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For the love of crisps…..

January 12, 2011

I’m hungry!! Or do i just think i am??? The husband come in from work with a massive bag of Tyrells crisps…my favourite flavour too! Salt & Sherry vinegar flavour – they were vegan so i could have had them but i wanted to see how much i could resist them…it was hard!! But i did it, i showed some self control and did not snack before my dinner was ready!! I am fine during the day, i eat my allocated food and hardly feel the need to snack but as soon as i get home, i just eat and eat and eat! I am not being restrictive with what i eat at the moment, i just wanted to resist the need to snack as half the time i am not hungry, i am just bored!!

So this morning i had the same breakfast as yesterday Nature’s Path Maple Syrup and Hazelnut Harmony cereal – here is the ingredients…

Crunchy wheat, flax flakes with toasty hazelnuts, crispy oat clusters and a delightful dash of maple syrup.

Ingredients

Wholegrain cereals* (whole wheat meal*, rolled oats*, wheat bran*, brown rice flour*, oat bran*, quinoa flour*, spelt flour*, millet flour*), evaporated cane juice*, roasted hazelnuts* 5%, flax seeds* 4%, soy oil*, barley malt extract*, sea salt, maple syrup* 1%, coconut*, natural maple flavour, oat syrup solids*, tocopherols (natural vitamin E), molasses*, cinnamon*. * denotes ingredients are organic

Not bad huh? I shall be purchasing this wonderful cereal again!

For lunch i had the same as what i had for dinner last night Hoppin’ John Salad.

So i moved onto something new for this evenings dinner – Curried Lentil Soup (click link for full ingredients). It was another super dooper easy recipe courtesy of the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart website. To make the soup i used;

  • Red Lentil
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder (mild)
  • **my own addition Garam Masala (not pictured)

Unfortunately my iphone had a fit and deleted the photos of the soup preparation – i put the onion, tomato and celery in my food processor and gave it a little whirl, i then added this to approx 2 cups of water and the lentils, i let it simmer for about 5 minutes then added the garlic and spices – that was basically it!

Whilst this was cooking, i made myself a Green Monster in the hope that it would distract me from the crisps…it worked!! I mixed baby spinach, rice milk and frozen berries together – it turned out to be not so much green but dark purple! It was super yummy though!

 

I made myself some croutons by slicing a piece of bread into cubes and frying it in a little olive oil (if you look at the back you can see the soup simmering!) **(you can also see the husbands mince beef cooking – this has nothing to do with my meal!!!!!)**

 

The finished product….

 

I didn’t realise when i took the pic that you can’t actually see the soup for the croutons! I have lots left over so will take one tomorrow of the soup so you can see it!

The soup was divine, this will definately be made again, it was so quick, cheap and easy to make but still had all the flavour – the croutons were a bit of a treat but i just really fancied them :o)

I’m now in bed enjoying my second treat of the day a Nakd bar – pure bliss in my world of no chocolate or sugar!!

 

My last treat of the night which is not food related is this talc…

Strange you might think, but i love the smell of this talc, my nan and poppy used to have it in their house all the time so it reminds me of them. Sadly they are no longer with me, so this simple reminder makes me feel so content.

Well i hope you are all having a good week – i will be responding to your comments tomorrow when i have more time, but for now it is goodnight.

The Kickstart So Far…

January 11, 2011

So i have just completed day 2 of the kickstart and find it hard to believe that i am already 2lb lighter!!!! I am not following the plan in exact order but am using the recipes within the plan, this means that i do not waste as much food.

Here is what i ate on Day 1:

For breakfast (which i normally skip if i am not blogging!) i had porridge made with rice milk, i mixed in a pear and sprinkled it with cinnamon – instead of diving for the caffeine i went for hot water with lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper…

For lunch i had the Cous Cous Confetti Salad + carrot and red pepper soup which i blogged about making here.

Through the day i had caffeine free teas and water – no caffeine what so ever!! I have really been struggling with getting to sleep of a night so wanted to see whether it was the sugar and caffeine keeping me awake, i will come back to that in a moment.

When i got in from work i was allowed a piece of toast with peanut butter – i gobbled it down – i was really missing the bread – i LOVE bread!

 

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I also dived into my Twinings box which i was sent a while ago, the lovely people at Twinings sent me a box full of tea!

I was finding i was feeling a little nauseous so thought the toast and a Digestif tea may help.

Once i had my tea and toast i started to get a roaring headache – i actually felt like a migraine was starting – the husband got the duvet for me and i curled up on the sofa – i felt rotten. I should have made my first vegan dinner but decided to save it for the next night and not eat.

I went to bed at 11pm and slept like a baby = result!!! Maybe the caffeine and sugar illimination was worth it!

 

Day 2:

I woke up feeling fine and well rested! No headache, no nausea. I think a mixture of sugar/caffeine withdrawal and exhaustion caused me to feel so rotten.

I started my day with a hot water and lemon (i forgot to add the cayenne pepper). Today i was allowed cereal so i had a bowl of this which i bought at the good food show…i forgot to take my own photo – sorry!

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I used rice milk (which is so much nicer than soya) and added a few dried apricots for sweetness – this cereal is so nice!

For lunch i had the rest of the Cous Cous Confetti Salad and a couple of dried apricots. Again today i just stuck to the water but i do confess that i had a very weak tea after lunch (i had a major slump) but felt guilty as it did contain powdered milk and sugar :o(

I had physio tonight as i had a car crash just before xmas and damaged my back, i got in later than usual and almost asked the husband whether he wanted to go out to eat, but changed my mind and started making the dinner that i should have had the previous night…Hoppin John Salad! (click link for full recipe).

I chopped up some celery, tomato and spring onion…

And cooked some brown rice and simmered the black beans that i have had soaking…

For the sauce, i needed to add some garlic, so i used this which i also got from the Good Food Show…

It’s from a company called very lazy – which i am!! You have to use 1 tsp for every clove that you would normally use, i mixed this with lemon juice and olive oil…

Whilst i was waiting for the rice and beans to cook, i had the tough decision of what tea to have today mmmmm….

I opted for fruit tea…

and it was yummy!! The orange flavour really worked with cranberry, i think i will be having this one again. I also munched on a fingertip of peanut butter – if it is on your finger and not on a spoon – it doesn’t count right???

Once the rice and beans were cooked i put them into a bowl and mixed in the veggies and sauce mix…

 

Vegan dinner is served!!!

When i first saw this in my bowl i thought that won’t fill me up? But actually i only ate half as i was stuffed! I have loads left over for lunch tomorrow – this tasted so good – it’s all about the flavouring with these vegan meals…i have one problem with this diet so far…the beans bloat me (& i am a little windy!!! :o\ ) but i am putting this down to my body getting used to eating proper food!! How are all your detox’s and healthy starts to the year going?

21 Day Vegan Kickstart

January 9, 2011

 

Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail!!!

I have spent the best part of today planning for the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart – like i said yesterday, i am not planning to go vegan, this plan just suits my needs at the moment.

As i love cooking on Sunday afternoons, i went to Tesco and got everything i needed from the shopping list provided – i fortunately had a lot of the ingredients in the cupboard so only spent £33!! This included other things for the hubby as he will be eating normal meals, it is just me on the plan.

I decided to get two of the recipes ready for the next couple of days. The recipes on the plan are for 4 people so i halved the quantities of the ingredients so i have enough for a few meals for myself for the week.

Recipe #1 – Cous Cous Confetti Salad (click the link for full recipe)

For the recipe you will need;

  • Cous cous
  • Salad Onion
  • Carrot
  • Bell Pepper
  • Red Cabbage
  • Dried Apricots
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Curry Powder (i chose mild)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

First i added boiling water to the cous cous, covered it and left it for 10 minutes…

 

 

Meanwhile i chopped all the veggie ingredients in my little food processor, this made life a lot easier than chopping everything finely! I then mixed this into the cous cous…

 

 

Does it look like confetti???

 

I then mixed the lemon juice, olive oil, rice vinegar and curry powder together and poured it over the salad…

 

 

I had a little try of the salad…it was delicious, i need to try and not raid the fridge and keep eating it!!

 

Recipe #2 Carrot & Red Pepper Soup(click link for full recipe)

For this soup you will need;

  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Carrots
  • Lemon Juice
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Soya milk (i used Rice Milk)
  • Water

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I chopped the carrot and onion in my food processor – i really hate chopping, therefore i love my little gadget!

 

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I then mixed the onion/carrot with water and simmered for 10 minutes…

 

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Meanwhile I roasted the pepper under the grill to make it easier to remove the skin, this also makes the pepper go really sweet – my kitchen smelt heavenly!

 

 

The pepper was added to the onion/carrot and blended, the liquid ingredients was mixed in at the end…

 

I had a little taste, i usually find soups that i make very bland and don’t really enjoy them but this was something else…full of flavour and just delicious.

 

So tomorrow i will be a ‘vegan’ so to speak for 21 little teeny tiny days! I had some mozzarella in the fridge that i wanted to use up so made a mozzarella and tomato tart using Jus-Rol ready made pastry, spread with tomato puree and topped with the cheese and cherry tomato.

 

 

I also had a lot of bananas to eat up so i made a Banana & Chocolate Crumble, this is so quick and easy. Slice the banana up and throw in some chocolate, i then covered the mix with ready made crumble…

 

One last treat before ‘Project Optimum Health’ begins…

 

Ps The crumble is not all for me!!! I imagine my husband will eat most of eat throughout the week!!!

Forks Over Knives…

January 8, 2011

I saw this trailer today on Youtube for the film ‘Forks Over Knives’ and would love to see the movie but think it is only going to be released in the US! 😦

Learn more about the films content here.

 

 

I like the message in this trailer, that food can be a medicine…it can literally reverse diseases such as diabetes, cancer etc. It made me realise that GOOD food is so much more powerful than medication and it is so freely available.

This week i have suffered headaches so I took pain killers, heartburn so i took Gaviscon and bad acne, so used copious amounts of zit cream!!

I know why i have all of the above, it is the after effects of months of over indulging and not caring what i put in my mouth, even my sleep is being affected, i lie awake until 2am, almost feeling anxious but i am unsure why? Is it the 100’s to 1000’s of extra calories in my body that i am just not burning?

If this is how i feel after a couple of months, what the hell would i feel like if i carried on like this for a couple of years????

It’s definitely time to at least try…i still have the power to reverse all these awful effects on my body…and i, like the next person love a challenge, so what to do????

At first i thought a complete detox…this is ok but living off fruit and veg only over x number of days is just not me…i scoured the internet looking for the ultimate food plan…the only criteria was i want to eat CLEAN and enjoy the food within…i was very excited to find the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart.

I wrote a post not long ago about how i stopped enjoying the pressures of healthy eating so i am just going to promise myself that i will TRY the plan – if i have a bad day however, i will not self-loathe i will brush myself off and try again!!

I am not saying either that i am going to become Vegan, i just like the plan…i have the most painful bloated tummy at the mo so i want to eliminate as many sensitive foods as possible until i feel better. Who knows i may return to being vegetarian…i may not…there is no pressure anymore in Healthy Amy’s world!!

Now if you would excuse me i need to get my spotty self onto the kickstart website and start devising my menu for the week…oh how my body is craving fresh, wholesome food! x

Why this New Year will be different…

January 2, 2011

…i will get to that later!!

Let me just show you what a lovely New Years Eve i had this year – my youngest niece turned 6 years old so hubby and I went to celebrate with her up in Nottingham. We went bowling, ate lots of food and she had a wonderful cake made by her nan (my mom – which was delicious). I also got to see my eldest niece and my baby twin nephews (who are just gorgeous)! I’ll let the pics do the talking…

 

The girls were better bowlers than me! the birthday girl gives a thumbs up.

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Cuddle time with the boys…

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Me with my beautiful nieces and nephews…

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The Sweetie Cake!!!

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So adorable!!

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So back to the title of my blog, why is this New Year going to be different??

Well husband and I have been thinking about it for a while and have decided that we want to start a little family of our own, so i want to lose a little bit a weight first (approx 14lbs) and get as healthy as i can be to enable me to hopefully get pregnant. We are going to be very relaxed about it though and let mother nature take its course when it is ready. I have not decided if i am going to discuss this in much detail throughout the year on my blog or whether just to announce it if we have any good news, basically i do not want to get stressed about the whole thing!! But this has given me a fantastic reason to consider the nutritional value of everything i eat/drink.

Okay, so it wouldn’t be new year if i did not put some goals down for the year ahead right?…so here goes…

  1. In order to save money we stopped our membership at the gym (we were wasting £60 a month not using it – crazy) so i am going to turn our dining room into a mini ‘gym’. I will do weight training, yoga and cardio DVD’s in there – i’m going old school!
  2. Eat nutritionally rich food 95% of the time (bad food is allowed now and again so i do not feel deprived)
  3. Drink lots of water and green/herbal tea – i drink far too much caffeine!
  4. I sometimes get a little stressed out and fed up for no reason so i would really like to learn relaxation techniques/meditation to ensure my mind is as healthy as my body.
  5. I watch too much tv, i would like to read at least one book a month & review it on my blog.
  6. I need to be more organised and try to remember to send birthday/anniversary etc cards on time!
  7. My ultimate end of year goal is to be pregnant!!!

I hope on 1st January 2012 i will have a tick by most of my goals xxx

Boxing Day Dip in the Sea Brrrrr!!!

December 26, 2010

I wish i could say that it was I that ran into the sea for a dip today but i am far too much of a wimp to even contemplate going into the sea, even at the height of a British Summer!! But there are a number of (*crazy*) individuals in the South West of England that ran into the freezing cold sea today to raise money for charity – we went along to watch but did not expect the crowds, we only got to see the swimmers once they were out of the water. The temperature outside was recorded as –4C!!!

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It was also the first time in a very long time that the snow has fallen at the seaside and stayed there, normally the salt in the sea melts the snow before it can settle…Picture 012

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It certainly cleared the cobwebs walking in the cool, sea air.

We then ventured over to Ollie’s aunt and uncles house for a buffet – ARGHHH!! More food but i love boxing day food – we had bubble and squeak. If you do not know what this is, you have missed out – big time!!  You take all the left over veggies from xmas day and mash them together, you sprinkle the mashed up veg with cheese and bake in the oven until golden brown – Delicious!

I also got to watch Ollie’s cousins play on their dance wii game, it felt like quite a work out i can tell you!

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They also had a new shooting game, so i have been shot more times than i can remember today!! Here is the big child himself, my husband Ollie playing;

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And this has to be my favourite shot of the day…as i was taking a photo of Ricky he shot the gun at me, which just missed the camera!!! Can you see the orange bullet coming towards me?? He loves me really!

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I love meeting up with family at xmas, i will be having xmas day #2 on the 28th Dec so can not wait to blog about that and i am also seeing my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews on new years eve.

Xmas day #1 was a low key event with the in-laws at our house, as we are having proper xmas day on the 28th when Ollies brother and wife will be coming down from Scotland, but here is a photo of us eating our rather scrummy xmas dinner yesterday;

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Happy Boxing Day All! x

Oh the weather outside is FRIGHTFUL!!!

December 20, 2010

It’s still snowing – i used to like the snow, that was until last Friday when a car travelling in the other direction skidded head on in to me!! One bump and a sore neck/shoulders later i don’t like the stuff!!! Or at least driving in the stuff ;o)

There is possibly £2000 worth of damage but i am fully insured – thank goodness, there are so many people worse off than me as a result of the weather, so if you are reading this – PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY!!

I do love looking and walking in the white stuff though…when i moved to Devon a couple of years ago from the Midlands, many people said that i will not see snowfall that bad living near the coast… i guess they were wrong – check out these shots…

The snow first thing this morning…

 

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Below shows the depth of the snow that fell over night, as you can see i have not ventured into work today as i have no car and no one wanted to drive in who can blame them!

  

 

Our town Christmas tree, it’s little lights are still shining through.

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The one nice thing about the snow is it does feel very Christmassy and as i love love love xmas films i plan to watch one or two of these today….

xmas

 

And enjoy my cosy fire and fairy lights;

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I just need to resist eating all the lovely food i have in the house to eat over xmas!