The Power Of Porridge

 

I’m a massive fan on porridge. I have it for breakfast every morning from October to March because it’s perfect to warm you up on a cold morning. It also has great health benefits.

It provides slow-release energy, which keeps you full for longer, so that you’re less likely to snack in the day. Plus it’s low sugar which is great for diabetics, and it contains both soluble and insoluble fibre, which aids digestion. Finally it provides beta glucans, which can bind to cholesterol and help reduce cholesterol levels.

It’s the perfect breakfast for weekdays, when you need something easy that you can just grab-and-go. Just be mindful of portion size when you’re preparing your porridge; all you need is 40g of porridge oats and 200ml skimmed milk. If you don’t have time to measure this out, use a 57 x 25mm ramekin, which is the perfect potion size.

If you’re thinking that porridge is boring – read this great article in Woman’s Health Magazine listing 10 ways to ‘pimp your porridge’. Adding 1 tsp of honey and 80g of berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries is a personal favourite of mine. Adding half a cubed mango or a sliced banana is also a great way to inject some vitamins into your breakfast. If you have more time, Deliciously Ella has a great recipe for Coconut Porridge.

So go and buy some good old porridge oats and milk!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

P.S. For more tips check out my YouTube video on how to make porridge and what to add to it.

 

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How To Snack Wisely

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Now the weather is so cold, it’s tempting to snack on comfort food like chocolate, cakes and crumpets. In fact, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling this week, and a few Lindor have snuck into my diet! But with party season coming up, I’m mindful that now isn’t the time to let standards slip! So I’m trying to be much more conscious of not diving into the biscuit tin, and am trying to go for some healthy options instead.

If you’re also trying to make sure that your snacking is healthy and not ruining your diet, here are my 5 top tips to snack wisely:

Know how much you should snack

I recommend having two snacks a day: the first one 2-3 hours after breakfast will help to keep you energised and curb pre-lunch hunger pangs. Another around 3-4 p.m. will help avoid tiredness in the afternoon.

Stay hydrated to beat sugar cravings

Often its thirst that makes us think that we’re hungry, so drinking lots of water will stop you craving snacks.

Eat the right breakfast

Definitely do not skip breakfast, it’s the most important meal. If you have a filling breakfast, you’re less likely to snack in the day. Try and make sure that you eat protein at breakfast, it keeps you fuller for longer. Eggs, nuts, fish and seeds are all foods rich in protein.

Don’t be a mindless snacker

This is how we end up eating the entire share bag single-handedly! If you are aware of what you’re eating when you snack, and when you are not hungry anymore, it’ll be easier to reduce your portion size.

Question your snacking motive

Are you snacking because you’re hungry, or because you’re stressed or tired? Before reaching for that chocolate bar, ask yourself why you’re reaching for it and rethink.

 

So join me in the Christmas calorie countdown, watch that snacking and take comfort in a cup of camomile as opposed to a chocolate cake

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

The Struggle of Finding the Perfect-Fitting Bra

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On Thursday I appeared on Ideal World again to talk about the Jane Plan Diet, and one conversation got me thinking. Despite wearing the same dress I wore the week before, I was asked to pin the front of it because it was showing too much cleavage. How could I have lost or gained weight in a week? But then I realised that I was wearing a different bra, and how much of an effect that can have on our silhouettes and how our clothes look.

When we lose or gain weight, it can affect our bra size as well as dress size. But whilst it seems obvious that you need to buy a new pair of jeans if you drop a size, many women neglect their underwear. It’s an easy trap to fall into, you simply tighten the straps or buy a bra extender rather than going to the shops and finding your new size. Even when we’re buying bras, many of us value the colour, style and price over good fit.

But having a few well-fitted bras in your wardrobe is so important. An ill-fitting bra can lead to backache, pinched flesh and the dreaded ‘backfat’ and ‘quad-boob’(when your breasts are not fully enclosed in the cup, so they spill over the top). But it can be surprisingly difficult to find a well-fitting bra. So here are some tips to make your life easier:

  1. Consider being fitted properly for a bra. Many shops now offer bra-fitting services, including Debenhams, M&S, John Lewis and Figleaves. Bra-fitting professionals can quickly tell you whether your bra fits right, and what your size is. There’s no need to embarrassed, bra-fitters have seen it all before!
  2. Don’t rely on tape measures. By looking at yourself in the mirror, you should be able to tell whether your bra fits:
    • It should feel snug, but not too tight, on the loosest hook. If the bra is slightly loose on the tightest hook, your bra’s back size is too big.
    • Your boobs should be completely enclosed in the cups, if they’re spilling over, the cup size is too small.
    • If the cups feel too big, or you have spare fabric, try a smaller cup size.
    • The band of your bra should be horizontal across your back, not being dragged up. If the band is too tight, your back will look lumpy (this is often called having ‘backfat’).

For more information on how to find the right bra, check out this great article from Good Housekeeping.

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

Cutting Down on Food Waste

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Here at Jane Plan, food wastage is something we feel quite strongly about. To celebrate World Food Day we worked with the charity Food Cycle, who try to reduce food wastage by using surplus food to serve tasty, nutritious meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation. We also try to reduce our clients’ food waste by delivering all our products as individual meals, so that they don’t need to throw food away. This is why I was glued to my TV on Monday night watching the new programme Hugh’s War on Waste on BBC One.

In the programme, the Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall discussed how wasteful families in the UK are, often throwing away re-usable clothes and edible food. Individual households are the biggest single cause of food waste in the UK, and each year 4 million tonnes of food waste is thrown away. This not only wastes food, but it costs money. The average family bins £700-worth of food each year! This is why changing our habits and limiting the amount of food we waste could make a difference.

Hugh visited the town of Prestwich and provided people with a few tips to try to reduce their food waste. Below I’ve listed what I think are three helpful tips to help you cut down on your food waste:

  1. Be a smarter shopper. Before you buy something, think carefully and make sure that you’ll eat it. If you struggle with this, try planning your meals before going shopping. This will help you save money too.
  2. Know the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. Food after its ‘best before’ date will not be harmful, but may begin to lose its flavour and texture. If food is after its ‘use by’ date, you should be more cautious as it may give you food poisoning.
  3. Be ‘kitchen savvy’! Before throwing food away, try searching the internet for ways to use it. For example, if you have fruit that’s slightly past its best before date, you could always use it to make a smoothie.

I hope that these tips are helpful, and that you feel inspired to join us at Jane Plan in cutting down on our food waste!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx