it by 8%?

So should you stop downing the smoothies?

I think like everything, its always best to have things in moderation, maybe have a smoothie two or three times a week rather than religiously having one a day, and when you do go to grab one, maybe look for something with a little more substance if you are considering having it for breakfast!

Ways in which you can improve your smoothies nutritional value is to add in vegetables!

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There are plenty of recipes online for Green Smoothies, and while i would still state that you should have things in moderation, there still is the opportunity to cut the sugar content! Why not swop that sugary banana for some avocado? Or get some iron into you with some spinach? And if your trying to cut the dairy, try it with some almond milk!

So are you a smoothie drinker? Whats your stance on having a smoothie instead of a regular meal?

And heres the fun bit……i don’t even like or eat the darn things! But its always good to know if i ever wanted to force myself to have one i would know what i was letting myself in for! 🙂

OMG I’m back……

Well, hello there!

I’m so sorry i have been away from you all for so long, i have had the joys of school holidays, jetting over to the USA for my first ever visit, over to England to visit family and friends, then back to Switzerland to settle back into the school routine…….and now its nearly Christmas, where have the months gone?!

So here is the big question…..have i been keeping up the diet and lifestyle change?

Why yes i have! For once in my life i’m managing to stick to something!

My weight has now hit 64.9kg so i am pretty happy with that, its not bad going losing 15-20kg since May!

I still do my hula hooping every other day, i haven’t mastered any tricks, but the main thing is i enjoy it!

In other news i have hit the stage where i have been treating myself once a week to something ‘naughty’, usually when my husband and i go out for our ‘date nights’ but the last three weeks i decided to see what would happen if i ate ‘normally’ again.

By normally i mean, bread, pasta, the very odd cake if i was out for a coffee with friends etc. i didn’t want to return to my old diet, i just wanted to see its impact, if any.

And the result?! Well, it was horrific as far as i was concerned. I lost all energy, felt really lathargic, grumpy, i was suffering horrid headaches, feeling forgetful, dizzy and just all over the place.

Who knew diet would have such an impact on how i was feeling and so rapidly?

Trying this diet was always an experiment after being told that i was a likely sufferer of Adult ADHD and there being other ‘medical conditions’ within my family, i thought i should do something to see if i could improve how i felt and how to look after a healthier, happier me.

I was so pleased that once i began the diet i noticed a significant change in my behaviour, energy levels and general being. I felt that maybe a lot of my issues (tiredness and foggyness) were just down to my weight issues but it looks like what i eat obviously effects me more than just controlling my weight.

So its back to avoiding the pasta and bread and other gluten filled goodies.

Will i miss it? – Most probably
Will i totally stick to the diet now? – well, i may just treat myself every other week to a cake with my cup of coffee as my ‘treat’ but i wont be regularly testing out my reaction to ‘normal’ foods again in a hurry!

Has anyone else changed their diet and then tried their old diet and noticed the negative effects it seemingly has on their mind and body?!

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A few of my favourite things…

Hello to all.

The sun is shining down upon us in ye olde Zurich today, summer is finally here!
Unfortunately its not just warm, its scorching hot, which is fine if you are on a beach or on holiday somewhere, its not really particularly nice for those bodding about getting on with their every day business.

I know, i know, one minute we all complain it is too cold and the next its too hot….well, i’m British and we like to talk about the weather!!!

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But anyways, todays blog isn’t about ‘Weather’, i’ve decided to share a few more recipes with ya’ll out there!
Ok, they may not be my favourite recipes but they are nice recipes, paleo and low carbalishious!
AND….the first is one of my OWN concoctions, a bit of a throw it in as you go along dish, so excuse the lack of exact measurements!

Paleo Pork, Apple and Cider Casserole

4 pork chops cut into cubes
2 Apples, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion thinly sliced
1 small Celeriac cut into batons
2 Sweet Potatoes cut into batons
1 Tin of Tomatoes
100mls of chicken Stock
Mixed Herbs
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 bottle of Bulmers Apple Cider.

Now here is the tricky part……shove it all in the slow cooker for 6 hours or so and done.
( minimum fuss food!)

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Paleo Chicken Curry

4 organic chicken breast
4 slices of bacon (nitrate free)
Medium pack of prawns
5 carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 head of cauliflower (chopped)
2 cups of cubed sweet potatoes.
1 med. sweet onion(sliced)
2-3 garlic gloves (minced)
2 tbsp of ginger (minced)
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp curry
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
Garnish with shredded unsweetened coconut.
Instructions
Fry bacon until crisp and dice.
In a separate frying pan, fry onions, garlic, and ginger in coconut oil untill onions are translucent, 5-8 mins on med-high. Add spices, stir, then add coconut milk and bring to a light boil for 2-5 m ins. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pre heat oven at 375
Cube chicken and place in an oven safe casserole dish, peel, add prawns to casserole dish. Add all vegetables and spread evenly. Pour sauce over everything, sprinkle bacon over everything and bake for 40-50 mins. Remove halfway to stir.

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(adapted from the recipes on http://cavemanstrong.com/2011/02/paleo-curry-chicken/ as i had no shrimp and had more guests to feed so doubled the chicken!)

Paleo Chilli – Kiddy Approved!

1 zucchini
handful of carrots
1 acorn squash
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 mason jar homemade chicken stock or beef stock
2 lbs ground beef
salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder

Warm up the squash and carrots any which way you like. If you are not opposed to microwaving, it will take a fraction of the time you spend doing it otherwise. Scoop the squash out of the skin. Dice all vegetables into bite sized pieces and toss them into a hot pan with some bacon grease or butter or coconut oil.

Add the canned tomatoes, and cook everything for a few more minutes. Now add everything to a food processor or blender, and process everything until it’s a thick veggie sauce/soup.

Brown the ground beef thoroughly and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Add all ingredients into a slow cooker, pour in the chicken or beef stock, and season as you like. Not all kids are into cumin, so you could leave that out. You’ll know your kids best. As I said before, none of the kids were aware of all the great stuff in this chili (although I did tell my own kids later and they thought that was awesome!).

You’ll want to cook your chili in the slow cooker on LOW for about 3 to 5 hours.

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(With Thanks to http://fastpaleo.com/kid-friendly-and-approved-chili/ and the kids really did enjoy this!)

Let me know what you think of the recipes if you get to try them out yourself!

A blogging sin…..

When i started Blogging a good friend gave me a few tips on how to run a good blog.
The usual 1. Make it interesting. 2. Try to stick to a theme 3. Don’t use it to let off steam and so on.
I have, if i may say so myself, managed to maintain the rules above but today i may have to break 2 of them!

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Don’t worry, i will try not to break number 1’s rule and maybe i can link my blog to number 2 still but ………number 3 is way put the window!
Today has been one of those days that started with idiots and ended with frustrating morons. I did, i’m pleased to report have a nice break in the middle from fools by spending the day with family in Zurich, so it wasn’t all bad!
I wont bore you all with the details but i will say its been a mixture of people not being particularly helpful, rude, having little faith in my abilities and just rubbing me up the wrong way.
I think i have a level of tolerance for most people, i do my best to be polite, patient, make excuses for their behaviour, but sometimes, just sometimes it would be nice to let the guard down and tell people to use that greyish, cauliflowery like organ in their head….and think about how the could stop being such fools.

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It’s been enough to make anyone want to reach for the chocolate or some other sugary treat to replace some the energy you have wasted feeling bothered by these ‘fool of a took’ type folk!
Although i have managed to restrain from reaching from the sugar, although i wasn’t so successful in resisting in a well deserved ( maybe more ‘needed’) glass of wine to end the evening!
So here is what i am going to do, i’ll share some amusing quotations i have found to help relieve my stress! Good old google images can surely cheer up anyone when they need it most.
So if you have also had one of these days, or maybe you are someone who has already been through this and can relate, either way, enjoy!!!!

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June already?

How did we manage to be into June already?!

I’m sure this year has just whizzed by! I don’t think that its helped much that the Sun has only just decided to make an appearance, we are suffering the worst weather Switzerland has seen in 30 years. So its not particularly inspiring to get outside and MOVE!

Its been on my agenda since spring/summer arrived i would start to walk the 25 minutes to my daughters playgroup, i tend to go there 3 times a week at least and its seemed a good way to add in exercise to my day.

Sadly, as i have mentioned, we have been blighted with pretty standard English weather….grey, rain, windy and just plain yuck!

Yes, ok i could purchase some fine wet weather gear, call me unadventurous but i cant say the idea inspires me much!

On a more positive note i did try out pole dancing the other week!!!
After sharing the news with some friends i was going to attend a class i was greeted with a mixture of reactions as I’m sure some of you can relate too!
“Sounds great” to “what on earth do you want to train in that for”

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I tend to have a lot of international friends, so where as some understand that pole dancing can be a form of exercise nowadays and can be classed as a serious sport on par with gymnastics, others thought it was only something you learnt if you were considering a new line of work….

I recommend watching this link………..http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p2n3vRS9PyI …. ..i would like to point out this is OBVIOUSLY not me, and nor do i assume i will ever achieve this, i have never been the most flexible person!

I have also ordered my Hula Hoop ( borrowing one for the time being to get some practice in!), i was quite keen in adding this exercise into my daily routine, its fun and takes me back to my childhood. The one thing i forgot is, the last time i hula hooped was when i was rather small and i wasn’t just going to be able to pick it up and do my own ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ by Grace Jones rendition…. If you have no clue what i am talking about heres the link…. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vSa5EvWqB7g

It is amazing to think this woman is over 60… And can hula hoop 1000x better than i can. Practice makes perfect though i assume?

Why hula hooping though? Well, lets say i have read a number of times now that hula hooping for 5+ minutes in the morning and 5+ minutes can shave a couple of inches of your waist, and as thats the area i am trying to concentrate on at the moment i thought i should give it a spin! Hoho.

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And in other news…..

I shall have to make today’s post brief!
I am off to Italy tomorrow morning and have once again felt I have neglected my blog for a few days!

Today I decided to do something daring, something I have wanted to do for a long time but never had the courage to do myself.

Dye my hair bright dark red!

Why not? New lifestyle, new body ( still in progress), new mental attitude…. New hair! It fits in so nicely!

So I braved the wind and rain and joined the scurry of people through town … With not much help from my iPhone GPS I may add! Apparently I did need to walk around the block ( and then some) in the torrential rain rather than just walk 10 meters to the left!

None the less I got there, with my 2 year old in tow, little damper than we had hoped but it was for a good cause!

I won’t babble on about the process of changing your hair colour from dark brown to red, but I have learnt it now involved lightening your current colour with bleach so to show the colour better! Not the best look!

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Little madam was kept highly amused by the hairdressers, and was even given her own model to practice on while she waited patiently to be saved by her Aunty. Better than being bored to tears whilst waiting for goodness knows how long for mum to be finished!

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The finished result if my hair was, well interesting! The beautiful dark deep burgundy colour I was dreaming of was non existent, instead I have been kindly given bright, manic ginger red hair!

For the moment i have decided to keep it for the weekend but to say I’m a little bit in shock would be about right!

Maybe I will get used to it, its
just one of those times in life where you expect one thing and receive another!

Anyways…… Here’s my ‘auburn’ do!
Excuse the yellow hue my bathroom light gives off, I’m not that jaundiced in real life!

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