Holiday Health

This weekend, Libby and Caitlin,  from the Jane Plan office, were fortunate enough to take a weekend break to Devon, to escape the busy London bustle and soak up some sun (finally!). Going away with friends, especially at this time of year, can mean inactive days of lying on the beach, ice-cream, and Pimms. Holidays and mini-breaks are times when it becomes easy to lose sight of your weight loss goals, setting you back a long way. Fortunately, we’ve put together a few handy hints and top tips for going away, to ensure you come back from your holiday healthier (and happier) than before and maintaining the ‘bikini body’ that you’ve been working hard for . These tips are small and easy swaps, that will hardly affect your holiday but will have a positive effect on your weightloss goals.

IMG_0350.JPGThe ‘English Riviera’ is a
perfect spot to catch some Vitamin D when the sun is shining and enjoy an afternoon at the beach. Here are a couple of our beach-side tips to ensure a healthy break by the sea.


1. Skincare
Ensuring you always wear suncream is an essential part of keeping your skin healthy and avoiding long term damage. We would recommend SPF30 but this can vary depending on skin type. Keeping yourself hydrated in the sun is not only important for your weightloss goals but dehydration can also cause serious damage to your skin. Finally, both of us said goodbye to our foundation for the weekend and let our skin breath- the salt in the sea can do wonders and we would highly recommend! Although skin does not seem a priority to weightloss, it adds to your overall image and self-confidence, as well as also being an indicator of your general health!

2. Exercise
Although we may all love an afternoon lazing about on the beach, this lack of activity can sometimes affect our weightloss goals. We have to admit we did our fair share of lying around but there are ways to ensure this isn’t detrimental. The latest craze with our friends is ultimate frisbee, an easy game for any group to play.

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A small stint of exercise for 30 mins a day, be it a game like this or going for a beachside run, can not only be relaxing but also ensure you are staying on target. Running on the
beach is much more challenging than any paved surface but rewarding, burning up to 30% more calories.
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3. Routine
Being away from the office, be it for a weekend break or a holiday, can often mean we lose  our daily routine by way of relaxing. Although we would recommend trying to get more sleep, maintaining a routine in some capacity can be helpful for keeping on track with balanced meals and a healthy lifestyle. We would recommend, even if you are getting out of bed later, to try and keep to some sort of schedule and ensuring you are still getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night.

4. BBQs
In reference to our recipe this week, grilling on a BBQ can be a healthier and a much more enjoyable alternative in the summer, particularly to frying. Although at first look, a BBQ may not seem healthy, we have put together a few tips and tricks to ensure you can enjoy the sociable and al fresco aspect  whilst striving to achieve your weightloss goals!IMG_0133

  • Meat – Fresh meat and fish is always the best, and we would recommend monopolising on your location, looking out for good local markets or fishing ports, particularly on the coast. The leaner the meat the better and avoiding fattier parts of any animal is advisable.Moreover, ensuring the use of herbs and spices, when marinating the meat, can mean a stronger taste and therefore it is much less likely you will overeat!
  • Veg – Grilling Veggie Kebabs is a great addition or alternative to any BBQ- we used peppers, mushrooms,courgettes and red onion! Making some healthy salads to go with your BBQ can also mean less meat being consumed, as a side of salad will fill you up! See our recipes and social media accounts for salad inspiration.
  • Bun Free- Avoiding bread with your BBQ can be a healthier alternative, to cut down on calories. If this isn’t possible, we would recommend a wholemeal and seeded bun!
  • Ketchup- For those who can’t resist, a perfect way to ensure a healthier ketchup is to make it yourself! We fried some marinated onions and chopped tomatoes and then blended it together with a dash of oil.

5. Sipping Pretty
If you’re soaking up the sun all day, it’s very easy to become dehydrated. Not only can this be dangerous to your health in the heat, staying hydrated is very important when aiding weight loss. We made sure to always have big 1.5l water bottles on us at all time, meaning that we were able to quench our thirst whenever we needed. By drinking at least 2l of water a day, the rate at which you burn calories is increased. It’s also very easy to confuse the feeling of thirst with hunger. So before you get tempted to reach for an ice-cream, drinking some water and waiting 10 minutes can ensure you’re not snacking unnecessarily!

6. Alcohol
Long lazy afternoons, BBQs and sun all go hand in hand with summer classics like Pimms. While there’s no harm in treating yourself once in a while, it’s worth bearing in mind that a 300ml glass of Pimms can have up to 180 calories! Moreover, by starting drinking early in the day, it’s easy to clock up several glasses in a single afternoon, leading to lots of empty calories. When following Jane Plan, we advise that you cut out alcohol completely. That said, one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is balance and there’s no harm in treating yourselves once in a while.

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Swap Lemonade and Pimms for Sparkling Water

If you’re going away for a week or so, we’d suggest you pick a particular evening where you’re allowed to have a drink. By saving yourself, you’ll be able to enjoy that cocktail or glass of wine a great deal more; plus you’ll avoid piling on the pounds as the week goes on! While we were away, Caitlin and I were able to avoid drinking our calories by filling up jugs of sparkling water with fresh mint and strawberries.
This is a great swap for calorie-laden cocktails, and you won’t feel like you’re missing out!

7. Snacks
Come mid-afternoon, it’s easy to be tempted by a trip to the ice cream van to cool off. However, with 280 calories in a Magnum Classic and nearly 18g of fat, this can set you back a long way when trying to lose weight. Luckily, there’s a range of simple swaps you can make, meaning it’s still easy to enjoy the sun without feeling guilty! For example, frozen grapes are a delicious bitesize snack that are low in calories and great for cooling off. Moreover, a portion of 80g has only 54 calories and are full of antioxidants, making them an ideal summer snack. Watermelon is also a brilliant alternative. With high levels of vitamins A, B6 and C and high water content, it’s a refreshing and healthy option. You could even try popping a lolly-stick inside a slice and freezing to make your own ice-lollies!IMG_0231.JPGWe hope these tips prove useful and you can find ways to incorporate these handy hints into your lifestyles as much as possible. Whether in sunnier climes or staying at home this summer, eating healthy even in the heat is easier than you think!

Caitlin, Libby and all the Jane Plan team xx

 

The Best Bikini For Your Body

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Bikini season is upon us and this year I am facing it with a new approach, instead of the age old question of how do I get my body to look good in this bikini? I am turning this on its head and asking does this bikini make my body look good?

All body types are different so there is no way that we are all going to look fabulous in the same style or cut of bikini. I have identified the main body shapes below alongside some helpful advice to help you to be able to find the best bikini to suit your body.

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Curvy

Description: This is the ladies who have a fuller bust, thighs and bottom.

Bikini Advice:  Use this summer to embrace your curves by using colour blocking or high waisted bottoms to really highlight and show off your curves.

Pear Shape

Description: Hips wider than your shoulders?  Then this makes you a pear shape.

Bikini Advice: When shopping for bikinis your focus should be balance. The aim is to draw attention away from the bottom half and towards the top half to balance the body out. In bikini terms this means two tone, go bold with a patterned on the top but ensure to stay plain on the bottom.

Inverted Triangle

Description: This translates as top heavy; your bottom half is smaller than your top half with little definition between the waist and hips but with wider shoulders.

Bikini Advice: When looking for a bikini, go for a structured top and look to draw attention to your bottom half so opt for colour on the bottom and stick to plain on the top.

Athletic

Description: A simple straight up, straight down.

 Bikini Advice: If you fit into this category then you want to create the illusion of curves. The best piece of advice for this body type is go wild with frills, prints and ruffles! Or if you are feeling brave why not even try a tie-side bikini bottom to really create those curves.

Now, let the bikini shopping commence and remember ladies, this summer make confidence your ultimate beach accessory!

Time for a Berrylicious Summer!

Hello everyone,

Despite the dreary UK weather, June is here and summer is upon us!

Here at Jane Plan, the excitement of summer began the arrival of our weekly fruit basket. Usually we just receive the standard – apples, bananas and grapes, but this week we had our own little ray of sunshine in the form of berries.  Berries are one of the healthiest foods there are and they satisfy the craving for a sweet treat so having them in the fridge or fruit bowl helps to reduce the temptation of any naughty nibbling!

Berries are full of antioxidants which help to prevent cell damage and can help to reduce the risk of contracting a wide range of diseases, with this in mind why not check out some of the berries we have been loving and try them out for yourself!

Here are two of our new current summer favourites:

Strasberries

strasberries

As the name suggests these berries are half way between a strawberry and a raspberry. Grown specifically for their yummy taste, these little berries combine the ultimate summer tastes so therefore are perfect as a snack or thrown into porridge or as part of a smoothie.

Pineberries

pineberries

 These little berries are the original strawberry hybrids, they look like a strawberry but taste like a pineapple. Their unique appearance and tropical flavour is a whole new taste sensation which also counts as one of your five a day!  This delicious summer fruit really pushes your berry boundaries and revamps your summer fruit bowl.

It is safe to say these berries went down a treat with the Jane Plan team and gave us all that feel good summer feeling, so go ahead,  try it for yourself and kick start your berrylicious summer!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

 

Make dinner more interesting

Hello everyone,

This week I’ve heard from quite a few Jane Planners who want some more exciting ideas of what veggies to add into their diet Plan. So here are two of my favourite veggie substitutes for rice and pasta – they’re perfect for adding into your diet Plan, or even for dieting off-Plan.

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Cauliflower Rice:

Cauliflower rice can be a really good substitute for rice or couscous, and can be great alongside our Asian inspired meals. It’s so easy to make, all you need is some cauliflower, a grater and a microwave.  Plus, an 100g portion of rice is only about 25 calories!

Method:

  1. Rinse the cauliflower well, pull off the outer leaves and break the cauliflower into large florets.
  2. Process in a food processor
    • Break the florets into smaller pieces, put into the large bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Grate your cauliflower florets
    • If you don’t have a food processor you can grate the cauliflower by hand using the larger side of a grater.
  4. Once chopped/grated, you can store the cauliflower until you’re ready to use it. Divide it into 100g portions, and it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  5. Cook your cauliflower rice:
  6. Microwave – Place the cauliflower rice in a heatproof bowl, cover in cling film, and heat for 3 minutes on high, mixing half way through cooking. If heating from the freezer, microwave for 4 minutes instead.
  7. To make it more interesting, you can roast the cauliflower rice. Simply spread it into a thin layer on a tray with a drizzle of olive oil, and then roast for 12minutes at 200C. Roasting it intensifies the flavour, and dries it out to give it a really nice texture.

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Courgette Spaghetti:

People who are trying to lose weight have often told me that they really miss pasta when they try to keep away from it. Courgette spaghetti can help you overcome this pasta craving, and it works well with all pasta sauces. Plus courgette is a good source of vitamin C.

All you need is 3 large courgettes per person, for about 93 calories per serving.

Method:

  1. Cut the courgettes into thin slices lengthways, and then cut each slice into thin strips to create spaghetti-like strips.
  2. If you are not that skilled with a knife, kitchen gadgets like a mandolin can help you slice the courgettes into strips.
  3. Boil the spaghetti strips for 2 minutes, and then drain. Take care not to overcook the spaghetti, or the strips will go mushy.
  4. Serve with your favourite spaghetti sauce or alongside a Jane Plan diet meal.

 

I hope these have helped inspire you to jazz up your diet plan!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jane xx

My experience on the scales

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Hi everyone,

The other day I bought a new pair of scales to replace my old, broken ones – what could possibly go wrong? But imagine my horror when, having stepped onto them for the first time, I was 5 Lbs heavier than I had been when I last weighed myself! In fact, my new scales were saying that I was the same weight as I was having just had my first baby. It was impossible that I had gained this weight in the short time since I had last weighed myself. The only explanation was that my old scales were simply inaccurate, and had been saying I was 5 Lbs less than I really was.

This was definitely a wake-up call, and has given me a kick-start to make some small changes to a healthier lifestyle. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve recently stepped up my training for Tough Mudder, and have already worked myself up to running 6km. I’ve also been making some small changes to my diet; trying to cut down my snacking, and reducing my portion sizes.

This experience has definitely proven to me again how important it is to weigh in regularly. If you don’t know your true weight, you’ll stay where you are; whereas weighing in can motivate you and let you know whether you’re on track. After a week of resisting temptation it’s so satisfying to see how this has translated on the scales! Whilst it’s true that the scales can disappoint you, it’s much better to be honest with yourself so you can try to work out what you should be doing differently.

I recommend weighing yourself once a week on the same day, at roughly the same time, using the same scales in the same place. This might sound a little over-cautious, but weight can vary day to day – you can even weigh more in the evening than in the morning. So to avoid demoralising results, it’s best to weigh yourself consistently. Just make sure your scales are up to scratch to avoid a shock like I had! I’d recommend digital bathroom scales, which are more accurate than old-fashioned spring-balance scales.

I hope you’ll be motivated by this blog to go out and weigh yourself this weekend (avoid the mentality that you’ll ‘start on Monday’!)

So go on, be brave and hop on those scales.

Jane xx

Light Lunch Ideas

With the weather so cold and gloomy in January, it’s easy to make poor choices and comfort eat (I know I’ve been guilty of this!). But now that January is finally over, I’ve been trying to focus on eating lighter and cleaner, and trying to cook with fresh ingredients. So I thought I’d share two of my favourite light lunches, which are healthy and balanced – as well as delicious! They’re so easy and quick to make – so there’s really no excuse for eating unhealthily this February!

 

1. Salmon and Rocket Salad with HorseradishIMG_1620

This salad is a favourite of mine – it can be made in minutes, tastes absolutely delicious and is full of iron. If you’re in a rush, don’t worry about grating the lemon zest or adding the crème fraîche, it’s still gorgeous without. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 generous handfuls of wild rocket
  • 400g smoked salmon slices
  • 2 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
  • 2 gherkins, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • Dill springs, to garnish

Method:

  1. Put the rocket at the bottom of your container. Roll up the slices of smoked salmon and arrange them on the top. Mix the horseradish, crème fraîche and chopped gherkins together in a bowl and leave to one side.
  2. In the morning before you leave for work, grate the lemon zest on top of the salmon and squeeze the lemon juice over the salad, then add a spoonful of the horseradish mixture. Finish with a spring of dill.
  3. If serving at the table, put the rocket on a plate, add the rolled smoked salmon, zest and squeeze the lemon and put the horseradish in a bowl so that everyone can help themselves. Garnish your salad with dill, then serve.

 

2. Avocado SaladIMG_1671

Avocado is packed full of essential nutrients, including potassium, fibre and folic acid, and this recipe is so easy to follow there’s no excuse for not including it in your diet! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of mixed salad leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • Half tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 8 baby tomatoes

Method:

  1. Remove the pit of the avocado and slice it into ‘half-moon’ shapes, you should have about 10. Place the salad leaves on the plate and add the avocado on top.
  2. Scatter with chilli flakes and add 8 halved tomatoes. Finish by drizzling with avocado oil.

 

Happy cooking!

Jane xx

My Tough Mudder Training

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As some of you may know, last year Team Jane Plan signed up for the Tough Mudder London West race, which takes place on 30th April 2016. If you haven’t heard about Tough Mudder then do check it out! Scarey – right?

Now there’s only 3 months to do, the entire team at Jane Plan have started their Tough Mudder training, and everyone is really excited (and slightly anxious), as we all try to work up to being fit enough to run/walk and struggle for 20km.

As with many women my age, I used to be much fitter, but the last few years have been so hectic as Jane Plan has taken off and family life is always so busy, and it’s taken a toll on my fitness levels. But I’ve been spurned on by my young, energetic team at Jane Plan, and I’ve adopted the attitude ‘if you can’t beat them, join them!’ So I’ve tried to throw myself into training for Tough Mudder, which includes completing a 5km run this weekend.

It’s true that at this time of year, it can be much more challenging to motivate yourself to exercise. But I’m determined to keep up the momentum, and am mentally preparing myself for the challenge. Be under no illusion, I will be running at a pace most people could briskly walk at; but I know that I have enough time to whip myself into shape so I can be ready when April comes round.

So if anyone happens to see me hobbling around by the Thames in South West London (possibly accompanied by my energetic and super-fit 13 year old son), please cheer me on and wish me good luck!

Have a great weekend,

Jane xx