What I Eat in A Day

I get asked quite a lot about what I eat personally so this month's blog is a snapshot 'What I Eat In A Day'. If you follow me on Instagram @body_fabulous or Facebook @mybodyfabulous you will see that normally I just photograph odd meals I have in the day - mainly to provide different meal and snack ideas and to review new products that offer health benefits. Today you have a list of everything I have eaten and more importantly WHY. I'm very relaxed about food and I have a real 80/20 approach. I am not vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or dairy free. So this is me on an average day working from home;
BREAKFAST - 2 stewed apples a handful of blackcurrants from the garden with mixed pumpkin, chia and sunflower seeds, 3 tablespoons plain GF organic oats and 2 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt. Why Greek? It's very high in protein so much more filling than other yoghurt brands. The brand I use (Total Fage) has no added sugars but it made with skimmed milk thus keeping the calories down. - calories = 345 - GF (Gluten Free) - Vegetarian (for vegan swap to coconut yoghurt)
SNACK - I always have 2 snacks a day and I try and make sure they have protein, carbs and good fat in them, small banana and a boiled egg is a great combo for me. Organic eggs ALWAYS - twice the omega 3 content over free range. calories = 155 GF - Vegan - DF (Dairy Free)
LUNCH - I love the Soupologie range - this one is curried sweet potato with coconut and raw cacao, super tasty and no added sugars. Today I added dried seaweed for an extra iodine boost as this mineral supports the thyroid gland. I also added a handful of sprouted seeds. Sprouting whole grains reduces the amount of starch they contain and boosts their nutritional value. Along side I added the 'Rude Health' chickpea and lentil crackers which are just 21 calories each and glower GI (sugar spike) than standard rice cakes. calories 438 - Vegan, GF, DF
SNACK - pineapple slices and some organic chicken - granted not an obvious combo 😂. Actually there is a method to my madness though as pineapple contains bromelain which works as a tenderiser and breaks down other foods in your digestive system quicker. Organic chicken only - remember if you are a meat eater then you are what THEY eat! I don't want to be full of antibiotics, growth hormones or steroids so I stick to organic wherever possible. calories = 172 GF, DF
* you may notice that I have protein from the chicken and carbs from the pineapple but no fats so I added 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil to my black coffee after lunch to help regulate my blood sugar and stop cravings. calories = 12
DINNER - Chickpea pasta with turkey breast strips made with 'Mr Organics' pasta sauce which has no added sugars - I added a mixed green salad with 1/2 avocado. calories = 495 in total (325 consumed) - GF, DF .I was raised in an era where we did not leave the table if we had not finished eating - hands up if you are with me 🙋‍♀️ - I still find it hard to leave food but I got 2 thirds through and stopped because I was FULL - cling film and back in the fridge - I will add more salad and finish it off for lunch tomorrow. I am not a dustbin - my job is not to dispose of leftover food. My job is to feed and nourish my body so I have the vitality and health to live a productive and happy life 🙌🙏.
ACTIVITY - 45 MINUTE SPIN CLASS
DRINKS - 3 BLACK COFFEES, 3 GREEN TEA, 2.5 LITERS OF PLAIN FILTERED WATER
TOTALS - 1447 CALS CONSUMED - fat 59.3g carb 158.8g protein 80.4g

Treating Acne Holistically

Studies show that consuming excess amounts of sugar can feed yeast and inflammation in the body, increasing acne. Sugar is added to almost all packaged foods so it’s very hard to avoid totally but be sugar smart and use tools like the NHS Sugar Smart app which is free to download and shows you how much sugar is added to packaged foods by scanning the bar code. Healthy adults should consuming no more than 30g of sugar per day (approx. 4 teaspoons). Remember even though you can’t see it there is often sugar added to bread, flavoured waters, tinned soups and breakfast cereals so start reading food labels and cutting back where you can.

Conventional dairy is very mucus forming in the body so replace cows milk with nut, rice or oat milks and look at replacing your yoghurts with coconut based dairy free yoghurts which have the added benefit of high protein levels. Chocolate is particularly high in compounds that can trigger acne so eliminate chocolate completely if possible but if you consume it then make sure it’s pure dark chocolate 70% or above. If you have particularly bad acne then you should go a step further and reduce gluten and wheat from your diet and avoid fried and fast foods which contain a number of ingredients that cause inflammation including hydrogenated oils, sodium, flavorings and of course, sugar.

Acne is a result of toxins leaving our body so by increasing the amount of plain, filtered water you drink you can help flush these toxins out of your body quicker before they build up. How much you should drink varies considerably from person to person but as a general rule keep sipping throughout the day rather than drinking large amounts in one go. It’s very important the water you drink is filtered though. Although safe to drink, tap water in the UK has a number of added chemicals in it so to reduce the toxins you are consuming opt for water that has been through a carbon filter.

Organic, unpasteurised (unless you are pregnant then opt for pasteurised) apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ in it is amazing at reducing inflammation and clearing up problem skin. Use it as a salad dressing or be brave and down it like a shot but either way make sure you are consuming 2 tablespoons per day. If you are already suffering with break outs then you can also use apple cider vinegar directly onto your acne by diluting it with 1 part vinegar 2 parts water then applying to a cotton pad. This will reduce the redness and scarring very quickly. Adding probiotic rich foods to your diet like Kefir and cultured vegetables like sauerkraut will help crowd out yeast and bad bacteria which lead to acne.

My other top tip is to include zinc rich foods like sprouted pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds which improve immunity and help heal gut issues which cause acne in the first place. Spinach, carrots and beef liver are high in vitamin A which supports healthy skin and fiber rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds support cleansing the colon and growth of good bacteria in the gut which can help eliminate acne. Remember it’s toxins we want to avoid for clear skin so rather than expensive face creams buy organic foods and start from the inside.

Are you gaining 'Sugar' Fat?

Sugar – Not As Sweet As We Think

Now that the myth that fat makes you fat has been put to bed by industry experts we can all focus on the real culprit…sugar!

According to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) two thirds of the UK population are obese or overweight. The statistics are scary and the health implications are even worse, so if sugar is so bad for us why is in added to so many food products?

The answer is simple and is sadly all down to money. Added sugars help extend the shelf life of foods like bread, breakfast cereals and tinned fruit and vegetables plus it helps disguise the blander taste of foods that have had the fat removed and rebranded as ‘low fat’ options. Because of this, many foods we think of as wholesome – like yoghurt, cereal bars, low-fat snacks and fruit-flavoured water may actually contain much more sugar than we think

Here are my top tips for cutting down on your sugar intake;

            1. Eat Real Food

It sounds obvious but the only way to know for sure that you are not consuming foods with added sugar in them is to eat ‘real’ food. This means food which is not processed, so start by filling your fridge with fresh vegetables, fruit, lean meats, fish and eggs. Cooking from scratch ensures the only sugars you are consuming are natural sugars from fructose which is found in fruits and vegetables. For those who are not keen on being tied to the kitchen look at a meal delivery service like BodyChef who provide freshly made meals delivered straight to your door, all calorie counted for you, no mess, no waste and low sugar options available.

2. Get Smart

There are 4 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon. Read ingredients labels to find out how much sugar has been added to the food you are eating. NHS guidelines in the UK suggest no more than 30 grams of sugar per day in our diet but did you know there can be up to 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar in just one bowl of ‘healthy’ breakfast cereal? Just because you are not sprinkling sugar on your food it does not mean you are not consuming any, so work out where your hidden sugars are coming from and remember, sugar can be called many things so watch out for the following, they are all sugars! Glucose, sucrose, maltose, corn syrup, honey, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar, fructose & molasses.

3. Watch your drinks

Fizzy drinks like are filled with added sugar (a 500ml bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 13 teaspoons of sugar) but alarmingly flavoured waters can have large amounts of added sugar as well. Flavoured water now accounts for 30 per cent of all bottled water sales in the UK with some leading brands containing 9 teaspoons of added sugar in a 440ml bottle. Don’t be fooled by the pictures of fruit on the bottle and when in doubt stick to plain filtered water, ideally at least 2 liters per day.

4. Use natural alternatives

If you use sugar in your hot drinks try swapping to Stevia, a plant based sweetener or Xylitol. Made from the Silver Birch tree Xylitol has a very low glycaemic index (GI) meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels like refined sugar and has the added bonus of having 40% less calories in than sugar. If you are a syrup or honey fan then try switching to Yacon syrup. With only one third of the calorific content of sugar, Yacon syrup is made from the root of a South American plant and has a glycaemic index of just 1 whereas granulated sugar ranks at around 60.

 5. Ditch the fake

When looking to lower your sugar intake don’t be tempted to go for zero sugar options as these are regularly sweetened with artificial sweeteners which some studies suggest may damage your health and in the long term lead to weight gain. Limit your intake of acesulfame K, aspartame, saccharin, sorbitol and sucralose. Instead get your sugars from natural sources like fruits and vegetables and check the ingredients of products which are branded ‘naturally sweetened’ or ‘contains no added sugars’.

 6. Stay Natural

Unhealthy carbs loaded with sugar can cause blood sugar to rise rapidly and then drop quickly, leaving you hungry. To minimize this rapid rise and fall, pair protein, healthy fats, and fiber with your meal, all of which can slow down the release of blood sugar in your body and keep you full for longer. Focus on fats like avocados, nuts, seeds and heart-healthy oils like olive oil, walnut oil, and coconut oil. Still craving sugar? Add 1tsp of cinnamon to your daily diet to help regulate blood sugar levels and stop that afternoon biscuit craving!

Fat Loss Programmes

The question you should start with when embarking on a fat loss programme is ‘do I want to be thin or do I want to be healthy’? You can’t ‘out train’ a poor diet in the long term so putting your health first and fuelling your body with the nutrients it requires is key.

70% of how we look is based on what we eat and 30% is down to movement and exercise. Both diet and exercise are important for our overall health and well being, but when embarking on a fat loss programme it is vital that food habits change in order to see real lasting change. Extreme regimes of any kind rarely last and are almost impossible to keep up in the long term so healthy balanced meals containing protein, carbohydrates and good fats are essential to lose the fat and keep it off.

When someone has a large amount of weight to lose this balance is of even greater importance as the skin needs the correct nutrition in order to shrink and tighten effectively. Losing weight too quickly by under eating, over exercising or skipping meals can lead to excess skin folds on the body where it has shrunk too quickly. Extreme exercising also puts increased pressure on your adrenal glands and you can end up stressing the body with high cortisol levels that can lead to future health problems.

When deciding to lose weight It is very important to choose a food plan based on real food, as near to nature as you can. If it was made IN a plant DON’T eat it, if it was made FROM a plant then DO! Eating 3 meals per day with 2 small snacks is ideal as this ensures your blood sugar levels do not drop leading to ‘snack’ impulse eating.

Change your eating habits by cutting out processed foods and refined sugars. Start by reading labels and knowing what goes into the food you are eating. Where possible make your meals from scratch but If you are not a cook or are ‘time poor’ then make sure you purchase homemade fresh foods without additives and preservatives added. Watch your salt intake and be mindful of your calorie consumption and make changes today that your body will thank you for, not just this time next year but this time the year after and for many years to come.

Reducing Cholesterol

Do you or someone in your family suffer with high cholesterol? To dramatically lower your LDL cholesterol levels without resorting to high doses of statins I recommend these dietary tips:

·         1. Limit your intake of foods full of saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol.

Foods with a lot of saturated fat include butter, fatty flesh like red meat, full-fat dairy products and oils. If you see partially hydrogenated fat in the Ingredient list of a food label, that food has trans fats.

·         2. Eat a lot more fiber-rich foods.

Foods naturally rich in soluble fiber have proven particularly good at lowering cholesterol. Excellent sources include oats, oat bran, barley, peas, and sweet potatoes, as well as legumes or beans, such as pinto beans, black beans and peas. Vegetables & fruits rich in soluble fiber include carrots, brussel sprouts, berries, passion fruit, oranges, pears, apricots, nectarines, and apples.

·         3. Choose protein-rich plant foods (such as legumes or beans, nuts, and seeds) over meat.

They’re full of nutritional riches and are a very healthy, protein-packed alternative to meat. Legumes help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.

Nuts and seeds have been proven to modestly lower LDL cholesterol levels. To avoid blood pressure raising salt, choose raw unsalted varieties. To avoid gaining weight, don’t eat more than a handful per since nuts and seeds are dense with calories (averaging about 175 calories per ounce).

·         4. Lose excess weight.

Losing excess weight is beneficial for all sorts of reasons including improving your cholesterol levels.

Do keep in mind that it’s important to limit fat intake, even so-called “good” fats like olive oil, because any fat is dense with calories, which means heavy consumption can easily lead to a heavy body.

·         5. Take supplements.

I recommend Sterols which are naturally occurring substances found in plants. A daily intake of 1 to 2 grams of plant sterols has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Psyllium husks are also great. These seed grains are sold as a soluble fiber supplement and natural laxative.

Juicing Facts

Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, juices are renowned as health-boosting beverages. Along with providing a concentrated source of nutrition, juicing is a convenient way to infuse your diet with healthy plant foods.

Be mindful however that raw fruit juice has a high glycemic index, which means the body processes the carbohydrates quickly. Because of the absence of fiber, the body absorbs the sugar faster than when you eat vegetables or fruits whole. This can lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar, which could result in complications particularly for patients suffering from diabetes and other blood glucose disorders.

You Still Need Fat and Protein. This is not a knock on juicing, unless you’re using it to replace meals. Vegetables are high in some nutrients, but you still need to eat sufficient fat and protein, as well as the vitamins and minerals that are usually found with fat and protein.

Recovering From Cancer

When recovering after cancer treatment be prepared for a change in your palate. Bear in mind that your emotional recovery is just as important as your physical so choose foods kind and gentle to your mood, listen to what your body is asking for. Think about including the following;

Avocados - a rich source of antioxidants which attack free radicals and toxins in your body.

Pulses - provide your body with oestrogen like chemicals that may help block tumour regrowth.

Beetroot - for blood related cancers.

Berries - packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

Carrots, kale, eggs, garlic, onions, oily fish, peppers, nuts, seeds, spinach, tomatoes and whole grains

FODMAPS

So this post is for my clients with IBS issues, coeliac disease, Crohn's or ulcerative colitis.

FODMAPS (Fermentable Oligosacchardies Disacardies Mono and Polyols) are a group of naturally occurring sugars that are not easily absorbed in the small intestine. As they are not absorbed they travel down the rest of the digestive tract and arrive at the large intestine where bacteria are present. These bacteria use the unabsorbed sugars (FODMAPS) as a food source. This results in the release of gas which leads to excessive flatulence, gassiness, bloating and abdominal distension and pain.

If you suffer with any of these symptoms you need to avoid the following high FODMAPS;

Sweeteners such as; Honey, sorbitol, xylitol

Cereals & grains such as; bran, wheat, rye, barley, bread, granola, muesli, crackers, pasta, couscous, gnocchi

Fruits such as; apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, figs, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, prunes, watermelon

Legumes such as; beans (all kinds) chickpeas, lentils

Milk & milk products such as; custard, ice cream, soft cheeses, yoghurt

Nuts such as; cashews, pistachios

Vegetables such as; artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, garlic, leeks, mangetouts, mushrooms, onions, sugar snaps peas

For further details please do not hesitate to contact me amie@mybodyfabulous.co.uk