Are you a Night Time Nibbler?

One of the biggest habits we all seem to have is mindless or boredom snacking. We come home from a long day and put on the TV to unwind, but two hours in, we always seem to find ourselves back in the kitchen opening the cupboards or raiding the fridge, but the reality of the situation is that we aren’t even hungry. So why do we do it? Boredom is usually the answer. So how do we stop this? It makes all that little bit worse as we have been eating so healthily all day, then evening comes and it all goes out of the window. I am determined to put a stop to this and have been putting these five top tips into practise to stop my evening boredom snacking.

  1. Be aware of your habits

    Is there a certain time you reach for a snack? Perhaps it’s during a certain TV programme or a few hours after your dinner? Become aware of this and question yourself. Am I actually hungry or am I just eating of the sake of it? Before reaching for a snack, go and get yourself a glass of water, have a drink and wait 10 minutes, chances are you will have forgotten all about your snack cravings!

  2. Don’t fill your cupboards full of temptation

    Do you buy ‘treats’ that you say you’re going to share out over the course of the week and then just sit and eat them all in one sitting? The trick to avoid this is and to simply not buy these on your weekly shop. If they’re not there, then you can’t eat them!

  3.  Distract yourself

    Do you head to the kitchen at every ad break or raid the kitchen when there’s nothing on TV? Try something different, Facetime friends, flick through a magazine, water your plants, make a to-do list for the next week, whatever it takes to keep you out of the kitchen.

  4. Schedule your snacks

    Do you know you are going to want that sweet treat an hour after you have had your dinner? Regulate and schedule this, allowing yourself a regulated snacks prevents you overindulging and going for everything in sight.

    5.Don’t deprive yourself

    Trying to keep yourself on a strict diet is what can lead to stints of binge snacking. Allow yourself the odd treat every now and again, restricting yourself and forcing yourself to avoid certain foods can cause you to snack even heavier on them then you would if you just reduced your intake.

 

This weekend try out these five tips and gain control over your snacking again. Remember the key is balance, treat yourself every now and again to foods you enjoy, just don’t make a habit of it and before you know it; you will be the master of your cravings.

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Courgetti with Peaches and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

For the pumpkin seed pesto:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 160 g raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 tbsp sea salt
  • 25g fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced

For the courgetti:

  • 225g courgetti or 2 courgettes
  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 100g porcini mushrooms
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

In a baking dish, combine the olive oil with pumpkin seeds and salt. Toast for 10 minutes in the oven, or until seeds are puffed up and golden, and let it cool slightly.

In a food processor, grind the pumpkin seeds until small breadcrumbs. Then add olive oil, basil, water, lemon juice and garlic. Blend until the mixture is a smooth paste. If you want it a little thinner, add more oil or lemon juice.

To make the courgetti noodles, use a spiral slicer to create about 5 cups of raw noodles from 2 courgettes or buy pre-made courgetti.

Sauté the porcini mushrooms for 5 minutes and seasons with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss your courgetti noodles with about 5 tablespoons of the pesto into the pan. Add the peach slices, and garnish with basil.

How a cuppa a day can keep the doctor at bay!

There is no denying that we are a country of tea drinkers and if they are beneficial for your health, then I really can’t find a reason to stop! One brand of tea which I love at the minute is T+. This tea company really fuel my tea drinking habit. Their range of teas, each specifically targeting a range of different health benefits, means that your tea drinking habit really can boost your health.

How do I know which tea to drink and when?

The amount of different herbal teas available all claiming to do different things, leave us all in a bit of confused daze. But we have found four delicious teas which cover any health benefits you would need with a taste that will keep you going back for those tea breaks.

Need a pick me up?

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This T+ boost is the perfect drink to give you that boost to start the day. Drinking a tea containing the South American herb ‘yerba mate’, gives that wakefulness required to handle the day ahead without all the down sides associated with coffee. This tea also gives you extra ‘umph’ with the added vitamin B which is the vitamin associated with keeping our bodies up and running. This added vitamin B gives the slow releasing energy needed to tackle whatever is thrown your way.

Looking for a cleanse?

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If you have had an unhealthy weekend or few days, there is nothing better than the feeling of cleansing your body and giving it that extra little bit of TLC it has been lacking. The T+ Detox does just that, with its antioxidant rich green tea working alongside milk thistle, ginger root and dandelion root to help internally cleanse and let your body get back to the temple that it is.

Feeling a little under the weather?

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Build up your defences with T+ immunitea. This handy little hug in a mug gives your body the vitamins it needs to build up that immune system to help keep you healthy and feeling well. The essential vitamin C helps to protect cells and keep them healthy and the added bonus of the vitamins echinacea and ginseng can help boost your immune system.

Struggling to get the vitamins you need?

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We know how hard it is to make sure every day you are getting the correct number of vitamins to keep your body ticking at its optimum health. This is what makes T+ multea is an absolute life saver! One cup contains 9 essential vitamins as well as cardamom, rosemary and spearmint all wrapped up with a delicious lemon and peach flavouring to give you the daily goodness your body will love you for.

 

If these health benefits aren’t enough to fuel your tea habits then I don’t know what will! Keep your body full of goodness and hydrated throughout the day with T+ delicious range of vitamin fuelled green teas.

Delicious Summer Sweet Treats !

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Watermelon Ice lollies

(makes 12 ice lollies)

 17 kcal per lolly

Half a small watermelon (about 500g)

2 limes

Small handful of mint

Roughly chop watermelon and blend. Zest one of the limes, and add this along with the juice of both limes and a small handful of mint. Pour into ice lolly tray and freeze for 4 hours.

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Watermelon Granita

Serves 4

51 kcal per serving

Half a small watermelon (about 500g)

2 limes

Small handful of mint

 Roughly chop watermelon, pop in a zip-lock back and freeze for 4 hours. Zest both limes and keep the zest to one side. Once ready to serve, blitz watermelon in a blender with the juice of both limes and the mint. Serve immediately with lime zest sprinkled over the top.

apricot and honey frozen yogurt

Apricot and Honey Frozen yogurt

Makes 8 ice lollies

31 kcal per lolly

8 apricots

100g non-fat Greek yoghurt (we particularly like Total 0)

2 tsp honey

Drop of vanilla essence

De-stone apricots and blend with all other ingredients until smooth. Spoon mixture into ice-lolly tray and freeze for 4 hours.

Can going gluten-free really help you get a flatter tummy?

 

We all want a flatter tummy, especially now that holiday season is upon us. Braving the beach and having to bare all is enough to make anyone want to diet! But don’t panic, I’m so excited to announce that we are working with Woman & Home. Together we’ve created the ultimate Flatter Tummy Plan – it’s gluten free too!?

We all know that bread and pasta have been getting bad press recently, especially on the bloating front and cutting them out, as well as other gluten packed foods, really can help to prevent this and help you to get that flatter tummy.

The benefits of a gluten-free diet go beyond just preventing bloating but it can also offer a variety of different health benefits, such as improving cholesterol levels, promoting digestive health, and increasing energy levels, if you have a gluten intolerance.

So, what exactly is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, barley and oats, and it’s also often found in other products as it helps bind foods together. Many people need to avoid gluten due to being coeliac or gluten sensitive.

Which foods contain gluten?

Gluten can be found in highly processed foods like cakes, biscuits and breads.  But nowadays, there are so many gluten-free options available, cutting this out of your diet could be easier then you imagined. Plus there are so many healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free:

  • Beans, seeds and nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products

 

Why not give this a go and see if going gluten-free can help you achieve a flatter tummy this summer. Head over to our website or pick up your latest edition of Woman&Home to find out more and start beating that bloat, get a flatter tummy and feel confident in your bikini this holiday!

Pea, mint, tomato & Quinoa salad

Copyright of: istock

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

90g quinoa cooked

60g peas

80g broad beans (podded)

Juice of ½ a lemon

8-10 mint leaves, roughly chopped

50g feta cheese crumbled

80g plum tomatoes

sea salt and ground black pepper to season

Few handfuls Rocket or watercress Leaves

 

Yogurt Dressing

150 g full fat natural live yogurt

Large handful mint leaves finely chopped

1/2 lemon squeezed for juice

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 

Method

  1. In a small pot of water add the peas and broad beans then simmer gently for 5-6 minutes until tender and drain.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt to season before removing the pan from the heat then drain and add to cool water.
  3. Cook the quinoa as the packet instructs and add to a large bowl, add the plum tomatoes, lemon juice and mint leaves.
  4. Crumble with feta and stir through. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. To plate up, firstly, dress your plate with leaves and then add the quinoa mixture, finally spoon over the peas & broad beans.
  6. To make the yogurt dressing, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle the yogurt dressing over the salad, or serve in individual portions on the side.

Healthy Methods of Cooking

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Recently I have been getting more creative in the kitchen and loving it. Cooking and preparing food yourself, gives you peace of mind that everything going into your meals is nothing but fresh  and healthy ingredients. However, one thing that seems to be forgotten is that it is not just the ingredients which go into a dish that determine whether or not it is healthy but also the way it is cooked and prepared makes a huge difference too. With this in mind, I have been trying and testing healthier ways to cook and have found the five healthiest ways of cooking.

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  1. Steaming – steaming your food allows it to cook in its own juices which is great. This also means almost none of the nutrients are lost in the cooking process, allowing all the healthy goodness left to be eaten.

 

  1. Microwaving – microwaving is effectively heating food from the inside out. They heat food by producing radiation which is absorbed by water molecules in the food. This makes the water molecules vibrate and produce heat, which cooks the food. It can cause food to dry out but add a splash of water to prevent this and you’re good to go! The reason microwaving is a low fat option is due to the fact that, much like steaming it cooks the its own nutrients, so there is no need to add any further fatty substances such as butter or oil. Just make sure you use safe plastic containers for microwaving, the recommended containers are those which are BPA free. Any modern day microwave oven in good condition is perfectly safe as long as you follow the instructions for use. If you use a microwave oven in the correct way there is no known harmful effect on humans.

 

  1. Poaching – This is a great way of gently cooking foods such as fish, eggs or even fruit. By cooking the food in a hot water (just under boiling point), it offers an easy and low fat method of cooking as there is no extra added additives. This makes poaching a clean and wholesome method of cooking which preserves all of the taste and goodness without adding in the extra calories!

 

  1. Boiling – this method that allows you to get plenty of nutrients. But the even better advantage is that, just like steaming, this method softens some of the fibre content, allowing for a better absorption of the nutrients inside. Yet another quick and easy method which does not add any extra fat or calories to your meal.

 

  1. Grilling – If you want to get the best nutrition without compromising on flavour, grilling is the best cooking method. It requires minimal added fats and imparts a smoky flavour while keeping meats and veggies juicy and tender.

 

The best way to get healthy and hearty meals is to keep it simple and to keep it fresh. Enjoy cooking and getting creative with food. Try out these different methods and get cooking up a storm in your kitchen!