Tag Archives: healthy food

new year, new me

11 Feb

lovelies, let’s breeze past the fact i’ve been inactive for oodles of time, again.

how has 2014 been treating you so far? i, for one, was very happy leaving 2013 behind me- not that it was all bad, but especially the end sucked, with emergency eye surgery in november and getting robbed on christmas… let’s just say i’m looking forward to 2014 being better :)

speaking of better, and referring back to the title of this post, my new year’s resolution is to get in the best shape i’ve been. i’m aiming for ever, but that might be hard going back to the slimness of my 13 year old self. let’s be realistic here.
i’ve started working towards better physical fitness in april, after some events led to a very minimal consumption of food, and saw me losing 1,5 kgs in a week. no better motivation than that to get started on a healthy clean eating regimen! i’ve modelled my food plan on the paleo diet, with added influences of the dukan diet.
paleo_food_pyramidof course, it’s much easier to eat clean in the summer, when salads and light foods are especially appealing, but their winter counterparts are just as delicious!
vegetables of all colors come into play, eaten when possible as raw as you can- the less cooked they are, the better. i’ve omitted sugar and sweetener where i can, it’s taken a few days to get used to it, but now i can’t imagine drinking sweet coffee or tea again. lean red meat, chicken, turkey, tuna and salmon also feature heavily in my new diet, and go splendidly with all the vegetables! i haven’t given up grains, i often eat cereal (muesli) in the morning with low fat yogurt and berries, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, as well as wholegrain rye bread for spreads. but i find myself not really craving bread or carbs in any form in general, and when i do feel like having a sandwich, a tortilla is a great substitute for bread!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmy drink of choice is water, or green tea. all day long. sometimes i drink peppermint, or other herbal teas too, but usually it’s green, especially in the mornings. in the evening i’ll sometimes switch the green tea for black, and add some skim milk to it (i often add milk to green tea too, it’s delicious!)

step two of the plan, was exercise. obviously. no way around that. nutrition plays an immense part in getting fit, but you have to get off your ass as well.
i’ve posted about my passion for zumba before, and i still do it once or twice a week, but i’ve added a few other elements to my workout regimen.
for the lovelies that haven’t heard of zumba, here’s a short video of what to expect from a class:

i try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week- sometimes less, sometimes more. when i don’t make it to the gym, i’ll go for a run outdoors; i don’t really like running, but it gets the job done, and is a pretty decent workout. i enjoy working out by myself, but i love the classes. when i do a solo session, i usually use the crosstrainer for 30-45 minutes, and then round it off with free weights, focusing on shoulders, triceps and biceps. i often pack in some squats and crunches too, depending on the workout i’ve done the session before.
the classes i frequent apart from zumba are bodyshape (aerobics-cardio), bbp (which stands for bauch-beine-po, abs-legs-ass, a combination of cardio and resistance exercises), body pump and body balance. the latter two are by les mills, and are freaking awesome!
you can read about body pump here, but it’s basically an intense “resistance workout training focusing on low weight loads and high repetition movements”. it is killer. but the feeling you get after doing it overshadows by far your inability to walk up stairs and lift a teacup the next day. it’s addictive. here’s their promo video, and the second one is what to expect from a class:

body balance is a beautiful beautiful class, which combines the elements of tai-chi, yoga and pilates to give you a well rounded, toning, strengthening and calming work out. i usually take a bodybalance class after one of the tougher sessions, to give myself a deep stretch, and calm down in a powerful way from the intensity of the previous class. here’s what to expect from a bodybalance class:

after almost a year (omg time flies!) of working out regularly and eating clean(er), i’m very happy with the results. i’ve lost 8,5 kgs, my arms, legs, back and abs are way more defined, and i’ve lost two dress sizes. the thing that most amazes me, is how working out has become an integral part of my lifestyle, and i’m so happy about it! it’s not a chore, something that i have to do, it’s something i look forward to doing, i want to! love it.
in conclusion, i don’t want to give the impression that i became a total health nut. puh-lease. i still have pizza, mcdonalds, sweets and pretty much any other thing i want. but the key is in the quantity, timing, and necessity. when i order a pizza, i only eat half of it. the other half goes into the fridge/freezer for some other time. when i eat junk, i try to do it earlier in the day, so that my metabolism is still running high enough to burn it effectively. cookies or chocolate in the evening? sure, but instead of eating 10 cookies, i’ll have 4. instead of three rows of chocolate, i’ll eat one. and it’s enough to still the craving. and of course, i then pack an extra bit of time at the gym to soothe my conscience. annoying little bugger it can be.

i’m curious to know whether any of you have tried or are doing these classes, and what you think of them?
let me know!
before i forget, follow me on instagram for updates!

ciao for now, lovelies

 

low-fat wholewheat oat apricot muffins

30 Aug

yesterday i was grabbed by the urge to bake something.  i was also craving apricots for the longest time. so i put the two together. 2 birds one stone thing, you know?

i scoured my fridge for possible ingredients (i like to freestyle when i cook or bake, twist some recipes and personalize them), and found i still had some buttermilk, from when i made red velvet cupcakes for a friend’s birthday party.
so i googled “wholewheat buttermilk apricot muffins”, and was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of recipes and combinations out there. i opened the first 15, and decided to come up with my own.

now, i haven’t tried them yet (i forgot them at home- brain wasn’t awake yet), but i gave a few to my friends who were travelling today, and they told me the muffins were delicious!
i tweaked the recipes i found by using wholewheat and oats instead of regular “white” flour, and brown sugar instead of white. i also added a couple of spoons of apricot jam to the batter, to intensify the flavor.

ingredients:
– 1 cup chopped dried apricots                                        – 1/4 cup melted light butter
– 1 cup boiling water                                                             – 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 1,5 cups wholewheat flour                                              – 1 cup buttermilk
– 1/2 cup oats                                                                          – 1 egg
– 3/4 cup brown sugar                                                         – 2 tbsp apricot jam
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 packet vanilla sugar (1,5 tsp)
– dash of salt

directions:
– preheat the oven to 190°C (about 400°F) and line muffin tray with paper cups.
– chop apricots and place in a bowl. pour the boiling water on them and let stand for 5 minutes.
– in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking soda and vanilla sugar.
– in a separate bowl mix the butter, oil, buttermilk and egg.
– slowly add the wet bowl to the dry ingredients, but dont overstir. add the jam and keep stirring.
– drain the apricots and add to the batter, make sure that they are evenly spread.
– fill the muffin cups and bake for about 17-20 minutes. test with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they’re done.
– cool the muffins before removing them from the tray.

healthy, low-fat fruity muffins- enjoy!

chicken surprise!

27 Feb

today i discovered that i’m harboring an amateur chef inside of me :)

ages ago i saw an ad on tv about some cooking thing, where you have a ready made spice mixture in a transparent, heat resistant baggy, and you just have to throw chicken (or fish or meat) in it, seal it and throw it in the oven! i was amazed, it looked so easy! and, it has the amazing advantage of  being virtually fat free cooking! of course i had to try it, but instead of buying the (overpriced and additive-full) ready made stuff, i got just the baggies- which actually have apparently been around for ever, but people (or maybe just me?) never knew about.

so i had the baggies laying around in a drawer for the past 2 months at least, and finally on saturday, i decided that i had to give it a go, so i bought chicken drumsticks- easy piece to start with :)
today was finally the day i got to it: peeled the skin off the legs, chopped a quarter of a red onion, half an orange bell pepper in dices, peeled and cut up 3 medium potatoes, and threw everything in the baggy. i read online that with this cooking method, the flavors become more intense, so one shouldn’t overdo it with the spices, so instead of adding salt, i sliced up a handful of black olives, and added them to the bag. finally, you need a little bit of moisture- i took a scarce tablespoon of olive oil, and some lemon and lime juice, mixed them, and poured it into the bag!

then all you have to do is tie the baggy, poke a couple of holes in it with a toothpick (on the upper side!), and pop it into the preheated oven, on 200°C for about 45 mins to an hour.
final step, put the bag onto a dish or bowl, cut it open and slide the contents onto the plate. voilá! delicious!

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