Health and fitness goals for 2016

You may be thinking to yourself 'um, Steph, 2016 started nearly a month ago, why are you only making fitness resolutions now?' and in response to that, all I have to say is that I'M WEAK! I can never let go (physically) of all the brie and bread over Christmas, and then by the time I've said farewell to said cheese we get to my birthday. And for this birthday, I ate multiple cakes - all by myself. And then the uni deadlines come about, which means very little sleep, very little little time and a whole lot of fast food.

So anyway, now that I'm starting to feel like more of a human being as opposed to an essay writing mule, I've finally set up a few goals to get me actually looking like more of a human being, again, as opposed to some form of mule. I mean sure, I may be eating literally (and I do mean literally) every single fried/carb-heavy food in my kitchen right now, but hey, my mama told me never to waste food. I don't want to eat a whole bag of mini kievs, eight hash browns, a can of macaroni cheese and two pieces of battered cod - really, I don't - it's just something that has to be done. A public service, if you will. So alas, here I am kitted out in my new Boohoo FIT fitness gear, ready to take over the world. Or at least, you know, do a sit up or two..
 

I'm going back on keto!

If you've been following my blog right from the beginning you may remember that I was doing this thing called the ketogenic diet (read more about it in my blog post all about the keto diet). Well, judging by everything I've said in the past few paragraphs I think it's pretty safe to say it didn't work out well for me. I mean, that diet is great, really great. You feel like a million bucks and I lost my little tummy pouch within about three weeks of doing it. But it means you don't get to eat any carbs. Any. Including fruit. I mean sure, you get to eat all the cheese and meat you like (sorry to all you vegans out there) but this girl needs sugar, whether it comes in the form of a Haribo fried egg or a handful of blueberries. So instead of traditional keto, I'll be switching up some of my high fats in favour of a few fruits each day. Which leads me onto the next goal..
 

I'm going to get juicing

I'm crap when it comes to having breakfast. I either wake up too late, rush out of the house or just slurp on 500 gallons of coffee instead of anything actually edible. So every morning I've made it a goal of mine to pack all of my nutrients into a Nutribullet juice. Or - failing that - at least have one of those bad boys during the day. I don't know about you guys but I definitely don't get enough of the good stuff in this body of mine, so - even if i have to hold my nose and chug it back sometimes - at least I'll be good for the rest of the day.
 

I'm going back to the gym

I love going to the gym - honestly, I do - but somewhere during the past few months I fell off the fitness bus and swapped dead lifting for deadlines. See what I did there? Anyway. Now that the latter is out of the way, I'm finally feeling motivated to get my fitness gear on and renew that gym membership that I've been neglecting for so long. I may even nab myself a personal trainer for a few sessions! Whatever it takes. It's official, 2016 is the year of the abs (or at least, the year of less flab). I hope.

Let me know your health and fitness goals for 2016, and whether or not you'd like me to include more food and fitness style post on the blog! 
 

What I'm Wearing

boohoo FIT Maisy Sports Joggers
boohoo FIT Sophia Muscle Back Vest
boohoo Black Bomber Jacket

 


The health benefits of lemon water

Benefits of lemon water

I hate water. There, I said it. Don't judge me! But I have to drink it because, you know, I heard it's important to be all hydrated and stuff - technical terms, people. I started drinking lemon water a few years ago before I knew there was any sort of benefit from doing so (basically I did it way before it was cool, such a trend setter) quite simply because I liked the taste of it. Anyway, you get where I'm coming from here - you don't need my back story on why I drink water (if you do, I'll be coming out with a best-selling novel next month all about my love hate relationship with h2o). If you don't like water, but still want to drink it, lemon water is your friend, here's why:

It tastes good

First and foremost, lemon water tastes good - way better than that non-tasting water crap. So if something tastes good you're probably going to want to drink it a a lot more. Do I need to talk you through the importance of water?

It helps your skin

Lemons contain antioxidants that help stop environmental damages to the skin, as well as an abundance of vitamin that helps maintain the skins elasticity. Since the water is helping to detoxify your blood it'll also give your skin a more radiant look, too.

It reduces inflammation

If you're a regular guzzler of lemon water over time you'll end up decreasing the acidity in your body. After a while this will help remove uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation. Perfect if you're a gym-goer!

It helps fight illnesses

Lemons contain vitamin C, which is one of the best ways to fight off illnesses and infections and generally boost your immune system. If you're already ill, swap the cold water for warm water for a perfect sore-throat saviour. Add a bit of honey to help soon the throat at the same time.

It freshens breathe

Whilst citric acid has a tendency to erode the enamel on your teeth, drinking lemon water can actually help your teeth and breathe. It helps get rid of any bacteria in your mouth that can make your breathe a little funkay..

It gives you an energy boost

So it might not be quite the same as a shot of coffee in the morning, but lemons are pretty good at giving you a natural energy boost. They're also great at reducing anxiety and depression. Who needs a councillor when you can talk to a lemon about all your problems?

It (can) help you lose weight

Okay, so lemon water alone won't make you lose weight, but lemons themselves actually contain pectin fibre, which helps fight hunger cravings. 

It aids digestion

Lemons are the bomb when it comes to helping digestion. How? Let's get science-y. Basically, lemon juice helps to loosen toxins i your digestive tract, which helps get rid of things such as heartburn and bloating. Booya.

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Brita Fill&Go water bottle  *

How to make healthy (and tasty) chocolate vegan fudge

How to make ketogenic chocolate fudge brownies low carb

If it was my choice, I'd eat Haribo fried eggs for breakfast, a tub of Ben & Jerrys for lunch and an entire red velvet cake for dinner - but let's face it, I don't think I'd be fitting into my leather skinnies if that were the case. So with that in mind, I've decided to introduce you guys to what is potentially the healthiest chocolate fudge recipe around. Sugar free, vegan, low carb and good for you? Oh it's possible.

Ingredients

200g ground almonds
2 tbsp almond milk
2 (very ripe) bananas
2 tsp raw honey
1 tbsp carob powder (or cocoa)
1 tbsp stevia

 

Directions

Mix together the almond milk and ground almonds in a microwavable bowl. Chuck it in the microwave for 30 seconds to help thicken the stuff! It should come out fairly light and fluffy.

Next mash up the two bananas in the bowl. The riper the better (AKA the more brown and gross they look, the better), as it'll make for a smooth consistency once smushed. 

Add in the carob/cocoa powder, honey and sweetener to taste, and mix together.

Spread the mixture into a plastic tub (or tray lined with greaseproof paper) and chuck into the freezer to er, freeze. It should only take 1-2 hours depending on your fudge thickness.

If you're impatient like me you could always eat it straight from the freezer (sensitive teeth-ers beware), but if you want a more authentic fudge texture just leave it on the side to thaw for a few minutes. You're welcome.

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Will you be making this?!

Fruiteatox Review

Fruiteatox+Tea+Tox+Detox+Health+Fitness

As a lot of you will know from my last health and fitness post, I've been doing a spot of carb-free dieting lately (although my friends Ben and Jerry beg to differ at this moment in time). Now how about a little back story? I've been drinking tea excessively for years. Two sugars, a glug of milk, then about ten more cups after the first one. Since going on this diet I've managed to cut out my black tea consumption all together, and instead I've become obsessed with all things herbal.

I was given the chance to try the Fruiteatox 14 day trial a few weeks ago, and even though I see everyone raving about how wonderful their teas are on Instagram, I've never really given in to the hype. I've tried a few different brands but I've never gotten past the second day - they all tasted that bad. This however? I actually miss drinking it for the taste, not just what it did for my body.

The idea behind it is that you drink the Daytox Lemon once a day - preferably in the morning. It tastes beyond amazing and has a real kick of sweet lemon at the end, which made me wish I was able to drink more than just one cup a day (#teaproblems). As for the Sleeptox Orange, you're meant to drink this little sucker every other day, as it contains Senna - a light laxative - which thankfully didn't effect me all that much. Moving on..

In terms of weight loss, this wasn't something I was overly looking to do on a big scale. Instead I was jut looking to lose a bit of bloating and sort my skin out, which has been playing up for what seems like forever. The end result? Well, I'm bloated now considering I just ate my way through an entire pot of Cookie Dough, but despite my lactose intolerance my stomach's never really looked flatter!

Of course I have been doing the no-carb diet as of late, which helps a lot in terms of de-bloating, and I've also been going to the gym three times a week as well, but I really did notice a huge difference once I actually started this whole tea-drinking thang. My skin's pretty much back to it's usual state, too!

At £19.99 for the two week detox, it's not the cheapest thing in the world for just a few bags of tea, but I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking to shift a few pounds or de-bloat without any real commitment. It's actually the main thing that's helped me transition from overly sugary tea to more natural remedies, which will help keep that tummy pouch at bay!

Do you guys think you'll ever try a tea-tox?!

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Fruiteatox 14 Day Trial *

How to make (tasty) roasted kale chips

Kale+Chips+Recipe+How+To+Healthy+Snacks

After letting you guys in on my latest health kick I've had a few questions about the Ketogenic diet (full post coming soon on that one). Long story short, this diet pretty much means no carbs, which means snack options are very, very limited. Anyone with remote access to the outside world knows the overwhelming benefits of kale, but it's not exactly the tastiest veggie on the planet. I decided to try my hand at making some crispy kale chips, and - whilst they might not taste as good as my usual fat-packed potatoes of choice - they definitely help with my cravings!

You will need:

One bag of curly kale
Coconut or olive oil
Sea salt (or seasoning of choice)
A baking tray

Kale+Chips+Recipe+How+To+Healthy+Snacks

Step one:

Wash your kale and leave it to dry. If you're impatient like me you'll just empty the bag straight away, but I'd definitely recommend giving it a rinse before hand. Make sure your kale is completely dry before you move onto the next step, otherwise it'll pretty much shrivel in the oven!

Step two:

Next go through the leaves (yes, all of them) and pick out all of the large stalks. It may be time consuming, but you definitely don't want to be munching on gooey kale bits later on. Trust me on that one.

Step three:

The next thing to do is to coat your kale in your oil of choice. Personally I like to use coconut oil, which I warm up by rubbing between the palms of my hands (it's also really good for your skin, score!). To coat the leaves I dip my oil-covered hands into the bowl and rub them around to make sure every piece of kale is fully covered.

Kale+Chips+Recipe+How+To+Healthy+Snacks

 

Step four:

Now it's time to add your flavourings. You can pretty much add anything you want, but my personal favourite is a pinch of sea salt with some balsamic vinegar. I've heard parmesan cheese chips are excellent. Mm, cheese. Spread them evenly over across a baking tray, making sure that they don't overlap and drench them in your toppings!

Step five:

Now it's time to get cookin'. I've found that settings generally vary when making these little guys, but I'd say the best temperature to start off with is 180 degrees, as it cooks them quick enough (so that you don't drool all over your floor) but also lets you keep track of them too. There's a fine line between crispy kale and completely charcoaled kale, so be sure to keep your eye on them the first time around to make sure you don't end up with a tray full of disappointment.

Step six:

After around ten to fifteen minutes they should be done! Now this is the hardest part of all: take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for around five minutes. These five minutes will be the toughest five minutes of your life, so brace yourselves - it's going to get emotional. But once the five minutes are over? Get stuck in!

Kale+Chips+Recipe+How+To+Healthy+Snacks

Let me know if you try these! Also leave your favourite healthy snack in the comments section below!

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