Snacking healthly

On my way home from work tonight I popped into Whole Foods and picked up a few healthy snacks to keep me going.

Since cleaning up my diet the one thing I have found the hardest is the snacking – I used to love nothing more than devouring a bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate whilst watching tv or whilst at work. Mindless snacking is my worst enemy and I find it especially hard when the office is full of all my favourite indulgent treats such as Malteasers and chocolate cookies.

Now I am not perfect all the time and sometimes I have a cookie or a handful of Malteasers but on the whole I have discovered a range of healthy snacks that I keep to hand which I find help keep me from digging into the calorie laden, artificial treats!

So when in Whole Foods tonight I picked up a box of Ryvita Multi Seed Thins. I love these tasty savoury treats as they are made from natural ingredients and have a great crunch so really help when I want something crisp like. I quite like eating them on their own but they are even better with a dip of some sort – like homemade guacamole or tzatiki. But be warned they are dangerously moreish!

I also picked up a packet of TriColour Quinoa which I am super excited to try! I’ll make sure to do a recipe post once I have tried them!

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I also grabbed a carton of Vita Coco Coconut Water with Peach & Mango. I love this drink and as I was planning on going for a run I grabbed one to rehydrate later.

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I have always drunk a lot of water but even I get bored with it sometimes. I have found coconut water a great alternative especially if I am in need of a pick me up! Gone are the days of turning to energy drinks – coconut water is a natural source of potassium and is a clear, electrolyte rich liquid from inside younger coconuts containing zero fat and zero cholesterol so an excellent source of natural energy.

Finally I love snacking on fresh fruit so I also grabbed a pot of pre-prepared pineapple (tongue twister!) Whenever I am wanting something sweet I turn to fruit; fresh, baked or dried and I tend to find it satisfies my craving.

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That said sometimes you just want a bite of chocolate so I have really gotten into dark chocolate. A couple of squares now and then is great plus as it is a richer flavour you find you don’t need as much!

Happy snacking everyone!


Technology void

So it’s official – my phone has died and gone to techno heaven.

Which means that I will be sans technology for the next couple of days whilst I try to get something sorted.

This does explain my lack of outfit posts as I have always used my phone to capture each day but I will try to find a solution for the time being.

So in the absence of any outfit posts I thought I could do a quick recipe based on a delicious, clean dinner I made last week…

Photo 13-06-2013 19 26 03Let me introduce this delicious Turkey Fajita supper that I created and that was utterly delicious!

Mexican food is one of my favourites and it used to involve nachos, margaritas and plenty of cheese. However this clean version was equally delicious and equally satisfying.

I would firstly like to point out that fajita can still be fajita without the tortilla wraps and you don’t need the sour cream and guacamole to make it into a mean feast.

  • Take a portion of turkey breast (you can use chicken but turkey is lower in fat) and dice into bitesize pieces
  • Slice an assortment of veg (I used red and yellow peppers along with some green beans that needed to be eaten)
  • Dice half an onion – I used red but you could use white
  • In a hot griddle add some coconut oil and once hot add the veg
  • Allow to stir fry for around 10 minutes – you don’t want to overcook them but you want them to soften
  • Then add the turkey pieces along with a pack of fajita seasoning – I used a regular pre made one from supermarket but only used half the packet. Sprinkle generously over the veg and turkey and let the mexican spices do their magic
  • Whilst this is cooking, thinly slice some lettuce and place in the bottom of a large, comforting bowl
  • Once the turkey is cooked through place over the lettuce and add a dollop of greek yoghurt
  • Eat and enjoy!

Now you could use prawns instead of the turkey or even steak but if you are looking for a light and tasty mid-week meal then this a real winner.

I didn’t even miss the wraps and dips – although I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the cheese!

I hope this helps inspire you to look at old favourites to see how you can make them healthier.

Hope to be back up and running ASAP but in the meantime my Instagram account (sweet4ellie) will still be active!

Leopard, stripes and chia seeds

IMG_20130613_073045 IMG_20130613_073128 IMG_20130613_083121I can’t believe I am back in tights in June! The UK never ceases to amaze when it comes to our weather!

But in the spirit of it being Summer I have gone with shorts (plus it is rather muggy so don’t need the layers) from H&M, a striped tee from Zara and my leopard print coat also from H&M.

Thought I would also share what I had for my breakfast this morning as it was packed full with super antioxidants and yummy nutrients!

IMG_20130613_083015I had a bowl full of Rude Health puffed rice (plain and a small helping of their honey variety), banana, raspberries, leftover blueberries, almond milk, goji berries, sliced almonds and coconut. I also included a spoonful of chia seeds.

Chia seeds are the ‘new’ superfood and rightly so. They contain:

  • 5 times the amount of calcium that milk has
  • 3 times the amount of antioxidants that blueberries have
  • 3 times the amount of iron in spinach
  • 2 times the amount of fiber in oatmeal
  • 2 times the amount of protein of any other bean, seed or grain
  • 2 times the amount of potassium in a banana*these facts are all relative to 2 TBSP of chia seeds

They don’t really have a flavour so you can add them to practically anything. I like to sprinkle them over my breakfast; they soak up the almond milk and expand which means they fill you up for longer, mix them into my lunch – you can sprinkle on salads, soups, anything really and add them into my yoghurt pots.

And to top it all off they are gluten free, vegan friendly and are packed full of omega 3 fats, antioxidants and fibre!

I picked up a packet for about £8 for my local health food shop and they last ages – I bought mine about a month ago and I’m about half way through the pack. You can also get them on Amazon here

I would definitely recommend picking up a pack if you can as these litle grains of wonder will only add great things into your life.

Special thanks to Madeleine Shaw whose website is my bible and where I first heard about chia seeds – find her here

Changing my lifestyle

So I appreciate this may seem quite a dramatic statement but over the last month I have been focusing on a lifestyle overhaul starting mainly with my diet.

Some of you may have heard about Clean Eating and therefore have a vague idea of what it means but since the end of April I have been slowly removing all processed foods from my diet. This means that I am trying to eat foods that are as natural and whole as possible and that haven’t had any artificial ingredients or processes added before eating them.

In short I am not eating anything with ingredients lists that I can’t pronounce or that has anything more than 5 items in it.

Healthy start to the day

Healthy start to the day

Weekend breakfast

Weekend breakfast

Morning prep

Morning prep

Now this may seem like common sense when it comes to healthy eating but a lot of people fall into the trap of picking up items that claim to be ‘low fat’ or ‘fat free’ but what that actually means is that a lot of artificial ingredients and chemicals have been pumped in to reduce the calories/fat content. This is not and never will be the healthiest choice!

By trying to stick to a clean diet you are eliminating the artificial elements of what you are putting in your body and that is only ever going to be a good thing!

Super salad

Super salad

YoYo super fruit

YoYo super fruit

Protein pancakes

Protein pancakes

Cheeky (and healthy) dessert

Cheeky (and healthy) dessert

As I am relatively new to this concept I have been turning to trusty Google to find out as much information as I can so I thought it would be useful to share some of the resources I have been using:

The Gracious Pantry – this is an American site but she has a fantastic bunch of articles about Clean Eating 101 so great starting point

Madeleine Shaw – nutritionist to such celebs as Caggie and Millie from MIC she has so many great clean recipes and articles

Eat Pure – this is a great tumblr from a 15yr old – so much food inspiration I always get hungry reading this!

Since starting I have been enjoying lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein such as turkey, chicken and fish and whole complex carbs such as whole grain rice, quinoa, rye bread. I have even been indulging in organic dark chocolate when I need the odd treat!

Tasty dinners

Tasty dinners

Indulgent (and healthy) treats

Indulgent (and healthy) treats

Healthy food shop

Healthy food shop

That is the great thing about Clean Eating – you don’t count calories, you just enjoy simple, homemade (where possible) healthy food filled to bursting with nutrients and essential vitamins that your body needs!

And your body thanks you for it – my skin is glowing, my dark circles (which I have had forever) have reduced in appearance, I feel leaner, less bloated and full of energy.

In addition to eating well it is important to keep hydrated – I aim to drink between 2-3 litres of H2O a day, have totally cut out all carbonated drinks and reduced the amount of alcohol I am drinking.

Coconut water - super hydrating

Coconut water – super hydrating

Alcohol – this is one of the things I am struggling with (holds head in shame) – I enjoy socialising with friends and as the weather has got nicer it is getting harder to resist a glass of Pimms. However I am consciously trying to reduce how much and how often I drink and I do notice the difference when I show will power!

Having suffered for years with bloating, bad skin and afternoon sugar crashes I am feeling so much better in myself for switching up my diet and am enjoying the renewed energy I am experiencing.

Along with my diet I have also been focusing on exercise but I will save that for another post!

Hopefully you have found this and the links useful and interesting – like I said I am at the start of my journey so still have lots to learn but I am very excited to share it with you!