Saturday, 15 February 2014

Mid Week Lunch Date - OOTD

            

On Thursday I met up with my friend Sarah for a chit chat a quick spot of lunch and I really liked my outfit so I thought I'd share it with you guys on here.
Most of the items are new from my shopping trip in Exeter and I am loving them all. 

Top - Primark £8 (I think)
Skirt - New Look £9.99
Shoes - Primark £3
Bag - Primark (this is about a year old and I think I paid about £10 for it)
Sunglasses - Primark £2
Watch - New Look £12

As you can see I am loving a bit of primark at the moment, I did end up spending over £100 in there Saturday which I didn't think was possible. I'm well and truly kitted out until I go down another dress size. ;) shopping is becoming too much fun and my bank balance is not liking it....I sure am though.

Have you had a bit of a shopping splurge recently? 


Friday, 14 February 2014

Coconut Pancakes


Pancakes is one of my favourite things to have for breakfast but they are definitely not the most healthiest things around. I treat myself to them once a week and I have been experimenting with different ingredients to try and make them as healthy as possible.
 
Recently I have been trying out Coconut Flour which has a lot more protein and less carbs in it than standard flour, it is also gluten free and high in fibre.
The first thing I noticed about the flour is that it absorbs liquid a lot more than any other flour so you really don't need a lot.
 
To make 3 small pancakes all you need is -
25g of Coconut Flour
100ml of milk (I use Almond Milk)
1 egg.
 
I just whisk the ingredients together until its all combined and the mixture is smooth. Then with a small ladle pour a third of the mixture into a flat hot pan.
I use coconut oil in the pan to stop the pancake from sticking and I found that the best way to cook them is to take your time and cook them on a low heat.
The coconut flour makes the pancakes a bit crumbly and a lot more fragile than standard pancakes so handle with care.
 
These are really delicious and quite sweet even though they are fairly low in sugar. Plus I find they fill me up for longer too.
 
Nutrition -
Calories - 177
Fat - 10g
Carbs - 5.8g
Sugar - 1.8g
Protein - 10.9g
 
Have you tried coconut flour before? What is your favourite pancake recipe?

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My Go Too Make Up Look - Feb '14




Recently I have been wearing the same look most days, I am kind of in a bit of a make up rut but I am ok with that.
I thought I would share with you the items I have been wearing so you can see what some of my favourite products are at the moment. 

For my base I have been reaching for my beloved Dior BB cream, this is a light base coverage that never lets me down. Then to cover to dark circles and blemishes (well as best as I can) I use the infamous Nars Radiance Concealer, I am now on my third tube of this.
I then set my base with Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation, again another long term favourites of mine.
To add some to colour to my cheeks I have been using either Benefits Coralista or Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed.

For my eyes I can't get enough of the Burberry Eyeshadow in Pale Barley. This is the perfect shadow for a sweep of colour over the lid and you can play it up or down. I then add a flick of the Soap & Glory Liquid Liner and use the Ellis Fass Mascara to deifne my lashes.

To finish off the look my brows are filled in with the L'Oreal Brow Artist in Blonde and I apply a little bit of the By Terry Baume De Rose Lip balm to keep my lips hydrated.

As you can see most of these products are long term favourites and I have been enjoying just grabbing them and not worrying about what make up look I am going for as this is quick and easy. 

Have you used any of these products? Do you sometimes enjoy being in a make up rut?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Busy Long Weekend

The last week has been a bit of a whirl wind but also lots of fun. Thursday I went to London to have an afternoon with the lovely Kat from Tales Of A Pale Face who is one of my good friends that I have made through blogging.
We had some lunch and did it a bit of shopping in Selfridges and forever 21, we also had a cheeky slice of cake too.
We finished our day off at Wholefoods where I thought I was in food heaven. I would move into that place if I could. Have you seen the peanut butter machines, you could have hours of fun.


On Friday my friend Samii and I loaded up her car and took the 5 hour journey to Exeter to visit her brother who is training to be in the marines down there. We had an action packed weekend of eating, shopping and drinking too many cocktails. I had the weekend off my healthy eating, just let me hair down and really enjoyed myself.

There was an all day breakfast place round the corner from our hotel which we raided both mornings, its all you can eat and we didn't hold back. They even had cute little toasters on the table.

Another great place to eat which again was just right round the corner from our hotel was called Urban Burger which had every type of burger you could imagine. It was amazing and I truly over indulged.

It was one of the best weekend I have ever had and we met some great people down there. I am currently having the post 'holiday' blues as it was such a good weekend and I never wanted it to end. We for sure will be going back for a visit again at some point.

Some great memories were made over the last week.

Have you been away recently or did you get up to much at the weekend?

Sunday, 2 February 2014

My Story.

Now this will probably turn into a bit of a ramble so try and stay with me if you can. I have had a lot of people ask me about how I have lost my weight and to be honest with you I have changed so much about my diet and lifestyle I just don't know where to start.
I am doing my healthy eating top tips posts and will continue with those but I wanted to kind of give you a bit of over view of what my relationship with food was like, what I have changed and what I am doing to give you a bit of incite.

Before deciding to lose weight my eating habits were awful and looking back now I am actually disgusted by what I used to eat. I am a comfort eater, I always have been but I also used to hide what I ate due to the fact I was severely bullied at school, so much so that the kids used to throw food at me on the bus and tell me to eat it off the floor. This resulted in me not wanting to eat in front of people and its only been in the last few years that I will eat in public alone but even then I would feel very self concious.
You would think this would have the opposite effect on me but it actually just made me eat more but I used to just hide it because at the time I thought food would make me feel better. I suppose I was in someways what you called a secret eater though if I was comfortable in front of people then I didn't mind. My friends and family were aware of how much I could scoff in one go.

I wish I could tell you what changed in me but I literally just woke up one day and decided enough was enough and I didn't want be like this any more. I was the biggest I had ever been, a size 18 heading towards a 20 and I weighed 16stone 12lbs not something I would ever admit to the whole world before now. 
I had recently had my heart broken and I do think it was the kick up the bum I needed to make me look at my life and for the first time in my life instead of mopping and feeling depressed about it I took that energy and used to get where I am now. Like I said though, I don't know why this happened now.

To start the healthy eating I just began by cutting out all the chocolate, cake and crisps I was eating on a daily basis. I started serving my meals on a smaller plate so I didn't pile it so high with food. I made healthier choices at meal times as well as changing my snacks to fruit and veg. I also started using my fitness pal and wrote everything down that went into my mouth this was a big step for me, I had be really honest with myself with what I was eating.
Making food from scratch is a big thing, I rarely eat processed food any more. If I am making it I know what's going in it. I also plan ahead what I am eating and often make double the amount I need so I have a meal for the next day or I will freeze it for a day I am working late. Preparation is key! This also works when eating out, I look up the menu online and plan what I am going to have. This way I can't get distracted by other meals also I can fit the rest of my days meals round it.
lastly I measure out my food which I know some people hate to do but this is key for me not to overeat as if its on my plate it will end up in my mouth.

Over the 10 weeks leading up until Christmas the only sweet thing I let myself have was either an options hot chocolate or one of those rice cakes with a coating of chocolate on them. I started to read up about nutrition, about how refined sugar is actually worse for you than fat. (This is a whole other topic that I will go into another time) and I started to learn about what my body needed from food to function properly.
This made me realise that I had willpower and I could control what I ate, to begin with I was worried about having a piece of chocolate incase I just went crazy and ended up in old bad habits but I now have a good balance of 80% of the time I eat really well and 20% I let myself have treats and the not so good foods.

My energy levels have doubled since eating better, I no longer want to fall asleep at 2pm in the afternoon. I am rarely in a bad mood though it does happen, I am a woman after all. ;) I also don't feel hungry about an hour or two after I have had a meal. I can go between meals without snacking, though I do often have a piece of fruit or veg, especially if I am work but I definitely don't need it. 

Another thing is exercise. I started off by going for long walks with my dog everyday which he appreciates as much as I do. I then got myself two dumbbells, a hula hoop and a skipping rope. I started planning out different routines that I used to do every morning along with my walk. 
Now I am more confident I have joined the gym and I also go running and swimming. I have gone from someone who hated exercise to now loving it.
Noticing your body improving and getting stronger is a huge motivation which to begin with you don't think you will ever see but you do, you just have to stick at it.

My one bit of advice is to start slowly, change a few things at a time and let yourself get used to them before changing something else. If you change everything at once you will feel deprived and more likely to end up in your old bad habits.
It isn't easy and I have had days where I have really struggled but I tell you something it is so worth it. I have never felt so good about myself and my confidences is growing by the day.

Like I said at the beginning, this is a bit of a ramble but its the only way I can get as much as I can think of down. I want to try and do more posts where I go into detail about the things I have changed and do. I am no expert and what's worked for me might not work for someone else but I would love it if I could help just one person feel amazing as I do.

Thank you if you have got this far and a huge thank you to all of you who have supported me. Having a friends and family support me along the way has been the biggest help, especially on those tough days.

This is me at my biggest and me now at my smallest since my early teens. I weigh 13 stone 10 and I am a size 14. A healthy weight for my height is just under 11 stone and that's the higher end of the scale which I would like to get to but at the same time I love my curves and don't want to take it too far so I just take a week at a time. If I stopped now I'd be over the moon with how I look but I know I can lose a bit more and I would love to get into a size 12 pair of jeans. 

Thank you so much for reading, this was a tough post for me to write and I'm not completely sure how long I will keep it up for but I really wanted people to know that whatever your eating habits are, if you want to lose weight you really can. 

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Best Products To Soothe Sore Muscles!


Getting into exercise means I have had a few weeks of very sore muscles, I have even discovered muscles I didn't know existed and I wanted to share with you two products from Aromatherapy Associates that have been helping relieve the aches and pains.
 
The De-Stress Muscle line from Aromatherapy Associates has a combination of Lavender, rosemary, ginger and black pepper in it to help sooth muscles and joints after a workout or if you have been on your feet all day.
 
I use a cap full of the De-Stress Muscle Bath Oil* (£38) in my bath after the gym or a run and have a good soak, the essential oils are really strong and I think work great for when you have a cold too.
I then follow with the De-stress Muscle Gel (£22) after the bath. This is very cooling and really soothes the muscles straight away and I can add more on if needed during the day.
 
I think both work great together and alone. They are definitely something I am always going to have in my cupboard and have been a great help getting me through the first few weeks of me running slightly longer distance.
 
Have you tried either of these? What is your go to product for achy muscles?
 
*PR Sample.
 
 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Heartache Chocolate Aubergine Cake

I have just spent the afternoon having a little baking session and wanted to share a recipe for the Chocolate Aubergine Cake I have just made because I can't quite believe how amazing it tastes.
This is a cake that has no flour, refined sugar or butter in yet tastes and feels just like a brownie.

You need
2 whole aubergines (Weighing roughly 400g)
300g good quality Dark Chocolate. (must be at least 70% cocoa solids) broken in to squares
50g good quality cocoa powder
60g ground almonds
3 medium eggs
200g Clear honey (I used agave nectar)
2tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

I halved the recipe so the cake wasn't too big and used one large egg with a tiny bit of almond milk. It worked just as well.

To make....

-preheat the oven to 180 degree C and then line a 9inch/23cm loose bottomed tin with baking parchment and lightly brush the base a sides with a little oil. (I halved the mixture and used a 6 inch tin)

- Cut the green stalk off the aubergine and peel the skin. Then take a skewer and punch a few wholes in and place in a microwavable bowl. Cook on high for 8 minutes until the aubergines are cooked and limp.
Discard any water at the bottom then leave the aubergine to the side to cool down enough to handle.

-Once the aubergine has cooled puree it in a blender until smooth. Then mix in the dark chocolate and microwave for 30 seconds stirring every 10 seconds or until the chocolate has melted.

-In a large bowl, whisk up the other ingredients for a minute until well blended together and the mixture slightly bubbles. Then add and fold the aubergine and chocolate mixture into it.

-Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place at the bottom of the oven for 30 minutes.
After about 10 minutes of it being in you will start drooling at the smell of it cooking.

- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in its tin for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack and peeling off the parchment. Quickly turn it the right way up and sit it on a plate.

-Lastly cut yourself a slice whilst its still warm, you won't regret it. The hard part is sticking to one slice.

 
I halved the recipe as it is quite a big cake and it really is delicious. It isn't the best looking cake, that's probably down to my presentation skills more than anything. 
This is very low in sugar as dark chocolate has very little in and the only other sugar is the agave nectar or honey (which ever you choose to use) which are both natural sugars anyway.
It is slightly high in fat but its all good fats so for me I don't mind that.

I think it works out about 220 calories per serving and a the 9inch cake serves about 14 so they are decent slices.

I know for sure I will be making this again for a special treat or if I am going to a friends for dinner. I am keen to find more low sugar cakes and desserts as I have such a sweet tooth.

Do let me know if you try this and what you think? Also if you have any recipes similar as I'd love to try some more.