Kick Up the Hump (Day)

We’ve nearly made it!!!!

At first I though we were flying through January but now I have completely changed my mind!! I mean how long ago does Christmas feel like? It’s been a long old gloomy January here in Wales and I cannot wait for February to make an appearance (especially since February also means 6 nations rugby!!!!). However more on that in the coming weeks!

Today we focus on getting through the final few days of January and reaching a point where we can successfully say that all the resolutions made on January 1st are no longer a phase or a fad but actually start to consider them a way of life!! They are now officially habits!

So here’s to saying goodbye to January and hello to new old habits! Bye-Bye to the days of eating rubbishy foods and skipping the gym and hello pre-preparing healthy meals and attacking that 6.30am spin class like a pro!

I thought todays KUTH needed to be a more light hearted one after the long gloomy January! Although I’m not entirely sure what motivation it gives I certainly got a bit of a chuckle out of it! And to anyone who does not read that quote in the Joker voice you’re doing it wrong (and to anyone who has never seen the Dark Knight to know what the joker sounds like then you are failing at life and should spend the final few days of January ensuring you watch it!). Le’s get to February together! Happy Hump Day!

KUTH 13.jpg
Photo Credit: fitnessgenes.com

 

Oat & Seed Bread

OSB 7 LogoCalling all bread lovers, this is the post for you. Did you give up bread for New year? Maybe you’re planning on giving it up for lent? Perhaps you need a good gluten free recipe? Or do you love good seedy bread? Or just maybe you’re just trying to eat a bit cleaner and cut down on stodgy white bread? Well if any of the above apply to you (or if you are just trying to find a delicious seedy bread recipe) then you are in the right place. Continue reading “Oat & Seed Bread”

Kick Up The Hump (Day)

Good Morning All! Well we’ve almost reached that vital landmark. Have you ever heard that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit? Now I’m not sure if there is any scientific evidence to support it but I think even if you believe it’s true it can affect your behaviour. It’s almost like a goal post, once you’ve reached 21 days any habit should become easier.
As of tomorrow we have officially reached the 21st of January and if any of you have started a new years resolutions then theoretically as of tomorrow it should get easier. It should be part of your day to day life.

This is the inspiration behind todays KUTP! That this time you will keep going, this new and improved you (what ever your goal was) is here to stay.

If you’ve ever tried and failed before then you know how bad it feels. This time will be different though! Keep going! Reach the first ‘hump’ of day 21!

Happy Hump Day!

KUTH 12
Photo Credit: lindseyreviews.com

 

Kick Up The Hump (Day)

Seriously people how quickly is January going by? We’ve already nearly completed 2 weeks of work in 2016!! I hope that all your new years resolutions are going well. If you have reached a point where you need a bit of a boost to keep going, you’ve come to the right place!

Todays KUTH is for all those who are tempted to start slacking on their New Years resolution. DON’T DO IT!!!! Prove that you can do it, keep going and achieve the goal you wanted to achieve this year! Keep eating right, keep gyming, what ever your resolution is, keep doing it!! Even though the actual KUTH says fitness plan, this statement can be made true for just about any goal you have! Prove to your self you can an keep going!

Happy Hump Day!

KUTH 11
Credit: Fitclub216

Chocolate Brownies

CB 5.jpgAnd so we’ve reached the final day of the week of sugar-free posts. For the final day I thought I would share with you a sugar-free dessert. These are refined sugar-free brownies. They get sweetness from honey and the sweet potato and are deliciously chocolatey. I made these over Christmas and refused to tell people what was in the until after they’d tried them. My family and friends loved them and kept coming back for more. Once I told them that one of the main ingredients was sweet potato they couldn’t believe it. They have a gooey texture, which in my opinion are the best types of brownie. Continue reading “Chocolate Brownies”

An Average Week In The Life Of Sugar-Free

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 15.14.46.pngI can’t believe it’s day 6 of the sugar-free info week already!! Now that we’ve covered just about every possible angle of sugar-free I though it would be useful to share a general menu with you to give you some ideas of what to eat.

Now then before I begin I must explain that although the title of this post is the ‘Average week in the life of a Sugar-free’ this is possibly the furthest things from average in my life. I am very realistic that there are so many hours in a day and only so many hours you can spend in the kitchen and if I lived like this menu suggest I don’t think I would ever get any sleep!! If I showed you an average week in my life however, this post would be ridiculously boring and would be of very little help to any one.

Saying that I have eaten every single one of the things on the menu and usually have eaten them in that days order. On the other hand if I’ve made a batch of protein balls I wouldn’t then make a batch of flap-jacks in the same week as they would just go to waste. I also tend to stick to a omelettes for breakfast during the week and have something more exciting at weekends but again I wanted to give you a variety of options. I also don’t have a Sunday roast every Sunday but I wanted to show you that there’s no reason why you can’t.

The other thing I would like to add is fluid intake- On an average day I drink 2-3 litres of water a day (and up to 4 on training days) along with at least 2 cups of green-tea. It’s important to stay hydrated and it helps with energy levels, healthy skin, weight loss, sleep and digestion!! I also have an Protein shake on training days (3-4 times a week) to help my muscles recover and get some extra protein.

So please feel free to pick and choose items from the menu to suit your lifestyle. Following the menu there is a list of links to recipes found on the menu! Happy Eating!

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 14.20.39

PDF Version –  Sugar-free week

Recipes :-

Recommended Reading – Books & Blogs to Help you Live Sugar-Free

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 01.00.33.pngOne of the best ways to live sugar free is to get advice from other people. Usually people who have been doing this longer than you have. It’s a great way to pick up tips and tricks and usually the best way to get new recipes (Hint Hint!). So although this is slightly unorthodox to be trying to send you else where, I’d like to think that the whole point of sharing your own healthy recipes is for other people to live as healthy as possible. Since this is the goal of Living Energetically, to get you to live and enjoy a healthy lifestyle I’d rather you did this with numerous places to go then not give it a go at all.
So here are some of my favourite books and blogs which helped me when I first started (and still give me a little help now and again).

Madeleine Shaw

photo-about-1.jpg
Photo Credit: MadeleineShaw.com

This woman is like the queen of healthy living and is a poster child for sugar free. She’s a nutritionist who turned her lifestyle around and now wants to help other people do same. Her blog is ram packed with fabulous recipes, videos and blog posts. Her goal? To help people get their ‘glow’; a fabulous glow that only comes with being happy from living a healthy lifestyle. She also has a delightful following of celebrity clients from rugby players to models. She also has a book all about how to ‘get the glow’. It has some of my favourite recipes and was one of the first books I used to cut down my sugar intake.

As if this wasn’t enough Madeleine has also recently launched a ‘Glow’ app. Finally she also has a new book out soon which is already on my amazon pre-order!
Madeleine Shaw Blog – http://madeleineshaw.com
Book – Get the Glow (Amazon Link) 

Davina McCall 
2FBE26FE00000578-3390292-The_presenter_recently_showed_off_her_rock_hard_abs_in_a_picture-a-48_1452261530340I’m going to be truthful it isn’t until recently that I started to take an interest in Davina’s work. I’ve always just thought of her as a good tv presenter who’s lived an eventful life. More recently however she has been at the forefront of a campaign to promote sugar free. Her book ‘5  weeks to sugar free’ is very relatable and describes how many of us feel towards sugar. She shares some of her favourite recipes including some really useful sauce recipes – something which is difficult to replace when living sugar-free.
Also if you’ve seen her killer 6-pack photos from a recent holiday I’m not sure you need any other motivation to follow her advice!
Book – Davina’s 5 Weeks To Sugar-Free (Amazon Link) 

Sugar-Free Mom

Brenda-SugarFreeMom-5-399x600
Photo Credit: Sugarfreemom.com

Sugar-Free Mom is a brand set up by Brenda; a doting mother and sugar-free promoter. In her book she explain how after a lifetime of yo-yo dieting she decided to start living sugar-free and has never looked back. She is crazy about her kids and due to her sons allergy ensures her recipes are suitable for him. Due to this her blog and books are particularly useful for any one with additional dietary requirements.

Blog – http://www.sugarfreemom.com

Book – Sugar-free Mom (Amazon Link)

A Big Man’s World

PicMonkey-Collage
Photo Credit – thebigmansworld.com

Meet Arman. He seems a fairly normal guy who has a passion for fitness and paleo foods. He has a huge range of recipes, many of which are not only sugar-free but also paleo, gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. Be careful when wandering his blog as not all his recipe’s are sugar-free but many of them are refined sugar-free. He’s particularly good at baked and sweat treats.
Blog – http://thebigmansworld.com

Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind 

Molten-Chocolate-Lava-Cake-2
Photo Credit: Cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com

CEWADM is the brain child of Venessa. She is a paleo baking pro! I had her book for Christmas and it includes so many amazing bakes many of which are sugar-free. Once again she is a paleo follower and so some of her recipes do include sugar but none of it is refined. Her book literally contains HUNDREDS of baking recipes showing that sugar-free does not need to mean nothing baked.
Blog – http://cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com

Book – Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind (Amazon Link)

This is one of those blog posts that never end as I’m constantly coming across new inspirations and will continue to add them as i go along. I hope some of these are of use to you and if they help you towards a more sugar-free life then it’s definitely worth sharing!

Happy Friday!

Top Tips Towards Sugar-Free

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 21.50.17
Photo Credit: Allwomenstalk.com Edited by Living Energetically

Back so soon? It’s day 4 already and today’s post is to help those of you who want some tips to help live day-to-day life without sugar. Giving up sugar can be hard and there are days where you might want nothing more than to dig into a big bar of chocolate or a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. There may even be days where you wonder why your doing it and to have the right tools to deal with those days. So here goes my top tips for surviving sugar free.

Tip 1 – Make sure you eat! I know this sounds a bit ridiculous but when you’re hungry you make bad choices! So make sure you fill up on plenty of healthy foods like vegetables, protein or healthy-fats (Peanut butter is a personal fav as an occasional treat). If you’ve eaten sugar your entire life you’ve trained your body to want sugar when tired or hungry to give you that energy boost; you need to over some this habit by filling up on good foods.

Tip 2 – Get plenty of sleep. This tip follows on from the previous. If you don’t get enough sleep then you end up tired. Being tired is a fast route to wanting more sugar and carbohydrates to ‘wake you up’.

sleep-woman-130916
Photo Credit: Sleep Photos via ShutterShock

Tip 3 – Find snacks you enjoy! Some times you still need a bit of a pick me up and snacking through out the day is also a good way to keep your self from binging and a chance to get some good nutrients. Some ideas include – bananas & peanut butter, roasted chickpeas, nuts, protein bars (sugar free of course), carrot sticks/ peppers & hummus, homemade protein balls, protein yogurt (or regular low sugar yogurts), seeded bars, homemade flaxseed bread toast or chia seed pudding.

snacks
Photo Credit: Blogilates

Tip 4 – Be prepared! The hardest times to avoid sugar are when you’re out and about. It’s very difficult to walk into many shops or cafes and find sugar free items. If I’m going out for the day I always make sure I have a couple of snacks with me, usually nuts or a protein bar depending on what I’m doing.

Prepare
Photo Credit: Morganmckinley.com

Tip 5 – Visualise the sugar! One of the biggest tools I used when I first started living sugar-free was reading food nutrition labels. When reading food levels I would always look at how much sugar there is per serving and asked myself would I ever eat that amount of sugar straight from the bag? Roughly 4g of sugar is a teaspoon full, so when you read a label picture how many teaspoons of sugar there are in that item. For example if something contained 20g of sugar, as your self do you really want to eat 5 teaspoons of sugar. Be warned however not all sugar is equal and some items contain natural occurring sugars which are different to the refined stuff and so it’s unfair to use this tactic in the same way. At the beginning though it is a useful way to wean your self off. If you can’t be bothered with doing the maths there are now apps that can do it for you. The ‘Change4life Sugar Smart’ app is a brilliant way to find out how much sugar is in your food.

sugar-spoon-pour
Photo Credit: O’Neill Institute

Tip 6 – Learn how to make homemade chocolate!! Maybe not the most conventional tip but it’s definitely an important one. It’s inevitable, there are days you will want a treat and lets be honest you probably deserve it! It’s much easier to remain sugar free if you don’t feel like your completely denying your self of all foods you love. Even if you only make them for special occasions it’s important to have some sweet recipes (using natural sugars only of course) on standby to get you through. These Homemade Peanut Butter Cups are by far my favourite for special occassions. Just don’t make them too often!

pbc-7.jpgTip 7 – Make a reward chart! This may sound slightly juvenile but trust me they work. Last Christmas I had a ‘fitbit’ band which tracked my steps each day. If you manage to reach your daily steps you get a star on your calendar. After a couple of days a serious case of OCD started to kick in. The thought of not getting a star on my perfect little calendar would drive me to walk around the kitchen and garden for ages!! All to achieve a star for that day. I then put this to use with sugar free. For each day I remained sugar free I would get a star after a could of weeks, once again the thought of not getting a star meant I didn’t stray. You could even reward your self after certain amounts of time with things like gym clothes, cook books, spa day or meal out.

Tip 8 – Fill up on omega 3! Omega 3 has an effect on serotonin which plays an important role in the body. Omega 3 can help curb craving and even help control your mood. Both important when trying to reduce your sugar intake.

Tip 9 – Get into Green Tea! Green tea is amazing. Not only is it jam packed full of goodness but it’s also a brilliant distraction. There’s noting like sitting down to a cup of tea but more people either add sugar to their tea and the plain stuff has much less nutritional value. If you aren’t a lover start with some flavoured ones, you could even try it as an iced tea. Whenever a craving hits simply brew yourself a cup of tea instead.

greentea3_0.jpg
Photo Credit: Industry Rules

Tip 10 – Revise! Like I said previously, one of the toughest times to remain sugar free is when you’re out and about. The best ways to combat this is to suss out where you’re going before hand. If you know you’re going somewhere in particular, most restaurants have their menu online these days. Many even have nutritional information online too. Decide what you’re going to have before hand so you don’t have to deal with tough decisions when you get there.

465_careers_revision
Photo Credit: RB.com

Tip 11 – Forgive yourself. This is by far the most important. There may be days when you fall off the wagon; these days are not the end of the world, they are simply a speed bump on the long road to sugar-free. Don’t leave a meal turn into a day or leave a day turn into week. Just shake it off and keep ploughing on (Notice how I didn’t say start again because that is not what you’re doing).

HealthHabits.jpg
Photo Credit: Wholistics Fitness

So I hope these tips are helpful and I hope they help you on your journey towards sugar-free (or at least reduced sugar!) It can be quite daunting at first but keep setting your self smaller goals and celebrating small victories (even if it’s just saying no to a chocolate biscuit in the break room). It’s not about planning for the rest of your life right now but for trying every day and being hay with little achievements. If you keep persevering it is worth it!

Happy Sugar-free!

“But I Don’t Eat A Lot Of Sugar?” – Foods Surprisingly High In Sugar

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 22.09.47
Photo Credit: Macros Mesa Sam Wordly (Shutter Shock) (Edit by Living Energetically)

So it’s day 3, and if you’ve read any of the previous days I bet you are starting to question how much sugar you really eat in a day. And I bet many of you are thinking “I don’t eat that much sugar?” So today I thought I would take you on a little journey to show you how much sugar is hiding in your food.

To start us off how much sugar should we be eating? According to the government, added sugars or free sugars should only make up around 5% of your daily food and drink intake. Just to clarify free sugars are sugars added to foods and include all sugars (including honey and syrups) but does not include fruits.

So how much is 5% as somethig tangible I hear you say? 30g. That’s all, just 30g. Just put this in perspective a teaspoon of sugar is between 4-5g. So daily we should only be consuming 6 and 7 tea spoons of sugar (which is really bad news for anyone who enjoys 3 sugars in their tea).

Today we are going to look at some of the biggest sugar offenders (some of which may surprise you) to show how sugar is literally hidden everywhere! So let’s see if at the end you still think you don’t eat a lot of sugar?

Before we begin I would just like to state that each of the sugar content of all of these were done using the nutritional value available on ‘Tesco Grocery” and calculated on the bases that 1 teaspoon of sugar weighs around 4g. All information was accessed on the 5th of January and may have altered since then.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.37.14Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.37.25Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.46.04Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.46.12Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.46.22Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.46.28Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.46.37Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.46.47Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.46.59Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.47.07Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.47.16Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.47.24Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.47.33Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.47.40Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.47.48Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.47.55Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.48.05Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.48.11Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 21.57.04

I’d be interested to know how you feel about some of these foods and whether any of them have shocked you? I’m sure some haven’t but I hope some have given you a bit of a shock.
If this has shocked you into wanting to lower your sugar intake, check back tomorrow for helpful hints and tips to reduce your intake.
Happy Hump Day!

Kick Up The Hump (Day)

Happy New Year Everybody!!! Well isn’t this exciting the first Kick Up the Hump of 2016! Now I’m sure that most of you don’t really need a Kick Up the Hump this early on in the year and I’m sure your new year motivation hasn’t worn off just yet. But just in case I thought it was best to sent you a little bit of weekly motivation. This weeks KUTH is to do with new beginnings. New year, new beginnings, new challenges. The daunting thing about starting something new is the fact that it is new. But remember every expert was once a beginner, and in order to achieve something you have to decide to start.

Let’s make 2016 a good one and reach any goals you may have!

Happy New Year & Happy New Start!

KUTH 10
Photo Credit: Addicted to DIY