My Must Have Pantry Staples

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Do you spend more time thinking about what to cook than actually cooking?

Unsure of what’s even healthy?

Find the whole process of recipe searching, shopping and then cooking too hard and lengthy?

I’m here to help!

Healthy eating and cooking can be a very quick and simple task, but, only if you have the right recipes and ingredients on hand.

Like you, I also don’t want to spend time slaving away in the kitchen, so I also do all that I can to minimise the time spent in there! I always try to have my fridge and pantry stocked with my favourite staples to ensure I can always whip up quick, healthy and tasty meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Do the same and you will have all the staples on hand to cook most of your favourite Health with Bec meals. All you’ll need to do is pop to the grocery store to get your fresh veggies and meat!

My Must Have Pantry Staples:

Fridge / freezer

  • Free range eggs

  • Unsweetened almond or coconut milk

  • Coconut yogurt or plain, greek yogurt 

  • Organic butter

  • White miso paste

  • Low sugar red curry paste 

  • Hummus

  • Frozen blueberries, raspberries and strawberries

  • Boxes of frozen spinach

  • A loaf of low carb or paleo bread 


Pantry

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Coconut oil

  • Sesame oil

  • Almonds

  • Chia seeds

  • Almond meal

  • Tahini or Almond butter 

  • 85-90% cocoa dark chocolate 

  • A good quality protein powder 

  • Stevia

  • Tamari/ gluten free soy sauce

  • White wine vinegar

  • Cans of light coconut milk and cream 

  • Jars of crushed tomatoes

  • Jars of 100% tomato sugo 

  • Cans of tuna

  • A variety of dried herbs

  • Garlic

  • MCT oil

Want access to three weeks’ worth of 15-minute recipes and shopping lists with all the ingredients you need? My 21 Day Spring Slim Down Plan was designed for busy mums and working woman. This plan, as well as keeping your waist line in mind, takes away the stress of thinking about what to cook or buy and ensures no food wastage. 

The Real Low Down on Fruit. Is it Good or Bad for Us?

Should I eat fruit? How much fruit is OK to eat? How much is too much? Will the sugar in fruit make me gain weight?

These are questions I get asked every day, so I thought that I would write a blog post to clear this confusion - based on science of course.

The main reason for this confusion is because fruit is relatively high in sugar compared to other whole foods, so I will break this down for you.

“Sugar” is bad, but the context is important...

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We all know that added sugar is harmful to our health, and there is a lot of evidence to support this. By added sugar I'm talking about table sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup, both of which are half glucose and half fructose.

When fructose is consumed in large amounts (as it does in these added sugars), this is when it is harmful to us as it causes extremely negative metabolic effects and promotes the build up of fat around our liver and organs.

But there is only a VERY SMALL AMOUNT of fructose found in whole fruits compared to sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. It is difficult to overeat on fructose by eating whole fruits. Also, the sugar in fruit is digested slowly, as opposed to added sugars where they are quickly digested which brings me to my next point…

Whole fruit contains important fiber, water, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

Whole fruits are amazing for our health as they contain lots of beneficial nutrients. They should definitely be consumed (in moderation) as part of a healthy lifestyle.

But I'm not going to bore you and talk about the benefits of these nutrients here, you can find hundreds of articles on google for this...

What I want you to understand is that most fruits take a while to eat and digest, meaning that the fructose contained without the fruit hits the liver slowly. This is mainly due to their high fiber content.

When fructose hits your liver quickly and in large amounts (like it does with sugary sodas and candy bars) then that can have disastrous consequences… but when it hits your liver slowly and in small amounts (from whole fruit) your body can easily take care of the fructose.

If you want to maximize the health effects of fruit, focus on the fruit with the greatest amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to the sugar and calorie content. Refer to the image below to compare different fruits. Berries are the best!


Fruit isn’t as healthy if it is juiced or dried

Even though whole fruits are very healthy for most people, the same can not be said for fruit juices and dried fruit.

Many of the fruit juices on the market aren’t even “real” fruit. You can pretty much call them sugar water! They are often made from water, some sort of concentrate and a whole lot of added sugar.

Even if you do find a juice that is 100% real fruit, it’s probably still not a great idea to consume often.

The amount of sugar in juice can be the same as a soft drink.

This is because many serves of fruit go into one juice and the fiber has been taken out. What does this mean? The liquid (containing a large amount of sugar) is digested fast and consequently is sent to your liver fast. And when this amount of sugar is sent to the liver, it is likely to be turned to fat as it cannot metabolise this large amount of fructose at once.

Also, consuming liquid calories has very little affect on satiety (keeping you full) so you end up eating far more than you would if you ate the fruit whole.

Think of juice as an occasional option, but in general, always opt for whole fruits.

Dried fruits (like raisins) can be problematic too. They are very high in sugar and it is easy to consume large amounts.

What about when it comes to weight loss?

Fruit should be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet by everyone. It is when we get down to the nitty gritty of weight loss that we need to look at it a bit more closely. Also, like any food, of course there is a limit to how much you can eat.  

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If you are substituting fruit for other sweet snacks (like chocolate, lollies, cake or biscuits) then of course it is an incredible swap. These "discretionary" foods come with a huge amount of calories and sugar and lack any vitamins and minerals. By eating fruit instead you are saving yourself excess calories and providing your body with plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber to keep you full and as a result eat less. These are amazing benefits and will help you drop weight easily.

It is only when you already have an other wise healthy, wholefood based diet yet you still struggle with your weight, that you may want to start to limit your fruit intake.

Low carbohydrate diets work AMAZINGLY for lots of us. We can all tolerate different amounts of carbs - and fruit is high in carbs. If you can eat carbs and stay slim and happy then great! You are one of the lucky ones...

However, if lowering your carb intake helps you lose weight then fruit restriction may be important and will definitely amplify the process. I personally stick to a low carb lifestyle and so limit my fruit intake to around 1/2 cup to 1 cup of berries (and lots of veggies) which works best for me. Because I specialise in weight loss and recommend low carb diets to many of my clients, I also recommend berries as the main fruit of choice, with other whole fruits included for occasional consumption.

 

So, what do I recommend and how much should you eat?

At the end of the day, fruits are “real” foods. They are highly nutritious and so fulfilling that eating them can help you feel more satisfied with less food.

If you eat lots of sugary foods, ditch them and replace it with whole fruits. Chances are you will drop weight and your health will improve in numerous ways.

If you can tolerate fruit and you’re not on a low-carb diet then go ahead and eat fruit as part of a healthy, real food based diet that includes lots of plant-based foods. If you feel that you can maintain or lose weight quite easily and fruit doesn't effect this, then I recommend 2 serves of (whole) fruit per day.

If you struggle to lose weight and need an extra "push" then reducing your fruit intake can be very beneficial (after you have already cut out all other sugars first and reduced your carbohydrate intake). Cutting out (or down on) fruit doesn't mean you can't reap the benefits of all of the vitamins and minerals. You can still receive more than enough by eating plenty of vegetables. I recommend only eating berries and just sticking to one serving per day (around 1 cup max), as I mentioned above.

I hope this cleared the confusion for you!

Want to see how fruit fits in perfectly to a perfectly balanced wholefoods diet? My 21 Day Spring Slim Down Plan shows you exactly how.

Bec xx

 

15 Minute Healthy Fried Rice

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There are a few boxes I like to tick on busy week nights when it’s dinner time … I’m usually working and I don’t like to spend hours in the kitchen.

  1. The meal needs to be as quick as possible

  2. The meal needs to be bloat free (ie gluten free and predominantly dairy free)

  3. The meal needs to be tasty and comforting

  4. The meal needs to work with my goals, as I always have to be super conscious of what goes in my body as I have to work very hard to remain weight

  5. The meal needs to be large in volume (I love eating and small meals just don’t cut it).

Do you feel me? I’m sure a lot of you do - as these are also boxes that all of my clients seem to want to tick too!

This is why most of the meals that I share and include in your meal plans (including the 21 Day Spring Slim Down Plan) fit all 5 of these points.

This 15 minute meal last night blew me away, I have to share it with you all!

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Give it a go tonight and let me know what you think, you’re going to love it I'm sure!

15 Minute Healthy Fried Rice

Gluten free, low carb, dairy free, high protein.

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 100 g chicken breast, diced

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 1 large tbsp Thai red curry paste

  • 0.5 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger

  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 small carrot, diced

  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced

  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces

  • 70 g light, organic coconut cream

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 2 tbsp tamari

  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice

  • 2 tbsp chopped spring onions

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 1 small handful coriander leaves

Notes:

  • Cauliflower rice can be made by using a grater, or simply by cutting it into chunks and placing in a food processor until it resembles rice.

  • Here, I used cauliflower rice already made - from Woolworths.

  • When choosing a red curry paste - look at the nutrition panel and choose one that has under 5g carbs and sugar per 100 g.

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Method:

1. Heat a pan over medium and add coconut oil.

2. Make sure chicken and all veggies are cut into small pieces.

3. Place chicken in pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring so that it cooks evenly on all sides.

4. Add in the curry paste, garlic, ginger and carrot. Cook, stirring for a minute.

5. Throw in the capsicum and broccoli and let everything cook (while constantly stirring), until the veggies soften, then add in the coconut cream, tamari, vinegar, and cauliflower rice. Stir until all heated through.

6. Taste and add extra chili, salt, pepper, tamari or vinegar if needed.

7. Serve topped with spring onions, sesame seeds and coriander.

Enjoy!

Please send me photos when you make it or share it on your social media. I love seeing them and I want as many of you as possible to experience the goodness of this meal! It will definitely be a staple of mine from now on.

Want more meals like this with the nutrition information attached? Why not try the 21 Day Spring Slim Down Plan ? Or, check out my recipe bundles service or personalised meal plan services. If you’re unsure of which service suits you best, please send me an email and I can help you.

Bec xx


Cinnamon Apple Paleo Protein Pancakes

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The perfect weekend brunch. 

  • Gluten free

  • High protein

  • Paleo / dairy free option if coconut yogurt is used

  • Low carb friendly

  • Sugar-free

We all deserve to indulge and I strongly believe we should all enjoy the comforting foods that we love. But why not twist them so they can be nutritious, healthy and weight loss friendly? Like having your cake and eating it too.

Here is a recipe that does exactly that. A totally guilt-free healthy alternative to regular, white flour, high sugar pancakes. 

Highly refined carbohydrates are also simply just not healthy. They provide zero nutrients and only leave us craving more and more.

On the other hand, these super indulgent yet healthy pancakes are high in protein and low in carbs so you'll be full, satisfied and happy for a long time whilst knowing that you have fed your body goodness. Just like every meal should. 

Here it is...

Cinnamon Apple Paleo Protein Pancakes

Serves: 1

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cooking time: 4 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white (or 1 vegan egg)**

  • 2 tbsp vanilla low carb protein powder. (Not sure which one to choose? This blog will sort you out!)

  • 3 tbsp almond meal or LSA mix

  • 1 tbsp granulated stevia 

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking soda

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/4 + cup 1 tbsp almond or coconut milk (unsweetened).

  • 1 tsp coconut oil or organic, grass-fed butter

Toppings:

  • Either 3 tbsp plain greek yogurt or 2 tbsp coconut yogurt

  • 1/2 apple

  • Extra cinnamon and stevia

Method:

  1. Whisk everything except the coconut oil together in a bowl, gradually adding milk until the consistency is a pancake like batter.

  2. Heat coconut oil on a pan over medium heat.

  3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, spoon out mixture and pour onto pan.

  4. Flip once air bubbles form ontop of the pancake and continue to cook for approx 1 more minute!

  5. Repeat 3 times for 3 small pancakes. 

  6. Dice apple, place in a small bowl or mug, add a little splash of water, extra cinnamon and a little stevia if desired and place in microwave for 40 seconds. 

  7. Pour apples over pancakes and top with 2 tbsp coconut yogurt!

** Vegan egg made by whisking together 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water and letting it set for 10 minutes. 

Enjoy!

Send me photos if you make them and let me know how they turn out!

Bec xx

Guilt Free, Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Hot Chocolate

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Who doesn't love a warming mug of hot chocolate? Well, when you're living a sugar free, healthier life, you don't have to miss out! You can still enjoy one (or two or three in fact) if you use this recipe.

I never like to cut your favourite foods out, instead, I help you find better alternatives so that you can enjoy these foods daily instead of just once a week. Win-win!

This is the perfect example. This turmeric hot chocolate is totally sugar-free, low carb and low calorie, so you can sip on it with absolutely zero guilt. 

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I'm also a huge advocate for anti-inflammatory foods, as our western lifestyles are pro-inflammatory. Ongoing, chronic inflammation increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions. Therefore, anything that helps to reduce inflammation is of benefit to us. 

I strongly recommend that you have a read of this link to learn about turmeric and it's anti-inflammatory benefits.

But I'll focus on the recipe here... 

Let's just say that you'll be benefiting your body big time by sipping on this indulgent cup of goodness.

Guilt Free, Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp organic, raw cacao powder (I use Loving Earth)
  • 1 tsp powdered stevia or a few drops liquid stevia
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric latte mix (or your own homemade blend - see below)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup heated or frothed unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Method

1. Boil the kettle

2. In a mug, place the cacao, turmeric mix or homemade blend, cinnamon and stevia

3. Pour over boiling water and mix to combine. Then top with the almond milk and stir together.

Top with a sprinkle of extra cinnamon and cacao powder!

It's as simple as that.

If you want to buy a turmeric latte mix, these are my "go-to's"

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You can find both of these at most IGA's now!

If you want to make the turmeric blend yourself, don't forget to add pepper. Pepper is vital as it enables the powerful bioactive component in the turmeric (curcumin) to be absorbed. 

  • 4 teaspoons ground Turmeric Powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cardamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground Nutmeg
  • 6 pinches finely ground Black Pepper
  • 1¼ teaspoon Bourbon Vanilla 

Combine all of these ingredients together and store in an airtight container. 

How To Boost Your Motivation And Get Out Of That Rut

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Lacking motivation? Stuck in a rut? Had a binge?

So many factors can affect our motivation, whether it’s cold or rainy, or you’ve been busy and you haven’t had time to exercise, make healthy meals or look after your general wellbeing. This means self-motivation needs to be stepped up! If you’re lacking motivation, don’t wait for it to magically come back. It’s up to you and you only to fix it. I promise there are so many things that you can do to help yourself!

So here are some of my top tips. I truly believe that they will help you.

 

1.  Forget it and only focus on the day you have in front of you 

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Had a few "bad days", an indulgent weekend or holiday? Forget it, leave it in the past and only look forward. You’re human and everyone falls off the bandwagon every now and again so don’t be so hard on yourself.

The good news? If you feel heavy, it's very likely that the weight gain isn't all fat!! You may be feeling bloated and puffy, but I assure you, after even just 1 or 2 days of clean eating (and by clean I mean sugar-free and refined carbohydrate-free) you’ll drop some of that weight fast.

A lot of that rapid weight gain is just water weight from the inflammation caused by the nasties you ate on those bad days. Excess carbohydrates also cause water retention, so, after a few days, you’ll drop this water weight and feel motivated to continue on with your healthy habits again.

 

2. Do these 3 essential things as soon as you wake up

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Play music!

As soon as I wake up I play upbeat music that makes me feel happy. It puts you in a positive mood straight away. The mood you’re in for the first hour of your day is so important... it really sets you up for the day ahead so start it on a good “note” – haha, that was totally by accident.

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Eat a balanced breakfast that is high in protein and contains a source of good fats.

For example, something like...

  • 2 eggs with 1/4 avocado and some greens

  • My one-minute breakfast pudding

  • 1/2 cup berries with 1/2 cup greek yogurt or 1/3 cup coconut yogurt and a scoop of protein powder

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Don't reach for white toast, wheetbix or cereal. These highly refined carbohydrate meals will only give you a surge in blood sugar and result in unstable blood sugars all the day. Unstable blood sugar levels sets you up for disaster as your cravings for high sugar foods will stick around all day. How are you supposed to stay motivated with these pesky cravings hanging around?? It will be very hard...

This one sounds silly but it’s SO powerful…. Tell yourself over and over, in your head or out loud, that it’s going to be a good day and that you CAN do it.

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Also, write it down on paper what it is that you want to achieve that day. Then, throughout the day it’s also super helpful to write everything that you eat down on paper too. This technique makes the chances of you following through with your good intentions far more likely. It also makes you mindful of what's going in to your mouth which is powerful and something I always ask my clients to do. It makes you consciously aware of what you're doing and allows you to more readily make the right changes and stay on track. 

 

3. Have appealing meals planned for the day (and don’t skip meals)

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Restricting yourself too much always backfires. Even though I love intermittent fasting and the benefits that it has, something this restrictive will backfire if you’re in the stage of low motivation with your health or you’re prone to binging. So, plan a good breakfast, lunch and dinner and include one snack too.

Even better, plan for the whole week ahead. This is where my meal plan services are great – I make them as appealing and as suited to you and your lifestyle as I possibly can. When you have a plan, you’re far more likely to follow through with what you’re wanting to achieve.

 

4. Prioritise your sleep

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Nothing kills motivation and increases your cravings more than the lack of sleep. Studies show over and over again that sleep deprivation is associated with poor memory, reduced focus, increased hunger, weight gain, low moods, irritablility and lowered motivation.

Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you struggle with this, have a read of this article – so many great tips here.

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/03/29/why-do-you-need-sleep.aspx

If you're serious about boosting your motivation, you need to get serious about prioritising your sleep! 

 

5. Move your body

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And don't put pressure on yourself to do exercise that is too intense, it doesn't need to be! If you’re in a rut, just start super small and do what you enjoy. Then, after a week, I promise you’ll naturally want to build it up when you see how good it makes you feel. 

Just start by doing a 10-15 minute walk each morning, in your lunch break or after work. Anything is better than nothing - always tell yourself this, and also visualise how good you will feel when it’s done.

I do these two things every single day and when I miss my morning walk or gym session, boy does my day follow suit. I usually feel unsettled all day it’s crazy. I always need to get the blood flowing and release those endorphins and so do you! It significantly boosts my motivation for the day. 

I hope this helps you. You're not alone, everyone goes through periods of low motivation. Just follow these tips, keep on going and you'll be back on track in no time. 

If you need more support on getting back into a routine and start feeling motivated again, you can purchase my 21 Day Spring Slim Down meal plan here, which has fast and easy meals to help you get to the healthiest version of you.

Bec xx

Five Easy Tips To Prevent Weight Gain and Stay Healthy Whilst Travelling!

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Are you going traveling soon? I know how easy it is to put on weight and fall off track with your health efforts and routine when you go. 

This blog applies to those of you who follow quite a strict health routine and need some guidance on how to maintain that on holiday. It is not to say that a little weight gain is bad or to imply that you should be super strict on holidays - we don't want that!

A little weight gain is totally normal and it will come off easily when you return to your healthy schedule and lifestyle when you are home.. we just don't want to put on more than a few kilos, because that's when it gets hard to lose!

It's too easy for some of us to pile on two or three kilos in one week without even knowing, so I want to share with you some simple tips that I use to stay on track as best I can. 

It's all about finding the right balance...

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1. Eat out, but not at every meal!

We don’t need to go out for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. If you’re doing this, chances are you’re eating too much and also eating when you’re not hungry. By simply eating restaurant prepared food, no matter how healthy it may sound, you're always eating more calories than you would if you cooked it yourself. There’s a reason why meals out taste so good! It's all the extra sugar and fat (ie calories). 

To balance things out, I aim to dine out for one or two meals per day. My other meals will usually be homemade and consist of whole foods that I source from a local grocery store.

I also like to make sure I can enjoy myself when I dine out and eat until I’m totally satisfied. So, to allow for this, the other meals (or snacks) of the day will always be light, totally sugar free and low calorie.

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For the home cooked meal I'll go for something like a big bowl of greens, flavoured with garlic and chilli with some eggs or meat and a little olive oil.

For snacks...

  • Whole fruits

  • Plain, natural yogurt

  • Veggie sticks with a healthy dip like hummus

  • Olives

  • A handful of nuts

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I also find, in general, two large meals with smaller snacks in between works well. Typically on holiday I like to consume a big brunch and dinner. This means that there's room for an indulgent treat some afternoons or an extra glass of wine with dinner.

People pile on the weight when they have three main meals, plus extra wine, treats and snacks on top of it all. It’s just simply too much when this is repeated for three or more days in a row. 

 

2. Plan ahead!

Do your research before you get to your destination to find out where the health food stores, grocery stores and healthy restaurants are. When you arrive, do a little shop to buy some fresh, whole foods that you can have on hand and eat in-between your meals.

Stock your fridge so you always have healthy food on hand when you get hungry. Hotels and convenience stores tend to only offer unhealthy snacks or meals that you will more likely turn to if you're not prepared. 

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Also, before you arrive, book restaurants that suit your style of eating so you know you'll be able to eat well there. For breakfast or brunch I personally like to find organic health food cafes that have paleo style options with lots of vegetables.

Obviously this isn't always possible in places like Greece and other European destinations. So, eggs are always a great option as they'll keep you full for a very long time and omelettes are great, they always seem to make an appearance in many countries. 

For dinner, my favourite cuisine is Mediterranean. I would limit Asian style restaurants (not including Japanese) to once (on a holiday of 4-7 days) as this cuisine is often loaded with sugar, lots of sodium and hidden nasty’s that will make you hold onto water weight and make you feel bloated.

There are obviously many exceptions here and more tips in terms of what to choose at restaurants but I am trying to be brief! 

 

3. Walk everywhere and plan some active adventures.

You miss so much when you jump in an Uber or hop on a train. Some of the best times I've had on holidays have been when I've decided to walk as opposed to using public transport. The kms add up so quickly as you're always seeing new things and never getting bored.

All of this extra walking helps you burn through so many more calories, which allows for the extra food you'll be consuming… yes!

You’ll be so surprised (and proud) at the end of the day when you see the distance you‘ve travelled if you track it on an app - all of our iphones have the "Health" app already there, so start using it ;) . 

Also, schedule in some enjoyable active activities! You definitely don’t have to sweat it out at the gym on holiday if you don’t feel like it. Go for a hike, hire a kayak or go bike riding to explore the landmarks of the city.  This way you’re getting exercise whilst also having fun... and holidays should always be fun.

4. Skip the "extras" and avoid these calorie traps!

On most nights, leave out the bread before your meals, the pastry with your breakfast and the peanuts with your pre-dinner drinks. All of these extra foods could easily add up to the amount of calories that you require for an entire day. Stick to your usual way of eating as much as you can, with the exception of a few days where you indulge a little more, ideally on days where you have been more active. 

Hidden sugar and calories are every where when you travel and they're definitely the main reason for rapid weight gain. Here are a few tips to help you avoid them as much as possible. 

  • Avoid "welcome drinks" and fruit juice 

  • If you have a buffet style breakfast at your hotel, avoid flavoured yogurts, pastries, pancakes, maple syrup, jam and toasted muesli. Instead opt for eggs, greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon, meats, nuts, natural yogurt, whole fruits and dark grainy breads. If you fill up on these kinds of food.. you won't feel the need to eat until mid arvo or even dinner time

  • Choose wine and vodka sodas over cocktails, beer, cider an gin and tonics 

  • Skip the dessert or share with a friend 

  • Avoid the words sticky, sweet, fried and battered. Opt for grilled, BBQ'd, sauteed and souveed 

  • Ask the waiter to not bring bread to your table. If you want to nibble before your meal, some better options would be olives, cold meats, caprese salads, grilled seafood and grilled vegetables

  • Ask for your dressing to be served on the side if you order a salad, then add it yourself so you can stick ot around 1 - 2 tablespoons

  • Order vegetables to bulk up your meals instead of rice if you order curries, casseroles or stir fries  

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5. When you're flying...

Plane food can be a serious hit and miss. I just find it easier to avoid it altogether and make sure I eat a well balanced, healthy meal before I get on the plane. Or, I use it as a time to implement some intermittent fasting!

If you want to still enjoy some of the plane food...

Opt for:

  • Nuts

  • Small amounts of cheese

  • Whole fruits

  • Salads

  • Meals that contain some protein and steamed veg over pasta or rice based meals

  • Egg - style breakfasts over cereal based breakfasts

Leave out the:

  • Yogurt (as it is almost always a flavoured one with an extremely high sugar content)

  • Ice creams

  • Biscuits

  • Chocolates

  • Pretzels, chips and crackers

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As for drinks, go for water (lots and lots of it!), tea and coffee. If you are going to enjoy an alcoholic drink, choose a red wine or a spirit. And remember, fruit juice can contain as much sugar as some sodas so leave them out. 

Did you know the more dehydrated we are, the more water we retain? We all know that puffy feeling we get after we fly. Prevent this by annoying your flight attendant every hour and asking for a bottle of water. Limiting the carbohydrates when you fly will also help. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this! Enjoy your travels and if you need some more support, my Dining Out Guide will help you stay on track whilst eating out. Otherwise, my 21 Day Spring Slim Down Plan is now available and is the perfect plan to help you lose the post holiday weight just in time for Summer.

Bec xx

Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

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Gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan.

Who doesn't love a big bowl of comforting pumpkin soup in winter? This recipe is always a hit in the personalised meal plans I make for my clients. So, I thought it would be perfect to share with the rest of you. 

It surprises many people that pumpkin fits into a low carb lifestyle! It has three times less carbs than sweet potato, and whilst it doesn't fit into a super low, ketogenic type of diet (under 30g carbs/day), it certainly fits into a moderately low carb lifestyle (under approximately 60-70 g carbs/day). 

Carbs in 1 cup pumpkin: 8 g 

Carbs in 1 cup sweet potato: 27 g

There are a few different variations to this soup too which I have described after the recipe, along with a super great tip about pesto and how to choose the right one. 

Now onto this delicious recipe...

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 kilo pumpkin
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh chili
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk  (341 g)
  • 4 cups water

Method:

1. Dice onion and peel and dice the pumpkin.

2. Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add curry powder if you want it to have an indian - style taste. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring continuously. 

3. Add pumpkin, stirring to coat in curry powder. Pour in water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 

4. Stir through coconut milk and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. 

5. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. A stick blender is great for this! 

6. Season to taste with salt and pepper!

 

Variations:

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For a more Italian - style twist:

Add a dollop of basil pesto and some fresh basil at the end when serving.  See my insanely tasty and healthy recipe for pesto here. Or, purchase a good quality pesto from the store.

Good quality pesto?

  • One that is ultimately made from olive oil and has basil listed as the first or second ingredient. So, olive oil and basil should be listed as the first two ingredients. 
  • You also want to look for no added fillers or nasties.

If you don't recognise any ingredients - don't buy it! The Jamie Oliver one is good. 

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For an Indian - style twist:

Add in 1 tablespoon of curry powder in step 2 when you are cooking the onions. 

OR

To serve, stir through 1 teaspoon of gluten free red curry paste and 1 extra tablespoon of coconut cream (as pictured). Top with coriander or mint and extra chili too if desired!

Enjoy!

Stay warm and please let me know if you make it and how it goes,

Bec xx