Gluten Free

Hi all,

It’s been a while since my last blog post! A lot has been happening recently including :

  • Passing my driving test
  • Completing the Great South Run

So aside from a hectic couple of months, I have also decided to go Gluten Free in my lifestyle, now this is not some “fad diet” I’m trying, this has been an ongoing occurance for the past few months.

When eating anything “heavy” i like to call it ( bread, pasta etc.)I always feel sluggish, sleepy, un-energetic, bloated and sometimes sick.

So for the past few days, i have tried to cut back further on the amount of gluten in my day to day diet and i have found the results to be quite effective.

I also have a skin condition called Keratosis pilaris, which is commonly known as “chicken skin” which causes numerous small, rough, tan or red little bumps around hair follicles commonly found on the upper arms and thighs.

keratosis-pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris affects an estimated 40 to 50% of the adult population and approximately 50 to 80% of all adolescents.

Keratosis pilaris is a common and harmless condition where the skin becomes rough and bumpy, as if covered in permanent goose pimples.

I have had this for as long as i can remember, originally, I thought it was caused by dry skin, a large amount of ingrown hairs and not exfoliating my skin enough, so i started making this part of my beauty routine, although i saw a minimal difference, i would always find some days were worse than others.

I have always been quite self conscious about it when wearing sleeveless tops and shorts.

Since going gluten free, I have noticed the redness has gone down a lot and there doesn’t seem to be as many on the back of my arms. I will continue to be gluten free for the next couple of weeks and then address this to my GP to inform them to hopefully get a better knowledge of if I am gluten intolerant, but for now, I am extremely happy with the results of my skin and hope for it to get better. A relief of what i thought i would have to live with for the foreseeable future.

I wanted to post this to build awareness to anyone else who has this condition and is struggling with confidence and knowledge of what it is as I wish I was made aware earlier.

Keep an eye out for clean gluten free recipes over the next few weeks!

Jo x

Classic Burger

It’s BBQ season, well it’s meant to be!

Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been brilliant the past couple of weeks, but over the bank holiday somehow i managed to get invivted to 4 BBQ’s. Needless to say, i was stuffed come Tuesday!

 

Which gave me an idea for a clean, healthy and guilt free BBQ burger.

I used portobello mushrooms as the “buns”  of the burger (you can use alternatives like sweet potato or lettuce leaves) Peri Peri Hache Steak (again you can use alternatives like lean beef burgers/ chicken burgers, which you can get from muscle food.) I then topped the burger off with some halloumi cheese, chopped tomatoes and parma ham. DELICIOUS!

To make this more of a “dinner” meal i chopped two sweet potatoes in half and took some of the middle out to stuff them with spicy prawns.

Now here’s the recipe and instructions:

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes:

  • Cut the potatoes in half and pop in the microwave for about 5 minutes until, they are soft. Let them cool down and then take out some of the middle.
  • Put the sweet potatoes in the oven on 200 for about 15 minutes
  • Stuff the sweet potato with the spicy prawns and serve!

Portobello Mushroom Burger

  • Cook 4 mushrooms (for 2 people) in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Cook 2 lean beef burgers on the griddle.
  • Grill Halloumi cheese for 3 minutes each side on a medium to high heat.

Put all together and Enjoy!

Jo x

Jamie’s Sugar Rush

Hi All,

I have just finished watching Jamie’s Sugar Rush. What a documentary, its extremely inspirational and motivational to cut out sugar from your diet.

Jamie Oliver has now added a tax on all sugary drinks in his restaurants, which is something I applaud, I would love for one day to see this tax applied in all restaurants.

Living a “Sugar Free” lifestyle is challenging at first, but so rewarding to your mind and body. I’ll admit, recently i have slipped with my eating habits, but having watched this documentary and purchased three new superfood and sugar free cookbooks, i am so ready to get back to where i was not long ago and i encourage anyone reading to join me.

You can find all three books on amazon. Sugar Free Sugar Free Sugar Free

Alongside the three cookbooks, i also purchased a spiralizer, which i cannot wait to try! Courgette & Carrot Spaghetti are just the beginning. Look out for future posts from me going spiral crazy!

Jamie Oliver has started a petition for their to be a tax on all sugary drinks, which I have signed to support this. I have copied a link to the petition below, please show your support and sign.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-sugar-rush

(V)(C) Mediterranean Mix with Sweet Potato

As you know, I am not one to stick to a strict recipe, so tonight when I got in I thought I would just throw whatever I could think of together and see how it went…

It was good enough that I had to share it immediately, with Oliver’s review a simple “YUP”.

What you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • A can of Cannellini Beans
  • 1/2 cup dried split peas
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • Some sea salt
  • Some proper peppercorn pepper (the ground stuff just doesn’t cut it)
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Dried coriander leaves
  • Italian herbs mix
  • Dill
  • Coconut Oil

For the bean mix:

Drain, wash and pat dry the beans. Put the beans, lentils, split peas, shallots and garlic in to a pan and cover with water. Then add in the coriander leaf and italian herbs, be generous because the flavours really need to soak in to the water to taste! Put on a low-medium heat until it boils (I put it on for about 25-30mins before taking it off to reheat once the potatoes were done… I wasn’t planning on making a recipe for this so didn’t take exact notes).

For the sweet potato:

Chop the potatoes in to quarters lengthways, place in to a shallow dish (the pyrex kind) and sprinkle loads of dried dill to cover the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Melt some coconut oil and pour over (about 1 tbsp worth). Put on a high heat (I did it at 225C on my fan oven) and turn so all 3 sides spend time facing down. Just before they’re done, sprinkle some more salt on the skins to crisp them up. It took 45 mins for the sweet potatoes to cook for me but just keep an eye until you’re happy they’re crispy enough!

MedMix
SO. GOOD.

You can tell how good this was by the fact I was so excited about it that I had to share it immediately!
Enjoy and leave a comment/review below if you try it out!

(C) Crème Fraîche on Ryvita

What you need:

  • Fruit Crunch Ryvita (the deep red packet)
  • Crème Fraîche (300ml pot, don’t buy the fat free kind – it’s packed with sugar)
  • Chia Seeds (3 tbsp)
  • Ground Almonds (1/2 cup/around 4-5 tbsp)
  • Rose Water (a glug – you’ll need to taste it to see how much you want. I got a 190ml bottle for approx £1.50 from ASDA)
  • Sunflower Seeds (to top with)
  • Berries (I used dried cranberries and fresh blueberries and again these are to top with)

This is so super easy and should make enough to last a full work week (5 days) and will take about 5 minutes if you’re super slow at mixing.

Method:

Empty the crème fraîche in to a mixing bowl, add in the chia seeds and ground almonds, mix this all together. Add a teaspoon at a time of rose water, stir and taste as you go, once it’s to your taste it’s pretty much ready to eat!

Spread the mixture on top of the Fruit Crunch Ryvita as thick as you want, top with sunflower seeds and berries and that’s it! A delicious breakfast that will last days! (Store just the additional crème fraîche mixture in the fridge to keep it fresh).

Crème fraîche goodness
The finished product

Give it a go and don’t forget to leave a comment below!

 

(C) Fresh Salmon Fillets

Hi All,

If you haven’t guessed already, i love seafood. Especially salmon.

As i have preached about in previous posts, i shop with Muscle Food and oh sailor do they deliver with their seafood! So after receiving my latest delivery from my favourite meat team, i was desperate to cook the fresh salmon fillets.

Fresh Salmon Fillets:

– 2 x Fresh Salmon Fillets (Muscle Food)

– 1 x Lemon (for juice and slices)

– A handful of Dill

– Coconut Oil

Oil up the baking tray with coconut oil and place both fillets in it, scatter dill over the top of the salmon, cut two slices of lemon and place over the dill. Squeeze the rest of the lemon over both fillets and place under the grill.

IMG_2006

 

Once grilled to your liking, place salmon on plate with your side servings (I served with Asparagus and sweet potato)

Happy Cooking!

Jo x

Bikini Blend

Hi All,

Its been a while!

I am here to kick start this blog back into action by talking about my latest purchase towards my fitter and healthier lifestyle.

Bikini Blend protein.

 I was looking for an all natural protein blend to compliment my lifestyle and work outs and most importantly, didn’t make me bloat out to the size of a balloon! I actually found Bikini Blend on Instagram, i followed them because i loved their quirky photos they posted, so when i had a little free time i started to look into them a little more, they only offer the one product, but in two flavours, Cacao and Vanilla.

After reading reviews and researching, i decided to bite the bullet and go for it. A little dubious about the price (£39.99 for 1KG, £24.95 for 500g) i opted for the Cacao, chocolate is my kryptonite!

I was instantly impressed with their packaging:

How sweet are their notes to customers!
How sweet are their notes to customers!

What i also learnt is that guys aswell as us gals can use it too(sourced from Bikini Blend website) :

“We can’t guarantee him ever looking great in a bikini, but The Bikini Blend is known in some circles as the “Beer Belly Buster””

Both Harry (my boyfriend) and i have been using Bikini Blend for just over a month now, we have ours every morning straight after breakfast and WE LOVE IT! I would say we have enough left for at least another 2 weeks.

I believe that Bikini Blend has been the helping hand towards my fitter, healthier lifestyle and i will certainly be purchasing again. Bikini Blend Protein Supplement has done exactly what i was hoping from a shake. No Bloating, No lumpy texture, great taste, keeps my sweet tooth and tummy satisfied and ALL NATURAL! 

Here is some nutritional information (sourced from packaging and website):

bikini blend nutrition

Bikini blend nutrition
Bikini blend nutrition

 

I’d love to hear what you all think too, please leave comments below!

Jo x

Sources: http://thebikiniblend.com 

Mighty Mackerel

IMG_2020

This is a recipe steal from Eat Nourish Glow by Amelia Freer. One of my favorites, especially when i am in a rush or the cupboards are looking bare!

This makes a fantastic lunch or starter.

The recipe below serves 2:

– 225g (8oz) smoked mackerel, broken into pieces

– Juice and zest of 1 lemon

– Handful fresh dill

 – ½ avocado

– Sea salt and ground black pepper

Blend all the ingredients together in a mixer until combined. Add a little water or extra lemon juice to taste.

Serve chilled with non-wheat crackers or crudites. I often use rye bread.

(might be worth having a mint handy afterwards!)

Happy Eating!

Jo x

Eat Nourish Glow

IMG_1663

 

This book is the most honest and helpful cook book i have ever read and yes it is a read. Unlike normal “healthy eating” recipe/cook books, Amelia tells you what foods you should swap and WHY you should. The recipes do not contain foods you have never heard of and are easy to add into your everyday lifestyle.

Within the first week of purchasing this book, i  was 8lbs lighter! That was a bonus on top of what i have learnt about food and what food can be deceived as “healthy”

If you are dedicated to changing your lifestyle and shedding weight, you need to Eat Nourish Glow

No excuses, payday is just around the corner!

Here is a direct link to Amazon to get your copy and at only £7, all you have to lose is your post holiday weight and bad eating habits!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-Nourish-Glow-looking-healthier/dp/000757990X

Happy Buying!

Jo x

(C) Dinner Parties – the clean way! (Part III)

I hope by now you’ve had a chance to try the starter and main course in this thread of recipes and enjoyed them as much as I do!

This is, by far, the simplest of all of the courses and is so ridiculously tasty. If I’m honest, I thought this would be the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten in my life and was very pleasantly surprised when I took my first spoonful and found the texture and taste to be incredible. This recipe should serve 4 people (but if you enjoy it as much as me, it may disappear before you get a chance to put it on the table…).

Dessert – Banana, Almond and Chia Seed Pudding

What you will need:

  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 carton almond milk (if anyone has nut allergies you can use soya, coconut or oat milk)

Method:

Chop up the banana and put the almond milk and banana in to a blender/smoothie maker and blend until smooth.

Split in to 4 serving dishes – I used a fancy latte glass I had hanging around. Make sure there is some room in whatever you’re using… you’ll see why.

Put 1/4 cup of chia seeds in to each dish, mix, and place in the fridge to cool. The chia seeds will absorb the liquid and become soft, they will also grow. The longer you leave it, the softer they become. I left it about 30 mins and the texture was like mousse however you can eat it straight away, the seeds will just be crunchy.

Chia, banana and almond milk pudding
Looks weird, tastes great!

Serve and enjoy!

As usual, please leave your comments below.