Super Green Morning Smoothie

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Every single ingredient brings something to the table:

Water – essential for good hydration; promotes weight loss and helps to flush out the toxins from our body.

Spinach – not only is it high in proteins and fibre but it is also loaded with microelements and vitamins like A, B6, C, E and K just to name a few.

Kiwi – with its low GI, high fibre content and alkaline properties kiwi is a perfect morning fruit, which adds tonnes of vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants into the mixture.

Matcha – super high in antioxidants helps to increase our energy levels, endurance and concentration but at the same time, promotes calmness and relaxation.

Wheatgrass – it contains chlorophyll, which is a natural liver cleanser and detoxifier; additionally it contains all minerals known to man, as well as many other vitamins.

Chia seeds – low calories, high in fibre and proteins, just what you need in the morning.

Protein powder – well this one is optional but if like me, you are struggling with food in the morning, I would highly suggest adding some into your smoothie to boost your protein intake, which will help with metabolism and keep you fuller for longer.

So let’s mix!

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Ingredients:

  • 250ml filtered water*
  • 1 large organic kiwi; peeled and halved
  • 1 scoop of diet whey protein powder**
  • 1 large handful of fresh organic spinach***
  • 1tsp organic chia seeds
  • 1/2tsp organic matcha
  • 1/2tsp organic wheatgrass

*as its winter time I don’t like my smoothie too cold in the morning so I don’t use chilled water, but come the warmer weather, you can use chilled water or reduce the amount of water and add a good handful of ice cubes on top

**I like strawberry flavour from PhD

***frozen would work great too

Method:

Well, you will need a blender, a high power one would be ideal.

Simply pop all the ingredients into the blender bowl, starting with water, pop the lid on and blend.

I start with variable 1, turn it to 10 and then swap too high for around 10 seconds or so. In this time frame, my Vitamix will have blended everything nicely, including the chia seeds and kiwi pips.

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Serve and enjoy!

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.

The Truth About Sugar and Yo-Yo Dieting

* by Sandra Roycroft-Davis

Sugar! Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight knows that sugar is the enemy – but isn’t it the hardest thing to cut down or give up?  So many people repeatedly try and fail.

Most people go through horrific cravings, binges and mood swings when they try to cut down but this reaction should be no surprise when you learn that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. People also experience headaches and even get the shakes. This is all because of the effect sugar has on the brain.Most people go through horrific cravings, binges and mood swings when they try to cut down but this reaction should be no surprise when you learn that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.  People also experience headaches and even get the shakes.  This is all because of the effect sugar has on the brain.

If this is you, then there is exciting news because there is a way to end the hold sugar has over you without having any of the awful withdrawal symptoms. Firstly though, I think it’s crucial to understand a little bit about the impact sugar has on your brain and your emotions because knowledge means empowerment and empowerment is one of the keys to freedom!

Most people try to give up sugar because they want to lose weight.  They invariably go on a diet and start depriving themselves of their pleasures and that’s when a whole series of unfortunate events begin to take place because there’s an emotional aspect to food that so many people don’t even think about – and this sabotages their efforts.

A survey of 1,000 people in America found 31 per cent thought lack of exercise was the biggest barrier to weight loss, 26 per cent said it was what they eat and 12 per cent said losing weight took up too much time. Only 1 in 10 thought emotions and habits were a factor.

This explains a lot – because to lose weight and keep it off long term we need to understand WHY we eat not just focus on WHAT we eat.

From a very young age, most of us become emotionally attached to sweet stuff.  Parents use chocolate and sweet treats as a reward for being good or to help make us feel good if we’re upset or hurt.  Birthday parties generally revolve around cake and sweet treats, too!

All these things keep reinforcing the association the brain has made: food / sweet treats / chocolate = pleasure.

We become conditioned to use food and sweet treats not only for nourishment and nutrition but for comfort and the reward and pleasure it gives. This all creates powerful connections that can last a lifetime.

Whenever the brain experiences pleasure it releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine.  So when you experience pleasure for whatever reason, this process is activated – and the more you get the more you want.  Evidence proves that sugar also kicks off this process, becoming our reward or feel-good drug of choice.

Losing weight is a miserable experience and we are creatures of pleasure so that’s why so many people are unsuccessful. However, it’s not all bad because once we’re aware of this happening then we can deal with it.

Here is a link to my free ebook which explains more about the effects sugar has and how you can end the misery…

* Sandra Roycroft-Davis is a Founder of ThinkingSlimmer.com

Sugar Free Dates & Coffee Muffins

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.Coffee or “gogo juice” as Mark likes to call it is a must have for most of us each morning. We drink it to boost our energy levels so we can start to face the day ahead… but this is only partially true isn’t it?

In the last few months the new “healthy me” hasn’t found the need for a cup of coffee in the mornings. Most days I have a protein shake packed with matcha and I am just as ready to go, yet I still have my coffee each day simply due to its unique flavour. Coffee is a wonderful ingredient not only for drinking but for cooking and baking too… tiramisu, cheesecakes, truffles, these are all delicious desserts made with coffee and if you are a coffee lover you really should give them all a try some day… but for now… back to earth and my muffins 😉 so what do I need I hear you ask…

Ingredients:

  • 250g dates; finely chopped
  • 200ml full fat milk*
  • 50ml very strong espresso from good quality coffee
  • 140g white flour
  • 2 eggs; beaten lightly
  • 2tbsp coconut oil; rounded
  • 2tbsp coconut nectar
  • 2tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

*If you aren’t a huge fan of full fat milk, you can use any milk you fancy or even a water but full fat milk adds something a bit special to these muffins; I am not quite sure (apart from he taste) what it is but it does make a world of difference.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones. The recipe will make 10 full size muffins but I assume there isn’t a 10 muffin tin out there.

Brew 50ml of strong, good quality coffee (Lavazza is a perfect choice). If you make it from espresso make it a triple or even a quadruple shot.

In a medium size cooking pot place the dates add milk and coffee and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 3-5 minutes or until all liquid has incorporated into the fruit and don’t forget to stir ever so often to reduce the risk of any sticking.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In the meantime, sift your flour and cocoa powder and mix with bicarbonate of soda then in a separate small bowl or a mug beat the eggs.

Now back to our dates…

Add two heaped table spoons of good quality raw virgin coconut oil and stir until melted and mixed in, finally add the coconut nectar and again stir until incorporated into the mix.

Fold in the dry ingredients being the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda mix, finally add the eggs and stir until fully combined but not over mixed.

Use a table spoon or an ice cream scoop and spread your batter evenly between 10 muffin cases. You can make 12 muffins if you have a mild case of OCD but they are going to be slightly more flat and just a bit on the small size.

Pop into your earlier preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes at 180C fan. In case you made 12 muffins check them 1 or 2 minutes earlier just to be on the safe side.

The muffins should be firm to the touch and a toothpick pushed into the middle of one should come out dry and clean.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on a wire rack allowing them to cool completely.

Serve and enjoy!

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. I have to admit with my podding (aka listening to my Slimpod) I hardly ever eat sweets lately and if I do I find that half of something is usually more than enough… well this wasn’t the case with these muffins… I had two as soon as they became eatable (aka cool enough to eat without burns or blisters) and then finished half of Marks one whilst he was distracted… ooops! These are by far my most favourite sugar free creation to date.

Dry Apples & Cinnamon Muffins

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Frankly when I entered my kitchen the other day I was all for baking with coffee. My mind was set for a coffee treat but once I started preparing my ingredients I came across a big bag of dried apples which my mum had lovingly prepared for me… suddenly the coffee was out the window and the apples were in. As they were dried apples I wasn’t really sure what to do with them so I settled for yet another sugar free muffins. It was a good choice. The muffins came out perfectly oozing with rich apple flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 200g dry apples; chopped
  • 50g raisings
  • 250ml strong tea
  • 140g flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones.

In a medium sized cooking pot place your lovely chopped dry apples, add 250ml of freshly brewed tea (I used black vanilla tea) and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until all the liquid has incorporated into the apples.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. In the meantime, sift your flour and mix with the bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the eggs.

Now back to our apples…

Add the butter and stir until melted and mixed in.

Add the cinnamon and vanilla essence and stir well.

Finally fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda mixture, add the eggs and raisings and mix until fully combined but try not to over mix it.

Use a table spoon and scoop one heaped tablespoon of mixture into each muffin casing.

Pop into earlier preheated oven and bake for 18-20minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Enjoy!

Weight Loss, The Human Brain & Social Programming

The human brain is an amazing thing, for example it can be used to “program” our thinking in order to help us achieve our goals… if we only let it!

The human brain is an amazing thing, for example it can be used to “program” our thinking in order to let us achieve out goals… if we only let it!Unfortunately however, when it comes to weight loss we have been “programmed” for years by society and endless marketing to think that there can be no gain without an equal amount of pain which is let’s face it, a lot of crap.

On Saturday I had the huge pleasure of spending a few wonderful hours amongst the Slimpod stars of 2015. I’ve won the “Most Inspirational Blogger” category due to my complete changing of the way I see and blog about food. My journey with Slimpod has awarded me, so far, with just over 2 stone of weight loss but most of all it has allowed me to rediscover food in a way that I never would have thought about before. And no, I didn’t starve myself, I didn’t have to count calories or sins, I didn’t have a loooong list of foods I can’t eat or any other kind of restriction for that matter… so then how does it work?

Well, this is where we come to our mysterious and beautiful brain! Slimpod works on your subconscious and changes the way you think about food in general. And the result, well you start to have a dialogue with your body and it tells you that it doesn’t want that food, that it knows is bad for you or more simply, that 2 spoonful’s is enough. It is not a choice, in fact you don’t even realise it is happening until after the event or more likely it is when someone around you makes a comment. I personally don’t understand the science behind it but frankly I don’t care! For me and many others it works and that is all that matters!

I met some wonderful people on Saturday and they all have an incredible story to tell. They all lost a huge amount of weight but most of all they we all overcame our demons when it comes to food, being chocolate, cake, bread or cheese. We were all different and we all had different reasons for overeating and different “weak spots” but this is all in the past. We all feel happier and healthier now, we are lighter and it’s all because we gave Slimpod a try.

However, we all had one common story to tell… about those people around us who despite seeing our changes flatly refused to believe that such a change is possible without any sacrifice. This is so silly in my humble opinion!

It’s silly because for years we were told that diets have to equal some sort of restriction but this simple isn’t true!

I hardly ever watch TV but yesterday I happened to watch the Channel 4 programme called How to Lose Weight Well. One of the girls who was put on a crash diet said something which really sums up the general public’s opinion about weight loss “It’s not going to work because it’s not restrictive enough”. This statement really stuck with me as my own personal experience and the experience of others there on Saturday show that the statement is a prime example of total conditioned BS, sorry but there isn’t a different way of putting it.

People, think for yourself! Read about our majestic brain and what it can do for you. Don’t let society define your beliefs, give the unknown a go and put your trust in something you might not entirely understand and finally just start to think slimmer. It works. I am good physical proof of this, you can eat all you fancy and yet shed weight, and you can be slimmer, healthier and happier without conscience sacrifice, restrictions and will power! I say we all should start thinking slimmer!