Halloumi & Courgette Mini Frittatas

HCF2.jpgAny body who knows me will know my love for halloumi!! Although I try to limit my cheese intake it really is one of my favourite foods, and halloumi is up there as one of my favourites!! I thought it was therefore about time I shared with you a halloumi recipe. This is some seriously tasty Halloumi & Courgette Mini Frittatas.

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Tomato, Basil & Red Pepper Soup

TS1.jpgHands up who’s started 2017 with the intention to try and eat a little healthier?After our first week or so back in work I must say our trusty fridge is much fuller than usual, with healthy salads and last nights healthy left overs. I love seeing people eating delicious, nutritious healthier foods but I understand how much effort sometimes needs to go into maintaining a healthy food lifestyle. This is why I wanted to share with you my healthy and warming Tomato, Basil & Red Pepper Soup.

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Signature Green Breakfast Smoothie

sgbs2.jpgQuick hand me some veggies! I have officially reached the point where I do not want to see anymore Christmas food until December! After 2 weeks of having a bit more of a relaxed approach when it comes to the gym and healthy eating I am so ready for getting back to my usual clean eating and exercise routine. I have loved my well-earned rest and I have now fully recharged my batteries, but if the last 2 weeks have taught me anything it is that a healthy lifestyle is an absolute must. I make it sound like I’ve spent the last 2 weeks on my sofa engorging cheese and cake by the truck load (I promise you I haven’t been quite that bad) but between all the chaos we’ve often just eaten left overs and finger foods instead of proper meals (and veggies have become a bit of a strange green concept rather than a part of daily life). Which is why I wanted to share with you one of my favourite ways to get some extra veggies in your diet and definitely one of the most delicious. Here is my Signature Green Breakfast Smoothie!

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Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal / Flapjacks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADid someone say dessert for breakfast? For those of you who have been following the blog or instagram for a while you will know how on the weekend, I am definitely partial to a dessert for breakfast! Through the week I’m all about eggs and green smoothies but the weekends always call for something a bit more special. This is the most special of them all and is literally the most delicious breakfast of all time (and can actually be eaten as a dessert if you wish). This is my absolute favourite naughty but not so naughty breakfast – Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal.

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Orange and Ginger Flapjacks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am a genius. I really don’t mean to toot my own horn, but my ability to make these flapjacks makes me so happy that I am officially aloud to call my self a genius. So my gym literally make some of the most amazing flapjacks in the entire world. They are so good you could use them as motivation to go to the gym. I have been so determined to recreate them recently and I think I have just about cracked it.  Continue reading “Orange and Ginger Flapjacks”

Paleo Sweet Potato Nachos (with optional Mexican Chicken)

IMG_0392.jpegThat’s right Wales have done it!! They are through to the semi-finals of the Euro’s 2016! The Welsh football team have had a tough few years with plenty of up’s and down’s which is why this semi-final is so special! All of Wales is buzzing and the entire country is being painted red for tomorrow nights game! Everyone is behind the boys and planning where to watch the game (I think there will be a few sore heads in work on Thursday win or lose!) And with all this planning of course we need some food! What better food is there for a football game then a massive bowl of nachos?
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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”

Banana Nut Protein Flapjacks ( + tips for surviving a mini break)

Anybody who is trying, or has tried to eat healthy in the past I’m sure you agree with me that it becomes a million times harder if you go away for a few days. A mini-break away from home and suddenly your healthy-eating goes out the window. This is largely down to snacking. When away from home, quite often we are full of good-intentions but by the time your lunch menu is put in front of you, you’re too hungry to make sensible choices and will-power goes out the window. Either this or you’ve eaten a million sugary snacks and can’t even fit a decent meal in. This is because snacking becomes so much more difficult when away. Very few high street chains and super markets have healthy snacks! It’s near impossible to walk into Costa or Starbucks for a break from the shops and find a truly healthy snack. Everything is either rammed with sugar or contains around ½ a gram of protein. Seriously I challenge you to find a chain store which serves genuinely healthy snack which contain protein and are also tasty (hummus and carrot sticks don’t count). Too easy? Now I challenge you to find one which doesn’t need a fridge to survive and would last a full day of being bashed around in a handbag during a shopping trip in London, or a weekend in Manchester watching football?

The key to surviving a mini-break is to be prepared. At home I eat 2-3 snacks a day; how can I expect to go away for a weekend and still make sensible choices without my mid-morning protein yogurt or my 4pm energy ball? Quite simply it would be very difficult. It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are, when hungry we make poor choices. Suddenly the chicken tikka, ½ and ½, with a side order of nann bread seems a good option simply because your body starts to crave energy from carbs. Those delicious chicken skewers with veg you were going to have suddenly become unappetising, and once you’ve caved on day one the psychological effect of having “broken” your diet leads to a whole weekend of bad choices. Trust me we’ve all been there “well I’ve already ruined it now, where’s the dessert menu, I NEED the sticky toffee pudding with custard” (And if you’ve never done this then you are certainly not human!).

It is possible to be healthy while away from home though, and here are my top tips on how to survive a mini-break:-

  1. Be prepared – Snacks are your friend. Don’t wait until you get there as it gets very difficult to purchase healthy, tasty snacks at a spa-break or shopping weekend. Good snacks include nuts (weigh them before hand and pack them individually), roasted chickpeas, energy balls, or my banana nut protein flapjacks (don’t worry we will get to them in a minute). These will all keep for a few days without a fridge and are quite durable to keep in your bag.
  2. Drink plenty of water (especially before food) – I know it can be a pain in the neck, you’re taking pictures of the London Eye and Buckingham palace, and trying to get one that isn’t blurry from you hopping on one leg from needing to pee so badly is a nightmare. But it will help keep hunger pangs at bay. It’s especially handy to drink some water when choosing what to eat. If you can fill up on water before ordering it will help you make good choices, as your stomach is no longer ruling your decisions and it gives the good-intensions you had a chance to pick your meal.
  3. Don’t let other people sway your decision – Friends and family are bad influences! As much as they love you they are still the ones who will try and convince you that the BBQ ribs are a good idea, and that you just have to have a slice of lemon meringue pie because everyone else is having dessert. Why do they do this? Because they want to feel better about their decisions. Let’s be honest, we feel considerably less guilty about bad food choices when there is somebody else doing the same. So stick by your guns and that little feeling of pride you have at the end of your chicken salad with no dressing will help get you through the rest of the weekend.
  4. Forgive your self – We are all human and if you do decide to have a cheat meal it’s important that it is just one meal. If you do pick the cheesy lasagne and garlic bread as your treat, don’t order the cheesecake for dessert. And if you do have a bad day of eating don’t let this turn into a whole weekend of it. Just think how much less damage you would have done if you’d stopped at treat number 1.

Now to the flapjacks. These Flapjacks have got me through many a mini-break. As long as they are properly sealed they will keep from 4-5 days no problem (They would probably last a week but they’ve never survived in my house long enough for me to find out!). I put them in zip lock bags in my travel bag for the weekend and simply transfer one to my handbag ready to face the day ahead. A few weeks ago my dad and I went to Manchester for the weekend to watch the Manchester Derby (to all non-football fans it is basically a big-deal in the football world). The same weekend my mother and her friends climbed Snowdon in North Wales. A combination of these 2 trips meant these flapjacks were a must! I had been looking forward to this weekend for ages and didn’t want to spoil it by breaking my clean-eating. I baked a batch of 12 on Thursday night and by Tuesday they were gone (and not a single chip or dessert passed my lips all weekend). They provided plenty of energy to get through the days and their low GI oats meant that I wasn’t reaching dinnertime starving hungry. They also provide a healthy dose of protein and are beautifully sweet (but still refined-sugar free).

By the way the weekend was amazing! I got to spend a fabulous couple of days watching sport with my dad and as an added bonus, some of the South African Rugby team were in the row in front of us!! (I am a huge rugby fan so getting to meet them was amazing! Especially while watching my favourite football team).

  Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 00.14.44Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 00.12.54

(Left) My Dad and I at the game

(Right) With 2 members of the South African Rugby Team who were also nice enough to sign my programme.

I hope these tips will help you survive your next weekend away and that you enjoy these flapjacks as much as I do (by the way they are especially good warm! If you make these while at home, rewarm them in the microwave for a few second and they are extra delicious). Happy Baking!


Banana Nut Protein Flapjacks


Serves: 12-16         Time: 30 minutes       Difficulty: Easy


Ingredients

  • 300g Porridge Oats (Optional: Gluten-free oats to be gluten free friendly)
  • 3 tbsp of chopped mixed nuts
  • 2 tbsp of Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp of Peanut butter (Make sure you chose a low-sugar/ sugar-free option)
  • 2 ripe bananas (Mashed)
  • 70g Raisins
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 75g (2½ scoops) of whey protein (Banana, Vanilla of Flavourless (or a mixture of them))

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°
  2. Melt the peanut Butter and coconut on a low heat and add to all the other ingredients
  3. Mix the ingredients together and transfer to a lined baking tin (I use a 23x23cm tin but any tall tin will work).
  4. Pack the mixture tightly into the baking tin so it’s around 1 inch thick.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Remove from the tin to cool and cut into bars.

Nutritional Information

1 Serving –

Calories: 208     Carbs: 25     Fat: 8       Protein: 9       Sugar: 6

(Calculated using my fitness pal)