Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Dieting is not deprivation (or how I learned to lose weight and eat brownies)

Way back last year I wrote about how I was trying a new diet book, The Hungry Girl by Lisa Lillien. And while the weight loss is still ongoing (I'm pleased as punch but not quiet at my target yet), I thought I'd share a little of Lisa's wonderful motivation and inspiration with you.

If you haven't tried it, Lisa's book basically teaches you to replace all the delicious stodgy foods that are very sadly perfect for weight gain with high volume and high fibre fillers. Sounds boring, right? I won't lie, it took me a few days to get into it. But after the first week I was FULL of energy, and had already lost a couple of pounds. That was a couple of months back now but the whole thing taught me a lot about food, and how to eat healthy without feeling like you're missing out.

One of Lisa's little tricks is to stick to 100 calorie snacks, and although she shares some fantastic recipes, there are some days when you just really need to stuff your face with a brownie. Thankfully a quick Google will turn up a whole host of yummy, low cal treats.

Take this recipe by the Londoner, it is just exquisite - and simpler to make than a bowl of cereal: all you do is preheat the oven to 200C and grease a small, square baking tray. Then it's just a matter of mixing all the ingredients in a blender and pouring them into the tray. Bake for 20 minutes then cut into nine pieces when cool.

The just sit back with a cuppa and enjoy your cheeky little treat without the dieter's guilt!

Ingredients: 180g low fat yoghurt; 60ml skimmed milk; 64g cocoa powder; 43g wholegrain rolled oats; 64g truvia (or another stevia-based sweetener); 1 egg; 1tsp baking powder; a pinch of salt

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Wright's food emporium: a birthday treat on a crisp day in Carmarthenshire

Sickness meant that my birthday celebrations were a little bit delayed this year, so it wasn't until last weekend that we managed to make it to Carmarthenshire for a Sunday lunch with the family.

There's not many places where I live that get me that excited about food. Except for the 'spoons down the road - I could eat their onion rings until I die. 

*Ahem* What I meant to say is I love trying new restaurants but it's a tough job to get on my favourites list.

White bean and beet veggie burger with Hafod cheese, £8, and scoops of strawberry, coffee and salted caramel, £5
My dad suggested Wright's food emporium for a birthday treat a while ago. I'd sort of vaguely heard of it so didn't know what to expect, but the good, wholesome, homemade food on offer looked seriously impressive.

I mean, it's not often I'll deal with having a burger and no chips alongside it, but these incredible buns were just perfect.

I had the insanely good white bean and beet burger above, with huge dollops of catsup to dip into. I've had plenty of veggie burgers in my time but this one tops the list. It was stodgy enough to be filling, and the sauce gently splodged under the roll compliment the light bean and beet mix.

Hazelwell farm beef burger with pickled red onions and rarebit topping, £8.50, and one very tasty cappuccino
The ice cream, meanwhile, was just the right kind of creamy, just the right amount of flavour, and just the right size too, after that eye-popping burger.

All in all, I have to say that everything at Wright's was exactly what this birthday girl needed as a little pick me up after being ill over Christmas.

Some of the delectable treats on offer in the Wright's shop

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New year, same old me

Frizzy hair, broken nails and an old shirt but always content with my flaws
There comes a point in everyone's life when you realise that you don't have to be cool any more.

That sounds like a really flippant, silly remark but oh, the overwhelming relief that comes with knowing you don't have to live up to someone else's expectations. Knowing that what you wear, how you do your make up, or how good your selfies are doesn't have to be dictated by the masses is just a heavenly feeling.

Not that I can say I have ever been cool though, I was the girl sitting in the library reading Terry Pratchett books at lunch, but I'm rambling - I was supposed to be writing about New Year's resolutions.

But the thing is, I don't actually have any resolutions. For the first time in my 27 year long life I actually feel content. Sure, I could stand to lose a few more pounds, and put in a bit more effort so far as keeping my house tidy goes, but for once I don't have that overwhelming stress hanging over me that I had got so used to.

It's not been an easy ride getting to this point in my life, but it's something that so many of our generation are striving towards, this high aspiration of simple happiness.

So this year, take a little leaf out of the book of those who are content and just be ok with yourself. You're beautiful even when you don't feel it, you're smart even when you feel stupid, you are who you are so it's time to start loving yourself as much as the rest of the world does.

And as for a New Year's resolution? Forget it - nobody sticks to them anyway.

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