Tag: feeling fabulous

Feeling Fabulous and More Healthy Meals

I’m still on the hunt to make meals that are healthy, full of vegetables and made from scratch. It’s been tough, I won’t lie. The amount of time it takes to find meals to eat, plan a menu and shopping list in order to have meals that are healthy and that we actually we want to eat is immense! I know it’s because we’re trying new things and it’ll get easier and quicker, but it’s slightly overwhelming at times. Especially when you find a recipe to try and instead of taking the 50 minutes it says it takes to prep and cook, it takes an hour and a half and you don’t get to eat until 8pm. That’s really annoying. Please note, recipe writers, we don’t all have Michelin chef standard chopping skills!

Banana Berry Pancakes

banana berry pancakes


Regular readers will know that pancakes for breakfast is my favourite. However, eating lots of white flour makes my tummy unhappy so I’ve been looking for alternatives. This was another recipe that looked quite easy and delicious, but took me a little longer than anticipated! They take a bit longer to make than regular pancake mix and they weren’t as easy to cook as the mixture is quite sticky, hence the darker colour! I liked these and I especially liked the berry sauce that went with it. I might make them again, but I’ll probably try another recipe or two first.

Winter Tagine

Winter Tagine

I wrote about this last week and I’ve made it again for me to have for lunch. It works perfectly as a lunch, as it’s quick and easy to warm up, tastes delicious and is far more exciting than an egg sandwich. This time, I halved the amount of liquid and cooked it for longer, though I’m not sure how much longer, I just did it until it looked thick enough. The good news is, that in it’s reduced liquid state, my OH has said it can go back on the menu! Hurrah!

Quorn Paella

Quorn PaellaWe got this from the Quorn cookbook. It’s packed with veg, which is ace and it’s really, really nice. However, we think we used the wrong kind of rice and it took ages to cook. By ages, I mean at least an hour longer than anticipated. How we didn’t give up and get take away, I’ll never know! We will be making it again, though, as it was really tasty.

Pasta & Sausages with homemade sauce

Pasta & SausagesThis is our go-to super quick dinner. Quorn sausages, wholemeal pasta and a massive salad. It can be ready in about 10 minutes if you thaw the sausages out. We normally use a jar of Seeds of Change organic tomato and chilli sauce but I fancied making our own from scratch and came across this recipe on Pinterest. It was incredibly easy and I’ll definitely be using it again. I’m going to try and add some chilli next time to spice it up a bit but it was really good.

Lentil & Mushroom Ragu

Lentil & mushroom ragu

I had high hopes for this recipe. Not only is it full of veg and lentils (I feel super chuffed whenever I use lentils this days!) Plus, in the write up for the recipe, it said that it’s great for meat eaters. It took a bit longer to prepare (30 minutes instead of 10!) and a bit longer to cook (over an hour instead of 40 minutes!) than it states, but for me, it was well worth it. It was delicious. I’m glad there’s leftovers as it’s really good, really filling and healthy too. I’d like to think I’ll make it again, but knowing how long it takes, I’m not sure if I will.

I’ve found it quite frustrating this week, to be honest. I’ve been overtired a bit and staying on track has taken a huge amount of willpower, especially as I’m a reluctant cook at the best of times. However, we have stayed on track, which is nothing short of a miracle! I’ve been close to ordering take away more than once this week but have stayed strong and I’m sure it’ll pay off. I’ve already got a few recipes I want to try next week so I’m looking forward to testing them. Have you tried any new recipes this week? How did it go?

Feeling Fabulous with Healthy Dinners

One of the areas my diet has been lacking is not enough vegetables and too many carbs. This is something that I’ve been trying to rectify, especially with our evening meals. It’s not always easy, as I have little patience for cooking from scratch, plus I don’t always order the right thing from Tesco and then our good intentions fall by the wayside. (Hello Dominos). Plus, while I’m vegetarian, my OH isn’t. I won’t cook meat, mainly because I have completely forgotten how to, plus the feel/sight/smell of it really turns my stomach. So my OH pretty much eats a vegetarian diet at home too as it’s way more convenient. Therefore, whatever we cook has to be filling enough for him too. Purely veg meals just don’t cut it so every recipe is a work in progress. Here’s what we’ve tried this week.

Roast Vegetable Mozzarella Bake

roast veg bake

This was a labour of love. It’s not a quick dinner, as you have to let the aubergine sit with salt on for a while, then roast the veg before adding everything all together and baking it. We added a couple of Quorn fillets to give it a bit more meat. I really liked this, despite the aubergine, which isn’t one of my favourite vegetables. However, my OH realised that he doesn’t really like aubergine and promptly vetoed this recipe.

Slow Cooker Chickpea Coconut Curry

chickpea and cauliflower curry

This recipe was a long time coming and it was the first time we used our slow cooker, which we inherited from my mum. Because of that, it took me a few days to remember to sort it out at lunchtime. When I finally remembered, it was a joy knowing that dinner was cooking while I was working. No standing over the stove, a real revelation. I was slightly nervous though, not only in case we didn’t like it but also in case the slow cooker didn’t work! We followed the recipe, including the coconut rice. It was lovely and will definitely be a regular on our menu. I don’t think we’ll bother with the coconut rice again though, as it’s a bit of a faff.

Winter Tagine

I forgot to take a picture of this one, mainly because it took so long to cook, I was almost asleep by the time we ate. We followed the recipe to a T, but we didn’t think the sauce thickened enough in the time it says in the recipe. We cooked it for longer – almost an hour longer. We had couscous with it (I managed to ruin the first batch because I put too much liquid in. Yep.) and I really liked it. My OH did not. Not only was he unhappy by the length of time it took to cook, as I was too, but he doesn’t like a lot of sauce and this had quite a bit. I’m going to cook it again for lunch, but I’ll reduce the liquid by half, I think and see how that goes. Well worth trying though.

I’ve also tried a few new lunches this week, though my favourites are definitely the crustless quiche and lentil & feta salad I wrote about last week.

Warm Harissa Chickpea, Butternut and Courgette Salad

squash and harissa lunch

This was quite a brave lunch for me, as I’d never made anything with harissa before. Plus, courgette and I have a love/hate relationship, in that I love it when I can’t taste it! Apart from the courgette, I loved this. I would make it again, but I might switch out the courgette for pepper.

Lentil and Spinach Soup

lentil soupI’ve recently discovered the deliciousness of lentils and soup so thought this would be a good one to try. I used dried lentils, which I’d never done before, and the recipe called for red lentils, which I forgot to order. Plus, I blended it completely after cooking, because I’m not a fan of lumps – I get a flashback to a vegetable soup ‘incident’ I had as a child. Anyway, it turned out more like a lentil paste. Clearly, I needed to add way more water as I hadn’t prepped the lentils in any way, I just chucked them in. Lesson learned. It was delicious, despite it’s thickness and I’d definitely make it again.

My next recipe challenge will involve tofu. We’ve got one tofu recipe but I want to expand on this a bit and get a few more under my belt. If you’ve got any suggestions or great slow cooker recipes, I’d love to hear them!

Feeling Fabulous and Healthy Eating

I’ve spent most of my life counting calories, working out sneaky (& unhealthy) ways of making sure I can eat junk food. Where has it landed me? In my early/mid thirties, still hating my body, still unable to fit into most of my wardrobe and being fed up to the back teeth of diets that DO NOT work. The reason they don’t work is that I have the attention span of a gnat and can only stick to them for a short amount of time, then I get bored and hit up Dominos. Fed up of swinging between feast and famine, I started the Feeling Fabulous 12 week course. It’s amazing! I know I’ve always been a rubbish vegetarian (there’s no meat in chocolate, right?!) so I finally feel like I’m eating like a proper veggie and a proper grown up. It’s not easy, because every meal takes planning and organising, making sure I do the online shop right (which I don’t!) but I’m never hungry, I’m not craving anything and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Take a look at some of my recent meals, most of which have come from Laura’s ace blog, Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish.

berry baked oatmeal
I’ve been enjoying Berry Baked Oatmeal for breakfast

carrot soupCarrot & Cumin soup from the Soup for Every Day recipe book

lentil saladLentil and Feta salad with chilli, lemon and mint

crustless quicheRed Onion and Feta Crustless Quiche

This is what I’ve been enjoy for lunch. So delicious. I never thought I’d willingly buy a tin of lentils and actually use them! They were delicious. Everything is also really easy & quick to make.

For snacks, I’ve been enjoying lovely fruit, smoothies and a delicious homemade chai cake.

watermelonI’ve always stuck with boring ol’ apples and got fed up of them very quickly. No more, my friend. I love watermelon and pineapple so I’m enjoying them much more often.

green smoothie

I’ve never really been a fan of smoothies, but now, I’m almost addicted. I love my afternoon Green Monster and have even started a Pinterest board for recipes that I want to try.

chai cakeI came across this recipe for a Flourless Cinnamon Chai Fruit Cake on Pinterest and knew I had to give it a whirl. While I’m not following a gluten free diet, my tummy is happier when I limit white flour and such like. This cake is delicious and I’m in love with the recipes on Wallflower Girl’s blog!

This week, I’m taking on our evening meals with a vengeance so tune in next week to see how they went!

How do you make sure you get enough fruit and veg in your day to day diet? Are you a smoothie addict? What’s your favourite recipe?

Feeling Fabulous

If you have been following my Instagram feed, you will have noticed quite a few images of fruit, veg and healthy snacks. My sister asked if I was on a diet. While the answer to that is no, I am trying to eat better. I’ve written before about not having much energy, and whether it’s down to lack of sunshine, a poor diet or just laziness, I’m trying to change things up a bit. Which is why I signed up to the Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish eCourse, 12 Weeks to Feeling Fabulous. Click on the image below to find out more (and sign up!).

feeling fabulous

My aim throughout the course is to try and get my mojo back. At the start of last year, I was quite restrictive in my diet. I lost a bit of weight, which was ace, but then I fell off the wagon in epic style and put all the weight back. Not great. And this has been happening for years and years… Not a great way to live. So I decided that enough is enough. I need to eat for healthy and energy, exercise because it’s good for me, not because it’s on my to do list and try to improve my self-confidence. It’s not easy, because when it comes to me, I’ll take the easy option thanks! So getting a takeaway, sitting on the sofa, being a couch potato, yep, love that. But I know it’s not good for me and I know it’s not good long term. (Plus, I can’t fit into most of my ‘work clothes’. Not great.) I didn’t want to go on *another* restrictive diet, where I’m ‘good’ while I’m on it, then stuff my face when it’s over. That shit makes me miserable. And life is waaay too short for that! So I decided what I needed was a new perspective. And that’s where Feeling Fabulous came in.

Honey porridge

Some things I get right, day in, day out. Like breakfast. I’m pretty much a creature of habit with this. Here’s my Winter Breakfast: Porridge, banana, flax & sunflower seeds, local honey and cinnamon. I also drink plenty of water throughout the day and don’t drink too much tea or coffee throughout the day. And while I may go on about drinking lots of wine and gin on Twitter, in reality, I’m a real lightweight and can take it or leave it. What I needed to work on are things like making sure I eat more fruit and veg, sort out portion control and reduce my carb intake. I have a slight carb addiction but my tummy is no longer happy with that and doesn’t like too much bread, white flour/rice and processed junk.

Fruit, seeds and yoghurtI’ve started eating more fruit, which is the easy bit, and have gone for more exciting fruits, like watermelon, pineapple and raspberries, rather than just sticking with apples, because, lets face it, apples are pretty dull. I’ve also added more seeds to my diet and have also tried goji berries and pomegranate seeds. I’ve added more veg to my diet, but think there’s still room for improvement on that score so next week, I am going to try making my own green smoothie, with spinach and avocado. This is a big deal for me, as I am super fussy, but what’s the harm? I’ve been trying new things left, right and centre:

Itsu veg juiceI tried both of these from Itsu last week. I really liked the juice, which I did not expect, mainly because it contains broccoli, my pet hate veg. But it was lovely. The coconut water, on the other hand, was vile and I couldn’t drink it. Gross! I’ve also been thinking about the products I use on my skin too. I’ve started using shampoo and conditioner from Lush and, inspired by Laura, who runs the blog and the ecourse, I’m going to be trying out vegan nail polish and organic body cream and makeup.

natural beauty productsI’ve started exercising again too, beyond walking Poppy. I’ve been doing the Davina McCall Fit in 15 DVD, which is really good. It’s not too long and it makes a nice change from the 30 Day Shred. I’m also going to a Body Combat class later on today, which I used to go to all the time and loved it! No idea why I stopped going. I love a good roundhouse kick and uppercut punch 😉

So that’s what’s going on with me right now. This doesn’t mean that I am not eating the odd Thai takeaway or slice of carrot cake, as I am, just in balance with the rest of my diet. After all, a little of what you fancy does you good. Just as long as it’s a little! If you’ve got any tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them! What exercise are you doing at the moment? Do you find it helps you feel better?