Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Meal Prep Edit- Gooey Chocolate & Ginger Biscuit Bombs

So today I come with a recipe that every food and fitness lover needs in their life.
These gooey, chocolatey biscuit bombs are a date and ginger centre, surrounded by a doughy chocolate biscuit and they taste incredible.
66 calories, 13.4g carbs, 0.5g fat, 1.3g Protein

66 calories, 13.4g carbs, 0.5g fat, 1.3g Protein

For the centre
25g dates
25g mixed fruit
25g crystallised ginger

For the biscuit
75g Rye Flour 
25g quinoa flakes
20g raw cacao powder 
30ml Coconut Nectar
30ml almond milk 

Pre heat the oven to 180 centigrade. Add the dried fruit, dates and ginger to a blender and blitz until smooth, add 2 tbsp of water to loosen.
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix.
 Add in the milk and coconut nectar and mix until combined.
Flour your hands and roll the biscuit mix into 11 balls.
Flatten the balls out and add a small amount of ginger mix into the centre of each one.
Roll the biscuit up around the ginger mix and then roll between your palms to make into a round biscuit bomb.
Place in oven for 10 to 12 mins.
Remove and dust with cacao powder.

Are Sweeteners Making you Fat?

The latest craze in the medias bit to make us all size 0 models is to promote 0 calories drinks and snacks, with artificial sweeteners. This post is a discussion and NOT a post about how scary and bad sweeteners are, I consume them moderately and feel all information on any topic should be read with an open mind. However, I do think it is important to consider all aspects of a topic and this post prompts thought on an area people may be less educated on due to its lack of presence in everyday media.

We are programmed to believe that low calorie is best and so these artificially sweetened foods which promise no sugar and no calories have become a part of modern daily life.
This isnt necessarily a problem, if like everything, they are consumed in moderation and could actually have some benefits for our teeth over sugar.

However, as with everything when consumed in large quantity these products could actually be doing more damage than good. All the sweeteners discussed are approved and safe.

'Several large scale prospective cohort studies found positive correlation between artificial sweetener use and weight gain' (Yang, Q. 2010).

Lets take the scenario:
you are having a night in with your friends and thinking you are being healthy opt for sugar free drinks and sweets, and binge on them-they are lower calorie and have no sugar so why wouldn't you?! However, once they have all gone you are now feeling super hungry! You opt for some crisps, the salt in those makes you crave more so you and your friends decide to order pizza. Before you know it you've ordered a pizza and munched through that too!

This highlights the point I want to make in this post. Artificial sweeteners still set off the sweetness receptors in our brains, increasing appetite because of a sugar reward pathway, leading the individual to crave more.'Aspartame [...] increased subjective hunger ratings compared to glucose or water' (Yang, Q. 2010). So you end up actually just increasing your appetite and inevitably eating more. It is also suggested that artificial sweeteners can cause the release of insulin. This is a hormone that leads to fat storage. So this could prevent leaning out.

There is also the suggestion that both artificially sweetened and sugary drinks can lead to type 2 diabetes, a huge problem in the UK currently. This is when sensitivity to insulin becomes less, so we have very poor control over our blood sugar, people can suffer from both hypos and hypers-which are very low and very high blood sugar levels and are very dangerous. Therefor you may want to do further research if you are trying sweetened products to prevent diabetes on set.

Artificial sweetener
Brand names

Sweetness as compared to sugar
AspartameEqual®, NutraSweet®, others180 times sweeter than sugar
Acesulfame-KSunett®, Sweet One®200 times sweeter than sugar
SaccharinSweet’N Low®, Necta Sweet®, others300 times sweeter than sugar
SucraloseSplenda®600 times sweeter than sugar
NeotameNo brand names7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar
AdvantameNo brand names20,000 times sweeter than sugar

Harvard T.H.Chan  (2017).

'A strong correlation exists between a person’s customary intake of a flavor and his preferred intensity for that flavor. '(Yang, Q. 2010). As you can see in the table above these sweeteners are far higher in sweetness than regular sugar, there is science to suggest that this could then lead the individual to crave greater sugar than previously, when what we really should be doing is reducing the sweetness of our food to reduce craving. 

From personal experience I have found I stay leaner when removing artificially sweetened products from my diet, on a day to day basis. I still have a diet coke when I go out ocationally or have Sugar free fruitella when I go to the cinema because these are two foods that this gal loves, its no problem to have them every now and again but from reading articles and my experience, the science currently suggests everyday consumption may be more of an issue.

I'd love for you to share this post and discuss your thoughts in the comments!

Emily xx

Do diet foods make you fatter?. (2017). BBC Guides. Retrieved 15 August 2017, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zp3yrdm

Harvard T.H.Chan  (2017).  Artificial Sweeteners.The Nutrition Source. Retrieved 15 August 2017, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/artificial-sweeteners/

Yang, Q. (2010). Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine83(2), 101–108.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Motivational Monday #7 Does Progression take Patience?

There are a few things I wanted to discuss in this weeks post that have come up over the last week, and I just wanted to see what other peoples thoughts were on them.

Initially I wanted to discuss progress. Often we think of progress as moving forward, getting closer to our goal and making an achievement. But what if this is just the end result?
Personally I think of progress as something that is ongoing and involves not just success but also failure. When you don't achieve you learn. All to often we dont try things for a fear of getting it wrong or failing, but this is all part of progression. We have to try things and then stick at them through failure, making those mistakes in order to move forward, to learn. We can then make changes, and try again. Its only after all this hard work that success can be achieved.

This links to the second point that I wanted to discuss in this blog post and that involves patience. This is the area where I really struggle. Im not scared of starting something new but I am impatient. I want to be the best at whatever I try straight away, I want to get stuck in and be succeeding. This isnt always possible and often we have to work hard for many years before we see any result. I will tend to want to give something up quickly, because I'm so keen to move onto the next idea in my head. Although its great to have a lot of goals and be keen to achieve them all sometimes success comes from patience and keeping going at one goal until its been achieved, through failure and success.

Do you take opportunities when they come or do you put them off because of a fear of failure preventing progression, or do you take that first step and then become impatient? I'd love to know people thoughts on these topics! Message me your thoughts +Emily Isobelle Jane or on facebook and let me know your thoughts!

Happy Monday Everyone <3

The Meal Prep Edit: Quick Healthy Vegan Chocolate Bites

So what's in these bites in chocolatey heaven?
Essentially there are two variations:
Recipe 1: Coconut chocolate Quinoa bites
33 calories, 6g carbs, 0.4g fat, 1g protein. 
50g rye flour 
20g raw cacao powder
25g flaked quinoa 
20ml coconut blossom nectar 
Almond milk to loosed approx 40ml 
Tsp baking powder
Method: Pre heat oven to 180 centigrade. Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the coconut nectar and the milk. Mix until combined. Separate into 12 balls. Place in oven at 180 for 10 minutes
Recipe 2: Chocolate cookies 🍪
calories 53, 8.2g carbs, fat 1.6g, protein 1g.
50g rye flour 
25g cacao powder 
30ml coconut blossom nectar 
40g coconut jam 
20ml almond milk
Pre heat oven 180 centigrade. Mix together dry ingredients. Melt coconut jam on low heat. Add coconut jam and nectar. Add almond milk to loosen. Separate into ball and flatten. Bake for 10 -15 minutes

Send me a picture if you do decide to make these! 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Meal Prep Edit

Anyone who has lost weight and had to regain it will know how hard it is to stop craving food constantly, as your body is essentially starved for a prolonged period of time whilst you loose weight. When its no longer restricted it craves all the cals it can get to store so that it has something to fall back on if its ever starved again...our bodies are incredibly clever beings! However you reach a point where you no longer need this excess of calories and you have to rethink your diet again.

Follow me on Bloglovin for the recipe to this Plant Based Pizza

Having being poorly for over a year my body was exhausted and tired, so up until now I have been feeding it as soon as I feel hungry and pretty much eating what I want within reason. However, having maintained a healthy weight for a couple of months its now time to get back to eating meals, anyone who knows me will know how bad I am for just eating cereal, bread , homemade cake, and yogurt throughout the afternoon and evening and calling this my dinner.

I cant eat meals as easily as most due to my slow stomach emptying hence my continual snacking of easily digested food, so I plan to meal prep meals and then eat them in stages throughout the day. The aim of this is to prevent me from snacking on the slightly less nutritious (bread, crisps) that I often turn to when I feel hungry. If I have ready made salads and vegetables, smoothies, and sources of protein such as Quorn fillets and edamame beans, then I can put these together to make light meals as and when I feel hungry knowing Im getting all the nutrients I need.

I have no idea if this is going to work but as im so tired all the time at the moment I really want to try introducing more fruit and veg into my diet, I just need to find the best ways of doing this for my very over sensitive stomach.

To go along with this I am introducing a new edit onto my blog called the Meal Prep Edit, I'll be posting the meal ideas I'm using to help anyone else who may be looking to introduce healthy meal prepping into their life.

The recipes will all aim to be plant based, focused on low GI foods and full of a variety of nutrients. 

Let me know if there is a particular meal you would like recipes for or if there is a meal you love and would like a healthier version of and I'll do my best to get a recipe up for you! 

My first post is going to be a Frozen Berry Alpro Smoothie so keep and eye out for that!

Lots of Love 

Emily xx

Friday, 11 August 2017

WTF Friday Cullots and Trousers

When someone says the word culotte to me I just think back to my days as a brownie. Anyone else who like me was a proud brownie for most of their childhood will remember the beautiful brown culottes that we had to wear...I wasn't a fan then and NEVER did I think these alien shorts that looked like a skirt make it into fashion. BUT...this summer trousers and culottes are right on trend and I have to admit, its a trend I absolutely LOVE. 

Today I've scouted out my top three pieces from ZARA, let me know what you think! 

Zara is my no.1 go to for affordable fashion and they dont dissapoint on the trouser front. I recently bought a pair of 7/8th polkadot trousers in zara for just £10!! They have so many lovely pieces in there at the moment.

Which are you favourites?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Motivational Monday #6 Lets Talk Body Confidence

As someone who has stomach problems I often have to deal with bloating and feeling tired and just not that great. This has a huge affect on how I feel about my outward appearance and some days I feel super confident whilst others I just want to hide under a duvet and ignore the world. Whilst this is totally natural, I also try and remind myself that no one else is aware of how bloated im feeling or that I may be having a less confident day and that actually our outward appearance is so much more obvious to ourselves than it is to any one else, the take away message being try not to let how you feel about your appearance have any impact on you. Love your body and all it does for you and be kind to yourself.

I was recently watching Natacha Ocean on Youtube, she knows how much I love her videos and I have a lot of respect for what she says. She has lived through, as many of us do, dealing with insecurities and shares my passion of using science to spread a positive message about health and fitness. In her video she discussed dealing with her insecurities and how the way she looks is probably the least interesting thing about her.
This got me thinking and its so 100% true that often we define ourselves in the way we look and our outward appearance but its our actions and personalities that ultimately make us who we are. Our friendships and relationships are based on our personality characteristics and shape what we do in our day to day lives, what we enjoy and how we live. It is these aspects of ourselves which are so interesting and are far more important than the way we look, often we are all so focused on ourselves we dont notice in other people things they have hang ups about and they wont notice this in us!
Everyone needs to have confidence in themselves as individuals, realise that ascetics arent everything and just enjoy life! This is definitely important within fitness as well, often we have ascetic fitness goals but I challenge everyone to set new fitness based goals, run a mile further, workout for 1 more set than you could before and lift heavier than you believed you could. Challenging and meeting attainable goals makes us feel great and is so much more positive than focusing negative thoughts on parts of our bodies that we cant change and really...we dont need to!

This links to a lottery funded campaign which I think is amazing called This Girl Can. If ever you are having a down day for whatever reason find a sport you would love to try and go give it ago. I guarantee you will leave feeling great about yourself no matter what!

So to end this rambling post, I hope this post instils some body confidence and general positivity into you, we are so much more than our outward appearance and I personally think this needs to be shared more in both the media and social media!

Love Emily