Wednesday, 14 December 2016

4 Tips To Enjoying Your Christmas Without Food Guilt!

With Christmas literally just around the corner it can be a daunting and stressful time for those of us trying our best not to go off the food rails. With all the festive cheer and boozy nights comes much temptation and trying to stay "healthy" is basically impossible. And do you know what? Why should we? I am a firm believer in enjoying yourself at Christmas, and after all if you can't enjoy this time of year without food guilt what is the point?!

However it could be easy to completely go off the rails and consume your body weight in chocolate over the holidays which definitely isn't a good idea either! Balance is key over this period and learning how to enjoy a few extra treats without going absolutely crazy is what I recommend.

But where to start!? Do not despair! Help is at hand! Here are my tips for keeping your Christmas as healthy as possible without putting a complete dampener on your festivities. 

1. Christmas Is Actually Just One Day! 
First things first - Christmas is not a month long blow out and excuse to eat everything in sight while murmuring "Feck it, its Christmas" between each mince pie filled mouthful. Whatever we may convince ourselves of, and no matter how much we are sucked into the marketing, Christmas itself is only one day! By keeping this in mind we can limit the damage we inflict on ourselves! Of course this is a time of a little more indulgence and treats - we all deserve a little bit of fun at Christmas time. The important thing is not to get sucked in too early or you could find yourself on a massive food binge with nothing to show for it except a larger muffin top and bad indigestion. 

Tip: Limit your indulgences to the weekends and adopt an 80/20 approach. Keep most of your food as healthy as you can with room for one or two treats thrown in too.  I like to try and keep my main meals as "on plan" as possible which allows me to then choose to have a treat or two in between. If you know you have a party approaching keep things as clean and good as possible in the run up to it, avoid the bread basket, keep your starter and main as healthy as possible and have a nice dessert as a treat. By keeping it mostly healthy at these events you will limit the damage while still enjoying yourself. I also limit alcohol to weekends (something I do year round anyway) so as to limit the alcohol indulgences too!

2. Fail To Prepare, and Yule Prepare To Fail 
If healthy eating is something you are passionate about you are aware that conventional food doesn't always meet our nutrition needs. Parties can be one area where we are forgotten about with little to choose from except maybe some salad options and cold meats (if we are lucky!) 

Tip: One way to avoid making a bee-line for the mince pies is to bring something along to the party that we can definitely eat. Pack a tray of roasted sweet potatoes or a pot of delicious curry and you will be fully prepared for the party food. Your host won't mind and it might even create a conversation starter to encourage others to our way of eating! 

3. Plan Where You Will Indulge And Stick To It
The worst thing you can do on Christmas day is approach it with a plan to eat all in sight without consequence. Sure we all want to enjoy our day. We all want to take part in the family traditions and feel that we can have the treats we always associate with Christmas. But we should not go overboard. Apart from anything else there is no need to go crazy binging on foods like we can never eat again. There will still be plenty of food left the next day and the next! Secondly, too much sugar will lead to a greater chance of developing a nasty cold as it weakens our immunity. 

Tip: Decide what areas you will indulgenge in. For example maybe your pancake breakfast is one area and tradition you are not willing to miss, but maybe you will choose to skip dessert after dinner. Who really has space for dessert anyway? Maybe you can't wait to have some stuffing with your turkey but you will skip the gravy and have butter on your vegetables instead. Choose wisely and you won't even feel like you are missing out! 

4. One Day Of Indulgence Wont Screw Up Your Goals 
One day of eating a little outside the healthy eating box is not going to destroy all of your goals (unless of course you are trying to cure your gut for health reasons, in which case it may set you back a little). 
As long as you do not go crazy for weeks at a time (see point above!) one day of eating a little off plan is not going to send you back to the beginning of your health journey (however long that may be). 

Tip: Enjoy the day itself without going too crazy and take up your healthy eating ways the following day. 

It goes without saying that you should enjoy your day with your family. Stressing too much about what you should and shouldn't eat will not a happy Christmas make! Whatever decisions you make with your eating, make your peace with it, do not have regrets and remember the New Year will be a great chance to kick start your health for the future.

And if you DO over react, remember you can reset and get back on track in the New Year by signing up to my 30 Day Paleo Challenge! Sign up here >>>>

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas, 


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Easy Recipe - Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Looking for a chocolate hit but without the resulting sugar crash?

With just three ingredients we have a delicious treat which is high in good fats and antioxidants but is satisfying enough that you have your chocolate hit all at the same time! :)

1 ripe avocado
2 tbsb raw organic honey
1/4 cup organic cacao powder

In a blender blend all the ingredients until smooth. It might be best to blend the avocado first and then follow with the cacao and honey.

Place in a bowl and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Taste the chocolatey goodness. :)


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tips For Grocery Shopping On A Budget

Image result for happy lady trolley

One area that people often struggle with when switching to a unprocessed lifestyle is that food costs too much. While it is true that you need to spend a little more, I always say that cheap food will eventually catch up with you health wise, meaning that you end of spending more on the doctor and medication in the long run. And of course, you cannot put a price on health.

Here are some of my tips to help keep your budget down while still feeding your family with the healthiest diet you can afford.

Buy produce on sale or special offer: This will save you money in the long run, particularly if it can be frozen or is a jarred item. If it is a perishable item which goes off quickly and which you know you will not use in time, do not waste your money! You will most likely throw it out!

If you have extra money buy in bulk. Things like meat or fish usually work out less expensive the more you buy. We buy our meat monthly in bulk and freeze it. We usually save around 10-15% this way.

Choose fresh produce which is in season. Fruits and vegetables which are in season are often priced more competitively than produce which is more difficult to source.

Buy local! Buying direct from the farmer or from a farmer’s market means you cut out the middle man. This means the produce is often more affordable.

Make your own sauces, spice mixes and rubs – they work out a lot cheaper and you have control over what is going into them.

Avoid impulse buys – keep a shopping list of what you want for the week ahead. Having a rough plan of what you plan to cook for main meals will cut down on unnecessary spending.

Avoid shopping when hungry! If you are hungry you are more likely to opt for processed foods or be enticed by baked goods which may smell delicious but are not healthy. Eat before you shop and reduce the cost of your bill!

Avoid buying ready meals or prepared foods such as quiches etc. These foods are much more expensive than if you make them yourself. You are paying for convenience.

Avoid processed foods as much as possible. These types of foods are MUCH more expensive than fresh produce to buy. People often exclaim that fresh foods are expensive but processed food is FAR more expensive. Consider that a 7.5kg of potatoes costs around €5 (67c/kg) and a packet of crisps costs 0.78c (€21.10 per kg) that is a huge 3000+% difference!

Steer away from pre-prepared vegetables/fruit or salads. These are always overpriced. Buy and prepare your own.

Shop the outside aisles as much as possible. This is where the fresh and healthy foods are such as fruit and vegetables and eggs. Avoid the inner aisles which is where all the processed foods are kept. You don’t need them!

Buy cheaper cuts of meats such as stewing beef or shoulder lamb chops or chicken thighs and drumsticks. These are usually much cheaper but if cooked right are much tastier than other cuts. The cheaper cuts usually require longer cooking times (stews, soups) but taste delicious – the bone adds flavour you just won’t get in other cuts.

Make your own fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir and make bone broth. These incredibly nourishing foods are cheap as the proverbial chips (cooked in coconut oil obviously ;) ) but pack real bang for their buck!

Experiment with offal such as liver and kidney which are very inexpensive but very nutritious

Family favorites are very easy to make inexpensively such as spaghetti bolognaise, soups and stews

Look in the special offer section of the supermarket meat aisle. There are often perfectly good cuts of meat reduced which you can buy for a steal!

Make friends with your butcher! They will often have deals to avail of and if you are friendly they might even throw in some free chicken bones which you can make stock from! Buying direct from a butcher also ensures you cut out the middle man so prices are more competitive.

Keep an eye on prices. Each store can have huge variation on prices. Check prices and be a smarter shopper!

Read the store offers before you start your shop. There may be something you can avail of in their weekly offers.

Simple changes can make a big difference and go a long way to ensuring you and your family continue to eat healthy nourishing food but without the massive food bill!