Want to Kill Night Time Munchies? Try my Turmeric Milk Latte Recipe

In the evening, an hour or so before bed, do you ever get the munchies? You've been good all day, but where you've been good, this has now led to night time hunger. Not helpful! Sometimes, seemingly especially at night time, the temptation to nibble on an unhealthy snack can be unbearable. This then ruins our calorie intake for the whole day, and we go overboard.  How about this then...a health-busting tasty, filling, low calorie, dairy-free warm drink which kills any temptations and hunger pangs? Too good to be true? I challenge you to try my dairy free Turmeric milk latte recipe!

Firstly, the history...Turmeric belongs to the ginger family, and has been a common spice in India and the Middle East for thousands of years. It's lovely, bright orangey-yellow colour comes from curcumin. 

It is well known for its an anti-inflammatory function where it can ease joint pain from arthritis and reduce swelling.  But in addition to this, there are other health benefits; it is said to improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer's.  It is supposed to prevent cancer cell growth and therefore help our bodies fight against the big C. It is claimed that it improves our capability to digest fats, improving digestion and lowering cholesterol



Personally, I always add it to soups, stews, stir frys and even smoothies (here).  If you ever feel a bit under the weather or in need of a warm, comforting drink; almost like a warm hug from inside, try this turmeric milk latte recipe out:



Ingredients
2 cups of almond, coconut or hemp milk, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon (in the video I used ginger), 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey to sweeten (or stevia to cut the calories down), 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or essence.  You can also add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and froth it up to make it lovely and frothy if you want.

Method

Slowly and gently warm up the dairy-free milk of your choice.  Add and stir in the turmeric, then add ginger or cinnamon. Add lthe maple syrup or honey and the vanilla extract/essence.  Do not allow to boil and stir continuously. 
Pour into a comforting mug, and enjoy!  You can add an anise star to make it pretty!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe!  Let me know what you think about it, and feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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Healthy Gluten Free Blackberry Mug Cake - Clean Eating Recipe

A new craze which is sweeping British youtube activity and recipe enthusiasts by storm is the idea of making a quick little cake for one in your mug. I'm not boasting, but I did this ages ago (!)  I launched a clean eating version on video  format back in February 2015, (okay, it wasn't that long ago).  I was cheesy and called the video "Get mugged by a blackberry" (groan).  One of the reasons why this idea is so successful is because it is handy, quick and for one. So if you live alone, or if you're a busy person with life and work, or a busy full-time mum or dad, this is a great and yummy snack that need not be shared!


This little guy was really fun to develop as a recipe as I kept getting it wrong, and the ingredients kept pouring over my mug, making a mess of my microwave.  It's really important you follow the step where I say to heat it on high for 20 secs (no longer!), stir it, then put it back in the microwave for another 50 seconds.  



This is a great recipe using clean eating blackberries (if you don't have them available right now, you can use any other berries instead).  Berries are bursting full of antioxidants; great to aid your body in fighting stress caused by free radicals, and also for improving general health, protecting our hair, skin and heart diseases as well as cancer.

Here is my video of the recipe:-


Ingredients:
1 tbsp Coconut flour, 7 or 8 blackberries (or other berries), 1 tbsp dessicated coconut, 1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar (or sweetener such as stevia or splenda), 2 egg whites, 1 tbsp of 0% fat free Greek, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, half a teaspoon of baking powder, fry light 1 cal olive oil spray.

Method
Firstly spray your mug with the frylight spray so the cake doesn't stick.  Then add to your mug 1 tbsp of coconut flour, 1 tbsp dessicated coconut, 1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar (or sweetener such as stevia or splenda). Add half a teaspoon of baking powder.  Mix well, then add your wet ingredients: 2 egg whites, 1 tbsp of Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or essence.  Whisk really well with a fork.  Add 7 or 8 blackberries.
Place the mug into a microwave and heat on full power for 20 seconds.  Take the mug out of the microwave and stir well.  Place back in the microwave, and heat on full power for a further 50 seconds.  It's ready to eat straight from the mug!  (Although for demonstration purposes, here is what it should look like outside of its shell):-



Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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Tips and Advice for Holiday Weight Loss

The holiday season is very soon upon us, with kids breaking up from today, between 17th and 20th July generally across the UK, and with most holiday destinations functioning at full throttle.  Sometimes, when we go on holiday, weight loss can be difficult to maintain, and indeed weight can be easily put on! I have just recently had lots of people write in asking about how they can possibly go on holiday and NOT put on any weight. I have therefore devised a series of key tips containing weight loss advice and maintenance.


Before I dive into sharing them with you, I just want you to firstly chill out!  Don't be stressed about your diet and your weight.  Enjoy your holiday and have a good time.  Be sociable and fit in.  It IS okay to have time off from clean eating.  But of course, whilst on holiday, make sure you don't go overboard. You can still go on holiday have a good time but still look after yourself.  Lots of people drink too much and get plastered almost every night whilst away. This is not necessary; why don't you set yourself a challenge and try to drink a little bit less? Don't you think it's unpleasant to drink too much, because it just makes us feel bad, and surely it will ruin your holiday if you overdo the booze and get ill the next day from a hang over?

Also, incorporate exercise on holiday.  Make an extra effort to be particularly active - go for a walk or for a jog.  Have a lovely swim in the sea or in the pool.  There are often hotel gyms and gyms on beaches. Why not explore the hotel and check out the gym?  Even if there isn't one, you can still have fun with exercise - enjoy yourself by setting yourself a sneaky challenge like 5 squats, 20 lunges, 10 sit ups and 10 press ups in the holiday apartment or hotel bedroom?  This is a pic of me demonstrating you can even have an exercise routine in a confined space (I'm doing a squat):-



The Tips and Advice

1) Remember to stay as hydrated as you can.  Drink water regularly throughout the day, rather than just down it all at once.  This way, you are sending a message to your body letting it know it's being hydrated regularly, meaning regular trips to the loo, and meaning your body will not hold onto excess water weight.  Water can also keep you fuller for longer.



2) Try and stay away from fruit juices and fizzy drinks.  Sometimes juice is advertised as being 'healthy', but they are so full of sugar and extra unwanted calories.  Stick to the water and tea and coffee!

3) Eat slowly, think about what you're eating, and enjoy it. Chew slowly and really experience the texture and smells of the food.  Don't use eating as a mindless habit, but use eating as a reason to replenish your energy reserves and as make it an occasion.  Try not to eat in front of the TV or tablet as this will distract you from the eating process and it will take the enjoyment away.

Here is a vlog of me explaining my weight loss tips:-


4) If you can, try and opt for a smaller plate.  Research and experiments have shown that our brains believe we have eaten more when we eat from a smaller plate, and therefore we actually eat less!

5) If you feel a tiny bit hungry, why not try having a cup of coffee instead of eating?  Caffeine is an appetite suppressant and it can help you stay away from having the munchies.

6) Try not to have a sugary breakfast.  Make sure it's protein focussed and even containing healthy fats, such as avocado, eggs or some meat.  Protein is known to keep hunger cravings away later on, whereas sugary foods make us hungrier later.

7) Change your mindset; focus on your habits and create new habits.  Focus on self control, focus on your goals.  Ask yourself, what are your goals in life?  Weight loss is not a quick fix diet; rather it is a lifestyle change.  Train your taste buds to prefer healthier food options.


8) Make yourself accountable to someone - get a weight loss buddy.  This could be a member of your family or a friend. My weight loss buddy is Yamily Benigni (in the above photo).  You can discuss ideas with this person and this will help you take ownership of the weight loss. If you don't have anyone like this, then start a blog, and make yourself accountable to everyone on the internet, like I did!

I really hope you can relate to these weight loss tips and that you will be able to incorporate some, if not all with you on holiday.  Let me know how it goes after your holiday!  Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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Clean Eating Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Little Cups

We all fancy a little something sweet from time to time. And I really love being creative in the kitchen. It's almost like it makes eating food we have taken time and creativeness to make, more worthwhile and also a reward for our toil! Plus, as this is clean eating, it's a win-win!


To make these little cups, it is such a simple process, but it is not a quick job, because you need to leave the little cups in the freezer twice and wait for the dark chocolate to harden x2, but of course, in this day and age, we're all busy and have stuff to do whilst waiting, including checking Instagram, Twitter, snapchat and bloglovin' ;-)

With a hardened filling:-




Peanut butter is great for you with plenty of health benefits.  It is a fantastic source of healthy fats (unsaturated fats which can cut bad cholesterol) and also it is packed full of protein, which as most of you know by now, helps keeps us feeling fuller for longer, so we're less likely to snack later.  Of course peatnuts also contain B vitamins and potassium and some believe they can help our bodies fight cancer.



Just remember, though, that while peanut butter is delicious, it is also important to enjoy it in moderation, because some brands of peanut butter can be quite calorific. I personally have used the Tesco Light Peanut Butter - this has 30% less fat.  It has 85 kcals per tbsp and 5.7g of fat.  It's a good idea to browse your peanut butter shelf in your local supermarket and pick a fat-reduced option.  Check the carbs on the nutrition label, as well as the added salt and sugar.  

Here is my video I made explaining the ingredients of the Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Little Cups plus the method to the madness:-


Ingredients
225g of 70% cocoa dark chocolate, 2 tablespoons of light peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, cup cake holders (silicone or paper) and some goji berries for decoration.
Method:
All we did was melt 70% cocoa dark chocolate in a glass bowl placed over a saucepan with a small amount of hot water. Gently boil the water on a medium heat and slowly add the dark chocolate whilst stirring constantly. 
Drip 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate into a cup cake liner. Swirl the muffin cup so a layer of the chocolate rises up the lining. This is important. Repeat for around 6-8 cups.
Place them on a tray and into the freezer for 10 minutes to harden while you make the delish coconut and peanut butter filling.  For the filling, mix two tablespoons of peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix with a spoon until a smooth consistency. You can alternatively add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar which will help to harden and bind the filling. This means they can be eaten at room temperature. However if you don't (I didn't because I don't want the extra calories) then they need to be stored in the fridge and eaten straight from the fridge, as the filling will drip out. At the mo, it's summer, so it's nice to eat cool food straight from the fridge.
Once the 10 mins are up, you've made the filling (and checked your social media networks lol) remove the chocolate cups from the freezer. Add one teaspoon of of the filling to each cup, ensuring to not allow the mixture to go higher than the 'chocolate wall'. Drizzle as much of the melted dark chocolate as you want over each cup. 
Place in the freezer for one hour, and decorate each cup with one or two goji berries on top. then enjoy!  If you leave them overnight in the fridge, then the peanut butter filling will be completely hardened without any extra sugar.
Each little cup contains 105 calories and 6.9g fat.
So go on, give it a try and let me know what you think. Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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3 Healthy Summer Salads - Potato Salad, Tomato Salad and Vegetable Dip Recipes

I have developed my very own potato salad recipe.  I decided I would nail this one, because in the summer, accompanied with a barbecue or roast, potato salad is so versatile, refreshing and light, and it really fits in with the long, hot summer days.  This is because, I think, I slightly lose my appetite for sweet recipes, and focus on the savoury ones.  



For this recipe, my secret ingredient to keep it healthy and light is 0% fat-free Greek natural yogurt.  This is great because being a refrigerated ingredient, the salad is cool and can be stored in the fridge and re-used throughout the week. I decided to use a selection of herbs and spices; smoked paprika, pepper, soy sauce, English mustard and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  This is the video I made of it with a step-by-step guide:


Ingredients
3 medium to large sized potatoes, 1 cup of 0% fat-free Greek natural yogurt, half a teaspoon of smoked paprika, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, one quarter of a teaspoon of mustard (or less), the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, quarter of a cup of spring onion, quarter of a cup of peas, quarter of a cup of sweetcorn.

As I was developing this recipe, and trying out other herbs with the Greek yogurt, I quite accidentally stumbled upon another recipe which also held great success at home; a vegetable dip recipe with cumin, Italian seasoning, parsley and grated cucumber.  It tasted just right to dip celery and carrots into it.  



And then, I thought, why not add spring onion and tomatoes and turn it into a tomato salad? Or you could add carrots instead of the tomato, turning it into a carrot salad.  Basically, you get my point, it's a flexible recipe you can turn it into anything that's left in your fridge - even red pepper salad.  Here is the step-by-step guide on the recipe:-



Vegetable Dip Recipe Ingredients:
1 cup of 0% fat-free Greek natural yogurt, half a teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, half a teaspoon of parsley, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, one quarter of a teaspoon of mustard (or less), the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon, pepper and grated cucumber.

Tomato Salad Recipe Ingredients:
1 cup of 0% fat-free Greek natural yogurt, half a teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, half a teaspoon of parsley, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, one quarter of a teaspoon of mustard (or less), the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon, grated cucumber, pepper, quarter of a cup of spring onion, 250g of cherry tomatoes chopped in half.

So go on, give it a try and let me know what you think. Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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The Importance of Being Happy, Self Worth and a 'Can Do' Attitude

There are some really important aspects to life which can help us on our way to having a more positive outlook and attitude.  This means generally life can become smoother and a less stressful ride.  Not a less bumpy ride, mind you, because there are always aspects to life we cannot control, but our reaction and attitude to problems and situations that occur along the way can greatly improve the quality of our life, and influence our decisions for the best.

In this blog post, I'm going to focus on our mindset and our thought processes regarding happiness and having a positive outlook on life, including how to make your brain stronger. 

Firstly, I find that having a 'can do' attitude is key.  Just remember that you can handle this (whatever it is you are facing), and you are able to conquer any barrier.  When that little voice in your head tells you you cannot, tell it, “I CAN do this” and repeat this to yourself ten times; you need the mental strength to stay committed to whatever it is is going on in your life, (whether it be a new healthy lifestyle, a weight loss goal, or any situation).  

Where your head is right now will determine your success rate on the way to losing weight and having a healthy body and mind. Our brains are a muscle, where the more you flex and use it, the more it will grow, and the more you will be able to take control of elements in your life; having control over your mind will unlock the way to anything you want to achieve in life; socially, physically and emotionally.  You need to realise that the key to achieving anything in life; not just weight loss; is with your mind.  Your mindset can and does considerably influence your health and your body size.

Here is a vlog I have filmed of this blog article:-


Secondly, it is important to feel happy; I'm not referring to the illusion of happiness, but really actually being happy; where at the core of yourself, you feel content and satisfied with life.  What I mean is when you wake up in the morning with purpose and go to bed feeling fulfilled, knowing that your days are not wasted, but you have been enriched by another day of experiences of this life on earth, growing as a person, with no destructive behaviour, feeling successful, being passionate, enjoying and doing the things you love doing.  

Make a list of the 20 top things that make you happy. Mine including cooking new recipes for my family to try, having a lie in, having a hot bath, drinking smoothies, having fun outings with my step-son, having my nails done and chatting with my manicurist about general life observations, watching films in front of the open fire, running on the treadmill listening to my favourite pop music, idly watching amateur videos on youtube, amongst many others.

I have laminated my list and have it on my bedside table:-
I try my hardest to incorporate at least one item from it everyday. Try and do the same. This will reiterate in your mind that your own needs require seeing-to and that you are important and require self-care. This will in turn help you to feel more optimistic and content in life, giving you that extra boost to reach your life goals.

The key to all of this is to place importance on how you spend your time.  Be careful not to spend your time worrying.  Do you remember/know what Jesus said about worry? That it is completely useless: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:25-34).

To help us to understand this further, we must be aware that we cannot control so many factors in our life; including people’s perception of us and other peoples' opinions of us. They do not matter.  We need to find our own identities and be satisfied and happy and accepting of who we are.  

Some people have commented indirectly that my upper arms are flabby and that they need toning up.  However, this has no relevance or importance to me; I have decided that I don’t care; I’m happy in my life with my husband and we are happy with who we are.  It’s so important not to spend hours wallowing in self-pity and sadness.  We all need to see our own individuality and be confident. We must not try and fit a mould that we think society requires us to fit into, because that mould is in our heads and it is probably not in other people’s heads.  

We need to view this life as precious and a gift that we need not to take for granted, but see all our potential and all that we can achieve. There’s so much to explore and experience and visit in this world, that time is running out and we need to enjoy it. We need to get perspective on life and understand what does and does not matter, and that we are making the most of this life and getting the best out of it, instead of dwelling on negative and destructive emotions.  Do what makes you happy.  If that is exercising, if that is walking, if that is painting flowers, if that is listening to music, if that is writing, if that is photography, if that is cooking, if that is building models, if that is collecting stamps, if that is playing music, then you need to do it! Don’t waste your time doing things that don’t nourish your soul or further yourself.  Don’t waste this life, make healthy changes, don’t get bogged down by useless things.
The Beautiful Castelo do Bode Lake in Portugal
If you are (or indeed, become) a ‘happy’ person with a more optimistic approach to life, this positive energy will naturally attract friends, colleagues, and people to you. With this comes more opportunities and positive experiences that will come your way, turning your life into a more fun and cheerful journey all round.  You need to choose to be happy today, give your own self the time of day and allow yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.  This is making sure you meet your own needs and that you take care of yourself and that you give yourself the time of day. 

We need to make sure that we understand that we belong in this world and that we are worthy.  This is important because if you do not do this or take the time out for yourself, frustration, anger and resentment can build up.  This can in turn become a subconscious reason for overeating or binge eating; to get that warm fuzzy feeling inside our bellies. It’s a deceptive way of finding the fulfilment our souls so desperately crave.

Get yourself a notebook – not just a piece of paper, but something more permanent than that.  Write on a page a list of all of your positive attributes; your skills, your traits, your qualities, your personality type, as well as what you like about yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually. Any negative elements that may spring to mind, just ignore for the time being; no one is perfect and we all have negative parts to our personalities, but we all also have positive elements to bring to the plate.  After you have finished, sit back and reflect on what you have written, and be pleased with what you see.



Fear is a choice. You can either opt to be afraid or to be unafraid and strong. Surrendering to our fears is the easy way-out; we don’t need to do anything; just allow ourselves to be consumed by them and they will overwhelm us. Making the choice to be unafraid and therefore strong is harder and requires more effort on our own part. You can face your fear and stand up to it and refuse to allow it to overwhelm us.

As for me, I am finally completely comfortable around food and with my body.  I am even totally happy with my height. At 5ft 1, some may deem me slightly on the short side, whereas I would not even add an inch to my height.  I am happy with my wrists, my ankles, my arms, legs, stomach, chest and behind.  I can honestly say there is nothing I would change about myself.  My self-confidence has vastly improved. I feel like I am living life to the full; I am unisolated and popular.

In conclusion, by doing this blog and sharing my life story and experiences, I have felt like I am a more valuable being; that I am able to help and encourage others with any insecurities they may have.  I have embraced my past insecurities and issues; I continue to learn from them, teaching others through them, and thus find my past experiences life-enriching in the present. 

I feel empowered because I have taken my right to determine myself now for who I am. That is an experience that is personal to me and my life, which no one can ever deny me it.  My past experiences, including my sane and insane moments, have made me who I am today, and I could not have written anything in this blog without them.  I have learnt to listen to myself and my inner voice; to hear my feelings, rather than try and conform to what I believe is the norm and is expected of me.

Try and own your past, own your problems and own your issues in life.  View your past experiences; whether good or bad; as having been a positive experience as it is your own experience and it is totally unique and individual to you.

Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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Trick to Curb your Hunger Using Homemade Lolly Pops

In this beautiful summer scorching heat, those of us who are trying to lose weight or keep it down, need to have sneaky but refreshing low calorie (or in this case, 0 calorie) snacks to keep those hunger pangs at bay.
I just love this sly idea for summer, because most of us lose our appetite in the heavy heat, and this idea fits in really well.  It also uses a small amount of a caffeine based drink which is great for an energy pick-up.

Here is the video I made on it:-
Basically, it's really simple.  The ingredients are some diet coke and some sugar-free energy drink.  Monster or Red Bull is fine, or any supermarket own make.  I personally use the Tesco's one!  Anyway, in a lolly pop mould, just mix in with a ratio of 50:50 the diet coke and energy drink. I bought my lolly pop mould from Waitrose. Leave to freeze and enjoy!

This also works even better if you decarbonate your drink before freezing, so there are no weird bubble in your popsicle.  Also, the taste is just the same.

It is also great because the coolness of the popsicle cools your body down, supplying you with not-too-much caffeine at the same time, therefore giving you a much needed energy boost in this heat.

You can also apply this idea to other carbonated drinks, as well as pouring cool coffee (yes, coffee), into your lolly pop mould, giving yourself some iced coffee to suck on (delicious), and you could even freeze chocolate protein shake and suck on that.  Absolutely gorgeous and sugar-free.

So go on, give it a try and let me know what you think. Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

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