Finding quinoa…

I’m late. Super late to a party. It’s a boring party where even wholegrain and brown rices feel like Fattys in the corner, where pulses and lentils are on the VIP list, but only just. The party, is quinoa. It feels like it’s becoming as common a word as protein or fats and quite frankly I’m bored of being constantly left out, having not cooked it at home and having rarely sampled it’s so called delights. 

So tonight I’ve added it to one of my absolute fave dinners (soz stir fry- I’m over you). 

I’ve cooked this apparent God of the health food world with a bit or garlic and onion ( rinsing it first- man this stuff is bittterrrrr) and boiled until cooked and you know what, it’s ok. It’s not going to replace the rice on your plate, and it doesn’t really touch cous cous, but so as not to be dreadfully unfashionable, I’m giving it a whirl. Let’s see how long this one lasts….

Quinoa, salmon, brocolli, spinach

(This salmon is legendary by the way even if I do say so myself- salmon, layer with light cream cheese, breadcrumbs and Parmesan and grill- it’ll change your life.) 

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Cereal offenders….

Let’s quash some totally unacceptable healthy eating myths. I find branding so incredibly misleading on 99% of the things i eat and i think the hardest thing to come to grips with is that food lies. Brands mislead us all the time: think ‘fat free’, ‘low sugar’, ‘diet’ and you think nutritious healthy and wholesome. Let’s decode these phrases for a sec:

Fat free- full of sugar to compensate for lack of fat. 

Low sugar/ 0% added sugar: still full of sugar but lower quantities than other brands. Or, and more likely, full of additives and sweeteners that we can’t pronounce to compensate for a lack of sugar. 

Diet- a marginally lower calorie version of something that is probably not good for you. Again, probably full of chemicals to compensate- think Diet Coke…. How can something taste that good with no calories- eeeek.

  
Since my weight loss I’ve gone through various stages of Healthy eating, from Counting calories to cutting carbs, to finally now understanding that fats and carbs aren’t bad for you… It’s taken over 3 years and I’m still shocked by some things I learn and the ways in which foods are sold to us.

Here’s my top 5 worse offenders of “healthy” unhealthy foods to watch out for:

Cereal bars/ breakfast bars 

Cereal bars are not under any circumstance a good breakfast on the go. They are full of sugar- the only reasons why the calorie content seems low is because of the tiny minuscule size that will fill you up for around the same amount of time it takes you to consume it.  Lots of good healthier natural alternative available- my favourites include naked bars and eat natural bars. Soooo good (in moderation as still have lots of natural sugar in- bore fest).

  
Cereal

Read the pack. 30grams, or at best 45grams is often the portion for which they provide nutritional information. Weigh it out, out of interest just once and it’ll terrify you. I reckon I have at least 80grams of coco pops easily and usualy go back for a second bowl… (Note to self; add coco pops to my shopping list ūüėČ)

“Health” Biscuits

Sorry ‘Go Ahead’ biscuits this is mainly you. Guys read the packet- understand what a portion is according to the packet (The nutritional info I’m afraid to say is based on 1 biscuit- no one in the history of the world has ever just eaten one of the biscuits in a go ahead pack). And when you add everything together you might as well tuck into a kit Kat. (Note to self; add kitkats to my shopping list…)

Yoghurt

I love you so much yoghurt. I really do but your packaging is so misleading. Stick to Greek or natural yoghurt and pick whether you want the fat or the sugar (fat free). Unfortunately a muller corner doesn’t qualify as a guilt free pudding no matter how fat free if claims to be. And no, Nicole Scheerzinger didn’t get so slim eating Muller light yogurts all day long. 

NB- favourite Greek yoghurt toppings: banana and grated dark chocolate, berries, honey and banana with a sprinkle or muesli. 

Diet drinks 
There is no denying it- Diet Coke isn’t going to make you put weight on the same way that ‘full fat’ Coke will. I mean aside from the fact it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as Coke (it just doesn’t guys, stop kidding yourselves). But how can something with such a lot of flavour, have no calories?! Zero, nada, nothing?! It’s full of chemicals which I’ve heard can make you store fat so if you really want to loose weight stick to boring old H2O. 

  
Now, I’m no expert in health food but just pay attention to packaging and read the ingredients- you soon learn what’s lying and what’s not! Why is it like rocket science to figure out if you are making healthy choices or not?!

Spinach… Delicious spinach¬†

So we’ve had that kale craze and luckily I think there is lift at the end of the tunnel and that everyone is finally, nearly, over it. 

But I’ve been super slow to get on the bandwagon of our good friend spinach having only consumed it in the past soggy at the side of the plate. It’s my new best friend, my BFF, my ‘bae’ if you will. 

So my numero uno tip is to just get it involved in everything.

Curry- bosh it in there at the end.

Salad- chuck a handful in.

Chilli/ spag Bol- crack it in at the end.

Smoothies- pop a handful in- nice with pineapple based smoothies. 

And then just generally raw with any dinner- it’s so inoffensive and adds texture. Tonight’s dinner below- it was delicious:

Herb crusted salmon with broccoli, spinach and brown rice. (Herb crust salmon recipe: salmon covered in lemon juice with a spoon of cream cheese, add on top bread crumbs, herbs and a bit of Parmesan; bake in the oven- sooo good!)

  

Working hard…

As women, I think we spend 99% of our time comparing ourselves to other ladies and wondering why we don’t quite match up. We need to stop!! Today I took some time to admire myself… Weird I know and at the risk of sounding big headed, but I am so proud of where I am now from 3 years ago. Even though I am no where near where I want to be or who I aspire to, I’m still better than what I was and I am a fighter. Girls-love yourselves first!!!