Saturday, 31 August 2013

The art of letting go

So welcome to my cheat day! It's been awhile since I've had one and after a very stressful week at work I thought it was about time to have a worry free day.

When I first started losing weight and cutting back on the naughty things  I counted down the days till my cheat day and when that day finally came lets just say I went a little over board... But as the weeks went on I slowly began to not want a cheat day opting more for yogurt or the odd dark chocolate here and there. So now instead of a predetermined cheat days I take each day as it comes and after the week I had today seemed like the perfect time to let my hair down and enjoy a nice day out! 

It was by no means easy though because as much as endless cupcakes, chocolate and chai lattes sounds like the perfect girly day out, for me I've found it very hard to let go these past few weeks but I think we all get to that point when we have to force ourselves and today was that day.

 When your in a kitchen for 10 hour days covered in flour with no makeup you really appreciate the days your able to dress up.
 My soy chai half sweet latte, yes it's a mouth full to order but it sure taste yummy!
 For lunch we headed to Leon known as the naturally fast food chain, it's got amazing yummy food that's filling and doesn't leave you sick and bloated like other fast food chains.

 I ordered a sweet potato falafel wrap (baked not fried!), with their yummy house fries and an acai water juice. Going through a falafel phase and this sure did hit the spot!
 Dan ordered a classic chargrilled chicken wrap with fries and orange juice and for a boy who loves his fast food he was very impressed. Looking forward to going back there very soon!

Cupcakes! Dan tried to make me get a large one but I was determined to get the cute mini peanut butter cupcake because hello it was PEANUTBUTTER!

Found yet another American candy shop and yet again I went a little crazy but in my defence the Smorez cereal was seven pounds reduced to one pound! How could I say no to that... Mac and Cheese was an obvious choose as well as the gum, been looking for this flavour for ages and always like to take a few sticks to work to ward off those pesky mid afternoon munches.

So what's the big meaningful moral of my day you ask? Well life's meant to be enjoyed and as great it is to see the weight drop off and clothes fit me nicer it's always good to stop and remember why your doing it and who your doing it for? I love being fit and healthy and I wouldn't give it up for the world. But like most of you know I love food just as much and in order to stop myself from going loopy I've gotta indulge from time to time. So today calories don't exist I'm merely a girl enjoying some naughty goodies in her onesie.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Get up and go pancakes!

Morning all! Hope your having as good a morning ( afternoon/night..ahh the joy of time difference) as me! Not quite sure why I'm so chipper but I woke to a lovely morning and a lovely plate of food so how could I not feel good.

Onto my plate of yumminess, been craving pancakes so after a week of looking at countless recipes I just decided to make my own. Think it was around 11pm last night when I decided so a waked my blender out came up with a yummy recipe and put it in the fridge all ready for when I woke up. I really wanted blueberries so I knew that was a must ingredient I also wanted to incorporate yogurt as I thought it would give the same effect as butter milk. The result was wholesome and scrummy and even my partner in crime enjoyed them (pickiest eater on this planet)!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Recipe for my get up and go pancakes!

1/2 cup of almond milk (Or any milk you prefer)
1/2 cup of soy yogurt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. agave ( low GI!)
1 tsp. baking soda ( or twice as much baking powder)
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tsp. vanilla
hand full of blueberries

Easiest recipe ever just place everything in a blender and blend on high till the batter is a smooth consistency (or mix everything by hand if you don't own a blender, the blender merely makes the process quicker!). Now if your like me making this the night before is your best option as there's no fussing in the morning just turn on your pan and go, but don't worry you can always make it on the day the result might just vary slightly. Now when you place the batter into the pan this is when you sprinkle a few blueberries in, then flip, cook and enjoy! ( I had some agave and lemon on top of mine)

 Like my mum always use to say when you start to see bubbles its ready to flip!

 The real question is what to do with the rest of my day off??....

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Skinny Oatmeal fudge squares

This recipe always reminds me of a market stall by Waterloo station which sells American goodies and on one naughty cheat day I bought me and Dan a fudge oatmeal bar that was totally out of this world amazing! Pretty sure I've even done a post on the stall, their called the Outsider Tart. It was so fudgy and moreish that I just knew it was in no way good for me!

Calorific horror!

So I've endeavoured to find a recipe which I can enjoy and know that my 40 minutes spin class wont be ruined! The original recipe usually calls for a heap of eggs, butter and sugar, but with this recipe I've managed to cut all that out and make a small amount of chocolate go a long way.

Skinny Oatmeal Fudge squares

 1/2 cup  whole wheat flour
1/2 cup  quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup  dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
 pinch of salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
50g of 70% dark chocolate
2 cups marshmallows ( this is what makes the fudge fudgy!)
1/4 cup skim milk

Serves 10

Preheat oven to 160c. In a bowl stir together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and melted butter. Remove 1/4 cup of the mixture and place aside as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into a lined tin and bake for 20 minutes or until the base is golden and cooked.

Next combined the second lot of flour and salt and set aside.Then in a microwave safe bowl mix together chocolate, marshmallows and milk and in shots of 30 seconds cook and stir till everything is melted and smooth. When the base is cooked and cooled spoon in the yummy fudgy mixture and evenly spread, then sprinkle the remaining base mixture on the top. Next pop in the oven for 18-20 minutes and once cooked remove and let cool completely before cutting.

Calories- 160 per slice!

What a better way to end the weekend off then a slice of heavenly fudgy goodness! I'm ready to face a new week bring on Monday!

A day at the shop

Been wanting to do a day in the life post for ages and after a week of remembering to take photos I've finally come up with a cheeky little glimpse into what I get up to as a part time baker.

So each Monday, Wednesdays and Friday my alarm clock screams at me to wake up and even though I only live 10 minutes from my work and I start at 7am I really think it's important not to rush in the morning and be able to sit down enjoy your breaky (Starting with a hot lemon green tea of course!) and then slowly get ready for the day.

 My awesome Topshop onesie always cheers me up on those very dark early mornings!
 I always try to have oats in the morning as they keep me going longer. As someone who technically doesn't get a sit down break for the rest of the day it's all about grab and go, so I try to make my first meal count! This morning I had some yummy Swiss Muesli from WholeFoods with some yummy blueberries on top.
My morning snack (10.30am) consisted of an ice cold lemon water and one of my yummy 100% fruit rolls.

We liked to keep everything labelled so we know what's what. On the bottom level are the cakes we made that day to send to the front of house to be sold.
So this is my work area and this is the kind of stuff I get up to! That's a carrot cake in the background. It's quite a small kitchen seems we have to share with a cook, but we make it work and have heaps of fun at the same time!

This was my lunch, a tub of yogurt kinda like a British version of Chobani with my homemade granola.

It was a long day seems I was scheduled to finish at 2pm but ended up on till 7pm to help with weekend prep. I was one tired and worn out girl buy the end of the day!

Nothing like chilling on my bed after a long day with a bit of toast with hazelnut butter and sliced banana, ow and Pinterest! he he
So that's what a day at work looks like, it's very hectic and busy and hard to take out time for your self but I'm lucky as I get plenty of time off which I can dedicate to my singing career as well as focusing on making my blog bigger and better!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Low GI quinoa granola

One of my jobs as a baker is to make a granola each week for the shop. Now as good as it smells each time it's thrown in the oven the amount of oil and sugar that's used is enough to make any healthy girl cry with shame!

So this week I decided to make some of my own. As a London girl on a budget there was no money to go out and grab some fancy ingredients so what ever was lying around in my cupboards would have to do. But luckily I came across a few things I knew would make for a totally amazing crunchy granola, oats (duh), hazelnut butter, agave, sunflower seeds and QUINOA! Yes you heard right quinoa I'm totally obsessed with this stuff at the moment and as well as being crazy good for you the crunch it gives to the granola is so so addictive! Bake and enjoy.

Quinoa granola recipe-

4 servings

1/3 cup of oats
1/3 cup of quinoa
9 hazelnuts chopped
2 tsp. of sunflower seeds
4 tsp. of agave syrup
1/2 tbsp. of hazelnut butter

Preheat oven to 180c (350f). This is a one bowl wonder, just throw everything together mix and spoon onto a tray lined with baking paper. Be sure to spread it out so the granola bakes evenly and bang it the oven for 15 minutes*. Once baked leave on the bench to cool completely and then serve and enjoy!

Calories per servings- 115 calories

Tip* To check if a granola is ready place a small amount into the freezer for a few minutes and if it comes out crunchy you've got yourself a perfect batch of granola!

 I've named this experimental Thursday! Wasn't quite sure where this recipe would take me but dam am I happy with how it turned out.

 Look what Dan bought me to go with my granola!

Its yummy and crunchy and very very hard to stop eating (eating it as I type he he).

Nothing like a rainy Thursday enjoying some clean homemade bliss. Hope your day is full of something equally pleasing!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Healthy bites

These last few days have been a blast! My amazing parents lovingly gave me and Dan some money to go towards a worry free day in central London and after 3 days in a row at work it was a welcomed escape. The day started off with me heading to the gym for a core body class which was so not what I expected (we used exercise balls) and turned out to be very challenging and fun! After the class I was quite sore and tired but with the prospect of heading into central London I perked up straight away. We headed off to Borough Markets first where I got a delish drip coffee from Monmouth. These guys do amazing coffees and the line out the door and around the corner is a very good indication! The only down side for me however is the fact they only use one milk and one milk only, though its organic and great quality would of loved to be able to have some soy instead but hay ho it was only a small cup so there were no nasty side effects.

After that we headed to Oxford Street where we made a bee line for Selfridges, the food hall to be specific hehe. I bought a totally amazing and addictive organic hazelnut butter which has now I'm amazed to say replaced my peanut butter (Hello it taste like Nutella!). As well as that I picked up some yummy cheese called stinking bishops names horrid but the taste is so so good.

At this point it was already 5:30 and much to our surprise we still had quite a bit of money spare so we decided to head over to Covent Garden for an indulgent dinner. We headed to a restaurant we've been before (my 21st birthday post) called Joe's, its an awesome mix of American and Tex-Mex food in a cool dim lit  bar environment. Dan ordered the ''Chicken on a Brick'', Which was half chicken cook on a brick served with a side of mash potato and chicken gravy, It was so yummy and for the amount of food served it was a great price (12.50 pounds)! My order was something I've been dying to try for ages, my order was a ''Soft Shell Crab on a bun'' with chilli mayo and apple slaw! How yummy does that sound! The batter for the crab was out of this world good and the sweet bun was very addictive and yet again the value was amazing (7.45 pounds!). Definitely think this is going to become a regular venue for us!   

As well as our awesome Saturday I've also included other yummy healthy bites from last week.

 More Mexican!
 I've named this my overnight oatmeal jar and with a 5.30am wake up call being able to grab my food ready made is a big help!
 Protein packed breaky- egg whites with mashed avocado in a whole wheat tortilla.
 Chicken on a Brick!
 Soft Shell Crab Bun!
 New cereal I picked up from Whole Foods.
 This mornings breaky. Had my first ever Spin class last night and I woke up famished!
 My Whey Protein arrived this morning! Chocolate flavour (duh), review on this product will be coming soon.
Guys hard at work at Monmouth Coffee, they drip every coffee to order.

Hope you guys are all having a fun and healthy filled week, I'm off to enjoy my day off in the sunshine!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Cookies that could shrink your waistline!

COOKIES! Yes it a mega love hate relationship we share with these oweey gooey creations. Chocolate chip, Ginger snaps and Anzacs are just some of the many cookies I hold close to my heart, but apart from that what do they all share in common?.. Their high in fat, sugar and usually high in calories! Argh doesn't it make you want to cry.. But fear not cause I've been experimenting in my little box sized kitchen and I've come up with a no flour no butter and low cal cookie which is addictive!

The Base Recipe!

  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (or any nut butter you prefer).
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (the darker the better!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (Now you can use any oats, for example I used instant but its up to you)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    Preheat your oven to 200c. Combined everything into a big bowl and when all is mixed in place in fridge for a few minutes to give the mixture a chance to firm up. When that's over divide into little cute balls (makes 14-16) on a baking tray and pop in the oven! 15-20 minutes later you'll have a batch of cookies to die for.
    Now this is merely the base recipe the fun part is adding the yummy extras. Now make sure that what ever you add you remember the calories content will change. When I made these I added dark chocolate bringing these bad boys up to around 116 calories and without that naughty indulgence I'd say the calorie content would be just under 100.
    Some flavour ideas-
    Dark chocolate and orange zest
    Cinnamon and raisins (This is my next batch!) 
    Lemon and ginger
    The list can go on and on, you could even add protein powder to pump these up to an awesome pre workout snack.
    Hope you like this recipe as much as I do and be sure to share your flavour ideas cause I'm always looking for new ones!




    Thursday, 15 August 2013

    Healthy bites!

     Been awhile since I've done one of these! I'm proud to say even though I haven't been posting I've still been sticking to my healthy eating which has helped me stick at a steady 69kg ( My new and final goal for my weight is 65kg by the way!).

    With my part time baking job life's become a bit harder food wise, waking  up at 5.30am 3 days a week doesn't exactly scream big generous breakfast it screams grab and go.. But I've managed to find the time to pre cook my morning food or make yummy smoothies for those lazier mornings. With breakfast sorted my new dilemma is lunch, this is still a working progress seems my job intales being on my feet non stop (cause the quicker we bake the quicker we get to go home!). I try to pre cook salads when ever I get a chance but working in a kitchen does have it's benefits so when I'm staving there's always someone to whip me up a boiled egg or fresh juice.


     Dan wanted Mexican so I compromised by making him burritos and making myself a Mexican salad!

    On a trip to Stratford we were in the mood for Mexican (starting to see a pattern here..), I got a massive and healthy naked veggie burrito bowl.

     Look what I found in Stratford, Boost! In Australia this is my FAVIOURTE smoothie shop and I didn't know they sold them in the UK until I walked past this beauty. I ordered a tasty raspberry and banana low fat smoothie.
     My failed attempt at cooking with yeast... 
     My awesome parents sent me a amazing goodie box filled with a cooking magazine, chocolates for Dan, a totally amazing out of this world gluten free cereal ( which I had my last bowl of today, not happy...) and a bag of one of my favourite chocolate treats mini Cherry Ripes.
    The fruits of my hard labour. One of the benefits of being a baker, left overs! Don't worry Dan ate most of them and I enjoyed one on my cheat day.

    Ok well I'm off been a long day.. Spent two hours at the gym in the morning doing a body stability class and a yoga class followed by going to work on my day off to prep bake for 5 hours which included 11 banana breads, 6 pistachios, 2 carrot cakes, 3 brownies 3 ginger breads ow and a shed load of homemade baked beans!...

    Green tea time night night

    Tuesday, 13 August 2013

    Nigel Slater book reveiw

    I've become a tad obsessed with my library, I think I've hired over 10 books in the last week! And one book in particular has stolen my heart and that's Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Dairies II. This book is full of simple wholesome beautiful cooking and there's a recipe for every day of the year!

    Nigel Slater is an amazing cook everything he makes is in season, fresh and isn't fussy (my kind of food!). His book is beautifully written,  it's like a dairy full of nothing but truth and yummy food. He doesn't sugar cover anything, when his lazy and not in the mood to cook he says and comes up with a brilliant recipe to reflect his mood.

    This book shows perfectly how simple cooking and flavours can really be. People these days complain and carry on about how foods prices are going up, healthy foods so expensive blah blah blah... Something as simple as grilled mushrooms with garlic butter on toasted sourdough is something so simple and perfect and hardly cost a dime! Venture out go to your local green grocers, international supermarkets, try new things, experiment with new flavours, it could open you to a whole new world of flavours and save your hard earned cash for something far more important (like shoes!).

    Ow did I mention nothing goes to waste, so with that in mind how about invent something new and wonderful today? Check what you got lying around and makes something awesome!

    As you can see Nigel Slater has really inspired me this week so I highly recommend his book and any of his books for that matter ( heading to pick up his next book tomorrow!).

    And here's what I whipped up tonight thanks to this amazing book.