Why We Should All Stop Worrying About Food! Guest Post: Tracey McGowan.

Now I’m sure most of us would agree that it’s incredibly important to be healthy right? That’s kind of a no-brainer.
But what happens when we focus so much on eating the “right” foods and doing the “right” workouts, to the point where we are extremely stressed out about what we put in our mouths and how often we workout.
You see there is so much more to health than just food, exercise, and our physical body. Health includes ALL kinds of health – physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. However, most people now-a-days only focus purely on the physical side: trying to cut back on their calories, restricting certain macronutrients, while spending hours every single day “killing” it at the gym. Continue reading “Why We Should All Stop Worrying About Food! Guest Post: Tracey McGowan.”

Full Day of Eating: Product Reviews

I love doing these full day of eating blogposts because it’s a chance for me to spam the post with photography and not have people getting annoyed with me for taking over their news feed on Instagram! Plus, it’s a chance for you all to see what I eat in a day and I know some people love that. I know I do.

Breakfast – 11am

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I eat beans on toast probably about four times a week now I’m not counting macros and I just can’t get enough. It’s so quick and easy to throw together. I always eat my beans with onion of sorts; white, red, spring onion, they’ve all gone into my beans at some point and it’s an easier way to sneak in some more nutrition too.

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I ate breakfast with my sister today and we both added the Dang savoury bacon, coconut flakes to our meals. We were excited to try them because they were coconut flakes that were supposed to taste like bacon, but they were also vegan, dairy free, gluten free and cholesterol free too. However, we were both left very disappointed with the flavour, since they tasted nothing like bacon; just plain old coconut flakes. We tried them both on our food and on their own and the flavour was the same – sweet and coconutty. Although, we both  agreed that they were still nice, just sweet instead of savoury bacon.

Alfie loved them too and he couldn’t get enough.

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Lunch – 2pm

I kept lunch light and had a protein bar along side a Rebel Kitchen coffee mylk and out of the two that I have tried, the coffee is my favourite. You can view my review for the matcha drink here.

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I had also planned to have a crackin egg, but I just couldn’t stomach it in the end. You can read the reviews for the eggs here.

I went for the low carb birthday cake bar by Oh yeah. I’m a huge fan of all of the oh yeah products, although, the big bars will always be my favourite.

The trouble with birthday cake flavours is that they often taste like vanilla and I guess vanilla is one of the main ingredients in standard birthday cakes, but sadly, always a let down in protein bars. I don’t know why they just don’t call birthday cake flavours, vanilla and be done with it.

However, this oh yeah protein bar may be a revelation where the birthday cake flavour is concerned.

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Firstly it was covered in sprinkles and if you cover something in sprinkles then it bloody well better taste like birthday cake! And it did! Well, at the very least it wasn’t vanilla: it had a sweet marzipan taste to it. But, it was so delicious and soft. I think this flavour has now become my favourite from the oh yeah low carb range. It’s a definite must try that’s for sure.

Dinner – 5pm

For dinner I had sweet potato fries which I coated in the gym chef seasoning, along side the red cabbage slaw I made yesterday, plus a huge salad with added Quorn chicken pieces and Quorn mince.

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  • Red Cabbage
  • White Onion
  • Carrot
  • 2 tbsp Alpro Plain Yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt to Season

Shred the cabbage, finely chop the onion and grate the carrot. Mix it with the other ingredients and boom – red cabbage slaw!

I’m becoming a huge fan of these gym chef seasonings, they are full of flavour, but also salt free too. Although, they are £2.99 for a 50g pot, so I’m not sure if they are value for money. That said, a little does go a very long way. I find them especially useful for adding to chickpeas, lentils, tofu, Quorn; basically food that is bland, but can absorb flavour. But, obviously you can coat food in them too.

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After talking to my sister and making her try a sweet potato chip with the gym chef seasoning, we both changed our minds on the price and we actually now believe that £2.99 is great value for money because it is very tasty, it smells amazing and they are also quite spicy and flavourful, without any nasty additives.

If you don’t mind paying £2.99 for a small pot, then I highly recommend them.

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Evening Meal – 9pm

For my last meal I plan to have one of my Welsh cakes with a cup of tea, like the old granny that I am and also some of this propercorn. I’ve reviewed propercorn before, in a previous post. But, since I’ve found a new flavour I thought I’d say a few words about it.

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Fiery Worcester Sauce & Sun Dried Tomato, an unusual flavour of popcorn wouldn’t you agree? Believe it or not the flavours worked really well with the popcorn itself and the flavour’s -Fiery Worcester Sauce & Sun Dried Tomato – were both distinguishable and definitely present. However,  it smelled a lot more spicy and tomato-y than it tasted.

You can buy the oh yeah bars, dang coconut flakes and gym chef seasoning from Cardiff Sports Nutrition and use my code – HAPPY10 – to save yourself 10% at the checkout. The discount code can’t be used on items that have been reduced in price and it’s only limited to one use per person.

The rebel kitchen mylk and propercorn can be bought from Holland & Barett – I bought those myself 😉

Disclaimer: While I was sent the above products by Cardiff Sports Nutrition to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I always try to deliver honest, unbiased reviews which are always based off of my own experience with the products.

For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram.

 

 

Full Day of Eating: What Are Your Macros?

I haven’t had as much time to cook or bake this week, which is why my Instagram posts have been quite mundane and chocolate free. Meals have been simple, although, still delicious, balanced and healthy. Today, I decided to roughly track my macros for this specific post; mainly out of curiosity as to whether I am getting enough calories now that I’m not eating any butter, dairy, or as many eggs.  If I have learned one thing today, it is how much I loathe tracking macros. It’s such a tedious chore, so please don’t expect this every week or even once a month because I just don’t have the focus for it anymore.

NB: The macros are a guess as I don’t own a weighing scale, but I think the guesstimating is pretty damn good, if I do say so myself 😆

Breakfast -11am

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Ihad breakfast around the same time as I always do – 11am – straight after my first coffee of the day. Today I decided to try something different, something which I have never made before – a smoothie bowl. If you are a part of the social media community you will know that these smoothie bowls have become very popular over the last few years: smoothie bowls are a thicker version of a smoothie drink which you eat from a bowl and with a spoon; you can then top them with whatever you like. My smoothie bowl was my jungle protein shake recipe that I made a few weeks ago, only with the addition of two frozen bananas and alpro plain yoghurt. This smoothie bowl had all sorts of nutritious ingredients in it from; turmeric, to spinach, and vegan plant based protein powder, and so much more. I topped mine off with  1/3 cup of all natural muesli, blueberries, blackberries, choc shot, sultanas, pumpkin seeds and pecans. It was delicious. I was surprised because essentially it’s just blended fruit and vegetables with almond milk, but I throughly enjoyed it and it filled me up for over three hours which is quite rare. I will definitely be making more of these in the summer because it is just too cold to be eating these in the spring, as I learned today.

Macros

Cals: 706 | Carbs: 88g | Fat: 19g | Protein: 40g | Fibre: 18g|

Lunch – 1.45pm

As I haven’t had time to bake any healthy bakes this week; I have had to resort to snacks that I have in my cupboard. Today’s choice of snack was half a  bakewell flapjack from Holland and Baretts own range (I promise I’m not sponsored by them) these came from the same massive order I made the other week and I will say I was very disappointed. Flapjacks are my absolute favourite thing in the world, I love them. But, this bakewell flapjack was very bland with a white chocolate topping and loaded with unnecessary calories and sugar.I definitely won’t be purchasing these again or eating them. I washed the bland flapjack down with a matcha green tea, rebel kitchen mylk drink which again I got from Holland and Barrett.

The rebel kitchen mylk was different to how I imagined it to be. I’ve never tried matcha before and this was my first time trying anything matcha flavoured too and I’m not sure what I think about it. Firstly, I was expecting a green drink, close t0 the colour green on the packaging. So, I was surprised to be faced with a chocolate colour, that was watery in texture: I’m guessing the colour was from the use of date nectar as there is nothing on the label that indicates the use of cacao. I did shake the bottle before pouring the drink and even then it still separated, so the drink was quite grainy and it left residue on the glass. As for flavour, I can’t really compare it to anything; it wasn’t bitter, but it wasn’t overly sweet either and I guess the flavour which I wasn’t familiar with, was the matcha. However, it was pleasant and I enjoyed it. I probably should have shook the bottle a bit more aggressively, but it was nice and if I see this again on offer I’ll definitely pick it up, as it was a welcome change to drinking water all day, plus it’s extremely nutritious, all natural and vegan too. The only complaint I had with it was that it did have a funny effect on my stomach and made it all gurgly; I’m not sure why either. So, I probably wouldn’t drink this out in public, from fear of embarrassment *insert gritting teeth emoji here*

Macros

Cals: 380 | Carbs: 52g| Fat: 17g | Protein: 4g| Fibre: 2.6g |

Dinner – 5pm

image.jpegI had a Linda McCartney style burger for dinner; in a white roll with salad, and onions; I also made a relish sauce with cherry toms, white onion, maple syrup, cayenne and ACV to top off my burger and I ate it with roasted broccoli and asparagus, plus some baby beets and mustard on the side. I rarely have white bread because it does upset my stomach, but as the matcha drink had already made it feel slightly unsettled I threw caution to the wind and ate the damn bread anyway and I enjoyed it. This was actually one of the best meals I’ve eaten this week.

 Macros

Cals: 622 | Carbs: 58g | Fat: 20g | Protein: 45g | Fibre: 17g |

I have also had 2 pieces of dark chocolate, a few M&S, a cup of tea and around four coffees, macros aren’t included for the burger ‘relish’ or beets either because I have better things to do than track vegetables 😉

And that concludes another full day of eating for this week.I would usually eat something around nine, but I don’t have any snacks left and cooking is out of the question. But, I  do have some weird vegetable crisps and propercorn on order from – you guessed it – Holland and Barrett, which hopefully will be here by the weekend.

For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram

 

Jungle Protein Milkshake

For a while I’ve seen people adding vegetables  to their smoothies and I swore that I would never do such a thing – vegetables are for plates and not for drinks and I was happy with that, until this morning. I don’t know what happened, but I had an urge to make a milkshake and something inside of me was telling me to add spinach. Now, don’t worry. I’m not that cray cray, that I’m now hearing voices. No. It was more of a craving deep from within my body and I couldn’t ignore it. I’ve been having spinach with everything lately and I go through phases like this every so often then get sick of it, so I decided to give it a whirl why I was going through my phase and oh boy, did I enjoy this jungle protein smoothie. And before you all wince at the thought, no, I couldn’t taste the spinach.

 

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Although, you can see bits of green that my blender failed to blend, but that wasn’t a problem for me, because I enjoyed it nonetheless and it was the thickest, richest, chocolatiest, milkshake I’ve ever had. Plus, it was also packed with nutrition, antioxidants and turmeric to boost the immune system. What I loved most was that I finally got to use the vegan protein powder and enjoy it thoroughly, because all the other flavours masqueraded the pea protein – it’s a miracle.

 

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I would just like to add that this milkshake is quite thick and I did eat mine with a spoon, but you can add in more milk if you prefer to drink it with a straw

Ingredients

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Spinach Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Peanut Flour
  • 1 tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 1 tbsp Date Jam
  • 1 Scoop Vegan Mocha Protein Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Cream for topping (optional)

Directions

This is as simple as adding all of the ingredients (minus the coconut cream) to a high speed blender and blending until everything is completely smooth.

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Now, pour the milkshake into a glass, top with some coconut whipped cream, put your feet up and enjoy.

For more recipes follow me on Instagram – @TheHungryWelshGirl and tag me in any of my recipes that you try – I would love to hear what you think.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Flapjacks

I used to love flapjacks growing up as a kid, the chewiness from the oats combined with the sugar made the little treats so moreish. Now i’m all grown up, I crave flapjacks every so often and as I’m wiser; I now know how easy these babies are to make. But also how easy they are to make healthier too.

image.jpegI realise that flapjacks in other parts of the country are in fact pancakes, so to omit any confusion, these flapjacks are peanut butter and chocolate ganache breakfast bars and you do not have to cook them. Although, you can the bake for 10 minutes if you want.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Natural Muesli (No Added Sugar)
  • 1/2 Cup Pure Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 100g Dark Chocolate 75% or higher
  • 80ml Milk
  • 1 Square White Chocolate (optional)

Directions

  • This part is as easy as placing the oats, muesli, honey, vanilla, coconut oil (if you are using it) and the peanut butter into a bowl and combining the ingredients until the muesli and oats stick together, then add the mixture to a baking tray and press the mixture into the tin evenly. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
  • Take your dark chocolate and chunk it into smaller pieces and place half of the mixture into a saucepan to melt. When the chocolate has melted proceed to add the milk and the second half of the chocolate and leave on the stove, on a low heat until the chocolate thickens. Remove and leave to cool.
  • When your flapjack base has set, add the cooled chocolate to the top and place back in the fridge or freezer until the ganache has set completely, this may take longer than 1 hour.
  • Lastly, chunk the White chocolate and place in a small dish and into the microwave for 1 minute, stir and drizzle over the flapjacks when they are set.
  • Slice the flapjacks into bars and eat on the go, for a snack, or as part of your kids breakfast or lunch.

NB: For better results bake for 10 minutes on a medium heat and then place in the freezer to harden. The base seems to set better with the coconut oil. For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram – @TheHungryWelshGirl and tag me in any of the recipes you try. I would love to see what you create and hear what you think.

 

Peanut Butter Crusted French Toast

At the beginning of the year I made and ate so much protein French toast that eventually the mere sight of it, made me want to gag and the same goes for proats too. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of making either ever again – until Christmas eve. As most of you know or should know, I follow a flexible/balanced approach to eating and I practise this all year around. So when Christmas sneaks up on me, I never feel the need to overindulge and I rarely do. But, when I came up with this idea late on Christmas eve, eve; I couldn’t wait to create it and I definitely felt like I was overindulging, but I didn’t care and I ate every morsel. Continue reading “Peanut Butter Crusted French Toast”

Sticky Toffee Date Pudding

dsc_0662I’ve never actually eaten sticky toffee pudding before. Although, I have always fancied it. Who wouldn’t? A rich, gooey vanilla date cake drowned in a sweet, sticky toffee sauce – the words on their own have me drooling. I don’t know why I’ve never eaten it, I guess I don’t eat out very often and when I do, I never have dessert. This cake is so easy to make and because there is a large amount of dates in the cake, the amount of fat required is pretty non-existent which is why I went all out for my toffee sauce and used grass-fed butter.

STP (blur).jpgThe sticky puding itself was so unctuous and delicious: gooey and crunchy with pecans on the inside. I loved it. Every bite I had, had me craving for more and it took all the willpower inside of me, not to eat the other three t00. These sticky toffee date puddings are small: ramekin sized, but do not be fooled by the size of these gems because only one kept me full for hours. I did use Kodiak Cakes power cakes pancake mix for these puddings, which I bought from Cardiff Sports Nutrition, but wholemeal flour can be used as a substitute.

Ingredients

  • 200g Soft Dates
  • 70g Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix
  • 30g Sukrin Coconut Flour
  • 60ml Vegan Milk
  • 35g Pecans
  • 100ml Water
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Sticky Toffee Sauce

  • 250ml Maple Syrup
  • 25g Grass-fed Butter (Margarine or Coconut Oil for vegan)
  • 30ml Milk
  • 1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  • Place the dates in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, reduce the heat and boil for another 10 minutes or until the dates are soft. Blend them into a puree, in a food processor.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and in a separate bowl beat the egg, add the egg into the dates and then stir the dates into the dry ingredients. The pudding mixture may be a bit sloppy.
  • Grease 3 ramekins and evenly fill them with the pudding mixture. Place the ramekins in a rectangular dish, with enough water in the bottom of the dish to cover it – cover the puddings with foil and cook the toffee date puddings for 25-30 minutes. The bain marie will steam the puddings and stop the sides from burning and sticking. But, it will also keep the inside of the puddings moist.
  • After 20 minutes remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Insert a knife into the centre of the cakes and if it is clean when removed, the cakes are done.

When your puddings are cooking, you can make the toffee sauce.

  • Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and milk. When the toffee sauce has thickened remove from the heat and pour over the warm toffee date puddings and serve immediately.

For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram – @TheHungryWelshGirl and tag me in any of the recipes you try as I would love to see what you create and hear what you think.

© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2016
All photos, recipes and texts are copyrighted unless otherwise stated.
All Rights Reserved.

Mini Figgy Puddings

 

img_0184This recipe was the first recipe I wrote back in October, just in time for Christmas and the one which I have been looking forward to making ever since. I even bought some cute holly and berries from Amazon, to top them with and I was pleased with myself because I had never seen this kind of take on a Christmas pudding before; that is until this week when one of the girls from Instagram (Sarah) stole the idea right out of my head – don’t you just hate it when that happens? 😉 You can view Sarah’s take on the mini Christmas pudding here and they do sound delicious. My mini figgy puddings are more of a traditional Christmas pudding though, sadly without the alcohol, but you can use brandy or Cointreau in yours if you prefer, all you will have to do is soak the fruit in the alcohol instead of the water and I would leave it for a few days to a week if you want a more potent pudding, but they’re small so maybe go easy 😉

I was very pleased with how these mini figgy puddings turned out, they were full of flavour from the fruit and spices and it all paired perfectly with the white chocolate topping. The best thing about these mini figgy puddings is that you don’t have to steam them or bake them for hours on end which means you can eat them as soon as you make them – winning! As this recipe is versatile, you could even fill ramekins and make proper mini figgy puddings, topped with brandy sauce too.

If you are wondering where you can buy your dried fruit and nuts without spending a fortune, I get all mine from Lidl; they sell 250g bag of dry fruit for just 99p and 500g bags of nuts for just over £1.

Ingredients

  • 100g Dried Figs
  • 100g Dates
  • 100g Sultanas
  • 50g St Clemente Marmalade
  • 50g Vegan White Chocolate
  • 50g Walnuts
  • 20g Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice/Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 Scoop of Vanilla or Cinnamon Protein Powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Fruit Water
  • 1/3 Cup Sweetener
  • 1 Cup Water or 45ml Brandy
  • Holly & Berry Toppings (optional)

Directions

Place all the dried fruit into a jar or container and the chia seeds into a separate jar or container and pour in the water or brandy, then cover and place the jar in the fridge overnight. If you are using the alcohol, you would benefit more if you leave the fruit soak for a day or two.

When you are ready to make your mini Christmas puddings, drain the fruit into a bowl and save 2 tablespoons of the water, before adding it to a food processor along with the dried fruit and chia seeds; making sure you blend the fruit until they are a thick, sticky puree, now add in the sweetener lemon zest, cinnamon and protein powder. You can fold in some halved sultanas, if you want them to have a more traditional look, if not then just leave them out.

Now for the fun part or not so fun part if you don’t like getting your hands dirty. Take 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into a ball, then place the ball on to some greaseproof paper and continue this method until all the mixture has been used and you have 18 mini figgy puddings. Pop the mini puddings into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, this is optional but it will help the puddings set quicker and also the chocolate when you add it.

Next, take the white chocolate and chunk it into smaller pieces, place half of the chocolate into a microwaveable bowl and into the microwave on high for 30 seconds. When finished, stir the chocolate and continue to cook for another 30 seconds before adding the second half of the chunked up chocolate, this time there is no need to heat the chocolate, just stir until the cold chocolate has melted into the hot white chocolate. This method is called tempering and it just saves the chocolate from blooming and turning a not so appetising dull colour the next day.

All that’s left now is to add the white chocolate icing, lastly, top with your holly and berry, take a pretty picture and tag me on Instagram: @Happy.Hungry.Healthy. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did.

 

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